Spring Break Massacre

 Posted by at 5:05 pm  Comments Off on Spring Break Massacre
Apr 012010
 

Huzzah! One million times huzzah!!!
Spring Break Massacre, (amazingly the first film ever with that name), is a perfectly crafted throwback to the straight-up teen-slasher horror-comedies of the 80s that, as a genre, has sadly fizzled out. Taking the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, SBM doesn’t pull any of that “we’re gonna reinvent the genre for a new generation” bullshit. It basically says to you “Hey buddy. Here’s a bunch of jackass muscled-up dudes and a bunch of hot-ass stupid girls. And guess what? You’re gonna see a bunch of boobs and then everyone is going to fucking die. Is that okay with you?” and I’m like “SHIT YEAH THAT’S GREAT THANKS”.

Simply put, this movie is absolutely everything you want it to be. Attempting to explain the plot or pick apart the nuances would be a waste of my time and yours because we both know what it’s about and what happens. What you don’t know is whether or not it’s awesome. Well guess what? It totally is. So on April 20th when it comes out on DVD, you need to find a way to watch it or you will be officially declared an enemy of all that is badass and shunned by society as such.

I give Spring Break Massacre 10 bloody high fives out of a possible 10 bloody high fives. I also give it one slick-ass low five that you totally didn’t see coming.

Antichrist

 Posted by at 6:08 pm  1 Response »
Mar 302010
 

What in the sweet fuck did I just watch?

My bewildered queasiness is somewhat my own fault. When this movie opened with a black and white slow motion scene of Willem DaFoe boning a chick that looks like Joseph Gordon-Levitt while a baby jumps out a window, I should have known right away that nothing good could come of this. Hell, I should have known the second I saw a black and white Willem DaFoe. Problem is – I’m a fucking idiot. So I just kept on munching my Family Time Gourmet Hot Cheese Popcorn™ all like “I wonder when the demons are gonna show up derpa derpa derp I like movies”.

After being lulled into a false sense of security by a confusing, dynamically odd, and downright boring first hour (in which there is a lot of crying and weird fucking and silence), I was ready for some action. “Bring it on!” I seemed to say with my cheesecorn filled fist. The film obliged by showing me a deer with a stillborn fawn hanging out of its vag, apropos of nothing. This came suddenly and gave me pause, but being the asshole I am, I laughed it off as a weak attempt at a metaphor-laden gross-out preluding awesome demonic gore.

“Ha!”, I sneered. “Is that all you got Lars Von Trier, critically acclaimed Danish director of such stunningly artful films as ‘Dogville’ and ‘Dancer in the Dark’?!”

I could almost hear Lars himself say “Alright, faggot. Buckle the fuck up.”

It was then that I stared in silence, mouth agape, as I was optically assaulted by two scenes that regrettably, I can never un-see.

Seeing as these scenes are the only interesting things that happen in the movie, they may be considered spoilers. Click here if you want to read them. ▼

It should be noted that neither of these scenes are merely suggested. There is no cut-away to a screaming face, leaving us to fill in what happened with our imaginations. Just a steady camera shot capturing the events. Absolutely fucking horrifying on a level so primal that my lizard brain wanted to barf.

And to what end did I sit through these jaw-droppingly abhorrent scenes? Other than showcasing the great advancements in labia prostheses, they essentially served no purpose. They were just horrible, fucked-up, vomit-inducing things that happened. Then, a little while later, the movie just sort of ends without explaining anything.

I’m sure some would argue that the myriad of bizarre happenings in this movie can be chalked up to symbolism, but you know what? Fuck that. I’m not that smart. That’s why I watch movies called “Antichrist”.

And in case you’re wondering, no – there are no demons or devil-babies or sacrifices or secret cults. There’s not even an appearance by the Antichrist himself, which may seem weird being that the movie is named after him, but is understandable considering he’s never even mentioned in passing. This movie should have been called “Dead Babies Make You Do The Darndest Things” or “Hey, Do You Never Want To Be Able To Get A Boner Ever Again? Watch This Movie”.

I give Antichrist 2 out of 5 buckets filled to the brim with vomit (the vomit symbolizes the fact that this movie made me vomit).

Escape From Darwin

 Posted by at 1:00 pm  3 Responses »
Mar 302010
 

Two things you should know about my mom to understand my review of Escape From Darwin:

1.) She’s a classy dame.
Being polite is very important to my mom and as a result, became very important to me. As a weakling that will do almost anything to avoid confrontation, I became exceptionally skilled in politeness over the years by referring to a few simple rules my mom laid down – the most often used being “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  Ergo, I’m a pretty quiet dude.

2.) She’s a decent cook.
She’s no Julia Child, that’s for sure, but my mom is a master of midwestern white trash comfort food. But she doesn’t stop at simply putting cut-up hotdogs in your mac and cheese. She pushes the envelope and finds new and inventive ways to make total crap taste goodish. We went through a lot of ketchup. (It was the Reagan years.)

She also plays the accordion, is super good at suppressing rage, and gives totally bad-ass hugs. She’s a class act, that mom of mine. Anyway, keeping in mind my upbringing, let’s get to my review of a movie called Escape From Darwin.

I watched a movie called Escape From Darwin. It is a movie.

Here is my mom’s recipe for Taco Puffs:

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 envelope taco seasoning

2 17.3 oz. tubes large refrigerated biscuits

8 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into 16 slices or 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

On a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is browned an onion is tender. Drain. Add the taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Cool slightly. Flatten half of the biscuits into 4″ circles, place in greased 15″x10″x1″ baking pans. Spoon 1/4 cup meat mixture onto each; top with 2 cheese slices or 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Flatten remaining biscuits; place on top and pinch edges to seal tightly. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 8 puffs.

These things are so delicious it’s ridiculous. For added awesomeness, you can melt some cheese on top of the puffs and add some Tapatio and Escape From Darwin is a boring convoluted fucking unwatchable waste of time and I AM SORRY MOM.

Trippin’

 Posted by at 6:42 pm  2 Responses »
Mar 292010
 

This is Zed Wilson. Chances are you’ve never seen him before, but go ahead and get used to that face now because as soon as the right person stumbles upon a little indie-horror film called Trippin’, this dude is gonna be everywhere. At first he’ll probably just appear in some Doritos commercial or something (or maybe Gamefly.com…Jack Link’s Beef Jerky would also work). Then, when he pops up in some horrible direct-to-DVD National Lampoon’s teen sex romp as a stoner frat guy extra with one line (something like “Yeah, man…they’re like…special brownies”), you’ll be like “Oh, hey, that’s that dude from those Burger King commercials”. But it won’t stop there, friends. Suddenly he’s a convenience store clerk that remembers what color shirt a suspect was wearing on Law and Order. Then he’s a bumbling waiter that spills wine onto Vince’s date’s dress on Entourage. Then he’s the old high school friend that accidentally ruins Michael Cera’s chance to impress a mousey indie-rock girl in any given Michael Cera movie. Finally, when he can’t fulfill his obligation to host the Oscars because he’s just been nominated as King of Movies, America will understand and smile politely as Wayne Brady tries to keep the show moving along.

So now that we’ve established that Zed Wilson is actually the subject of Madonna’s “Lucky Star”, what of the movie that shall serve as his vehicle to the unquestioned domination of all media?

Well, based on the cannabis-laden cover and marijuana pun in the tagline, I was pretty apprehensive about Trippin’. See, I hate stoner comedies. I absolutely fucking abhor them. With the exception of a few gems (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Pineapple Express for example), comedic moments in the majority of stoner comedies never progress beyond “BRO THIS MOVIE IS HELLA FUNNY THEY ARE DOING DRUGS LIKE I DO DRUGS LOL”. However, writer / director / forgivable beret enthusiast Devi Snively decided to take the not often traveled high road (that wasn’t a weed joke) by eschewing the “Let’s hotbox Air Force One and watch the president drop it like it’s hot” crap and instead, amazingly, used her characters’ proclivity for substance abuse as a means of furthering a coherent story. I know – nuts, right? (The only exception to this is a few token “fwahuhuh…drugs are good” jokes from our buddy Zed, which is somehow exculpatory due to his affability.)

Despite being made on a budget thinner than DJ Qualls, Trippin’ fucking delivers. People die, frogs are smashed, spaghetti is eaten, and it all looks great. Especially the spaghetti. (I’m super hungry.) There’s even a pretty awesome hallucination scene that, for the first time ever in the history of hallucination scenes, I actually wish was a little bit longer.

The main problem with Trippin’ is this: You’re probably not gonna get to see it. At least not for a while. It’s very slowly and sporadically making its rounds on the indie-horror festival circuit so unless you live in a college town, the chances of Snively and her cohorts dropping by is slim. However, if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that caters to no-budget film fests, keep an eye on the downtown telephone poles for a flyer. Or just go to the Trippin’ site and check the blog. Or both, if you’re the cautious type.

I give Trippin’ four quaaludes out of a inadvisable five quaaludes.

The Atomic Cafe

 Posted by at 2:24 pm  Comments Off on The Atomic Cafe
Mar 182010
 

The documentary “The Atomic Cafe” was released way back in 1982, but that doesn’t matter, this movie is timeless. There’s no narration, no interviews, no subjective opinions about nuclear power and atomic weapons. The entire documentary is made up of old public services announcements, news real footage, and military training films. It’s all pieced together to create a pretty interesting look back to a time when atomic energy wasn’t so much a science, but rather a test in bravery and stupidity. You know all those times you had to listen to grandpa talk about the good old days? Well, it turns out that grandpa was full of shit.

The movie starts with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and from there it spirals out of control into the cold war. If you’re as fascinated with the Cold War and the Nuclear Arms Race as I am, then you’ll probably get a kick out of these old clips. Families dress up in full fallout gear, complete with crazy scary gas masks. Soldiers stare stupidly into nuclear blasts, mouth agape to catch all of the irradiated dirt that’s blown their way. Native islanders from Bikini Atoll are convinced to leave their nice little tropical paradise so that the U.S. Army can blow it to smithereens (with the power of the atom!). Plus, there’s more footage of gigantic explosions than you can shake a stick at.

After watching The Atomic Cafe, I felt a lot better about my lot in life. Sure, today we have to worry about shoe bombers and exploding underwear on airplanes, but these stupid sacks, they had to worry about total nuclear annihilation! And how did they cope with this horrifying threat? They drank a lot. So next time your watching Mad Men and you’re all like, “Jeez, Don’s such a scumbag for cheating on Betty” give the guy a break. Alcohol makes people do stupid things, and the Cubans have the goddamn bomb!

If you’re used to the usual, run-of-the-mill documentaries, with the production values, and the voiceovers, and what have you, then you might be a little bit bored by The Atomic Cafe. But if you’re into American history, atomic bombs, the cold war, or just interested in learning about the overwhelming ignorance which was so prevalent during the 1950s and 60s, you should probably give this movie a go, and remember, in case of a nuclear attack, just duck and cover. Duck and cover.

I give The Atomic Cafe: 4 megatons (out of 5 megatons)

Dead Snow

 Posted by at 6:58 pm  Comments Off on Dead Snow
Mar 082010
 

Zombies are fucking terrifying. Whether they be dead old dude, dead little girl, dead accountant, whatever, it doesn’t matter; dead anything shuffling towards you in droves is the ultimate, end all, be all, scariest thing in horror. So who gives a shit if the zombies happen to be nazis? But “Dead Snow” comes from Norway, and all I know is that Vikings come from there, and they churn out super scary black metal bands (those dudes burn down churches… with people in ’em). Based on those two things, I knew these nazi zombies were going to scare the shit out of me. Whoops, I was wrong (sorry).

Dead Snow starts with the most hackneyed premise in horror: a bunch of youngsters head to a cabin in the middle of nowhere to get drunk and act stupid. Okay, I’m willing to let this slide, because the actors themselves poke fun at this trite premise. Let’s see if this movie can take an original turn further down the line. A half hour later there’s a grizzled old dude sitting on the cabin couch, telling the scary story about nazi zombies in the mountains. But these kids ain’t no dummies, in fact, they’re all med students. “This old guys crazy,” they all say, and they continue to get drunk. You can probably guess what happens next: young people have sex, nazi zombies invade the cabin, young people become bloody and dead.

When I hear “nazi zombie” I instantly think, “fuck yeah, this will be sweet!” but it turns out, it’s completely arbitrary. These zombies could have been dressed up as cuddly teddy bears for all I care, it would have made no difference. How the nazis wound up in Norway is explained (turns out Germany occupied Norway during WWII) but why the hell they’re all still dead-alive in the mountains 65 years after the war isn’t explained. Explanations aren’t always necessary (Night of the Living Dead), but when an entire platoon of dead German soldiers are running (running!) after these kids, I want some goddamn answers. It’s clear that they’re not out to eat brains, so what gives? In my opinion, zombies don’t run and they live for one thing only: to eat fucking brains. Take away those two elements, and you don’t have zombies, you have monsters.

When it comes down to it, Dead Snow is a cookie cutter horror movie. There are a few awesome scenes of gore, but lets be honest: you want to watch this movie because of the nazi zombies. If that’s the case, you’re going to be let down, because these aren’t zombies, these are monsters. And dressing up monsters as nazis is like dressing up Reginald Veljohnson as a cop. Sure it makes sense, but isn’t it a bit redundant?
Dead Snow tries to be a zombie comedy, but if that’s what you’re looking for, check out “Zombieland” instead. That’s out on DVD now.

I give Dead Snow: 2 out of 5 zombie teddy bears.

Moon

 Posted by at 3:49 pm  1 Response »
Mar 082010
 

It is indeed the sweetest and rarest of treats to watch a movie whose plot you have no knowledge of and whose trailers you haven’t seen – especially when that movie turns out to be awesome. Quite frankly, I don’t know how I did it. A movie about space with Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey? My intrinsic connection to the ethereal nerd hive-mind should have alerted me to this movie’s existence the second it was greenlit. Yet somehow, (perhaps my link was weakened when I got to touch boobs for free), it slipped past me until the other day when it was suggested to us on the CineMEH Facebook page. The rest, as they rarely say when a dude watches a movie, is history.

Normally, I would give some sort of synopsis right here but I’m hesitant to do so. If you, like me, managed to never hear dick about this movie, then you have the opportunity to experience it the way I did (which is optimal) and far be it from me to rob you of that. I’ll just stick to robbing you of your french fries when you’re not looking, thank you. (Dude, is that Barry Bostwick? Yoink! Ha! *munch munch munch*)

If you’re some sort of asshole that refuses to watch a movie without knowing at least a little something about it, then here: Sam Rockwell works on the moon. Kevin Spacey is a robot. Shit gets crazy. It is awesome. Now quit being a little bitch and watch it.

I give this movie 8 out of 9 ground-floor shares in Lunar Industries. (This helium-3 thing is gonna make me bank, boy. Ha ha! I WILL FUCKING OWN YOU.)

News Flash! – Buttload of Reviews on the Horizon / Facebook Page Is Go!

 Posted by at 4:10 pm  Comments Off on News Flash! – Buttload of Reviews on the Horizon / Facebook Page Is Go!
Mar 072010
 

Almost a week without a review? Unacceptable. Have we lost steam but a month into this? Fuck you for even thinking that. You are obviously what my grandma would call a “wet blanket” and you need to man up, you big girl.

Since the addition of the CineMEH Facebook page, we’ve been getting a shit-ton of movie suggestions and so far, they’ve all been awesome. We’ve also been contacted by some indie filmmakers/distributors and have received a couple screeners and pre-release DVDs which is beyond amazing. What I’m trying to say here is that thanks to you guys, every moment that we haven’t been attending to immediately necessary elements of our normal lives, we’ve been watching fucking awesome movies. Thanks guys. Now we’re even bigger dorks than we were. Keep it up.

Here are a few movies that will be reviewed this week: Spring Break Massacre, Dead Snow, From Beyond, Escape from Darwin, Trippin’, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Moon, and The Jaguar. So get ready for that.

Also, because why not, here’s a remix trailer/music video/whatever that Trent made for Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Enjoy.

Mar 022010
 

Netflix has spent the last month trying to get me to watch “Dear Zachary” and I finally caved. Oh man, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The premise sounded sweet and endearing: A guy named Andrew Bagby died, leaving behind an infant son who would never know his father. So, Andrews best friend Kurt decides to make a movie for the poor kid. That’s the only thing I knew about this movie prior to watching it, but that’s not the half of the story… not by a long shot. I’m not too proud to tell you I cried. I turned into a blubbering mess of tears and sobbed uncontrollably. Kurt Kuenne sought to make a documentary that would tell the life story of his best friend, but wound up documenting one of the most shocking and heart-wrenching stories I have ever seen.

When Kurt Kuenne discovered that his best friend had died, he wanted to put together a movie to preserve his memory, but when it’s revealed that Andrew had been murdered by a jealous ex-girlfriend, his movie takes a dramatic turn. It’s then discovered that Andrew’s murderer, Shirley Turner, is pregnant with his child. What follows is a moving story of two grief-stricken parents, Kate and David Bagby. When Shirley flees the United States for Newfoundland, the Bagby’s sell everything and move to Canada, hellbent on rescuing their grandson and seeing that this sociopathic maniac pays for her crime.

The story of the custody battle and extradition process which emerges within this documentary are bound to unleash all sorts of terrible emotions. I found myself cupping my hands over my mouth in disbelief, anxiously bitting my nails, and crying honest to god tears of pain and horror, but the movie isn’t all heartbreak. Balanced evenly throughout the movie are interviews with everyone who knew Andrew, and Andrew knew a lot of people. His friends, and family are interviewed, including his relatives in England with whom he spent summers. When all the parts come together, Kurt Kuenne is able to weave the most compelling story about a mans life I have ever heard. By the end of it, I felt things for this guy and his family that I have never felt (and probably never will feel) about my own family. I regretted the fact that I will never be able to meet Andrew Bagby.

Let me just warn you now; there is no happy ending to Dear Zachary. You will cry (probably a whole bunch) but don’t let that stop you from seeing this movie (you need to see this movie). Even though there is a cavalcade of depression, there is just as much warmth and happiness. A word to the wise, though: don’t watch it alone. You’ll need somebody to talk to about it afterwards.

I give Dear Zachary: I’m not going to give this a score. It’s terrific. See it now.

Delirious

 Posted by at 4:27 am  Comments Off on Delirious
Mar 022010
 

Mark another point for me in my ongoing battle to have a more impressive and diverse movie-viewing history than an eel and a fish COMBINED. They were going to call for the mercy rule, but I’m finally catching up! (Both fish and eels get to watch a lot of movies because they don’t have to sleep or work which is TOTALLY UNFAIR but whatever.) Anywho, the movie that put me back in the race is called “Delirious” – a title which, the more I type it, the more certain I become that I can’t possibly be spelling it correctly. And that, my friends, is the only negative thing I have to say about this movie (other than its glaring lack of boobs and robots).

Delirious (goddamnit) tells the story of a dopey homeless kid named Toby (played by Michael Pitt) who enters a strange working relationship with a wannabe papparazo named Les (played by Steve Buscemi). For the first half hour or so, the chemistry between these two is fucking priceless. Les’s jittery false pretention combined with Toby’s slow, stonerish wonderment and innocence results in some moments that are so quietly hilarious and endearing that I almost forgot how much I hate looking at Michael Pitt’s weird-ass face. (There’s something vaguely Culkin-esque about it which I just can’t trust.)

Just as you begin to think this is going to be a quirky buddy picture where our heroes wheel and deal their way to success via unconventional means, sadly, the catalyst for many a ruined friendship shows up – a love interest. (Psh…fuckin’ bitches, man.)

The movie then takes a more serious turn as Toby starts chasing skirts and fulfilling dreams, leaving Les to his sad and lonely life of big talk and small checks. Bummer. Just once I would like to see a character played by Steve Buscemi not get totally shit on. A movie where Buscemi just bones hot broads and shoots dinosaurs with plasma arrows. Also, he probably has rocket boots and some really badass tattoos of dragons and pumas that come to life and help him fight the dinosaurs (not like he needs the help). Then at the end, when he’s boned every broad in sight and the Boss Dinosaur is taking his last breath, Buscemi goes into the dinosaurs’ spaceship to get the treasure but all he finds is a note saying “The Greatest Treasure Is True Friendship” and we all get super bummed that we were tricked into learning a lesson. But then he flips the paper over and it says “JUST KIDDING. LOOK BEHIND YOU.” and he does and he sees so much gold and jewels that he fucking pukes everywhere. Roll credits.

When you get right down to it, Delirious is a pretty decent way to spend 107 minutes of your life that you probably would have wasted anyway. I give it 6 out of 8 pale, puffy-eyed, duck-lipped Culkins.