Monday, April 28, 2014

Prom Night

Watched April 8, 2014

Starring: Jamie Leigh Curtis, Leslie Nielson, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Tough

We recently picked through Jen's VHS collection and pulled out a selection of movies that we either had never seen or wanted to watch again to decide if Jen should keep them. She is maxed out on her shelf space and needs to make some room by getting rid of some dude. So now we've got a long list of movies to watch, some of them look terrible and others I'm very excited to watch. Prom Night was on top of the pile we made.

I had seen Prom Night before, but it was at least five years ago. Once the movie started we all had memories of the beginning, but we had forgotten most of what happened. We had previously watched Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 and for the most part really liked it so it was nice to revisit the original. As we would find out that aside from the theme of prom and murder, Prom Night and Prom Night 2 have very little to do with one another.

Kim and her siblings Robin and Alex are walking home from school one day when they see a group of kids playing in an abandoned building. Kim and Alex aren't interested but Robin runs to join the group. The group consists of four kids: Wendy, Jude, Kelly and Nick who let Robin join but then starting picking on her. They back Robin into a corner in front of a window and ultimately Robin falls out the window to her death. The four bullies make a pact to never discuss what happened. Robin's death is pinned on a known rapist, who is jailed for the murder.

Six years later, Kim (Jamie Leigh Curtis) is getting excited about the upcoming prom. All the kids involved in Robin's murder are reintroduced as teens. Wendy (Anne-Marie Martin) the leader of the group is still very much a bully. She assumes Nick (Casey Stevens) will take her to the prom, but Nick is going with Kim. Jude (Joy Thompson) doesn't have a date until she's approached by a dude in a van, she quickly accepts a ride from him and her date is secured. Kelly( (Mary Beth Rubens) has been going steady with Drew (Jeff Wincott) but they haven't gone all the way so there is a lot of pressure for prom night to be the night.  All four of the kids responsible for Robin's death get threatening phone calls from a mysterious man who they don't know and that kicks off the night of magic and murder.
Everyone gets to prom and are ready for the best night of their lives but little do they know a murderer is on the loose. Kelly and Drew head to the romantic locker room where they make out but Kelly still isn't ready to go all the way. Drew leaves in a huff, then Kelly is attacked by a mysterious man, her throat is slit with a shard of glass.

Jude and Seymour (the van guy) ditch prom to go have sex in his van. They are getting high post coital when the back van door is swung open and Kelly is stabbed multiple times in the throat. Seymour lunges to the driver's seat and tries to drive away. The movie we had was so dark that I couldn't see that the black-clad killer was attacking him as he tried to drive away. I just though Seymour was so scared he was driving erratically. The killer knocks Seymour out, gets the van in drive, it races over a cliff there it instantly bursts into flames.

The killer makes it back to the prom and stalks Wendy with an ax. Wendy is pretty crafty but the killer corners her in a closet.

Next on the killer's list is Nick. Wendy had worked out a plan with the deadbeat Lou (David Mucci) to ruin the prom for Kim.  Lou and his friends tied up Nick and Lou was taking his place as prom king. The killer decapitates Lou and his head rolls down the runway where Kim and Nick were supposed to walk down as king and queen. Kim finds Nick and unties him, the whole gym was evacuated once they saw Lou's head. Kim and Nick fight with the masked killer and lead him out to the front of the school where the cops are waiting.

Angela called it on who the murderer was but I was pleasantly surprised as they throw out several red herrings. I usually just spoil everything with a dry plot synopsis but I leave the killer out of it this time so you can discover it for yourself. 

While this is no doubt a slasher film the prom theme; Disco Madness also plays a huge part. Kim and Nick do a big dance routine once they're crowned prom royalty. The decorations include one of those awesome gridded light up dance floors. This is a fun slasher movie. I like how they reintroduce the older characters as teens, well thirty year old teens. Wendy is a great lead bitch. Jamie Leigh Curtis is a solid heroine as ever.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Campfire Tales

Watched April 1, 2014

Starring: Jay R. Ferguson, Christine Taylor, Christopher Masterson, Kim Murphy, Amy Smart, James Marsden, Ron Livingston, Jennifer MacDonald, Alec McKenna, Devon Odessa.

I don't typically like anthology horror movies because they are usually poorly interconnected. I picked up this on VHS recently, I had never heard of it but the synopsis reminded me of Urban Legend and it's packed with lots of actors that have gone onto bigger and better things so it seemed like it would be fun.

Parked at make-out point, Jenny (Amy Smart) and Eddie (James Marsden) are two kids in the 1950s making the most of being alone in a car together. Jenny is having fun but doesn't want to go all the way, frustrated Eddie gets mad but they hear something strange. The radio announces that there have been several murders committed by a man with a hook for a hand and he's still on the loose. They both get scared and hightail it out of there. They end up at the drive-in diner, Eddie gets out to order some, he looks back at the car and sees a hook with part of the arm ripped off stuck in the passenger door. They only barely escaped!

Jump to current day, four teenagers are driving back from a concert on a very windy road. They veer off and crash on the side of the road. They light some road flares but since they are so far away from anyone they walk into the woods and start a campfire. To pass the time, Cliff (Jay R. Ferguson) freaks out the group with some scary stories.

Rick (Ron Livingston) and Valerie (Jennifer MacDonald) are newlyweds from Long Island. They've rented an RV and are cruising across the US for the honeymoon. Rick wants to stop at a spot where supposedly a bunch of people had to resort to cannibalism a long time ago. It gets dark so they pull over to stop for the night. A man (Hawthorne James) knocks on their door, he has a shotgun so they freak out but he's just there to warn them to move on and get out of there, there's something a that comes out at night. Rick drives a little further but then they run out of gas by a lake. He heads out to get some gas and leaves Valerie to listen to her Discman and read magazines. Valerie is startled by some aggressive banging on the door, she doesn't open it but she can't see what is there. Through the skylight lunges some crazy man who is trying to murder her. She manages to keep the man out of the van and pulls some sort of attack alarm that scares the man away. She curls up in a fetal position and is awoken the next morning by a county sheriff. He leads her away from the RV, trying to keep her eyes forward but she sees in the rear view mirror her husband mauled and hung above the RV, his wedding ring scraping against the roof of the RV.

I'm not sure why Cliff is bent on scaring his friends, as they just were in a horrific car accident but he continues with his second tale.

Amanda (Alex McKenna) comes home from soccer practice on the eve of her 12th birthday. She really wants a bicycle and she reminds her parents as they head out to date of her request. Her older teen aged sister Katherine (Devon Odessa) is supposed to babysit her tonight but she goes to a party. Amanda chatted online with her school friend and let her know she would be alone that night, but in typical internet fashion, it wasn't her school friend, it was a gross old perverted man who has been watching Amanda. I'm not going to ruin the end of the tale as it really freaked me out.

One of the other teens, Alex (Kim Murphy) is sick of Cliff scaring everyone with his stories so she shares her own scary story.

Scott ( Glenn Quinn) is off on his own journey cruising across American on his motorcycle when it breaks down and starts pouring rain. He's out in the country so he runs to nearest farmhouse. He bangs on the door but it takes awhile for someone to come to the door. Heather (Jacinda Barrett) comes to the door but she is mute. The farmhouse looks likes it's from the 1880's, all the light is from candles or oil lamps and they have a wood burning stove. Even though she can't talk Heather does some terrible pantomime even though she does have a slate to write on. Scott and Heather quickly fall in love but are plagued by the ghost of Heather's father. Scott walks into rooms covered in blood, but a moment later they are clean again. Freaked out her grabs Heather and runs away with her. I thought his motorcycle was broken but someone they get away. The next day we see them resting under a tree. For some stupid reason Scott takes off the ribbon choker that Heather has been wearing, she regains the ability to speak for a moment before her head falls off.

The wrap up for the teens was a nice surprise, at least to me, so I won't ruin it either. Maybe I was just feeling super open to the story but I liked it a lot and I had forgotten a lot of these common scary stories enough to be surprised by most of them. I only remembered the girl with the ribbon around her neck so I knew what was coming with that one. The story with the 12 year old girl was terrifying for many reasons, at the time internet predators was a new concept but it still resonates and is a great way to update an old story. The Long Island newlyweds have some terrible accents along with some gross sex but if you want to see Ron Livingston's butt, check out this movie.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's Alive

Watched March 16, 2014

Starring: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farell, James Dixon

Heavily pregnant with her second child, Lenore (Sharon Farell) wakes her husband Frank (John P. Ryan) in the middle of the night to alert him that she's gone into labor. They are very excited to be welcoming their new baby soon, they drop off their 9 year old son with a family friend as they head to the hospital. Lenore's labor progresses quickly and she is taken into the delivery room. Frank waits with the other expectant fathers in the lounge. After some time, Frank gets a feeling that something is wrong. He pushes his way into the delivery room to find his wife still on the table and several doctors and nurses covered in blood and dead on the floor. Lenore tries to explain that her newborn child did this, but it seems unbelievable. The baby is thought to have escaped out of a skylight window. The police are called and Lieutenant Perkins (James Dixon) leads the case. It seems unbelievable that a baby could have murdered so many people. Frank does hear some rustling in the bushes around the hospital. Lt. Perkins questions Lenore about her pregnancy, if anything unusual occurred before she gave birth. 

 ...And this is where, despite my efforts, my open eyes crossed and I started to fall asleep. This movie starts out great, it does have a slow middle, but not any worse than many other terrible movies I've watched. I will have to give it another chance and watch it again, but that is for another day.

I did wake up for the end, but the middle with the baby chase was a blur. I do like Lenore as a character, she's a strong, confident woman who just happened to give birth to a mutant. When she is questioned about irregularities in her pregnancy I didn't hear the answer if she took some Thalidomide type pills that caused the mutated killer baby. I did get some hints that there was some toxic medication or something that was the cause of it. I'm not sure what I would do if I gave birth to a digusting mutant killer baby that I had to love. I feel that Frank and Lenore coped exceptionally well given the circumstances.