Goosebumps (2015)

Score: 5/10

Length: 103

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, 3D, recent, almost-horror, horror comedy, zombie, ghost, clown, monster, vampire, werewolf, animal, Stephen Kingy

I went to see this reincarnation of a gem of sorts from my childhood, expecting a cheesy, pun-filled, Jumanji-esque feature. I wasn’t so looking forward to Jack Black, but he did a pretty great job of toning himself down. The only thing I didn’t find amusing was his slight cartoony voice. Though, as Slappy he was dead-on. I recognized the other characters from The Haunting Hour and The Giver, and they all did and okay job. Packed with monsters from Goosebumps books you’ll remember: The Blob That Ate Everyone, killer bees, a vampire dog, The Shocker on Shock Street‘s praying mantis, the ghost from Ghost Beach, the aliens with their freeze-ray guns, the werewolf from Fever Swamp, and a whole bunch more. It even has some folks you might not quite remember, such as the zombies and the horrific clown. Either way, it left out two of my favorites. Monster Blood would have been overkill with the blob already a main character, but I really missed seeing the sponge from It Came Beneath the Sink. Seeing the pointed-toothed dish scrubber would have been a hilarious twist ending. The story- (a few friends and R. L. Stine try to save the town from the monsters in his books that have come to life)- isn’t too overdone nor too inventive. I know it’s a kids movie and you don’t have to try hard when overcoming the plot holes, but there were so many and they were incredibly easy to find story fixes for. An example: the kids open a book and unleash a snowy monster. When they leave the room, we see another book’s lock snap open (although it was untouched). Later, the teens come back to find the book on the floor, where it opens and Slappy emerges. Now, if the book had just been shown knocked down on the floor, that would have made more sense, as at any time, if any of the books could just open and caused havoc… wouldn’t they!? Or the dummy in the bus scenario. There’s no way that they had the time to make a dummy, put it in the bus, and then the dummy drives the bus?! They could have easily asked someone- anyone- to drive the bus. I loved the teeny cameo of R. L. as the drama teacher, and surprisingly, the nostalgic end credits scene was my favorite part of the movie. It was totally unnecessary for this to be in 3D, as it was just what I like to call “3D effects” and not really 3D with shit flying in your face. Overall, it’s nice to see my favorite retro things come back all fresh and new, but I had low expectations and it didn’t exceed them.

photo credit: http://cdn.hitfix.com

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Black Sunday (1960)

Score: 6/10

Length: 87

Language: English-dubbed, Italian

Categories: 60s, black and white, supernatural, murderer, devil, zombie, haunted house

Other Titles: La Maschera del Demonio, The Mask of Satan

A black and white, only slightly slow, shadowy stunner set in an old stone castle, which seems both elegant and ominous. After an uncovered tomb is found and opened, a witch wearing the mask of Satan is released. The witch and her three-musketeers-esque servant try to take over the body of the witch’s twin descendant, but are stopped by a bunch of boring white dudes and the Holy Cross, of course. Not too much to do with Satan or even witches, really, which is unfortunate. It’s a simple idea that works, but it’s just that- simple. It’s not even set on a Sunday. It’s also riddled with lots of fake (facial) hair, fainting, horrible skin rash breakouts, awkward grunting and moaning, and most of all, unnecessary explaining. The actress playing both the witch and the princess, Barbara Steele, is gorgeous except when her witch-form skin breaks out into a bunch of crater-like pimples. The movie also features a lot of unmemorable strong-chinned men. There was a great amount of effort put into the texture of the film to make up for the lack of colour, and overall, it was really an exquisite feature.

photo credit: www.timeoutdubai.com

All Hallow’s Eve (2013)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 83

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, clown, murderer, monster, alien, supernatural, woods, underground, holiday (Halloween)

A boy gets a video tape in his Halloween candy bag and convinces his babysitter and older sister to watch it. The Debra Messing- look-alike sitter allows the kiddies to sit through the first of the three short films on the tape, and then sends the kids to bed and watches the other two stories by herself. The first is about a clown who kidnaps young women and chains them up underground for a disfigured drooling freak to eat. One of the women escapes and wakes up only to find herself chained to a table and surrounded by “witches” (or weird skin-monsters). The second story has a girl being chased around the house by a charcoal alien, and the third one focuses on the clown, who stalks a girl, gruesomely killing others along the way. At the end, the babysitter finds herself in her own horror film. Each of the stories has its own bit of tension, but none of them are overwhelmingly original or scary. The clown, Art, however, is actually quite terrifying. I noticed the director/ writer also did his own special effects, and I have to say he did a pretty decent job. This is not one of those movies that’s overly memorable- you could probably watch it every year, not quite remembering what happens.

photo credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/QiPqBLB5ITI/maxresdefault.jpg

Sharknado Series Special

As construction season ends and the storms of fall begin, it’s time for one last hurrah! It’s the Summer storm Sharknado spectacular!

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Sharknado (2013)

Score: five out of five octopus tidal waves

Length: 86

Best Line: “Hey man, there’s a shark in your pool.”

Movies such as this is why I love good-bad movies so much. It’s exactly what you’d expect and more. Action-packed from start to finish, the movie is pretty self-explanatory. It revolves around (literally) our heroes- Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard and Tara Reid as April Wexler as they manuever a strange “natural” phenomena of tornadoes spinning with an array of sharks. Cheesy script and horrible CGI galore, nom nom nom. Poor acting, accents you can barely understand, ridiculous names, and so many levels of nonsensical water situations. But all mostly on purpose, obviously. A lot of the movie was a wet and splashy traffic jam full of starved, freak sharks. A great movie to watch in the bath. Sure, grab some toy cars and plastic sharks.

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Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

Score: three out of five platypus tsunamis

Length: 95

Best Line: “Even the sharknadoes are tougher in New York.”

Sharks on a plane! In New York! Our main two characters are back, and this one includes a whole slew of celebs including Kelly Osbourne, one of the girls from The Craft, Vivica A. Fox, old man Sugar Ray (Mark McGrath), Andy Dick as a cop, Kelly Ripa, Judd Hirsch, Billy Ray Cyrus, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Biz Markie, and a bunch of others. It was a lot of the same old- bombs and sharks and water. I enjoyed the sharks on fire in this one, and the New York setting but there weren’t that many differences; they needed to kick it up a notch. The second-go involved quite a few more painful acting scenes and heroic speeches than th first, and that took some extra patience to sit through. I mean, he even chain saws through a shark again. Pulling out her hand from a shark’s mouth to get her wedding ring was pretty outrageously funny though (in the lamest way possible).

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Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

Score: three out of five king crab sinkholes

Length: 88

Best Line: “Sharks… in… space!”

On to number three, and from the title I’m expecting an increased dosage of hilariousness. But this time, we’re in Washington/ The White House. I was really hoping for Hawai’i or even Texas this time. Even Canada! The sharks could fight grizzly bears. Luckily, they end up in space, and so do… the sharks. The characters are comprised of our usual family, and I’m pretty over Fin and his stank face at this point. Added to the crew are the dirty and determined Frankie Muniz and Cassie Scerbo. As we’re onto number three, I’ve seen a lot of sharks die at this point, so I’m starting to feel bad for them and their inevitable extinction. You get to a point where you’re bored of the plot and begin to dissect the “veiled” stupidity of these movies, but then suddenly- luckily- you are distracted by a laser chain saw, sharks boinking against a spaceship, and a difficult struggle inside of a shark… in space… getting fried by he sun. And then I actually had to pause the movie when I saw the baby- I was laughing too hard. Here’s to Sharknado 4!

Language: English (USA)

Categories: 2000s, recent, monster, animal, horror comedy, good-bad, recommended, Painful Movie Mondays

photo credits: i.ytimg.com, www.btchflcks.com, womenwriteaboutcomics.com