Thursday, December 30, 2010
Why did I not know about this movie? I have no idea. I had never heard of it, or known anyone who talked about it. I tossed it into my Netflix queue a while back, and @sleestakk recommended that I check it out. So I did.
A bit slow at times, but this film has some of the best kills I have ever seen in horror films. Other things I appreciate about the film: a decent plot, a mortal killer that is only in one place at a time, and some pretty good moments of suspense.
Definitely a good watch for me, and one that I will likely revisit so that I may love it even more.
When Peter Cushing is involved, I am in. Plain and simple.
With that said, this was not as Cushing-filled as I would hope, and we do get some John Carradine screen time as well, so that is a win.
Strangely enough, I had never seen this movie, even though I knew of its existence for many years. I even remember seeing this on the shelves of a video store I worked in 20+ (yikes!) years ago. Maybe it was the concept of Nazi zombies that put me off. I guess I like my zombies to be free of political affiliation.
SHOCK WAVES was, for me, an average foray into zombie territory, and also average from a general watchability perspective as well. Not enough Cushing, as I said, and really not enough zombie action for my tastes. The zombie scenes were pretty decent, and the backstory on their origin was unique, so that was a plus. I can understand the cult following that this film has amassed, but I am in a different cult.
Since this was supposed to be in the DEMONS family, I was really looking forward to it. While completely watchable, it was slow-paced and a bit all over the place when it came to why things were happening.
The medieval segments did not make their case for the evilness of the folks that ended up under THE CHURCH, and then when the possessions began, they were not consistently approached. I guess I just expected more.
Not terrible, but not great either. Hence, the meh...
Horror-film fan and fellow #tallyteers dude Jay (@sleestakk) dropped by recently and we plowed through four of the Friday the 13th franchise offerings. F13 has had its ups and downs, but the ones that were decent to begin with really do hold up pretty well. It's interesting to see how well the effects were done 20+ years ago, when the genre was still relatively young. So, we began with...
Part 2 has always been one of my favorites. I like it so well because it is the first true Jason-centric entry in the series, and Jason was still just a human, primally revenge-driven killer at this point. Some iconic kills in this one too, like the wheelchair dude down the steps. Good stuff. (I know that sounds weird, but that's just me.)
We skipped Part III and moved on to Part IV, or the "Final" Chapter. We should all know better than to think it's the final chapter of a cash cow like Jason. Look at Jigsaw. He's been "dead" for years yet still appears in more and more films.
Anyway, back to Jason. This one is a fun watch, because it is the last true film of the original timeline with Jason as a mortal killer. (Parts 9 and 10 re-write history a bit, but I digress).
And when you can get Corey to shave his head and go ape-shit, you know you're in for a good time.
We jumped over the Jason-free Part V to move on to Jason Lives, only when I got Jay to commit to watching this one and the next one, since he had not seen Part VII before, and it's a true successor to this one.
This entry takes a more dark comedy approach than previous entries, as you might guess with Arnold Horshack in the first act. Also, with some well-timed lightning, Jason really becomes the anti-hero in this one. Add to this the fact that you get a kick-ass Alice Cooper soundtrack to accompany it, and it remains among my favorite F13 flicks.
I hope Jay forgives me for making him watch this one. I had only seen this one once or twice, years ago, and it was worse than I remember.
The plot concepts are even more ludicrous than bringing Jason back with lightning, and even Terry Kiser (Weekend at Bernie's) can't save this one. This one ranks just above Part VIII in my book. Bleh.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
This is the one Re-Animator entry that I had never seen. I have clear recollections of the original, which I loved, and vague recollections of the Bride, which was decent.
This one was not great, but not terrible either. Acting was good, effects were outstanding, story was a bit murky, as some of the motivations of characters were inconsistent.
All in all, though, an enjoyable trip into the world of Herbert West. I think the fact that Combs returned for this installment is what saved it. He's still the key to this franchise, so it was good to see him again.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
This was a re-watch for me, but it had been (probably) 15+ years since I had seen this film: CREEPSHOW.
Unfortunately, it did not hold up well for me. The scenes seemed to drag on a bit long for my liking, although Father's Day and The Crate remain favorite iconic movie moments for me.
One thing that kind of bothers me, and this is probably just a personal OCD-kinda thing: We never really seems to find out how or why the folks in Father's Day and Something to Tide You Over come back. Obviously, revenge is a central theme in this compilation, so I guess that is the why. But how? I think I am over-analyzing this thing, and I should just enjoy it for what it is. Watchable, but dated, enjoyable camp.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Usually much more of a horror fan, I do watch other things now and then. I heard of SUNSHINE CLEANING from some friends at a pre-Christmas gathering, and since it popped up in the TV listings this week, it seemed like fate. And since there was blood in it, I could not pass it up.
From some of the same folks that brought us LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, the film did have a similarly quirky feel, which I can appreciate, being of the quirky persuasion already myself. Two sisters, in a effort to make more money than they could waiting tables or cleaning homes for a living, dive head-first into a crime-scene cleaning business.
While it starts out as a morbid exercise for them, they begin to get invested in the lives of the families of the folks that they are cleaning up after. We get to see how much they begin to care for the families and the legacy of the victims, and how it begins to impact their lives and how they treat others in their own family.
What I really liked about this film was the real way these folks related to each other. No job was the same as the previous, and they had a lot of job issues and family issues to iron out with each passing day. Even after some major problems after one of the jobs, things did end on a high note, and there was a nice little bow on the end - maybe a little too happy of an ending, but satisfying, nonetheless. A good watch, for sure.
Score - 8/10