Monday, August 31, 2009
The Last House on the Left (2009)
Director: Dennis Iliadis
Writers: Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth
Starring: Garret Dillahunt, Riki Lindhome, Sara Paxton, Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn
"Do you want to hear what I did to Mari? I bet you do. Pervert. You want to hear how tight your little homecoming queen was?"
"No. I want to hear you beg for your fucking life."
Now days remakes are the bread and butter of the horror genre it seems. There's been good ones like Dawn of The Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, Black X-mas (Hey, I liked it.) and The Grudge . Mediocre ones such as The Amityville Horror, House of Wax, My Bloody Valentine, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And poop like Prom Night, Day of the Dead, Halloween and April Fool's Day. So were does Last House fall into?
Well the story is pretty much the same as the Craven original. Krug (Dillahunt) and his gang torture and rape good girl Mari (Sarah Paxton) and her party-girl pal Paige (Martha MacIsaac) in the middle of the woods. After the gang take refuge from a storm at a nearby house that happens to be Mari's house. Over the course of the night Mari's parents find out what happened and their a bit pissed, to say the least.
So is it any good? Yes. While I'm a big fan of Craven's Last House, which it's self is a remake of The Virgin Spring. There a few things that are a bit much. Those songs that goofy as hell. The comedy cops and the gang's antics at their pad. Thankfully those are all gone in the remake. This streamlines the story a bit and the horrible goings on are much more so when it doesn't cut to two goofy cops bumbling down the road. Those cops were the equivalent of if they cut to Benny Hill with Yakety Sax playing in Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
This Last House doesn't have as gritty a feel as Craven's and less of the rape and humiliation that was in the original. But there's just enough to make you feel uncomfortable and want these guys to get what's coming to them. Unlike some of the other recent remakes the filmmakers don't insult the original or give Krug a sad white trash back story. They change just enough of the story to make it it's stand on it's own and keep the viewer intrigued.
Across the board everything is polished. The cinematography is breathtaking. There's some beautiful shots. The director handles the third act confrontation with gusto. Creating plenty of suspense. All the actors handle their roles well and there's not a stinker in the bunch. Is it to much polish? Just a little. Once and awhile it distracted from the disturbing goings on. But its not an uber-stylish shaky camera sort of horror film (Zombie's Halloween, I'm looking at you.). Thank goodness.
What was refreshing was that it knows it's a down and dirty revenge film and makes no bones about it. It gives you the brutal payback in a most unglamorous way. The deaths in the film aren't pretty. Krug and his gang get what's coming to them. Cathartic for sure, you'll feel cleansed after seeing the vengeance play out.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
And now a message from my friend....
I would like to inform everyone that visits the blog that I, Dan Wilder (a.k.a. indrid13) recently had the opportunity to have my photography showcased on the incredible new album from former Misfit's vocalist Michale Graves!! Head here www.michalegraves.net to purchase a digital download of the album (the hard copies have already completely sold out!!) along with all of my photography for only $9.00!! Thanks!!!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
5-The Mod Wolves
4-Howard and Vince
5-The Mod Wolves
4-Howard and Vince
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Blood Song (1982)
Directors: Robert Angus, Alan J. Levi
Writers: Frank Avianca, James Fargo
Starring: Donna Wilkes, Richard Jaeckel, Antoinette Bower, William Kirby Cullen, Frankie Avalon
"I keep seeing this same lunatic killing people - crazy, like!"
A deranged mental patient flees an asylum after murdering an attendant for criticizing his flute playing. As a child the mental patient, Paul Foley (Avalon) saw his father shoot his mother and her lover before shooting himself. After seeing this murder the boy started playing a song on the flute. A young, disabled High School student named Marion (Wilkes) sees Paul kill the attendant in a psychic vision. But when she tells people they don't believe her. If this wasn't enough of a plastic hassle for Marion, her drunk dad really hates her fisherman boyfriend Joey. Besides that her dad's drunk driving is the reason Marion was in an accident that left her wearing a leg brace. It seems that Marion developed a psychic link with Paul due to a blood transfusion after the accident. I hate when that happens.
So while this after school special stuff plays out, nutty Paul toots his way around the vicinity. Killing anyone who criticizes his flute playing. One motorist who gives him a ride makes the mistake, saying: "Jesus Christ! You've been playing that same thing for over an hour!" He goes to take a roadside pee and gets a hatchet from Paul. He also strangles a hitchhiking babe after they have motel sex and she makes a crack about his flute. Marion is walking along the beach all sad about her after school speacial home life one day when she spies Paul burying a victim. Oops, glad that psychic link payed off. Wait, that had nothing to do with them meeting up, WTF!? Anyway Marion gets away with the help of some groovy looking dudes. But now Paul is after her and he'll stop at nothing to play her a little farewell ditty on his flute.
I love 80's slashers. Especially early 80's when every thing was either a rip-off of HALLOWEEN or FRIDAY THE 13th. I'm a big fan of the escaped mental patient chestnut a lot of these film used after HALLOWEEN. Frankie Avalon makes an okay killer, with his insistent flute playing. Then theres Richard Jaeckel, who does his best as the drunken dad. He's always reliable in movies but here he doesn't get much to do but be surly. Donna Wilkes is fine as the final girl with the shitty home life. She'd go on to play Angel (High School Honor Student by Day. Hollywood Hooker by Night.) in the Angel series of films!
Not a bad little time waster. I was surprised by the gore and nudity here. While not a lot, theres enough to keep you awake. If you're in the mood for 80's slasher fare but don't want to watch HALLOWEEN II or one of the FRIDAY THE 13th films again this is a okay distraction.
Monday, August 24, 2009
"That's so sweet it's painful."
Sleazy exploitation film or art film? Maybe both. The first time I saw it on VHS, at bad moviethon with some friends I really hated it. Thought it was horrid crap. Not even it's so bad it's funny crap, just terrible. Then years later with the joy of DVD I got into all sorts of crap long out of reach on VHS. I saw it sitting there on a self. Was draw to it, had to have it. Was it my insatiable need to see and own all sorts of crazy grindhouse crap? Maybe the Joe Bob Briggs commentary? Regardless I picked it up and plunked down the cash for it. Much to the chagrin of Dan who was there that night we watched it on VHS. I think he may have said "Why the hell are you buying that?" I think I could only say "Because..." Really not much of an answer. Still can't say why I wanted it for sure. But after watching not only the movie again for the first time since that night. But also the wonderful commentary by Joe Bob and the poetic commentary by the director Meir Zarchi, I had a new found respect for the film.
Definitely not a feel good movie and not one you pop in when you have friends over. Cerninaly a film people either love or hate. Strangely, or maybe not so much if you think about it I've talked to more then one woman who likes this film quite a bit. Perhaps it's that squirm inducing vengeance Jennifer (Camille Keaton) gets on her attackers. These guys are vile scumbags who in one of filmdom's most brutal sequences rape and beat her for a good twenty minutes of the film's run time. When Jennifer dishes out her revenge she turns her attackers into helpless cowering victims. It's also one of the most satisfying payoffs in a revenge film. In the end the film leaves it up to the viewer to decide if Jennifer was justified in her vengeance or if she's completely lost it.
Meir Zarchi made the movie after he, his daughter and a friend happened across a naked and bloodied young woman in New York city. The woman had been raped and when they took her to the police, the officer they talked to was less the sympathetic. His goal was to make the viewer feel how horrid,dirty and degrading rape is. That's this film's true power and what I feel makes it worthwhile.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Ninja Strikes Back (Xiong zhong) (1982)
Director: Bruce Le, Joseph Velasco
Writer: Joseph Velasco
Starring: Bruce Le, Harold Sakata, Casanova Wong, Bolo Yeung, Corliss Randall
"Come out! Now!"
Bruce Le plays well Bruce, who appears to be a enforcer for a mobster in Rome. When he and his pal run into some trouble on a job from a gun totting Rod Stewart look-alike in a car and some thugs. Bruce gets caught by the cops while his pal escapes. After doing his time his buddy and the mobsters are all ready to welcome Bruce back into the fold, since Bruce kept his mouth shut. But Bruce just wants to live the simple life with his leggy Italian girlfriend. To bad his mafia buddies don't trust Bruce to stay quite. They attack him at every turn. Meanwhile Oddjob and Bolo Yeung kidnap some ambassador's sexy daughter. So Bruce and an Italian policeman team up an head to Paris for clues. While in Paris they start fights on porno movie sets, shove people's heads into urinals and run one guys nookie session.
From Paris Bruce follows the clues to Hong Kong. There he discovers his father has been killed and his sister kidnapped by Oddjob and Bolo. Oddjob still has his killer hat, plus a golden claw he slashes people with. About fifty minutes a Ninja actually appears, Finally! The Ninja shows up to fight Bruce in a graveyard. After, there's a speedboat chase were Bruce finishes off the deadly duo (He cuts off Oddjob's gold hand with a lethal chop!) and saves the girls. Back in Rome Bruce's old mob buddies aren't done with him and send his old pal and some goons to fight him in the Coliseum in Rome.
Oh man did this movie rule! Not only was there a Ninja in it, which was a big surprise. But there was tons of action. Also I've never seen so many breasts in one film. Really, almost every seen there was topless women. Was it necessary? No. Was it good nudity? Not really. But I appreciate the thought. I loved the fact that not only did they completly rip-off the theme from Enter The Dragon, but every time Oddjob appeared James Bond music played. There was a great scene in a French disco were some song called Disco Magic played. Awesome!
The Ninja Strikes Back was produced by the late exploitation producer Dick Randall who also played the ambassador. He got his start s a writer for Milton Berle! Responsible for such grindhouse films as The French Sex Murders (1972), Dr. Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks (1974) and the Mario Bava sex comedy Four Times That Night (1972). He knows his exploitation and delivers something crazy almost every scene.
Now some of my random thoughts while watching the movie.
That dead guy is still shooting his gun.
Everyone has kick-ass sunglasses on!
How does Bruce Kick with his pants hiked up so high?
That lady needs to shave.
Okay,theres some sort of orgy going on...Wait! There's really a Ninja in this?
There's just people wandering around in the background during the climax.
Holy crap! Bone crack cam!