Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Amityville Horror

Watched November 12, 2012


Starring: James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger, and Don Stroud

This is another classic horror movie that I hadn't seen until now. My first impression was how nice it is to watch a movie that has actual production value. I'm not trying to put down the other amazing movies that we watch, but every once in awhile it's nice to have the dialogue line up with the way the actor's move their mouths.

It begins with the true DeFeo murders of 1974,  Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot his parents and four siblings in their beds. A year later the house is up for sale and being considered by George and Kathy Lutz (James Brolin and Margot Kidder) who are newlyweds, even though she has 3 children from her previous marriage. They do know about the murders, but decide that the house is perfect for them regardless. They move in, but have a priest come bless the house just to remove any leftover bad stuff. The priest, Father Delaney (Rod Steiger) arrives while the family is playing outside so they aren't there to greet him.  He just enters the house and goes up to one of the rooms on the second floor. He begins to feel ill as he is swarmed by flies, then a male voice yells "get out!" Father Delaney does just that, he tries to call Kathy later but the phone cuts out and burns him so he has blisters on his hands.

The family begins to settle in and cleans up the house as strange things begin to happy. The youngest Lutz child Amy makes friends with an invisible something named Jodie. George is hit the hardest, he regularly wakes at 3:15 am, when the DeFeo murders occurred. He is constantly cold feeling strange drafts in the house so he compulsively chops wood to feed the fire. Odd things happen like Kathy's brother loses $1500 right before his wedding. George stops working and gets super stressed out. The front door is blown off it's hinges at 3:15 am one night. Several people that visit have a horrible feeling about the house, one of these people is George's business partner's wife. They follow her lead down to the basement where she senses the gateway to hell is. Their dog Harry has been scratching at this spot. They break down the wall to find a strange small room that is painted red. On the families last night there, George goes really nuts and almost tries to kill the kids but is knocked out of it and he gets his family out of the house as the walls drip blood. He runs back to the house to save the dog and falls into a red room pit that is filled with black slime. He makes it out and the family drives away never to go back to the horrible haunted house.

In these modern times the movie seems a little slow, but as I think about it again it's actually very strange to have a house slowly drive you crazy. I was a little surprised that the family didn't leave earlier, but then again they didn't know that they house was trying to kill them. I think it's a well deserved classic.

The illustration refers to my favorite characters of the movie, the babysitter with headgear who gets stuck in a closet and the gruff old detective who investigated the DeFeo murders and watches over the house as crazy things escalate. They don't play huge roles and never interact with each other, but I like them.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Miami Connection

Watched November 5, 2012
Special Terrible Movie Night field trip, we watched this on the big screen at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco.

Starring: Y.K. Kim, Vincent Hirsch, Joseph Diamand, Maurice Smith, Angelo Janotti and Kathy Collier.

Yet another gem being released by Drafthouse Films, we caught this just in time as it was making its theatrical run in the bay area.  I was unaware of who Y.K. Kim was/is but was informed by a video before the the film he's a Taekwondo master, motivational speaker and author.  Notice that I didn't count actor in those credits, nonetheless he still wrote, directed and starred in this movie.

It begins somewhere in Florida where a shipment of cocaine is being received by some drug dealers. Suddenly a bunch of ninja show up and beat up everyone and steal the drugs. Unlike a lot of other 80's movies, the ninjas are the bad guys in this one. We then meet our heroes: Dragon Sound, a totally rockin' band that just got a new gig playing the hottest club in town. These five guys are not only in the band together but they all go to Central Florida University. Plus they're all orphans and masters of Taekwondo.

The band that previously had the highly coveted gig are totally pissed that they aren't the house band anymore so they physically attack Dragon Sound.  All the guys in Dragon Sound hold their own and kick some ass.  John (Vincent Hirsch) is dating Jane (Kathy Collier) who has just joined the band as another singer. Jane's brother Jeff (William Eagle) is tied to the evil ninjas and when he first meets John he punches him in the face for no reason.

With the initial set up of a drug deal, I would think that this movie would be about Dragon Sound busting up a drug ring, it's not. It just about some Taekwondo dudes fighting some ninjas. We get to see Dragon Sound play three full songs. They all go on a beach romp together. All the Dragon Sound orphans live at home and there is a subplot about Jim (Maurice Smith) finding his dad that is pretty rad. The last epic battle has Mark (Y.K. Kim)  defeating a ton of ninjas, specifically killing the white ninja who was the ringleader.

The sound is terrible, there are super obvious dubs that don't line up with the actor's mouths. There is a scene where Jeff and the white ninja hang out with some bikers that is ridiculous. There is a fair amount of filler and terrible acting. Jack (Joseph Diamand) gives a pretty great monologue about all the orphans going on a world tour to the countries of their heritage.  Overall it's very silly and fun because it's so ridiculous.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Night of the Demons

Watched October 29, 2012

Starring: Shannon Elizabeth, Monica Keena, Edward Furlong, Diora Baird, and Bobbi Sue Luther.

I have seen the original 1988 version and I recall a few memorable scenes, but I don't remember loving the whole movie. This remake updates it with terrible editing, more gore, boobs and special effects but not much else. There is a brief scene with Linnea Quigley reprising her role and costume from the original.

Angela (Shannon Elizabeth) has rented a supposedly haunted house to throw the biggest and best Halloween party ever. We meet the main characters as they are getting ready for the party. Maddie (Monica Keena) is recognized as the heroine because she is dressed only kinda sexy as some sort of zombie. Her two friends Lily (Diora Baird) and Suzanne (Bobbi Sue Luther) are both dressed up in the same sexy cat costume. Suzanne has the gigantic boobs that are just about to pop out of her bustier at any moment, it's totally nuts.  Colin (Edward Furlong) is Maddie's ex-boyfriend and a drug dealer, he's going to the party to sell lots of drugs to pay off his debts to the bigger dealer in town.

They get to the party and you would think it would look like a really fun Halloween party but the movie uses these terrible speed cuts to make things look edgier, but it just looks terrible. The first hint of spookiness to come is when Maddie is in the bathroom reapplying lipstick a hand pops out of the mirror and tries to choke her.  Not that long after the party starts it's shut down by the cops because Angela forgot to get a permit. Everyone leaves except for the main characters.

When the cops arrived Colin threw his drug stash down a heat vent, so he make everyone go down to the basement so he can retrieve it. In the basement they find seven skeletons. Angela tries to steal a gold tooth from one and it bites her. The demon curse begins here. Angela explains the history of the house, how in the 1920's a lady got into the occult and held a seance. The seance had seven people that all got taken over by demons except for the main lady who figured it out and killed herself before the demons could fully take over.  Now there are seven people in the house again and the seven demons are going to try to get them. 

Angela begins spreading the demons over everyone. Some highlights are when she tries to seduce Suzanne and rips her face off and one of her boobs. Once Lily is a demon she repeats the main scene I remember from the original by sticking a tube of lipstick into her nipple.  Everyone is taken over by the demons except for Maddie, Colin and Jason (John F. Beach) just another dude. They take refuge in a room that has walls covered in spells so the demons can't get in. The demons trick them into thinking it's dawn and they can come out, but then they kill everyone except Maddie. Maddie realizes the only way to stop the full demon takeover is to kill herself just like the original lady. As soon as Maddie hangs herself the demons admit defeat and head back to their basement graves to hope for another bunch of idiot whose bodies they can inhabit.

Oh but wait, Maddie tricked those stupid demons by making a harness out of the noose, so she gets out of there alive. There is a lot of gore and tons of boobs but the build up to the big scares doesn't really pay off. I was much more just grossed out by some of the ridiculous things I saw on screen. The original is more fun, which isn't saying much but at least it doesn't have the terrible speed edits.