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June 24th, 2015 Movie – Behemoth

behemoth

Holy cow. I know they said a possibility of thunderstorms but that one just kind of escalated quite a bit. Well, with weather like this, I think a Syfy original movie is just the thing to watch. Today’s movie is another one from the Maneater Series. Wow, with the movies I just received I own almost every movie in the series. With only two movies left to go, I guess I could go ahead and buy them to complete the series but I will probably wait a bit before I do that. But enough babbling. It’s time for me to watch today’s movie, Behemoth.

The plot: Two government agents are taking readings on Mt. Lincoln when a sudden tremor occurs, killing both of them. Further down the mountain, Thomas Walsh is heading up a job site when a tremor causes a branch to fall on one of his crew. When he gets the truck so the rest of his crew can load the injured man into the back, they discover that the man is dead. After talking with the sheriff, Thomas heads to his home in Ascension and discovers that his dad, William, has covered a wall of the house with all sorts of drawings and neither Thomas or his sister, Grace, can make sense of them. Meanwhile geologist Emily Allington is studying some seismic anomalies around Mt. Lincoln and heads to the mountain to check some sensors and get a better look at things and discovers that CO2 is leaking from the ground. The next day, Emily heads back up the mountain to take some more readings while Thomas winds up guiding government agent Jack Murray up the mountain to where the two agents’ camp was located. When Emily witnesses the side of a cliff explode outwards, she meets up with Thomas and Jack and while Jack continues up the mountain to find some equipment, Thomas and Emily head back to Ascension to get people to evacuate. Meanwhile, Grace and her boyfriend, Jared, have gone camping on the mountain when they see a giant eye and tentacle emerge from a hole in a cliff face and head back down. When Thomas hears that Grace is on the mountain, he and Emily head back up to find her while William heads to the local diner to get his friend Zoe and take her with him to evacuate when a tremor causes the diner to collapse into a sink hole, but they manage to escape through a hatch in the roof. Thomas and Emily meet an injured Jack, who explains why he was on the mountain, when a tentacle suddenly appears and knocks Jack aside before disappearing up the mountain. Jack is fatally injured and convinces Thomas to find the equipment, which contains a weapon that will destroy the monster, They find the case and then save Grace but are unable to save Jared as he falls into a sinkhole and is eaten by the creature. The trio head to a nearby ranger station, where a helicopter is kept, when the creature suddenly emerges from the mountain. As Emily and Grace prep the helicopter for takeoff, Thomas assembles the weapon and fires a rocket down the throat of the creature. The creature’s head explodes and Thomas and the girls use the chopper to fly back down where they are reunited with William and Zoe.

I liked this movie. The acting was good all around. I honestly think Ed Quinn is a really good actor but I have a feeling that he is going to wind up typecast into these roles. Still, he will always be Nathan Stark to me, no matter how many movies he makes. I also liked William B. Davis and his portrayal of William. The plot was great. I mean, there is always a “world is going to end” movie and I liked that they had a giant monster that would be the cause instead of the usual asteroid or natural disaster. I liked how the beast was never totally revealed until the end of the movie, you merely see glimpses of it (an eye, the tentacles, the mouth). The effects were decent for the most part although there were some scenes with the tentacles where the CGI wasn’t as good as others. A fun movie to watch, especially on a rainy day like today.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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June 23rd, 2015 Movie – Atlantic Rim (a.k.a. Attack From Beneath)

atlantic rim

So I got some gift cards for my birthday and my first thought was to buy a bunch of movies. But no, I was somewhat responsible and got a few things that I needed….then I bought a bunch of movies. Now before I even saw today’s movie, I liked it just for the title alone. See, this is one of The Asylum’s “mock-busters”, otherwise known as a spoof of a major motion picture. Since they were spoofing Pacific Rim, they decided that their movie needed to focus on giant monsters appearing from a different ocean to fight guys in robot suits. Thus we have the genius that is Atlantic Rim.

The plot: In the Gulf of Mexico, a mini-sub is checking a debris cloud around a oil rig when contact with the sub is lost. As the lead operator on the rig figures out what to do, a giant monster suddenly surfaces and destroys the rig. During a military briefing, Dr. Margaret Adams suggests the use of Armada Program, giant robotic suits intended for deep sea search & rescue, to try and find the missing rig. The three man team (Red, Tracy, and Jim) dive down to 800 fathoms and discover the mangled rig when they spot the monster. They start to pursue the monster but when they refuse to follow an order to stop, Dr. Adams is forced to remotely kill the power to the suits, but Red is out of range and continues chasing after the creature. Red surfaces and warns the people on the beach to evacuate just before the monster surfaces and attacks Red. Red has difficulty dealing with the monster but with the help of Naval pilot “Spitfire”, he is able to kill the monster. After the battle, Red is arrested and for disobeying a direct order from a superior officer and thrown into a holding cell, but Admiral Hadley briefly releases him so he can be given a medal of honor. Later, Admiral Hadley is told by Sheldon Geise of a top secret sonar program that discovered two eggs, one of them hatching the creature that Red killed. Admiral Hadley orders a naval fleet to search for the egg, but the creature hatches and destroys the naval fleet before heading ashore and attacking the base. Jim and Tracy break Red out of the holding cell and are picked up by Lt. Wexler, who tells them that the base is being evacuated. Sheldon argues with Admiral Hadley, saying that the President has authorized the use of a nuclear strike, but Hadley refuses and instead orders a B-2 bomber to drop it’s payload on the monster, causing it to retreat back into the sea. When a third creature is discovered heading towards New York, Dr. Adams upgrades the suits to use a neural halo, allowing the suits to mimic the movement of their operators, and sends them to New York. As the team fight the creature, the learn of a drawback to the neural interface, when the suits are damaged, the operators feel pain. Geise secretly orders the USS Virginia to launch a nuke at the monster but Red intercepts the missile and prevents it from detonating. Geise then orders Dr. Adams to shut down the suits or he will shoot the Admiral. Geise is stopped by Lt. Wexler, but not before Geise manages to shoot Admiral Hadley in the arm. When Tracy blacks out from the neural interface, Jim goes to rescue her while Red grabs the creature, jabs the missile into it’s back, and flies into space. Once he is at a high enough altitude, he kicks the creature away, causing the nuke to detonate and Red to go crashing down to Earth. Red ends up crashing into the other suits but manages to survive and along with Admiral Hadley and the rest of his team, heads to a local bar for a round of tequila shots.

I liked it because of the title but watching it made me like it even more. . The acting was pretty decent although there were times that it was a bit over the top. I think Steven Marlow was using the “Jack Bauer” manner of acting, where he seems to scream his lines out half the time. The story was pretty good and you could definitely tell it was spoofing Pacific Rim, even without the giveaway in the title. The special effects were pretty good for an Asylum picture. The robots and monsters both looked good, although some of the scenes where the monster was interacting with people (i.e. stepping on them), the editing did lack a bit. There was also a scene at the beginning with the oil rig where there was the sound of rending metal but nobody reacted, but when the sound occurred a second time, they did react. It is by no means as good as it’s inspiration, but this is still a fun movie to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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June 22nd, 2015 Movie – The Hearse

the hearse

Ok. After this, I will be caught up on movies. I still don’t know how it happened, or why the movies that did make it on my list and the one’s that didn’t were so scattered about. I would say I was distracted, which is easy to do sometimes, but it still doesn’t explain how I had Malibu High on my list but skipped Malibu Beach and Night Club. Anyways, today’s movie is another one out of the Drive-In collection. I have often wondered what the ratio was for drive-in’s as to whether the movie was a big name feature, or one of the cheapest films around. I’m sure somewhere that information is available but for now, I will be content with watching today’s movie, The Hearse.

The plot: After dealing with the stress from her divorce and the death of her mother, Jane Hardy decides to take a vacation in the town of Blackford, where her late aunt left her a house. As she nears the town, her car is struck by a black hearse, but when Jane gets out to talk to the other driver, the driver briefly turns off his lights before turning them back on and speeding on down the road. As Jane gets settled in to her new house, she notices that several of the townsfolk seem to be unnerved about her staying in her aunt’s old house or seem to want her to leave town. One night, while Jane is reading her aunt’s diary, she sees the hearse idling in her driveway and the next night, she is sideswiped by the hearse once again. As more and more strange things occur, Jane finds out that her aunt had been a devil worshiper, and that the night she died, the hearse carrying her body crashed but the driver of the hearse and her aunt’s coffin had disappeared. Since then, the house has been haunted by the spirit of her aunt, and the hearse has been seen driving along the road where it crashed. Jane manages to start a relationship with a man named Tom, who does his best to convince her to stay in town and not let the townspeople scare her away. One night while Jane is waiting for Tom, Walter Pritchard, in a drunken fit that Jane won’t sell him the house, breaks some of her windows in order to scare her away. As Jane drives off in her car, Walter is run down by the hearse. Jane drives to Tom’s house only to find the house in disrepair, and is horrified to discover not only a picture of her aunt with a man that looks exactly like Tom, but that Tom is actually dead, and had been her aunt’s lover when he died. Jane returns to her house and starts to pack a bag so she can leave when she hears a shower running. When she goes to check, she finds Walter’s body hanging in the shower. Tom suddenly appears and Jane runs from him but when she locks herself in a room to keep Tom away from her, she finds the body of Paul, a high school kid who had been doing repair work on the house for her. Tom attempts to grab Jane, claiming that their love will be eternal, but when the town’s reverend attempts an exorcism, it distracts Tom enough for Jane to get away. Jane drives off in her car, with Tom following in the Hearse. After several collisions between the two vehicles, the hearse winds up crashing into the edge of an embankment and Jane crashes into it, causing the hearse to explode as it falls over the edge.

This was a weird movie. The acting was ok at best, and while Trish Van Devere (Jane) did a good job in her role, no one else really stood out. The plot was incredibly slow and really took way too long before anything really started happening. To be honest, this movie was about an hour of set-up, 20 minutes of development, and maybe 15 minutes of any real substance. The lighting in this film was pretty bad as it looked like some scenes had blue skies but everyone was somehow in a shadow. Unless you need something to put you to sleep, I recommend skipping this movie.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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Flashback Review: February 20th, 2014 Movie – The Alpha Incident

the alpha incident

You know, when I first saw the plot of this movie, I thought it was a possible inspiration for Michael Crichton’s book, The Andromeda Strain. Then I realized that this movie came out almost a decade after the book came out. Either way, I knew that I was in for a movie that, while it did have some sort of sci-fi element to it, was going to focus way more on suspense than anything else. And I am perfectly ok with that. Sometimes, whether it be in an action movie, a drama, a horror movie, or a sci-fi movie, the amount of suspense in a movie can totally make or break a film. Today’s movie, The Alpha Incident, made complete use of that fact.

The plot: A space probe has brought back an organism from Mars which, according to some tests performed by scientists, could destroy all life on Earth. A decision is made by the higher ups to send the majority of the containers with the organism to a facility in Colorado by train, under care of Dr. Sorensen. During the trip, Hank, a nosy cargo handler, opens one of the cargo containers and accidentally breaks one of the canisters, cutting himself on a piece of glass in the process. When the train pulls into Moose Point in order to switch engines, Sorensen learns about what Hank has done, and is forced to quarantine himself and the other people, Charlie, Jack, and Jenny, at the station. As the people start to panic, Hank makes a run for it and though Sorensen manages to shoot him in the leg, Hank still makes his way into the woods. When the scientists discover that sleep can cause the organism to take effect, the 4 people are forced to try and stay awake for as long as they can until a cure can be found. After receiving some supplies from the National Guard, they all do what they can to stay awake, but the pressure starts getting to them. Charlie winds up falling asleep and after a brief scream and stumbling in pain, he collapses dead onto the floor. As his body lies there, the organism begins causing his head and brain to swell. Jack freaks out and pushes a cabinet over, crushing Charlie’s head while Jenny grabs Sorensen’s gun and goes out to her car, where she kills herself. Sorensen’s boss talks to the research head and tells them to keep working on a cure but he is writing off the people in Moose Point. A helicopter drops off some pills, with a note saying that they are the antidote, but when Jack takes one and dies soon afterwards, Sorensen realizes that they are cyanide pills. Sorensen winds up falling asleep and when he wakes up, he realizes that he has not been infected. However, one of the National Guard breaks the nearby window and fires his gun into the building, killing Sorensen.

This movie is very underrated but I found it to be a really good movie. The acting among several characters was really good. Stafford Morgan (Sorensen), John F. Goff (Jack), and George “Buck” Flower (Hank) all did outstanding jobs in their respective roles. Carol Irene Newell (Jenny) did a decent job as well. The plot was pretty good and the writing really helped move the movie along. There wasn’t a whole lot of action in this movie. The movie was mainly carried by the dialogue between the characters and the suspense generated by their exchanges. The ending of the movie was very reminiscent of the ending of Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead, with the main character surviving the night’s events only to wind up being killed by an outside element at the very end. A surprisingly good movie that is worth watching.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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June 21st, 2015 Movie – Double Exposure

double exposureSON-OF-A-BITCH! I can’t believe I made the same stupid mistake again. These box sets are going to drive me even more insane than I already am. Ok, So a while back, I realized that I had skipped a movie (I have a lot of movies, it happens) and so I updated my list to fix that mistake. I thought I had the problem fixed. Well, since I was sick yesterday, I decided to watch an old movie and grabbed one of the box sets that I own. As I put the movie that I wanted to watch in, I was looking at the back of the case and noticed a movie I did not recall watching. I checked my lists and…nope, not listed in my library and not listed in movies that I have reviewed. Well crap. Then I checked some of the other titles and discovered that about half of the movies in this box set somehow did not make it on my list. Damnit. I don’t know how this happened. The funny thing is, it isn’t like they are all grouped together. It skips around somewhat. This is incredibly frustrating. Oh well. Nothing I can do but go back and watch the movies that I have skipped and update my lists (again). So here is today’s movie, Double Exposure.

The plot: A woman is stabbed as she walks to her car, but the woman turns out to have been an undercover cop disguised as a woman. Adrian Wilde, a photographer, has been seeing a shrink about the vivid dreams he has been having about killing his models. When one of his models winds up dead and he dreams about killing Mindy,  a woman that he is dating, he worries that he might be the killer stalking the town. As the dreams become more vivid and he starts dreaming of his own death, his psychiatrist becomes more concerned. When more models turn up dead, and evidence at the scene seems to point towards Adrian, the police begin to investigate him, finding pictures of some of the dead girls in his studio. Conflicted about what to do, Adrian’s brother, B.J, heads to the beach that Adrian and Mindy are at to try to help Adrian. At the beach, Mindy and Adrian get into an argument and Mindy goes for a walk on the beach while Adrian stays in his mobile home. While Mindy is walking along the beach, she is stabbed in the gut. B.J. shows up at the mobile home and talks to Adrian for a little while before he knocks Adrian out. When Adrian wakes up, he is tied to his car and B.J. explains to him that he killed the models and framed Adrian for it. As B.J. prepares to stab Adrian, Mindy suddenly appears and stabs B.J. in the throat before collapsing on top of Adrian. The cops arrive shortly afterwards and Adrian asks them to call an ambulance for Mindy

This was one of the more confusing movies I have ever watched. The acting was ok with nobody really standing out. The plot was nothing original and the story itself was pretty weak. The filming was pretty eratic. The different scenes seemed so out of place that you didn’t know exactly when they were supposed to be taking place in the movie. It made the whole thing pretty hard to follow for a while. Also, even though this was filmed in ’83, it looked like something out of the 70’s. All in all, I would skip this one.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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June 20th, 2015 Movie – The Host

the host

It’s Saturday. Usually this is a day of fun and relaxation. Unfortunately, not for me. My day started with the fact that I had to go to work today. Not so much fun. Then I leave work and go home only to feel absolutely crappy and YAY…I think I came down with a freakin summer cold. Bleh. Oh well, some juice, soup and medicine will help with that. There is some good news to this day. I do get to watch a giant monster movie today so that should help. So on with today’s movie, The Host.

The plot: In South Korea, an American pathologist orders his assistant to ignore protocol and empty hundreds of bottles of formaldehyde into the sink. The toxic chemicals eventually drain into the Han river where, months later, fishermen begin noticing mutated creatures in the river. Six years later, Gang-du, a somewhat slow-witted man, operates a snack shop with his father, Hie-bong, and his daughter, Hyun-seo. One day, he is delivering some food to some customers when he sees a crowd of people staring at a strange creature hanging underneath a nearby bridge. The creature dives into the river but when the crowd tries baiting it back by throwing food into the river, the creature comes ashore and runs amok through the crowd. Gang-du and another man, an American military officer on leave, try to stop the creature, but only succeed in angering it, causing the creature to attack the American and chase after Gang-du. Seeing his daughter, Gang-du grabs her hand and runs, but when he trips, he accidentally grabs the wrong girls hand and is forced to watch helplessly as the creature grabs Hyun-seo and dives back into the water. During a mass funeral for the victims, Gang-du and his father are joined by the rest of their family, his sister, Nam-joo, and his brother, Nam-il, when government officials and American military quarantine all of the people who have come in contact with the creature, claiming the creature is the host for a deadly virus. While at the hospital, Gang-du receives a call from Hyun-seo, who says she is alive but trapped deep in the sewers. Gang-du and his family escape from the hospital and after Hie-bong obtains a truck and some supplies, they go looking for Hyun-seo in the sewers. Meanwhile, two brothers are stealing some food when they are attacked by the creature. The creature returns to it’s lair and regurgitates the two boys, but when Hyun-seo checks the bodies, she finds that only the youngest one, See-joo, is still alive. The creature then attacks Gang-du and his family while they are eating at their snack shop, killing Hie-bong as he tries to buy time for his family to escape. Gang-du is recaptured by the military while Nam-joo and Nam-il get separated. Nam-il tries to get help from a friend in tracking Hyun-seo through her cell phone, and succeeds in getting the general area of where she is.However, his friend has turned him in to the police for a reward and Nam-il is forced to escape, but manages to text the location to Nam-joo and Gang-du. Nam-joo enters the sewers looking for Hyun-seo, but she is attacked by the creature and knocked into a hole, where she winds up unconscious. After being interrogated and operated on, Gang-du escapes from the hospital and heads to the sewers to look for Hyun-seo. Back in the sewers, Hyun-seo tries making a rope to escape from the sewers but when the creature shows up. she attempts to hide with See-joo, but the creature lunges at them and swallows them both. Gang-du makes it to where Hyun-seo should be but as he climbs down into the sewer, he sees the monster pass by overhead, with Hyun-seo’s arm hanging out of it’s mouth. As he gives chase, he meets up with Nam-joo and they both run after the creature as it heads towards a group of protesters that are protesting the military’s use of Agent Yellow against the creature. As the creature attacks the protesters, Agent Yellow is released and it appears to have an effect on the creature, allowing Gang-du to pull Hyun-seo and See-joo from it’s mouth, but only See-joo managed to survive. Gang-du proceeds to attack the with a metal pole but he is knocked aside. Nam-il proceeds to throw moltov cocktails at the creature to chase it away from Gang-du. When the homeless man that helped Nam-il pours gasoline on the creature, Nam-il tries throwing his last moltov at it but drops the bottle. Nam-joo takes the flaming rag and sticks it to an arrow, which she fires into the creature’s eye, setting it ablaze. The creature attempts to flee into the river but Gang-du uses the pole to impale it through the mouth, finally succeeding in killing the creature. Some time later, Gang-du is shown reopening the snack shop and raising See-joo.

The Host received critical acclaim from the critics, earning a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. One critic said that it was “a loopy, feverishly imaginative genre hybrid about the demons that haunt us from without and within.” The film was a big success in Korea, becoming the country’s all time, box office leader before the end of it’s theatrical run. It would also go on to win several awards, primarily in Korea and Asia. It only had a limited release in the U.S., where it earned a little over $2 million, but it would earn over $89 million worldwide.

This was a really good movie. Dubbing aside, the acting was a lot better than I was expecting, to the point that the main actors really showed their characters emotions. The story was pretty unique, for a monster movie, and it was well written. There were several humorous moments in the movie and a couple of scenes that could be considered anti-American, but they actually went with the direction the movie was going in and helped with the story. As far as the monster goes, it had a pretty unique look to it and the CGI used was really good and didn’t make the creature look out of place when it was with the actors. I also liked the way it would use it’s tail to help move across the sewers and bridges by swinging from beam to beam. A surprisingly good monster movie that is worth watching.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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June 19th, 2015 Movie – Horrors Of Spider Island

horrors of spider island

My brain is completely fried from work today. It was busy to the point where I don’t want to put much effort into thinking. Thankfully, today’s movie is one that will let me just veg and watch without having to think too much. I remember seeing this on MST3K years ago and laughing my ass off at how ridiculous parts of it were. Watching it again today, it still makes me laugh. So allow me to introduce you to today’s movie, Horrors Of Spider Island.

The plot: Gary and his assistant, Georgia, audition a group of girls to be dancers at his nightclub in Singapore but during the flight, the plane catches fire and crashes into the Pacific Ocean. Gary and the girls manage to climb into a life raft and after several days adrift at sea, manage to make their way to a small island and fall asleep on the beach. The next day, they find some fresh water and after exploring the island further, discover a cabin. When the girls enter the cabin, they are horrified to discover the dead body of a man suspended in a giant spider’s web. While the girls wait outside, Gary and Georgia inspect the cabin further and discover the man’s journal, where they learn that he was a professor who, aside from discovering some uranium on the island, felt like something terrible was going to happen to him. That night, Gary decides to take a walk in the woods but he is bitten by a giant spider and although he killed the spider, the bite changes him into a monster and he runs deeper into the woods. While the girls are left wondering what happened to him, Gary sneaks back to the cabin and strangles one of the girls. As tempers flare among the remaining girls, two of them start to fight but stop when they see a pair of monstrous arms reach through the cabin window and try to strangle Georgia but she screams and the creature retreats. After 28 days, the professor’s two assistants, Joe and Bobby, arrive on the island and, after discovering the girls, get in touch with their supply ship to rescue the girls. That night, the girls decide to dance in celebration of their impending rescue, but when Gladys goes to meet Bobby by the lagoon, she discovers his body laying against a tree. Catching sight of the monstrous Gary, Gladys screams and runs away, with Gary in close pursuit. Alerted by the scream, Joe and the rest of the girls go looking for them and see Gladys being chased by Gary but before they can help, she falls from the top of a cliff, landing on the rocks below. Joe goes to get the ammo for the revolver and runs into Gary. After a brief struggle, Joe manages to make it to the cabin and, along with Georgia, looks for the bullets but has to stop when Gary bursts through the cabin wall. Georgia manages to chase Gary away with a flare and, after the rest of the group light some more flares, they all chase after him. Gary runs deep into a swamp and Joe and the girls watch as he is swallowed up by the quicksand.

This is definitely one of those “so bad it’s good” movies. The acting was pretty crazy, made more so by the fact that this had some dubbing issues. Ok, let’s be honest. This movie is nothing more than a 50’s exploitation flick that is there to show a bunch of girls in their underwear. The story….yeh there really isn’t much of a story; mainly just reasons to continuously show the girls in their underwear. The effects were definitely on the low end. The spider was one of the most ridiculous things I had seen in a while. As for how Gary looked after the bite, I know he was supposed to be some sort of human/spider monster but he looked more like a caveman with vampire fangs glued rather badly to his face and clawed hands that grow and lose the claws at random. It isn’t the most profound piece of film around but it is a fun movie to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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