Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Reportedly made for somewhere around $200, WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX? is the 1980's church youth group filmmaking caliber story of a soldier named Captain Alex who's ordered to smash the evil "Tiger Mafia". What makes the Tiger Mafia so evil? I have no idea, but whatever. During his first raid, Captain Alex captures the brother of the Tiger Mafia leader, Richard. Richard vows revenge, but before his people can kidnap Alex, Alex is mysteriously murdered. Nobody knows who did it. Alex's "Ugandan Shaolin Monk" brother, Bruce U shows up and does push-ups in water. He also does some fishing. After that, the military and the Tiger Mafia have a battle that looks like a real life version of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. It's completely nuts. I liked it. The End.
WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX? is definitely not everybody's cup of tea, but for pure entertainment purposes, I found it to be pretty fun. There's two versions of the film: the normal version and then the "VJ Emmie" narration version. I highly recommend the VJ Emmie version. The straight version if okay, but too slow moving. The VJ Emmie version is completely nuts. Whoever came up with the idea of having this guy yelling random stuff throughout the movie is a genius. I laughed for like 5 minutes straight when the woman asked Bruce U if she could have the fish and VJ Emmie yells "What the fuck??!" Then later on at 51:40, I swear to Satan, he makes a BLAZING SADDLES reference when the soldiers are sitting around a campfire and he starts making farting noises and talking about eating a lot of beans.
Extremely low-budget filmmaking that honestly doesn't look that bad, moderate pace, insanely cheap and charming special effects, wacky story that never really even goes anywhere and definitely isn't resolved at the end, unique filming locations, better than expected acting. Overall, WKCA? is surprisingly not anywhere as crazy as I had expected. It's honestly, a decent movie.
Director/writer/producer/cinematographer/editor/special and visual effects artist Nabwana I.G.G obviously has talent and a true passion for filmmaking. I'm looking forward to seeing what else he can do!
Recommended for the more forgiving and open-minded movie lover.
Loosely based on the real life 1954 Parker–Hulme murder case in Christchurch, New Zealand, HEAVENLY CREATURES starts out with the introduction of the two girls, Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, (played by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) to each other. Pauline is an unkempt and homely girl who sticks to herself while Juliet is beautiful, cheerful and outgoing. At first, it would seem that these two are complete opposites, but as Fate would have it, they take an immediate liking to each other and are soon inseparable. They spend all of their time together having fun and making up elaborate adventure stories set in a fictional place called "the Fourth World". It's all very innocent. Eventually, the parents (on both sides) become concerned about the closeness of Pauline and Juliet and fear that they might be...gay! Gasp! The parents try different things to separate the two girls, but none of it works. It only creates stress in a situation that was completely stress-free before. Eventually, Juliet's parents decide to remove Juliet from New Zealand altogether and move her in with a relative in South Africa! Jesus Christ, talk about an overreaction! Things get even worse when the girls hear about this news. Their completely insane response is to beat Pauline's mother to death with a brick!
I was lucky enough to see HEAVENLY CREATURES in the theater when it was released in 1994 and I loved it. It was so shocking to see such a mature and professionally crafted film from the guy who brought me BAD TASTE, MEET THE FEEBLES and DEAD ALIVE! That said, time has definitely diminished the impact of HEAVENLY CREATURES. Watching it again now, the "Uncut" version (which is 10 minutes longer) is too long, the special effects are dated and the ending is way too abrupt. There's no closure to the story. It just kinda ends and tosses some words on the screen about what happened afterwards. I didn't find that to be a satisfactory ending at all. It only created more questions in my handsome brain.
My minor complaints aside, HEAVENLY CREATURES is still 100% worth watching. Unique story, imaginative storytelling style, strong acting, Peter Jackson cameo, some familiar faces from other Jackson films (I smiled from ear to ear at seeing Elizabeth Moody), some funny jokes about how "hideous" Orson Welles looked, wonderful photography.
I don't know it will ever happen, but I'd love it if Peter Jackson and company would release an extras-packed edition of HEAVENLY CREATURES. I mean, after releasing a extras-packed version of DEAD ALIVE, of course.