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Review: Idle Hands

I always have a lot of fun watching this stoner comedy horror. It is definitely more comedy than horror and while it has a few moments of tension  especially towards the end it never loses its humorous tone. Sure the plot is full of holes but it never really became an issue for me. I liked the characters and the silly story and it had some nice special effects. It has also has a good rock soundtrack which is always a bonus to me, including the Offspring actually appearing in the film.

Anton Tobias (Devon Sawa) is a stoner waste-of-space who lives his parent’s attic and spends all his life getting stoned and watching TV with his friends Mick (Seth Green) and Pnub (Elden Henson). He sleeps through his parents being murdered and barely notices the town in a panic over several more murders. The only thing that gets his lazy arse moving is running out of weed. He tries to get more from Mick and Pnub but has no luck getting grass from them. He gets slagged off over his pathetic infatuation with Molly (Jessica Alba), a girl who lives across the street from him that he’s too shy to talk to.

Anton goes to the shops to get supplies and returns home. After he finds a blood-covered knife he finally finds his parent’s bodies and he thinks the killer might still be in the house. Mick and Pnub come around and when Mick examines the bodies he finds a scrap of torn cloth in Mrs Tobias’ hand. Anton is frightened and confused when he realises that it came from his own T-shirt. Mick wants to the call the police but Anton stops him and his right hand suddenly seems to have mind of its own. It takes a broken bottle and stick’s it into Mick’s head, killing him. Pnub freaks out while Anton’s hand tries to kill him and Anton tries to warn him to get away. As Pnub tries to get out Anton’s hand tosses circular saw blade at him slicing off his head.

While Anton is trying to calm down and think his psychotic hand throws the pet cat out of the window. He goes out to find the cat which landed in Molly’s garden and his hand rings her doorbell. When she comes to the door Anton has to cover up his crazy hand and try to stop it killing Molly. Molly finds his crazy behaviour attractive and she takes him up to her bedroom. Molly wants to make out but his hand still wants to kill her so Anton ties it to her bedpost which Molly thinks is kinky and she likes it.

Anton goes back home and buries his parents and friends. Just when he finishes he hears Mick calling him from under the ground. Both his friends are re-animated but not as zombies, just as walking corpses that are just the same as when they were alive lounging about the house watching TV. Pnub has to carry his head around under his arm while Mick has the bottle sticking out of his head.

Anton is desperate for help but then he’s also very dumb so the only person he a can think of to ask help is his heavy metal loving neighbour Randy who is pissed that Anton thinks he’s an expert on occult just because he listens to heavy metal. All he has is the hoary old saying “The devil find’s work for idle hands.” Anton takes his advice tries to keep hands busy with knitting but when two very dumb cops burst into his house after seeing the bodies of Mick an Pnub sitting in his living room his hand quickly kills them before he can stop it.

Anton is desperate now so he cuts off the hand. Mick and Pnub leave to get munchies and bandages for Anton’s arm  and his severed evil hand attacks him. He throws it in the microwave and cooks it while Molly bangs at his door. He goes out to talk to Molly but while he’s gone Pnub and Mick come back and the let the hand out of the microwave.

Help is actually on its way in the form of a druidic priestess Debi LeCure (Vivica A. Fox) who has been chasing the demon possessing Anton’s hand and has a magic dagger that can kill it. She tracked down its previous host but quickly realises it has moved on and she traces it to Anton’s town simply by tracing the murders it commits. She runs into Randy at the bowling alley where she tells him who she is and what she’s looking for telling him the hand posses the weakest laziest people. It is an amazing coincidence that she met Randy who remembers Anton saying his hand was evil and he tells where Anton lives.

Anton, Mick and Pnub  head for their school’s Halloween dance ‘borrowing’ Randy’s van and everyone thinks they are in costume. Mick fixed Pnub’s back on with a toasting fork and some duct tape so his head a bit loose. This is one of those school dances that only exist in films where they have booked a reasonably well-known band to play, in this case The Offspring. Anton interrupts the band to try to warn everyone they are in danger and just then the hand strikes, scalping the group’s singer and causing panic then it goes on a murder rampage.

Molly and her friend Tanya escape into a large air duct (another film land exclusive) but the hand follows them. When they are trying to escape through a large lethal fan the hand kills Tanya in the fan and captures Molly, intending to use her in ritual sacrifice and take her back to hell. Anton and his friends arrive just in time to save her, with a bit of help from a superbong and more weed. This doesn’t finish the hand which attacks Mick but Debi arrives and kills it with the knife.

The story is very silly and full of holes but it allows for a lot of gross out stoner humour which is what I like about this film. The characters are funny and likeable and seem immune to taking anything seriously. I’m sure that Evil Dead 2 was an influence on this film and Devon Sawa was pretty good at acting as if his hand was out of control. I think if you like stoner humour you will probably enjoy this.

Rating 7/10

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Night of the Demons (1988)

October Horror

Night of the Demons DVD 001I saw the remake of this film recently and thought it was a cheesy fun film but I hadn’t seen the original Night of the Demons since it was released on VHS. It really didn’t stick in my mind and I hadn’t realised it had developed a cult following until I saw it mentioned regularly on IMDb message boards. The film is a cheesy fun Halloween story and has the usual cast of high school students going to a remote place to party and stumble upon a supernatural evil that wants to kill them and possess their souls. While not a very original story there’s is a bit of twisted originality in the execution

It’s Halloween and a group of high school students are going to a party held by Angela (Amelia Kinkade) at an abandoned funeral parlour called Hull House, scene brutal murders in its past. Rodger (Alvin Alexis) and Helen (Allison Barron) are riding with Stooge (Hal Havins) in his beat up old car. As they pass a grumpy old man Stooge climbs out of the window and moons him. Another teenager Sal (Billy Gallo) startles the man with a rubber rat, causing him to drop his groceries. When Judy (Cathy Podewell) stops to offer help to old man she gets a mouthful of abuse instead. This nasty old man is so evil that later we see him putting razor blades in the apples his wife bought to give to the kids

Judy goes home to get ready for her high school Halloween party and while getting changed she gets a call from her date Jay (Lance Fenton) who wants to take her to Angela’s party instead of high school. Judy is not too sure but Jay insists. When Judy opens her closet her little brother Billy jumps out wearing a monster mask and he takes the chance to perve on his sister before she chases him out of her room. Downstairs he answer the door to Sal who is Judy’s sort of ex-boyfriend. Billy enjoys telling Sal that Judy’s already got a date but Sal manages to bribe Billy to tell him where they are going. Jay picks Judy then drives to pick their friends Max (Philip Tanzini) and Frannie (Jill Terashita).

Angela is at the grocery store with her friend Suzanne (Linnea Quigley) who is dressed up as a slutty little girl and our first sight of her she is bent right over giving the store clerks and the audience a view of her arse barely covered in skimpy panties. The clerks are so distracted by Suzanne’s arse that they are oblivious to Angela filling a sack with party snacks.

Judy, Jay, Max and Frannie get to Hull House first and it’s an abandoned mess with coffins left lying around. They see another car coming and Jay suggests getting in the coffins to scare whoever it is. When he opens a coffin Sal is already there and he leaps out scaring the crap out of Jay. Jay is pissed at Sal and wantds to start trouble but Judy points out that Sal only did what was Jay planning to do. Angela and Suzanne arrive with the party supplies and then Rodger and Stooge arrive with Sal’s cooler of beer and a large ghetto-blaster. The party gets started with roaring fire in the fireplace and candles to light the place up. Everyone gets dancing to some nice 80s rock and someone switches on a strobe light. Just as the party is getting going the ghetto-blaster cuts out

As a party game they decide to play mirror seance where they all sit in front of mirror and wait for it to go black. I’m sure it was mean to be trick but the lights come on by themselves and they all start bickering at each other and miss the image of a rubber demon. Helen looks in the mirror and sees the demon and sees a vision of herself dying and freaks out. Everyone is wondering what happened. In the cellar something escapes and we see a POV shot as it leaves the cellar and comes up to the room where they are and we see it enter Suzanne.

Now its time for the fun to start with the party splitting up to make them easier to kill. Helen and Rodger just want to leave because Helen got really freaked out by the mirror stunt and Rodger is scared, Jay, Judy, Max and Frannie go exploring the house. Suzanne passes the demonic infection onto Angela with a long deep kiss then she leaves with Stooge to look for a toilet.

Sal starts getting freaked as Angela starts moving and jumping and writhing around. Music starts playing on the ghetto-blaster Stigmata Martyr by Bauhaus and Angela dances to it then the strobe strsts and Angela’s dancing really starts getting bizzare. Sal thinks Angela’s acting weird and things are getting too strange so he leaves the room. Just then Stooge comes back without Suzanne who disappeared in the toilet. Angela kisses Stooge and bites off his tongue with her sharp demon teeth.

Max and Annie leave Judy and Jay on their own to look for somewhere private. Jay tries coming on to Judy but she is just too freaked out and scared by the house. She then finds out Jay is just a creep who is dating Judy because he mistakenly thought she was easy because she dated Sal. He storms off in a huff slamming the door behind him and this jams the door tight so Judy can’t get out.

Helen and Rodger are also having problem getting out. They can’t find the gate in the wall around the house and  as Rodger desperately tries to find it Helen disappears. Rodger gets into Angela’s car  to wait and eventually  falls asleep. Upstairs in the house Sal finds Suzanne sitting in a room playing with her lipstick and she has drawn over herself like a clown. Salthinks she’s tripping and he has had enough wierdness and wants to leave. When he’s gone Suzanne take the lipstick and pushes right inside her nipple where it vanishes .

Back outside Rodger is wakened by the car shaking and he gets out thinking it’s Stooge messing with him and discovers Helen’s body on the top of the car. He runs back into the house where he narrowly avoids Angela and runs into Sal.

Jay has come across Suzanne and he is feeling horny. They have sex but Suzanne goes all evil face and pokes her finger into Jay’s eyes. Evil Stooge  is wandering the halls and he tries the door to the room Judy is stuck in but he can’t get it open so he wanders off. Max and Frannie are trying to have sex in a coffin but are finding it better in theory than in practice. Stooge comes in and snaps Frannie’s neck. Max tries to get up but Stooge slams the lid down on him trapping Max’s arm. Stooge keeps slamming down the lid till Max’s arm breaks off and Max somehow dies.

Sal and Rodger find Judy and Sal breaks the door down. Evil Angela is cruising the hallways and Rodger flees so Sal and Judy duck into another room. Unfortunately evil Suzanne is in there with Jay’s head in her lap and his eyes gouged out. Rodger Sal and Judy get chased around the house by the their demoniacally possessed friends. Rodger manages to get out of the house but while saving Judy from Angela Sal falls to his death.Judy reckons that they have to climb the wall to escape, meanwhile all their dead friends are coming after them. Rodger manages to get over then he helps Judy over too.

There’s as a nice little touch in an extra scene at the end when the grumpy old man from the start of the film gets given an apple pie his wife made from the apples he bought for kids for Halloween and he gets killed by the razor blades he put in the apples

This film is very cheesy and is just a fun film made for Halloween. It even has a cheesy Halloween animated title sequence. I thought the music was very well done and it is a nice choice of Bauhaus for the creepy music during Angela’s dance. It was nice to see some different characters from the usual and the story moves the plot along without relying too much on characters acting stupid except for Stooge who was already established as brash and stupid.

Rating 7.0/10

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Demons

This is a tricky film to review because there is very little chance making any sort of case for this being a good film and better one for it being so spectacularly bad that it is surely deliberate. Despite that I think it’s a lot fun and I want to convince people to watch it. It’s directed by Lamberto Bava, Dario Argento wrote and produced it and Michele Soavi.another Italian director plays the man in the metal mask in the film. this very full review is longer than I expected and may contain spoilers

Cheryl (Natasha Hovey) is going to meet her friend Kathy(Paola Cozzo) travelling on the Berlin underground. When she is walking through the station she sees a strange silent man with part of his face covered in a metal mask following her. She hurries away from him but he catches her anyway only to hand her a free promotional ticket for an unnamed film at an old cinema called the Metropol. She is relieved and asks the man for second ticket for Kathy.

Quite a crowd have shown up for a free film that they don’t know anything about. In the foyer is a big display with a dummy on a motorbike with the metal demon mask in its left hand and a sword in its right hand. Cheryl and Kathy meet very handsome George (Urbano Barberini) and his pal Ken (Karl Zinny) and they sit next to each other in the cinema. Others include Tommy (Guido Baldi) and his girlfriend Hannah (Fiore Argento Dario’s daughter). There is a blind man Werner who has come with his young wife Liz to this film, for some unexplained reason Werner seems have some sense about the mask because he warns Liz away from touching it. Then there’s Tony the Pimp (Bobby Rhodes) who has decided to treat a couple of his whores Rosemary (Geretta Geretta) and Carmen (Fabiola Toledo) to a free night out. Rosemary mucks about with the mask, putting it over her face. Tony tells her to stop it and she takes the mask off. There is a cut on her cheek from the mask.

They all settle down and the film starts and it is a cheesy horror film with four young people going to a cemetery to look for the grave of Nostradamus for no good reason at all. They find his tomb and they open it and inside they find an old book and a metal demon mask just like the one on the display in the Metropol. One of the men Jerry (Michele Soavi) puts the mask on a mucks around with it, just like Rosemary did. When he takes the mask off he has a cut just like Rosemary does. In the film Jerry in transforms into a demon and attacks the others.

Rosemary goes to toilet to check on her cut which has started to throb and pulse.When she looks in the mirror it swells into a huge boil which bursts and sprays pus everywhere. Rosemary goes through a painful and slimy transformation into an evil demon with shark teeth and claws on her hands. Tony and Carmen wonder why she’s been gone so long so Carmen goes to check on her.  Rosemary an evil demon ugly face now splitting green goo and everything. She rips Carmen’s throat open with her claws and Carmen runs off screaming but no-one can hear her because the characters in the film are screaming at the same time.

Carmen gets on to the stage behind the screen and Rosemary is still coming after her. She screams and tears at the screen. On the other side in the audience Kathy is sure that she can hear Carmen’s screams but no-one believes her until Carmen manages to tear a hole in the screen and falls down in front of it. Right before everyone she transforms into an ugly demon face. Cue panic and screams and a mad rush out of the place

Werner and Liz had been up in the balcony alone. Originally Liz was a giving Werner an audio description of the film but stopped when her creepy boyfriend showed up. They snuck out leaving poor Werner alone when all the crap started to happen. Rosemary catches them snogging and tears at both of them. Liz is left lying dead and the creep is thrown over the edge of the balcony with a rope around his neck. Werner finds Liz’s body but  Rosemary catches him and shoves her claws into his eyes.

Everybody gets to the exits and they are all bricked up – there is no way out and everyone starts to panic Tony takes charge and they look for another way out. After Rosemary scalps one woman they manage to trap her in a office and block the door with a vending machine. They reckon that the film is causing it and so they head up to the projection booth. It is a fully automated system so Tony tells them to smash everything. They stop the film but nothing has changed, they are still trapped in the cinema with a growing army of demons.

All the survivors go up the balcony and clear it of bodies then they rip up the seats to block all the exits. Werner is there and he tells them that it is not the film that trapped them but the building. Once more Werner seems to have some unexplained knowledge about the place and yet he still came. He may seem mysterious to some but he is also suicidally stupid.

Things are going fairly well at this point for horror B-movie so clearly it’s time to ramp up the levels of stupid all the way to eleven by cutting to four bell-ends in a stolen car driving about outside, listening to Billy Idol and Go West. The driver is leader of the gang and he has this brilliant joke where he has this can of Coke only it’s not Coca Cola but cocaine and he’s snorting it through a drinking straw.

In the balcony Tony gets attacked and scratched by a demon woman and as he goes over the side the hung guy grabs him. The all start pounding on the walls of the cinema hoping someone outside will hear them. Luckily the punks have stopped outside to argue about some spilt coke and they hear the pounding. Cops appear and the punks run away from them down the alley next to the Metropol. A side door opens for them and after they are in it slams shut behind them. Demon Werner has managed to get out another door and he attacks the cops outside in the alley.

The gang all wander around underneath the cinema not able to find anyone. Everyone else has discovered part of the wall is false and they uncover a passage down to a basement but there is nothing there, certainly not a way out. They all return to the balcony when they hear gunshots from below but their hopes of rescue are dashed when it turns out just be the useless bell-ends firing as the demons attack and overpower them.

The demons then start jumping right through the balcony floor and everyone is running and screaming again. In the chaos George, Cheryl, Ken and Kathy get out but Kathy has been injured she goes all ugly demon face on them and they kill her with sword from the display but a real full-fledged demon rips out of the hole in her back. George manages to kill it too. So the display had the mask that causes the demon plague in the left hand and a sword to kill demons in the right, symbolism eh?

Ken has been scratched and he begs George to kill him before he changes but George waits until he’s gone all ugly demon-face before cutting him down. This seems throw on the bad-ass switch in George because he then gets on the motorbike with Cheryl on the back and starts charging through the cinema slicing down demons with the sword. Suddenly a helicopter crashes through the roof of the cinema and lands in the auditorium. George rigs up the helicopter winch and uses it winch them onto the roof. The man in the metal mask is there and he tries to force them back into the cinema but they kill him by impaling him on an iron rod right through the eye.

The city outside is in chaos and demons are running around attacking people. They are chased by mob of demons but are saved by a well-armed family in a jeep. As they drive away Cheryl turns demon and a little boy shoots her dead and they keep on driving

This is a mad crazy movie that seems to have been made as a bet or an attempt cash-in on the zombie film craze. I really enjoy because it is so crazy

Rating 7/10

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Devil’s Rock

 Second World War, two Kiwi troops are sent to the German occupied Channel island of Forau to blow up a big gun as a diversion. from the real D-Day invasion plans. After a tense time getting past landmines on the beach Captain Ben Grogan (Craig Hall) and Sergeant Joe Tane (Karlos Drinkwater) make it to the gun with little problem and get to work planting explosives. They hear terrible screams from inside the German fortification and investigate further. They find all the German soldiers dead, brutally slaughtered and their bodies are torn apart. Suddenly a German officer appears and shoots Tane dead and captures Grogan.

When Grogan come round his he is tortured by the officer Colonel Klaus Meyer (Matthew Sunderland) who want Grogan to tell him about the Allies’ invasion plans but Grogan tell him northing. The scream start up again making Meyer very nervous . He scoops up a bucket full of gore from the bodies lying around and leaves to feed whatever is screaming. When returns Grogan demands to know what is going on.. Grogan escapes and chase Meyer through the tunnels of the fortification.

He come to room with magic symbols on the floor and a grimoire full of spells on conjuring demons. And chained to the wall is a woman (Gina Varela)who looks just like his dead wife. She begs Grogan to free her but just then Meyer then enters the room, shoots Grogan in the leg and shoots the woman in the head He explain that the woman is a demon that they conjured to use as a weapon against the allies. She can look like whoever she wants to different people including people that they love. She is not dead and indeed she comes back to life soon after. Meyer proves she is a demon by tossing severed leg down at her and she transforms into a horned demon.

Meyer tells Grogan that he needs his help to send the demon back to hell and if Grogan assists him he will turn himself into the allies and give him all the information he has about the German plans. The two men must put aside their mutual hatred and work together to defeat the demon and escape.

This film has fairly low budget but it does make very good of what money it had, with very authentic sets and realistic looking gore all over the place. The only problem for me is that the film seems to take place when most of the action is already over and instead of onscreen action there is a lot of the characters talking to each other – it is almost like this film is the third act of story padded out to a feature film length.

The acting is great especially from Matthew Sutherland and Craig Hall. Overall the film is okay but a bit long of the dialogue and short on the action.

Rating  6/10

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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