Monday, February 19, 2018
Watched January 14, 2018
Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Justine Waddell
Abraham Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer) operates an antique art dealership in London. Simon (Jonny Lee Miller) and Selena (Jennifer Esposito) work for him. Simon hits on Selena but is rebuffed. That night, after Simon leaves the building, Marcus (Omar Epps), Nightshade (Danny Masterson) and a couple other dead meats break into Van Helsing's super secure vault. Using both hacking and straight up breaking and entering they manage to get it open. Selena is in on it, and she's dating Marcus. She doesn't know what is in the vault but is convinced it must be very valuable because of the security measures. Inside they find a bunch of skulls with vampire teeth. They continue deeper into the crypt and in the main room find a metal coffin that they can't open. They push the coffin off its pedestal and that activates further security measures that impale two of the thieves, and traps the rest of the group in the room. They came prepared though, and they blast through the wall. Old Van Helsing had been in his office injecting the blood of leeches into his body. He goes to investigate but the thieves managed to steal the coffin and escape.
Simon comes back the next day and the security guards are all gone. He talks to Van Helsing, trying to figure out what happening. Van Helsing doesn't want the police involved, Simon doesn't know what was in the vault either, or that this was the Van Helsing from Dracula lore. Van Helsing tells Simon he's leaving to deal with the stolen item, Simon decides to secretly follow him.
Meanwhile, Mary (Justine Waddell) is in New Orleans. She works at the Virgin Megastore. She keeps having weird visions of a strange man, like waking nightmares.
The thieves took the coffin and are in flight on a cargo plane. Nightshade is trying to get the coffin open. Each time that blood is spilled near the coffin, it's sucked into the coffin but no one seems to notice. Nightshade cuts his hand trying to pry the coffin open, and the blood makes the coffin open. Inside is some smoke and a corpse with a full face helmet and a bunch of leeches. A leech somehow gets into Nightshade's eye. Dracula, the corpse, then comes to life. Another thief hears the commotion and comes to investigate what is happening in the cargo hold. He is attacked by Dracula. Everyone on the plane is bitten.
The plane crashes outside of New Orleans, in a "swamp of death." The coffin and bodies are taken to an old city hall in the little town. Jeri Ryan is the local news reporter, she is attacked and turned into a vampire while reporting on the crash.
Van Helsing shows up in New Orleans, somehow he know this is where the thieves/Dracula would be headed. Van Helsing goes to the little town hall where all the bodies are being kept and manages to kill a couple of the thief vampires. Simon shows up demanding an explanation. Van Helsing explains how he initially captured Dracula but then felt obligated to forever watch over him to make sure he didn't come back to "life" and kill again. So he has a bunch of leeches that suck the corpse of Dracula's blood, then he takes the leech blood and injects himself. This gives him a touch of immortality. The cops show up, arrest the vampire Selena.
Van Helsing explains about his daughter Mary having a touch of Dracula blood in her and she's the reason that Dracula came to New Orleans. Simon goes to find Mary and tries to explain what her dad was doing with the vampire blood and why she's been having visions of Dracula, but she didn't want anything to do with him. Vampire Marcus shows up and attacks Simon in the shipping dock of the Virgin store. Simon decapitates Marcus. Simon shares Van Helsing's diary with Mary to try to further explain the weird blood connection.
Mary goes to confessional to talk to Nathan Fillion, a priest about her visions. They also happen to be old friends. Dracula (Gerard Butler) finds Lucy (Colleen Fitzpatrick), Mary's roommate and coworker at the Virgin megastore. He hypnotizes her and she takes him back to their house. They have crazy ceiling sex and Lucy is turned into a vampire. Van Helsing comes to the house but Dracula kills him. Mary comes back to the house, finds Lucy's room torn apart and Van Helsing, her dad, dead and stuffed under the bed. Lucy is now a vampire and along with Selena and Jeri Ryan they kind of attack Mary but they know that Dracula wants her. Dracula shows up, Mary runs outside into Simon who shoots wolf form Dracula into a bunch of bats.
Simon is captured by the three lady vampires. Dracula bites Mary and gives her a vision to explain that he is Judas Iscariot. After he was hung for being a traitor to Jesus he somehow managed to survive by drinking the blood of Jesus's children. That's why Dracula hates Christianity. After the vision Dracula invites Mary to feed on Simon. Mary pretends to bite him but then decapitates Lucy and stabs Dracula. Simon beheads Selena with some garden shears. Mary hangs Dracula from a giant cross with a light up Jesus image on it. But it falls off the building and she is only held from falling by Dracula. She falls to the ground, but is kind of a vampire so she survives. As the sun rises to kill Dracula, he releases her from the vampire curse.
Back to being a human, Mary decides to follow in her Father's footsteps and become a supernatural hunter/vampire killer. With Simon as her companian, they'll make sure Dracula doesn't come back.
Pretty whatever movie, it takes place during Mardi Gras, for no particular reason. Mary wears a tank top, sweater, cropped loose pants and thick black slides. It was cool at the time but quickly became middle aged mom attire. The time capsule of a Virgin megastore is neat. The special effects are actually pretty good, they hold up as a nice practical with digital combo.Nothing really stands out as either super great or super terrible. Gerard Butler has a weird mouth. Mary is unremarkable. The leech thing is pretty weird.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Watched September 4, 2017
Starring: Nicole Eggert, Stacy Keach, Michael Dorn
Oakland Military Facility
Two aliens are captured and the military and FBI are trying to figure out how to kill them. In their holding cell, the aliens look like a human man and woman. The woman turns into a leathery blob, slides under the door and consumes one of the guards. Consume to the alien means that they both eat and take over the body. So the alien is now in a male guard body. The male guard/alien goes to get a sandwich in the lunchroom, that's where it runs into Connie (Alex Meneses). The alien consumes Connie, takes the body and her car and leaves the facility for San Francisco.
Amanda (Nicole Eggert) is a young college student. She lives at home but her parents are gone all the time, so it's almost like she lives alone. She works at a clothing store called the Fashion Mill. Amanda works with two girls who seem to be her friends but she also doesn't seem to like them at all. While they work they all talk about their weekend plans, including poetry slams and raves. Amanda is supposed to hear from her on/off boyfriend Charlie (Michael Bendetti). Amanda is an aspiring artist. Charlie calls to say he's hanging out with his cousin this weekend, that's why he can't do something with Amanda. It's pretty sketchy because Charlie is seen kissing this cousin. Amanda funnels her rage into some terrible art.
Amanda heads to her local beatnik coffee shop. There are a lot of close up shots of lattes, cappuccinos and other coffee drinks being made, along with making sandwiches. Amanda is sketching a woman in the shop, it happen to be Connie the alien's current body. Somehow Amanda knows that this woman is the alien, it doesn't make any sense how. But Amanda approaches this lady and lets her know that she can help her hide. It's been on the news that the cops are looking for a mysterious person. There is a weird show of the hot coffee cup ripping the skin off Connie's alien hands. Amanda takes the alien Connie home with her. Somehow it's still daytime, this is the longest day.
Amanda helps the alien Connie take a shower, which leads to the alien masturbating when Amanda tells her to wash her private parts. After the shower, Amanda makes the alien a peanut butter, tomato and pickle sandwich. This is where the alien explains that it consumes only live things, like people. That is why it came to Earth in the first place, to see if they could farm it for food. In the kitchen, the alien lady discovers paprika, which causes her to orgasm. The alien lady needs to eat someone, since it's been in this lady body for awhile and it's are getting hungry. First Amanda suggests going to club to meet some dudes, but then Charlie calls because he left some CDs at Amanda's house. Amanda arranges for Charlie to come pick up the CD while the lady alien is there, so the lady alien can consume him.
Amanda heads back to the coffee shop while the lady alien waits for Charlie. Charlie comes over, immediately hits on lady alien, they have sex and afterward she consumes him. During this sex/coffee shop scene, they keep cutting back and forth and they use the milk steamer as a visual for the sex that Charlie and the lady alien are having.
Amanda goes back to the house to find the alien in Charlie's body, and she is very attracted to the body. Amanda takes Charlie to the coffee shop and they meet some of Amanda's friends, who just think it's Charlie. Then Amanda takes Charlie to make-out point, then back home where they have sex. But the cops are on their trail, since the alien is basically killing people, even though they mostly just disappear. The alien has to get to the Hollywood sign to be taken home, but they are currently in San Francisco. They drive to Bakersfield to spend the night. Amanda and Charlie/alien stop at a weird theme hotel and have some paprika sex.
The cops/FBI find Amanda and Charlie/alien at the hotel but Amanda pretends to be the alien while the Charlie body hides in the closet. They take Amanda into custody and lock her in a van, then the alien takes over the Liutentent Vint (Michael Dorn) body. Amanda is in the truck that Vint is driving, they ditch the other cop and head towards LA. Amanda and Vint/alien end up at a truck stop and need to ditch the van. Amanda uses her charm to get a trucker to give them a ride to LA. In the morning they are dropped off near the sign. Emmitt Mallory (Stacy Keach) follows them and once they are dropped off the SWAT team surrounds them. Vint is shot by Emmitt, but the alien is able to consume Emmitt before he dies. The trucker comes back and saves Amanda and Emmitt/alien from the SWAT team and drops them off much closer to the Hollywood sign.
Emmitt turns back into an alien blob, but not before it mind melds with Amanda and gives her an unnamed gift. Amanda heads back home, she goes on a crazy talk show about peoples with experiences with aliens. She is still working at the Fashion Mill, but she has to get more questioning by the FBI. Her paintings get a little better, perhaps that's her gift from the alien.
I love the '90s vibe that the movie starts with, there is some great fashion or just talking about raves and poetry slams is pretty great. Amanda has some great fashion montages too. That's where my interest ends. The characters aren't every interesting, so there journey is hard to get invested in. The sex is gross. It should have gone either stronger with the horror alien aspect or just gone into porn territory, but it just falls into a bland middle ground.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Watched July 29, 2017
Starring; Ami Dolenz, Timothy Gibbs, Laraine Newman, John Gatins
A friend sent me this, even though the first Witchboard isn't very good. It was also a video store promo copy, so it was watermarked at the bottom throughout. Because of that at the beginning of the VHS we got to see the Witchboard 2 trailer plus a horror four pack to sell at your video store. Including Howling 2, The Hills have Eyes 2, Dawn of the Dead and ?Hound of Satan
Paige (Ami Dolenz) is CPA who has always wanted to be an artist. She breaks up with her cop boyfriend Mitch (Timothy Gibbs) moves out and rents an artist's loft. The landlord is super hippy Elaine (Laraine Newman) along with her handyman husband Toby. Elaine's brother, Russel (John Gatins) also lives in the complex, he's a photographer. As Paige unpacks and sets up her place, she finds a Ouija board in the closet. It strangely moves on its own, so she is compelled to give it a try. Using the board, Paige connects with Susan Sydney, a ghost who tells her that Paige will get the promotion at work. Paige is pretty shy at work and Carla, the other woman up for the same promotion is trying to sabotage her. Carla has stolen one of Paige's client files and Paige is aware but can't stand up to her.
Toby is working in the basement of the building when he is attacked by a floating ax and flying saw blades. He escapes into the boiler room only to be steamed to death.
By talking with Susan, Paige gets some confidence to be more assertive at work. She calls out Carla for hiding the file. Then Paige takes up Russel on his offer to photograph her. With her new ghost confidence, Paige start dressing sexier too. All this time, her ex-boyfriend Mitch is trying to get back together with her. Mitch helps look up info about Susan Sydney, since Paige shares that she has been contacting her.
Paige uses the board with Elaine and Russell and they get a hint to where Susan's body is buried. Mitchell doesn't find a death certificate for Susan or a forwarding address, so he's not sure that Paige is really taking to the ghost of Susan. In the middle of the night, Paige and Russel try to find Susan's burial ground, somewhere in the woods. Mitch finds them instead and Russel warns Paige to stop using the board. Later, Mitch is driving alone when Susan uses her powers to cause a major car accident that lands him in the hospital.
Paige goes to a mystic shop where the shopkeeper gives her a definitive book on using the Ouija board along with a drawing planchette to try to confirm if it's really Susan who is contacting her. Paige has also been having a lot of dreams about Susan, which she has been turning into charcoal drawings, it's really unleashed her creativity.
Elaine is killed in front of her hippy van by a stray wrecking ball. Paige suspects that Russel is the killer, and she goes to his studio to confront him. He seems crazy but says that Elaine killed Susan for having an affair with Toby. Paige locks herself in the darkroom of the studio, with Russel trying to attack her. Mitch shows up and stops Russel, but then Paige is now possessed by Susan. Susan kills Russel and Mitch is pushed out the window but doesn't fall to his death because he gets tangled in some wires. Mitch manages to make it back inside the studio. Susan is half ghost powers, but Paige is still in the body too. Susan tries to kill Mitch, but Paige resists and smashes the Ouija board which unleashes Susan's ghost into the universe. Paige moves out the loft, decides to go to art school and starts dating Mitch again. I guess she isn't convicted on killing Russel since a ghost inhabiting her body did it.
Not great, but I still enjoyed it more than the first one. Paige is a more likable character than anyone in Witchboard but that's not enough to make it a great movie. I'm surprised that a sequel was made at all, but then again this movie was a low budget cash grab. There isn't much connecting the two movie, but they do both use the concept of Progressive Entrapment as the main premise for the ghost in the Ouija board to be able to take over a living body, so that's something.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Watched June 16, 2017
Starring: Bo Derek, Anthony Quinn, Don Murray
In snowy Wyoming, we meet Kate (Bo Derek) and Scott (Anthony Quinn) who are an extreme May/Dec marriage. He has a heart attack, recovers, but he can't have sex with her or do any other strenuous activities. He is too old to be a candidate for a heart transplant because he's over 60. This is so distressing for Scott that he kills himself. Somehow he manages to become a ghost who won't stop talking to Kate.
The ghost effect is very unsatisfying as it's just cut aways to Anthony Quinn is a weird black background. Scott tells Kate to head to their tropical island house. Since he can't leave her alone, she can't move on. Somehow together they decide if he can get a new body, then he would be able to take it over and come back to life. This is based on nothing except that Kate is upset that ghosts can't do it. It's not explained until close to the end how ghosts can inhabit a body.
Kate has to go to Hong Kong to deal with some of Scott's business. Scott was just a generic business man, it's not explained what type of business he was involved in when alive. On her arrival to Hong Kong, Kate tries to eat noodles on a windy boat ride. Ghost Scott guides Kate at the meeting with famed businessman Donald Trump. At their meeting they make some sort of agreement to meet again the next day that is crucial to the deal going through.
The night before part two of the meeting, Kate has dinner with Winston (Don Murray), an old friend of Kate and Scott's. Winston dances with Kate and hints that he's always been attracted to her, but Kate isn't ready to take on a romance, especially with another old guy. She heads back to the hotel and goes swimming at the hotel pool. Afterward she's in the changing room, taking a shower when some guy forces her at gunpoint to take some pills. They are supposed to make her miss the meeting, which is super important. Kate manages to make it to the meeting and the deal is saved.
Back on the island, Scott keeps pushing Kate to choose Fausto Garibaldi (Leo Damian) for the body, even though Kate doesn't like him personally, but at least Fausto isn't a senior citizen. Two ladies come to the island to see Kate's fabulous black pearls. One happens to be a white witch. At a casual softball game, Kate asks the white witch about possession and she explains how ghost can take over a body at the moment of death. Basically Kate has to kill Fausto, then at the moment of his death Scott can take over Fausto's body.
Fausto comes to Kate's bungalow to put the moves on her, she tries to kill him but can't do it she just knocks him out. Fausto still tries to attack her so the island king is called to make a judgment on what to do with Fausto. Scott is disappointed, so he leaves Kate alone for awhile. He talks to his angel, Julie Newmar, who says the body thing might work or they might both go to hell.
Scott comes back to Kate is ghost form to bug her some more. Kate finds Fausto, he was supposed to be in the island jail for attacking her but instead he's almost dead underwater in the pearl bed. Kate brings him back to life enough to kill him again, kind of. It works! Scott comes back in the body of Fausto. New body Scott and Kate remarry and got back to snowy Wyoming and have a bunch of sex.
This movie is so bad it's just bad, there isn't anything fun in it at all. The age difference between Scott and Kate is so large their relationship makes it seem like he's her dad that won't leave her alone, even though he's dead. Their love connection is never established before Scott kills himself, instead it's repeated that they met when he was 50 so she was a baby or whatever. The troubling aspect of this awful movie has more to do with the real life relationship between John Derek, the director who met Bo when she was 16 and he was 46, barf. Bo Derek is naked a lot but it's incredible unsexy, and at weird times. At there seems to be no shortage of naked Bo Derek movies, so go see any other one. There is nothing worthwhile here. I was initially interested in seeing this movie as it was an early Razzie winner, but it's terrible.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Watched June 15, 2017
Starring: Keith Jordan, Ned Narang, Joe Zaso
1905: The real Van Helsing (Ken Mitzkovitz) and his errand boy Aki (Freddie Sabaugh) are looking for relics together. Up pops Simon Magus (Joe Zaso), an arch-angel. He tries to kill Van Helsing but the Aki throws Van Helsing a magical scepter. Van Helsing uses the magical scepter to stab Simon Magus, seemingly destroying him.
Jump to a present day High School. Ordinary teen Michael Harris (Keith Jordan) is in chemistry class messing around with the equipment. He's bullied by Karl, who is dating the girl that Michael has a crush on. Karl punches Michael a bunch in the hall until one of the teachers stops it and tells Michael he's looking forward to hearing his band play the dance at the end of the week.
Meanwhile Professor Arad (Ned Narang) is at a dig site where they have found the remains of Simon Magus. One of the interns touches the remains, this lets the leftovers bits of Simon Magus suck the power from the intern and it brings Simon Magus back into being. Simon then kills everyone at the site, except for Prof. Arad and his dull personal assistant. After this terrible occurrence, the Professor and his assistant go back to London to look for something in the warehouse that stores the ark of the covenant. They are looking for the scepter that Van Helsing used to destroy Simon Magus before, but it's missing from it's assigned spot in storage. It turns out it was sent a long time ago to Michael's dad. But it turns out that Michael's friend found it when he was a kid and was illegally opening mail at the post office where his dad worked. Michael's friend as a kid stole the scepter and buried it in the woods.
Crazy Prof. Arad comes to Michael's house where he lives with his Aunt Molly. The Professor is there to explain to Michael about his Van Helsing heritage.
Earlier that day, two of Michael's schoolmates where driving to school when they ran into Simon Magus. Simon killed the driver and looked into the girls mind to try to find info about the scepter. This leaves her in a coma. She's the best friend of the the girl who Michael has a crush on. Michael drives past the same road where the two teens were attacked by Simon and he drives over a weird leftover bit of Simon. He picks up a piece of it and it has a weird property of being ever burning. Michael takes this weird bit to the chemistry lab where his crush helps him try to figure out what it is.
Michael's crush comes over to his house to explain what she found out about the mystery substance, then Simon show up and tries to kill them all. Michael is there with the Professor and a couple of his friends then manage to make it to Michael's car and take off, but Simon is close behind. They run into Karl, which forces their car off the road and it explodes. It seems that Simon may be burned in the car explosion, but he had brain sucked the friend of Michael's to discover where the scepter is buried. The group manages to find the buried part of the scepter and stab Simon.
Michael and his friends now have a name for their band, the Van Helsings. They play the school dance. Karl and his girlfriend rock out together, Michael never had a chance. The Van Helsings play a Creed style rock, and an entire song is played completely.
The very end is the crazy Prof. Arad storing the scepter only to find a werewolf has escaped from the storage warehouse, hinting at another young Van Helsing adventure to come. I'm not surprised that this didn't kick off an entire series of young Van Helsing adventures as this one is terrible. It's very slow with terrible acting and it doesn't seem like Michael has any of the Van Helsing spirit in him at all. He just wants to play with his awful band. At the beginning, the assistant to the real Van Helsing is a white boy in brown face, which is a terrible choice for a movie made in the early 2000's. I'm sure this movie was made on the cheap, but who funded it anyway. Not fun in a bad movie way, just a bummer.