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October Horror Day 1

Horror Journal

This year rather than trying to do a full review every day I’m just going to post a diary with short summaries of the films I’m watching this October.

Frankensteins Army

There are some concepts that no matter how badly they are done I’m going to be watching them so I was eagerly anticipating the release of Frankensteins Army which promised to glory in the excesses of mad science. A group of Russian soldiers come across a German village where everyone is dead and underground they discover a mad scientist, a descendant of the famous Frankenstein, who is creating monsters out of fusions of machines and human flesh. The creatures are every bit as effective as the concept promises and Karl Roden is great as the titular Dr Frankenstein. The downside is that the film is more spectacle than story and the film is without a protagonist and feels bit aimless. It is shot in the found footage style and this leads to a lot of confusion during the action as the camera shakes around and it was only when thing quietened down that I could tell what had happened. Overall the film was fun and Frankenstein’s Army would be amazing in a computer game or as a theme for Halloween haunted house attraction, which nicely leads into the next film I watched

Jack’s Motel

On IMDb this film is called “Six Degrees of Hell” which has the benefit of being similar to a line in the dialogue. I mainly picked it up because Corey Feldman‘s name was across the top of the box but his part seems to be a later addition since he only interacts with one other cast member in a kind of wraparound story. This story is set around a Halloween haunted house attraction called Uncle Jack’s Hotel (not a motel like in UK DVD title). Jack gets some powerful magic relics from psychic to decorate the attraction but with these relics comes a supernatural force that brings the horror to life. This one is okay for low-budget horror and it makes great use of the haunted house setting and its cast of actors. I did get a bit confused because some the cast look quite similar which made it tricky to tell what was going on

The Last Exorcism Part II

This sequel continues the story of Nell, the girl who was possessed in the first film. She is determined to create a normal life for herself so she moves into a halfway house and gets a job but the past will not go away and she must face the demonic forces closing around her once more. It’s a very typical horror with nothing to really make it stand out from the crowd but the lead performance is very good.

Texas Chainsaw 

Another sequel, this time to the Tobe Hooper`s classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I was fully expecting this film to be dreadful and while it never approaches the fever-induced nightmare of the original, the story was okay. Apparently after the first film a group of locals laid siege to Leatherface’s family home and killed everyone except a baby and Leatherface . Two decades later and the grown up baby Heather learns she has inherited what looks like a massive plantation house in Texas from her grandmother. Heather goes there to check it out with her boyfriend and a couple of friends and soon the chainsaw engine is roaring again. There is certainly plenty of gore buthat doesn’t substitute for pervasive atmosphere of horror that he original did so well. At least they seemed to mainly use physical effects but it’s a bit vanilla compared to the original and won’t change the genre. It has mainly left me with a desire to see the original again.
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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Film

 

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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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