The Descent is Actually Rather Worrying

The Descent

The problem with horror movies is that once you stop being scared of stuff, your opinion of all horror movies drops dramatically. Once the fright factor is null and void, you start looking for subtleties that’ll keep you interested, and those are often difficult to find in those… once-offs. You know the movies I’m talking about. Shock factor if you’re looking for a film you can watch multiple times. The Descent is like the crappy version of both shock and subtlety, yet this makes it an okay movie.

If you’re afraid of caves and/or claustrophobic, that is. That’s what The Descent is all about. It’s about a group of thrillseeking girls who want to go spelunking. They drive out into the ass-middle-of-nowhere, camp out in someone’s cabin, then prepare to dive. Oh, also, one of the main characters lost her husband in a tragic accident and that doesn’t really matter.

The DescentThey go to the cave, spelunk down, and soon experience a cave-in and are subsequently trapped. Everybody panics. Some people see some stuff moving. Another person gets too excited and falls into a pit, receiving a broken leg and an exposed-bone wound. The good news is, a conveniently placed caveman drawing indicates that there are two entrances to the cave, so there IS hope of the group escaping. Only there isn’t.

Turns out there are a bunch of pale as hell, blind, wall-crawling, flesh-hungry cave people who respond to noise by going berserk and eating the source. At this point, everyone gets separated and starts having to face off against the nasty buggers. Someone gets eaten alive. Someone leaves someone to die when they aren’t really dead. Someone develops major vengeance issues and decides to cleave the betrayer’s shin with a pick.

There’s a little annoying twist at the end where the main lass thinks she gets out and instead winds up right where she left off; deep underground and surrounded by hungry cave people.

The DescentExpect high-tension, precarious scenes where a single slip-up means certain death. The tone is set well, so the thrill is still there after you’ve watched it a few times. I still watch The Descent every once in a while, just for the cavernous imagery and ambience. As I said before, however, it’s not the best horror movie. It’s jack of all trades but master of absolutely none.

Erik Woidtke of CinemaBlend found that The Descent was a truly harrowing sight to behold. While I’m a bit too jaded to appreciate the thrill of the fear of the unseen and unknown, I still appreciate the immersive nature of the movie. If you turn off all the lights while watching, you might get a whiff of that old “cave fear.” I didn’t, but maybe you will! Here’s the link: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/The-Descent-1712.html

Let the Right One In: Come for the Blood, Stay for the Story

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In is deceptive in many ways. I don’t mean that at a negative. It’s kind of like a movie party that you aren’t looking forward to, but then it turns out to be awesome. The title suggests that it’ll be about a survivor and his/her vampire friend surviving some sort of Nosferatu holocaust. Then, you read the description. Wait, what? It’s about a bullied boy meeting a troubled vampire girl and falling in love with her? That sounds corny and not horror-ish at all. Then, out of sheer curiosity, you watch the movie and stumble through the sweetest, saddest emotional trip you’ve ever experienced, all the while taking the gratuitous bloody violence in stride. That’s right, this is a love story that’s better, much better than Twilight. Stephanie Meyer, you can kiss the broadside of my a-

As I was saying, it’s a sweet and sad tale about a boy who falls in love. This boy’s name is Oskar, and he’s your atypical oddball bully victim. He has a morbid interest in death and accidents, and is picked on by a control-freak of a classmate. His life is okay, though. He lives with his divorced parents, moving from house to house cyclically. He’s got a small knife, and is planning to use it to stab his bully. Good times.

Let the Right One InAnd then, Eli moves into the apartment just next to his. The audience isn’t kept unaware of her state for very long. The moment she settles, you see an older gentleman blocking the window with cardboard and posters. This older gentleman is also responsible for murdering people in secluded areas, slitting their throats, and draining their blood into a plastic container. It seems he’s stricken with the foulest of fortunes, because as you’ll see in the film, he is nearly found out each time he tries to harvest.

In the middle of all this, Oskar and Eli have a few exchanges. They meet in the snow courtyard in front of their homes, and talk a little. Eli expresses that she can’t be Oskar’s friend, but ends up accepting a Rubik’s cube from him and solving it. It becomes increasingly obvious that Oskar adores her, and after her ward suffers from a terrible accident, she begins to reciprocate.

The core of the antagonistic force in this movie lies with the bullies and the townsfolk. Bullies to Oskar, townsfolk to Eli, obviously. Eli can’t help herself when she needs to feed, so she is forced to pick off the townsfolk, bit by bit. Oskar, thanks to some encouragement from Eli, stands up to his bullies. He whacks the leader in he ear with a stick and causes his eardrum to burst. As such, they want revenge, just as the townsfolk want revenge on Eli for murdering their friends.

Let the Right One InIt isn’t the plot that makes the movie, in my opinion. It’s the curiosity. Oskar is so curious about Eli, and once he discovers that she’s a vampire, that curiosity skyrockets. He discovers the little nuances of being a vampire from her. He offers her candy, which makes her throw up. He asks her to come into his apartment without being invited, and she begins to bleed from every orifice. Even skin pores. There’s more, plot-wise and nuance-wise, but I’m cutting off here. Let the Right One In is too good a movie to spoil. The conclusion is perfect, and I wouldn’t want to take that away from you.

Let the Right One in addresses vampirism in a classic yet new way. Interview with a Vampire shows you what happens when a vampire is stuck as a child but wants to be an adult. Twilight shows you what happens if you write while you’re drunk and horny (zing). Let the Right One In shows what happens when a child vampire interacts with someone of their visual age. End result? You heard it in the intro; A deeply emotional, immersive movie that keeps you wondering until the very end, and maybe even after that. Fair warning, though. Things get bloody intense.

Brian’s Film Review Blog also has plenty of positive things to say about Let the Right One In. If you’re into vampire subculture, you need to see it. It’s too sweet a story to pass up. I will agree with Brian that the momentary flash of vampire groin is a bit much, but it’s not exactly human, so there’s no need to actually get your knickers in a knot about it. All the same, it can be offensive if interpreted as dirty instead of a curiosity. I’m not sure whether or not beheading is as offensive, so I’ll just let you know that there’s a beheading. Here’s the link: http://www.bpdreview.com/2009/03/three-short-reviews-of
films-that-are.html

The Strangers Come Knocking

The Strangers

The Strangers is a movie meant to make the already paranoid feel as though their suburban homes are actually holiday homes in the middle of nowhere, and that being attacked by psychotic murderers in cutesy masks is an inevitability. It’s a movie that plays off of the fear of home intruders, which is meant to have a lasting impact. You know how some movies have a lingering effect, like the way The Shining makes you uncomfortable about turning a corner into a long hallway.

Sadly, The Strangers makes the mistake of slapping “inspired by true events” onto their piece and using an ominous, deep voiced narrator to set the mood before the actual events of the movie take place. If you can stomach these things without letting them ruin your outlook, you may actually enjoy yourself. Let’s talk synopsis, shall we?

James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) and Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) head back to the Hoyt holiday home (say that ten times fast) after James pops the question and Kristen bursts his bubble. He had everything set up: rose petals everywhere, dim candlelight, fine wine, and even a tub of ice cream. Why would she say no? Oh that’s right because what’s the use in being married when you’re going to have a six inch blade inserted into your sternum-
The StrangersWhoops, did I say that out loud?

Jamesy boy takes it upon himself to drive to the store to get Kristen some smokes after she flatly announces that she has none, and to call his drunken friend over in the meantime. He needs someone to pick him up, after all. Before he can leave, however, a weird blonde girl knocks on their door at four in the morning, asking for Tamara. Unusual. Strange. Unnerving. Dare I say… dangerous? They turn her away promptly.

While Kristen’s home alone, blondie makes a second appearance, asking for Tamara again, though repeating her question and response to the letter. Odd. Freaky. Ominous… Then she starts bashing the door and blocking the chimney shaft and telling her sack-headed accomplice to startle Kristen’s shit by standing outside a large window and ringing chimes to get her attention. Sack-headed as in wearing a burlap sack on his head, not the other crude bit of imagery that I didn’t intend to invoke.

James returns, acting as manly, assertive, and doubtful as he can when his not-quite wife starts panicking and crying and being useless all over the place. Then they try to drive away and a third cutely masked figure rams a huge pickup into their little car several times in order to convey a less than polite “nope.”

The StrangersYou may have thought that James getting a gun and having called his friend Mike over would mean they stood a chance, but you’d be silly if you did. James blows half the head off of his poor, intoxicated chum and is taunted for doing so by the masked trio of murderous hypocrites.

Once that happens, the two protagonists start looking for phones and radios to use, wind up getting captured, and all that jazz. When you see “inspired by true events,” you have to assume that’s a load of tripe meant to scare you, so you can safely assume that the worst possible ending occurs. Adding insult to injury (a tasteful pun), Liv Tyler pulls one last jump-startle scream when two Mormon boys investigate the house in which these bloody antics occurred and find the couple maimed.

That of course means one of them survived. If that’s a setup for a sequel, then I’m going to find Bryan Bertino and wag my finger at him SO HARD. Bad boy! Sequels of crap movies are crap movies!

“So-called thriller.” That’s it. Rafe Telsch of CinemaBlend has hit the nail on the head. The Strangers is too big for its screen, really. With such a simplistic, flexible premise, I would have expected more to be done as opposed to the observed “cat-and-mouse” game. Look here, get startled. Look there, false alarm. Eerie music, startle. Take a peek at this review and read about some more shortcomings that I likely missed: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/The-Strangers-3172.html

RoboCop, Big Bad Business


RoboCop
RoboCop is a classic of sci-fi corporate/criminal warfare. With a greater plot and cluster of subplots to direct the audience’s attention, the odds are you’ll have a lot to catch up with if you miss a part. Mixing stop-motion, spiffy makeup and badass outfits, RoboCop is as much about the flash and flair of the cybernetic age as it is about the complex sequence of events that lead up to the death of the a member of Omni Consumer Products.

Dick Jones presents to the chairman of OCP a new line of mechanical law enforcers, the ED-209. During its exhibition, it murders an executive attempting to perform a disarming procedure. Thus, Bob Morton steps in and offers up RoboCop, the revolutionary cyborg police officer. Since nobody is quite willing to sacrifice their body for the sake of this project, Bob turns to the Detroit police. He keeps tabs on high-risk operations, eventually nabbing Alex Murphy as his candidate.

Murphy has a bad run when trying to take down notorious crime lord Clarence Boddicker at an abandoned warehouse, and is shot to death. Bob’s crew claims the corpse and builds it into RoboCop! Crime gradually begins to taper off with this big guy on duty. Only, despite his memory wipe, he’s starting to flash back to his past, little by little.

RoboCopOff on the side, Bob makes some unpleasant remarks about Dick, which earns him an assassination by none other than Clarence himself. Apparently, Dick is in deep with several crime families, and he’s looking to lead the company after the old CEO dies. Ruling with an iron fist, likely enough. Unfortunately for Dick, Murphy’s memories lead RoboCop back to Clarence, which could expose the entire operation.

When RoboCop tries to reveal the video he recorded that documented Clarence’s admission of working with Dick, the secret fourth protocol disables him. Dick then activates ED-209 in an attempt to destroy RoboCop, which fails miserably. But with this protocol in place, how can RoboCop arrest the man who set all the loopholes in place?

That about covers the almost non-spoiler synopsis, anyway. As for the quality of the actors, props, effects… It’s about on-par with what you’d expect from a late 80’s sci-fi movie. Stop-motion, borderline silly lines from the robo-cop, criminals with enough spunk to do stand-up comedy. You get the concept. In this particular movie, however, these things blend and flow; no sudden stops to realize how stupid something is. It’s a classic for a reason, kay?

RoboCopThe final bit of commentary I have for RoboCop is: Doin’ it right. If you don’t know how to go about making a cyborg, do it in as vague a way as possible. That way people can’t say you did it wrong. How clever, says this observer.

For those who are more aware of corporate and political matters, James Berardinelli’s review is the one for you. He describes the movie as a “biting satire of big business practices.” Looking back after having viewed RoboCop again, I certainly do agree. But that hardly matters, since I’m about as aware of business crap as I am of how Mark Wahlberg keeps getting acting jobs. Non sequitur zing! Here’s the link, before I get too distracted: http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=1716

Dracula 2000, Not Quite Bram Stoker


Dracula 2000
, despite its sci-fi sounding name, is a contemporary rendition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is dark, religious, surreal, and sexy (painfully so), to say the very least. While it could have very well been the resurrection of the vampire movie genre, it did have some sharp shortcomings that managed to anchor it away from glory.

We begin with a heist, in which several smugglers break into the vault of Abraham Van Helsing, hoping to make away with something of value to sell out of country. Unfortunately, all they can find inside are dusty books, furniture, crucifixes, and an ominous coffin surrounded by traps. Figuring that the coffin contains whatever treasures they’re hoping for, they blow the vault and escape.

A disorienting leap into a vivid nightmare of a bland looking girl named Mary nearly derails the suspense of the last set of scenes, but the save goes to Dracula for making a micro-appearance. Just an introduction interlude leading up to the Vampire Lord’s grand return while the smugglers fly him back. Gerard Butler shirtless. Right on.

Dracula then proceeds to haunt Mary’s waking dreams while slowly accruing “attractive” (yucky) female followers via the bite of night, I’ll call it. He only gets guy followers because of his initial bloodthirst, and they die quickly anyway. It’s all about the sexy girl vampires, right? Besides, Gerard Butler! He don’t need no competition.

Abraham books a flight to follow the smugglers, leaving his partner Simon to ponder just what the hell happened. Instead of running the business in Helsing’s stead, he follows him to find out just what. His travels cause him to cross paths with Mary, whose nightmares have been worsening because Dracula’s out and searching for her. Their connection (Mary and Drac’s) remains unspoken until the final parts of the movie, and they do register as quite the spoiler, so I’ll leave you in the dark for that one.

After a while, the plot spirals downward into one great vampire hunt, and Abraham Van Helsing winds up dead, one of the more disappointing parts of the movie. Simon and Mary face off against Dracula and his vampiress trio, discovering his origins and just how to destroy him. But with his power returning so quickly, do they stand a chance against him? Well, I don’t know, you watch the movie and tell me.

A few words on actors, then I’ll leave you to it. Christopher Plummer makes an excellent Helsing. I found that I preferred him out of all the other characters. Justine Waddell is probably the low point of the cast, by my speculation. Her performance is dull, almost lifeless, and clashes with that of Plummer and Butler. Hell, even Jonny Lee Miller (Simon) manages to overshadow her. Basically, if not for Mary, Dracula 2000 would actually be a pretty okay Dracula spin-off..

Oh, and one final thing. Omar Epps, who plays Marcus, the head honcho of the heist brigade, is hilarious as a vampire. He goes from cold, calculated criminal to fangly standup comedian instantly. Absolutely brilliant.

According to James Berardinelli of ReelReviews, Dracula 2000 is basically a butcher job of every last aspect of the original Dracula, Gerard Butler doesn’t do his part justice, and everything else fails just as badly. I suppose you could say my review was a mite lenient because I (don’t hate me) have yet to see the original Dracula. Here, distract yourself with this before they start throwing rocks at me: http://www.reelviews.net/movies/d/dracula2000.html

Pan’s Labyrinth is A-MAZE-ing


Pan's Labyrinth
Sure, the title isn’t funny, but the fact that Pan’s Labyrinth had to be tagged as “not a children’s movie” while being sold is. You look at the front and think it’ll be some cute story about a little girl in a fairy tale world, and then realize that you’re wrong; so wrong that you’re probably going to cry.

Pan’s Labyrinth is a story about a little bookworm, Ofelia, traveling out into the woods of 1944 fascist Spain with her pregnant mother and sadistic army officer stepfather. She discovers a mysterious insect that leads her through and ancient, broken labyrinth, dropping her off in what appears to be a well dedicated to a mythological god. A faun appears before her and explains that she is the daughter of the King of the Underworld, and that she has to accomplish three tasks before the moon is full.

I should note that Underworld in this context doesn’t mean Hell; it just means a world underlying the “real” world. Just thought I’d clear that up. Oh, and while I’m clearing things up, this entire movie’s in Spanish. No dubs, only subtitles.

Onward. As she departs from the well, the faun gives her a book that explains the three tasks as they occur. The first is to crawl into a dying tree and feed a giant toad a set of three stones in order to kill it. She manages to pull this off, but ruins the dress and shoes her mother gave her accidentally. The tree was messy and muddy. Poor girl.

Pan's LabyrinthBefore she can accomplish the second task, her mother begins to hemorrhage; a complication with her pregnancy. When she returns to the faun, he scolds her for not following through, but then gives her a mandrake root to put under her mother’s bed in a bowl of fresh milk. So long as she keeps the milk fresh and the root fed with two drops of blood each day, her mother’s health will improve.

A halt in the partial synopsis here to state that there are actually three perspectives going on throughout the movie. Ofelia’s is one. Then comes Mercedes, a servant to the fascist officers occupying the area. She’s spying for the rebels in hiding, and helping them by sending food and medicine. Finally, there’s Captain Vidal’s (Ofelia’s stepfather, the sadistic officer) perspective. He’s busy hunting rebels for the most part, so he doesn’t really ever join the party until Ofelia’s mother’s condition worsens, or when he begins to find clues linking Mercedes to the rebels. It’s high tension, bound to keep you on your toes until the very end.

Pan's LabyrinthYou know what, skip the synopsis. I don’t want to ruin it all. I’ll just leave it a little ruined. A major point I’d like to make is that Pan’s Labyrinth has no serious flaws. The acting is great, the emotional scenes hit home, the tone is dark and somber, and the visuals are, for lack of a less clichéd word, stunning. Seriously. That faun is freaky looking. And wait until you see the Pale Man of Ofelia’s second task. Yucko. The conclusion will definitely leave you wondering what really happened, since mixing fairy tales with reality never really tends to create a definitive plot. An ambiguous, satisfying ending, more or less. You’ll like it.

Lexi Feinberg of CinemaBlend shines the spotlight on this movie’s tendency to make you feel pretty bad about everything. It is, in essence, the anti-Disney movie of the year. Every time something changes, it drags the tone deeper down into the swirling black abyss of hopelessness. Shame, eh? Here’s the link, just in case you want to double-check and make sure I’m not making this up: http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Pan-s-Labyrinth-1832.html

A Nightmare on Elm Street, Fredobear Approves

A Nightmare on Elm StreetAnd to think I’ve never touched A Nightmare on Elm Street until now. What a morbid shame. I can honestly say I think Freddy Krueger has got to be one of the cruelest, creative, amazing slasher movie villains I’ve ever seen. He attacks you in your dreams! What a bloody sadist. Sleep deprivation is my personal nemesis.

The story behind Krueger is a sick one this time around. Originally, he was just a murderer who targeted a select few children from the preschool he worked at. In this lovely remake, he’s a pedophile and murderer, although the murder only happens after the children’s parents take matters into their own hands, chase Freddy down, and burn him alive in a warehouse. And the murdering is great.

They start off strong by picking off Dean Russel first, just to show you what Freddy is capable of. When Freddy’s chasing you, even a power nap can get you cut or killed. Dean nods off in a diner and gets his neck cut open by a steak knife, poor bastard. At first it just looks like Freddy controls your body and makes you do things. Like he’s just a nightmare sleepwalker murderer.

But then Kris Fowles, the nasty makeup-caked preppy skanky looking blonde, gets the Krueger treatment next. She literally gets floated and flung around the room then slit chin to gut. Her ex, Jesse Braun, gets some of her blood on him and winds up in jail, where Freddy punches through his ribcage.

A Nightmare on Elm StreetIn the end, the movie follows Nancy and Quentin. Quentin’s actor is fugly as sin, but Rooney Mara is faaantastic. Of course, despite the fact that this is opinionated information, I expect you to accept it as a fact immediately. What, you haven’t seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Rooney Mara? Fine, I’ll keep talking about the movie…

SO. The dreams lead Nancy and Quentin back to the Badham preschool where Freddy’s original pedo-activities took place. Originally, they thought he was wrongfully accused and killed, and that his vengeful visage was murdering them in an act of revenge. As it turns out, no. He’s just a fucking pissed off pedophile dream murderer that wants to finish what he started.

When Quentin goes to a convenience store to refill his no-sleep-pills prescription, Nancy’s insomnia peaks momentarily and she scuffles with Freddy, pulling off a piece of his sweater. They figure, once they arrive at his “secret cave” in their old preschool, they can pull him into reality and kill him there. You know, since he’s immortal in dreams.

Well, as it turns out, pulling him into reality just made him even more powerful. The last thing you see is Nancy’s mom getting her head impaled by Freddy’s claws and pulled into a broken mirror that fixes itself. BUT WAIT. Does that mean they’re still dreaming? Did he just toy with them into thinking they defeated him? No, really. He’s Freddy Krueger. You can’t mess with him.

A Nightmare on Elm StreetI found the movie to be magnificent on principle because of the nature of Freddy. I’m totally behind the times, I know, but a dream killer that forces you to stay awake while knowing you’ll inevitably fall asleep is the most evil thing ever. I suppose there is a bit of a tradeoff there. Making Freddy absolutely evil removes the whole suspense revolving around a possible resolution. As a positive, it gives you that sense of absolute helplessness.

Michael Gingold of Fangoria focuses on Jackie Earle Haley’s role as Freddy Krueger, since a slasher villain played badly can ruin the entire movie. Fortunately, Haley’s got this one down. He executes the old lines and new characters perfectly. Get it? … No? Just… nevermind. Here’s the link. I need to be alone: http://www.fangoria.com/index.php/reviews/movies/701-a-nightmare-on-elm-street-2010-film-review

Hellraiser: Inferno, the Burning Thorne

Hellraiser: InfernoYou know what? Each Hellraiser movie past the first (Hellraiser: Inferno included) has less and less to do with the Cenobites. They tend to focus more on the subjects, illustrating their slow descent into despair and insanity as a result of opening the Box. And how is it that EVERYONE knows how to open the box when they first see it? Rub the little golden circle on the top. If you were a detective doing cocaine and sleeping with a sleazy hooker, would you really do that? I suppose I don’t know if cocaine would make you do that, so… Whatever.

Joseph Thorne is a terrible person. He’s a detective, a married man with a daughter. He does cocaine and sleeps with hookers frequently, which he says is so he’ll keep coming back to his wife. Despite these lame excuses, he’s aloof, irritable, and generally very unpleasant. When the hooker he slept with is brutally murdered, he plants items from his partner to cover his ass. What a nice guy, huh?

Prior to this, Joseph made a terrible mistake during an investigation. A man he knew in high school is murdered brutally, with two major clues placed near his body: The Box, and a child’s finger. He begins to link things together, and discovers that an individual known as The Engineer has been organizing all the morbid crimes that Joseph encounters. Even worse, at each scene, a freshly severed child’s finger is left in plain sight; a taunt to Joseph from The Engineer himself.

Hellraiser: Inferno“If you hunt The Engineer, The Engineer will hunt you.” And oh, how he does. Joseph is quickly and thoroughly haunted by freaky looking Clive Barker demon chicks, torso imps, evil kung-fu cowboys… I guess… and a faceless creature that seems to be burning the child’s fingerprints with its black tongue. Is it The Engineer? Maybe. No. It’s one of The Engineer’s tools, and it consistently causes Joseph to freak out and attack people. It’s the stereotypical, “I’m not crazy!” movie bullshit, but this time around, it’s a little different. Nobody likes Joseph, and he neglects the only people who would.

I suppose you could call this a psychological thriller, but it’s really just Pinhead enjoying himself by screwing with an immoral cop. From the moment Joseph opens the Box, everything goes wrong. Pinhead starts showing him flashbacks of his childhood, how he was once innocent, and how he’s managed to kill every last bit of innocence left within him. Strangely enough, they’re from Joseph as a child. Each one cut represents another failure to stop the growing corruption within him, and eventually, his slowly withering goodness sends him to Hell.

Hellraiser: InfernoWhat that means, basically, is that he has to confront his demons over and over and over again until he finally understands what he’s done wrong. Since he’s a major disloyal, sneaky, conniving, obsessive asshole, he gets to stay in Hell forever until Pinhead grows bored of him and tears his soul apart. Knowing Pinhead, that won’t be for a very, very long time. After all, Hell isn’t some inferno. It’s just a repetition of his life, or rather, playing back the things he did wrong. He even shot himself in the head to escape it, but only to begin all over again.

So, overall, as the fifth Hellraiser movie… I give Inferno one “not bad.” My only issue is that it doesn’t pay so much attention to the Cenobites and demonic imagery as it does the life of Joseph Thorne and his gradually increasing insanity. It’s not one of the better Hellraisers, to say the least, but it’s good enough to be worth watching.

The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence Wants to Offend You

The Human Centipede 2You think I’m joking? I watched The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence on Netflix instant-view, and I lament to say that this black and white shock-reliant film will either disgust you morally, visually, or in one or several of many other ways. That’s pretty hard nowadays, because a lot of kids have already seen people get ripped apart in Hellraiser, brutally mutilated in Hostel, gutted and hung in Scream, so on and so forth. All the same, this film managed to bother one of the most jaded people I know: Me. I thought that was impossible.

Martin is an obese bug-eyed security guard who was molested repeatedly by his father. He saw the film The Human Centipede and grew obsessed with it. So, he began bashing people’s heads in with crowbars, kidnapping them, stripping them naked, and storing them in a shoddy warehouse. Teenagers, parents, hookers, metal-heads, businessmen, even a pregnant woman. Yeah, they definitely exploit her for shock. I’ll get to that. He even tricks one of the original actresses from Human Centipede into coming to his warehouse by offering her a role in a phony Tarantino film.

The Human Centipede 2You know what, I’m going to cover all the extreme shock parts of the film right now, just so you’ll know for certain as to whether or not you want to see this. This is the LIST OF NASTIES:

  • Martin masturbates with sandpaper. You don’t see much, thank god.
  • Martin shatters his mother’s skull with a crowbar. Very graphic.
  • Martin cuts his victim’s knee ligaments with a kitchen knife and scissors.
  • Martin smashes his victims’ teeth in with a hammer.
  • Martin staple-guns his victims, mouth to anus.
  • Martin force-feeds the actress by shoving a tube down her throat.
  • Oh, and he rips her tongue out with pliers, too.
  • Martin injects everyone with laxatives and has a shit party, then vomits.
  • Martin rapes the person in the back of the human centipede.
  • The pregnant woman starts to go into labor and escapes into a car, where she gives birth. Then she crushes the infant’s head by flooring the gas.
  • Martin has a centipede inserted into his ass.
  • Martin gets mad and kills literally everyone by shooting them in the head or sawing their heads off with a kitchen knife, pregnant woman aside.
  • Martin doesn’t even die. He just gets ready to start it all again.The Human Centipede 2

Do… I really need to go on? This movie is probably one of the worst things you’ll ever see, unless you’re into scat fetishism, killing newborns, genital mutilation, and crude surgeries. I won’t judge you, you can like what you like, but I personally found this movie to be a disgusting black and white artistic statement on just how low movies are willing to sink to get  your attention.

That’s all I have to say. Please don’t get this movie. Please? There are better things to do in the world than sit and watch this disgusting spectacle.

Waiter, There’s an Alien in My Ship

AlienI’m not apologizing for that joke. Ever.

Before there was Alien versus Predator, and Alien versus Jason, and Jason versus Jesus and Cthulu and shit, there was the original movie. The movie that was likeable, original, and didn’t need to play off prestige to be watched. This is one of those movies. One of those VHS tapes that you really missed after your VCR ate it up. You got it on DVD, but without that film grain, it’s really not the same. I know how you feel, and this is the review of the good old-fashioned original Alien movie. Classics rock.

This is generally the movie that got us 1990’s babies noticing Sigourney Weaver and her film career. When we see her in Ghostbusters, or on Avatar, we’re not taking her for the role she’s playing. Oh no. We’re remembering how she “blew the alien out of that goddamned airlock.” The Alien series is what provides Sigourney with all her crowning moments of badass, in my perspective. Let’s do a quick rundown of the plot of Alien.

AlienThe deep space mining vessel, Nostromo, jolts its crew of 7 awake after detecting a mysterious distress signal on a desolate planet. Three are sent out to investigate, and they discover a crashed alien ship that has been infested with a vast quantity of unusual eggs. While investigating, one of the crew members, Kane, is afflicted with one of the parasitic newborns from said eggs. With finger-like limbs, it grips his skull, and maintains this cling with its incredibly muscular tail. While feeding him oxygen via two breathing sacs, it delivers a special infant alien into his stomach, where it gestates and grows. Little to the rest of the crew’s knowledge, of course.

What they do discover is that the little face-hugger has concentrated acid for blood, making removing it equivalent to sentencing both it and its host to a horrible death. Amazing, right? A while after leaving, the alien seemingly dies and drops off of Kane’s face of its own accord, leaving him dazed but apparently okay. It doesn’t take long for the worm-form of the alien to explode out of his chest during a meal, scaring everyone to death and (you don’t have to guess) killing the crap out of Kane.

Up to this point, all of the characters seem to play rather neutral roles, no-one really coming off as the obvious survivor type. Personally, I find that rather admirable of the makers of this film. It doesn’t focus specifically on one survivor archetype while leading the rest into gruesome and obviously pre-meditated (in the obligatory film sense) deaths. It’s interesting and exciting because every single death matters. While Dallas, the captain of the ship, may seem to be the heroic and assertive space-warrior that conquers all adversity, he meets an unfortunate end while scouting out for the grown alien in the ventilation shafts.

AlienYou know, I was considering not disclosing the spoiler regarding the crew member Ash, but I’ve given enough away already, and reviewing a classic as if no one has ever seen it is akin to saying, “Hey, have any of you guys ever heard of this Twilight thing?” This actually introduces the Company, an apparently corrupt and scientifically militaristic organization hell-bent on procuring a sample of the incredibly dangerous Alien aliens. Ash is a robot sent by the Company to make sure this alien mission is a success, even if he and the entire crew dies in the process. Barely related, he gives the maintenance guy one hell of a nurple, and my god his reaction is hilarious.

If you don’t remember any of that, it’s either been too long since you’ve last seen it, you don’t like sci-fi, or you just suck. I’m sure it isn’t that you suck. It’s an old movie, no doubt, definitely slow-paced, but worth seeing by all means. I know you young whipper-snappers like the flashy action movies with the squeaky shiny suits and doodads and whatnot, but try to respect the origins, alright?  Get it on DVD and give it a gander. You won’t be disappointed.

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