Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Big Sack:1/22/11

Starting out on a sad note, it seems that Blockbuster is closing its doors, having fallen to the Redbox blight...blight, in my opinion, because I love going to the video store and browsing for titles. I can see the point of a Redbox in those isolated rural areas of the country where one can't get to a local video store. But in the greater populated areas, it is sad to see the video stores dropping like poisoned flies. Ironically, the reason I went to various video stores in my city was not to rent or purchase new releases, but to check out old stuff...exploitation and slasher movies from the 1970s and 80s, and even stuff from like 2006 and 2007.

So, while this maybe be my last A Big Sack feature, it will not be my last B-movie feature. If you did not know, the reason I called it A Big Sack was because it came from Blockbuster's Five Movies, Five Days, Five Dollar deal, where I would get a, well, big sack of goodies(and baddies) films to enjoy. Anyway, let's move on:

  • Shuttle: Rating films is really a complicated process. What I mean is, there are your typical "A" films, like Titanic, where everyone across the board sees it as an excellent film. Then there are your "B" films, maybe like Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, which will be derided because it seemingly lacks complexity or whatever. However, at the same time, why like the "A" movie or see it as good, because everyone else does? Why hate the "B" film because everyone else does? Long story short, Shuttle is strictly a movie in the "B" category, but it is a really good film. The film is about two girl-friends(Peyton List and Cameron Goodman) who, after returning from a vacation in Mexico, board a shuttle bus for transportation along with two guys they have just met(James Synder and Dave Power). The Driver of the bus(Tony Curran) turns the trip into a night of horror after the pretense of not knowing where he is going. Shuttle has some excellent set-ups and twists; nearly every small detail you see in the film gets a shout-out and a payoff at the film's climax and resolution, demonstrating a decent script, imo(I'm not exactly expecting Nolan or Tarentino here). One of the better quality independent movies I've enjoyed. A.

  • The Final: An Eight Films To Die For IV movie that, as a former high school outcast, I can definitely empathize with, as well as can be seen as horrifyingly realistic(with so many school shootings in recent years), The Final is about six constantly bullied high school students who decide to take revenge on their tormentors. Their plan consists of setting up a costumed party at an isolated location to lure the various bullies to, donning awesome costumes of their own, drugging the bullies, chaining them up, and then torturing them in horrific ways. Easily one of the scariest of the movies I rented, because it is possibly the closest to reality. Such chilling torture scenes include face paste that can melt your face off, fingers being chopped off, and bear traps. The funny thing is...without my parents and God, I probably would have done something to the people at my high school akin to this. It's creepy to think that way, but bullying is affects people. Kudos for having a black character who had much bearing on the plot(Jascha Washington) beyond filling a token minority spot:). Also, shame on After Dark Films for not using the awesome original poster(viewed upper left of this article), instead using a boring, generic poster:(. This movie is A+.

  • Feast 2: The awesome mayhem continues. With such awesome ingredients as a biker chick(i.e. Biker Queen) and her gang of hot mommas, a tag-team of little people Mexican wrestlers, and Cole(Carl Anthony Payne II of Martin fame), we have the spectacular second installment of the Feast saga. There are definitely more than a few jaw-dropping moments that play against expectations from any story you've read before, let along any movie you've watched. One example involves an innocent little baby. A+ all the way!

  • Neighbor: America Olivio...just let me write you a film, seriously. Neighbor is the inappropriate title to this film, which should be called Invader or Interloper. Olivio's character seems more like a plot device than a character, and a god-moding type at that. She seems to be invincible and indomitable, a spectre that can job and kill anybody without batting an eyelash. There is no motive, no rhyme or reason to her actions. Comparing her to Angela Baker, the star villain of the Sleepaway Camp slasher series would not be fair, as actually developed to some degree. What we have here is a film that simply shows blood and gore, and nothing more. Characters aren't developed, the storyline makes no sense(why is Olivio's character killing random people? Where did she come from? And why attack and kill the main character and his friends?). I probably would have actually liked the film if "The Girl" was developed a bit...even in slasher/"torture porn"/horror films, I want some developed characters and good story. This movie is D.

  • The Reeds: From Eight Films To Die For IV is this English film. Initially, I thought the film would be similar to Eden Lake, about English citizens in an isolated part of the countryside being harassed by murderous hoodlums. Instead, this great film offers a cool concept and a few good twists. Basically, six friends go boating in reed country, where many strange things occur, perpetrated by a rowdy group of teenagers and a strange hooded man with a shotgun. This movie is a B+.
Thanks to all on Youtube for posting the various trailers!

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