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October Horror Day 3

Horror Journal

 

I’ve only got time for a double bill tonight so I decided on a little vampire special with two very different modern takes on vampires bother released in 1987. They do share another important theme and that is family but their tone is very different.

Near Dark

This film is a dark gritty take on vampires from Kathyrn Bigelow and there’s no glamour and not much magic about this itinerant “family” of bloodsuckers. Caleb Colton (Adrian Pasdar) is a country boy who meets a young woman called Mae (Jenny Wright) and they get talking but as they talk through the night Mae gets worried about getting home before sunrise. Caleb doesn’t take her concerns seriously and tries to get Mae to give him a kiss. Mae agrees and then bites him on the neck before running off down the road. Caleb is confused and feeling a bit strange. He’s been turned into vampire and he walks across a dusty field in the morning sun he starts burning badly. Mae is part of a small gang of vampires and they drive up in camper van and bundle Caleb inside. The plan is to kill him to stop him describing them to the authorities and Severen (Bill Paxton) is ready to that right away but Mae pleads for his life. Their leader Jesse Hooker (Lance Henriksen) agrees to give Caleb a week to adjust to being a vampire or they will kill him. At first Mae gets away with feeding Caleb herself but Jesse insist that Caleb has to cross the line and kill to feed himself or he’s dead. Meanwhile Caleb father’s Loy (Tim Thomerson) and younger sister Sarah are making their way across the country hunting for him

This film was so unique in many ways when it was made which takes a more realistic view of vampires and makes them more human but no less brutal. The scene in the bar where they kill off the patrons while laughing and dancing is tense and brutal. The shoot-out at the motel is another memorable scene with the vampires actually burning in the sun with flames coming from their bodies and not some sort of melting special effect. I admit I neglect this film a bit when it comes to re-watching films but then it really isn’t a feel-good film and I like being reminded how good this film is when I do get round to it

The Lost Boys

This is another one of my favourite films and every time I see it I just fall in love with the characters, the setting, the look the music all over again. Lucy (Dianne West) and her sons Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) moves back to stay with her father (Barnard Hughes) in the town of Santa Carla on the Californian coast. Sam meets two boys Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Allen (Jamison Newlander) Frog who claim to be vampire hunters working in their parent’s comic book store. Sam doesn’t take them seriously at all until Michael comes down with a bad case of vampirism after hanging out with a group of vampire bikers led by David (Kiefer Sutherland). His only chance of rescuing Michel is to find the original vampire and kill him but that isn’t going to be easy, leading to a climactic showdown with the bloodsuckers.

This is much lighter in tone than Near Dark and it’s bright and full of humour. Though you don’t really see them doing it the vampires in this film can fly and they do it all the time. It’s just so full of what was good about 80s horror films and is an essential part of my Halloween viewing

 

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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Seeds of Destruction

DVD Review

Seeds of Destruction DVD 001This cheap SyFy production is a dumb lazy story with a poor clunky script and it irritated me with stupid shallow plot driven characters, cheap unconvincing CGI. It is a dumb film with no passion churned by the SyFy channel then released on DVD straight to bargain bin section next to the Asylum films   

The film opens with its mad scientist Dr Frame Marcos (James Morrison) mucking about in his greenhouse, blowing cigar smoke at the leaves of a plant then telling his assistant Noel (Daniel Bacon) about how it is absorbing the toxins and there is no monoxide, it has all been converted to oxygen though if he’s talking about carbon monoxide I wonder what the plant did with the carbon. There’s no context given for this yet but it is a nice looking greenhouse

The next scene has two ecowarriors Kate (Luisa D’Oliveira) and Joe (Jesse Moss) at a disused mine that they know has been used for illegal dumping of hazardous waste. So they are going to wait there on the off-chance that before they die of dehydration out in the middle of Nevada someone will just coincidentally pick that time to do some illegal dumping. Seriously, there is no hint from either of them that they have any information about who is dumping or when they are likely to do it. Instead they witness a dodgy science type meeting up with an even more dodgy government type. The scientist is trying to sell a seed to the government type who shows him a case of money. Kate spots a sniper who is there with the government type and the sniper spots her. This gets the government type thinking he’s been set-up and the scientist type does a runner, gets shot and spills his seed on the ground. It germinates instantly and soon there are giant roots sprouting out of the ground. The roots spread across the countryside destroying everything in their path including the government type. The two ecowarriors manage to flee and escape but the roots are racing down the road after them even though they are a plant and aren’t chasing anyone.

There’s a secret agency called Scope and they get right on the case recruiting Jocelyn (Stefanie von Pfetten) a paleobotanist to help them figure out what’s happening and put a stop to it. As it turns out years before she worked with Marcos on a search for seeds from the Garden of Eden. As soon as I heard that I knew that I was in for a whole load of stupid bollocks. I am certainly not someone who remembers the bible in any detail but I am fairly confident that there is nowhere it talks of the Gadda da Vidda being populated by monster plants that destroy the Earth. This film treats the Garden as a real place and Adam’s fall as an historical event. I normally don’t mind bible stories being included in horror films but this clunky script is not subtle and has been peppered with crude on-the-nose dialogue about belief and wouldn’t ya know it there’s a Hollywood Atheist in the person of Scope agent Jack (Adrian Pasdar) who gets to learn the folly of his ways and is of course only an atheist because of personal tragedy.

Kate and Joe are wondering how to get involved in the script so they don’t contact the authorities because Joe is a paranoid idiot at all points of this film. Kate realises that she has videotaped the number plate of the van the scientist guy was driving and if only they had access to the police database they could find who owned it. Fortunately not only do they know a hacker that can do it, the guy lives only a short drive away in rural Nevada. They get there with the plant roots not far behind them. Their friend Spit (Don Thompson) seems to be another idiot just a way of creating  more fake tension as he screws up until the roots are closing in on them. He gets killed when he goes to rescue his pussy. This gets Joe angry but we never got to know Spit except that he’s smelly hippy and an irritating idiot

Back at Scope headquarters they are watching the progress of the roots on satellite live feed. They are trying to come up with ways to stop them. The boss Wilson (David Richmond-Peck) gets to send jets to blow things up after some talk about destroying  the growing tips which any gardener would tell you is an idiotic idea. Kate and Joe see the jets and realise that they are in the line of fire so we get yet more fake tension as they drive past a wall of flame and yet escape unscathed. Back at Scope headquarters they are cheering and cracking open the victory champagne before the dust has settled. Of course they have haven’t destroyed the roots, they have just made them angry and the paleobotanist acts surprised when she realises the roots have been running under the ground and yet again I wonder why they didn’t just bring in a gardener.

The story continues in completely predictable fashion with its Hollywood Science solutions and a big showdown at ground zero. It is possibly stupid enough to be enjoyed ironically with chemical assistance and it has plenty of really stupid mad science but on its own it’s just another dumb Syfy film.

Rating 4.0/10

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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Entertainment, Film

 

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