Archive for the 'Sci-fi' Category



28
Dec
08

Alex’s Top 10 Movies of the Year!!!!!!

Greetings fellow Midnighters!!!!  Here is my video of my top ten films of the year.  Sorry it turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, but I had a lot to say.  DIG IN!

27
Dec
08

Tokyo Gore Police

Tokyo Gore Police

Tokyo Gore Police

Oh yes, it’s here!

Tokyo Gore Police!

If you’ve seen The Machine Girl, then it’s more of the same crazy gore-fest goodness.

The basic story is as thus: (from IMDb)

Set in a future-world vision of Tokyo where the police have been privatized and bitter self-mutilation is so casual that advertising is often specially geared to the “cutter” demographic, this is the story of samurai-sword-wielding Ruka and her mission to avenge her father’s assassination. Ruka is a cop from a squad who’s mission is to destroy homicidal mutant humans known as “engineers” possessing the ability to transform any injury to a weapon in and of itself.

Sound crazy? Kinda. But you’ve really got to see it to believe it.

Some parts of TGP remind me of Robocop. There are parts in the movie where it suddenly switches to a TV advert, one in particular (which I thought was hilarious in this day and emo-age) was for special cutter blades, where emo-kids could use these fancy blades to cut cool shapes in to themselves, all done in over the top TV ad style. Very funny.

Tokyo Gore Police - she's the radio control chick

Tokyo Gore Police - she's the Police radio controller chick

Other parts of the movie are just plain mad. We often cut to scenes where a woman with an old 1950’s style microphone announces, in her best radio voice, incidents that are occurring. I can only assume that she’s the radio controller for the Police!

In other scenes we see a maniac murdering a woman and stuffing her remains in to a cardboard box:

She's a boxer. Hah! Geddit?! I made a funny!

She's a boxer. Hah! Geddit?! I made a funny!

In a rather fetishistic scene we see odd looking mutants dance across a stage with a skin covered, still breathing, chair that pees on people! Behold:

It's a living, breathing, peeing chair!

It's a living, breathing, peeing chair!

But there is some inventive stuff here. When the engineers are making other people engineers, they hold an organic key to the persons skin and a little keyhole appears, they pop the key in and turn it and a part of the person just pops open, unlocked, for the engineer to stick the key in to. I’ve not seen that done before!

Crazy/gory/mutated scenes are ten a penny in this film, too many to capture for here, but TGP is definitely a beautiful film. It’s well lit (colourful), the effects are pretty much all latex (yay! No CGI!) and there is a story.

I’ll be honest with you people. I downloaded a DVD-rip of TGP with subs, but I’ll tell you: if this comes out on DVD as a Directors Cut I’ll be all over it like a rash. You mark my words!

Tokyo Gore Police… it’s your DUTY to watch it!

Behold, the trailer… bow before it’s greatness!

23
Dec
08

Lao Mao (1992) aka: The Cat

The Cat

Lao Mao, aka: The Cat

Lao Mao (aka: The Cat) is a Cantonese film which is completely and utterly bonkers.

It starts off with some guy writing. I’ve no idea what he’s writing as the subtitles don’t display anything until about ten minutes in to the film (helpful) so from what I can gather he’s telling us this tale (no pun intended) of how this little fat guy can’t get any sleep because of his neighbours upstairs always hammering stuff. The little guy reaches breaking point, storms upstairs and bangs on the neighbours door. An old guy opens the door slightly and apologises. Our little fat perv notices a beautiful younger woman inside the flat holding her pussy. Oh, sorry, holding her cat.

A few days later the old guy, and young chick, move out. The little fat guy goes to investigate, lo and behold the door just happens to be open, and he explores the place, see’s some nasty gore and calls the cops. Turns out it’s animal guts, and they all call him a dumbass.

It’s about now it goes a tad South of sanity. We see, what I assume to be a dead, tramp lying in the sewers with goo going into him, next thing he’s plodding through the sewer like Night of the Living Homeless.

Next in a museum we see the young womans pussy again, this time the sneaky feline is eyeing up a relic. It breaks open the glass case, inspects the relic then they get busted by a museum guard. But he’s taken out by some old guy who dives through the window thinking he’s a ninja. But then the zombie tramp appears and… well, quite frankly does bugger all but try to frighten them through a window.

Run away! It's the Zombie Tramp!!!!!

Run away! It's the Zombie Tramp!!!!!

But then the zombie tramp pulls out the Ace card: he turns into a big pile of spaghetti, flies in the window, eats some museum guards, and turns in to, what looks like, a giant mushroom type thing.

Next we find out that the girl and the cat are in fact aliens. No, seriously. One of the cops investigating this madness goes to a location, sneaks about, nearly gets caught so hides, the cat senses him and pounces on him (well, not the actual cat, it’s an extremely bad, stuffed, stunt double cat) the cop is about to pan it’s brains in with a chair but, through the window, comes the old I-think-I’m-a-ninja guy who knocks the cop out.

Then things get a bit saucy with the cop’s wife coming home in a tiny tennis outfit and covered in sweat. They watch a news bulletin talking about the museum stuff, and he’s off on the trail of the pesky moggy once more.

Gotta love the accurate subtitles...

Gotta love the accurate subtitles...

Cat hairs are found in the museum so with that clue (probably their only clue) they do what any other cop would do. Send it off for analysis? No, they visit some weird guy and ask him for a loan of a big huge dog.

A group of cops investigate a location and come face to face with the big pile of spaghetti and it kills most of them, taking over one guy. He gets some guns, becomes a one man army and is trying to get the girl and the cat. Meanwhile the big dog and the cat are having a big fight in some sort of junk yard. No idea why, but they are, and the cat leaves the dog for dead.

But fear not, the dog isn’t dead. He’s too big and strong for that death stuff.

After the possessed cop waging war on the good cop, his wife, the chick, the cat and the old ninja guy he turns in to a large wad of playdoh. Or that’s what it looked like to me. While the special effects up to this point were pretty crappy, it was here they hit an all time low and became, quite literally, claymation.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...

The alien cat dives in to the mouth of the claymation beast, blows it apart and, in short, they all get to live happily ever after.

I was not on any legal/illegal substances, and all of the above happened. I swear!

The film is utter rubbish, but it’s worth watching it just to be able to tell people about it, and watch their reactions…

17
Nov
08

Splinter directed by Toby Wilkins

Looks like it's already inside that hand.

Looks like it's already inside that hand.

Splinter, an independent horror film that’s been getting a serious amount of buzz lately, deserves every bit of the flurry of interest it’s creating and then some.  Sure, it owes A LOT to its forefathers, most notably John Carpenter’s The Thing, ALIEN, and even to a lesser extent, Tremors, but that doesn’t mean that Splinter can’t stand on its own two parasite infected legs.  Toby Wilkins (who oddly enough is also directing The Grudge 3, god bless him in trying to resurrect that piece of shit horror series) has made something from nothing here.  That’s right folks, this is not a sequel, it’s not a remake or re-imagining of an Asian film, and it’s really clever, fast-paced, and surprising in ways I had forgotten horror films can be.

Our plot is familiar, a couple goes away on a camping trip alone in the woods in the back country, the tent doesn’t work and snaps, and of course they forgot to pack the spare.  So back in the SUV they go, and while driving to a motel, they are confronted by two hitchhikers, who are actually criminals on the run from the law.  The criminals take over the vehicle, but keep the couple as hostages, more or less.

The Flat tire seems to be the next logical step, but it’s WHAT they hit that is interesting, and before they know it they are at a gas station, trying to fix the now very fucked up SUV, when all hell breaks loose.

It’s not groundbreaking, and the “boo” scares aren’t going to make you shit your pants, but it’s all so well executed and framed, that it’s really easy to just slip into the atmosphere and the setting.  I quickly allowed myself to get over the fact that I’ve seen this done before, mostly because I haven’t seen it done THIS WELL before.

The cast, made up mostly of four characters, are excellent.  Shea Whigham really stands out here as someone who could easily handle a starring role in a major movie, as he plays the hardened criminal who has an amazing story to tell.  His transformation in the film is subtle, but magical.  It’s rare that ANY character development takes places in horror movies now a days, and to have one as profound and jaw-dropping as this, really elevates the movie above the “Creature Feature” title I was thinking of giving it.

Monster design is, for the most part, also somewhat subtle, but it’s also very detailed.  I won’t ruin any of the  surprise, but think along the lines of The Thing and the monsters from the recently released video game Dead Space and your on the right track.  Toby Wilkins fast editing and mild shaky camera manage to strike a balance between showing off the almost CGI less creature, and creating tension and panic visually.  I usually hate shaky cam, but it really works well here.  Sound is also very crisp and can be piercing at the right moments.  In tandem with the visual style, the technical package delivered here is very robust and professional.

Lastly, I MUST congratulate the writers, Kai Berry, Ian Shorr, and Toby Wilkins.  Not only did they manage to include some clever nods to the films that obviously inspired them (The hand gag from Evil Dead 2 makes a not-so-funny appearance here) but also have written some of the most likable and realistic characters I’ve seen in horror in quite some time.  Never do the characters do the classic “dumb” thing and get themselves killed, and the dialogue is too the point and refreshing, all the while never insulting my intelligence.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been broken away from the mood by some teenage jerk in horror flicks talking about a girls boobs while their best friend gets his guts spilled out by a monster.

Splinter is about as lean, mean, and streamlined as modern horror is going to get.  It wastes little time, keeps you involved with refreshingly smart heroes and villains, and is presented with so much piss and vigor, it’s really difficult not to fall in love with something in this movie.

Get Splintered today.

31
Oct
08

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

Halloween, and Autumn in particular, has always been a very special time for me.  From a young age, I was introduced to the really special vibe that comes from this time of year, especially since I’ve been fortunate enough to live in states where there are, for the most part, 4 distinct seasons.  Leaves begin changing colours (that’s for you Ronnie), a little bite comes along with the breezy air, and the night begins to go bump more often.

So instead of doing another review, I’ve decided to just post some of the most unnerving videos I can find on the Internet, and hopefully make you feel a little uncomfortable as you rest your head tonight.






Hopefully that tightened you up a bit. Sleep tight. Enjoy your Halloween.


19
Oct
08

Top5 Posters for Halloween

These are in no particular order, and were chosen for their oddness…

Invasion Of The Saucer-Men

Invasion Of The Saucer-Men

I just love the over-dramatic posters of the 50’s

SEE – DISEMBODIED HAND THAT CRAWLS…!

SEE – TEENAGERS vs THE SAUCER-MEN!

(yes, they are genuinely taken from the poster, click it and see)

From good ol’ IMDb:

“A teenage couple making out in the woods accidentally runs over an alien creature with their car. The creature’s hand falls off, but it comes alive, and, with an eye growing out of it, begins to stalk the teens. Meanwhile, Joe the town drunk wants to store the body in his refrigerator, but some of the alien’s buddies inject alcohol into his system, and Joe dies of an overdose.”

Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun

Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun

I really don’t give a rats ass what the film is about, you really can’t go wrong with a chick dressed as a nun with her boobs out. WIN!

From IMDb (should anyone be remotely interested):

“16-year-old Maria is forced into Serra D’Aires convent, secretly run by Satanists. Her confessor is in collusion with the Mother Superior. Maria is tortured, forced into sex with men, women, and the horned Devil, and told that it’s all a bad dream. She writes a letter to God, and a Knight rescues her, only to fall into the hands of the Inquisition, put on the rack, and condemned to death like Joan of Arc.”

SUCH a good poster going to waste… I cry…  😥

Ghost In The Invisible Bikini

Ghost In The Invisible Bikini

There’s just so much going on in this poster that I couldn’t NOT post it!

Some highlights: the green (witch faced) chick in the top left corner. The chick in the purple bent over. Oh wait, there’s nothing suspect in that, that was my imagination, sorry!

Now this might be me just trying to be sensible but: surely a ghost (invisible) in an invisible bikini should be… a blank poster?…

From IMDb:

“Hiram Stokley is a recently desased corpse who learns that he has 24 hours to mastermind and perform one good deed in order to get into Heaven, so he enlists the help of his long deceased girlfriend Cecily, a ghost, to stop his greedy lawyer, Reginald Ripper and his henchman J. Sinister Hulk from claiming his estate for themselves and protecting his eligible heirs, Chuck, Lili, Hiram’s cousin Myrtle, and her son who brings his beach party friends up at the mansion for a pool party while Reginald Ripper also employs his daughter Sinistra, and J. Sinister Hulk’s slow-witted associates Chicken Feather and Yolanda to help them terrorize the teens, while dopey biker Eric Von Zipper and his Malibu Rat Pack bikers also get involved in pursuing Yolanda for a share of the estate.”

Well, I’m glad that cleared things up…  :/

Frogs

Frogs

I HAD to pick Frogs, it’s just such a bizarre yet funny poster!

I hope that the people of 1972 didn’t take this film seriously…

IMDb says:

“Ray Milland plays an aging, grumpy, physically disabled millionaire who invites his family to his island estate for his birthday celebration. Sam Elliot plays a free-lance photographer who is doing a pollution layout for an ecology magazine. Jason Crokett (Milland) hates nature, poisoning anything that crawls on his property. On the night of his birthday the frogs and other members of nature begin to pay Milland back.”

I wish I hadn’t read that summary, it kinda spoils the humour I get from the poster.

Damn you IMDb!

And my last one is also an odd one:

Werewolves On Wheels

Werewolves On Wheels

Three words: WHAT… THE… FUCK…

The ‘story’ according to IMDb is that:

“A biker gang visits a monastery where they encounter black-robed monks engaged in worshipping Satan. When the monks try to persuade one of the female bikers, Helen, to become a satanic sacrifice the bikers smash up the monastery and leave. The monks have the last laugh, though, as Helen, as a result of the satanic rituals, is now possessed and at night changes into a werewolf, with dire results for the biker gang.”

That’s about as clear as mud. That doesn’t look like a female werewolf on that motorbike. If it is, it’s a lesbo werewolf (how good a film would that make?! I’m a genius!) as it’s carrying a female. Or is it a shemale/tranny biker?

Oh God, I have to go now. I have a script running riot in my brain!

Honourable mention goes to:

High School Dropouts

High School Drop-outs

Not only is it, quite possibly, the worst poster ever scratched, but it also makes no sense.

“They wanted tools that didn’t come in schools”

That tagline alone has at least two innuendos.

Even the almighty IMDb has trouble with its title.

Either way, God awful poster and I’m quite glad I can’t get a synopsis for it. Last time I got a synopsis it spoiled the poster! (see cool topless nun poster (above)).

.

OK Alex, your turn, beat that lot!

08
Oct
08

Turkish Rip-offs

No sooner had [REC] hit foreign cinemas, Hollywood snapped up the rights and started a remake (Quarantine). The sad truth is: we know Hollywood will make a complete pigs ear of it, but they’re not the only ones. While Hollywood has snapped up foreign titles to redo, back in the seventies Turkey did the same with Hollywood titles.

‘How can Turkey afford to snap up Hollywood blockbusters for remake?!’ you ask.

Simple, they just do it. Permission? Pff!

Aysecik ve sihirli cüceler rüyalar ülkesinde

Aysecik ve sihirli cüceler rüyalar ülkesinde

It’s 1971 and a movie called ‘Aysecik ve sihirli cüceler rüyalar ülkesinde’ is released in Turkey. It’s title translates in to English as either: ‘Aysecik and the Bewitched Dwarfs in Dreamlan’ or: ‘Aysecik in the Land of the Magic Dwarfs’. It’s storyline is based on a somewhat more familiar movie called ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

To use the plot provided on IMDb: A young girl named Aysecik lives on her parents’ farm, when an animated tornado carries her and her dog Banju in their house to Rüyalar Ulkesinde (Dreamland). Seven Cüceler (dwarfs) (dressed like MGM Munchkin soldiers, only red and white) who assist the Good Witch of the North appear at various times to help. She meets a Scarecrow, an Iron Woodman, and a Cowardly Lion, and dances to music from what appears to be an invisible radio. They encounter fighting trees, a river, and a country of China dolls on their way to the Wizard, a ball of fire who sends them after the Wicked Witch who enslaves them. When the Wizard is unable to help Aysecik get home, they must journey again for help, encountering the China Country once more, and a legion of hammer-throwing cavemen. – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066801/

Needless to say, when Turkey does a remake the budget is always somewhat on the low side. Here’s a small clip from what is more commonly known as ‘The Turkish Wizard of Oz’.

Even the dog looked embarassed to be involved in the movie.

Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda

Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda

Having managed to escape persecution from Hollywood, Turkey moved up a rung and decided to rip-off a TV series this time. Star Trek. 1973 brought the world ‘Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda‘ (also known as ‘Ömer the Tourist in Star Trek‘. A film so good that it left IMDb speechless and only able to say:

The Enterprise picks up a Turkish hobo.

Very in depth. An IMDb reviewer has a better plot outline:

The viewer is treated to an outsider’s view of the Star Trek universe, as a Turkish slapstick comedian (Turist Ömer) escapes a shotgun wedding thanks to the timely intervention of the starship Enterprise. Borrowing shamelessly from several classic Star Trek episodes (particularly Star Trek’s first broadcast episode “The Man Trap”) an ability to speak Turkish is not necessary for Star Trek fans to be able to follow the plot, although it may well baffle non-Trekkies. In fact, picking out the various homages (and deciding which characters are being depicted by the actors) may well be one of the most enjoyable aspects.

Interspersed with the familiar scenes are more bizarre sequences, involving a mad scientist (a dead ringer for Alfred Ryder, who played Dr. Crater in “The Man Trap”), as well robots in loincloths, bikini-clad alien girls, and some of the most hilariously bad pre-digital special effects ever committed to film.

Teleporting to you from YouTube… a clip of ‘Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda

Not much I can say here, it looks just as bad as the US TV series did!

3 Dev Adam

3 Dev Adam

1973 also saw, not a remake, but a ‘reimagining’ (as Hollywood now likes to call it’s remakes) of famous American symbols such as Captain America and Spiderman.

The plot (and I use the word loosely here) according to IMDb is: Istanbul is being terrorized by a crime wave, and the police call in American superhero Captain America and Mexican wrestler Santo to put a stop to it.

Why they chose a Mexican wrestler is a mystery, but what that plot synopsis fails to mention is that the crime wave is being masterminded by Spiderman!

No, seriously! Spiderman is the mad, murdering, criminal!

It’s Turkish title can be translated as: ‘3 Mighty Men’, ‘Captain America and Santo vs. Spider-Man’, or: ‘Three Giant Men’. No matter which English title you choose this is a NO budget movie.

It is most notorious for its portrayal of Spiderman as being an evil murderer. It’s also known as the Turkish movie with three men in costumes prancing about. Also, for some reason Spiderman has the eyeholes cut from his face mask to reveal rather overly bushy eyebrows. I’m not sure if this is some hidden, Turkish, meaning, but it’s weird.

Through the power of YouTube, behold the evilness of Spiderman:

Seytan

Seytan

The next big title to be butchered remade, was The Exorcist. Seytan was unleashed to the (Turkish) world in 1974. Again, with no budget, the Turks attempted to create their version of possession.

…a 12 year old girl named Gul, living with her mother in a cozy, high society life in Istambul becomes possessed by the Satan himself through a Ouija board and a troubled psychiatrist and an experienced exorcist become the girl’s only hope for salvation.

The Exorcist is also fondly remembered for it’s use of Tubular Bells in it’s score. Seytan also uses it. Muchly. In fact, it pretty much plays Tubular Bells on a loop for the entire film.

‘Special Effects’ are pretty much non exisistant, the girl playing the part of ‘Megan’ looks like she’s had Rice Crispies glued to her face.

Using a Ouija board on the intarwebz we summoned up a clip of Seytan:

The power of Christ compels you! (to go away).

Süpermen dönüyor

Süpermen dönüyor

Even comic book characters weren’t safe, as we know from 3 Dev Adam, and in 1979 they decided to work their magic on Superman. ‘Süpermen dönüyor‘, as it was affectionately called, was (according to the almighty IMDb):

After a mysterious prologue in a Christmas tree ornaments-filled “starscape”, Turkish Clark Kent is told by his parents that he is an Alien from space and that he must leave to accomplish his destiny. They give him a green gem which he takes into a nearby cave. There, Jor-El, minus half of his front teeth, appears and reveals to Clark that he is Superman.

Poor Jor-El!

I think this IMDb reviewer maybe somewhat sarcastic: ‘The visual effects. Perhaps the best special effects I’ve ever seen in a movie.The sound design. The sound effects complement the action perfectly making everything twice as exciting.’

Well, I hope he’s sarcastic, if not, he’s barking mad.

While scouring YouTube, with my underpants on the outside of my trousers, I found:

Yes, they even stole the music…

Dünyayi kurtaran adam

Dünyayi kurtaran adam

Anyone growing up in the eighties (ie: me) will remember a little film called Star Wars. It made ‘some’ money at the box office so it was definitely up for grabs in Turkish thinking. And lo, 1982 gave birth to ‘Dünyayi kurtaran adam‘. Sometimes known as ‘The Man Who Saves the World‘, we know it as ‘The Turkish Star Wars’. I’m not quite sure why as it doesn’t look anything like Star Wars…

This film differed from the rest in that the Turks’ balls had grown substantially and, not content with stealing the basic idea from Hollywood, they needed music. So they just stole the music from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Flash Gordon, Planet of the Apes (the list goes on) and used them. Those quick thnking Turks!

The almighty IMDb is lost for words on Dünyayi kurtaran adam, and has no plot details what so ever, so… after using some Google ninja skills:

The film follows the adventures of two comrades, Murat (Arkın) and Ali (Akkaya), whose ships crash on a desert planet following a space battle that apparently inserts footage from the actual Star Wars films as well as newsreel clips of both Soviet and American space rockets. While in the desert one of them says that perhaps it is a planet only populated by women, so the other man begins to do his whistle which he uses to attract women. However, he uses the wrong whistle, and they are then assaulted by skeletons on horseback. For more thrilling plot details, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%BCnyay%C4%B1_Kurtaran_Adam

I see what you mean IMDb, I’m speechless too…

Badi

Badi

Having ‘duplicated’ the massive Star Wars, the Turks kept the bar high and in 1983 they lovingly recreated ‘ET‘ as ‘Badi‘. One IMDb reviewer describes the plot as:

The story concerns a three-foot alien who gets stranded on Earth and befriends a young boy. The plot is completely derivative of Spielberg’s yarn, and the special effects have to be seen to be believed. The alien character, named “Badi”, is made up of a midget inside an extremely disturbing rubber mask.

Hang on, ‘a midget inside an extremely disturbing rubber mask’? Is this the Turkish ET, or the American ET?

Badi is indeed a bad-i, as the above reviewer put it: This is worth seeing only for the horrifying rubber-faced Badi, a creature that would scare any child no matter how curious and open-minded.

Phoning home from YouTube, Badi:

*speechless*

So there we have it, Hollywood isn’t the only one to screw up remakes, difference is: we can look back and laugh at the terrible Turkish remakes, so at least they serve some sort of entertainment purpose. Current Hollywood remakes will be looked back on, I fear, with less favourable reviews…