Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Midnight Meat Train


The Midnight Meat Train
Release Date: Aug 7th, 2008
Score: 3 out of 4

Well, based on the title of the film I was expecting a dumb-but-fun gorefest but this movie is nothing of the sort. Aside from the opening sequence, which may force you to lose a few sanity points, there is very little gore within the majority of the film.

Ok, well there's a fair amount of trains (well... subway cars) but this film is basically a pot-boiler serial killer chase-down, based on the short story with the same unfortunately dumbass title by Clive Barker - once known as a great writer even outside of the horror genre; these days known as the guy who writes blurbs on the back of dust jackets proclaiming some young hack to be "the new face of horror" every other month. Oh, and when I say pot-boiler, I mean it in the way someone puts a pot of water on the stove-top for 1/3rd of a film before remembering to turn the burner on.

There is blood and guts, of course, just a lot less that you would expect from a film that, judging by title alone, is about an evil train made of meat that rides at midnight. The tone of "TMMT" is genuinely unsettling and after a slightly sluggish start it picks up momentum and kept me rapt in suspenseful attention. The score and flickery-lights effects help (god knows why I still get spooked by flickery lights).

The film centers around the affable but self-esteem lacking photographer named Peter Parker --- I, I mean Leon. His name is Leon (played by Bradley Cooper). He is an aspiring art photographer, but is relegated to selling crime scene photos to the local dailies to pay the bills. Also he has a hot but annoying girlfriend (Leslie Bibb). To my utter disbelief, Stan Lee had nothing to do with this production.

Leon's big break comes when he snaps some pix of a girl being harassed by street thugs at a subway stop, and convinces a capricious art dealer played by Brooke Shields that he can capture the seedy, "true" side of New York City (the Green Line logo is prominently displayed inside the subway scenes). Unfortunately, this model is then quickly dispatched with by our serial killer once she gets on the train. Soon after this we meet our Midnight Meat Train Murderer face to face, played by Vinnie Jones (aka the big scary dude in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels). He is a butcher of cows by day, a butcher of men by night.

Leon sets out to hunt him down and he quickly becomes obsessed photographing/capturing the midnight train riding meat-loving murderer -- because, obviously, an amateur photographer can catch a twisted killer much more easily than a homicide department. Again, I assure you Stan Lee had nothing to do with this movie!

It rapidly develops into a cat-and-mouse game, then shit just starts to get crazy. And that's as much as I can tell without ruining the movie. But I will tell you that I found the ending both awesome and unexpected.

All in all this is a tight, well done film. Slow stretches of filler aside, it succeeds in suspense, squick, and general creepiness. Vinnie Jones delivers an amazing performance, especially considering his character says maybe two words throughout the entire film.

I recommend it, I wouldn't personally buy the DVD but many Clive Barker fans might want to, as this is the best adaptation of a Barker story I've seen in years.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Uninvited

dont watch meeee!

The Uninvited
Release Date: 2009
Score: 0 out of 4

This film gets no points at all whatsoever. None of the characters were in anyway believable, did anything in a manner any human being would go about things, nor was there any reason for about half the fucking movie other than to set-up things around a highly contrived bullshit plot that wasn't even good to begin with.

Then they have a twist ending that feels completely tacked on after making you wait a full hour and fifteen minutes before something interesting happens, and instead of being scary or even a mindfuck - it's a trite little turd and an unnecessary bummer.

The movie is trash. Dreamworks is trash.

No fucking point to the movie but, hey, plenty of shots of supposedly young teenage girls in bikinis and short shorts and revealing skimpy dresses! I assume what directors "the Guard brothers" were trying to say with all that footage is that they're pedophiles.

Whoever cast fucking Elizabeth Banks as a cold-blooded psychopath needs to be out of a fucking job -- possibly euthanized. I don't know how much research or preparation Banks put into her role but it doesn't take a fucking Special Agent at the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit to know her performance was completely flat and unbelievable.

As for David Strathairn, I hope he is ashamed of himself for the complete phone-in he gave for this film.

Altogether worthless. I have no idea why it currently has a 6.8/10 at IMDB. Oh wait, unfortunately I do. Its probably the disgusting horde of perverted old fucks who masturbate to Emily Browning.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Title: Bled
Release Date: 2009
Score: 1 out of 4

After a series of spots as an extra in such terror-filled television shows such as Alley McBeal and Malcom in the Middle, Christopher Hutson decided to become a filmmaker. After Dark Reality, which I haven't seen but appears to be nothing more than insipid torture porn, he turned his attention towards bloodlust and vampirism.

Although he as able to secure apparent elder god/rivethead Sxv'leithan Essex to write the script, the dialog is stilted and forced. That wouldn't mean anything, of course, if the movie had a good plot and plenty of scares. Unfortunately it slowly meanders and the fear level never rises above "slightly creepy." The production itself is lush and the score is well done, however this only makes me wonder why they could put together good sets and nice film effects but only seemed able to take a runny shit on a piece of paper and call it a screenplay.

The film centers around four artists living in a Los Angeles apartment, and focuses on rising art princess "Sai," played by Sarah Farooqui. Her love interest, Royce (Chris Ivan Cevic) is a dud throughout the movie. Although the script doesn't give much to work with, Cevic delivers a performance as stirring as week old oatmeal. Eric (Alex Petrovitch), the trashy womanizing flatmate is a much more interesting character and thus is given much less screentime.

There's also a second woman Kara, who unfortunately suffers from a common affliction for female characters in horror films; she is compelled to act completely irrational and be a major fuckwit.

The film starts with Sai being introduced to a "creepy" German traveler (Jonathan Oldham) who loves "the darkness and lust" of her art. Its hard not to laugh at Oldham's performance, in which he is obviously attempting to match the accent and inflection of Hannibal Lector. It doesn't help that he delivers the lamest and most purplish lines I think I've witnessed from a villain in quite some time. This is pretty sad, actually, because Oldham shows glimpses of impressive acting, and his performance improves later in the film. It seems likely that his actual talent is blunted by the piss-poor directing and writing.

Anyway, he buys some of her art, and gives her some tree bark that he says will trip her out hardcore (or "deliver her to a land of dark mystery" or whatever) and make her an even better artist. To use it, one is supposed to heat up the bark's sap in a spoon like its fucking smack or something and then freebase it. What mystique!

Unfortunately, the stuff, "Stregohe," is not only addictive but it slowly turns Sai into a morbid lust vampire. Then some more stuff that doesn't make much sense and is never explained happens, and we learn that Renfield, the Hannibal impersonator, is actually some kind of vampire who needs to get people drugged up in order to call forth a demon, I guess. It really doesn't make much sense and the end, accordingly, doesn't tie anything up.

This is one of the least scary movies I've seen that purports to be a thriller or a horror film or whatever its supposed to be. Instead of building suspense, it builds boredom and confusion. The demon (which makes its first appearance two minutes into the film) is laughably hokey -- they could have stood to put more money into make-up effects than on fancy camera filters. At least then they would have had something in the movie that was genuinely scary.

If you have a big crush on Sarah Farooqui you might have a reason to watch this, otherwise I recommend avoiding it like you would bark-acid given to you by a lame ass dude trying way too hard to sound creepy. Just say no!