Thursday, April 13, 2006

Review – Dark Water

Here we have yet another American clone of a Japanese horror movie. Dead, drowned girl. Lots of heavy filter work. Does this Ring a bell with anyone? This time around the frights are few, and in the end the whole thing turns into more of a bummer than anything else. Jennifer Connelly plays a recently-divorced woman who has to move into a sub-standard high rise on Roosevelt Island. Her daughter almost immediately develops an imaginary friend, and you can pretty much imagine where things go from there. This isn’t the worst ghost story I’ve ever seen, but it might have been an easier viewing experience if so much of the plot early on hadn’t centered around apartment maintenance hassles (particularly leaky plumbing and water damage). Anyone who’s ever rented a place in a run-down building is likely to find this stuff more annoying than intriguing. Mildly amusing

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Review – Day of the Dead 2: Contageum

I suppose “Contagion” would have been too much like a real word to use for the title of a stinker like this. The folks who brought us Horror 101 now teach another lesson in how not to make a scary movie. This appears to be some kind of prequel to the third chapter in Romero’s Dead series, which raises the question of why – if this is likewise presumably a prequel to the first two as well – they didn’t name it after one of the more successful episodes. But even linking it to the relatively-not-as-good Day of the Dead was too much. This is one of those no-script-no-actors hunks of junk made on the cheap for the video market. The production doesn’t even live up to the lax standards of its sub-genre, as the gore is too crappy to provide much entertainment and there’s no nudity at all. I tried fast-forwarding through some of the dull parts, but that turned out to be most of the movie. Wish I’d skipped it

Review – The Cave

This is another one of those “recipe” pictures. Take a base of Alien, stir in a pinch of The Thing, add scuba diving and rock climbing, pour into a cave and cook for 90 minutes. And as usual, the product is an unpalatable burgoo. The characters aren’t the least bit interesting (indeed, aside from the non-white men and the women, the actors are hard to tell apart). The plot is practically non-existent, the story emerging as little more than weak rubber cement between chase sequences. Even the special effects are bad. If you want to see Alien, rent Alien. See if desperate

Monday, April 3, 2006

Review – Blacula

I think the Simpsons already did the “Hunchblack of Blotre Blame” joke, so here I’ll just add that another good one would have been “The Blummy.” As with a lot of blaxploitation movies from the early 70s, this production’s heart is in the right place. The tale of an African prince turned into a vampire by Dracula has some potential for exploring serious race issues. Further, horror from this era is what scared me when I was a kid, so I got at least some small thrills from some of the shock sequences. But overall this is just as dumb, cheap and packed with racist clich├ęs as the title implies. See if desperate

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Review – And Now for Something Completely Different

The title of this production is both directly apt – Monty Python fans will of course recognize one of the better-known catch-phrases from the Flying Circus series – and ironic, as there’s little if any difference between the skits in this movie and the skits from the TV show. The dead parrot, the nudge-nudge guy, the lumberjack song … the classics never die. Alas, no spam. But otherwise if you’re in search of a Cliff’s Notes intro to one of England’s most famous comedy teams, seek no more. Mildly amusing