Saturday, June 30, 2018

HOUSE OF THE DEAD

House of the Dead Movie Review

A group of twenty-somethings head to a remote island near Seattle for a rave, but when they arrive, they find the party is...dead. I remember being excited when I heard this movie was being made, as I was known to waste quarter after quarter on the arcade game this film is based on--I never made it far in the game, but I always had fun playing it in that dank carnival tent in cold, Ohio October nights. Anyway, when this movie was announced, I had no idea that Uwe Boll was going to direct it, and further, had no idea Boll would largely become known as the 21st Century's answer to Ed Wood--given that information, it will come as no surprise to you that House of the Dead is included on countless lists of the worst movies ever made, and it's easy to understand why--the acting is horrendous, the dialogue even worse, the zombies are laughable, the action is awful, and the story is an absolute mess.

"Tell us how you really feel"

I didn't even mention the directing, which is, as I am sure you are expecting, a train wreck--but honestly, much like with Ed Wood, it is in a delightful way. Boll is SO bad at directing that he brings stuff you just don't see anywhere else, so while it is indisputably awful, it is unique, and quite enjoyable. He rips off shots from The Matrix, has a visible jumping prop and various other "movie mistakes", and "House of the Dead Continuity Errors" should be made a drinking game. The unintentional hilarity will keep you rolling, as will the inexplicable cuts between the film and shots from the video game itself. 

It looks like this

As I said, House of the Dead is considered by many one of the worst movies ever made (as of this review, it sits at number 29 on IMDB's Bottom Rated list)--this cannot really be argued, but it is bad in all the right ways, making it a very entertaining movie to watch. Technically speaking, the movie is absolutely horrible, and considering that alone, it would garner a 1 or 2 rating from me (I am still shocked it actually made it to theaters); however, the fun factor more than makes up for this.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


House of the Dead Movie Trailer

Friday, June 29, 2018

SILENT HILL

Silent Hill Movie Review

A car accident in the mysterious town of Silent Hill separates Rose (Radha Mitchell, Surrogates) from her daughter, Sharon (Jodelle Ferland, The Cabin In The Woods). The mother must fight through ghosts, demons, witches, zombies, and various other forms of monsters to get Sharon back. This film, from 2006, is based on a popular video game from back in the day, but having not played the game much (an old roommate had it, and when I played it, I found it terribly boring), I won’t spend much time comparing the two. Silent Hill is the classic combination of the good and the bad, with little in between. Most of the good comes from the visuals—for being a CGI fest, a lot of the visuals are really impressive; unfortunately, a lot of the CGI is dreadfully bad as well. The movie does a great job setting a creepy mood—the blueish tint, the falling ash, and the nerve-shattering air raid siren provide an unsettling feeling that pulls you into the movie.

Get your ash out of there!

Mitchell is a fairly likable hero, and Ferland is okay in pulling triple duty (I won’t spoil anything), but most of the rest of the acting is fairly awful. For all this, however, the movie has more than a few shortcomings, beginning with the sheer amount of movie we get. With a run time of two hours, five minutes, this film is WAY too long. Sean Bean plays Rose’s husband and, as much as I am a fan of Sean’s, this movie would have been far better without his character. Bean did a good job (as a good guy!), but every scene involving him, and the characters created just to accommodate his character, slows the movie. The overall plot, and especially the dialogue, are hard to swallow, and many of the scenes become repetitive. You hope that after spending so much time with this movie that you will be rewarded with a great ending—you're not. One can only wonder how much better this movie would have been with thirty minutes shaved off and a better story, but alas, we are stuck with this.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Silent Hill Movie Trailer

Sunday, June 17, 2018

MAN-MADE MONSTER

Man-Made Monster Movie Review

Mad scientist Dr. Paul Rigas (Lionel Atwill, Murders In The Zoo, Night Monster) performs experiments on Dan McCormick (the legendary Lon Chaney, Jr., in his first horror film), a sideshow performer known as Dynamo Dan, The Electric Man (points for an awesome name). What does Rigas hope to do? Turn Dan into an electrified zombie he can control. God, I miss plots like this in movies! They were just so...so....

This!

That aside, there's unfortunately not much else going for this one. Atwill can usually be counted on to turn in a good performance, but he seems very much like a caricature of a madman instead of a convincing one. Chaney is quite effective in his role, but the rest of the cast is less than impressive. The dialogue is utterly mind-numbing at times--how many times does Rigas have to remind us he's mad? In spite of an interesting premise, the story seems to have no direction at all, leading to an ending that is as uninspired as everything before it. Still, Man-Made Monster does contain some of the elements that make films from this era so charming, and with just a 59 minutes run time, watching it won't take up much of your day.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


Man-Made Monster Movie Trailer

Saturday, June 16, 2018

THE MOLE PEOPLE

The Mole People Movie Review

After a very lengthy, uninteresting opening that features real-life English Professor Frank C. Baxter explaining hollow Earth theory, archaeologists Bentley (John Agar, Tarantula and Revenge of the Creature) and Bellamin (Hugh Beaumont of Leave It To Beaver fame) end up deep in the Earth, where they discover...

Sumerian albinos...

Monstrous mole creatures...

and a random hot chick.

Actually, the random hot chick, Adad (Cynthia Patrick), plays a fairly important part in this film, as she is the only human in the Earth realm the heroes have stumbled upon. She is given to the men, who the Inner Earth people mistake for Gods, as a gift, and a lot of other such nonsense happens. The actual creatures are fairly entertaining in that "so bad it's good" way, and our two leads are somewhat likable (unusual for this era), but the movie just sort of plods along, with very few interesting things happening...or being said, for that matter. The end is almost exactly what you expect...until it isn't, and at that moment you gasp, then wonder what the point of the whole thing was. The Mole People is one of the many films from the 1950s that swims well below the sci-fi awesomeness produced at that time, but is worth watching on a rainy Sunday afternoon nonetheless. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


The Mole People Movie Trailer

Sunday, June 10, 2018

GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla Movie Review

Desperate to stop the destruction of Godzilla, the Japanese military enlists the help of scientists to build Kiryu, or Mechagodzilla, to fight the monster. Not to be confused with the 1974 film Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (I swear I reviewed that one, but I guess not...stay tuned), this 2002 film gives us a more clearly defined genesis for the robotic monster...and he's pretty much a good guy here, battling a villainous Godzilla.

I'm A Godzilla, not THE Godzilla

We also get a side story revolving around Akane Yashiro (Yumiko Shaku) as she struggles with knowing she blew her chance of stopping Godzilla four years before the creation of Kiryu...you may or may not care about this story, but it's actually fairly interesting...by Godzilla movie standards anyway. There is a fair amount of unnecessary comedy in it, but not as much as in some of the movies from the late 1960s and 1970s, and we even get a cameo from Japanese baseball legend Hideki Matsui, who was nicknamed Godzilla when he played. Mechagodzilla is about what you would expect--a weaponized action figure operated by Akane that puts up a good fight. Speaking of fight, the battle scenes in this movie are a lot of fun, but lead to a disappointing ending. Don't give up on this one when the credits begin to roll--we have a bonus scene at the end that teases the sequel--I'll get to that one some day too.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla Movie Trailer

Sunday, June 3, 2018

BREADCRUMBS

Bread Crumbs Movie Review

A group of filmmakers shooting in a cabin in the woods are terrorized by a brother-sister duo in a rather weak take on the Hansel and Gretel story. If you've never heard of this movie, you are not alone--it is a direct-to-video, zero budget 2011 film that can be found on various DVD collections with similar movies from around the same time, each as bad as the one before it. This one tricks us right out of the gate, as the opening credits are very entertaining, but from there, the awfulness is fairly unrelenting. So one by one our porn-producing team is knocked off by quite possibly the least intimidating couple o' killers in film history.

Boring and Boringer

Almost all the action takes place off camera, but what little on-screen gore we get isn't terrible. What truly cripples this movie is...well, several things. The acting is as bad as you can imagine, the characters are very much unlikable (the one even remotely likable character is the first victim), the story is a bore, and, perhaps worst of all, the lighting is dreadfully awful--one has to wonder if they even factored that into their plans when they shot this. Speaking of shot, a lot of this movie is shot out of focus, adding to the suffering that is spending an hour and a half with this film. Check out the opening credits of this one, fast forward to some of the death scenes, and skip the ending, imagining your own movie between the few things worth watching, and you might find enjoyment in BreadCrumbs, but don't count on it.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3


Bread Crumbs Movie Trailer