WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
After the joyous time I had watching Piranhaconda I decided that I wanted to indulge in some more Syfy Original goodness. Turns out I had quite a few lying around and, because it’s the height of winter right now, dived into bed, blasted the heater and turned on Alien Tornado. This one wasn’t as heavily advertised as some other Syfy movies, but it’s definitely a lot of fun. If there’s a little sci-fi nerd living deep inside you that doesn’t really care about wafer-thin plots so long as there are shiny things in the sky then you’ll absolutely love this. And if the shining lights fail to grab your attention, maybe you can be tempted by tornadoes that shoot out funnel hands and scoop people up (so that they can be probed, I assume).
No movie about marauding alien tornadoes could conceivably begin without a troubled father/daughter duo, so let me introduce you to Judd and Kelly Walker. They live on a farm in a little town in the middle of Who The Hell Cares, USA. The day started out perfectly normally for the two: Kelly continued to be a blonde genius from the sticks and Judd spent his morning grooming a horse. Things take a mysterious turn when, from out of nowhere, a very shiny and sparkly tornado appeared and started ripping up the farm in a remarkably coordinated attack for a mindless wind funnel. Father and daughter escape any serious kind of harm, but the farm’s been badly damaged. In the aftermath we also learn about Kelly’s dead mother and how Judd squandered his daughter’s college fund, setting us up with daddy issues that will see us all the way through to the end.
We’ll come back to Judd VS Judd in a moment but first we need to meet Gail Curtis, an amateur storm chaser who runs a blog. This blog has somehow gained her a level of notoriety, which for me raised a few questions. At the risk of it sounding like sour grapes, how exactly does one become famous from running a storm chasers blog? And do amateur storm chasing bloggers really have the enormous number of groupies that this movie suggests is possible? But I digress. Gail notices that, whilst there are a number people reporting these strange tornadoes, neither the news or weather stations have said a single thing about them. Being the bright and clever female storm chaser she is Gail also thinks that it’s a bit strange that these tornadoes only touch down and destroy major utility buildings or areas of military importance. Maybe, just maybe, these aren’t your regular run-of-the-mill tornadoes after all…
Gail’s suspicions are also raised when the FBI, apparently led by Beverley Leslie, arrive to investigate the tornadoes. Co-incidence brings Gail and Judd together, and Kelly just happens to be a huge fan of her blog. Kelly also managed to record a very strange sound that came on the radio when one of the tornadoes touched down, a sound that seems remarkably similar to a kind of code. By pissing the guys in the FBI off enough Judd and Gail manage to find out that the Earth is, in fact, being invaded by aliens that use the weather as their biggest weapon. Despite the FBI’s flamboyant best efforts the future of mankind (and Chicago) will lie in the hands of a blogger, a grizzly farm owner and a blonde high school student. What could possibly go wrong with that?
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Young women should be made to bale hay to earn their keep.
- Amateur storm chasers need to pass a master class in ‘oh my God, what is that?!?’ faces.
- There is no father daughter crisis so terrible that it can’t be turned into a so-so country song.
- Fat people aren’t reliable storm chasers.
- Farmers are ready to form a lynch mob whenever the words ‘the city’ are uttered.
- Abducting humans is the alien equivalent of grabbing a toy bear in a claw machine.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Great balls of fire, what a load of crap! Not one to do things by half measures I felt that End of the World Month had to be kicked off with a bang, so I present to you Meteor Apocalypse. This is, quite honestly, one of the most painful movies I have seen to date; the acting is sub par, the effects are barely passable, there are plot holes bigger than the meteorites and, to top it all off, it’s boring as hell. I actually had to watch this movie over two evenings because it got to the point where I was so bored watching it I wanted to rip my eyes out. Watch at your own peril.
We’re thrown right in at the deep end with this one. Following a brief credit sequence we find ourselves looking at Earth with a giant comet heading right towards us. In order to redirect it every country in the world that has nuclear weapons opens fire at the comet. The people at NSA (the National Space Administration) are fairly certain that the nukes will break up the comet and redirect any debris away from the planet. The nukes take about 30 seconds to travel pass the moon and hit the comet, resulting in a spectacular display as the destructive intruder is blown to kingdom come. Sadly this is the only part of the prediction NSA got right and now the comet is still heading towards us, just in much smaller fragments.
So now we have hundreds of thousands of meteorites descending to Earth at a rather rapid pace and one crashes into the aptly named Lake of Fire. This is just the first meteorite to crash into a body of water and very quickly the water supply becomes contaminated and people start to fall violently ill. Now let’s all stop for a moment and think back a bit: the comet was hit by dozens of nuclear warheads so logic would dictate that the subsequent meteorites are irradiating the water supply, right? Wrong. The meteorites are putting some kind of pathogen in the water and that’s what’s making people so ill. Now, if the meteorites are putting a pathogen in the water it would seem to imply that some form of microbial life was living on the comet. Thankfully, to save the movie from being embarrassed, it never seems to realise this and just plods along like there’s nothing wrong.
Of course an end of the world movie is nothing if there isn’t a family being torn apart by all the chaos and destruction going on around them. Here’s where David, Kate and Alison come in. Alison was one of the first people to fall ill from the contaminated water supply and, in the initial panic, the CDC (Centres for Disease Containment) decided to quarantine anyone suffering from the sickness and Kate, her mother, was dragged along for the ride. Now David, a humble worker for the water supply company, must travel through the country trying desperately to find his wife and daughter. He’s joined by Lynn, a lovely woman he saved from dying as a result of drinking a contaminated Pepsi. This won’t be a simple journey: the government’s not saying where the sick people are, meteorites are falling in huge clumps at regular intervals, gangs of people are roaming around hunting down anyone they suspect of having clean water and, at some point, another huge comet rocked up out of nowhere and is going to collide with Los Angeles in the next 3 days.
It sounds like it should be an adrenaline-fueled ride against all the odds, but it really isn’t.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- After the age of 12 the legal weight of a pinky promise drastically decreases.
- In times of crisis excessive ass whipping will keep the population under control.
- The symptoms of meteorite-borne pathogens largely mirror the onset of an epileptic fit.
- The after effects of meteorite-borne pathogens feels similar to motion sickness you get on Disney Land rides.
- When a woman starts throwing up constantly chances are she’s not fine.
- Vaccines will either cure you or make you die an even more horrific death.
- Meteors and comets cause auroras wherever they appear.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Oh dear dear dear. First of all, before we even tackle the movie itself, I have a simple question: where the hell is the question mark at the end of the title? It really doesn’t bode well when the makers of the film couldn’t even get their title to be grammatically correct. Secondly, despite its somewhat I Know What You Did Last Summer cover this really is just one more poorly made slasher movie about bratty college kids in a heavily polluted ocean of poorly made slasher movies about bratty college kids. And last, but certainly not least, yes I would like to know a secret. With this suggestive title one might imagine that we would receive enlightenment about this great secret that drives the plot but sadly this is not the case. At least I don’t think it’s the case. If what happens at the end is the secret, then this movie is even lamer than if there wasn’t a secret.
But before I can begin telling you the wonderous magnificence of this movie we need some back story that the main plotline can be painfully birthed from later. A college student of the male persuasion is in his shabby chic little room (minus the chic bit) listening to music by the glow of a lava lamp when someone slips a note under his door. On the note the words ‘Do You Wanna Know A Secret?’ (see, how come they could put the question mark in here but not in the title? Continuity issues…) are emblazoned in giant red marking pen. Being a curious lad who would indeed love to know a secret he wanders out into the corridor looking for the person who so sneakily sent the note. The corridors are teaming with as much life as a zombie that’s been out in the sun for 10 years so he returns to his room to continue getting dressed. Just as he walks in a robed figure, emerging from the shadows, marches into the room armed with an axe and brutally murders him. In a touching moment the man lies there, his last seconds of life slipping away, clinging to the shattered photo of him and his girlfriend.
Now whilst all of this is very sad a year has passed and the one-time flame of the dead man needs to move on with her life. Now, what’s a square-faced girl fresh out of rehab, on very strong (what I’m assuming to be) antipsychotics and with a new piece of boy candy on her arm to do with her life? Oh yeah, that’s right: spring break (in winter) and debaucherous antics with her closest and bitchiest friends! So off Beth (ex of the dead man) and Hank (new boyfriend of the ex of the dead man) go to Florida to meet up with Tina (blonde slut), Nellie (Latina slut), Oz (token black guy) and Brad (token disturbed white bloke). When they arrive in Florida the world becomes their oyster; there are just so many fun things to do without parental supervision that the mind boggles. I mean this group are every bit as hardcore in their partying as Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia ever were. But something is about to go wrong. After disembarking from their boat after a night of boozing and cruising (don’t worry, there appears to have been a designated captain) Brad is killed by a robed man while tying up the boat.
Not that the death of their friend seems to have any major impact on the group, mind you. Assuming that Brad’s gone off on a bender or met up with a hooker the remaining group of friends press on with their binge and purge cycle of copious amounts alcohol in the evening followed by copious amounts of fruit juice in the morning. The fact that the words ‘Do You Wanna Know A Secret?’ are scrawled across Brad’s computer screen don’t even alert them to the fact that something might be wrong. It takes Beth actually seeing the robed and masked figure killing another man in a parking lot for her to realise that something is in fact wrong and that her life may be in danger. Unfortunately for her Florida seems to be filled with backwood hicks for policemen and they refuse to let her or her friends leave until they can figure out what’s going on. Even the FBI are powerless to do anything in the face of a local sheriff. But as the murderer reappears and mysteriously manages to keep breaking into their unlocked, doors-wide-open mansion and slowly kill them off one by one, the time must come for Beth to face her fears, figure out if she would perhaps like to know a secret and stop the killer before it’s too late.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s quite common for women to experience 3 dreams in one while dealing with a tragic loss.
- In a bartering society women will often flash their breasts in exchange for a taco.
- Some people don’t realise that you need to turn a computer on before you can do anything with it.
- Discussing brutally slaughtered boyfriends tends to ruin a party mood.
- Non-bitchy women dream of growing up to become enormous bitches one day.
- The only thing stopping some women from going after the Pope is not knowing where Rome is.
- Some women don’t mind having their drinks spiked. To them it’s just a new experience.
- It’s unnatural for people to die while on vacation.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
OK horror fans, time to stand our ground and do the world a favour. If you own a DVD copy of Queen Cobra, burn it and cover the spot where it was burned with rock salt to prevent any of its evil spirits from re-entering our world. If you own a digital copy of the movie then delete it and do the same with your hard drive as I recommend people do with the DVD. We can’t be too careful. This particular little gem ranks right up there with the utter worst of the worst I have ever seen. Only the most seasoned of b-movie horror fans should attempt to watch this, and if possible I recommend doing it in a group setting. People don’t always come back from this sort of thing…
It’s just another day on a non-existent college campus with its own resident mad scientist. The mad scientist in question is Dr Hall who is being funded by the government to do research on how to genetically mutate king cobras. These snakes are named sweetly after Homer and Marge Simpson and their parts are played by 4 different individuals: 2 real snakes that are quite clearly stock footage and 2 other snakes that are quite obviously made of plastic. Helping Dr Hall with the experiments are Courtney and Jeff, two of his postgrad students who are hopelessly in love with one another and who, despite having been involved in every step of the process, are completely unaware of what these snakes are actually being bred for. So far the doctor has managed to mutate them so that they can shoot (copious amounts) of acid at anyone who comes near them that completely melts the skin in a matter of seconds. No mad doctor, however, is ever content with simply having snakes that shoot acid and staying within the confines of his government contract so you know havoc and terror are about to rain down on this little campus.
This is where Rita comes in. Bless her, Rita’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer and she’s not doing very well in Dr Hall’s class so she needs to find some way of passing that doesn’t involve the use of a brain. As any girl would do in this situation does she dons her tiniest skirt and most low-cut top, goes to see Dr Hall and explains that she is willing to do simply anything to get a passing grade. Sadly for Rita what Dr Hall has in mind is slightly different to what she was implying and she lands up being stabbed to death with a tiny, tiny little knife and having her blood drawn for a DNA sample. This DNA is then given to the irradiated Marge the snake as part of the experiment. When Homer is killed by Dr Hall after he escapes Marge becomes very angry and escapes as well and, with the help of Rita’s DNA, transforms into a snake-woman hybrid, ready to take her revenge on everyone for the loss of her one true love.
Now the research facility where all of this is taking place really isn’t all that big. In fact all the makers of this movie seemed to be able to do was get hold of one room and free rein on a corridor and they were hellbent on making the most of the situation. Since the facility is so small the sounds of Marge mutating and then killing one of the security guards makes its way to Courtney and Jeff who then become the newest targets for the Queen Cobra. Floating around in all of this we are also given insight into Dr Hall’s marriage to his (much younger) wife and her TV repair man lover. None of this is at all important and in no way move the story along but simply provide one way for this movie to pad out its time a little more when people and creatures aren’t running up and down the corridor. While the Queen Cobra continues her attacks on anyone she comes into contact with Courtney and Jeff need to try and outsmart both the creature and Dr Hall who isn’t prepared to go down without a fight and is intent on training the Queen Cobra to obey his commands.
Apart from the obvious overuse of the corridor and the fact that, at most points, the plotline is holding on by the skin of its teeth the most fun part of this movie is watching the Queen Cobra herself. Obviously the budget didn’t allow for many touch ups of the body makeup and, as the movie progresses, more and more of it begins to peel off. It’s a horrible movie, but I would recommend it if for no other reason than to say you watched it and survived the experience 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Any man who creates a snake woman suddenly thinks he’s God.
- Scientists are not at all perturbed by melting corpses lying around on the floor.
- Irrespective of whether or not actual experiments are taking place something in a lab is always making a bubbling sound.
- The use of grad students extends to making them help you with horrific DNA experiments.
- Some people are very concerned about the rights of king cobras.
- Secret agents should, at all times, walk around like a mentally challenged robot.
- Security guard stations often have only red lighting and porno music playing in the background.
- Snake women don’t hunt, they prance about.
- A snake woman’s skin has evolved a natural thong.
- Human heads being torn off a body sound a lot like fabric ripping.
- Snake women have natural lesbian instincts.
- 2 night guards constitutes an entire security force.
- Secret agents are always one scene behind the monster.
- It takes a person a few seconds before they realised they’ve been shot in the head and are now dead.
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Year of Release: 2003
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 4.1 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Let’s start this review off on a good note, shall we? As years of experience have taught me, some of the most effective horror movies ever made have been brilliant not because they contained buckets of blood, ridiculously involved plots or were produced on a budget of millions of dollars – they were brilliant because the premise was simple. Monsturd fulfills all of the above criteria: the ‘gore’ is a distinct shade of brown but doesn’t happen very often, the plot is confused rather than involved, it certainly wasn’t made on a very large budget and the premise is so simple it was scraped off the bottom of a very deep barrel. I know it wasn’t meant to be serious and I am aware that there are people out there that enjoyed it but for me, personally, when the toilet humour actually involves being sucked down into a toilet it all gets a little bit too much. As a precaution to those that may watch this movie it makes ridiculous use of short and stubby scenes, so be prepared to be thrown backwards and forwards from one area to another.
Monsturd is framed as a scary story told by a little girl to her father on a night of an intense red lightning storm. The evil scientists over at Dutech are hatching an evil scheme: to genetically mutate human faeces (or the bacteria in it, I’m not sure) so that it kills people. They will then sell these mutant strains to the government to be used as biological weapons. Meanwhile, over at the local prison, Jack Schmidt, the county’s most notorious serial killer, has managed to escape from prison and is on the run. His reputation as a killer is so great that the FBI has dispatched agent Hannigan, the woman responsible for bringing him to justice in the first place, to investigate. While Schmidt is on the run, we cut back a few times to Dutech where one of the experiments has gone wrong and a scientist has been killed by the bacteria. Not wanting to have his work exposed the head mad scientist, Dr Stern, melts the body in some form of toxic waste that contains the bacteria and dumps the mixture in the sewer system. Sadly for Schmidt, who has been running through the sewers in an attempt to evaid capture, the mixture acts rather like an acid and, when he lands up in a tank of sewer water which has been contaminated by the toxic waste, he melts (or, at least, his skin melts. The skeleton remains completely intact).
Of course, melting our criminal in the first 5 minutes and not doing something with it would make for a rather boring and short movie. Intent on finding out what’s in the sewer system Hannigan orders that tests be run on the water to see if there’s anything unusual in it. The team of scientists discover that in the petri dish brown stock footage of cell replication is being played. From this they deduce that the bacteria dumped into the sewer by Dr Stern has somehow managed to bond with Schmidt’s DNA, thus allowing the fast replicating pile of crap to take on Schmidt’s personality and desire to kill people who dare sit down on a toilet. This desire is soon acted on in an entirely different scene where a rather angry lady (either a wife or a landlady) holding a big knife tells her husband / tenant to go downstairs and clean the toilet. In this movie it would appear that men neither know how to use a toilet or how to clean it: it was a royal mess when he started cleaning and, half-way through the cleaning process, it was all over the walls. Thankfully the monsturd crawled out of the toilet at this point to kill the man and put him out of his ineptitude. And thus begins the reign of terror brought on by the shit man (the movie’s name for him, not mine).
While the shit man stalks the toilets and sewers in pursuit of fresh prey, the local sheriff and Hannigan realise that there’s big trouble in store for the town. For some unexplainable reason the town council doesn’t believe them when they are informed that a homicidal turd has made the sewers its lair and are unwilling to cancel the upcoming chilli fair as it provides the town with about a quarter of its annual income (from this I deduce that either the chilli is REALLY good or the town is REALLY poor). With no support from the upper echelons of local government it falls to Hannigan, some random guy in a truck and some local policemen to do battle against the monster before the townsfolk begin to feel the effects of the chilli contest. But how exactly does one do battle with a giant pile of shit that has decided it wants to capture and eat you? Simple. You gather as much anti-dierrhea medication as you can find, load it into water pistols and let the beast have it! As a finishing touch you also let a million (no more, no less) plastic, snickering flies loose to eat whatever’s left behind. That’s how a true hero defends their town against an angry, murderous pile of shit!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Children, from an early age, have a natural knowledge of the government’s use of bio-weapons.
- Somewhere in the world there are scientists dedicated to mutating shit.
- If you don’t want anyone to know you’re talking about sex, use doughnut code.
- Arguments with a ventriloquist dummy can become very violent, very quickly.
- Drunks are easily lured with a beer can on a rope.
- People aren’t really surprised when a half-rotten corpse suddenly comes to life and starts screaming.
- Flies are a shit man’s natural enemy.
- A million flies can be easily stored in a cat box.