REVIEW: Clown (2014)

Haunted clown suits: How the fuck do they work?

Haunted clown suits: How the fuck do they work?

Clown: C+

There isn’t really anything fresh about this movie. Everything in it has been done a billion times, but it was compelling and silly enough to keep me interested. As far as clown movies go, it is funnier than Patch Adams but less funny than It. All three movies have dead kids though. So there’s that.

A guy finds a haunted clown suit, which he dons in order to amuse a battalion of annoying brats at his son’s birthday party. BAM: He’s cursed.

As explained by the Wise Elder character, Peter Stormare (the guy who feeds Steve Buscemi into a wood chipper in Fargo), clowns were originally not balloon sculpting ding-dongs, but cave dwelling Nordic demons who would feast on children. The costume is haunted and infested with demonic energy. Stormare even has a leather bound ancient text complete with Guillermo del Toroesque clown monster sketches, so you know he’s legit.

Dude can’t get out of the clown suit; it’s bonded to him like the Venom symbiote or the Goosebumps haunted mask and it is slowly transforming him into the Icelandic variety of Bronze Age kid-munching clowns. The only way to get him out of the suit/stop the clown-demon is to chop his head off or let him eat five children. Once he gets started munching on kids, you’d think they would just let him finish, but the other characters are committed to decapitation despite the pileup of child corpses.

To the guy’s credit, he tries to decapitate himself, but he quits trying once he realizes how fun it is to eat kids. Once the dust from the exposition settles, the rest of the movie is pretty typical possession/demon/slasher stuff that borrows from other popular killer clown stories: He has the fangs of It, but none of the one liners; he has the charisma of Gacy, but none of the sodomy; he looks just like a juggalo, but doesn’t dump Faygo all over himself or rap about titties.

The origin story of the actual movie is more interesting than the clown mythology in the film itself. A couple of guys made a fake trailer for this movie with no (clear) intention of ever filming the thing. In their mock trailer, they start with “From Master of Horror, Eli Roth…” which I guess flattered/interested Roth enough to track these guys down and invite himself on board as the producer. No one probably thought of this movie as “theirs”; the trailer-makers probably thought their inside joke got scooped up as Roth’s new pet and Roth probably thought his semi-pandering to internet horror nerds and attachment of his name would be enough of a contribution. What emerges is a pretty “meh” horror movie with some cool cinematography and make-up that follows a played out formula.

REVIEW: 976-EVIL 2 (1991)

“Here is an ancient text that discusses 976-EVIL.”

976-EVIL 2: D-

976-EVIL 2: Spike, the wise-cracking, barely shaved motorcyclist is back, battling a haunted jerk-off hotline for another 90 minutes. This time, instead of Spike’s cousin getting mixed up with the demonic forces of erotic landlines, it’s a dickhead teacher (played by a guy who looks like he’s a dickhead in real life) who dials 976-EVIL and projects himself onto the astral plane so he can murder people.

Professor Dickhead has a thing for killing blonde co-eds, which he demonstrates in the opening scene where he impales one with a fake stalactite backstage at the school theater. “Welcome to my Hell!” exclaims Professor Dickhead, and then there is an eruption of red corn syrup and an abrupt cut to Spike riding his motorcycle.

Spike has presumably been on a nomadic bender since the end of the first 976-EVIL movie, where ostensibly harmless occult phone sex led to him throwing his cousin through a portal to Hell. Now wherever Spike goes, phones ring ceaselessly, which makes him glare like a badass. At a crusty bar in a small town, he finally picks up the phone, right after befriending… a blonde co-ed…

Spike, the blonde co-ed, and Professor Dickhead are quickly entangled in a deadly triangle of evil jerk-off astral plane warfare.

From here, the movie showcases an array of unoriginal ideas. Just like the last movie, using 976-powers eats away at your physical form, so Professor Dickhead gradually starts to resemble an “after” picture of a decade long meth addiction. The Professor is very Freddy Kruger-ish (a nod to Englund, who directed the first 976-EVIL movie, or just unoriginality?); he likes to make jokes, laugh, and teleport around while he kills people.  From there, the similarities start to resemble borderline plagiarism; nothing that is straight-up theft, but the lack of ideas is clear: there is a scene where a room gets possessed, just like in Evil Dead 2 (talking animal head and all); a scene where someone is zapped into a black & white TV show, just like in Pleasantville; the owner of the Satanic bookstore is a clone of Elvira with bleached hair. I suppose in the first place, you shouldn’t sit down to watch 976-EVIL 2 with very high expectations, but there was literally nothing new to see here.

After some research at the Satanic bookstore, Spike winds up killing himself (they actually blow up a truck for this scene; how they got the budget to do so, I couldn’t tell you) so he can become Ghost Spike and save the co-ed from Professor Dickhead. He (very anti-climactically) succeeds and then explodes into a multi-colored constellation of floating dots which dissipate into the heavens, much to the glee of the unscathed blonde co-ed. Lucifer’s phone sex avatar has been defeated and the main character looks like a fucking Dark Side of the Moon laser light show. I guess that’s a happy ending?

Oh and then the co-ed is arrested for all of Professor Dickhead’s murders because, no blonde co-ed, we don’t believe that some jerk-off phone sex ghost killed everyone until some guy you just met became an anti-jerk-off phone sex ghost and stopped him.

REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

paranormal 2

Paranormal Activity 2: B

Have you checked out the trailer for that Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World? Holy shit, man, they’re finally taking it to the next level! You don’t just have a theme park in the making, you have a functioning theme park with tons of visitors (read: more victims). You’ve got some big-ass prehistoric Hainosaurus (which is not technically a dinosaur, learn your paleontology, son). You’ve got some sort of genetically-altered super smartass dinosaur. You’ve also got tame velociraptors.

Yeah, I know, that might sound strange. How can you tame a velociraptor? Well, do you own a dog? Check this shit out: that motherfucker is really a wolf! I shit you not. Genetically speaking, it’s a direct cousin of that fuckin’ beast that ate up Little Red Riding Hood’s stupid bitch of a grandma. And you own it. And you pet it. And you pick up its shit.

Oh, but Richard, you’re saying, that took like, what, ten thousand years for wolves to become dogs! This new Jurassic Park movie doesn’t take place that far into the future! Well, asshole, maybe you might want to use the Google and read up on the domesticated silver fox. It was an experiment done in the former Soviet Union where they selectively bred foxes for tameness, and you basically went from vicious little beasts to pet foxes in just a few generations! Now apply that same shit to velociraptors. It’s been proven (in the first Jurassic Park movie) that those bastards can figure out how to open a door, and that’s when they’re at peak wildness. How many wolves do you know that can open doors? What, like maybe a few of them, at best? I believe I’ve made my point here.

By the time you’re reading this, the movie may have already come out and it might suck a dirty piece of ass. But that’s not my point. My point is that it did something different with the same concept.

Paranormal Activity 2 is basically the same movie as the first one, only it adds a little twist to the end. It’s not as impressive as having HD cameras in the 1980s like the third movie does, but if you liked the first, you’ll like this shit too. If you hated the first, nothing’s gonna change your mind. Me? I liked it. Wasn’t bored for a minute.

But I’m still craving for some kind of an interesting twist to the whole ghost/demon thing. Maybe in the (what are they on now?) next installment, we could learn that the demon is really the hero, and these stupid people have been doing all kinds of fucked up stuff when the cameras were off that we weren’t privy to in the first few movies. Like maybe they were screaming his name while masturbating, and when he’d show up to help them, they’d just laugh and continue to pleasure themselves.

REVIEW: Annabelle (2014)

annabelle

Annabelle C-

The Clown is back with you for Halloween week and went to see The Annabelle Movie!

The Annabelle Movie is a movie about a doll with a creepy face that seems to be able move around and do dastardly shit. It also gets mad when you try to throw it away. I’ve never seen this idea before, so I was thinking okay…how bad can it be? Also, something about having The Annabelle in your house makes the machines in your house (like the sewing machine, the TV and the stove) come on and turn off by themselves and be dangerous. Another classic brand new idea.  So I was really impressed by the writing of whoever wrote it and just kept thinking “man…this guy was really in the Zone!”

So it’s supposed to be like kind of a prequel to “The Conjuring” which I reviewed HERE. But what’s weird is “The Conjuring” was based on a 100% true story, and this seems totally made up.  Well, more than likely I’m missing something because those two things don’t make sense together.

But anyway, it’s never really clear who’s “in” the doll because there’s this lady named Annabelle at the beginning who kills her parents and then draws a blood symbol on the wall and then dies ‘cause the cops shot her and she bleeds into the eyes of the doll. But also, there’s a demon who’s trying to use The Annabelle get a soul or something.

Then there’s this lady who just had a kid. Her name is Mia. She names the baby Lia. And she goes around and several times actually says “I’m Mia, and this is Lia”.  And Mia and Lia and her doctor husband who works too much end up with The Annabelle in their house for some reason. He’s working all the time so Mia and Lia are alonesies with The Annabelle a lot.

Weird dangerous things happen but (luckily) there’s a wise older black lady that owns a bookstore who (luckily) lives in the same building and (really luckily) knows about demons and shit. And they figure out that (if they want weird shit to stop happening) they’re supposed to kill the baby so that The Annabelle can have a whole life force and the demon can be free.

But they don’t want to kill the baby and that’s the conflict, which is a real important part of making the plot in a story. I told you this writer is good. He should write more movies…maybe something about a weird guy on an airplane who sees some shit.

See The Annabelle Movie if you REALLY have nothing else to do. But I bet you could think of something if you tried, you fat fuck.

 

REVIEW: I, Frankenstein (2014)

i_frankenstein

I, Frankenstein: UV

I, Frankenstein. It, blows.

This integrity vacuum of a movie left me absolutely positive that no one involved in its making is ashamed of themselves, when they should all be at seppuku levels of shame at the least.

Listen to this pearl of a plot: Demons are among us and the only thing that keeps them in check is a centuries-old clandestine tribe of Gargoyles who live in this giant 100 story cathedral that NO ONE SEEMS TO FUCKING NOTICE in the middle of some ambiguous grey metropolis. This conflict is the cause of about forty atrocious CGI battle scenes in the movie. The CGI, Frankenstein bullshit is insulting; Cinefantastique likened it to “watching someone else play a bad videogame.”

The Gargoyles look like CGI Xbox characters when in Gargoyle-form but they can also morph into humans that all look like characters from Prince of Persia complete with gratuitous leather arm-bands and daggers. The Demons look like the Wishmaster in slim-fit suits. Watching them try to act is like watching a dog try to open a jar.

Also: the film takes place in a world where Frankenstein isn’t a famous book by Mary Shelly but instead, a spooky legend that some people, INCLUDING FUCKING SCIENTISTS believe to be true.

Frankenstein’s monster (who, yep, is called “Frankenstein” in the movie) is caught in the middle of everything. He is a badass maverick (with sexy abs) who gets his hands on some sacred weapons which he uses to fuck up hella Demons in several slow-motion CGI battles. I lost count of how many times two characters jump at each other in slow motion.

Let’s talk about Eckhart. Vulture’s review says he “plays Frankenstein’s monster in a monotonous, teeth-gritting mode, as if someone had one gun on him and another on his family.” Pretty hilarious/accurate. I personally don’t know how he kept a straight face while delivering lines like “Descend in pain, Demon” and “Take me to the Gargoyle Queen.” There is a scene where a Demon tries to possess Frankenstein and he’s levitating and screaming and all I could think of was how fucking DUMB Eckhart must have looked laying on a green block in a green room writhing around and how it reminded me of the best part of the worst movie I saw last year.

There is a strange fluctuation in the mortality of Frankenstein. In one scene, he is hanging on for dear life off of the edge of a window so he doesn’t fall three stories. But in another scene, he purposely jumps through a window from the fifth story of a building, plummets through a sewer grate, and lands on top of a moving train and he’s just swell. He also starts off at the beginning of the film with eyeliner and gnarly scars. As it becomes clear that he’s a good guy, the scars recede and the eyeliner lessons and he looks all handsome, more “humanized” to fit his good-guy role. This is a drop in an ocean of plot-holes and bullshit that makes zero sense.

Yes, there is a scene where he takes his shirt off and there are about a thousand scenes where he does kung-fu with stupid weapons.

If you imagine yourself liking a movie sort of like Underworld but worse, maybe see it.

I, hated it.

REVIEW: Children of the Corn (1984)

ChildrenOfTheCorn

 

Children of the Corn: C-

I rented this when I was like thirteen and stopped watching after about thirteen boring minutes. After multiple attempts over several years, I’ve finally mustered up the attention span to finish it.

You already know what this is about; come on.

Linda Hamilton and her 80’s-as-fuck boyfriend decide to go on a road trip and make the mistake of driving through Nebraska. There’s nothing but corn and fundamentalist AM radio.

A dying kid stumbles out of a corn field in front of their car and they squish him. They make the genius decision to throw his corpse in their car and drive around with it. This leads them to a creepy adult-less town populated by a cult of murderous juveniles.

The movie is a fairly significant departure from the original Stephen King source material. In the short story, the kids all dress like Quakers and worship a demon who actually murders Linda Hamilton’s boyfriend. The kids execute the story-Linda Hamilton via sacrificial crucifixion. Some kids die too, through stabbing and sacrifice to the demon. The demon is the clear winner in the story. The adults are all dead and a flock of kids sacrifice themselves to it.

In the movie, there’s no badass murderous demon. There’s only something burrowing underground like a fucking tremor from Tremors. Linda Hamilton and her boyfriend survive thanks to the assistance of some rascally child cult dissenters. In the movie, the actual cult leader, Isaac, is sacrificed (as is his rebellious lieutenant). There is a huge build up that culminates in an 80’s CGI shit-fest and Issac is swallowed by a blob of orange saturation. Instead of the demon fucking everyone up, he just burrows underground like a fucking mole while Linda Hamilton’s boyfriend rigs the cornfield to blow.

There’s non-stop cardboard child acting and some seriously ugly child cult members who would benefit greatly by learning to breathe through their noses. I really dig the commentary on fundamentalism and the dangers of indoctrination. The story and movie both have a Lord of the Flies and Shirley Jackson vibe but the film execution is stale as fuck.