Chances are, if you saw tonight's review, not to be confused with the mint reggae-ish pop tune of the same name by The Payola$, back in the early eighties at the cinema, on cable, or on VHS after being raped of most of Tom Savini's effects work(basically everything but a final head shot) by the censors to garner it's R rating, you were probably as unmoved as I was.Of course, thanks to the advent of digital versatile discs, horror fanatics of every generation are able to resdiscover this one in all its uncut g(l)ory; a decent slasher-thriller hybrid despite it's numerous instances of deja vu to earlier, more effective genre films like Wait Until Dark, Black Christmas, Halloween, and even He Knows You're Alone, whose FX tech, longtime Savini bud and Romero regular, Taso Stavrakis tackles a nearly identical head-in-a-fishtank effect, to a much less satisfying end.Problem is, the whole thing plays like a made-for-tv drama with a bit of gore and nudity thrown in(Don't start hyperventilating, you creeps, Tewes doesn't break them out here, but Vic Morrow's daughter doesn't have a problem with doing it, if only briefly), more than a typical slasher of the day.Even still, it's not a bad hour and a half, especially if finally seeing the damned thing uncut appeals to you the way it did for this guy over here.Onwards... Jennifer Jason Leigh-licious. A wildlife photographer catches the lifeless form of a half-naked young girl submerged in the mangrove swamp in his camera lens, as the rape-murder(potentially the city's third) is reported by local tv newswoman Jane Harris(Lauren Tewes) as seen on a television in a seedy bump n' grind, where a blonde waitress named Debbie(Gwen Lewis) is about to embark on a lonely walk home in the dark.At home, her screening of 'Shock Waves'(1977)(one of the director's films!) is interrupted by repeated obscene phone calls from a man who's followed her from the bar.He remarks about her bra-less cones and vows to fuck her and kill her, as well.Before the police can stop by to take a statement in the morning, her boyfriend is beheaded with a meat cleaver, and she's punched up, slapped, raped, and strangled with a belt as his disembodied head looks on from inside the fishtank.Elsewhere, Jane argues with her boyfriend about her younger psychosomatically challenged sister, Tracy(Jennifer Jason-Leigh) putting a strain on their budding relationship, before witnessing fellow tenant Stanley Herbert(John DiSanti) displaying some suspicious behaviour in the parking garage(what guy doesn't preen himself in a car window's reflection, I ask you).The radio reports the earlier murders as Tracy, blind and dumb, gropes around the kitchen for some toast then down to the laundry room.Through Jane's guilt-laden flashback, we see a pubescent Tracy abducted right in front of their house by a Russ Tamblyn lookalike.Still haunted by her inability to stop the abduction and subsequent implied trauma that followed, Jane begins to obsess about the current murders, and more specifically, her pudgy nearsighted neighbor's suspected involvement in said killings, snooping around his car in the garage like a live-action Velma Dinkley minus the tight sweater and enormous...goggles. "ZOMG!There's soooo much algae on the walls of this fish tank..." Through a call to management, she discovers his identity and location in the north tower, right across from her place.Meanwhile, Stanley's threatening to stick it into Annette, a secretary for a law firm, who happens to be working late, the way chicks often do in these movies.Before she can drive to a friend's house for the night, she's grabbed up by a stocking-headed sex fiend in the back seat of her car.When Herbert dumps her violated body out in a gravel pit, he gets his tires stuck in the mud, and the incessant engine revving that follows alerts a couple making out in a car a few yards away."Hey baby, you wanna get bottomed out in the back seat at the...gravel pit, tonight?" Okay, I'll stop.The guy stifles his shirtless tongue-joust long enough to get shivved in the neck when he goes over to offer a push out of the rut.Horrified at the sight of her boyfriend bleeding out on the passenger side window, she doesn't notice Stanley as he gives her some jugular vein-tilation with his stiletto.When Jane hears about the latest bodies being discovered in mud, she races out to scrutinize Herbert's tires, which had been covered in mud earlier, but her neighbor has already been through the car wash.Jane steals the master key to Herbert's pad and rummages around inside while he's out being creepy, being forced to dangle off the high ledge by her fingers when he returns home unexpectedly.After a movie date goes stale, she returns home to repeatedly crank call Herbert, smoking a cigarette after getting a sexual charge(!) from all the excitement.Careful Jane, you wouldn't want to force the killer to target your helpless sister while she's alone in your apartment, because you're in his looking for more clues.I think we have ourselves a tension-packed finale... "Eegads!On the night of my reefer consortium, and out of Swiffer WetJet pads!" To go along with the Shock Waves(1977) insert, a one sheet for Dawn of the Dead(1978), Savini's high water mark to that point, makes a cameo in the theater scene.Besides Waves, Wiederhorn directed Meatballs Part II(1984), Return of the Livng Dead Part II(1988), and 1993's A House in the Hills, as well as several episodes of tv's Freddy's Nightmares.Apart from tonight's review and The Doom Generation in 1995, the vast majority of Tewes' acting work has come on television shows like The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, T.J. Hooker, and Vega$.Leigh, on the other hand, would feature prominently in films like 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Easy Money(1983), The Hitcher(1986), Single White Female(1992), and Cronenberg's eXistenZ(1999).DiSanti would score roles in numerous television shows over the years, as well as appearances in movies like Hardly Working(1980) with Jerry Lewis, Hot Stuff(1979), Absence of Malice(1980), and The Star Chamber(1983)."This might seem like a crazy question...but can a cuckoo clock make music? Or does it just go 'Cuckoo!'?" With dialogue like that, and lens-dressing like Leigh and Tewes, with a few effective Savini pieces thrown in for good measure, Stranger merits a look, even if you'll probably come away from the screening with other better movies on your mind in the end.Two Wops.Worth checking out. "Captain Stubing...it's Julie...Gopher's trying to kill me!"
It's been a decalescent sixty ticks since we covered Fulci at the Wop, so I figured we'd remedy that here tonight with an underrated effort that often gets lost amidst Lucio's other films of the period, like L'aldila(1981), Paura nella città dei morti viventi(1980), and Quella villa accanto al cimitero(1981), and wrongfully so.Unlike those other titles, Gatto relies more on atmosphere and tension than perspicuous levels of grue, with an opulent gothic British setting and a cast led by excellent Irish actor Patrick Magee of 'A Clockwork Orange' fame, and supported by Mimsy Farmer, David Warbeck, and Italian genre regulars Al Cliver and Daniela Doria(who doesn't regurgitate animal entrails or get her nipples razored here).Not to say tonight's review is bereaft of Fulci's trademark violence, mind you, there's just less of it here than usual.One signature flair the maestro didn't cut back on for this production is extreme close ups of eyes, as there are numerous to be found.Maybe it had something to do with Magee's woofing eyebrows or the attempted hypnotism in the plot, loosely based on the zeugmatic short story by Poe of the same name, but I thought the peeper shots were actually pretty effective in this instance.While showing constraint in serving up bucketloads of claret to his diehard gorehound following, Fulci instead displays artistic skill in moving Sergio Salvati's camera like never before while setting up beautiful frames worth of eerie unease, and I swear there's even a choice crane shot in there, as well.Enjoying a renaissance of sorts thanks to a recent Anchor Bay release on dvd(I've never been patient enough to wait for such things, scoring the 1999 EC print years earlier), The Black Cat might not be Fulci's crowning cinematic achievement, but it's required viewing, and a satisfying one, notwithstanding. Worst of all, his policy didn't cover flaming heads through the windshield. After witnessing his black cat stow away in a car to hypnotize the driver into slamming headfirst into a parked car at high speed, we meet Miles(Patrick Magee), the eccentric town psychic, as he sits at home, intently listening to weird latin recordings spoken in a whisper, before being interrupted by the aforementioned cat violently clawing his hand.We're next introduced to American photographer Jill Trevers(Mimsy Farmer) as she documents the ruins of a local cemetery, finding a small microphone at a crypt that's been broken into.That night at the pub, she overhears the locals dismissing Miles as mad for his graveyard excursions to communicate with and record the voices of the dead.She takes the opportunity to visit Miles and return his microphone, also noticing that his feline seems to despise him, savagely clawing his hands.Later that same night, the cat follows Ferguson(Bruno Corazzari), one of Miles' detractors, as he stumbles pissed from the pub, cornering the sot in a warehouse and causing him to plummet from a gangplank to a spiky death below.When Inspector Gorley(David Warbeck) of the Yard enlists Jill to photograph the crime scene, she notices the same clawmarks on the corpse's hand as on Miles'.The cat then manages to trap an amorous young couple, Stan & Maureen, in a storehouse on the docks, where they ignominiously suffocate, half-naked.The girl's mother(Dagmar Lassander) visits Miles, begging him to use his psychic intuition to locate Maureen(Daniela Doria), even offering to re-ignite their own old flame, if need be, and gets pointed towards the storehouse, where the already decaying corpses are discovered, as well as a curious set of cat tracks in the air conditioning vent. Accupuncture.Wait, that doesn't look right. The cat then pays a visit to the grieving mother, knocking over a kerosene lamp and setting the room and woman ablaze, causing her to swandive, engulfed in flames, to the street from the third story window.The feline drops in on Gorley, too, clawing his face multiple times before influencing him to walk in front of an oncoming car.It turns out that Miles has been using the cat as a tool of vengeance against any and all who he feels have wronged him, and, confident that his enemies have been effectively smited, feeds his pet a sedative-heavy meal, throws it in a burlap bag, takes it out into the woods, and hangs it from a tree, causing a psychokinetic furniture explosion at Jill's place.Aware that Miles' cat has been responsible for all the recent gruesome deaths, she ties the remaining loose ends while snooping around the psychic's estate(she's even attacked by bats in the catacombs a la Fulci's earlier Una lucertola con la pelle di donna), earning her a wooden plank to the domepiece from the murderous senior with the wild eyebrows.He hurriedly packs a suitcase at her flat, then returns to brick her up in her cellar, when the local police pay him a visit with Sgt. Wilson(Al Cliver) and a bandaged Gorley in tow, still alive.After denying everything and claiming his cat has passed on, he and his visitors are startled to hear the echoed moan of a cat coming from downstairs.After pinpointing the location of the sounds, they take down the fresh bricks with a pick to reveal an unconscious Jill inside.The black cat also jumps out and stares down his master, who he's turned the tables on after having been used for nefarious misdeeds for so long, as Miles had earlier predicted he would.Credits. Sorry to burst in on you like that, before you've had a chance to put your face together... Also conspicuously missing from tonight's review is Fulci's obligatory cameo, though a scene where he plays a doctor ended up on the cutting room floor.The effective soundtrack is provided by Pino Donaggio, marking the only time the composer would ever work with Lucio.Magee, who lent his presence to genre films like Dementia 13(1963), The Masque of the Red Death(1964), The Skull(1965), and Tales From the Crypt(1972), would appear in The Sleep of Death(1981) and The Monster Club(1981) before succumbing the following year at the age of sixty.Mimsy Farmer appeared in Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet(1971), Armando Crispino's Macchie solari(1975), and Deodato's Camping del terrore(1987) before retiring from acting, while Warbeck scored roles in Twins of Evil(1971), L'aldila(1979), Margheriti's L'ultimo cacciatore(1980) and L'isola del tesoro(1987) before dying at the age of fifty-five in 1997.Daniela Doria turned(her toes) up in Paura nella città dei morti viventi(1980), Quella villa accanto al cimitero(1981), Lo squartatore di New York(1982), all for Fulci, and even appeared in Di Leo's Avere vent'anni(1978).Though I can see hardcore Fulci-ites balking at the lack of red stuff here, this is one cat I'm not the least bit allergic to(probably the only one), and as such, it scores an impressive three Wops on the ratings scale, and comes highly recommended.Snag yourself a copy! "If you even think of making me into a cutesy FB meme, I'll scratch your fucking eyes out."
Tonight we look at the last Chang Cheh film to feature his second stable of action stars: Kuo Chui, Lu Feng, Chiang Sheng, Sun Chien, also known as "The Venoms", in near entirety; only strongman Lo Mang is absent from the goings-on.Also on board here are Cheh regulars Chin Siu Ho, Lung Tien Hsang, Cheng Tien Chi, and Wong Lik.Cheh's cinematic efforts had become increasingly bloody and baroque by this point, as evidenced by Spearmen of Death(1980) and Masked Avengers(1981), and with tonight's feature he would push his concepts to the brink with a tale of treason and greed set during the Sung Dynasty, centered around a trap-laden pagoda of death, sort of a fancy roach motel for pugilists.Though the fights, as choreographed by the Venoms, are on par with the brilliant standard they'd established some five years earlier, there aren't a whole lot of them here to enjoy.Instead, there's plenty of confusing plot and hilarious dialogue(If I had a buck for everytime somebody mentions the titular "house of traps", I'd open a nationwide chain of martial clubs.) provided by the usual two or three ADR dubbers lending voices to every character in the movie, or so it would seem.What the production lacks in combat sequences, it makes up whenever some unwitting bastard strolls into the aforementioned house, and gets jacked up by lever-pulling, gear-turning death.Make no mistake, the cleverly brutal House of Traps is the main attraction here, and even gung fu takes a backseat to it.Still, if you're a Shaw Bros or Venom Mob completist, you'd do well to add this fitting farewell to Cheh's second stable to your martial collection, regardless.Onwards! House of Traps-1, Intruder-0. During the Sung Dynasty, a womanless era for China, apparently(there aren't any in the whole movie), the treacherous Prince of Xiang Yang(Ai Fei) conspires to usurp the throne from his uncle, while hiding stolen artifacts, lists of traitors, and incriminating documents inside an elaborately-built booby-trapped house with floors that spikes spring out of, walls that hurl spears and revolving panels that hide archers and various sword-wielding henchmen, swinging axe-edged support beams, and razor-lined stairs.The Emperor dispatches his best men to retrieve the latest theft, an antique jade sculpture, but they never make it out of the house of traps alive.Loyal to the young prince is thief, Butterfly Hua(Lu Feng), whose spear skills keep opponents from asking too many smart-assed questions about the weird doily he's got wrapped around his head.Also striving to win the usurper's favor is Black Fox(Kuo Chui), who wears a sort of furry toothache wrap around his face(Cheh never cared much for reality in his period costumes) at all times, and the two martially mix it up, one-upping each other to the delight of the prince.Meanwhile, intruders to the titular house lose the tips of their feet, get skewered on spikes, and shot full of arrows in attempting to procure the artifacts for the investigative-scholar-who's-really-Judge-Pao-in-disguise(leg fighter Sun Chien, who doesn't fight at all here).The Prince's associate-who-may-or-may-not-be-secretly-working-with-the-courts, Shen(Lung Tien Hsang), namedrops the "House of Traps" a lot in conversation.Seriously. The Black Fox(Kuo Chui) momentarily disables the Butterfly(Lu Feng)'s spear. After several scenes-worth of nefarious treachery and backstabbing of the double and triple-cross variety and head-scratchingly perplexing introduction of various heroes who meet their bloody fate in the aforementioned house, a troupe of acrobatic performers-who-are-secretly-the-infamous-gang-of-thieves-known-as-"The-Rats" descend upon the house on the Prince's birthday, to dismantle it in the name of justice, after entertaining the locals with crazy gymnastic feats and physical skills.Together with Black Fox, Bai "The Rat"(Chin Siu Ho), Jiang "the River Rat"(Chiang Sheng), Xu "the Mountain Rat"(Cheng Tien Chi), Han "the Ground Rat"(Chui Tai Ping) and Lu "the Sky Rat"(Chu Ko) use eclectic weaponry, such as an umbrella-drill and a grappling claw-on-a-stick to battle the Prince's henchmen and infiltrate the house to snare it's hidden treasures for the court.Mountain Rat gets walloped by a swinging axe-bladed support beam, while the Rat gets turned into an arrow cushion, as Black Fox and Butterfly duel to the death.Ground Rat burrows in from underneath, severing the pulley-system of ropes and levers, allowing his comrades to get to the top level and pickpocket the antiques and lists from the mechanical birdcage they've been kept in.Fox slashes Butterfly's midsection open in mid-slo mo flip, and wonders out loud about the evil at the root of man's greed.Insert signature Shaw Brothers freeze frame end title here. "How did this porcupine get into the House of Traps?" Cheh had taken this kind of film as far as it could possibly go in this direction, and after his masterpiece, Chinese Super Ninjas/Five Elemental Ninjas(1983), he would helm supernatural kung fu fantasies with colored lights, smoke, vengeful ghosts, and gaudily-garbed demi-gods who can fight on top of water and in the air, in titles like Attack of the God of Joy(1984), and The Nine Demons(1984), while his Venoms, minus Sun Chien and Lo Mang, who would stay behind with Cheh, would produce their own independent features, starting with the Kuo Chui-directed The Hero Defeating Japs(1983), starring Ti Lung and Shoji Kurata.Though Traps certainly isn't the best feature these guys put together, it's still heads and tails over what most of the other studios were churning out at the time, and stands as a pretty wild ninety-five minutes to invest, as finally served up on dvd by Image, missing some twenty minutes of footage from the rare VHS orginal, of which very few are known to exist.Speaking of traps, I'm gonna finally shut mine, and lay three big ones on tonight's review.See it. Acrobatic labonza surgery, as provided by the Black Fox's wushu sword.
With another Valentine's Day in the rearview mirror and guys everywhere teary-eyed at the sight of the smoldering pile of ashes formerly known as their self-respect and vacuous hum of empty wallets(hopefully it got you laid, at least), there's no better place to get back to what's fourth best in life(genre movies and the lamentations of your enemies' women are neck-and-neck at the time of this writing) than here at the Wop.Here's an interesting little number from the folks at Hammer, a thought-provoking twist on Robert Louis Stevenson's historic take on duality, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with Hyde taking the form of a sinister seductress, as portrayed by the lovely Martine Beswick, and unsung Hammer lead Ralph Bates as the masculine Jekyll with good intentions, as always.As well as the gender-bender angle, the film's producers managed to amalgamate two historic criminal cases, Jack the Ripper and the Burke and Hare murders of Edinburgh, into the plot, handled with a dark wit, and a seeming undercurrent of debauchery just off-camera, making for a highly enjoyable viewing experience to be had, indeed.In the chair for tonight's affair, was the prolific Roy Ward Baker, who handles the potential for graphic depiction with reservation and class in adding another minor horror classic to his flourishing genre credentials late in his career with Hammer and a year later, Amicus.I always thought Bates was quite good during his tenure with the studio, and he's once again strong here as Jekyll.Beswick also exudes an aura of danger about her, during her scenes, chewing scenery in every frame.Gore fanatics will be pretty underwhelmed(pretty tame stuff considering all the whore-rippin' goin' on), as per usual with Hammer, but find solace in all the implied violence within.Pressing ahead.... Distressed by the blade at her breast, this working girl's laid to rest. Jekyll(Ralph Bates), faced with the harsh reality that his research towards a cure-all for mankind's ailments might take decades to come to fruition, sets his sights considerably lower for the time being: an elixir of eternal youth, created from female hormones as extracted from the corpses of dead prostitutes.Makes sense.After extending the life of a common housefly past hours and into days, Jekyll finds himself visiting the likes of Burke and Hare for his "materials" when they become increasingly harder to come by through natural means.Dodging the advances of lovestruck upstairs tenant, Susan Spencer(Susan Brodrick), he tests his formula upon himself, physically transforming into Hyde(Martine Beswick), a beautiful brunette woman who introduces herself to his neighbors as a widowed sister, after first playing with her tits in the mirror and laughing maniacally.My kinda dame.Naturally, Susan's brother, Howard(Lewis Fiander), is instantly taken by the alluring beauty(and not impressed at all by Jekyll, if he only knew who he'd be kissing later on...), who has already begun taking over Jekyll's personality, as evidenced by the number of gowns and frocks being delivered to his apartment.Must be how Eddie Izzard got his start, eh.Unable to resist the urge to change and low on whore-bits, Jekyll receives another wrench to his experiments when an angry mob sets upon Burke and Hare for their fiendish crimes, lynching the former and blinding the latter, forcing the good doctor to frequent the Whitechapel area at night himself for his...ahem, supplies, when Susan remarks about the needs of the many outweighing the suffering of a select few. Fanky set o' malloons for the homicidal half, Sister Hyde(Martine Beswick). When Jekyll's old friend and colleague, the womanizing Professor Robertson(Gerald Sim), begins to suspect that he's responsible for all the Whitechapel ripping, Henry is forced to loose his sociopathic feminine side on the streetwalkers.Of course, this is an unpleasant means to an end for Jekyll's progress, while the cigar-smoking Hyde takes sadistic pleasure in the killings, which are carried out with surgical precision.Hyde finds her power over men and women alike very intoxicating, with Howard and Robertson vying for her affections and various nameless hookers dying under her surgical implements. Jekyll finds it increasingly difficult to control his female outbreaks which occur at the least opportune times, having finally tuned in to Susan's romantic vibe(I'd imagine one of your hands going feminine while you're entertaining female company's gotta be right up there with sprouting a 16 oz facial pimple on prom night).After seducing Robertson, who's still got the notion that his old chum has blood on his hands, she erases him from the equation, and, with unbridled lust for Howard, she plans on removing Susan, as well.Though Henry manages to stymie sister Hyde in killing his love interest, he realizes he must kill again to regulate his chaotic transformations, but the constabulary interrupts him, acting on a statement from the blinded Hare that draws upon the similarity between Jekyll's experiments and the recent rash of murders.Cornered like a wild animal, Jekyll finds himself precariously dangling from the rooftop of a high building when he's suddenly gripped by a metamorphosis into Hyde, who's simply too weak to hold on, and plummets to her end on the pavement below, her face showing masculine and feminine features in death.Credits. Cor!You ought to wear a bib when you get into the preserves like 'at. Ward Baker would direct such Hammer classics as Quartermass and the Pit(1966), Scars of Dracula(1970), and Vampire Lovers(1970), before helming Asylum(1972) and Vault of Horror(1973) for Amicus.Bates, who portrayed Gaius Caligula on BBC's The Caesars series(no wonder I like the guy), would also star in Taste the Blood of Dracula(1970), Horror of Frankenstein(1970), Lust for a Vampire(1971), and Fear in the Night(1972) for Hammer, before succumbing to pancreatic cancer at the age of 51.The Jamaican-born Beswick made a name for herself in two Bond films, From Russia With Love(1963) and Thunderball(1965), later starring in Hammer's Prehistoric Women(1967) and Oliver Stone's debut Seizure(1974), and scoring genre credits in 1987's The Offspring, 1990's Evil Spirits, and Critters 4(1991) after moving to Hollywood.Susan Brodrick's only other genre credit was Hammer's Countess Dracula(1971), while Sim turned up in fare like Dr. Phibes Rises Again(1972) and Hitchock's Frenzy(1972) in his long career.On the scale, Sister Hyde scores three Wops, a solid all-around effort, and certainly one of the stronger late entries for Hammer.Recommended. Rotten good luck that there's no one who fits that description 'round these parts, eh wot?
Tonight's review, not to be confused with the Activision Atari 2600 cartridge of the same name(Yeah, I scored a million on it back in the day, what's up, bitches.), was all over the pages of Famous Monsters and Starlog growing up, and with glorious color pictures of Dave Allen's stop motion alien handiwork fresh in my recent memory, I bought the Media VHS print when perhaps fifteen titles on video existed in total.Sort of a bullied-Mark Hamill-lookalike-finds-a-cheap-looking-laser-weapon-in-the-desert-and-blows-lots-of-shit-up-with-it movie, cheap n' silly, with lots of genre value and a cast comprised of former Jeff Beck frontman, Kim Milford, Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith, Roddy McDowall, Keenan Wynn, and longtime cinematic nerd, Eddie Deezen in his film debut, as...yeah, the gangly, obnoxious nerd he always plays.There's a shocker.Despite having the dubious distinction of being "the worst sci-fi movie ever made" in some circles, it really isn't all that bad, once you put aside the badly matched laser explosions, one-time director Michael Rae's uncanny ability to make explosions seem boring, the hokey alien makeup fx by Steve Neill, the plastic space-weapon(that resembles one of those NERF cannons they were pimping years ago) and matching intergalactic grenade necklace, Gianni Russo as a poor man's Dirty Harry with a peacock's ass worth of leisure suits...okay, okay, the movie sucks, but it's a bad that could be enjoyable to revisit every ten or fifteen years, perhaps, and here's to hoping I'm partying with Keith Moon by the time the next screening rolls around.Two sci-fi reviews in the same month?What the hell is going on here.Onwards! Yup, Eddie Deezen just burned you.How's that feel right about now... We see a green-tinged gent(fx man Steve Neill in a cameo) with a laser cannon on his arm being pursued by a spacecraft, whose occupants are turtle-aliens in gold and silver lame' gloves n' boots, respectively, and who zap the piss out of their greenish target and abruptly blow the earthly clambake for space, leaving the weapon and gaudy necklace combo behind in the smoldering pile of ashes in the desert sand.Enter Billy Duncan(Kim Milford), a Luke Skywalker-looking chap who's constantly getting mucked about by everybody, as in the town's two drawl-spittin', jibber-reefin' deputies(Dennis Burkley, Barry Cutler), his girlfriend Kathy(Cheryl Smith)'s shellshocked grandfather, Colonel Farley(Keenan Wynn), and even local gearhead/rapist, Chuck(Mike Bobenko) and his wiry weenbag pal, Froggy(Eddie Deezen).If a guy like Froggy is harrassing you, well, you'd better score yourself a sweet intergalactic weapon of mass destruction while feeling sorry for yourself and kicking around the dust bowl, which is exactly what Billy does.He finds that when he dons the ugly pendant that accopanies it(and looks like something you'd find around the neck of Joanne Worley on an episode of "Love:American Style!"), the cannon obliterates all in its path, with a cheap slo-mo explosion sequence, to boot.Back aboard the spacecraft, the aliens are alerted to the weapon's misuse by their leader via a video screen playback of Billy shooting up tumbleweeds and the like, and they turn their ship around, new mission in place.After Billy takes it upon himself to blow up Chuck's convertible real good after he and Froggy try to spring some surprise sex on Kathy at a groovy pool party, the scene is made by Tony Craig(Gianni Russo), a government agent who puts the town on lockdown, from the smart comfort of a leisure suit. "Dispose of that infernal weapon...and bring me some lettuce..." After Kathy discovers the strange inflamed growth on his chest while tonsil-jousting in the grass with him like a couple of Dead show stragglers, Billy visits Dr. Mellon(Roddy McDowall) who surgically removes a small metallic disc from the wound, but gets blown up before he can deliver it to the local police lab tech(Mark the McDowall electric bill:paid).Craig investigates the crash scene and skirts away the perplexing metal to the tech, who determines that it is indestructible, of otherworldly origins, and redeemable for six coin-op arcade games of your choice at participating Top Dog chain restaurants.Just kidding.The next day, Kathy unwittingly props the space grenade on her boyfriend's chest while they're rolling around in the grass again, this time causing him to spring up from the blanket, green-grilled with pointy teeth and colored contacts.Now you've done it, woman.Billy goes on a drawn-out laser-fuelled vendetta against everyone and everything, from gas stations and police cruisers to cherry '55 Chevys and cheap billboards announcing the coming of "Star Wars" to theaters(get it?ehhhh).Craig and Kathy trail him into town, where he's been prancing around, laser-cannoning junk cars and newsstands, slo-mo victory jumping, until the aliens make the scene and blast him with a pleasantly pink-blue destructo ray from a matte painting of the city buildings, effectively killing him and destroying the weapon, before breaking the fuck out like poison sumac, in the process.Scrolling futuristic end credits interrupt Kathy, weeping over the lifeless body of her boyfriend on the street. "Did I really use that much electricity this month?" thinks Roddy McDowall. Rae never directed anything else, for those of you that think we've got nothing to be thankful for these days.Milford would ironically play the antagonist to Mark Hamill's lead in Corvette Summer(1978), before succumbing prematurely of heart failure at thirty-seven in 1988.Rainbeaux Smith, always one of my favorites, would follow up her panning here at the fingers of vicious movie critics(leave mah Rainbeaux alone, ye bastards) with roles in Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke(1979), and Vice Squad(1982), before succumbing herself in 2002 due to complications from liver disease and hepatitis from her long-standing problems with heroin.We'll be looking at another feature with McDowall, another favorite of mine, later this month.Then there's Eddie Deezen.Grease(1978), Grease 2(1982), 1941(1979), Wargames(1983), Zapped!(1982), if there's a late seventies/early eighties social misfit in the script, chances are, he's it.After cutting his stop-motion teeth in Equinox(1970), David Allen would lend his talents to films like Flesh Gordon(1976), The Howling(1980), Caveman(1981), and Q(1982).As you woprophiles might have figured, Laserblast earns a single Wop on the ratings scale(I never go too hard on the seventies stuff, old softie that I am), for Allen's excellent stop-motion alien footage, and schlocky fun all around. Weeeeee-ooooooooo!Sumbitchin' gas station blowed up real good, dadgummit.
Upon seeing the trailer for tonight's review, I turned to my associates and evoked the rite of "callsies" for our next trip to the cinema, it visibly being no clone of Skyline(2010) or Battle Los Angeles(2011), which would cause it to fall outside my genre jurisdiction, and thus, fieldable by the Doctor, who, indeed, grooveth upon the space fodder out of us.As most of the regular readers already know, the films that tend to get labelled "demonic possession" films are usually the ones I get the biggest kicks out of.The more over the top the exorcism criteria, the more my dimples get to poppin'.I could tell ten seconds into the aforementioned trailer what I was gonna be in for with this one, the second effort in the chair from Bell, with lots of Cannibal Holocaust-style found footage and unholy hijinks, and after sawing logs three quarters of the way through Sir Anthony Hopkins bleccch-xorcist copy, The Rite(2011), it was just what ol' B-Dub ordered.Sure, there's nothing much original about Inside, and it borrows heavily from prior less-is-more basement budgeted documentary-style flicks like Blair Witch Project(1999) and Paranormal Activity(2007), but there's plenty of joint-locking, ancient language-speaking, blasphemy-growling chicks with over-dilated pupils skittering in and out of the shaky handheld darkness here, if that's your bag, too, and really, why wouldn't it be.Why wouldn't it be.Despite being panned by critics and moviegoers alike early on, the movie still managed to gross nearly fifty-seven million after topping the box office with a strong opening weekend, proving many of us are just as succeptible to devil women as Cliff Richard was back in 1976.Forwards... Baby, you had me when you crawled in upside down, screaming "Non Salvus!" in a chorus of baritone voices. Twenty years earlier on the night of October 30th, Maria Rossi(Suzan Crowley) committed a triple murder while undergoing an exorcism, having spent the past two decades locked away in a psychiatric hospital under Catholic care in Rome.In the present, Rossi's daughter, Isabella(Fernanda Andrade) is producing a documentary on exorcisms, and looking to better understand what happened to her mother all those years ago in the process.After visiting a Vatican-approved exorcism school in Rome, she joins forces with two young priests, Ben(Simon Quarterman) and David(Evan Helmuth), who perform the rites regularly, tagging along as they continue to try to exorcise the demons from a young joint-locked unfortunate named Rosalita(Bonnie Morgan), using modern medical equipment to document her body functions, such as pupil dilation, to help discern whether she suffers from true demonic possession or merely some undetermined mental illness.Rosalita spouts blasphemies in various voices and languages before attacking the film crew, and even calls Isabella by name, despite having never met her.The young woman musters up the guts to visit her mother at the asylum, only to be met with a cell's worth of obsessive paintings and a mammy who's decked herself out in gouged inverted crosses that whispers to her daughter of the murder of children and God's will before letting loose with a wits-rattling shriek.You crazy hot old bitch you. I saw that coming and you still managed to jostle my popcorn bag.Isabella tells the priests that she underwent an abortion some time earlier, and that her mother, institutionalized like Mike Muir, had no way of knowing that tidbit. "If you'll excuse me, I have a drowning to attempt, errr, baptism to oversee." With mounting evidence of demonic possession, or, as I like to call it, "aggressively sexy/horny", the priests move ahead with plans of an unauthorized exorcism for Maria, during which she spouts off about "knowing what Ben did" and her daughter's unborn child, before breaking the fuck loose from her restraints and treating both holy men like soft punks, earning some yummy vein sleep-candy from the doctors who rush in afterwards.Ben agonizingly scrutinizes the audio from their session, managing to discern multiple demonic voices speaking in unison during one exchange.Meanwhile, David is performing a baptism for a newborn when he suddenly takes the immersion slightly too literally, and tries drowning the baby in holy water(!) before passing the fuck out, it having been a service of great energy expenditure, little droogies.Later at home, in the throes of possession himself now, obviously, he'll blow his own brains out with a ganked officer's service revolver just as Isabella goes into seizure.At the hospital, Ben sees mortally wounded emergency room nurses as possible evidence that Isabella is also possessed at this point.Certainly a theory, right?Together with Michael, he leaves in a car with her to get her a much-needed emergency exorcism, but she manages to creep him out with talk of that "thing he did" and tries to force Michael to crash the car.Moments later, Michael's also looking pretty possessed as he drives headlong into oncoming traffic, and the video cuts out after the vehicle flips several times.Cue: unsolved case/phony website info before the credits roll. "No! Not the bore worms!" Fernanda Andrade, apart from being lovely and Brazilian, worked almost exclusively on television before landing a role in tonight's review, on shows like CSI:Miami, CSI:NY, Law and Order:LA, and Sons of Anarchy.We dig her, highly.Evan Helmuth has also done a lot of work in television, video games, and movies like Garfield(2004).Suzan Crowley has appeared in BBC fare like Grange Hill, The Knock, and Backup, while director Bell took the chair for 2006's genre entry, Stay Alive, prior to tonight's review.I'd file Devil Inside somewhere behind The Last Exorcism(2007) but well in front of The Rite(2011), in terms of effective recent supernatural chills.There's just something inherently cool about losing control of one's body and soul to an agent of pure evil, and when it's a female of the species, well then, I'm gonna need some quality alone time, if you follow me.An overall mediocre affair, but an enjoyable one thats chock full of jump scares and atmosphere, especially if demonism and possession are your bag.On the scale, Inside earns a score of Two biggies.Worth a look. Another one with twist fever and a double case of guitar blues.
I could seriously spend the next four paragraphs describing in vivid detail how thoroughly tonight's review sucks.In fact, the last time I experienced sucking of this magnitude, I felt compelled to buy her fucking roses afterwards(Don't get excited, I didn't). The latest casualty of Hollywood's recent shameful cheap buck remake pitch is none other than Wes Craven's 1972 cult classic, Last House on the Left, another movie that probably should have been left well enough alone, despite being a low budget remake of Bergman itself.At the very least, if you're gonna tackle a remake of this magnitude, try to pay homage to the original by doing it some justice with respect to its fanbase, instead of leaving it in the ineffectual mitts of those eventually responsible for such an ephemeral mess as this.Though I wasn't a big fan of the tweaks in the new script, apart from the complete ommission of the bumbling cops storyline(and the less I have to see close-ups of cackling toothless chicken-tending hags, the better), the fault clearly lies in the casting.Looking at the updated Krug and company, as portrayed by Garret Dillahunt, Aaron Paul, Riki Lindhome, and Spencer Treat Clark, respectively, leaves me thinking the worst crime any of these cats would ever commit would be pirating internet connection off of an upstairs neighbor.The original cast had a vérité scumbag vibe that permeated every frame they occupied, that frankly, still makes me a little itchy whenever I watch it today.What Iliadis has created here is less edgy than a jam spreader, little more than a glorified episode of Dawson's Creek with a few uninspired gore set pieces.Don't even get me started about the friggin' microwave... "Help! I'm being shanked up by soap opera actors!" After a daring escape from police custody orchestrated by his lanky squeeze, Sadie(Riki Lindhome) leaves two transporting officers dead, Krug(Garret Dillahunt), Francis(Aaron Paul), and company hole up in a nearby hotel room where Krug's son, Justin(Spencer Treat Clark) has been entertaining two teenaged girls, Mari(Sara Paxton) and Paige(Martha MacIsaac), with his boyish charms and his seedless stinky buds.With Krug's grill all over the local paper, they decide to take the girls hostage, jacking their vehicle to flee the state.As cruisers speed past them and Krug searching for the road to the highway, Mari directs him down the road to her parents' summer home on the lake, instead.She puts the vehicle's cigarette lighter out in Sadie's face in an attempt to distract her kidnappers long enough to jump out, which culminates in the front end wrapped around a tree and a hearty beating from Krug and his furious, disfigured arm decoration.Krug tries to force his son to score some cheap grope-jollies off of the terrified girls, but decides to impose some surprise sex on Mari himself, instead, when the boy is reluctant.Paige deducts that insulting the would-be rapist is the protocol for getting him to leave her girlfriend alone.She turns out to be wrong, mistaking the procedure for getting repeatedly stabbed in the labonza by Krug and Francis for it.Mari watches Paige bleed out on the ground a few feet away while she's assaulted by the leader, who shoots her in the back afterwards when she tries to swim away to safety.A coming storm forces the fugitives to the nearby house of John and Emma(Tony Goldwyn, Monica Potter), the parents of the girl they've just left floating in the lake to die. It's barely a movie.It's barely a movie.It's barely a movie... At the house, Justin realizes exactly who his family's hosts are, and is instantly wracked with guilt, leaving Mari's necklace on the counter for her parents to find later.That night, John and Emma find their daughter, barely clinging to life, slumped on the porch after having swum and crawled from the lake in a seriously wounded state.Her father, a doctor, performs some impromptu dining room table surgery to alieviate her suffering, then later plants a hammer's claw into Francis' skull after jamming his mitt into the trash compactor in the sink drain.When the couple goes into the bedroom to finish off Krug and Sadie, they find Justin holding his old man's burner.He gives the doctor the gun, but Sadie awakens and distracts the vengeful father long enough for Krug to high tail it outta there.Emma puts lead in Sadie's loaf while her husband hunts down the gang's leader, who eventually gets K.T.F.O.ed by his own son(can you imagine the schoolyard chants that woulda grown outta something like this?)and Mari's desperate folks, who speed away in a boat towards medical care for their daughter.Krug, on the other hand, rendered paralyzed by the good doctor, lies with his head precariously laid on the tray of an open microwave that John has impossibly rigged to nuke the villain's head even with the door ajar.One exploding dome later and Death in Vegas takes us into the end credits. Palmolive dishwashing liquid? Why, you're soaking in it. I'm not surprised by the fact that I hated this boring plate of re-re-heated leftovers, as I'd once told the real Krug that it was destined to be a trainwreck that I'd never willingly sit through(Sorry, Hess, wherever you are, I finally gave in for the sake of a good laugh).What surprises me is how many of you out there actually dig this mess:The fact that this actually has a higher user rating on imdb than the Craven original(6.6 to 5.9) currently does is proof positive that a lot of people out there these days like their horror movies glossed over with bad guys that look like a perturbed Burger King manager, his cashier, and the respective fries jock, and neutered with no scares or tension to speak of and obligatory happy ending.I reiterate.Even without the inevitable comparison to the 1972 film, Iliadis' movie is about as tense as two kittens wrestling on a yarn afghan, relying on antagonists who are as threatening as a skinned knee.His earlier effort, 2004's Hardcore, about two Greek chicks in a brothel, looks entirely more interesting than this ended up being.Zero biggies on the scale for you, Last House, in the hope that you really are the last Last House I'll ever have to visit.Skip altogether, if you know what's good for you. Lazy revenge:Sure, half of his face'll be exploded, but the other half is bound to turn out all rubbery and overcooked.
It's pretty rare that I'll tackle a sci-fi movie, as most of you know, but when faced with this 1980 low budget comedy as directed by the man who brought you The Incredible Melting Man(1977) and starring whisk broom-lipped Avery Schreiber, aka/ "The Doritos Guy", and statuesque 1980 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Dorothy Stratten, well, how could I resist something like that.The twenty year old Stratten would be famously raped, murdered, and abused post mortem by her estranged husband, small time pimp/hustler/male strip club entrepreneur/exercise bench salesman(there's a resume), Paul Snider, later the same year, leaving behind a small body of film and television work to remember her by.New York Times film critic Vincent Canby dug her screen presence.Hugh Hefner believed she could have crossed over as a successful actress.Nothing personal, fellas, but for as beautiful as she was, she had a hard time portraying a lycra-clad robot that was silent for better than half of the movie, ferchrissakes.I can see her scoring a few "Busty Rollergirl #2"s in low budget sex comedies and some iconic pin ups had Snider done her solid and let her split that fateful day, but it's safe to say she would have never given Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren any sleepless nights.Accompanying Ms. Stratten to Davy Jones' Locker here are Avery Schreiber, who treats the whole affair like a ninety-five minute long Doritos commercial from the seventies(like this, for those unfortunates who were born too late), soap regular Stephen Macht, and J.D. Hinton, who you'll remember as an extra in Andrew Stevens' direct-to-video Night Eyes 3(1993).In between all the miss-and-miss jokes, there's a Party City-worth of latex Halloween masks and rubbery fx provided by Chris Walas, whose work would score big in Cronenburg's Scanners the following year.Onwards! I never got a rail-on over C-3PO. Advantage: Galaxina(Dorothy Stratten). Aboard a dick-shaped intergalactic police cruiser out looking for speeders, are Captain Cornelius Butt(Avery Schreiber) and his motley crew of miscreants:the row machine-addicted, cigar-chomping Sgt. Thor(Stephen Macht), the bong-hitting cowboy, Buzz(J.D. Hinton), the bat-eared n' winged engineer, Maurice, an old proverb-spouting Asian named Sam Wo (Tad Horino), and of course, Galaxina(Dorothy Stratten), the voluptuous silent android in a white body suit with plastic windows sewn in for her abundant cleavage, and radio transistors behind a skin flap in her hand, as we're shown ad nauseum.The space cops exchange some inanities with a robotic rogue with flashing light up eyes and mouth named Ordric in a hawk-shaped space ship, and Butt trades insults with an imprisoned rock eater with a Yiddish accent.At the dinner table, Buzz flips his superior a miniature Alien(1979) rip-off egg, which he cracks open and drinks, causing him to choke and catch a fake beating from his crewmates, until he finally spits a rubbery creature out of his mouth that skitters off across the table out of sight.Thor tries grabbing Galaxina's ass and gets shocked, then plants one on her, causing her to rewire her own circuitry to make herself more appealing to him, with features like temperature adjustment to make her warm to a human touch and speech.Probably should have just stopped with spinning around in your countoured chair and the warm skin thing, sweetheart. Never trust a Butt(Avery Schreiber) with egg on his face. The boys receive a mission that requires a twenty-seven year journey, and thus a lengthy bout with the cruiser's cryosleep chambers, after an evening stop-off at an alien whorehouse on an asteroid for good measure.Oh, the one-liners.Somebody make them stop.Later, on Alta, or as it's sometimes known around the galaxy, the "western movie set full of people in rubber Halloween masks", Galaxina is forced to retrieve an energy source called the "blue star", which comes with a divine orchestral choir anytime anybody mentions it, which is probably like every third line of dialogue from here on out, mind you.She stops off at a saloon that promises "human food", only to discover that humans comprise the unfunny menu items, and an awful Mr. Spock clone with withered ears tending bar.She has a laser showdown at high noon with Ordric, and is taken prisoner by a cult of humans whose God is a bike named Harley Davidson, which they dance around.With Butt aged prematurely by the grown up alien-who-thinks-he's-it's-mother(famous dwarf Angelo Rossito) monkeying with the cryosleep controls and looking like one of the Hair Bears, it's up to Thor and Buzz to rescue the android, and much red filtered motorcycle with sidecar footage ensues.Back on the cruiser, the entire crew is thrown in the brig with the rock eater by Ordric, who gets his ass bitten out by the alien creature fixated with Cap'n Butt, and short circuits.Wow, is that the time already? Same thing happened to me one time I bogarted this Wonka cat's blueberry kush. Besides Melting Man, Sachs also helmed the drive-in-friendly Van Nuys Blvd.(1979), and crypto-documentary The Force Beyond(1978), among others.Apart from Doritos commercials, Schreiber, who most of you will remember as Cap'n Manzini from the hit tv comedy, My Mother The Car(1965)(I'm joking), was all over television and the movies in the seventies, appearing in things like Silent Scream(1980) and Caveman(1981), and voicework for cartoons, like Here Comes the Grump(1969), with Rip Taylor, of all motherfuckers.Apart from small cameos in things like Skatetown USA(1979) and Fantasy Island, Stratten also appeared in Peter Bogdanovich's They All Laughed.Looking at Dorothy Stratten in skin-tight bodysuits and leg warmers isn't a bad way to spend ten minutes, but there's little else here to see, you'd think the producers would have at least had the common decency to let her break that beauteous body out from it's datedly spacey confines once or twice along the way.Rhonda "Up All Night" Shear is in there somewhere, too, if you're eagle-eyed enough to spot her.On the scale, a single Biggie for Galaxina, a direct result of not being very much fun to watch at all.Avoid. What's wrong, you look tits, uhhh, err, concerned.
When I first heard Guillermo Del Toro's name was attached to the much ballyhooed remake of the unforgettable 1974 made-for-tv cult classic that provides us with an entry tonight, I was cautiously optimistic for a minute there.Afterall, Del Toro has proven time and time again that he's a filmmaker with a artistic vision and style all his own, and if anybody of late could successfully recreate the terror of the original, I'd probably put a bundle down on him.On the other hand, it wasn't difficult seeing him mount up on the whole fairytale/storybook angle and ride it into the unfrightening dust, if left to his own devices, either.I'm here to report that he's mostly accomplished the latter here, though the film itself isn't terrible;Comic book artist-turned-film director Troy Nixey does offer up some of the lush visuals we've come to expect from a Del Toro production, and the film is choice to look at, it's just that the scares that were abound in '74 are nowhere to be found in '11.Can't let Bailee Madison shoulder any of the blame in her portrayal of the now-youngster Sally(an interesting twist), she does a remarkable job purveying the mixed-up emotions of a complex kid, and is probably my favorite aspect of the movie overall.Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce both give adequate turns as the little girl's grown up interaction as well, it's probably the (unneccessary) exposition-heavy script that anchors their boat in mundane waters.I wasn't crazy about the creature design either, being overtaken in the basement by a wave of cartoon mice with eighteenth century British graverobber-esque human heads sounds a lot better than it actually comes off on the screen.For serious... "Aren't you hitched to that Mapother weirdo that spazzed out all over Oprah's couch?" Through a flashback, we see Lord Blackwood eighty-six his housekeeper with a hammer and chisel, offering her teeth to unseen entities that dwell in the ash pit of a fireplace in the basement of his spacious mansion in hopes they'll return his kidnapped son.After specifying that it's children's teeth they dig the most, they tug the brokenhearted wildlife painter down into the pit.One title sequence later, we're introduced to Sally(Bailee Madison), an Adderall-chewing eight year old who's arrived in Rhode Island to live at Blackwood Manor while her father, Alex(Guy Pearce), and his girlfriend, Kim(Katie Holmes) restore the old place for the real estate market.That first night, Sally's carousel nightlight tune rouses the creatures from their long slumber, and the next day, she discovers the basement skylight, hidden by overgrown foliage outside, spurring on a cautionary scolding by Mr. Harris(Jack Thompson), not to enter the basement.Nobody listens to him, of course.Sally, depressed and lonely, uses Harris' tools to open the grating on the fireplace's ash pit, curious to meet the tiny creatures who've been whispering her name.Inside she finds a tooth, which she places under her pillow, that the creatures later replace with an antique silver coin.They steal her father's straight razor and shred one of Kim's dresses, which the little girl is blamed for.When Alex and Kim go into town on business, Sally uses the opportunity to go down to the basement to talk to the little beasties, but is interrupted by Mr. Harris, who sends her upstairs and tries vainly to bolt the ash pit shut, but is overtaken by a small ocean of the blasted things, who use his own tools to slash him up but good.Alex arranges for Sally to see a therapist, as her encounters with the basement fairies become more and more frightening, and she sketches one of them as it appears to her under the sheets of her bed. I think I see one of Al Capone's old wine bottles through the grating... Kim visits Mr. Harris, who's recovering in the hospital, about Sally's wild stories, and is directed by the frightened man to the local library to seek out Lord Blackwood's unpublished works, which reveal artwork depicting the menacing little tooth fairies(Scared yet?Me neither.), who enjoy transforming humans into one of their own from time to time.Meanwhile, Sally is harrassed in the bathtub by one of the fairies, who turns out to be Lord Blackwood himself, boasting that he and his minions will take the child and make her one of his own.Kim uncovers a large mural in the basement of the unearthly things making off with Blackwood's son, as painted by the artist himself.Of course, Alex is unfazed by all of this, concerned only with impressing his boss Mr. Jacoby(Alan Dale) at a hosted dinner, until the creatures trap his daughter in the library, as she uses her camera flash to keep them at bay; the bright light hurting their itty-bitty eyes.Awww.Finally convinced that his daughter's life is in jeopardy if they stay, Alex packs up and planbs to split with Kim and Sally in tow, but the fairies kibosh that notion, and hogtie little Sally, dragging her down to the basement.Kim comes to the rescue, cutting the girl loose, but getting tangled in the ropes in the process, and ultimately, shattering her leg as the beasties drag her down into the ash pit instead.Sally, distraught over the loss, brains Lord Blackwood with a flashlight, just as Alex manages to make the scene in time to mourn the loss of his girlfriend with his daughter.After some time has passed, we see Alex and Sally visiting the abandoned mansion, where Sally leaves a drawing of Kim on the floor, which is taken up by a gust of wind and whisked into the fireplace where we hear Kim telling her new pals that they've got all the time in the world to wait for another victim. Didn't they uncover a mural very similar to this on Penn State's main campus?Oof. If you're into Katie Holmes, you're better off checking her out in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins(2005) or Sam Raimi's The Gift(2000) if it's her bobblers you fancy seeing(nice as they are, they don't save that particular flick from being any less boring, I'm not afraid to tell you).Pearce is better represented in L.A. Confidential(1997) and 1999 genre fave/cult cannibal hit, Ravenous.Nixey understandably drew inspiration for his creatures from sand puppies(!), while Del Toro once again went to the fairy(!!) well for subject matter, all of which might be terrifying to you...if you're a skirt-wearing Nancy.Though I've given the Dark remake two Wops, a score it deserves, no doubt, it has to be looked at as an overall disappointment in comparison with the original, which accomplished so much more with less.Softer core horror nuts might be taken by Del Toro's beautiful visual style, but substance is non-existent here.See the original instead, and if you're up for a decent tooth fairy-flick, see:Jonathan Liebesman's Darkness Falls(2003).The scariest thing I can imagine at this point, would be having to sit through this one again.Two biggies. "Is it just a trick of the light, or isss the ceiiiilin' peeeeeeelin'?!"