Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa Claus (1959)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: I'm not precisely sure. I think the gist of it is this: Santa Claus is trying to deliver presents. Pitch (a minion of the devil) is trying to get kids to be bad and also trying to thwart Santa's deliveries.

Scariness factor: This isn't a horror movie, and yet it's the creepiest damn thing I've seen in a long time. It feels like a really really really really really bad acid trip.

High Points: Wow. This isn't a horror flick, so technically I shouldn't be reviewing it here. And yet, when up against some of my other favorite creepy X-mas gems (Jack Frost, Santa Conquers the Martians, Silent Night, Bloody Night), it definitely is a worthy opponent. Somehow the movie is 94 minutes long, and CLEARLY they're milking many of the scenes to achieve that length. Much of it is filler, particularly a lengthy sequence at the beginning where Santa plays a creepy organ while introducing his child slave-labor from all over the world that he apparently utilizes instead of elves to make X-mas presents. (Let the creepiness begin.) Somehow a minion of the devil enters the picture, and he prances and ballets his way through the movie, committing bad deeds. The main little girl in the movie looks SINCERELY scared throughout the whole movie, probably because she has to endure sequences in which large two-faced dolls swarm around her, dancing, nightmares of Pitch (the devil) telling her she won't get anything for X-mas because she's poor, etc. Merlin (yes, you heard me correctly--Merlin the Wizard) is one of Santa's helpers and is featured in the film several times. Santa is contestably one of the creepiest Santas I've seen, laughing maniacally throughout. (He also looks weirdly like Leslie Nielsen.) Santa's reindeer are equally creepy--they are wind-up robotic reindeer, and one of them has a briefly terrifying scene during which he neighs/winnies/robotically whines/chew/moans in such a way that I got shivers up my very spine. Pretty much the whole movie feels like a really long and really really really bad acid trip. And for that reason, it is priceless, and you need to get your hands on it. Keep your eye out at (I hate to say it but) Walmart apparently--I guess you can get your hands on it there for the low low price of $1.

Overall: An X-mas miracle.

Grade: A

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Hills Have Eyes 2

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Well, since they already sent a family into the middle of the desert to get picked off by folks mutated by nuclear-testing, this time they decide to send the army in. There's not much more to it than that really.

Scariness factor: I dunno--I think it was TRYING to be suspenseful, but it wasn't really.

Gross-Out Factor: Like the first one, it's pretty high in the gore-department.

Complaints: Visually, this movie was very monochromatic. You can tell just from the pictures. And plot-wise, it obviously served no other purpose than to give the filmmakers an excuse to have mutants pick-off people one by one in extremely violent and "innovative" ways. Also, the whole female-soldier deal was lame--not only did we have to sit through the obligatory "female character happens to be the ONLY soldier who strips down to a tank-top and then of course later falls into water so that we get to have wet-t-shirt erotica"-type crap, we also had to sit through one of them getting raped,

High Points: Making fun of this movie. As always, all logic was COMPLETELY absent in this movie, so if nothing else, it was fun to shout at, boo, and make fun of. If you're gonna watch it, definitely watch it with someone else.

Overall: Lame. But perhaps worth watching just to make fun of.

Grade: D+


Blood Car

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Flash-forward into the future. Gas prices are at $30+ a gallon. No one drives anymore because they can't afford to. Enter a vegan with the desire to change the world through wheatgrass. One day while Archie is experimenting with wheatgrass as an alternative fuel-source, he accidentally cuts himself, bleeding into the wheatgrass. Suddenly, the motor begans to feverishly run, and he realizes (horrifyingly) that he has found the key to making his fuel work. Will his desire to impress a crazy-in-the-sack meat-eating chick coupled with his desire to be the innovator of this new fuel lead him down the wrong (and very bloody) path?

Scariness factor: The movie declares that it's not actually a horror flick. And (though it seems to me to be a horror flick) it's mostly just camp, so this is fairly low.

Gross-Out Factor: For what I'm assuming was a low-budget movie, it has some pretty sweet gross fx. Mostly just blood-stuff though. Nothing TOO terrible.

Complaints: The movie's not perfect. And although I can't pin down precise things that I didn't like about it, I nonetheless wasn't 100% blown away by it. And I was a bit torn about how I felt about the vegan stuff. In one respect I found myself laughing. But in another respect, I found it irritating once or twice.

High Points: The dialogue--I laughed out loud quite a bit throughout. It's just so silly sometimes. Especially the interrogation-scene at the end. Worth watching simply for that. The special fx are surprisingly good for what I'm again assuming was a low-budget film. The premise of the movie is fun and corny. The acting is sufficiently lousy and yet decent, almost deliberately so. The logic behind a car driving on blood is wonderfully ludicrous and incomprehensible. And it's also chockfull of quotable moments that will make you laugh: "You know that saying, 'If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen?' Well, people still say that. But they don't drive cars."

Overall: It was entertaining and campy. If you see it, nab it. It's worth the watch.

Grade: B+