Jurassic World (2015) review

Jurassic World posterDirector: Colin Trevorrow

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan

CLAIRE – “Think it’ll scare the kids?”

MASRANI – “The kids? This’ll give the parents nightmares.”

CLAIRE – “Is that… good?”

MASRANI – “It’s fantastic.”

“I can’t wait any more!”

This is what young Gray (Ty Simpkins, the young lad from Insidious) says near the start of Jurassic World as he whips open the curtains of his hotel room window and gets a glorious view of the park.

In a way, he’s speaking for every Jurassic Park fan crossing their fingers for 14 years for a new movie (and, some would argue, 22 years for a truly brilliant one). We couldn’t wait any more either. And now the wait is over. Continue reading “Jurassic World (2015) review”

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Splice (2009) review

Splice posterDirector: Vincenzo Natali

Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac

ELSA – “You’re in no position to talk to me about right and wrong.”

CLIVE – “And you are? Really? Why the fuck did you want to make her in the first place? Huh? For the betterment of mankind?”

The need to show people the disasters that befall people when trying to play God is something that has been part of horror cinema almost from the beginning.

From as early as the 1910 version of Frankenstein cinema has relished in showing us how things can go massively tits up when we mess around with nature’s natural progression.

Splice is a more modern take on this, but while it may serve as a warning on the dangers of genetic engineering, it also serves as a warning on how horror films with good ideas can somehow end up a bit rubbish. Continue reading “Splice (2009) review”

The Island Of Dr Moreau (1977) review

The Island Of Dr Moreau posterDirector: Don Taylor

Starring: Michael York, Burt Lancaster, Richard Basehart, Nigel Davenport, Barbara Carrera

MOREAU – “How does a cell become enslaved to a form, to a destiny it can never change? Can we change that destiny?”

ANDREW – “Should we?”

There are plenty of films that deal with the moral dilemma of playing God: whether it’s right to mess around with nature and what have you.

But how many of those films feature a man dressed up as a bear grappling with a real-life lion and diving off a balcony, dragging it to its death with him?

The short answer is “one”. The slightly longer answer is “one, The Island Of Dr Moreau“. Continue reading “The Island Of Dr Moreau (1977) review”

Deadly Friend (1986) review

Deadly Friend posterDirector: Wes Craven

Starring: Matthew Laborteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Ramsey, Anne Twomey

“Wait, she’s dead? Hey, what the hell are you doing? You didn’t say anything about a dead body, we were supposed to save her life.” (Tom, Deadly Friend)

I never get tired of saying this, but God bless the 1980s. No other decade could give you a film with a plot that begins with “a boy, his mum and his robot move into a new house” and not have that be the oddest thing about it by the time the credits roll.

Deadly Friend is the work of director Wes Craven, fresh from finding new success with A Nightmare On Elm Street. It’s one of the oddest horror films you’ll see, but that’s perhaps not Craven’s fault. You see, he didn’t want to make a horror film at all. Continue reading “Deadly Friend (1986) review”

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 (1994) review

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 posterDirector: David DeCoteau

Starring: Morgan Fairchild, Brian Bremer, Christopher Wolf, Sara Suzanne Brown, Michele Matheson, Don Dowe

Also known as: Virgin Hunters

“We come from your future. Our mission here is to prevent a corporate takeover of the planet, and the banning of sex between consenting adults.” (Naldo, Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000)

Let’s face it, even if you don’t know anything about this film you already know why I decided to watch and review it.

Yes, I’m a sucker for a great film title, and if my rating at the end of each review was based on titles alone this little beauty would find itself in the Hall Of Fame with gusto.

Sadly however, the film itself doesn’t quite live up to the heady expectations set by its name – how could it ever expect to? – and as such the number of Trevor Moorhouse heads you see at the bottom is lower than one would have hoped.

Here’s another thing I didn’t expect: it turns out that rather than the comedy sci-fi film I was expecting, this is actually supposed to be a softcore porn film. Oh. Continue reading “Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000 (1994) review”

Jason X (2001) review

Jason X posterDirector: James Isaac

Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Derwin Jordan, Melyssa Ade

“Guys, it’s okay! He just wanted his machete back!” (Professor Lowe, Jason X)

I can just imagine the conversation that potentially took place when Jason X was originally conceived.

“We need to make another Friday The 13th movie boss, but we’re running out of ideas.”

“Running out of ideas? Are you mad? It’s a slasher movie. Put gore and tits in it and you’re good.”

“Yes sir, but Friday The 13th fans expect something more, some sort of twist. We’ve already had a 3D one, a copycat killer one, a zombie one, one shot in New York and a possession one. What now?”

“I don’t care. I couldn’t give a shit if it’s fucking Jason In Space, just get tits and gore in it and have it ready by the summer.” Continue reading “Jason X (2001) review”

Arcade (1993) review

Arcade posterDirector: Albert Pyun

Starring: Megan Ward, Peter Billingsley, John De Lancie, Seth Green, AJ Langer, Sharon Farrell

KID – “Who gives a fuck about Arcade anyway?”

ARCADE  – “Try saying that to my FACE.”

In 1992, the movie version of The Lawnmower Man showed the potential dangers of virtual reality, and how it could be used to give someone enough power to take over cyberspace. Even though it couldn’t.

One year later, Arcade gave its own spin on the story, instead showing how virtual reality video games had the ability to come alive and trap children inside their circuit boards. Even though they didn’t.

Yes folks, we’re dealing with another brilliant cheesefest from the “fuck it, let’s go with that” minds of Full Moon, my favourite B-movie studio.

Continue reading “Arcade (1993) review”

Hideous! (1997) review

Hideous posterDirector: Charles Band

Starring: Mel Johnson Jr, Michael Citriniti, Jacqueline Lovell, Rhonda Griffin, Tracie May

“You’re fired! You’re fired from everywhere! You’re fired from the fucking universe!” (Belinda, Hideous!)

What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever found in a sewer? What’s that? You don’t do raking around in sewers? Oh. Right. Um, me neither.

But if I did, chances are I probably wouldn’t come across odd little mutant baby things. That’s what one sewage treatment worker finds at the start of Hideous!, another low-budget grotfest from indie horror studio Full Moon.

The man hands over said mutation to Belinda Yost, a woman who specialises in selling mutations to collectors. Which is one hell of a niche market, but let’s go with it for the sake of the film. Continue reading “Hideous! (1997) review”

Banshee Chapter (2013) review

The Banshee Chapter posterDirector: Blair Erickson

Starring: Katia Winter, Ted Levine, Michael McMillan

“Every now and then you run up into a night that’s a stone-ass bummer from start to finish. In nights like those, if you know what’s good for you, you hunker down and you hide. This is not one of those nights.” (Thomas Blackburn, Banshee Chapter)

WARNING: This review contains images that may be disturbing. If you’re easily freaked out by creepy faces, it might be a good idea not to scroll down.

First, a history lesson. In the early 1950s, the US government and the CIA started a programme called MKUltra. This was a highly dodgy project in which unwitting US and Canadian citizens were made the test subjects of ‘behavioural engineering’ research.

Over the course of more than two decades, normal Americans were subjected to administration of drugs, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse and torture – by their own government – as a test to see how their mental states and brain functions could be altered. Continue reading “Banshee Chapter (2013) review”

Alien: Resurrection (1997) review

Alien Resurrection posterDirector: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Brad Dourif

RIPLEY – “There’s a monster in your chest. These guys hijacked your ship, and they sold your cryo tube to this human. And he put an alien inside of you. It’s a really nasty one. And in a few hours it’s gonna burst through your ribcage, and you’re gonna die. Any questions?

PURVIS – “Who are you?”

RIPLEY – “I’m the monster’s mother.”

There are some people who feel writer Joss Whedon can do no wrong. To those people I remove my cap, stare soberly at them and nod my head in the direction of Alien Resurrection, at which point blood streams freely from their eyes as they collapse in a heap, screaming indecipherable slogans of bile and malice.

To be fair, that would maybe be a bit of an overreaction on their behalf, because Alien Resurrection isn’t exactly the worst film ever made. It’s just the worst Alien film ever made. Continue reading “Alien: Resurrection (1997) review”