Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Countdown (Day 31: Game Over)

Well, I finally made it to Day 31, albeit a few shortcuts here and there. But hey, at least I managed to create 31 blog posts this month. So without further ado, here is the final film of the SAW franchise: "Saw 3D: The Final Chapter" (for the purpose of this article, I'll be referring to it as "SAW 7").

All together now: Oh yes, there will be spoilers.

While an attempt at wordplay, this one is actually fitting (see below).

Back then.....

What a f**king mess of a movie! How the hell could they ruin such a great ending to the series?

And now.....

What a f**king mess of a movie! How the hell could they ruin such a great ending to the series?

Okay, if you read any of my previous entries this month, you would have figured out that this was my least favourite installment of the SAW series. I wasn't sure how I was going to approach this. In my "Wrestlemaniac" entry, I had a habit of rambling on whenever it came to issues I had in terms of logic, whether it be from the actual film, or from what decisions the filmmakers had made. Now, that was just one very short movie. Imagine if I did the same to not only this film, but in the context of the whole series?

So, in order to tighten this article the best I can, I will go through ten reasons why I hate this movie, in chronological order as per film, to give an idea as to what was going through my mind while watching it.

This reminds me of the Michael Jackson statue from HIStory.

The opening game/trap

I was going to mention the opening credits for this one, but I'm saving that for later.

When I watched this film for the first time, I had a feeling the film was going to be a disaster, right from the get go. The other sequels start off with an opening game/trap, as per usual. And these are usually set in abandoned warehouses, buildings and other similar desolate surroundings. Which makes sense, in relation to the rest of the series.

So the first game/trap we are introduced to is where two guys have to choose whether to kill each other, or decide to kill a woman that's been cheating on both of them, via buzzsaws. Which is pretty standard fare in terms of the SAW series. Just one problem.....they are in a glass box, in broad daylight, outside a shopping centre, in view of the public.

So in the first three minutes, I'm already asking questions. How did anyone manage to sneak those three people inside without anyone watching? Wouldn't anyone working near the shopping centre have enquired about that glass box outside? Wouldn't it be risky for Hoffman (or anyone for that matter) to construct this elaborate setup in a public area? How was it even built without anyone's knowledge? Did they get planning permission beforehand?

3D scenes

As you can tell from the title, this was shown in 3D in the cinema, so the shots with the effects in mind are noticeable onscreen. And as a result, they come off as stupid and distracting. It's like watching "Friday 13th Part 3" or "Jaws 3-D", so watching scenes where things are coming towards the screen (such as spikes, blades, internal organs) in 2D just comes off as ridiculous.

But the worst thing is, while this was actually filmed in 3D, the effects were barely noticeable throughout the entire film. And I even asked myself back then, why bother filming it in 3D when it may as well be in 2D? So for the sake of the two or three scenes in the entire movie, 3D effects were utilised?

The detective is, well, a dick

I'm just gonna call this guy "Dick" since I can't be bothered looking up his name at this time, and it suits the personality of the character onscreen. Granted Agent Strahm from the previous movies had an attitude, but then again he was involved in the Jigsaw investigation, his partner was injured, and he was close to finding out the truth, hence his hard nosed attitude.

But Dick here is just as the name applies. From the first words of dialogue he utters, he is instantly unlikable, especially his dialogue is poor itself. Using terms like "crazy as a bag of cats" (or something like that) when talking about Jill Tuck, and his "crazy crazy crazy" speech to her in the safe house, I wasn't sure if it was the dialogue was poor, or whether it was the actor himself. His words seem poorly written when you compare them to the other characters in the film. Hell, even Jigsaw's cameo had better lines than this Dick.

The dream sequence

I usually find that dream sequences or false visions in horror films are just a cheap attempt to muster up scares from the audience. While some of them can be effective, there are others where they do nothing more than just become extra padding. In the third film where Dina Meyer looks into a mirror and sees Donnie Wahlberg behind her, it's for a split second, and while it does come off as cliched, it's still effective.

Here, it just seems like the makers were looking for an excuse to throw in another 3D scene, so why not have Jill Tuck in a nightie tied up in a suggestive pose? The scene comes off as lazy and cheap, especially with the disappointing "just a dream" pay-off afterwards.

Bobby's backstory

While the idea of the next contestant in a Jigsaw game being someone pretending to have been a victim in the past was an interesting one, on the other hand, it just seemed very unlikely. Granted he could fake the scars, but I found it hard to believe that nobody would have called him out on his ruse. I'm sure any police officer or investigative journalist would have uncovered the fact that he was a fake, what with an ongoing police investigation, not to mention media coverage. Personally, I found it hard to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the film, especially one as lousy as this.

Why go for Bobby now?

Granted John Kramer must have had a pretty big shit list even after his death, but while all the other major games/traps in the sequels were in some way linked to the plot, this one seemed to have no actual purpose. It may as well be on a par with the shopping mall trap. I know I had a problem with the main game/trap in the fifth film, but they did try to connect those people to Agent Strahm in the sixth one, so I was willing to let that one slide, no matter how "convenient" it may have seemed. Whereas here, it seems like nothing but something to pass the time. And while I'm on the subject.....

Maybe this story would have worked better in SAW 5 or 6

This is where I could go off on a rant about what would have worked better, and I admit, it is pretty much nitpicking. As I said, if it wasn't for the holes in logic, the story of a dishonest self help guru would have been interesting, especially as there was a scene where it featured a few of the survivors from the previous sequels.

I could go on about "what could have been", coming up with different scenarios, such as moving this story to the sixth film, and replacing the burning building five from SAW 5 with the insurance executive from SAW 6. Hell, maybe instead of the burning building five, you could have the other survivors in the support group go through another game/trap, for not moving on with their lives (from the Jigsaw point of view anyway). But of course, it's like trying to rearrange the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle (no pun intended.....okay I lied).

I was going to mention a certain part of the support group scene, but I'm saving that for later.

Turret gun.....really?

With all the elaborate traps included in the SAW series, there are very few scenes where guns are used, such as the tripwire shotguns in SAW 1, and the gun attached to the peephole in SAW 2. With those scenes, at least they are basic in their function, in relation to the trap in place. But in this movie, a turret gun mows down Dick and a few police officers. I know Hoffman may be different in his approach to the games Jigsaw started, but this just comes off as stupid and pathetic.

So Dick dies, Bobby fails his final test, and Hoffman confronts Jill in the police station. And so we come to a similar scene from the beginning of the movie where Jill is running away from Hoffman, only this time she gets caught, and falls victim to the infamous bear trap. After this conclusion, one question was burning in my mind.....


Because of the similarities of the beginning and closing chase scenes between Hoffman and Jill, the events that took place in-between have been rendered pointless. It felt like the final confrontation should have been the ending of the last film, instead of an excuse to put together a shoddy, misguided sequel that lacked the excitement, suspense and writing of the films before it. The self help guru story is a good one, but it comes off as run of the mill.

When I saw this in the cinema, I was wondering how this series was actually going to end. It was after the death of Jill that, while I did get a bad feeling that they were trying to get more mileage from the series however they can, I didn't feel that the film was going to end like this.

Not to mention that there were two scenes that I made reference to without going into detail. In the cinema I questioned the inclusion of these scenes, and came to the logical conclusion. But it seemed too predictable, the writers couldn't have made it that predictable. But of course, as with every SAW movie, there is.....

The final twist

The guy that takes down Hoffman in the end, and the (possible) successor to John Kramer turns out to be.....this guy.

Before this film came out, I read somewhere that Cary Elwes was going to reappear in SAW 7 as Dr. Gordon. Which was surprising at the time, as I knew he and the producers of the SAW series had a dispute over royalties from the first film, hence why he never appeared in the sequels, not even in flashback sequences. I was more surprised by his inclusion than to even consider his role in the movie.

During the opening credits where Dr. Gordon escapes the disused bathroom from the first film, I was wondering why they were showing this scene earlier on. I had an idea.....but I thought that would be too easy of a conclusion. Then he appears in the support group acting creepy and cryptic.....which reminded me of another creepy, cryptic guy from the previous films.....but again, I thought that would be too easy to come up with that conclusion. So when the man behind the pig mask this time happened to be Dr. Gordon.....two thoughts crossed my mind.

The first one was that this was a great ending to the series. Not only was it the one character you haven't seen since the first film, but it made sense when you see how he's connected to certain parts of the entire series via flashback sequences, from the surgical procedures on Jigsaw's victims, to the secret envelopes traded between characters. It was a great way to end the series.

But then there's the second thought, which was what I said earlier in this the hell could they ruin such a great ending to the series?

The only thing that was "mind-blowing" was
the stupidity of the creators of this movie.

The twist was so obvious that even Scooby Doo and the gang could have figured it out. The inclusion of those two scenes ruined the impact of the finale. The connection Dr Gordon had to the other sequels was, if you're a fan of the series, actually quite ingenious. But it was a shame that this clever twist was wasted on the "crazy, crazy, crazy" pile of crap that came before it. And it just made me think why they should have just tacked on the last 15 minutes of this film onto SAW 6?

To top it off, it raises more questions. Is Dr. Gordon the leader now? How many people are now part of the Jigsaw gang? Who recruited them? Were they the people who set up the shopping mall game/trap at the beginning of the film? If so, wouldn't Hoffman be a bit suspicious about who was setting them up? But if it was Hoffman, how did he do it all by himself. At least with the Jigsaw gang, it makes sense because if.....


That's it, I'm done! I'm gonna wrap this up for my own sanity. This movie is a very disappointing addition to the series, which is nothing more than an attempt at a final cash-in on a movie franchise that was on its last legs. Instead of coming up with a decent script to wrap it up, it just became another cheap thrill 3D horror flick, focusing more on cartoonish effect shots than the ongoing story of the series.

This is the second time I've seen SAW 7, and this article gives you an idea why this is the only film from the SAW series that I don't own on DVD. I couldn't bring myself to pay more than a McDonalds double cheeseburger for this movie. I settled on watching it on Netflix, so unless it goes down to 2 euro in HMV next year, I'll settle for that option next Halloween.

And finally, was there ANYTHING I liked about the film?

Since there's not a lot of redeemable qualities to SAW 7, I'd have to think back to the traps/games themselves. Some were pretty good, others were passable, but the only memorable one was the KKK death scene (and yes it included Chester Bennington, but I don't hate Linkin Park, so I'm not gonna rip on him or the band as a result). Hoffman's plan to sneak into the police, while more in tone of a slasher movie, was pretty inventive, and it suited his menacing persona. And while I'm pulling at straws here, I liked this song during the end credits.

And on a final note.....

Now that I've finished reviewing films related to the horror genre, I can go back to other activities I've ignored, such as playing computer games. Before I took on this 31 day challenge, I was planning on completing this game before Halloween. I tried playing it last year, but I was stuck on one section at the very beginning, so I haven't played it since. After watching this clip, I now how to get past that part, so hopefully I'll be able to do better the second time around.

.....oh, and Happy Halloween of course.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Countdown (Day 30: Trailer Trash)

Okay okay, this is yet another half assed entry to the Halloween Countdown. Bear in mind, I am still trying to finish off the final review at time of writing, and I was going to write up on Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2" for this blog post. But due to a long bank holiday weekend spent watching countless movies, along with the fact that I've been pretty run down this whole month, I don't have enough energy to squeeze in another one.

Not only that, after watching "Halloween 2", I didn't think I could pull off a half decent review of my thoughts on the film. And since my plan to feature a few Rob Zombie films this month hasn't panned out, what I'm going to do instead is write an article every week in November, on each film he has done, in the lead up to his gig in Amsterdam, which I plan to go as part of my birthday celebration/mini holiday.

Not only would I be able to have a look at his movies again, but it will give me something to write about for the next couple of weeks. Of course, I think one blog entry a week is more manageable than a blog entry a day. It was a good idea at the start of the month, but overall I find it a valuable learning experience, not to mention good practice at writing articles. If only I could find the same inspiration in the creative field. But one day at a time I suppose.

As much as I loved writing about what I saw this month, it would be nice to watch a film without having to fit in a review afterwards. Anyways, here are some of the upcoming attractions I will most likely write up on in the next couple of weeks. As for the last two trailers, they are both part of separate series of blog entries that I may have in mind next year.

House Of 1000 Corpses

The Devil's Rejects


Halloween 2

The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto

Santa's Slay

Punisher: War Zone

And on a final note.....

Our main feature for this evening is....."The Nightmare Before Christmas" with the soundtrack dubbed with Tool's "Aenima" album.....yes it's a weird one alright. I love Tool, and while I do like "TNBC", I'm still a bit confused as to why someone would put these two together.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Countdown (Day 29: Horrorthon Day Five)

This is going to be a very, very short blog entry. I did not go to see the short film showcase, Nightmare Factory, The Burning Moon and Sleep Tight. I really needed the sleep, and I have to regain some energy for work on Tuesday. Not to mention get back to any creative writing assignments that have been put on the back burner this weekend. Plus, I reached my quota of 14 films this weekend, so if Halloween 3 was film number 15, then film number 16 is.....

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers

It was fun to watch, and it's along the same lines as the first one. While it does have its stupid moments, and like most horror movies, hasn't aged well, it was still a decent enough slasher. Although I was very surprised by how it ended, and it makes me want to check out the fifth one now. Even though I've yet to see the second one.

And with that, I skipped Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut, in order to go home, get something to eat, and rest before what I know will be a long, busy day at work. So why the hell am I going to watch Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 and attempt to write about it afterwards? Because I'm an idiot, that's why. And I thought I would stick with the theme of watching another film which stars Malcolm McDowell and Danielle Harris.

And on a final note.....

I picked the above picture because Kiss are featured on her top.....and I know this song from the album, because The Melvins covered it.....why do I get the feeling you don't believe me?

Halloween Countdown (Day 28: Horrorthon Day Four)

I reached my quota of films on Sunday (ie. Day Four), where I hit the 14 mark before the final movie of the evening. As I write this, I am probably going to end up watching one or two films, and head home for more sleep, as I have work on Tuesday. So I better get this done quickly before I go.

The Monster Squad

I was hungover at the time, so I was in no shape or form to be heading into town. I don't know much about the movie, other than it's a children's classic. So instead of the trailer, I'm gonna post a graphic that was part of my childhood, and the final film.


This was introduced by lead actress Danielle Harris, and from what I gather, I got the impression that even she knew this was a bad movie. It's too weird to be in anyway scary, some parts of it were awful in their direction and the quality of acting, and just when I thought it was over, it just kept going on, getting even more ridiculous. I'm sure in the hands of another director, this might have worked.

Surprise Film: Chained

The biggest laugh I had that day was when the trailer for "The Shining" came up, as I made a joke that this would be the surprise film. I thought that I was right until I realised it was just the trailer. One of the organisers came onstage to introduce the film, assuring us that it's not "Trespass 2", in relation to last year's godawful movie, "Trespass". At least that got a laugh.

I have never heard of Chained before the screening, and I can't figure out where I've seen the lead actor before, but he played a good role, projecting his creepiness by his attitude and voice. The film was interesting, at times perverse, and I could nitpick some elements of character motivation and the plot, especially the last ten minutes or so, but once you look past them, it's a pretty decent movie.


This is a very quirky film that comes across as a Napoleon Dynamite style movie, if it was redone by David Lynch and John Waters (who happens to have a cameo in this movie also). John Waters also comes to mind with the inclusion of Traci Lords (who starred in his film "Cry Baby") as the main character's mother. Other cameos include Ray Wise and Malcolm McDowell, in which this is the third film this long weekend that I've seen Malcolm McDowell in (the others being Antiviral and Silent Hill: Revelation).

The visuals are bizarre, it can be really funny at times, and the female lead is an interesting character, albeit sadistic, which makes the film intriguing to watch, especially with her mindset, in relation to her dreams and her view of the world.

Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch

The only original Halloween films I've seen are the first one and this. And in a few hours, I'll be watching the fourth one, once again introduced by Danielle Harris. I'm half tempted to go home and watch Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2" afterwards. Or maybe "The Victim". But I digress.

Because I haven't watched the whole series, I don't have any dislike for this film because of its deviation from the Michael Myers character. Sure the movie is a bit rubbish, but its unintentional comedic value makes it a joy to watch. Also I actually liked the somewhat cheesy 80s horror score by John Carpenter.

While the film does have a loose Irish connection, the main reason this film stuck with me was the "Silver Shamrock" jingle, and what happens when you look at the magic pumpkin. It creeped me out as a kid, and for years I couldn't remember if it was a Halloween movie or not, because it didn't have Michael Myers in it.

And on a final note.....

Well, it's one way to inspire me to learn Japanese.....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Countdown (Day 27: Horrorthon Day Three)

I watched three films on the Saturday, due to a lack of energy in the morning, and my "brilliant" idea to skip the last movie and get absolutely hammered in the process. Now I can barely get out of bed. But if there's one thing I am proud of, is that I managed to bring this home with me, and not lose it or break it in the process.

Signed by Danielle Harris, Jennifer Blanc and Alyssa Lobit

Yes it is a bit nerdy, but hey, I haven't gotten anything signed by a "celebrity" since Casey Chaos signed my ticket after Amen's support slot with The Wildhearts. I saw the film at last year's Horrorthon, and I thought it was an enjoyable enough flick, so I thought it would be cool to get signatures from three people who starred in it. And of course, Danielle Harris.....need I say more?


By the time this was on, I was only just getting out of bed. I'm sure it's an interesting documentary, but I don't think I would have been in the humour to watching it. I could find the trailer and post it here, but I think I'll just go with a picture of Danielle Harris.


I actually saw a trailer for this before "Room 237". And while I'm one of the few people who can appreciate the "shaky cam" genre of horror movies, I still believe these types of films should not be viewed on a cinema screen. It takes away the "realism" and there's always people in the cinema who give out about the film. I'm sure I'll watch it if it ever comes out on DVD, since the trailer did catch my interest.....but I'm gonna post a picture of Danielle Harris and Jennifer Blanc instead.

Dracula: Prince Of Darkness

To the best of my knowledge, I don't think I've seen a full Hammer Horror film ("Let Me In" doesn't count). I probably saw bits of them over the years, but that's about it. So while I did find the movie more corny than scary, at least I finally got to see a Christopher Lee Hammer Horror, so it was fun regardless.

American Mary

The film is a stylish thriller with David Lynch style weirdness mixed with body mutilation horror. The character of Mary is an interesting anti-hero, not to mention easy on the eye, especially with her choice of clothing throughout the film. Although the film does tend to lose direction at times, and because of the despicable nature of the characters, it's hard to feel any sympathy for them when their motivations are unclear at times.

Among Friends

Directed by festival guest of honour, the petite Danielle Harris, it's an interesting claustrophobic slasher movie with elements of dark humour to it. Some parts may have needed trimming, but for a debut feature from the actress, along with the fact that it took ten days to film the entire movie, it's an impressive result.

I felt the same towards "The Victim" which also took less than a fortnight to film. There was a Q&A with the three people who signed my Blu-Ray afterwards and one other person who I think was one of the producers. I briefly talked to them at the signing table, who seem down to earth, and Jennifer Blanc the most upbeat and chatty, which is admirable. Admittedly I was a bit tongue tied when I approached them, especially Danielle Harris, which is why I never really bother looking for autographs. But I'm glad I did in the end.

Young Frankenstein

My excuse for skipping this was that I had the DVD at home, and I felt like going into town and having a few drinks. I do feel bad about passing on this, but since I was on my own, I felt it would be better to watch this with friends.

And on a final note.....

The trailer for "The Victim". Hmm, maybe I should have gotten Michael Biehn's autograph last year, even at the risk of coming off as awkward in the process.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Countdown (Day 26: Horrorthon Day Two)

It's been a long day, but I'm glad I took the day off work for this. For the price of the five day pass, if I get to see at least 14 films, I'd have gotten my money's worth. I've seen 8 in the past two days, so I'm doing really well.


Every Horrorthon there is at least one movie that is so bad, that it's hilarious to watch. Birdemic in 2010, Troll 2 in 2011, and this year, the title goes to Manborg. I really think this should have been kept towards the end of the night, as it's absolutely hilarious. Think Robocop fighting with the cast of Mortal Kombat against Nazi demons from Hell. All in front of a green screen. A must see for those who love their films as bad as The Room.

Midnight Sun

The film seems like an interesting take on the vampire genre, which is no mean feat considering the budget the makers had. However, looking at the main character having hunger pains lead me to leaving after 30 minutes to get brunch. I couldn't find a trailer for this one, so I'm just gonna stick a picture of Mina from "Manborg" in its place.

Reminds me of Frost from Mortal Kombat for some reason.

Calibre 9

It's like a French version of a Jason Statham movie, with added supernatural elements. Action packed, ridiculous, violent, and with moments of stylish direction, This film was lot of fun to watch, and exceeded any expectation I had from a movie about a gun possessed by the soul of a dead prostitute.


I think this movie, along with Savage, should be used by the Irish Tourism Board to show people what Ireland is really like. Very well directed, with effective use of sound to go along with the visuals. The scariest thing about this is that even if you took the supernatural elements away from the story, it would make no difference. That's what scared me, to be honest. Best Irish film I've seen this year.

Silent Hill: Revelation

My god, this has got to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Please note that I didn't actually get to watch the first film beforehand, but even I know that it was a lot better than this. It was obvious by some of the shots that it was filmed for 3D, and it really comes off as stupid when shown in 2D. At least this had more laughs than Resident Evil: Retribution.

But before the movie, there was an awkward moment where Jennifer Blanc-Biehn had to walk after hecklers in the crowd mocked the short film Connection, in which she stars. After a moment of silence, one person in the crowd says out loud "Y'see this is why we can't have nice things". Admittedly it was funny at the time, but it's very true. Still, that's the nature of the work for anyone promoting films, I suppose.

Zombie Flesh Eaters/Deep Red

At this point of the night, I was starting to feel a bit rundown, so I'm surprised I managed to go through them. ZFL had some really weird bits in the first half that kept me amused (ie. bad acting, bizarre camera angles, a sequence which involved a naked scuba diver, an underwater zombie and a shark), but in the second half it did tend to drag in places.

I didn't know that RD was directed by David Argento, so the style of this film and the strange choice in music numbers reminded me of another film I saw at Horrorthon in 2010, which was Phenomena. The story was hard to grasp at times, but then again, I was zoning in and out for the first half, especially when the drunken guy was onscreen. But it's the aforementioned music and odd scenes that kept me conscious from time to time.

It's a shame the organisers of Horrorthon don't do the double bill showings during the year anymore.

And on a final note.....

If you play the live version after the studio version, it seems to flow seamlessly.....or maybe it's just me.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Countdown (Day 25: Horrorthon Day One)

Okay, today was the first day of the Horrorthon Film Festival, so I'm just going to do mini updates of what I saw, and those I missed, keeping with the day to day nature that I tend to insert into these blog updates. It's been a long day, and I have four more to go.

So without further ado, here's what I thought of each movie, along with a trailer for it (whenever possible).


It was a beautifully shot film with a great score and atmosphere throughout, but the story was hard to follow at times, the social message of the "celebrity culture" seemed a bit force, and the film had a distracting amount of pretentiousness to it.

Room 237

The theories and interpretations of The Shining are so ridiculous and off the wall, that at times they are convincing. It would be like me describing how The Matrix is a complete rip-off of Dumbo.

Detention Of The Dead

It's not a bad film for what it is, which is basically "The Breakfast Club (with zombies)". It can be a bit silly at times, but I find it's best that you don't watch it while in a sober state of mind. Plus the goth chick in it was pretty hot.

And on a final note.....

It was Katy Perry's birthday during Day 25.....what? I like Katy Perry.....a lot.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Countdown (Day 24: Seedy Till(y) Death)

I find myself running behind with the blog posts, as I took a break from the horror motif when a mate of mine called to my gaff, and he wanted to watch "Quantum Of Solace", as he was a big James Bond fan, and he hadn't seen it yet. And I thought I may as well do with a refresher course on the story so far, since "Skyfall" may be the second or third time that I would go to the cinema to watch a James Bond film (I know I went to see "The World Is Not Enough", but I can't remember if I saw "Goldeneye" in the cinema).

Because of the short amount of time I have, what with Horrorthon starting on Thursday evening, I thought I'd watch "Saw 3D: The Final Chapter", and write about it, finishing my articles on the SAW series. But it was so bad the second time I watched it, I knew I had to save that for the final blog entry of the month. And because I wanted to watch something that was at least better than "SAW 7" (or whatever it's called), I picked a film I was going to watch another time, as I only bought it today.

There was some joke about "Made In Japan" in the film.....

As I said in my "Bride Of Chucky" blog entry, I saw this film before the preceding one. I remembered it being very strange, as I didn't see the other films except the beginning of "Child's Play" all those years ago. But I did catch on to the fact that the series was taking a weird turn anyway, so even if I didn't see the previous films in the series, I didn't need to, as I guessed the "seed" was conceived in the last film. Which is handy, as you can jump right in without worrying about an ongoing plotline. I thought it was silly, but entertaining all the same.....oh and it has this actress in it.....

Okay now I got that out of the way.....for now.....

87 minutes later.....

Back then I knew "Seed Of Chucky" was different compared to the rest of the "Child's Play" series. But I never knew it was that bit different, when compared to the twisted carnage that was "Bride Of Chucky". While the film does have some comedic gore throughout, it plays off as a weird gothic tale of the unification of the Chucky family, thrown in with a parody of Jennifer Tilly, in which self mocking jokes are made of her weight, age, and her declining status as a respected Hollywood actress.

While the film itself does make a self referential sarcastic comment about her as "perfect casting" by the dolls themselves, it's still a fun concept to have the original actress tormented by them. Plus she must have a sense of humour about herself when there are so many jokes that are made at her expense,  so we do know that this is only an exaggerated image of the image of Jennifer Tilly. So we can get the irony of her auditioning for the role as the Virgin Mary in rapper Redman's religious flick. Plus she's in the movie a lot longer than in "Bride Of Chucky", vocal work for Tiffany aside. Which means.....erm.....oh just look at the picture above, you get my drift.

Along with Jennifer Tilly and Redman playing as themselves, we also get two familiar faces (well, one if you happen to live on the other side of the Atlantic) who meet their doom in this flick. There is cult director John Waters playing a nosy paparazzi, and it even has Hannah from S-Club-7.....they were a British pop band in the late 90s/early '00s, so I don't think they ever made it big in the States. Although they did have a film based around them, so I'm not sure if it was released over there. Hell, I don't even know the name. But I digress.....

Hannah (far left)

While the domestic disputes that Chucky and Tiffany had in the previous film were just a few brief scenes that were interspersed among the scenes of violence for comedic effect, it's now one of the main focal points of the film, alongside the Jennifer Tilly storyline. While it is funny in a sense to see Chucky and Tiffany getting used to raising their boy or girl; Glen or Glenda (again, I must watch that Ed Wood film), trying to set a good example by quitting their murderous ways, and the usual bickering that they do, it does however slow down the movie at times.

At times it looks and feels more like an odd Tim Burton clone than an over the top comedic slasher. And while it is a fun way of looking at the characters, you do at times wish they would just kill somebody instead of watching some (twisted) soap opera storyline. It does take a while to get used to, and it has some laugh out moments, along with the gruesome, weird, or twisted scenes (I think those three describe the Chucky "cup filler" scene), it doesn't have the same level of fun as "Bride Of Chucky" did.

The humour seems to be a bit hit and miss, and I'm not sure if it's to do with the semi-serious tone that's played out onscreen, or if whether it is just forced at times. The "Britney" scene was just a poor attempt at a pop culture reference, with a forced punchline that not even the inclusion of the real Britney Spears could make it funny. Although the reference to "The Shining" was actually funny.

Is it just me, or does this look like an alternate version of "The Exorcist"?

The character of Glen/Glenda/Shithead (the latter being the name the doll gave on the first meeting with the parents) wasn't too bad. Shithead does take a bit of getting used to, but does provide some comic relief as playing the innocent one in the family, who then turns into a psychotic, gender confused maniac later on. But like I said, the focus on the drama does make the film tedious at times.

The film sets look like it was made on a smaller budget (it was filmed in England and Romania, which explains some of the English actors, including Hannah from S-Club), the CGI effects do look a bit cheap and stupid, especially with the doll walking movements, and overall it wasn't as gory as previous installments. But it's a fun little film regardless, where we get to see how the "Seed Of Chucky" would have turned out. Speaking of which, I haven't even posted a pic of the Shithead yet.

.....okay that's a little bit weird.....

And on a final note.....

After a search on YouTube, I now know that "Seeing Double" was the name of the S-Club-7 movie. S-Club to be precise, as one of them left the band before its release. Not that you would care.....or me for that matter.

Halloween Countdown (Day 23: Slam Jam)

This review was meant to be posted yesterday, but I feel asleep due to being awake for just over 30 hours. Just as well I had a back up blog post. Anyways, it was while watching "See No Evil" that the following movie came to mind. What better way to follow a film with a pro wrestler playing a psychopath, than a film with a pro wrestler playing a psychopath.....while being an actual wrestler. Oh yes, there will be spoilers.

This was another film I found in the horror section on YouTube, and I had a feeling that I would get around to watching it this month for this blog. It seemed right down my alley when I read the description. The original title for this movie was "El Mascardo Massacre", but it was soon changed to:

This also had the working title of "The Mexican Porn Massacre"
.....I'm not joking.

And if you've never heard or seen this flick, here is the full movie courtesy of YouTube:

75 minutes later.....

Well, the film was, erm.....I would say "disappointing", but then again, I didn't expect much from a movie about a killer luchador. Sure it's a low budget movie with a ridiculous storyline, horrendous acting, and has scenes which I guess were somewhat violent, but it just wasn't "fun" to watch, even with those elements in mind. I'm guessing the makers of this flick wanted the film to be played out straight, but in the end, it doesn't work in their favour.

And it's hard to guess what the next 75 minutes of the film is going to be like when it begins with a woman covered in fake blood screaming out of an old church, cuts to the opening credits with Mariachi music playing over ancient footage of Mexican Lucha Libre Wrestling, with the opening dialogue coming from a sleazy guy with a moustache telling the audience what a "dirty sanchez" is. Lot of mixed signals there, and we've only just started.

The group of victims in this movie consist of a sleazy porn director (I think his name was Alfonso, but I'm just gonna be lazy as usual and not check the facts), a fat cameraman (who looks like a slimmed down version of Hurley from "Lost"), three female pornstars (who I'll just call "Blondie", "Drunky" and Dallas, the latter as it was the only character name I could remember) and Blondie's brother (who owns the van they're all in), a stereotypical stoner idiot, who reminds me of Shaggy from Scooby Doo after a lobotomy. After a run-in with a "crazy local" who tells them of a ghost town nearby, the group head towards this location for their "film".

The characters have no real redeeming qualities to them in terms of personality, so it's hard to root for them throughout this film. For a while I thought the "hero" of the film was the slimmed down Hurley, as he was supposed to be the "nice but annoying" one of the group, he's of Mexican descent, so he knows about the wrestling legends and knows some Spanish. But then again, he's just as nice and annoying as the actual Hurley in "Lost".

But it turns out to be Dallas in the third act. I guess it's because she's the only one of the three women who looks less like a crack addict. And she was the only one not to show her boobs in the "porn shoot". And if you want to know (pervert), you'll find more nudity in "The Neverending Story" than this. But then again, she's the one that has the most work done, surgery wise, and looks like a cross between Fergie (from Black Eyed Peas), and Chasey Lain (the subject of a Bloodhound Gang song). But if I was to hazard to guess, I think she was cast in this film because she could do the following for one scene:

It's not as funny/horrifying/sexy as you may think.

And since I had no interest in the well-being of the other characters, it's all down to the wrestling manic known as "El Mascarado", played by Rey Misterio Sr. (yes, he is the uncle of THAT Rey Mysterio in WWE). Granted he's no more ridiculous as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees in terms of masked movie monsters. Hell, even "Voorhees" is painted on the side of one of the buildings. But he really becomes less interesting when his victims just look like he just smeared jam over their faces.

Okay, so gore is not his forte. So how about wrestling? Well he would be more threatening if we actually saw him wrestling, instead of two moves, a lot of throwing people around and walking very very slowly. There is a backstory where he was the sum of the parts of three missing Mexican wrestlers, but is that any reason for him not having the ability to run?

As for the "wrestling spots", not only are they under utilised, but they are thrown in at the worst times. El Mascardo's fight with Alfonso (or is it Alfonsa), was given more screentime in terms of throwing Alfonso around (four or five times on a bench), beating him up and killing him, than the "match" against Slimmed Down Hurley, luchador mask and all. Alfonso was no more important than Drunky (wandered off for no real reason), Shaggy (just useless to the plot and even offensive to Cheech & Chong) or Blondie (well, she was gonna die to be fair). So how did the showdown with SD Hurley go?

It starts with a face off, and just before we see them collide, the camera cuts to the corridor outside the room where the action is happening, with the camera slowly heading towards the closed doors to the room. Amid the sound effects of what we're supposed to imagine (instead of actually WATCHING a wrestling match involving a psychotic WRESTLER), Blondie tries to escape, and El Mascerdo breaks her back. But SD Hurley gets up, and THEN we see some wrestling moves. It lasts about about under a minute, in which SD Hurley is beaten, and then he rips off Blondie's face.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but what was the point in drawing out Alfonso's death when that much time and effort could be invested in the match with SD Hurley. Hell, if they wanted to make a big deal of Alfonso's death, why couldn't they just do the corridor shot for him instead? As for the "match" itself, is that the big build up? Couldn't they have thrown in a little more wrestling scenes? Sure they may be cheesy, but look what the movie is called? Wouldn't showing El Mascardo in action be the given thing in a film like this? I know Mysterio is old and SD Hurley is, well, slightly smaller than the real Hurley. But couldn't Blondie be thrown in the mix? I know it may be a bit predictable in itself but.....

.....okay I'll stop now.

Maybe it's wise not to look into too much of the flaws of a film that was originally called "The Mexican Pornstar Massacre", so I think I'll should just move on and wrap this up as soon as I can. So in the final act, it's a series of chase sequences involving El Mascardo and his target, Dallas. She runs and hide a few times, we have a scene where SD Hurley's barely alive after having his face ripped off.....and we didn't see THAT in the match.....ahem, must not get distracted.

The other notable thing other than the crab leg trick in the final act is the part where Dallas' jean shorts get caught on a car door, and they are ripped off while running away. This just comes off as cheesy and stupid, instead of funny. And I know it's just an excuse to show up a close up of her ass afterwards. The whole movie has plenty of shots of women's asses, for any reason at all, for running, walking, hell, even when the chick is passed out.

With that aside, we end off with the opening scene of the film where we now know it was Dallas that was running out of that old church, heading towards the truck, where in the end she gets impaled by a spiked pole goes through her abdomen, he grabs the keys to the truck, and drives off into the sunset. To me it's a very so-so ending, as I am indifferent to any of the characters in the film, so this finale doesn't resonate with me.

It's just made worse where there is backstage footage of the actor who played SD Hurley rapping to the camera describing scenes from the movie. What a slap to the face after getting the proverbial kick in the balls, of which entailed watching this movie. Ladies and gentlemen, the tale of unlikable jerks killed off by a slow moving Frankenstein monster on steroids.

Wait a minute. Slow moving? So how did Dallas get a pole through her while she was running towards the truck? Everyone was able to run away from him no problem. They were able to prepare themselves when they know he is walking towards their direction. So how did El Mascardo kill her? Did he run into invisible ropes which gave him super speed? Did he throw the pipe? If so, how come it went straight through her, instead of coming at her at an angle? Was he that powerful? Did he have to run first? But if he can't run, then how could.....


And on a final note.....

In honour of the director's decision to shoot many close ups of women's bums throughout the film:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Countdown (Day 22: Film Reviewer For A Day)

In a way, deviating from the horror movie review formula for this month's blog posts does give me ideas to try out a few things, even if it is just trying to keep up with the daily quota. Okay, maybe it is cheating when I use a film review I wrote six years ago, as part of a college assignment where I had to contribute to a group effort in producing a magazine. But then again, it gives me an idea for a blog entry. Not to mention the rare chance of writing an article before I watch the movie in question, which I also haven't seen in six years.

I will get the chance to watch the sequel to "Silent Hill" at this year's Horrorthon (entitled "Silent Hill: Revelation", taking a cue from the "Resident Evil" school of sequel naming). I believe the film is also in 3D, but given the cinema where it's screened, I'm guessing it will be a 2D fare. But hey, at least I'll get a chance to watch it before its release date.

As I stated in the opening paragraph, the review below was part of an ongoing assignment in college, where I "studied" journalism. There was this guy in our class who actually worked for a local newspaper where he's from, so he actually had the necessary contacts to get potential work, such as reviewing films before their release date. There were two opportunities in the class for one of the students to review movies, one of which was some Antonio Banderas film that sounded rubbish (and apparently it was) but I can't remember the title, nor the other one.

To this day, I don't know why I didn't volunteer for these jobs, as I always wanted to be a film reviewer. I did have aspirations to be a music reviewer, but years of disillusionment with the state of the music industry knocked that on the head. But I always had a love for film, as you can tell with these blog entries this month. If I was to hazard a guess, I guess it was a combination of reluctance, lack of self confidence, and, as stupid as it sounds, the films themselves were uninteresting.

Apparently I wasn't the only one that thought that. During one class, our lecturer was notified that the students who agreed to review those two movies never showed up to the screening. So the class had one last chance to take up an offer to attend a press only screening, and if nobody turned up to that, no more will be given. While I was hard on myself for not volunteering in the first place, I thought it was stupid for the others to no-show these screenings. So I was willing to put my hand up to volunteer, no matter what movie was up for grabs. To my surprise, that film turned out to be "Silent Hill". I immediately volunteered for the job.

The screening took place on a Tuesday morning, where I was to wait outside the Savoy Cinema, along with a handful of journalists at around 10 o'clock. I mentioned my name to the guy with the guest list, and I took a seat in the main screening room, of which I've never seen so empty, in comparison to the many times I've sat there as a paying customer. It was a weird feeling to be around members of the press, as I look at them with their notebooks and pens with lighters attached. The surreal nature of this did make me feel out of place, but at the same time, I got a kick out of it. Especially as I was about to watch a movie that not only was yet to be released, but it was the type of movie that I would have paid to see anyway.

Granted, I didn't think it was a particularly good movie, but I didn't care. I got to see it before anyone else. And it was the only time that I ever felt like a proper journalist. I never did pursue a career in that field, for a variety of reasons, and what with the downturn in print media, and the rise of the internet, it would have been difficult to make a living doing that. Again it could be to do with confidence, but I don't feel my opinions have that much weight, in comparison to the hundreds of people writing their views in blogs such as this one.

I may never get the chance to do something as cool as that again, although I do get the chance to see films before their release date, through film festivals and such. But looking back at the article below, it reminded me of the joy I used to have in writing about films, no matter how good or bad they were. I guess that passion could be seen in the amount of articles I've dedicated myself to this month. So at least I know it's still there.

Above is a link to the full "Silent Hill" (which may or may not be taken off YouTube by the time you read this).

Below is the review I wrote around March 2006, which I found on an external hard drive, along with other articles and notes I saved from my college days. No alterations were made to the text below. I would post a screenshot of the article itself, but I don't know where I would have kept the magazine it was used for. Not to mention I'm too lazy to go and look for it. 

Director: Christophe Gans
Starring: Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean
Release Date: 21st April 2006

Movies based on popular computer games are hit and miss affairs. While some have turned out to be rubbish (Doom and Resident Evil: Apocalypse for example), there are others who do manage to capture the essence of the video game.

The movie starts off with Rose (Radha Mitchell) bringing her daughter to a place called Silent Hill, a place that she mentions every time she sleepwalks. After a near collision with someone on the road, Rose is knocked out when her car swerves out of the way. When she wakes up, she sees that her daughter has disappeared.

When she begins to look for her, Rose finds a fog drenched town that is completely deserted and raining ash, and she is chasing after a figure that resembles her daughter. Once the town goes into complete darkness, the scenery changes and she comes face to face with its ghoulish inhabitants. Not only does she set out to find her daughter, she also learns more about what is going on around her.

The film captures the atmosphere and the tension of the computer game. What makes the film work is that it tries to disturb you as opposed to give you sudden shocks. This is accomplished with the mixture of the monsters and the special effects used to create the hellish surroundings when the light goes out.

The main problem with the film, as with most films based on games, is with some of the characters and the dialogue, which uses cryptic messages and bible passages which sound wooden and hammy when delivered.

The movie goes downhill once police officer Cybil, (Laurie Holden) comes into play. Her performance is deplorable and as a result, you begin to care less about the main character. After a battle with a demon wielding a huge knife, when Rose says: “Hey, it’s going to be alright”, you can’t help but burst out laughing!

The subplot involving worried husband Chris (Sean Bean), where he finds out more about the mystery of Silent Hill, works well along with the main story. Unfortunately, for someone who is the more recognisable of the cast, he is underused in this film.

After a promising start and interesting story, it is a shame that the movie finishes with a vague ending that can only serve as a means for a sequel. I’m sure this movie will please its fans, but for those who are not in the know to begin with, may feel that it could have been better.

And on a final note.....

As with the "Resident Evil" series, my knowledge of the "Silent Hill" games are limited, and the only one I ever completed was "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories" for the PSP. This was apparently a remake of the first game, so at least I can move onto the second and third games if I ever get the chance. Anyways, I found this short video funny, especially towards the end.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...