WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There’s a special place for many kinds of movies in my heart: cheesy disaster movies, disastrous monster movies, monstrous 80s horror movies, but there’s also something very special about the early-2000s slasher movie. The harsh makeup, the proliferation of pseudo-lesbionic characters, the jocks with the bleach blonde hair and ebony eyebrows, the strange overuse of animal print – it all makes for a delightful assault on the eyes. Shredder doesn’t disappoint on any of these criteria. It reminds me of another classic I reviewed, Do You Wanna Know A Secret, but on ice. With a soundtrack that would rival the best porno, a decent assortment of sluts and bitches, and such riveting dialogue as “What country are you from?” “Europe”, I would thoroughly recommend giving this a watch if you’re in the mood for a good laugh.
The joys of being a 30-something college student with rich friends: you get to go to deserted ski resorts whenever the mood takes you. This is exactly what Kimberly Van Arx has in mind for the weekend – daddy wants to buy an old ski resort to further bolster the family’s already considerable assets, and she’s gonna go up and check the place out. She sells this to Cole, her boyfriend, as a romantic get away for the two of them, it’s just that two actually equates to seven people. But it’ll be fun! Plus, the more men that go along, the more chances Kimberly has of prancing around in the snow in a high-waisted, leopard print bikini, so it’s all for a greater good. Of course, none of these kids heed any of the traditional warning signs about going on such a holiday – things like all the locals in the bar creepily staring at them, the fact that the resort’s entrance has been bolted shut, and the fact that there’s a lot of brand new ski equipment in the lodge, with no owner around to be found.
But all of these things are trivial when the main goal is to get blind drunk, high as a kite, and bang more people than a hooker on payday. For Kimberly, the main goal will be to land Christophe, a blonde gentleman of some vague European abstraction that they picked up along the way. Sure, he won’t tell anyone where he comes from, he becomes oddly uncomfortable when the police are around, and he seems to know this area very well, but surely that doesn’t mean he’s up to anything shady, right? Then, of course, there are also the legends surrounding this resort, the story of the young girl who was killed in a snowboarding accident, and now her wrathful, angry spirit roams the mountain seeking her skiing revenge on any snowboarder she finds. But of course, that’s just a myth…
But if it’s just a myth why are so many people in this little group landing up dead? And not snowboarding accident dead, like murdered by the mysterious skier dressed all in black dead. And apart from him, there’s also some extra kinds of weird going on around here. Like the random skiing chick who likes to ski naked or have men’s hands down her parka while sitting on the ski lift. And there’s her crazy father who keeps screaming on about the dangers of snowboarding. And what’s with all the pamphlets about the proper use of the skiing slopes? To these kids, very little of it matters – there’s sex and some extreme snowboarding to be had, so by the time they actually wake up to the fact that there’s a problem they’re already up to their necks in it. Well, at least the ones that still have necks are. It’ll take all their combined, underwhelming abilities to make it off this mountain alright and, if they’re lucky, one member of the group might just be that right combination of hardcore and bi-curious to get them all to safety.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- When going on a ski vacation, it’s essential that you pack enough bikinis.
- Women peeing needs to be documented for future generations.
- Smart kids carry their own jaws of life with them wherever they go.
- European men speak only in innuendos.
- With enough ass waving and a spare pair of knickers any sheriff will be putty in your hands.
- It’s very dangerous for your blood/alcohol level to surpass 10.kajilion.
- The best way for a man to thank a woman for saving his life is to invite her to a bisexual threeway.
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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.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As a fun little fact before I dive into the review, this movie was originally meant to be a part of the Urban Legend franchise. Under the working title Urban Legends: Goldfield Murders, this was meant to follow on from Urban Legends: Bloody Mary before Sony bought back the rights to the franchise. It’s just as well really; while Bloody Mary at least tried to cling in there, amateur doesn’t begin to describe this movie. Maybe it’s because the guys behind it chose to go with a less universally known urban legend (I’d never heard of Goldfield or its supposed ghosts until I watched this movie. Some useful information can be found by clicking here), but all this movie really boils down to is 88 minutes of every clichéd ghost trick in the b-movie book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a laugh a minute to watch, but when Kellan Lutz is your biggest draw card you really aren’t giving the audience much to work with.
After some thumping techno beats from the production companies responsible for this little cheese fest we’re thrown into a car full of horribly clichéd college students. Julie’s your typical ghost-hunting psychology major who’s deadly serious and in touch with the voices from the spirit realm. To balance out her intense blandness she chose Mike to be her jackass boyfriend. Mike’s just your standard scuzball college character who keeps pulling pranks and flirting with other females. In this case said female is Keri, the whiny spoiled girl bedecked in pink and who can’t understand why this ghost hunt can’t be a kick-ass party. She’s here with Dean, who there really isn’t much to say about since he just kinda hovers in the background and grunts disapprovingly when she flirts back with Mike. The group’s fifth wheel is Chad, the intelligent, sensitive beef cake who tries to look out for Julie and protect her from Mike’s general douchebaggery.
Julie and co. land up staying in the haunted hotel when it turns out that the motel she booked them into doesn’t exist. How this happened is never explained, so we just plow on with the story. Julie’s trying to make contact with Elizabeth, a prostitute who lived in the Goldfield hotel during the town’s gold rush. Elizabeth was supposedly murdered by the hotel’s owner and her 2-week-old child dumped down a mine shaft under the building. Julie wants to confirm the specter’s existence to see why she’s trapped and unable to move on to the other side. I never knew that ghost psychology was such a big subject in American universities, but you learn something new every day. How the group struggles for nearly an hour of the movie’s runtime to find Elizabeth is baffling since you can hear her whining ‘where’s my baby?’ in the background every five minutes, but who am I to question the director’s vision?
Suddenly, without apparent cause and only 20 minutes of movie left to go, Elizabeth decides to go balls to the wall and haunt the crap out of these kids. It starts out with some innocent possession to give Julie some flashbacks of what happened to her, but not long after the possessions lead to Mike and Keri making the beast with two backs on a dusty couch. Not content with a supernatural orgasm, Elizabeth decides that the next step is to kill all of the kids as quickly and brutally as possible, all supposedly in the name of finding her baby. How this ties in with the baby is another of the movie’s great unanswered questions, but I didn’t feel like dwelling on it. Julie has some mysterious connection to the old hotel and to Elizabeth’s ghost, and she’s the only one that can end the bygone hooker’s reign of transcendental terror. The question, however, is whether or not Elizabeth is the only ghost in the hotel and whether putting her to rest will really solve all of Julie’s problems.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Girl-on-girl action is cheaper than trying to get a man involved.
- The sound of the car engine exploding doesn’t usually herald good news.
- Bartenders in ghost towns don’t serve up fancy cocktails.
- It’s rude to speak ill of the slutty dead.
- One woman’s brutal torture and murder is another woman’s cheesy, torch-lit ghost story.
- A man must be very well endowed if he can have sex with you through his jeans and yours.
- It’s very inconvenient when your boyfriend’s penis accidentally slips inside your best friend.
- Some guys won’t screw dead chicks; even douchebags have standards.
GHOSTS OF GOLDFIELD TRAILER
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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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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
First of all, let it be stated for the record that I was given a screener copy of this movie for review, but that doesn’t mean that I have to say nice things about it. Let me also say that I’m not the biggest fan of found footage movies, purely because they can either turn out spectacularly (eg. the original Blair Witch Project) or as a horrible mess (eg. Cloverfield). Skew manages to pull off the genre quite well, mainly through blending in a number of other genres to keep the storyline going. On the whole it’s a good movie and worth a watch, but it does have a few problems. While it does deliver on the scares they are, at times, a bit few and far between and you have to sit through a lot of mundane dialogue before the next thing happens. The acting tends to come in waves, going from outstanding one minute to nightmarishly amateur the next (and there are only 3 people in the movie, so this is quite something). The main thing that actually does this movie in is not what it was so much as what it could have been: with all that was built up there was SO much more that could have been done with it. Anyways, enough of all that, let’s get on with the story!
Simon, Eva and Richard have been friends for ages and, as good friends do for other good friends, they’re getting ready to go on a little road trip to a friend’s wedding. Simon’s been having issues with his girlfriend Laura so she’s decided not to tag along (you will be reminded of this many times during the movie). Simon’s also a bit of an amateur film maker so he’s decided to record absolutely everything that happens on the road for reasons relating to a damaged childhood that you don’t really want to know about here. The trip starts out nice enough and everyone seems relatively alright with having a camera shoved in their faces for the greater part of the day, but things soon start to become a little weird for our little trio of travelling besties. First they run over a coyote (something that Eva seems to think should be reported to the highest echelons of power in the land), then the desk clerk at the motel they’re staying at is killed. To distract themselves from the terror Richard and Eva take turns filming their very private conversations that Simon mustn’t hear on Simon’s camera.
The trip becomes even stranger as we move on from coyotes to entire bus loads of people, shop owners and policemen dying wherever our little group ventures. To top that crazy, the camera also has this weird way of distorting people’s faces while recording and it has a tendency to show the viewer angry ghosts everywhere. Simon’s starting to get a little freaked out but feels mysteriously drawn to the camera and compelled to continue filming everything. Eva’s beginning to feel uncomfortable with his odd obsession and Richard, as the big strong boyfriend, won’t have someone unsettling his lady, so he starts going off on random angry outbursts that amount to nothing. The fact that they amount to nothing may have something to do with the fact that this guy can’t really pull off a facial expression other than loveable douche, but that’s beside the point.
The group must now make their to the wedding party in the face of Simon’s growing paranoia, a camera that may or may not be a portal to hell and an odd love triangle that doesn’t really go anywhere but serves to help heighten the “tension”.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Speedometers are just one of the many modern pieces of technology Jeeps come equipped with.
- Nobody appreciates how hard it is to pee and film at the same time.
- Woman’s intuition gives females the right to interfere in everyone’s business.
- Being 100% sure of something and knowing something are not the same thing.
- Roadkill should be left on the side of the road as carrion. It’s nature’s way.
- In the event of running down a coyote alcoholism can be used as a means of getting over the trauma.
- People should buy video cameras as a way of getting back at their parents for not being amazing photographers.
- Camera smashing is uncalled for and unfair.
- As an exception to the rule atheists are permitted to worship one deity / totem of their choice.