Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: The Muppets are at it again in these two Christmas specials.
Review: Alright, time for the final review of the year, and I'll take things out in style. I discussed last year how much I love "A Christmas Carol" so I wanted to take a look at one of the more fun incarnations of the story. On top of that, I decided I might as well take a trip into the past in order to dig up a beloved TV special. I've always had a soft spot for the Muppets despite an extremely childish sense of humor to their jokes and bits. What can I say, they're genuinely good, clean fun for the whole family to enjoy. Okay, let's jump into this!
The Muppet Christmas Carol: Oddly enough, the most striking thing I recall whenever I watch this film is how, when I was in college, a girl asked me if this was a horror movie! Yeah...a straight up splatterfest. To be fair, I obviously had a certain reputation with film and horror--and she was from Vietnam--but come on, my dear! Oh...college hijinks! Anyway, "MCC" took various liberties with the source material to keep things rated G and to fit in cornball songs. However, if you overlook the deviations from the story, and appreciate the way the Muppets present their brand of humor, you should have no problem going with the flow.
This time around, Michael "burn down the forest" Caine takes on the role of Scrooge with the remaining cast filled in by the Muppets; though, there are a few exceptions. New characters are added to give the Muppets more positions as well as some characters cut to speed up the pacing. This can be frustratingly annoying to purists but should appease the kiddies; for example: Fred is an asshole and Fan isn't even mentioned. There are a few amusing instances where they play with the names like Fozziewig instead of Fezziwig. As you may guess, the story plays out just as it always has in the hundreds of variations--what with the spirits and redemption yada yada--but this version is especially upbeat. I mean, they end this with, pretty much, every single character celebrating at the Cratchit house. Overall, it's a fun excursion into literature with a Muppet spin on things. If you just so happen to enjoy the Muppets and "A Christmas Carol" alike, you will love this!
A Muppet Family Christmas: Some may be wondering: what the hell this is? Well, it's an amazing TV special from 1987. Basically, this was the ultimate Jim Henson experience as you had, not only, the Muppets, but the "Sesame Street" and "Fraggle Rock" crews. It was only an hour long special, but it's awesome! On youtube they even have versions of this with the commercials intact! It doesn't get any better than that. If you're clueless to this little film's existence, you're seriously missing out, and it's time to rectify that mistake!
There isn't much to the story as the Muppets are simply visiting Fozzie's grandma as a surprise. The grandma had plans to spend Christmas surfing, but she cancels it to accommodate the Muppets. An old man had planned to rent the house while the grandma was gone so you see his anger when dealing with the Muppets. They also keep stressing that the Muppets are weirdos and that the other freaks are "monsters." That's a good one. Needless to say, the typical Muppet humor is employed throughout--with cheesy as hell songs included too. Once all the Muppets have settled in, the "Sesame Street" gang shows up out of the blue to crash the party. The only drama comes into play when a snowstorm starts and Miss Piggy is stranded somewhere. To keep things interesting, Kermit discovers an opening to Fraggle Rock beneath the house. By the end, Miss Piggy conveniently is rescued and all the characters sit around singing carols. Let's just say, this special is off the charts cornball as fuck...but you have got to love it!
I highly recommend checking one or both of these bad boys out while still in the holiday spirit. Obviously you need to like the Muppets, but this is great for when relatives are over or just whenever. The nostalgia is definitely present as well which makes it that much more touching. I can't decide which one is better so I'll leave it up to the viewer to decide the preference. Lastly, happy New Year!
Notable Moment: During "MFC" when they watch a reel of the Muppet babies. That's some pretty good cross-promotion.
Final Rating: 7/10 (for both)
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: After a thousand years of bringing Christmas joy, Santa is free to do what he originally intended: to wreak murderous havoc.
Review: Christmas may be over, but when has a little thing like that stopped me? I had heard good things about this film, and it did start off cool, but this feels like a family movie or something. Yeah, sure, maybe there is nudity and gory deaths, but it still felt as if it was made for the Hallmark Channel! Maybe it's the cinematography, or the characters, or the ridiculous setup, but I can't help but imagine the few R-rated elements edited out and this is ready to go for the kiddies. I'm sure others will overlook this aspect, but it was killing the experience for me.
The story is that Santa is really the son of Satan and used to kill people and cause chaos at Christmas time. Then, a thousand years ago, an angel challenged Santa to a curling match in which the angel won. The conditions of this defeat meant that Santa had to spread joy to the world at Christmas time. In the present day, the conditions have worn off, and Santa is free to kill all the people that had been annoying him in recent Christmas memory. This leads to Santa coming to a town unbelievably called "Hell." In Hell, Santa wants to kill the angel who defeated him the millennium ago now that said angel has turned human. By the way, Santa is played by the wrestler, Goldberg, and the other characters are super annoying when I believe they were meant to be funny.
Hijinks ensue around town as Santa kills a bunch of people, and pursues the angel and his grandson. After seemingly killing the angel, Santa tries to kill the grandson and his girlfriend for whatever reason. There are a few moments when you think the film is about to end, but then it continues onward as if forcing that running time to the 90 minute mark (which it didn't meet). The angel manages to come back to save the grandson and claims that Santa will be vulnerable when Christmas is over. Out of the blue, a bunch of people try to shoot Santa as he flees, and the girlfriend's dad appears to use a bazooka on Santa. Yeah, they went there. Santa manages to survive, of course, and they make a big deal about him traveling back to the North Pole as if this is funny.
Eh, I guess I can understand someone thinking this movie is humorous. I felt like it overstays its welcome more than once, and the jokes were too tame given that this is a film with nudity. The kills were decent, and I can appreciate certain aspects that were over the top. The little claymation part was amusing but only added to the notion that this would have worked better as a light horror for kids. Overall, this was simply average--it didn't live up to the applause other reviews I read gave it, but it wasn't a complete waste. However, there are certainly better films to seek out this holiday that's for sure.
Notable Moment: The opening killing spree. If only this film could have maintained that level of over the top humor.
Final Rating: 5/10
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: The same exact plot as the original except make the kid a girl instead of a boy and the dad a divorced redneck instead of a suburban workaholic.
Review: I know, let's take one of the most hated Christmas movies of all time and give it a sequel nearly 20 years later! Why...oh god, WHY?! No, this can't be real, can it? This is the kind of situation where you think you're dreaming and have to do a triple-take. I can't even be mad--this shit is just funny, and I can't stop laughing. This is soooo fucking stupid. Like...was this film's creation someone's dying wish or something? Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here--so stop me if this sounds too crazy--but what if the makers honestly knew the movie's sheer existence would be so unbelievably idiotic, that the curiosity alone would potentially sell DVDs? I know it worked for me. It's like Pandora's box--I had to know what's inside!
As you may easily guess, the story has absolutely nothing to do with the first film nor acknowledges it in any shape or form. However, the core concept of the plot remains the same with a dad trying to get the hottest toy too late and going all over town with zany antics ensuing. Yeah, because that was hilarious the first time around. While I defend the first film, mostly due to its subtle satire of '90s culture and mindless consumerism, I can't ignore that it was blatantly retarded in most regards. Unfortunately, this film did not understand that brand of satire and appeals directly toward the infantile humor that the present society would be entertained by. This means the jokes manage to be even more juvenile and moronic than the first film's already pathetic sense of humor. How is that possible? Plus, you have that snowball phenomenon I've discussed before whereby each terrible scene tries to out-due the previous one in a race to the bottom.
The original presented the notion of Arnie, a workaholic, trying desperately to prove his love for his son by getting him the toy he wants most. By the end, he realizes that all the son really wanted was for Arnie to spend more time with him. This film, on the other hand, decided to make the father divorced and competing with the stepdad for the favoritism of the daughter. The conflict is that the father is a redneck living in a trailer while the stepdad is the CEO of his own company. The rare toy in question this time is a talking teddy bear except the two dumbass dads fail to realize the girl didn't really want the toy, because they misinterpreted her letter to Santa. By the end, after a seemingly endless barrage of eye-roll inducing scenes, the two dads become friends and the little girl gets the happy family she wants. Oh shut the fuck up. The real moral of the story is don't get married and avoid this disaster altogether.
What can I say, really? The film sort of speaks for itself; it's terrible from start to finish. The jokes are slightly too mature for kids and they admit Santa is not real. At the same time, the plot is too cornball that I can't imagine anyone other than a kid being entertained by it. This means we have a little problem on our hands: the film was designed for no one and rightfully so--it shouldn't exist! If you're a glutton for punishment then I guess put this on as you sit around the fire this Christmas as you will certainly get exactly what you'd expect (and maybe a little more). Perhaps you will find the notion of this film's existence humorous enough to get your through the ordeal.
Notable Moment: The absolute worst moment was when Larry is body slammed by a little person and says he shit himself. Good lord, if that doesn't sum up the feeble-minded demographic they were going for, I don't what else could.
Final Rating: 3/10
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: An alternate retelling of the Saeki family's murder and the grudge haunting that resulted.
Review: Well, I have to take a brief intermission from the Christmas movies as I discovered this film's surprising existence. Or maybe this is a Christmas gift in a way. As a huge "Grudge" enthusiast, I feel it's my obligation to review this film as soon as possible (and by asap I mean 6 months later). Let's face it, there are two ladies in my life I can hardly go a review without mentioning: my goddess, Rika, and my lovable, yet creepy, undead friend, Kayako; just don't bring up Natre or all hell breaks loose! Rika may have the looks, but Kayako has those sexy croaking noises--goddamn--so hot. I know Japan may see Sadako as the quintessential yurei, but she's really some kind of demigod or whatever. Kayako is supposed to be a regular woman so I prefer her. Plus, who doesn't want to take a trip off into Kayako-land?
"Enough of the games, Ryan, talk about the movie!" Okay, fine! This movie sucks plain and simple. Even "The Grudge 3" and "Ju-on: The Curse 2" were better with all things considered. That was hard for me to accept, but it's difficult to defend this film when it didn't stay true to the original story. They seriously ruined everything about the original to the point that I question whether they even watched any of the previous films. Kayako isn't even the main antagonist for god's sake! Besides, did this franchise really need ANOTHER version of the Saeki family murder? They've already told the same story 5 fucking times! Realistically, this franchise only has two legitimate sequels and one standalone entry--which is pathetic considering there are 9 (10 depending on your outlook) movies! This is why I love "Ju-on: The Grudge 2" so much since it tried to push the story forward while being awesomely scary at the same time. Is it really this hard to tell an original story? Fuck...no wonder Takako Fuji appears to have quit acting. Even Takashi Shimizu backed out...and he invented the damn franchise! That should tell you something.
Right now you're probably wondering what are the changes. Glad you asked! The most annoying change is that Toshio is the primary antagonist. My fucking god...no. Think of, say, "The Grudge" and imagine all the key scenes with Kayako now replaced with Toshio. Sounds stupid, huh? The only thing Kayako still does is the whole coming down the stairs trick. They probably only kept this scene because they knew it was the scariest part and couldn't think up anything original on their own. Why is Toshio the main villain anyway? Well, because he's apparently already a ghost before Kayako gave birth to him! Uuuuggghhh. In fact, they kind of give the implication that perhaps Toshio has been reincarnated multiple times, but, I admit, that's debatable. The entire story's flow of events have been reworked so that it is actually the Saeki family that are the ones moving into the house...which is haunted by Toshio. By the way, the house looks too plain and nowhere near as foreboding or atmospheric as the original. Kayako is impregnated by Toshio's spirit, she gives birth to evil Toshio, Takeo suspects the child is not his and kills them as usual, then Toshio takes over as the embodiment of the curse. No...
One thing that made me especially angry was Kayako's ghost not only talking but having whole conversations! She barely had makeup effects to boot. That's not the Kayako character anymore at that point. The same kind of fodder characters still end up dead, for the most part, but a lot of it feels out of place--like the girl with the jaw ripped off for example. They did continue with the vignette style of storytelling, but the segments are shorter and oddly paced. They also tried too hard to confuse the audience regarding the order of events as if it will be a cool realization that they ruined the story. And what's with the dumb spirals? Hello, did you forget that shit was from "Ringu?" See, I knew whoever wrote this didn't actually watch the original movies! Arrrgghh...that ending. What were they thinking?
If they got anything right about this entry it's that it sure as hell is the beginning of the end--for the franchise. I don't get it, why not simply continue with what "Ju-on: White/Black" was going for? That didn't have the Saeki family (for the most part), and it seemed like it was well received; it was a decent addition to the lore at the very least. Or, considering a few sources have cited this as "Ju-on 3," why not pick up where "Ju-on: The Grudge 2" left off with Kayako reborn? As it stands, this was an unnecessary entry that adds absolutely nothing to the franchise yet manages to hurt the series simultaneously. If you're a fan of this franchise, I cannot possibly recommend this to you. If this is your first foray into the series, then, whatever, maybe you'll get a little enjoyment out of it. Just know that the made for TV "Ju-on: The Curse" from 2000 looks to have better production value than this. Come on Japan, don't let this happen!
Notable Moment: When the main chick is in the shower. Now hold on! It's not what you think. This scene is especially stupid, because it's randomly inserted with no meaning or context. It's as if they forgot that the other films had Kayako screwing with people in the shower. Seriously, did they even watch any of the previous entries?
Final Rating: 4.5/10
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: A small town is tormented by a killer Santa that is targeting those on his naughty list.
Review: Now we come to the end of the line with the remake, or, I guess, it's more of a reboot than anything. I don't know if we could call this a faithful remake, but I can appreciate the modern approach to the killer Santa. In truth, only a handful of events from the original are recreated, and the two plots have little in common. While the original focused on the troubled life of Billy-boy, and was told from his perspective, this film centers around the police trying to catch the killer. At this stage in horror, we've seen the killer Santa concept multiple times--so this film offset that issue by providing a gory splatterfest as a Christmas treat. Carnage candy as Randy would say. Considering that they included one of the most painful deaths I've seen, I think this film accomplished exactly what it was striving toward.
This time around, it's Christmas Eve and the story kicks things off with the killer Santa already hard at work; his opening victim is one of the few cops in town. Speaking of which, why does this town only have four cops total? Even Oblivion, Utah, from the original film had more cops. Anyway, they try to keep the identity of the killer a mystery which doesn't fully work and makes no apparent sense. We are introduced to the main character, Aubrey, who is another cop, and there's something about her husband being dead...I don't know. Malcolm McDowell plays the sheriff in this over the top, been watching too many police movies, kind of way; it's funny with him trying to deliver one-liners and make each thing he says sound important and/or cool. Of course the best part for me is the dispatcher, Brenda, played by the beautiful, yet underutilized, Ellen Wong. I get the impression Ms. Wong auditioned for the Aubrey role, but, even if she didn't, I would have liked to see her in the lead position. I don't care if she's the only Asian in this, middle of nowhere, town! While on the topic, I would really like to see Ms. Wong get more work--in horror if I may suggest--because there's no way in hell I'm watching the fucking "Carrie Diaries."
As I mentioned in my first review, there are a bunch of red herrings, for whatever reason, used as padding. This direction for the story doesn't fit well since we already know the people we meet will not be the killer. Regardless, the main two red herrings are some asshole who hates Christmas and a drug dealer. I do like the guy who hates Christmas since he brings up poignant truths about the holiday's sad state as well as the complete commercialization. Plus, he addresses the reason why depression and suicide are higher during this time of year. It's really quite fascinating if you look into the legitimate research based on holiday depression and couple that with the materialism and spoiled brat mentality of society. Wait, am I the killer Santa? While the police are twiddling their thumbs trying to figure out what's happening, the killer Santa is crossing more names off the naughty list. I did like that they killed a bratty teenage girl, but they could have gone balls to walls and killed a kid. Come on, don't wimp out.
At one point, the killer Santa goes to a hotel where he kills a bunch of idiots trying to shoot the worst amateur porn. This is the scene everyone remembers from this film as it's extremely brutal. One girl, played by Cortney Palm, ends up having her leg cut off and then she is shoved into a woodchipper feet first! Oh, what a way to go. I rarely defend a character from death in a slasher, but she shouldn't have been the one to meet that kind of fate. Shortly after this, the killer Santa kills the town priest, the mayor, and the mayor's horny daughter and brain-dead boyfriend while the cops are busy chasing those red herrings. Eventually Aubrey realizes that the Santa chose his victims ahead of time and sent them lumps of coal. This leads to Aubrey discovering her father's dead body and the sheriff gets torched with a flamethrower. Due to shenanigans, Brenda hides while one of the red herring Santas fights with the killer. Aubrey catches up and fights the killer Santa which includes an axe duel. Even though the sprinkler is going off and there is water everywhere, Aubrey thinks she kills the Santa with his own flamethrower. As you'd easily guess, the killer gets away. The film ends with the killer recollecting to his childhood when Aubrey's father killed another killer Santa--that past killer Santa was the killer's father. Ehh...at least Brenda lived.
They definitely missed an opportunity to tie this film into the original franchise. At least have a cameo from any original actor. Hell, that pointless scene with the catatonic grandpa could have been the perfect bit role for a cameo! Oh well, at least the nurse there was hot. They did, however, include a GARBAGE DAY reference so there's that. Overall, this isn't too bad of a movie; it's definitely better than all the sequels combined. While it's undoubtedly cheesy and shallow, the film accomplished it's goal of creating an entertaining slasher to watch while sitting around the fire and decorating your tree. You know, good ol' fashion family fun. The gore is great and the film never overstays its welcome. However, if I had to choose between the remake and the original...hmm...I'll give the edge to this one due to Ms. Wong; to each their own though. One last thing...did any film in this franchise ever even play the song, "Silent Night?!"
Notable Moment: I'm still sticking with the woodchipper scene. That poor girl did not deserve such a horrific death.
Final Rating: 6/10
Ms. Wong with that sexy little smirk on her face. See you under the mistletoe, my dear!
Friday, December 12, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: Zany antics ensue as someone really wants a random little boy to die for no particular reason.
Review: I know this will probably be hard to believe, but this is probably the second best film in the series (not counting the remake). This isn't to say this is a good movie by any stretch of the definition, but it is entertaining that's for sure. One thing that helped to put the story back on track was making Christmas more integral to the plot. The other positive thing was the abundance of shenanigans in practically every scene; I found myself laughing a lot and spit out my cereal at one point. Oddly enough, a couple of the characters from part 4 are still here, like Kim and Clint Howard, but I suppose that was meant to be humorous. However, I have to point out that this is probably the least focused horror franchise out there. None of these movies have any sense of direction or continuity.
Learning from the mistakes of the last three piece of shit movies, this film opens somewhat intriguing as someone has left a present for the main kid, Derek. Inside is a killer toy that ends up killing Derek's dad in the most roundabout way imaginable. Getting over the death beyond fast, the mom tries to cheer up the traumatized Derek by taking him to the local toy store, Petto's. Pshhh, whaaat?! Pedo's? You have got to be shitting me. Yeah, I get what they were going for with Mr. Petto having a kid named Pino, but come the fuck on, dude! Those names just don't work. After living up to the title, and pretty much molesting Derek, Mr. Petto ends up freaking out after Derek and his mom leave while some guy looks on. This random guy, as you might easily guess, is Derek's biological father and is stalking them rather than making his presence known immediately. The father ends up buying a few toys from Pedo including another killer toy that kills the owner of the hotel that the father is staying at.
When the mom and Derek go to the mall or wherever, Pino sneaks into their house and acts like a complete weirdo. Once more, it shouldn't be hard to guess Pino is a robot considering he hasn't aged in decades and given the title of the damned movie. It's almost as if they realized the one plot element missing from SN,DN 4, to make it a complete copy of "Halloween III," were the asinine robots. Anyway, someone has given Derek another killer toy, but he rightfully throws it away. Conveniently enough, that dumb kid from part 4 sees Derek throw the present away and takes it for himself. Inside are roller blades that hilariously make this kid roll his candy ass in front of a speeding car; unfortunately, the brat lives.
One night, Derek is with his babysitter when she decides she will fuck her boyfriend on Derek's bed. Yeah, 'cause that would happen. Pedo, dressed as Santa, shows up with a bunch of killer toys and sends them to attack the babysitter and her boyfriend. This part is surprisingly awesome as the two idiots keep thinking the other is doing some kind of kinky foreplay yet it's the killer toys. Speaking of which, I highly doubt horny dorks like these two would be going at foreplay for like 20+ minutes. Derek is captured in Santa's sack (that doesn't sound right) as the babysitter's boyfriend finally dies; miraculously, the babysitter herself lives despite being shot in the chest with what appeared to be a fatal blow. If this weren't ridiculous enough, while all this was happening, the father and the mom were also fucking in their car as they have finally reunited. My god...
When finally coming home, the parents realize Pedo captured Derek and they go to the toy store to get the kid. After going about things in the dumbest way feasibly possible, the mom realizes that Pedo is dead and Pino has been dressing up like him as he's a robot. It would seem Pino had been the one delivering the killer toys since he wants Derek to die because...uhhh...he wants to replace him? Hell if I know. Pino does claim he wants the mom to be his mother, but, for some, reason this translates into a lot of humping on Pino's part. Oh dear. The mom starts to kick Pino's ass, and even Derek starts to kick Pino's ass at one point. However, when the father fights, Pino magically becomes the fucking terminator all of a sudden. Consistency. The mom stabs Pino with a screwdriver, cuts him in half, and stomps his head which appears to kill him permanently. Now the mom is stuck with explaining who the fuck the father really is to Derek. What a skank...and what were you saying about men being parasites, part 4? But just when you think it's all over, they have prepared for part 6 (that will never come) with Pino apparently having backup bodies.
It's hard to imagine the transition process in this franchise from film to film. How the hell do you go from a traumatized guy going on a Christmas killing spree to witches and robots? Oh well. This was an amusing little film even if it felt significantly cheaper than the others. I could tell they were having fun with the material and so was I. The idiocy may be hard to take for some, but, honestly, if you're watching part 5 in a series called "Silent Night, Deadly Night," what could you realistically be hoping for? I do like the remake, but if you were stuck watching only entries from the main series, I would stick with the original and this one only. Part 2 has it's moments, but it's a rehash. Part 3 and 4 are simply too stupid to tolerate.
Notable Moment: There are a lot of priceless moments, but the best for me was when that dumb kid from part 4 gets run over by a car. Too bad they made him survive. What a tease.
Final Rating: 5/10
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: After the unusual death of a woman, a reporter finds herself on the longest LSD trip ever.
Review: What the hell did I just watch? (Rubs eyes...checks DVD description...watches opening credits again for confirmation) Whaaaaat? One does not simply make a movie like this without the influence of a mind-altering substance. Let's see, what does imdb have to say--right, 5 writers, makes perfect sense now. Seriously, this is one of the most bizarre movies I've ever had the misfortune to watch. My theory is that the moment the ball dropped on New Years Day 1990, all ideas for horror movies instantly turned to shit. This is supposed to be a generic slasher franchise about killer Santas. So why the fuck am I watching a montage of scenes about witches, giant beetles, Clint Howard playing Clint Howard, new age bullshit, living pasta hands, Clint Howard sex with old lady fluffers, men vs women debates (men win, nice try), child abductions, giant larvae, Clint Howard eating a burger, human combustion, '90s fashion, '90s hair, spirals, and Clint fucking Howard?!
The story is an incoherent series of events that are loosely strung together with a bullshit plot line about witches. There's like some chick who jumps from a building roof and half her body burns away. The main girl, Kim, wants to move up as a journalist so she takes it upon herself to look into the case. All of a sudden she comes into contact with witches and Clint Howard. From here on out, Kim, and the audience, embark on a massive LSD trip. It would seem, through shenanigans, the witches want Kim to join them; there is something about the leader wanting Kim to be her daughter or whatever. The witches are really annoying and talk a ton of shit about men but in ironic ways. I especially liked the leader of the witches claiming men have a parasitic tendency. That's a really good one--I didn't realize this film was striving for comedy. I think all the gold diggers of the world would like a word with you. Man, I could go on such a tangent on the pitiful state of modern women, but a piece of shit like SN,DN 4 is hardly the place for that. You're still the best, though, my dear Rika!
After being attacked by giant bugs and other random shit, Kim semi-embraces what's happening but not really. It's tough to say considering she's only lucid every other scene. Kim's boyfriend is killed at one point as Kim is forced into her literal metamorphosis to become a witch or whatever the fuck I'm supposed to assume is happening. Apparently that first girl that died failed to complete her ritual, and the witches tell Kim she must kill her dead boyfriend's brother as a sacrifice. Kim and Clint Howard capture the boy in the dumbest of ways. When Kim goes to complete the sacrifice, she ends up killing the leader of the witches instead along with Clint Howard. And that's essentially all that happens. Obviously I glossed over the majority of the zany antics, but, like I said, you've got to be high out of your mind to appreciate it.
Although this film was better than part three, which isn't saying much, it is hard to comprehend what is happening at any given moment. I think it's clear as day this was written before the SN,DN title was slapped on. The Christmas aspect to the plot is virtually nonexistent, and it's understandable why people say this feels like "Halloween III." Also, everything about the previous films has been disregarded, and the notable moment will explain why that is. This franchise is really starting to test my patience...not going to lie.
Notable Moment: When a crazed Kim is trying to seduce and bang her boyfriend. Then Clint Howard comes in and turns on the TV which is playing SN,DN part 3. Whaaaat the fuck...
Final Rating: 4/10
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: Ricky continues his killing spree after being awakened from a coma by a girl with psychic powers.
Review: My goodness this was torture. While part two was amusingly bad, this followup is just plain terrible and boring as fuck. I fell asleep twice, and that is something noteworthy; only the "House of Wax" remake put me to sleep more times. How anyone could rate this film beyond a 5/10 blows my mind. The kills are lame and fail to capture the brutality of the original. The Christmas aspect felt tacked on which is dumb for a franchise based around a killer Santa; by the way, Ricky doesn't even put on the Santa outfit this time. You'd think shitty movies like this would practically write themselves, but I guess not.
The main character is some blind Jedi named Laura. While the Jedi are cool, Laura is a total bitch and not likable at all; plus, she is trying too hard to look like Jennifer Connelly. For whatever asinine reason, a doctor is using her psychic powers to look inside Ricky's comatose mind. Once again, why would anyone be doing shit like this on Christmas Eve? Ricky, played by Bill Moseley this time around, has suffered wounds inconsistent with part two and is fitted with a dumb bowl of jello on his head. He's also not funny anymore and walks around like some invincible Frankenstein's monster regardless of muscle atrophy. Conveniently enough, this psychic connection has awakened Ricky to the point that when he sees a guy dressed as Santa he snaps. Instead of dressing in the guy's Santa outfit, Ricky decides to stick with the hospital gown. Good choice--nothing like your bare ass flapping in the wind.
Laura and her brother are going to grandma's for Christmas, and Ricky manages to successfully hitchhike ahead of them. That's a good one. Dispensing with grandma, who also appears to be a Jedi master of bullshit, Ricky pointlessly waits around. The scariest part of the film was seeing Laura's brother in the bath--that hairy, Chewbacca-looking mother fucker. There is a moment of sheer, shitacular editing that was pitiful to behold: the brother and his girlfriend go out looking for grandma, then they're at the house talking to Laura, then back looking for grandma, then back again at grandma's house. Uhhh...I guess you could dream up a scenario that explains this, but I think the editing guy fell asleep when I did. While this is going on, Laura's doctor teams up with a detective to hunt down Ricky. Something you will notice about this film is that there is a whole lot of talking and yet no one is saying anything interesting.
Idiotically, the doctor steals the detective's car while said detective tried to take a piss on the side of the road. Really? It's okay though, the doctor finds grandma's house and Ricky kills him almost immediately. Ricky manages to kill the brother and his girlfriend, and, for some reason, Laura doesn't care too much. However, Laura is bothered when she touches Ricky's bowl of jello and screams like a baby. Grandma's force ghost appears and tells Laura to use the force which translates into holding out a piece of wood for Ricky to idiotically fall onto. That detective manages to show up, god knows how, and they clean up this mess. Once more, Laura seems overjoyed that everyone is dead as Ricky's force ghost wishes us all a happy New Year. That's a powerful ending.
I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating the stupidity of this film, but, I assure you, I'm realistically downplaying the overall idiocy. The gore is few and far between, there are long and boring scenes of dialogue, the characters are unlikable and annoying, and this doesn't feel like a Christmas movie at all. In fairness, the film's title did warn us to watch out for this shit. Supposedly this was put together in four months, and that makes perfect sense. Now I have the creeping suspicion parts 4 and 5 will be even worse.
Notable Moment: Oh there are too many moments. I guess the absolute worst is when Laura is talking to the ghost of the grandma, and it's essentially a conversation between Luke and Obi-wan about the force.
Final Rating: 3/10
Friday, December 5, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: Years after Billy went on a Christmas killing spree, his brother, Ricky, tries to pick up where he left off.
Review: GARBAGE DAY! Yes, this is that movie. If you're thinking, "what the hell is this guy talking about now," just type those two words into youtube and behold. Anyway, this film is painful but in the best of ways. And don't even try and say this was a comedy horror. No it wasn't. In fact, this film's attempt to be taken seriously is precisely what made it so damn funny. Every single line spoken by the Ricky character is pure gold with over the top delivery. However, setting aside all of the unintentionally humorous moments, they pulled a "Ju-on: The Curse 2" on us. About half of this film is nothing more than a recap of the events from SN,DN part one. Apparently the production of this film was plagued with all manner of financial issues. Nevertheless, it's the major detractor from what could have been a "Troll 2-esque" experience.
Well, you know this movie is off to a perfect start when they can't even get Billy-boy's age correct from the last film. It would seem Ricky has already been institutionalized for various murders that he's about to tell us about conveniently. But before we can get into that, we have to pad out the clock with 40 minutes of scenes Ricky clearly wasn't witness to--nor was any living person for that matter. In case you may be wondering, and because it's impossible to tell, it's actually supposed to be Christmas Eve. Because what criminal isn't pointlessly psychoanalyzed on Christmas Eve? After showing the best parts from the first film, and with plenty of cornball banter mixed in, we finally learn about Ricky's life. Unlike Billy-boy, Ricky appears to have a normal life yet becomes a killer anyway. Hold on...were they actually trying to be clever here and say that Billy was nurtured into a killer and Ricky was naturally a killer? Nah...that would be far, far too deep for this movie. Besides, GARBAGE DAY!
One day when Ricky was randomly roaming around being emo, he just happened to come across a chick about to get raped similarly to that beloved milf molestation of part one. Yeaaah, okay. And you were a baby, dude, and inside the damn car and wouldn't have seen jackshit. Ricky decides to kill the guy with his own car made possible through apparent teleportation. Unlike that ungrateful bitch from part one, this chick is thankful for Ricky's services. 'Kaaaay...it's still not Christmas. Later on, Ricky kills another guy who was, I guess, an enforcer for criminals. This time around Ricky thinks he's the fucking Penguin and uses an umbrella. We suddenly switch tone as Ricky meets a decently hot chick, named Jennifer, who is used goods it would seem. They clearly didn't have this little romance thought out very well. After de-virginizing our dear Ricky, he's instantly in love until they go to the movie theater one day. Ignoring the fact that the seats look as though they were designed for children, and that the lights are on, and that there was an annoying loudmouth to distract Ricky, AND the unbelievably surreal notion that the movie being played is, in fact, "Silent Night, Deadly Night," what are the odds that Jennifer's ex-boyfriend would materialize out of thin air at this exact movie and spot her in the crowd?! All I know is that I'm glad he was introduced in that roundabout way so I will know who he is in the next scene...making this ridiculous scene completely irrelevant.
Before you can even say, still a better love story than "Twilight," Ricky and Jennifer are walking along when they come across that ex-boyfriend again. Of course he starts talking smack and Ricky kills him thankfully. Jennifer doesn't take too kindly to this which leads to Ricky putting her down as well. Another person materializes out of thin air--a cop this time--who is killed due to sheer idiocy. This is when it occurs to Ricky that it's GARBAGE DAY, and he must shoot as many people as possible while laughing in the cheesiest way possible. When he is corned by police, he attempts to shoot himself but the bullets are out. And that's the greatest story ever told...or something along those lines. Suddenly realizing it's Christmas Eve, Ricky escapes the mental institute, or wherever, and decides he has to kill that nun from the first film. Magically stealing a Santa suit, and pulling the nun's address and phone number out of his ass, Ricky goes to find the old bitch who gives the killer way too much trouble considering she's in a wheelchair. When the police catch up to Ricky, he has already beheaded the nun, and the cops shoot Ricky. The film ends with Ricky still alive as you'd probably guess.
Wow, for a film about a killer Santa this had maybe two minutes of that action. What can I say...the story is a mess and half of it is filler to boot. The film fails in almost every technical aspect while having laughably bad acting. There is almost no positive thing I could say this film did...except that it is hilarious. Sure, it's not as fall over funny as the likes of "The Room," but SN,DN2 is especially pathetic. You kind of have to see the stupidity for yourself to fully appreciate it, but, at the same time, I obviously can't recommend this kind of trash--and trash gets taken out on (puts on sunglasses) garbage day! WAAAAAAAAAH!
Notable Moment: I would be doing a great disservice to this film's legacy if I put any other scene than GARBAGE DAY (tired of that joke yet?). Although, it should be noted that this film is loaded with outlandish moments.
Final Rating: 4/10
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!
Plot Summary: After many traumatic Christmas experiences, including the murder of his parents, a man goes on a killing spree dressed as Santa.
Review: You may recall I reviewed the remake/reboot, "Silent Night," a couple years ago, but here is the original in all it's jolly glory. I'll do an updated review for the remake too, but we're going to take a look at the whole franchise first. I actually never saw parts 2-5, so this will be new to me, but my expectations are about as low as I could feasibly make them; I'm well aware of the reputation these sequels have. As many may be aware, part one was controversial for it's killer Santa concept despite it not being the first film to implement such an idea. For whatever reason, a lot of people boycotted the film and eventually had it removed from theaters. Watching it again, I don't see anything really controversial. Then again...I did watch this movie as a child in the '80s, and I wasn't bothered back then either. Hmm...
I think it's safe to say this film leans on the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate considering everything the main character goes through. The film opens with a young boy named Billy visiting his crazy grandfather on Christmas Eve. Uhh, okay. Where does this movie take place again? Oh right, Oblivion, Utah. The weirdo grandfather appears to be catatonic, but, when the parents leave Billy alone, the grandfather tries to scare Billy with the notion that Santa will punish him. That's okay, I'm confident the rest of this night will be uneventful. Oh shit, nope, a guy dressed as Santa ends up murdering Billy's parents and semi-molesting that milfy mom before she dies. For whatever reason, they never address what became of this killer Santa as they cut to Billy and his brother being raised in an orphanage. Even though they know how traumatized Billy was from seeing the murders, the main nun that runs the place tries to force Billy to confront his fears of Santa and Christmas. Shockingly, this has the opposite reaction. Things are made worse when Billy comes across two people fucking that end up being beaten for the act. Billy is also beaten later and tied up. Sounds legit.
As an adult, Billy is conveniently set up with a job at a toy store. Okay, really, are these nuns trying to make this guy snap on purpose? At least there are some pretty cool toys in the background like "Star Wars," "G.I. Joe," and "Masters of the Universe." Umm, can I work here too? After one of the corniest '80s montages ever, Billy-boy starts to act crazier as Christmas approaches. Things are made worse when the store owner makes Billy dress up as Santa. Keep in mind, this asshole appears to know about the murder of Billy's parents. During a Christmas party, the girl Billy-boy likes decides she wants to hook up with the unnecessarily added douche. Conveniently, this douche reenacts that milf molestation from earlier, and Billy flies off the handle. Killing the douche, Billy-boy's crush is not impressed so Billy has to put her down as well. You do not toy with the emotions of Santa, hun. This leads Billy-boy to the conclusion he must turn into a killer Santa and punish all the naughty people. Might as well, right?
The way Billy picks his victims was a bit questionable, but he makes sure to always throw in a line about them being naughty. He even kills Linnea Quigley for going topless. Come to think of it, every chick that dies in this movie dies topless! I do want to mention a guy dies from being thrown through a window. Finally, a film understands what really happens when you go flying through glass! The idiotic cops then realize Billy-boy's rampage will end at the orphanage somehow. Sure enough, Billy shows up to kill the main nun, but he is shot to death before he can ax her a question (see what I did there). The film then ends with Billy-boy's brother, Ricky, seemingly turning evil.
In the end, I don't get what all the fuss was about. I liked the ambient music with the heavy synthesizers; although, I had never heard of the bullshit Christmas songs they appeared to invent for this movie. Making the film from the killer's perspective, while simultaneously making him sympathetic, was a unique spin for the time. The ladies aren't too bad for the era, but, admittedly, they could have used some Ellen Wong action. The kills are also pretty good, but, keep in mind, there are multiple edits of this film floating around. There may be a lot of cornball moments to this film, but it's a surprisingly decent slasher. Parts 2-5, here we come!
Notable Moment: When those dumb bullies get killed sledding. This is easily one of the most outlandish scenarios I could possibly imagine. Not only do two random kids decide to go sledding Christmas Eve night for no apparent reason, but, the exact spot they do this, two bullies just happen to show up with the same idea?! Right. AND Billy stumbles upon them as well? Come the fuck on, man. The characters even make note of how implausible this is!
Final Rating: 6/10