Silver Emulsion

Film Reviews

The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008)

The Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008)

Starring K-von Moezzi, Kelsey Sanders, Joseph Porter, Frank Nicotero, Jon Southwell, Jacob Witkin, Michelle Bauer, John Carl Buechler, David DeCoteau, Greg Nicotero, John Vulich, Adam Green

Directed by Silvia St. Croix

Expectations: Low. The first one was abysmal.


The Gingerdead Man 2, despite featuring a storybook opening detailing the events of the first film, disregards everything from its predecessor except the titular character and chooses to forge ahead into unknown territory. Well, maybe unknown is a bit extreme, but you get the point. The Gingerdead Man 2 instead goes for the Full Moon jugular, aiming itself squarely at Charles Band and the Full Moon filmmaking mentality, as well as the overarching genre of low-budget horror pictures. Surprisingly, it actually succeeds a lot more than it fails at this and winds up being an okay movie.

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December 14, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, Comedy, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mini-Review: Splice (2010)

Splice (2010)

Starring Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac, Brandon McGibbon, Simona Maicanescu, David Hewlett, Abigail Chu

Directed by Vincenzo Natali

Expectations: Low.


Splice starts off rather well, peaks about forty minutes in, and then slowly declines until the last fifteen minutes or so. At this point it reaches the cliff of the Grand Canyon and jumps off into oblivion. Despite this bullshit final reel, Splice is actually pretty enjoyable for the most part and is surprisingly shocking at times, even to my depraved mind. Throughout the film the story hinted and teased that it might go down a certain path, but being a studio picture I thought it wouldn’t dare actually do it. They do go there and it’s shocking both visually and morally when they do. When you really think about what you’re witnessing, it’s some twisted shit and I wouldn’t have expected a major Hollywood picture to be this fucked up. It’s a shame that the script wasn’t as good as it could have been, because Splice isn’t too far away from being great, at least in the idea department. The elements are clearly here but the weak, plodding script lacks tension and genuine narrative flow. Even still, Splice is a lot better than I expected it to be.

Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are both adequate as the genetic research couple, but the star of the show is really Delphine Chanéac as their creation. Without revealing too much, she manages to encompass the questioning nature of her character and the mannerisms associated with her unique situation. The FX are great as well, as director Vincenzo Natali wisely has the masters at KNB providing killer practical FX that get as much screen time as their CG counterparts. The integration between the two is very well done and helps to sell the over-the-top plot to even the most jaded viewer. KNB’s work dominates the majority of close-up FX shots, allowing the intense details of the physical models to inform your mind when the less detailed CG versions take the reigns for the medium-range shots. Natali’s shot selection and framing is also excellent and adds quite a bit of intrigue and interest to the film through clever camerawork and beautiful cinematography.

The final reel is pretty piss-poor though, as it’s pretty clear that they had run out of ideas half an hour earlier. Any goodwill built up over the course of the film is quickly dissipated and the film ends with a telegraphed, bullshit moment that was only inserted so a sequel could be churned out if the film proved successful. Oh well, it was pretty fun while it lasted.

November 27, 2010 Posted by | 2010s, Horror, Mini-Reviews, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars, Science Fiction | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Uninvited (1988)

Uninvited (1988)

Starring Toni Hudson, Eric Larson, Alex Cord, George Kennedy, Clu Gulager, Clare Carey, Rob Estes, Shari Shattuck

Directed by Greydon Clark

Expectations: Low. I don’t know anything about this except it has a killer mutated cat.


 

Well, I gotta give this movie credit. I’ve never seen a horror movie about an escaped lab cat that has a mutated version of itself living inside it that crawls out of its mouth to kill those that do it wrong. That’s about where the imagination ends in Uninvited, but with such a killer setup, it would be a shame if they wasted it. Thankfully they don’t, and the killer cat mutation stuff is fantastic, it’s just everything else surrounding it that’s kind of lame. As a low-budget horror film from the late 80s though, it should be expected that “the other stuff” is gonna be fairly sub-par.

Uninvited is yet another entry into the “stuck in a location being hunted down by an unseen killer” subgenre of horror that I mentioned in my Crash and Burn review yesterday. The subgenre is brilliant in its simplicity and absolute flexibility. It’s like Madlibs for the movies, where if you can think up a good location for the people to be stuck in, along with a creative type of killer, you’ve pretty much got yourself a winner. Films within the subgenre become instantly recognizable by these two traits alone, and simply by mentioning them you should be able to jog your friend’s memory to recall what film you’re talking about. Horror fans will forever remember Uninvited as “the one where the mutated cat kills people on a yacht.”

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November 10, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crash and Burn (1990)

Crash and Burn (1990)

Starring Paul Ganus, Megan Ward, Ralph Waite, Bill Moseley, Eva La Rue, Jack McGee, Elizabeth Maclellan, Katherine Armstrong

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Moderate. I don’t expect the movie to be good, but at least it has giant robots.


 

Oh Crash and Burn, why did you go and pull the bait and switch on me? Why do you promise another big robot spectacle ala Robot Jox, only to provide a sub-standard Blade Runner / Terminator / Alien mashup? I should know better than to go in with distinct expectations, but they really got me this time. The clever ruse of putting a giant robot on the box art and titling the film Robot Jox 2: Crash and Burn in some markets should have clued me in, but I was coming off the high of watching Robot Jox and what can I say? I was pumped.

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November 9, 2010 Posted by | 1990s, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars, Science Fiction | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

TerrorVision (1986)

TerrorVision (1986)

Starring Chad Allen, Diane Franklin, Mary Woronov, Gerrit Graham, Bert Remsen, Jon Gries, Jennifer Richards, Alejandro Rey, Randi Brooks, Frank Welker

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate.


 

If you’re looking for a serious injection of the 1980s into your life, then look no further than this morally questionable little film, Terrorvision. Everything in this movie is dripping with the kind of Velveeta that only the 1980s could produce. The thing is, this only goes so far and unfortunately it ends up working against itself. After the initial laughs have passed, it all gets really tiring because at the heart of the matter, this really would have worked a lot better as a short.

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October 15, 2010 Posted by | 1980s, Comedy, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars, Science Fiction | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Troll 2 (1990)

Troll 2 (1990)

Starring Michael Stephenson, George Hardy, Margo Prey, Connie McFarland, Deborah Reed, Jason F. Wright, Darren Ewing, Jason Steadman

Directed by Claudio Fragasso (under the name Drake Floyd)

Expectations: Low.

Film Rating

B-Movie Fun


 

Troll 2. Troll 2. Troll 2. Where do I start? It’s probably best if I do a bit of ‘splainin’ first, so that the immense carnal mainline of filth can hit you for all it’s worth. For those that enjoyed Troll and were hoping for a sequel, this isn’t it. Troll 2 was originally titled Goblins (not to be confused with Gobliiins, the 1992 PC Adventure game by Sierra) before it was retitled to take advantage of the previous Troll film’s fan base. The title Goblins fits the film much better, seeing as the whole thing revolves around goblins and the town of Nilbog (Hint: look at it backwards!) Many reviews seem to have a nerdgasm at this fact and belabor the point that the film is titled Troll 2 while featuring no actual trolls. Personally, I don’t give a shit. You can call a little dude in a burlap sack and a shitty mask whatever you want and it won’t stop my fun. Speaking of shitty masks, this film takes the cake with one mask being so incongruous and awful looking that every time it came on-screen I burst into laughter at it.

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October 8, 2010 Posted by | 1990s, Comedy, Good Trash, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

Starring Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry, Bárbara Elorrieta, Elsa Pataky, Santiago Segura, Simón Andreu, Tommy Dean Musset,

Directed by Brian Yuzna

Expectations: Low.


Let me just start off by saying that Beyond Re-Animator is a lot better than I expected, but it still doesn’t come close to the original. It’s about as good as the previous entry, Bride of Re-Animator, but arguments could be made and it all really comes down to preference anyway. Overall, I preferred this one to the last one if only because the story was different and wasn’t so much of a cookie-cutter redo of the original.

The film opens with a young boy and his friend camping outside their house. Some strange noises prompt them to investigate. The noises turn out to be a lurking zombie with no jaw and one hell of a tongue, who kills the kid’s sister right in front of him and then tries to guzzle down the milk left on the counter. The cops come and arrest the man responsible who was found playing around in the adjacent graveyard, one Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs). As he’s put into the police cruiser, he drops a syringe of reagent which the kid retrieves. Fourteen years later the child has struggled to figure out how that sister-killing zombie was possible and it leads him to the medical profession. He gets a job at the prison where West is held and the two start up a relationship similar to the West/Cain dynamic of the first two films.

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September 21, 2010 Posted by | 2000s, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bride of Re-Animator (1991)

Bride of Re-Animator (1991)

Starring Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones, Fabiana Udenio, David Gale, Kathleen Kinmont, Mel Stewart, Irene Forrest, Michael Strasser, Mary Sheldon

Directed by Brian Yuzna

Expectations: Moderate.


Okay, so Re-Animator is a 80s horror classic. Bride of Re-Animator is a poor follow-up on many levels, but it has so much crazy imagery sprinkled throughout its ninety-six minutes that it’s impossible to simply dismiss it and call it a day. Just about everything good working for the first film is here, but all of it in diminished form, so viewers are left with a less-than-animated sequel that fulfills some insane fantasies of the morbid mind, but forgets to completely entertain along the way.

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September 14, 2010 Posted by | 1990s, Horror, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Expendables (2010)

The Expendables (2010)

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis

Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Expectations: High.


The Expendables should have been great. It had so much going for it. I grew up watching 1980s action films and have been patiently awaiting a new release that re-captures some of their glory. When Stallone announced he was going back to the well one last time, and taking a bunch of badasses along for the ride, I was stoked from word one and had to do my best to keep myself from going into a violent frenzy in celebration. Unfortunately, the film is riddled with flaws and would have benefited greatly from a script rewrite and a focus on realistic, physical violence.

Not much back story is given throughout the film, but that’s okay, we all should know the drill by now. In pure 80s form, there’s a dictator doing some evil shit on an island off the coast of somewhere. Stallone and his posse ride in to take his ass down. Sounds good so far. I’m willing to shut down the think tank if they’re willing to put up some awesome action sequences. Unfortunately, like most facets of the picture, the action scenes are more frustrating than anything else. This brings me to my biggest problem with this film.

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August 30, 2010 Posted by | 2010s, Action, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Mini-Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas

Directed by Tim Burton

Expectations: Extremely low.


I normally would have avoided this but for some unexplained reason I decided to give it a go. I’m a fan of the original Alice story and I was curious to see how Tim Burton would film it, but the ridiculous amount of CG told me to steer clear. Burton’s later work for me has been fairly hit or miss, so I didn’t go into this with any expectations that I would enjoy this at any meaningful level. Like many things that your intuition tells you to avoid, Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is definitely one to go into treading lightly.

I was intrigued quite a bit by the opening forty minutes or so. It was paced well and it was interesting to see how the older Alice reacted to the various things in Wonderland. The CG work is actually pretty good and lends the film an animated quality. That’s not to say that it isn’t excessive though. Virtually everything in the film is CG, including the horses that characters ride upon. Surprisingly the computer imagery is not my main beef with the film though. It’s Burton’s complete lack of emotion or energy with this film. If there’s ever been a guy that needs to take a few years off and reconnect with his passion, it’s Burton and this should be exhibit A. It’s lifeless and the plethora of CG doesn’t help. No thanks.

Oh, and it has what is probably Danny Elfman’s most tired, boring, passionless score as well. Maybe they were going for passionless as a motif?

August 13, 2010 Posted by | 2010s, Fantasy, Kids, Mini-Reviews, Movie Reviews, Rating: 1 & 1/2 Stars | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments