WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Well, tis the season and all that, so it felt only right that I watch a Christmas themed movie to bring myself fully into the spirit of the holidays. I watched the original Jack Frost last year so its sequel seemed as good a place as any to start. It was a joyful watch and a reminder of why I enjoy watching movies like this (crap ones, not Christmas ones…): in no way does it take itself seriously and it’s just too delightfully daft to not enjoy. If you only watch one Christmas-themed movie this year, make sure that it involves the best damn killer snowman out there!
A year has passed since Jack Frost attacked the little town of Snowmonton. Sam Tiler, the town’s sheriff, has been struggling to come to terms with what happened that fateful night. His wife and friends have moved on, convinced that Jack can’t escape from his anti-freeze prison and his therapist openly laughs at him when he brings up the topic of the killer snowman. All in all, it’s a tough time for Sam, and it’s about to get a lot tougher. Unbeknownst to everyone a team of scientists with a redneck scout have dug up the anti-freeze bottles with Jack in them and are trying to revive him. The experiments are wholly unsuccessful until one night when the janitor comes in to clean the lab. Being a clumsy fool and showing no thought to the many delicate glass beakers floating around he just continuously bashes into the fish tank with Jack in it. In doing this he manages to tip a cup of coffee into the tank and all hell breaks loose. Jack can use the water molecules in the coffee to reform and the janitor quickly lands up with a piece of fish tank through his face.
To take Sam’s mind off his troubles his wife Anne decides that they should go away for Christmas this year. Their friends Joe and Marla are getting married in the Bahamas and it seems as good a place as any to go. Even if shit were to hit the fan, what are the chances of a killer snowman turning up on a tropical island anyway? This, at least, was the plan. Unfortunately it turns out that killer snowmen can turn up on tropical islands. It would appear that Jack has had some time to consolidate his powers and can now withstand warmer climates. When dead bodies start appearing all over the island, however, the senile Colonel Hickering who runs the resort is quite happy to blame it all on shark attacks (even if the body is miles inland). Nobody seems willing to accept that a killer snowman is loose in the Bahamas.
It’s only when it suddenly starts snowing and people’s arms are being taken off by renegade snowballs that anyone starts to think that something strange is going on. Those who have encountered Jack before decide to use a tried-and-tested method of snowman catching: trap him in anti-freeze. Problem is that Jack can be hurt by the anti-freeze but it doesn’t completely liquidate him like it did before. He’s also throwing up snowballs everywhere he goes, and herein lies the best part of the movie. These aren’t regular snowballs. They’re eggs. And in these eggs are the most adorable baby snowmen with a cute demeanour and blood rage like you can’t imagine. So now the gang has to contend with Jack and hundreds of his little offspring who are seemingly indestructible. Sam’s also flown over the cuckoo’s nest since the anti-freeze didn’t work. How they learn to deal with Jack Frost 2.0 and his offspring is another wonder that you just have to watch to appreciate.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Jack was nimble, Jack was quick. Jack gauged people’s eyes out with candle sticks.
- Therapy sessions are private in that the secretary and anyone nearby can listen in over the intercom.
- Small cabins can function as international airports.
- The bodies of 3 brutally slayed victims are no indication of foul play.
- Nobody considers carrots lying on the ground to be genuine evidence of a killer on the loose.
- The world’s problems can be solved by throwing a themed party and getting everyone roaring drunk.
- Knowledge of the Discovery Channel turns women on.
- The best toy water guns are the ones that come equipped with laser targeting technology.
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A review about a good tranny movie requires a decent song. Enjoy RuPaul’s ‘Sexy Drag Queen’ while you read 🙂
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s a rare thing to find a movie that you could watch a thousand times over, but I think I’ve found that in Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives. I don’t even like rape and revenge movies but this movie managed to take the theme and completely turn it on its head and play out a revenge fantasy that is simultaneously unnerving at times and full of sassy comments at every twist and turn. A lot of people have complained that this movie makes light of the violence perpetrated against transgendered people, but it really doesn’t. The issues are there and the issues are real; this movie just chooses to portray them differently so that you don’t feel like you’re sitting through an hour-and-a-half lecture. And let’s be honest: with a title like Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives, there was no way this movie wasn’t going to be awesome.
It’s a busy night at the club for our girls Rachel Slurr, Emma Grashun, Tipper Sommore, Bubbles Cliquot and their drag mother Pinky La’Trimm. Before the show starts we meet all the girls getting into their outfits and getting their hair did just right, all the while discussing their newest love interests. Fascinating world views are exchanged and the system of naming children in an Hispanic household is explained in great detail, but the biggest point of interest right now is Bubbles’ black eye. The other girls debate about who could have done this to her, agreeing that she must be seeing someone who has taken to beating her. Pinky doesn’t care who’s done it or why, preferring rather to offer Bubbles her service in kick assery should it be needed. Once the tears are dried and makeup applied with a trowel the girls go out and give their performances before setting off to the local watering hole for some gossip and relaxation.
What was meant to be a relaxing evening of cocktails and man hunting is about to take a horrible turn for the worse. Rachel and Emma have found their male companions for the evening in the form of Chuey and Nacho, but they have a friend that also needs a little lovin’, so the girls trick Bubbles into going along with them to an abandoned warehouse to party it up with the boys. Just as the girls are getting comfortable Chuey and Nacho’s friend Boner appears from the shadows, much to Bubbles’ shock. See this was the man who not only beat her but raped her as well and now he’s still out for revenge. Why exactly is he seeking revenge on dear Bubbles? Because, from the waist down, she’s not a woman. The three men proceed to violently beat the girls while Bubbles tries her best to get hold of Pinky. Pinky and Tipper rock up at the warehouse to help Bubbles do battle but they are also attacked by the men, and everything fades to black.
When Bubbles wakes up from her coma in the hospital she finds out from Pinky and Rachel that Emma and Tipper have been murdered. On top of this Bubbles has lost her voice as a result of the beating Boner gave her. She regains her voice a little later on, but with a very apparent lisp. The 3 surviving girls try to go back to their lives as best they can, but Boner soon starts rocking up at the club they work at and it becomes apparent that he isn’t just going to leave them alone. So the girls devise a plan to lure Boner, Chuey and Nacho to Bubbles’ house where they will be taught a good, hard lesson in manners and respecting the strength of trannies everywhere. How will they learn this lesson? Well, if you live by the sword you must die by the sword. And those trannies have a lot of leather, glitter and lube at their disposal to teach this lesson effectively.
If I haven’t said so already, go watch this movie. It’s rare to be squirming and laughing all at the same time, but it really is a delightful feeling. And again, it’s Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives, what’s not to love?
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s perfectly alright to spike a woman’s drink, provided that she is actually a woman.
- In times of crisis a stiletto heel will make a terrific weapon.
- It’s perfectly natural for doctors and nurses to sexually harass one another in front of a patient.
- Straight men like to decorate their houses with a ‘run-down warehouse’ kind of feel.
- Good manners dictates that you should brutally murder anyone who bleeds on a friend’s couch.
- ‘Milkshake’ is an excellent song to chant when you’re trying to become a little more zen.
- Seeking bloody revenge requires that you dress in leather and have a lot of glitter on your face.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I reviewed the original version of Midnight Movie a while ago and it was one of those gems that are so few and far between in the horror genre. Having already discussed the original version of the film I don’t really want to do a rehash of that here, but rather to simply compare this new version to that of the original.
The premise of this movie is simple: a few moons ago a man named Ted Radford directed a movie called The Dark Beneath. This movie became the man’s all-consuming obsession, and many believed that the actors portrayed in the film had actually been killed by Radford for a better effect. As his obsession grew Radford gradually descended into madness, a madness that continued to grow even after he was committed to the psych ward. When he shows no sign of improvement some bright spark thinks the best thing to do would be to show him his movie again and hope that it snaps him out of his dementia. The plan half-works and Radford completely snaps and kills everyone in the asylum before going missing.
Needless to say any demented serial horror director ever stays missing for long (and this applies in real life too!) and, 5 years later, he decides to make an appearance at a midnight screening of his movie. The crowd at the theatre is tiny and the cinema itself is about as dingy as they come, but Radford is intent on making up for all that with as much gore and killing as he can possibly muster.
Now to compare the two different versions. Granted it has been a while since I watched the original, but there is a slight difference of focus in the Killer Cut. While I felt that the original version played more with the 80s slasher angle and left the supernatural element for later the Killer Cut leads with the latter right out the gate. Whether this effects how much you enjoy the movie entirely depends on how you like your horror best served but I like to be kept guessing a little bit (but not in the usual b-horror way where both me and the director are wondering what’s going on throughout the movie). The effects have been nicely jazzed up in places and some of the scenes have either been reworked or moved around a little bit, again adding to the shift of focus in favour of the movie’s supernatural elements.
Whether it’s the original or the redone version Midnight Movie remains a fun watch and in a way it all works out because you can watch whichever one best suits your individual tastes. If you’ve already seen the original version the Killer Cut is still worth the watch, even if you only want to see how well a movie can be made on a relatively small budget. And well done to Jack Messitt, with this being his debut directorial role, for taking the time to go back and retweak the movie the way he wanted it. If more people put in that kind of effort we horror fans wouldn’t be saddled with nearly half as much crap as we are (and I wouldn’t have anything to blog about 🙂 )
Read my original review of Midnight Movie here.
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Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 5 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I love watching bad horror movies so much that I’ve dedicated an entire blog to them, but after watching too many even my brain threatens to turn to mush. That’s why I decided to watch Midnight Movie – I’d read up about it and it looked like it had some promise. And it didn’t disappoint! There’s nothing very original about this movie (it’s a sort of Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets The Hills Run Red) but it’s 80 minutes of pure slasher heaven with a mix-and-match group of soon-to-be-victims trying to outrun a deranged lunatic with a limp. There are scares and jumps and ominous moments with blood on the walls and guts on the floor; in short it’s fun, mindless horror 😀
Back in the day when movies were still black and white Ted Radford wrote, directed, produced and starred in a movie called The Dark Beneath. Ted unfortunately went a little off the rails when he became so obsessed with his film that he started to believe that he was the killer in it and murdered his cast and crew. Years later he’s been locked away in an insane asylum for quite some time when his doctor decides that it’s time to attempt a breakthrough with his patient. The best way to break Ted’s obsession with The Dark Beneath, in the good doctor’s opinion, is to let him watch it again and realise that it’s only a movie, not reality. As is often the case this doesn’t go exactly to plan and the screening pushes Ted even further over the edge before he decides to murder every single other person in the asylum and make his escape.
5 years after Radford made his escape from the loony bin a little movie theater is planning a midnight screening of The Dark Beneath. Det. Barrons, who oversaw the police investigation at the asylum, is convinced that Radford will turn up since it’s the first screening of the movie since he went missing. The rest of the police department think that he’s insane since they believe a cult broke into the asylum and Radford was killed along with everyone else. Thankfully the one person who feels the same way he does is Dr Wayne, the only doctor who thought showing Radford his movie again would have been a bad idea. Along with these two we have Bridget (the manager at the theater), her boyfriend Josh, their friends Mario and Samantha, a biker couple named Harley and Babe, horror nerd Sully and Rachael and Kenny, two other kids who work at the theater. With everyone comfy and buckets of popcorn at the ready they settle down to watch the movie.
You know shit’s gonna hit the fan when Josh tells Bridget, who’s had a few issues with her father, that as long as he’s around nobody’s gonna hurt her. The movie starts off alright but takes an odd turn when the film switches to a POV shot of the theater itself with Kenny being impaled on the murderer’s weapon. Everyone in the theater thinks it’s a joke and continues to laugh when the same thing happens to Sully and Rachael. When everyone goes to look for the three missing kids, however, they figure out (with the help of the detective) that the blood on the floor is real and that every time the movie switches to a POV shot Radford (dressed as the killer from the film) is hunting someone else down. But like every good horror villain you can hit Radford with a baseball bat and you can even shoot him a few times but he’s just gonna keep on limping after you – and murder you in good, black and white movie style.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Testosterone is the natural order of the universe.
- Biker chicks are remarkably understanding when their boyfriends get turned on by other women.
- When a massacre occurs at a mental asylum you should never go looking for the one person that’s missing.
- A liver makes a great soccer ball.
- Stoners are drawn to houses with creepy old ladies living in them.
- Chivalry isn’t dead, but it may end up in you being dead.
- “Let’s stick together” means “let’s split up gradually”.
- You never have bullets when you wanna make the killshot.
- Telling a deranged killer “you gotta go through me first” usually means he will take you literally.
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