Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Review: Bad Taste (1989)

Stars: Peter Jackson, Terry Potter

Budget: $30,000

Directed By: Peter Jackson

So here we are, we are at 200 posts amazing hey?
I've been doing this for so many years too it's a little overwhelming but hopefully i'll see another few more years and maybe 200 more posts!

So to mark this landmark event in my calendar I've done this, the first official film that got me into horror. I was 8 or 9 years old and my older friend had this on a fuzzy old copied VHS.
I didn't know what I was getting into but i'm glad I did get into it. I would also find out many years later that this was Peter Jackson's first feature length film too.

This is the thing that helped him launch wingnut films and go strength to strength with each subsequent film, one of his next films was the ultra violent puppet show parody Meet the Feebles. Another one I love.

There are so many things I love about this film and so many things that make me wince too. Not only that there's visible mistakes too, these don't matter one bit though they only add to the films charm. With a tiny, tiny budget the film did some spectacular effects with it's cash too, from alien costumes to rocket launcher explosions. Because the film is more a tongue in cheek gore fest rather than a genuinely scary film I think eased me into the genre nicely.

The film starts with an empty town, the town of Kaihoro and some specialists sent in from the fictional forces of AIDS (yeah I know right?) which stands for the Astro Investigation Defence Service. The team of four bumbling guys comprise of Derek (Jackson), Frank, Ozzy and Barry who are trying to deduce the whereabouts of the towns population.
Some of the others are attacked and kill some blue shirted aliens, Derek captures himself what he believes to be an alien to. It could be his bearded brother (mainly because ever including Jackson plays at least 2 or three other people/alien) this alien is called Robert. Derek tortures him to try to learn what the aliens are up to, unknown to him Roberts screams are attracting the surrounding aliens to his aid.
Derek bravely dispatches these reinforcements, accidentally leaving the torture knife in Roberts foot, when our nerdy hero turns from killing the drones he quickly realised Robert has escaped. In some good cutting and camera angles he fights himself, Derek is unfortunately seemingly knocked to his death from a cliff top.

A fake or seemingly fake charity collector is attacked by Robert next, though he does manage to escape to a large house. Thinking he's safe he's unfortunately knocked on the main alien hordes door he is knocked out and dragged indoors.
Down from the cliff top Derek awakes, his head seemingly saved catastrophic damage by hitting and killing a seagull in it's nest. unfortunately it's not saved him enough as a flap drops open on the back of his head and some of his brains fall out. Derek after convulsing crams his brains back in and stops the flap up with a hat.

The other guys manage to infiltrate the aliens house and after tearing off an aliens head Frank wears the blue shirt to mingle in with the other aliens. Robert is commended for taking out Derek and is given the pleasure of serving his vomit in a bowl to the masses. Frank after eating some (and enjoying it) finds out the towns populace has been packed up as a new source of fast food for these aliens and about the trapped charity worker.
After getting back to the others Frank explains the aliens plans and they plan to save the charity guy once the aliens have gone to sleep. They attempt to but are attacked by the aliens who get alerted, a stray shot knocks off Dereks hat and he loses a chunk of brain by stepping on it.
He quickly rescues the rest and uses his belt now to keep his head together grabbing a chainsaw he goes on a rampage in the aliens house saving some of the others in the process. He even uses some of the aliens brains to replace his lost chunk too.

So that's as far as i'll spoil this delightfully strange, gruesome yet incredibly fun film, THN awards Bad Taste the highest 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss

Budget: around $380,000

Directed By: Sam Raimi

Evil Dead, one of the horror greats and trend setters and something I watched very early on a very poor VHS copy and I didn't really understand it's weird claymation stuff and disjointed feel so much so I never finished it until I watched it again at a later date.

Which i'm glad I gave it another chance, especially since I saw evil dead 2 before re-watching this which gave me a better understanding.
watching this series all out of order at around 11-13 years old was not good, yet despite this on watching it again especially being older gave me a totally new perspective on this film.

I realised the film was pretty low budget and once i discovered it was filmed months apart at some points I understood why it felt disjointed at times.

This is the beginning of a series of films that would end up being something much, much bigger and something we all wanted so much more of for so long before it finally got a TV series (I would have preferred a movie but that's for another time)

Ok so lets get on with the movie, to be honest it was/is a very simple premise some friends hear of a cabin in the woods and decide to go there for a weekend away. Then after some ancient words are spoken and releases an evil they all die one by one.
Yes so in more detail, Ash Williams (Campbell), his girlfriend Linda, sister Cheryl, Scotty and his girlfriend Shelly travel to an abandoned Cabin in the woods they have heard about. It's a bit run down but they neaten it up by the time they go to have lunch.
while eating the cabins basement door blows open, this leads the youths to take a look what did it. Finding a tape recorder, ancient book, knife and shotgun they bring them all up into the cabin and proceed to listen to the recordings.

Unknown to them the words spoken on the recorder awaken an evil force out in the forest. Later a scared hysterical Cheryl goes out into the forest when she thinks she hears something out there.
Searching around for a few minutes she is attack by tree branches which rip at her clothes and eventually violate her. Ash has given Linda a small silver magnifying glass necklace which she adores, Cheryl is unable to convince the others so talks ash into taking her into town.
He agrees though unfortunately when they reach the bridge it is totally destroyed, sending Cheryl hysterical again. Heading back to cabin they listen to more of recordings, Cheryl starts to predict the cards being pulled from a deck and spins around floating in the air possessed by a demon.

Cheryl manages to stab Linda in the ankle with her pencil before the guys lock her in the cellar, unfortunately Shelly becomes possessed also. Scotty having heard that they need to be dismembered from the recording grabs an axe then proceeds to hack her up.
Scotty also tries to flee after this to find some kind of trail through the forest back to town, while he's gone Linda also turns yet she just sits there taunting Ash. Not very long later Scotty bursts back in very bloodied and hurt by unknown assailants.
Linda and Cheryl pretend to be normal again but revert quickly forcing Ash to throw Linda outside she however attacks him until ask manages to use the dagger against her. He goes to use the chainsaw in the tool shed to dismember her but can't bring himself to.
He ends up just burying her corpse, which once done she immediately leaps from her grave, only to be decapitated by a shovel. Heading back inside Cheryl has freed herself from the basement and ash manages to wound her with the shotgun, Ash heads to the basement to find more ammo.
Emerging from the basement Ash is shocked when Cheryl attacks again and also Scotty comes back as a demon too.

I'll leave it here as we're near the end of the film and this is one film that NEEDS to be watched by any horror fan, trend setter and franchise maker THN awards Evil Dead 5 out of 5

Sunday, 4 February 2018

THN News: Halloween 2018

Are you looking forwards to this?
Are you terrified it might be bad?
Confused as to whats going on story wise?

All these things and more we are all wondering even here in THN, we are however keeping an eye on all fronts soaking up every bit of knowledge and news we can to keep everyone informed. As always this may contain spoilers for the film series or even the upcoming film so if you don't want to know either then please turn away now.

Still here? Okay then here we go.
We like many are a filled with a bit of trepidation when it comes to sequels, especially sequels that plan to forget nearly everything from every other sequel past the first film. You all know if your avid THN reader I;m a massive sucker for a franchise.
Be it Friday the 13th, Chucky or even leprechaun, I lap them up like a cat with creamy milk. So as you see above and may have seen other places there's a familiar face returning to the franchise. One Jamie Lee Curtis in the form of Laurie Strode, her real name Cynthia Myers. First seen in the original film from 1978 In the film we learn she is the only remaining member of the Myers family a family massacred by their one member Micheal when he was only a mere 8 year old kid himself.

Micheal after escaping from asylum workers returns to Haddonfield many years later to finish the job of killing his family in the form of the now teenage Laurie, adopted by the Strode family and renamed. Pictured above, after many attempts and killing a bunch of other teens he fails to kill her in the first movie. Thwarted by the late great Donald Pleasance in the form of Micheal's personal psychological worker Dr Loomis. Despite being shot many time and falling from a high balcony Micheal manages to survive and disappears at the end.
The second film is basically a retread of the first except set in a hospital where Laurie is recovering from her ordeal. Micheal once again tries to murder her while dispatching hospital workers in a myriad of creative ways.
Loomis shows up to help again and Micheal seems to be killed by being set on fire by an ether explosion set off by Loomis, who we also assume is dead. (He's not he returns in a later Halloween film) Somewhere between the second film and the sequels up to Halloween H20 Laurie fakes her death and moves, she also changes her name.

Now set 20 years after the second film and pretty much ignoring 4, 5 and 6 Laurie now known as Keri Tate has been living a relatively normal life and had a son named John with a guy she had a bad relationship with.
A head teacher living on campus with her son everything seemed peachy on the surface, she even had a new relationship blooming with school guidance counselor Will Brennan. Unfortunately due her past experiences and hiding her real identity she turned into a functioning alcoholic (someone who can drink get drunk but still go about 'normal' life).
Over protective of John, when he rebels against her telling her Micheal is dead she does proceed to be more lenient with him, allowing a school trip. unfortunately she makes a link between being an early teen and Micheal turning up to kill you and yes he does indeed attack John and his girlfriend.
Saving them and after a bunch more people including Will meet their demise Laurie sends John and Molly to call the police.
She confronts Micheal herself with a fire axe, both of them hurt each other but Laurie comes out on top after stabbing Micheal repeatedly and sending him off a high balcony. The police arrive and they load Micheal's seemingly dead body onto an ambulance, Laurie managed to steal the ambulance knowing Micheal would rise again.
He does and after a few more tense scenes she beheads her brother and thinks it's finally over.

In the next film we learn that the man at the end of H2O was not Micheal but the security guard who Micheal has crushed his larynx preventing him from speaking and disguising him as himself.
She ends up in an insane asylum due to this, she seems to be in a catatonic state but this is just to fool the sanatorium workers. She has however been setting things up for when he murderous brother eventually returns.
Setting a trap on the roof of the building, when he eventually comes for her she fights back leading him up to then roof. Once there she spring out on an unsuspecting Micheal triggering her trap, she says she doesn't fear him anymore as he dangles over the roof by his ankle. Micheal manages however to fool her by clawing at his mask making her think it could be a different person again. When she attempts to make sure he grabs her and brings her over too, the rope breaks but Micheal grabs onto the roof and stabs Laurie with his other hand, thus ending her role in the movies.

Bleh, bleh and more bleh especially part 2. enough said about them.

So we can ignore every movie after the second one now, some people are saying this is just like a retread of H2O or maybe a H4O lol. Though from what I've seen it does look suitably different. Even though I do hate it when they retcon a series if it's done right it can be a decent addition to the series, well redone series.
Things i don't like are the implied thing that Laurie being Micheal's sister may well be wiped from the cannon, why?
That's one of the main things that links her to the protagonist give the first film it's meaning and reason. So if it's wiped why is Micheal even back now, 40 whole years later?

We won't know until we see where McBride decides to take this idea and if he does indeed run with it. So yes its set 40 years after the original now with a Laurie who isn't Micheal's sister still worrying about if he will ever return after his disappearance at the end of the original.
She does have children, even a granddaughter Karen and Allyson respectively.
John Carpenter is back as executive director, which does give me a little hope that it go in a good direction. Also the fact that McBride and David Gordon Green are massive Halloween fans themselves makes me want to believe it can work.
We've seen set photos such as this:

That are places and houses done up to show its Halloween night much the same as the original film this means Micheal will be retreading his steps in Haddonfield on that night again. Speaking of Micheal there's been also been on set very distant pictures taken of the killer himself such as this:

He's blurry but that's definitely  him by the tree on the right hand side there. That's almost everything we know here at THN so I hope this has helpful getting you caught up with Halloween where it was, where it's gone and where it's going.
Slated for an October 31st release date, believe me THN will be there to see where this takes the series first hand!