Archive for the 'Slasher' Category

Jul

Comments Off on Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)

grounding

Welcome to another review, folks! Now, it’s no secret I have a soft spot for remakes, but that doesn’t mean I won’t judge them accordingly. Plus, I feel for the filmmakers trying to walk the tightrope and balance doing too much to change the story, or not enough. Also, no matter how good a remake, or reboot, is, it will get a fair amount of negativity; such as the incredibly done Evil Dead remake. The movie we’re talking about today is a remake of the first horror movie I ever saw, as a kid. Let’s just say my babysitter, at the time, thought it’d make a great bedtime story. Let’s get to Nightmare On Elm Street.

The film opens up in a diner with a teen, who looks more like he’s in his late 20’s, sitting alone, chugging coffee. Someone should’ve told him caffeine only takes you so far, after that stop you’re gonna need a taser. The waitress bypasses him, holding his sweet nectar of consciousness, and he follows, giving us our first look at the new Freddy Kruger. Well, it’s more like a glimpse through really dirty glasses. The guy wakes up, nursing his newly cut hand, and talking to a friend, who’s purpose for being there was already forgotten. The coffee spills, and he knocks out, again, finding himself fighting the dream. We cut back to reality, he’s asleep, and in serious danger of getting a hickey from a steak knife. With confirmation that this is the thing Kruger needs we watch as the teen cuts his own neck, starting the movie off with a great bit of gore, and a good introduction to a favorite movie monster of many.

mathWe attend the dead teen’s funeral, and, per usual get into some long exposition about….wait…is that another dream sequence? By Krom, it is! The movie is not letting up on the Freddy, at all, they’re laying it on thick, and I’m loving it. The next day the blonde girl is in school, thinking about the mysterious man with the clawed hand, only to fall asleep, again! Has she not figured out this is where she’s vulnerable? This girls seems to be the type to stick the fork in the socket twice, just to make sure it worked. Freddy scares her, she screams, and WHAT a scream, she wakes up, and we move on. Her boyfriend comes over, and pays homage to Wes Craven, via Scream reference, and tries to help her, in a way that I never figured out. Him being there is pretty pointless, except, maybe, to set up a patsy, and witness the horror that comes for them in their sleep. Called it! Blonde is ripped to shreds, gives the room, and her boyfriend, a new coat of red paint, and he’s arrested wearing her like a shine job.

Now, this is where I’d start talking about the differences in the original versus the remake. So. I’m gonna. Let’s start with the tone of the movie. While the original was made to be a horror movie, it used humor to stymie the darkness. Meanwhile, the remake revels in it. Do I like one more than the other? Yes. I like the darker tone, namely because Kruger, himself, as of later years, and movies, has become more hardy-har-har than horror, and I like this return to form. The filmmakers understood they had to pay homage, while innovating, so we have wonderful shots of distorted reality, gory images, and even classic shots reappearing. Lastly, let’s talk Freddy. Robert Englund was iconic, immortalized in this role, and rightfully so. Jackie Earle Haley, however, is just as remarkable. Englund’s portrayal was over the top, even cartoonish at times, while still being scary. While Haley’s take is a lot darker, adding ticks, subtracting the smile, and it works just as well. Classic Freddy will always have a special place in my heart, but, I want to see more of the new Kruger.

starbucksBack in the movie, boyfriend boy runs to Nancy’s house. Can’t have a Nightmare movie without her! And tries to tell her what’s going on, only to be arrested shortly after. With each progressing dream sequence we start to learn a little more about the demon haunting the kids’ dreams. Boyfriend guy is in jail, now, trying to stay awake, and…wait for it…fails miserably! Freddy toys with him, displaying the filleted friends like gory trophies. After some teasing Kruger turns the guy into a screaming meat puppet, plunging claws first through the chest. I don’t think he’s going to be okay. And this is another point in favor of the remake: The gore is much more visceral, much more real feeling, I think it has to do with taking the darker tone, and leaving the fantastical behind. Nancy calls another friend, who’s being haunted by the same nightmares, and they try to come up with a plan. And this is something new to the Nightmare movies, as well: The science of sleep. It seems micro-naps will get you killed, even if you’re not aware you’re doing it, like answering your phone while pumping gas. Now that Nancy has entered the mix, things ought to go full steam ahead.

The classic bathtub scene rears it’s awesome head, and little Nancy is sent to Krugerville. He tries to jog her memory of him via face lick, but her alarm goes off and thwarts any further reminding. My question is this: Why would you take a relaxing bath when you’re being hunted by a murderer in your dreams?!? I’d be taking an ice cube shower and doing shots of espresso while blasting the most annoying synth pop I could get my hands on! Moving on. Nancy’s mom is acting suspicious, so Nancy goes on a hunt for information. Mom spills the beans that there was a man named Fred Kruger, who worked at the preschool that all the kids who’ve been murdered attended. This is the beginning of that turn into the seriously dark tone, by implying that the children were molested, but Kruger left town before there were any consequences. Nancy doesn’t buy it, but Scruffy McTeenGuy does. Now our heroes are divided, and we have two very interesting paths this movie is taking.

noseNext day at swim class, while in the pool, Scruffy McTeenGuy falls asleep in the pool. That’s right, in the middle of the pool! Good gravy almighty! You could take these kids out with some well placed velcro! In the dream Scruffy learns about what really happened to Kruger, a tale we know, but with a twist: It seems that Freddy might’ve been innocent. While he coughs up six gallons of pool water we join Nancy in watching a video series of another teen, posted online, confirming not only the preschool, but Freddy, himself. Scruffy shows up and they go confront his father, the principal, only to get further confirmation that they had no evidence for what Kruger was accused of, but they burnt him, anyways. Oh, hello, old classic shot of dead girl in body bag. It’s still so creepy, even after all these years. Scruffy goes to get more pills so Nancy and him can continue-JUMPING JUPITER JONES! Thanks for the jump scare, Freddy! She falls asleep, is chased into the pharmacy, and gets sliced. Luckily they’re in a pharmacy. But, she also discovers that Kruger can be brought to the real world by holding on to him when she wakes up. That’s a bull I don’t wanna try to ride, thank you!

An epinephrine shot later Scruffy finds out that even with chemical help he can’t escape those pesky micro-naps. Two, count ’em, two jump scares later we head into the final scenes of the movie. No spoilers, here folks! So is this movie better than the original? No, it is completely different, telling the same story with a different narrative. Is this Freddy better than the original? Same answer. Should you give this movie a shot? Abso-friggin’-lutely! Without the nostalgia goggles on, and without trying to compare minutes of the past and the new, this movie stands well enough, on it’s own. And I, personally, hope they make more. Thanks for reading, folks! Stay Tuned!

 

roadside attractions

  • Worst Hell’s Kitchen ever.
  • Whatcha doin’ with that knife?
  • Freddy does not like dogs!
  • That’s not washing out!
  • Silent Hill much?
  • When the term “Air Bed” gets too literal.
  • That had to hurt.
  • Don’t drive while sleepy.
  • That had to hurt, too.
totals

10

blood  

BLOOD

Copious, flowing, and awesome

1

blood  

BREASTS

They’re teenagers, and this ain’t the 80’s!

 

10

beast  

BEASTS

It’s Freddy!

8.00 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for Nightmare On Elm Street

trailers
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Nov

Comments Off on Friday the 13th: Part III

To celebrate Friday the 13th by watching Friday the 13th, I wanted to take a look back at my favorite Friday, “Friday the 13th Part III.” It’s like watching “Die Hard” at Christmas at my house.
Part III, how do I love thee? Lemme count. Number one, there’s the sweet 80’s main theme that I like to call Disco Jason. Such a party track. Number two, Part III is in 3D, and many copies you can buy even come with old school 3D glasses. (And, mercifully, the option to watch in 2D.) But number three and most importantly, this is the first Friday where Jason is the Jason we know, love, and make action figures of, the man in the mask Alice Cooper belted about in part VI. I mean, everyone knows Mrs. Voorhees is the killer in part one, and in II, Jason’s rocking a flour sack and not truly at full Jason – although, in fairness, he is mourning his crazy mama. Part III is Jason moving on, out of the shack with mama’s severed head, out of the camp setting entirely, and while he’s still pretty human looking around the edges, we do get the hockey masked, immortal/undead/zombie/whatever the hell he is killing machine of legend and box art in this movie.

Part III opens with the end of part II, just in case you were afraid you’d be lost in the mythology. Ginny, the Final Girl of II, pretends to be Jason’s mama and then machetes him real good in the shoulder. When the coast is clear though, we see wounded Jason scoot away into the darkness. Then we rock out with Disco Jason and 3D movie credits invade our personal space.
But the movie really starts with a bickering couple, presumably middle-aged, although I think the wife is actually pretty young and they put her in a bathrobe and curlers to make her insta-45. Bickering couple are just chilling out at their combination crappy home/crappy rural grocery, when the wife listens to local news recount the aftermath of part II, so of course, Jason’s ears are burning. It’s OK; bickering couple were just the appetizer.
After we’ve established that Jason’s on the loose and his stabbing arm is all warmed up, we get to meet our crew of nubile young victims. And they’re in a van. They even have a pair of stoners in the van. I’m just glad they didn’t have a dog, because I cannot stand violence against animals.

OK, so roll call: we’ve got Chris, the Final Girl – we know this because she’s a pretty, but serious girl, kinda turned off of sex, and she both owns the van and has a boy’s name. We have Shelly, who attempts to make up for his lack of traditional good looks with gory practical jokes and pouting about how no one likes him; the stoner couple; Deb the pregnant girl and her innocuous boyfriend Andy; and finally, Vera, a cool Latina who was conned into being Shelly’s date. Pretty good selection for Jason to run through. Despite happening upon a crazy old man who warns them, um…pretty much just to be warned, he’s not very specific, the kids continue to Chris’s family farm, which is also convenient to Camp Blood.

When they arrive, Chris meets up with Rick, an old boyfriend, and she starts to get emo and ominous about not being back to the place for two years. I would like to take a moment and point out that despite not seeing each other for an undefined amount of time or being in a current relationship, Rick instantly begins pressuring Chris to get snuggly and never, ever stops. I realize inviting a guy to spend a weekend with you strongly implies receptivity to snuggling, but let her finish a sentence, you horndog. Rick’s painted as a good guy, driving a VW Beetle and everything, but really, he’s a jerk. Jason will make it better, I’m sure.

Back to the plot. I need to introduce a few more victims. Our other variety of jerk (bigus fatus jerkus), Shelly, goes with Vera to a local grocery for supplies. This grocery, however, is being menaced by a three-person biker gang. They don’t do much though besides threaten the kids a little bit, and you have to wonder exactly how much tough biker ganging there is to be done in a brightly-lit country store too small to even have aisles. Shelly manages to back over one of their bikes as they leave though, and in so doing unwittingly adds three more to Jason’s kill list, because you know the gang’s going to have to follow them and try to get revenge.

All the dominoes are now set up, and it’s fun to see how Jason knocks them down. 3D filming techniques will assist where possible. He’s less creative than he will be in the future, of course, but I believe he does innovate the fuse box kill here, and while there are some callbacks – Kevin Bacon’s death in the first “Friday the 13th” is a good one – they’re well repurposed.
It all comes down to Jason and Chris though, and we learn through torturous, onion peeling dialogue scenes that this is not her first rodeo with a deformed psycho killer. In fact…it was at this very place on the lake… Sigh. Chris, you’re an idiot, aren’t you?

I will give Chris credit for being a pretty effective Final Girl, using things in her environment as diverse and innocuous as hay bales and manual car windows to her advantage and executing traps with minimal whimpering. I wouldn’t be able to go close enough to Jason to loop a noose around his neck, uh-uh, no way. She may not be Kirsty Cotton or Laurie Strode, but she’s pretty tough stuff. Not as tough as Jason, but hey, who is? Jason’s basically jerky to start with.

roadside attractions

  • Brand-new crazy old man to warn the kids about Jason
  • Jason finds his signature look
  • Central casting stoners
  • Central casting bikers
  • Fried hippie
  • Not practicing speargun safety
  • Not practicing hammock safety
  • Red-hot poker action
  • The Boy Who Cried Psycho Killer
  • I am crushing your head
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

A little dated and heavy on the eyeballs for my taste, but Jason shows real enthusiasm for this kind of work.

2

blood

BREASTS


Fleeting exposure in a pretty self-conscious shower scene.

8

beast

BEASTS Jason will get hulkier, maggotier, and more inventive in later sequels, but there wouldn’t have been a Jason X without Disco Jason.

8 OVERALL There’s a purity to Part III I enjoy. The formula is solid by this point without being overdone, and it’s happy to just be what it is: a big dumb fun slasher movie for Reagan’s America.
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Watch the trailer to “Friday the 13th: Part III”

trailers

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Jun

Comments Off on Hellraiser: Revelations

Clive Barker was moved to tweet upon seeing ad copy that promoted “Hellraiser: Revelations” as being “from the mind of Clive Barker.”It reads in part: “If they claim it’s from the mind of Clive Barker, it’s a lie. It’s not even from my butt-hole.” Mic drop.

The previous several films all pretty much bedazzled some very not-Hellraiser horror movies with the hooks, chains, and nails of the Hellraiser franchise, shot a few scenes with the Cenobites, and called it Hellraiser, as I have harped endlessly, I know. But with “Revelations,” the Weinstein Company suddenly realized that their Hellraiser rights were going to expire, oh noes, and so they had to jiffy up a film tout de suite to retain the legal, if not moral, rights to milk the Hellraiser franchise to the last drop. So they started scrambling a film together with basically no time and no budget, a slapdash approach that cost them Doug Bradley’s involvement, and Doug had come along for all of the previous movies, all those previous godawful movies, including “Hellworld,” where they gave all the good lines to Lance Henriksen, so that’s kinda saying something.

The twist though is that this ashcan flick they slapped together – possibly because they didn’t have time to do much more than riff on the original – ended up being more faithful to the franchise than any sequel had been since “Bloodline.” More Hellraiser: First Draft than “Hellraiser: Revelations,” true, but while it may have not been from Clive Barker’s b-hole, it still kind of looked like his crap.

The film starts out as found footage, which is admittedly a smart choice when you have neither script nor money. We’re following two college-aged idiots, Nico and Steven, to “Tee-wana” as they enthusiastically repeat over many shots of tequila. Cut. And then we see, sort of, through Steven’s shakycam footage, Nico opening the box.
Cut to a furniture showroom, maybe a producer’s house. Very well decorated. I took some decorating notes for my next trip to Pier One. Nico and Steven’s families have gathered for dinner. The boys, we soon understand, are missing. Some of their stuff made it back to their parents, including the video camera, but only Steven’s mom has watched the footage, and she sneaks off and watches it a lot. Daughter Emma, who in addition to being Steven’s sister is Nico’s girlfriend, go go gadget economical script, justifiably calls her mom out on the weirdness and demands to know what they’re going to do about the boys’ disappearance. It all leads to a fairly uncomfortable first course with an outburst from Mom for afters.
Later, Emma sneaks off and watches the sacred footage herself. In it, she learns that Nico and Steven got up to some untranslated sexytimes with a Mexican prostitute, culminating in Nico having sex with, then murdering the lady in a bathroom stall. Well, that’s one revelation, I guess. Nico was a psychopath.

What fortuitous timing then that Steven shows up at the house that very night, looking haunted and wan – although he does have all of his skin, and that’s surprising in the Hellraiser universe. Naturally, the families are shocked, but less than they will be when Steven seduces his sister and takes the family hostage at gunpoint. There’s one more big revelation left, of course, and it plays out as Steven forces Emma to solve the puzzle box.

I mentioned in the Hellworld review how Miguel from Horrible Imaginings and I were watching all of these hours of Hellraiser sequels together for our Scarlet Gospels podcast, and at first, we were really amazed that it was authentic Hellraiser. Box, check. Chains, check. Pinhead – well, a head with nails in it anyway, check. Cenobites being invoked by witless, morally desolate hedonist? Checkity-check. But it wasn’t long before we realized that we were giving it too much credit, as though we had been drinking warm Coors Light all day and then someone gave us a cold PBR. (No offense to fans of PBR. I know you exist, and you are stalwart souls.) But the original Hellraiser was more like a Stella Artois.

…Or maybe I just need a drink.

One thing this sequel needed was a proper Pinhead. The proper Pinhead. And a budget. And a few more drafts. But the skeleton of it…You know, for all its faults, I still honestly think “Hellraiser: Deader” was worse.

roadside attractions

  • Mercifully little found footage
  • Chainings
  • Skinnings
  • Shotgunnings
  • A little Luke and Leia action
  • Idiots Gone Wild
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Chains, blood, skinless guys. This is more like it.

2

blood

BREASTS


Yeah, they snuck a couple breasts in there.

1

beast

BEASTS I am giving it one point for the non-Pinhead Cenobites.

3 OVERALL Not worth watching, but it might have been if they had committed to making it for real.
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Watch the trailer to “Hellraiser: Revelations”

trailers

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Jun

Comments Off on Hellraiser: Hellworld

I binge-watched all of the Hellraiser sequels from “Inferno” on with horror maven/podcast partner Miguel Rodriguez from Horrible Imaginings in preparation for our big celebratory Scarlet Gospels podcast. By the time we got to “Hellworld,” we were bored with the shallow moralizing and inertia of “Hellseeker” and “Deader,” and our bar for the franchise had gotten too low to limbo under. The promise of Lance Henriksen in a cast is always a reason to fist pump though, and we dared hope. The director is still Rick Bota, just like on “Hellseeker” and “Deader,” but “Hellworld” got a much brighter, bloodier, boobier visual aesthetic, reflecting his work on films like the “House on Haunted Hill” remake. The whole thing just looks more fun, and it better, because this one is 95% party.
The movie starts out ominously enough; a bare-chested, blood-streaked guy digging, probably a grave, appropriately chilling choral music, and then some murmured exposition among your standard slasher movie set of thirty-something teenagers at a closed casket funeral. Actually, I don’t know that they’re supposed to be teenagers. You just assume that because they seem to be living at home and paired off for snuggling and play video games a lot, but maybe they all were English majors and work at the same restaurant.

The funeral is for their common friend Adam, and the picture by the casket is of the guy we saw digging before someone turned the Chant album on. We learn through the furtive whispers of his buddies that Adam killed himself, apparently because he got too into a game they all enjoy playing called Hellworld. Hellworld is clearly based off the Hellraiser franchise, so we’re in deep meta waters here, kids.

Anyway, his friends blame themselves, to varying degrees, that they didn’t see Adam’s self-slaughter coming. They also note how he has no family at his own funeral, which seems like it might be as much a contributing factor to suicide as anything powered by a 386 Pentium chip.

Speaking of Pentiums, as an authentic gamer and nerd from back when those things meant you were lonely and pathetic AND WE LIKED IT THAT WAY, the days before cute Doctors Who, when anime was called Japanimation and you could only find one half of a shelf of it in your most specialty video store, and when all comic book movies sucked direct to video, I need to call this movie out. I can deal with gorgeous teens who don’t wear braces or break out; that’s common cultural currency. And yeah, the term geek in just the last ten years has gone from something that left deep psychological welts to an effective branding tool, but these people are Abercrombie models. I can smell the guys’ Cool Water through the Netflix stream. And it makes me wonder, since the people who make movies, especially horror movies, are usually a little nerdy, why the nerds of this film are so Bayside High? Was it some sort of ironic commentary? Is it possible none of the creatives on “Hellworld” knew what a gamer was?
None of it matters, of course. “Hellraiser: Hellworld” is just looking for a way to get cute actors into gory set pieces, and the gaming and Hellraiser aspects are as incidental to how this happens as actual intake procedures at a female prison are to a porn setup.

OK, so now that I’ve done my gatekeeping, let’s get to the movie. After the funeral, the kids or whatever they are all wind up playing Hellworld again, although you don’t see much gameplay beyond opening a virtual version of the box. And one by one they win invitations to a big Hellworld party. More of a frat party than a LAN party, as it turns out. There’s some hemming and hawing about going from Chelsea, and this makes her instantly recognizable as our Final Girl. She also wears leather pants and is blonde, so you can think of her as a Buffy proxy. Jake, the shoegazey one, is also reluctant, blaming himself and the others extra hard for Adam’s death, but he ends up coming, too. There is also a Fairuza Balk-y one, the as-yet unknown Henry Cavill one, and a token person of color one. Try not to get attached.

The Scoobies arrive at the party, and it’s fully House on Horny Hill, with raucous metal banging, full frontal boobs, a dance floor crowded with plain white masks doing the Monster Mash, and Lance Henriksen parting the nubile crowd with a cryptic smile.

Our host – and that’s all the name you get from him, the Host — Lance is playfully sinister as he tours the kids through the house. First he shows them tons of Hellraiser memorabilia and talks about the history of the house, originally a convent turned asylum built by Phillipe Lemerchand. The kids occasionally insist that Hellraiser is just fiction, but Lance soldiers on with the unwavering confidence of a Creationist or an ancient aliens theorist, a sly smile suggesting that he’s read further in the script than they have. He looks like he’s having fun, and I hope he was, because he’s the only decent actor in this thing and I don’t think we could tell if he were screaming on the inside. I found this part of the movie quite pleasant, but I always enjoy the setting up the dominos part of slasher movies.

At the end of the tour, Lance presents each of the Scoobies with plain white masks with numbers on the forehead and a Nokia. The numbers on the masks correspond to the number to dial on the cell phones, the better to anonymously hook up with you, my dear. He excuses himself with a twinkle in his eye. (Don’t go, Lance! Take me with you!)

With Lance sadly gone, time to watch these idiots get perished. Each of our Scoobies obligingly wanders off to get isolated and culled according to formula. It will surprise no one when Lance shows up for these murders, but Pinhead does, too, and this was the point when Miguel and I started throwing popcorn at the screen, because Pinhead would not waste a victim on simple executions the way we see here. Of course, since this is a post-Scream slasher flick, there’s a twist.

Twist or not, nothing makes much sense once body parts start flying, but it doesn’t matter. Just go with it and watch the meta crap and don’t hope for anything else. In the beginning, it seems like the movie might be doing something clever and consciously referencing the Hellraiser series in a way that is particularized and special, but it’s not. It’s just a big, dumb, sloppy slasher flick, and it should be better, but it could be worse. Oh, look, there’s Lance. Man, Lance is awesome. So cool.

roadside attractions

  • Lance [bleep] Henriksen
  • Saturated colors and saturated co-eds
  • Hellraiser Simulation
  • The call was coming from inside the house!
  • Premature burials
  • No actual gamers were harmed in the making of this film
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Respectable bloodletting, more on the order of Final Destination than Hellraiser, but acceptable.

7

blood

BREASTS


Actual dialogue: “Gratuitous tit shot.” “Necessary tit shot.”

2

beast

BEASTS Contract-stipulated Cenobites notwithstanding, more party animals than beasts

5 OVERALL It makes complete hash of all continuity and the ethos of the Cenobites, but you could do worse than a dumb meta slasher flick starring Lance Henriksen, and the Hellraiser series has, a lot.
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Watch the trailer to “Hellraiser: Hellworld”

trailers

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Jun

Comments Off on Extraterrestrial

Welcome back to another review, folks! Ever since a certain fire happened in a certain sky alien abduction movies were hotter than Agent Scully in the 90’s. Though the premise seems to have lost it’s foothold in the movies as of late, there are still some gems that can be found. For instance; our review today: Extraterrestrial.

While this is supposed to be an alien movie it does it’s best to be a sci-fi, suspense, horror, and even a touch political. These elements in a film usually don’t blend well, but, here, they do. We start with a horror beginning: 20-somethings all in a car to go to a cabin in the woods for a few nights of partying, sex, and debauchery. Mistake #1: They’re in a cabin in the woods! Don’t these folks read my reviews? Never go in the woods!

After a quick setup, and some exposition that isn’t really needed, we begin our weekend with our victims…ahem…characters. Almost immediately stuff starts going down. While one can argue you want to know about the character’s personalities, I, for one, don’t. Let’s commence the murdering! Lights flicker, strange noises! An alien starts to walk around the house and….gets shot by a girl with a shotgun. Well. I did say let’s get to the murdering.

After E.T. goes down, making the pool his final grave, stuff REALLY hits the fan. Appropriate reactions have already been done by this point in the movie, but there are a lot of cool things yet to see. They try to flee, but there’s a tree felled in their way. Suddenly the rain stops while they ponder what could have possibly cut that tree down. These guys would trip over the laces in their velcro strapped shoes. How did they get into college? Right. Michigan State strikes again.

After some of the worst pondering, and decision making I’ve seen this side of swimming with sharks while strapped with steaks and barbecue sauce, we lose our first female to the blue light of abduction. Or as I’ve come to call it: The Bye-bye Beam. Quick! Back in the car that wasn’t functioning just a few minutes ago! We go back to meet a character, that couldn’t be more cliché if it was Jesse Ventura in a tinfoil hat, to learn more about the alien menace. After a quick break from screaming and running we get right back to screaming and running.

Jesse Ventura takes on an alien and, surprisingly, it’s a pretty good scene, ending with what you should’ve seen coming a mile away. More running! More lights! And, just for good measure, they even managed to scrounge up that ‘BWAHHH’ sound from the remake of ‘War of the Worlds’, and every Hans Zimmer soundtrack since. But that’s a tale for another time. What’s that? A would-be protagonist? Go for it, Hoss!

Enter one of the film’s side characters, who the whole movie could’ve been about, but wasn’t, Goodguy McCopDude. We established at the outset of the movie, through a very long scene that we really didn’t need, that he’s been investigating the disappearance of his daughter. How important is this plot point? Important enough to cut from the main characters and their impending deaths to go to a random RV site with a random character to get more exposition to tell us that aliens are the culprit. Which I wouldn’t mind so much if the title wasn’t EXTRATERRESTRIAL!

Goodguy McCopDude is hot on the trail of…no one. And, truth be told, I don’t even remember why he was summoned to the cabin in the woods to begin with. It goes by that quick, folks, don’t fault the viewer for losing a little interest when the action goes from high-octane to donut munching. Goodguy and his cop buddy show up at the Murder Cabin and begin to snoop around, learning the unhinged partiers are being terrorized by aliens. While the partner is skeptical, Goodguy goes full Mulder, and begins to look around.

After a brief, and somewhat fruitless, encounter in the barn Goodguy is convinced it’s those pesky grey skinned fellas causing all the commotion. After he tries to wrangle the panicked few he decides to follow suit and make equally bad decisions, taking his time to convince his partner while sitting in a lit up police car! Well, bad calls can only be called out, as the alien with a shotgun wound turns up and telekinetically forces the skeptic partner and Goodguy to do the unthinkable.

The Bye-bye Beam claims more victims! And soon even the last of the survivors is lost to that fateful blue light. Now. Here’s where the usual movie would call it quits, leaving the audience with the smoldering hole in the ground that was our female lead just a few minutes ago. But it doesn’t. It keeps going, making this movie even longer. Usually I’d say this is a detriment, but the final scenes of this movie kind of answer a few questions that we’ve had for a long time.

No spoilers here, folks! This is a good movie in the fact that it does, in most of it, fuse themes taken from so many genres. The actors do their parts, some sold it well, others not so much. The effects and some of the practical effects are worth praise. It has it’s flaws, like serious plot holes, and characters that make really bad decisions, but it’s worth the pay off. Check this one out, folks. As always, thanks for reading, and stay out of the woods.

roadside attractions

  • There’s no reason for that shot.
  • That wasn’t there before.
  • Boarding up the windows with Ikea.
  • Why did you get out of the car?
  • That was a cool rain effect.
  • Seriously. Why did you get out of the car?
  • 90’s cliche camerawork.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Not much. Butt there is that one scene.

1

blood

BREASTS

I think I saw a nip slip. Maybe not.

6

beast

BEASTS

Old design, new things done.

7.5 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for Extraterrestrial

trailers
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Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>