Monday, July 25, 2011

Cut (2000)


Written by David Warner
Directed by Kimble Rendall

Vanessa...Molly Ringwald
Hester...Sarah Kants
Raffy...Jessica Napier

Twelve years ago, a director is murdered while filming the slasher movie Hot Blooded. Each consecutive attempt to finish the movie is met with even more bloodshed, until a legend forms around it that the movie is cursed.

Twelve years later, a group of ambitious film students decide to pick up where the last filmmakers left off, a project that they think will be perfect for their final thesis.

You'll never guess what happens next! No, the filming doesn't go smoothly, wrapping on time and under-budget, making everyone involved a mint. People start dying all over again! See, I told you that you would never guess.

This derivative slasher movie was produced in the wake of Scream, and it wears its inspiration on its sleeve. Not only is that other, far superior, flick mentioned by name, but Cut is an overtly self-aware movie that struggles to place every genre cliche on the screen while never bothering to add anything new to the mix. Even the "twist" ending in which the nature of the killer is revealed is cribbed from a certain Elm Street entry that I won't specify by name.

The acting is decent, although it's an Australian film so occasionally you might have difficulty deciphering the accents. Molly Ringwald, fiery beauty of the Brat Pack, is much more believable as the sweet girl next door than as the bitchy diva she plays here. But kudos to her for trying to defy typecasting.

In the end, a mediocre slasher flick that isn't nearly as clever as it thinks it is. You could do worse on a drunken Friday night, but you could do a hell of a lot better.

Rated R
82 Minutes
United States

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The New Kids (1985)

The New Kids

Written by Stephen Gyllenhaal
Directed by Sean S. Cunningham

Loren...Shannon Presby
Abby...Lori Laughlin
Uncle Charlie...Eddie Jones
Gideon...John Philbin
Dutre...James Spader

After the death of their parents, Army Brats Loren and Abby relocate to Florida to live with their Uncle Charlie and Aunt Fay, proprietors of the Santa's Fun Land tourist trap. Being the new kids in school, they attract a lot of attention, especially Cathy, who becomes the lusty target of Gideon and Dutre, a pair of sleazy locals who make a bet on who can bed the babe first.

When she rejects their advances, things turn ugly. Dutre and his pals strike out against Fun Land, requiring retribution from Loren. It becomes an increasingly violent back-and-forth, like a bloody game of tag, hitting all the usual notes and culminating in the expected man-against-the-mob scenario.

The whole Santa's Fun Land setting was a strange choice, and didn't add anything to the story (although it was a pretty cool locale for the final showdown). Still, there was some decent acting and surprising faces in the cast. James Spader looks like a rockabilly albino here, while Lori Laughlin looks mighty fine in her short shorts and shower scene. Who knew Aunt Becky was such a hottie!?

Plenty of action keeps this flick rolling along and a good clip, and although it's not likely to win a spot on any top ten lists, it's well worth a watch if just because it was directed by Sean Cunningham of Friday the 13th fame, eschewing the slasher genre in favor of a survivalist/revenge fusion.

One scene you will definitely want to look out for has some deep homosexual undertones: James Spader's character, clad only in the briefest of bikini briefs, is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by Loren for what is either a mugging or a raping. And my money was on the latter.

Rated R
86 Minutes
United States


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is My New Apartment Haunted?

Well, no. But I downloaded an app for my new iPhone that would have you believe otherwise.

Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary is a free download in the App Store...and it's well worth the price.


Monday, July 11, 2011

100 Tears (2007)

100 Tears

Written by Joe Davison
Directed by Marcus Koch

Mark...Joe Davison
Jennifer...Georgia Chris
Gurdy the Clown...Jack Amos

Mark and Jen, two intrepid reporters for the insipid tabloid Midnight Star, grow tired of writing about the imaginary adventures of the Lizard Boy and the second coming of Abraham Lincoln's ghost.  Wanting to put together a piece about serial killers in America, they accidentally stumble upon a string of murders that are being committed right now.  The Teardrop Killer has already slaughtered dozens upon dozens of innocents, and is quickly making his way up to one hundred.  Hence the name, 100 Tears.

The police in this town must be terribly inept, because two tabloid reporters--actually fiction writers, with probably no investigative background--get farther on the case than the officials do.  They find out just who the Teardrop Killer is (a vengeful circus clown), why he began killing (accused of crimes he didn't commit), and who he is fervently searching for (a hot young blonde with a thing for self-mutilation).  The police, on the other hand, have just figured out that people are being killed every now and again.

If you took the over-the-top gruesomeness of torture porn and applied it to a slasher flick, you would wind up with 100 Tears.  I knew very little about this movie going in, other than it was a horror movie with a clown on the cover, and it was rated NC-17 for extreme violence--which sounded like a perfect recipe to me.  As you all must know by now, I love the horror genre;  I also love anything that is circus or carnival related;  And extreme violence?  It makes me smile like Chong at a fast food drive-through.  Mix them all together in a frothy brew, and I'm fucking sold.

It is a low-budget effort, and the acting is a bit rocky at times.  The plot is actually pretty anorexic, but that's standard for a slasher movie.  What is impressive here is the relentless violence and bloodshed.  I think every dime the filmmakers had went into Karo syrup, red food coloring, and a truck load of prosthetic limbs.  The initial slaughter scene at the halfway house will leave you shocked and stunned, cringing, and then you will be rubbing your hands together and demanding more.

And don't worry...there is plenty more coming.

100 Tears has a sarcastic sense of humor, which works to its advantage.  The wit is delivered through casual one-liners in normal conversations, and so doesn't detract from the horror and violence while it unfolds.  It's interesting (and probably fortunate) that the humor actually doesn't come from the clown.  The genre has enough Freddy Kruegers.

Well worth a watch if you're willing to look past the obvious flaws that go hand-in-hand with a low-budget feature.  Give it a look, hipsters!

91 Minutes
United States

"You crazy clown bastard, I just mopped these floors!"

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'm Still Around...Sorta

Heya Hipsters,

You regular readers out there may have noticed that I haven't been around much lately--my posts have slowed down to a trickle, and my comments on your blogs have essentially evaporated.  As you may or may not know, I have recently ridden the Midnite Media express to a new location, finally leaving behind the flatlands of Kansas for Colorful Colorado.  I'll still be checking in from time to time, but until I get everything situated (finding a new job, included), my contributions to the terrifying blogosphere might be a little less frequent than normal.

Just remain patient, and I shall return in all my "glory" as soon as (in)humanly possible.

Stay hip!


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