Hello out there internet people. Slick Dungeon here to tell you about why a made for television movie is not worth watching. Bet you never would have guessed that right?
Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her father forty-one.
We’ve all probably heard that rhyme a few times in our lives. Likely while someone was skipping rope. And if the film version starring Christina Ricci had its way, that would pretty much sum up the whole story. Except for the fact that there were eleven axe wounds inflicted on the father and around 17 on the mother. Pretty much the rest of the film just wants to scream guilty at Lizzie.
Ricci’s portrayal is almost downright maniacal and I don’t see how any jury would have found her not guilty acting the way she was in the film. In reality I am sure it was a lot more of a gray area.
The film goes into gory detail pretty quickly but doesn’t cast much doubt as to who murdered Lizzie’s parents. Lizzie has an older sister who in the movie lies to protect her, even though that made no sense at all. The acting is not good in this and the story is so black and white it feels like it is cut out of a newspaper from the time period. But all of that said, you know what freaking kills this movie to death? THE SOUNDTRACK!!
They stupidly decided to go with modern popish music with depressing and disorienting undertones that in no way work. As annoyed as I was by forcing my eyes to view this, it’s my ears that were truly offended.
There is no way to concentrate on the images and drama happening in this movie while listening to the soundtrack.
This is a story that has been told over and over in a variety of formats. I don’t know if Lizzie is guilty or not and I doubt anyone will ever know for sure but this movie doesn’t add anything to the story in any way.
So what were the film makers thinking? I think I have their thought process below.
Hey what’s that song my kid is singing, is that real?
It is, I should look it up on wikepedia.
Holy moly, it’s a real murder.
I bet I can make a movie about a famous murder.
I’m gonna write it right now, but you know pretty much as the papers had it.
Now I am going to cast it. I bet I can get a big star, Christina Ricci is available right?
Okay, watching the dailies.
Wait, will the audience understand that this murder-y acting character is a murderer? Not sure, let me add some more obvious information. And let’s make sure to show her holding an ax. A lot.
Hey I wonder if there are any other possible explanations for this murder? Possibly, according to the papers of the time. I am going to make sure to just gloss over those. Wouldn’t want to make it not obvious because the audience would be too dumb to grasp it.
You know, I don’t think Lizzie looks guilty enough, let’s have her look like a crazy evil person at the camera. Maybe they will get it now?
Okay, almost done, time to add a soundtrack that will give the proper mood, make some mystery and turn this into a great film. Wait, let’s just add pop music.
This is gonna be huge, We’re going to release this to theaters and take our bags of money based on the gory details of this famous murder!
Oh, made for TV movie instead? Sure, why not.
The moral of the story here is, if you want to make a movie about a rhyme that relates to a murder, you still need to make a good movie. The rhyme can’t do it all.
My next film reviews will be in Christmas mode, so get ready for some festive joy when I count down the 12 days of terrible Christmas movies.
It’s late at night and you want to curl up with a good book that will give you lots of warm and fuzzy feelings about love. Here’s my advice for that situation. Under no circumstances should you read Mulberry Moon by Catherine Anderson. Re-read Outlander instead. Trust me.
The story centers around Sissy who is a restaurant owner and a woman who keeps walls around her heart and the guy who is destined to be with her, the stetson wearing, manly hunk of manly goodness, Ben. Ben is in love with Sissy, but she is tough to win. They go back and forth for ridiculous reasons about not being together and of course in the end they wind up married like we all knew they would.
Overall, I would mostly call this book just dull. It has a couple moments that could have been cute and funny but just really read flat for me. However, I noticed some things in this book that made me, uh, wonder some things. The premise is fine and I think that this book is supposed to be in a series where like everyone in Mystic Creek (the setting) is supposed to come under some kind of love spell eventually but I am just going to talk about what popped out to me.
“With the taste of tacos lingering in his mouth, Ben Sterling opened the door to leave Taco Joe’s on West Main and hollered good-bye to Joe Paisley, the owner.” That is the first sentence of the book. A.) nothing says romance like talking about the taste of tacos in someone’s mouth. B.) I vote this for worst opening line of a book, ever. And I have read some bad openings my friends.
A good portion of the book has Ben complaining to himself about the women he dated in the past who couldn’t get along with the animals at his ranch. Example: “He needed a down-to-earth person who didn’t run in terror from his free-range chickens or pick dog hair off her fancy clothes. ” I have a few thoughts here. First, where is this guy finding these women? He lives in this tiny Colorado town where no one visits. Is it just somehow full of super rich women? Second, even if that is the case, why would he be interested in them? I think he’s a pretty casual guy so why would he be like, I gotta date me a woman who wears fancy clothes!! And finally, what exactly is a woman with fancy clothes supposed to do with dog hair on them? I think taking the dog hair off might just be them trying to you know, not ruin their clothes.
When Ben and Sissy, well not first meet because they seem to have met before the book starts, but when they have their first meaningful interaction, Sissy acts very standoffish even though Ben is just trying to help her round up loose chickens. Ben thinks to himself how women always respond better to jerks and then thinks, “I need lessons in how to be a convincing jerk” Mmmmm…. nope, you don’t. Assuming a woman is not a nice person just because she doesn’t want to talk to you while she is trying to gather all her chickens on the street makes you a jerk already bro.
Another window into Ben’s mind: “If a woman could turn him on now, when his nuts still ached, he guessed he really was going to be fine.” Let me check, do my nuts ache? Yes. Can a woman turn me on while my nuts ache? Yes. Okay, life must be good then! You got this life thing figured out Ben!
Sissy has her own problems. She can’t get close to a man because she had a terrible father who abused her (which is a perfectly valid reason to have emotional issues). But she has a soft spot for animals so she ends up connecting to Ben through his dog. She is supposed to, you know, not like Ben at first because that is how romance books work but she looks at Ben’s dog and thinks this. “It wasn’t Finn’s fault that his master embodied everything that she most distrusted in a man. Ben Sterling was suave, charming, and successful.” Yeah, suave, charming and successful. No one could possibly like those qualities…
This is what Sissy really thinks of Ben: “Sans Stetson his bangs and sideburns gleamed like a horseshoe-shaped halo around his head.” Er… what? I don’t even know how to picture that in my head. I guess he is angelic but like in a hairy way?
There is a little side plot at the beginning about what Sissy thinks is a ghost haunting her but turns out to be a literal pack rat. Why does she think she has a ghost? Well, she hears noises at night. Okay sure. But more importantly, in Sissy’s candy bowl she has fun sized Snickers bars but they keep disappearing. She knows that the candy is disappearing because she is very strict with herself and just eats two per night. She eats the candy because… she isn’t having sex with anyone at the time. Err… seriously. But this whole thing leads to dialogue like this, “I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea of a nonphysical being that steals Snickers bars.” Me neither, Ben. Me neither.
More of Ben’s head, “But I’m tired of hooking up with fussy women who reject my world and want me to wear chinos with polished loafers.” Okay, Ben, here’s a thought – Don’t date those kinds of women then!
Sissy finds herself attracted to Ben but doesn’t want to show it. This is what she does while working along side him fixing up a chicken coop. “She just made sure she didn’t look at him from his belt buckle up. Or from there down for that matter.” Uh, okay so you are going to just not look at a dude while you are working right along side him. Yeah… that makes sense…
More of the whole Snickers equals sex thing in Sissy’s head, “And looking at him did maker her want a Snickers bar.” So yeah, if a woman wants to eat a Snickers bar because she is looking at you, she’s waaaay into you. Take note!
There is this weird thing in romance books where characters seem to think that it would be romantic to go to jail and that they would get to do jail time with their romantic partner somehow. In part of the book Sissy and Ben decided to steal a kitten with no front paws from the vet office because it will be put down if they don’t. Sissy says to Ben, “I want you to know that there’s nobody on earth I’d rather do time with.” Seriously that might be the most romantic line in this whole book.
At one point Ben looks at Sissy who is just wearing a little bit of makeup and a somewhat nice sweater. Not like fancy clothes like he hated those other women wearing and he thinks how good she looks. But then his next thought is, “Ben wished he could dress her, starting with undies and bras from Victoria’s Secret, with her modeling everything for his appreciation.” Make up your freaking mind Ben. Do you want fancy clothed women or not?!
More of Ben’s romantic thoughts: “Why did the idea of a tie-down strap ruffle her feathers? He had one in the bed of his truck that would work.” In this part of the book Sissy had broken her leg and rather than just wait for it to heal, Ben thinks to freaking tie her leg down so she wouldn’t buck when they… well you know. I gotta say dude, you are not lacking in confidence there about your charms, skillful use of bondage equipment, and physical abilities.
Remember above when I quoted Ben wanting to put Sissy in Victoria’s Secret underwear for his pleasure? Here is what he tells her, “You don’t need sexy lingerie.” Seriously man, make up your mind!
Next time you want to get steamy with your romantic partner say this, “Watch another romantic movie, sweetheart, and remember during all the love scenes that I am going to outclass every Snickers bar you’ve ever eaten when I come back upstairs tonight.” Snickers – 0 Ben – Outclassed them all. No candy is safe.
Ben reassuring Sissy, “Your breasts are the perfect size for your build. And you do have some. Trust me, I notice things like that.” Very observant of you Ben.
Also Ben, “Maybe I should rent you some porn.” To each their own I guess?
Also Ben, “You’re so beautiful I couldn’t spit if you yelled, ‘Fire.'” I still haven’t figured out what this is supposed to mean.
Also Ben, “I need to know, before we take our relationship to that level, that you’ll be my forever lady.” Smooth Ben, smooth.
There is a really disturbing scene in this book where Sissy’s father tries to out and out rape her. This is not a particular criticism of this book or anything but I swear like eighty percent of romance books have a rape scene in them. I don’t know why this is the case. These scenes are always awful to read and I get the feeling sometimes that they are put there just to show that the guy who gets the girl is not like that. I just have to think there is a much better way to demonstrate that without placing in rape scenes that might get fetishized by certain sick individuals. Okay, stepping off of my soap box now.
Now I will remind you again that Sissy was almost raped by her own father in a very violent and brutal way. After that she is sort of shell shocked and doesn’t want to speak with Ben, or really anyone. This is Ben’s thought, “He loved her too much to take no for an answer.” WHAT?! That is the absolute most awful thing you could think in that moment dude. Ben, when you thought you should take jerk lessons earlier, you really were wrong. Get your money back because you are a jerk.
Sissy basically goes back to hiding her feelings from Ben but then he basically gives her an ultimatum of how she has to win him back. She is worried that mental illness runs in her family and that their kids will be less than perfect and that wouldn’t be fair to Ben. He offers that they could adopt and all kinds of other things that would make it okay for them to get married. You know what I didn’t see from Ben? Him asking if Sissy was okay after attempted rape. And now she has to ask him to marry her if she wants to keep the relationship. What an A-class jerk.
Here is Sissy’s proposal, “Ben Sterling, will you please become my husband? For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. For better or worse, whether or not we’re genetically flawed, crazier than loons, or predisposed to have any kind of cancer?” You know, I think Ben might have said no but then you threw in the cancer and I am pretty sure that sealed the deal.
Ben’s answer, “If I say yes, will you have unprotected sex with me tonight and risk getting pregnant?” Wow. That feels like a good place to stop.
Again, I cannot recommend not reading this book enough. I hope you enjoyed reading my review more than I enjoyed reading Mulberry Moon. Next week I will be reviewing another destined to become classic literature book – Doggie Day Care Murder. Why did the doggies murder the day care? I have no idea.
Slick Dungeon here and if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s falling into a pit trap doing major damage to my hit points and losing my library card. I know it has been a while since I have done a book review. One is coming later this week. Due to the fact that I lost my library card I have not been able to check out books online very easily so it has been a bit. But I battled a swarm of rats and got it back. I will try to get back to my regular cadence of one per week starting this Friday.
#What’sup everyone? Slick Dungeon here with yet another movie review of a movie that you should definitely avoid watching.
You know how people go around annoyingly posting their life on instagram all the time? You know how every teen comedy/romance/drama ever is about a nerdy girl (who is clearly attractive but just wearing glasses and braces) who becomes pretty (by wearing a dress and doing her hair and makeup) and then gets ogled by her classmates for changing her look (yet no one ever mentions how overtly horrible these guys looking are) and then gets noticed by her hot crush (who is typically a jerk but not always) and then ignores her true friends (who obviously don’t want to be stuck in the friend zone for all time) and then has to go back to being the “nerdy” girl (but still is able to dress up when she wants to for say prom or something) and then everything works out so that the girl either gets the hot guy (if he is nice) or the friend gets the formerly nerdy girl (if the hot guy is a jerk) and the movie wraps up with a life lesson where you now know that what it takes in life is to be true to yourself (but apparently wearing make up and ditching the glasses is a plus)? Yeah, that’s this movie. Also, you know how the Fyre festival was super hyped up to be full of amazing influential people who are super wealthy and attractive and the party was going to be amazing but then turned out to just suck? That’s also this movie.
Look, any movie title with a hashtag at the beginning was doomed to be crappy. Then putting it in a high school was also just asking for garbage here. It’s kind of hard to summarize what is exactly wrong with this film but there is plenty to dissect. Let me start by summarizing the plot.
Dani is our main character. She starts the film at a camp where her friend tells her that a boy she likes wants to make out with her. We all see this coming right? When she gets there and tries to kiss the boy, it turns out to be a prank where they get her to almost kiss a pig. Then she gets stuck with all kinds of nicknames like pigs breath etc. We can all feel for Dani even though it also feels like we have seen this exact same scene one hundred thousand times before.
Fast forward to high school. Dani isn’t any more popular than she was before. She’s gone from wearing braces to a retainer and she seems a bit awkward but overall she’s doing fine. At school though, she is still made fun of, and the boy she likes is dating this instagram/youtube model who is extremely shallow and mean. This is Alexa and it’s obvious this will be Dani’s rival for the whole film. And obviously she is the same person who set up the stunt at the camp years ago.
We get to see Dani do things like be nice to dogs at the clinic she volunteers at, get into arguments with her sister who trends way more online than Dani herself and hang out with her friend Freddie who is an aspiring DJ.
Dani has an interview for a scholarship and decides to get dressed up fancy and go to school. Everyone notices. Also, around this time, the hot guy that Dani likes breaks up with Alexa. Everyone notices that too. Cameron, the aforementioned hot guy is now available and interested in Dani. The rest of the film is Dani making bad choices like going to parties when she shouldn’t, letting her friend Freddie down and saying things she shouldn’t in front of her boyfriend. Then, you know, making it all right again.
Watching all of that is just like watching… every teen movie ever.
There are a couple of twists and turns that are changed up just slightly enough to make this not exactly the same as all these movies but close. The hot guy who Dani has been in love with forever turns out to actually be a really nice guy and to have had a crush on Dani since prior to her getting dressed up. The guy stuck in the friend zone acts as outraged as he should for being screwed over by Dani but doesn’t go ahead and lay the bomb of being in love with her this whole time. Most of the characters are portrayed as being at least somewhat smart and caring, with the exception of Alexa and even she fakes it for a little bit (albeit to get what she wants). The parents in the film are caring and only kind of out of touch, not completely ignorant of their kids troubles. And finally, the whole thing looks like it was an attempt at being an instagram story in and of itself.
A few things definitely stuck out to me here though. I have a list.
As far as pranks go, the whole pig kissing thing seems pretty mild and I think that it would have been forgotten more or less before these people got to high school
The Alexa character literally walks into school with her dog, a bunch of cameras, and a group of friends. The principal reasonably stops her to ask what the dog is doing there to which Alexa claims it is a service dog and that the principal must hate dogs, or people who need them, and she could just tell her nine million followers about it. Yet the principal doesn’t ask for any proof it is a service dog! Sorry, but schools actually have rules about these things and if the principal had let that go like that in real life, he would have said goodbye to his job. I know, it’s dumb to complain about a fictional film being unrealistic in something like this but when it is that obvious to me, it feels like the film makers are just being lazy.
Freddie is desperate to be a DJ. He needs Dani to give him a ride but ends up two hours late because she flakes on him. He ends up getting a Lyft over there and is still two hours late. Dude, when you know you will be a little late, get your butt where you are supposed to be!!!
Dani is a smart person but is very easily swept up into the whole internet famous world and goes from a non-drinker to showing up drunk at Cameron’s important television interview. That seemed like a huge shift in character waaaaay too fast.
A disturbingly large amount of this film involves Bob’s Big Boy.
After Alexa betrayed Dani once, why would she trust her again? This makes no sense.
Speaking of Alexa, she seems like a horrible, horrible, horrible person. Why does she have friends again?
The acting in this is not bad but there are zero stand out performances and honestly after watching this, I can’t think of a single line of dialogue that sticks out to me at all.
At one point Dani runs her dad’s credit card for a $400 shoe purchase. Later her dad calmly tells her she still owes him the money. The level of parental rage portrayed over that was far, far, far below what should be reasonable expected in this situation.
This film definitely gives good reason to just quit social media but no one does it.
Basically if you have seen a movie with teenagers in it, you’ve seen this. Don’t bother wasting your time watching it. Just watch Mean Girls again instead. Also, just as a side note, Netflix could have put more money into Stranger Things or something like that but nope, they wanted to go with this garbage.
Next week I will be back with another review of what was originally a made for TV drama, Lizzie Borden Took an Ax. I don’t know where she took it to though…
It’s November and around here at Slick Dungeon’s Dusty Tomes and Terrible Films that means turkey. And boy do I have a turkey of a movie for you.
Kevin Smith is a witty and gifted film director. He has made some brilliant films that touch upon and reflect current attitudes among working people, that say important things about relationships, and usually at their heart are about friends overcoming adversity, even if that adversity is as simple as struggling through a typical work day in a boring job. Yoga Hosers accomplishes none of that.
Yoga Hosers is a spin off of the Kevin Smith project Tusk. Full disclosure I have not watched Tusk so I can’t really evaluate how this fits with that. I can tell you that Yoga Hosers is a terrible, terrible film. It lacks any charm and although there is some humor there, most of it veers off into the insanely inept.
Now, I actually like a lot of Kevin Smith films, especially his work from the nineties, including Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy. While all of those had their issues, not one of them came even close to being as much of a waste of time as Yoga Hosers.
I am going to attempt to summarize Yoga Hosers but it’s difficult to make this make sense.
There are two fifteen year old girls, both named Colleen. They work at a convenience store called the Eh-to-Zed in Canada. They are both in high school. That’s about where the plot stops making sense. These girls spend a day rocking out at their store, after which a customer is mysteriously killed. The only thing we know is that whatever killed that customer is small and crawled up his, er, you know, where the sun don’t shine.
The Colleens are unaware of this and go on their day to school, doing some yoga at a strip mall yoga place called Yogi Bayer’s, and generally doing a bunch of instagram posting or whatever.
The Colleens are asked to a party by a couple of High School Seniors. This is thrilling but the Colleens get stuck having to work and are unable to attend. So one of the Colleens calls the boy she likes and suggests they bring the party to the convenience store. Problem solved.
Only there are more problems and here’s where it gets weird. First, the two boys who come over to the convenience store try to kill the Colleen’s because they are “Really into Satan.” The Colleens are able to defend themselves with Yoga poses they learned from Yogi Bayer. Then those two boys die because more, uh, small things (I promise I will reveal what they are and you are going to think it is stupid) crawl up their respective rear ends. The Colleens are safe but now are arrested for murder. But before that happens, the Colleens are attacked by what I can only describe as, bratwurst dressed as Canadian mounties yelling in German. Yeah, you read that right.
Earlier in the film, when the Colleens (aka the Yoga Hosers) were in school they learned about a Canadian Nazi who wanted to control Canda by sending people to the Hudson river.
Also earlier in the school day this dude who wrote some book that I think must relate to something that happened in Tusk came in and interviewed the Colleens. He’s seen something supernatural before so when these bratwurst attack he has no problem believing the Colleens and springing them out of jail. But they don’t have their phones.
They go back to the convenience store in order to get changed and they discover a secret passageway. The passageway leads to this huge room which is where the Canadian Nazis were doing experiments including cryogenic freezing and cloning. So, remember those small things that were killing people? Yeah it was the bratwurst. For the rest of the film they are called Bratzis. Turns out that one of the Canadian Nazis was frozen and then made bratwurst clones to do his bidding. He spent a lot of time on Netflix to acclimate himself to current culture and now, he doesn’t exactly want to be a Nazi but more of an artist. He’s created a sculpture out of, uh, human flesh and a hockey mask. This thing can be piloted by the Bratzis. The Nazi guy wants the Colleens to take a picture of him so he can be in Them magazine and be famous. They can’t because they don’t have their phones. So instead, the Nazi orders this weird sculpture to kill all the art critics in Canada. The Colleens are able to defend themselves and stop the thing once again using Yoga. The Bratzis are stopped, the Nazi dies, the book author gets to write a new book and the Colleens are still stuck in their boring old jobs and still in High School. But they do get to sing a rendition of O Canada to take us into the credits. Also at the very end of the credits we hear the sound clip of Kevin Smith on his podcast where he first heard the term yoga hosers.
That may or may not be the weirdest film summary I have ever written but it’s right up there with one of the weirdest films I have ever seen. There are a very few funny things in this film and I am going to point them out.
Justin Long plays an awesome militant yogi and I found myself wanting to see him in way more scenes.
Jason Mewes has a cameo because, well of course he does.
Harley Quinn Smith (Kevin’s daughter) yelling I’m not even supposed to be here today was a great modern nod to Clerks and I am totally here for that.
And that’s everything good in this, period. Honestly, there was a lot in this that I straight up couldn’t figure out and it was pretty jarring. It was random and weird but not in a good way. At least Kevin has a lot of other good films going for him and those I can get on board with.
Next week I will be watching #realityhigh I bet it #reallysucks.
Hello out there on the surface world! Slick Dungeon here. I hope everyone had a great Halloween last week and no one got their faces melted by a mask with a shamrock on it. Now that the glorious month of horror is over, I am back to watching any bad movie and reading any bad book out there. For my movie review this week, I watched Barely Lethal.
I kept hearing about this movie, people telling me how bad it was and that I definitely needed to watch it. I stayed away from it for a long because, well, that title just kind of grosses me out. Worst pun for a film ever. Seriously. Title aside though, was this a terrible film?
I’m sure you could have guessed this film was stupid. What I was not aware of was that it starred Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba and Sophie Turner.
Before I get into the plot of this dud, Let’s think about those stars for a minute. That means Nick Fury, Sue Storm and Jean Grey all teamed up to be in a film about girls being raised to be lethally effective assassins for the government. How is this not the Black Widow movie? Really, I don’t get it.
You know what else I don’t get? Why this movie exists.
The idea of the plot is not actually that bad. A young orphan girl is trained by a government agency to be a killer but what she really wants is to have a normal life and experience high school. Sure, okay, given the right writing and acting I could buy into this.
Instead we get a montage of little kids fighting and Sam Jackson just yelling at them. They do stuff like knife skills, car chases and sparring. For the car chase a kid gets out of the car and there is literally no way she could have seen over the dash so I have no idea how she was driving.
Samuel L. Jackson spends the movie pretty much being Nick Fury but without the eye patch. He wants to hunt down Jessica Alba’s character because, uh, bad guy I guess? And Sophie Turner spends her portion of the movie as a jealous and angry rival for Megan.
During a mission to capture Jessica Alba, Megan fakes her own death and goes to live with a family as a high school exchange student. Megan did her research by watching all the nineties teen movies and seems to think that is extensive research, despite the fact that there is YouTube, Twitter and plain old Google that would give her a more modern take.
This movie then spends the next third trying to flip the old high school movie tropes on their heads. The cheerleaders are actually nice. The popular guy does like Megan right away. Of course the one they don’t change is the sort of nerdy guy in the friend zone being the right match for Megan.
Inevitably Nick Fury gets wind of where Megan is and tells her that she has to wrap up loose ends and come back to the secret compound. Megan is not cool with that because – homecoming. Yeah, it’s always a prom or a homecoming dance in these teen romances. I will say that the homecoming dance part was improved with a kung-fu fight between Megan and Sophie Turner. Also, as a side note, if you are wondering why the only character I am referring to as their character name is Megan, it’s because none of the rest of the characters were worth remembering.
The film goes on, Megan bonds with her family, she defeats her enemy, captures the bad guy, goes to homecoming, loses her date, gets her date and is allowed to live a normal life. Yay!
There are a few things that stood out to me in this film.
Dan Fogler plays a seriously disturbingly lecherous teacher towards the popular kid, Cash in this film. It was as cringe-worthy as the title and I can’t stop thinking of how gross it was because, Dan Fogler is not a minor and the popular kid, was a minor. Really gross man. Please just stick to The Walking Dead, okay Dan?
To be honest there are a few good lines in this movie but the rest was so bad, I can’t even remember them anymore.
The kid who plays the little brother in the exchange student family, was kind of awesome playing around with all of Megan’s deadly toys.
I also liked the turn around of the drunk goofus named Gooch who turns out to be a kind and sensitive guy by the end of the film.
There was a stinger at the end of the film that would imply there could be sequels to this.
Please God no.
If you want maybe the worst every double feature of people poorly portraying lethal agents, pair this one with Undercover Grandpa. They are both on Netflix so if you need to Netflix and chill, emphasis on chill, it’s a great match up.
Next week I am going to take on one of my favorite directors who just happens to have made a really bad film. Yoga Hosers watch out!
You’ve made two smash hit horror thrillers for dirt cheap money and made a fortune. These films feature an extremely relentless killer that infuses true horror on the screen. Also, these films feature a scream queen who sells the horror with every reaction she makes. What on earth should you do next? Should you make another film with those two characters? You know the ones everyone wants to see more of? Naaaaaaaaah. Who wants to do that? Instead make a film where the villains are, oddly silent androids, Stonehenge, a digital pumpkin and Halloween masks with shamrocks on them. Sold!
Happy Halloween everyone! I will say it’s just as dark here in my dungeon on Halloween as it is on any other day. Slick Dungeon back with a doozy of a bad film for ya.
I love Halloween and the Halloween film franchise is one of my favorites to dive into on this day. But you know what? They have a few stinkers in this series. For my money though, the worst of them is the one that has the least to do with the rest of them. Halloween III was almost never made because John Carpenter and Deborah Hill were tired of the films after making two of them. The only thing that really sold them on it was that this film would not star the original characters and they would be producing without too much more involvement than that.
The idea was to make this franchise into a sort of anthology series always centered around the day of Halloween. This might have made sense if they had made this film before making Halloween II but it was a bit weird for audiences to go expecting to see horror and watching this sort of science fiction, witchcraft mashup that had nothing to do with the first two films.
I think no one really went back to the idea of a good ol’ horror anthology series until the television show American Horror Story came around and pretty much did it brilliantly (not counting the season with the witches – coincidence?)
Anyway, this film stars a random doctor named Dan Challis who is disturbed by a death he witnesses outside of the hospital he works at. See there are these seriously not scary looking guys, wearing suits, who seem to be strong enough to rip heads off people’s bodies, jab their fingers deep into eye sockets and just generally look kind of menacing. Although, I guess a lot of the time, there is nothing more menacing than some old white guy in a suit, tbh. But not in fiction.
Dr. Dan, is divorced and has a couple of kids and all they want is these masks made by a particular mask company. The Shamrock novelty company masks have become all the rage, despite not looking like Mike Myers at all.
Strange things are happening though as at least one dude has been murdered while holding one of these masks. Then the guy who did the murdering went out of the hospital, sat in a car, poured gasoline all over himself and lit a match. Dr. Dan was troubled by that, especially because, the guy holding the mask told him that, “They’re gonna kill us all.”
Well, Dr. Dan being a single guy in search of a sexual harassment lawsuit, flirts around with the nurses a bit and with one of the assistants at the morgue. So naturally when the daughter of the guy who had the mask in his hand when he died shows up, Dr. Dan is all in for trying to figure out what is going on.
Ellie, the daughter, and Dan go to a small town called Santa Mira. Yes, Saint Look for anyone who is translating. So this town is famous for producing toys and novelties. The Shamrock novelty company runs the place and they have their biggest success yet with these Halloween masks. Why? They’ve been airing a relentlessly annoying but admittedly catchy Halloween commercial to try to get kids to buy these suckers. And it has worked big time. For some reason, this year, all the kids in California want one of only three masks, a pumpkin, a skeleton or a witch. No other Halloween creativity allowed! No princesses or vampires or pair of twins dressed as Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee or anything. Kids only want 3 masks and no other costumes for Halloween, this is proven scientific research!
Anyway, Ellie and Dan are there because basically a series of clues tells them that Ellie’s father was last spotted in this town. Not only that but he has sold some of these masks and should have had a supply in his car but his car seems to be missing.
Right away after the good Doc and Ellie get to town, the owner of the Shamrock Novelty company shows up and acts seriously suspicious. I mean we all know he’s the bad guy right? Spoiler he is.
Most of the folks in Santa Mira (St. Look) are employed by this guy, enamored of him, or deathly afraid of him. At night a bum who spoke with Dan for a few minutes gets his head straight up ripped off his neck because he said bad things about ol’ Mr. Cochran.
There’s another family visiting who sold a bunch of these masks and is super excited to see this factory. Well, Dan and Ellie don’t want to look suspicious so they say that they are married. This gives them a great excuse to hook up in the hotel room later. Despite being warned that people are watching and listening everywhere, Dan makes a phone call to the morgue worker from earlier and finds out that in the car fire, there have been no human remains found which is pretty odd.
This Cochran guy gives everyone a tour of his creepy factory, which is waaaaay less creepy than the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory tour and incidentally has fewer deaths than ol’ Willie served up.
Still, Cochran captures Dan as well as Ellie, but I guess Cochran is kinda sexist because he takes Ellie away and gives Dan the grand tour. Dan gets to see a big room with, uh, Stonehenge? (Checks notes: yes Stonehenge.) Stonehenge in it. Plus a whole bunch of computers. Dan is in for a demonstration! Lucky guy. He watches as the kid from that overly excited family puts on his mask, watches another of those annoying commercials and then the kid’s face melts and he turns into snakes, spiders and other creepy crawly things. Yeah, I don’t know how that works either.
That whole family gets toasted but Cochran is not the kind of guy to follow through with stuff, so he lets Dan live for, reasons. After he explains that he imported Stonehenge (Checks notes: yes still Stonehenge) to a small town in California without anyone noticing and that he is going to kill all the kids because, “The planets are in alignment.” Yeah, good a reason as any I guess?
Of course, Dan gets free, gets Ellie, breaks out of this factory after messing up a bunch of the computers that do, uh stuff. Oh, and figures out that those dudes in suits are robots. (Checks notes: yes robots) Robots that are definitely not programmed with the three laws of robotics. Dan puts it together that he has got to stop this commercial from airing or there’s gonna be a lot less kids and a lot more spiders and stuff because, Cochran is doing, uh, witchcraft. I guess that’s why this is the “season of the witch”?
But we’re all waiting for the twist here because ever since Dan got Ellie back she has not said a word. Instead she waits until he is driving and then tries to kill him. She’s a robot now! Or there is a robot that looks like her now? Or there is a witchcraft powered robot of her now? Err, Ellie is bad now, but not smart enough to kill Dan before he got in the car when he could cause a crash and stop her.
Dan does manage to get to a phone (see how useful cell phones can be?) and dials the networks to try to get them to stop this commercial from airing. If they get to the last screen of the digital pumpkin, we are all doomed because, uh, Stonehenge, robots, witchcraft, computers, and digital pumpkins. (Checks notes: yes, Stonehenge, robots witchcraft, computers, and digital pumpkins) For the first two channels, the commercials go off the air but the third station (imagine only three freaking television stations! What would we all do with our time?!) is slow to act and we see the last bit of the digital pumpkin…
I assume all kids in California are snakes and spiders now. Or maybe Stonehenge witchcraft robots. Whatever, this Halloween some jerk will probably just put a full sized candy bar on top of their inflatable Minions costume anyway so it’s all the same right?
A couple things baffle me about this film that I want to point out.
Why would this guy need to freaking move Stonehenge for his stuff to work? Also, if the planets are aligning for this, doesn’t Stonehenge need to be in the right place for it to work?
Like I said before, why would kids only want 3 kinds of masks for Halloween. No chance man. Kids are much more creative than that.
These androids have been going around killing people for months and no one has noticed until a week before Halloween? Really?
Dr. Dan seems to be a terrible husband, doctor, and father. Do we have to like this guy? I guess so because he doesn’t want all the dead kids and a bunch of other people are cool with that.
In this movie there are some indications that Halloween is fiction. We see a commercial for it, and there’s a mask in the background. So uh, what exact place is this? Is this real? Let me check and see if Stonehenge is still there or not.
It’s still there, we’re good.
Also, and I cannot stress this enough, bring back Michael Myers and Laurie Strode!!!!!
Oh, wait, okay, Halloween III: Season of the Witch did poorly at the box office and John Carpenter and Debra Hill want more money? Phew, we’re good.
In conclusion, Happy Halloween everyone. Stay safe out there. Avoid all masks with Shamrock logos on them, all old white guys in suits who seem like androids, all old guy factory owners who talk about,”Planets in alignment”, and all annoying commercials ending with digital pumpkins.
Next week I will be back with another bad movie review that has nothing to do with horror at all. Barely Lethal here I come!