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.
CHERNOBYL DIARIES TRAILER
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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:
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.