Movies For Halloween: HBO Documentary Edition

October 2, 2015

There are three types of people in this world; Those who by the grace of God can afford HBO, people who are crafty enough to steal HBO, and people who are really missing out. If you are one of the first two, these are two documentaries that are on HBO.

The Jinx:The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015)

 

My friend and fellow Off the Edge collaborator/HBO fanboy, Peter, came over to my place one day to have an HBO Chromecasting session. He raved about this six part Documentary series called The Jinx and suggested we star watching it. I was a little reluctant to start a six hour long Documentary, but Peter was convincing. We ended up finishing it within 24 hours.

The Jinx is a Documentary that fell into place by fortune. Andrew Jarecki directed a movie All Good Things in 2010. It was based on the story of a suspected murderer named Robert Durst. Robert Durst is a member of the Durst family, one of the richest families in Manhattan. They own the real estate for a good portion of lower Manhattan including but not limited to, the fucking Freedom Tower. My point is, they are super wealthy. Durst saw All Good Things and contacted Jarecki with the desire to tell his side of the story.

The Jinx tells the story of the murders and disappearances of people that all have one thing in common; Robert Durst. It chronicles several different cases involving Robert Durst as a suspect. I don’t want to say much more then that because the way the story unfolds throughout the series is downright shocking. This is one of the most chilling documentaries I have ever seen. The interviews with none other than Robert Durst himself are riveting and will make the hair stand on end the way a really great true crime story will. The Jinx isn’t necessarily horror but it does give a great look into the life of a real life  monster, It is definitely worth the six hours it will take you to watch it.

10/10

 

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015)

Ok,this one is not horror or related to horror in any way. I felt compelled to mention it because it did two things for me; it made me live in actual fear of Scientology, and it renewed my fear of religion in general. This film is basically the definitive piece on Scientology. It tells you everything you need to know to completely understand the modern debacle that is Scientology. It provides a condensed history of the organization and an introduction to Dianetics, which is the principle belief of Scientology. It contains tell all interviews with former high ranking members of the church, which highlight the abuses and misdoing of the church as a whole. Going Clear is a fantastic documentary that I found to be very unsettling and downright creepy. It is definitely a must see.

10/10

-DJ


The Green Inferno (Eli Roth, 2015)

October 1, 2015

I can’t say that I am a huge fan of Eli Roth. I did like Hostel (2005) but I really despised Hostel: Part II (2007), so I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this film. I decided I needed to see it just to see what all the buzz was about. Much like past Roth films it was criticized for being over the top in violence and gore. I went in with a pretty open mind. I gotta say I do enjoy a good splatterfest from time to time.

The Green Inferno definitely delivers on gore, like all things with Greg Nicotero’s name attached to it. The gore effects were downright beautiful, if you find that sort of thing beautiful. Nicotero once again shows us that he is the best in the business for gore effects. I gotta give credit where it is due and commend the special effects. That being said there isn’t much more for you other than that. The movie lacks almost everything else. The characters are one dimensional, and the story is in parts downright silly.(I’m talking diarrhea gags and one of the dumbest marijuana jokes I have ever seen.)  I had a really hard time trying to decide if this movie needed to take itself more seriously or less seriously. If it were either of those it could have been a lot better. A lot of folks will say “come on man, it’s an exploitation piece, what do you expect?” To those people I say “fuck you dude, movies are supposed to be first and foremost stories.” If I’m being honest I really didn’t find this movie scary or even suspenseful. By the end of this movie I was really just waiting for it to be over. I had no emotional attachment to any of the characters and didn’t really care what happened to any of them. This movie is highly influenced by Cannibal Holocaust (1980) which if you are an avid reader of the blog you will know I really fucking hate that movie. If Eli Roth set out to give us another film like that he totally succeeded. He made a really gross shitty movie with an even shittier ending, just like Cannibal Holocaust. So good job there Mr. Roth, mission accomplished.

If you are looking for a movie to watch with your friends and be completely disgusted by violence and gore, it might be worth the watch. It could be called a novelty at best. If you’re like me and like a little bit of substance in your films (yes, even in horror) this film probably isn’t worth your time or money.

4/10 

-DJ


Alice (Jan Svankmajer, 1988)

May 2, 2012

A stop motion taxidermy rabbit in a glass case awakens as though this is a common occurrence and brings out a suit, trousers, and a pair of white gloves. Oh and of course a clock. The rabbit then hurls itself through the glass, crashing to the ground, and quickly scampers into a desk drawer which leads to another world. The first line of the film is spoken by the protagonist Alice who says, “now you will see a film for children. Perhaps”. The rest of the film is a dark, uncompromising vision of the horrors of the unknown and the mysteries of childhood. This is an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland unlike any other and yet it still hews very closely to the celebrated classic by Lewis Carroll. All the main players are here. Bill the lizard, the white rabbit, the queen of hearts, the mad hatter, and so on. However, this is nothing like the Disney version. All the animals are taxidermy animals and they move about in a way that is strikingly life like and yet cold and sterile. The white rabbit is especially haunting as it bleeds out its own stuffing and has to continually replenish itself on…well, itself throughout the film.

Jan Svankmajer does an absolutely amazing job with the stop motion animation in this film. Everything blends together perfectly, even when the stop motion creatures are moving about (or on top of ) Alice. In one incredible scene we see a large rat climb atop Alice’s head and then proceed to set up a small tent complete with a campfire. The amount of hours and hours of work it must have taken to create this film is mind blowing. As far as content goes this film is rife with symbols and imagery relating to death. An army of creatures, cobbled together from animal skulls and vertebrae, at one point attack and capture Alice. This film is definitely not for children. However, the biggest achievement in my mind is that this film perfectly captures the atmosphere of what Wonderland would be like in a way I’ve never seen before. In Svankmajer’s vision this is not a fairy tale, but a dream, and he succeeds brilliantly at conveying this. Rivers run through rooms and houses stand alone in the middle of fields, and of course, desk drawers are actually doorways leading to new rooms and new spaces. All sense of time is lost as Alice wanders through the dreams and memories of a child. It just slowly unravels and captivates the viewer, but it still retains many of the themes of the original novel, while creating something new and fascinating. Of course, when Alice awakens at the end of the film the socks are just socks and desk drawers are just…desk drawers. However, the case where the white rabbit was in is still broken and the rabbit is nowhere to be seen. Jan Svankmajer creates a haunting world that explores the psyche of a child, diverging at times, and intersecting with the plot lines and themes of the Lewis Carroll classic. This is a film that will definitely divide people, but it definitely is something people will never forget.

A clip of Alice going “down the rabbit hole” or in this case a desk drawer.


Crash (2004): A Review

March 23, 2012

Crash (2004) Director: Paul Haggis

For all the David Cronenberg fans looking for the 1996 film by the Canadian genius this is not the review for you. Different film sorry. Believe me I’d probably watch Cronenberg take a shit for two hours than watch this film. The film in question is actually the Academy Award Winner for best Picture for the year of 2004. If you remember that year Crash was up against, in my humble opinion 2 films that are far superior, Brokeback Mountain and Munich.  I am sure the other two films, Capote and Good Night and Good Luck, are superior as well but at the moment I haven’t seen either. So in the year 2005 the Academy basically had two choices they could either give best picture to critically favored Brokeback Mountain, which was a highly controversial film exploring Homosexual love, or give it the beating of a dead horse in 35mm that is Crash. They chose the dead horse. Maybe they were just punishing Ang Lee for making that peice of trash Hulk who knows.

Crash is a film that explores the issue of racial tension in Los Angeles. unfortunately this film is comically over dramatic and handles the issue of race with all the subtlety and grace of Birth of A Nation. (oh yes we at OTEP love our Birth of A Nation Jokes if you haven’t noticed yet.) This is not only the worst Best Picture winner I have ever seen but it is the worst film dealing with racism I have ever seen.

The first and biggest problem I have with this film is how unrealistic this film actually is. Racism is a very real issue in this country and if one were to tackle the issue in a film the best way to approach it is with a filmmaking style of realism. This film is so “Hollywood” it is disgusting. Everything from the score, to the lighting, cinematography, script, art direction and acting cannot escape venire of a big budget Hollywood non-realist film. That’s not to say that I think Realism is the alpha and omega of film styles I just think when you’re dealing with the issue as real as racism some goddamn realism wouldn’t hurt.

Another thing about this film that really bothers me is its use of stereotypes. Everyone knows that one of the biggest things that contribute to racist beliefs are stereotypes. You would think that a movie trying to combat racism would, I don’t know, shy away from using them. Instead every fucking character in the whole film is a stereotype. Even the characters that were supposed to be the good guys became positive stereotypes. It is clear that Paul Haggis is incapable of writing a character that has more than one dimension.

You know I have never been to L.A. but from what I saw in this film everyone in L.A. is Racist in one way shape or form. There is only one character that is not an active racist but by the end of the story he ultimately becomes one and kills an innocent dude because of it. What kind of fucking moral of the story is that? Not only is every a racist asshole, they are all active bigots. If Paul Haggis would have taken an intro to sociology class or just took a fucking look around he would have realized that there is a spectrum of racism. According to Robert Merton, who died a year before the release of this film thank God, there are two different types of bigots; active bigots and passive bigots. Passive bigots make up about 40 percent of the country. These are the people who hold racist beliefs but do nothing to act upon them. Its kinda like that asshole friend you guys have that looks both ways for black people before telling a racist joke. Active bigots on the other hand are people who are racist and are willing to start shit over it. Although active bigots only make up 10 percent of the population every goddamn character in Crash is active bigot. They all hold racist beliefs and aren’t afraid to start shit about it. You’d think if you were trying to write a screen play about racism youd thow in a couple of passive bigot here and there since they are actually a bigger problem then active bigots. That would require subtlety and Paul Haggis doesn’t know the meaning of the goddamn word.

That brings me to my next point subtlety. Racism is an issue today that is very much on the radar of Americans. Some people think it is no longer an issue but in truth it has just changed it presentation. In the 21st century it is hard to get away with overt racism. Most racism we see today is subtle but still there, so much so that is it hard to see sometimes. It is a rare and shocking occasion when we see overt racism. In the words of comedian Dave Chappelle, “Did you ever have something happen that was so racist you didn’t even get mad at first? You were just like, Goddamn that was racist.” That is how most racism is today if it is too overt it is dismissed as pure stupidity. Subtle racism is the real problem today but unfortunately there is none in this film.

All that being said I recommend seeing this film because it’s fucking hilarious. The amount of unintentional humor in this movie is astounding. Not since the films of Kevin Costner have I laughed so hard when I wasnt supposed to. If I didn’t know any better id say this might be the greatest Deadpan comedy film ever made. If that really is the case then Paul Haggis is a goddamn genius and I take everything back I said about him. The amount of melodrama and being beaten over the head with overt racism and stereotypes from the onset of this film to the end is just hilarious. It is like this script was written by a 5th grader that lives in a gated community in Utah. What super funny about the whole thing is that according to Wikipedia Paul Haggis was inspired to write the script after having is Porsche jacked on Wilshire Blvd. What is really sad is that i think this is what a bunch of rich whites dudes in Hollywood think racism is like.

If you really wanna see a good movie about Racism and Discrimination here are a few I strongly recommend: A Time to Kill, Do the Right Thing, American History X, Boyz N the Hood, In the Heat of the Night, Milk, Philadelphia, Brokeback Mountain.

-D.J.


Blood, Gore and Redemption: A Review of The Passion Of The Christ

September 25, 2011

Director: Mel Gibson  (2004)

Let me please start out by saying something that is pretty obvious to everyone in our culture. Films affect people. Film can have profound effects on our culture and even individual behavior. Jaws made people afraid to swim in the ocean for years. Psycho made people think twice every time they get into an unknown shower. IT made a generation of people afraid of clowns. Films popularize cars, clothes, music, and even everyday sayings. Some films even touch people on the religious level. There are to very popular films that have done this on a huge scale. Both of these films actually brought people back to the church and mass and confession attendance actually sky rocketed shortly after the release of both. Both films were wildly popular, ridiculously commercially successful and sparked huge controversy world-wide. One was from 1973 and the other is from 2004. Give up? Hopefully you were smart enough to figure one is the movie we are going to look at The Passion of the Christ, and the other is The Exorcist. If you think about these films have a lot in common. The Exorcist is the most commercially successful horror film of all time and among the most critically acclaimed. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including best picture and is the only horror film to ever be nominated for Best Picture. (although that is open to some debate based on the definition of “horror“) The Passion of the Christ is the highest grossing non-english film in history. During screenings of both films there were reports of people becoming physically ill, people weeping openly and others walking out of the theatres. Both of these films deal with something very dear to many people; their faith. One uses people’s faith to scare them in the most profound way possible, the other plays on people’s faith by showing them a graphic depiction of how their messiah and religious icon suffered and died all for the sake of redeeming their sins. The point of the comparison is that both films did what they set out to do, and that is affect people. Whether they are good films is a whole other story. Another thing that they both have in common is that they are JUST films. They based on books that were based on (obscure frankly in both cases) actual events. Whatever is said about the Passion is NOT being said about Christ, Christianity or Christendom on the whole. This is a review of a film not of a religion. I know this may be hard to grasp because some Christians, Catholics especially, seem to think it is now part of church doctrine. It is not and therefore it is open to scrutiny. People have a great emotional attachment to this film, there is even a documentary out there (which I have seen parts of. Thanks Catholic school) called Miracles of the Passion. It features real life stories of real miracles that occur surrounding the film.(couldn’t have made that shit up if I tried).

Ok. Now that we did the disclaimer we can now get down to the review. Let me start off with saying I don’t like this movie. I don’t hate it, but I really don’t like it. The severity of my dislike has decreased somewhat since I rewatched the film a few days ago in anticipation for writing this. A few years ago you would have used me use terms like “deeply pornographic” or “snuff film” or “Mel Gibson’s Catholic torture porn”. I will try my hardest not to use those terms today. 

Lets get some context for my first experience with this film and for people who don’t remember, the reaction of the general public. I was in 8th grade when this movie came out. I went to see it with my family. (which isn’t really out of the ordinary for us since we have been able to watch R ratings since we could walk). I remember at points in the film hearing people, including my mother and sister, weep openly. I remember during the more grisly scenes of the film people left the theater crying and did not return. I remember after the lights came on people were still crying and I saw two teachers from my school who were also in tears. I remember the extremely awkward meal at Applebees afterward. The remember how it affected people so much. I also remember feeling like an asshole for not feeling very affected by it at all. It was probably one of the first times in my life I asked my self the now frequent question, “Am I a psychopath?”

One of the main reasons I don’t like this film is because of its blatant use of stereotypes. Christians have been doing dramatizations of the Passion since the middle ages. At that time in Europe anti-Semitism was extremely prevalent. The passion plays of the middle ages always had the same central villain, the Jew. These plays would show grotesque figures, non-human in appearance jeering and at jesus as the carried the cross through the streets of Jerusalem. remember the scene with the running of the Jew in Borat? These plays were not really much less offensive than that. There has always been tension between christians and Jews because for much of your life you are brought up to believe that the Jews are the perpetrators of Jesus’s death. Its hard not to with the way the passion is presented to christians. In truth the Passion in the gospels never really explicitly says all the things we see in the dramatizations. If you take the time to crack open the Bible you see that the gospels are actually incredibly vague on the whole story of the passion. In the film Mel Gibson’s portrait of the Jews is not much different from that of the middle ages. If you take the time to look during the film you will see that all the Jews in the film that oppose Jesus are grissled old people and many of them, especially the high priests have exaggerated large noses. This is clearly not on purpose because all the disciples of Jesus are not made to be as ugly and grissled and they don’t really have exaggerated Jewish features, they look more like Italian movie stars. (a few of them actually were.) We are also shown that there are very few people in Jerusalem that don’t hate Jesus’s guts. It seems every Jew wants him dead except for the disciples and the exception of a few others. We can argue all day about whether this film is anti-semitic or not but at the end of the day we know that Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite because of his bigotry he spewed out when he was arrested for DUI in 2006. Sober thoughts are drunken words my friend.

Another stereotype in this film is that Roman soldiers are complete psychopaths. The Roman soldier are portrayed to be so fuckin mean that it’s almost comical. The way the laugh as the whip the shit out of Jesus is just laughable after a while. In the scourging scene the soldiers are splattered with Jesus’s blood they literally rub it in and laugh hysterically. I think that these it would have been a lot more believable if the Romans for the most part were not portrayed as animals. I don’t honestly believe that the Romans in charge of executing criminal could be such a band of laughing idiots. The thing you have to understand is that the Roman army was the most well disciplined and sophisticated fighting force that the world had ever seen at that point. For me to believe that they could conquer then known world while letting idiots behave like that within their ranks in quite a stretch.  Although most of the Romans are sadistic drunken motherfucker not all in the film are. The character that actually comes out smelling like a rose is Pontius Pilate. I don’t think I have ever seen more forgiving portrait of Pontius in my life. Even though in the gospels Pontius says repeatedly that he does not believe Jesus is guilty they really lay it on thick in the film. Pontius is faced with a moral conundrum and it seems to be one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make. It is my own honest opinion that Gibson made Pontius such an identifiable character is not for that sake of Pontius but for a different reason. In all honesty the fault of Jesus’s crucifixion is shared between the Romans and the Sanhedrin. I think that Gibson portrayed the character so favorable (I actually found him to be pretty much the only character I could identify with in the film.) to further shift blame from the Romans back on to Caiaphas and the Jews. What you have to remember is that the Romans pulled the trigger. The Romans crucified thousands of people, it was their main mode of execution at the time. When Caiaphas demanded that Jesus be executed Pilate easily could have told them to go fuck themselves. There are a two other Romans that seem not to be complete assholes. The first is Pilates right hand Abenader. He seem to have some sort of conscience and shows remorse for the death of Jesus. The other is a random Roman that follows Christ on the way to Golgotha. He sees Jesus speak to his mother Mary and takes pity on her. He is also the soldier that pierces the side of Christ as he hang dead on the cross. According to Christian legend his name is Longinus and he later goes on become a saint. 

The scene where Jesus goes to be judged by Herod Antipas is so weird it took me completely out of the story. Even though the gospels don’t really describe Herod or his hall in great depth every dramatization I have seen it is always a room full of drunken derelicts lying around cackling at Jesus. This film wasnt any different. Gibson made a point to show that they were deviants by showing men wearing makeup and wigs, people of different races and also some sort of large cat, a cheetah I think. This scene is just an utter mess and is probably the most annoying scene in the film. I know that it is in the gospels and everything but for the narrative it does absolutely nothing.

Gibson did take some creative license while making the film pretty much all of which failed in my opinion. One of the main things that there a few scenes with Satan incarnate either watching events unfold or talking to Jesus. The problem with this is that I couldn’t take the Satan character seriously because he looks just like Tilda Swinton if she had Alopecia. (Go ahead imagine it. Its uncanny) There is one scene that really annoyed me just because I’m kind of a nerd. There is a scene in the garden of Gethsemane where satan is taunting Jesus as he prays one of my favorite Jesus quotes “Father if its possible let this cup pass me by, but your will be done, not mine.” Satan unleashes a serpent to slither about Jesus as he prays. The snake he releases is an albino Buramese Python which isn’t native to the area. I understand that it looks cool and that Satan probably has a whole arsenal of serpents at his disposal but c’mon Gibson use a native snake.  The Satan scenes I liked the first few times I watched the film but didn’t really like them the last time around. There are also quite a few scenes where Gibson is clearly trying to scare the audience with either creepy imagery or startling scenes. It just makes me confused to whether this is a drama about the death of Jesus or a horror film, it’s often pretty hard to tell. Another thing I hate is the way Judas kills himself. In this film he is haunted by demonic children that chase him out into the desert where he finds a rope and hangs himself in order to make the horrific images stop. It really takes away from the fact that Judas kills himself because he is ashamed because he betrayed his lord, messiah and good friend for the price of a slave at the time. If you go by this Judas may have not even been all that sorry. He might have killed himself just to make the demons go away. Its may add another spice up the story a bit but I feel it takes away more than it gives.

The main reason that I strongly dislike the film is the violence. The violence in this film is not only gratuitous it actually borders on pornographic. (damn I said it didn’t i?) Mel Gibson wanted to make a film about Jesus that would inspire people and remind them that he died for our sins. The mode he chose to do this is sadism, gore and extreme violence. Instead of showing that Jesus was a good man who taught many lessons to the world that was killed unrighteous. He choses to rape our sense of human decency. He uses this violence to make you feel so bad that someone endured that on your account that you forget all about the teachings and there implications. In the end you just feel bad that this guy is getting the shit beat out of him. My point is that I think people would feel bad watching anyone, including Hitler and Osama Bin Laden, endure the kind of sick shit that you see happen to Jesus in this movie. Gibson shoot the gore is this movie like a director would shoot it in a horror film. They are constantly trying to push the envelope show you something you havent seen before. As you’re watching the scourging at the pillar you see the Roman use a type of whip that has jagged metal hooks at the end. The problem is that type of whip had beads on the end not hooks. Such a type of whip would do way too much tissue damage and most likely cause the person to bleed to death. I don’t think that any doctor would disagree with the fact that no human could endure that amount of pain and tissue damage and not fall into shock. Gibson show violence that is just not necessary at all and serves only to disgust to audience. For example in the scourging scene you see the hooks on the whip get stuck in the flesh of Jesus and has to be ripped out, flinging blood and flesh into the crowd. In the same scene you see the hooks dig their way into the scalp of Jesus. These are the kind of gratuitous gore effect  you would expect to see in a horror film. One thing that I noticed as well was that Gibson uses plot devices to justify the level of violence. For instance after the scourging scene we learn that Pontius never intended to flagellate Jesus that badly and Abenader was upset when he saw how badly they beat him. This device gives Gibson the ability to show someone being beating more savagely than would have been the norm.

 Another thing that is shown that is extremely unnecessary and make my stomach turn every time I see it is when they are nailing Jesus to the cross. I don’t know if it’s because Jesus is resisting or because his arm wont reach or what, but the Romans proceed to dislocate the shoulder of Jesus before they drive the nail through his palm.  The whole movie is just gross. They beat the fuck out of Jesus the whole time and only to make you feel worse. I honestly don’t believe the real crucifixion was as violent as it was portrayed in the film. (not to downplay it. crucifixion is a horrible way to die.)

When it comes down to it The Passion of the Christ is a bad film. I don’t know if id ever recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it but see it for yourself and form your own opinion. Also have some disgression when showing this film to children. I remember when it first came out kids that weren’t allowed to see R rated movies got to see the Passion. Just remember that violence is still violence and this movie has some of the worst I have seen. There is a reason it is a hard R rating. It is not ok for children to see just because it’s about Jesus because to be honest it might just traumatize them all together.

I really don’t like this film and hopefully this review has enlightened you a little bit as to why. My dislike of this film has nothing whatsoever to do with my religious opinion. Even though it has been done since the beginning of film, maybe the 21st century would have benefited from a film about Christ. The problem is this movie focuses on a very minor part of the life of Jesus. It is literally only a few pages in each of the gospels. I don’t understand why we must obsess how and why he was killed. It is only a small part of his life. Should we not focus more on the lessons he taught to the world? I think you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the world that disagrees with the things taught us about. I have yet to hear someone utter the sentiment, “Fuck peace, love and charity.”

notice the color of the blood is toned down for the trailer

-D.J.


“One Big Shitty Joke”: A Review of Near Dark (1987)

September 16, 2011

This movie down right makes me angry. It has a 90% score on Rottentomatoes.com, the critics love it, and its seen by many as one of the best horror films of the 80’s. I remember the first and only time I watched this film was last spring with a handful of friends. We were all excited to see it because we had all heard nothing but good things from critics and other people. Kathryn Bigelow had just won the Oscar for the Hurtlocker so we were pretty excited. After watching the movie I was convinced it was all one big fucking joke. This movies sucks! Its sucks so incredibly hard it’s not even funny. I was astounded by how shitty it was and I wasnt the only one. My friends and I wondered if we had perhaps rented a different movie with the same title. My friend Aaron was downright upset about how inane and nonsensical the plot of the film was. He could often be seen throwing up his hands in disgust or just asking the simple question, “really?” Near Dark is not only the worst Vampire movie I have ever seen, it is also one of the worst movies I have ever seen.  This film is basically Twilight from the late 80’s. It’s a story of cowboy western meets vampires meets romance. Which sounds like it could be good but it’s not, It’s just not. Basically boy meets girl, girl is vampire, girl turns boy into vampire and takes him in with her coven of shitty psychopathic vampires that apparently run amok in the American southwest unchecked just tearing shit up. I’m all for re-engineering the vampire legend and doing different versions of it but this one doesn’t even follow its own rules. Vampires can’t go out in daylight, unless they have a blanket over their head. (yeah seriously). They can also drive around in their shitty van during daylight. In one of the more outrageous scenes the newest member of the coven runs out into daylight during a gunfight under a blanket to get to their shitty van. The blanket starts on fire and soon becomes completely engulfed in flames but magically extinguishes when he gets into the shitty van and shuts the door. (apparently there is no oxygen present in the van.) Another theme that runs throughout the film that I found a little creepy was the child vampire trying to get the newest vampire’s sister to become a vampire so she can “be with” him. Its super creepy because earlier on we learn that the child vampire is really old he just doesn’t age, so it’s basically pedophilia in my book. The ending of this film also has probably the biggest Deus Ex Machina I have ever seen. I don’t really wanna ruin the ending but fuck it, im going to because its shitty anyway. The family of the young boy that was taken in by the shitty psychopath vampires has been tracking him the whole time that he has been gone. When they finally apprehend him in the end they turn to look in the back of their truck and there is a bunch of blood transfusion equipment. It very possible that I missed this somewhere along the line but im pretty sure there is no reference ever to the blood transfusion equipment. It’s just there when they need it, Deus Ex Machina. Whats even more outrageous is that apparently a blood transfusion is the cure for vampirism. The give him the transfusion and he lives happily ever after as a human.

In conclusion I wouldnt recommend this film to anyone unless you like shitty vampires, shitty cowboys, and shitty plots that take place in a shitty part of the country. What I find most hilarious about this movie is that they recently rereleased it on DVD with a cover that looks ridiculously similar to the movie posters of equally if not more shitty vampire movie twilight.

please if anyone reading this actually likes this film could you please let me know why. I’m not even joking I would seriously like to know where you are coming from on this. I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. It all seems to be one big shitty joke.

Look at all familiar?

-D.J.


Da’Fuck?: A Reveiw of the Human Centipede.

May 17, 2010

Ok so Joseph, the prodigal son, recently returned to us from the East Coast where he was going to school. We all decided that we should do something on Saturday night to celebrate.  How would the boys of Off the Edge Productions celebrate the reunification of  the crew you ask? By driving to Minneapolis to see the Latest buzz film in the Indie horror genre, a film that reading the synopsis of is enough to make you intrigued and sick to your stomach at the same time, The Human Centipede. Now amongst our group of friends this movie was a joke because we had read about it since preproduction.

The premise of the movie is simple. A psychopathic prodigy Surgeon decides to create a human centipede by surgically joining people, actual live people, together by the gastric system. For those of you that aren’t the best at science that means sewing peoples mouths to another person’s anus and likewise down a line of three people hoping that food will pass through end to end. To put it in laymen terms sewing three people together asshole to mouth and the people in front will shit into the mouths of the people behind them.  Hearing this I naturally was drawn to it probably for its shear………..um originality I guess you could say.

After a small reunion to at Off the Edge headquarters and a round of cigarettes and sunflower seeds we were off to Uptown knowing full well what we had in store for us, or at least we thought we did.

May 15, 2010, 11 p.m central standard time, Minneapolis MN. The show starts.

As it began it started out like any other gorefest. Two attractive girls that can barely act (but you forgive them because it’s a horror film. We are good people, horror fans) get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere in a country where they don’t know a word of the language. They begin to walk in the wood and just like any other horror film the director wastes no time in getting the girls sopping wet with a sudden rain storm. Realizing that this was exactly what was going on I chuckled to myself thinking, “I love Horror films.” Predictably so, the girls stumble upon the house of the crazy German surgeon and they are drugged and then become part of his disgusting experiment.  Up until this point it was a typical horror film.

There are a few escape attempts that are supposed to deliver suspense and thrills but fails to do so for the most part. Well, spoiler alert, the centipede is complete in the early part of the second act and what happens after that is just plain weird. There are a few scenes where the doctor further dehumanizes his victims by trying to train them like a dog and beat them when they don’t comply, and in another scene of note the first round of digestion is shown. Accompanied by the sophomoric but memorable line. “Oh Shit, I have to Shit.” At this point I gave up on this film being anything at all especially because the gore was surprisingly low. I gave up the hope of seeing some great  low budget gore effects.

The Third act does provide some moments that will make anyone with a soul cringe but still nothing unseen or particularly memorable. The part frustrated me the most was the justification. The justification is usually some halfassed message that the filmmaker will try to convey to make all the gore and exploitation for a reason instead of just having the balls to say this film is an exploitation film and purely by definition pornographic. The last film this I saw that did this halfassed last-minute justification was goriest most irresponsible film I have ever seen, Cannibal Holocaust (1980).  Although The Human Centipede was not nearly as horribly graphic or just horrible in general as Cannibal Holocaust, the too little too late justification is almost exactly the same. I don’t wanna give away the ending in case you still for some strange reason want to see this film after reading this review but I hope you don’t buy the justification and I don’t think you have any problem spotting it, especially since it is followed by probably the goriest scene of the movie.

However I do believe in giving credit where credit is do so there is one good thing I can say about this film. The acting performance by Dieter Laser (who played the surgeon, Dr. Heiter) was nearly flawless. He played the part of the Psychopath so well I kinda wonder about his own sanity. The creepiest parts of this movie are completely fueled by Laser. I have never seen any of his other work but I cannot imagine that he fits better in any other role. He perfectly portrays the misanthropic, narcissistic, brilliant surgeon with a God complex. But even with a truly chilling performance by Laser it was not enough to even salvage the film to make it a justified spending of  9 American Dollars.

In conclusion please for the sake of good horror cinema and for the sake of your own money DO NOT see this film. There is rarely a film that I feel guilty for contributing to the box office of such a film, and this was one of them. (The last one was Twilight) Also I cannot express enough to anyone reading this DO NOT for the love of God and all things good, ever even consider seeing Cannibal Holocaust (1980). There are somethings you just cannot unsee and that film is one of them. Just trust me it’s not worth it. Dont See it.

Well Thats my review of the Human Centipede. Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think (agree or disagree)

-Danny Johnson