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.
BUY 11/11/11 AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Right, it’s official: I’m giving up my dream of gradually taking over the planet by being the world’s most efficient paper-pusher and applying for a job at The Asylum. I want to earn my living by spending my days high on crack and writing stories, because I’m pretty sure that’s what happened before the cameras started rolling on 12/12/12. Even by Asylum standards this was horrid, and whoever was behind it doesn’t seems to have even the foggiest idea about how anything in the world actually works. That being said, I watched this alone, and if I’d seen it with my elite squad of movie watchers I think it could’ve been a lot of fun. So, dear reader, grab a seat, grab a beer, grab your crack pipe, and let’s get this review on the road.
Everyone gather round and meet Veronica. Veronica’s in terrible pain – she’s about to have her first child delivered by the country’s most inept team of doctors. I guess this is what one should expect when you decide to have your baby in an emergency ward that has a park bench outside it and an entrance that looks like some dingy club’s back alley. Not that Veronica notices; she’s too busy screaming out in pain / orgasming in her vain attempts to give birth. The doctors can’t decide what to do, and baby daddy Carlos seems to think that the best plan of action is to lunge violently at every nurse that comes his way. After a lot of comings and goings the very independent baby climbs out of Veronica’s womb and promptly attacks, strangles, nibbles and kills the entire surgical team. One might think that this would be cause for alarm, but mommy’s tired and doesn’t seem to think much of it.
Things seem to be going OK until Veronica and Carlos bring little Sebastian home. Sebastian looks a bit like Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs, but this again raises no concerns from his parents. Despite only being 6 days old he also tends to bite a lot with his razor-sharp little teeth, is quite capable of crawling on his own, and has this bad habit of compelling people to do terrible things via telepathy. Things like making his dad drink water from a kettle that’s just boiled, or making the delivery boy slit his own throat open. Sebastian’s taken into child protection after the death of Carlos and Veronica goes to stay with her sister, vowing revenge upon the government for trying to protect the country’s children from harm.
At some point our characters make the transition from blind confusion to blinding insight so far as Sebastian’s demonic origins are concerned. By now Sebastian looks like Baby Sinclair after he was involved in a tragic cooking oil incident, and his blood lust (and his desire to throw his nappies everywhere) has become insatiable. Couple this with the group of satanic doomsday prophets who are looking for Sebastian to use him in some rite or other, dear Veronica really has her work cut out for her. She’s aided by a policeman who’s constantly sucking on a lollipop, and her sister who has some serious issues that are never really explained to us. Will Sebastian spare his mother when the devil arrives to take over the world? Will Veronica ever stop running around the city and causing teen suicides? Will 20-somethings ever stop taking night hikes along deserted highways? All this and much less will be revealed when you watch 12/12/12.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- No one ever talks about Satanic monks.
- You can still give a woman an epidural even if the baby’s crowning… and then again when the baby’s half way out.
- You can still perform a caesarean section even if the baby’s half-way through the birth canal.
- IV equipment can be manually set to ‘murder’.
- You don’t need to provide any kind of anaesthetic before performing a C-section.
- An umbilical cord isn’t a weapon you should underestimate.
- Any woman can lose all her pregnancy weight by the time the hospital discharges her.
- It’s perfectly normal for a 1-week-old baby to have teeth like a piranha.
- Police protocol dictates that 1-week-old babies should be considered suspects in murder trials.
- Vaginal baby suffocation is still a serious problem in modern society.
- The custody of a child can just be thrown from person to person, willy nilly.
- 6 Vicodin will usually take care of the pain from a small cut on your thumb.
- Police always use their sirens to let people know they’ve arrived.
- You should always be on the lookout for perverted babies – you never know when one’s watching you in the shower.
- Strangulations are always more fun when your hands make whooshing noises.
- Police these days are almost always psychic – you don’t need to tell them where you when you call.
- Priests and homeless people are equally adept at spotting the Anti-Christ.
BUY 12/12/12 AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
First off, I’d like to apologise for my recent silence and lack of reviews. I’m in a mad, desperate rush to submit my MA dissertation before the end of the year, and my guess is that it’s gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better, but I’m gonna try to update things as often as possible. All work and no play makes James a dull boy, after all 😉
Anyways, what to say about Seance: The Summoning. In all the years I’ve been watching shitty horror I’ve never come across a movie quite like this one. To say that it was a rollercoaster to watch is an understatement, and at no point did I ever know how to feel about what I was watching. It’s either one of the most bigoted movies against Christianity ever made, or it’s one of the greatest pieces of Christian propaganda that’s not so cleverly masquerading as a horror movie. At points it’s painful to watch, other times it’s a fun b-movie, and there are also times when you feel it’s pulling itself together nicely. The actors seemed to learn how to act as they went along, so on that front it starts painfully and ends somewhere that’s slightly above average. On the whole I really just don’t know how to feel, but for putting me through so many ups and downs I declare it to be a High Level of Awful. Take that movie crew et al.!
Sara is a delightful born again Christian girl who just wants to make the world a better place through Christ’s love. To do this, she’s going to help her friend Eva out with a seance. Because Jesus wants you to summon up the spirits of the damned. Eva comes from a long line of psychic mediums who have perfected their craft over the generations. Her grandmother was burned as a witch by the Catholic Church, but those were less tolerant times and you make do with the hand you’ve been dealt. While the two girlfriends are sitting in a park chatting about life Eva decides to give Sara a tarot card reading. What follows is the most vague and subjective insight into the nether realms you’ve ever heard, but it serves to inform us that, before being reborn, Sara was a very, VERY bad girl. Not that that should come back to haunt her or anything later on…
The girls meet up with Joey and Marcus in the park, whereupon they hatch this ingenious plan: they’ll drive a hearse to the morgue for uncollected bodies (hobos, druggies, prostitutes etc., so you know these are some angry spirits) and hold a seance after they’ve inspected the corpse freezer. Joey, in addition to being a security guard at said morgue, is busy doing his unspecified degree in something paranormal and wants to record Eva contacting the dead. Marcus is a stone cold atheist and is only tagging along because a) he wants to bang Lisa and b) if Eva can’t summon up a spirit, she has to dance in a bikini at all of his DJ gigs for a specified amount of time that I can’t quite recall. I reiterate: awesome plan guys!
Now, as every reasonable person knows, it’s never a party until someone goes home devastated. In the process of summoning the dead it comes out that Marcus isn’t so much an atheist as he is a closeted psychic. It explains so much really. With the secret out and his friends telling him that it’s OK, that they don’t care if he’s interested in talking to the dead, and that there’s nothing to be ashamed of because he was born that way, the resident evil spirit (see what I did there?) sees a soft target and possesses him. Armed with the powers of hell and an ability to roll his ‘r’s with such power it would intimidate the most hardened latino, Marcus is intent on controlling the whole world. It’ll be up to Eva and Sara to use a concoction of psychic power and Christianity (and a little rubber tubing) to banish this evil back to the hole it crawled out of.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- No seance is complete without some Satanic apple juice.
- Satan has his own brand of seance-ready candles.
- Blondes think that a red flashing light is the highest form of security for a building.
- Sending a woman with a camera to a toilet next to the corpse freezer in a morgue is an excellent way to come on to her.
- Why does a morgue for unclaimed bodies need a family waiting area?
- Good Christian girls have a really powerful right hook.
- There’s nothing more unattractive than a closeted spirit channeler.
- There’s no high quite as good as an embalming fluid high.
- Demons are trained to be back up strippers in case times get tough in Hell.
- Never tell a demon your secrets – he’ll be running all over town airing your dirty laundry.
- In the event of friend’s demonic possession, sex is your best weapon against them.
SEANCE: THE SUMMONING TRAILER
BUY SEANCE: THE SUMMONING AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 2005
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 4.4 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When the main drawing card in any movie is a famous male porn star one has to stop for a second and wonder whether or not they’re getting themselves into something that they’d rather not. So I pondered it over, looked through what else I had to watch, checked it out on IMDB and eventually decided that I’d go for it. Turns out that, in addition to Ron Jeremy, it also has cheerleaders, a dirty old man, topless sunbathing, crude jokes, escaped convicts, lesbian experimentation and the strangest use for a homemade batch of chilli I’ve ever seen. In short it’s brilliant, funny and trashy.
Cheerleading regional finals are about to begin and we’re about to be dragged along for the ride! We align ourselves with the Beavers, a group of cheerleaders made up of 3 girls and 1 guy with a dream of making it big in professional cheerleading circles. What’s nice is that all of their names match their stereotype perfectly: there’s sex-crazed Cookie, big girl Kristy (aka Kristy Kreme), good Christian girl / closeted lesbian Jasmine and studly but not-too-bright Jimbo. While out on the road their greatest rivals overtake them, throwing food at the car and waving around insulting banners. When the car carrying the rivals breaks down it provides a perfect opportunity to 1) get out and taunt them, 2) offer to help like good people would and 3) beat the crap out of your opponent when they’re rude to you. With this done the Beavers head out on the road again but, being bored, Jimbo needs a little distraction to keep him awake while driving. Thankfully Cookie’s not the kind of girl to turn down a man who needs her special brand of helpfulness and she gladly obliges and while this does help to keep Jimbo awake it also means he closes his eyes and rolls his head around a lot, which isn’t necessarily the best thing to do while driving. Next thing you know the car’s plowed into an electric pole and there’s no cellphone signal anywhere so the Beavers need to start walking to try and find a phone of some sort before their dreams of being in the finals are dashed.
With this being a horror movie the Beavers thankfully don’t have to walk very far before they come across a rundown old house in the middle of nowhere which is seemingly vacant with a phone that doesn’t work. While this is inconvenient the house does seem to be reasonably well stocked with bottles of water and freshly made meat dishes for Kristy Kreme to tuck into. With the mad rush to get to the cheerleading finals apparently gone Jimbo and Cookie attempt having sex on an old bed before being interrupted by Jasmine. It’s decided then that Jimbo will head back to the car to wait for help while the girls hang around and tan. Kristy decides to go along with Jimbo, leaving only Jasmine and Cookie in the house. After a quick tanning session the girls settle down to discover their sexuality through a conversation about the difference in taste and texture of vienna sausages and a tin of peaches. Their little escapade is cut tragically short when two escaped convicts from the apparently nearby prison burst into the room looking for a place to hide out. Turns out our two escapees, Hos and Tober, aren’t really all that bad because when the local sheriff tries his luck with Jasmine Hos beats the crap out of him.
Oh right, before I forget: the killer. The eponymous Andre the butcher is the owner of the creepy old house in the middle of nowhere and it serves as his base of operation. When he’s not watching old reruns and eating pieces of himself he enjoys long walks around the grounds killing the surprisingly large amount of people who happened to be making their way through his territory. His killing style is simple: a good aim and a variety of cleavers and knives stored around his person. Of course when a group of young and attractive creatures make their way into his house something needs to be done about it but at least he’s thorough in his approach and takes his time to make sure the job is done both properly and brutally. But when a killer comes after you with such terrifying force and a creepy grin on his face the Beavers will need to figure out exactly why it is he’s after them and how exactly they go about killing a man who can sew his own arm back on after it’s been blown off with a shotgun.
If you’re in the mood for a really entertaining and trashy movie, I strongly recommend getting your hands on a copy of Andre the Butcher.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Wars between rival cheerleading gangs quickly become both personal and violent.
- Eyeballs are delicious in a smoothie.
- When trying to find help it’s important to be as big an asshole as possible.
- Spaghetti dinners are what keep prisoners from escaping.
- Women who refuse to eat viennas inevitably turn out to be lesbians.
- Fat girls are easily lured by a doughnut on a string.
- God provides bullets for those in need.
- Every woman dreams of having a knight in shining polyester come to her rescue.
ANDRE THE BUTCHER TRAILER
Year of Release: 2002
Genre: Horror / Comedy
IMDB Rating: 2.6 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
WHAT ITS ABOUT:
May all the gods of all the peoples have mercy on Director / Producer / Script Writer Joe Castro for what he has done. This is a movie that fails on every possible front: there’s nothing in it that is so gruesome that it can be classed as a proper horror and there’s nothing in it that’s funny enough to be classed as a comedy. The lead actresses are porn stars but are ashamed to take their clothes off and the entire production seems to have been done on a budget of $3. Terror Toons will leave you staring at your TV screen long after the film has ended while you think to yourself ‘am I on crack?’
Our delightful tale of ‘horror’ begins in a quite suburban neighbourhood where Cindy and Candy’s parents are going away for the weekend. Candy (who, although looking like she’s well into her 20s, is wearing a kiddies dress and pigtails) receives a mysterious DVD in the mail. Being a fan of horror movies herself, she unquestioningly takes her new copy of Terror Toons (sent to her directly by Satan himself) and goes upstairs to watch while her sister Cindy invites some friends over for a party (if we use a VERY broad definition of what can be deemed a party). While Cindy and her friend Amy attempt to get some boys to come round, Candy unwittingly releases two monsters (?) from the Terror Toons DVD: Dr. Carnage, a green mad scientist with terrible teeth, and Max Assassin, Dr. Carnage’s little giant genetically altered purple monkey, who make quick work of Candy by turning her into a ventriloquist dummy.
Meanwhile, downstairs, Cindy and her friends begin to fool around in that special way that only 30-something actors pretending to be teenagers can. The party is rudely interrupted when Dr. Carnage and Max Assassin begin to pick off the teenagers one by one and Cindy, with the help of those that are still left standing and a policeman sent from the DVD, must attempt to fight off these two deranged cartoon characters and stop the Devil before he has a chance to take Terror Toons viral and infect the living room of every house in the world.
And while the thought of this movie still makes my mind go limp, I eagerly await a chance to get my hands on Terror Toons 2: The Sick and Silly Show.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Cross-dressing men are completely capable of giving birth to porn stars.
- Satan now does home delivery.
- If you hide an enormous piece of dynamite in a little doughnut nobody will notice it.
- Wearing pink tights gives you the powers of Wonder Woman.
- Playing strip poker actually involves taking your clothes off only to replace them with an uglier outfit.
- Blunt pizza cutters can cut people in two with remarkable ease.
- When hit across the head with a bottle and then dragged over the broken glass a woman’s body will not bleed so long as she is wearing a sensible jersey.
- The entire human skeleton can be pulled out of a person’s stomach and the rest of the flesh will retain its form.