I watched every single episode of the X-Files as they aired, but I haven’t seen this movie until now. I knew people had found it underwhelming when it came out, but that was it. Expectations suitably lowered, I found myself thinking it would have made a decent if forgettable episode of the show. It wasn’t bad, it was nice to see the actors reprising their roles, but ultimately the movie added nothing much to the world of the X-Files.
Poultrygeist is the second Troma film I’ve watched, and I think I’m getting the hang of what they are. I.e. I appreciate what they do, but it’s not necessarily for me. This is a movie I would show to someone who is easily offended to induce a stroke in them. The baseline toilet humour is frequently peppered with more, shall we say, outrageous humour. As in likely to cause outrage in some people. But I’d say that the movie is more or less an equal opportunity offender that doesn’t pick sides, except perhaps against those who take themselves seriously. Personally I like a bit more horror in my horror comedies, while this one goes for gore and gross out. If you go in expecting that, you may well like what you find. There’s certainly a lot of it.
I started watching Frankenstein’s Army without any big expectations beyond being mildly entertained by a monster movie. Just the concept of Soviet soldiers pushing into Germany at the end of the second world war and encountering creatures created with the help of the research of doctor Frankenstein ought to be enough on its own to drag any movie to at least the level of mildly interesting. I was sadly mistaken.
To start with the movie is hugely hindered by using the found footage format. It breaks the suspension of disbelief beyond all redemption when the character who is supposed to document the small group of soldiers’ advance into Germany runs around with the camera and uses it in ways that would not be possible for decades. Had they used more period appropriate methods, it could have made for a very interesting movie. Instead the format serves to exaggerate all the other flaws.
Other flaws? There are a fair few. Starting with every character that has any personality being an asshole. And not in an interesting way. That does mesh well with the soldiers being the most undisciplined military unit in the history of warfare. You might very well imagine some commander sending them on a suicide mission just to get rid of them. Unfortunately, that is not the story.
In fact, what little story there is serves only to get the characters in place to be killed by the monsters. Which would be fine, going for atmosphere over plot, except that there is no atmosphere to speak of either. Just dodgy accents that come and go, and characters running around being so unlikable you don’t even perk up when they are inevitably killed. The monster designs are decent, but that is just about the only positive thing I can say for the movie.
The Conspiracy is a mockumentary (I will never like that word) about two documentary filmmakers making a documentary about conspiracy theories and themselves getting drawn in to the world of conspiracies. More thriller than horror I still found myself engaged by the movie. I can’t say it provided any great surprises, but there was certainly a sense of building tension throughout. I don’t know if Jon Ronson’s book Them: Adventures With Extremists was a source of inspiration for The Conspiracy, but having read it previously added to my appreciation of the movie. In particular the book’s sections on the Bilderberg Group and Bohemian Grove. The movie’s well worth watching if you have any interest at all in conspiracy theories or conspiracy theorists. Or, for that matter, if you like a good thriller.
The Howling 3 is a bad movie, and I kind of like it. The first half anyway. Whereas the second movie in the series was bad and kind of dull this one is bad and weird, which is much more entertaining. Really, the fact that the werewolves are marsupials (if you hadn’t guessed from the title) isn’t the weirdest thing about it. Nor are the marsupial werewolves dressing up as nuns. Unfortunately, while the first half of the film moves along at a fair pace with the movie poking fun at itself, once the characters start running around the Australian bush things slow down and takes another weird turn into bizarre drama. Still worth watching to find out where it leads, but not as much fun as the first half.
Night of the Comet is an odd movie, difficult to quite categorise. A comet passing by the Earth turns most of humanity (and the rest of the animals) literally to dust. Of those that survive, some are affected by a degenerative condition turning them into homicidal maniacs. Against that background, the movie follows two sisters adapting to the new world. The story’s lighthearted in parts, only to turn unexpectedly dark every now and then. I might not call the movie outright good, but it’s charming. The actors manage to make the characters quite likeable, which goes a long way towards keeping interest up when the plot fails to do so.
Event Horizon belongs in a small but very high level of quality genre called Sam Neill Stars In Creepy Horror. It’s one of my favourite genres. Event Horizon could as well have been called Ominous: The Movie. It starts out with a brief glimpse of what’s to come, and then for the most part manages to keep the tension up throughout. It certainly has similarities to Alien, but goes a more supernatural route. While there are no overt ties to H. P. Lovecraft, the concept of the movie could very well have come straight out of a Lovecraft story. A scientific experiment reaches beyond the boundaries of our universe and brings back something malevolent. At the same time, while the likelihood of the events of the movie being explained away is small, there are potentially natural explanations for what goes on. Mainly that the characters are hallucinating due to oxygen deprivation or carbon monoxide poisoning. The ambiguity is slight, but it’s there. Either way, it’s a damned creepy movie.