Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NOT FOR ONE MILLION, ZILLION, KAJILLIAN DOLLARS...






13 Sins, aka Angry Little God aka 13: Game of Death aka 13 Beloved (2014)


Sometimes when I am near brain death and know that I cannot do a decent review on movies I have already seen, and taken notes for, I watch junk movies. This is like eating junk food, only it's for the brain and it doesn't have any calories. These movies can come from anywhere, and usually do, or they're movies that I have seen over and over again such as JDATE, or Cabin In The Woods, or any one of the Evil Dead movies. This movie is actually a remake of a 2006 Thai horror movie (where the 13 Beloved title comes from) and apparently is pretty close to the original.

I wasn't really looking for anything this time, in fact, I was actually going to do another movie that looked interesting, but it wouldn't stream worth a damn. This is one of the drawbacks of watching movies on my computer, streaming is sometimes spotty. So I gave up on that one and noticed this little gem.




This is about a man named Elliott. He's about to get married and his fiancé's family expect big things out of him. Trouble is, he's one of those guys who chooses nice over vice. In other words, he's too good of a man to make money off of people. This can be a problem when you're a salesman, which he is. In fact, at the beginning of the movie, when he expects a promotion he actually find out that he is being fired, not because he didn't make the sale, but because he didn't overcharge his customer.



Elliott is in deep trouble. His (pregnant) fiancé is expecting a huge wedding and he has nothing but debt. As he sits at a stoplight and swats at a fly bugging him inside the car, he receives a phone call with the ring he's never heard before. It sort of sounded like a circus-type tone. The voice on the phone sounded familiar although who it was is not listed in the credits, and I really had to dig into my brain cells to figure out where I've heard that voice and I think I've got it. 

The voice sounded just like Father Shelnut from JDATE who was voiced by, of course since Don Coscarelli was also in the movie, Angus Scrimm, otherwise known as 'The Tall Man' in the Phantasm movies. That is just a guess based on my little ears.

And our movie officially begins. The voice, who apparently can see anywhere and everywhere Elliott goes, tells him of a reality show that people, also unseen, are watching. He is told that he will be given 13 tasks. For each task, he will receive a certain amount of money, which will increase as each task is completed. If he quits at any time, all the money goes away.

The reality show theme has been done more times than necessary, but at least this doesn't involve a bunch of self-involved movie teenagers who are competing for a supposed prize by being just as horrible as they probably already were. This is Elliott, all by himself. His first task - swat the fly in his car. Simple enough, and worth 100 bucks. His second task, eat that fly. At the end, he'll win millions of dollars.



This is a strange little film, in that the tasks are meant to break down, not a man's sanity so much as his personality. Elliott is a very nice man. However, when his third task is making a little girl cry, he finds it within himself to do so. As you've probably guessed by now, the tasks are going to get worse and worse. And it's not just his pregnant fiancé counting on him (although no one knows he's playing), but he must take care of his mentally challenged brother and his nasty father. I was kind of hoping one of those tasks would be to shove his father out a window (if you watch the movie, you'll know what I mean), but no.



Elliott finds himself in a moral quandary. He cannot tell anyone about the game, ask for help, or even talk about the game, or else he loses all money that he has won so far. And so Elliott starts to become another person to the confusion of those around him.

Now I'm not going to list out each of the 13 tasks, but suffice it to say, they get really, really nasty. Toward the end of the film. It is no longer a question of whether he will complete the tasks, but who he's willing to hurt to do it. Especially when he finds out that there is another player he is competing against, and he must finish first in order to win.

Like I said, there are more than a few reality show type movies out there. I can't stand them. I certainly never watch the real thing on TV. But this one caught my attention, simply because of the idea of a very nice, mild-mannered man becoming a monster, in order to provide for his future family. Is he being good for his family's future, or is he just being a jerk because secretly that's who he wants to be?



This movie is full of logic problems in the plot (won't go into that, it would give away too much of the movie), however, the story progression is decent, as is the acting, and it is an interesting quandary that is examined all the way to the end of the movie. There weren't any big names in this movie except Ron Perlman, but this movie really didn't need any big names to keep my attention.

It's definitely not for the squeamish, and I think each person will probably make his or her own decision about whether he or she would participate in such a game. And I think that is kind of the point.