Midsommar – #MovieReview

Don’t Drink the Mushroom Tea

I don’t know about you but I have had some extra time on my hands to watch movies. I read a Buzzfeed article that had 25 of the most disturbing movies you could watch and thought, yeah that’s a great way to stay entertained so here is my review of film number 1.

Midsommar is one that I meant to get around to but didn’t watch until today. I kept hearing really good things about it and wanted to check it out. It’s pretty much every bit as creepy as I heard. Spoilers are below, you have been warned

The movie starts off very dark. I mean that literally and figuratively. The first scenes show a darkened house with lights out in the dead of night. The tone doesn’t really lighten up either. The story revolves around Dani who starts off anxious and worried about her sister who has bipolar disorder. Dani calls her frat bro boyfriend worried and he dismisses her fears in a way that I frankly thought was disgusting. When people are anxious and worried, they should be listened to, not dismissed, especially when there’s evidence that shows the thing they are worried about might have happened. Turns out, Dani was right to worry and her jerk boyfriend Christian wasn’t helping things either. Dani’s sister killed herself and her parents in that dark house I was talking about.

That’s just as devastating a tragedy as I can think of and I don’t think Christian is helpful in the situation either. He’s not a total jerk but he really doesn’t want to be in the relationship with Dani and basically hangs around because it seems like an even more jerk move to break up with her.

Anyway, while Dani is starting to get over her grief, she goes to a party with Christian and he drops this bomb on her when he tells his friends he is planning on going to Sweden with them. Dani is upset, jealous and a bit angry. But she is also very apologetic to Christian about feeling that way. Dani decides not to break up with the guy but to go to Sweden with everyone. Bad call Dani.

The lighting of the film changes dramatically from there. It’s pretty much bright day from there on out. This is not the most gore-filled movie you’ll ever see and there’s not a bunch of quick jump cuts to scare you but the tone of this movie will stay with you if you watch it.

You get the sense right away when Dani is offered some drugs in the form of mushroom tea and she is uncomfortable with it, what with, you know, grieving and all that there is something wrong here. For a while it seems like maybe only the bad things are in Dani’s head but the rituals that are going on in this quiet Swedish town take a dark turn quickly. For the first half of the movie it’s a slow churning build up to what might happen and it just grips you right to the end.

The action really starts going when during a part of this festival two people literally jump to their deaths intentionally as part of it. All of the Americans and Londoners watching recoil in abject horror at what happens. From there, the non-Swedish characters are killed off in different ways one by one. I am not going to give any of that away, but it was devastating to watch. By the end you will find yourself both sympathizing and horrified with Dani and her actions. It’s a wild ride, done in super bright daylight and yet it still never loses the edge of horror that you want in a scary movie.

If you like horror and can stand a little gore, this one is well worth checking out.

Brightly yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Blood Hunters Rise of the Hybrids – #MovieReview

The action Goes Boom!

Slick Dungeon here, coming at you hard and fast with a martial arts action film review. DarkCoast pictures reached out to me with a screener copy of Blood Hunters Rise of the Hybrids in exchange for an honest opinion about the film. I’ll give you a bit of the plot summary and then tell you about the good, the bad and the kicks in the face.

Blood Hunters Rise of the Hybrids is a low budget, independent martial arts film by Vincent Soberano who also stars in the movie as the character Bolo. The movie also stars Sarah Chang as Gabriela and Mayling Ng as Maya.

I think at this point in the world, a lot of us are trying to make the most out of video streaming because no one wants to go out into a crowd anymore and some people are not allowed to. So what do you do to keep busy? Watch movies. Lots of movies and shows. You’ve watched The Witcher, you caught up on The Boys, and you have watched The Baby Yoda show on loop for the last ten days and it’s time to look for something else. Maybe something you haven’t seen before.

Well, like it or hate it, I can tell you, you haven’t seen Blood Hunters Rise of the Hybrids before. Personally, I am in favor of any film these days that can claim to be independent. If there’s a good story and plenty of entertainment to be had, so much the better. This movie gets some of that right but not all of it.

The story goes like this. There’s a race of alien creatures called the Aswang. They are sort of a cross between vampires and werewolves but they pretty much look human. They are extremely fast and very strong. The really cool thing about them is that they are based on Filipino folklore that Soberano grew up with. I love the idea of monsters that don’t get enough exposure getting some air time.

Anyway, these Aswang are trying to dominate the human race. There was a human trying to stop them named Naga. When he gets the chance to stop the queen of the Aswang, Maya, he instead injects himself with her blood and becomes one of these creatures. Meanwhile there is a group of humans who are basically mercenaries trying to stop Naga and Maya. These people also inject themselves with the Aswang blood to give themselves strength and power but they are on the side of humanity. Confused yet? I was a bit too. I think one thing the movie suffers from is not giving enough time for the origins of the Aswang to play out, instead opting for exposition on their background.

The film also cuts back and forth between what seems to have happened before and the action going on now. It’s not always clear who is doing what or why.

There’s really cool artwork that the film uses to transition scenes with. Sort of like Sin City did. While I love the artwork, which if I understand correctly, Soberano also made, the transitions can get a bit distracting here. It wasn’t completely off putting and it certainly doesn’t ruin the film but it does seem like it happens just a little too often.

The story centers on Gabriela who has a husband and child that were seemingly murdered by Naga. She’s out on a quest for vengeance and she kicks serious butt.

She goes after the creatures as hard as she can. We even learn that her family was basically the first victims of these attacks. Other than that, her motivations are not always real clear.

The film does the wise thing by not overdoing the blood and gore factor. We mostly see dead bodies covered in blood after the fact, but there’s no silly decapitations or anything like that. I feel like that makes the violence the creatures do more impactful.

I would go on with summarizing the story but it’s a little disjointed. The main thing to know is that there are bad, strong monsters that want to kill humans. And there is a group of humans that want to kill the monsters. That’s enough for me though. You know why?

The freaking action scenes are phenomenal.

This movie reminded me of some of the Kung Fu movies I grew up watching on late night television or early morning Sundays. The point is the fighting above all else. That being said, there are still some things I found a little silly.

  • At one point Gabriela fires a slingshot into a stack of boxes near a car. The whole thing blows up. I’m all for unnecessary explosions but, uh one sling shot? Really? And later she uses the same thing to sling shot a dart at someone so, uh did the whole thing actually blow up with one single dart? I mean cool explosion though…
  • There’s one character who basically has fake fangs in his mouth. It made it pretty hard to understand his dialogue and even after watching more than once, I am still not sure what that guy was saying. Still, his martial arts game is strong so all good.
  • These creatures can’t be killed by anything other than a special type of blade. The “Slayers” as they are called, the mercenary group that want to stop the Aswang, sneak up on the enemy base and eliminate a bunch of the guards around them, using guns. Why wouldn’t these creatures post guards that were Aswang instead?! Also, after they are in the building, and about to go after Maya and Naga and the big bads, one of the Slayers says, “blades out, this is the Aswang lair.” Maybe you should have mentioned that outside bro? I mean cause, you are already inside so, good thing there was no one in that hallway I guess?

All that aside, the best part of this movie happens from when the dude says to get the blades out.

The sword battles and one on one match ups are phenomenal. Personally, I am kind of sick of martial arts action that relies on wires and shaky camera editing to make things look cool, rather than just letting the camera stay back and allowing us to see human skill. This movie absolutely does not make that mistake. The fighting is great, the action is framed well for the most part and there are cool moves from both good and bad guys. There’s a little touch of special effects given to the Aswang to make them seem other than human but it in no way takes away from the fight scenes. And from my point of view, since most of the movie is an extended fight scene, that makes this movie worth a watch.

The match up between Gabriela and Maya was particularly enjoyable to me. You can tell how carefully these fight scenes were choreographed and that the actors are skilled martial artists in their own right.

The end gets a little messy again with a surprise betrayal and some characters that we weren’t all that attached to losing fights and it becomes a bit confusing. The very end leaves us on a cliff hanger setting up for a sequel. For my part I hope that Soberano and crew do more films together. I just hope that next time he keeps the action fast but slows down on the set up. I would like to see less exposition and more character growth. But the same amount of kicks in the face. Actually, more kicks in the face. I can always use more kicks in the face. Wait, that sounded wrong. Anyway, yeah Soberano is talented and should make more independent films and I hope he will. I’ll be there for the action, just maybe not entirely for the story.

Blood Hunters Rise of the Hybrids will be streaming on March 17th (Amazon, Vimeo on Demand, FlixFling, Vudu, FANDANGO)

Face Kickingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Leprechaun 2 – #MovieReview

Dude Still Wants His Gold

Remember Leprechaun? Remember how at the end the Leprechaun died when a four leaf clover was launched into him and he was tricked into swallowing it and then melted away? Yeah, see we are going to forget all that. I mean, completely, forget it ever happened. Why? We need a sequel!

Somehow after making Leprechaun, someone somewhere decided that what the world needed was more of this story. And pretty much almost the same story, but set in Hollywood instead because, you know, film costs and all. I know what you are thinking, “but wait, why would anyone do that?” It’s a good question. The answer? Money. The first movie made some money and the second one should reasonably do the same so let’s just pretend there was not a first one and we won’t cast Jennifer Aniston now, nor follow up on any of the characters from that movie because we are forgetting about that ok?

Here’s a quick rundown of the plot for this one. Spoilers abound below.

The Leprechaun has a birthday every 1000 years on St. Patrick’s Day. What does the birthday boy want? Not gold. No, for his birthday this guy gets to choose a bride. How does he do that? He finds a woman he wants to marry and makes her sneeze three times. If no one says, “God bless you,” the woman is now a leprechaun bride and I guess that is that. I assume his wedding cake will look like this:

In the beginning of this one, the Leprechaun has a slave who wants to get his freedom. Tricks on him though because all he has to do is let the Leprechaun take his bride. Who does the Leprechaun want for a bride? That guy’s daughter. Dude figures he’d rather be dead than give up his daughter so he prevents the Leprechaun from having his wedding day. Conveniently that moves the story forward because the Leprechaun swears he will get his revenge by tracking down the fairest of his heirs a thousand years later and making her his bride.

This brings us to Bridget, Cody and Morty, our resident victims for the night. It’s a thousand years later and we know that Bridget is the one in trouble cause we totally saw a close up of a hand drawn map with some female profiles sketched on it, so yeah, that’s her. For some reason there is a tree in the middle of Hollywood that may or may not have something to do with Houdini that is where the Leprechaun makes his magical home. He comes out of the tree, sees a homeless man with a gold tooth and tears it out. Note to self: when crazy drunk starts talking about Leprechaun taking his gold tooth on St. Patrick’s Day, believe him.

Bridget is a teenager who has a boyfriend named Cody. Cody has a job convincing suckers to take a lame tour that is supposed to be a creepy ghost tour. Morty is the host of said tours and a con artist. Also a drunk.

All Bridget wants is to go Go-Kart driving ok? But dumb Cody has to you know, work and do this tour because Morty sucks and driving a hearse drunk is probably a bad call. So Cody does the responsible thing and leads the tour while Bridget whines about not going Go-Karting.

After they finally get to the Go-Kart place, Ian who is also interested in Bridget, hits on her in a creepy way. Cody isn’t real happy with the fact that she goes off with Ian instead of him. Meanwhile the Leprechaun has started creepy stalking Bridget from the background. Ian drops Bridget off at her place and turns into a real jerk in about ten seconds wanting make out favors in exchange for the chili dogs he bought her. Well, the Leprechaun puts that dude in his place by making him think he is about to kiss Bridget but instead he is kissing some insane circular saw device that rips the dude’s face off. And we get our first real kill of the movie.

Cody comes over trying to make it up to Bridget but the Leprechaun makes her sneeze three times and Cody only says gesundheit. Way to go Cody, now you have to spend the night hoping not to die. Good job.

The rest of the movie is pretty much what you would expect. Lots of running around and trying to convince people there is a Leprechaun. Lots of people not believing it and then getting killed for their trouble. One scene of the Leprechaun losing a drinking contest, and of course the Leprechaun driving a murder Go-Kart!

It’s pretty weird horror fun from there. Still, I had a few questions.

  • Why exactly does the Leprechaun live in a tree? I mean, wouldn’t an actual cave make more sense?
  • Who came up with the three sneeze rule? Is that an Irish thing?
  • Did you know this is the only Leprechaun movie in the series that takes place on St. Patrick’s Day. Seems like an annual opportunity to me but whatever.
  • In this movie, the Leprechaun can get hurt by wrought iron. There’s all kinds of bars and bits of wrought iron everywhere in this movie. That is super convenient but why was it never mentioned in the first one?
  • We’re forgetting the first one okay?
  • Cody ends up with one of the Leprechaun’s coins and because of that the Leprechaun is distracted and has to prioritize getting it back over, you know, consummating the marriage with Bridget. Why is that? Surely it’s more convenient for the Leprechaun to get the coin back later because he only gets a wedding night once every thousand years but he could pretty much murder people to get money back whenever he wants to.
  • Morty plays three card monte with Cody and successfully tricks the Leprechaun into losing a drinking contest. Why the hell doesn’t Morty bet the Leprechaun then and there that he will give the coin back in exchange for Bridget if he can win three card monte? I bet you anything that was going to be in the movie but was cut for some reason. Like, we already had ninety minutes of a murder Leprechaun and doing the game would give us a few more than that.
  • Speaking of Morty, he turns into a real idiot. He is able to figure out a way to trap the Leprechaun and the dude is stuck in a wrought iron safe. The Leprechaun can’t get out so Morty demands three wishes. What kind of an idiot just says,”I want your gold.” for a wish? You know the little guy is going to mess you up right? In the most hilarious part of the whole movie (maybe the series, I dunno) the Leprechaun puts the gold into Morty’s stomach. How does he not die from that instantly? His belly becomes gold pot shaped so Morty wishes the Leprechaun out and then is dumb enough to wish the pot out of his stomach. We all know where this is going right? I mean yeah, stomach gets cut open. Way to go Morty, you’re a dead idiot now.
  • Cody figures out that the Leprechaun can’t kill him as long as he has that gold coin. He’s able to trick the Leprechaun with a chocolate gold coin later in the movie. Why doesn’t everyone freaking do that? You know. put a freshly plucked four leaf clover in it, get him to eat it and walk away with the gold. Oh wait, we are forgetting about the four leaf clover aren’t we? But it worked in the first movie.
  • We are forgetting about that movie!
  • Okay but even if we are forgetting about that first movie, I have spotted a plot hole here. Why can the Leprechaun murder Morty to get his pot of gold back but can’t murder Cody to get a single coin back?! Come on people, be consistent with your murder Leprechaun rules. The world doesn’t need more confusion!
  • Cody is able to effectively get away from the Leprechaun but along the way it basically looks like he did all the murdering that night. So why don’t the police arrest Cody?! I mean again, not just for the time he sped along a highway with five people in a hearse. That dude is going to have a LOT of explaining to do. Still, if I am going to want to survive this movie series, so far I am hanging out with Cody and Bridget. And you know, not gonna be an idiot about asking for stupid things.

I could give the rest away but that would ruin the fun in case you want to watch this on your own. (Link below if you are interested)

Forgetfully yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a comission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Want to watch Morty be an idiot? Click below!

Leprechaun – #MovieReview

I want Me Gold Coins!

Here in the United States of America, every March 17th a really annoying thing happens. Everyone who you have ever met will suddenly tell you that they are Irish or part Irish or, you know, are pretty sure that they came from the same country as Mel Gibson somewhere in their background so of course they are Irish. To them I reply, surely you have seen the cult masterpiece film that is Leprechaun then right?

The answer is usually no. I would say as cult classic/trash cinema goes the whole Leprechaun series is a must have. I’m not saying they are good, far from it, but there is nothing like them in cinema, I can guarantee you that. I am going to review all of these films right here on my blog, starting with the first and basically only kind of decent one, Leprechaun.

This film stars Warwick Davis as the eponymous Leprechaun and a very young Jennifer Aniston. That’s right, Brad Pitt’s future ex was a lead in Leprechaun in 1992. Take that Friends!

I am going to review this and give away some of the plot here so if you want to be surprised by the schlock-fest that is Leprechaun, you have been forewarned.

The movie starts off with a little Leprechaun descending some stairs and counting coins in his pot of gold. He says a deadly rhyme about how he will straight up murder anyone who takes his gold. This dude keeps his promises too.

Some guy arrives home in North Dakota (we never get a more specific location than that) from Ireland after his mother’s funeral. He asks his wife if the package has arrived from the funeral parlor. Funny thing though, this dude has randomly shown up in a limo and is talking about how he is rich now. I think we can all guess that he stole some Leprechaun gold and is in big trouble.

Moments later the Leprechaun shows up, knocks his wife down some stairs and we have victim number one dead on the spot. The man, O’Grady by name, is more prepared than his poor wife though. He has a freshly plucked four leaf clover that seems to hurt the Leprechaun. He forces the magical creature into a crate, leaves the clover on top of it, and goes on his merry way, I assume to live the good life while he can.

Fast forward ten years and we get Tory arriving with her father to take up residence in the same house the Leprechaun struck ten years ago. It’s dusty and creepy and Tory doesn’t want to stay but is convinced to because she gets a good look at Nathan, a beefy dude who is there to paint the old house. Nathan has along with him Alex, a young kid who seems to know more about how things work than anyone else in this movie, and Ozzie, a grown man who is several times referred to as a kid but is also sometimes referred to as an adult. It’s clear that he is developmentally slower than other adults but the dude does not look a day younger than forty, probably because the actor was born in 1958 and this was released in 1992 so, yeah he was older. I am guessing that character was a kid in the original script and they decided not to have two kid actors and just went, yeah it’s fine, leave the dialogue.

Once all our characters are assembled, I think you can guess how this goes. They spend an uncomfortable night trying to keep their lives while being pursued by a ruthless, magical Leprechaun who just wants his money back, ok? Alex and Ozzie early on actually do find the gold and try to hide it but that doesn’t work out too well. To add to the trouble, one of the gold coins has been swallowed by Ozzie so they have to find out how to kill, or at least stop, the Leprechaun before they are all killed to death.

It’s kind of a silly romp of gore and weird jokes from there. I don’t want to spoil everything for you here so I am just going to tell you some thoughts I had while watching this.

  • In the beginning, O’Grady captures the Leprechaun to steal the gold but they never show how he did it. Maybe he should have written this down because I think it would have been good to have in the future wouldn’t it?
  • When the Leprechaun is trapped in a crate for ten years it is because a fresh four leaf clover was placed on top. Wouldn’t that biodegrade in a decade? Also, what is considered fresh here because it seems to me that a decade is definitely no longer fresh for most things (Paul Rudd excepted).
  • Speaking of which, why would you leave that crate in the exact same spot in the basement for ten whole years? I mean, the dude is rich with ill gotten gains, surely he could cement the place over right?
  • Also, why would you go opening a single crate like that? In the movie it’s because Tory spills a drink on it (which is 100% Nathan’s fault and Nathan is no good for Tory, I tell you) but who thinks, yeah I will go to all the effort of opening some crate that has been in an old house for a decade because it might get a juice stain?!
  • Tory takes one look at the house, and says she doesn’t want to spend the summer in New Mexico, at which point she is corrected that this is North Dakota. They clearly drove there or flew in and rented a car, so uh, is she just so illiterate that she couldn’t read any of the signs around here when they traveled or what?
  • Nathan shows up with an open BUCKET that is apparently filled with paint thinner. How do I know it is filled with paint thinner? Because Tory bumps him, knocks the bucket over, and he exclaims, “You knocked over my CAN of paint thinner!” There’s a few issues to unpack here and I am going to take this bucket incident as seriously as an in depth analysis of a democratic debate. 1. How does this guy not know he was carrying a BUCKET not a CAN, especially if he is a professional painter?! 2. Who in the world fills a bucket with paint thinner then carries it one handed and waltzes it right past a front door without looking to see if anyone is coming out?! I mean, this dude doesn’t even lay out plastic or a tarp underneath the house where he is painting and then gets mad that someone knocks over his bucket/can. I say that is 100% on him. Tory is innocent in this whole interaction, yet Nathan acts as if she is the scum of the earth because she is from Los Angeles and can’t identify what state she is in. Get over yourself Nathan!
  • Alex shows up and tells Tory that she can’t help them paint because liability insurance says only they can handle the tools. Then two minutes later, Tory is helping Nathan paint. Listen to the smart kid whenever you are in a horror film. Trust me on this. They are so getting sued for that paint incident.
  • If you watch this movie one of the things I want you to seriously consider is what the heck kind of a paint job were they even trying to do here? They have blue and red paint in no pattern that makes any sense, and no house painter worth their can of paint thinner would paint like that. So, why does Tory listen to everything Nathan tells her to do in this film? Seriously, Tory, you can do better than this.
  • Pretty early on the dad is bitten by the Leprechaun. Basically Tory is there grabbing stuff from Nathan’s truck and she thinks Nathan is under the truck feeling her leg. The Leprechaun scratches her and she screams. Nathan and Tory’s father come to check it out and Tory says that she thought Nathan was the one feeling her leg and insists that a man was essentially groping her. Nathan’s response to this? “And you let me?” with a wide grin on his face as he says it. Again, Tory, you can do BETTER! This guy is a creep. So, dad tries to catch the Leprechaun but then gets bitten. At this point they are not 100% sure what is attacking them although Alex and Ozzie probably have a pretty good idea. Anyway this leads me to the next point.
  • Tory’s dad is in the hospital and they go with him. Nathan and Tory have dinner while Ozzie and Alex try to find out how much their gold is worth. Point is, there is a bit of a town that they could stay in overnight but they go back to the O’Grady house. While they were gone someone (bet you can guess who) destroys the kitchen but shines every shoe in the house and leaves them on the kitchen table. So obviously something weird is going on but they don’t call the police or do the most sensible thing in the world at this point which is, INVITE TORY TO STAY WHEREVER NATHAN LIVES! Do that and the movie and night of horror is completely over.
  • If you want to have a chest shaped like a barrel and arms like tree trunks, do push ups ever time the Leprechaun mentions gold or coins. It’s incessant. So uh, maybe they should just give the dude his stuff back yeah? Just what I would do in this extremely likely scenario.
  • I don’t want to give all this movie away but the deaths are hilariously gruesome at times and honestly kind of creative. But one thing I never understood is why the Leprechaun doesn’t make better use of his voice mimicking power. I mean just fake like the voice of Nathan and Tory will do whatever that dude says, cause apparently he is an expert at not only painting, but knowing the difference between buckets and cans, and hoping that women think it is okay for him to grope their legs from under a truck.
  • Also, exactly how do the Leprechaun’s powers work? They seem to be fueled by gold but he essentially can’t be killed except by a four leaf clover, and that only seems to slow him down. I think his powers are more based, “that’s what we need the Leprechaun to do right now, so he’ll do it!”. Plot powered magic maybe? If there was a plot here that is…

I am sure the next movie is going to leave me with more questions so I am gonna stop there for now. Next I will be reviewing Leprechaun 2. The Leprechaun from the first one is definitely dead right? So that means we get 2 Leprechauns don’t we?

Magically yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a comission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Want to see all the murdery-magical gore for yourself? Check it out here.

Fantasy Island – #MovieReview

Hello out there internet. This is Slick Dungeon and I know it has been a while since I did a full film review. I was in my dungeon quietly minding my own business, fending off a horde of zombies with my +1 magic sword (like ya do), when I heard that there was a film out in theaters that was a complete dumpster fire and I just had to go find out if it was true. Through daring-do and amazing feats of strength and dexterity I made my way out into the world, away from my dungeon to see what all the hubub was about.

I gotta be honest here. I shoulda stayed in the dungeon.

Raise your hand if you ever saw that old show Fantasy Island and thought, you know what would make this better? 100% more murder!

Okay me too but it turns out that isn’t all that fun. I vaguely remember this show from when I was a kid. All I know is that it took place on an island where people fulfilled fantasies and that when the character Tattoo came out and said, “The plane! The plane!” that was my cue to go to bed.

As an adult I may have seen a handful of episodes and from what I recall usually they turned out to be more or less harmless fantasies where people on the show went through some sort of character growth and learned a little from their experience. That and Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize look freaking fantastic in white suits.

I warn you now, if you are going to pay your hard earned cash to view this in theaters and marvel at this project gone so, so wrong — SPOILERS ARE BELOW.

Usually I don’t care about saying that early on in my reviews but this one is actually still in theaters and if you want to, uhh… enjoy this film, don’t say I did not warn you.

The basic plot is this. There is a group of people who think they won a contest to come and have their fantasies fulfilled on some tropical island. And again, last warning spoilers. It turns out that a murderous woman lured these people here to get revenge on them because in an accidental apartment fire, they couldn’t save this guy that she had gone on one date with. Yeah, that’s the whole ball game. Throw in Ant-man’s friend, Michael Pena and non-blue Yondu, Michael Rooker plus that one guy who looks kinda familiar and you realize is that dude from Sons of Anarchy as soon as he holds a gun, and you have yourself a horror film desperately hoping to be a franchise. Please, please don’t let that happen. Because if it does, I am gonna have to review it…

So here are some things to warn anyone about if they ever “win the Valentine’s day contest” on the internet to go to an island that promises it can make anything happen.

First, dude, don’t enter a contest like that, do you know how much spam you’ll get? Both before and after you are murdered by the mystical waters of the sentient island. Also, what are the odds that all of the people this girl wants revenge on enter the contest in the first place? Did they all send money to a Nigerian prince too? Cause I am betting they did.

Second, when you are walking around the hotel and you see blood and or, some kinda, I dunno black goo dripping from the ceilings, just like don’t get in the elevator okay?

Third, even if this whole thing is some kinda fantasy, when the dude tells you that fantasies don’t turn out like you think they will and that they will not end until they reach their, “natural conclusion,” just get your money back. Oh wait, you entered a contest. Get your private data back.

Also, all these people on this island are waaaay too attractive to have randomly won a contest. The hotel staff all look like orderlies that would make perfect sense on a season of American Horror Story so, my fourth rule is, when everyone but the staff look like models, just run.

In the end the twist is supposed to be that the girl who is hesitant to torture someone in real life, is actually psycho enough to not only want to torture someone who was mean to her but murder at least six people who just didn’t die in a fire along with her date. The fifth rule is for Michael Pena (aka Mr. Roarke). Don’t grant fantasies to people who have the fantasy to murder a bunch of people. Let them earn that on their own.

For uh, reasons I guess, people who are killed on the island come back as zombies. How do you know they are zombies? Well their eyes are black and it looks like they have an extremely bad mascara run. And yeah, that’s, that’s about it. So here is a rule for you. When you see those things? Run, dude, run! Why are you standing there, crying and running your mascara? Now we all think you are a zombie too. So maybe run? Rule six, always, always run away from people with black eyes and runny mascara, especially if shooting them does zero good.

Those are my general rules. Now here is my advice for the people who actually had the fantasies and what they should have done in their fantasies.

You will notice that I have used no character names because other than Mr, Roarke and his wife Julia, I don’t remember a single one. Why not? Because I could not care less about these characters.

For the lady who first had the regret that she didn’t marry someone and had the nearly perfect life but then went back and re-did her fantasy to be so that she could save someone from a fire that she accidentally caused; seriously what are you thinking here? She decides she could go back one more time and rescue the person who dies in the fire. But it turns out that the dude died because the woman had left her tea kettle on accidentally and caused the fire. Err… wait. You decided to go back and try to save someone but you didn’t think to go back and NOT LEAVE THE KETTLE ON?!?!?!? Think before you change the past woman, Think! The moment to regret was leaving the kettle on. Period.

For the two dudes who, “wanted it all” and that apparently means a big house with models (women for the straight character and men for the gay character) I have a bit of advice for you. First, if your fantasy is almost completely a Tom Cruise movie knock off, be less materialistic. It’s cool that you are high-fiving bros and that the older brother accepts the younger gay brother for who he is and all but maybe, stop watching nothing but Tom Cruise movies. Also, I guess it’s good that there is some non-hetero representation in this film but it is pretty darn minimal and kind of an aside when the hetero brother gets to hang around like fifty women and there are like four guys for the non-hetero character. If these two guys could have been more like, I fantasize about having a good life, instead of a party weekend, they’d be less likely to be on the murder list I think. And when you see a huge house on loan to you for basically nothing, just go ahead and assume it was owned by drug dealers, especially when you see all the guns in the house. Maybe keep those with you and be ready to like, shoot the guys who try to shoot you instead of having to go get them later?

For the guy who wants to be a soldier but truly in his heart wants to die a hero, you were already a cop, do you not get shot at enough? I mean, I understand that you have regret that you didn’t go back into the burning building to rescue someone, but guess what? That won’t change if you become a soldier. And like, why did your dad end up in your fantasy? It was a stretch to say the least, but I guess they needed to fill time? So, next time, instead of wanting to be a soldier instead because you regret not saving someone as a cop, uh… fantasize about saving someone as a cop. Then you won’t be a dead dude who jumps on a grenade just like dear old dad.

For the woman who planned the whole elaborate fantasy to bring all these people together and then first, act like your fantasy was to get revenge on your high school bully, but then really you reveal toward the end that the whole fantasy is your doing and you want to straight up murder everyone, there was a much easier solution to your whole damn problem. You could have fantasized that the guy you dated one time, had left his apartment fifteen minutes earlier to go on your date. Or, if you knew that the one woman left the kettle on and started the fire, you could have fantasized that she, uh, didn’t leave the kettle on. I mean seriously, one kettle caused me to sit through an hour and forty-nine minutes of this garbage. ONE KETTLE. Also, in your whole twist thing there is a plot hole so big a convoy of semi trucks could drive through it. We watch this woman act as if she is horrified that it turns out the island got your actual high school bully and then you rescue her just to fake her out and then fake out everyone else. But, uh, no one else knew she was on the island so why didn’t you just straight up kill her? Why go through all that running around with Michael Rooker? You totally had a knife and stuff. Be a smarter killer, please. Go watch some Saw movies or something because using a mystical island for all this is just lazy and pointless.

For the woman who was the high school bully who was literally kidnapped and then tortured and then ended up getting a fantasy because you hadn’t drunk the water yet, what were you thinking? You fantasize that the murdery woman could be with her one date boyfriend forever so that the zombie version of that guy kills her. But by this time everyone knew that the reason for the fire was that another lady left the kettle on. I can’t emphasize this enough here FANTASIZE THAT SHE NEVER LEFT THE KETTLE ON INSTEAD!

To Mr. Roarke, who has a name I remember because everyone is asking for him all the time, you had the fantasy to have your wife back just as you first met her, forever? I mean really, have you never read The Monkey’s Paw or I dunno seen Aladdin? Bringing people back from the dead never works out for anyone. You probably should have just not gone to the island because then I would not have had to watch this movie.

And for Michael Rooker, uh, what exactly was the point of your character at all? I mean he kinda helped some women run around the island for a bit and said that Mr. Roarke was bad, and then he got killed. I don’t really see the point of that. Could you just go do some more Marvel or Walking Dead stuff instead? Thanks.

And finally, for the whole movie here. So it turns out that everyone on that island involved in this fantasy was at this apartment fire in one way or another, except for the woman who wanted to murder everyone. And one woman who regrets that day the most goes back to that day (although not to turn the kettle off because that wouldn’t make any sense) sees a bunch of these people. So you are telling me this woman did not recognize her neighbors or the cop who refused to help the person who died in the fire? You don’t remember the people from your most traumatizing day at all? I mean I know humans have shaky memories but this is a movie not reality so I had a seriously hard time believing that no one on that plane recognized anyone else on that plane.

Also, the reveal at the end that the one guy who stayed on the island had a tattoo of the word tattoo to justify him inevitably being in the sequel as the character tattoo? Dumbest franchise set up ever.

This movie annoyed me so much that I fantasized about being anywhere else and, yep, here I am back in my good ol’ dungeon with a pile of bad books and movies left to get through.

Until next time, make sure you turn your kettle off before you leave the building okay?

Nest time, I am going to review the Michael Bay opus, 6 Underground. It stars Ryan Reynolds, what could possibly go wrong? He never makes bad movies.

Fantastically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Slick Dungeon’s Thirty Second Guide to the Oscars

Hello out there internet people. I know a lot of you are going to be watching the Oscars tonight so I thought I would give you my take on all the Best Picture nominees. How did a guy stuck in a dungeon get to see these movies? Don’t ask. All I can tell you is that it took slaying a lot of swarms of rats for me to get there and then I still ended up back in my dungeon. I also hear you say, but Slick, I thought you only review bad movies. True! But you know what? There are a lot of bad Oscar movies and intend to inform people of that. There are some good ones on the list below but I’m calling out the stinkers.

1917

War is hell. This should win all the awards. Yes all of them. Even that one.

Ford v Ferari

Vroom Vroom Vroomy Vroom Vroom, crash. This is a movie that completely celebrates corporate mediocrity. Although the life of Ken Miller is interesting, this movie sucks.

Joker

Sad clown licks a makeup brush, dances on stairs. Becomes a newspaper headline.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Gorgeous, famous rich people act like poor famous people in revisionist history. Plus all the violence. All of it.

Parasite

Rich people suck.

The Irishman

Martin Scorcese doesn’t like long, repetitive comic book movies because they never show any “character development.” He also likes to make the exact same long movies about gangsters over and over again, starring the same actors, playing characters like the ones they have played before over and over again.

Little Women

The modern take on the classic novel. What’s the modern take? Mostly putting it in a different chronological order than the book. Also Timothee Chalamet’s hair blowing in the wind. A lot.

Jojo Rabbit

Nazis are fun and quirky. Hey, Taiki Waititi, I love you man, but in our current political time, can we maybe have a reminder of how freaking dangerous Nazis were? Thanks.

Marriage Story

Kylo Ren and Black widow should have thought harder about whether or not to get married. They also should have thought harder about getting divorced. Long story short, Kylo Ren might not be marriage material.

Award winningly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Santa’s Little Helper – #MovieReview

On the twelfth day of Christmas my rancid ex gave to me Santa’s Little Helper. No not a full length feature about the dog from The Simpsons. That might be worth watching. This is a straight to DVD production made by the WWE. Yep, it’s a Christmas film made by and starring – pro wrestlers. Turns out that’s not a good idea at all.

Okay so here’s the plot of this, I guess we’ll call it a film? There’s a rich dude who is a jerk and he is going to foreclose on a youth center. But tables turn on him and in the next five minutes he loses his job, loses his girlfriend, gets his car repossessed, and gets his house foreclosed on. Meanwhile at the North Pole, Santa Claus is in need of a new helper. This is described as, “the ho ho ho” and as being, “the vice president of Santa Claus” at various points in the movie. Santa has a personal trainer who he asks to check out that jerk guy (Dax the Ax by name) for the job because, uh reasons? The trainer who is of course the love interest for Dax, puts him through a series of tests to see if he’s qualified for the job. Long story short, he gets the job after doing some humiliating stuff, loses the job, gets the job back, saves the youth center and the trainer gets the job in the end. Spoiler warning. Oops, should have put that earlier.

Here’s what’s amazing about this movie. And I don’t mean in a good way, I mean it’s amazing that any of this exists.

  • This has brilliant dialogue such as, “the car and I are in love”.
  • Also, “You’re giving Dax the Ax, the ax?”
  • Also, while talking to a building, “I’m going to take you down!”
  • Apparently the north pole looks exactly like a log cabin in the woods.
  • They have, “elves” there. How do we know they are elves? Two ways. First, they wear wool knit caps. Second they have pointed ears. The total number of elves we see with pointed ears (which by the way are just cheap bits of plastic glued to the wool knit caps)? One. But we know they must have pointed ears because they keep calling the trainer who has round ears, round ears. She has round ears due to a genetic birth defect. How do I know that? They say it like five times in the movie just to remind you that she is an elf and not just a normal human. Also, she has a low opinion of her looks because her ears are rounded, giving Dax the Ax the opportunity to hit on her and for her to say, “You really think I am beautiful?” despite the character being played by a woman that fits all the stereotypical ideals of Hollywood beauty.
  • The first test Dax has to do is go into a biker bar and say he hit one of their bikes because A) apparently that’s what Santa Claus needs and B) it gives a bunch of pro wrestling actors the chance to use their sweet, sweet wrestling moves in the bar fight scene.
  • Later in the movie there is a rival elf who wants to be, “the ho ho ho” and challenges Dax to a ropes competition. The actress playing the elf is a pro wrestler too so we get to see sweet, sweet wrestling moves on a ropes course too.
  • The second test Dax has to do is to dress up as a mascot at a kids pizza place during a kids birthday party. He threatens to punch one kid in the face and smashes the birthday boy into his own cake. Apparently this is the guy Santa Claus needs. But it’s okay because he turns the party into a food fight and everyone loves him for it? I dunno, wrestling logic I guess.
  • The third and final test Dax has to do is to help a stranger in need. This turns out to be an older man who has just been mugged. He lost his ring in the mugging and it was a family heirloom he was going to pass down to his kids. Dax the Ax sees the kids who did it and threatens them with bodily harm and returns the ring to the guy. The test is passed (the only test out of three he passed if we are keeping count) and the guy turns out to be Santa. So to be clear, Santa Claus needs a guy who, gets into a bar fight, wouldn’t last an hour working at a Chuck E. Cheese, and threatens to punch teenagers to get a ring back, but lets them keep the cash from the wallet. I guess Santa Claus needs some muscle who is not very good at following through?
  • The reason Santa Claus gives for wanting to hire Dax? He has potential to be a good man. Yep, that’s it. He didn’t want to find someone who was actually good. Or hire the trainer elf despite her being the most qualified. (Is Santa Claus a sexist? I don’t know but the WWE sure might be)
  • They use, “North Pole magic” by ringing a bell in this movie. At one point, the trainer uses it on Dax and he is wrapped up in wrapping paper. Apparently despite him being a pro wrestler, wrapping paper is just too hard to break out of.
  • Dax steals the bell in an effort to save the youth center but his first thing he does is to wish for a new car. This dude has not changed at all by the end of the movie but Santa still wants to hire him. Seriously?
  • This movie is an utter train wreck but it’s kinda hilarious to watch because you can see how some of them must have been thinking, “if The Rock can do it, so can I. This movie is my big break!”

That’s all of the horrible Christmas movies I can take for a while. My next movie reviews will be for the worst films of the last decade (one per year). I can’t wait? Err actually I can.

Merrily Yours,

Slick Dungeon

An Accidental Christmas – #MovieReview

On the eleventh day of Christmas my rancid ex gave to me An Accidental Christmas.

Have you ever thought to yourself, what I really want to watch is the Parent Trap but during Christmas and without any interesting camera effects, and taking place on a beach? Well, this is the film for you. As a bonus it has acting as wooden as a solid oak desk. The whole thing was dull and heartless despite being a supposed love story of reconnection.

The kids in the family basically trick their separated parents into spending Christmas at this beach house they own and falling back in love. There’s not any more to the plot and you have to suffer through ninety minutes of it for it to end exactly as you would have predicted.

For this one I actually have two antidote films to watch instead. Obviously you could just watch The Parent Trap (either version) but that wouldn’t be a Christmas movie. Still, it’s much better than this one. My second antidote film is Christmas in Connecticut. It’s a good solid comedy and it also involves lying and subterfuge but in a much better way.

Tomorrow I will be posting the last of the Twelve Terrible Days of Christmas. I hope you have enjoyed these reviews more than I have enjoyed the utter hell of watching these movies.

Merilly Yours,

Slick Dungeon

Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas – #MovieReview

On the fifth day of Christmas my rancid ex gave to me Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas.

Here is a movie that could have worked and been a cute romantic comedy if the premise wasn’t so absurdly stupid. This is about a young woman who is a bit stuck in life, getting small time jobs and getting fired from them. She’s also been dating a bit but hasn’t found her true love yet. She has a roommate who is supportive of her through thick and thin. Jess, the woman, finally goes on a successful date and is promptly killed in a car accident because she was texting and driving with the guy she just had the date with. The next day she wakes up as a literal ghost. She turns to her roommate to get help and they find out that she needs, “big love” to ascend to heaven. She goes on dates with the dude but in the end she still doesn’t ascend. Finally they figure out that her big love needed is more or less to apologise to her roommate for not being there for her. Then she goes to heaven and in less than a year the dude ends up dead too and goes to heaven. Apparently heaven is the bar where they had their first date and played trivia night.

Honestly the romance kind of works and so does the friendship with the roommate but the whole literal ghost thing? Not so much.

I had a few questions.

  • Why is she sometimes intangible and sometimes not? That makes no sense.
  • They keep talking about It’s a Wonderful Life, why didn’t they end the movie that way?
  • It was really obvious that the actress kept almost touching stuff but then realized oh wait I am a ghost and can’t touch that. Couldn’t they have increased the special effects budget slightly to make that more believable.
  • At one point she has to ask her friend to open the door for her. Can’t she just walk through the wall since she is a ghost?

The obvious antidote to this movie is It’s a Wonderful Life. Just rewatch that.

Merrily Yours,

Slick Dungeon

Four Christmases – #MovieReview

On the fourth day of Christmas my rancid ex gave to me Four Christmases. This movie takes one Christmas and somehow makes it into four terrible Christmases which adds up to one terrible movie.

This stars Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn as a couple who have dated for about three years and avoided having Christmas with their families by lying about doing charity work. That last part tells you what horrible people these are if they are willing to lie about something like that. Had there been any character growth by the end of the movie I might have gotten over that but in the end they do the same type of lying but about their first child being born. What was the point of this whole movie if that happens? I got the job impression the whole time that these were self centered jerk wads and were never going to change and the end confirms that.

Let me explain. No there is no time. Let me sum up.

The couple get caught on camera trying to leave for a vacation on Christmas Eve after they have told their parents they were doing charity work. They are caught red handed and now have to spend Christmas day visiting with each of their divorced parents. Needless to say things get out of hand and comedy ensues. In the end this couple is supposedly brought closer together and learn that Christmas and families are not so bad.

Normally in my reviews at this point I would give you a list of questions I had while watching it. But this time my only real questions were; how long was this day because no way they fit all those visits into less than twenty four hours and why did anyone think this film was a good idea? So instead I am going to give you the one and only reason to watch this at all.

  • John Favreau in a mohawk acting like a UFC fighter aggressively eating chicken.

That’s the best part of this. Other than that skip it.

The best antidote to this one is Love Actually because in that movie you get the impression that nice people are in love, actually.

Merrily Yours,

Slick Dungeon