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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis (2005)

An American made for TV horror directed by William Butler and Aaron Strongoni, starring Cory Hardrict and Peter Coyote.
A group of high school students follow rumors of an injured friend being abducted by a chemical company. When they get to the factory, a zombie outbreak occurs.
This is where they lost the magic of the original. I didn't care about any of the stereotypical characters who barely had any back-story. The poorly constructed and underdeveloped plot did not hold my interest. The video looked made for TV and syfy channel all the way. Same with the audio that featured popular hard rock music of the time. Technically speaking, the audio and video were fine, but they were handled badly. The camera-work focused on fast editing cuts that are all too cliche of modern action films. Now that I've seen the whole series, I wish I hadn't. Only the first three films are worth watching. I rate this poor.

Troll 3 A.K.A. The Crawlers, Creepers, Contamination Point 7 (1993)

An Italian Canadian American horror directed by Joe D'Amato and Fabrizio Laurenti.
Because a nuclear power plant dumped toxic waste in a forest, the roots and vines have mutated and attack people.
I could accept Troll 2 having goblins. They may not have been trolls, but at least they were mythological humanoid characters. The acting and lighting were it's worst aspects. Camera-work followed closely behind. The only good thing in the whole film was Paula, the hooker. This movie was worse than Troll 2 because you can mock that easily, but this is more difficult to poke fun at because it's just bad. Overall, it's not worth watching at all for any reason. I rate this bad. DO NOT WATCH!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Room 237 (2012)

An American documentary directed by Rodney Ascher.
A group of enthusiasts explain their beliefs about the deeper meanings of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.
This was pretty cool. I liked the depth and detail of analysis performed on the film, complete with maps, diagrams and side-by-side scene comparisons. The idea that there is no deep meaning to the film is negated by Kubrick's eye for detail. He would not have accidentally made things the way they were. Some people would say that the narrators of this are crazy. Be that as it may, they looked into this subject matter and proposed theories. Their detractors would just dismiss any of this with no research. Overall, a good film for fans of Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick, conspiracy theories and film in general. I rate this good.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Empire of the Dark A.K.A. Evil Night (1990)

An American fantasy adventure by Steve Barkett.
A man saves his child from an evil cult, but his wife is left behind. Years later, the evil cult returns with ninjas, magicians and a demon. He must fight them with the help of his son.
They really tried to make a good movie, but it was just beyond their price range and abilities. What we get is something less than good that is easy to mock by non-filmmakers. The plot is simplistic and the characters are poorly acted. I think that some bad writing went into this. The man not recognizing his son who looks just like him was not very convincing. There were definitely video problems. I saw a continuity issue/prop malfunction with a broken bridge repairing itself. The special effects were cheesy and the action scenes just did not stack up as I think they were intended to. The audio was not bad, with the soundtrack music actually being good. Overall, a budget flick trying to be more than it was capable of. I give them 100% for effort, but the end product is definitely lacking in a few categories. I rate this tolerable.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monster Dog A.K.A. Leviatan, Los Perros de la Muerte (1984)

An Italian horror directed by Claudio Fragasso, starring Alice Cooper.
Alice cooper returns to his hometown with some friends to make a video for his rock band. There are rumors of dangerous dogs and werewolves in the area. When some criminals try to attack the group, dogs and a werewolf also appear.
I found this while doing research on Troll 2. The songs/music videos were cool, but as a movie it was crappy. The script was horribly written. This seems to be a re-occurring problem with Claudio Fragasso's films. This means that like Troll 2, the plot did not make sense and the dialogue was nearly incoherent. I could hear every word, but putting them together in this manner was nonsensical. Character depth is not even to be discussed in this case. You need to be able to stand before you can walk. The video was not bad, but was definitely not good in most parts. Shot composition seemed accidental to the point that some of it looked good and other parts looked like a totally different camera operator. Amazingly, it was actually good on the music videos (picture). It makes me wonder what happened there. The audio was mediocre. I could hear everything and it was better than Troll 2 where layering obscured some sounds. However, that did not sound like Alice Cooper's voice. In fact, it seemed like everyone was dubbed. Why? Overall, I would rather have just seen the music videos than the whole film. I rate this poor.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Superior Firepower: The Making of "Aliens" (2003)

An American documentary directed by Charles de Lauzirika.
Interviews about making the movie, Aliens.
Do you remember The Beast Within? this is basically the same film. Some of the interviews were even shot for both films at the same time. When the interviewee is in the same location, wearing the same clothes, with the same camera placement, it kind of gives that away. This version included lots more about special effects, puppeteering and making miniatures. They used in-camera physical effects because digital effects were so costly and time consuming at that time. We get to see lots of alien models and costumes because there were more aliens in this film. There were 2 interviews that rubbed me the wrong way. One was the brothers who worked on models. Only one of them spoke and the other just sat there uselessly. The other was the composer who complained about tight deadlines for over half an hour. Overall, better than The Beast Within and yes, it made me want to watch Aliens. I rate this good.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Beast Within: The Making of "Alien" (2003)

An American documentary directed by Charles de Lauzirika.
Exactly as the title states: how the movie Alien was made.
Continuing the theme of movies about movies, this was interesting to watch, but much of it was obvious and needed little explanation. The interviews were on-topic and people said some good stuff. There was information included that fans of the series will find interesting. People from the cast and crew go into great detail about who had worked with whom before and selecting who would be working on this film. Technically speaking, the audio and video were great. I guess the real question of it's quality would be making the viewer want to watch Alien. I do, so it seems successful to me. Overall, great for those who like Alien lots and know little about how films are made. I rate this adequate.