October Horrorshow: The Dead Hate the Living!

I haven’t seen a whole bunch of films from Full Moon Features, Charles Band’s production company, but they have had a couple great titles for their flicks. There’s Castle Freak, which is a more literal title than it appears at first glance; and Evil Bong, or, as it’s called in headshops all over America, Evil Water Pipe. Today’s horror flick has a title better than those two. In fact, it’s a title on par with Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. Like Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, getting the title right was the high point of the production, unfortunately. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Dead Hate the Living!”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Mach 2

I had thought that the movie business had had enough of Brian Bosworth after the spectacular mess that was Stone Cold. I was wrong. That film spawned a five-year pause in Bosworth’s acting career, but he’s been working somewhat regularly since 1996. Thank goodness. I love it when shitty action stars are able to maintain a tenuous grip in the entertainment business. It means we viewers get them in more flicks like Fred Olen Ray’s Mach 2, released in 2000. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Mach 2″

Empty Balcony: Battle Royale

Before The Hunger Games, there was Battle Royale. In fact, it’s not all that hard to go back through literary and film history to find stories about groups of people being hunted in a confined environment, commonly an island. Some pit characters against each other, while some feature characters whom are hunters, specifically. A quick trip through my memory (aided by the Google machine) brings up The Most Dangerous Game, The Running Man, and even Death Race 2000. This isn’t a hard idea to come up with, which is why Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games novels, can plausibly claim that she never heard of the book and film Battle Royale before the similarities were pointed out to her. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: Battle Royale”

Schwarzenegger Month: The 6th Day

Time is not treating The 6th Day well. Released late in 2000, the movie opens with an XFL game. The XFL, for members of the Loyal Seven who do not remember, was a winter/spring professional football league founded by the WWE’s Vince McMahon, which began play in real life a couple months after this movie’s release. The league managed to limp through one season of play, but that was it. Hardly anyone was watching. Its appearance in this film was an inspired, and probably expensive, bit of product placement, but seeing it did nothing to make me think I was about to watch a good movie. Continue readingSchwarzenegger Month: The 6th Day”

October Horrorshow: Pitch Black

I’m a sucker for Alien ripoffs. Really, I am. Something about the shared stories (monsters whittling down hapless cast members) strikes something elemental in my brain. The formula for films like Alien seems so fundamentally sound to modern storytelling that I bet, had he been alive in the era of science fiction, the Bard himself would have come up with it. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Pitch Black”