Monday, April 29, 2013

Chiller Classics Presents: Night of the Creeps (1986)

There are a few different cover images, but this is the one I knew growing up.

Hello everyone.  Thought you could escape the month of April without hearing from Ken Bucklesworth, huh?  Well you thought wrong!!!!  Haha, I kid.  I'm sorry I haven't been around lately.  April hasn't been a good month for me reviewing wise.  I've either had a ton of real world distractions, or I've been feeling like crap, and both conspired to keep me away for much longer than expected.  But no longer!!  I'm finally back to talk about one of my favorite horror movies from one of my favorite decades for horror, the 80s.

Night of the Creeps was released in 1986, and was directed by Fred Dekker.  Dekker's directing history is in my opinion a tragic story. He was responsible for two of the most underrated movies of the 80s, Night of the Creeps and Monster Squad (he also directed Robocop 3, but we won't talk about that one).
Both movies bombed box-office wise, and after Robocop 3 he just gave up directing.  I truly hope that someday he'll realize how much his movies are loved today and he'll make a triumphant return to directing.  In the meantime, let's get into NotC.

The plot is sort of a weird one: on an alien ship somewhere in space, a rebel alien (maybe?) has stolen an experimental life form contained in a metallic tube and jettisons it out into space.  Why did the alien jettison it?  Who was this alien and why was he going against his alien fellows?  These are questions you should just purge from your mind immediately.  Not only are they never addressed, you never see the aliens again.  At least, not in the theatrical version.

Do these tattered rags make me look fat?

We then go to Earth in 1959.  The tube crashes in the forest near a popular makeout spot, in a scene very reminiscent of how the Blob arrives on Earth.  A couple immediately drive after it and manages to find it, but unfortunately the life form, which resembles a giant slug, enters his body through his mouth.  His girlfriend, who is waiting for him in the car, gets the business end of a fire axe from a local serial killer, and is found by her ex, officer Ray Cameron.  That's a bad night all around.

Fast forward to 1986, where we have our main protagonists Chris and J.C. (no not Jesus Christ, and no not John Carpenter), two college freshmen wondering when and how they will get some lady's attention.  Chris sees college beauty Cynthia and falls immediately for her.  He eventually decides that to win her over, he needs to join a frat, preferably the Betas.  The head of the frat (who it turns out is the boyfriend of Cynthia), gives them a challenge: get hold of a corpse and plant it in front of one of the other frat houses.  Chris and J.C. find the cryogenically frozen body of the boyfriend infected by the alien slug and release him from the cryo chamber.  The body twitches, scaring the crap out of our two heroes and they run away.  The body revives and it walks out, freeing the alien slugs (they had reproduced sometime in the 30 year span of time).  The slugs then begin taking over more and more bodies.  Will they be stopped in time for the college formal?

Cold kitty, dead kitty, bloody ball of fur......

I'll be perfectly blunt: I love this movie.  Night of the Creeps is 80s B-movie gold, and if you haven't seen it, shame on you.  It's got great acting (especially from one of my all time fav B-movie actors Tom Atkins), very good practical effects, and just the right amount of cheese you want from a movie about alien worms that invade and take over your body.  It was released on Blu-Ray with a ton of extra features, including an alternate ending, and the picture quality is just amazing.  I strongly recommend if you do watch it, do it in the full Blu-Ray glory that it deserves to be watched in.  Oh, and when you're watching, listen closely when people's names are said, and see if you notice anything interesting about them.  Sayonara.

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
B-Movie Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

- Ken Bucklesworth, signing off.

Twitter: @BoonsBuckles, @KenBucklesworth, @Tallwhitefox

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Would you make out with a snake woman? I would.


This film drops this side of the pond very soon. SO I was pumped.
This was suppose to be my NMOTM (ninja movie of the month), but dammit it there were no ninja, and stranger still, very little kung fu action, annnnnnndz stranger still I still liked it.

The plot revolves around two separate tales; 1. Jet Li's monk who hunts and traps demons that injure humans. Which to him is all demons, and 2. A shy herbalist that garners the interest of a white snake demon, who falls for him. So those two stories go until Jet Li finds out about the demon wife of the herbalists and decides to tell her to F off. Or else. So form there, things could have gone a very different way but Jet Li is a dick and stuck in his ways and eventually he attacks her putting in motion all kinds of crazy special effects show downs...

This, to me, felt like a big turning point in asian cinema. This is the moment that their big budgeted epics got it right. From top to bottom. The story is engaging, the acting is top notch, and the writing is good. Yes the normal elements are there; star crossed lovers, tragicness, comedy side kick... but they are presented with an easily enjoyable humour. Which is a rarity in a lot of asian films, and usually rarer still in there big budget efforts.

I was really caught off guard by this film as it was presented as a big kung fu flick, but really its more the action/adventure type. Also, Jet Li's character is a dick. Which is a little unexpected. He is all business. Doesn't care about demon love, or at one point the fact that the demon and her man just saved a city... You dick Jet Li. But I love you anyway.

I want to take a moment  to clearly state - Yes the special effects are still a ways behind the North American offerings, that I doubt will change anytime soon. But you just have to accept that the effects are maybe one, two levels, above SyFy channel offerings. Still, the effects, and battles are very creative and fun to watch.

Shut up you're the cutest snake girl- No you are- No you are...

The battles are just... crazy level over the top, which is where the film is more the adventure piece, than the kung fu piece. Picture a monk throwing energy balls while a demon counters with shields, and energy waves of there own, and you have an idea of what to expect from the action. But I didn't care, I was having a blast with the film. Asian film has always been a source for originality, though in recent years the american influence has dampened that somewhat. This was a big step forward. To have a demon monk showdown one minute moving buildings, and destroying parts of the city, and the next a conversation with a talking forest creature that is concerned for snake demon, and it all works.

This is big: THIS FILM IS ALMOST COMPLETELY DEVOID OF WTF moments. Yup, thats right an asian film that is coherent and stays on track. Crazyness.

The battle at the end of this film will not be for everyone, hell, this film, if you have never voyaged into asian cinema, will not be for everyone. But if you have a fondness for a little off the beaten path entertainment, and giant anime like showdowns, this is right up your alley. If you just wanna see Jet Li beat people up, again, no so much for you.

For those of you that haven't really explored asian film before, you know, this might actually be a good point to jump on. And hate subtitles? The dubbing is actually very well done. No british sounding asians here! :)

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Action/Adventure scale 3.5 out of 5 stars

There is suppose to be a sequel on the way, and I will tell you it had better come soon because this film ends on a big... "No it can't seriously end like that" note. Also, this film looks gorgeous in the HD. For all you Bluray fiends out dere.

C. Boonsweet saying - Snake woman, I'd hit that

Monday, April 22, 2013

Put that B**** on Cruise!


So i read reviews. Like most bloggers I voyage out into the world of advance screenings, and early buzz (or non buzz). A big budget sic-fi flick fronted by Tommy Cruise and helmed by the guy behind the very pretty Tron: Legacy, well it had me pumped. But then all this negative kaka started rolling out, saying the film was basically ripped off from every other sic-fi flick, and nothing original, and so on...

Well people, everyone bashed Total Recall and it bombed. And every one bashed this flick, and well, bomb status remains to be seen. I'm sure Tom's overseas fan base will carry him through no matter what.... My point is, how many more of this flicks are we gunna get if people keep slamming and avoiding them? That is my Food for thought of the day.

Ok so plot. Aliens showed up destroyed our moon. Earth fell into chaos, then the aliens showed up. But we fought em off, we're just so darned resilient. Years later Tom Cruise's "Jack" and a sexy redhead "Victoria" maintain a watch on large machines that are harvesting energy (from whats left of the planets resources) to aid in the relocation of humanity. Humans are currently living on a giant space station on route to one of saturn's moons.

Well Jack just can't quite seem to get his curiosity under control, then, a spaceship falls from the sky, and Jack despite being ordered otherwise by command - investigates. He finds a woman he has been dreaming about every night in the wreckage... and things get crazy. Wait, you mean the company he works for might have some deep dark secret... and everything is not as it seems... and there's rebels led by a wise old black man?


So maybe they are right, it is ripped off from like every other sic-fi movie. I want you to take a moment and think about something... how many sic-fi plots are there really? Ya, there are a few indie crazies that sometimes leave an impression. But big time sic-fi, how many plots...

1. Human meets befriends aliens
2. Exploration, humans explore space, discover crazy universe threat
3. Post apocalyptic. Humans against Humans
4. Post apocalyptic. Humans vs Alien
5. Post Apocalyptic. Human vs Machine.

Editor's note: In any of 3 through 5 the hero may realize he is on the wrong side and join the "rebels" to defeat the evil lies of some corporation.

See what I mean? I really don't think originality should enter the picture. Or if it does it certainly shouldn't be the only determining factor. Yes every once in awhile something like "MOON" comes along and blows the genre up, but for the most part it's the delivery.

Alright. Fine. You win Morgan. I made Xenu up. 
This movie looks amazing. There is no denying the director's flare for the visual. Note the small rounded robot sentries that more than hold there own in any action scene. They look great. Menacing little bastards. The scenery, the giant machines, the sky home, it all looks great. Flawless. Tom Cruise does what he always does; brings intensity to every frame. Anyone who disses cruise acting certainly has to admit the man throws it all at the screen. Morgan. Well, he's morgan. I guess you need to get out and do something inbetween narrating nature shizzie. Jokes. Nothing but love MF, nothing but love.

Andrea Riseborough was a real surprise as Tom's partner and lover. 

There are a few very cool twists here and there, that, well you may have guessed. Hell, I figured out 92% of this film form the trailers. But I still enjoyed the journey. 

The ending was a little weak, and unneeded. I guess I would've been okay with the silly ending after the ending, if it didn't leave so many holes... Also speaking of holes, there was one that really, really bothered me. This chick that came down in the crash... so how long has she been in orbit? Really? Just floating around up there? 


Yes its by the numbers entertainment, but its well acted and shot. And the machines look Cooooooool, and dammit that matters.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
sci-fi scale 3.5 out of 5 stars.

- I really need to start preparing for the end of the world. Ah maybe I'll just buy some new socks...

Boony out!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Down on the upside


... I wanted to like this movie. Three minutes in, with the painfully cheesy, but strangely amusing narration, I still wanted to like this movie. I didn't want to like it for the cast, or the director, or any critical hype... it just sounded so damn cool.

Two worlds have somehow co-developed in a shared atmosphere and hence both have there own gravity, one world barely a tall tree, or mountain, from the other. Life sucks for the people on the bottom who are poor, and controlled by the folks above who have all the money and tech. Now there is a little rule that says objects from the other world can only exist in the inverted gravity for a matter of hours before they burn. So naturally people shy away from attempting to jump planets. But wouldn't you know it our would be hero, Adam (Jim Sturgess - the guy from Across the Universe), goes and develops a crush/love on a girl from above that he meets while climbing high trees and playing in the inverted rain. So years pass and he and this girl, Eden (Kirsten Dunst), meet, pull each other to the others cliff and engage in strongly forbidden inter planetary relations. Then they are discovered, she is injured, and his whole life falls apart... well more apart.

Years later he develops a cream through the use of a "Pink Bee" pollen that allows him to gain access to the other world and attempt to reconnect with his love.

Ok, so sounds pretty freaking messed up right. Almost too weird, and yet... intriguing. The visuals in the film are stunning. Some very neat camera tricks, and lots of very cool upside down/right side up shots. My favourite in the film was a scene where he launches himself form one ocean/lake type thing into the other worlds ocean/lake type thing, passing through both skies. Is that scientifically possible? No. Should he be dead from such an event... yes. But folks, this is a fantasy, of the highest romantic order, believe in unicorns, and move on.

The issue is once you get past the cool concept, and really awesome visuals, you really... don't have too much. The performances are decent, but not outstanding... Kirsten D, who I thought had turned a major acting corner with MELANCHOLIA takes a major one backwards here. But, in fairness, it's really not their fault, the script in just plain weighed down, once for each gravity, with such A typical plot. Big faceless organization stomping on the poor below them. Heck they even bring up their high oil prices... Thanks for letting me know what they were meant to represent, I um... got it. The romance is pretty typical, aside from all the floating and stuff... and I woulda been alright with that except... except... why did you have to give her amnesia?

So, you... um... come here often?

It serves no purpose. If you are going to build up an evil organization, they have to feel evil, you can't just show us a guy being a dick twice, and then a brief kidnapping and be all - see how evil they are! The same goes for a romance. If you are going to build around this reunion, and then deny the audience the moment... why?

"Because its tragic and builds further conflict for our hero, Boonsweet"

Yes I understand story structure, but all it actually did was suck the life, and joy out of the scene. And then when they do get their moment its over so quickly you hardly get to appreciate it. This would have worked much better if they simply played it as by the book as they were unintentionally being. Have the organization be evil. Testing the chemical Adam invented on unwilling below people. Have Adam and Eden rise up against them... etc.

But thats the story of the movie, a bright spark, a flicker of flame, and... Nothing. The fire dies.

Okay, and a quick note... when did they have sex? Seriously, if you are gunna try to drop a "surprise" ending on us... when did that happen? Was that when they were twirling around in the air? Because I think they still had their clothes on. And, wait, do people on these world leave their clothes on? Dammit...

The friend that Adam makes in the above world was awkward for me. I have a feeling their were some last minute cuts made that changed the course of the film. The friend seems to be playing it deviously at first, being a little too buddy, buddy, but then its like they decided it worked better as a real friend... same with the ending... like how many freaking threads can you tie up in 30 seconds, a bit of narration, and an explainy fade out...? hahaha.

Movie scale: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Fantasy/Romance scale 2.5 out of 5 stars (I um only chose that category because that is what it is listed as - drama/fantasy/romance... I really had no idea what to put it in)

Check my brain @tallwhitefox
and my occasional dual rants @BoonsBuckles all 140 character chat welcome :)

- Chuck Boonsweet saying, keep your feet on the ground... unless she's hot enough to jump planets for!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


EVIL DEAD (2013)

30 years ago a bunch of kids got together to make a horror film, because they felt that would be the easiest type of film to find a distributor for. It made it to theatre, Stephen King dropped a famous quote about it, and well... the rest is blood soaked cinema history. For those that perhaps aren't as familiar with the original EVIL DEAD series (trilogy) feel free to bask in Bucklesworth's own review of the film for our hundredth post -

But, here's the thing, this film has brought joy to so many people, I can say with faith, that all of you have heard of THE EVIL DEAD. And, 99.9% of the people that would invest there time in blogs, and filminess, have not only watched them, but hell, probably hold them in high regard - and the hero of all heroes - Bruce "Don't call me Ash" Campbell.

So dennnnnnnn...

Hollywood announces they are going to be making a remake. And the internet world is set a ablaze with hate, and Hollywood death threats. Next, they announce Diablo Cody (the chick that wrote Juno) is penning the script. The death hate continues. But... but then original Director Sam Raimi, and Star Bruce campbell came on board as producers.... and hmmmmm... people started to wonder.

Then the first trailer dropped, and damn if it didn't look like hard R awesomeness.

Well, hardened horror fan, mainstream doubting Chuck Boonsweet is here to tell you Booniacs and Deadites, this film Rawwwwwwked. And I am so happy it did.

First of all, and perhaps most importantly the plot. The friends gather at a familiar cottage (cabin in the woods) to help a friend give of the habit (hard drugs) once and for all. This is a brilliant plot device as it not only gives them a legitimate reason to be there, and stay there, but also to disbelieve the poor recovering Junkie, soon to be demon bait, Mia. In fact the beginning of the plot is full of nifty devices.

- The homages to the original are there, and establish that this film could easily take place in the same EVIL DEAD universe as the originals, it doesn't have to replace them. For instance, look for the car!
- When the book of the dead is read, and demons unleashed, it's not some idiot being a D-bag, but a smart guy investigating on his own something that has grabbed his curiosity
- And lastly and really really awesome, once the Fit hits the Shan, the blood - Alllllll practical
(applause) - never stops flowing.

Um, It's just... You got reeeeeeeeeal ugly.

Hmmm, electrice carver... and no turkey in sight... 

I won't go into the details of the demon stuff. People get possessed. People die. But damn, this movie is violent. I mean non stop, high five your buddy, violent. I loved every minute of it. Director Fede Alvarez, and Diablo Cody, understood what they needed, they understood their audience. Understand, this is not a jump scare, or tingly up your spine horror. This is just creepy, dark, shit. Watching the fully possessed Mia attack people, or spout creepy one liners from the basement is just F'd up.

If you are a fan of the original, or a fan of go for the throat horror - Original Texas Chainsaw, Exorcist, etc, this is for you! Probably the first real R rated horror film in years.

I will speak quickly on the scene after the credits! WTF! Seriously, at first I was hating, but now... havin a day to think it over... Screw it. Who I am to judge such a person lol... I am but a humble blog/rant/dude. As for the regular ending, dare I say, it did not suck. Could not believe it.... really. Was waiting for the let down, and it just stayed awesome.

Great acting, directing, writing, and wall to wall blood.

movie scale 3.5 of of 5 stars
Horror scale 4.5 out of five stars my highest horror rating in a lon-lon time.

And yes, yes, there is a chainsaw. All I'm saying

Oh and I just want to say to everyone that hated on Diablo Cody for writing this; TOLD YOU SO! First she is a talented writer, and second, if any of you had bothered to watch the criminally underrated - JENNIFERS BODY you would not have doubted her :)

Boonsweet will continue to bask in the glow of this film for at least the next week...
I'm out.

Chat horror, or random pics in motion with me @Tallwhitefox
and see what my personalities are up to @boonsbuckles

Monday, April 1, 2013

So sweet, my teenhood has cavities


Do you remember being a teenager?
The awkward unsure. The learning to find your voice in pop culture infused surroundings. Of course. That shizzie don't really leave you. Because, in the end, you just never forget your first. This film, to this former teen anyway, is probably one of the most accurate examples of a first love caught on film.

So, the plot, boy, Dave (Dylan O'brien of Teen Wolf fame) has crush on super hot (slightly whoreish) girl that he's been best buds with forever. This night however he plans to let her know - by way of rehearsed proclamation - and turn her to him. While practicing in an alley behind the party he meets a small, thoughtful, well-worded, different in an awesome way, girl - Aubrey (Britt Robertson). Then over the next few days they stumble towards maybe realizing that there is an unexpected, but worthy, something between them...

annnnd.... ya you've heard this story before. Because it's been done what, 182 times? But this is a romance movie. And their are only so many models you can draw from. Let's face it, we like it. Or people would stop shelling out ten plus bucks to see how two people are gunna rip your heart out during a Nic Sparks flick.

What makes this film work is too very specific, and awesome things.

#1. The two leads. Not only are they appropriately young (no 28 year olds playing teens here), but they are believable. Utterly and completely believable. Writer director Jon Kasdan obviously had a plan, and that was to direct by way of leaving his camera to do little more than capture moments. And those moments (No matter how good the soon to be mentioned #2 was) depended entirely on the actors. They sold some of the lines, especially during an all too real awkward physical moment, that I could feel all that teen discomfort coming back. Crawling up beneath this awesome type adult I have now become (applause), to remind me in the best, warm, way that ... I've been there.

#2. The writing. Yes. What would two awesome performances have been without the words. This script could have gone for the laughs, the gross out jokes, the A-typical teen romance kaka... But no. Jon Kasdan slides a few laughs in, but really you hardly notice them because from the first conversation you are invested in where Dave and Aubrey are going to end up. Everyone in this film speaks real. Yes occasionally they over speak, and sound slightly smarter than you might think they should... but dammit, everyone in this movie fits into a memory that audience has. They already feel familiar. Strange. And very cool. A teen movie that relies on truth and performance over in your face humour, and exchange students? Say Whaaaaaaaaaaa.

Boobs in 3D are awesome!

Over all this was a surprise. I didn't know anything about it going in. Just that Dylan O'brien is damn entertaining in Teen Wolf and that Britt Robertson is basically impossible to hate, due to bubbly cuteness, and sure pretty decent acting chops (seriously hate on the witch show all you want, she managed to pull off more than a few of those chessy lines! Mostly lol).

This is just a plain good film. But, go in expecting a drama, with a light hearted feel. If you go in expecting laughs, and high five your buddy moments... nope... not happening.

Last points.
Victoria Justice has a fantastic role as the object of affection for our hero.
And when the awards for Side-boob come out this year... I fully expect this film to clean up every major category... :)

movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Teen Romance scale 4 out of 5 stars.

Ya. Its not the most original plot. But it is a very well scripted, and acted, piece of the teenage years... and one just about all us folks can relate to. If you um, have yet to be a teen... well... maybe give it a few years till you watch this, spoilers!

-Boonsweet is out to break some hearts, and drunk dial exes while laying on bathroom floors - Whoooooo teen years!