Saturday, April 12, 2014

Creep Van (2012) - Review

Creep Van (2012).  Starring Brian Kolodziej, Amy Werhell and Collin Bersen.

Zero stars.


Yeah, this is one of those movies that likes to suck you in with the cover art.  It may have a cheesy title, but you think, "How could I possibly go wrong?  It's sure to be camp?"  

You would be sadly, sadly mistaken.  This is bird-bomb to the mouth, ultra-runny 100% angus shit.  This is so bad that Troma pictures probably wouldn't release it.  That's funny, because Lloyd Kaufman shows up in a cameo in this movie.  And for reasons Stephen Hawking couldn't understand, they named one of the characters in reference.  So, we have a cameo from the president of Troma and a character name homage at the same time.  Jesus. H.  Christ.

But let's get to the true problem.  Forget the absurdity of a van some deviant has rigged with three hundred torture devices that would put Jigsaw to shame.  Forget that Lloyd Kaufman is in this movie.  This movie is that has no pulse.  The majority of it is spent waiting for the inevitable showdown between the van killer and the main character Campbell Jackson (Kolodziej).  Jackson is this failed actor that has returned to Detroit, broke, without a job and no wheels. Upon returning home, he gets a new job working at a carwash.  Despite the stresses of dealing with an odd boss and cavalier chiba-monkey co-workers, he manages to strike up a relationship with office secretary Amy (Werhell).  Still, Campbell ain't got no wheels.  So what does he do to impress his new ladyfriend?  He decides to call about a piece of shit of shit pedo-van sitting along a side street.  The title van of the piece.  Because nothing impresses the ladies like a vehicle that says you're into abductions.

And ya know what?  They make constant jokes about this too.  A large hunk of this movie's existence is to be a joke about creep 1970s vans.  Clever writing guys.  This draws the attention of the creep, who leaves dozens of obscene messages for Campbell, channeling the attic killer from Black Xmas '74. 

Back to the main narrative, or lack thereof, Campbell makes a new friend when he saves the life of con-artist/religious guru Swami Ted (played by Collin Bernsen, son of LA Law's Corbin Bernsen).  Ted fervently agrees to help Campbell after the creep kills his oversexed roommate and kidnaps Amy.

Oh yeah, I haven't mentioned the roommate.  The attempts to make this dipshit comedy relief is an exercise in masochism.  For instance, we're expected to buy that this guy and his ladyfriend contorted themselves into one of those igloo doghouses to have sex.  Then, we have these awkward scenes where Campbell is conversing with them.  During which, they're donning their oh-so-scandalous erotic gear.  The whole affair really has that nail scraping the chalkboard quality to it.  Thankfully, they're both put out of their misery when the creep crashes the van into their pad and massacres them.

Any, Campbell and Ted face off against the creep.  As a result, everybody except Campbell ends up dead.  To make matters worse, director Scott McKinlay ends this fucking thing the best way he can - by having Campbell accidentally kill Amy, thus implicating him in the murders.   And the idiot cops just point the finger straight at him and force him through the system more quickly than humanly possible.  Never mind the fact that there's extensive evidence that proves Campbell didn't kill this people, such as the fact he couldn't have been present for many of the OTHER MURDERS.  No, he's obviously the fucking killer.  The last we see of Campbell shows him receiving electro-convulsion therapy in some unnamed clinic.  I guess they didn't want to show him getting a lobotomy.  Then audiences would have expected a large Native American to throw a sink through a window.

I guess what ultimately pisses me off is that a little better story and better use of the recording equipment could have produced something much more entertaining.  Instead, we get the contrived camp that collects dust on the shelves of Family Video.  If you decide to go more in favor of Junior and not Ginger Snaps, then perhaps you should consider working in another medium.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Dead and the Damned (2011) - Review

The Dead and the Damned (2011).  Starring David A. Lockhart, Camille Montgomery and Rick Mora.

One star.


Aka Cowboys and Zombies, this movie makes me want to gouge out my fucking eyeballs with knittings needles, as described by a performance artist attempt to portray a LSD user at a school assembly many moons ago.

Essentially, there are two plots that converge.  The main story involves a bounty hunter named Mortimer (Lockhart).  We can only assumed his last name is "Snerd."  Anyway, Mortimer is hot on the trailer of an alleged Apache rapist named Wolf (Mora).  To lure Wolf out in the open, Mortimer purchases a bride to order  named Rhiannon (Montgomery).  Mortimer stakes her out as bait to entice Wolf.  Upon encountering the "villain," however, Mortimer contends with protested innocence from Wolf. While they fistfight and Bicker over inconsequential matter, we are treated to Rhiannon bathing topless several times.

Meanwhile at the local town, one of the village idiots has brought back a glowing meteor (a cross between the Jody Verrill meteor from Creepshow and the giant piece of frozen airline feces from Joe Dirt).  This causes the townsfolk to turn into zombies.  Pretty soon, either everyone ends a zombie or just dead.  That is, with the exception of Rhiannon She is saved by, of all things, some German bounty hunter that's randomly tossed into the story.

Dear fucking god, this is the kind of movie that makes you want to stay away from Redbox for the rest of your life.  The thing is, I didn't even this rent steaming pile of horse manure.  It was one of my co-workers, WHO TOLD ME IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD MOVIE!  He is one of the same guys who incessantly ridicules the films I watch.  Also, this movie looks like it was shot in New Zealand, but it says California in the credits.  I'm not convinced.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Zombie Strippers (2008) - Review

Zombie Strippers (2008).  Starring Jenna Jameson, Jennifer Holland and Robert Englund.

One and a half stars.


In the near future, where George W. Bush is still President, Jenna Bush is the kegger-throwing Chief Justice of the High Court and the Rolling Stones are still touring in their twilight years, an "elite" group of commandos enter a research facility overrun with the walking dead.  As a result, almost every marine in the group is killed, with the exception of one survivor.  That soldier is bit, however, which creates a problem when he enters the local strip club.  The club (called the Rhino for reasons I don't understand at all) is run by Ian (Robert Englund, always good to so him in a movie).  He is a Howard Hughes like germophobe constantly on the lookout for a ways to create revenue.   When the solider turns full-on undead and bites stripper Kat (Jameson), it somehow makes the already smoking hot dancer more appealing by having super-sweet corpsey dance movies.  Pretty soon, the other girls are getting bit to compete, patrons are getting their limbs chewed off and are being locked in the basement until the military finally shows up to save the day.

This movie is what it is.  It's the kind of thing that would have been at home in the 80s with USA Up All Night, but that ship has long since sailed.  If you're expecting 28 Days Later, you're in for a bit letdown.  This is nothing more than a tits and ass softcore porn mixed with some z-grade direct-to-video horror.  But hey, I would rather watch this in a theater any day than the Dawn of the Dead remake.  And I actually watched that . . . in a theater.

Friday, February 21, 2014

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006) - Review

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006).  Starring Amber Heard, Michael Welch and Anson Mount.

Two stars and a half stars.


So about two or three months ago, the United States finally saw the official release of All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.  The problem is that anyone with bittorrent software or a region free Blu-ray player had basically seen this movie long before this.

And the story about its delayed release is just as asinine.  Back in 2006, Mirimax (still run at that time by the Weinstein brothers) sold off the rights to this film because of the failure of Grindhouse.  Nevermind the fact that Grindhouse bombed due to lack of promotion and limited release.  Then, after the film was kicked around for several years, the Weinsteins repurchased the rights under their new company.  There after, it was immediately released to video, with a limited theatrical engagement in select theaters.  This chain of effects gives me a headache.  I mean, this movie easily could have made its money back with a little promotion.  If you think there might be a chance of it bombing, then here's a thought:  release it during the month of October.  God forbid there be any films released catering to that month's chosen holiday.

Anyway, the setting is somewhere in Dirtwater, Texas.  Mandy Lane (Heard) is this nerd-girl turned hot chick who becomes the object of lust for every douchebag at school..  Mandy's friend is Emmet (Welch), a Ducky-style character that's practically joined at the hip with Mandy.  Their relationship becomes strained at a party, where Emmet convinces a popular jock to jump off of the roof of a house into a pool.  As a result, the jock is killed by brain trauma to the head, and Emmet is estranged from Mandy by her new friends.

Cut to the end of the school year, Mandy agrees to hang out at an exclusive party thrown by Red (Aron Himelstein), which is located at his parents' ranch in the middle of nowhere.  Along for the ride are some of the popular kids at school: Chloe, Mandy's blonde-bimbo, stupid bitch of a friend; Marlin, Chloe's sycophant, who is frequently the brunt of the blonde she-demon's constant taunts; Bird, a basketball player who tries subtle undermining to get into Mandy's pants; and Jake, a slimy Joaquin Phoenix lookalike who sexually manipulates Chloe and Marlin in some bizarre attempt to get Mandy in the proverbial sack.  Upon reaching the ranch, the company meets worker Garth, an Iraq veteran and widower.  Immediately, he becomes the object of lust to Chloe and Marlin, similar to Mandy with the boys.

After two hours of debauchery and non-stop drooling over Mandy, members of the party start to be picked off by a mysterious killer, who just happens to be Emmet.  Go figure, didn't see that one coming right?  But the real twist of the piece is that Mandy is in cahoots with Emmet to murder everyone!  Does that make any sense?  It sure as Hell didn't to me.  I had to read on the internet that Mandy was helping to get revenge for her treatment at the hands of these people from the past?  If she's seeking revenge, it would seem to me there's more people on the shit list that these dopes hanging out at the ranch.

We discover Mandy's involvement after she bludgeons Chloe, the last surviving teenager.  Emmet reals that the two to have a suicide pact, which Mandy refuses to honor.  Garth gets involved, resulting in severe wounds and a chase that ends in a giant pit with dead cattle carcasses.  Mandy brutally kills Emmet and returns to save Garth. The two drive away and the audience is given a glimpse of Mandy's romantic intentions for Garth.

When I re-watched this movie for the review, I had intended to give it a full three star rating.  I like the dingy cinematography that makes this movie look like a 70s exploitation piece.  I also enjoyed the acting from everyone involved.  My beef is with the story itself.  I just really don't get why these guys are so batshit crazy for this girl.  I guess it's maybe the fact that she is blossoming into womanhood and the virginal factor.  However, you notice just as many girls in the first thirty minutes that are every bit as atttractive.  To be frank, she also frequently comes off as stuck up and she has the charisma of a wet blanket.  I can't buy that she's really this big of a draw in terms of overly hormonal teenage boys, especially when there are so many other girls running around (i.e. Chloe and Marlin).  The other thing is the subplot with Emmet.  I have no sympathy for this character.  While he is bullied, he is shown to be a sociopathic asshole early on in the film.  Given his actions and the fact that he is partially responsible for the death of a fellow student, I feel that he deserved much of the shitstorm that rains down daily.

Oh yeah, if you rent this, you might not want to be eating when the carcass pit scene comes up.  After watching it, you will feel like you have swallowed a lot of flies.