Oct 302013
 
Zoidberg sums it up nicely.

Zoidberg sums it up nicely.

We went into this movie not knowing anything about it. Unfortunately, so did th’ writers. They are also not cognizant of th’ basic laws of physics, human anatomy, character development, and modern technology. This was th’ first movie for both writers AND th’ director, and o man o man, did it ever show. It felt like they sat around a table one night, drinkin’ Bull Ice, and jotted down their ideas for what makes a “shocking” movie on some bar napkins. “Let’s make everything an implausibly worst case scenario! Good, good, and what’s shocking? Incest! Yeah, okay, and…torture! Sure, ok, madness is shocking! Illness! Yeah! This is gonna be TOTALLY RAD!” (Cue high fives.)

Ah, but totally rad is absolutely th’ LAST phrase I would use to describe this movie. We have an uninteresting, totally undeveloped main character who does nothing but vaguely react to what is going on around her. No wait, that is not entirely true: she also blandly makes a series of questionable decisions that bring her to th’ very modern cabin of an ordinary-seeming couple in th’ deep woods of Oregon. Th’ “husband” is played by Bill Moseley, who is performing a very delicate balance of realizing what a turd he’s signed on for, while trying to give a decent performance without giving any more than his salary requires. He’s still th’ best actor in this movie, although that’s a difficult call to make, as there are a very small number of people who appear and disappear throughout with no explanation given. There is a fine line between not revealing th’ entirety of th’ story and being totally incomprehensible, and boy howdy, do these guys come down firmly in th’ latter camp.

There then follows a series of events that throw all laws of physics, common sense, et al riiiiight out th’ damn window. Kidnapping everyone right off th’ side of th’ highway? Sure. How are cars hidden? Who cares! How do they have such a modern house yet never interact with any locals? How can they get away with shooting  a freaking SHERIFF in a freaking POLICE CAR and no-one ever comes looking? Who cares?! Let’s keep defenestrating that logic! Ugh. It then just devolved even further into Improbable Coincidences And Attempted Gross-Outs, all of which were abject failures – just like th’ movie itself. Th’ only saving grace was th’ fact that this turkey was about 80 minutes long, so I will have more time to work on my Halloween costume. Thanks, crappy movie!

Oct 292013
 

Nope, it’s not th’ movie named Blood you’re thinking of. Nope, not that one either. It’s your basic, run-of-th’-mill, Japanese Cyberpunk Noir Samurai Vampire movie. This is th’ kind of thing that Buckaroo Banzai and th’ Hong Kong Cavaliers watch in their spare time. Th’ makers of this movie had very little money, but they’ve pulled out every trick in th’ book to disguise that fact.

This is a very cold and stylish movie; th’ tone of th’ movie echoes th’ vampires’ mood. They’re bitter and existential about their eternal existence, and although they’ve surrounded themselves with sex, power, and th’ trappings of wealth, they’re clearly alone and miserable. Each shot is perfectly and deliberately framed; th’ colors are either hypersaturated or deliberately muted, depending on th’ location or th’ mood.

Interspersed with th’ vampires agonizing over their existence are a number of fantastical fight scenes. It’s always good to see women unapologetically kicking some ass in this type of movie, and I am glad to see that everyone had equal time to be a badass. Th’ fighting and ennuai are interspersed with some soft-focus vampire erotica, which doesn’t necessarily move th’ plot along, but almost seems like th’ introduction of each new chapter of th’ story.

I really liked this bleak, stylish movie. It was gorgeously shot, different than th’ usual, and didn’t give anyone a happy cop-out ending.

Oct 282013
 

Burial Ground

Holy cannoli this movie has EVERYTHING! Well…everything except a plot, that is. But th’ magic of this movie is that none is needed! Take th’ flimsiest of premises – ancient curse ignoring, gravedigging professor invites his colleagues to this crumbling villa – add 3 couples’ worth of brainlessness, toss in one creepy incestuous son, season liberally with maggot-dripping, stone-faced zombies, and blend. And ohhhh baby, does it ever BLEND!

Nothing makes sense. Th’ men and women gasp and moan and keep trying to have sexytimes. Their moans of pleasure sound much like their gibbering moans of fear; they do considerably more of th’ latter, however. Th’ zombies show up, defy all rules, and are never explained. They look like rock monsters and are generously slathered with maggots and worms. Although they enjoy eating a nice internal organ or two, that doesn’t mean they aren’t lacking in th’ major motor skills department – o no! They use scythes, battering rams, axes, hurl projectiles, and climb up to th’ second story. Later in th’ movie, they don disguises. These zombies may not move too quickly, but they’re still plenty clever.

Luckily, our protagonists are dumb as a box o’ rocks, and spend a good 75 minutes being chased and gnawed on by zombies. (In between whining and gasping and moaning in a magnificently overdubbed fashion, that is.) There is plenty of gooey gore; this movie delights in being as visceral as possible. Hey, when you have a 2-page scripts, y’gotta fill it up with what’cha know, right? Everyone fares poorly, there is a whole creepy incest subplot (ayyyy, Eurosleaze!) with th’ part of th’ young son being played by an unsettling-looking little person who looks like he has Progeria. This was everything I want outta my Italian zombie flicks: sex, gore, and incomprehensibility. Perfection.

Oct 282013
 

Oooof. When Jess Franco is good, he is weirdly trippy and sleazy and filled with excessively overwrought good times. When he is bad, however, he is…well, painful and damn near unbearable. This, sadly, falls into th’ latter category. There’s a series of loosely related people who are all stupid an uninteresting, and they go to an oasis, where there are Nazi Zombies guarding a fortune in gold, and it is so tedious and poorly lit that nothing makes sense. (Not as if much made sense to begin with; there is certainly not much script to work with.) This was phoned in from a continent away. Don’t even bother.

Oct 282013
 

Poultrygeist

Lloyd Kaufman, I love you with an unconditional and undying love. I never want to know a world without Troma. This movie has unquestionably been th’ highlight of Okgoreberfest so far. We laughed our asses off throughout, taking th’ occasional break to flinch at th’ over-th’-top gore or roll our eyes at th painful puns and wordplay. All friends and residents of Tromaville came out in force for this one; this was very much a labor of love, but absolutely a return to gross-out form for these guys. All th’ hallmarks of classic, Eternally 16 Year Old Boy Troma are present: screwin’, bleedin’, bad joke tellin’, implausible monsters, societal skewering, every bodily fluid and then some, musical numbers, lesbian makeouts, anthropomorphized food, ancient Indian burial grounds, severed penii, and people waving signs around. They truly made a Troma Masterpiece for th’ ages with this one. It is truly, mindblowingly, gutbustingly magnificent.

Oct 282013
 

House of Whipcord

 

An odd British take on Eurosleaze. It’s very mod and strangely…restrained? Th’ prison exteriors make it look incredible, but th’ interior locations are few, far between, and poorly lit. It promises far more titillation than it actually delivers, and strays into an odd sort of uninteresting moral tale during th’ second half.

Oct 232013
 
the hamiltons

This poster is significantly more interesting than th’ movie itself.

Although I respect what th’ directors were trying to do here, this movie just…felt like watching an episode of a TV series A particularly angsty and talky one, too. Something you’d see on th’ CW, perhaps; it was a very special episode of “One Tree Hill” with vampires. This was very uneven, and showed its small budget. Sometimes when that happens, I can be impressed with th’ enthusiasm for th’ project and th’ creativity used in shooting th’ film. That was…not in evidence here. None of th’ characters were particularly interesting; they were both poorly written and poorly acted. There were many brief introductions of smaller characters that seemed deliberately quirky, but not in a good way. Most everyone in this movie felt like they’d been assembled out of Yahtzee cubes. Shake! And…rebellious! Shake! And…gothy! Shake! And…warped sensuality! Done – who’s next?

Thanks to Okgoreberfest, I have officially become sick unto death of found footage. I don’t want to see it any more. I don’t want it to be th’ main way th’ movie is shot, I don’t want it to be multi cameras to emphasize multi POV, I don’t want it to be incidental in order to add layers, I don’t want it ANY MORE. It is LAZY. Trying to make characters more interesting by giving them a video camera does not work. Trying to make shots spookier by filming them in night vision does not work. This has been used and overused for fifteen years now and It. Has. To. Stop.

There isn’t that much to actually say about th’ movie because there isn’t that much that happens in th’ movie, sad to say. A “family” tries to stay together. They’re a family that needs to have visits from a social worker even though only one of them seems young enough to warrant it…? Ahhh, I dunno. More contrivances. They’re actually vampires, blah blah, but they’re not th’ type of storybook vampires that everyone is used to, and then there is some angst and then there are some prisoners and then there is an unremarkable revelation at th’ end and then it was thankfully over. This one wasn’t good. In fact, it hasn’t even passed th’ 24 hour – much less 24 minute – test, and I’m already annoyed that I’m having to dwell on it this much in order to write about it.