Some film historian could write a book about The Last Boy Scout, the outrageous action flick from 1991. It’s a film legendary for its troubled production, with no less than four Hollywood egos clashing while it was made.
There was screenwriter Shane Black, who had been paid almost two million bucks for the script; director Tony Scott, who was in the midst of his peak as a blockbuster filmmaker; star Bruce Willis, who was in need of a hit after Hudson Hawk underperformed and The Bonfire of the Vanities absolutely bombed; and producer Joel Silver, part of whose legend involves massive amounts of cocaine. Silver was such a pain in the neck that when Scott later directed True Romance, he based the character of Lee Donowitz on Silver. Reportedly, Silver was not pleased. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: The Last Boy Scout”
Daylight, the 1996 film from screenwriter Leslie Bohem and director Rob Cohen, should not be this bad of a movie. It’s the perfect vehicle for its star, and does absolutely nothing wrong in following the Irwin Allen disaster movie playbook. It’s swift and action-packed, and there’s enough tension that it should be able to keep a viewer’s attention. But, the characters. My God, the characters. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Daylight”
I had high hopes for this flick. Admittedly, those hopes were unrealistic. But, Hatchet II was last year’s official film of the Horrorshow, one I had a lot of fun watching, and I was looking forward to more cartoonish gore and general silliness. All the ingredients were there. Same writer/director, same stars, what looks to be the exact same sets, but this time around, the results are not the same. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Hatchet III”
I judge sequels and remakes a bit more harshly than other films. I cannot help but compare further entries in film series to their predecessors. It would be ideal if I could judge something like Aliens or Jaws 2 on their own merits, but I find that impossible if I have seen the earlier film. The associations in my brain are just too strong to ignore. That’s not a problem today. I have not seen Hatchet, the first of writer/director Adam Green’s ongoing story of murderous freak Victor Crowley, but I did just watch Hatchet II, and now I think it is time...
Ladies and gentlemen, my Loyal Seven readers, I present to you Hatchet II, the official film of the 2014 Missile Test October Horrorshow. This flick represents just about everything I love in a slasher flick. There’s loads of gore and buckets of fake blood; all the killing is done in the woods; in Danielle Harris, it stars a legitimate scream queen; and it looked like it had a budget of about a nickel and a half. Oh, and best of all? It’s 85 minutes long. We love reasonable run times here at Missile Test. There’s nothing more interminable in a film than bloated length, so when I catch a movie that doesn’t hold me prisoner past the start of the eleven o’clock news, I’m thrilled. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Hatchet II”
A couple years back, I wanted to read Pet Sematary. These days, I prefer epubs to printed books. But believe it or not, the only epub edition I could find of that book, without torrenting a bootleg copy riddled with scanning errors, was in German. So, I had to go to a bookstore, something I hadn’t done in a long time. I found a mass-market paperback copy on the horror shelf of a Barnes & Noble near the World Trade Center. I could have been in and out of the store like a flash, but failure to browse in a bookstore is an intellectual misdemeanor, so I took a look around. When I think of a bookstore, the genres on the shelves tend to hold steady. Fiction and literature, horror, mystery, nonfiction, supernatural teen romance...huh?
That shelf caught me by surprise. I knew Twilight was a big thing, but until I walked into that bookstore, I had no idea that supernatural teen romance was a standalone genre, much less that it could command thirty feet of shelf space. That’s pretty damned impressive, but also makes soon-to-be middle-aged male me gag just a little bit. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Stake Land”
What a putrid mess. Halloween 5 is a shameless cash grab. (The full title is Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, but that full title seems only to exist on posters and other promotional material. The title card of the actual movie has no subtitle.) Halloween 4 was a cheap b-movie that sought to bring a recognizable brand to heel after the failure that was Halloween III. And it worked. Audiences didn’t like the fact that Michael Myers wasn’t the villain in the third flick, and producer Moustapha Akkad took notice. He brought back the slasher icon for the fourth installment, and saw a tidy return on investment, so it was inevitable that there would be a fifth. Of course, since abject cheapness didn’t hurt the bottom line with Halloween 4, there was no incentive to produce a quality product with Halloween 5. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Halloween 5″
Halloween III was a big bust. A successful horror franchise ditched its most marketable characters because series creators John Carpenter and Debra Hill were tired of the idea. I suppose it was a laudable decision from a creative standpoint, but if you’re going to ditch Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, perhaps the greatest on screen villain/scream queen pairing in Hollywood history, it’s probably a bad idea to name your new film like it’s a sequel. Carpenter and Hill learned the hard way that the Halloween brand was in its characters, not its name. Halloween III is not a bad movie. It’s just not a Halloween film. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”
Cruelty is a hallmark of Rob Zombie’s films. His antagonists revel in the infliction of pain, and Zombie revels in putting it on film. As a filmmaker, Zombie has embraced the current trend in horror films of making murder graphic and disturbing, bringing it visually closer to the real thing. This is no feather in his cap, nor is it a daring attempt to hold a mirror up to the violent society in which we live. There is no depth or complexity, no higher meaning that is being pursued, no redeeming quality that makes it worth the time and effort it takes to sit through one of his films. Continue reading “October Horrorshow, Summer Edition: Halloween (2007) & Halloween II (2009)”