Monday, November 1, 2010

Something Rank (#32-29)

The countdown continues...
The franchise favorites face off!

#33-36 here.

(#32) Halloween II (2010)

Starring Scout Taylor Compton, Malcolm McDowell and expletives! Why is Haddonfield, Illinois now a miserable trailer park?

"One day at a time? One fuckin' day at a time! You know what, if I hear that fuckin' phrase one more fuckin' time... I mean she just fuckin' sits there in her fuckin' leather chair and judges me like she's fuckin' God... See? You don't fuckin' care."
--Laurie Strode

And why do the local stations only broadcast "Knights in White Satin?" If Rob Zombie's attempt is to show the ugliness of violence and death, and the affects on the living, he botches this by having everything seem so extraneous. The attempt to analyze the aftereffects of being a Final Girl is great in theory, dismal in practice. Doctor Loomis yawning on the sidelines, a needless role for Zombie's wife that would have seemed cheesy if it weren't already ridiculous, and so many superfluous deaths of characters we've no reason to take an interest in. Zombie seems to care more for Michael than his victims, and unfortunately Michael Myers is a human vacuum, a bulldozer. If there is forgiveness, Zombie is talented at creating some visceral moments. The remake portion does a fair job of echoing the original sequel with a grisly edge, and it's always clear the man loves horror films (though I often think the Halloween he loves is a completely different film than the one I love). Here are his usual fanboy cameos, this time the heartwarming trio of Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Weird Al (?) and Margot "You Can't Rape a Townie" Kidder.

There's even a nice moment where Scout Taylor Compton does a full on Marilyn Burns sob scene just like that in 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but even then it's all just a dream (Mr. Sandman, bring us a better dream). Zombie's shown in the past to carve some memorably gruesome imagery out of all the human garbage he creates, but here it mostly lays waste.

Killer Looks:

1) The lighter side of family homicide
2) The dark reality of growing up to be Grizzly Adams

2) "The Night HE Came Home..."
and overstayed his welcome.

My Thoughts Exactly...

(#31) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:
The Beginning

I remember when origin stories used to have a story. Leatherface never really needed one. Picked on at school and the slaughterhouse for being noseless and having a really offputting family, little Leatherface takes to wearing people interchangeably throughout the day. Poor kid, he can't exactly invite friends over for dinner, we know how those always turn out... In fact that infamous "dinner scene" was the one iconic moment left out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. A surprise considering how many times that scene has been mimicked in other films, not to mention the whole Chainsaw franchise. Thus this film had to be made. Barring that, this is a sufficient exercise in savagery. Emotionless, decently shot sufficiency. With a few really good looking people.

Killer Looks:

And a lot of ugly people wearing a few really good looking people...

My Thoughts Exactly...

(#30) Freddy's Dead:
The Final Nightmare

Springwood is a town without teenagers. Freddy Krueger has torn the small haven to shreds with his razor-sharp fists and snarky puns. When a new group of teens enters Elm Street territory, Freddy finds himself with a whole new set of people to harass and mutilate, in a whole new dimension!

You want to admire a film that opens with a quote from Nietzsche, followed with Freddy's eloquent, "Welcome to prime time, bitch!" Alas... The occasional cheap 3-D effect and absurdity (see: cameos by Roseanne and Tom Arnold) would ideally make this a campy charm just like the rest of the Nightmare series, but Freddy's Dead in SO many ways.

Killer Looks:

1) Bedknobs, Broomsticks and Burn Victims

2) LA Bus Driver

3) Child Murdering: The Early Years

My Thoughts Exactly...

(#29) Jason X (2001)

Meta moment: Upon being pulled into outer space, a character cries, "This sucks on so many levels!" At least it has a sense of humor about it. Your mileage may vary depending on your taste for the SyFy Channel.

The gunplay, tech speak and genre sendups always feel uncomfortable. Admirably it tries to stay true to the franchise, with a knowing wink to the absolute stupidity at times. At least there are a couple death scenes worth the Friday namesake: a frozen face shattered and Jason utterly obliterated. Is a series not doomed once it's sending its icon into space? More importantly, do Jason and Leprechaun hang out?

Killer Looks:

Jason 2.0. Trading his trademark mask for a metallic reinvention. I don't think Jason really played hockey anyhow.

My Thoughts Exactly...

(Left: A dead ringer for David Cronenberg!)

Up Next: (#28-25)

Jason goes to hell and lives to tell about it!

1 comment:

Jaime Grijalba said...

I'm loving this countdown, but of all you've done I've only seen Jason X, and I hate it and for me it's the worst Friday the 13th movie.