WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s a rare thing for me to be left utterly dumbfounded by a movie. Amused? Sometimes. Confused? Occasionally. Angry? Fairly often. But dumbfounded is a feeling only brought on by particular kinds of movies, and Airborne just happens to be one of those movies. It starts off as a simplistic post-911 action thriller, but somehow, through various twists and turns, lands up being a pseudo-mythological, demonic possession movie. It’s quite astounding, really. And then there’s the foreboding. This movie has more dramatic foreboding in it than the Twilight movies had stares. The only way it could have been less subtle is if they had a full orchestra go into full swing every time the camera settled on someone’s face. Don’t believe me? Then read on, dear reader, and for the truly brave, perhaps you can give it a watch.
It’s a frightfully stormy day in Merry Old England, and due to an approaching storm (which, by the looks of the radar images we’re shown from time to time, appears to be a hurricane larger than the British Isles) all flights out of Heathrow have been cancelled. All except one, of course. Onto this plane assembles the largest group of misfits you can imagine: soldiers fresh off a tour in Iraq and accused of using excessive force, an Godfather-type and his two cronies, a raging alcoholic, a doctor accused of malpractice, and a sudden replacement air steward that no one has ever met. Oh yeah, and that mysterious crate that gives off funny noises and occasionally jumps around that’s under the special protection of the British government. With all of this to consider, what could possibly go wrong?
The flight starts out nicely enough. The alcoholic awakens with a raging hangover, the Godfather behaves in a typically refined-yet-thuggish manner, and two randy love birds get it on in a tiny bathroom. It’s exactly the sort of thing you’d expect on such a midnight flight. But something is terribly amiss. You know this because the love birds land up being bludgeoned to death and the plane makes a mysterious and unreported change in flight path. Not that flight control back in Britain seems to be overly alarmed. Apparently it’s quite normal for planes to change direction and go to Florida instead of New York without checking in with anyone. Back on the plane, people are starting to disappear at an alarming rate, and even our motley crew of passengers knows that people do not simply disappear while you’re flying however-many-thousands of feet above the ground.
The foreboding is cranked into high gear when suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the most top secretist agents in all of Britain take over the flight control centre and threaten to have the Americans blow the plane out of the sky unless they can get someone to respond. Back on the plane, a hostage situation develops over the content of the crate, which turns out to be a Chinese vase worth over $ 10 million. But something isn’t adding up about this hostage situation: the two hostage takers cannot account for all the dead people, which means that something else has been killing off the passengers (and the pilots) while they weren’t looking. Hypothetically this third-party may or may not be the spirit of a Chinese deity that was imprisoned in the vase and is busy looking for a human host that he can possess. Once this has hypothetically happened and he has found the ideal host he will be able to take over the world and fulfill the Mayan 2012 Doomsday prophecy. Can our hapless group of hostages stand up to the might of an ancient Chinese deity and save the world from absolute destruction? Probably not: the foreboding’s gonna slow them down too much.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Britain’s just a breeding ground for conspicuous Godfather-types.
- Britain’s also home to several pockets of irritatingly chatty, global warming-obsessed geography teachers.
- Air stewards must be proficient in mixing drinks and performing sleeper holds.
- If a drunk irritates them enough, flight stewards can be made to break standard health and safety procedures.
- Complimentary drinks are usually all it takes to quell an uprising of plane passengers.
- Most air stewardesses know which two wires to cross to make a plane just drop out of the sky.
- The Chinese gods and Mayan priests were in cahoots when it came to the 2012 prophecy.
BUY AIRBORNE AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As someone with siblings, I know how important it is that all children should be dealt with fairly and equally. Because of that, I knew I couldn’t watch 12/12/12 and just ignore its slightly older sibling, hence me suffering through 11/11/11. I will say that this movie isn’t as ludicrously put together as 12/12/12, but oddly enough that isn’t actually a saving grace for this film. Whilst 12/12/12 was so bad that I was reduced to laughing like a crazy person, 11/11/11 is nothing more than an hour-and-a-half of tedium that makes you want to bash your head against the wall. As the Asylum’s answer to 11-11-11 (see how clever they were in making sure the name of the movie was different), this movie combines elements of The Shining, The Omen, Misery, and any number of possessed children films, but sadly does not have the budget or the people with the technical know-how to pull any of it off. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who may be prone to throwing things at TV sets when a movie becomes frustrating.
The Vales are just the most wonderfully dull family you’ve ever met. Jack, the dad, is a professor of something and is moving his family to a new town to take up a job at the local university. Melissa, the mom, is decidedly bland and doesn’t really contribute much to the film outside of her ability to run to things, look shocked, and then run back. Nat, their son, is (partially) mute and doesn’t do an awful lot of talking. Why? I don’t know, but apparently it adds to the suspense and the DOOM! that’s about to rain down on all of us. What the name of the town they’ve moved to is I don’t know either, but as a general warning just don’t go there. Everyone’s a Stepford Paedophile and, somehow, Nat’s the only kid in town, so you can imagine how they’re all flocking to see him…
After the family’s moved in it quickly becomes apparent that they have a little problem: along with the Stepford Paedophiles, they also have a run-of-the-mill Crazy Cat Lady living next door who seems more than a little interested in the fact that Nat will be 11 on the 11th of November 2011. She also seems to be quite free in handing out poisoned lemonade. Then there’s Nat’s Nanny, the poor man’s Megan Fox, who seems to be quite comfortable showing Nat the best way to set a butterfly on fire and how to do malicious damage to private property. Not that Jack notices any of this: he’s too busy hiring nurses to look after his pregnant with pre-eclampsia wife and working at the town’s one-room university. And then there’s all the townsfolk who keep staring through the windows and getting together in the back of the minivan…
So what has all of this got to do with the price of eggs? The Lord alone knows, but therein seems to lie the problem. It would appear that the entire town’s population of 7 are Satanists, and due to his birth date and some bizarre prophecy I wasn’t paying attention to back in 2011 Nat is going to be Satan’s ticket into our world. Whilst the towns people represent the forces of evil, the Crazy Cat Lady represents the forces of good: if she manages to kill Nat before his birthday, the apparently not so omnipotent Devil can’t take over the world, but if she fails to kill him its all going to get a bit hairy for us down here. It’s all up to Jack to try and save the world and his son, which to be quite frank means that we’re probably all boned. Melissa will contribute to this battle by moaning a lot and occasionally slapping her nurse, but ultimately it all comes down to Nat. Can an 11-year-old partially mute kid with clear anger issues ward off the Devil himself? Which and be underwhelmed to find out!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Families bond best when they run down an opossum/cat hybrid.
- Little orange tabby cats can freely change their sex at will.
- Demon spawn are far more accurate than any pregnancy test on the market.
- Painting gutters is always easier when you use a hammer.
- It’s quite common for doctors to drug a woman in early pregnancy up to the eye balls.
- In their attempts to get new jobs, prospective nannies are more than willing to kill off the competition.
- Butterflies are highly flammable creatures.
- Apocalyptic prophecies are now being distributed as children’s books – because it’s never too early to know when the world’s gonna end.
- Giving a child cereal is a decent punishment for walking around the house with a butcher’s knife.
- Small-town cults usually hold their meetings in mini vans.
- Nothing is more powerful than a mother’s drug-addled, demented frenzy.
BUY 11/11/11 AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Well, um, uh, the thing is you see… Actually, I have no idea. I guess when the movie’s title is Vampire Whores From Space, that’s kind of the whole point. I rounded up the entire Movie Marathon crew for this and for the next 75 minutes we all huddled in Tropical Mary‘s lounge staring at the TV in an alternating state of confusion, disgust, shock and disbelief. Clearly made with a handheld video camera by 4 or 5 friends (and let’s not forget the original music by Pinky Gutterwhore), this film was utterly atrocious. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I’m still a little fragile after watching it. It’s also the first movie I’ve ever reviewed where I don’t have any Life’s Lessons Learned because, to be quite honest, I didn’t have the foggiest clue what was going on at any stage of the movie. Read on and you’ll see why.
This unrelenting pile of crap begins with a news report (filmed with a white sheet as the backdrop) where a field reporter is out investigating the claims of a redneck something or other that the fields are alive with the sound of intergalactic vampire whores. Said redneck something or other and a friend of his may very well in fact have discussed this with the reporter but, since the guy in charge of handling the mic just couldn’t be bothered to move two feet forward, we’re just never going to know. Despite the fact that the redneck has already seen the vampire whores (or maybe this is a flashback, I’m not sure) we suddenly are given a glimpse of Dracula’s mistress’s ship crashing into a forest. My bet is that it took 99.9% of the film’s budget to get someone to animate the ship for the 30 seconds it’s on the screen. Surviving the horrendous crash a posse of the ugliest whores you’ve ever seen emerges from the wreckage and, armed only with their fangs and the word ‘suck’, they’re ready to drain the blood of every single person in town (which you never see).
After the crash landing we are violently thrown into an intense scene where a man with the IQ of a hotdog bun decides to take his dog for a walk to investigate the strange thing that just fell out of the sky. You know something’s not quite right with him since he’s shouting to parents that clearly aren’t there and he’s never able to keep his dog on him for more than 3 seconds but, since he’s apparently the male lead in all of this, we’re gonna follow him anyway. Whilst out walking he bumps into some female whose hair is so greasy she could stock entire oil refineries with what’s coming off it. Immediately there’s some strange kind of bond formed between the two that I’m guessing was meant to be sexual magnetism but is really more like watching two five-year-olds fight over who baked the better mud pie. They’re attacked (and I use this word in its loosest sense) by the vampire whores but make a daring get away back home where they try to figure out how to stop the marauding and sexually promiscuous aliens.
Things weren’t good up until this point, but then the movie took a sudden and horrifying turn for the worse. Ignoring the vampire whores for the greater part of the movie we are introduced to the chief of police (who looks like he’s 12) out in the forest digging up a dead body. Chances are being the chief of police would help you cover up this crime if only you didn’t stop whenever you saw another human being along the road, get out of the car, and tell them what it is you’re doing. Hot Dog Brain at one point gets his Grease Monkey pregnant and performs a back alley abortion and she spews out a very small pig (no really, it’s actually a pig). Grease Monkey develops some kind of oozing rash on her ass (which we’re told tastes funny), but whether or not she ever overcomes this particular obstacle remains a mystery. The FBI become involved in the investigation and then die at the hands (or fangs) of the vampire whores. The vampire whores’ pimp rocks up and challenges everyone to a dance off to see which species will become the all-powerful overlords of the known universe. The dance scene that follows presents us with absolute proof that the human species has no right to be at the top of the food chain. Some more stuff happens, and then it ends.
With all this insanity in mind I’d also like to point out that for the greater part of the movie the film crew is highly visible and I’m fairly sure that some of the scenes were recorded on something similar to a Blackberry’s camera. I have no words.
VAMPIRE WHORES FROM OUTER SPACE TRAILER
BUY VAMPIRE WHORES FROM OUTER SPACE AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Just look at that movie poster, it’s like something the Discovery Channel would use to advertise their latest documentary. While I remain sceptical so far as this movie’s educational benefits are concerned I can vouch for the fact that it’s one of the better movies I’ve seen this month. Not better in the sense that it has brilliant actors or deserves awards or anything, but better in that it’s a fun variety of cheese. If you like trashy sci-fi with a few good laughs then you could do far worse than Earth’s Final Hours.
What I like about this movie is that it’s very forward thinking in the end of the world department. Realising that black holes are very last season in the whole apocalyptic movie industry the guys behind this one decided to take the end of the world in an entirely different direction. What if the earth was hit, not by a black hole, but a white hole? It’s crazy, I know, but it was just the thing this movie needed to really make it stand out from its competitors; it adds a completely different dynamic to mankind’s absolute destruction. White holes, unlike their more emo counterparts, compress and then expel matter away from themselves. So, rather than the whole earth being compressed and vacuumed up into nothingness, Earth’s Final Hours has a small chunk of compressed matter blow straight through the planet. See? Very forward thinking movie.
Now I can hear you all asking, “But James, how would we know if a white hole had blown something right through the Earth?” That, dear reader, is very simple. All you have to do is let a rogue scientist (preferably one who’s trying to evade the US government) loose in a number of fields and let him go about collecting data on the phenomenon. He’ll set up a whole bunch of instruments and satellites to gather any information he can, but ultimately the best way to know when something’s happened is to keep an eye on him. First of all you’ll hear a giant explosion in the sky and the atmosphere will rip open slighty. Now atmospheric rip can obviously be the result of a number of things, so you now need to look at the scientist’s chest. If it is a piece of expelled white hole matter it will find its way to him, blow through his chest and then through the Earth. If this happens, you will know that you are witnessing a genuine apocalypse by way of a white hole.
By this point you all probably have 1000 different questions, not least being what kind of effect all this would have on the Earth. Well, the thing is, something that compressed and hitting the planet at that speed would not only go straight through but would also exert enough energy to completely halt the planet’s rotation. Not only is this hugely inconvenient because of the effect it would have on daylight savings but it would also result in the complete collapse of the magnetosphere, the layer created by the Earth’s rotation that protects us from solar radiation. All we can hope for in these dark days is that somewhere, somehow, there’s a mad scientist locked in an institution with knowledge of a satellite system that can restart the Earth and a rogue CIA agent and his family who care enough about humanity to help the mad scientist out. Will such a hero answer our desperate call? Watch and be amazed!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Driving through a big open field is very different to working in Washington DC.
- You know you’re a good person if you hack into a city’s financial system to save old ladies from being evicted from their houses.
- Turns out that if you dig straight through the Earth you actually land up in Australia, not China.
- When a child becomes too old to be sent to his room a parent’s next best option is to send him to prison.
- Just because the world’s coming to an end doesn’t mean you can’t go visit your aunt.
- Millions of dollars worth of security devices can easily be bypassed by hiding behind a bin.
- The lack of computers with floppy disk drives will be mankind’s downfall.
EARTH’S FINAL HOURS TRAILER
BUY EARTH’S FINAL HOURS AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
This movie has reminded me that life is full of disappointment. When you’re watching a movie directed by a man who brought us a great classic like Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie you think you’re in good hands, but I was proven wrong. Even the inclusion of Robert Englund wasn’t enough to bring this little movie up to par. The problem with it is that it’s not bad enough to be a funny b-movie but it isn’t good enough to be a good movie, so it hovers somewhere in between in a poorly defined b-movie limbo. The acting’s alright but it’s nothing great and the CGI isn’t amazing but it’s not laughable. It makes it very difficult to make fun of the movie and at the same time a little difficult to enjoy it.
We begin our tale of love, adventure, betrayal and wasps in the little town of Black Stone. It’s one of those typical little American towns full of good people with morals, traditional values, pristine gardens and an enormous church. 10 years ago Jane Kozik left Black Stone to go live in Manhattan after her husband was killed in a freak accident while trying to take care of a wasp nest. I say it was a freak accident because he burned to death. Now she’s moving back to town and she’s bringing her daughter Kelsey along for the ride. She knows it’ll be an adjustment for her daughter, who’s spent her entire life growing up in the big city with all that new fangled technology, but Jane thinks this move is exactly what the two of them need. Why they need it we’re never really told, but I was prepared to run with it and see where the story was going to take me.
Oddly enough it takes us to a street corner with Robert Englund on it. He plays Eli, Black Stone’s resident bee keeper who doesn’t keep bees but instead grows peaches. For some or other reason Kelsey takes an immediate shining to Eli, despite the fact that he’s an overly sarcastic man with ninja escape skills and no patience for children. Floating around town is Devin, the twin brother of Jane’s dead husband, and he’s a pest exterminator. Incidentally many people in town are walking around with enormous stings on their faces and making mysterious buzzing sounds, but that’s hardly important at this stage of the movie and all the characters ignore this strange behaviour for the time being. This includes the obnoxious mayor who’s busy trying to breathe some new life into Black Stone.
The wasps themselves play a relatively minor role in this movie. Lacking the acting skills of the ants from The Hive, their menace is more implied that directly seen. What we do know is that when they sting you you die, but they can use your corpse as a host for their more nefarious undertakings. This includes turning the human into a drone where a wasp seems to take control of the body and guide it. Wasps have a poor understanding of human nature, however, so their ability to drive their human drone is at times a bit off. Along the way we’ll also meet Katherine Randell, a highly qualified entomologist who looks more like the madam of a high-end brothel in a power suit. She’s absolutely stumped as to what’s going on, and she needs Devin’s expertise to help her unwrap the mystery wrapped in an enigma contained in a hive that’s going on in Black Stone. The two also need to act quick, because the wasps are beginning to gather their forces for an all-out attack on the town’s population, and before long they’ll have turned every last human they can find into yet another one of their poorly driven drones.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- When confronted with giant stinging insects the best thing to do is take off your protective gear.
- American bakeries are very quick to relocate to Mexico whenever the opportunity arises.
- Stinging wasps, disappearing sting victims and murder most foul make an entomologist’s day.
- Gorgeous blonde entomologists are often caught up in other people’s awkward family situations.
- If you tease DNA it may be willing to give you a few answers.
- Wherever Robert Englund appears, there’s bound to be an Elm Street nearby.
- It’s quite common for people to lose all cognitive function and start make buzzing noises from inside their skulls.
- The true horrors of genetically mutated wasps are a little lost on a 9-year-old girl.
BLACK SWARM TRAILER
BUY BLACK SWARM AT AMAZON.COM