Cult Movie

October 8, 2012

31 Nights of Halloween, Trick r Treat

Trick r Treat – Tradition

I know, I’m an anthology whore.  It started when I first got the box set for “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.”  Reading those stories had a profound affect on me and how I saw and understood horror in general.  I still go back to those books every once in a while and re-live the good old days.  What can I say, I love short horror stories, and it works perfectly for the horror genre.  You really don’t see drama or action anthologies, it just fits with horror.   From “Creepshow” to the under appreciated “John Carpenter’s Body Bags” it had been a while since a reputable horror anthology had come out, until “Trick r Treat” was finally released, on DVD in 2009.

I say finally because the film was a wrap in 2007 and it showed up at a few film festivals, however, Warner Bros. had no idea what to do with the movie for two years, kind of like MGM with “The Cabin in the Woods.”  The travesty is that “Trick r Treat”never made it to the theaters, where I think it would have made a killing with audiences. But it did finally see the light of day in 2009 when it was released on DVD, and the cult following started from there. The movie has some credentials; it was directed by Michael Dougherty, who wrote the excellent “X2” and the sub-par “Superman Returns,” was produced by Bryan Singer, and we all know what he’s known for, and stars the likes of Brian Cox, pre-Sookie Anna Paquin, and the underrated Dylan Baker.

“Trick r Trick” is more so the “Pulp Fiction” of horror movies since the stories are interwoven as opposed to the separate stories with a wrap around formula, giving the film some teeth, and making it more thoughtful than your average horror fare.  The basic idea of “Trick r Treat” revolves around Halloween tradition and mythology while introducing the audience to a brand new Halloween mascot “Sam.”  He is the one constant in all the segments and, in my book, the most recognizable horror icon since Freddy Krueger (sorry “Saw” fans, Jigsaw doesn’t really rank up there for me).

The acting is solid, it has great atmosphere and, for my money, should become a Halloween movie tradition right up there with “Halloween” and “Creepshow.”  “Trick r Treat” is tons of fun, without all the filler, and with the right distributor (I’m looking at you Lionsgate) could turn into a yearly (clever) Halloween franchise.

Fun Fact:  “Trick r Treat” is based on a cartoon short created by Dougherty called “Season’s Greetings” from 1996. 

September 17, 2012

The Raid: Redemption (Matt’s Take)

The Raid: Redemption – Overkill

 The days are pretty much over where you get old-school action movies that say “Screw the story, we don’t need a plot, let’s just kick people in the face, shoot them in the head, and break necks!”  Sure, we have “The Expendables” but there hasn’t been a good foreign action flick in quite a while…..OW!!!…..geez…..sorry, I just got kicked in the face by “The Raid: Redemption.”

The premise is simple; an elite group of Indonesian cops are sent to a building in the slums of Jakarta where a vicious drug dealer resides and shit hits the fan, and by shit hitting the fan I mean, in honor of Joe Bob Briggs, Glock-fu, Baton-fu, Army Knife-fu, sniper rifle-fu, fluorescent light-fu, machete-fu, and hammer-fu.  The action is non-stop, except when the director decides to slow things down and try and incorporate an extremely thin plot.  Just throwing it out there but the director, Gareth Evans, is also Welsh (take that for what its worth).

The fight choreography is great (the film uses Pencak Silat as the main fighting technique).  Yayan Ruhian, who portrays “Mad Dog,” acts as the choreographer of all the fights in the film and there are plenty of “Oh Shit!” moments.  The one issue I do have is the liberal use of CG blood.  It’s not as bad as some movies (The Devil’s Rejects comes to mind) and its hidden pretty well, but it does show up from time to time.

All in all, “The Raid: Redemption” is a fine “film” and an excellent exercise in the resurrection of the modern kung-fu movie…….owwwww……stop kicking my face!!!

Fun Fact:  The roots of the martial art Pencak Silat can be traced back to Java and Sumatra in the 7th Century.

September 11, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods – Tribute

*There could be some spoilers in the links, so tread with care*

The 2012 Summer movie season is over and I saw all the big ones; The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Amazing Spider-Man (even though some people wouldn’t agree that Spidey was a “big” Summer movie) and Prometheus.  Sure, you had The Bourne Legacy and a few other hyped movies, but my best experience came before Summer even started when “The Cabin in the Woods” FINALLY was unleashed to unsuspecting audiences in April.

Love letters are always nice when you get them from people that mean it, and people like Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard must really have a crush on me.  I feel like a mobster in “Goodfellas” and this is their Tribute to not only me, but everything they love as well.
 
The premise is simple; five stereotypes (including the nerd, jock, and stoner) are headed for a secluded cabin, are menaced by a “prophet of doom” and are attacked by monsters.  Like I said, simple…….WRONG.  Contrary to what people might think, this is a very self-aware tribute to genre films, and it’s pulled off perfectly.

Due to this movie being delayed, its a tad funny to see Chris Hemsworth, you might have seen him in a few low-budget movies like “Thor” and “The Avengers,” in one of his first roles.  You also get a few Whedon favorites like Amy Acker (Dollhouse) and Tom Lenk (Buffy and Angel)

Sprinkle some Evil Dead, a dash of Lovecraft, a sprinkle of ’50s giant monster movies, and good dose of splatter/slasher films, and you have “The Cabin in the Woods.”  This is definitely a trip you’d like to take, sure, you might end up tied up, gagged, and set on fire by people in white cherub masks, but at least you’ll finally be able to see the “merman

Fun Fact:  Please see “The White Board.”  It’s a magical experience.

 

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