Monday, March 10, 2014


You know how I'm always bitching about pop-culture-reference-laden, self-aware slasher movies populated entirely by unlikeable teenagers? Detention is exactly that.
I really fucking liked Detention.
Here's the thing: the movie bills itself as a slasher movie. I first heard of it via an article in Fangoria. I found the DVD in the Horror section at Amoeba.
Detention is not a horror movie.
Detention is a parody of teen movies, all teen movies, and an great deal of slasher movies are teen movies as well. So Detention has elements of slasher movie, including a villain named CinderHella (which cracked me up because about two days ago a friend of mine suggested that name as an alternate title for my book). But I wouldn't throw it into that category.
It's a comedy, a smart one, the kind of parody Not Another Teen Movie probably wanted to be.

End of line.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rabies (and a sort of goodbye)

First of all, I'm tired of writing reviews and have decided to stop.
For the most part, anyway. If I watch a movie and feel I have something to say about it, I'll post something but overall, I'm done with this blog. I'm not as grumpy or opinionated as I once was and over the next few months I plan on going through all my posts on this site and taking down all but the ones I feel are well written.
Thanks to all one or two of you who actually read my blog. It's been fun. See you around.

That being said: Rabies.
Rabies is, so the story goes, the first horror movie to come out of Israel and I have been excited to see it for at least a couple years, ever since I read an article about it (and Cuba's first horror movie, Juan Of The Dead) in an issue of Rue Morgue.
Well, last night I finally got around to watching it! And!
... Eh.
It was okay. It was bloody and a few moments were very satisfying. But I'd read so much about how brutal this movie is that I ended up feeling underwhelmed.
Sure it was plenty violent (the Strong Sad quote "And everyone died, and nobody lived." kept popping to mind) but I'd have a hard time calling it brutal since most of that violence is perpetrated against people who are one hundred percent unlikeable. I hated all but two characters, one of whom appears only peripherally at the very beginning and the other dies an hour in. All the other characters were varying degrees of asshole and, to be honest, most of their deaths made me laugh. A lot. 'Cause fuck them, they suck.
And that, I guess it should be pointed out, is why I like a lot of slasher movies: the characters either have bad personalities or no personalities so the audience can feel entertained by their horrible murders at the hands of charismatic (or at least somewhat interesting) killers. Rabies fails because the people committing the murders are the assholes who are also getting killed. There's no one to root for.
In fact, one death scene in particular (which I will give away to anybody who asks, because it was just that funny) was Looney Tunes-caliber hilarious and made me spend the rest of the movie wondering if I was supposed to have been taking any of this seriously.
So, yeah, I'd really wanted to see it for a long time and it was a letdown. But I did enjoy spending an hour and a half listening to people speak Hebrew. I'm a sucker for people speaking languages I don't understand.

End of line.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The 2013 Year End Roundup

This was not a big movie year for me. Part of it had to do with the fact that I stopped hanging out with the one person I usually went to movies with. She has her life going on and I have my life going on and they didn't overlap much. Part of me is really bummed about falling out of touch with her but, honestly, part of me is relieved. We didn't have a lot of the same interests.
So this year I didn't go see a lot of movies, which is why two of the movies on my paltry year-end roundup list are movies I didn't see in a theater. One I watched on an airplane and the other was on video tape (which is the only way to watch it, to be honest).
This year was less about movies for me than it was about music. It was about Local H and, to a much greater extent, The Aquabats. The Aquabats have taken over my brain. That's actually quite a good thing. For once I feel happy most of the time and I'm actually slowly starting to hack my way toward a path in my life. I hope I stick with it. I really need some direction.
Here's hoping that 2014 will be a good year, that I'll keep heading toward having a real purpose in life, and that The Aquabats' twentieth anniversary will be a great one!
And now here is my Top Nine Movies Of 2013:

9) Hansel And Gretel Witch Hunters - Forgettable, CGI-laden borefest.
8) Gravity - That opening shot that goes on for, like, fifteen minutes was very cool. Overall I thought it was well made, it just couldn't make me care. I am not the target audience.
7) Mama - Parts of it were creepy and I wanted to like it but I couldn't stand the lead character and the ending could not have been sadder.
6) Monsters University - This one has a happy ending, at least, but most of what led to that happy ending made me sad.
5) WNUF Halloween Special - Creepy fucking movie that I still think about and get the chills. But there were a couple of parts where I just thought "They wouldn't have shown that!" and it kind of ruined the illusion.
4) The Conjuring - I love James Wan movies and The Conjuring is a good, solid, creepy one.
3) Insidious Chapter Two - When I saw them I felt this one was stronger than The Conjuring but right now I think they're about tied. I may switch them later. This was a solid sequel to a movie that I still think didn't need one.
2) Evil Dead - Solid story, lots of gore, great fun was had by all. I just wish they'd left out all the references to the original Evil Dead series. You've got your own thing going on, guys, and you shoved me right out of it by deliberately reminding me you're a remake.
1) The Lords Of Salem - I could sit here for hours trying and failing to articulate why I loved this movie so much. It's not the easiest to watch. Rob Zombie is my favorite director and this one is, in many ways, so different from his other movies but is also still so obviously his. It's beautiful and haunting and creepy and sad and bonkers. I'm glad it's nothing like the book.

End of line.

The Canterville Ghost and Henry Hamilton: Graduate Ghost

Also known as the Twelve-Year-Old Christian Jacobs Ghost Double Feature.
The Canterville Ghost is based on an Oscar Wilde story and is about the ghost of a nobleman who allegedly murdered his wife, and who befriends a little girl who helps him break a spell.
Henry Hamilton: Graduate Ghost was made for ABC Weekend Specials and is about the ghost of a Confederate soldier who needs to scare a family to get his diploma, and who befriends a little girl who helps him reach his goal.
Of the two movies, The Canterville Ghost is better-acted and has a stronger story. It's also pretty boring.
Henry Hamilton: Graduate Ghost, on the other hand is a (as The Cinema Snob puts it) shot on shitteo affair with barely competent storytelling (there's a completely pointless tangent about two burglars that takes way too much time) and is a hell of a lot more fun to watch. It's full of brilliant little moments of lousiness that make me want to show the movie to, if not all my friends, at least to my friends Kristin and Tom who would enjoy it the same way I did.
Oh, and Christian Jacobs is in both movies as The Oldest Of Three Kids. He was about twelve. It's cute.

End of line.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer

Judy Moody And The Not Bummer Summer is the story of a whiny, entitled brat who we're supposed to like for some reason. Extreme, uncomfortable closeups for no good reason abound.
Ugghhhhh. Kill me.

End of line.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


A bunch of diverse teenagers from a bunch of different schools are headed out on a school-funded excursion to a village in Malaysia for four months. For school reasons. I think they explained it at the beginning of the movie but I missed it. And it turned out not to matter anyway because when they transfer from an airliner to a little seaplane, the little seaplane crashes and strands them on a deserted island. Their teacher, who was the only adult chaperone (not counting the asshole drug smuggling pilot, who I'll get to), insists on leaving with the pilot to get help, thus stranding all the teenagers.
Hilarity ensues.
Well, sort of. Not really.
There were some funny moments, most of which were provided by a comic relief character named Derf, played by Christian Jacobs (so we all already know 1) why I was watching this movie at all and 2) who my favorite character was). But the funniest moment was provided by a different character, who promptly and abruptly died offscreen less than a minute later, putting a damper on my moment of joyous laughter. Thanks a lot, movie.
A lot of the movie focuses on how different characters get along (or don't get along, as they case may be) and how they build a society on the island. There were a few plot points I felt were sort of abandoned or not really looked into (I thought the kid who talked to monkeys was cool but they didn't do much with that). And Derf faded into the background as soon as the movie decided to be pretty much completely serious. So there's that.
And then ... Okay, this is getting spoilery from here on in so if you have any interest in seeing Exile, maybe stop reading now. Okay, so it turns out the pilot crashed when he went back to get help. The teacher died and the pilot stranded himself on the same island as the kids. The kids find him and offer to let him come live with them, where he proceeds to be the world's worst houseguest: bossing them around, stealing their stuff, making sexual advances toward underage girls, peeing too close to the only water source, that sort of thing.
Now I'm going to be extra special spoilery and give away the end of the movie so stop reading if you care about that: Asshole Pilot kidnaps one of the girls and everyone goes all battle mode to get her back. Which they do. And Monkey Kid clocks Asshole Pilot in the head with a rock, which knocks him out. Then they end by saying "We've been on the island about a month and we're doing pretty well for ourselves and it's funny that the first thing we built is a jail."
What?! No! Kill that asshole. He's going to break out and commit all the rape. I'm pretty sure he already did rape that girl he kidnapped. One guy even brought up murder in one of the "what sort of laws are we making?" scenes and so I thought that was going to be a pretty important plot point. But nobody murdered anybody. Yet another thread the movie picked up and then dropped without studying it. Annoying.
But I did really like the fact that the movie just ended without any real closure. They may not ever get rescued but they have society now.
(If I were feeling a little more awake and clever, I'd draw a comparison between the fact that this movie has Christian Jacobs stranded on an island and how now he's a superhero from a little island called Aquabania but you can go ahead and make up your own silly fan theories 'cause I just don't feel like it right now.)

End of line.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Human Experiments

Poor Rachel Foster has terrible luck. When her car breaks down and she needs to use a phone, she just happens to ask for help at the house where a kid has just massacred his family. He turns his gun on her and Rachel shoots him first in self defense, rendering the kid comatose and getting herself wrongfully convicted of lots of murder. So she goes to prison and prison sucks.
Human Experiments is a movie that got itself on the Video Nasties list (if you'd like to know more on that subject, my buddy Justin Case can help you out) and for the life of me I can't figure out how or why. It's like the BBFC didn't even watch the movie before they condemned it. (Oh, wait...)
It's not even a horror movie, which is the genre I always assume the Video Nasties fall into. Human Experiments basically a women in prison movie, a really boring one. The last fifteen or twenty minutes kinda pick up but even then it wasn't enough to make me really interested in what was going on. There was just more going on then than there was in the first hour or so of the movie.
Highly recommended for people who are planning on watching all of the Video Nasties. Sadly, I haven't set that goal for myself so really there wasn't a lot in the movie for me.

End of line.