Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mirror Mirror

Watched April 14, 2013

Starring: Rainbow Harvest, Karen Black, Kristin Dattilo, Yvonne De Carlo, William Sanderson.

I had watched this a couple years ago then gave it to Jen when I did my big moving VHS purge. Well it came around again and was pretty enjoyable.

Megan ( Rainbow Harvest) is a Lydia Deetz clone who has just moved with her mom ( Karen Black) into a new house after the sudden death of her father. The house has a mysterious past that includes a murder that left the house abandoned. All the furniture in the house was bought by an antique shop, they took everything except for a freestanding wood mirror. In the articles taken from the house there is a diary. The antique shop owner Emelin (Yvonne De Carlo) begins to read the diary and discovers that there was a demon in the mirror and the young woman who lived in the house killed her sister to stop the demon.

Megan is a goth outcast but on her first day of school makes friends with Nikki ( Kristin Dattilo) a regular looking girl. All the popular kids immediately hate Megan because she dresses in black while they all wear pastels. At home the mirror is in Megan's room and she becomes enchanted by it.  She is compelled to stare into it, rub her face and gum on it, all while not realizing the mirror is bleeding. 

At school, a teacher yells at her for not taking a test and then he has a heart attack while she furiously draws circles on her test paper. Megan is not completely aware that the mirror is taking her terrible thoughts and making them a reality, but she slowly gets clued in. During gym class they're all in the pool and the most popular girl gets mad at Nikki, so Megan, through the mirror powers, tries to drown her in the pool. This doesn't work but the popular girl is taken out of the pool and goes to the showers. There all the steam pipes burst and scald her to death.

Megan mentions her new powers to Nikki, but Nikki doesn't want any part of it. This causes Megan to hurt Nikki to convince her to be friends again. Nikki figures out that Emelin might know something about it, so she goes to talk to her. Megan finds out about this and kills Emelin. Nikki figures out that she has to destroy the mirror. Megan kills Nikki's boyfriend by creating a figure that looks like Nikki to drown him in a tub of water. Finally Nikki goes to Megan's house, where Megan has lost control of the mirror. The mirror forces Megan's mom to put her hand in the garbage disposal, dismembering her and she bleeds to death.  Megan wants Nikki's help to stop the mirror now, but they just want to get out of the house. The mirror stabs Megan and Nikki is over here wishing everything would go back to the way it was. This takes them back to the original murders that occurred in the house with Nikki and Megan now the two sisters, but Megan is still dead. I'm not really sure what that means, that it was a cycle of sisterhood and demons.

The movie has some nice death scenes and Megan is super weird but interesting to watch. She wears some extra crazy hats. There's a scene where all the popular girls make fun of Megan by dressing all in black. They all look so much better I don't understand why they think it would make Megan mad, but I guess it does. You do get to see the demon that is trapped in the mirror for a little bit, but it still doesn't really explain how it got there, or why it can still control things while in the mirror. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Watched April 7, 2013

Starring: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Ryder Smith, Amy Hargreaves.

I like to pair similarly themed movies together and after watching Arcade it reminded me of Brainscan, which I hadn't seen since it originally came out. Both these movies came out around the same time but Brainscan had a much bigger budget and the star power of Edward Furlong coming off Terminator 2.

Michael (Edward Furlong) is a teen haunted by the car accident that killed his mother and left him with a gimpy leg. His father is constantly away on business, so Michael spends his time reading Fangoria magazine and playing video games. He has a sweet set up of a computer that answers his phone calls for him in his attic room that is teen boy heaven. He regularly spies on his neighbor Kimberly (Amy Hargreaves) filming her as she undresses in front of the window. On a tip from his friend Kyle (James Marsh), Michael orders a new game called Brainscan. This game is supposed to the craziest new gaming experience like nothing you've played before. Even though Michael is a jaded teen he's ready to try anything. He orders the game off the 1-800 number and the first disc arrives the next day. The first round of the game has him murdering a man within an hour time limit. Michael completes this and exits the game to find the severed foot of the man in his fridge. Is he still in the game or is he committing these crimes in real life? That's the basic plot. It seems like the game has become real and taken over Michael's life. He has to complete all four discs of the game to get out of the game. This requires him to bury the foot, kill his bed friend all while trying to stay away from the detective (Frank Langella) who is investigating the case. The last thing he has to do the win the game is kill Kimberly, but he can't, even when the Trickster merges with him. Michael kills the Trickster and the game is completed.  Michael comes back to the true reality where he has murdered no one. There is a weird part at the end where we see a dog with the severed foot in his mouth to hint that maybe it was real after all, except we know that Kyle is still alive.

This is a fine horror movie, but nothing really crazy popped out to make it extra special. The Trickster (T. Ryder Smith) is the game character that tells Michael what he needs to do next, and pops out of the game into Michael's reality.  His makeup is pretty great and he is disgusting. The special effects hold up well as they did a lot of prosthetic work along with the CGI effects. 

Edward Furlong has my favorite hairstyle from the early 1990's and that's enough to keep me engaged, but you're better off just watching Terminator 2 again. The Igor image/animation that answers the phone on Michael's computer was the best.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Watched March 31, 2013

Starring: Megan Ward, John de Lancie, Peter Billingsley, Seth Green, and A.J. Langer

Since we've watched several super stinkers in a row, we were looking forward to something a little better.  This is a Full Moon release, which if you seen other movies by them you'll know they produce straight to video horror and fantasy movies. I enjoyed this movie because I like other things that all the people have been in.  It stars Q from Star Trek: Next Gen, Rayanne from My So-Called Life, the crush from Encino Man, the kid from A Christmas Story and Willow's werewolf boyfriend, what more could you ask for.

Alex (Megan Ward) is a teen girl dealing with the recent suicide of her mother, with no help from her dad who is drowning his sorrow in cookies. She does have a great support system of her boyfriend Greg (Bryan Dattilo) and friends, Nick (Peter Billingsley), Stilts (Seth Green) and Laurie (A.J. Langer). After school they head to Dante's Inferno, a local arcade. Difford (John de Lancie) is there, a representative of a video game company who is trying to get the kids to test out a new game called Arcade. The game is a virtual reality game which fully immerses you in the digital world. It's some terrible early 3D that is mostly very low vector shapes. I guess it was cutting edge at the time. Nick is the first to play because he's a real pro gamer. The first level makes you skateboard through a dungeon maze of spikes, but then a "screamer" gets him and he hits the escape button to quit the game. Greg goes next, but while he's playing everyone leaves the room and then the game sucks him in because he loses. The game is collecting souls! Everyone at the arcade is given a home version of the game to try out. Alex is concerned because she doesn't know where Greg has gone but she just takes his car and drives herself home. 

At home Alex tries out the game and quickly realizes it's more than just a video game. She tries to shut it off but can't. She still hasn't heard from Greg, but sees him trapped in the game. She goes to Nick's house to try to convince him that the game is evil. They decide that they have to go to the game company to tell them what's happening. Nick thinks that the story of the game sucking someone in sounds crazy so instead of telling Difford that story, he says they just really love the game and want to learn some tricks from the designer. The designer gives them a map of the game, and explains that they used brain cells from a dead kid to create the core of the game. The designer is even scared of what he created and doesn't have a way to shut it down. Alex and Nick go to find Stilts and Laurie but they've both been sucked into the game. They go back to Dante's Inferno to go into the game to save their friends. Nick, the supposed pro gamer is taken out almost immediately when he's distracted by a floating, rainbow colored gyroscope. It's up to our non-gamer Alex to keep going and save everyone. She finds Greg is a pool of strawberry lava blood but can't save him. The game is represented by a terrible boxy face that looks like a bad transformer head and it taunts her as she moved through the levels.  Alex makes it through all the levels but it electrocuted as she confronts the game. Luckily she picked up an extra life by saving a little boy on the river styx level. The little boy turns out to the be the soul and braincells of the game. Alex comes back into the game and throw her extra life mechanical heart at the game and destroys it.  All the friends are saved and they all high five at the end, well not really, but it ends like they would. 

Not a great movie by any means, but it takes you back to time when it was thought that virtual reality was going to be a big deal and the future of video games. If anything I liked it because it reminded me of being in the early '90's. Not a horror movie, I think it only got an R rating because they let the kids throw out some F-bombs.

The best thing about Full Moon movies is that they always include a mini video about the making of the movie called Videozone. All the teen actors looked like the were having the best time on the set of this movie. They also showed the original character designs for a lot of the game and they were so much better than what ended up onscreen. The embodied game was a cool skull not just a boxy head dude, but for some reason they had to change it.