Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sometimes, horror is hilarious!

Who doesn't love Shaun of the Dead?

IMDB has a list of memorable quotes from the 2004 zombie comedy, and I got a real hoot out of reading them.
This is just a sample. You can read the rest on the site here.

(I tended to exclude some of my real faves due to the major F-Bomb dropping...


Ed: Any zombies out there?
Shaun: Don't say that!
Ed: What?
Shaun: That!
Ed: What?
Shaun: The zed-word. Don't say it!
Ed: Why not?
Shaun: Because it's ridiculous!
Ed: All right... are there any out there, though? [looking out of the letter-box, he sees an empty street]
Shaun: I can't see any. Maybe it's not as bad as all that. [he turns his head and sees a pack of zombies]
Shaun: Oh, no, there they are.


Shaun: Ohh, for God's sake! He's got an arm off!


Shaun: [about Ed] I've known him since primary school, you know? I like having him around, he's a laugh.
Pete: What, because he can impersonate an orangutan? Fuck-a-doodle-doo!
Shaun: Oh, leave him alone.
Pete: All right, I admit, he can pretty funny on occasion. Like that time we stayed up all night drinking apple Schnappes and playing Tekken 2.
Shaun: Oh yeah. [laughing]
Shaun: When was that?
Pete: [laughing] That was five years ago. When's he going home?


Shaun: [about Ed] Oh, he sells a bit of weed every now and again, you know. You've sold puff.
Pete: Yeah. Once. At college. To you.


[Shaun tries to get out of Philip's Jaguar]
Shaun: Philip, have you still got the child-locks on?
Philip: Safety first, Shaun.


[trying to call the emergency services]

Ed: Shaun, what's going on?
Shaun: Shit, it's engaged!
Ed: How about an ambulance?
Shaun: It's engaged, Ed.
Ed: A fire engine?
Shaun: It's one number, Ed, and it's busy! Okay? What you want a fire engine for, anyway?
Ed: Anything with flashing lights, you know?


[Shaun is channel hopping] [Channel 4 News]
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: Though no one official is prepared to comment, religious groups are calling it Judgement Day. There's... [VH1, playing "Panic" by The Smiths]
Morrissey: ...Panic on the streets of London... [ITV News]
News Reporter: an increasing number of reports of... [Football]
Football Commentator: ...serious attacks on... [Channel Five News]
News Reporter: ...people, who are literally being... [Nature documentary, leopards eating a gazelle]
Documentary Narrator: ...eaten alive. [Sky News]
Jeremy Thompson: Witness reports at best are sketchy. One unifying detail seems to be that the attackers in many instances appear to be... [T4]
Vernon Kay: ...dead excited to have with us here a sensational chart topping...


Barbara: It's been a funny sort of day, hasn't it?


[after Philip has been bitten]
Philip: You didn't call the doctor, did you?
Barbara: Well, I thought we ought to be on the safe side.
Philip: I'm quite all right, Barbara, I ran it under a cold tap.
Barbara: I really think...
Philip: We had our jabs when we went to the Isle of Wight.
Barbara: But Philip...
Philip: It's a lot of overblown nonsense, a lot of drug nuts running wild.


Shaun: [to a girl in the garden] Excuse me? [no response]
Shaun: Excuse me? [no response]
Shaun: Hellew? [no response]
Ed: [picks up a pebble and throws it off her back] Oi! [girl turns round, a zombie]
Shaun: Oh, my God! She's so drunk!


Shaun: As Bertrand Russell once said, "The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation." I think we can all appreciate the relevance of that now.
Liz: Was that on a beer mat?
Shaun: Yeah, Guinness Extra Cold.
Liz: I won't say anything.
Shaun: Thanks.


Ed: There's a girl in the garden.
Shaun: What?
Ed: In the garden, there is a girl.


Ed: We're coming to get you, Barbara!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Knowing may not be enough.

I'm really not sure how this movie would be categorized. I assume it would be sci-fi...?

I'm also on the fence with Nicholas Cage. Some movies I like (yeah, sue me - I like Con-Air!) but alot I have found less than distinguished (but you can't knock the guy for his Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas- depressingly good flick).

I actually liked the premise of this. Starts out in 1959 when a time capsule is closed up at an elementary school in Massachusetts (close to MIT, apparently, because Cage plays a 'brilliant astro-physicist'....but of course). A class of students have all contributed a picture they have drawn - one that supposedly depicts what they think things will look like in 2009 when it is to be opened. A strange girl, Lucinda - isn't drawing a picture. Instead, she is covering a page front and back with numbers. While most teachers would have cast aside her "picture", it gets stuck in the capsule.

Shoot ahead a half a century and the school is opening the capsule. Every kid in class gets to check out one of the old pictures that are ready to see the light of day after 50 years.
Nic Cage's son in the film gets Lucinda's freaky puzzle-like scrawling. Nice.

Did I mention astro-dad's wife was killed a year before and they are both still dealing with that?
There always has to be some kind of conflict, right? The death does come in to play though, so I guess it works.

Anyway, the boy takes the paper home (though he wasn't supposed to) and the Prof accidentally sets a wet glass on the paper - making a ring around a bunch of the numbers. He takes a good look at the rambling numbers and like the dazzling whiz he is, he sees a pattern.

The sequence of numbers just happens to be the dates of every major disaster - natural or otherwise - that has occurred on the planet within the last fifty years. Such as 9/11, the Tsunami of Dec. '04, Hurricane Katrina, the Oklahoma City bombing, plane crashes, wildfires, earthquakes, terrorist get the picture.

There are three events that have not yet occurred.
So it is a race to see if they can stop the disasters or if they are fate - predetermined events that cannot be prevented.

The present-day family of the strange little girl is also involved but I won't go into that.
I found it hard to believe that anyone would have married or had sex with that weirdo to produce the current family members.....

I liked this movie till about three-fourths of the way through, then it got a little too existential and celestial for me. It morphed from a thriller of sorts to an all out barrage of mystical, transcendental mumbo-jumbo.
Way too much theoretical poppycock. I actually read in some reviews that folks thought this was "spiritual" and "uplifting".....
Like, really?

And I did not like the ending. Just silly.

But the concept was cool. A little X-Files, a little Close Encounters, a little The Day After Tommorrow (not great by any stretch, but you get my drift)... I think they could have done more with it instead of jumping through so many hypothetical hoops.

But maybe that's just me. Check it out for yourself.
Hey, it's better than The Happening, so that's saying something, right?
It isn't a waste, but you have to check your brain at the door sometimes, don'tcha?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"A naked American man stole my balloons..."

After watching two really mediocre attempts at horror, I resigned myself that good horror is hard to come by. Great horror is nearly impossible to find. Crappy horror is a dime a dozen. Probably two out of every ten horror films produced are even remotely entertaining...

Hence my little sit down with my flat screen and one of my all-time faves, An American Werewolf in London (1981).

Exactly the right mix of horror and comedy, courtesy of the brilliant John Landis (who on a side note, directed the late great Michael Jackson in his masterpiece video, Thriller.)....

So, in lieu of posting a review (cause if you haven't actually seen it, what the hell are you reading this blog for?) - I decided to pick 10 reasons I love "An American Werewolf in London".

Listed in reverse chronological order (for no reason other than that's just how I roll), here you go:

10) Nazi-monsters who jump into David's house all SWAT-like and wipe out his entire family and slit his throat. Ta-dah, it's a dream...... But wait! Then they jump through the window at the hospital and kill Nurse Price... Ta-dah... another dream... Time to wake up.

9) Corpse Jack sitting on the couch holding Mickey Mouse: "Hi David!"

8) Sex in the shower with someone you just met. Someone from another country. Who was attacked by a 'lunatic' on the moors. Who is having mixed perceptions of reality and seeing his dead friend, and is almost convinced he's a werewolf. But it's sex, in the shower, right? I mean, really?

7) The transformation + "Blue Moon". Brilliant.

6) The scary scene in the tubes - the man alone in the underground subway being chased... and he finally trips up the escalator. Only then do you see the werewolf coming on screen, and only then do you really see how BIG he is. Probably the scariest part of the movie.

5) The scene in the theater where all the folks David slaughtered are discussing ways he can kill himself. Jack is miffed that they are so cruel. "Do you mind? The man's a friend of mine..."

4) A werewolf running up and down Piccadilly Circus. Classic.

3) The Slaughtered Lamb - "You made me miss. I've never missed that board in my life...".....
"There's no food here!".....

2) Speaking of the quirky pub off the beaten path in East Proctor - how about the strange folks who congregate there who seem to know a secret but aren't tellin'. "Remember the Alamo!"

1) Stick to the road, stay off the moors, and beware of the moon.

(advice Jack wishes to hell he'd have listened to...)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Rent first.... don't buy outright.

Laid to Rest isn't the most unique, most shocking or even most gory movie I've ever seen, but it kept me entertained fairly sufficiently for an hour & a half.

I didn't know any of the actors (well, that's a lie - I think the geeky computer nerd may have been in the movie Twister...) but they all did a fairly respectable job with the plot they were handed.

That said, the plot is an open ended clusterf**k. It really doesn't mesh, and you can see the disorganization and clutter right from the get go. Sometimes it's cool when things aren't explained - it can really add to the suspense as you formulate your own opinions as to what is happening and where the flick is going.

I don't believe the lead character's (the extremely well-endowed Bobbi Sue Luther) name was ever given, in fact I think she was referred to as "the girl" in the credits. Which is par for the course because our heroine (and I use that term very loosely) wakes up in a coffin, unable to remember how she got there or who she is. She manages to knock the casket off the table and it falls open, releasing her. She tries to escape (after making a ridiculous call to the police in which she actually had to look on the wall by the phone where it said "Call 911 for emergencies" or some shit like that!! As if you'd forget how to call 911) but is prevented from completing the call due to a masked killer (you knew that was coming, right?) tries to apparently finish what he started.
I guess the title stems from the fact that 'the girl' woke up in a casket in a funeral home.
I guess.

Our masked executioner is wearing a chrome skull.

Yes, it's hard to believe there was any kind of masks left to use in horror movies. But it was creepy I guess. And for some reason he is after "the girl".... And he wants to record it. Strangely, he wears a video camera strapped to his shoulder. Okay, now that's unique.

Cut to "the girl" running down an abandoned road (no one said it was original, remember?) and she gets picked up by a redneck dude (Kevin Gage) who takes her back to his place. No, he's actually not a killer/rapist/nutjob passing himself off as a country yokel. He's a decent chap who's married and he & his wife take the girl in and try to piece together what happened. Too bad the guy's name is Tucker... sure makes him seem like a cornfed bumpkin.

Unfortunate things happen to Tucker's wife (whose name escapes me)... and 'the girl' and Tucker end up making their escape in Tuck's truck (I just wanted to write that). They pull over at a house along the road and then we meet said-geek Stephen.

I don't want to rehash the entire movie - watch it for yourself. But suffice it to say, there is plenty of gore. Chrome Skull uses a pair of knives to do most of the killings (see DVD cover), but there are a few other good gore deaths - including one using fix-a-flat, and another with a caustic chemical agent to the face. Nice.

There are so many blatant loop-holes here. Why is Chrome Skull chasing her? Who IS she? Why does the killer videotape everything? Why was she in a coffin?
I could go on...but won't.
I laughed at some reviews I read that stated this film had 'no redeeming qualities'... Come on people, this isn't Hitchcock for Christ's sake. Hell, it's not even Rob Zombie.

In the end, all I can offer is this. Nothing new here, but it doesn't suck.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Good Lord, I really should know better, right?

The Grudge 3 (2009) is a pointless, derivative, mess of a sequel.
I really hesitate to call it part of a trilogy, because somewhere in the back of my brain there is something telling me that greedy bastards somewhere are already penning the script for The Grudge 4.

This one takes place in Chicagoland, where the sole survivor of Part 2 is having some mental issues regarding his family being slaughtered by the infamous Kayako.
In the first few minutes, he is killed (sorry if I spoiled it for ya, but couldn't you see it coming?) by said Japanese freaky-ghost girl.
But not before his doctor (the terribly miscast Shawnee Smith - though she is truly the 'marquee name'... that should say something, right? Trying to believe her as a doctor is a stretch, I'm sorry. Stick to the Saw movies, 'kay?) tries to tell him he's imagining the totally-in-need-of-a-tan Kayako.
Not so much.

Enter Max, Lisa, and Rose. Max is apparently the building manager - or some such shit -of the apartment building where the Grudge 2 folks were killed. Again, a little hard to believe someone so young would not only be managing an apartment complex, but raising his two sisters as well.
Party of Five it ain't.
Lisa is oh, I don't know....eighteen or so - and she's getting too busy with her cutie boyfriend to notice the problems, at first.
Rose is an annoying little pre-pubescent with an asthma problem, of course! (signs of Signs...)

Max is having trouble getting renters. I call it 'Amityville Complex'... how about you?
Seems no one wants to live in a place where such "legendary horror' has taken place.
Imagine that.

One day... Kayako's sister, fresh in from Tokyo, thinks she has the solution to the curse.
Some confounded ceremony to rid the place of the curse before it kills EVERYONE!!!!

Oh. My. God.

The acting really wasn't too bad, all things considered. But this series needs to stop, now.
All the powdery makeup in the world can't make up for a good plot.
Which is not evident here in the least.

Avoid this flick like the plague.

Actually, I'm sure the Plague is soooo much scarier.

*The comment about the music stands.... the main themes composed by Christopher Young are intact here - and if I could have sat through the credits I may have noted that he did indeed provide the score here, but I don't know for sure. But the score is simply the best part of the film.