Feature 68 – Pizza (2012)

or “Life of Pi(e)”

Featuring: Vijay “Sundara” Sethupathi , Namya “Chocolate” Nambeeshan , Aadukalam “Moogamudi” Naren

Writer & Director: Karthik “Jigarthanda” Subbaraj

Origin: India

Sequel: Pizza II: Villa

Review_____

“The most dangerous ghosts in the world are still alive.”

Maybe it’s just the casual racist in me (“casual” as opposed to “malicious”, so it’s okay), but I wouldn’t have expected a movie from India to be called “Pizza”. If anything, I would’ve thought something like “Curry” or “Vindaloo” or “Tikka Masala” to be more apropos. Oh well. So goes my Western ignorance. Speaking of India…

We all know about the rampant sacred cows strolling the streets carefree and careless, or the infamous “people piss and shit anywhere and everywhere” stuff, but did you know India is the largest democracy in the world? Well, it is. Did you know it exists in its own time zone? Well, it does. Did you know it’s the second most populous country in the world, but only the seventh largest? Yeah, if you thought Mexican stereotypes were the champions of “clown car apartment housing”, then you’ve clearly never been to India… not that I have either, but, shut up. In 2001, a Hindu religious festival called the Kumbh Mela (“Grand Pitcher Festival”) had 60 million attendees, breaking the world record for “largest gathering”! You could see the massive get-together FROM SPACE.

India is also the birthplace of chess (or “nerd checkers” if you’re the type whose respiration is an entirely oral process…and you didn’t understand what the Fuddruckers I just said there), spun and woven cotton, the decimal system, use of zero as a number, plastic surgery, Mohandas “Mahatma” Ghandi, and the following religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. It’s also the largest producer of dried beans, bananas, milk, and tea. The Himalaya Mountains (which are growing 2.5 centimeters a year!) and the Taj Mahal call the country home, as do the temples of Khajuraho. A major tourism magnet, said temples are (in)famous for their explicit erotic sculptures that portray a litany of sexual acts, including some that portray beastiality. Though I’ve never been, as a half-man half-dog god, I know where I’m going on my next honeymoon!

Now for some *dramatic pause* tales statistics from the dark side (cue the “Tales From the Darkside” theme). India has the world’s largest murder rate, at over 40,000 per year. Sounds scary, but when you’re the second largest population in the world, 40k is a drop in the bucket (of blood). As for how all those bodies are disposed of, in order to avoid polluting the air, ground, and water, a common practice is to leave bodies in buildings called “Towers of Silence”, where vultures feed on the decaying remains. The bones left behind are then swept into deep wells at the center of the structures. Somebody needs to make a fucking slasher movie set in one of these corpse campaniles toot damn sweet!

In 2012, there were as many as 7 million abortions performed in India. That number doesn’t disturb me, as I whole-heartedly advocate for abortions. Not just because of the whole “pro-choice” thing, but because I’ve been all in on the “pro-death” kick since high school! I endorse free rides on the coat hanger express for every baby-to-be! Sure, you could be snuffing out the person who unites the world under a banner of peace, but you could also be saving the world from the instigator of a global holocaust. Think about it. Where was I? Oh yeah, it’s not the 7 million abortions that I don’t like, it’s the “one woman every two hours” death statistic that comes with 65% of these being done in unauthorized, unsanitary facilities that bums me out. That and India’s unfortunately high rate of female fetus abortions at that. Silver lining? Maybe after a few generations of “gendercide” they’ll make a dent in their overpopulation. We see how that’s working out for China.

Okay. Okay. Enough killing the mood. I won’t even get into the “Delhi Belly” epidemic (hint: it’s a mudslide of a topic). Let’s just scrounge the couch cushions for loose change and see if we can’t afford to order some Pizza!

For anyone wondering if this is a musical, given its birth nation, it is not. Musicals are Bollywood stuff. Pizza was an independent movie, so no singing and dancing to be had here. It was a massive success for its meager origins too, and in the 3 short years since its release, it’s spawned an immediate follow-up and several remakes, including (reportedly) an American knock-off on the horizon! More on that later though. For now, let’s have a tale of life, love, tragedy, torment, and Chicken Supreme pizzas.

Michael (Vijay Sethupathi) and Anu (Namy Nambeeshan) are a young, carefree couple who haven’t yet been together long enough to want to kill each other every minute they’re in the same room. Instead, they just nag and pick at each other. Ah, young love. Living in a small apartment, she works on writing a ghost novel and watches horror movies all day (my kinda lady!) while he’s a delivery boy at a pizza place called PitStop. I say “boy”, but not in the literal sense (or the racist sense…nor the Tall Man sense), as this dude’s got a headstart on some serious facial mane. The pair’s comfortable little existence living off of Anu’s passed parents’ insurance pitance is plunging toward its own inevitable demise, because she just found out she’s hosting a parasite. Or “pregnant”, as such an infection is more commonly referred to by those less infanticidal than myself. After those abortions stats I listed earlier, you can understand why she’s so upset by the prospect when she breaks the news to her husband. That’s a piping hot bowl of scary curry for any unprepared pair to be presented with, let alone a pair already desperately clinging to the poverty line.

‘Nu insists on nurturing the uterine leech, despite her own misgivings about their being able to handle the responsibility. Rather than throw her down some stairs (I think it’s a few months early for that anyway) or spend the rest of his life on the run from the child support police, Mike makes Spike Lee proud and does the right thing – he stays. Not only does he stay, but they agree that they need to be married before this hell-beast is torn screaming from her spawn hole. Since they’re light on rupees, the two decide to just have an at-home ceremony alone sans friends or any sort of officiate, where they exchange rings and half-assed vows (does that count for a legally binding union in India?!), agreeing to save up their money for a nice party later on. Their DIY nuptials are followed by a romantic montage of sitcom-esque “couple moments” they share. Cue the canned audience “awwwww” sound.

After telling everyone at work the big news, Mike’s sent to his boss Shanmugam’s (Aadukalam Naren) house to deliver some paperwork to Mrs. Boss. When he rings the bell though, their daughter Periya answers the door…while screaming and flailing and generally freaking the fuck out! Several people take her away while Mrs. Boss tells Mikey to go fetch her mustachioed mate toot sweet. Per may be feral, or she may just have mistaken our brotagonist for a Jehovah’s Witness or a political advocate. You can only take those bung weasels banging on your door so much before your switch flips to “I’m going to beat your head in with a claw hammer!” Turns out it’s none of this though, because the maniacal teen is actually possessed by a spirit calling itself “Nithya”! Yep, she’s doin’ the Regan MacNeil Bop. Actually, given the setting, I guess it’d be more on point to call it the Regan MacNeil Kuchipudi…not to be confused with the Regan MacNeil cooch, which is where Linda Blair went to 3rd base with her lord and savior.

Boss’s spiritual guru Raghavan (Karunakaran – that’s it, just one name on this guy) takes over and Mikey hangs around to watch the freakshow until Periya gives him a death stare and spooks his balls off. Raggy insists that the squatter spirit is doing this out of revenge for some unknown slight that Shan must’ve committed against the ghost in life, but boss man denies any wrong doing…except that he keeps getting this look on his face like he’s clearly lying and probably ran this Nithya girl over with his car or never paid her for some Girl Scout cookies he ordered. He sends Michael home, asking that he not tell anyone about what he’s just seen. Naturally, he runs home and tells Anu all about it. Great. Don’t ever give this guy incriminating evidence of any kind, cuz his lips are looser than a hypertrophic labia!

Google it. Or don’t, if you’re a pussy. Or are afraid of pussy. Pussy.

Anu doesn’t exactly feel bad for her mate, though. Not because she lacks sympathy, but because chicks dig irony and she just told his skeptic ass that he was going to have his face-to-face with the supernatural someday. Thus, she spends the next few days “BOO!”ing the tar out of the guy at every opportunity as a torturous “I told you so”. You know your spouse really cares about you when they mock your trauma by abusing your PTSD. Of all the times to hate it when your partner’s right, this is probably one of the worst. Right up there with “I don’t think you should have given that person your social security number.” and “You shouldn’t go up on the roof to mess with the satellite dish, because you’ll probably break your neck.” People, learn to listen to your significant other. Especially if you have a blighted track record of personal decision making on par with the father of an animated sitcom family.

One night, before he’s sent out on a delivery, Shanny requests that Mike stop by Chateu le Boss again, this time to drop off a box of candy. Despite his not-as-reassuring-as-he-intended-it-to-be promise of “My daughter will not kill you!”, our protagonist is hesitant to go and I can’t really blame him. Alas, it’s one of those boss requests that comes with the not-so-under undercurrent of “Do this or I will punish you severely as my employee.”, so he reluctantly gives in and undertakes the undertaking. FF>> to later that night, as Shanmugam shows up at PitStop to the sight of his trio of employees bloodied and battered (as in beaten up, not fried in batter)! According to Heckle and Jeckle (I forget their actual names), their ass thumping was the work of Michael, who sits inside the store in a panicked daze. When Boss demands an explanation, the haunted hero relates his scary story to tell in the dark.

When he delivered the pizza, the lady of the bungalow invited him in while she rifled through her purse for the money (note to all readers: don’t be a shithead – have your payment and tip prepared before your delivery person arrives!), only to find out that Mikey didn’t bring enough change for the large denomination note she attempted to pay with. She excused herself upstairs to find a smaller bill and, well, if our hero thought this life was turning into a “Tales From the Crypt” episode before, it looks like Ganesh had put in a full season order for him!

I won’t open my jacket and expose all of the goodies, but Michael ended up trapped in what turned out to be a spook shack. The walls were covered with weird etchings of terrified people’s faces close-up, specifically their big creepy eyes. Mike was menaced for an extended period of time by forces beyond his comprehension, narrowly escaping with his life. And no bitching about how that last bit’s a spoiler, because he obviously escaped if he made it back to the shop to tell the tale! The experience leaves him a disturbed man hanging on to the barest threads of sanity and that’s only the beginning of his downward spiral…technically it’s the first 75% of the movie and not just the beginning, given that there’s still half an hour left after, but you get my (Tokyo) drift.

The rest of the movie is… hmm…it’s really hard to refer to it without…GAH! Alright, I’ll tell you this much – Karthik Subbaraj pulls a better M. Night Shayamalan than his fellow countryman has managed to pull off himself since Unbreakable. It’s great. It took me by surprise. It was unexpected and well explained. But then he takes it too far and ruins it. If Karthik were an Olympic gymnast, Pizza would be his gold medal floor routine that ends, sadly, with him landing on his foot sideways, rolling his ankle and getting the silver instead. If he were a concert pianist, Pizza would be his opus at Carnegie Hall that wraps with him letting out the loudest, wettest shart as he’s taking his bow for applause.

In case I’m being too subtle, allow me to Big Cass for a moment and “SPELL IT OUT FOR YA!” – I do not like the ending of this movie. To be more specific, the last 3 minutes. I suggest getting yourself a copy and seeing it for yourself, as it’s a decent piece of Indian indie filmmaking. If you’re overwhelmed by curiosity but don’t have the will to hunt it down, just read the Wikipedia entry that unbags the proverbial cat instead. That whole site is spoiler central. Did you know that the Nazis lost World War II?! Not cool, Wikipedia.

As mentioned before, Pizza was such a success that two remakes have already been released with additional ones being prepped for delivery down the line. One of them, 2014’s Pizza in 3D, made its way onto my hard drive and was actually the first of these features that I watched! I wasn’t aware that it wasn’t the original movie, and thought the release year was a typo, while the completely different character names from the IMDB listing I was referencing were personally chalked up to a bad set of amateur subtitles. Fortunately, I realized my mistake before publishing the review and managed to not betray just how much of a dumbass I am to all of you. Hooray.

Since I won’t be doing an episode for Pizza in 3D, as they’re too similar to warrant stretching a full review for the remake, let’s see how said reproduction compares to the autochthonous article. Though they follow the same base plot (while changing the characters’ names), there are moderate changes that generally improve upon the recipe. Some of the fat is trimmed down (especially from Michael/Kunal’s time trapped in the house), both improving the flow and giving us a more manageable 107min runtime down from the clunkier 124min. The marriage theme is ousted since our young lovers are already bonded in holy matrimony from the start, and the focus is shifted more to the pregnancy. In fact, the overarching theme of the remake is pregnancy, as the possessed character is no longer the boss’s daughter, but a pregnant Mrs. Boss! On top of that, when our hero makes his delivery to the haunted bungalow, the woman there is also pregnant, making the moral of the story for that version, “People in India have apparently never heard of ‘pulling out’!”

The structure of the narrative gets a few slight but very important changes as well, but you’d have to know the ending to understand why so I won’t spill the beans further. Anu/Nikki’s role in things post-haunted house is changed slightly, but it’s in such a way that it makes for some radical remodeling of the second half of the flick. Remake turned up the horror show element too, using more gruesome imagery and makeup to make the supernatural stuff less realistic and more fantastic. Speaking of “fantastic”, on the topic of remake’s lead actor Akshay Oberoi? No homo, but he’s got some damn pretty eyes…okay, maybe a little homo? But damn it, dude looks like he got poked in the oculars by King Midas! Dreamy bastard. ANYWAY!

The last modification I’m gonna shine a light on is the music. Though the 2012 soundtrack is good to great, 2014 wins hands down solely based on its title theme alone! It’s enjoyably silly, opening on the appropriately punny line “All we are saying is give pizza a chance”. Brilliant. The entire front credits sequence is something not to be missed, either! A “not terrible but not great” 3D computer animated sequence that follows a ghostbusting delivery boy as he action heros through traffic, dodges monsters, and exorcises spooks with spring loaded pies. Clearly not the hero the song credits him as being though, otherwise he would’ve gotten said pizzas to the fucking customers rather than launching them at specters! The whole thing’s cheesier than a party-size triple stacked twelve-cheese heart-exploder deluxe from Benito Mussacheesy’s Pizza Regime at the corner of Taft Street and DeLuise Avenue. I ate an entire slice once on a dare! Almost choked to death getting it down and I was still shitting string cheese two weeks later.

Okay, maybe my comparison was a tad over spiced with hyperbole, but my eyeballs still felt a little constipated after watching that opening. At least it was fun though.

In the end, Pizza is the Evil Dead to Pizza in 3D‘s Evil Dead 2. Though 3D wasn’t made by Subbaraj, it feels like the product of a scenario where Subbs wanted to go back and make changes to his original product and had more money to fund it. Again, that’s NOT what happened, but it still feels like it could have. If there was some way to combine the two into one great movie, well, it’d still be stuck with that nasal nugget of a finale, but would’ve at least pulled an aggregate score of 4 hearts. Separately though? Three will cover it.

By the way, if you didn’t finish reading this review in 30 minutes or less, it’s free. We strive for customer satisfaction here at TheTombOfAnubis.com, mainly because I’d rather lose a couple bucks on free reviews than have to put up with your bullshit. “But aren’t all these reviews free to read anyway?” you ask? To which I say, take this crust and stuff it!

See you kids at Thanksgiving for my annual Turkey Day review! After whiles, crocodiles.

Moral of the Story: For everyone there will come a moment in life that makes the unbelievable, believable. Your moment is coming. Mine? It’ll be the day we get a new “Captain N: the Game Master” cartoon…

Screenshots_____

“Damn it! You better not have dragged me into a gods damned found footage horror movie, you dick!”


“The doctor told me to get plenty of Vitamin C. You know what has Vitamin C? Orange juice. You know what has orange juice? Mimosas. Now shut up and go buy more champagne!”


“Come on Raheed, we told you on your second day here that the hairnet requirement was just a joke. It’s been THREE YEARS! Take it off!”


“I love you dear, but if you don’t do something about your halitosis, I’m going to have to take care of it myself.”


“I told you what would happen if you didn’t fix your bad breath! Now open your mouth! LET THE REFRESHING MINT FLAVOR MURDER YOUR DISGUSTING MOUTH BACTERIA!”
(This is called “Scope boarding”)


I see Tom Savini decided to grow a sick Stalin mustache. Looks good on him.


I know how she feels. That’s how my review notes always end up looking after I watch an Asylum movie.


“I’m serious, my throat REALLY hurts! Would you just look in and see if it’s red and spotty? It could be Strep!”


This one’s called “No Child Left Behind?” from the artist’s “Republican in the White House” series.


Ketchup on pizza?! This is a horror movie!


Uh-oh. Looks like the camera guy came to work drunk again. He’s been having a hard time of it lately, but you can only do so many re-shoots before ya gotta shit can him.


Uhm… is this racist? I mean, in America this would definitely be cause for pause, but is it okay in India? I don’t have a clue, so let’s just move on!


Nasty. I bet she’s got “Made in Germany” stamped on the bottom of one of her feet. I wonder if she comes with a tube of that stuff or if you have to supply your own.


“Are you the one who wrote ‘Death to Pigs’ on the walls?! What did you use to write that, blood?! I ask because my wife and I want to re-paint and I think that color would look really nice for the walls of our bathroom!”


“Man, those Pizza Hut guys came at us out of nowhere! But we whipped ’em, didn’t we? Didn’t we… didn’t we whip ’em? WE WHIPPED ‘EM AND WE GOT IT ALL!”


Why is there a cardboard cut out of Hitler in a bowler hat yawning in their store?! What niche demographic are they marketing to, narcoleptic hipster anti-Semites!? That’s a great name for a punk band, by the way.”


Boss getting his rocks off to his favorite types of internet porn – restaurant supply store liquidation sales.


For the love of Isis’s nipple rings, why is this little making the blow job face?! GAH! HAVE I STILL BEEN IN THAILAND THIS WHOLE TIME?! GET ME OFF THIS CONTINENT!

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Anubis will return next time in
“Shittin’ On the Schlock of the Bay”

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Feature 62 – 23:59 (2011)

or “What’s Eating Gilbert Chan?”

Featuring: Tedd “Paper Moon (not that one)” Chan , Henley “Kepong Gangster” Hii , Mark “‘Police & Thief‘” Lee

Writer & Director: Gilbert “Ghost Child” Chan

Origin: Singapore

Review_____

“His face is paler than my ass!”

Singapore! Not just Super Mario’s response to why he never pursued a career in opera (“I sing-a poor!”), Singapore’s also a major global city-state and the southern-most point of continental Asia. AKA “The Lion City”, “The Garden City”, “The Red Dot” (“Where ever the red dot goes, ya bang!“), and the World Bank’s “Easiest Place to Do Business” 9 years running. An original founding member of Malaysia, Singapore was punted from the team after just two years over “ideological differences”, i.e. race riots. They’re currently celebrating their 50th anniversary as an independent nation, so happy golden anniversary, Singapore! Sadly, the only gold I can offer you as a gift is my golden sense of humor… or a golden shower if that’s what you’re into. I mean, I’m not into it myself, but if it’ll get you off, I’m cool with it. It is your birthday after all.

Singapore also has one of the lowest unemployment rates amidst developed nations the world over, as well as some of the lowest rates of violent crime and homicide. Possibly due to it also having one of the lowest rates of alcohol consumption per capita. Angers up the blood! The population is over 40% foreigners and the Economist Intelligence Unit (sounds like a Wall Street thought police group) ranked Singapore 6th in the world for qualify of life and 1st in Asia! Damn. Kinda getting the urge to move here. But what Singapore isn’t is a plateful of bacon, so enough buttering it up. Singapore’s dark side is pretty infamous for gangs, prostitution, and gambling. Plus there’s apparently still a lot of racism issues that haven’t been worked out in the last 5 decades too. If they’d just import a bunch of American Republicans though, racism would stop being a thing simply because they’d say so! Ignorance is bliss. Oh, there’s also dangerous insects to be had in the ‘Pore, but nothing a little insect repellant won’t fix. When you’re in the deep jungle, you can’t beat Off!

Fuck you. I find jungles and forests to be very erotic and I’ll beat off anywhere I damn well please! *rimshot*

In case you’re not savvy on the concept of the 24 hour time cycle adopted by the global military as a whole (you know, that “oh eight-hundred hours” type stuff), the title of today’s feature is a reference to 11:59 PM. Sadly, it’s not a cinematic sequel to Iron Maiden’s song “2 Minutes to Midnight”, which would have then been followed by a multimedia project consisting of a VCR flashing “12:00” while accompanied by a Muzaked rendition of Powerslave to finish out a proposed trilogy. No, really. I proposed it to Bruce Dickinson’s cousin’s stepdaughter’s legal representation and they said they were “really excited at the prospect” before having me escorted from the building by security personnel! “REALLY excited”!

As I was saying, what 23:59 is instead is an Asian ghost story. Yep, yet another one. Just like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity made every American filmmaker-to-be think they could lure a lightning bolt into their empty Zima bottle too via a $500 “found footage” video of their own, the entirety of the continent of Asia have their chopsticks crossed that they’re on the verge of the next Ring or Grudge that’ll earn them big American party dollars on the 1-in-300,000 shot that Hollywood comes knocking on their door for the remake rights. Ghidorah H. Christ.

Let’s grab hold of the duct tape and see if we can’t pull this off quick with only minimal pain, and without having our righteous Magnum PI mustache torn out by the roots in the process! As always, since this movie comes in under the 5-year age of spoiler consent for this site, I will NOT be posting any major twists or revelations. So, should you feel it’s worth the trouble of tracking down and sitting through, fear not, as there be no spoilers here.

Our introductory pre-credits sequence finds us back in the bygone days of 1983. The Men at Work emerged from a land down under to introduce themselves to the world! Jason Vorhees acquired his now iconic hockey mask in Friday the 13th Part 3-D! “M*A*S*H” ended and “Fraggle Rock” began! In a Singapore boot camp, a young soldier named Tan (Tedd Chan) is asleep in the barracks when a ghostly child (along with its presumably spectral matriarch) interrupts the lad’s R.E.M. (the state of sleep, not the folks who gave us “Shiny Happy People”), scaring him shitless, courtesy of a face that resembles a giant prolapsed colon. Sound gross? Now imagine two people with faces like said inside-out buttholes, but they also have long, slimy tongues and they start licking each others facial rims. Hope you liked the last meal you ate, because you’re probably gonna be tasting it again real soon if you haven’t already! 😀

This leads us into some decidedly poor opening credits, ran over what looks to be storyboard material. I appreciate that ‘boards are just to structure the shots of a flick and not meant to be works of art or anything, but if yours look like they came from a comic book an 8th grade school kid would draw in their spare time, you might not want to open your movie with it. Upon first viewing, I worried that said illustrations were spoiling what looked to be some decidedly decent moments from the oncoming 90 minutes. The only thing worse than laying your scares out for your audience WAY ahead of time, though? Nothing interesting from them actually comes to fruition! Yep! On the arbitrary thermometer graphic of “Things You Shouldn’t Do to Your Audience”, I’m pretty sure “Telegraph your best moments in the opening credits” ranks lower than “Tease them, only to give them ZERO payoff”.

I couldn’t find confirmation to support the previous assumption, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that said storyboard art was from scenes that had to be cut from the movie for budgetary concerns or technical limitations. They feel like Gilbert Chan’s way of saying, “I’m not bland! I have fun, scary ideas too! See what I wanted to have?! THEY wouldn’t give me the money! If you don’t like this movie, it’s not my fault!”. These probably should’ve been saved for the end credits though, rather than the openers. Maybe Chan just did the same backwards thing Asians do with their printed material and edited the movie right-to-left, so what would have been the end credits sequence wound up at the start-up instead? Honest mistake.

Back to the barracks, we catch up with Tan and some of his fellow freedom fighters, who are sitting around listening to ghost stories told by resident jerk-off Dragon (Lawrence Koh). They’re pretty much the Singapore branch of the Midnight Society. Despite being the most superstitious member of the group, Drags stink faces everybody else for getting the terror sweats at his tales. He sets the running theme for us when he tells us that midnight is the apex of evil, and the soul of anyone who dies at 23:59 (and we have a character saying the title of the movie! And less than 10 minutes in, too!) will be forced to remain on Earth, wandering for eternity…for some weird reason that nobody can explain beyond random, made up superstition. Hey, if being terrified of the unproven is good enough to establish religions on, it’s good enough for generic ghost stories!

One of said stories is 100% true and involves a former recruit named Lye. Three years prior, in that VERY bunk, on a night VERY much like this, Lye punched his own ticket, hanging himself while everyone else slept. Why do the Hangman Tango? Turns out he was bullied and harassed by some of his bunk-mates for being “effeminate” and apparently threatening their own masculinity (i.e. they didn’t like that they were so attracted to him, obviously). Fuck that. If I were ever tormented to the point of taking my own life, you know damn well I’d be taking every asshole along with me! Then I’d leave a note detailing the trauma I’d been subjected to before taking myself out David Carradine style! And I’m not talking about Uma Thurman giving me the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart technique, either.

The bard of the barracks continues his tales of terror, telling us about the Kuntilanak (sounds like a Conan villain) – the particularly vicious and violent spirit that results from a suicided pregnant woman. Coincidence that its name starts with “Kunt”? It’s not clear (like a lot of this movie), but I think one of these Kunts was summoned by a trio of nameless recruits (the credits are full of ’em) using a makeshift Chinese knock-off Ouija/Witchboard in one of Drag’s stories. When they asked her to leave, spooky lady indicated “All Signs Point to ‘No'”, then terrified them by leaving wet footprints across their floor (and wet spots in their shorts). The horror of the creeping moisture! Now, imagine that last line in Vincent Price’s voice. You’re welcome.

Though this ends the shirtless punk’s story hour for the night, he does break out another scareative later on about a local ghost whisperer whose impregnated womb became haunted by a Kuntilanak (so she had a Kunt in her cunt!) during a seance. Immediately after which she gave birth to a mutant baby who would grow up looking like the daughter of the Toxic Avenger and is said to still lurk the island. So Asian people used to think birth defects were the result of angry ghosts possessing mother-to-be? Maybe stop smoking, drinking, and sitting on active microwaves while you’re gestating and you wouldn’t get so many flipper babies! Anyway, the Rule 63 Quasimodo’s name is Yi Gu, which my geek brain interpreted as “YuGi”, then responded to by shouting “It’s time to D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-DUEL!” before realizing I’d activated my own trap card… almost no one over the age of 25 is going to get that joke, but if any younger type card slingers do get it, well, I don’t pander to you often so you can have that one.


(Go “Medium“!)

Each of these stories is accompanied by their own filmed segment, and given how they’re presented I feel like Chan originally meant this to be an anthology that wound up being paired down into a straight feature with a Frankensteined script instead. Makes all the more sense when you consider the unused storyboards, right? By the time you get to the finish line, so much of what’s established makes so little sense otherwise, so that’s the theory I’m sticking with.

Unlike Lye, Tan (by name, not by skin pigment) only has a sole tormentor in Dragon. He doesn’t show signs of taking his own life. Plus, several of the guys in the group do stick up for Tan, including their platoon leader. I bet a good old fashioned “soap in a sock” party would get Dragon to turn his dickhead dial down to ‘1’. Tan’s childhood buddy-slash-bodyguard Jeremy (Henley Hii) looks out for him too, but instead of fistally re-educating the bully, he opts to victim blame his buddy, telling him that he’s gotta stop being a pussy and man up. Tan’s problem isn’t that he’s a wimp though, he’s just got PTSD – Phantasmal Traumatic Stress Disorder. That close encounter of the ghostly kind in the opening has left him with a yellow streak. Uhm, that wasn’t a racist thing because he’s Asian! Scout (Taylor-Compton)’s honor!

Later that night, Dragon and four accomplices tie up and gag the sleeping Tan, stuffing him into a locker to torment him further. Naturally he’s visited by the ghostly hand of the Kunt, who leaves deep scratches on his neck by the time Jeremy (spoke in class today) wakes up and lets him out. Jer blows off Tan’s neck wounds, excusing them as being caused by a tussle with a wire hanger during his panicked spaz out. Sticking up for his little buddy, Jer get physical (physical!) with Draggy and the pair fight. Well, by “fight” I mean they shove each other, then Jeremy holds the scrawny little shit down and gives him some really weak punches. After those love taps, I wonder if maybe Tan’s not the bunker sissy of this group. Jer would’ve done more damage giving the prick an Indian Burn! Then again, they might not know what those are over there. On that side of the globe, “Indian Burn” is probably the rectal fallout of a really spicy curry dinner.

The group’s commanding officer, Sergeant Kuah (Mark Lee), arrives and breaks the tussle up. He reminds them that they have an incredibly important 24km road march in the morning, so they better stop with all the Grab-Ass and get some sleep. But coach, the Grab-Ass Championship Games are in two weeks and we gotta train! While we’re on the subject of Kuah, we learn that he’s a superstitious lot (and cowardly too, right Batman?) and asks that his own higher up, Captain Hong (Benjamin Lim), postpone the road march until a less unlucky date. Seems the moons of Jupiter are in the house of the seventh planet or some malarkey and that’s bad voodoo for the boys. Hong looks at him like he has three heads, gives him the workplace appropriate equivalent of a double middle finger, and declares that the march will go on as planned. To which, Kuah calls his c.o. a “fake caucasian” behind his back. Well, he’s Asian, so at least that makes him half Caucasian, right? Yeah, I deserve a smack for that one.

Tan has a bad feeling in his gut about going on the march, but Jeremy again denounces him for being a wimp. Tough Guy says he doesn’t believe in the supernatural because his father was a charlatan medium who used to use him to con marks out of their Singapore Dollars (yep, not unlike M. Bison in Street Fighter, they just tack “dollars” onto the ass of their name to name their currency!) with a Jon Edwards-style “chat up the dead” scheme. It left one bereaved old man heart attacked into the afterlife himself though, and that incident left the father and son pairing forever estranged. Also as a result, Junior is Singapore’s biggest skeptic, i.e. the most reasonable person in the nation. In fact, when Kuah insists on giving his men good luck talismans (that look oddly like dry cleaner tickets) to ward off evil spirits and bad juju during the trek, Jer not only refuses one, but denies one for Tan too. “Tan too”? I feel there’s a joke I should be making right now, but the heat from my laptop is making my Ballpark Frank plump and it’s too distracting. You win this time, phallus perspiration!

The marchers are beset by an inopportune thunderstorm and our main cast (Tan, Jer, Dragon, and porcine comedy relief character Lim) fall behind the rest of the group. Without spoiling anything specific, I’ll tell you this much – we’re only half way down the hasenpfeffer hole at this point. The events of the march that night change the dynamics of the group greatly, as Tan isn’t the only one being haunted once it’s over. Can they ever be rid of the Class IV Anchored Remnant (bone up on your Tobin’s, nerds) on their backs, or are they destined to just become another sinister anecdote in the book of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Barracks”? Are the ghosts even real, or did Gilbert Chan opt to make an ode to Jacob’s Ladder and what we’re actually watching is, in reality, just a shellshock allegory? What does this all have to do with a fellow recruit named Chester? And why is his name Chester?! What kind of Asian name is “Chester”?! Or “Jeremy” for that matter!?

Though I won’t be going any further into the story beyond this point, I will say this much – the finale involves what will either be a very touching, very depressing, very cheesy (or very arousing…depends on your brain chemistry) moment that features one of our characters crying profusely. Unfortunately, the intended emotional impact of the scene collapses in on itself as I was incredibly distracted during the whole thing. What by? Not only do the character’s eyes leak the whole time, but their nose flushes like they just ran a Neti Pot through it. We all know that the locks are blown open on the Panama snot canals when a heavy bawling front rolls in, but wipe your damn nose, character whose name I will not divulge!… Huh huh, “but wipe”.

Though not entirely bad, 23:59 feels like a movie that could’ve been better than it is. I know that almost any movie could be “better than it is”, technically, but this is the statement that stands out the largest in my mental word cloud, having watched it twice now. My biggest problem is the story’s structure. It’s shoddy and unstable. If it were a building, it’d be condemned by code enforcement. Even the junkies would reconsider squatting in it. As stated prior, the whole thing feels as if it was intended as an anthology, but was converted into a basic “Point A to Point B” feature without wanting to throw out the leftovers. Like they put up the house over the Indian burial ground, but didn’t feel like removing the grave markers and just built around them instead. Or if a storefront that was originally a beauty parlor was turned into a Carvel© store and they chose to keep the big hair dryer chairs to soften the ice cream; except they left them right in the middle of the damn floor, inconveniencing the customers who just want a spot to sit and eat their damn Fudgie in peace!

I don’t watch a lot of Singaporese movies, so forgive my ignorance if this next annoyance is a common practice, but the dialog was littered with some kind of bastard ManderEnglish for some reason! Is this how their movies are usually done?! The cadets would slip in an English word here or there, which was fine because I get that there are some words we Yanks have that they don’t. Instead of making up their own, they figure “Fuck it, I guess we know slightly more English now!”. However, when the Sergeant and Captain were in the picture, everyone was speaking better English than half the kids in your average American graduating class! It was jarring. This does explain why every original audio copy of the movie I tried to download was labeled “English dub” though.

The Americanising of the feature is furthered by the inclusion of US movie posters on the walls of the bunkhouse, including ’80s classics The Terminator, Platoon, and Blade Runner. Is this a military training facility or an AV Club?! Funny enough, of the three flicks, only Blade Runner (’82) was actually released prior to 1983, the year this movie takes place. Terminator was ’84 and Platoon was ’86, so a hearty dick kick to the prick in charge of continuity for not doing his damn job.

In the end (also Sean Connery’s answer to “Where does Alex Trebek’s mom take it?”), what could’ve been something good (or at least not as bad) just peters out into something completely unsatisfying, thus making 23:59 Singapore’s cinematic parallel of Adam Sandler’s career. Or, every episode of my sexual congress as told from my partners’ points-of-view. There’s some decent tension building, but it’s bogged down by too many attempted jump scares, some acceptable-to-terrible makeup effects, a congested story structure, and the disappointment of the opening credits promising more graphic imagery than the movie itself puts out. An unfortunate let down from the country that brought us the pure chewing satisfaction of the Michael Fay caning. Oh well.

For our next World Tour stop, I’ll be spoiling the crap out of an early 2000s monster movie that’s been collecting dust on my “To Do Pile” for over a decade! Drain the last of your Dirty Banana and join us, won’t you?

Moral of the Story: Blaming your miscounts at work on the supernatural won’t go over well with your boss. Especially if those miscounts mean the registers come up a few hundred dollars short on your shifts…

Bonus Moral: If someone dies at training camp in the Singapore army, recruits are given a half-day to cope. The turn around for mourning over there is stricter than their anti-chewing gum laws!

Screenshots_____

That’s exactly how my head feels every time a Linkin Park song comes on the radio.


Well, at least that would be convenient for people with shoulder problems who have no one else to brush their hair.


“The camp talent show is in 3 days and you still haven’t figured out how to make the puppet talk while you’re drinking the glass of water!”


“Because I will Frank Castle your asses in the blink of an eye!”


“Sure he’s got a Cheetos™ dust addiction, but everybody knows he’s a stand up cat otherwise!”


When grandpa asked to play a card game during their visit to the retirement home, they had no idea he meant Strip Poker. Worst. Visit. Ever.


Wait. Did this movie suddenly turn into a tampon commercial?


Yup. It’s definitely a tampon commercial.


Maybe you should stop squinting your eyes then, dipshit. We in the audience can see everything just fine thanks to ALL OF THE PRODUCTION LIGHTS!


“Oh my god… did I remember to turn the oven off before I left for boot camp!? This could be VERY bad.”


“She sounds hot. Is she seeing anyone?”


Sadly, he’s right. I’ve been trying to do that with those fucking Kardashians for years and they’ve yet to fade from existence.


We used to put completely black contacts on the first guy that fell asleep back during high school b-movie weekend parties. It’s hilarious watching them run around screaming “I’M BLIND! I’M BLIND!” while falling all over everything. Ah the memories.


And I thought the Asian takeout places in the U.S were aggressive with their doorknob menus. Yikes!


“Well, I don’t know her personally, but I’m a high ranking official in her fan club! I’m sure Mrs. Arquette would be happy to help us!”


Yeah, I’ve had ghost pepper sauce thrown in my oculars too (true story!). Trust me, just clench your eyes as hard as you can and pray for death until it stops hurting. Should be about an hour or two.


Hence why his friends gave him the nickname “Arby’s”.


Oh man, he’s having one of those “dislocate your shoulder trying to reach it” level itches on his back.


Just another one of the ProActiv™ horror stories they never tell you about in the commercials.

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Anubis will return next time in
“The Unexpected Vishnu of Ignorance”

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 41 – A Haunted House 2 (2014)

or “Un-Living Color”

Featuring: Marlon “A Haunted House” Wayans , Jaime “DOA: Dead or Alive” Pressly , Ashley “Behaving Badly” Rickards

Director: Michael “A Haunted House” Tiddes

Writers: Marlon “A Haunted House” Wayans , Michael “A Haunted House” Tiddes

Origin: USA

Sequel to: A Haunted House

Review_____

“It’s spicy going in, but it’s twice as spicy going out!”

Well, last week was Thanksgiving, and though I was considering jumping right into ThanksKilling 3 for this review, I may need another killer turkey movie for next year’s Feast of Gluttonsaurus. Besides, I’ve got all these leftovers to get rid of before they go bad (or worse), including today’s helping of dark meat that nobody asked for: A Haunted House 2. NON-racist pun intended! I’m one of those people who thinks the NAACP should really reconsider replacing that ‘C’ with something a bit more post-Jim Crow repeals. You know, without going full-on Nas at the same time. Now that I’ve made everything awkward, let’s move on!

In the prior installment of this ersatz Scary Movie franchise, Marlon Wayans moved into a fancy new house with his girlfriend, his dog got ran over, he sexually assaulted some stuffed animals, his white cuckold neighbor (played by the high school principal from “Eastbound & Down”) tried to get him to join the wife’s Mandingo Party, and Nick Swardson kept trying to have sex with him. For like, almost the entire movie. Remember how the first Scary Movie installments were kinda funny about a decade and a half ago? Yeah, the littlest Wayans brother has apparently been in cryogenic stasis since then, cuz he just resurrected the same jokes after the rest of us said our goodbyes and moved on with our lives. Amidst all of the inanity and “same old shit” jokes, there was something about a ghost haunting the house (the epitome of “keep it simple, stupid” movie titling). Cedric the Entertainer (I’m assuming he’s a hipster and that name is some big ironic *wink* thing) showed up dressed like a ghetto preacher to threaten the specter, stuff happened, the end. All caught up? Great. Now, for the sequel that every skid mark who paid money to see White Girls and Little Man begged and pleaded for: A Haunted House 2.

When we last left Malcolm Johnson (Marlon Wayans), he and his girlfriend Kisha may or may not have survived the poltergeisting of their home by a malicious presence. It was a cliffhanger. I preferred to imagine that Malcolm had just been vertically torn in half from taint to cranium and leave it at that, but my dreams of imagined dismemberment are yet again dashed amidst the jagged rocks of reality. We start off our sequel with Malc trying to restrain his Exorcist reject lady love Kish (Essense Atkins) in the back of his semi-hard thug-lifer cuzin Ray Ray (Affion Crockett)’s car. On their way to the hospital, Double R wrecks his ride, and he and Malc escape relatively unscathed on foot, leaving the presumably deceased Deadite dream date in the backseat while they flee the scene. Given the possibility of having to explain the situation to a cop (who are mostly racist white guys, after all), they probably made the right choice. If I had a dollar for every crime scene I had to leave an expired significant other at, I could afford that new Clive Barker director’s cut of Nightbreed on blu-ray (the Limited Edition) and a machine to play it on. What can I say, I’m not a great boyfriend! Don’t judge me.

Given that the opening sequence is shot in a more traditional cinematic style, you’d start off thinking that Wayans and Tiddes chose to drop the “found footage” format of the first. The mild feeling of relief you may have from reading that is quickly amended as we jump ahead 1 Year/12 Months/52 weeks/365 days/8766 hours/525960 minutes later (give or take), as Malcolm’s moving into a new home and recording everything on a network of home security cameras and hand-cams, cell phone cams and stuffed animal nanny cams. And if you thought they weren’t going to make the joke about also installing a toilet cam, for better or worse you’d be wrong. I’ll leave which one up to you. Not one for the bachelor lifestyle, Malcolm’s moving into said domicile with his new white girlfriend Megan (Jamie Pressly) and her two kids: slutty jail bait daughter Becky (Ashley Rickards) and wienery son Wyatt (Steele Stebbins), who has an “invisible friend” named Tony that acts like an extra from the “Gin & Juice” video. The new place gives Malc the heebies, no doubt soon to be followed by the jeebies, otherwise we wouldn’t have a movie and I wouldn’t have anything to complain about. Save for everything else in the world, naturally.

Before you can say “Your mother sucks cocks in Hell!”, the house is discovered to be just chock full of parodic possession pieces, including an ominous box inscribed with Hebrew text (a la The Possession) Becks finds in the basement, a projector Malcolm finds along with old film reels of a demonic entity (huh huh “titty”) attempting (and failing) to murder the previous tenants (a la Sinister), and an uggo old doll found in a wardrobe named Abigail (a la the titular toy of Annabelle) that reeks of eau de thiscantbegood. Speaking of, if you thought Marlon Wayans fluff backing stuffed animals was entertainment in A Haunted House, wait until you see the acts he commits on a doll modeled after a little girl. Then turns one grotesque joke into an entire storyline. Oh yes. Permit me to Captain Willard as I say, “The comedy… the comedy… the horror…”.

HH2 is the living, breathing definition of “more of the same” in comparison to its predecessor. Rather than dealing with the cuckold couple, this time we’ve got a pair of “paranormal investigators” (Hayes MacArthur and Missi Pyle) to joke on The Conjuring. We’ve gotta deal with Gabriel Iglesia, because black jokes need to be supplemented with Mexican jokes since they don’t have Nick Swardson around for more gay gags. Cedric’s drugged up ex-con preacher is back to give us more of his bullshtick (this movie deserves a pun that bad). Woo-fuckin-hoo. Mandingo Parties return, despite the lack of bored suburban white people, only this time with a big slab of “Sexual Chocolate” Mark Henry. Weird, given the WWE’s “placate families first” policy from the last 10 years, which you’d think would prevent one of their wrestlers appearing in a gangbang scene. Meh. C’est la stuff.

Beyond his own rehashed material, HH2 reminds that Marlon Wayans is still the Sean Combs of comedy. When he’s not running his old jokes through the Xerox, this forty-two year old man’s still “sampling” his other bits from Loony Tunes. You know that “living balloon” thing in old cartoons where one character uses a bicycle pump to inflate another character, and the inflated character then flies around the scene while he/she/it deflates? Yep. It happens. Just like shit happens. Coincidence? No. Conspiracy.

And so it goes. We were just dumped upon by a direct doppleganger of the last movie. Given that the sequel employs the same writers, director, and star, I got what I expected. If you hated the first as I did, prepare for flashbacks. If you inexplicably loved the first (due to some kind of inbreeding, head trauma or being a suburban white/Asian kid), you’ve found something else to keep you away from society for another 90 minutes, of which I’m sure society is appreciative. Speaking of, sitting through the entire movie was such a chore that I swear on my dybbuk that I checked the runtime four times in the last half hour of this movie, desperate for it to finish. Much like every woman I’ve ever had sex with has done the same to me while in the act of “sweatin’ ‘n gruntin’”. I tried willing it to go faster with my mind, but just popped a blood vessel.

Sorry if anybody feels short changed by this episode, as there are only so many ways I can say “IT’S THE SAME FUCKING MOVIE!” before I might as well just copy and paste it a few hundred times like a lazy Jack Torrence. Call me David Carradine if you’ve gotta, but I’m ending this early. On a final note, I feel like our creative geniuses (term used loosely… like looser than a prolapsed colon) originally wanted to be witty about their half-assed approach to a follow-up and call it A Haunted House Too, but honestly couldn’t figure out which proper usage of the word to/too/two/tu to use, so they played it safe and just went numerical. This is a thing I choose to believe, and I will continue to believe so for my benefit. Just like I’m going to lie to myself about this series dying at 2 and never besmirching my view screen ever again. Don’t shatter my illusion. It’s all I have to keep me sane until UPS delivers my Tiffany Shepis love doll from Taiwan.

Moral of the Story: Sometimes it pays to keep half a dozen bug zappers on hand.

Screenshots_____

“Did I remember to put the dog outside when I left?”


“Oh shit! I didn’t put the dog outside when I left!”


“Wait… do I even have a dog?!”


“I told you not to keep the Preparation H right next to the toothpaste. We’re both going to be tasting this for the rest of the day.”


“It’s me, everybody! Expect me to recycle all of the same stereotype jokes Cheech Marin’s been doing for years, only without the talent! Arriba!”


I see London, I see France, now I need a change of pants.


Yep. That’s comedy. Ha. Ha. You know what would make this REALLY funny? If he was trying to jam his dick into Leech Woman from Puppet Master.


That most awkward of moments when your girlfriend catches you jackin’ it to her grandma’s bathing suit pics from last year’s trip to Myrtle Beach.


Proof to women that men do know the pride and joy that comes with the miracle of giving birth. Some of us even take pictures to proudly share with our friends.


Marlon Wayans goes past the point of redemption by becoming that most loathsome of subhuman creatures: a hipster.


While pouring over outtake reels for “The Wayans Bros.” DVD box set’s special features disc, Marlon is baffled by the alarming lack of footage featuring him baring his ass or sexually assaulting children’s playthings. Everything is deemed useless and Wayans retires to his bedroom to shove his dick into a Teddy Ruxpin.


Jaime Pressly, after being told by her agent that she still has two sequels left on her Dead or Alive contract. (Don’t worry folks, they’ll never be made.)


When your parents are visiting you for the weekend, never leave them alone in your house. You’re just asking to come home to them committing the marriage act on your kitchen table.


When this movie promised I’d see Marlon Wayans with a cock on his lips, I expected something far worse. What a relief!


“Come on, white boy. I’m heading to the shower and need you to scrub my back. And don’t you try taking advantage of me while we’re in there. I told you last time that just because we’re in prison doesn’t mean we have to have sex with each other!”


Marlon when he received notice that his services wouldn’t be needed for the GI Joe sequel once the ink on The Rock’s contract dried.


Hey. It’s like that scene in Knocked Up, and since no black people saw Knocked Up, the target audience will think this is hilarious. You know what I’d rather be watching right now? Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back… Why, what did you think I was going to say?


A screenshot from Godfrey Ho’s next project Mexican Terminator: Vampire Ninja Kids Return. Expect several completely unrelated scenes of hopping vampires and neon garbed ninjas to be spliced into it somehow.

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Anubis will return next time in
“Tony Starkner’s TechWar”

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 32 – Halloween (2007)

or “The Shape of Things to Come (Looks Kinda Like William Shatner)”

Featuring: Scout “The Runaways” Taylor-Compton , Malcolm “A Clockwork Orange” McDowall , Sherri “The Devil’s Rejects” Moon Zombie , and Tyler “X-Men” Mane as Michael Myers

Director: Rob “The Devil’s Rejects” Zombie

Writer: Rob “The Devil’s Rejects” Zombie

Origin: USA

Review_____

“I’ll be a shitstorm in your worst nightmare, motherfucker!”

And here we are, the final volley of “Shake, Bake, & Remake: Series 1”. This is the end, my friend. My only friend. The end. I probably saved Halloween for last because, if you couldn’t tell by the rating I gave it, it’s the best movie of the group by a large margin. A large-and-in-charge margin. A “’large’ like Large Marge” margin. Ze margin? She is large. It’s way better than any of the crusty turds I found when sifting through the cinematic cat box that is Platinum Dunes, for certain. Now, I already did a short review for this movie back on the old site, but it was a short subject and thus ineligible for re-editing as a “Rerun” review. Instead, I will be recycling much of what worked in said bite-size criticism for use in this article. Appropriate given the theme of the last month’s work!

Let me get this little statement out of the way before we get underway: I’m not Hindu, so no cow is sacred to me. I just clogged my arteries with the greasy seared flesh and blood of a big double-cheeseburger before I started typing this up. As such, I don’t care what topic it is or how many people love it; if you put anything in front of me I’ll be perfectly happy to dissect it, roll it through breading, fry it up and eat that sucker for dinner. Some people aren’t so quick to agree with this lifestyle though. A number of those people see John Carpenter’s original Halloween, then immediately drop to their knees and start tossing flowers in front of its path in prayer for its safe journey. Fuck that. However, at the same time, don’t confuse me as being anti-Halloween ’78 because I think it’s “cool” to piss on popular movies. I’d rather shiv a hipster and jump rope with his entrails than deride something just because it’s popularly bandied around as a classic. Don’t jump to conclusions. If there’s one thing I hate (of the few thousand things I would rather see awash in napalm than have to accept the existence of) it’s dickheads and she-dickheads that jump to conclusions. I am anti-Halloween ’78, but because I just don’t like it as a movie.

Just because his initials are J.C. doesn’t mean John Carpenter should be getting his ego stroked like he’s the bastard spawn of Jehovah. If Carpenter himself had came up to me with his movie about a random masked killer stabbing teens and lugging around headstones for no apparent reason while tacking 200+lb men up to rickety little pantry doors with nothing more than a butcher knife, I’d just look at him and ask why I should bother. “But it’s just oozing with suspense, sir! It’s an amazing assault on the senses and my very minimalist piano-synthesizer score is icing on the cake!” No, dick brain (may I call you “dick brain”?), it’s really not. Who keeps telling you this is a good thing? It seems more to me like lazy storytelling and a simplistic slasher flick that people are just trying to sell as this astonishing allegory of cinematic greatness packed with more edge-of-your-seat suspense than the best of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”. I’d like to say it’s just because slasher movies were a new thing back then (and yes, I acknowledge Black Christmas, so shut it) and people were easier to impress, but I’ve been dumbstruck by people younger than I (usually jerking each other off in the back of Hot Topic) that think, for whatever reason, Halloween is something special. That it’s better than every gimmick slasher movie franchise that’s come since its release, despite its string of dick cheese (dick string cheese?) sequels. Though Season of the Witch is a fantastic movie (again, shut it). In the 20 years (and dozen or so other Carpenter movies) since I first watched it, I still don’t understand the nerd lust. If I were a more egocentric death deity, I’d say the people on Carpenter’s dick are all stupid and useless. But, everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Keep that in mind while you’re thinking of how to word the hate mail some of you send me when I your babies to the dingos like this.

Anyway, here’s what it comes down to: I like my killers with a background. I like understanding my monsters instead of just being satisfied watching them gut people for no apparent reason. It’s a weirdly acceptable trope for most generic ’80s slasher movies about the nerd/janitor/retard/hobo who gets burned with fire/acid by a group of teens/campers/bullies and comes back horribly scarred for a murder revenge tour of dollar store blood and butcher shop entrails. But it’s acceptable because most of those movies are never seen by casual viewers’ eyes, or completely forgotten by most of those who have. When your slasher is hailed as a high water/slaughter mark for the genre, I expect a bit more than “he was an evil boy and now he’s an evil man”. This is where Rob Zombie’s remake takes a different fork in the proverbial road and makes itself something more than just a copy and paste work up with a high-def coat of paint and modernized boob jobs.

Speaking of modernized shit, Zombie isn’t exactly clear about the time period this flick takes place in. When we first set our feet into the writer-director’s rendition of Haddonfield, Illinois, everything feels very ’70s. The music, the clothing, the hair, the cars. Everything. But that’s apparently just because Rob Zombie’s entire life exists in a ’70s sleaze culture aesthetic dimension, because this is actually October 31st, 1992. Anyway, let’s meet the Myers family! Haddonfield citizens that are so white trash, they could only have been born from a team-up of Tennessee Williams, John Waters, and a gallon of Wild Turkey. Matriarch Debbie (Sheri Zombie) works the strip club stage at night while trying her best to be a good mom during the day. Stepfather Ronnie White (William Forsythe, Daniel Day Lewis-ing the shit out of the “scumbag stepparent” role! ) is a crippled drunk who treats his step kids pretty much like every stepfather did in the ’70s. Eldest child Judy dresses like jailbait and has a rep at school as a receptacle for her male classmates’ surplus protein supplies. Baby Boo (played by more babies than Michelle freakin’ Tanner) is…a baby. And lastly, we have middle child Michael (Daeg Faerch, whose family apparently named him after a random handful of tiles drawn from a Scrabble bag). Mikey’s the kind of kid who’s always getting into trouble at school, has an unhealthy interest in dissecting animals (while they’re still alive) and likes to casually wear a cheap plastic clown mask in his spare time, because kids are weird no matter what decade they’re from.

The school principal (Richard Lynch in all his evil old man glory) calls in mommy to tell her about the uncovered evidence of little Mikey’s butchering of the poor, innocent, furry things and suggests that she hand him over to hot shot psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who’s got that groovy “Donald Sutherland in Animal House” liberal college professor vibe going on. When he overhears the conversation, our boy Mikey storms off and eats a whole bowl of Life cereal. Not really. He actually runs off and beats the school bully to death with a tree branch that must’ve been partially petrified given the number of times he lays into the jerk off. The scene’s equal parts, “Yeah! Fuck that shithead up!” for those of us who were ever picked on growing up, and “Okay, that’s a little uncomfortable…” when the beating goes on for a while and the kid’s left with a bloody face crying and begging for mercy. I mean, I wouldn’t have stopped smashing his face in either, but having been a victim twice (and only twice…*menacing pause*) I’m all for bludgeoning bullies to death. Anyway, this is the point of no return for Mikey. Once you’ve graduated from killing four-legged furry critters to killing bipedal hairless (mostly) ones, the law kinda steps in and school counseling isn’t really an option anymore. So, before the cops discover his victim’s body (and have to identify him with dental records), our hero(?) heads home, goes out trick-or-treating, eats some candy, then goes about killing everybody in the house. Ronnie’s respiratory proficiency is greatly increased by the second mouth carved into his throat with a butcher knife, Judy’s boyfriend’s brains paint the kitchen floor courtesy of an aluminum bat (this is why you never call a kid “squirt”), and Judy herself gets a creepy incesty post-coitus leg tickle (barf) from her little brother (now wearing the series traditional William Shatner mask, introduced earlier by the aforementioned boyfriend) before Mikey installs a buncha new blood spigots in her with his stabbing utensil. Afterward, the junior psycho gathers up his baby sis and heads out to the front stoop to await Momma’s return from work. Nothing tops off a night of being leered at by perverts like coming home to find that your son has just violently murdered three people, leaving you the one that constantly needs their diaper changed and spends most of their time screaming and clawing at your tits… no, not Ronnie. I meant the baby.

The media shitstorm that follows would call the middle schooler’s killing spree “Manson-like in its viciousness”. When all was said and done with the most expensive trial in Haddonfield’s judicial history, young Michael would end up at the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium (a word that you can’t not hear in James Hetfield’s voice) some 100 or so miles away, under the care of… yep, Sammy Loomis. During their earliest session, Mikey tells Fruit of the Loomis that he doesn’t remember anything about murdering half his family, then claims he had nothing to do with the carnage. He even goes so far as to ask his mom if everyone at home’s okay, meaning the kid’s either be a huge liar or a brain fried maniac. Aside from Samwise Loomgee, the closest person Mike could call a friend at The Grove is kindly old Mexican janitor Ismael (Danny Trejo). Having spent some time behind concrete walls (and bars) himself, Ish recommends that Mikey lose himself in his imagination rather than let his surroundings drive him further down the tracks to Crazyville Junction. This advice only feeds the kid’s already unhealthy interest in masks (to hide his “ugly face”, which I have to admit, isn’t exactly Flinstone Kids spokeschild material), and his “room” (i.e. cell) eventually becomes a goddamn arts & crafts fair of handmade masks. Hell, if he keeps it up another 20 years Etsy will become a thing and he could make a fortune!

Despite mom making weekly visits and Loomis acting almost as much the compassionate father figure as he does the kid’s therapist, Mike sinks further into the quagmire (giggidy) of his own insanity. When he’s not brooding in silence behind his false faces, he’s having screaming rage fits. Loomis deems him “A ghost. A mere shape of a human being.” While this downward spiral continues, the good doctor documents his progress (or lack thereof) in a series of clinically sterile films that give an entirely opposite impression of the more nurturing facade he shows the lad in their sessions. Makes you wonder if Samuel Illoomisnati is more concerned with actually trying to understand Michael to help him, or just so he can be a big dick amidst his peers in the head shrinking community.

After one of mom’s visits, the little wide awake nightmare’s left alone with a nurse (Cybil Danning!) in the cafeteria while Sammy walks Deb to her car. Seeing a picture of Mikey holding Boo, the nurse makes the moviedom kiss of death by remarking that Boo is too cute to be his sister and turning her back to him. If you’re stupid enough to call a pint-sized multi-murderer “ugly” and turn your back to him while he’s within arms reach of a fork, you deserve the repeated stabbings to the neck that you’re guaranteed to receive. And she does. And that’s the straw that break’s Debbie’s brain. She goes home, watches family movies of happier times, cries the tears of a mother whose little boy turned out to be a serial killer, then gives her old friend Smith N. Wesson a Cobain Blowjob (also know as “Sucking Off the Saturday Night Special”).

15 years later, Micheal (who’s become Tyler Mane) has spent the majority of his life in lock-up and taken a straight up vow of silence since mom’s suicide. He’s also grown large and wide somehow, but it’s never explained whether he took up weightlifting as a secondary hobby in between mask crafting sessions, if he’s just a freak-of-nature man colossus, or if the local water supply is in the direct path of the waste run-off from the local bovine growth hormone factory. As for Loomis, he retires from the hospital so he can publish a book (and go on a national speaking tour) based around his time studying Myers that labels the mute galoot the purest definition of a psychopath ever to walk his bloody footprints across the face of the Earth. While mister big shot psychoanalyst’s off signing autographs and sleeping with a new psych school groupie every night, things go all to shit back at Smith’s Grove. In a drunken rape stupor, one of the scum suck late night janitors calls in his equally scum suck cousin so they can “break in” one of the new female incarcerees like Ned Beatty in Deliverance. Here’s where the dingleberries earn themselves a Darwin Award – they decide to do the deed in Micheal’s room, on Micheal’s bed, while wearing some of Micheal’s masks, as Micheal is sitting within arm’s reach, all while yelling at Michael and calling him a faggot. In the history of stupid fucking redneck ideas, this one ranks right up there with putting toxic waste in your moonshine and “Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular”.

To say these good ol’ boys get what they deserve (both from a moral standpoint and an evolutionary one) would be an understatement, as Michael kills the duo with his bare hands. No longer confined to his quarters, Myers makes the term “graveyard shift” a literal reality (or “litereality”) and murders the sanitarium’s entire late night skeleton crew (another term he makes truth). To prove to the audience that Loomis is correct in diagnosing Micheal a remorseless killing machine (maybe a lawnmower with a chainsaw bolted to the top of it with a face drawn on the front?), Zombie makes us watch as the homicidal goon even kills poor ol’ Ishmael in a drawn out segment of assault and water-boarding, topped off with crushing his skull under a tv set. Yes, Robby Zombo, we get the point: he’s a murder tank with a mustang engine when it comes to taking lives. Even those who have only ever tried to help him. Just leave Danny Trejo alone!

Finally, after 45 minutes of fleshing out our killer’s background, the beefy behemoth (or “bohemoth” as he’d be referred to later, in the sequel) is set loose on the unsuspecting public. His next victim is knife-wielding truck jiver Joe Grizzly (Ken Foree in full force ’70s throwback mutton chops), whom Myers gets the drop on in the middle of Joe butt wrestling a taco supreme in the men’s room of a truck wash on the way to Haddonfield. Our blaxploitation heavy puts up a struggle, but ultimately loses his life (and raggedy overalls that probably stink like the darkest recesses of Ammut’s colon) to the Shape of kills to come. The following day (which just happens to be Halloween!), after presumably walking the 100 miles between Smith’s Grove and his hometown, Miguel returns to the rundown remnants of the Myers digs and tears up the floorboards of Judy’s old room to recover the only-minorly-decayed Shatner death mask from where we’re guessing he stashed it that fateful night a decade-and-a-half prior before giving himself up. Now, we can’t have a slasher movie where the killer is our solo focal point, so let’s go meet the tender young flesh of our heroine, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-”Straight Outta”-Compton)!

Hey. Remember the original Halloween II? Yeah, the movie where Jamie Lee Curtis dragged herself around a poorly lit and understaffed hospital trying not to get killed (again) for the entire thing, while Donald Pleasance fleshed out Myers Gen1’s backstory? Remember how Laurie turned out to be Micheal’s little sister? Well, same goes here. They won’t get to the big reveal for a long time yet, but I’m getting it out of the way now so we don’t need to sit on our thumbs waiting for the voice of Chucky to get around to the whole “I dropped the Myers baby off at a hospital two towns over after their mom redecorated the family room with her head guts” revelation. Besides, everybody in the audience knew from the moment the waifish teenager comes on screen and starts clutching her own tits and speaking dirty whorish teenager things to her own mother that she had to be the genetic spillage of some white trash titty bar dancer. Nature vs. nurture, folks.

So, Baby Boo Myers. Raised as “Laurie” by Cynthia (Dee Wallace!) and Mason (Pat [GilliganVoice] “Skipperrrrr!” [/GilliganVoice]) Strode. She’s a high school girl with high school girl friends doing all the high school girl things that reinforce my hatred of high school girls. At least it steels my resolve to stay out of jail by assuring I won’t be one of those chodes Wooderson-ing the jailbait at local cheerleader tryouts or field hockey practice. No, if anything, I’m more likely going to be the only masked slasher who interrupts the underage coitus before it gets started and demands the girl put a sweater on before I yank her lungs out through her gullet. Speaking of graphic purveyors of violent acts, Mikey finds little sister almost immediately upon getting back into town, as if she has a big electromagnet in her head tuned especially for butcher knives and other cleaving implements.

One of the less revolting high school girl stereotypes Laurie fills out is the “babysitting the neighbor kid on the weekends” role. Her particular source of income is young Tommy Doyle (Skyler Gisondo), who hangs on the young lady like a smart mouth barnacle while simultaneously decrying her gross girl cooties. Laurie will be spending her All Hallows Eve tending to Tommy and his would-be girlfriend Lindsey Wallace (Jenny Gregg Stewart), the second barnacle of whom Laurie picks up so her friend and fellow sitter Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris) can plump her boyfriend’s Oscar Mayer wiener in her cooter oven. I have to say, Micheal Myer’s little niece grew up nicely since Halloween 5…and it’s okay for me to say that, because she was THIRTY while pretending to be an 18 year old here, so fuck you.

We’re gonna break out the Cliff’s Notes for the rest of the feature, because none of it’s really that important. Loomis comes to town, shouldering the personal guilt that he couldn’t fix Myers and adds a tool to his psychiatric repertoire that may just do the trick: a .357 Magnum. Brains are like TV sets – if they’re broken and you have no luck rewiring them, take a page from Elvis Presley’s book, pretend they’ve got Robert Goulet’s face, and put a big fat bullet through ’em! Local constabulary Sheriff Brackett (Brad Douriff), thinks Dr. L’s threats of a holiday holocaust are unfounded, so Sammy spends much of the remainder of the flick trying to convince the pig otherwise. Meanwhile, Myers just goes about killing Laurie’s family and friends. If you were a fan of the original’s unnecessary “headstone” death mock-up, or that infuriatingly stupid scene where Myers pins a 200+ pound man to a pantry door with the tip of a butcher knife, then congratulations because Zombie redoes them here. If you hated both of those scenes as I did, then wear a mouth guard so you don’t bite off your lip or tongue while trying to hold back your rage. It’s been 7 years and I still can’t pronounce my ‘s’es properly.

With the prelims out of the way, Michael spends the final 20 minutes of the movie chasing little sis around. He drags her kicking and screaming (until she… faints?) across town to their ancestral abode while the doctor and the sheriff (coming to The Hallmark Channel this Fall!) pursue one step behind. In the basement of the house, our speechless specter tries to make his sibling understand their connection, going so far as to remove his mask and drop to his knees to show her he’s no threat to her. Their bonding doesn’t go like he’d hoped though, as Laurie jams his own knife into his neck/chestal area before fleeing outside. Having no luck with getting this family reunion to work, Mike re-dons his Captain Kirk warpaint and heads out to carve little sister out of the Myers will. Just as he’s cornered Laurie and you think there’s no way she can escape, in comes the AARP cavalry with guns a-blazin’ as Loomis fills his former patient full of lead in the empty pool in the backyard. Whoa, hold your shit for one second. So the the poor white trash family struggling desperately to make ends meet had a fucking in-ground pool!? What the Night of the Living Fuck?! I call bullshit. Immersion ruined. Up yours, Robert Zomberson. Movie over.

Refusing to fall victim to the Second Amendment, Michael rises and drags Laurie from the supposed safety of the Loomis Mobile while the good doctor gives the greatest delivery of “WHAT THE HELL!?” I’ve seen in any medium. Don’t know how Malcolm McDowell was robbed of the Oscar for that one, but it’s a crime against good taste whatever the case. King Drama Club follows Michael back into the house and offers himself as a sacrifice to Myers’ wrath in apology for failing to cure him of his mania. The big guy grabs Sam’s skull and crushes/massages his…sinuses? It’s not clear. Looms looks dead, but manages to grab Mike’s ankle later to no real effect (except to establish that he’s still alive for the impending sequel?), to which our killer responds by…walking away from him. Huh. Not a very good killer, is he? Laurie grabs the doc’s hand canon, gets chased around the remnants of the house in a needlessly long chase sequence that could’ve been twice as effective at half the length. Something my penis and I know plenty about. Wakka wakka!

Their merry chase concludes with big brother shoulder tackling the petite teen through a second story window. When they awaken on the front lawn, Laurie’s face is all busted up, but that doesn’t stop her from grabbing the Magnum, straddling her sibling (ewww) and playing one-way Russian Roulette with his dumb rubber face until he finally grabs her hand (to steady her aim, methinks) and she unloads a big lead slug of “thicker than water” justice through his face. She spends her final moments on screen in a fit of Marilyn Burnsian “I BROKE MY BRAIN!” screams before we head into the end credits, interlaced with Myers family films of little Michael smashing a plastic bouncy horse with a stick in a chilling precursor of destroyed playthings to come. FIN.

Coming in at a beefy two hour run time, Halloween is a bit overstuffed. Rob Zombie’s that “get your money’s worth” cook who isn’t happy just serving up a burger at the barbecue. He slaps two ½ lb patties on a bun, then tops ’em off with lettuce and fried onions and tomatoes and pickles and hot peppers and chipotle ketchup and mayo. When you take that first bite, everything just falls out the back and sides and you get a mouthwatering avalanche all over your favorite fucking Blood Feast t-shirt. The movie’s just too long for its own good. Perfect example: too much time is spent hitting us over the head with how Myers is an irredeemable murder maven. Loomis gives us the skinny during a cut from his speaking tour and that does the job. We don’t need to watch the doc explain it to other characters again and again later. We got it the first time!

Speaking of time, I’m split on whether the way Zombie dedicates the first half of the movie to Michael and the second half to Laurie is a good thing or not. I know the movie is about Myers and not so much Laurie this time, but inherently this comes with another slippery slope to climb: centering your movie on a character that forfeits all vocal abilities and hides his face for the majority of the last half of the flick. This shift from making Michael the main character over to putting all the attention on Laurie (who spent her first half of the flick in a high chair and drooling all over her sippy cup) hurts the cohesiveness of the movie for me. How could this have been fixed? Maybe some of the time spent on chronicling Mikey’s stint in the loony bin could’ve been spent showing us exactly what’s been happening to Laurie all this time, so we could start to give a shit about her too instead of just dropping her in our lap later (and making most of us hate her from Scout Taylor-Compton’s first few lines). But no, Laurie’s history is all covered in some dialogue later between Loomis and Sheriff Brackett. Thus, the mild sense of audience vertigo remains. On the one hand, I’m glad that we get a slasher where the killer gets the spotlight and we see what made him the evil bastard he would become. But on the other hand, a true slasher is only as good as his victims, so you can’t NOT give your lead protagonist their time to make us give a fuck about whether they live or die. From a necessity point-of-view it works to fit both roles, but it still feels off to spend the first half of the movie getting to know one guy, then sticking him into the background as the boogeyman while we have to watch obnoxious girls being obnoxious. So, yeah. Time management and editing. Zombie could use a little more practice on both.

As far as the “tribute scenes”? If they were done in legit tribute of how “great they were”, then fuck it. I hated them. Could they have been done in a *wink*wink* or mockery? If so, they were played a little too straightforward for it to be believable. All the bullshit with the tombstone, the “guy stuck to a wall with a butcher knife” crap and the “Myers dressed like a ghost wearing glasses” scene are all accounted for. They all still put groans into my guts and my hand smacked squarely against my forehead.

Zombie knows what he’s doing with the violence though, ya gotta give him that. Rather than go full tilt with dismemberment and insides-on-the-outside, he has a knack for the simple-yet-brutal effect of a bloodied face. Whether it’s the school bully getting his karmaic comeuppance or Laurie after being used as a tackle dummy by big brother, both horror faces made me pay attention and gave me mildly nauseated squirms in that visceral oh-so-good way that few things do. Seemingly simplistic, but so effective when done right. As for the rest of his direction, Zombie puts more of an action flair into his stuff. If you’re the type who oozed your shorts over Carpenter’s thriller atmosphere in the original, this more energetic aesthetic isn’t likely what you were looking for in a remake. Then again, the damn thing’s been out for so long that if you haven’t seen it already, this review probably isn’t going to put this on your “must see” list.

In regards to the cameos: I don’t care if it was just Zombie giving his friends and horror movie idols a paycheck, or if he was trying to appeal to the horror movie geeks who like to point at the screen and name as many of the actors as possible. Either way, I still get that little kick out of being able to do the latter while everyone else around me is generally clueless. Granted, their lives are probably filled with more endearing and humanity benefiting pastimes than what I do on my days off, but being able to say, “Oh shit! That’s Clint Howard!” puts a smile on these lips in the morning.

As far the acting goes: meh. Everybody seemed to be into it, but there weren’t a lot of tour de force performances going on here. Possibly the fault of the dialogue on that one, though. I think Daeg Faerch was the surprising stand-out of the group, as his portrayal of young Michael gave me the legitimate creeps. He manages to play a disturbed-but-still-sympathetic lunatic child without tripping over the “obnoxious little shithead you just wanna smack upside the head” pitfall that other child actors in horror flicks seem inclined to do. William Forsythe was probably one of the best assholes I’ve seen in years outside of a Tarantino movie, but his role was short-lived as it was. Though I could’ve cared less if Laurie lived or died (preferably the latter, if we’re being honest), Miss Compton does one HELL of a scream queen act in her final moments that made for forget just how little I cared for the her up until then! She puts out such believable insanity in that moment that you’d think she just looked into the gaping maw of Cthulhu and saw a dimension of nothing but Carrot Top movies. As for Sherri, she makes a believable “broken down mom just trying to keep her family together”, but just because her last name is “Zombie” doesn’t mean she should let herself decay to the point of looking like a reanimated corpse. Her emaciated body nauseates me as her ribs try to poke out my eyes during her “worn out stripper” routine. Somebody order that woman a corned-beef on rye before she slips into a coma! Is she under the impression that trying to look like Keira Knightley will get her those fat Disney paychecks like Miss Pirates of the Caribbean? Not so, my dear. Please put something into your body other than cocaine and Scotch, okay?

Final judgment? The Halloween remake is a lot like the original with enough new material tacked on to set it apart from its source, and justify its existence. I liked it. I’m good with Michael Myers being an actual guy with a solid history. It’s far from perfect, but I wasn’t demanding my money back at the end. I think the movie actually improves on the life and times of one of horror’s flagship mask-wearers, unlike the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake that threw in Leatherface’s new origin as an abused child as little more than an afterthought. Or the Friday the 13th and Elm Street remakes that just straight up recycled the tales of their originals. Oh wait, that’s because Michael Bay was rubbing his grimy sweaty swampy balls all over all three of those. I almost forgot. Well, I tried to forget.

In closing, though I always welcome frank discussion and debate with our readers, if you’re a biased member of the Loyal Order of John Carpenter Fellatio Enthusiasts and you’re just going to write unintelligible rhetoric to me about how much of an ignorant “traitor” I am to the horror genre because I’ll take Zombie’s movie over Old Man Carpenter’s movie if given the option, keep two things in mind: (1) Carpenter gave Zombie the okay to do whatever he wanted with the movie (so it’s his inbox you should be packing) and (2) please at least do me the favor of spell checking your shit first. If your email looks like the transcript from an episode of “Maury“, you won’t get a response. I let somebody borrow my copy of “How to Communicate with Grammarless Dickweeds” and would have no idea how to respond…

Moral of the Story: Just because someone’s crippled doesn’t mean they can’t still crawl over there and skull fuck the shit out of you.

Screenshots_____

Little Johnny Gacey’s parents used to wake up to THAT every morning.


“Ahhhh, still smells like Mother.”


“Okay, which one of you jazzy hepcats called for a Groove-meister? Cuz he is here!”


Shit. And I thought my allergies were bad!


You know what happens to the first one to fall asleep at a party. He’ll wake up with penises drawn all over his face, no eyebrows, a Hitler mustache, his underwear in the freezer, both hands in bowls of warm water, and sitting in a very big wet spot.


Alright, who recorded over my horror movie with a Korn video?


Coming directly to video cassette (in 1992): Ted Danson is Dracula.


still a better Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake than Michael Bay’s.


I’m a deranged pervert and even I wouldn’t take a date back to that bedroom.


The end to Robert Rodriguez’s epic faux-sploitation series: Machete Killed.


A tip to black men in slasher movies: stay off the toilet. Remember Miguel Nunez in Friday the 13th Part V? Exactly.


Nothing tugs the heart strings like the look on a girl’s face when she audibly farts on a first date. Memories.


I don’t mean to tell a professional how to do his business, Mike, but successful stalkers don’t usually just stand around in the open in broad daylight. I can see you. You’re RIGHT THERE. Just trying to help.


Dr. Frankenstein or the Ice Cream Man: which would you rather trust your hysterectomy to, ladies?


It only took him 20 years, but Charlie Brown’s second happiest moment came one Halloween when he finally got his ghost costume (mostly) right! His happiest? When he strangled Lucy later that same night.


They must be enrolled at Horror High.


“You can’t kill me! PLEASE! I had NOTHING to do with Holwing II: Your Sister is a Werewolf! I hated it too! Ahhhhhh!”


That awkward moment when you discover the parents of the kid you’re babysitting left their homemade porno tape in the VCR.


Michael Myers takes the series back to its roots as he stars in Walking Tall 4: the Resurrection of Buford Pusser. Meh. At least he’s not Kevin Sorbo.


Sure, they’ll turn away homosexuals, but I see eHarmony didn’t hesitate to approve Chris Brown’s membership.

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Anubis will return next time in
“The Faygo 500”

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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)”

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 26 – Stage Fright (2014)

or “Everybody’s a Critic”

Featuring: Allie “House at the End of the Street” MacDonald , Meat Loaf “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” Aday , Minnie “Grosse Pointe Blank” Driver

Director: Jerome “ABCs of Death 2” Sable

Writers: Jerome “ABCs of Death 2” Sable , Eli Batalion

Origin: Canada

Review_____

“Kylie Swanson slept with so many people on Broadway, they called her ‘The Great White Lay’!”

There was a local legend in my neck of the cosmic woods about a disfigured creature who lived in a dumpster behind the local Taco Bell and attacked random drive-thru customers after dark. It would make off with their orders and escape into the night, consuming the purloined fast food feasts to provide itself with the saturated fats and high sodium its unique biology required for survival. Some said it was a former employee traumatically mutated thusly: an assistant manager (in a direct insult to the gods) offered him two straight Thursdays off with pay if he would consume an unholy brew consisting of one packet of each type of Taco Bell sauce mixed into a 40oz cup of Baja Blast, poured over a half-eaten Beefy 5 Layer Burrito and some Volcano Nachos left behind by a mysterious customer dressed all in black (who paid for his meal with Canadian currency) and microwaved it for 66 seconds at .6 power. The nightmarish brew turned the young register jockey into an abomination that would be dubbed by the hushed whispers of the townies as the Chalupacabra.

As an amateur Cryptozoologist (and in need of money to help fund my proposed Tomb of Anubis book project), I man-jackaled my own solo mission to shackle this horror and put it on display for public entertainment at county fairs and truck pull events. Unfortunately, my investigation did not turn up a gordita thieving freak. No, the so-called Chalupacabra was just a local homeless guy named Pete who had bitten off a drive-thru girl’s pinky finger one night after he’d huffed a whole can of Rust-Oluem. Pete had no mysterious origin, mystical or otherwise, he’d just lost his job when the ChiChi’s next door closed down, and moved into the Taco Bell dumpster rather than take up at a homeless shelter. What the fuck does my story have to do with today’s movie? My very simple, reasonable expectations and the universe’s continued failure to meet them…and my need to make “Chalupcabra” a matter of public record so I can claim copyright on it if Taco Bell ever tries to steal the name from me for use as a new corporate mascot. Which they desperately need, cuz you know that “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” dog died YEARS ago.

News of Stage Fright came to me from my Evil Dead Bride at first under the perception that it would be a remake of the 1987 Italian slasher flick of the same name, also known by its first moniker, Deliria. In anticipation, we sought said cinematic situation, and sat through 2hrs of goofy in a 90min tow away zone. By which I mean it was a bizarre little movie about a stab happy murderer stalking the cast of a corny ’80s rock opera while wearing a big creep-ass owl mask. It’s good old fashioned spaghetti sauce from the “the more dead young people the better” decade. When it finally came time to taste test this new Stage Fright, despite some very loose similarities (a masked killer stalking the cast of an absurd musical), our aforementioned prior perception turned out to be a misconception. Disheartening, given how the original was good for some freaky visuals, slick slaughter, and a few absurd chuckles. Blart.

Oh well, as I always say, expectations are the fault of the expecter. For instance, if you were expecting me not to make up a word like “expecter”, you failed. You get NOTHING! You LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR! Anyway, in case you too were suffering from the same delusions of campy grandeur as we were, welcome to reality. Pardon the smell. We haven’t been able to find the cause and we’re pretty much hoping it dissipates on its own eventually. Speaking of campy…

Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver… who gets top fucking billing for TEN MINUTES OF WORK!) was once a lauded stage performer (acting not stripping, thank Set!) on the verge of her big break – starring in a critically acclaimed production of Haunting of the Opera (because Phantom’s probably copyrighted out the ass). Too bad for her that an unidentified guy in the masked Phantom-esque killer’s costume cut her career violently short with a sizable bit of Slash Co. brand stabware, which he demoed for her across her throat and into her mouth! Mamma mia, that’s a spicy piece of stainless steel! Only from Slash Co.!

Ten years after the fatal fall of Kylie (a book title if I’ve ever heard one), her twin children Camilla (Allie MacDonald) and Buddy (Douglas Smith) have reached adulthood under the parentage of Kylie’s then boyfriend and producer Roger McCall (Meat Loaf – that’s exactly how he’s credited on his IMDB page!), who took the kids under his care in the wake of their mother’s gruesome windpipe ventilation reassignment procedure. No longer enjoying the life of a successful producer, Roger’s since tobogganed face first down the icy slope of financial collapse since Kylie’s demise and has invested what little he had left into establishing Center Stage – a summer camp for aspiring child performers (where the twins work in the kitchen). Through Center Stage, Roger hopes to exploit any burgeoning young success stories from which can get himself an AC/DC: back in black…though his dirty deeds done dirt cheap will probably get him thunderstruck on a highway to Hell with his balls to the wall! Wait, that last one was Accept. However, if you want blood, you’ve got it! Sorry, there’s no more blood yet, I was just caught up in the AC/DC thing. I’ve gotta stop listening to music when I write these things.

Back to the beaten path, the underage attendees of this little refugee camp for failed “Glee” hopefuls have a tendency to break into song and prance as if they’d previously rehearsed these spontaneous acts of musical mirth. I thought I was walking into a cheesy slasher romp, but it appears I’ve stumbled into a little too much whimsy and much too little horror. This year’s big camp production is a kabuki (“Bukkake?”) rendition of…can you guess? Go on, give it a shot. Did you figure it out yet? If you guessed anything other than Haunting of the Opera, I’d like you to go back to every teacher you had from grade school to whatever your highest level of education may be, and slap each of them for failing you. If any of them are dead, let me know who and I’ll slap them for you here in the Underworld.

As for that play, the acting and/or singing bug hasn’t just bitten Camilla, it’s crawled up her nose, eaten half of her Medulla Oblongata, and laid eggs in her Fissure of Rolando. Inspired by an autographed 8×10 of her mom (long story, don’t ask), Cammy takes center stage (no pun intended) of our story as she bucks Roger’s rules about only campers being allowed to audition for the shows, and snags herself a chance at the role her mom originated as the female lead! Whose name I forget because who cares. Despite McCall’s misgivings, the show’s assigned director/romantic lead/self-proclaimed artist/biggest douche bag in the state, Artie Getz (Brandon Uranowitz…no, YOU’RE ano…is…witz…shut up!), insists that the fresh faced lass be his leading lady. He did helm their previous summer’s bold musical re-imagining of The Vagina Monologues after all, so he must know what he’s doing…that, and Cam’s the only legal age ass in the camp he hasn’t had on his casting couch yet. Finally given a chance to make her dead momma proud and do something with her life that doesn’t involve Brill-O pads and industrial sized cans of spaghetti sauce (that’s mostly watered down ketchup), Camilla couldn’t be happier and dedicates herself wholly to her new craft. As for brother Buddy, he’s not happy with the arrangement, as it leaves him with twice the workload now while he picks up the proverbial slack left by sister’s absence. Someone else not happy with Cammy’s leading role is Liz Silver (Melanie Leishman), the resident diva of the program who will do whatever she has to to get the spotlight onto her cunty mug instead…including murder? You never know.

Except that I do, because I’ve already seen it, hence this review.

While all of this has been playing out, a manic figure dressed in black has been lurking in a nondescript, poorly lit room at an undisclosed place. I’m not entirely sure he’s even on the campgrounds, to be honest. Our obvious killer-to-be spends his time wailing on his electric guitar and screeching like Sebastian Bach (his rock opera performances will either give you a tongue-in-cheek laugh or a spike-in-the-butt aggravation) as he splatters red paint on the campers’ head shots and slashes at them with his movie murderer tool of choice: a pair of circular saw blades modified with finger hole grips. On The Tomb of Anubis Scale of Bad-Ass Weapons, these mofos fall somewhere between Jason’s saw blade weed whacker in Friday the 13th Part VII (“Very Bad-Ass”) and Ash’s chainsaw hand in Evil Dead 2 (“Legendary Bad-Ass”). They’d be equally excellent either here as a shredder of teenagers, a homemade peacemaker in one of those “Joe Everyman becomes a vigilante” flicks, or some hardcore ninja gear in a Shaw Brothers feature. I think I’ll put in a requisition with Osiris to get a pair of my own for soul reaping during those times when my scythe is in the shop getting its firmware updated.

The night before the big show’s set to open, our phantom flayer finally gets his feet wet (with gore) when he torture kills someone (I won’t tell ya who) on the stage. The next morning, Roger tells the kids that the person’s death was clearly an accident (though I’d love to see the Rube Goldbergian scenario he comes up with to explain the kid’s multi-step mutilation) and convinces them that the show must go on… through the use of another rousing musical number! And so, the play goes off without a hitch, Roger gets back into the big leagues of Broadway productions, Camilla is rocketed to immediate stardom, and she and Buddy open their hugely successful restaurant together. Everybody lives happily ever after. Don’t believe me? Good. You’re learning. What really happens? I’ll tell you this much – nothing goes right, people die, and Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhampsody Numero Dos” gets a comedy scene that overstays its welcome. But then, any rendition that isn’t the piano duel between Daffy and Donald at the Ink and Paint Club is bound to fall short.

Is the killer Joel (Kent Nolan), the stalker-lite lighting guy who looks like that Mexican werewolf kid from the Twatlight movies and has an obvious boner for Cammy? Could it be the creepy all-too-obvious-red herring janitor who’s always skulking around looking all-too-obviously-suspicious? Maybe it’s Buddy, trying to end his sister’s career before it can begin so as not to interfere with his dreams of the duo opening a restaurant together one day? But, what aboot Liz? I mean, once she lost the leading lady role, why not ruin the show for everybody? Then again, this could all be connected to whoever it was that gave Kylie the butcher knife taste test, back to make sure Roger’s amputated career never gets the chance to grow back. Speaking of, it could be Roger behind the mask! I mean, the killer’s not fat enough and hits notes too high and screechy to be Roger, and it would make no sense for Rog to sabotage (my new alias – Rog Sabotage) the production he hopes will put him back on top of the Broadway scene, but I learned long ago to stop giving movies the benefit of the doubt.

So, how do you solve a problem like Maria? Errr, by which I mean, how do you sum up a movie like Stage Fright? Well, if High School Musical and Sleepaway Camp had a Bartles & Jaymes regret-together one summer night, Stage Fright would be their Valentine’s Day partial birth abortion. Ever see Camp Blood: the Musical? Watch that instead. Less production value, but at least it doesn’t let you down when it comes to over-the-top summer camp killing with a dash of Gilbert & Sullivan. Stage Fright hints at the campiness of a Troma movie, but never goes so far as shooting ping pong balls out of its hot pocket. In fact, it ends its act and walks off stage without even taking off its top. I know not to expect a Troma production if there’s no Troma logo on the box, but I feel certain envelopes should’ve been pushed further than they were. This barely-R rated feature could’ve been bumped up to a soft NC-17 and nabbed a few more fun points for such absurdity in the process.

Some of the tunes are pretty catchy though (the end credits being the best), the gore (of what’s there) is pretty slick, I like the Kabuki theme of the slasher’s getup, the comedy works most of the time (the epilogue is an amusing *wink*wink* to slasher movie fans), and the acting’s actually pretty solid. Allie MacDonald? Young lady’s got chops. She does the shy/traumatized girl thing REALLY well and could get tears from a glass eye. The lass has got a set of pipes on her to be proud of too! I don’t go in for younger chicks as a general rule, but I think she’s talented enough that I’d make the exception. Besides, she’s applicable under the “half your age plus 7” rule with a few digits to spare, and this pic of her in a Black Flag shirt just seals the deal.

AllieBF

Now, If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go pump some custard in her honor. As André Benjamin said, become the master of your own bation – the future is in your hand. I’m out like a boner in boxers! Later, gators!

Moral of the Story: Even if you find a place where you can feel safe and happy with like-minded people who support and appreciate you, there’s ALWAYS gonna be some crazy person in a mask waiting to kill you.

Screenshots_____

I appreciate the filmmakers’ dedication to the truth here. It always bothered me that John McNaughton didn’t have the balls to keep the real life break dancing segments in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.


Billy and Sarah have the misfortune of attending one of the “Sesame Street” tapings where the actor playing Big Bird shows up drunk… and without any pants.


Minnie Driver tried one of those do-it-yourself plastic surgery kits to shave a few inches off of her jawbone. Kids? Leave medical procedures to the professionals.


I know that look – she wasn’t paying attention to her calender and woke up REALLY wishing she’d put in a tampon before bed… looks like someone’s getting a new mattress!


Good thing there’s a summer camp specifically for kids like this. It’s the only way most of them will ever get the chance to lose their virginity.


I asked a First Nations representative which aboriginal spirit this totem represents, and he told me to give back his land or get the fuck out. I tried offering him some beads and trinkets, but he just had security stuff my pants full of arrowheads, wrap me in a smallpox infected blanket, and roll me down a steep hill!


An recently uncovered production still from Ed Wood’s long lost film adaptation of Phantom of the Opera!


If that guy doesn’t have a work glove with razor blades on the fingertips, a rusty pitchfork, and several rolls of duct tape in the trunk of his car, I’ll be very surprised.


This may look odd to some, but he was hired to perform a puppet show at Lucille Bluth’s birthday party. I’m afraid I just blue myself… NO TOUCHING! TV SHOW QUOTES!


Okay, these Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequels are going a little too far back into Leatherface’s history now.


I feel like this was a concept originally done in one of those sticker trading card sets from the ’90s about parody products of known brand names. Like the ones in this link.


Meat Loaf is Chris Farley in Tommy Boy 2: No, Not Black Sheep. Not since Blues Brothers 2000 has a beloved comedian’s legacy been so completely shit upon!


“I’ll need my assistant’s help with my next trick, which I call, “The Reverse Uncle Fester”!


Pro-tip: you might wanna use a mirror when you put on your eyeshadow.


You kids these days with your pierced I-don’t-know-whats! Unless you’re the Bionic Woman, you shouldn’t have more metal in your head than bone! You go take those things out this minute, young lady, and you let those holes heal shut!


I don’t know what she needs with a lantern when she’s got a perfectly good pair of headlights! SHAZAM!

Anubis will return next time in
“Children of a Lesser Godzilla”

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 04 – Hell Baby (2013)

or “Jim Henson’s Parody Babies”

Featuring: Rob “Hot Tub Time Machine” Corddry , Leslie “Wristcutters: A Love Story” Bibb , Keegan Michael “Key & Peele” Key

Written & Directed By: Robert Ben “Balls of Fury” Garrant & Thomas “Reno 911!” Lennon

Origin: USA

Review_____

“It’s like Banksy with knives and face tattoos.”

By the Bearded Clam of Isis (or, for the ladies, the Bearded Marble Sack of Horus), today my biorhythms feel like they were composed by Robert Smith the day his favorite eyeliner fell in the toilet. I could use a laugh. This is gonna be one of those rare days where I review a comedy. A horror comedy, but a comedy still.

 I love skit comedy. I know it’s called “sketch comedy”, but I call it skit comedy. Cuz fuck you with Rick Rude’s AIDS infected zombie penis, that’s why… which is a joke only one other person will get, so hopefully he actually reads this… Rick Rude didn’t die of AIDS, he just looked like someone who would have. Anyway, “Saturday Night Live”, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, “The Whitest Kids U Know”, “The Kids in the Hall”, “Upright Citizens Brigade”. Each one uniquely brilliant and simultaneously hilarious. But, one of my favorite shows was an MTV production that I latched onto in junior high – “The State”. It was the jumping off point for the careers of amazingly talented & creative comedy folk like David Wain, Michael Ian Black, Kerri Kenney, Michael Showalter, Joe Lo Truglio, and Ken Marino. If not for the “The State”, you wouldn’t have great shows of recent years like “Superjail”, “Children’s Hospital”, “Burning Love”, or “Reno 911!”… and to a lesser extent (but I still loved ’em), “Viva Variety” and “Stella”. You also wouldn’t have fantastic “State flicks” like Wet Hot American Summer , Balls of Fury, or The Ten. Fuck you, Balls of Fury was amazing. Shut your gob, ya knob.

 Speaking of “State flicks”, today’s movie comes to us by two of those bastions of bizarre brilliance: Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garrant. Uninitiated might know them better as Dangle and Junior from “Reno 911!”, aka “bicycle shorts and the little guy in the vest”. When I heard Lennon and Garrant’s name attached to Hell Baby, I thought it sounded better than $240 worth of pudding and immediately declared my intention to… DIP MY BALLS IN IT!… “State” jokes… fuck you some more! GO WATCH “THE STATE”!

 Soon-to-be parents of twins, Jack and Vanessa (she pees a lot), are moving into their dream home… if their dreams were NWA videos shot in the ghettoist ghetto in New Orleans. Hoping to DIY the dump into a gentrificationer’s dream, they learn from their neighbor F’resnel (Keegan-Michael Key) that said structure is known by the locals by such colorful noms de infamy as The House of Blood, The House of the Lost, Place Where the Dead Never Rest, The Spooky Old Place Down the Way, The House on the Edge of the Park, The Last House on the Left, House Party 3, and The House House… those last four were mine, of course.

Almost immediately, Vanessa starts acting strange, which she attributes to “pregnant mommy brain”, which happens to be reason #37 of why I’m never having kids. The mental illness of motherhood doesn’t explain why a big ominous rottweiler starts casing the property, nor why a naked hag looking like Henrietta Knowby is poaching on Jack’s trouser snake, nor why Jack finds a ’70s porno mag in the basement with a cover girl who looks mysteriously like Vanessa in a “horny little devil” costume, nor… nor… sorry, I just like to say the word nor. Heh heh, “nor”.

Vanessa’s sister Marjorie joins the cast to bless the house that hood rat Satan built. She’s a hippie dippie spiritualist, so naturally “blessing” the place consists of having an herbal smoke circle in the attic that does nothing but make everybody paranoid and impair their driving abilities. 420 has no effect on the 666! Lucifer’s all about expanding your mind, man! Puff puff pass, share the Devil’s grass! Forget the rank and file, just smoke up with Belial! If things are going wrong, just hit Ol’ Scratch’s bong! There’s no need for frownies when Beelzebub’s bakin’ the brownies! Even dirt buds are nice when you’re tokin’ with the Antichrist! You’ll never run out of spleef when your pipe bears the mark of the Beast! Sell your soul to the Deceiver for that sweet sweet reefer! Burn some Acapulco Gold alongside the Serpent of Old!

Sorry, but this is gonna be a shorter-than-normal review, and I had to fill space somehow. I was gonna go into a whole tirade about my dream to open a Chinese restaurant slash opium den slash whore house called The Wanton Wonton (“Where all your vice come with fried rice!”), but one sentence is about all that gag warrants… and that was the sentence… so I guess I got to use both. Yay.

Back to our movie, you can’t have a devil/hell/possession movie without a man of the cloth or two, and Hell Baby‘s come in the shape of two chain smoking, tough guy priests straight outta Compton, errr, the Vatican – former Spanish bullfighter Father Padrigo (Lennon) and former Italian street performer Father Sebastian (Garrant). Teamed with a pair of local cops (“Human Giant”’s Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer), the Pope’s holy hitmen need to halt the birthing of the Antichrist… or Antichrists?!

And that’s pretty much it. That’s the movie. When you’re making a parody, you sacrifice story for jokes, and just rattling off all of the movie’s jokes here would make for a piss poor review. Not because the jokes are piss poor, just because having a joke described to you isn’t nearly as good as experiencing the joke. A man walks into a bar. OUCH! Get it? Instead of walking into a drinking establishment, I’m saying that the man in question actually walked headlong into a steel bar, thus injuring himself. See? Not nearly as funny.

The (very small) cast is a who’s who of “Hey! It’s that guy from that Comedy Central stand-up special!” guys. Though I didn’t think Corddry was interesting enough to play lead, his “perpetually confused/awkward, but pretending he’s not” comedic visage works to his advantage, especially during the movie’s comically uncomfortable scenes. Everybody else does their thing, and are fortunate enough to have smaller roles, cuz I don’t think any of them could carry a lead role much better. They’re suited to these bite-sizers. Too much of a good thing tends to get you sick. Except for the cases of Michael Ian Black and David Wain, who get one scene and one voice mail respectively. Yep, Wain doesn’t even make it in front of the camera!

Back to those uncomfortable scenes, they’re easily the best parts of the movie. Nothing in the movie could qualify as a “gut buster” moment but those scenes, namely a REALLY awkward one between Jack and Marjorie (I won’t spoil it here), are the cream of this proverbial crop. Also, you know how some comedies take a scene and run it into the ground? Like, they refuse to end it because they think that if they draw it out further and further and further, it’ll be funny, then unfunny, then funny again? You know how those scenes ALWAYS SUCK? Not here. That’s another thing Garrant and Lennon write well. Specifically the introduction of the Fathers where they’re discussing a particularly gruesome scene from their last exorcism, and the little “wrap up” scene at the very end. Also, scenes of people eating. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it. These are where the former State-smen shine, but the rest could use a little polish… PUN! :::rimshot:::

Sadly, there were a lot of jokes that you can see from a mile away, and some running gags that fell flat on their proverbial faces. More busted noses than Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, and Randy Couture Eskimo kissing. It’s possible that Garrant and Lennon are going for some kind of DOUBLE parody here. Instead of just doing a straight up riff on baby antichrist movies, they actually created a parody of horror parody movies. Maybe the jokes are all obvious and stretched beyond their humor retention limits because THAT is the joke. If that is the case… sorry, it’s still not funny. In fact, thinking of Hell Baby in those terms just makes it all feel more “shooting over everybody’s heads” than witty. Blart.

I guess what I was hoping for going into this was something with more energy and gags like Scary Movie, only written a lot better and without leaving that taste of shame vomit on your soul when it’s over. I probably should’ve realized that when you’ve only got 1/8th of the “The State”’s writing staff, you’re only getting about 1/8th of the the laughs… and the the eye creatures… no, that one was an MST3K reference. But, expectations are the fault of the individual, not the movie. Either way, I still can’t bring myself to give Hell Baby better than a 3, and even that’s more because I just don’t feel it’s bad enough to warrant a 2. Consider it a spiritual 2 ½.

And that’s my review. Because I’m Anubis and you’re the reader and I’m outtaaaaa heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere… nothing?! ARGH! FUCK YOU WITH THE SHINING FINGER! GO WATCH “THE STATE”, YOU FILTH WALLOWING PLEBIAN! BLAAAAAAAAART!

 Moral of the Story: Hugs are legally enforced in the city of New Orleans, ghost dogs don’t poop (I’m sure Forest Whitaker would disagree), and if you ever find yourself riddled with bullets, be sure you get patched up by Italian nurses. Actual Italians though, not Italian-Americans. I-tams’ll probably just steal your wallet.

 Screenshots_____

Leatherface’s vacation home for Jazz Fest.


“Fuck you, honkeys! If yo’ movie ain’t got no Wayans brothers in it, we don’t give a SHIT!”


“I swear to you, Your Excellency. This boy couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9 years old, but he felt THIS big!”


I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to apply fingernail polish with the little brushes that come in the bottle lids.


Yeah, I have the same reaction every time I see a grown man wearing damn OshKosh. Is he going as one of Dexys Midnight Runners for Halloween?! B’Gosh… B’fucking Gosh…


“Sir, we have a few questions we’d like to ask. For starters, have you seen a small gold ring with a strange inscription in the area? Secondly, WHERE’S MY PRECIOUS YOU FILTHY HOBBITSES?!?!”


Shouldn’t she be locked in somebody’s fruit cellar?


The only thing that bothers me about this picture is why the dime store Ron Jeremy’s wearing a single roller skate… what the fuck!?


Come on. Unless you’re some idiot tourist from the heartland, you know you’d want to do the exact same thing to those friggin’ “living statues”.


“Louisiana Cable”? I’m guessing the only channels they carry are the ones that show redneck child beauty pageants, hillbilly cooking shows (meth, moonshine, AND roadkill), Monday Night Gator Wrasslin’, and reruns of “Girls Gone Wild: Mardi Gras Mammaries”.


Awwwww yeah! A little something for the ladies!… and about 12% of the guys.


THIS is why you don’t assume you can do your own “at home” birth. They’re messy shit.

Anubis will return next time in
“Jim Henson’s Rob Zombie’s Rosemary’s Baby’s Babies”

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.