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Ghouls, Ghosts and Random Acts of Stabbery: Halloween

Halloween poster

It’s been a long time since I started out a new series, and given the season, I thought I’d have a stab (no pun intended) at every Halloween movie. I’m not actually sure this is good idea, as I’m pretty certain that 4,5 and 7 are abominable, and I haven’t seen the remakes. Not to mention that I really have nothing new at all to say about John Carpenter’s seminal original. Still, never the less, here we go… Read More…

BRAAAAAAIIIIIINNNNNSSSS!!! Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave

Time to expand on my new Return of the Living Dead hypothesis. I think it’s kind of anti-Star Trek. The theory goes with Star Trek that only the even numbered ones are any good (I heartily dispute this regarding part 4: Save the Whales), and Return of the Living Dead is the opposite. So far, 1 is gold, 2 is garbage, 3 is Silver, 4 is utter garbage. So presumably, following on, 5 (Rave to the Grave) will also therefore win a medal of some description, possibly a bronze. Well, no, it’s not that good. However it did at least make the final and hasn’t embarrassed itself in any way. For a start, it does actually resemble a Return of the Living Dead film, and while I hate the central character Julian (John Keefe from Part 4) the presence of gore, comedy and nudity automatically raise it above the quite filthy depths that Necropolis had sunk the series to.

This is a Return of the Living Dead film, so nudity, gore, laughs and Spoilers lurk below. Read More…

BRAAAAAAIIIIIINNNNNSSSS!!! Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis

So, for those that aren’t familiar with this, one of Jarv’s golden rules of cinema is that if there’s a large gap between a sequel and it’s predecessor then 99 times out of 100 it will be awful. Examples range across the different genres, including The Godfather Part 3, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and so forth. The reason being is that if someone chooses to exhume a long-buried franchise, then chances are it’s motivated entirely by money and a hope to cash in on some hazy name recognition. There are films that break this rule, notably Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but that’s countered by Burton’s stinking remake, and who can ever forget the Star Wars Prequel atrocities? Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis (they dropped the 4 for release) has further handicaps to overcome, not least of which is that it’s a Sci-Fi Channel film, and was shot back-to-back with its vastly superior sequel in Eastern Europe. It’s no surprise for me to tell you up front that this one ain’t a winner.

Contains crap zombie babies and spoilers below. Read More…

BRAAAAAAIIIIIINNNNNSSSS!!! The Return of the Living Dead Series. Part 1: Jarv looks back at Return of the Living Dead 1-3.

Next up on my quest through horror movie series is the incomparable Return of the Living Dead. The original Return of the Living Dead (here on referred to as ROTLD)was one of my first Vault reviews from way back in the Summer of 2009, and to be honest, it doesn’t read anywhere near as well now as I thought it did. I followed this with ROTLD 2 in November 2009, and again, it’s not my most sophisticated piece of criticism ever. I finally took on ROTLD 3 last year, as part of my quest to watch every Brian Yuzna film ever made, and the review is a bit better. But what is Return of the Living Dead, I hear you ask?

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The War begins anew- Underworld: Awakening

Maybe my brain is a bit fried from the heat. Or maybe I’ve managed to overdose on bland, 16 year old Goth sentiments. Nevertheless, and this defies any attempt at rational explanation, I found myself quite enjoying Underworld: Awakening. Seriously, particularly given that it was Underworld: Awakening 3D™, I can’t believe I didn’t hate it. I’m even not going to use the standard 3D disclaimer about it being completely useless and even seeing the words 3D makes my expectations deflate faster than Adele’s space hopper. So, this is going to be a lukewarm-ly positive review of an Underworld film, now who would ever have thought that was likely?

May contain super-werewolves and spoilers below
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The War Begins: Underworld Rise of the Lycans

Every rose has a thorn, just like every night has a dawn, and every cowboy sings a sad, sad love song, and every war has a beginning.

Sadly, they do. For example, in the words of Baldrick, the First World War was started when someone called Ferdinand shot an ostrich. I’m not sure his history is that accurate, and I’m even less sure that Underworld warranted a prequel. In fact, I feel fairly certain that it doesn’t. I’m also starting to come to the conclusion with these films that they’re the cinematic equivalent of money for old rope in that it doesn’t seem to matter how badly whoever is helming them cocks it up they’ll still pull in about $100m give or take regardless of the quality of the film. I find this sad.

Contains a very misguided version of Romeo and Juliet and spoilers below.

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The war develops: Underworld Evolution

It’s round two of Underworld. Kate’s back in the jumpsuit and raring to put a cap in some undead bad guys.

Apparently this film bombed in Middle America. Allegedly, someone in the Marketing Department (let’s call him Philibrick) at the studio realised in a stroke of genius what was wrong, and we’re lucky enough to have received the transcript of his conversation with his boss taken from the security footage:

Contains very broad brush and crude satire (with a sprinkling of bad taste) of Hollywood marketing idiocy and spoilers below.

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The war beneath our streets: Underworld (2003)

I’m not sure this series is a good idea at all, to be honest. Still, I have recently rewatched them, and it is an 18 rated horror franchise, so I suppose it does fit my MO. Underworld is, on paper, a really great idea for a schlock series. It should, actually, be solid gold dumbhouse. A battle raging below the streets between two underground armies of Vampires and Werewolves should automatically be both incredibly cool and highly entertaining, and should promise blood by the barrel, tits, horror, graphic violence and a lead actress strapped into something ridiculously skin tight. Sadly, Underworld mostly wastes this premise, and all they manage to get right is spraying a catsuit onto Kate Beckinsale.

May contain a bemused cast of British Thespians and spoilers below

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Man’s Best Friend: The Breed (2006)

I really like that poster. Not so much the tagline, because it’s easy for dogs to smell fear (smells like poo), but that’s a fucking fantastic poster image. It’s just ripe for a load of tasteless doggy style jokes that I will, thankfully, hold back from. Anyhoo, I’m back in the kennel having a look at one of the more recent Killer Dog films. This time, it’s Wes Craven produced The Breed, a less than auspicious entry from 2006.

May contain happy dogs with their tails wagging and spoilers. Read More…

Man’s Best Friend: Man’s Best Friend (1993)

Obviously, I didn’t think the title of this series out properly. If I had, then I’d have considered the fact that one of the films likely to come out of the hat would be 1993 silly schlockfest Man’s Best Friend. As I look now at the title to this post, I can’t help but feel a bit embarrassed, as that repetition is so absurd as to be ridiculous. Still, worse things happen at sea, or in labs where mad scientists are injecting pooches with all sorts of other DNA to make Superpooch with an attitude problem.

This really is a very silly film.

Contains angry mutant Rottweilers and spoilers below. Read More…