Feature 89 – 31 (2016)

or “Send In the Clowns”

Featuring: Sherri “The Lords of Salem” Moon Zombie , Richard “DOOM” Brake , Jeff Daniel “Westworld (2016)” Phillips

Director & Writer: Rob “The Devil’s Rejects” Zombie

Origin: USA

Review_____

“I’m not here to brighten your dismal day. I am here to end your miserable fucking life!”

Hey kids! One concept I tried to get over in The Tomb’s dark age was The Zodiac of Anubis, in which every year a specific movie monster would get the annual spotlight of having a review done on their sub-genre each month. After considering resurrecting the Zodiac for the last couple o’ calendars, I’ve finally decided this is the year. As such, I bid you welcome as we begin, “The Year of the Painted Horrors”!


With the public panic about dickheads donning clown costumes and menacingly loitering around parks and wooded areas in recent weeks, I thought the pariahs of the Barnum & Bailey family would be the best subject for celebration. Per this event, every 13th day up to September 2017 will be dedicated to movies centralized on greasepainted gore makers. In a matter of cosmic coincidence, look at what just happened to release recently – a Rob Zombie movie about murderous clowns! Call it kismet, call it circumstance, whatever you call it, the Roadhouse Necromancer himself calls it 31.

Whether you’re a fan of his work or not, one thing that’s irrefutable is Zombie’s superiority to Uwe Boll. All personal opinions aside, if going by no other metric, the propagator of sinister urges clearly trumps the defiler of video game franchises when it comes to the crowdfunding arts. After a pair of failures to get his project Rampage 3 financed (first via IndieGoGo and again through Kickstarter), Boll went on a rampage of his own, throwing a fit online with a meltdown video where he basically told everyone to fuck themselves. Who would’ve thought people wouldn’t be willing to donate their money to someone who makes SHITTY movies for the purpose of making MORE shitty movies? On the other side of the coin, Rob Zombie’s FanBacked campaign netted him… an as-yet-undisclosed amount. Kinda sketchy. And I’m presuming a lot of that money came from the reward tier that included lifetime VIP passes to every Rob Zombie show, so I don’t know how accurate a gauge it is in determining the number of people who were just chomping at the bit for another installment in the Zombie filmography… BUT, whatever the case, my prior statement stands – Rob Zombie is better than Uwe Boll at crowfunding! Game over!

Some people piss and moan about crowdfunded projects, and 31 isn’t lacking in such detractors. Cries of “Pay for your own movie, loser!” ring throughout the internet, but said people are missing the point of these endeavors. The real reason for such independent efforts at collecting capital are two fold – to gauge consumer interest in such a product and to cut out the corrupting influence of deep pocket financiers. For example, I run The Tomb free of advertisements because I don’t want to be beholden to any company execs bitching at me about my offensive words and concepts, or how I should only review big movie stuff so as to up click traffic. Fucketh that. Now, I was hoping to somehow monetize the site for the purposes of having it support itself, so I put up the Patreon page to test the waters and see if these reviews and ramblings were worthwhile of readers’ pennies. Unfortunately, since I’ve yet to acquire a single contributor (even after offering exclusive Patreon only reviews to make it worth said patronage), it’s clear that I’ve yet to find an audience willing to bridge the gap between readers and customers. THIS is why 31 was made and Rampage 3 was not – there are enough people willing to put their hard earned buckets of duckets behind another Rob Zombie project than there are willing to get behind another Uwe Boll movie. Having never been in a position where I could afford to lend my support to someone else’s creative vision, I more than appreciate those who are in that position, because without them, people like myself wouldn’t be able to see the fruits of those labors. You’re doin’ the work of the gods, kids. Just don’t GoFund any magic bean gardens, cuz the only goose those’ll lead you to will be on your bank account. Insert your own “grab ’em by the pussy” joke here, because the more I have to think about that garbage, the more I die inside.

Now, what’s all this 31 stuff aboot?

In an interview with Fangoria, Zombie said that fans were pretty insistent that they wanted his next run behind the camera to be another movie focused on the trio of domestic terrorists who took center stage in his first flicks, House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Instead, he opted to respond with something new. He noted that people didn’t know even know they wanted The Devil’s Rejects before the movie was made, so rather than play it fiscally safe by supplying consumers with more of what they demand, he chose to play Russian Roulette and tried to convince them to pay for something new… well, something heavily “borrowed” from other movies, but technically altered to be something new… and hopefully some big studio copyright lawyers don’t catch wind of it and attempt to sue everyone involved with its making… like Bobby Z’s philanthropic followers, perhaps? I mean, I’m no law school graduate but… actually, that means in a legal situation I have less legs to stand on than the titular heroin of Boxing Helena. Ignore me on that. The same way Horus ignored me on my birthday.

Yeah, I’m not forgetting that anytime soon. Go eat a box of uncooked Rice-A-Roni, you bird faced fuck boy.

Unlike many of his last few movies, 31 is a simple A-Z tale. Much like House of 1000 Corpses, it centers on a group of happy-go-lucky buddies, trapped in a “The Most Dangerous Game” struggle for survival against sadistic predators who revel in their perceived vulnerability. In this instance, said dangerous game isn’t man, but a literal game called “31”, because of its annual occurrence on October 31st aka Halloween. This numerical factoid was part of why so many people were sure this project was originally going to be the finale of Zombie’s Halloween trilogy, only spurred on by the use of a shabby clown mask in early promotional material. Mayhaps eluding to little Mikey Myers’ use of a clown mask when he went on his inaugural killing spree as a kid? Nope. Turns out the clown mask was just a precursor to the 31 “hunters”, who are clowns… from Satan’s 666 Ring Circus of Eternal Sin and Suffering! Formerly known as the Playboy Mansion aka Hugh Hefner’s Whore House of Soul Crushing Defilement for Rich Old Men and Washed-Up Comedians. I wonder how many of the bunnies forced to give handjobs to Rob Schneider and John Lovitz in the grotto opted for “eternal peace” over lifetimes of PTSD.


The organizers of this carnival of blood are a trio of Ruling Class sadists named Father Murder (Malcolm McDowell), Sister Serpent (Jane Carr) and Sister Dragon (Judy Geeson). They have the Eyes Wide Shut naked lady servants waiting on them, while they dress like French aristocrats with heavy pancake makeup and elaborate powdered wigs. Their hired gang of buffoon goons wear face paint and are all saddled with the odd surname of “Head” for some reason. We start with the Latino Nazi midget Sick-Head (Pancho Moler). This twisted and hateful half-man is followed up by a pair of chainsaw wielding brothers in Leatherface masks (made up like Otis and Captain Spaulding) called Schizo- and Pyscho-Head (David Ury & Lew Temple). Next is another pairing, consisting of the brutal bohemoth (and near-copyright infringingly named) Death-Head (Torsten Voges) and his creepy little perv-o girlfriend Sex-Head (E.G. FUCKING Daily!) who’s just a less savage version of Sherri Moon-Zombie’s Baby Doll character dressed like a porn parody of Harley Quinn.

Be forewarned: among her many roles over the expanse of her career, E.G. Daily’s resume includes being the voice of Tommy Pickles on “Rugrats”. During one scene, where Sex-Head is crying in agony (spoiler, deal with it), she sounds like Tommy fucking Pickles. Yeah. Process that how you will.

Finally, there’s Doom-Head (Richard Brake). Doom-Head, who is the main reason to watch this movie. Holy shit. I didn’t know I was a Richard Brake fan until I watched 31. As generic as the rest of this movie may be, this motherfucker makes it unforgettable for me. He opens the movie going on a murderous soliloquy with one of his previous year’s victims that injects our brains with a massive dose of the heebie-jeebies. Not spooky shit, like the monster at the end of [REC], but that gut twisting “there are actually people like this in the darkest septic tanks of humanity” terror that makes you want to hide away from the world forever and buy stock in Smith & Wesson. Remember the Bloodhound Gang song, “A Lap Dance Is So Much Better”? If The Dick Braker here read those lyrics, I might throw up, because he could get them across ten times more nauseating than they already are. It’d make hearing trump talk about sexually assaulting women sound like Mary Poppins reading Dr. Seuss in comparison. Just thinking about it is agitating my chili dinner something fierce, so I’m gonna stop before I get a ghost pepper lodged in my sinuses. Again. Uggh.

Wait a minute! How the fuck does Zombie make a movie where all of the killers have “Head” in their name, and he doesn’t include one named “Iron Head”?! Granted, it wasn’t one of the better tracks off of The Sinister Urge, but this is the perfect place to bring the “demonoid phenomenon” juggernaut demigod to flesh (and iron)! Wasted opportunity.

And now, for the least interesting part of any Rob Zombie movie – the protagonists. This year’s victims of 31 are a motor home full of carnies! Yep, in keeping with our writer/director’s favored aesthetic of “Texas white trash chic”, the unsung heroes (and appropriately disparaged villains) of the midway take center stage, captured by a gaggle of mask wearing hijackers who stop them along a deserted highway in the middle of the night. Half the crew are killed in the exchange, while the remaining quintet are knocked out and taken away, waking up later in shackles. Of these five, if you think anyone other than the one played by Zombie’s wife Sherri is going to be the mandatory “final girl”, then you aren’t familiar with the esteem in which Bobbie Z holds his bride… except for the constant torment he puts her through with all of the fake blood and harassment and making her do her own stunts and shit. I wouldn’t be shocked to find out she files a temporary restraining order against her husbo after filming wraps on every movie they do to avoid having to file divorce papers instead… until the next movie, anyway.

Aside from being victims, there’s nothing to really make you care if the good guys live or die. There are some canned moments where they’ll comfort each other or defend each other and try to force that “these people aren’t just friends, they’re family” moment to no avail. Not quite as useless as treating cancer with a mix of Robitussin and prayer, but ineffective enough. The same could be said for the last 10 minutes of the movie, which… just… fuck it, I’m not gonna break my vow. Why bother giving us balloons if your endgame is just to pop ’em, Mr. Zombie? Dick.

Speaking of “Dick”, let’s get back to the load bearer of the movie, Richard Brake. Because I’d rather talk about him instead. Given that Brake featured fairly prominently into the movie version of DOOM, I’m curious if that was the motivation behind the name “Doom-Head”. Of further interesting ponderances to ponder, Brake played Joe Chill in Batman Begins, the otherwise unspectacular street thug who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. In Tim Burton’s Batman, Joe Chill was replaced by Jack Napier, who would go on to become Jack Nicholson’s immortal portrayal of The Joker… an evil clown. Is it fate that Richard Brake, who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne, has now gone on to become a psychopathic serial killing clown too? No. Because fate’s not a thing. Those hags at the loom? They’re the Wimp-Los of mythology. We just play along while laughing at them behind their backs.

31‘s themes map out as if it’s the result of a weekend tour bus nerd binge by Zombie between performances. Borrowing heavily from Rockstar’s Manhunt games (kidnapped protagonist must fight his way out of a giant snuff film version of The Warriors) and/or The Running Man (unwilling “contestants” are chosen to fight for their lives in a game show where they’re hunted by murderous characters, each with their own gimmick), with a dash of “The Hunger Games” (the impoverished are forced to fight to the death for the entertainment of wealthy people in extravagant costumes), a pinch of Marvel Comics (a circus themed arena of death just straight up called “Murderworld” for fuck’s sake!), then sifted through a grindhouse era filter (“scratched film” visual effect, grimy tones, gore and depravity are key), and finally sifted again through a filter of one of the worst filming methods to come out of the 21st century (fucking SHAKEY CAM!). There’s a nod to The Rocky Horror Picture Show‘s infamous dinner scene for dessert, minus the whimsical birthday hats and the tense atmosphere of everybody at the table having cheated on each other with everybody else. Despite my enjoyment for most of these things (or maybe in spite of it), what we get is an overall recipe for… mediocrity.

I get that Zombo grew up on horror movies and comic books and all that jazz that most people who come to this site probably share an affinity for, but COME ON! When are we going to get something more original out of this guy?! House of 1,000 Corpses was an homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Lords of Salem was an homage to Rosemary’s Baby. Halloween was a reboot and an overt homage to Frankenstein by trying to give the monster context and sympathy. The Haunted World of El Superbeasto was an homage to Fritz the Cat and every other crazy-ass Ralph Bakshi cartoon ever made, starring a character that’s just a goofy version of El Santo or Blue Demon. Even his most loved movie, The Devil’s Rejects is basically just a white trash mash up of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place”!

Okay, that last part was mostly a joke (mostly), but you get my gist.

I can understand Bob’s preference to direct his own scripts, as I too have control issues, but I’d like to see him direct something that’s both original and written by someone else. And that doesn’t include Sherri on the cast. It’s nothing personal against her, I don’t even mind her as an actress, it’s just part of my wanting a vacation from the same old same. We’ve been watching the man’s stuff since 2003. We’re overdue on the seven year itch, Rob. You talk about giving people something different, but all you did was rehash your older stuff and berate us with shaky cam shit. You’re not Michael Bay, nor should you wanna be. Just stop it. I haven’t paid for one of your albums since “The Sinister Urge” man, and I’m verging on skipping your next movie at this rate too…

But who gives a clown-shaped shit what I think? Opinions are like assholes – we’ve all got one. I’m just here to make jokes and channel my disdain for life in a fashion that won’t end with me behind bars sharing a toilet with some IBS suffering serial rapist. And on that note, cue the end credits!

So begins The Year of the Painted Horrors. I’ll have more clownin’ around for you come November 13th! Until then, we’ve still got two more weeks of Rocktober Blood to spill, so be sure to check back for more journeys into motherfucking terror with your ol’ pal, Five-Speed Anubis of the Questionable Morality!

Moral of the Story: If you thought shaky cam was the worst thing to happen to movies since Smell-O-Vision (forget it Fudd, that shit’ll NEVER replace television!), wait until you see shaky cam WITH STROBE LIGHTING!

Screenshots_____

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Anubis will return next time in
“Balls of Fury”

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

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

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Feature 66 – Ash Vs. Evil Dead: “El Jefe” (2015)

or “The B-Team”

Featuring: Bruce “My Name is Bruce” Campbell , Lucy “Xena: Warrior Princess” Lawless , Jill Marie “Girlfriends” Jones

Director: Sam “Drag Me to Hell” Raimi

Writers: Sam “Darkman” Raimi , Ivan “Darkman” Raimi , Tom “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” Spezialy

Origin: USA

Review_____

“Well, it’s just… something happened that hasn’t happened in, like, thirty years.”

Feliz Día de los Muertos Malvados, folladoras de perros! For those of you that flunked out of high school Spanish, that means “Happy Day of the Evil Dead, dog fuckers!”

Ash. Is. Back. Alright! (Not to be confused with the Backstreet Boys, who didn’t make their fans wait nearly as long for their reunion tour).

Yes, after nearly a quarter of a century, the Deadite defeating dumbass with more bravado than brains has returned to pick up where he left off! Having been harassed by B-movie geeks about when we’d see Evil Dead IV: Army of Darkness Part 2 – Deadite By Dusk (in 3-D), the brains of Sam and Ivan Raimi and the chin of Bruce Campbell have combined their powers to bring the Stihl-handed hero of legend back for a Starz pilot series that may or may not lead to additional seasons once it’s complete (Update: it was approved for a second season before the first episode even debuted!).

Though there have been numerous comic books, video games, and even an Evil Dead remake in the time since we last saw Bruce himself don the scars of The Chosen One, the closest we’ve had to seeing Ashley J. Williams on our screens in the flesh again was the tongue-in-cheek My Name is Bruce. Entertained by it as I was (went to two showings of it on opening day!), it still felt like a 90 minute tease. Like paying for a night with the prostitute of your dreams only to find out they have a bad yeast infection, so the most you’ll get is a handjob. Sure, you came, but you could’ve stayed home and gotten yourself off for free.

By the way, I did my best to make that comparison as inclusive as possible for everyone. However, if you feel left out because you’re asexual or lack the equipment to reach climax via manual stimulation, my apologies. I tried.

Now come on, space truckers! Let’s get space truckin’!

When we last left our hero…well…it’s not made explicitly clear. The when the show’s timeline is picking up from isn’t specific beyond Ash telling everyone that it’s been “30 years” since he last dealt with Deadites. Given that there’s a scene in the episode where he fills in his co-worker Pablo on his unpleasant past with the Necronomicon and it only uses clips of the first two Evil Dead movies, I’m taking a stab that this series is a direct sequel to Evil Dead II. In 1987 (“30 year ago”?), ED Dos re-wrote the events of the original, making the first Evil Dead redundant. AVED (not to be confused with “Community“‘s affable Asperger’s nerd Abed) also leaves out any mention of Ash having traveled through time, so maybe it’s based on ED2‘s storyline (what with the severed hand) while sticking with ED‘s ending where Ash survived the night and there was no Army of Darkness time vortex thing. On top of that, Ash’s absurdly high-tech Dark Ages cyborg hand from AoD is nowhere to be seen either. It’s been replaced instead with a prosthetic mitt carved from rosewood that makes for a great ass paddler when you’re plumping the ol’ Ballpark Frank in the hot dog warmer of an unclaimed dreg you sweet talked at last call!

But I’m putting the funeral cart before the skeletal horse here. It’s been a long time, so let’s see what Ash has been up to for the last three decades! For starters, he lives in a trailer (just like in My Name is Bruce) and instead of working at S-Mart, our hero works at a dirt mall department store called ValueStop. I’d like to think there’s some “fall from grace” tale at work here where Ash lost his lofty S-Mart position (too many sexual harassment complaints to HR?) and is now forced to work at VS, but my guess would be that it really just ties into the whole “we don’t own the rights to Army of Darkness” complication. Confounded studio politics nonsense.

He’s sporting the aforementioned artificial extremity, and using it as a story prop to pick up soused lasses at the local dive bar just waiting to go down on the next guy who says he lost a hand while saving an endangered child. And what of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis? That Book of the Dead we all know and love, with its dust cover of human flesh and its ink of human blood? Ash kept it. Such is how he gets himself knee deep in the dead(ites) again, as you may have guessed. Thanks to a misguided attempt at male posturing nudged on by a few puffs of “green remorse”, Mr. Williams is about to unleash a whole new world (“a new, fantastic point of view!”) of trouble on his backwoods Michigan burg.

However, Ash won’t be alone in cleaning up his mess. He’s joined by his co-worker and biggest fan Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Pablo’s friend-slash-unrequited crush Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). Pablo gives our man the moniker of “El Jefe” (we have a title!) and worships the ground he walks on (despite smarmy dickhole Ash blatantly violating the “bros before holes” edict), having unwavering faith that his hetero man-fatuation will be the hero this town needs. As for Kelly, Ash tries his “smooth talking grandpa” schtick on her, and let’s just say she’s well inoculated against our protagonist’s verbal Spanish Fly.

If you’re worried about there being too much talk and not enough action in this establishing episode, then belay your trepidation you tiny fool, because El Jefe and the Ashketeers throw down with a few demonically possessed podunks before all is said and done! I’ll spare you the details for your own viewing, but I will give you this much – it’s just as splatstick wacky sauce as you’d expect from a Sam Raimi fight scene!

This story’s not just about Ashley and his pals, though. The non-such sections introduce us to another newcomer: Michigan State Trooper Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones), who has her own run-in with the soul swallowing Kandarian pests that leaves her very confused, very disturbed, and having an all too brief crossing of paths with one Miss Ruby Knowby (Lucy Lawless), who’s no doubt going to be playing a much larger role herself further into the series. Know how I know(by)? Look at her last name. Don’t get it? Brush up on your Evil Dead lore, you plebeian!

As someone who’s been playing mediocre Evil Dead video games and reading lackluster Army of Darkness comics (written by fanboys whose scribing skills don’t stretch beyond slight variations of Ash’s jerkoff dialogue from the last movie) to fill my Ash hole (wait a minute…) for the last 20 years, “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” is the long awaited return to form I’d become so sure was never going to happen. As someone who’d lost all hope and become quite cynical about the whole scenario, I wasn’t on the “The cup’s half full” side of the line so much as amidst the “The cup’s fucking broken and sitting in a landfill somewhere” group. But I’m so happy that “AVED” doesn’t suck that I almost feel some modicum of restored hope for humanity! Quite a feat since I’d given up on the species as a whole shortly after turning seven.. Or was that after watching Se7en?

The cast show some big promise already. Campbell is just as snide and sleazy in Ash's shoes as you remember, Santiago makes a good sidekick fanboy without being too cloying (though he’s really skirting the line, so I hope he doesn’t cross said line in future episodes), DeLorenzo does the tough girl thing fine (but is no scream queen, so I hope they keep her wails to a minimum), while Jones makes for a great contrasting straight character so far! I’m almost as invested in where her story goes as I am Ash’s! Lawless Lucy hasn’t done anything yet though, so I can’t establish an opinion based on a handful of lines and 20 seconds of screen time.

The more mature tone of the show is odd at first blush. Watching Ash getting jiggy with it (“it” being a bar fly’s backside) in the confines of a ladies’ toilet den and saying “FUCK!” remind you that this ain’t happening on basic cable. Starz is PREMIUM, baby! That’s not to say it isn’t immature at the same time, but this is the first ED sex scene that didn’t involve a rapist tree, so you get what I’m saying.

One of Raimi’s caveats when it came to bringing this fan bait to life was the use of as many practical effects as the budget could stomach. I appreciate his love for traditional effects and I would shake his hand for doing so. Unfortunately, the computer effects that we get stuck with the rest of the time aren’t the best. Nor are they helped any by happening alongside the practicals, which have the benefit of looking real because they’re as close as you can legally get to real gore and mutilation without making a snuff film. I do have to say that I’m pleased at how far digital arm stump technology has come in the last 20+ years, though! You’d think Bruce Campbell really did lob off his own hand for the sake of realism! Incredible what a green spandex glove can do…

All in all, “El Jefe” does what a premiere episode should: it caught my attention and makes sure I want to see more. I plan on coming back and reviewing the first season as a whole once it’s finished its run. I was just so twitchy and anticipatory to finally see Campbell don his chainsaw hand again and cut some chucklefucks in half that I had to share my feels on the premiere with everybody ASAP! I’m looking forward to what Lucy Lawless and Jill Jones’ characters bring to this b-movie A-Team, and not just because Double L showed us in Spartacus (boy did she ever) that she’s not afraid to bring out her 36Cs! Probably won’t happen, but at least the specter of her nudity will be hanging pleasantly over the proceeds.

On a final fun note of “can’t unsee” to leave you all on, if you shorten the title of the series a little it becomes “Ash Vs. ED“, as in “Erectile Dysfunction”. Think about it: we’re watching a man in his mid-50s (in a series written by equally aged gentlemen) struggling against an unseen force that haunts everything he does, making it impossible to live a normal life without stressing over the phantasmal monkey on his back. Hell, it ruins all of his romantic relationships and even literally interferes with his sex life! Gives the series a whole new metaphorical “age vs. virility” perspective, don’t it?

Oh well, at least Ash doesn’t have to deal with his dick looking like a melted tube of lipstick. Trust me, it’s a real hard sell to get over with the gals. Pun intended.

Moral of the Story: You can only use the term “retard” if you are one or you know one. Like a friend. Or a family member. Or your gardener.

Screenshots_____


Bruce Campbell stars in What Women Want 2: Get Medieval.


I know the copyright stuff probably wouldn’t allow it, but I’m saddened that isn’t a box of Ecto Cooler.


“Jeez, baby, you ever think of waxing your crack? Looks like you’ve got Macy Gracy in a head scissors back here!” (Reviewer Note: from where I’m sitting, at least her breath is minty fresh!)


It’s Leatherface’s dream journal!


This week on “CSI”, the crew are called in to find out what really happened at Justin Beiber’s Sweet Sixteen party.


“I’ve seen BLUUUUE SKIIIIES, through the teeeeears in my eyes. And I realize… I’m going home.”


That is some savage glaucoma! It’s gonna take more than a spleef to clear that up. Grandma’s gonna need a bottle of hash oil!


For some reason, Pablo wasn’t prepared for Ash to make fun of his new haircut. When the bliss of your denial is shattered.


If you put pictures of the 3 female cast members of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” through one of those photo mash-up programs, you’d get Dana DeLorenzo.


Just as it’s finally about to happen, Kelly reconsiders her Kingpin roleplaying fantasy.


“Hi. Is It my turn to be in the show yet? No? Okay. I’ll just keep waiting here then.”


“Damn it, Kyle, THIS is why I always ask you to chew your Gushers with your mouth shut! Get me a washcloth!”

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Anubis will return next time in
“Snake’s On a Game (of Death)”

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.

Feature 52 – Danger 5: Series 1 (2011)

or “Glorious Bastards”

Featuring: Sean James Murphy , Amanda Simons , David Ashby , Natasa Ristic , Aldo Mignone

Director: Dario Russo

Writers: Dario Russo & David Ashby

Origin: Australia

Sequel: Danger 5: Series 2

Review_____

“As always, kill Hitler!”

Australia… Shit. I’m still only in Australia.

Oh well. While I’m waiting for my dimensional transport portal to [REDACTED] so I can continue on with the World Tour de Farce 2015 (i.e., I’m still waiting on the DVD for the next movie to come in the mail…), let me scratch this writing bug bite that’s been gnawing on my fingers by telling ya about a little show I discovered down under called “Danger 5”.

Not to be confused with the terrible twos, these questions three, the Fantastic Four, Eve 6, Ultra-7, the Hateful Eight, Session 9, Perfect 10, or 7-Eleven, (yes, that should pad my search result click-throughs nicely…) Danger 5 are an international quintet of elite Nazi fighters brought together to stop the more “ambitious” plots of the Third Reich. Oh, and if they get a chance to, kill Hitler. Provided he doesn’t leap out of any conveniently placed windows nearby and escape to cause trouble in the next episode… which he always does. Uhm, spoilers? Oops.

D5’s members are Tucker (Sean James Murphy) – the uptight, by-the-books Aussie-in-command of the group, Claire (Amanda Simons) – the proper British Cambridge graduate who majored in lady spy stuff; Jackson (David Ashby) – the overflowing bucket of “shoot first and fuck the questions!” American testosterone; Ilsa (Natasa Ristic) – the hard-as-ice (and twice as cold) Russian vamp; and Pierre (Aldo Mignone) – the cool and charismatic “European” party guy who’s always quick with the cocktails and even quicker cocking the ladies’ tails. These allied powers operate under the leadership of their head honcho, Colonel Chestbridge (Tilman Vogler) – a well-dressed chap with a BIG BALD EAGLE HEAD!

No, I didn’t drop acid into your oj while you weren’t looking (yet). Yes, the remaining paragraphs of this review will contain some of the craziest shit your eyes will ever lay sight upon. Now, Danger 5 ASSEMBLE!

  • Episode 0 – “The Diamond Girls”

    A prequel episode originally presented on YouTube (good luck finding it now, though… buncha dongas), we’re introduced to Tucker, Johnson, and Pierre as they’re on assignment undercover at Hitler’s favorite beer hall The Black Dog. Despite the name, there’s not a single Meatloaf or Randy Travis cameo to be had.

    After 3 months of work, the trio finally gets their opening to assassinate the man who ruined little square mustaches forever, but are foiled by Der Fuhrer’s newest evil creation: Nazi she-wolves with impenetrable black diamond skin!

    Unable to stop the fortified frauleins with simple Allied firepower, the boys are sent packing. Having failed the mission, Chestbridge chews their butts out like he’s looking for grubs and mocks their stories of unkillable uber-fraus. The Colonel then brings in two new operatives to babysit the lads on their next attempt: the lovely, lethal ladies Ilsa and Claire. Claire immediately puts Tucker in his place regarding military strategy, while Ilsa picks a fight with Jackson over his comment about how they never would’ve been beaten by regular women. And so we have Danger, Party of 5!

    From here there’s a diamond heist, our heroes disguising themselves as members of the clergy, an example of how weird German TV shows are, a car chase with some Italians (“How do you know they’re Italian?” “They’re all immaculately dressed, and the driver keeps checking his hair in the rear view mirror.”), along with the establishment of all kinds of tropes the series would go on to blow up in bigger and better ways. Not as good as the episodes that would follow, but a good pilot nonetheless to lubricate us in preparation for the madness to come!

    The production design is based on a 60s tv show motif. It’s something of a re-mix of “The Prisoner” and “Thunderbirds ”, including brightly colored uniforms and sets, models/toys used for vehicles and buildings, and the occasional talking dog puppet for good measure. Though I side solidly on the McD’s side (I’m lovin’ it!), I can understand detractors who would say it tries too hard and pushes the joke ad nauseum. Go into it with that grain of salt under your tongue and gauge your interest appropriately.

    Favorite line: “All these programs seem to be about corrupt police dogs.”
    Favorite moment: Ilsa shoots a Nazi agent in a way that defies all telecommunications logic, proving the advantage of hardwire phones over cellular ones. I suspect she may be a disguised cartoon character, not unlike Judge Doom.
    Moral of the Story: Not all precious gems are the same. When it comes to bulletproofing your bodyguards, diamonds are a megalomaniacal dictator’s best friend.


    I feel like I should be really offended by this, but that might be my “politically correct liberal guilt” that racist white people like to insult non-racist white people with.


    That moment you realize your friends put LSD in your Harvey Wallbanger while you were at the jukebox.


    “Though I think you fill out that nun getup nicely, you shouldn’t make a habit of dressing that way… Yeah, that’s the look I was expecting you to make.”

    ————————————-

  • Episode 1 – “I Danced for Hitler”

    As we join our courageous crew (already in progress), they’re casually cooling off in their cozy cocktail lounge compound. Pierre is regaling Ilsa with the story of how a dying friend taught him the secrets of making perfect mixed drinks. Tucker plays chess with a waving Lucky Cat statuette named Maneki. Having no working appendages with which to move the pieces, the golden feline instead uses his telekinetic powers, accompanied by the classic screeching sound effect made famous by Ghidorah in Toho’s Godzilla movies! As for Claire, she’s her usual stick-in-the-mud self until Jackson uses his pistol to fire a lit cigarette into her mouth. James Bond levels of smarmy cool guy stuff, that.

    The D5’s downtime is interrupted, however, when Colonel Chestbridge storms in to give them their latest assignment. Nazi Prime Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, has the Third Reich misappropriating various national monuments from around the globe so he can assemble the ultimate tribute to the big H! Meanwhile, female Allied agents are being kidnapped to perform a stage show for Hitler’s birthday! It’s up to Danger 5 to infiltrate the festivities, liberate the absconded tourist traps, put a spanking on the Reich’s merrymaking and, as always, KILL HITLER!

    …You know, provided Ilsa can get over her jealousy about Hitler getting a boner over Aryan stroke fantasy Claire.

    In addition to ramping up the absurdity levels from their initial pilot, Episode 1 introduces a couple of the maiden series’ most memorable trademarks. Namely, a soon-to-be repeatedly used clip of Hitler escaping capture by jumping through a window, and ancillary characters sharing their perfect cocktail recipes with Pierre as they die in his arms. That explains why his bartending expertise is so extensive! That guy has watched more friends die than Toki Wartooth.

    Favorite line: “You know what? The world doesn’t need national monuments to remind people why they shouldn’t kill themselves.”
    Favorite moment: Jackson uses a robotic decoy disguised as Hitler’s dog (who all the Nazis recognize, for some reason) to seduce a guard dog and incapacitate it with knock-out gas. Later, it self-destructs to take out a room full of goose steppers after asking them to light her cigarette.
    Moral of the Story: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… also, Hitler loves swans.


    Wow. I have been gravely mislead about how sexy things are in Siberia, then!


    Believe it or not, I’ve had worse last call hook-ups…


    Still not as offensive as “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”.


    Oh Hel! You know when a German lays under a glass top coffee table that things are about to get messy. Like, “Let’s go see that Paul Blart sequel!” messy.

    ————————————-

  • Episode 2 – “Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich”

    Nazi super dinos are munching on Allied GIs (who love each other “like a lover”) along the Western front! These beasts come in two flavors – classic full-sized dinos (like a T-Rex with a big ol’ swastika banner across its back) and humanoid thunderlizard soldiers (like a pants wearing pterodactyl-man with a hard-on for helpless civilians). Danger 5 are called in to help (after a rather tense bit of drama at HQ), and after narrowly escaping a hungry Tyrannosaurus and a Triceratops with machine guns mounted on its horns they discover strange crystals being used to control the ‘saurs. Further research determines that the crystal are only found in Antarctica, so our intrepid Axis battlers (*cough*Golden Ax joke*cough*) are off to the South Pole to stop the bad guys!

    The sinister Krauts have set up shop in a prehistoric tropical paradise hidden in the frozen wastes (a la The People That Time Forgot), where Josef Mengele plays Dr. Moreau with his army of Triassic terrors and Jurassic jerk-offs. Jackson, Ilsa, and Claire are all captured by Mengele’s forces, with the former pair forced to fight for their lives against the mad doctor’s mutants in the arena of death. Claire is forced to fight for her virginity against the sweaty meat sack that is a horny Dr. M. Elsewhere, Tucker and Pierre wind up captives of the indigenous “savage” women (who of course wear elegant gowns). If they hope to save their captured comrades and bring down Hitler’s saurian super soldiers, T & P (heh, “TP”) must unite the fallopians with their mortal enemies – the jazz club ape men!

    Ever since Idiocracy, I’ve wanted someone to delve more into the prehistoric aspects of Hitler’s schemes. You’ve given me just what I wanted, “Danger 5”. I will break my “no reproducing” rule in your honor and name the bastard Danger Five as my tithe.

    Favorite line: “I think we can all agree, that was an interstellar goulash!”
    Favorite moment: Ilsa takes a tug off her flask and screams a stream of flames at her enemy.
    Moral of the Story: Learn to play the bongos. When Planet of the Apes happens, your skills with the skins may just save your life.


    There’s really nothing I had planned to say about this scene. I just thought “Sensible Chuckle” was the greatest name for a magazine since “How To Kill” in Dominion: Tank Police.


    Ever since dinosaurs were given the right to vote, our entire political system’s just gone to shit.


    After the success of 50 Shades of Gray, Hollywood decided other risque housewife spank-lit should be adapted for the big screen. First up: “Pumped By a Pterodactyl“!


    “Something about its mushroom-like shape fills me with unease…”

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  • Episode 3 – “Kill-Men of the Rising Sun”

    Allied fighter pilots around China have been taking a spanking, courtesy of one-sided dogfights against Japanese Zero planes piloted by some very familiar faces. Namely, their own Allied MIAs! In possibly (guaranteed) related news: the entire island nation of Japan had disappeared! What are those wacky Nazis up to now? Danger 5 will find out!… after Jackson and Tucker resolve their staring contest… and Ilsa puts her panties back on. Sorry, I can’t finish typing this until the massive boner blocking my view of the screen goes away.

    Where was I? Oh yeah, Danger 5! Their mission: capture a Zero pilot to uncover their secrets. Also, find Japan while they’re at it! Oh, and like every other time, KILL HITLER!

    Emperor Hirohito (portrayed here as a moping wiener in a cheap suit) has devised a method of brainwashing captured Allied prisoners into robotic kamikaze pilots turned against their former sky brothers-in-arms! If he can get over his relationship issues, the wet blanket genius leader of the Rising Sun nation will help serve China up to Hitler on a silver platter… along with a sculpture of Godzilla wrestling a Gundam, made entirely of schoolgirls’ used underwear. Danger 5’s investigation leads them to the coast of China, where they discover a strangely Japan-looking island that shouldn’t be there. They end up shot down and divided…again. These guys split up more than Scooby and the Gang!

    Tucker’s befriended by the local welcome wagon, who take him back to their…luxurious spa-resort?! Here he meets other Allied “prisoners” who are soaking up the hospitality like a sponge soaks up spilled bourbon and hooker blood. Ilsa follows to keep an eye on her teammate and investigate the spa further. Elsewhere, the others have been taken captive by Japanese girls with machine guns (no, Cramps fans, they were not wearing bikinis), but at their “Burmese” opium den our heroes find the ladies’ leader to be none other than Pierre’s longtime pal, Hans Chang! Like Pierre’s other amigos seen throughout the series, Hans knows the mustachioed smooth talker by a different alias. Yet another example of the show’s 100 yard dash humor…in that it’s a running joke…keep up, kids, or I’ll dump you off at the next dingo den and tell your family that you ran off with some cannibal in drag who claimed to be Mitzi Del Bra.

    Will the Danger 5 lose a member (or two) and have to get all new business cards and uniforms? Will Hitler finally take over the world with his unstoppable robotic kill-men? Will Hirohito’s heart mend before his head is blown apart like an overripe cantaloupe? What the fuck is going on in Joseph Stalin’s mustache!? Find out for yourself when you watch “Kill-Men of the Rising Sun”!

    Favorite line: “You always were a joking man, Glen! A man of jokes! Hahaha!”
    Favorite moment: In a bid to distract Jackson during the opening scene’s staring contest, Ilsa slips off her panties and tosses them into beard-o’s face. When this doesn’t do the trick, she starts crossing and uncrossing her legs…my penis is in love.
    Moral of the Story: Love conquers all. Unless it gets me Ilsa’s panties, I don’t give a dry fuck.


    “The doctor told me I wouldn’t get so many nosebleeds if I’d just keep my finger out of there… I COULDN’T KEEP MY FINGER OUT OF THERE!”


    I see Australia has their own James Franco!


    “Because it’s MY birthday and I REFUSE to pay for everyone else’s dinner AGAIN this year!”


    Ah! I see Australia has their own Nick Offerman too! Good for them. Every continent needs one.

    ————————————-

  • Episode 4 – “Hitler’s Golden Murder Palace”

    Uncle Adolf has established a Nazi casino in Morocco, where he’s mass producing golden semi-automatic rifles (that HATE crotches like Nazis hate Jews) to give his men the perfect advantage over the Allied troops! Speaking of the Allies, big time operative Agent Gruber was sent in to case the joint, but has since gone missing. It’s up to D5 to infiltrate the golden murder palace, recover Agent Gruber, and find out what der Fuhrer has planned…after they finish their Mousetrap knock-off game Fu Manchu (“You can’t just keep yelling the name of the game, Pierre! That’s not how it works.”). Then Colonel Chestbridge eats that spider off his shoulder.

    Jackson and Claire (and technically Tucker, though nobody cares what he says) have different ideas of how to go about their mission, so they…come on, you got this! They…come on…it rhymes with “slit cup”…Yes! They split up! Good girl! Have a ram chip. Anyway, Claire and Tuck work to take out the submarine guarding the casino from the bay, while the rest blend in with the gamblers inside to get their iron sights on Hitler himself. Will they be able to get past head manager (and Ilsa’s ex-husband) Erwin “The Desert Fox” Rommel? Or, will Jackson (under his card trick slinging alter ego, John Baccarat)’s jealousy jeopardize their chances to finally put a bullet in Hitler’s brain box?

    Favorite line: “I’ve been married to things a lot scarier than Nazis, my friend!”
    Favorite moment: Any time Tucker vocalizes his disgust for Italians.
    Moral of the Story: Italian imagination is a VERY dangerous thing! Maybe it’s all that coffee they drink?


    Test footage from the 1979 Ghost Rider film that Marvel would like you to forget about. Four stuntmen died before production was halted… after the first day.


    A gold-plated hotel with their logo brazenly splayed across the front? Finally, a political party Donald Trump can relate to!


    If you think those kebabs look hot before they go into you, just wait till you see how they feel coming outta you.


    Everyone always says you’ll grow hair on your palms and go blind if you masturbate too much. The truth is almost as bad.

    ————————————-

  • Episode 5 – “Fresh Meat for Hitler’s Sex Kitchen”

    After this episode, I may just change my name to Conrad Turbo: Fist Machine.

    The Nazis (wearing cool-ass shark hoods for some reason) have taken over The Palomino: a Swiss whorehouse hot spot for Allied troops looking to “lighten their load” while on R&R. They’ve replaced all of the usual working girls with corset clad Aryan prostitutes, and suddenly all of the customers are trading in their home colors for the black and red swastikas of the Stepfatherland! How are they doing it and who’s going to stop them!? I think you know…

    At least you should by now. We’re five episodes into the series and there’s only one left after this!

    After losing Jackson and Ilsa to the Krauts on the train ride over, Tucker, Claire and Pierre have to infiltrate The Palomino to rescue them. With the help of a former employee of the equine-titled bordello (whose sister was killed by the goose steppers), the trio don disguises to sneak into the cathouse: Tucker dons an SS uniform, Claire is disguised as one of the blonde bombshell strumpets, while Pierre (who doesn’t look enough like a Nazi) is also gussied up like one of Hitler’s dream girls.

    I feel there was a missed opportunity to revisit that “F-Troop” gag where Agarn refuses to wear a dress only to end up wearing a dress in that old timey sitcom way. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go watch “F-Troop”. Or, just watch this “Freakazoid” clip (http://youtu.be/YmIaL2BK1Zk) from the Candlejack episode explaining it. Oh shit…I said his name didn’t I? Fuuuuuuu—-

    If this initial premise doesn’t sound outlandish enough for a D5 adventure, rest assured that there’s also an ominous castle, a fountain that spouts some kinda Nazi voodoo H2Whoa! and a colorful occult sequence that’s straight out of an Argento flick. It’s packed with more flavors than a Double Down™ or Most American Thickburger™! But not quite as much flavor as the Pizza Crepe Taco Chili Bag™ ((https://screen.yahoo.com/taco-town-000000333.html)). That’d just be like stuffing every random moment of weirdness from the entirety of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” into 20 minutes – an unwatchable clusterfuck.

    Favorite line: Tucker (while looking for Jackson and Ilsa): “One of them looks American, the other looks volatile.”
    Favorite moment: Tucker gets into an extended machete fight with a Swiss gangster named Gordon, who wears fingerless gloves and has a big tiger head.
    Moral of the Story: The king of whiskey tastes like petrol. Also, Sin City‘s Yellow Bastard is apparently Swiss! Also also, money is the antidote for Nazi black magic, hence why Capitalism won World War II.


    Scary as their ceremonial “spooky ghost” attire may be, the KKK’s got nothing on the Nazis’ “pissed off shark men” hoods!


    Pierre’s got that “something about this just feels so right” look about him.


    You mean putting your hands up in a non-threatening way, stepping aside, and saying “It’s none of our business!” before turning around and walking away, whistling to yourself all the while to drown out the sounds of victimization going on behind you?


    Gross. That’s why you never let Goldmember finish on your face. Good luck washing that off. Blart!

    ————————————-

  • Episode 6 – “Final Victory”

    And now, the grand finale!

    For the swan song of Series 1, Hitler has created a posse of invincible giant monsters to crush the Allied forces! With the good guys on the verge of losing WW2 against these killer Kraut kaiju, what can Danger 5 do to save the world!? We’ll have to wait till after their doubles game of ping-pong finishes before we can find out.

    An Atlantean (yes, as in “from Atlantis”, not “from Atlanta”) named Gibralter has telegrammed Allied Command (using a Homing Porpoise, perhaps?) with news that the sub-aquatic populace has developed a weapon capable of defeating the Reich’s super beasts! All they need is enough refined Allied Uranium to power it, and the Axis will be defeated once and for all. *Sniff*Sniff* Do you smell something fishy? Yeah, it’s not just the shiny silver underpants of Gibralter’s submerged henchwenches. I won’t tell you exactly what happens, but Hitler shows up with one of the most convoluted schemes yet and the episode ends in a MASSIVE Ultraman/Power Rangers model city mashing fracas. If you’re gonna go out, go out BIG!

    The Series 1 end episode also introduces Danger 5’s cartoon canine cohort Killroy, whose cheap animation and stoner personality will either nudge your funny bone or chafe your taint. Consider me amongst the latter. I get the joke, but one key moment aside, I needed a mouth guard to keep from grinding my teeth into shards whenever Killroy popped in. On the plus side, at least Hitler hired someone creative to design his daikaiju. Tank Demon is easily my favorite of the trio. His body looks like a bad cosplay of Decepticon Brawl with a tank gun in his chest and a tiger’s head. Magical? Super califragical.

    Though I’m sad to see the adventures of die Gefahr von Fünf come to a close, stick around after the finale’s cocktail party credits sequence for a teaser of Series 2. As someone who’s already seen it, believe me when I say it’s a log flume ride through ever rising waters of even greater insanity and chicanery.

    Favorite line: “Betting on a table match is an unbreakable bond!”
    Favorite moment: In the final fight against Hitler’s big black knight of the Third Reich, Der Fuhrer unsheathes his ultimate weapon: a Jet Jaguar-size flame-throwing chainsaw!
    Moral of the Story: When the sit-down gun comes out, you sit down and SHUT UP!


    Next time you get into an argument with a Republican online, just show them this pic and they’ll be too busy masturbating themselves to sleep to bother you further.


    Killroy – the Scrappy-Doo of Danger 5. Like his namesake, he “was here”. Now go away.


    Ultraman villains as created by the Chinese toy company that makes those horrible knock-off comic book hero action figures sold at every corner Dollar Store in New York City.


    Germany’s way of telling Godzilla to “Keep the fuck OUT!”.

    ————————————-

    Though this is my first (new) review for a TV show on Tomb 2.0, I couldn’t have gone with a better pick. Scanned during a typical “spend 45 minutes on NetFlix looking for something to watch, only to settle on NOTHING TO WATCH before giving up and doing something else” trek, the concept and preview still were just enough to get me to sit down and donate my time like so much precious precious blood. Blood that I can’t donate, as I’m on enough pills to choke the eponymous Ursa from Grizzly.

    As I said, the 60s retro elements being parodied here are brilliant. I loved every minute of it. From the pulp inspired episode titles to the re-used tropes of every outing (the team get divided, someone(s) needs rescuing, someone(s) is brainwashed by the enemy, somebody from Pierre’s past knows him by a different name, Hitler escapes out of a window, etc.) to every episode ending with a commercial for a fake product and all of the characters from the episode having a cocktail party. Speaking of, today’s episode is brought to you by “Tough Actin’” Tinactin™! Remember, Tinactin™ only acts tough because deep down it just wants to be loved. So show your love and BUY SOME FUCKING TINACTIN™, YOU EMOTIONALLY STUNTED PRICK!

    It’s amazing the amount of violence and, well, Nazi shit that Dinosaur (the production company) got away with in “Danger 5”, given Australia’s stick-up-the-ass policies on censorship. Even in a comedic sense, the graphic violence comes as a surprise. Maybe the Aussie big wigs (yes, some Australian judges still wear court wigs!) just hate video games? I won’t go into it, but if you want to learn more about Australian video game politics, you can find out more at your local library by using one of their computers to view the following article – http://www.techly.com.au/2014/09/26/australias-ridiculous-instances-video-game-censorship/ … or, you could just do it from the device you’re currently reading this review from. Whatever floats your U-boat.

    There you have it – “Danger 5”. I can’t recommend it enough for the right niche crowd. I love it, my Evil Dead Bride loves it (Ilsa’s her new hero/life coach), and I’m sure there are untold thousands out there who would also love it if they’d seek it out. Here’s to hoping this review brings it to light for a few dozen of those thousands.

    On a final note, though it will never happen, if there was ever a Danger 5 movie, Chris Pratt would be the perfect Jackson. Just sayin’.

    Auf Wiedersehen!

    ———————————————————
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    Anubis will return next time in
    “What Fight Through Yonder Window Breaks?”

    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.

  • Feature 49 – American Psycho (2000)

    or “Scum Yuppies Must Die!”

    Featuring: Christian “Batman Begins” Bale , Willem “Spider-Man” Dafoe , Jared “Suicide Squad” Leto

    Director: Mary “I Shot Andy Warhol” Harron

    Writers: Mary “I Shot Andy Warhol” Harron , Guinevere “BloodRayne” Turner

    Origin: USA

    Sequel: American Psycho 2

    Review_____

    “Don’t just stare at it, EAT IT!”

    Oh my Elder Gods, this movie. Apologies for taking yet another detour from the World Tour de Farce, but this month marks the 15th anniversary of the release of American Psycho. I fucking love American Psycho. A decade-and-a-half ago, 4 months into a long distance relationship with this evil 17 year old from a far away land (I was only 18, so put down your torches), my Evil Dead Bride-to-Be and yours truly had been highly anticipating this amazing looking cerebral slasher flick summation of the infamous ‘80s materialism obsession. In those tormenting times when we could only see each other once a month (she was my period and her period was, well, her period), we had to plan rest breaks in our coital merrymaking, so going to the movies would help prevent us from injuring ourselves. This is the first such feature from that time that I can do a proper review for, so…here it is!

    I didn’t read American Psycho until after seeing the movie, so I was in no way ahead of the curve on this one. The only inkling I’d even had of the subject was the 1997 Misfits album of the same name (fuck you Fallout Boy, you shunty ass-butts!), which was the first release sans Danzig and, thus, the last Misfits album I’d ever listen to. My Evil Dead Mother-In-Law had read the dark and twisted tale by Bret Easton Ellis, but couldn’t finish it after the infamous rat chapter…which meant I had to see what the fuss was aboot. I was nonplussed by the graphic descriptions of genital mutilation, but I’m inured to that kinda shit anyway. I have no soul. Unless you show me those videos of animals from different species playing around like friends. Those hit me in the joy buzzer. I thought Ellis’ writing was fantastic though! Not an opinion I deja vued when I tried to read Less Than Zero, but that might’ve just been due to a disdain for spoiled dickbag preppie college kids.

    Hey! This isn’t a friggin’ stupid book club, damn it! This is a friggin’ stupid movie review site, damn it! Get on with it, damn it!

    The time is 1987. The place is Wall Street. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is obsessed with his job at the firm of Pierce & Pierce. Actually, no, he’s not. He doesn’t do a lick of “work” throughout the entire running time of this movie! Sure, he spends hours each day occupying his office space (“Somebody stole my stapler…”), but all he actually does is dress down his secretary, do the New York Times crossword (very poorly), and doodle in his date book. No, Patty’s true obsession is having the best clothes, the smoothest skin, the slightly-better-than-his-peer’s haircut, the deepest understanding of ‘80s pop music, eating at the upperest crust restaurants in New York City and wanting women to ask him what he does for a living so he has an excuse to brag. He’s the anthropomorphizing of the “gimme gimme” decade, and he’s climbing to the top of the high society food chain, populated by his fellow worshippers at the alter of the almighty dollar (AKA “the alighty ollar”). In the land of yuppie royalty, he’s Claudius, plotting his ascension through the disposal of those that stand in his way, dreaming of the day he’ll sit in his throne atop a pile of corpses in Armani suits, their blood smeared Rolexi glinting in the golden beams of his all consuming ego. How all-consuming? He’s the kind of guy who’ll go balls deep in a pair of $500/hr call girls, then just spend the whole time checking himself out in the mirror.

    That wasn’t a joke.

    When the sun goes does down, this wolf of Wall Street goes full lycanthrope (figuratively), as his world of mergers and acquisitions turns into a waking nightmare of murders and executions. Beneath his Gordon Gecko exterior lurks a bloodthirsty Norman Bates, man! Get it? “Bates, man”? Bateman? Well, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, don’t over grind those gears in your noggin. I wouldn’t want your ears to start throwin’ sparks and risk catching my collection of oily rags aflame. The smoke alarms are all dead because I never replaced the batteries after my last “let’s put 9 volts on our tongues!” party, and I’ve yet to flush the ichor out of the sprinklers following that vampire Ishtar-Easter rave I rented out The Tomb for a few weeks ago. I know, vampire raves are so ’99, but who am I to say no to a dance floor full of topless wanna-be Bathorys showered in gore? Exactly…and for no reason at all, now I can’t imagine the name “Bathory” without it being shouted in the manner of Metallica’s “Battery”.

    Where was I? Oh yeah, Bath-o-ry. I mean, oh yeah, Bateman.

    At his core, Patrick Bateman is a man that wants to fit in and be liked by his associates, so he gives up any sense of self-identity in his efforts to do so. He appreciates “Hip to Be Square” because of its message of the pleasures of conformity, further convincing himself that being a faceless clone is the way to go. We’ve all felt that need to be accepted by a group at one time or another. They used to make socially conscious scare films about it in the ’50s, warning kids not to join gangs and break windows just because they want to be popular, instead recommending they volunteer at the retirement home or get their heads blown off in the Army instead. For me, the need to fit in is past tense, because once I realized humanity is mostly refuse not worth the gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate needed to napalm it into oblivion (“Hello, oblivion!”), my desire to fit in died faster than a fetus on a coat hanger. Unfortunately for Pat, he lives in a world of sociopaths. They’re all like mannequins: interchangeable nothing entities that are judged solely on the things they wear and the places they’re seen. Every sentence of his narration, Pat name-drops some highbrow product or exclusive restaurant because he has to constantly tell you (and himself) about how great the life he struggles to maintain is. That grappling to keep his mask of normalcy in place is worth not being who he really is…not that he’d probably know who that is at this point. Even his relationships with his girlfriend Evelyn (Reese Witherspoon) and his mistress Courtney (Samantha Mathis) are equally as hollow – socialite Ev is just there to up Pat’s status, while Courtney’s just a Xanax Xombie vessel for him to do a pump & dump into when he feels like it. As he himself tells us, he has no emotions but greed and disgust. Hell, following a scene where he can barely contain his impotent rage over how everyone else has a better business card than he does (we’re the only ones who realize they’re all the same), he stabs a homeless man (Reg “Marcus from Airheads!” Cathey) to death, then stomps the guy’s dog. It’s both horrific and pathetic.

    There may be hope for Bater’s salvation in his previously alluded to secretary Jean (Chloe Sevigny), who seems to see something worthwhile in Patrick. Maybe she’s just naive, or maybe her innocence and her separation from the yuppie social life is what’s appealing about her. Whatever the case, Patrick can’t bring himself to kill her…though he comes realllllly close on a date before sending her home. Like, “nail gun to the back of her head for almost getting sorbet on his coffee table” close. Instead, our hero(?) opts to vent his urges on more deserving fare – his lady friend Elizabeth (Guinevere Turner – the screenplay’s co-writer!) and a hooker (Cara Seymour), both of whom can be excused. We all have friends we’d like to decapitate sooner or later, after all. As for the hooker, she had a sleepover with Patrick prior that ended with her going to an emergency room, in need of some reconstructive surgery (use your imagination) and fearing for her life. But when he comes back to her corner and flashes a wad of cash? She hops into the limo and goes home with him for round 2! You know how important money will be to you if you’re not alive to spend it? NOT AT ALL. It’s not fucking rocket surgery! Just another testament to how little some people value everything else in the face of their green paper god.

    Speaking of, the absurdity of the 1% portrayed here is hilarious. Business cards (more later), cuisine that sounds like something people in an alternate dimension from a “Twilight Zone” episode would eat, those Zack Morris cells that make military field phones from ‘Nam look more convenient, and CD players from a time when only the five richest kings of Europe could afford them. Those last two have probably already been the subject of one of those dumbass videos where teenagers from today look at them like 4 year-olds given a particle accelerator. “Durrrrr! Old things are confusing! I have no cognizance of things existing prior to my birth!” BLART!

    Throughout his blood soaked escapades, the only Bateman victim that anyone gives a fuck about is his high-profile rival at P&P, Paul Allen (Jared Leto). Infuriated that Paul’s able to get reservations at Dorsia (apparently it’s yuppie El Dorado), his constant mistaking of Patrick for fellow P&P cookie-cutter clone Marcus Halberstram and his business card being so much better than Pat’s to the point of emasculation (Bale’s performance here is scary good). He plots to take the guy out to a shithole restaurant (no risk of peer witnesses), get him drunk, then invite him back to his place to listen to some Huey Lewis, while our dapper death dealer expunges the finer points of The News and disposes of Paul’s need for, well, anything that involves a head. It’s here, and in some similar scenes later, where I start to think that Patrick missed his calling as a music critic…or he just spends way too much time on the shitter reading reviews in “Rolling Stone”. Either way, he butchers his associate with an axe while shouting, “Try getting a reservation at Dorsia now, you fucking stupid bastard!”.

    Despite doing his best to cover up the casual slaughter (by taking measures to make it seem Paul had to make a last minute trip to London), Allen’s girlfriend Meredith still reports him missing. It’s not long before NYPD Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe) follows a trail of breadcrumbs to the office door of one Master Bateman (*wink*wink*).

    Kimball is a great performance by Dafoe, not only because the guy’s a top notch thespian (insert cliched joke about how “thespian” sounds kinda like “lesbian” here), but because Mary Harron had him read his lines in 3 different contexts – Kimball thinking Bateman was innocent, thinking he might’ve done it, and thinking he was guilty as OJ. The three sets of takes were then chopped up and edited together as such that audiences couldn’t read which way he was leaning. The first time I saw this, I thought it might’ve just been unbalanced acting on Dafoe’s part, looking to pick up a paycheck and get home in time to watch “Wheel of Fortune” while he fucked a TV dinner. When I learned the truth, it made a lot more sense. It’s a great reflection of Patrick’s paranoid perception of their exchanges, as you see our titular psycho start to sweat and panic just shy of becoming that nervous guy in cartoons who pulls on his collar so hard that his neck turns an acute angle.

    According to Kimball, several people in Bateman’s social circle commented on how they’d seen or spoken to Paul while he’s been in London. The first time I saw this, I thought that Patrick had just fantasized about all of the terrible things he’d done and there was never any actual bloodshed. Having seen it several times since, I’m convinced that the murders really did happen, only nobody noticed because they all live in a constant state of head-up-their-own-ass-ity. Paul Allen’s identity is actually questioned in several scenes, as Patrick’s companions mistake one person or another for Allen. Once again, an attestation to the sameness of every a-hole on the stretch between Broadway and South. There’s also the possibility that Patty himself may be the one suffering a case of mistaken identity, but if that were the case, Paul’s girlfriend probably wouldn’t have reported him missing.

    Amidst all this, there are two great scenes that revolve around the bizarre business card obsession these maniacs have. The first is the previously mentioned exchange of Allen “winning” the dick measuring contest of who has the better card amid his fellow Piercers. The second involves Courtney’s fiance Luis (Matt Ross, looking like the bastard spawn of Lyle Lovett and Pippi Longstocking), as he tempts Bateman’s ire at lunch by nonchalantly showing everyone his new card, whose “perfection” pushes Pat over the edge faster than Thelma and Louise in a ’66 Thunderbird. When our lunatic tries to strangle Luis in the men’s room after, Luis thinks Patty’s just being aggressively flirtatious and responds by making passionate mouth foreplay with the murderer’s hand! The resulting confusion and revulsion from Bate-and-switch is hilarious, but rather than continue with what would be a hate crime by today’s standards (or “AIDS prevention” by the medieval logic of the Reagan era), Pat washes his gloves and leaves the restaurant in a huff, citing his usual excuse of needing to “return some videotapes”. Easy money says it’s porn or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, since that seems to be all he ever watches. Still my favorite way to say goodbye to people, even years after that sentence no longer means anything.

    Eventually, Patrick finally just loses it and tosses his metaphorical mask of sanity into the nearest metaphorical toilet. He goes on a rampage, gunning random strangers down left and right. His body count includes an old lady, a doorman, a janitor and several policemen before he finally escapes. Despite evading capture, he picks up a phone and calls Howard, his lawyer, then leaves a confession on the ambulance chaser’s answering machine about all of the atrocities he’s committed (most of which didn’t make it onscreen)! The next morning, after flipping out on Jean from a payphone, Patrick meets his cohorts like he does every day, as if NOTHING HAPPENED. Here he runs into Howie, and their confrontation only results in a case of mistaken identity, where Patrick’s advocate confuses him for someone else entirely and thinks the whole phone message was a joke! He cites Bateman as being too spineless and dorky to ever pull off something like a killing spree! As Patrick says himself, “this confession has meant nothing”, and it’s then that our antagonistic protagonist realizes there’s no escape from the numb and pointless existence he’s tried so hard to be a part of. You’d almost feel sorry for the guy if he hadn’t tried to feed a stray cat to an ATM machine…

    You know what, I’m just gonna post his entire ending monologue here because just saying “this confession has meant nothing” doesn’t do it a lick of justice… also, “Lick of Justice” sounds like an all oral fetish porn where everyone’s dressed in police uniforms and judges’ robes.

    “There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis; my punishment continues to elude me, and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.”

    Getting American Psycho made is your typical tale of a train derailment to Clusterfuck City. Harron left the project when Lions Gate insisted on having Leo DiCaprio star (Lions Gate? Leo DiCaprio? CONSPIRACY!) rather than her original pick of Bale, and they subsequently brought in Oliver Stone to replace her. Stone wanted James Woods to play Kimball, Cameron Diaz as Evelyn, and Elizabeth Berkley as Courtney. But, with Stone’s budget going gaga and Leo leaving to make The Beach instead, Harron and Bale were brought back to make the cheaper (and likely better) film. When it was originally optioned for the cinematic treatment WAY back in ’91, Ellis was actually set to adapt the screenplay himself, Johnny Depp was eyed to play Batey, and Tomb hero Stuart “Re-Animator” Gordon was set to direct! The man who gave life to celluloid Herbert West wanted to stick as closely to the book as possible (which would’ve popped the flick an ‘X’ rating) and planned to shoot the whole shebang in black & white. When that attempt died a painful death, David “Scanners” Cronenberg was pegged to man the camera for a second effort with none other than Brad Pitt lacing up Patrick’s Ferragamos! I wouldn’t ask for either of these as an alternative to Herron and Bale’s final product, but Set DAMN would I love to have both of those version as companion pieces! When CERN finally figures out how to tear open dimensional gateway vaginas into alternate realities, somebody bring me back the Gordon and Cronenberg versions of American Psycho! I’ll even cover the gas money, or boson money, or whatever you need me to pay you! It can be my birthday and Cthulhumas presents for the rest of my life! JUST MAKE THEM HAPPEN!

    Anyway, the movie we did get is pretty fucking great! It doesn’t delve too deeply into the more graphic depictions of violence portrayed in the book, but selling an NC-17 movie is near impossible if you hope to make any kind of profit on it. That’s fine by me though, because I’d rather experience the beautiful monster we’re given if it has to be at the expense of not seeing a woman’s cunt torn up by a giant sewer rat who hollows out her pelvis to make a nest. Yes, that happens in the book…or something like it. I don’t know, it’s been 15 years. Fuck off. A friend of mine recently started reading it and complained that all she’s seen so far is some guy talking about designer clothing for 20 pages. I don’t want to spoil the nightmarish “Marquis de Sade on coke” stuff for her, but I may need to before she loses all interest. Now, about that movie…

    Harron’s direction is superb. From the illusory pouring of raspberry sauce that the audience initially may mistake for blood, to Bateman’s opening monologue/morning routine going directly into a straight-out-of-an-’80s-movie shot of the NYC skyline serenaded by “Walking On Sunshine”, you know the next hour and a half are going to be damn weirder than your average slasher flick, and maybe, just maybe, more fucking magical than a unicorn & pegasi orgy. The orchestral music is great, and reminds the viewer of the classic stringed tunes of the Psycho soundtrack…or, to a much lesser extent, Richard Band’s mostly copyright-infringing Re-Animator score. Likely not an accident, I’m sure…the Psycho connection, I mean, not Richard Band being a rip-off artist like his brother Charles.

    The visual composition of the scenes are so beautifully arranged too, and I’m not the type of digital movie griper to bring attention to artsy shit like that very often. Osiris, it’s all just so slick and pretty. That business card showdown! The sounds of unsheathing swords were used for the guys’ pulling their “weapons” from their holders, and it’s all shot so stuffed to the gills with tension that you’re just waiting for Patrick to start stabbing everyone in the eyes with a letter opener! The death of Christie the hooker is another one of the movie’s iconic highlights, as we’re given the nightmarish vision of a bloody and naked Bates, wearing nothing but sneakers and wielding a chainsaw almost as deadly as the look of complete insanity he’s got on his face. He chases the courtesan through a poorly lit hallway before planting the steely teeth of hungry death into her insides like someone drilling for oil. You know that part in the second episode of Netflix’s “Daredevil” with the bad guy on the stairwell and the fire extinguisher? All I could think of when watching that was Bateman + chainsaw + gravity = dead hooker.

    The writing is also top-notch and packed with so much quotable goodness! From dark, insightful, self-actualizations of horrific (in)human nature, to trivia about pop stars and serial killers, to shit that’s just fun to shout at people, there’s something for everyone! Patrick’s running narration helps keep the rhythm of the book and is a constant reminder that this story is Patrick’s and no one else’s – just the way he’d want it. Bale puts on a career making performance. Literally. Despite being told by everyone that playing a scum-ass misogynist serial killer would be the premature burial of his future in Hollywood, he went on to be, well, Batman among other things! Speaking of, was it weird or straight up providence that Elizabeth calls Patrick “Batman” in the book, and the guy who would play Bates in the movie would go on to play fucking Batman in the Chris Nolan trilogy!? And further crazy dicks? Christian Bale’s character brutally murders Jared Leto’s character here. Leto is going to play the Caped Crusader’s jolly nemesis The Joker in the four-color feature, Suicide Squad next year. So, we get to watch Batman ax the Joker to death. Also, for no reason, Willem Dafoe played The Green Goblin in Spider-Man. For further no reason, Reg Cathey will be playing Sue and Johnny’s father, in this summer’s Fantastic Four re-boot… or, if you’re a shit lord in 20th Century Fox’s marketing department, Fant4stic. A testament to how comic books have become a legitimate movie genre over the last 15 years, or just proof that everybody needs to pay their bills and funnybook films are the way to go? Either way, fun facts for my fellow fanboys/girls.

    So, yeah, Christian Bale brings Bateman to life. Like Vic Frankenstein with a lightning rod and open access to a cemetery. And after hearing about the other actors that could have played him, I can’t picture anyone other than Bale being Bateman. His line delivery. His facial expressions. The way he inserts violent threats into casual conversation. The way he fake fucks two women while winking at the camcorder and pointing at himself in the mirror. All of it. There were a pair of scenes that I was taken out of the magic by my nose hairs, though. I know PB’s confessions at the end are SUPPOSED to be broken and manic, but I feel Bale goes a little too far off the rails and develops a hankering for the distinct taste of scenery. Not nearly as off-putting as the infamous Batman “tonsils in a rock tumbler” voice (which Bale has made it a point to place the blame for squarely on Nolan), but it does verge on being goofy. Other than that, though, I’m gonna reach into my cliché cookie (like a fortune cookie, just stuffed with cliches) and pull out…“tour de force performance”. Sure. That works. Go with it.

    Wanna know more about the Bateman family tree? Check out The Rules of Attraction. Dawson Van Der Beek plays Patrick’s little brother Sean. It’s not as good as American Psycho, but it’s still a solid flick. Also, there’s no serial killing, so its lack of horror/sci-fi/fantasy/action kinda disqualifies it from getting its own episode and thus I won’t be reviewing it. Sorry kids, sometimes you gotta watch movies yourselves.

    I’m just a happy camper, rockin’ n’ rollin’, but I gotta return some videotapes. My copy of Full House of 1000 Corpses was due back at Blockbuster in 2007, so it’s time to flatline this episode! You live in fear for the day I finally review American Psycho 2, and we’ll meet back here next time for The Tomb 2.0’s big 50th episode celebration! Which movie will it be? You’ll have to wait and see. Until then, watch this video. If it had a sentient brain and a Social Security Number, I’d adopt it. Later, mutilators!

    Moral of the Story: If your friends don’t appreciate your extensive knowledge of serial killer trivia, you need to find some new friends…after you kill the current ones.

    Screenshots_____


    Gah! This guy looks like a Muppet! Not even a licensed Muppet! He looks like a Made In China Muppet! He’s a Murpitt!


    The Hel? Is this The Lone Ranger training for a marathon? Did somebody switch reels/discs/.avis on me?!


    See? I knew I wasn’t the only adult who still covers the hairless parts of their body in glue and tries to peel it off in the largest sections possible. I see Patrick’s mastered the “Elmer’s Death Mask”. Kudos to you, Sir.


    “I’m sorry, Reese, but I just didn’t think Sweet Home Alabama was very good. No… you know what? It was GARBAGE! It was utter pandering TRASH and I HATE YOU!”


    What’s with that hair?! Did he steal it from the set of Heartbeeps? Holy shit… I just made a Heartbeeps reference… I’ll see myself out before everybody starts awkwardly asking what the fuck that is. I was never here.


    Ah, the ’80s. When porn wasn’t just parodies of popular TV shows or innuendo titles. When your movie’s called “Inside Lydia’s Ass”, you know what you’re getting.


    I applaud Bateman’s patience. I’d probably lose it if the bastard son of Carrot Top and Pee Wee Herman started fondling my pocket square.


    This! Showing someone THIS is enough to get your face split open with an ax! Wall Street was fucking Fury Road 30 years ago!


    “I turned down every role that came my way because I wanted to keep my schedule open for Airheads 2, and without any work, I ended up here. Adam Sandler has been telling me since 1995 that he was gonna produce Airheads 2! HE PROMISED ME! He told me there’s a script and everything, they’re just tweaking it and I need to hold out a few more weeks! I’m starting to doubt him…”


    “Why the slicker? Are you kidding?! When the ladies see this hi-fi setup, there’s going to be a *SPLOOSH* tsunami coming my way!”


    “Sorry for my appearance, but you know what they say: a real man loves his woman every day of the month! Haha!”


    Is he making reservations at a restaurant, or calling in an air strike?! I wish cell phones were still that big though. I guarantee I wouldn’t have to listen to every asshole at the supermarket shouting their personal conversations if they had to lug one of those monsters around.


    Bateman was 25 years ahead of the curve with recording adorable cat antics. Unfortunately, he taped over all of them with snuff films before YouTube would be invented.


    “Hey! Does that picture frame look crooked to you? You know what, never mind. I probably should’ve waited till later. Damn coke… but seriously, is it just me or is that fucking frame, like, REALLY crooked?! IT GETS MORE CROOKED THE LONGER I LOOK AT IT! Alright, I’m sorry, but I can’t finish this till I fix that damn frame!”


    Did you know Patrick Bateman invented the FlowBee? His was called the BloodFlowBee though… also, it killed you… there were a LOT of lawsuits. It bankrupted him.


    “So, can I rely on you to help me with my little spider infestation?”


    “Of course, provided you can help me get the bats out of my belfry… permanently! Hahahahahahaha!…. We are talking about teaming-up to kill each others’ nemesi, right?”


    “I know I said that whole ‘real men’ comment earlier, but COME ON! When you sneeze it’s like Evil Dead 2 in here! I can’t keep buying new Egyptian cotton sheets EVERY MONTH!”


    In Miami, you learn not to look up. Every time you do, THAT is what’s staring back at you from EVERY fire escape. Fucking Florida.


    “And THIS is for all the times you insisted on cornering me in the elevator and forced me to make small talk with you! I don’t CARE about your FUCKING grandchildren getting their FUCKING braces off!”


    “No… please… please… PLEASE STOP! I just… I just want the internet service… THE INTERNET SERVICE!… NO!… I don’t want 3 free months of 15 different Showtime channels!… no…. no…… NO!….. NOOOOO!…. PLEASE STOP!…. please….. please…. just…. please…. just stop….” *heavy sobbing sounds*

    ———————————————————
    ———————————————————

    Anubis will return next time in
    “Ghouls’n GearHeads”

    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.

    Feature 31 – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

    or “Dog Will Hunt(ing)”

    Featuring: Jessica “The Illusionist” Beil , Jonathan “The Ruins Tucker , R. Lee “Full Metal Jacket” Ermey , and Andrew “Street Fighter Bryniarski as Leatherface

    Director: Marcus “Pathfinder” Nispel

    Writer: Scott “The Machinist” Kosar

    Origin: USA

    Review_____

    “I smell bullshit!”

    Independence Day! 4th of July! Barbecue! Pyrotechnics! Flags bigger than most peoples’ homes bearing the stars and stripes while blocking out the sun in WalMart parking lots! Wacky inflatable arm-flailing tube men in Uncle Sam hats doing their illicit Lambada over used car lots! Beach-goers bearing their t&a/d&a barely restrained behind tiny Old Glory swimwear! Morons who preach “We must follow the ways of our forefathers!” while clutching their tiny Constitutional pocket guide in one hand and their bible in the other as big wads of money that smell like church collection plates pad their back pockets! Where am I going with all this?! What says “’Merica!” more than lazy movie remakes? Why, lazy movie remakes about TEXAS! The self-proclaimed prototype for “true Americans”! Guns! Racism! Misogyny! Jingoism! Corruption! John Wayne! George Bush! Big fat guts full of $40 steaks and piss beer! Baby Jesus! Truck Nuts! Exploitation of illegal immigrants! Unwarranted pride and proclamations of superiority based on nothing but “BECUZ TEXAS!”! Their so-called “America’s football team” that hasn’t had a Super Bowl appearance in almost TWENTY YEARS! Might wanna suck less, Dallas. After 2016 your fans are gonna run out of fingers and toes to count their shame on. They’re still better off than Rangers fans though, whose team has NEVER won a World Series…

    Given how you’re one of those “SPORTS ARE ALL WE LIVE FOR!” states, you might wanna get some first aid cream for that sick burn, Texas. No, that’s A-1…actually, you know what, stick with the A-1. It fits the theme of tonight’s movie!

    “Shake, Bake, & Remake” continues tonight with episode 3: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre…yet ANOTHER production of the living intellectual black hole Michael Bay. Originally a cosmic entity who came to Earth to steal the collective intelligence of the world’s inhabitants, with which he would power the dreaded doomsday device he planned to destroy his home planet, Bay discovered the perverse joys of bilking we humans of our hard-earned wages using big budget Hollywood productions that corrupted the creations of others to serve his purposes. His evil is eternal, and as long as his victims continue to murder their minds at his hands, his reign will remain unchallenged and continue to spread its corrupting influence until the childhoods of ALL people have been irreversibly eradicated.

    Bay’s actually the perfect knob to produce a movie like this, because much like Texas his stuff’s all loud noises and bluster without any actual substance. Hell, even the way his company Platinum Dunes has made its name bastardizing other peoples’ work fits because Texas’s greatest boogeyman, Leatherface, is just a “remake” of infamous ol’ Ed Gein, a native of Wisconsin! Ah, Wisconsin…whose virtues can all be found in the MST3K episode for The Giant Spider Invasion, as seen at >>THIS LINK<<. PUDDING!

    Okay, I’ve been shitting on Texas and Michael Bay long enough (at least for this episode), so let us tarry (Gilliam?) no longer. Let’s sink our teeth deep into the steak sauce soaked heart of the Lone Star State and have a family reunion with the Sawyers. Wait, they’re the Hewitts now? Damn it. Well, at least they’re not the “Slaughter” family anymore. Stupid fucking “Next Generation” Zellweger/ McConaughey bullshit. Damn it Kim Henkel, if you hadn’t contributed to the original Hooper movie I’d gas up my time machine, go back to 1944, and burst your dad’s testicles with an air hammer.

    Much like he did 30 years earlier, John Larroquette narrates us into the proceedings, starting almost word-for-word with his original TCM intro (which was so great I used to have it as a track on one of my mix cds) before going into further detail about the post-incident police investigation and spoiling the ending of the movie right away by telling us that the mystery was never solved. What seems like the setup for a sequel instead rewinds us back to 1973 and a Scooby-Doo style group of 5 twenty-somethings in their Scooby-Doo style ’70s VW van. The gang are on their way back from a trip to Mexico, smuggling 2lbs of Tijuana Mary Jane, as they make their way across the Texas outback to a Lynard Skynard concert in Dallas. For our younger readers, Lynard Skynard are those guys that Kid Rock wishes he was when’s not pretending he lives in a trailer park in Compton.

    Gone are Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother Franklin, replaced instead by our heroine Erin (Jessica Bile errrrr Biel), her boyfriend Kemper (Eric Balfour), and their friends Pepper (Erica Leershen), Andy (Mike Vogel), and Morgan (Jonathan Tucker). Because chainsawing an obnoxious gimp in a wheelchair only brings bad press in this day and age (11 years ago), all of our cast are able-bodied victims-to-be. And because audiences don’t like innocent victims, they’re smuggling the weed to make them morally impure and thus acceptable saw fodder. Of course Erin is the exception though, since she needs to survive the whole ordeal, so she was unaware of the illicit substance transferal, proclaims herself against it when she does find out, and subsequently turns down a toke of the communal joint when it’s passed her way because she’s “nauseous”. If Vegas was taking bets on the mortality rates for this group, “Erin is the only one who makes it out alive” would be 1:10 odds – in other words, for every $10 you bet, you’d only get $1 back when, not “if” but “when”, you win. Doesn’t make sense? Let it sink in for a minute, then go call whatever member of your family has a gambling problem and ask them to explain it to you. Every family has at least one. And if you don’t know who it is? Spoiler: it’s you.

    While motoring down a deserted country road (i.e. every road in Texas not found in a major city), our meddling kids almost run down a young woman walking aimlessly on the pavement. In an apparent state of shock (an obvious victim of some manner of brutal torment), they offer the dazed female a ride back to civilization, only to have her whimper something about how she “won’t go back there” and condemn everyone in the van to their doom. She then pulls a revolver from between her blood caked inner-thighs (I used to know a girl who did photo shoots like that…minus the blood, of course), puts it into her mouth like it were Ryan Gosling, and sends her brains on the next bullet train to Fort Worth! With a massive hole blown through their rear window and their interior now painted crimson with accents of “Skull Fragment” White and “Gray Matter” Gray, the gang pull over to have their individual freak outs and try to remember the Drivers’ Ed protocol for “What to do when a hitchhiker kills his or herself in your back seat”.

    Since they’re a few thousand miles too far from the San Fernando Valley to drop by The Wolf’s place (and trapped in a far worse feature), they opt to take their new friend (or what’s left of her) with them to the nearest semblance of civilization so they can report the freak suicide to the authorities. But, because they’re snarky tourists who do nothing but bitch about the stupid podunk no-horse town they’re in, they wind up getting the runaround (starring Stiffler and The Rock!) and eventually take a vote to decide whether to keep trying to hunt down the local constabulary or just dump Suicidey and get the fuck outta Dodge before they miss opening act Molly Hatchet and their sweet live extended rendition of “Flirtin’ With Disaster”. The gents vote for the hasty retreat, but the girls invoke the Veto Right of Cock Block, so once again, everyone’s going to be disemboweled because the ladies have misplaced sentimentality for some stranger who opted to ventilate the back of her brain pan in their Mystery Machine. Oh, the dangers of estrogen.

    The search for the Sheriff leads our crew to an old Scooby-Doo style abandoned mill, where they run into a little deformed boy named Jedidiah (David Dorfman), who looks like he wandered away from the set of a Deliverance remake three sound stages down. He directs Erin and Kemp to the Sheriff’s home nearby, which is an old Scooby-Doo style rundown plantation house. Though there’s STILL no Sheriff to be had, they meet a stump legged, molest-y handed geezer in a wheelchair named Monty (Terrence Evans) who offers to let Erin use his phone to call the Sheriff’s office, while Kemper is elsewhere being introduced to big Scooby-Doo style goon Thomas Hewitt (Andrew Bryniarski) wearing a very non Scooby-Doo style mask that’s less “rubber werewolf face” and more “patchwork human flesh”. Kemp gets a splitting headache via sledgehammer (and I don’t mean David Rasche) and dragged off to become tonight’s main course while Erin is told her boyfriend went back to the van, so she heads back herself. Speaking of the van, Sheriff Hoyt (Lee “please save this movie” Ermey!) finally arrives, takes the gun the dead girl shot herself with and pops it into his empty ankle holster (that’s not good…), then has the guys help him mummify her in Saran Wrap and dump her into the trunk of his cruiser before leaving. When Erin comes back to no Kemper, the gang does the Scooby-Doo style “let’s split up (so we’ll be easier to kill)” thing with Pep and Morgan staying with the vehicle while Erin and Andy go back to the shithole mansion to search for their errant amigo. Rut-roh, this can’t end well, Raggy…

    Grandpa Gimp (“Gimpa”?) catches the snooping kids meddling around the house and summons up his juggernaut kin to dispose of them in the most violent manner possible, which includes bringing the titular power tool out for its big screen debut. Erin escapes, but while being chased through the world’s largest labyrinthine collection of clothesline dried sheets Andy gets his leg bisected by the hungry teeth of Bubba’s, I’m sorry, “Thomas’s” flesh-rending, gas-powered, death dealing chainsaw. If you had to use a chainsaw to cut open a pregnant woman and remove her child, would the baby be…………… “STIHL-born”?! Wakka-wakka!

    No sooner does Erin-on-the-safe-side (BLART!) get back to the van and declare her intentions to hit the road harder than Ike hit Tina (Don’t boo me! Dig out your Ouija Board and boo Ike Turner!), then Hoyt returns, this time acting even less like genuine law enforcement and just straight up starts torturing the remaining trio: threatening them, interrogating them, and ultimately dragging Morgan off in the back of his squad car. The girls are left to deal with Leatherface (a name that’s never actually used, but I insist on using for the rest of the review), who runs into the scene showing off his newest acquisition: a mask made of Kemper’s face, which is actually pretty damn creepy! Pepper dies when she tries to ward off ‘Face’s spinning death blade with her bare hands, and the gruesome stuff is left off-screen, likely because Suicidey’s self brain blowing probably burned up all of the MPAA’s allotment for graphic violence portrayed against women within a 90min run time.

    Erin escapes to a nearby trailer, but as you can imagine, EVERYBODY within a 3 mile radius of the place is a member of this family. Such is the case with the two creepy ladies our protagonista encounters. Before she realizes it though, they exposition us on ‘Face’s backstory (he was born with a weird skin disease so HE HAS NO NOSE…shock…horror) and drug her with Celestial Seasons’ new Sleepytime EXTREME!!!!® herbal tea. She wakes up back at the house and gets dumped into the Hewitts’ confusingly HUGE basement, which is flooded with water for no other reason than to get Jessica Biel into a wet white t-shirt with no bra. She finds Andy clinging to his last morsels of life while suspended on a meathook, and tries against his wishes to lift him off of it, only to get it jammed in even deeper. Ouch. Finally giving up, Erin plunges a filet knife between her buddy’s ribs as his one last behest (all I can think of is Glen Danzig singing those last three words in his Elvis horror voice) before moving on and finding what’s left of Morgan, pummeled to shit and handcuffed with a gunshot in his back, doing what I can only assume to be basting in a bathtub full of filthy water. Practically carrying his busted ass on her own, they manage to escape the reappearing Leatherface thanks to help from the little deformed boy, who I’m starting to think may be ‘Face’s son…or nephew…maybe brother? Whatever. He could be his grandpa for all I know! Keeping track of an incest family tree is harder than figuring out the Pullman-Paxton Principle.

    The duo escape to a nearby cabin/barn (all these dilapidated buildings look the same to me), but the struggle to save Morgan is fundamentally for jack naught, as he just ends up another sacrifice on the altar of the saw gods…and as a cautionary tale reminding you to only have your vasectomies performed by trained professionals! Now, having failed to save any of her friends, and the only remaining ham yet to be hocked, Erin takes flight once more. This time their Scooby-Doo style chase sequence (sans Monkees music) takes them to a nearby abattoir, partially because her shirt has now dried and needs to be drenched again in the animal shower. Ironically enough, I feel this is the ONLY place within running (and screaming) distance of that house that isn’t under Hewitt control. Not because it’s full of cows rather than humans, but because it’s just so damn clean and well maintained compared to EVERY other structure this movie’s taken place in up till now. For the first time in the entire movie (except maybe for the earlier scenes where she hot wires the van and picks a padlock with the tip of a pocket knife) Erin proves herself a potently bad-ass female lead when she lures ‘Face into a small locker room too narrow for him to maneuver his huge overcompensating chainsaw, then hacks off his fucking arm at the elbow with a meat cleaver! You GO, grrrrrrl!

    Someone please hit me with a brick now. *THUNK* Thank you.

    All awesomeness from the preceding scene is immediately flushed out to sea like so much improperly disposed of toxic waste though, because Leatherface’s arm does NOT spray geysers of gore everywhere, despite having MAJOR ARTERIES HACKED THROUGH! None at all! He flails around screaming his animal noises and recoups his still running saw without dumping so much as a pint of blood, let alone the gallons of ichor that losing half your damn arm would result in! I thought we had a moment there, TCM. We looked into each other’s eyes, stood on the verge of a deep, nigh-kismetic exchange of our very souls…and you threw up on my ceremonial reviewing robes. Expect my dry cleaning bill. And please don’t attempt calling me for another date. I won’t be kind. In fact, I may burn down your house.

    Finally, Erin makes her way back to the family (long story about a truck driver I prefer to truncate for the sake of not wanting to type anymore about this movie) amidst a pouring rainstorm (can’t let that t-shirt get dry or the little boys in the audience will stop watching!), kidnaps a baby (again, not interested in explaining), steals Sheriff Hoyt’s car, and ends the movie on a high note by running the twisted bastard over THREE times (if you’re gonna do a job, do it right!) before escaping into the night… and narrowly running over ‘Face, who’s not only barely phased by LOSING HIS ARM, but somehow acquired the Jason Voorhees teleportation engine to get that far ahead of her in the time since she left him back at the plant.

    In an epilogue (that actually continues our opening narration), we learn that ‘Face is STILL ALIVE SOMEHOW, thus threatening a sequel (that would be dropped in favor of a prequel before Lionsgate bought the rights from New Line) where I was hoping we’d see our villainous psychopath pull an Ash and run around with his chainsaw now strapped to his stump. Denied. Oh well. The weirdest part is that this epilogue is delivered through footage of a police walk through of the Hewitt house after the events of the movie proper. ‘Face attacks and (presumably) kills the cops in question while the camera is rolling, but John Laroquette never says anything about how or when the footage was recovered… or how the cops got their asses handed to them by a big galoot with only one arm. Whatever. Fuck it. The END!

    If nothing else, Texas Chainsaw Massacre continues/started the general disdain of horror movie fans for weak cheese, needless remakes. I tried to go into it with no expectations so I could keep my disinterest pure, but when I found out that the writer of The Machinist was in charge of the screenplay, it came with the hopeful implication that this might not be the slog through sewage that I feared it would be deep in the cosmic vortex where my heart should be. In the end? Well, it was still a slog, but the shit sludge was more chest deep than eyeballs, so at least I didn’t get any in my mouth. In addition to the half-competent writer, I was happy to at least see director Nispel knew to remake Hooper’s classic shots of the wide open Texas sky. And he does a solid knock-off “homage” to Hooper’s eerie tracking shots of the family’s rundown abode, made all the more effective by the Hewitts’ decrepit plantation home. Speaking of creative, Hooper and Henkel were on as co-producers, but as far as how much of a hand they actually had in this shit show is unknown. I want to say very little, but neither are exactly well known for being infallible bastions of cinematic greatness. I refer you to my previous statement regarding a time traveling air hammer and exploded balls.

    Now, we know why TCM is slightly better than our previous two half-baked remakes, but let’s really tackle why it’s still a steaming Texas Chili Bowl of a movie…and yes, before you ask, a “Texas Chili Bowl” is a poop-sex thing. The biggest offense? It’s boring. I checked my watch several times wondering how much more I had to sit through, and that’s REALLY not good when your movie is only about an hour and a half long. I had no real problems with Leatherface himself…except that he’s not ONCE called Leatherface…and the mystery is ruined when we’re very clearly shown his face…and they try to make him sympathetic by turning him into a ridiculed man-child with a skin condition…and this skin condition assumingly made the blood in his arms stop flowing…and they took away the whole transvestite thing because it was probably too “sissy” for a “scary” horror movie villain…and I couldn’t get over the fact that he was played by the same dude who was Zangief in that Street Fighter movie that was so campy it could’ve been a Meatballs sequel. So, yeah, I guess I had plenty of problems with “Thomas Hewitt” after all.

    The victims were pretty much all useless skin sacks, starting the trend of Platinum Dunes characters that we couldn’t care less about when they’re being hacked to bits, and that’s NOT just because I’m a sociopath. When Alfred E. Neuman images get more of a reaction out of me than any member of your actual cast, you’re doing something terribly wrong. Speaking of the cast, whose idea was it to expand the family to include so many ancillary members?! When it was Cook, Hitchhiker, and Leatherface, or Drayton, Chop Top, and Leatherface, the family was at its strongest because we only had three members to keep track of and they each had their chances to stand out! Not only do the Hewitts have five or six (or seven) members, but out of the only three whose names I remembered, Thomas was one of the least dimensional, Jedidiah was only around for two scenes, and despite being the clear focus of the group, Hoyt feels like he wasn’t taken far enough. He came off less like the sadistic animal that Chop Top and Hitchhiker were, and more like just another Texas asshole with a badge.

    Final judgment? If the saw truly is family, then this family member deserves to be driven out into the desert and left to the coyotes. Though not the strike that Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street were, this installment of “Shake, Bake, & Remake” was definitely a hard foul and has made no case that remakes shouldn’t be allowed by penalty of death via air hammer between the legs, for males and females. Avoid this Scooby-Doo mystery if you can, ignore if you can’t, and kick it in the gonads while shouting “NO MEANS NO!” if it persists. Say no to cash-ins, kids. Zoinks. Good night, patriots!

    Moral of the Story: Brains look kinda like lasagna…so John Arbuckle is the first/most fucked if a zombie outbreak hits the Sunday Comics.

    Screenshots_____

    When asked if his cameo in Texas Chainsaw Massacre caused him any concern for his safety, Mr. Neuman replied, “What? Me wo… you know what, *expletive* this. Interview over.” before giving his interviewer a crass gesture and walking away.


    An alternate time line’s Courtney Love in a dimension where Nirvana went on to have a long and illustrious career.


    “Hey, I never agreed to have my likeness appear in a Michael Bay production! Someone get my agent on the phone! RIGHT MOO!”


    Hey Jessica, don’t look it as a filthy toilet bowl. Look at it as a crystal ball showing you the future of your career!


    It’s the rare San Diego ComicCon exclusive “White Trash Legolas” collectible variant figure! Buy one to resell and another to pose on your shelf making out with the mail away “Rodeo Clown Aragorn” figure you got for sending in 300 Lucky Charms box tops!


    “Does anyone else hear banjo music and the sound of a middle-aged man squealing like a pig?”


    Keep feeling around old man. You could be back there all day and you still won’t find anything. You’ll have better luck finding a hymen in a strip club than you will an ass in those pants.


    What a mansion! It’s like redneck Xanadu! It’s Texas’s Tarra!


    Lee Ermey tried to turn this role into a Reynold’s Wrap spokesperson gig with limited (i.e. no) success.


    I was gonna make a joke about how good it was to see somebody finally shut Harry Knowles up, but then I realized this is actually him and I just feel completely ripped off.


    Did you know that the best way to preserve old photographs is inside of a mason jar full of urine? It’s true! Don’t ask me how I came to that conclusion.


    Special cameo by Michael Jackson! If he doesn’t have a nose, how does he smell? Awful. *rim shot*


    Sweet mother Isis! That’s the most nightmarish thing I’ve seen since the unreleased Hulk Hogan/Bubba the Love Sponge sex tape! GAH!


    Leatherface put a lot of effort into the mask for his Tony Stark Halloween costume, but everybody thought he was supposed to be James Franco and avoided him.


    That reminds me, whatever happened to Calista Flockhart?


    I think I’ll order a pizza tonight. I don’t know why, but I’m in the mood for sliced pepperoni.


    Ahhhh, somebody saw Field of Dreams and thought it’d be a good idea to build a baseball field behind their house too.


    “Blair Meat Co.”? A subtle hint that Platinum Dunes also plan on running The Blair Witch Project through the meat packing remake factory too? Probably not. They only ruin good movies.


    “Wait’ll they get a load of me…”


    “Now let’s get you home, little lady. Momma’s had a long night and she’s got a hankerin’ for veal!”

    ———————————————————
    ———————————————————

    Anubis will return next time in
    “The Shape of Things to Come (Looks Kinda Like William Shatner)”

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    Feature 30 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

    or “Pizza Puss Reborn”

    Featuring: Rooney “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” Mara , Kyle “Red State” Gallner , Katie “Black Christmas” Cassidy , and Jakie Earl “Watchmen” Haley as Freddy

    Director: Samuel “Yet another fucking music video director who some a-hole thought would be perfect to make a horror movie…” Bayer

    Writers: Wesley “Cape Fear” Strick , Eric “Final Destination 5” Heisserer

    Origin: USA

    Review_____

    “All I wanna do is go to sleep”

    Welcome to TheTombOfAnubis.com’s dirty thirty, as the subsequent ruination of the slasher icons of yesteryear marches on with “Shake, Bake, & Remake” episode 2! Down a few dozen Trucker’s Choice, follow it up with a quadruple espresso & Red Bull chaser, get rockin’ with Dokken, and do your best not to fall asleep during the leading cause of narcolepsy in horror fans over the age of 12: A Nightmare on Elm Street. I can’t even fake an exclamation point to end that sentence. *YAWN*

    I originally considered making this entire review nothing but 5 paragraphs of “FART FART FART FART”. Then I thought of just posting a 10 hour YouTube video of flatulence sounds (which you can still see here if you feel so inclined). But in the end, I decided that either option would’ve been a disservice to you, my few and faithful fans who come here looking for a few laughs born from my diseased sense of humor. Those other ideas would’ve come off as too much like some sort of Warholian “Family Guy” gag, and as someone who hasn’t laughed at an “FG” episode since 2009 (and who would rather curb stomp Andy Warhol after stuffing a soup can into his mouth), that’s not the kind of comparison I’m interested in having drawn about my stupid little movie reviews. So here we go, on with the show. Hitting new lows in remakes that blow. Blart!

    I did NO research on A Nightmare on Elm Street before it came time to watch it. Sometimes I like to keep my first time with a movie pure, free of expectation and void of bias. I boot up the movie, my attention at a laser focus…then I see the Platinum Dunes logo. Fuck. Violating my eyes with that is tantamount to sitting down to an internet video that your friends insist that you need to see but refuse to tell you anything about, only to recoil in horror when you open your eyes to see Two Girls, One Cup 2: Regurgitation Poopaloo or an undercover investigative vid taken inside of a factory that skins live puppies to make cock socks for those “Duck Dynasty” guys. Yep, Michael Bay’s festering figurative molestation fingers have dipped their filthy feelers into the orifice of another unwilling member of the “Big Four” slasher franchises, and all we can do is stand by and watch it happen. It’s the Indiana Jones episode of “South Park” all over again…

    Unlike Friday the 13th the year before it, Nightmare doesn’t attempt to be so ambitious as to shoehorn four movies’ worth of material into a single remake. No, Freddy Krueger’s “Behind the Music” tale is complicated enough to stand as a feature on its own. Speaking of, if you’ve seen the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, you’ve already seen all you need to see here, because this reboot is nothing if not loyal to its source. So much so, you’d swear that the writers were just lazy pricks getting paid to sit around and practice throwing Funyuns into each others’ open mouths while watching reruns of “Card Sharks” and taking hits off of their Freddy Krueger bong.

    FKBong

    The funny thing about that? I made the joke before I knew the bong itself was something that existed. Not really that impressive though, since you could go a search for pretty much anything and tack “bong” onto the end of it and find pics of just such an item. Ah, the magic of stoners on the internet.

    For those who don’t know the story (why the fuck are you on this website again?), Freddy Krueger was this skeezy guy who had a thing for children whose parents should have told them at a young age to NEVER BE ALONE WITH CREEPS LIKE THIS GUY. In the original, Krueger was a school janitor in the sleepy (har har) little town of Springwood who was accused of butchering 20 children, but went free thanks to one of those legal technicalities so common in the cinematic justice system. Enraged by this massive judicial botch, the Springwood PTA (Parent-Tormenter Association) gathered to enact mob justice upon the monster by capturing him, burning him alive, then swearing to secrecy for their dark and vengeful deed. For movie reasons (that would attempt to be explained in the sequels), Freddy would return a decade later as a supernatural nightmare-dwelling murder phantom whose violent assaults on the his executioners’ children in their dreams somehow translated to their own gory mutilations in the real world. The same principals basically hold true here, with some exceptions. For starters, New Freddy (Jackie Earl Haley) was never a serial killing janitor. Instead, he was a mildly retarded gardener who lived in the basement of the local pre-school. What the fuck!? Why in the name of John Wayne Gacy would an elementary school in the late-’90s allow a mentally disturbed man to live in the basement of a childrens’ school!? It’s not an apartment building, where you expect a ghoulish, gin-soaked super to inhabit the tiny basement apartment next to the laundry room, it’s a PRE-SCHOOL! Rorschach on a fucking Rascal, what childcare institute throws all fear of rampant negligence lawsuits straight into an industrial furnace to go through with something like that!? It wasn’t the blissfully ignorant ’50s! This was the “everybody’s out to get your kids” ’90s! Oy. Platinum Dunes might wanna get a hold of their own janitor, cuz their toilet’s backed up so bad the turd water is getting on everything.

    Rascal

    As previously mentioned, New Freddy isn’t a murderer. In the original series, it was only vaguely hinted at that Krueger may have done more to those kids than simply kill them. Dark things better left to After School Specials and those “very important” episodes of ’80s sitcoms that the networks recommended parents watch with their children to better explain why they should never go to the bicycle shop without an adult. Said vague hinting becomes the basis for the horrors New Freddy’s accused of, when the children Freddy played with so frequently WITHOUT any kind of administrative supervision start showing signs of abuse. Rather than go to the police, the parents went lynch mob (led by Clancy Brown, who was both The Kurgan AND Mister Krabs) and chased the simpering mental defectoid to an abandoned generic industrial building, where Neo Krueg followed in his predecessor’s loafers and was burned alive. From then on, everybody swore to the story that Freddy simply “left town”, and no one would mention anything about the flambeed retard or his hideous presumed atrocities to each other or the children ever again.

    Then next 10 years are a bit sketchy (remember, Funyuns, “Card Sharks”, and bong hits – oh my!), but the important things to point out are that Freddy’s Kids (there’s a charity we can only hope never gains any traction) are now all in high school, most of them still live in Springwood, not ONE of them remembers anything about being accosted by Krueger green thumbs (because the writers think that repressed memories happen to EVERY victim of childhood trauma), and they’ve all started having horrible nightmares of being pursued by a certain shadowy figure wearing a striped sweater, a fedora (fucking hipster), and a glove that looks like it came straight out of Gen-An Shiranui‘s garage sale. Now, when dreamscape Krueger actually starts killing off these pesky teens, I will admit that the first death gave me hope for what the rest of the movie could have had in store. Dean (Kellan Lutz), the victim in question, meets with his girlfriend Kris (Katie Cassidy) in a diner to explain the horrific night terrors he’s been experiencing, only to fall asleep and, you guessed it, “get got”.

    BUT, to make things interesting, Dean doesn’t just become suspiciously mutilated in front of the late shift crowd. Freddy manipulates the guy’s physical form to look as if he cuts his own throat while in the throes of a complete mental breakdown. Later on, just as Freddy Classic did in the original, he kills Kris while asleep in her bed (by throwing her around the room in a fashion I’ll piss acid all over later) as her ex-boyfriend/refugee from a Fallout Boy slash fic forum Jesse (Thomas Dekker… no relation to tToA.com’s “Harbinger of Pure Awesome” from 1986-1987 Fred Dekker) watches helplessly and subsequently ends up in jail accused of her murder. Quick side note, the incompetent Deputy Dogs of the local constabulary fail to read Jesse his Miranda Rights when they apprehend him. Guess that explains that whole “legal technicality” that freed Freddy the First from that child mass murdering wrap! Way to go Springwood PD, where the “PD” stands for “Pathetic Dipshits”.

    Anyway, New Freddy setting up all his victims’ deaths to look like suicides and murders? Interesting. I mean, Freddy’s a phantasmal entity who exists solely on the astral plane – two things that mean the American justice system can’t do shit to stop him, so it’s not like he’s framing everyone to cover his ass. Besides, what happens to Jesse while in lockup breaks the laws of physics, so trying to pass it off as just another death ain’t happening…unless he or his cellmate figured out a way to make his chest explode without the help of a few ounces of C4. No, Fredrick’s motivation is to torment his prey so that their waking hours are almost as agonizing as their sleeping ones. You know, like Michael Bay’s doing right now with Transformers: Age of ExSTINKtion. If North Korea’s willing to declare war on the US for that Rogen-Franco movie, we’re gonna be a nuclear holocaust from sea to glowing sea once AoE is let out into the global market. Ragnarok? You’re part of the problem. Stop it. There are plenty of ways to indulge your masochistic tendencies that don’t include giving Michael Bay your money to add into his Platinum Dunes “ruin every piece of ’80s nostalgia in history” world domination plot, because when they inevitably profane Labyrinth, our wives are gonna kill us – yours for your direct contribution and mine for not lobotomizing you when I had the chance.

    Though I haven’t even gotten around to mentioning her yet, the heroine of the movie is art class waitress (copyrighting that bad name after I type this) Nancy (Rooney Mara) with her admirer/Jesse’s co-worker from Hot Topic, Quentin (Kyle Gallner), tagging along so she has someone to do the Stay Awake Buddy System with. As always, the adults refuse to believe their twenty-something teens, there’s an uncomfortable amount of teen boys in little Speedos (seriously, teenage boys in tiny swimsuits haven’t gotten this much screen time since Swimfan!), accusations fly and mysteries are mysteried (was Freddy molesting the kids, or is he back to avenge his unwarranted murder?), skeletons line dance out of their closets (presumably to join the Pride parade), and Fred gets dragged into the material world (which makes as little sense now as it did 25 years earlier) where our protagonists try to kill him “for reals” before the lack of sleep puts them both into comas. Which is one of the few ideas this movie comes up with that I can actually take away as a positive. And yes, I just spoiled a LOT of the movie without warning, but given how much it apes the original (which comes WELL within my five year moratorium decree), there’s not a lot to actually spoil. Besides, the whole thing sucks baseballs through a garden hose, so who the hell cares? Answer: no one.

    So much suck. Oh the sucks that are sucked here. If it isn’t the shitty “music video” direction, it’s the twists that “shock” the audience about as much as the Michelin Man is a lightning storm…which is to say not at all. If it’s not Freddy’s face looking like he’s Mortal Kombat‘s Reptile after a particularly harsh shedding, it’s how the striped sweater was just something he happened to be wearing when he was killed…and the fedora’s no more significant than our antagonist going for that “post-life hipster” look. What a douche. If it isn’t the nameless music video schlub they’ve got helming the damn thing (the fucking opening credits look like somebody turned the cover to Korn’s “Follow the Leader” into a live-action short), it’s the patience pureeing confusion of how a mentally handicapped gardener somehow turned into a non-handicapped, sadistic psychopath with magic dream spook powers after his Human Torch cosplay went awry. If it’s not the writers’/director’s lazy-ass lack of creativity when it comes to doing something mind-blowing (or even attention grabbing) with the virtual godhood that comes with having a dream world and a Hollywood digital effects budget to back it up, it’s the huge letdown we get when they DO do something! Example: the “dragged around the bedroom” death of Kris where these “creative minds” opt for simply throwing the actress around the set with their computers rather than mustering an ounce of either inspiration or perspiration like the original’s classic “rotating room” shoot! Pop quiz time – when they do recreate the original movie’s “Freddy’s ghostly face and claws press through a wall like it was made of latex” sequence, does it look like:

    [A] computer graphics artists at the top of their craft, proving that their years in college were not the massive financial waste that their parents warned them it would be!
    [B] a timeless moment that forever put to rest the question of whether glossy modern remakes of older movies can be better than the originals, with a resounding and irrefutable “YES!”.
    [C] the glorious stuff that the stars themselves are made of!
    [D] pure horse shit.

    If you guessed anything other than “D”, I sentence you to summer school. And no, NOT the good one taught by the old guy from “NCIS” where they hang out at the beach and watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as an educational film on power tool safety.

    Even the poster is generic! Look at the bottom of this page. Look at that lazy image. The original’s poster art is ICONIC! Even if you’re like me and not the biggest of Freddy fanboys, you still own or want to own a copy of that poster! That Matthew Joseph Peak masterwork is to this new lazy Photoshopped junk as a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label is to a Pepsi bottle full of stagnant drunkard piss left behind a radiator all winter.

    The biggest disappointment though (don’t get me wrong, the aforementioned are ALL big, inflamed, swollen-with-spider-eggs disappointments too) was how Jackie Earle Haley, who was one of the only reasons to watch Watchmen (ironic), just doesn’t make a good Freddy! I know, I know, the whole “This isn’t Robert Englund Freddy, because only Robert Englund can be Robert Englund Freddy, so this had to be a new, darker, more sadistic feeling, more monstrous Jackie Earle Haley Freddy” argument has merit, but if you’re not gonna “Do the Kru”, then don’t make an Elm Street remake! If he’s not going to have sadistic supervillain-y fun torturing his victims with perverse incarnations of their worse fears given form, if he’s not going to treat the suffering of others with cackling delight, if he’s not going to pull some twisted shit out of his bag of tricks to keep the special effects guys on their toes and give them night terrors of their own for years to come, he’s not Freddy Krueger! What’s the fucking point of having a monster who can bend reality to his will (and giving him the cgi ability to back it up) if all he’s going to do is stab people?! You might as well give a Green Lantern ring to a friggin’ Mennonite!

    Now, if I hate EVERYTHING so damn much (as I do with all of life itself), why not kick this dissenter against my personal preferences down into the pit of eternal torment and leave it with the dreaded bowel movement rating it seems to deserve? Feel free to wade back through the effluvial grime of the prior paragraphs, stick your hands into the muck, feel around a bit and see if you can recover the brief moments of interest otherwise swept away in the rip current of revulsion. While you’re doing that, I’m gonna order a meatball sub and kill a few hours on State of Decay before I decide whether or not I’m doing anything special for you folks for the 4th of July. Will He? Won’t He? Tune in Friday and find out, salad shooters!

    Moral of the Story: If you want to cure the mentally retarded, just burn them alive! They’ll come back as perfectly non-retarded ghosts! They’ll probably also be pretty pissed off about the whole being murdered thing though, so try and plan accordingly in case of a homicidal thirst for revenge.

    Bonus Moral: If you ask someone if they’ve been lying to you, and their reply is “I don’t think so…”, the last thing AND next thing they tell you are both LIES. Additionally, even if you lie to someone “for their own good”, YOU’RE STILL LYING TO THEM!

    Screenshots_____

    At least it’s better than his birth name, Heywood Jablowmi.


    This week, on a very special episode of “Kitchen Nightmares“… or is it “Hell’s Kitchen“? Meh. Either or.


    “You have a part in your next family movie that would be perfect for me? It’s about a strong, independent, free thinking female lead? Sounds good so far! And she… suffers a horribly traumatic rape… and was sexually assaulted by her school bus driver as a child… and this is a family movie?! Jeez… alright, fine. I’ll do it. *sigh*”


    Her agent just informed her that her contract with Platinum Dunes calls for a three picture deal.


    Wow, they have some vicious moths in their attic!


    You probably expect me to make a menstruation joke for this screen, but you know what? I’m not going to. Can’t keep fishing that pond. Gonna let it restock.


    This scene shot in “Peeper Cam”. Also known as “Exhibit A”.


    He dropped the soap in the shower and not one inmate tried to violate him. It’s really hurting his self-esteem. Poor guy.


    I can’t look at this without hearing Spongebob singing, “The best time to wear a striped sweater, is aaaaaaaall the tiiiiiiiime”.


    I’ve heard plenty of women accuse their ovaries of trying to jump out of their bodies and kill them, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen it!


    I wish I could like this moment, but all it does is remind that I could be watching Crank: High Voltage right now instead.


    Leaked footage from the cancelled instructional DVD, Coaching Champions the Sandusky Way. My skin just crawled off of my body and jumped into a tub of scalding hot water while typing that. Uggh.


    “Need help buttering your toast? Maybe a whole loaf?! I’m your man!”

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    Anubis will return next time in
    “Dog Will Hunt(ing)”

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