Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stunt Rock

Watched July 31, 2013

Starring: Grant Page, Monique van de Ven, Margaret Gerard, and Sorcery.

We first found out about this movie because the trailer was on the Sweet Sixteen DVD and it looked amazing. We thought the dvd and vhs were out of print; the only copies we found on amazon and ebay were expensive. We did find a place to rent it locally, but then Jen did some real searching and you can buy the DVD for $15 from the band Sorcery's website:
I bought the DVD and we had a bonus movie night to experience the magic, but it ended up being a little disappointing.

I'm sure this happens all the time in Hollywood, the behind the scenes creators want to get their moment in the spotlight. Grant Page is a real life stunt man who was most active in the '60's and '70's. Sorcery is a real '70's rock band that incorporated wizards and magic into their live shows. Put them together with no real plot and you've got Stunt Rock!

The thin plot that tries to hold the film together is that Margaret Gerard is a journalist doing a story on people who are so into their jobs that it kills them. She meets up with Grant Page as he is escaping from the hospital after being slightly injured doing a stunt. She begins to interview him about his job. This means that we get to see lots of memory flashbacks of Grant's famous stunts from other movies he's done. The stunts are great, but they choose to show them in strange split screen montages. Grant happens to be friends with Sorcery, so we get to see them play every night. The first time we see Sorcery it's great, the wizard makes fireworks appear and does magic tricks. By the third concert I was pretty done with Sorcery. That's about it for the plot. Grant does more stunts and asks Margaret out on a date while he is holding on to a rope strung between buildings. Some stunts are explained, which is cool. If you already love Sorcery's music this is like a really fun concert movie, but as a regular film it doesn't come together.

This reminded me of The Wizard of Speed and Time, which is about a special effects guy. I'm sure it must be tough to be the person that makes all the movie magic happen and not get recognized like actors do, but that's just the way it currently goes.

If anything, I would say watch the trailer, it sums up the movie and shows the greatest parts while being the correct length for the subject matter.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Lair of the White Worm

Watched July 28, 2013

Starring: Hugh Grant, Amanda Donohoe, Catherine Oxenberg, Peter Capaldi.

The most exciting part of this movie, to me, was that since it wasn't completely a horror movie I didn't really know what to expect. Boy, I didn't know what I was in for at all.

Angus (Peter Capaldi) is an anthropology grad student who is working on his thesis by digging a hole near Eve's (Catherine Oxenberg) family bed and breakfast. He uncovers a weird looking skull and that kicks off the strange happenings. Angus and Eve go to a party thrown by Lord James D'Hampton (Hugh Grant) where they celebrate his family slaying the white worm back in medieval times. Upon the unearthing of the skull, Lady Sylvia Marsh (Amanda Donohoe) returns to her estate unexpectedly.

Lady Sylvia is a nutjob. She hears about the skull so she enters Eve's bed and breakfast and steals it. She also lures a teenage hitchhiker to her mansion, where they play snakes and ladders. She then bites him and drowns him in her hot tub. She is a crazy snake lady. I guess her snake powers work like vampirism, if she bites you and you don't die, you turn in to a snake person.

Meanwhile, Angus is trying to find out more information about the skull. It also turns out the Eve's dad disappeared near a cave entrance that may have been where the white worm was slain. Angus and Lord D'Hampton begin exploring the cave.

Eve's sister, Mary (Sammi Davis) begins to have these super crazy visions when she looks at a crucifix. She sees Jesus on the cross with a snake surrounding him, then a bunch of nuns are raped, it's nuts. Mary is then kidnapped by Lady Sylvia as a sacrifice to the white worm. It turns out that Lady Sylvia is a follower of the white worm, a pagan god that was shunned when Christ came on the scene. 

It all culminates at the cave, where Lady Sylvia has tied up Mary and is going to penetrate her with a wooden dildo then give her to the worm. The worm is real after all! Luckily Angus and Eve manage to save Mary and Lady Silvia is eaten by the worm.

The year that this movie takes place in is a mystery, all their clothes seem 1980's modern, but they all drive cars from the 1930's-40's. But maybe that's just what the English countryside is like. I didn't put it together until I was writing this up that the director Ken Russell also made super weird freak out movies like Tommy and Altered States, so I shouldn't have been so surprised when this movie turned out to be super weird.

Just as a note: It was Angela's favorite movie that we've watched since she started watching movies with us.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To Die For

Watched July 21, 2013

Starring: Brendan Hughes, Sydney Walsh, Amanda Wyss, Scott Jacoby.

Basically Dracula in LA. Excellent vampire death scenes with face melts.

The VHS that we watched has some pretty great trailers for movies I had never heard of: Ginger Ale Afternoon and Headhunter, they both look genuinely bad.

Jen and I were talking so much during the beginning, I had to watch it again to check out the plot points that I had missed so this write up wouldn't be a total joke. For some reason based on the cover I thought this was a horror comedy, but now I'm pretty sure I've been looking at so many movie covers I just got mixed it up. This one is the classic Dracula story but set in modern day L.A.

We meet Kate (Sydney Walsh) at a fancy yacht party. She was dragged there by her boyfriend, but she has no interest in him. Instantly, she attracts the eye of Vlad (Brendan Hughes) and they wander off and make out. She agrees to leave with him, which is so unlike her, so she goes to get her coat. When she gets back, he is gone, and she's pissed. There is a guy at the party who was drinking champagne out of his shoe, he also leaves and is in the parking lot doing coke, alone. While Kate is waiting for Vlad to show, a crazy hairy monster that looks more like a lumpy werewolf than a vampire, attacks the coke guy and kills him.

 Kate leaves the party sad and alone. When she gets home, her roommate Celia (Amanda Wyss) is waiting with exciting news. Celia just got engaged to her doctor boyfriend!

The next day, Kate wakes and prepares a breakfast of a muffin in a bowl with a packet of sugar on top, drenched in milk. What!? Luckily, she's too busy to eat it and runs out the door to her job as a real estate agent.  She just got a new client, who she hasn't met, who wants to see some houses at night. That night it turns out that Vlad is her client. Sydney is extremely attracted to Vlad but won't succumb to him for some reason. Instead Vlad seduces Celia and bites her. Celia's fiancĂ© gets really pissed when he's dumped for no reason. Celia also gets really possessive about Vlad. Some other vampire rival also has it in for Vlad.

There are some vampire bites and stakes in the heart, but it doesn't really matter much. It all wraps up at the end. The vampire melting death scenes are great and they really hold up as awesome special effects. It's shot on video but the production is actually pretty good. It's mediocre but I might give it a second pass at some point.

While looking up more info on this movie I found out that there is a sequel, Son of Darkness: To Die For II. It's about a baby vampire, or that's what I gathered from the wikipedia description. That really surprised me because I couldn't imagine this movie making much money on it's release, but I guess it was cheap to make so it was cheap to make a sequel too.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Silent Night, Deadly Night

Watched July 14, 2013

Starring: Robert Brian Wilson, Gilmer McCormick, Lilyan Chauvin.

This movie could also be called How to Create a Spree Killer. We first meet Billy when he is about 3 or 4 years old. His parents and infant sibling have all come to the old folks home on Christmas Eve to visit his grandfather who appears to be catatonic. The family leaves Billy with his grandfather briefly and the grandfather scarily tells Billy about how Santa Claus will punish you if you were the least bit naughty during the year. The family is driving home when they come across Santa Claus! Actually it's just a man in a Santa Claus suit who shoots Billy's father and kills Billy's mother while Billy runs to hide in the bushes. 

Several years later, we see Billy at the Catholic orphanage where he is being raised by nuns. The nuns are aware of the horrible way that Billy's parent's were murdered but they are just ignoring it or trying to beat it out of him. Billy acts up around Christmas time and doesn't want to sit on Santa's lap.  He ends up punching Santa in the face and is punished for it. Young Billy also sees some of the older kids having sex through a peephole and is beaten for that too.

Once Billy turns 18, (now played by Robert Brian Wilson) one of the nicer nuns gets him a job as a stock boy at a toy store. Billy is initially a great worker but as the holiday season approaches he gets a strange distant look in his face. The store has hired a Santa but on Christmas Eve he calls in sick. The store manager asks Billy to act as Santa that day. Billy cannot handle it, he acts very strange with the children. The store has an employee Christmas party that night and Billy just loses it, now that's he dressed as Santa he embodies his terrible vision of Santa. Billy strangles his first co-worker with a strand of lights. He then kills all of his co-workers and his boss, but it doesn't stop there.

Billy takes an ax and just starts wandering around town. He knocks on the door where a babysitter (Linnea Quigley) is having sex with her boyfriend. She opens the door only wearing her denim cut-offs and nothing else. Billy punishes her by impaling her on a stag's head that's mounted on the wall. The little girl that was being babysat comes out when she sees Santa, Billy asks her if she's been good and she honestly says yes, so he gives her a box cutter from his pocket. Merry Christmas!

Billy continues to walk around killing whoever he can find. He stumbles upon some teens who are night sledding and he beheads one of them. The cops catch on that there is a murderous Santa on the loose, the nice nun that got Billy the job figures out that he's gone nuts. By morning, Billy makes it to the orphanage to dole out his own punishment on the mother superior.

It's definitely a neat story where you already know the killer and you're just waiting for him to snap. Not that Billy should have killed anyone but it's not a surprise considering all the terrible things that happened to him and no one tried to help him work through it.

As we watched this Jen mentioned that she was sure Hollywood would be remaking this one, little did we know that they already did. It came out in late 2012 as Silent Night, I just watched the trailer and it doesn't look anywhere as awesome as the original. Plus the killer santa is not a good looking as young Robert Brian Wilson. This is a welcome addition to my permanent VHS collection. I've also heard some crazy things about the sequel, so I might have to add that one to the ever growing list.