Blood: The Last Vampire, 90 Minutes of Murder

Blood: The Last Vampire

Blood: The Last Vampire is exactly what’s written on the tin. It’s about a Japanese vampire named Saya that hunts down demons for a secret government agency while disguised as a schoolgirl. You get to see her slaughter a lot of things while pushing through sub-par plot and dialogue. Also, the special effects are and I quote from my first viewing of the movie, “No” on a scale of 1-10. I’ll complain more after I get further into it, so prepare yourself.

Saya has to go to a Japanese all-girls school in an American military base to beat down a pair of demons disguised as humans. Saya gets to wear a cute little schoolgirl outfit because reasons, and it’s really easy to tell which girls are the demons because they’re colossal jerks and try to kill a transfer student with katanas. Saya’s agents clean up the mess she makes of the demons, and the military fellas on the base start asking questions.

Blood: The Last VampireOh no, Onigen, the ultimate super powerful demon, is coming to town to kill everybody! That means all the demons that have blended into society get to come out and wreak havoc. Their poorly rendered 3D bodies get to slightly damage poorly rendered building chunks and then they get cut to pieces by Saya. Good plan, right?

There’s some more stuff about transfer student’s dad, and then she hangs out with Saya and the both of them go to face Onigen together. Despite the icky quality of the film, I shouldn’t spoil anything except for the fact that the big reveal is actually pretty stupid and royally clichéd.

Now to complain about things! Yay! I’ll start with the fact that the demon outbreak fight scene is strung the hell out. Slow motion every other second, the same slash being played over and over again for like sixty different generic demons… Ugh. It’s rare that I actually lose immersion during a fight scene and wonder to myself, “Are they done yet? Geeze Louise.”

Blood: The Last VampireThe constant and intrusive flashbacks aided in giving Saya some backstory, but it’s the same old, same old. She met her old master, trained under him, then Onigen killed him and she swore revenge. Also she had a boyfriend but her vampirism made her eat him. Tasty!

The last complaint was the terrible effects, but I already gave that enough mention that saying it again would be like packing this review with so much filler that it begins to resemble a movie called Blood: The Last Vampire.

I think I’ve made my point. Despite the overall poor quality it does have some pretty nice scenes near the beginning, however, so feel free to watch the first half hour or so before dropping it like an unwanted child on the doorstep of a random kung-fu master. Can you dig it?

Oh dear LORD it’s a movie based off of an anime. That explains everything. Holy hell. Ross Miller of ScreenRant will explain to you everything that I didn’t initially understand. He’ll let you know why the CG is forgivable, why the action is better without wire fighting… I don’t know. I need to look a few things up. Excuse me: http://screenrant.com/blood-the-last-vampire-reviews-ross-15155/

Who Ya Gonna Call? Why, Ghostbusters, of Course

GhostbustersSo pick up your phone and call! Ghostbusters! Or, you know, you could call me so you can hear my review of the movie. Or you could read this, I suppose. It’ll have to do. The preliminary outlook of this beloved 1984 flick is overwhelmingly positive. Who doesn’t like watching two nerds, a hornball nerd, and a cynical black guy go around capturing blobby looking ghosts? That’s the general idea, anyway. On with the review!

Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddmore (who comes in later) make up the quarter of specter snaring cadres. The three fellows are in college studying psychology, parapsychology, and the like, but in reality are trying to engage themselves in what I’ll term “spiritual activity.” In the first scene, the three catch wind of an unusual library disturbance, and their final plan is to run up to the ghost and “GET HER!” Ray’s plan, obviously. It fails spectacularly, but sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

A little bit of character description should help clarify things. Ray is the overenthusiastic ditz of the crew; intelligent, but prone to critical blunders. He provides the more childish perspective. Egon is the hardcore nerd. He handles all the major gear, planning, and statistics, while not offering too much in regards to characterization. Peter is what we could call the flirty, skeptical comedy relief. Early in the movie, he’s using a psychic test to pick up a cute blonde girl, then later on he tries to hook up with one of the Ghostbusters’ clients. Winston doesn’t play too huge a role, but manages to input a fair amount of cynical commentary before the curtains fall.

GhostbustersThen there’s Dana. She’s one of the Ghostbusters’ later jobs. After, of course, the Ghostbuster crew is kicked out of their college, forced to buy a borderline condemned building, and kick off their business with some advertising. In her apartment, eggs begin to cook themselves on the counter, and a colossal dog-like demon roars “ZUUL” at her from her refrigerator. If I were her, I would just move, but calling the Ghostbusters is also an acceptable stratagem.

This is all relevant, of course. Zuul is a follower of Gozer, who is an ancient Sumerian god that wants to wreak nonspecific havoc on the living world. Egon points out that the obscene number of ghosts they’ve captured point to a major event. After all, the rising of so many ghosts must mean something, right? It does indeed. It turns out that the apartment building Dana lives in is a catalyst for spiritual activity, and it acts as the beacon that brings Gozer the Gozerian back into the physical world.

An agent of the EPA, Walter Peck, shuts off the protective grid around the ghost storage facility because of a grudge. Dana, who has been possessed by Zuul, and Louis (her neighbor), who has been possessed by Vinz Clortho, use the pandemonium caused by the spirit breakout to meet up. Gatekeeper and Keymaster are united, and the door to Gozer’s dimension opens.

GhostbustersI’m not telling what happens next, because it’s dramatic and awesome and spoilers aren’t nearly as fashionable as everyone says. The effects in this movie are hilarious in both good ways and bad, the humor ranged from subtle to laugh out loud, and the plot is enigmatic, sudden, and satisfying. Overall, Ghostbusters is a good movie for people of all ages, providing you lack the seriousness that would render most of Bill Murray’s humor useless. Peter Venkman is Bill Murray, by the way. See, now you have to watch it! You can’t not like Bill Murray. Enjoy!

If you want a second opinion that’s negative, you’re hard-pressed to find it. Andrew Pulver of The Guardian has some great things to say about Ghostbusters as well. Check his opinion out here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/oct/27/ghostbusters-review

Mirrors: An Idiot Reflected is Just as Dumb

MirrorsI don’t hate Mirrors. I really don’t. I just hate every single actor and actress they put in there. I hate them, and I’m very sad that some of them survive. I’m very happy that bad things happen to them. They come off as very annoying, because they follow the horror movie clichés to the letter. I really don’t hate Mirrors, but thanks to the cast, I do. I feel bad for judging a bad-bad horror movie, but sometimes it feels good to just hate on a deserving one. On with the review, then.

Benjamin Carson is a night watchman at a mall, the Mayflower, that just burned down. He ditched the the police force because of his drinking and the subsequent violence that wrought, and he’s on powerful medication to keep his urges suppressed. Amy Carson, his wife, asks that he stay away from the family until she feels he’s ready to come back. For now, he lives with his sister Angie in her apartment.

So, the clichés start to kick in when he begins to witness unusual imagery in the unusually clean mirrors. From the beginning, we know that the original caretaker was murdered by the mirrors killing his reflection. Or… something. So then, the mirrors begin to haunt Ben with terrifying images. He finds the original caretaker’s wallet, and discovers that the mirrors want someone by the name of Esseker.

MirrorsI’d like to point out that all throughout the course of the movie, all of these scary incidents are relayed from Ben to Amy and Angie, and neither of them believes him. Amy thinks he’s hallucinating because of his medication, and Angie just thinks he’s under stress. Ben even manages to drop the “I’m not crazy” line, which pissed me off to the extreme. I don’t like the crazy gambit in horror movies, not at all. It’s choppy, irritating, persistent, and adds nothing to the movie’s plot aside from a sense of solitude, and that’s not really worth it.

ANYWAYS. The mirrors kill Angie, which really pisses Ben off. They even start to threaten his wife and kids. He starts to investigate Esseker, finds an asylum connected to the Mayflower’s lower area, and finds that Anna Esseker was a patient in there, being treated for schizophrenia. Some mirror shenanigans go down in the Carson home, and Ben winds up finding Anna and forcing her back to the hospital at gunpoint.

At that point, something interesting happens. Something that pissed me off. This movie tends to do that. So yeah, Esseker is placed in a room of mirrors, and the demon escapes the mirrors and into her body. Because she was actually possessed, and they used the mirrors to take it out of her. Ben winds up impaling the dumb, stupid demon on a gas pipe and exploding her. It works, but he winds up stuck in the mirror world. Forever alone.

MirrorsI dedicate this paragraph to bashing on a child actor. He plays Michael. HE SUCKS. Apparently, he can see things in the mirrors. He’s the least convincing in regards to his voice and facial expressions, and he makes me want to punch him in the face. He even manages to get possessed by the mirror demon somehow, which doesn’t make sense considering the mirror demon can’t actually get into people’s minds. That said, he slashes his mom across the face with a knife. What an asshole. I hate him. Argh.

That concludes my in-depth analysis of the movie Mirrors. I can sum up the entire thing by saying I don’t like it. Because I don’t. And the unrated version doesn’t contain any bonus content. It’s actually exactly the same. Literally no difference. What the hell, man? Not worth it. Don’t buy this movie. If anything, steal it and play it when you have something else you need to do that requires background noise. Only time you’ll actually be able to enjoy it. That’s all I have to say about that.

The Omen: Political Demons

The OmenFor this particular religious horror movie, I am not going to be going in-depth with the plot. Because the plot is entirely irrelevant. How can that be, you may ask? The Devil wins. Now that I’ve spoiled it for you, the plot is irrelevant. Let’s talk about the flawed characters and obnoxious aspects of this movie instead, because that’s much more fun.

First off, the scheme. A cult of Satanists murders the newborn child of Robert and Katherine Thorn, replacing him with the son of the Devil. For whatever reason, they decide to name the kid Damien. Like Demon. He has black hair and blue eyes, and he likes to stare at dead bodies. Animals are afraid of him. Who wouldn’t realize that this kid is evil at heart? Seriously. Anyways, the endgame of the plot is that Damien murders his entire family and inherits his father’s political throne, then destroys the world with war by controlling the brain of the President of the United States. First off, that wouldn’t work because the president is just a figurehead role, and lacks the political power to actually destroy the world. But I guess Damien’s Satan, so he can just use his demon magic to fiddle with the other politicians until they turn evil as well. I don’t care.

The OmenAnother complaint. Robert is made deputy of the Ambassador of Britain. This is relevant because the ambassador is being driven down the street in Italy, and the whole Satanic sequence of events starts up, the guy sees 6:06 and six seconds on his watch, and a gasoline tanker truck slides down a hill and crashes into his limo. Oh, also, a hobo flicks a cigarette onto the ground nearby. You know where this is going. Here’s the part that bothers me: As the stupid ambassador’s car is being flooded by gasoline coming in through his window, he tries to open the door that’s blocked by the truck. You know, instead of trying to move AWAY from the gallons of flammable liquid pouring onto his face. So what the hell, man? Don’t ask.

More people die, like Damien’s nanny, who hangs herself at the kid’s birthday party. Then, Father Brennan comes along and starts warning Robert about Damien being the son of the Devil. True to the course of most vanilla horror movies, Robert doesn’t believe a word he says. Father Brennan comes off as a little crazed, but he’s one of the Satanists that wound up regretting his actions, so I suppose he has the right to be a little insane. Point being, Brennan’s right, Robert’s stubborn. Game over, man.

The OmenMia Farrow winds up as Damien’s new nanny, by the by. You remember Mia Farrow, don’t you? She was in Rosemary’s Baby, played the pious girlfriend who wound up giving birth to the Devil’s child? Similar roles, eh? Funny little world.

Anyways, plotwise… Everyone Robert loves dies, and he finally listens to the now-dead Brennan’s advice to meet the priest Bugenhagen in order to kill the Devil within Damien. Even the cameraman who helped Robert for a while, pointing out weird stuff in pictures that led to the photographed person’s death. Finally, with nothing else left to lose, Robert sets out to kill Damien by stabbing him to death in a church. His security team winds up tailing him and gunning him down before he can manage to get the first knife in. As I said, the Devil wins. Cue Damien standing next to the president and smirking victoriously back to the audience. Fade to black.

The Omen is an okay movie, the main problem being that it takes itself too seriously to the point of being insistent and preachy. But alas, it’s a super-religious movie in which the righteous try to fight the forces of malevolence. You can watch it for the scares and thrills, or for the action, or even for the religious morality, but no matter what you watch it for, it’ll shortchange you. As I said, it’s okay. Not good, not bad, just okay. You can watch it if you want. It’s nothing special. Good for background noise during a slumber party, I guess.

Rec: Angry Spanish Zombies

RecThis is a Spanish shockumentary that’s a step above “so bad it’s good,” which means it’s just good. But since it’s a horror movie, and so many horror movies are bad, a good horror movie is like finding that elusive needle in the mountain of a haystack. So it’s great because it’s good because others are good because they’re bad. Get it? Good.

Angela Vidal is a reporter doing a TV series called While You Sleep, with her cameraman, Pablo. This night’s episode is about the lives of firemen and the duties they perform for their communities. Angela goes around, interviewing people, talking about outfits, recreation, so on so forth, until finally an alarm goes off. Showtime. The call is about an old woman who locked herself in her apartment, after having screaming fits. Whoa. The firemen arrive on the scene, along with the police, and they go in to investigate. For the record, nobody likes the fact that Angela and Pablo are filming the entire time. Not yet, at least.

When they finally get into the lady’s room, they find her bloody and crazed. Whoa nelly, what could that mean? When she tackles one of the policemen and takes a chunk out of his neck with her teeth, that question is sort of answered. Hence the title of this review. As soon as they get the wounded policeman out of the room and into the lobby of the apartment complex, they discover that the government has cordoned off the building and declared a BCN emergency state. Biological, Chemical, Nuclear, by the way. People start freaking out. Someone falls down the stairwell and goes splat. The health serviceman comes in and tries to take blood samples, but winds up being bitten. Aside from that, it’s a lot of mindless chatter, zombie punching, and several failed escape attempts.

RecSince the spoilers don’t really make much of a difference in a movie like this, I’ll go ahead and ruin everything for you. You won’t mind. Once upon a time, there was a girl called the “Demon of Medeiros,” who was supposedly possessed by a demon and was very violent and angry. This girl infected a dog named Max, who bit a girl named Jennifer. Jennifer’s mother took Max to the vet, and went home to her apartment with Jennifer. You already know where this is going. The Angry Spanish Zombie virus spread like… well, spread like a plague. Of zombies. That makes people angry. And… Spanish?

Anyways, a man from the Vatican sealed the Medeiros girl in the penthouse apartment, and during their final escape attempt, Angela and Pablo accidentally free her. Whoops. The good news is, that’s about the end of the movie, and both of them look to be dead, so goody-goody gumdrops. Set up for a sequel? You bet! Don’t watch it.

RecSo, let’s get one of them “overall, this movie” paragraphs in here to mash this whole review together. Rec was a good movie, but its only vice was that it didn’t explain anything until the very end, which hardly seems an appropriate point to explain the anger virus. And the fact that it adds religious connotations to the existence of the virus sort of takes away from the thrill of it all, if you know what I mean. It’s like saying, “I’ll tell you how this virus works, son. It spreads through saliva, has a long incubation period for children and a long one for adults, it causes extreme aggression and violence, an- What’s this? Where did it come from? Demon magic.”

… Yeah. Best to rent this movie before you consider spending money on it. I said it was good, but that was because I’m in the 50% that really doesn’t try to hate certain kinds of movies on general principle. When I say certain movies, I specifically mean bad-good horror movies. Yes, it’s a shockumentary, but it’s worth your time. Watch it, enjoy it. Turn off the subtitles and pretend everyone’s arguing about where the pudding cups are hidden.

The Devil Inside… Almost Had It

The Devil InsideSo very close! The Devil Inside was half an hour away from being the best exorcism movie I’ve ever seen. It touched on so many potentially amazing topics, such as the spheres of demons, their real purpose in the world, their demeanor, even their names. The problem was that the movie only grazed on these possibilities, leaving so much to be desired. Additionally, the ending made me cry. Not because it was emotional, but because it was horrifically bad. It’s like they got bored. I’ll explain.

The movie revolves around the possession of Mara Rossi and the fact that she murdered three people during an exorcism being performed on her. Twenty years later her daughter, Isabella Rossi, travels to Rome to visit the mental hospital her mother is incarcerated in. On the way, she learns of the nature of demons and exorcism by visiting an esteemed college that teaches relevant material. She meets two jaded exorcists, Ben and David, who perform sacred rights in secret, behind the backs of he church and the Vatican.

The Devil InsideAfter viewing a successful exorcism, Isabella has the priests perform one on her mother, this time without permission of the hospital she is held in. Results are unstable, resulting in David’s possession, and ultimately, death. Then Isabella gets possessed, and they all go to a hospital. Ben has gone a bit loopy after experiencing all this, so he panics and attempts to take her to a friend of his in the church in an attempt to exorcise her. They try to drive there, but Isabella’s demon hops over to the driver and they all die in a car crash. That’s the end of the movie. I forgot to mention that Michael, the camera guy and friend of Isabella. He plays little more than the role of the unbelieving friend.

That’s… basically the entire movie right there, plus or minus a few scare events. Now, what I think they should have done differently in regards to content is that they should have focused on making a technical exorcism documentary as opposed to restricting their movie to being a typical horror exorcism documentary. The fact that the movie spent so much time trying to be scary nullified the potential to cover other interesting material, like the hierarchy of demons and other such topics I mentioned initially.

The Devil InsideI’ll assume that the reason the film industry prefers to stray from making movies with demons portrayed as anything but completely evil and sadistic is because the idea of anything less than hostile interaction with demons is considered taboo. Which, in retrospect, is a real shame, because the situational comedic value of demonic insight and demeanor would really make a movie great.

Tell you what, you want to know about the movie, and my opinion of what the movie was like, not what it could be like. Here it is: The movie, overall, was too short. The scares were predictable but still satisfying, the effects were good, the acting was consistently good for a shockumentary, and the overall demeanor is different enough from most exorcism movies to be enjoyable. It’s about an hour and a half long, so you can go out and see it without wasting a good chunk of your day.

Irrational Horror, Case 39

Case 39You know how some movies are so bad at trying to play their genre that they turn into comedies? Case 39 is a special spin on that. You watch the movie, you reflect on it for a minute, then you start laughing your ass off. This movie was hilarious. You can thank Renee Zellweger for that. Jodelle Ferland is sort of the back-up dancer to Renee’s god-awful, though, since she provides the horror in the movie.

Fundamentals: Renee plays Emily something or other who is a social worker who deals with matters involving children, abusive parents, etc. She encounters the Sullivan family early on in the movie, establishing the bond between her and the “abused” child Lilith Sullivan. The parents wind up trying to kill Lilith, who then plucks Emily’s heartstrings until she petitions for custody. They spend a few days together- OH NO LILITH IS A DEMON oh ho, did I say that out loud? Yeah, it’s pretty obvious. Her transition into psychological predator is fast as can be, leading Emily to regret her decision of taking the evil girl in. But she petitioned for custody, so she’s got to keep her and deal with it.

Case 39Now, the thing that bothers/amuses me about this movie is how Emily responds to Lilith’s apparent demonic nature. She begins to behave exactly like the Sullivans did; she both ignores the girl and puts bolts and latches on her own door to keep the naughty lass out (which did nothing, as the viewer later discovers). To make things every more cookie-cutter, Emily starts regurgitating the “I’m not crazy, my adopted child is a demon with magic powers” line to her cop friend. Sadly enough, it works, and they team up against the evil that wears the face of “Lilith Sullivan.”

But not for long. He dies. So does everyone else Emily loves. With all that said and done, she is intimidated into obeying Lilith’s every wish. But since you can’t end a movie like that, Emily decides to drug Little Miss Murder with sleeping pills, despite the fact that her demonic powers extend to mind-reading. Uh, whoops? Then, instead of trying to stab her to death or smother her with a pillow, Emily burns her own house down with Lilith in it. Which doesn’t work. Apparently Lilith can teleport. UH, WHOOPS. So then as they’re driving to the police station, Emily decides to drive to the river, Lilith gives her one final psychological scare based off of her childhood trauma which she overcomes with ease (yawn), then… Wait, what? She drives her car into a river, which seems to actually kill Lilith. What the he- but wait, I thought Lilith could read minds? Couldn’t she teleport? What’s going on here? I’ll tell you what. Magic. Snort snort.

Case 39The movie ends with Emily surviving the crash. All of her friends, family, and other loved ones are dead, her house is burned down, and her car is on the bottom of a river because she’s stupid. Makes you feel like doing the jig and throwing confetti. Anyways, I recommend this movie to skeptics who like making fun of movies in hushed voices as they play, and to people who like writing sarcastic reviews.