Wednesday, December 30, 2015

SOME KIND OF HATE (2015)


SOME KIND OF HATE

Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Writers: Brian DeLeeuw & Adam Egypt Mortimer

Starring Grace Phipps, Spenser Breslin, Andrew Bryniarski


Well, this is what I get for listening to people. “Come now, Evan: you know you wanna watch Some Kind of Hate.” Okay sir, you recommended it and I trust your taste. Well looky here: the film just happens to be on Netflix and I just happen to have nothing to do this Saturday night (like pretty much every Saturday night; otherwise, I’d be too busy getting laid to write these damn things). So yeah, I listened to people and threw away almost 90 minutes on this fucking movie. The absolute last time I’m ever fucking doing that.
     Lincoln (Ronen Rubenstein) is your typical clichéd outcast: he always wears dark clothing, looks angry and unhappy, smokes, draws macabre pictures, has an alcoholic father and listens to heavy metal. He also happens to be bullied at school by your typical preppy douchebag. Upon fighting back and stabbing said douchebag in the face with a fork Lincoln is shipped off to Mind’s Eye Academy, some kind of reform school for troubled youths that’s run by a hippie who wants them to get in touch with the ground and the sky and the trees and the leaves and what have you. As what Lincoln did spreads amongst the other teenagers there, Willie (Maestro Harrell) decides that he wants to push Lincoln to his breaking point. After several attempts, Lincoln finally snaps, decks Willie in the nose, then runs off and hides in some kind of bunker where he wishes Willie and his cronies were dead. The spirit of Moira (Sierra McCormick), a girl who committed suicide there, grants him his wish and begins killing off Willie and Co. As bodies begin piling up Lincoln realizes this isn’t what he wants. Will he be able to stop Moira before it’s too late?
     Now, I love these bullied-kid-gets-revenge-on-the-bullies movies—Evilspeak being my favorite—but this one is as bland as it gets. In order for these types of movies to be engaging and satisfying, we have to actually give a shit about the characters. They don’t have to be extremely complex or anything, just have enough depth for us to go, “Yeah, I know how it feels.” It also helps if the bullies are complete assholes that get our ire up. Unfortunately, all the characters in Some Kind of Hate are as dull as dishwater and as flat as stale soda. We know little about them and learn little about them aside from bits that move the plot along. Halfway through I’m going, “Why should I give a shit about any of these idiots?” And it doesn’t help that the unenthusiastic acting sucks out what little life these characters might have had. Rubenstein is the worst offender here. Hell, the guy can
barely muster the enthusiasm to fuck Kaitlin (Grace Philips), a pretty girl who was also shipped off to Mind’s Eye, let alone make any line deliveries sound convincing. Seriously, at one point Katlin tells him a sad story to which Lincoln replies, “That’s horrible” in such a way that makes it seem like he’s reading from cue cards. I said to the screen: “That’s unconvincing.” And when he cowers before the bullies, his acting is at its most laughable. None of the other actors/actresses are any better, but at least we don’t spend quite as much time with them.
     And if characters aren’t dull as shit, they’re as annoying as an itchy hemorrhoid. Case in point: Moira. Jesus Christ, most of her lines are just her whining about being bullied and being hurt and blah blah fuckin’ blah. Okay, we get it: people hurt her. Here’s the problem though: seeing as we know nothing about her, how are we supposed to connect with her and actually give a shit about what she went through? She could be a complete twat for all we know (something which the movie and characters seem to suggest), someone we’d want to bite the dust. She is so annoying that I actually yelled “Shut the fuck up!” several times at the screen. Of course she just keeps going on until I’m about ready to heave my computer right through the window.
     And speaking of flying through a window, not only do we have to put up with lame and annoying characters and lifeless acting, but the film drags. I mean dddddddddddrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggsssssssssss……… I checked the remaining time I can’t remember how many times during the course of viewing this turd. It takes half the movie for the ball to get rolling. This is supposed to be a slasher flick; fucking give us something up front, not halfway through the goddamn movie after my patience has already worn out!
     And the filmmakers have obviously never watched a slasher flick, or weren’t paying attention. Why? The kills are dog shit. Nothing innovative or interesting; nothing that’ll make us go “Woah, cool!” Basically, characters just get cut up with a small razor blade. And shit, we don’t even get to see the first kill, only the aftermath. Shame on you movie. Shame. On. You. And the cuts are, mostly, CGI. So fuck you, too!
     The filmmakers also see fit to remind us every chance they get that bullies get what they deserve. Every. Single. Fuckin’. Chance. It. Gets. “Bullies get what they deserve. Bullies get what they deserve. FUCKING BULLIES GET WHAT THEY DESERVE!” “Okay okay okay, we fuckin’ get it. Now shut the fuck up and get on with the movie!” The characters act like what Lincoln did was the greatest thing any human being has ever done—and all he did was stab one in the face with a fork. It barely stuns the guy. I mean, shit, I can only imagine how they’d be acting in Lincoln put the guy in a coma. Motherfuckers would probably be having Earth-shattering orgasms at the mere mention of his name.
     Is there anything good to say about this movie? Well, aside from the fact that it eventually ends, the desert locale lends the film a desolate atmosphere. Living in the desert myself, I know this feeling all too well. However, that is not enough to endure 90 minutes of boredom. Oh, and it’s nice to see a Misfits song title used for the film’s title.
     At the end of the day, Some Kind of Hate drops the worst flick of 2015 right onto our lap (and that’s coming from someone who watched the Poltergeist remake). Dull characters, unenthusiastic acting, shitty pacing, lamer-than-lame kills and an annoying slasher whom we can’t help but wish would just die all come together into an amalgamation of total ennui. Skip it if it’s the last thing you do.
"Our movie...sucks?"


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

WRESTLEMANIAC (2006)



Being an ex-wrestling fan (I’ll still watch old matches on occasion) Wrestlemaniac seemed like a no-brainer: combine something I love (horror) with something I used to love (wrestling) and—bam!—a Friday night’s worth of solid entertainment. Hell, maybe it’ll get me itching to revisit some of my favorite matches from yesteryear and relive a bit of my (misspent) youth.
     Or, maybe not.
     Six knuckleheads (Steve, Jimbo, Debbie, Dallas; Daisy, who spends most of her screen time passed out drunk; and Alphonse) are driving through the Mexican desert en route somewhere to film an amateur porn flick. After missing the freeway they stumble upon an old gas station run by some crazy dude (Irwin Keyes) who suggests they take a different route to reach the freeway but to beware of La Sangre de Dios. Steve then gets to serve his only purpose here, which is exposition: according to legend, Mexico wanted to beat the Russians in wrestling so they took three of their best wrestlers and created a genetic hybrid named El Mascarado (Rey Misterio, Sr.) to do the job. However, El Mascarado went nuts and began killing his opponents. Thus, they deposited him in La Sangre de Dios. Therefore, our characters van must break down right outside of La Sangre de Dios. Ignoring the crazy dude’s warning to stay away, they venture into the abandoned town to film their porn where they are offed one by one. Will anyone survive the slaughter?
     So what we have here is a generic slasher wrapped up in a novel concept to detract the viewer from the fact that they’re watching a generic slasher—and a boring one at that. Aside from the sets, which are pretty damn cool, and footage of old Mexican wrestlers doing their thing during the opening credits, there is little positive I can say about this film. Sure, we get a few tit shots but the rest of the affair is so dull and lifeless that you’ll have more fun playing with your own tits instead. If you’re going to tackle something as generic as a slasher film you’d better imbue it with speed-freak energy. Unfortunately, the film’s energy never goes above a comatose dude stuffing his face with donuts while watching infomercials.
     And the gore is pretty weak two. Sure, we get a couple faces being peeled off (admittedly, these look pretty decent) but the rest is standard crap. And the film skimps out on a couple kill scenes anyways. Come on now, those are the only reasons to watch these boring flicks: the kills! Hide one away and the film basically sucks, which is just what Wrestlemaniac does—and it sucks harder than Jared from Subway will be doing in prison to save his ass from being turned into a subway for footlongs.
     Suplex this damn thing right outta your DVD player and go watch some midget wrestling instead.

EXTERMINATOR CITY (2005)





EXTERMINATOR CITY (2005)

Director: Clive Cohen
Writer: Clive Cohen:

Starring: Julie Strain, Brinkie Stevens, Teresa May

When I first read about Exterminator City in the pages of the excellent ‘zine Weng’s Chop, I pretty much expected a slasher flick with a killer robot. Nothing brilliant, but something watchable to pass a boring Friday night. While I did get a slasher flick with a killer robot, the rest of the flick is so downright strange and bizarre that I had to take a few breaks to let my mind process the What the Fuck?-ery going on. Granted, I’ve seen enough loopy shit to make me a card-carrying member of Bellevue, but nothing got me ready for what I was going to experience when I spun this flick.
     It’s Atro City in the year 2027. A killer robot named Edmund Vaker/Edmund Baker/Eban Raker—something like that (the robotic accents made it difficult to tell)—is an exterminator gone haywire who has taken to murdering and skinning women alive. He is caught and then escapes to continue his wave of terror. A detective and the killer’s psychiatrist give chase. Will they be able to stop him before he turns all the well-endowed women of Atro City into well-endowed coffin decorations?
     That’s pretty much the plot here, folks. But…okay, let’s just admit it: this flick exists for little more than to showcase some cool puppetry and nude women, both of which it delivers in droves. It is all the more impressive given that it was, basically, made by one man—Clive Cohen—in, I’m guessing, his apartment. Kudos to you, Mr. Cohen.
     Aside from the robots, we also get some giant bugs, some devils and demons, and (in one of my favorite scenes) what looks like a skinned devil with a Hitler ‘tache and bad wig. There is also a lot of religious iconography: the top of the killer bot’s head is modeled after Notre Dame, there’s a scene involving robot confession, a robot televangelist, and pictures of Jesus with blood or bugs on them. Not sure if Cohen was delivering some commentary on religion or just trying to be blasphemous (my guess is the latter), but it’s all gravy either way the wind blows.
     Exterminator City also delivers some laughs in the form of one-liners delivered by the crotchety detective—“Just what the world needs: a schizophrenic toaster” being a highlight—as well as some unintentional laughs during the kill scenes: it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the scenes with the ladies were obviously filmed elsewhere, probably by the babes and their boyfriends/husbands or girlfriends/wives (whatever floats their boat). Edmund/Eban and the ladies are never seen in the same shot together, and you can tell by how the ladies react that they have no clue what they’re reacting to. One of my favorites is when a woman just lies on her side, screaming yet looking completely relaxed, while intercut footage of the robot hacks away at her with a saw. Another favorite is when a woman (played by an actress who’ll never win an Oscar) is stabbed through the head with an Oscar statuette. Brilliant!
     Overall, Exterminator City is a flick well-worth watching. And at only 80 minutes long you won’t be throwing too much of your life away. Come on, would I lie to you?

VENOM (1982)



Take a child, a psycho, a terrorist and a maid, and trap ‘em in a house with the police outside, and you have a fairly routine thriller. But throw a Black Mamba in the mix as an uninvited houseguest and you’ve got something. Now, cast Oliver Reed as the psycho and the great Klaus Kinski as the terrorist and you’ve reached levels of greatness not even God Himself could attain.
     That’s right, I’m talking about Piers Hagaard’s 1982 flick Venom.
     Philip Hopkins (Lance Holcomb) is the son of a wealthy couple and collects animals. He is sent to the local pet shop by his grandfather Howard (Sterling Hayden) to pick up a harmless snake to add to his collection. While this goes on we learn that Louise (Susan George, around long enough to get a credit), David (Oliver Reed) and Jacques (Klaus Kinski) plan to kidnap the boy and hold him for ransom. Upon returning home Philip insists that he has to get the snake into its vivarium before leaving with the trio. Upon opening the box he discovers that a Black Mamba is inside—which, of course, escapes after giving Louise a paycheck to buy the farm. Throw a murdered cop into the picture (after an awesome panning shot) and now you have a siege. The cops gather outside while the snake slithers inside. Will anyone make it out of this situation alive?
     Man, where to start with this flick? Fuck it, let’s go with the pace first. The film
moves along briskly, maintaining its No Bullshit attitude throughout. There is not one moment of filler, only the essentials. I checked the remaining runtime at one point and nearly shat myself when I’d seen that nearly an hour had passed. Filmmakers take note.
     Story-wise, the film would be a pretty routine hostage flick were it not for the inclusion of the Black Mamba, which is really the icing on the cake here. Filmmakers, take note again: you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just add a little something to give your movie some spice.
     But where this movie really shines is in the acting and characters, all of which are good and a joy to watch. Sure, you’re not gonna get complex characters here, but what you do get are characters who are defined and different from one another enough to be likeable or not. The pinnacle here is, of course, Klaus Kinski who outshines the others and here definitely here not just to collect a paycheck. He portrays Jacques Müller in what has to be one of the suavest roles of his career. Seriously, the dude breathes Million Dollar Pimpery. Just look at that fuckin’ suit! And that hair is what Donald Trump’s Roadkill Toupee aspires to. With that getup, I can almost guarantee Kinski was getting laid daily on the set.
     And, of course, we cannot forget the late, great Oliver Reed, looking great with his porn ‘tache as he drinks alcohol—big fuckin’ surprise—and screams at everyone and everything. And—oh!—Susan George. Only around for a short bit, but we get a great scene of her in black lace panties and undies. This’ll certainly leave some icing in your pants.
     But great props must go to David Ball, the man with the iron balls who handled the Black Mamba. As mentioned in the film just before the closing credits, without him this film could never have been made. Fuckin’ kudos to you sir! Without you, I wouldn’t be here raving like a loon about this totally awesome flick.
     And—bonus!—the film manages to conjure up some legitimate suspense even if you already know what’s coming, which is a testament to the talent of Hagaard. No matter how many times I watch this flick I’m always on edge when Howard is searching one of the rooms for the snake, or during the film’s climax which I always re-watch.
     Yes, Venom is the perfect antidote to lackluster crap—especially for me seeing as I viewed two duds beforehand. Watch it, watch it, watch it! And watch it again! Essential viewing, especially for the climax in which Kinski goes up against a rubber snake! Quintessential cinematic viewing!
     Did I already tell you to watch it?
So this is what a Black Mamba-induced orgasm looks like!