Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ZIFT (2008)

It's not often that a film can successfully be both dark and depressing and at the same time be uplifting and funny. ZIFT does it effortlessly, but the thing that left the biggest impression is how I actually viewed the ending (which is extremely dark) as being a happy ending! Maybe that's just me?

Moth (played by Zahary Baharov, yea I never heard of him either, but he was great!) is doing time in a post-WWII Bulgarian prison for a murder he didn't commit, but that's the least of his worries though because everybody thinks he knows the location of a large diamond that is rumored to have belonged to the guy Moth supposedly murdered.

He's released early but his new found freedom is actually a one way trip to Hell. In one of Moth's many flashbacks (sometimes there's even multiple flashbacks within flashbacks!!!) he remembers an old cell mate telling him about a sign on the exit door of a prison that read "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." meaning the outside world. That proves to be only too true cause Moth doesn't even make it out the fucking door before all Hell breaks loose. It's great.

I love high-energy movies that keep you on your toes and constantly guessing and ZIFT does it perfectly from the opening scene (a guy emptying a sewage truck into somebody's apartment window) all the way to the final moment. I was having so much fun I completely lost track of time.

Not only is the story engaging and the acting by everybody impressive (also how beautiful is Tanya Ilieva?!), but the look and feel of the movie is exceptional. Cinematographer Emil Hristow throws in all kinds of great stuff. I especially loved the prison shower scene, just look how the camera moves. It's actually very simple, but for some reason I thought it was brilliant. And that leaves us with director Javor Gardev who, according to IMDb, has only directed this movie!!! WTF?! ZIFT is two years old, how come this dude isn't busy with something else? Very disappointing to read.

I don't think I'm giving away too much here, but [possible SPOILERS!!!] I loved the inclusion of luminous poison. D.O.A. is one of my favorite noir's, so that little nod made me smile ear to ear. [END SPOILERS!!!]

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ILLUSION TRAVELS BY STREETCAR (1954)

Straightforward Bunuel film about two transportation service employees who get all sad when they find out that their favorite streetcar, #133, is being taken out of service and slated to be dismantled.

Later that night they get shitfaced and come up with the brilliant idea of taking the ol' girl out on one last spin around the block. They do, but end up picking up passengers! The same thing happens wherever they go and no matter how hard they try that can't get back to the depot.

Amusing idea and since this was directed by Bunuel, I was expecting the story to be deeper or dreamier or more surreal than it was, which not very much at all. That was disappointing. Bunuel didn't write the script and it shows, but then again this was the mid-50's and if you look at his other films made during this period of his Mexican exile they are all pretty straightforward, including 1954's WUTHERING HEIGHTS (which was very good) and 1954's THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE. Although MEXICAN BUS RIDE (1952) did have that great dream sequence.

Bunuel fans should check it out, but I would imagine that pretty much everybody else would fall asleep. Personally I liked it and would gladly watch it again.


Monday, July 26, 2010

CHINAMAN (2005)

Keld is a middle-aged plumber with nothing going on in his life. During the opening scene his wife leaves him and he's completely lost. He starts eating at a neighborhood Chinese grill each evening and after a water pipe explosion he befriends the owner, Feng. One day Feng innocently asks Keld if he'd be interested in marrying his sister, Ling, until she becomes a citizen. Short on money and owing money to his ex-wife from the divorce Keld reluctantly agrees. The marriage is just for show and no "hanky-panky" is suppose to happen, but Keld soon falls for Ling gentle spirit and she to his wounded one.

I only have one complaint about this movie and you'll know what it is when you watch it, other than that I really, really liked this movie. I especially liked how it was just straightforward and simple, but still very powerful.  Kinda like a good short story. A lot of the credit for that goes to the main actor Bjarne Henriksen who I've never heard of before, but he was great! Reminded me a lot of a younger Gerard Depardieu. Also Vivian Wu is absolutely beautiful. Her performance is very subtle, but still moving.

Everybody involved with this film should be very proud of themselves.  It's an excellent film. If you like quite, romantic films then it's worth checking out.

BIG WARS (1993)

Four-hundred years or so in the future humans are having a huge war on Mars versus some alien motherfuckers that can take over humans minds and turn them into spies or terrorists. That's all well and good, but it takes fucking forever for any action to take place. The first hour is wasted on some boring horseshit about a ship captain and his ex-girlfriend who's now a spy, blah,blah, blah. Nobody gives a shit. Just get to the killing and the "big war" goddamn it!!!

Finally during the last twenty minutes some action takes place and it's alright, but by this point I just wanted it to fucking end. Boring as fuck story, way too confusing and the animation is only so-so. I never want to see this movie again as long as I live. Skip it with a vengeance.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW (1983)

I reviewed the remake a few days ago and it was pretty stinky, but now that I've rewatched the original I think the remake was actually a better movie. Yea, it was shitty, but there was more action, a few laughs and a three of the girls were mildly attractive unlike every single one of the girls in this movie. They're all dogs! Barf!!!

A group of graduating seniors (who all look to be in their early 40's) are having one last big party, but when the 300-year-old house mother finds out she gets pissed and destroys one of the girl's waterbed. The girls retaliate by pulling a prank that accidentally kills the house mother. Unknown to them her severely retarded fully-grown son who lives in the attic saw the whole thing. Now he goes on a murder spree killing all the sorority sisters. Good for him.

A few tits (but they look horrible), zero gore, zero original kills, zero wet t-shirt contests, a stupid story that's way too complicated, the Final Girl is ugly and annoying, the killer dresses like a harlequin. Skip this movie and skip the remake also.
Jesus Christ her hair looks like shit!

Is that the dude from TERMINATOR 2?

I thought college chicks in slasher movies were suppose to be hot?

Nice shorts, nerd.



Some guy made a "modernized" trailer for the movie and it makes the movie actually look good. Excellent job.

BLOOD BEACH (1980)

Shitty movie. I paid $3 for a copy and I still got ripped off! I can't even imagine the amount of sadness and disappointment BLOOD BEACH caused back in the early 80's when teenagers hoping for some good weekend scares rented this turkey from their local neighborhood video store. Poor bastards.

People are disappearing left and right at a local beach in Los Angeles. The police aren't smart enough to actually put cops on patrol all along the beach so people keep getting sucked into sinkholes. That's really about it. It's an alright idea, it worked great for TREMORS, but the people in charge here aren't the people from TREMORS so instead we have way, way too much time wasted on following the police around. This movie might as well have just been a police drama with the perp being a giant antlion mixed with a evil, mutated sunflower.

If you're going to have a movie about a killer creature stalking the visitors of a beach why make it a boring public beach? Why not the beach of a exclusive sex resort?! That way you can have the greedy owners hiding the facts about the deaths and then have all the victims be the semi-naked and fully naked drunken sex tourists!!! Of course you have to make them all extremely hot. Also when a creature snatches a victim make it look like they're slowly being lowered into a giant blender with 200 gallons of blood and intestines spraying a hundred feet into the air.

Zero nudity, zero blood or gore, no attractive women, the world's most inept cops and a lame looking monster that's only onscreen for 5 seconds. Fuck BLOOD BEACH.
Pretty much the only shot of the monster.

Best looking female in the entire movie and she's only onscreen for 10 seconds.

SORORITY ROW (2009)

The original wasn't anything special so as far as slasher remakes go, SORORITY ROW is about as lame as would be expected. It's still light years better than that shitty Michael Bay FRIDAY THE 13TH remake though, but then again falling down a flight of stairs teeth first would be more enjoyable than that boring piece of shit.

A group of six annoying stuck up bitches (the killer couldn't kill them fast enough to suit me) pull a prank at a party and girl ends up dead. A few months later a mysterious killer shows up and starts killing people with a "pimped out" tire iron. Good grief. There's around 10 killings and they average from the stab through the wall method all the way to flare gun to the face. Yawn. The killer wears a graduation outfit. Stupid. There's only a few quick flashes of nudity and none of it by anybody attractive, not saying that the main chick were attractive cause they weren't.

If you've already done everything that you've ever wanted to do in your life and now you're just sitting around waiting for death then I'd say watch this movie, but if not then skip it.