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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Hell Night

So, this time around, I'm getting a serious deja vu vibe.The movie, Happy Hell Night, sounds very similar to another movie I saw for this blog, Prom Night 4: Deliver Us From Evil. Both films involve a mental patient going after a quartet of teens, and both mental patients happen to be evil holy men. Weird, huh? Get ready for plenty of SPOILERS, and let's see if this one's an original or not....

The movie begins on your typical dark and stormy night, inside an insane asylum. A guy who looks like the missing link is peering out of his cell through some bars, as a pretty female walks down the middle of the hospital corridor. She peeks in on the neanderthal, and he screams at her. I guess they aren't a couple.

As she runs down the hallway, we see several shots of random doors, which makes all the sense in the world. Hell, it's probably the same door, shot at different angles. Anyway, she stops and meets a co-worker, an angry black guy with a flashlight. He tells her about a patient that most of the staff avoid like the plague, then orders her to look through the window at him.

She nervously complies, then breaks down in hysterics. The black guy glances inside the room, and sees a pretty big insect crawling on the hand of the patient. Through their conversation, the coworkers reveal that the patient has been institutionalized for the past 25 years, and has been mostly catatonic during that time.

That leads to a dreaded flashback, specifically to 25 years ago. A young man(played by Sam Rockwell) holding a sharpened crucifix wakes up a priest, begging for his help. Then a perky deejay is heard playing a song dedicated to a group of fraternity and sorority pledges. Then we get back to the priest, who now has a flashlight, and is looking for....I don't know, some sort of plot? A coherent script?

The priest sees a pentagram drawn on a wall during his exploration, and on the floor beneath it are a few dismembered corpses. As the frightened priest continues to use his flashlight to look around, he finds a bald, albino priest staring at him, and showing that his hands are drenched in blood.

The albino priest, Father Malius, says something that sounds like "No teeth", and the other priest runs outside. And that ends the incredibly uninformative flashback. Thanks, movie...that really helped to clear things up.

Then we see a guy in a bandanna invite a girl to a fraternity Halloween party. It's now 1991, at a place known as Winfield College. Anyway, the guy explains that the party is for "Halloween Hell Night", which probably would have made a better title for this thing.

Bandanna Guy meets up with Denim Outfit Guy, in what is easily the worst superhero league EVER! Denim guy is named Rob, and he apparently wants the other guy, Jay, to let him pledge his fraternity. Jay doesn't want to let him, but eventually agrees to let him come to the party to prove himself to the other frat brothers. Then Jay gets Rob to buy him a beer.

At a local hangout, 2 women are having a discussion about something that sounds serious, but neither actress seems to know how to make a "serious" face. While they work on their acting techniques, 2 guys playing darts are shouting back and forth to each other about how one guy's brother, Sonny, is supposed to be arriving back in town soon.

The guys ask the bartender to turn on the television, and a guy who looks like Weird Al is "reporting" on the Hell Night festivities. The bar is a hangout for the fraternity that was mentioned earlier, and Sonny seems to be the one person they want at their stupid-sounding party.

The girls leave, and the guys all discuss what sort of initiation activity they want to make Sonny perform that night. The general consensus seems to be that they want to have Sonny ride his motorcycle around the campus, sans clothes.

Then Barry, the "reporter" from TV, walks in and announces that he's thought up the best possible Halloween stunt to win the Hell Night competition. He reads a newspaper clipping about the murders that happened in 1966, and proposes that they have their pledges spend the night at the asylum where the albino killer is reportedly still locked up. Barry convinces the frat boys that, if one of the pledges can take a picture of the killer priest, then the frat is a shoo-in to win the contest.

At a motel one of the women with the hard-to-control facial expressions, Liz, meets up with the Sonny, who just pulled in on his bike. It seems that Liz and Sonny were having a clandestine relationship, even while Liz was seeing his brother. Yeesh. For a slasher film, this sure seems more like something out of a soap opera.

The sheriff arrives at the frat house, which looks like a hotel. He asks 2 of them if they've seen someone named Ned. It figures that a character with an actual name in this thing isn't even onscreen. Thanks for the help, movie.

Anyway, Ned's in trouble for stealing the files relating to the murder spree. Wait, wasn't that guy named Barry? Is he Ned now, or is Ned a new character? You know, watching a moronic movie like this shouldn't be this difficult. I tried Wikipedia for a better plot synopsis and character list, but there isn't one. Okay, new rule: after this week, any movie without a subtitles option or a webpage with info like the cast/character names is going back to Netflix unfinished. I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to simply be able to tell who's who in a movie like this.

Okay, done venting. The sheriff takes a huge icepick off of a trophy wall, then advises the frat boys to re-think pulling any crazy pranks this year. Then one of the guys, Eric, gets a call from his father. Through their chat, it is revealed that Eric is Sonny's brother. So this guy is the one that Liz has been cheating on...Nice.

Darren McGavin plays Eric and Sonny's dad. He calls Eric, and asks him for details about Hell Night. Eric doesn't reveal anything, but when he asks his father if he knew anything about the old murders, dear ol' dad has a major flashback. Or he crapped himself.

He was apparently the Sam Rockwell character seen during the flashback. Dad tells Eric that he'll call him right back, then places a call to arrange for a driver to pick him up. Then the scene just wheezes to a stop.

Okay, so the guy I thought was named Barry is named Ned BARA. Glad that got cleared up. The driver, Eric, sees his brother's bike at the motel, and decides to surprise him with a visit. He sees Liz and Sonny making the beast with two backs through a motel window, and Liz sees him as well. As usual, nothing else happens, the scene just cuts off abruptly at that point. They should have called this Happy Nothing Ever Goes Anywhere Interesting Night.

So that random event somehow brings us to "STV", the dorky little studio where Ned Bara does his annoyingly expositional broadcasts. Nothing happens, of course...nother ever does. Instead, we get whisked away to the Hell Night party, in full, disinterested swing. Nerdy Ned arrives, Sonny walks in. He starts to drink a beer, until Eric confronts him about Liz, then punches Sonny in the face.

After the punch is delivered, Eric announces that Sonny needs to break into the asylum to get a picture of our favorite sunlight-challenged monk, Malius. He brings along a guy named Ralph, who seems like he's there just to be a clumsy, loud oaf as they sneak around.

They find a door that leads to a security station, where a bored-looking nurse has obviously been watching the movie along with us. A patient wanders in, and starts rambling about a television, so the nurse makes him bend over in front of her TV(!), then shoves a syringe into his butt cheek. As the patient drifts off to La-La Land, Sonny and Ralph sneak into the main hall of the psych ward.

They wander around for a bit, until they find themselves in a section that looks like it belongs in a sewer tunnel in the 18th century. Sonny uses a match to see by, which is like fighting a fire with a drop of water. Then they find a door marked "AA 19", and has a heavy crucifix shoved through the latch to bar it from being opened. Dumb and Dumbest, of course, remove the cross from the locking mechanism. Idiots.

They hear a noise behind them then, and both turn around to look. When they turn back to the door, Brother Malius waves a hand at them that looks like it belongs to E.T. Then the boneheads open the door to enter the cell. As Sonny checks to make sure the nurse is still distracted(she's actually asleep now...), Ralph enters the cell to take the picture.

Ralph then starts screaming when he sees the face of the monk, so Sonny goes back in to quiet him down. He finds Ralph on the floor, minus his right hand. Malius stares at Sonny, then says something that sounds like, "No pity."

Then we switch over to The Bobbsey Twins, Liz and Whats-Her-Face. They almost run over another priest(how many different priests and monks live in this town???), and they talk about how creepy it is that he lives next to a cemetery. Boy, I sure am glad that they interrupted a key scene in the movie to tell me that!

After the crazy holy man presumably finishes killing Ralph and Sonny, he decides to kill the sleeping nurse next. He turns up the volume on her stupid wrestling/boxing/whatever show, then stabs her through the hand when she reaches for the remote. While she screams like a ninny, Malius slasher her throat, then says, "No TV."

Somehow Sonny got away, because we see him racing on his motorcycle to warn the frat brothers. Then he does what any person who has a maniacal monk after him does...he pulls over, gets off the bike, and decides to collect his thoughts. A female cop finds him, and asks him why he stopped. Sonny makes up something about a fight with his girlfriend, and the cop decides to ask for his license.

Back at the party, Liz finds out where they sent Sonny, then abandons her friend to go find him. Eric then hooks up with a cute brunette at the party who looks a bit like Sarah Sidle on CSI. Liz pays a visit to yet another priest, named Father Cain. When she tells him about Sonny's "assignment", the elderly man goes apeshit. He tells her to hide, then he has a flashback, revealing that he was the young priest who Eric's father woke up on the night of the original killing spree.

Father Cain goes to the church to pray, then sees the crucifixion statue above the altar come to life. Jesus writhes and moans on the cross until he forces his hands free of the nails, then his body falls to the floor of the church, shattering. Uhhhhh.....okay....

Ned is still watching porn at the frat house, which is a completely appropriate way to follow the previous scene, I'm sure. Ned hears someone in the hall, but no one appears when he calls out, so he returns to his viewing.

Sonny finally gets his license back, and decides to continue to the fraternity. Meanwhile, A bondage chick seduces a student named Jake, while Eric finishes literally screwing around. Then bondage chick winds up handcuffed to a bed, Sonny continues to race home, and one of Ned's cameras is discovered.

As Ned watches a woman taking a shower on one of the cams, Eric finishes having sex. I'm positive now that this girl is Jorja Fox from CSI, but damn, she sure looks young in this. And hot.

The second that he leaves, she starts to quickly get dressed. Then the handcuffed woman hears someone, and assumes that it must be Jake. Jorja Fox leaves a note with her phone number on it, then rushes out to her car. She gets into her car, where Malius drives a pick axe through the roof, right into her skull. He then says something that sounds like, "No botching." Would it have killed the casting director to look for an actor who could speak clearly?

Malius shows up at the shower-girl's room, but her bathroom mirror is cracked, so she thinks that the albino is just her boyfriend, possibly wearing a mask. He actually manages to speak clearly, says, "No sex!", then murders her too.

Ned, never the sharpest knife in the drawer, somehow misses seeing the girl in the shower get killed. The power goes out, so Ned gets up to see what the problem might be. If Ned lives, I'll lose all faith in humanity.

Bondage girl sees the albino monk--actually SEES him!--and still doesn't think that anything might be wrong. Did they all take their stupid pills that day? She thinks he might be Jake for some reason, but when he stabs her through the foot, she guesses that he might not be a good guy after all. Her screams are heard by everyone in the house, but no one comes to her aid. Of course. Malius then holds up her bloody earring and says something that sounds like, "No war." More? Whore? Bore? Beats the shit out of me.

Liz returns, and finds the main floor in shambles. She then discovers her first corpse, and runs away shrieking. At the same time, Darren McGavin enters the church, and finds Father Cain up on the cross. Then Liz is seen following a trail of sticky gore and blood, which ends at a blood-filled sink, and several body parts thrown into some kind of netting.

She finds someone alive, then kills him with her voice. Poor fella. Ned is assaulted by Sonny, who informs him that Ralph was also killed. Ned wriggles out of his grasp, and tells Sonny that he needs to get the power back on before the big lug can finish choking him to death.

When the power is restored, both men see the killer on the monitor. Sonny rushes off to rescue Liz, after warning Ned not to leave the building. Liz, of course, has already come face-to-face with Malius, but she ran away before he could get her. Then she is found by Eric, who tries to calm her down. Sonny walks in as they are hugging, shoves the picture of Malius at his brother, then informs him that Ralph was murdered.

Ned interrupts to call in on a walkie-talkie that he sees someone moving around on the floor above them on his monitor, so they decide to get in gear. They find "Susan"(hey, at least she now has a freakin' name!) in the attic, and tell Ned to continue watching the monitor to find more survivors. Despite his whiny grumbling, Ned stays where he is and complies.

Liz then complains that Sue is holding onto her hand too tightly, before she sees that Sue in not even next to her. Somehow Sue got to a rocking chair, where Malius beheaded her, all without the other 3 hearing or seeing a single thing. Yeah, riiiiiiiiiight. The trio scurry back downstairs, so that Ned can guide them out of the house.

Ned sees the crazy killer walking the halls, but when he warns them, nothing is there. They step into another room, where a mannequin nearly frightens them to death. Then Ned claims that he sees someone in the room with them. Of course, they assume that he sees the dummy, but Malius pops up behind the mannequin, stabs Sonny in the hand, then grabs Liz.

Somehow, Malius gets propelled through a window and someone off to the side pushes Liz to safety. Now, since the two brothers were together looking at Sonny's hand, I have no idea how any of that happened. Who pushed Liz? Malius is seen on the ground below, apparently dead. Then Darren McGavin shows up, to explain the entire plot.

Apparently, when he was young, Dad made a satanic deal for great wealth, power, and happiness. As he explains how it all went down, Ned decides to start a live recording, and turns on the video equipment. As he begins to speak to his "audience", Malius drives the pick into his eye, then says, "No STV."

Then dad says that Malius was possessed by a demon, which is why he went on his killing spree back in the 1960's. As the story wraps up, Malius shoves the pick through the door, into the back of their father, who dies in such a dramatic way, it would make Bill Shatner blush. They cover him with a sheet, then start the demonic ritual again, in an attempt to exorcise the demon from Malius.

As they prepare to escape through the window, Darren McGavin's hand is seen trying to reach up toward them. Sonny, the last to exit, turns and realizes that his father's body is missing. He goes deeper into the house to find his father, which makes him the dumbest character by default.

He eventually sees a figure in a nother room, moving under a sheet, with the pick axe on top. Sonny slowly picks up the weapon, then plunges the blade into the body under the blanket. The body sits up, revealing that it's Dad, who has now been stabbed in both the front AND back. Matching scars, nice.

Then Eric and Liz begin the ritual to send the demon back to Hell. Sonny gets caught up in a snare, where he is dangling by his ankle upside-down, as Malius sees him from a window. Malius tries to kill Sonny with his pick axe, but then the possessed priest starts to feel his essence being ripped apart.

Eric and Liz hear a howl of pain, and Eric leaves the protective circle they drew on the floor to check on his brother. Malius, in the meantime, falls backward on a ladder(picture the same scene in Animal House, with Belushi watching the girls undress), while Sonny cuts the rope with his knife. Oh, and Eric falls in a graveyard, where the possessed monk finds him.

Liz hears the screams get closer, only to find Malius behind her, holding Eric by his side with a long, spear-like weapon. Liz turns back to the altar to resume the ritual, but then Eric vanishes. When the scared girl tries to start up the ritual yet again, Malius creeps up behind her and holds a knife to her throat.

Sonny saves the day on his motorcycle, and knocks Malius to the floor, where he gets caught in a bear trap. With Sonny's help, Liz finds Eric, and all 3 escape to the graveyard. Then Liz and Sonny go back to the altar to finish the spell, while Malius tries to reach a scalpel he spotted on the floor.

He must be a master at surgery, because when Liz and Sonny look back again, he's gone, minus his newly severed arm. The demonic holy man attacks Sonny, and now the 2 are handcuffed together. They grapple for a minute, then Sonny stabs Malius with the cross, and a blast of holy light breaks a hole in the ceiling. Another hole opens up under the priest, and he howls in pain again as he sinks into the ground.

Liz leaves the church as police and paramedics arrive, and sees them load up everyone in the ambulances. As she climbs into one to reassure Sonny that he's going to be fine, the driver turns out to be Malius, who says, "No problem..." THE END

Geez, what a stinker. A killer whose kill lines were mostly botched, a rather tame series of murders(although the statue that came to life was at least a surprise), and the few people who were recognizable were under-utilized. 2 killer trees out of 5for this one, and it still feels generous.

And what did I learn after seeing Happy Hell Night?

-Bald, albino priests are bad news.

-If you look like a cross between Weird Al and Jeff should die first in a slasher film.

-Darren McGavin is one tough hombre to kill, man.

Some of the movies I have coming up on my queue: Pieces, which I still need to finish watching for the blog; Cheerleader Camp, which looks like a cheesy good time; and Whisper, about a kid who compels people to hurt themselves, according to what folks have told me. Yay!

Oh, and Happy New Year!!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Return To Horror High

Well, as you've probably noticed, I've been gone for about a month or so. My laptop crashed, was "fixed", then crashed again. I shipped it off to Dell, and am now back in business. Unfortunately, the memory, hard drive and motherboard were all replaced, so I no longer have any remnants of the movie I was originally going to watch and write about, a film called Pieces.

However, considering that most computer makers take 2 months or more to do repairs, I think it's safe to say that I'm a big fan of Dell and Alienware! Anyway, the movie this week is Return To Horror High, so let's get to it...and remember, there will be plenty of SPOILERS beyond this point. Man, I've missed saying that...

Okay, first off, the cast of this one is pretty have Alex Rocco, of The Godfather franchise; Maureen McCormack(Marcia Brady!) as a cute rookie cop; and some guy named George Clooney, who just might be a popular actor someday. Oh, and the child actor from the old sitcom Alice, all grown up. Heck, throw in Charo, and this could be an episode of Love Boat.

The movie begins with a wall of text: "In 1982, a series of brutal murders rocked Crippen High School. The killer was never apprehended.

Three months ago, Cosmic Pictures went to the town of Crippen to film the story of what actually happened--making the movie in the very halls of the now abandoned school.

They were not alone."

So, after that and the credits, we meet a weary detective asking a perky rookie cop(Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!) about a grisly crime scene. She admits to him that they don't yet know how many victims there actually were, as body parts were found in a pretty wide perimeter. Then she introduces the detective to the sole survivor, a screenwriter named Lyman. Oh, and the female cop is named Officer Tyler, and the lead detective is Birnbaum.

Lyman starts to tell them that a movie was being made, then we see an anonymous male cop walking the halls of the high school-turned-crime scene. He keeps hearing a noise, but nothing ever reveals itself as the source of the noise when he turns around to look. He finds himself in a darker section of the corridor, where a man with an extensive eye injury grabs him. They have a brief struggle, as the cop gets dragged into a classroom, only to reveal that it's all just a movie set.

Okay, so everything from this point onward is a flashback to the movie set? Or is this a different movie? Would've been nice if they had put a subtitle or something up on the screen, to give us some context.

Anyway, they have to film the scene again, because the guy in the injury makeup attacked the wrong guy. It turns out that he was supposed to jump out at Oliver, played by George Clooney, who plays the lead role in the movie-within-the-movie. By the way, Clooney looks like Chachi in this movie...he was seriously young when he did this one.

The other cop, as it turns out, is actually a cop, named Blake. He's there to make sure that the set is secure, and meets all safety standards. Heh. They set up to film the scene again, but Oliver gets an important call from his agent, so they take 5. Oh, and Lyman makes an appearance with some new script pages, as well as a first name now: Arthur.

Anyway, next we meet Alex Rocco's character, Harry. This film is so old, mobile phones are basic telephones, cord included, that are attached to briefcase units. Bizarre. Anyway, he plays Harry the producer, and spends most of his introductory scene schmoozing with a woman on his phone, while defacing a portrait of George Washington.

Then we see a special effects guy arguing with Josh the director over an exploding breast he created. How many characters are in this thing? The director doesn't like it, so he tears it off of the poor starlet wearing it, and flings the fake boob across the room, where it explodes. Hey, I guess she was booby-trapped!

Josh then discovers that Harry cancelled all of the crews' reservations at a nearby hotel, and that they're all going to be sleeping inside the school after filming each day. As he stomps away, the director gets more bad news: Oliver's agent has landed him a starring role in a television series, and he needs to be on the set the very next day. When the director threatens to sue him over his contract, Oliver smugly replies that he doubts that the small movie studio can afford to hire the lawyers needed for such a dispute.

After a brief, amusing scene with Harry doing a phone interview and ordering a lackey around, Oliver says his goodbyes and prepares to head to Hollywood. He walks upstairs to change back into his "regular" clothes, then sees some fog and weird lighting at the end of the hall. Being a dumbass in a slasher flick, he decides to check it out. Heck, he even calls out a greeting a few times, to give the killer time to locate him. Y'know, whenever I see Clooney in stuff like this(or that Killer Tomatoes movie he starred in), I'm amazed that he went on to fame and fortune. Really amazed. Bamboozled, even.

Anyway, Oliver asks the killer for directions to the exit, and the killer responds by apparently vanishing. This doesn't strike Oliver as strange at all, so he continues to investigate the fog and lights, which lead him to a door with a tiny window in it. He opens the door, and finds blood dripping from the ceiling. Then the door closes on him, and we see Oliver's face get pressed against the tiny window a few times, each time showing him bleeding from some sort of head wound.

Harry is inspired to convince the real cop. Steven Blake, to take Oliver's role in the movie, as they chat in the bathroom. He even introduces the cop to Josh, and leads him to believe that he's an actor. Blake winds up peeing on himself, then meets his leading lady. He tells her that he's not an actor, prompting her to make a joke that he doesn't get. The scene ends with the killer bringing over a janitorial bucket, so he can clean up the blood left behind by Oliver's murder. Hey, here's a great idea for a drinking game: every time you see or hear that squeaky bucket in a scene, take a drink.

That leads us abruptly back to the present, as Lyman tells Officer Tyler that the school never felt safe to him. Even before the first murder, he could sense a presence lurking nearby as they filmed their movie. There's a growling sound then, which turns out to be Tyler noisily slurping down a drink. Detective Birnbaum and Lyman both give her a withering look, then the screenwriter resumes his tale, by talking about this strange squeaking noise he often heard in the abandoned school. Drink up, me hearties! Arrrrrr!

As Lyman gets more intense, Tyler claims that she spotted one of the dead bodies moving slightly. They check the pulse, only to find that the arm is severed. Then Tyler reveals that the body is female, but the arm was male, because they eventually just threw random parts with random bodies. Very professional, Marcia. You better not make any more mistakes like that, or I'm liable to throw a football at your nose.

Anyway, back in the past, the director is looking over possible ideas for murder weapons to use in the film. The janitor, a perverted old black guy, tells Steven that he plans to break into the porno business after the film wraps up. Classy.

That leads directly into a scene where Kastleman, an older gentleman, is trying to catch a fly. He was the principal of the school during the era of the massacre, and the leading lady asks him for some intimate details. He responds by telling the starlet that the events from the massacre keep replaying in his mind, then he creeps her out by pointing out areas in the classroom where bodies were laying and eyeballs were dangling. What a fun guy.

Kastleman finishes up by leading her to a supply closet, then telling her to imagine the most horrific thing possible before opening the door. When she opens it, there's a rotting severed head sitting on a shelf, grinning at her. Not real, it's just a movie prop, but it was set to "rot" on cue, when the door was opened. Oh well, she can't be blamed, since no one told her...\

The effects guy tells her that he spent hours preparing the head, but she just leaves the room. When he tries to get some sympathy from the retired principal, the old man tells him about the hours it took for students to be slaughtered. Boy, these guys are a load of fun, aren't they?

Anyway, this leads into a flashback within the flashback, showing what the students were like in happier times. A cheerleader named Sherry is being bothered by some tough kids, until her boyfriend shows up. The leader of the bullies bets the jock, Richard Farley, that he can't get a date with a new girl at the school. He takes the bet, then walks up and introduces himself to the girl, who is Sarah Walker. As fascinating at pocket lint, this scene is.

Richard offers Sarah a free pass to that day's football game, but she refuses, then heads into the locker room. He follows her, which leads to a lot of shrieks and partial nudity. When he asks her out again she refuses again, so he tells her that he will drag one of the half-naked girls out into the corridor if she refuses to go out with him that night. In a stunning twist, that boneheaded plan actually works.

Wait, wasn't there supposed to be a massacre in here at some point?

That night, he takes Sarah out into the middle of nowhere in his convertible. She asks Richard to take her home, but he refuses. When Sarah tries to open the car door, Richard attempts to rape her. Don't's another scene being filmed in the abandoned school. Sheesh. When they finish filming, the pretty actress storms off the set, telling the producer that she wants to quit, just like Oliver did.

As she continues to rant and rave about how slasher films humiliate and degrade women, Harry just decides to wander away to take a break himself. While he cools his jets, a young member of the film crew tells Harry that no one has been given a paycheck yet but Harry tries to buy some time to avoid paying him and the rest of the crew.. After Harry leaves, the killer grabs the anonymous crew member and drags him into a classroom to be killed.

As Lyman wanders down the hall next, Harry waits around the corner to ambush him. They argue once more about the script. Harry leaves. Exciting, huh? It almost looks like Lyman might be the next person to bite the bullet, but the scene just ends instead. Oh, and there's a quick gag involving Lyman just barely missing seeing a beheading.

Then the rookie cop and the starlet decide to flirt some more. He shows her where his locker was, and she laughs when she sees a rough etching of a heart inside the locker. It seems goofy and charming to her, but he tells her that he never put the message in there. In fact, he claims that when he examined his old locker the previous day, the carved heart wasn't there. The starlet wonders out loud if maybe the film is cursed. After having to sit through all of these lame expository scenes, it better be cursed!

Up next, the killer corners a stagehand in the special effects/props area. Well, when I say "corner", I mean that the killer makes the lunkhead chase an object on a string like a common house cat. To complete the metaphor, he even leads the guy to a sandbox, where the killer then grabs him by the neck from underneath, and drags him into the sand. Meow!

Then another guy enters the very same room, somehow misses seeing the victim's feet kicking as he is pulled under the sand, and decides to stick his OWN face as close to the sand as possible. It's like watching an army of lobotomized chimps actually trying to get themselves killed.

Much to my surprise, this guy doesn't get killed in the same manner as the previous one. No, he just backs away, gets his feet caught in a snare, then gets shredded by a massive fan as he dangles upside down. His death scene transitions to the next scene, as Josh and Harry argue about the amount of blood being used in the film. The director tries to get Lyman and the rest of the crew to agree with him, but it backfires. Josh seemingly has a nervous breakdown and exits.

Great, another scene of exposition between Steve and the actress. He starts telling her about the time he lost his virginity, and the scene is thankfully brief. Up next: the janitor, who walks in on them. They see his mop and bucket looking bloody, and he nervously claims that he was cleaning up a set that was drenched in stage-blood. I guess that we're supposed to find him suspicious, but I honestly couldn't give a shit at this point. This movie needs to get rid of about a dozen characters, and find some kind of plot to focus on. Quick.

*sigh* Instead, we follow the loopy director into the restroom, which is filled with a hazy fog. Maybe Cheech and Chong paid a visit to the set. As Josh asks a member of the crew about the status of another person, about a dozen or so people walk out of one of the stalls. Again, a pretty funny sight gag. If they had spent a little time polishing up this turd of a script, this movie might've been a pretty sharp spoof of slashers. But left as is, it's way too talky so far.

Back in the present day, cops are seen carrying random body parts away to be identified. Birnbaum asks Lyman to explain how so many people could have been killed, without anyone noticing. Lyman explains that, in the world of low-budget movies, it's not uncommon for cast and crew to abruptly quit, as better opportunities come up. He even claims that the screams of victims could have been mistaken for rehearsals or scenes being filmed. Supposedly, even the ridiculous amount of blood wouldn't have raised any eyebrows.

And that's when Officer Tyler approaches them, covered in blood. When Birnbaum asks her about it, she starts to describe slipping in the halls, and she starts touching herself. Marcia, I love you. As it turns out, she also found a pair of hands, somewhere in a biology class, so we get another flashback. Hooray.

A class is falling into a catatonic state in a biology class, so the teacher demonstrates how strong the smell of formaldehyde is by putting an open jar of it next to the head of a student(played by Lyman, so I'm going to make the bold prediction that this scene is another movie scenario) named Donny Porter.

The teacher tells him off, but is interrupted by the arrival of a new student named Susan being played by the pretty starlet. She sits next to Porter...yup, it's a scene being filmed for the B-movie. The teacher insults "Porter" several more times, until the class ends. The teacher tries to come on to Susan, until a slutty-looking girl enters the class to speak with the teacher. The bimbo asks him why her grades are dropping, and he implies that it's because he no longer finds her attractive. Yeesh, what a putz this guy is. Susan scurries out when the other girl leaves.

Then the principal brings in Officer Blake, who questions him, then stops the scene to tell the director that the dialogue is inaccurate. Josh informs him that the scene will be filmed as is, to wrap that day's filming at a reasonable hour. He seems to be getting loonier by the second, so maybe we should keep an eye on him.

The biology teacher then introduces the class to the concept of dissecting frogs. He sees that the topic makes Donny nervous, so he decides to force him to do the first dissection. The first incision turns out to be too much for Porter to handle, so the teacher forces his hand down to cut the poor frog.

Later that night, the teacher hears someone enter his class. Assuming it to be Susan, he walks through the dark classroom, and sees a mystery figure. The killer raises a weapon, and knocks the science teacher out cold.

When the professor wakes up, he is on top of one of the tables. The masked killer reveals a multitude of weapons, and settles on a long nail. He nails the man's hands to the table, rips open his sirt, then uses a chainsaw to rip the man's heart out of his chest, before stuffing it into the corpse's mouth.

It's all a story, being told to the actress by Steven. They both agree that someone on the set is trying to sabotage the film, so they decide to work together to find the demented killer. Great. We went from Psycho to "The Hardy Boys".

Harry is next heard calling someone in Hollywood from a bathroom stall. He's discussing all of the disappearances, as the actress is seen eavesdropping. Oh, and she's listed by 3 names on IMDB, in case you were wondering why I was simply calling her "the actress"...she's Callie, Sarah and Susan. So, yeah...The Actress.

Next, Steven sees a picture of hos old high school girlfriend on the principal's desk. The principal informs him that the girl also happens to be his own daughter, and she's currently in grad school. Then he gets nervous when Steven presses him for details, and walks away.

Back on set, Josh mocks an actor who has a fake tool stuck in his forehead, because the actor wanted to know what his "motivation" as a dead body was. Then Lyman talks to a crew member about wanting to revise the script. The other guy tells him it would "be like polishing a turd", and walks away.

The starlet hears Lyman say that he used to be a student at the school, and decides to add him to her list of suspects. She then shows Steven the notes that she's been writing, and he tells her that to be a good detective, you have to suspect everyone, even him. Then they kiss, and begin making love as 2 technicians weld a section of the set a few feet away from their spot. Kinky.

The happy couple fall asleep after the act(of course), until Steven is woken by the sound of the old janitor's squeaky mop bucket rolling nearby. He quietly leaves the room to investigate, and the actress wakes up soon after, wondering where he went. Then she hears the squeaky bucket. When she tiptoes to the door, Steven leaps toward her, nearly giving us both a heart attack. I realllllly hate cheap scares.

Steven searches for his gun, and orders her to shut and lock the door. When she decides to peek through the small window in the door, the masked killer suddenly appears. The young couple approach the locked door together, and Officer Butthead turns his back to the window, allowing the killer to break the window, and get an arm around Steven's neck. Then Steven slumps forward, possibly dead.

The killer breaks through the door finally, just as the actress breaks a window leading outside. He tries to snatch her back in, but she jumps before he can get a good grip on her. She runs to the parking lot, and finds a set of keys in the first car she checks out.

She gets the key in the ignition, and another killer emerges from the back seat. Then, to my dissmay, Josh yells "Cut!", which means that, yet again, what would have made a cool sequence for the "real" characters was wasted on the movie within the friggin' movie.

When Josh tells them to get ready for the next scene, the killer beheads the actress. Josh screams, and it turns out to be a dream. Steven and the actress decide to go for a stroll outside, then the actress sees a trail of blood leading down the hall, and Steven admits that it looks like a body was being dragged in that direction.

Following the trail, they kick open the restrrom door. Then Steven checks out each bathroom stall. Of course, since it's just a set, the doors go flying when he kicks them, which makes for another somewhat amusing sight gag.

In the third stall, they find more blood, as well as a clue left by the killer: a piece of jewelry that the actress recognizes as belonging to somebody named Freddie. Damned if I know who that is...the janitor, maybe? One of the prop guys? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Back again to the present...Lyman identifies Freddie as the first assistant director. Officer Sexy shows up again, still covered in blood and eating something. Oh, Marcia, something suddenly came up!

Back in flashback land, Steven and the actress investigate one of the classrooms, the one where the effects crew were creating all of the blood and murder props. Turning on a light reveals the severed heads of Harry and Josh. The blood is still wet, which implies that the bodies were put there not long ago.

Another blood trail leads to the sandbox, where Steven and the actress find a tunnel underneath the sand. That was one determined cat! As Steven raises his pistol and announces his intention to descend into the tunnel, the actress points out that the heroes in slasher flicks always decide to explore dark places without getting a flashlight. Heh.

They go together, with her holding a flashlight, and him with the gun. She ruins any chance to surprise the killer, by screaming when she sees a tiny spider.Dumb-da-dmb-dumb-DUMMMMB! Oh, and the flashlight goes out, prompting her to whack it a few times. It goes flying out of her hand, and she trips into Steven, making him drop the gun. Both items go sailing across the room, where they get swallowed up by the shadows. Dumbasses.

To further cement her status as the dumbest Final Girl in slasher history, the actress explores her surroundings by walking backwards into the shadows. Instead of finding the killer, she finds another body part, dangling in front of her by a rope. I hope it's her brain.

They find another exit, which leads them to a room full of skeletal corpses, all dressed up and sitting around the room on chairs. The old perverted janitor then walks in, claiming that he found the room as well, but that he wasn't the killer.

So what happens in the very next instant? Well, the janitor attacks Steven, because he really IS the killer after all. At this point, does anyone really care? He killed them, he didn't...let's just wrap this thing up, so we can go back to enjoying our lives again!

The janitor laughs like a loon during his brawl with Steven, and it swiftly deteriorates into a slap fight. Yeah, you heard me. A slap fight. Steven scratches at the janitor's face then, revealing that his face was merely a mask. The real killer was...Principal Kastleman?

Yup, apparently he blamed Steven for the death of his daughter, who left after high school, because Steven got her pregnant. The girl then gave herself an abortion, which killed her. The capper comes when he shows them her corpse, and announces that he will force Steven to "marry" her. None of this makes any kind of sense.

Steven responds by standing up and announcing that he's going to go home and watch a football game. He gets Kastleman to follow him to the door, where the principal asks, "Are you crazy???"

Steven waits until the principal is standing against a wall, then pins him down like a bug, by chucking a javelin through his abdomen. After Kastleman dies, Steven then rescues the actress of a thousand names(and none of them memorable...). They quickly leave, then Lyman is seen finishing up his story. Birnbaum tells him that they need him to show them to the basement, where the cops are prepared to burst in with guns blazing.

They get to the basement, and Lyman is seen rushing out of the building. He calls out that they're "all clear", and the corpses get off the ground, revealing that they were still filming the movie. They grab all of the apparently-fake body parts, then rush to their vehicles to get away.

Harry reveals that most of it was a stunt to get publicity for the film, and that the crazed principal's death will only gain more attention for them, when it finally gets released. Well, I guess that wraps up the film then, because...

Oh wait. There's more. The principal's not quite dead, and somehow manages to wake up with none of the cops noticing. He pulls the spear out of his body, then rushes at Birnbaum. The cops all fire at him, twice. When he finally dies, they discover the lack of evidence outside. Birnbaum then decides that the killer must have had a partner, and that he won't stop until the case is solved. Yikes.

The last scene sees Lyman sneaking back into the school. He sits at a desk, and reveals that the principal was his father. As he begins to type out his own script about the massacre, he sees a few drops of blood falling on his manuscript, and looks up at his father with a big grin on his face. After the end credits, there's an implication that there could be a sequel(there wasn't), followed by the sound of the squeaky bucket rolling around. THE END

Despite all my sarcasm, this one sort of grew on me, with all of the goofy charm. The effects were rather gory, and I think that the folks who were behind the Scream franchise probably saw this one, as they seem to borrow heavily from the concept. Like I said, if the plot had decided to put emphasis on either the horror or the comedy, it would have made the film more consistent. And maybe delete about 10 pages of dialogue anywhere in the script.

Well, despite all of the hassles with my laptop, I'm finally back in business. My next movie is Happy Hell Night, which I hope is a fun one. Oh, and does anyone recall a slasher flick that starred Linda Blair? I think it was set at a costume party, but I'm not sure what it was, or if it's available on Netflix. If someone could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it...this one's been bugging me since I started doing this, because I never seem to be able to get my hands on it. I think the title was similar to next week's movie, but I'm not 100% sure.

Oops, almost forgot...I rate Return to Horror High about 3-and-a-quarter killer trees out of 5. It was above average, and I certainly enjoyed many of the kills and gags throughout.

And what did Return to Horror High teach me this week?

-I have a dangerous attraction to Marcia Brady....I should probably seek help for that.

-Emergency personnel lack any way at all of spotting the difference between an actual dead body, an actor in makeup, and a rubber prop. Details, details, details...

-If you don't plan to make a sequel to your horror film, DON'T END IT ON A COOL CLIFFHANGER, DUMBASSES!!! (seriously, that just pissed me off, when I discovered that there was no sequel. The father-son killers concept would have been sweet.)

See you next week! Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Final Terror

Okay, so I was going to watch a movie called Dead Wood using On Demand(thanks to NetFlix not sending me my next slasher yet), but I was having trouble with my digital box. So instead, I'm watching a movie on YouTube called The Final Terror. I saw this movie waaaaay back in my mid-teens, and all I really remember about it is that there are a number of people in it who were VERY early in their film careers when they made it. So, sit back and enjoy, as I SPOIL the heck out of this usual.

Okay, so the movie starts out in a forest. Big help. Bambi is drinking from a stream with his cousin, Bambette, when they hear something. "Something" turns out to be a motorcycle, driven by what may actually be the world's worst driver. He and his girlfriend crash, and his leg is injured. His name is Jimmy, hers hasn't been mentioned yet.

She helps Jimmy to hop over to a tree that he can rest against, then runs off into the forest to get help. Wait, do woodland creatures have medical training? As Jimmy continues to be useless, the music turns scary, then....nothing happens! Sheer genius. I hope Bambi eats him.

Jane Doe finds a house with a gigantic "6" on it. Hey, maybe it was painted by that British guy who used to paint enormous numbers on things on Sesame Street. You know, the guy who later became a neighbor of The Jeffersons? No? I'm the only person who remembers shit like that? Damn.

Wait, this movie is still on. Oops. Jane Doe knocks, then starts to jog away. Again...sheer genius. She runs back in the direction she started from, while we watch a deer drinking more water. Hey, wouldn't it be sort of awesome if the animals started cranking up chainsaws? Somebody write that movie, so I can watch it.

Jim has vanished. She calls his name about a dozen or so times, then walks around in the clearing. When she's standing still again, Jim's body falls out of a tree, hanging upside down. For a guy with a busted leg, Jim sure is acrobatic! Oh, nope...he's dead. Being upside down was Jim's kryptonite, I guess. I'm thinking it was a suicide.

Jane Doe starts screaming her head off, because that's a surefire way to keep hillbillies in the woods from finding you. As she starts running again, she triggers a tripwire on the ground, and gets 2 branches to the face. Roll opening credits.

As mentioned before, this movie has a handful of people in it who went on to bigger and better things. For example, there's Rachel Ward, who gained recognition in The Thorn Birds; Daryl Hannah, star of such diverse films as Splash and Kill Bill; Joe Pantoliano, who was in both of the Fugitive movies, as well as numerous roles in other crime dramas...

And Adrian Zmed, star of....uh....well, he's in this!

Oh, and another thing I noticed: the movie has a different title. On YouTube, it's called Carnivore. Weird. Maybe the movie killed someone, and needed an alias. Wait, did I get distracted again?

Okay, so the credits finally wrap up, and we see Adrian Zmed's character, Marco, planning how he's going to spend all of his immense wealth after TJ Hooker becomes a smash hit. Wait, no, he's reading a magazine. Probably "Highlights for Children".

A weird redneck pops up behind him, and puts Marco in a headlock. He's some kind of authority figure or co-worker, and no one likes him. One guy goes so far as to pull a switchblade on the a-hole, and even Marco threatens him with a baseball bat.

Then we get a random scene in a dining hall. There's a group of forest rangers discussing a weekend party, then the scene switches back to the guy no one likes, now known as Eggar. He's listening to a radio news report about the couple we saw earlier, who are listed as "missing". If this guy could figure out how to rewind the film, he'd be a hero!

Eggar tries to warn one of the rangers not to take the newer recruits up to their intended destination, a place called Mill Creek. It's also where that couple died. He gets angry when the ranger refuses to listen to his warnings, but it leads to nothing.

A bus picks up the rangers, then they also get the girls. We then have to suffer through an awful, tone-deaf version of "3 Blind Mice". As they settle down to discuss the route of their camping hike, Eggar keeps taking his eyes off of the road to turn and stare at the group. Uh, maybe someone else should drive?

Sure enough, Eggar gets riled up. He tells them that he knows of several people who have been hurt in the region, then nearly crashes the bus into another motorist. The bus drives past a mental health facility, and some of the rangers imply that Eggar used to live there. Hmmm...

They park and unload the bus, and Eggar freaks out when several canned goods fall out of the back of the bus. So now Eggar's stealing food as well? Why? And if he's the main antagonist of this film, are they revealing it way too early? Probably.

At a stream, the group stops to collect firewood and fresh water. Marco asks Eggar if he knows of any marijuana fields growing in the woods, and Eggar finally snaps. He tells the group that he once brought another one of his antagonists up to the woods, tied the person down, and left him there. Then he lashes out at 2 of the rangers, before cackling like a loon and running away to parts unknown. That Eggar's a wacky guy!

Later that night, around a campfire, a guy named either Reg or Rich tells a scary story. In his tale, a logging business was in the area. A young teen girl, 14, was abused by her uncle, who ran the logging business after her father(the original owner) passed away. Anyway, the uncle supposedly got shitfaced one night, and raped his niece, which drove her insane. She was put into that mental institution that was seen earlier, where she had a baby.

She was deemed unfit to care for a child, so the baby was taken away. Then, nearly 2 decades later, her son showed up to take her home. They went home together, but she proved to be too crazy for him to properly take care of her, so he eventually let her loose in the forest, to roam as she pleased. Of course, the story ends with a jump-scare, then Eggar shows up again.

He lectures the group against discussing things they know nothing about, then stomps away again. Then the group beds down for the night, and Eggar is seen driving the bus somewhere. Marco has gone off with 2 other guys, Nate and Boone, to look for marijuana, and they need him to be their lookout. They offer him a 20% profit on anything they find, then up it to a full third of the profits. Marco agrees, then they tell him to howl like a wolf until they return. They don't plan to come back, of course, and he's dumb enough to fall for their lies.

The next day, a girl named Melanie wakes up the rest of the group in the main campsite. They notice that Marco is missing, and it's revealed that the other 2 guys were pranking him. They form search parties to look for him, with the leader of the camp, Mike, forcing Boone and Nate to lead him to the spot where they abandoned Marco.

They don't find him there, but they do uncover something that looks like a bloody animal carcass. Mike tells the other 2 to report back to camp, then he lingers behind to search for Marco some more. As he wanders deeper into the woods, it looks as if something might be following him. Or maybe the camera crew were just complete tools.

Next up, we get a montage of random characters yelling yelling out Marco's name in various parts of the forest. Pretty thrilling stuff, I know. It would be awesome if some random character shouted "Polo!" at some point during the scene. Mike spots a stream, and decides that it would be the perfect time to remove his clothes and take a dip. There's a dip all right, but it seems to be in charge.

A group of searchers take a break, and Rachel Ward's character, Margaret, tells one of the pranksters that he's pretty much a dipshit for losing Marco. After he yells at her to mind her own business, then tries to start a brawl with Nate, one of the women notes, "I think that guy's psychotic." Gee, ya think so? I forgot, did this one win the Oscar for Best Screenplay?

Back to Skinnydipping Guy. He's leaning under a tree trunk, just sitting there like the useless lump that he is, when a menacing bare foot appears over his head. It belongs to a cute female whose name I didn't catch(surprise, surprise....), and they start making out, upside-down-Spider-Man style. Except that she's Spider-Man in this context. Okay, so my analogies suck. Sue me.

Wake me when the killing starts, okay?

Hey-hey, the couple decide to have sex! As they both "arrive", a figure standing behind them is seen, and he's holding a hooked blade up over his head. He repeatedly plants the blade into Mike's back, then he drags the girl out from under the corpse. Finally, something actually happened!

Nate and Boone find a cabin and a raft, as well as a makeshift grave. They poke around the property, with Nate looking outside and Boone investigating inside the cabin. Nate hears something, and goes inside to look for Boone, only to be attacked by a hillbilly in drag! Oh wait, it's just Boone, horsing around. As they both resume checking out the cabin, they find several cans just like the ones Eggar was trying to hide earlier.

As they continue to search, they find Eggar's cap, along with numerous items that had been stolen from the ranger school. They congratulate each other for cracking the case, then discover that he keeps an animal's severed head in one of his supply cabinets. That find helps them to decide to leave the premises.

Outside, they both break into a sprint to find the others. They must run pretty slowly, because the next scene takes place at night. The remaining members of the group note that Mike and Melanie, haven't returned yet. I'm going to assume that they were the ones killed during sex at the stream.

They decide to pair up, and take turns guarding the camp. Almost immediately after they fall asleep, a mysterious figure dressed in animal skins approaches the camp. He hovers over Marge and strokes her face, which causes her to wake up. She screams, and everyone else comes running to the rescue. It's revealed that no one saw the stranger, including the idiot who was supposed to be guarding the group.

Unable to sleep, they all sit by the fire. A noise at the edge of their site causes everyone to freak out yet again, and they all see a figure approaching the camp. A flashlight beam reveals Marco, alive and well, still howling. He reveals that he's been busy looking for the mythical marijuana plants, and has brought several back with him. He also claims that he's been exploring the forest, unaware of the search for him that the others undertook.

The black chick, who is named Vanessa(I think), gets pissed off that they all worried about Marco for nothing. She stomps off toward the outhouse, shrugging off the suggestion of bringing someone with her. Odds seem pretty good that Vanessa's days are numbered.

At the outhouse, she covers the toilet seat with paper(like Finch in American Pie), then finds what's left of Mike keeping her company. She goes hysterical, and the others arrive to see the body for themselves. Then they decide to start playing Eggar's game against him, by camouflaging themselves and trying to use stealth to hunt him instead. Yeah, I'm sure that'll work out just great.

They creep over to the cabin that was discovered earlier, and loudly demand that Eggar faces them. When there's no response, they break in, and find a frightened bird in a closet. They also find body parts in jars, as well as torn-up clothes that are covered in blood. Oh, and Daryl Hannah's character finally gets a name: Windy. Not Wendy. I actually looked it up, to verify what I was hearing. Windy. Yeesh.

Melanie, who has been kept alive, can hear them, but her captor has her in the basement, with his hand over her mouth. As the group leaves and prepares a raft to make their escape, Melanie is shown being terrorized and tortured by her assailant. Sucks to be her, huh?

As the raft makes fairly good progress, the killer drops Melanie's mangled body onto them from the trees. They continue down the stream, until it gets too shallow for them to paddle anymore, and resume hiking. Oh, and they bury Melanie. Screw the eventual investigation, let's sabotage a crime scene!

They finally discover the bus again, but agree to wait until night falls to approach it, in case there's a trap. When they finally check the bus out, they find that the engine is sabotaged, so they decide to sleep on the bus, after eating some food that they found in a cooler. They even make smores. So much for caution...

During the night, the bus is attacked. As they all scurry to escape, it looks as if Vanessa is the next one to bite it. They rush back into the woods, and Windy somehow gets separated from the rest. She calls out their names, but no one answers her. The group even looks for her, and only locate Windy when she begins to scream.

She's injured, so Marco and Nate run back to the bus for a first aid kit. Windy gets stitched up, and it starts to rain. As the group continues their journey, Boone becomes unstable. He's stoned out of his gourd, and decides to leave the group to stalk Eggar by himself. He even makes spears and traps. Then he climbs a thick tree, to look for his prey.

Marco tries to draw Eggar out, by promising to hurt him badly when they find him. Eggar springs up behind Marco, and chokes him with a rope. As Marco gasps and tries to poke out Eggar's eyes, the rest of the group leap up from camouflaged hiding places, and begin to retaliate against him.

Boone climbs down from his tree, and finds the group attacking Eggar like savages. They beat him, kick him, bash his face into the's not pretty. Then Boone gets stabbed from behind by someone else! He screams, and the hikers stop hurting Eggar to face the new threat.

It's Eggar's mother, presumably the rape victim from the campfire story. She runs forward with the curved blade that was used earlier raised over her head, howling like a cavewoman, and sets off one of the traps, a log suspended by ropes, covered in sharp spears. Her body is impaled and pushed through the air, as the survivors watch in stunned silence. As we see some random shots of the forest, the credits start rolling. THE END

Wow, talk about an abrupt conclusion. There were some pretty good kills though, and more suspense than these things usually have, so that was kind of a treat. But it's funny how much films like Wrong Turn and Cabin Fever(among many others) seemed to be "inspired" by many of the plot elements and set pieces in this one. Maybe it's just coincidence, but they sure do have a lot in common with The Final Terror. I'm giving this one 3.75 killer trees out of 5, mostly for the nostalgia of seeing it again after so many years.

And what did I l learn from The Final Terror?

-There was a period of time when the name "Adrian Zmed" was given top billing in a movie. Who knew?

-When you find out that someone you care about has been murdered, you should always tamper with the evidence and bury the body in the middle of nowhere. Screw the next of kin and investigators!

-When you decide to go out in a strange forest in the middle of the night to take a dump, bring along a friend. Otherwise, you get what you deserve!

Up next, hopefully, is Pieces. It looks pretty insane, so this should be a fun week. See you soon, if my luck with movies doesn't fizzle!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Well, this week I'm watching a movie an old friend suggested. It's a gay-themed slasher flick called HellBent, and all my friend would say about it was that it would definitely qualify as a cheesy slasher flick, so there ya go. SPOILERS ahead!

The movie begins with a drunk guy carrying balloons through a forest at night. Riiiiiiight. Balloon Boy trips and falls, then starts calling out the name George. He hears someone nearby, gets himself worked up, then has a panic attack when someone(George, apparently) leaps at him from the darkness. Then they pop most of the balloons. Yup, this all seems perfectly logical.

Back in their car, the couple start going at it, and again, there's a noise outside. While George remains in the car, the other guy decides to hoist himself out the window to look around. From a distance, a shadowy figure watches them. As George starts to take advantage of his lover's awkward position(by, and this is not a joke, tickling his feet), the killer passes by the windshield unseen by either of the men. Then the dude hanging out the window gets decapitated.

George doesn't realize it at first, so he tugs on his friend to get him inside the car, then sees the bloody stump where a human head used to ne attached. He also spots the killer, and tries to start the car. The killer smashes his window with a scythe, then the credits start up.

When the movie resumes, we see a cop named Eddie going through mugshots on his computer. He prints them out, then a cute female cop drops some graphic crime scene pictures on his desk. The other guy who was killed was named Mike, according to her. She sees his printouts, and starts to tease him, then their boss asks Eddie to step into his office. The lieutenant asks Eddie to pass out flyers about the murders when he goes out that evening. Oh, and the female cop is Eddie's sister.

Back home, Eddie decides to use his dad's old cop uniform as his Halloween costume. He even goes to a costume shop to purchase a plastic badge. When he leaves the shop, a transvestite who resembles Shrek compliments his uniform. Yeesh.

What follows is a "handing out flyers" montage. Then Eddie stops at a tattoo parlor. He watches a guy get a tattoo on his shoulders, and sees a trail of blood dripping down the guy's back. Flustered, he drops his papers, gathers them up again, and quickly leaves.

Bored, Eddie finds a trash can, and practices tossing crushed cans into it. He stops when he realizes that a guy on a motorcycle is watching him. They discuss the murders, then the guy on the bike takes off. Eddie then interrupts his roommate, Chaz, having a three-way in a car. They discuss the murders, then go to lunch.

At their favorite diner, they meet up with Toby, another friend who happens to be another unconvincing transvestite.. They go looking for yet ANOTHER friend, named Joey. He's in the employee area of the diner, trapped in some kind of leather outfit. Apparently, he got "stuck" in the leather. Um, not that I'm homophobic or anything, but wasn't this supposed to be a slasher film? What happened with that?

Well, the killer must have heard me, because we see him next, sharpening his blade while recalling his previous murders. Then the 4 friends pile into a jeep and head out for some Halloween fun. Along the way, they tell Toby that they won't be going to a tranny bar, because none of the others are into it. Then they spot a couple in masks on a motorcycle and wave. Yeah, this is SO much better than getting to the point. They could have at least thrown in some lipstick lesbians to keep me interested, dagnabbit.

They pull off at the crime scene, where Eddie tells them about the gruesome crime scene pics he saw earlier. He goes into graphic detail, and Toby asks if he can open a window. As he goes on a rant about how he would kick the killer's ass, a hand grabs his throat. It turns out to be Joey, who grabbed him from the back seat. Then they decide to walk to the party, through the forest.

Everyone decides that they need to pee, so they each pick a different tree. Some noises in the woods startle them, then Eddie sees something moving around in the bushes nearby. He alerts the others, all of whom come back, except Joey. When Eddie catches a glimpse of a guy in a devil costume, he insists that Joey should join them.

They see Devil Guy darting behind trees, and theorize that perhaps he's disfigured, and ashamed of his appearance. Or that perhaps he's just shy. They try to lure him out by calling over to him, and see that he looks like a bodybuilder. Devil Guy then starts to move his hand back and forth, and they assume that he's jerking off, but he reveals that he's getting his murder weapon ready to use. Finally!

Assuming that he's joking, they all moon Devil Guy. Then he vanishes. While they wonder where he went, he pops up next to the quartet, and raises his arms above his head, scaring them strai--um, well, just really scaring them, at any rate. In the distance, they can see the lights from the Halloween celebration, so they keep moving.

When they arrive for the festivities, they notice Devil Guy again, watching them. Toby approaches him and tries flirting, but gets no response. They all go "trick or treating", and then complain that the candies they were given are all the same flavor: pineapple. Eddie reveals that he was also given a green condom. Uh, good for him? I guess? Seriously, is this even a horror film? NOTHING IS HAPPENING...

They decide to get drunk. Yay for them. Wish I was. Then 2 guys dressed as firefighters try to pick up Eddie, but Chaz scares them off. Eddie sees the guy he was talking to earlier in the day, the dude on the motorcycle. When the biker walks into a club, Eddie hesitates to follow him, so the others decide to go with him. As they walk in, Devil Guy watches.

Then we get a nightclub dancers montage, because, obviously, this movie needs more padding. The denizens fall into 2 categories: those who look like they belong in boy bands, and those who look like they belong in a Marilyn Manson video. Great there a Door #3?

Anyway, Eddie decides to try talking to Gay Fonzie. Despite Eddie's attempt to be friendly, the guy shoots him down. Speaking of shooting, Eddie reveals that the reason he got stuck behind a desk was because of an injury to one of his eyes. Wow, that's much more interesting than watching a suspense-filled sequence where a killer stalks his prey. Thank you, movie.

Then we switch over to Joey, the younger friend. Chaz saves him from an uncomfortable encounter, as the killer watches. They wander over to the main stage, where a guy is singing some unintelligible song. He pulls Joey onto the stage, but Joey gets dragged away by 2 security guys. Then he is pushed onto a table, while they pretend to use chainsaws on him. Well, I guess a fake killing is better than none.

After the song, Eddie introduces his buddies to the biker, who is named Jake. Everyone starts to leave the club, but Joey spots someone he likes and wants to stay. Chaz decides to stay as well, to keep an eye on him. Joey tries to talk to the guy, but he's not interested. Chaz asks Joey how it went, and Joey announces that he needs to puke.

In the bathroom, Chaz waits until everyone else leaves, then asks Joey if he's okay. He gives Joey some privacy then, and waits outside. Unfortunately, a guy catches his eye, so he follows him instead of waiting for Joey. Want to guess who shows up?

Joey tries to wash the stage blood off, and Devil Guy is right behind him. He disappears again when Joey stands up, but Joey hears him. He checks 2 bathroom stalls, then is scared by the jock he wanted to meet earlier. They start to make up, then make out. The jock leaves, and Devil Guy shoves a treat bag over Joey's head, before slashing his throat open. He drags Joey into a stall, and shoves the corpse onto the floor, revealing that he actually decapitated him. As Devil Guy leaves, 2 other partygoers find the body. Yay, something happened!

Outside at the Halloween Carnival, Eddie, Jake and Toby are just aimlessly walking around. It's like a metaphor for the script. Toby eventually decides to mingle, and tells the others he'll meet up with them later. He ends up at a bar, ordering a cocktail and chatting up another cross-dresser.

Eddie and Jake try their hands at a shooting gallery carnival game. Jake turns out to be a virtual gunslinger, while Eddie has all the depth perception of Mr. Magoo. They catch up to Toby, who is drunkenly trying to win another game. Then they also see Chaz, who reveals that he ditched Joey. Chaz tells Eddie to lighten up, then leaves with his "date". Devil Guy bumps into Chaz, but Chaz fails to realize the danger he might be in.

Eddie and Jake leave to go find Joey, and Toby decides to stagger around for awhile. A couple of straight guys try to pick him up, until they see that he's a he. Toby then convinces a guy to take his picture, only to realize just how ridiculous he looks in his costume.

At the club, Toby is spotted by Chaz, who gets his attention. As Chaz tries to reach him, Devil Guy looms nearby. The lights begin to strobe, and Chaz gets high off of a pill he took earlier that night. Devil Guy appears behind him, then stabs him several times, without anyone noticing. As he feels the blade slice him up, Chaz looks at the long cuts all over his body, then the killer decapitates him, and leaves his body on the dance floor. Y'know, as bad as this movie is, the kills are actually pretty gruesome. I could almost not hate this one, if it weren't so damned cheesy.

Anyway, back to Toby. He's in the alley behind the nightclub, puking his guts out, when Devil Guy appears. I think Devil Guy missed his true calling...he should be a ninja. A big, homosexual, horn-wearing, scythe-carrying ninja. Or not.

Toby tries to stand up straight, and finds Devil Guy observing him. Oddly enough, Devil Guy makes no move to kill Toby. He just leaves him alone. Toby, being the Mayor of Stupidville, follows the maniac. He also tries to ascertain what Devil Guy's motives are, but Devil Guy is a man of few(or no) words.

Toby switches tactics, and starts to undress. The killer exits the area, so Toby follows him. Finally, Toby thinks of one last way to get Devil Guy's attention: he tosses over his driver's license. When Devil Guy sees that Toby is a guy, he finally turns around. He drops his severed head collection, stands before Toby and then chops his head off to add to the collection. Uh, couldn't you figure out he was a guy before now?

Back at Club Meat(wow, that was subtle), Eddie and Jake see a lot of cops, as well as crime scene tape. The cop at the entrance turns them away, so they try to find an alternate route. Both men climb over a high chain-link fence, then sneak into the building. As he wanders around in the empty building, Eddie realizes that Jake now seems to be among the missing.

He goes back outside, where he sees Jake getting ready to leave on his bike. As Jake tries to convince Eddie to go with him, he sees Devil Guy sneaking up on the young cop. He tries to warn Eddie, but Devil Guy manages to cut Eddie's face before he can dodge out of the way. In an attempt to save his new friend, Jake begins to climb the fence again, but the killer gets in one quick cut, and Jake falls back to the ground.

Eddie gets back on his feet, then heads into the club again. He runs into a dead end, and finds a hiding spot just as Devil Guy appears. He sees the hulking killer searching for him, so Eddie locks himself into a cage that barely keeps him out of Devil Guy's reach. Frustrated by this turn of events, Devil Guy takes another swipe with his weapon, and the tip of the blade scratches Eddie's eyeball. Ouch! The cops hear the commotion and show up, just after Devil Guy etches his scythe across the eyeball.

Back at the police station, Eddie gives his statement, then asks his sister to make sure that the facts in the case aren't altered for sensationalism. Before she leaves, she spots Jake, and gives her brother a high-five about as discreet as an explosion at a dynamite factory.

Eddie goes into the nearest restroom, and fixes his glass eye's position. Unfortunately, Jake walks in, and sees the eyeball out of whack. Eddie explains about the accident that caused him to lose the eye. When Eddie talks about ending the night early and finding his friends, Jake talks him into a ride on the motorcycle. They return to Eddie's apartment building at warp speed.

Eddie finds the building he and his friends live in empty, so he heads to his own apartment last. Jake has already let himself in, and the two start to undress. When Eddie finally gets a look at the tattoo Jake was getting earlier, he is told only that it has something to do with the ending of a relationship.

Then Jake starts acting weird. He shies away from Eddie's advances, then tries to get Eddie to share a cigarette with him. When Eddie does it wrong somehow, Jake takes another puff, and blows the smoke into Eddie's mouth. Then he asks where the bedroom is. Could he possibly be the killer? Do I care at this point?

Once they get to their destination, Eddie asks Jake to turn around while he undresses. Jake complies, looking at other areas of the room instead. He notes a drop of blood on Eddie's license, then gets distracted by noise from outside. He looks out of the window, but nothing seems unusual. When he turns around again, he sees that Eddie has taken his shirt off.

Jake handcuffs Eddie to the bed, then Eddie asks him to use a condom. Jake heads toward the bathroom to look for one. In the hallway, he turns to look at Eddie. Then he enters the bathroom to find the condoms. Once there, he seems to be putting off his return to the bedroom, exploring the room.

As Eddie begins to lose his patience, Jake spots an open door. Inside that room, he sees numerous trophies, pictures and sports memorabilia throughout the room. He decides to return to the bedroom, but a loud banging sound catches his attention. Jake sees that it came from a partially open window, and nearly walks into Devil Guy. Devil Guy then stabs him.

Eddie hears Jake being butchered, and gets frightened. Then he sees Devil Guy, and REALLY gets frightened. As Devil Guy prepares to decapitate the young cop, Jake manages to stab the killer from behind. Then Jake collapses to the floor, right next to you-know-who. Ha!

Eddie finally manages to get himself free, and runs to the living room to find his phone. When he locates the damned thing, Eddie calls 911. Unfortunately, Devil Guy gets up once more, and Eddie hears him go after Jake yet again. Gee, Jake really pisses this guy off, huh?

Eddie then rushes to the kitchen, and grabs something from a drawer to use as a weapon. Oh, and he finds the severed heads of his friends right after that. Y'know, normally this is where I'd make a joke about "giving head", but with this film, that just seems a little too on the nose.

Devil Guy then bursts in unannounced, and the chase resumes. After much effort, Eddie manages to run into the bedroom, shut the door, and lock it. Of course, Devil Guy tears through the door like cardboard. Eddie gets himself and Jake onto the fire escape, and then he and Devil Guy fight over his gun. Desk cops get guns? Well, I guess so.

The gun falls to another part of the fire escape, and Devil Guy licks Eddie's fake eye. Yeesh. Devil Guy then flings him over the fire escape, but Eddie manages not to fall the entire way to the ground. He gets the gun again while dangling from a railing, and shoots Devil Guy in the forehead. While he climbs back up to check on Jake, Eddie gets a bystander to call for an ambulance.

Eddie watches the ambulance take Jake to the hospital, then sees his sister taunting Devil Guy, who is being loaded into another ambulance. When Eddie realizes that the killer is still alive, Devil Guy opens his eyes, then reveals that he has Eddie's glass eye in his mouth. THE END

Man oh man, where to begin...first off, the slow pace killed this thing long before the killings started to ramp up. And while the deaths themselves were fairly graphic, they were also monotonous. I mean, did he really have to decapitate every victim? But the biggest missed opportunity was not fleshing out the killer a bit. A cool background story or motive would have gone a long way toward making this one less painful to sit through. 1 and a half killer trees out of 5, and even that feels generous.

And what did I learn from HellBent?

-Well, if you ever get attacked by a maniac, be sure you bring along a glass eye.

-Transvestites NEVER look like women. Except to other transvestites. And crazy killers.

-A killer being taken away on a stretcher is allowed to keep his mask on. I mean, hey, identifying criminals is waaaaay over-rated, right?

Next up is a pretty old one called Pieces. Please God, let it not suck...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Well, this week's "gem" stars Jason Mewes and is called R.S.V.P. That's pretty much all I know about it. Hopefully it'll be watchable, if not outright entertaining. As always, beware of SPOILERS beyond this point...

The story begins with a mysterious figure roaming the streets in the wee hours. He hops on a fire escape and climbs up to an apartment where another anonymous guy is sleeping. The figure also sees a woman in bed, and he attacks the couple. As the female victim screams, her spouse/lover is thrown at a wall-mounted mirror, breaking it.

The police arrive after the fact, and the detective leading the investigation sees messages on the apartment walls, scrawled in blood. One merely says, "Why?", and another is "WHY Did the quick brown fox Jump over the Lazy dog", with random letters capitalized.

In the next scene, an Irish-accented college professor(played by the late, great Glenn Quinn, of Angel and Roseanne fame), Hal Evans, is discussing the murders with his students. He mentions that the crime scene, which was in Las Vegas, was compromised by lazy, inattentive cops. The killer, who was dubbed "The Fox", got away, and committed 11 more murders before being caught.

After the class, 2 students, Nick and Jimmy, debate the professor's theories about mass murderers versus serial killers, and how easy it would be to get caught. Then we see Nick tell his friends that he and Jimmy are going out for drinks with Hal, but that they'll be at some sort of party later.

At the bar, Nick, Jimmy and Hal decide that a great mass murderer would be going after the "right" victims. The list includes lawyers, traffic cops, umpires and politicians. The list is pretty extensive, and it ends with mimes, so I'd go along with it. After the teacher leaves, Nick tells Jimmy about the Hitchcock movie Rope. which is about 2 men who kill a friend, stuff his body in a trunk, then throw a party and see if any of the guests can figure out what they've done. Gee, I wonder if this is foreshadowing?

After a brief scene showing that the film Rope was inspired by a pair of real-life killers, Leopold and Loeb, Nick realizes that he's been wasting his afternoon on the internet(me too, dude...). Nick finishes reading about the pair of killers, then sets up for the party. He hears a knock at the front door, and it's his first guest, Terry(the character plazyed by Jason Mewes). He's half an hour early... Snootchie bootchies, Jay!

Terry struts in, and we find out the names of the other characters, at least...Cricket, Leigh and Jordan. Terry whips out a bag of weed(of course...where the heck is Silent Bob?), and admires Nick's new chest in the living room. Geez, why are tthey drawing us a diagram this early on? Do the film's creators really think the audience is THAT slow?

Nick leaves the room, after telling Terry not to touch anything. Naturally, Terry starts drumming every object in sight, making a ton of noise in the process. In the next room, Nick opens a closet and starts to examine a series of rifles, before settling on one. He rushes at Terry and points the weapon at his frightened face, only to reveal that the "gun" is actually a bong.

That leads directly into a "bong-packing montage", which has to be a first in the history of montages. After it's revealed that the house belongs to an Uncle Atticus, there's a subtle suggestion that perhaps Nick killed him. Then another guest arrives, and Terry leaps at the intercom to make weird heavy-breathing noises. The person at the front door has a sexy female voice, so Nick and Terry sprint to the front door, each wanting to be the first to greet her.

It's Jordan, Nick's ex. Oh, and she happens to be dating Jimmy. Awwwwwwkward! They all proceed to get high and drunk, and then the others arrive. They brought along another guest, a Matthew McConaughey look-alike with the improbable name of Skyles, and a black dude named Garrett. Jordan greets them at the door with a sword and a weird skull that looks like it came from the game Grim Fandango.

After the group explores the house, Nick makes his first revealing mistake, by revealing that Uncle Atticus WAS eccentric, pretty much confessing that the old man is dead. He's either a really dumb killer, or the screenwriters were doing this script while half-asleep. Either way, no one seems to notice his faux pas.

As the party kicks into "high" gear yet again, Jordan worries about Jimmy not showing up. Then Nick scares Cricket by sneaking up on her with a scalpel, as she's looking for a coathanger on the closet floor. Nick ushers her out of the closet, then viciously kicks something that looks a lot like a dead body wrapped up on the floor. Uncle Atticus? Jimmy? Kid? McCloud? Columbo?

While everyone's getting tanked, there's a sequence showing Hal driving past the casinos in Vegas. He looks pretty dazed, but the movie shifts gears back to the party without any further explanation. Hey, didn't that killer from the first scene kill some folks in Vegas? Hmmm...

More guests arrive for the party, and everyone decides to hide and "surprise" them. Everybody. As in, who the heck is going to answer the door? Damn, these folks are stupid. This movie is a great anti-drug public service announcement.

The "guests" turn out to be related to the still-missing Jimmy...his uncle Walter, aunt Mary, and his younger sister, Leigh. Terry tries a pick-up line on Leigh, and Garrett informs him that she's only about 13 years old. Whoops! Aunt Mary notices that Jim hasn't arrived yet, but Nick promises that he will soon "pop up".

Uncle Walter mixes a cocktail at the bar, and asks Leigh to bring it to Mary. She carries it into the living room, but decides to drink it herself. The women all discuss Jim's fidelity, and Leigh plays devil's advocate, by implying that his long-distance job may cause him to be unfaithful. Then Cricket breaks the tension, by joking that she and Jordan will share him on alternating weekends.

Walt, in the meantime, bonds with the guys, by showing them how to make a Manhattan. He makes a toast to their future endeavors, and they all enjoy the drink. Then Mary asks the younger women to get her a joint. The scent of it reaches Jay--uh, I mean, "Terry"--and he goes in search of the source of the smell. Garrett joins him.

Before too long, Nick and Uncle Walt are alone at the bar. Can you believe that this thing has been on for half an hour, and we haven't seen a single death since the flashback sequence in the opening credits? I mean, a good slasher film needs about 1 death every 10 minutes or so. And the disappearances of Jimmy and Atticus don't really count, because their deaths haven't been confirmed yet. The production team on this one should take a class on how to set a steady pace in films.

Anyway: Nick and Uncle Walt. Nick makes another verbal slip-up, by admitting how much he's going to miss Jimmy. That sets off an alarm bell in Walt, who seems to be putting the whole plot together. Hey, maybe he saw Rope!

Later, everyone gathers at the dining room table, so that Mary can tell their futures. She predicts wild adventures for Terry; fame for Nick; and nothing else. Then it's mentioned that Jim is about 2 hours late, so Mary gets up to call his cell. As she finds her way to the study, Nick grabs a sword and follows her.

In the study, Nick stands behind Aunt Mary, trying to decide which angle would be best to impale her. She turns and sees the sword, and nearly has a heart attack. Nick leaves the room, then sprints past the other party people to crank up the stereo. Uncle Walt sees him getting flustered, and starts to put 2 and 2 together.

As predicted, the music drowns out the sound of Jim's phone. Jordan and Skyles are sitting next to the trunk holding the corpse, but when Skyler hears the faint ringtone, she dismisses it as part of the song. Then we get the least-talented dance montage ever put on film. From across the room, Uncle Walt continues to watch Nick with some suspicion.

After the song, Mary and Walt decide to head home. Before they leave, Nick makes another leading comment about Atticus. Serioiusly, if these numbskulls don't put the plot together soon, I'm going to crash the party and draw them a picture.

Then the doorbell rings yet again. It's not Jim, of's Hal. As Hal meets the other guests, Nick follows the elderly couple out the door, armed with a cane. At the elevator, he asks Walt what came after slim. Then he beats them both to death, wraps the corpses in plastic, and shoves them into a nearby room.

When he gets back to the party, Nick sees Leigh about to leave. Apparently, when Walt and Mary left, Mary forgot her tarot deck...or "magic plastic", as Leigh calls them. Magic plastic? In what universe does this movie take place? If I wanted to see some magic plastic, I'd just Google "Britney Spears boob pics"...

It takes a little effort, but Nick convinces Leigh to stay. They rejoin the others, who are playing a game of I Wonder What Happened To Jim?, the hottest game since Wheel of Fortune debuted. Of course, being a toothless, lame movie, none of that game is shown to us. It's a shame, because it might've been fun to see Nick squirm.

Then we get a long, dull conversation on bullfighting. The word that best describes the scene begins with "bull", but doesn't end with "fighting". It rhymes with "spit", if you know what I mean. As the scene winds down, Leigh gets up to use the bathroom.

Seeing an opportunity, Nick follows her. They make out, then Nick snaps her neck. He drops the body into the tub, then pulls the curtain to hide her. Just then, Jordan needs to use the toilet, so Nick concocts a story about a plumbing problem, and encourages her to use the other bathroom down the hall.

Back at the party, Hal learns that most of Nick's friends are in a rock band together. To stir the pot, he tells them that it's easier to gain fame through murder, and they all name their favorite murderers. When Nick rejoins them, he mentions Leopold and Loeb again. Then Terry gets up to use the can, while Skyles decides to attack the drunk professor. He knocks Hal to the floor, delivering punch after punch.

After the fight breaks up, Nick gets Hal a wet towel for his face, then gives him Mary's tarot deck. Nick hears Garrett and Cricket getting ready to leave, so he grabs a nail gun and follows them into the hall. After "nailing" them, he wraps the bodies up in more clear plastic, and drags them in with the others.

Then the elevator opens. It's a cute neighbor, Callie, who decided to join the party after hearing all the noise. Nick introducesher to the remaining guests, then has a spat with Jordan over their breakup. When Jordan stomps away, Nick apologizes and convinces her to stay.

Back in the penthouse, Nick fakes a call to Jimmy, as the rest of the group decide to play a game of Twister. Nick tells Jordan that Jimmy will be arriving shortly, then we get to suffer through a freaking Twister montage. While Skyles spins the arrow, he instructs the others on where to place their hands and feet.

Skyles then takes a break to use the bathroom, and Nick freaks out. Skyles never notices the dead body, and he and Jordan decide to go smoke up on the rooftop. As they leave, Nick sees Terry pouring drinks, and decides to poison at least one of them. Callie refuses her drink, and Nick watches everyone else with a nervous look on his face.

On the roof, Skyles vents about Hal, while Jordan tries to calm him down. Nick keeps watching the rest of the group drink their poisoned wine, then leaves to polish off Skyles and Jordan. Skyles tries to make a move on her, but Jordan leaves to return to the party.

While Skyles has his back turned, Nick strangles him. Then he leaves the body there, and tells the others that Skyles stormed off. When he tries to incorporate the almost-kiss that Skyles tried to give Jordan, she decides to leave. She is followed by Nick into the kitchen, just as Terry starts to feel the effects of being poisoned.

Callie sees Terry being dragged toward the bathroom, and decides to return home. Nick reveals to her that she was supposed to drink the wine, then he bashes her head with a pan, slams her face into the countertop, and drowns her in a pot of boiling liquid on the stove, before stuffing her into the oven.

Then Jordan and Hal yell for him to call 911. When Nick fails to respond, Jordan decides to call the paramedics herself, only to discover that the phone has no batteries in it. She confronts him about the phone, and Nick plays it cool. Hal walks in, and after hearing what their conversation was about, he realizes what Nick has done.

Jordan starts to leave, so Nick chases her. He dials Jim's number, and Jordan freaks out when the cell phone can be hear ringing in the chest. She finds Jim's body, and Hal starts to make a timeline of events, and we get a flashback of Jim's murder. After getting drunk, Jim had let Nick take him back to the penthouse. There, Nick tricked him into getting into the box, then trapped him in there. I'm not entirely sure how that killed the guy, but I also don't care at this point.

When Jordan demands to know why Nick murdered his friends, he tells her that he did it because he could. Hal tells him that he won't get away with it, but Nick reveals that he planted evidence in the college professor's pockets, so that he'd be blamed for the killings.

Hal, upon hearing this, decides to use a new tactic. He tells Nick that he wanted Nick to do this, and that he had been "training" Nick to become a killer, using the class lectures to give Nick ideas. Nick fires a gun at both of them until he runs out of bullets, and the pair run into the master bedroom.

While Nick reloads, Hal urges Jordan to help him find a weapon. Instead, she finds Uncle Atticus, just as Nick shoots the lock off of the bedroom door. Nick stabs Hal several times with the glass shards of the bong, as Jordan runs out of the room. She then discovers the bodies while running away, and escapes to the roof. Oh, and someone lived, because a hand grabs a weapon from Hal's body.

On the roof, Nick tries to shoot his ex, but Jordan jumps to another roof. Nick follows her, and she is cornered when she stops to try a maintenance door. She climbs a ladder to a higher level of the roof, where Nick has her trapped yet again. He reminds her that he has 1 bullet left, then takes aim.

The mystery survivor turns out to be Terry. He gets Jordan's attention, then slashes Nick's achilles tendon. Nick is then pushed off the rooftop, and crashes into the roof of a car. After a lingering shot of his corpse, we see Terry brag about how the numerous drugs he's taken made him immune to the poison. He and Jordan share a joint, and the closing credits roll. About midway through the credits, we see Hal open his eyes. THE END(?)

Yeesh. This one was just annoying to watch. 300 montages, terrible dialogue, bad dancing...this was horrible. 1 and a half killer trees out of 5 for R.S.V.P. from me.

And what did this week's movie teach me?

-Well, Jason Mewes is immune to death.

-Vegas is the easiest place in the world to kill people in.

-Pseudo-intellectual babble is pretty much the same as regular babble.

Next up, a gay-themed slasher film called HellBent. An old friend recommended it, saqying that it was bad enough to be entertaining. Let's hope so...see you soon! Oh, and I'll be trying to post it either today or tomorrow, to make up for the weeks I lost over computer crashes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Well, on this end of things, it's been a crazy few weeks! First, the day after I posted my last SAW, my laptop went haywire, resulting in me getting the motherboard replaced. Then, the same day it was fixed, both the audio and the Internet went bye-bye.(note: the laptop crashed 2 more times after this sentence was typed...both crashes took 3-4 days to resolve) But thanks to the awesome folks at Dell(it's an Alienware), I'm back in action! So, let's curl up together and watch a pretty good one this week, Candyman...and yes, there will be SPOILERS aplenty...

The movie starts out with a soundtrack that sounds like it came from The Omen then we get to see a swarm of bees rise up over a city skyline. The Candyman himself then talks about blood and murder, before the story switches over to Helen, who is relating to us the story of yet another person, named Clara. Confused yet? I am, and I've seen this before.

Anyway, Clara is babysitting for a family, when a guy named Billy rides up on a motorcycle, looking to make out. He's supposed to be a rebellious, bad boy type of guy, but he's played by Ted Raimi, so I'm guessing no one in the casting department has ever heard of Rebel Without A Cause(Hint: Ted Raimi ain't it.)

So, where was I? Oh right, Geek Fonzie and Clara are about to get hot and heavy, but she decides to tell him about Candyman first. Yeah, nothing sets a sexy mood like a guy with one hand "sawn off"(her phrase) who murders people because they know his name.

According to Clara, you summon him by saying his name 5 times while standing in front of a mirror. 5 times? What, does he need the extra time to use Google Maps to find your house? If he doesn't arrive until the 6th time, is your next murder free? I'm starting to get dizzy from the excessive eye-rolling I'm doing here!

Ay-yi-yi, so they make a big production out of the shirtless girl's boyfriend saying the name...4 times. Clara then tells him to go downstairs and wait for her, while she gets completely undressed for him. The second he gets to the couch, she says "Candyman", at which point a slash mark appears in the ceiling above the couch, and blood starts splashing the boyfriend. Uh, say what now? He only said the name 4 times, and she said it once. Neither one of them actually completed the full 5 times by themselves, so how does that work? If I say "Candyman" once, then 4 other people across the world say it once, which one of us does he kill? We're 5 minutes in, and I'm already tired of this film...and this was one I used to love.

In a classroom, Helen hears 2 other classmates discussing a story about a person who was so high, they roasted an infant because they thought it was a turkey. Why the heck are so many of these slasher flicks centered around urban legends? After being told that our film takes place in Chicago, the setting changes to another classroom in which people are talking about urban legends. The legend THIS time is the old chestnut about alligators living in the sewers of major American cities.

Helen sits down, and the class ends about a minute after that. Short lecture. As Helen makes her way down to the professor, it's revealed that they happen to be married. Wow, it gives new meaning to "easy A"! Helen gets jealous over a female student with what may actually be the world's most perfect butt, which is crazy, because Helen is Virginia Madsen, no slouch herself in the looks department.

As it turns out, Helen is angry mostly because she thought her husband would delay his urban legend class until she finished writing her thesis. She storms off to begin typing up the Candyman legend, which is dictated on a tape recorder. As the story gets to the part where his name is said 5 times, a cleaning lady interrupts to tell Helen that she has more details about the killer. For instance, he supposedly lived in Cabrini Green, a rundown area of the city that's dangerous to enter. When the cleaner mentions that her friend knows of a murder there that Candyman committed, Helen asks to speak with the friend.

Instead of calling the friend or scheduling a time to go to Cabrini Green, the cleaning person steps into the corridor and shouts over to another woman that Helen wants to interview her. What're the odds that they all just happened to be within 10 feet of each other? Small world, my ass.

The 2 custodians introduce themselves to Helen as Kitty and Henrietta. Kitty, the one with the story, tells Helen that some woman heard a loud banging noise while she was in the tub. The woman called 911, but no one believed her. Afterwards, she was found murdered, and the supposed murder weapon was a hook. The 2 women tell Helen that the story was in the paper, but that no one really believed that the killer was actually Candyman.

Excited by this new bit of information, Helen decides to verify it by searching through the newspaper archives. She finds articles mentioning over 20 different unsolved homicides, all with a vague connection to Candyman. So much for narrowing down her search.

One pointless research montage later, Helen and her friend Bernadette decide to meet up. When Helen shows Bernie her research into the legend of the killer, she also reveals other strange things. For one thing, Helen's trip to the library revealed that her fashionable apartment was once a rundown tenement building. The grungy walls were plastered over, the exterior got a minor makeover, and the building went from slum to luxury nearly overnight.

Then there's another weird feature in Helen's apartment: the medicine cabinet in her bathroom allows her to access the empty apartment next door. Her theory is that Candyman used secret passages like the one in the bathroom to claim his victims. To drive her point home, Helen has Bernadette stand in front of the mirror with her, and re-enact the Candyman summoning. After the 4th repetition of the name, Bernadette chickens out, but Helen completes the chant. Uh oh...

Later that evening, Helen is woken up by a strange sound. She realizes that the bathroom light is on, then is attacked in the bedroom by someone wearing dark clothes. Oh, it's only her husband, behaving like a jackass. He's drunk, so after a quick apology for scaring her, he passes out.

The next day, Helen and Bernadette decide to check out Candyman's old stomping ground, a slum called Cabrini Green. Bernadette tries to convince Helen that Cabrini Green is much too dangerous to visit, but Helen insists on going there, to prove that she isn't afraid to do what it takes to complete her paper.

Their arrival is noticed by several unruly teens, who assume that the women are cops. They ignore the catcalls and sexual comments and walk up to the floor of the building where most of the news items took place. Helen takes out a camera to photograph the graffiti on the walls, including 1 particular phrase that catches her eye: "SWEETS TO THE SWEET".

They find an apartment where one of the murders took place, and the layout matches Helen's place, right down to the hole behind the medicine cabinet. Helen snaps a few pics of the other apartment behind the cabinet, then decides to crawl through and explore. Frustrated, Bernadette just sits down to wait for Helen's return.

Helen, meanwhile, is off on an adventure. She keeps discovering holes in walls, and she continues to step into them. The last hole leads into a room with a pile of candy on the floor...oh, and the hole has been painted around to form a screaming mouth in a giant face. Freaky. As Helen examines the candy and discovers razor blades in the wrappers, Bernie finds a creepy, discarded baby doll.

As they meet up again, in a lame jump-scare, they see another woman watching them. Her name is Anne Marie, and she actually heard Candyman committing one of his murders in a nearby apartment. She also tells Helen that she lives in fear of Candyman

That night, Helen, Bernadette and several members of the college faculty dine at a ritzy restaurant. A pompous professor wants to mock Helen's thesis, but she replies that her Candyman research is going to blow him out of the water.

The fat, pompous professor then bores everyone with Candyman's full origin story. which began in 1890. Candyman was the son of a slave, but he was raised among the wealthy, because his father made a fortune from an invention he mass-produced. Fascinating, Spock.

Anyway, Candyman was an artist, and he was often hired to do portraits by the local, wealthy families. One such painting was going to be of a landowner's beautiful, young daughter, but she and Candyman had a secret affair. When her father found o8ut about the affair(she got pregnant), he paid some thugs to saw off the young man's right hand, then smear him with honey, so that an angry hive of bees could sting him to death.

Helen tries to visit Anne Marie again, but she's not home. A young boy named Jake knows what happened to her, but is afraid that Candyman will kill him if he talks to her. Helen talks him into showing her where Anne Marie is, and on the way he points out a mountain of garbage that will allegedly be a bonfire.

Jake points out a small brick building, and says that it's where one of Candyman's victims was found, a mentally disabled boy who had wandered away from his mother to use the toilet. The boy began to scream, so a bystander went in to rescue him. When the Good Samaritan found the boy, his penis had been sliced off, and there was blood everywhere. Oh, and supposedly the rescuers hair turned white from the frightening scene.

Helen decides to photograph the tiny restroom, and the boy promises to wait outside for her. Once inside, there's graffiti, as well as an odor that makes her gag. She opens each stall, discovering nothing in the first two. The third toilet is disgusting. Written in what I assume is feces, is the phrase SWEETS TO THE SWEET. Inside the toilet are a multitude of bees.

Outside the toilet, someone approaches Jake, and Jake calls him "Candyman". As Helen obliviously keeps snapping pictures, the bathroom door opens, but it's not Candyman who enters, it's a quartet of local gang members. They beat the crap out of her, then leave her there for Jake to find.

This is followed by Helen picking her attackers out of a lineup. The cop who helps her also informs Helen that they believe that the same gang killed everyone who had supposedly been murdered by Candyman. They hope that, with Helen's testimony, the Candyman killings will now be over and done with.

Jake isn't as convinced. He's pissed about Helen making a police statement, because he firmly believes that Candyman will come after him next. Helen tells him that it's over, but he doesn't look too sure of that. Then we get a scene that I guess takes place several days later, because Helen's injury is almost gone as she has dinner with her husband.

Bernadette welcomes her back to the campus, then gives her a gift. The gift turns out to be the roll of film they had taken at Cabrini Green. Bernie also tells her that a publisher has expressed an interest in publishing her findings.

After a successful return to work, Helen is walking to her car and examining some pictures and slides while she walks. Candyman calls her name, then appears in front of her. He tells her that, by having the gang members arrested and charged, she was weakening the strength of his legend. As such, he promises her that he will go after "innocent" victims, and that she will suffer. Helen passes out.

When she comes to, Helen finds herself in Anne Marie's apartment. Helen is in her bathroom, covered in blood, and Anne Marie can be heard screaming and wailing in another room. After checking to see if the blood is her own, Helen leaves the bathroom.

The severed head of the family dog is waiting to be found in the hallway. In a move defying logic and sanity, Helen sees the murder weapon in a pool of blood, so she decides to pick it up. Brilliant deductive reasoning, Helen. Maybe you should spit on the dog and tear some of your hair out, in case they need DNA evidence to go with your fingerprints.

Helen opens the door to the baby's room, and finds Anne Marie in there. She chases Helen into the kitchen and pushes her to the floor. Anne Marie starts bashing Helen's head into the floor, so Helen fights back, until she manages to straddle the other woman. Grabbing the bloody meat cleaver off the floor, Helen holds it above her head...until a small army of cops arrive on the scene, to corner and arrest Helen.

At the police station, Helen sobs and undresses while a stern female cop collects her clothes for evidence. After that, Helen asks to speak with Detective Valento, the cop who helped her earlier when the gang members beat her. He reads her the Miranda rights, then describes to her, in detail, what they think she did: Anne Marie came home from work, found the dog beheaded, and the baby missing. At that point, Helen came in, armed with the cleaver and covered in blood. They ask her where the baby is, but Helen still insists that she doesn't know anything about the missing tot.

Helen asks for her 1 phone call, but Trevor isn't home. She leaves a message, but then finds out that it's 3 a.m. She freaks out in her cell, then has a disturbing vision of Candyman, keeping the infant in his lair. Hey, at least the kid is still alive! Probably.

Hey, Trevor finally arrived! He posted bail, brought Helen some clothes, and also hired a lawyer. Wow, pretty nice work for an unfaithful husband. You better hope Helen doesn't ask where you were at 3 a.m., dude...

Helen tries to help the lawyer with her defense, but her memory is about as fuzzy as a hillbilly cheerleader's armpits. In the tub, Helen asks Trevor where he was when she called him from the station. He lies through his teeth, saying that he slept through the sound of the phone ringing. He leaves, and Helen poses seductively in the tub for a few more seconds. If time travel is ever developed, I'm going back to meet, young, seductive Virginia Madsen...and about a hundred other actresses from the same time period. Hubba.

Helen, oblivious to my leering, wanders into her kitchen and decides to look at her developed slides once more. She drags everything into the living room, draws the shades, then sets up the projector. One picture in particular draws her attention, an image Helen snapped of herself in a reflected window. She improves the focus of the picture to enhance the reflection, and realizes that she captured an image of Candyman in the photograph.

After sipping some coffee, Helen decides to do something unbearably stupid: Sher heads to the bathroom, to try to summon Candyman in her mirror. Before she gets the chance to try it, Candyman plunges his hook-hand through her medicine cabinet, scaring her out of the bathroom.

Helen runs through the apartment and races into the hallway, but Candyman is waiting there for her. She rushes back inside, but he teleports in right behind her. Candyman makes her an offer: if she will allow him to kill her, he will return Anne Marie's baby to her. He even reaches for her with his hook, scratching her neck enough to draw blood.

Then Bernadette shows up. She knocks and rings the bell, but Helen begs her to leave. When Bernie enters anyway, and Candyman pretty much disembowels her. Before we get to see that though, we get a repeat of the previous crime scene. Helen wakes up on the floor holding a knife, the cops find and arrest her, Helen cries, has a vision of Candyman and the baby, then passes out.

When Helen wakes up again, she's in the psych ward. They strap her to a bed, lock the door behind them as they leave, and Helen is left alone with Candyman. He's hovering over her bed, promising her that he will take her soon. Then Helen is given some Happy Juice, and goes for a Happy Nappy in Dream Land...

When she wakes up again, Helen is brought by a pair of orderlies to her doctor's office. The doctor, named Burke, informs her that she has been out of her gourd for about a month. They've been dosing her with Thorazine, which is why she has no memory of her time in the hospital.(Fun Fact: Thorazine not only gives you memory loss, but it also cuts your hair, as Helen is shown with a shorter hairdo than she arrived with. Neat.)

Dr. Burke then shows Helen a security tape, showing the night she was admitted to the psych ward. When they get to the part where Candyman was floating above Helen, she can clearly see that there was nothing above her. She watches the tape in disbelief.

Helen tells Dr. Burke that she can prove her sanity, by summoning Candyman. Uh Helen, quit while you're ahead...Nope, she insists on doing it. Facing a mirror next to her, Helen starts the Candyman chant. She says the name three times, then Candyman stabs Burke through the back, and looms behind him while his body spasms.

Wait, 3 times? What happened to the legend of having to say it 5 times? By this logic, I should be able to summon him just by saying "Can". Oh, and if you watch this one with me, pause on Helen's face after Burke is stabbed. She looks like he just let out a Godzilla-sized fart. It's comedy gold, that expression.

After making Burke flop around a bit more, Candyman tells Helen that he will finish her off that night, then he uses his hook to cut the straps holding her arms down. She does what anyone would do after summoning a ghost to murder her shrink--Helen steps out onto the window ledge, and starts sliding around the building to look for another window to enter.

She finds one and bangs on it with the palm of her hand, and a woman in blue scrubs opens the window for her. Helen is so grateful that she knocks the woman out(or maybe kills her), then steals her clothes. Helen gets into an elevator just as the search begins for her, and somehow gets outside.

She runs back home, and finds everything covered in plastic. A young woman is repainting the walls, and Helen startles her. As I predicted, Trevor had a mistress, and he wanders in from either the bathroom or the bedroom to confirm as much. Me am smart. Trevor does a double-take when he sees his wife, and tries to get his girlfriend to call the hospital. By the way, the actress playing the girlfriend is so bad, I honestly can't tell if she's laughing or crying in this scene.

Helen puts down the phone, then begins to sob over her marriage crumbling. She leaves Trevor and his bimbo, and Trevor immediately calls someone, to alert them about Helen's visit. Helen stands on a bridge as Candyman tries to convince her that she is alone in the world.

She makes her way back to Cabrini Green, and crawls through the passageways to Candyman's home. She finds a hook and grabs it, becoming "Candywoman", I guess. She finds yet another hidden room, filled with murals and other artistic representations of Candyman, before discovering the killer himself, taking a freaking nap.

Helen prepares to kill Candyman, but he wakes up and she misses her chance. Then she faints, and he carries her, Frankenstein-style, to a grungy-looking sacrificial altar. She begs him not to kill her, and he responds by puking bees at her and revealing that his body is covered in them.

After giving Helen a bee kiss, Candyman grabs the abducted baby. Then Helen wakes up and finds a sign that Candyman wrote on one wall:IT WAS ALWAYS HELEN, along with a drawing of her face on the wall. Candyman seems to be trying to pin his crimes on her.

She makes her way outside, then realizes that Candyman placed Anne Marie's baby on the bonfire. She climbs the mountain of trash to get the child, unaware that Jake is watching part of the climb. Since Helen is partially obscured by trash, Jake thinks that he's seeing Candyman, so he decides to set the structure on fire, to protect himself from the scary killer.

Helen grabs and rescues the baby, as others gather, and help Walter soak the trashpile with gasoline. Before Helen can get away, Candyman grabs her. She accuses him of lying to her about letting the baby live, and Candyman responds that it doesn't matter, because she will die soon either way. Helen's response is to impale Candyman with a flaming stake, then attempt to save the baby.

A burning pile of debris knocks Helen over, and she crawls, while aflame, to Anne Marie. As Helen burns from head to toe(literally, because her scalp is on fire now too), Helen manages to give the baby back to Anne Marie before she dies from her injuries. Inside the bonfire structure, Candyman also burns to death.

In the days following the bonfire, Trevor, his mistress, and 2 other members of the college faculty hold a funeral for Helen. As the funeral comes to a close, Trevor is shocked to see a huge crowd of mourners marching toward them, led by Anne Marie and Jake. At the grave, Jake drops a large metal hook on top of the casket.

At home, Trevor's bimbo is concerned when he locks himself into the bathroom. She eventually goes into the kitchen, and Trevor remembers Helen in happier times. Trevor starts to cry in front of the bathroom mirror, and thnere's a sudden power outage...but only in that room.

The light in the bathroom flickers like lightning, and Trevor sees Helen's vengeful, bald visage in the mirror glaring at him. He turns and nearly bumps into her, and Helen kills him with the hook she was given. Then the bimbo girlfriend finds his corpse in the tub(and most of his blood everywhere else) and screams. As the credits roll, the scene switches back to the alter where Candyman gave Helen his bee kiss. On the wall, he has painted a mural of Helen, looking angelic. THE END.

Well. 3 computer crashes and about 2 weeks late, I finally managed to finish Candyman. It definitely wasn't as good as I remembered it, but the unintentional laughs were worth it. I don't remember if there were 3 movies in the franchise or 4, but I'm pretty sure they don't get better after this one, so it'll be entertaining to make fun of those as well. I'll give Candyman an average 3 killer trees out of 5.

And what did I learn after watching Candyman?

-I have the hots for Virginia Madsen.

-You can say a ghostly killer's name as many times as you want to, he'll show up regardless of what his rules are about the summoning. Heck, you can even have more than 1 person say it!

-If you live in a city apartment, look for a tunnel behind your medicine cabinet. It's there!

The next slasher coming in is something called R.S.V.P., and I have no advance knowledge of it at all. As long as my computer remains stable, I should be able to post it in a few days. Hope to see you guys soon!