REVIEW: Brain Dead (1990)



Brain Dead: C

Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton star in this bizarre, poorly written but somehow mildly entertaining horror movie about a doctor that slowly descends into madness. Bill Pullman is a star experimental neurosurgeon who has developed a method that can alter a person’s personality, and/or their memories. Bill Paxton is his former college roommate who is now a corporate slime ball, and he needs Pullman’s help to recover the missing portion of an equation from a former employee named Hallsey.

Despite Pullman’s initial rejections of the idea, he eventually succumbs to Paxton’s charms and agrees to do surgery on Hallsey to get him to remember the equation. During the course of the surgery Pullman fixes Hallsey, but he soon begins to develop paranoid delusions of his own that send his world spiraling out of control.

From here the movie picks up steam but starts moving in so many different directions it is very hard to keep up. First Pullman starts seeing a blood covered doctor everywhere he turns and he keeps having visions of his wife and Bill Paxton banging in all sorts of odd places. Once you think you get the idea that Pullman is a nut bag, the film shifts again as Pullman is now being portrayed as a life long mental patient who created a false reality about him being a neurosurgeon, and he and Hallsey are actually the same person. Well once you accept that portion of the film it shifts again and Pullman just starts waking up from dream sequences over and over again until the viewer eventually gets frustrated and kind of tunes out.

Overall the director did a good job of keeping the audience guessing about what is real and what is not, and as far as a philosophical allegory for what the true nature of reality is, it shits on The Matrix. However the movie got a little jumbled and to hard to follow at points. Worth a viewing if you have always wanted to see the two Bills share the silver screen together.

REVIEW: Creepshow (1982)


Creepshow A

This is another Stephen King anthology film and was directed by George Romero.  It has 5 stories. It’s an homage to horror comics from the 50’s. In fact, the first time I encountered the stories in this film was in the tie-in comic book (drawn by the great Bernie Wrightson) that was published at the time the film was released. I found it in a Safeway magazine rack while my Dad was taking his blood pressure at that free thing Safeway has. The comic and the movie are both on my list of favorite things (at # 57 and 58, respectively. # 56 is making crack heads do footraces for crack I don’t really have).

Anyway, he best films are the ones with characters that have desires and motivations the audience can relate to. Creepshow has that in spades.

For instance:

  • A ten-year-old boy who wants to voodoo doll his dad.
  • A put upon daughter who wants to bash in her awesome father’s head
  • A dirty hillbilly who wants $200 for the meteor he found.
  • A rich guy who likes videos of drowning people.
  • A college professor with a loudmouth wife and access to an abominable snowman.
  • An old man who hates people and bugs, but not in that exact order.

I know I’ve felt all of these exact feelings, and if you’re being honest with yourself you know you have too. What I like about Creepshow is that it delves into these everyday human desires and fleshes out what would happen if only we had the freedom to indulge in them. You know…a FREE country. Not “Obamerica”.

This film might seem dated to today’s douchebag viewer like you. It was cheesy for its own time-but that’s intentional. The comic-booky visual scheme works well. It provides an otherworldly feel that makes the outrageous events more acceptable and makes the 80’s seem less lame.

This movie is perfect example of how enjoyable the fun/scary thing can be when done properly-with respect and affection for the genre and its history. It’s not even too scary for kids. You should buy it and watch it. Then you should leave it out so that your 9-year-old can find it with minimal effort and then show it to your 7-year-old. They’ll watch and end up just sort of traumatized. But more importantly, they’ll feel like they got away with something. Occasionally, you just have to give kids these little victories.

Why? Because if you don’t they’ll voodoo doll the fuck out of you. The prologue/epilogue of this movie makes that clear.

But even if your kids don’t have voodoo dolls, you have to let them win a few. If you don’t, the next thing you know your son wants to be a nurse and your daughter’s dating outside her race.

You listening, Dr. Loomis?

REVIEW: The Bay (2012)


The Bay (2012): A-

Y’all know Dr. Loomis has a found footage fetish.   So when I became aware of the fact that Barry Levinson (Diner, The Natural, fucking Rainman!) directed one, I bumped it to the top of my Netflix streaming queue.

I’m here to tell you to do the same.  Like right fucking nowThe Bay isn’t just a found footage movie.  It isn’t even just a horror movie.  It transcends genre.  Best of all, it’s terrifying, and the scares ain’t cheap.

The film takes the unique approach of being told from the perspective of a reporter who witnessed and survived the events of the film.  She watches the spliced-together accounts of different sources from a small Maryland town on the 4th of July, 2010 and re-lives the horror of that day, providing perspective and foreshadowing the fates of the poor fuckers onscreen.

I actually didn’t think I was going to like the movie in its early phase, because the trouble starts with boils.  I’m not scared of boils, blisters, or rashes.  This is why I hated that stupid-ass Cabin Fever.   Turns out the boils are just a symptom of something much worse.  Loomis don’t spoil shit, but let’s just say lots of the corpses (and there are fucking scads) end up with their tongues chewed out.

I won’t tell you what’s doing all the damage, but the delivery system is what gives the film its frightening scope.  Remember how Jaws had everyone afraid of going into the water because you might get eaten by a giant fucking shark?  The Bay takes that concept and doubles it the fuck down.  It’s not just swimming that can get you killed.  See, the water’s polluted.  The officials of the town chose the profitable chicken factory over the purity of their coast…and their drinking water, since it comes from a desalinization plant.

Before any of you Ted Nugent motherfuckers starts with, “Aw fuck, Loomis!  This is some kind of faggot tree-hugger message movie?  I ain’t watchin’ anything Obama wants me to” just know that while the film deals with eco-horror, It’s not heavy-handed.  What creeps me out so much about this flick is that the gruesome phenomenon is examined with scientific precision; the first thing the doc does at the local hospital is call the CDC- they’re fucking useless.  It really does feel like something that could happen to any town in any part of the world.

The environment’s generally pretty resilient, but what if it gets fucked with in exactly the wrong way, under exactly the wrong conditions?  That’s the haunting question that arises amidst the nightmarish carnage of The Bay.  If you don’t care about the answer, then you’re probably a fucktard who should stick to Kevin James movies.

REVIEW: The Ward (2010)


The Ward: D+

Thanks for this, John Carpenter. This movie has the same plot as Identity staring John Cusack. Your movie made me think about John Cusack. How do you like that?

Here’s ANOTHER movie about a mental institution with dark secrets and ghosts. ANOTHER movie about multiple personalities offered up as one of many cop-out “twists.” ANOTHER movie where the “crazy” protagonist has to do detective work to figure out what a fucking ghost is trying to say to her.

Kristen is in a mental institution because she burned down a barn and can’t remember doing it. The only other patients in there with her are other good looking girls in their 20’s. They all become buddies and they dance around and stuff.

A ghost that looks like a female zombie keeps teleporting around everywhere and killing the patients one-by-one. Kristen tries to warn the staff but why should they believe her? Her amnesia that she had one time in her entire life rules her out as a reliable source of information regarding what clearly look like murders, right?  “There’s no killer, Kristen is crazy,” says the British guy from Mad Men who orders her shock therapy.

The murder/warning/disbelief cycle happens over and over and over and over. After the kills, the ghost leaves behind some clues about who she is/was. Kristen has to put the pieces together JUST LIKE CUSACK IN MOTHERFUCKING IDENTITY. When the reveal happens, I dare you to give a shit.

There are some good jump-scares. Maybe a couple of scenes of suspense but they are short lived and overshadowed by a shameless carnival of cliches and your own inner monologue asking how any of this shit is going down the way it is.

REVIEW: Baby Geniuses (1999)



Baby Geniuses- UV because it’s too scary.

This is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. It’s about people doing science to babies, which is cool, but then the science gives the babies superhuman intellect. They become like malevolent stand-up comics who can do science themselves but still have speech impediments.

These geniuses also still wear diapers, like that black hole guy in the wheelchair. But these diapered sociopaths don’t need wheelchairs. And there are lots of them. And they start to make plans and talk shit to adults. Because they don’t care.

There is one guy who wants to stop the baby geniuses, but only for his own selfish ends. So, its one of those movies with no good guy-and everybody is totally merciless.

Kathleen Turner is in this movie, by the way. She used to be hot but hoo-boy…this is the movie where she really hit the wall. What wall? That wall all actresses eventually hit…the too-old wall. Some aging ingénues can survive hitting the wall. They ease into roles more suited to them and don’t end up disgracing themselves-like Oscar winner Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law or Lindsay Lohan in Machete.

But not Kathleen Turner…she hit that wall hard. And her eyebrows tell you that she didn’t expect it. Or maybe she’s just scared of the babies.

Because watching these CGI babies walk and talk and tell bad jokes …is horrifically disturbing, so much so that I’ve started preparing for when this movie becomes a reality. And so should you.

Because just imagine: baby hands…stopping your breath. Too small to detect…too smart to get caught. And as you fade away, alone in your bed with your shitty life flashing before you….

…while the baby that killed you sits on your floor shitting his diaper, playing with your keys and laughing like a grown up.

Scares you, doesn’t it? Well it should. Don’t see this movie.

REVIEW: House at the End of the Street (2012)


House at the End of the Street: F

This is a cookie-cutter PG-13 thriller that spends more time emphasizing how cool Jennifer Lawrence’s character is than actually doing anything thrilling. It is like a commercial for Jennifer Lawrence and it is not scary.

Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) is so deep and interesting. There she is, sitting on the hood of a truck wearing a flannel as she strums an acoustic guitar. And hey, there she is playing with keyboards and drum machines and singing enigmatic songs about love. Her mom say that Elissa always “finds the most damaged person around and makes it her mission to fix them”. So she is interesting AND sensitive AND empathetic. The movie reminds you of this with several long scenes that are not suspenseful or plot-driving or any of the ingredients needed for a thriller.

Deep/beautiful/interesting/artistic Elissa and her mom move into a House Not at the End of the Street. Some melancholy eighteen year-old guy lives in the House at the End of the Street. His parents were mysteriously murdered there and he inherited the House at the End of the Street. The movie knows it has to have a back-story. There it is.

The guy has been a kooky, brooding introvert ever since his parents were killed so Elissa latches onto him and makes him one of her “missions” and tries to “fix” him. He is really resistant to the “fixing,” so much of the movie is about this hot, artistic, blond eighteen year-old girl trying to crowbar herself into the life of a scrawny, creepy, unpopular loner. Just like real life, am I right?

It’s characters like these that really make it seem like the film was written by teenagers with ADD who have watched too much Disney Channel.

If you thought maybe that the guy who lives in the House at the End of the Street turning out to be a bit of a homicidal lunatic would be a little predictable, and maybe his kooky brooding is just misdirection written into the film, I have some bad news for you. He is a homicidal lunatic. There is also painfully predictable PG-13 violence and a real lack of scares/gore.

You also have to forgive a lot in this movie. Like people forgetting cell phones exist, cops with dead batteries in their flashlights not calling for back-up, people tied to chairs with tattered strips of t-shirt, and rolls of flaming toilet paper breaking through double-pane glass.

They try to do multiple “twists” at the end but there are so many crammed into a short amount of time that it is laughable and you’ll feel sorry for everyone involved in this waste of time.


REVIEW: The Conjuring (2013)



The Conjuring B+

Take my word for it-whenever you round up a bunch of 8-year-olds and sit them around a table to do a dramatic reading of The Crucible, they will all mispronounce the word “conjure” and all of its variants. They all put the emphasis on the second syllable: “con-JURE”. It’s infuriating and they do it every time the word comes up, every time I have one of my table-reads!

So I…correct…them.

I can only imagine that all over this great nation, there are young Americans telling each other: “Let’s go see The Con-JURE-ing! It looks scary”.  They will have no realization just how dumb they sound. But not the ones whom I helped; they know better.

So I DID do some good. Take that, Officer Beetleson.

Why am I writing about The Crucible? Because Fuck You, that’s why. But there are some things that connect both works. First, they’re both true stories with real people and events shown EXACTLY AS THEY HAPPENED. Second, the ghosts and demons in The Conjuring are tenuously connected to the Salem Witch Trials, which lends credence to the “true story” claim.

Norma Bates and Nite-Owl are demonologists.  They get a request from the wife of the Office Space guy. She wants them to check out their fucked-up new house. Weird things started happening the first day they moved in. Things like: the dog won’t come inside, there’s random fart smells at night, and other stuff. And the mom has been getting weird bruises (all over) which she first assumed came from banging Office Space too hard. But they didn’t. Then things got worse.

This is a solid haunted house movie. It’s creepy, disturbing and has some non-telegraphed scares and smartly puts the lives of Office Space’s 5 daughters in mortal danger. I suppose I shouldn’t say “smartly” because that credits the writers and director but they didn’t have to do shit because this really happened.

One thing I like to see in a movie is something I’ve never seen before. We’re all familiar with that hallmark of American cinema called the “musical montage”. Like the “training montage” or the “learning montage” or the “they’re going to bang after this song is over” montage. You know.

Well this movie has a “setting up the scientific paranormal investigation equipment all over the house” montage. And it makes that seem exciting. There’s lots really involved equipment like black lights and bells on all the doorknobs so they can be heard opening. Now I realize why all my neighbors hang bells on their doors at night. They’re scared of ghosts!

I have some silly paranoid neighbors! This movie would freak them out!

This movie is nothing great, but there’s nothing it fails at either. See it if you like haunted house movies. You won’t feel cheated or pissed or ashamed or ugly on the inside if you do. Now, if you feel that way going in, you’ll probably feel that way coming out. Movies don’t solve your problems. Believe me.

REVIEW: The Battery (2012)



The Battery:  D

The Battery offers three new twists on the zombie genre:

1. It gives us zombies that are so fucking slow and incompetent that you figure that the human race really deserved this shit.

2. It settles, once and for all, just how nice a zombie’s tits could possibly be.

3. It lets us know that surviving the zombie apocalypse would mostly consist of being bored. It does this by boring the shit out of you. Seriously, you really feel the tediousness.

Basically, it’s about a couple of dumb fucking guys who go from place to place looking for food and supplies so they can survive. They talk about stupid, uninteresting shit. They find a walkie-talkie, and they hear some other survivors talking on them. The other people want nothing to do with them. One of the dumbfucks wants to keep trying, and he winds up talking to some girl who’s supposedly part of some colony of survivors. Nothing interesting develops from this subplot. You see the dick of one of the guys. Oh yeah, his balls too. The penis is flaccid.

There are enough good ideas to sustain a 101 minute movie here, but instead of doing something with those ideas, we get the two guys stuck in a car for a really long-ass time.

Here’s how you know when a movie is just wasting time with shit: I saw this movie with several of my Bloodcrypt Brothers. Quite often, one of us would get up to piss, shit, get a drink, or buttfuck a hobo, and when he’d come back, nobody would have to fill him in on what he missed, ‘cause all he missed was time being wasted. One of us, and I’m not saying for sure that it was Dr. Loomis, could have had time to cuddle that poor hobo a bit, but he stupidly hurried, not even giving the bum a reacharound, because he thought he was going to miss something. I probably wouldn’t mind if he didn’t squeeze his secondary cum out into my beer. At least, I wouldn’t mind it if it tasted better.

Oh, and the ending is ambiguous. Sometimes movies do this and it’s cool because it makes you think. Sometimes it happens because they didn’t have any fucking clue how to end it. Guess what the case is with this one?

Come to think of it; I’m not sure how to end this review. Maybe I’ll…