Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Campbell’

Media Update 10/13/2016

October 13, 2016

Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
Sequel to Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors

So last year I watched The Dream Warriors for the first time and that was a great time so I decided to watch the next one since I was still working through the middle of the series. I’ve now seen one, two, three, four and New Nightmare. As I previously stated, the franchise is a lot of fun and I’m glad that I savored it instead of binging all of them a while ago. The second movie is kind of outside continuity and out of the formula but so far, the others each contain a major piece of lore or major event. Each movie adds to the story and introduces a new twist here and there so that they are not just producing the same movie over and over. The series probably also has the most likable victims in it. It is easy to feel empathy for them because the nicer ones (and most of them are the nicer ones) seem like ok people to hang with. This is combined with a strangely funny but horrific and iconic villain. Add that with dream imagery and the idea of lucid dreaming and you have this movie. We start the movie where the last one left off and then it’s pretty much a rollercoaster after that. I felt like this one had slightly more horrific and creative imagery and I really enjoyed the ride. This franchise continues to be pretty amazing in its innovative approach even several decades later. I swear, the writers of these movies are completely insane. I definitely recommend this and all of the Nightmare franchise (though I can’t vouch for 5, 6 or the reboot yet).

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Sequel to Dead Snow

When I saw that this movie was a thing and easily available for me to watch, I just had to jump on the opportunity. The first Dead Snow was a great and unexpected horror movie from Norway that covers a group of medical students on vacation getting attacked by Nazi zombies. The movie was unique, darkly funny, horribly gory but also very scary. This movie reminded me just how bleak and gory the first one was since it starts with a narrated montage detailing the first movie. The opening was clearly an homage to the opening of Army of Darkness and it was successful in getting the right tone right away. This movie is even gorier right off the bat. They stepped up the violence but the movie also feels more self-aware than the last one in its comedy. The production values are also way better as they must have learned to hone their craft a little better. This one is also not completely set in the snow either so we get more vibrant colors in the mix. For me, this movie has a relationship to the first movie similar to Back to the Future and Back to the Future II. I like Back to the Future II better but only because Back to the Future laid in such a good foundation. Creating the Nazi zombies was a great move and we learn a little more about their capabilities in this movie as their role is expanded. However, I would also definitely compare it to the evolution of Evil Dead into Evil Dead 2 where they piled on more comedy without ruining the horror aspect. On a side note, I am definitely thankful that this was shot in Norwegian and English. The English version was very much appreciated especially since it is something they did not need to do. Check this one out if you have a strong stomach.

Maniac Cop 2
Sequel to Maniac Cop

I really enjoyed Maniac Cop when I finally saw it last year so I thought why not try out the sequel? The first movie was one that definitely felt like it was made in the late eighties. It has a similar feel to movies like Evil Dead 2 or Jason Takes Manhattan. There are also elements of the B movies like Soultaker or even non-genre films like Death Wish. This movie follows the continued horror of an undead cop with a grudge against the system that betrayed him. He was innocent but was framed and sent to Sing Sing where he was mutilated and killed. The heroes of the movie are once again stalked by the hulking form of a disfigured Robert Z’Dar who plays Officer Cordell the titular maniac cop. He has very few lines but his actions speak volumes and his unstoppable nature certainly makes him a pretty scary movie villain. When we’ve seen him literally come back from damage that would obliterate a normal human, it’s hard to feel anything but fear for the innocent protagonists. Z’Dar does more stunt work than acting but he is the villain and the characters around him help to describe more of his motivation and the tragedy of his existence. Everybody still doesn’t believe that he exists but that changes pretty quickly as he teams with another killer and wreaks havoc. The acting is pretty melodramatic kind of like an Evil Dead 2. It is a refreshing horror movie because nobody in it is really begging to get killed and a lot of targets are fairly innocent. Still, it’s not quite as good as the first one. The first one had more mystery to it but this one seemed to have a little more spectacle. The sequel was pretty good though and worth watching if you want to see what happens after the first one.

Halloween Short Film of the Week:

Electric Shadow Films – Slender Man

Music of the Week:

GWAR – Madness at the Core of Time

Helloween – Dr. Stein

Warlock – Burning the Witches

Vamps – Inside of Me

Jex Thoth – When The Raven Calls

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Sequels to Movies I Reviewed Last Halloween”
– I started watching season 11 of Supernatural
– I started watching season 2 of Flash again
– I continued watching season 2 of Gotham
– I finished season 2 of The Following
– I finished watching season 1 of Penny Dreadful
– FNAF: Sister Location came out this week

Maniac Cop

October 31, 2015

When I was in college, my brother took a trip to Thailand. When he returned to the United States he presented everyone with gifts and the gift he gave me was Maniac Cop 2. Unfortunately, the movie was in Region 3 since it was bought in Asia and I couldn’t play it on anything I could get my hands on. I always regretted that. My brother had no idea that the DVD wouldn’t work and somewhere in my travels I lost it. It’s probably a lot easier to watch it now, Region 3 or not. Still, the movie intrigued me and he bought it for me because it had Bruce Campbell in it and he knew I was a huge fan of the Evil Dead series.

Over the years I continued to be a fan of the Evil Dead but also a fan of Bruce himself. He seems to love all of the fans of schlocky horror and is really good at poking fun at himself. He finally achieved more mainstream success when he got a main role in Burn Notice. So, yes, Bruce Campbell attracted me to finally checking this movie out. However, it also includes three other notable actors in it as well. Tom Atkins is arguably the lead protagonist of the movie and you may know him from my favorite movie from the Halloween franchise (Halloween 3: Season of the Witch). Richard Roundtree makes a prominent appearance, an interesting break from all of his Shaft movies. Finally we have Robert Z’Dar whose strange bone structure is easily recognizable especially in movies like Soultaker (easily one of my favorite MST3K episodes).

I should probably mention the elephant in the room. This movie is about a man dressed as a police officer murdering people. Lately this has become a frighteningly commonplace news item to see an officer of the law killing a suspect or innocent person with excessive force. Of course, this isn’t a new thing. All of us alive at the time remember the Rodney King beating and the riots that ensued. Before that there was the excessive force employed against the civil rights movement in the sixties. There have been many other instances of a person with a badge overstepping the boundaries and injuring or murdering somebody. Obviously, this movie draws on that fear we feel when we see a cop car or a police officer in public even though we have done nothing wrong. I’m glad that the protagonists are also cops which helps remind us that their are good guys out there too.

The movie is actually far from a cheap eighties afair that I thought it would be. They actually poured quite a bit of money into it and the effects and cinematography are top notch for a horror film. The movie has a similar feel to movies like Death Wish and Wolfen. A lot of movies back then had a dark, grainy quality that worked with horror movies like this. One year later Batman would be released but this movie feels like it’s from the late seventies instead. New York is shown as indifferent, paranoid and angry especially when it comes to police officers. It’s not an optimistic film nor does it have any sunny characters. Even Bruce Campbell is without his trademark quips.

This was a movie about a police officer, back from the dead to kill the innocent and those who wronged him. Easy comparisons could be made to Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers but this killer is far more intelligent. By keeping the villain silent and shooting him beautifully, they were able to keep him mysterious and menacing until the end of the movie. I definitely recommend checking this one out as it has a lot of good, suspenseful fun.

(Check back here at noon for the next movie!)

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