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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

END OF THE YEAR HORROR MOVIE REVIEW CLEARANCE... PART ONE: MAKING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL



Seinfeld

Seinfeld was a pretty funny TV series but I never watched it... wait a minute. No, no, no, that's not what I was going to review, dammit...



Don't Blink aka Last Stop (2014)

Okay, now we're... pretty screwed 'cause this movie was just awful. And I wanted to like it really, really badly because Zack Ward and Joanne Kelly were in it. Screw Brian Austin Greene - what was he famous for? Oh yeah, marrying Megan Fox. Hmm? He was in what series? Never saw it, sorry.

Soooo... (Starts to sing to the tune of The Brady Bunch - aren't you glad you can't hear it?) Here's the story... of ten rich douchebags... who are going to a mountain top resort... all of them have big issues... with each other... oh wait here's Zack Ward...

I'll spare you the rest of that song. How many readers did I lose with just that one paragraph? Hello? Wow.


Brief synopsis and a good reason NOT to watch this movie: Ten people arrive at a secluded mountain resort to find it completely deserted. With no gas for the return trip, the visitors are forced to stay and investigate the mystery surrounding the abandoned lodge. That's it. There ain't no more and if you're looking for logic or even an illogical damned answer you ain't gonna find one here.

I passed this movie over a dozen times until the name Zack Ward got my attention (one of my fave character actors) and then I saw Joanne Kelly. Mena Suvari gets top billing but I had no idea who she was, sorry. About the only thing I think I've seen her in was her brief role as Elizabeth Short (The Black Dahlia) in the first season of American Horror Story: Murder House. Meh.



And what happened to the benefits of satellite TV? They used to be so cool. When we first got DirecTV it was Chiller, SyFy, and Fuse - which actually played MUSIC VIDEOS. REALLY. MUSIC CAME OUT OF THAT CHANNEL, I SAW IT.

Now? Meh. Chiller is the home of serials played over and over (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, etc. ad nauseam) and a movie everyone's seen at least a dozen times on Friday nights. Fuse... no music. Lots of people screaming at each other, but no music. SyFy? Original programming... sharks flying in the air, through the snow, underground... hey, anywhere there is on God's green earth, Syfy can stick a shark there. They use to have great stuff - Sanctuary, Warehouse 13, Haven. 


Those great shows were inventive. Buuut, you show something for too long and you see patterns. Sanctuary (with cool actors like Robin Dunne and Ryan Robbins) was a great premise with the neat idea of having almost all their sets green screened to keep costs (and waste) low. A Canadian import, it was still pretty cool until you got the weekly message: A 'subhuman' (one whose genes were changed by some splicing) gets into trouble, the Sanctuary team (who houses those with nowhere to go) tries to rescue them, they get into awful trouble and are about to die but tada! 

Dr. Helen Magnus (who's over 100 years old - give me some of that!) would find a solution with her team and all would reset for the next week. Oh, and we got to see the many talents (and characters) of Christopher Heyerdahl too - he got to play a monster (so to speak) in several guises.


Haven was formed after Stephen King's novel The Colorado Kid - it was the basic love triangle - a blonde comes to Maine thinking she's an FBI agent, kind of falls in love with two different kind of guys, and finds out she's not who she thinks she is - in fact, she doesn't know who she is at all. I loved this show but again, patterns - each week the three would find a different 'trouble' (the name they gave for people with special abilities that almost invariably screwed things up), the two different guys would hate/like each other and vie for the girl and we reset for the next week. 

They tried to keep a storyline going but that gets kind of tough when you're spreading a novel over seasons worth of episodes. Again, it was a Canadian import (Maine is close enough, right?) but we got to watch Eric Balfour and that was good enough for me.


Warehouse 13. Ah, there was a super cool series (supposedly in South Dakota but actually another series from Canada).. until, you know. A super-secret government place that bends space (the outside is a regular warehouse, the inside is like a city) and two agents are picked to go out and find 'objects' that do special things (usually those that belonged to famous people) and bring them to the safety of the warehouse. Aaaand the pattern was set. I still loved that show - we had CCH Pounder, Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock, and the know-it-all Myka played by Joanne Kelly. 

Now what was my point? Did I have... oh yeah, Joanne. She was sexy AND smart and played off her fellow characters very well so since this movie was obviously a 'gather 'em up and waste 'em one by one' movie I passed UNTIL I saw that name. Oh and Zack too. And despite the two of them being Canadian (actually Joanne just lives in Canada), the film was actually shot in New Mexico.

I looked up Don't Blink and got hit with a billion Doctor Who references - sorry kids, never watched the thing (love David Tennant though) so I don't know what that's about, but the other title for this movie is Last Stop - which is the name of another movie made in 2000 with Rose McGowan and Jurgen Prochnow so I guess they were kind of stuck one way or another...

I tried to wiki Don't Blink and got some damned country song so... screw it. This is what happens...



We have ten people, supposedly friends, going to a mountain retreat. It is so far up that you have to gas up just to make it there. Your tank's empty when you get there, so the retreat has its own gas station. 'Kay. They chug and hope to make it to the resort. Hmm, ten people, I'm already thinking Agatha Christie but not near as smart...


These ten people are the kind of friends that you know that a couple of them really know each other and the rest are just kind of tagging along. When they all arrive they can't find anyone in the ridiculously resplendent lodge - no one is at the desk, the tables all have food on them but no one is eating and clothes and makeup are in the rooms but again, no people.

So following movie logic, even though nobody has cell service, they decide to split up and find out if anyone's out there somewhere. Because people aren't going to start disappearing unless they do movie duh stuff so here we go... who goes first? 

One finds that although the food is cold, the stove was left on. Inside the cabinet under the sink is a scrawled 'help me' which he doesn't see - which makes what kind of sense? Why would someone put it there - the cabinet is under the freaking sink and was full so it's not like anyone was hiding under there. But if that kind of duh is going to put you off you might as well stop watching...



The cabins (which are five times the size as the house I live in) have stuff but no people. The Zack and Joanne (Why do they always make this beautiful woman look like a train wreck?) characters go for a hike to find something, anything. While it's too hot at the lodge, the nearby lake has frozen solid, fast enough to trap a small boat (no one in it) and there isn't an animal, bird, or insect anywhere around.

Grouping back together, Brian Austin Green's girlfriend just vanishes while the group's talking (I think it's the Mena woman but I just don't care). They take off to look for her, a guy vanishes. They decide (massive duh) to be in one room at the lodge where they can watch each other.



Now you see her...
After a few more disappearances, two take off in a car but get only to the end of the driveway before the driver disappears, the passenger now a mumbling wreck. They also find that the temperature has dropped 50 degrees within hours, meaning the too-hot weather at the lodge has now turned to a lodge covered in snow. And they now know they were never going to leave.



...now you don't.
They're down to three when there's a knock on the door - it's the first guy to have disappeared. He claims to have fallen in a ditch and doesn't remember what happened. Now we're up to four but down to ten minutes. But Zack's character isn't taking any chances...



video


Person after person disappears and we're eager for them all to leave 'cause then the movie's over, right? We are down to Joanne Kelly and Brian Austin Green who are staring at themselves in a mirror in the dark with candles. The effect of Brian "disappearing" kind of gets spoiled since he is clearly just falling backward into the dark - double duh.


Tons of emergency vehicles (and two men in black, one being a 15 second role by Robert Picard) show up to do a 'quick sweep' of the place as Joanne, sole survivor (and mad as hell at her agent I bet) is given the magic blanket (see my horror movie worksheet - whoops, sorry, haven't printed that out yet) and put in the back of a police car. They hustle around until...

Joanne covers her eyes and thinks about what Zack said, 'Anything we do or are gets erased.'



A sudden silence surrounds her. She looks up - tons of emergency vehicles, not a single person around...

Let's hope this was world-wide or else they're gonna try for some sort of sequel - The Douchebags Come Back.