Tag Archives: movie reviews

Harpoon (a.k.a. Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre) Movie Review

6 Apr

Harpoon (Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre) (2009)
review by Illumin-Arte

Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre_poster02

Directed by: Júlíus Kemp
Starring: Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir
Miranda Hennessy (Marie Anne)
Gunnar Hansen (Captain Petur)

” Twelve passengers set sailed that day for a three hour cruise, a three hour cruise”.
I just finished watching this little Icelandic gem, and I have to say it wasn’t a bad movie. A lot of it was your generic formulated slasher flick this time on boats while on a whale watch in Iceland. The inbred hillbillies who are usually in such flicks, are taken out of the hills, and put in the water for this movie (to borrow a term used in IMDB “fishbillies”).

It starts like all the formulated slasher flicks of its kind, but instead of a group of friends, it’s a group of tourists, from all parts of the world, who are there for a whale watch vacation. Unfortunately there was not enough time, or effort, on the scriptwriter’s, or director’s part to build any relationship between the viewers and characters, so like in a lot of the less successful films in this particular genre you just didn’t care. You didn’t care for the innocents that are being killed, or the fishbillies, that are doing the killing. So at this point, and hopefully without spoilers, I will start at the beginning of this meza meza, maniacal, murder, movie.

At the beginning all the tourist gather on the dock for the big whale watch, it is your typical diverse group you find in a lot of movies (and I don’t in anyway want to sound racist), but there is an unusual way the Icelandic people have of representing (or should I say the stereotyping of nationalities). I don’t want to go into detail with each and everyone in the group because it would just take too long, so instead I will give you just an example of what I mean, there was the domineering Japanese husband with lines like (and I write this just like he says it) ” so solly for my dumb stupid, ugry wife”, his subservient wife, and their girl servant, there is the black guy complete with Jamacian accent who’s gay (so they covered two birds with one stone) the typical air-headed blondes, three butch German women, and one very obnoxious French men (  a constant reminder of why the rest of the world dislike the French).  There is the whale watch captain, complete with white hair and beard and weather worn face played by believe it or not Gunnar Hansen

LeatherFaceGunnar
(uncanny resemblance)

For those hardcore horror fans you know the name, for those who don’t Gunnar Hansen played the original leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, only this time he does the dying (due inadvertently to the frenchman). There is also his mate who turns out to be a rapist, and a coward, who screws with the only lifeboat, when it’s needed most. But wait there’s more, now the moment we’ve all been waiting for….. herrrres the fishbillies.

Harpoon-The-Reykjavik-Whale-Watching-Massacre

To make a long intro short when the Capt. died and the mate screwed, they used the radio to call for help, the fishbillies intercept the call, and one of them shows up in a small boat. They think they are rescued, but instead of taking them to a dock he takes them to his big ole boat. The fishbillies are your typical inbred family; a mother, the muscle, and the hunchback who thinks he is the ladies man. We find out that the reason they kill and torture everyone is because they blame the tourists for the fact that there is no more whale hunting in Iceland,(thank you Greenpeace or like the hunchback says greenpiss), and they have been lowered to making handmade souvenirs for the whale watching tourists, well that and they’re also freaking psycho.  As usual there are as few spoilers in my review as possible, so what happens on the boat you have to, rent the movie, or watch it on instant viewing to see the outcome.

The cool thing about this movie and here it comes (I said a few lines ago I don’t do this type of thing I lied so sorry).

***ENDING SPOILER ENDING SPOILER***

They all die except for one who turns out to be as bad as the fishbillies and you don’t expect who it is, ironically the black man dies like the hero in George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead’s twist ending, one dies Open Water style, and one gets an Orca revenge, this whole ending made the movie worth watching.

I give this movie 2 1/2 bums up

 

-Photo(s) used are property of Kisi Productions and Bryanston Pictures respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.

“Frozen” movie review

10 Nov

Frozen (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

frozen-movie-poster
Directed and Written: Adam Green
Starring: Emma Bell ( as Parker O’Neil )
Shawn Ashmore ( as Joe Lynch)
Kevin Zegers ( as Dan Walker)

The overall premise of Frozen is Open Water on a ski lift. I found the characters in this film very one dimensional, and I really didn’t get the chance to form an attachment to any of them. I did find them portrayed like all Hollywood twenty-somethings; looking down at everyone except those in their little circle of friends, immediately alienating everyone else around them.

The movie starts with the 3 of them  at the ski lodge, and not wanting to pay full price for the lift ticket. So let’s send the blonde to flirt with the lift operator and get the tickets cheaper without waiting in line (they are too good for that and the world is full of shortcuts).

But I digress, you will find in my reviews I like to rant so bear with me I usually keep it short and to the point.

The story-line in Frozen was not bad and quite believable the way the circumstances happened that lead to them being left alone on the ski lift. I won’t go into to any spoilers for the ones who want to watch this for themselves and form their own opinion.

All this being said and done the rest of the movie goes downhill, just like all the skiers and snowboarders. Only not as fast and with much less intensity.    After about a half hour of watching them on the lift, I was cheering for the wolves that were howling all around them.

Let’s see if I can give you a two line synopsis of the hour long dialogue:

They talk about jumping (they are only thirty feet or so in the air) one of them does, with obvious results. Guys pee off lift, girl pees in pants. After 2 days, freezing guy gets idea to use overhead cable to get to one of the supporting towers and climb down the ladder. Why don’t they ever do the obvious when things first happen instead they always wait until they are almost dead or some of them are? (Again I was cheering on the wolves.)

I watched this movie last night and I can’t remember a thing they talked about for the 2 days they were on the lift. Usually there is a good line you can quote or something, there was nothing like that in the whole movie. Don’t get me wrong there was a lot of potential here. (Adam Green having done Hatchet sparked my interest.) Frozen was just not executed correctly. Can we blame the stars for their cardboard portrayal of their characters? or the less than claustrophobic cinematography?, of which again it had potential.

I say nay nay, when in the military it’s always the generals fault. I say blame the man with the stars on his sleeves (Mr Adam Green). Frozen could have been a good movie if it had the flair of an Independent film, if it wasn’t trapped by Hollywood parameters. For instance, here is an example; let the stars die. Don’t feel you have to have someone live, sometimes killing them has the biggest impact. It worked for Open Water, that last scene was intense and left you feeling like; what would I do? And Blair Witch, the same feeling at the last creepy scene knowing they were all going to die. Frozen should have stayed away from the generic Hollywood trappings and stuck to what it could have been… a really good Indie film.

I give this movie 2 Bums up.

-Photo(s) used are property of Anchor Bay Entertainment. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means.

TMT – Zombie Nation

26 May

Zombie Nation
review by Illumin-Arte

Zombie ntaion
Directed by: Ulli Lommel
Starring: Gunther Ziegler, Brandon Dean, Axel Montgomery

Oh my word where do I begin, this movie made my shit itch. It has to be in my top 5 worst movies list, I wish I could say in my top 5 worst list of all time, but luckily for me there will always be bad movies made, and always be bad movies watched, so the list is always changing.

Lets get this burning pee fest started, I didn’t know what to expect when I first saw this on instant viewing. Anytime I see a Zombie movie listed I know it can go either way, I’d like to think there is a fifty-fifty ratio of good and bad, but unfortunately, it probably leans more toward the seventy-thirty ratio, odds I repeatedly bet on for the long shot, and this time I lost big time. My wife has, on numerous occasions, said that I have a soft spot in my heart for really shitty movies, and I’ll be damned if she isn’t right. But this movie is crap, it’s the crap that crap leaves,in big piles of steaming, hot, fresh crap.

The start of the movie, lead cop with german accent (who has a tough time stumbling thru his lines in English) who has a habit of arresting young women for apparently no real reason, taking them to warehouse (which is a working furniture warehouse with no visible staff) making his partner wait outside while he goes in with woman, and comes out with no woman, but carrying a big heavy duffel bag, and his partner doesn’t suspect a thing. During the killings there is a flashback scene which is never explained, and at first you don’t even realize it’s Officer deutchland’s ( actually you don’t care that’s it’s his) who (again it’s never explained why) keeps seeing a rather portly man being repeatedly whipped about the buttocks with a stick, while his mother, who is in a wheelchair, constantly berates him about his dirty fingernails. OMG who really cares, I’m talking about this movie like it has a story line. What I should be doing is just making a list of everything that this movie did wrong, because there is no story line, continuity, it has poor editing, and the acting is delivered by an ensemble of local drama society dropouts and those who would be even worse than dropouts.

The budget of this movie had to be around the grand total of $1500.00 and that’s giving it the benefit of the doubt that it even had a budget, every indoor scene was filmed in a warehouse,from the police station offices, with exposed sewage pipes running along the walls, and the original cement floors (they couldn’t even afford rugs), to the so called apartment that looked like they got the furniture from an Ikea closeout web site (maybe they got it all from the furniture warehouse they use for the killing site).

In the movie he killed four, maybe five women, but hell, I watched this 4 hrs ago,which when you consider the movie it was a lifetime ago, this movie was an intellectual vacuum the longer I watched the more I could feel my brains being sucked out of my ears, so how do you expect me to remember that long ago.     When the zombies do finally rise out of the dirt and water, the only way you can tell is they have black circles around their eyes (that must mean I’m a zombie just about every morning I get up), they walked, and, talked, and laughed, they even drove cars, as Count Floyd would say from SCTV ahhoooo pretty scary stuff ehhh kids.

It’s  killing me writing this review this movie was so bad I’m finding it hard to describe, all my descriptions pale in comparison to the real thing, as I read thru it, it sounds so fucking lame, but what the hell I’ll stick it out and keep going.

So here comes the wrap up. Crap, Crap, Crap, Garbage, waste of time, waste of film, waste of one and a half hours of my life (I want it back), shit, shit, shit, shit, zombie girl eating bloody penis, excrement, dropping kids in the pool, vomit, puke, hurl, ralph, girl gets snake up her bajingo, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch this movie hurts my balls, voodoo women with severed pig head zombie chicks told to eat cheeseburgers not people they laugh, time is moving slow, time is moving oh so slow, time is my enemy with this movie, cop becomes zombie, and the zombies become cops, going to take quite awhile to get over this. It’s a fartbox.

I can’t give this movie even a half bum up.

Watch it and decide, or better yet gouge your eyes out with a spoon it’s quicker.

TMT – “Interzone”

11 May

Interzone (1987)
review by SimplyKyle

interzone-movie-poster-1987-1020232541

Director: Deran Sarafian
Starring: Bruce Abbott,  Beatrice Ring, and Teagan Clive

Where to begin with this brilliant gem. The premise of the movie seemed pretty promising; being about Humans surviving in a post apocalyptic wasteland in search for a great secret treasure. Who doesn’t love post-apocalyptic movies? Granted I did not go into it expecting MadMax or anything like that, after all it is called Bad Movie Wednesdays for a reason.

So, the movie starts off with very stereotypical 80s music reminding me instantly of Police Academy. Showing mostly scenery, muddy ground water that appears to be boiling set the wasteland feel right off the bat. Eventually you get to see people and the first thing they show you (that I can recall at least) is a homoerotic dancing Patrick Swayze look-a-like in a bar, who has absolutely nothing to do with the movie after the first few scenes (but cot damn do they show him as much as they can in the first 15 minutes).

Some dialogue, with incredibly low audio, establishes who our main character is going to be and then for some reason he decides to join in on a Russian roulette style death game, where the participants pick from a tray full of drinks and hope they don’t get poison. Our main man, Swan (played by Bruce Abbott), is sat at a table with three other guys, one being a black guy (who in like most movies, dies first), we also have the romantic music that plays as we are shown who our female lead will be. (Tera, played by Beatrice Ring)

After a quick predictable round, everyone drinks poison except Swan, who doesn’t drink a damn thing making him winner by default. And what does he win, a toothbrush and some other junk I don’t remember (it’s not important because it is never seen again the whole film). Shortly after, as drunks in a bar do, there erupts a fight and everyone starts fighting (oh and there is a man repeatedly punching a woman in the stomach). With incredible and realistic sound effects and fight choreography that could have been put together by Tony Jaa himself (kidding obviously), our hero Swan easily makes his way out by giving the guy at the door the toothbrush (that is why it is the only thing I remember he got because he gives it away not 10 seconds later)

There’s also this scene about telepathic monks who all have names of popular electronics of the time such as General Electric and Panasonic. They come in to play later, helping and hindering our two heroes. We also get introduced to the main villain, Mantis (played by Teagan Clive), this man-woman is more ripped than…a really ripped dude?….let’s just say she’s intimidating and manly, but dressed like Vampirella. (picture Dolph Lundgren in that green Speedo from Borat). Anyway that show us how much of a bitch/badass she is when she confronts the psychic monks and one can only assume the trouble to come for our heroes.

One thing I noticed was how well maintained everybody’s hair was and how clean their clothes were, ya know for a post apocalyptic world.

Anyway, Swan  rescues Tera from slavery with the help of monk buddy Panasonic and they are chased around by a fat Arabic-looking guy with a sweet zebra print convertible. Eventually they wind up waltzing right into the hideout of the Mantis and her minions. Mantis takes Swan to have her way with him, this entails a disturbingly unsexy, naked, silhouette interpretive dance behind a curtain leading to Mantis force feeding Swan a raw egg, cherries, sardines, and a phallic banana. Then there is a completely random scene of two guards that ends ridiculously gay (in a very homosexual way).
Triumphantly violated, Swan emerges the next morning, presented like some trophy. Mantis then decides he needs to be thrown into their death hole after mating with him. (honestly I didn’t get the reference to a praying mantis until writing this) Conveniently after entering the cavern, Swan find a shot gun and then immediately encounters the beast within, a swamp thing like monster so terrifying it could of only been seen before on old Star Trek episodes. Seconds later, it has been shot and Swan exits the cave, accomplishing what apparently hundreds of other men thrown in there could not do in a matter of seconds.

Yadda Yadda Yadda, Swan ends up being tortured and Tera ends up getting electrocuted. Panasonic also gets tortured and tells Mantis and her people where the treasure is and the weak spot in the Interzone is, having forgotten what the point of everything was this reminds us that there is a plot (oh the Interzone btw is an area that has somehow gone untouched by radiation post-armageddon, considering its only mentioned once but is the whole basis of the movie it’s good to know).

Spoiler alert: Swan ends up dying from his injuries. But not really because since you can’t kill the hero, Panasonic comes along and magically changes places with Swan (a scene as emotional as Sam helping Frodo on Mount Doom). Seeing that Tera has been electrocuted and surely dead, he yells to the sky and does what else? But prepares to go Rambo on the bad guys. Five minute of 80s montage of gathering weapons he could never possibly carry all at once later and he is at the church from the beginning, the bad guys have overpowered the telepathic monks in an epic special effects heavy battle. And What does Swan do? One would think use his arsenal and blast the sh*t out of the bad guys, but sadly no he walks up with one gun and they all run away except Mantis who is lamely trying to open a steel door the monks are hiding behind.

There is a suspenseful fight between Mantis and Swan when Swan basically says “screw this” and shoots a rocket to blow up Mantis and blows a hole in the steel door. Clearly not giving a damn, Swan enters to find out what the secret treasure is and find it is a collection of humanities great works and historical items (I think Book of Eli stole this idea). Swan thinks it’s cool then runs off. We see him next in a field holding Tera’s body…but wait she’s still alive (of course because why the hell not?) They live happily ever after, as much as they can seeing the world is still a sh*thole. This leaves only one question in my mind; why the hell did Swan drag Tera’s “dead” body out to a field just to hold on to it and cry since he didn’t know she was still alive in the first place?

In closing, this movie started off kind of serious, granted I know it was a low-budget indie film but usually they try and make a great story and believe in themselves. This just got more and more ridiculous with every scene. A fun note however the Director, Deran, went on to direct a bunch of episodes of House and for every incarnation of CSI, as well as an episode of LOST and Fringe. Admittedly, this movie had it all; domestic abuse, sex slaves, telepathic monks, stabbing of pregnant women, a love scene where they actual run through a meadow in slow motion, and a motherflippin’ flamethrower! Academy Award winning acting,  Avatar-like special effects, and a plot rivaling Inception  make InterZone a great addition to Terrible Movie Tuesdays!

“Monsters” Movie Review

26 Mar

Monster (2010)
review by Illumin-Arte

Monsters-Movie-Poster

Directed and Written by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Whitney Able (as Samantha Wyden)
Scoot McNairy (as Andrew Kaulder)

Last year in November, we had the opportunity to go England yet again, It was myself, my wife, my daughter, and Kyle (SimplyKyle). It seemed that in every Underground (subway) station there were these 8’x5′ billboards advertising everything from movies, and books, to cell phones, and household appliances.

One of these billboards was advertising a small budgeted independent movie called Monsters. The picture itself did just what it was meant to do, and that was to tease, and entice, everytime I came across one of them I would just stand there and look at it and wonder, what was this all about.

After a little investigating when we returned home it intrigued me even more. I found out that this was an independent film, shot with basically no budget (I have heard totals ranging from $10,000 to $800,000), that it was self financed by the writer, director, Gareth Edwards, that the CGI special effects (which were said to be ground breaking), was also done by Gareth, on his home computer, and the locations at which the movie was shot was done so illegally at times.

Needless to say I couldn’t wait to see this little gem, and yesterday I finally did, they say half the fun is the anticipation well let me tell you the anticipation was all the fun. Maybe in my mind I was expecting more than the movie delivered. If you all don’t know by now I’m the first to jump on an Independent film, for instance I thought one of the best movies of 1999 was The Blair Witch Project (even though my friends thought it sucked) and I loved Paranormal Activity (Paranormal Activity 2, Why oh why?) just to name a few.

I wanted to love this movie in the worst way, and I didn’t. It in no way lived up to my expectations, the whole story line was weak, there was a kind of intro to the story at the beginning of the flick explaining how it started but then it jumped ahead six years, and it lost all intensity, I not only didn’t know why the infected zone was there, or what kind of battles there were for six years I didn’t care.  Most of the filming was done at night with poor lighting making it difficult to see anything, the acting was mediocre, the pacing was excruciating, and bottom line there was not enough of the Monsters.

monsters-poster(excuse me but is it not the name of the flick?)

Except for a couple tentacle shots, once in the river, once in a store, you only see the monsters one time (I want to tell you what they look like but I won’t ruin it). There’s also a part, I guess this was suppose to be important, where some glowing mushrooms on a tree are brought to  our attention, it is then explained by one of the locals that these will be hatched into the monsters, okay I know lets just kill the mushrooms, no more mushroom eggs no more more monsters.

There was one part of the movie, where the photographer played by Scoot McNairy was getting passage for his employers daughter played by Whitney Able ( yes they are a real life couple) they pay $5000 for the boat and she’s suppose to leave the next morning but due to circumstances beyond her control (he gets robbed by a girl he picked up that night) loses her passport so they have to cross the infected zone on foot. What could have been an exciting plot in the movie, just plain flopped.

After crossing the infected zone they climb to the top of a mayan pyramid and finally see the wall that was built to keep them out of the USA  (the monsters not illegals although not a bad idea guys) the only problem is there are no pyramids anywhere near the border of US and Mexico.

monsters-2010-infected-zone-chart-gareth-edwards

 Every other review I’ve read of this movie says I’m wrong in my opinion and I will probably watch this movie again to see if there is something I missed, but for now this is where I stand on a movie I wanted oh so bad to love. Maybe if there was a third party, a co-worker or friend of Andrew, filming this as they went (I know this technique has been done to death since Blair Witch, but some movies can get away with it and almost needs this et al Cloverfield) the movie might have had a different flow.

This is just one man’s opinion,

I give it 21/2 bums up

-Photos used are property of Vertigo Films and Magnet Releasing respectively. They do not belong to GeekTheWorldOnline and are intended for use in character and media review in strictly entertainment and editorial means. Their use is protected by Section 107 under the US copyright law.