WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Ah, Christmas. It brings to mind happy memories of carols, huge lunches, family get togethers, presents and 1000 carefully hung decorations. This movie has
all some of those things and giant, man-eating monsters thrown in to sweeten the deal. The Blackout was truckloads of fun because it was a perfect example of a b-grade monster movie. The acting is incredibly sub par, the story’s hanging in there by its teeth and the monsters look like something the 50s threw up and applied a little basic CGI to. All in all, a very pleasant 80 minutes that I recommend everyone watch while opening presents with the smaller children. Because I’m a little twisted that way 🙂
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all across LA hell was slowly breaking loose. It’s Christmas Eve and there are quite a few power surges going on followed by the occasional earthquake. We begin our story with Elizabeth and Daniel Pierce, a loving couple living a simple life with their two children, Kyle and Ashley, with Daniel’s seemingly drunk brother Dylan on the couch. Thankfully the earthquakes haven’t effected them too much yet because at this point they only have the intensity to shake the camera man around a little bit; every thing else stays pretty much where it is. As the evening draws on, however, the earthquakes begin to get a little stronger (water in a glass may give off a ripple or two now) and the power cuts are getting a little longer. Of course this is quite normal and is certainly no indication that some form of monster is on the loose.
Now bless them, Elizabeth and Daniel don’t seem to be the brightest couple. This is best illustrated by the fact that they try to initiate sexual relations despite the kids still being awake and their bedroom not having a door. To distract from a situation that could have been very awkward when the kids walked in Kyle is sent down to the basement of the apartment block to find a vague something in a locked chest. When he gets there he hears things scuttling around in the dark. Upon closer inspection these turn out to be strange creatures resembling a helmet with a tail. They, however, are the very least of Kyle’s problems and, with little time to react, something jumps out of the enormous hole in the wall and makes a very quick snack of him. The moral lesson? Parents who expose their children to sex will have their children eaten alive by monsters. Moving along…
This is the part of the movie when the enormous monsters in the basement start to make a nuisance of themselves for humanity in general. When the power cuts entirely not only are Daniel, Elizabeth and Dylan inconvenienced, but it brings a very awkward Christmas party next door to a bit of a stand still. Thankfully one of the monsters decides to liven things up by eating several of the guests. The guests quickly make their way to Daniel’s apartment (with the use of brute force and a gun) and the group then tries to decide on its next course of action. The loose arrangement is that they will all make their way downstairs and then break off, the guests heading out the door and Daniel & Co. going off in search of his kids (Ashley has since gone off to find her brother). You might think that this is a water-tight plan and that nothing could go wrong, but you’d be sorely mistaken. Dylan, while surveying the outside world, has seen one of the monsters in another apartment block, there’s sulphur leaking out the earth at a rate of knots, the power’s out and enormous chunks of the Earth are being thrust to the surface. How will our plucky young group survive all this horror? I strongly encourage you to watch and find out!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Standing by your family sets a terrible example for your young children.
- Women need to provide daily blowjobs if they want their men to support them.
- Men express anger at their girlfriends by taking expensive champagne to Christmas parties.
- Marriage problems can only be sorted out after the Christmas holidays.
- ‘Trollop’ is an outdated way of calling a woman a slut.
- When an alien’s trying to eat you and your girlfriend the most logical thing to do is propose marriage.
THE BLACKOUT TRAILER
Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 4.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Admittedly when I started watching a movie that involved a hunting party being slowly killed and eaten by a giant pig, I had my reservations and doubts and thought that it could either work out really well and be amazing or go really badly and make me wish the pig was slowly eating me by the time I got to the end of it. Thankfully the movie turned out to be a lot of fun but in a very different way to what I was anticipating. The man-eating pig actually has a relatively small part to play in the movie’s action and what we have instead is a Deliverance-ish type movie with a horror movie’s edge to round it off in a blanket of tastiness and gore.
We begin our tale of bacony deliciousness with young and attractive couple John and Brooks who awaken from a night sweet, sweet love-making. At least this is what I think happened since, as soon as he stands up, we get an ass shot from John and some lacy bra action from Brooks. John’s getting ready for a boys weekend with friends Ben (the black friend), Wayne (the Indian friend) and Quincy (the Stoner and presumably gay friend) while Brooks (the Asian girlfriend) decides to tag along to give it all a slightly feminine touch. With bags packed and every racial group covered the friends set out into the woods to John’s late uncle’s ranch where they can spend a fun weekend camping, drinking beer, shooting animals and feeling manly and rugged. En route they encounter a group of hippies that have the dangerous combination of being high as kites and armed to the teeth and a group of red neck lunatics living up the track from the ranch they’ll be camping at. The house itself is an absolute disaster with animal skeletons all over the floor and writing in blood all over the walls. Between the lunatics outside and somewhat creepy state of things inside most other people would start to feel a little uneasy, but not our gang. They came to have a boy’s weekend and by God they’re gonna have one!
Having spent night in tents and John and Brooks enjoying another night of sweet, sweet love-making (this time brought about by discussing how animals bleed when you shoot them) the two love birds are awoken by two greasy red necks climbing into the tent with them. Thankfully these two, Jake and Ricky, know John from back-in-the-day when he was still growing up and living with his uncle and just felt like popping in to say hi. Once everyone is dressed, had coffee and sniffed some kind of drug Jake and Ricky decide to join the others on their pig-hunting expedition. To warm up and help the bonding process along they first shoot a baby deer with a bullet that explodes on impact and blows a hole in the side of the poor creature’s body. This is followed by some target practice on beer cans and, after discovering that Brooks is an amazing shot, the group is ready to get on with the real hunting. Having found an ideal spot they use a whistle that sounds like a wounded bird to summon the hogs who come charging at a terrific speed. Unfortunately they come charging right at Wayne’s leg and shatter his knee, leaving him unable to move. To distract them from this sad turn of events they discover a field of weed where Jake and Ricky start stuffing the goods into black bags. Unimpressed by this John and Ricky get into a heated argument that ends with Ben shooting Ricky. Jake then runs off to get the rest of his clan and exact his revenge while John, Ben and Quincy run back to get Brooks and Wayne and try to make their escape.
It’s at this point that things take a turn for the worst. Having summoned the clan to go out and avenge the death of Ricky the group needs to decide on what the best course of action is to take. Wayne’s disappeared and John, an ex-soldier who recently served in Iraq, is unwilling to leave his friend behind to face either red necks or killer pork products. John and Brooks decide that they will try to find Wayne while Ben and Quincy try to make it back to the house fast enough to get the car and try to reach help before the clan reaches them. Of course the house is the first place the clan thinks to visit and they manage to catch Ben and Quincy just as they are trying to leave. While the two of them try to make their escape John and Brooks seem to be having a little more luck when they come across the hippie they met at the very beginning of the movie who offers to take them back to his commune for safety. After all, how much harm could one muscular black man with a machete and a harem of stoned, gorgeous females do?
The pig will eventually make his main appearance towards the end and when he does he’s quite a sight to behold. If you’re in the mood for a movie that is just gory enough to be entertaining and just intelligent enough to make you think about what’s going on then I definitely recommend Pig Hunt.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You don’t have to inspect an old abandoned house in the woods before staying there for a weekend. Just rock up and hope for the best.
- Women are instantly aroused by gory hunting stories.
- Growing weed is more profitable than raising emus.
- Meat is not the same thing as a dead animal.
- Pigs swallow human hands whole.
- Deep in the forest there exists an oasis full of naked women.
- An army of red necks can be summoned, armed and mobilised in less than 30 seconds.
PIG HUNT TRAILER
Year of Release: 2011
IMDB Rating: 3.3 / 10
Level of Awful: High
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Duck and cover people! Costas Mandylor has a gun and he’s pissed off as all hell! I don’t even know where to start with this one, and not just because we have movies A through E all going at the same time. Werehyenas? Really? Is this what Lionsgate has been reduced to? Who was high enough to think that this would be a good idea? Boiled down to its essence what we have here is an actor capable of a single facial expression, a softcore porn star (Christa Campbell), a black guy, a blonde woman, a gaggle of teenagers, bad CGI and cars’ headlights all over the place. Somehow, along the way, all of these little ingredients were thrown together in a rather foul-tasting soup centred around werehyenas, the very insecure cousin of the werewolf.
Early on in the movie we have our first encounter with both the hyenas and their powerful use of a car’s high beams. Driving along a long and seemingly deserted road a woman and her baby are making their way to visit hubby / daddy. Along the way another car suddenly appears and blinds them with their headlights before attempting a drag race. When they eventually decide to leave her alone she continues her journey, only to have one of her tyres burst, forcing her to do a relatively impressive emergency stop. While trying to change the tyre (without raising the car) the headlights suddenly appear again, which she tries to beat into submission with a little torch. Having lost the headlight battle, the werehyenas promptly decide to eat the woman and her child in a frenzy of terrible computer graphics and the manic laughter one comes to expect from a hyena. The hyenas, however, have made a deadly mistake: they have eaten the wife and child of Costas Mandylor, and shit’s about to get real.
We now enter the world of Crazy Briggs, a rare and elusive werehyena hunter. When the police can’t help Costas Mandylor in his hunt for his family’s killers Crazy Briggs decide to talk to him directly. It turns out Costas Mandylor certainly doesn’t have any trust issues since he immediately believes Crazy Briggs’ story about this group of shape-shifting werehyenas running around in the wilderness hunting down humans, their preferred food (humans: the other white meat). It turns out that the werehyena is a relative of the werewolf and is its African equivalent (this despite the fact that all the werehyenas are white people). Like the normal hyena the pack is led by a matriarch who needs to keep the male members in line and encourage her female offspring to be über-competitive so that, one day, they can take over from mommy. That day is fast approaching, however, as the current matriarch is ill and daughter Wilda is competing to follow in mommy’s paw prints.
By sheer coincidence Costas and Crazy Briggs rescue a blonde woman being attacked by the entire pack one night and, with guns loaded and black outfits at the ready, manage to kill one whole werehyena. Now within 3 minutes you’ll know why this woman has been brought into the movie through a combination of weak storyline and her ability to spell out how she grew up in a very competitive environment where her mother encouraged her to compete against her many, many sisters. Think you’ve got it? Good. Because it was all lost on Costas Mandylor. Thrown in amongst all of this are dark and twisty emo-jocks initiating a baby-faced young man, a Chinese man with a petrol station and several chickens, a group of Latino mechanics involved in a turf war with the emo-jocks, an interracial love story and a moral lesson on what it means to be an American.
You wouldn’t think that so many different things could be brought together to form a cohesive, enjoyable, suspenseful movie. And if you thought that, my friend you were dead right!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You don’t need a car seat. You can just throw your child in the back.
- Costas Mandylor doesn’t speak in obvious hints.
- Police don’t need to bag evidence or wear gloves. They can just pick it up and shove it in their pockets.
- Women think you can use a crowbar to remove a tyre.
- Women should always strip before transforming into a hyena.
- Women should always step back in an ordered fashion when a turf war breaks out.