100 Days Till Halloween – Day 5

Celebrating probably the deceased Mr. Cohen’s most successful creation. On Day 5, It’s Alive!

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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.

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.