Charles Band takes on the classic Poe tale here with help from a… MoreCharles Band takes on the classic Poe tale here with help from a surprisingly good cast including Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Combs and a small cameo from Oliver Reed!
This film is combination of three classic Poe tales which aren't that bad but as you would expect pretty cheap 'n' cheerful looking at times. There is an odd element of humour at times boarding on spoof, yet despite this Henriksen gives us a chilling performance as the lunatic inquisitor 'Torquemada' which is a brilliantly over the top ham fest of a performance, bizarre monk hairdo included and those cutting round eyes of his.
Rest of the cast are pretty useless and the effects and sets go from reasonable to down right awful. Plenty of fake blood and cheesy dialog but I saw this mainly for Henriksen really, his presence elevates the film to a guilty pleasure.
Last entry for this quite decent 'Horror' franchise, well actually its… MoreLast entry for this quite decent 'Horror' franchise, well actually its officially the third film but we won't go down that confusing alley again.
Unfortunately the franchise bows out with a disappointing story which isn't really scary nor funny. A young couple that own a big house are being slowly hounded into selling by a relation with connections to the mafia. Of course the man of the house is taken out of the picture leaving the young widow to fend for herself.
Katt returns as his character of Cobb, he is married and has one young girl. This plot doesn't connect in any way to the previous films but simply a new story. The story in question is slow and dull containing many flashbacks and not really much else. The same theme of the young widow being tormented by her dreams and Cobb's dastardly brother in law who wants the land is repeated over and over until finally we get somewhere towards the finale.
Guess what? the house was built on an ancient Native American well (originality much?) and the spirits of the Native Americans and Cobb are trying to help her against Cobb's brother in law and the mob. Its very easy to predict and pretty tame stuff, no real ghosts or ghouls to be seen, no monsters, no blood or gore etc...just odd flashbacks and blinking lights. In no way a thriller, not a horror comedy and not a horror, more of a very light-hearted spooky tale.
Stephen King and Romero are back for more tales of terror hosted by… MoreStephen King and Romero are back for more tales of terror hosted by 'The Creep', again the film is bookended by a short story that starts off as live action but then transforms into that eerie cartoon style that looks so good in the Creepshow films.
The stories again are a mixed bag this time not with quite as great a cast line up as before but we do have George Kennedy this time.
First up is a story of an old wooden Indian Chief statue coming to life to get revenge on the youths who killed the old owners of a general store where the Indian is on display. Kennedy is in this story and it is a good one with a nice revenge plot but it is predictable, nice effects on the wooden Chief though.
Second story is slightly better than the first with a group of teens stuck on a raft in the middle of a lake because an oil slick type monster that is devouring them one by one. Nice spooky idea that, despite the monster looking like a flat pancake floating on the water, works well especially effects wise when the teens are sucked under by the creature.
Last story is the weakest and simply involves a woman hitting a hitchhiker with her car and the hitcher coming back to haunt her for the rest of her journey. Pretty lame predictable plot which must have inspired 'I What You Did Last Summer'.
A slightly better selection of short stories over the original minus the good cast but still nothing really outstanding or as memorable as 'Twilight' or 'Darkside', still I must admit I like this old Creepshow flicks very much, love that 80's US Halloween style.
Classic franchise written by Stephen King and directed by 'zombie'… MoreClassic franchise written by Stephen King and directed by 'zombie' Romero, starring an all star old school line up including the legendary Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Ed Harris, Don Keefer and Stephen King himself...some greats in there folks. The stories are basic but this may be down to the fact the franchise is based on the old 50/60's E.C. Comics.
Like the world class 'Twilight Zone' 'Tales from the Darkside' and 'Tales from the Crypt' Creepshow is an anthology of horror tales that aren't exactly 18 rated horror but just kooky fun that would fit your Halloween party perfectly. The stories vary from quite good to rather average to be honest with minimal gore.
The film is comicbook style with some lovely animations of 'The Creep' a hooded skeletal zombie who spins the tales with his nice cackling laugh. The stories also have a lot of toon imagery throughout which are suppose to give the impression of boarders within a comicbook, nice but not needed for me. The whole film is also bookended by a short tale like all these anthology films.
As for the actual tales they are a mixed bag to be honest, the first being a zombie returning from the grave to get his birthday cake he never received, this has Ed Harris (with hair!) and is reasonable but nothing too special. Second stars King as a dumb farmer who foolishly touches a meteorite that lands in his crops and slowly becomes infected and overgrown with a mysterious space fungus or plant life. This story is better and more original than the basic zombie story and shows King in a really goofy role for some reason.
Third story involves Nielsen as a rich jealous man who sets up a nasty fate for his unfaithful wife and her lover Ted Danson. Probably the nastiest short in the film with a horrible way to die but the fact Nielsen is the bad guy makes it hard to take seriously, half expecting George Kennedy to pop up at any moment.
Third story stars Holbrook and is a good simple creature tale as a crate containing a large furry razor teethed monster eats people who dare go to close to the crate. Lots of blood and some good fun 'Critter' type eatin in this one
Last story isn't too good in my opinion as a hypochondriac businessman lives in a hermetically sealed apartment terrified of bugs and germs, a story derived possibly from Howard Hughes and not very original with a predictable ending. Overall the stories could of been better but they do have charm and are still enjoyable.
The third and last Tales horror flick which is a bit disappointing but… MoreThe third and last Tales horror flick which is a bit disappointing but judging by this effort I can see why. This time we are introduced to the Crypt Keeper with a Jamaican flavour complete with dreadlocks and bikini clad women at his beck 'n' call. Already the whole feel is wrong.
Good cast for the film can't deny that, a solid quirky trio including Tim Curry, Jennifer Grey and Craig Sheffer. There are just a few problems, firstly you know who the bad guys are in the film right from the start, since when does Sheffer ever play the good guy?. Curry who is a marvellous character actor has nothing to do here in any way, complete waste, whilst Grey looks cute but doesn't quite seem comfortable in this genre.
The plot is pretty damn near dull as hell actually, its all about voodoo and creating zombies naturally, what else seeing as its set in Jamaica. The thing is nothing much happens in this, lots of flashbacks/dreams with Grey walking around looking all serious trying to find out what's causing an illness that drives people loopy (zombies).
I really was quite bored during the entire film, no action, no gore, no monsters or mutants etc...It is also played as a semi serious thriller with no laughs or comic horror like the previous two films. Easily the worst of the trilogy despite the nice cast and nowhere near as cool as the last two films.
The Crypt Keeper has always looked pretty dodgy if you ask me, a… MoreThe Crypt Keeper has always looked pretty dodgy if you ask me, a pretty bad puppet but hey its not all about him. The actual set for his crypt always looks cool in a 'Munster/Addams' type way which is fun and kooky, nothing special though.
So ye olde Crypt Keeper intro's the story which is a feature length plot and based around a group of people stuck in a building with a demon outside after their blood and a special key which one of them processes. Its kinda like a horror version of 'Assault on Precinct 13' with an 'Evil Dead' black comedy angle which does work pretty well I must admit. Billy Zane does a good job as the head demon hamming it up something huge and churning out some decent lines and visual gags. Up against him is William Sadler who, for once, plays the hero and the only one who can stop the demons.
The action is good fun and chock full of decent makeup and prosthetics with lots of over the top blood n gore by the bucket full. The plot is actually quite deep revolving around demons dating back through the ages with 'chosen ones' being the only defenders etc...a bit more in depth than the usual Crypt tales.
Bottom line though if you like 'Evil Dead' or 'From Dusk Till Dawn' or 'Feast' then I'm sure you will like this.
Another tongue in cheek blood 'n' guts rampage this time including… MoreAnother tongue in cheek blood 'n' guts rampage this time including lots of tits 'n' ass too...so its pretty darn good then. An unoriginal vampire tale this time, set in a brothel with lots of ladies eating biker types much like 'From Dusk Till Dawn' or 'Vamp' but nowhere near as good.
Plot is pretty standard but like the previous Crypt flick is does have a wonderful array of makeup and prosthetic effects all over the show with blood squirting and fangs flying, nothing you haven't seen before but it looks good. Casting is drab but does include 80's horror comedy star Sarandon and 80's teen star Feldman both of which raise the film slightly, Angie Everhart looks delicious as 'Lilith'.
You know what your gonna get with this franchise so your either gonna love it or hate it. Personally I view these films as a great opportunity to see fantastic examples of hands-on horror makeup effects, normally without much CGI, plus they are always good fun on a no-brainer level.
So here we are again and right from the start with the intro of… MoreSo here we are again and right from the start with the intro of Shockwave I was disappointed yet not particularly surprised. Moving on we are introduced to a talking LaserBeak and a small troll like Autobot called Brains! oh my heart sinks and we haven't even begun.
OK well on the plus side there is some nice humour in this new installment from various characters that did make me smile. Turturro as always is quality with his snappy dialog where as Malkovich adds an impressive little performance I didn't really see coming, small but sweet. Ken Jeong is an uprising star in my books and his performances have all been good so far, in his short role here he doesn't disappoint with a cracking little show. Unfortunately we still have to sit through the annoying screaming and twitching of LaBeouf whose participation in these films has damaged his credibility big time.
As for new entry Rosie Huntington-Whiteley...well I've not seen a more horrifically bad performance in sometime, the girl is beautiful, she can pout like no ones business and I'm sure she models well but acting is clearly a step too far and should never be tried again. Its actually fitting she's in this film as to be honest this glitzy overblown mess fits her pretty princess attitude perfectly. Shots of Whiteley up against super cars? check, anyone notice she's still wearing her posh high heels during the finale showdown!.
Anyone actually asked themselves how a geek like LaBeouf's character somehow manages to get these girls in these films!? talk about fantasy! Basically the inclusion of bling actors such as Gibson pretty much sum up the whole franchise.
The film gains a tad more respect with the continued talents of Weaving and Cullen. Added to the gang are Nimoy and Remar, Nimoy of course being experienced in voicing Gavaltron in the animated and better Transformer movie of 86.
Credit where credits due you must applaud the CGI effects, they are very impressive and look good as they screech around highways with multiple explosions going off around them. It looks faultless and along with Bays pretty direction and fetish of the military, explosions and slow motion against sunsets its a picture for sure. As before we still have the same issue as the previous films where its virtually impossible to tell what the hell is going on when the bots fight. You still can't distinguish between Autobots or Decepticons accept for their eye colour with most Transformer characters just coming across as large shiny whirring clicking statues of CGI metal. The rather long finale highlights this problem by adding massive amounts of building carnage and debris into the mix making it completely impossible to make out what on earth is going on, its just insane!
I still can't stand the recreation of classic designs for the new film. The new creations they come up with for new Transformers are terrible and why do all Decepticons look like monsters, insects or wild animals? did I even see a 'Predator' type Decepticon with dreads at one point?
The film is overly long and HUGELY cliched (every cliche in the book). Much of the film feels like a music video or adverts for super cars as Bay tries to evoke emotion but fails miserably by adding rock music over sequences of supposed trauma and horror, plus the whole thing is sooo God Bless America.
There are also so many poor sequences with questions such as how did Sam kill Starscream exactly? what was that gauntlet thing he had? how did the Sam and the others manage to get out of the skyscraper that was practically destroyed and virtually at a 90 degree angle? they just walked out of the doors it seems with no worries? Where does Optimus and the main Autobots vanish too for most of the finale battle? and who was that crappy balding professor looking Autobot with the British accent that got executed!!? just faceless characters for killing...poor film making.
People say this is the better of the trilogy, I can't see it. Its a bit darker as we see people killed in this film plus Optimus being brutal at the very end but for me this is just as bad as the previous two making it hard to try and decide which is the better film, is there a better film?
(Can't believe Optimus lets Cybertron get destroyed!! as if!)
So I've noticed that everyone in this film is covered in large amounts… MoreSo I've noticed that everyone in this film is covered in large amounts of tan makeup, everyone is quite orange at times. So Mr Bay brings us his second Transformers film, its got a good title and sounds like its gonna be dark and brooding, hopefully like 'Empire Strikes Back' it would be the sequel that betters the original. Alas I was disappointed hugely by yet another loud CGI filled mess which was overly long and actually became a little dull.
The main issue for me being the constant redesigning of classic Transformer characters into characters that are virtually unrecognisable as anything but a mass of shiny moving parts. Most of the transformers look terrible with some dreadful designs, I can't for the life of me work out why they have designed the Decepticons to look spiky and more insect like, there are specific Decepticons for that and they are called Insecticons. Plus most of the Decepticons don't even look like Transformers they look more like robotic aliens from another film 'Batteries Not Included' and 'Short Circuit' springs to mind, the Decepticon disguised as a female student was the worst offender.
I don't mind reinventing the characters for a new age but lets try and be sensible here and not go over the top, I mean what the hell was going on with Mudflap' n 'Skids?! talk about your politically correct Transformers for the black audience geez! not too obvious. Then you have the wildly bizarre looking Devastator, I actually didn't mind his new look too much but for some reason they make the large bots more like monsters in a 'Godzilla' way instead of characters with actual sense. Jetfire was probably the best looking new character but again like all the characters he's too much with a lot of needless extra bits 'n' bobs that make the overall design far too busy and very difficult to distinguish or decipher.
They keep totally reinventing what the Transformers look like and making them look poor, why not try to keep them reasonably similar to their original designs? For a start the original designs look so much cooler, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
As for the film itself I found the first half quite dull as we are introduced to Sam's life after the first film. Things pick up as the Transformers become more prominent and we build up towards a showdown in Egypt but the finale is so drawn out and actually loses its impotence because its just keeps on going. Its also rather stupid too as you have all these military guys running around trying to attack the Decepticons whilst looking all heroic but the film already established how useless humans are fighting Transformers prior to this so its just all noise and time wasting.
Not only that but the creators make the crucial mistake in any film by having faceless characters just for death sequences, in the finale when the Decepticons begin their assault numerous robots touch down and fight resulting in many deaths of unknown Decepticons. Add to that the fact they also killed off all the main well known Decepticons too! Devastator and Ravage dead!! what the hell!! they are main characters in Transformer history! and so cheaply too. I still don't understand why they didn't include more regulars in both of these films, regulars like Thrust, Ramjet, Laserbeak, Rumble, Thundercracker etc...same for Autobots too.
End of the day this film looks pretty yes, the CGI is very very highly impressive with the detail and blending of live action sequences but that's it, the film is a visual feast with nothing else to offer accept noise and a blur of unrecognisable images. The acting is pretty dire frankly and the whole thing is so cliche ridden eg. slow motion running with explosions behind and lots of amusing military cheese.
If this was a film unrelated to Transformers then I might be more kind to it, ever so slightly, despite the mass CGI it would be an imaginative film and bold. Seeing as its suppose to be an adaptation of a beloved childhood cartoon colossus of epic proportions with legendary historic status I simply cannot say it deserves any of the hype it got.
Oh dear oh dear this must be the perfect example of a modern day film… MoreOh dear oh dear this must be the perfect example of a modern day film and how bad they can be ruined with the dreaded CGI monster. Where to begin! first off using Bay as director was probably the worst decision made when this film was being created, the man can make good action flicks yes but this sci-fi cartoon creation of epic proportions was not meant to be like this. The film is a mess from start to finish with loud noises and visuals that make no sense to the naked eye, yes it all looks very pretty shiny and flashy but you have no idea where the Transformers begin and where they end.
I wasn't expecting an amazing plot nor was I expecting an adult based film. Even though the original cartoon was actually quite dark in places and we all knew it would be hard to translate the robots to the big screen, but at the end of the day as an old fan of the original cartoon and toy line I hated how they made the Transformers look in this film.
Only Prime and Bumblebee actually looked visually pleasing as all the other robots were practically indecipherable, a huge maze of shiny moving parts which I couldn't tell if even a head was present! Yes the transformation sequences looked kinda neat but again I had no idea what was moving and where! a complete U-turn from the original cartoon where you could actually see how the robots transformed. I just hate how only Prime looks like the original concepts, I understand they updated the robots but the fact hardly any of them resembled their original designs killed me. For some reason all the Decepticons were very pointy and had spikes...why? also I noticed every vehicle was a US vehicle, a good example of how Bay and Hollywood totally 'transformed' (pun totally intended) this cool franchise into what they wanted. Bumblebee an ugly looking Camaro!? and what the hell did they do to Megatron and Frenzy!.
So apart from the mass of in your face CGI what else is there? what is left if you take away the effects? nothing, the film has nothing else to offer a tall. The acting is bad, B-movie bad, we're talking 'Godzilla' remake bad. John Turturro gave me some smiles but apart from that this is 'Independence Day' acting right here. Plenty of sappy jive talkin' and Fox looking like she's made out of plastic with her bright white teeth and ridiculous amounts of orange body tan.
Kids will enjoy this film I'm sure as they have probably not seen the original material, its loud, got lots of plosions and slow motion fighting. I myself cringe at how gaudy and terrible this trash is, the whole human side of the film is totally pointless! the real live actors are completely defunct and could literately be sidelined. Whilst the big robots are all fighting away in an orgy of shiny CGI nuts n bolts we get little snippets of the actors running around driving stuff and trying to look busy or like they're actually of any use. Then out of the blue one soldier manages to shoot and kill a Decepticon easy as pie! (had to do it from jumping off a moving motorbike for some reason). It all leads me to think they should of made a fully CGI animated film like the old 86 movie.
Best thing about the film? they listened to the old school fans and got Cullen back to voice Prime. Unfortunately when Prime says 'sorry my bad' I had to put my face in my hands, yep they got Prime talkin' like a hoodie. No...quite simply no, blow me back to the 80's please!