WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Lately I’ve come up against a bit of a brick wall so far as my reviews are concerned. I’ve watched so many movies in the past month, but they’ve all ended up being direly boring and I couldn’t think of a single way to write reviews for any of them (although the good Lord knows I’ve tried). It might just be that my standards have dropped, or I was just so desperate to write about something that my mind is making it all up, but I actually found this to be a decent and passable horror movie. It’s certainly not original, it doesn’t try to shake anything up and it doesn’t try to elicit any kind of emotional response from the audience, but as a standard haunted house story it works in the sense that what it does, it does well. I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to get your hands on a copy, but if it happens to come on TV sometime and you haven’t anything better lined up, give it watch. You may end up being mildly entertained.
In a move that may briefly leave you confused and mistakenly thinking that you’re watching Grave Encounters, the movie opens with us following the crew of a ghost hunting show. The show’s a little old school and is made up primarily of stock footage that they’ve green-screened their rather smarmy and pony-tailed host in front of. Since nobody appreciates a classic anymore, the ratings for the show have started to dip tremendously, and the producers are threatening to axe the show unless something is done. Enter the man who knows buzzwords! In his opinion the show needs to take on some elements from reality TV shows (no it doesn’t – nothing EVER needs to take points from reality shows. EVER.) and place the producer in the haunted houses and record his overly dramatic responses. So essentially they’re going to make it into Ghost Adventures.
The powers behind the show have found the absolutely perfect house! It’s set in a lovely neighbourhood, plenty of room for a family, fresh coat of paint, slave lodgings, the works! It also has a terrible history of people going missing as soon as they set foot inside of it, and the neighbours keep complaining about disembodied voices pleading for mercy, but it’s nothing that a new lamp and a mild exorcism won’t take care of. When the crew arrives there’s nobody there to open up for them; thankfully the movie’s a bit racist and has equipped its only black character with the skills to pick locks and a desire to break into white folks’ homes. It’s all a bit strange inside though: why is there a fully stocked fridge in a house that’s been abandoned since before the 1950s? Why is it so spotlessly clean? Why is the psychic they brought with them bleeding out of her eyes? Nobody seems particularly concerned with these questions, so it’s on with the show they go.
It becomes quite apparent quite quickly that this isn’t one of those fake haunted houses – there is some genuine malevolent shit going on in there. Unfortunately the crew is headed up by the biggest asshole of a producer that a film has ever dared to create, so despite the fact that people are disappearing into the walls he absolutely forbids anyone to abandon their posts. As it turns out it isn’t that the house has evil spirits in it – the house itself is the evil spirit. To survive it literally eats its victims in order to maintain itself (gorgeous wallpaper and a meticulously clean crystal chandelier come at a cost, you know), and it isn’t interested in letting any of its new meals out. It’ll be up to the bleeding-eye psychic, a black dude and a melted corpse to solve the case if there’s any hope of them living to see the sun rise again.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Haunted houses are known to spin people right round (baby, right round, like a record baby right round, round round).
- Haunted houses have no right to go around giving themselves fresh coats of paint.
- When the ratings for your TV show are down, it calls for life threatening situations to revitalise them.
- It’s supernaturally dangerous when a haunted house’s pleasure to pain ratios are too high.
- The colour of the ectoplasm you find indicates the level of malevolence you are dealing with.
- It’s very important to routinely check your psychic for hairballs to ensure optimum health.
HOUSE OF BONES TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from the ungodly experiment that is the B-Horror Blog, it’s that anything the Asylum can do, Syfy can do a thousand times better (except for those few times when the Asylum makes the Syfy movie). They’re both good staples: The Asylum if you want a movie that’ll be easy to throw insults at, and Syfy if you want some guaranteed cheese. Ghost Storm will give you everything you need so far as cheese factor is concerned, and it even throws in a little soft science just to make the final product that little bit more saccharine-sweet. By the looks of things the people behind this movie had a fairly decent budget to play around with, and gradually these people seem to be coming to grips with making CGI monsters that aren’t so bad they’re insulting. I recommend hanging onto this one for one of those really rainy Sunday afternoons when you want to chase away the approaching Monday blues.
What is it in a teenager’s genetic structure that draws them to creepy cemeteries like moths to a porch light? Science should really look into that. Anyway, as you may have guessed, our story begins with a group of bored teenagers in a dark and spooky cemetery – during a lightning storm, no less. Wherever the hell their hometown is, it would appear to be on a tiny little island, so I guess you gotta get your kicks where you can. Everything’s going absolutely fine (guys scaring girls, ominous thunder) until a bolt of lightning strikes the memorial for the people who died during the town’s now-infamous mass-suicide. The lightning, through means I should check with my Occult Specialist, releases the angry spirits of the departed, who quickly go about turning one of the teenagers into a grey piece of human jerky.
Thankfully, Officer Dad (AKA Hal, father of Daisy, one of the girls that was out in the cemetery) is on the case. There must be a logical, rational reason why Daisy’s 18-year-old boyfriend’s corpse went from looking like the Crypt Keeper to being a pile of mulch in a matter of hours. Of course, the problem here is that they’re stuck on an island, and how exactly would you report this kind of incident to the authorities back on the main land? This of course is only the beginning of the town’s problems – you see, these aren’t your regular pissed off, vengeance-seeking ghosts. These ghosts are smart – why hunt individually when you can join together, form a supernatural storm system and blight the inhabitants of the island all the more faster?
So, with the angry spirits swirling around the island in a giant, lightning-filled vortex, it’s up to Hal, ex-wife Ashley, and Daisy to come up with some kind of way to defeat the ghosts before they turn the entire town’s population into little piles of dust. They will be aided by a seafaring ghost hunter who happened to rock up on the island just as the storm formed. They will need a combination of a lot of random electrical equipment, some occultist knowledge, Ashley’s meteorological know-how, a lot of salt water, a fire extinguisher, an old diary with some town secrets, a weather balloon, a gun, a lot of jumper cables, some cans of silicon gel, half a dozen rolls of duct tape, an ancient talisman and a cellphone tower if they’re ever going to be able to stop these ghosts. Then, of course, there’s the mysterious old priest, and Ashley and Daisy’s old, but not forgotten, family history that ties into the whole affair…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Lightning storms are a tremendous turn on for randy teens.
- The new iSpirit app is very useful for knowing when there are vengeful spirits in the area.
- Exhuming bodies is nothing but good, small town fun.
- It’s very expensive to build a machine that’ll let you speak to a storm cloud.
- Salt water is the best thing to use to soak up spilled evil.
- A good old-fashioned witch hunt usually eases the tension when you’re being held hostage by ghosts.
- Always make sure that your ghost complies with regulatory electrical standards.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Ever since I watched the original Vampire Boys last year it has been my go-to reference for gay vampire horror erotica, and has become one of my ultimate guilty pleasure movies. I honestly couldn’t tell you why (although I suspect the copious amount of 80s inspired synth music may have something to do with it), but every time I watch it I have some of the best laughs ever. When I heard that there was a sequel in the works I obviously had to get my hands on it, and the lovely people over at Ariztical were kind enough to send me an advance screener copy. So, is the sequel any good? Well, it has none of the original cast, the plot’s paper-thin, the acting’s generally appalling, there’s some very dubious sound editing going on throughout the whole thing, and there are 7 gratuitous penis shots. So, the answer is yes! yes! a thousand times yes! I loved this movie from giggling beginning to maniacal laughter end, and I couldn’t recommend it enough to those of you strong enough to withstand the constant barrage of dead-pan faces and naked torsos.
It’s been a whole year since the events of the first film, and Jasin and Caleb’s love continues to grow brighter and stronger. Jasin remains the undisputed leader of his peace-loving coven in LA, Caleb’s constantly being told to go off and attend classes and university, and Jasin’s ex, Tara, has moved in with them, making her the world’s possibly first vampire fag hag. It’s a beautiful little set up the three of them have going: Jasin and Tara exchange adult conversation, Caleb and Tara act like two high school girls around one another, and Jasin and Caleb spend the better part of their day naked in bed together. Truly, it is the American Dream gone horribly awry. But is this really paradise, or simply a ticking time bomb of immortal hormones and anger waiting to overflow?
Obviously it’s a ticking time bomb, and all it needs is a match to the fuse to get it all going. Enter Demetrius onto the scene (and it’s now that I really wish I could broadcast Tropical Mary’s Afrikaans accent over the internet so you can hear how a name like that should really be pronounced). Demetrius is trying to set up his own coven in LA, and has acquired the use of a local boxing rink to help him find recruits. You see, while Jasin and his coven place peace and harmony above all other things, Demetrius really just likes to watch men beat the crap out of one another for sport (and possibly some kinky kind of sex thing, but the movie doesn’t really go into that). If only he could find a member of Jasin’s coven who’s really pissed off and would want to see Jasin and Caleb’s love torn asunder…
And there, as if from some crack-addled dream, emerges Tara in all her enormous-breasted glory! She’s still new to this whole vampire thing, so she’s easily put under Demetrius’ spell, which allows all her pent-up aggression to be set loose on the world. She’d be more than happy to slit dear little Caleb’s throat from ear-to-ear, but they’re gonna have to trick Jasin into letting his guard down. He can, after all, summon his army of shirtless vampire bodyguards at any time. But if all of this is in the name of revenge, what exactly is Demetrius’ beef with Jasin? Is a bleach-blonde man in a pair of tighty whities really a good choice for a new vampire convert? Why do you have to strip your victim of his pants and underwear before you drain him of all his blood? Just how big are Tara’s boobs anyway? Why does no one own a button shirt with any buttons? Why was there Tang in the pepper shaker at that little coffee shop? These are but some of the questions I had watching this movie, and it managed to answer at least a quarter of them. Truly, this was the best 80 minutes I’ve spent watching a movie in a long time.
Now, Ariztical, let’s talk about Vampire Boys 3…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Boxing schools were created so that dads can send their sons there to be de-gayed.
- At the end of the day, love will only get you two puncture wounds in your neck.
- Vegan gay vampires feed on stags, but are occasionally known to partake of a beaver. You know, out of curiosity.
- Few people plan to become vampires when they start university.
- Vampires perform community service by draining irritating, yappy dogs dry.
- When a vampire compels you, you suddenly start doing the robot.
- A vampire’s built-in GPS only kicks in when they eat their first human.
- Recently turned vampires want two things: food, and then lots of gay sex.
- A vampire’s first feed is always best if both they and their victim is naked.
- Being a doctor and a vampire usually creates a conflict of interest.
- First rule of gay vampire fight club: everyone come with a lisp and tight pants.
VAMPIRE BOYS 2: THE NEW BROOD TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Right, it’s official: I’m giving up my dream of gradually taking over the planet by being the world’s most efficient paper-pusher and applying for a job at The Asylum. I want to earn my living by spending my days high on crack and writing stories, because I’m pretty sure that’s what happened before the cameras started rolling on 12/12/12. Even by Asylum standards this was horrid, and whoever was behind it doesn’t seems to have even the foggiest idea about how anything in the world actually works. That being said, I watched this alone, and if I’d seen it with my elite squad of movie watchers I think it could’ve been a lot of fun. So, dear reader, grab a seat, grab a beer, grab your crack pipe, and let’s get this review on the road.
Everyone gather round and meet Veronica. Veronica’s in terrible pain – she’s about to have her first child delivered by the country’s most inept team of doctors. I guess this is what one should expect when you decide to have your baby in an emergency ward that has a park bench outside it and an entrance that looks like some dingy club’s back alley. Not that Veronica notices; she’s too busy screaming out in pain / orgasming in her vain attempts to give birth. The doctors can’t decide what to do, and baby daddy Carlos seems to think that the best plan of action is to lunge violently at every nurse that comes his way. After a lot of comings and goings the very independent baby climbs out of Veronica’s womb and promptly attacks, strangles, nibbles and kills the entire surgical team. One might think that this would be cause for alarm, but mommy’s tired and doesn’t seem to think much of it.
Things seem to be going OK until Veronica and Carlos bring little Sebastian home. Sebastian looks a bit like Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs, but this again raises no concerns from his parents. Despite only being 6 days old he also tends to bite a lot with his razor-sharp little teeth, is quite capable of crawling on his own, and has this bad habit of compelling people to do terrible things via telepathy. Things like making his dad drink water from a kettle that’s just boiled, or making the delivery boy slit his own throat open. Sebastian’s taken into child protection after the death of Carlos and Veronica goes to stay with her sister, vowing revenge upon the government for trying to protect the country’s children from harm.
At some point our characters make the transition from blind confusion to blinding insight so far as Sebastian’s demonic origins are concerned. By now Sebastian looks like Baby Sinclair after he was involved in a tragic cooking oil incident, and his blood lust (and his desire to throw his nappies everywhere) has become insatiable. Couple this with the group of satanic doomsday prophets who are looking for Sebastian to use him in some rite or other, dear Veronica really has her work cut out for her. She’s aided by a policeman who’s constantly sucking on a lollipop, and her sister who has some serious issues that are never really explained to us. Will Sebastian spare his mother when the devil arrives to take over the world? Will Veronica ever stop running around the city and causing teen suicides? Will 20-somethings ever stop taking night hikes along deserted highways? All this and much less will be revealed when you watch 12/12/12.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- No one ever talks about Satanic monks.
- You can still give a woman an epidural even if the baby’s crowning… and then again when the baby’s half way out.
- You can still perform a caesarean section even if the baby’s half-way through the birth canal.
- IV equipment can be manually set to ‘murder’.
- You don’t need to provide any kind of anaesthetic before performing a C-section.
- An umbilical cord isn’t a weapon you should underestimate.
- Any woman can lose all her pregnancy weight by the time the hospital discharges her.
- It’s perfectly normal for a 1-week-old baby to have teeth like a piranha.
- Police protocol dictates that 1-week-old babies should be considered suspects in murder trials.
- Vaginal baby suffocation is still a serious problem in modern society.
- The custody of a child can just be thrown from person to person, willy nilly.
- 6 Vicodin will usually take care of the pain from a small cut on your thumb.
- Police always use their sirens to let people know they’ve arrived.
- You should always be on the lookout for perverted babies – you never know when one’s watching you in the shower.
- Strangulations are always more fun when your hands make whooshing noises.
- Police these days are almost always psychic – you don’t need to tell them where you when you call.
- Priests and homeless people are equally adept at spotting the Anti-Christ.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There is no better feeling than that occasional time when I go into a movie thinking that it’s going to be awful and I walk away from it being pleasantly surprised. I’d read a few things about Smiley, none of them particularly good, but I found myself loving this movie for all the reasons that the critics panned it. Granted, I think it’s the kind of movie that only a child of the 90s can truly appreciate – it has the same kind of feeling that I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend and Scream had. Since those were the movies of my era, I thought Smiley was awesome for being able to capture that feeling, although I suspect it may fall a little bit flat with the kids of today. I would thoroughly recommend you watch this both for the 90s slasher vibe and for the fact that the whole movie is an elaborate tapestry of interwoven awkward moments that somehow come together to form a cohesive film. So many awkward moments, so little time…
Ah, college life. The beginning of adulthood where those years of toil and slog in high school finally pay off and you can begin to pursue a path of education that will help you become a productive member of society. Yeah, that was Ashley’s plan until approximately 3 minutes after she met her new housemate, Proxy, and then the training wheels came off in a big way. Proxy’s going to a party that’s been completely organised online by anonymous strangers, and she wants Ashley to go along. Ashley’s never done a bad thing in her life, or heard of a computer by the sounds of things, but she’s willing to give anything that good old college try. Drinkin’ them drinks and smokin’ that wacky tobacky…
At the little gathering is a small group of hackers, hacktivists, active hackers, hackers in training and a mild sprinkling of hipster hackers. From this group Ashley seems to learn her first urban legend – the one about Smiley. Now, Smiley’s a man who sowed his eyes shut and carved a smile into his face so he looks like a rather macabre emoticon. The legend is very similar to Bloody Mary, except this one involves the internet. If you go onto a video chat with a stranger, imagine Smiley killing them and type in ‘I did it for the lulz’ three times, Smiley will actually appear and commit the crime. But that’s just urban legend, right? Nobody actually believes this stuff do they?
Running with that thought, Ashley and Proxy decide to test it out and see what happens. After trolling the internet for the most revolting individual they can find, they tease him for a bit and then type in the fated words. Suddenly, a wild Smiley appears, uses knife stab and it’s super effective. This is understandably a little frightening for the girls, but how exactly do they go about reporting it to the police? It all seems a little bit strange, and it certainly doesn’t help that Ashley has a history of mental disorders. The only thing to possibly remedy this situation is more partying! But soon Smiley starts to break the rules of the game – instead of just going after people he’s sent to, he starts coming for those that did the sending, and Ashley needs to decide whether it’s her mind playing tricks on her or if something more sinister is at work.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- 12-year-old girls really shouldn’t be on sites where men take their pants off.
- Broadband has now reached a point where serial killers can download themselves into your house.
- Entire research teams are now looking into the intersection of the strange and the retarded.
- There’s about a 50/50 chance of either God or the Chupacabra actually being real.
- At some point all the internet’s evil is going to coalesce and manifest itself as a disfigured serial killer.
- There’s nothing quite like a roofied walk under the stars.
- Filing cabinets in academic institutions are there solely for the purpose of storing various types of booze.