Posts Tagged ‘abduction

28
Dec
17

New Year’s Evil: Dropping the Ball

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“It’s been a really bad year for me.” – Richard Sullivan, New Year’s Evil

a Primal Root Review

New Year’s Eve! That oh-so special night when we all come together to celebrate the passing of another year of set backs, horrible crimes against humanity and affronts to moral decency as we fill our bellies and blood streams with excessive amounts of alcohol in the hopes we can some how kill away the pain we feel in losing a portion of ourselves to such a godawful twelve months of our lives. That is, before we wake up New Year’s Day and roll out of our crusty, cold, puddle of puke from the night before, pluck the used condom from out of our assholes, we hope, that maybe…just maybe…, to quote The Counting Craws, this year will be better than the last.

You think of the multitude of traditions associated with this yearly world wide party and all the festive goings on and one wonders how an early 80’s slasher film could go so wrong with using this year end hedonistic smorgasbord go wrong? Well, the makes of New Year’s Evil has found a way!

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It’s New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles and the supposedly “sexy” host of a rock n’ roll call in show called Hollywood Hotline, Diane “Blaze” Sullivan (Roz Kelly), who looks like a Christian soccer Mom got accosted by Hot Topic,   is hosting an all night television New Year’s party where they are celebrating new year’s in every time code. But one caller tells her to call him “Evil” and that he is going to kill someone at every stroke of midnight. Blaze ignores her troubled actor son and focuses on her live telecast responsibilities while trying to get the local police to do their jobs and halt Evil before he kills someone close to her, as he has threatened. This will not be so easy, as the killer is a MASTER OF DISGUISE! Implementing fake mustaches and priest outfits that do very little to change his appearance at all!

As the corpses begin to mount, the cops deduce that Evil is killing one person every hour from 9 to midnight. Will the police be able to track down the killer before the final stroke of midnight and Blaze get snuffed out and is there any hope that they can make this movie the least bit exciting or entertaining?

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Okay, New Year’s Evil is one of the greatest letdowns I’ve ever forced myself to sit through. Where does one even begin? The movie is all over the damn place, and not in a good way. It feels like the filmmakers were scrambling to find ANYTHING interesting to thrill us with but are constantly coming up short. There is absolutely no gore to speak of, literally, non. Zip. Nada. Not only that, but there is hardly any nudity to seduce us with. Listen, if you hardly have a story and don’t have a budget for any kind of gore effects in your mother fucking SLASHER movie, at least throw us a bone and feature some nekkid flesh, because watching shitty bands play terrible music in between people talking on the phone, exchanging clunky, passionless dialog, and literally just waiting for something to happen does not an fun, entertaining, or so-bad-it’s-good piece of Trash Cinema make.

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Kip Niven as Richard Sullivan who we know is Evil from the very beginning does his very best with the material he is given, with varying results. It goes from being dull as a dog turn to unintentionally comical, but he never quite settles on a tone. Grant Cramer as Blaze and Richard’s ignore son and struggling actor is actually pretty fun to watch, although his screen time adds up to about five minutes. One scene that stands out is when he takes some pills, dons a red stocking over his head and begins angrily pulling rose buds off a bouquet he gave his mother.  It’s nothing really special, but in this snooze fest, it actually passes as mildly intriguing. Then there’s Roz Kelly as Blaze, who might be the most poorly cast and most ill equipped actor in the film. The whole films rest squarely on her shoulders, it is her’s to carry and she simply is not up to the challenge. She is supposed to be energetic, down and dirty and fun to be around! She dresses the part but comes off as tired, bewildered and completely out of place during her New Year’s Eve call in television party.

Really, there’s not much to recommend…the scenes meander along and go from one to the other out of duty but you never once sense any kind of passion of the project. You get the vibe that everyone involved is sort of just going through the motions to collect a pay check. There’s no fun to be had, it’s an utterly toothless, literally bloodless feature length film that has nothing to offer even the most easy to please fright fan.

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Okay, well, there is kind of one thing I enjoyed. When it’s “Revealed” that Richard is Evil and he explains his motives to Blaze it’s pretty damn funny. He hates that his wife is so busy and doing so well and flirts with other men and ignores her son. I mean, was a divorce out of the question? He HAD to kill several people who had nothing to do with his shitty marriage? “You’ve castrated me and that is not nice.” Richard explains, like the loser he is. Because his wife is successful and he and their son feel left behind, there just had to be a killing spree… “Women are manipulative and deceitful and immoral and very very selfish” And this is coming from a guy who just killed a half dozen people while is disguise and lying to them simply because he doesn’t like his marital situation.  Not only is this moment a nice little peek into a dark and slimy world of late 70’s misogyny, but a reminder that these kind of guys are still very much a part of the fabric of our loves, just like cotton, here in modern day America. Only they typically resent women for playing leads in remakes of Ghostbusters and are pissed that women are badass Jedi’s now in their Star Wars sequels.

Also, there is one line of darkly brilliant comedy dialog when Richard chains Blaze to the bottom of an elevator, “Enjoy your farewell party tonight. Get smashed!” BWAHAHAHAHA! Oh man, that was good. If only the ENTIRE movie could have been this witty or darkly comical.

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Okay, Richard’s Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy) mask is kind of creepy…

 

In all honesty, this might be the most boring slasher film ever produced. How fucking sad is that? I think I will commence to getting shit faced now. I cannot wait till New Year’s Eve after watching New Year’s Evil…

ONE 1/2 out of FIVE Dumpster Nuggets.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

 

 

17
Sep
11

Creature: Of Alligators and Incest

a Primal Root written review

Those who know me also know Drive-In Critic Joe Bob Briggs is pretty much my icon. My hero. The man I look up to as my role model. And those who know Joe Bob Briggs are well aware that he’s broken down the formula that makes a B-Movie worth out time. The elements are the fabled, legendary, Three B’s. That is: Blood, Breasts and Beasts. My entire life this has proven to be the key to my enjoyment of a bad movie. As long as those three ingredients are there I’m not bored.

And then I saw the recent film, “Creature”.  A southern fried monster tale about a mean tempered, horny, century old alligator man who rules over a stinky, tobacco stained Louisiana swamp land looking for a place his slimy gator seed can take purchase. Lucky for him, three supernaturally idiotic marines, two of whom bring along their girlfriends and one who brings along his in heat, hooter flashing sister,  have decided to head out into the swamp in search of a death trap, excuse me, I mean…tourist trap.

Who will survive and who gives a shit?

The six attractive younguns stop by a local gas station called Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters and…oh shit, no, wait, it’s just called Chopper’s and is run by…Chopper played by Sid Haig. His little gas station/general store also happens to be a bit of a  museum honoring the local legend…Lockjaw, the malevolent Alligator man who lives in the swamps.  Anyway, Chopper tells them a little bit of the legend, gives them directions (any of this sound familiar?) and the kids head off to go die after flashing their tits and drinking some wine.

It’s a familiar set up and the whole film feels like a brain damaged cross breeding of Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses and Adam Green’s Hatchet. I know both of those films have achieved cult status ( The former of which I can understand. The latter? Not so much…) and I am sure this horror abomination will fit snugly amongst that cannon as an interesting side note to that strange slasher fan boy genre birthed early this century.

Might as well kiss that ass goodbye...

It’s that backwoods hillbilly genre that really took off during the naughties with independent horror. From Wrong Turns, to Devil’s Rejects to Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboots, everyone was digging on uneducated, blood thirsty, backwoods, gut munchers. Hell, that resurgence took hold even before that whole Saw franchise flooded the market with torture horror. However, this trashy flick, “Creature”, pulls one aspect of these films that’s typically only touvhed upon and forces it out there into the spotlight for the audience to take a long, creeped out look at. And that element is the wonderful world of incest.

Yes, incest. I know the old southern saying, “The closer the kin, the deeper in” but this flick takes that sentiment to whole different level. Remember when I told you one of the marines brought his red headed, libido of a rabbit, sister along? Well, when her attempts at date raping one of her brother’s friend’s girlfriends doesn’t work out she finds her brother…and gives him a sloppy handjob in the middle of the swamp and then complains that he now can’t fuck her with his wet noodle.  It’s awkward, to say the least and luckily Sid Haig rushes onto the scene and punches her square in the nose before things can escalate.  Being an only child, I’m not sure if this is how regular brother and sisters, umm, handle one another. They never really touched on this sort of thing on Family Matters or Step by Step.

Anyway, the incestuous sister’s got a date with that wild man bachelor known as Lockjaw!

Lockjaw finds the scent of Herbal Essence hard to resist.

Yes, the eternally wet, red head, incestuous sister is pulling a double header tonight and is now bound, gagged, and ordered to fuck a giant gator man. So, bestiality is now entering the equation in “Creature. But, see, she can only bump uglies with Lockjaw once her feet are hacked off. …the Hell? If someone could explain to me why in the word that is necessary I would greatly appreciate it. I don’t know why in the world they felt the need to make the plot of this thing so damn convoluted and jam as many rules  and oddly out of place plot twists as they could when none of it really goes anywhere.

It’s such a basic story. You have a Gator Man looking for love. A pack of attractive twenty-somethings, three of which possess the proper genitals, wonder into his home turf. The movie practically writes itself and would have been a riot if they had kept it simple, fast paced and FUN! Whoever wrote this thing just bogs the movie down with weird side tracks and sub plots and meaningless stretches of dialog that aren’t funny, don’t mean anything within the context of the movie and advance nothing. It’s as if they were struggling to make this thing feature length and just didn’t know what to do. The movie’s run time is 93 minutes but it feels like it goes on for over two hours as scenes drag into nothing over and over again with neither a payoff or anything that enhances the story.

Daphne and Velma share a tender moment on their latest kooky caper!

HOWEVER! The film does feature a ton of nudity! Three gratuitously displayed pairs of lovely lady breasts and even some in your face full frontal female flesh(Breasts, Buns AND BUSH! Booger would be pleased.) for the audience to ogle in the very opening of the film. This poor, totally naked woman has no lines, is completely nude and is killed and out of the movie in about 5 minutes time. I guess it’s a bad idea to go skinny dipping in a gator/rapey flesh eating Hell beast infested swamp. I am looking forward to her next project because in these 5 minutes Jennifer Lynn Warren won my heart and is one of the most memorable elements of the movie. Being naked as a jay bird certainly didn’t hurt…

The gore is a little lacking. I was expecting a bit more in a film about Lockjaw the Gator Boy who leaves a little to be desired as well.  The creature effects are great and all but I couldn’t help but notice how the monster looks almost identical to the Koopa’s from the live action Super Mario Brothers movie. Yet, the fellow inside this creature suit does a great job bringing it to life and making the most of it. He possess, stalks and attacks like a pro. Sadly, we are never treated to a Lockjaw sex scene. SEE! Now that would have been entertaining! And we do get undeniable proof that such a scenario did occur at some point in the movie, but for whatever reason, we aren’t treated to that moment of pure animal-man on woman horror. Eh, maybe in the direct to video sequel starring Bill Moseley? Only time will tell.

"I Shouldn't Be Alive" New Season Begins This Fall

And they never did explain the regenerative properties of the swamp itself that a man could get shot square in the knee with a rifle then run on that leg for the next thirty minutes of the movie and not even limp. Well, maybe it’s just because he’s a marine? Either way, this might be my favorite unintentionally funny aspect of the film. How much the lead character gets shot, stabbed, and repeatedly crushed and beaten mercilessly by Lockjaw. Including one excruciatingly long slow motion sequence towards the end of the film where Lockjaw repeatedly pounds full force on the character’s sternum and ribs, and then, seconds after the attack, the character can simply get up and walk it off.  I always thoroughly enjoy that sort of stupid shit in trashy films. There’s also a pretty hysterical spider attack sequence where a guy gets pounced by tarantulas and then treats the bites with…bottled water?

I just wish there had been more of that fun, dumb, stuff to tide me over in between scenes of nonsensical redneck banter, jewelry gifting, potato chip scavenging,  and boyfriends getting upset because his girlfriend is getting naked in a tent and making out with another sexy woman looking to get a threesome going. Who ARE these people?

“Creature” has a whole lot of promise and I was eager to take the trip it so obviously wanted to deliver. But somewhere along the way it seems the whole thing got lost, forgot where it left it’s fun, Drive-In, B-Movie spirit and left us imagining all the awesomeness that could have been. “Creature’s” heart is in the right place and the filmmakers obviously have an affection for Trash Cinema. I mean, it was director Fred Andrews first time at bat, so I will cut him some slack. I just hope that the next film he delivers is a bit more streamlined and heavier on the sick, demented fun.

As Joe Bob might say, there’s just too much dang plot getting in the way of the story!

Stay Trashy!

-Root

And, yes, that’s Eggs from the second season of True Blood.

27
Jun
11

Rotten Reviews Episode 20: XTRO

Hey Gang,

Who doesn’t remember E.T.? The cute, cuddly, persecuted Reese’s Pieces Loving extra terrestrial who was left behind only to phone home and teach us all about love and peace in the process? Well, forget that feel good shit, this is XTRO. Britain’s hugely fucked up, grisly and disgusting answer to one of the most successful family films ever made.

XTRO is the story of a broken marriage, alien abduction, and coming up with as many ways as possible to make sure that for next few days after watching XTRO the thought of sex will make you vomit all over yourself. Sure, there’s a little kid and an alien who is far closer to him than E.T. was to that little asshole he befriend, but XTRO’s single goal seems to make sex as unappetizing as possible. And it would have succeeded if it weren’t for that gratuitous sex scene featuring a very young and zipper burn inducingly hot Maryam d’Abo (The Living Daylights) that reminds us sex without extra terrestrial involvement is pretty dang awesome.

Just keep those images of her in your mind rather than vagina egg chutes or grown men ripping their way out of the womb as sloppy red gunk sprays across the floor…

Enjoy this interstellar Rotten Review, Gang!  And don;t forget, you can meet Tim Dry, the guy in the rubbery monster suit doing the crab walk, at the Days of the Dead Horror Convention in Indianapolis happening July 1-3! Make sure you go, and when you do, keep your eyes peeled for your old pal The Primal Root! Looking forward to meeting some fellow Trash Cinema Connoisseurs.

Stay Trashy,

-Root

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYLEzCoA%5D

07
Nov
09

The Fourth Kind – The Owliens are not what they seem…

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a Primal Root review

Watch out Nome Alaska! You are being besieged by evil Owliens who are attacking you in your sleep, taking you to spaceships, probing you and erasing your memories. For what purpose? I guess so you can kill yourself and your family? But that doesn’t matter! This is some scary shit and  it’s ALL REAL and we have tons of audio and visual footage to support this case!

Yeah…

I really don’t know where to begin…the obviously faked “real” footage? The terrible performances? The sloppy script? The hackneyed editing? The strange decision to break some segments up into layered four framed split screen? The Fourth Kind is the kind of Trash Cinema it just hurts to sit through.

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What I saw did disturb me. Probably not in the way the filmmakers intended.

The film opens just like the trailer with Milla Jovovich looking into the camera and spinning around the woods informing us that what we are about to see is 100% real and based on real accounts by real people in the real town of Nome Alaska and you will be “really” disturbed. She fails to mention that her acting skills are completely fake.

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"I Has Serious Face."

The Fourth Kind features Milla (Resident Evil) Jovovich as the allegedly “real” psychologist, Abbey Tyler. Abbey’s husband was murdered sometime before the beginning of the film and she is left a widow raising their tweenage son and little daughter who went blind after Daddy kicked the bucket. (Huh?) Through her clients Abbey begins to uncover some kind of  epidemic of really scary owl spottings through hypnosis sessions which she video tapes. These tapes are used to annoy the shit out of the audience during split screen segments featuring the “real” footage and the reenacted footage. Sometimes featuring four shifty frames alternating between shots and moving all over the screen. I am all for edgy editing but, man, when one shot is just a shot of a patrol car’s lights flashing how do you justify this decision?  This is just poor filmmaking.

Anyhoo, soon after one hypnosis session goes hilariously awry (Freak out and hoping over the couch breaking a table)  the patient promptly goes home, murders his family and himself in a standoff with the police. Abbey’s professional, rational, intelligent explanation? The Owliens are responsible. That’s right…Owls from outer space… And she ain’t gonna stop till she gets to the bottom of it, by golly!

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Abbey harming one of her many patients.

So she puts some more patients through horrible hypnosis sessions where they end up either dead or scarred for life. Soon she is contacted by an Owlien and has no recollection of it other than what she taped on her hand held tape recorder that I am sure she was planning to send to Diane over at FBI headquarters to inform her that “The Owls are Not What They Seem.”

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I get the feeling someone was watching their Twin Peaks box set when they wrote this sucker.

So, uh, we eventually find our the aliens speak Sumerian and really have no agenda other than abducting people and scaring the shit out of them. Abbey goes through her own gut bustingly funny hypnosis session in the hopes to get her daughter back from the evil Owliens. Abbey air humps off of the couch, unhinges her jaw and starts shouting Sumerian about God and the truth. Be warned, the footage of Abbey going all whacky is screwed up and hardly visible. Which is a shame because it looks highly entertaining. The Fourth Kind has the irritating habit of building up to something really cool and then cutting to the “real” footage which is all messed up and hardly visible. See, at least the Demon in Paranormal Activity knew not to fuck with the tapes! These Owleins are just assholes!

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Speaking of assholes, the Owliens have some probing to do! Abbey, meet my friend Ben Dover.

By the film’s end there are no answers, which is fine with me, but after two hours there’s no real conclusion either. The film just kind of stops. The scariest thing in the film is the face of the woman who is supposed to be the “real” Abbey Tyler who is interviewed throughout the film. I laughed through this entire movie but anytime the movie cut to the “real” Abbey and quieted down I got scared. Her face is horrifying and I kept waiting in suspense for an Owlien to rip out of her face or something to give us one final jump scare. Alas, she is just creepy looking and that’s all.

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"I need to find a better agent."

The Fourth Kind actually resembles something one might create out of scrapped pieces of film found in a dumpster. There are some talented people involved here including character actors Will Patton and Elias Koteas but they are given next to nothing to work with. Koteas plays one of Abbey’s friends and fellow psychologists by the name of Abel Campos. His main purpose in the film is to set up the compact little Sony camcorder, look smug and be skeptical. Patton plays the local Sheriff  who realizes all this Owlien stuff is complete bullshit and Abbey is just totally crazy. I got the feeling the Sheriff is meant to be the villain figure of the piece but I couldn’t help but root for the guy. Abbey is obviously two nuggets short of a Happy Meal and an endangerment to her chilrden and her patients.

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Some of the "real" footage.

But no amount of supporting cast talent could save this film. It’s just terrible. Maybe if the filmmakers had decided to go with either all filmed footage or fake “real” footage the movie would have been better than trying to fit both into one feature film. The result is muddled, confusing and pretty boring. The Fourth Kind is a film that not only falls short of hitting the bullseye, it flies past the board, off the brick wall and impales itself in the eye of the audience. It’s a vehicle without a map and a completely shit faced driver behind the wheel. It’s inept, stupid, pointless, plotless and has as many redeeming qualities as Spider-Man 3. Seriosuly. It’s that bad.

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The Eyes of the Owlien.

I cannot recommend The Fourth Kind to anyone but the bravest and most tolerant of us Trash Collectors. I’ve seen more than my share of poorly made Trash Cinema and I can find redeeming qualities in just about all of them. But in the case of The Fourth Kind it simply feels like a cheap, half hearted attempt at making something similar to The Blair Witch Project and we had to endure one of those already this year. I got a few chuckles out of the melodrama and the goofy abduction scenarios but I spent most of the movie looking at Jess and wondering how much longer could they possibly drag this movie out? Will this ever end? Is this real life?

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The Fourth Kind is a failure of the First Order. None of it works, none of it sticks, it’s not mindlessly fun, and it’s not even worthy of being called Trash Cinema. This is just pure cinematic monkey spunk.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

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Milla Jovovich. Much hotter than The Fourth Kind.




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