With Halloween going on, scary movies are all over the place. I should put scary in quotes, because, many horror films are violent or eerie but they’re not exactly “scary”. They’re too safe. Real scary, is the stuff that’s too disturbing to be explained away. Like that Ariel Castro asshole. He was scary because he was so far out there, it was impossible to make sense of. Well, if they ever made a biopic of that piece of filth, it might look a little like “Hidden in the Woods”, available now from Artsploitation Films. This Chilean film is supposedly based on a true story and it’s so messed up, there’s no doubt in my mind that it is. Want something terrifying for the 31st? Leave Freddy in slumberland and experience the kind of evil that can only be found in a real life psychopath. Read more
Archive for Hellicious
Ever since its release in 1988, “Die Hard” has been the action movie that spawned a million imitators. It’s almost become a joke to those who pitch films… “It’s like Die Hard on an aircraft carrier!” (“Under Siege”). There’s Die Hard in a mall (“Point Blank”), Die Hard in a prep school (“Toy Soldiers”) and even Die Hard on a mountain (“Cliffhanger”)! Bonus points to “Executive Decision” which did Die Hard on a plane exactly 6 years after Renny Harlin did it in “Die Hard 2″. Ok, well that was Die Hard in an airport, but still… close enough. In any event, Roland Emmerich the man who brought us such shallow, yet enjoyable blockbusters as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Independence Day” presents “White House Down” or Die Hard in The White House. Even if it’s not the deepest movie out there, it sure is a fun time. Read more
The whole month of October is like one big celebration. Oktoberfest brings beer, the fall harvest brings pumpkin-y goodness and Halloween brings ghouls and goblins. Nothing is more fun than bundling up on a cool fall evening, sipping some pumpkin ale and watching a scary movie… unless that scary movie features Danny Trejo as a zombie killing priest! Well thanks to the good folks at Well Go USA, said movie, “Zombie Hunter” hits Blu-Ray on 10/8. While it isn’t exactly scary, the film promises plenty of zombies getting their butts whooped.
And who can resist seeing Trejo kick ass for the Lord? Read more
“What the hell did I just watch!?!” That one line review, often blurted out immediately as credits roll, is the whole reason I started Cinema Judgement Day. It doesn’t mean you saw something bad, per se… but you did see something out of the norm. Such is the case with “An American Hippie In Israel“, coming to Blu-Ray on 9/10 from Grindhouse Releasing. With a story so pretentious it’s infantile, the film is chock full o’ hilariously bad acting and more body hair than the Kardashian family has combined. It’s the very definition of “so bad it’s good”… and is easily the most enjoyable film I’ve reviewed all year. I have no idea what the hell I just watched, but I do know that it was awesome.
When it comes to psychological thrillers, everybody wants to be Hitchcock. Director Adam Neutzsky-Wulff, begs and pleads for this comparison to be made just in the opening credits of “The Stranger Within“. As each name shows up on the screen, it dissipates into lines that recall the opening of “Psycho“. Even the score sounds suspiciously reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann’s famous theme, with faced-paced violins pulsing away at your ears. Unfortunately, after Al, everybody else is just a pretender to the throne and while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it usually just makes the end result look 2nd rate. Not so in this case. Neutzsky-Wulff’s movie comes off as 3rd or 4th rate at best and manages to enter that rare pantheon of films known as “So bad, they’re good.” I’d say I managed to scratch my head maybe three times before my mind was completely blown. Read more
One of my favorite movies is Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator“, the biopic of a dashing, young Howard Hughes as he revolutionizes air travel and conquers Hollywood. Those familiar with the film may recall a scene where a young (underaged) starlet is interviewed and seduced by Hughes only to later freak out over his infidelities. That actress was Faith Domergue, who starred in films like Hughes’ “Vendetta“, “It Came From Beneath the Sea” and the MST3K favorite “This Island Earth“. From the mid-50′s into the 60′s, she worked mostly in TV, but briefly returned to films before ending her career with the schlock horror “The House Of Seven Corpses“, available 8/13 on Blu-Ray and DVD from Severin Films. While this “last hurrah” might be what the film is best known for, the truth is: if you’re looking to turn your living room into a drive-in theater for the night, this is the disc to do it with. Read more
I’m certainly not the first to make a comparison like this (see: “The Wrestler“), but fighters and prostitutes are kindred spirits. Both are arguably abusing their bodies for financial gain and as such have a depressingly short shelf life. I guess you could make a similar comparison between fighting movies and porn. Sometimes story is just something to connect the “action” scenes. This is the case with “The King of the Streets“, arriving 8/6 on Blu-Ray and DVD from Well Go USA. Director/Star Yue Song’s tale of urban survival is fight scene after fight scene, strung together with a clumsy plot and the deep symbolism of rebirth as an eagle. Yes, an eagle. Read more
“Waterworld“, “Howard the Duck“… “Caddyshack“. These are films that were regarded as colossal flops, but in reality turned out to be… well, not so bad. Video helped these misfits of cinema find their loving audience and even became bona fide classics (in “Caddyshack‘s” case, anyway). It seems like every once in awhile, critics hold a secret conference to choose one film to universally gang up on. That film will be pop culture’s go to joke until the next flop is chosen. Sometimes it’s warranted (“Gigli“), sometimes it’s not… like in the case of “Ishtar“, finally coming to Blu-Ray on 8/6 after years of delay from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Many people have ragged on the film over the years, including Gary Larson who mocked it in a “Far Side” panel, without ever having ACTUALLY seen the movie. Well, now’s your chance to give the film a fair shake… and it’s never looked better. Read more
I approach anything with the WWE Studios logo emblazoned upon it with a fair bit of caution. ”The Marine“, “12 Rounds” and “See No Evil” are just a few examples of watchable stinkers the studio has put out over the years. The key word here is “watchable”. I’m not expecting John Cena playing “Hamlet“, but I will get mindless fun albeit with a fair share of eye rolls and guffaws. But imagine my surprise to see that WWE’s latest, “Dead Man Down“, available on Blu-Ray and DVD July 9th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, reunited “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (original) director Niels Arden Olpev and his leading lady Noomi Rapace. It looks like this picture comes from excellent stock… and with nary a trace of HGH to be found in the cast. Could it be? Could WWE finally be putting out quality films? Read more
I’m going to throw this out there right now: I hated “The Hangover Part II”. HATED it. I thought it was incredibly lazy filmmaking: just set the first film in Bangkok because that’s a crazier setting than Vegas, then do everything over nearly beat for beat. It was also too self-aware, as sequels can be. You know the characters, so there’s less reliance on the quality of a joke. For example, Alan can eat a piece of poop and we would laugh because it’s Alan… not because it’s funny. Well, I’m probably alone in my feelings for that film because it did extremely well. People wanted more of the same from the Wolfpack. Well, this Memorial Day weekend, those people will be thrown for a loop as Warner Bros. releases “The Hangover Part III” – a much darker installment than anybody could’ve seen coming. Read more