Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dead before Yawn....


Sometimes a movie just tries to be cool... you know... like that one kid that shows up to the first day of school rocking last years coolest clothes... ya... like that... (Possibly that was a personal analogy haha)...

Moving on...

You plot fine Booniacs, and Buckleheads: So years ago our would be nerd hero Casper (yup, casper) witnessed his Dad die, mostly it seems due to messing with a demon skull thingy. Fast forward 15 years... he's crushing on the popular girl, he has nerd friends, and the popular girl is dating a muscle bound jerk (who is strangely not that built - stereotype fail!). Any he decides after all this time to return to the shop where his Father died (happens to be in the family, owned by his Grand-pappy), and watch it for his Gramps. Of course then the girl of dreams shows up and he decides to F with the one thing he shouldn't... you know the thing that has haunted his dreams... the demon skull... and then he breaks it... and um, hickeying suicide eye contact type zombie demons pop up... AKA Zemons.

You get that? Ya. Eye contact leads to suicide... suicide leads to Zemons... zemons lead to hickeying (because eating brains is soooooo last year). I mean... I support ridiculous, I love ridiculous, 80s horror lover here. And you know it could have worked... honestly... the practical ain't horrible... but the real issue here (I will cover a few shortly) is the characters... they are as lifeless as the Zemons.

If you are gunna make a film this Bat shit crazy, you have to balance it out somehow. Like, say, Cool likeable characters for example...There are none here to be found. The nerd is kinda a douche, and so unemotional and dumb that you won't care. The would be "cool" "funny" best friend, is just stupid... the girls are dumb, ah why go on... theres no point.

No, it's cool guys. Licensed surgery, he had two left feet... 
The next really annoying thing is this film was rated R. In fact it got a somewhat cool halloween release in 3D... and yet, it plays like a mildly more than PG. I mean really, ya there's some blood, but they only say shit a couple times, and no F word to be found... I mean what the F?

Ok. Christopher Lloyd is up in this bitch, and that is almost something to balance out all the horrible, but alas, not so much. Then he said "Great Scott" and well, that was better... for a few moments.

Listen this isn't the worst B movie I have seen lately, no, not even close. There's a couple chuckle moments. The action is non stop. But there is no real horror, or Gore here. There are no real clap and cheer at the cheesy awesomeness moments... there is only slightly above average almost disney channel friendly horror. Ok. Maybe more MTV. Not sure. Seriously ever watched an episode of a disney channel show? The acting is like bang on with this one. I didn't research it but I wouldn't be surprised to find out some early evening disney sitcom writer penned this hahaha... For instance they legit take on an entire horde of Zemons... all armed, without one drop of blood or makeup violence... well then they splash a little red on a wall to make up for it at the end - FAIL!

And that folks, makes Me, Chucky B, saddy sad in my sad places. I had a few (be them not that high) hopes for this flick.

You will get annoyed with the level of non-emotion that this cast stumbles through the plot points. Dead family member - next. Our entire school is dead - next. Dead Family member - Next. We can do this speech - next. Give up no we can't give up - next. We must save everyone - next. Oh right, jock and popular girl have a fight and she is now available for nerd - next.

Hey you want a zombie type movie you can watch with ya kids, besides say 3 minutes that tries to be harder than it is, here you go... Listen on that level its not horrible. But as the R rated cheese fest I was hoping for, nothing for me here...

Movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
Horror scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

If you didn't see the ending coming well, you forgot the Disney channel aspect I mentioned earlier. Almost cute. Almost.

Final thought. 3D! I mean that was their hook right, 3D! They could have at least laid that on thick, but no... no they did not.

looking for a way better would be cool R rated zombie flick try Detention of the Dead for your fix.

Charles Boonsweet saying till next... and um, gooooooooo Broncos!


Friday, January 17, 2014

The Next big thing? Almost.

YOU'RE NEXT (2014) (original release 2011)

K. So this film got made a while ago, and then they hit the festival circuit... and wow did the buzz kick into high gear. Add in a couple nifty promotions and bam! A real word of mouth (or type of finger) must see horror flick.

So naturally I get scared. Yup. Bears. No problem. Ninjas. Pft! Nothing to worry about. A new healthcare reform... well... ok... marginally scary, the point is... I love horror and when people start going around saying things like "The next great horror film is here" And "A must see for horror fans" Well naturally... I start to worry that it will be a horrid let down...

So here we are with YOU'RE NEXT. A would be nifty little piece of indie horror...

You're plot: A family gathering (a big old family, parents, 4 siblings, a plus one for all) is slightly less awesome due to a gang of masked thugs showing up and offing people with arrows, axes, piano wire... you know, stuff. The twist comes in the way of one of the girlfriends putting up waaaaaaay more of a fight than these thugs expected to get from a bunch of rich kids. Who knows... maybe she'll be our (wait for it).... Survivor girl...

Le Meow. Le pur-pur.
First off I have to say with the budget, director Adam Wingard, and writer Simon Barrett, really get the extra mile out of this film. However, there are some problems here... and I really do need to bitch about them because, well, dammit, they just really drop the ball on a few things.

First the opening 30 minutes. Ok the 25 minutes after the opening 5. They are horrible. I mean horrible. Acting. Writing. Dialogue. How can you possibly care for this family because they are all cardboard cutouts. Hell, the guy that dies in the opening 5 minutes showed more personality. So, if you are awaiting all the glorious gore... and there is much... you will have to sit there and just try to get through those opening 30 minutes.

The next major issue with this film is that it tries to out clever you, the audience. Here's the thing. I am sitting watching a low budget gore fest. Horror. B movie. Do I really care about plot twists? Let me ask you something horror fans... Do you like the original Sleepaway Camp with the OMG! It's really a boy at the end twist... or the crazy gore and fun of the sequels? I'm pretty sure if you love the Sleepaway trilogy, the first one ain't the one that gets watched the most. BUT, I digress...

Sometimes. You just have to take a breather... Some you time.
Point is. Twist. Then Twist. Then Twist. I'm sorry at some point I actually had my arms raised going No you bastards, enough, just end it, you did good... you did good... end it! No. They beat those twists to death till all the coolness of the last 30 minutes of the film gets watered down by unwanted shit.

But. BUT. You read that right Booniacs, the 30 minutes before the twist/double twist endings are awesome. I am talking blood by the bucket, body parts on clearance, practical gore of the hizzie of shizzie... (sorry was bumping some Snoop... last week lol). Yes. It is a blast. Well done, well directed, and hey once the action starts, the writing finds it's groove, and game on!

The lead, Sharni Vinson, does a damn fine job once she settles into weapon usage. I have to admit I have not seen to much of her resume, though I did enjoy (on a mind of level) Bait. She really owns the role, and as the movie progresses seems to come into her bad assert. I mean the ways this girls owns here some thug is just... awesome. You ever wanted to see some one killed with a blender? Yup. Dreams do come true.

That said.

I have said this time and time again. You know it Booniacs. There are just too many good movies out there. So I will not now, or ever, excuse a movie a shitty last five minutes, because the rest of the film entertained me.

One twist too many.
Some times. Some times it is ok to just let em walk away boys.

Just let em walk away.

Movie scale 2. 5 out 5 stars
horror scale 3 out 5 stars

Enough blood, and guts, and well... everything in-between to entertain you gorehounds out there. And enough fun to keep the horror purists engaged. I say I am not sorry I watched it, but I doubt i will need to a second time... well, maybe with a friend or two...

-Chuck B. Boonsweet.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014



You could rightfully look at that title and first feel the deep warming of your kung fu heart with the belief that any, and all, movies that would dare name themselves - NINJA, let alone NINJA II, are cause for joy. Then in the second thereafter you might scroll to the right and think "What the F is this twilight sparkle vampire crap - Shadow of a tear business?"

And hey, who could blame you. Certainly not I Charles Boonsweet. But having watched this film I encourage you to witness the absurd cheesiest of that title as a challenge. A challenge the filmmakers laid down to themselves. Guys we are making a bad ass ninja flick, I wanna give it the cheesiest title ever, and then make a damn movie so awesome, that the title and all its harlequin romance glory become there by equally awesome. 

Ya. I'm on a roll, I'm on vacation, and well... it's a good day.

In case you are wondering, that is sweaty ninja corner technique 7
The Ninja Plot goes: After the events of the first film, Casey (the next gen action star - Scott Adkins), now runs the Dojo. And is all kinds of in love with the former Master's daughter. Then, well, a super evil Ninja - with world war 2 black ops experience I might add - decides to off his woman (who was Preggers! Ruh-roh). So Casey traverses the globe... Mostly so he can beat up a wide assortment of peeps... and work his way up towards the SUPER NINJA of drug dealing doom!

Thats the good stuff. Hey are you gunna complain about the plot of a ninja film? I mean didn't they make like 483 during the 70s and 80s with basically the same plot. Someone dies, and you know, someone goes and makes the killers dead.

So really, all we should be discussing is awesomeness... and folks, lace up your Ninja booties cause this is a blast. Everything from the first film is cranked up. The fights are phenomenal. I am talking Grade A environment destroying greatness. I can't even explain the amount of violence they pack into this flick. I mean this film is like 90 freaking minutes and he must beat up roughly 86 people.

Do a... I even need a caption for this one? I think not. 
That folks is an impressive butt kick to run time ratio!

Adkins is this generations Van Damme, or Don "The Dragon" Wilson. Ya occasionally he acts and stuff but really he kicks good ass. Thats what we pay for, that is what we want - ARE WE NOT MEN! (shout out to ISLAND OF LOST SOULS). Well, that and the talent behind the camera (and in the choreography dept) to capture all that talent for our Foot-2-face hungry eyes. No complaints here guys, none. How often you here ol' Boony here say some shit like that?

Ya it's not 60 mill budget polished but the cameras hang back, no quick cuts, no F'ing shaky cam. Just good ol' fashioned set the camera here and watch the men fight! Damn it, if you are sitting down to a movie called NINJA: Shadow of a Freaking tear how dare you ask for more! This film delivers on every level.

Unlike a film like Ong Bak 2 where after the adrenaline and chaos of the first you were subjected to an hour+ of crap just to get what - 20 minutes of what you sat down for? This film knows what you want, and gives it, and gives, and gives... till you are cheering drink raised high.

Just enough plot to keep the fights coming, and the scenery changing...

Brilliant Ninja times.
Did I mention Adkins actually does ninja stuff, like make sleep darts, and ninja bombs... and stuff. And ya, he might use grenades, and be a little weak in the stealth department, but hey... I'll take.

movie scale 2.5 out 5 stars
Ninja movie scale 4 out of 5 stars

Chuck Boonsweet is out this peace Y'all saying, this films kung fu action brought a tear to my eye... well maybe just a shadow...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The many shades of Gaillo


The single most bat shit crazy opening in film history? You know what... screw it I will say it... hands down the strangest opening 5minutes/titlesequence ever.

Gaillo: Italien blood soaked slashers that created their own genre during the 60s,70s, 80s. Sexy, bloody, and well, twisted as hell in most cases. How could the average red blooded horror fan not take notice. I myself am a huge fan of Gaillo. There is an issue however, one problem inherent in many Gaillo films - Sense. Well, more accurately the sense lacking.

These films are beautiful to look at. Indeed in the current HD age, many have survived to the new medium far better than many higher budgeted films. The camera angles are grand, and weird. The editing is a strange mix of tranquil calm, and chaotic cuts. The music is often brilliant and unique... but boy friggin' howdy do they throw sense out the window sometimes... often.

In a way I guess you could say Gaillo was then as J-horror is today (yes, I will accept any Horror rage you wanna dump on me over that comment).

I'm wet, and scared, hold me... 
The story goes - A woman... No let me restart that, A sexy woman, is having all kinds of F'd up bloody visions, and is all around falling apart since she lost her child in the aftermath of a car accident. Or she has always had visions since her mom was murdered... or something. Anyway, now she is all messed up, and may have kinda joined a cult with a woman she just met but decided to be best friends with. Of course all that could be a dream, and she could just be insane. But dammit, she will get naked as many times as it takes to find out!

Ok. I have to say there are some real cool suspense shots in this here flick. Director Sergio Martino (the man behind many a good Gaillo including a fav of mine - Torso)really works some stuff that may be a little more common today, but certainly was not back then. For instance a subway scene where the "Mysterious man" is stalking our sexy heroine on the train. As they pass parts of the tunnel the lights cut out and when they come on... he's a wee bit closer. Another great shot is the man rising up the stairs towards a terrified woman as she awaits the elevator rising up through the center of the staircase. Or how about running down a spiral staircase with a spinning camera in time, in one shot... Just grade A gaillo gold.

How about a true Gaillo scream queen (and a lil naughty nude italian at that) Edwige Fenech. Dark haired beauty with no nude shame... ya she's built for Italian Horror.

Yup. It is a Gaillo movie you should expect shot wrapping :)
I mean really as far as Gaillo films go, this is the stuff blurry cult status is made of. Tons of nudity, violence, and one twisted up plot. I mean the opening never really gets explained, so just move past that one emotionally. However, once past that, things are well, more or less on track for the genre. Craziness in spades. Creepy blue eyed stalkers, cults, hell, through in some puppy sacrificing and its a real party!

Things do come together way more than I was expecting, in fact as the credits rolled I would say I got probably 88% of the plot. For a non Argento Gaillo that is damn impressive. The twist that drops on you at the end, as to be expected, wraps things up nicely, if not very damn quickly. And they move past it quickly... like Bam! Here's all your answers audience, lets move on.

I liked all the characters. They even manage to convince that the boyfriend is all evil, but then again, perhaps there is more to his story... that plus Boobs... plus general awesomeness of filming really kept me into this one guys... and gals. If you are a fan of the Italian horror and have yet to dive into this gem get on it. And ya, considering some of the horrid Gaillo out there that gets the HD treatment (many of Fulci's weaker entries) I am surprised to see this one still on the shelf.

A grand time.

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

Shiny knife blades. Sexy women. Screaming. A weird assortment of lighting and colours. Crazy twisty plot... all here folks. Enjoy.

- Boonsweet

Chiller Classic present: The Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Oooooooooo Baby. Are we getting into it with this here. The first Black and White Chiller Classic, annnnnd the oldest film ever reviewed on the fav destination for the entertainment nation (you like that? Ya, you like that).

So here we have it a bonafide classic. A controversial, made em faint in the theatre 1932 flick.

Your plot: A good man - Edward Parker, finds himself stranded on an Island filled with the many twisted experiments of the very mad Dr. Moreau. Of course the Doctor also created the Panther Woman. Ya. Sexy like it sounds. So the Doctor is all excited to have a visitor mostly to allow his star creation - sexy Panther chick - the chance to seduce and make sexy time with a genuine man. Things as you might expect do not go well, and well, the creatures of the Island eventually decide the Doctor and his whip maybe aren't so tough - REVOLT!

Yeah right. I don't care, I'm not falling for that one. 
So before you watch a film like this you need to ask yourself whether you can handle the didntagesowell aspects of a film this old. Granted you are currently taking the time out of your day to scope a Boonsweet blog, so hey, you are a wee bit more that the average movie fan bear. But can you appreciate film for the essence of what is film, story. Whenever you watch a film this old the other things well come into play...

1. No matter how good the restoration there will be issues with the quality of the film. I watched the Criterion Bluray of this film. The best restoration a film can get, and it was still, well, let's just say very far from Iron Man 3 80 inch 1080i quality. Still, considering the age of the film, the non existence of a true full negative... it is impressive.
2. Cheesi-ness. No matter how good the intentions, time, years of exposure to anything our internet addict selves want has bred a certain humour that the times did not, and could not account for. For instance their is a scene where a man is knocked out. It happens so fast, and suddenly he is throw over board, and well, I laughed out loud. Intense, jarring scene in 1932... tickles the funny bone in 2014

 (Oh yeah, happy new year BOONIACS!).

So that said, if you accept that, and still continue well congrats... because the history of film is filled with some truly amazing stories. And at the end of the day. 300 million dollar Cameron flick, or $60,000 home made witch flick... its always about the story.

The question was: To pet, or not to pet. 
And this movie is a blast. Bela Lugosi shows up to yell some great lines "ARE WE NOT MEN?!". There is a genuine playful, and creepy nature to Dr. Moreau (something Brando was sadly lacking in the remake). Okay, movie geek moment. But straight up - Orson Wells - would have been unreal in this role. As it is Charles Laughton is awesome. Same guy played the Hunched of Back himself Quasimodo in the definitive version of the book. So he has a range and it is on full display here.

Tyrant. Scientist. Mad Scientist (and yes there is a difference).

The Panther Woman is an innocent and violently emotional creature (a sign of the future teenage girl perhaps? - Zing!). Richard Allen as the lead is appropriately moral, though perhaps not as pure as he at first seems. And more than a little drawn to the Panther. In fact I dare say if he had managed to get her and his fiancé together... Oh. Right. 1932. I guess they all just would've sat down and played records or something... on that horn hooked to a box thing.

Listen. Iconic imagery. Surprisingly dark tones. Very violent (in a 30s way). This is a must watch for any film buff, and a definite collection worthy bluray for any horror fan. There is just a lot to love here.

One subtle touch for me, no music. That is right, the majority of the film plays to no score. Almost un heard of in those early days of film. When sound was such a blooming plot device. But it really adds to the fun of the film. The make up too, pretty damn impressive. A few truly twisted faces in the bunch.

Movie scale 3.5 out 5 stars
Horror Classic scale 4 out of 5 stars

Hey if you aren't into the classics, this aint the film to change your mind. If however, like me you get drawn into the golden age of film (honourable mention to the 80s) they you should be in your giddy glory here.

Welcome to 2014!

Thank you for all the support, and look forward to mind bending film adventure to come!

Sidenote: That "Are we not men" line. If you somehow realized the lyrics are perhaps from a Devo song, you were correct in fact they show up in the special feature on the loaded Criterion Disc. 

-Charles B. Boonsweet.