Tag Archive | Barbara Crampton

Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Chopping Mall.

I’m just not used to be chased around a mall in the middle of the night by killer robots. 

Some concepts are just so ripe for cheesy entertainment. Take, for example, Chopping Mall. The formula is very, very easy and runs something like this: choose isolated location, which is extremely difficult to get out of. In this instance, a Shopping Mall after hours. Then, choose a group of young, hot protagonists, who all must be willing to disrobe at a moments notice. Find a reason for them to be stuck in the aforementioned location, say, a party in a closed furniture shop (which incidentally provides beds and whatnot for them to get down and dirty in). Finally add your unstoppable antagonist, which is manifested here in the form of three squat, homicidal and overly armed security robots. This formula is absolutely unfuckupable, and even someone with the very limited talents of Jim Wynorski should be able to manage to turn in a hugely entertaining film. Read More…

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The Underrated: Castle Freak

Recently, for reasons I can’t really put my finger on, I decided that the answer to my current mood with films was to attempt to watch every film made by Stuart Gordon. Now, don’t ask me why I decided to set out on such a foolish quest, but I seem to remember it having something to do with H. P. Lovecraft and that of the very few successful adaptations out there of his work, Gordon has done 2 of them. I originally, arrogantly, said that the sum total of good Lovecraft Adaptations was one: Re-Animator, which barely counts as a Lovecraft-sourced work. However, since then, I’ve seen both From Beyond and now Castle Freak and both of which are, much to my surprise, excellent.

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Jarv’s Schlock Vault: From Beyond

It ate him… bit off his head… like a gingerbread man!

Jarv’s Rating: 3 Changs out of 4. Considering that this is based on H.P. Lovecraft, it really is a fantastic monster movie with a splendid beast, boob, gore and general giggles. And I thought that it couldn’t be done.

I feel a bit silly now. In the Re-Animator review the other day, I said that it wasn’t possible to adapt Lovecraft to the big screen, and that Re-Animator was the closest anyone could get and only managed it by taking enormous liberties with the source material. In my defence, I hadn’t seen From Beyond at the time, and I wasn’t even aware that it was a Lovecraft Adaptation. Still, ignorance is no excuse, and I would like to say that I’ve learnt a valuable lesson from this, but that would be a flagrant lie. I clearly haven’t.

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Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Re-Animator

What would a note say, Dan? “Cat dead, details later”?

Jarv’s Rating: 3 and a half Changs out of 4. A fucking absolute classic of its kind: gross, irreverent and frequently hilarious, this is an absolutely essential zombie film.

Re-Animator, or “How to get a head in medicine”, is notable for a few reasons. Firstly, it is arguably the only successful Lovecraft adaptation out there (don’t give me that shit about Dagon being anything more than worthless), although I will take Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness as  a Lovecraft-inspired film. Secondly, it also spawned several sequels, the first of which: Bride of Re-Animator is a gross and hilarious reworking of Bride of Frankenstein tied in to the Re-Animator mythology. Thirdly, Re-Animator represents a career high for almost everyone involved in it, certainly Jeffrey Combs will never put in another performance even remotely in the same league as his turn here, and finally, it’s just fucking gold from start to finish, combining some midnight-black comedy with excellent practical effects, and a skyscraper high level of entertainment. This is a storming film. Read More…