Tag Archives: Rated NC-17

Review of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

24 May

Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth (1992) is a horror/mystery/thriller film and the third film in the Hellraiser film franchise.

Directed by Anthony Hickox (Waxwork (1988), Submerged (2005)).

Written by Peter Atkins (Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988), Fist of the North Star (1995)) and Tony Randel (Children of the Night (1991), Grunt! The Wrestling Movie (1985)).

Starring: Terry Farrell, Paula Marshall, Doug Bradley, Kevin Bernhardt, Ken Carpenter, Lawrence Mortorff, Sharon Ceccatti and others.

It opens with some guy walking into some kind of an art gallery and a homeless looking guy gives him the pillar of souls for whatever amount of money he chooses. Sure, he’s a legit art dealer. Then we switch to a TV reporter chick, who witnesses a guy being ripped apart by chains and after seeing her for a minute you realise that she is the blandest character you’ve seen so far. This means she’s our protagonist.

Of course she has to investigate and she goes to a night club called „The Boiler Room”, which is probably the most 90’s sounding fictional night club name they could think of. The owner of the club is the guy who just bought the pillar of souls. The pillar itself looks quite different from the last movie, but they definitely improved it.

There’s also some goth clubber chick played by Paula Marshall and I wish she was our heroine, because she was the only character I really liked. Although, there’s this whole stupid plot device, where she tells the reporter that she can’t dream (she probably just doesn’t remember her dreams) and the reporter is understandably like „yeah, ok, whatever, in my dreams, I see my father fighting in a war, so not worth it”, but then the goth chick is motivated to help Pinhead just because he promises her dreams. Really? After good dreams it’s disappointing to wake up and why would you want bad dreams? Dreams suck.

The club owner guy has sex with a Jane Krakowski looking chick in front of the pillar and the old pervert Pinhead opens his eyes. The pillar gets mad at her awful line delivery and shoots chains at her. There’s a lot of chains in the Hellraiser movies. What did hell use before the invention of chains? Ropes? Licorice? Pinhead eats her skin, we get a glimpse of some more skinless effects.

This Pinhead is evil and there’s Elliot Spencer who is the human side of him. A bunch of shit is thrown in there that completely demystifies Pinhead. This movie thinks he’s Freddy Krueger, I don’t have to know if Pinhead molested and killed and molested children before getting nails in his head.

The effects in this movie is far worse and unimaginative than in the previous ones. Especially the new cenobites, they look kind of silly.

Doug Bradley is as always great as Pinhead and even though they fucked around with his character, there’s a bad ass scene at a church. Pinhead’s cenobite power is to always have blue light coming from the background, so when they throw him outside standing in a field in direct sunlight, he looks kind of absurd. Imagine looking outside your window and seeing your neighbour standing outside in his lawn in full Pinhead costume and make-up. Pretty much the same thing.

Overall, quite disappointing and feels completely different from the previous two films. This one feels more like A Nightmare On Elm Street movie. It’s not entirely bad, but pretty mediocre. Not Recommended.

Pictured: Something that looks a lot less scary than what my action figures looked like after my dog chewed them up.

Review of Natural Born Killers (1994)

16 May

Natural Born Killers (1994) is a thriller/crime/comedy movie, which follows a couple on a killing spree and it’s portrayal in media.

Directed by Oliver Stone (Platoon (1986), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)).

Written by Oliver Stone (Scarface (1983), Alexander (2004)), David Veloz (Permanent Midnight (1998), Behind Enemy Lines (2001)), Richard Rutowski and story by Quentin Tarantino (True Romance (1993), Reservoir Dogs (1992)).

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., O-Lan Jones, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield and others.

From the first frames you understand that this won’t be a conventional movie. I thought „Hey, this has a cool Tarantino-esque vibe to it”, but soon I realised that this is too crazy even for Tarantino, who originally wrote the script, but it was re-written so much he is only credited as the author of the story. Not that Tarantino wouldn’t make this movie, he unsuccessfully tried, but this is not the way he would have made it.

It constantly changes the visual styles, basically using every kind of filter, film stock, digital video format and lens Oliver Stone could get his hands on. If you had asked me before if that sounds like something good, I’d say „well, it might look interesting for 15 minutes, but then it would get self-indulgent and tiring”, but the fact is, it doesn’t. It is fascinating. At first I was a bit confused, especially when it first did this thing, where a dialogue is delivered and then repeated in black & white from different angle and slightly different delivery. When you realize what Stone does there, it’s pretty awesome. It must have been so fun for him to just go crazy and try whatever he wants.

The grotesque visuals also make the violence seem both more disturbing and kind of mesmerizing. So if you like Tarantino’s aesthetics of violence, this is somewhere along those lines. The whole thing feels like watching a really good movie during a bad acid trip.

Woody Harrelson is bad ass in this, a great performance. I have been always not sure about Juliette Lewis, I’ve always seen her as sort of annoyingly eccentric, yet undoubtedly talented. This movie was it, she is one of the greatest actresses of… this generation? I’ve never understood what generation is this and what’s the last generation. So, she’s really good and I can’t believe she’s only 21 in this. No one can pull off this combination of repulsive, sexy and batshit insane, like she does here. She and Harrelson is just perfect as this very stylised 90’s version of Bonnie and Clyde.

Robert Downey Jr. is in this as like an Australian TV reporter with a mullet. Yes, there was a time when he didn’t play billionaire playboys, except for Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin. Tarantino’s script was focusing on this character and although I could see it working, I think it is better this way as we actually follow these serial killers.

And the movie actually has a message. Stone’s tendency to hit the viewer over the head with it actually works to this movie’s benefit. A message that in this age of internet is even more current than back then. Now we idolize every fucking new thing and I don’t think it would be all that surprising if there appeared a movement all about some serial killer. Take the TV show Dexter, if news got out that there is in real-life a guy who kills only criminals, people would go crazy over him, he’d be the second coming of Jesus fucking Christ all over the faces of those who suck on the glorious dick of mass media. That’s right. We’re there, people.

Overall, an excellent and bold movie from a time when Oliver Stone still madecool movies and it’s one of those movies that makes 90’s seem a lot cooler than they actually were. Definitely recommended.

Pictured: 1990’s, when red fishnet shirts were cool… no, wait, I can’t say that. Fishnet shirts were never cool. Although, Woody does rock this one.

Review of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

18 Mar

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) is a slasher/horror/thriller film and the… ninth film in the Friday the 13th franchise.

Directed by Adam Marcus (Snow Days (1999), Conspiracy (2008)).

Written by Jay Huguely (Silk Stalkings (1991 TV), Magnum, P.I. (1980 TV)) and Dean Lorey (My Boyfriend’s Back (1993), Major Payne (1995)).

Starring: Kane Hodder, Steven Williams, John D. LeMay, Steven Culp, Erin Grey, Rusty Schwimmer and others.

So here we start with no clue of how Jason came back from New York considering the state he was in at the end of the last film. His appearance is also for some reason changed, now he has a huge bulbous head in which the mask is pressed in and has some long strands of hair. The big city must’ve changed him.

A few minutes into the movie Jason is shot a shitload of times and then blown to pieces. Let’s stop here and think of what a person who has watched Jason going on a killing spree seven (six, if you don’t count A New Beginning) times before wants to see. Well, Jason might just be one of those things, but what do they do? You guessed it, they fucking blow up Jason and don’t show him until the last 5 minutes.

Since Kane Hodder barely gets to be in the movie, he gets a little cameo as some kind of police officer/special forces guy and ironically gets killed by Jas…black coroner guy, who is possessed by Jason. That’s right, in this movie Jason is possessing people. I could deal with him being a super-strong retard, could handle him as a zombie, could watch him go against a telekinetic chick, but him possessing people? I’m sorry, but that is stretching it.

When I heard the title I actually thought Jason is going to be „killing” people in hell (don’t know how that works), but no, we get Jason the body snatcher. So most of the movie I kept thinking „fuck, I really wish Jason was in this movie”. But he just keeps getting shot and changing to various people, he is fucking T-1000 from Terminator 2.

Steven Williams is pretty bad-ass in this as this Jason hunter guy. John D. LeMay isn’t bad as the reluctant hero and Steven Culp was quite menacing when he got the Jason bug.

There’s a scene of random camping teenagers, one of which is quite likable, but she dies a couple of minutes later. Also in the same unimportant scene we get to see some tits and a guy shows his ass. So there’s something for the ladies too. While on the subject, the body changing is quite odd and involves some not very vague homoerotic kissing.

Nudity and gore always go hand in hand and here we get one of the coolest effects in the whole series. It’s a guy melting. Sounds great? No? Well, it is.

It is a well-made movie, but why did they think this would appeal to the fans to the series I do not know. I did however enjoy the last half hour of it. It had action, gore, even a bit of Jason, both as his usual self and a weird little puppet which looks like Jason and a chestburster from Alien had a child.

If was watching it back in 1993 and then at the end saw Freddy grabbing Jason’s mask I’d be damn excited and then totally pissed for having to wait 10 fucking years for a crossover, which isn’t even good, but I’ll get to that.

It’s nice of them to try to do something new with the franchise, but A New Beginning should have been a lesson that almost having Jason is not good enough.

Overall, I don’t think it is as bad as one would be led to think, but some really bad choices had been made during the production. That being said, I would actually recommend this one, though mostly to people who are not fans of Jason.

Oh, yeah, because punching Jason has worked so well before.

Review of Predator 2 (1990)

29 Nov

Predator 2 (1990) is a sci-fi/action/thriller film, which is the sequel to the highly succesful Predator (1987), that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Directed by the Jamaican-born director Stephen Hopkins (A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)).

Written by the creative team consisting of Jim Thomas (Mission to Mars (2000), Executive Decision (1996)) and John Thomas (Wild Wild West (1999), The Rescue (1988)). They also wrote the first Predator movie.

Starring: Danny Glover, Kevin Peter Hall, Gary Busey, Maria Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton and others.

The movie starts out with this dystopian vision of the year 1997 in LA. And it has that 80’s understanding of near future that has gone to shit. It’s really dirty, the streets are ruled by gangs, at night it has this steam/fog all around, like a modern version of Victorian London. The movie opens with an action scene, so you know you’re in for some fun-time.

I’m a big fan of the original, which I thought was an incredibly entertaining film and had a great ensemble of though guys, when the original showed us the flexed biceps of Arnold and Carl Weathers as they meet, we knew that we should be expecting testosterone splashing in our faces. And when Predator 2 opens with this turf war in this urban setting, we know we’re going to get a dark, gritty and Robocop-esque take on the story. If that’s what you actually wanted to see is another matter.

The casting of Danny Glover is an original, yet somewhat odd choice, but he does do an excellent job. Although it did feel like any moment he could say “I’m too old for this shit!”. I must admit that it was a good choice to have someone in the lead role that doesn’t look like he can punch a hole into the predator if he wants to. On the other hand Kevin Peter Hall’s stature made us believe that there might be something that looks more powerful than Arnold. And Hall brings his convincing physicality to this role as well. Also I had so much fun watching Bill Paxton acting delightfully douchey. Gary Busey, of course, could be entertaining if he just stood there, doing nothing.

I think this is a great sequel. Not as good as the original, but at least it doesn’t try to duplicate the first one and gives us a completely different setting with completely different characters. It delivers on the action, gore (apparently a bit too much, since it received NC-17 rating at first), special effects, predator designs and expands the mythos in a very compelling way. Also it has a nice nod to the Alien vs. Predator comics, by putting in a skull of an Alien warrior.

On the other hand the movie’s setting is a bit too ugly compared to the beautiful jungle locations they used in the original and sometimes it comes across a bit too angrily cynical, which takes away from the fun, so overall it isn’t as enjoyable as the original.

It is a good movie, gotten a bad reputation for undeserved reasons and I would say it is still pretty cool, although the clothing (I’m mostly looking at you, Danny Glover’s disgusting suit) and it’s late 80’s/early 90’s trend of putting different “hip” things in movies makes it a bit dated. Recommended, if you’re a sci-fi action/Predator fan.

When the predator says "Shit happens.", know that this is what he's reffering to.

Review of A Serbian Film (2010)

6 Nov

A Serbian Film (2010) is a Serbian (no shit!) shocksploitation/horror/thriller film, which has been called, amongst other things, the most controversial and disturbing film ever made.

Directed by Srdjan Spasojevic and this is his directorial debut.

Written by Aleksandar Radivojevic (Tears for Sale (2008)) and Srdjan Spasojevic.

Starring: Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Slobodan Bestic and others.

I guess I should start by addressing the controversy surrounding the film. It is on one hand understandable, because it is a pretty damn graphic and sick movie. On the other hand, it seems that these people who claim it to be the most this and that are born yesterday, which would restrict them from seeing other exploitation films. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think its release should be very limited, however, this is not the first movie with scenes of graphic rape and violence. Then again, it is full of disturbing shit and probably shouldn’t be seen by anyone.

And my main problem with this movie, is its exploitative content really serving no purpose. I have come to expect this kind of movies to contain some underlying message or at least to be darkly comedic in its over-the-top approach. The author insists that it is a commentary on how Serbian people are being raped by the government, I call bullshit on this allegory, because the only thing that suggests something like that is the title of the movie, which sadly associates the film’s content with the nation. And you can basically interpret anything as an allegory for anything else. So all this pseudo-subtext is really just for the film’s apologists to have something to defend their enjoyment of it with.

But while it’s certainly not a film that should’ve ever been made, from a technical standpoint it is a very well made movie. For a genre film it has a really nice looking cinematography. It is also put together very professionally. All this makes it feel more like a very grotesque art film, than a gritty exploitation film. It is nice to look at, but not so great to actually watch.

Some of the parts were unnecessary, like when Milosh watches the videotapes in the forest and there’s the infamous „newborn porn”  scene’s guy going on again with his sick endeavours, which contribute nothing to the plot. Speaking of „newborn porn”, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that term, I think maybe because there’s really not a big market for that in real life. At least I hope there isn’t.

I didn’t feel particularly disturbed by any of the sick stuff. I guess that doesn’t say anything good about me as a person. Ok, the ending part went a little too far and is hard to watch mostly because you know what the main character does not. I didn’t feel like turning away at any point, although there is enough to make a lot of people turn away and cry in the shower.

At the end it reaches into the over-the-top territory, when [Spoiler Alert!] Milosh stabs a guy with his dick and then goes into improbability, when Milosh somehow figures a bullet will go through two bodies, killing 3 people with one shot.

The acting was also pretty decent and convincing. Srdjan Todorovic is good as an aging porn-star Milosh or as I kept referring to him in my mind by a title of one of his pornos „Milosh the Filthy Stud”. Other actors are good as well in portraying all these disgusting characters.

So yeah, I’m not sure what to say about this film. It is well made, but it’s written in unnecessarily crude fashion by obviously disturbed people. I can’t really recommend it to anyone. Maybe with the exception of curious desensitized bastards, who want to know what’s all the fuss about, like me. Although no, still don’t watch it.

Who wouldn't trust this face?

Review of Clerks. (1994)

2 Nov

Clerks. (1994) is a low-budget comedy film, which jump started Kevin Smith’s career as a filmmaker.

Directed by Kevin Smith (Dogma (1999), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)), who also appears in the movie as Silent Bob.

Written also by Kevin Smith (Mallrats (1995), Jersey Girl (2004)).

Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes  and others.

Kevin Smith is basically every filmgeek’s „american dream” sort of story, where a guy makes a movie by scraping together 27,000 dollars and  then earning a couple of millions, which opened him the doors to make whatever he wants. So Kevin Smith really lucked out since he sold a lot of his possessions, maxed out credit cards, spent college funds and other reckless things, which he might have had to regret, but instead he basically bought a career. His commitment is quite admirable. And that’s how I feel about him, I think he’s a cool guy and really passionate for movies and so on, but I don’t consider him a great director. I liked Jay And Silent Bob Strikes Back and Dogma , I thought Zack And Miri Make A Porno  was ok, I thought Jersey Girl and Cop Out were watchable, but there’s never anything I care much about in his directing style, on the other hand I must say I do think he is a great writer.

Ok, now about the movie.  It is shot entirely in Black & White, mostly due to the lighting issues caused by the budgetary restraints, but it sort of adds to its minimalist approach, so that is a plus, even though at times makes it feel like an artsy (which it is not) college student film (which it kind of is). But there’s a lot I can forgive low-budget/amateur films. Like at times I thought the editing was slow, scenes often seem to linger for a second too long.

Brian O’Halloran does an ok job as Dante, but I found Jeff Anderson’s line delivery really unnatural, some of the other actors also do a pretty bad job, making their characters more like caricatures, but it is understandable since most of the cast was just Kevin Smith’s friends and acquaintances. Oh, Mewes and Smith as Jay and Bob are pretty good and this is the first time you’re introduced to these characters.

Although the movie has gained like a cult-following, I don’t think it actually is that great, even Kevin Smith himself admitted that the film has been over-praised. While the writing is what carries this film, the whole thing is actually a bit messy, constantly having these weird scenes that contribute nothing to the story, although they often are quite amusing, they are sadly totally pointless.

In the midst of all these comedies with rehashed plots just to tie together some gags and unfunny jokes, it is nice to see a comedy that is based on just witty dialogue and dark humor, even though the delivery isn’t that great. Also it was made in a time when Star Wars jokes were still funny and people hadn’t experienced the horror of Phantom Menace and George Lucas’ full creative control.

I can’t believe that the movie originally received an NC-17 rating, based on just the crude dialogue.

Anyone who has ever worked in a convenience store or something similar (I have) will find the jokes about the stupid customers and the apathetic clerks quite enjoyable and relatable.

It has its high and low points, pretty enjoyable for what it is, but I wouldn’t call it a great film (although it is a great low-budget first film). But regardless of its flaws I would recommend it, however mostly to filmgeeks, I guess.

"You know what, Jay? I've decided that after this movie I'm gonna get fat."