October 2010

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched in 720p, of course. With the lights out.

PLOT SUMMARY: Scary shit.

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a haunted chick named Katie,
whose life was weirder than an episode of O’Grady.
Her boyfriend Micah was a douchebag–
I even read it on his damn name tag.
I wish people would stop saying Katie’s weighty.

HAIKU REVIEW: Demons fucking suck.
Get out of your fucking house!
For fucks sake, damnit!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Stubborn boyfriend incites demon to possess his girlfriend.

PEOPLE: Written, directed, and starring nobody who’s really done much of anything else. The 2 main characters were paid $500.

QUIRKS: Shot in 10 days on a mere $11K-15K budget that turned into a $9M profit in 1 weekend, despite playing at less than 200 theaters.

It’s done in “handheld / found video / camcorder” style, like Blair Witch and Cloverfield.

It’s about being haunted by a demon. Someone said that if you believe in that stuff, this movie is scary, and if you don’t, it isn’t. I think that is an incorrect assessment. I don’t believe in this existence of that kind of stuff, but at the same time I don’t believe in faith, and don’t have 100% faith that I’m right about that. Part of how this movie was scary was because it showed a scenario whereby *I* could be convinced that that stuff was real. If it was me, I would have gotten the hell out of that house!

The theatrical cut is probably the best cut, but know that there are 3 different endings. Read IMDB‘s alternate verisons carefully — AFTER watching the movie. They are full of spoilers.

VISUALS: Camcorder shakiness. Not that that bugs me.

SOUNDTRACK: If you have a powerful subwoofer, it definitely enhances the various rumbles.

MORALS: If there’s a fucking demon involved, and you’ve proven it… For chrissakes, take the damn thing seriously and listen to your fucking girlfriend. DOUCHEBAG.

BAD STUFF: Micah was a douchebag.

They should have turned their lights on. I’d have SLEPT with my lights on if I were them. (I did for the first 8 years of my life anyway…)

Carolyn says (some spoilers ahead): “It was creepy, but it had some flaws.. like how they waited so long to call the demonologist.. I think the ‘original’ ending [with the police] sounds like the best ending. [I don’t! I think the theatrical sounds best. This discussion here spells out pretty much exactly what I think -Clint] It had a good creep factor, and I was definitely nervous… So that would be 5 star… But most of it was just watching time lapse while they slept [Not true! -Clint]… and then some creepy parts.. And it was annoying how the guy was refusing to call the demonologist… what was his problem with that? It’s like, if he didn’t want to call the demonologist because he didn’t believe the stuff was a demon, I can understand that… but he did admit there were strange things going on, but “he wanted to take care of it himself”… I guess that was a good struggle… and she’s like “Forget you, you’re powerless, I’m calling in the experts” but it was too late..Her being dragged down the hall was fucked up.”
Carolyn brings up some interesting points… But I think Micah was stubborn enough to believe he could actually deal with a demon himself. After all, he was a non-believer, so he probably equated it with something along the lines of a raccoon (instead of, say, a tiger).

CONCLUSION: Freakin’ terrifying. I don’t even believe in that kind of stuff–so realistic depictions work best for me. This sure did. Adrenal rush!!!!

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.9/10, Netflix: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.2/5 stars..WRONG!).

RECOMMENDATION: Watch this IN YOUR OWN HOME, in the dark. Not in the theatre. There’s no way this would be as scary with 100 other people around and making noise. It’s scary when you hear a sound, aren’t sure if it’s your house’s 7.1 rear surround speakers or the house in the movie, and then have to walk around and sleep in said house afterward.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Blair Witch Project, Quarantine, Cloverfield.

MOVIE QUOTE: Micah: What if we just get this Ouija board and we find out what it wants and then we give it what it wants? Then it’s gone.
The Psychic: Because what it probably wants is Katie.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian: 4/5 stars.

I also had several facebook friends talk about how it scared them – Rose, Chris Williams, Amy Moore, etc. There were people who commented in response that they didn’t think much of it, but those people weren’t my friends. My FRIENDS all had good things to say about it.

But then a weird thing happened. Paranormal Activity 2 came out. All of a sudden, a bunch of people said that they hated Paranormal Activity 1. Where the hell were they back when Paranormal Activity 1 was a fresh movie? I heard NONE of the bad criticism about this film until the sequel came out. Do I smell sheep? Or is there some psychological factor? Do people keep their bad opinions to themselves, but then when a sequel comes out, it pushes them over the edge enough to complain about it?

Another review HERE.

This is hilarious if you’ve already watched it — I’m not sure it would be funny if you haven’t:

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A powerful probe into the human psyche?

PEOPLE: I don’t know the director, but writer Trent Haaga wrote and played a part in The Toxic Avenger 4: Citizen Toxie. He has written a bunch of movies that have terrible-sounding titles.

Starring Shiloh Fernandez as Rickie, apparently the sanest character in the story (or so it seems?). Noah Segan (John from Cabin Fever 2) as J.T., the one who really causes everything to happen. Love interest JoAnn is played by Candice Accola (The Vampire Diaries, and a tiny bit part in Juno), who looks way better as a redhead than as a blonde. And of course who could forget Jenny Spain (another pic here) as the dead girl. This was her first movie, and her next one will actually have her… speaking! Not just being a zombie sex slave :)

Michael Bowen — the name of my uncle — plays a character named Clint — my name. A very minor character, but it’s worth mentioning for the name coincidences, and the fact that he is in Cabin Fever 2 as well. He was in Kill Bill 2, Magnolia, Beverly Hills Cop 3, and tons of other movies.

PLOT SUMMARY: Teenage romance wrapped in a dark comedy wrapped in a psychological thriller wrapped in a zombie horror wrapped in a coming of age story.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Teens fuck zombies.

QUIRKS: Doesn’t fit into a single genre very well. Is NOT an exploitation film, but actually a film about morals, power, and sexuality.

VISUALS: It looks kinda dark and low budget, but then again, I’m used to 720p or 1080p HD, and I only watched this in “shitty DVD quality”, so I can’t judge this too accurately. The look and feel were adequate enough to support the story. NO, YOU DON’T SEE ANY EXPLICIT SEX.

SOUNDTRACK: I don’t pay attention to soundtracks much — since I am musically close-minded and dislike most music — but apparently the soundtrack reminds a lot of people of the Donnie Darko soundtrack.

MORALS/POLITICS: The whole movie is one big moral quandary! There’s a lot to be said about sexism, misogyny, power, gender. Knee-jerk one dimensional feminists are gonna hate this one! People who have a knee-jerk reaction to things will insist this is misogynistic because of the subject matter. But I got a news flash for you — the sex that has the most negativity directed at it in this movie is MALES. I’m pretty sure females would never stoop to the level of the males in this movie. I’m pretty sure females would never do the things the males did here. The males in this movie represent the id urges of every male — to fuck something that feels good to fuck, human or not. Some people don’t want to admit this; some people do. But misogynistic? If anything, it’s a realistic portrayal of male misogyny, and not misogynistic in and of itself. Do people really think that guys would never do this in a million years? They’re wrong. Guys would do this. A lot of guys would. There are more slaves and rapists alive now than at any point in history, thanks to population growth. Guys would do this. Especially loser teens with nothing to lose.

GOOD STUFF: A great twist on the “zombie genre”. Not unlike I Am Legend, the true monsters in this movie are the humans, not the zombies.

BAD STUFF: Not a huge budget; this is an indie flick. So some may say the acting isn’t up to A-movie par. The thing is, how many other movies like this can you really compare this too? (Actually, there is another movie with a similar premise, but I haven’t seen it. Yet.)

And then there are the whole set of people who can’t get past the premise of the movie. Much like The Human Centipede — or even Twilight — there are a bunch of haters who never actually saw the movie. Such people seem to proudly wear their prejudiced idiocy like a badge.

People also complain about: Slow pacing, predictability, moral bankruptcy, bad dialog, and cliches. But c’mon! If a movie is over 90 minutes, those who don’t like it always say it’s slow, and those who do are always glad that it went on longer. Predictable? Yea, humans are pretty predictable to start with. Most stories are predictable. It’s the voyage, not the journey. Morally bankrupt? Why are you watching this movie, if your movies must conform to traditional morals? Go watch a romantic comedy instead! Bad dialog? I dunno, man, I find what comes out of teenagers mouths in real life to be bad dialog too, man. (They say “man” a lot, and people dislike this. Would it be better if they’d said bro”?) Most dialog between most people is bad dialog. Maybe they should talk like Shakespeare, or Juno? Cliches? I’m not sure what the existing list of zombie rape cliches are… Haters gonna hate!

Some people also don’t like the gas station scene. [Minor spoilers shead] They think it’s medically unrealistic because they’ve watched Hollywood movies too much, and think if you bleed from your head, you’re automatically unconscious or dead. But really, it helps put the boys in their place: As pathetic weaklings who couldn’t get laid unless they found a zombie chained up in an insane asylum. And of course she didn’t call the police after taking their wallets.

CONCLUSION: This is one of the most unique horror/thriller/dark comedy/drama/shocking movies that I’ve ever seen in my life. Tempted to give it a 10/10, but I’m snobby about giving 10s. It kind of defies classification, as it’s not strictly a horror, a thriller, or a dark comedy. What is definitely is, is FUCKED UP. And “fucked up” almost deserves its own genre category. This movie makes you think, it makes you cringe, it makes you squirm, it titillates you, explores sexuality, bullying, alienation, power struggles, gender roles; it makes you laugh, it makes you sad… There is a surprising range of emotion and reaction to be experienced via such a simple gimmick as “zombie sex slave”. I’m amazed that most people don’t really like this movie — but I think that says more about the people than the movie. I also think that the fact that so many people hate this SO MUCH, with the intensity of 1000 suns — is actually a compliment to the movie. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and people don’t like to be challenged. So they react. But it is that intense reaction that is exactly what is so great about this movie. It’s challenging, unlike most movies. So nice to actually be shocked again. It’s a rare thing for me.

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8.4/10.
John The Canadien: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. “It’s like Stand By Me, only instead of just discovering a body, they also have sex with it.” Read his review here.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.0/10, Netflix: 2.8/5 stars (what?!?!!) (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.0/5 stars–IT KNOWS!!).

RECOMMENDATION: SEE IT SEE IT SEE IT!!!! Don’t be close-minded to the idea simply because it is what it is!

SIMILAR MOVIES: Make-Out With Violence actually has a similar premise, and is rated 0.9/10 higher on IMDB. Ginger Snaps comes up a lot. Zombie Strippers also deals with zombies and sex appeal, although in a completely superficial way (it’s not a great movie like this one).

This movie is like Stand By Me meets Weird Science. Or maybe Beavis & Butt-head meets American Pie meets Twilight meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I don’t know.

MOVIE QUOTE: “She’s dead!” “She’s a dead girl!”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Dildo Valerie loved it. Bunny Day liked it (“It was hot”). Jon B liked it.  Modemac thought it was twisted. ESplatter review (“one of the best horror movies of the year so far”). Bloody-Digusting.com review (8/10). HorrorNews.net review.

FUNNIEST IMDB COMMENT: (in response to a feminist hater of the movie who called it misogynistic) “Look… I bet you’re ugly, and that’s fine. I’ll bang ugly chicks. I watch tons of films, but you missed the point of Deadgirl. This movie was telling girls that pre-marital sex is okay, and so is post-mortem sex. It’s like drunk sex, but when you slipped the girl a bunch of your Klonopin, and are all amped up on cocaine and Viagra.”

I’m also fond of: “What did they expect to see? A serious discourse on the morality of repeatedly raping a zombie?”

THE TRAILER: I only watch trailers AFTER I see movies. This one isn’t that good, but at least it doesn’t spoil all the good parts:


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: A virus has wiped out the country, but infected people are still around. Let’s road trip!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Wrench-wielding father dooms 2 strangers in an unsuccessful bid to save his daughter.

PEOPLE: Starring Chris Pine (Kirk in the new Star Trek movie) as a far-assholier-than-Kirk older brother, and Lou Taylor Pucci (the main character in Fifty Pills, also in The Informers) as the smarter little brother. Co-starring Piper Perabo as the stupid bitch and Emily VanCamp (Brothers & Sisters, Everwood) as the quiet “other” girl. With Christopher Meloni (Law & Order, Oz, Freakshow in Harold & Kumar, Wet Hot American Summer) as the wrench-wielding dad, and Kiernan Shipka as the little kid. Surprisingly, we’ve seen her as the uncredited Tar Pits Kid in Land Of The Lost, as well as in Lower Learning… Not that we recognize children.

QUIRKS: Probably a more realistic depiction of events than most movies like this.

VISUALS: A tiny bit of gore, but for the most part, it’s just a roadtrip survival horror movie.

MORALS: Nobody will have them when the shit hits the fan. Prepare to fuck other people over so you can live another day. When the world is shit, there is no such thing as right and wrong.

BAD STUFF: Depressing. NOT a comedic horror movie. Some comedy in the first half, but it’s just incidental. It may mislead you to expecting more. Don’t. This is not a comedy!

Nor is it a high-action horror movie. It’s character-driven and dark. Almost a drama.

That chick was a DUMBASS!!! What a bitch!

And it has a kind of ambiguous, but dark ending. Not much is resolved. I like things to resolve, so this hurt a bit… But it really helped drive the movie home. The closing song was a pretty perfect choice too; something I’d never listen to for pleasure, but which I loved when juxtaposed with the plot:

CONCLUSION: This is basically what Zombieland would be if you had no comedy. Or zombies. (You get infected people who kill you if they breathe on you instead.) With a more realistic outlook (and outcome) than most horror movies, this was indeed a somber tale. THERE ARE NO ZOMBIES.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.3/10, Netflix: 3.0/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.4/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: Horror lovers should see this. It’s definitely a cut or two above generic, and a cut or two below ultimate masterpiece.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Zombieland, but not really.

Check out the Carriers happy mea! hahaha! (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched in 720p.

PLOT SUMMARY: Generic zombie plot. Which is fine.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Teenage girls find people to screw over in a world that has no people left.

PEOPLE: Starring Michael Cera-wannabe Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland, The Village, Roger Dodger), Woody Harrelson (Cheers, Natural Born Killers, A Scanner Darkly, Larry Flynt in The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Wag The Dog, Indecent Proposal), Emma Stone (The House Bunny, Superbad), and Abigail Breslin (who was 6 years old when she was in Signs).

With small parts by Amber Heard (The Informers, Pineapple Express) and [highlight for spoilers] Bill Murray.

QUIRKS: Zombies AND comedy. Where can you go wrong?

VISUALS: Post-zombie-apocalypse bleakness. Not a lot of gore, so this is less visual than many zombie/horror movies.

SOUNDTRACK: Metallica AND Chuck Mangione? Can you really go wrong with that? Throw in some Van Halen, Velvet Underground, Mozart, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Blue Oyster Cult, and Ray Parker Jr., and you’re set.

MORALS: Despite the fact that a post-zombie world requires detaching your emotions from all your loved ones [especially the ones who just tried to eat you], it still remains true that people survive best when depending on each other for help.

BAD STUFF: Not a lot of zombies. Hardly any in the entire movie, for something called “Zombieland”.

CONCLUSION: An awesome zombie-survival-comedy! I wont say that it puts Shaun Of The Dead to shame — but I think it’s pretty much just as good.

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. Maybe a low 5-stars and a low 9/10, but a 5/5, 9/10 nonetheless.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: a whopping 8.0/10, Netflix: 4.4/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.6/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: A must-see comedy AND a must-see zombie movie.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Shaun Of The Dead, of course. Here’s looking forward to the 3-D sequel, Zombieland 2!

MOVIE QUOTE: Tallahassee: Out west, we hear it’s out east, out east they hear it’s out west. It’s all bullshit. It’s like you’re a penguin at the North Pole hears the South Pole is real nice this time of year.
Columbus: There are no penguins in the North Pole.
Tallahassee: You wanna feel how hard I can punch?

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian really liked it (4/5 stars). Teela thought it was awesome. Chase said it was amazing. Radha said it was a “fun bit of fluff”. Another review full of spoilers. (more…)

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