Monday, October 18, 2010


This movie should be required viewing for ALL on Halloween, especially with a group of friends or at a Halloween party/get-together. If you took elements of Cronenberg, mixed it with the psychological thrillers of Roman Polanski (especially 'The Tenant' and 'Rosemary's Baby'), threw in a touch of Beverly Hills 90210 and bad acting...chances are you'd have this movie. 'Society' never stood much of chance upon its release due to the fact that it was shelved after its completion in 1989. When it was finally released almost 3 years later, the movie had a 'dated' feel to it, especially when compared to the other horror movies and the advancements in special effects in the early 90's. In this cheesy 'body horror'/gore-fest, Billy Warlock (the guy from Baywatch) stars as a confused, paranoid teen that's slowly discovering that his family as well as all of his rich elitist friends are not what they appear to be. All his life, he's been a bit suspicious about the people he's grown up around. He looks nothing like the rest of his family, he's not materialistic like his rich friends and although he's very popular in high school, he still feels like an outsider. After his best friend is mysteriously murdered for uncovering a disturbing secret about their rich society, he starts to do his own investigating and discovers that almost everyone around him is actually a body transforming monster part of an incestuous cult. The special effects in this movie, which are highlighted in the last 30 minutes of the movie, are bound to gross you out and make you laugh at the same time. Anyone in to movies like; 'videodrome', 'troll 2' or the re-animator series (in fact the director of 'Society'; brian yuzna, co-wrote & produced those movies) will love 'Society'. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Tommy Wiseau got some inspiration for his cult classic; 'The Room' from this movie. Fyi, this movie has been uploaded on youtube in 9 parts.

After years of awful movies, William Freidken finally returned to his true form with 'Bug' (although it's still not as good as the exorcist or french connection). Friedken was one of those directors from the 'new hollywood' era, along with guys like; James Toback and Peter Bogdonovich, who didn't transfer well in to the 90's with the rest of his peers like; Scorsese and Coppolla. Aside from 'Blue Chips', Friedken fell of hard. It's almost painful to sit through a horror movie like 'The Guardian' knowing it comes from the man responsible for 'The Exorcist'. Like many others, 'Bug' was a late discovery for me. In fact, I think 'Bug' is one of the most underrated movies of the last decade. This psychological thriller/drama about the chance relationship between a disturbed drifter that thinks the government is out to kill him (Michael Shannon) and a lonely women that lost her son years ago, but still thinks he's alive (Ashley Judd) falls in the same category of movies like; 'Clean Shaven' and 'Keane' (both directed by Lodge Kerrigan), which are both great movies that you should you should check out if you haven't. Michael Shannon continues to grow on me as actor. 'Bug' was the first movie that made me take note of his talent. He even makes bad movies like; 'My Son, My Son...' (herzog) or 'Revolutionary Road' watchable just for his performance.

This one isn't a classic like the first two, but it's still a really solid movie and very underrated (I don't care what you guys think). Following up after a classic like 'Aliens' is pretty difficult. But when you compare Aliens 3 to every Aliens-related movie to come out since, it's not so bad is it? (although Alien 4 isn't THAT bad either. at least I don't think it is)? For a franchise that had a different director for each movie, id say every one managed to keep the spirit of Aliens while adding their own unique 'look' to each movie. In the third (and what should've been the final) Alien film, Ripley crash lands on a colony/prison full of nothing but men who happen to be religious nuts (who also haven't seen a woman in years, which makes things very tense and awkward for her and some of the prisoners). A facehugger managed to make it on to the ship that Ripley used to escape in the previous film, eventually turning in to an Alien and killing off everyone in the prison/colony. Like I said before, this should've been the final movie in the series. Everything got sewn up as far as I'm concerned. We learn the governments true intentions for the Aliens (to be used as weapons). We learn the story behind the android; 'Bishop'. And most importantly; Ripley, realizing she was impregnated with a queen alien, kills herself. All of the first three Alien films are some of the best examples of science fiction perfectly mixed with horror.

Along with the Halloween-themed movies I've been watching these days, I've also been revisiting all of Michael Mann's films (miami vice, public enemies, thief, the insider, etc). And as it just so happens, his 2nd feature; 'The Keep' (something I hadn't seen before until a few nights ago) happens to fit in with the Halloween-themed movies as well. In the film a group of Nazi soldiers set up camp at an old castle in Romania. As it turns out, this castle is 'haunted'. Its controlled by a spirit that gets its power from the souls of the people that it kills, and doesn't take kindly to Nazi's. Eventually, all the soldiers die leaving the head Nazi officer (played by Jorgen Purchnow of course) and a jewish doctor (Ian Mcklelen) to try and figure out what's causing these deaths. Even though this movie bombed when it came out, to this day it still has the notoriety of being Michael Mann's most "different" or "oddball film out of all of his work. Nazis being killed off in a haunted castle is quite different from his usual subjects of; criminals, police shootouts and biographies (john dillinger and Ali). The soundtrack, composed by Tangerine Dream (who did the soundtrack to Mann's previous film; Thief), is awesome in some parts, and totally out of place in others.

This was the infamous episode of 'Masters of Horror' that was apparently so graphic and disturbing that it was cut from the show. I personally don't think it was THAT disturbing overall, but there are a few scenes that are very twisted and hard to stomach. I mean, what else would you except from Takashi Miike. The director responsible for stuff like; 'Audition' and 'Ichi the Killer'. If you aren't familiar with Miike or his films, try to imagine a movie directed by a talented yet sadistic 11 year old who's therapy or outlet is making fucked up movies. I'm not a big fan of his (with the exception of 'Audition'), but I did find 'Imprint' to be the most interesting and non-traditional of all the movies in the 'Masters Of Horror' Series. In 'Imprint', an American Tourist travels back to Japan to find a prostitute that he fell in love with years ago. In order to find her, the american enlists the help of a disfigured prostitute who claims to have a connection with dead souls. We later discover that this disfigured prostitute (and by 'disfigured' I mean she has a parasitic twin in the form of a third hand growing out of the side of her head, due to inbreeding) not only knew the woman that the american tourist is looking for, but also had something to do with her death

This movie may not be scary to all of you, but if you're black and happen to love dogs, this may fuck with your head a bit. Sam Fuller's notorious 'White Dog' is about a racist, orphaned dog, and the black animal trainer, played by Paul Winfield, who tries to break the dog's racist teachings. I know this is gonna sound bad, but depending on what mood imp in, this movie can be either very funny or very good. I'm sorry, but that the way I feel. I dunno, but seeing animals jump out nowhere, and attack people is funny to me sometimes. Trust me, I realize this movie is supposed to be taken seriously as a symbol for racism in society. Although Sam Fuller is one of the greatest directors ever, I DO have one serious issue with this movie (and no it's not the plot, and it has nothing to do with race). To those people who have seen this movie; am I the only person to question why this dog was allowed to live without being put down? Let's be honest...during the course of the movie, the dog (BRUTALLY) attacked four people, KILLED one guy, and was still allowed to live. Really? It took that long for people to realize this damn dog needed to die? And more importantly, what kind of people don't press charges on a dog that attacks the shit out them? But, with all that being said, this is still required viewing.

In the twilight zone movie, 4 different directors (john landis, spielberg and two other directors) remake 4 different stories, which I believe are based on classic twilight zone episodes from the original tv show (I'm not a twilight zone guy, so I'm not sure). The first story is about an angry/racist white guy who is transported in to different time periods, each time as a different race (a jewish person during WW2, a black person in the 1950's south, and a vietnamese civilian caught by the US military during the vietnam war. The second story is about an old, mysterious, magical negro (played by scatman crothers) with the power to turn old people back in children. The third and fourth stories are the funniest, and what had me laughing. The third story is about a little boy (anthony) who can do whatever he wants whenever he wishes something. He uses his powers to kidnap random people, in order to make them his pretend family. The fourth story is about a paranoid man on a plane who sees a gremlin/monster on the wing of the plane, yet no one else can see it, so everyone thinks he's crazy. It would be nice to see another twilight zone movie like this made today. The opening scene in this movie one of the best openings ever.


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