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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Shrunken Heads

Long time no see, huh?

Well, before we get to this week's (Month's? Year's????) SAW entry, let me bend your ear for a minute...

Back in February, "something" happened to me. Don't exactly know, and I may never know, but it was bad enough to nearly kill me. I was found on the floor in my apartment by my sister, and I apparently stopped breathing for awhile. My kidneys were shutting down, my tongue swelled up like a balloon, it wasn't looking good. Scary-ass shit, certainly scarier than any slasher flick. I was in an induced coma in the ICU while machines breathed for me.

I'll be honest, it's been pretty bizarre. I just arrived back home today, and I still can't quite convince myself that I'm really back....or my cat, who refuses to leave my side, lol. Anyway, I'm getting back into my routine here, and mostly just because I love watching these dumb thing and mocking them. Frankly, I need to laugh. We good here? Good, because I'd  like to get this one started up! I wrote this one up while in the hospital, but couldn't post it until tonight, so just read this while picturing me watching craptacular movies in a hospital bed, on a cold March afternoon....

Well, after browsing the internet, I nearly threw in the proverbial towel this week. Lucky for me, I found another YouTube movie to view, something called Shrunken Heads. It's a Full Moon production, so I expect it to be gory, silly, and probably shorter than most feature-length movies. SPOILERS below...

The first character we meet is Tommy, a kid who works part-time at a local grocery store. While he's busy sweeping the floor, his best friend, "Filter"(at least, that's what it sounded like....) saunters in. They convince the boss to let Tommy go home early, because Filter wants to have some fun.

As they leave, they spot another kid, Freddie, being bullied by some older teens. They attempt to interfere, and that just makes the bullies even angrier. A large man threatens them, but they ignore his threats.

After all 3 boys get away, they introduce themselves formally to the new kid. Then they bring Freddie to their favorite newsstand, where they get him interested in comic books. They find a quiet spot to read, but then the bullies return. Vinnie, the leader of the gang steals one of their books, then lifts Tommy off his feet.

The older Haitian man who runs the newsstand threatens the bullies, and they soon disband. After Tommy and his pals thank him, they chat about his past. He tells them that, in Haiti, he would have called upon someone to deliver swift, brutal justice to kids like that. Cool story, bro!

Sara, Vinnie's cute girlfriend returns to the store to apologize to Tommy about the bullying. Vinnie sees her leave, and offers her a ride, but she ignores his advances. Vinnie then leans out of his window to talk to her, nearly hitting some pedestrians.

The Haitian opens a jar filled with sand or dust, pours some of it onto his hand, then blows on it. That causes Vinnie to lose control of the car, which crashes into a street lamp.

That night, after his friends go home, Tommy is visited by Sara. She tells him that she broke up with Vinnie, because she likes someone else. Tommy, who is not too sharp, asks her who the lucky guy is, and she kisses him.

Filter and Fred witness Vinnie's gang preparing to strip a car, so they contact Tommy via walkie-talkie. He grabs a camera, then ditches the hot girl who was just kissing him. When he gets to the right location, he hides behind some trash, and films the crime.

Tommy's movie gets the hoods arrested, plus he scores major points with Sara by being such a good kid. Zzzz...Hey, has anyone seen a horror movie anywhere in this vicinity? This would bore me to tears, if I could work up the energy to shed any.

Vinnie pays a visit to a guy who looks like a cross between Joe Pesci and Elvis. Pelvis springs his gang from jail. Maybe NOW something can happen? Yeah, probably not.

Tommy, Filter and Fred get abducted by the criminals. After they're tied up and left alone, they immediately get loose again. Fred almost gets grabbed during the escape, but somehow the 3 nimrods get away. Vinnie's gang are given guns, and are ordered to kill the kids as quickly as possible.

Vinnie and his goons corner the trio, and blow them away. There are a couple of folks who hear the execution, including Sara. The crime is covered up, and a triple-casket funeral is held for the boys. After the bodies are alone again, a portly man limps into the room, and prepares to saw the heads off of the bodies. That's right, kiddies! When you die, some random guy saws your head off! Sleep tight!

We see Haitian Guy mumbling in a secret lair, then we have to watch as Sara and Vinnie whine about their "relationship", which has nothing to do with voodoo, beheadings, or killing sprees, in any way, shape, or form. The witch doctor finally gets back to his apartment, where the 3 severed heads are seen floating in a cauldron. He mixes a dead cat into the stew. "And the cat's in the cauldron, with the boy-head stew..."

Then we get a voodoo montage. Feel free to sing I'm Walking On Sunshine during this part. Isn't that song a requirement in all 1980's montage sequences? A chant is recited, then we finally see the severed heads of 3 children come alive. Fun for the entire family.

The heads complain about being dead, have no bodies, blah blah blah. Voodoo guy tosses them around, revealing to the boys that they can now fly. The witch doctor advises them to roam around the city, and find a constructive way to use their new powers.

The heads interrupt an attempted rape. They cut the throat of one of the attackers, then bite the second scumbag in the throat. They fly away again, as the victim of the rapists runs away screaming.

They decide to split up for a break, and Fred flies to check on his family. Tommy spies on Sara, who now sleeps with his photo near her for comfort. I wonder if they make a greeting card for a moment like that? "Sorry Your Friend Was Made A Shrunken Head/Better Keep His Portrait Next to Your Bed!"

As the boys report back to their new boss, the pair of attackers they killed reanimate as zombies, because "stuff". Then we see that a year has passed, and that the criminals are all afraid to commit any crimes, lest they become zombies as well. Wait...a WHOLE YEAR has gone by? Were the shrunken heads too busy backpacking through Europe to finish getting revenge?

Sara, siting around and looking bored, gets a call from Vinnie. He tells her that he wants to swing by after his night class, but he's actually just hanging out with the rest of the hoodlums, smoking and playing poker. I wish they were watching a more interesting movie than the one I'm stuck with tonight.

Voodoo Guy gets threatened by a pair of thugs at his magazine stand, and they demand a bribe to "protect" his business. He laughs, then reveals red, glowing eyes to one of the thugs. He and his buddy run away, as Voodoo Guy continues his manic laughing fit.

When they get to their seedy apartment, the smaller, nervous guy decides to have a shower, while his portly pal just wants to watch some television. The shrunken heads slit the throat of the shower guy, and he keels over. Outside, Vinnie and Sara have another argument, and break up yet again. She gets out of his car, and starts to walk back to her neighborhood.

More wacky zombie fun with the thugs. The big one gets off of his ass to see what happened to his friend, and he finds the body in the shower. As he tries to leave, one of the shrunken heads revives shower guy to assault him. Why didn't they do any of this a year ago?

Vinnie later finds his former partners picking up trash, then realizes that they've become zombies. He escapes, mostly because the movie still has a half hour of story left to tell. The zombies resume the trash removal.

Then we get either a dream sequence, a memory, or an event that takes place the following morning. Sara visits the graveyard to pay her respects to Tommy, and his head floats over to speak with her. She's frightened, until Tommy "zaps" the memory of his death into her brain, along with most of the movie.

Sara understands now why Tommy and the others returned, and expresses her sympathy to him. He ends the visit by sailing down her blouse, then quickly flying away. Okay, so now he's a murderer AND a sexual predator. Pleasant.

Sara knocks on Voodoo Guy's door, and demands to see Tommy. When she spies the large container where the heads are preserved, Sara realizes that everything Tommy told her at the graveyard was true. Then Voodoo Guy informs Sara that Tommy and his friends only care about revenge, nothing else. Tommy contradicts that notion by swooping down Sara's shirt for another motorboat session.

Back to Vinnie. He's back in his apartment, and crouched on the floor. He decides to get drunk, and he passes out after a brief period. When he wakes up, Vanny is grabbed by his zombified henchmen, perhaps as a snack.

Vinnie screams, then throws himself through the nearest window. He survives the fall, and is chased through the streets by the zombies. He makes his way to the warehouse that Pelvis uses as a base, and tells him about the shrunken heads. Then Voodoo Guy bursts in, shoots one of the gangsters, and laughs like a loon while the zombies go after the remaining gangsters.

During the chaos, Sara walks in, surrounded by a weird halo. The aura turns out to be the heads, and they join the fight. As the gangsters try to leave, they shoot at Voodoo Guy, and take Sara as a hostage.

There's a car chase, but it gets delayed by the arrival of a busload of evangelists. The criminals seem to get away, but then the shrunken heads pop the car tires. The gangsters are defeated. They take them back to the neighborhood,where Voodoo Guy turns them into mummies. Then he gives Sara the spell that controls the shrunken heads, and she summons them. THE END...?

Yup, it's over. No sequels, spinoffs, or anything else. What a waste of a potentially good idea. Plus, with all of the undead stuff, there was no slasher element to it, so...yeah. Kind of a pointless movie for a slasher-themed blog. 1 out of 5, for at least being short and silly.

And what did Shrunken Heads teach me?

-Zombies are perverts, but they care about the environment.

-Bullets don't harm folks who perform voodoo,

-Gangsters always look like they stepped out of a Liberace tribute band.

Next up is probably the slasher version of Phantom of the Opera. The one with Robert Englund.  We'll see...and, again, it's good to be back!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sorority House Massacre

This week, I'm still not home yet, and my laptop was acting funny, so I apologize for the delay. With that in mind, I present a pretty random one, the bizarre Sorority House Massacre, starring absolutely no one I've ever heard of in my entire horror-movie-watching life. Great...I'll do You're Next as soon as I can get back to my apartment again to see it, I swear! Oh, and SPOILERS ahead...

So, we see, in the first scene, a young woman named Beth, sitting up in a hospital bed. Beth is visited by an older woman, presumably a neighbor, and she asks Beth "what happened". That, of course, leads into an extended flashback of the movie...

Beth is now walking along a sidewalk, and carrying an overnight bag. She heads toward a large white sorority house, then we see a figure sprawled out on a tiny bed. The house is entered, and the camera gives us a tour of spacious, empty rooms.

The figure in the bed begins to have convulsions, then we get to visit the second floor. As we see Beth arrive at the front door and open it, the stranger in the bed begins to punch their own arm. Kooky.

Beth is greeted by one of the sorority sisters, and then we finally see that the person in the bed is an unshaven man. He opens his eyes and stares into the camera, and there's a scream that brings a pair of interns running. Beth, meanwhile, is shown to room 5, which she'll be sharing with 3 other girls. She's not a member, but she was apparently invited to take a tour for the weekend.

The pair of schlubby interns exit the room again, and they reveal that they used tape to subdue the patient. They argue over whether to call a doctor named Lindsey, but decide that it can wait until morning. The patient is then seen struggling to free himself from confinement.

That night, Beth has yet another dream. In it, she's walking slowly toward the house again, but she watches a trio of little girls digging in the dirt and playing. They ask her where she's going, and she indicates the house. They warn her to be careful, and watch her enter again.

Beth makes a beeline for the dining room, where she finds a group of life-sized dolls seated at the table. As she circles around them, she notices that the silverware has been replaced by hunting knives. A drop of blood then hits the white tablecloth, and several more follow. Beth realizes that the blood is leaking through the ceiling, onto a chandelier, and the stain appears to be massive,

Beth goes upstairs to investigate, and finds the bedroom where the blood originated from. A glass container filled with marbles crashes to the floor in another room, so Beth wanders over for a look. She finds what sounds like a child in bed, covered entirely up by blankets, but pulling them back reveals more blood in the bed. Beth backs up, gasps as something behind her scares her, and the dream ends.

A girl named Sara bursts into the room, and they introduce themselves to each other. After trying to mooch a sweater from the houseguest, Sara makes a hasty retreat. This sorority house is like the Twilight Zone.

As various house sisters go on with their morning routine, we see Sara ask a girl named Cindy for a jacket, but she grumpily refuses. Another girl, Linda, tosses her a matching jacket for her blouse. Exciting stuff.

In the bathroom, Beth is just staring at herself in the mirror while other girls shower. Then we see a glimpse of our favorite mental patient, struggling to free his arms. He breaks free, tears the tape off of his mouth, then sits up. Finally! We're 11 minutes in, and I was starting to think that I had the wrong movie!

A girl named Tracy complains to some of the others that she finds Beth to be "glum". The other girls chastise her for being catty, then they all gossip anyway. Fortunately, they shut up seconds before Beth enters the room. As they head outside, they talk about having some kind of big party.

Beth realizes that she grabbed the wrong book, so she goes back into the house. In the bedroom, Beth looks into a mirror, but sees a guy glaring back at her instead of her own reflection. He raises a knife and plunges it through the mirror, where it gets trapped halfway into the glass, and drips with blood. One of the sorority sisters walks in, and Beth realizes that none of it was real.

The patient, now standing up, is busy throwing himself into the walls. A young female doctor asks an intern about how the patient acted the previous night, and they appear to be heading to his room. As soon as the flunky unlocks his door, the psycho attacks him, so the doctor swiftly shuts the cell door, then watches the scuffle through the door's tiny window.

After our sorority girls tell Beth a really corny story about a pet pig, we see that the killer has been sedated again. The doctor has a machine brought into his room, probably for something like electroshock therapy. BZZT! Do I smell toast?

We see a couple of the girls struggle in their classes, then Beth has another vision. This time, the killer is leering at her from the window. She disrupts the lecture, so she decides to leave.

A creepy nerd named Andy tells Sara about an experiment that involved killing kittens to see if the mother cat could sense the loss through telepathy. That discussion leads back to the killer. The machine is being used to see how his brainwaves react to the things she says to him.

Beth has a conversation with a woman who is apparently the house mother, Mrs. Lawrence. She's going away for the weekend, so she gives Beth some instructions to tell the other girls. Then she walks out of the movie, presumably forever. Is anyone else starting to think that this has way too much plot for a supposed slasher flick?

Back in the hospital, the doctor begins to ask the patient some questions about his sudden outbursts. After each question, she consults the machine, to see if his brain activity gets stirred up by anything. Oh, and before that, we find out that the killer has a rare condition, one that allows him to be both awake and dreaming at the same time.

Her questions get more specific, and she discovers that the killer had one of his waking dreams just before he went apeshit. She asks him what the dream was about, and he says the name "Laura". Who the heck is Laura?

The line on the graph starts to jump around like a kangaroo on crack, and the intern tells the doctor that he's amazed to hear the patient speak. Then we see Beth back at the sorority, nervously looking through each room for more scary images. As she sees flashes of her dead parents, the mental patient appears to be able to see her from his cell. Even worse, she sees him.

The patient has another outburst, so they pump him full of sedatives. They leave the room, but we see that he somehow managed to remain fully alert. Then Beth has a jump-scare while backing out of the house(Why do these nimrods always back into people?), and meets up with the group of girls from the previous sequence.

They all celebrate having the house unsupervised, and get ready to party. The wild night includes eating another girl's ice cream, and trying on some of Cindy's clothing. What a fun group. Girls Gone Mild. We even get a generic "look at us in different outfits!" montage.

At the end of the scene, they realize that Beth is upset. As she starts to discuss her dreams, we travel back to the psych ward, where the patient is about to get served his lunch. The guy delivering the tray has headphones on, and never hears the killer sneak up on him. The patient bashes his head into the wall, killing him. Then he boldly marches out into the world.

Beth wraps up talking about the dream, and they all decide to consult a book about dream interpretation. Then the killer literally jogs out of the hospital, and jumps a security fence. Yay! At this rate, he should get to the house by the third movie.

The girls start reading and drinking, while the killer strides into a sporting goods store. He smashes a display case, grabs the largest hunting knife he can find, then stabs the elderly clerk in the gut. Keep the change! Oh, and the old man does some Shatner-level emoting as he dies. Funniest scene in the film, so far at least.

Okay, so now the girls are looking up the images in Beth's nightmare about the dolls, and trying to sort through all of the possible symbolism. None of it goes anywhere, which is beginning to be a pattern with this movie, A car horn honks, and they abandon the book to see who it might be.

The killer steals a station wagon. Meanwhile, Tracy reveals that she had a bunch of stuff dumped onto the front yard, to decorate for the party. And then we see the killer reading highway signs. Would it kill this movie to actually be scary? I mean, I like plot and suspense, but this thing has no clue about where it's going.

A car arrives at the sorority, but it's just a collection of nerdy guys. Literally. Despite being the oddest misfits in the universe, the girls start to make out with them. The nerds see all of the random junk on the lawn, and offer to help with the decorations.

A bored-looking hospital worker discovers that the mental patient escaped, then we have to watch the sorority house being set up for the pow wow. This movie is an endurance challenge. A tent is put up, but falls over because one couple is inside smooching. I hope all of these people die in the most painful way possible.

The hospital worker announces the escape over the P.A. system, and we FINALLY learn that the patient is named Robert Henkel. At this point, I'm going to consider that to be progress. The only massacre has been the killing of time...

The girls are in the dark, literally speaking. The power has gone out. They build a fire, then accuse their nerdy dates of playing with the fusebox. The guys deny it, but then the nerdiest one scares the girls as a prank.

The hospital worker calls the cops, and one detective straight out of central casting arrives to interview him. Seriously, this guy is such a Danny Glover clone, I almost expect Mel Gibson to be right behind him. He gets a description of Bob, then starts looking.

The college kids sit around in a group, then try to scare each other. They talk about psychic energy, ghosts, and even refer back to the kitten-torture story. Then one of the guys claims that the house has a violent past. Of course, that's right where the scene ends.

More footage of Bob driving. Then one of the nerds, John, claims that a maniac killed his own parents in the house, and we see it in some flashbacks. The weapon was an axe. As we see the killer pick up a hunting knife and leave the house, the girls beg the storyteller, John, to stop.

After one girl leaves to rest, John continues with the tale. He describes the killer going after his 2 younger sisters, which we also see in a brief clip. Then the group disbands, spreading out around the house.

Beth finds herself alone, and tries a light switch. She bumps into John, and he offers to keep her company. Beth declines, claiming that she just needs some sleep. The others haven't paired off and ended the party, though...they're all watching Halloween. On television. In a house with no electricity. Think about that.

Dr. Lindsey is called. The intern leaves her a message, then the cop asks if she has a beeper. He gets laughed at, not really sure why.

Beth falls asleep, and then has a nightmare that the killer has entered the room. He comes toward her, but stabs at the bunk bed above hers. She gets blood all over her face and screams, and the rest of the group rush in. They wake her up, and the bed is now a regular one. Beth apologizes for being so much trouble, and they convince her not to be alone that night.

One girl decides to look at the fuses. As she opens the panel, her boyfriend Craig jumps at her, just to frighten her. He talks her into setting up the teepee for some sexy fun.

Bob arrives, parking at the house next door. As he looks at his childhood home, he starts to shuffle slowly towards it. Run, Bob, run! Get going on this massacre.

John asks for information about Beth's nightmare, and the girls give him an earful. Then Beth claims that she felt unafraid of the killer at first, as if she knew him...

Okay, I'm calling it. Beth is one of the killer's sisters. She somehow forgot about her family getting slaughtered by her brother, then also managed to pledge a sorority in the same house. It's stupid as heck, but I'm pretty sure that I'm correct. Just you watch.

Heh heh heh. She must have heard me, because now Beth "knows" that the killer hid one of his weapons in the fireplace. Intrigued, they all decide to have a closer look. Oh, and Bob is STILL just walking up to the house. How slow does he walk?

They put out the fire, and Beth points to a specific brick at the base of the fireplace. Sure enough, they find Bob's original knife.Of course, since a roaring fire was just there, the knife is incredibly hot to the touch. Andy ? fumbles it, and it get imbedded in a wooden surface in front of them.

They see dark stains all over it, and realize that it's blood. Sara picks up the knife, places it on the mantle, then declares that it's "neat". Another girl tosses it right back into the fireplace.

After Dr. Lindsey checks her phone messages,we see Craig pound in the last stake for the tent, using a brick as a makeshift hammer. He then tosses the brick a few feet away, and the camera clues us in to what the next weapon will be. Boy, that was subtle.

Doc Lindsey calls the intern back, and has him find Bob's file. They go over the details of the case, even telling us that one sister survived (See?), and manage to get the address for the house as well. The intern promises to give the address to the detective as soon as he hangs up.

Back in the house, Beth is encouraged to try to unlock memories through hypnosis. Andy then realizes how late it is, and leaves the party. As soon as he's alone, he runs into Bob. The killer stabs him, then heads for the house again.

Beth, now in a trance, is told to go back to her dream, then back to wherever the dream originated from. As I predicted, Beth is Bob's sister. She survived his killing spree by hiding in the basement. Oh, and she's also the mysterious "Laura" we heard about earlier in the film.

A flashback shows Bob finding Beth, and her friends see that she's in distress. After several attempts, they manage to break her trance. As ridiculous as this sounds, not one of them ever realizes that the event was something from Beth's actual past. This is just soul-crushingly stupid.

Tracy and Craig head back to the tent, and Bob watches from a hiding spot. As Beth and her date watch the rest of Halloween with the volume cranked up, he murders the couple. Some of the girls upstairs hear the screams, and assume that it's all from the television.

Craig gets away while Tracy is being killed, and shouts a warning to the rest of the household. He runs into the nearest bedroom, completely naked, and finds the phone dead, Then they remember that Cindy has a second phone line, so they rush to check it out. Just as they dial 911, Bob cuts that line as well.

He enters the house, walks straight over to the fireplace, and fetches his old knife. Then Beth, who somehow managed to fall asleep with John before the mayhem, has another nightmare about her brother. She finally wakes up, just as Bob prepares to stab her, and he ends up killing John instead.

Beth runs upstairs, with her brother close on her heels. She reaches the others just in the nick of time, and they try to figure out what to do as Bob pounds on the door. The pounding abruptly stops, but they can still hear breathing from the hallway.

They attempt to get help by yelling out the window, then breaking some glass, but the neighbors don't respond. Then one girl remembers that there's a fire ladder, which they hang out the window. Craig goes first, bracing the ladder for the others.

As Linda starts down, Bob rushes up behind Craig, covering his mouth and stabbing him under his ribs. Linda sees Bob waiting for her, and furiously scrambles to reach the window again. He grabs her by the ankle a few times, but Linda manages to get back inside, with help from the other 2 girls.

They unhook the ladder from the windowsill, but Bob manages to reach the window before they do it. They slam the window down on his hands, and Bob screams. Then they mace him, and Bob plummets to the ground below.

They decide to escape before he revives, in case the fall didn't injure or kill him. Bob wakes up, just as they reach the front door. They open the door, and Andy's corpse is discovered leaning against the door. After locking it again, they run back to the bedroom.

Beth remembers the crashing jar of marbles, and Bob crashes through the window and loses HIS marbles. They look into each others' eyes, and then the race to flee continues. They find another victim, then arrive outside. Unfortunately for them, he also reaches the yard.

He shambles in their direction, in a visual "homage" to Michael Myers. They get scared and back away, because running would make too much sense. Linda and Beth get away, but the third girl(Tracy? Sara?) is a goner.

They hide in the basement, and Beth tries to convince Linda that they can survive the rampage, Then Beth recalls that there is a spare key to the door. They run upstairs again, alternating between hiding and searching for the key.

They hear sirens. Linda tries to be optimistic, but Beth doesn't see how the police could know about their predicament. Beth finally realizes that she's related to the killer, and she dumbs it down for her new friend. She even explains that Beth is her middle name, and her real name is Laura.

And the dreams? And Bob tracking her down? Beth thinks they have a psychic link, like the mother cat from that story. How can a movie with psychic siblings, college babes, a high body count, and silly montages be so boring? This should be crazy-fun!

Bob gets into the basement, so they try to be even stealthier. Linda spots the spare key and grabs it, and Bob attacks them both as they hurry back up the stairs. As they lock him in the basement, Bob attempts to stab his way through the door. Beth uses her telepathy to time his next impact, and they run to the fireplace to grab the other knife.

Bob reaches them as they try to open the front door, and he corners Beth. She tries to hit him with a shovel from the fireplace, but it's small and ineffective. Linda helps by slamming him from behind with an actual shovel, but Bob barely reacts.

As he raises his arm to stab Beth with a fatal blow, Linda's shovel slams into the back of his head. She pummels him a few more times to be sure, then decide that he must be dead. As they limp away, Bob manages one final kill, planting his knife in Linda's back.

She takes a few more steps, then falls against a doorway and dies. Bob is trying to crawl after Beth like a snake, but she sees him coming. They attack at the same time, and Beth succeeds in thrusting her knife up through his chin, and out of his skull.

The cops find the house at last, and a pair of them help Linda. As she recovers in the hospital, she asks a nurse how bad the wounds are, and the nurse assures her that they'll be fine. After the nurse pulls her curtain shut, Bob pulls it back again. Beth screams, revealing that it was another nightmare. THE END

Wow, what a terrible experience this one was! There were only 2 silver linings: One was that the women were quite attractive and charming. The other was that we got to at least see some of Halloween. 1.5 killer trees out of 5 for this travesty.

And what did I learn from Sorority House Massacre?

-When the best friend is the character you'd rather see alive, you have a terrible main character.

-It takes all night to walk across a single lawn.

-It's possible to forget your entire past, despite seeing it every day in your head. Oh, and to also not remember where you lived, then move back in to the SAME DAMN HOUSE.

I'll have to pick my next one more carefully, to avoid getting a movie-related brain tumor. Any suggestions for a good slasher online that I haven't done yet?

Friday, February 21, 2014


Okay, so I wound up getting myself hospitalizied a couple of weeks ago,so I thought maybe I could watch a flick tonight from bed. The movie is called Stitches, and is about a killer clown. Ugh.

Anyway, the film begins with our "hero", Stitches the Clown, screwing a prostitute.  Classy. I sure do know how to to pick them, huh? Luckily,it was followed by a funny sequence showing the clown getting drressed for work.  Then we see Stitiches drive to a party, where he drunkenly tries a few minor magic tricks and gags. The birthday boy, though, has other plans, sneaking behind him on the floor, then tying his shoes together. As you might expect, this eventually causes the clown to trip.

The kids see him fall, then there's silence. They gather around him in the kitchen, and he eventually stands up again, but with a large knife protruding from his face. Ouch. They look at each other, then the kid gets a huge spray of blood to his face, and Stitches dies. Later, the young boy sees a group of clowns performing a ritual to bring the dead clown back to life, and they speak with scary, growly voices.

When he heads to breakfast the next morning, the teen thinks the food on his plate looks like a clown face, but it quickly vanishes. Oh, and the kid is on a drug called Hypnocil....wasn't that also the pill the teens in the Elm Street franchise were hooked on? Weird.

We finally also start to get some names straight. The main teen is Tom. There's  also Sarah, Paul, and Mary. As they all take a test,Tom hallucinates that the instructor  has become a clown, and someone gets castrated. Oh, and  now Tom is having a party that weekend. After school, Tom climbs into a tiny treehouse to spy on a female neighbor that he happens to like. Her name is Kate. Tom invites her to his party as well, then sees another possible clown-scare down the hall. As a bully tries to question our hero about the party, Tom Realizes that the celebration is getting waaaay too out of hand.

The first group arrives, and they set up the house for the party. As more kids arrive, we also see that Stitches has begun to rise from his grave. We also see a clown make a few background appearances during the party, but no one else sees the clown  or acknowledges him. Then another clown walks throught the front door, and chases Tom with a knife. Tom falls, hurting himself, and it turns out to be a prank by Kate's boyfriend.  In the mayhem's aftermath, no one sees a second clown entering the party....

A fight breaks out, and a gay guy has words with  a girl named Sarah. Then Tom decides to flee his own party, so Kate follows him. They talk alone for a time, and then Sarah sees the telescope pointed at her house. Then we see that our fake clown,Paul, is searching for a bathroom. He nearly has an encounter with the undead Stitiches, but they barely miss seeing each other. Tom tells Kate about the weird ritual he saw, and we see Stitches corner Paul. The killer attacks the teen, tearing his arm out of alignment, then tells him that he gets to watch the rest of the mayhem as a witness. Then he wrenches a rabbit out of the teen's mouth, decapitates him, and moves on.

While Kate and Mary have a catfight, Stitches removes his rubber nose, then commands it to find the teens responsible for his death. The nose rolls away, finds some of the teens, then Stitchses comes back to retrieve it.

As Tom watches from his treehouse, we see Stitches corner his next victim, Sarah. He opens an umbrella, popping one of her eyes out in the process. Then the nose goes on  another search, but a cat brawls with it along the way. Oh, and Vinnie tries to convince some other teens that the killer is loose, but no one will listen.

The killer turns another teen's intestines into balloon animals, then goes after Vinnie next. He gets away, and Tommy convinces him to stay to rescue whoever's left. They work as a pair to search the house for teens.

One fat girl spots the killer outside the house, and her screams get the attention of the others. They all see the clown, and go nuts. Stitches sees Tom and Kate leave on bikes, and he follows them on a tricycle. Tom has this idea that, if it works, might stop the clown permanently. They arrive at the graveyard, then hide behind some of the graves while the clown tries to stalk them. Tom gets nervous, so Kate kisses him to calm down his breathing.

At the crypt, Tom must find and destroy an egg with Stitches' face on it...Trouble is, there are several eggs. Stitches arrives, and the teens battle the clown over his egg. After a brief scuffle, the clown falls on top of the egg by accident, crushing it. He immediately starts to  fall apart like the egg, and is soon dead. Then we see a short final scene where another clown is busy rebuilding the egg, while Tom and Kate think that everything is fine. THE END not too terrible, I guess.2 out of 5.

And what did I learn from Stitches?

-Clowns are Satanic.
-Hospitals make bad movie theatres.
-I may need to cut down on my egg consumption.

No clue what or when my next entry will be...playing this by ear.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Deepstar Six

So, I was in a discussion not long ago, about how, in the late '80s/early '90s, there were a crapload of Alien knockoffs...and most of them took place underwater. Deepstar Six was one of 2 of these things that I paid to see in a theatre(the other was nLeviathan), and it's today's SAW. Big, drippy, slippery SPOILERS follow...

According to the opening credits, this movie involved the producers of Total Recall, and the guy who created the Friday the 13th franchise. Weird. Oh, and the cast is mostly made up of actors from television and bad movies, like Nia Peeples, Greg "My Two Dads" Evigan and Matt "That Guy Who WASN'T Steve Guttenberg in later Police Academy Sequels" McCoy. Neat-o.

After the saddest credits ever, we follow a shark to Deepstar Six, which is a military project located on the ocean floor. There, we meet McBride and Laidlaw, a happy couple who are just waking up to begin their work shift. McBride is commitment-shy, and he artfully evades Laidlaw when she starts to ask him why he's never settled down. Trouble in Paradise?

They join the rest of their team for the change in shift, and we find out that their "shift" is in the last week of a 6-month stint on the ocean floor. The team consists of McBride(a submarine pilot) and Joyce Collins; a marine biologist named Dr. Scarpelli; a physician named Diane Norris; 2 hotshot submarine pilots, named Osborne and Hodges; a Russian-sounding scientist named Burciaga; Dr. Van Gelder, who is the man in charge of the scientific experiments being conducted underwater; and Captain Laidlaw, the commander of the underwater station.

Burciaga and Collins are studying an area where the military is trying to place a missile site, and they discover that the cavern underneath that spot is pretty deep. They contact Van Gelder to report that they should probably look for another place to build the missile site, but he orders them to use whatever tools are necessary to blow up the cavern, then put the missiles on top of the wreckage. Collins and Burciaga want to explore the area first, but Van Gelder overrides the decision.

Snyder tells the rest of the group about the cave discovery, and Scarpelli seeks out Van Gelder to try to talk him into letting her explore the cavern first. Despite citing several important scientific discoveries made in similar caverns, he refuses to delay the demolition of the cave. She stomps away, then we get a brief scene of Snyder begging Norris to give him a medical reason to return to land.

After that random bit goes nowhere, Scarpelli talks to the captain about the preservation of the cavern. He points out that the military project is on a tight schedule, but she counter-argues that the study of the cavern would be a valuable tool in her research. The captain chooses to side with Van Gelder, and Scarpelli takes out her frustration on some exercise equipment.

After her workout, Scarpelli jumps into the shower, but abruptly loses water pressure. Richardson pops in to ogle her, and she pulls him into the shower to join her...fully clothed. Heh, bet they both die of exposure before the credits roll.

Osborne and Hodges use a robot to place the explosives, and the resulting charge causes the sea floor around the site to begin to collapse. They activate a remote camera to explore the newly-created fissure, while they watch from their module at a safe distance. What follows is a friggin' enchanted wonderland, filled with glowing seaweed and underwater lava-rocks. Tra-la-la!

They decide to record the experience, as well as taking some photographs(the nudity will be artful, I'm sure), and that's when the probe suddenly loses the transmission. Osborne and Hodges decide to pilot their vehicle into the fissure to retrieve the probe. While waiting for the camera to work again, Burciaga tells Collins that the images from the cavern could be ocean life that has existed for millions of years, undetected by humans until now.

More Disney underwater fantasy stuff, accompanied by even more wondrous music. Man, it's like Seaquest and The Little Mermaid had a love-child! They spot the probe, then something spots THEM. The object chases their vehicle, and the other sub that Burciaga and Collins are observing them from abruptly loses all contact with Osborne and Hodges. Even their mini-sub vanishes from the radar screen.

Burciaga and Collins decide to call Deepstar Six to report the incident to the captain, and Snyder leaves his post to find him. While they wait, the sub is attacked by the large creature that destroyed the first sub. As the small vehicle begins to flood, Burciaga is flung under a pile of flying equipment, and Collins is temporarily knocked out.

Snyder and the captain try to contact them, but get only silence. They ready another vehicle to go after them, then we see hat Collins has finally regained her senses. She soon discovers that the creature that attacked the tiny ship pushed it close to the edge of a ravine, where it's extremely unstable. She manages to revive Burciaga, but he's pinned under a ton of stuff, and his leg is in rough shape. He's toast.

McBride and Laidlaw move in closer to where Burciaga and Collins were transmitting, and the creature nearly collides with them as well. They avoid it, then dock with the other mini-sub. After getting the hatch between the vehicles to open up, Burciaga dies from the trauma of his injuries. Collins crawls through the hatch, as does McBride, but then the portal slams down on Captain Laidlaw's midsection, nearly cutting him in half.

Pinned in place, the captain orders the pair to save themselves, then he floods the chamber to drown himself. They try to pry him loose first, fail, then swim back into the other sub. After a short ride back to the research station, they get escorted to sick bay.

While changing into a dry outfit, McBride and Richardson talk about losing the captain. Richardson gives McBride an old photo of him and Laidlaw during a happy occasion, and McBride is thankful for the good memory. He hugs Richardson, then finishes getting dressed.

During her time with the doctor, Collins reports on the creature that seems to be attacking all of the research vessels. Scarpelli shares the theory that perhaps the creature was disturbed by a combination of both the detonation of the cavern, and the sudden influx of light provided by all of the subs and probes. Also, during the medical examination, Dr. Norris discovers that Collins is pregnant. McBride just happens to walk in as the announcement is made. As George Takei might say, "Oh myyyyy..."

Anyway, while Collins and McBride hash out their relationship issues, Dr. Norris prepares to evacuate the station early. She leaves Snyder in charge of shutting down the computers, while the others all leave to pack up equipment. When the computer asks Snyder to input the reason for the shutdown, he tries to narrow down the attacks as an aggressive threat to the base by a natural force. That starts a missile detonation sequence. Gosh, what could possibly go wrong?

While the others talk about what they plan to do back on land, Snyder fires the missiles. The impact sends a shockwave through the base, and that shockwave also pisses off the creature outside. As the structure of the base starts to buckle, everyone scurries around to make repairs to the many, many leaks that are now happening.

They've fixed things on a short-term basis, but now they're boned on several other levels...For starters, the decompression chamber is being flooded, which is dangerous for them at such a low depth in the ocean. Also, the supplies are flooded, greatly reducing their chances of survival even if they do make it back to the surface; oh, and the reactor that they're running everything off of has become unstable, so they'll die in a matter of hours in a nuclear explosion long before the air runs out.

Snyder suggests trying to get into an escape pod without going through decompression, but he's told that anyone attempting to do that would explode from pressure. They examine the layout of the base, and find a possible route to a place where they might be able to repair the decompression chamber, so they work as a team to set up a new plan of action.

Richardson gets into a diving suit, grabs a welding tool, then heads outside to begin the repairs, while they try to guide him along from a computer screen. The welding tool is bright enough to attract the monster, and we see something slowly advance upon Richardson's position. A moment later, the others hear him screaming over the microphone.

They try to pull Richardson back into the base, but the creature follows him through the airlock. Only Richardson's top half makes it, followed quickly by a wormlike behemoth. The worm-monster ducks back down into the hatch with Richardson's yummy legs to chew on, as the crew work to both shut the airlock, and escape the room.

As the room gets flooded, the worm decides to swim back in. It snatches Scarpelli, and the rest barely manage to get away and seal the hatch. While Snyder and McBride argue over whose fault this is, the others realize that the creature has suddenly gone quiet. Snyder once again proposes using an escape pod without decompressing, and is told that it would be lethal.

The doctor and Van Gelder talk about the nature of the creature, and she tries to pick his brain about ways to kill it. He doesn't know enough about it to offer anything useful, but Snyder, McBride and Collins find harpoon-like guns that fire projectiles that can cause the target to inflate like a balloon, then explode. That sounds like a fun way to die. Snyder doubts the effectiveness of the weapon, until Collins demonstrates on the cushion that Snyder is sitting on.

Armed with their kooky new weapons, they decide to sneak back through the flooded part of the base to get to the decompression chamber. While wading through chest-high water, McBride dives under to see if he can clear enough debris away to finish repairing the decompression chamber, and clear an exit for them. After a couple of dives, he reports that he believes that he achieved his goal.

Then the giant worm pops up, and everyone goes  crazy. During the frenzy, Snyder accidentally shoots Van Gelder with one of the Air-rows(heh, couldn't resist that one...), and we see his heart explode out of his chest. After the creature leaves again, Snyder has a mental breakdown, so Norris injects him with a sedative.

Snyder starts to cry and act like a wounded puppy, so McBride and Collins leave him with the physician, so that they can begin the task of readying the decompression chamber, and setting up an escape pod. Snyder is left alone for a minute, while the doctor tries to gather some medical supplies. While alone, he has a vision of the recently-exploded Van Gelder, and the ghost "attacks" him with another explosive harpoon.

Norris hears his screams, and discovers Snyder climbing up into an escape pod. She tries to drag him away from the ladder, but he gets away from her, then slams the pod door shut and initiates the launch sequence. Snyder's pod launches, sending a rush of water into the room through the now-open hatch, and McBride and Collins barely manages to rescue the doctor in time from a watery demise. When McBride declares that he's going to kill Snyder for what he did, the doctor says that Snyder has already killed himself.

Then we get to watch Snyder die. It's slow, it's painful, it's bloody, and it's explosive. Fun times. It's also the best special effect in the entire danged movie. Sadly, it doesn't last very long. When I first saw it in my teens, I thought it felt like forever, heh. Things seemed much gorier in my younger days...

Back in the base, our last three survivors are waiting for the decompression chamber to finish cycling up, so that they can make their escape. McBride decides that he's going to make his way over to another computer, hijack one of the mini-subs, then pilot it remotely over to the decompression chamber so that they can use it for their escape. Oh, and he asks Collins to marry him. Awwwww!!!! I hope they don't go on a cruise for their honeymoon...

McBride swims through several flooded compartments, while Collins tries to use the power of prayer to bribe God to let her beloved live. McBride gets inside one of the mini-subs, and begins to pilot it back to the other survivors. Then, the monster knocks at the hatch, so the doctor lets it in. Seriously, that actually happens. I really wish I were joking, but we get a scene where the monster politely knocks.

The creature eats the physician while Collins works on getting herself inside the decompression chamber. As it attempts to finish the doctor off though, she grabs up a pair of defbrillator paddles, and electrocutes the beast. It eats her anyway, while Collins gets rescued by McBride. The decompression finally finishes, and they get into their escape sub.

The mini-sub surfaces, but so does the stupid worm. As our couple tries to get onto a life raft, the worm attacks, so McBride causes a fire and  an explosion, using leaking fuel. The creature gets blown up, then McBride reveals that he swam a safe distance away, and Collins pulls him into the raft. THE END

Well, we had a giant sea worm, a couple of exploding victims, a sexy girl in a shower, and a relatively high body count: so why do I feel so bored by this one? It just felt slow to me, and the kills early on were incredibly dull. Plus, we didn't really get to see much of the creature design, so even those few glimpses felt like they botched it. Still, Nia Peeples had a good shower scene, and the female lead  reached Sandra Bullock-levels of cuteness,  so it sort of evened out. 3 out of 5 killer trees, for some good 'splosions.

And what did I learn after watching Deepstar Six?
-It wasn't very deep, and there were no stars. Discuss.

-Giant worms hate light.

-Humans make messy balloons.

Next up, a real treat. All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, starring Amber Heard. Can't wait! See you then...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Asylum of the Damned

Here we go again...This week's slasher(which may not actually BE a slasher...I won't know until we watch it!) is something called Asylum of the Damned. That title pretty much sums up my entire existence. But enough about me...let's get ready for SPOILERS!

The movie begins in what I assume is the asylum, during s violent storm. A guy in a white coat is running down a corridor, as something appears to be chasing him. When he stops at a secure door to fumble with a keycard, whatever was looking for him catches up. He screams at a security camera that he's not crazy, but the office where the monitor is located looks empty.

The lab coat guy is then somehow subdued, and brought into what looks like a lab. He's been strapped onto a table, and his mouth has been taped shut by his attacker. Oh, and his tongue was removed, which seems like overkill if you're going to just gag the guy. A large winged demon with red eyes looms over the poor guy, and little bolts of energy pass through its claws as it waves the claw over the victim's face. Then the title screen pops up.

The movie then whisks us away to a tiny house, where we see a young couple talking before heading off to work. The wife gives her husband, a medical student, a medal of St. Christopher, to encourage him on his first day at work in a certain ASYLUM OF THE DAMNED!!!! The clasp on the medallion breaks, but he puts it in his pocket, promising her that he'll fix it later.

When he gets into his car, he finds a book that his wife left on the seat for him, by some doctor named McCort. He drives down a deserted highway, and a wolf howls at one point. I don't want to criticize the guy, but shouldn't his commute to work take less than a day? Not only does he need to stop for gas at one point, but night has fallen.

The gas station seems abandoned, so our young doctor tries to yell for attention. A stranger leaps at the young doctor, then a  creepy-looking old man looms up behind him, demanding to know why he didn't  just ring the bell for service, as opposed to shouting. While pumping the gas, the old man explains that the other man who ran off was a guy who sometimes wanders out of the mental hospital. He's supposedly harmless, but we'll see...After paying for the gas, the doctor resumes his journey.

When he finally gets to the mental hospital, we finally discover that our protagonist is named Dr. Bishop. He meets a security guard outside, and the guard offers to escort him to his boss, Dr. Francis, who is currently in the Isolation Ward. Along the way, Bishop is told a little bit about the history of the facility. The place is massive, but only holds about 600 patients. At the end of the tour, the guard introduces himself as Frank, then instructs Dr. Bishop on how to get to the Isolation Ward.

Dr. Bishop heads down a shadowy hallway, and finds a number of patients staring out at him from their rooms. Then he hears the sound of a muffled cry behind one door, and a greasy-looking doctor named Peter Francis advises him to step away. Dr. Francis shows Bishop where his new office will be.

In the cramped office, things start to get a little bit bizarre. Doctor Francis pushes Dr. Bishop onto an office chair, then asks him if he believes that Satan is real. As he rants and raves that the patients in the facility are all evil, someone can be heard attempting to enter the office. After Francis shares the idea that all of the patients are damned souls, another doctor steps in, calmly injecting him with a hypodermic.

The new man is Dr. McCort, the person that Bishop was supposed to meet. It's soon revealed that Dr. Francis was actually tied up and gagged by a delusional serial killer by the name of Harry Smith. Dr. Bishop could have very likely become his next victim, if Dr. McCort hadn't have shown up just then.

The 2 men have a casual interview, and get to know one another over some coffee. McCort sees the medallion around Bishop's neck(Uh, did he fix that broken clasp when I was blinking?), then shows off his own holy item, a ring with a strange symbol engraved on it. He doesn't explain what it means, so I'm willing to bet that it'll be important later.

After a more thorough tour of some of the patient wards, Bishop is introduced to Helen, and Wells, 2 of the main nurses in charge of the dangerous patients in "A" ward. While Dr. McCort gets a report from the nurses, Bishop decides to talk to one of the patients, an elderly black man who is tied to the bed that he's in. He begs Dr. Bishop to loosen the straps on his arms, claiming  that he and the other patients are being tortured and used as human sacrifices in some kind of dark ritual.

After they head back toward the administration area, Dr. Bishop requests that he be assigned to the patients in A ward. Dr. McCort agrees, but only if he agrees to live at the asylum full-time, at least to start. Bishop agrees, then rushes home to tell his wife that he'd literally rather live in a mental hospital, than be with her.

Dr. Bishop helps the now-unemployed Dr. Francis pack up his office, then he gets some instructions on dispensing medications from the head nurse, Helen. She makes him a promise that all of the pertinent files on his new patients will be delivered to his room, and he soon finds himself overwhelmed by paperwork.

After a restless night, Bishop organizes the patient files, and kills several dozens of cockroaches in his office. Then he meets Smithy, a hulking brute of an orderly, who also happens to be blind. A blind orderly, in a ward for the criminally insane. That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is absolute genius.

Smithy escorts Bishop to the shower area, where he has his first official session as a doctor, with a patient by the name of Jackson. Sadly, Jackson is dead, an apparent murder victim. Bishop discovers him in aa therapy tub, with massive wounds all over his chest.

Bishop tries to call the cops to report the murder, but Dr. McCort stops him before he can complete the call. He tells the younger man that the best thing that they can do for the patients is to just keep them heavily sedated. He also sees the facility as a personal crusade, calling it his "destiny".

Bishop talks to his wife from his office(Yup, back in the day, we had to go where phones were in order to call folks!), and he promises her that they can someday have a more stable life at a regular hospital. Then he sees a death threat written in blood above his desk.

At breakfast, Bishop asks Smithy where he could locate a custodian to clean up his ceiling. The blind orderly tells him that there's an older patient by the name of Que, and that he does most of the janitorial duties. Also, according to Smithy, the only people that have keys to that office are Bishop and McCort. Hmmmm....

Que swings by the office, verifies that the message was written in actual blood, then he tells Bishop that he reminds him of a previous doctor by the name of Kloves. Kloves died under mysterious circumstances, leading Bishop to ask Que if there were any similarities between him and the manner in which Jackson died. Que doesn't know,but he says that Jackson was into some weird cult activity.

Bishop talks to one of the patients in "A" ward, and discovers that the man was awake the night that Jackson died. He says that a couple of employees took Jackson to the basement, and that people who go to the basement always wind up dead. Before Bishop can get any further details, the nurse tells him that Dr. McCort needs to see him about an urgent matter.

Dr. McCort pretty much just wanted to bitch and moan about all of the trouble Bishop is causing with his investigations. He orders Bishop to simply do the bare minimum to help the patients, and nothing more. If not, then he threatens to destroy Bishop's future as a doctor.

Later, Que shows Bishop that he was able to clean most of the blood away from the ceiling. They talk, and Que tells the doctor that he was committed after he stabbed a little girl to death. Que is troubled by the memory, and he admits that he thinks that he has something evil inside himself that made him kill her. After Que leaves, Bishop finds a note on his desk, asking him for a meeting later, in the boiler room.

The sender of the note is Mark, the patient who saw Jackson the night he was killed. He convinced one of the nurses to undo his straps for a short break, so he arranged for the meeting in the boiler room. He warns Bishop that someone at the hospital is killing patients, but he doesn't know who it is, nor does he know their motive. He warns Bishop to be careful about who he trusts.

After seeing and hearing Smithy being verbally abused by evil Nurse Helen, Bishop finds a patient invading his office. It's Hadley, the man who frightened him at the gas station, and he reveals that he has a skeleton key for the entire hospital. Hadley tells Bishop that he works on bodies in the morgue, cleaning them up. When asked if he knows about the condition of Jackson's corpse, he says that he doesn't know how the bodies get so badly damaged.

Bishop then visits the kindly Nurse Wells. She was the one left the bloody message in his office, in an attempt to scare him into quitting. She can't tell him anything else, out of fear that someone might hear her and then try to kill her, but she suggests that Bishop might find some answers in the file room. Intrigued, Bishop decides to have a look, and he forces Hadley to tag along.

Bishop locates the files of the deceased staff members and patients, and realizes that all of them supposedly died from heart attacks. The evil nurse Helen then comes into the room, so Bishop hides under a table. For some reason, this actually works.

He waits until the coast is clear, leaves the file room, then has Hadley take him to the morgue. They travel through a maze of tunnels, stopping once so that Hadley can show Bishop the secret passage he uses when he escapes. Then they arrive at the morgue, where there are about 3 or 4 bodies, all with the strange chest wounds and markings on the bodies,  and a drug that causes heart attacks laying around nearby.

Bishop recognizes one of the corpses as Mark, who actually wakes up. He begs the men to rescue him, but they hide, mere moments before a couple of men in hooded white robes enter the morgue. Hadley whispers to Bishop that the bodies are being delivered to an area used for human sacrifices.

The opening scene plays again, only this time the demon is just a guy in a robe wearing a cheesy-looking white mask. Wait, no, the demon's there as well, standing with the Fake Jason Voorhees. Fake Jason sees a glint of metal on the ground while the demon is electrocuting one of the victims, and recognizes the medal that Bishop was wearing earlier. A chase begins!

Hadley and Bishop get away, but Hadley refuses to go any further. He lets Bishop keep the skeleton key, and the doctor rushes to gather up some incriminating files and escape the premises. Before that can happen, Bishop is interrupted by Smithy, who tells him that he has a female visitor waiting in the cafeteria.

It's the wife/girlfriend/whatever. She's being questioned by Dr. McCort when Bishop walks into the room. McCort manages to manipulate her into spending the night, then he sees the files that Bishop took. As Bishop hurries to escort his beloved away from the evil doctor, McCort taunts him by revealing that he found the medallion. D'oh!

Bishop drags his wife to the nearest exit, but his security card suddenly won't work. Then McCort pops up, He makes up a story about the electricity in the building not working properly, and Bishop warns him not to try to hurt them. McCort tells the confused love interest that Bishop has started to exhibit signs of madness himself, brought on by the stress of dealing with so many new patients and challenges, in such a short time.

They escort their new prisoners to an isolation ward, where Smithy has been told to expect them. As McCourt reveals that Nurse Wells has also been captured, Smithy suddenly attacks the security guard, then pushes McCourt into the nearest cell. He helps our young heroes escape, leading them down another endless maze of corridors.

They end up in a badly lit room, and Smithy wanders away to find a light switch. When the lights come on, they realize that they've wandered back into the morgue, and the girlfriend screams when she sees the mutilated bodies around her. An alarm light begins flashing, and Bishop realizes that they need to hurry to the escape tunnel if they don't want to die.

McCort and evil nurse Helen are busy scouring the halls for the escapees, who have reached a dead end instead of the tunnel. Luckily Hadley shows up, and he offers to show them the right path. Just as they arrive, Bishop realizes that he somehow managed to leave behind all of the evidence. What na freakin' putz this guy is! He actually decides to go back for the files, but tells his wife to escape with Hadley and Smithy. Dumbass.

Bishop runs back down the hallways, and Dr. McCort ambushes him. When Bishop regains his senses, McCort is preparing him for the arrival of the demon, which will harvest his soul and bring it back to Satan. The demon is summoned, then McCort turns to grab the syringe needed to make it look like Bishop died from a heart attack.

Somebody knocks the evil doctor out cold! Oh, Bishop's wife returned to help him. She unties Bishop, and they leave McCort there for the demon to feed on. The evil doctor tries to crawl away, but the creature kills him.

After they escape, Bishop gets the cops and an ambulance to meet them in the parking lot. The cops ask Bishop to answer some more questions, while the love interest waits in the ambulance. Too late, Bishop sees the evil  Nurse Helen driving the ambulance, and the pair of cops also appear to be part of the cult.

The film ends in a hospital room, where Bishop is screaming for help from a bed. A young nurse tries to calm him down, and an elderly doctor arrives to meet Bishop. He dismisses the pretty nurse, then reveals that he's part of the cult as well, as growling noises are heard from a nearby demon somewhere offscreen. THE END It did have an interesting concept, granted, but there were holes in the plot big enough for that demon to stomp through. I mean, what happened to Hadley and Smithy, for example? What would be the point of the cult existing if their leader was dead, since he was the only one who could summon the demon? Wouldn't it have been easier to simply fire Bishop early on, destroy the evidence, THEN discredit him in the medical community? I mean, that HAS to be easier than trying to hide an ever-growing list of dead bodies! 2 killer trees out of 5, for at least not making me fall asleep.

And what did I learn from Asylum of the Damned?

-Some guys are willing to go a loooooong way to commute to work!

-Blind guys are commonly trusted to handle mental patients.

-When summoning a demon, try to make your sacrifices look like they died of heart attacks, even if you don't ever plan to let anyone see the bodies of your victims. Yeah, and amke the explanation really elaborate and dumb.

Next up on my queue: the delightfully kooky alien-in-an-underwater-lab movie Deepstar Six. It was one of several movies that all came out within a year or 2 of each other, about people being killed by water-monsters. Weird trend. Also, sometime soon, I have the cult classic All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, which is also now on Netflix Instant. Cool! See you soon!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Grizzly Park

Today's movie, Grizzly Park, s like a hybrid love-child mix of Final Destination-style death scenes with one of those "animal attack" movies that pop up on SyFy every so often. It features a serial killer, a rogue grizzly bear, and a group of inner-city teens trapped in a national park. It'll either be brilliantly insane, or just the usual stupid insane. SPOILERS ahead, campers...

Okay, so we start out with a credit sequence that references a Bible story about a bear that was summoned to eat a large group of children. Um, sure. The little pseudo-animated storyboard is pretty funny, at least. That's followed by a scene depicting an elderly park ranger watching the morning news in his office. There's a story about a blazing forest fire, followed by a report about Butch Latham, a convicted murderer who managed to escape from prison. Foreshadowing?

A-yup. In the very next scene, we see Butch murder a county officer who had to change a flat tire. Before he meets his demise, the poor guy tells Butch that he's on his way to pick up some troubled teens for a camping trip to the park. They don't show his face, but I have a feeling that Butch will be the hulking dude with blood all over his clothes. Yeah, I'm psychic that way.

Then we see the old man again. His name is Howard(which is probably an in-joke, as he's an older actor by the name of Rance Howard), and he greets a younger employee named Michael. After they have a quick chat, we see the killer try to remove the massive amount of blood from the uniform he stole off of his victim. Then he finds a knife in the van, along with the list of teens he's going to pick up, and a detailed map.

Then we see the various teens arriving for their big adventure, and the film gives us this awesomely goofy song about an encounter with a bear. The song alone earns this movie a tree. As the song winds down, we see Howard and Michael going over some paperwork, while the overhead television replays the report about the manhunt.

The song resumes, and the teens are loaded into the van. Their mugshots are shown onscreen, but not their names. Gee, thanks. Why are these movies always designed to be this obtuse? Would it kill the writers to let us get to know the characters in one of these movies?

Anyway, they arrive at the spot where they'll begin the hike, and meet up with a couple of late arrivals, as well as the leader of their expedition, Ranger Bob. A serious-looking preppie named Ryan tries to shake hands with a teen Neo-Nazi type, and they end up awkwardly holding hands instead. Pretty funny.

Ranger Michael takes a role-call, and we finally meet the rest of the characters. We've already met uptight Ryan; then there's Ty, the lonely black guy; Lola, the token Latina female; Candy, a spoiled rich girl; Kiki, the token Asian girl; Bebe, a cute willowy girl who seems like a complete ditz; Scab, the aforementioned racist; and Trickster, a hacker with a major attitude.

After the initial introductions, Ranger Bob comes out to address the troops, and explain the rules of camping. First rule of camping, don't talk about fight cl--uhhhh, I mean, no swearing. Second rule: Pack appropriate clothing and gear.

During his lecture, Ranger Bob suddenly notices that the driver has a shirt covered in a mysterious red stain. He explains that his shirt got dirty while he was changing a tire, and no one thinks to mention that tires don't usually bleed out. Ranger Bob just frowns and suggests that he should change his shirt. Oh, and the killer changes his name to Jerry, which is a foolproof way to fool everyone.

While Ranger Michael is helping crazy Jerry change his shirt, Ranger Bob starts to give a lesson on the various animals they could encounter during the trip. Bears, wolves, coyotes, skunks, and moose are just some of the wild animals waiting to eat them alive. Ranger Bob promises them that, in the event that a person is left behind by the group, he will not search for them.

Finally, the hike begins! Ranger Bob confuses Bebe right off the bat, because Bob is his last name, and his explanation is pretty complex for her to follow. During the name thing, she forgets what her original question was. Oh well.

Howard leaves the park early, and that gives Jerry an opportunity to be alone with Michael. He gets some information about the park from the young man, then stabs him in the gut. As blood starts to trickle out of Michael's mouth, Jerry kicks him onto the ground.

The hikers come to a narrow bridge, and stop to admire the view. Then we see the killer hide Michael's body in a shed, stopping only to wipe the blood from his knife on the already-messy shirt. Why is he so attached to that one shirt? Just change it!

Ranger Bob has the group take another break in a picnic area. This gives our killer some time to catch up, and we see him in a vehicle, rushing to meet up with his next targets. Oh, and the teen boys in the camping group make a bet over whether or not Bebe's ample bosoms are real or fake. Real or fake, I'd say tit's up for debate...*rim shot*

Bebe needs to go off to do some "female business", so Ranger Bob advises her on how to dispose of a tampon in the woods, without attracting animals to the scent of blood. Trickster starts to follow her, but the park ranger stops him. Then we get a cute scene with Ty and Kiki. They're both listening to music on different devices, and they exchange ear buds with each other. Like I said, it's cute.

After doing her thing, Bebe sees a little woodland creature, and decides to feed and pet it. Despite my begging and pleading, the unseen creature doesn't gnaw her hand off at the wrist. Dammit! When are they going to design a movie that lets the audience decide how to torment the cast?

Candy is admonished when Ranger Bob sees that she brought a phone with her, then Ty shows him, via a GPS device, a route to the camping area that would take less time to travel. Ranger Bob disagrees, citing the shortcut as a place where wolves tend to migrate. Then, as we see the killer's vehicle racing through the woods, the campers encounter a skunk. It turns out that the skunk was the creature that Bebe met, mistaking it for some kind of "forest cat", in spite of the big, skunky white stripe.

Kiki screams, the skunk panics, and the entire group is sprayed by the skunk. Then Ranger Bob calls Jerry, who has just arrived at the eventual campsite. He assures the ranger that the camping gear has been dropped off, then he starts to drive away.

And now, at long last, we have The Most Important Scene in the entire movie, the scene where all of the teens strip down to their underwear, then stand around in some water, splashing and frolicking. While Ranger Bob prepares a warm fire in a nearby cabin, Bebe steps inside to see if he needs any assistance.

Meanwhile, our serial killer has been driving around the park. He also stops at a cabin, where he hides out to plan his next move. By the time he's ready again, it's nightfall, and we see that a presence is watching him from the forest.

Jerry senses the stalker watching him, and decides to ignore him/it. He unloads the jeep, then hurries inside. I don't know why, but I love it in horror movies when the main threat is also threatened. It's fun to watch villains squirm.

The teens all warm up around the fire and enjoy themselves, until Ranger Bob announces that they'll have to wear their stinky clothes again when they're dry. Scab, uncomfortable about having to sit between a Latino and a black guy, announces that he needs to "drain the dragon", leading Bebe to exclaim that she can't believe that he has a dragon.

A fake spider is used to try to scare Ranger Bob, but he just calmly observes that it's about the same size as the ones that lurk up in the trees outside. Then he sends the campers off to the tents, which are divided by gender. Ranger Bob tries to radio Jerry again, but Jerry's getting pretty loopy now. He smashes the radio into pieces, then stomps around in a tirade.

The killer gets back out of the cabin, and decides that it would be best to just leave. A bear stops him, though, so Jerry decides to whip out his trusty knife, and take the beast out. The bear, completely unfazed by the weapon, retaliates by chomping Jerry's face right off of his skull. Sweet!

Early the next morning, Ranger Bob has the campers collecting bags of litter. Candy spies Ty talking on his own phone, and manipulates it out of his hands. Ty, ever the resourceful dude, plans to show off by using his GPS route to beat the others to their destination. He shows the path to Kiki, and they head in that direction together.

No one even seems to notice that they're gone. Ty and Kiki use the time to get to know one another, and we learn what they did that landed them in trouble with the law. Kiki poisoned her mother, while Ty stole anything he could get his hands on, while working with the elderly. They both brag about how stupid other people are compared to them, and agree that they should scam old folks together. Oh, and Ty's GPS sucks ass, because they don't end up beating the group to the campsite.

When Ranger Bob steps into the cabin where he was supposed to meet Jerry, he finds the wrecked radio equipment. That's when he also finally realizes that he's misplaced a pair of teenagers. Maybe Ranger Bob should start looking for another job...

When they realize that the GPS was wrong, Ty and Kiki start to get nervous. Things go from bad to worse, when Ty steps into a snare, which pulls him up off the ground and injures both of his ankles. Kiki rushes over to the spot where he dropped his stuff, and searches the ground for the phone. She picks up the GPS device instead(Remember, Candy stole his phone earlier, by never returning it...), and it screams at her to GO BACK...GO BACK...GO BACK...

They yell and scream for help, then we return to the main group again. Candy is talking to Ryan, and the conversation mostly consists of them mocking others in the group. They both share a good laugh, until they hear Lola doing the same thing to them. Chagrined, they move off in different directions.

Ranger Bob heads into the boys' cabin, where he hands them a sheet of paper. It contains a list of items that he needs to confiscate, under the pretense that they would attract bears. The items on the list include things like deodorant and cologne, and none of the teens will admit to having any of the items on the list. Ranger Bob gets annoyed with them, and warns them that if a bear attacks, it will be their own fault.

Kiki sees blood, and realizes that Ty may be very badly injured by the snare. She and Ty spot a wolf nearby, and Kiki worries that the scent of the blood might put them in danger. She decides to run away, and an animal attacks her off-screen, as Ty swings around helplessly, wondering what finally got her.

Ranger Bob makes a campfire that night, and suggests that it might be a good idea to discuss their court cases as a group. Candy goes first, revealing that she was making money as a high-priced prostitute. Then Ryan steps up to the plate, revealing that he was caught having sex with a minor, and that they were both involved in an asphyxiation act. That act directly caused the girl to lapse into a coma, and Ryan's family paid her family off to keep quiet about the crime.

Disgusted, Ranger Bob calls the powwow session to an abrupt end. Then we see a hungry wolf as it discovers Ty hanging in the air. He tries to scare it away by being loud, but it doesn't seem scared by him. Then, when the wolf does run off, Ty realizes it was due to the sudden presence of the massive grizzly bear. Buh-bye, Ty!

The girls talk about the boys as they prepare to go to bed, and the boys do pretty much the same. Then, Trickster reveals that he brought a bear costume along on the hike, which he's going to use to scare the girls and/or Ranger Bob. Oh, and I think we might have broken Scab, as he's been developing confused feelings for Lola. The guy's so inept, he can't even do racism right!

Ranger Bob works all night on fixing the radio, but can't get anyone to reply to him on it. Then he wakes up the campers at sunrise, except for Scab and Bebe, who sleep despite the annoying sound of his whistle. After breakfast, he announces that he wants the group to remain together, while he hikes around in an attempt to locate Ty and Kiki.

While the park ranger is finding a sort-of trail of human remains to follow, Scab is busy huffing gasoline fumes to get high. Lola finds him, and they end up kissing. After a second kiss, Lola leaves him alone again. Is this movie allergic to sex?

Ranger Bob finds the trail that the missing teens explored, and begins to retrace their steps. When he doesn't return that night, the rest of the group make another fire, and go through Ranger Bob's cabin for food, alcohol and supplies.

Another encounter session around the fire reveals that Scab has a very bad addiction to inhalants, and that one of his closest friends died from inhaling cooking spray. Bebe also reveals that she was falsely accused of shoplifting, although she claims that it was a friend who had secretly shoved something intro her purse, and that she was framed.

Trickster tries to lighten the mood by making another reference to draining his dragon, but Bebe proudly declares that she knows that there is no actual dragon. You go, girl! As Trickster heads into the cabin, he hears something moving around in the woods near him, but can't tell what it might be.

Ranger Bob finds part of Kiki's face on the ground, and knows that he's on the right trail. As he picks up the pace, Trickster emerges from the cabin in his bear costume. Then Ranger Bob finds what's left of Ty, and spots the wolf sitting nearby, snacking on another piece of Ty. That's the thing...Eating Ty food always makes you crave MORE Ty food! *rim shot*

Scab has found a place where he can huff gas fumes alone. He remains blissfully unaware of another presence until it's right in front of him, and the fumes have made him incredibly loopy. He mistakenly believes that the killer grizzly bear is just Trickster in a costume, and tries to pet him. Too late, he realizes his mistake.

Speaking of Trickster, he's heading toward the campers in his costume, and he tries to scare them with a roar. They all laugh, which just makes Trickster angry. He roars again, and sees them express actual fear. Too late to react, he realizes that the real bear is right behind him. With one massive paw, the grizzly decapitates Trickster.

The others scream, then take off and hide in one of the storage cabins. Bebe, Candy and Ryan get away, but Lola is dragged to her doom by the angry bear. We briefly see her trying to crawl to safety after that, but the lower half of her body is now obliterated.

Bebe starts to cry, and the bear starts to sniff at the walls of the structure. When the noises stop, Ryan grabs a heavy shovel, and opens a board in the wall to have a look. He announces that the bear is gone, turns back for a second look, and the grizzly then drags Ryan through the gap in the wood to devour him.

Ryan, badly mangled and with part of his scalp falling off, drags himself back through the opening for one last attempt at survival. He manages to give one of Bebe's boobs a squeeze, a bell dings, then he gets dragged away to get mauled again, with such force that his arms are severed from the rest of him. He'll take the secret of the breasts to his grave.

While they huddle together in the dark, Bebe and Candy begin to wonder how much time has passed. Candy picks up Ryan's arm, then steals his gold watch. The bear then smashes more wood out of the opening that Ryan had made, and attempts to snatch up both females at once. Bebe opens the door of the shack to escape, then locks Candy inside for the bear to have. As Candy screams, the scene fades to black...

The next morning, Ranger Bob returns to the campsite. He finds Bebe hiding under a table and gives her a hug. After she calms down and packs her bag, she asks the ranger if she can use his bathroom one more time before they leave. He agrees, then waits for her on the porch.

As soon as Ranger Bob leaves, Bebe drops the whole "nice girl" act. She goes through Candy's bag, stealing most of her stuff, then grabs the cell phone. Calling a friend, Bebe brags about being the only survivor, and even manipulating the ranger. When she talks about killing Ranger Bob with the gun she found, he overhears her. She walks outside, where the bear greets her with a swipe of the paw, and we see a bloody lump of silicone come flying out of her chest, and smack into a tree. The debate is over!

A news story tells us that the killings were blamed on the escaped convict, because Ranger Bob placed the bear costume in a place where it would look like he had worn it. In the final scene, Ranger Bob and the bear appear, promising to return in a year. THE END...?

Yeah, probably, since this was made back in 2007. Still, I have to give this movie credit where credit's due...the effects were impressive, there were 3 killers(4, if you include the wolf!), and the script kept me laughing. On purpose, even! I actually wouldn't mind seeing another movie with Ranger Bob as the antagonist. Including the extra point for the song, I'm giving Grizzly Park 4 killer trees outta 5! Ha!

And what did I learn after watching the movie?

-Love conquers all, even racism...but not huffing.

-National Parks are deadly places.

-Bears and wolves work well together!

Next up is either Asylum of the Damned, or Deepstar Six. And I promise to post it this week...I would have posted this yesterday, but I fell asleep during the Pats game(I've been getting up at around 4 in the morning the last several caught up to me!). Sorry!!