30 Days of Horror – Part 3

I’m well into my queue for the month of October, which is good since I’ll be spending the weekend at Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend here in Orlando where I may catch a flick or two if I’m lucky. We’re up to 9 movies so far so enjoy these reviews while I’m gone!

ThanksKilling

I couldn’t sleep last night so I decided to go through Netflix & find something that wouldn’t scare me to pieces.  Along comes ThanksKilling. I’ve been eyeing this gem for a while and since it got a high rating by users I figured it was worth a shot.

Oh, was it ever! It starts out with… PILGRIM BOOBS!  That’s always promising.  Soon after you see a collie peeing & a turkey pops out of the ground. This sets the stage for a awesomely bad movie!

Troma fans? Fans of great bad classic like Frankenhooker? You will LOVE this movie. I mean, c’mon, it’s a movie about a killer turkey!  Besides,  it’s about time we got hold of a good Thanksgiving movie! I mean, we have Mother’s Day, Black Christmas, New Year’s Evil, Prom Night, Mother’s Day… the list goes on and on.   It’s chock full of cheesy gore,  insanely horrible puns, and everything a B-movie should be full of. It’s delightfully successful camp at it’s fowl-mouthed best.

Pontypool


This is another film that friends have been harassing me to watch for quite some time. I finally got a chance to sit down and watch it.  Now I’m not a fan of zombie flicks, but this one was different. It takes place in a radio station early in the morning while something is going on outside. They’re not sure what it is, but they keep getting calls and the calls get more… interesting as the day goes on. You see nothing of what is going on outside, just hear the calls.  It’s the compelling, terrifying story of a devastating virus. It was originally set up with a solid script, competent actors, and  and intriguing premise.

Then you get to the second half.

**THERE ARE SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT, PLEASE SKIP IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE SPOILED**

I was rather enjoying the film, then the method of the virus transmission was unveiled. Through words. Yes, you read that right… words.  Not some incantation. Just words.  And not any words, understanding words. Once you understood certain words, they copied in your brain and thus, the virus spread.

What?

Yeah, I’m there with you.  I spent the last half of the movie, trying to decipher what was going on. I got it, but it was nonsensical and one of the most ridiculous endings I have ever seen. I’ve seen people call this an “intelligent” horror or a “cerebral” horror.  I call bullshit.  Then a few characters stutter a little, get zombified, and we soon learn the virus is transmitted through the English language. Language is alive and words can have different definitions. Certain “infected” words are dangerous only if you understand their meaning. So one must “unlearn” them by sputtering incoherent sentences. Preferably while a recording keeps repeating “Sydney Briar is alive” for 10 minutes. I wanted to shoot the movie screen. This is my reaction to the “WE’RE INFECTED BY WORDS” -

WTF? Words?

That about sums it up.

Machete

I was very much anticipating the release of this one. I sadly did not get to see it in the theater. I’m a fan of Robert Rodriguez’s work and have loved everything I’ve seen Danny Trejo in.  I knew this was the expansion of a trailer done for Grindhouse and I’d been reading all the hype surrounding it up until its release.  I was expecting an over-the-top fun movie.

I’m not sure what I think of it. I think Rodriguez miscast at least half of the cast. Lindsay Lohan was a huge mistake and I think Jessica Alba wasn’t the right choice for the role at all.  Steven Seagal wasn’t good and Tom Savini’s performance was barely passable (sorry, the guy cannot play a villain). Half of them kept up an attempt at a Mexican accent and failed. If you’re going to do a Mexican accent, do it well or do it VERY VERY badly. Don’t do it half-assed. Danny Trejo did a decent job, but I think he’s not able to carry a lead role on his own very well or perhaps he’s just not that comfortable with it.

That brings me to my next point in the movie. The biggest problem I had with it is that Rodriguez spent too much time trying to make it a cross between Planet Terror and Desperado.  If you want to make a serious action movie, make a serious action movie. If you want to make an over the top homage to Mexploitation, then do it. Don’t keep going back and forth.  Rodriguez spent too much time making a statement about immigration and couldn’t make up his mind which way he wanted to go with the direction of the film. That bothered me. I think part of the problem is that perhaps he needed some advice from his friend Quentin Tarantino to set this movie firmly into the Mexploitation category.

My friend who watched with me asked me if I thought this could qualify as a horror film. Even after come contemplation, I’m not sure. Obviously, it’s an action film, but because of the graphic nature of the gore, does it crossover into the realm of horror? I mean, zombie movies are usually just action movies with zombies in them and don’t most of those carry a social commentary message with them?  Machete was heavy on the gruesome, so I can’t rightly say that it doesn’t qualify as horror at all.  All in all, a decent film, but I really didn’t think it lived up to all the hype.

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About Dementia

Said to be the demi-spawn of the Old Ones, Dementia was conjured up in Darkness (some say by the devil himself) in a small village in the Banewoods where she began her torrid love affair with all things supernatural horror. She has been sighted chasing serial killers, cavorting with demons, exploiting ghostly entities, and fiendishly plotting with various nocturnal bloodthirsty creatures. These sightings have lead to a small but devout cult following to spring up around her at the various conventions she attends. Dementia spends her free time designing epic costumes, being a snarky horror snob, and generally enslaving humanity. Beware the woods at night… beware the lunar light…