Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The WTF List: The Expendables 2

It's all about the Van Damme. Insano Steve and I saw The Expendables 2 first day it came out and clearly I was here for the Van Damme show. I openly rooted for Jean Claude. When he first came on screen, I applauded and howled my ass off. Oh man did he try to act. Some monologue about respect, uranium and fighting like a man.

The other jabronis gave a big cheer to that punk Texas Ranger. I was spinkicking my way to happiness when Jean Villain made his appearance on the screen. The Expendables 2 is more of the same old murder death kills by our gang of happy go lucky mercenaries but what part 1 lacked in a bad guy is made up into pure unadulterated awesomeness with Van Damme.

Onto the WTF List (pretty much Jean Claude edition)

1.) They kill all of Mongolia
2.) Cue Arnold cameo
3.) Cue Bruce cameo
4.) Holy shit, JCVD's got his own Bulgarian gang!
5.) Have you noticed all action movies now are filmed in Bulgaria? Bulgaria, where life is cheap, sets can be built by slave labor and the extras playing soldiers actually died while filming
6.) Scott Adkins is now forever is JCVD's action BFF 
7.) OMG...yeah you saw JCVD spinkick a knife into Chris Hemsworth!!! Fuck yeah!
8.) Van Damme's acting is like hearing two squirrels fuck. It's horrible, makes no sense and he clearly he has no idea what he's actually saying. But it's funny as fuck.
9.) Dolph is actually playing himself...just an FYI
10.) I mean Jean Villain just wants to be a rich as fuck motherfucker. At least he's only using men for the slave labor
11.) This is an actual line: "I have people who are willing to pay ten billion dollars for that plutonium in the mine. Three days." (really 10 billion dollars for plutonium? Couldn't you trick some Libyans by giving them pinball machine parts?)
12.) I'll admit, the Chuck Norris joke was funny.
13.) The Arnold/Bruce ambiguously alpha male duo was solid
14.) Stallone vs Van Damme: I counted 2 spinkicks from JCVD. Where was the Dim Mak? Make him say "matte" JCVD!
14a.) Every Stallone fight scene resembles the final scene from Demolition Man
15.) Van Damme kinda dies like a pussy
16.) Something guns, something punching, something pa pa pa power!
17.) The Couture ear jokes were corny
18.) Hot asian chick should have been played by Jamie Chung. Every hot asian chick should be played by Jamie Chung
19.) At least Statham got to throw some knives
20.) Next super team: Jackie Chan, Scott Speedman and Michael Dudikoff

What did you all think of The Expendables 2?

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Elevator (Review)

Elevator

Elevator (2011)

Directed by Stig Svendsen

Everybody has fears about being stuck in an elevator. I mean when I saw this guy stuck for 41 hours, it was fuckin terrifying. We've all done it. Looked around the people in the elevator with us and said to ourselves, could I be trapped with these people?

We've all checked our phones to make sure we've got bars and battery life. We've all checked if we have life sustaining food, you know that pack of Orbitz gum. I was stuck in an elevator for 10 minutes once. It was claustrophobic hell but at least I had my friend to keep me company.

Well Elevator tries to play on those fears but doubles the ante by not just cramming 9 people inside but by unleashing a twist. Yup somebody has a bomb in the elevator and everybody pushes the panic button. Comparisons to M Night's Devil isn't too far behind. I found that half assed Twilight zone melodrama-ish. Elevator has a more grounded approach but still goes up and down never really finding a direction to go to.

It's got some suspenseful moments, though a film like has little to do with plot but more if we're willing to spend time with these characters. Do we care enough to be stuck with these people for 80 minutes? I wasn't. These movies where one location is central, viewers tend to want to like the normals and hate the wackos. Oddly enough, they were all wackos.

Elevator pushes our buttons hoping they've pushed the right ones of suspense, thrills and angst. Unfortunately, it misses them all.

Boring Plot-O-Matic


Racism collides with corporate greed when nine strangers are trapped in a Wall Street elevator, and one of them has a bomb. They will do anything to survive.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

Elevator does have a message that of when corporate greed goes awry, Occupy Wall St goes homicidal. But what has to draw you in are the characters and I have to say none of them were people I wanted to see alive.

We have the asshole douchebag comedian, the rich tycoon with his spoiled, bratty granddaughter, the journalist and her alpha douchebag broker boyfriend, the Iranian-American security guard, the fat salaryman, the pregnant eye candy blonde and the old widow.

The only respectable dude was the fat salaryman but even by the end I was tired of him. All have backstories and our strangers become an "elevator family". We do get a few twists as our strangers aren't really strangers. All have agendas but all seem to non be remotely tolerable to spend so much time watching them complain.

When you do an ensemble, you should have 1-2 main antagonists, a comic relief guy, some eye candy and a WTF guy. Elevator has them all but none do a decent job at...well their jobs. In the end, the movie plays on all those fears when trapped in a confined area. Blood starts to boil and survival instincts kick in.

There are some bloody moments and some close calls. But my pesky logic kicks in. At one point, they start streaming the local news. Are you telling me there is wi-fi in this elevator? Elevators in my building are wi-fi dead spots. How big is this elevator? It's like huge in there. Plus the NYPD and security team are the most inept in retrieving our family. You would think they'd be in constant communication with these guys as 2 of them have cellphones

My gripes aside, it's an adequate movie that fits into the Wall St. vs Main St theme. Rich vs poor, black vs white, men vs women. There is serious conflict on all fronts which make this soap opera thriller fun to watch.

In the end though, you think we'll see a twist and explanation. Something bigger than people stuck in an elevator. It never comes and all your left with is listening to cheesy elevator music while thinking you can stream wi-fi at a dead spot.

Gore-ipedia

Some blood splatter and unnecessary surgery.

WTF moment


I wish preggers blonde worked with me. Her secret got me saying...WTF.

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

If you liked Devil, this will fill your void. It's got some nice thrilling moments and you do watch to figure out what may happen next.





Elevator will be released on DVD on August 21st via Inception Media Group. Check out the official site and Facebook page.



Rating:

Check out the trailer.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

What the hell should I do with my VHS collection?

I did some summer cleaning over the weekend and I realized that packed in boxes I had overlooked is my entire VHS collection. After watching V/H/S a few weeks ago, it seems my generation is now stuck with VHS tapes that are neither valuable as collector's items nor useless as Betamax tapes. VHS tapes sit on that border of being cool nostalgia and being crappy nostalgia.

The funny part is I don't even own a VCR anymore so even if I wanted to watch one of these classic horror flicks I own (like Slashers above) I can't. And really....who has recently watched an entire movie on VHS?

Seriously have you?

I think not.

I can't throw them all away because well, shits fuckin toxic and electronic. There really is no proper way to recycle VHS tapes. Trust me, I've checked out sites and some sites ask you to pay to recycle them. Fuck that. I could Craiglist my collection. Maybe somebody out there wants my copy of Police Story 3. I'm not even sure anybody would want this. I could donate my collection to the Thift shop down the block. I mean would they even accept that?

Sure I know some people would say keep it and display it proudly but I'm kind of limited on space and I think it's about time I free myself of this archaic technology. Like all good things, it's time I let go of my 80s/90s obsession.

So I ask you horror blogosphere and the horror-verse community, what have you done with your VHS collection?

Here are some highlights of my collection.

Coven (autographed copy)
MTV's The State
George Carlin Jammin in NY
Luther the Geek (via Urban Fetch)
I Spit on Your Corpse, I Piss on your Grave (why do I own this?)
Assorted horror cannibal movies via trades (Cannibal Holocaust, Emerald Jungle, Cnnibal Ferox)
Assorted porn

A lot of movies I got via trades back in the 90s and early 00s.

Here are just some of the titles.

Violet Shit trilogy
Premutos
Visitor Q
Lots of Miike movie

Look here is picture of said box. This is one of three boxes.

I have The Matrix and Big Lebowski on VHS tape! Lots of other tapes in the other 2 boxes. Clearly buying movies at horror conventions, making trades and eBaying has resulted in an overload of movies I can never watch anymore.

I need suggestions and ideas on what to do. Where is your VHS collection?

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Monday, August 06, 2012

Terminator Too: A Judgement Play (Review)

"Chill out, dickwad"

That's a line from T2, as John Connor tries to teach the Terminator how to speak human as they ride into Mexico. The same kind of teaching takes place in the performance of a new Arnold, recruited straight from the audience in Terminator Too: A Judgement Play.  That's just one of the many ridiculous oddities that are incorporated in this absolutely brilliant and hilarious play from Thomas Blake, Jim Cunningham and John Moauro, the masterminds of the infamous Point Break Live.

Terminator Too is your low budget spoof play of the 1991 blockbuster and is the equivalent of seeing a Broadway play at a 99 cents store. Oh the props are ridiculously cheap, the video clips intertwined in the play have CGI that would make James Cameron weep, but what's genuinely rich in Terminator Too is the attention to detail to this Arnold classic and jokes that are clever as they are raunchy. The audience is subjected to real life 4D technology, in other words, our battles between man and machine take place with waterguns with the audience being collateral damage. It was highly suggested you buy a poncho (90% of the audience complied, I did not). I paid dearly for this mistake as I got pelted with water bullets, syringe liquid and fake blood.

I know my Arnold movies inside and out. I could easily repeat all his dialogue in T2, but I elected not to audition for the part. My Austrian accent is kinda shitty. Various wannabe actors are tested and one is chosen via audience vote. The Arnold chosen when I went did a passable Arnold accent, all muscle and was completely devoid of knowledge of T2. It's like he never ever saw the movie. Our new Terminator is helped by a hot "maid" who helps our star recite his lines via cue cards and directs his actions. Arnold would have loved this maid.

But though the "Arnold" is the star, it's the cast of Terminator Too that provides you with knee slaps and horty chuckles. Each T2 scene is meticulously created via voiceovers, video clips and outlandish props. From the infamous naked time travel entry, to the biker clothes scene, it's all acted out with LOL moments. The breakout performance has to go to Joya Mia Italiano, who plays the young thugling John Connor. Decked out in  vintage army gear and a Public Enemy t-shirt, she takes our Messiah to be into a whole new stratosphere of awesome. I got a  Amy Poehler kinda vibe from her performance, truly highest marks on my report card. Christi Waldon  plays Sarah Connor stellarly as a heroine chic and George Spielvogel plays the doctor and the Zuckerberg (did I mention Skynet is replaced with Facebook?) like a befuddled and confused mad scientist. The rest of the cast chaotically went in and out of characters seamlessly. Highest applause to them all.

It's the attention to detail that makes this play standout. Lines are stolen...ahem I mean borrowed exactly from the screenplay. Others are modified to have zingers and jokes at the end. T2's little things are acknowledged from John's stepparents, the perv orderly, the rendezvous to Mexico (which came with a complimentary watered down tequila shot for the audience) and the thumbs up from our Terminator as he makes his last heroic sacrifice.

The fact these guys know the source material inside and out makes the jokes even more amplified. If YOU know the material, it makes it a thousand more times better. Though the scenes are stellar, the "special effects" utilized are comic genius. From strategically placed tin foil "wounds" on our T1000 to the bike (errr I mean modified kid's tricycle), you'll see garage sale brilliance in every "effect". You'll never see pop guns and super soakers the same way again.

In all it's cleverness of breaking the 4th wall mid performance and inserting some random 80s references (BTTF and the Hoff), it all seems to flow perfectly. There is an intermission during the performance but that just seems to give you a break to talk about the brilliance of the first hour that you've seen.

Terminator Too is without a doubt the live action remake you MUST SEE. You'll be ducking and weaving to avoid a barrage of water bullets, laughing at all of Arnold's infamous one liners and be smack in the middle of a ridiculous Universal Studios like ride that you'll want to see again. It's not until the end did my laughter subside and I realized it was over that we all had to Hasta la vista baby.

Rating:

TERMINATOR TOO, JUDGMENT PLAY runs June 23 - August 11, Saturdays at 8pm at Santos Party House located at 96 Lafayette Street -- two blocks south of Canal between Walker and White Streets -- accessible from the N,Q,6,J & Z subway lines at Canal. Tickets are $25 available at 866-777-8932 or www.terminatortoo.com.

Check out this review as well.

Photo Credits: Terminator Too/Thomas Blake

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era (Review)

Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era 

Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era (2011)

Directed by Jason Paul Collum

I'll admit it. I haven't watched a lot of the schlock 80s films that featured these scream queens. Oh I did grow up in the 80s but I was not old enough to rent these from my local video store (because creepy video store clerk would rent me gore and splatter but not T&A). But each one is recognizable to say the least with Linnea Quigley being the one with the most face value.

So this 60 minute documentary is a time trip into the past when Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer and Linnea Quigley ruled the VHS world. And it's a tale full of boobs, butts and cheesiness. The doc has interviews with the Big Three, directors of such awesome flicks as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama and other 80s cult luminaries. Plus we get to see clips from all of these cult classics.

The one thing the film details is the progression of how these low budget T&A gorefests came to be. The 60s brought these type of films via the Drive Ins. The 80s ushered in VHS which served as a platform again and the 90s/00s have shown the fans of these films have grown up and become filmmakers themselves. It's quite an evolution and Stevens, Bauer and Quigley have all evolved.

Joe Bob Briggs introduced me to this world of ghastly rubber monster sex and cheese. So did USA's Up All Night. As a kid, I was mesmerized by nerds getting the girl. I was also spooked by hot girl getting slaughtered. It's interesting to see how each of the women has adapted from being a Scream Queen. Quigley and Stevens are still chugging along but Bauer has supposedly given it up.It's funny how the old story that model turned actress = scream queen is now model turned actress turned porn star.

But all in all, for an hour long doc Screaming in High Heels is an educational look back of what it took to be a scream queen. Back then, you had to establish hotline numbers, fan club mailers, attend numerous horror conventions. This is why these 3 were as big as they were. These days, these supposed scream queens get cast in one horror movie and they can promote themselves via all the social apparatus they can log into. Tiffany Shepis aside, there are a lot more fakers out there then real legit queens.

I suggest everybody take a look at this. It's not going to be that eye opening but if 80s/90s cheesy cult horror is new to you and you want to know the history of the scream queen phenomenon, check this out.

Nude-ipedia


These movies are where gratuitous nudity comes from


The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Screaming in High Heels will be released 8/28. Head over to the official site via Breaking Glass Pictures.


Rating:

Check out the trailer.

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