Thursday, October 19, 2017

Vintage Crab Monsters Chasing 80’s Teens, or Thoughts on The Boogens

 I’ll say this right now; there’s a reason The Boogens (1981) has been forgotten, and if you make it to the monster reveal at the end of the movie, you will most likely be disappointed.  The Boogens are a race of tentacle crab creatures living in an abandoned silver mine in Utah, a premise that may seem Lovecraftian on paper, but falls apart when transferred onto VHS.  The film has a slow build-up, with low Boogen POV angles as the camera chases 80’s teens in towels around (they have a network of tunnels leading to basements so they can grab you by the ankles).
On the positive side, the monsters are analog, a combination of puppets and actors flailing around as they hold the rubber crab monsters like Martin Balsam as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood (1994).  The 80’s were a simpler time.  Writer and Director James L. Conway would go on to work on the Star Trek franchise directing episodes of Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, as well as 80’s classic TV series like MacGyver and Hunter.  And when viewed critically, the Boogens do bear a distinct resemblance to the lava monster Horta from The Devil in the Dark (1967).





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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

S is for Supermovie Antonio, or Thoughts on The ABCs of Death 2

So here I go again, reviewing the sequel before the original because I live dangerously, but you know how much I love a good anthology series, and The ABCs of Death 2 (2014) continues an intriguing premise; imagine Edward Gorey’s The Gashleycrumb Tines (1963) as a movie with 26 different directors presenting 26 10 minute horror film shorts.  The filmmakers were given no editorial direction other than their assigned letter and the death theme, and the result is a morbid mini film festival including stop motion, animation, and consistently superior movies from across the world.
Personal highlights include Julian Barrett, Howard Moon from The Mighty Boosh in B is for Badger, in which he portrays a documentarian filming radioactive badgers in the English countryside, and Japanese director Hajime Ohata’s O is for Ochlocracy (mob rule), which features a zombie world where the living are put on trial for their crimes against zombies.  Also French directing team Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo from Livide (2011) and Leatherface (2017) with X is for Xylophone (watch out for Beatrice Dalle), and the real reason I watched this movie before the first one, T is for Torture Porn, by my favorite Canadian twin directors, The Soska Sisters.








this blog has an instagram! @supermovie_antonio
you can follow me on twitter @newsuperantonio
you can read my books for free on amazon kindle,  or buy the paperbacks, available at fine bookstores everywhere (or on amazon). 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Heavy Metal Demons Rock a Haunted Hospital, or Thoughts on Dark Floors


A perfect movie for the Halloween season (though to be fair, I watch these kinda movies all year long), the Finnish horror movie Dark Floors (2008) begins like an extended Twilight Zone episode with 6 random strangers trapped in an elevator.  I will list them as archetypes because I couldn’t be bothered to look up their names, so we have the Security Guard, the Homeless Guy, the Angry Businessman, the Pretty Nurse, the Handsome Single Dad, and the Psychic Autistic Wheelchair Girl.  Once they get out of the elevator they find themselves stuck in a haunted hospital, where each floor gets progressively worse (or better/scarier, depending on your perspective).
There are CGI ghosts, but I’ve often said that CGI works best in a ghost movie and a group of demonic monsters that look like zombie heavy metal Klingon Orcs that seem to be after Sarah, the aforementioned Psychic Autistic Wheelchair Girl.  This is where the movie gets interesting; those Klingon Orcs are actually Lordi, a Finnish heavy metal band, think Kiss and Rob Zombie with a dash of Rammstein, and Dark Floors is essentially Lordi’s Kiss Meets the Phantom of The Park (1979). 
The movie is a lot of fun, and closer in tone to Silent Hill (2006) than Phantom of the Park, and largely works on the strength of the band’s impressive visual image.  I went down a YouTube rabbit hole doing research for this post; every one of their videos is a three-minute horror movie with a rock n’roll soundtrack.  From what I can tell they always appear in public in costume, and in the movie they’re strutting around in their every day outfits, which I guess is one way to save on production costs.









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Monday, October 16, 2017

Canadian Grindhouse (With No Apologies), or Thoughts on Dead Hooker in a Trunk

The movie debut of the Soska Sisters, also known as Twisted Twins Productions, writing, directing and starring in Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009), is all the more impressive when you consider that it was made for $2500.  And that’s $2500 Canadian, so maybe $2000 in US greenbacks, or another way to look at it is for the price of a crap used car or a couple iPhones you get to immortalize yourself and your sister in film and kickstart your film career by deliberately pushing every transgressive button you can cram into 90 minutes.
Think Canadian Reservoir Dogs (1992) with a dash of El Mariachi (1992), Dead Hooker in a Trunk sets up Jen Soska as Geek, the good twin and Sylvia Soska as Badass the (of course) bad twin, along with Badass’ best friend Junkie and Geek’s Christian friend-zoned Goody Two-Shoes.  The names are from the script, dialogue seems improvised and the cast is all too familiar with each other to actually use names. 
After a drunken rock n’roll night Badass picks up her twin sister Geek and find a dead hooker in the trunk of their supercool vintage 1969 Pontiac Firebird.  The rest of the movie is a grindhouse montage of drug deals gone bad, casual necrophilia, chainsaw fights and a whole lot of killing with a stolen police gun (don’t ask).  With a single camera (and what I assume are single takes), the movie skips around Vancouver with a punk rock soundtrack featuring local indie bands as the twins try to bury the hooker and find out who killed her, or at the very least, who put her in the trunk. 
Jen and Sylvia Soska would go on to make American Mary (2012), in which they had a cameo as a pair of German twins who want their left arms removed.  I mention this because there’s an arm amputation scene in this movie as well, it must be one of their themes.  Also watch out for Carlos Gallardo, the original 1992 El Mariachi, in a cameo as God.  There’s something for everyone in Dead Hooker in a Trunk.









this blog has an instagram! @supermovie_antonio
you can follow me on twitter @newsuperantonio
you can read my books for free on amazon kindle,  or buy the paperbacks, available at fine bookstores everywhere (or on amazon). 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Scalpels and Stripper Heels, or Thoughts on American Mary

Technically Canadian Mary, American Mary (2012) is a brilliantly subversive erotic medical horror movie and Frankenstein variation that’s grounded in reality, which makes the film all the more horrific and absurd.  Filmed in Vancouver BC, Katherine Isabelle (you know, Ginger the high school werewolf from Ginger Snaps, 2000) is Mary, a troubled med school dropout who starts out doing backroom emergency surgeries to pay her student loans and falls into the body modification community where she becomes a superstar, owing to her surgical expertise and artistic vision.
Oddly compelling and funnier in places than it should be (if you have a high tolerance for medical gore and surgical scenes), the movie is equal parts Audition (1999), David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (1988) and with a dash of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the 2009 Swedish original or David Fincher’s 2011 remake, take your pick).  The movie features an uncomfortable rape scene that needs to be endured in order to get to the emotionally satisfying revenge scene.

  Watch out for a cameo by the directors, Jen and Sylvia Soska of Dead Hookers in a Trunk (2009) as a pair of German twins who want their left arms amputated and exchanged.  (They also want elf ears and subdermal demon horns, but I think the selling point was the left arm switcheroo).








this blog has an instagram! @supermovie_antonio
you can follow me on twitter @newsuperantonio
you can read my books for free on amazon kindle,  or buy the paperbacks, available at fine bookstores everywhere (or on amazon).