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Predator: Glenn Is a Crying Sissy Man

Arnold defies heat sensors.

“Nothing like it has ever been on earth before.”

 Hello everyone today we will look into the fabled days of 1987, when people hadn’t even imagined a movie as stupid as The Happening. Today I’m going to talk about the thrill of hunting men in the jungle for sport, and the pleasure one can derive from skinning people alive and hanging them from trees. That’s right, today I will be talking about Predator! Released in 1987, Predator follows a team of elite commandos as they conduct a dangerous mission into the depths of the Central American jungle, ostensibly on a search and rescue mission. After completing their objectives, this team of heavy hitters find themselves being stalked by an alien warrior, who is seemingly hunting them for sport. By seemingly I mean he is 100% hunting them for sport, because that is his thing, it’s apparently the thing his whole RACE does to pass the time. Why a space faring species would feel compelled to do that I couldn’t guess, but maybe they just have a lot of spare time on their hands and decided that murder was a valid outlet for their ennui WHO KNOWS. Despite the considerable prowess of the commandos, they are swiftly killed by this alien hunter, who among other advantages possesses active camouflage that makes him more or less completely invisible. As you might imagine, this makes it challenging to hit him with something like a gun. Or to even be aiming in the right direction.  Read more

Chronicle

“It’s all fun and games until everybody gets hurt.”

Today I’ll be reviewing a movie that falls under my list of “movies I swear I reviewed already but apparently I didn’t because they are not in my archives.” This is a phenomena that has led observers to believe there is a near parallel universe, where everything is the same except I reviewed some different movies. At any rate, when it was released in February of 2012, I went to go see Chronicle, a found footage style film that sucked way way less than Cloverfield (and not only because it was devoid of the legendary douchebag Hud). Starring Dane Dehaan as Andrew Witmer (who throws up on his long-time girlfriend and now wife Anna Wood during the film) Chronicle follows three high school dudes(Andrew, his cousin Matt, and Matt’s friend Steve) who discover a mysterious hole in the ground, in the woods near a rave… in a barn or something. Descending into the hole, they find a mysterious pulsing blue stone, that turns red, causing them to drop in pain and get nosebleeds. Later they discover that they have gained telekinetic abilities from the rock, and things sort of grow from there. Steve is a very driven and popular student, and Matt is a pseudo-intellectual high school douche. Andrew in comparison is a maladjusted loner, with a mother dying from cancer and an alcoholic father, who has a fascination with power and predatory behavior. So you know, basically exactly the sort of person you’d NOT want to have telekinetic abilities, or any kind of super powers, or even a motorcycle permit. maybe this movie is different though, and he won’t abuse his abilities? Read more

Night of the Living Dead

“They keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for HUMAN FLESH!…”

Good evening to everyone, it’s the week of Halloween so I thought I would report back about my trip to the live Rifftrax show I went to see on Thursday, where the MST3K gang (That is, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) were picking apart George Romero’s original ‘zombie’ film, Night of the Living Dead. This was the cult hit that spawned what we now consider to be the modern zombie film. Featuring an ensemble cast of unlikeable jagoffs who stupidly board themselves into a rickety old house, Night of the Living Dead is as much as social commentary as it is a horror movie. Really the movie has a lot to say about the era in which it was made (at which time it was a seriously controversial film, I’ll talk a bit more about that later). It’s always interesting to watch a movie from so long ago, and read people’s reactions to it, then weighed against my own reactions, watching it long after its creation. Consider for a minute that when this movie came out, it was considered gruesomely gory and violent. It was considered to be so graphic that it was described by many censors as being ‘the pornography of violence’. To a modern audience this is hilarious, the movie is black and white for starters, and the low budget (around 111,000 dollars) meant that even in black and white the effects seem silly to someone in 2013. At the time however, the depictions of people being murdered and of ghoulish, reanimated corpses devouring the remains of their victims was terrifying. Also without a standard rating system, even small children got into the theater to see this movie, and you can imagine about how well that probably went over.

World War Z

The War is Here (IN IMAX 3D!!!!!!!).

Hey everyone! It’s October, and I’ve been listing into the horror genre since early September, so I figured I’d keep the ball rolling and finally watch World War Z, a movie I’d previously avoided because it had some of the shittiest trailers I had ever seen. Were I to judge based solely on the trailer, I would assert that World War Z were the shittiest movie about zombies ever made, and let’s be honest here, that is a pretty damning statement all things considered. Fortunately, this movie isn’t THAT stupid, so we’re all spared from me having to compare it unfavorably to a movie called zombie poledancers from hell or something. Let’s all at least take solace in that. World War Z is a zombie movie made by Brad Pitt, with Brad Pitt, and for Brad Pitt, cashing in on the best selling book of the same name. Allow me to assert an important point however, which is that this movie has little to nothing to do with World War Z, save that they both involve some variety of ‘zombie’ and also sometimes guys call zombies ‘zekes’ I guess. In order to get anything but rage and chagrin from this movie, you must forget that there is a book by the same name. Taken as an adaptation World War Z is a ridiculous failure. Taken as just an action movie about zombies, it fares considerably better.

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Perfect Blue is How I Spell “Crazy”

Today I decided I would take a break from psychologically disturbed movies soaked with violence and twisted sexual motifs, and talk about an animated movie that is… all of those things I just said. Written and directed by Satoshi Kon, who’s final theatrical length work Paprika might be better known to my writers, Perfect Blue was released in 1998 and is about a J-pop idol named Mima who decides to become an actress. This seems to be going well until she is cast in a role that includes a rape scene (that she assents to despite some hesitation), and then spirals into psychological confusion and madness, while being stalked by a ‘fan’ calling themselves Me-Mania. To make matters worse, someone claiming to be Mima is keeping a detailed public journal of her life, leading Mima to question whether or not she is going coocoo batshit crazytown. This situation is complicated still further when everyone around her start dying grisly deaths, as the result of an unknown killer, possibly the aforementioned Me-Mania. While the primary plot’s affinity for violence and sexualization might at first blush seem unrefined, the direction of the plot is nuanced and pointedly raises questions about certain aspects of Japanese pop-culture.

At the center of the film the major theme is one of identity. The movie explores various facets of this idea, most importantly perhaps the nature of how we identify ourselves, and the danger posed by losing perspective on ourselves. Mima is a young woman who has a strong outward image, being a J-pop idol, but has a very tentative sense of personal identity that is at first swayed, and then shattered by the disturbing events happening around her, and about her. In fact I’d say it isn’t much of a stretch to argue that Mima’s outward idol persona is the whole problem (it certainly is literally as you will discover over the course of the movie). Because of the disconnect between Mima and the idol persona she is forced to portray, her fans become disappointed, and in some cases angry because of her shift in careers. This is a common issue with any famous people, but seems especially exaggerated with the canned idols of Japanese pop-culture, and the (mostly male) otaku who obsess over them. The idea that Mima will no longer be pristine or pure because of her new career (and particular her being in a role where her character is raped) enrages at least one fan enough to start murdering people in her ‘defense’.

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The World’s End

Hello all, this is another movie post from Justin of The Tagline! Today I will be talking about The World’s End, a comedy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This film marks the end of the “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy, an arrangement of films all directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (the other two being Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). This particular entry stars Pegg as Gary King, what I’d describe as a Grade-A Fuck-up, who gets his group of (very reluctant) high school buddies back together so that they can attempt a feat they failed in their youth: to drink their way through the 12 pubs of their hometown, one after another, in rapid succession. Despite their general disinterest and apparent resentment towards Gary, his four friends Peter, Oliver, Steven, and Andy (Frost) all agree to come along, after some cajoling/deceiving (also worth noting, if you want to establish the hierarchy of this group of friends, their last names conveniently organize them: Peter Page, Oliver Chamberlain, Steven Prince, and Andy Knightly) and it isn’t long into the endeavor that things start to seem rather strange. At first noting the homogeneity of their former haunts, it becomes quickly evident that the pubs aren’t the only things being homogenized. The town of Newton Haven has been invaded by… robots! Or, not robots, because they aren’t slaves… no-bots. Well they aren’t people!

 

Halloween (2007)

Howdy y’all, J from The Tagline here with a super irrelevant review about a movie I ONLY JUST SAW that was released six years ago!!  It IS a Rob Zombie movie. No it is not House of 1000 Corpses. I’m talking about the 2007 re-boot of the Halloween franchise, attempting to recover from the Busta Rhymes fueled crapstorm that was the 2002 Halloween: Resurrection (which I heartily recommend you see if only to watch Busta do Karate at Michael Myers). With Rob Zombie at the helm, we could all rest assured that it would be filled with blood, boobs, and people’s butt cracks. Lady butts more specifically. His wife’s butt most MOST specifically. Because he’s just a classy dude like that, and his wife portrays Michael Myers mom who is a pole dancer also. So there’s something right off the bat to look forward to! I guess! As mentioned, this film re-imagines the origin story of Michael Myers, starting with a flashback to his childhood, where we first see how shitty his life is, and then get to watch him massacre most of his family in a variety of seriously grisly ways. This sequence makes a good argument for never getting so drunk that you don’t notice someone duct taping you in place to your recliner so he can slit your throat. After this charming sequence and a fair amount of boobs and butts, we spend some time observing the troubled young lad’s therapy sessions in an asylum, with Dr. Loomis (Malcom McDowell, who I have a tough time not finding creepy no matter what). Then he kills some more people, but there are no butts in this part, so generally that was kind of a let down. We do get to see that the kid is a real aficionado of mask making. Paper mache in particular. He is a really talented fellow in that regard, if you want a horrible nightmare mask to wear around. Which naturally everyone does right?

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