WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
If I’m being totally honest, after AE: Apocalypse Earth, I was feeling a little fragile. My inner sci-fi geek can take a lot, but that movie gave me a fair beating. Nevertheless, I’m not one to turn down an epic mockbuster, and Atlantic Rim was just too great an opportunity to pass up. So, with Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole, The Occult Specialist, and our new friend Ms Misery in attendance, we sat down to watch this movie. My my my my my. I don’t know anything about Pacific Rim, so this movie had to sell me with only what it had to offer. What might that be, you ask? Well, it has the usual terrible CGI, atrocious acting and cheap sets that one would expect from an Asylum production, but it also has some of the most ADD-ridden editing I’ve ever seen in a film. I know it’s sci-fi, but good God not everything can teleport that quickly! Needless to say, though, this movie is a ton of fun, although I would recommend watching it on the tail-end of a movie night so you have the benefit of mild delirium to cover up some of its not-so-great moments.
Deep at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean lurks one of mankind’s greatest threats: giant amphibious dinosaurs with backwards knees! No seriously, how these things can walk is a marvel in itself. No one knows where they’ve come from or how they’ve managed to survive down there for so long without any of us noticing, but they’re about to start wreaking all kinds of havoc. The first sign of their existence that we experience is when one of them, with no provocation and unknown intent, leaps up from the sea floor to destroy an oil rig. Apart from a quick and somewhat greasy lunch we don’t know why they are suddenly deciding to attack now, and no one back on land knows what happened to the oil rig / ate its crew, so it’s up to the military to fall back on some half-baked, untested battle plan to solve this maritime mystery.
The plan? Send 3 gigantic robots worth $500 billion down to the ocean floor to see where the hell the oil rig went and what the hell may have dragged it down there. These robots will be piloted by the best pilots the program’s remaining $15 worth of budget could find. Decked out in what appear to be wetsuits held together by pieces of coloured duct tape, White Douche, Token Black Guy (aka TYREESE!) and Generic Blonde descend to the bottom of the Atlantic to check things out. The mission is plagued with problems – the control room in the bots becomes sweltering after descending more than 3 feet into the ocean, they’re controlled using what appears to be joysticks from old arcade machines, and they tend to shut down at random (this, for some reason, also sucks all of the available oxygen out of the robot’s interior), so it’s all rather slow going. Oh yeah, and there’s that giant monster floating in the background trying to eat them.
The violence quickly escalates from this point – the monster appears on land, we’re treated to half-a-dozen shots of the monster looped and mirrored maybe 20 times, and suddenly there are dead people everywhere. Why? We’re not really sure. Now, it becomes obvious that the American Government can’t just allow these beasts to run around Manhattan, but the team’s divided. Admiral Hadley, the head of some-or-other division, throws his full support behind the robots. The opposing faction, headed up by a man with an eye-patch whose speech patterns clearly indicate that he has recently recovered from a stroke, proposes nuking the monsters (although the word, when he says it, ranges anywhere from ‘puke the monsters’ to ‘fluke the monsters’). With these two factions at war, Generic Blonde and TYREESE! being innately useless, White Douche being super douchey, and the robots themselves leaving a bit to be desired, does mankind really stand a chance against these backward-kneed behemoths? Watch and be completely whelmed by the whole experience!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It is possible for oil rigs to become dislodged from their bases, float around in the ocean, and crash into Iraq.
- You should always wear self-tan to a review board meeting.
- The best mankind-protecting-robot is one that’s commanded by someone with a lot of experience in Tae Bo.
- Every secret military base should be equipped with at least 100 horns.
- The more squint the monster, the greater the threat it poses to us all.
- No matter what the emergency, a woman’s eye-shadow should always be unfaltering.
- Nothing says ‘time for a drink’ more than blowing up $500 billion worth of military equipment.
ATLANTIC RIM TRAILER
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I know I say this quite often when I start off my reviews, but I feel that this movie warrants me saying it again: running this blog has forced me to come into contact with some very strange films, but S.N.U.B! takes the really bizarre biscuit. And before you think I might be overreacting, I would like you to consider what I believe to be the train of thought that went into making it: take people who look like, act like, and have the social sophistication of the cast of The Only Way Is Essex, tell them to do their best impersonation of the cast from Downton Abbey, and then put them in a situation that is more than just a little reminiscent of the plot from James Herbert’s Domain (minus the giant mutated rats). This, essentially, is what you will be dedicating the next 85 minutes of your life to should you decide to watch this movie. Now, that isn’t to say that it isn’t worth watching just to see how it all pans out, but I do like people to be prepared before they go walking off blindly into something.
We begin our misdirected adventure by following a group of soldiers out on an anti-terrorism assignment who are being hotly pursued by an under-prepared orchestra. The government has received word that someone might have planted a 20-megaton nuclear bomb somewhere in down town London (because it’s dead easy to just carry one of those around on you), and these highly untrained men are going to do their best to save the population, should the threat prove to be real. It turns out the threat is real, and the soldiers discover the bomb hidden inside a tiny metal briefcase. They bring in their most panicky and shaky member of staff to try and diffuse the bomb, but he’s never come across something like this before (again, because people don’t usually just leave nuclear weapons lying around, I imagine training with them is a little bit tricky), so he cuts the wrong wire. KABOOM!!! There goes London, all in one giant mushroom cloud.
Thankfully, while the British government doesn’t appear to have trained soldiers, an emergency plan, or an evacuation plan, they do happen to have a terribly unprepared Secret Underground Nuclear Bunker. All of the equipment in there is still from the Cold War so, while it isn’t tremendously helpful in keeping people alive, I imagine it would appeal to all of the hipster survivors who managed to make it inside. Having managed to get all of 7 people inside when the bomb went off (one of which is a minor government functionary who immediately tries to take control of the situation), these survivors band together with the three soldiers, the one communications director, and the one maintenance man who were already inside and try to figure out how they are going to weather this particular hell storm.
Oh yeah – the other problem with the bunker? It didn’t really come with a maintenance plan, so the life support machinery is REALLY old and gets clogged at the first sign of a human corpse falling into it. So there’s the problem of not being able to breathe when the 11 survivors use up all the oxygen in the labyrinthine bunker in a matter of hours (how heavily are they breathing?). Then there’s the issue of hierarchy, which really teaches us that, in the event of nuclear war, paper pushers with God complexes should be the first to be thrown into the mushroom cloud. Yet another issue is the prison right near by which housed Britain’s most dangerous criminals. They’ve escaped the prison thanks to the blast and have suffered from some minor instantaneous mutations and are now trying to push their way into the bunker through its many, many unsealed openings. But not to worry, if all of this becomes too tense for you to watch, it’s intermittently broken by scenes of two of the survivors indulging in flirtation that’s as subtle as being slapped through the face with a wet trout.
If all of this doesn’t convince you to watch it, then I don’t know what will 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Americans do like their underground bunkers to be up to date with the latest trends in home décor.
- The British Ministry of Defence never thinks to take steps to out-manoeuvre people with laminated pieces of paper getting past security check points.
- Underground government facilities are no place for children or goldfish.
- The easiest way to control the rodent population in an underground bunker is with a military-issued machine gun.
- Bureaucracy dictates that if bunker survivor quotas are surpassed, excess survivors must be jettisoned into the radioactive wasteland.
- Despite spending so much time on their backs, sluts still need plenty of rest.
- During times of crisis it is incredibly important to revert to Victorian-style gender differences.
- If you pedal a bike fast enough you can easily out-ride radiation poisoning.
- There’s absolutely no security risk in letting the country’s most dangerous criminals help set up top-secret underground government facilities.
- Government focus groups indicate that children make excellent decoys when mutated prisoners are invading your underground bunker.
BUY S.N.U.B! AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Movies like this are the reason you should always double-check IMDB. When I got my copy I checked IMDB and it had a rating somewhere in the vicinity of 7 so I got it thinking that I could watch it one night when I was in the mood for a real movie. About 15 minutes into it I started thinking to myself, “none of these characters are at all likeable”, and my b-movie senses started to tingle. I checked IMDB again and to my delight it now had a 3.9 rating. My guess is that the people involved in making it hopped on and gave it the original good rating. Shame on you! I’m no stranger to bad movies but it’s not nice to catch someone off guard; I didn’t at all have my game face on. So far as the movie’s concerned, should you find yourself about to watch it, imagine The Descent but with less likeable people and a few Nazis thrown in for good measure.
If we are to believe this movie then everyone in the world enjoys nothing more than getting bombed out of their skulls at a little rave. While this applies across the board the people who are most likely to enjoy a rave are soldiers returning from fighting the war in Iraq. At least this is true for Eric, Storm and Mira. Luckily this particular rave is being held at a mysteriously abandoned US military base so the three should feel a bit more at home and they’re accompanied by a few others whose names completely escape me. Names aren’t particularly important anyway; every character is just a distinctly overdone cliché. Eric’s the badass sergeant type who’ll never leave a man behind, Storm is Latino so he’s obviously a gangster and Mira is the tough girl who, despite all her bravado, needs a man to help her through everything she does.
While everyone’s getting jiggy with it on the dance floor some guy gropes the arse of one of Storm’s friend’s girlfriend. The friend is obviously upset and gets into a little tiff with the man that’s twice his height but, since Storm is Latino and therefore obviously a gangster, it suddenly gets taken to a whole other level. I accidentally blinked at this point and when I opened my eyes again people were lying sprawled on the floor, knives were on people’s throats and guns were being fired at random. The guns must’ve been the final straw because the next thing you know Eric and Co. are running for their lives and taking shelter behind a rather heavy-duty door. The opposing Latino gangsters have the attention span of a fridge magnet so they quickly leave but Eric decides that they need to find another way out rather than facing what’s on the other side of the door. Poor guy, you’re in a horror movie! It’s what’s on your side of the door that you need to worry about.
Before this point you know that there are bimbos in this group but now you learn that they’re the constantly whining variety, which becomes very irritating very quickly. Unfortunately for them (but luckily for us) there are some demented creatures running around in this mysteriously abandoned military base that might just do away with them soon. You see, back in the day when World War II was coming to an end, the Nazis had a doctor especially trained in horrifying genetic experiments. Not seeing why the fall of Nazi Germany should bring an end to his work the American government brought him over to see what he could cook up for them. By using a few kidnapped women, lots of piping, a gas mask and by combining the DNA of humans, a crocodile and a few other select beasties he managed to create a species of hominids that think like soldiers, have the teeth of crocodiles, are afraid of nothing, are amphibious and remarkably good climbers. Eric and Co. will have to fight their way through the dark labyrinth of the base if they ever want to see daylight again while fending off fear and monsters with a taste for flesh.
Since everyone in the movie is irritating as hell I was personally rooting for the monsters, but you can watch for yourself and decide who you want to win.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- At the slightest sign of any trouble the US military will just abandon its bases and leave all their weapons behind.
- Despite being 3 stories underground a military base can still have windows that let in plenty natural lighting.
- US military bases are relatively uniform and dead easy to escape from.
- Women think it’s a much better idea to run off alone into the darkness than stay in a group for protection.
- There’s a huge market for well-trained but unemployed mad scientists with a Nazi background.
- You can ram any amount of tubing into a pregnant woman’s belly without there ever being a risk to the baby.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Global warming: the great threat our generation faces. A number of possibilities have been given for what causes it: burning fossil fuels, deforestation, increased solar output, the list just goes on. The truth, however, lies in Heatstroke: aliens are the cause of global warming. This was a fantastic movie to watch; it goes back to the good old days of Syfy original movies where the special effects are so awful that they give you a great belly laugh while the endings aren’t anti climatic, a problem faced by so many recent Syfy movies. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, some cheesy sci-fi goodness and indulging in an alien conspiracy theory then this is the movie for you!
It’s a beautiful day for the world to end in Hawaii. The sky is blue, the oceans are crystal clear and bikini models are frolicking gayly on the beaches during a photo shoot. Captain Steve O’Bannon is busy flying his ultralight around one of the islands, taking a relaxing afternoon to monitor any usual radiation levels that may exist in these here parts. Given that this is such a relaxing pursuit and the weather is absolutely gorgeous he doses off behind the wheel of his 1 man aircraft and begins a rapid decent towards a tree. Thankfully there’s something very similar to a velociraptor living in the tree and it leaps up to try and guide the aircraft away but, unfortunately, takes a giant bite out of the ultralight’s engine. Captain Steve awakes with a start and is forced to make an emergency landing in the middle of the bikini models’ photo shoot, much to their dismay.
Following Captain Steve’s emergency landing head bikini model Caroline comes over to read the man the riot act for interrupting this photo shoot of groundbreaking importance to mankind. When Captain Steve doesn’t seem very interested Caroline brings over her hired goons, who Captain Steve quickly dispenses with. He beats the crap out of them again later when he finds them at a bar, this time with the help of his team mates Jillian and Waters (first name unknown). Somehow between coming to the bar, having a boiling beer and beating the crap out of everyone the team (including final team-mate Romeo Romero) decides that there must be something on the island causing the strange radiation spikes and they’re determined to find out what it is.
The cause of the radiation, of course, is an alien invasion. The aliens look like some reject bunch of dinosaurs and have come to earth to heat up our climate to make it a little more hospitable for themselves. I don’t know about you, but personally I find it a little rude when guests drop in on your planet unannounced and then spend the whole time complaining about how you’ve chosen to do the place up. Captain Steve wasn’t about to tolerate this lack of manners in the first place and he certainly isn’t about to tolerate these rather rude invaders when they start melting the faces off his crew and the hapless bikini models that inhabit the island. Unfortunately, since he isn’t a rogue scientist and is contracted by the US military to study these creatures, he’s going to have to play things by the book, at least until he can discover just how big their plans are and how quickly they plan on turning our little Blue Marble into an alien cafeteria. Thankfully he’s not alone in his mission to save the planet; he’ll be accompanied by a rag-tag group of old Hawaiian natives, military grunts and a bikini model with a flower in her hair. God speed to you all!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Models take great offence when people try to inspect their own crashed ultralights.
- The military isn’t ready to believe global warming is the result of aliens living on earth.
- Afghanistan is many things, but it’s certainly not a boring place to go on honeymoon.
- Models are intrigued by kung fu fighting special ops agents.
- Women are terrified when sounds come out of the woods.
- ‘Top Secret’ means giving broad enough hints that everyone figures out what you’re doing.
- Earth is a prime insect farming location for extraterrestrial life.
- Earth can go from temperate to Venus in less than 2 hours.
Year of Release: 2007
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 5.6 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I love zombie movies: there’s something about the world coming to an end at the hands (and teeth) of hordes of the undead that I just find highly appealing. Prior to this movie, however, I’d never given much thought to the zombies themselves and how they might feel about their role in bringing society to its knees. Afterall, zombies seem like quite simple creatures in that they have relatively simple needs: a few brains every now and then to snack on and they’re perfectly happy. Or so we’ve been led to believe. Aaah! Zombies!! (a.k.a. Wasting Away) seeks to show the zombie apocalypse from the zombies’ perspective, revealing a far more complex and touching side to the undead that I’d ever expected from a walking corpse.
It was just another night for Mike, Vanessa, Tim and Cindy, hanging out at the local bowling alley where Tim and Cindy work. Normal of course, except for the barrel of highly toxic experimental waste that accidentally rolled through town and landed up outside next to the beer kegs and ice cream mixture. With the war in Iraq dragging on a little the army has been attempting to bio-engineer the next generation of soldiers that can be sent it to kick ass and get back out in time for lunch. Unfortunately, rather than being turned into mega-soldiers, it turned the test subjects into zombies with a taste for the human brain. When the military truck taking the barrels of waste to a dumping site crashes it sends the barrels flying through the town, which is how it comes to contaminate our little group’s softserve machine. When the kids mix the contaminated ice cream with beer the stage is set for a very entertaining evening as they join the ranks of the undead.
This is where all our assumptions regarding zombies are put to the test: after eating the contaminated ice cream the guys and girls wake up not realising that anything’s happened to them. Something that I never gave thought to until now was how zombies perceived themselves and their fellow undead friends: it turns out that they don’t see themselves any differently. To one another they look just as they did when they were alive and the horrid, brain-eating, rotting corpse version is only seen by the living. What seems to confuse them the most is that, given that a zombie’s brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, the living tend to speed up and speak a lot faster than usual. Given that the kids aren’t aware of any of this, they are understandably confused as to why they can be shot repeatedly and keep on going.
Of course the only person they manage to find that they can speak to is an equally confused soldier with part of a motorbike jammed in his abdomen. While he agrees that he and the kids have come into contact with something the military was working on, the conclusion he reaches is completely wrong. He thinks that they’ve been transformed into ‘super soldiers’ and that the rest of the town is infected with something far more deadly. Since he’s a soldier, people are shooting at them and Mike’s snacking on people’s brains as he goes along, the kids buy into what he tells them. Now they need to try and survive by ducking around the military personnel, killing cooking staff and keeping people so drunk that they can’t tell the difference between a living person and a walking corpse with neon green veins in hopes of making it to a better place where zombies can live without fear of persecution from the living.
It’s a story of love, bravery, struggle, discovering yourself, overcoming adversity, achieving independence and the many different ways of preparing a brain for dinner and there’s a little bit of something for everyone in this movie. Go and watch Aaah! Zombies!! for a very fun and enjoyable look at the other side of the zombie apocalypse 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Kittens explode in the hands of the undead.
- Plain brains are fine, but brains in a taco are the best.
- Avoid dairy at all costs – booze is what will save you in the end.
- Zombie sex is complicated by the fact that the necessary parts keep falling off.
- Zombies are remarkably good truck drivers.
- Zombies are amazing motivational speakers.
- In the military “blurrrgh-arrrrr-raaaaah” is a good enough description of a truck’s cargo to get it through a check point.
AAAH! ZOMBIES!! TRAILER