Archive for October, 2009

29
Oct
09

The Primal Root’s Halloween Special Part 2 – Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Halloween 05

Hey Gang!

Well, the big day is almost here and just in time for Halloween we have our second Halloween Special Rotten Review!

In this installment we are taking a look at a pretty notoriously bad piece of Halloween Trash Cinema. I’s the fifth film in the beleaguer Halloween franchise. That’s right, we’re taking a look at Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers.

Prepare yourself for obnoxious overacting middle aged teenyboppers, insane child therapists, shacks that time forgot, grizzled pirates, the bogeyman floating the Illinois rapids, young children getting run over, adults abandoning troubled children to PAR-TAY, the most painful condom in history, sex with pants on, cowboys from hell, and slightly homo-erotic doctor/patient death scene.

John Carpenter redefined not only horror, but the culture of Halloween in America back in 1978 with the release of Halloween. And man, they’ve been trying to destroy what he created ever since. With the ill conceived 5th entry Switzerland born filmmaker Dominique Othenin-Girard managed to kill off the franchise once again for about 5 years.

Join The Primal Root as he explores one of the worst sequels to any franchise ever made and get into the Halloween spirit! Trust me, we manage to turn this nastiest of tricks into quite a treat.

Stay Trashy!

– Root

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/85776056″>(NSFW) Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) The Primal Root’s Rotten Reviews Episode 7</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user24396091″>Kevin Cole</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

20
Oct
09

Paranormal Activity – No sir, I don’t like it.

“‘Paranormal Activity’ is one of the scariest movies of all time. You will be affected as it’s hard to ignore the imprint it leaves on your psyche. Nightmares guaranteed.”  – Bloody Disgusting

ParanormalActivityPoster

A Primal Root Review

I saw Paranormal Activity this past weekend on opening night with a sold out audience here in Tallahassee Florida’s AMC Theater. There were screams, there were covered eyes and people jumping in their seats.  My gorgeous woman Jessica, our friend Terrius (who fell into a deep sleep halfway in) and myself were not among the majority of folks scared out of their skin by this film.  I expressed this opinion and have caught nothing but hell for it by the folks who are in love with the film. They have tried coming up with reasons why I didn’t enjoy myself.

This is not just a review but an argument for the defense.

Ghosts and the idea of ghosts have always terrified me. I’ve had a life long fascination to the point my family would buy me books about supernatural phenomenon for Christmas. I was a believer for years but have since become a bit of a skeptic. I believe people experience “ghosts” and that it’s a field of human experience worth studying.I am still fascinated by the subject, love to hear about other’s encounters and even get goose-bumps and chills to imagine myself in those situation. Questioning the actual existence of ghosts doesn’t mean I am not scared shitless of them. If I ever saw one I would probably die right where I stood from fright.

Now, I love The Blair Witch Project and it still manages to creep me out a decade later. What I imagine having happened and the forces at work are far more terrifying than anything shown on screen. The strength of The Blair Witch Project is that things were left ambiguous.

With Paranormal Activity things were spelled out from the get-go. We knew it was a ghost, no wait, a demon, who obviously is going (don;t wanna spoil the movie but you’ve probably already guessed the ending simply from the concept) by the end of the film. We see it coming. We know the rules. And to be edgy, of course, it’s left open ended. It just felt very by the book.

paranormal-activity

Common Courtesy dictates that you disclose all your demons before moving in with your significant other.

Give me something interesting and captivating without rules or boundaries like The Blair Witch Project and I will GLADLY fill in the blanks because I will not be able to help it. In the case of Paranormal Activity there was not a captivating character  to latch onto for me, there was not a single scene that would lead me to believe the film would end in any other way than predicted. There was nothing that really brought me into the film and made me a part of it. It’s easy for me to get lost in a movie, a book, any piece of art. This one just didn’t draw me in.

I’m not going to apologize for this or stand for being called closed minded, unimaginative,  or not open to the scare. I walked in expecting to be be scared. I was not. That’s just how it went down. There were girls walking out of the theater shaking and crying. I walked out yawning and shrugging. Just not my movie. Glad just about everyone else got what they paid for.

As always, Stay Trashy!

your pal,

-The Primal Root

Adorable Katie Featherston's is the main target of all that Paranormal Activity.

Adorable Katie Featherston's is the main target of all that Paranormal Activity.

17
Oct
09

The Primal Root’s Halloween Special Part 1: Jack-O

jacko

Hey Gang,

Being a huge fan of the Halloween season I decided to go ahead and make TWO episodes in celebration. In this first part we are examining the 1995 Florida made micro-budget Halloween horror opus, Jack-O.

The flick features copious barren suburban landscapes, a hilariously bad child actor, killer toasters, witch persecution, evil conservative stereotypes, a tragically lame haunted garage, tons of gratuitous nudity and one towering, scythe wielding, pumpkin headed demon from hell who goes by the name of Jack-O!

Jack-O is a wild, fun, unintentionally hilarious little flick. So kick back, pour yourself some apple cider and let’s take a look at a truly glorious piece of our Trash Cinema Heritage.

Stay Trashy,

-Root

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/85107964″>(NSFW) Jack-O (1995) The Primal Root’s Rotten Reviews Episode 6</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user24396091″>Kevin Cole</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

10
Oct
09

All the Monsters…Trick r’ Treat

A Review by  The Primal Root

October 31st. Halloween. A holiday with roots in Celtic tradition known as Samhain, adopted by Christian’s as the holy day of All Saint’s Day and eventually made it’s foothold as a great North American Traditional celebration in 1846 when Irish immigrants brought their own versions of the celebration to us. It’s a holiday steeped in folklore, ritual, and mystery. But many of us lose sight of how important a role this day is for us. Yes, Halloween has become an enormous commercial and marketing jackpot in recent years but one must never lose sight of the true Halloween spirit. As fall sets in, as the leaves turn brown and leave barren, skeletal trees, as the temperature drops and the wind chills our bones…we are reminded that one day we too shall fade away. On this one night a year we are allowed to be whomever we’d like to be, hide behind masks, beg for candy, and be one with the spirits of those who’ve come before. Halloween is a celebration of life in the face of death.

It’s a dark celebration filled with fun, danger and excitement. And Mike Dougherty’s recently released horror anthology Trick R’ Treat evokes everything we love about Halloween. Trick R’ Treat involves several different interweaving storylines that take place on one night introducing us to some truly bizarre, memorable characters and towards some very twisted endings. It’s a film populated with ghouls, creatures, human monsters and illustrates the evil they are all capable of.

TrickrTreat Bus

The Local Legend...

The film features middle aged Halloween tricksters who ends up  down in the dirt, a vampire run amuck,  a young woman looking for just the right man for her first time, a group of children paying their respects to those who passed in a ghastly town legend, an elderly shut in who refuses to celebrate the holiday and a young woman who makes the mistake of blurting out her hatred for Halloween. All the while the short figure of Sam Hain watched from the shadows.

In this stocky, silent, central figure to the warped tales told here, Dougherty has created a new horror icon sure to take his place amongst the pantheon of cinema heavy weights  as the cult status of this film grows and the possibilities for follow ups grow stronger.

The performances here are all strong, from veteran actors such as Brian Cox (Manhunter) & Dylan Baker (Spider-Man series) who tap into some pretty nasty places for their character motivations. Also on hand are some fresh faces such as Lauren Lee Smith(CSI), Quinn Lord (as Sam) and Oscar winner Anna Paquin (TV’s True Blood) looking sexier than ever in a Little Red Riding Hood costume and sporting her dark hair from back in the day. Not to give too much away, but when Marilyn Manson’s cover of Sweet Dreams starts playing, Anna has never EVER looked sexier.

Anna Paquin is hungry for love in Trick r' Treat.

Anna Paquin is hungry for love in Trick r' Treat.

The production quality here is tight and perfectly captures the atmosphere of a whole town brimming with the Halloween spirit and I could not contain the smile that spread across my face in delight of the successful tone Trick r’ Treat sets from the first frame to the very last. I also appreciate that writer/director Mike Dougherty never once dumbs down the proceedings in order to spoon feed the audience and stays focused on delivering the greatest on screen celebration of our beloved holiday since John Carpenter’s original Halloween back in 1978.

Trick r’ Treat is a collection of some of our all time favorite classic monsters and a brilliant assortment of some new beasts to add to our cultural Halloween mythos. Trick r’ Treat is a horror classic in the making and you truly feel like you’re a part of something very special as you watch it.

trick-r-treat-Sam

Halloween spirit incarnate. Mr. Sam Hain makes a house call.

So obey the rules this Halloween, and if you’re lacking a bit of that old Halloween spirit, check out Trick r’ Treat. It will reignite that inner jack-o-lantern in no time.

Stay Trashy,

-Kevin

(The Primal Root)

Trick R Treat Leslie Bibb

Leslie Bibb plays Halloween Hater Emma in Trick r' Treat

07
Oct
09

Nut Up. It’s time for Zombieland!

zombieland poster

A Review by The Primal Root

I knew Zombieland was going to be fun. But words cannot describe the feeling of elation and pure horror nerd joy that swelled inside my black heart as this gooey bundle of zombie love splattered across the screen. From the opening credits alone, a beautiful and grotesque montage of zombie attacks set to the wildly appropriate living dead apocalyptic theme of Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, I knew this was the one. This was the horror movie I’ve been waiting half a dozen October’s since the Saw franchise took a foothold on the Halloween holiday. This is good, exciting, fun loving horror. The kind of hoot we want to have this time of year. And to my astonishment, just below the mindless, carnival minded rotting ribcage of Zombieland, resides a very warm and human heart steadily beating .

Zombieland centers on a 20 something anal retentive, Mountain Dew Guzzling, WOW playing, virgin survivor of the zombie uprising who recites his long list of zombie survival rules as we get to know him (Always Double Tap, Beware Bathrooms, etc.) and goes by the name Columbus ( Jesse Eisenberg) See, no one goes by their real names. Instead, they title themselves after the city they are aiming to get to now that civilization has totally collapsed. This is to ensure no relationship gets too personal. This is why I take so much pleasure in the name of Woody Harrelson’s character. Woody plays the badass of our film who has a great talent and artistry as a dispatcher of the recently re-animated. Woody play TALLAHASSEE. That’s right. The most awesome character in Zombieland, for whatever Cthulhu forsaken reason, wants to make his way to Tallahassee Florida which happens to be my devastatingly dead pan home town. In some strange way, the fact that Woody’s character goes by the name Tallahassee gives me some strange horror nerd feeling of pride.

But I digress, see, Columbus and Tallahassee meet up and head out on the road on their course to, well, wherever and to find Tallahassee a Hostess Twinkie. Apparently, after the zombie apocalypse Twinkies are about as tough a commodity to come by as a clean pair of underwear. This is one of two driving forces behind the enigma that is…Tallahassee. The other one I’ll let you see for yourself.

The two guys end up getting hustled and then kidnapped by two sisters. The older sexy ass kicker sister, Witchita (Emma Stone) the eventual love interest for our man Columbus and the younger gun toting sister who goes by Little Rock played by Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin.  Eventually, they call a truce and head towards an amusement park in Los Angeles that Wichita and Little Rock used to go to before the undead came around to shit and piss all over everything.

Will they all make it out alive? Will Columbus get lucky with Wichita? Will our rag tag group of misfits run into any celebrities (um, probably the best cameo of all time!) once they reach L.A? Will Tallahassee ever get an f-ing Twinkie? All of these questions will be answered and will be done so with a huge shit eating grin and more laughs than you would ever imagine fitting into the all too quick 80 some odd minute running time. You’ll leave wanting more. Trust me.

Once our heroes reach the amusement park the movie goes full tilt boogey and holds no prisoners.  Columbus rushes to save Wichita and Little Rock and must overcome his greatest fear to do so while Tallahassee runs interference and uses all the rides at the park in his aid blasting stenches from rollercoaster’s and gravitrons. Trust me, you’ll feel like you’re at the fair while you’re sitting in your theater seat. It’s so fast paced, fun, well edited and quippy, it’s as close to a carnival ride as a movie can possibly get.

Sure, civilization is over as we know it, humanity has been reduced to a handful of survivors and hordes of brain dead running sacks of meat. What’s left to do but laugh right in the face of Armageddon and have some fun with what time we’ve got left.

It might be the first of it’s kind. A zombie road trip buddy comedy. This movie will probably prove itself just as funny to none hardcore horror fans as it does to those, like myself, who live, eat and breath this stuff. It’s a simple and effective joyride. I have yet to come across a horror/comedy hybrid like it. It’s slightly dark, but not as pitch black and nihilistic like Return of the Living Dead. It’s heartfelt and sweet but not nearly as sentimental as Shaun of the Dead. Zombieland is totally in a class all by itself.

Like Tallahassee’s state early in Zombieland, “You gotta enjoy the little things.” It’s just the explosive shotgun blast of horror fun we’ve been waiting for and has been released just in time to add some zesty flavor to the Halloween season.

So nut up, sucker, and go have some fun at Zombieland!

Stay Trashy,

-Root

emmastone3

Emma Stone plays Wichita in Zombieland.




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