The Pulsrilogy

The Pulsrilogy

by Frank Marmoset

This trilogy of J-Horror remakes mixes the Japanese fear of blurry monochrome ghosts with the more universal and timeless fear of new technology. If horror films had existed in the fifteenth century, someone would have made one about an evil printing press that eats children (somehow starring Lance Henriksen). But this is the twenty-first century, so Pulse tells the tale of an evil internet that makes people isolated and suicidal. This disconnects me from Pulse a little bit, because I don’t suffer from technophobia and the internet has never made me feel isolated or suicidal. Mostly it just makes me want to masturbate.

Can the Pulse series convince me I should be afraid of the internet tubes?

Pulse (2006)


Problem one: Dumbness. When they were making this film, someone was not paying attention to the dumbness levels and filled Pulse with far too much of it. Consequently, there is a surfeit of dumb in this film. Dumb is to Pulse as subcutaneous fat is to the morbidly obese.

The crux of the film is that blurry ghosts sneak into the internet via an experimental new wi-fi frequency. Dumb. Once there, the internet ghosts spread like a virus and spookily pop out of websites to drain their victims’ will to live. Dumber. For some reason, mankind’s only hopes for survival are red duct-tape and a special anti-ghost computer virus, even though at one point Kristen Bell defeats a ghost by kicking it in the face. Dumbest.

If I wasn’t almost eighty-seven percent certain that cartoon characters can’t write screenplays, I would assume Homer Simpson wrote this film.

Thing is, I normally like dumbness. And if Pulse was even slightly aware of its incredible silliness, it could have been an entertaining watch. But this is another of those dreary, slow moving, po-faced horror films with no sense of humour, no sense of fun, and an entirely unjustified desire to be taken very, very seriously.

Also, I call shenanigans on the title. Why Pulse? Despite the technological subject matter, electronic pulses do not feature in the story in any way. If you were being generous, you could say the ghosts are trying to take away the pulses of their victims (by killing them), but according to that logic every horror film ever made should also be called Pulse. So here are a few suggestions for more appropriate titles:

  • Attack Of The Asshole Computer Ghosts
  • Etherealnet
  • World Wide Wraiths
  • OMFG: Ornery Murderous Fucking Ghosts
  • Generic J-Horror Remake #19
  • Kristen Bell Is Awesome: She Is In This Film

Aside from Kristen Bell, who plays the tiny cute blonde lead and is as effortlessly likeable as always, the only enjoyment I got from Pulse was concocting my own stupid horror film based on a popular current technology. I call it iPodzilla. It’s about a giant mutant asshole iPod who threatens to destroy the human race by playing the song ‘Boom Boom Pow’ until our brains leak out of our ears. Humanity, fearing a most horrible and painful extinction, fights back by sending a giant mutant asshole Zune to do battle with iPodzilla. The only problem I have with this story is that a titanic showdown between an iPod and a Zune is not really a fair fight. I mean, come on, it’s a Zune; it would get its ass kicked by an eight year old girl.


Pulse 2: Afterlife (2008)

In this sequel, mankind faces a new threat: ROOMBAGEDDON! All around the world, Roombas gain sentience and turn on their owners, brutally vacuuming them to death. And Roomba owners are lazy as hell – they can’t even be bothered to clean up after themselves! – so none of them stands a chance. On the brink of the greatest global catastrophe since iPodzilla, the human race has only one viable option, a last ditch gambit to prevent the end of days: calling on iPodzilla himself to defend the world from the rampaging Roomba horde.

Wait, hang on. That’s the other film, the one I was imagining while Pulse 2 was demonstrating that, yes, there is room for this series to get worse.

Pulse 2 picks up from the apocalyptic ending of part one and sets its story in a world where much of the population has been decimated by the dumb internet ghost virus. Then some stuff happens, much of it in front of unconvincing green screens, even innocuous dinner table scenes where all they had to do was build one wall and call it a set. Christ, man, this is a film where they couldn’t even be bothered to build one god damn wall.

If I were to give you just one piece of advice, it would be this: No, a threesome is not when you masturbate with both hands. If I were to give you a second piece of advice, it would be to never, ever watch Pulse 2. Maybe you liked the first one and have a healthy curiosity about the sequel – don’t do it. Maybe you liked Jamie Bamber as Apollo on Battlestar Galactica and want to see him in a cheap DTV horror film – don’t do it. Even if you are offered a choice between watching Pulse 2 or having your genitals vigorously massaged with a belt sander – I urge you to give serious consideration to option B.

This film has boob, including ghost boob, and I’m still giving it zero out of ten. That should tell you all you need to know.


Pulse 3: Invasion (2008)

Man, eff this film. It doesn’t deserve a proper effing review. It doesn’t even deserve proper effing swear words.


(And no, that score is not a typo. Minus 3 out of 10!)

So, what have I learned from this experience? Here is a list:

1) Reviewing the Pulse series was not a good idea.

2) Kristen Bell is awesome.

That’s it. And I already knew the second one!

This has not been my most positive review. Sorry about that. I tried to lessen the annoyance by fighting it with humour, but Pulse agitated my annoyance until it reached Hulk-like levels of size and ferocity, and my sense of humour wasn‘t strong enough to defend itself. But I don’t want to go out on a sour note, so I’ll leave you with an image that serves as an excellent reminder that: A) Kristen Bell is awesome, and: B) the internet still mostly makes me want to masturbate.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

30 responses to “The Pulsrilogy”

  1. Jarv says :


    That tag was really funny (if a bit whiny) but too long. I’ll have to edit it.

    • Frank Marmoset says :

      No, don;t edit them. They made me laugh, so I vote the tags stay as they are.

      • Jarv says :

        Already done it-

        It was the apple one- it originally read:

        Apple don’t need scary ghosts to take over the world because their evil corporate bastards and I hate that I am going to lose everything in my fucking iphone because I have to sync it with a new computer. Cunts.

        But that was too long.

  2. Jarv says :

    Very, very funny.

    That series sounds hideous.

  3. Jarv says :

    I’m a bit lost. Does it work like there’s a magic website inhabited by evil grainy ghost types that are trying to take over the world, whereas Kristen Bell armed only with duct tape nearly foils them?

    Then in Pulse 2, they’ve won, and humanity is hiding (but still having dinner).

    I think the ipod idea is better. Although I don’t know what a zune is.

    • Frank Marmoset says :

      The idea in the first film is that the ghosts are like a computer virus, spreading throughout the internet and eventually infecting people who use the internet (or mobile phones).

      The sequels are about life after the ghost virus has killed four fifths of the population and the last humans are living like its the old west with no technology.

      And a Zune is Microsoft’s feeble attempt to compete with the iPod.

  4. Xiphos0311 says :

    I wouldn’t mind ringing that Bell. I figure I have a chance since that Dax Sheppard goober has been mounting her.

  5. Xiphos0311 says :

    The Ipodzilla should play an endless loop of the Black eyed Peas, Humanities foundations would crumble over night.

    • Jarv says :

      No- it should pound the Glee soundtrack.

      Having heard fake teenagers butchering journey for 24 hours straight we’ll all turn on each other like a pack of hungry dogs.

  6. Jarv says :

    By the way Frank, what’s next? Ring + Ring 2?

    At least there’s a film you like in that.

    • Frank Marmoset says :

      Next up is the tentatively titled Two & A Half Rings. It covers The Ring, a short film called Rings that bridges the gap between parts one and two, and The Ring Two.

      And, like you say, at least I like one of those. So that’s something.

  7. ThereWolf says :

    Funny, Frank.

    A lad at work lent me ‘Pulse’ and said something like, “This is fucking creepy.”

    It wasn’t creepy; it was fucking shit. Fucking duct tape? Fuck off. Went back in work and he’s like, “Well? Well?” I said, “Fuck off.” He said, “I said it was creepy, I didn’t say it was good.” I said, “It wasn’t creepy it was fucking shite and you are a twat.”

    I won’t be watching any more of those.

    • Jarv says :

      Not mincing any words then?

      • ThereWolf says :

        Oh, he’s a complete cunt. He also said ‘Resident Evil Acockaplypse’ was “all right” and of ‘Sweeney Todd’ he said it “hardly has any singing in it.”

        He’s a fuckhead.

    • Frank Marmoset says :

      The sequels make the first one look like a masterpiece. Easily two of the worst DTV sequels I’ve seen, and I watch a lot of that stuff.

      • Jarv says :

        See, I’m mildly curious about part 3 now. Simply because you’re the simian that sat through the Hellraiser sequels- and if you’re treating it like that, then it must be atrocious.

      • Frank Marmoset says :

        So far, Pulse 3 is the worst film I’ve reviewed. Hellraiser is still the worst series, but Pulse 3 is the worst film. It’s horribly boring, makes no sense, the lead character is irritating, and the film isn’t even competent on a technical level. The green screen work in both those films looks awful, and they use it in the most weird places, like simple shots of people standing in the street or sitting inside a log cabin.

        Honestly, don’t watch it. It’s not even entertainingly shit, it’s just shit.

      • Jarv says :

        Even worse than Hellraiser: Hellworld? Or whatever Part 6 of that series was (Inferno?)

        Christ. Must be heinous.

      • just pillow talk says :

        Wow…worst film you’ve ever reviewed?

        There should have been like a trophy ceremony for Pulse 3, I mean, it deserves some sort of accolade for reaching the bottom of Frankie’s barrel.

      • Spud McSpud says :

        I refuse to believe that PULSE 2 and 3 are worse that HELLRAISER: INFERNO. Craig Sheffer owes me two hours of my life back for that fucking waste of everything involved. Cuntmeister.

        I quite liked the first, given that it really was as bone-headedly dumb as the simian says it is.

  8. DocPazuzu says :

    Pulse is absolute shit. I hated it with a passion before the five-minute mark had passed. Something about 20-somethings “casually” outfitted by whatever hipster outlet is clothing young people these days and their accompanying immaculately messed up hair just drives me fucking bonkers. Maybe I’m just a mean old bastard these days but I immediately want all of these people to die as soon as possible in these films. I HATE them and all the fuckers sitting around me in the theaters who look just like them.

    There was a total of two cool/creepy scenes in Pulse:

    1) the first time a ghost shows itself (emerging in slow motion in a darkened apartment)

    2) the plane crashing

    It’s impossible to grok how awful 2 and 3 are since the first one was so terrible.

    I watched the Japanese version (Kairo) not to long ago, having incorrectly assumed that the original simply had to be better than the U.S. remake. I was wrong. It was just as bad but with the added bonus of being nigh incomprehensible as well.

  9. Continentalop says :

    I never met Kristen Bell, but I have met Dax Shepherd.

    What. A. Douche. Bag.

    That he is dating Kristen Bell is evidence enough that there is no God, or that he is a major asshole.

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