comedy, movie, movie review

August 31st, 2017 Movie – Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th

shriek if you know what i did last friday the 13th

So in 2000, a parody of horror movies called Scary Movie came out in theaters and it was a massive hit. What most people don’t know is that another parody came out right around the same time, but it was released direct to video instead of being given a theatrical run. Now I remember watching this on USA Network when it first aired and thought it was the most ridiculously funniest movie I had seen in a long time. So when I saw the DVD while wandering Best Buy, I decided to go ahead and buy it. Now let’s see if the comedy still holds up as I watch today’s movie, Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th.

The plot: One night, Screw Frombehind receives a phone call from The Killer, who had dialed her number by mistake. As they are talking, The Killer starts asking Screw some questions but when he falls into her pool, she promptly hangs up on him. As Screw goes back to work on a cake, she accepts a collect call from The Killer and when she gets his question wrong, he suddenly bursts out of the cake and tries to attack her. The Killer chases Screw around the table but stops when he answers the phone, then hands the phone to Screw, who talks to her friend Stacy for a minute before The Killer reminds her that he is there to kill her. The Killer chases Screw outside, where she ends up electrocuting herself with a bug zapper and as The Killer lights up a cigarette, his hockey mask bursts into flames and after he ducks his head into the bird bath to extinguish it, his mask has melted into the Ghost Face mask. The next day, Dawson Deery enrolls at Bulimia Falls High school and is introduced to Slab, Boner, Barbara, and Martina. Dawson and Martina appear to be attracted to each other but when Dawson notices that Martina is in a softball uniform, he wonders if she is a lesbian. As the 5 kids head through the halls, Martina is telling them about Screw’s murder, no noticing that The Killer attempts to kill a student behind them. When they head outside, they are confronted by Hagitha Utslay, a reporter for EmpTV News, who is keen on interviewing Dawson, as she had written a book accusing him of the murder of his family. Dawson punches out Hagitha but she is picked up by Doughy, Barbara’s brother who works as mall security. Doughy says he is working the case as The Killer mask was stolen from the store and as the kids leave, Hagitha and Doughy start flirting. unaware that The Killer is killing Hagitha’s cameraman. As the kids head to their classes, Martina, Boner, Slab, and Barbara each receive a note from The Killer saying he knows what they did last summer/semester/chanukah/period respectively. This causes all of them to remember the time they were driving and hit a deer and got rid of the body, but also their own secrets. Martina forgot to give her grandmother her laxative, Boner forgot to deliver a letter to the governor for his brother, resulting in his brother’s death, Slab smoked his grandfather’s ashes, and Barbara ripped the tag off of a mattress. As they all sit down to lunch, Martina and the others reveal their notes and believes The Killer is targeting them and just as Boner says that Dawson didn’t get a note, Dawson finds one in his food. As he looks at it, Dawson remembers how his dad got drunk and dressed him up in a deer costume and forced him to lick a salt lick but Dawson ran out of the house when his dad passed out on the floor, who then caused an explosion when he farted into the fireplace resulting in the house blowing up, while Dawson ended up being hit by Slab in the others, as he was still wearing the deer costume, and they dump his body into the ocean. Worried about being attacked by The Killer, the group decides to find a place to stay the night where they can be safe and they end up deciding to stay at Slab’s house. As the school day continues, Dawson and the others each encounter The Killer but manage to escape. The Killer then goes to kill “The Administrator formerly known as Principal” but instead watches as the principal is hit in the head with a skillet and falls into his hot tub, electrocuting himself. After the kids give their statement to the police about their attacks, and interrupting Hagitha’s interview of Doughy, the kids all head over to Slab’s house and throw a party while Doughy, Hagitha, and her latest cameraman (as she has already lost three) are keeping watch outside. As the kids go to watch a movie, Barbara says she doesn’t like parodies and goes to get another beer. As Martina tries to explain the rules of being in a parody, Boner has taken an unconscious woman upstairs in order to try and lose his virginity but when The Killer shows up, he ends up having a heart attack. The Killer then goes after Barbara in the garage and as she attempts to escape through the cat door, she gets stuck and The Killer tries to kill her by opening the door. However, someone outside is pressing a remote that cause the motor to overheat, allowing Barbara enough time to take out her breast implants and escape. The Killer chases after her with a weed wacker as she runs through the bushes but before he can kill her, she is stung by some bees and dies from an allergic reaction, while The Killer is dejected at first but then comments on the good job he did sculpting animals into the bushes while he was attacking her. Inside, one of the kids tells everyone about The Administrator Formerly Knows As Principal’s body being discovered and most of the kids leave to go see it. Dawson and Martina end up alone and Martina tells Dawson she wants to have sex with him. When they hear a noise and find one of Slab’s cats in the kitchen, they go looking for Slab only to find him overdosing on steroids and exploding. The Killer shows up and they run for it, which ends up being turned into a music video. When they are forced to confront The Killer, Martina ends up knocking him out and they go to reveal who The Killer really is, only to find that he is wearing multiple masks. While all of this is going on, Doughy, Hagitha, her cameraman, and a pizza delivery man are playing strip poker when Doughy hears something and they go to head inside. Dawson removes the last mask to reveal The Killer as Hardy, Doughy’s identical twin cousin. When Doughy, Hagitha, and the others arrive, Doughy is shocked at learning his cousin is The Killer but decides to forgive him only for Hagitha to accidentally shoot him and then her cameraman when she uses her gun as a mirror to put on lipstick. Hagitha ends up leaving with the pizza man, leaving Doughy heartbroken as he leaves the house with Dawson and Martina. As the authorities show up, Boner is found to still be alive, as he had taken a bottle of Viagra, which kept his blood flowing. An attractive doctor sees his condition and says she will take care of him, and Boner is excited as he will finally lose his virginity. Dawson and Martina kiss just as The Killer starts to rise up from the gurney but Doughy, who was standing nearby at catering, quickly shoots him. Feeling the danger is now over, Dawson and Martina go for a walk in the woods when Dawson receives a call from a new Killer, but his cell reception is bad so he hangs up and The Killer, who was calling from a nearby pay phone, gets angry and chases after them.

I will admit that some of the comedy lost it’s charm, but this is still a funny movie due to it’s ridiculousness. The acting was ok, with all of the actors doing a decent job in their roles but nobody really stood out. The plot was primarily a parody of Scream and followed that movie pretty closely but also parodied numerous other movies or TV shows; including Nightmare On Elm Street, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Child’s Play, Friday The 13th, Dawson’s Creek, Airplane, Grease, There’s Something About Mary, Porky’s, and Christine. My favorite parody though was Coolio, whose character was a parody Prince, as the whole “Administrator formerly known as Principal” absolutely cracked me up for some reason. The sight gags throughout the movie focused on a lot of pop culture at the time, such as Barbara mimicking the Mentos commercials in order to escape The Killer in the bathroom. Absolutely silly and ridiculous but you can’t help but find yourself laughing as you watch it.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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action, crime, movie, movie review, thriller

August 30th, 2017 Movie – Shooter

shooter

Once again, I find myself watching a movie that is based off of a book that I never read. I remember seeing the trailers for this movie and thinking it was just another generic action movie. At some point I got bored and ended up getting a used copy of it as a spur of the moment purchase. So I ended up watching it and almost immediately afterwards, decided to buy the book that the movie was based on just to compare the two. As is usually the case, I liked the book better than the movie but you can judge for yourself as I watch today’s movie, Shooter.

The plot: On a mission in Africa in a country they are not supposed to be in, Gunnery Sergeant Bob Lee Swagger and his spotter Donnie Fenn are keeping watch over a US team as they head back to Ethiopia, taking out a military patrol vehicle when as it approaches them. When a second, larger force is spotted chasing after the US team, Swagger begins shooting at them, taking out several of the men/drivers and forcing the enemy force to focus on trying to attack them, rather than chasing after the other soldiers. They call in what is happening but the base in Ethiopia shuts down the channel, as the base commander deems them expendable. When a helicopter shows up to help the opposing forces, Donnie is killed but Swagger uses a CheyTac Intervention to take out the helicopter. 3 years later, Swagger is living in a self-imposed exile in the Wind River Range portion of the Rockies in Wyoming with only his dog as company when he is approached by Colonel Isaac Johnson. Swagger is dismissive and tells them to leave but after Johnson shows him his Congressional Medal of Honor, he convinces Swagger to give him 5 minutes to talk. Inside Swagger’s home, Johnson tells him that he needs Swagger to plan a presidential assassination, explaining that the received intel on a possible assassination attempt that will occur in one of three cities and they want Swagger’s help in preventing it. Bob tells them he won’t do it and takes a picture of their vehicle’s license plate to check their identity. After the seeing if the shot that Johnson talked about was possible, Swagger decides to help out and after going to the three cities given to him, tells Johnson that Philadelphia is the likely location. Johnson convinces Swagger to help him in spotting the possible sniper’s location and they head to Philadelphia, where the arch bishop of Ethiopia is giving the President a medal. As the President arrives, local police officer Stanley Timmons arrives at Johnson’s command post and introduces himself to Swagger, who comments about Timmons’ holster being unsnapped. When the President gets up to the podium to speak, Swagger tells them the sniper is loaded and about to fire so they should take him out now but as he turns to face Johnson, Timmons shoots Swagger. At the same time, the sniper fires but hits the arch bishop, not the President, causing a panic at the scene. Swagger falls out of the window and manages to escape, while Jack Payne, one of Johnson’s men, berates Timmons for missing him. The injured Swagger makes his way to the street, where he encounters FBI Agent Nick Memphis. Memphis draws his gun on Swagger but Swagger manages to disarm him and after telling Memphis he didn’t shoot the President, he restrains Memphis then takes his gun and car. As Timmons calls in a manhunt on Swagger, Swagger ducks into a car wash to try and stall being detected while he works on stopping the bleeding from his injuries. When the reports come in on his location, Swagger attempts to escape and after a collision with a truck, crashes into the river. Divers are called in and find the car but there is no sign of Swagger, who holds onto a rope on the side of a barge to get out of the manhunt zone and get ashore on the other side of the river, where he steals a truck and drives out of the city. After stopping in a small town, Swagger knocks out the power to a local shop so that he can buy some supplies and not get caught. After buying the supplies, he sneaks into a auto garage and uses the supplies as a makeshift field medical kit, then does his best to patch himself up in order to stay alive. Meanwhile, Agent Memphis is demoted by his superior for “embarrassing the agency” and placed in the tipline call center. When he receives a call from the clerk about what Swagger bought, he tries to tell another agent but the are dismissive of his theory. Swagger makes his way to Kentucky and pays a visit to Donnie’s widow, Sarah, to ask for her help. Though she is reluctant at first, Sarah agrees to help Swagger, who had gone there thinking she was a nurse but learns she had given up on that idea after Donnie died. Back in Philadelphia, Memphis is talking with fellow agent Alourdes Galindo and telling her his suspicions about Swagger’s guilt and says he wants to speak with Timmons, as he doesn’t believe his story, but Galindo tells him that Timmons was killed by a mugger. As Memphis continues to investigate, he checks out the church and notices some holes in the floor, which he learns were from a tripod mounted remote controlled sniper weapons system. Back in Kentucky, Sarah performs the necessary surgery on Swagger to remove the bullets and then agrees to help him in his plan to flush out Johnson. Sarah goes to Philadelphia with Swagger and he tells her to meet with Memphis and hand him the photos of the plate and VIN number for Johnson’s car. Swagger is watching their meeting but as Memphis leaves, Swagger is approached by two cops and forced to incapacitate them and escape. Memphis begins looking into the information that Sarah gave him and, with Galindo’s help, learns that they are connected to some high end military contractors but as Galindo is telling Memphis this, he ends up being kidnapped by a team of contractors. They torture him for information, then attach a device to his arm to make him shoot himself but Swagger rescues Memphis and after the two talk, Memphis agrees to help Swagger. They travel to Athens, TN to speak with a gun expert and ask him how to fire a bullet from one rifle and make it match the grooves from a different one. He then asks if anyone else could have taken the shot and the expert tells him of one other man, Michael Sandor, and Swagger realizes that he met the man. Memphis calls Galindo to ask for her help in tracking down Sander, just as Johnson decides to draw Swagger and Memphis out by offering him up. Johnson then meets with Senator Charles F. Meachum, who is in on Johnson’s operation, and Meachum tells him to make sure Swagger is killed so Johnson has Payne go and grab Sarah as insurance. When Galindo gives Memphis Sandor’s location, Swagger and Memphis go buy some supplies to make some homemade explosives, then Swagger gives Memphis a crash course in being a sniper/spotter. They head to Sandor’s house, and Swagger makes his way inside, taking out the guards along the way. When he finds Sandor and questions him, Sandor tells him about how military contractors had killed a village in Africa for the purpose of allowing an oil pipeline to go through it, then buried the bodies under a pumping station. He then informs Swagger that he was assigned to cover their escape but he wasn’t supposed to survive. Outside, a team arrives to kill Swagger and Memphis warns him while inside, Sandor tells Swagger that Johnson has Sarah before he kills himself. Swagger tells Memphis to get to a pre-arranged position and start detonating the explosives as Swagger shoots his way out of the house and the two manage to kill the team sent after them. Memphis calls the FBI to tell them he has Swagger in custody but that he can’t bring him in just yet. As soon as he hangs up, Swagger receives a call from Johnson, who had been listening in on the phone call and they arrange to meet, with Johnson agreeing to bring Meachum to the meeting and Swagger will give him the recording of Sandor’s confession in exchange for Sarah. Johnson, Payne, Sarah, and Meachum arrive on the mountain and they see a figure approaching when the figure is shot. Suddenly, a second shot rings out as Swagger kills the sniper, then kills two more counter snipers, while the figure, revealed to be Memphis, continues up to the mountain and removes the metal plate that protected him from being killed. As Payne yells out that Swagger can’t shoot him without risking his shooting Sarah, Swagger shoots the shotgun from his hand, then shoots his arm off. Swagger then approaches the group and after having Memphis disarm Meachum and Johnson, Sarah grabs Meachum’s gun and kills Payne. Swagger and Meachum then talk and as the FBI approaches, due to Memphis telling them where they would be, Swagger burns the recording, as if it was still out there then he, Sarah, and Memphis would be killed over it. Swagger is taken into custody and brought before a meeting with the Attorney General, Memphis, Memphis’ superior, and Johnson. Swagger admits that the gun the FBI found was his but after he places a bullet in it and shows that it won’t fire, he explains that he swapped the firing pin in all of his guns before he left, making it so that none of them would fire if stolen. Memphis then shows the Attorney General images from the file of the mass grave, but the Attorney General says that since the crimes occurred in another country, he had no jurisdiction over the matter and Johnson walks out of the room. The Attorney General approaches Swagger and speaks with him briefly before telling him he is free to go and orders him released. Some time later, Meachum and Johnson are talking in Meachum’s hunting cabin when Swagger kills them and causes the cabin to explode. Swagger then makes his way down the mountain, where Sarah is waiting in a car, and they drive off together.

Shooter received mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “With an implausible story and numerous plot holes, Shooter fails to distinguish itself from other mindless action-thrillers.” The scene where Swagger shoots a counter-sniper through the rifle scope and hits him in the head is based on an infamous kill by U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, who killed a counter-sniper in Vietnam by shooting him through the scope and hitting him in the eye. Shooter was a modest hit at the box office, earning $95.7 million off of a $61 million budget and years later, would spawn a TV show based off of the movie.

I still think the book was better than the movie, but this was a decent movie in itself, despite the general feeling of being a generic action flick. The acting was good, with Mark Wahlberg (Swagger) and Michael Pena (Memphis) doing great in their roles and showed great chemistry acting off of each other. I also thought that Danny Glover (Johnson), Ned Beatty (Meachum), and Elias Koteas (Payne) did a great job in their roles. The plot was a pretty good thriller, feeling a little bit like The Fugitive in the whole innocent man trying to prove his innocence, just with more guns involved. The aspect of Swagger finding out that he unknowingly helped cover for black ops contractors doing something illegal added more motivation to his actions and helped give a better sense of purpose to his wanting to prove his innocence. The special effects in the gun fights were good for the most part, though in some cases they were toned down according to the sniper expert involved in the film. It is fairly generic movie but good enough to keep you entertained if you want to give it a shot.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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action, crime, dark comedy, movie, movie review

August 29th, 2017 Movie – Shoot ‘Em Up

shoot em up

Sometimes, you just need your action movies to be completely over the top in their violence. Aside from the mass star power, I am pretty sure that is one of the reasons that The Expendables franchise has been so successful. Years before those movies came out, we had another dose of over the top violence in the form of today’s movie. Now I remember seeing the trailers for this movie when it came out and thought it looked fun but never went to see it. After it came out on video, a friend of mine brought it over one night when a bunch of us were hanging out watching movies and we watched it. I thought it was absolutely hilarious and immediately went and got my own copy of it. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Shoot ‘Em Up.

The plot: A man named Smith is sitting at a bus stop eating a carrot when he sees a pregnant woman walk past, showing signs of having contractions. When a man chases after the woman, she ducks into a warehouse and the man stares at Smith before pulling out a gun and following after her, prompting Smith to follow them. Inside the warehouse, the woman tries to shoot the man but misses and as he approaches her with a knife, Smith grabs him and uses his carrot to kill him. When some more men appear, Smith grabs the dead man’s gun and begins shooting them, telling the woman to get out of there. After killing several of the men, Smith is forced to help deliver the baby in the midst of the continued gunfight. As the leader of the men, Hertz, arrives, Smith grabs his gun and asks why they are after the woman but Hertz doesn’t answer and instead, tells Smith that the gun won’t work unless his thumbprint unlocks it. As more men arrive, Smith hits Hertz with the gun, then grabs the woman and leaves but as they make their way up the stairs, he realizes that the woman has been shot in the head. Smith starts to leave but has a change of heart and grabs the baby, then heads up to the roof. Once there, he grabs a gun from a man that followed him and uses it to shoot out the neon lights on the sign above the other men before jumping across the roof tops and making his escape. As he is walking along the streets, he notices someone watching him so he ducks into a bus terminal and hides in the restroom. As he tends to the baby, he drops the gun in the toilet and quickly strips and dries it just as the man arrives and tells him to give him the baby. Smith tries to shoot him but the gun still isn’t dry enough so he ducks under the stalls and turns out the lights, then struggles with the man before using the hand dryer to finish drying off his gun and after getting the upper hand on the man, he leaves. Smith heads to a park and leaves the baby on a carousel for someone to pick up but when a woman gets shot as she approaches the baby, he sees Hertz aiming a sniper rifle at the baby. Smith shoots the carousel, causing it to spin around, messing up Hertz’s shop and he grabs the baby and manages to escape. Smith heads to a brothel and goes to see Donna Quintano, a hooker who specializes in lactation fetishes, and offers her $5000 to take care of the baby for a while but she refuses. Meanwhile, Hertz figures out that the baby will need some food and tells his men to look for wet nurses or any such option Smith might go to. Hertz ends up at Quintano’s room and questions her about Smith, repeatedly firing his gun and pressing the heated barrel against her skin as a form of torture. Just before he can seriously burn her, Smith appears and throws Hertz out of the room, then uses a severed hand on the gun he stole so he can shoot Hertz. Knowing more people will be coming, Smith has come with him and as they are walking along the street, Smith sees someone park in a handicap spot without a sticker and steals their car. Smith heads to a pawnshop and attempts to buy some guns and ammo, signing over a check from the blood bank to cover some of the costs, while Quintano turns a quick trick in order to buy a bullet proof vest for the baby. Heading to the church Smith has been squatting in, Smith decides to call the baby Oliver, after Oliver Twist, but he and Quintano continue to argue about what to do. Meanwhile, Hertz had been wearing a bulletproof vest and after recovering, manages to track down Smith to the church and have some new men meet him there so they can kill Smith. Upstairs, Smith is flipping channels on the TV and realizes that Oliver stops crying when he hears heavy metal music. Suddenly, the men break into the room and start attacking them and Smith has Quintano use the old dumb waiter to escape downstairs, while he kills the attackers and manages to make it downstairs with Oliver. As Hertz uses a dog to track them, Quintano tells Smith to shoot it but he refuses, saying he likes dogs, and instead uses his pet rat and Oliver’s diaper to lure the dog away from them. Following his hunch about the music, Smith heads to a heavy metal club that is near where he first saw the pregnant woman and sees several empty diaper boxes outside. After Quintano tortures the manager, he leads them to the upstairs area and unlocks it for them and Smith and Quintano see several dead guards and two other dead pregnant women, as well as one man who is reporting in on the scene. As they look around, they discover that someone was setting up a baby farm to harvest bone marrow and Smith kills another guard so they can escape. Hiding out in a hotel, Smith tells Quintano that he called all the news channels and newspapers, as well as the FBI, and that once the story goes public, they should be safe. Quintano is still upset with Smith about having her care for Oliver, as her own child had been delivered still-born. Smith and Quintano end up having sex when some men show up to kill them but Smith, without manages to kill them all while continuing to have sex. As they are getting dressed, Smith notices that the men have Hammerson guns that are not available on the market yet. Smith has Quintano and Oliver hide in a tank at a museum and goes to investigate Hammerson. Inside the factory, he sees Hertz talking with Hammerson and Hertz reveals that he knows who Smith is. When Hammerson and Hertz, along with Hammerson’s men, realize that Smith is there and try attacking him but Smith had rigged some weapons on trip wires and uses them to kill all of the men and make his escape. Heading back to the tank, Smith tells Quintano what he learned and as Quintano is changing Oliver’s diaper, he sees the photo of Senator Rutledge and realizes that he is the one that needs Oliver’s bone marrow. Smith comes up with a plan to get Quintano out of town, telling her not to tell him where she gets off in case things go bad. Smith then fools Hertz and his men into chasing after him with a decoy baby, giving Quintano time to get Oliver and leave town. Smith then calls Rutledge’s security detail and arranges to meet with Rutledge as he flies to North Carolina. On the plane, Smith and Rutledge are talking but Smith notices the dog hairs on Rutledge’s pants and realizes that he had meet with Hammerson, as he recognizes the dog hairs as belonging to Hammerson’s German Shepherd Duchess. Smith grabs one of the secret service’s guns and holds Rutledge office as Hammerson and Hertz and tell him that Rutledge made a deal with them in order to save his life. Smith takes Rutledge to the lower portion of the plane and ties him to the ladder, then shoots him, figuring that Rutledge’s assassination would help get his bills to pass by a sympathy vote. Smith then jumps out of the plane but he is followed by several secret service agents, who attempt to kill him in mid-air. Smith manages to kill them all, but is shot in the arm in the process, and after landing safely, he heads to an empty building to rest only to wake up to fins Hertz pointing a gun at him. Hertz takes him to Hammerson’s home and proceeds to torture Smith by breaking the fingers in his right hand but Smith refuses to tell him where Quintano and Oliver are. As Hertz prepares to use more extreme methods of torture, Smith manages to get free and kills Hertz’s men and then manages to overpower Hammerson and have him shoot himself. When Hertz approaches him, Smith attempts to shoot him but his mangled hand causes him to miss. Smith retreats to another room and Hertz finds him leaning next to the fireplace and as he gets closer, he sees that Smith had placed the bullets from his gun in between the fingers of his left hand, which he sticks in the fire in order to ignite them and shoot Hertz. Smith goes to leave but Hertz stands up to try and stop him and they both raise their guns but Smith manages to shoot Hertz and finally kill him. Smith leaves Hammerson’s house, accompanied by Duchess, and heads to the bus stop that Quintona used to get out of town. Riding the Green Bus, Smith and Duchess get off at one of the stops and head to a Dream Queen ice cream shop to get some food. While there, Smith sees that Quintona works there and the two embrace and kiss. Suddenly, three armed men burst in and attempt to rob the place but Smith grabs one of their guns and, using a carrot to pull the trigger, manages to stop them as Quintona continues to hold him.

Shoot ‘Em Up received mixed to positive reviews from the critics, holding a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “As preposterous and over-the-top as Shoot ‘Em Up may be, its humor and non-stop action make for a very enjoyable film.” The first gun Smith uses in the film is a Walther PPK and when it jams on him, he calls it a piece of crap, which is a subtle dig on the fact that Clive Owen had been considered for the role of James Bond but was passed over in favor of Daniel Craig. The movie did not fare well in theaters, earning $26.8 million off of a $39 million budget.

This is such a ridiculously funny movie. The acting was good, with Clive Owen (Smith) and Paul Giamatti (Hertz) doing a good job playing off of each other, while Clive Owen also had some great chemistry with Monica Bellucci (Quintano). The story was pretty intriguing, with the slight mystery surrounding Oliver making a good focal point for the all of the violence that occurred. The special effects involving the gun fights were really over the top, which made for a lot of entertainment and laughs throughout the movie, such as Smith shooting out the letters in the sign to spell “FUK U”, and as Hertz stares at Smith across the rooftop, he shoots out the “L” in TOOL, so that the sign now then reads “FUK U TOO”. A lot of crazy action that is a blast to watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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movie, movie review, thriller

August 28th, 2017 Movie – Shock (1946)

shock 1946

Wow. I think this will probably be the earliest Vincent Price movie that I can recall seeing. So this movie is in the Legends of Horror box set and, with Vincent Price starring in it, I figure it is probably well deserved to be in there. However, I already owned this movie, as it is also in the Chilling Classics box set, which has me a little worried because the movies in that set are not always fun to watch. So let’s see if this movie is enjoyable, or a headache, as I watch today’s movie, Shock (1946).

The plot: Janet Stewart arrives at the Belmont Arm’s hotel in San Francisco and goes to check in, only to find that they never received the wire confirming her reservation. She starts to get upset, as she was supposed to be meeting her husband Lt. Paul, who was returning home after being a P.O.W. for 2 years, at the hotel and the manager lets her have the room of a guest who hasn’t checked in yet, saying she must leave by noon. After waking from a nightmare, Janet calls down to the front desk to see if her husband has arrived yet and after hearing that he hasn’t, she heads out onto the balcony. While she is out there, she hears arguing coming from the room next to her and sees a couple arguing and as things start to get heated, the man strikes the woman with a candlestick and kills her. As the man closes the curtains, Janet, overwhelmed by her own emotions and what she had witnessed, falls into a state of shock as she slowly backs into her room and sits on the couch. The next morning, Paul arrives at the hotel and heads up to the room to surprise Janet, only to see her still sitting frozen on the couch. After calling out to her and getting no response, Paul calls for a doctor, who tells him she is in shock but he can’t do much for her. The doctor tells him that there is a psychiatrist at the hotel, Dr. Cross, that is staying at the hotel who would be able to do a better job of helping her and he calls him to see if he can come over. When Dr. Cross arrives, he examines Janet then asks Paul where he found her and when he thinks she might have fallen into this state.  Hearing the time frame for when she possibly fell into shock, Cross realizes that Janet could have seen him kill his wife so he tells them that he will have her transferred to his facility outside of town and the hotel doctor tells Paul to trust Cross’ judgement on this. Cross arranges for his assistant/burse, Elaine Jordan to come pick up Janet and take her to his facility so she can have round the clock care. When they get there, Janet is placed in her room and when Cross gets a moment alone with her, he attempts to talk with her while she is in a trance like state and learns that she did see him murder his wife. When Elaine enters the room, it is revealed that they are lovers as he tells Elaine that she saw him kill his wife. Later that night, Elaine goes to see Cross and he is angry at himself for losing control and killing his wife and angrier still that he did not call the police and explain it was an accident instead of attempting to cover it up and hiding the body. Elaine tries to console him and says they should try to ensure that they should try and make it so Janet doesn’t recover. The next day, Paul comes to visit Janet and is upset that there appears to be no change in her demeanor. He suggest having a friend, Dr. Harvey, come in for a second opinion and Cross agrees to it. When she hears about it, Elaine is upset but Cross explains he couldn’t refuse as it would look suspicious. Cross then heads into Janet’s room and begins yelling at her, attempting to make it seem like she is crazy and suffering a breakdown if she ever comes out of shock. When Dr. Harvey arrives, he examines Janet and feels like there is more to her state of shock than just her emotions over Paul’s return, as Cross has first theorized, but he can’t say what could have been the cause. That night there is a massive thunder storm, which causes one of the patients, Mr. Edwards, to freak out and escape from his room. As he wanders the hallway, some nurse start walking towards him and he quickly ducks into Janet’s room. As the storm continues, he sees Janet and approaches her but Elaine enters the room and sees him. As Mr. Edwards struggles with Elaine, Janet wakes up and witnesses them just as Cross enters and helps calm Mr. Edwards down and take him back to his room. The next day, Cross is recording his notes when Paul enters and tells him he wants to transfer Janet to a hospital in San Francisco but Cross convinces him to let her stay there. As Paul leaves, one of the nurses brings Cross a newspaper, which reports that his wife was found dead from falling off a mountain. Later, Elaine tells Cross that Janet had woken up while she struggled with Mr. Edwards and Cross worries that it will undo the work he had done but Elaine says that instead it will only make her seem more insane. Meanwhile, Paul goes to Janet’s room to see her and she wakes up and recognizes him. When Cross and Elaine enter the room, Janet freaks out upon seeing Cross and while Elaine tries to comfort her, Cross has Paul leave the room with him and tries to explain that Janet appears to be suffering from some form of delusion. When Janet tries to leave her room and begs one of the doctors to call the police, nobody believes her and Elaine says that it is proof that their plan is working. Cross goes to see Janet and speaks with her, then shows her the newspaper article about his wife’s death, attempting to convince her that she has been a patient for weeks and is crazy. The next day, District Attorney O’Neil pays a visit to Cross and tells him they are re-examining his wife’s death and asks permission to exhume her body for a thorough autopsy. Cross reluctantly agrees to do it and later, he tells Elaine what is going on. Cross doesn’t know if he can keep covering up the murder and Elaine tries to comfort him and offers a suggesting of killing Janet in order to hide the truth. Later that night, O’Neil comes to Cross’ house and informs him that the autopsy concluded that his wife was murdered and the weapon was a candlestick. O’Neil asks for permission to search the house to see if the murder weapon is there, then asks when the last time he saw her alive was, as he is trying to determine a time of death. After he leaves, Cross considers everything that is happening and decides to go through with Elaine’s plan. He tells Paul that he is going to give Janet an injection of insulin to try and shock her system in an attempt to cure her delusions but in reality, he is hoping it will kill her. As the treatments continue, Paul goes to see Dr. Harvey and tells him that his wife continues to say that Cross killed his wife with a candlestick. After hearing Paul say that Cross was at the same hotel when Janet first went into shock, Dr. Harvey starts to realize she may have been telling the truth and contacts O’Neil, then heads to Cross’s office with Paul. At the facility, Elaine is administering the final dose of insulin in order to kill Janet but Cross has a change of heart and refuses to let her die, then strangles Elaine when she continues to try and kill Janet. Dr. Harvey and Paul arrive and Dr. Harvey gives Janet some adrenaline to save her life. As Paul goes to Janet’s side, Cross leaves the room and heads to his office, where O’Neil eventually shows up to arrest him for his wife and Elaine’s murder.

This wasn’t quite what I expected but it was a decent little thriller. The acting was good, with Vincent Price (Cross) being his usual stoic self while Lynn Bari (Elaine) and Anabel Shaw (Janet) both doing equally good in their roles. The story was pretty good and honestly felt a little Hitchcockian to me. The only problem I had with it is that the slow pacing of the movie made it feel a lot longer than it really was and just seemed to drag some scenes out for too long. There weren’t any special effects in the movie and the drama used to move the story along was good, but again it fell victim to the slow pacing in the movie. It might not be to everyone’s liking but it is worth giving a shot.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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movie, movie review, mystery, sci-fi, The Asylum

August 27th, 2017 Movie – Sherlock Holmes (2010)

sherlock holmes 2010

You know, it has been way too long since I have watched a mockbuster from The Asylum, at least for the purpose of this blog. Luckily for me, fate has decided to step in and change that situation. Now Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous literary characters to appear in fiction and he has been used in numerous movies. Fresh off the success of Iron Man, Guy Ritchie hoped that Robert Downey Jr. would bring that success to his own big budget rendition of the famous detective. Of course, the people over at The Asylum are no fools and realized that such a movie would be the perfect opportunity to make another mockbuster, which brings us to today’s movie, Sherlock Holmes (2010).

The plot: In 1940 London, during the Blitz, an elderly Dr. John Watson is watching the bombs falling outside when his nurse, Miss Lucy Hudson,  pulls him away from the window. As she goes to leave, he asks her to stay and transcribe something for him, as he fears that he might not last long. When Lucy asks if this is one of his fantasy stories, he tells her it is an story that he was asked to keep untold at the request of his friend, Sherlock Holmes, but he feels the world should know this story now. In 1882, a series of strange creature attacks had begun to plague London, the first of which was a giant octopus attacking a royal treasury ship. The next day, Holmes goes to see Watson, who is in the middle of an autopsy, and after quickly figuring out the cause of death for him, tells him that they are off to Newhaven to work the case for Scotland Yard. The meet up with Inspector Lestrade, who tells them what they have so far on the case while the one survivor currently being in a coma. When the survivor awakens, he appears to be in a state of shock and Holmes is able to get him to tell them what happened before Watson uses a sedative to put him back to sleep. They leave the hospital and head to go see the ship and as they are walking, Holmes asks Lestrade about his brother, as Lestrade had mentioned him earlier, and Lestrade tells him that he spoke with Thorpe last week, which surprised Holmes as he had not heard he was back. When they reach the edge of a cliff over looking the boat wreckage, Holmes convinces Watson to use a rope to climb down the cliff and see if he can see anything. As he is climbing down, he sees a body and thinks it is another survivor but it is only the motion of the waves causing the body to movie so he signals to be pulled back up. As the men on the cliff do so, the rope breaks and Holmes manages to grab it before it, and Watson, plunge off the cliff and after making sure Watson is ok, Holmes says they should head back to London. That night, in Whitechapel, a young man is picking up a prostitute when he is attacked and killed by a dinosaur. The next day, Watson reads the news story to Holmes, who says they should check it out. As they head towards Whitechapel, they pass by a fountain and Watson comments about how the stream of water appears weaker than usual. Suddenly, a man comes running out of the nearby woods in a panic and as Holmes and Watson continue along the path, Holmes sees the footprint of a dinosaur in the ground. When they hear the rustling and roar of the dinosaur in the nearby bushes, Holmes and Watson make a run for it but eventually end up getting separated. Watson stumbles upon the building that houses the water pumps for the fountain and heads inside to investigate only to be confronted by Lestrade. Holmes arrives and convinces Lestrade that they heard a commotion and came to investigate and Lestrade says the same before he leaves. Watson questions why they didn’t tell him about the dinosaur and Holmes says because they don’t know what exactly they are dealing with but he found a clue in the woods, then tells Watson that the water pump for the fountain is missing from the building. Some time later, Watson is at his office and told he has a patient waiting for him and he heads down and meets with Anesidora Ivory and her uncle, who is in a wheelchair. Anesidora’s uncle asks for Watson to fill his prescriptions and Watson balks at first when he sees there are several powerful opiates, including morphine, on the list but he relents at Anesidora’s urging. Watson fills the prescriptions and tries to ask Anesidora on a date when Holmes calls and says that they have to head out that evening to work the case. That night, they head to a copper factory, where Holmes theorizes that the dinosaur was heading when it got interrupted by the prostitute and her john. The two stake out the place and when the dinosaur arrives and steals a spool of copper wire. Holmes and Watson give chase and Holmes is knocked into a wall but tells Watson to keep after the creature. Watson attempts to shoot the dinosaur while it is on a catwalk but ends up shattering the glass ceiling and Holmes manages to knock Watson out of the way of the falling glass but ends up cutting his leg in the process so Watson is forced to take Holmes back to 221B Baker Street and tend to his wound. The next morning, Holmes and Watson head out to a rubber factory only to be confronted by Lestrade, who wonders where they are off to but Holmes informs Lestrade that he knows that he has been following them in order to take credit for solving the case but invites him along anyways. When they reach the rubber factory, Holmes speaks with the owner, who doesn’t want to cooperate at first but When Holmes comments about bringing the Labor Department by to check for illegal immigrant workers, the owner relents. Lestrade heads inside to make sure he doesn’t try anything funny but as the owner heads up to get the paperwork for the customer Holmes asked about, he is attacked and killed by the dinosaur. As Holmes and Watson are talking outside, an explosion occurs which sends the owners body outside and they take cover as more explosions destroy the factory. The two briefly worry about Lestrade before Holmes says they must hurry and stop their quarry before he escapes. They head to Helmsworth, the area that Holmes grew up in, and Holmes explains that he found a rock on the factory owners body that could have only come from that area. Thy head up to a nearby castle and after Holmes picks the lock, they start to investigate inside but end up springing a trap. As a deadly gas starts to enter the room, Holmes works on freeing them but ends up setting off a trap door, and then yell for Watson to come down there. The two eventually come face to face with the dinosaur but realize that it is only a mechanical creation, as was the giant octopus that attacked the ship. As they look around, they are attacked by an armored man and Watson is knocked against a wall while Holmes attempts to defends himself with a sword and dagger but he is quickly captured. Anesidora shows up and, pointing a gun at Holmes, tells him to drop his weapon and the armored man reveals himself to be her uncle, who is actually Holmes’ brother Thorpe. Thorpe had built the suit to enable him to walk and explains how the bullet that had paralyzed him did not come from a bank robber, but had ricocheted off a door frame when his partner, Lestrade, had fired at the robbers. Thorpe reveals that he intends to ruin Lestrade’s career, as he had been taking credit for Holmes’ solving of the cases, and get his revenge at the same time. Holmes tries to stop him but Anesidora shoots him, then knocks out Watson with a syringe. When Watson comes too, he sees Thorpe and Anesidora talking and it is revealed that Anesidora is a robot, as well as a walking bomb. Thorpe sets the timer on Anesidora and tells her to head to Buckingham, as it will explode when she gets there. He then tries to get Watson to join him but when he refuses, Thorpe leaves him strapped to a device intended to rip his limbs from their sockets, then leaves with the bound Lestrade aboard a mechanical dragon. As Watson screams in pain from the device, he is rescued by Holmes, and it is revealed that the bullet had struck his tobacco case and Watson had lied that he had died. Holmes heads off another of Thorpe’s flying inventions to try and stop Thorpe, who is attacking London with his dragon. Meanwhile, Watson heads off to stop Anesidora from reaching Buckingham Palace in order to stop her from assassinating the queen. Holmes, using Thorpes begins battling Thorpe in the sky but Thorpe still manages set fire to Westminster Abbey and Parliment. Meanwhile, Watson arrives at Buckingham just as Anesidora is approaching the gate and he tries to stop her but she tosses him aside. After she kills the guards, she approaches the gate but Watson knocks her to the ground and then short circuits her, stopping the bomb from exploding. Thorpe sees this and heads towards Buckingham, intending to kill the queen himself but Holmes crashes his flying device into the dragon, causing them both to crash to the ground. Thorpe manages to crawl from the wreckage but his suit is damaged so he can no longer walk. Watson goes to check on him but Thorpe grabs the gun from him and threatens to kill him but ends up being killed by Holmes, who had parachuted to safety. Holmes and Watson free Lestrade and as Lestrade discusses the bank robbery that crippled Thorpe, Holmes realizes that Lestrade was not responsible for Thorpes injury and tells him so. Lestrade ends up taking credit for saving the queen and Holmes and Watson vow never to speak of the case again. Back in the present, Lucy says it is a fantastic story and asks if any of it is true only to discover that Watson had died after finishing his story. Some time later, Lucy goes to visit Watson’s grave and as she places some flowers on it, she sees Anesidora visiting Thorpe’s grave and, wondering about the strange woman, she quickly leaves.

I love watching The Asylum’s movies but sometimes their mockbusters can be a little hit or miss on if I like them. This one was unfortunately more of a miss with me but it wasn’t that bad of a movie. The acting was ok, with Ben Syder doing a decent job in his debut as Holmes, while Gareth David-Lloyd (Watson) and Dominic Keating (Thorpe) did a little better in their roles. The story was pretty fantastic in a ridiculous sort of way but they had plenty of opportunity for Holmes to showcase his deductive skills that he is famous for. The special effects were not that bad for a direct to video movie and I did like how the dragon looked, but the scenes with the dinosaur looked too off in regards to the blue screen so it took away from it a little. Not the best mockbuster out there but it can be entertaining to watch just for the pure ridiculousness of it.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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action, movie, movie review, sci-fi

August 26th, 2017 Movie – She-Wolves Of The Wasteland (a.k.a Phoenix The Warrior)

she wolves of the wasteland

I have to say, AT&T did a pretty quick job in getting someone out to fix the cut cable yesterday. Of course, I wasn’t too happy about the work crew waking me up this morning to rebury the cable, but since they were supposed to have done that months ago, I will deal with it if it means that this doesn’t happen again. But enough about that, on to today’s movie. Now years ago, I was in the mood to watch some post-apocalyptic style movies and looked up a list that featured some B-movies of that variety. After picking out a couple of titles, I went and bought them on Amazon and for the most part, was somewhat underwhelmed with several of them. Today’s movie, She-Wolves Of The Wasteland, was one of those disappointing ones but who knows, maybe it will be better the second time around.

The plot: As nuclear disarmament was nearly finished across the world, a plague occurred which wiped out all of the men and almost all of the women. One of the surviving women, Reverend Mother, began to take power by finding away to breed new women to form her own army. One day, a woman is racing across the desert in a dune buggy while being pursued by the Reverend Mother’s soldiers. When the dune buggy crashes, the leader, Cobalt, approaches the driver and retrieves a canister from her bag, only to find it is empty. The driver is taken back to Reverend Mother, who asks about the container and when she is told what happened, she orders that the driver’s assistant, Keela, be found at once, then proceeds to kill the driver in order to regain some of her life. Elsewhere, Keela is attempting to sneak out of the city but ends up being captured by a pair of bounty hunters. Before they can take her to Reverend Mother, Keela is saved by a sandtrapper named Phoenix, who asks what is going on and Keela says she will tell her later once they get to safety. They manages to make it out of the city but two bounty hunters are still chasing them. Phoenix kills one of them but when she runs out of bullets, the last bounty hunter is about to kill her but ends up being killed by Keela instead. Making their way through the desert, Phoenix asks Keela why they were after her and Keela explains that she is pregnant with a male child. Phoenix, realizing how serious things are, tells Keela she knows where they can go to be safe and they continue into the desert. Meanwhile, Cobalt learns of what happens and leads her troops into the desert after them. When two of her mercenaries begin fighting over who is better suited to claim the reward, the winner notices tracks in the sand and points them out to Cobalt. Elsewhere, Phoenix and Keela come to an oasis that is controlled by a tribe of women , who take them in. Month’s later, Keela give birth to her son and names him Skyler, but Reverend Mother senses Skyler’s birth and, knowing where he is, sends Cobalt and her mercenaries after him. In the oasis, the members of the tribe are arguing on whether the baby should stay, as some of the women feel that letting the baby boy become an adult would destroy the world again. Suddenly Cobalt and her mercenaries show up and begin attacking the tribe, killing them all. Keela tries to run with Skyler and ends up captured but Phoenix, who was going hunting, heard the fire fight and returns in time to save them and they quickly leave the oasis. 5 years later, Phoenix, Keela, and Skyler have managed to survive in the desert, with Phoenix teaching Skyler how to fight. When she returns to where Keela is, they decide to try and return to the city for some supplies, figuring that enough time has passed so they might be able to get in and out without problem. Making their way through the desert, they come to an abandoned shack and Phoenix has Keela and Skyler wait there while she heads into town during the night. As she is trading for some water, Phoenix sees Cobalt staring at her and she quickly finishes her purchase and heads back to the shack. The next morning, a masked stranger enters the shack and attacks Phoenix but Phoenix and Keela subdue the stranger, only to realize that it is a man. When the man regains consciousness, Phoenix questions him and he tells them that he had escaped from Reverend Mother’s seed chamber and had been living in the shack for years. When Cobalt and her mercenaries arrive, the man, Guy, tells them he has a way out of the shack and shows them a tunnel but the entrance is blocked. While Phoenix holds off the mercenaries, Guy works on clearing the debris, then has Skyler and Keela head through. Guy calls out to Phoenix to head into the tunnel but one of the mercenaries drives her truck through the shack, collapsing it on top of her. Cobalt’s mercenaries drag Phoenix out of the rubble, then sends one of the girls in to find Skyler but Guy, who had escaped through the tunnel, sneaks back and sets off an explosive charge, destroying the rest of the shack and killing the girl. Cobalt and Phoenix believe that Skyler and Keela have been killed and Cobal takes Phoenix back to the city, planning to make her fight in the arena. Meanwhile, Keela tries to convince Guy to help her rescue Phoenix and finally does so by telling him he can keep one of Reverend Mother’s vehicles to help with their escape. Phoenix is made to fight in the arena and after killing her first two opponents, she is pitted against Neon, the reigning champion. Keela shows up at the arena and throws Phoenix a spear, which Phoenix uses to kill the announcer. Keela then grabs a gun and begins shooting at the guards while the champion helps Phoenix escape. Once she is out of the arena, Phoenix takes the gun and kills some more guards before she and Keela leave, meeting up with Guy in his new car. As they are driving along, Keela tries to convince Guy to help them overthrow Reverend Mother and Cobalt but when he refuses, she says she is happy that they are all together. As they make camp for the night, Guy has a change of heart, figuring he has a better chance of avoiding being captured if he stays with them, causing Keela to hug him. While Phoenix and Skyler are asleep, Keela and Guy end up getting closer and kissing before they end up having sex. The group head towards the Badlands, continuing on foot after their car breaks down. As they make their way into the area, they come across a Rezule burial ground and though Guy and Keela want to avoid it, Phoenix says they should just go straight through. When they encounter the Rezule, they attempt to fight their way free of them but they are soon captured. Cobalt and her mercenaries arrive and after realizing they have not just Skyler, but a full grown male, she takes Skyler and Guy with her while leaving Phoenix and Keela for the Rezule to deal with, who then tie Phoenix and Keela to frames and leave them to die. Back in the city, Reverend Mother is taunting Guy while telling Skyler she has plans for him to grow her power, which involves sacrificing him. Back in the Badlands, the Rezule are preparing to sacrifice Keela and Phoenix but they are saved by Neon. The three women sneak into the city that night and Phoenix and Neon begin planting explosives around the buildings in town, then head back to Keela to detonate them but the wire is bad so the explosives fail to detonate. When a guard spots them, Phoenix starts firing at the guards while Neon uses a back-up detonator to set off the charges, sacrificing herself to do so. Phoenix and Keela head inside Reverend Mother’s base and start looking for Skyler and Guy but when they encounter Cobalt, Phoenix has Keela keep looking while she fights with Cobalt. Cobalt manages to wound Phoenix and prepares to kill her but Phoenix pulls the pin on a grenade that Cobalt was wearing, then pushes her away and watches as she explodes. Meanwhile, Keela confronts Reverend Mother for Skyler and she is soon joined by Phoenix but Reverend Mother reveals that she has power over the two women, forcing them to kneel in front of her. Reverend Mother then explains that she is the last of the original human race and had created all of the women currently on Earth, including the two of them. Keela continues to crawl forward and cuts the wires powering the machines that help keep Reverend Mother alive, causing Reverend Mother to collapse into her chair and Keela finally stabs her, finishing her off.

Nope, this is still a bad movie, but it has some funny parts that almost put it up in that “so bad it’s almost decent” category. The acting was pretty bad all around but a portion of that was probably due to the script itself. The plot was very confusing and didn’t really do a good job in explaining what was going on. There were some funny parts, such as the Rezule’s essentially worshiping TV’s and their Holy Word is basically them reciting the titles of TV shows. The special effects in this were laughably bad and pretty much what you would expect from a low budget movie that is basically a heart-beat and one wardrobe malfunction or sex scene away from being a “skinemax” flick as opposed to the blatant sexploitation film that it is. Not exactly worth watching unless you are really curious.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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August 25th, 2017 Movie – She Gods Of Shark Reef

the she beastI have an important announcement to make. CANNONBALL! In all seriousness, I do have a rather annoying issue to be discussed here. So the internet is out at my house due to the cable accidentally being cut. Until it is fixed, my postings are probably going to be a little spotty at times. What I will probably do is write up the review as a word document, then use a flash drive so I can upload it onto the blog while I am on a break at work. This will work, to a degree, during the work week but the weekend movies will have to all be poster on Monday. Here is hoping that this issue doesn’t take too long to get fixed.

 

So it is Friday and what better way for me to end the work week than to watch a Roger Corman movie. Now this is an older movie of his, as in they thanked the “Territory” of Hawaii, as it was not yet a state when this movie was filmed there. Now I remember seeing this movie years ago during some late night TV viewings but honestly don’t remember a single thing about it. The funny thing about it is that I have this movie in two different collections; a Roger Corman set that I bought as well as in the Sci-Fi Classics box set. So let’s see what I am getting into with today’s movie, She Gods Of Shark Reef.

 

The plot: Lee Johnston and his partner swim underneath a dock, then climb up and kill a guard before they sneak into a warehouse and open a crate containing some guns. When a second guard makes his rounds and finds the dead guard, Lee’s partner jumps back into the water and swims away. The guard sees this and starts to raise an alarm but Lee attacks and kills him, then uses the cover of darkness to swim to the far side of the island, where his brother Chris has a boat. Lee’s plan was to stow away on the boat and when they reached a nearby island, he would disembark, as he had friends there that would help hide him. However, the ship was stuck in a hurricane and ends up getting caught on a reef. Chris and Lee, the only survivors of the ship, are rescued by some female pearl divers and brought to their island, where the village elder, Queen Pua, approaches the beach. Pua asks what happened and Chris explains that their radio was damaged during the storm and they tried to make it to the island but got caught on the reef. Pua doesn’t want the men on the island, as their village is a female only village, and Chris says he doesn’t want to stay longer than he has too. When Chris asks if any ships come to the island so they can be taken back to port, Pua tells them a company ship will be there in 10 days, then takes them to a guest hut on the island. Once there, she gives them some dry clothes to wear, saying that her girls will salvage what they can from their ship, and asks their names so she can put it in her report. Chris gives them their names and then asks what company she is talking about and Pua explains that they are pearl divers. As Pua goes out and uses a semaphore flag to send out a message about the two men, Chris and Lee begin to argue about staying on the island, as Lee is worried that if he stays there too long, every police station on the islands will be looking for him. Chris and Lee use a raft to head out to the wrecked boat and salvage what they can, then head back to the village. When they get there, Pua approaches them and asks how they fared. After telling her their bad luck, Lee asks about food on the island and Pua tells them where to go, saying the girls will take care of them. She them points out the hut where they store the pearls they collect until the company ship arrives and tells them that area is off limits to them. Lee, noticing one of the girls, Mahia, seems attracted to Chris, convinces him to talk to her, saying that she might be able to help them get off the island. Chris talks to Mahia and invites her to eat with him and Lee and she agrees, though Pua does not seem happy about it. After lunch, several of the girls get up to do various hula dances and Mahia convince Chris to try. As he is dancing with Mahia, she puts her lei around his neck  but as he dances, his hand gets caught in the lei and it breaks, causing all of the women to gasp and stop what they are doing. Chris asks what is wrong and Pua tells him it is taboo as she quickly pulls Mahia away from Chris and all of the girls leave. The next day, Chris goes looking around the island and sees Mahia swimming in a nearby cove and goes to swim with her. When they come back to shore, Chris asks her about what the broken lei means and Mahia explains that the shark gods are angry because Mahia rescued them. Chris tries to tell her that it isn’t true and kisses her and Mahia returns the kiss. However, Pua had seen them together and after Mahia leaves him, Pua speaks with Chris and tells him to leave Mahia alone. Meanwhile, Lee had found an outrigger that is not too damaged and Chris says that if they can replace the mast, it should be ok to use. That afternoon, Pua and the other women are sitting around a fire, with Pua asking for a sign from the gods, and based on the smoke and flame of the fire, she says that they have to perform a purification ceremony. Mahia is bound and taken out on a boat and then thrown into the water to be fed to the sharks but Chris goes out an a long board and rescues Mahia. Chris brings her back to shore and starts to carry her to the guest hut. Pua and the others follow after him and beg him to leave her to them but Chris refuses to let them kill her. Later, Chris and Lee go to work on fixing the boat and Pua follows them, to see where they are going, then heads to the hut to get Mahia. Pua tries to tell her that Chris and Lee are bad, as the police are coming for them but Mahia doesn’t believe her about Chris and calls out for him. Chris and Lee hear her and go to help, taking both women back to the hut, where Lee ties up Pua. Realizing they have to leave now, Chris asks Mahia if there is a map to show the breaks in the reef and she says it is in the hut with the pearls. Lee tells Chris and Mahia to get some supplies and take Pua to the boat, as they have to take her with them so she doesn’t raise the alarm, while he gets the map. Lee grabs the map, then gets greedy and tries to take the pearls as well, but he is seen and the rest of the villagers chase after him. Lee gets on the boat and they start to sail away and Pua says that the villagers were saying Lee took the pearls but he denies it. Deciding to wait on the reef until dark before they get away, Lee says he wants to check the other side of the reef, but secretly swims back to the island and steals the pearls. Meanwhile, Mahia asks Chris why they are running from the police and Chris tells her that Lee had got into some trouble and he was trying to help him escape. Meanwhile, Pua manages to free herself and heads back to the island, calling for the girls to warn the others. When Lee gets back to the reef and finds Pua is gone, he tells Chris that they have to leave now but Chris says it is too risky. Seeing the bag in Lee’s hand, Chris grabs it and realizes Lee went back to steal the pearls. When Mahia asks about the guard, Lee admits to killing her then attacks Chris when he tries to stop him from leaving. The two begin fighting on the reef, eventually spilling into the water, and Lee manages to knock Chris unconscious and then steals the boat. Mahia helps Chris and they watch Lee as he gets tangled in the ropes for the mast and falls into the water. When a shark approaches, Chris dives in to try and help him, with Mahia following after but they are unable to save him and he is killed by the shark, while the bag of pearls falls out of the boat, spilling onto the ocean floor. Pua and the other women reach the reef and Pua calls out for Mahia but Mahia chooses to stay with Chris and they sail off together.

 

This wasn’t too bad of a movie and if it had a longer run time so they could flesh out some parts, it would have been a lot better. The acting was pretty good, with Bill Cord (Chris), Don Durant (Lee) and Jeanne Gerson (Pua) all doing good jobs in their roles. The story was a pretty straight forward for the most part but was a little confusing in the beginning as they didn’t really explain what was going on until several minutes after Chris and Lee were rescued. The pacing of the movie did feel a bit off at times while some of the scenes with the sharks didn’t blend well with the scenes of the people, as you could tell they were shot on different types of film. A short movie that can be worth a watch.

 

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, thriller

August 24th, 2017 Movie – The She Beast

the she beast

After all the shark movies I recently watched, it feels pretty good to watch a movie from the Legends of Horror box set. Once again, this is a movie that I never heard of and I had to do some looking up to see what this movie is about. So apparently I have another Italian horror movie on my hands. I don’t know if this is necessarily a good thing or a bad thing but the only way to find out is to go ahead and watch it. So let’s get right into today’s movie, The She Beast.

The plot: In Transylvania, Count Von Helsing heads to his room at a local inn and after sitting down for a while, he grabs a book and then lays in bed while reading it, which depicts events that happened 200 years ago. In the past, a young boy interrupts a funeral service to tell the people that a witch named Vardella has taken his brother. The priest is outraged and demands the boy tell them where she is so they can put a stop to her. The townsfolk gather torches and head out into the night to kill Vardella, but one man says they must exorcise her first, or else she will be a curse on the town for generations to come. The priest leads the townsfolk to the cave that Vardella is hiding in and they capture her after she rushes out to attack them. Taking her to the lake, they tie her into the dunking chair, where Vardella tells them she will come back to take revenge on their descendants. The priest then instructs them the mob to nail a stake into her gut before they proceed to repeatedly dunk Vardella into the lake until she dies. Back in the present, Von Helsing finishes reading the book and puts it down before getting out of the bed. Meanwhile, a pair of newlyweds, Philip and Veronica, are honeymooning in Transylvania but get lost in the mountains. As they stop to check the map, they see someone approaching on a bicycle and ask for directions to an inn that they can stay at for the night and the man directs them to Vaubrac. When the couple arrives in town, they find it unimpressive and consider driving on to the next town, which is 40 miles down the road, when the inn’s owner Ladislav Groper, approaches them and convinces them to stay the night. As they sit outside, Groper brings them some food and tea and after he leaves, Philip and Veronica throw out the garlic that came with their meal. Von Helsing, who was swinging on a nearby swing set, approaches them and tells that the garlic is an area tradition to ward off demons and witchcraft. After introducing himself, Veronica asks if he knows the Draculas, as she recognized the name, and he tells them his family were the ones to exorcise them and drive them out of Transylvania. Von Helsing then convinces them to get a bottle of wine and he starts telling them the history of Vaubrac and of Vardella. When they get tired of listening to him talk, they politely take their leave and Von Helsing takes the wine with him, arguing that the bottle was paid for when Groper tries to stop him. As Philip and Veronica settle in for the night, Groper bursts into the room without knocking, upsetting Philip. Philip requests another room but Groper refuses to let them move and after they argue for a few minutes, Groper leaves. Philip and Veronica begin to have sex but Veronica notices Groper watching from the window, prompting Philip to assault Groper and severely beat him. Returning to the room, Philip wants to leave right away but Veronica says they should stay the night, as Groper won’t do anything again or risk being beaten again. Philip and Vernoica try leaving early in the morning but when the car won’t start, Philip discovers that the distributor cap was removed from his car. Suspecting Groper, Philip bursts into his room to deman it’s return and finds it underneath Groper’s bed. They leave and head down the road when Philip loses control of his car and, after narrowly avoiding hitting a delivery truck, crashes into the lake. The truck driver get out and runs to the lake and retireves Philip, who tells him to help Veronica before he passes out, and the driver quickly pulls her body from the lake. The driver takes them back to the inn and asks Groper to help him, as he has a bad reputation among the local police. When Philip regains consciousness, he sees Groper sitting there drinking and watching him and asks him where Veronica is. Groper points to a room and he goes there to check on her but then yells at Groper and asks what he has done with her. Von Helsing enters the room, having been attracted by the commotion, and when he sees the body, he tells Groper to place the body in the room the couple stayed in, then asks Philip to tell him everything he remembers from the crash. Philip tells him what happened and how the car seemed to be drawn to the lake, and he remembers a wooden structure near the shore. Von Helsing tells Groper to watch over the body and he tells Philip to trust him and they leave to head to his family’s old castle, which the government took possession of. Von Helsing tries to explain to Philip that the body that was retrieved from the lake was that of the witch, Vardella, and he has to retrieve his exorcism tools so that they can exorcise the witch and return her to the lake in order to get Veronica back. Philip thinks they are wasting time and leaves to go alert the police, with Von Helsing chasing after him but he doesn’t find him. Von Helsing goes to the inn and attempts to exorcise Vardella but she wakes up and attacks him, choking him into unconsciousness before fleeing the room. Elsewhere in the inn, Groper is drinking and watching TV when his niece shows up, having hear dthe commotion and gotten scared. Groper invites her in under the pretense of trying to comfort her but he then attempts to rape her but she fights him off and runs out of the room. Groper heads outside and yells at her when Philip shows up and Groper, who is startled, smashes his bottle over Philip’s head. Thinking that he killed him, Groper drags Philip’s body into the street in the hopes that a passing car will run him over but the delivery truck manages to swerve and miss him. Von Helsing comes too and finds Philip and drags him out of the street while elsewhere, Groper is killed by Vardella. When Philip comes too, Von Helsing tries to explain what is going on, that Vardella is killing the descendants of those who killed her, but Philip finds it hard to believe until he sees a body on the side of the road. They head into town and split up to look for Vardella and find her attacking someone outside of a cock fight arena. Philip manages to pull her off her victim and Von Helsing uses a syringe to render her unconscious. The take her back to the inn and place her in the freezer while they return to Von Helsing’s home to get the supplies they need to bring Veronica back. Meanwhile, the police are concerned about the recent murders when the truck driver, who they had arrested earlier, sees that Groper is one of the victims and tells them about the accident and the body at the inn. They head over there and find where Philip and Von Helsing placed the body and take it back to town. Philip and Von Helsing return just as they are leaving and, realizing that they have the body, head into town and steal the police van with Vardella’s body in it. The police give chase but Philip and Von Helsing are able to give them the slip and head to the lake, only for Von Helsing to remember that all of his exorcism tools are in his car. They leave the van and wait for the police to show up, coming up with a plan to attack them and get the tools. When the police arrive, they approach the van only for Valderra, who had regained consciousness, to attack them. Von Helsing knocks her out again and they head to the late and strap her into the dunking chair, and proceed to dunk her under the water. When Veronica’s body appears, Philip swims out to retrieve her and Veronica has no knowledge of what has occurred since the crash. Von Helsing, Philip, and Veronica leave Transylvania and enter Czechoslovakia, with Von Helsing asking to accompany them back to England. Von Helsing says he worries about leaving Vaubrac undefended but Philip says that he is glad to be leaving while Veronica cryptically says that she will be back, mirroring what Vardella had said 200 years ago.

I have to be honest, this was a little disappointing of a movie as a horror movie, but it was entertaining in a “God, this is bad” kind of way. The acting was decent, with Barbara Steele doing a good job in the brief time she was on screen as Veronica, while John Karlsen (Von Helsing) and Ian Ogilvy (Philip) made for an interesting dynamic. The story was interesting but the way that they tried to enact the story felt a little weak and didn’t really do a good job in explaining everything that was going on. The lighting in the movie was pretty bad and the special effects were pretty weak to be honest. All told, it wasn’t quite what I expected and could have been better but not the worst movie I have seen.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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crime, drama, movie, movie review

August, 23rd, 2017 Movie – The Shawshank Redemption

the shawshank redemption

Once again, I find myself in possession of what is considered one of those “must watch” movies. Now I will admit, it took me a long time to get around to watching today’s movie because it honestly never really piqued my interest. However, the near constant barrage of it on the various Turner channels (TNT and TBS), and my catching various portions of the movie at one point or another prompted me to sit down and watch it in it’s entirety one day. Even though I had watched it, and will admit that it earned the hype it was given, I still had no intention of buying it on DVD because I honestly didn’t see the reason in buying it because IT WAS ALWAYS ON TV. However, this past Christmas, my brother was giving away all of his old DVD’s and I couldn’t say no to a free copy of this movie. So let’s get right into today’s movie, The Shawshank Redemption.

The plot: In 1947 Portland, Maine, Andy Dufresne is on trial for the murder of his wife and her lover and though he professes his innocence, he is sentenced to 2 consecutive life terms in prison. At Shawshank State Penitentiary, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding is attending his parole hearing and afterwards, he heads back to the yard and discusses his chances of getting parole with his fellow inmates. When an alarm sounds, the prisoners gather around the fence to watch the new prisoners arrive and Red gets his first glimpse of Andy and makes a bet with the other prisoners that he will be the first one to break. Andy and the other new prisoners are brought inside and are introduced to Warden Norton and Hadley, the captain of the guards. Norton explains the rules in his prison and then the prisoners are hosed down and marched naked to their cells. After a month in prison, Andy approaches Red, who is known as the man able to get items inside the prison, and asks if he can get him a small rock hammer. Red tells him it will cost him $10 dollars, then gives Andy a warning about Bogs Diamond and his group, the Sisters, who have their sights set on raping Andy. One day, Andy is cornered by Bogs and the Sisters and though he tries to fight them off, he ends up being beaten. Two years later, Red manages to get Andy and some other friends on a work detail re-tarring the ceiling of the workshop and while they are working, they overhear Hadley complaining about an inheritance he received and how much taxes he will have to pay. Andy approaches Hadley and offers to help him keep most of that money without having to pay taxes on it in exchange for some beers for the roofing crew. Hadley agrees and the prisoners sit on the roof drinking some beers while Andy simply watches, and Red tries to figure out why he did it. Some time later, Andy goes to see Red while he is watching a movie and asks for a Rita Hayworth poster and Red tells him it will take a few weeks. As Andy leaves the theater, he is grabbed by Bogs and the Sisters and taken into the projection room, where they attempt to rape him but when Andy taunts them, they beat him close to death instead. Andy spends a month in the infirmary and Bogs, after spending a week in solitary, is beaten severely by Hadley, to the point where he can no longer walk and is transferred to a prison hospital. As a welcome back gift for Andy, Red and some of the other inmates collect some alabaster rock for Andy, who wants to use it to make chess pieces. When Andy is out of the infirmary, he sees the rocks, as well as the poster of Rita Hayworth, waiting for him in his room. One day, Norton has a surprise inspection done of some of the cells and he personally watches as Hadley searches Andy’s cell, then speaks with him afterwards. A few days later, Andy is transferred from the laundry detail to the prison library and assigned as an assistant to Brooks, the prison librarian. Andy and Brooks both think this is strange but then they learn that it was meant to get Andy away from the inmates so he can help the guards, and eventually the warden, with their taxes. As Red and the others joke about what Andy is doing, Andy says that he is going to try and get some new books for the library. Andy approaches Norton about it but when Norton refuses, saying it isn’t in the budget, Andy says he will try writing the senator every week and Norton tells him it is a waste of time but he will mail the letters out for him. In 1954, Brooks is paroled and he is upset at the news, as he has spent 50 years in Shawshank and doesn’t know anything but life in the prison. After he gets out, Brooks writes a letter to Red, telling him how he felt outside of prison, before he hangs himself inside the halfway house. One day, Andy receives some funds for the prison library as well as some donations of used books from various libraries and told to stop writing them. As Andy is going through the boxes of books, he finds a box of records and puts one on the record player in the Norton’s office, and then puts the music on over the loud speaker so the other prisoners can listen to it. Norton is displeased with this and sends Andy to solitary for two weeks. As time passes, Andy is given more money for the library, as he started writing 2 letters a week.. In 1963, Norton starts a prisoner work program, which he uses to pad his own pockets by exploiting the prisoners for cheap labor while accepting bribes from other contractors. Norton has Andy launder the extra money by setting it up in account under the name of Randall Stephens. In 1965, a new inmate by the name of Tommy Williams comes to Shawshank and he is adopted by Red and Andy’s group. Tommy asks Andy to help him pass his GED, as he has a wife and baby outside and wants to be a better provider for them, and Andy agrees to help teach him to read and prepare for the test. When Tommy learns what Andy is in for, he tells Andy that he was incarcerated in another prison 4 years ago and his cell mate, who had been the one to kill Andy’s wife and her lover. Andy goes to Norton with this information, believing that it will be cause to get a new trial for his case but Norton refuses to believe it and then has Andy placed in solitary for a month when he gets upset. As the prisoners discuss what happened with Andy, Tommy receives an envelope from the Education Board, as Andy had mailed in Tommy’s test, and when he refuses to open it, Red opens it for him and tells him that he passed. Norton has Tommy meet him by the prison gates one night and questions him about what he told Norton and after Tommy swears it is true, Norton has Hadley kill him under the pretense that he was trying to escape. Norton goes to tell Andy about the murder and when Andy says he will refuse to launder the money any more, Norton threatens to destroy the library and make things worse for Andy, then tells Hadley to give him another month in solitary. When he finally is released from solitary, Andy is talking with Red and tells him of his dream of living in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, a Pacific coastal town, when he gets out of there. When Red tells Andy that he doesn’t know if he can make it on the outside and Andy is being unrealistic, Andy tells him that when he gets out of there, he needs to visit a particular hayfield in Buxton and retrieve something that Andy buried there. Red is worried about Andy and tells some of their friends and Heywood tells him that Andy had asked him for 6 ft of rope, and they worry that he might commit suicide. After finishing his work on the books in Norton’s office, Andy heads back to his cell and stares at his poster of Raquel Welch, which is the latest poster to replace his Rita Hayworth poster, and pulls out the rope. The next morning at roll call, Andy’s cell is found to be empty and Norton is outraged. As he has Red brought in to question him, and as he gets frustrated with nobody knowing how Andy disappeared, he starts throwing Andy’s rock’s at Red, Hadley, and finally the poster, which rips to reveal a tunnel in the wall. A manhunt is called for Andy and they find his old prison clothes and the rock hammer he used to make the tunnel. In flashback, it is shown that Andy had switched out the ledger from Norton’s office and stolen one of his suits and shoes, which he placed in a plastic bag to keep them dry, while he made his way through the tunnel, then used a storm to cover the sound of his breaking a sewer pipe, which he crawls through for 500 yards in order to escape. As Norton, Hadley, and Red are examining the tunnel, Andy, under the guise of Randall Stephens, heads to a dozen banks in Portland and proceeds to close out all of the accounts, then asks one of them to mail something for him, which is the ledger and a letter detailing the murders and corruption to the local newspaper. The FBI gets involved and Hadley is arrested but Norton chooses to kill himself rather than be arrested. A few days later, Red receives an unsigned post card from Fort Hancock, Texas, and he knows that that is where Andy crossed the border into Mexico. After 40 years in Shawshank, Red is paroled but, just like Brooks, he has a hard time adjusting to the outside. Remembering his promise to Andy, Red heads to the hayfield in Buxton and finds a lunchbox with a note from Andy and an envelope with some cash inside. Red violates his parole by heading to Fort Hancock, Texas, then crosses the border and makes his way to Zihuatanejo, where he finds Andy working on fixing up an old boat and the two friends embrace each other.

The Shawshank Redemption met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “The Shawshank Redemption is an uplifting, deeply satisfying prison drama with sensitive direction and fine performances.” The movie was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, the most for any Stephen King film adaptation, but it did not win any of them. While it was highly praised by the critics, it was only a modest success at the box office, earning $58 million off of a $25 million budget. However, due to word of mouth, and TNT airing it nearly every day starting in 1997, the movie would become considered by many to be the greatest film to come out of the 1990’s and is widely regarded one of the greatest movies of all time.

All of the hype about this movie is well deserved because this is a fantastic movie. The acting was great, with Tim Robbins (Andy) and Morgan Freeman (Red) doing fantastic jobs while Bob Gunton (Norton) and Clancy Brown (Hadley) were equally good in their roles. The story was really good, moving at a pretty slow and deliberate pace which helped build up  interest in the movie and characters while doing a good job in not not becoming boring. I honestly think the methodical, steady pacing of the movie was meant to mirror the Andy’s plan to escape, showing how he kept at it for years and never gave up hope that it would work. There wasn’t really any special effects used in this movie, as it used the drama to help carry the story very effectively. I will say that the little side part where it focused on Brooks when he got paroled was incredibly sad to watch. Like I said, well deserving of all the hype and definitely a movie that is worth watching.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, zombie movie

August 22nd, 2017 Movie – Shaun Of The Dead

shaun of the dead

Now here is a movie that I didn’t get to see in theaters and to be honest, I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t. When this came out, several of my friends had seen it and they knew I would like it and recommended that I go see it. I was all on board to do so but my wife didn’t want to go. Now this is the same person that wanted to see 28 days later on our anniversary but for some reason, did not want to go see this movie. Yeh, it makes no sense but that is what happened and so I wound up not going to see this in theaters but the second it came out on DVD, I immediately bought it and never once looked back. So lets get some zombie goodness going with today’s movie, Shaun Of The Dead.

The plot: Shaun is out at the Winchester with his girlfriend Liz, who is unhappy about the fact that he always has to bring Ed along with him. Along with her friends David and Dianna, who are there with them as well, Liz complains about Shaun’s lack of direction in life and Shaun says he will change and promises to make a reservation at a restaurant for their anniversary the next day. The next day, Shaun is getting ready for work when his roommate Pete starts complaining about Ed living there but not contributing to the house any. As Shaun and Pete get ready to leave for work, Pete asks Ed to clean up since he isn’t doing anything and Shaun asks Ed to do it for him, as he doesn’t want Pete to get more upset than he already is. At work, Shaun is giving a team meeting, being the senior member on staff there, but the kids working under him are disrespectful or ignore him. While working, Shaun’s step-father Philip shows up to remind Shaun about visiting his mother the next day and suggests he bring the flowers he forgot to bring on Mother’s Day when he comes. As one of the kids gets on Shaun’s case about receiving a “personal visit” at work, Liz calls to see if Shaun got her message at the house and Shaun absent mindedly answers to avoid further mocking from the teen. On the way home, Shaun buys some flowers for his mom and starts noticing some strange things going on with some people. He runs into his friend Yvonne, who asks about him and Liz, prompting Shaun to remember about the dinner reservations but when he tries to make one, the restaurant is booked. Liz calls and when Shaun tells her that he forgot to make the reservation and suggests going to the Winchester, she breaks up with him. Shaun grabs the flowers and heads over to Liz’s place, which she shares with David and Dianna, but David and Dianna refuse to let him in at first. When he finally gets in, Liz argues with him about all the broken promises he has made, while David interjects his own comments which angers Shaun. Liz eventually kicks Shaun out of her flat and as he walks towards the Winchester, he sees a couple making out near the door and angrily tosses the flowers into the trash. Shaun sits with Ed, who tries to cheer Shaun up and they end up getting drunk and going back to the house, not noticing that there are zombies wandering around. When they get back to the house, Shaun and Ed continue drinking and partying until Pete throws the record out the window and yells that it is 4 in the morning. He then yells at Ed and tells Shaun to sort his life out when Shaun notices Pete’s hand is wounded and Pete tells them he was mugged on the way home and someone bit him. The next morning, Shaun heads to the market, comp[letely oblivious to the zombies around the area, and when he gets back to the house, Ed tells him there is a girl in the yard. The two go out to check on her and when she keeps trying to attack them, Shaun pushes her, causing her to fall and impale herself on a pole. When the girl gets back up, Shaun and Ed move to go inside when they see a second zombie approaching them. They make it inside and start watching the news only to have a zombie enter the house through the front door, which Shaun forgot to close. Ed manages to kill it and, after hearing a news report on how to stop the zombies, they go outside and start throwing things at the zombies, including Shaun’s records. When it doesn’t work, Shaun breaks into the shed and grabs a cricket bat, while Ed grabs a shovel, and the two kill the two zombies in the yard. Going back inside, they see a report about people being bitten, prompting them to worry about Pete but when they yell up at him, they get no response and think he has already left. Shaun’s mom, Barbara, calls and tells him that Phillip was bitten so Shaun decides they will go get Barbara, kill Phillip, then go to Liz’s and all of them will hold up at the Winchester. As they go to leave, Shaun sees Pete is in the bathroom and he quickly leaves the room before he grabs him and they get in Pete’s car and leave. They reach Barbara and Philips house and Ed chooses to stay outside with the car while Shaun goes inside the house. Inside Shaun asks Barbara about Philip but when he goes to kill him, he finds that Philip is still alive and can’t bring himself to kill him. Shaun takes Barbara and Philip outside and finds that Ed has wrecked the car in order to drive Philip’s Jaguar but before they get in the car, Philip is attacked by some more zombies. Shaun fends them off and they all get in the car and head to Liz’s flat. Shaun heads there but when he finds too many zombies at the door, he climbs the wall to their flat and convinces them to come with him to the Winchester, though David argues that they will be safer there. When they head outside, Shaun leads them to the car and they start to drive to the Winchester but Philip dies and turns into a zombie. Shaun fends him off as Ed, Liz, and Barbara get out of the car and Liz lets Shaun, David, and Dianna out of the back, as they were trapped due to the child locks on the doors. Making their way through the neighborhood to the Winchester, the group runs into Yvonne, who is leading a similar group in the opposite direction. As they get close to the Winchester, Shaun notices his mom is missing just as he hears her crying out. Shaun heads back and finds Barbara on the ground, just as he gets attacked by a zombie. Liz and Dianna help Shaun deal with the zombie, which he impales with a tether ball pole. Realizing the street in front of the Winchester is full of zombies, Shaun comes up with a plan to imitate them and make their way to the pub. When they get there, they find the doors locked and as Shaun tries to tell them there is another way in, Ed gets a phone call, drawing the zombie’s attention towards them. David panics and breaks a window but Shaun realizes that they won’t make it in safely so Shaun chooses to lead the zombies away from the pub so the others can make it in. Inside, David starts complaining about what they should do next and everyone is surprised when Shaun reappears, telling them that he gave the zombies the slip and came in through back door. As they sit in a booth, Shaun notices the lights coming on in the street and so he heads down to check the fuses and discovers that the zombies had followed him. When Ed attracts the zombies attention again, just as the jukebox starts playing music, Shaun has David try to stop the jukebox while he, Ed, and Liz deal with the bar’s owner. As they use the deal with the zombies starting to break in, Liz tends to Barbara, who reveals that she was bitten back when she was attacked in the yard. Shaun, Ed, and Dianna head over to try and help Barbara but she dies and Shaun cries out. David suddenly points the gun at Barbara and as everyone argues for him to put the gun down, Shaun calls David out on being in love with Liz, which David finally admits to being true. When Barbara turns, Shaun is forced to kill her, then punches David when he makes a comment about it. David gets fed up and goes to leave but the zombies break through the window and grab him. Shaun, Liz, and Dianna try to save him but he is ripped apart by the zombies and Dianna, mad with grief, runs out and begins attacking the zombies with David’s leg. As more zombies start entering the pub, Ed is attacked and bitten by Pete, prompting Shaun to shoot Pete and then Shaun, Liz, and Ed take shelter behind the bar, which Shaun sets on fire to fend off the zombies. They then head into the cellar and Shaun realizes they have two bullets left, which he and Liz discuss shooting themselves to avoid being killed by the zombies. As they talk, Shaun sees the elevator to the street and he goes to grab Ed but Ed tells him that he will only hold him back and that they should go as they would have a chance to make it. Shaun and Liz head to the street just as the military arrive and start killing the zombies, and they are surprised to see Yvonne there, who had told the military to come there. 6 months later, society has gone back to a semblance of normal, with some zombies being used to handle mundane tasks. Shaun and Liz have gotten back together and as they discuss their plans for the day, Shaun heads out to the garden shed, where he is keeping the zombified Ed around so he can still have his best friend with him, and the two begin playing video games.

Shaun Of The Dead met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.” George Romero was given a private screening of the movie and was so impressed with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s work that he asked them to have cameo zombie appearances in Land Of The Dead. The movie was a box office success, earning $30 million off a $6.1 million budget.

This is such an awesome movie to watch. The acting was great, with Simon Pegg (Shaun) and Nick Frost (Ed) making for a great comedic duo. Kate Ashfield (Liz), Bill Nighy (Philip), and Penelope Wilton (Barbara) also turned in some really good performances. The story was really good, doing a great job of paying homage to the classic zombie movies while adding some really funny moments that didn’t really take away from the horror but some ways, added to it. There were also a lot of subtle references to Romero’s zombie movies as well as other horror directors mixed in which was kind of fun to pick up on. The special effects with the zombies and was really good, especially some of the zombie injuries that were used in the film. Definitely something to watch if you are in the mood for laughs or zombies or both.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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