Monday, April 30, 2012

Going To Pieces: The Rise And Fall Of the Slasher Film (Another Documentary)

Score: 7 Out Of 10

           This past week a reader gave me a DVD to watch. It turned out to be a documentary about slasher films and being one who almost never turns down a slasher film (regardless if it is good or bad), I decided I would not mind watching a movie about slasher films. "Going To Pieces: The Rise And Fall Of The Slasher Film" was made in 2006 (it was based on the book of the same title published in 2002) and features interviews with Tom Savini, Wes Craven, Rob Zombie, Debra Hill, John Carpenter and Betsy Palmer (believe it or not, she did make a pretty good contribution to the genre). For the most part, this was a pretty good flick. It was entertaining, insightful and because I watched it on  DVD they got to show all the gore and nudity that made a lot of us fall in love with these movies when we were kids (you know, back before we knew anything about plot... or good dialogue... or good acting). The downside of this is I had to relive the final scene of "Sleepaway Camp," which was exactly as disturbing as I remember it. Someone in the film (I do not remember who) also pointed out that "The Crying Game" might have ripped that movie off. I will not debate that here (they did).

         So not bad for a documentary. The only gripe I could really come up with for this film was if you are a huge fan of slasher films or a horror movie buff, you are really not going to get anything out of this movie. It has it's moments where you might go, "Oh, I didn't know that," or "So that's how they did that," but even those moments are not terribly exciting. The film does touch on the protests that coincided with the release of certain horror films and parents outrage over other films, but even here the film does little to give a fresh opinion or some thoughts that all of us haven't had at one point or another. The final statement: If you are new to the genre and want to catch up, this just might be your movie. If you are a fan and looking for some deep thoughts on horror movies from the late 70's to the mid 80's, you might want to pass.

   The B-Movie Guy

Twitter: @BMovieguy     #BMovieblog   #Goingtopieces

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hexen Bis Aufs Blut Gequält (Mark Of The Devil)

Score: 6 Out Of 10 

           The picture to the left proclaims this to be "the most horrifying film ever made," and that might have been true in 1970, but by todays standards, I think it is actually pretty tame. Some people get burned alive, a few people get caned or whipped and one poor girl gets her tongue yanked out. Most amusing of all the torture was a guy being forced to sit in a large wooden chair while a fire is lit underneath him. The film takes place during the sixteenth century in germany and focuses on the real life early European wich hunts. I do not know how much of the film is accurate or how much of it is exagerated (I am willing to bet quite a bit is exaggerated), but over all the story is pretty good. The story focuses on the church using religion and fear to steal peoples land and possessions and rape and torture big brested women. One of the people working for the church begins to suspect wrong doings and starts to rebell.

          "Mark Of The Devil" was directed by Michael Armstrong and stars Herbert Lom, Udo Kier and Olivera Katarina. The acting here is pretty solid, especially on the part of Kier (but when does Udo Kier ever putting up a bad performance? Answer: NEVER!). I am used to seeing movies where you have the worst actors and actresses and Kier just
giving stellar performances, but this was not the case with this film. Everybody shows off some pretty good acting chops. The main problems with this film were not so great dialogue and the lack of real gore. Admittedly I am pretty decensitized but I do not believe that the average film fan is that much less decesnsitized than I. Most of the violence is mainly just blood splatter. A few people are dissmembered but the camera cuts away before you really see anything. A couple people get burned alive, but it just looks like dummies being tossed on fires.

                     On the positive side, it did keep me somewhat enter tained for about ninety minutes, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much. I should also mention that there were some rapes in there too. In fact, in hindsight I guess this could almost be considered an exploitaion film.

          The B-Movie Guy

Twitter: @BMovieguy   #BMovieblog   #Markofthedevil

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bloody Birthday (Way Cooler Than My Parties Ever Were)

Score: 6 Out Of 10
       In 1974, "Black Christmas" was released. Most horror fans are in agreeance that this is the film that started the "slasher" sub-genre of horror films (although I swear I've seen films that date as far back as the early 1930's that share in the same formula as "Black Christmas", this is just the first to experience any kind of popularity) and since it's release there have have been countless other films added to that sub-genre. Over the years I have seen horror movie psychos (both human and supernatural) mow down a seemingly endless parade of naked and semi-clothed teenagers. But I have to admit, I think this one actually showed me something new. The ruthless killer that beats, strangles and shoots it's victims to death is really just three young kids (they look to be about 11 or 12). The film stars Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell and Julie Brown. It was written and directed by Ed Hunt.

       The plot is simple enough. Three kids who share the same birthday decide to celebrate it by killing their teachers, classmates and parents and seem to really have fun with it all the way through the movie. This movie, despite the fact that it's antagonists are children, still delivers on all the nudity and violence we've come to expect from 1980's slasher films over the years, so if sex and violence is your thing don't rule this movie out. The writing isn't bad, it could have been better, but what really sells you here is the acting. It was very easy for me to buy into really hating these kids, which in hind sight makes me sad because I really like kids. All in all, I'm gonna say this was a really entertaining film. There were some unintentional laughs but over all it was pretty good.

  The B-movie Guy

Twitter: @BMovieguy   #Bmovieblog   #Bloodybirthday

I hope my kid doesn't turn out like this.