action, comedy, horror, sci-fi, The Asylum

January 13th, 2019 Movie – The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time

sharknado 6

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and that includes the phenomenon known as Sharknado. Yes, when it was announced that the latest Sharknado movie would be the end of the series, I will admit that I was pretty sad to hear about it. I mean, ever since the first movie took the world by storm (pun somewhat intended), Every summer I would get a week of brand new shark themed movies to go along with the latest installment in the series. It is going to be very hard to let go of something that awesome. Anyways, after the last movie, and learning that the next installment would be the end, I was curious to see exactly how The Asylum was going to close out this franchise. Let’s see how they did with today’s movie, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time.

The plot: During the Cretaceous period, a velociraptor is curious about a large, shark fin shaped rock but it quickly runs off when the rock explodes as a jeep drives through it. Inside the jeep, Fin Shepard turns to talk to his adult son Gil but notices that Gil has vanished. Suddenly, a hologram recording of Gil appears and tells Fin that due to the energy involved in time travel, a person can only go back in time once or else they vanish. Telling Fin that the time travel device is built into the pilot wings that Gil threw to Fin, Gil explains that Fin has to go through time and stop all of the past sharknado’s from happening if he wants to prevent the world’s destruction. When the recording ends, Fin goes looking for the bag that contains the cyborg head of his wife April only to see a dinosaur grab it in it’s mouth and run off. Fin drives the jeep after it and finds himself in a stampede, slamming on the brakes before he joins the dinosaurs in going over the cliff into the sea below. As Fin looks down the cliff, a megalodon breaches out of the water, causing Fin to step back from the cliff’s edge. A tyrannosaurus appears and Fin manages to avoid it and when it turns to attack him, the megalodon leaps out of the water and grabs the tyrannosaurus, dragging it into the sea. Fin then turns and faces the dinosaur that grabbed the bad and attempts to get it back when a masked figure suddenly leaps down from a nearby cliff, attacking the dinosaur with knives and forcing it to drop the bag and run off. As Fin grabs the bag, he is shocked to see that the masked figure is Nova, and she if joined by Bryan and a non-cyborg April, who rides in on a pteranodon. Fin is shocked as everybody had supposedly died and they explain that Gil had saved them all before they died and brought them there to help Fin stop the first sharknado. A meteor storm occurs just as the first sharknado appears and the group decide to use the meteors to destroy the sharknado but they aren’t powerful enough. Fin jumps onto the back of a megalodon caught in the vortex and as he forces it to swallow some of the meteors, he spots Gil riding on another shark and calls out to him but Gil disappears through time. Fin jumps back onto the pteranodon and Bryan hits a meteor into the megalodon, causing an explosion that destroys the sharknado. When a time vortex appears, they fly through it, thinking that they are returning to the present day but find themselves in the medieval kingdom of Camelot, and that Bryan has suddenly become a woman. The sorceress Morgana shoots down the pteranodon and attempts to take them prisoner but she is called off by Winter, who escorts them all to the castle, saying their arrival has been foretold. Winter introduces them to Merlin, who tells them that Gil had been studying with them for 10 years and Winter goes to fetch him only to see him sail off into an approaching sharknado. When she reports what happened, Fin and April want to try and save him but Nova tells them if they stop Gil from traveling through time to search for his parents, he won’t grow up and pull the others out of time to help Fin stop the sharknados from occurring. When an alert sounds from the bag containing the cyborg April’s head, everyone is curious about what is in the bag and Nova tries to grab it from Fin, only for the bag to open and the head rolls along the floor and lands at April’s feet. Fin explains to April that it was the only thing left of her when the world is destroyed and April tells Fin she forgives him but decides to hold onto the head. Fin and the others go to stop the sharknado but are stopped by Morgana, who tells them she has a potion that will destroy the sharknado but will use it only if Merlin agrees to remove the spell around Excalibur. Merlin agrees and Morgana uses an arrow to send the potion into the sharknado but instead of destroying it, it causes the sharks to start breathing fire. Fin and the others rush to defend the castle and Fin decides to try and use Excalibur, pulling it from the stone and revealing it to be a chainsaw sword. Fin uses Excalibur’s magic to stop the sharknado, with Morgana being killed in the process, and they then seal themselves into a large cauldron and are fired from a catapult so they can go fast enough to travel through time. They arrive in colonial America, with Bryan returning to being a man again, and they begin to wonder if their attempts to stop the sharknados might do more harm than good but when they see a sharknado approaching the colonial fleet, they decide to stop it before America ceases to exist, only to be captured by colonial soldiers. They are taken to General Washington’s camp and after explaining to Benjamin Franklin that they are there to help save the colonies from the sharknado, they are allowed inside to speak to Washington. Fin and Bryan explain their plan and after Washington allows them to proceed, Fin has the army fire their cannons into the sharknado, timing their attack to coincide with the lightning strikes to cause the cannonballs to become electrified. After destroying the sharknado and sending the British fleet retreating, Fin and the others try to figure out a way to get home but Nova, having encountered her ancestor, rushes off to talk to him. Nova hands her ancestor a note to be passed down to her grandfather but Fin takes it from her ancestor, causing an argument between him and Nova on her desire to change her past and save her grandfather. Fin and Nova rejoin April and Bryan so they can leave but Bryan, due to his being a history teacher, decides to stay behind and ensure America is put on the right path. With Franklin’s help, the three head off to the time vortex, where they end up landing in the Old West, where they come between a stand off between Billy the Kid and the town sheriff. Surprised at the arrival of the carriage, Billy is disarmed by the sheriff and runs off and the sheriff arrests Fin for his role in helping Billy escape. As Fin is taken to jail, April and Nova hide in the carriage and are shocked to see Skye appear. In jail, Fin speaks to another prisoner, who was supposed to be rescued by Billy the Kid, and as the prisoner is taken from his cell to be hung, Fin realizes that the prisoner is a grown up Gil. Nova and Skye break Fin out of jail and Fin explains that they screwed up and Gil is about to be killed and Skye goes to rescue him, just as a sharknado approaches. Fin and Skye rescue Gil, who races off into the vortex, while April and Nova use cyborg April’s head to destroy the sharknado. After a standoff with Billy the Kid, who wants to go to the future, Fin, April, Nova, and Skye get onto a train and use it to travel through the time vortex. They end up on the Santa Monica beach in the 1950’s and as a sharknado approaches the beach, they rush to save the people on the beach only to be shocked when they see Fin’s parents, Gilly Shepard and Raye Martin, working to stop the sharknado. After the adult Gil makes it through the vortex and the sharknado is destroyed, Nova sees the prototype capacitor that Gil had left behind and shows it to Fin. They see the date on it is the date of the first sharknado that hit Santa Monica and realize that that is their next destination and borrow Gil’s Cadillac to make the trup but Nova reprograms the capacitor to take them to 1997 San Francisco so she can try to save her grandfather. Fin tries to talk her out of changing her past but Nova refuses to listen to him and heads off. Nova reaches the charter boat that her grandfather owns and heads on board, with Fin and the others getting on board as well. The group head out into the ocean and as Nova watches her grandfather interact with her younger self, Fin again talks to Nova about what she is planning on doing. Nova argues her reasons for saving him, and after noticing the ripped up note she gave her ancestor framed and mounted on a wall, she rushes to warn the captain, inadvertently causing the boat to crash on some rocks. Realizing that she is the reason her grandfather died, Nova starts to freak out but Fin helps Nova’s grandfather and younger self escape on a raft. Nova attacks some sharks to give them time to escape and ends up falling overboard, with the cyborg April’s head falling with her. As a shark attacks Nova, April tries to save her and ends up getting dragged overboard, where both her and Nova are killed. Realizing that the only way to save them is to keep stopping the sharknados, Skye grabs the capacitor while Fin hooks a shark and the are dragged behind it, allowing them to warp to the future but instead of the year 2013, a malfunction causes them to end up in the year 20013. They find themselves attacked by a robotic flying shark and once Fin kills it, they are captured by an army of April clones. The clones take them to their base, where they are confronted by the repaired cyborg April, who reveals that she had perfected time travel and rescued April to use her DNA for cloning her army. As Fin rushes to April, Skye confronts the cyborg April and ends up encased in carbonite, then tells Fin that she brought him there to be her queen. Fin tries to attack the cyborg April, who tries to stop him by showing him robotic versions of his children Matt and Claudia, as well as a robotic Nova, but Fin continues his attack, killing the replicas. Cyborg April attacks Fin but her attack also disables the stasis chamber that April is in, who leaves the chamber and begins attacking her cyborg doppelganger. The cyborg April easily overpowers the original but as she attempts to kill her, her power strikes the capacitor just as Fin grabs it, sending him back to 2013. Fin lands on the boat owned by Captain Santiago, whose crew has just brought cyborg April’s head back to the surface. When Santiago orders his men to throw it overboard, Fin convinces them not to and the cyborg April is happy to see that Fin came back for her. Santiago goes to kill Fin but as the sharks on the edge of the sharknado begin killing his crew, as well as his traitorous business partner, Fin convinces him to work together to destroy the sharknado. Santiago and Fin use Santiago’s weapons to attack the sharks but Santiago is swept up by the storm and killed. Cyborg April’s head says that her lasers are recharged and they have to destroy the sharknado or else time will unravel but before Fin can aim her at the sharknado, Gil appears. Fin is happy to see his son and embraces him and Gil tells him that he can fix everything but he needs the capacitor. Fin moves to hand it to him but when Gil messes up the Shepard family motto, Fin realizes he is an imposter. Gil is revealed to be the future cyborg April, who tries to get the capacitor from Fin so that he can’t destroy the sharknado. Fin and cyborg April’s head are sucked up into the storm, with cyborg April’s head being swallowed by a shark. Fin and future cyborg April struggle for control of the capacitor and when Fin is knocked away by some debris, future cyborg April laughs as time begins unraveling. Suddenly, the shark with cyborg April’s head appears and destroys future cyborg April, then tells Fin they have one shot; activating her self destruct button in her head which will either destroy the sharknado and restore time or wipe out the universe. Fin kisses the cyborg head, activating the self destruct and April’s head explodes, restoring time. In a sharknado free 2013, an explosion is heard off the coast of Santa Monica and the patron’s of Fin’s bar wonder what it could be. As Nova, Matt, and Fin’s brother-in-law Martin Brody stare out the window, a shark suddenly slams against the glass and Nova feels sorry for it, as she loves sharks now. Fin and April, who is pregnant with Gil, are planning to retire to Kansas and are turning over the bar to Martin, who tries to convince Nova to stay but she is going to college thanks to a loan from Fin. Bryan tells everyone to check out the TV, where the see a political add for Skye, who is running for President. As Gemini enters the bar, and Wilford and May Wexler talk with April about the baby, Claudia hands Fin a letter from The Colonel, which contains his flight wings, in case he doesn’t make it back from space in time for Gil’s birth. Fin offers a last round on him to everyone at the bar and giving a heartfelt speech about how much they all mean to him. Just as he finishes, April’s water breaks and the Shepards, as well as Wilford, May, Nova, and George (a regular bar patron of Fin’s), head out the door to go to the hospital, while a TV weather report has Al Roker telling the audience that there is not a cloud in the sky anywhere in the world so people should go out and enjoy it as there won’t be another like it ever again.

So I had a lot of expectations going into this movie and while it did hit several things that I wanted it to, I was honestly a little disappointed and felt like they could have done more. The movie was the same ridiculous fun that all of the others have been, and all the returning characters did great in their roles. Ian Ziering was great finishing off his role as Fin Shepard, while Tara Reid and Cassandra Scerbo were just as good reprising their roles of April and Nova respectively. I actually think April was written a little better in this movie, as she did more than just scream all the time. I liked that they brought Judah Friedlander (Bryan) and Vivica A. Fox (Skye) back and the interaction with the other characters was pretty good. Some of the cameos were pretty funny, such as Neil deGrasse Tyson playing Merlin and Dee Snider playing a sheriff, but most of the cameos felt a little flat, as if they were running out of ideas on how to make the most of them. I will say that I was kind of glad that they used some archive footage from the first movie to have John Heard’s character George show up at the end. The story was ok but the way they brought up time travel into things actually made the story feel rather disjointed. I did think it was funny how they tried to reference Back To The Future a couple of times during the movie, such as the capacitor looking like the flux capacitor as well as Gil telling Fin he has to be going 88 mph to start the time travel. The special effects were ok for the most part, though there were times where they honestly were a little worse than I was expecting, but that makes these movies that much more fun to watch. So it was a good way to end the series but I still think that they could have done a better job with it.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

action, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi, The Asylum, Uncategorized

January 6th, 2019 Movie – 6-Headed Shark Attack

6 headed shark attack

A new year is upon us and, as promised, I have returned with more movies to watch and review. Since I cut back on my movie purchasing after I finished my initial run, I am only going to be posting reviews over the weekend, primarily on Sunday but I could do them on Saturday as well depending on how busy I am. So, let’s dust this thing off and get right into a new movie. Today’s movie was part of Syfy’s Sharknado week last year and is the latest installment in the multi-headed shark franchise (I don’t think they have an actual title for the series). This was one of the movies I was most looking forward to seeing during that week, mainly to see how the shark was going to look with all of those heads; with the actual plot of the movie being a distant second. Luckily, the movie actually turned out to be pretty entertaining, much like the other movies in the series. So let’s sit back and enjoy today’s movie, 6-Headed Shark Attack.

The plot: In 1984, a graduation party for the UCSB School of Biology is being held on the floating Marine Research Station off the coast of Isla Corazón in Baja, Mexico. During the party, a couple argue over the man’s flirting and actions at the party, causing the woman to throw her engagement ring into the water. As the man heads back inside to the party, the woman stays outside to cry when she notices a large shadow moving through the water, just as a 6-headed shark begins attacking the station. In the present day, Isla Corazón has been bought by William and turned into a marriage boot camp. William is holding a session with the latest group at camp, Mary and James, Duke and Daphne, Angie and Kip, and Jake and Sarah, but when James questions where William’s wife is, William brushes off the question. After the group finishes the first task, with James refusing to participate, William notices a boat approaching the island and tells the group to grab their wetsuits and meet him on the beach, then tells his assistants Brad and Rebecca to prepare the next challenge while he goes to meet the boat. Brad and Rebecca set up the challenge, then head off to enjoy the surf but they are attacked and killed by the 6-headed shark. Meanwhile, William paddles out to the boat, where his wife/ex Suzanne and her new boyfriend greet him, and as William argues with his wife about her giving up on the camp, he reluctantly signs the papers she asks for so she can dissolve their business. On shore, the couples are all getting ready for the next task, with Jake telling Sarah his belief that the island was the home for a secret government project that was shut down during the Cold War. Meanwhile, Daphne flirts with Kip, causing tensions to flare between Angie, Kip, and Daphne, while James and Mary argue about their being at the camp and James telling Mary he is jealous about how William was looking at her. William is trying to get in touch with Brad and Rebecca when Mary approaches him, telling him that James and her want to leave. When William tries to convince her to stay, she threatens to sue him for false advertising and William relents and says that he will take them back the next day and refund their money. Mary rejoins the others, telling James that they can’t leave until tomorrow, and they all head out to the floating dock, where their supplies are. Meanwhile, William discovers a severed foot in the shallow water of the beach and rushes to join the others, just as Brad’s body surfaces near Mary. As Everyone reacts in shock on the small dock, William tells them that their only chance is to head to the boat, as the tide is to low for him to risk bringing it to them, and after James argues with him for a bit, William comes up with a plan and they all begin paddling the floating dock towards the boat. They manage to reach the boat and William tries to radio for help but is unable to reach anybody. William decides to head back and try to find Rebecca, despite the objections of the guests, and Duke decides to go with him, fashioning a make-shift bang-stick to use against the shark. They head towards the beach, where Duke spots a shadow in the water and heads out to kill the shark, while the others raise the boat’s anchors and head out to try and help them. As the shark approaches Duke and William, Duke jabs it with the boom stick, seemingly killing it, but as he talks with William, the shark revives and attacks him, ripping him in half between it’s heads, then rips off the damaged head, which quickly grows back. Meanwhile, the others are shocked by what they saw and end up running aground on the rocks and William swims out to them and tells them they have to swim back to shore. Everyone reluctantly does so and William has to help Daphne through her guilt for Duke’s death before she starts swimming. The group manage to make it to shore, where Sarah blames William for what has happened and as tempers start to flare up, Daphne points out an approaching storm system and Sarah tells them that the intensity of the storm will put the whole island underwater. William suggests heading to an old lighthouse but Sarah says that is in the direction of the storm and they won’t make it in time. Jake says they should head to the lab, as it is on floating docks, and convinces the others to go with them, with William and Daphne, who says she will go where he goes, reluctantly following. When they get to the lab, they try to find something to help them survive, with William finding a radio and attempting to call for help again. Meanwhile, James and Jake discover that the shark had been created at the lab, which had been testing the regenerative properties of sharks. Suddenly, a storm swell rocks the labs, causing Jake to fall into the water and a shelf to fall onto the opening. Sarah and the others lift the shelf so Jake can get back onto the lab but as Sarah embraces him, the shark leaps up from the opening and grabs both Jake and Sarah, killing them, then tries to get the others. William works on fending the shark off, allowing the others to escape, then starts to swim for shore himself when he hears Suzanne speaking over the radio. William rushes to the radio and makes contact with Suzanne, telling her to meet him and the others at the lighthouse, then avoids the shark before making his own swim to shore. The others reach shore and after James spots the lighthouse, they all start heading for it. As they make their way there, Kip and Angie end up falling behind and discuss their relationship. As they decide to make it work, they are shocked to see the shark approaching them, using 4 of it’s heads to walk across the sand, and Kip and Angie are both killed. Mary, James, and Daphne run for the lighthouse, with the shark shuffling after them and as it moves to attack Mary and Daphne, William appears and cuts off one of the shark’s heads, then chases it away from them so they can get to the lighthouse. When they reach the lighthouse, William and James work on finding the fuse box and getting power to the lighthouse while Mary tends to Daphne, who is in shock but when Mary leaves Daphne to look around for supplies, Daphne leaves the lighthouse and wanders to the nearby rocks to scream out her frustrations, only for the shark to kill her. Back in the lighthouse, James confronts William over his imagined affair with Mary, pointing a rifle that he finds at him but William quickly grabs the box of bullets. Mary appears with some acetylene canisters and they start bringing them up to the light to use when James spots Suzanne’s boat approaching. When the shark moves towards the boat and begins circling it, causing a vortex to drag the boat underwater, James tells William to hand him the shells but William refuses, not wanting to risk James hitting Suzanne. William leaves the lighthouse and Mary follows after him but they can only watch helplessly as the boat is dragged under and Suzanne and her boyfriend are killed. William decides to use the acetylene canisters to kill the shark, handing James some bullets for the rifle while he and Mary place the canisters on the beach and prepare to lure the shark towards them so James can shoot the canisters but James instead attempts to shoot William but Mary realizes what he is doing and knocks William aside, saving his life. James then shoots the shark in one of it’s heads but the shark simply rips it off and flings it at the lighthouse, crushing James underneath it. The shark heads back to the water and William tells MAry to grab the canisters and they swim back out to his boat, which has come free of the rocks due to the storm swell. With the motor damages, William says they will have to use the sails to get out of there, just as the shark starts attacking the boat. Mary fashions a spear to attack the shark and after fending off the shark, William grabs it and heads down into the hold to attack the shark as it tries to break through. William manages to stab the skark in the head and pin it to the ship just as Mary drops the canisters down there, flooding the hold with the gas. William shoots a flare at the shark, attempting to kill it with the gas, but the flare doesn’t ignite and they quickly swim to shore, with the shark getting free and following them. As they run from the shark, it leaps after them and gets stuck in the rocks and William shoots another flare at the canisters, causing an explosion which blows off all 6 of the shark’s heads. With the shark finally dead for good, William and Mary embrace each other before heading back towards the camp so they can try to signal for a rescue off the island.

Man, was I ever glad that this movie lived up to my expectations because it was exactly the sort of ridiculously funny movie that I enjoy watching. The acting was pretty good, with Brandon Auret doing a good job as the lead role of William. Thandi Sebe (Mary), Cord Newman (James), and Jonathan Pienaar (Duke) were also pretty good in their roles but nobody else really stood out much. The story was good in the sense that they actually attempted an explanation of how the shark came to be, though I will admit that they could have done a better job using that explanation. Unfortunately, there were some plot holes in the movie, with the biggest ones being the storm that was approaching the island, prompting the discussion on whether the lighthouse or the labs would be safer, but then it never actually materialized and seemed to have been completely forgotten towards the end of the movie. The special effects were pretty good and I loved that they finally had the shark look similar to a starfish, which is what the shark was rumored to look like in 5-Headed Shark Attack before the design was changed. I especially loved the part where they had the shark walking on land, using the snouts from the 4 back heads to move itself, as I thought that was the funniest, and most original thing I had seen from this type of movie and it literally had me falling out of my chair laughing. So it’s a fun bit of horror/sci-fi shark entertainment and if you were a fan of the other movies in the series, then you will enjoy this one as well.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

action, comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 11th, 2018 Movie – Tremors 6: A Cold Day In Hell

tremors 6

2018 was kind of a disappointment on the sci-fi front. See, there had been talk of a reboot of the Tremors TV series, with Kevin Bacon returning to star in it. They even made a trailer for the show but then Syfy decided to pass on it. The only bright spot on this bit of sad news is that we did get a new movie in the franchise. As soon as I heard that this movie was being made, I immediately made plans to purchase it as soon as it came out. So let’s see what new horrors are in store for us with today’s movie, Tremors 6: A Cold Day In Hell.

The plot: At the Nanavut Province in northern Canada, 3 scientist (Aussie, Yankee, and Dutch) are taking core samples of some ice when their drill hits something under the ice. As Yankee and Dutch work on the drill, a yellowish fluid starts seeping up, just as Aussie detects a seismic anomaly, as if something living was moving under the ice. Suddenly, a large graboid burst out of the ice and swallows Aussie, while whatever was struck by the drill begins moving, dragging Yankee with it. As the graboid burrow under the snow towards Dutch, he starts running and falls down an embankment, only to have the graboid kill him. Some time later in Perfection, New Mexico, Burt Gummer is approached by Special Agent Dalkwed of the U.S. Treasury Dept. Dalkwed tells him that due to Burt’s not paying taxes, the government is putting a lien on his property. As Dalkwed leaves, Burt’s son Travis shows up with supplies that he had gone to get and he argues with Burt over his not making more of an effort to work with him. Back in the arctic, Dr. Rita Sims, the head of the research team, heads out to the site of the attack with team members Valerie McKee and Aklark and when they see the carnage, Valerie recognizes what has happened. Back in Perfection, Burt is taking a nap on the roof of Chang’s store but is plagued by painful nightmares of the time he was swallowed by a graboid. As he falls out of his hammock, Travis tells him he has a phone call from a woman saying they have a graboid problem. Burt picks up the phone and speaks with Rita but when she tells him where they are located, he says that it can’t be a graboid attack as they are desert/tropical creatures. Valerie gets on the phone and tells Burt she is a graboid enthusiast, impressing him with her knowledge of the creatures, and tells him the site has all the markings of an attack and convinces him it is worth coming out there to investigate as it would be a new phenomenon for him to explore. Burt packs up for his trip and Travis packs to go with him, which Burt objects to his coming but Travis convinces him that he needs to teach him how to hunt and kill graboids for when the time comes that he is unable to do it anymore. The two head out to Canada and as they are flying to the site in a single prop plane piloted by Mac, they are attacked by an ass-blaster, which runs into the prop and forces them to land. On the ground, they are approached by Mr. Cutts, who is in charge of a DARPA facility next to the research station. Cutts confiscates the alcohol that Mac was smuggling into the area and warns Burt to stay out of his way, while Burt warns him that he should take his team and leave the area. As Cutts leaves, Valerie and Aklark show up and Valerie rushes up to hug Burt. Burt chastises her for not telling him about the ass-blasters and when she learns they saw one, she says her parents aren’t going to believe it, then reveals that she is the daughter of Valentine “Val” McKee and Rhonda LeBeck, whom Burt lost track of after they left town following the first Graboid attack. The head out to the Boite Canyon Arctic Research Facility, towing Mac’s plane behind them so she can repair the engine. They are approached by Rita and Dr. Charles Freezze, who is upset to learn that the plane is broken as he wants to leave as quickly as possible. Rita introduces Burt and Travis to the rest of the staff and Burt tries to tell them of the dangers they are now facing. Burt then asks Rita to step aside and asks her about Cutts and the DARPA facility and she tells him it is a joint US/Canada project but they are being secretive about it. Suddenly an ass-blaster appears at the site and kills a security guard while trapping Freezze underneath the communications tower, which it destroys while trying to get to him. Burt heads out to rescue Freezze, handing him an insulated pancho to hide his body heat from the ass-blaster when Burt suddenly has a seizure and collapses to the ground. As the ass-blaster flies towards Burt, Travis and Rita head out and start shooting at it and Burt recovers enough to shoot as well and they eventually kill the ass-blaster, but Burt passes out. When Burt regains consciousness, Valerie tells him he had surgery and the two talk for a bit before she leaves as Travis enters the room. Travis asks Burt how he is doing but Burt angrily asks him where he got the HK that he was using when they are interrupted by Rita, who says she has something Burt needs to see. Meanwhile, the DARPA team is at the Meltwater Hot Springs 8 miles from the camp taking reading of the water when they detect a high level of formic acid in the water. Suddenly, the scientist in the water hears something just before a graboid appears and kills her. Back at the research facility, Burt is told that he has a parasitic organism in his blood that is killing him and when they tell him that it came from a graboid, he figures he was infected when he was swallowed and had to cut his way out of one. Travis suggests that they kill a graboid to get the antibodies but they tell him they need a live graboid, which Burt says is impossible to catch. Suddenly, graboid tendrils snake through the window and grab the doctor, yanking her outside to be swallowed  by the graboid. Burt orders everyone to secure the area and since they can’t get any seismograph readings due to their comm tower being down, he asks for a satellite phone only to discover that Freezze has taken it and fled. Travis radios Mac and Aklark, telling them to stop their work on the plane, just as the graboid moves under the lab and away from the area. Realizing that it is chasing after Freezze, they look outside to see him heading for the nearby truck. Hart rushes off to try and stop him but the graboid knocks the truck over and kills Freezze while Hart climbs up a nearby tower. Burt has everyone else get back inside and they try to come up with options. Swackhammer says they have some dynamite and supplies to rig up a bomb to feed down the graboids throat but Travis comes up with a better idea, using the generator to fashion an underground electrical fence to keep them away from some of the buildings. As Burt splits the group into teams to head out, Cutts and his men show up and Burt taunts him, believing that they were somehow responsible for this. Cutts tells Burt that they aren’t creating bioweapons, but are trying to access the water and figure out a way to transfer it to cities. Suddenly, the graboid breaks through the floor and attacks them, killing one of Cutts’ men. Burt tells the other to head out according to their plan and Burt tells Cutts to get somewhere on high ground and stay there. Travis sticks a makeshift fuse into the gas can on Aklark’s ATV and drives off to create a distraction and as the graboid chases after him, he jumps to safety while it swallows the ATV, only to be blown up. Burt yells for everyone to head to the hangar but when a second Graboid appears, they are forced to take shelter, with Burt and Swackhammer heading to the tower Hart is on while Travis and Rita are on the flipped over truck. Burt has Hart pee on the ground to lure the graboid towards them, then tells everyone to continue towards the hangar but as he makes a run for it, Burt suffers another seizure. Valerie and Vargas spot a third graboid heading towards Burt and he manages to make it onto some rocks before he collapses. Swaghammer manages to make the makeshift electric fence, which stops a graboid from entering the hangar but it instead heads over to the DARPA facility, attacking the building and people in there. While it is gone, Burt recovers enough to make it to the hangar and tells everyone to start prepping the bombs. Travis argues with Burt about their needing to capture one of the graboids in order to save him, then reveals that he had gone to see Heather, which is where he got the HK from. When the core sampler starts up automatically, the graboids approach the tower that Hart is on and Valerie rushes over to shut it off. Burt tells Swackhammer to shut off the fence while everyone else uses powertools to make some noise and lire the graboid towards them, then Swackhammer turns the fence back on, killing it. Valerie manages to shut off the fence as the third graboid takes off and they head towards the base. Inside the hangar, the generator gives out just as Burt has another seizure and collapses into a coma. Travis takes the lead and tells Mac to get the plane ready while they head to medical but before they leave, they hear Cutts calling out for help. Travis tells Rita and Aklark to get Burt to medical and keep him alive while he and Swackhammer head out to rescue Cutts. When they get there, Cutts demands that they get a ladder so he can get down but Travis refuses to do so unless Cutts arranges to remove the lien on Burt as well as ensure that neither Burt nor Travis have to pay federal taxes ever again and Cutts reluctantly agrees to it. Travis and Swackhammer return to the base with Cutts and he goes to see Burt, who tries to get out of bed but Travis argues with him that he needs to stay down and let him handle this as he has a plan. Travis has Swackhammer cut out the ends of a shipping container, fashioning a trap for the graboid. They then set some bait and as the graboid grabs it, Mac is able to use her plane and it’s own momentum to steer it into the container, where everyone pushes some steel bars through the slots to trap it in place. They then open the other end of the container to reveal steel bars are keeping it from closing it’s mouth and they attempt to sever the three proboscis tentacles, with Burt shooting them from the base camp before passing out again. Travis crawls inside the graboid’s mouth and extracts the venom from it’s gland sac and they take it back to medical to fashion the antibodies needed to save Burt’s life. With Burt fully recovered, he and Travis prepare to leave and Cutts shows up with the signed paperwork ensuring that Burt is clear of any tax penalties or owes any taxes ever again. Cutts then comments about the graboid being a good bioweapon but Burt has Hart fly one of his RC planes carrying a bomb into the graboid’s mouth, then detonates it, killing the graboid. Valerie says goodbye to Burt and comments about how she is going to have a great story to tell her parents and he tells her to tell Val and Rhonda he said hi. Travis and Rita, who had become attracted to each other, say goodbye, with Rita telling him she will be back in the states in 6 months. Travis kisses her on the cheek and as he joins back with Burt, Burt chastises him for simply kissing her on the cheek, prompting Travis to go back and fully embrace and kiss Rita, to the cheers of the other staff. As Travis rejoins Burt, Burt tells him it was better and that they should head back to Perfection.

One thing I like about these movies is that even though the basic premise is the same, they manage to add a new twist to make things interesting. This movie was a lot of fun to watch. Michael Gross and Jamie Kennedy did great jobs reprising their roles of Burt and Travis respectively, and I liked that they still had the clash or personalities as Burt still struggled to accept Travis as his son. Tanya van Graan (Rita) and Jamie-Lee Money (Valerie) also did great jobs in their roles and I loved the interactions between them and Travis and Burt respectively. The story was good, with the new location being a nice twist, while also being a not so subtle nod to the climate change debate. Aside from the introduction of Valerie, there were also a couple of other nods to the original movie that were pretty funny if you caught them. The special effects in the movie were good and I liked that they used the new designs from the previous movie for the graboid and ass-blasters, as it felt like the right versions to use, as they were frozen in ice millennia ago and never thawed until the temperature warmed up along the Arctic, allowing them to move about. So a great entry into a fun franchise and hopefully they will continue on with the it, either with more movies or another attempts at a TV show.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 10th, 2018 Movie – Toxic Shark

toxic shark

I am nearing the end of my movie collection but at least I will get to review one more shark movie in the process. This movie was one of the new movies that debuted during the Sharknado Week last year and if I am to be completely honest, that was probably the best year of new shark movies in it’s 6 year run. While this was not my favorite in the series, I thoroughly enjoyed today’s movie, Toxic Shark, and when I saw it was available digitally, I decided to go ahead and buy it.

The plot: At a singles retreat on a tropical island near Puerto Rico, Maggie and Vince are racing on some ATV’s when Vince crashes on something buried in the sand and falls into the ocean. As Maggie goes to help him up, they end up being attacked and killed by a mutated shark. Later, Sam, Zane, and Ryan show up on the island as part of a guy’s weekend in order to help Sam take his mind off of breaking up with his girlfriend Eden. Meanwhile, Eden arrives on the island with her friends Audra and Gabriella for the same purpose and are told of the various things that are offered at the resort. On the dock, Reese, the resort’s owner, is talking with an EPA inspector that had been checking his island due to complaints of former guests getting sick. Reese asks if he passed and the inspector says that he did pass, then tosses Reese a water testing kit before he leaves, telling him to test the water every day before letting anyone swim just as a precaution. Elsewhere, the resort’s chef Damiano and his assistant Gregory are attempting to catch some fish, with Damiano commenting how the area was filled with fish a week ago and now there is nothing there, when they are attacked by the mutated shark, which kills Damiano while spraying Gregory before killing him. Later, Reese goes to the main hut looking for Damiano and Gregory but when he can’t find them, he asks Jesse and Erin to cook something, but they refuse to do so after he leaves. Meanwhile, Sam hits the beach with Zane and Ryan and while Ryan starts flirting with a girl, Sam and Zane bump into Eden, Audra, and Gabriella. Sam and Eden begin arguing about the other being there and both refuse to leave so their friends attempt to get them to keep the peace as they are stuck there for a week and suggest they just steer clear of each other. Reese greets the guests at the resort and tries to get them all hyped up to be there. Meanwhile, Jesse is on the dock attempting to fix Reese’s boat when something strikes it and he sees something in the water but quickly gets off the dock before anything else happens. On the beach, Sam, Zane, and Ryan see Eden, Audra, and Gabriella, and both exes are trying to make the best of things in spite of how uncomfortable they feel. Gabriella goes into the water to flirt with some guys when something hits her leg, leaving a large wound in her leg and she is carried out of the water and into the medical hut. Inside, Jesse treats her wound, telling her that it was probably a broken piece of fire coral. Gabriella insists that Audra take Eden and go have some fun and they speak with Erin, who suggests they join her exercise class. Before she leaves, Jesse speaks with Erin, asking if she has seen another coworker, and tells her he thinks something is wrong as the various people have disappeared. On the beach, the yoga class is finishing up their exercises and the instructor suggests going into the ocean to cool off but while they are there, the shark kills them all. Elsewhere, Eden and Audra attend the exercise class to find that Sam had also signed up and as Erin has the group pick out partners, Sam and Eden end up paired together. Erin has them doing team exercises but Sam and Eden end up arguing and leave the class. Meanwhile, Jesse is looking for the missing staff with Hayden and Liam when they discover that the phone cable to the main land has been bitten in half and a short while later, they discover Damiano’s severed arm. Eden and Audra are at the bar when Gabriella approaches them and tells them that she is going to go lie down but as she heads to their room, she collapses on the beach. Erin goes to help her, calling out for Reese and as they get her to the medical hut, Jesse approaches to tell Reese of the problem. Reese doesn’t want to panic the guests and tries to pass everything off as being fine, which shocks Erin and Jesse and they go to warn the guests to stay out of the water. Sam, Eden, Audra, Zane, and Ryan are competing in a tug of war game in the water when Erin and Jesse yell at them to get out of the water. Suddenly, the shark attacks the group, eating some of the competitors, including Ryan, and injuring others before swimming off. As Reese and the staff work on tending to the wounded, Sam, Eden, Zane, and Audra try to figure out how to get off the island. Audra goes to check on Gabriella and when she doesn’t find her in their room, she tells the others and they find her in the medical hut, as Jesse is still tending to her. Gabriella appears to be suffering form feverish delusions, causing her to react violently, and Reese tells them he will take her, and some others, to the mainland for medical help then come back with help to evacuate the others. They carry Gabriella to the boat and try to get her in it when she suddenly bites Jesse, then attacks Sam. Sam pushes her away as he tries to avoid her and she ends up being eaten by the shark. Reese starts the boat and leaves, with Audra the only one that was on board with him, but the boat stalls out and the shark kills Reese and the boat explodes when the shark’s acid hits the engine but Audra manages to swim to safety. Sam carries Audra to the medical hut, where she is already showing the same symptoms that Gabriella was showing. Jesse theorizes that whatever toxin the shark has on it is acting like rabies, and since Audra’s exposure is closer to her brain, it is infecting her quicker. Sam, Eden, Zane, and Erin discuss what they should do while Jesse bandages his arm from where Gabriella bit him. Erin goes to get all of the other guests to stay in their huts, enlisting Liam and Hayden to help her. As they all meet back at the medical hut, Sam suggests fixing the other boat and going for help and Hayden and Liam show some spear guns that they brought in order to defend themselves against the shark. Eden suggests getting the phone lines fixed so they can call for help instead and Zane, who works for the phone company, reluctantly agrees to take a look at the lines. Sam asks Erin and Jesse to show him the other boat so he can try to fix it, then comments on Jesse not looking too good but Jesse says he is fine. Sam tells Eden to stay with Audra and watch over her and Eden asks him to hurry, as Audra continues to show signs of dementia. On the boat, Sam tells them that the engine is an easy fix but that they will need to repair the hole in the boat and pump out the water. Erin finds the pump and starts working on that when Sam notices the damage to the boat appears corroded, and Erin says that whatever the shark is spraying into the water must be doing it. Not finding a repair kit on the dock, Sam radios Eden to look for one, unaware that Jesse is showing signs of becoming fully infected. Eden looks for the repair kit in the medical hut and finds the water testing kit that the EPA investigator gave to Reese and, telling Audra she will be back, she heads out to test a theory. Meanwhile, Zane, Hayden, and Liam go to where the phone cable is only to find it had floated back out into the water. The three head out to repair the line when the shark shows up and attacks Liam. Hayden shoots it with a spear gun and Zane fires his but accidentally hits Hayden and he helps her back onto shore. Eden heads to the beach and tests the water at various sites, discovering high levels of arsenic in it and tries to figure out where it came from. Back in the medical hut, Audra is suffering the full effects of the infection and, hearing some of the other guests outside, quickly leaves the medical hut. On the dock, Jesse attacks Sam and Erin but Erin is able to knock him out and Sam ties him up so they can take him back to medical. When they get there, they find both Eden and Audra gone when Zane shows up with the wounded Hayden and Erin has Zane help her tend to Hayden’s wound while Sam goes looking for Eden. Elsewhere on the island, Eden notices some debris floating in the water and goes out to see what it is when the shark appears and swims towards her. Sam shows up to save her just as the shark suddenly swims away, with Eden explaining it was because of her shark band. Sam chastises Eden for going in the water and Eden explains what she was doing and Sam apologizes to her, both for yelling at her and for their break up and Eden apologizes as well. The two head back to the medical tent, and Sam asks Hayden if Reese had a repair kit and she tells him where it is. Eden tells them about the arsenic in the water and says that is what has mutated the shark and is causing the infection in people. Sam and Zane go to repair the boat so they can leave but the shark attacks the boat, knocking Zane into the water. Sam goes to pull Zane from the water but not before the shark injures him and they are forced to drive off in the boat to get away from the shark, while trying to figure out how to get back to the others. Eden and Erin go looking for Audra but find no sign of her. When Erin comments about the boat not being a match for the shark, Eden asks her where they keep the yoga equipment. They head to the storage room and Eden has Erin grab all of the magnets, saying that they might work to repel the shark like her shark band did earlier. As they head back to medical, they see Audra eating one of the guests and they quickly run for it while Audra chases after them, joined by other infected guests, while inside the medical hut, Jesse gets free of his bindings and kills Hayden. Eden and Erin reach the beach and contact Sam and Zane, who tell them to run for it as they see the infected mob chasing them. Eden and Erin swim for the boat and the mob follows them, only to be killed by the shark. Eden and Erin reach the boat and they start heading for the mainland, with Eden and Erin using some of the magnets to drive the shark away but it only returns and spews acid on the engine, destroying it. With Erin warning that it will be dark soon, Zane worries that they will wind up like Reese’s boat, which is directly below them. Eden suggest diving down to retrieve the flare gun in Reese’s boat, saying that Arsenic is highly flammable and so she dives down with Sam, leaving Erin and Zane to keep watch for the shark. Eden and Sam find the flare gun and start swimming back to the boat only to see the shark approaching them. On the boat, Zane succumbs to the infection and tries to attack Erin and she ends up knocking him in the water, which attracts the shark’s attention and it kills him. Eden and Sam use the distraction to reach the boat and Sam is upset about what happened to Zane but Eden tells him to focus and worry about the shark right now. Opening the case, Sam sees they only have 3 flares and as he goes to load the gun, the shark strikes the boat, causing one of the flares to drop into the water. Sam fires the second flare and it hits the shark, wounding it but not killing it. Sam fires the third shot but misses and the shark hits the boat, knocking Erin into the water. As the shark charges at them again, Eden hands Sam the bag of magnets, which he throws into the sharks mouth, causing it to react violently. Sam and Eden are forced to jump from the boat when the shark leaps out of the water and crashes onto the boat. As the shark thrashes in pain, Erin surfaces with the last flare cartridge and Eden loads it and fires it into the shark’s mouth, causing it to explode. Eden, Erin, and Sam celebrate the shark’s death, then grab onto some floating debris and start swimming for the mainland. When they reach the mainland, Sam and Eden collapse on the beach together and Sam moves to kiss her but Eden tells him they should take it slow if they want to start a new relationship. Sam agrees but before they can say anything else, Erin suddenly exhibits signs of being infected and the two quickly back away from her as she approaches them.

This was a fun movie to watch but I will admit that they kind of went a little out there with the plot. The acting was good, with Kabby Borders (Eden) and Bryce Durfee (Sam) doing great hobs in their roles. I also thought that Michelle Cortes (Erin), Sean Samuels (Zane), Eric Etebari (Reese), and Jaime Wallace (Hayden) did good jobs in their roles as well. The story was interesting but it was lacking in some set-up. I mean, the shark was mutated by arsenic but they never explained where the arsenic came from, which could have been used for a more detailed opening scene, or better sub-plot. The idea of the people injured by the shark becoming arsenic poisoned, rabid, zombie like people was a nice little side effect but it wasn’t really necessary as it took away from the killer shark, which is what you don’t really want to happen in a killer shark movie. The special effects were ok and I did like the idea of it being able to spray out acid as a result of the mutation but I wish the special effects were a little better in showing it. A fun bit of shark movie goodness if you are in the mood for some B-movie fun with a bite to it.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, mystery, thriller

October 30th, 2018 Movie – Paranormal Activity

paranormal activity

You know, this is a rather appropriate movie to be watching right now. Ever since The Blair Witch, the whole “found footage” style of movie took off, with a new one seemingly coming out every year. When today’s movie came out, I honestly didn’t think much of it because the whole “mockumentary/found footage” style of movie was getting a little stale (and it had only been about 8 years at this point). Still, apparently plenty of people did enjoy the movie because I remember hearing a lot of people talking about it. I finally rented it when it came out on video and was surprised to find that it was a pretty good movie, but I didn’t feel like buying it. Luckily, my ultraviolet accounts decided that I needed to own this movie. So let’s get our scare on with today’s movie, Paranormal Activity.

The plot: In San Diego, Micah is showing his girlfriend Katie the new camera he bought to record any paranormal activity that may occur while they are asleep. Micah is skeptical that anything will happen but Katie says that whatever happens has been happening since she was a kid. Micah films them throughout the day then sets it up for the night, figuring out where to place it and making sure there is enough light to see anything. As they are sleeping, strange noises can be heard in the video and the next morning, Katie finds her keys on the kitchen floor instead of the counter where she left them. Katie invites Dr. Frerichs, a famous psychic, to the house and as he asks her for more details about what is happening, Katie tells him that this has been happening since she was a kid. Both her and her sister saw a figure standing at the foot of her bed and their house had caught fire but there was no explanation for what caused it. As they explain about the camera and tell Frerich about the stuff that has happened in their house recently, he tells them that hauntings usually feed on negative energy then says that it sounds like she is dealing with a demon, as it has followed her around. Frerich says that he isn’t able to deal with it and suggests a colleague named Dr. Averies that can help them. Micah asks about getting a Ouija board to try and communicate with the demon and figure out what it wants and Frerich says it most likely wants Katie and if it senses them using a ouija board to try anfd communicate, it could make things worse. After Frerich leaves, Katie chastises Micah for being rude to him and says that she wants to call Averies in the morning but Micah convinces her not to, as he still doesn’t believe anything supernatural is going on. Micah sets up the camera for the night and as they are asleep, their bedroom door is shown to move and strange growling sounds can be heard. When Micah reviews the footage, he sees the door and shows it to Katie, who is shocked to see it happening. Micah wants to try to find a way to make money off of it but Katie just wants to figure out a way to get rid of it. As Micah taunts the entity, Katie says she wants to stop filming things but Micah continues with the camera, taunting the demon while moving the door back and forth. That night, Katie wakes up in the middle of the night from a nightmare and as Micah comforts her, they hear a loud noise downstairs  and Micah goes to check things out but finds nothing. The next day, Micah plays some audio that was recorded from the camera before they woke up and says that he wants to buy a Ouija board but Katie makes him promise not to. Several days pass where nothing happens and Micah taunts the demon before they go to bed but that night, they hear a loud screech before a massive thud is heard and when they check downstairs, they see that thud was enough to cause the chandelier to shake. As they head back upstairs, they continue hearing sounds throughout the night and Micah is excited about the situation. Deciding to do an experiment, Micah uses a microphone and starts trying to ask questions of the demon and as he listens to the recording, he hears a grunting sound when he asks if he would like to speak through a Ouija board. The next night, Katie gets up in the middle of the night and is shown to be standing at the side of the bed staring at Micah for 2 hours before she heads outside, where Micah finds her on the back porch swing. As Micah goes to get some blankets, he hears a noise upstairs and their TV suddenly turns on and starts playing static. As Micah looks around, he is surprised to see Katie at the doorway and she tells him that he woke her up as she gets back in bed. The next day, Micah shows the video to Katie, who has no recollection of anything that happened. That night, Micha borrows a Ouija board and tries to get Katie to help him use it but she gets pissed off that he broke his promise and leaves the house, as they were supposed to be going out. Micah follows after her but while they are gone, heavy footsteps are heard and a strange breeze is seen blowing the leaves of their plants as the needle on the Ouija board starts moving around, just before the board catches fire. When they return home, Micah is shocked by the Ouija board but Katie is upset and says she is done with everything and kicks him out of their bedroom. The next day, Katie makes Micah apologize on camera and he tries to show her the Ouija board but she tells him that she doesn’t care and he needs to get rid of it. As things continue happening, Micah decides to try an experiment and pour baby powder on the upstairs floor by their bedroom to see if whatever is making the noise leaves any tracks and Katie agrees to let him on the condition that she can call Dr. Averies if it doesn’t work or it makes things worse. That night, they are woken up by a noise and see footprints in their room and when Micah follows them, they discover the attic is open. Micah heads up to look around and sees something in the insulation and when he goes to get it, he discovers it is an old picture of Katie as a kid that has been burnt, which shocks Katie. Katie calls Dr. Averies, despite Micah objecting to it, only to learn that he is out of town so she calls Fredrichs and ask him to come back. That night, something turns on the downstairs light and heavy steps are heard coming up the stairs, waking Micah and Katie. As Micah goes to get out of bed, the bedroom door suddenly slams shut and they hear a banging noise on the door and Micah goes to look around, with Katie following behind him, when the bedroom door suddenly slams shut and more banging is heard and Katie refuses to go back in the bedroom but when they hear more noises coming downstairs, Micah convinces her to come back to the bedroom. The next morning, Micah finds her on the couch and Katie is exhausted from staying up all night and as they are eating, they hear the sound of breaking glass and they find a picture of them has been broken. Katie feels something breathing on her and runs downstairs and Micah searches the upstairs but find nobody there. When Fredrichs arrives he senses the presence and tells them he can’t help them as his presence is only making things worse and tells them to wait for Averies to return in a few days. As they go to sleep that night, something moves the sheet off of Katie’s foot and more lights turn on and off when Katie wakes up as she feels something breathing on her. The next day, they watch the footage from the camera, with Katie getting freaked out when she sees a shadow moving across the bedroom door. Micah finds a story online about a girl in the 60’s who went through the same thing that Katie is going through and her parents hired an exorcist but Katie doesn’t want to do it as the girl died. As the day progresses, Katie and Micah end up arguing over what is happening but as they go to bed, the demon drags Katie out of the bed and down the hall, with Micah struggling to get her back to the bedroom. The next day, Micah says they are going to go get a hotel room, as he doesn’t want to stay in the house another night and he uses the camera to record Katie’s wound on her back, which he says looks like something had bitten her. As Micah packs and goes to leave, Katie says that she doesn’t want to leave and that everything will be fine if they stay and Micah gets upset but refuses to leave Katie by herself. That night, Katie gets out of bed and stares at Micah for 2 hours, as the sheets are dragged off of his body, then heads downstairs to the kitchen. Katie suddenly starts screaming for Micah and he wakes up and rushes downstairs but after a minute he screams in pain while Katie suddenly goes quiet. Heavy footsteps are heard moving up the stairs and Micah’s body is suddenly thrown through the bedroom door, knocking over the camera. A blood covered Katie is shown in the doorway and she approaches Micah and crawls over to his body, then looks up at the camera and lunges towards it, with her face taking on a demonic appearance. In a written epilogue, police find Micah’s body on October 11th, 2006 but Katie’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Paranormal Activity met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.” The movie was a box office phenomenon, earning $193.4 million off of a $15,000 budget, and would spawn 4 sequels and a spin off. While originally developed as an independent feature for film festival screenings, Paramount /Dream Works acquired the rights to distribute it for $350,000, making this one of the most profitable films ever made, though the exact amount is hard to determine.

As much as I didn’t initially care about this movie, this was a surprisingly good horror movie. The acting was good, with Katie Featherston (Katie) and Micah Sloat (Micah) doing great jobs in their roles. The basic premise was pretty interesting, as it seemed like a combination of Poltergeist and The Exorcist. This blend actually worked well with the camera format that was used, as this made for some really good tension and quite a few good scares out of the mix. The scenes with the footprints appearing in the baby powder, and where Katie is dragged out of the bed and down the hall, made for some incredible imagery, and really helped the increasing tension in the movie. The camera work was pretty good and really helped with the overall tone, as you could feel Katie’s increasing dread over what was going on, as well as Micah’s increasing frustration at not being able to figure out what was happening. A really good horror movie and one that would be worth watching tomorrow especially.

Rating: 4 out of 5

comedy, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 20th, 2018 Movie – Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver

gingerdead man 3

Oh God no. Not a disco pun. Please don’t let this movie involve disco. The last movie in the trilogy and I have a feeling I am not going to like it. Actually, I am merely projecting that disco is involved with the movie and don’t really know that for sure. So lets just have a look and see what exactly I am in for with today’s movie, Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver.

The plot: FBI Agent Clarissa Darling heads to the Scientific Research Institute for the study of Homicidal Baked Goods and is escorted to the cell of the Gingerdead Man. AS Clarissa talks to the Gingerdead Man, a group of animal rights activists break into the center and begin freeing the baked goods from their cages. Clarissa attempts to kill the Gingerdead Man, telling him that the homeless man he possessed and drove to suicide was her brother, but one of the activists knocks her down and frees the Gingerdead Man, who bites off her nose before escaping. The Gingerdead Man runs from security and enters the Time Travel Studies lab, where two scientist have been working on a time travel remote. The Gingerdead Man kills the two scientists and uses the remote to travel back in time but ends up in a roller disco rink in 1976. As the Gingerdead Man quickly gets out of the way of the way of the skaters, the club’s owner, Trixie, thanks the crowd for showing up to the Roller Boogie Queen competition but tells them that this will be the last night as the club is being shut down due to back taxes. The crowd offers suggestions on raising money to keep the club open but Trixie tells them not to worry and just have fun tonight, then introduces her niece Cherry, who has telekinetic powers. The Gingerdead Man tries to use the remote to leave but when it doesn’t work, he decides to start killing people. Meanwhile, Trixie asks Randy, one of her employees, to show Cherry around while she works on packing her office but forbids Cherry to roller skate. After she leaves, Cherry sees the Gingerdead Man run past and points him out to Randy but when he doesn’t see anything, she says she must have been mistaken. Randy convinces Cherry to try roller skating with him and they head out on the roller rink, just as two kids, Pickles and Tina, find the remote and end up getting  blasted through time. Outside the roller rink, three girls are doing a bikini car wash to try and raise money for the club but the Gingerdead Man attaches their hose to hydrochloric acid and they end up melting away after they spray each other with the hose. Back inside, Randy goes to get some drinks for him and Cherry and she is approached by two girls, Coco and Yoko. who compliment her skating and decide to give her a make over to boost her confidence but as they head to the restroom, Tammy, the reigning Roller Boogie Queen, recognizes Cherry as potential competition and decides to do something about it. The Gingerdead Man heads back inside and ends up in a glory hole by the women’s restroom. He sees Ingrid, Harshman, the judge for the Roller Boogie Queen, and attempts to get her to give him a blow job through the glory hole but she ends up ripping it off instead, then eating it. Back on the rink, Cherry rejoins Randy, who is amazed by her new appearance, and they begin skating but Trixie sees them and after reminding everyone to vote for Roller Boogie Queen, she calls out for Cherry to come to her office. Meanwhile, two stoned teenagers are having sex in a supply closet when the janitor walks in and joins them. As the three are having sex, the Gingerdead Man kills them with a nail gun. In her office, Trixie and Cherry are arguing over Cherry’s skating and after a brief fight, Cherry asks her why Trixie owns a skating rink when she hates skating so much. Trixie explains that she loved skating as a kid and was great at it but when she was skating for the troops at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. Trixie had injured herself as the attack happened and blames herself for all of the sailors that died that day. Cherry tells Trixie that she is sorry that she got hurt but she intends to keep skating, using her powers to keep Trixie from arguing any further. As Cherry leaves the office, she sees some small bloody footprints and follows them to the kitchen area, where the Gingerdead Man leaps out at her and runs off. Before Cherry can follow him, Paige approaches her and tells her to head to the rink as they are announcing the contestants for the Roller Boogie Queen. Cherry ends up being on the court, as well as Tammy and two others, and as Cherry is talking with Coco and Yoko, Tammy tells her boyfriend Wheels to find out who is going to win the contest and when he tells her that Cherry is going to win, she tells him they have to do something. When Randy congratulates Cherry on being selected as a finalist, Cherry takes him to where she saw the Gingerdead Man and tries to convince Randy he is real and Randy says he believes she saw something and tells her he will keep an eye out. Meanwhile, the Gingerdead Man proceeds to lock the rink’s doors and then kills another employee and the DJ. Tammy then approaches Cherry and talks to her, making Cherry start doubting herself and wanting quit. Randy tries to convince her to stay and Trixie does as well, apologizing to Cherry and telling her she put her frustrations of not being able to skate onto her and tells her to go skate and have fun, just as Ingrid tells her about the deaths in the janitor’s closet. The announcement is made that Cherry wins and as Randy cheers for her, he notices a bucket on a beam over her head and sees Wheels and Paige arguing over pulling it. Randy goes to stop them but Trixie stops him, thinking he is going to cause problems. Meanwhile, the Gingerdead Man had seen the bucket and moves it over so that it lands on Tammy, then jumps down and kills her. As the Gingerdead Man proceeds to kill Wheels, Coco, and Yoko, then shoots Trixie in the shoulder. Trixie tells Cherry to use her powers and Cherry attempts to stop the Gingerdead Man but ends up electrocuting everyone but herself, Randy, Trixie, and Ingrid. The Gingerdead Man holds a gun on Cherry and threatens to kill her when Tina and Pickles return and manage to tie up the Gingerdead Man. They then summon Hitler, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dhamer, and Lizzie Borden, as well as Clarissa and the security guard from the institute, and they proceed to stuff the Gingerdead Man into a cookie jar. Tina then tells Trixie that they had gone back and stopped the Gingerdead Man from escaping, so he never came back in time to kill anyone. All of the people that died are returned to life and as they celebrate, Tina hands Trixie a lottery ticket, saying she checked the numbers for the next day and Trixie will be a millionaire and be able to keep the rink open. Everyone starts celebrating and as Tina goes to take everyone back home, Trixie gives Cherry the club, then heads back to 1941 to try and stop the attack on Pearl Harbor from occurring.

Ok, this was utterly ridiculous but actually pretty funny at times. The acting was ok for the most part but there wasn’t anybody that really stood out. The story was actually pretty entertaining, especially since it parodied so many movies. I mean, you have Silence Of The Lambs, Carrie, Porky’s and of course Saturday Night Fever all parodied in this movie, though I will admit that it has been a long time since I watched Saturday Night Fever so I can’t really say for sure how much of that was involved outside of the title’s pun. The special effects were honestly pretty laughable but that actually made the movie funnier, and definitely better to watch. You could say that the series went out with a joke but it did end on a better note than the previous movie.

Rating: 3 out of 5

comedy, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review

October 19th, 2018 Movie – Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion Of The Crust

gingerdead man 2

Right now I am really having a sweet tooth craving and today’s movie doesn’t help matters any. Unlike the first movie, I never saw this particular movie so I have no idea what I am getting into. I mean, based on the subtitle, I don’t know if this is going to be some sort of religious parody, or it’s simply a fancy title to get people’s attention. Well, only way to find out is to get to watching it so let’s dig right in to today’s movie, Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion Of The Crust.

The plot: Following the events of the first movie, the box of gingerbread men that was left at the hospital for the bake sale is bought and shipped off to California. Meanwhile, the latest film in the Tiny Terrors franchise from Cheatum Studios is being filmed when one of the puppets malfunctions, covering one of the actors in brown sludge. As the director yells cut and tries to get the cast to keep working, despite the fact that they had been there for over 12 hours already, some of the other crew are getting fed up, as the only reason they agreed to make the picture was because Rupert Cheatum was the man that gave them their first jobs. As Kelvin Cheatum, the son of the studio’s owner, tries to keep things together, Polly Bunderhoof brings the box of cookies she received from her sister, which contains the Gingerdead Man, into the studio to try and cheer people up. When a fight breaks out among all of the crew members, the Gingerdead Man comes out of the box and prepares to cause even more chaos. Kelvin manages to get away from the fight, and works on keeping his assistant from leaving the studio after she received a broken nose, when he is approached by Heather Crocker and Thomas Hines. Heather works with The Rainbow’s End Foundation and Thomas, who is terminally ill, said his last wish is to tour Cheatum Studios, as he is a huge fan of the movies. Kelvin agrees to give him a tour but during the tour, Kelvin’s banker warns him that they didn’t get the wire transfer they were expecting and says they should scale back and just do one movie instead of the three that they are currently filming. Kelvin says they should keep going, as people love their movies, but the banker tells him that the script for Tiny Terrors 9 was leaked on the internet and a petition led by a blogger called Demon Warrior 19, is calling for a boycott of their movies, with several rental stores already cancelling their orders. As Kelvin continues showing Thomas and Heather around, and Kelving getting yelled at and accosted by several employees and actors, the Gingerdead Man decides that he needs to get a new body and, after hearing some stage hands talk about some satanic spell books that are being used as props, he finds a spell that will give him a new body. The Gingerdead Man begins killing people, as he needs the blood from 5 different people at the points of a pentagram, then sacrifice a virgin in the middle as he chants the incantation. Elsewhere, Kelvin is continuing with the tour and as he talks with Heather, the two start getting closer and end up kissing and fooling around but are forced to stop when Kelvin has to deal with more problems on the set. Meanwhile, the Gingerdead Man has killed 4 victims and is about to kill the 5th when Kelvin and Heather spot him and manage to stop him. As Heather tends to the injured man, Kelvin uses the walkie-talkie to tell everyone to evacuate the set, then he and Heather go looking for Thomas, who has disappeared. AS they look for him, the run into the Gingerdead Man, who has taken control of a robot prop that has been repaired, and it uses the robot’s functioning lasers to disintegrate a crew member. As the Gingerdead Man attempts to kill them, they are saved by Thomas, who is actually Demon Warrior 13, when he cuts the robot’s power supply with an axe. Thomas explains that he had pretended to be terminally ill in order to get into Cheatum Studios and blow it up as revenge for their constantly rejecting his movie scripts. Kelvin tells Thomas that he is right and offers him a 3 movie deal and as he distracts him, Heather attempts to knock Thomas out but the prop she uses breaks harmlessly on his head. When Thomas turns to face her, Kelvin is able to defuse the bomb but Thomas knocks him out. When Kelvin comes too, he finds himself chained to the altar on the set of Tiny Terrors. Thomas is preparing to use the spell book to summon demonic torture on Kelvin and Heather but the Gingerdead Man stabs him, as Thomas is the virgin that he needs to complete his spell. As the Gingerdead Man taunts Kelvin and Heather, Thomas’s blood drips into the pentagram and ends up bringing the Tiny Terrors puppets to life. The puppets grab the Gingerdead Man and crucify him, then set him on fire, burning him to a crisp. As the puppets turn their attentions towards Kelvin and Heather, Sir Ian Cavanaugh, the star of the movie, bursts in and proceeds to kill all of the puppets with an AK-47. Kelvin and Heather kiss, with Heather asking Kelvin to forgive her for trying to bargain with Thomas into killing Kelvin and sparing her. Some time later, Tiny Terrors 9 ends up winning an award for Best Horror Hand Puppet Motion Picture. Meanwhile, a homeless man digs through the trash by the studio and finds the burn remains of the Gingerdead Man and when he takes a bite of it, he ends up being possessed by it.

Well, this is a sequel and unfortunately, it has fallen prey to the sequel curse. This movie is a decent B-movie but is kind of a disappointment to be honest. The acting was ok at best but most of the actors felt like they were just going through the motions of their characters. Granted. the story did feature a bunch of people that were dissatisfied with their work on a movie but they could have put a bit more effort into their roles. The story was pretty weak and while they did try and keep it tied into the original, by having the box of cookies being shipped from Texas to California, even that changed somewhat as there were 5 little gingerbread men in the box at the end of the original movie and at the beginning of this one, there was just the one big one. I mean, did the cookies somehow merge into the giant cookie while shipping? The special effects were about the same as the original movie, but while they were pretty disgusting, the “Tiny Terrors” were pretty decent. So it’s an ok movie if you like B-movies but it is not something you will want to hunt down and watch.

Rating: 2 out of 5