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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Open Grave (2013)

Well the weather is doing a 'guess what it's going to do today' kind of thing and today's treat is thunderstorms, cold, and rain. After blistering heat and almost a record lack of precipitation for the year, it's actually a relief, even if the two days it's supposed to rain (now extended to three) won't make up for the year so far. Got a couple of good jolts, some thunder, no loss of electricity.

Oh wait we did lose electricity... but that was because our illustrious electric company was turning on the power to a house down the street and apparently didn't know which switch to throw (took them two trucks and techs to do it too). Pfft.... massive duh.

With much love, apologies, and all credit to Stephan Pastis

Anywho, so I'm suffering right now. Yeah I know, I suffer when it's hot, when it's not, when it rains, when it snows, when out of my mouth a lot of garbage blows...

Whoa, where did THAT come from? Must be some voodoo from certain ones who think I'm a blowhard. No hard feelings though, 'cause if I wasn't, these boring movies would be VERY boring. But I'm in massive pain so I'll shut up about me now. And thank goodness nobody has to know it's taken me four days to get this review this far... unless somebody rats me out... whoops. Damned voodoo.

Doing a la-de-da through the internet horror sites, I found the description of a movie called Open Grave. A man wakes up in a deep pit of dead bodies, not knowing who he is or how he got there. He encounters a cabin with people in the same condition and they all have to figure out the whos and whys and wherefores before they all kill each other...

Wait, what? Bae? What the hell is Bae? Oh, sorry, you're not here so right now you think I've totally lost it. Nah, I've been half-watching music videos and Pharrell William's new, uh, I guess they still call them songs, is called 'Come Get It Bae'. It starts by telling people that beauty has no expiration date - then uses all models under the age of 25, who are almost six feet tall and not one of them more than a size six. YOU SUCK, WILLIAMS! And having Miley Cyrus stand by you sticking out her tongue going 'Bae' or 'Hey' or 'Yay' or whatever the hell she's non-singing every couple of seconds does NOT make it a duo. <Shudder>

Bae? Lazy, lazy English. It has meant many things (one said it was Danish for 'poop') but most know it to mean yet another drop in the intelligence of the average young person who's too lazy to use complete sentences and so must leave letters out in order to keep their tweets short.

Thank you very VERY much Weird Al - you thought that this wouldn't be topical anymore but hey, this whole new generation is talking this way and it ain't... umm, it isn't just the young ones. Okay, I'm done now...

The premise of the movie (she said, desperately trying to get back on track) sounded almost interesting. I have seen waaay too many 'people wake up in a room not knowing how they got there' type of movies, but this seemed a bit different. Finding a copy of the movie was a bit of a challenge, but after a while I did and here we go:

Now this contains a lot of spoilers - so listen up 'cause you do NOT want to watch how spoiled this movie is yourself.

The bearded man in the above description immediately throws up upon awakening (you would too - that has GOT to smell bad) when he discovers everyone around him is dead. With some sickening crunching as he stretches (I hope the Foley studio they used got shut down - their sound effects were terrible and often early or late.) he gets his limbs working well enough to climb his way to the side of the concrete pit. And this pit is DEEP.

Okay, not to spoil the 'magic' but this isn't a pit - they used some sort of unused culvert (open on both sides) with lots of vines put here and there which, if real, meant it was really old - which makes a big problem. I'll explain that briefly later, I promise.

Inexplicably a rope is dropped down. If it had been me, I would have been dead 'cause even in high school I could never climb that damned rope in PE. He sees a woman at the top and climbs his way slowly out of the pit. Following her leads him to a cabin with four other people, all in the same condition he is. The Asian woman who helped him out of the pit is mute and cannot understand English - the others are a German and three Americans.

So here's my worksheet so far:

Pit dude: Probably important.
Mute lady: Also probably important.
German: Pain in the ass.
Americans: Dumber than dirt.

Let's see if I was correct, shall we?

The house seems normal - but they find it contains a very full pantry, and a ton of different rifles and pistols with ammo. They wonder if the cabin was being prepared for something. On the refrigerator is a calendar with the number '18' circled, it apparently being two days away, the other days x'ed out. They also find a library with medical books from all over the world.

Magically, four find their ID somewhere in the house - so they now have names. The guy from the pit doesn't so he's John Doe. And of course, no one can speak to the mute, so she's Brown Eyes. So far this is a pretty neat set up, with different possibilities of what the situation could be and why they are there and alive. But apparently they only have two days to find out what's going on - who knows what's going to happen on the 18th.

Okay, let's fill out this Horror Movie Worksheet (patent pending): Six humans, lots of supplies, tons of dead people. One waking among said dead people. We've got apocalypse with... plague? Zombies? Both? There's a few empty spots but I think I've got the gist of it.

Aaaand this is where the movie starts to bog down. A lot of arguing, a lot of suspicion, not much action. Several decide to look for civilization, a car, anything. They leave behind the German - a real hothead who's also handy with a pistol to protect the mute woman.

But he's full of testosterone and not much brain power. He hears screams and runs off to find the source. He finds a mangled man enmeshed in a barbed wire fence. He struggles to help the guy out but big surprise - the guy was not trapped - he grabs a stick and shoves it into the German's throat. He dies first. Yup, that was on my worksheet.

I dunno, she looks fine to me...
The rest are starting to slowly remember things but they understand nothing of what they think they're remembering. Which is tedious. And repetitive. And slowing down the movie even more. They discover finally that they are on a compound of some sort with buildings full of locked stalls, some with people in them. AND there are tons of dead people wrapped with wire and rope around trees, as well as hanging from branches around the house. How did they NOT smell that?

Which is the problem. See, this IS an apocalyptic event (told ya), with a plague that makes people act crazy (meh, zombie-like people, close enough). The six were a five-person medical team developing a cure using an person found to be immune - guess which one? Ah c'mon, please guess? I'll make this review a hell of a lot longer if you don't!

Yup, Brown Eyes.
Just kidding, 'cause I like you. Yes, the military was due to come back on the 18th (if they didn't all get infected) to get these six out but the five not immune started getting sick themselves. See, they found a 'cure' but since they were getting sick, they had to inject themselves - and their 'cure' caused unconsciousness and periods of amnesia. Double duh. The dead people were strung all around to keep the sick out because they didn't like the smell. That bears repeating: The SICK did not like the SMELL. Right.

But they were a little late with that conclusion and had blamed the one who woke in the pit (the lead doctor) for 'experimenting' on them, since they didn't remember until it was too late that they were sick too. So into the pit he's thrown again. By the time he gets out (again), the others... need a bullet in the brain. Seriously.

Only three holes.
This was comical to me. The military's coming. They're supposed to be carrying automatic weapons but they're not. One doctor (discovered at the last possible second to be the main doc's brother) tries to approach them, saying he's not sick. They open fire. The Foley guy makes it sound like semi-automatic rapid fire and we hear at least, oh, I think a dozen or more shots. How many holes in the dude? Guess.

In proper order, their number is reduced to Brown Eyes (who's really good at hiding) and the main doc and his wife (one of the Americans) until she's stabbed in the back.

Wait a minute - those are bolt 
action hunting rifles... WTH?
This movie had more problems than plot. If this was a fast-acting apocalyptic plague, how did they have time to build this compound, complete with buildings, medical supplies, and a nearby medivac - not to mention the culvert - umm I mean pit (that was obviously old). How did Jonah (the lead doc) first get in the pit? How did they NOT smell the massive dead surrounding them? Why did the sick not like that smell? How did the dead get in the pit? Where did they come from? And why was there a pit when just outside the compound... well, wait a second.

Our movie ends (thankfully) with the doc and his dying wife hiding - for him the third time - in the pit of bodies. He injects them both, knowing they're gonna forget again by the time they wake up what happened.

Brown Eyes gets him out ONE MORE TIME (his wife died but he didn't know her anymore) and, not knowing a thing, he wanders off with her to see... miles and miles of the dead. Again, where did they come from and who put them there? And if they were dumped there, why the pit? And the smell... sigh. I have to say though that the CGI work in this movie was far superior to the joke that was World War Z.