WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I know I say this quite often when I start off my reviews, but I feel that this movie warrants me saying it again: running this blog has forced me to come into contact with some very strange films, but S.N.U.B! takes the really bizarre biscuit. And before you think I might be overreacting, I would like you to consider what I believe to be the train of thought that went into making it: take people who look like, act like, and have the social sophistication of the cast of The Only Way Is Essex, tell them to do their best impersonation of the cast from Downton Abbey, and then put them in a situation that is more than just a little reminiscent of the plot from James Herbert’s Domain (minus the giant mutated rats). This, essentially, is what you will be dedicating the next 85 minutes of your life to should you decide to watch this movie. Now, that isn’t to say that it isn’t worth watching just to see how it all pans out, but I do like people to be prepared before they go walking off blindly into something.
We begin our misdirected adventure by following a group of soldiers out on an anti-terrorism assignment who are being hotly pursued by an under-prepared orchestra. The government has received word that someone might have planted a 20-megaton nuclear bomb somewhere in down town London (because it’s dead easy to just carry one of those around on you), and these highly untrained men are going to do their best to save the population, should the threat prove to be real. It turns out the threat is real, and the soldiers discover the bomb hidden inside a tiny metal briefcase. They bring in their most panicky and shaky member of staff to try and diffuse the bomb, but he’s never come across something like this before (again, because people don’t usually just leave nuclear weapons lying around, I imagine training with them is a little bit tricky), so he cuts the wrong wire. KABOOM!!! There goes London, all in one giant mushroom cloud.
Thankfully, while the British government doesn’t appear to have trained soldiers, an emergency plan, or an evacuation plan, they do happen to have a terribly unprepared Secret Underground Nuclear Bunker. All of the equipment in there is still from the Cold War so, while it isn’t tremendously helpful in keeping people alive, I imagine it would appeal to all of the hipster survivors who managed to make it inside. Having managed to get all of 7 people inside when the bomb went off (one of which is a minor government functionary who immediately tries to take control of the situation), these survivors band together with the three soldiers, the one communications director, and the one maintenance man who were already inside and try to figure out how they are going to weather this particular hell storm.
Oh yeah – the other problem with the bunker? It didn’t really come with a maintenance plan, so the life support machinery is REALLY old and gets clogged at the first sign of a human corpse falling into it. So there’s the problem of not being able to breathe when the 11 survivors use up all the oxygen in the labyrinthine bunker in a matter of hours (how heavily are they breathing?). Then there’s the issue of hierarchy, which really teaches us that, in the event of nuclear war, paper pushers with God complexes should be the first to be thrown into the mushroom cloud. Yet another issue is the prison right near by which housed Britain’s most dangerous criminals. They’ve escaped the prison thanks to the blast and have suffered from some minor instantaneous mutations and are now trying to push their way into the bunker through its many, many unsealed openings. But not to worry, if all of this becomes too tense for you to watch, it’s intermittently broken by scenes of two of the survivors indulging in flirtation that’s as subtle as being slapped through the face with a wet trout.
If all of this doesn’t convince you to watch it, then I don’t know what will 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Americans do like their underground bunkers to be up to date with the latest trends in home décor.
- The British Ministry of Defence never thinks to take steps to out-manoeuvre people with laminated pieces of paper getting past security check points.
- Underground government facilities are no place for children or goldfish.
- The easiest way to control the rodent population in an underground bunker is with a military-issued machine gun.
- Bureaucracy dictates that if bunker survivor quotas are surpassed, excess survivors must be jettisoned into the radioactive wasteland.
- Despite spending so much time on their backs, sluts still need plenty of rest.
- During times of crisis it is incredibly important to revert to Victorian-style gender differences.
- If you pedal a bike fast enough you can easily out-ride radiation poisoning.
- There’s absolutely no security risk in letting the country’s most dangerous criminals help set up top-secret underground government facilities.
- Government focus groups indicate that children make excellent decoys when mutated prisoners are invading your underground bunker.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Usually I like to watch movies that I know will hurt me; I’m slightly masochistic that way. There are other times, however, where it’s the thrill of not knowing how things are going to pan out that excite me. Chernobyl Diaries presented me with the perfect opportunity to act out on these feelings. I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I hadn’t read any reviews or seen any trailers for it, so I was going in blind. With a 5.1 IMDB rating I figured I had a 50/50 chance of either being entertained or badly hurt, and I was pretty alright with it either way. On the whole it’s not a bad movie. It certainly gives off that ‘I’m sure we’ve been here before’ vibe, and clearly the budget wasn’t going to allow anyone to make it rain, but more or less it came together quite nicely. UNTIL THE ENDING. God, I wanted to throw something through the screen. If you decide to watch this, turn it off 10 minutes before it’s about to end and you’ll walk away having had a fairly pleasant experience. If you don’t do that, have a good pair of hard-heeled shoes at the ready and warm up your throwing arm.
Answering the great philosophical question ‘whatever happened to Jesse McCartney?’, he rocks up as Chris, a love-struck young man on holiday through the Eastern Bloc with his girlfriend Natalie and her friend Amanda. It’s a whirlwind tour of all the things the former USSR and her satellite nations have to offer, leading up to their visit to Kiev in the Ukraine where they’ll meet up with Paul, Chris’ brother. The plan was to go to Moscow after Kiev, but a night of drinking changes things slightly. As a cautionary tale, proving that nothing good will come of a story that happened on a drunken night and that starts with ‘I met a guy named Yuri…’, the quartet decide to head off on a little ‘extreme tourism’ detour to the town of Prypiat.
Now, Prypiat has a bit of a sad history. Located just outside of Chernobyl, the town was evacuated when the reactor went critical and families lost everything they had ever owned (which, behind the Iron Curtain, probably wasn’t an awful lot). Our quartet, lead by a decidedly gruff and stereotypical man named Yuri, are joined by a viking maiden named Zoe and an Australian fellow named Michael. It’s all fun and games breaking into the Exclusion Zone, playing with some mutated fish and checking for sporadic spikes in radiation levels, but there’s obviously the human angle that we need to pay attention to. The place is utterly desolate, with only the fish, a really rotten dog, one giant bear and a giant picture of Stalin on a wall to testify to the place’s existence. But when the group gets back to the van, all the wires have been disconnected a bit too efficiently to be the work of the fish, even if they had the bear helping them…
From this point the situation escalates rather rapidly and the group is plummeted into the very pits of hell and desperation. Clearly the budget wasn’t so great that we could actually get a glimpse of the monsters, but suffice to say that not everyone left Prypiat when the town was evacuated. In that time they’ve learned how to disable cars, have become horribly mutated and have lost all notions of basic house keeping. It’s all fairly standard The Hills Have Eyes stuff from here on out, with a little sprinkling of Wrong Turn thrown in for good measure, all done in a ‘kind of like, but not quite, found footage’ style. Take it or leave it, it’s a fairly decent way to spend 85 minutes if you’ve already washed your hair that night and shampooed your goldfish for the week.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Extreme doses of radiation are completely safe so long as you’re around them for less than a day.
- It’s easier to understand Ukrainian than it is to understand an Australian accent.
- No great date should end until someone’s been mauled by a radioactive bear.
- Mutants in the former USSR aren’t afraid to eat a border guard. They’re hardcore that way.
- Ukrainian medical advice indicates that running around inside the Chernobyl reactor is dangerous to your health.
CHERNOBYL DIARIES TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Where would we b-movie fans be without the Syfy channel? Stuck with the Asylum I guess, but that’s entirely beside the point. You know when they announce a new movie that it’s going to be a complete cheese factory of goodness and, whilst it doesn’t make me want to re-evaluate my opinion that the golden age of Syfy movies has past, Piranhaconda doesn’t disappoint. It raises so many questions that otherwise wouldn’t cross your mind: what exactly is swimming in the rivers of Hawaii? When exactly does a person become so blonde that they should be given a legal guardian? Do you really get b-movie groupies? And, of course, the question that stuck out in my head: who the hell would sing this movie’s theme song? Jasmin Poncelet, that’s who. Don’t worry, I haven’t heard of her either, but good on her for having the balls to do it anyway. Not afraid to rip itself to shreds, Piranhaconda is one of the best times you can have with bad CGI, a group of random mercenaries and a posse of scantily clad females.
So we’re somewhere in the middle of Hawaii with Jasmin Poncelet singing her little lungs out when a helicopter loaded with Prof. Lovegrove and two soon-to-be-eaten students descends from the sky. Lovegrove, a world-renowned herpetologist, is on the lookout for a nest of strange eggs. Now feels like a good time to break it to you that the title is misleading and the creature contains no piranha or anaconda. If this disappoints you, take solace in the fact that it’s a Polynesian snake demon. Feel better? Good. So Lovegrove finds one of the nests laden with many eggs. Intent on revealing the creature to the world he bags one of the eggs up in a plastic corn flakes container to take back to the helicopter. As one might expect the mummy piranhaconda took a while to shove that egg out and isn’t about to just let some silly human run off with it. Defying the laws of space she emerges from a body of water that couldn’t possibly hide something her size, eats three out of the four people in attendance while Lovegrove runs off into the forest with the egg.
We now switch to another part of the forest where a group of scantily clad females are being stalked by a lunatic with a meat cleaver. For a moment I thought another movie had leaked into this one, but it turns out that we’re actually following a film crew around while they make the third installment in a slasher series that I’m fairly sure is poking fun at the Friday the 13th and Scream franchises. It’s here we meet Jack and Rose (if this is some strange homage to Titanic, I don’t get it, but I’m just gonna run with star struck lovers in the face of adversity), a stuntman and a script writer respectively. The two clearly have a thing for one another but, being the gentleman that he is, Jack just won’t let the movie’s slutty star Kimmy go without a thorough sun tan lotioning. This irritates Rose so much that she’s gonna tie that sarong so tight blood won’t flow to anything below the waist. Intense oiling up in the Hawaiian sun, however, is about to become the least of this little group’s problems.
Not from the piranhaconda, mind you, but rather from a random group of mercenaries that have also been running around the Hawaiian jungle. They’ve already managed to kidnap the professor and now manage to grab a hold of Rose, Kimmy and the movie’s director as well. Jack and his explosives buddy have managed to make a daring escape into the undergrowth that took splitting up, running frantically from side to side and tripping over every piece of wood they could find to get right. When they miraculously manage to make their way back to the road they think it best not to go back into town and alert the proper authorities and settle on the decidedly more manly method of taking on a hostage situation with no weapons other than a bag of plastic explosives. But, dear viewer, let us not forget the angry mother piranhaconda in hot pursuit of her missing egg and the many humans she’s prepared to nom through to get it back…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Piranhacondas are known to secure their eggs with anti-theft ooze.
- Nobody truly appreciates how difficult it is for a b-actress to be a sex bomb at 5 in the morning.
- $50 and some spare change is enough cash to secure a university professor’s safe release from a hostage situation.
- Mercenaries just prowl Hawaii’s forests kidnapping any random fool who walks by.
- Bands of rogue Hawaiian mercenaries are really just would-be directors and cameramen.
- Sometimes all a b-movie actress’s career needs is a hostage situation and threats of a violent death.
- Men sweat like pigs, sluts sweat like pound puppies.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Let me start off by saying that watching this movie was a mistake. Not a mistake in that I regret watching it but rather a mistake in that it wasn’t the movie I was thinking of. I remember back when I was maybe 13 or 14 I watched a movie about killer mosquitos and remembered this box cover from the video store I used to go to. I remember watching this one (albeit very vaguely), but I was really excited to watch the other one, so this was a major let down. It was also quite a surprise; you wouldn’t think there were that many movies about giant mosquitos. Skeeter is not fun, although if you’re in the mood for some spectacular 90s hair, music and men’s wedgie-inducing jeans then you’re in for an absolute treat.
It was a dark and lonely night when the trucks carrying loads of toxic waste rode into the outskirts of the little town of Clear Sky. It’s a tough time for the little town, what with all the modernisation and skyscrapers and internets going up. Not caring for the town’s plight in the face of the advancing city folk some evil corporation decides that it needs to dump its toxic waste somewhere and that the best place is in one of Clear Sky’s old abandoned mines. Nobody mines no more, work’s all done with them there fancy computers and cellphones as big as your arm, so nobody’s going to notice the waste in the old abandoned mine. That is until two boys head out that way on their motor bikes and land up mysteriously dead, the blood drained right out of their bodies…
We need to tear ourselves away from all that for a minute to meet Roy Boone, the coolest and manliest policeman in these here parts. He’s so manly, in fact, that he out-right refuses to ever button up his shirts, whether he’s on duty or not. Boone’s noticed that something very strange is going on in the little town of Clear Sky (the fact that entire herds of cattle are turning up drained of blood and looking like unwrapped mummies may have been a clue) and has called someone in to look at the water in the town, thinking that this might be the problem. The water guy’s more than happy to be there but sheriff Ernie and businessman Drake are not. Ernie and Drake have some kind of deal going on while Drake’s busy turning the desert into a never-ending stretch of luxury houses and they don’t want anyone interfering in their plans.
Of course mother nature, when combined with vast quantities of toxic waste, has a rather big way of saying “fuck you!” to people who want to develop luxury housing estates. At this point the movie’s worth watching just to see the mosquitos. I’m not sure what they’re made of but I’m guessing they’re models with either very limited movement or a lot of stop animation. These creatures are now flying around drinking the life force out of absolutely anyone and anything they come into contact with and sheriff Ernie’s not interested in hearing any of it, so Boone’s infinite manliness makes him a far better person for the job of saving Clear Sky. To help him out his Native American friend Hank will tag along for the ride. Will he be able to save the town from the monster mosquitos and the encroachment of 20th century conveniences? Will he be able to prove his love for Sarah and make her see the error in wanting to live in a place with tarred roads? All this and so much more (unnecessary chest hair) on the next screening of Skeeter!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Funeral parties are known to materialise out of nowhere in the blink of an eye.
- A pastor’s job at a funeral is to be bleak and ask God to kill us all.
- One of the prerequisites of being a politician is having a freckled belly.
- It’s never a wasted trip if you can find a karaoke bar.
- Native American policemen are useful for checking if a crime scene has bad juju.
- Doomsday predictions aren’t particularly powerful when delivered in rhyming couplets.
- Morgues in a desert town have no need for air conditioning.
- A parent’s job is to make their children feel terrible for wanting a better life for themselves.
- If you’re sleeping with the sheriff it doesn’t matter who you abandon in the desert without supplies.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
OK, I’m gonna put an idea out there and you can all tell me what you think. Four things made this movie standout when I first heard about it: 1) It’s made by the Asylum, 2) its leading ladies are Carmen Electra and 3) Brooke Hogan and, of course, 4) it’s about a giant 2-headed man-eating shark! Now, when one considers all these things, one might expect that this would be a belly full of laughs from beginning to end. One may just be disappointed. Perhaps it’s because I watched it back-to-back with Terror at Blood Fart Lake and nothing was going to compare with the awesome insanity of that movie but this little nautical nightmare just wasn’t as much fun as I was hoping for. Don’t get me wrong, it’s highly amusing to watch, but it just doesn’t have that b-grade x-factor that would let it go down in memory as a totally satisfying experience.
Now, if I understand this movie correctly (which is difficult since it all just seems so unlikely), Charlie O’Connell is a university professor taking his class out to sea to investigate something or other. What they’re investigating hardly seems important since they can’t even master the use of a compass, so we’re not really expecting them to turn out to be anything spectacular later on in life. He’s accompanied by his wife Carmen Electra, a brilliant doctor who’s dedicated her time to help any wary sailor out and cure whatever it is that may be ailing them. Everything’s going wonderfully until the boat manages to get a dead shark lodged in its propellers, bring the little exploratory expedition to an end. Thankfully there’s an atoll (which isn’t really an atoll) nearby where the group hopes they can salvage some materials to fix the boat.
The boat’s been a little bit more damaged than the group initially realises since the shark lodged in the propeller blades soon became a snack for the massive 2-headed mutant swimming around these waters. Being a rather messy and enthusiastic eater the 2-header smashed the boat’s hull and the ship’s starting to take on water and any of the crew members who try to fix it end up mysteriously eaten. Back on the atoll the students are doing there utmost best to be morons and go about being general asses and bitches. Some lesbian experimentation and threesome action comes to an abrupt halt when all concerned land up being eaten (although not in the way the one guy originally intended). Oh yeah, and the atoll’s sinking. The group’s gonna have to hustle themselves and fix the boat quickly before the land disappears from underneath them.
Thankfully Brooke Hogan’s here to save the day. Now, it’s not so much that she’s a genius as the rest of the group would lose a spelling bee to an amoeba but, in times of mutant shark attacks and atoll sinkings, one cannot afford to be picky. With her mannish good looks, straw-blonde hair and breasts that are forever threatening to fall out of her bikini, Brooke successfully manages to fix three separate boats AND figure out what’s drawing the sharks’ attention. It would appear that the creature’s two heads make it more sensitive to noise in the water, thus making it rather tricky to escape by boat. With land becoming an increasingly rare commodity and spare students that can be used as shark snacks running out Brooke and Co. will have to find a way of either teleporting off the island, sinking the main boat to send out a distress beacon or pull together a MacGyver-style plan to kill the 2-headed beast.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s better to be safe than someone’s dinner.
- You have no chance of surviving at sea without a long, pointy stick.
- An all-over tan requires that a woman’s breasts be thrust forward at all times.
- Women are constantly on edge, just waiting for a man to dare them to strip naked.
- A woman only gets a limited number of chances to be a lesbian in her lifetime.
- Being eaten by a shark is not the ideal way to get a threesome going.
- Good quality lighters will continue to work even after being submerged for hours at a time.
- A small metal net and half a barrel of gas is all you need to electrocute the entire ocean.
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