Wednesday, September 29, 2010

VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL (2009)

Transfer student Monami is a vampire and she has a crush on Mizushima who happens to be the kinda-boyfriend of Keiko who's father is secretly a mad scientist who, in cahoots with the sexy school nurse, is killing students and experimenting on reanimation. Wow! The pretty much the entire story, but what makes this movie stand out is the fact that the filmmakers are just out to entertain the audience and they do.

I'm normally not a fan of the wacky-Japanese-over-the-top genre, but VGVFG was really good. Imaginative story, beautiful girls (especially Yukie Kawamura), high school setting, excellent music that fit really well with the action onscreen, super quick pace that never lets up for a minute, insane creatures, delightful take on the vampire and Frankenstein stories, every person has 60 gallons of blood in their body, over exaggerated high school cliques, sexy school uniforms.

Also there's some fun extras on the blu-ray, including over an hour of footage filmed during the making of the movie! Great stuff.
A few people will get this joke.

Monday, September 27, 2010

KAMERADSCHAFT (1931)

Even though this German/French production is loosely based on the famous 1906 Courrieres mine disaster in which 1,099 miners died, the film also reminded me a lot of Emile Zola's masterpiece "Germinal" which I've read countless times. I cannot recommend that novel enough. It changed my life.

The large mine in this film is divided by the border of Germany and France. They even have a brick wall underneath to mark the divide. Early one morning there's a massive explosion on the French side and an unknown number of miners are trapped or dying down in the rubble. After hearing this news the German miners ignore all political and national differences and race across the border to help their fallen brothers. Some of the miners that are already in the pit on the German side break through the border wall to go help with the rescue efforts.

The peace and love message of the film might be overly simplistic, but the technical aspect of this early sound film is very impressive. Especially the realism of the explosion and the misery the survivors went through. I don't know how Pabst managed to get such realistic footage, but I would love to find out. Criterion should release a remastered Blu-Ray with an special feature on how this film was made. Was this movie all filmed on sets or did they actually film it in a mine?

If you can find a copy I recommended it, but still this film pales in comparison to Claude Berri's 1993 adaptation of "Germinal" which I cannot find on DVD to save my fucking dick from falling off.

FRIGHT NIGHT 2 (1988)

Life's been pretty swell for Charley Brewster in the three years since the original FRIGHT NIGHT. He's in college, he's still friends with Peter Vincent, he's got a cool PREDATOR poster, he's still got that cool 80's hair and best of all his new girlfriend is a gigantic improvement over that diseased sea donkey he was banging in the first movie. Yuck! Now for the bad news: the vampires are back and even worse is it's the sister of the dude he killed in part 1 and she's pissed! Yikes!

Good sequel. I enjoyed it, but it lacks that certain something to make it an 80's vampire classic like the original or THE LOST BOYS. The wall climbing werewolf and the roller skating vampire did help though.

More blood and ooze than I expected, hot girlfriend (she never got even close to naked though), not as much Roddy McDowall screen time as I had hoped for, the vampire gang was not scary, the "sexy" female vampire was ugly, great 80's clothes. Worth a rent, if you can find it, but definitely not worth paying the price ($67) Amazon currently has for the lackluster DVD with zero extras.

Part 1
Remake

It's that dude from "Buffy"!

It's that hot chick from CLASS OF 1999.

Nice PREDATOR poster.

THE COLLECTOR (2009)

A burglar breaks into jeweler's house to burgle a jewel, but ends up finding out the entire house has been set up with extremely elaborate traps to capture...uh, him, I guess? I never did really figure that part out. Anyway, so there's traps everywhere and he sneaks all over the house, back and forth, upstairs and downstairs for the entire fucking movie. Logic and common sense are thrown right out the window, so just sit back and enjoy the silliness of it all. I watched it with some friends and we got a good laugh out of it.  Often when I see films like this I can't help but wonder how much people get paid to write it. There's no way this entire script took over just a few days to complete beginning to end.

Nice amount of blood, a little gore, minor tit shot, bad guy wasn't scary, over stylized lighting, completely unbelievable story. Like I said, it's good for a laugh, but there wasn't nothing in this film to make it stand out from the crowd.