October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part 3

The first two installments in the Friday the 13th franchise managed to be oddly engaging, even while being bad cinema. Friday the 13th Part 3 is just bad, what little effort at quality went into making parts 1 and 2 obviously too much for the filmmakers, who must have found themselves overly occupied with tinkering with 3-D effects. That’s right, Part 3 was filmed in glorious 3-D, part of the 1980s revival that brought the moviegoer such lasting film gems as Amityville 3-D, Jaws 3-D, and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. Like these films, Part 3 pays great homage to the 3-D monster fare of the 1950s. That is, it looks cheap, feels cheap, and lacks much more than contrived 3-D shots to keep the audience engaged. There’s no cachet, no horror show charm to this film, and therefore no reason to remember it. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part 3”

October Horrorshow: 1408

For about half the film, Mikael Håfström’s 1408, based on the Stephen King short story of the same name, is creepy and frightening. By then, the viewer has grown used to Mike Enslin’s (John Cusack) predicament, and the film has no other alternative than to fall into convention. That’s unfortunate, because if Håfström had been able to sustain the atmosphere of the first half throughout the film, it would rank among the best ghost films of all time. A lot can be said for a film with potential like that. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: 1408”

October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part 2

Why fix something if it isn’t broken? Well, that depends on one’s definition of broken. Friday the 13th was a little movie that could. Little plot, little acting, little in the way of developing much of what makes a good movie. But it had a substantial body count, and had huge returns on its little budget. So a sequel was made, but one that was less a sequel and more a remake. Friday the 13th Part 2 still had a tiny budget, but was blessed with enough funds to afford some of the finer things in moviemaking, like extras, better film stock and lenses, and better actors. Part 2 breaks out of some of the claustrophobia that was a necessary result of the shoestring the first movie was hanging by, but the plot, what little of it, remains faithful to the original: Lusty camp counselors encounter psychopathic murderer in isolated lakeside campsite. Got it? Cause that’s it. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th Part 2”

October Horrorshow: Zombieland

The zombie apocalypse has struck again, this time in director Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland. Bad meat was the culprit this go around, spreading a virus throughout the population that turns otherwise normal people into ravenous cannibals. That’s good for the audience, bad for the characters who inhabit the former United States, re-imagined as a nation/amusement park of the undead in the mind of Columbus, the movie’s main protagonist, played by Jesse Eisenberg. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Zombieland”

October Horrorshow: Quarantine

There’s a subgenre in horror/sci-fi cinema, where a limited number of people are trapped in a contained space and terrorized by some malevolent force. They are picked off, one by one, leading to climax and resolution. There may be a term for this, I don’t know. “Alien-type” maybe. I don’t really want to put the time in researching whether or not there is. After all, most of these films are awful. I did come up with an acronym, however. Arguably, more time was needed to come up with the acronym than researching terms for these dogs, but it was fun. So, from this review forward, films where a small cast is in a reclusive environment where everyone (almost) dies, will be referred to as SCREWED movies. That’s Small Cast, Reclusive Environment, Where Everyone (almost) Dies. How clever. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Quarantine”

October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th

There’s bad cinema, and then there’s bad cinema. Some movies are just unwatchable, displaying a profound lack of skill on the part of the filmmakers. There is nothing to them, not even the satisfaction of shock value. Take, for example, something like Theodore Rex, a film I wrote about last year. That movie was pathetic, with no redeeming qualities at all. It was even uncomfortably racist. But, had the title lizard gone on a murderous rampage, the filmmakers may have had something. Imagine that, a film so bad that it elevates grisly murder to the level of ‘redeeming quality’. Truly, a film that must be seen to be believed. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Friday the 13th”