crime, dark comedy, horror, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: June 12th, 2014 Movie – A Bucket Of Blood

a bucket of blood

Ending the weekend with a Roger Corman movie, now that sounds like some fun times to me. Now I saw this years ago during a Halloween binge watching of old horror movies on TV. Now I wasn’t as familiar with Corman’s work back then as I was now but I thought the movie was pretty interesting. When I bought the Chilling Classics box set, I noticed this movie was part of it and I made sure that A Bucket Of Blood was the first movie out of that set that I watched. Now let’s see if my memory of this movie holds up to a more recent watching.

The plot: Dimwitted Walter Paisley works as a busboy at the Yellow Door Cafe, a popular beatnik hangout. As a man is on stage reciting a poem, Walter is collecting the dishes and empty cups at the tables when he stops at a table where Carol, The hostess whom he has a crush on, is sitting and watches her as she draws. When the performance is over, the club’s owner Leonard chastises him and tells him to keep working and after Walter leaves, Carla admonishes Leonard for being too hard on him. Meanwhile, an undercover cop named Lou Raby is sitting at the club when he gets up to head outside, then calls his chief to report what he has been able to learn about any narcotics being passed around in the club since he worked his way in. Later that night, Walter returns to his apartment and works on sculpting something out of clay when he hears Frankie, his landlord’s cat, crying out from behind the wall where it got stuck. Walter gets a knife to cut Frankie out of the wall when it accidentally plunges through the sheet rock and stabs Frankie. Walter knocks down the wall and sees what he has done and gets depressed over it and as he wonders about what to do, he recalls the words of a poet that had performed and decides to use Frankie’s body as a sculpture. The next day, Walter takes the clay covered cat to work and shows it to Carla and Leonard, passing it off as something he created. Carla is impressed with the sculpture and convinces Leonard to display it at the club and Leonard agrees, telling Walter that if it sells they will split the proceeds. That night, several people comment about Walters sculpture and Leonard tells Walter to take the rest of the night off, as he is unable to do his job with everyone approaching him. As Walter goes to leave, a woman named Naolia approaches him and talks to him for a while, then gives him a vial to remember her by. Walter pockets the vial as he leaves but he unknown to him, Lou had seen what happened and follows Walter to his apartment, confronting him about the vial, which contains heroin. Lou goes to arrest Walter, who protests his innocence, and when Lou brandishes his gun to try and get Walter to come with him, Walter panics and hits him with the frying pan he was holding, killing him. Walter’s landlady starts knocking on the door to find out what the noise is and Walter quickly hides the body so she doesn’t see it, then works on cleaning up his mess. Meanwhile, Leonard is closing up the club when he accidentally knocks the cat statue over and as he looks closely at it, he realizes it is a real cat and gets rid of it. The next day, Leonard tells Walter that someone had bought the cat statue and has him sit down with Carla and some other patrons. When the men asks Walter if he is working on anything else, he tells them that he is working on a full size statue he calls “Murdered Man”. Leonard gets a sick look on his face and he goes to call the police about Walter but when an art critic offers to buy the cat statue for $500, he hangs up and tells the man he doesn’t have the cat statue but will have another statue there soon. As the man leaves, Carla approaches Leonard and tells him that she is going to Walter’s to look at his statue and invites him to come along. Leonard agrees and when Walter unveils the statue, they are both shocked  but Carla tells him it is incredible. Leonard feels sick again and when Walter asks if he can show it at the club again, Leonard tells him he shouldn’t show his pieces one at a time, but should build up a collection and do a proper show, that way they can sell them for more money. He then tries to subtly steer Walter into doing free form sculptures, so as to keep him from killing anyone else, and gives him $50 for his half of the cat statue and tells him if he needs more money to let him know. The next night at the club, several of the patrons treat Walter like a star and he is talking with them about his sculpture but a model named Alice doesn’t seem impressed by Walter and is rude to him. Walter follows Alice home and knocks on her door, apologizing to Alice and asking if she would like to be his model for his first female form sculpture. Alice agrees and they head back to Walter’s apartment, where he has her sit in a chair after taking her clothes off and proceeds to strangle her. The next day, Walter shows his new piece to some of the patrons at the home of Maxwell H. Brock, the poet that inspired Walter, and they are all impressed and Brock plans a party for Walter at the Yellow Door. After the party, Leonard warns Walter about drinking too much, saying he might say something he regrets but Walter ignores him and heads home. On his way, he sees a man working at a construction yard and Walter kills him, cutting off his head with a buzzsaw so he can use it to make a bust. When Walter shows up with the bust at the Yellow Door, Leonard tells him not to make anymore statues and tells him that he will organize his show to display what he has so far. The night of the show, Walter escorts Carla to the show and as they are walking, Walter proposes to her but Carla turns him down, saying she likes him but she doesn’t love him. Walter gets upset at the rejection and asks if she will let him make a statue of her after the show. During the show, Carla is looking at the statue of Alice when she notices a human finger underneath the clay. Shocked, she goes to leave but Walter stops her and when she tells him there is a body in his statue, he admits it is Alice and he made her immortal. Walter says that he can do the same to her and she runs out of the club, with Walter following her. After they leave, the statue of “Murdered Man” falls and everyone realizes Walter’s secret to his art. Leonard goes to call the police while Maxwell and Lou’s partner, who was also undercover at the club, chase after Walter. Walter chases Carla to a lumberyard but as he searches for her, he starts hearing the voices of Lou and Alice, taunting him about having nowhere to go. Walter runs back to his apartment and as he realizes that he will soon be caught, he decides to hide where they won’t find him. Walter, Carla, and the others break down Walter’s door and find that Walter had covered himself in clay and hung himself and one of the men says that Walter probably would have called it “Hanging Man, his greatest work”.

A Bucket Of Blood has met with mostly positive praise from modern critics, holding a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most of the critics cite this as a great example of Corman’s early work, citing the blend of humor and horror as well as the rich atmosphere he created in the film. The line about how Walter Paisley “knows his anatomy” is apparently a nod to the similar-themed House Of Wax (1953), which used the same line about Prof. Henry Jarrod, played by Vincent Price, who would go on to become one of Corman’s favorite actors to use. The movie was a mild success at the box office, earning $180,000 off of a $50,000 budget.

I know people like to look down on Roger Corman movies but this one is actually a well made movie. The acting was pretty good, with Dick Miller doing a fantastic job as Walter, while Barboura Morris (Carla) and Antony Carbone (Leonard) did good jobs as well. The story was pretty good, though I will admit that there were some similarities to House Of Wax (1953) but while that seemed to go with the pure horror route, Corman added some comedy to his script that changed how you perceive the killer. Instead of being some sinister killer with purpose, you instead feel sympathy for Wallace, as he just unluckily kills the first man (and cat) and wants to hide the bodies but when everyone thinks he is a genius, his desire for everyone’s praise has him going on to kill more people until his guilt causes him to kill himself. A surprisingly good movie that is well worth giving a chance if you see it coming on.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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May 25th, 2018 Movie – What About Bob?

what about bob

Well, this movie brings back some fun memories, and unfortunately, I have to somewhat date myself reliving them. So when this movie came out, I was finishing up the 8th grade, which was actually a pretty fun time in my life. However, unless your friends lived close by, or within bike distance, you had to rely on your parents, or your friend’s parents, or older siblings that are able to drive you places if you wanted to do any sort of hanging out. Luckily for me, my best friend back then (and still one of my closest friends) lived in biking distance and I was almost always over at his place. But I’m going off subject here so let’s get back to the movie. Myself and several of my friends went to go see this at the theaters, getting dropped off by various parents, and I thought it was incredibly funny. I bought it on VHS a couple of years later and eventually upgraded it to DVD shortly after it became available. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, What About Bob?

The plot: Dr. Leo Marvin is a rather egotistical psychologist in New York who has just written a new book, “Baby Steps” and calls his wife to tell her that Good Morning America will be coming to do an interview with him while they are on vacation. When a colleague calls and says he is quitting his practice and wants to refer one of his patients, Bob Wiley, to him and Leo agrees and when he asks his secretary to schedule an appointment for Bob, he learns that he has already called twice. When Bob arrives for his appointment, he basically reveals that he suffers from multiple phobias which almost cripple him when he has to leave his apartment. Leo gives Bob a copy of his book, explaining that it is a guide to setting small goals to help overcome larger problems, and says it should help him while he is on vacation for the next month. Bob becomes upset on hearing this and asks what will happen if he needs to talk to him while he is out of town but Leo assures him that if he has a problem, his colleague can help him or he can go to the emergency room and tells him that he will see him next month. The next day, Bob repeatedly tries calling Leo at his vacation home, even having a hooker pretend to be his sister, and Leo gets angry and tells him not to call him anymore. Bob then pretends to be a police officer and goes to speak to the telephone switchboard operator, telling them that Bob Wiley died, and learns where Leo is staying while on vacation. Boarding a bus to Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, Bob eventually reaches the small community and begins yelling out for Leo. Leo and his family are buying groceries and hear Bob yelling out and he quickly tries to get them into the car and away from there but Bob spots him and heads their way. Leo maneuvers Bob away from the car and asks what he is doing there and Bob explains that apologizes for faking his death but had to see him. Leo convinces Bob to wait for him at the local diner and he will call and talk to him later but the diner’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Guttman, happily agree to take Bob to Leo’s house, as he had bought it out from under them while they were trying to purchase it. When Bob arrives at the house, he introduces himself to Leo’s family (his wife Fay, daughter Anna, and son Sigmund “Siggy”) and Leo takes him outside and tells him that he should take a vacation from his problems and Bob happily walks away back to town. The next day, Leo is shocked to find that Bob is still there and Bob explains that he has decided to take a vacation and stay with the Guttmans and he just wanted to stop by and say hi, not as a patient but as fellow vacationer. When Bob leaves, Leo tells his family that he doesn’t want them to have any contact with Bob but when Anna leaves to go hang out with friends, she gives Bob a ride back into town and invites him to go sailing with her friends. Back at their home, Leo is trying to teach Siggy how to dive when he hears Bob calling out to him and sees Bob on the sailboat with Anna, causing Leo to accidentally drop Siggy into the lake. When the sailboat returns to the dock, Leo is there waiting and quickly pulls Anna away from everyone and tries talking to her, using hand puppets, but Anna rebuffs his criticism and walks away. Bob returns to the Marvin’s house and speaks with Siggy, who is moping on the dock, and when Siggy suggests Bob learn how to dive next, Bob asks him to show him how. Siggy goes to explain to Bob how it works, then moves in front to show Bob how to do it. Anna is watching them from nearby and Fay sees them from the house and motions Leo to come look but when he sees Bob helping Siggy, he immediately gets upset when he isn’t there as Siggy makes his first dive. As Siggy celebrates and goes to do it again, Leo rushes onto the dock, shoving Bob out of the way and into the water in his rush to get to Siggy. Fay, Anna, and Siggy rush to help Bob, while Leo shouts at the Guttmans, who were staring at him disapprovingly from their boat. Later, Leo apologizes to his family for his actions, and mimes an apology to Bob, and tells them he wants Bob to leave but Fay invites Bob for dinner as a form of apolgy. During the course of the dinner, Leo starts choking on something and Bob performs the Heimlich maneuver on him to dislodge the object and Fay, Anna, and Siggy all praise Bob for his actions, ignoring the recovering Leo. As Bob further integrates himself with the Marvin’s, Leo is feeling more left out and comments that it should be time for Bob to leave but it starts to storm and Fay invites Bob to stay the night. Bob ends up sharing a room with Siggy and they end up talking about Siggy’s obsession with death then start joking around and yelling, causing Leo to enter the room and chastising them. Early the next morning, Leo goes to wake Bob, as he wants him out of the house before Good Morning America gets there but the camera crew arrive early and when they find out Bob is one of Leo’s patients, invite him to be on the show with Leo. During the show, Leo tenses up while Bob tells everyone about how the book helped him and can help others, essentially stealing the spotlight away from Leo. After the interview, Leo yells at Bob and his family, then apologizes and invites Bob to go for a drive so they can have some alone time to talk. Leo takes Bob to a hospital to be committed, but when he returns home, Fay says the hospital is on the phone, and Leo heads back to learn that the hospital staff are releasing Bob, as they don’t see any reason to have him admitted, but Leo’s colleague is worried about Leo. On the drive back home, Leo kicks Bob out of the car and leaves him on the side of the road but when Leo gets pulled over, he sees Bob has hitched a ride in a truck and as he passes them, Bob yells to the officer to have Leo home by 7. Leo ends up getting a flat tire and covered in mud from a passing car before he gets home, only to find that Fay has thrown him a surprise party for his birthday. When he sees Bob is there and puts arms around his sister Lily, Leo snaps and attacks Bob. After Leo is taken to bed and another doctor prescribes some medicine for him, Fay talks with Bob and convinces him that it would be best if he not be there when Leo wakes up. Meanwhile, Leo sneaks out of the house and breaks into the general store, stealing a shotgun and 20 lbs of black powder. Leo then finds Bob as he is walking back to the Guttmans and forces him into the woods, avoiding his family who is out looking for him. Leo then ties Bob up and straps the satchels of black powder to him, calling it “Death Therapy”, then happily heads back home, believing he will finally be rid of Bob. Meanwhile, Bob uses the situation to overcome his fears and is able to free himself, then goes to the Marvin’s house to thank Leo. Leo is sitting on the dock when his family returns and when they tell him Bob is gone, he acts surprised, saying he didn’t hear anything. Suddenly, Bob appears carrying a cake and when Leo asks Bob about the satchels, Bob says he left them inside and Leo turns to look at the house, just as it explodes and catches fire, causing the Guttmans to cheer from their boat. Leo goes into a catatonic state for several months, coming out of it just as Bob marries Lily. In a scroll at the end of the movie, it is learned that Bob went back to school to become a psychologist and wrote a best selling book called “Death Therapy”, which Leo is suing him over the rights.

What About Bob? met with mostly praise from the critics, holding an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss’ chemistry helps make the most of a familiar yet durable premise, elevating What About Bob? into the upper ranks of ’90’s comedies.” According to interviews with both stars, Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss did not get along during filming of this movie. The tension actually helped contribute to the dynamic between their characters on screen. The movie was a success at the box office, earning $63.7 million off of a $35 million budget.

This is still a really funny movie to watch, though I can see where some might criticize some of it’s portrayals of mental health. I thought the acting was great, with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss doing great jobs in their roles of Bob and Leo respectively. The fact that they didn’t get along in real life actually makes the confrontational dynamic between them feel more authentic and helped make the comedy a lot better. I do feel a little bad for Julie Hagerty (Fay), Kathryn Erbe (Anna), and Charlie Korsmo (Siggy), as they were essentially just living props that helped build up the confrontation between Bob and Leo, giving it a much more personal feel. I thought the story was great, as Bob’s phobia’s and obsession with Leo ended up almost transferring to Leo; as he became obsessed with both getting rid of Bob and proving that Bob is crazy, though everyone else felt he was fine. The comedy was great, with some great timing among the dialogue and banter mixed with a few physical comedy aspects thrown in to make things a little more interesting. A really funny movie and definitely one worth watching when you need a laugh.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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April 10th, 2018 Movie – The Undertaker And His Pals

the undertaker and his pals

So, how many people are ready to skin Punxsutawney Phil for his prediction yet? I mean, I don’t know of that many people that were wanting to deal with snow in April. While we didn’t get any snow in Georgia, we did get a lot more cold spells than we are used to for this time of year. One good thing about cold spells like that is the tendency to get some rather dreary weather, which is perfect for watching some horror movies. Now today’s movie is one that I have never heard of but the plot outline on IMDB sounds interesting. The only thing that worries me is that it is also listed as a comedy, and horror/comedies can always be hit or miss. So let’s see how well today’s movie does as I watch The Undertaker And His Pals.

The plot: Three men go riding around on motorcycles before stopping at an apartment building. One of the men heads inside and attempts to break into the apartment of a young woman, Sally Lamb, while the other two men climb up the fire escape and enter through the window. Sally tries to get away but the men kill her and then chop off her legs. A few days later, the woman’s parents attend the wake for their daughter and are upset at the bill Morton the Undertaker presents them but he argues the work needed to prepare the woman’s body for viewing and that they signed a contract. Meanwhile, Harry Glass, a private detective, is going over his bills while his girlfriend/secretary Ann tries to get his attention and asks why he won’t marry her. The two head out to a local diner owned by Mike and Doc and they order the special, leg of lamb, but when their order arrives, Harry says that it isn’t lamb and they leave. Harry drops Ann off at her house and heads home but as Ann gets ready for bed, she goes to bring her cat inside and encounters the three bikers. Ann struggles as the men grab her but she screams out as she ends up impaled on her fence. The next day, the police have Harry come over for questioning and tell him they found a patch that had been ripped off of one of the men. The police tell him what they know and warn Harry not to get involved and take matters into his own hands. As the police leave, Harry is approached by Morton, who offers his services in dealing with the body. Harry agrees to the price of $144.98 but when he goes to sign the contract, he notices that there are no prices listed. Morton explains that there could be some slight, additional charges but Harry fills in the price he had quoted onto the contract before he signs it, angering Morton. Later, Harry heads to the diner and Mike offers his condolences for his loss and tells Harry to let him know if he hears anything about it. Meanwhile, Doc is reading one of his medical books in the back when the delivery man shows up with their order. The delivery man asks why they never order any meat from the store, then starts nosing around and discovers Sally’s legs hanging in the freezer so Doc kills him. Meanwhile, Harry goes to pay his last respects to Ann and when he enters the viewing room, he discovers that Morton had simply put Ann’s body inside a wooden crate. Morton says he warned Harry what would happen if he didn’t let him do anything extra but Harry gets angry and hits the man. Harry returns to his office and encounters a woman named Friday, who says she is there to be his new secretary. Friday flirts with Harry some and he tells her to go get something to eat and they will discuss her new job. Friday heads down to the diner and tries to order some food, saying she has pains from not eating. When he hears this, Doc quickly puts the closed sign on the door and he and Mike render Friday unconscious and take her in back. Laying her down on the prep table, Doc proceeds to cut open her stomach and starts poking around in her organs. Friday wakes up and starts screaming from the pain and Mike quickly covers her mouth, smothering her to death. Discussing what they should do with her, they decide to grind her up and use her to make hamburgers for the diner to sell. Morton shows up and is upset that they used the whole body, as he is supposed to get half of the body for use so he can add his “extra” charges to help pay the bills. The three decide to go out and kill someone else and head to a nearby spa, killing a woman who is alone in the sauna. As they are leaving, they are spotted by two women who had been changing and were about to leave. The men quickly duck out the window and try to escape but one of the women grabs a gun from a desk and starts shooting at them. The police contact Harry and tell them they got a break in the case as the license plate from of the motorcycles came off during their escape. They said it’s registered to Morton and ask Harry if he knows who he associates with and Harry says he will find out. Meanwhile, Mike, Doc, and Morton return to the diner and when Mike and Doc learn that Morton lost his license plate, they fear that the police will trace him there. They move to get rid of him but Morton turns the tables on Mike and convinces Doc they should use the acid in the back to kill him, dropping him into the vat. Meanwhile, Harry contacts one of his snitches and learns that Morton hangs out with Mike and Doc. That night, Harry sneaks into the diner to look around when he is confronted by a woman, who reveals that she is Thursday, Friday’s twin sister. Thursday asks Harry if he knows what happened to Friday and he tells her he does and she won’t like it, then offers to let her stay at his place for the night. The two leave, with Harry stopping to call the police and tell them about the diner and the evidence he found inside. After finishing his call, Harry continues back to his place, unaware that Doc and Morton are following him on their motorcycles. The next day, Harry is heading back into town when he runs out of gas and, leaving Thursday in the car, he flags down a passing car to take him to a gas station to get some gas. As Thursday is waiting, Doc and Morton show up and start chasing her on their motorcycles but Doc is struck by a passing truck and killed, and Morton escapes. Heading back to his office, Harry tries to comfort Thursday but as he goes to get her something to eat, Morton lights an explosive he built and blows up Harry. Thursday goes to see what happened and is confronted by Morton, who chases her up to the roof. As he moves to kill her, Thursday ducks and Morton ends up falling over the edge of the roof, seemingly to his death. Thursday heads back to Harry’s office and speaks with the police there, not realizing that Morton had managed to grab onto part of the building and climb back inside the back room of Harry’s office. As Morton goes to stab the detective from behind the curtain, the detective, exaggerating his motions on wiping out evil, accidentally stabs Morton in the head, finally ending the reign of terror.

This was a short, ridiculous, but surprisingly funny movie to watch. The acting was ok, with James Westmoreland doing a good job as Harry, while Ray Dennis was appropriately creepy as Morton, the Undertaker. The story was interesting and the fact that it was short actually worked in it’s favor. The comedy was kind of all over the place, sometimes slapping you right in the face, like the special being leg of lamb the day after they killed Sally Lamb and chopped off her legs, and other times being more a play on words. One thing that really cracked me up was when Morton was chasing Thursday. They had a real fast paced, almost cartoonish sounding music playing while her movements were exaggeratedly fast, while Morton had a slow dirge playing as he slowly stalked her. It is the stereotypical slasher killer chasing his victim motif at it’s most blatant right there and I absolutely loved it. This is a great way to kill some time and worth giving a watch for the sheer ridiculousness.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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March 28th, 2018 Movie – True Romance

true romance

Man, there were a lot of notable movies to come out in the 90’s and today’s movie is no exception. This is honestly my first experience with Quentin Tarantino’s work, even though he wasn’t the one directing the movie. Now I remember seeing this in theaters and being thoroughly entertained by it. When I watched it again years later, I was honestly amazed at how many people were in it that I didn’t realize when I first saw it. I know several of my friends that saw this movie also enjoyed it so let’s see if True Romance is still as much fun now as it was back then.

The plot: Clarence Worley is attending a Sonny Chiba triple feature at a Detroit theater when a girl, Alabama Whitman, accidentally dumps her popcorn on him. As Alabama apologizes, she asks Clarence to fill her in on what she missed in the movie and the two start talking, continuing their conversation over pie after the movies. Clarence takes her back to the comic shop that he works at and shows her around and they end up having sex in Clarence’s apartment above the shop. Later that night, Alabama admits to Clarence that she is a call girl that Clarence’s boss hired for his birthday but that she has fallen in love with him. Clarence says he is in love with her and the two end up getting married the next day. Later that day, Clarence keeps thinking of Alabama’s pimp, Drexil, and has a vision of Elvis telling him he should kill Drexil and Clarence decides to go through with it. Clarence asks Alabama for Drexil’s address, saying he is going to go there to pick up her things, and she begs him not to go but he insists that he has too so she relents. Clarence goes to Drexil’s house and tells him he is Alabama’s husband and he wants her things and ends up getting into a fight with Drexil and his bodyguard, Marty. Clarence kills Drexil and Marty and tells one of the other call girls to put Alabama’s things in a suitcase but when he gets back to his place, they find the suitcase is filled with bags of cocaine. Clarence and Alabama go see Clarence’s father Clifford, a former cop, and Clarence asks him to asks his friends on the force to see if they are looking into Drexil’s murder. Clifford does so and says that the police think it was drug related, as Drexil was associated with a drug dealer Blue Lou Boyle. Clarence thanks Clifford for his help and gives him the address for his friend Dick in Los Angeles, where they are heading too. As Clarence and Alabama head to L.A., they call Dick, saying they will be there tomorrow, and ask him of they got the letters Clarence sent, as it would explain what they are coming there for. Meanwhile, Clifford is visited by Vincenzo Coccotti, Boyle’s consigliere, and his men, who proceed to interrogate Clifford for Clarence and Alabama’s location. Clifford tells them that they left on their honeymoon and didn’t tell him where and Vincenzo kills him. As he cleans up, Vincenzo tells his men to go to Clarence’s apartment and find out where he might have gone when one of his men finds the note Alabama left with Dick’s address and points it out to Vincenzo. In L.A., Clarence and Alabama arrive at Dick’s apartment and he is shocked that they really have a suitcase full of cocaine. When Clarence asks if he arranged a sell, Dick says he can’t do it but his friend Elliot works for someone that could handle that much cocaine. Clarence, Alabama, and Dick meet with Elliot at an amusement park and explain what they have and Elliot calls Lee Donowitz, a film producer, who agrees to meet with them to sample the merchandise. Meanwhile, one of Vincenzo’s men, Virgil, shows up at Dick’s apartment and speaks with his roommate Floyd, asking where Clarence and Alabama are and Floyd tells him the motel they are staying at. Clarence drops Alabama off at the hotel while he goes to get them some lunch but when Alabama walks into the room, she finds Virgil waiting inside with a shotgun. Virgil asks her about Clarence and the cocaine and she tries to lie but he proceeds to beat her to get the information. Virgil finally finds the cocaine and plans to kill Alabama but she fights back and manages to kill him just as Clarence returns, and he quickly grabs her and the cocaine and quickly leaves. Meanwhile, Elliot gets pulled over for speeding and tries to get the girl he is with to hide the cocaine he is carrying but she refuses and ends up smacking him with the bag, covering him in the powder. He is arrested and offers to cut a deal, telling them about the upcoming sale, and the two detectives, Nicky Dimes and Cody Nicholson, tell their captain about it and plan to wire Elliot to make a sting. As the day of the deal comes up, Clarence, Alabama, and Dick show up at the hotel and meet with Elliot but Clarence, feeling cautious after recent events, points a gun at Elliot and threatens him, causing the police listening in on the wire to worry that the op is blown but Elliot manages to convince Clarence that everything is fine. Meanwhile, Vincenzo’s men show up at Dick’s apartment and learn from Floyd where Clarence and Alabama went. Back at the hotel, Clarence and the others arrive at Lee’s penthouse and they make the deal for the cocaine. As Clarence goes to use the restroom, he is visited by Elvis again, who tells him everything is going fine. Meanwhile, the police got the information they need and show up to make the bust, just as Vincenzo’s men show up. Finding out that Elliot had set him up, Lee throws coffee in his face, causing a shoot out to occur. Clarence is wounded as he exits the bathroom and Alabama crawls over to him while Dick throws the cocaine in the air to cover his escape. Everyone ends up getting shot to death, while Clarence is shown to still be alive and Alabama grabs him and the suitcase with their money and they leave, using a standoff with the last mafia member to cover their escape. Clarence and Alabama head to Mexico to live, with Alabama giving birth to their son, which they decide to name Elvis.

True Romance met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Fueled by Quentin Tarantino’s savvy screenplay and a gallery of oddball performances, Tony Scott’s True Romance is a funny and violent action jaunt in the best sense.” It was Brad Pitt’s idea to make his character a stoner that never left the couch and the hat he is wearing in the movie was one that he found on the boardwalk and decided to keep it, wash it, and use it for the movie. Despite the good reviews, the movie did not fare well at the box office, earning $12.3 million off of a $12.5 million budget.

This is such a good movie an so many levels. The acting was really good, with Christian Slater (Clarence) and Patricia Arquette (Alabama) doing great jobs in the lead roles. I also liked all of the other characters that were in the movie, though I wish that Christopher Walken (Vincenzo) had a bigger role in the movie than just the one scene. The story was incredible and very well written, indicative of Tarantino’s style for story telling. I will admit that the scene with Virgil beating up Alabama to get the information is a bit rough to watch but her fighting back and killing him made it memorable and if possible, more powerful. The drama involved was great in moving the story forward and the fire fight scene, while a bit over the top, had a bit of a poetic feel to it. A great movie and one that earns it’s own place in Tarantino’s hand crafted cinematic universe.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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March 4th, 2018 Movie – Trainspotting

trainspotting

When it comes to movies and books that center around drugs, they tend to be very realistic in their portrayals. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it; as some people will say that such media tends to glorify drug use. Now I am honestly indifferent on the drug use in the books or movies, as I focus more on the story itself and know that drug use can make the story more poignant. When it comes to today’s movie, none of those factors came into play. I was interested in seeing it simply because of the monologue tagline that Ewan McGregor’s character said during the trailer and the use of Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life”. Not the best reasons I know but I was still a teenager when this came out and shallowness is the hallmark of that age. Now let’s see how this movie stands up as I watch today’s movie, Trainspotting.

The plot: Mark “Rent Boy” Renton and his friend Daniel “Spud” Murphy are running from two men and as a car pulls out in front of them, Renton rolls over the hood while Spud keeps running, with one of the men still chasing him, while Renton stops and laughs at the driver of the car. Some time earlier, Renton and Spud are getting high on heroin with their friends Sick Boy, Allison (who brought her infant daughter Dawn with her) and their dealer “Mother Superior”. Renton decides to go clean and gets all the supplies that he thinks he will need while going through withdrawl, then calls a friend to get one last hit but the man gives him some methadone suppositories, saying they will be perfect for him as they will provide a more gradual release to help him get clean. As he is heading back to his flat, Renton gets a case of diarrhea and stops at a pub, which has the worst toilet in Scotland. Braving the filth encrusted stall, Renton goes to use the toilet but as he finishes, he accidentally drops the suppositories into the bowl and has to crawl into it to fish them out, then heads back home to start getting clean. Sick Boy decides to go clean at the same time, mostly just to annoy Renton by showing how easy it is for him to do so as the two hang out at a park shooting people with an air rifle. Renton also tries to help out Spud in getting a job but Spud completely blows the interview. Later, Renton, Spud, and Sick Boy go out drinking with their friends Begbie, a violent, psychotic friend man who loved to start fights, Tommy, the only drug free friend in the group, as well as Lizzy (Tommy’s girlfriend) and Gail (a girl Spud is dating). After Begbie causes a fight at the pub, the group head out to the Volcano Nightclub and Renton, who has been feeling horny from his withdrawal, sees a young woman named Diane and approaches her after she leaves. After talking for a few minutes, Diane invites Renton back to her flat and the two have sex but afterwards, she kicks him out, saying he can’t sleep there, so he ends up falling asleep on the couch in the hall. Meanwhile, Tommy and Lizzy go back to Tommy’s place to have sex but when Lizzy wants to watch a video of themselves while they have sex, they discover that the tape is actually a tape of soccer matches and Tommy thinks he might have returned the wrong tape by mistake, not knowing that Renton had actually switched tapes so he could watch it. Elsewhere, Spud follows Gail back to her place but ends up passing out on her bed. When he wakes up in the morning, he realized he had defecated in the bed and tries to leave with the dirty sheets but as Gail’s mom tries to grab them and wash them and as he struggles with her, the sheet opens up and feces go flying all over Gail and her family. When Renton wakes up, he learns that Diane is underage and is upset that she tricked him and when he tries to break things off with her, she blackmails him into continuing to see her or else she will go to the police. Renton, Sick Boy, and Spud decide to go back to doing heroin and Tommy starts joining them, as Lizzy broke up with him over the missing tape. As they continue to do drugs, Allison starts screaming one day and they discover that Dawn has died sometime during the night while they were all high and Sick Boy is upset about it while Allison asks Renton for a hit to numb her pain. Renton and the others result to stealing to support their habits, which brings us to the events at the beginning of the movie. Renton and Spud are taken to court for shoplifting and Spud is sentenced to 6 months in prison while Renton has checked into a rehab facility for treatment to avoid prison. As Renton is with his family and friends celebrating not going to prison, Spud’s mother shows up and Renton apologizes that spud went to prison instead of him but she just walks away. Renton goes to see Mother Superior to get a hit and ends up over dosing so Mother Superior calls a cab and has him dropped off at the emergency room. After being treated for his overdose, Renton is picked up by his parents, who take him back to their and lock him in his old room, weening him off heroin cold turkey. During his withdrawal period, Renton starts hallucinating about Spud, Tommy, and Baby Dawn, who crawls along his ceiling. As he gets clean, his parents have him tested for HIV and he despite his years of sharing needles, Renton is clean. Tommy, whose life has fallen apart after Lizzy left him, has contracted HIV and when Renton goes to pay him a visit, he asks Renton for some money so he can buy a hit. Diane pays Renton a visit and as they are talking, she tells him the world is changing and he isn’t getting any younger. Renton takes her words to heart and moves to London to start a new life, getting a job as a property letting agent. He stays in contact with Diane, who tells him that Sick Boy has become a pimp (and tried to recruit her), she ran into Spud, and nobody had seen Tommy for weeks. As he reads the part in the letter about Begbie being wanted for armed robbery, he hears someone ringing his doorbell and realizes who it is. Begbie, who is on the run from the police stays at Renton’s place and has him place a bet on a horse race, which he wins and they go out to celebrate. Some time later, Sick Boy shows up, looking to make a big score and after he sells Renton’s TV, Renton places his passport in a locker and moves them into an unrented loft so they won’t get him into trouble, hoping his boss will catch them and have them arrested for vagrancy. Before that happens, they head back to their hometown to attend Tommy’s funeral and afterwards, as they are having some beers in their old hangout, Sick Boy tells them of a large shipment of heroin that they can buy for £4,000 and sell in London for £16,000. Sick Boy convinces Renton to front the money and unfortunately, he is the one that has to test the product to make sure it is good. As they head back to London, Begbie gets more and more paranoid, as if he is busted for this he will be looking at a huge prison sentence when it is added to the armed robbery charge. After making the deal, the four go out to celebrate and as Sick Boy and Begbie leave the table, Renton talks with Spud about taking the money and leaving but Spud doesn’t want to, as he is too scared of Begbie. When a man bumps into Begbie and makes him spill some of the beers he is carrying, Begbie attacks the man and brutally beats him, accidentally slicing Spud with his knife when Spud tries to intervene. Renton sees this as the last straw and as they are all sleeping, he quietly gets dressed and steals the bag from Begbie, who was holding it as he slept. Spud sees him as he leaves and Renton waits to see if he will go with him or shout out but Spud shakes his head no so Renton walks out the door. He heads to the locker and grabs his passport, leaving £4,000 in there for Spud, as he felt sorry for him. When Begbie wakes up and discovers the money is missing, he begins trashing the hotel room and the cops end up being called and arresting him. Spud and Sick Boy leave, with Spud going to the locker and getting the money, while Renton takes the rest of the money and heads off to start a new life.

Trainspotting met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A brutal, often times funny, other times terrifying portrayal of drug addiction in Edinburgh. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth viewing as a realistic and entertaining reminder of the horrors of drug use.” The character Sick Boy is shown to be a huge James Bond fan in the film, which is ironic because Jonny Lee Miller, who played Sick Boy, is the grandson of Bernard Lee, who played “M” in the series until 1979. The movie was a box office hit, earning £48 million ($72 million) off of a £1.5 million budget, picking up several awards and an Academy Award nom and just over 20 years later, a sequel was released that picked up the story of the characters 20 years after the original movie.

This is a somewhat dark but very good movie. The acting was great, with Ewan McGregor (Renton), Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy), Ewen Bremner (Spud), and Robert Carlyle (Begbie) all doing great jobs in their roles. The story was very realistic and did a good job showcasing the ups and downs of people using heroin, and the withdrawals as well. The scenes were pretty graphic at times, with baby Dawn’s death, and the hallucination of her crawling on the ceiling being especially disturbing, even today. A lot of the imagery and music use during some of the scenes also helped with the realistic feel to this movie, even the scenes that you knew were hallucinations or very liberal use of artistic imagery (such as Renton actually crawling into the toilet to get the suppositories). I know it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and some might find it downright depressing, but I do think this is one of those movies that everyone should watch at least once.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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dark comedy, horror, movie, movie review

February 10th, 2018 Movie – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

the texas chainsaw massacre 2

At the height of the slasher era, Tobe Hooper decided that it was a great time to make a sequel to his groundbreaking movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). However, Tobe decided to make a change with his sequel, focusing more on the comedy, which he felt was overlooked in the original movie, instead of on the actual terror. I remember seeing this years ago and honestly thinking it wasn’t as scary as the first one, which is what a lot of people thought as well. Well, let’s see if time allows me to view this in a different light as I watch today’s movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

The plot: After the events of the previous movie, Sally Hardesty tells the authorities about the Sawyer clan and what happened to Franklin and their friends before the stress from the events causes her to go catatonic. The authorities search for the farmhouse but find no sign of the Sawyers and, without proof of a crime, officially they declare that it never happened. However, over the next 13 years, reports of grisly murders committed by a chainsaw have persisted throughout the state of Texas, causing people to wonder if it will ever end. Two high school seniors, Buzz and Rick, are heading up to Dallas for the Texas/Oklahoma game, with Buzz driving while Rick is shooting a revolver out the window. The two have been drinking and decide to call Vanita “Stretch” Brock, a DJ in the Metroplex (Dallas/Ft. Worth area), and start harassing her, refusing to hang up. While they are on the phone, they decide to play chicken with a pickup truck heading the other direction, running it off the road. As night falls, the boys call Stretch again to harass her but as they come to a bridge, they are stopped by the pickup truck they ran off the road earlier. Still on the phone with Stretch, Buzz yells at the driver, who moves slightly so they can pass by them but the truck starts driving in reverse and keeps pace with them. Suddenly, a man holding up a corpse stands up in the pickup bed and grabs a chainsaw, then starts slicing into the car. Rick attempts to shoot the man, hitting the corpse, only to reveal Leatherface is controlling the corpse like a puppet. Leatherface continues his attack on the car and ends up slicing off the top of Buzz’s head, causing the car to crash and killing Rick. Back at the radio station, a horrified Stretch and her producer, L.G., heard the entire attack and wonder what happened. The next day, Lt. Boude “Lefty” Enright, a former Texas Ranger, arrives at the crime scene and is told off by the local sheriff but the D.A. stops him and then speaks with Lefty. He says that he was told that Lefty was coming and he knows what happened to his niece and nephew (Sally and Franklin Hardesty) but that happened down in South Texas and there is no way that this accident was related. Lefty asks that they put the story in the newspaper and ask for any witnesses to the accident to contact him, and the D.A. agrees to it. The next day, Stretch stops by Lefty’s hotel room and tells him that she has the recording of the attack from when the kids called her radio station and wants to help but Lefty dismisses her and says she will get in his way. Frustrated by Lefty refusing to listen to her, Stretch joins L.G. downstairs, where they cover the results of a Texas/OU chili cook off which is won by Dallas resident Drayton Sawyer, who says the secret to his recipe is the meat and he has an eye for prime meat. Lefty heads out to a cut-rite store and tries out some chainsaws, then heads over to the radio station and asks Stretch to play the tape on the air, hoping that people that listen to it will finally want to help him find the killers. Stretch agrees to do so and announces on the air that she will be playing the recording every hour. Meanwhile, Drayton is driving back home, singing happily about winning the competition, when he receives a call on his car phone. After answering the phone, he yells at the person that called, saying that they were never supposed to call him on that phone, when the person on the other end tells him about the radio broadcast. Drayton turns on the radio and as he hears the attack, he starts yelling about the boys screwing up again, pulling over onto the side of the road to continue yelling. As night falls, L.G. says that they are getting a lot of angry calls about them playing the recording and Stretch decides to stop playing the tape after midnight, as nothing seems to have come of it. L.G. goes for a coffee run, leaving Stretch at the station alone, and while he is gone, Stretch hears a noise coming from the outer office. When she goes to investigate, she finds a strange man, Chop Top, sitting on the couch in the lobby. Chop Top starts talking to her and tries to distract her so Leatherface can attack her but Leatherface misses and hits Chop Top by mistake, hitting the metal plate he has in part of his skull. As Chop Top reals in pain, Stretch runs back into the studio and locks the metal door, with Leatherface following and attempting to cut his way through. L.G. returns and finds Chop Top going through their albums but he is knocked down by Leatherface and Chop Top begins hitting him in the head with a hammer. Leatherface heads back and cuts through a wall to get to Stretch but when she starts talking to him, she manages to calm him down and instead of killing her, he trashes the studio and then leaves. When Chop Top asks if he killed her, Leatherface nods yes and then they drag L.G.’s body outside and load it into the truck. As they leave, Stretch heads outside and, cursing Lefty for being late, follows after them. Stretch follows them to an abandoned amusement park and as she gets out of her car to proceed on foot, a second car appears and starts chasing her. As Stretch runs through the park, the car stops and Lefty gets out and calls out to her. Stretch stops running but as she turns to face him, a trap door opens up underneath her and she falls into a tunnel. Stretch grabs onto some roots to keep from falling and as Lefty tries to help pull her up, he apologizes for using her to lure the killers out of hiding. Lefty unknowingly grabs a skeleton arm to use to pull her up but the hand snaps off and Stretch ends up falling down the tunnel and Lefty heads back to his car and grabs the chainsaws that he bought and then heads inside the building looking for Stretch. Making his way inside, he notices blood coming from a wall and when he kicks a hole in it, a massive pile of entrails pours out of the hole, causing Lefty to snap and start using the chainsaw on the nearby support beams, screaming “Bring it all down!” Meanwhile, Stretch comes too and, hearing voices approaching, quickly hides as Leatherface, Chop Top, and Drayton appear and tell Leatherface to start carving up L.G.’s body. As Leatherface starts carving the skin off of the body, Stretch accidentally knocks over some meat hooks, causing Leatherface to rush over with a cleaver. Stretch convinces him not to kill her and when Chop Top and Drayton appear, Leatherface hides her from them, then places L.G.’s face on her and starts dancing with her after they leave. As Lefty continues to destroy the place, it causes the roof to start collapsing in the butcher room. Leatherface quickly ties up Stretch and leaves and as she tries to get away, L.G. suddenly sits up. As Stretch recoils in horror, L.G. tells her not to be scared and then cuts her free before he dies from his wounds. Stretch puts L.G.’s face back on him and then leaves the room and attempts to find a way out of there. She comes to a large chamber and sees the Drayton yelling at Chop Top and Leatherface, and as she tries to find a way out of there, Drayton sees her run into a sewer pipe and sends them off to find her. Meanwhile, Lefty’s path of destruction leads him to discover the skeletal remains of Franklin, which further increases his madness and desire to get revenge on the people responsible. In another part of the tunnels, Leatherface finds Stretch and starts chasing after her but as she runs, Lefty unknowingly causes a cave in that traps her. Stretch pleads with Leatherface to let her go but he refuses as Drayton and Chop Top show up. Chop Top knocks out Stretch and when she regains consciousness, she finds herself tied to a chair as Chop Top and Leatherface brings Grandpa Sawyer into the room. Drayton has Leatherface bring Stretch over to Grandpa, so that he can kill her and he hits her repeatedly with the hammer before Drayton grabs the dropped hammer and strikes Stretch over the head. Suddenly, Lefty saws his way into the room and Drayton, thinking he is from a competitor, attempts to bribe him. Stretch regains consciousness and calls out to Lefty, who sees her and quickly attacks the Sawyers, slicing Drayton in the ass with his chainsaw. Lefty frees Stretch and tells her to run, then begins fighting with Leatherface while Chop Top takes off after Stretch. As Lefty and Leatherface fight, Drayton grabs the corpse puppet, which is actually the body of his brother Nubbins (the hitchhiker from the first movie) and grabs a grenade that Nubbins had with him but as he pulls the pin, Lefty stabs Leatherface in the stomach with his chainsaw, causing Leatherface’s chainsaw to accidentally cut through the table Drayton is hiding under. Drayton drops the grenade and it explodes, seemingly killing Lefty, Leatherface, Drayton, and Grandpa. Meanwhile, Chop Top continues chasing after Stretch, slashing at her with his knife as he chases her. Stretch makes her way to the top of a mountain and finds a shrine dedicated to the Sawyer’s grandmother. Stretch grabs the chainsaw that is in her lap and manages to start it up and attack Chop Top with it, slashing open his stomach. Chop Top staggers back and ends up falling off the mountain, as Stretch screams out and begins swinging the the chainsaw around.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, most felt that even though there was an increase in the gore, the additional comedy took away from the terror of the first movie. The Cannon Group, who were in charge of distributing the movie, wanted the movie cut down to 90-100 minutes so they could have more showings per day, and hopefully making more money. This resulted in several scenes being cut, including a scene featuring the two brothers going out hunting for meat by attacking movie patrons and a group of rioting fans from the game. The movie was a modest box office hit, earning $8 million off of a $4.7 million budget and would end up garnering a cult following after it was released on video.

Even looking at it with fresher eyes, this was honestly a step down from the original. That being said, I don’t think it is as bad as most people think. The acting was ok, with Bill Moseley really stealing the show with his portrayal of Chop Top. I also liked Caroline Williams (Stretch), while Jim Siedow did a good job reprising his role as Drayton, but I felt like Dennis Hopper (Lefty) was under utilized and his role could have really been played by anyone. The story was interesting, but as funny as some of the scenes were, I still felt that the emphasis on comedy really hurt the movie. The end scene with Stretch flailing about with the chainsaw was meant to be an homage to Leatherface’s doing the same at the end of the first movie but it honestly just looked stupid, especially when she was just spinning in circles. The special effects were definitely improved on from the previous movie but even though there was more gore, it just wasn’t that scary of a movie. Kind of a let down of a sequel to a great movie but a decent watch none the less.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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crime, dark comedy, horror, movie, movie review

January 12th, 2018 Movie – Otis

otis

Well, we have about another week’s worth of movies that I got over Christmas and I am hoping that they keep getting better. Today’s movie is one that my friend Mark gave me. When my friend’s buy me movies, they tend to help feed my love for the completely cheesy, campy variety of movie. Mark will go along with that too but he also tends to buy me movies that are interesting or usually get better reviews than some other movies (though he did get me the Leprechaun 4-pack of movies so he is not completely without faults in this regard). Anyways, today’s movie is one of his picks and one I am looking forward to watching so let’s get started with Otis.

The plot: As an alarm wakes up a young girl named Kim, she is called by Otis, the man who has kidnapped her and has her chained in the room. Otis taunts her about what will happen that night, torturing her to get the responses he wants but Kim eventually yells at him and hangs up the phone. She then proceeds to cover up the camera’s Otis uses to watch her before going to hang herself. Otis races down to stop her only to find Kim had tricked him and she had actually pulled the chain free from the floor and uses it as a weapon to attack him. Otis tries to stop her and during the struggle, Kim falls into a bathtub and is electrocuted when a lamp falls into the water. Otis unplugs the lamp and after yelling about the 6 weeks wasted on her, he proceeds to saw her body into pieces. Some time later, Will and Kate Larson are talking about daily life while watching the news, where the Larson family is pleading for their daughter’s safe return, though the news anchor says she is most likely the latest victim of the serial killer. Meanwhile, their daughter Riley is dancing in her room in her underwear, when she notices someone watching her from the bushes outside her window. Heading out there, she discovers her brother Reed and his friend had been videotaping her and she quickly grabs the camera and takes it inside to show her parents. Sitting across from Reed, Will asks Reed what his problem is, as this is the latest in a string of incidents that he has done. When the doorbell rings announcing their food is there, Riley goes to get it and pays the delivery man, who happens to be Otis. Otis gives Riley the pizza and after she leaves, he smells the money she gave him, and a light shines on him as he has found his next victim. The next day, Will and Kate get onto Reed again about his grades and his antics at school, and he tries to deflect attention onto Riley before he leaves. Riley leaves to go to school when she is confronted by Otis, who quickly shoves a sack her into a sack and places her in his car, then knocks her out to keep her from screaming before driving away just as Riley’s parents leave the house. Riley comes too and finds herself chained to a bed and when the phone rings, she begs for help only to find it is Otis on the other end, who calls her Kim. Riley yells at him and tries to find a way out but Otis tortures her by turning the lights in the room super bright, burning her, and keeps telling her to say her name is Kim. That evening, Reed comes home to find his parents talking to a police officer and they question him about the fact that he put up pictures of Riley on the internet. Will receives a phone call from Otis, who tells him that he is dating his daughter Kim and asks for his permission to take her to prom, and says that if he plays along, his daughter will be returned to him, shocking everyone there. The next day, Otis talks to Riley, who discovers that she has been dressed in a cheerleader’s uniform, and when she refuses to say what he wants, he enters the room and yells at her to play along. Back at the Lawson’s house, the FBI are setting up to monitor any calls coming into the house so they can track the killer, informing Will and Kate that there have been 5 victims now, but Reed is more concerned that they are tearing up his room and computer than he is for his sister’s safety. Back in his lair, Otis is dressed in a football uniform and asks Riley to cheer for him when a sensor goes off and he quickly takes her back to her room and chains her to the floor, warning her to keep quiet. Otis then heads outside and is confronted by his brother Elmo, who yells at him for being late to work and the condition of their parent’s old house. When Otis asks about Kim, Elmo yells at him some more, saying Kim want’s nothing to do with him as his obsession with her has her freaked out when she caught him licking her underwear. Heading inside the house, Elmo stops when he notices a box containing his pictures of him in his football uniform and gets upset at the coach for never playing him, then chastises Otis again before leaving. That night, Otis calls the Lawson’s house again, this time talking with Kate, and the FBI attempts to trace the call. Reed tries to tell his dad that they won’t be able to save Riley, as they were unable to save the previous girls, but Will tells him to let them do their job, as they are all unaware that Otis was calling from right outside their house. Otis continues to go on pretend dates with Riley while her family continues to worry. When Otis calls the Lawson’s house again and tells Kate that he plans on having sex with Kim, Kate starts yelling out at him, surprising Reed with her venom, before Otis hangs up and Kate worries about what will happen to Riley. In his lair, Otis, calls Riley and asks if she is ready for prom, and she replies that she is and has her dressed picked out, saying everything Otis wants to hear. Otis has turned his garage into a makeshift prom and starts dancing with Riley, then puts her into the car and starts kissing her. Trying to keep from being raped, Riley tries to please Otis by giving him a hand job but when Otis ejaculates prematurely, he freaks out and drags her back into her room, and knocks her out, then leaves. As Otis heads outside, locking the shed that he keeps Riley in, he is confronted by Elmo, who asks what Otis is doing and proceeds to verbally abuse him. Meanwhile, Riley comes too and, realizing that Otis did not secure the chain to the floor, works on trying to escape. Riley uses the underwire from her bra to short out the electrified grate covering the air duct and proceeds to climb out through it and manages to escape as Elmo continues to berate Otis. Back at the Lawson’s house, they are all getting pissed off at Agent Hotchkiss, who is being too cavalier about the situation. As they talk outside, they get a call from Riley, who tells them she escaped and tells them who kidnapped her and where she was being held. Kate tells Riley to lock herself in the bathroom of the supermarket that she is at, as she will be sending an ambulance to pick her up, and then tells Riley not to repeat what she told them. After hanging up the phone, they are approached by Hotchkiss, who asks what is going on and they tell him that Riley had just called them and is okay. The Lawsons head to the hospital to see Riley before the doctor asks to speak with them. As they leave the room, Hotchkiss tries to question Riley about her kidnapper but she doesn’t tell him anything. Meanwhile, the doctor tells the Lawsons that Riley had suffered some head trauma and the hemorrhaging could cause some paralysis. That night, Will wants to let the police deal with Otis but Kate and Reed want to take justice into their own hands and convince Will to go along with them. They head to Otis’ house and wait for him to come home so they can attack him. Elmo shows up, bringing some groceries for Otis to eat and the Lawsons, mistaking him for Otis, proceed to attack him and knock him out. They then take Elmo to the garage and proceed to torture and beat him, with Will reluctantly helping them but when Kate says that Riley could be pregnant with Otis’ kid, Will gets into it. Back at the hospital, Hotchkiss is sitting in Riley’s room and when Riley wakes up, he questions her again and Riley tells him Otis’ name. Hotchkiss calls the Lawsons and tells them that Riley gave him a description of Otis and they realize that they have been torturing the wrong man. When they discover that Elmo is dead, they freak out and figure out what to do, eventually deciding to dump the body in a dumpster. When Otis returns home, he finds the mess in the garage and after trying to figure out what happened, he watches the feed from his video cameras and sees what they did to Elmo. At the hospital, Riley wakes up to find her family there and as she notices their guilty expressions, realizes they went after Otis themselves but doesn’t say anything when Hotchkiss shows up. Hotchkiss asks to speak with the Lawsons and tells them that they found Otis’ lair and how he had motion activated cameras that captured everything. As the Lawsons start feeling nervous, prompting Kate and Reed to pull out a knife and throwing star respectively. They are temporarily relieved when Hotchkiss says they cameras were facing the wrong way so they couldn’t see anything but they had the audio. Hotchkiss then says that he doesn’t plan on turning them in, only wishing that he could have gotten a piece of Otis himself. When Riley is brought home, she questions them about what happened and they admit that they killed Elmo by mistake, which horrifies Riley. As they argue about what they should do, Reed goes to get a shotgun and makes plans to kill Otis, placing an order for a pizza but Riley tells him that Otis never raped her. When the pizza gets there, Reed fires the shotgun repeatedly through the door but when the door falls off the hinges, Riley tells them that the delivery guy isn’t Otis.

This was a pretty good movie but there were some aspects that reminded me of a couple of other dark comedy’s I have watched. The acting was pretty good, with Daniel Stern (Will) and Illena Douglas (Kate) playing off each other very well as parents. I also felt that Jere Burns was rather creepy in his portrayal of FBI Agent Hotchkiss while Ashley Johnson (Riley), Jared Kusnitz (Reed), and Bostin Christopher (Otis) all did great jobs in their roles. The story was pretty good, with Otis basically reliving the glory days he felt his brother should have had, as well as living out his fantasy with his longtime crush Kim. The second half of the story, where the Lawsons decide to get some vigilante justice, was a little disturbing, but did have some humor to it to try and make it a little less gruesome. The only thing that I didn’t like was the lack of a real ending, as Otis basically just disappears and nothing else really comes of the whole situation except for Reed mistakenly killing someone else. The special effects were ok but the big thing was the dialogue, which really helped telling the story in this movie. This is a good movie and definitely well worth watching if you are a horror fan.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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