December 10, 2019

Review Child's Play (2019)

Child's Play (2019)

At this point if you've pooled together every time I've written about remakes you could probably put together a small novel... or a novella I guess, yeah that's it. But whatever here we go again.  I'm not opposed to them, I only ask that they be different.  I have no interest in watching the same exact movie with the same exact story beats just with different people and a "hip" soundtrack.  Luckily Child's Play 2019 is very much it's own movie.

Keep an open mind and divorce yourself from the original series because there's a lot of fun to have with this movie.  Thankfully this film takes a very different approach, in fact it feels more like a killer robot film than a killer doll movie.  They smartly tie that into our technology obsessed current culture.  With smart phones, smart tv's, smart refrigerators, and pretty much smart "whatever we can jam a computer in and connect to the internet" you no longer have to worry about just Chucky cuz he can connect to almost anything in our lives.

Brad Dourif is irreplaceable but Mark Hammill does a great job with avery different take.  This Chucky has a naivete to him.  He's learning and often misunderstands.  He doesn't start malicious and there are even moments where I actually felt bad for this little robot.  It's a great take on the character and absolutely works for this film.

Aubrey Plaza is hella likable, Brian Tyree Henry is great in EVERYTHING, and the kids are fun.  It's gots laughs and some pretty great gore fx plus a third act that in traditional Child's Play fashion is straight up bonkers.  Yeah it looks like they left the original Chucky in the dryer after it  got stung by a bunch of bees but the rest of this film is so much fucking fun, plus the ugly little fucker kinda grows on you.

I was hesitant because the original Child's Play is still going strong and i wholeheartedly support that franchise and it's continued existence but I think there's more than enough room in this world for both.

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Review Child's Play (1988)

Child's Play

One of the most iconic villians in horror history. Seriously who wraps pants in a box that's the exact size of the hottest toy out now for someone's birthday? A seriously evil person that's who.

Ok this one is kinda personal for me. When I was just a wee lad I vividly remember going to get some ice cream and having to walk past a video store (y'all remember video stores right?) And they had the poster for this film in their window and just the poster alone scared me so much I wouldn't go get ice cream.  Let that sink in. A poster scared a child so much they didn't want ice cream.

Now the movie itself? It's fucking awesome. Its a genuinely well crafted horror film with some fantastic fx that still hold up farely well today. Besides the voodoo stuff which is just a means to an end (i.e., get serial killer into doll) which feels a bit of it's time (the whole moral outrage of Satanic Panic) the film still straight up slays today.

Director Tom Holland manages to have his cake and eat it too.  For a little more than half the runtime he wisely keeps the doll to the shadows leaving the audience to question the absurd notion of a killer doll only for Mrs Barclay to call Chucky's bluff in a fantastic scene where the doll is forced to reveal his true self in her hands.

Think about that for a second.  If an inanimate doll came alive in my hands it would not only be the scariest thing in the world but I would be forced to question my very understanding of the fabric of reality.  The nature of the universe I've come to understand is completely wrong. So before some internet tough guy says "I don't think Chucky's scary I'd just kick him in the face." Well to that I say "you good sir are ignoring the existential nightmare and true terror in the existence of a 'killer doll' so good luck kicking that in the face." .
The movie magic they pull off in bringing this doll to life is just amazing and head and shoulders above any CGI today. The practical fx bring a real weight and physicality to Chucky. Of course it doesn't fully work until you add the amazing Brad Dourif whose iconic voice truly gave life to an iconic slasher.

December 09, 2019

Review Bride of Chucky (1998)

Bride of Chucky

Just when the franchise started showing signs of fatigue they take an extended break and come back with not only a new look but a new lady friend for our miniaturized murderer.

It's not just the look and cast of characters that's changed here, while Chucky has always had a twisted sense of humor, this entry really leans into the comedy a lot more with a script that firmly places it's tongue in cheek yet manages to display all the deranged violence we've come to love and expect from the franchise.  This film more than any other in the series manages to dish out equal helpings of laughs and murders.

Probably the biggest reason for change in direction is addition of Jennifer Tilly as the serial killer's long time girlfriend Tiffany. I don't know any other way to put it but Tilly is a straight up babe in this and manages to more than hold her own, laugh for laugh and stab for stab across from the iconic slasher.  She's the much needed shot in the arm this franchise needed.  You can make the argument she's the true main character of this film as she easily has the biggest character arc.

It's not without its issues. While Don Mancini has been credited with every script since the first one there's a weird story continuity issue regarding an amulet that has never been mentioned previously but apparently is needed to jump bodies.  I can't help but wonder if that was an addition from director Ronny Yu who also had some questionable story continuity in his Freddy vs Jason film (Freddy afraid of fire, Jason afraid of water). Also the human characters aren't that memorable but watching them get gaslighted by Tiffany and Chucky into thinking the other is a serial killer is a more than humorous watch.
Plus there is puppet sex.

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Review Blood Lake (1987)

Blood Lake .
"Too much lake, not enough blood." - Some IMDB reviewer.

I mean they're not wrong.  But this is one of those movies you kinda gotta enjoy just for how much it doesn't resemble a movie.  Besides a kill in the first scene (accompanied by a hilarious dialogue exchange) the first 50 minutes of this movie's already short runtime feel like you're watching someone's legit vacation home movies.
There is zero manufactured drama between these characters before the killing starts. Most films will establish a bunch of soap opera-y melodrama in the first act, you know, this person has a secret, so and so is cheating on this person but this other person is in love with them, yadda yadda etc etc. Not in this film!

For like 2 acts we just watch a bunch of people who genuinely like each other hang out.  They bust each others chops as only friends do but they all seem decent.  Lil Tony is a blonde mulletted pre-teen little wise ass with quite a mouth but he's got that like-able little jerk charm.  They go water skiing... in real time.  The play quarters... in real time.  They do more water skiing... in real ass long as hell time.  Editing is for suckers.

Then, well, the killing starts but by then there is like 10 minutes left and it's not particularly gorey or anything but there is a deputy or police officer (I just know he's not the sheriff, I know this cuz he says he called the sheriff yet no sheriff ever shows up) where was I? Oh yeah this deputy hilariously barely reacts to anything including discovering 2 dead bodies. He shows up again to deliver a chunk of exposition explaining the killer's motive which also happens to be the most hilarious overreaction. Like a simple court case would have solved everything but I guess murder is more fun.

Then the final shot plays and I have never been so immediately baffled by what I was seeing.  A credit appears on screen alluding to what we just saw yet I had even more questions.  This shot was clearly an after thought because it makes literally no sense in the context of the film.  Luckily the AGFA dvd has some extras where the director talks about this.

For "so bad it's good" fans only.

December 08, 2019

Review Blood Harvest (1987)

Blood Harvest

A slasher film where Tiny Tim plays an insane creepy as fuck clown.

You still here?


Ok, well of course it's not good but no one is expecting this to be.  If you're not sold on that first sentence then there's no reason to watch this but if you got as excited as I did when you read that then you won't be disappointed.

Tiny Tim apparently can't memorize his lines or interact with other humans normally so like 90% of his scenes are him alone, singing in his recognizable vibrato, praying some weird as shit prayers I ain't never heard in Sunday school, or just rambling incoherently.  This was the role he was born to play.

The rest is below average slasher stuff. We got a bunch of slit throats and even more boobs (if you're into that). The cast is pretty small which kinda makes the decision to make this a "who is the killer" type film pretty dumb.

Also it's gets a little rapey at one point so here's your warning but there's no explicit rape scene or anything graphic.

Also for Six Feet Under fans it's got Peter Krause in his first ever film role.

And once more this time for the people in the back... I SAID A SLASHER FILM WHERE TINY TIM PLAYS AN INSANE CREEPY AS FUCK CLOWN!

Available on Shudder also as part of Joe Bob Briggs Last Drive-in series.

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