Posts Tagged ‘Troma’

Media Update 9/19/19

September 19, 2019

Clown Warning

It Chapter 2

I read a lot of Stephen King when I was a preteen, often on vacations in the car, on planes, on buses, and on trains. I soaked up King’s words and one of his longest but most interesting books was It. I have only grown to appreciate the book more with age. This was the perfect ending to the current movie franchise. This movie combined the talents of the child cast from part one along with an all-new adult cast. The casting was absolutely perfect. I felt that the weight of the movie was mostly carried by Bill Hader and Jessica Chastain. Bill Hader is absolutely hilarious but also shows a vulnerability that I have not seen in him before. Chastain was the emotional force behind the movie and my fandom of her has always been well-placed. Of course, huge kudos to Bill Skarsgard who was absolutely terrifying (and hilarious) as Pennywise. The rest of the cast was brilliant as well. James MacAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, and James Ransome were also great. I really felt like the movie caught the spirit of the book without relying too much on getting it all out verbatim. In fact, I enjoyed that they stripped some of the fat out and focused on the main story. I also enjoyed that the movie had me both laughing and creeped out at the same time. It also made me shiver and it made me cry and then it made me smile. I definitely recommend it.


Killjoy Goes to Hell

Long-time readers know my love for Full Moon Pictures and I have come to love this franchise so much. Killjoy is a demon that is often summoned foolishly to exact revenge on people. Obviously, it always goes wrong. This movie continues the story from Killjoy 3 with the wisecracking homicidal clown returning once again. It also contains plenty of callbacks to the original two movies and manages to connect the franchise together better than it had been previously. This is a direct continuation of the plot from the third movie. Spoiler Alert: this is actually a court procedural movie which I absolutely loved. It was not something I expected to happen but it was an interesting method to allow a deep dive into the lore and villainous characters while also examining how Killjoy connects to Earth and Hell. Trent Haaga shines as the new Killjoy and the movie obviously hinges on his funny performance which is one part Pennywise and one part Beetlejuice. The other standout is Victoria de Mare who plays his girlfriend Batty Boop, a cross between Betty Boop and Harley Quinn. The movie is not really scary at all and is instead a slightly gory comedy. Still, it made me love the franchise more and makes me want to see the next in the series. I definitely recommend it even if you have not seen the previous three movies.


Klown Kamp Massacre

I picked this movie at random because the poster caught my eye and I am glad I chose it. It is a Troma film, a legendary independent movie house that created some of the grossest and dumbest movies in history. Still, every movie they have made has been so bad that it is good. I have previously reviewed The Toxic Avenger and Cannibal the Musical which were produced by their studio. This one is a parody of the classic slasher film with a twist. In a normal slasher, the villain would be a clown (for some reason). In this movie, the killer and all of the victims are clowns since it takes place at a sort of clown boot camp/summer camp. The movie is goofy as heck but is definitely somewhat endearing to me as a horror fan. Like most Troma films, this was incredibly gory but in a cartoonishly fun kind of way. I was actually pretty impressed with the character design as they made each clown fairly unique. While this movie is nothing special, it is definitely a fun little ride and is very trippy and strange. I recommend it.

Music of the Week:

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Evil Clowns”
– I watched more Marvel’s Agents of Shield Season 6
– I watched more How to Get Away with Murder Season 1
– I watched more Supergirl Season 4
– I watched more iZombie Season 5
– I watched more Charmed Season 1
– I watched more Lucha Underground Season 4
– I started watching Offhand Disney, yet another YouTube docuseries
– I watched more BTE

Mother’s Day (1980)

October 24, 2016

I love my mother. I have been on record stating that before and I do not think is a very controversial statement. I think most people love their mother even if they do not actually like their mother as well. I not only like and love my mother but I trust her. Thankfully, she never abused that trust as I grew up and never told me to do things that I should not. However, there are plenty of people who grow up without learning right from wrong. Their parents, if they were present, plant hate in their hearts instead of love and they grow up trusting that hate more than human kindness. If they were born with empathy, it can be dulled by being taught that only your family’s feelings matter. I have met these people who feel they are right no matter what and even if they were wrong, they still would hurt people. This is a scary notion to think that just down the block or even over your neighbor’s fence, there are people who just do not care. The worst thing is, you cannot spot these people by sight alone.

This movie is written and directed by Charles Kaufman but it is not the Charles Kaufman who wrote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation. Instead, this Kaufman is the brother of Lloyd Kaufman who founded Troma Entertainment. You might remember Troma from the Toxic Avenger movies and Cannibal: The Musical. If you are familiar, you know that Troma is one of the most tasteless yet strangely popular film studios in history. Today’s selection is an exploitation film. This means that the violence and gore are usually increased a lot. This movie also has quite a bit of rape in it. Obviously, rape is an unforgivable act and the people who commit it in the movie are evil. They also kill a lot of people. I thought long and hard about including this review but I decided that if I can watch Law and Order: SVU, I can watch this. If you want to refrain from watching this movie or reading this review you would be in good company. Roger Ebert gave this movie zero stars.

As the IMDB description says, this movie is about an elderly mother who raises her two sons to kill. The movie is set at the dawn of the eighties when disco was dying buy cocaine was still on the rise. Thankfully we get a rest from teenagers and college kids as the usual targets of horror movies, especially in the Eighties. Instead, the killers are after women who are at least in their late twenties if not mid-thirties. It also takes place in one of the nicer areas of New Jersey although they definitely make sure to highlight a lot of the crummy parts. They use a lot of fictional place names but some of the areas are definitely familiar or similar enough to the area I lived out in the middle of nowhere in Jersey. The main characters are kind of stupid. Like the grown up characters in It, they have not grown up much. There is a lot of bad Eighties humor and slapstick leading up to the violence.

This movie uses a lot of popular horror movie tropes in it. It has your spooky synth music to mimic Halloween and Friday the 13th. It has the old man warning the victims before they head into danger. It has the tight group of friends who like to play pranks on each other. It has the jumpscares that lead to nothing, jangling your nerves so that you are already unsettled when the bad stuff starts. It has a lot of naked female breasts. It has masked killers and killers with mutated faces. It has vulnerable people out in the wood away from any possible help. All of these familiar elements are both played straight and parodied. There are plenty of moments played for comedy even after the crap hits the fan. The same comic timing is applied to the horror elements but it is not funny. It is all the more terrifying that these people are having a really good time.

Overall, it is not a great movie. However, I think it was worth watching. The rape scenes were mercifully short considering movies like I Spit on Your Grave and Last House on the Left. That does not make them any less disgusting or horrible. The movie is supposed to be scary and awful and it definitely succeeds at that. The actors playing the villains are actually pretty good and terrifying. The titular mother is especially unnerving with her horrible smile and cheery demeanor. The movie is cheap and dirty and that serves it well in some places but not in others. By trying to parody horror movies, it falls into similar traps but there are some new bits that I did not expect. The movie did succeed in its mission as a horror movie and it did provide scares and horror. I would recommend it but only to horror connoisseurs with strong stomachs.

Media Update 4/28/16

April 28, 2016

This is not an A to Z Blogging Challenge post. If you are looking for that, it can be found here: The Real X-Files. This is a regular feature where I explore stuff I wanted to watch or listen to in the past week and also a place to share music I like.


The Toxic Avenger

So, I have never seen anything from Troma before. This is something I have regretted quite a while especially considering all of the attention I lavish on Charles Band and other Z-grade horror franchises. I have seen clips of Beware! Children at Play and Blood Sucking Freaks through The Cinema Snob but I had not seen a full movie yet. My impression of most of their work was that it was too silly for my tastes. However, El Rey network had a marathon for Earth Day weekend and I found their commercials hard to pass up. The movie is about an extremely awkward teenager who falls into a barrel of toxic waste and then proceeds to take on the criminal element in his hometown. The problem is that a lot of the people who live in his town have whatever mental disease the main character from Serial Mom had. I think it’s called Psychotic Asshole. So it’s just a somewhat funny movie with really brutal practical effects as the main character finds new ways to kill evil people. It was a lot of fun and I do recommend it if you have a strong stomach.


Screamers

I was clued into the fact that this movie actually existed through watching Conaco’s Monday Melee stream. When I found the entire movie free on Youtube, I was even more intrigued. I have seen my fair share of schlocky sci-fi movies. Most of them are now branded as Syfy movies. This movie comes from a time when the vast majority of genre movies were poorly funded and poorly marketed. Now, those types of movies are much better funded and, as a result, are quickly getting to an even better quality. I fully expected this movie to really suck. In fact, the first twenty minutes or so were really slow and I was starting to zone out. Then things started to pick up and the mystery started to unfold. Then the movie got really, really crazy and the special effects and imagery are both disturbing and completely interesting to me. The thing is based on a Phillip K. Dick story so of course it ended up being pretty good. I would love to see this movie redone with a better budget but definitely, check it out for some schlocky fun. Warning: As the title suggests, do not watch this if you have a headache or migraine.


Phantoms

I chose this movie to answer the eternal question: Is Ben Affleck truly the bomb in Phantoms? Thanks to Kevin Smith, this movie has been on my mind for at least a decade and I always wondered what it would be like to watch it. Thanks to Netflix, I can finally put that question to bed and figure out if this movie was any good. The first thing that surprised me was that this was made by Miramax. Back in the day, Miramax was a bastion of independent movies and they also released foreign movies. They gave Kevin Smith his start and are responsible for funding much of his career. I did not expect them to produce a sci-fi horror suspense movie. The other thing that surprised me was how many awesome people were in the movie. Ben Affleck, Lieb Schreiber, Rose McGowan and Peter O’Toole were the big ones. There is a lot of pretty good suspense and weirdness in a town where everyone is dead or disappeared. The movie is actually one of the cinematic inspirations for the Silent Hill video game series and it shows. Much of the hokiest dialogue comes from Joanna Going who is the doctor who has all the good ideas but also the most stilted dialogue. However, the rest of it is pretty good. It is actually pretty creepy and yes Ben Affleck is the bomb in it.

Links of the Week:
Slaughter – Up All Night
ill_eden – Kaiju!
Childish Gambino – Freaks and Geeks
The Specials – Gangsters
Saxon- Heavy Metal Thunder

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Cheesy 90’s genre films”
– So glad I finally talked about Lucha Underground
– Newsflash: OITNB is still great
– Civil War is almost upon us
– I watched a lot of Youtube this week
– Specifically, I watched way too much of Aaron Bleyaert’s Monday Melee
– I am writing a play


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