WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
So I’m back in the saddle but feeling a little rusty; it’s been a few months since I’ve ripped a movie to shreds and I need a little practice. Pretty sure that The Asylum was founded simply for those reasons 🙂 Somehow, through the workings of some malevolent supernatural force, Hold Your Breath (or #holdyourbreath – I don’t know why) actually managed to get a (I imagine very limited) theatrical release. If malevolent supernatural forces were not involved in this process, my only other logical conclusion is that The Asylum has an entire department of buxom young females whose job it is to sleep with whoever necessary to get their movies out there. The movie’s awful, plain and simple; it actually kind of feels like it began shooting, changed scripts, carried on from there, changed scripts again, did some final shooting, and the three different movies were just thrown together for the hell of it.
As a general cautionary tale, this movie advises that at least a little caution should be taken when you come across a zealoty über-German priest out to rid the world of all its sins and vices. This is what Vicar van Hausen tried to do, murdering a number of alleged-harlots along the way, and maiming many others. For his hard work he’s been sentenced to death by electrocution, and the most bizarre array of individuals have turned out to watch the event. The proceedings get underway when a prison guard, obviously mistaking this for an episode of Deal or No Deal, prattles on about what van Hausen did. Van Hausen, before being electrocuted, manages to kill one of the guards before feeling 10 billion volts of CGI electricity coursing through his veins. But can mere CGI electricity put an end to such an evil?
Of course not. If it was, the movie wouldn’t be able to give you gratuitous shots of L-shaped breasts, now would it? Wanting to relive the glory days of high school, a group of friends decide to head off into the wilderness and leave the boring world of rent cheques and deadlines behind for a bit. Driving along their merry little way they happen upon a cemetery, where Blonde Girl tells them that they all have to hold their breath. Why? Because apparently, when a spirit is SO evil that Hell itself cannot contain it, simply holding your breath means that it is powerless. Everyone but The Stoner does this, and he becomes possessed by the ghost of van Hausen. To be fair he was a pretty obvious target from the very beginning, as his nipples are so large they could easily store an additional 3 or 4 evil spirits. In the midst of all this craziness the group decides to take a break and visit an old, abandoned insane asylum and have some sex before continuing on to the great outdoors.
After the necessary amounts of sex have been had and the movie’s done some good padding with the old electric chair, the group eventually decides to move on. Possessed Stoner has already killed a cop and set him on fire, but thankfully the body and car vanished into thin air before anyone saw what he was up to. The problem with evil ghosts, however, is that they tend to become a little slutty, and one body just can’t satisfy them. So van Hausen takes to hopping around between the group in order to exact his non-sensical revenge on the world. The group’s a bit slow so they’re gonna need a little help that comes in the shape of a hermit with a shotgun. The hermit was at the asylum when van Hausen was executed back in the 50s and, through magic of his own, has only aged about 25 years since the event. Thankfully the hermit has a little friend he can call on to bring van Hausen’s drizzle of terror to an end once and for all… maybe…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Only 5-year-olds are scared of getting caught smoking pot on a street corner.
- High school teachers take sabbaticals to recover from traumatic paper clip injuries.
- Nothing says ‘fun’ like having sex in an abandoned asylum’s mortuary/maternity ward.
- In certain circles it’s frowned upon when people in their 30s don’t behave like they did in high school.
- Blowjobs are a common bartering tool to get former badasses to sit in an electric chair.
- Two things you don’t want in life: the creation of a new asshole by means of a pitch fork, and having carnal knowledge of a bobcat.
- Possession-based amnesia is a terrible problem in areas with a lot of cemeteries.
HOLD YOUR BREATH TRAILER
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
In the great big world of b-grade horror, with so many titles vying for my attention, a movie needs to do a little something to catch my eye and make me want to see it. The three exclamation marks in this one’s title were enough to do it for me, and after the crushing disappointment that was Kinky Killers I was ready for something that would tickle my funny bone a little. This one came very close to being funny, but was ultimately let down by the fact that the actors appear to have been picked up at the local bus station and given 5 minutes to remember their lines. By the time this reality fully drove itself home I was already about 20 minutes in, so I figured I might as well finish watching it.
Back in 1970 smoking weed was all the rage. It was so fashionable, in fact, that it distracted certain men from the fact that they were sitting around in their mother’s basement, half-dressed and closing in on 40. It truly was a golden age. One fateful night three stoners, having previously passed a few lazy, hazy hours watching a rudimentary form of porn, decide that they’re hungry and head out in the pursuit of snacks. On this journey a miracle happens: out of the mist, in the middle of the road, accompanied by a wind machine and perfectly placed back light, emerges the female from said rudimentary porn video. Questioning nothing, including why she literally has buckets of green saliva, the stoners let her into the car and offer to drive her all night to get to her destination. This was the last Good Samaritan act any of them will ever perform. The woman quickly slashes all of them to pieces and crashes the car into a shallow puddle of water, where it will lie untouched for nearly 40 years.
In the year 2008 the shallow puddle of water has since evaporated, leaving the old car exposed. Jack Gorman, with the help of two buddies, his dog and some industrial building machinery, manages to drag the old car out for reasons vaguely alluded to. In the car’s boot he discovers a very strange, squishy object that (to the trained monster movie eye) resembles a kind of cocoon. He thinks nothing about it, and heads on home for dinner. Elsewhere in the forest a group of young college creatures has just arrived to celebrate Spring Break. Veronica, our blonde and chinless heroine, wants to get together with all her old friends to rekindle the interest they once had in one another. Whilst it was hard to imagine anyone once having an interest in any member of this group, I decided to suspend disbelief and see where the movie wanted to take me.
Just to clear up any confusion anyone may be experiencing, the cocoon from earlier had a banshee (!!!) in it and now it’s running around the woods. The kids find this out relatively early into their camping trip when one of them gets a branch rammed through their face. Jack and his nephew Rocker have been having a stand-off with the creature for a few days, but it’s making quick work of anyone else who just happens to be wandering through the woods. Its scream isn’t only debilitating but, if you’re exposed to it for long enough, your head will explode. When the surviving kids manage to find Jack’s house they all need to band together to fend off the banshee (!!!) or land up being ripped limb from limb and drained of blood. Personally, in a toss-up between the dismemberment and watching this movie again, I’m still in two minds about which one I’d go for.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- So far as stalkers go you could do a lot worse than the average looking black guy.
- Good friends will teleport ahead of the group to set up the camp site.
- It’s very unusual for a banshee to live outside its natural Irish habitat.
- Women who go camping are just asking to be pursued by a sexual deviant.
- When your wife has been brutally slain you should wait a few days before mopping up the blood.
- Some people go to college to do more than just drink beer and pee on things.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Just thinking about this movie again makes me giggle. It was either a very entertaining hour and a half or the worst thing I’ve ever seen, I can’t quite decide. The best way to imagine this movie, I feel, is that had it been made in the 1950s it would have probably been an incredible creature feature. That may be what gives it a little bit of its charm. It has absolutely everything you could want from a b-movie: Aliens with Predator-like cloaking abilities, reverse Avatars, special effects that are right up there with the likes of Birdemic and a very 80s Casio soundtrack. All these wonderful things, wrapped up in a cacoon of blue candyfloss. Definitely not for the inexperienced b-movie viewer, but I’d give it a recommend to the more seasoned amongst us; if nothing else it’s one hell of an experience. It’s also the only movie I’ve watched during End of the World Month to score anything on the Breast-O-Meter.
Earth is under siege! Unbeknownst to all of us our forests are slowly being invaded by an alien race known as the Scythe (that’s Scythe with a hard ‘c’). Thankfully a strange race of pink-haired blue people are flying around the universe doing their utmost best to protect all the other little species out there. Earth falls within Ava’s sphere of protection, but unfortunately the robot she tried to send down that usually takes care of the hard ‘c’ed Scythe has malfunctioned. The lesson in all this? Never send a robot in to do a knock off James Cameron extraterrestrial’s job. The reason the robots are sent in is because they are designed to see through the Scythe’s cloaking abilities rather than Ava having to fumble around with her arms out in front of her. What ever will she do now?
We’ll get to that in a minute, because before the Earth can be invaded and we as the audience can take it all seriously there needs to be a group of people in danger that Ava has to save. Enter our team of stereotypes: Jock, Jock’s Friend with Benefits, Rebel Girl, Nerdy Virgin Guy, Nerdy Asian Girl and Slut. This lot’ve been friends since they were knee-high to a grasshopper and are heading out to a camping spot that they’ve been going to since high school. OK, nobody’s really friends with Slut, but Jock’s hoping that she can pop Nerdy Virgin Guy’s cherry. It’s understandable why nobody really likes her: while not only a bitch she is entirely impractical and thinks that wearing a pair of hooker heals is perfectly alright for taking a hike through the woods. With the Scythe nearby and looking for blood, of course, poor choice in footwear will soon be the least of the group’s problems.
So, with a malfunctioning robot and an alien on the loose, Ava must come down to Earth and save us all from the horror. Being an alien and unable to breathe in Earth’s atmosphere Ava will actually stay in her ship and send down a human avatar imbued with her life force to do the job. When she meets up with the group of hikers they’re a little bit wary of the leather-clad female with Ke$ha-like autotune for a voice but after a little story and nearly killing one of them they’re all ready to jump on board and do their bit to save the world. They need to find where the Robotar’s (the robot that’s going to protect the world) pod landed so that they can go and fix it. Trust will become an issue since the Scythe can shape shift into anyone whose DNA it has come into contact with and there’s the small issue of humanity being a hopelessly technologically backwards species. Can the group come together to power up the machine and save the world or is Earth doomed to becoming a plastic alien’s new breeding ground?
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Giant explosions and fire balls in the sky are no cause for alarm.
- Women hike up to cabins just so they can complain that they want to go home.
- Some girls will sleep with a homeless guy just to make him feel better.
- Stilettos make less than desirable hiking boots.
- Sluts make superb bear hunters.
- Just because everyone else goes off to save someone doesn’t mean you can’t scarf down breakfast.
- Earthlings are highly insulted when they’re told that English is one of the simplest languages in the universe.
- It’s mankind’s fault that the Earth and the solar system only have one sun.
ALIENS VS AVATARS TRAILER
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
OK people, I’m back! After a little self-imposed hiatus to recover from the year in general and too many Syfy movies in particular I decided that the time had come to go back to basics and watch a crap horror movie with a cast you kind of recognise but can’t quite place and an idea that’s been done before and just as badly. The result is Hard Ride to Hell, which in itself is misleading because the roads look like they’re in good condition, so the ride itself does not appear to be that hard, and hell is nowhere to be seen. The only hell you may experience is the hour-and-a-half you’ll lose actually watching the movie.
Tessa and Danny have been having a terrible time lately. Having recently miscarried the doctors have told Tessa her chances of having any more children are very slim. Understandably depressed the couple decide to do the only sane and rational thing to do in times like this: grab your friends, rent an RV and go camping in the badlands of Texas. Nothing will take your minds off things like being in the world’s most rundown campsite in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone reception and where the only other visitor to the campsite is a travelling cutlery salesman. Bet Oprah’s sorry she never recommended this to anyone before her show ended. Anyways night falls at some point and the group decide to get heavily drunk. Being the token black guy and the most drunk of the lot Dirk decides to go relieve himself in the woods, where he’s about to discover a terrifying secret…
And by ‘terrifying’ I really mean thoroughly confusing. In the middle of all this nothing, surrounded by some trees and more nothing, is a kind of cult. They have in their possession a number of naked females who they are asking to offer themselves willingly to the fire in return for immortality. They start off by invoking Babylonian fire goddesses (note: goddesses = plural), but this quickly changes to invoking a goddess (singular) named Babylon or, alternatively, Lady of the Fire. We are told later on, though, that pagan magic is useless to stop this cult, and what they really are are Satanists. I’m going to assume that this is, therefore, an offshoot of mainstream Satanism where Satan is now a woman and, at times, can multiply himself / herself into a number of clones. The cult is led by a very uncharismatic leader who speaks in a rather mousey and monotone voice. Dirk happens to witness what is going on and tries to record it with his phone. Missing him back at camp, Danny gives him a call, whereupon the cult sees him hiding behind a rock and gives chase.
The cult makes their way back to the camp site and proceeds to variously capture, lop off arms and eat the members of our little group. They take a particular interest in Tessa since she apparently features in some or other prophecy that says she will be the mother of the cult leader’s evil death child. She must, of course, give herself willingly to the fire and she only submits to this after her boyfriend and friends are tortured a little bit. As a side note, it turns out that submitting yourself to the fire in no way involves going anywhere near an actual fire. Thankfully for all concerned the travelling cutlery salesman turns up to try and save them and they proceed to make a daring escape in the RV with the help of a number of knives and alcoholic beverages. They must make their way to an abandoned little town where the old preacher that lives there holds the key to saving them all and stopping the hell child from being born.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Some men just aren’t strong enough to handle their pregnant wife’s cannibalistic cravings.
- When journalists can write no more about Britney Spears, they write about Habitat for Humanity.
- Miscarriage can be used to trump any other form of loss or misfortune.
- Babylonian fire goddesses can be invoked as a complicated way of falling pregnant.
- A good way to judge a person’s character is by tasting their blood.
- Every cult needs one uncharismatic leader, one intelligent goon and five or so morons to stand around a fire smirking.
- Babylonian Satanic demons can only be defeated with the help of an Aztec amulet.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There have been times in the past where I have accused directors of forgetting to have things happen in their movies. As some form of karmic retribution for that comment I was subjected to Road Train (a.k.a. Road Kill), a movie where there’s just far too much going on. We have angry couples, cheating couples, a haunted truck, madmen with guns, road trips, the Australian outback, Cerberus and what I believe to be an unintentional homoerotic subtext. With so much going on the movie never really has time to explain anything properly, and a truck really isn’t as menacing a killer as the director was probably hoping it would be. It’s an interesting idea, but one that isn’t properly developed and one that doesn’t really have the effect you can feel the movie was going for.
I’m always a bit concerned when a movie opens with a sex scene. It gives you the sense that this isn’t a very confident movie because it’s not saving the nudity for later when the plot might be taking a little dip and it needs to keep the audience’s attention. Since this isn’t Dead Boyz Don’t Scream I was also a little perplexed as to why we saw more naked man than woman, since this is very uncommon in the horror world. The sexing twosome are Nina and Craig, and a little bit off from their tent is the non-sexing couple Liz and Marcus. Craig, Liz and Marcus have been friends for donkey’s years and they go on little camping excursions into the outback every year and Nina’s just tagged along for the ride. There’s also a very strong Brokeback feeling going on between Marcus and Craig. Whether it’s meant to be there or not I’m not sure, but something’s just odd between them. Anyways, having sexed themselves out and had coffee the group heads on to find even more nothing in the great outback for them to enjoy and camp in.
Whilst driving and looking for more nothing the group spots a road train coming up the road. A road train is a really enormous truck and the kids are pretty excited because apparently being overtaken by one is the ultimate road trip high. Things take a little turn for the worse when, instead of overtaking them, the truck plows into the back of them. After trying a few evasive manoeuvres the truck eventually rams into them again, forcing their car off the road and sending it flying. The car ends up being completely wrecked and Craig has a little bit of bone sticking out of his arm, but other than that the group is left reasonably unharmed. Marcus and Liz notice that the truck has stopped just off in the distance, so they decide to go and have a little chat with the driver while Nina tries to calm Craig down about the excruciating agony he’s in.
The rest of the movie is just a mix and match of ideas that desperately try to hold onto one another. When Marcus and Liz get to the truck they find that there’s no driver to be found anywhere. When Craig and Nina join them a madman appears out of nowhere and starts shooting at them, so the four jump in the truck and drive it off. The truck then puts them all to sleep and drives them into a dead-end where it starts pitting them all against one another. Nina also discovers that the truck has no fuel, and judging by the smell of its fuel tanks it never has, so how it actually manages to drive is another story that no one gives much thought to. Cerberus also seems to be locked in one of the trailers at the very back and lures Craig in there and possesses him. Everyone’s fighting with one another, the madman at one point passes the torch onto Marcus, there’s a cult of sorts in an abandoned house, who’s been cheating on who comes out and leads to more arguments, water runs out, heads are placed under tyres and so on and so on and so forth. By the end you don’t actually care what’s happening, you’re just begging for it all to end.
Road Train was clearly made on a decent budget but its whole premise was just poorly executed. Without all the bickering and the inclusion of Cerberus (which really doesn’t make sense and is never explained) it may have worked, but this was really painful to sit through.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Women who hear other people having sex instantly want to have sex themselves.
- Being part of an enormous accident where the car flies off the road and flips will only result in mild bruising.
- Even with absolutely no experience it’s dead easy to drive an enormous truck.
- Independent women are often threatened with becoming dingo food by Australian men.
- Women think you can flag down a commercial plane and ask them for help.
- When your best friend sleeps with your girlfriend a homoerotic bromance is bound to break out.
- Women are oblivious to things like miraculous healing, a blood-stained muscular torso and Satanic possession.
ROAD TRAIN TRAILER
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