Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chiller Classics present: Bad Dreams (1988)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.



SO WHERE'S FREDDY?

I can not pretend this is not a blatant rip off of Nightmare on Elm Street. Basically it's about a women who's dreams are haunted, and this man that haunts her dreams can kill those around her... so ya. Did I mention it also stars Jennifer Rubin, of Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (which came a mere year earlier) fame. That said. I mean, isn't all horror more or less a rip off of something that proceeded it. The thing is, all that matters is that you do it well...

So your dream killer plot goes... during the 70s a young woman/girl is part of a cult that dies in a ritual and explosion suicide. This girl, Cynthia, survives... albeit in a coma... when she wakes 13 years later, she finds the ways of free love gone... and the 80s have arrived. She is part of a psychiatric group, where patients at the hospital with varying problems try to work through there stuff. Now, why is she in this group? Not sure. I guess they didn't want a 70s child sent out into the 80s without adjustments... but is surrounding her with crazy people a solution? Ah whatever. Anyway the cult leader starts showing up in her dreams... or visions, and killing off anyone she makes a connection with, all the while asking her to join him.

Ok. I had no idea what this film was. But through the years I have herd those lines all underground horror fans lobe to hear: "Forgotten classic" "Underappreciated" "Deserves to be recognized" ... so I figured what the hell and dove in.

And Maybe its Maybelline. 
And I think I was over all pretty happy I did. First, the plot is actually way less crazy then I'm making it sound, and dare a say, reasonable explanations do find there way in in the closing act. Once you get by the Elm Street 3 comparisons, I think there is enough here for the film to stand on it's own.

First the writing is not that bad. It's a simple enough plot. Where the film picks up a few points in my mind is the directing. There are some very creepy, and atmospheric shots in this film. Definitely a few steps above the lower budgeted films of the 80s. But then, that leads me to another point... was this film low budget? I mean heck Guns 'N' Roses jam through the closing credits... so there had to be a decent bit of funds behind this.

The makeup is great. Some very cool burn effects, and a few other moments of cool gore. Raining blood from air conditioner ducts anyone? The film does lose a little bit in its "Reveal" portion. Seeming to paint some pretty crazy and fast found conclusions. I don't care what anyone says... I doubt no one... in an entire hospital is incompetent enough to not check medications... But hey... this is a psycho ward in a 80s film... so such thoughts should be tempered.

If you like your horror drenched in mist, and strange goings on... well this is your wet Dream... set what I did there... ya. I'm so clever. Booniacs! Bask in all that is my genius... Sigh. I think wading through all these 80s flicks I am starting to over value my intellect by comparison.

hahaha

Falling apart here. And loving it. The horror flicks are going to keep rolling in. All October as it is the season.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Horror scale 3 out of 5 stars


the co-ed and the zombie stoner (2014)

WHAT JUST HAPPENED AND DID I LIKE IT?



So this is another film by THE ASYLUM. The folks behind the steady stream of mainstream ripoffs, and direct to VOD fodder. Things like Transmorphers, I am Omega, Paranormal Entity, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus... and well you get the idea. Most have been horrible, cheesy, and well, just plain dumb. But that is what they are going for. They know they have a limited budget, limited effects, so they try to make them entertainingly bad. Well, problem is they more often than not - fail.

I ah, submit, imagination is some times superior to a caption... 
A weird things happen about ten minutes into this flick... I started laugh. And I realized I was laughing with the movie, not at it. And as the ridiculousness and boobs splashed across the screen, I found myself... dare I say it, enjoying the hell out of this movie. I mean that title alone THE CO-ED AND THE ZOMBIE STONER ... it's no Sharnado, but the title is a wee bit of genius.

Your story. Super cute nerdy chick (Oh, those sexy loveable nerdy chicks), must find a fraternity boy to date or she gets kicked outta her frat and loses her scholarship. Oh no! But who would date such an attractive girl... with glasses? (gasp!) Well a zombie that maintains his cool by smoking very large amounts of weed... but what if he gets the munchies.... (Ominous music here)

Rigor-Mortis... CIALIS!
Unlike other films in the Asylum Catalogue, this film does not try to be cool, or hip, it actually is. I mean some of the writing is just so profanity filled and creatively so you can't help but giggle... and jiggle. It's just so dang entertaining. The Zombie joins frat montage is just gold. The zombie, Rigo, is played for all its worth by Grant O'connell. And Catherine Annette is just hamming it up in her sexy nerd roll. Between the two of them there is a real chemistry and silliness that just works.

Yes. I am half through this review and still saying, I am enjoying an Asylum flick. Just your front yard for the apocalypse.

Look this is not winning any awards... this is not gunna sway any critics (well, present company excluded). But this is a film that will entertain a certain crowd of horror fans and entertain them well. Much like another B... or maybe C movie that managed to embrace it's awesome cheese, and entertain the heck outta me with non stop blood and attractive members of the opposite sex GIRLS GONE DEAD (REVIEW HERE )... this here is another example. This is one you have your boys over for when the women are out!

I'm not gunna say intoxication is recommended....

Intoxication is recommended.

If watching two zombies, one on a scooter, and the other on a small bike circle an old helpless woman don't make you chuckle well then this is not the movie for you :)

Movie scale 1.5 out of 5 stars
Horror Comedy scale 3.5 out of 5 stars.




Chiller Classics present: Sweet Sixteen (1983)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.



Any film in which the main character has their own theme song is something special. If that film happens to be an 80s horror film, well... hello Must watch. And I mean this theme song is something special... and while we are chatting 80s theme songs... I mean really, what is your end goal here? You know what will help the audience really connect with you lead character, a theme song that sings all about her emotions and stuff... while you just pan in on her face. 

Anyway. Still. I stand behind my "Must- Watch" any film who's main character has his/her own theme song. Well, if you're an 80s baby like me.

Your sweet tale goes... Melissa (who is sixteen but looks 25, and is 25 in real life, oh hollywood) is really into flirty, and breaking hearts, and lying, and well being an all around bitch. But the boys can't help but flock to her. Problem is the boys that pay her attention start dying off. Suspicion falling to the near by native tribes. A sheriff, with the help of his two very intelligent kids, will have to piece together in order to save ... Melissa.... Sweet Melissa... (was that part of the song, yup).

Mom. What do you mean you lied about my birthdate? 
So there is a lot to enjoy here. Like any old school horror flick, especially a slasher, you have to take the script into account first. Was it fun. The answer is yes. The characters are all reasonably written. The Sheriff being a standout as a smart guy, that for some reason relies on back and forths with his own kids to piece together the evidence.

Melissa is not a sympathetic character. Well that is until she confess her true self... in a rather awkward scene with the Sheriffs Daughter. It turns out she's just misunderstood... and has no friends. Awww, who knew. SO then everybody is her best friend and they throw her a big party... I mean when any boys around a girl are getting offed... you should Defs throw a party. With lots of boys... and cake.

This is one of those films whose cover art always grabbed in the days of the VHS. Sexy, with a glimmer of violence, classic Box art. It was a real pleasure getting to dive into it all these years later as a fully grown, mostly mature, horror guy. I mean this is not a blurry release. And it is certainly nt a high quality DVD. But it is what it is, a low budget, well put together whodunnit. There are plenty of stabbings and blood leaking... but if you are looking for variety in your kills not the place to come.

Come on... Do I look dangerous? 
The 80s who's the killer twist is pretty good, and hey, you might not even see it coming. It is surprising in this here age of the horror remake, a film about good looking teenagers getting offed has yet to find itself to the remake bin... but then I suppose this is one of the lesser known titles out there. Hey. There's blood, but not by the buckets. This is really more of a decently written little mystery with some sex and blood thrown in... but it worked for me. Plus if that theme song doesn't have you smiling... well a little part of your inner horror loving child may have died.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Horror/slasher scale 3 out of 5 stars

Classic VHS era fun. And if that statement doesn't excite you than you probe don't need to hunt this one down...

Sincerely

Charles B. Boonsweet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chiller Classics present: Silent Madness (1984)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.



This movie was released in 3D. Why, Oh why, in todays wondrous world of energy drinks and on demand entertainment can I not watch this film in 3D? Damn it. Someone out there can make this happen... Make it pop yo! Because man do some of the shots not look like cheese 3D gold.

But, 2D is fine. Why? Because this here little bit of nasty 80s is a damn fun time.

Your story goes... Deranged killer of College girls (which we see in a lovely B&W flashback lol) is mistakenly released from an asylum... damn those 80s computers and their errors... and so our killer Howard Johns returns to off the next generation of Co-eds. All the while the lovely Dr. Gilmour tries to foil the evil Dr. Krueger (Yup. Krueger) who is trying to cover up the fact that his screw up released a psychopath.

Ok so the good. This is actually a surprisingly well written flick. The heroine is smart, and not to be foiled by all the douchebags around her. Hell, even when she finds someone to help her... he is not a dim bulb either. While the sheriff and many others don't believe them, they manage to set plans in motion to find the killer, and protect the next batch of young sexy females.

So, i have no idea why I look like Johnny lee miller... seriously. No idea.
The bad. The kills are horrible. Ya. I know. How do you screw that up. I mean ever kill is a facial expression, or a sound and a walk away... you never actually get to see the bloody bits. And well, that hurts the film. It is clearly an R, but without the benefits of say a certain Tom Savini level makeup artist... this film severely lacks in the quality gore department. Though they do try to remedy that in the final act.

That said this is a surprisingly fun little ride. Likeable heroes... Villains that really suck... and you can't wait for them to get theirs. But sadly even when they do you know it will be a cut away to a facial expression of such...

Why?! Dammit why. You had gold here folks. And I stand by the fact that this is one of the funnest under the radar slashers from the era. It could have been one of the best with a little more in your face, and a little less to your imagination.

Hell, I still enjoyed myself. So real acting standouts here too. The two evil henchmen from the Asylum are a lovely undynamic duo. They chew scenery and have some of the best lines. You just love to hate em. Some of the shots here are good... I mean we are talking severely low budget even for the 80s and yet... a few truly cool shots. One of my favs being when the killer realizes he needs to pull his weapon out of the person he just killed to chase down another victim. Black comedy awesomeness.

Hey. I'm not trying to build this up into something it is not... and with the lack of significant gore... I understand why this film has not found a Blu-ray release the likes of which many films of the 80s are these days. But considering the shit plots and horrible writing many of those releases sport... this is leaps and bounds above em. I would love to see a reunited cast chatting the low rent chaos of this flick. #ScreamFactory I'm looking at you guys...

And hey they even throw in a classic 80s "twist" at the end. Oh those twists I tells ya.

Horro scale 3 out of 5 stars
Movie Scale 3 out of 5 stars




Saturday, September 27, 2014

Chiller Classics present: Scarecrows (1988)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.


So what we have here is one strange, twisted, original, gory, and very, very low budget 80s horror. See, I know some of you horror hounds out there just like me just felt that special kind of tingle with that intro. Already you are leaning closer to your screen, your phone, your... well, actually does anyone do anything any more not on their phone? Ya you're probs on your phone. And for every one of your now gore-erect horror fans out there there is some one else who just went - Nope! 

Obviously this is a film not for everyone. But then hey... you are visiting my website (and more than likely following my awesomeness semi-religiously) which makes you at least slightly smarter than the average bear... and you are now... if still reading this... two and a half paragraphs into a column entitled "CHILLER CLASSICS" so hey, I will assume you are at least marginally curious...

So to plot then: Robbers (of some kind), hijack a plane, forcing a father to pilot it or risk injury to his daughter. Then one of the robbers double crosses them and ends up in a strange piece of wilderness (after having jumped from the aforementioned aerial flying machine). There he finds a house and a whole bunch of creepy looking Scarecrows... Hmmmm... The other bad guys then land and come back for him, and their money.

Some people take the "Say Cheese" smile a little too far... Dang. 
So if you guessed that after this point it is mostly creepiness and Scarecrow violence... congratulations, you Sir, or Ma'damn, are correct. Really though I have to call one very strange little bit of audio with this film. The voiceovers. I mean the endless voice overs. It is so very comical, especially at the beginning. Towards the mid, and end of the film, I actually found it becoming part of this bizarre films charm.

Basically every character will at multiple points be walking around will their thoughts are shared with you dear audience. Now was that because with the insanely low budget (which you will understand with the opening "Grenade" explosion), or because the filmmakers actually wanted to voice over half the film... who knows! It's really weird and I think I liked it... well, once I got used to it.

Now to horror stuff. There is tons of blood letting, and practical 80s blood letting at that. Some of it very creative... and when I say people will be stuffed with hay... or they will be stuffed...

Really as a horror fan when you stumble across a gem in the rough, it's a big deal. Is this one of those films... maybe... just maybe. For me the opening 30 minutes was rough, a little too rough for me to recommend this as a CHILLER CLASSIC you must see... but the last half is a blast. Pretty much non stop action. Blood. And a pretty fun ending. But man, who ever did the sound editing on this film was seriously in love with his/her craft... news reports in the back ground... voiceovers...

The scare crows are actually creepy.

That in it's self makes this film worth seeing if you love you some 80s. For all you new school Saw loving horror folks... this (and no offence is meant here) will prob be a little 'Too" ol' skool for you. No shame in that.

Horror scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars

What's that saying about hay? Make hay while the sun shines... or avoid rain... ah whatever... a fun little flick... and a great start too HALLOWEEN month... Bring it ONNNNNNN!

- Chuck Boonsweet.

KITE (2014)

WELL, YOU MIGHT AS WELL GO FLY YOUR...



It has been a while since I could say this without pause, further consideration, nope this is plain, and clear... The director destroyed this movie. Oh you can complain about some of the writing, the fight choreography, sure you can complain a little. But the lighting, the camera shots, the lighting... and the camera shots, are so horrible that you would swear a 90s music director shot this film...

OH WAIT, he is a 90s video director... who knew. In all honesty, I did not know that till I just searched the director (who you know what I won't even call out by name here) on IMDB.

Understand that this is the worst shot film I have seen in a film that is not bargain basement stuff. Now in fairness the original Director was found dead in his Hotel room, apparently after shooting had started so another director stepped... so hey... maybe I am blaming the wrong guy I don't know, but man does this film look like shit.

What do you mean you ran out of cookies?
Ok, you plot goes... futuristic society is all corrupt and stuff. A young girl, who is super lethal, with the aid of a cop (Sam L jackson) is taking down an entire cartel operation to get to the man on top. The man she believes killed her mother and father.

I mean not the most original plot, but not horrible. Here's the thing. I watched and own the original Anime, KITE (circa 1998 I believe), and man is it legendary. Some of the craziest violence, tons of sex, I mean it is infamously uncensored haha. Sawa is one badass chick. And half crazy. In this movie for some reason they play her like a weak innocent girl in one scene (where she can barely fight one female baddie) to an unstoppable killing machine (taking out a whole gang in another scene). But the direction and choreography is so bad during the majority of the fights it don't really matter.

Here's the thing, it's really too bad. There were moments here when the magic almost came through. For instance recreating the insane bathroom scene from the first film... only why not just do it. Why start off with the imitation and then just say screw it and do something else? Doesn't make sense. India Eisley is a very good actress, and I thought she did a great job channeling Sawa but the direction really lets her down.

Did I hear someone say they needed cookies?
To say this film is muggy is an understatement. I swear they must've smeared the camera for half the shots in this film. Sometimes it feels like you're watching it underwater its so unclear. Smoke. Colors. I'm sure some of that was to hide the limits of the low budget, but still... too much.

But... BUUUUT and I mean this. There is almost enough here. Sam Jackson, well, I really liked him here. No screaming profanity. No over acting for his fans, just good old fashioned man in a role. I liked that. India as mentioned is good, and strikingly beautiful. I mean they actually found someone that lives and breaths the look of the anime character. That is nuts right? The rest should have been easy. I would really like to see her get another chance at a badass character, and be given the chance to go all out. Sawa was ruthless, and maniacal in her dispatching of the villains. Here its as if she just manages to stagger her way through everyone.

Ah so many close moments here. The washroom fight. The earrings, and flashbacks... I mean they really almost nailed it. Closer than I've seen an anime to live action come in a long while.

Shame.

Look. Not a great movie. But if you have never seen the anime you might have a little fun here, if you have seen the anime... I don't know. I'm pretty damn down about it, but there were some cool parts... Ahhhhhh if only Sawa hadn't been such a little weak girl in this. The opening scene is bang on her character.. exploding bullets and all... and then it just goes up and down the rest of the way.

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Action Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars

#KITE

-CBB

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The November Man (2014)

ROCKING MOVEMBER FOR ALL TIME



Okay. You may be curious as to that title. Mo-vember. Well I speak of the wild wonderland of man-growth that is Pierce "call me Bond" Brosnan's chest. I mean. Way to keep the 80s alive my good man. And oh, those undershirtless button ups... always leaving them unbuttoned at least three down... Bam! Ladies lock up your daughters... and then lock your own self up, his unbridled man-ness will overwhelm even the most determined of character.

Yes. Pierce is a man's man. And I'm ok with that. He can also really freaking act, and I'm ok with that. He is still my fav bond (haters gunna hate haha), and I have always and will always love watching the man kick ass. Thankfully The November Man is full of ass whooping;.

So your by the numbers spy story goes - Spy gets caught up in a shady plot to elect a new Russian president, and ends up having to go against the man, and much younger man, that he trained.

1. Pop the top button. 2. Explode shit. 3. Slowly walk away 
Ya, okay, nothing new there really, but does it have to be? I mean we are talking an old school R rated (yes R rated action, how I love thee) so story aside, does it rock.... Well, I think the answer is yes. Yes it does. Yes you have seen the story tons of times, but who cares, Brosnan still rocks it. Leg kicks, and mean mugging hand gun head shots, what's not to love? The gun battles are nothing new, but the direction is quick and crisp, and you really get to see all the bullets hit their fleshy targets.

Well, for one the twist, that really isn't a twist, and is so painfully obviously a twist that when they twist - You groan. You may actually groan out loud. And well, I'm sorry but the Daughter angle at the end was so freaking unneeded that it almost sounded like someone decided after the script was done that they needed to give Pierce a softer side. He's cold blooded killer... Or wait. There is a point in the middle of the film where Brosnan rants to his student about how you can kill humans or be human... okay fine. Solid point. But then it does seem that you sir Brosnan kill anyone anywhere, and will torture innocent girls to get what you want... which is well, nothing really. And yet you have family and a daughter...

W
T
F

Real spies don't ride motorcycles they walk over them!
Okay. Crazy BS aside from that speech and random girl torture scene... This is still a fun movie. I think it would be worth a trip to your local theatre given that you are, like me, a Pierce fan. If you are not well, you may find the whole trip a little been-there done-that.

Still, no one kicks ass like Brosnan. Or well, maybe Brosnan and Liam Neeson. Ohhhhh wait, getting an idea... a TAKEN and NOVEMBER MAN crossover... we'll call it "TAKING NOVEMBER" Boom. Trademarked. Hollywood call your boy Boonsweet.

Movie scale 2.5 out 5 stars
Action Scale 3 out of 5 stars

ONE LINE REVIEW: It's no bond. It's no taken. But lots of people get shot and stuff.

-Boonsweet.