Saturday, July 28, 2012

FOUR FRIGHTENED PEOPLE (1934)

Bubonic plague breaks out on a ship so four of the passengers (a journalist, a teacher, a chemist and the wife of a politician) steal a lifeboat and head for a nearby island. Once there they're informed by a native that the only way to civilization is to walk to the other side of the island. A four or five day journey through the jungle and he would gladly show them the way. Unfortunately this guy is an idiot and not only did he neglect to tell them there's hostile tribes in the jungle (not to mention a lot of icky creatures), he gets them fucking lost! So now they're wandering around aimlessly in circles. Not to fear though because as the clothes slowly fall of of the mousy teacher (Colbert) the two guys suddenly realize that once she lets her hair down and looses the cheaters she's really hot! So now with romance in the air, the two guys joust over the affections of the fair maiden as cobras hiss and natives shoot arrows through the necks of other natives.

For an early sound adventure/drama FOUR FRIGHTENED PEOPLE is alright. It's a little too melodramatic for my tastes, but it's still an entertaining watch. I was particularly impressed that it was filmed entirely on location. I found myself thinking nearly the entire film how I would love to see a behind the scenes feature showing the film crew lugging around those old gigantic cameras through the jungle.

If you're into classic cinema the FFP is a good watch. It won't change your life or anything, but it's a solid film. Recommended. I am curious now as to what is the earliest movie to feature a hot chick "hidden" behind glasses, turned up hair and unflattering clothes?

Also Claudette Colbert had one hell of a year in 1934: this film, IMITATION OF LIFE, Demille's epic CLEOPATRA and one of my all time favorites IT HAPPENED ON NIGHT!
I like how the Morse Code message was animated out on the wires of the ship.

Friday, July 27, 2012

EVIL DEAD TRAP (1988)

A female news reporter receives a brutal snuff film in the mail. She recognizes the highway and building on the tape so she does what every normal person would do: gather up some friends and goes to investigate it for herself. Road trip!

Once at the abandoned industrial site the group decides it'd be best if they break up. Good thinking! And it only takes a few minutes for the killer to start fucking people up. And fuck them up he does! The first few kills were awesome and creepy as fook, but it slows down quite a bit by the time we get to the Final Girl...then right when you're starting to get bored it hits you with an ending that's so fucked up and Japanese that you'll have just enough time to yell "Holy cricket testicles!" before your brain explodes.

Twenty-something years later EDT comes across as kinda dated, but I'm sure at the time of it's release it was probably pretty shocking and maybe even revolutionary. It borrows some of the best bits of Fulci (eye-stabbing, loud maggots) and Argento (camera angles) along with a Goblin-sounding music and then adds it's own unique style. I have no proof of this, but I'm convinced that whoever made those SAW movies saw EVIL DEAD TRAP years ago and just re-vamped it.

It's not a great film and it'll probably never get the recognition it deserves, but if you're into horror and horror movie history then EDT is a must watch.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

SOUL SURVIVORS (2001)

Did you know that ghosts wear condoms during ghostsecks? Well, they do. I've never been to film school so I'm not sure what kind of classes they have but if they have 'How to Write a Jumbled Up Piece of Shit Script 101' then, well THE CUT would be the main teaching material, but SOUL SURVIVORS would be supplementary material.

Tired of partying with a bunch of college dorks our four heroes go to a "rave" at an old abandoned building. After dancing like idiots they have some relationship drama then wreck their car. One guy dies, but the other three are well...I don't want to give too much away so let's just say it's stupid and unoriginal.

How SOUL SURVIVORS ever got financed is a fucking mystery cause if somebody had come to my office with that garbage script I would've tossed them out on their ear. Unfortunately it did get made and unleashed upon the world destined to stink up $1 movie bins everywhere.

Skip the shit out of this movie. The story is painfully unoriginal, zero gore, zero blood, zero attractive tits, non-threatening bad guys, bad camerawork, leather pants, cliches everywhere. Other than making fun of it along with your friends I can't think of one good reason to watch this turd.

On a funny note: SOUL SURVIVORS cost $17m but only made $4.3 worldwide at the box office. Hahahaha!