WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Usually I like to watch movies that I know will hurt me; I’m slightly masochistic that way. There are other times, however, where it’s the thrill of not knowing how things are going to pan out that excite me. Chernobyl Diaries presented me with the perfect opportunity to act out on these feelings. I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I hadn’t read any reviews or seen any trailers for it, so I was going in blind. With a 5.1 IMDB rating I figured I had a 50/50 chance of either being entertained or badly hurt, and I was pretty alright with it either way. On the whole it’s not a bad movie. It certainly gives off that ‘I’m sure we’ve been here before’ vibe, and clearly the budget wasn’t going to allow anyone to make it rain, but more or less it came together quite nicely. UNTIL THE ENDING. God, I wanted to throw something through the screen. If you decide to watch this, turn it off 10 minutes before it’s about to end and you’ll walk away having had a fairly pleasant experience. If you don’t do that, have a good pair of hard-heeled shoes at the ready and warm up your throwing arm.
Answering the great philosophical question ‘whatever happened to Jesse McCartney?’, he rocks up as Chris, a love-struck young man on holiday through the Eastern Bloc with his girlfriend Natalie and her friend Amanda. It’s a whirlwind tour of all the things the former USSR and her satellite nations have to offer, leading up to their visit to Kiev in the Ukraine where they’ll meet up with Paul, Chris’ brother. The plan was to go to Moscow after Kiev, but a night of drinking changes things slightly. As a cautionary tale, proving that nothing good will come of a story that happened on a drunken night and that starts with ‘I met a guy named Yuri…’, the quartet decide to head off on a little ‘extreme tourism’ detour to the town of Prypiat.
Now, Prypiat has a bit of a sad history. Located just outside of Chernobyl, the town was evacuated when the reactor went critical and families lost everything they had ever owned (which, behind the Iron Curtain, probably wasn’t an awful lot). Our quartet, lead by a decidedly gruff and stereotypical man named Yuri, are joined by a viking maiden named Zoe and an Australian fellow named Michael. It’s all fun and games breaking into the Exclusion Zone, playing with some mutated fish and checking for sporadic spikes in radiation levels, but there’s obviously the human angle that we need to pay attention to. The place is utterly desolate, with only the fish, a really rotten dog, one giant bear and a giant picture of Stalin on a wall to testify to the place’s existence. But when the group gets back to the van, all the wires have been disconnected a bit too efficiently to be the work of the fish, even if they had the bear helping them…
From this point the situation escalates rather rapidly and the group is plummeted into the very pits of hell and desperation. Clearly the budget wasn’t so great that we could actually get a glimpse of the monsters, but suffice to say that not everyone left Prypiat when the town was evacuated. In that time they’ve learned how to disable cars, have become horribly mutated and have lost all notions of basic house keeping. It’s all fairly standard The Hills Have Eyes stuff from here on out, with a little sprinkling of Wrong Turn thrown in for good measure, all done in a ‘kind of like, but not quite, found footage’ style. Take it or leave it, it’s a fairly decent way to spend 85 minutes if you’ve already washed your hair that night and shampooed your goldfish for the week.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Extreme doses of radiation are completely safe so long as you’re around them for less than a day.
- It’s easier to understand Ukrainian than it is to understand an Australian accent.
- No great date should end until someone’s been mauled by a radioactive bear.
- Mutants in the former USSR aren’t afraid to eat a border guard. They’re hardcore that way.
- Ukrainian medical advice indicates that running around inside the Chernobyl reactor is dangerous to your health.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Let me start off by saying that watching this movie was a mistake. Not a mistake in that I regret watching it but rather a mistake in that it wasn’t the movie I was thinking of. I remember back when I was maybe 13 or 14 I watched a movie about killer mosquitos and remembered this box cover from the video store I used to go to. I remember watching this one (albeit very vaguely), but I was really excited to watch the other one, so this was a major let down. It was also quite a surprise; you wouldn’t think there were that many movies about giant mosquitos. Skeeter is not fun, although if you’re in the mood for some spectacular 90s hair, music and men’s wedgie-inducing jeans then you’re in for an absolute treat.
It was a dark and lonely night when the trucks carrying loads of toxic waste rode into the outskirts of the little town of Clear Sky. It’s a tough time for the little town, what with all the modernisation and skyscrapers and internets going up. Not caring for the town’s plight in the face of the advancing city folk some evil corporation decides that it needs to dump its toxic waste somewhere and that the best place is in one of Clear Sky’s old abandoned mines. Nobody mines no more, work’s all done with them there fancy computers and cellphones as big as your arm, so nobody’s going to notice the waste in the old abandoned mine. That is until two boys head out that way on their motor bikes and land up mysteriously dead, the blood drained right out of their bodies…
We need to tear ourselves away from all that for a minute to meet Roy Boone, the coolest and manliest policeman in these here parts. He’s so manly, in fact, that he out-right refuses to ever button up his shirts, whether he’s on duty or not. Boone’s noticed that something very strange is going on in the little town of Clear Sky (the fact that entire herds of cattle are turning up drained of blood and looking like unwrapped mummies may have been a clue) and has called someone in to look at the water in the town, thinking that this might be the problem. The water guy’s more than happy to be there but sheriff Ernie and businessman Drake are not. Ernie and Drake have some kind of deal going on while Drake’s busy turning the desert into a never-ending stretch of luxury houses and they don’t want anyone interfering in their plans.
Of course mother nature, when combined with vast quantities of toxic waste, has a rather big way of saying “fuck you!” to people who want to develop luxury housing estates. At this point the movie’s worth watching just to see the mosquitos. I’m not sure what they’re made of but I’m guessing they’re models with either very limited movement or a lot of stop animation. These creatures are now flying around drinking the life force out of absolutely anyone and anything they come into contact with and sheriff Ernie’s not interested in hearing any of it, so Boone’s infinite manliness makes him a far better person for the job of saving Clear Sky. To help him out his Native American friend Hank will tag along for the ride. Will he be able to save the town from the monster mosquitos and the encroachment of 20th century conveniences? Will he be able to prove his love for Sarah and make her see the error in wanting to live in a place with tarred roads? All this and so much more (unnecessary chest hair) on the next screening of Skeeter!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Funeral parties are known to materialise out of nowhere in the blink of an eye.
- A pastor’s job at a funeral is to be bleak and ask God to kill us all.
- One of the prerequisites of being a politician is having a freckled belly.
- It’s never a wasted trip if you can find a karaoke bar.
- Native American policemen are useful for checking if a crime scene has bad juju.
- Doomsday predictions aren’t particularly powerful when delivered in rhyming couplets.
- Morgues in a desert town have no need for air conditioning.
- A parent’s job is to make their children feel terrible for wanting a better life for themselves.
- If you’re sleeping with the sheriff it doesn’t matter who you abandon in the desert without supplies.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
OK, I’m gonna put an idea out there and you can all tell me what you think. Four things made this movie standout when I first heard about it: 1) It’s made by the Asylum, 2) its leading ladies are Carmen Electra and 3) Brooke Hogan and, of course, 4) it’s about a giant 2-headed man-eating shark! Now, when one considers all these things, one might expect that this would be a belly full of laughs from beginning to end. One may just be disappointed. Perhaps it’s because I watched it back-to-back with Terror at Blood Fart Lake and nothing was going to compare with the awesome insanity of that movie but this little nautical nightmare just wasn’t as much fun as I was hoping for. Don’t get me wrong, it’s highly amusing to watch, but it just doesn’t have that b-grade x-factor that would let it go down in memory as a totally satisfying experience.
Now, if I understand this movie correctly (which is difficult since it all just seems so unlikely), Charlie O’Connell is a university professor taking his class out to sea to investigate something or other. What they’re investigating hardly seems important since they can’t even master the use of a compass, so we’re not really expecting them to turn out to be anything spectacular later on in life. He’s accompanied by his wife Carmen Electra, a brilliant doctor who’s dedicated her time to help any wary sailor out and cure whatever it is that may be ailing them. Everything’s going wonderfully until the boat manages to get a dead shark lodged in its propellers, bring the little exploratory expedition to an end. Thankfully there’s an atoll (which isn’t really an atoll) nearby where the group hopes they can salvage some materials to fix the boat.
The boat’s been a little bit more damaged than the group initially realises since the shark lodged in the propeller blades soon became a snack for the massive 2-headed mutant swimming around these waters. Being a rather messy and enthusiastic eater the 2-header smashed the boat’s hull and the ship’s starting to take on water and any of the crew members who try to fix it end up mysteriously eaten. Back on the atoll the students are doing there utmost best to be morons and go about being general asses and bitches. Some lesbian experimentation and threesome action comes to an abrupt halt when all concerned land up being eaten (although not in the way the one guy originally intended). Oh yeah, and the atoll’s sinking. The group’s gonna have to hustle themselves and fix the boat quickly before the land disappears from underneath them.
Thankfully Brooke Hogan’s here to save the day. Now, it’s not so much that she’s a genius as the rest of the group would lose a spelling bee to an amoeba but, in times of mutant shark attacks and atoll sinkings, one cannot afford to be picky. With her mannish good looks, straw-blonde hair and breasts that are forever threatening to fall out of her bikini, Brooke successfully manages to fix three separate boats AND figure out what’s drawing the sharks’ attention. It would appear that the creature’s two heads make it more sensitive to noise in the water, thus making it rather tricky to escape by boat. With land becoming an increasingly rare commodity and spare students that can be used as shark snacks running out Brooke and Co. will have to find a way of either teleporting off the island, sinking the main boat to send out a distress beacon or pull together a MacGyver-style plan to kill the 2-headed beast.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s better to be safe than someone’s dinner.
- You have no chance of surviving at sea without a long, pointy stick.
- An all-over tan requires that a woman’s breasts be thrust forward at all times.
- Women are constantly on edge, just waiting for a man to dare them to strip naked.
- A woman only gets a limited number of chances to be a lesbian in her lifetime.
- Being eaten by a shark is not the ideal way to get a threesome going.
- Good quality lighters will continue to work even after being submerged for hours at a time.
- A small metal net and half a barrel of gas is all you need to electrocute the entire ocean.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
OK people, pack it up and head on home. Nobody needs me anymore, the journey to watch the world’s most awful horror movie has officially come to an end with Weasels Rip My Flesh. Just joking, I’m not going anywhere, although I am considering revamping the blog. My main idea includes redoing the Levels of Awful as ‘Surprise!’, ‘Low’, ‘Medium’, ‘High’ and ‘Weasels Rip My Flesh‘. Anyone remember my review for Monsturd? Weasels Rip My Flesh would shit all over that movie. It’s quite spectacular in its mind-melting awfulness; friends of the “director” in the roles, papier-mâché monsters and black bags being used as the surface of Venus. To make sure you really get value for money all of this is crammed into little more than an hour’s worth of film. If you’re feeling like you have nothing left to live for and want to go out with your brain violently squeezing itself out of your ear in a desperate bid to escape then this is the perfect way to end it all.
Mankind has finally mastered the art of space travel and extended our reach beyond the stars. Well, not really, but we’ve managed to make our way to Venus. Turns out the planet is made up largely of black bin bags and isn’t nearly as hot as we thought it was so landing a spaceship there is easier than parallel parking on a slow traffic day. Thrown into all of these amazing discoveries is the fact that our sister planet is home to life; blue, slimely, squishy life but life none the less. Using the latest in giant hair clip technology the brave astronauts of this cardboard spaceship collect samples of Venereal life to bring back home for further study. Sadly the homeward trip for these brave, brave men is marred by the fact that the spaceship suddenly veers hopelessly out of control and crashes in a swamp where two young boys just happen to be playing.
The saying ‘boys will be boys’ is never more applicable than when two young boys on the cusp of puberty come across a package marked “DANGER: RADIOACTIVE CONTENTS” written in white board marker. The number of things that can be done with radioactive Venereal life is virtually limitless as you can well imagine but, when one of the boys is bitten by a rabid weasel, the toxic slime becomes the perfect vehicle for revenge. They pour the now luminous mustard yellow goo into the weasel’s burrow and the strangely doll-like creature mutants into a horrendous monster in a matter of seconds. Now the size of a car the monster weasel makes a quick snack of the two boys before heading out of the swamp on a rampaging trail of terror.
Somewhere in amongst the ensuing confusion that involves random road-side researchers, horrendous moustaches and weasel arms that can move around on their own 8 months fly by and the swamp becomes a scene of unsolved mass murders. We catch up with the movie to follow what I hazard as a guess to be two policemen trying to find out what’s going on in the swamp. In between chain-smoking a few cigars, being overbearingly Italian-American and some wooden dialogue thrown in for good measure the two cops are taken hostage by a scientist that looks strikingly like Nintendo’s Mario (were Mario to be homeless with an alcohol problem). This scientist has discovered that the mutant weasel is the key to amazing regenerative medicine but, since the weasel has rabies, he needs human blood to purify his new serum. The cops now need to find a way to escape from the scientist’s evil clutches without becoming a little snack for the giant weasel.
I would just like to reiterate, if you feel like life is actually worth living, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE! You may not feel the same way by the time the closing credits roll round.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- A woman’s hair clip is perfect for collecting samples of alien life on Venus.
- NASA has absolutely no way of knowing if one of their spacecraft has made it back to Earth safely or not.
- NASA containment technology is no match for a 10-year-old with a stick.
- It’s very easy to not notice a car-sized weasel running across the road.
- A messy kitchen is definite proof of a torn off arm dragging itself around the house.
- It’s easy to confuse a stagnant swamp for an ocean.
- Mutant weasels can either destroy the world, cure every disease or unlock the secret to immortality.
- You can use a lit cigar to burn through metal chains.
- Contrary to popular belief having your arm ripped off will not result in massive blood loss.
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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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