Christmas Collection: Elves (1989)

Score: 3/10

Length: 89

Rating: PG-13

Language: English

Categories: 80’s, monster, murderer, holiday, Painful Movie Mondays, horror comedy

At the beginning of this so-called gem, within seconds of it starting,  a group of teenage girls say, “Get real, Kirsten”, and “Get over it, Amy”, and I knew at this point that this movie was going to be a stunner. Every line in this campy classic is quotable and mindlessly hilarious. It’s a shame in a way, because in some scenes, the elf/dwarf actually looks believable. On the other hand, I love a good campy movie, and they could have added the elf into the story a lot more. The acting is regrettable, and the plot is thin, but I think you  should have already guessed this. There’s a lot of misses (especially gun shot misses), but some of the scenes are actually quite surprisingly decent. It’s annoying that the characters say the elves are “two feet tall” oh, about a hundred times, but they never make the elf look like it’s anything short of tall, aside from the stubby little hairy muscular legs. Furthermore, it’s called Elves, though you only really seem to see one elf. The movie is quite ruined by its whole Nazi government nonsense, and by the middle of the movie you’ve lost all hope for the cheesy creature spin-off of Gremlins you were hoping for.

*Spoiler* An amazing quote that’s too good to be true: “The man in the study is your grandfather. And your father!”

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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.

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