Friday, January 31, 2014

Angel of the Night

Watched January 26, 2013

Starring: Maria Stockholm, Mette Louise Holland, Tomas Villum Jensen, Svend Johansen

I didn't know anything about this movie before we starting watching it. The titles are terrible which is usually a bad sign, then I realized that it was dubbed as well. Based on all the blonds in the film I figured it must be Scandinavian and I was right as it's a Danish movie. I actually appreciated the bad dubbing it made it more enjoyable.

Rebecca (Maria Stockholm) has inherited her aunt's country estate. One weekend she heads out to explore the house with her boyfriend Mads (Tomas Villum Jensen) and her best friend Charlotte (Mette Louise Holland.) Her aunt was a well to do historian and a part of a vampire society. The mansion is still filled with furniture and artifacts. They find an old book filled with vampire stories. They flashback to the first story in the 1800's where a relative of Rebecca's is turned into a vampire. This is the only flashback story that has period costumes. We come back and the gang has discovered the crypts where they find a giant bat skeleton. Rebecca wants to keep exploring but Charlotte and Mads want to go party so they leave her in the crypt.

The next vampire story we hear is about the same vampire years later, to stay alive he has to impregnate a woman then once the baby is born drink it's blood. He finds the woman and hypnotizes her into have sex with him. After the fact she realizes she is pregnant and she tells her boyfriend, he is as first excited as the woman can't remember her night with the vampire. It eventually comes back to her and she realizes she going to have a demon baby. A priest from South America finds her and wants to destroy the baby. The vampire, Rico shows up, kills the priest but then the woman swallows some holy water and spits in the Rico's face. It burns his face and causes her to have a demon baby abortion. Then the vampire is weakened, he turns into a bat and is destroyed.

Back to Charlotte and Mads, they get tired of reading the stories and want to go party. Charlotte is still in the crypt where the vampire bat skeleton unleashes a mist that makes her recite a spell that brings the vampire back to life. Charlotte and Mads have sex for some reason when the vampire comes back to life and attacks Charlotte. Rebecca shakes off the mist spell and figures out how to destroy the vampire. Once the vampire is killed it releases her relative and an angel shows up to take him to heaven. Meanwhile the vampire is grabbed by hands and dragged to hell.

This was silly and fun, we did talk a lot during it so I missed some things but the plot was easy to catch up with. I liked the bad dubbing and the late '90s outfits. The holy water abortion is something I've never seen before which was awesome. A nice little vampire tale.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Craft

Watched January 5, 2014

Starring: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Rachel True, Neve Campbell

After a suicide attempt, Sarah (Robin Tunney) moves with her dad and step-mom to LA. On her first day at her new Catholic high school, she meets Chris (Skeet Ulrich) one of the popular guys and she quickly develops a crush on him even though he's a sleazebag. She also meets trio of weird goth girls, Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True). These girls are already practicing witches, but they need a fourth to make some of their spells really work. They try to attract Sarah after Bonnie sees her balance a pencil on the tip in French class. Nancy makes fun of Sarah as a way to makes friends with her, which is a terrible place to start. Sarah goes on a date with Chris, they only kiss, but the next day Chris tells everyone they had sex. Sarah is pissed at Chris and he is a jerk when she confronts him about it. We then jump cut to Sarah being good friends with Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle, there seems to be a scene missing, but just go along for the ride. 

The trio introduce Sarah to their witchy ways, she is intrigued as she has been able to do little bits of magic her whole life. They keep trying out different spells as they all want different things to happen. Sarah still has a crush on Chris even though he's terrible, so she makes a love spell to make him obsessed with her. Bonnie's back in covered in scars from a fire when she was a kid and she wishes them away. Rochelle is on the swim team with racist Laura (Christine Taylor) and she just wants Laura to be kind to her. Nancy doesn't really reveal her desire, but we'll find out later what she wanted, mostly power though. 

The spell works on Chris, he becomes Sarah's puppy and he follows her everywhere. Bonnie's scars go away so she can wear low cut, sleeveless tops, even though the scars were mostly on her back in the first place. Laura continues to be terrible to Rochelle, so Laura's hair starts coming out in clumps. Nancy lives in a trailer with her mom and the mom's boyfriend who is abusive. One night the boyfriend is about the hit Nancy's mom when Nancy freaks out, causing the lights to go out, then the boyfriend has a heart attack. 

All the girls feel really confident in their new powers, except Sarah starts to get a little scared about what they're doing. They have another ceremony on the beach where Nancy summons the power of Manon and she walks on water. Sarah goes on another date with Chris, but is sick of him be obsessed with her so she tries to break if off. He then attempts to rape her but she escapes. Nancy is pissed about what Chris did and wants to get revenge. She also has some vague romantic history with him so some of her motive is personal. Nancy uses a spell to make herself look like Sarah, Chris buys it and they start making out. Sarah, Rochelle and Bonnie bust into the room where Chris and Nancy are humping on a bed, I'm not sure if we're supposed to assume they had sex as they both still have their clothes on. The spell breaks and Chris is horrified to find that he was making out with Nancy, she gets pissed and uses her powers to push him out the window. He falls down to the first floor and is killed. Sarah is really scared now and she tries to make a binding spell to stop Nancy from using her powers. The girls now descend on Sarah and throw tons of horrifying spells at her, Sarah is so scared she can't use her powers to fight back. She finally finds her strength and fights back, and binds Nancy from using evil powers. It ends with Bonnie and Rochelle apologizing to Sarah for trying to kill her but they ask if she still has any powers because they don't. Sarah makes a bunch of lighting hit a tree branch in front of them, showing she was the one with real powers. Nancy is left in a mental institution.

As a girl growing up in the '90s, I remember this movie coming out.  My best friend was pretty into Wicca, so we fit the bill perfectly for the target audience. I didn't actually see this movie until later possibly because it was rated R, but at the same time I was watching all sorts of other horror movies so who knows. Anyway we had been talking about watching it again for awhile. I still really like it, teen witch outcasts are people I can relate to. The special effects still hold up really well, even though Robin Tunney's wig is not the best.  A big standout for me was how strange Fairuza Balk's mouth seems, she just talks using all of it and it's big; her nutso performance as Nancy is great. It's often hard to find a good witch movie and I really enjoy this one a lot since it's mostly slumber parties and spells.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cat's Eye

Watched December 22, 2013

Starring:  Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, Robert Hays.

At this point, I'm a little wary of horror anthologies, it's just hard to get invested in shorter stories even when they are filled with stars. The only one I really like is The Willies, because kids are telling the stories so you know they'll be kind of silly. This one is tied together through a cat's adventures.

We're introduced to the cat in New York, he's running around on the street when captured by a random guy. Dick Morrison (James Woods) is sick of smoking so he heads to Quitters, Inc. The waiting room is super intense, a guy is ripping his hair out with nerves, then his wife comes out and she looks likes she's been ravaged. Dick gets the rundown on how Quitters, Inc. works, they basically watch you all the time so they know if you smoke. Now the cat comes back into the picture, the guy that captured the cat works at Quitters, Inc. The cat is now is a glass walled room, they flip a switch and the floor is electrified so we see the cat jumping around, getting electrocuted. Dick is informed that the first time he smokes, his wife will be thrown in this room. The second time he smokes his young daughter will get the shock floor, the third offense means they'll rape his wife. Dick really wants to quit so he agrees to these ridiculous terms. He goes to a work party where everyone is smoking and he hallucinates that people are cigarettes, but he makes it out without taking a puff. He does well for awhile but then while stuck in traffic he sneaks a cigarette, thinking there's no chance that someone will see him, but he's wrong. The consequences then unfold.

The cat manages to escape the electrified room and gets on a truck headed to Atlantic City. At the entrance to a casino, the cat tries to cross a street that is very busy with traffic. A couple bets Cressner (Kenneth McMillan) that the cat will die, but he thinks the cat will make it. The cat causes a major car accident but does make it across the street alive. Cressner goes to his penthouse, where his goons have kidnapped Johnny Norris (Robert Hays) the man his wife has been cheating on him with. Since Cressner is a betting man, he gives Johnny some options. Johnny has to walk around the ledge of the building and Cressner will let him have his wife and a bunch of money, if he doesn't do it Cressner will frame him for murder or drug trafficking or something. The penthouse must be at least 20 stories up. Johnny takes the challenge and begins his walk on the ledge. He runs into many obstacles aside from just trying to not fall off the building. Cressner taunts him and blasts him with a firehose, and a pigeon keeps pecking at his foot. Amazingly, Johnny makes it, but Cressner planned for this and tells his henchman to shoot him. Johnny gets the gun, shoots the henchman and makes Cressner walk the ledge.

The cat gets on a train and heads down south somewhere. He finds a nice residential home where he meets Amanda (Drew Barrymore) who immediately wants to adopt him. At the same time that the cat find the house, a troll runs in and makes a cave in Amanda's bedroom wall. The mom, Sally Ann (Candy Clark) hates cats and she thinks the cat will smother Amanda in her sleep and take her breath. Little do they they know that that is the Troll's plan and the cat was protecting Amanda. Sally Ann takes the cat to a shelter but escapes in time to battle the troll as it tries to take Amanda's breath. The cat wins in the end and finds a new home.

The troll versus cat fight scene is really good, it's worth sitting through the other stories to get to that one. I would give an animal Oscar to the cat for excellent cat acting. I thought that Cressner looked like that disgusting syphilis sore Baron Harokonnen from Dune and once I looked it up I was right, Kenneth McMillan played them both. There are lots of little funny bits that make this enjoyable. I have read some of Stephen King's short story collections, they're good and they work for TV episodes I just have a hard time when they're jammed together to make full length movie.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Light Blast

Watched December 15, 2013

Starring: Erik Estrada, Ennio Girolami, Michael Pritchard, Peggy Rowe.

I'd never heard of this movie before but Jen's boyfriend was excited to share it with us, so we all headed over to his place to watch it. In preparation I watched the trailer on youtube so I had some hints that it involved lasers, dune buggy's and car chases.

It begins with two teens, a guy and a girl, hanging in a train yard. They are flirting with each other and once they get to a certain car they begin having sex. Little do they know that there is some test going on, we see a giant LED clock flash the hour, then a laser blast and their bodies are melted into oblivion.

The location of the train yard is unknown, but the next scene gives us the setting of San Francisco. A bank is being held up by two guys, they have taken hostages and they're surrounded by the police. They rattle off their demands including having some lunch brought to them by a specific cop, but they include the detail that the cop has to be naked. We see some nude legs walking towards the bank, the meal is revealed to be a roast turkey surrounded by french fries. Inspector Ronn Warren (Erik Estrada) is the cop who is delivering the lunch, it is revealed that he is wearing black briefs. The robbers laugh at him, then he pushes out a gun that was hidden in the turkey and shoots them. What a cop!

At a race track, the same evil laser guy sets up his laser and ends up killing a lot of the audience at the track. Since this is the second laser melting it comes to the attention of police, plus the mayor receives a letter from the laser scientist. Dr. Yuri Soboda (Ennio Girolami) developed this crazy water powered laser and now he wants $10 million dollars or he'll use it to destroy San Francisco. Ronn and his partner are on the case. The rest of the movie is various car chases and shootouts until Ronn tracks down Dr. Soboda and watches him be destroyed by his own invention.

I do enjoy action movies but I often have a harder time with older ones, so this movie was fun but I can't say I loved it. There is a fantastic death scene from an old lady in curlers and a housecoat, very melodramatic. Erik Estrada basically uses a turkey gun, which is nuts. It's always fun to see some locations in the bay area, it's changed so much since the '80s that it's hard to tell where everything is. From a tiny bit of research it seems like it was an Italian production but at least to me it looks like a lot of is was actually shot in and around San Francisco.