Feature 110 – End of Days (1999)

or “Last Vatican Hero”

Featuring: Arnold “Last Action Hero” Schwarzenegger ; Gabriel “Stigmata” Byrne ; Robin “The Craft” Tunney

Director: Peter “Timecop” Hyams

Writer: Andrew “Hollow Man” Marlowe

Origin: USA

Review_____

“Between your faith and my Glock 9mm, I take my Glock.”

Cast your brains back to 1999. In the aural realm, Ricky Martin was “Livin’ la Vida Loca”, Britney Spears was asking her “baby” to hit her repeatedly, TLC were declaring that they wanted “No Scrubs” and a malfunctioning robot simulacrum of Cher was warbling something about a post-love existence. Elsewhere, Matthew Broderick was having his demented, vulgar way with childhoods and the memory of Don Adams (who wouldn’t even die until 2005, possibly out of spite) in Inspector Gadget, while “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” was the top rated show on television THREE NIGHTS A WEEK. Your humble narrator graduated from high school, was making good money working for IBM, shed his virginity, and fell in love with the brilliant degenerate Evil Dead Bride by whose side he resides to this day. Oh, and from the disease-riddled crypt of ravenous mind maggots known as my brain sprung forth the very first iteration of The Tomb of Anubis! ❤

Now, 20 years later, long after I honestly thought I would’ve died in some manner of fatal, embarrassing, public display of disdain for humanity, I sit here on my hairy ebon ass in front of a computer screen STILL complaining about movies for free to an audience of probably just as few people. In celebration of The Tomb’s big milestone birthday, for the entire year of 2019 I’ll be bending my mandate of “no reviews for twentieth century media”! Yep, from now until the final seconds of 11:59PM (Eastern) on December 31st, I will be peppering in Feature and Quickie reviews for flicks (and possibly shows?) from the days of Y2K bearing that lazy-ass, decade appropriate banner seen above.

Since every beginning is born from an ending, what better way for us to start off “The Partay” than with End of Days!

Having drained himself of every ounce of pun juice in his marrow (and contributed to the ruination of Batman movies until nearly a decade later) with Batman & Robin, Conald the Schwarzinator seemingly wanted to stretch his “acting” chops with a much darker, more dramatic role. Said role put him in the shoes of Jericho Cane (yes, really) – the “darker” side of whom involves being a suicidal ex-cop who forgot how razors work, while a dead wife and daughter check the “more dramatic” box of the actor’s resume expansion. Spoiler: Arnie’s not good at either.

With Y2K just around the corner, we’re all assured Armageddon once the Ball drops in Time Square… or the fireworks go off on Christmas Island? I don’t know. Americans tend to think we’re the center of the fucking Milky Way and don’t know how time zones work. Coordinated Universal Time not withstanding, our tale takes place in the Big Apple in the days leading up to the end of the world. The year 2000 end, not the 2012 end… or the dozen or so ends foretold by David Meade and/or Ronald Weinland. In the catacombs ‘neath the streets of Manhattan (i.e. the sewers), albino alligators, martial artist mutants, cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers and people baring the branding of “TRUMP” aren’t the only creatures lurking. It turns out none other than Lucifer D. Beelzebubba uses it as his concourse into the mortal world (explains Wall Street) and kicks open our front door via evil-quake. I’m sure there’s a scene somewhere on a cutting room floor back in ’99 wherein we see a news report touting the tremor as a 6.66 on the Richter scale…

After flying around the streets in Predator cloaking mode, the translucent terror from the lake of fire possesses a seemingly random affluent guy in a restaurant mensroom (Gabriel Byrne) then uses the guy’s tongue to mouth rape the wife of who I’m guessing to be one of his business associates before practicing his “cool guy” walk right out of the place, not looking back at the massive explosion he somehow sets off. My guess? The Morningstar’s a big fan of Taco Tuesdays down in the land of eternal suffering and carpet-bombed the entire eatery on his way to the exit, before he flicked his Bic. I call this move “The Lucifarts”.

While Stan gets acquainted with his current crop of zany zealots (like having weird metamorphosis sex with Udo Kier’s wife and daughter, serenaded by a severely out-of-place Limp Bizkit track… seriously, what the fuck was that?!), we get to spend time with our protagonist, Big Daddy Cane. As mentioned, he’s a dark and brooding caricature whose first scene features him verging on a self-inflicted cranial ventilation, interrupted by the appearance of his co-worker/friend/comedy foil Bobby Chicago (Kevin Pollak) who… no… I can’t just ignore it. “Bobby Chicago”?! Go fuck a light socket, Andrew Marlowe!

No longer a cop, Jericho now leads an elite team of gun-for-hire bodyguards who lay their lives on the line for whomever’s signature ends up on their checks. Their latest job is protecting, you guessed it, the nameless banker guy whose body is now Admiral Abaddon’s private flesh yacht. An assassin makes his move on the devil man, trying to pop his head JFK style from the roof of a nearby building, but fails when Jer and the security company’s CORPORATE HELICOPTER chuck the proverbial monkey wrench into works of the disheveled hobo’s murder machine. Before he’s taken down though, the vagrant shouts vague warnings of Lucifer’s intentions to Jer, which is quite a feat when you consider the later revelation that the transient’s tongue ain’t attached!

Despite the hindrances of Detective Marge (CCH Pounder), their proto-Amanda Waller looking friend-on-the-force, our Don Coyote and Sancho Panda pairing investigate the now hospitalized mystery man’s origins further, discovering that he was a priest at a nearby church until he disappeared six months earlier. Seems he’s also a bit of a clairvoyant and left the clergy so he could bring Stan’s vessel to a violent ending all by his lonesome. Now that Jer’s fucked that up, naturally he’s going to have to be the one to kick Judgment Day in the dick and send it packing until the turn of the next millennium.

Also entrenched in this theological drama is Christine York (Robin Tunney), who was marked with snake venom upon her birth (because… cults?) and secretly raised to maturity by Old Scratchy’s clan to serve her part in all of this world destroying hullabaloo – as Stan’s personal meat sheath. And I don’t mean the lunch meat drawer in His refrigerator, I mean Chris’s hot pocket (her vagina) is destined to receive Lucy’s Jimmy Dean Breakfast Link (His penis), thus making her genitalia the meat-based sheath for His meat-based sword. Or you can call her His “bride” if you want to be less icky about it.

Chris has been beset her entire life by vivid visions and horrible hallucinations that her therapist (Udo Kier again) has been telling her since childhood are just symptoms of the PTSD caused by her birth parents’ deaths. Said tormenting sights include an apple covered with humanoid maggots and a freaky albino person (reminds me of the female half of Die Antwoord) that harasses her on the subway before breaking into pieces like the ever-present priceless vase in Three Stooges shorts. She’s also prone to wet dreams involving her being plowed by the nameless banker (who Lucy just recently possessed, so… huh?), and rather than be revolted by her seduction at the hands of this Robert De Niro – Willem Dafoe amalgamation, ‘Tine just knows in her heart that she won’t be able to resist this smoother-than-a-buttermilk shake mofo once he sprays his musk in her genital vicinity.

Whatever your preferable verbiage, it turns out that the planetary alignment for Stan to destroy the world perfectly convenes with being on the East coast of the US between the hours of 11pm and 12am on December 31st, 1999 of the Gregorian calendar, which was supposedly established around this celestial alignment. Now, according to the head priest that relays this horseshit to Jericho during his investigation into the speechless gunman’s origin, El Diablo attempts this same “open the gates of hell with his dick key” stunt every thousand years at the turn of each millennium, meaning that not only has the so-called Master of Sin failed to get laid for (what Christians assume to be) anywhere from six-thousand to fifteen-thousand years, but in each instance he was cock blocked by someone(s) who didn’t even belong to the faith from which He originates! Think about it, every 1000 years these “End of Days” events convened on the same date in the same approximate location, per Father Dowling’s own words, while Christians didn’t set foot on the North American continent until the first Roman Catholic Spaniards in the mid-1500s!

I'm curious if the producers of the movie had any intentions for other End of Days installments, if not a sequel taking place in 2999, than a prequel playing out Lucy’s prior defeat in 999. I picture Him being foiled by a Seneca tribe (remember, no Europeans for at least 600 years!) that become the first tribe of Native American Christians. The title could have, nay should have been, Beginning of the End of Days of Thunder In Paradise. Alternate reality Me where that became a thing? Send me a link to your review.

While delving deeper into The Mystery of the Tongueless Priest (my favorite Hardy Boys book!), Jericho (and BOBBY CHICAGO) and Christine cross paths finally as her life is turned upside down by a sect of rogue religious rabble (led by a Cardinal who simultaneously resembles George Carlin and a young(er) Donald Pleasanace) out to send her to her maker… who is also their maker… Working against Pope-on-a-Rope’s orders to protect Beelzebubba’s bang-buddy-to-be from the Wang of Destiny, this Catholic cadre would rather put their faith in the good old fashioned “Cain and Abel” school of problem solving, intending instead to murder the fair maiden! What better way to protect a woman’s purity than some last rites and a slashed throat, right? I mean, they could’ve just slapped a consecrated chastity belt on her and hidden the key in her hoo-hah, but I operate on logic and that stuff’s like garlic to a vampire when it comes to these Vatican’t types.

Being the big slab of aged beef that he is, the Muscles from Brussels the Atlas from Austria defeats the would-be Hit Clergy, sending them packing back to their deity with their figurative tails tucked under their taints. While this goes a long way in Jericho earning Christine’s trust, it costs Robert Windy City his life when he’s targeted by Stan’s incendiary bladder squeezin’s (yes, you read that correctly) and given an old fashioned “mob informant arrivederci” car-splosion with a pee pee twist. Our hero gets into a throw down with the Italian grandma that’s been watching after and caring for the Lord of Flies’ concubine, actually getting his ass handed to him (never fuck with Italian grandmas!) before he finally puts her head through a glass table. Mama Mia! That’s a SPICY meat-a-ball!

Side note: given that the glass coffee table was owned by sin happy devil worshippers, I don’t even want to imagine the number of Cleveland Steamers that thing has seen over the years. Blaaaart.

Stan casually strolls into the chaos, while ‘Cho and ‘Tine flee the scene, barely evading their flame retardant pursuer who walks through a wall of fire and… stares menacingly at them… Remember, this is a guy with the powers of Hell behind himself that pisses gasoline and explodes entire businesses with (presumably) his farts, but he can’t stop a pair of mortals escaping not 15 feet away from him? Christ on a fucking NordicTrack and eating raw hot dogs out of the package! My eye is starting to twitch! I can feel the capillaries swelling in preparation of their imminent bursting!

Coincidentally enough, the pair egress down an alley where they run into Marge and one of her goons in blue of all people. Un-coincidentally enough, it’s revealed that this duo are paying union dues to Lucy. They’re tasked with recovering their boss’s fiance, but have zero issue with opening fire on them without a lick of warning! Given how he’s treated all of the flunkies that have failed him to this point (murdering them outright in painful fashion), I don’t think Miss Margaret thought this one through too well. Jericho tosses away his gun and agrees to discuss matters with the bad guys, only to remind us why we saw him packing a pair of Travis Bickle Specials up his sleeves during a previous scene. Stan just brings Madge back to continue her employ anyway, but at least that’s one murder charge Rico can redact from his rap sheet!

The good guys seek sanctuary at the church he visited prior, and begins immediately accusing them of being with those stab happy Vatican Knights. If he thought that were the case, then WHY THE FUCK DID HE BRING HER TO THE CHURCH?! Father Kovak (Rod Steiger) assures them that they’re not members of the perishers parish and tells then the wacky fable about St. John’s dream of Revelation and explains that, because it was a dream, he misinterpreted 666 being the number of The Beast when it’s actually 999 (plus tax). What a silly Billy!

Father Grandfather offers the pair asylum from the eye of Saurtan, so since the bad guys can't find them as long as they're within the halls of their holier-than-thou hidey-hole, all they need to do is chill out for a day or two until the year changes over and the planetary alignment de-aligns? Great! Nothing but wine, wafers, and fairytales for 48 hours and the entire world is saved! Put on some Kool & the Gang, crank “Celebration” to 11 and we're all set. Take THAT, Lucifer!

… Wait. Despite this being the easy answer to keeping all creation from being erased, Jericho instead leaves the place, citing their faith talk as bullshit, and heads back to his apartment only to be IMMEDIATELY accosted by Big Sin?! I know Schwarzenegger’s roles aren’t exactly known for their sharp intellects, but this fuck wit is making the inbred bully from Friday the 13th Part V look like Dr. Ian gods damned Malcolm by comparison!

As I was saying, back as his place Co-Co is given an offer by the living sunburn: the return of his wife and daughter to life in exchange for the locale of Christine’s whereabouts. The prince of lies should’ve taken sales advice from Don Corleone, because Jericho refuses his offer with ease, especially after he’s forced to relive his family being murdered by the thugs sent to silence him in the first place. We’re supposed to feel sorry for him as he tries in vain to stop the killings (it’s just a mind fuck, after all), but watching Ahnold crying out while firing round after round into illusions that don’t even recognize his presence carries about as much drama as the amount of water you could carry in this hole-riddled plot. Even the remorse of seeing an innocent woman and child having their blood splattered all over their bedroom is utterly lost when just moments before we watch Jer as he Keifers his own Christmas tree!

Pissed at Jericho's refusal to embrace Him as his new daddy, Stan sends him out a window, leaving him hanging from the ledge to reconsider the offer. Jers fakes out the supposed master of fake-outs, grabbing His wrist and sending Scratchy jackknifing several stories down, face first into a parked car. Before he can follow up on whether he just saved the day or not, Jericho gets another surprise guest in the shape of Bobby Chicago! Claiming that he narrowly avoided his immolation by the Dark One’s black gold shower, we all know better, since WE JUST SAW MARGE BROUGHT BACK NOT 10 MINUTES EARLIER! Our hero missed out on that scene though, so he falls for the twist and agrees to meet the newly evilized Jimmy Miami at the church. Any guesses as to where this is heading? If not, re-read the last few paragraphs and try again.

Back at the House that Jesus Built (despite “The Kids In the Hall” teaching us he was a terrible carpenter), the Papal Hit Squad has found out about Chris’s sanctum so they, led by Cardinal Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television, raid the place with murderous intentions of preserving their god’s creation. Now, given that the thralls of the Baal are meant to be blind to said fortress of solitudity, why wouldn’t they just hang around and help protect Little Miss Chosen Womb until the play clock hits double zeroes? Because the characters in this movie couldn’t pronounce “sense” if they had a friggin’ Speak & Spell and their lives depended on it. Amid the clash of ideals, ‘Cho arrives in the nick of movie-time to shoot the killin’ knife right outta Cardinal Sin (**rimshot**)’s hands. Despite his vow to die in the name of carrying out god’s will, the crimson clad sky captain folds faster than Sadako’s spine once he’s got a 9mm carressing his cheek and orders his goons to let the gal go. Before things can go any further, Stan Himself strolls up right through the front door (apparently being in a church does little more than cause the cross burner indigestion) and brings the faithful fatally to their knees while Jericho and Christine escape him yet again. You know, Stan’s flair for the dramatic is severely stymying his casual walk to the finish line of this whole “consummate the marriage and spend the honeymoon rapturing” thing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, our heroes’ retreat leads them down the doom of any New York City movie bystander – a dark alley. A mob of extras/catering employees wielding bludgeons and flashlights encircle them and Jericho does his best to fend them off. This is the best the fucking DEVIL can afford for minions? A bunch of vagrants who just attended Free Flashlights and Blunt Objects Day at Shea Stadium!? At least if they were ladies from the Little Italy Retirement Home, Jericho would’ve been broken in a matter of moments! As it stands, he puts up an admirable fight against these shadowy figures (can’t get paid if your face isn’t visible!) considering he’s a middle-aged drunk and they’re going a bit liberal on the classic “gang of thugs can only attack the hero one-at-a-time” action movie mantra. But then Harry Detroit shows up in his luxury sedan to save the day! … and pull the obvious heel turn when he locks Chris in and Jericho out, leaving his former best buddy/boss to a figurative ass pounding.

The beat down ends with JC being crucified (like a certain other JC, in case you didn’t make the connection before), because again, Not Loki can’t ignore his itch to be a fucking Bond villain and give His enemy every possible chance to piss all over His plans! Before anyone claps back about how He’s doing so because He’s trying to corrupt Jericho into breaking before the temptations of sin, SAVE IT! The personal amusement of pushing a mortal nobody to moral corruption when he’s the only one standing between you and your thousand year-old journey to destroy humanity is NOT worth the risk of failing your ultimate goal! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE ARBITER OF FREE THOUGHT AND LOGIC-OVER-FAITH, YET HERE YOU STAND, GRINNING LIKE A MORON WHILE PUTTING THE PLOT YOU’VE WAITED CENTURIES TO NOT SCREW UP AGAIN IN JEOPARDY!

Shit, there’s goes the first embolism … and the second. Ugggh.

The following morning, New Year’s Eve Day, Father Kovak clearly chose not to spend the final hours of existence explaining to the NYPD why his house of worship is full of dead guys, he instead takes his morning constitutional and finds the strung up Jericho. With zilch explanation of how, Jer scene transitions inside the church where he’s attended by Special K and his siblings-of-the-cloth, awakening mid-stitching. With no time to lose (-Lautrec?), ‘Icho Pro ignores his numerous physical injuries and stumbles back to his security firm with purpose. He arms himself to the teeth and hunts down Tommy Bahama’s wheels via tracking beacon, leading him to Stan’s abandoned off-Broadway theater base of operations. A tracking beacon? I guess the Originator or Evil’s been out of the game too long to know what that is. Or maybe He’s Amish and doesn’t acknowledge technology? Wouldn’t that be ironic? Dontcha think?

Also, it figures that the demon who’s too focused on being theatrical rather than efficient would hold up in an actual theater. In fact, it’s such an “on the nose” concept that it has broken my nose! … or at least made it bleed … no, that might be an aneurysm … I sure as shit hope that “extensive brain surgery” is covered under my insurance after this.

Descending to the oddly labyrinthine and industrialized bowels of the playhouse, our hero enters stage right as Beelze’s buds are awkwardly playing audience as He works the smooth talk into Christine’s Underoos with that serpentine tongue of His. You know the drill, ladies – “I love you”, “You know you want this”, “Your hair looks great”, blah blah blah. Preventing her from becoming Satan’s sperm receptacle, Jer guns Him down with a machine gun, rescuing Chris just so he can put a gun to her skull and threaten to kill her if they’re not allowed to leave. Lenny Baltimore then emerges, threatening to shoot Jer himself if he doesn’t give the Deceiver back his betrothed. The power of manly hetero love triumphs, however, and the beefy lead’s wisecracking sidekick lowers his piece and defies devil man’s wishes, facing a flame bath for the second time in 24 hours. The protagonists depart, blowing up the place on their way out. Note to cults planning any major ceremonial gatherings: DON’T assemble in any area SURROUNDED BY PIPES FULL OF FLAMMABLE MATERIAL! Even if it ignores the rules of science and said material ignites in sections rather that exploding through the pipes containing them all at once in an immediate chain reaction.

The duo make their way into the subway system, narrowly avoiding a close shave with a presumably not-in-service train, as there are no passengers that might serve as collateral damage (or more extras to pay). The flashlights & lead pipes crowd are back, running the rails as Jer just blows them away with his Holy M16 of Unlimited Ammunition. Stan appears out of nowhere (so, is teleportation on his list of powers or is he just making up new abilities as he needs?!) in the center of the tracks and gets a hilarious head-on **THUD** for doing so. It’s doesn’t do much more than slow him down, but between watching him take it for the team with no reaction then get blown to pieces by Jericho’s holy hand grenade launcher (“1… 2… 5!”) helps make this scene the decidedly best 6 minutes of the whole flick!

With his mortal coil seemingly too wrecked to pull himself back together again, Hell’s landlord abandons the body and shows us why Revelation calls him “The Dragon” – turns out his actual form is a big, rotting, winged shit monster (whose CGI is only mildly better than Malebolgia in Spawn)! With less than 10 minutes left (not enough time for foreplay!), the heroes are chased by the beast’s hoodie wearing mobites into yet another opportunely located church. Jericho prepares for his final face-off with the fallen angel by tossing away his grenade launcher (proven thus far to be incredibly effective) and embracing Jesus’s love amid the shiny gold finery of religious artistry before him. The Beast quakes the place (even when it comes down to the wire He wastes time showing off!), comes up through the floor, barfs His halitosis (Hellitosis?) on ‘Co-Co, then leaps into the mortal’s body, tosses him around the nave like a Sam Raimi leading man, and takes control of him. Once He’s taken his new vessel, he has just 3 minutes to nut, and that includes convincing Christine that He’s still Jericho and they’ve won. I know the running gag of male sexual performance is that most pop off in the time it takes to nuke a bag of Pop Secret Quadruple-Buttered, but I can’t even self-flog my dolphin in 3 minutes, let alone bone up and do a full pump ‘n dump!

Given what we know about Ahnold, seeing him rip the clothing off of a woman as he prepares to rape her is… likely one of the final deciding factors for him accepting the part. Just typing that smothers any embers of joy left in my soul. Uggh. Since he’s the hero, Jer fights Lucy’s influence long enough to wire-fu leap off of the alter and impale himself on a commodiously located sword amid the rubble of destroyed statues. He probably could’ve struggled for another 20 seconds and just thought about baseball stats or recited Pi to a few dozen places to divide Stan’s attention, but what kind of martyr would he be if he didn’t just kill himself instead? As the clock strikes midnight and the window of opportunity is slammed shut on the devil’s dick, a geyser of digital napalm EXPLODES out of his chest (clearly Stan had severe blue balls!), takes the shape of a big flaming phoenix, then gets sucked back into the underworld from whence it came. Jer’s phantom wife and child appear to guide him to Heaven, Chris mourns his passing as she holds her burly protector’s big dead hand in hers, tears are shed, Time Square is packed with tourists freezing their asses off over a pointless lighted sphere, and the world is saved for the church to cover up more and more child molestation cases every day. Fuck this planet.

Twenty years after the fact, how does End of Days hold up in the eyeballs of a first time viewer? It’s… a bit messy. Though the CGI effects (especially the green screen fire bullshit) have aged about as well as a cheese stick left behind a radiator for the same amount of time, that much is to be expected without some heavy duty remastering, and let’s be fair, who’s clamoring for a new coat of paint on a meh-at-best movie like this? Unless a digital effects person wants to fudge it in their free time and ship me a free sample, I’m certainly not one of them. So, out-of-date visuals off the plate, what else do we have to throw our Gordon Ramsey levels of derision at? Let’s start with the casting, you idiot sandwich!

Udo Kier. What the fuck. You get one of the most under utilized talents in the horror community on your roster and what do you do? You fucking under utilize him. Sure, you give him a hell of a send off by having the Devil treat his head like a Punch-A-Bunch panel, but Udo deserves so much more than to be used as an example of how short-fused Satan is, even with a minion who's dedicated the last 20+ years of his life to Him. Kill him off, sure, but at least let him toady around until somewhere into the 65 minute mark. Much worse offenses in the casting involve our two big daddies: Shwarzenegger and Byrne.

Hilarrible (hilariously terrible) moniker not withstanding, Jericho Cane is meant to be a tragic character. Rather than bad action hero one-liners and excuses to show off his oiled up physique, Cane uses the occasional piece of gallows humor to get through his crushing depression while also putting himself into the direct path of danger because his life is worthless and he’d rather sacrifice it to save someone else since he can’t take it himself. In the hands of a better actor, he’d make for a compelling protag, and you might even be able to overlook that edge lord Spawn villain name. Arnie, at least at this point of his career, was not equipped to portray a character of even minute nuance. The infamous scene where he shouts down The Dragon about how “YOU’RE A CHOIR BOY COMPARED TO ME!” turned whatever semblance of beef the big man could’ve had into pink slime contaminated hamberder “meat”. Even his big final martyrdom moment can’t summon a spark of sympathy because of his big goofy face and his Schwarzeneggering intensifying.

My big hopes for EoD hinged on what looked to be a smorgasbord of sin plated by Gabriel Byrne, but those hinges rusted from general disuse thanks to a halfhearted pseudo Al Pacino rendition of a demon whose flair for the dramatic ironically isn’t very. Did I say “ironically” just there? I meant “disappointingly”. Do your damn job, auto correct, or you’ll be spending your weekend emailing resumes for jizz mopper positions! As I was saying though, this feels like a paycheck role for GB, but come on sir, at least make an effort.

The ultimate unfortunate where this movie is involved can be blamed on whomever’s brain stain it was to make this a Christian Gothic action-horror movie in the first place. Even with a more suitable cast, the action movie tropes (wacky sidekick that ends up dead, needless Bay-splosions, hero on casual terms with the local law enforcement because he’s an ex-cop, frequent lapses in logic, etc) bug bomb any creeping terrors that might have been hiding under the surface. If this screenplay tried to take up tight rope walking, its so unbalanced it’d fall and break its neck even with a net. If you want a good better example of a capable road map for this type of flick, give Constantine a go. It’s an abomination as far as its source material goes, but it isn’t infested with nearly the nest of fleas that End of Days tracks in.

So that’s that. One more off of my “Get to ’em eventually” list. Now, I reward myself with a viewing of one of my favorite Larry Cohen movies paired up “Dark Side of the Rainbow” style with Creedence Clearwater Revival in a little something I like to call, “Suzie Q the Winged Serpent”. G’night, hogs!

Moral of the Story: If the Prince of Darkness compliments your clothes, don’t be a prick about it. Just say thank you and move along. Unless you’ve always wondered what it’s like to be hit by a bus, in which case prick away!

Bonus Moral: You’d be amazed what you’ll agree to when you’re on fire.

Screenshots_____

That’s the closest Arnie’s been to a book since… ever?


This October, it’s the latest sequel no one asked for: An American Werewolf in Vatican City !


Cardinal Carlin workshops the latest iteration of his “7 sins you can’t commit under Our Lord’s ever watchful gaze” routine ahead of the Pope’s birthday celebration.


Ewwww! Did they just pull that thing out of a vagina or a can of Vienna sausages?! They couldn’t at least wipe off some of the slime before ritually marking the future Bride of Satan?! I feel like I’m seeing the birth of the Greasy Strangler!


You know it’s been a wild night when you wake up to Udo Kier standing over you holding a rattlesnake. Thus the origin of the “NEVER DRINK ABSINTHE EVER AGAIN!” tattoo on my forearm.


When members at Mar-a-Lago complained about having to look at the bathroom attendants, President dumpster leaned on the Pentagon to whip up some Area 51 cloaking devices for the staff.


This is why you never take Gabriel Byrne’s complimentary mint after dinner. #MeToo


Arnold’s initial reaction to finding out he was contractually obligated to do a sequel to Twins. Can’t say I blame him.


Fear not Radiohead fans, that’s a different Thomas York.


Released at the height of The Da Vinci Code Da Mania, Columbia’s advertising department released a series of hollow white chocolate albino heads during the 2006 Easter season. They didn’t sell well.


Uhm, you live alone, Jericho. I don’t think you need to keep a hide box for your weed stash.


You’re telling me that the ambassador of evil is too modest not to cover up his backside while double dipping a mother and daughter at the same time!? No.


I always knew that Adam Duritz was a harbinger of suffering, but I didn’t realize he was a ’90s edge lord doofus about cucking for the Devil.


What the fuck is that supposed to be, “Baby’s First Sigil”? Bloody Hell.


When Maria found out about Arnold’s illegitimate housemaid son, he got what he deserved.


Hey! The Catholic assassins creed work under the guise of employees at The House of Blues!


You know, I thought for sure that Mel Gibson would’ve been the first ’80s action star to martyr himself in a movie well before Schwarzenegger. That’s twenty bucks I’ll never see again.


Kevin Pollak meets his end at the hands of a militant anti-Billy Crystal gang in a case of mistaken identity. My apologies to his family.


That’s weird. Usually Colonel Napalm’s “Scorched Earth Special” hot wings come out the other side. Arnie must suffer from ulcers.


Seriously?! The floor is littered with more presents than I can count, but nobody thought to get Satan’s fiance even one?! Fuck you guys. I’m spreading for Satan so fast when this Apocalypse shit gets started!”

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Anubis will return next time in
“Spider-Man’s Not In This One Either”

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Feature 109 – Shark Exorcist (2015)

or “Your Mother Sucks Fish Sticks In Hell!”

Featuring: A cast of people who each lost a day’s pay from their jobs at the local mall in order to shoot this.

Director & Writer: Donald “Vampire Cop” Farmer

Origin: USA

Review_____

“We’re gonna need a bigger cross!”

Hey kids and kooks, your favorite textual predator here, with a long overdue feature review. It’s a new year (I’m on to you, big calendar!) and that means making empty promises to ourselves to alter our lifestyles for the better! As stated in my Quickie for The Conjuring (check it out after reading this if you haven’t already!), one of the top declarations of short-lived resolve is to exorcise more. As such, here’s Shark Exorcist!

…and if you’re one of the folks unfortunate enough to have suffered that pun twice now, I make no apologies. Voice your disdain in the comments section provided below!

If you think a bad pun (it’s seriously not that bad, stop) counts as genuine suffering though, you’d turn off Shark Exorcist within the first five minutes. You’d be correct to do so, too. It would be a good sign that your inherent survival instincts are, in fact, functional and you may just survive the horrors the world holds for us all in the year ahead. Being a card carrying member of the Cinemasochism of the Month Club (yes it’s real and no you can’t join), the mental melting pot that is my gray matter will not allow me to follow through with such self-preservative maneuvers. Much to the lament of my few remaining sane brain cells, I did indeed sit through the entirety of (and I say this without a single shred of overreaction) THE worst movie I’ve ever seen. How seriously serious am I about such said seriousness? Prepare to wilt in terror at the digital purgatory I now recount!

The conceptual foundation upon which this castle of soiled cat litter is constructed is actually made of incredibly solid stones: a heretical nun sacrifices people to summon Satan, who takes a great white shark as His unholy vessel. The hell-beast torments the innocent citizens of a small fishing town until His ultimate showdown (of ultimate destiny) against a priest who will sacrifice everything to put Mefishstopheles back into the lake of fire, where He belongs!

YES! UNHOLY HELL! BY LORD ARIOCH’S BILE DUCTS, GIVE ME THIS IMMEDIATELY!

Though the needles of doubt perforating my medulla oblongata warned me that this was yet another installment of The Asylum’s collection of shark fetish movies they keep under their bed, I cared not. As it turns out, I would’ve been better off if it had been. Shit, I would’ve been better off with my eyeballs dunked in Clorox and my ears stuffed with those giant poisonous jungle centipedes, but that doesn’t help me now.

Anyway, beyond this incredible initial impression, the express bullet train to Existential Agony that’s been chartered for the audience leaves right on time. Within mere minutes of its inception, the piss poor production values cut down my eagerness considerably. We’re a long way from The Asylum and their mockbuster-of-the-week Syfy letdowns. Think handi-cams (possibly even 3rd generation iPhones) and an audio crew/person that doesn’t know what a windscreen is. If you love the sound of a strong breeze blasting through your auditory canal, then this is the movie for you! Come to think of it, if given the option, I may just opt to go deaf by wind tunnel (rather than by temptation) than listen to this cast reading their lines. I intentionally said “reading” rather than “acting”, because referring to any of these off-the-street amateurs as “actors” would be insulting actual actors. And yes, that includes such luminaries of the art as Eddie Deezen, Tommy Wisseau, the fat henchman from Miami Connection that says “Bye byyyye!”, and the “This can’t beeee! You’re deeeeaaaaaad!” guy from Riding with Death. If you know nothing of these things I speak, get thee to a nunnery… and ask if they’ll let you use their WiFi.

On first blush (or flush), I was almost positive that Shark Exorcist‘s casting consisted of an ad on a Tennessee Craigslist site. Something along the lines of “Wanted: body confident blonde women between the ages of 18 and 25 willing to appear in bathing suits and bikinis for a globally distributed horror film. NO ACTING EXPERIENCE NEEDED! NO PROFESSIONAL MODELS! Payment based on amount of skin you’re willing to show.” Probably with less grammar and more misspelling, but you get the gist. Now, if IMDB is to be believed, this movie had a budget somewhere in the realm of $300,000 and doesn’t credit a casting agency. As such, I’m sticking with my initial hypothesis that the women featured were employees of the local Sunglass Hut, and I presume that whatever criminal organization is secretly running Paris, Tennessee laundered about $290,000 through this digital Heretic Fork.

Technical, production and casting misery not withstanding, what about the story? Sorry children, but put your optimism for a fun movie back into your hope chest and lock it away in your closet for another day because the weather forecast calls for a 100% chance of disappointment. Hurricane Donald made landfall and left total destruction of even the most modest expectancy in its wake. ‘Tis a clusterfuck to be sure. Rather than give us a nice, traditional, Point A to Point B to Point C(redits) story, Farmer chose to mix his crops and hope for the best. The result is a quintet of unrelated stories that never intersect outside of their common location!

The ignoble penguin who invoked the bedeviled beast of the bay only appears in the opening and closing segments. In the first, she strolls barefoot through a cemetery (accompanied by the labored breathing of the person behind the camera) before declaring to no one “The world has betrayed me! So, the world will taste my vengeance!” in a vocal performance that sounds like she’s auditioning for a part in The Room 2: Don’t Worry About It. Sister Stabby’s then accosted by a random blonde who, rather than informing 9-1-1 to the whereabouts of a woman wanted for the suspected murders of 13 children, opts instead to harass the behabited bitch, telling her that she’s going to pay for the atrocities she’s committed. Blondie’s choice of words over actions is her downfall, ending up the final blood offering that jimmies the lock on the gates of Hell for Sister Slays-a-lot, who asks Lord Satan for an avenger. She doesn’t get Iron Man or Hulk or even Hawkeye though, as the Prince of Lies instead blesses her with a 15 second loop of a red tinted CGI shark with glowing yellow eyes, which WebMD tells me could be symptoms of Nuclear Jaundice or Atomic Cirrhosis. You’d imagine her 13th sacrifice would’ve been the one to do the trick, but that’s just a test to see if the freshmen devil worshipers will give up when their first project bares failure fruit. Regarding Nunny’s latter appearance, that brown jewel of a scene will be mined later.


($300,000…)

The bulk of this pain parade's runtime is dedicated to our main story, which picks up a year after the opening and follows a trio of friends whose road trip to lakeside sun and fun runs afoul of Satanic Jabberjaw. We have: Allie – the naive southern good girl blonde whose boyfriend Bobby's been cheating on her with Lauren; Lauren – the intolerable bleach blonde who spends all of her time bitching or not-acting her lines, and deserves to end the movie with the Sally Hardy treatment; and Emily – the leader of the trio, mostly because she's the only one not fucking the aforementioned douche nozzle boyfriend, she's the only one with her own car. Since her only blonde attribute is highlights, science tells us she's likely the smartest one among them.

Skull splintering anti-acting aside, when the three arrive at their final destination (if only) Emily declares that she’s going to lay out her towel and saturate herself with delicious cancer inducing solar radiation, to which deadpan Lauren instantly clings like a barnacle. The pair proceed to plant themselves IN A SHADED SPOT, facing AWAY from the scenic body of water that was the whole reason for them to drive TWO HOURS to get there, then faceplant straight into their phones. If the intention is to make these the most tooth-grindingly obnoxious protagonists a horror movie has ever presented, at least it’s a success!

Allie heads straight for the lake and barely gets her bikini wet before Tron Jaws… just kinda swims around in its little animation time loop… Al goes into spasms as if a jellyfish had just swam up her crack (because there’s sure as shit NO SHARK anywhere near her), but is pulled ashore by Em, telling her “you’re my best friend” and begging her to “stay with me” over and over again. With what looks to be watered down catsup on her mouth, throat, and thigh (she even got some of that nasty congealed crapsup that dries on the rim of the bottle. ewwwww), Al spasms for all she’s worth. Or, at least as much as a $20 payday will cover.


(At least it didn’t end up on her cheeseburger. **barf**)

Al's rushed to the local hospital (well, there's GoPro footage of the inside of a hospital) so medical professionals can rinse off that catsup and she’s required to stay and recover from her “shark attack wounds”. Within mere days she’s released, magically healed and hankering to go swimming. Em is concerned and confused by such recuperative wizardry while La is off somewhere not giving a shit and doubtlessly thespianizing about as well as she can. The rest of their portion of this anthology-put-through-a-wood-chipper mostly follows Allie as she seduces strangers, lures them into going swimming with her, then murders/eats them because she’s been possessed by BeelzeBruce(Jaws behind-the-scenes joke. Look it up.) and must do the Devil’s deeds. Agonizing scenes that make me genuinely question my life decisions include the secret Street Shark inveigling a mentally retarded brunet into an uncomfortable, sexually tense, above-ground pool sequence; what feels like a 40 minute scene of Al stalking Bobby and Lauren around a carnival; and a luau exorcism finale where a local priest tries to Father Karras the no-budget Megalodemon (even I’m ashamed of that one), only to have it swim-fly from a black hole in the sky and attack them?! I’m getting an ulcer just thinking about it. BLART!


(Two girls, one pool)

Other portions of the movie (if that’s what you want to call it) involve a second trio of women (all blonde) who go to the doomed lake as part of a sorority hazing; a third trio of women who hold a seance in an alley as a redhead in her nightie runs screaming and undulating through a graveyard (this may have been footage from a homemade music video she shot for her then boyfriend’s goth-metal garage band); a guy out for his morning jog only to end at the lake shore where he sees a dead body, vomits on himself, and says “I’d still do her” to himself; a female ghost hunter and her rotund cameraman investigating the recent rash of shark attacks (from which the local law doesn’t feel the need to barricade the public) only to find herself “possessed” by the evil before coming into conflict with a local skeptic determined to debunk said bullshit; a muscular lady whose sunbathing becomes the subject of a dirty old man’s voyeuristic intention (and who becomes another victim of the killer nun in one of the worst cases of two entirely unrelated scenes being edited together to make us think they’re interacting, complete with one of film history’s WORST screams); and a dialogue devoid post-credits, “we need to pad the runtime so let’s just shoot some random nonsense and pretend it makes sense!” scene of either a girl who’s been collecting Marlboro Miles the hard way since birth or a 35 year-old woman Hard Candy-ing herself to look like pedo bait as she eagerly loiters around an aquarium gift shop before rubbing herself with what I think is a vibrator disguised as a rubber shark toy and finally vomiting up the Valu Time alternative to Linda Blair’s regurgitated pea soup lunch.

Again, NONE of these stories have a common denominator outside of taking place around the same shark inhabited lake (because if there’s one place salt water murder monsters love to inhabit it’s a fucking fresh water body of hydro). A lake that, despite claims from local news sources to the contrary, there’s isn’t a single visual piece of evidence to prove that the local police are doing ANYTHING to keep the public they’re tasked to “protect and serve” from becoming Satan Shark’s diarrhea-to-be! No cruisers, no extras in costumes bought at a Spirit Store clearance sale (nor a couple of discount StripperGrams off of Groupon), not even a few strands of yellow police line tape! I’ve said it a few DOZEN fucking times on this site, but when I see horseshit like Shark Exorcist, I’m always reminded that it bears repeating – DO NOT WRITE A MOVIE YOU CAN’T AFFORD! WORK WITHIN YOUR LIMITATIONS! MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU HAVE, NOT THE FUCKING LEAST OF IT! LLOYD KAUFMAN HAS WRITTEN BOOKS AND MADE VIDEOS ABOUT HOW TO DO THIS! FUCKING LISTEN!

If it sounds ridiculous for a grown man-dog to risk a Myocardial Infarction by going on a tirade over something as trivial as a grade school level movie production whose own creator, cast and crew couldn’t be bothered to put a third of said same effort into making, well, you must be new around here because I live on the edge, baby. I didn’t choose this life, cinemasochism chose me. We all die sooner or later, some of just go out like rockstars… in a dimly lit room, in front of a computer, face grotesquely contorted in a death mask of rage and agony, surrounded by crumpled Burger King wrappers and empty cans of “CITRUS X” flavored energy drink.

Speaking of tirades, for any of you who aren’t fans of the bits where I go on a seemingly endless Möbius band of barely-coherent moaning over how much an irredeemably garbage juice balloon of a movie still gives my brain hemorrhoids after twenty years of doing this (1999-2019, baby!), then I invite you to FF>> down to “The Moral of the Story” as I need to exorcise the chestburster that this movie has impregnated me with. It’s cheaper than therapy and doesn’t come with the “do not operate heavy machinery” side effects of heavy-dose pharmaceuticals, which would prevent tonight’s weekly ride through the town square on Killdozer. I don’t want to disappoint the local children… again… today…

Having recently waded through the glorified clip reel Puppet Master: Blitzkrieg Massacre (or PM:BM, which makes it sound like the last trip to the loo before bed), I thought it would be good to watch an actual movie again. Something that at least bears the basics of a movie, complete with a structured story and cohesive scenes. Not only did Shark Exorcist fail to provide either of those, but hurled me into valleys of misery from whose escape was tantamount to Blade’s “ice skating uphill” metaphor. If I could turn back time, if I could find a way, I would choose my own adventure and instead marathon an entire non-stop barrage of the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel clips from every Charles Band production/excretion, full on, double-rainbow, A Clockwork Orange style if it meant never stepping in the puddle of poodle vomit presented here.

If you ask any cinemasochist what the worst movie of all time is, you’re likely to get a wide wingspan of answers, running the incompetence gamut from Manos: the Hands of Fate to Birdemic to Plan 9 From Outer Space to Troll 2. I have seen most of whatever you can conjure up, and my next statement is 100% bereft of hyperbole: Shark Exorcist is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Whatever you may think can limbo beneath this new personal lowest of low bars, by all means contact me about it. If I haven’t seen it already, I will watch it, then give you bullet points on why Shark Exorcist is worse. It’s so bad that I can one day see myself pointing to an abuse doll in front of a jury of my peers, showing them where the movie hurt me.

After all of these harsh barbs, Shark Exorcist couldn’t possibly live down to the expectations I’ve established in this article, right? Clearly I must be exaggerating the toxic levels of loathing I’m giving off, correct? This is all a joke piece amplified for the sole sake of entertaining excess, si? Nein. Donald Farmer and his cast of… not “actors” so much as “persons bereft of a solitary molecule of dramatic ability between them”, have left such scars in my figurative flesh that, although not breaking me, have managed to forever alter the state of The Tomb’s millenniums old justice system! The very existence of Shark Exorcist has initialized a Big Bang in these hallowed halls, creating a rift of anti-matter in the fabric of our reality from which a new horror has clawed its way into our world to spit in the face of all creation. I give you…

“The Shartk” – a repulsive monument to the septic depths that only the lowest aspects of movie-making can plumb. So toxic that it poisons even the lead-lined digestive tract of mighty Amut, racing through the beast's Hershey highway and leaving a big brown shark-shaped splatter all over the floor.

In a different time, in a different place, and with an entirely different creative team and cast, Shark Exorcist is a seed that could have grown into a mighty milestone of trash movie greatness. 1970s Bruno Mattei on an oily archipelago off of Italy? YES! Lloyd Kaufman in the ’80s guerrilla filming on the medical waste laden New Jersey shoreline? YES! A hot and humid editing suite in Hong Kong circa 1989, where Godfrey Ho labors to super glue two unrelated horror movies together while simultaneously wedging in ninjas decked out in brightly colored pajamas for nothing more than a marketing gimmick to make a few bucks off of the American VHS rental market? YES! I would gladly move space and time to bring one of these instances of surrogate sinema screaming from the dilated cervix of creation so I could watch it destroy our dimension’s edition of Shark Exorcist a la The One.

Now, to distract me from the bout of mental erosion Sharxorcist (aka “the 11th Plague”) has afflicted me with, I’m going to isolate myself in the ol’ Cone of Silence so I can spend the rest of the day working on my spec script for Twinkie the Kid Vs. Chocula. General Mills and Pizza Hut both shot me down last time over my Pizza Pete Meets Frankenberry’s Daughter presentation, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one! Wish me luck, skid marks!

Moral of the Story: Sam Quint died for our sins. But his soul now lays trapped within a pair of Donald Farmer’s tighty-whiteys and subjected to all manner of stains that can never be washed away. Maybe if we Mxyzptlk his name while facing toward Kansas twice a day, we’ll be able to exile him back to his home dimension, never to be heard from again. Remraf Dlanod! Remraf Dlanod! Remraf Dlanod! REMRAF DLANOD!

Screenshots_____


There is such a thing as loving cherry syrup too much.


The new viral sensation the kids are all into? The Christ Walk Challenge! You dress up in religious-themed attire then see how far you can walk across a body of water! I think it’s meant to raise awareness of crucifixion disease or stigmata or whatever.


Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the modern day iteration of the “frozen shark attack” scene from Jaws III.


“Hello, police? I’d like to report the theft of my outfit’s midriff! No, I don’t know my shoe size off hand, why?”


The change over to HD damaged a lot of TV news persons’ careers, but none more so than that of freshman reporter Bill Ugly from Channel 9. He’s only 27!


“Ghost Whackers”? Sounds like one of those gay porn parodies of “Ghost Adventures”.


I’m not sure if this actress is trying to convey “possessed by the refuse of Hell” or “fell on her keys”.


Sadly, when young Karen lost her thumbs in the cigar cutter factory explosion, the hospital’s only available replacements were an elderly woman’s index finger (shown here) and, well, half of a deer hoof ended up on the other hand.


Father Banks works on his sermon for Sunday’s service, “Deuteronomy, Where’s My Corinthians?”.


“You call that a summoning circle, Sherry? I’ve seen better painted streaks of blood on the toilet bowl of the ladies’ room at Hot Topic!”


I sympathize. I had the same reaction to the Dustin Diamond porn the first half-dozen times I watched it too.


I feel bad for fish when they break the fishing line and have to spend the rest of their lives with a lure hooked into their head. I like the feathers though!


If this camera had heat vision, this scene would take on a wholly different tone…


THIS guy knows what I mean!


Here we see Cousin It’s daughter, Cassie It, preparing to “Snicker Snag” on one of her sorority’s latest batch of initiates.


“And why the fuck are you both sitting up front?! I don’t care if you tied calling “shotgun”, I can’t afford another ticket after the last time!”


“Looks like you’ve got egg on your face, nerd! Hahaha!”
(I was going to make a Face/Off joke here, but I brain farted ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )


Gah! Those have to be some of the scariest teeth I’ve ever seen in a horror movie! At least the top row seem well taken care of.


What the Hel is that?! It looks like someone just gave birth to triplets right on the concrete!


I questioned whose terrible idea it was to cast Nicole Richie as the lead in this new Exorcist remake, but it could really open up some doors for her career! Preferably ones marked “EXIT”…


And that is exactly how I reacted after the second half-dozen times watching the Dustin Diamond sex tape.


The last thing Jerry Garcia saw on his death bed.


In case you’re wondering, yes, sometimes a rubber figure of a goblin shark IS just a rubber figure of a goblin shark. But not here. This is absolutely a sex thing.


I’m not quite sure what Sunny D is hoping to accomplish with this new ad campaign, but it’s making me thirsty… for some purple stuff.


“Contrenchis”? I think I had to get an inoculation for that before my trip to South America for that The Ruins theme cruise I took last year.

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Anubis will return next time in
“The Last Vatican Hero”

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 12 – Tales From the Hood 2 (2018)

or “Bloods From the Crypts”

Happy (Marginalizing) Black History Month, my Anubians! One of my top horror anthologies of ever is the original Tales From the Hood, as it should be one of yours too. The stand-out star to me was Clarence Williams III who played our humble narrator, the funeral home director. Doesn’t quite roll of the tongue like “The Cryptkeeper”, but his over-the-top performance elevated the stories before us, just like a good narrator should.

Sadly, I thought he was dead. Happily, I discovered he was still alive! Given that he still draws breath, why the fuck wasn’t he brought back for this sequel when he was the best part of the original?! As much as I’ve loved Keith David since the first time I watched Men at Work (the movie, not the musicians), I was more than a little disappointed to see he was replacing CW3 as our storyteller for this sequel. Meanwhile, writer-directors Rusty Cundieff and Darrin Scott return, this time backed by black cinema legend Spike Lee as Executive Producer with the support of his production company, 40 Acres and a Mule. Such knowledge gave me hope that the production values would be up to snuff by modern standards. Are they?

What? That was my way of leaving the question open so you’d read the rest of the review! Damn it, just keep reading.

Funeral home director Mr. Simms (Keith David) is back, not only with a new face but a new occupation too. He’s been hired as a “storyteller” to, of all things, tell stories (!!!!) to a racist white politician’s AI program in an effort to help the synthetic sentient up its education via second hand experiences. So…wait…what the fuck is all this now!?

Right off the bat things are needlessly complicated and play off less like a sequel to the first movie and more like a rejected episode from a “Tales From the Darkside” reboot that no one asked for. MAYBE it could’ve landed on the ’80s “Twilight Zone” or “Misfits of Science”, but in 2018 the setup is both fatuous and formulaic. Already proceedings start with a rusty nail in its foot, so by the time we’re done here, a full blown bout of tetanus is the best we can hope for.

Huh huh,.”tet-anus”.

Without going deep into spoiler territory, Simms gives us a quartet of stories about terrible people suffering the supernatural repercussions of their awfulness and teaching us all a little morality lesson in the process. From the devaluing of racist historical items into rich white peoples’ whimsy to what I can best describe as an urban (you know, “black”) Beetlejuice to a PSA about meeting randos from hook-up sites and finishing up with some good old fashioned Uncle Tom shaming, the titular tales vary from too-goofy-to-take-seriously to a genuinely educational experience that should qualify for course credit in any civil rights class in the country.

I honestly can’t say much more without ruining the money shots, but I’m sorry to say that at least one of the yarns I just described feels like needless time filler that could’ve been left on the cutting room floor and saved us 15 minutes better spent between its siblings. Then again, every anthology needs that toilet break segment to give your bladder some relief in case the pause button on your remote doesn’t work anymore, so consider said story the movie’s sacrificial lamb.

The finale to Mr. Simms’ bookender scenario is the final nail in the coffin for this funeral to a 23 year-old potential franchise whose corpse is far too past its freshness date to resurrect. Remember those ’90s Keystone Light commercials heralding the horror of “bitter beer face”? That face is the best way I can summarize Tales From the Hood 2 without words. At least a bunch of people got paychecks out of it, so that’s good.

[Krix’s Komments:] I loved the first movie. I wanted to love this too, despite my general qualms about sequels that arrive more than a few years after the original. But I didn’t, despite being entertained pretty much the whole time. I’ll never complain about legitimately bad people in movies getting what’s coming to them, but this can’t possibly measure up to its predecessor. However, if you take this on its own merits, it isn’t completely terrible. There are plenty of genuinely uncomfortable moments, which the writers/directors were totally going for and succeeded in getting. The last tale has some really good ideas (especially about facing the past), and they’re heavy ones. The stories don’t play favorites: guilty people are guilty, regardless of who they are. What made this movie fall flat for me was how the serious ideas and points were positioned against the humorous elements. It was frequently outright clumsy. I recognize what they were trying to do: balance the seriousness of the topics at hand with humor to lighten the mood, which would make the bleaker themes more palatable to the audience. Making bad people who hold legitimately bad views (like racists, for example) or do bad things the joke is generally a good idea. But it needs to be done well, and consistently. That didn’t happen here. The jarring, severe changes in tone really hurt this movie. But ultimately, I enjoy seeing shitlords get what they deserve and Keith David looked like he had a good time with his role. Some days you can’t ask for more than that from a movie.

Moral of the Story: “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie” isn’t just the name of a decent ’70s Italian zombie movie, it’s also the title of White Zombie’s 5 CD box set career retrospective. It’s ALSO also good advice when wondering if you should make a sequel to a cult movie from two decades prior. Unless we’re talking about Fury Road, but George Miller’s an amazing bastard.

Final Judgment:

Two Black Republicans 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 11 – Venom (2018)

or “Me and My Shadow (Demon)”

I’d like to start this short subject symposium with what the kids call a “shout out” to Ross, Official Tomb Club Member No. 326, who took the AT&T approach with my Upgrade particle (partial-article *wink*). He reached out and touched me about my thoughts on how my new favorite revenge-movie-of-the-week compared to the similarly schizophrenic big screen debut of one of Marvel’s most iconic ’90s “bad boys”. His actual words were “I got a heavy ‘What if Robocop was more like Venom’ vibe from the trailer? Is that accurate at all?”, but we’ll get to that. Rather than spoil the surprise, I apologize to Hard R for not responding, and here’s to hoping this makes up for it. And if not? Tough shit! All Tomb Club fees are contractually non-refundable! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

Notorious for being a high ranking honcho of Spider-Man’s sinister super-powered scumbag stock, Venom’s solo silver screen sally forth not only ignores Eric Foreman’s role a la Spider-Man 3 eleven years earlier, but also ignores the friendliest of friendly neighborhood wall crawlers all together! Yep, thanks to Sony’s abysmal effort with Amazing Spider-Man 2, they were forced to share custody of Peter Parker’s proxy persona with Disney for some of that sweet sweet Marvel money. This deal allowed Mouse House to finally inject their single most popular character into the MCU and prevents Sony from making any more live-action Spidey clusterfucks for the time being without Marvel’s approval, while Spider-Man: Homecoming gave the character his first case of positive publicity since that time Doc Ock debuted his nipples on a global stage!

“Eye, lungs, pancreas. So many snacks, so little time.”

Since Hombre Arana’s MIA, out titular terror’s origin abandons everything from the funny pages and instead embraces the tale tabled in the Fox Kids ‘Spider-Man’ cartoon circa Season One. The alien lifeforms (to be known as “symbiotes”) are brought from their meteor tour bus to Earth from outer space courtesy of a research vessel piloted by space jockey John Jameson, none other than Daily Bugle butthole J. Jonah Jameson’s son and the man-who-would-be-Man-Wolf! Uhm, pardon me hanging my fanboy dong out like that. I didn’t realize my cosmic zipper was down. Speaking of, let’s get back to the celestial discharge!

Jameson’s journey wasn’t your basic NASA exploratory endeavor, however, but a private pursuit of the San Francisco based Life Foundation. Founded by a fountain of charisma named Carlton Drake, the overzealous philanthropist has put his vast resources into the LF to put horseshit like cancer back up the anal canal of the equine it came from! The safe bet is that Drake’s only into it for the profits rather than the aphrodisia of humanitarianism, but even if so, at least he’s giving sufferers a chance at a better, longer life. Sure, he’s doing so at the cost of potentially hundreds of homeless human guinea pigs’ lives, but without enough toxic waste to turn them into CHUDs employed by the city to keep down the sewer rat populace, what else are you gonna do to bring down their numbers? Exactly.

While the LF begins experimenting on abductees with their new intergalactic acquisition, mild-mannered reporter and self-appointed savior of society’s “little guy”, Eddie Brock, is determined to expose Drake and his brood for the murderous motherfuckers he knows they are. A transplant from NYC after an unspecified “incident” basically resulted in his ejection from the Big Apple like a figurative trespassing worm (finding a worm in your apple is better than finding half a worm in your apple…), things are going pretty good for Mr. B in the home of the Golden Gate. He’s engaged to Single Female Lawyer, has a successful investigative journalism show with his name plastered on it, and is loved by the downtrodden for whom he fights. And all of this despite his bizarre “where the fuck did you say you’re supposed to be from?!” accent. Seriously, Tom Hardy, are you auditioning for the lead in a Woody Allen biopic? I mean, sure, it isn’t nearly as jarring as it was hearing it for the first time in the reveal trailer(s), but I lived in Brooklyn for a decade and can’t place where you’re supposed to be from.

While snooping around Life’s labs courtesy of a rebellious employee who finally found their ethics (it probably fell behind the refrigerator), Brock runs afoul of one of the symbiotes, ends up ingesting it via osmosis, and has to escape the facility with an array of newly found strength and agility that he didn’t have previously. Now bonded with one of the entities (calling itself “Venom”, because they apparently speak the Edge Lord dialect of English on their home planet…), Eddie’s in for a wacky Odd Couple adventure as the pair learn from each other, grow with each other, and bite off a few heads along the way! It’s truly the Milo and Otis of our time.

My problems with this movie are few and far between, but they’re also significant enough to taint my overall experience with a modicum of “meh”. Design wise, I’m sad to see Venom without his big white arachnid-influenced insignia. It makes sense, given the absence of Spidey from his invocation, but why not slap it on anyway and pull some Man of Steel goofiness, like, “On my planet, this means ‘spleen eater’.” Or, if you’re allergic to corn (I’m allergic to Korn, myself), have Brock comment that it looks like a spider and Venom just blows it off as “I don’t know what that is…”. Either is better than just looking at a big black mass of nothing!

My other major qualms came in the guise of the carnage (*nerd wink*), the big baddie, and our (anti)hero’s subsequent battle against it at the finish. The acts of violence are still very R rated, especially regarding the symbiotes’ penchant for human organ meat and villain Riot’s excessive out lashings of hyper slaughter. The problem is that the resultant viscera is straight G, and it doesn’t stand for “gore”. The population of San Francisco are seemingly devoid of blood (presumably because their veins are full of juiced wheat grass?), as not a drop of the dark dark crimson splatters the screen in any instance. Good for laughs, bad for immersion. Speaking of Riot, the antagonist is so poorly built up that you almost expect him to collapse in on himself with the slightest sneeze. After spending the first two acts traveling across the planet to get to San Fran in little more than the briefest of segments to remind us that he’s still out there somewhere, there’s no characterization beyond “Riot’s a really bad ass super killer death machine that Venom has ZERO chance of stopping!” and I struggle to call it two-dimensional when I can barely warrant a single dimension to begin with.

Appropriately enough, my final gripe comes from the finale. The basis for the pair’s (well, quartet’s, technically) final showdown feels way too “superhero” after the lower-key, more morbid tone of what came before it. It’s a big deal action affair that plays out in a predictable step-by-step sequence that even gets so lazy as to throw in a “We’re not so different, you and I” speech, which was hard enough not to scream at the screen for during my pair of viewings of Upgrade, let alone the very next fucking day. Uggh.

Everything else? Liked-to-loved it! Though Brock isn’t the hard-ass vindictive psycho that he was in the comics and cartoons, nor is he the jealous little sociopath whiner that he was in Sam Raimi’s rendition, this new “social justice warrior” hero version that’s willing to risk his own happiness to advance his myopic crusade offers the type of redemption and growth storyline that Marvel’s characters are better known for. The banter between Eddie and Venom is fantastic, as the fish-monster-out-of-water alien gets to know his new host and vice versa, and carries a camaraderie that was lacking in the more teacher-and-student relationship between Upgrade‘s Grey and STEM. I do have to wonder, in both cases even, what story-based reason would make sense of both heroes conversing verbally with their guests when keeping it to a mental exchange would’ve saved them the trouble of looking like maniacs around others. But, I know it’s a “because, movies” thing, so I don’t need to harp.

The CGI is mostly fine, though shows its weakness at times, mostly in moments of Venom trying to jump out of Eddie’s face to scare people. Nothing that dragged me kicking and screaming out of the moment though, so no big deal. The action sequences were great, with the motorcycle chase sequence from the trailers being my personal highlight! Venom was a much needed success for the Sony camp and even if the man-spider and the space-ink never cross paths, I’m okay with that. Not something I’d give more than a rental or two, but far from being something I regret dropping a couple of dollars on. Hopefully next time they take the cue from Fox and go for that capital ‘R’ with the sequel though, because I have an unease in my internals at the idea of a PG-13 pairing of Venom and Carnage…

And so, to answer Ross’s query, Upgrade is kinda like RoboCop possessed by Venom, minus all of the super space mucus powers… meaning it’s more kinda not. I see it more along the lines of the Crow being resurrected inside of the Matrix to hunt down the replicants that killed his wife while the literal crow spirit Miyagis him telepathically… if that makes any sense.

Moral of the Story: “Have a nice life.” is the legally mandated valediction of the city of San Francisco… That’s the only reason I can come up with as to why EVERY FUCKING CHARACTER IN VENOM SAYS IT!

Final Judgment:

Three Man-Wolfs 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 10 – Upgrade (2018)

or “The Crow (T. Not-a-Robot)”

As I sit here typing this, we face imminent burial alive under a potential 2′ of snow. Times like this, I miss the shifting dunes of the Old Kingdom. As much as I never enjoyed blowing sand out of my nose a dozen times a day (I was going through a whole mummy wrap a week at its worst), right now it’s colder than Rosie the Robot’s twat outside and my hog is going wee-wee-wee all the way back into my pelvis! Blaaaaaaaaart!

I’m 3 degrees below 0 from enacting a vengeful dropkick of doomsday proportions upon Khione’s ice block of a backside if she doesn’t chill the fuck out. Speaking of the world’s clumsiest segue, today’s nooner of a reviewner is all about vengeful vigilantism with heavy sci-fi spice, and I’m not talkin’ ’bout a ‘Dune’, my dear Willis.

“Your memories are filled with ones and zeros, pal, and our memories are filled with every fuck-up we’ve ever made ”

The time is, THE AMBIGUOUS FUTURE! The place is, AN UNSPECIFIED CITY! In an era where everyone and their Uncle Peabo has embraced the advancement of convenience through science and law enforcement drones fill the air like boiled onion stink, Grey Trace (Tom Hardy’s non-union equivalent) is an anachronism. A traditional mechanic, he’s one of a dying breed of people who still fix things, create things, control things, and wank things with his own hands. Even Asha, his wife, pokes fun at her man’s antiquated ways from the luxury of her self-driving car. Wait, “Asha”? Exactly how much Asha are we talking about? A brimful, perhaps? Somebody get Cornershop on the phone! I need an official ruling on this!

Asha is a big(ish) wig at Cobalt: a tech company that specializes in artificially enhancing humans with prosthetic pieces and other hardware upgrades (we have a title!). Sadly, corporate sabotage is the likely cause of a hit on the Traces, which sees poor Grey paralyzed from a shot to the neck while he’s forced to watch poorer Asha’s final labored gasps for life as her lungs empty out through the massive ballistics wound in her chest. 3 months later, our dead-from-the-neck-down hero is discharged from hospital and sent home, only to discover fifty shades of irony now that the man whose major character trait of loathing servile automatons is entirely reliant on them. Oh, and his mom’s there too. After all, as Norman Bates taught us; a boy’s best friend is his mother!

Eron Keen, a pseudo Elon Musk-esque recluse genius (complete with underground lair!) who hired Grey to restore a Trans Am for him prior, gives our protag the opportunity to be whole again. His miracle offer comes via his latest creation, an Artificial Intelligence system called STEM that would control his body’s functions per his commands. Basically, his brain would still be the boss and his body parts still the workers, but STEM would be his nervous system’s middle management. Grey also has the option to take a coffee break and let the AI operate entirely autonomous, coming in especially handy when his Death Wish style vigilante campaign to locate and annihilate the bastards who murdered his wife and ruined his life… hip-hop hooray, ho?

It’s less-than-intimidating that Fisk, the leader of his nemesi, looks like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite mid mid-life crisis (having hit the gym and gotten contact lenses, purportedly to embark upon his dream of being a cage fighter), but the rest of Grey’s pain crusade is all kinds of violent fun for everyone!

It wasn’t until after watching it that I discovered Upgrade was written and directed by Leigh Whannell, frequent collaborator/friend of James Wan and one of the guys partially responsible for about 80% of the gross domestic box office for horror in the 21st Century, including the Insidious quadrilogy (or tetralogy if you prefer your prefixes Greek flavored). If this movie is any indication, the Aussie would be better suited sticking to the realm of grimy sci-fi body horror! Albeit not immensely original in and of itself, Upgrade is an amalgamation of elements distilled from a veritable killer’s row of science fiction’s darker side. It’s RoboCop, Blade Runner, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Frankenstein, Tetsuo: the Iron Man, Johnny Mnemonic, and The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag all in one!

Everything isn’t all double-fudge brownies and scalp massages though, and I’m not talking about the plot holes (most, if not all of which are tied up in the finale). To use a cliché, as much as I found lead Logan Marshall-Green to be a “revelation”, there are moments where Grey stumbles over the fine line between nervous and goofy when under instances of interrogation. Not frequent by any definition (unless you’re using the Bizarro World dictionary, I guess), but jarring nonetheless. Additionally, though I’m sure its a social commentary device on Whannell’s part, I’m tired of the “it’s fucking 1984 around here and the cops STILL can’t accomplish anything!” trope. Granted, the only other option fertile enough for a “choose your own revenge” tale is “rampant corruption”, but I’ll take crooked cops over Keystone Cops 60% of the time, every time.

Though Upgrade positively reeks of “future cult classic” perfume, there may be greener pastures in its future. Its ending being left wide open as the definition of “sequel bait”, talk of a follow-up has been bandied about. It doesn’t hurt that, being a modest $3 million affair, it managed to make back FIVE times its budget during its big screen run. In this case, I would assuredly welcome The Further Adventures of Grey & STEM into my home, even if for just a one-nighter. I wish I could say I’d like to change my “hit ’em and quit ’em” ways, but I lie to you fine fucks enough already.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go do my stretches and juggle medicine balls in preparation for the army of snow golem minions this storm will bless me with. Hit the music!

Moral of the Story: “You see the future, I see ten guys on the unemployment line”. Well, I see half-a-dozen mercenary assholes being maimed in a campaign of ultraviolence, so I guess it’s all different strokes for different folks now, ain’t it?!

Final Judgment:

Four CrowboCops 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 09 – Revenge (2017)

or “Jennifer’s Bodies”

I’d heard nothing but praise about “Revenge” prior to it landing on my cosmic scales of judgment. Lauded as a stellar, powerful, intense French r&r (rape & revenge) feature, plural positive plaudits praised it as an empowering experience for victims of sexual assault too, which…is kind of the whole point of these movies, right? I mean, if you’ve never known the catharsis of the sub-genre, sure enough this would be a big deal, but what separates Revenge from its peers?

“Little, juicy, peachy ass! It’s like a little alien coming from another planet!”

Our victim/heroine/revenger is an American girl (far from as Tom Petty used to define them) named Jen. She’s recently become the barely legal side-piece for French rich boy Richard Not-Branson (who has a really weird idea of what aliens look like, as the quote above will tell you), and is brought via private helicopter to his secret vacation home in the middle of the ever ambiguous “the desert”. They engage in overly choreographed movie intercourse, as you do when you’re carrying on an affair, but two of Dick’s hunting buddies show up unannounced the next day. The pair are early for the boys’ annual hunting weekend and bring with them a dampering on the whole “the naughty things we do in privacy” thing. In fact, said pals weren’t even aware that Monsieur Moneybags had extracurricular strange, noted when Stan (the obvious sex pest of the pair) makes a joke about whether French Guy Pearce is having marital problems.

Rolling a little TOO well with the unexpected intrusion, Jen goes into party girl mode and makes the mistake of flirting with Stan THE OBVIOUS RAPIST-TO-BE who probably has a list of restraining orders against him taller than he is. The unavoidable catalyst for the movie’s namesake occurs the next morning while Richard has pardoned himself to acquire the trio’s hunting licenses, leaving her alone with Stan and Dimitri. Stan’s aggressive declaration of his expectations toward the slender siren don’t go as he planned (because, again, HE’S BEEN RADIATING GROSS RAPE VIBES SINCE HE FIRST LOOKED AT HER!), things take the stomach churning turn that the warning signs all posted was around the corner, and everything goes to shit.

In true “boys club” fashion, Richard attempts to cover things up for his locker room cohort (and save his own ass from the probable fallout in his home life), ultimately ending up with Jen being left for dead in the unforgiving wasteland. She’s not though, otherwise the movie’s title would make no sense!

As far as that aforementioned element that sets Revenge apart from the rest of its friends on the figurative video store shelf? It’s far less exploitative of the female of the species (of whom I hear is deadlier than the male), foregoing any manner of titillation during her violation, keeping the actual act off screen for the most part, and leaving potential pervs hoping for a spank bank deposit instead overdrawn with a lack of funds. In fact, despite putting an emphasis on Jen’s blunt displays of confidence in her own sexual appeal, there are not actual R-rated displays of her bare naughty bits at any point. Instead (and this is likely going to turn away further potential rape-fantasizers), it’s Dick’s dick and bared backside that get the explicit screen time allotment here, folks! Don’t get too excited though, meat marks, cuz his phallus never makes it past flaccid. I’m sure this isn’t normal for him, though. With all the stress of trying to murder and dispose of his mistress, you can forgive him such erectile dysfunction. At least, that’s usually the excuse I use at such self-esteem crippling intercourse interruptions.

Beyond the subject matter, Revenge is shot very nicely for the most part and utilizes the unusual beauty and color palate of its barren surroundings to its benefit. Director (and writer) Coralie Fargeat has a great eye. Maybe even two! I did have to slap my head more than once during a few “that’s not how things work!” moments, though. Also, the movie could’ve used another run through the editing suite to clean up a handful of immersion breaking continuity errors, a big one being the old “massive wound changes sides between shots” mirror botch.

Speaking of, the gore has moments of straight up artistic utilization, but the usually appreciated practical effects suffer sorely during close-up moments. The gallons of synthetic sanguine spillage were sadly not enough to distract me from the impression that everybody’s skin was made of foam rubber. If you opt to watch it, you’ll see what I mean.

A salient-without-being-salacious addition to the sub-genre, Revenge”\ is a mostly-solid r&r movie more than worth a watch, and a fun feature to troll any unsavory MRAs in your life with!

[Krix’s Komments:] This is an ugly movie with a beautiful veneer. The locations are striking and the shots of it (and actors within it) are well framed. But that’s part of the formula for these movies: ugly things happening to beautiful people in beautiful, remote locations. The desert is a great choice for a movie like this, not only because of how its climate can vacillate dangerously between extremes as time passes, but it acts as a visual survivor metaphor. Jen manages to survive the initial rape, the violent attempted cover up, and the journey back through the harsh wilderness where she enacts her vengeance. She deals with environmental extremes and emotional ones simultaneously, her final task still ahead of her as she finds her way back. As with all of these movies, she’s confronted with the reality that while she is avenged, she’s never really made whole despite her efforts. I was surprised at how non-exploitative this movie was, given the history of the genre. There are some great corridor shots in the final act, and at no time does Jen deliver any lame one liners meant to make her sound “tough” for the trailer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with bad one liners in movies, but they don’t really work too well in movies like this. They just come across as trying way too hard. Anyway, if this genre doesn’t make you uncomfortable, give this one a try. There are some silly moments, but it’s technically solid (outside of the rubbery body parts) and doesn’t revel in the sexual violence, which is refreshing.

Moral of the Story: Blaming victims is bad enough ethically, but if you need further reason not to do so, remember that victims can become revenge beasts at any moment! Especially if they get their hands on some peyote.

Final Judgment:

Three-and-a-half RapeX Anti-Rape Devices 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 08 – Mom and Dad (2017)

or “The Midlife Crisis Massacre”

The new year means new resolutions, and if you’re like many others trying to assuage unwarranted guilt, you probably vowed to make an effort to spend more time with your family in 2019. Tonight’s twisted tale of torment and terror courtesy of Brian Taylor may convince you to abandon that aspiration sooner than later!

If you don’t recognize the moniker I won’t penalize you, but Taylor is one half of the pairing behind the “Crank” movies and has worked previously alongside Nicholas Cage on “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” which, despite the psychotic pedigrees present, went over about as well as that time my alcoholic uncle thought it would be funny to piss in my cousin’s NES. He wasn’t laughing the next morning when the video rental store made him pay up $60 to replace the Friday the 13th cartridge that was in it at the time. His membership card then got scissored harder than one of the new pledges at the Submission Sorority, so I hope you’ve all learned something from this.

“I used to think my parents getting divorced was the hugest tragedy of my life, but ironically, that shit doubled my chance of survival.”

Speaking of the evils that adults do, Mom and Dad is an extreme entry into the “kids vs. adults” horror sub-subgenre, sharing shelf space with classics like Parents and Rabid Grannies. Given that Taylor’s prior productions are about as disassociated from the term “subtle” as the English language will allow, spoilers aren’t exactly going to, you know, spoil anything as the synopsis will tell you all you need to know.

One perfectly perfect day (in every way), for no a-parent (PUN!) reason, a suburban community’s parental populace flips their fucking lids and begin violently assaulting their own offspring! To be fair, some instances aren’t assaults so much as they are cases of extreme negligence, but whatever the fatal means of abuse, these mothers and fathers have turned into Child Protective Services’ worst nightmare. It’s not unlike The Happening, except their suicides are of the extroverted kind! Savvy? Surely.

Nicholas Cage and Selma Blair play one such pair of parents, both struggling with their own mid-life crisis when they become overwhelmed by the sinister urge to join the progeny purge. It’s up to the couple’s daughter Carly (a 14-16yo whose tiny school uniform skirt gets REALLY uncomfortable to look at from certain camera angles *barf*) and footy-pajama-ed “why the Hel isn’t this kid in school?!” younger son Josh to either kill or be killed in the perfect “survival of the fittest” film for family movie night!

The Evil Dead Bride and I really enjoyed this movie. Cage’s manic bi-polar performance as a middle-aged man already on edge now pushed to utter psychotic break down is just what the man does perfectly, and the nearly deadpan performance by Blair’s wife-mother character plays off her manic mate magically. Taylor’s kinetic “music video” style rubs some the wrong way, but given the perilous pace the picture builds up to, it’s a style that fits the flick tonally. Lots of fun for childless anti-procreation types like ourselves!

Oh, and Robert Cunningham? Love that dude. If I had a daughter, I’d want her to date a guy like his character, Damon. I wish I’d been that cool and capable in high school, damn it.

Moral of the Story: The SAWZALL® saws all. It says it right there in the name!

Final Judgment:

Four Boxes of Plan B 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.