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All reviews - DVDs (151)

wherefore art thou, shakespeare

Posted : 5 years, 11 months ago on 8 November 2011 01:58 (A review of Tromeo and Juliet)

fans of troma films will be surprised that theres actually some quality here. the rest of us will still be shaking our heads.

take one part shakespeare, cut its head off, and piss down its neck and for good trome-o-asure have sex with the corpse too.

what little of romeo and juliet is followed here is a somewhat interesting take on the story. if you think this is going to be like the 1996 romeo and juliet's wild take on the story, think again. what troma people (lets not go far as call them filmmakers or the like) want to do is shock you. and here they want to take a cute movie and bastardize it. its obvious they saw the 1996 film and thought "lets make a troma version of it". fine. if thats all it was it'd work out fairly well.

part of troma films is really unprofessional everything. forget acting, forget following plot, forget everything and make something shocking. except whats always abundantly clear about troma people is that they aren't intelligent enough to pull off something clever enough to be shocking. what they do instead is throw anything and everything at you that you might find offensive. and thats where, in their minds, they succeed. unfortunately its at a price; the viewers tolerance and self respect.

i'll admit that much of the film, although slow, is not half bad. far from below average, and not in a good way, but still watchable. however, the use of incest in the movie is not shocking, not clever, not realistic (as if), its simply a pornographic obsession of someone whom i assume is involved in writing this. it comes as tedious, awkward, and without merit. and frankly, above all, it ruins the film. what could have been a fairly competent nonsense is instead nothing more than amateur fetishism. why don't they quit being half-assed and just make a porno. do it like you mean it or quit wasting your time. i wouldn't watch it but at least it wouldn't suffer the fate of a fake childish masturbation that this is.

honestly i wish this was a better film.

3/10


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death by misc. and etc.

Posted : 5 years, 11 months ago on 5 November 2011 08:11 (A review of Redneck Zombies [US Import])

honestly for troma, which is of course never known for quality, this is a decent film.

a group of...i don't know...out hiking, a group of redneck/hillbillies, and a couple of military buffoons come together to meet their ends. a military man is transporting a single barrel of toxic/nuclear waste propped in the back of a jeep and...no surprise....wrecks and looses it. surprisingly it doesn't get broken open....until.... our hillbillies find it and decide to use the barrel to make moonshine. the toxic green moonshine turns everyone who drinks it into zombies. and some of them then feed on the group of hikers.

that is the entire story and given that troma loves using less than aspiring actors you get the idea that the movie drags on too long. but along the way there is some good gore, some effective humor, and all in all nothing too bad. honestly the acting, while far from great, isn't all that bad. and the story, while silly at best, is at least intelligible.

zombie fans will see this of course. it counts as the only zombie film i know of that uses toxic moonshine to 'infect' its zombies. as well, the only zombie film that will likely ever use spray deodorant and a corn cob to kill zombies. laughable, but at least its creative!

6/10


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better a sober cannibal than a drunk christian

Posted : 5 years, 11 months ago on 4 November 2011 08:56 (A review of Moby Dick)

a fine interpretation of melville's classic, albeit with some liberties taken.
thats fine by me. actually people's biggest beef about this film is that gregory peck as captain ahab couldn't pull off a decent anger. in his maddest fits hes rather soft and controlled. it is a problem for the film but to say its just him that caused that is not true. in fact there is not much character development but ahab's and we have little emotional connection to these people.

what i recall about the book the intro describing how ishmael came to be on the whaling ship and the end when they actually chase the whale are about the only part of the book worth reading. 3/4ths of the middle of the book are about different whales and terminology that is excruciating to make it through. so the movie not surprisingly is almost entirely exactly that. follows drama of the story pretty well.

ray bradbury, who is mostly credited for the script, is no hack writer, but the filming does little to envelope us other than to present a story. its more theater than experience. typical of the time this was filmed; 1950's.

i guess i was hoping to be washed away in a developing madness and instead found this movie to be much more about the telling of a story book. oh well.

nothing gets overdramatic. everything is quite mid-paced. giant storms beat the men who go about their work. madness comes to ahab in a cool drive to continue on about hunting one whale rather than the others. and all this ho hum drudgery is not boring but it makes one scene seem way out of place. the st. elmo's fire scene with its sci-fi effects and religious awe is weirdly dramatic.

peck's ahab has been discribed as lincoln-esque and it deserves the connection. he does his best to stand erect and stone like throughout the film and is mostly shown wearing a somewhat tall stove-pipe like hat.

for me the worst character was queequeg who is barely used in the film and when he is he's extremely one-dimensional and bordering on racist.

good drama. well worth watching. despite all its flaws there is plenty to enjoy about the film. every mistake is relatively minor and the overall effect is a cut above most films strangely enough. if you've read the book, you'll see the movie (i was actually thinking this was the film with captain piccard...i mean patrick stewart....when i put it in. i can't say if that one is better or worse but i still want to see it as well)

8/10


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...not slight on the increasing cliches

Posted : 6 years ago on 22 October 2011 08:08 (A review of Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane)

really i can't buy into this. on one hand the gore is pretty good, but on the other hand the premise is very weak. worse, there seems to be heavy reference that this was intended to be a comedy, but it never gives in and lets it be. thats the fatal flaw here. if this was pure campy cheese, it could've been fun as hell, but for whatever reason it tries to hard to be serious. and frankly whoever made this can't keep their finger on continuity at all.

by the end of this movie (and boy is it a bad ending!) the same people had to have been killed a number of times over. which perhaps isn't a problem except they appear to kill people, who show up again and have none of the wounds they should have had. i can't imagine how many errors are made in this film. take for instance the end where the main scientist gets sucked out of the plane (because someone else opened the door....and as we all know this can't actually happen). and then some time later....even if its just moments....the plane starts to go down and then crash lands....cut to the same damn guy (or rather half of him) getting up right next to the surprisingly well intact plane. what? whatever?

seriously if this film was funnier it'd be better. theres ample camp material already and we could overlook the horrid acting and the spoken plot devices (wow thats some stiff writing!)

i don't know. its worth watching if you're in the mood for dumb horror with a decent bit of gore but don't expect to be blown away....and the endind scene will definitely leave you a bit miffed.


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ostrich...

Posted : 6 years ago on 8 October 2011 07:27 (A review of Penny Dreadful (After Dark Horrorfest))

maybe i give it credit because i expected it to be bad and it ended up being a fair slasher sort've horror. not great but watchable and overall satisfying.

a car phobic patient and her psychiatrist are taking a "journey" up to a mountain which the never make it to because the psychiatrist hits a hitchhiker with her car. she offers him a ride so he won't "call the cops" and, well, you pretty much know the story from there...if you didn't already figure it all out just by reading the back of the dvd box.

obviously the writers have never studied psychology/psychiatry nor given much of any thought to what those people do. its a questionable premise to start with. they bothered about enough to look up the term you'd call a person with a fear of cars. thats about the extent of their research here. take it all with a grain of salt. you'll have to take a number of other things as typical horror movie sloppiness but it doesn't get in the way to much of what the movie is ultimately about. like porn, the story has little to do with the action other than to be there enough for some semblance of beginning, middle, and end with a bit of dialog to make it seem "possibly real". the action then has to be good and really its not to bad. its surprisingly, given today's standards, not too much. tension, gore, fear, its all there. and yet we're beaten over the head with constant cringe inducing details of limbs being cut off and other shock slop. theres some but there is also time to breathe in between.

despite some bad dialog and unbelievable premise and characters, the worst thing about this movie is the pace. it strangely does not seem slow as a pace and yet it seems to take forever to get through this movie. meaning; scene by scene it feels right, but it take quite long to get through it all. that and some of the scenes, especially some of her stuck in the car, seem repetitious. how many damn times is she going to try opening the door, or opening and closing the window, or looking at the dead person in the car.

not too bad,worth a watch. it won't be a favorite.
(5/10)


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undead alien vampires

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 11 September 2011 07:12 (A review of Planet of the Vampires)

planet of the vampires is a good old school drive in sort've movie. by today's standard is very slow. sets are minimal but very well done; the film retains a unique look. its probably more interesting to look at most of the film than it it to listen along. much of the dialog, especially at the beginning is every 'space-age' term they could think of...to the point of being total nonsense. once they actually crashland and the plot starts to thicken...the plot drives the dialog better. still its nothing terribly interesting as far as dialog goes until the very end.

basically 2 spaceships from earth crash on a planet due in part to some sort've distress signal. immediately something causes the members on one ship to fight each other and then crew members start to go missing. the second ship is found to be entirely dead; by fighting amongst themselves. but they go missing too. and then they start to reappear.

to be sure the ending was nice and the film itself is nice to watch. as well there is nothing particularly bad about the film per say. its worst points are the aforementioned slow pace and the overuse of 'space-age sound effects'

worth a watch even if it won't be your favorite film.

(6/10)


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about a guy

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 11 September 2011 06:38 (A review of Harvie Krumpet)

harvie is a unique character. i really hate to even describe him. his entire family has fallen short in every way and well he's not better. throughout his life he is learning the "fakts" and writing them down in a book he wears around his neck. great fakts they are too!

he even falls in love, has a kid, and then is alone again...learning more fakts.

stop motion claymation. dry humor. nudity....no its not pretty stuff...just the fakts.

the worst thing about this film is that its too short. just over 20 minutes. i wanted it to go on and on. i wanted more. and while the other shorts on the dvd are interesting (if somewhat repetitive) they don't really satisfy the way the feature short does.

definitely see it. probably a rental.

(9/10)


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some strings detached

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 6 September 2011 07:02 (A review of Strings)

an epic story of war and the triumph of love told with puppets; marionettes actually.


i don't have a clue how this ever got made. not because its bad or anything like that, rather because its a full feature 2 hour film with nothing but puppets. thats a wild concept. imagine pitching this as a movie. i'm sure you'd be laughed at outright and probably blacklisted from ever showing your face again.

so if you're going to do it, you better make it good.

this is good. maybe not perfect, but its damn good.

the story itself is a bit on the obvious side. the novelty of puppets is seemingly a drag rather than integral. and thats were this film pulls out the punches. its not just that they're puppets being used but the "strings" that animate them are integrated into the story as a lifeline to the heavens. the birth scene in this, the creation of a new puppet-being, is mind blowing and beautiful. on the flip side the lack of movement of the mouths is somewhat difficult to take given that it can be challenging to attach a voice to the character (i don't know if this is a choice or something especially difficult to do in this technique....their eyelids move so i'm guessing it was a choice).

also the way in which the story blends a number of mythologies (leda and the swan, frankenstein monster, etc) is quite fun. i'm sure i missed some but the ones i did catch were both interesting and unique.

i'd say it may not become your favorite movie, its very likable, but its an absolute must see. the efforts put into this should be heavily rewarded.

give the beginning a bit...it does start a bit slow and difficult to get immediately into.

awesome
(9/10)


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dripping away

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 30 August 2011 07:28 (A review of Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? (Documentary))

starts out great but bogs down and gets tedious.

at its get go a great quote pulls you in "everyone knows a fairy tale always starts with 'once upon a time', but a trucker's tale starts with 'you ain't going to believe this shit!'"

a older woman, teri horton, who happens to be a truck driver finds an "ugly" painting in a flea market and buys it for a friend. its too big to get into her trailer so she keeps it and tries to sell it in a yard sale. where someone tells her it may be a jackson pollock. to which she supposedly replies "who the #$&% is jackson pollock?" she learns it may be worth serious money, learns some about pollock, and begins a quest to figure out if her painting is in fact made by pollock. its an unsigned work. she takes it to a few art market types who blow her off as a crazy old woman truck driver. that is the crux of the story. she's mad about being looked down upon. as she continues to now prove that the painting is by pollock, experts and then forensic scientists are brought in and hired. like other films of this type, the experts are often crazy eccentrics because it makes for interesting film. we are made to believe they don't know any better than anyone else. science then proves fact...or at least a good maybe. what the painting lacks for the art world is provenance (which is a notion explained well here, especially by a gallery dealer who won't touch the painting because he can guarantee it to his clients)

and then...well.. the film takes a serious dive when it presents teri's fake provenance story as she attempted to present it to potential buyers. her story, without even checking for facts, is wildly far fetched. they attempt to frame it as somewhat of a possibility since pollock was a raging drunk and his wife/dealer 'couldn't possibly have kept track of all of his paintings'. its the way they present her fake story which immediately sends red flags into this documentary. even though they admit its fake and even far fetched; saying some people actually bought the story...if not the art. from there the film drags out in the same arguments over and over and it goes on for too long. in short there is a finger print on the back of it that is matched to one in pollocks studio and there is a seemingly similar painting known to be pollocks in the moma. (persumedly signed though i don't know this for fact). and the problem with the painting remains not that its signed, nor that the experts question it and the science seems to approve of it, but that it has no provenance. without that provenance, as its said here, the painting has almost no value. because in the world of money that is the art market...its not the visual work thats valuable but the story behind it.

at one point teri is offered $2 million, which she rejects thinking she is going to get 60 or so out of it. at the end she hires an exconvict (art sales fraud) to set up a company and find investors to begin to build appeal for the piece. they immediately talk about taking her out of the picture...send her back to the trailer with some cash. she doesn't seem to care at this point (some 10+ years after buying the work)

so we learn: art experts are full of shit mystics. scientists are absolute but no one cares. art is bought for the story not for the visual work. wealthy buyers do not deal with low class truckers/trailer trash. sigh. i don't know who this was meant to appeal to, but it did leave me a bit sad overall.

its worth a watch, especially for artist but has a limited audience and i'd be hard pressed to expect anyone to really like this.

(6/10)


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a room for thought

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 30 August 2011 06:57 (A review of The Man from Earth)

a gem of a movie.

i love movies that can take a simple notion and explore it to profound depths. here we have a movie which is little more than 8 people in a room or two and talking to each other.
the tale woven here is by no hack writer though. jerome bixby known for a few star trek episodes and twilight zone. here he tells a tale of a man who lived since prehistoric times without aging. or so the man, john, claims; his friends at first believe he's pulling their leg and then begin to believe something has gone mentally awry with him. as the his life's story unfolds it begins to upset his friends; it challenges their systems of belief.

theirs no need to tell any of it here. suffice it to say its an excellent story which should be sought out and watched.

this is a sci-fi story at its core. no special effects at all, not even a flash back scene. simply words, a scenario brought to life through a telling, and the wonderful world of possibilities. could it be?

great acting in this and actually great filmmaking too despite its limited settings and characters they do a good job at keeping it visually moving so that it never feels static.

(10/10)


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