Archive for the ‘Wrap-ups and Round-ups’ Category

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Don’t drink the Kool-Aid (or the Flavor Aid): “The Sacrament”

October 6, 2014

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Ah, The Sacrament. This is a frustrating movie. Frustrating in the way my eighth-teachers were frustrated with me when I’d spend an entire class period drawing a picture of the Blue Thunder helicopter fighting a giant shark on the back of my math test. Wait, no, that suggests I have or had some aptitude for math. Heh. No. But Ti West does have potential—in fact he’s one of the freshest, most interesting horror filmmakers working today. That’s why it’s so disappointing that he made this misfire of a movie. I mean, it’s not even really a horror movie (as much as it pretends to be).
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Still better than a Malaysian Airlines flight: “7500”

October 5, 2014

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Think about air travel a moment. You’re herded like mentally-retarded cattle, practically get anal-probed by paroled felons in the name of “security,” all for the honor of waiting three hours for your hopelessly-delayed flight. When you do actually board the plane, you’ve got approximately the same personal space as a first-grader’s school desk, and as a fun feature, the seats recline so drastically that if the person in front of you wants to lean back, you end up with their head in your lap (and not in the good way—never in the good way). And this is how you spend several interminable hours—eating meals that seem to have polymer as a principle ingredient, watching edited movies on a tiny screen, and trying to ignore the dumbass sitting next to you who decided that a T-shirt with a borderline offensive saying and flip-flops are appropriate plane attire. And that’s provided that the hyper-sophisticated, eggshell-fragile machine you’re sitting in doesn’t plummet from the sky like a flaming cigar tube or simply disappear from all existence. And yet someone decided that this experience had to be made more harrowing, and so they made the haunted-jetliner film 7500. Never heard of it? That’s because it’s been sitting on a shelf for two years. Yeah, that’s a hopeful sign. Are you buckled in? Then let’s take off…uh, this review (well, shit, that didn’t work).
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Were they out of Mr. Potato Heads? “Annabelle”

October 4, 2014

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James Wan’s supernatural horror films—Insidious, Insidious Chapter 2,  and The Conjuringare basically the cinematic equivalent of popcorn: reasonably enjoyable as distraction food, but mostly air and empty calories. Not, in other words, very substantive. Annabelle, the latest installment in the Wan franchise isn’t even directed by Wan, but instead by his cinematographer John R. Leonetti. So whatever imprimatur Wan brings to his work is now run the Xerox machine, giving us a faded copy of a not-terribly bold-faced original. Basically, this is a film so rickety that it only works if you believe two normal, sane, stable adults to would by their newborn a baby a doll that looks as it was crafted by Satan himself.
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In the Dark Womb you eat only warm slime: “The Demon’s Rook.”

October 3, 2014

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The Demon’s Rook is a recent DIY movie that manages not to use the found-footage concept (hallelujah!), about a bunch of demons that attack a small Southern town. It seems like a fairly straightforward story, but as the beasties chow down on the human folk, the movie layers question upon question. Questions like: “Was this whole movie ADRed?” and “How drunk do I have to be for this make sense?” as well as “If I drank that whole bottle of Jack Daniels Honey I use for drunken rib eye marinades and chased it with some aftershave, would it make the movie make sense?” and ultimately, “Wait, this movie is still going?” (The answers, by the way, are: yes, very, it’s a start, and probably. Let’s take a look at what makes it so special.
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Gunmonkey Presents: HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR 2014!

October 3, 2014

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Hey there! Welp, it’s that time of year again. Time for ghosts and ghouls and jack-o-lanterns, and candy being sold by the metric ton. It’s also time for my Halloween Spooktactular! in which I try to shove as many reviews of horror movies into your face-holes as is humanly possible for a slacker like me. Now, I’m afraid that this year I’ll be travelling a bit this month, so my output will be a bit down, but what I miss out on in volume I will try and make for in quality. We good? All right then, let’s kick this thing off.

First up: The Demon’s Rook.

Then we revisit the James Wan horror machine with Annabelle

After that we fly not (not so) friendly skies with 7500.

Then we make the wrong choice of spa getaway with The Sacrament.

Afterwards, we get a good scare with The Babadook.

Following that we take a long, hard look in the mirror with Oculus.

Hey, are you feeling a little horny? because we”re gonna check out Horns.

Then we take a (not so) leisurely walk in the woods with Willow Creek.

And we spend a little more time in the woods with The Hunted (2013).

After that we feel the fury of Elizabeth Short with The Black Dahlia Haunting.

Before we move on to the wreckage that is Dracula Untold.

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Gunmonkey Presents: OCTOBER SPOOKTACULAR 2013!

October 14, 2013

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Holy crap! I totally didn’t realize it was October! Sorry, sorry, sorry. I moved back to a tropical country, and all the usual signifiers of October–falling leaves, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, really terrible new TV shows–are all on the other side of the world. Then this weekend, I got to thinking, “Hey, this English-speaking Asian TV station sure is running a lot of Hellraiser movies. I wonder why that is?” And then I went back to Googling pictures of Lexa Doig (I don’t have a rich inner-life). Anyway, a few hours later, like a lightning bolt to whatever part of the brain processes really, really basic facts, it hit me. “Duh! It’s October! Halloween!”

And then I realized that, shit, I was two weeks behind on my Spooktacular.

I’m gonna do my best to post a horror review every day for the rest of this month, and, if at all possible, make up for lost time. That’s probably going to entail re-posting some stuff, but, hey, you probably haven’t read it yet.

So, yeah, settle in, get comfortable, and get ready for another month(ish) of vampires, zombies, ghosts, monsters, and, you know, all the rest of that stuff.

First up:

We trip balls with Shrooms!

Next we revel in the white noise with Static.

And then it’s Christmas in October with Black X-Mas.

Before we goosestep along with Outpost.

Along with Outpost: Black Sun.

We head off to Mother Russia in The Darkest Hour.

Then we catch up with my original review of Fright Night.

Before reviewing the sequel Fright Night 2: The New Blood.

And then the little-seen Earth vs. the Spider

Afterward we’ll catch The Midnight Meat Train

Check out Haunter.

Before the remake of Embrace of the Vampire

And then Kevin Costner is pretty much the most useless dad ever in The New Daughter.

We call it a wrap with The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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Gunmonkey presents: “Back to the ’90s!”

August 28, 2013

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The other day Slate.com posted an article making the argument that the 1990s were one of the best–if not THE best–decade of the 20th century. This got me thinking about doing a retrospective of ’90s films and what they tell us about that (apparently) great decade. But then I remembered movies like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and thought “fuck that noise.”

Unfortunately, it looks like it’ll be a while before there are any decent new films to review, so I revisited my ’90s idea, and, well, yeah I guess I’m doing that now.

So, crank the Kriss Kross, break out your garishly-colored ties, your double-breasted suits, and your ridiculously high-waisted jeans, because for the next week (or so) we are travelling back to the heady days of Bill Clinton, Arsenio Hall, Kevin Costner and Slobodan Milosevic! Woo-hoo!

First up: The Temp (1993)

Next: We jack in with Johnny Mnemonic (1995), It’s not as dirty as it sounds.

And then: We get dirty with The Crush (1993)

We move on to Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (1991)

Before coming to Hard Target (1993)

From there we revisit my review of Hardware (1990)

Before we move on to I Come in Peace (1990)