Saturday, March 29, 2008

"The Lost" review

The Lost (2005)

Director: Chris Sivertson
Writers: Jack Ketchum Chris Sivertson
Genre:Drama / Horror more

Marc Senter ... Ray Pye
Shay Astar ... Jennifer Fitch
Alex Frost ... Tim Bess
Megan Henning ... Sally Richmond
Robin Sydney ... Katherine Wallace
Michael Bowen ... Detective Charlie Schilling
Ed Lauter ... Ed Anderson
Dee Wallace ... Barbara Hanlon (as Dee Wallace-Stone)
Erin Brown ... Lisa Steiner
Ruby Larocca ... Elise Hanlon
One of the first images in “The Lost” has a pair of feet trudging along a dirt path to an outhouse while “I’m the Pied Piper” plays on the soundtrack. When Ray Pye reaches the door of the outhouse, a naked woman steps out and stops the music. She once was lost but now she’s found. It’s her. My God, she’s everywhere. I can’t escape. It’s no use. She’s in every single B-movie. Yes, I’m talking about Misty Mundae. Back again and naked. Of course she is.

So Ray “Pied Piper” Pye spots a naked Mundae and another Seduction Cinema babe down at a campsite. He decides to blast some lesbians for fun. His friends insist that he doesn’t know whether they’re lesbians or not but Pye has probably seen enough late night Cinemax to know what he’s talking about. Pye shows his contempt for Mundae and friend by using them for target practice. His friends fall into line as the Pied Piper tells them everything will be just fine as long as they listen to him. Ray leads the Lost out of the woods and into a life filled with drugs, sleazy sex and rapidly disintegrating morality.

“The Lost” is based on the story of Charles Schmid, “The Pied Piper of Tucson”. Most of Ray Pye’s freaky eccentricities are lifted straight from Schmid. The makeup, the fake mole and especially the crushed cans in the boot to make himself seem taller all come from Schmid. The enduring mystery of Schmid/Pye is why are people attracted to this obvious loser? Why do these lost souls follow the pied piper down a path of destruction? In a boring town, Pye is the most exciting thing going on. Well, at least he thinks he is and acts the part of a cool guy so his friends will stick around. As the truth about himself slowly reveals itself to Pye, (that he is in fact a loser), Pye flips out and wants to send everyone he knows to their bloody death.

“The Lost” is a pretty good flick. I enjoyed it. “The Lost” takes a while to get going but eventually delivers at the end. There is a lot of build-up between the first murders and Ray Pye’s eventual transformation into a raving psychopath. Ray tries to grab onto whatever is left of his humanity but any normal woman will see right through his deceit. “The Lost” paints a sick portrait of a budding psycho. It’s worth a look.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 Pied Pipers

Sunday, March 09, 2008

"The Caretaker" review

The Caretaker (2008)

Director: Bryce Olson
Writer: Jackie Olson

Kira Verrastro... Ella
James Immekus... Snail
Jennifer Freeman... Sonya
Andrew St. John... Topher
Diego J. Torres... Ricky
Victoria Vande Vegte... Chloe
Jennifer Tilly... Miss Perry
Judd Nelson... Ella's Dad
Jonathan Breck... The Limo Driver
Lola Davidson... Missy

I went to see “The Caretaker” the other day at the Fine Arts Theater on Wilshire. When I heard about Jennifer Tilly in a horror flick, I knew this was a film that had to be seen. So I met a few friends at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles to get the Saturday night off on the right foot. Nothing says good times like those waffles on Gower St. After eating there, I decided to rate “The Caretaker” based on a scale of 1 to 4 succulent breasts.

Before we left Roscoe’s I was told some interesting stories. One, did you know that McDonalds burgers taste sour? I didn’t understand it either but my friend’s girlfriend insists that the Royale with Cheese is a sour tasting sandwich. Those of us who grew up on it just didn’t understand the concept. I also heard a story about a house in Chatsworth that was rented out for porno shoots. One of my friends knew a guy who used to rent it out and then watch the movie so that they could see their house. “There’s my couch!” Apparently you get more money if you let them use the bedroom but they rarely did that. You’ve got to have some standards. I laughed my head off at this story as it proved my theory that every third house in Chatsworth is used for porn. My friend lives in Van Nuys but that’s used more for editing porn than for shooting it. You get better hourly rates in Chatsworth.

So we left Roscoe’s and headed over to the Fine Arts Theater. I had them follow me down Sunset Blvd because I knew the way. I lost them in about two minutes. Who knew Sunset would be jam packed on a Saturday night besides everybody in the entire world? I called them to see where they were. They had already passed me and were cruising down La Cienega. They had both grown up in L.A. and were zipping through traffic like it was nothing. We parked at the Flynt building and started to walk on over.

We got to the movie theater and the line to get in had just started to move. This was a free movie in order to get some word of mouth going. We were told that Jennifer Tilly and Judd Nelson were going to show up to take questions after the movie was over. I settled in for some Saturday night horror. It was show time.
A bunch of teens decide to scare their dates by pulling a Halloween prank. Instead of going to the school dance, the limo driver takes them to a scary house in the middle of nowhere. They proceed to tell the girls the story of the Caretaker. The Caretaker flipped out one day and chained his wife to her bedroom. He would dispatch people with his killer fruit picker if anyone looked at her. No one knows if the caretaker is still alive or dead. But since this is a horror movie we can assume he’s alive and is going to torment these teens as all good slashers should. Sure enough, he attacks them as soon as the story is over. It was very considerate of him to wait till the end to pounce. He pulls out his deadly fruit picker and the teens run for their lives. Jennifer Tilly and her killer cleavage show up near the end to try to get some fame from dating a serial killer. It ends badly.
First, let me praise the best part of this movie. Near the beginning of the movie, a horny couple enters the house so that they can get ready to help the teens scare their dates. The girl takes her top off and proceeds to bounce around. Then, to prove her worth to her boyfriend, she takes a flashlight, presses it against her breast and turns it on. Her breasts then glow in the dark. Scary! This scene was highly entertaining and I’d like to thank the filmmakers for their glowing breast efforts. That scores it two succulent breasts out of four.
Unfortunately I can’t really say I was too entertained by the rest of the movie. “The Caretaker” is really light on the blood and guts. For a horror movie, this is the kiss of death. The movie is done in a very lighthearted way that doesn’t fit with my idea of what a maniac with a killer fruit picker movie should be. I can think of about five or six gore scenes that should have been in this movie that were shamefully left out. Why didn’t the caretaker shove his fruit picker through someone? Or cut off someone’s head? He should have at least picked out someone’s heart with it. Most of the violent scenes are done off screen with minimal blood effects afterwards. The filmmakers have a very unique slasher weapon with the fruit picker, (as far as I know it’s never been done before), and yet they failed to exploit it.

When the movie was over, the Q&A section began. Judd Nelson showed up for it but Jennifer Tilly was nowhere in sight. She was very busy with a pair of jacks and was going for a full house. So the moderator asked the cast some very innocuous questions as we waited for the audience to get their turn. The moderator let two people in the audience speak, (I’m guessing friends of the cast as one question was, “You’re all up and coming actors. What other projects do you have coming up?”) My friend was waiting to ask a question about the thumb scene. In one flashback scene, it showed the caretaker’s wife escaping from her chain by biting her thumb off. Later in the movie, another girl is chained to the exact same spot on the floor that the wife was. He was expecting another thumb biting but she just slips out of the handcuff. “I was going to ask them why they built up the thumb biting scene and then forget to have it again. I would have asked but the Q&A was over too quickly. Well, they lost this reviewer after that scene.” Me too man. Me too.

Overall, “The Caretaker” is a goofy little horror movie with not a lot to get excited about. But it’s a competently filmed movie so it didn’t hurt me too much. As we left the theater, they were selling “Caretaker” DVD’s in the lobby. If Tilly had shown up, I would have gotten one and had her sign it. But she went all in after she got a pair of fives and couldn’t make it.

If you’re looking for a scary horror flick, “The Caretaker” is not what you’re looking for. But for a free movie after a delicious waffle dinner at Roscoe’s, “The Caretaker” wasn’t too bad. If you need to see some glow in the dark breasts, this may be worth fast forwarding through to the succulent part.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 succulent breasts

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep" review

Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (2006)

Charlie O'Connell... Ray
Victoria Pratt... Nicole
Kristi Angus... Jenny
Cory Monteith... Michael
Jack Scalia... Maxwell Odemus
Nicole McKay... Kate
Michal Yannai... Sally (as Michal Yanai)
Kyle Morven Tejpar... Young Ray

I saw this over at a friend’s house the other day. You can always tell how qualified a B-movie scientist is by how hot she looks in a bikini.As you can see, Dr. Babe is very qualified. She is hunting some mythical lost treasure that may or may not be guarded by a giant squid. She is being pressured by a bunch of thugs dressed in black who don’t look nearly as good in black as her. They want her to go searching for the treasure for them but she’ll never lower her standards to work for those cretins. Instead she brings along some goofball who wants to take his revenge on the giant squid for killing his parents. This time it’s personal.

“Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep” is a typical straight to video creature feature. Nothing too exciting to write about other than the fact that Dr. Babe could not keep her shirt on. No matter where she was, (the boat, her hotel room, anywhere), she somehow found a way to change in and out of her clothes. We must commend the producers for exploiting one of their best special effects. Actually, she was probably their best special effect as the Kraken was looking a little cheesy.

But The Kraken does manage to kill people on a fairly regular basis so you can’t fault him for his work ethic. He knows what a B-movie monster is supposed to do. The kill scenes are not anything out of the ordinary although I’m always a sucker for the scenes where the person gets pulled under the water and the blood starts bubbling up. I can’t get enough of that. The Kraken does manage to rip apart some people so I was mildly entertained. “Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep” might be worth a look if you’re in dire need of a Kraken fix.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 Krakens

Sunday, March 02, 2008

"Succubus: Hell Bent" review

Succubus: Hell Bent (2007)

Gary Busey ... Sentinel
David Keith ... Wallace
Lorenzo Lamas ... Flight Instructor
Kelly Hu ... Detective Pei
Natalie Denise Sperl ... Lilith
Jayson Blair ... Jason
Shawna Marie Nelson ... Heather
Ahna O'Reilly ... Bikini Babe
Cameron Goodman ... Kitty Cutie
Rebekah Brandes ... Hottie #2
Amber Flamminio ... Hottie #1
I want to jump right in and praise “Succubus: Hell Bent” for its one positive attribute. That would be Lilith, the hell bent Succubus. Lilith hooks up with a complete tool bag in Cancun and proceeds to have a demonic fatal attraction to him. He runs back to L.A. only to be stalked by the hellish hottie. The rest of the movie has the moron wondering why this demon is after him and what he plans to do to defeat her evil succubus ways.

Other than having a really hot succubus who looks great in black, I can’t think of one positive thing to say about this movie. “Succubus: Hell Bent” starts off with the tool bag and his dad flying jet planes. This lets us know right away that the main character is super rich and needs to be completely despised. Later on, Lorenzo Lamas makes an appearance as a helpful flight instructor who has a dog fight with the jet flying succubus. One of the producers must have a friend at a flight school because I couldn’t understand why a succubus needs to fly a jet to do her dirty work.

In fact, a lot about this movie is bewildering. Like why are Kelly Hu and Gary Busey in it? Both of them show up for ten minute cameos which only serve to remind us that we are not watching a real horror movie. I suspect that the filmmakers really wanted to make a teen “Fatal Attraction/Fear/The Crush/Swimfan” type flick but decided it had been done before. Why not make the same kind of crazy chick movie but with a succubus? And jets! Lots of jet fighter scenes! Those are really scary! No horror movie with a jet has ever been good. This movie proves that point once again.

Comedic horror movies can sometimes be fun but “Succubus: Hell Bent” is a pointless B-movie. It can be skipped. They had a hot girl in black, a rented hotel room and a lot of jets. This was not the ideal mix for a fun horror flick. This movie needed more graphic succubus killings and a lot less scenes of jet fighters. But that’s probably true of most movies.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 demonic jets

Well, at least there was Lilith.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

"Dream Slashers" review

Dream Slashers (2007)

Director: Philippe Ney
Writer: Domenic Siclari

Keren Gilbert ... Josey
Jon Seminara ... Charlie Watts
Irwin Keyes ... Sheriff Garza / Pizza Delivery Man
Jossara Jinaro ... Meena Garcia
Emerson Brooks ... Terrence
Ryan Kitley ... Scott
Esme Williams ... Demitria
Monica Gambee ... Monica
Michelle LaFrance ... Jessica
Melissa Tesmer ... Kelly

In any other line of business, fraud would be considered a detriment to a continuing successful enterprise. For some B-movie filmmakers, it’s a necessary business tactic. The description of “Dream Slashers” bears no resemblance to the actual film. I remember reading something about naughty women invading a guy’s dreams and doing some slashing. I can assure you that those naughty women are nowhere near this movie. How naughty of them.

How do B-movie hucksters continually get away with it? If I bought a bag of cookies, and it turned out that there wasn’t anything inside, I could get my money back. Yet if I rent a movie called “Dream Slashers” and it has nothing to do with dreams or slashers or anything else resembling entertainment, I get the finger. Why do B-movie filmmakers hold their audience in such contempt? Do they hate the fact that they are forced to make horror movies? Do they hate consumers in general? What drives people to waste time and money making this garbage only to turn around and try to sell it as something mildly entertaining? These and other questions are pointless to ask as the filmmakers have already taken my money and moved on to their next five movies they’ll crank out this weekend.

So if you are foolish enough to watch this movie, here’s what you get. A bunch of hot women go to their apartment and have a slumber party. They decide to tell scary stories while dressed in lingerie. The girl dressed as the devil has a really scary story to tell and proceeds to ruin the party. She babbles on about a haunted motel in Mexico where two couples hang out and bore to death anyone listening to their mind-numbing tale.

The only hope this movie had of being good was to let the lingerie girls either a) become Dream Slashers like it promised or B) let some hideous maniac attack them while they ran around in their underwear. Why devil girl decided to drag a perfectly good lingerie slumber party into oblivion with her tedious story is beyond me. “Dream Slashers” is the epitome of complete rip-off. It needs to be avoided. It will try to invade your B-movie dreams with its deceitful advertising but be strong and steer clear.

SCORE: 1 out of 4 dreaming lingerie girls