Tag Archives: Rated X

Review of Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

19 May

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) is a horror/mystery/thriller film and the second film in the Hellraiser film franchise.

Directed by Tony Randel (Infested (1993), Children of the Night (1991)).

Written  by Peter Atkins (Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), Wishmaster (1997)).

Starring: Ashley Laurence, William Hope, Clare Higgins, Doug Bradley, Kenneth Cranham, Deborah Joel, Barbie Wilde, Simon Bamford, Nicholas Vince and others.

The Hellraiser franchise, I sort of have fond childhood memories about it. I remember a time when I was about five and watched one of them (probably one of the first three). That is, I watched it for a few minutes, until my mom came in and turned it off. That might be the only time I remember not being allowed to watch something, not because it’s past my bedtime, but because there’s a guy with a ton of nails in his head. Then some time later, during my childhood I bought a lollipop, it was from the high-end, where inside the wrapper they had one of those tattoos, that you stick on your arm and hold under stream of water. So for about a week I had an awesome Pinhead tattoo on my shoulder. So now, whenever I think of how I used to watch a lot of R rated movies when I was a kid, I remember this one time when I wasn’t allowed, probably just because of the intriguing image of Pinhead.

Enough about my traumatic childhood, let’s get into the movie.

It starts with what seems like a recap, but it’s just random clips from the previous movie, that were totally unnecessary, since later on they go over what happened before. If that’s like a setup, to get you in the mood, then if you haven’t seen the previous one, you’d be like „oh, so it’s going to be about a bunch of monsters and cartoonish lighting bolts” and yes, this movie also has probably the only 80’s special effect, that I don’t like – the stupid drawn lightning effects, they are horribly dated, when other effects leave me wondering why modern movies do shitty CG effects instead.

We see the creation of Pinhead, but you do only see him turned from human to a cenobite, nothing is really explained.

Kirsty from the previous movie wakes up in a psychiatric hospital (always a pleasant surprise) and has the brilliant plan of telling the truth – monsters from hell came through a puzzle box and killed her family, leaving behind a bloody mattress, which works as a gateway. Of course no one believes shit like that and the main doctor there keeps the mattress for himself.

I like Ashley Laurence a lot, if I had to choose from all the virginal heroines from horror movies, she definitely would be one of my favourites, because she’s actually not bland. Also she reminds me of Heather Langenkamp.

In the room next to Kirsty’s there’s a girl who just solves puzzles all day. I bet this won’t play any part later in this movie about a puzzle box.

The doctor’s protege sneaks into the doctor’s house and finds out that doctor is actually a sick bastard, who has been studying some of the mystical shit. He puts one of his patients on the mattress (how nice of him), but then the mental guy starts cutting himself and from the mattress emerges Kirsty’s skinless stepmother Julia.

The first two Hellraiser movies had a lot of skinless people, but they later abandoned this, which sucks, since the skinless make-up is just mind-blowingly good. It’s terrifyingly realistic and disturbingly beautiful. This one could be a bit much for people who aren’t used to horror movie special effects.

So for a while skinless Julia just walks around the house in doctor’s white suit and leaving blood stains everywhere. The doctor has a very medical idea, he bandages her up so she looks like the Invisible Man.

Julia kills and devours a bunch of people until she looks like Clare Higgins again. So Julia and doctor guy open up a puzzle box and all things go to hell. See what I did there? To do it, they bring in the puzzle solving girl, but really, what’s the point, the box seems like the easiest puzzle ever. It’s like twist/push a button, a part emerges, twist that and it’s done.

Sadly as the cenobites appear logic disappears from the movie. There’s a bunch of random imagery in the cenobite realm, like babies with their mouths sewn shut, clowns, Kirsty suddenly appearing in a living room that starts bleeding, the puzzle box changing shape, people having blurry sex, something about Leviathan the lord of the labyrinth and other things that happen only because it’s not the real world. It would be ok, if the characters were as surprised as I was seeing those things, I feel like I’ve missed a meeting on „random hell stuff”.

The doctor becomes a cenobite and develops a knack for one-liners like „The Doctor’s in” and „I’m taking over this operation”.

Overall, a decent sequel with some great effects work, but a terribly confusing third act. Recommended.

“Shh, you don’t have to say a thing.”

Review of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

8 Mar

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) is a slasher/horror/thriller film and the seventh entry in the Friday the 13th franchise.

Directed by John Carl Buechler (Troll (1986), Ragewar (1984)), mostly known for his special effects work.

Written by Daryl Haney (Mockingbird Don’t Sing (2001), Emmanuelle, Queen of the Galaxy (1994)),  and Manuel Fidello mostly known for not writing anything before or since.

Starring: Kane Hodder, Lar Park-Lincoln, Terry Kiser, Kevin Spirtas, Heidi Kozak, William Butler, John Otrin and others.

So the movie starts off with random death scenes from the previous films and a voice-over narration, explaining why Jason Voorhees is hanging around at the bottom of a lake.

Although we did see Jason waking up dressed a bit differently at the end of the last film, apparently he decided it was not time yet, so here we see him “dead” again. No one thought it might be appropriate to drag Jason’s body out and cremate or something, since people keep going to the lake and swimming in it.

I think after a while people would just decide to stop hanging around Camp Crystal Lake, since more than a few people have died there, but no, they never learn, to think about it, they actually deserve to die for this idiotic behavioral pattern. Go, Jason!

This marks the first time Kane Hodder puts on the iconic hockey mask and becomes the fan favourite. Although his Jason isn’t in the best condition, with his spine visible, all roughed up, life at the bottom of a lake is hard, you know.

It has none of the comedic tone of the previous one, instead we get more supernatural elements and daddy issues, since our main character is Carrie, no not in the sense of late first menstruation, but she has some telekinetic abilities. I don’t mind that much, because, to be fair, Jason hasn’t been just the disfigured fellow next door for the last few movies either.

Also none of the previous films has looked so 80’s, except maybe the black “shit’n’sing” guy in the fifth one.

Of course some camping couple decide that they should take a machete to chop some wood, instead of, you know, an axe. What are we, in a rainforest?

Almost sadly, they seem to have tried to make a serious movie, but that is not what people expect when they go to see the 7th film in a slasher series. It would be fine if they had succeeded, but what they succeeded at was making a serious, dull and unentertaining movie with a ridiculous concept. And that’s the thing, it is an interesting idea, just poorly executed.

Elizabeth Kaitan is sort of hot in her little role. There’s little nudity, just some ass Kaitan’s tits and underwater ones. Not that I notice or anything. The lack of nudity and more importantly gore is something we have to thank the good old MPAA for. Those bastards.

It has one of the best kills of the series, where Jason just picks up a girl in a sleeping bag and smashes her against a tree. That was seriously awesome.

Although you can do just about anything to zombie Jason and he is unfazed, apparently when you pour some gasoline on him, he starts covering and stepping back. Maybe due to the fact that he knows that a minute later the wooden house he is in will be slowly burning and then for no reason randomly blow the fuck up. This might not be uncommon, since the characters outside run away from it and then duck right before it explodes.

The ending also goes into some ridiculous nonsense

It’s hard to really feel sorry for not-Carrie, since she is the one who resurrected Jason.

Overall, not bad, but also not very entertaining. I think you can skip this one and go straight to Jason Takes a Cruise Ship. Not recommended.

Pictured: Jason putting on a custom-made condom.

Review of Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)

3 Mar

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) is a horror/slasher/thriller film, the sixth entry in the Friday the 13th franchise.

Directed by Tom McLoughlin (Sometimes They Come Back (1991), One Dark Night (1983)).

Written by Tom McLoughlin (FairyTale: A True Story (1997), Date with an Angel (1987)).

Starring: Thom Mathews, David Kagen, Jennifer Cooke, Renee Jones, Darcy DeMoss, C.J. Graham and others.

So here goes another Friday movie, that I don’t think takes place on Friday or the 13th, but the title doesn’t lie when it tells that Jason lives. He is actually brought back to life by a lightning bolt.

For this we have to thank Tommy Jarvis, who finds Jason’s grave by his a bit smashed up, but otherwise decent gravestone, digs him up and tries to get rid of him by stabbing a pole in his chest. This turns out to be very counter-productive as the lightning strikes it, Jason somehow regains his eyes and flesh and is alive. Have to remind myself that I’m not watching the Frankenstein’s monster. I find it odd that someone would have a problem with this supernatural concept, because Jason really wasn’t a normal mortal human being before.

So yeah, zombie Jason wakes up and does what he does best – walks up to people really fast. Oh, and then he kills them. If there is one thing that Jason does faster than walking is turning, it takes him just a rapid music cue. This time Jason doesn’t even mind hanging around in broad daylight as he picks off some paintballers.

Tommy looks like he’s 30, so it would be safe to assume that the movie is taking place in early 2000’s. Also they decide to ignore the ending of the previous film. This actually could be a straight sequel to the 4th. I’d prefer if it was, but you can’t have a decent Friday the 13th movies without at least two horrendous ones.

This one is a bit more action packed and comedic, which makes it a lot fun to watch. The comedy is also a lot better than for example the redneck mother and son in the previous one. There’s some funny 4th wall breaking metahumor. There’s a police deputy that has the biggest laser-scope ever. Mounted on a handgun. Also the opening spoofs classic James Bond movie openings. A nice thing I noticed is that people are actually a lot more prone to run if there’s the possibility of real danger.

Here we actually have little kids staying at the camp and they all are such bad actors, it’s painful. The other actors are more or less ok. Sadly we don’t get any nudity.

The movie feels pretty fresh, which isn’t that common for a sixth movie in a franchise.

The movie doesn’t try to end the series and just clearly sets up another sequel.

Overall, one of my favourite Friday the 13th films, not a great piece of cinema, but an entertaining slasher flick at the least.

"...and that's why you don't play with a machete."

Review of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

25 Feb

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) is a horror/slasher/thriller film and the fifth entry in the Friday the 13th franchise.

Directed by Danny Steinmann (Savage Streets (1984), The Unseen (1980)).

Written by Martin Kitrosser (Rain (2003), Facing the Enemy (2001)) and David Cohen (Hollywood Zap (1986), The Treasure (1990)).

Starring: Shavar Ross, Marco St. John, Richard Young, Juliette Cummins, Carol Locatell, Debi Sue Voorhees and others.

Tommy Jarvis from the previous movie is like a teenager in this, so I guess this movie takes place somewhere in the early 90’s.

Sometimes teenagers in horror movies are acting weird. A redneck woman threatens to shoot them on sight, but they just laugh at that. I’d be pretty sure I don’t want to sneak into her territory. Of course the hillbillies just have to be these totally ridiculous parodies, although I must admit that they did make me laugh a bit.

I suppose you could justify the horrible characters by pointing out they’re all patients of rehabilitation institution or whatever they are in.

Then we get some characters who appear only to be killed and one of them is a guy who decides to take a shit so he walks through a forest to do that for what seems like forever in cinema-time. 

Ironically there’s an actress named Debi  Sue Voorhees in this movie and she both gets a cool death and has what are considered the best breasts in the series.

It’s sort of a spoiler, but not really, Jason isn’t the killer. It’s a guy impersonating Jason, so as you know this the movie becomes kind of a (bad) whodunnit, I guess, I didn’t pay enough attention and didn’t know who it was until they revealed it. Also the Jason impostor is really channelling Jason, because he’s strong as shit. He can easily break down doors and everything.

A goth/punk (?) chick does some robot dancing in her room, nope, the movie hasn’t aged one bit. Also „Jason” doesn’t enjoy it either.

One of the characters does the usual horror cliché „run, stumble, fall, take a long time to get up” routine, with emphasis on the not getting up part, so „Jason” just walks up to her.

Most of the kids don’t really do anything bad during the movie, yet they get killed, but two of them die after taking shits, so maybe there’s some message.

One unintentionally hilarious instance is when at the end we see a newspaper that has a photo of Jason in it. Who the fuck took the photo?

I don’t think it’s as bad as it is considered, they took a risk with the concept, it’s just that it was a stupid risk and they should’ve guessed won’t work out well.

Overall, not very good, I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone, since even the later Friday the 13th films ignore this one.

Pictured: Debi Sue Voorhees after having a staring contest with Cyclops from X-Men.

Review of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

20 Feb

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) is a slasher/horror/thriller film, it’s the fourth entry in the Friday the 13th franchise and was at the time meant to be the final one.

Directed by Joseph Zito (Abduction (1975), Red Scorpion (1988)), who is known mostly for various B-movies.

Written by Barney Cohen (Stunts (1977), French Quarter (1978)).

Starring: Kimberly Beck, Peter Barton, Corey Feldman, Lawrence Monoson, Crispin Glover, Judie Aronson and others.

As usual we get a little recap of the previous movies and then we see Jason shipped to the morgue. Why are the morticians in movies always either frigid weirdos or over sexed creeps? Since this is a B-horror movie we get the latter one. Of course Jason doesn’t stay dead for long.

Then we’re introduced to our group of teenagers and I get the best surprise I’ve gotten through all the Friday the 13th films. Crispin Glover is in this. I just love the guy, I could watch him do anything. I could watch him, oh I don’t know, almost kick David Letterman in the face… oh, yeah, I’ve seen that. Or I could watch him doing some of the weirdest, epilepsy inspired dance moves since Ian Curtis from Joy Division, which is what you get in this movie.

Then we see that Jason’s back in town! This is tastefully portrayed by him stabbing a random fat banana-eating hitchhiker chick in the neck. Obviously.

We also get our Hollywood reject Corey Feldman as a little kid, who is mostly ok, except when he sees some people making-out, because then he does some kind of bizarre rape seizure in his bed. He also makes different masks and I don’t really believe a kid could do that, because they look both fucking expensive and industrially made.

In this one there is way more nudity than in any of the previous movies. I don’t mind that, as one would imagine.  At one point they even start watching some 20’s porn for no particular reason. Maybe just to kill the guy who didn’t have sex to make a statement about how bad is porn and/or masturbating. But by this logic they also condemn fat hitchhikers eating a banana in an oddly erotic manner. To think about it, it sort of makes sense.

And the killings are fucking brutal in this one. So gratuitous nudity and real massacre does a good slasher movie make. Tom Savini returned to do the effects and they look great.

Also there’s more people than just some teenagers, there’s the kid, his mom, a Jason-hunter.

As with the previous one, the events doesn’t even take place on a friday or the 13th. Thankfully this film doesn’t seem like you’re watching the same movie again.

Intended as the end of the series, but ended up way too successful, so we got a shitload more. I’m not complaining.

Overall, this might be my second favourite Friday the 13th, maybe after the original. It’s fun, gory, has nudity and Crispin Glover, it’s what you want an 80’s slasher to be. Recommended to mostly horror fans and could be a good introduction to the series.

Pictured: Jason loving little boys just like a catholic priest, you know... in the ass.

Review of Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

14 Feb

Friday the 13th Part III (1982) is a horror/slasher/thriller film and the third entry in the Friday the 13th franchise.

Directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), House (1986)), that’s right, he also directed the previous one.

Written by Carol Watson (Meatballs Part II (1984), South Park (1997 TV)) and Marti Kitrosser (Meatballs Part II (1984), Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991)), who later on wrote the fifth entry in the series.

Starring: Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, Tracie Savage, Jeffrey Rogers, David Katims, Larry Zerner and others.

We start of with an idiotic title song, that doesn’t fit the movie at all.

And then we get the usual flashes of the previous movie and then we also get a little intro, so that’s 15 minutes before seeing any of the main characters.

They were really going for the 3D effects. I love this sort of gimmicky 3D, but if the shots don’t make sense when you strip them of the 3D, then you’re really forcing it. I mean, it really is ridiculous, when there’s a yo-yo going towards the camera or the camera is looking straight into some popcorn popping or an interesting instance when a weed joint is passed from hand to hand right past the camera so it sort of would seem like it is given to someone in the audience, but to me it just looked like a badly done and pointless shot of passing a joint. Of course there’s some good ones too, like when Jason takes one guy’s head and presses it so hard his skull crushes and an eye pops out towards us. That was awesome.

It’s painfully cheesy at times. A lot of those times thanks to that annoying nerdy kid, who wears masks because he’s… well, ugly and does some practical jokes with fake blood. So it seems to me that it’s what the filmmakers think horror fans are like.

Then there’s a few too many jumpscares that turn out to not to be Jason. It’s like „Yes, here I am just standing around naked and I hear some rustling leaves, so I quickly turn around [blasting music cue TA-DAH!], oh, it was just a midget lying in a huge bowl of corn flakes. Ok, back to being naked.”

Jason Voorhees this time finds a hockey mask and an icon is born. And I really liked Richard Brooker’s Jason, he’s tall, lean and fast. I like Kane Hodder and all, but I didn’t mind this Jason either. And he really seems to enjoy himself.

Of course the acting is mostly bad, but at least the lead actress is really hot.

Again the ending is some contrived and absolutely stupid crap. It only accented my feeling that I’m watching just a rehash of the first two movies. I understand that there’s a sort of a formula, but it doesn’t do anything new, except having harpoons fly outside of the screen, of course, if you’re watching it in a theatre in 1982 and not on TV 30 years later.

Overall, I didn’t find it very good, the kills are nice and it’s more or less entertaining, but I don’t think I’d recommend this to anyone, except to the kind of people who probably have seen it anyway.

"Ah yes, you've got the old 'crush skull - out comes the eye' syndrome."

Review of Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

5 Feb

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) is a horror/slasher/thriller film and the second film in the largely successful slasher film franchise Friday the 13th.

Directed by Steve Miner (Warlock (1989), House (1986)), this is his directorial debut and he also went on to direct the sequel to this film Friday the 13th Part III.

Written by Ron Kurz (King Frat (1979), Eyes of a Stranger (1981)).

Starring: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Warrington Gillette, Russell Todd and others.

The first movie was way too successful to leave the end of the first one just a dream and Jason jumps out of the water to be the killer this time. But not before we get some badly put together flashbacks of the previous film to set up this one, where Adrienne King returns to get an ice pick stabbed in her head by Jason. It’s nice of her to return for this minor part, I wouldn’t say she’s a great actress, but it’s sad that these movies made her leave the business.

It has more nudity than the first one, but that’s not really saying much about how good the film is. On the other hand it seems appropriate for a slasher flick to have a decent amount of naked young women.

Amy Steel is neither good or bad and also she kind of looks on the verge between really cute and a gross albino girl. The other actors are mediocre to bad as well.

Jason Voorhees doesn’t have his iconic look yet, there’s no hockey mask or worker suit, so he runs around wearing a burlap sack with an eye-hole on his head. Basically Jason looks like the Elephant Man in a plaid shirt and overalls. And an average build/height Jason wearing a pillow case isn’t the most intimidating thing ever. But at one point you see Jason’s disfigured face at one point in slow motion and he has quite a bit of hair as well.

The kills are very brief, because the movie uses immediate cut-aways from the gore, so we don’t really see much, I would’ve wanted to see the double-impalement kill.

At the end it pulls out something very similar to the first one, which is stupid. It wasn’t a bad sequel, but pretty forgettable and I think I remember only one cool death scene.

Overall, not great, too much copies the original and lacks any impact, I’d say not recommended, except maybe to tie up the transition from the killer in the first to Jason.

"I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!"

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."