WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s movies like this that make you lose faith in the whole premise of film making. I mean, you want to believe that film makers are trying their best to put out high quality, original movies, and then this rather blatant Saw ripoff comes along and makes you question everything. Yeah, we all know that none of that’s true, but Elimination isn’t even subtle in what it’s trying to piggy back on. Granted, it has some of the cheapest CGI I’ve ever seen in a film and each and every actor could’ve easily been outperformed by a paperclip (which unintentionally gives it its entertainment value), but I spent my whole time sitting in front of the TV just waiting for someone to say “I want to play a game.” But I guess this is what you get from a movie that has unnecessary breasts thrown in front of the camera before the 1 minute mark has even been passed.
As I’m sure we’re all painfully aware, we live in the age of reality television, and the Good Lord knows that they’ll stick a camera in front of anyone and follow them around. Everyone wants to be famous, right? Well, so does our bunch of generic clichés (and there’s a lot of them – latino, latina, jock, bitch blonde, bitch blonde’s caring boyfriend, street thug, smart hot girl in a cardigan etc.). They’re all about to audition for a brand new online reality show called Spotlight. They don’t really know what it’s all about or where it’s being filmed, but there’s a $1 million dollar prize at the end of it for the winner, so I suppose the finer details might not be at the forefront of their tiny minds.
After getting together in a parking lot and meeting one of Spotlight‘s crew members, the gang is bundled into an unmarked van, stripped of their cellphones, drugged, and taken to an unknown location in the middle of the desert. None of them seem to find any of this particularly disconcerting, so they all make their way through to the audition room. Here they meet Jigsa… I mean the Executive Producer… via a live stream. He explains to them that the game they’re about to play might be a tad bit more extreme than they were planning on, and that it may or may not cater to an audience who likes watching snuff but doesn’t want to call it that. You see, Spotlight involves the gang running through various zones in an attempt to make it to the end. They’ll be pursued by a psychotic clown and an Amazonian warrior (who, again, has two breasts) who will try to brutally murder them. Since none of this is entirely above-board the kids can’t really back out on contractual technicalities, so it’s off into the labyrinth of doom for them.
Whilst the pseudo-Amazon and the clown provide some real-life threats, there are also stock dangers like machine guns, giant blades, giant furnaces and oversized food blenders to watch out for. To balance out the rather steep danger curve, the zones also have several hidden immunity statues, granting the holder 15 minutes where the clown and Amazon can’t kill them. Also, if a spotlight appears, anyone who stands in it is also safe from the executioners. But whilst the executioners and the oversized food blender are certainly areas of concern for the group, their greatest threat will be one another. Only one person can make it to the final zone and win the $1 million prize, so every clichéd character is going to underwhelmingly bring out their worst character traits in an attempt to make it out alive. If you’re like me, dear reader, by the time it comes to the final showdown, you too will be rooting for the oversized food blender.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s never a bad idea to give your cellphone to a creepy old man and climb into his unmarked van.
- Kids these days are incredibly whiny about being drugged and taken places against their will.
- It takes years of Tae Bo training to effectively kick a man in the balls.
- Research indicates that modern killers don’t really concern themselves with their victims’ comfort when building their killing contraptions.
- Rampaging murderers are easily thwarted by an empty cardboard box.
- Even murderers edit their footage to make their shows more dramatic and increase their ratings.
- Even psychotic executioners are part of a union.
- Psychotically deadly situations really bring out some people’s inner narcissist.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s a rare thing for me to be left utterly dumbfounded by a movie. Amused? Sometimes. Confused? Occasionally. Angry? Fairly often. But dumbfounded is a feeling only brought on by particular kinds of movies, and Airborne just happens to be one of those movies. It starts off as a simplistic post-911 action thriller, but somehow, through various twists and turns, lands up being a pseudo-mythological, demonic possession movie. It’s quite astounding, really. And then there’s the foreboding. This movie has more dramatic foreboding in it than the Twilight movies had stares. The only way it could have been less subtle is if they had a full orchestra go into full swing every time the camera settled on someone’s face. Don’t believe me? Then read on, dear reader, and for the truly brave, perhaps you can give it a watch.
It’s a frightfully stormy day in Merry Old England, and due to an approaching storm (which, by the looks of the radar images we’re shown from time to time, appears to be a hurricane larger than the British Isles) all flights out of Heathrow have been cancelled. All except one, of course. Onto this plane assembles the largest group of misfits you can imagine: soldiers fresh off a tour in Iraq and accused of using excessive force, an Godfather-type and his two cronies, a raging alcoholic, a doctor accused of malpractice, and a sudden replacement air steward that no one has ever met. Oh yeah, and that mysterious crate that gives off funny noises and occasionally jumps around that’s under the special protection of the British government. With all of this to consider, what could possibly go wrong?
The flight starts out nicely enough. The alcoholic awakens with a raging hangover, the Godfather behaves in a typically refined-yet-thuggish manner, and two randy love birds get it on in a tiny bathroom. It’s exactly the sort of thing you’d expect on such a midnight flight. But something is terribly amiss. You know this because the love birds land up being bludgeoned to death and the plane makes a mysterious and unreported change in flight path. Not that flight control back in Britain seems to be overly alarmed. Apparently it’s quite normal for planes to change direction and go to Florida instead of New York without checking in with anyone. Back on the plane, people are starting to disappear at an alarming rate, and even our motley crew of passengers knows that people do not simply disappear while you’re flying however-many-thousands of feet above the ground.
The foreboding is cranked into high gear when suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the most top secretist agents in all of Britain take over the flight control centre and threaten to have the Americans blow the plane out of the sky unless they can get someone to respond. Back on the plane, a hostage situation develops over the content of the crate, which turns out to be a Chinese vase worth over $ 10 million. But something isn’t adding up about this hostage situation: the two hostage takers cannot account for all the dead people, which means that something else has been killing off the passengers (and the pilots) while they weren’t looking. Hypothetically this third-party may or may not be the spirit of a Chinese deity that was imprisoned in the vase and is busy looking for a human host that he can possess. Once this has hypothetically happened and he has found the ideal host he will be able to take over the world and fulfill the Mayan 2012 Doomsday prophecy. Can our hapless group of hostages stand up to the might of an ancient Chinese deity and save the world from absolute destruction? Probably not: the foreboding’s gonna slow them down too much.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Britain’s just a breeding ground for conspicuous Godfather-types.
- Britain’s also home to several pockets of irritatingly chatty, global warming-obsessed geography teachers.
- Air stewards must be proficient in mixing drinks and performing sleeper holds.
- If a drunk irritates them enough, flight stewards can be made to break standard health and safety procedures.
- Complimentary drinks are usually all it takes to quell an uprising of plane passengers.
- Most air stewardesses know which two wires to cross to make a plane just drop out of the sky.
- The Chinese gods and Mayan priests were in cahoots when it came to the 2012 prophecy.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with that feeling that something is terribly wrong? I had that the other night. I was sleeping soundly, fantasising about buying bed linen made from Egyptian cotton, when I was suddenly jerked awake with this feeling of absolute dread. Not two minutes later my phone rang, and there was My Friend The Killer Clown Movie, sobbing on the other end. We’ve been friends for so long, but as usual we haven’t seen one another in ages (in fact, not since all those frat boys were murdered over on Hell Island). I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but I told him to dry his clownish tears and get on over to my place ASAP.
By the time he arrived I’d just managed to throw on some seductively manly pyjamas and make hot chocolate with marshmallows. After a lot of hugs and comforting words, My Friend The Killer Clown Movie was finally calm enough to tell me what was wrong. Turns out this recession has hit everyone pretty hard, and even great movie concepts like my dear friend has had to resort to whatever it takes just to pay the bills. That’s how he landed up starring in Sloppy the Psychotic, a decidedly z-grade movie about a once-lovely clown that goes a tad bit off the rails. He explained to me that, while it looked good when he read the script, when he got there there was neither the acting talent to make it somewhat credible, nor the humour to make the constant barrage of shock tactics even remotely entertaining. Poor guy, I don’t know how much more his dented ego can take.
So there me and My Friend The Killer Clown Movie sat, under a blanket with me braiding his neon green hair, and I asked him to give me a run down of this movie that pushed him to the brink; a good friend needs to understand what’s he dealing with before he can provide any kind of help. It’s a simple enough story: Mike was a nice guy with a dream – all he ever wanted to do was be a clown and entertain all the children of the world. Now, times are tough, and the world of clowning is cut-throat. Turn you’re back for one moment and a mime will be trying to take away all your business. But if you love what you do, as Mike does, then none of that really matters. Nothing, until you’re victimised by a group of pool partying white trash that make fun of your life long dream. Oh no, dear reader, that’s when you push a clown one step too far.
Just telling me this much got My Friend The Killer Clown Movie all weepy again, so I ran him a candle-lit bubble bath and put some Enya on in the background so that he could really relax while he told me the rest of this movie. At this point I was still on board, but I could see that things were going to take a very sharp downward turn. Oh boy, did they ever. Apparently one bottle of vodka is all that it takes to turn a mild-mannered clown into one that’s shoving a dead hooker in a trunk. And then there’s all those repressed emotions: anger, fear, rejection, sexual drought, and somehow all that’s gotta come out. As is often the case, these feelings manifest with Mike becoming a cannibal, poisoning some small children, barbecuing other small children, running over mentally handicapped individuals, amputating penises, using fish hooks on prostitutes, running a lawn mower over teenagers, decapitating housewives, and doing unspeakable things to men with a very large candy cane. Yeah, that’s what being under appreciated at work will do to a person.
I think that between the hot chocolate, hair braiding, and the bubble bath, My Friend The Killer Clown Movie has just about regained the will to carry on doing what he does best. The important thing is to focus on the good – I reminded him that this movie has a rather epic version of Pop Goes the Weasel playing in the background quite often, and that’s something at least. After he’d toweled himself off we lay in bed for a while reminiscing about all the good times we’d had together, and as the sun slowly dawned on the horizon he decided that he’d best be heading home before the wife knew he was out. She never has approved of our friendship – neither of us can figure out why. This time, however, we promised not to let so much time go by before we got together again.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Coulrophobia in small towns forces many clowns to live out their lives in secrecy and shame.
- It’s a risky career move to hedge all your bets on being a clown.
- Any clown company worth its salt has a fleet of vehicles ready to transport loads of emergency rubber chickens at a moment’s notice.
- Recently retrenched clowns and vodka are a deadly, deadly combination.
- Secretly, every woman wants to have sex with a man in full clown costume at least once in her life.
- Hobos have only two natural enemies: hungover clowns and puddles of their own urine.
- Death by anal candy cane isn’t a way that anyone wants to go.
- There’s no length a hooker won’t go to if there’s $500 on the line.
- It’s rude to discuss your sex life in front of a hired clown.
SLOPPY THE PSYCHOTIC TRAILER
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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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