Don’t Look Up
Year of Release: 2009
IMDB Rating: 3.5 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
You know those movies where you sit watching them, and all the time you can see that somewhere, lurking at the very back, is a great concept that just isn’t being executed at all well? This is one of those movies, and it made a little more sense to me when I found out it was a remake of an original Japanese film. Sometimes the crossover and Hollywood touch-up really just doesn’t do anything for a movie. This one starts out promisingly enough, but very quickly breaks down into utter confusion until you’re left with so much of a mess it looks like a 3-year-old with left-handed training scissors was put in charge of the editing process. Oh well, just another day at B-Horror Blog headquarters I guess… 😉
Now, if we cast our minds back into the Middle Ages, we may be granted insight into the social workings of Romanian Gypsy society. Similarly to Western Society, especially if one takes Victorian England as a model of comparison, women didn’t have an awful lot going for them, and their lot in life was largely determined by who they married. Marry poor, stay poor; marry rich, and the world’s your oyster. But what if a gypsy woman wanted to do one better? To one up those that simply married rich, one gypsy woman made a deal with the devil to be given the most powerful and wealthy husband in her entire Romanian village. The price? She must give up her first-born daughter to be the devil’s consort and bear his unholy and extremely gooey children. It all seemed like a fair trade, and Matya was born with the mark of the devil. Pity about that whole ‘being brutally tortured and killed by the locals’ thing though…
As time withers on facts become cautionary tales which become myths which become old wives’ tales. Such was the fate of Matya’s horrible death, until one day in 1928 when a director tried to bring her story to life on film. It didn’t go very well since the set seemed to be haunted by some malevolent and otherworldly spirit. Eventually the director and his cast simply vanished altogether, leaving nothing of the film save for a few production shots. This lost film has become Marcus Reed’s latest obsession. Apparently a wonder-child director, his first movie met with such critical acclaim that he became Hollywood’s darling before cancelling production of his second one because the location gave him bad vibes. You see, Marcus is kinda of a director-cum-psychic medium who can feel when something horrible has happened to a spirit.
Now Marcus and his spirit guides want to remake the original movie that was begun in 1928. How he’s going to do this since the original movie was a.) never completed and b.) completely lost is a question best left to the spirit realm. He takes his team to Romania to shoot the film on the exact same set from 1928, feeling that this will add atmosphere to the production, but things soon start to go a tad bit awry. Eye-eating insects infest the set, strange apparitions start appearing on the film, electricity supply simply cannot keep up with the filming, crew members begin to fall from the sky and, at one point, mass panic and lunacy breaks out amongst the entire production crew. Somehow the lead actress and Marcus’ ex-girlfriend seem to be involved in all of this, and he’ll need all his psychic powers for the final confrontation with the spirit of Matya to bring the nightmare to an end.
The main problem with this movie is that the story is terribly set up. Without the basic knowledge of what the hell’s actually meant to be happening the action that takes place makes no sense, and all your left with are a vague bunch of peripheral characters that you don’t really care about running from a strange psychic man and a ghost whose motives are far from clear. A nice try, but let’s just agree that it’s best to leave J-horror to the Japanese.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Demonic flashbacks can give you awesome script-writing inspiration.
- Why call it a fit when ‘apparitional experience’ just sounds so much cooler?
- Pronouncing the name ‘Marcus’ as ‘Mar-coos’ is enough to convince anyone that a person is Romanian.
- If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you can always ask the Devil to exchange cash for your first-born daughter.
- Discussing film that may be haunted will make you sound like a Scientologist.
- No film set is complete without an underground chains and creepy chandelier storage facility.
DON’T LOOK UP TRAILER
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Trailer Park of Terror Ft. Tropical Mary
Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 5.2 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
Breast-O-Meter: 1 / 5
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
The Tropical Mary movie train rides again, with the axe-wielding Stygian Mole acting as our bodyguard against the b-grade horror. Admittedly, going in, the three of us didn’t expect much from a movie called Trailer Park of Terror. The fact that this was our 16th movie in 38 hours also meant that the mind wasn’t as strong as it once was and the line between reality and fiction was beginning to blur. Despite these rather significant odds this was actually one of those rare gems we occasionally find in the mountain of otherwise crap movies that I’ve managed to accumulate. If, like myself, you’re a sucker for a southern woman with a penchant for murder then this movie is definitely the one for you!
You know things are gonna get really trailer up in here when a movie opens with a shot of a doily on top of a TV and a woman wearing a scrunchie. Meet Norma, a lovely young thing with blonde hair, supple body and big dreams. She’s gone done met herself a strapping young fellow who’s everything she wants in a man (ie. he isn’t old enough to be her father, he isn’t a raging alcoholic and he doesn’t sell possum and racoon meat). To be honest the standards going around are relatively low, but that’s perfectly understandable given Norma’s humble (and dysfunctional) upbringing. Before going out to a dance Norma and her beau are accosted by some of the park’s residents; one thing leads to another and the boyfriend lands up impaled on a broken fence. Norma, justifiably pissed off, makes a deal with the devil and blows everyone and the trailer park to kingdom come. The tragedy that was Norma’s life came to an end that evening… Or did it?
Flash forward to a future with a lot of missing persons posters in the area of the old trailer park and Pastor Lewis is trying to bring a few lost souls back to Jesus. What part of ‘let’s stick half a dozen troubled teenagers in a bus together in the middle of nowhere’ sounded like a good idea I’m not quite sure but they’re here now so we might as well do something with them. While travelling out of a little town the brilliant Pastor Lewis plows their bus into a strangely abandoned truck. With the rain coming down in sheets they run off to find shelter and come across a conveniently placed trailer park run by a lovely woman named Norma. Sounding familiar? Norma’s delightfully southern, in a tiny red dress and only too happy to do whatever it takes to make this little group comfortable for the night. After all, southern people are known for their hospitality. They’re also known for making cheese grits, but that’s a separate story.
Of course every trailer park comes with its own ghosts, and these ones happen to be particularly vindictive. After killing the inhabitants of the trailer park Norma damned them all to haunt the place because of the deal she made and they’re now super psycho versions of their mortal selves. Red necks, angry Asian masseuses and an overly ‘voluptuous’ woman with a mild racoon meat addiction are the order of the day for our group of misguided youths. As a bunch of sex addicts, drug addicts, adulterers and cowards they’re really gonna have their work cut out for them if they’re gonna have any chance of surviving the night. Prepare yourselves for blood, beheadings and some epic undead drag racing to the edge of sanity and back!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Hold it in for too long and you will start peeing acid.
- A trailer park isn’t a trailer park if there are no pink flamingos everywhere.
- If a man is a good lover a woman’s face will actually fall off while she’s having sex with him.
- You’re overdoing a back massage when the spine starts to rip through the skin.
- Many of the undead are trained to use landmines.
- Fresh meat brings all the undead to the yard.
- Proper food hygiene is a highly overrated practice.
- You can pray for forgiveness before you’ve actually committed the sin.
TRAILER PARK OF TERROR TRAILER
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Year of Release: 2007
IMDB Rating: 2.5 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Few things in life are certain but we all know that Death, at some point, will come and take us away. What this movie teaches us, however, is that Death is very fickle and contractually bound to 101 different laws, making it somewhat easier to escape Death. I have also learned that there is no such thing as a painless death; when the Grim Reaper comes to collect your soul every death is brutally and dismemberingly violent. With all that in mind it must be said that this was a very fun movie to watch, if only for how truly daft it is. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh pick this one out of the nearest bargain bin you can find.
As with so many other tales involving the Grim Reaper ours begins in a strip club. Rachel is a hard-working girl putting in her hours to try and make a better life for her and her boyfriend Liam. Liam’s studying to become a doctor and is about to start his residency. With student loans being what they are Rachel’s gonna strip the bills away, something that Liam isn’t incredibly happy with. When she leaves work on this fateful night she was innocently standing in a back alley waiting for a taxi to come and take her home. Sadly the taxi showed up and plowed into her, leaving her at Death’s door. When the taxi driver gets out and collapses Rachel tries to run to him but a mysterious stranger tells her to stay in the light. The two are rushed to hospital to have their injuries seen to. Once there Rachel starts to see strange things but nobody’s quite ready to believe that Death himself is wandering the corridors and brutally slaying the souls of patients.
The only logical thing to do in this kind of situation is to send Rachel off to the nut house without informing anyone where she is. Now, St Joseph’s in one of the more bottom of the barrel mental asylums. It has 6 patients, all of whom claim that the Grim Reaper is stalking them, 1 doctor who keeps having mild heart attacks, no electricity and food left over from the Apollo 7 space mission. No one knows why they’ve been put in here but the doctor is more than willing to taser the hell out of anyone who questions his methods. Everything’s going as well as can be expected in such an environment until one night when the Reaper shows up to collect the souls of these 6 people. The question is, why is he after them and how are they going to escape from this dreary hell hole?
The reason Death is after this unfortunate bunch is actually quite simple. When Rachel was hit by the taxi she was actually meant to die and, likewise, everyone else in the asylum has met with some unfortunate incident that was meant to kill them. By not dying Fate has been cheated and the Grim Reaper is now pissed off and coming to collect the souls that he feels are owed to him (*cough* Final Destination *cough cough*). It turns out that the doctor was also meant to have died a long time ago. Being a chain smoker he’s developed lung cancer that has spread throughout his body but, Death being what it is, the good doctor managed to strike a deal whereby he’ll bring all those people Death wants to the asylum so they’re easier to catch in exchange for him being allowed to live. With Liam desperately trying to find Rachel the group must devise a way to once again change their fate and send Death on his merry little way before he manages to slice them into wafer thin little pieces.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Strippers take their work very seriously and don’t like people making them feel guilty about it.
- The wives of prominent doctors often started out as strippers.
- Strippers have no need for a pulse or functioning major organs.
- Nurses can just walk up to anyone and sedate them against their will.
- Insane asylums don’t need staff or electricity to run smoothly.
- A mild tasering will make a remarkably agreeable person out of anyone.
- It’s never a good idea to let a blind girl run off on her own.
- You can’t electrocute Death.
- Death subcontracts part of his reaping out to cowardly mortals.
- Medical students are trained to shout people back from the dead.
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