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Paintball

Year of Release: 2009
Genre:  Thriller / Action / Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.9 / 10
Level of Awful: High
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Oh dear, another interesting concept with dreadfully poor execution. There’s so much more that can be done in a movie centred around killer paintball with a slight dusting of Hostel for fun, but you’d be amazed at just how boring poor film making can make this concept. It suffers from a number of things: firstly, the camera work is shoddy. The cameraman actually moves bushes where no bushes should be moving. Secondly, the camera also appears to function as the microphone and as soon as anybody moves too far away it’s virtually impossible to ever make out what they’re saying. Finally, it suffers from that terrible movie affliction where the director tries to make it obvious just how distressed the characters are but the outcome is a bunch of whiny little people who scream (unintelligibly) at one another for the entire duration of the movie. Mr Paintball director, I do ask that before you try to make another movie that you and I have a chat so we can make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

These are not sexy times, ladies.

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you begin to question what it is you’re doing and what the purpose of your existence is. Thankfully many of these questions can be answered with a little intense paintball action. Turns out there are numerous places around the world that cater to individuals who just have that undying urge to shoot paint at moving targets, and our little story takes place somewhere in Europe where renegade paintball is all the rage. It’s a secret little society where the location is unknown, people are brought in blindfolded and made to rely on their teammates (who they’ve never met) and their wits. It’s an intense game of survival and only the best will come away unstained, but for some its just what you need to feel alive.

It's sad when an actor realises their career is dead in the middle of a forest.

And so our little team (whose names I can’t remember) set out on this new adventure to become the ultimate paintball champs. It takes all of 3 minutes before they start arguing with one another, debating on who gets to be leader, how to get to the flags and who can actually read a map. The situation is tense – the other team might be just around the corner and decisions need to be made quickly. The team makes their way to a spot in the forest filled with old cars and one derelict bus. They move with the precision of army commandos, but are about as quiet as howler monkeys during mating season. While searching the area the other team spots them and begins to pelt them with paint, and they duck for cover in the old bus. The action begins to diverge from usual paintball practice when the opposing team throw two smoke canisters through the bus’s window, followed shortly afterwards by a box containing a bullet proof vest. When things go quiet and the team begin to make a move they realise just how different this game really is – the opposing team has started to use live ammunition, and our little group is running in plain sight.

The ghosts of paintballers past.

Faced with this new terror our group does what they do best: panic and scream at one another. So they panic off as fast as they can, only to discover that the entire forest is surrounded by a highly charged electric fence. After screaming at one another they panic off in a different direction, but soon pause to scream about where they’re actually going. Some more panicking and screaming ensues, and nobody really knows what’s going on, and gradually they’re all being shot. Along the way there’s an Asian person who adds nothing to the story, and a few booby traps here and there to make things a little bit more exciting in this game of cat and mouse. But who would be so evil as to corrupt an innocent pass time like paintball? Surely such people have been sent by Satan himself to vilify what our dear, screaming characters once held to be so positive and character building? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t anywhere near as exciting.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Taking part in super elite, top-secret paintball tournaments is the absolute height of badassness.
  • Part of staying well hidden involves screaming at the top of your lungs wherever you go.
  • Part of hiding from enemy fire involves running around in the open.
  • Fat guys are always the first to panic when a paintball massacre breaks out.
  • Asian people make terrible paintball hostages.
  • The smaller your knife, the better your throat slashing abilities.
  • It’s incredibly difficult to speak when you have a machete rammed through your chest.

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Queen Cobra

Year of Release: 2007
Genre:  Horror
IMDB Rating: 2.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

OK horror fans, time to stand our ground and do the world a favour. If you own a DVD copy of Queen Cobra, burn it and cover the spot where it was burned with rock salt to prevent any of its evil spirits from re-entering our world. If you own a digital copy of the movie then delete it and do the same with your hard drive as I recommend people do with the DVD. We can’t be too careful. This particular little gem ranks right up there with the utter worst of the worst I have ever seen. Only the most seasoned of b-movie horror fans should attempt to watch this, and if possible I recommend doing it in a group setting. People don’t always come back from this sort of thing…

Sorry honey, there wasn't enough in the budget for me to take my top off.

It’s just another day on a non-existent college campus with its own resident mad scientist. The mad scientist in question is Dr Hall who is being funded by the government to do research on how to genetically mutate king cobras. These snakes are named sweetly after Homer and Marge Simpson and their parts are played by 4 different individuals: 2 real snakes that are quite clearly stock footage and 2 other snakes that are quite obviously made of plastic. Helping Dr Hall with the experiments are Courtney and Jeff, two of his postgrad students who are hopelessly in love with one another and who, despite having been involved in every step of the process, are completely unaware of what these snakes are actually being bred for. So far the doctor has managed to mutate them so that they can shoot (copious amounts) of acid at anyone who comes near them that completely melts the skin in a matter of seconds. No mad doctor, however, is ever content with simply having snakes that shoot acid and staying within the confines of his government contract so you know havoc and terror are about to rain down on this little campus.

Fierce honey, fierce!

This is where Rita comes in. Bless her, Rita’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer and she’s not doing very well in Dr Hall’s class so she needs to find some way of passing that doesn’t involve the use of a brain. As any girl would do in this situation does she dons her tiniest skirt and most low-cut top, goes to see Dr Hall and explains that she is willing to do simply anything to get a passing grade. Sadly for Rita what Dr Hall has in mind is slightly different to what she was implying and she lands up being stabbed to death with a tiny, tiny little knife and having her blood drawn for a DNA sample. This DNA is then given to the irradiated Marge the snake as part of the experiment. When Homer is killed by Dr Hall after he escapes Marge becomes very angry and escapes as well and, with the help of Rita’s DNA, transforms into a snake-woman hybrid, ready to take her revenge on everyone for the loss of her one true love.

When a neck massage becomes too intense...

Now the research facility where all of this is taking place really isn’t all that big. In fact all the makers of this movie seemed to be able to do was get hold of one room and free rein on a corridor and they were hellbent on making the most of the situation. Since the facility is so small the sounds of Marge mutating and then killing one of the security guards makes its way to Courtney and Jeff who then become the newest targets for the Queen Cobra. Floating around in all of this we are also given insight into Dr Hall’s marriage to his (much younger) wife and her TV repair man lover. None of this is at all important and in no way move the story along but simply provide one way for this movie to pad out its time a little more when people and creatures aren’t running up and down the corridor. While the Queen Cobra continues her attacks on anyone she comes into contact with Courtney and Jeff need to try and outsmart both the creature and Dr Hall who isn’t prepared to go down without a fight and is intent on training the Queen Cobra to obey his commands.

Apart from the obvious overuse of the corridor and the fact that, at most points, the plotline is holding on by the skin of its teeth the most fun part of this movie is watching the Queen Cobra herself. Obviously the budget didn’t allow for many touch ups of the body makeup and, as the movie progresses, more and more of it begins to peel off. It’s a horrible movie, but I would recommend it if for no other reason than to say you watched it and survived the experience 🙂

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Any man who creates a snake woman suddenly thinks he’s God.
  • Scientists are not at all perturbed by melting corpses lying around on the floor.
  • Irrespective of whether or not actual experiments are taking place something in a lab is always making a bubbling sound.
  • The use of grad students extends to making them help you with horrific DNA experiments.
  • Some people are very concerned about the rights of king cobras.
  • Secret agents should, at all times, walk around like a mentally challenged robot.
  • Security guard stations often have only red lighting and porno music playing in the background.
  • Snake women don’t hunt, they prance about.
  • A snake woman’s skin has evolved a natural thong.
  • Human heads being torn off a body sound a lot like fabric ripping.
  • Snake women have natural lesbian instincts.
  • 2 night guards constitutes an entire security force.
  • Secret agents are always one scene behind the monster.
  • It takes a person a few seconds before they realised they’ve been shot in the head and are now dead.

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