Archive | January, 2012

Review of Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)

30 Jan

Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) is a biography/drama/music film, that tells the story of the country music singer Loretta Lynn.

Directed by Michael Apted (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010), Amazing Grace (2006)), well-known for his documentary series Up.

Written by Thomas Rickman (Bless the Child (2000), Hooper (1978)), he adapted Loretta Lynn’s autobiography.

Starring: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm, Beverly D’Angelo, Phyllis Boyens and others.

I sort of do like the music biopics, but often times they either lack an impact or dramatize the events to the point, where you really start questioning if they have any connection with actual facts. I think I’d put this in the first category.

I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, but I couldn’t believe for one second that Sissy Spacek is 13 at the start of the movie. She’s actually like 31 or something, that’s actually like the opposite of 13. At least it was really easy for me to accept her relationship with Tommy Lee Jones who in the film is supposed to be 21, but I don’t think Jones has ever looked younger than 30. Anyway I suspended my disbelief for this, but really it was a bit jarring. Also it took some time to digest Jones being a redhead.

Since I’m not a huge country music fan, I didn’t think I’d be much interested in a biopic about Loretta Lynn, but I must admit it was quite captivating. It’s not every day that you see a redheaded Tommy Lee Jones going all out pedophile asshole on not-redheaded Sissy Spacek playing a little girl. Seriously though, it was an interesting look at the sort of morality and social standards in regard to marriage at such a young age, abuse from a spouse and things like that.

One thing I found really weird is that they sort of try to defend Lynn’s husband’s abusive behavior, with his contribution to shaping her career. No, I still think he’s a fucking asshole, but I’m not sorry for Lynn either, because if you go and marry someone at the age of 13, what do you expect will happen on the wedding night? Some holding hands? And if you don’t just leave your abusive husband, when you can provide for yourself, then you deserve the beating you get. I guess back then it was like a normal thing to do, so they all needed a bit of back-slapping some sense into them.

Overall, an interesting and enjoyable story, but there’s not much to take away from it, except some knowledge about Lynn’s life and the realization that back then you could be 29 years old country music singer, top the music charts and be a grandmother at the same time. Well acted, well-made film, recommended if you’re looking for a solid biopic and not much more.

"That's right, not using contraception runs in my family"

Review of Cold Storage (2009)

27 Jan

Cold Storage (2009) is a low-budget thriller/horror film.

Directed by Tony Elwood (Road-Kill U.S.A. (1993), Killer! (1989)).

Written by Mark Kimray (Killer! (1989), Road-Kill U.S.A. (1993)) and Tony Elwood.

Starring: Nick Searcy, Matt Keeslar, Joelle Carter, Casey Leet, Brett Gentile and others.

The movie starts out with some nice gore, so you know you’re in for a treat in this department.

At first you think it’s going to be some Texas Chainsaw Massacre backwoods inbred psycho horror, but it turns out to be a bit more original and inventive.

We have what we might suppose is our lead, Casey Leet plays an actress who is driving to some kind of theatrical production. So you’d think well she’s going to meet the hillbillies, but no, she dies in a car accident and then meets a hillbilly, who is quite fond of her and takes the dead actress to play the role of his girlfriend. That’s right, meet our protagonist Clive.

Nick Searcy really does a good job of playing this uncivilized and probably retarded middle-aged outsider, who is sort of childishly innocent in a way. And it takes some acting skills to make that disgusting and despicable character in any way appealing. But he definitely succeeds. Which both explains his quite impressive career and makes me wonder what’s he doing in this kind of movie.

So the sister of Clive’s new girlfriend goes on a quest to find her and her sister’s boyfriend tags along. Again you’d think the focus would completely shift to these two twats, one of them being the soap opera type good-looking guy that is Matt Keeslar.

But no, we get to see Clive being awkward and taking care of his little bride, as she’s developing a slightly bluer skin tone.

And his courtship of her is the highlight of the movie, because we get to see him take a bath and then have a look at the water, which looks, like if I took a big handful of mud and threw it in the vegetable soup I had a couple of days back. After we see it going down the drain we are given a chance to see one of the most painful scenes to watch I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s not  a spoiler, because it has nothing to do with the plot. So I’ll describe it to you.

And here’s the thing. I heard about the scene before seeing the film and it made me almost feel real pain. So hear this. Clive looks in a mirror, has a glance at his brown and infected teeth and isn’t really satisfied. Then he opens the “medicine cabinet” and takes out… a fucking barber’s straight razor! Of course, he proceeds to scratch his teeth with it, cutting out some blackened pieces of gums and shit, bleeding in the sink. If this doesn’t make you cringe, clench your mouth shut and run your tongue across your teeth, you’re lucky, because I told this to a couple of my friends and they hated me. So watch the movie, maybe that will leave bit bigger impact than my description.

So yeah, Clive does some disturbing shit, but you can’t really blame him much for it, because he’s grown up alone in the middle of the woods and doesn’t know any better. He’s a relatively nice guy and if you don’t identify with him, you still kind of feel sorry for him.

The third act went a bit down hill, because the film seemed to become unsure of what it wants to be a standard horror or something more than that. And also it started losing the sense of the pitch-black humor it had before.

Overall, an interesting small movie with an original idea, it has its shortcomings, of course, but I’d recommend it, even for non-horror fans, because it barely qualifies as a horror film.

"Want a shave?"

Review of Corpse Bride (2005)

23 Jan

Corpse Bride (2005) is a stop-motion animated fantasy/musical/family film, which is somewhat similar in style to Henry Selick’s film The Nightmare Before Christmas, except on this one Tim Burton is a producer and a director.

Directed by Tim Burton (Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Beetlejuice (1988)) and Mike Johnson (The Devil Went Down to Georgia (1996 Short), The PJs (1999 TV)).

Written by John August (The Nines (2007), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)), Pamela Pettler (Monster House (2006), 9 (2009)) and Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Addams Family (1991)).

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse and others.

I guess since this is the first movie of his that I review, I should express my thoughts on Tim Burton. I used to really like him and not without a reason. I mean, he’s made some of my favourite films, like Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands and Batman Returns, but then as I got older and got more familiar with his films, I sort of grew tired of his heavily stylised visuals. I think Charlie  And The Chocolate Factory and Alice In Wonderland are two lifeless, flawed and gimmicky movies, which shouldn’t exist. However, I still like most of his movies and I still look forward to seeing more from him.

This film has one thing going for it, that makes me enthusiastic right from the first frames. It’s stop-motion animation. I don’t know what it is about it, but I just find it beautiful and fascinating. Here again I got to enjoy this amazingly detailed eye candy. And there’s also something about it, that makes scary scenes really  fucking creepy. Some of it has this eerie silent era horror feel.

There’s some nice touches sprinkled throughout the film. Like the brand plate on a piano saying “Harryhausen”. You know, as in reference to Ray Harryhausen, the great special effects artists, who is known for his work in stop-motion. Or in this other instance, we see a skeleton that looks like Ray Charles. There’s also a funny Gone With The Wind reference, you know the quote.

The skeleton dog is really cute, which if you think about it is kind of weird, so that’s an accomplishment, I guess.

The voice acting is pretty much perfect, but some of the characters were written for the actors, so I guess that helped. Of course there’s Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp again, which I think is something Tim Burton should stop doing. I really like them all, but it’s getting hard to take this seriously. Also Christopher Lee is in the cast, so that’s, of course, awesome.

I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, because they tend to slow down the narrative, but I found the musical numbers quite enjoyable and didn’t mind them at all.

It’s sort of classic plot, but nicely twisted and unpredictable. I really didn’t know how it will end, as I kept guessing if the dead will turn out to be evil or what. And surely enough, the ending surprised me. And afterwards I got that feeling, which reminded me, why I used really like Burton. I can’t explain the feeling, but it’s good and  the same as what I got after watching Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands.

Overall, a good, well-made, beautiful film and recommended for people of all ages. I liked it a lot.

I hope it's Halloween and not their wedding.

Review of Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

19 Jan

Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) is an Italian exploitation/horror/mockumentary film, because of its graphic portrayal of civilized people interacting with an indigenous tribe, it was charged for being a snuff film.

Directed by Italian director Ruggero Deodato (The House on the Edge of the Park (1980), Last Cannibal World (1977)), who is best-known for doing various gory genre films.

Written by Gianfranco Clerici (The New York Ripper (1982), The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971)).

Starring: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen, Luca Barbareschi, Carl Gabriel Yorke, Ricardo Fuentes and others.

The movie was highly controversial, because of its relatively realistic semi-documentary format and graphic violence and this is one instance (unlike A Serbian Film or Human Centipede) where I actually can see why it’s controversial. It has some really quite disturbing shit and since they used real indigenous people as the tribe members and as we now know the animal killings are real.

It starts with some overhead shots of landscapes with a romantic music in the background, which makes it seem like some made-for-TV romance flick, which it really is not.

For such a low-budget movie the acting is pretty good, which might have also helped the controversy. Robert Kerman is great, he has an awesome pornstache. You know why? That’s right, he’s been a porn actor previously. Also he looks like Thomas Jane. And I really believed all those documentary crew characters were assholes.

The animal killings were just incredibly hard to watch, and especially that turtle gutting scene (spoilers?), I actually had to turn away, for me animal cruelty is really sickening. Well, I didn’t care much for the killing of the tarantula. I guess I would have been fine if I didn’t know they were real, I’d just be sitting there and thinking how awesome the special effects are. So in a way it is a snuff film. And the special effects are great as well.

I think all the animal violence was really unnecessary and after this the characters became irredeemable to me. Definitely one of the most graphic and cruel movies ever, even not counting the animal killings.

I feel bad, but I really liked the film. I thought it went out to shock the audiences and shock it did, 30 years later I was still amazed at its total rawness. And it is also surprisingly well-made, really solid.

And what most exploitation films miss, this actually had a message. You could argue it was unintentional, but I’d like to think it was on purpose. Because it really does serve as a commentary on how journalism and documentary filmmaking have a tendency to concentrate on violence, it was true then and it is even truer today.

Overall, a good movie, but I recommend it only to exploitation fans, because it’s not a film for the faint-hearted.

"Oh, I think I've got something in my eye."

Review of Hulk (2003)

16 Jan

Hulk (2003) is a sci-fi/drama/action film, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.

Directed by the Taiwanese director Ang Lee (Pushing Hands (1992), Taking Woodstock (2009)), who won an Academy Award for Best Director for Brokeback Mountain.

Written by James Schamus (The Wedding Banquet (1993), Lust, Caution (2007)), who often works on Lee’s films, John Turman (Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Ben 10: Alien Swarm (2009)) and Michael France (Cliffhanger (1993), Fantastic Four (2005)).

Starring: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Josh Lucas and others.

So what do you do, when you have to make a movie about a huge green guy, who is fueled by anger and likes smashing things? If you ask Ang Lee, he’d probably say “Obviously, you should make a psychological drama about how hard is it to deal with turning into a large, green pile of CG shit.” Because that’s more or less what he made.

A lot of people have since tried to justify by using Ang Lee’s ambitions and what he sent out to do, but the bottom line is, he didn’t succeed. A lot of filmmakers want and try to make good, original films, but when they fail, it’s still a failure.

Yeah, it has a lot of interesting shots, but at times it’s a bit too gimmicky. I don’t need to see comic book panels replicated on-screen to understand it’s a comic book movie. And all those different scene and shot transitions makes it look like when someone just gets a camera and then tries out every available in-camera effect once. I liked this thing when in a close-up the camera just switches to a different angle on the same person. But every enjoyment was still sucked out by things like a sequence, which is basically like 5 minutes consisting solely of different transitions

Jennifer Connelly is the only thing I wished the The Incredible Hulk had from this movie, because Liv Tyler should stop playing human beings and stick to playing elves or fairies or whatever. Thankfully, she seems to have the most scenes she’s in.

Then there’s Nick Nolte. Did he really have to look like a homeless person? Did he really have to look his absolute possible worst for his unfortunate mug shot? I don’t know, I couldn’t make out his answer because of all that scenery he was still chewing.

Eric Bana does a pretty good job, but he looks more like a 6-feet-tall model, than a regular scientist.

I had to wait 40 minutes to actually see Hulk and it only makes it more disappointing. Seriously, considering the amount of work ILM put into the CG Hulk, it’s kind of sad how badly he turned out. I honestly think a green Lou Ferrigno (who has a cameo in this film) still would look more convincing than this cartoon. Also why does Hulk have shorter hair than Bruce Banner? Why is his pants so incredibly stretchy?

As if Hulk alone wasn’t horrible looking enough, we get to see him fighting a couple of mutant dogs and it is so lame and incredibly cheesy for a movie that’s trying so hard at being serious. Hulk fighting tanks was really cool, but then all the jumping around made the whole thing lame again.

Speaking of the big Hulk chase at the end, it would be a lot better if it wasn’t Hulk running and jumping around, resting somewhere for a bit, getting attacked, fighting back and then… repeating it again and again. Anyway, it was an ok climax, but then we get another, a totally lackluster fight scene, that feels more like an afterthought. And then there’s this little scene where Bruce Banner is in hiding and it’s kind of bad-ass.

Overall, a horrible film, which I don’t recommend if you don’t want to see one of the most disgustingly cartoonish CG characters jumping around through a movie that tries too hard and fails miserably.

Pictured: Hulk after seeing this film.

Review of Paranoia (2011)

14 Jan

Paranoia (2011) is a straight-to-DVD thriller/film noir/mystery film, made by people associated with the comedy/movie review site, which is great, I recommend checking it out.

Directed by Ryan Mitchelle, this being his directorial debut, he is the founder of Walkaway Entertainment, an independent movie production company.

Written by Brad Jones (Cheap (2005), The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold (2011)), better known as his character Cinema Snob, parodying snobby film critics.

Starring: Brad Jones, Brian Lewis, Sarah Lewis, Brian Irving, Jillian Zurawski and others.

I don’t think anyone, who’s not a fan of The Cinema Snob even knows about this movie’s existence. Obviously it barely has any budget so, that should really be taken into consideration when judging the film. It is really sad how shitty low-budget movies look nowadays, because for some reason digital video just looks unnatural and does not have the same presence as film. And it would have worked so much better on grainy film stock and set in like the late 80’s/early 90’s. I wish I had watched the writer’s cut, because the movie works better in black & white.

Mostly the music is very good and adds to the atmosphere of the film, which is very dark and suspenseful, but then there’s a club scene where the music is so weirdly generic, it’s a bit jarring. This illustrates how throughout the film I kept being pleasantly surprised by how some things are executed and then suddenly something cheesy would take me out of the film. Like the lighting being messy and illogical.

As much as I’m a fan of Brad Jones and his friends, so I was ready to forgive the shortcomings of the film, it was also hard to separate the actual people from their characters.

Of course, I don’t want to be too harsh towards the acting, because none of them are actual actors, but at times it was really painful. Sarah is a very likable person, but the acting at the start of the movie was so cringeworthy, I was glad she soon disappeared for rest of the film. On the other hand Jerrid Foiles, who I was surprised to see not hamming it up in his little cameo, which was really funny. Brian Lewis is somewhat ok as a police officer. Brad’s wife also does an ok job. Brian Irving is miscast and his acting is so unbearable, that I found myself with a furrowed brow every time he appeared on-screen. Brad Jones, of course, did the best acting in the movie, which sort of makes sense, because he wrote the character and understood him the best.

Covering blood with ketchup? Not a bad idea. People smoke a lot in this movie, which is something you don’t see very much in major studio movies nowadays.

The film was a bit confusing, but I guess the ending explains it. In a way this created some suspense and I was pretty entertained most of the time.

Overall, it’s not a great movie, but also not too bad for a no-budget indie thriller. Recommend mostly for Brad Jones & Co. fans, because others might not be invested enough to see it.

Sadly, this is how I felt at times watching this movie.

Review of Halloween II (2009)

11 Jan

Halloween II (2009) is a horror/slasher/thriller film and is a sequel to Halloween (2007), which is a remake of Halloween (1978).

Directed by Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses (2003), The Devil’s Rejects (2005)), who was also the director of the previous film.

Written by Rob Zombie (Halloween (2007), The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009)).

Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie, Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris and others.

Firstly, I must say that Halloween (2007) is one of my favourite horror remakes. And I don’t understand why a lot of people dislike it so much. If I have a classic slasher film remade, I’d rather Rob Zombie does it, he might not be the best director in the world, but at least you can see he really loves what he’s doing. And with Halloween he made the right choice by not just doing a shot-for-shot remake, but he actually did something new and untraditional. Yeah, it’s not as good as the original, but what remake is?

The answer is Halloween II. Sort of. Before you say I’m an idiot, take a while and remember Halloween II (1980). It sucked. So if we say this is a remake of that one, I’d say I enjoyed this more, although it might not be technically a better movie.

Is this really a remake of Halloween II (1980)? Well, the first 30 minutes of it is. Just like with the previous one they took the original story, shortened it and inserted other stuff.

So this film does some new stuff as well, but some of it is so weird it doesn’t work all that well. As always with Rob Zombie, there’s some nice music touches used, like „Love Hurts” by Nazareth at the end.

So here we see Laurie Strode living with her friend (the sheriff’s daughter) a year after Michael Myers attacked them. And she as every other young person with some psychological problems in movies has gotten into heavy metal.

Tyler Mane is back as Michael Myers, but most of the movie he just walks around with no mask, except his beard and for some reason wherever he goes, no one is scared of a fucking 7 foot giant who looks pissed. Everyone thinks they can just take this guy who looks like he could break you in half. Also he somehow manages to move incredibly silently, but then again most serial killers in movies have perfected this skill.

Scout Taylor-Compton plays Laurie Strode and I was pleasantly surprised that her acting seemed improved, but then suddenly she just blasts into the over-the-top territory rapid-firing through the most extreme emotions. So the rest of the movie she spends in crying/yelling/sobbing/being a bitch/insanity mode and never comes back.

The movie needed more Brad Douriff, he was great. Margot Kidder (Lois Lane from Superman movies) is a psychiatrist. Malcolm McDowell is fucking awesome in this as a totally sleazy asshole. And there’s a cameo by Weird Al Yankovic, which really felt out of place.

And they got a kid to play young Michael, who sucks so bad. In the previous one Daeg Faerch was so perfect, he was really kind of menacing. With this one, I think even a cardboard cut-out of Daeg Faerch would have provided a better acting.

So this film does some new stuff as well, but some of it is so weird it doesn’t work all that well. As always with Rob Zombie, there’s some nice music touches used, like „Love Hurts” by Nazareth at the end.

Overall, an interesting, but not very good entry in the Halloween franchise, as I said, I liked it more than Halloween II (1980), but probably won’t recommend seeing if you’re not particularly interested.

"So there I was, getting attacked by Myers, when suddenly I realised what Alice Cooper was singing about. Now I'm like really dark and depressed and... and... rock on!"

Review of Friday The 13th (2009)

9 Jan

Friday the 13th (2009) is a horror/slasher/thriller film, which is a reboot of the franchise and basically a remake of the first four movies of the series.

Directed by German-American director Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Pathfinder (2007)), who is best known for a huge amount of commercial work and directing music videos for various hit singles.

Written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, who both wrote the Friday the 13th – A Nightmare On Elm Street crossover Freddy vs. Jason (2003).

Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Ryan Hansen and others.

So this is the eleventh movie in the Friday the 13th franchise (not counting Freddy vs. Jason). And I can’t help, but wish that they wouldn’t have rebooted it, just so in a couple of years I could see a movie called Friday the 13th 13.

And it also is a movie of another series. The series of horror remakes of 2000’s, most of them (including this one) produced by the studio I’ve already expressed my opinion on – Platinum Dunes. However, I wasn’t all that skeptical because I recently had seen the A Nightmare On Elm Street remake, which I enjoyed. But once again Platinum Dunes proved to be able of churning out another mediocre, uninspired and unnecessary remake and walking away with a shitload of money and Michael Bay jerking off to the box office statistics.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate remakes by default just because they are remakes, they just generally seem to suck.

This had the biggest problem a remake in my opinion can have. It did nothing new. Ok, you could argue that this time Jason has some underground tunnels and is more like fast hunter, but really it’s just the same shit as we’ve seen before.

Well it is more of a remake of the second movie since it starts off just like it, with a recap of Pamela Voorhees being decapitated, so they can have Jason already as the killer. And then it has a group of teenagers, who get killed and then there’s this other group of teenagers… that get killed.

I did like a couple of death scenes, but since there was a shitload of teenagers, there were a lot, that I didn’t care about. One that I liked, despite its stupidity is when Jason takes a girl who is in a sleeping bag and holds her over a fire until she dies, still in the sleeping bag. Ridiculous, I know, but that has never been a problem with me.

In the original I might not have cared much about the characters, but this one goes out of its way to make me hate them. Am I supposed to care that Jason is killing a bunch of douchebags and idiots? Ryan Hansen’s character would’ve been unbearable, but him being great in Party Down sort of helped it. Overall the acting was bad. One thing I must admit is that I like Jared Padalecki here a lot more than in Supernatural and I don’t know why, maybe because all the other characters provide a miserable background on which he stands out as a likable character.

It doesn’t change the time the original took place, so in this one Jason is… 51? If there ever is a final Friday the 13th movie, it should end by him saying “I’m too old for this shit”.

It would be hard to make an even more clichéd movie. Modern audiences see through this shit, come up with something interesting.

To its credit it doesn’t have like any slow parts, overall I was kind of entertained, but that’s just because people got killed, not because there was something good.

Overall, a rehashed piece of shit that deserves to be destroyed. Not recommended for anyone, sucked Michael Bay’s penis and even he didn’t enjoy it.

Pictured: At least a couple of reasons why the movie sucked.

Review of Bedazzled (1967)

7 Jan

Bedazzled (1967) is a British dark comedy/fantasy film, that tells a story about a miserable man that sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for seven wishes.

Directed by Stanley Donen (Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Blame It on Rio (1984)), who is mostly known for his work on musicals.

Written by Peter Cook (Yellowbeard (1983), Derek and Clive Get the Horn (1979)) and Dudley Moore (30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia (1968), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978)), who both are the two leads of the film.

Starring: Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Raquel Welch, Eleanor Bron, Barry Humphries and others.

I must say that I saw the remake with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley before this. And I like it a lot, I can see why it wasn’t critically acclaimed, but still I enjoy it every time I watch it.

So I thought I’d like the original at least as much. But I did not.

I mean, yeah, some parts were ok, like the joke they reused in the remake, when the protagonist wishes for a lollipop and Satan just takes him to a shop. Again I smiled at that. But I found odd the weirdly nightmarish tone.

Say what you will, but at least in the remake I really believed the main character would want to sell his soul, but here the motivation to make this faustian deal didn’t convince me.

There’s not much of physical transformation, so Dudley Moore has to do these relatively different characters using just his acting, that’s a chance to show off his acting, but I wasn’t too impressed. Peter Cook was more convincing as the Devil himself, doing his best well-meaning millionaire playboy impression. Liz Hurley is a hotter Satan, though. There’s not a total lack of hotties, Raquel Welch is just stunningly beautiful.

The film is unnecessarily blunt with the problems protagonist’s wishes present. And in most of them the love interest even barely shows up. Like, for example, there’s a scene where by mistake Dudley Moore is turned into a fly and then it proceeds to a scene that attempts to combine animation and live-action and the result is just miserable.

The grim tone and unnecessarily large involvement of Christianity in combination with dated satire,  overall mean-spiritedness, left me feeling just depressed and that isn’t what I want from a comedy with a concept that’s this gimmicky.

Overall, I found myself bored and getting angry at the movie as it went on. It wasn’t funny or thought provoking or anything I would expect it to be. Definitely not recommended. Stick with the remake. Sure, it’s stupid, but at least it’s fun.

I'll take the Satan that's on the left, thank you very much.

Review of Friday The 13th (1980)

4 Jan

Friday The 13th (1980) is a horror/thriller/slasher film, made to cash in on the success of  Halloween (1978), these two films are believed to be the main two horror films that shaped and brought to prominence the slasher genre.

Directed by Sean S. Cunningham (The New Kids (1985), DeepStar Six (1989)), he’s also produced some notable genre films.

Written by Victor Miller (A Stranger Is Watching (1982), Another World (2964 TV)).

Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Kevin Bacon, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bertram, Mark Nelson and others.

Sure, it is a blatant copy of Halloween, but nobody’s ever tried to hide that. But even as a rip-off it has some new, interesting ideas and considering  how suddenly the horror film market of the 80’s filled up with various worse rip-offs, which led to the sub-genre’s death as 90’s approached.

And I’m sort of ashamed to admit it, but I prefer this film to Halloween, although I admit Halloween is technically a superior film in every possible way. But if Halloween brought slasher genre to success, then this film shaped the genre and since this movie is when the formula got engraved in to the gravestone of the genre.

The acting is not good. But that almost comes with the territory. The characters are incredibly  bland, I don’t remember the name of the lead character or any other for that matter. Of course, except Jason and Pamela Voorhees. So yeah, I even only remember how three of the actors look. Adrienne King, because she’s the lead, Betsy Palmer, because she’s awesome in this and Kevin Bacon, just because he’s the only one who’s had a career after this. It’s weird to see him so young and playing this supporting character that we’re not supposed to really notice much or give a shit about. Or maybe we are.

Because when his awesome death scene came he was the only one where I was like „No, not Bacon!” (which is what I never say when I’m offered actual bacon). I would have said „Spoilers!”, but, come on, it’s a slasher movie and he’s not the lead or love interest, what did you think was going to happen?

Speaking of awesome deaths, the special effects are done by the great Tom Savini, who is known either as the guy behind  various cool effects on movies like Dawn Of The Dead or that guy with a revolver instead of a penis in From Dusk Til Dawn.

The slasher’s POV scenes in combination with the classic „ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma” sound effects really work, although now the POV is so overused and cliché.

Weirdly the slasher movies carry this weird message of disapproval towards teenagers doing „bad” things. Which is odd, because most of the audiences for them consisted solely of these „bad” teenagers. I just don’t understand why their parents were against these movies featuring serial killers teaching those darn kids some good lessons.

The twist in the end is really, really cool, but actually more so for the modern audiences, because back when the movie came out people didn’t think of Friday the 13th as one of the movies with Jason. And I don’t think many films have a twist that works better over time and the pop cultural references actually hide it. Except Scream, which totally ruined this for me.

Overall, I enjoyed it immensely, despite it’s obvious shortcomings and it is totally recommended for anyone who likes some good ol’ fashioned slasher fun.

"What? What are you looking at guys? Is there something on my face?"