Sunday, August 30, 2009

3D 'Halloween' Will Be Zombie Free! …. For Better or Worse

I haven't gotten the chance to see 'Halloween II' yet (I'm going tomorrow night), so I have no idea if it's any good or not (I've heard some bad buzz, but I'm still hopeful). However, they're already planning a 3rd flick that is apparently due next year, according to Shock Till You Drop. Zombie is not involved in this one (he's too busy playing with Jello, as I mentioned a couple of days ago), but the film will be in 3D, because this weekend's number one film, 'The Final Destination,' is 3D. So take that for what you will.

Does anyone remember 'Halloween 3: Season of the Witch'? Fuck, that movie was bad. It didn’t even have Michael Myers in it -- instead, it was all about Stonehenge and scary masks. Like Mikey's mold of Shatner's face wasn't scary enough? Let's just hope that we can count on a 'Halloween' film next year during, I don't know, Halloween. That would be nice.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Does Anyone Else Think It's Strange this Chick Would Decide to Go Spelunking Again?

Since I haven't posted a trailer for anything yet today, here is one for 'The Decent Part 2' which looks exactly, and I mean exactly like the first 'Decent.' I thought the original was pretty cool, but the monsters kinda took something out of it for me. Normally I'm all for monsters of any kind in just about any film, but since the chicks had enough other shit going on, it felt kinda like those cave creatures were just thrown in during the third act. Hopefully, we'll see more fully-realized subterranean baddies in this next picture. Also, I like that they actually added the 'Part 2' instead of just slapping a number on it or changing the name a bit. Makes it feel more like a horror flick from the 80s.

Rob Zombie + 'The Blob' = ?

Well, I just didn’t' see this one coming. In probably the strangest bit of news I've seen lately, Rob Zombie has agreed to write, produce and helm another remake of the 1958 sci-fi/horror flick, 'The Blob.' Now, the original 'Blob' starred Steve McQueen and is one of my favorite sci-fi flicks from the 50s. I also remember liking the 1988 remake, but it's been quite awhile since I've seen it.

Anyway, I kinda like the idea of Zombie tackling a movie like this, as it's not strictly horror and will allow us to see if he can has the chops to make it as a more mainstream director. However, I think his record thus far is pretty spotty, and the best part of his films are always the shockingly brutal kills.

Regarding the forthcoming remake, Zombie promised he was going to change the blob itself, saying, "That gigantic Jello-looking thing might have been scary to audiences in the 1950s, but people would laugh now" (Variety). That's great, but the movie is called 'The Blob,' so how far away can ya really get?

Anyway, while I think this is cool, I also really want Zombie to go create something new. He showed so much promise with the excellent 'Devil's Rejects,' even if it's predecessor, 'House of 1,000 Corpses' was pretty derivative and predictable. As I mentioned a couple days ago, I think that 'The Haunted World of El Superbeasto' looks fantastic, and the main reason I'm so greatly anticipating his second 'Halloween' remake is because he insisted that that he's no longer tied to Carpenter's original and it is much more of his own creation. I thought that the first half of his version of 'Halloween' was amazing, but he lost focus during the second half, after Michael returns to Haddonfield, and was too clearly aping the original. Personally, I just want him to get on with Tyrannosaurus Rex, which, last I heard, was going to be his next project.

On a side note, why the hell is 'Halloween' being released in August? They did the same thing back on 07, and it was stupid then. Not very timely.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Apathetic High School Horror and Megan Fox's Tits

So I just watched the trailer for 'Jennifer's Body.' I have to be honest, I'm just not feeling this movie, which is strange, considering that I pretty much love all things horror. Hell, I'm so disinterested that I didn’t even check out the trailer until now, despite the fact that I knew it showed Megan Fox's mostly-bare ta-tas. It's not that I don’t like the idea of a demon possessing some girl and making her kill people, nor is it because I have an aversion to watching hot, naked women (quite the contrary on both, actually), it's just that I'm sick to fucking death of high school movies.

I mean, really -- what is this obsession we have with high school? Who really gives a shit about this four-year period? Sure, it was when most of us figured out about the opposite sex, and it was a time of great personal and hormonal change, but if you're honest with yourself, was it really all that great? And even if it was, what bearing on your life does it have now? Of course, if you're currently in high school, it's all-encompassing, and you have no idea what I'm bitching about. But give it a couple of years. Life goes on, and, I don't know about anybody else, but I hardly ever think about it. Everything is just so different now, and those 4 years have so little relevance to the real world.

So anyway, back to 'Jennifer's Body.' I'm sick to death of films that we are expected to consume where high school is the focus. Most of all, and 'Jennifer's Body' is a perfect example of this, it's weird that high school girls are advertised as these creatures of sensuality and seduction. This voyeuristic tendency of focusing on high school girls as sexual objects is beyond bizarre, and then you have men my age (I'm 32) and older (and younger) lusting after them. This is fucked up, people! If you're over about the age of 25, have you seen an actual 16-year old girl lately? They look like fucking children! Megan Fox, by the way, does NOT in anyway look like a high school chick, which makes sense, because, according to IMDB, she's 23.

Now, I know Diablo Cody wrote this, and she penned 'Juno,' which was, incidentally, a smart and gripping high school drama. However, 'Jennifer's Body,' to me, looks like 1,000 teenage horror flicks I've seen before.

But most of all, I think that most recent high school horror movies are shit. It's just boring. Imagine interesting characters and dynamic settings. Sure, horror films aren't exactly known for their innovation, but foreign fright flicks often focuses on adults, and it works nicely (take 'Haute Tension,' for example). The characters are relatable and interesting and it makes, overall, for a better film experience for anybody over 18 years old (which should, theoretically, be a large portion of the people attending a movie like 'Jennifer's Body,' because you have to be 17 to even get in to see the damn thing).

Now don’t get me wrong, there have been some great, recent high school horror movies, Teeth being a good example. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that it would be nice to have a bit more variety in horror, and to have some films actually targeted to those of us who have long since stopped worrying about S.A.T.s and prom. Or, if they have to go that route, at least make them interesting and intelligent.

So here's the red band trailer for 'Jennifer's Body' (curtsey of ShockTillYouDrop) yes, you can kinda see her tits for like a fraction of a millisecond, and yes, they do look nice. So I guess forget I said anything and just watch the stupid trailer.

On a side note, I wonder how many hits that title will get me. Pic

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rob Zombie and the Cartoon Bush

In honor of Rob Zombie's 'Halloween 2' coming out Friday (which I am completely geeking out about), I thought I'd spend a little time this week looking at the man's work, Past Present, and Future. (Get it? That's the name of his greatest hits album. And yes, I'm that much of a dork.)

As you may know, Mr. Zombie has an animated movie releasing on DVD soon called 'The Haunted World of El Superbeasto,' which looks to kinda be a cross between 'Loony Tunes' and "Heavy Metal,' which, in my opinion, is completely awesome. Here's the red band trailer (nabbed from Trailer Addict), which is fantastic (aside from a lame voice over). Watch it and let me know what you think.

BTW, I don’t want to immediately say this trailer is NSFW, but there is a teensy bit of cartoon bush for a second or two. So if that's going to be a problem for you, just wait till you get home. If it's not an issue, click away!

Monday, August 24, 2009

On 'The Wolf Man' and Werewolf Transformations

Ok, so I assume everyone's seen 'The Wolfman' trailer by now. I have to say, I think it looks pretty good, but the quality of the upcoming remake isn't really what I want to talk about today. If you haven't seen it yet, watch the vid below (which I nabbed from Bloody-Disgusting).

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Just for the record, I'm a HUGE fan of the 1941 original flick, and I love the actors they got for the remake. Unless they're able to reanimate Lon Chaney Jr. to reprise the role, you can't get better casting for this part than Benicio Del Toro. But this was a troubled production, and the suits at Universal seem to be playing musical chairs with this flick's release date (which is never a good sign). However, in my opinion, the sin this movie committed was tying the hands of one of the greatest effects wizards in the business, Rick Baker.

What is so supremely fucking stupid about this is that Mr. Baker is the man who crafted the best werewolf transformation scene in history in 1981's 'American Werewolf in London.' Here is that excellent scene in it's entirety, courtesy of YouTube.

Apparently, Baker wanted to do an old-school FX transformation scene, but the Universal suits said no, and deatils are scarce as to his input to the final design and look of the wolfman in the finished film. In fact, there were several weeks of reshoots that took place earlier this year to supposedly remake the entire transformation scene and look of the character, changing him from a two to four-legged creature.

Now, after seeing a portion of the transformation in the trailer, what really boggles my mind is the obvious tribute they're paying to Baker's previous work in 'American Werewolf.' Wasn't this supposed to be 'The Wolf Man?' I mean, c'mon, there's no question what they're doing with the ankles, hands and all that. Is this Baker returning to his roots or have they kicked the man to the curb and are now blatantly imitating his past brilliance? It's obvious from his original design that he initially went in intending to pay homage to the design of the original film, but apparently that's not want Universal wanted.

It's all very strange. If they're going to bring back their famous monsters line (which is something they've been trying to do for awhile now), you'd think they'd be interested in retaining the identity of the monsters themselves.

Regardless, I thought the CGI looked good, even though FX still would've been so much cooler.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

James Cameron's 'Avatar' Trailer Invokes Edgar Rice Burroughs' 'Mastermind of Mars'

Now this looks like a kick-ass movie! I've watched the trailer a couple of times now, and I just can't get over how ball-bustingly amazing it looks! I'm instantly reminded of 'Star Wars,' classic old western flicks and 'Aliens,' but there's something unique there as well. Am I riding the geek train of hype or does this look like the next big thing in sci-fi?

HD trailer can be found here!

It actually reminds of a book I'm in the middle of right now, Edgar Rice Burroughs' 'The Mastermind of Mars,' which came out in 1927. It's the 6th book in Burroughs' Mars series, and, so far, is centered around a man from Earth who works for a mad scientiest of sorts that has the ability to transfer one person's mind into another individiual's body. The man from Earth falls in love with the mind of a beautiful woman who was forced to switch bodies with a wretched hag (so she's in the body of the hag). It seems to be kind of oppisite in 'Avatar', as the robot from 'Terminator: Salvation' is doing the body-hopping and the alien chick is falling for him, but you get the point.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Discovery Indicates Building Blocks of Life Common Throughout the Universe

Ok, so today marks the end of my blog's first week of existence, and since everything I have done up until this point has been film related (a tendency which will undoubtedly continue), today I'm going to just talk about an amazing new scientific discovery.

This morning I came across a Reuters article touting the fact that the amino acid glycine has been found in the tail of a comet. While this might not sound completely bad-ass, I assure you, it is. Glycine is one of the critical building blocks of life, and it's existence in a comet not only gives us clues as to how life may have first developed on this planet, it also significantly lessens the chance that we are alone in the universe. After all, a comet's orbit will take it throughout the galaxy, so these building blocks could end up anywhere.

In the article, Carl Pitcher, the director of NASA Astrobiology Institute in California, says, "The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare."

So today, while you're reading news about partisan politics, celebrity gossip, or whatever, just remember that we have come one step closer to confirming the existence of alien life, and that, my friends, is pretty damn cool.

Monday, August 17, 2009

'Survival of the Dead' and a Soapbox

So I guess ol' George Romero has given up trying to direct anything without "of the Dead" in the title, and Bloody Disgusting has some exclusive images from his latest, 'Survival of the Dead.'

I think Romero is a genius, but the prospect of another zombie pic from the master fills me with trepidation. Sure, 'Night' and 'Dawn' are, in my humble opinion, two of greatest zombie (not to mention horror) movies ever made, but, let’s be honest, 'Diary of the Dead' pretty much blew. Personally, I think Savini's work was sorely missed, as the effects looked amateurish (at best), and let's not even get into the annoying characters.

This, after 'Land of the Dead,' which I thought was good (even without Savini's work), but not anywhere close to the brilliance Romero showed in his earlier zombie flicks. It makes me think he needs to get away from the shambling dead for a bit and try something new. Sure, not everything he's done has been great, but 'The Crazies,' which was filmed between 'Night' and 'Dawn' is incredible --and remains underappreciated -- and 'Knightriders' and 'Creepshow' (both filmed between 'Dawn' and 'Day)' are excellent examples of non-zombie Romero awesomeness.

If you look at Romero's body of work (listed here), it's clear that he wants to do more than make films about hungry corpses, despite the fact that is all he's done for the bulk of the present decade. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Romero zombies, I just think that if the dude could explore other projects, he might come back and make better 'Of the Dead' pictures.

Regardless, I'm going to see the his latest the day it comes out (I was actually lucky enough to attend the L.A. premiere of 'Diary'). Despite my misgivings, I'm hoping for more excellent zombie goodness, and maybe this whole post was worthless, because the images coming out on 'Survival' look pretty damn great. I especially like the fat, puking zombie!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Will 'The Fourth Kind' Give Us the First Tangible Proof of Contact, or Is It Just 'Blair Witch' with Aliens?

I just came across this a few moments ago and it surprised the hell outta me. It's one of those awesome trailers that comes gets you instantly pumped up for something you've never heard of before.

I can't tell if it's going to be a dramatized documentary that seriously investigates the abduction phenomenon or if it will be a "based on a true story" kinda thing where 99.9% of it is bullshit. Judging from the trailer, I'll see it regardless, but I hope that it takes the controversy seriously. I'm not familiar with the events in Alaska that the film focuses on, but I know there's more than enough real evidence of alien contact and abduction that they could make a perfectly terrifying, informative movie without having to add anything.

'The Fourth Kind' comes out November 6th.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Evil Angels, Spider Monsters, and Roc? The Red-band Trailer for 'Legion' Looks Pretty Bad-ass!

Anyone else reminded of that scene with spider-Regan in 'The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen?'

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is DeadGirl the First Great Film About Necrophilia?

Well, if the trailer is any indication, it certainly looks that way. Check it out here. Apparently, it's from the producers behind 'Hellraiser' and 'Heathers,' two of my personal faves. I also really like the poster -- it's sick and subtle at the same time. The whole package looks well-done, a far cry from most of the films that dare to delve into this topic (I'm talking about you, 'The Stink of Flesh'). Plus, you know there's going to be some zombie mayhem, which is always nice.

Anyway, there's a lot of hype surrounding this film, which, in my mind, can only be a good thing. It garnered impassioned reviews of both disgust and adoration after its debut at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and is scheduled to hit dvd on September 15th. I'll be sure to do a follow-up post after it comes out.

So, what do you guys think? Is it going to be more 'Kissed' or 'Nekromantik'? Perhaps a combination of the two? What would you like to see? Should this topic be eradicated from horror cinema, or should more movies engage in corpse/zombie fucking? Let me know your thoughts.

Pic can be found at:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Don't Care How Many People Love it, District 9 is a Horrible Movie!

I got the opportunity to check out an advance screening of 'District 9' in Atlanta last night. It's been a little over 12 hours since the credits rolled, and I think that, after carefully mentally reviewing and considering the film, that it's absolutely the worst movie I've ever seen. Yes, I'm serious.

"But how could that be?" you may ask. I'll tell you (spoilers included).

"Worse than Wing Commander?" Yes, by far, but in a much more serious way.

"Not worse than …. It couldn't be … worse than 'Legally Blonde 2.''' Oh, yes, yes, yes. I'd line up to see 'Legally Blonde 3: Brunette Bush' before paying money to see 'District 9' again.

However, it has only been half a day, and I admit that I should probably see the film again before I begin lumping it into the 'worse than 'Legally Blonde 2'' category. But I just can't help it. It was that fucking bad. But not bad in a 'Legally Blonde 2' way, where everything is poorly executed, like everyone involved in the film, from the writer(s), director, cinematographer, actors, everyone, could give a shit less about the film and thought of it as anything more than an easy paycheck.

No, 'District 9' is full of love and heart. It's packed with beauty, skill and was clearly put together by some of the best in the business, which makes it worse, because it's all stupid, nonsensical, heavy-handed bullshit. It's a thinking man's movie for morons, where all the strings are pulled in just such a way that there is only one conclusion. The film offers no interpretations, no options. It doesn’t trust you to find your own answers so it shoves the ones it wants to have down your throat.

But enough bullshit. Let's get into why it's such an atrociously awful film. First, you have to understand that I hate spoilers, and other than what was given away in the trailer, I knew nothing about this movie. Peter Jackson, Neil Blomkamp and aliens. Fucking awesome. That's what I knew. I love Jackson and I think that Blomkamp will undoubtedly be one of the most renowned directors in the world within a few years time.

So, needless to say, I went in expecting to love it, but immediately something didn’t sit well with me. The entire premise of the film is flawed from the get-go, when the aliens are brought down to live in Johannesburg. Because, lets be honest here, people. That never would of fucking happened! Those dirty, hungry alien-bitches would have been torched before they ever could have contaminated our air with their potentiality-lethal germs. Anyone remember what happened to the Native Americans? You can bet your ass that Blomkamp's humans would.

Normally such a sticking point wouldn’t matter. I've never once thought (until now), about that issue when watching 'Alien Nation' or 'E.T.' But Blomkamp is such an expert at making the whole thing real, and with reality comes real problems. If an alien ship were suddenly hovering over Johannesburg, then that it what it could look like. The brilliance of the effects is their reality.

But, even disregarding that fact, the movie still doesn’t work. We have to assume that the principle alien, Christopher Johnson (great alien name btw) was a pilot on chief mechanic of the ship. He knows what's wrong with the craft and how to fix it. He takes what is essentially the ships' engine, buries it in the ground and builds a shack on top of it. He, and assumedly the bulk of the rest of the stranded E.T.s, then spend the next 20 years collecting liquid out of alien junk to make spaceship gasoline (that, for some reason, happens to slowly morph humans into aliens upon contact).

So, we have to ask ourselves, what kind of stupid, fucked-up idiot pilot and/or mechanic runs out of gas in the middle of an interstellar voyage? And, presuming that there is such a fool, why did he decide to hover over Johannesburg and then drop the escape vessel/spaceship engine on earth. Why not just say, "Umm … hey guys, I think I really fucked up and didn’t pack enough gas for the whole trip, so would y'all mind digging around in any extra cans or metal cylinders you have lying around so we can come up with some more? Great. I'm just going to park this thing here in the middle of the cosmos while we do that."

Remember, they never wanted to leave the ship, we pesky humans are the ones who forcibly entered it and pulled them out. They were starving and slipping in their own shit instead of coming down to hang with us.

People, and by people, that means you, the audience, are the villains. Theoretically, I don’t have a problem with that. Except Blomkamp's reality is tangible, and the whole movie is centered around shoving guilt and blame on the audience. Again, lets be honest. We're not talking about aliens here.

Virtually every time a human is onscreen he or she is doing something despicable. Whether it is burning alien babies, extorting aliens for cat food or even hunting the human hero/protagonist, everything we do is bad. We're nameless, two-dimensional harbingers of pain and destruction, caring for nothing but profit and looking out only for ourselves. Our acts of cruelty, murder and torture are nonsensical and entirely fueled by self-interest. We have no loyalties, even to ourselves. When Wilkus, the hero/protagonist, turns alien, his life is sold for cash and weaponry. The most sympathetic human in the film, Wilkus' wife, sells him out by allowing her father to track her call. Whether her actions are intentional or not (this is really the only issue the film leaves open to interpretation) is irrelevant -- she still rats him out and causes a huge loss of both human and alien life.

But the aliens aren't much better. They are the reverse of the humans -- entirely sympathetic. It hurts to watch them suffer at our hands. And it should, they are the lost, weakest among us. Most obviously there's apartheid, but I was also reminded of the current situation in Darfur. The Jews in Nazi concentration camps. The indigent Mexican immigrants in America, ostracized by an uncaring society (an interesting social commentary, considering that many citizens of Jackson's homeland, New Zealand, have been bitching-a-fit over the influx of new immigrants their own county, thanks, in no small part to Jackson's LOTR series).

However, because their plight is so obvious and overstated, it's hard to care for them. Like the humans, there is no development of character. They are flat, boring. Of course it's hard watching them suffer. They are aliens, but you can clearly recognize their humanity.

It was like watching 'Passion of the Christ.' Very similar, actually, because, like in 'Passion,' everything is flat. There is no character development, but there didn’t really need to be. It was Jesus. Everybody knows Jesus, and, regardless of your faith, you got the point. You didn’t need the back story. With this film, however, we need more. Sure, you can echo past and current events, but the characters still need room to breathe. In 'District 9' they never do, they only rest of the laurels of human tragedy. Jackson and Blomkamp might as well made a morality play and named Wilkus 'everyman.'

The about-face at the end of the film, when Wilkus has a change of heart after doing his damn best to fuck-over several million aliens to save his arm, is not at all believable. To begin with, Wilkus is the most unlikable protagonist I can ever remember watching. I know it's intentional, but it doesn't make for an enjoyable experience at the movies. His character was so shitty, so ego-centric, that I just couldn’t buy his change of heart.

And the unflinching morality of alien Christopher was equally unbelievable. There was even a point where Christopher refused to leave Wilkus, the guy who tried to fuck-over every alien on the planet and destroy 20 years of Chris' hard work, all while Chris' son was in danger and they had an actual opportunity to escape. Just stupid.

Again, the movie was so preachy, so heavy-handed with its judgments, that it's impossible to get past. On top of that, the flick doesn’t provide an enjoyable experience. It's like watching 'Schindler's List' without the point.

I'm not a passive movie-goer who shys away from violence. I'm an avid horror fan. In fact, I refuse to watch PG-13 horror films because I believe that they weaken the genre as a whole. But 'District 9' is not a horror film. It's really not even a Sci-Fi film. It's a heavy-handed, accusatory political production that draws all the conclusions for you. Judging from 'District 9,' I'm damn glad that Jackson and Blomkamp didn’t get the chance to do 'Halo.' The last thing we need is a pseudo-political Master-Chief capping helpless Covenant troops.