The Monster (5/10)

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Super-shitty mother Kathy is driving her daughter Lizzy to see Lizzy’s dad, who she wants to live with instead of her loser alcoholic skanky-ass mom for some reason. As they are driving late that night on a desolate road through dense woods, they hit something and crash the car. They investigate and find a dead wolf, but not all of the wounds seem to be from the crash, and a huge tooth is found in one of the gashes. Once the tow-truck arrives, the driver is attacked and they realize they have bigger problems than just dysfunctional family dynamics.

So, I thought this was going to be really good. And it was, for a while. The first act did well at setting up the mother and daughter characters, and the performances were quite good. The second act was atmospheric and the monster itself was very well realized, though by this point the mother/daughter weepy flashbacks were getting a bit heavy-handed. And then the third act hits, and everyone in the movie immediately becomes a total idiot and makes the worst possible choices. Unfortunately, pathos and bathos bring down what could have been a very fine monster flick. Is it really asking too much to have a kick-ass monster wreaking havoc these days without having a heaping helping of domestic issues thrown in? Apparently, yes.

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Electra Love 2000 (5/10)

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Watching Troma’s “Electra Love 2000”. I think I have uncovered a forgotten masterpiece of campy crap.

What the hell is happening?

Holy shit this is dumb.

I’m still not sure if this is good dumb or bad dumb.

I’m leaning toward bad dumb.

If we could get some titties up in here my opinion might shift.

And now it’s a musical.

Wait, is that Kim Greist?

No, it’s not.

“Dope-addicted street-stroller.” That’s a new one.

Wait, is this based on Hamlet?

I think this is based on Hamlet.

Or maybe Hamlet is based on Electra. Either way, it seems similar.

Ho’s got hooked up with a new, scrupulous pimp.

This is getting very Shakespearean.

Definitely good dumb. Maybe not even dumb at all. Still no titties though.

Pimp Shakespeare: “Life is a hell for me. I don’t even have sex any more. Do you know who washes dishes every night around here? I do. And you call me scum.”

Ho: “If you leave us, baby, the one dry candle in our dark lives will dematerialize into the infinity of non-being.” Whoa. Deep.

Ho: “We hate men, and men hate us. That’s why we get along so well.” Oh hey, titties!

Ho, with titties out: “I knew this guy once, and he believed in the concept of enemies. And he was going to be married. And then one night he listened to the president speak on television. ‘The Enemy is Evil. The Enemy commits atrocities against his peaceful neighbor. We must rush to the aid of the peaceful neighbor. Defend peace, defend freedom, defend your God, your home, your kitty cats, your trash cans.’ And he believed him. And now he’s dead, and his fiancee is a whore. That’s the joke.” Nice titties.

Ho: “Revenge for the past isn’t good.”

Boom mike.

“The promises you make as a child are the ones you must keep.”

“Vengeance is a fire that burns inside her.”

“This is a matter for doing, not for thinking.”

This is definitely a masterpiece of something.

“How can an idiot like you beat a genius like me?”

“Divide, and conquer.”

“When we find we’ve been going in the wrong direction, we must stop, and reverse ourselves.”

Oh, weird erotic poetry!

“Between the opening of of mother’s birth and the closing casket of death. And those that do not see me, do not know the happiness they have missed.”

“I sometimes think that all of us are artists that never were.”

“Political economy is an exciting field for many.”

“Oh, ménage à cinq!”

“Are you such a civilized man, your soul can’t be touched?”

“You would be surprised at the number of things that seem wicked from the outside, but are actually quite nice from within.”

Boom mike.

“I’ve always tried to seek being from nothingness.”

Fuck, I’m out of wine.

“That is my curse. I have found too much truth. People talk a lot about truth, but they won’t pay a penny for it. Lies, they’ll pay millions for.”

“In plain English, why don’t you have the guts to murder the man that killed your father.”

“I’m a free man and I determine the meaning of this game, and it means nothing to me.”

“Cops don’t protect you, Insurance agents don’t protect you. Your deodorant doesn’t protect you. And your magic charms really don’t protect you.”

“The gods destroyed us long ago.”

“She has no tricks, she is as simple and clear as the water.”

“Fuck fate, we’re free!”

“Those of us who declare ourselves free, we’re just fools.”

I wish I had more wine.

“The men from the hunger charity are still waiting.”

“Send them in, and send in the lunch.”

“I’m as busy as a call girl on Valentine’s Day.”

There seems to be a lot of crosstalk on the audio track.

“Let me tell you, it is heaven and hell, it is sublime and terrible.”

Golf club scissors fight!

“A toast to justice! For one day, she was not blind.”

“The fighting has ended, but the echoes of bombs keep screaming inside my head.”

“Because you’re beautiful even the lies that fly out of your mouth sound pretty, like the truth. But I know better.”

Well that was different.

The Mad (6/10)

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Billy Zane, with his obnoxious daughter, her boyfriend, and Billy’s annoying new girlfriend, go to a horrible country-themed bed and breakfast where they’re all having a lousy time, when people start turning into zombies from eating bad burgers and their lousy time gets even worse. Billy’s girlfriend gets killed and Billy, being a doctor, autopsies her. The daughter’s boyfriend gets his foot eaten, then he gets shot, then attacked by a CGI mutant burger patty, and then decapitated (spoiler alert). The restaurant’s cook and waitress team up with Billy and daughter to try to escape by distracting the burger-fed zombies with swag, which proves not entirely successful.

So, you as you might have guessed, this is aiming for horror-comedy territory. And it succeeds, for the most part. Billy Zane is very good with deadpan humor, and the scenes of him and his daughter working through their family issues while fighting off burgered zombies are pretty amusing. I mean, we’re not talking Shaun of the Dead here, but it’s a fun watch. Sadly no boobs, which sucks because the daughter is a hottie.

Best line: “Has your beef been acting strangely?”

Devil’s Tower (8/10)

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A couple go up to the roof of a council high-rise to make out. Mid-snog, they suddenly start attacking each other for no apparent reason, and they both end up dead. The next day a new tenant, cutie-pie Sarah, arrives. Of course the building is shitty and full of squatters, because socialism. Sarah finds out from some friendly neighbors that she’s moving into the “murder flat”, and that the building is, of course, haunted. Soon, tenants start showing up on the antique TVs that are scattered throughout the building and start behaving very strangely and the whole building turns into a big zombie death- and fuck-fest. And then things get weird.

As you may have guessed from the word choices, this is British. That’s not terribly relevant, but I thought I’d mention it. Anywho, this starts out fairly serious, and then transitions to an almost slapstick comedy as it progresses and things go silly buggers (that’s a Britishism; I know this because I’m very cosmopolitan). This was a peculiar hybrid of family drama, ghost story, world-gone-mad, zombies, and it was quite a bit of fun. Also, there was a fair number of boobies, so that’s a point in its favor. Overall, quite worth a watch, and another good entry in the UK horror catalog. In fact, it was so good, I accidentally watched it twice.

The Good Neighbor (8/10)

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A couple of teenage douchebags decide to conduct an “experiment” on their cranky old neighbor (perfectly portrayed by James Caan) by outfitting his house with surveillance cameras and electronic gizmos designed to make him believe he is being haunted. Unfortunately, he’s already haunted by his past, and things absolutely do not go as planned.

This is definitely a “the less you know, the better” type of movie, so I’m not going to give any more detail on the plot. Suffice it to say, this is more of a multi-layered drama than a horror movie, and it is very successful in what it sets out to achieve. Highly recommended. And James Caan is freakin’ excellent.