Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Watched December 8, 2014

Starring: Jill Schoelen, Tom Villard, Dee Wallace, Derek Rydall

Maggie (Jill Schoelen) a college student, has been plagued by strange dreams. She has been writing down her dreams and they're so strange she is considering turning them into a screenplay. She is a member of the film club at her college, they all get together to make a plan to raise some money for the club by having a horror movie marathon at a local theater. The theater they want to used has been closed for about 15 years, since a film culminated in several real murders and a fire. All the students get together to clean up the theater and get it ready for their marathon. While testing the reels, they find a strange short film call the Possessor, it's mostly a close up of an eyeball, but it remind Maggie of her dreams. To make their marathon a success, they set up cools stunts to have during the movie like shock seats, a giant mosquito puppet, and smell-o-vision. 

The night before the show, Maggie's mom Suzanne (Dee Wallace) goes to the closed theatre with a gun. As she approaches the marquee lights come up and the doors open for her. She goes into the theater and shoots at a shadowy figure, but the figure captures her.

The day of the show, all of the club members dress up as different characters to make the marathon really fun and it seems like it's going off well. The first movie, Skeeter is about a giant mosquito and to scare the audience they set up a model mosquito to swing through the theater.  The teacher is running the fake mosquito, but there is a mysterious figure that takes over the remote and the teacher is stabbed by the mosquito. The audience doesn't see this and the killer hides the teacher's body. The real killer then makes a mask of the teacher and pretends to be him. The next victim is a student who has been in a  relationship with the teacher, she goes to kiss him. As she pulls away, her lips rip off the costume revealing the strange mutilated face of the killer.

It turns out the killer is Toby (Tom Villard) one of the students in the film club. It turns out that Toby was a kid during the first fire and he was horribly burned, but survived. He now makes all sorts of masks to be different people. He captures Maggie and wants to finish how the first movie ended with a live murder.  He puts on the movie, the strange one they screened that reminded Maggie of her dreams, then raises the screen the audience is now captive to a real murder, but they think it's just a show. Luckily Maggie's boyfriend Mark (Derek Rydall) comes to the rescue and Toby is killed.

This movie is super fun, it cleverly takes some horror movie tropes and plays around with them in a interesting way. There is a little bit of humor, but the deaths are still gross and weird. Toby is a really strange villain with how they constructed his face to be burned but could still put masks on it. Maggie looks like Lydia Deetz, but that seemed like a popular look at the time. I really like the movies that they played during their marathon: The Stench, Skeeter and The 50 foot electrified Man.

I illustrated by favorite part, the Shock Clock that tells the time that the movies start but also squirts blood out of a heart into a goblet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Lawnmower Man II: Jobe's War

Watched November 19, 2014

Starring: Matt Frewer, Patrick Bergin, Austin O'Brien, Ely Pouget

The main discussion before watching this movie was if it mattered if we had seen the first Lawnmower Man movie. I had vague memories of having seen it at some point when I was a kid but didn't remember much. We put together that the first one was about a simple lawnmower man ( not a real thing) who was approached by a scientist with a conceit that he could make the lawnmower man smarter by connecting him to a computer. The lawnmover man then gets enmeshed in the digital world and tries to take over the real world. Well, the sequel picks up somewhere where the first one left off.

The scientist, Dr. Benjamin Trace (Patrick Bergin) who created the mind digitizing chip was taken to court and lost the patent on his chip. Jobe (Matt Frewer) the simple lawnmower man wasn't destroyed int he first movie, but he lost his digital mental powers. Jonathan Walker (Kevin Conway) brings the body of Jobe back it turns outs he is fairly okay. Jonathan and his fellow researchers reconnect Jobe to the cyber sphere where he quickly starts making a world of his own. 

Peter (Austin O'Brien) is a kid who knew the lawnmower man before he lost his mind in the cyberspace. It's now the future and it looks a lot like Blade Runner. Peter is now a street urchin, who lives in an abandoned subway car with three other friends. They like to connect to the net and cruise around. The cyberspace experience is a 3D wonderland where you can fly around wherever you like. 

In the cyber space, Jobe contacts Peter and asks him to find Dr. Trace. After he lost his patent, Dr. Trace shunned technology and moved to the desert. Peter and his friends manages to figure out where Dr. Trace and they tell him about Jobe.

With each session in cyberspace, Jobe keeps getting more powerful and kills some people that try to stop him. He is stuck in his wheelchair but one way he orchestrates the deaths is by overloading computers that are controlling flights so that they crash, killing both the intended target as well as a whole place on innocent bystanders. Jobe wants Dr. Trace to finish work on the chip because this will give him the power to take over the world. Dr. Trace connects with his former student Dr. Platt (Ely Pouget) who has been working for Mr. Walker and this leads him to Jobe. Controlling the media, Jobe makes a bunch of cities riot so that everyone jacks in to connect to his world cyber power to escape their terrible reality. I guess he's trying to take over the world by making everyone tied to the digital world. Dr. Trace, Peter and his friends all go into cyberspace and destroy the digital versions of the chip as well as the real chip in the real world. This stops Jobe from taking over the world and returns him to his simple, but kind self.  

I'm currently very into  movies that deal with the visualization of the internet, I find it very fascinating. So I'm currently compiling a list of awesome cyber movies, and this one makes the Internet look pretty cool.  They put on glasses and jump into a 3D world, but they have to get permission to access it, so they can get kicked off.  In the digital world all the kids ride on cool motorcycles. There isn't much hacking involved, mostly just jumping into 3D Internet space.

I enjoyed this movie, I'll have to check out the original and see how they stand up to each other. I'm sure the first one is better, but we'll see.