WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There’s a special place for many kinds of movies in my heart: cheesy disaster movies, disastrous monster movies, monstrous 80s horror movies, but there’s also something very special about the early-2000s slasher movie. The harsh makeup, the proliferation of pseudo-lesbionic characters, the jocks with the bleach blonde hair and ebony eyebrows, the strange overuse of animal print – it all makes for a delightful assault on the eyes. Shredder doesn’t disappoint on any of these criteria. It reminds me of another classic I reviewed, Do You Wanna Know A Secret, but on ice. With a soundtrack that would rival the best porno, a decent assortment of sluts and bitches, and such riveting dialogue as “What country are you from?” “Europe”, I would thoroughly recommend giving this a watch if you’re in the mood for a good laugh.
The joys of being a 30-something college student with rich friends: you get to go to deserted ski resorts whenever the mood takes you. This is exactly what Kimberly Van Arx has in mind for the weekend – daddy wants to buy an old ski resort to further bolster the family’s already considerable assets, and she’s gonna go up and check the place out. She sells this to Cole, her boyfriend, as a romantic get away for the two of them, it’s just that two actually equates to seven people. But it’ll be fun! Plus, the more men that go along, the more chances Kimberly has of prancing around in the snow in a high-waisted, leopard print bikini, so it’s all for a greater good. Of course, none of these kids heed any of the traditional warning signs about going on such a holiday – things like all the locals in the bar creepily staring at them, the fact that the resort’s entrance has been bolted shut, and the fact that there’s a lot of brand new ski equipment in the lodge, with no owner around to be found.
But all of these things are trivial when the main goal is to get blind drunk, high as a kite, and bang more people than a hooker on payday. For Kimberly, the main goal will be to land Christophe, a blonde gentleman of some vague European abstraction that they picked up along the way. Sure, he won’t tell anyone where he comes from, he becomes oddly uncomfortable when the police are around, and he seems to know this area very well, but surely that doesn’t mean he’s up to anything shady, right? Then, of course, there are also the legends surrounding this resort, the story of the young girl who was killed in a snowboarding accident, and now her wrathful, angry spirit roams the mountain seeking her skiing revenge on any snowboarder she finds. But of course, that’s just a myth…
But if it’s just a myth why are so many people in this little group landing up dead? And not snowboarding accident dead, like murdered by the mysterious skier dressed all in black dead. And apart from him, there’s also some extra kinds of weird going on around here. Like the random skiing chick who likes to ski naked or have men’s hands down her parka while sitting on the ski lift. And there’s her crazy father who keeps screaming on about the dangers of snowboarding. And what’s with all the pamphlets about the proper use of the skiing slopes? To these kids, very little of it matters – there’s sex and some extreme snowboarding to be had, so by the time they actually wake up to the fact that there’s a problem they’re already up to their necks in it. Well, at least the ones that still have necks are. It’ll take all their combined, underwhelming abilities to make it off this mountain alright and, if they’re lucky, one member of the group might just be that right combination of hardcore and bi-curious to get them all to safety.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- When going on a ski vacation, it’s essential that you pack enough bikinis.
- Women peeing needs to be documented for future generations.
- Smart kids carry their own jaws of life with them wherever they go.
- European men speak only in innuendos.
- With enough ass waving and a spare pair of knickers any sheriff will be putty in your hands.
- It’s very dangerous for your blood/alcohol level to surpass 10.kajilion.
- The best way for a man to thank a woman for saving his life is to invite her to a bisexual threeway.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There are few things in life that can guarantee as much fun as an early 2000s movie with cheap animatronic dinosaurs brought back to life by a mad scientist, Eric Roberts and all of his self-importance in the lead role, and a sex scene that we could have sworn was on a perpetual loop. I present to you, dear reader, Raptor, perhaps one of the most glorious achievements of b-cinema I’ve seen yet. I gathered my most of my elite team of movie watchers for this one: Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole, and our newest recruit, Plaas Meisie. There are no words to describe the sheer awesomeness and cheesiness of this movie, but if you’re a fan of b-horror you absolutely NEED to watch this as soon as is humanly possible.
As is often the case in these movies, we’re thrown into the middle of some little town in the middle of absolutely nowhere where the most thrilling crime that probably takes place is a little old lady having her dentures stolen. Eric Roberts is the local sheriff, and this gives him the right to practically smear himself with smarmy and then roll around in a vat of self-produced and bottled egotism. Armed with two belts, a pair of mom jeans and a token black deputy, Eric’s ready to find out what happened to those poor drunken teenagers out the middle of the desert – because something ate them up good. Thinking that it was something reasonably standard, like a bear, a cougar or a shark, he’s joined on the investigation by Busty Blonde Animal Control Lady (hereafter referred to simply as ‘Busty’), but she’ll be damned if she knows what killed the kids. Maybe it has something to do with the recent spate of mass-chicken murders happening all along the county’s various highways?
Over at the Eunice corporation (nominally a chicken manufacturing plant, whatever that may be, and which is still running blue-screen DOS computers by the looks of things), something’s more than a little amiss. There are far too many crazy scientists in would-be berets pushing far too many flashing buttons on control panels for this to be a simple chicken farm. Of course, for the omnivident viewer, we know that the trucks transporting enormous numbers of chickens is simply a cover up – that’s how Eunice Corp. is transporting all of its raptor and t-rex eggs between its different facilities after one of the raptors escaped into the desert. Being a team of maybe four people, however, means that the people at this particular facility aren’t doing a great job keeping track of their genetically re-created little monsters, and more and more are starting to wreak havoc on the little town.
For Officer Mom Jeans the problem becomes personal after his sweet, innocent little girl is attacked by one of the raptors after getting it on with a man twice her age and squealing like a little pig while they did it on the back of his pickup truck. But how exactly does one small town sheriff take on a giant company like Eunice Corp.? Infiltration and a Busty sidekick – that’s how. The two of them are determined to get to the bottom of what’s going on, but there’s a little more going on behind the scenes that they don’t know about. Apparently this whole dinosaur resurrection process originally began as a government military operation for fighting overseas, so they also want in on the action when they realise that their supposedly cancelled project is back online. Can Eric Roberts’ seemingly infinite supply of self-satisfaction conquer the might of an angry, resurrected mother T-Rex? Do silicone boobs move at all? Why are everyone’s intestines in this movie brown? Watch, dear reader, and have all of these questions answered.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- ‘Whatever happened, happened here’ is usually how most police investigations start.
- Deserts can be right quirky creatures sometimes.
- Character enhancement is best done with copious amounts of silicone.
- Surprised raptors shed their toenails like geckos shed their tails.
- If it’s not as intense as black ops, and at least 2 black guys are involved, it classes as dark ops.
- Most companies have emergency spaceship entrances installed in their elevators.
- Clones can be pulled out of thin air and given all the memories of the original person.
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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:
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:
As a fun little fact before I dive into the review, this movie was originally meant to be a part of the Urban Legend franchise. Under the working title Urban Legends: Goldfield Murders, this was meant to follow on from Urban Legends: Bloody Mary before Sony bought back the rights to the franchise. It’s just as well really; while Bloody Mary at least tried to cling in there, amateur doesn’t begin to describe this movie. Maybe it’s because the guys behind it chose to go with a less universally known urban legend (I’d never heard of Goldfield or its supposed ghosts until I watched this movie. Some useful information can be found by clicking here), but all this movie really boils down to is 88 minutes of every clichéd ghost trick in the b-movie book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a laugh a minute to watch, but when Kellan Lutz is your biggest draw card you really aren’t giving the audience much to work with.
After some thumping techno beats from the production companies responsible for this little cheese fest we’re thrown into a car full of horribly clichéd college students. Julie’s your typical ghost-hunting psychology major who’s deadly serious and in touch with the voices from the spirit realm. To balance out her intense blandness she chose Mike to be her jackass boyfriend. Mike’s just your standard scuzball college character who keeps pulling pranks and flirting with other females. In this case said female is Keri, the whiny spoiled girl bedecked in pink and who can’t understand why this ghost hunt can’t be a kick-ass party. She’s here with Dean, who there really isn’t much to say about since he just kinda hovers in the background and grunts disapprovingly when she flirts back with Mike. The group’s fifth wheel is Chad, the intelligent, sensitive beef cake who tries to look out for Julie and protect her from Mike’s general douchebaggery.
Julie and co. land up staying in the haunted hotel when it turns out that the motel she booked them into doesn’t exist. How this happened is never explained, so we just plow on with the story. Julie’s trying to make contact with Elizabeth, a prostitute who lived in the Goldfield hotel during the town’s gold rush. Elizabeth was supposedly murdered by the hotel’s owner and her 2-week-old child dumped down a mine shaft under the building. Julie wants to confirm the specter’s existence to see why she’s trapped and unable to move on to the other side. I never knew that ghost psychology was such a big subject in American universities, but you learn something new every day. How the group struggles for nearly an hour of the movie’s runtime to find Elizabeth is baffling since you can hear her whining ‘where’s my baby?’ in the background every five minutes, but who am I to question the director’s vision?
Suddenly, without apparent cause and only 20 minutes of movie left to go, Elizabeth decides to go balls to the wall and haunt the crap out of these kids. It starts out with some innocent possession to give Julie some flashbacks of what happened to her, but not long after the possessions lead to Mike and Keri making the beast with two backs on a dusty couch. Not content with a supernatural orgasm, Elizabeth decides that the next step is to kill all of the kids as quickly and brutally as possible, all supposedly in the name of finding her baby. How this ties in with the baby is another of the movie’s great unanswered questions, but I didn’t feel like dwelling on it. Julie has some mysterious connection to the old hotel and to Elizabeth’s ghost, and she’s the only one that can end the bygone hooker’s reign of transcendental terror. The question, however, is whether or not Elizabeth is the only ghost in the hotel and whether putting her to rest will really solve all of Julie’s problems.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Girl-on-girl action is cheaper than trying to get a man involved.
- The sound of the car engine exploding doesn’t usually herald good news.
- Bartenders in ghost towns don’t serve up fancy cocktails.
- It’s rude to speak ill of the slutty dead.
- One woman’s brutal torture and murder is another woman’s cheesy, torch-lit ghost story.
- A man must be very well endowed if he can have sex with you through his jeans and yours.
- It’s very inconvenient when your boyfriend’s penis accidentally slips inside your best friend.
- Some guys won’t screw dead chicks; even douchebags have standards.
GHOSTS OF GOLDFIELD TRAILER
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