Saturday, 25 March 2017

Review: Train to Busan (2016)

Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-Mi Jung

Budget: 10 billion SKW, almost $9m

Directed By: Sang-Ho Yeon

Wow, what can I say?
Korea had gangnam style break out now we have a full on viral infected zombie outbreak film.
Will it or has it taken the world by storm like that of a sun-glassed blue suit wearing singer?

Only time will tell, but i will say here before the review i sure hope it does. This film is great it's got like 90% practical effects too which is refreshing to see in a film universe dominated by CGI.

You may be used to seeing ghosts or possession type films coming from the east, but a full blown 28 days later, though clearly inspired by world war z too zombie film?
It's pretty unheard of, even before the review ends i have to say this is a must watch film, a five out of five?
You'll have to keep reading on to see how it goes!

So we start the film with a farmer (i think) of some sorts driving through some kind of quarantined area, he has a bit of a moan when some men sanitize his little truck. Then as he's driving away his phone rings, while he's reaching for it he hits something in the road. Exiting his vehicle he see's it's a deer, although when he re-enters and drives off the dead animal reanimates with milky white eyes.

We then cut to an office where a clearly workaholic man, one Seok-Woo is busily working away. He's a funds manager (whatever one of those is its frowned upon)stuck on what to buy Soo-an his daughter for her birthday. He even asks one of his work colleagues.
Returning home that night with a nintendo Wii, we see Soo-an already has one from someone else (possibly her mother). We also realise Seok-woo is a single parent. He asks his daughter what she really wants for her birthday, apparently to go see her mother in Busan.

He's reluctant because of work but agrees to go with her to see her mother, despite saying she'd go on her own! He is then shown a video of her singing in class, but she stops though the class still applaud her efforts.
On the way to the train station it is clear something is going down, fires in buildings and emergency services rushing about, Seok-woo even nearly crashes due to them thundering about. Though they both make it to the train station event free.

On the train we are introduced to a pregnant woman (Seong-Kyeong) and her husband (Sang Hwa), a young baseball team ( two of which are focused on boyfriend and girlfriend, Yong-guk and Jin-Hee) and finally two old women, sisters In-Gil and Jon-Gil.
Just before the train is about to depart an injured girl barges onto the train unnoticed. She quickly becomes an infected zombie thingy (though they are more like 28 days later infected), she then infects a train stewardess, who in turn starts to chow down on some of the baseball players.

All our main heroes make it into the designated train compartments, although Seok does initially lock Seong and Sang out thinking they're doomed. Sang takes to calling Seok a douche for the rest of the film now. news reports on the TV tell of riots and people breaking out into violent rampage all over the country. The conductor tells the passengers over the radio that they have been asked to not stop until they arrive in Daejeon where they will be quarantined. Seong works out that the infected are only enraged/after them if they can see them and blocks the window with wet paper.

They also find a homeless man in the toilets, before they pull into Daejeon Seok gives a guy he knows a ring asking if he can get his daughter and him to safety. The homeless man hears conformation that they can be if they meet a contact at a designated point.
Daejeon station already looks ominous as they pull into it, deserted and empty. This isn't helped any further as the rest of the station is also empty. Seok takes his daughter a different way closely followed by the homeless guy (who overheard the call).

Both groups are headed off by the infected, lots more of the nameless passengers get killed here, a few including Sang manage to close a door long enough for some survivors to make it back to the train (Sang even waits for Seok to get through the door in a role reversal).
However making it back to the train the remnants are split up between the carriages, Soo-an, Seong, Jong-Gil and the homeless guy get caught in a carriage and just about manage to barricade themselves into a bathroom. Seok, Sang and Yong in another, Jin-Hee gets to the front cabin with a host of other nameless survivors and a CEO I shall from now on call Mr dick. I call him Mr Dick as from now on he is nothing but trouble and the main cause of death for a lot of people, especially some of the main cast.

The three men battle their way towards the 4 trapped people and in doing so find out that the infected cannot see very well in low light situations, such as going through the tunnels. They rescue their loved ones and nearly make it back to the safe carriage. Unfortunately at the behest of Mr Dick the rest of the passengers have blocked the door. Yong begins to break through as Seok and Sang desperately try to stop the infected coming through a door.
The first lump in throat happens here, i for some reason got really attached to Sang-Hwa and while holding the door closed he is bitten on the hand, i felt so bad that he will not get to see his unborn child come into the world, especially since they hadn't thought of a name for it yet.
Despite this Yong breaks through the first door and while Sang courageously hold back the hordes for as long as he can before turning, Seok and Yong manage to get into the safe carriage. Unfortunately and seen by her sister Jong-Gil is also caught and infected.

Mr Dick (after Seok gives him a couple of whacks) convinces the other passengers that the people who got back might be infected and should be quarantined to the storage area just forward of the safe carriage. In-Gil upset at the death of her sister opens the door and the safe carriage is flooded with the infected who seemingly kill everyone in there.
In the toilet Seok receives a phone call from some co-worker and this is a major misstep in the movie to me. An explanation, whether he's right or not I don't know it could just crazed ramblings of a mad-man. apparently their work plants caused the outbreak, that's it though nothing else is said on the matter, i just don't think that scene was needed.

The railway to the last Busan stop is unfortunately blocked by freight cars, the driver bravely suggests that he will run and get a new train on a different line. We also now get to see that Mr Dick along with the male train orderly, escaping from the toilet Mr Dick pushes the orderly into a group of infected so he can get away quicker.
The driver finds a new train and starts it moving, just as another train on fire comes thundering up the track knocking another train over onto Soo-an, Seok, Seong and the homeless guy under a train now on it's side. Yong and Jin on the other side see no way of helping so they continue on.
Making it into another compartment of another train Yong tries to open a jammed door to the other side where the train is, unfortunately Mr Dick comes along chased by infected and throws Jin onto them. She is bitten on the leg, Mr Dick escapes opening the jammed door leaving Yong with a Jin about to change. She does change and Yong just accepts this and lets her bite him too.

The other four trapped under carriage with straining windows full of infected inches from their faces look for a way out. Seok finds a hole under the tipped carriage but not before one of the windows breaks. It's now homeless guy, who has been a bit chicken up till now chance to be brave.
He holds a good bunch of them back while Seok clears some fallen rubble. Homeless man is then piled on by loads more infected as more windows break open. The other three make it out just as the compartment falls which would have crushed them.

Mr Dick is in trouble infected nibbling at his feet so the train driver leaps from the moving train to help him only to be thrown (once again) to the mouths of hungry crazies. Mr Dick makes it to the train and starts to increase it's speed.
The other three manage to get to the speeding train and get on not before a horde of infected manage to latch themselves onto the train and get dragged along like a giant carpet of the living dead. Seok manages to break their grip and they are seemingly free.
Checking the cabin Seok see's Mr Dick who bursts from the drivers room just on the verge of turning into an infected, it seems he was bitten in the earlier scuffle. He cries about meeting his mother before going full on infected.

Seok fights him off for a little while until he's knocked back a bit and Seong gets Dick's attention by hitting him. To save her and his daughter Seok wraps a chain around his middle grabs Dick from behind where the most terrible thing happens, Mr Dick makes one more dick move, he bites Seok on the hand as he flings him and himself over the side.
Getting to safety Seok places his daughter and Seong in the drive room, tells Seong how to slow it down when they see Busan insight, then much to mass amounts crying from Soo-an and my own eyeballs he says goodbye to his daughter.
Seok goes to back of the train and slowly changing into an infected brings the memory of his daughters birth to his mind as one last thought. I had the most massive lump in my throat and tears streaming from my eyes at this, i felt like such a baby but i know what he felt being a dad myself and kudos to this film and his acting skills to elicit such emotions from me. He then leaps from the back of the train with a smile on his face.

Now there's not much left to the film but you know i don't spoil endings here, what i will say is there's still a super intense scene to come and the song Soo-an wanted to sing for her dad comes into play and almost made me weep again.
All this and the film was sub titled too!
But coupled with absolutely fantastic acting by everyone even the little girl playing Soo-an I was able to get engrossed in the film and really feel how human everyone was too.
It's been a while since a film has made me have feels like this and Train to Busan is now in my top ten zombie/infected films and wholeheartedly deserves this 5 out of 5 by THN.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Review: Critters 4 (1992)

Stars: Brad Dourif, Don Opper

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Rupert Harvey

This is the fourth and last (thankfully) film in the critters series. It suffers from every franchise killer, no real new ideas, oh and the inevitable trip into spaaaaaaace that a lot of horror/comedy franchises seem to inevitably go.
This film is not really baaad per-say in fact it seems pretty standard run of the mill till Charlie destroys the ship midway, but that's for later.

Starting exactly where the last film ended we see charlie preparing to destroy the last two critter eggs. He is then called upon his galactic com by the bounty hunter boss.
He is apparently in violation of certain laws involved in destroying the last of a species kind. Ug appears and explains it better telling Charlie a pod is coming to collect the egg's.

Charlie isn't happy about it but agrees putting the small eggs into tin cans he sticks them into the cryogenic pod that crashes through the roof. He is to unfortunately frozen in the pod as it jettisons into space.

Later in the year of 2045 a space ship flying through space detects the pod, as a salvage ship the crew instantly think the pod may be worth some extra money. The captain is a dick (Rick), then the second in command Fran, is a very strong woman. Then there's the engineer Al Bert (Dourif), Bernie one of the ships hands and also Ethan the younger novice as such. Rick and Bernie bully Ethan quite a bit but the other two are more friendly to him.

When they realise the pod has an old marking on it of the intergalactic council, they contact the new federation who congratulate them on finding the pod and advise them to go to a nearby station to wait for them to pick up the pod, for decent compensation of course.
Rick is unhappy with this as he wanted more than what their offering but his choice to hold off for more money is other thrown by the other crew members. They reach the station but on exiting their ship realise the place is derelict and abandoned. Even the computer has seemingly gone senile.

The each discover things they're looking for such as showers with Bernie looking for the pharmacy, Al Bert also discovers the nuclear core is close to collapsing too. Fran goes for a shower where she is watched in silhouette by Rick, when he goes to give her a towel and possibly join her Fran clocks him a good right hook.
Embarrassed and realising the rest of the crew has seen what happened Rick storms off. The others just laugh it off as he storms away. He has other agendas however, taking his laser rifle to the pod chamber he burns a hole into it in an attempt to get to whats inside. Ethan catches him in the process but Rick knocks him out and hoists his unconscious body in the air.

However a puzzled thawed Charlie springs forth from the pod, seemingly unfazed by this Rick enters the pod expecting something more valuable to be inside. What he finds is freshly hatched little baby critters that proceed to leap in his mouth and bite his wrist.
All while this is happening Charlie trying to repair his super gun that has fallen apart. Finally once Rick drops dead, Charlie picks up his laser rifle and fries one of the critters hair off, possibly in an act to give the critters more character again like in the third part. Charlie gets Ethan down from the hook who quickly gets to like the crazy little man, especially when they hunt for the two little critters.

They both get trapped in the garbage disposal but escape before they are jettisoned into outer space, they are then let out of a vent by Bernie. The rest of them are a bit iffy over Charlies story even though Ethan confirms he didn't have anything to do with Ricks death and he has a driving licence from 1992.
Using a key card Ethan found in the lab coat of some scientist the crew discover the station was an experimental place for producing a terrifying killing machine out of beasts except it made them unable to reproduce. One of the Critters is watching this from the vent.

Bernie takes the card and lets himself into the pharmacy where he proceeds to fill a backpack with assorted drugs. Al notices that two life forms are making their way towards his position. He tries to warn him but they innevitably here his screams and we see him attacked by the two (now larger) fur balls.

This is where the film takes a drastic downturn for me they try to escape Charlie kills one of the critters but destroys the salvage ship in the meantime, then Ethan turns into a spoiled brat and we get a plot where the last critter uses the machine that enhances ferociousness on his kids.

Ug or he's known now as Tetra comes to the ship and kills Al after tries to stand up to him, this alienates Charlie. Especially when Tetra threatens the life of the others for the location of the remaining eggs. Ethan has however stormed off with an antique colt 44. to stop the other critter, this is where he see's it using the machine.

Ethan kills the bald headed critter with a liquid nitrogen pipe. The rest of the film is terribly uneventful now until Charlie is forced to kill Tetra in a who can pull the trigger quicker stand off, obviously Tetra has gone rusty there.
So i won't spoil any more not that there's much left to tell from here on out.
I'm not a massive fan of this last chapter in this franchise but it's better than some films of the genre and is worth watching just to finish the quadrilogy off.
THN awards Critters Four, 2 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

THN Top 5: Zombie Films

Zombie flicks are one of my favourite genres, probably many peoples on how saturated the market has been since the remake of dawn of the dead and the land of the dead saw them come back hard.
I have however been interested in this genre since i was a wee lad.
The have scared me and entertained me for many years, i think the reason being out of any type of horror thing happening zombies seem the most plausible. Still far off from ever happening but still up there. Why?
Because they're here already in the ground all it take is a virus, some weird new chemical or even a type of radiation we've never encountered and bam, all those we lost come back to eat us!
Here though is a list of my favorite of these films. It's a hard list to put together because just five out of all the offerings of which a large bunch are very good offerings too is hard to whittle down, but here's my choices and they're just my choices, i'm sure yours would be different...

5. Zombi 2
Originally banned in the UK i managed to watch a bootleg version at my friends house, it does not disappoint. Everything from truly gory feasting to a zombie fighting with a shark over who gets to eat the girl!
A very good introduction to the zombie genre, it will either draw you in or scare you off.
                                                                                                                                                                 4. Zombieland
A comedy take on the genre which was big for a while mid 2000's When the zombie outbreak happens a weedy kid who makes some rules for surviving the holocaust manages to survive by sticking to his ruleset.
H begins to find that some rules can be broken for the best results. Well written and acted with a brilliant cameo from Bill Murray that will make anyone's day.

3. Dawn of the Dead Remake
Why the remake and not the original?
Simple it's much the same story with a lot more added on, more death, scarier zombies and extended living in the mall. Acting wise just as on par with the original too.
Also features faster zombie that the old 80's films too, which are also more of a threat whether you like them or hate them in zombie films.

2. Shaun of the Dead
Another comedy take of the zombie horror, except this lovely offering is twice as funny as zombieland and britis made. Meaning inventive way's to kill zombies other than guns etc.
when everything from vinyl lp's are used it's just a funny romp, especially when the main star is cult british TV legend Simon Pegg.
Also despite it being a comedy there are some truly heartfelt moments in the film along with some gore filled scenes too.

1. Return of the Living Dead
Ok this is my top of my zombie film list it's another tongue in cheek comedy horror but done very well in that the horror can at times be quite scary and the seriousness is not eclipsed by the absurd ever. Introducing us to totally invincible zombies not even brain destruction can these ones as every part of them is alive.
only true way to kill these monstrosities is total annihilation by fire, only problem is that send the zombie virus up into the atmosphere as smoke. when it rains next it infects whoever it touches then.
Another early watch for me maybe thats why i'm so biased to it perhaps?

So that's my top 5 zombie films whats yours?

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review: Fright Night (1985)

Stars: Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall

Budget: $9 million

Directed by: Tom Holland

I think, but i may be wrong that this was one of the first horror movies I ever watched. It really enthralled me too, I don't know why but it just hit all the right button in young me's head.

Now going back as an adult full of nostalgia has anything changed?
I can with relief say: no not a lot.
I thoroughly enjoyed re-watching this very recently, it's so so much better than the remake too. Not that that is a bad film, it's just they are literally to me at least two different entities sharing a common theme.

This movie has some brilliantly set up pieces very stylishly done too. Such as the night club dance scene, that sticks in my head as one of the best vampire seduction moments in any vampire film i've seen since.

Made for quite a high budget and staring some reasonably big or recognizable names of the time too, such as Roddy and Chris also Amanda Bearse as Charlie's girlfriend Amy.
William Ragsdale also playing the aforementioned Charlie.

So onto the movie We meet Charlie a horror movie enthusiast canoodling and trying to get his girlfriend (Amy) to go a bit further. She's refusing it's then he notices some people moving into the house next-door, at night time. Amy gets peed off and leaves in a huff because she does give into Charlie but he's now more interested in the strange goings on with his new neighbors.

One night Charlie notices Jerry in a window seducing a beautiful woman, being a randy little teen he's getting all excited when Dandrige fangs up and is about to feast on the woman. Gasping and ducking back behind his window ledge, Jerry seems to notice and closes the blinds.
In school it's shown the woman has gone missing, Charlie tries to confide in his friend Evil Ed, he just ultimately takes the piss out of him, we do get a vibe here that Ed is a bit of a low life.

Charlie tries to find out on his own by taking the police over there, explaining he saw the girl there. Jerry's house keeper Billy Cole explains Jerry has been out of town, Charlie blurts out that he believes Jerry is a vampire and the whole thing goes out of the window when Billy pokes fun at this idea. Charlie and the detective leave and he is scolded for wasting police time.

Having been told Jerry can't get him unless the master of the house invites him in Charlie is horrified to find his mother has invited Jerry over, He states he'll be seeing Charlie very soon. Then later on that night Jerry breaks into Charlies room threatening him with death if he doesn't forget about what he saw. When charlie fights back with a crucifix Jerry almost kills him by throwing him from his window, only a pencil stabbed into his hand and Charlies mother shouting scares him off. He does however destroy Charlies car in anger stating he'll do worse to him.

Charlie tries to get help from Peter Vincent a washed up actor who is reduced to introducing horror films shown later at night. He instantly dismisses Charlies rantings only untill Charlie offers him a substantial amount of money just to come and try some tests on Jerry. He finally agrees to it and they go to Jerry's house to give him some tests.

Giving Jerry what Charlie believes is holy water (it's just tap water) he swigs it down no problems, this makes Charlie doubt himself. That is until Vincent uses his cigarette case and notices Jerry has no reflection, dropping the mirror to the floor with a gasp. He makes his excuses and tries to leave as quick as possible.

Charlie notices this and cajoles Vincent into saying what was wrong, he tells Charlie about the lack of reflection but he can't trust it wasn't some other reason. Charlie gets a bit angry at Vincent but the aging actor wants no more to do with it.
Jerry learns the actor had seen what he seen in the mirror and decides enough is enough. He tracks down Charlies friend Ed and turns him into a vampire. Ed then gets sent to take care of Vincent while Jerry goes after Charlie and Amy.

Vincent manages to fight Ed off with a crucifix and decides it's time to get out of town. However Charlie and Amy are chased by Dandrige into a club Charlie tries to call for help but Jerry uses his vampire powers to hypnotize Amy in an exotic dance, she notices he is vampire but is powerless to resist his charms. He takes her back to his home and even though she tries to refuse, Amy is powerless to resist his charms and she is bitten by Jerry.

Charlie heads once more for Vincent's place, he's placed many crosses about and still refuses to help Charlie against Jerry. After a pep talk from Charlie about being a fearless vampire killer, he decides to help. They rush to Charlies house and manage to actually repel Jerry back to his own as Charlie actually feel the faith this time. Chasing him back they are then attacked by Billy who knocks Charlie out. Causing Vincent to run off in fear to Charlies house again.

In Charlies house Vincent is attacked by Evil Ed once more, Ed fully transforms into a wolf. Vincent manages to beat him with a stake, causing a most feeble death on Ed's turn. Charlie awakens in the room with Amy, who is slowly turning into a vampire. He is rescued by Vincent and told they can reverse the effects if they kill Jerry before dawn.
Once more they are attacked by Billy, after Vincent believing he just a normal human shots him in the head. He does indeed fall down dead, however Dandrige mutters some words and he resurrects Billy from the dead. Vincent unloads the pistol into him with no effect, he is finally stopped when Charlie thrusts a stake into his heart. Billy however dies in a very strange way, he seems to melt into a strange green goo, I still to this day have no idea what Jerry calls him or what Billy is.

They then head down to the basement to take on Jerry once and for all.
That's where is stop and not spoil the ending, though i'm sure it's probably obvious by this point what happens. This is by no means a perfect film and the effects especially the full facial masks are a bit aged now, this however doesn't detract from a very very good vampire film. Better than all this glowing diamond skinned bull crap we get these days.

THN awards this corker of a vamp (Vamp hehehe we'll get to that) film 4 stars out of 5.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Review: Critters 3 (1991)

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Don Opper

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Kristine Peterson

The third in the series in the critters franchise, a funny little series riding high on the small creatures horrors popular in the mid 80's to early nineties.

Unfortunately this one starts to show some cracks that culminate in the fourth film, but that's for a later date.
This is also Leonardo DiCaprio's first film, Don Opper also returns as the village idiot/drunk turned inept bounty hunter.

The story also moves from Grovers Bend to a city apartment building, whether this was a money saving action I don't know as i couldn't find the budget for this film. What I do know is I suspect the budget was saved for the fourth film as they were filmed back to back.

So the film opens up with a down on his luck father driving with his two kids in a small old mobile home. when they get a sudden flat they pull into a seemingly low populated car park to fix the wheel. The girl Annie goes to get a drink and her brother Johnny goes off playing with a Frisbee. Johnny happens to go too close to a high drop to which Josh (DiCaprio) stops him, Annie catches the brunt end of this thinking Josh is bullying Johnny.

Josh however explains his way out of it, especially when Johnny asks him to come play frisbee with them. Unfortunately Josh throws it a bit to far into the woods, He bravely scrambles down the incline to retrieve the disc. The other kids follow and just as he spies the Frisbee Josh goes to grab it and with a spring low and behold Charlie pops out of a hidden hole.4
He warns the kids about monsters then tells them the story of Grovers Bend, they of course don't believe him except for Johnny. Charlie gives Johnny a crystal that will glow green if any danger is near him, he thanks him and runs off.

Back at the car park Annie's dad has fixed the wheel we've also been introduced to Josh's step dad who is a bit of dick, well quite a big dick actually. Relieved to be leaving him behind they drive back to their apartment building. On the way out of the park Annie see's the sign for Grover's Bend, she still shakes her head in disbelief.

Unknown to them some Critter has laid eggs under the wheel arch and are coming along for the trip too. The little creatures hatch and escape in to the buildings basement as the truck with it's brakes broken bashes into another vehicle. Johnny's crystal begins to glow green, only he seems to realise this.

The little critters run havoc in the apartment building just as you'd expect them too, first killing the buildings foreman (who is a dick and trying to get people to move out anyway). They actually do not kill many people in this film, which is one of the one of the downsides, this film becomes more of a comedy than a horror. It also tries to give some of the critters a personality or uniqueness.
One of them ends up with some bleached hair and skin on the one side of its face after being burnt by some cleaning products.

We learn Joshes dad owns the apartment and was trying to get the residents to leave for some scam or other, the foreman was in on it and when he doesn't reply he ends up going to the building with Josh to see whats going on. He of course goes the way of arseholes in horror movies and dies.
One of the critters earlier killed by a flare has set the bottom of the building on fire too, trying to escape both the little demons and the fire all the survivors make their way to the roof. Annie finds herself on the bottom floor surrounded by the little demons. Suddenly out of no where, yes literally for no reason Charlie comes to save the day.

now usually i'd end it here because there's not much left of the film. But i usually only spoil bad films right?
Well critters 3 is not BAD per-say but it's not the best and it suffers from bad pacing and going to far in the comedy direction, you don't feel scared of the critters as you do in the past two films, they seem almost jovial and funny in this. It is a 'decent' sequel in a dying series i suppose and i would say as a whole the entire series is worth watching.

So Charlie literally makes fast work of the remaining Critters and while the rest of the apartments members are outside being treated and offered a deal by Joshes mum, Charlie comes across two remaining eggs. He is about to destroy them when he is contacted by the high command, in fact it's Ug he tells Charlies it's illegal to kill the last two eggs as they are the last two specimens of the Crite species. He doesn't know what to do with them when suddenly a pod crashes through the ceiling and the movie suddenly ends.

So that's where part four takes off right away THN enjoys a good franchise flick and even though we are giving this one only a 2 out of 5 we still recommend a watch especially if your into full series's of films, even the next one. that goes where all franchises take a dable in at some point, SPACE.
Good bye folks see you all again!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Review: Critters 2, The Main Course (1988)

Stars: Don Opper, Scott Grimes

Budget: 4 Million

Directed By: Mick Garris

Ok this is one of those rare instances where the second film is just as good or better than the first. Not that Critters is a brilliant film anyway but it is at least a decent Sunday afternoon/night watch.

Once again Don Opper is here as the bumbling Charlie, except this time he's a full blown bounty hunter!

So we see Charlie, Ug and Lee on a planet hunting for some alien. Which they find when Charlie is attacked by the beast, thankfully Ug shoots it off of him.
While back in their space craft they get a call from the high council telling them that trace signs of Crites are still being found on earth.

Charlie seems both hesitant and excited that they are heading back.

We then see Brad Brown on a bus heading back to his old town of Grovers Bend. The bus driver doesn't recognize him and proceeds to tell him about the reason why the town is famous. Brad knows why, its because of the Critters.

We then see some of the eggs from the end of the first film are found and sold to the town rag and bone man for some beers by a punk kid. He then sells some of them on to a children's day care centre as Easter eggs the rest are left near a heater.

Brad is noticed by the town paper and its owners daughter, Megan. The other reporter goes to tell the ex sheriff Corbin, he is not interested since the town voted him out.

Back at the junk shop the eggs next to a heater have hatched and the creatures has eaten the guys dog, which he notices. He tries to save himself but the tiny baby critters all attack him, eating the stool he's stood on until it collapses and brings him down among the carnivorous fellas.

When some of the hidden eggs begin to hatch in the church garden, the (reluctant) new sheriff dressed as a bunny is attacked by said critters. He busts into the church all bloody and half eaten, Brad instantly recognises this as critter attacks. The town paper however marks it up as an accident, Megan believes Brad though.

So much fun ensues as Charlie arrives back on earth just in time to save Brad and some others, along with Ug and a newly transformed into a playboy model Lee. Brads happy to see him too and can't believe he's a bounty hunter too.
The hunters kill lots of Critters, the Critters kill some towns folks, then ultimately kill Lee which send Ug into a weird mourning blank face mode. Then rest of the townsfolk band together under Corbin and fight back, they come up with a plan to get the critters into the hamburger factory and blow it up hopefully killing them all inside.

The plan goes off without a hitch and the townsfolk  rejoice at the deaths of the little terrors. Unfortunately the critters have banded together to form a giant ball of gnashing teeth of death. This is funny especially anyone they run over just ends up as a totally stripped skeleton. Brad notices Charlie has disappeared.

Now I won't spoil the ending as usual here on THN but i will say this film suffers a lull in the middle but comes right back with the Critter ball, the film is better than the first in this way where as the original was just generally good all the way through. this has some good highs but low lows.
Definitely worth watching if it's on one night or great to watch as a series binge. So THN awards Critters 2 a good 3 out of 5 stars with a recommend to watch.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Review: Wishmaster (1997)

Stars: Andrew Divoff, Tammy Lauren

Budget: 5 Million

Directed By: Robert Kurtzman

Oh wishmaster, oh Divoff, how the Ham flows in this film. Like Julian Sands I have a big hole where the charm of Andrew Divoff's characters and just the grand posture of his presence can keep throwing things in endlessly.
I won't let this effect whether the film is good or not though but i will say without him it would have lost at least one star.

So we see some alchemist at the beginning preparing some kind of jewel. This part of the film is set in the past and also in the far east. For good reason too as there is a Djinn running rampant in the sultans court.
Djinn are not your usual big blue guys magically summoned from a lamp. No they are other worldly demons summoned from another realm.

This like to twist what you wish for into some  parody of what you actually asked for. like asking to be pretty forever he'd turn you into a statue so you'd be stuck as you are for all time. So they manage to trap the Djinn in the fire opal before he can make the sultan use his last wish.
Cut to present day we have Robert Englund and Ted Raimi supervising the delivery of an ancient and old statue. The drunken dock hand drops the large heavy statue right on top of Ted's character squashing the shit out of him.
This also cracks the statue into pieces and from inside the fire opal drops, one of the dock workers grabs it before anyone notices. Through a series of events it ends up in the hands of Alexandra who is a jewel appraiser. After seeing something weird she gives the jewel to her partner Josh, while he is inspecting it the opal breaks releasing the Wishmaster. The lab is destroyed and Josh badly wounded, the Djinn asks if he wishes the pain would stop, replying yes Josh is killed by him.

A distraught Alex tracks the Gems original destination to Englunds Beaumont, he ends up sending her to see folklorist Wendy who explains to her the story of the Djinn. Here she learns that the Djinn needs the power of one person willing to use three wishes which will allow him to bring forth armies of Djinn from his own dimension. The Djinn takes on the form of a deceased man granting wishes and killing on his way to Alex.

Alex keeps having strange and troubling visions everytime the Djinn grants a wish to someone, she tries to confide in Derleth but she soon realises it's the Djinn in disguise. He offers Alex the option for three wishes and even one extra wish just to see that he isn't lying.
Alex orders the demon to blow his head off, he obeys and shoots himself in the head. However being an immortal he just instantly returns to life, damn it so much for that attempt!
Trying to use her wishes intelligently she uses her first to gain knowledge on her enemy, of course the Djinn warps her wish anyway he can and transports her to his world. She instantly uses another wish to escape the nightmarish realm.

Thankfully she had wished to be alone, she ends up going to Beaumont's party where the Djinn attacks them again, in his human form. He starts killing folk by bringing the artwork to life, then threatens Alex's sisters life in return for the last wish from Alex.
Suffice to say she makes the right this time and the movie is subsequently over at this point but we don't spoil films unless their so dire I don't think it's worth your time even watching them.
A very decent film with fun cameo's brought to us by the late Wes Craven, THN awards Wishmaster a very decent 3 stars out 5 with a to watch recommendation.