Friday, March 21, 2008

Strange, stranger, and red leather shiny jacket thing


If you like horror, then last year (2006) news of the "After Dark Horror Fest, 8 films to die for", more than likely found its way to your ears. The marketing was great, setting up the audience for 8 films deemed to "Intense", "Shocking", and "Brutal", for wide theatrical release. Then they have one weekend where you can buy a ticket in participating theaters, and watch all eight. A few months later they release a nifty box set. So what's the problem with that? Well, absolutely nothing, if any of their marketing claims had been real. What they really meant to say was, "8 films that sucked way to bad to be anything other than straight to video, and probably ignored there too". Yes, I know "The Abandoned" was a slight step up, but only stood out as much as it did when compared to the other crap fests. God, some of them were just horrible, I think I actually just shuttered thinking about them, "Penny Dreadful", "Dark Ride", "The Gravedancers (featuring a computerized skull chasing a vehicle, Oh jeez)"... and the list goes on. Don't you go thinking these are so bad their good, no, no, anyone that has seen them knows they're just shite.
So 2007 rolled around, and there we are, Horrorfest 2. 8 more films, 8 more chances to somehow gain my attention only if out of a deep horror love and a hope that they couldn't possibly suck as bad as the first. Maybe I should just classify that as, curiosity if they would suck as bad. They adjusted their advertising this time around, obviously after a ton of horror die-hards flocked to the first festival, and discovered they were neither violent enough, scary enough, or shocking enough to be banned from your grandma's Soaps, they decided to not straight lie this time. But they still hype the shit.
Anyway so i looked into the line up this year, and dare I say a few of the plots caught my eye. Probably the most interesting concept was this here reviewed number, "The Deaths of Ian Stone". It was definitely the one I was most interested in. And, prepare yourself, the first Horror Fest 2007 member I watched did not totally suck. I said it. And now I will continue. 
The story is wonderfully strange... Ian Stone wakes up in different lives each day, only to be brutally stalked and killed. Each life has ties to the one before, and a strange old guy keeps popping up to kill him things like, "When the clocks stop, they're coming for you", and "You need to remember", and a bunch of other cryptic messages. I am going to try to review this film without giving to much away, because that might take away from the weirdness. So basically he is chased life to life, by some freaky ass things, all the while this one girl keeps showing up in each life, unaware, and slowly then start to unravel the secrets to why this is happening to him. 
Now, first, the production values, and no I do not mean the special effects, they were alright i guess. I mean the camera, lighting, all that jazz, was, in the first ten minutes ahead of the entire first horror fest (okay a slight exaggeration, still). The acting was decent. The makeup effects were cool. There are problems definitely.
One, why do the bad guys decide to dress like matrix rejects in the final sequence, complete with those little glass. Two, why do they have the witchblade on their arm (comic reference, if you do nay know, check out some picks, you know my saying, google it bitches). Three, it does lose a little in the final 10-15 minutes. After all the build up, and strange shizzie going on, a straight forward hack and slash ending seemed a little... off, but its all good. I enjoyed finding out what was going on, even with the weird arm thing. A bigger budget, and a little more attention to the scare factor could have had a real fun flick here. But it creeps ya, rather than getting ya to jump. 
Not a great movie, but a better start for this years 8 film line up. Worth watching, if for nothing else but the premise. Weird stuff. Like "groundhog day" does hell I can't even think what to compare the creatures to... 

movie scale 2 out of 5 stars
horror scale 2.5 out of 5 stars

Check it out... and why the shiny leather, why... ha

Boony out bitches.

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