dark comedy, drama, movie, movie review

March 4th, 2018 Movie – 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

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

crime, dark comedy, horror, movie, movie review

January 12th, 2018 Movie – 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

dark comedy, horror, movie, movie review

September 23rd, 2017 Movie – Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland

sleepaway camp 3

Another weekend is upon us and I have to deal with some internet issues. It has actually been going on for most of the week but it has just been really annoying the past few days. It will work for a while, then suddenly stop working, then come back on for 30 minutes, then stop for 5 hours. Since that has no bearing whatsoever on my ability to watch a movie, I might as well go ahead and take care of that, then post this when I am able. So let’s finish up my wandering through summer camps with today’s movie, Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland.

The plot: Maria wakes up early one morning and heads to the bus stop so she can go to camp but along the way, she is chased down and run over by a garbage truck. The driver, who happens to look like Maria, gets out and throws Maria’s body in the compactor and turns it on, then heads to the bus stop herself. When the van for the camp pulls up, the killer gets in and as it drives away, some graffiti on a nearby wall says that Angela is back, indicating that the killer is none other than Angela Parker, the camp killer. At Camp New Horizons, news reporter Tawny Richards is speaking with the owners, Herman and Lily, who are trying an experiment of having kids from different social backgrounds try to get along with each other. After introducing all of the kids attending, Tawny says that Camp New Horizons used to be Camp Rolling Hills but changed it’s name after the murders that happened last year, which upsets Lily. After the report is finished, Tawny approaches Angela and asks if she can get her some cocaine and Angela tells her to give her a few minutes. Angela heads to the supply closet and pours some Ajax cleaner into a baggie, then hands it to Tawny as she is leaving and when Tawny stops and uses the “cocaine”, it ends up killing her. Back at the camp, Lily is discussing the itinerary and how they will be splitting up into three groups and going camping for a few days. When their third counselor arrives and Lily introduces him as police officer Barney Whitmore, Angela tries to be inconspicuous as she realizes that he is Sean’s father and knows who she is. As they are assigned to their groups, Angela ends up in Herman’s group along with Jan, Peter, and Snowboy. After they get their camp set up, Herman tells them that it is time to go fishing and Angela, Peter, and Snowboy head off but Jan refuses to go and Herman tries to convince her to go but once the other’s leave, the two end up having sex. At the lake, Peter lights a firecracker inside a fish’s mouth, chasing off Angela as it explodes and she heads back to the campsite. Once there, she interrupts Herman and Jan and kills them both, then hides their bodies in Herman’s tent. Peter and Snowboy return to the camp and continue to harass Angela, with Peter lighting more firecrackers and throwing them at her while Snowboy spray paints her tent. That night, Angela places a firecracker in Peter’s nose and lights it, killing him, and as Snowboy starts screaming, she hits him in the head with a log. Angela then drags him, as well as Peter’s body, into Herman’s tent and sets it on fire, killing Snowboy, while she sits outside and roast marshmallows in the fire. The next morning, Angela heads to Lily’s campsite, telling Lily that she is supposed to switch with Arab. Angela leads Arab to the camp site but as Arab looks around for the others, Angela decapitates her with an axe. Angela returns to the camp site, where Lily is trying to get Bobby, Cindy, and Riff to all get along. Lily has them do a trust exercise where they pair off and one person is blindfolded while the other leads them around. Angela is paired with Cindy and she leads the blindfolded Cindy to the main camp site and hooks her up to the flag pole, then raises her up high and lets her drop down, killing her. Angela heads back to the camp site and tells Lily Cindy has a headache but Lily has her take the trash out and grab her some more bug spray. While at the main camp, Angela is haunted by memories of her experience last year as a camp counselor. When Angela returns to the camp site, Lily proposes another trust exercise and ties Angela and Bobby’s together and has them go catch some fish. While they are at the lake, Bobby tells Angela he likes her and tries to kiss her but she freaks out and tells him to meet her at the main camp that night. After lunch, Angela asks Lily to do the trust exercise with her, saying they can check on Cindy while they are out, and Lily agrees. Angela leads Lily to the camp but then pushes her into the garbage pile and buries her up to her neck, then runs over her head with a lawnmower. That night, Bobby meets Angela at the camp and she ties him to a tree, as he has a fetish for being tied up, but she then hooks the rope to a jeep and drives off, ripping Bobby’s arms off. Angela returns to the camp and then kills Riff by nailing tent stakes into him. Meanwhile, Barney is talking with his group (Anita, Greg, Marcia, and Tony) about the murders and his son and how nobody knows what happened to Angela since she disappeared. At the same time, Marcia and Tony are getting closer and start a relationship. The next morning, Angela shows up at the camp and tells them that she is supposed to switch with Marcia, but Barney chooses to accompany them. While they are walking, Maria loses her footing and hurts her ankle so they head to the main camp so Barney can tend to her injury. After wrapping her ankle, Angela tells him how Herman and Lily are horrible counselors and tells Marcia that Lily is just laying about outside. When Marcia goes to check, she finds Lily’s headless body sitting in a chair and screams. Barney goes to check on her and then yells at Marcia to get out of there, but Angela tries to stop her. Marcia gets away and heads outside and Barney confronts Angela, taunting her by asking how she is planning on killing him and she pulls out Riff’s gun and shoots him. Angela then gets into the jeep and chases after Marcia, eventually catching up to her but doesn’t kill her. That evening, Angela brings Anita, Greg, and Tony to the main camp and ties them together, then shows them Barney’s body. She then tells them that Marcia is in one of the cabins and they have to try and find her but if they don’t find her before time runs out, or if they try to hurt her or escape, then they will die and so will Marcia. The three search the cabins, finding some of the bodies that Angela placed inside, and eventually find Marcia but as the move towards her, Anita and Greg are killed by a booby trap Angela had placed in the cabin. Angela then enters the cabin and says that she thinks they are a cute couple and that there is a phone at a convenience store down the road they can use to call for help before walking out of the cabin. As she is about to get into the jeep and leave, Marcia manages to free herself and chases after her and the two start fighting but Marcia gets the upper hand and stabs Angela several times in the stomach before Tony can pull her off of Angela. As the police and paramedics arrive, Tony tries talking with Marcia about a possible future together but Marcia tells him that she already has a boyfriend and he was just a fling. Meanwhile, Angela is being transported in the ambulance to a hospital but the police officer accompanying her is trying to convince the paramedic attending to her to let her die. As the officer turns his attention away, Angela grabs a large syringe and uses it to kill the paramedic and the officer, then lays back down as the ambulance keeps driving.

I have to tell you, this series did not end on a high note. While Pamela Springsteen did a decent job reprising her role of Angela, and I admit that I liked the short blonde hair she was sporting in this movie as opposed to the longer brown hair, everyone else was pretty boring. The story was pretty weak, with no explanation how Angela knew Maria was going to the camp or how she looked like her and they spent too much time making silly jokes and one liners, such as Angela catching a hockey mask when she was fishing and when she asks Peter and Snowboy the date, they tell her it is Saturday the 14th. They didn’t really do much original with the various kills and several of them were done somewhat off camera so they didn’t have to waste much on special effects for them. Honestly, find something else to watch because this really isn’t worth it.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

dark comedy, horror, movie, movie review

September 22nd, 2017 Movie – Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers

sleepaway camp 2

Yay for sequels of slasher movies. Actually, I am being a little sarcastic with that cause most times, the sequels can get pretty stale and the only thing I liked about them was to see how creative the director/writers were in killing people off. Yes, I may be a little warped when it comes to movie watching. Anyways, as memorable as the original movie was, I remember seeing the box for today’s movie on the video shelf countless times back in the day but I never got around to renting it. So when I bought the original movie, I decided to go ahead and get this one as well on an impulse. Let’s see if that was worth it as I watch today’s movie, Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers.

The plot: 5 years after the events at Camp Arawak, T.C., head counselor for Camp Rolling Hills, is at a campfire with the other male counselors telling ghost stories. When he finishes, Phoebe, a girl that snuck out of her cabin to hang out with the guys, starts telling them about the events at Camp Arawak when her counselor, Angela, shows up to bring her back to her cabin. After they leave, one of the guys asks what happened to the killer and another guy, whose dad was one of the cops that arrested her, tells them that Angela had been committed to a mental institution and while there, had undergone a sex change operation. Meanwhile, Angela and Phoebe are heading back to the cabin, with Angela chastising Phoebe for her behavior and threatening to send her home. Phoebe yells at Angela and storms off only to get lost in the woods. When she calls out for Angela, Angela appears behind her and smashes her in the head with a log, then cuts off her tongue. The next morning, Angela wakes up the girls in the cabin and when they wonder about Phoebe, Angela explains that she had to send her home. During breakfast, Uncle John, the camp’s owner, announces that Angela has been named counselor of the week and brings her on stage to lead the campers in a song. As the campers head out to do their various activities, Angela, who has the day off, heads off into the woods and finds the Shote sisters, Brooke and Jodi, getting drunk and stoned in the woods but chooses not to do anything. Meanwhile, Molly is getting close with one of the counselors, Sean, but another girl, Ally, is jealous and tries to get Sean’s attention, then gets upset when he ignores her. The next day, Angela finds out that the Shote sisters never came back to the cabin and a boy is missing as well. She heads back into the woods and finds the boy attempting to have sex with one of the sisters, while the other one is passed out. Angela chases the boy off while the girl passes out but when she wakes up, she finds herself tied to a grill, with the charred remains of her sister sitting next to her as Angela proceeds to pour gas on her and set her on fire. As another camper gets sent home, Angela tells Uncle John that she had to send the Shote sisters home and he gets upset at first and tells her to tell him or T.C. first next time. That night, some of the guys pull a panty raid on the girls’ cabin when Angela catches them and kicks them out. The girls decide to get even and raid the boys cabin and Angela shows up as Mar is flashing her boobs. Mar decides she wants to go home and Angela starts to drive her home and tries to convince her to stay but when she can’t, Angela uses a drill to kill her. The next day, Angela is sitting by herself next to a boarded up cabin in the woods when Molly approaches her, asking some advise about Sean and Angela helps her out. Angela catches two kids, Emilio and Charlie, looking at pictures that they have taken of the various girls and shows them to T.C., who says he will handle it. T.C. then warns Angela that he overheard some of the boys talking about trying to scare her and she says she will handle it. That night, Molly, Ally, and some of the other girls are camping in the woods and comment about Angela going back to get her pillow and wonder when the boys are going to show up. Meanwhile, Anthony and Judd, dressed as Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, are on their way to scare Angela and the girls but Angela kills them both; Anthony with his own glove, which he had lost, and Judd with a chainsaw. Angela returns to the campsite only to be told that Ally had gone to the bathroom so Angela heads over there with plans to kill her but her chainsaw won’t start so she is content with merely stopping Ally from having sex. The next day, Ally insults Molly before heading off to have sex and Molly confides in Angela about what she said. When Ally returns to the cabin, she finds a note written by Sean saying to meet at the abandoned cabin but when she gets there, she finds Angela waiting for her. Ally starts to leave but Angela stabs her in the back and then forces her into the outhouse and stuffs her down the hole, where she drowns in the filth that is down there. That night, Demi talks to Angela about how she tried calling some of the girls that had been sent home only for their parents to say that they are still at camp and Angela proceeds to strangle her with a guitar string. When she goes to leave the cabin, she ends up falling victim to a prank by Charlie and Emilio and stalks back inside to try and find another way to get rid of the body but when another girls shows up in the cabin, Angela is forced to kill her. When Molly enters the cabin later that night, she finds that all of the beds are empty except hers and she is shocked that Angela said she had to send them all home. The next morning, Uncle John and T.C. fire Angela for sending too many kids home without telling them. Angela goes and tells Molly goodbye and then heads off into the woods and Molly goes to talk with Sean and get his help to try and cheer her up. They find her by the cabin and as Molly talks with her, Sean decides to see what is in the cabin. Angela tries to stop him but Sean goes in and finds the bodies of all the campers that Angela has killed, forcing Angela to knock out Sean and tie up and gag both him and Molly. When T.C. hears that Sean and Molly had gone to find Angela, he heads up to the cabin to find them but when he enters, Angela throws a cup full of battery acid in his face, killing him. When Angela removes the gags in order to feed them, Sean realizes that Angela is the same Angela from Camp Arawak and asks how she got out. She explains that after years of therapy and medication, they had cured her. When Sean says his dad was one of the cops that arrested her, Angela cuts off his head and then leaves. While she is gone, Molly manages to get free and when Angela returns with the body of another camper, Molly knocks her out and grabs her knife before running. Angela comes too and chases after Molly and catches up to her but as Molly tries to get away, she falls off a drop and appears to have died on the rocks below. Angela returns to the camp and kills Charlie, Emilio, Rob, Uncle John, and Diane before leaving the camp. She is picked up by an old woman in a pickup but when the woman starts smoking and won’t roll down the window, Angela kills her. Meanwhile, Molly isn’t dead and after coming too, she makes her way to the road and flags down a passing truck to ask for help but when the truck stops, Molly heads to the driver’s window only to find it is Angela in the truck and Molly screams.

You take a marginally unique horror movie and basically make it a joke of itself. That’s pretty much my opinion of this movie. The acting was ok, with Pamela Springsteen (Can you believe they got Bruce Springsteen’s sister to play Angela) doing a decent job in the role, and I also liked Renee Estevez (Molly) and Tony Higgins (Sean) but everyone else was pretty forgettable. The story was ok and I liked how they poked fun of slasher movies, particularly Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street. That being said, I think sometimes they tried too hard to put the dark humor and jokes in some scenes which made it less scary and more stupid looking. The special effects regarding the different deaths were a step down from the original movie and I think part of that is definitely the low budget involved. All told, it’s more laughs than actual scares and even the laughs are the forced ones you do so as not to hurt someone’s feelings.

Rating: 2 out of 5

dark comedy, horror, movie, movie review

September 4th, 2017 Movie – Silent Night, Deadly Night 2

silent night deadly night 2

We all know that sequels generally tend to be a worse movie than the original, which is definitely the case with today’s movie. In fact it is considered one of the worst movies of all time, and yet, it has one of the most infamous movie scenes of all time; the infamous “Garbage Day” scene. Now if you haven’t seen the clip, just look up garbage day on YouTube, but right now it’s time to focus on the whole movie. I honestly never saw this movie before buying it, but I always remember seeing it on the shelf at Blockbuster or various other video stores. So let’s see if Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is as bad as everyone says it is.

The plot: Ricky Caldwell, the younger brother of Billy Chapman from the first movie, is being interviewed by psychiatrist Dr. Henry Bloom at a mental hospital, where he is being held awaiting trial for a series of murders he committed. After the guard/nurse sets up the recording equipment, Bloom tells him to leave and begins speaking with Ricky. After an initial angry outburst from Ricky, Bloom has him sit down and asks him how his parents died. Ricky tells him that Santa Claus killed them, relaying the story as Billy told it to him. Next, Bloom asks about their time in the orphanage and Ricky tells him of how Billy was treated there by the cruel and “naughty” Mother Superior. After changing the tape, Bloom asks about the Christmas Eve when Billy went on his killing spree, and how it affected Ricky. When Bloom comments about the orphanage being shut down after that, Ricky then talks about how Sister Mary managed to find him a family and he managed to live a pretty normal, healthy life, though there were times the trauma from his past would catch up to him. After the death of his adopted father, Ricky is walking through some woods and comes across a couple fooling around in a field. When the couple start to argue and the man attempts to force himself on her, the woman manages to fend him off and he heads to his jeep to get another beer before planning to come back to her. Ricky sees this and after the man grabs his beer, Ricky gets in the jeep and proceeds to run the man over. The woman sees what happens and as she approaches the scene, Ricky gets out of the jeep and the woman thanks him before walking away. Ricky then talks about how he got a job when he turned 18 but one night, he saw a loan shark named Rocco beating up a man for not paying the money he owes and Ricky kills the loan shark by stabbing an umbrella through him. When Bloom asks him about Jennifer, showing Ricky a picture of her, Ricky gets angry when she is first mentioned but reluctantly starts talking about her. Ricky met her when she accidentally hit his motorcycle with her car, having not seen him when she was pulling into a parking spot. The two begin dating but one day, while at the movies, Ricky is annoyed by a guy mocking them at the back of the theater and, after seeing a scene of a killer santa (re-used scenes from the original movie that are not meant to be a flashback), he leaves his seat and heads off. While she waits for Ricky to return, Jennifer is surprised by her ex-boyfriend Chip. Chip tries to get back with her but she refuses his advances, citing her reasons for not wanting to be with him while pointing out he has his own date with him. Meanwhile, Ricky had snuck up on the two people in the back of the theater and kills both of them, with nobody thinking anything odd was going on. Some time later, Ricky and Jennifer are walking through a neighborhood when they encounter Chip, who is working on his car. After Chip taunts Ricky over his past relationship with Jennifer, Ricky ends up using a pair of jumper cables to electrocute Chip. Jennifer sees this and attacks Ricky for killing Chip but when Ricky screams out “Punish”, she tries to escape only for Ricky to strangle her with Chip’s car antennae. A security guard witnesses this and tries to arrest Ricky at gunpoint but Ricky manages to get the gun and shoot the guard in the head, then goes on a killing spree throughout the neighborhood. When he is confronted by some police, Ricky tries to shoot himself but he is out of bullets and the police are able to take him into custody. Back in the present, Ricky finishes talking and addresses Bloom one final time, as Ricky had killed him during his last story, and then leaves the cell, killing the guards as he makes his escape from the hospital. 6 hours later, the police are questioning Sister Mary about what Ricky might do or where he will go and she says the orphanage closed down after Mother Superior’s stroke, and believes he will track her down. Ricky kills a Salvation Army Santa, then calls Mother Superior’s home before heading over there to attack her. Mother Superior, who is confined to a wheelchair after her stroke, tries to escape but Ricky chases her throughout the house and finally kills her when she chooses to face him. Sister Mary and the police arrive at her house and find that she had been decapitated and when Ricky attempts to kill Sister Mary, the police shoot him repeatedly and he falls through the window. As the police check on Sister Mary and tell her he is gone, she looks over at Mother Superior’s head and screams, as Ricky is shown to have survived the shooting.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 was panned by the critics, holding a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to think that the massive reuse of footage from the first movie made the new footage seem even more trivial and lackluster. The movie only had a limited release in theaters, earning $154323 off of a $100,000 budget, but gained a cult following of horror fans, who viewed the movie as more of a dark comedy. The “Garbage Day” scene quickly became a Internet meme and catchphrase, with numerous clips of the scene being found online.

Oh yeh, this is definitely one of those incredibly bad movies that can be entertaining to watch. The acting was definitely pretty bad, with Eric Freeman’s portrayal of Ricky being really over the top, which actually made some of the lines/scenes pretty funny. The story itself was pretty disappointing to be honest. My biggest complaint was how they portrayed the timeline in the movie. The movie was 88 minutes long and here was how the timeline of events broke down. Take out roughly 4 minutes for the beginning and end credits, 40 minutes of the movie were essentially a recap of the original (with about 5 minutes of that being brief moments where Ricky is talking to Bloom), and roughly 32 minutes being a recap of past events that led to Ricky being in the mental hospital. This means that about 12 minutes of the movie was really set in the present time. I realize that they were given a limited budget but this still felt like a total cop out as far as what they could do regarding a sequel. Anyways, the various kills that Ricky did were a little over the top at times, such as the umbrella opening up after he stabbed Rocco, but they fit into the way the movie played out. This is a bad movie, but one that is entertaining to watch because of how bad it is.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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