Monday, 30 April 2012

The Stephen King Challenge

Hello readers, I have some news.  This is not important news, but you fellow horror fans may find it interesting nonetheless.  I have made it my mission to watch every Stephen King movie and TV show adaptation I can find.  The plan is to watch everything based on his works.  I have no time frame in mind for this, but I will document each night on this blog and keep you all posted, with reviews of each movie and TV show.  I intend to watch everything - even the ones I've seen will be revisited.  So, there's my news.  Why don;t you join me and share this journey?

Society (1989)

Billy is just a regular 18 year old high school kid; he likes to play basketball, goof around and attempt to hook up with girls.  However, something doesn't quite sit right with him - his family.  There's something off about them, and it's not teenage alienation, it's something else.  They're cold, distant and freakishly polite.  Poor Bill just doesn't feel like 'one of them,' considering he's largely ignored and his sister is adored.  His therapist isn't much help either and gives him reassurances in the form of prescription medication instead of sound advice.  Maybe he's hiding something?  Billy gets the sense something twisted is happening with The Society,a group of upper class residents of Beverley Hills that everyone is associated with.  Soon, weird things start happening and Billy sets out to prove something is wrong, but no one believes him, and who is there to even trust?

Society was the directorial debut by Brian Yuzna, who previously produced the classic Re-Animator.  Yuzna is also arguably the king of body horror movies and is prone to delivering some of the most visually disgusting images ever put to celluloid (also see Faust: Love of the Damned).  Society is an odd movie for sure, but it's also an intriguing one.  It's a satire on societies lower classes being exploited by the rich, however, it doesn't take itself too seriously and has enough cheesiness and goofiness to make us laugh out loud.  Incest is a strong theme in this movie, but it's presented in an OTT, hilarious way.  Sure, the movie has moments that might disturb some viewers, but it's mainly just a very black comedy.  It has an intriguing, perfectly paced mystery throughout, accompanied by a constant feeling that something bad is going to happen.  Movies like this, the viewer has every right to demand a memorable pay off and trust me, you'll never forget the ending to this one.

So, to summarise - most definitely not for everyone but if you like odd movies then check it out.  It's funny, disgusting, intriguing, goofy, original, sinister and mesmerising throughout.  Brian Yuzna, you are a wonderful man.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Infestation (2009)

Don't you just love movies where slackers are forced to become heroes?  I sure do.  Infestation is a prime example of one of these movies.  It's about a lazy employee who is forced to save the world from a bug invasion.  It's a matter of minutes into the movie when the bugs invade and our hero awakes in a web having to think quick and fast.

Infestation is a movie that grins at you throughout, wearing it's B movie influences proudly on its sleeve.  It's one of those movies you can't really go into depth about because really, it's all about the fun.  It's funny, witty, charming and entertaining from start till finish.  Chris Arquette, like many of his roles (watch FANBOYS asap), plays the perfect slacker.  His father is also a gung-ho Ray Wise.  There's hot chicks, likable characters and lots of crazy bug action to keep the adrenalin pumpin' all the way through.  Definitely a cult classic.

Gems Everyone Should Check Out

This isn't a list of unknown horror movies.  In fact, you've probably heard of them, but I feel a lot of them have been overlooked.  Sure, some of them aren't the greatest movies ever, but they are entertaining and worth a watch.

1) Dead Silence
In my opinion, this is one of the greatest movies made in recent times.  It's nice to see a movie with a little imagination and mystery put into it.  I think James Wan is a great director and everything about this movie worked for me.  It had a creepy atmosphere throughout, amazing settings, an interesting idea and a story that keeps you hooked throughout.  Along with his amazing revenge thriller Death Sentence, it's perhaps easy to overlook due to the uh-mazing success of Saw and Insidious.  Check out Dead Silence.

2) Feast
I recommend this trilogy, but the first one is the best.  One of the truly amazing horror comedies.  Monsters, laughs, gore...  It isn't anything else really, but it's tonnes of fun and you'll be in stitches throughout.

3) Dance of the Dead
Another horror comedy with zombies... yeah we've seen it before.  Not all are as good as this one though.  We have teenage romance, zombies and laughs.  It really is hilarious and if you want to see a more in depth review then just scroll down my page until you find it.  Or just take my word that it's friggin' awesome.

4) Dying Breed
Nothing you haven't seen before, but still a good movie.  If you like backwoods cannibal horror then give it a watch, because I don't think this got much promotion at all.  As I said, we've seen it done before but it still is worth seeing.

5) Highway to Hell
This one needs to be seen.  The story is just fantastic - Hellcop (a cop from Hell) kidnaps a girl and takes her to Hell to be the Devil's virgin bride and her idiot boyfriend needs to enter Hell with his dog to save her.  Hell is imagined in a funny and unique way, with lots of funny jokes included you may notice (for instance, the road to Hell being paved with good intentions).  It's a unique movie, lots of fun and a must see if you like movies a little quirky and out there.

6) Lord of Illusions
I'm of the belief that any movie with Clive Barker attached is a must see.  This one is a must see.  Part horror/fantasy and part detective story, this is a horror movie with such imagination and class.  Anyone who dismisses horror as trash needs to see this and be proven a damn idiot, because there's lots of smart horror, and this one is high up on the list.  AMAZING.

7) The Car
I bought this thinking it would be 'so bad it's good.'  Turns out it was actually pretty good.  It's kinda like Christine minus the romance.  Surprisingly addictive throughout and shot in some cracking scenery, it really is an underrated gem.

8) Moontrap
Bruce Campbell has made countless great movies that have went under the radar... probably because they're quite hard to get a hold of.  I personally think this is one of his best movies.  It's a wonderful sci-fi horror b movie that deserves much more attention.

9) Sundown: Vampire in Retreat
An underrated masterpiece that didn't even see the light of day back when it was originally released. It stars David Carradine and Bruce Campbell and is about a small town in the desert inhabited by friendly vampires trying to change the error of their ways.  Bruce plays a descendant of Van Helsing out to kill them anyway.  Don't worry though, we get the bad vampires to who just want to keep feeding on humans.  This has seen a DVD release and is worth picking up, and there's even some good interviews with the cast in the extras.  It's a fun romp.

10) John Carpenter's Vampires
Everyone has heard of this, but too many people dismiss it as a bad film, along with Ghosts of Mars (also a good movie).  Vampires is a tremendous film.  It's horror with Western mytho's set in the modern day, has aspects of a cross country road movie and has James Woods playing a bad ass.  You all see the supremely hot Sheryl Lee naked.  What's not to love?  It's one of the best horrors of the 90's.

I'll leave it at 10 not to bore you.  Feel free to comment with your own selections.  I could go on all day.  If interested, I'll just list a few more:

Jacob's Ladder
Man With the Screaming Brain
The Hidden
The Violent Kind
Trick 'R' Treat (This one is a real treat)