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OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

22/12/2008

Lucker the Necrophagous [Director's Cut] (1986)


John Lucker is a murderer, rapist and necrophiliac. Eight years ago, he went on a rampage, during which he killed eight girls with whom he had... uhm... sexual intercourse afterwards (like, two weeks afterwards). He was caught, and transferred to a mental asylum after he tried to kill himself. Due to practically nonexistant security, he manages to flee the asylum. When he finds out that one of his victims of eight years ago managed to survive, he is determined to find her and finish the job. He spirals out of control, as his urges and violent needs become more intense... on a mission.

I don't know what to say, as I have a distinct set of ambivalent feelings when it comes to this movie - mixed, even. Let me tell you why.



First of all, I want to say a word (or maybe a few) about the dialogues. Why the dialogues, cyn, and not the camerawork, or the terrible VHS to DVD transfer? Because, my dear reader, it's the first thing you will notice.

Seriously: It makes you go insane. It's not just that they are abysmally bad, at the same time, they are like some sort of drill that mercilessly works its way into your mind, never ceasing with the pain, never ceasing to make it hurt in new ways.

Insane. Luckily, there isn't a lot of it - most of the people who actually do the talking are not Lucker (more on that later), usually A) nurse (singular), B) nurses (plural), C) radio, D) random living person, possibly to be killed throughout the course of the movie (the probability to be killed in this movie rises if the person in question is female). Lucker? Oh, right. Lucker. Yeah, he does talk. Once or twice. And no, I won't give away what he's going to say, because it's actually sort of...important... to the ...plot. Note my hesitation there. The one before "plot".

You see, the thing with the plot is this:

Originally, the film was much longer, but due to the negatives being destroyed, it has been difficult for director Johan Vandewoestijne to scrounge together the original for a release. Before, the plot was different, with a journalist investigating the main character, John Lucker, before his rampage in the current release. The journalist becomes intrigued by Lucker, and seeks to take up his mantle. Lucker discovers this, kills the journalist, and continues his rampage.

(Courtesy of imdb.com, as usual when I can make you fall into astonished silence with my insights and knowledge of the movies I watch...)


Now that's what I call a cast. "Girl in jogging"?

Now... VHS to DVD. The sound doesn't work out properly (it happens more than just once... or twice... or 14 times...), so you hear people screaming when they're already dead, or clearly see the lips of the actors moving out of sync to what they are actually saying.
Then there's the transfer of the movie. A lot of... black. The editing isn't too good (I am being kind here), and those annoying black screens will go on your nerves as well if you're anything like me. And trust me, I'm a PATIENT movie addict. Technical problems, a bad transfer, lousy sound... usually, those things don't take away my enjoyment of a movie. In the case of Lucker the Necrophagous, these things unfortunately do (take away my enjoyment of the flick I'm watching). It's just too much in order to be able to ignore it.

And then there's the soundtrack. Oh my Gods, the soundtrack.

I watched this together with TF, and we both came to the same conclusion: Someone had gotten a CASIO home piano for christmas, happened to be a friend of the director and desperately wanted to try out his awesome new fun piano. I swear, you can hear it. I had one of those things (and a bigger one a few years later), and I know how addicting it can be to try out those fascinating special effects and sounds. I was there, man, I was there...

Now, the stuff I've said as of yet doesn't make this movie out to be more than a cheap, dirty flick. But it is. Oh yes, it is more than just a cheap, dirty flick. It provides endless amusement to people who like gory, realistic nasty movies (think of the infamous Video Nasties) and are not bothered by icky stuff, slimy stuff (I've said it once, I'll say it again - movies need more slimy stuff), sex with corpses, violence or misogyny. Then again, people who STILL read my reviews probably don't have a problem with that, although their mileage may vary. I know people who have no problem watching a zombie devour someone alive, and those same people will react with disgust when they see a long drawn-out death scene in a movie about... a necrophiliac serial killer.

I approve of the death scenes. They are awesome. Long, slow, painful to watch and hear (for the victim, or people who are less desensitised to violence than me). I like that.

I also like the grimy feeling of the movie. Here, there's nothing pretty. This movie doesn't need pretty. All it cares for is delivering Lucker's way to us, the viewers.

One scene that I especially liked was the actual necrophilia scene. Delicious. He fucks a hooker four (!) weeks after he killed her. Man, that girl is one juicy bit. Full decomposition. Maggots are crawling underneath her foul skin, she's more liquid than solid (I just say "licking scene" - you'll know what I mean when you see it) - I fully approve. I also fully approve of said licking scene. Lucker, Lucker, Lucker... you're not just one lucky motherfucker (see what I did there?!) to have a dame like this to mount, you're also so going down the path to becoming a ghoul*...

Okay, I'm going to skip forward now. It does not become a lady of my age and social stature to... watch this particular scene all too often (and on a sidenote - I could have done with less man-beef and more corpse).

Back to the main protagonist: Lucker.
Brilliant dialogues. "Uh", "Ah", "Oh", "Uuuuuh", sometimes I even detect the hint of an "Ugh". He speaks one or two times throughout the whole movie. But this does not deter from what I like to call his charme and him being full of win. Because, to make a really long story short: Lucker is cool. I like Lucker. I mean, how can you NOT find a necrophiliac, psychotic serial killer with serious communication problems likeable?

After 45 minutes, the movie really clocks in and we get more. More of what, you ask? Well, more of everything. Coolness, mostly. And some light torture and psychological terror (but only light - then again, my definition of "light" may be a tad different from yours).

Enjoyable flick. If you're looking for some movie about necrophilia - I personally prefer Lucker to Nekromantik (1 and 2). Or maybe I just like watching helpless women scream and moan and beg, who knows. *shrugs*

You're warned: Not light fare. But adorable. The only way this could have become more enjoyable would have been a skullfuck. But alas, you can't have everything.


7/10 decomposed heads being forced into the face of a screaming, tied up woman.


P.S.: The final piece of dialogue will either melt your brain, or make you laugh out loud. Just a hint:


...and I invite you to play the game of "Come Up With A Different, Witty Ending Dialogue To Lucker the Necrophagous" as well. Trust me. You will anyways. It's impossible not to do it.



* Leichengifte!

13/12/2008

Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält aka Mark of the Devil aka Austria 1700 (1970)


Udo Kier! Awesome!

And it's a truly fucking Austrian movie. Holy crap, I am so proud of my country. And our mountains. Can you see those mountains? They're truly awesome mountains.

According to the imdb, this movie has been shot in "West Germany". That's not true. It has been shot in Austria - namely the districts of Salzburg and Niederösterreich (Lower Austria). I lived there for 16 years (in Salzburg, but part of my so-called family comes from Niederösterreich), I should know how the area looks like. And turns out I was right:

Castle Moosham, Salzburg, Austria

Mauterndorf, Salzburg, Austria

Krems, Lower Austria, Austria

- funnily enough, my (now dead) grandmother (from my mother's side) lived there, and I was there often enough. And it's just half an hour on the train to Krems (which I am speaking about).


This is Krems. Yes, most of the... place looks like this.


Mauterndorf is also a place I am familiar with, as is Castle Moosham. Sheesh. No wonder this movie looks so familiar.

A guy who raped a nun:



Being tarred and feathered? Cool. That's awesome. I especially approve of the gleeful expressions on the faces of those present.


Idyllic everyday scenes from rural Austria...

Witch burning (see above). Could have been more graphic, but alas, it's the 70s.

Now, get ready for... NARRATOR VOICE!

"In Europe, between 15th and 19th centuries, it is estimated nearly eight million people were convicted of heresy and executed by fanatical witch hunters, in order to save their souls.

Their deaths on the scaffold or the funeral pile was for them the release from agonizing torture which often lasted for years.

This motion picture shows three cases taken from authentic documents from the time when witch-hunting had reached its peak and can only give a slight idea of the cruelties of one of the blackest pages in the history of Man."

(Actual quote from movie - in fiery letters, no less!)


There seems to be a problem with wide-spread witchcraft (in Austria?!). The local witchfinder doesn't really want to cooperate with the two new arrivals (one of them is Udo K... I mean, Christian) who come with a letter from the Holy See, authorising them as well. To do... witch-finding.


Our Hero


(Believe it or not, but this actually is Udo Kier, about 4 decades ago. I actually said out loud "I don't believe it!" when I looked it up on the imdb. Then again, I could have guessed - after all, he has the eyes...)


Of course, the local witchfinder didn't really keep his books on witch-killing properly, so he wants his underling to make up proper manuscripts of the... "investigations", complete with confessions. So that everything looks alright to the annoying newcomers - who are nothing but heralds for the true problem to come: Lord Cumberland, some sort of really important witch-hunter.


Albino


Even if his underling has to write all night - something which I personally find hilarious, as I've spent many a night doing nothing but writing up stuff and then presenting it to an audience. If a female, sickly student can do it in 2008, a witchfinder's sidekick should be able to do so, as well.


This is how Evil Guys intimidate underlings to write stuff all night. Professors can do it with a glance and a "...I need it tomorrow."


Albino, the local witchfinder (remember?), takes a fancy to the young lady working at the inn he's staying at.


The girl. The one with the skirt, you moron...


His attempt to rape her results in a scar on his cheek, so he accuses her of witchcraft.


Boob-touching can result in...

...this.


I also want to draw attention to Hitler-Beard. I don't know if it was fashionable during the 70s to spout a Hitler-moustache, but damn me if I didn't laugh out loud when I first saw the guy sitting around. He's just there. He does nothing. I think he even says nothing.
You have to realise that, in Austria, whilst funny to some people like me who just have a weird sense of humour, anything WWII-related is somehow attached to a deeply rooted stigma - a taboo, practically. By merely cracking a Hitler joke on teh intartubes, I am technically breaking the law in Austria. We're very touchy about this subject, and very obsessed with it. In school, you're herded into a bus once your mind is able to be imprinted and influenced by the authorities and then driven off to Auschwitz, where you experience a day filled with mind-blowing guilt techniques.

Let me tell you something about Hitler Beard. I like to think that he was just hanging around the set, a curious, yet simple farmer with an oddly shaped, funny but socially awkward beard. The director saw him, and thought "ZOMG that's freaking hilarious - Hitler Beard!" ...and so, a legend was born.




By the way - we get cool torture scenes. Not really cool kinds of torture, but at least some.




The whole attempted rape - violence - accusing of witchcraft out of spite and revenge is a bit of a problem, because Udo Ki... Christian found the local witchfinder's underling (I call him "Chinny") trying to forge documents, AND he (Udo K... Christian) has taken a fancy to the girl as well. Apparently. At least he invites her over to dinner at his place. I take that to be an expression of ...emotion. And usually, he doesn't have any of that stuff. Emotion, I mean.


May I sleep here? Just... for one night...?


Man, this is going fast! She obviously likes him ("What is... your name?" - "...Christian..." - "...good night... Christian..."). As in... really likes him. Has the hots for him. Wants to do the nasty with him... you get the picture. Also, look at that face - if that isn't an inviting smile, I don't know what is.

Our beautiful heroine wakes up to the sound of drums - it's the messengers of Sir Cumberlain, and the accursed heretics brought with them.

As the story goes on, the local witch-finder is jealous of the budding relationship between his younger rival (Christian) and the young lady working at the inn (girl with name). So, what's a guy to do?

That's right. You accuse your desired girlfriend of witchcraft. Again.

As soon as Lord Cumberlain arrives, the music becomes... intense. Intense and dramatic. I congratulate the person who wrote it on the soundtrack - it truly is beautiful, and it manages to convey an additional sense of intensity to the scenes.

A problem arises when our local witch-finder Albino brings in a young, obviously tortured woman, who he accuses of various very witchy crimes (all of them really strange, weird and unbelievable). She was actually raped by the Lord Bishop, but that makes her even more of a suspect, so she's going onto the rack.

And then... of course... the young woman working at the inn. (Her name's Vanessa Benedict - the scriptwriter was nice enough to make them tell us her name legitimately during a ...hearing (?)) -Accused of having had intercourse with the Devil, making a pact with him and thereby rendering another man (we can just guess...) impotent. Lord Cumberlain doesn't want to deal with this case, and relegates Vanessa to the jail.




Christian expresses his desire to become a learned witch-hunter to his mentor, the Lord, and the topic of Vanessa comes up. Lord Cumberlain doesn't approve of Christian's feelings for her, stating that it's her witchcraft that makes him attracted to her.

We also get pretty girls in irons and with thumbscrews, actually smashing fingers.

Christian starts to see the ugliness of the church when he witnesses his mentor trying to make a convicted sorcerer sign over all of his belongings (= a lot) to the church in exchange for his life.

I have read quite my share of books about witchcraft, the inquisition, witch trials and what went on during the Dark Ages. However, reading about it is one thing. Watching it is an entirely different thing. For once, I don't masturbate to the Malleus Malleficarum. Or at least I haven't tried it yet...

...just kidding.

(Or not?!)

But these scenes are awesome. Never have whipped, abused females looked as good as in this movie (then again, it's my 2nd exploitation movie, so I can't be considered an authority on the subject...).


Man. That's so pr0n.


Especially with the sweet, vanilla sex scene afterwards (two random people we'll never see again, just there to provide us with softcore porn).

Aesthetic shots. But whereas it's morally totally okay for me to show graphic pictures of violene, I can't show you the sex scene. It would make this into a pr0n-blog (let's see how much weird google search results this will produce).

Albino (the local witch-hunter's name) notices naked nameless woman, he and his horde of edumacated idiots storm the room, he gets it on with her (implied rape), and his idiot underlings kill the guy she was doing it with first. Problem? Problem.

Now it gets complicated (Whoa there, cyn!, you say - a 70s horror flick with a complicated plot?! Slow down, slow down, this can't be true!), so bear with me: Albino's underling/secretary betrays his master's behaviour to Lord Cumberland as he is about to torture a young woman (the one who got raped by the Lord Bishop). For example, with ingenuous contraptions that are made to hold someone tight and secure. In case you want to rip someone's tongue out with a old, rusty metal thingie.



See? Told ya you could use it for that!


Lord Cumberland wants to relieve the witch-finder Albino of his duties due to the incident with the implied rape of a young woman, which turns into a heated argument, with Albino threatening to tell everyone that he is evil, rapes women and burns them out of fun. When he adds impotence to the list of crimes (huh?) he wants to accuse Cumberland of (of which Cumberland is mostly innocent, we can guess, but Albino isn't), the Lord Cumberland snaps and kills Albino by strangulation.

Christian happens to watch this - and his faith in god and the church is a bit... shaken, you might say.

"I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.", as Uncle Al would have said. Probably.

The interaction between Christian and Lord Cumberland gets increasingly strained with tension due to the murder the Lord committed. Cumberland reminds him of the fact that innocents get killed in their line of business. Morals and ethics all play a big part in this, as does the eternal question: Is it alright to kill for something that has to do with religion?

Interspersed throughout the movie and its actual plot (I still find it hard to believe that) are the torture scenes. Quite some of them. And for people like me, who know obscure stuff about torture methods, even the mere notion of "The Spanish Boots should convince him" makes me happy.




Of course, they serve a reason - they illustrate the cruelty and pointlessness of a religious system inherently flawed in its conception of "good" and "evil" and its ways of deciding which is which.

Some part of me, however, thinks that it's also exceedingly awesome.

I won't go into any further details, as I have already given some things away, but this movie delivers.




Torture, rape... you want it, you get it.




The pacing is just right - scenes float into each other in just the right way. There is a careful, measured element to the way everything works and interacts. This is storytelling well done.

The camerawork is, for a movie from 1970, outstanding. Granted, I know more 50s and 60s movies than 70s ones (that period seems to be the one decade that I somehow managed to miss out), so I don't have a reference point to what could be considered a standard for how good movies during the 70s have to look like, but it's very beautiful. They chose really good locations for shooting this film.

The acting is equally as good - especially our leads are outstanding. Udo Kier is brilliant as ever, especially in the later parts of this movie, and the beautiful Olivera Katarina portrays her character with full conviction. Herbert Lom, who plays Lord Cumberland, was a no-namer to me until I checked him on the internet and found out that he's playing Insp. Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movies that my dad always used to watch with me when they were on TV. Dad, posthumously: I don't know if you ever knew that this guy also played a woman-raping and torturing witch-finder, but he does it good.




And now let me dedicate a little bit to Reggie Nalder (born Alfred Reginald Natzick here in beautiful and decrepid Vienna, back when it was still the center of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which was about a century ago - see, horror movies can be educating!).

I was impressed with his role as the lecherous witch-hunter Albino. He is a great actor - and constantly, there was this nagging feeling back in my mind that I somehow KNEW his face. Turns out I was right: He played the vampire Barlow in the 1979 TV series "Salem's Lot", based on the Stephen King novel. When I watched that more than a decade ago, I was pissed off at how shitty the vampire looked. Herr Natzick, you ruined one of the few Stephen King books for me with your decidedly blue depiction of the vampire. However, you made it up with your role in this movie.


9/10 really not happy endings. Which maketh me happy.

Edit I: I also just notice how incredibly good-looking all of the somewhat important female characters are. They look naturally pretty - not the glamorous, glossy version of "good looking" we have come to expect from new movies made with a shiny cast of hot young actors, not the kind of looking good that is achieved by tricky use of lighting and make up - just plain, normal, good looking women. It's good to see that once in a while.

Edit II: Somehow, after the whole impotence thing got brought up in the movie, I constantly had the feeling that there was something more to it. A sort of sub-sub-plot, if you will. But check the timing of sayings like "I know who you are!", "I know WHAT you are!" and the word "impotence" and see for yourself. It was almost like a running gag... at least in my head. Ahem.

16/11/2008

Fear Itself (TV) - "New Year's Day" (2008)

1st of January, 04:26 - you wake up, dizzy from a night of partying - and something is wrong. The apocalypse, maybe? What is it with those planes and helicopters? And the blood? Who or what are the infected? Infected with what?

What we have here is a straight zombie flick. I can't believe how simply structured that thing is. You don't need to know about the internal structure of certain horror - subgenres, either - the movie lives from being painfully obvious. The character structures - obvious. The plot - obvious. The deaths - obvious.

And this is something Darren Bousman did? Why?

Whoever wrote the script is either a total genius who wanted to create a parody of all things horror clichés are, or a total retard, unaware of the effects clichés in large doses can have on the seasoned horror veteran. I prefer to think - nay, hope! - that he is a genius, who sat there laughing maniacally all the time whilst writing this crap - a "I AM GOING TO MAKE BOUSMAN DIRECT THIS, HEHEHEHEHEHEEEEHEHEHEHEHEHEHIHIHIHHEHEHEHEHEEEEE!!!!!!!!!" - kind of moment. Possibly followed by a properly evil "MWUAHAHAHAHAAA".

I don't even know where to begin when it comes to the clichés of Fear Itself's "New Year's Day".

A group of friends is separated.
Relationship troubles.
Zombie outbreak.
Chemicals, created by Black Science.
Love.
Drama.
The Undead.
Wild party.
Holing up in old places.
Barricading doors.
Disappointments.
More zombies.
News broadcasts.
Un-barricading doors which previously had to be barricaded.
Frantic shots and editing (well... Bousman).
...
The problem with this movie is that it looks all around great. It looks like Saw - which means that it looks wickedly cool. But it just isn't Saw, or any of its sequels. Speaking of the Saw franchise - maybe there's a key as to why Bousman agreed to do this. Saw doesn't need a fresh, nifty story anymore (is someone else getting bored by the yearly Saw outbreak?), although it certainly wouldn't do any harm for something else now. Maybe Bousman just forgot how to recognise a good script?

Oh, and there's a Twist. A really unexpected one. Yes. *nods* It will... uhm... totally take you by surprise. Definitely. Because it is The Twist.


4/10 spasming girls on the ground.

Fear Itself (TV) - "Eater" (2008)

Call me paranoid... but please compare:

When a serial killer is put in police cells for the night, the duty team discovers he is a shape-shifter - someone who takes the form of any human he feeds on. Before long, the cops have to figure out which of them is a wolf in police uniform.

vs.

When a serial killer is put in special police cells for the night, officer Bannermann discovers that he (the killer) is a shape-shifter - someone who takes the form of any human whose heart he feeds on. Before long, the cops have to figure out which of them is a voodoo-wielding wolf in police uniform.

Familiar, mh?

Whilst watching this episode of "Fear Itself", I was faced with that constant nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I had already seen this a few years ago. Turns out I'm more or less right: 2002, the 4th episode of "Urban Gothic"'s second season named Eater aired. It wasn't a particularly endearing episode - then again, "Urban Gothic" didn't suffer from too many highlights anyways. So, in that episode, the killer is locked up in a police station and can take on the form of anyone who he fed off.

In THIS episode (let's call it "Eater 2.0"), the killer is locked up in a police station and can take on the form of anyone whose heart he ate. Oh, and there is voodoo.

The difference between Eater and Eater 2.0 aren't that many (honestly, what did you expect?). One of them: Eater 2.0 was directed by Stuart Gordon. That is indeed something, as I'm a big fan of the man. Other than that... the Eater is much cooler in Gordon's version.


Other than that, this episode is a decent entry to the "Fear Itself"-series. Good use of light, the camerawork isn't bad at all, and stereotypical characters. The story is open and makes no attempt to lure us into some sort of trap - right from the beginning we know what is going on, figure out what happened and watch events unfold that are no surprise to us, because they are so predictable.

This movie plays out solid and predictably.

Sometimes, that's not too bad a thing, but you have to admit that it's not exactly a hallmark of brilliance either. What surprises me a little bit is that it is a predictable movie directed by Stuart Gordon!

I don't know why this one here and the 2002 "Urban Gothic"-episode are so similar that we can easily think of one single script used for two different TV episodes. I'd be curious to know more - whether it's just pure chance or not. I mean, come on... Eater. Eater 2.0. Seriously, the similarities are so gargantuan that you couldn't miss them even if you were blind. *shakes head*


Neutral 5/10 bloody sinews that look like red chewing gum.

14/11/2008

Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In), 2008


Oskar, a bullied 12-year old, dreams of revenge. He falls in love with Eli, a peculiar girl. She can't stand the sun or food, and to come into a room she needs to be invited. Eli gives Oskar the strength to hit back - but when he realizes that Eli needs to drink other people's blood to live, he's faced with a choice. How much can love forgive? Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) is a story both violent and highly romantic, set in the Stockholm suburb of Blackeberg in 1982.

I'm not usually a big fan of vampire movies - granted, I grew up with the old Hammer movies with Christopher Lee, think that Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula looks beautiful, have a soft spot in my heart for Near Dark and The Lost Boys, adore Trouble Every Day (Yes! YES! I will write a review some day!)... but I consider those to be classics. Just as I'm not a particular fan of zombie flicks, I can still name about 10 movies that I really like. It's just part of the horror franchise - the vampire. Just another sort of monster.

However, just as Trouble Every Day challenged my idea of a movie about vampires, so did Låt den rätte komma in.




As the initial synopsis (courtesy of imdb.com) told you - this movie is about
Oskar, a 12-year-old boy in Sweden, 1982. He's the kind of kid that has one big problem: He gets bullied around and mobbed by the other kids at school. There are several possible reasons for this: He is skinny, pale, weaker than the other boys. He loves to read (books about serial killers and crime and forensics) and is a loner. In short: The perfect victim for more ...actively aggressive kids than him. He ran afoul of one group in particular: The little gang of Conny, who seems to get some sick enjoyment out of humiliating and beating up Oskar.


Oskar also keeps a journal about killings and deaths.


Sounds familiar. Well, I don't know if it sounds familiar to you, but it sounds all too familiar to me. Now, the thing is: Oskar harbours an intense aggression against those fucked-up kids who like to torment him (understandably). His evenings usually consist of going outside into the (very empty and desolate) park in front of the house he is living in with his mother, together with his hunting knife, and re-enacts the slights and insults he has received during the day at school in front of a tree - which always results in him violently stabbing the tree.




It's sad to watch those scenes. Oskar's aggression is palpable - but so is his sadness and loneliness.

One night, though, a girl appears on the climbing thingie only a few meters away from him.




What follows is one of the most brilliant dialogues I've ever had the pleasure to witness.

And I mean absolutely brilliant. You'll know what I mean when you see it - unless you're one of those people who want their vampire movies to be full of action, T&A and whatever - like Blade and its sequels, or Wes Craven's Dracula 2000 and its sequels, or the Underworld franchise. No, this is a calm, silent and atmospheric movie. When it comes to the use of colour and the atmospheric flow, Let the Right One In reminds me of Trouble Every Day.

Speaking of fans of aforementioned modern vampire flicks: You should avoid this one. It requires intelligence, an appreciation for atmosphere, colour, characterisation, dialogue... the art of fine film-making, to cut this short. There is nothing flashy or sensational to this movie. It's clearly a European movie - and for some reason (I don't want to go into detail, as this would derail into one of my rants), European films differ markedly from USAnian ones. They are slower... more focused on processes and situations rather than action. And I like it. Maybe because I'm a European, so there's a possibility that I'm being biased. Anyways, I fully approve.

Anyways, back to the plot.


The second most-awesome poodle-scene in a vampire movie. Now, there's not just Interview with the Vampire, but also Låt den rätte komma in.


Oskar and Eli (the mysterious girl that only comes out at night, can't eat food or enter rooms without being invited first without disastrous consequences) become friends. There is a slight but distinct sexual tension between the two young kids, which lends a deep dimension to the film, which is not always comfortable (unless you get off to such stuff; then I by no means want to imply that your desires and/or fantasies are in any way wrong - do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, man...). Over the course of the first and second act of the movie, we can watch them bond slowly - a very realistic and careful process. Kudos to the writer.
But as their slow and careful friendship, also characterised by a constant keeping of distance between the two kids, progresses, Eli's nature becomes more and more apparent. Unable to go out during the day, unable to stomach normal, human food, the need to be invited into a dwelling before able to enter... and the fact that she needs to drink human blood. Oskar is troubled by this - the supernatural is introding into his world, and it wears a cruel, beautiful face with smears of blood all over it and its cold, slender hands.

This movie is also a visual journey through the development of Oskar's character and mind. He learns to stand up for himself (okay, maybe beating someone's ear with a giant pole so that they bleed out of the ear and scream constantly is not the nicest and most polite way to go about this, but hey, cut the kid some crap...) because of what Eli tells him. And he learns how to make choices... resulting in the ultimate choice.




This movie is... I don't know how to say it. It is touching, on several different levels. You might have to watch it several times in order to realise the various layers on which this movie is resting, and some things might become apparent only on a subsequent watching (especially if you're not used to movies such like this), but... wow. Just wow. I am truly impressed.

I was looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I heard of it, and I was definitely not disappointed. Everything was perfect - well, everything besides one scene. It's one of "those" scenes - one of those which the movie could have done without. It features fire. You'll recognise it when you see it. Then again, I think it was important to the general understanding of the vampire's condition, so it did serve a purpose. I would have preferred if they had done it in a different way, but still. Låt den rätte komma in is a very special, very different movie. It's not your usual kind of horror - in fact, it's only partly a horror movie. It is also a romance, a movie about friendship, loyalty, growing up, the terrors of it, a study about dysfunctional families and people, childhood, being a teenager... and death and need.

Another thing I want to mention is that I cannot stress enough how brilliant the performance of our two main characters - Oskar (Kare Hedebrandt) and Eli (Lina Leandersson) - is. These teenagers truly carry thewhole weight of the movie's impact on their fragile shoulders, and both do it with extraordinary ability. There is no single second in which the actions, words, gestures or eyes show that these two are not real characters but fictional ones portrayed by young actors. The range of their behaviour is realistic throughout the whole movie. It is rare that I am truly impressed by an actor, much more that I'm impressed by a child-/teenage-actor. But Oskar and Eli truly are memorable, sympathetic characters. I hope they both continue to pursue a career in acting, because they would be a great boon to the general quality of actors. I'd definitely want to see more of them.





Another thing that I enjoyed was that the movie doesn't portray the vampire as our great, awesome, flawless, slightly suffering (morally speaking) hero. The character of Eli is completely human - and at times, completely inhuman. The vampire character has two completely different sides to it - and Lina Leandersson manages to portray both in an eerily convincing way. There is no artificiality to the way she shifts between the two. Great acting. Wherever you found Lina, keep her (and Kare Hedebrant as well!).

And the camerawork... what should I say? Brilliant? Awesome? Outstanding in this specific subgenre of my beloved horror? All of those.




An outstanding movie. It will not appeal to everyone, though.

11/10 solved Rubik's cubes...

19/10/2008

It Conquered The World (1956)

THAT'S RIGHT! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!


"He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature... and because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned too late for himself that men have to find their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And when men seek such perfection... they find only death... fire... loss... disillusionment... the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can't be given, it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Man himself."

Well. Actually, it doesn't. Conquer the world, I mean. It even fails to conquer one shitty small town, but that's neither here nor there, because THIS! IS! SPARTAAAAAAAAA.... ehm, I mean this is a Roger Corman movie. Yepp. Another one - as requested by popular demand (*cough* Pyre *cough*). And because I live to serve (ahem), I will talk about this beautiful movie, this jewel of B-movie-ness.

*happy sigh*

It Conquers The World is actually famous... well, more or less famous. Depends on what social circles you are hanging out with. I personally am sure that at least TF will instantly know what this movie is about when he reads these words: Frank Zappa, "Cheepnis". Yepp. Frank Zappa talks about this very movie. Specifically, about the threatening creature Roger Corman unleashed upon the world. Yes, I AM referring to the ...monster you can see on the cover depicted above. Look at it. Take it in. Read.

"Cheepnis." Let me tell you something, do you like monster movies? Anybody? I LOVE monster movies, I simply adore monster movies, and the cheaper they are, the better they are. And cheepnis in the case of a monster movie has nothing to do with the budget of the film, although it helps, but true cheepnis is exemplified by visible nylon strings attached to the jaw of a giant spider . . . I'll tell you, a good one that I saw one time, I think the name of the film was "IT CONQUERED THE WORLD," and the . . . Did you ever see that one? The monster looks sort of like an inverted ice-cream cone with teeth around the bottom. It looks like a (phew!), like a teepee or . . . sort of a rounded off pup-tent affair, and, uh, it's got fangs on the base of it, I don't know why but it's a very threatening sight, and then he's got a frown and, you know, ugly mouth and everything, and there's this one scene where the, uh, monster is coming out of a cave, see? There's always a scene where they come out of a cave, at least once, and the rest of the cast . . . it musta been made around the 1950's, the lapels are about like that wide, the ties are about that wide and about this short, and they always have a little revolver that they're gonna shoot the monster with, and there is always a girl who falls down and twists her ankle . . . heh-hey! Of course there is! You know how they are, the weaker sex and everything, twisting their ankle on behalf of the little ice-cream cone. Well in this particular scene, in this scene, folks, they, uh, they didn't wanna re-take it 'cause it musta been so good they wanted to keep it, but they . . . when the monster came out of the cave, just over on the left hand side of the screen you can see about this much two-by-four attached to the bottom of the Thing as the guy is pushing it out, and then obviously off-camera somebody's goin': "NO! GET IT BACK!" And they drag it back just a little bit as the guy is goin': "KCH! KCH!" Now that's cheepnis. Awright.

Being the charming person I am, here's the song as performed on "Roxy & Elsewhere":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciP0fo3_F8A







There you go. My first youtube video ever embedded on this blog.

You see, this review is more about cool stuff associated with the movie. Because I couldn't for the life of me find an actual copy of the flick (it's a Roger Corman flick, for Raptor Jesus' sake!), I did what every internet user would do. No, I didn't download it (*cough*). I went to youtube, and lo and behold, I found it. In a MST3K version. That's Mystery Science Theater 3000 for you heretics out there who don't know about the brilliance that is MST3K. You are less than human if you don't know it. I have that on good authority.

So, there I was, searching for this movie, finding a MST3K version... and that was just perfect, because I was feeling a little bit depressed at that time. And we all know there is nothing better to cure a depressive moods than watching Joel and the robots mock a movie. A Roger Corman movie, at that. Naturally, that coloured my perception of this brilliant little flick. I apologise. Sincerely.

Let me recap the story of It Conquered The World for you:

A disillusioned, bitter scientist (Dr. Tom Anderson), who has been preaching about alien contact and related stuff (thereby rendering himself a crazy nutjob in the world of science, thus contributing to his bitterness and disillusionment) for years (I told you - batshit insane!) comes into contact with an alien from venus via his radio. Because that's how things work. They become friends, and the alien reveils to Tom that it would like to, you know, conquer the world. Being the bitter and disillusioned scientist he is, Tom thinks that this is a brilliant plan - especially since the Venusian (he actually has a name - "Beluah") plans to conquer the world via his mind control devices, eliminating all emotion.

Naturally, he helps Beluah with his plan. Which his long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Paul Nelson. does not approve of. Especially since he should become one of the elite of this new world order. He doesn't take too kindly to that, given that he will have to kill his wife directly after hopping over to the Anderson's place (but actually, it wasn't his wife - it was the body of his wife, with the, uhm, device implanted, being controlled by HIM. Beluah, not the band).


Paul Nelson: And you want me to condone this reign of terror? (Yupp!) To swear allegiance to this monstrous king of yours? To kill my own soul and all within reach? (Uh-huh!) Well, I won't, Anderson. I'll fight it 'til the last breath in my body. And I'll fight you, too, because you're part of it - the worst part. Because you belong to a living race, not a dying one. This is your land, your world. Your hands are human, but your mind is enemy. (And I won't bring up your feet!) You're a traitor, Anderson. The greatest traitor of all time. And you know why? Because you're not betraying part of mankind - you're betraying all of it.

(applause)

Moving. Really moving. *wipes a tear out of her eye*

Those mind-controlling devices are delivered by something that the imdb thinks to be bat-creatures (what a delightfully vague way of expressing 'we have no idea what it is'). I hold it with the MST3K crew: It's a giant plastic mitten.



Seriously. You can see the strings that they are being swung around on. THAT'S classy.

Anyways, Dr. Nelson (Paul) manages to convince his friend (Dr. Tom Anderson) that the alien is evil. He does so through the media of verbally and emotionally abusing the already scarred and bitter Tom, using his fears and character weaknesses to give in to his raging paranoia. Nice, eh? So in the end, the two scientists defeat the monster. Which hasn't conquered anything at the end of the movie. Not even aforementioned shitty small town. What kind of resumé is that? Gojira destroys Tokyo with his FOOTSTEPS OF DOOM!, and Beluah just appears mildly threatening and fails to do anything.

Well, at least he looks funny.

Lacking something witty to say here at this end of the review, mostly because I'm ravenously hungry and really want to order a pizza, I give you the links to the greatness that is It Conquered The World as mocked by Joel and the robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Part 01/11
Part 02/11
Part 03/11
Part 04/11
Part 05/11
Part 06/11
Part 07/11
Part 08/11
Part 09/11
Part 10/11
Part 11/11

Enjoy it. I know I have, and mightily so.


5.5/10 flappy plastic mittens being swung around on clearly visible strings. Man. Classy.



"He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature... and because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned too late for himself that men have to find their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And when men seek such perfection... they find only death... fire... loss... disillusionment... the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can't be given, it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Man himself."

18/10/2008

The Mist (2007)


The people of a small American town (my guess would be somewhere in Maine) have been beset by a storm. The following day, most of them are in the local mall to stock up on stuff... and that's when it happens.

The Mist...


Spot the Dark Tower reference and the The Thing reference!


There's one problem I have with movies based on Stephen King novels, and that problem are the characters. The characters in the books and stories themselves. Always. The only exception to that rule of thumb are the Gunslinger, his posse (before book 5, that is, and I have to admit to not being particularly partial to Susannah), Randal Flagg... and I guess that's it. When it comes to movies, there are only the Shining TV miniseries and the Salem's Lot TV remake. I can't stand any other King movie I've seen thus far... and even the two I just mentioned have characters that annoy the hell out of me. Mostly children. And... other characters. But as far as Stephen King movies goes, they still are the ones I can endure most.*



However... The Mist is actually, you know... good. I hesitated to watch this one, although it has been on my list for quite a while now. Why? Simply because it's based on a Stephen King story. Granted, I haven't read the story (which is astounding, because I used to live off King's stories between ages 10 and 14... bought every book, read every single one in the two libraries I had access to. Yes, I've changed quite a bit in the years since then...), but the mere mention of Stephen King in the context of a movie is something that instinctively makes me flinch and hide. Because, in my world, "Based on a story by STEPHEN KING" (and variations thereof) does not make a movie good. Usually, it's exactly the opposite.

This, ladies and gentlemen, ghouls and ghosts, is the proverbial exception to the rule of thumb.

We're 12 minutes into the movie, and already, stuff happens.

There is something in the mist...

The Mist doesn't suffer from any of the usual faults I habitually associate with Stephen King movies. It's not slow, it's not drawn out and boring, it's not an abomination unto the eyes of man resp. woman, it isn't on the mental and intellectual level of a retarded 10-year-old.

The acting is really good throughout the movie - even the unlikeable character(s) are portrayed in a way that you forget for the duration of the movie that these are actors, paid to act the way they do. The entire cast, even the people you don't really get to know or who get only a tiny amount of screentime, does its best. And in this rare case, this actually means that it is freakin' awesome. These figures appear as real as any of the people you meet at work... at school... or in the mall. Thumbs up for the cast, definitely.

Which brings me to another point of the movie which I fully appreciate:

Continuing on from my initial paragraph: The Mist (yesh, I'm witty!) has come, and the people are trapped within a store. This situation creates, of course, interesting social tension (as my beloved Dawn of the Dead remake has already brilliantly exemplified). Or should I say social tensionS (plural form)? People in shock, people panicking... religious nutters... And the small-mindedness of common people. I apologise for sounding as if I had a problem with common people in small towns, or their small-mindedness. Or rather, I don't (apologise, that is), because I actually do have a problem with it. But that's neither here nor there.

Sound is used to a devastating effect. It's rare that I am kept on the edge of my seat with goosebumps on my arms and my back whilst watching a movie. It's even more rare that I still feel the same way whilst watching a movie for the second time in a week. Usually, the few scares that actually, you know, scare me in a movie are a one-time-incident. Only a few movies manage to make me feel creeped out when I watch a movie more than once. The Mist is one of them. And that, my faithful readers, is something I appreciate.

Also, the camerawork is solid. It's not art, it's not particularly beautiful, but it's solid and shows us what we need to see and what we expect to see. Although some of the shots are really good. A rope leading into thick mist has never felt threatening before...



And whilst I still stand by my assessment that the shots are nothing that I'd consider to be art, they do create tension. They do create atmosphere. A dark, gritty and - pardon the pun - misty atmosphere. Which is what makes this movie something special. Clean, solid shots alternate with haze-filled ones that convey a bizarre feeling of surreal threat. I fully approve.

The CGI isn't bad either. If you run the movie in a very low FPS rate, you can start criticising, but that's not common movie watching behaviour, so I'm not going to be picky about it. After all, The Mist wasn't created for people trying to get a decent screen of something particularly nasty, but for watching and enjoying it.

And, in order to reiterate myself: The human element. Oh, the human element. A film that features constant portrayals of the fathomless depths that are the conditio humana is just something that the world has needed.

All the small lies, the small, stupid minds, the idiotic thoughts, the distrust, the suspicions, the fear of failure, the pathetic behaviour, the pathetic attempts to cover up one's own mistakes by blaming others for them or claiming to be innocent of any faults... truly, this is humanity. On the other hand, we also get grand, lofty ideas and ideals (yes, there is a difference), simple humans acting better than their peers, true courage and bravery.

And the worst from the depths of the human mind: Religious insanity. The worst kind of losing it there is and was throughout the history of humanity. Pretty much every scholar of history can tell you that organised book-religions, whilst they can bring out the best in a few people, also motivated some of the absolutely worst massacres and atrocities throughout history.

The Mist features a crazy religious nutjob. Fundamentalist crazy religious nutjob. The kind that wants to crush the nonbelievers and starts "holy wars" and sacrifices children to satisfy the bloodlust of their LORD, which is only their own dark side, their own destructiveness searching for a way out - a socially sanctified way. Because, you know - killing people and starting wars and killing children is bad in the eyes of society. As soon as you have some sort of higher entity to refer to, one that is socially acceptable, it all becomes... acceptable. Necessary, even.

Sorry for rambling a bit. I try not to let this review become an outlet for my feelings about Abrahamic religions. If you, dear reader, should believe in YHVH/God/Allah - do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. I accept religious beliefs. What I do have a problem with is blind fanaticism.

Okay, ranting mode off.

Back to the mist. And damn, it looks good. I've always loved mist. Mist makes me happy. It covers, it hides. It makes the world more beautiful.

I also want to add that there are tentacles. Tentacles make the cyn happy.



I officially LOVE this mist.

Mist that offers tentacles which eat people is now officially on my top list of cool things that need to happen more often. And I'm not just talking TENTACLES. I am talking AWESOME TENTACLES. Then again, people who know me know that I am particularly fond of anything which is vaguely reminiscent of tentacles. So... tentacles FTW!



And man... the end. Oh my Gods, the end... I loved it. You will love it, too, if you're anything like me. It also includes a Dead Can Dance - song, and as I love this band deeply, I truly appreciated it. Their song makes the end of The Mist all the more... intense. Trust me.


8.75/10 interdimensional, Lovecraftian creatures hiding away in the mist... feeding on humanity...




* Honorable mentions go to The Green Mile for being completely non-Stephen King-like and actually good. But that movie ALSO has characters that annoy the shit out of me.

Darkness (2002)


Uhm. Yeah... Come on, cyn, think of SOMETHING to say...

Darkness is, as the name might cleverly suggest, a very ...dark movie. Dark and wet, to be precise. There's a lot of raining going on, lots of water... lots of... darkness...

To be honest, I don't know what to write about that movie. It's... I don't know. Nondescript maybe? No, that doesn't really cover it, but it conveys some of my feelings.

Uhm.

Let's try to make cyn talk a bit more about this movie. First of all, it features Anna Paquin of "True Blood" fame. I personally call her "annoying bitch", because seriously, in every single episode of "True Blood" aired as of now, she managed to annoy me. Royally. Luckily, she plays a less annoying character here - a teenage daughter who has some issues. I guess it says a lot about my opinion of her character in "True Blood" when I think an annoying teenager with issues is, well, less of a nuisance. Also, Regina is less of a stupid name than "Sookie Stackhouse". I mean... come on. "Sookie"? *shakes head*

So... she's in the movie and plays the teenage daughter of Mark (Iain Glen) and Maria (Lena Olin), who, together with said daughter and their young boy Paul (some kid), move into an old house in Spain. The family itself is American, with only Mark originally being from Spain. He suffered some weird traumatic event during his childhood, after which he and his mother went to the USA, whilst his father, Albert Rua - a famed doctor - stayed behind. Albert also helped to arrange that Mark and his family can move into the house (which had been uninhabited for fourty years)... but soon after they move in, weird things begin to happen - the lights go out daily, Paul develops a fear of the dark, Mark suffers from increasingly high levels of psychological stress (which seems to be tied to the darkness, somehow)... and ghostly children, who actually look kind of creepy, are watching the family... watching and waiting - for the eclipse...

Great, now I managed to give a plot synopsis. Kudos to me.

The problem with Darkness is... well. I don't know. It's aesthetically pleasing at times. At other times, it's just bland. There are a few scares... but, well. Uhm. I am grasping at straws here... there just is nothing special or memorable about this flick.

Also, the story is confusing. I was constantly trying to figure out why the plot is happening. Ghosts? The supernatural seeping into our world in a Lovecraftian way? A haunted house? WHY?! So... whilst I was guessing and trying to make sense of the plot, I sort of enjoyed the movie. Not immensely, but it wasn't bad either. Just something to fill a boring Saturday afternoon with procrastinating.

Problem? The very second we get an explanation for the things that happened (and continue to happen), it gets lame. Lame and boring. Plus, the explanation doesn't work. It just doesn't. Nope. *shakes head*
There should be a rule for scriptwriters: If a movie like Dracula AD 1972 has a coherent plot and manages to capture the audience and your movie can't... you're doing it wrong.

As I already mentioned in passim, the movie has atmosphere. What it doesn't have is a good story with a good plot based on a good script. Hell, we get a freaking "evil occultists sacrifice children in order to do stuff that is vaguely connected with darkness"-plot! Which, as I already said, just doesn't work. You see, evil occultists usually want to reach some sort of goal with their evil doings (I know this sounds farfetched, but trust me on this). "Darkness" is not a goal. I can't stress this enough. Yes, I'll admit it, plunging the world into primordial chaos, darkness and silence sounds nice to me, but just doing some stuff vaguely reminiscent of "evil doings" and blabbing about it is ...pointless. Pointless and a bit stupid.

You see, I can get passionate about this movie. The portrayal of occultism is abysmal, and the stuff the writers "know" about occultism and symbolism is abysmal as well. I'll grant them that the connection to the Egyptian conceptualisation of darkness as a sort of primordial, chaotic thing (think of Apep, the snake that the sun-god has to defeat every night) closely linked to water was very beautiful. I like spotting references to ancient cultures in my movies. What I don't like is being stabbed in the eyes with incompetent portrayals of "occultism".

But I'm sure that there are people who approve of the movie's plot. Ehm... make that "plot".

4.5/10 watery buildings which were built in order to enhance stuff. For darkness. Or something like that. Really, barely coherent, the thing.

17/10/2008

Gojira no Gyakushu aka Godzilla Raids Again (1955)


Welcome to our 2nd installment of Gojira aka GODZILLA! I hope this is actually the 2nd movie in the "series", if I can call the franchise that. I would be horrified to learn that there was another one in between.

So... one year after the original Gojira came out, we are treated to this jewel. It starts with vaguely patriotic music... and someone flying a plane (my guess: our hero) communicating with a girl on a base (my guess: his love interest and our heroine). We are also treated to... well, words fail to describe it. Let me try to convey what I had to witness through the medium of pictures:



"Hey, darling, I'm at work. Care to ask me out for dinner? YOU BETTER ASK ME OUT FOR DINNER!!!!!"



"Uhm... uhm... errr... yes. Hidemi, my love, my rosy apple, my wonderful, beautiful rose of Japan - would you care to... erm... want to go out and have dinner tonight?" *wipes sweat from brow*



"Good boy. Yes, I would LOOOOVE to go out and have dinner with you! How did you GUESS?! I'll also force you to practically steal my dad's car, darling!"



And that face just SCREAMS "blowjob". Seriously. Don't blame it on me.


Instant classic, really, and it's not even 5 minutes into the movie. I wonder how the rest of the Gojira (yepp, still feeling authentic) movies will be like. I have been forwarned by TF that they are basically all the same, but I suffer from something called "morbid curiousity". Combined with "entertainment masochism" (I believe Jared of headinjurytheater-fame coined the expression, so I credit him with it here, regardless of whether I'm right or not), this makes for a deadly combination. Deadly for my brain cells, that is.

"Alas, my good man, may I propose that this creature right on top of us, or rather, in front and on top of us, might be the legendary creature known as Gojira - or Godzilla in heathen lands to the West, lands in which the inhabitants have never laid their eyes upon the majestic sight that is the King of the Monsters?"

"Forsooth! Good squire, I have never e'en heard of the creature you just mentioned, and which you boldly state is behooving itself to move just right in front of us right now. Who or what may this 'Gojira' be, if ye might be inclined to answer this question of mine?"


Sorry. Couldn't resist.

So... someone flies a fake plane over a fake ocean. Another fake plane has to land, our hero comes to the rescue. On an island. In the sea (fake sea, in case I hadn't mentioned it). And we all know what that means. It means:




And you definitely do NOT want to know that you're looking at a shot of Gojira's ass. From below. Thank you, movie. Thank you so very, very much.




You see, Gojira is wrestling another monster. One that walks on all fours, looks a bit like a hedgehog who was in the vicinity of Tchernobyl for a bit too long and grew to giant proportions, and has a decidedly less cool scream than Gojira.



Sometimes, the two of them like to go skinny dipping as well.

Managing to flee to safety after Gojira and monster #2, they (the two survivors, hero and non-nameless nameless character) are asked to identify #2.



It's an Angilosaurus. You can call him Angilas. Or Anguirus. I will stick to calling him Anguirus, although my fancy subtitled movie says Angilas all the time.



So, basically... there are two "prehistoric" monsters who can't be defeated by humanity. I say they'll just have to battle it out like men. Real men in rubber suits. Who have battled it out since PREHISTORIC TIMES!

However, I like that they explicitly mention the first movie, Gojira. Even the famous Oxygen Detonator is mentioned. You know, stickler for consistency and all that (see also Wrong Turn and Wrong Turn 2: Dead End).

GOJIRA COMES FROM THE SEEEEAAAAAAA!


The scientist guy from the first part of the Gojira franchise suggests that light may have woken the King of the Monsters up, and that it might be a good plan to bomb him with, uhm, "light bombs".



Poor Gojira looks more confused than anything... and gosh darn, he's still cute.

Irritated by the light bombs, Gojira smashes a lighthouse with his tail, walks away from Tokyo and screams once. Now that's what I call a definite success. But apparently, that was the intended effect.

On a lame sidenote, we have a subplot (as much as I hesitate to call anything in a Gojira movie "plot", I can't come up with a better yet derogative word, so stay with me) involving escaped prisoners. Three of them. However, the subplot ends rather quickly (luckily!), as they die. Because of Anguirus. He scares them so much that they instantly decide to drive their (stolen) car into a factory of some sort. Which goes up in flames. Which in turn attracts Gojira. *confused*

For reasons of "epic", I want to add that Gojira no Gyakushu features the first monster battle ever seen in a Godzilla movie. And no, no screens. I am too lazy to sit through this frame by frame. Just let me assure you that Gojira and Anguirus dishing it out actually looks cool, in a twisted, men-in-rubber-suits-way. Trust me on that. Seriously. You should, if you like Godzilla movies. Because, you know, every one of us has a bit of Gojira inside (hey, they actually state that in the 1954 movie, so stop looking at me like that!)...

The rest of the movie? Hrm. Gojira defeats Anguirus in a more or less epic battle (as if we hadn't foreseen that...), the people of Japan and Tokyo in special are worried about Big G's yearly foraging trip into Tokyo and shoot it, drop some stuff on it, worry a lot etc.

Of course, our heroine also worries a lot about our hero, who truly is a hero. For... reasons. I am sure they exist. I just go with the premise of him being the hero and run with it. Seriously, I am not exactly in the mood to actually watch the movie with reading the subtitles. Half of it is just people running around, stuff getting destroyed, Gojira marching through... the sea, mountains, snow... and even without the subtitles, it wouldn't be that interesting. As in "I NEED TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS AND WHAT IS GOING ON!!!"... But I still watch it. Proof?

Here you go:


In the end, they bury Gojira under an avalanche (hence the creative idea of luring him into the snow-covered mountains). I guess the next movie will see him coming out of the mountain/snow/ice.

Poor Gojira.

However, this movie, whilst lacking the moralistic implications and metaphors of its predecessor, doesn't suffer from long, drawn-out scenes that drown one's entertainment in something akin to boredom. I approve. More fun to watch than the first one.


6/10 spunky, skinny dipping monsters with the coolest scream ever in Kaiju history. And that spells out "Gojira", in case you didn't realise it.