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:
Here at the B-Horror Blog we pride ourselves on our varied and eclectic taste in terrible cinema. Whether it’s a terrible monster movie, various kinds of weather wreaking havoc on small towns, questionably scientific escapades, the Twilight franchise, or horrendously Historically Inaccurate movies, you know that Tropical Mary and I will be there. To give you an idea of just how historically inaccurate Amazons and Gladiators (which, by the way, contains no real Amazons or gladiators) is, here’s a run down of the plot: just after the Punic Wars, a man named Crassus (or, in the movie, Crassius) takes down Spartacus, the leader of the Third Servile War against Rome. Under the leadership of an unspecified Caesar, Crassius must do battle against a band of unruly Amazonian women. When the Amazons defeat Crassius, they band together with the Visigoths to bring down the Roman Empire. Now, for a timeline:
- Third Punic War (presumably what the movie is referring to), fought between the Carthaginians and Romans from 149 to 146 BC.
- Third Servile War, led by Spartacus and fought from 73 – 71 BC.
- Marcus Licinius Crassus, lived c. 115 – 53 BC.
- Julius Caesar (presumably the Caesar in question), lived 100 – 44 BC.
- Visigoth invasion of Roman Empire, successive invasions from 376 – 382 AD.
And yet this all happens in the space of a few years in this movie. Yeah, can’t say much more about the historical inaccuracy than that. Plus there’s the regular things like appalling acting and not much of a budget, not to mention the thinly veiled accents, although the breasts were really out in force for this one, so that might count for something.
- Wow, Paramount really let itself go with this one…
- Amazons and Gladiators presents: A remedial child’s attempt to learn Linear B.
- Lord Smarmacus has arrived.
- Zanobia, Gwyneth and Serena? Where the hell are we?
- Damn it, she’s still giving gradual chase!
- Connor? Seriously, where the fuck are we?
- Gallo – master of the tuning fork.
- God I love some thumpin’ Roman techno beats…
- Ooh, it’s the Dance of the 5 Veils!
- What a delightful push-up bra this one has on.
- You know, freedom would look really good on you.
- A two-boobed Amazon spy? OK, sure…
- The basic rule of Amazon camp is ‘midriff OUT!’.
- It’s rare to come across such masters of ancient Amazonian pleather.
- Dahlia and Ariel? No seriously guys, where the hell are we?!
- Finally, an answer! We’re in Transylvanian Rome.
- This is the tiniest colosseum you’re ever gonna see.
- Your fate was sealed with a broken ankle.
- Seriously? A broken ankle? Three goddesses dedicated to deciding how people die and they picked a broken ankle? Fuck, that’s a shit way to go…
- Grey Haven? In Transylvanian Rome? With Zanobia, Gwyneth, Serena, Dahlia, and Ariel? I’m so confused…
- Quickly! Kill them with wheat!
- I condemn thee to death by Cornflakes!
- Croissants? In Transylvanian Rome? With Gwyneth and Serena? I’m even more confused.
- The Battle of Grey Haven? Must have missed that somewhere in my 7-year education.
- There’s no better dog than the Roman Alsatian.
- What gorgeous French manicures these Transylvanian Roman whores have.
- Behold! The most underwhelming death of them all!
- The End.
SCENE FROM AMAZONS AND GLADIATORS
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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:
So there I was, minding my own business, when I was suddenly struck by a terrible case of the shakes. I broke out into a cold sweat, my mouth was bone dry, and I was starting to see double. I had gone into soft science withdrawal. It’s a terrible thing when it happens, and you need to have a sci-fi b-movie ready for when these symptoms strike. Thankfully, I’d saved Absolute Zero for just such an emergency. The movie manages a number of feats: it’s a b-grade disaster movie that wasn’t made by either the Asylum or the Syfy Channel, it’s mind-numbingly painful to watch, and the science is so soft that it would make a marshmallow roasting over Satan’s arse seem like titanium. Prepare to witness the movie that dares to ask the question: how soft is your science?
Meet Dr David Kotzman, a brilliant man working for Inter Sci. Dr Dave specialises in looking at the effects that temperatures plummeting to absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius, or -460 degrees Fahrenheit for my American readers) would have on life on Earth. They’d be fairly devastating, to put in mildly. But Dr Dave has a theory, you see: he’s convinced that the last ice age didn’t occur over a period of hundreds or thousands of years as modern science would have us believe. No, he believes that the ice ages are brought on when parts of the world suddenly plummet to absolute zero for a few seconds, freezing absolutely everything in sight. For all we know this theory could have been brought on by a night at an opium den, because the movie really isn’t going to explain how we got there. Then again, the theory could have been inspired by the constant thumping porno beats that play when he’s doing his research. Suffice to say Dr Dave is going to get an opportunity to test out his theory soon enough.
You see, there’s been some very strange weather going on across the globe lately: thunder storms over Antarctica (which are apparently very normal), ice bergs floating through the harbours of Florida, tropical weather in New York, and the list just goes on. How are we ever going to find out what’s going on before it’s too late? With cave paintings, that’s how! Dr Dave meets up with an Inter Sci research team already out in Antarctica (presumably building the emergency opium den) and, with a little help from global warming, manage to find a cave full of fully frozen people. Using a tiny microscope and a few spare grad students that just happened to be lying around, Dr Dave concludes that the world’s magnetic poles are about to shift themselves. This will have devastating consequences across the globe, as everything along the equator suddenly finds itself fighting off the onset of absolute zero (dun dun dun!).
Can we stop all these terrible things from happening? With this much soft science? You must be joking! Unable to save the world from succumbing to this frozen nightmare, Dr Dave has to at least try and save his grad students and his ex-girlfriend who he’s never forgotten and conveniently met up with just before the disaster struck. Luckily she’s a specialist in ancient cave drawings, and using the ones from Antarctica she arrives at the same conclusion as Dr Dave: the world is about to be thrown (rather haphazardly) into the next ice age. It’s a race against time as temperatures continue to plummet, funnels of freezing air strike at random, 10-year-old girls speak monotonously into walkie talkies, and lifeguards take over half an hour to evacuate a paddling pool. The world will never be the same again after it succumbs to… ABSOLUTE ZERO (dun dun dun!)
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Global warming means grad students can now spend a semester out in Antarctica.
- Even the president doesn’t have the authority to pull university students out of Antarctica.
- You can just book commercial flights to Antarctica these days.
- When light freezes, it’s time to get the winter jerseys out.
- Even with a doctorate degree in the field, it’s very easy to confuse archaeology for anthropology.
- Antarctica once held a small, but thriving, colony of ancient Egyptians.
- We can date 10 000-year-old cave paintings to the exact day they were drawn.
- Only in America can big corporations think that they can stop the weather from happening.
- The Earth’s axis of rotation has absolutely nothing to do with the seasons.
- There’s nothing quite as ineffective as an optional evacuation.
- Strip clubs provide excellent landmarks in times of crisis.
- Absolute zero is really dangerous, but people can still survive quite comfortably at -158 degrees Celsius.
- Always remember to keep your emergency power supply dangerously far away from the bunker that’ll save your life.
ABSOLUTE ZERO TRAILER
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