Archive for the 'Slasher' Category

18
Feb
09

Jason Voorhees returns to form in Friday the 13th : the remake

Friday the 13th (2009)

Friday the 13th (2009)

The original Friday 13th movie was unusual in that it never showed Jason Voorhees in his hockey mask. In fact, neither did Part II. So how come all the ads, posters and clips we’ve seen have Jason complete with hockey mask?

Simple: first five minutes of the remake is Part 1, next fifteen minutes or so are equivalent to Part II and from there on in, it’s the usual Jason mayhem. But it’s all done in a good way.

I’ve watched all ten Friday movies, VII is my favourite by the way, and I like Kane Hodder so I was a tad weary when it was announced that it was some new guy who would play Jason in the remake.

The film starts off with what we know as the end of Part I (re-shot in grainy black and white), but with a twist (which I won’t give away) which gives (some sort of) reason to Jason’s madness. Next we see new material, kids canoodling in the forest, but with Jason dressed ala Part II, the one eyed sack. The sleeping bag scene (no, not that one, she doesn’t get whacked off of a tree!) shows that this new Jason is cunning, fast, and aggressive. Only having dispatched of said group of teens, with a new bunch arriving, do we see Jason finding ‘the mask’ and becoming the Jason we all know and love.

It suits you Sir.

It suits you Sir.

All the teens in the movie are your run of the mill Friday group. Drinking beer, smoking weed, guys giving each other high fives and chicks who’ll whip their kit off at the wink of an eye. And there’s some nice boobage on display. Needless to say, each of the group are disposed of in turn, and this is my only real nitpick with the film – most of the kills are just bog standard stabbings, there’s no inventive gory/controversial killings which would have helped the movie.

Ah cuz he's back... he's the man behind the mask...

Ah cuz he's back... he's the man behind the mask...

Either way, I liked the new Friday the 13th. The plot isn’t ground breaking, it’s the usual Friday stuff and the ending – well, I won’t spoilt it, but it was a bit of a cop out. It could certainly have been a LOT worse (which is what I was expecting) and I really like the new Jason. Gone is the overacted, heavy breathing, stumbling, zombie Jason. In comes a fast, cunning, aggressive Jason. I approve!.

14
Feb
09

Feast 3 – The Happy Finish

Feast III - The Happy Ending

Feast III - The Happy Finish

And now we reach the end of the Feast trilogy (assuming they do end it here that is) with Feast III – The Happy Finish..

The first five minutes of Feast III consists of flashbacks to Feast and Feast II. Feast III continues on right from the end of Feast II showing what happens to Honey Pie (shant spoil it) and the rest of the gang.

As we’ve come to expect from the previous two movies, Feast III has the usual amount of schoolboy humour and over the top gore/comedy.

Having survived Fast II, the group meet up with a Duke Nukem/cowboy who has a plan for survival, which comes to a rather unfortunate end, leaving the group at a loss for leadership. This is soon remedied by a mysterious ‘prophet’ who seems to have some sort of control over the beasts (whom we still know little, to nothing, about).

But before the meeting is surely one of Feast III’s funniest moments. Ass rape. Yes, that’s right, I’ve managed to write a review with a humorous scene of ass rape. Our ex-car dealer has his back to the wall, while trapped in a storage container. Unfortunately, said wall has a hole in it which one of the randy beasts decides to make good use of. The rest you can find out while watching it.

Ass rape - in this case, it's funny.

Ass rape - in this case, it's funny.

As the beasts run from the mysterious ‘prophet’ the gang take his advice and head for the place where the trilogies humour comes from: the sewers. Here they meet a Macguyver/Bruce Lee wannabe.

Beast balls! Gratuitous sack shot

Beast balls! Gratuitous alien sack shot

Another humorous thing in Feast III is the pole-in-head guy from Feast II. With a pole through your head, I’m sure it’d be quite difficult to talk and you’d be even harder to understand. Subtitles to the rescue! Yes, every time pole-in-the-head guy talks, we get subtitles showing, approximately, what he’s mumbling.

Pole-in-the-head guy goes delerious.

Pole-in-the-head guy goes delirious and thinks one of the midgets is his son.

The survivors leave the sewers and head for street level where the trilogies ending begins.

I’m not going to spoil it, but I enjoyed the ending. Some may not like it, but it’s suitable for the Feast movies. In fact, I’ve enjoyed all three Feast films. They’ve been funny, gory, chock full of boobage and schoolboy humour.

Long may it last. More Feast and more schoolboy humour please!*

* and, of course, boobs

12
Feb
09

Friday the 13th: A Midnight Showing Fanboy Retrospective

Curse or Creative Genius?  We'll soon find out how well the Marquee player from the slasher genre holds up in modern day.

Curse or Creative Genius? We'll soon find out how well the Marquee player from the slasher genre holds up in modern day.

Good day to you, fellow Midnighters, and welcome to my first ever Retrospective piece here for Midnight Showing.  I want to handle this a little differently than most “retrospective” pieces I see on the Internet.  Instead of simply trying to impress you with my harmfully encyclopedic knowledge of this series and it’s many quirks and idiosyncrasies, I want to take a look at it from a relatively spoiler free perspective of a fan who is analyzing the overall impact of such a lucrative and beloved,  yet heavily criticized series that’s bread and butter was the apparent exploitation of sinful teenagers who just so happened to be fucking around with the wrong psychopathic serial killer.

And what a wonderful place to start.  The Friday the 13th series (which I will refer to as F13 for the rest of this piece since it’s much shorter and easier to type!) has become a source of ridicule and comparison.  Whenever a movie series begins to take a turn for the worst while cranking out sequels, everyone seems to jump to equate that failure, with the failure that was the endless stream of entries into multiple horror franchises in the 80’s.  Also, people in general (people in general meaning not fan-boys and horror geeks) seem to feel the movies have absolutely no value or merit, and serve only to fulfill a misogynistic, predatory sexual desire only experienced by guys usually aged 14 to 35.

The funny thing is, now a days dressing like a homeless manical serial killer is kind of an "in" look.

The funny thing is, now a days dressing like a homeless manical serial killer is kind of an "in" look.

For those who feel this way, do me a favor.  Got to your local movie theater on Thursday the 12 of February of 2009.  Get there about 11 o’ clock.  Stand in the parking lot, and see how many people go up to the ticket window and buy tickets to see F13.  Note how many of them are women.  You will then be prompted to SHUT THE FUCK UP by me.  The notion that F13 is some kind of soft-core porn for men who have trouble with women, is an asinine, paranoid delusion created largely in part by ultra-sensitive people with too much free time.  They claim its to protect their innocent children (who undoubtedly have porn underneath there bed mom doesn’t know about) from on-screen violence and the temptation of sex and drugs.  The irony of course, is that even back then in the 80’s and especially in today’s media, we glorify and report on death, rape, famine, disease, torture, executions and everything else that’s horrible and desensitizing.  Apparently, by many folks sense of logic, real death and other horrible acts of humanity are perfectly acceptable to be reported 24/7 on the news, but if we perhaps want to get scared a little, in a safe and communal environment such as  a movie theater and watch some dumbfounded teenagers fuck, do drugs, and get ripped to shreds by a masked iconic serial killer, to whom we relate to more than those dying on the news, we are bad people.  Apparently a lot of people who criticize the already marginalized horror genre don’t own any mirrors in their houses.

But before I dig any deeper into the messy pit that is morals and standards, let’s explore the soul of the series a bit.  F13 (the original) is actually more of a cautionary tale than anything else, it’s just told in such a where were relatively innocent teenagers (Hey, they smoked pot and had sex, so of course they are a little guilty) are brutally slain.  For those who haven’t seen the original F13, what I’m about to say will be a major spoiler, so now would be a good time to scroll down to the next paragraph or watch the goddamn movie, since it is still quite good.  The mother of Jason Voorhees is in fact the killer throughout the entire first film.  Although since you never see her, you just assume it’s Jason taking revenge for the negligence of the camp counselors who let him drown.  This twist should intrigue anyone looking to see the remake, as Jason is clearly visible in the trailers and commercials, yet it’s widely known he didn’t start his body count until Part 2.

Marijuana

Marijuana

+

sex

sex

=

Equals Death.

Equals Death.

So if F13 isn’t just useless trash spit out into the cinematic world by perverts, than what is it really?  Surely, it’s still a horror film, with the fact of whether or not it is actually scary still being hotly debated.  What I never hear in conjunction with F13 conversation and retrospectives is the fact that F13 was a movie made in a completely different time and social climate than the one we are currently in.  In the 80’s Reagan was president and he and his wife were trying desperately to clean up the world many saw as full of filth and sin.  The world’s major threats were Russians, not low-tech religious fanatics hiding in a cave in a desert of a 3rd world country.  Aids popped up, and subsequently scared the shit out of almost everyone.  All these factors, and about a million more, made the perfect breeding ground for escapism theater, a brand of movies that weren’t all based on history or current events, or even reality for that matter.  Even though F13 takes place at a very earthly and mundane looking summer camp, the idea that a undead, superhuman monster of a man, who seems fully grown by the time he makes his triumphant entrance in Part 2, can rise from the dead again and again to exact his bloody revenge against really anyone who gets in his way is quite out of the realm of possibility.

Why So Hockey?

Why So Hockey?

But it’s just that “unreal events in a familiar setting” that gets people all worked up.  Proper horror is all about taking something you may use or see or interact with in your life, and turning into a source of fear, tension, and discomfort.  The fact that because there is a certain amount of familiarity with something in the movie, in this case a normal summer camp in the woods, we can then use our imaginations and our disbelief to begin to believe how a place where so many have created cherished childhood memories, can turn into a labyrinth of pain, death, and mutilation.  The 80’s were chock full of repression, and from repression comes niche markets.  The aforementioned social climate saw a tidal wave of movies misdirecting our fear from the ones the nightly news we talking about, to indestructible bogeymen who can get us when we least expect it.  The only thing was, the niche was exploding at the seems, too much of a popular thing, and when niches become mainstream, they rarely remain the edgy, alternative , cathartic, and even experimental forms of entertainment they once were, they instead become just a vehicle for making a lot money.  F13 did have some surprisingly good sequels such as the ultra-violent and fast paced 4th entry (Friday the 13th The Final Chapter), which was originally slated to be the series finale, and the underrated 7th entry (Friday the 13th The New Blood) where Jason is confronted by some form of a meta-human with psychic powers who accidentally awakes him from his slumber (I call it slumber because it’s surely never death).  When it was all said and done though, most people didn’t see any of the newer entries as anything more than cannon-fodder for critics, porn for the perverse gore-hounds, and a cash cow for the big wigs pulling the strings.

Yet, there F13 sits, primed to make millions during one of the hottest movie going weekends of the year, Valentines Day Weekend.   Marcus Nispel and Michael Bay are directing and producing respectively.  This is the same tandem who delivered the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Remake back in 03, for what that knowledge is worth.  In the decade where Hollywood has completely abandoned any ability to create original content, especially within the horror genre, Jason Voorhees has been dug out of his 6 year nap, as Hollywood scrambles to put together a Reunion tour of sorts.  Michael Bay is surely kicking the tires on what once was a proud, thriving series to see if maybe now is the right to re-unleash the Camp Crystal Lake Slasher.

It will no doubt be financially successful, and will probably pay for itself within the first weekend, but I still feel uneasy.  Were less than 48 hours away from go time with the remake, and the Internet is buzzing, both good and bad.  Will my beliefs hold up?  Can a series that was at one point laughable, find a new home in the hearts of a new generation of film goers?

There’s only one thing I know for sure though.  It can’t be any worse than Rob Zombie’s Halloween.  Oh wait, fuck, what if it is?  Holy shit.  I need to lay down my head is starting to hurt.

Happy viewing this weekend fellow Midnighters, and do something nice for your girlfriend…oh wait who am I kidding, none of us have girlfriends.  But seriously, if you do, take them to see Friday the 13th.  They get all touchy feeling.  Trust Me.

Or just watch the recently released UNCUT version of the 1981 slasher sleeper hit My Bloody Valentine.

11
Feb
09

Internet Oddities – Feburary Edition

While I put the finishing touches on my Friday the 13th retrospective in anticipation of what be the most hyped up and possible disastrous remake of all time, I will share with you my recent Internet video findings.  This will be a mix of both upcoming horror trailers, along with some funny stuff.  Enjoy!

YEAH I KNOW YOU ALL HAVE SEEN THIS TRAILER BUT I DON’T CARE.  I CAN’T FUCKING WAIT FOR WATCHMEN!

GET PUMPED KIDS.  FRIDAY THE 13TH IN 2 DAYS, QUICKLY FOLLOWED BY THE WATCHMEN MARCH 6TH!


25
Jan
09

El Violador Infernal (aka: The Evil Rapist) – Mexican

El Violador Infernal

El Violador Infernal

Well, this is different. I haven’t seen a Mexican horror movie before.

The movie starts with a man, known only as ‘the cat’, being sent to the electric chair. I didn’t even know they used ol’ sparky in Mexico. Anyway, they fry him and, while he’s dead, he sees the image of a hot older chick in a see-through dress who says that she’s Satan and she’ll bring him back to life with all the money, and drugs, he could ever want. But he must contiue his raping/killing spree, but offer up the poor victims to Satan by carving ‘666’ on them.

So, with a new lease of life our ‘hero’ now has a fancy house and more ‘exotic herbs’ than you can shake a poo covered stick at.

Now, prior to his new lease of life the hot older chick Satan did set up some rules, and she was pretty explicit in explaining them. This is where I paused the movie to re-read the subtitles to make sure she was saying what I thought I read, and she did indeed say:

Wait a minute!

Wait a minute, 'rape every man...'?!!

I laughed and returned to watching the film. So now we see ‘the cat’ with his fancy house and snorting coke from a snuff box. He gets in his fancy car and drives off. Next we see him talking to quite possibly the most camp man on celluloid. This guy is more effeminate than the hot older chick Satan! ‘The cat’ babbles on a load of old nonsense before whipping out his… knife (you filthy minded people make me sick!) and stabbing the guy – nearly – to death. Then… well, pictures say more than words:

* I'm speechless at Mexican depravity *

* I'm speechless at Mexican depravity *

Eventually the cops show up and are so homophobic its laughable:

They're talking about the stabbed-raped-now-dead guys boyfriend.

They're talking about the stabbed-raped-now-dead guys boyfriend.

So after about three more stab-rape-kill events the cops twig to the fact that maybe ‘the cat’ is still alive. Somehow. Eventually ‘the cat’ goes on a bender of drink, drugs, and rape, but now we find out that he can shoot lasers from his eyes as he burns down a house. As he flees the house, high as a kite, good ol’ Satan appears and strips him of his powers. Why? Because:

[CRAP STORYLINE SPOILER ALERT]

… he failed to carve 666 on the last chick, so he’s a failure.

[/SPOILER ALERT]

And thus ends the (second) reign of ‘the cat’.

It’s an OK film up until he rapes the near dead gay guy. They could have at least flashed up a warning or something before he did it! I was having my dinner at the time. Bastards. Anyway, other than that, it’s quite a repetitive film of him picking up hookers masseurs and bumping them off. The only thing to stop sheer boredom of that repetitiveness is the cops trying to nail him, but even that isn’t very entertaining.

Would I watch another Mexican film? Yes, but only after reading a synopsis of it to see if it has any near-necro-gay-rape scenes!

El bastardos!

10
Jan
09

The Poughkeepsie Tapes Review

That's a lot of tapes.  Guy must of had a reward zone card for Best Buy.

That's a lot of tapes. Guy must of had a reward zone card for Best Buy.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (or simply Tapes, as I will refer to it from here on out) is not a movie.

I’ll let that sink in.

“When hundreds of videotapes showing torture, murder and dismemberment are found in an abandoned house, they reveal a serial killer’s decade-long reign of terror and become the most disturbing collection of evidence homicide detectives have ever seen.” -Tribeca Film Festival Synopsis.

It’s a mockumentary, minus the comedy and satire.  It’s a mockumentary that houses a two-pronged attack of brutally accurate portrayals of torture, murder and dismemberment seamlessly interwoven with expert analysis and the thoughts and memories of those who were affected by the killers rampage, and those who were hunting him down.

In fact, it’s not too far removed from what the Discovery channel and TLC show on a daily basis.  All those shows about FBI profilers and how they catch these seriously deranged serial killers all seemed to be influential to the Dowdle Brothers, who both penned and directed Tapes.

And  writing may actually be Tapes strongest assets, although I’m sure it will get lost amidst all the chatter about the lengthy, suspenseful, and downright shocking film the killer shoots himself that is shown at certain intervals throughout.  The writing leaps off the screen, as the Dowdle brothers concoct a credible, highly intelligent, innovative killer and sets him loose in the “Anywhere, USA” suburbs of Poughkeepsie, New York.  The killer taunts his pursuers and gives cryptic clues for investigators to find, knowing far in advance where exactly the authorities will look to find them.  It’s this depth to a nameless, faceless character that brings us closer to him than is comfortable for most audiences.  Instead of being bogged down with trite, rationalizing back story about how the killer was beaten as a child or not hugged enough as a baby, we instead get an uncompromising and genius killer, who has found a way to elude the authorities all while documenting his spree.

A brief glimpse of the killer's throrough work.

A brief glimpse of the killer's thorough work.

Direction is also key, not so much in the static look of the interview pieces, (with the exception of the interview with Cheryl which actually made me lose sleep, it’s that fucking clever and disturbing) but in the low-fi, slow burn masterwork of the killers tapes.  The camera is almost always in the right position, whether it’s showing you everything that’s going on, or whether it’s showing you nothing, such as the inside of a car door, or an empty room.  There are times where the camera will be haphazardly placed, seemingly by accident, and we are left with just the screams and pleads of the victim and the orders of the killer to clue us in of what going on.  It’s a time-tested approach that works flawlessly here.  Show some gore in full view to screw with audience equilibrium, and then deprive them seeing something later on.  It works in two ways.  Once you don’t show the audience a scene straight on, it gets their minds working.  They create in their head horrible visions of what must be going on.  It also works to create a sickening feeling in the viewers, because they have to realize that they WANT to see whats happening, so much so they are willing to create the images in their own heads to replace the ones that aren’t on the screen.  It’s a lost art, but it’s a tactic employed by the Dowdle Bros. in exemplary fashion.

Eyes Without A Face reference in the movie.  Who would've thought?

Eyes Without A Face reference in the movie. Who would've thought?

With the audio and visual facets of the film firmly in and place grounded in reality, the one area where horror, or should I say terror in this case, goes awry is usually the acting.  You can have all your ducks in a row as far as directing and writing are concerned, but if your actors don’t come through in creating these characters in the physical form, than everything is lost.  Thankfully, the Dowdle Bros. must have been keen on this, and not only hired no names, but no names who looked liked everyday people.  I’m not sure how involved with the casting they were, but from what I’ve read and inferred through the piece itself, it seems fairly obvious they were pivotal in every decision made.  The most all inclusive and flattering thing I can say is, and this goes for the whole endeavor, not JUST the acting, if this were played one TV on night, and no one was told it wasn’t real, there would be a legitimate fear and uproar in many communities around the U.S.  It’s that believable.  So believable that even though I knew coming in it wasn’t real, I still lost sleep over it, and was looking over my shoulder while watching it.  It’s orchestrated with the sole intention of, if nothing else, to stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

Tapes has a long, uphill battle ahead it.  Still having no official release date for theatrical or dvd release, it is caught in release purgatory.  And once it is released, it will undoubtedly be met with serious backlash from angry mothers and politicians who won’t even bother to see the flick, but instead just berate both those who created it, and its fans.  It will be labeled as the next sick evolutionary step in the Torture Porn sub genre, when it really has a lot less to do with the fantasy world that movies like SAW occupy, and a lot more to do with the gritty, unfair, demented world we live in everyday.  There’s no sense of morals, right and wrong, or justification that other horror flicks try to implore.  It is just cruel, relentless, remorseless and always 10 steps ahead of you.  Just like the killer.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes has, buried underneath it’s tough outer shell, an insane amount of creativity and artistic ingenuity.  If an opportunity to see this bound-to-be-lost gem arises, don’t hesitate.  Just don’t plan on going to bed immediately afterward.

09
Jan
09

Internet Oddities January 2009

It may be a new year, but there is no shortage of viral lunacy circulating the Internet.  So, while we cook up some new original material behind the scenes, have a gander and kill some brain cells from this garbage, and I mean that in the most flattering way possible.


P.S. I also included some trailers for upcoming flicks I think we should have on our collective radar.