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Friday, October 26, 2012

Don't Go In The Woods/Paintball

This week's SAW is a slasher/musical, and it's called Don't Go In The Woods...not to be confused with an early-'80's slasher that had a similar title, but with"...Alone!" added to the end. Will it be music to our ears? Will it be tone-deaf? Well, let's get down to our SPOILER-filled viewing, and find out!

The very first scene shows us those woods, and there's a young woman limping through them, covered in blood. A hand grabs her shoulder, and she screams as the title comes up. There's a brief shot of her gory remains and an axe, then she goes bye-bye. Yup, now we're in flashback territory....Seriously, why do so many movies do this?

We get an extreme closeup of a pair of eyes that are so milky-looking, this guy almost looks like a corpse. There's talk of omens, and something about a place that is apparently so fantastic, "the guys" won't want to leave. Uh-huh.

A song starts up on the radio, about a country singer who fell in love with another man. It's pretty frickin' funny, even after it turns to be a song about loving Jesus. The large group of guys in this particular van start to pass around a bag of weed, but the one driving tosses it out of his window. The others look pretty pissed, even the blind one seated next to the driver(And why would they give a blind guy the seat with the best view?).

Anyway, these guys are out in the woods to write some songs, in anticipation of a recording contract in the near future. Let's meet 'em: First up is Nick, the lead singer, and the jerk who wasted the weed(oh, and he looks like Elijah Wood); Johnny, the token minority character(though he's Asian instead of black, which is pretty novel); Robbie, the blind musician; Anton, the keyboard player(who sort of resembles Louis, the creepy lab-geek on Dexter); Ahhh, they're singing again, hold on...


Okay, new plan. about 80% or so of this monstrosity is sung instead of spoken, so I'm watching watching something more slasher-y instead: a movie called Paintball, that I found under "Free Movies" on the On Demand menu on cable. The other movie was a train wreck, and the narrative would have been near-impossible to describe, given the ratio of songs to spoken dialogue(or even plot...). Plus, every guy in the band(besides the Asian) resembled Frodo after awhile.

Okay, so let's put that ordeal behind us, and watch Paintball together...

THIS STORY begins with a funny advertisement that features a pair of Russians in military garb. The one in front is pitching a paintball wargame business called Redball Woods. The second soldier, a younger female, simply glares at the camera and fidgets. Every time the male lists a feature of the business, the other one nods her head curtly. Finally, when the male soldier fires paint pellets at the camera, the female starts to grin.

Then we meet our main characters, 8 people who have signed up with Redball Woods to play at being survivalists. All have hoods over their heads, until a recorded voice instructs them to remove the hoods. Then the voice assigns each person a role in the team First, there's David, who is assigned to lead the team into battle; Iris, who is assigned to be front infantry; John, a rifleman taking rear infantry; a wide-eyed brunette named Brenda, who is on tactical support; Eric and Anna, who are assigned as recon scouts; Claudia, who looks excited to be a sniper;    and finally, Frank, who slept through the entire recording, is tasked with being a rifleman. Maybe they can tell him when he's done snoozing...

Okay, so they all start the process of gathering up their crap. Right away, this seems pretty shady...they have pellets that have gone past their expiration dates, some of the equipment and armor seems pretty flimsy, stuff like that. The recording tells them that they have one full day to find and capture 6 flags belonging to the team they're going up against. Also, there's a box at each flag that will supposedly contain items they'll need to win.

As they get ready to play, one of the women thinks that she recognizes another one from a game held the previous year. The other woman denies it, which probably means that she's lying. We'll see, but I'm betting that it'll be a plot twist at some point, that she's a pro dropped into the group. Or something like that.

Everyone leaps out of the vehicle, and they find themselves in a grassy clearing, surrounded by a forest. As a group they run for the trees, and lethargic Frank has trouble keeping up. He looks familiar, but I'm not sure why. I think that my brain is probably fried from seeing so many of these movies.

While they wait for Frank to catch up, the others plot their strategy for capturing the first flag by consulting their map. The position is about 20 minutes away, so David orders Anna and Eric to start moving up the trail, and look for any potential threats. He then asks Claudia to protect their progress with cover fire at any potential threats. Iris and John are told to flank on each side of the group, and Frank gets pissed off about everyone being ordered around. David responds that he's the only one with enough experience to correctly plot out the map, and no one disagrees.

They find what could best be described as a "car graveyard"(Whoa! Flashbacks to Wreckage!), and the enemy team fire on them as they explore the various vehicles. The enemy has them pinned down, so one of the women(Brenda, I think, although it's hard to tell, as they all have masks and goggles on) starts to climb into a bus for shelter. Her gun wasn't firing correctly, which is yet another omen that these folks are in for trouble.

Trying to locate the first flag and the first supply box, Claudia is assigned to climb a hill, to see if she can see anything from a higher position. The rest of them look beneath the vehicles, in the trunks, inside the cars...They find nothing. Even Claudia announces that she doesn't see anything helpful.

Frank, who couldn't keep up with the others a few minutes ago, is now standing on the roof of a car and whining about how little action there is. The other team gets him back by firing a ton of pellets at his position. Heh. They seem to be flanked on all sides, so David orders the team to seek shelter on the bus.

In the middle of all of the chaos, David asks if any of them were able to find the flag or the box, and there are negative replies all around. Then, they all realize more bad news: Claudia isn't on the bus. As they talk trash about the other team, a smoke grenade is hurled into the bus. David orders them to stay on the bus, so as not to expose any of them to the sniper(s?) outside.

The other team waits them out for a few seconds, then another projectile is flung through a bus window: The box! It contains a single item, a bulletproof vest. Claudia shows up, and it turns out that it was her who tossed the box into the bus. After everyone congratulates Claudia on her find, David tells them that they need to leave the bus, so as not to get surrounded. Uh, isn't it kind of too late for that?

Anna and Eric go first, scouting the perimeter as they dodge from car to car. They give the "all clear", and Claudia moves to their position next, using her rifle's scope to search for that pesky sniper. Then David joins them, and the rest follow when he gives the signal, either alone or in pairs.

The other team begins another assault, and one of "our" guys gets shot in the foot with real ammunition. Another member of the team is then shot in the head, and they all start running. That's the smartest thing they've done so far...John, who I think was the one shot in the foot, tries to keep up, but he's limping pretty badly.

John is hit again in the leg, and goes down. As he's attempting to crawl to the trees to hide, he begs his team to return and help him out. He manages to get himself standing again, only to step into a trap, a rope that wraps around his ankle and pulls him up into the air, swinging like a pinata.

While he's twirling around, another soldier is spotted crouching next to a tree. It's David, who moves in for a closer look. John is incredibly grateful, until he realizes that David only wants the vest. Wow, nice leadership qualities.

The rest of the team find a large electrified fence preventing them from leaving. They argue back and forth, with opinions divided over whether the shooters are psychos from another team, or if it's the owners of the business hunting them for sport. Apparently, none of them have seen Hostel. Oh, and Brenda has a breakdown, right before a long-dead human body is found.

John shows up then, and the others ask him how he managed to get the vest. He changes the subject, and starts to give out orders again, probably just to distract them. As they plot a course to the next flag, one of them misfires his gun, making everyone jump.

Hey, now we have a night vision sequence! The villain(or one of them, if it's a team), sneaks up on John and throws small round items at him to wake him up. As John begs for his life, the killer finds a large rock, and props a rifle up against it, directly underneath poor John. A bayonet is attached to the rifle, and the killer walks over to the tree the rope's other end is tied around. He cuts the rope, and John's head is sliced apart like a watermelon.

The other members of the team discover the first flag, but no one wants to risk dying to run out in the open and capture it. They decide that it should be David, since he's now wearing the vest. Ha! Before David can do anything, Anna(I think) offers to retrieve the box instead, with the caveat that whatever she finds belongs to her. Without any further discussion, she darts out of the woods to get the box.

Using a nearby tractor for cover, she quickly snatches up her prize and opens it.  Inside the box, she finds a bottle of some sort(which she quickly tosses away), and a machete. Immediately after, she hears a prowler in the trees nearby, and signals for help from her teammates. Run Anna, run!

As everyone starts a-running again, the enemy fires at each of them in a pretty random fashion. In the confusion, a female character is shot, and Anna accidentally uses the machete to kill a woman who was apparently on another team, as another player shows up to scream at Anna in a foreign language. Anyone else as confused as I am here??? The angry guy blows a whistle to  reveal their location, which just seems bad, no matter who he is.

David asks Anna what the second item in the box was, and threatens her with the machete when she doesn't reply. Lucky for her, Eric arrives to stop him. David then declares that they're taking the foreign guy along as a prisoner. As they march through the grass, Frank complains to Brenda  that they should have tied the stranger to a tree and left him for his group to find, as opposed to forcing him to be their hostage.

Eric tries to ask the stranger some basic questions, but he either doesn't understand, or has decided to play dumb. Brenda then asks Frank to hide in the forest with her, until the game ends. Her theory is that everyone will forget about them, allowing them to escape to safety somehow. Now THAT is the plan of a genius....

Brenda then stumbles and falls, bringing everyone over to make sure that she's okay. In the frenzy, the prisoner vanishes as well. Oh, and even though the map indicates that the next flag and box should be in the area, none of them can find anything. They even speculate that the foreign guy may have hidden things before they captured him.

After another disagreement, David decides that they should just make their way to the fourth flag. The march off in a line, but Brenda, who's last, trips yet again. She hears noises all around her and gets scared, so maybe taking off by herself isn't the best plan. The rest of the group gets further away, and Brenda starts to panic.

In the next scene, she's being shot at, and running through the trees. Uhhh, were some key scenes removed here? When did the team lose her entirely? How do they not hear the shooting? Eh, who cares? Brenda gets hit by a stray bullet, and rolls down a slight incline. Her body ain't moving after that. Oops....

Frank is the first to notice that she's missing. He shouts at the others to stop, but they just ignore him at first. As Frank continues to insist that they stop to find Brenda, Eric finally approaches him and asks him to shut up. Iris pipes up, and tells Eric that Frank is right, and that they should work as a team to find her and do a better job of protecting each other.

All of that just gets Frank riled up even more. He yells ahead to David, asking him how he really got his hands on the vest, and why he gets the machete as well. When he adds that the foreign guy is probably nearby, picking them off one by one, David ambushes him from behind a tree. David then pushes Frank to the ground, holds the machete to his throat, and tells him to stop yelling.

After David marches ahead again, Eric and Anna help Frank to stand up. They also resume the hike, but Frank runs off to find Brenda. Iris announces that she's also going solo, if the next flag is missing. Wow, David sure has some effective leadership skills!

The killer, still wearing his night vision goggles, has decided to see if Brenda is dead or not. She wakes up, sees him, and backs away, weeping hysterically as she realizes her predicament. The killer indicates that he took the box everyone was looking for, and he kicks it in her direction. She opens it, and finds an odd-looking gun, which the killer forces her to pick up.

As they face each other, Brenda tells the killer that she doesn't know what kind of gun it is, or even how to load  the thing. She also admits that she only signed up for paintball because her shrink encouraged her to "try new things". Then Brenda turns away from the killer, and anticipates being shot in the back as she slowly creeps away. When that doesn't happen, Brenda discovers the the killer has vanished. She runs into the forest, more frightened than ever.

David, sensing a threat ahead of the team, silently indicates that they should try to surround and ambush whoever it is. Then we return to Brenda. She's leaning up against a massive stone structure, and she searches the perimeter for a hiding place. Amazingly, she finds a door carved into it, and runs inside.

She yells and shouts, then discovers that the many leaves beneath her are camouflaging a floor made out of porcelain or some other smooth, shiny material. Thinking that maybe there's a structure underground, Brenda pounds on the floor and screams for help. Yeah, I'm sure they'll rush right out.

The killer locates her, and stands at the entrance to the cave. When the movie switches to his perspective, we see that Brenda is surrounded by what look like corpses seated on the floor around her, about 4 of them. She sees the killer and backs away, crashing through a door into a second room. The killer shoots her, and she falls forward, her blood spreading out over the floor, which is clear in this room.

Back to the team. The find the foreign guy, and surround him. After shooting him with paint pellets--and Iris whacking him with her helmet, which she loses by the side of the road--they question him again. He has Brenda's armband on him, and he tells them his name, which is Yurick, but that's it. He breaks loose fast enough to punch David in the face, and David retaliates by stabbing  him with the machete. Alas, poor Yurick, we knew you not at all. David stabs him a second time, this time twisting the blade.

After more hiking, they find out that their outfits are possibly "marked", even the vest. That leads to a decision by the women to remove their camouflage tops. If you ever needed a quick definition of the word "gratuitous", this scene would fit the bill. David watches them remove their shirts, and he's getting to be creepier than the killer.

They spot a flag and a black case at the bottom of a hill, and look for signs that it might be a trap. Since David is being such a whiny baby about sharing the vest, the others tell him that he needs to fetch the items himself. The viewpoint changes to night vision, and the killer stands nearby, preparing to execute David. Someone watching the killer's progress orders him via an earpiece to let David live. Damn!

When the case is brought up the hill, they find that it contains random metal tubes and other components, but no one can figure out how they go together. There are 2 boxes left, and 2 flags. They split into 2 teams, in order to get the items quicker: Eric and Anna  are paired up, and David teams up with Iris.

We follow Iris and David first, where we discover that David spells "team" with an "i". He's going at such a brisk pace through the woods, I'm somewhat amazed that he doesn't say, "Meep-meep!" every minute or so. Iris should've just gone with the others. David does finally slow down, and both he and Iris find Frank.

Yup, Frank. Iris asks David to cover her progress as she sees if she can help Frank. Frank tells her to go away because she's walking into a trap, but she keeps coming to him. The ground beneath her foot starts to tilt, but before Iris can back off, asswipe David grabs her by the head and throws her into the hidden pit. Man, I hope his death is painful...perhaps he can be forced to watch this movie about 200 times! It's shown that Frank's arm was somehow caught in a beartrap.

His arm??? Aw, c'mon movie, how does that even make sense? His foot, sure, but he would've had to have been crawling around for that to happen to his arm. Maybe he was following a trail of M&M's, Pac-Man-style.

Some of the creeps monitoring the mayhem comment that David seems to be aware that there are cameras on him at all times. Well, DUH. Gee, do ya think they know they're being hunted too? The villains decide to kill Frank next, with an explosive mine.

Anna looks like she somehow got herself lost, as she spins around, just gawking at each and every tree. Oh okay...she and Eric have found their case, and are just being cautious. Anna points out a camera positioned above them in a tree, and tells Eric that she's seen several more.

Eric opens the case, which contains more paintballs and a flashlight, but Anna observes that the pellets seem to weigh more than a paint pellet should. Eric places one in his gun, but it shatters when he cocks the gun, splashing his face with acid. Anna tries to clean the side of his face and flush the acid with water, but Eric's injury makes The Phantom of The Opera look like Brad Pitt.

Uh oh....more night vision. The killer has found Iris and Frank, but the controllers of the game order the killer to ignore them. He kills the pair anyway, laughing like a maniac when he bashes Frank's skull in. The owner of RedBall tells the others in the viewing area that the killer going rogue merely makes the hunt more interesting. Oh, and the killer is named Dan.

While Dan is on the prowl, so is David. David sits under a wide tree to remove his outer layer of clothing, then carries it over to a large fall tree, where he crouches and plans his next move. Dan finds his position, and sneaks up on him. David leaves his jacket off, but puts his armored vest on over his shirt, and waits for the killer to reveal himself.

Dan takes some potshots at the log, and David grins. Grabbing his stuff, he stands up, and gets shot in the back. Well, either the vest was a fake, or he was shot somewhere that it didn't cover. David goes for his hunting knife, grimaces, then seems to stop breathing. When Dan gets close, David tries to slice him, but the killer stands on his arm.

As David struggles, Dan puts a knife to his throat, but doesn't finish him off. He instead waits for our favorite idiot to remove another shirt and stand up. Now that both men are armed and standing, After David takes a few wild swings at the killer, Dan delivers a slice to his neck, sending up a spray of blood. Then he falls to his knees.

Dan kicks him over onto his side, as David gags on his own blood. Then the killer removes an explosive mine from his backpack, places it under David's vest, and sets it off by stepping on his chest. Then he repeats the process. Methinks that psycho Dan isn't a "people person", under any definition.

That evening, Anna and Eric get back to the rendezvous point, and get worried when there's no sign of David and Iris. Eric's face looks worse, if that's possible.Anna lies to him, saying that it looks better. Eric gets up to pace around, and gets ambushed. Anna screams his name, but there's no response. After a moment of peace and quiet, Anna hears a woman on Dan's radio, asking for his current location.

Anna follows the sound, then tries to ask the voice for assistance. The mysterious woman calls Anna by her name, then tells her to bury herself in the dirt, explaining that Dan has the night vision googles. When Anna scoffs at the suggestion, Mystery Woman explains that the barrel of her rifle can be removed and used as a breathing tube. If Anna lives 'til morning, the voice promises to give her more assistance.

Although she hates the idea, Anna does as the voice instructs her. It works, and the next morning Anna struggles back to the open air. She puts her gun back together, then the woman calls her to bsay that there's a trap directly in front of her. She finds Iris, and the mystery voice tells her to go back to each and every checkpoint, and gather every spare part from those sites. The pieces, when assembled properly, make a gun.

Anna finds David along the way, and removes the vest from his corpse. She puts the vest on and starts to leave, but her guide tells her that there's something next to David that she needs. There's a series of sequences showing Anna finding bodies and revisiting the various box locations. Several times the voice speaks up, alerting Anna whenever Dan is near her.

As she crosses a rickety-looking footbridge, Anna nearly gets shot. She grabs an overhead rope as one side of the bridge collapses, and pulls herself to the other side. She dodges around the trees, but a stray bullet strikes her backpack. Despite her terror and pain, Anna manages to get to her feet. She limps her way to a house, and begs to be let inside.

Anna circles around to the back, unaware of being observed by the people who bet on the game. The glass is tinted black on the windows and is thick enough to almost drown her voice out, even when shouting. She fires paint pellets at the windows to vent her anger, and the voice calmly tells her that there is a door on the other side of the house.

She gets in, and finds herself in a basement/tunnel area. Another black case reveals the last machine piece, as well as a series of forged death certificates assigned to each member of her team. The voice tells her that the killer is close, and suggests that she should stand in front of one of the 2-way mirrors, because he'll confuse her for an audience member if she just stands still and watches him.

Dan decides to start firing at the observers, and Anna takes advantage of his distraction to get on the floor and assemble the gun parts. Then she leaps to her feet, pulls the trigger, and....nothing happens. That one stray bullet must've damaged some of the gun parts, because it's only making a hissing sound now.

Dan pulls his trigger, but he seems to be out of ammo. Excuse me if I giggle loudly now. He draws his hunting knife, and Anna pulls out the machete. Hell yeah! 2 duels in 1 movie! That rocks. While the random shooting is occurring, the female voice reveals to Anna that one of the windows is not bulletproof. It has a red mark drawn near it, so Anna sets about trying to trick Dan into approaching it.

She shows him the fake death certificates, and he looks for his own. Anna rushes at him, pushing Dan through the window. She then climbs into the room again, using a chain that was set into the wall to pull herself up. The RedBall people give Anna her freedom, as long as she promises never to tell anyone about what happened to her. If she breaks that rule, then they'd have to murder her.

Anna removes some of her equipment, and exits the property. A closeup of the death certificate with her name on it reveals that they had planned to make her demise look like a car crash. She finds a car with keys in the ignition, but doesn't take the bait. The final scene  shows Anna on foot, afraid of pursuit. She stops in her tracks, spins around, and screams, "WHAT!?!" into the camera. THE END

Well, it was a better film than Don't Go In The Woods, that's for sure. But while the kills were varied, the characters were way too generic to root for any of them. If you're going to rip off Hostel, then you need to try to be as over-the top and memorable as possible. This just wasn't. 2.5 killer trees out of 5 for some of the concepts and gore. Aw heck, you get an extra point for not singing when being chased by the killer. 3.5 it is.

It's taken a while to watch 2 of  these, so I'm not sure when my next movie arrives. Wait and see.....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween Night

This week's SAW begins with the 3 most terrifying words you'll ever see at the start of any slasher or general horror film: 'The Asylum Presents'...Yeah, this isn't going to be a fun week. Netflix pushed back the film that I had intended to watch, Don't Go in the Woods, and sent me a "mockbuster" of Halloween, called Halloween Night.  Will it be terrible? Probably. Will I watch it right now? Yup. Will there be SPOILERS beyond this paragraph? Hmmmm....

The movie begins with the nuttiest nutbag in Nuttyville, Chris Vale, as a young boy. He's wearing a white mask and hiding under a bed, as some men rape--and then kill--his mother. After they shoot her once, young Chris somehow manages to escape unseen, and leans against the wall in the next room. His mother makes a sound, so her attackers shoot her again, and the bullet hits a pipe next to Chris, scalding his face with steam and hot water.

Then it's a decade later, and Chris is living on the funny farm. His body was apparently also scarred severely with burns and he went non-verbal, leading the authorities to assume that he killed his own mother. 2 orderlies come to his room with a plain white mask to freak him out, and he rips out the throat of the one wearing the mask. Oh, and he escapes, and sets out to return to his childhood home. Gosh, where have I heard this story before?

Anyway, after the credits reveal that they couldn't even hire a D-List celebrity to do a cameo in this clunker, we meet our cannon fodder. First up is Larry, a scrawny nerd; Todd, a shaggy guy who mumbles and grins...and has zero personality beyond that in his introductory scene; David, the host of a Halloween party that the others are all arriving for; David's clueless girlfriend Shannon; Angela, a strong-willed lesbian(did I really just type out my adolescent fantasy, or was I daydreaming?); her nervous lover Kendall; and, uh, Sleepy, Bashful and Dopey.

As the movie gets bogged down in mumbled greetings, things pick up with a little softcore make out session between Angela and Kendall. Angela removes her lover's bra, but a knock at the door ruins the mood. Kendall gets dressed, and they both leave the room to re-join their friends.

David leaves the house to pick up someone named Darryl at a bus stop. Darryl is some type of musician, and all he wants to know is how many hot women will be at the party. Before we find out anything else about this guy, we then get introduced to Todd and Jeanine, another couple heading to the party. Todd has a big box in the backseat, filled with his costume and an assortment of authentic(and dangerous!) medieval weapons. When Jeanine examines an axe, Todd warns her that it could kill her if they hit a speed bump.

They see traffic gathered at a roadblock up ahead. Todd tells his girlfriend to cover and hide the box of weapons, and a cop saunters up to their vehicle. He tells them about  Chris being on the loose, and shows them a picture. Yum. They promise to be alert, and he lets them drive away.

Then we go back to another session of D&D...David and Darryl, that is. David has his friend duck under the dashboard, and they both quietly get out of the car. David then opens the entrance into the basement, and urges Darryl to get in and pick out a hiding place.

Todd pulls into a gas station to get the car filled up, and to put on his costume. In the restroom he gets murdered by Chris, who shoves a blade through his mouth, and out of the back of his head. Then Chris wears Todd's costume, drives away with Jeanine, and stabs her multiple times with the axe she was examining earlier. After she dies, Chris sees the variety of weapons in the back seat, and it's like the serial killer version of Christmas!

There's some nonsense about answering a riddle to get into the party, then Larry reads an article online about Chris and his recent escape. Since rape and murder are such fun topics, everyone decides to get ready for the bash after Larry finishes the story. This movie deserves a special room in Hell.

The large group moves to head into the house, but "Troll"(the guy asking the riddle at the door) blocks the way. David tells Troll to let the group in, and use the riddle only on folks who arrive late. Then David gives Shannon some jewelry as a romantic gesture. Oh, and Troll gets to ask one guy his riddle, but the late guest answers correctly before he even finishes saying it. As a bonus, the guest is given the option of setting free one of the people who gave a wrong answer. The only 2 "prisoners" are a cute girl and a sad-looking dude, so the cute girl gets to enter the party.

Darryl emerges from the cellar, and some short kid starts bugging him. David intercedes, and sends the kid on a wild goose-chase for an hour or so. Mean, but kind of funny.

Outside, Chris pulls in behind the kid's car, and both step out of their vehicles. Chris shoves the axe into his forehead, then admires his handiwork. Amazingly, no one sees this happen, not even Troll. In what universe does that make any sense?

Darryl sees Kendall standing by the refreshments, and decides to try out his best pick-up lines on her. Since those lines mostly consist of "Durrrrr" and "Uhhhhh", he doesn't get far. Then Angela arrives, and the lesbians put on a little display just to frustrate poor Darryl even further. The guests hear a helicopter flying low, looking for Chris, and he also looks up from his spot outside.

David plays dumb when the lesbians ask him about Darryl being invited, and they wander away. Troll, who is slightly drunk, nearly forgets his own riddle, and a young woman who speaks Spanish inadvertently gives him the correct answer(She says "aqui", and the answer is "a key"), so he lets her in. Oh, and she lets the nerdy zombie guy go with her, by setting him free as well. The zombie gives Troll the finger as they walk away.

Unfortunately, Chris is the next person to approach Troll. He mumbles the riddle, and Chris tries to push past him, so they get into a shoving match. Chris plants a sword into his skull, spins him a few times, then rips his head apart getting the sword back. Kicking down the outer door, as Chris prepares to enter the main section of the house h`e is greeted by Shannon, who mistakes him for Todd. Chris spares her life because she resembles his dead mother, right down to the same necklace.

David also sees Chris at the party, and also greets him. When Chris tries to kill him with the axe, David makes him hide it, and tells him to stay where he is. Geez man, are they all this dumb? Are Chris and Todd even the same height? What about the blood on both the costume and the weapon?

David calls somebody named Mitch, and apparently "it's go time" for whatever prank they have planned. David then walks up to Darryl, and asks him to leave. They pretend not to know each other, and the party stops as they have a fake fight. Chris doesn't know it's a prank though, and attempts to attack Darryl with his bloodstained axe.

Darryl draws a gun, and then the shit gets real, at a rapid rate. Chris drops the axe, but sirens can be heard approaching. Darryl jumps up, and decides to use Chris as a hostage. Yeah, I'm calling it...this is still part of the prank, I'd bet money on it. It has to be.

A cop shows up, and he tries to calm Darryl down. Darryl takes his weapon as well, then also gets his keys and makes a getaway with Chris as a hostage. After several seconds, the officer gets David to give him his car keys, and announces that he's going to pursue them. Shannon hugs her boyfriend, worried about what will happen.

...and that's when a second cop pulls up. Shannon starts to tell him what went down, and David is forced to admit that it was an elaborate joke. Shannon slaps him, and the real cop shuts the party down. The majority leave immediately, and barely notice Troll's corpse, assuming it's just part of the joke.

Darryl pulls the car over, and starts to congratulate Chris on his "role" in the prank. Chris tries to shoot him with the fake gun from the cop costume, then settles on choking Darryl with a seatbelt strap instead. Chris finishes him off by dragging him out of the car, and driving the sword into his chest.

Back inside the house, Shannon and David argue about the prank. He tries to compare it to a roller coaster, but she insists that it was stupid and childish. She walks away, and David just sits there and sulks. Nope, nothing childish about that!

The fake cop finds his car, but it's locked. Chris appears, and the actor asks for his keys back, but gets a blade through the chest instead. What is it with this guy and torso wounds? Chop off a random arm or a leg...variety is the spice of life, right?

Shannon gets to her car, just as some of David's friends return and offer to stay the night, to cheer him up. Shannon sees the killer walk by, but he ignores her to go after some random couple having sex in David's basement. Chris removes his mask, and swiftly drives the axe into the young woman's back. The guy makes Chris chase him a little, then also gets stabbed in the back.

Shannon finds Chris cleaning up after his latest kills, and still thinks he's Todd. Chris attacks her, but only lets her pass out, rather than killing her. Oh, and he kind of gives her a hug. Have YOU hugged YOUR local maniac today?

Hey, look, more lesbian porn! They both go wild with the stripping, and the kissing, and the writhing. Then I fainted from the pressure of having to get my cheap thrills from a stupid Asylum movie. I am filled with shame and self-loathing now.

Shannon wakes up, and discovers herself handcuffed next to a corpse. She screams, but Chris gags her and takes the dead person somewhere else. As he decides to leave the basement, we see some random shots of a woman eating while taking a bubble bath. Well, NOW it all makes sense!

Larry is back on the computer. He reads some more articles about Chris Vale, then scares the Bubblebath Girl by walking in on her to tell her about Vale. She tells him to leave, and to close the door when he does. Faster than you can say "Larry's a goner!", Chris sneaks up on him, and plunges a knife through the top of his head. The he takes care of Bubbles after she traps herself with him, by slitting her throat.

David tries to call Shannon's cell, but she obviously can't reach it. He finds Bubbles, but at first he thinks that she and Larry are pranking him. When he sees her neck, he realizes that there's a real killer in the house, and he tries to warn Angela and Kendall that they might be in danger. They dismiss it as Halloween hijinks, until Chris actually appears.

Kendall runs away, screaming for assistance from David, while Angela fights off the attacker. Kendall and David run into each other outside, and he re-enters the house to try to save the day. Angela gives Chris quite a beating, considering that he has none of his weapons nearby. He spots a hanger, and kills Angela with it, by shoving one end into her eye repeatedly.

David grabs a handgun, and tries to rescue Shannon. Instead, he gets to be the character who discovers the bodies of his friends. When he finally succeeds at finding his girlfriend, Chris easily knocks him out from behind. Chris then blindfolds Shannon, but can't seem to bring himself to kill her. Instead, he traces the knife over her face, then has flashbacks about the night his mother was killed. The memories reveal that the mother was never found, because his father stashed her behind a secret panel he had built, right before he killed himself. Chris reunites with his Mommy, who smells funny.

After waiting for awhile, Shannon removes her blindfold, and grabs a gun on the floor. Freeing herself from captivity, she finds and shoots Chris 2 times. When the authorities arrive, Shannon sees the body on the stretcher sit up, so she shoots him a third time. Then she sees that the figure in the costume is actually David. Then Chris is seen getting away, hitching a ride with a friendly stranger.  THE END...?

Okay, so the kills were brutal, if a little bit redundant. Still, by Asylum standards, this is probably the closest they'll ever get to "good". Now, if they could just find actual actors, they could really make a bearable movie. 2 out of 5, with 1 of those points going to the effects.

And what did I learn from Halloween Night?

-When you don't have a script, just use a lot of swears instead.

-Killers hate having to be creative.

-When you can't write anything exciting or scary, just add in some quick porn.

Hopefully, my next movie will be better. It almost has to be! TTFN

Monday, October 8, 2012

Doom Asylum

Hey gang! This week(ish), I've re-discovered a slasher flick I last watched in the late '80's. Even back then, this one was seemingly made to be mocked. Called Doom Asylum, I've spent years trying to recall the specific details of the plot, and even the correct title....I thought it was called Blood Asylum for many years, which made it even more difficult to track down. But I finally found it, so "yay, me" I guess. SPOILERS ahead!

Our cheese-tastic adventure begins with a terrible cover version of "House of The Rising Sun", and a convertible speeding down a deserted-looking road. The drunk couple in the car, Mitch and Judy, are celebrating because they just won some kind of huge settlement in court. Judy even goes so far as to pour wine or champagne all over the crotch of Mitch's pants, and make out with him while he's driving.

In a mind-boggling shocker, they have a collision with another vehicle. Mitch wakes up face down in the grass, and calls out to Judy.  He locates her several feet away and crawls to her position to hold her hand, only to discover that it's no longer attached to the rest of her. She tells Mitch that she loves him, then dies. No! Somebody lend her a hand!!

A couple of medical examiners begin an autopsy on Mitch when he's brought to the morgue, but one of them sees Mitch moving. He tells his boss, but the other doctor isn't convinced until Mitch sits up on the autopsy table, calling out to Judy. Mitch then stabs them both, and decides to go ahead and kill everyone in the hospital, and live there. Well, that all made sense!

After the opening credits are shown over about 17,000 shots of the exterior and interior of the asylum(an actual closed-down hospital, according to the IMDB....), we see the same road, and the same song is playing as a convertible races toward the camera. Wait, did I rewind this thing by accident? Nope, because a helpful subtitle tells us that it's 10 years later. I never realized how bland the future looked!

This car is filled with our first batch of victims: There's Darnell, the stereotypical jive-talking black guy; Jane(played by Kristin Davis, the only person I recognize in the movie), the nerdy psych major; Kiki, who just so happens to be Judy's now teenaged daughter(and played by the same actress); Mike, Kiki's indecisive boyfriend, who seems to be the only person so far enjoying his role by hamming it up with every line; and Dennis, who hasn't had any kind of dialogue or character moment up to this point, unlike the others.

Mike pulls the car over to the spot where the car accident took place, and he and Kiki find what looks like a mirror or a picture frame from the accident. The accident from a decade earlier. Yeah. Mike offers to nurture and support Kiki, and she asks him if she can call him "Mom". WTF? Okay, either this is supposed to be a comedy, or the movie is messing with me. Nothing is ever this strange by accident.

They get back into the car, and head to the abandoned hospital next. Wow, crash sites and empty psych wards...I'm not letting this group plan MY next vacation. They drive past a handful of signs that remind them not to trespass, so they take that as an invitation. Someone appears to be watching their approach from inside. I wonder who that might be? Oh, and apparently Mitch has murdered enough trespassers over the years to have his own urban legend. These kids know him as "The Coroner".

Then the movie introduces us to a few more potential victims, in the form of an all-female punk band. The group consists of Tina, the lead "singer"; Godiva, a woman with the worst fake French accent since Steve Martin ruined Inspector Clouseau forever; and Rapunzel, their group's representative African-American character.  Wow, so Darnell is officially not the "token" minority corpse in this one. For a slasher flick from 25 years ago, that counts as a bona fide plot twist!

The first group hears the obnoxious music from the asylum, and Darnell runs ahead to unplug the punk group's equipment, which causes a small fire. The 3 performers watch the others approach the building, and decide that a little taste of revenge is in order. Well, Tina and Godiva are up for revenge...Rapunzel is too busy drooling over Darnell(complete with a cut-away daydream of them running through a field toward each other in slo-mo), to be planning any vengeance. Then she talks about how hunky Darnell is, and her bandmates scorn her with sarcastic comments and eye-rolls. As she continues to fantasize and gush, Tina and Godiva create water condom bombs filled with hot water from a coffee maker.

Dennis finally gets some dialogue, but wastes it by gushing over his baseball card collection. After Jane tries to psychoanalyze his fixation over the cards, Kiki asks "Mom" for a kiss, and Mike obliges. Weird-ass movie! Just to contribute to the random wacky bits, The Coroner approaches the group, and compares a newspaper photo of Judy to Kiki.

Then the punk chicks lob their watery weapons at the group. Mitch manages to slip away unseen during the confusion, despite being out in the open during daylight hours. How could they not notice him??? Oh, and Dennis whines about some of his precious cards being damaged. And Tina throws back her head and laughs like Ming the Merciless.

The 2 groups yell back and forth at each other, then Tina cackles again and briefly flashes her breasticles(y'know, like guys have "testicles", so women Okay then, moving on...) at the group. That sets off Mike, but Darnell calms him down and offers to confront them himself, mostly to hook up with Rapunzel. Mike picks up one of the soggy condoms to try to entice Kiki into having sex(???with a ripped, used condom???), but she refuses, claiming that sex with "Mom" would be incest.

Darnell enters the building, and hears a metallic clanking sound down the hall. He calls out to Rapunzel, but gets only more clanging. Then he decides to serenade her with an impromptu rap, and Mitch kills him from behind with some steel tongs that pierce his temples. One down...

Tina and Rapunzel pass time on the roof by playing chess, while Godiva is spray painting a wall in the background. When Tina loses the game, she throws the pieces off the board and hisses at her friend. They notice that Darnell is no longer among the group in the grass, and Rapunzel hopes that he's coming to see her. That somehow leads into a scene in the lair that The Coroner has made his home, where he apparently watches clips from random black & white movies all day long.

Godiva leaves the rooftop to find a bathroom, and we see Mitch preparing a sink filled with acid. Godiva wanders to the mens' room, and her accent becomes Australian for a few seconds. Bizarre. Mitch is in the bathroom washing his hands, but he hides in one of the stalls when he hears her about to enter. I think Godiva's accent-mangling days are numbered!

Sure enough, Mitch leaps at her when she opens his stall door. There's a scuffle, and a strange bit involving The Coroner strangling Godiva via her shoulders, but we finally get to see him shove her head into the sink filled with acid. As he lifts her fleshless face back up, he rambles some nonsense about respecting her right to free speech. Then he giggles. Whatever.

The next scene returns us to Mike's group, just sitting around on the grass. Mitch should just get a rifle, and take them all out at once. They all wonder what happened to Darnell, then Dennis gets his panties in a bunch over his soggy baseball cards again. Mike offers to look for Darnell, and the others seem eager to send him on his journey.

The Coroner wanders the dark corridors of his lair with a lantern, and heads to his "bedroom" in the basement. There he has a flashback to the day of the accident, and he remembers his beloved Judy. Awwwww, see? Underneath that scabby shell, he's just a hopeless romantic. Or, he's at least hopeless!

Mike roams around the empty facility, but finds it empty. The Coroner just sits around watching more old movies. Even the camera crew gets bored, because they return to Kiki, Dennis and Jane once more. Dennis sees his Wade Boggs card fly away on the wind, and chases after it. Oh, and every time it blows further away, the wind makes this comical "whooshing" sound. Sheesh, this is dumb. Dennis fantasizes that Wade himself is rounding the bases, and follows the card.

There's a brief glimpse of Mike finding a skeleton, then more crap with Dennis, still immersed in his fantasy about baseball. Mitch discovers Dennis crawling around on the floor, and threatens him with a drill. He bores a hole through the nerd's forehead. Home run for The Coroner! Then Mike roams the halls some more, while Mitch lights candles. After his candles are lit, he picks up the rotten hand of his dead lover, and caresses his own face with it. I bet that must smell nice.

Mike gets to the roof, and demands to know what the punks did with Darnell. He and Tina have a fight, and it mirrors a fight scene in the movie that Mitch is watching. As the brawl is going on, Rapunzel just sits at the chess game, talking to herself about Darnell. Tina kicks the crap out of Mike, to the point that she has him dangling on the edge of the roof by his fingertips.

At that point, The Coroner has a breakdown over a sad scene on the television, and Rapunzel runs into the building to find Darnell. Oh, and Kiki and Jane see "Mom" hanging off of the side of the roof, but decide that he'll probably be fine. Then, more footage of The Coroner walking around in the dark.

Now that everyone is in the abandoned hospital, it's time for Mitch to pick up his pace. Or I hope he does...Rapunzel finds Godiva's melted skull and screams, which distracts Tina long enough for Mom to get back on the roof, and run past her into the facility. Then The Coroner sneaks up behind Rapunzel, and suffocates her with a leather strap around her throat.

More scenes follow, mostly of the characters walking up and down stairways, then Mom finds Kiki and Jane. Tina looks for her friends, and starts to realize that she's all by herself....then The Coroner opens a door directly in front of Mom and the girls, and none of them manage to see it. He swiftly closes it again, as they get closer.

Jane tells her friends to remain where they are, so that she can bring Tina's group to them, just to prove that they're all still alive and well. Mom reminds her that when characters in movies go off by themnselves, they usually die soon after that. And a wolf howls, for no apparent reason.

As Jane walks away from safety, she nearly collides with Tina. They accuse each other of being responsible for the disappearances, then Jane leaves Tina to wander off alone again. For an intellectual snob, Jane sure does seem pretty dumb.

As luck would have it, she has trapped herself with Mitch. Jane tries to assure herself that he's a delusion, and asks him to vanish. Then she backs into a chair, and more or less waits there to be killed. Using a small surgical saw, The Coroner slices through Jane's cheek and jaw, and removes half of her face in the process.

Tina steps into the room, and quickly realizes that she's in deep shit. The Coroner approaches her, but makes a getaway when Mom reaches the room as well. Mom sees Jane's body, and accuses Tina of murder, which she denies. She starts to tell him about her encounter with the killer, but then Kiki screams, and Mom runs off to rescue her.

This leads into my favorite scene so far, showing him running down the same corridor about a dozen times, shouting "I'm coming!" ever damn time, all while his girlfriend screams her head off. Funny as heck, and worth a point in my rating just for making me laugh. Mom finds his girlfriend staring at a corpse in a bathtub, and he informs her that they're being hunted by a psychopath. Kiki starts slamming him into a bathroom stall door as she cries and screams, then she finally calms down long enough to ask, "What's a psychopath???"

Mitch sits around on his mangled ass watching more movies, and Tina gets lost in the halls. Then the killer falls asleep, and has a nightmare about the car crash. Tina strays into a restroom, and comes face-to-face with her dead band-mates, causing her to vomit.

While Kiki and Mom pray to find their friends, The Coroner sneaks up to them. He hears them praying, and adds a sarcastic "Amen!" when Kiki promises God sex, money or a credit card in exchange for a miraculous rescue. Then he fills a large syringe with liquid from a large bottle he's carrying in his bag.

Tina rips a large metal bar off of a radiator as a makeshift weapon, and tries to be brave again. Then the movie shows her, Mom and Kiki looking for the killer, and jumping at every shadow and sound. The Coroner finds the couple first, and he injects Mom with whatever was in the syringe. Then he abducts Kiki, and straps her down to a stretcher in the autopsy room. Satisfied that she can't escape, he decides to watch more movies. Wait...what?

After the latest movie, The Coroner finds Mom, still alive, crawling along the corridor. He brings him back to the autopsy room, where he makes Kiki watch as he straps her boyfriend to another table. He removes the guy's shoes, and proceeds to cut off the toes on one foot. Meanwhile, Tina gets closer to his location.

Mom either dies or passes out from the agony of his injuries, and that's when Tina arrives. She swings her metal bar around like a bo stick, and Mitch picks up a fire axe. They duel around the room, and when The Coroner drops his weapon, Tina batters him to the floor. After that, she finally notices Kiki.

Tina unties her, and they apologize to each other for the way they acted earlier. Then Tina accidentally slips a conveyor belt on with her foot, and is killed by a machine that compresses and mangles her body down into a messy meat-cube. Freakin' hilarious, man.

Mitch then wakes up, and begins to pursue Kiki. She runs away, while he adjusts his tie and uses some breath spray. Kiki manages to get to a large kitchen, but somehow The Coroner has beaten her to the room first. She runs away again, and finds a way outside.

Mitch wanders through the grass after her, calling her "Judy" the whole time. When he corners Kiki and tries to kiss her, she knees him in the crotch. He limps after her again, then just stops to kneel down and cry. Kiki, being a dumbass, returns to talk to Mitch.

She sees him with the newspaper clipping, and realizes that he loved her mother. Then she remembers that he and her mother were going to put her in a boarding school, so she stabs him in the eye with the mirror she found earlier. Another old movie clip is shown, and Kiki strides away. THE END

Wow, this was one odd movie. I remembered very little of it from my previous viewing, which may have been a blessing. It did, however, manage to be both funny and gory, so I kind of enjoyed it. 3.5 killer trees out of 5.

And what did I learn from Doom Asylum?

-Severed hands are romantic.

-You can murder everyone in a hospital, and there will never be an investigation. Ever.

-Indecisive boyfriends are sexy to young women. Or maybe they aren't. On the other hand...

Next up is an odd-sounding slasher/musical, called Don't Go In The Woods. It's not the first musical slasher I've seen(that dubious honor goes to Slumber Party Massacre 2), but many say it's the worst. Hooray!