Quickie 20 – Godzilla (2014)

or “Baby, Don’t Fear the Kaiju”

The last time the lord of irradiated city stompers was in the hands of Hollywood movie-makers, Godzilla wound up as an atomic iguana that laid more eggs than a barn full of chickens on Four Loko and Spanish Fly. It was a multi-year clusterfuck that went from something potentially amazing to something… awful… that I saw twice in theaters because, well, I wanted it to succeed. I was… in a bad place in the ’90s. Anyway, nearly two decades later, Legendary convinced Toho that they wouldn’t abuse the property the way Sony did previously, and put Gareth Edwards in the director’s seat. Not bad when your sophomore feature is a $160 million tent pole for a whole cinematic universe-to-be.

“Nature has an order. A power to restore bounds. I believe HE is that power.”

Our story begins during Prince’s eponymous year of party style, 1999. A Japanese nuclear power facility is devastated by unnatural shockwaves (and not the Y2K bug, as doomsday theorists would have had us believe), leading to its total destruction and a quarantine of the surrounding area for the next 15 years. One of the scientists lost in the disaster was American scientist Sandra Brody, wife to fellow scientist and plant employee Joe Brody, and mother to their wiener son, Ford, whose name I’m surprised they didn’t change to “Isuzu” to help him fit in in rice burner country. To say that Sandy’s death may have traumatized the pair a little would be like saying that the Conjuring movies are a little overrated.

15 revolutions around the sun later, Ford is a US military meathead married to Scarlet Witch and the two have a son of their own. No sooner does he return home from active duty, the booty call the couple’s last 14 months has been building to gets blueballed all to Hel when he’s forced to return to the home of the (sushi) whopper. In the time since Sandra’s radioactive demise, Joe’s mental state could be politely described as “criminally obsessive”, which gets him arrested by the authorities for violating the quarantine zone for the umpteenth time. When Ford comes to bail him out, dad is ranting that recent seismic activity in the area is mimicking whatever it was that caused the meltdown of ’99.

Despite his apartment being wallpapered with news clippings and pages out of a high school biology book, it turns out Poppa’s obsession is NOT evidence of insanity, as intrusion into the zone shows not a single Geiger to be counted! While there, dad and spawn are picked up by a security patrol and taken to the remains of the nuke factory, which now serves as a research base for a group called Monarch. Much like movie crazies before him, it turns out that Joe was on point about the environmental abnormalities and the wonky readings are actually being caused by Electro Magnetic Pulses launched by a big weird cocoon thing that looks like something out of H.R. Giger’s sketchbook. Of course, because movie physics, this is the exact time that the egg hatches and unleashes… Godzilla! Oh, never mind, it’s… the Cloverfield monster? Remind me who’s name is on the marquee of this thing again?!

The resultant destruction brought on by the Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism’s (or M.U.T.O.) birth claims the life of Joe, now leaving Ford as our de facto main character. Well, Monarch big wig Dr. Serizawa is pretty important to the plot too, but Ford is our everyman emissary for the ride, which includes being educated on Gojira, the origin of the M.U.T.O. (which becomes an M.2.T.O. When the original’s mate is introduced) and why Monarch didn’t just abort the big parasite in the first place. Though military forces proves ineffective against the creature, Dr. S believes that Mother Nature will correct this radioactive abomination herself, with none other than Godzilla serving as Her scale balancer! To quote the good doctor, “Let them fight”.

The biggest criticism levied against G2K14 is its lack of giant monster action. Despite the movie being named after Him, Godzilla proper doesn’t pop his head into the proceedings until well into the second act, and it’s only after the M.U.T.O. have started to rampage. He also doesn’t get a big, glorious reveal at that, just randomly popping up in Honolulu to throw claws. Meanwhile, Mutie gets the glory of being the monster behind the human protagonists’ collective storylines! Ever hear someone complain that Tim Burton’s Batman put too much emphasis on The Joker? Same goes here. As far as there being too much human story and not enough monster-a-monster? Godzilla movies are always about the human characters. It tends to make the movie flow better when you have talking characters pushing the story. Then again, there was that time in Godzilla Vs. Gigan (or Godzilla On Monster Island if you’re nasty) where G and his sidekick/buddy/bitch Anguirus actually spoke to each other (with word bubbles in the Japanese version and actual English dialogue in the US dub), and that’s something that never needs to happen again.

I’m going to be “one-hundred”, as the kids say, and approve of the end result movie we get. Sure, I was a tad peeved that the modern Brody family must eat Lucky Charms for every meal and have their pockets stuffed with four-leaf clovers given how impossibly fortunate the trio are throughout the devastation (Ford’s plot armor keeps him from being corpsed no less than FOUR TIMES), but I found myself greatly appreciating the awe-inspiring pedestrians’ eye view of the kaiju carnage. It wasn’t the nauseating shaky-cam shit parade we were shafted with in Cloverfield, and we were treated to wider shots of the colossal confrontation when the moments called for it, both big positives in my book (which is actually a collected omnibus of the entire ’70s Godzilla Marvel Comics series). Besides, after Monster, we’re lucky that Edwards gave these beasties as much screen time as he did!

Go watch it and you’ll get the joke.

Moral of the Story: Mother Nature can take care of Herself! Except, you know, when it comes to pollution and poaching and strip mining and clear cutting and global warming and… you get my point.

Final Judgment:

Four Godzookies out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

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Quickie 19 – Death House (2017)

or “Jason Goes to Hell”

Kane Hodder. Dee Wallace. Barbara Crampton. Tony Todd. Bill Moseley. Sig Haig. Michael Berryman. Lloyd Kaufman. Felissa Rose. Brinke Stevens. Camille Keaton. Tiffany Shepis. Debbie Rochon (under a mask). Adrienne Barbeau(‘s voice). Gunnar Hansen(‘s hologram). And I’m sure other names that I don’t recognize off of the top of my doggy head. The ultimate horror convention lineup, or the solitary redeeming factor of Death House? Hope for the former, loin gird for the latter.

“I will fuck you in Hell.”

Kane Hodder (and his pimple… come on dude, Stridex) plays a dirty wannabe Nazi Branch Davidian cult leader type whose capture by the gubmint lands him in a high tech prison called, you guessed it, “Death House”. In this colorfully named containment facility the occupants are studied with the ultimate goal of having the psychotic tendencies brainwashed right out of their gray matter. As one character so bluntly kicks any trace of subtlety in the taint, “it’s like Clockwork Orange“… Blaaaaaaart.

In another smashing of “look how witty we are!” into the collective face of their audience, this purgatory consists of 9 levels with the occupants being more monstrous with each floor you descend. As such, the bottom is for the evilest of evil-doers, called “The Five Evils”, who… turn out to be some of the weirdest deus ex bullshit I’ve ever seen. No spoilers, but… yeah.

We learn all of this via the audience’s avatars, Toria and Jay – two government agents that also happen to have personal connections to a pair of the place’s unwilling tenants. We tag along as they’re given the $10 tour by HBIC Dr. Fletcher, who shows them the processes by which her staff uses to plumb the depths of the demented denizens of this Area 51 for serial killers. This includes a heavy reliance on no-budget virtual reality tech that, rather than using anything even remotely resembling VR headsets, utilizes safety goggles with old circuit boards duct taped over the front of them! I fucking kid you not, I would’ve preferred Dollar Embargo sunglasses with Cthulhumas lights glued to them over these… these… ABOMINATIONS! Isis’s girdle, I’m not mentally equipped to scale a mountainous cornball garbage pile of this magnitude today. Fuck it.

Look, this is a terrible, wretched, “so bad it’s bad” movie. The only thing it does for anyone is pay a few bills for the who’s who of horror that were somehow convinced (possibly blackmailed) into signing up for it. NO ONE applies any discernible effort to their roles either, so at least they didn’t need to put any major work into what I presume were scanty paychecks. Their inclusion 100% makes up the composition of Death House‘s single ratings point, in what’s possibly the truest form of appreci-hate (thank my Evil Dead Bride for that one) a movie has received from me since Andrew Divoff was the lone redeeming factor of Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation was back in The Tomb’s first review. I could go over this steaming heap with a fine-toothed comb (or Spaceballs novelty-sized afro pick) for several more viewings and not manage to fish out anything else to recommend it on… with the possible exception of showing it to prisoners of war as a way around violating the anti-torture protocols of The Geneva Convention.

Sadly, Gunnar Hansen himself is credited as the originator of the idea the story was based upon, but a more accurate credit would be likely be “Guy who watched the Fortress and The Expendables movies and made the mistake of telling a friend of his who used it as the foundation for a terrible screenplay”. Now it will sadly be yet another stain on the rib bib-of-a-resume that belonged to the first Leatherface. May his hologram rest in peace.

Oh yeah, and WHAT THE FUCK WAS THE POINT OF TONY TODD’S CHARACTER!? I couldn’t find one with both hands and the thrice damned Staff of Ra, so I’m presuming it’s some horseshit metaphysical nonsense. You know what? If that is the case, don’t tell me. I don’t want anything else to do with this rancid fart excuse for a movie.

Moral of the Story: Even the most delicious bounty of foods can be left devoid of appeal when the cornucopia it sits inside is a length of sewer pipe drenched in alligator piss and encrusted with CHUD churds.

Final Judgment:

One VHS copy of Fortress out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Quickie 18 – John Wick (2014)

or “The Butcher! The Breaker! The Candlestick Maker?”

As usual, I’m 5 years behind the trends, so I’m just now seeing Keanu Reeves shoot-bang a bunch of KGBitches. It’s good to see him sticking with the action stuff though, because as great a guy as I’ve hear he is in real life, that doesn’t change the fact that he both sucks AND swallows as a “legitimate” Hollywood actor guy. Big budget b-movies are the man’s forte and he should stay that way.

“What happened, John? We were professionals. Civilized.”

John is our titular protagonist. John is madly in love with his wife, Helen. Sadly, Helen’s only in the movie for Fridging purposes (look it up), so she immediately dies of brain cancer. Helen’s death leaves John in mourning. Before she kicked the bucket, Helen set up a gift to be delivered to John after her passing. John’s gift is Daisy. Daisy is NOT a surrogate wife nor is she a sassy orphan. Daisy is a puppy. John bonds with Daisy faster than Neo learned Kung-Fu, and through the adorable beagle he learns to love again. John and Daisy run into some douche nozzle (who looks like a junkie version of the guy who runs my favorite comic book shop) at a gas station who wants to buy John’s sweet ’69 Charger. John says no. Douche Nozzle and his gang of pricks somehow figure out where John lives, ransack his home, steal his Charger, and kill Daisy to solidify their status as the worst type of cheap-heat bad guys. What is our hero to do in the face of such tragedy? Will he compartmentalize his anger and sadness and learn to live on despite his loss? Perhaps he’ll open his own Yankee Candle franchise and parlay his surname to become the highest earning store in the tri-state area!

No. Despite his name, John is not a born candle salesman. As it turns out, John is actually a retired mob assassin and the sole meaning to his existence now is to exact revenge on the sapient sandwich baggies of human excrement that have wronged him. Unfortunately for John, it won’t be an easy train ride to Revengeville, because Douche just happens to be the offspring of one of John Boy’s former employers, Viggo – the head of the Russian mob that basically runs the New York City underworld. When said head hears what the half-witted fruit of his loom has been up to, the only hope of keeping bitch boy alive is to put an open $2 million bounty out on John. Can our hero enact his vendetta to its finale, or will Daisy and Helen not be the only members of the Wick family who won’t live to see the end credits?

… Nah. He lives. He has to. There are two sequels to this movie!

With a little help from his friends, revenge is had and JW guns down enough Ruskies to fill the St. Remy Cemetery twice over! Granted, that’s in Russia Ohio and not Russia proper, but you get the point of my pickelhaube… which is a Prussian reference and not Russian proper, but you don’t have to be King of Prussia to know that. I am, of course, referring to the Pennsylvania township, King of Prussia and not an actual Prussian king proper, but… I’ll stop now.

My problems with this movie are minimal. The whole “one man murders dozens with relative ease” action trope doesn’t bother me anymore in the least. If Stallone and Schwartzemuhneijer could do it every few months in the ’80s, why the fuck not? Hell, even if you discount America’s steroid juiced dreams, every John Woo (John Woo? John Wick? Hmmm) movie since The Killer has desensitized us to the logical frailty behind the 1 vs 100 scenario in favor of taking another dove poop covered Gunkata bullet ballet directly into our oculars. Besides, after watching Keanu Matrix his way through a thousand low-res Hugo Weavings, I can totally buy him (and his snappy new facial hair) emptying enough bullet cartridges to recycle into TWO full-sized brass statues of Gaston Glock!

(He’s the guy who invented the Glock)

My issues with the kickstart of what is a trilogy as of this weekend are instead as follows: like I mentioned earlier, how the fuck did Douche Nozzle find out where Wick lives? Also, if Wick is such an infamous boogeyman figure in the criminal underworld, how did neither DN nor any of his goons know who he was? This is made all the more infuriating when dear daddy tell his spermatic waste product that Wick is basically responsible for handing them all of the criminal power they now wield! Speaking of, fuck Viggo for not killing John when they have him unconscious at their feet and instead opting for a bullshit “we’re not so different, you and I” cookie cutter scene from which John is deus ex Dafoe’d away, allowing him to CONTINUING HIS SLAUGHTER MISSION. Finally, yeah, Keanu Reeves can’t do dramatic. I started off the review saying so and thinking of his big “I’M THINKING I’M BACK!” speech in this same said scene, I need to reiterate – do not give this golden hearted gent severe lines of dialogue. You set him up as the strong/silent/violent type, so don’t issue him any groan inducingly hammy shoutliloquies!

In a perfect world, I would use my Midas-like wealth to fund a crossover film between John Wick and Shoot ‘Em Up‘s hero, Mr. Smith. It’d be your typical comic book scenario where they’re pitted against each other by insidious forces, each fails to put down his opponent until they realize that a brief exchange of words rather than bullets solves their problem, leaving them to now team-up and murder every member of the criminal empires involved. The twist? Deadpool is the one behind it all. Biggity-bam, motherfuckers. Double tap that ass. Makes more box office than every Police Academy combined.

Moral of the Story: IF YOU HAVE THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ON EARTH TRYING TO KILL EVERYTHING YOU LOVE AND HE ENDS UP KNOCKED OUT AT YOUR FEET, JUST CRUSH HIS SKULL WITH A CINDER BLOCK AND CALL IT A DAY.

Final Judgment:

Three-and-a-Half John Woos out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

Quickie 17 – The Belko Experiment (2016)

or “Don’t It Make My White Collar Red”

Tonight’s trek through the intestines of white collar terror takes us into a mash-up of paper pushing office antics and a last-person-standing lethal lockdown, as written by the infamous James Gunn! To be honest, I NEVER would have thought he’d get a job working for Disney in the first place, given his Tromatic gross-out coming out, Tromeo & Juliet. Is the House of Mouse lax on their background checks, or did they just think Gunn had made a typo on his resume?

“At the end of the day, people are out for themselves.”

In a little out-of-the-way acre of rural Colombia, American corporation Belko Industries has established a big ol’ office building in the ass-butt middle of nowhere. On the morning our movie initiates, all native staffers on the payroll have been turned away by soldier-style security officers wielding military bullet barfers who refuse to acknowledge the drones’ queries. The only employees allowed to clock in are the 80 Americans who were transplanted in by the home office, including Mike (the group’s Tim/Jim non-union equivalent), who seems to be the only one concerned about the situation. Yeah, he’s pretty much guaranteeing himself to be our main protagonist. That, and he’s the only one who seems to be dipping his pen in the company ink (i.e. Dany, his personal Dawn/Pam) and has a creepy workplace nemesis (Gareth/Dwight) in the toothy grinning visage of Wendell. All hallmarks of the modern day cubicle hero.

Before you can say “The Hunger Games is just a crappy rip-off of Battle Royale!”, a mysterious voice booms over the building’s intercom, informing everyone that they are now trapped within the structure and have to choose two people among them to offer up as sacrifices to their corporate overlords, lest four of them be murdered at random for their non-compliance. The wage monkeys gather and try to figure out a way to escape while debating the legitimacy of the threat, only to discover the pants pissing permanence of their peril when the foretold foursome of expendable employees have the backs of their heads renovated for increased airflow!

You know why you never allow anybody, ESPECIALLY the people who sign your paychecks, to implant any type of technology onto your being? Because despite their claims that it’s only there as a tracking beacon in the unfortunate instance of someone’s abduction, it’s ALWAYS a miniature fucking bomb!

Realizing the severity of their situation, the standard breakdown of polite society is initiated and the bloodthirsty bosses up the ante to THIRTY bodies next, threatening to kill SIXTY randoms this time if their quota isn’t met! Tribalism and power struggles are the special of the day as some continue to insist there must be a way out and others attempt to weaponize anything within arms reach. Conflict is had, blood is spilled, and the countdown to extinction is set to Maximum Overdrive!

…Well, “Moderate Overdrive” would probably be more apropos. Watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

Much like Train to Busan made a name for itself in zombie flicks by opting for a change of scenery from its peers, The Belko Experiment takes the Battle Royale formula into its own little niche, making the cutthroat corporate world a bit more literal. Rather than wide open spaces of exploding faces, the tension intensifies when our average Joes and Joans become prisoners in an eight story mass grave of concrete and steel. I would’ve enjoyed a bit more creativity from our desperate contestants in the way of DIY death dealers, but I also can’t flaw the logical lengths we’re given as the assailants go for practicality over innovation.

The characters come from a melting pot of backgrounds, mirroring the mandatory diversity reflected in the modern workplace, while keeping older white guys at the top of the metaphorical food chain just like they generally remain in real life. A sad state of affairs for sure, and this is coming FROM an aging white guy. Cunts.

The potential for a sequel is shoved in our faces at the finale, and this is a coconut cream pie I’d gladly take to the mug if the creators behind it manage to bake it. The movie’s box office more than doubled its meager $5 million budget, but with Jimmy Firearmm currently piling his plate with both Suicide Squad 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, I have a feeling he may not be back to Belko for the foreseeable future. I give it another 3 years at least. Here’s to hoping it’ll be worth the wait!

Moral of the Story: Always have a plan to take down your co-workers if the need ever arises. It worked for Batman in Justice League: Doom. Well, it worked for the Legion of Doom using Batman’s contingency plans, but the point still stands – if it’s good enough for Batman, it’s good enough for you!

Final Judgment:

Four stolen boxes of paper clips out-of-Five

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Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.