Friday, February 1, 2013

Scary or die? Is that an ultimatum?


I'm pretty sure I mentioned it before, but every now and then I like to go into a movie not knowing anything about it.  The less I know, the better the chance I'm surprised by whatever happens.  But one thing I don't expect is when a movie description is almost completely inaccurate with what I watch.  Don't worry, I'm going somewhere with this.

So I'm on Netflix last night, and I come across a movie called Scary Or Die The movie picture is a scary clown's face, and the movie description is as follows: "A man who's mauled by a flesh-eating clown undergoes a terrifying metamorphosis, which places his friends and family in jeopardy."  So I figure, I haven't seen a movie about an evil clown in quite some time, so why not?  And it had Bill Oberst Jr. ( see my Abe Lincoln vs. Zombies review) in it, so it seemed like it had some promise.  It was about 15 minutes in when I learned that this wasn't just a movie about an evil clown (that does happen later in the movie), but it's actually an anthology of short stories.  SURPRISE!!!  So for those of you who haven't heard of Scary Or Die, or if you've seen it on Netflix or wherever and passed on it because you were fooled by the description like I was, allow me to fill you in on what you are actually missing.

All of the stories are connected by a website called scaryordiecom, and these stories are video files picked by a partially rotted hand. As I've done before, I'll give a description of each story without revealing too much of what happens.

1) The Crossing - A couple of southern hicks have a deep, albeit twisted, love of their country.  So much so that they feel it is their duty to personally guard the U.S. border and keep out illegal immigrants.  On this particular day,  business takes an unexpected, and bloody turn for the worse....

2) Teujung’s Lament - A lonely Korean man witnesses a lady being kidnapped one night and does his best to rescue her.  But his bravery isn't rewarded in the way he expected....

3) Re-Membered - After a successful hit, a hit man is driving down a highway with a dismembered body in his trunk.  During the drive, he keeps hearing knocking sounds coming from his trunk.  After a couple of distractions, he pulls over for a look in his trunk to see what all the racket is....

4) Clowned - The story that I was expecting a full length feature of.  After his kid brother's birthday party ended, Emmett is forced to kick out the party's clown who is raiding the fridge.  The eviction moves outdoors, where the clown bites Emmett on the leg and dances off.  Being bitten by a clown is just the beginning of Emmet's strange tale...

5) Lover Come Home - A woman who was killed by her boyfriend isn't content to let the dispute end there...

After my initial surprise of learning what this movie actually entailed, I was also surprised to discover I quite enjoyed it.  The acting through and through was pretty solid.  The big names I recognized was Bill Oberst Jr., who played a very convincing racist scumbag redneck, and Christopher Darga, who did double duty as the hit man in 'Re-Membered', as well as one of the detectives in 'Clowned'.  I learned that Corbin Bleu (who played Emmett) is also a huge name, especially in the world of Disney.  But i don't watch anything Disney really (apart from Gravity Falls).  The makeup and practical special effects were also very well done (the clown makeup effects in particular), which is always a plus with me.  I enjoyed all the stories, although there were a couple of hit-and-miss points which I'll get into.

Negatives are few, really.  Teujung’s Lament could have had a more visual ending.  I'm not one who needs to see EVERYTHING happen, I'm often happy with using my imagination with many scenarios.  But this story ends with just background noise of the actions that occur.  It's not that big a deal really, it just would have been nice to see in this case.  Also, at the beginning of 'Re-Membered', the hit man is pulled over by a police officer for swerving on the road.  It then follows with a flashback of the hit man dismembering his target and stuffing him into a dufflebag, fine and dandy.  My issue is the flashback includes the very scene of the police officer pulling him over, right up to the time the hit man started having his flashback.  I just found that unnecessary.  It should have either started with the events of the flashback, or have the hit man snap back to reality just before the officer started talking to him.  Finally, 'Lover Come Home', while well acted, was so incredibly short and bare of anything original that it could have been cut completely out of the movie.  The only reason it was in there was because of it's thin connection to a few of the other stories.

In the end though, this was overall a helluva fun ride all the way through.  I recommend you horror fans check it out, preferably with popcorn or some other snack. I didn't do any snacking myself, and I feel I should have.  So don't make the same mistake I did.

Movie Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Anthology Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

-This is Kenny B., and I'm wired on coffee
Follow @KenBucklesworth  @BoonsBuckles 

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