Friday, December 31, 2010

Just for some New Year's fun...

...I'm sharing with you guys some of my absolute favorite YouTube videos that never fail to put me in a good mood. I hope they do the same for you, enjoy!

First up, my new 24 love brought me to this clip from 2008's Comic-Con during the 24 panel. A fan named Cameron asks Kiefer Sutherland about his use of the phrase "Damn it!" on the show and also asks him to yell "Damn it, Cameron!" at him. I don't know why it's so funny, but I love it. Kiefer is obviously a great dude.

Family Guy 1 of 2: My two favorite moments from Family Guy! First one is Stewie and Brian talking about the pronunciation of "Cool Whip."

Family Guy 2 of 2: Peter uses Lois's emergency fund to buy tornado insurance or something and they have this little spat. So funny, it hurts.

I loooove Lewis Black and most everything out his mouth is fucking hilarious, but this rant about milk and water always gets me.

And finally, if you know anything about the Westboro Baptist Church and what raging idiots they are, then you'll completely enjoy watching this Australian reporter fuck with their minds.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Movie Review: Dolls (1987)

I thought for the longest time that I had actually seen Dolls. Mm, not so much. The movie I was perhaps thinking of was Dolly Dearest. Kind of a totally different movie! Realizing my silly mistake, I immediately set out to watch the wonderful film, Dolls, courtesy of Stuart Gordon from 1987.

The chewy, plotty center: Car trouble and a bad storm forces a family to seek shelter at the spooky house of a seemingly kind old couple. Soon after, a motorist and two punk rock girl hitchhikers he picked up arrive at the house as well, and they all start to find out that this doll maker and his wife - and their plethora of dolls throughout the house - are not at all what they seem to be.

"Afraid of the dark?" 
"No, afraid of what's in the dark."
Ah, what a wise young child this little Judy is. And what a delightful little movie Dolls is! I completely loved it. I was wary at first, yes, because dolls are fucking creepy, but then pleasantly surprised at the overall humorous mood. The film seems to realize that its premise is silly and would have been hard to take seriously if dealt with incorrectly; therefore, it just decided what the heck, and went the comedy route. It sounds a little strange, but comedy films always take themselves and the situations they present more seriously than most dramatic films. 

The acting by all involved helped the film immensely, with huge props going to the actors playing the little girl Judy and the kid-at-heart Ralph - easily the most likable and funny character in the bunch. The kindly witches Gabriel and Hilary are pretty much THE BEST and are so incredibly funny, and yes, they're likable as well, despite their actions. The evil stepmother (who for some reason always wears some kind of a head wrap) is played delightfully distasteful, but her performance is perhaps a little outshone by the biggest douchebag of a father I've ever seen. This guy is great - well, not his character obviously - but the actor playing him is pretty great at this role.

I was sure that the witchcraft they were using was only to animate the dolls and make them their little killer minions or something, so I really liked the turn the movie takes in saying that all the dolls are actually immoral or otherwise "bad" people that they've turned into dolls. And we get a great seen showing just this when Judy's father is turned into a new version of her beloved Punch doll. He grows a hunch on his back and his chin and nose elongate as his whole body shrinks down to doll size. The effects here are quite well done and frankly look very painful!

The few death scenes, while not being hardly at all bloody, are still fun. The first punk girl's death, Isabel, does not show the dolls as they grab her arms and legs and repeatedly ram her head at a wall and then drag her down the hallway. Until the dolls make their official appearance, you only hear their creepy little giggles, which if you are scared of killer dolls (*raises hand*) makes for a very unsettling atmosphere. They can drag a body? These bitches are strong, and determined. Not too comforting.

The stop-motion animation of the dolls only added to the hilarity. I know that that was the extent of the technology at the time and you cannot condemn the film on this point. Much like the outfits that come straight from a Madonna music video, this indication that the film was indeed shot in the wonderful decade of the 80s to me only gives the film more charm. If you're laughing at the bad animation, but still thinking "Darn, those dollies are MEAN!" then I'd say that these scenes were successful. 

I was put off a bit by the ending, with Gabriel and Hilary trying to convince Ralph and Judy that all their killer dolls was just a dream. I'm glad that Ralph and Judy were let go, of course, but that ending is a little anticlimactic and unsatisfying. All in all, though, Dolls is an immensely enjoyable piece of 80s goodness and a great entry to the killer doll canon of films. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

TheGirl wishes everyone a happy holiday season!

Not much to say today except Happy Holidays and I hope that everyone is enjoying good times with friends and/or family and getting everything they want this year! We got a white Christmas here in Mid-Mo so I'm thinking some sledding with my nephew and hot chocolate with little marshmallows is in order before heading back to the grind tomorrow.

Again, Happy Holidays and here's hoping for more horror goodness in 2011!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Animals Run Amok!: Alligator (1980)

So, the first episode of the fourth season of "24" wasn't really doing it for me and I took a break from my marathon to watch the movie that Netflix sent me. The amusing urban legend of an alligator loose in a city's sewer system gets the official movie treatment in this little gem from 1980 simply called Alligator.

Amok-y plot: In 1968, a little girl's pet alligator named Ramone is unceremoniously flushed down the toilet in Chicago. Feeding on the bodies of genetically altered pets disposed in the sewer for twelve years, the alligator has grown gigantic and the dead body parts it leaves behind leads cop David Madison (the lovely Robert Forster) to investigate what's going on.

First of all, I giggled at the "Welcome to Missouri" sign at the beginning. Oh, Missouri, my lovely home state, which nobody who doesn't or hasn't lived here knows nothing about. But it's nice to see you get some screen time in a movie for once, albeit only 2 seconds.

Alligator was interesting to start off with, with the scenes of the family at the alligator farm, but after that there are several disjointed scenes and the movie actually moves a little too fast for me. There is almost no room for any kind of suspense. But I guess suspense isn't really the name of the game here, because the scenes with the alligator are suh-weet. When Madison and Kelly first go down into the sewer, there's a great little scare moment when their flashlight shines behind them and you just see a shot of the alligator's jaws.

It is not until Ramone makes perhaps the greatest entrance in cinematic history that the fun stuff really starts. He busts his way out of the street through the manhole (although we'll have to excuse the fact that he could not have fit in the manhole, let alone close enough to the top to break through). Anyway. Soon after this, he bites off a cop's leg and spends the next hour or so thwarting everybody in the city from catching and/or killing him.

The film culminates with Ramone the gator crashing a wedding at the home of the head of the pharmaceutical company responsible for his enormous size and insatiable appetite. Much like Jaws, Ramone seemed to have something against one certain person and deliberately sought this dude out to smash the shit out of his car, crushing him inside. The rich muckety-mucks always seem to get it the worst - some sort of message, I'm thinking? After this, Ramone is given another rather unceremonious send-off when he's blown up by Forster back in the sewer. I was hoping for something a little more exciting than this, but I guess it'll have to do.

With movies like this, we always gotta talk about the creature effects. Honestly, I was expecting some hokey CG and lots of close-ups to disguise the badly built mechanical gator, but I was pleasantly surprised. The gator perhaps doesn't move as fast as a real one could, but he looks real and the effects of him chomping away at various people (in some instances, actually swallowing them whole - is that possible?) are very fun and mostly realistic looking. The bright red blood reminiscent of Italian horror is perhaps not the greatest looking, however.

Michael V. Gazzo, better known as Frank Pentangeli from The Godfather: Part II (love you, man), wonderfully plays the chief of police next to Forster's disgruntled cop Madison, a loner who suffers from a case of bad hair plugs. The big game hunter brought in to kill the gator is some smarmy-acting dude that I don't really care for, and the hot herpetologist lady with the whacko mother is likable enough.

There are some obvious references to the film's predecessor Jaws, especially the part where the police are chasing the gator in the canal. We get a true Jaws point-of-view shot coming up beneath the frantic swimmers, with some music that oddly resembles the Jaws theme. Hm. The whole movie is a tongue-in-cheek... well, not exactly rip-off of Jaws, more like a gory homage to the genre of animals run amok that Jaws helped create. They even include the "Oh my gosh, they killed a kid!!!" scene when a couple of children are playing "walk the plank" in the family swimming pool and the gator is waiting below. How you don't see a 30-foot alligator in a lighted pool is beyond me. I'm thinking the shadow would be rather large.

All in all, not a bad Animals Run Amok for its time and age. There's some great actors, funny moments, and although there's seems to be a lot going on at the same time, Alligator is a quick and fun look at what happens when there's a fight of Man Vs. Beast.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Does absence really make the heart grow fonder?

Oi, TheGirl is one busy little beaver. Work and Christmas stuff, not counting my newfound obsession with "24," which I have been watching constantly for the past few days (and am actually watching right now). Seriously, why didn't I watch this show before? It fucking owns. Anyway. Don't miss me too much. I've still got like 70 movies in my queue (GAH!) so I'll have plenty of material for future posts. I know you're all (all 2 of you) holding your breath and quivering with anticipation, just try not to lose any sleep over it. :)

Now, back to "24."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Random List: Actors with Awesome Voices

I was watching an interview with Clive Barker the other day and I couldn't stop thinking about how so hella cool his voice is. So I wasted a few hours and came up with this list of actors with some awesome voices.

Alan Rickman
One of the coolest sounding accents ever.
I love my Severus Snape and Sheriff of Nottingham.

Brad Dourif
I would probably piss my pants if I ever
met Brad in person because I would
only hear Chucky. Yipes!

Demi Moore
That throaty rasp is DEAD SEXY.

Matthew McConaughey
He's the one to call for Southern boy charm.

Fred Gwynne
One of the most distinctive faces and voices in cinema.

Holly Hunter
I can't describe it, but I love it.

Sam Elliot
Oh hell yeah.

 George Clooney
Gravelly and seriously hot voice right here.

 James Earl Jones

 Liam Neeson
I would love to hear him talk to me before he
kicks my ass.

 Jennifer Tilly
Love it or hate it, her voice is mos def
something special!

 Michael Madsen
There's a reason why he does lots of voice work.

 Morgan Freeman
Another DUH.

 Yeardley Smith
She's Lisa Simpson, hello!

Sean Connery
An even bigger DUH.

Kiefer Sutherland
His voice was the best thing about Phonebooth.

Piper Laurie
I LOVE THIS WOMAN. Love, love, love her.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Asian Horror Week: Tokyo Gore Police (2008, Japan)

Guess I should have expected nothing less from a movie called Tokyo Gore Police. It was crazy bloody, campy, not too well made, and had some freak-ass special effects. Therefore, it ruled.

The air-quote "plot": In some kind of nutso future, Ruka is a police officer whose speciality is killing engineers. Engineers are mutants who can turn any wound they receive into a deadly weapon (think James Woods' gun-hand thing from Videodrome). Ruka is out for revenge against whoever killed her police officer father, while the creator of the engineers seeks to make his mutants the master race of the world.

Ruka is one of those really hot skinny chicks who never smiles and knows every kung-fu and samurai move, and looks totally bad ass while doing it. She doesn't talk that much and she's got some issues because her father was assassinated right in front of her, and was raised by the chief of police who taught her how to become the strongest engineer hunter. This guy has some kind of megaphone device attached to his police uniform (which looks like something the Vikings wore) to amplify his voice. Why? Who cares.

Anyway, this movie has an insane amount of blood. I mean, INSANE. Whenever anybody gets wounded even a little bit, about five gallons of blood literally squirt, spit, and spurt out of them while they yell as loud as they can. Think about when Lucy Liu cuts that dude's head off in Kill Bill and that is what this entire movie is about. Peoples' limbs are sliced off, certain parts are bitten off, and people just die in the most crazy ways. And of course this is all in good awesome fun, and the only problem I had with it was that the blood mostly just looked like red water or a very light-colored cherry Kool-Aid. If that was the case, then I'm guessing everyone on set must have stained the crap out of their clothes. Indeed, I have never seen a movie with a more appropriate title than Tokyo Gore Police.

You see, the only way, naturally, to kill these engineers is to mutilate the fuck out of their bodies so that you destroy this key-shaped tumor inside them that makes them what they are. This is wonderfully presented to us in the first fight scene where Ruka kills an engineer on a rooftop. After a freaking DUELING CHAIN SAW fight, Ruka takes her new chain saw toy and just slices this guy all to hell, then takes out her shiny samurai sword and slices him down the middle. Niiiiiice. Then she gets a medal for it. I'm guessing that police brutality claims are not all that common in this engineer-infested Tokyo.

When one girl is literally shot in half, the lower half of her body mutates into the mouth of an alligator. The guy that gets his junk bitten off (ironically, by Alligator Girl) grows a huge tumor-junk that shoots out... well, I don't know what it was but it looked nasty. There's a great scene where a guy grabs Ruka's ass on the subway and she pulls him outside and cuts his hands off, popping up a pretty umbrella against the shower of blood. There are so many crazy gore effects all throughout this movie that it's impossible to talk about them all here or pick a favorite. They are in the same fashion of movies like Dead Alive where the gore is the gag, and you'll be laughing your butt off the whole time.

The special effects other than the gore include lots of really messed up looking mutations and costumes for all our crazy characters. The chief guy has this S&M reminiscent "pet" guy with no arms or legs, but who at one point walks around spider-like on samurai swords that replace the missing limbs. Note to self: Stay away from Japan if the future ever gets to be anything like this.

The main score for Tokyo Gore Police is actually pretty awesome. It sounded vaguely familiar to me, although I can't place where I might have heard something similar. Nevertheless, it is quite fabulous, very dramatic and over-the-top. Loved it.

There's also a definite humor throughout the film and not just in the wacky kills. Those freaky commercials that the Japanese are known for make a few appearances - advertising how effective the police force is (after they blow away one dude with four machine guns) and even one that advertises a stylish looking box cutter for girls so they can look cool while they cut their wrists. Yea! It's so fun. I'm not sure if this one was supposed to be a real commercial or not, though, since it is established at the beginning that Ruka is a cutter.

If your looking for a fun movie with not a lot of substance (really no substance at all), you could do a lot worse than Tokyo Gore Police. I'll just leave you with some images from the film for hilarity's sake. Snail Girl, I believe, is quite provocative. Hehe.

You really want to see it now, don't you? DON'T YOU??!!