Posts Tagged ‘Fun Movie’

House (1986)

October 31, 2015

We have little to no control over where and when horror finds us. The horror in our past is hard to overcome. Sometimes I think back to the scariest moments of my life and I can hardly imagine how I got through them and I’m just an ordinary guy. There are people who go through hell on Earth just to live another day and they have that burned into their memory forever. I can’t imagine being a soldier in a war where I was in real danger. I never saw a dead person outside of a funeral. Still, I can understand the true horror of trying to live today with the memories of true horror. The emotional baggage we carry around can be more terrifying than any ghost story. Of course, this movie is a ghost story too.

Thankfully, even with the heavy subject matter, there’s a lot of humor in this movie. It’s an interesting style of humor too. It’s quirky and light sometimes when the mood should be heavy or scary. Sometimes it actually makes the moment scarier in a very surreal way. The people in the story don’t act exactly as they should and while it’s sort of funny, it gave me sort of an alien feeling as well. Of course, there were was plenty of funny stuff too. I was reminded of a mix of movies like Airplane and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It’s a strange kind of humor that mixes reality with unreality almost seamlessly.

The movie gradually gets weirder as it goes on. It starts off quirky with a side of strange but slowly the horror elements start to take over. We’re dealing with ghosts in this one but they’re some of the most crafty ghosts I’ve ever seen. Like the ghosts in the Shining, the house knows about every single moment of the main character’s life. Also, the ghosts actively mess with the character’s mind, a mind of a vietnam vet. He’s also a writer and I know from experience how much a vivid imagination can mess with your mind all on its own. The movie spends much of its time bouncing between vivid flashbacks and hauntings in the present. The sometimes jarring transitions help you get into the head of somebody who’s not quite well but seems oddly at ease with being in that condition.

William Katt stars as Roger Cobb, a horror writer in a horror movie a cliche that Stephen King practically invented. He has just the right energy to pull the character off without getting too corny or too heavy. He’s joined by George Wendt who plays Roger’s pushy next door neighbor Harold who seems to have forgotten a lot about human tact. Cobb is haunted by his past and strange creatures who are hard to explain. It becomes clear that Cobb is a man with issues. Issues that go beyond being haunted by ghosts and he goes against obstacles that are hard to explain without spoiling the movie.

I don’t want to spoil the movie. It’s a weird little thing as the director, Steve Miner, was fresh off of Friday the 13th parts II and III. The idea for it came from Fred Dekker who wrote Monster Squad but it was fleshed out by first time screenwriter Ethan Wiley. Apparently all three of them were best friends inspired by Twilight Zone: The Movie and it definitely shows. The movie paces out similar to horror anthology segments like Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt. I would suggest you check this movie out if you’re into an offbeat horror movie that’s as funny as it is weird.

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Leprechaun 3

October 18, 2014

I really wanted to review this one because I recently finished reading Warwick Davis’ autobiography.   When Warwick Davis originally took the role of the Leprechaun because he had tax debt up to his eyeballs.  He managed to make the role memorable and really started to enjoy himself.   When he talked to Ron Howard about taking the role, Ron’s advice was: “Whatever you do, don’t do more than one.”  Warwick ended up doing six of these films to which Ron Howard replied: “Well, my kids like them so whatever they like can’t be too bad.”

So without further ado, sit back as I enjoy another holiday classic!

“I love rhyming villains.”

I have a soft spot in my heart for rhymes.  I love Etrigan in DC Comics and various other villains who speak in rhyme.  When I was way younger I used to think that poetry had to rhyme and enjoyed searching out the best ones.  One Easter I even wrote a whole scavenger hunt for children in rhyming couplets.  It was a lot of fun but a lot of work so I appreciate the hard work it takes to get the Leprechaun rhyming correctly.

“Another Leprechaun film where I instantly want the protagonist to die.  Wow, even more than Jennifer Aniston.”

I absolutely hated Jennifer Aniston’s character in the original within seconds.  They did a really job making her totally unlikeable and they do the same for the protagonists in this film.  I guess the point is that the heroes are supposed to learn a lesson.  I think it instead allows me to feel good about them suffering.  I really enjoyed watching these people suffer.

“The Lucky Shamrock Casino?  OK, I’ll allow it.”

For this movie, the writer (or somebody high up) created a fictional casino that is somewhere on the Las Vegas strip.  They name it the Lucky Shamrock which I am actually surprised never existed.  Yeah, it’s a cheap gag but it makes a lot of sense in the movie’s logic.  The outside looks cheap and the inside looks pretty cheap so it all matches up.  Also, they could set the thing in their fictional casino and not involve any of the actual name casinos on the strip.  Things were probably simpler that way.

“There seems to be a Daffy Duck thing going on.”

The Leprechaun spends much of the movie mugging and cracking jokes and engaging in slapstick and wordplay.  This follows from the first two movies but goes to ridiculous extremes in number three and only gets worse as the series progresses.  It is actually not a bad thing as most of the enjoyment of the Leprechaun films is watching the Leprechaun be the zany, evil thing that he is.  It’s similar to the Nightmare on Elm Street and Child’s Play films.

“The ‘overbearing’ boss is more likeable than his put upon employee.”

In fact, all of the so-called villains were more likeable and better characters than the white meat protagonists.  It certainly didn’t hurt that their IQs seemed to be leaps and bounds above the protagonists.  The mobsters, the sleazy boss, the scheming employee and the arrogant magician.  They were all actually pretty good but they had good actors portraying them.  Well, good actors by horror movie standards.

“They’re making this shit up as they go along!”

A hallmark of the Leprechaun series is that in each of the movies, they add new rules and facets to the mythos.  Suddenly the Leprechaun can’t stand iron or later on he can’t stand a special medallion.  His powers only increase each movie and he becomes more and more of a threat.  He also becomes more sadistic.  Again, kind of like Freddy Krueger.

“There’s actually a plot in this horror movie.  What?”

They really don’t need to include plots to teach the heroes a big lesson.  I’m fine with mayhem being incited and the big bad chasing the heroes around for over an hour. In this one, they eventually merge all of the plots into the main plot and the movie actually gets cooking.   It’s really not a horror movie until the heroes are fleeing in terror, right?

“This went into a weird place. Where’s the Leprechaun?”

The Leprechaun disappears for way too long so that all the other characters can do funny stuff and have conflict.  It’s kind of useless padding but it does make me want them all to get mowed down so that’s an added bonus.  They were too likeable anyway.  They kind of make up for the Leprechaun not doing anything by showing clips of him on the Las Vegas strip

“Wow, it finally got really creepy. Awesome.”

They start to bring out some of my worst fears and some legitimately creepy stuff.  Killer sex robots, body transmogrification, mind control and bondage all make an appearance.  It takes a while but the movie moves from Warner Brothers cartoon to humorous horror film.  The thing is, the first part puts you off your guard by being so purposefully lame.

“Important: When the villain summons you somewhere, you have to go there.”

It’s been said a million times but the heroes in horror movies are complete idiots.  It’s a time honored tradition to yell with frustration as they hide when they should run or any number of stupid choices.  If they made correct decisions they probably wouldn’t be too bothered by the Leprechaun or the myriad other villains.  They would be in Los Angeles doing whatever young people did at the time.  Oh, one of them was supposed to go to college.  Never addressed again.  Thanks movie.

All in all I would recommend this movie.   Sure it has its flaws but I have seen way worse.  Warwick Davis is really fun to watch despite his cheesiness or maybe because of it.   This movie is chock full of cheese and goofiness but sometimes that’s exactly what I wanted.   Next time I’ll try to review something more terrifying and not just funny/creepy.


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