Category: Review

Regular

SO Carlo over at Back – Row .com was inspired by my viewing and drunken review of FOODFIGHT! that he chose to view and review it as well. I feel bad for him and partial responsible so I will at least link his review here for you .. http://www.back-row.com/home/2018/11/21/iwisydht-foodfight

oh dearie me

I have been curious to watch this since I saw …

I have been curious to watch this since I saw everything is terrible edited it down to every seen Gary Busey calls someone a butthorn. Honestly it is a lot of fun but he does not actually call people butthorn enough for my liking. The film was written by Fred Olen Ray so you have to have a tad bit of an open mind and think maybe it was not written to be as serious as the movie ended up. It starts as a complete Lethal Weapon rip off (made a year after Busey played the villain in the first Lethal Weapon movie) . Busey plays a gun crazy cop called Mcbain who has an old partner that you literally wait for him to say “i’m too old for this shit”. The weapons heist they deal with in the opening scene is a lot of fun and I kind of wish the whole movie was that. However the movie quickly goes away from that as we discover Mcbain was an ex secret agent and gets suckered into going to Mexico on a secret agent style mission. Playing the silly character that is secretly an amazing bad ass gets put into a stereotypically foreign enemy territory. Henry Silva plays an amazing military bad guy (as always). There is a hilariously americana flag waving scene between Silva and 

Darlanne Fluegel but then when you start to laugh at it it turns super dark and the fun is gone again. Because Silva is incredible good at being a creepy ass bad guy. Even when he is written in a terrible racial stereotype and .

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 Busey is nick named Bulletproof cause he looks unthreatening but he is so tough he takes a bullet and keeps coming while making sarcastic comments on the way.. so obviously he was the man they chose to fight guerrilla soldiers, free captive soldiers and retrieve a government super weapon called Thunderblast (which looks right out of a Roger Moore James Bond Flick). This movie plays out way too seriously for such a ridiculous super agent story and dumb sounding secret weapon.  Busey gets less and less funny as the movie goes on and then starts up a little again near the end as if they forgot that was the point. Infact a scene involving the Thunderblast and Busey is almost straight out slapstick with a wah wah joke in it. Also a scene with Busey and a giant wheel that is straight up 80s Jackie Chan action silliness. There was an awesome movie in here somewhere, it just gets lost pretty easily.  The scenes with Darlanne Fluegel are however so over the top dramatic you cant take understand how its matching with the funny scenes. Her and Busey do end up shooting and blowing up a lot of people though.  That is a charm of 80s action flicks they didn’t need to be one way or the other, they just did what they wanted to do and you kind of have to respect them for that.

A scene to remember in this is when they again make an accidental reference to Lethal Weapon there is a scene where Busey sits on a beach and remembers his ex girlfriend as we hear a sexy saxaphone playing which just seems cheesy until you realise its Busey playing the saxophone and then it just feels hilarious. But.. was it supposed to be hilarious? I am not sure. It is worth a watch for 80s action fans at least once though ya butthorns.

Recently it was available on an action movie 4 pack.  So it was totally worth the money.

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Just watched ANOTHER WOLF COP! I will just say…

Just watched ANOTHER WOLF COP! I will just say this.. it is at least better than the first one. More action and he is in wolf form most of the movie this time.  The returning characters from the first movie are now more in the weird world they set up so they are all much more amusing than the first time. The comedy is still trying a tad too hard with its rudeness but with the all around quality heighten you can easily look past it and honestly the flow is much better so the gags at least make sense this time. I have to ask though, what’s with all Canadian indi horror comedies using nothing but 80s reference music though?.. i am not complaining.. just wondering. Cameo by Kevin Smith is funny mainly because he always stands away from everyone so you know they had him just for one day and filmed all his parts with barely anyone there, making it accidentally hilarious. ALSO the best part is Canadian go to tv guy Yannick Bisson who makes a great villain. It’s so funny hearing him swear after years of being mister goodie two shoes in Murdoch Mysteries. I would love to see him play a super villian again as the evil pretty boy with the golden smile but a heart of evil. So yeah the first movie was badly paced and a let down to me for what a great idea it was , but I think I can totally recommend this sequel as a good wacky hoser monster mash comedy. A hairy thumb up! 

Well you did not ask for it .. but here it is …

Well you did not ask for it .. but here it is anyways .. This weeks Terrible Toonie Tuesdayz video … HEavy Metal 2000.. owch.. 

A young woman must show how tough she is to travel to the far side of the galaxy to save her sister and the universe.. uhh no one remembers the plot.. they remember just some cheesy ass metal , violence and sexy cliches that is fun but very very dumb and no where near as slick and original as the original .. see what i did there.. Its Fakk 2 .. Heavy Metal 2000,, subscribe and all that shit.. Also if your in Toronto go to Eyesore Cinema on April 10th for the next live screening monster party for Riot at the movies presents Terrible Toonie Tuesdayz LIVE.. not on ice

Best Parts of Crossroads (2002)

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• Britney Spears is high school valedictorian

• Dan Aykroyd doing his best impression of Kurtwood Smith in Dead Poets Society

• Britney hides the fact she was dancing like she lives in Footloose

• “I wanna see the world…like California”

DONT DRIVE THE CAR

• Karaoke competition??? Where the audience pays money if they like them??? Was that even a thing???

• They think Ben is a murderer but continue to travel cross-country with him

• Pennsatucky’s earrings

• Ben’s absolute garbage back tattoo

• Dave (Gruber) Allen has one line yet gets higher billing than Dan Aykroyd and Kim Catrall

• They drive the car anyway

• Ben has a HUGE fuckin tantrum over not having enough “guy time” ????? Britney still thinks he’s a cute and good guy™ after this??????

• Lifetime-esque revelation that not only is Zoe Saldana’s college bf is cheating on her but is also Pennsatucky’s rapist all by the bottle of beer he happened to be drinking at the time

• Final Song’s lip sync completely out of sync

Splice Directed By Vincenzo Natali Starring Adrien Brody, Sarah…

Splice

Directed By Vincenzo Natali

Starring Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley and Delphine Chanéac

 

Okay, so if you haven’t figured out that I love horror movies, you should know up front that I love them, good, bad, ugly, gorgeous, whatever.  Anything that is designed to make you cringe, I will watch.  And, even if it’s bad, I’ll probably enjoy it.  There are exceptions to that rule, but generally speaking, I’ll find something to like about it.  This is only one of many that fall into that “mediocre but enjoyable” category.  From the very first preview I saw, I immediately wanted to see this, but I ultimately expected something campy and goofy – which is exactly what I got.

The beginning of the movie starts off with the birth of a new life form that resembles the brain bug from Starship Troopers.  It immediately throws you into the story, without a lot of unnecessary set up and background which is actually a really nice change from a lot of movies that spend way too much time before getting to the good stuff.  Anyway, we find out that our two main characters, Clive (Brody) and Elsa (Polley), are geneticists who are working to create life with the genes of multiple species of animals., supposedly in order to find cures for diseases and whatever else they can pull out of the things.  As it turns out, the creature in the beginning is the second of a set named Ginger and Fred (cute, right?) and they immediately set to mate the animals  before going to their backing company to present their findings.

In their meeting, Clive and Elsa mention that their next step would be to include human DNA in an effort to further their research as far as disease cures.  Unfortunately, the company has other ideas, and they are intent on isolating and synthesizing a particular protein found in Fred and Ginger, informing our two scientists that this is their new objective.  Obviously, the movie couldn’t continue from this point to it’s promised end unless one of our characters was displeased with this change (in this case, that would be Elsa).  After they get back to the lab, she convinces Clive to continue with their experiments anyway, obtaining a female human DNA sample with which to experiment. 

Originally, the experiment was intended to only go so far as to see if the DNA could merge together.  Of course, being Elsa, she can’t just leave well enough alone and insists on bringing the creature to life, to see if it’s sustainable.  The experiment turns out to be successful, since the creature comes to life.  Oddly, it ages rapidly so they don’t kill it, hoping to see it’s entire life cycle in a matter of weeks (for science, of course!).  The characters go on observing their new life form, named Dren, as she continues to age and mature showing signs of intelligence and a creepy attraction towards Clive.  Since she gets bigger and needs a better hiding place, they move her to Elsa’s childhood home – an abandoned farm.  Because nothing could go wrong at an abandoned farm.

At any rate, I don’t want to give away much more of this movie since it’s still new (still in theaters after all) and it really isn’t that bad.  It’s predictable and goofy at times, but still an enjoyable piece.  It isn’t scary and it really doesn’t fall into the “horror” genre in the way it was advertised, but it could be a lot worse.  The effects were decent, and there are a couple moments that make you squirm in your seat (as well as a couple that make you laugh hysterically).  All in all, I got what I was expecting (you can look at that however you like), so I can’t really complain.  If you go with really high expectations of what this movie could be, then you will be really disappointed.  The movie has a good feel and pretty good pacing, since it doesn’t feel like it’s been going on for two hours.  There are a couple things to warn you about, though.  If you have issues with, well, let’s just be blunt, on screen rape, you will have issues with this movie. Overall, the movie is enjoyable, if you can look at it just to have fun rather than to be scared.  It relies a lot more on suspense and storytelling rather than gore and violence which is a nice change of pace for some, so if that’s what you’re looking for you might enjoy this one.  It definitely fits in nicely in the monster movie genre and also gives a nod to Frankenstein classics.  Overall rating?  3.5 out of 5.

Splice Directed By Vincenzo Natali Starring Ad…

Splice

Directed By Vincenzo Natali

Starring Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley and Delphine Chanéac

Okay, so if you haven’t figured out that I love horror movies, you should know up front that I love them, good, bad, ugly, gorgeous, whatever.  Anything that is designed to make you cringe, I will watch.  And, even if it’s bad, I’ll probably enjoy it.  There are exceptions to that rule, but generally speaking, I’ll find something to like about it.  This is only one of many that fall into that “mediocre but enjoyable” category.  From the very first preview I saw, I immediately wanted to see this, but I ultimately expected something campy and goofy – which is exactly what I got.

The beginning of the movie starts off with the birth of a new life form that resembles the brain bug from Starship Troopers.  It immediately throws you into the story, without a lot of unnecessary set up and background which is actually a really nice change from a lot of movies that spend way too much time before getting to the good stuff.  Anyway, we find out that our two main characters, Clive (Brody) and Elsa (Polley), are geneticists who are working to create life with the genes of multiple species of animals., supposedly in order to find cures for diseases and whatever else they can pull out of the things.  As it turns out, the creature in the beginning is the second of a set named Ginger and Fred (cute, right?) and they immediately set to mate the animals  before going to their backing company to present their findings.

In their meeting, Clive and Elsa mention that their next step would be to include human DNA in an effort to further their research as far as disease cures.  Unfortunately, the company has other ideas, and they are intent on isolating and synthesizing a particular protein found in Fred and Ginger, informing our two scientists that this is their new objective.  Obviously, the movie couldn’t continue from this point to it’s promised end unless one of our characters was displeased with this change (in this case, that would be Elsa).  After they get back to the lab, she convinces Clive to continue with their experiments anyway, obtaining a female human DNA sample with which to experiment. 

Originally, the experiment was intended to only go so far as to see if the DNA could merge together.  Of course, being Elsa, she can’t just leave well enough alone and insists on bringing the creature to life, to see if it’s sustainable.  The experiment turns out to be successful, since the creature comes to life.  Oddly, it ages rapidly so they don’t kill it, hoping to see it’s entire life cycle in a matter of weeks (for science, of course!).  The characters go on observing their new life form, named Dren, as she continues to age and mature showing signs of intelligence and a creepy attraction towards Clive.  Since she gets bigger and needs a better hiding place, they move her to Elsa’s childhood home – an abandoned farm.  Because nothing could go wrong at an abandoned farm.

At any rate, I don’t want to give away much more of this movie since it’s still new (still in theaters after all) and it really isn’t that bad.  It’s predictable and goofy at times, but still an enjoyable piece.  It isn’t scary and it really doesn’t fall into the “horror” genre in the way it was advertised, but it could be a lot worse.  The effects were decent, and there are a couple moments that make you squirm in your seat (as well as a couple that make you laugh hysterically).  All in all, I got what I was expecting (you can look at that however you like), so I can’t really complain.  If you go with really high expectations of what this movie could be, then you will be really disappointed.  The movie has a good feel and pretty good pacing, since it doesn’t feel like it’s been going on for two hours.  There are a couple things to warn you about, though.  If you have issues with, well, let’s just be blunt, on screen rape, you will have issues with this movie. Overall, the movie is enjoyable, if you can look at it just to have fun rather than to be scared.  It relies a lot more on suspense and storytelling rather than gore and violence which is a nice change of pace for some, so if that’s what you’re looking for you might enjoy this one.  It definitely fits in nicely in the monster movie genre and also gives a nod to Frankenstein classics.  Overall rating?  3.5 out of 5.

This one comes to me from a good friend of mine (you can find…

This one comes to me from a good friend of mine (you can find her blog here) whom I asked to review this movie as it is the sequel to another movie I reviewed (Cat People, if you couldn’t guess).  So, it is my honor to present the very first guest review!

Starring: 

Simone Simon- Ghost of Irena
Kent Smith- Oliver ‘Ollie’ Reed
Jane Randolph – Alice Reed
Ann Carter- Amy Reed

This sequel could more or less go unrelated to the first. Actually, both could go without the hindering intent of ferocious feline femininity that the titles impose on viewers. Cat People did, however, give us a lasting three minute impression after a seventy-minute build up to a man getting his heart & flesh clawed at from kissing the concoctionous (not a real word, but deal with it) lips of Irena, thus bringing out the passion that triggers her nine lives to end his one. But that’s it. And you would think that maybe, seeing as there is a sequel, the installment would make up for the lack thereof and give us something to scream at charismatically, or sigh a sappy relief. However, that’s not the case. The Curse of the Cat People makes those last three minutes from the first seem like a grand scheme of accomplishment in comparison. In Cat People we get a drawn out, cringing climax only to meet an end that makes you shrug. In this sequel, we have flashes of Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts having an affair with the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow in a psychology teacher’s closet. 

After the opening credits roll, our eyes gaze upon a scene of children and an adult that could easily be assumed to be their teacher, running through a small, forest like meadow where they stop over a bridge where the teacher, Ms. Callahan, informs her students that this was where the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow claimed his victims (for a second you get sidetracked into thinking that’s what the horror movie is about. But hey, we now know it takes place in Tarrytown!). Anyhow, on this sunshiney day we get introduced to the main character of the story, a little girl named Amy, who happens to be the child of Oliver and Alice Reed. You know, the man from the first film who was married to Irena, didn’t kiss her once, and then left her his now wife, and together they produce our playful, little protagonist. But getting back on track, Amy has a vivid imagination, and constantly daydreams. Which inevitably has her stand out to be the outcast in comparison to the other children, causing her father, Mr. Reed, to be overly anxious about the normality of his offspring, and the characteristics he thinks she shares with his ex-cat lady. The relationship with Amy and her father has viewers question his parenting skills, and where they conflict with that of the social norm, or just allowing your child to be who they are. Mr. Reed constantly puts Amy into situations where he believes her imagination is running her wild, and his interrogations over her lack of friends leads to the conclusion of this: Tell the truth about having an imagination and get punished, or lie and get rewarded. Yay for family values! So where do the cat people come in? Hold on, we’re getting there. Amy just has to make some friends first. 

After a failed birthday party where invitations weren’t sent out due to Amy believing in a mail tree, and Mr. Reed telling his daughter that not everything you wish for can come true, only certain things can (buzz kill), Amy gets further caught up in her head as she walks the neighborhood to try and make daddy happy by playing with her peers. All of who run away from her because they’re mad from not being invited, “Because you didn’t ask them? Well I don’t blame them for being angry.” (Thanks jackass, dad. Thanks a lot.) After another blow to her delicate frame of mind, Amy comes upon a, what’s to be known as the Farren house, and hears a lovely voice coming from an open window. She finds herself compelled, and wonders into the front yard, where a handkerchief carrying a ring gets tossed out of the window onto the ground. Amy picks it up, and gets confronted by a woman who can be recognized from the first movie, whose name is Barbara Farren, and holds the same hostility in her cheek bones like she did the first time (Well hey! There’s some consistency). Amy leaves, wearing the ring, and goes home to confide in the house help, Edward (Yes, he’s black) about the encounter, to which he shares with her the knowledge that the item is a wish ring (it’s okay, he can make things up. I mean, she does). So she goes into her backyard, where she often spends time alone, and what does she do? Why, she makes a wish, duh! And soon after she does, a dark shadow swoops over the yard (one that could personify and hint at the fact that Amy’s imagination isn’t seen as a bright aspect, and what she wishes for won’t be fondly taken in. But now I’m just spoiling things. 

Amy’s mommy, Alice Reed, takes notice of the ring, asks where she got it, and we get taught once again that we shouldn’t accept gifts from strangers. So she must go take it back, but under the supervision of Edward. And she does! But without Edward, because he’s too busy. And so Amy goes back to the Farren house, where she’s greeted at the door by Barbara’s cold stone glare, where Amy is then led to Julia Farren. Amy explains to her that she can’t accept the gift from a stranger, and tries to give it back. But Julia Farren is taken aback, she must keep the gift, because she’s NOT stranger (Julia Farren a stranger?? Why that’s preposterous! She’s a celebrity, dammit!) Anyhow, Barbara lurks around the corner, keeping an eye on Amy, creating a sense in the viewers that something furry is about to happen. Julia Farren explains that Barbara is an imposter, a liar and a cheat. (We learn later that Barbara is actually her daughter, but why Julia doesn’t believe her to be so, we’re never told. So blame it on Schizophrenia and Alzheimer, we shall.) Amy continues to go to the Farren house, where Julia Farren tells her stories about the Headless Horseman and Sleepy Hollow. And as the terror of the tale starts to build in Amy, envy starts to hiss inside of Barbara as her mother starts to perceive Amy to be her kitten (Since there isn’t any hint of cat-like detail in the movie, I’ll poke fun at it here), and threatens to kill Amy the next time she comes over. 

So later that night, Amy has a bad dream about the Headless Horseman, a detail we don’t know the relevancy of for the purpose of the movie, and to come to her rescue is her friend that she wished for. And what do ya know! Her imaginary friend is Irena! Of course! She’s come back to seek vengeance somehow on Amy’s mother & father, like she didn’t get a chance to before! Right?! You couldn’t be more wrong! Throughout the entirety of the movie, Irena is there to simply play with Amy, to encourage her imagination and the possibility that maybe this kid is really deluded, like everyone else seems to think. So they keep playing, and spending time together, worsening the paranoia in Mr. Reed’s mind. But shit hits the fan when Amy finds a picture of Irena that her daddy had kept hidden, and accidently spills the secret that Irena, the crazed ex wife, is who she’s been having fantastical fun with. This eventually teaches Amy that if she doesn’t tell her father what he wants to hear instead of being an honest person and not lying about her imagination, that she has to be punished. And as her teacher Ms. Callahan puts it, “A first spanking is an important occasion.”

Soon though, Amy goes running back to the Farren house after Irena says it’d be best if Amy just forgot about her, and slips away like the Fairy Godmother from Pinocchio. Confused and lonely, Amy tries to make her way back to the Farren house through a blizzard, but has to cross the bridge where she hears galloping, and frightens herself into thinking it’s the Headless Horseman, when really it turns out to be a passing car with faulty tire rims. So she stands up, brushes off the snow, and makes her way back into the Farren house where her life is put into danger because Julia Farren looks up and sees the lights dimming, which of course means that Barbara is about to turn Amy into some kiddy nip (Ha, get it?). So she tried to hide her by going upstairs, but her age claims her and like an eye roll, she’s on the floor dead. And Amy is left there to deal with wrath of Barbara. Do the fangs come out now? There’s about five minutes left, there’s still hope! Will the camera pan over so we can see the human shadow morph into that of a panther? Wait for it… wait for it… nope. Amy just wishes a call for Irena, who’s ghostly form apparently eludes Amy’s vision into thinking Barbara is Irena, and takes comfort in hugging her. We still have a second of Barbara’s hands tightening up around the space about Amy’s head, we think she’s about to choke her, WE THINK THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME HORROR! Aaaand, no, of course not. She returns the hug, and soon after Amy’s father and some police who had been looking for her barge through the door and cheer and shout. Mr. Reed brings Amy home, where he promises to believe in whatever Amy says, and asks if Amy sees Irena in the yard. She says yes, and so does he, with a great big smile. The camera pans over to Irena standing in a spotlight, singing a Christmas carol in French, and then the movie ends. Scene. 

So what have we learned? There’s no such thing as an imagination, only lying! Val Lewton is great at proving that with these films.

Overall rating: 1.5 out of 5. (You can’t help but love Amy, and want to call her Alice. All of the credit goes to her.)

This one comes to me from a good friend of min…

This one comes to me from a good friend of mine (you can find her blog here) whom I asked to review this movie as it is the sequel to another movie I reviewed (Cat People, if you couldn’t guess).  So, it is my honor to present the very first guest review!

Starring: 

Simone Simon- Ghost of Irena
Kent Smith- Oliver ‘Ollie’ Reed
Jane Randolph – Alice Reed
Ann Carter- Amy Reed

This sequel could more or less go unrelated to the first. Actually, both could go without the hindering intent of ferocious feline femininity that the titles impose on viewers. Cat People did, however, give us a lasting three minute impression after a seventy-minute build up to a man getting his heart & flesh clawed at from kissing the concoctionous (not a real word, but deal with it) lips of Irena, thus bringing out the passion that triggers her nine lives to end his one. But that’s it. And you would think that maybe, seeing as there is a sequel, the installment would make up for the lack thereof and give us something to scream at charismatically, or sigh a sappy relief. However, that’s not the case. The Curse of the Cat People makes those last three minutes from the first seem like a grand scheme of accomplishment in comparison. In Cat People we get a drawn out, cringing climax only to meet an end that makes you shrug. In this sequel, we have flashes of Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts having an affair with the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow in a psychology teacher’s closet. 

After the opening credits roll, our eyes gaze upon a scene of children and an adult that could easily be assumed to be their teacher, running through a small, forest like meadow where they stop over a bridge where the teacher, Ms. Callahan, informs her students that this was where the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow claimed his victims (for a second you get sidetracked into thinking that’s what the horror movie is about. But hey, we now know it takes place in Tarrytown!). Anyhow, on this sunshiney day we get introduced to the main character of the story, a little girl named Amy, who happens to be the child of Oliver and Alice Reed. You know, the man from the first film who was married to Irena, didn’t kiss her once, and then left her his now wife, and together they produce our playful, little protagonist. But getting back on track, Amy has a vivid imagination, and constantly daydreams. Which inevitably has her stand out to be the outcast in comparison to the other children, causing her father, Mr. Reed, to be overly anxious about the normality of his offspring, and the characteristics he thinks she shares with his ex-cat lady. The relationship with Amy and her father has viewers question his parenting skills, and where they conflict with that of the social norm, or just allowing your child to be who they are. Mr. Reed constantly puts Amy into situations where he believes her imagination is running her wild, and his interrogations over her lack of friends leads to the conclusion of this: Tell the truth about having an imagination and get punished, or lie and get rewarded. Yay for family values! So where do the cat people come in? Hold on, we’re getting there. Amy just has to make some friends first. 

After a failed birthday party where invitations weren’t sent out due to Amy believing in a mail tree, and Mr. Reed telling his daughter that not everything you wish for can come true, only certain things can (buzz kill), Amy gets further caught up in her head as she walks the neighborhood to try and make daddy happy by playing with her peers. All of who run away from her because they’re mad from not being invited, “Because you didn’t ask them? Well I don’t blame them for being angry.” (Thanks jackass, dad. Thanks a lot.) After another blow to her delicate frame of mind, Amy comes upon a, what’s to be known as the Farren house, and hears a lovely voice coming from an open window. She finds herself compelled, and wonders into the front yard, where a handkerchief carrying a ring gets tossed out of the window onto the ground. Amy picks it up, and gets confronted by a woman who can be recognized from the first movie, whose name is Barbara Farren, and holds the same hostility in her cheek bones like she did the first time (Well hey! There’s some consistency). Amy leaves, wearing the ring, and goes home to confide in the house help, Edward (Yes, he’s black) about the encounter, to which he shares with her the knowledge that the item is a wish ring (it’s okay, he can make things up. I mean, she does). So she goes into her backyard, where she often spends time alone, and what does she do? Why, she makes a wish, duh! And soon after she does, a dark shadow swoops over the yard (one that could personify and hint at the fact that Amy’s imagination isn’t seen as a bright aspect, and what she wishes for won’t be fondly taken in. But now I’m just spoiling things. 

Amy’s mommy, Alice Reed, takes notice of the ring, asks where she got it, and we get taught once again that we shouldn’t accept gifts from strangers. So she must go take it back, but under the supervision of Edward. And she does! But without Edward, because he’s too busy. And so Amy goes back to the Farren house, where she’s greeted at the door by Barbara’s cold stone glare, where Amy is then led to Julia Farren. Amy explains to her that she can’t accept the gift from a stranger, and tries to give it back. But Julia Farren is taken aback, she must keep the gift, because she’s NOT stranger (Julia Farren a stranger?? Why that’s preposterous! She’s a celebrity, dammit!) Anyhow, Barbara lurks around the corner, keeping an eye on Amy, creating a sense in the viewers that something furry is about to happen. Julia Farren explains that Barbara is an imposter, a liar and a cheat. (We learn later that Barbara is actually her daughter, but why Julia doesn’t believe her to be so, we’re never told. So blame it on Schizophrenia and Alzheimer, we shall.) Amy continues to go to the Farren house, where Julia Farren tells her stories about the Headless Horseman and Sleepy Hollow. And as the terror of the tale starts to build in Amy, envy starts to hiss inside of Barbara as her mother starts to perceive Amy to be her kitten (Since there isn’t any hint of cat-like detail in the movie, I’ll poke fun at it here), and threatens to kill Amy the next time she comes over. 

So later that night, Amy has a bad dream about the Headless Horseman, a detail we don’t know the relevancy of for the purpose of the movie, and to come to her rescue is her friend that she wished for. And what do ya know! Her imaginary friend is Irena! Of course! She’s come back to seek vengeance somehow on Amy’s mother & father, like she didn’t get a chance to before! Right?! You couldn’t be more wrong! Throughout the entirety of the movie, Irena is there to simply play with Amy, to encourage her imagination and the possibility that maybe this kid is really deluded, like everyone else seems to think. So they keep playing, and spending time together, worsening the paranoia in Mr. Reed’s mind. But shit hits the fan when Amy finds a picture of Irena that her daddy had kept hidden, and accidently spills the secret that Irena, the crazed ex wife, is who she’s been having fantastical fun with. This eventually teaches Amy that if she doesn’t tell her father what he wants to hear instead of being an honest person and not lying about her imagination, that she has to be punished. And as her teacher Ms. Callahan puts it, “A first spanking is an important occasion.”

Soon though, Amy goes running back to the Farren house after Irena says it’d be best if Amy just forgot about her, and slips away like the Fairy Godmother from Pinocchio. Confused and lonely, Amy tries to make her way back to the Farren house through a blizzard, but has to cross the bridge where she hears galloping, and frightens herself into thinking it’s the Headless Horseman, when really it turns out to be a passing car with faulty tire rims. So she stands up, brushes off the snow, and makes her way back into the Farren house where her life is put into danger because Julia Farren looks up and sees the lights dimming, which of course means that Barbara is about to turn Amy into some kiddy nip (Ha, get it?). So she tried to hide her by going upstairs, but her age claims her and like an eye roll, she’s on the floor dead. And Amy is left there to deal with wrath of Barbara. Do the fangs come out now? There’s about five minutes left, there’s still hope! Will the camera pan over so we can see the human shadow morph into that of a panther? Wait for it… wait for it… nope. Amy just wishes a call for Irena, who’s ghostly form apparently eludes Amy’s vision into thinking Barbara is Irena, and takes comfort in hugging her. We still have a second of Barbara’s hands tightening up around the space about Amy’s head, we think she’s about to choke her, WE THINK THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME HORROR! Aaaand, no, of course not. She returns the hug, and soon after Amy’s father and some police who had been looking for her barge through the door and cheer and shout. Mr. Reed brings Amy home, where he promises to believe in whatever Amy says, and asks if Amy sees Irena in the yard. She says yes, and so does he, with a great big smile. The camera pans over to Irena standing in a spotlight, singing a Christmas carol in French, and then the movie ends. Scene. 

So what have we learned? There’s no such thing as an imagination, only lying! Val Lewton is great at proving that with these films.

Overall rating: 1.5 out of 5. (You can’t help but love Amy, and want to call her Alice. All of the credit goes to her.)

This is one that I’m kind of conflicted on.  It…

This is one that I’m kind of conflicted on.  It wasn’t disastrously horrible, but it definitely wasn’t that great either.  It had a lot of potential, since it had a pretty interesting premise (trust Edgar Rice Burroughs to provide us with that, since he’s also responsible for Tarzan).  Unfortunately for this one, the budget was obviously lower than the story telling really deserved (or required?) and it definitely takes a lot away from the movie.  Well, anyway, lets jump right in and start diagnosing this one.

We start the movie with a group of friends on a small boat apparently headed for San Juan.  They never really explain why they’re headed out that way or anything, but presumably it’s for vacation.  So we get introduced to our five main characters for the movie, two couples and the ship captain, in the midst of a storm making their trip extremely nerve wracking.  At any rate, the captain and his skipper notice something strange hovering in the sky outside the ship and watch as it flashes a bright light.

Shortly after the flash, the main characters wake up and find that the ship has stopped, it’s instruments going haywire, but they do see an island, so they anchor their ship, and prepare to leave.  Just as the group is boarding their raft to get to shore, Karen Michaels sees something swim beneath the ship, so she refuses to leave and stays put.  Now, here’s my first issue with this, if I saw something big and unidentified swimming under my boat, I wouldn’t stay there.  I’d be getting off of it as fast as I could.  However, she stays and the rest go ashore.

They discover that the island is populated by poorly rendered CGI dinosaurs, the crew of a stranded German U-Boat, a pilot from Flight 19 and a sailor off of a ship that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle.  So now we’ve established where they wound up, and their main conflicts – getting off the island and not getting killed by dinosaurs or Germans.  Good, sounds easy enough.  Well, with the help of Jude and Conrad (our pilot and sailor) they manage to find the shore and the Germans who have somehow come to kidnap Karen. 

So, having discovered the need to rescue Karen, they hatch a plan to distract the Germans by luring a tyrannosaurus rex to their camp, steal her away and then escape the island on the boat they came in on.  Sounds perfect, right?  It would have been except for the incredibly predictable moment where Jude and Conrad take off without the others because they’ve been on the island far too long to wait for them.  This poses some other questions, but I’ll get to that later.  

After that, Karen, her husband Frost, friends Cole and Lindsey and the Captain are left with the Germans apparently as prisoners.  Somehow it’s established that the Captain speaks a little German and one of the soldiers speaks a little English – not much, but enough for them to communicate and create vastly complicated plans in order to escape the island.  The Captain has discovered that there is oil on the island and that tyrannosaur must live near it since it tracked it into the German’s camp earlier that day.

The next escape plan is born of the idea to get the oil, distill it into gasoline, fill the U-Boat with it and escape when high tide comes.  Now, the only problem with this plan is the distilling.  It called for an elaborate bit of tinkering which is pretty unbelievable (I mean really, where did they get all the mechanics for it without removing them from the U-boat?  And if they took it from the boat, how were they supposed to leave in it without putting it all back?).  Anyway, on their first run to test if their process works, they succeed, causing them to plan a way to kill the tyrannosaur so they can get more gas and hopefully fill the tank on the U-boat (yeah, right).  

Using the German’s explosives they lure and run the dino to the beach where they plan to kill him.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t go quite as planned and Cole sacrifices himself for his friends’ chance of escaping the island.  It’s actually a really good scene that captures the immediate reactions of his wife Lindsey and close friend Frost.  At any rate, they are now able to get all the oil they need to create the gasoline and attempt fleeing the island (yay!).

Just as tide hits, they’re still gathering gasoline but the Captain insists that if they don’t go now they may never get another chance.  So they try to inform the soldiers still on shore to get back to the boat, by sending Frost.  Now, he succeeds in informing the Germans, but somewhere along the line another tyrannosaurus shows up and he chooses to distract it and lure it to their distillery in an attempt to provide the opportunity for a getaway.  He succeeds in trapping the dino, but fails to make it back to the ship in time so they leave without him.

Shortly before their departure, however, Karen realized that he still hadn’t returned and left the boat to find him.  She doesn’t make it back either, so the two of them wind up continuing their lives on the island (including having a baby there, though I don’t know why you’d bother).  Frost writes their story down and sends it out to sea in a thermos, hoping someone will find it and come look for them.  Then the screen fades and the credits roll.

Overall, the movie isn’t terrible.  The effects are weak due to the budget and the acting isn’t top notch, but it definitely is better than some of the movies I’ve watched with top of the line cast (I’m looking at you Gary Oldman).  It drags a bit in the middle but it picks up enough at the end that you actually do care if they make it off the island in one piece.  It’s kind of disappointing but also entirely expected that Frost and Karen don’t make it off the island in the U-Boat (which, by the way, we never learn the fate of).  One of the biggest things that annoyed me from the very beginning is that despite days on the island, Lindsey never fails to have flawless makeup.  How she accomplishes this, I’ll never know but I’d definitely like her secret.  In the end, the movie isn’t as bad as it’s rating on IMDb suggested, but still could use some fine tuning.  Overall rating? 2.5 out of 5.