Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Horrortalk #2 - Movies of 2008.

2008 was a pretty mediocre year for horror films. Off the top of my head, I can remember that we poor, overlooked Australians got the following:

[REC]: A pretty clean shot at a horror film, actually. Have the rest of my opinion here.

The Orphanage: Overrated, in my opinion. It was not even really a horror movie, more of a occasionally mildly creepy drama. Although remember when every reviewer said that it was like The Sixth Sense and The Others? They really, really were not joking.


Saw V: Ughhhhh. On a related note, I recall that when it came out, I overheard two guys in my management tutorial saying that the Saw films were the cleverest movies they had ever seen. I was not pleased.

One Missed Call: So... it's a serious remake of a film intended to be a satire. Um, ok. Speaking of remakes...

Shutter, The Eye, Mirrors: REMAKES

There were some other ones that made it over but I haven't seen as of yet. Namely The Happening (lol), The Strangers (which I hear was bad but the Singaporean promo posters were really excellent) and um, Zombie Strippers. Then we have the movies I've been waiting for for like, ages: The Poughkeepsie Tapes, The Midnight Meat Train and Tokyo Gore Police.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes
I realise that The Poughkeepsie Tapes were technically supposed to come out in 2007, but did it actually screen anywhere before last year? Anyway. I first found out about The Poughkeepsie Tapes from a certain paranormal imageboard. There was a video clip of a man in an odd mask crawling up behind a woman. It was odd. Research indicated it was footage from a documentary about a serial killer who terrorised the area of Poughkeepsie. I have to say it was impressive.
It's a movie that actually intends to disturb rather than shock you with cheap scares, which gets instant points from me. If it's traditional holy-shit-what-the-fuck-was-that horror you are going for, the aforementioned crawling scene is about as creepy as it's going to get. But no, the part that really got to me I did not predict at all. It's one of those subtle things that when you notice, really strike a chord in you. A horror movie has not done that to me in a long, long time. That alone gets it a 9.

I wish I could talk about what I didn't like about the movie, but doing so would give it away. Ignorance is bliss, after all, so I'm just going to give it a score and be on my way. [8]

The Midnight Meat Train
Settle down, kids. Quit snickering at the title.

MMT was originally a short story by Clive Barker, the fabulous (really) powerhouse of creativity responsible for, amongst others, The Hellbound Heart, its movie counterpart and the game, um, Jericho.

I like the story quite a bit, which is about a photographer who follows a serial killer roaming the subway at night, but gets more than he bargains for. I won't say more for I might give the story away.

I had really high hopes for this film. First of all, it is directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, aka the guy who directed Versus, aka the film that made me clap at the end. Secondly, it stars Vinnie Motherfucking Jones! So, y'know, fuck yes.

But I was disappointed. Maybe I was still on a high from watching Survive Style 5+ that week or Versus that month, but there was something about the film that made me think it could've been so much better. I understand that you have to change certain things when you are adapting a short story, but the way certain scenes were translated did not sit well with me. For example, the scene with Leon interacting with his girlfriend really irritated me rather than made me feel pity and sadness for them. Or maybe I wanted more Vinnie. The end didn't wrap up as well as I had hoped, either. This review isn't wrapping up as well as I had hoped either, but I have nothing more to say. [6.5]

Tokyo Gore Police
This is the movie I have stalked since the news first broke. If No More Heroes is that game that I would not shut up about, and it was, then this is the film that I would not shut up about. It actually screened last year at the Brisbane International Film Festival, so you can imagine that I was less than pleased when I found out I couldn't go. At the time, the movie had not been released on DVD, not to mention torrents only appeared literally at the end of the year. Oh well, it's here now.

Tokyo Gore Police has a storyline, but with a name like Tokyo Gore Police, who really cares? All you need to know is that there the main character is a sexy lady (played by Eihi Shiina, best known from Audition), amputees with swords where their limbs should be, a guy with cannons for eyes, an erotically grotesque snail-woman hybrid, a lady with an alligator for a vagina and a scene featuring quartering by car. It's a visually stunning film, each scene absolutely saturated in colour, whether it be red, blue, green or pink. It is also probably the most fantastically, over-the-top (in terms of gore) film I have ever seen. I will not lie and say that I never thought 'PHYSICS DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY', but when it's all so darkly humourous, the only thing to do is to laugh and wonder how much all that fake blood cost. I mean, it's a movie where a guy gets his penis bitten off and has it replaced with a large, fleshy, meter-long bazooka. And that's a neat concept.

It's like, if Shintaro Kago and Uziga Waita were to make a film together, this would be it. Every minute is well worth it, but only if you like your gore red hot. [9.5/10]

For me, as long as those films turned out to not be total disappointments, I would be happy. Which means I'm pretty fucking happy.

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