Thursday, May 27, 2010

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy

When I started Movie Lottery, this was the movie I was most excited about watching. Never mind the fact that I didn't even have access to it 'til five days ago.
Never Sleep Again is a four hour documentary about the entire Nightmare On Elm Street series (including a brief chapter on the Freddy's Nightmares television show). There are interviews with a whole lot of cast and crew members and they talk about the scripts, the stories, the special effects, the fan reactions, everything. It's glorious.
By way of reviewing the movie, all I can say is I kind of checked out after the segment on Wes Craven's New Nightmare because as far as I'm concerned that is the final Nightmare movie. Sure, you can talk about Freddy Versus Jason but ... meh. Who gives a fuck?
I never realized until today just how much I resent that fucking movie. I haven't watched it since it was in theaters. I've thought about watching it, I've even kind of wanted to watch it, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Something about it really irks me. I want to fight it. Freddy Versus Jason Versus Me!
Anyway, yeah, the whole documentary was fantastic and, unlike how I felt about His Name Was Jason, it didn't feel rushed or abbreviated. Also, where the Jason movie felt longer than it was, this one felt shorter than it was. It did feel like a pretty long movie, certainly, but I didn't feel like I'd been sitting there for four hours.
But, as I mentioned at the end of my review of His Name Was Jason, I am a biased ding dong.

I don't know if I'll ever understand what it is about the Nightmare On Elm Street movies that appeals to me so much more than any of the other big slasher series. I can't blame it on my crush on Robert Englund because I was fascinated by the Elm Street movies long before I knew who Robert Englund was.
I have a very strong memory (that for all I know is inaccurate) of being maybe five years old at my dad's house and staring at the cover of the soundtrack for The Dream Warriors, with the artwork of Freddy's eyes over the blades of his glove with the four people standing in the foreground, facing away from (for lack of a better term) the camera. I was obsessed with that picture and I still am; when I found that poster for eight dollars at Weekend Of Horrors, I snatched it up so fast. (In fact, I didn't buy a single thing at Weekend Of Horrors this year that wasn't Elm Street related.)
When I was younger and too scared to watch horror movies, my older brother would tell me all about whatever ones he'd just watched and occasionally he managed to talk me into watching bits and pieces of them. He convinced me to watch the library and shower scenes from It (I loved the library scene but couldn't sleep after the shower scene), The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrell from Creepshow (which I liked a lot) and, the scene that had the greatest effect on me, Nancy's defeat of Freddy from A Nightmare On Elm Street. I think after watching that was the first time I ever went to school acting like I had watched a horror movie. ("...and she says 'I take away all the energy I gave to you; you're nothing' and he leaps at her, but he just disappears!...")
I'd memorize everything Brad told me about the movies and repeat everything he said to me verbatim to my classmates, pretended that I'd been the one watching the movie. My favorite movie to do that with was Dream Warriors. When I finally got around to watching Dream Warriors for the first time a month or two ago I had several "Oh, I remember this!" moments and had to keep reminding myself "No, you don't remember this. You've never seen this before."
I have vague memories of being interested in the Friday The 13th movies when I was younger as well (I loved the I (heart) NY poster for Jason Takes Manhattan) but not nearly to the extent that I was interested in the Nightmare films. I don't know if it was Freddy's glove or the dream imagery or just the pretty colors on the Dream Warriors album cover or what. Maybe it was the fact that Freddy Krueger really became a pop culture icon right around the time I was four or five (the age when I really started developing memories and becoming a person).
I was obsessed long before I even knew what I was obsessed with.
And I'm still obsessed. Especially now that I've seen all the movies and I've seen this amazing documentary about all the movies.
And I'm going to continue to be obsessed. A Nightmare On Elm Street has been a part of me in one way or another for as long as I can remember. Which maybe just proves I'm a little off in the head, but a girl could do worse than growing up with a role model (even a word of mouth role model) like Nancy Thompson.

P.S. I don't know if they're going to use the footage, but if you watch the upcoming documentary I Am Nancy, and you see a girl in a plaid purple skirt telling Heather Lagencamp about how she used to pretend she'd watched the Nightmare movies back when she was to young and scared to actually watch them, that's me!

End of line.


Fuck is a documentary that's sort of about the history of the word, sort of about the use of it in various areas of culture and whathaveyou, but mostly it's a celebration of fuck and, to a lesser extent, all profanity.
And I can't figure out why they even bothered to interview some of the people they did. There was this one conservative guy with a giant head who kept going on and on about protecting children. He seriously pissed me off. Fuck that guy.
But if you're making a documentary that's celebrating profanity, why bother interviewing people who disagree with you? You're obviously not trying to be objective, because the point of your movie is "fuck is a wonderful word!" so the idea of interviewing people like Pat Boone and Judith Martin and Giant Head Guy kind of detract from your "yay, fuck!" argument.
And while I'm on the subject, why would people like Pat Boone and Judith Martin and Giant Head Guy, who all had nothing but negative things to say about profanity, agree to be interviewed for a movie called Fuck, a movie whose title they can't even bring themselves to say? It makes no fucking sense!
I really enjoyed the movie and it was a fuck of a lot more informative than a person might think. It was mostly just entertaining, though.
The same studio released The Aristocrats, which is a movie whose appeal I didn't get. It wasn't that I was offended by it; it was that I didn't understand what was supposed to be funny about it. "Here's a bunch of comedians telling variations on an over the top, gross out joke." So? Who fucking cares? The joke isn't funny and neither is your fucking movie.
I really liked Fuck, though. It was funnier and far more interesting than The Aristocrats.

End of fucking line.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Killer Tongue

While waiting for her boyfriend to get out of jail, Candy accidentally eats some soup that a meteor fell in, giving her the titular Killer Tongue and turning her poodles into over the top drag queens.
And that's about the extent of this movie that I understood. Apparently Movie Lottery decided today was the day for convoluted, disjointed, barely cohesive movies featuring actors I like named Robert.
Killer Tongue at least had the saving(ish) grace of being so ridiculously campy and weird that I can't be mad at it.
There were nuns, a prison warden with "fuck you" tattooed on his knuckles, a big red glowy thing that sometimes healed people and sometimes exploded them, a lot of shots of the desert, a pretty gross tongue puppet and some pretty awesome boots.
It took me 'til about the last ten minutes of the movie to figure out who, if anybody, were supposed to be the good guys and the bad guys and I don't know what I think of the movie as a whole. It was entertaining, I guess, but I couldn't follow it and it felt way longer than the one hundred (or so) minutes that it was.
I think a lot of people I was friends with in high school would have liked this movie.

End of line.

In Dreams

Here there be spoilers. Ye be warned. Seriously. I'm going to give away the ending.

Back when I was in high school, some of my friends and I were hanging out at Sean's house. Sitting on the TV was a copy of In Dreams, which Sean held up to all of us and warned us all to never, ever watch it on account of its being terrible.
I didn't think it could possibly be that bad. And I like Robert Downey Jr. So about twelve years later I disregarded Sean's warning and watched In Dreams.
And it was pretty terrible.
You know how every movie is supposed to have different acts so that the story can, you know, happen? This doesn't have acts so much as it's a bunch of little different movies.
Movie 1: Claire Cooper has vague psychic dreams, which she misinterprets. Turns out her daughter was the kidnapped girl in the dream and, when the daughter dies, Claire drives off a bridge.
Movie 2: Claire and her husband have arguments because her psycic visions are annoying him. Also, Claire figures out she's psychically connected to one specific guy. Apples are supposed to be sinister.
Movie 3: Claire goes off the fucking deep end trying to prove to people that she's not crazy.
Movie 4: Claire figures out who it is she's psychicially connected to (Vivian Thompson) and magically knows everything about him now. She escapes from the hospital in pretty much the exact same way he did thirty years ago.
Movie 5: Claire meets up with Vivian. He's a nutjob, but a pathetic one. She, being the only person on the planet with any hope of ever understanding him, foils his plans and dies.
Movie 6: Vivian is ruled guilty but insane and sentenced to be imprisoned until he's well. He's okay with that until Claire's ghost invades his cell and torments him for no good reason that I can see.
The end.
I'm not going to even bother covering Movies 1 through 3 because In Dreams doesn't really get interesting until Movie 4, and even then I didn't care about any of the characters until Movie 5.
Vivian is, by far, the most interesting and sympathetic character in the movie. I don't know if that means that I have a fucked up definition of sympathetic, if I'm more inclined to care about a character if he's played by Robert Downey Jr. or if he really was the easiest character to root for. He was definitely the most interesting by virtue of being crazy, but when his plan started to fall apart (he kidnapped a little girl so he and Claire could be her parents; "All I ever wanted was a family.") and he started whining like a little kid ("I went through so much to bring you here!") I truly did feel bad for him.
Honestly, lady, if you'd just go along with him neither you nor the kid would come to any harm. At least play along until the police find you. You'll be there, like, six months tops.
But no, you have to be little miss hero bitch and spoil everything.
And why the hell bother to come back to haunt him and make him miserable? He's already insane and had his only hope for a family ripped out from under him. Let him just spend the rest of his life alone in a cell.
Honestly, if the movie ended with her dying and him getting sentenced to life inprisonment (or even if he'd have died) I would have been okay with it, but that whole "Claire's ghost tormenting Vivian" thing completely took away any positive feelings I had for Claire.
Good job, lady, now you just look like a vengeful bitch.

End of line.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Screwfly Solution

So all the men on the planet think God is telling them to kill all the women. Sucks to be a chick.
The Screwfly Solution is Joe Dante's fourth and final contribution to Movie Lottery (he directed the wraparound story in Trapped Ashes, Innerspace and Matinee) and it's the only one of the four that, if I had no beforehand knowledge of the movie, if someone had shown it to me and asked me to guess the director, Joe Dante never would have occurred to me. This may be the most serious movie he's ever directed.
I didn't like it.
The problem with Masters Of Horror is that all the episodes I've seen I either liked enough to only watch the one time, or I didn't even like them that much. Except Cigarette Burns. That movie kicks ass. (And Dance Of The Dead is worth keeping for Robert Englund reasons.) This falls into the "not even worth it the one time" category.
Actually ... No, it wasn't that bad. It started out really interesting. People were getting killed and claiming it was because God said it was a good idea. Okay, they're nutjobs. I like it. Go on.
Then (from here on there are some spoilers) it turns out that it's something more along the lines of chemical warfare: someone has created a disease or something that takes away the male distinction between libido and agression. Okay, I guess I'll buy that. Do continue.
Well, now we're going to spend the rest of the movie worrying about Jason Priestly's wife and obnoxious daughter. (Cue the "You just lost a game on The Price Is Right" music.) Aww, no new car for you.
I don't give a shit about them (especially not the daughter; she deserved punching). The big picture of this story is way more interesting than individual characters. And if you're going to focus on anybody, focus on Elliot Gould. He's the only really interesting or likeable person in this mess!
Then there's the "what about gay dudes?" factor. No mention is made of men getting killed, but if the illness or whatever it is affects all men, then there wouldn't only be female victims. Everyone would be getting killed. I think they kind of tried to cop out of that with the "everyone takes it as word of God" thing; they're killing women because a woman tempted Adam out of the Garden Of Eden and therefore ruined everything.
But the story also claims it's a mix up of sex drive and out-and-out aggression, so the killing patterns don't make any sense because if that were the case some men would be killing other men because that's what they're attracted to. Also, every guy seems to want to kill every woman he comes across, and that doesn't work either. Nobody is attracted to everybody. And I don't want to think about the implications of the guys in the movie who killed their daughters. That just makes my brain throw up.
I thought I had another complaint about the movie, but I don't remember what it was now.
Oh, the ending! I didn't get it. I mean, I understood the very end of it, but right before the very end there was ... an event that I didn't understand. It required CGI and it was very pretty, but I don't know what it was or what purpose it served.
I guess I'm not smart enough for this movie.
Masters Of Horror was such a disappointment because the concept was completely fantastic (let a bunch of horror directors have an hour to tell a story any way that they want) but none of the episodes lived up to what I, at least, wanted them to be. I guess if the directors are happy with them, then that's all that matters. But I would have liked to enjoy the series along with them.

End of line.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Machine Girl

I'm getting pretty burnt out on writing reviews. I may take a break from Movie Lottery for a while.
Ami's brother and his friend, Miki's son, were killed by a gang of bullies, the leader of whom is a yakuza's son. So Ami and Miki get some crazy ass revenge.
You know how in Planet Terror there's a pretty girl with a gun leg? The Machine Girl has a pretty girl with a gun arm. If Death Proof hadn't been made, this would have made a good second half of Grindhouse.
It's an action movie but it's got some of the craziest gore I've seen in a while, so that was fun. The whole movie was fun, really over the top and not meant to be taken seriously at all (I hope). I really liked it.
Even though Ami is the iconic one (the movie's about her, she's the one with the gun appendage), Miki is, as far as I'm concerned, the most badass muthafucka this side of Samuel L. Jackson. In fact, I'm kind of tired of Sam Jack. His badassness is getting old. Miki is so badass she doesn't even need to point out how badass she is. Take that, Jackson!

P.S. I also watched Captain EO last night, but have decided not to review it because it turns out it's mostly just a really expensive music video. And the song's not very good. Angelica Huston got to wear some pretty kickass fingernails, though.

End of line.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Velocity Of Gary* *(Not His Real Name)

Good lord, what a cumbersome title.
So, Valentino has a girlfriend and a boyfriend and long hair and leather pants and AIDS. And it's all very dramatic.
I bought this movie near the end of my last Vincent D'Onofrio phase and never got around to watching it because I knew it wasn't my kind of movie. It was the one movie I absolutely dreaded coming up in Movie Lottery. I also wish it had come up sooner so I could have gotten it out of the way.
It isn't terrible so much as it's not for me. Obviously it appealed to somebody or it wouldn't have gotten made. And I bet people who are really into slash fic must love it because you've got Detective Goren making out with The Punisher. If that isn't the invention of a fan fiction writer, I don't know what is. (I mean, they're not playing Detective Goren and The Punisher in this movie, but they did play them in other things and that's good enough for me.)
I did like the parts of the movie where Vincent D'Onofrio looked pretty. But then there's the rest of the movie, the parts with all of the talking. I didn't like that so much. It was boring. And I honestly didn't see the point.
But that's how it is with me. I don't see a reason for movies about realistic events. This is something that could really happen so why waste the time making a movie about it? Go peoplewatching if you want to see something realistic. Movies are for the fantastic and impossible, the sort of thing you can't see anywhere else. At least as far as I'm concerned.
People who are into serious, realistic dramas about a guy and a girl who don't really like each other dealing with the illness and death of their mutual boyfriend, though, would probably like this movie very much.
Oh, and then there was the Big Lipped Alligator Character. About fifteen or twenty minutes in, someone gets killed off rather horribly and, apart from about thirty seconds of grieving, nobody seems to even notice. They never get mentioned again and they didn't help the plot along in any way. Why they were in the movie in the first place, I'll never know. Why the filmmakers felt the need to brutally kill them off is an even bigger mystery.

End of line.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A continuation on A Nightmare On Elm Street

I was thinking about it at work, and there are a couple of other things that are bugging me. This isn't a review so much as a vent of frustration. It's a bit of compare and contrast with the original movie.
And it's, like, nothing but spoiler.

First of all, Freddy's motives. I'll admit that I don't really understand Freddy's motives in the first one ("Burn me alive for killing your children, will you? Well, I'll have my revenge by killing your children!" ...Wait, huh?) but I understand them even less in this one. (My conclusion for the original series: Freddy's just a jerk.)
In the remake, Freddy was molesting little kids, they told on him and so their parents, rather than going to the police like normal human beings, burned Freddy alive. Because they didn't want their kids to have to sit in a courtroom and tell a bunch of strangers what happened to them. (Yeah, I'm sure in such cases they don't have a more sensitive procedure.) Okay, yeah, sucks to be Freddy. I'd want revenge, too. On the fucking parents, not the kids!
How does this make sense? They claim it's because the kids told their parents what Freddy did but the kids aren't the ones who went off the deep end and decided fire was the answer to their problems. Don't take it out on them; kill their damn parents!

Secondly, Nancy. More and more she irks me.
In the original film, Nancy is smart, resourceful and strong. She's the only person in Springwood who takes the threat of Freddy seriously, she does her research and, as far as I'm concerned is the only person who can truly defeat him (which is why he went after Heather Lagencamp in New Nightmare).
In the remake, Nancy was Freddy's favorite victim.
That's it. He liked molesting her best. End of character development. She does nothing to make me think she's particularly smart, strong or resourceful. She draws a lot of weird pictures that I think are supposed to be creepy but don't look enough like anything to achieve that goal.
At one point she tells Quentin "In case you haven't noticed, I don't exactly fit in." I didn't notice. Drawing a lot and working as a waitress = not fitting in, even though Kris, Rod and Quentin all seem to be good friends and you knew Dean well enough to go to his funeral? What the hell kind of faulty movie logic do you follow?
Remake Nancy is flat, monotone and boring and she never really does anything. Rod 2.0 tells her about Freddy killing people in their dreams, Glenn 2.0 does all the research on sleep deprivation. Nancy tags along and looks up all the other kids that went to their preschool. Which seemed useful while I was watching the movie but looking back I don't see what it accomplished (other than yet another damn jump scare).
When she brings part of Freddy's sweater into the real world she comes up with the idea to drag him out of dreams to kill him (the one glimmer of brain function she shows), and she says because she was the favorite she might be the only person who can bring him out.
But she has no real proof. It's just a hunch. Her entire usefulness in the story is based on a fucking hunch!
She's more useless than Dawn on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. And ain't nobody more useless than Dawn.

End of line.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

I think Samuel Bayer thinks he invented the jump scare. I really do. I think he thinks he invented it and he really, really wanted to show off this cool new trick he made up. I have never seen more jump scares in a movie than there are in this one. It's barely scary the first time, dude (the music always gives it away) and the more you do it, the less effective it is.
I tried really hard to watch this movie on its own merits and not compare it to the original, but I couldn't help it. And, honestly, it's not all bad. But I do have some stuff to complain about.
Complaint # 1 - The cast. Specifically, the teens. In the original, all the teens look like real people. In the remake they all look like airbrushed mannequins from television primetime dramas. Which leads to:
Complaint # 2 - Way too much of this movie has to do with the teenagers and their damn feelings. It's like A Nightmare On One Tree Hill. Goddamn it, I don't care about your feelings! This is a slasher movie! Admittedly, I might have been losing my patience more quickly than someone who didn't really know the story. None of the plot points were huge revelations to me 'cause I've seen the original about a gazillion times. (Or at least ten.) So maybe this wasn't as much of a problem as I thought it was. ... I'm still going to complain about it, though.
Complaint # 3 - The child molester thing. Save it for serious dramas, don't put that stuff in my popcorn flicks. (And isn't Jackie Earl Haley getting tired of playing child molesters? This is, like, the third one.) I know it was in the original script for the first Nightmare, but they took it out and I think that was for the better. I think it's way too serious a subject for this kind of movie, and I also think it's a really lazy way to try to shock people.
Complaint # 4 - Nancy. I was going to cover this in the first complaint, but I feel like she should get her own because Rooney Mara has a worse case of Expressionless Actress Syndrome than both Zoe Trilling and Emmy Rossum. I don't know if she was taught to always underplay or what, but even when she was screaming and shouting her expression didn't change. She didn't even make the effort to look mildly confused. Worst Nancy ever.
Complaint # 5 - It's minor, but why did they feel the need to change everybody's names? Tina is now Kris, Rod is now Jesse, Glenn is now Quentin and Nancy's last name is Holbrook instead of Thompson. Why keep one name and change all the others? Why not call Nancy ... I don't know, Bess or something? Either change 'em all or don't change any. Pick one. And I'm not accepting any of this "Well, Nancy's the hero and the fans expect..." crap because in this one Nancy is barely the hero. I'd rather you give her a new name because keeping the name is disrespectful to Nancys everywhere.
Okay. Got all my complaining over with. Now for the positive part of the review:
The dream sequences were awesome. My favorite one was Nancy in the drug store, cutting back and forth between the dream and the real world, Freddy hitting a pipe with his claw and a bunch of merchandise falling off a shelf. That was very satisfying.
The dreams all looked fantastic, for the most part they were creepy (if you can disregard all the jump scares) and Jackie Earl Haley is a fine Freddy indeed. He's different, certainly, but just as much fun to watch. And anybody who claims they watch Elm Street movies for any non-Freddy reason is a liar. Freddy is the point of the Nightmare On Elm Street films and I accept Haley as the new Krueger. If they make any sequels, I'll go see them as long as he keeps playing the part. (And if they got a new guy I'd probably go see it to see how he does.)
I don't know where that Thomas Dekker ding dong got the idea that this Freddy doesn't say any one liners, though. Especially since he says the corniest one ("Did you know after the heart stops beating, the brain continues to function for seven minutes? That means we have six more minutes of fun.") to Dekker's character. They probably did a lot of takes, too, which means he had to hear that one liner over and over and over and over. Did he not notice that was supposed to be funny? It doesn't have to have a pun in it to be a one liner, you know.
And if your definition of one liner is lazy pun, fine. One of the puns from The Dream Master ("How's this for a wet dream?") is actually in this remake! I like Thomas Dekker even less now than I did when I read that interview.
And could somebody give Kyle Gallner a hug or a candy bar or something? Between this and Red, I think he naturally looks like the Saddest Person Alive. I feel really bad for him every time I see him.
I'm not going to run out and see it again, and I don't think I'll need to own it, but overall I guess I did like A Remake On Elm Street. The dream sequences, anyway.
Somebody please teach Rooney Mara how to use her facial muscles.

End of line.

The Frighteners

It's official: I like two Peter Jackson movies. This is the second.
The Frighteners is like Three Amigos, but inside out. Everybody knows this guy is a con artist and nobody believes him when he really is the only person who can save them.
First of all, Michael J. Fox was probably the best person to play the lead (whose name I was about to say I'd forgotten until I remembered that his name is Frank) because everybody loves Michael J. Fox. Except commies and fascists, but I don't believe in either of those things.
Secondly, I kind of had the feeling that Tim Burton and Joe Dante could have also had a crack at this movie. If Dante had directed it I probably would have liked it just as much, but I'm glad Burton didn't get ahold of it. He would have made everything black and white checkerboard and cast Johnny Depp as Frank, which wouldn't have worked. (No disrespect to Depp; I just don't think he's right for the part. Unlike what a lot of his fans seem to think, I believe there are roles he can't pull off.)
I loved The Frighteners; the only problem I really had with the movie was that I figured it out. I hate that! I like just watching and enjoying movies, going along with the ride and not worrying about what happens next. But I figured out The Frighteners and that ruined a little bit of it for me.
But Chi McBride was awesome, the spectre of death was super creepy (like if the Ghost Of Christmas Future from The Muppet's Christmas Carol was CGI and really active) and, much as I hate to admit it, all of the people who didn't believe Frank were totally justified.
Usually that "boy who cried wolf" sort of plot makes my stomach hurt because it's usually so obvious that this person really is telling the truth and everyone around him is just being a jerk. It makes me very, very tense. I hate it.
In this case, though, if I were there I wouldn't have believed him either. He's the only person in town who can see the ghosts and he just happens to be around when all these mysterious deaths are happening.
In fact, it's amazing The Frighteners didn't make me all tense and stomachachey, because the plot really is the kind that stresses me out. It was just so much fun that I guess it didn't matter. Hooray!

End of line.

Friday, May 7, 2010


The movie starts with some horrible, awful, ugly, disgusting, hateful, snotfaced, wretched, heartless, cruel, obnoxious fuckwad (that's the nicest possible way of describing this kid) shooting a guy's dog for no reason. The rest of the movie consists of the guy's life completely unraveling as he tries to get the kid to own up to what he did.
I hate this movie. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it! Hate hate hate hate hate! My life would be infinitely richer if I'd never watched it.
I wish Robert Englund wasn't in it. I wish it had never been made. I wish it had never been written. I wish it had never even been conceived of.
There's no point to it, it's two hours of misery. Fuck you, movie.

And here's a spoiler:
When that fucking dog murderer finally gets killed it's anticlimactic and I think the audience is actually supposed to feel bad. Fuck that. The only way this movie could have been remotely worth it would've been if there was a scene where that character was beaten to death with a soup spoon.
God, I hate this movie.

Side note: Red is the third Movie Lottery movie in a row that's had Richard Riehle in it. Weird.

End of line.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Halloween 2 Unrated Director's Cut

I included this in Movie Lottery because on Twitter or Myspace or something Rob Zombie mentioned that it's "practically a different movie" from the theatrical version. I also just really loved Halloween 2 and I guess I needed an excuse to watch it. So, while I've never watched my copy of Halloween Unrated Director's Cut either, this one ended up in Movie Lottery and that one didn't. I'm playing favorites. Sue me.
I wouldn't say it's practically a different movie; it was still Halloween 2 and I still loved it. In fact, I have no idea why I love it as much as I do because it's all the things I tend to complain about. It's dark, serious, hard to watch and upsetting. But oh my god is it ever good! Much like with Repo!, I will never understand why people trashed this movie. It's fantastic.
Anyway, that's Halloween 2 in general. This is what I thought of the Unrated Director's Cut:
I'm not sure where the Unrated comes in.
Seriously. I didn't notice any extra violence or gore or nudity. What got added and changed around was mostly dialogue and character development. That's awesome! But other than the fact that Laurie curses a lot more, I'd say it's probably still an R. I'm not a ratings board, though. I'm a fangirl.
I guess I liked most of the added stuff but I am glad I bought the Rated Theatrical Version as well, because all of the extra dialogue and character development made the movie even heavier and harder to watch and I don't necessarily want that all the time. Maybe I only want to be kind of depressed by the end.
The ending was completely different up to a point and I'm not sure which ending I liked better. I'll have to think about that one.
And this version had one moment sort of near the end that wasn't in the theatrical cut that reduced me to a weepy blob of sadness, even though practically the same moment was in House Of 1000 Corpses, where it doesn't make me cry. That was pretty cool. I guess it was used to greater effect here. Proof that he's getting better.
Rob Zombie is a brilliant director and I don't know what the hell is wrong with some other (very vocal) horror fans that they don't see that. And Halloween 2 may not be my favorite, but it's definitely his best movie so far.

End of line.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


You know how sometimes a movie is talked up so much you assume it's going to be crap? And then you buy it because your favorite actor's in it but you don't really want to watch it because you assume it's going to be crap? And then it pops up in Movie Lottery and you have to watch it but you're not expecting much because it's been talked up so much it can't possibly live up to the greatness that everybody claims it is?
That's Hatchet. And I'll get to what I actually thought of it in a moment but first I just want to say that Hatchet and Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon will always be connected in my mind. I first read about them in the same issue of Fangoria (in fact, I think the articles lived right next to each other), they came out around the same time, I think they were both their respective director's first feature (I could be wrong about that one) and they both have Robert Englund in them. And at first I thought they both sounded really good. I was more interested in Behind The Mask and actually ran out and bought it the day it came out. Hatchet I just kind of forgot about.
Until they started putting previews for it on every damn Anchor Bay disc. And I was constantly hearing people talk about how amazing Hatchet is, kept seeing references to how great Hatchet is in all my magazines. Blah blah, Hatchet is amazing.
Sure it is, people. You keep saying that. The more great things I heard, the less I wanted to see it. I don't know why I do that, but the more people tell me something is great the less convinced I am that I'll like it. Maybe I just hate not discovering things for myself. I hate being told what to think, you know?
When all of my friends loved Arrested Development I insisted it looked like a horrible show that I'd hate. A year ago Lauren made me watch the first disc of the first season and I was hooked immediately. I now own the whole series.
Goddamn it, Hatchet was awesome.
A group of tourists go out on a Haunted Swamp Tour in Louisiana and get picked off one by one. It's your basic set 'em up and knock 'em down slasher movie, it was gory as hell, the villain had a sympathetic backstory (he's sort of a southern, swampy Jason Voorhees; he's even played by Kane Hodder!) and all of the "good guys" (also known as the "bait") are actually likeable. Well, varying degrees of likeable. I think poor Mercedes McNab is going to have to play variations on Harmony forever.
Because I connect them in my mind, I sort of feel the need to compare Hatchet to Behind The Mask, even though they're nothing alike apart from both being slasher movies. Behind The Mask is about a guy becoming a slasher movie villain, all the training and planning he has to do. It's a look at the genre from a different angle. But Hatchet is just a straight up old fashioned slasher movie, the kind that probably would've been ignored if it came out in the 1980s when everybody was making this kind of movie. I've never seen an '80s slasher that was this gory, though. (Admittedly, I haven't seen a lot; still working on that.)
And it was really, really nice to see a post-Scream slasher movie where the characters thought about their situation without any of that "following the rules" bullshit. I think that was the main thing I liked about the bait: they thought. They had disagreements and arguments about what the best course of action was, but they didn't all run around willy nilly. They realized something was after them and was going to kill them horribly, so they tried to come up with a plan. Good for them!
I'm glad I finally got around to seeing Hatchet. I really have to stop paying attention when people talk about how great something is, because sometimes they're right.

End of line.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Deadly Vision

There's this Lady With Perfect Shampoo Commercial Hair who's having psychic visions about a Creepy Bald Guy, which doesn't sit too well with her Stuffy Businessman Boyfriend who is starting to think she's a Nutcase. Luckily, the Guy Who Works At The Airline Dealing With A Plane Crash That The Lady Psychically Heard believes her.
Deadly Vision was a Lifetime Original Movie and it showed both in the movie itself and the video tape, which had a somewhat professional looking cover and rental stickers all over it, but was obviously taped off of television: there were split-seconds of commercials here and there and over the end credits a woman's voice told me all about what was coming on "Next On Lifetime." Cool.
So the movie started out okay, then took a turn into Emotional Turmoil Land and ended up in Kidnapping Drama Country. It had everything a Lifetime Original Movie should have: a leading lady with great hair, psychic incidents, a boyfriend who's supportive until his girlfriend turns out to be psychic, a replacement love interest who's okay with the psychic thing ...
Okay, maybe none of those are really Lifetime Original Movie stereotypes, but the fact that the leading lady gets kidnapped and suffers abuses at the hands of the Creepy Bald Guy sure is. That and the fact that, up until that point, her life was fairly glamorous. She had a really nice apartment with a very 80s boyfriend and she worked as a professional dancer.
Actually, my favorite part of the movie was the very beginning, where they set up her career:
Dancing girls! A dancing girl dressed up like an Italian Chef Stereotype! Dancing ketchup and mustard! A dancing cheeseburger! The dance ends, the cheeseburger costume drops to reveal Shampoo Commercial Hair Lady, who smiles and says "Try me, I'm delicious." Then the director tells her to hold the smile for way too long, and cut! Best beginning to a Lifetime Original Movie ever.
The only other part I really liked was her second psychic vision. The first one was kind of cool, with everyone around her slowing down and stopping, except for Creepy Bald Guy. That sort of vision got less and less interesting every time she had another one, though, which was a lot.
The second one, though, was genius! Shampoo Commercial Hair Lady opened the refrigerator and, in slow motion, an egg fell out of a bowl and rolled down the shelf and fell to the floor. As it was rolling and falling, the lady could hear the sounds of a conversation between a pilot and copilot trying and failing to save their crashing plane. As they gave up on the plane and said "We're losing her," the egg smashed on the ground and the lady lost it, screaming "Oh my god!!!" It was awesome.
Other than that, though, it's about ninety minutes of nothing going on.

End of line.