Jeepers Creepers (2001)

•November 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Where'd you get those peepers?

Where'd you get those peepers?

This is an underrated horror movie if you ask me.  I avoided Jeepers Creepers for a while because I thought it was another movie (one scene involved a school bus being attacked at night, does that ring a bell to anyone?), but it came on television the other day and nothing else was on, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Jeepers Creepers is an admittedly b-horror movie that’s unpretentious, and when I say unpretentious I mean its true definition: “free from ostentation, elegance, or affectation.”  (Thanks, Webster.com)  It doesn’t claim to be great, just a lot of scary fun, and that it is.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of creature/monster movies anymore because they’re quite hokey and unbelievable these days.  It’s all about slashers and serial killers now, so this was refreshing.  While the monster in Jeepers Creepers is a little hokey-looking when you do see it, it’s easily dismissed because it’s still scary and by the time its physical appearance is revealed there’s already been enough tension built up to let it slide by.

Besides the tension and suspense this movie has and never lets go, I also liked that it started right from the beginning.  No character development, no cool music montage while the credits roll, just a simple backstory: a brother and sister on their way home from school.  Because honestly, do we really care about these people who we know will mostly likely be sliced and diced (or eaten) in two hours or less?  I don’t.

So, like most horror movies, don’t expect a masterpiece because this is not the right genre.  Enjoy it, don’t take it seriously, and you’ll be in for some fun.

EDIT: I figured out which movie I was originally thinking of.  It turns out to be the sequel to Jeepers Creepers.

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Tank Girl (1995)

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Honestly, now. Can you really not like this movie in all its campy glory?  I know it’s not on any of AFI’s film lists, but IMDB’s rating is currently at 4.6 out of 10, which I think it still a little sub par than it deserves.  Lori Petty seems to revel in her role as Tank Girl, but I wonder if Naomi Watts ever thinks back to this and tries to ignore the fact that she was in it…

If I may, I’d like to make a comparison with this and Sin City.  One of the reasons Sin City did so well was its true adaptation from a comic book, and also the “comic book” feel and transitions.  The same goes for Tank Girl, although people seem to dismiss this movie because of it.  However, this movie should not be taken seriously, but it’s a whole lot of fun and a badly needed antithesis to the testosterone-driven action movies, with many great one-liners.

So relax, grab your favorite snacks, and watch this with your friends and have fun for a change with Tank Girl.

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The Machinist (2004)

•October 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

TrimSpa, Baby!

Christian Bale sures does immerses himself in his characters’ roles for movies.  The Machinist is a great example of that, but it’s the only good thing I can pull out of these boring 102 minutes I endured.  Is Trevor Reznik paranoid, out of touch with reality, or is there something bigger to the picture?  There’s not even some ground or reason in suspecting that he might not be paranoid after all, so why go ahead and watch an entire movie about this crazy skinny guy?

Going back to Bale’s transformations for his characters, this was an unslightly one.  At times I couldn’t even watch him, he was so unhealthy looking.  I guess that was the point, but it was too much for me.

I just don’t like movies that so OBVIOUSLY try to jump on the bandwagon of trends and try to cash in on it (or at least try to come off as “original”).  Think Jacob’s Ladder, Fight Club, etc.  If a movie like that sounds interesting, then watch those. Not The Machinist.

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Detroit Rock City (1999)

•October 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment

All disco doesn't suck, does it?

I’m sure if I lived in the 70’s I would be one of the main characters in Detroit Rock City.  Or at least, I would have wished to be one of the four best friends who take a road trip to Detroit and do ANYTHING to get into a KISS rock concert.  Granted I’m not a real fan of KISS, but that didn’t stop me from not liking this movie.  It was very similar to 1979’s Rock N Roll High School (with the Ramones), just a different band and an R rating (and not PG).  I enjoyed all of the lead actors’ roles – I think they each did them accurately – as well as the rest of the characters they run into along the way (especially hitchhiker Christine, played by the wonderful Natasha Lyonne).

While Detroit Rock City isn’t quite up to cult status yet, it has all the right qualities and I think it’ll get the recognition in due time.

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The Strangers (2008)

•October 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I was about to write my own review on The Strangers until I remembered an article Stephen King wrote in the back of one of my Entertainment Weekly issues, so I pulled it out and realized he said everything I wanted to (just a little bit better).  He explains why Hollywood is not able to make scary movies and uses this movie as an example:

Horror is an unknown actress, perhaps the girl next door, cowering in a cabin with a knife in her hands we know she’ll never be able to use. Horror is the scene in The Strangers where Liv Tyler tries to hide beneath the bed…and discovers she can’t fit there.

One more problem: Big movies demand big explanations, which are usually tiresome, and big backstories, which are usually cumbersome. If a studio is going to spend $80 or $100 million in hopes of making $300 or $400 million more, they feel a need to shove WHAT IT ALL MEANS down the audience’s throat. Is there a serial killer? Then his mommy didn’t love him (insert flashback). A monster from outer space? Its planet exploded, of course (and the poor misunderstood thing probably needs a juicy Earth woman to make sexy with). But nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.

That’s why I can’t imagine that anything in X-Files will match Liv Tyler’s exchange with one of the masked home invaders in one particularly terrifying scene of The Strangers.

”Why are you doing this to us?” she whispers.

To which the woman in the doll-face mask responds, in a dead and affectless voice: ”Because you were home.”

In the end, that’s all the explanation a good horror film needs.

(link)

And that is why I loved The Strangers.

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Soylent Green (1973)

•October 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Soylent Green is people! We've gotta stop them somehow!

Soylent Green is people!

You watch this movie to hear that infamous line at the very end… and that’s about it.

I will say this, though: Soylent Green is a good example of how movies can portray a decent scenario of the future, regardless of budget or when it was made.  Considering this was in 1973, they did in fact did a great job.

But unfortunately, that’s about the extent of it.  Everything else (i.e. the STORY) could have used some more work. I don’t really recommend this movie unless you’re just into science fiction movies or just want to see this because you hear so much about it (that was the case for me).

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Arachnophobia (1990)

•October 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Yeah? So?

Hmm.  Maybe this was scary or at least creepy when this came out in 1990, but it doesn’t hold up 18 years later.  If anyone who is reading this saw this movie while it was in theaters, I would like to know what you first thought of it.

Arachnophobia could have been 20+ minutes shorter had they cut the unncessary and boring introduction to how the spider came to America.  This could have easily been shown in two or less minutes instead.  That made me already lose half my interest.  Then when we get to the town where the movie takes place, it’s boring once more.  I don’t like spiders as much as the next person, but I think you’d have to be deathly afraid of them in order to be scared by this movie.  I know this is also supposed to be a comedy and not just a horror movie, but it failed at both.  Sorry.

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