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.
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Fraternity Massacre at Hell Island
Year of Release: 2007
Genre: Comedy / Horror
IMDB Rating: 4 / 10
Level of Awful: High
Breast-O-Meter: 1 / 5
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Here at the B-Horror Blog myself and the many voices in my head are dedicated to human rights and equality for all. Now, I’m sure many of you must be thinking, “but with a Breast-O-Meter, surely this site is dedicated more to objectifying women than it is men?” I myself thought that this may be a problem, but with such fine movies as Dead Boyz Don’t Scream, Bite Marks and Vampire Boys joining the illustrious ranks of The Crypt I feel that we are making great strides towards equality in objectification.
The job of ensuring equal objectification, however, is a monumental one and one that cannot fall to a single person. To this end I needed to find someone who is just as passionate about human rights as I am, and I knew just who to call. I hadn’t seen My Friend The Killer Clown Movie since we drank manly lattes and discussed Killjoy back in October. Thankfully my instincts paid off and he told me that he had starred in the perfect movie that would help in my goal of achieving objectification equality among the sexes. After convincing his wife that our relationship is purely platonic we agreed to meet at a romantic little bistro for a candlelit dinner and he would tell me about Fraternity Massacre at Hell Island.
After a nice glass of red wine, soaking up the atmospheric music and commenting on the enormous bread sticks at the table My Friend the Killer Clown Movie got down to business and told me about this film. He warned me that I would have to pay very careful attention or risk becoming a bit lost in amongst the many people talking to themselves, the gay Star Wars fans and the murder soundtrack that’s initially awesome but quickly becomes irritating. I agreed to try and keep up. So the story begins on a little island where a little stage quartet, who have an incredibly high opinion of themselves considering their shitty act and the fact that they’re performing in a dingy bar, are cursed by a gypsy woman for not allowing her grandchildren to be their understudies. They are now doomed to repeat this act for all eternity unless they can find four unsuspecting strangers to take their place on the stage and pass the curse onto them.
While we shared a plate of linguine with a creamy sauce My Friend the Killer Clown Movie explained that we must put this plot (which took place in 1984) aside for the moment and come back to it a little later. In 2007 the pledges of Zeta Alpha Rho are preparing for the final act of their initiation: Hell Night. They will be locked on the same island as the four gypsy-cursed ghosts and made to perform a number of ridiculous acts before being admitted into the fraternity. So now I was thinking that this was a ghost movie, but I was wrong. At the same time a lunatic from a mental asylum has escaped and presumably made his way to the island. This lunatic was also once a pledge for Zeta Alpha Rho but went mad on Hell Night and is now out for revenge on the fraternity that made him lose his mind.
With the red wine now giving me a delightful buzz and a dessert of Italian kisses on the way My Friend the Killer Clown Movie elaborated a little more on this already strange plot. It would seem that, while one person has actually escaped from a mental institution, the majority of the characters have all the qualities of a mental patient. Jack, our main guy, is sleeping with one of the fraternity’s more senior brothers. This guy frequently speaks to himself like Gollum. Jack also has a roommate who was not chosen to be a pledge for Zeta Alpha Rho and, in his anger, frequently speaks to a clown figurine they have in their room. The president of the fraternity has a girlfriend who, in her anger because he’s always ditching her for frat stuff, frequently breaks into Kate Roberts inspired monologues. Finally there’s the Dean, who had to be blackmailed into allowing Hell Night to go ahead (he’s sleeping with the college’s cheerleaders), who suffers from debilitating headaches and then begins speaking to his long-dead mother.
Perhaps it was a combination of the red wine and the intoxicating aroma of My Friend the Killer Clown Movie’s cologne, but I was struggling to see a story actually happening in amongst all of this strangeness. Despite my reservations I was assured that one was, in fact, taking place and that you just need to watch very closely to see it. The pledges on the island will have to contend with a number of things out to get them, including their fraternity brothers trying to play stupid jokes on them, a lunatic in a clown costume trying to kill them and the four ghosts trying to trick them into an eternity of crappy performances. Along the way Jack will learn the meaning of survival, having a great gal pal, the power of love and the truth about his upbringing in an orphanage.
So after a wonderful evening me and My Friend the Killer Clown Movie got up to leave. Walking down the street hand-in-hand with the smell of Autumn in the air and a gentle buzz in my head we both agreed that we had taken the fight for equality to the next level. After a tender makeout session we parted ways and agreed to meet up again should injustice ever need a severe ass whipping.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- ‘Theatre’ is a very loose term that can be applied to singing in a shitty bar in a swamp.
- Queens in New York classes as an old country to the gypsies.
- Threesomes are more fun when you do it in front of a catatonic mental patient.
- Technology means that blackmail can be spread across any number of useful mediums.
- Pizza followed by a little dyking out is a great way for two girls to spend an evening.
- Frat brothers often discuss how good they’d look in the cheerleaders’ dresses with each other.
- The world needs working class cabana boys.
- There’s nothing better than ferris wheel sex.
- Not killing gay people is the sign of a broad-minded serial killer.
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