Saturday, July 27, 2013

my thoughts on.... 'Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines'

Why in the heck do I keep watching these things? The first one was mediocre at best. The second was a bit of redemption for the series. The third and fourth were both garbage. Part 5, well, it was a whole new level of crap.

From the opening scenes of 'Bloodlines', you quickly realize how completely horrible this is going to be. I think that when *spoilers* the woman's hand is cut off and it opens to make the '5' in part 5.... I should have made the decision to shut it off right then. For whatever reason, I stuck it out. I tried so hard to find the good in this movie. Something that would restore what little faith I had. What I got instead, was a kick in the nuts. A hard kick in the nuts. The main characters were unlikable, the bad guys were even more so. It's as if everything in this movie was oozing with some kind of anti-charisma. However, at some point in my life, I made the decision that I would stick out every movie I watched. Because you never know when something will flip a switch or turn a corner and suddenly be the greatest movie ever made. But you would have missed it, because you gave up too soon! I didn't want to ever be that guy. Oh well, my mistake.

The basic story line here, if you can call it a story, is this: A group of college students, go on a trip for the Mountain Man Festival on Halloween in West Virginia. The festival is similar to Coachella or Burning Man or any of those big festivals going on these days. The big difference is that it allows the insane, inbred killers to walk around freely.... unnoticed by the general population. By a freak accident, the college students encounter the group of cannibals, who want to save their cousin from jail. The only reason he's in jail, is because of the freak accident. Soon they're in a fight for their lives as they try to keep the cousin in jail and themselves from being eaten.

By the way, the scene on the cover of the DVD.... it never happens in the movie.

Are you interested to watch it now? I sure hope not.

Everything about this movie is wrong. Everything about it is cliched and dumb. This is what's wrong with horror film making today. There is no soul here. It's just an attempt at a cash grab, with a failing franchise that is on its last leg. They got no name actors to fill in the parts. They spent all of their money on Doug Bradley (Pinhead from the 'Hellraiser' franchise) and he does the best with what he has. I would go so far as to say that he's the ONLY reason to watch this train wreck. The characters make stupid decisions which lead to their stupid deaths. The cruelty and viciousness that the inbreds dispatch with the students is horrible. It's like a car accident that you can't turn your head a way from. The budget left over after hiring Doug, made it difficult to make this movie seem realistic. They basically are on a closed set for 80% of the movie and it's obvious. The lighting crew tried to hide that fact, but it's so blazingly obvious that only Stevie Wonder might miss it. It's also very clear that they couldn't afford to pay the cast for the whole shoot, as they all vanish after the first act. The streets of this city are basically abandonded. The reason? The music festival. Yeah.... whatever. They also seem to be suffering from a severe lack of cell phones and modes of transportation. Also, they're fighting 3 inbreds over 1 other inbred. How can 3 inbreds take out about 7 - 10 young and healthy people, one of whom has access to a police station full of weapons!?!? The other thing is, why didn't they just leave right away? If the sheriff was aware of how much of a ghost town it would be once the festival started, why wouldn't she take that as a hint to hot foot it out of there? It was very obvious, very quickly that she was in deep doo doo. Why not cut your losses and run? Why was the make up so bad that I could clearly see they were wearing masks?

By the end of this movie, I had basically given up. The make up was piss poor. The script was about as entertaining as reading the phone book. Nothing about this movie made me glad that I wasted the time on it! Then, to top it all off, the last girl left.... makes the dumbest decisions ever. And she continues to make them until the credits roll. It's like she was dropped on her head as a child and as a result.... she became an idiot. Ugh. Just writing about this movie is dropping my IQ.

In summary, don't watch this. Nuff' said. This is the final nail in the 'Wrong Turn' coffin, I hope. I don't think that the world could survive a sixth one. 2 out of 5 stars and the 2 I did give it were solely for Doug Bradley, nothing else. And one final thing: (*spoilers*) everyone dies and the one, stupid girl that remains.... is doomed to be raped by 4 inbred serial murderers in North Carolina. WOW! That sounds fantastic! Not.

If you are looking for something else to watch: 'Wrong Turn 2' (if you HAVE to watch one of them), 'The Hills Have Eyes' (either of them/ original or remake) and 'Mutants'

Friday, July 26, 2013

my thoughts on.... 'The Collection'

I really enjoyed all of the 'Saw' films. I own them all and have seen them all, several times. What does that have to do with 'The Collector' and/or 'The Collection'? A lot, actually. Marcus Dunstan, co-writer and director of the 'Collector' films, was also the co-writer of parts 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the 'Saw' films. Maybe that's enough of an endorsement to sway you one way or the other, right off the bat. Maybe now. Either way, I really appreciate Mr. Dunstan's love of the genre and he has quite the eye for horror. His films have their own unique voice and vision. While they might not be the top of the heap, they're pretty damn amazing overall.

I recently talked about, on episode 65 of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour', the new crop of horror directors to keep an eye on. For whatever reason, I passed over Marcus Dunstan and that was a shame on my part. I'm now officially adding him to my list. I mean, after seeing how his films evolved from 'The Collector' to the 'The Collection', I can see big things in his future. His visual style reminds me of an early Alexadre Aja ('High Tension'). There was something very fresh about both of these films. This review is really for 'The Collection', but I feel that there should at least be some mention of the other films he's worked on. The world that 'The Collector' set up, is very similar to the world of 'Saw'. Where those films end, seems to be where 'The Collection' begins. It's almost as if it was a hybrid of those films.

'The Collection' begins with a brief back story on our main heroine and then quickly jumps right into the meat of the film. With the characters having already been established in the last film, there's no need for a ton of exposition. That, to me, is the way a sequel should be. You soon are re-introduced to the main character from the last film and all hell breaks loose from there. It's as if 'The Collector' was the appetizer and 'The Collection' is the main course. This film is amped up heavily with more kills, bigger sets, bigger production value, a meaner killer, a stronger set of heroes and a whole lot of horror. There's so much good going on in this film, that it's hard to find the negative. The big thing to keep in mind though, is that this is a horror film and not an academy award nominated film. It's meant to entertain and scare you, nothing more. Granted, he re-invents the wheel in some ways, but this won't re-write the genre. There's a lot of things here that are familiar, but it doesn't matter.... because there's so much more that's new and interesting. It's as if The Collector is Bruce Wayne/Batman, if he was a psychotic mass murderer with no remorse and no regrets. Not unlike the much lower budgeted 'Laid To Rest' movies. Those follow a very similar character arc and storytelling. The big difference is style and budget. Those are by far the lower budget movies. Mr. Dunstan seems to have some people with money that think he has promise and something new to say. It shows.

I feel like I'm heaping a whole lot more praise on these films then I did after the first time I saw them, but over time.... I've seen other movies and grown to appreciate what I missed the first time out. 'The Collection' is a fun, thrill ride that starts out strong and never really lets up. It has a memorable and likable cast. It has characters you actually care about and root for and it gives you an ending that leaves you feeling full and satisfied. It begs the question of a sequel, but doesn't assume that one will actually happen. My hope is, that it will spawn another installment, as I want to see where things go. I never expected these films to become a franchise, but with the path it's taken, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes on a life not unlike 'Saw' did. There's a potential here for another horror soap opera of epic scope. Even the potential to turn an extremely dark villan into a really dark anti-hero. I don't want to provide any spoilers for the endings, but things could head many different directions in part three.

If you're like me and you think that you've seen everything....twice, then this might be the film(s) for you. It's like settling down for another viewing of 'Friday the 13th' on a 25 year old VHS copy, that's been watched to death. Then, suddenly, putting in a Blu-ray special edition of it and watching it in full stereo surround sound on a 100 inch flat screen. It's night and day. This is the way horror should be made. Again, it's not the greatest ever and it's not adding anything new to the genre. It's really just a clean, fresh breath of air on a hot, muggy day. Just what that doctor ordered, whether you realized you needed it or not. It also has instilled a firm belief in me that Marcus Dunstan is a man to watch. He's just getting warmed up and I feel that there's some more amazingness headed our way soon. Mark my words.

3 out of 5 stars, heavily leaning on 4.

If you like 'The Collection', watch: 'The Collector', 'Laid To Rest' and 'Laid To Rest 2: Chromeskull'

It's a show! ep 66 of 'The Kpants' is online!

The 66th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

I can't seem to keep it under an hour.... Oh well. This weeks topics include healthcare, the "sameness" in the adult industry and jealousy. It's a fun little show, where I sound awful. That's it, ENJOY!

Songs played this week:

1) Drop The Bomb by Stripwired

2) The Only One by dZ

3) Down The Line by Pretty Visitors

4) Moonlight Everlasting by Fools Chaos

5) Soft Plastic by Halilopeux

6) In A Bubble by The Binge

Friday, July 19, 2013

HOLY CRAP! That's huge! ep 65 of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Massacre'....!

The 65th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

It's another JAM packed episode! This week, it's all about 'The Art of the Franchise' and movies. Topics include: the 'Evil Dead' franchise, why tiny TV's and foreign films make film watching more interesting, new CD and DVD/Bluray releases and the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' franchise. This is a horror lovers dream.... or nightmare. Sit back, relax and ENJOY!

Songs played this week:

1) Zombie Party Time by Mothra Slapping Orchestra

2) Sleep by Scott The Poolboy

3) Alive by Daznez

4) Reno Nevada by The Great American Robber Barons

5) Kiss You One Last Time by Tom Bertram

6) Watch Maker by Before The Flood

7) Watch Maker (acoustic) by Before The Flood

Thursday, July 11, 2013

it's BIG and it's LOUD! it's my AC unit.... and episode 64 of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....!

The 64th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

I'm back! And please pardon the AC unit blaring in the background.... it's too damn hot to turn it off. Next week, I may just have to, as it's way too noisy. Anyway, this week is a big show....again! Topics include: birthdays, cancelled TV shows, finding joy in everyday tasks and a recent decision by the AMA. It's controversial and fun. ENJOY!

Songs played this week:

1) Getting Wild by The Getdowns

2) Fresh Guacamole by Roger Houdaille

3) Reduce To White Noise by A New Ending

4) Space Girl by Matthew Heller

5) I Promise You by Jara

6) Last Goodbye by 2 Sided Story

Friday, July 5, 2013

ep 63.5 of The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour.... will fill a small hole.

The 63 and a half episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here!

This is a supplemental episode of the show, just to tide you over. I really don't talk about anything much.... but I do play one of my favorite bands, The Used.... and a little loud/soft/loud/screaming chick Flyleaf. It's more of a 'Snack' than a full episode. ENJOY!

Songs played this week:

1) Hospital by The Used

2) I'm So Sick by Flyleaf