Posts Tagged ‘Charles Band’

Media Update 5/26/22

May 26, 2022

Corona Zombies (2020)

I had learned about this movie through reading Charles Band’s autobiography. The behind-the-scenes story of the making of the movie sounded absolutely crazy to me. Band and his crew struggled to film everything they had to in the three days as California was rapidly locking down. They created a story where Covid-19 rapidly mutated into a zombie apocalypse on several continents. They then bought some old footage from some zombie movies and spent the rest of the time dubbing over that footage with new dialogue, purchasing footage from real-life news feeds,  and then cutting the movie together. The movie was released amidst the maelstrom that was early 2020 while rumors were wild. It is not in the best taste but I feel that it parodies a lot of the misinformation rather than adds to it. It’s hard to walk that line, though. The movie is a meandering mess but it is fun to watch in its badness. I recommend this movie.

The Covid Killer (2021)

This movie came out a little later but it was obviously filmed during the quarantine in New York City. The mean streets of New York are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and while people are just trying to survive, a killer stalks the streets and it is up to one cop to end the threat. The movie takes place over what feels like months in 2020 so little changes are introduced here and there. There is even a scene where the police captain instructs the detectives about wearing masks and social distancing. They then don’t wear masks for the rest of the movie. So, it’s true to real-life cops. While this movie is not super professional, it does have a reasonably coherent plot and plenty of gore. What really impressed me that the movie has an original soundtrack most of which is rapped by Jay Doggs. It also weirdly uses sound clips from the movie Joker (2019) which did not really feel like it connected to anything. I do not recommend this movie except as a curiosity.

Covid-21: Lethal Virus (2021)

This is a movie that I found in my research but the movie actually tried to evade me, possibly from shame. On IMDB and Amazon Prime the movie renamed itself to simply Lethal Virus which was probably a marketing move to shorten the title and ditch the Covid references. In fact, the only reference to “Covid” is in the title sequence from a newscaster. In the far-flung post-apocalyptic future of 2021, a new virus has emerged which is turning people into zombies. The government sends a scientific delegation to the impacted area to stop the spread of the infection. This movie was probably made in 2020 and 2021 and involves a lot of rural, outdoors filming. This one has the best acting of the trio with there being some chemistry between scientist Loretta Hope and backwoods survivalist Christian Stamm. I think this movie was less interesting to me because it was not poorly made in a comical way. I do not recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

GIRLI – Hot Mess

Coi Leray & Nicki Minaj – Blick Blick!

BoyWithUke – Understand

Five Finger Death Punch – IOU

Mashup of the Week:

Oneboredjeu Mashups – Bitchrolled

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Covid Horror in Bad Taste”
  • I watched a ton of Twitch and YouTube
  • I watched more Batwoman Season 2
  • I watched more Cursed Films Season 2
  • I watched more Scream Queens Season 2

Media Update 4/28/22

April 28, 2022

The Alchemist

This one feels a bit like a fairytale. It is light and dreamy and meandering. A woman is drawn into the woods where she meets a man who claims that she looks exactly like his wife who died a century ago. Lucinda Dooling plays the lead and she is amusingly brassy and abrasive while also being vulnerable. John Sanderford plays her put upon sidekick of sorts and the only voice of reason. Robert Ginty plays the titular character and does a good job as a tormented and cursed man. The special effects are delightfully schlocky and the pacing is weird but it was still a fun “bad” movie. I recommend it.

Parasite (1982)

Boy, this movie is hard to find online. Gee, I wonder why? I really wanted to see this movie because it has the great Stan Winston doing special effects on the cheap. The titular parasite is actually very creepy-looking and there are some really good effects from it. The movie actually felt like it might have inspired the Bethesda Fallout games. A man tries to find a cure for a deadly parasite that he helped create to keep it from the government in a post-apocalyptic world. Robert Claudini is an unlikely leading man but does a good job as a stone-faced and reticent scientist. Demi Moore plays the sweet-faced young lemon farmer in her very first movie role. The movie is a bit of a rambling mess but some good action scenes and great horror effects make up for it. I recommend this movie.

Netherworld

A strange movie with some very interesting horror elements. Transformation is a heavily used horror trope in both Empire and Full Moon movies. A young man travels to the south where he has inherited an estate from the father he never knew. Once there, he stumbles into a world of dark magic mixed with lust involving a demonic brothel. There are hints of sex but nothing too graphic. The movie dwells more on the horror aspects. Unlike other movies set in Louisiana, it keeps its magic vague and fictional instead of leaning on the usual mix of voodoo or santeria. This is great because most of the cast is white so there’s no cultural appropriation. Michael Bendetti plays the perpetually clueless yet curious protagonist. Denise Gentile plays the seductive and otherworldly beautiful witch/demon/whatever. I recommend this odd movie.

Music of the Week:

Motionless In White – Masterpiece

The Destroyers – Freak on a Leash (cover)

Dorothy – Black Sheep

Becky G – No Mienten

Mashup of the Week:

Bronze is Bored – Fresh Prince of Slipknot

Weekly Update:

This week’s theme is “Charlie Band”

I watched more Blacklist Season 8

I watched more Riverdale Season 4

I watched more Terriers Season 1

I watched more Scream Queens Season 1

I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 6

I watched more Archive 81 Season 1

I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 12

I watched more Charmed (2018) Season 2

I watched The Killer Eye (1999)

Dolls (1987)

October 16, 2017

78 minutes – Rated R for horrible people, child neglect, gore and nightmares.

The uncanny valley is such a powerful tool in visual horror. The concept of the uncanny valley says that we will be creeped out by things more as they look more and more human. When something becomes completely human-looking, our unease is allayed. Seeing things trying to be human but not achieving it makes them look alien and frightening. We know what humans can do but near-humans look erratic and unpredictable. If they are inanimate, we have nightmares that they will begin to move around as humans do. This is largely where the fear of dolls comes from. People have long thought dolls are creepy. When I was in theater, we did a show where the set was adorned with Putti which were created by stapling wings to baby dolls and then spray painting them. People swore that the eyes followed them as they walked the stage. The dolls also periodically fell from great heights with no warning during rehearsal as if they were trying to attack. It was unnerving and there is power in that.

Small things are also terrifying. If you do not believe me, think about the story I heard as a kid about living in the desert and waking up in the morning and slipping your shoes on only for there to be a stinging scorpion hiding in there. There are many real tiny terrors in the world which includes spiders, scorpions, diseased mosquitos, ticks, and especially bees and wasps. I never worried about my dolls (ahem action figures) coming to life when I was little. Even when I was thirteen and watched Toy Story, I never really worried about it. However, I know plenty of people do fear that as kids. That is why there are so many horror stories about killer dolls. Childs Play, Demonic Toys, Puppetmaster, and Poltergeist all come to mind but there are dozens. I will probably see them all eventually. Little things are hard to keep track of if they do not want you to find them and they can turn up in the most surprising places. It’s a scary thought that they might be anywhere around.

I love a good horror movie with truly detestable people in it. It makes me feel less guilty to watch them get killed in inventive ways. I have quickly determined that if I have empathy for a character, it makes horror movies scarier because I dread anything happening to that character. This movie does not have that problem as most of the people, except for the little kid, are absolutely horrible. There is a strange combination of mean and moronic that personified a lot of horror movie victims in the eighties and nineties. Also, bonus points for having American tourists in England being completely awful and pushy. More bonus points for lower class British people being loud and rude. The movie not so subtly drops in one of the biggest concepts of fairy tales: be nice or suffer the consequences. The acting is very melodramatic but this is yet another Charles Band movie. The lower class punks are modeled after Madonna and the upper-class Americans are modeled after just about every rich person in the USA.
The saving grace for the adults is Stephen Miller who is kind of funny to watch and definitely a good guy.

They obviously spent a lot of time on post-production on this one. There are so much great puppets and practical effects. Someone obviously had a lot of fun making killer toys on a workbench somewhere in Italy (where this was filmed on a soundstage). I really would love to see a behind the scenes documentary or some blueprints on how they animated some of the dolls in this movie. By the way, based on the title, it should not be a spoiler that there are killer dolls in this movie. I suppose they used a lot of the same types of effects that were used in the early Child’s Play movies. It is difficult to imbue life on an inanimate object even with the aid of CGI and it takes a real puppetry master to make them actually scary. To me, these were way creepier than films like Puppetmaster or Demonic Toys and that has a lot to do with attention to detail and good production values. Of course, that is praise for this movie and I would never denigrate a movie I love like the Puppetmaster franchise. It may not be amazing by today’s standards (just wait for my Cult of Chucky comments on Thursday) but this type of thing fascinates me.

Overall, I thought this was a really twisted yet fun horror movie. I thought it would be a normal run-of-the-mill horror romp and in a lot of ways, I was right. However, the movie takes a lot of random left turns that surprised me or really weirded me out but they never felt forced. They left me dreading what was going to happen next but also looking forward to where the story might go next. This story definitely goes to some seriously forked up places, too. Charles Band rules my dreams and nightmares yet again.


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