Thursday, February 13, 2014

Movie Roundup: Zombie High, Resolution, and Shadow

Zombie High (1987)
Damn you, misleading titles. If you're thinking about watching Zombie High, let me just tell you now that there are no actual zombies here. Why use the name in the title then? Well, "zombie" is used more metaphorically than literally to describe the goings-on at a private school. Virginia Madsen plays one of the first female students to attend the school who starts to suspect something fishy when some students start to change personality-wise. Most of the movie is pretty uneventful until the conclusion, playing out like a mystery thriller but that doesn't mean it's not still a fun 80s flick with a wonderful tone that sets you up not to take it too seriously. The reveal of the mystery of Ettinger Academy - that the principal and teachers are actually over a hundred years old and are making a serum from the students' brains to keep them alive - is ridiculous but strangely given just enough scientific credibility, by the movie's standards that is, to be plausible in this situation. The conclusion is the best part, when all the old start to literally fall apart and decompose because they haven't had their serum, and the special effects are pretty rad, I gotta say. A nice surprise from a movie that didn't have anything like that to offer in the first 70 or so minutes. The ending is also great because of the end credits song which boasts a rousing chorus of "Kiss my butt!" Seriously, it's kinda great.

Resolution (2012)
Ah, sometimes I hate thought-provoking movies. I wanted to see Resolution because another writer said that she's watched the movie several times since her first viewing. Has to be good, right? Yes, it is and I really liked the movie, it's just that it is another one of those movies that I haven't fully gotten yet and it is freaking frustrating. The basic story is that meth head is squatting in a house in the woods and his friend holds him hostage there for a week to help him get over his addiction. The two main characters, Michael and Chris, are wonderfully acted by Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran, two guys that sorta seem like they shouldn't be friends but who actually have a wonderful rapport and bounce off of each other easily. So that part of the movie was awesome and fun to watch - trying to figure out the rest of the plot... not so much. One of the guys keeps finding strange pictures and videos in and around the house and meets up with several strange and mysterious people in the area. It's eventually sorta explained that there's some kind of entity that wants to tell or create stories using the people that enter the woods, including Michael and Chris. In the end, when the entity reveals itself and doesn't like the resolution (ah ha! the title of the movie) that they come up with, you're left to believe that it only wants a bad ending. So my confusion comes from the clues left for the guys which allowed them to escape death twice, by presumably supernatural means. Still assuming that this entity wanted them to die, did it leave them the clues? And why? If not, who did? Does the entity have anything to do with the Indian reservation that it preys on? Or the religious cult that lives nearby? Argh!  So many questions about what all this means. I wish my brain was smart enough to figure it out in a way that would satisfy me. I think another viewing might be in order for this one...

Shadow (2009)
Another viewing is definitely not needed for this one, however. Shadow is a fairly pointless movie, to put it bluntly. The first part of the movie is a boring chase sequence when a guy biking through the mountains meets up with another pretty biker girl and they piss off two rednecks who hunt them through the woods. Then the movie spins off in a completely different direction when everyone is captured by a really skinny and scary looking dude who has some fun with them in his chamber of torture. But even THAT'S not the end. I don't have a problem revealing spoilers especially for a movie like this that no one should care too much about. The twist? It's all a dream, probably while the main character was under anesthesia at a hospital in Iraq. Psshaw. What a disappointment. I can't give Shadow too much crap because it is beautifully shot with great use of the landscape and location, and the acting isn't too shoddy. It's just that there's nothing there that hasn't been done before in one form or another. Some of the images are really great, though, and there's a pretty crazy scene of one of the guys basically getting roasted on the skinny guy's surgical table. But all in all, I'm not feeling it. Boring movie with a lame ending that doesn't really have anything to say.

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit...I'm in the same boat with Resolution! I saw it awhile back and was really confused, and I realllllly want to get it. I'm just not sure I want to rewatch it.