Dawning of the Dead #MovieReview

Prepare for a zombie apocalypse this Christmas!

Uncork’d Entertainment and filmmakers Tony Jopia, Nika Braun, Yannis Zafeiriou and Alexander Zwart reanimate the silly season with Dawning of the Dead, premiering on Digital 12/5.

While a virus that causes the dead to reanimate brings the world to its knees, the scientist responsible entrusts his cataclysmic findings to Katya Nevin, a troubled ex-war correspondent turned anchor-woman at W.W News. While she and the rest of her crew witness the collapse of society via video feeds from around the globe, a deadly special agent climbs the building floor by floor, his only goal to ensure her silence. Armed only with information and an indomitable will to live, Katya must overcome her crippling anxiety and learn to lead in order to make it out of the studio and into a terrifying new world where only the dead survive.

Honey Holmes, Leo Gregory, Pixie Le Knot, and Sean Cronin star in Dawning of the Dead, on Digital 12/5 and DVD 3/6.

Dawning of the Dead Review

I was given a screener of this film prior to release for review consideration.

Although the first couple of minutes of the film had me wincing, by the end of Dawning of the Dead, I had developed a surprising amount of affection for the film. As you might be able to tell via the key art above, this was not a film that tried to take itself too seriously. And that’s good, because if it had been a serious horror film, it would have failed…horrifically. Instead, Dawning of the Dead owned its cheese factor with considerable aplomb, and balanced it out with some surprisingly serious and well-acted scenes when you least expected them.

I have seen a ton of zombie movies. I’m almost guaranteed to watch a film if you tell me zombies are involved. Most of the time, the newscast scenes announcing the outbreak are basically not worth remembering. They’re there to instill the seriousness of the situation, or show how massive the outbreak has gotten. Ruth Galliers does a solid job with this scene in Dawning of the Dead. Enough so that I stopped giggling and actually sobered up for a moment as I listened to her. In fact, her character, Katya Nevin, had become one of my favorite female leads in a zombie movie by the end of the film. She definitely a screen presence that demands your attention. I can’t wait to see her in more films.

One of the (many) things I appreciated about this film is that there is a lot of role reversal in it. On the whole, the women tend to be the strong, take-charge, ‘we can survive this’ characters, and the men take on the more emotional, freaking out roles. There were a few exceptions, but on the whole, it was a nice change up. Especially when the egotistical, sexist pig continually gets put firmly in his place, and then proceeds to lose his mind in a satisfyingly embarrassing way.

There were a lot of hilarious scenes in the movie, and I don’t want to spoil them for you so I won’t say much. But there are some nods to popular zombie films, including one to Dead Alive that just leaves you grinning. And if you roll your eyes at the whole ‘headshot every time’ thing, you’ll need to watch this film for an absolutely ridiculous scene involving donuts and dead things. The director and writers had a lot of fun poking at the more ridiculous aspects of zombie films with Dawning of the Dead

The CGI was painful, though. It was blatantly obvious whenever something in a scene was CGI. If there was one thing I would have changed about this movie, it would have been to just eliminate these scenes. And the zombies were, well, I’m sure everyone had lots of fun doing their best zombie shamble. Lets just leave it at that.

Overall, while I desperately wish they had been given a bigger budget, Dawning of the Dead was a highly amusing film that is perfect for fans of horror comedies. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a great film, but it was highly entertaining. They did a fantastic job, all things considered. It looks like a movie that was a lot of fun to film.


Note: This is supposed to publish at 8:30 AM. At 9 AM, if everything goes right, Miss L will be under sedation and her heart cath and bronchoscopy will be starting. So, uhm, positive thoughts, please, people.

 

Bedeviled #MovieReview

Movie cover for BedeviledBedeviled Synopsis: Five friends are terrorized by a supernatural entity after downloading a mysterious app.

Tagline: Evil is about to go viral.

Starring: Saxon SharbinoBonnie MorganBrandon Soo Hoo

Release Date: October 22nd, 2016 | Runtime: 1 hr 31 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 4

Source: Netflix

 

 

 

Bedeviled Review

Bedeviled was a random choice on a Monday morning when I was home from work because I was feeling crappy, and just needed to veg out. I was actually expecting something so cringeworthy that I’d switch to one of my favorite documentaries within a few minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself quickly invested in what was going on.

It sets a good tone right away, using cool blues and vibrant reds in the opening sequence. Even though the opening is nowhere near original, it’s still well done enough to grab your attention. The cool tones change to warm periodically throughout the movie. Again, nothing new, but the cinematography was still very nice to the eyes. Though I will say that sometimes the dark scenes felt a little too dark. Also, the way the movie was filmed, with natural changes between regular filming, and handheld/phone cameras, was nice. A little jarring at times, but it worked.

Saxon Sharbino (Alice) and Mitchell Edwards (Cody) both do great in their respective roles, but all of the cast does a solid job. I appreciated how sweet and sincere Carson Boatman came across as Gavin. They all felt pretty believable and not like the cardboard characters usually set up to be knocked off in these movies. I really appreciated that it was a movie where the group really seem to truly be friends and care about each other. Much better than wasting half the movie on catty infighting.

The pacing of Bedeviled was great. The dialogue felt realistic. It’s an hour and thirty one minutes, but I was so wrapped up in it I was shocked to find out it was that long.  It’s almost a given that there are a lot of jump scares in this movie. However, given how much I liked the other aspects of it, this part of Bedeviled didn’t bother me too much. I’ll easily admit that at least one made me yelp, and another forced a shocked giggle from me.

My favorite line in the whole movie was an older man’s snark about social media and selfies. It was so unexpected, which made it even funnier.

“I can’t tell a duckface from an a**hole.”

In a lot of ways, Bedeviled felt like a new version of Nightmare on Elm Street for modern day. Obviously not nearly as awesome as Nightmare on Elm Street, but surprisingly entertaining and well done nevertheless. I would definitely recommend checking it out on Netflix or Amazon when you get a chance.

Buy link: Amazon 

Disclaimer: I was on pain pills when I watched Bedeviled and wrote the review, so it’s very possible my review may be slightly too kind. Just take it with a grain of salt.

Thor: Ragnarok #MovieReview

Movie cover for Thor Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok Synopsis: Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

Tagline: No Hammer. No Problem.

Starring: Chris HemsworthTom HiddlestonCate Blanchett

Release Date: November 3rd, 2017 | Runtime: 2 hr 10 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 3

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok Review

When I first walked out of Thor Ragnarok, I was fairly happy with my viewing experience. The little bit and I both agreed that it was better than the previous films, but not fantastic. A four star rating seemed about accurate for it. But, as time went on and I got some distance from the viewing experience, I realized that I wasn’t as fond of the film as I initially thought. Still definitely better than the last few Marvel movies, I’ve seen, though!

Chris Hemsworth shone in this film. He consistently kept me amused with his delivery, even if some of his lines felt a bit forced. I think he has a solid sense of timing, and he’s obviously not afraid to make a fool of himself. He’s owned the Thor role in such a way that I think it will be very difficult for anyone to ever try to step into his shoes.

Hiddleston’s Loki had me cackling at a few parts in Thor: Ragnarok. His funniest part is probably a few seconds that actually involve him not saying a word. His posture and the look on his face tell you all that you  need to know. I don’t like his character overall, but dear Cthulhu, that was awesome. I’m snickering again just writing it up.

Mark Ruffalo as both Banner and The Hulk was one of the weakest performances in the film to me. Although, considering his job as Hulk is probably just voice acting, perhaps that is not being entirely fair to him. When he’s not in Hulk mode, he just felt tepid in comparison to his previous performances. Knowing he’s capable of more just left me feeling vaguely sorry for him in this one.

I just didn’t particularly like Hulk as he was displayed, and neither did my partner. It felt like we were supposed to laugh at the tired old cliche that someone who is physically strong must also be rather stupid. I didn’t mind it so much when he wasn’t speaking, I think, just because he was a manifestation of rage and therefore it was okay in a way. But the speaking thing and having him act like a petulant two year old just bored me, to be quite frank. I passed the “laughing at the big, dumb idiot” stage several years ago.

The humor in Thor: Ragnarok was, as usual, quite hit or miss. They definitely aimed for the lowest possible bar on funny several times. From literally falling down drunk to tight pants cracks, to gigantic anuses, it’s all there. Without Hemsworth and Hiddleston to carry the film, this could have been just another tried-too-hard Marvel movie. But their presence, combined with smaller cast of characters that didn’t all need their time to shine with the funny quips and whatnot,  made it better.

Overall, Thor: Ragnarok was entertaining. In terms of don’t-think-just-veg, it succeeds fairly well. It’s not a movie I would buy, or go to the theaters more than once to see, but it was worth the cost of admission for a single viewing. It just wasn’t as great as so many of the reviews had made it out to be. (Or I’m just getting pickier and harder to please. That could have something to do with it.)

 


Because Miss L wants to do a review as well, here is what she says:

I would give Thor: Ragnarok 4 stars. Because, overall, it was kind of funny. My favorite funny part was when -mommy redacted to avoid spoilers- was running around in the never-ending circle passing -mommy redacted again-.  But there was some parts that didn’t come into funniness.

My favorite character was the blue rock guy. I liked Thor too. I don’t know what I thought of the bad guy. Sometimes they didn’t seem like they would be so bad.  There was no scary parts in it, though.  And there was no triggers.

It was really loud.

But overall, I liked it.


 

 

Bad Movie Recap & Review: Anaconda 3: The Offspring

J.B. Rockwell, author of Serengeti (loved it!), Dark and Stars (loved it, too!), and Hecate (haven’t read it yet), sacrifices brain cells for Sci-Fi & Scary every month for what she calls Bad Movie Recap & Review time. I wait eagerly for her to make her movie selection, wondering what awesomely bad movie is going to be subjected to her blistering review. As soon as I receive it, half the time I’m reading it on my phone because I don’t want to wait to get home and read it on the computer screen.

Bad-good movies. Aren’t they lovely? Aren’t they glorious?

And this one, folks, is a doozy. I highly recommend not attempting to eat or drink anything whilst reading this.

**Sci-Fi & Scary is not responsible for any electronics fried by spit-takes or hospital bills from you choking on your pizza.**

Find J.B. Rockwell at: http://www.jenniferbrockwell.com/


Anaconda 3: The Offspring

Third Time’s a Charm… Or Something Like That…

By J.B. Rockwell

If you harken back to my inaugural Bad Movie Review post (cough-cough-cough, shameless promo link), you’ll remember that I subdivided my beloved bad movies into three big bucket categories: Cheap & Cheesy, SyFy Originals, and Blockbuster Bellyflops.

Looking back on my reviews to date, I realized every last one of them fell into this last category: big budget movies with big name actors that didn’t intend to be bad, but—through a combination poor writing, sloppy plotting and, well, general dumbness—ended up being exactly that.

And yet, strangely entertaining at the same time.

*sigh* Ah, bad-good movies, how I love you so.

Anywho, I also realized I’d only reviewed movies I’d actually already seen before, not a randomly picked, going-into-it-blind film-like flick.

“Well,” said I, “time to change that, innit?”

Yes, sir! Time to watch some crap. And by crap, I mean awful excellentness. A big old boatload terrible just waiting for me to find it. The only question was: What movie to pick?Movie cover for Anaconda 3: The Offspring

Well, Anaconda 3 wasn’t actually my first choice. I actually wanted to watch Lesbian Vampire Killers (mostly because I was dying to know if the Vampire Killers are Lesbians or if the Vampire Killers only kill Lesbian Vampires) but Amazon actually wanted me to pay to rent it. Heresy! The lure of the bad movie is its freeness in recognition of its baditude! One does not pay to view the crap.

Harumph-harumph-harumph.

In a fit of self-righteous snootery (and cheapness) I turned my back on The Lesbians and the Vampires and the Killers that may or may not be both (for now, I still kinda wanna watch this) and fell back on another potentially rotten chestnut squirreled away on the List of Mostly Likely Terrible Movies I maintain. And that movie, my friends, is a whopper. Number 3 in a series—because everyone knows the third movie’s always the best—and product of that twisted womb of quality cinema, SyFy Original Films.

Note: that’s category 2, for those that are keeping score.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you Anaconda 3: The Offspring. The least anaconda-ish of the series and probably the worst—

Woah-woah-woah. Getting way ahead of myself. Just…read. You’ll figure it out.

The Plot:

A mercenary-for-hire accepts a mission from a billionaire to capture a dangerous snake that could possibly help cure a terminal illness.

Note: Before Lilyn accuses me of stacking the deck, I did NOT know going into this that Anaconda 3 has the same basic premise as Deep Blue Sea. Except with snakes instead of sharks. And the Hoff in place of Thomas Jaynehart Shark Wrangler. And much, much worse CGI…

The Cast:

David Hasselhoff (Known for Baywatch and being the best-loved American recording artist in Germany—did you see him dance on The Berlin Wall and knock it all down?!) as Hammet: an ass-kicking, snake-wrangling, Hannibal Smith cigar-chewing mercenary/big game hunter-for-hire who loves him some snake killing.

John Rhys-Davies (AKA, Sallah from the Indiana Jones movies) as Murdoch: an evil British billionaire who funds a lab to conduct experiments on poor little snakies and accidentally turn them into killers. Also, old and greedy and wants the snake cure for himself so he can be less old and more greedy but still British and evil.

Crystal Allen (Best known for… this movie, sadly. And the follow-up Anacondas: Trail of Blood) as Amanda Hayes: token hottie and supposed scientist who helped engineer the killer snakies. Spends most of the movie threatening to call in the military but then never actually doing it. Evidently, that’s hard.

A Bunch of Other Guys You’ve Never Heard of (Seriously, there wasn’t another name or face I recognized in this cast outside of The Hoff and JRD) as Hoff’s B Team: Walking meat sticks who run around shooting—and mostly missing—everything in sight before dying in bloody, screamy ways.

Budget & Box Office TV Movie Info:

  • Release Date: 26 July 2008
  • Budget: Not Available—Guessing about $1,000
  • Box Office Sales: Not Available—Guessing about $25

Sequels & Crossovers:

Anacondas: Trail of Blood, also a SyFy Original. Aaaand, that’s about it. Granted, this is Number 3 in a series, so there was the original Anaconda and Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid before it so, ya know, stuff. And things. Snakey-snakey-snakey hiss.

The Story (in a Nutshell):

Warning: Spoilers. Proceed with caution.

The Set-Up:

Cancer-stricken tycoon and British rich guy Peter Murdoch (John Rhys-Davies) establishes a super-secret lab to develop a blood orchid extract cure.

Note: Wow. What a ham-fisted reference to the previous movie. Way to go SyFy.

To examine why it works optimally in snakes, they also breed a super-anaconda strain. BECAUSE HOW COULD THAT POSSIBLY GO WRONG, AM I RIGHT?

Of course, we don’t know all this right away. The movie actually opens with its marquee name: David The Hassle The Hoff acting all sweaty and studly and tough as he and his mercenary/gun-for-hire troupe (yes, we are supposed to accept The Hoff as a mercenary/gun-for-hire/big game hunter, complete with A-Team style cigar chomping) getting their asses kicked by one extremely large snake.

Like, huge. I’d say a good 100 feet long and built like a semi.

Anyway, Hoff wins out in the end, of course, leaving snakey-wakey dead-dead-dead.

There ya go. Dominance established, snake done. Movie’s over, right? Time to move on?

Uh, no. Unfortunately…This was basically the movie’s high point.

So, cut to a lady jogger and spliced in scenes of science lab stuff for no apparent reason—bouncing boobs, test tubes, bouncing butt, pipettes. This goes on for…I’m gonna say five minutes before there’s yet another cut to John Rhys-Davis (AKA, evil rich British guy) decked out like an evil rich British car in a cravat and chauffeur-driven car.

Because OMG we have to force-fit all character introductions in the most forced and awkward way and right up front rather than ease into this nonsense.

Ahem. Sorry.

To show just how rich, British and evil JRD’s character is, he conveniently goes off on a very long diatribe against PETA, followed by a tour of his super sinister snake brewing lab, complete with other heavily accented evil snake brewing scientists.

Why the lab? Why the snakes? Ah! The scientists are on to an anti-aging, cancer and Alzheimer’s reversing cure type thing—I’m guessing a personal ambition of frail old JRD—and the key to said cure involves some big ass, science engineered snakes. Obviously.

Side note: Did they get this idea from the Deep Blue Sea scientists? I feel like someone’s owed royalties for the whole ‘Let’s genetically modify some animal things and really piss them off in the name of science and keeping old guys from getting old’ thing.

Right. The rest of it. Moving on.

The Rest of It:

With our bad guy, snake wrangler and evil lab established, we just need a token female to romp around with bouncy-bouncy boobies. Oh, right! She’s out jogging. Oh, wait. She’s done.

Boob Jogger enters bouncing, in all her hot, sweaty, clinging to her chestages glory. Turns out she’s not just a random jogger, she’s also a wicked smart scientist and prone to fits of experimenting on snakes to make them big-er-er and bad-er-er. From Dr. Boober we learn that the lab—though evil and backed by a British billionaire—is woefully understaffed and terribly dangerous as a result. Also, she makes sure to tell us she’s not an evil-bad scientist like the rest of these guys—she’s got no accent, after all—she’s just doing what they pay her for.

Nice try, sister. You’re still a messed up snake splicer in search of a buck and I don’t like you. Or your suspiciously prominent melon rack.

Right. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s review:

  • Super-secret lab? Check.
  • Big ass snakes? Check.
  • Scientists? Several checks.
  • Evil rich guy who wants to live forever? Check, check checkity-check.

All good, right? We’ve got everything we need, nothing could possibly—

Crap. The snakes just staged a jailbreak. Aaaand now they’re killing everyone. Evidently there’s also something called a ‘queen’ snake? WTF, writers? Snakes don’t have queens, that’s bees, ya buncha lazy-ass, dumb monkeys!

Whatever she is, the psycho snakes bust her out, too. And then all the snakies go bye-bye, abandoning the lab for the countryside and a free-flowing, scales in the wind killing spree.

Yee-haw!

So, to recap, we’ve got super-sized, super-pissed snakes on the loose and no one to stop them. Where’s an ass-kicking snake killer when you need one?

Tijuana, as it turns out. Or somewhere South-of-the-border-looking anyway, complete with wandering burro and a dive bar full of shady customers. Hoff gets the call and, after a brief stop to grab some cash and participate in a friendly little game of bar fight, dashes away to… wherever the lab’s located to report for duty.

Snake duty, that is. Cigar and gun required.

Back at the lab, the guys are impatient and unwilling to wait the hour/day/minute (who knows where Hoff is in relation to the lab) for The Hoff to arrive and help them, so they call in the B Team and send them off to get killed.

Er, I mean, track down the escaped snakes and make them dead.

Also back at the lab, Dr. Boobers is trying to convince the evil bad lab guys to call in the military, but said lab guys are both evil and bad and tell her to shut her mouth. Which she does. Because she signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Wow. Nice example of female empowerment, Dr. Boobers. One little piece of paper and you fold like a noodle in a high wind.

Right. Since Dr. Boobers can’t use her mouth to convey her righteousness indignation, she decides to use her hips. Off she goes, flouncing away in a fit of pique and rebelliousness to force herself on B Team and their ill-advised snake hunt.

Not quite sure what she plans to do since has no weapon and B Team only gives her a tiny pea shooter, but I suppose she could maybe woo the escaped snakes or something. There’s gotta be some reason she keeps waving around those headlights, after all. And, and she’s a scientist! Scientists are all about the woo from what I hear.

*nods sagely quickly moves on*

Meanwhile in a barn, a really big snake eats someone.

Good god, this movie is terrible. How much time is left. An hour?! Sheesh. Alright. What’s next?

B team tracks the snake to the barn via some sort of tracker the scientists inserted into it. Probably anally. Scientists like to do things in the butt. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the B Team crew is a who’s who of clichés. There’s black guy wearing a do-rag, redneck wearing a cowboy hat, tough chick with a tramp stamp and short, spikey hairdo, and fake Kylo Ren. Oh, and their leader looks like the bastard offspring of Aaron Eckhart and Thomas Jayne. Except, ya know, not quite good looking. And pretty much useless.

Anyway, Snaky sheds his skin to ditch the tracker (it came out the butt hole, I bet) and munches a couple B Teams members, including Aaron Fakeheart’s awkward love child before taking off for Parts Unknown. After spraying a few hundred bullets and missing everything but their Range Rover (or is it a Land Cruiser? I can never keep those two straight), the rest of B Team set off in hot pursuit.

Into a forest. Which is the absolute BEST place to be chasing after a 60+ foot man-munching snakerator.

Meanwhile, Boober is back at the barn with some lab administrator weenie and gets attacked by a snake—no idea which one or how many there are at this point, but I’m not sure it matters since there’s apparently no real plot! Dr. Boober’s entire existence in this movie seems to be focused on getting herself into sticky situations to create an excuse for The Hoff to come save her. Speaking of which…

ENTER THE HOFF, BIG GAME HUNTER. THANK GOD. WE’RE ALL SAVED.

Phew! Now that a real snake wrangler’s in town, everything’s finally gonna be alright. Hoff takes charge of B Team lickety-split and the whole band of them take off. Again. Well, except lab administrator weenie who’s a big woosy and stays at the barn with the dead bodies because… that’s safer…somehow?

Erstwhile, back in the forest, there’s snake chasing afoot. And a-car. Because half of B Team piled into the one not-shot-up vehicle (with Dr. Boobers) and set off after one snake, while Hoff and the rest pursue the other. I guess. It’s honestly not clear if they’re both after the same snake or if they’re all just flailing around (as I suspect) in the hopes they’ll scare something up by sheer luck.

In either case, things go south for Team Car pretty quickly. A run-in with Snaky leaves Fake Kylo Ren and Tramp Stamp exiting stage left dead, and the Range Rover/Land Cruiser they crashed before dying engulfed in flames. With Dr. HotTits trapped inside.

Alone again and in an on-fire vehicle, Dr. Boobers uses her chestal powers to bust out and make a run for it. With snakey-wakey in pokey pursuit. This being a BAD MOVIE and Dr. Boobers being a TOKEN HOT AND BOOBAGE-ENDOWED GIRL, she naturally trips while running and falls into a mud puddle. Where she proceeds to roll all around and get mud everywhere.

Dirty girl. Dirty, dirty girl.

Also, WTF? Why does every running girl in every bad movie trip while being pursued and fall flat on her face?

Anyway, all that mud leads to a very Predator-esque moment, when snakey-wakey suddenly goes all blind and dumb because mud + Dr. Boobers somehow = invisible to genetically enhanced critters.

Note: The writers make a BIG DEAL about this mud invisibility but it never comes up again. Ever. Not sure if that’s a result of piss-poor plotting or the writers just forgot their point in putting this scene in. Either way, it’s indicative of the quality of this movie that they hamfist in a scene like this and never do anything with it later.

Okay. Diatribe over, back to the movie, which—ugh—isn’t even close to done yet.

Right. Cue The Hoff’s re-entry with gun a-blazing to save MudTits. Two shots and the snake tucks tail and heads for the hills. Never mind B Team fired HUNDREDS of rounds at the scaly critter earlier and the snake didn’t give two shits. Two Hoff busters and snakey’s all ‘hell no I’m outta here cuz that guy’s a badass mofo’. Who knows, maybe he heard about that whole Berlin Wall thing and ran before Hoff busted out in song?

What’s that? Oh, yeah. Movie. Right. Tracking.

Back to the barn again—Why the barn? What is so important about this goddamn barn that we keep going back there?—where Dr. Boobers cleans herself up, threatens to call in the army—AGAIN—but doesn’t, and everyone else discusses what a raving bitch she is behind her back. All this somehow leads to her admitting all the REALLY BAD things they did to those snakes for REALLY GOOD AND ALTRUSITIC reasons and then bam! she drops the bomb: Queeny Baby’s preggers and due to give birth in less than 24 hours.

Noooooooooooo!

More driving, more chasing (Note: they keep destroying Range Rovers or Land Cruisers or whatever the hell these SUVs are, but more just seem to magically appear when they need them) and we end up at some abandoned building. Boobers and whatever B Team member she’s with—I stopped keeping track because they’re all red shirted ensigns, one interchangeable with another—scare the snake out of the abandoned building, and tromp back into the forest.

See the pattern here? Yeah. We repeat this half a dozen times in the course of the movie.

*shakes fist at lazy writers for being sad sacks and lazy-ass no-good-nicks*

With Mama due to have bebehs any minute, Hoff decides to call in the military because he’s suddenly come over with a case of the worries for all the innocent people in the area.

Aw, Big Game Hoff is a big softy.

Despite the call—and in keeping with this movie where people call for help and then blithely set off before said help even gets a chance to arrive—Hoff doesn’t waste time sticking around. Nope. Screw the army, Hoff Daddy needs himself a new pair of anaconda snakeskin boots and he knows just where to find them. Somehow…

Naturally B Team splits up again—back to that half afoot, half a-car set-up that worked SO well before. Dr. Boobers and Brother Do-Rag head off in the Land Cruiser and end up in some inexplicably drippy abandoned building.

Note: We have yet to see this ‘populace’ Hoff is worried about. The entire area seems to be inhabited by destroyed labs, falling down barns and abandoned buildings. Why are they so worried about people getting snake-munched when there’s no damn people anywhere to be found?

Yeah-yeah, keep your shirt on. I’m getting back to the movie. Sheesh.

So, creepy-creepy-creepy through the drippy-drippy dump with Dr. Boobers in the lead using her headlights to scan the way ahead. Despite her leadership, Do-Rag gets all snucked up on and tail speared by snaky, and bravely blows himself (and the snake, presumably) up with a grenade, leaving Dr. Boobers alone. Again. And Hoff running to save her. Again.

I’m telling you, these writers are the most worthless, unimaginative—

*blinks*

Ya know, it occurs to me that this entire charade would be much easier and much quicker to resolve if these stupid people would just stop splitting up.

Speaking of splitting up, in an awkward cut scene worthy of a 1970s health and safety film, the movie jams in an out-of-kilter scene break showing JRD—remember him? He was in the movie for like 10 minutes at the beginning and apparently returned from vacation or whatever to shoot some promo shots for the end—on the phone with one of the B Team members on his payroll. Other than passing on a cryptic comment about ‘everything going to plan,’ the entire point of this scene seems to be to remind the audience that they conned JRD into appearing in this sucktastic movie.

That’s right, I said sucktastic. Also, plan? What fucking plan? The one where people keep splitting up and running from one abandoned building to another only to return to that stupid fucking barn? If there’s one thing I learned from this movie, it’s that cut-rate snake wranglers are incapable of making a plan. This whole damn movie has no plan. This script has no plan. If it did, something useful or interesting would actually happen because the entire point of a plan is to actually sit down and create a plan where something fucking happens. But noooo. These guys cheaped out and hired Captain Crunch and Count Chocula to write this movie. Left the CGI to that guy Buddy in the TV department guy down at the local K-Mart because they—

I know, I know, I know, I’m getting back to the atrociously terrible movie!

Now where was I? Right. Hoff turns evil. That’s right, evil. Seems he’s not quite the ‘let’s kill ‘em all and save the populace’ good guy he pretended to be. Nope, total self-serving asshole. Such an asshole that he shoots his last surviving B Team member—Cowboy Hat? Can’t remember—and takes Dr. Boobers hostage to beat the sweet, sweet snake enhancing knowledge out of her sweet, sweet melon supported brain.

And why, you ask? Because evil British guy JRD offered him $10M to capture the snake and continue the research, not kill the snake and make sure everyone doesn’t die. Well, Dr. Boobers ain’t havin’ it. In a surprise twist, she chooses this moment to finally do something besides drive around with her rack of melons and fall down in the mud. Instead of whipping out a gun she doesn’t have, she tosses out some sick karate kicks and sets about messing Hoff up. And when the kicks don’t work, she does things the old fashioned way and stabs him in the gut with a heretofore unused and unmentioned pig sticker knife.

Girl power! Unicorns and victory over stinky boys for all!

So, Hoff’s down for the count, but unfortunately, there’s still the preggers queen snake to deal with—Boobers almost forgot about that. Luckily she brought a bomb with her—also not previously mentioned or shown—which she forthrightly chucks and runs.

Queen Snaky, ever the lady, politely stays put after said chucking in order to remain within the blast radius of the bomb—such a nice, obedient snaky. They taught her such good manners in that evil, evil lab—and kablammo! gets murdalized in an earth shattering kaboom of fire and smoke.

Huzzah!

Flush with victory—and snake-bombingness—Dr. Boobers takes off in yet another magical Land Cruiser, unaware that some guy—a B Team member, I assume—has snuck into the bombed-out building she just left. A shifty, no good snake stealer or snatches up a not-so-itty-bitty giant snake baby and stuffs it in a sack to bring back to JRD.

Okay, I gotta go back to this. How is any of this a plan? The guy had a lab full of snakes and he had to make the snakes escape to execute his master plan of capturing them again? Seriously? Who wrote this movie, a Magic 8-Ball set on random? A drunk donkey tapping out words on a squeeze box? Two gerbils and a hamster—

Nevermind. It doesn’t matter. The suckfest is mercifully over and I can finally say, ‘The End’.

THANK GOD.

Final Thoughts:

This movie… well, there’s bad movies and there’s bad-good movies and then there’s crap like this. I hesitate to even call this a movie. It’s an abomination that shouldn’t be and someone owes me and hour and twenty-six minutes of my life back for sitting through this awful excuse for cinema. You know how MST3K lampoons bad movies and makes them funny? Yeah, that’s not even possible. There’s nothing here to lampoon, just a core of rotten cheese rapped in a rutabaga stuffed with week-old fish.

Overall Rating:

  • Bad Moving Rating: 1 (out of 5)
  • Regular Movie Rating: 0.05 (out of 5)

Bonus Material:

Quotes!

….

Yeah, I got nothin’. This wasn’t exactly what you’d call a quote worthy movie. Normally I can fall back on IMDB or some other website to offer up some pithy bits of goodness, but this time? Bubkis. Total wasteland. The train to Empty City has left the station and ain’t comin’ back.

Look. I watched the movie, okay. The whole movie, as terrible as it was. So you want quotes? Go watch this crap machine yourself. I’m certainly not going back for a second helping…


Check out all of J.B. Rockwell’s books on Goodreads by clicking the covers below.

Book cover for Serengeti by J.B. RockwellDark and Stars book coverBook cover for Hecate by J.B. Rockwell

Train to Busan #MovieReview

Movie Covers for Train to Busan

Train to Busan Synopsis: While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Release Date: July 20th, 2016 | Runtime: 1 hr 58 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 5

Starring: Yoo GongYu-mi JungDong-seok Ma

 

 

 

Train to Busan Review

I realized that even though I’ve talked about Train to Busan a few times on various posts, I’ve never actually written up a review. Time to rectify that!

Train to Busan is a South Korean zombie flick that is, as the name might imply, set almost entirely on a train or in train stations. It follows two main characters in the form a father Seok-Woo ( Yoo Gong ) and his daughter Soo-An (played by Su-An Kim). Dong-seok Ma also plays a sizable role as well, as a husband (Sang-hwa) traveling with his pregnant wife. Everyone, even the secondary characters, do a great job in their respective roles. At the beginning of the movie, you don’t particularly care for Seok-Woo, but watching him realize what’s really important and grow as a father means by the end of the film you’re firmly rooting for his survival. Though, to be honest, I definitely liked Dong-seok better. He was a bit on the adorable side with his devotion to his wife, and that along with some of the tough guy moves he pulls had me cheering.

Train to Busan is a perfect example of taking a monster that has almost lost it’s appeal because of market saturation, and still turning out a flick you can’t help but be interested in. There’s nothing really new in it, and the usual cast of characters are present, including the rich selfish CEO type person that you can’t wait to see get bit. The zombies in Train to Busan are fairly typical. Not very bright, easy to distract, and such. Of course, given that people need to be able to navigate through the cars, the director works in a nice twist the humans can take advantage of.

I think one of the appeals of Train to Busan for me is that it’s not a ‘loud’ movie. It’s not dependent on loud noises for jump scares, shrill screams, etc. And even though there are several shots of bloodied zombies, and such, the gore factor isn’t particularly high. It’s much more focused on the survivors and how they deal with the situation. In most cases, that would annoy me. I tend to dislike movies where there’s less focus on the zombies and more on the characters, but in this movie, it works, unlike certain television shows that have become daytime soaps with the occasional bloody death and zombie fight. 

Train to Busan is the zombie film I would (and do) recommend from the last decade. It’s well-acted, the perfect length, and filled with action. And that ending? Perfection.

Purchase on Amazon.

The Veil (2017) Review and Interview

The Veil Movie CoverWilliam Levy (Resident Evil : The Final Chapter) and William Moseley (Chronicles of Narnia franchise) star in The Veil, a “refreshing fantasy film that eschews digital effects for real vistas”*, out August 11 via Vertical Entertainment.

Set in a war-torn land where tribal factions live in fear of annihilation, The Veil tells the story of a deadly warrior (William Levy) leading a destructive war campaign. When he is betrayed by his own and left for dead, he is healed by a mysterious princess and taken in by a hidden tribe that believes he was chosen to wage a final battle.

Co-starring Serinda Swan (Marvel’s Inhumans), Nick E. Tarabay (Arrow), Billy Blair (Machete Kills) and Romanian Olympic gold medallist Nadia Comaneci.

From director Brent Ryan Green and writer Jeff Goldberg comes ‘’a cult film waiting to happen’’,* The Veil in select theaters and on VOD August 11.

 

 

 

Talking with Brent Ryan Green

Now is The Veil based on a true story?

               Brent Ryan Green:  No it was not.  However we looked at Native American and Aztec cultures for inspiration.   Especially with Native American culture there was a lot to admire, which we tried to put into the film.

Would you call it a revenge film?

                  Brent Ryan Green: Yes but its also a lot more then just that.   It’s about the burden of the father being passed on to the son.  Revenge does play a large role in motivating Warrior.  The group he serves killed his father and demanded he takes his place and fight.

The betrayal is a big part of what shapes our hero though, isn’t it?  What makes him tick? What gives him his motivation to carry on after his own people leave him for dead?

                Brent Ryan Green: For sure, Warrior is betrayed by his closes friends.  He is left with nothing to live for.   Without giving to much of the film away its what he discovers next that gives him the strength to carry on.

What was it about William Levy that made him the right man for the role?

                 Brent Ryan Green: Meeting with William Levy for the first time I knew right away he was perfect for the role.   His energy and passion for the project was undeniable.   We clicked right away and he was fantastic to work with.  The Veil was an extremely difficult, on location, shoot but William brought 100% commitment.  I look forward to working with him again.

Where has the film been released so far?

                  Brent Ryan Green: The Veil is out in Germany, France and Latin America I believe.   It’s now starting to open up in even more country.  So probably out a few more countries by now with many more to follow.

What do you think US audiences get from The Veil?

                 Brent Ryan Green:   An action adventure film with some deeper layers for those who want to take a closer look.  And if not,  a fun ride.

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

The Veil Review

The Veil is one of those movies that begs to open the whole ‘what is sci-fi’ debate. Because, essentially, this is a fantasy movie placed on a different planet. The ‘aliens’ look like humans, there are trees everywhere, and the most sophisticated piece of weaponry you come across is a sword. However, even though it’s quote as a fantasy in the information above, on IMDB it’s listed purely as sci-fi adventure. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, because really it’s up to the creators what they define it as. However, it did cause a moment of consternation for me when I realized halfway into the film that I wasn’t going to see any of what i think of as the traditional sci-fi elements involved. In fact, I had a flashback to Stargate SG-1 where Jack comments on no matter where you go in the galaxy, people look like people and trees look like trees.

Still from The Veil 2017
There’s also a little bit of a Game of Thrones look, isn’t there?

For all that I just ragged on it for the sci-fi and fantasy thing, though, The Veil really was a well-shot movie. The cinematography was excellent, and there were many shots that I just genuinely enjoyed looking at. The costuming was interesting in some parts, and a bit weak in others. (The Black Knight very wrongly (It wasn’t their fault at all. I don’t think.) had Monty Python and the Holy Grail flashing through my head.) But the landscape, the views of the planet above, etc, were all well done. Of course, it didn’t hurt that there was some serious eye candy of the male variety frequently on screen, and I love my sweets.

Some viewers may recognized some of the stars, such as William Moseley or William Levy. I did not. So I can’t say how their acting compares to other work that they’ve been in. For me, the only one who I truly thought felt a bit ill-fitting was Serinda Swan. I honestly can’t even put my finger on why, but she was the one who felt the least believable out of the lot.

The plot behind The Veil was a fairly recognizable one. Revenge, from the dark to the light and vice versa, training sequences, the hero, the anti-hero. I’m sure there might be layers to it that I didn’t see, but I’m not the type to think deep thoughts during a movie. The director referenced that it would be a ‘fun ride’ for people like me, and he was mostly right. Mostly because, truth be told, I just wasn’t the appropriate audience for this film.

Still, The Veil did what it set out to do, and for the people the film is aimed at, I think they’ll be a lot more impressed than I was. It was well-shot, well-acted, and pretty to look at. Sometimes even if that’s all you get out of a movie, that can be enough.

Watch the trailer for The Veil below, and make up your mind for yourself. I’m simply not the right person to lay down a judgement on this type of movie.

 

 

Gremlin Review (Horror Film)

Movie cover for GremlinGremlin Synopsis: A man receives a mysterious box containing a terrible secret, a creature that will kill everyone else in his family unless he passes it on to someone he loves to continue its never-ending circulation.

Tagline: Big things come in small packages.

Starring:  Adam HamptonKristy K. BooneGeoff Barron

Release Date: 2017-1-11 | Runtime: 1 hr 30 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 3

Disclaimer: I received a screener copy of this film from October Coast publicity for review consideration.

 

 

 

Gremlin Review

Gremlin, a story about a rather dangerous box, was surprisingly entertaining. I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting, although since it was listed with a comparable movie of “Gremlins”, I was at least expecting a few more giggles. There were a few giggles to be had, but Gremlin doesn’t try to be anything other than a horror-movie you rubberneck at. And that is to it’s credit. The exact premise is one that I don’t actually think I’ve come across before. It’s amazing how sometimes just a small tweak can add a new dimension to something.

Adam Hampton proved strong in the male lead role, and I found myself rooting for him even when I knew I should realistically detest him. His wife, Julie Thatcher, was played by Kristy K. Boone. Boone’s performance had moments when it was fairly strong, but wavered frequently. I think if Katie Burgess, who played the daughter, did a good job, but wasn’t able to bring out her full potential. The rest of the supporting cast, apart from the brother and the main detective, were unmemorable. Catcher Stair, who played the young boy, Charlie Thatcher, gave the weakest performance of the lot. It felt like the little boy had no real desire to be in the movie, and his character was almost a cardboard cutout as a result.

Gremlin had a surprisingly high production quality with some solid cinematography for their budget. Unfortunately, it was hampered by some regrettably bad special effects at some points.  Thankfully, the special effects were relatively few, and most of the on-screen magic was a CGI monster that wasn’t horrible. It looked a bit like a mutated cricket. Watching it go after the various family members was a good bit more entertaining that you would think. 

The main problem I had with it was that some of the decisions that family members make are just flat-out stupid. And not only stupid, but stupid stuck on a loop. I found myself yelling at the screen at least twice when watching Gremlin. (Upside, I was involved enough in what I was watching that I actually did yell at the screen?)

Overall, Gremlin was a pleasant surprise to watch. I’ve got the attention span of a flea, and I found myself wanting to see how things ended. It wasn’t a great movie, by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t bad. I don’t regret watching it, and might even tune in for a re-watch at some point!

 

Bad Movie Recap & Review: Timecop

Science? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Science! J.B. Rockwell returns in her next monthly installment of her Bad Movie Recap & Review. This time she’s taking on that spiffing example of the 80s/90s action movie flick: Timecop.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy. (Check our her previous posts on Lake Placid and Flash Gordon, too!)

Ham, Cheese, and Van Damme

By J.B. Rockwell

Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme. They’re the action flick kings. Big guys with heavy accents (okay, so Stallone had more of a slur) who kick copious amounts of ass and toss out not-quite-funny quips. The film industry’s equivalent of the 80s hairband: everyone knows them, most people love them, all but a few are too embarrassed to admit they love their bad-good movies.

Movie cover for TimecopAnd there have been many over the years. I haven’t actually catalogued everything these three guys have made between them, but collectively they’ve starred in dozens of films (sometimes together), the majority of which were released during that magical period between the mid-80s and mid-90s when these three guys could do no wrong. Granted, they’re still making movies (fewer now, and mostly lumped in with Statham, or Diesel, or one of their younger, action flick successors) but these newer films don’t quite have the allure of the 80s/90s era flicks. They try too hard. The cheese factor isn’t quite right. Instead of being bad-good, their just bad-bad more often than not, and where’s the fun in that?

So, screw those newer films. I wanted a classic for my next bad movie review. I mean, honestly—it was only a matter of time before I picked one of the many, many, many 80s/90s era SSVD films anyway. The hard part was narrowing the wealth of choices on offer to just one actor, and one film. So, I cheated (because I’m lazy, and indecisive) and had Twitter help me out. After an exhaustive (read: one day), highly scientific (it wasn’t, not at all) and (not) statistically significant polling of the Twitterverse population, I chose that chestnut of actiony goodness: Timecop, starring the Muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Continue reading “Bad Movie Recap & Review: Timecop”

Flash Gordon: The Bad-Bad Movie with the Good-Good Soundtrack

 

J.B. Rockwell, author of the fantastic Serengeti, entertained us all when she did a guest post on Sci-Fi & Scary about Lake Placid: The Reason I Like Bad Movies Summed Up in One Film . In fact, it was so good that I asked her to do it again after hearing her wax lyrical about another of her favorite bad movies, Flash Gordon. She actually wrote this a few weeks back, but I’ve been stuffed with posts and wanted to give her a full 24 hours to herself so that everyone could be sure to see the awesomeness that was this post on Flash Gordon. Enjoy! (And remember, you can find JB at http://www.jenniferbrockwell.com/  – Lilyn


Ah, the ‘80s: a time of glitz and cheese. A time when nothing was too campy, too over-the-top, or too ridiculous to turn into a movie. Case in point: that sci-fi jewel of awesome badness and subject of this particular post: Flash Gordon.

So, some of you are wondering: Who (or what) exactly is Flash Gordon? Well, to answer that, I have to go back in time (cue Austin Powers style flashback sequence).

It was the 1930s, and Buck Rogers reigned as king of the sci-fi comic strips. ‘We need a competitor!’ someone declared, possibly with much twiddling of curly-cue mustaches, and so Flash Gordon was born.

From the very beginning, Flashy-boy and his muscles were a hit—so popular, in fact, that Flash Gordon was emblazoned on a headline banner at the 1939 New York World’s Fair—and continued to be an icon of Americanism for decades to come. Too huge to be confined to a simple comic strip, Mr. Muscles went on to appear in a whole host of productions, including a 1930s radio serial, a trio of serial films shot (also from the 1930s, the third and final shot in the 1940s), a television series (on SyFy, natch), a couple of animated TV series, an animated movie, a stage show, several comics, a novel, numerous parodies (including Sesame Street’s ‘Trash Gordon’) and, my personal favorite, in a big budget, motion picture release.

Oh, and there were toys, of course. A whole line of licensed products, in fact, including pop-up books, coloring books, a role playing game, rayguns, and toy spaceships, and all sorts of stuff.

But all that doesn’t really tell you bupkis about Flash Gordon himself, doesn’t it? Alright, let’s get to that.

Continue reading “Flash Gordon: The Bad-Bad Movie with the Good-Good Soundtrack”

Astronaut: The Last Push Review (Sci-Fi Drama)

Movie Cover for Astronaut: The Last Push

Synopsis: When a tragic accident cuts short the first manned mission to explore life on the moons of Jupiter, Michael Forrest must make the 3 year journey home to Earth in pure solitude.

Tagline: How far will man go to discover life?

Release Date: February 13th, 2012 | MPAA Rating: Unrated (but I’d say PG) | Coolthulhus Earned: 4

StarringKhary Payton, Lance Henriksen, Brian Baumgartner

Watch the Astronaut: The Last Push trailer here.


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