What a bottom-feeding pile of garbage. This reviewer has seen many bad movies — enough bad movies that I’ve ruined any arthouse bona fides I may have had — yet, sometimes, I’m still surprised that something so amateurish manages to get made. This is one of those shitty movies where no one involved, even the professionals, seemed able to capitalize on their work.
Alien Rising, from 2013, is a direct-to-video shitfest brought to viewers by screenwriters Michael Todd and Kenny Yakkel, and director Dana Schroeder. This was Schroeder’s second directing effort, and, if his IMDb page is any indication, it will be his last. Thank goodness. We shitty movie fans may be into flagellation, but everyone has limits. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Alien Rising, aka Gemini Rising”
Lance Henriksen is as old as dirt. He’s so old the primordial soup called him ‘daddy.’ He’s so old his grandkids had to teach him how to program the VCR. He’s so old he can tell the difference between Sarsaparilla and root beer. He’s so old…one gets the idea. In reality, he’s old but not that old. As of this writing, he’s 79. Well into old age, but not a doddering eldster, either. I bring this up because today’s horror flick, Black Ops, originally title Deadwater, was released straight to video in 2008, just a few weeks after the film’s star, Lance Henriksen, turned 68. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Black Ops, aka Deadwater”
We all have egos, right? There’s no use in pretending that we don’t. Personal and professional relationships can be thought of as a constant battle between our egos and our desire for successful interactions. In other words, not being a dick is learned behavior. I thought of this at the end of Bone Dry, a neo-noir flick released in 2007. That’s because right after the final shot of the film, the credits begin, and they read, “A Brett A. Hart Vision.” Oh, please. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Bone Dry”
Recently, I had a vague memory of a movie. I swore that I had seen it, way back in the dark and distant days of the 1990s. I couldn’t remember what it was called, but I was having visions of Ray Liotta running around a jungle prison and killing people. What was this film? Had I imagined it? Was it a dream? Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: No Escape”
Alien vs. Predator, the 2004 film that brought together the two franchises for the big screen, has its roots way back in the 1980s. In 1989, Dark Horse Presents ran a short Aliens vs. Predator story for three issues, written by Randy Stradley with art by Phill Norwood and Karl Story, which served as an introduction to a standalone miniseries Dark Horse subsequently published. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Alien vs. Predator”
This is the film that started the long decline of the Alien franchise, but much of the bad feeling this film generates is misplaced, I think. There’s a lot of love out there for the first two films in the series, so any continuation of the story is going to face both closer scrutiny and higher expectations. I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with that, so long as opinions aren’t magnified beyond a reasonable consideration of a film’s quality. Luckily for the filmmakers of Alien 3, it was made in a simpler time — the 1990s — when a franchise flick wasn’t judged with any sort of finality before it was even released.
Alien 3 hails from 1992, and was director David Fincher’s first feature film. He worked from a screenplay cobbled together by David Giler, Walter Hill, and Larry Ferguson, after the project had been bouncing around in development since shortly after Aliens hit it big at the box office. At one point, sci-fi legend William Gibson was hired to write a script by Giler and Hill (who also served as producers on the film). Gibson’s script was wildly different from what was eventually filmed, so much so that he received no writing credit. For the curious, Gibson’s screenplay can be found online. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Alien 3″
Back in 2011, Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc., got screwed. ADI, an Academy Award winning practical effects company, had worked hard on the remake/prequel of The Thing. But, sometime during post-production, the decision was made to replace all of ADI’s work with CGI. The resulting effects were poorly received, and with good reason. They don’t look good. They’re the type of effects that make film buffs pine for the time before CGI was a thing, when makeup and puppetry were king in horror flicks. My biggest issue with the CGI is that it is clearly CGI. It never manages to cross over into believability. It looks like a cartoon is intruding into a live action movie. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Harbinger Down”
Is The Terminator the best movie Arnold Schwarzenegger has ever been in? There’s a strong possibility that it is. Some viewers have an affinity for Terminator 2, others for Conan the Barbarian. As for me, I voted with my eyes a long time ago. Of all the films Arnold has made, The Terminator is the one I’ve watched the most. It is impossible for me to recall just how many times I’ve seen it, but I would not be surprised if it’s somewhere in the 20s, maybe even the 30s. So, pardon me while I gush. Continue reading “Schwarzenegger Month: The Terminator”
Stan Winston was legendary in the film industry. Before he died, he won three Oscars for visual effects (Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Jurassic Park), one for makeup (Terminator 2 again), and racked up a total of six other nominations. He either led or was part of the effects and makeup teams that worked on The Thing, The Terminator, Ghoulies, Predator, Leviathan, Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Interview with the Vampire, Avatar, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. In short, the man had a hell of a career turning the unreal into the real. In horror, he was a master monster maker. But, a man has to branch out, explore new opportunities. Enter Pumpkinhead.Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Pumpkinhead”
Alien is an artful film. It is frightening and suspenseful, but it also has operatic grace and gritty realism, despite being set mostly aboard a spaceship. It’s hard to imagine Alien spawning a sequel so tonally different yet still so successful, but Aliens does just that. The two films are poles apart, sharing with each other only the alien creatures and Sigourney Weaver, who reprises her role from the first film as Ripley. Continue reading “October Horrorshow, Retroactive: Aliens”