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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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.

Feature 113 – Unholy Women (2006)

or “Crazy Eldritch Asians”

Featuring: Noriko Nakagoshi (“Rattle Rattle”) ; Tasuku Emoto (“Hagane”) ; Maki Meguro (“The Inheritance”)

Directors: Keita Amemiya (“Rattle Rattle”) ; Takuji Sizuki (“Hagane”) ; Keisuke Toyoshima (“The Inheritance”)

Writers: Keita Amemiya (“Rattle Rattle”) ; Takuji Suzuki & Naoki Yamamoto (“Hagane”) ; Keisuke Toyoshima & Takashi Shimizu (“The Inheritance”)

Origin: Japan

Review_____

“I’m … a … monster!”

When I was a pup, I applied for a summer job as a merchant’s apprentice at The Mentally-Unfit-to-Sell-Wares Vizier tent in the Cairo Bazaar. The owner handed me a broom, said nothing, and left for his presumed lunch break and/or climactic toilet battle with his “inner demons”. He returned to find me still standing there, leaning on the broom, without having lifted a talon to tidy up the place. He told me that I had failed his test, as a good employee would have shown initiative and swept up the market stall without having to be told. I responded by telling him that a) sweeping with a broom isn’t a sign of “initiative”, it’s using the fucking thing for the sole purpose it was made for, and b) a good manager tells their worker what to do instead or just sitting back and hoping everything works out for the best. He patted me on the shoulder, said I’m perfect management material, then told me he needs a subservient, not a partner, and sent me on my way. I went back the next day to rob him blind, but the tent was gone…

Turns out he burned it down and faked his own death, then moved to Boca Raton with his wife once the insurance check cleared. The moral of the story? There is no moral. And isn’t that the real moral? No. What does this have to do with today’s movie? Nothing. Carry on.

Though its title may sound like a Saudi Arabian re-naming for Sex and the City 2, Unholy Women is actually a horror anthology consisting of three unrelated stories. Well, they are related, but only tangentially. Each surreal story involves a supernatural female character in an antagonistic role. Whether these stories are considered sexist and immediate grounds for dismissal from your watch list is a case-by-case case for any would-be viewer, but either way this review is happening, so read it or don’t. It’s your funeral.

Rattle Rattle – The first fleeting feature follows a female figure fondly facing forward to forming a fellowship with her fiance, Franklin. His name is actually Akira (Kôsuke Toyohara), but I fell into a bout of alliterative tunnel vision of which “Akira” would have furiously fudged the finish of. Fuck it.

Our lady protagonist is Kanako (Noriko Nagagoshi), who’s just a few short weeks away from a hopeful happily-ever-after with her husband-to-be. Kana isn’t Akira’s first traveling companion to the altar, as his ex-wife appears to be fairly active in his life. This distresses the salary man, as seen when an unwanted text kills his happiness penis while he’s saying goodnight to Kana and gifting her a pair of pearl earrings. I usually give my female ass-quaintances the full pearl necklace treatment, but only if there’s a towel nearby… *rimshot* Anyway, the presence of the former Mrs. Akira could contribute to complications further into the runtime. Speaking of complications, while perambulating the sidewalk to her apartment building, our heroine stops to pick up what looks like one of the very same earrings she just received off of the sidewalk before her head’s nearly caved-in by a falling object! Was it earthbound debris loosened from the building’s facade by a passing kaiju or rampaging robot? Perhaps someone’s anime character body pillow, thrown from a window following a particularly heated domestic disagreement with its owner? Time will tell.

When she comes to, Kana sees a young girl nearby and inquires as to the little lady’s lack of adult accompaniment so late at night. Distracted by a strange chattering sound (not unlike a pair of novelty wind-up teeth), Kana looks away briefly only for the mystery youth to disappear faster than my interest in a Zack Snyder movie. Despite some blood on the back of her head, Kanako retreats to her apartment and takes a long phone call with her friend during which she comments that she won’t be bathing tonight… So she’s just gonna go to bed with blood caked in her hair?! You manky broad! Uggh! In agreement with me, a disembodied voice from within her apartment calls to Kana and tells her that her bath is ready. Well, if the blood in her hair weren’t enough to convince her she needs to hose off, whatever bodily waste she likely expelled into her yoga pants after spooky stuff like that no doubt did the trick!

She’s jolted from her abject terror by a phone call from Akira, warn her that his ex-wife has flipped the proverbial wig and is on the way there right now to go full Stabby McGee on her ass! Their call cannot be completed as dialed though and Akira’s cut off (no pun intended). With her heart practically pounding out of her chest now, Kan (“Kaaaaaaaaaaan!”) investigates steam pouring from her water closet. After turning the bath off, she runs into a creepy looking woman in a red dress waiting for her in her hallway, wielding a carving knife and without a single succulent slab of Kobe Beef in sight to use it on! Well, I guess she’ll have to settle for slicing up some long pig instead…

Kana runs for her life to escape the crimson garbed pursuer, whose lack of humanity becomes more apparent by her twisted face, (Mister) fantastically contorting limbs, spider-like wall climbing, and accompanying soundtrack of rattling and clicking sounds that comes standard with pretty much every make and model of Japanese apparition. Whether this spookshow is actually Akira’s vengeful ex is questionable, but Kana is helped in her escape by the barely-there little girl from before and a host of helpful ghosts who look like they were members of the Tim Burton Appreciation Society that died on their way to a Bauhaus concert when their goth charter bus drove off of a particularly depressing cliff. Presumably, these phantoms are former victims of the dead lady in red, but if that’s the case then why isn’t the little girl also decked out in Hot Topic overstock?

The game of freaky freeze tag concludes in an otherworldly limbo room that I can only hypothesize is either the phantom’s lair or the Black Lodge’s employee daycare center. As the hellborne hose beast closes in on our heroine, Kana escapes through a window ex machina (deus ex window?) and Louganises herself on the sidewalk below! As Thales so memorably postulated, “It ain’t the fall that’ll soil your toga, it’s the sudden stop at the end.”

K awakens in a hospital bed where Tetsuo Kaneda Akira gets her up to speed on her situation. It seems the object that initially fell on her head was, in fact, a human being! It shouldn’t really surprise anyone though, given how suicide happy the Japanese are. I don’t know if it’s a direct result of it being a frequent topic of their pop culture or if it’s a sanity corroding side effect of the strict, individuality crushing restraints of their social structure, but you can’t hurl a suicidal person’s dead body in that damn country without hitting… well… another suicidal person’s dead body.

The kamikaze citizen’s hands collided so hard with Kana’s skull that the digits fused with our lady’s bone dome! She’s been comatose ever since while the white masks hack ‘n slashed the excess calcium outta her cabeza. Thus, her whole horror movie ordeal was all an exercise in subconscious self-abuse? Did we just get Dorothy Gale’d?!

After checking out of the hospital, Kana returns to the apartment complex to follow up on some perverse curiosity of hers. She assumes that the person whose fingerprints she’ll now have permanently etched on her frontal lobe must’ve been the mother of the little girl who pizza-ed herself on the curb previously. While perched at the railing over which the mother-daughter duo did themselves in, a neighbor Shamalayans that, while the mournful mommy did kill herself, she actually hung herself at her family’s place in the country a year earlier and thus was not the balcony belly flopper!

Japan’s answer to Gladys Kravitz does tell Kana that someone else jumped from the spot recently, a revelation that sends our heroine into an emotional tailspin for no apparent reason. If it wasn’t the mother who gave her the ultimate facepalm swan dive of doom, then who? Turned off by this morbid scene, Helen Roeper exits stage left, leaving K alone to be visited by the ghost girl AND her ghost mom, whom Kan now realizes was one of the phantoms playing road sign wraith for her during her “dream”. The inaudible pair are immediately Thanos Snaptured out of existence in a dissipation of pixelation though, leaving our protagonista helpless when the crimson clad spectral harasser emerges from the shadows, engulfing her with a wave of ghostly grabby hands! When asked why she did this, the ghastly gal goes all Bride of Beasty Boyd (or Semi Colin, depending on your pack) and simply states, “I’m a monster!” before cackling and sending Kana over the railing. Instead of french kissing the concrete though, she falls face first into… her face? Yep. Somehow Kana was thrown through space and time and SHE was the one who fell on herself in some David Lynchian scented potpourri of mental bullshit. You know; Japan stuff.

”Rattle Rattle” is a strong start for Unholy Women. It’s ending will likely turn off ¾ or more of its viewers, but that “Japan Stuff” comment was the best way to sum it up. From personal experience, if a movie’s ending makes no sense and has even less explanation behind it, it’s either Japanese or Japanese “influenced”. Especially when it comes to supernatural/horror flicks. What I do like about the finish is the evil spirit’s simple motivation of “I’m a monster”. One of the things I always enjoyed about Japan’s culture has been its lack of god characters, opting instead for the Shinto belief that everything has a spirit. As a result, there are all manner of these Yokai spirits whose entire existence is just to fuck with people. Don’t want your kids screwing around down by the river? Warn them about the hungry Kappa living in it who will turn their innards into dinnards! Want to scare your kids straight before they start a life of crime? Tell them that stealing things will cause them to turn into a Dodomeki! Don’t want your children out late and alone after dark? Kuchisake-Onna and her freaky Kakihari mouth has got you covered! There’s a rich and beautiful tapestry of boogeymen and boogeywomen in that nation’s history, and plenty of the superstitious citizenry continue to perpetuate them as truth rather than urban legend. And if you think that’s weird coming from one of the most advanced first world societies on the planet, keep in mind that, depending on the source, anywhere from 40-80% of Americans believe in angels. Fucking. Angels. BLART!

I couldn’t find an exact spook that the red dress donned demon dame would have been based on. I spent about an hour dicking around on the worldwide wasteland in search of yokai and ghosts and bears (oh my!) and the best I could come up with is that she’s a Shinigami – reaper style monsters popularized in recent years by the ”Death Note” manga (comic book) series. However, those freaks are jacks of all trades in terms of mortal murder, not specialist assassins like Red and her whole “tossing people over rails into their past selves” gimmick. I may not know her origin, but with all those railing deaths, I bet her favorite movie is Space Mutiny!

Hagane – Our second short subject is best described as what would happen if David Cronenberg made a Japanese rom-com. It follows mildly handsome young garage mechanic Sekiguchi (Tasuku Emoto), who is too young to drink and, thus, too young to be too drunk to fuck…*crickets*

Dead Kennedys reference shoehorned in dry aside, Guchi’s boss Takahashi (Teruyuki Kugawa) asks the promising young car tinkerer to take his younger sister Hagane (played by the singularly named Nahane) out on a date as a favor to him. The picture he shows the lad brings with it the potential for whoopie pie, but the boss’s offer (i.e. bribe) to let his employee drive a client’s incredibly expensive sports car for the outing seals the deal. I’d make a joke about the owner’s implied lack of penile mass and its relation to a nation whose male population is stereotyped to already be on the short end of the global average in terms of tube steak girth, but I’m not using this review as an attachment to my application for an “additional dialogue” job on a Michael Bay movie, so it would just reflect poorly on me to write it. Holy run-on sentence, Batman!

When Guchi arrives to pick Hagane up, he finds Boss T in the living room, hand pumping an unknown substance into a human shaped burlap sack sitting in the corner. The confusion and subtle terror currently creeping up your butt after seeing this? Yeah, it’s just the beginning.

Care to guess what’s in the sack? It’s Hagane. Yes, Sakiguchi’s date is in the sack (saving him the effort of getting her there later, hi-o!), and her body is only uncovered from the waist down. As she fervently mashes a foot-peddle powered sewing machine (presumably out of pure amusement since she’s not using her hands to actually sew anything), Sak Boy stands in what I can only describe as “polite terror” while Taka tells him about how their mother died while giving birth to his sister, leaving him to raise her on his own while COMPLETELY NO-SELLING THE FACT THAT SHE’S WEARING A RAGGED SACK OVER HER UPPER BODY AND HE WAS USING A HOSE TO PUMP MYSTERY SAUCE INTO HER!

Hag puts on her, uhm, “face” for the outing with her escort, showing off her best (and only) assets with a short black leather skirt and Whorothy Gale ruby red pumps. Were I a leg man-dog myself, I might have taken a shot at showing the bag lady a good time too, given how attractive her gussied up gams were! However, as is written in the ancient scrolls of our mythology, it’s well documented that I’ve always been and shall forever be an ass man. Speaking of, Billy Gunn does not represent us as a collective, so please keep the vids of his entrance music to your bookmarks and not my inbox. Gracias.

The pair’s resultant romance-less rendezvous is the most awkward since that time I took a co-worker’s friend to see The Thirteenth Floor in an empty theater, where we sat two seats away from each other, not talking the entire time, nor ever again after it was over. First dates are the worst. After several very painful attempts at communicating with her and chasing the lady around a park (mostly so she doesn’t hurt herself and get our boy killed by her brother), Hagane falls into a stream and both end up soaking wet once Saki fishes her out. Taking her back to his place to get her a change of clothes, she doesn’t appreciate it when all he has to offer are some plastic garbage bags and a pair of his underwear… smooth operator, Gooch. Though it’s usually not a good move to offer your other a pair of your drawers until the third date, at least Don Juan here’s tighties were, in fact, whiteys, so good on him for not offering her a pair of fudgies from his hamper.

Hagane takes great offense to the lad’s half-assed attempt at chivalry and responds by pushing him to the floor, mashing her foot into his face, and violently trying to dry herself off on him by grinding her ass and hip against his head. Not one for the rough stuff, Guchi retaliates and pushes her backwards onto his bed. Like any first date that involves one or both participants falling across someone’s bed/futon/floor mattress/pile of unattended clothing, the awkward levels go right the fuck off of the meter as Hag dips her toe in Sak’s nostril crimson and uses it to write “MORE” on a window before giving him the ol’ “time to slap meats” thigh squeeze signal with her size 9s.

Remember kids, barring asexual types, everybody wants sexy attention sometimes. Even the weirdos? Especially the weirdos, damn it! How else did you think baby weirdos are made?!

In testament to the priorities of teenage boys, Guchi wastes no time considering whether or not to have sex with a mysterious bag of who-knows-what with legs, going from zero to “all you can eat taco buffet” before you can say “I hope that smell is the river water”. Turns out Gooch knows his way around a cooch and after getting positive feedback from his oral presentation, he works up the confidence to ask Kagane if he can untie her knot. Quite literally in this instance, where as in high school we used that as an allusion to initiating butt stuff. Untying her causes some less-than-fresh looking red organ-like meat thing to slous out, flipping Kag’s dial to berserker mode (like speeding truck or ticking clock) and causing her to trash the guy’s tiny studio apartment! Sack monster menstruation confirmed.

Pissed as punch at her would-be beau for ruining the mood, Hagane storms out, crashing through the front door and somehow soloing the incredible journey homeward bound. Taka calls a traumatized Guch later to let him know that Haga took a real shine to the lad though, going so far as to joke that his employee may be calling him “big brother” someday soon?! That, or he was just inviting Gu for the season premiere of ”Big Brother” tonight. Or he’s just really excited to invite him to his book club, where they’ll be discussing ‘1984’ this week? I wasn’t paying attention… OH SHIT! MY HOT POCKETS!

…..

… Well, that’s $3 straight into the latrine.

If you thought these crazy kids’ date comedy of the bizarre couldn’t get creepier, you’ve clearly never met Japan, as the Japan-ing only intensifies when we’re subjected to the bathing scene. Yes, that’s not a tpyo. Well, that was a typo, but not the bathing thing. Who’s bathing? Taka is bathing… with his sister… and, since she has no functional arms of which to speak, it’s Brother T’s responsibility to scrub out her “nooks and crannies”… That’s right, as if this weren’t already enough of an assault on the senses, a grown (naked) man describes his sister’s private regions as if she were a sleazy english muffin. *BLART!*

In case your stomach still somehow has a grasp on any remnants of your prior meal, while Taka washes both blood and mud in equal measure from Hagane’s nethers, creepy girl starts making insectoid-bird sounds like the ambient stock backing track from a swamp scene in a movie. These noises understandably unsettle Takahashi (keeping in mind that this is the same perv who was just playfully dredging his sister’s crotch marsh), so he wacks her sack with a back scrubber to make her stop… WHAT THE FUCK AM I WATCHING!!??

Tak goes into the office the next day only to find his solitary employee’s resignation/apology letter waiting for him. Poor Guchi isn’t out of the proverbial sex monster woods (I went there once. Second worst vacation of my life.) yet though, as Hagane tracks him down and attacks him in broad daylight with a dart gun! He fights back, repeatedly pinata-ing her with a lead pipe, but is cut open by her retractable, jagged metal defense blades… because why wouldn’t she have those! Then again, maybe if those things came standard on all models of female there wouldn’t be a need for the #MeToo Movement and we’d be able to tell all of the fetid slimy shitbags out there by their lack of fingers/arms.

Once again, Hag declares her love of the rough stuff by scrawling “More” in her dream weaver’s spilled sauce on a nearby car, but this time Guch rejects her invitation into more head games (eat your heart out, Foreigner) and just drops a big rock on her (presumed) head, then throttles her twitching, squealing body bag into oblivion. And so, having disposed of the monster, exit our hero through the front door, stage right, none the worse for wear from his harrowing experience.

Until he finds himself returning home later that night following an after-murder run for the border, and finds none other that his War of the (Bags of) Roses antagonist stumbling in the street! Seemingly out of pity for the abomination, Guch does the good guy thing and helps her up, only to push her through a gap in the guardrail at the side of the street, sending her over a cliff-side into a nebulous oblivion the likes of which even Boba Fett and Wile E. Coyote couldn’t possibly return from. So, having redisposed of the monster, exit our hero through the front door, stage right.

…And she immediately returns from the nothingness to chase him down like a runaway train of raging rabid ravenous revenge! Sakaguchi’s escape is neither great nor, uhm, grape as he dead ends himself and is left begging his disfigured pursuer for mercy. Rather than tear him asunder with whatever Lovecraftian nightmare hides under her bag, Hagane instead extends a perfectly normal (if a little dirty) hand and helps her runaway lover boy up. Guch embraces her and apologizes and everybody lives happily ever after!

Except they don’t, because Haga tears open her burlap finery, pulls Guch inside, and does him nasty, praying mantis style. Though we never get to see the monstrosity that is our titular estrogenical horror show, given the way she’s able to entirely consume her unwilling suitor (while uttering lusty grunts of presumed sexual satisfaction) within her unflattering unfashionable receptacle, my mind’s eye can only imagine her true form resembling one of those “Haunted Humans” characters from the Real Ghostbusters action figure line in the late-80s. Mail Fraud, Tombstone Tackle, Granny Gross, either one works.

Free advice: never search “Granny Gross” if your filter isn’t set to “grade school” first, unless you’ve ever wondered what your nana and her bridge club look like reverse gangbanging Ron Jeremy…

Taka finds his misshapen sibling, burns Guchi’s clothing that she regurgitates post-coitus while seemingly mourning her love, lost to her own hunger. The pair then head home and go on with their lives like nothing happened. The end. For real this time.

If you wanted to take the “movies are art” approach to this body horror rom-com, it can easily be broken down into a series of metaphors for human courtship, with a seemingly misogynistic bent about how women/relationships ultimately destroy men and blah blah blah. However, I’m not a fucking art critic, I’m just a guy pretending to be a Death God who likes riffing on horror flicks. In that regard, I really liked Hagane for the weird-ass half hour of off-kilter guano that it is. If you like your horror with some dark-yet-kinda-sweet humor, more than a few nausea-inducing moments, and some of that Evil Dead ambiguity of not seeing the monster, then Takuji Suzuki & Naoki Yamamoto have got your very specific niche covered!

The Inheritance – And from the dizzying highs of all-out insanity, we crash land into the tame and tepid waters of Can’t Muster Even A Single Fuck Lake. Fortunately, since the rest of this review has gone on longer than an anglerfish mating session, my recap of the last (and certainly least) part of this triple-feature will be much shorter. The less I need to type about it, the better.

Young mother Saeko (Maki Meguro) divorces her husbando for reasons we don’t need to be privy to, so long as we’re made aware that she’s now a freshly single momma with drama. Sae is fiscally forced to flee big city Tokyo for her mom’s place out in the boonies with young son Michio (Kenta Suga) in tow. Grandma (Tokie Hidari)’s none-too-pleased with the intrusion, insert joke here about how thousands of American parents whose kids racked up massive student loan debt earning useless pieces of parchment paper (with their names misspelled no less) can sympathize. She does seem genuinely happy to see her grandson, but even that modicum of merriment shits the bed when Mich asks granny if his mom will basically become an old haggard loony like she is. Kids say the darnedest things!

Until an adult teaches them the folly of disrespecting their elders by backhanding them hard enough to leave an approximation of the Australian continent throbbing on the side of their face.

The awkward air polluting the place only intensifies when we learn that Saeko’s brother Masahiko disappeared without a trace while the two were just kids, and the mysterious circumstances revolving around the incident has something to do with the weird stone shed in the side yard that granny keeps locked up. I don’t mean a simple deadbolt either, I mean she has that door chained and padlocked tighter than the chastity cage on a cuck’s cock!

No sooner do mother and son make themselves at home, Sae uncovers a mysterious body length scroll while poking around in the attic. We don’t get to see what’s on it (I’m presuming it’s not a door-size Jason Takes Manhattan video store promotional poster like Krix and I have on the ceiling above the bed in our guestroom), but it clearly upsets her enough that momma-san needs to go out on the town and get soundly soused with her childhood friend Kaji (Shunsuke Matsuoka). Returning home that night (no walk of shame for this mateless matriarch), she heads back to the top-basement to engage in some weird drunken witchcraft nonsense, the type of which is usually reserved for red wine stay-at-home drunkards after their daily rerun of ‘Charmed’.

Her nosy offspring witnesses the hexing hokum (better than walking in on mom getting fingercuffed by dad and “Uncle Kyle”) and confronts her about her housewife sorcery at breakfast. This leads to some bad Mommy Dearest parenting, thankfully off-screen for those of us not keen on seeing parents take their hangover out on their kids. As it just so happens though, Kaji’s not only the social worker responsible for checking in on Grandma, but also now has our little boy hero’s well-being on his docket. Unfortunately, when he discovers Sae’s hand marks on Mich’s throat, he refuses to believe that his childhood pal turned would-be booty call could ever do such a thing! Great fucking job, mister social worker! I’d say CPS should send his sorry ass to the unemployment line, but Kaj is probably the only counselor they have willing to trek out to the middle of fucking nowhere to look after these hicks.

Gram calls Michio’s dad in the hope that he’ll come reclaim his boy before mom’s new found darkness eclipses her entirely. Sae interrupts and ominously warns the old lady that no one will be taking Mich away. When Kaji confronts her about the alleged abuse, she uses her abuser powers to coax the lad into saying that he made the marks himself, leaving Kaj unable to investigate further. Damn, the longer this story goes on the more it qualifies for a retroactive trigger warning. Serious apologies to anyone with “overly physically disciplinary” parents I may have driven to weeping into a pillow right now as a result of that.

(If you or someone you know is suffering mental, physical, emotional or sexual abuse at the hands of a parent or guardian, please report to the local authorities IMMEDIATELY. You could be saving a life by doing so.)

That night, Sae punishes Mich further, ignoring his desperate screams of apology and locking him in granny’s ominous stone barn/crypt/garage thing. Once he stops banging on the door and his pleas for mercy die down (pun intended), he explores the likely edifice of his eradication, discovering a steamer trunk upstairs. Among other things, its contents includes a newspaper clipping of his junior uncle’s disappearance. The chest then goes all Poltergeist on him, inhaling the boy inside itself like Steve Bannon at a KKK hot dog sucking/eating contest! As for those “other things”? Mich reappears from the abyss-in-a-box gripping… his dead uncle’s mummified head! Lucky kid. I have an uncle whose decaying cabeza I wouldn’t mind finding in a trunk…

Note: that last line is not, I repeat NOT a confession by myself implicating me in the extermination of anyone’s uncle, mine or otherwise, and is NOT evidence of any wrong-doing. I know my rights, Callahan!

Mich is overcome by the disembodied head’s apparent Scanner powers as it mentally beams psychic imagery of uncle boy’s final moments, dying in Mich’s grandma’s arms. As all of this blatant foreshadowing plays out, back in the house mom torches the mysterious scroll (which we still have yet to be privy to), but doing so seems to induce major physical pain in her. Gram frees Mich from the tool shed/above ground bomb shelter and warns him that he must escape before his mom kills him, but he just barrels over the old lady (in a moment of hilarity, intentional or not) and rushes to the house to be by his mother’s side.

Didn’t I say something about shortening my play-by-play for this one? Fuck buckets. Oh well, we’re almost over to the other side, Carol Anne. Just keep walking toward the light.

What our minor minor hero finds in the house is the weird scroll, hanging on a wall and not even slightly singed by its immolation. What do we finally see upon its asbestos-like visage? An illustration of grandma killing Masahiko. A reveal that carries with it the impact of a wool sock being dropped onto shag carpeting. Not a pair of wool socks, mind you, but a solitary sock. Blart.

Mom pops up behind her boy, telling him that she now understands that her mom did what she did because she wanted to be with ‘Hiko forever. You’d imagine that would hurt Sae’s feelings, but with a child of her own to murder now, she’s got no time for jealousy. Rather than explain to Mich why this family’s maternal figures think that killing their sons is a good way to keep them forever “young” (don’t start with me, Rod Stewart!), mom instead chases the terrified boy around the house, stumbling around and beckoning for him like that time Isis got day wasted on boxed wine and did the same with me, slurring about how she was sorry for being a bad mother.

Sae finally corners her panicked spawn and…. apologizes to him before they share a loving embrace?! The fade to black that follows doesn’t fool us though, instead solidifying that Sae is going to fulfill her titular “Inheritance”. With the predictability of a Bruce Campbell cameo in whatever Sam Raimi’s doing right now (“I’m sleeping! How the hell did you get this number?!” – Sam Raimi), Kej comes by the next morning to take Mich to school, only to find gram chilling on her stoop while we in the audience are taken to the mausoleum garage building to discover mom casually rocking Michio’s corpse in her arms and singing to him… fuck you, movie. Your mother sews socks that smell!

So, was the “Inheritance” the scroll? This cursed object passed down through the family that can’t be destroyed by conventional means without it causing severe suffering for its assailant? If that’s the case, then a simple flashback explaining so at the finish would’ve been appreciated. Or, is the “Inheritance” a weird late-term postpartum depression sewn into the family’s genetics? Whatever the cause of this lethal act of motherly love, it’s clear that the local constabulary were seven deadly sins levels of lazy when it came to their search for the missing Masahiko! The dead kid was just packed away in a child corpse-sized trunk in a building on the property the whole time, for fuck sake! On top of that, what was with the psychic skull memory transference shit that happened to Mich? Now that he’s dead, will he too be able to project a recreation of his final moments into someone’s brain once his own remains have been discovered, or can it only be a member of the same bloodline? And speaking of bloodlines, does the fact that Sae just murdered her solitary spawn mean that the titular passable is over, having no one to pass it to now?!

If you’re wondering why I’m making such a stink tornado over this story’s “looser than a $2 prostitute” approach to its own gimmick without making such bitter demands over the previous tales, it’s because Toyoshima & Shimizu aren’t giving us a bizarre backhand in the bubble blower like “Rattle Rattle” and “Hagane” did. Their short instead comes off like a fully-scripted thriller-diller spook-a-roo (generic it may be) that was dismembered by editors under orders by bloodthirsty producers who wanted to fit it into a metaphorical suitcase. Those “leftovers” in this scenario end up being of importance and left me feeling as if my sandwich artist had left the meatballs off of my five dollar footlong.

Somewhere around the time he was singing about getting laid in his car and how his soul is blessed by “hot patootie”, rotund American rock and roll performer Meatloaf inspired a nation by telling us that “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”. Granted, he was actually singing this to a woman with which he shared a sexual, co-dependent relationship with and was explaining to her why he’ll never give her a Valentine’s Day card (he wants her, he needs her, but he’ll never love her), but the phrase fits Unholy Women better than any leather gimp suit would fit Meatsweatsloaf.

Anyway, this is already about 2000 more words than I was hoping to spend on this review. If I were that guy in that movie who only had a finite amount of words he could use in his lifetime, I’d be very pissed at myself right now. Speaking of, if you’re the type of person obsessed with their own mortality and thus make the most of every minute of life you have left and find that you REALLY want to watch Unholy Women, just sit through the first two stories and use the time you would’ve spent watching the third to, I don’t know, set a new personal record for the number of Hungry Man dinners you can eat in half-an-hour.

Now that I’ve abused my editor/wife’s generosity with needless pages of nonsense, let’s get to our new Joe Bob Briggs-inspired segment:

The Wrap-Up Totals_____
4 dead bodies
8 evaporated ghosts
0 boobs
1 Ghost child
1 Mummified head
Unsexy oral sex
Gratuitous brother-sister bathing sequence
Crotch cricket
Nose blood graffiti
Aggressive foot groping (with not of)
Neck elongation
Bodily diffusion surgery
Ghostly ceiling crawling
Haunted flip phone
Haunted home décor
Window jumping
Random void of nothingness
Fatal makeup sex
Full body human osmosis
Gratuitous sewing
Gratuitous ghost chase sequence
Unexplained psychic ghost flashback
Vase-Fu
Heavy rock-fu
Bath brush-fu
Blow dart-fu
Lead pipe-fu
Human porcupine-fu
Domestic abuse-fu
Time-Space altering headbutt-Fu

Morals of the Stories: (1) Sometimes the best motivation is no motivation. (2) Never date one of your boss’s relatives. (3) Some child abuse cases can be attributed to a literal family curse.

Screenshots_____

I hate it when people insist on showing me the footage from their colonoscopy. Thanks a ton, Katie Couric.


“Ewwww! Is that your childhood retainer?! Why are you giving it to me?!”


Hey! It’s former indy rock drumming sensation, Meg White!


It says “Not to be taken internally”.


The owners of that place hire her once-a-month to come in and clean the hard-to-reach spots.


“Prepare for newest superhero sensation, debuting a completely original character for the MCU! Phase 43 begins with Crimson Giraffe! Stick your neck out May 15th, 2099!”


I’d ask if she needs a hand, but clearly she’s got more than enough.


I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I like the Japanese knock-off version of The Dark Knight more than the original. The practical effects on Two-Face just look cooler!


“Don’t worry, I didn’t ‘pee pee’ in your Coke. That’s a strictly Chinese joke.”


The family that, uhm, pumps indeterminate sludge into each other together, uhhhhh, stays together?


She and the John Merrick both swiped right and tonight’s their big date. Don’t forget to use protection, you two!


Anytime there's an uptick in Yakuza activity, it's a boon season to be a black market organ dealer in Osaka!


“Do you know how hard it is to give yourself a pedicure when you’re a shapeless mass in a rice sack?! I almost broke my neck just so I could paint my nails up all cute for you, you bastard!”


“My big brothers had always told me a woman’s private parts smelled like fish, but I never expected them to taste like a California Roll! Do you douche with soy sauce?! This is delicious!”


The highway department really needs to stay on top of these endless black voids. Damn things keep popping up all over the place and not a single traffic cone or warning sign in sight!


Would it be inappropriate to make a “boy in the striped pajamas” joke here? Yeah. Never mind.


“So, kid, is your mom, like, fully divorced or are she and your dad on, like, one of those ‘trial separation’ things? I mean, I don’t wanna rub another man’s rhubarb, you know?”


I can relate, kid. I had to make a mummified head my first imaginary friend too. Growing up in the middle of the desert didn’t exactly leave a lot of options for neighborhood kids to pal around with.


He misunderstood when his boss declared Thursdays to be “wear your favorite X-Man shirt to work” day at the comic shop…

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Anubis will return next time in
“Be a Mexican, Not a Mexican’t”

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Feature 112 [Rerun] – Venom (2005)

or “Spider-Man’s Not In This One Either”

Featuring: Agnes “Anna Nicole” Bruckner ; Jonathan “‘Nashville’” Jackson ; Bijou “It’s Alive (2009)” Phillips

Director: John “I Know What You Did Last Summer” Gillespie

Writers: Flint “An American Tale: Fievel Goes West” Dille ; John “Fear Effect” Platten ; Brandon “Apt Pupil” Boyce

Origin: USA

Review_____

“Are people gonna come through here and ring my bell? You think they’re gonna ring my bell?!”

Intro: Since last week was spent by many celebrating a religious resurrection, what better time to revisit a movie about religion and resurrection? Only this time the religion is voodoo and the resurrection is that of a bumpkin mechanic into a ritualistic slasher movie killing machine archetype! Without further adieu, let’s get this rampage started!

Original Review:
Venom is no longer just a projectile poison ejaculated by pissed off reptiles, nor is it “simply” the sentient alien lifeform that once acted as Spider-Man’s black and white costume (only to bond with a guy with a vendetta against the wall crawler to create his brain-eating nemesis). It’s also a 2005 slasher flick that tries to be a little different from your everyday “hot teens die violent deaths” brand of ‘90s waste by-product. Sure, the kids are a cookie-cutter cast of small town southern high school seniors working at burger joints, engaging in not-so-legal activities, trying to keep up their car payments, dreaming of a successful stint at NYU in the fall, and “hooking up” with each other while stumbling through romance, but their lazy summer is about to be ruined thanks to a redneck tow truck driver whose act of good will comes back to bite him.

Trust me, that was a bad pun that will just seem worse when it’s explained. Speaking of, allow me now to explain!

Most slashers these days are basic, run-of-the-mill psychos with an axe (or machete/cleaver/hook) to grind or they just plain hate a specific group of people, more often than not the young MTV group… for which I don’t think any of us can really blame them, right? Whether they’re out for revenge or just projecting their personal issues, we as a viewership get shafted by these stab happy, uninspired doppelgangers 4 or 5 times a year if not more. Sure, there are the occasional exceptions that make these “it could happen (and sometimes does)” madmen work (Wolf Creek anyone?), but for the most part they’re disposable and/or interchangeable.

Well, what do you do when you want something a little more interesting than a guy in dirty overalls with a chainsaw for the umpteenth time? If you’re Flint Dille and John Platten, the first thing you do is…change your names. The second thing you do though is…stop writing movies and stick to writing video games…But, if you can’t do either of those right, the third thing you do is give your killer a mystical twist! Yes, give your murderer(s) a supernatural enema, whether it be based on legends, mythology, theology, voodoo or just something taken straight out of the public domain of doom that are the collected works of HP Lovecraft. Dille and Platten opted for the fourth, and wound up with Venom.

Ray is the aforementioned small southern town’s local mechanic, gas station attendant/owner and tow truck driver. He’s got a bastard son who’s ashamed of him (and not just because he’s a deadbeat dad), the local teens mock him openly or piss themselves in terror when he’s around, and nobody treats him with the respect a gas-pumping redneck deserves. One night, while crossing one of the only two bridges in town, Ray accidentally wrecks an old voodoo lady and sends her car teetering precariously over the side. He pulls her to safety, but when she mumbles something about her trunk, Ray tries to retrieve it from the backseat of the auto before it goes crashing into the river. While wrestling with granny’s luggage, the box pops open and Ray is attacked repeatedly by a number of computer generated snakes none too happy to be so damn computer generated. The car goes over the side, and a couple of teens that had a small part in causing the accident call the authorities. Ray is found dead, half drowned and half embalmed in snake venom. His body is taken to the city morgue to be slabbed, along with the old voodoo lady whose heart gave out amid the commotion.

Naturally, this isn’t the end of our movie, as the coroner on duty and the two cops who originally pulled Ray’s deformed corpse out of the river (one of which is played by Method Man of the “under appreciated” television art project known as “Method & Red”) are all discovered dead and the hick’s body is no longer in the taxpayers’ meat locker. The rest of the movie is spent with Ray (being referred to by his new evil voodoo killer name of “Mr. Jangles”) killing off the pretty young things of this backwoods Louisiana town in ritual sacrifices. It seems the snakes that bit Ray were part of a voodoo ritual done by the old priestess lady that redeems the spirits of evil men after their deaths. When murderers, rapists and corporate executives are laid to rest, their souls cannot go on until the evil is leeched from their aura. This is the duty of the snakes, which are placed into the ne’er-do-well’s grave and retrieved from the ground following the extraction. The serpents of repent are then placed in a suitcase until they can be disposed of properly. As you can guess, these snakes didn’t get the proper disposal treatment and instead barfed all that evil juice into the otherwise mild-mannered and non-violent Ray, transforming him into an undead juggernaut whose very nature now consists of pissing on flowers, kicking puppies and sacrificing peoples’ souls to avenge all the mistreated evil now inside him. Got it? Good.

The kids’ only hope is Cece, the granddaughter of the voodoo priestess who herself happens to be fairly well practiced in the Creole ways of juju and hoodoo and may have an idea of how to stop this killer super zombie before he can kill off all of her friends. However, will her grandmother’s house (blessed with good magic, protected from evil, etc.), a necklace made of chicken bones and a bit of full-sized voodoo doll action be enough to stand up to Mr. J’s various implements of automotive repair, now perverted for the more evil purposes of evisceration and death dealing? I don’t know, if you put me in a fight and gave me the choice of a chicken bone necklace and some “magic” powder or a crowbar and a tow hook, I’d probably go with the pointy metal things…

There are two things that save this movie from dissipating into a cloud of generic vapor: violence and originality. I can’t say I’ve seen this “killer injected with the violent souls of criminals thanks to voodoo snakes” angle before, and that appeals to me over that basic “loser kills the girl who spurned him at the junior prom” bullshit any and every day of this or any other week. Yay for voodoo! It’s not used enough.

Venom is no Zombies of Sugar Hill, but what is, right? The gore is slippery and painful to watch, also good. Beyond that, everything else was, to use my favorite cliche, cookie-cutter. Stupid teenagers with the same law breaking, premarital sex, high school romance crap that’s been shoveled into our clamp-held maws for years. Barf. Watch it for the double ‘v’ (‘voodoo’ and ‘violence’) and give the rest away to charity, because there are starving kids in Ethiopia who don’t have crappy movies to watch when they can’t get a date on a Saturday night.

Xtro: Well, that could’ve gone better… When I first reviewed Venom, I remember it being a very middling, fairly formulaic slasher flick. In the time since, my overall opinion hasn’t changed much, but my reasons for it have.

It’s unfortunate, given that I think Super Voodoo Zombie Demon Ray (Rick Cramer) is a decently crafted antagonist. Basically not a bad guy overall, the only actual exception is his being a deadbeat dad to Sean (D.J. Cotrona), but the kid was ashamed of sharing chromosomes with a grease monkey anyway, so who’s to say he wouldn’t have been a case for Dr. Phil had things gone differently. Add to that how little we know about why Ray left and it’s barely a character flaw. It could’ve been that Sean’s mom wanted nothing to do with him. Maybe she considered Ray a one-off and didn’t want to be stuck with a tinkerer for the rest of her life just because they made a baby together. My brother-in-lawish didn’t contribute to his son’s upbringing, but it was at the behest of the other half and they came to a legally binding agreement that he would have nothing to do with the child. I’d rather slit my throat than identify as an MRA, but you get where I’m going with this: it’s not always the father’s fault.

From everything else we’d seen of him, Ray was a hard worker and an honest gent whom the local high school shitheads mocked both secretly and openly just because he had a mysterious scar on his face and was a “low class” mechanic/tow trucker. Not the most glamorous of lives to some, for sure, but he’s a skilled tradesman responsible for helping otherwise stranded people and who owns his own fucking business! He’s his own boss! He’s not an ugly man, either. Look past his scar (which he could’ve gotten doing something incredibly noble like saving a puppy from a rabid wolf for all anyone knows), give him a shower, splash some Hai Karate on him and deck him out in date night attire and you may just have a rather handsome looking tough guy here begging to make that special someone happy! Shit, he never bothered anyone, he was looking out for protagonista Eden (Agnes Bruckner)’s safety during a heated exchange with ex-boyfriend Eric (Jonathan Jackson), and he wasted no time putting his life in danger to save the local mambo, whom I’m sure most people in town also shunned because of her family traditional role as a practitioner of purportedly peccable practices!

All that and how does karma favor Ray? With an agonizing death at the fangs of black magic snakes spewing sin venom into his face and veins, only to resurrect him as the vessel for a hate happy Houngan, engorged by evil and compelled to sacrifice his neighbors to the dark gods. A ritualistic Jason Voorhees with a penchant for crawdad gumbo and Friday night gator wrasslin’ shows at the ol’ Holland shack down on Wrightson Swamp. And you know what doesn’t help me empathize with (most of) his victims? They’re primarily barely-legal douche bags!

With the exception of Eden, who wants to move away so she can go to college for something other than alligator dentistry, and Cece (Meagan Good), who’s just trying to mend the mayhem her grandma’s irresponsible sorcery has caused, the rest of the cast’s swamp gas inflated subhumans SUCK! Sean’s a junior alcoholic crybaby (and probably would’ve been even if he’d had a father figure in his life) who should be fronting a nu-metal group and drowning his sorrows in whiskey and starfuckers. Tammy (Bijou Phillips) and Patty (Davetta Sherwood) are a pair of sticky finger mallrats who proudly brag about their five-finger discount-ing and purge the barely-cold corpse’s cash register while, and I can’t believe this never came up in my original review, Tammy’s voice alone is enough for me to Way of the Gun my anti-violence protocol. She’s got one of those “adult woman talks like a squealing little girl during age-play” porn voices that manage to both nauseate and infuriate me. UGGH!

On the plus side, Pat ends up eviscerated and strung up on chains Pinhead style right before Tam gets pinned under a car before having her face sandblasted off! Satisfying, yes, but no amount of mutilation can make up for having to hear that gods damned nails-on-chalkboard tone for HALF OF THE FUCKING RUNTIME. And even when our ears aren’t being tortured by Tammy’s tonsils, we’re stuck listening to the almost-as-awful vocal whines of Eric. I fucking hate having my murder boner blistered by the sandpaper handjob of wretched voice acting!

There is another “depends how you read into it” problem with Ray’s victims list though. His first two targets are police officers… black police officers… When you’re a white Southern serial killer starting your spree with a couple of black dudes, the “RACIST” word is gonna come up quicker than a horror movie shark on skinny dipping teens. Ray didn’t show any signs of racial bias, and he ends up killing a fairly equal number of white people as he does black people, but if you wanted to make a legitimate argument for Ray being a genuine piece of shit villain, that could be your jumping off point.

Speaking of the fodder, as much as their eventual offings are all therapeutic, it’s the violence involved that makes the movie worthwhile. Whether it be via crowbar or hook or truck, the Satanic Mechanic utilizes the tools of his trade to great effect. Disappointingly, some of the slaughter goes unseen, wasting the movie’s ‘R’ rating in a flick where not a single bared breast or peek-a-boo pelvic area is to be seen. I’m not calling for “Eli Roth froth” torture porn stuff, but at least gives us a short salacious shot of Tammy’s face being sandblasted into fine particulates!

The other thing Venom has going for it is the voodoo theme. Between Ray’s sacrificial kills and Cece’s enchanted efforts to keep him at bay, once again, I have to hail its attempts at standing out from the typical “large man with a larger knife” basic bitch butchers out there in stabby movie land. The 14 year old computer generated effects have aged about as bad as any would, but it’s overall a valiant effort, thus making it even sadder to say it pretty much halted director Jim Gillespie and writer Brandon Boyce’s careers, and sent Boyce’s co-writers John Platten and Flint Dille back to penning video games, never to mess with the movie business again… as of this writing, at least. It’s not on my short list of “3 wishes” contenders, but I’d like to see what the trio could summon up given another attempt. It wouldn’t be hard to excuse either, given the movie’s Night of the Creeps type finale. But, until then, Venom is good enough not to hate!

Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered what Rob Zombie would sound like singing on a hit of helium, check out his contribution to the movie’s soundtrack, “Two Lane Blacktop”!


(and yes, like 98% of his songs, this one too takes its name from an obscure movie)

For years I’ve worn the obvious influence of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” proudly in The Tomb via the screenshots for my reviews. In honor of the first (and hopefully not last) season of “The Last Drive-In”, I’ve decided to add an homage to Joe Bob Briggs to my reviews too, in the form of my own version of his classic “Drive-In Totals” gimmick, called “The Wrap-Up Totals”, and will feature at the finish of all feature reviews going forward. As such, star/heart ratings will now be listed at the finish of the reviews, not unlike they are in the Quickies. Enjoy, girls and boys!

The Wrap-Up Totals_____
11 Dead bodies
1 Undead body
0 Boobs
1 Car chase (complete with chain lynching and tree branch impalement)
Computer generated snake attack
Ominous Wall Art
Gratuitous use of the term “milking”
Vomiting
Blood graffiti
Blood wallowing
Drive-thru Teen Melodrama
Gratuitous Gas Station Bell Ringing
Grave digging
Cemetery lurking
Bone wind chimes
Bayou Hide ‘n Seek
Extreme home remodeling
Leg piercing
Chest impaling
Head stabbing
Face slashing
Throat Slashing
Arm Ripping
Human Torch-ing
Shotgun-fu
Crowbar-Fu
Screwdriver-Fu
Tow hook-Fu
Sandblaster-Fu
Carlift-Fu
Voodoo-Fu
Tow Truck-Fu (with full body lateral bi-section)

Moral(s) of the Story: (1) Never touch a mambo’s luggage, because you never know whose snake they’ve been milking. (2) The bottom of a car? Not funny. (3) Whatever voodoo can do, big-ass Mad Max style tow trucks can undo.

Screenshots_____

Awwww, how cute. Reminds me of something Lil’ Leatherface would’ve made in arts & crafts at summer camp!


Showing everybody where you’re gonna get your “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” tattoo? Or maybe one that says, “If you can see this, I haven’t crowdfunded my falsies yet”?


Jake’s PTSD all ties back to that time he went to the Drive-In with his parents, only to come back from the concession stand too soon because he forgot the money and catch them “making the sign of the two backed beast”. The rest is mentally traumatizing history.


“First it was ‘scarfing’, followed by ‘butt chugging’, then the whole Tide Pods thing, now this ‘jelly-fisting’ bullshit! When does the ‘try NOT to maim or kill yourselves’ viral craze start?!”


Geez! They’ve already moved on to the “Whitewalker-ing” fad, where they drink and bathe in industrial strength bleach! Damn you, “Game of Thrones” !


“Huh. He’s got a perfect set of teeth. Must be from India.”


And that’s why you always let the laundromat dryers come to a complete stop before opening the door. Shame.


Agent, as much as I appreciate the compliment, you don’t need to come in here every day and tell me how ‘damn fine’ the coffee and pie are!”


Punch bug! *WHACK* Owww! Damn it, this is one time where playing with myself is a bad idea, but in a different way than that time in the Epcot Center bathroom…


Oh man, I really hope that’s not a realistic interpretation of his penis, otherwise this dude’s got a SERIOUS case of Peyronie’s that he really needs to see a doctor about.


Uh-oh. Looks like someone stumbled upon one of Swamp Thing and Man-Thing’s secret “date nights”. Back to therapy for them!


Yeah, I did the same to myself after seeing the trailer for the Child’s Play reboot too. The thing should be classified as a hate crime toward horror movie fans.

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Anubis will return next time in
“Crazy Eldritch Asians”

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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.

New review feature?

The two biggest influences in my love of bad movies are “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and “MonsterVision with Joe Bob Briggs”. My tribute to MST3K has always been obvious through the silhouetted figure that I’ve been using since I started using screen shots, but I’ve never had a blunt homage to Joe Bob Briggs’ on the site. As such, I’ve adopted and adapted one of the world’s greatest redneck’s gimmicks in honor of his currently running revival series, “The Last Drive-In”. It’s initialization will start with my next review (going up before the weekend) and might wind up being retroactively included into my former articles for added amusement. Excited? Me too!