When thinking of low budget, sci-fi, time travel films, one almost instantaneously comes to mind: Nacho Vigalondo’s Los Cronocrímenes (titled Timecrimes in the U.S.). An enthralling story, great acting, the director/writer’s first name is Nacho – basically, you can’t go wrong! It had a grandiose feel, with minimal budget and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. At this point, you, dear reader, are probably thinking: “Jeez, they sure messed up the title of this review. This guy is talking about a completely different movie!” Don’t worry, I’m getting to it! Sci-fi and time travel CAN be messed up; countless films are below B-grade and more often than not, on the SyFy channel (though, they can acknowledge and use the cheesiness to their advantage). Director/writer Thomas Gomez Durham’s 95ers: Time Runners is an example of time travel gone wrong.
“Jones. An Obsession. A Burning Desire. The Undeniable Passion.”
– Barry White, ‘Basketball Jones’
Let me be rather up front: theoretically speaking, I am inclined to be a Chucky fan. First off, I just fucking hate children. When I see children fall down or get scared by animals in real life, I’m overcome with joy. So for someone who targets children specifically, it’s euphoric to see a doll with Bradley Dorff’s voice show up and get wicked.
Second off, Child’s Play is the best ‘80s horror movie, and that’s a straight up fact. I don’t find pedophiles or retards scary, so that eliminates Sweaterman and Masky Down Syndrome. In fact, I think most retards should wear hockey masks since that would make them less scary when you see them in public. Personally, I think John Landis single-handedly provided the lowest point in ‘80s horror, as he actually filmed people dying and didn’t have the common courtesy to leave it in the final cut. So of course, by process of elimination, Child’s Play is the best.
Had Andy Kaufman had been a child of the late Eighties, it’s pretty safe to say Tony Clifton would’ve been a different beast altogether. A Borscht-belt insult comic made a lot of sense as a vehicle with which to vent against a lazy entertainment culture for a kid who grew up on Long Island in the Nineteen-Fifties. Sadly, whatever relevance that kind of figure once had is now relegated to distant nostalgia and shitty roast specials on Comedy Central.
Had Andy been a child of the late Seventies, perhaps he would have turned his wrath into a savage exploration of our culture largesse through satire of infomercials and lo-fi cable access shows, such as Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have with their Awesome Show/Tom Goes To The Mayor/Check It Out! mini-empire on Adult Swim. Yet, had Andy Kaufman been born in the early-to-mid Eighties, just old enough to remember the world as it was pre-internet, but young enough to have spent since his early teens completely immersed in the world of the wide web, it is almost doubtless how his ire would have manifested…
…as a satire of the goddamned “wacky” micro-celebrity vlogger.
Have you ever watched an episode of Scooby-Doo and wondered what a “real world” adaptation of might look like? Not a “live action” one like the films from a few years back, but a version in which the characters fit perfectly into our “reality”, as opposed to adapting it into live action representation of the cartoon universe, with a computer generated Scoob, ghosts, and monsters.
Well, wonder no more, for it has finally been accomplished. Saturday Morning Mystery (also known as Saturday Morning Massacre) is basically an unofficial adaptation of the Scooby-Doo toon, done “real world” style. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby are now Chad (aka Fred, Adam Tate), Gwen (aka Daphne, Josephine Decker), Nancy (aka Velma, Ashley Rae Spillers), Floyd (aka Shaggy, Jonny Mars) and Hamlet (aka Scooby, now a real dog).
In my opinion, the Child’s Play franchise should have ended with Seed of Chucky. It was the ultimate ending to a solid horror franchise, but Universal has decided to give the little guy another chance on the direct-to-DVD market. Unfortunately the humorous nature of the fifth film turned off a lot of fans, forcing Don Mancini to scrap the wink at the camera formula in favor of a more serious film.
Mancini is bringing Child’s Play back to its roots with the upcoming Curse of Chucky. Not only did Mancini get rid of any humor, he has also restored Chucky’s classic look. Chucky’s patchwork face has been replaced by his original Good Guy Doll image from the first film. This is also Chucky’s first direct-to-DVD sequel, and I’m glad Universal has decided to forgo movie theaters. It puts less pressure on the film to perform, and it could possibly open the door for more sequels in the future.
CLONED: The Recreator Chronicles is fucking brilliant. In fact, I only have two legitimate complaints about the film, and both stayed inside of Stella Maeve’s shirt the entire time. I appreciated the candor of this film, especially after being so let down by the spoon-fed dreck and insulting nature of the Evil Dead remake. Also, towards the end, there is a scene with a guy kissing his own clone, which I’m sure would cause any fine Christian to not know whether to spit or go blind. What with, not only the man-on-man action, but the whole immorality of cloning, blah blah, suck my satanic prick, issue. This film gets an A+ and extra fucking credit.
Anyone who followed the careers of John Gulager, Marcus Dunstan, and Patrick Melton from Project Greenlight Season 3 to Feast 3 knew that they were the wrong choice for Piranha 3DD. That’s why I was so flabbergasted when Dimension announced that they would be the creative team behind the Piranha remake’s sequel. Alexandre Aja was able to do with Piranha 3D what all three Feast films attempted to and failed at. He managed to mix horror and comedy without relying on too many bad one-liners and wink at the camera moments. Not a simple feat! Many horror filmmakers have tried unsuccessfully at making the perfect horror/comedy cocktail. Just ask Adam Green or Tim Sullivan.
Hollywood is like an old memaw, always feeling threatened by new technology, and accusing everyone of stealing from them. So they do the only thing they know how to: threaten to sue everyone and cry to politicians. That’s why Asylum had to change the title of their mock-buster Age of the Hobbits to Clash of the Empires. Hollywood claims they’re just safeguarding their creative properties, you know, like the 400th Snow White film they released last year. But I think they’re just afraid of the wonderful job the foreign midgets did in this film. If these upstart actors invaded Hollywood, Tom Cruise and other big Hollywood stars would be out of a job before you could say “Scientology”.
Yesterday I was commissioned to write a “drunk” review about The Asylum flick Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, which posed two problems for me: 1) I got so drunk I passed out before the movie ended (I finished it the next day) and, 2) I hate writing reviews.
Film School. Over the past few decades it’s been increasing in its popularity. You can find film programs at most colleges and universities nowadays, highly enrolled with fully functional equipment rooms. Many are drawn to film classes, whether or not they are in the major. Yet, many of the most basic classes induce eye-rolls in students. The Simpsons taught us the 180 rule, and modern editing is intrinsic in our movie-watching minds. It seems redundant to spell it out. But is it? Is it really?