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All reviews - DVDs (113)

bland but not outright bad

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 22 August 2009 08:33 (A review of Nightmare Man (After Dark Horrorfest))

nightmare man is a scary movie that is unfortunately not very scary. there are a few 'shock' sort've moments but they're not enough to save the rest of the movie.

the plot is about a woman who may or maynot be crazy; its an early easy setup that there's more than meets the eye about the terror that stalks the woman. its a little confusing because too much is left untold to determine how to relate the phenomenal and the more natural parts of the story. for instance her insanity is caused after she receives a rather ugly 'fertility mask' to help the couple get pregnant. but we learn later that in truth the masked man haunting her is a plot to kill her...except she is in fact possessed by a demon.

honestly by the end of this movie i could care less about the plot itself...its all done before and not particularly done well here...i was simply trying to enjoy it as a pointless slasher film. that's were this movie really fails. as a 'plot' driven movie it stumbles creatively. as a slasher film it only occasionally gives us a moment of gore and then expects us to sit through plot doldrums and poor attempts at wit (truth or dare games, anyone?!! they should be banned from horror movies. porn scripting? maybe.). in the end its tolerable but hardly good. younger kids might like the movie but then again parents wouldn't want their kids to see this kind've semi-soft porn antics laced on top of an otherwise tame horror film.

ps if you're interested in this because martin moll is in it....its a really really brief line or two in darkness (you can barely tell its him).


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boring

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 19 August 2009 04:24 (A review of Dark Reel)

turned this movie off before it ever ended...and could care less.

i usually watch movies through even when they're bad. somehow i feel like i learn something about how not to make a bad movie by seeing how it goes wrong. that is not something that i'd recommend to someone else but for me i'll tolerate a lot. this movie on the other hand was just too boring to bother with. tv soaps are far more interesting.

it starts with a pseudo black and white film noir murder (clearly its filmed in color and converted to black and white). it missed being perfect by far but was reasonably watchable homage. then time advances forward 50 something years....and theres a sudden fall off of any attempt at anything interesting. the acting is horrible, porn level soap opera. the writing is at best a sketch of an idea that was used as a script rather than finished out. in fact, every step and every part of this movie is a meager sketch of what a movie should be. why this was finished out and produced as a movie, i can't figure out.

my props to the camera work...its fair...and the music...which is good. the rest of the film is a total waste.


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awful in every respect

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 9 August 2009 03:14 (A review of Automaton Transfusion)

automaton transfusion is the worst movie i've seen in a long long time. it may very well be the worst movie i've ever seen. in every regaurd this movie is an outright failure.

since its the equivalent of a highschool project, lets grade it:

title - F (has nothing to do with the film)

plot - D (the plot is a group of people try to survive a zombie infestation caused by...we learn in the last 10 minutes...the military's genetic tinkering to make human weaponry. there is nothing else to the movie...nothing! what little suggestions of subplots exists are abandoned entirely. bullies, father figures, military...its all filler.)

script - F (mostly its clear the director just said "ok, action....um...you're being chased by zombies...um...say something". of course there are scenes were a script was needed. you will notice these because the actors give flat readings of the lines or awkward and inappropriate emotional inflections like the first day of an acting class)

acting - F (not sub-par...BAD! over-the-top at points, inappropriate inflections, blatant reading of lines, etc. there is simply not a single moment in the movie with a hint of decent acting. i say this not to be grandiose...its simply true. also these are suppose to be highschool students; all of them are 20's to 30's maybe even older. they have tattoos, they use outdated terms like they have no clue what they mean, they pretend to be young again and it shows. their characterizations are bad stereotypes.)
camera work - D (not awful but barely a scene that you'd call a decent shot. almost all of the angles are bad. the quality skips around, the effects almost never make any sense...they are usually done to cover up other failures. like shaky choppy camera work during a attack scene because there was not a proper sequencing done.)

editing/post production - F (ok granted they didn't have much to work with but still. scenes don't necessarily connect together. one scene is quickly cut because an actor laughed as he was being pulled away by zombies. another should have been cut because its clear the actress is reading the lines from a paper. a lot of the scenes should have been cut because they're lousy. they might have ended up with a short film...but then we wouldn't have to sit through 1hr and 15mins of this awful bore. the fighting scenes are a mess. any scene that required a continuity is a mess. also, there are scenes were some sort've filter effect makes the people look almost cartoon-ish for absolutely no reason given the moments they describe. in fact there's some sort've effect over a lot of the dialog in the film which is bizarre and gives many moments a difficult inappropriate drama that seems oddly distant and dreamlike.)

special effects - C (some of the 'gore' elements are ok. they're nothing special but not poorly done. the best scene is a where one of the girls falls from a balcony and hits a ledge...nicely done except then she's floating in a pool without any blood when they show blood where she hit the ledge. whatever, at that point in the movie it was just nice to see something actually done decently)

ending - F (honestly it made me laugh out loud. if you're going to end the worst film ever made why not just end it and scroll "To be continued" across the screen. as if anyone would ever watch another part to this. nice.)

final - F (there is nothing good about this film. nothing.)


i've seen a lot of movies, i've seen a lot of bad movies. i've seen horror movies that fail, zombie movies that drug on and generally sucked. this is the worst of those. there is not a redeeming quality to any of this film.

cult status - never! i can appreciate movies that are "so bad they're good" but this can't even rise to that. theres a moment near the end where they run into the school gym and stop to read a bible quote thats hanging as a banner there. for a moment i thought this film was a religious film masquerading as a zombie movie...and honestly i would have been ok with that, it would have justified much of the poor quality of the film. but that scene is completely abstract to everything else in the movie, its never anticipated and never followed up, it has no purpose.
look at my list of dvds, its nearly a thousand at this point...full of guilty pleasures, cheese, some profound, some great, some effective etc. this is the worst dvd i own and couldn't even respect it enough to pawn off on someone else. i honestly may just throw it away.

pick up a camera, tell your friends to 'act', you'll accomplish equal or better than this almost assuredly. every person involved in this film should leave it off of their resumes if they ever want to work again. the fact that they allowed this to get out into the public tells me they're too stupid to achieve anything beyond this.


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50

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 7 August 2009 05:46 (A review of Chilling Classics (50 Movie Pack Collection))

to be continued till finished...really who knows if i'll ever manage to sit through all of these. i'm sure some suck beyond all belief and others are fair if mediocre copies of them. here's my reviews of the ones i did watch as i watched them:

"bad taste" peter jackson directed this movie which sometimes gets called a zombie movie...its not in any way. take one look at movies like this and then his resume and you'll wonder how the hell he got the 'lord of the rings' gig...and then how the hell he pulled it off. there's nothing suggesting that level of competence here. this at best is a low brow british comedy knock off with a bit of horror mixed in. all the comedy is delivered in that high nasal pitch and drunken slur of australian's accent. since this particular dvd of it offers neither subtitles nor closed captioning, you're certain to miss a good amount of the dialog. of course you could follow the movie without dialog, its fairly simple.
basically a group of aliens invade a town and are harvesting the people to send back to their world as food. the movie follows a group of 'fighters' of some sort that are tracking them and attempting to stop them. an unknowing 'salesman' sort've character gets caught by the aliens and he's going to become a roast for a celebration. the team of fighters are there to set him free. fighting ensues.
the movie starts horrible; bad filming of a school project quality, bad acting, silly jokes. it does actually get better all around and in the end its a decent watchable movie. the jokes are always silly but strange enough to keep your attention. the plot is unique, the characters are quirky for sure. at an hour and a half you'd think...especially given the slow beginning and other way to slow scenes...that this movie would be hard to tolerate all the way through. truthfully though its a good pace all and all. its not perfect by far but unique enough and good enough to be worth a watch. cult material for sure.


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a slow decline

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 6 August 2009 02:18 (A review of Living Doll [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC])

this movie is not so much snails paced as it is the frozen corpse of a snail paced. honestly 14 minutes into the movie i was hoping it was done. its not that its really bad and its difficult to pinpoint why it drags so much. its probably due to the rather over-the-top almost theatrical characters and the rather mundane dialog they have. think william shatner reading the phone book for an hour...

it has to be over half way through the movie before the main character takes home a corpse of the woman he loved. from there it does get bizarre but its more sad than shocking. here's a man who so loved a woman he believes she's fine when we see her rotting away in his apartment. a few moments where he's almost caught provide a tiny bit of tension, but not much. its also in these moments though that are mistakes in the movie because its clear in some of them that he's aware people will know this woman is dead although we're suppose to believe he believes she's alive.

if you manage to make it through the majority of the movie, its not until the last 15 minutes that the corpse begins to "tell him" to kill her ex-boyfriend. which he eventually does in a nice and effective scene. then he proceeds to "lose it" in a scene which is the wildest and quickest paced of the movie; its a bit of a strip tease with a trassexual hooker. which he is "shocked" by and immediately kills.

i can't imagine most people sitting through this...i may have just been too tired to turn it off or morbidly curious about how this was going to last an hour and a half...let alone absolutely anyone watching it twice.

truly its not horrible just dull and very very slow.


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not bad but...

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 6 August 2009 02:06 (A review of Mulberry Street (After Dark Horrorfest))

there are some nice elements to this movie and its an enjoyable escape but it won't be your favorite guaranteed.

the movie is a blatant combination of a number of other movies. granted most movies are, this one just doesn't live up to its potential.

clearly inspired by 28 days later and other new zombie movies. this movie tries to carve a niche by making the zombies turn into rat-people-zombies. at first the few we see are stumblers and groaners but then they become these feverishly quick neo-zombies infested by rats that turn their behaviors and, unfortunately somewhat laughably, their physical characteristics into nearly unstoppably powerful rat like humans that eat other humans entrails and turn them into more rat-like-zombie people. until all of manhattan island has to be quarantined. yes, somehow no one who got infected left manhattan.....(if you've lived there you know this is obviously impossible, clearly whoever wrote this hasn't lived there or is a moron).

there are some stunning moments, some nice gore, a rise in the amount of problems that come up (not so much the tension in the movie but the amount of instances that become known). there are a few subplots which don't really go anywhere, but are fair enough. acting wise the film is surprisingly good, with unknown actors holding their ground well and developing decent characters.

the strange thing here is that everything seems to be going well for the movie...not grand but good....and then it ends in a drop dead halt. an ending that definitely will leave you asking "thats the end?" when does "part II - the ending" come out? to be fair, a lot of the stories were carried through and there is an ending of sorts...but it definitely didn't clear up a lot of things. it didn't even suggest how this all happened and it leaves you with only 2 of the main characters alive, both of which are abducted by bio-suit wearing military people. thats the end scene...i tell you because its not a 'spoiler' its a 'wtf?' so abrupt that it nearly ruins the efforts of the rest of the movie which i found to be quite decent actually.

well, i'm not sure i really wanted to rate this but rather hope that they actually do make a second part that fills in all the left out details and brings this movie to the credit it could deserve. if they don't make a second part, and do a similar or better job, than this one remains unfortunately flawed.





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soap operas in SPACE!!!

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 4 August 2009 02:56 (A review of Battlestar Galactica - The Complete Epic Series)

to be finalized as watched


disk one; side one: "Saga of a Star World" a 3 part pilot introduces the the main characters and plots in a long 2 and a half hour movie. basic plot: peace with an enemy group of mechanical men called Cylons is found to be a trap, but found too late. the planets of 12 different colonies are destroyed and most of the remaining people are scurried onto what remains of a fleet of miscellaneous star ships led by the Battlestar Galatica. their planets destroyed, their people mostly killed, many had to be left to die, and those that made it onto the ships are also finding problems. shortage of food, no where to run, in a last ditch effort they end up on a planet called Carillon. Carillon is suppose to be nothing but mines, instead they find a vast casino that is inifinately inviting. something seems amiss, and they're right. a colony of bee like people have made a deal with the cylons to please the people. the ultimate traitor involved in all the downfall schemes is Baltar, he sold them out to start with, sets up a awards ceremony on this planet to honor all the remaining starfighters, all in a bit to have control over the people. the scheme is unmasked and the plot foiled...and in the end, they are no better off having come to the planet.
some things i found interesting: today we know to find the space scenes a bit silly. sound, lasers firing, jets designed for air, and other unexplained phenomena. whats more surprising is that when you see scenes of small crafts against planets or larger crafts you'll definately see the cut out and paste methods used in filming. their is no digital corrections of this (not even for the dvd). this is the way it was...and theres no need to correct it...we get the point.
in one of the first scenes that we meet Starbuck, he's smoking a cigar! no kidding...didn't expect that really. its been a long time since i've seen any of these, and i don't recall him smoking honestly. but something just seems really strange about people on space crafts that are smoking non-nonchalantly.
frankly much of the stage sets seem obviously rough. this is far more of a blatant soap opera than we expect today. its about the stories and the characters...leave the gimmicks for the fighting scenes.
the cylons are pretty convincing as enemy beings. the bee people are old school star trek cheese. fun of course but dated to.
bonus material: i didn't watch it all, and probably won't. i watched the deleted scenes. theres over 30 minutes of material provided here that didn't make it to print. much of it is rough cut (not bad quality but not brought to clean show material). only one scene is a little difficult to hear, and a few are clearly stand-in voices meant to be filled in later. all in all, interesting stuff...i couldn't say what it means to the plot to have some of these "alternative" concepts left out. i can say the "socialator" (aka "prostitute") tells starbuck to "make an apointment" (aka "take a number")...that was a good scene to cut...a bit to far with that one. the prostitute part was shocking enough.


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unique and beautiful

Posted : 8 years, 2 months ago on 2 August 2009 05:11 (A review of Happy Together)

probably one of the most difficult wong kar wai films i've seen. for several reasons.
one thing that'll make this film difficult for many people is the homosexuality. what ever you think of homosexuals, it will affect how you view the film. for me its a mixed lot. i actually like that wkw doesn't question the things that these two men do, but rather looks at their relationship with all its ups and downs. but when the main character stoops to the lows of his boyfriend's promiscuity, i personally wish he hadn't...its a bit difficult to love either of these guys. i guess wkw would want it that way...but i'd prefer someone who was lovable.
i'll put it this way: if you hate homosexuality you'll have a difficult time with the intimate scenes. they are no where near as raunchy as most sex scenes that happen in most movies. there is no nudity (more or less) in the film (the closest thing to nudity in the film doesn't involve sexual encounters). its the suggestion of what they are doing and the up close and personal feeling of it. if you don't mind this however, and truthfully there's not much of it, you'll still come across scenes which suggest casual anonymous public bathroom sex and sex acts in theaters, etc. its not love that it shows in these scenes and in these scenes its about the failures of a relationship through promiscuous activities. it doesn't outright say this, but it doesn't paint it in a positive light either. it displays this as something that does happen and probably isn't a good thing.

the addition of a 3rd guy is typical for a story but a strange aside. especially when he gives his 1st person narrative point of view. as at best a secondary character, this is an difficult shift for the main narrative.

ultimately this entire movie is about the hope of love and the failures that happen, but the memories that remain.

also difficult is the filming itself. actual film was used and its beautiful to see in all its grittiness. for some this is going to seem difficult. wkw cuts between black & white and color for seemingly no reason at all. theres nothing for me wrong with that. i like seeing both. some people will find this odd. also there is a great deal of the filming that lets the raw details come forward; weird exposure, wavy exposure, grain, scratches, somewhat tin like or roomful sound, hissing of the audio tracks, jumpy camera moments. all this is nothing like a hollywood film, its nothing like even a fair indy film, this is shear joy of the media. not the kind've hommage nostalgia that tarintino used in the grindhouse films...this is the real deal.

all in all i liked the movie a lot. its sad, a bit difficult, but worthy. its a unique film, and a unique story. this is the kind of movie you see because its good, not because its heavily advertised and prommoted big budget fluff.

if you're a homophobic, steer clear...you won't make it passed the opening scene. watch titanic or some other dumbed down hollywood fluff instead.


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a true classic

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 10 July 2009 03:35 (A review of Freaks)

freaks is a must see movie. it has everything a movie should have and a bit beyond that. that was the gimmick and that's what it delivered. a horror story with true sideshow "horrors".

the story is fairly simple: revenge for being mistreated and humiliated. a true love that's broken apart by a scheming tramp (and her real lover) to get at the wealth of another. the twist is of course that it pits circus "freaks" against "normal" people.

there are a number of things which are not what you'd expect. firstly and most importantly, the "freaks" are not sidekick or second tier bit players...they are the leading actors. the two dwarfs that play two of the main parts deliver their lines in the slow and difficult waveringly high pitched speech that is typical of their condition. there are a number of other "oddities" that are shown for their particular skills as circus performers. while its been called exploitative, this film at least to me captures them for who they are and what they performed. it gives them and their skills a loving place within a script where they aren't really needed but then again the film doesn't go out of its way to shock you...simply show you. it accomplishes this primarily by another unexpected aspect. there is almost no filming inside the tent/ring. what there is shown of this is a handful of brief glimpses at best. the entirety of the film focuses on the behind the scenes. hince, it shows these people as people going about their lives, for all intents and purposes, like everyone else in the business. they have special skills which are admired but not laughed at and not shown as appalling. lastly of course is the shocking ending, in which the "freaks" take their revenge as a collective for the wrongs done to one of them. this is a horror movie and while it does inevitably make some mistakes in representing these people, it does it in the spirit of the story.

to me at least, i distinguish the difference between the respect for the real people and the need for the story. of course when the film was made it ran into all kinds of problems. the director knew it would and clearly believed it was still meaningful. he barely got the film made, stepped into "talkies" which he isn't known for to present these people. when it was done and shown, audiences where appalled, critics hated it, and almost no one appreciated it. it wasn't until the 60's, 30 years after its release, that it began to be seen again. we can be thankful that the film survived. i can imagine this being destroyed for how poorly it was received initially. by the 60's counterculture was desired and this film fit into that mode of thinking. to this day, however, the film has a questionable presence. people remain unsure if it is exploitative or admirable. in the end, its a movie and for that its a grand one. beautiful black and white filming of beautiful, if somewhat unusual, people (the 'normal' people are some beautiful people as well), and a great story well told.

the dvd has alternative endings and a documentary on the film. the alternative endings part is disappointing. some historian describe the original ending for way too long and then they play the same ending thats in the 'restored' movie (the movie in the dvd). whats troubling about that is what he describes has more to it than whats in the film. and what he describes, if it exists, is never shown. the 'alternative' endings are cuts made to the full ending. apparently over time and situations people reduced the amount shown at the end because it was found to be too disturbing. the reduced 'alternative' endings are simply that. take the ending in the dvd, cut parts out, cut parts of the sound out, then cut more out and thats what you have. so technically the alternative endings are just less than the original. eh. and the documentary, which goes on a bit too long, talks about the individuals and the making of the film. no one from the film is part of this, modern carnies and historians and other 'freaks' are interviewed. take the two 'little people' in the documentary; one was friends with the main actor both of whom worked together in the "wizard of oz" and the other is just another 'little person' actor totally unrelated. its interesting enough to hear more about these people but it does drag on a bit.

the film is what you buy this to see. and its worth every penny and more. this is the kind of movie you can watch again and again and still appreciate and enjoy it. its a masterpiece of cinema and a true oddity.





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kosher treat

Posted : 8 years, 3 months ago on 8 July 2009 04:58 (A review of Night of the Living Jews)

ok so you know when you're getting into this movie that its a parody of night of the living dead. you can't expect much from it, really. and you won't get much here either.

frankly, its more of a skit than a movie. the box claims it runs 20 minutes but it hardly manages that. even that seems a bit too long since the joke runs thing quickly. scenes do drag mainly because of the really bad acting but also because you've guessed the joke before they've finished the punch line.

for what looks like a fairly nicely done student project, it comes off pretty well. its entertaining, nothing profound, but it also doesn't stick around long enough to become tedious.

the dvd also has several other shorts. one is a sort've 'girls gone wild' stripping audition thing thats about as crude as you couldn't imagine. the second is seeming an add for heeb magazine that is perverse and then honestly shocking.....don't know what to say about that one....its twisted.

good for a laugh. just don't expect a movie...its barely 15 minutes of a gag.



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