Java the Hot and MuggySep 29, 2014

(click it to upsize it)

In the days, weeks and months to follow, Puppy will blame her behavior on mild heatstroke and the pervasive sexist influences of ’80s heavy metal videos. But for now, it’s just to make a few bucks.

DOCtoberFest 2014 Day 20: “ATM” (2012)Oct 20, 2014

And here’s my twitter review of “ATM” (2012).

I still had a bunch of characters left over, too!

Abysmal. Tedious. Motarded. At least I didn’t hear anyone say “ATM machine.” Then I would’ve chainsawed my flat-screen in half.

I give it a generous F. Available on a Netflix near you, if you should feel the urge.

DOCtoberFest 2014 Day 19: “You’re Next” (2011)Oct 19, 2014

Loved it.

That’s the short review for “You’re Next” (2011), a film by director Adam Wingard.

I know what you’re thinking: “Hold the phone, Doc Splatter— Adam Wingard? Didn’t he direct one of the segments in that piece of shit ‘V/H/S’ you reviewed earlier this month??” It’s true, my little porkchop, and I’m as surprised as you are.

It’s going to be really difficult to talk about this movie without blowing some of the plot twists, but here goes: Rich couple celebrate their 35-year anniversary with their four adult children (and accompanying significant others). Three uninvited murderers in animal masks crash the party. A significant body count happens. It’s like “Die Hard” in the Hamptons.

What’s nice about “You’re Next” is that it really embraces the splatter movie genre. Its musical score is largely synthesizers (think John Carpenter), its special effects are practical, there are some nice, tense moments, some “no way! I totally didn’t expect him/her to die!” surprises and some novel ways to dispatch victims (one, in particular, I call the “mental margarita”). The only familiar face for me was the lovely Barbara Crampton (“Re-Animator”) as mom; this adds to the whole “who’s gonna survive?” hand-wringing since there are no obvious sacred cows.

A conversation at the end of the movie provides a humorous respite after nearly 90 minutes of bloody mayhem. Oh, and the end credits are to die for.

A movie that literally lives up to its name, The Doc gives “You’re Next” a solid A. Available on a Netflix near you.

DOCtoberFest 2014 Day 18: “House at the End of the Street” (2012)Oct 18, 2014

I could’ve sworn this was a remake, but after a little digging, I realize I was thinking of other similarly named flicks. “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane,” “House at the End of the Drive,” “Beat Street”… the list goes on.

But I was surprised that “House at the End of the Street” (2012) starring Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Shue and Max Thieriot, produced some genuine thrills and twists that kept me pleasantly surprised through to the end credits. The gist is a mom and daughter move to a house in Pennsylvania that’s next door to the site of a matricide/patricide two-fer at the hands of their crazy daughter. And before I spend too much time discussing how the story is propelled by the cray cray missing-in-action neighbor daughter or how much I like Jennifer Lawrence, I’ll simply say PLEASE JUST GO ALONG FOR THE RIDE. I don’t know if this movie has one of those trailers with the annoying voice-over that dares us “WAIT FOR THE TWIST ENDING THAT YOU WON’T SEE COMING,” but regardless, just forget you read this sentence, OK? In fact, maybe I should retroactively put up a SPOILERS disclaimer? That’s a good idea. SPOILERS!

Awkward dinner scene.

Pretty good performances by all, including random peripheral schoolmates, Jennifer Lawrence’s quasi-oddball/stalker/nice guy boyfriend and the local cop who doesn’t automatically give out-of-towners stink-eye. Surprisingly modest body count; this movie plays up tension rather than toe tags.

And yes— when going to the house at the end of the street, you’ll encounter some clever twists and turns along the way. BOOM! *drops mic*

Doc Splatter says it ai’ight, gives it an A-. Check it out on a Netflix near you.

DOCtoberFest 2014 Day 17: “The Woman in Black” (2012)Oct 17, 2014

With apologies to Martin Gore, here’s my review of “The Woman in Black” (2012) in song form (to the melody of Depeche Mode’s “Dressed in Black”):

“The Woman in Black” is on
That Harry Potter kid has gone
Gone to the dreary town
Where every kid is gone
I think each one is dead
Cause of the Woman in Black

This movie is eerily
Just like Downton Abbey
Except that everybody
Hates it when Harry’s nosy
Nosing around Eel Marsh
Home of the Woman in Black

Harry’s got a picture of himself
A picture by Harry’s kid
A drawing of them
A drawing of a train
And it telegraphs the end
When they’re hit by a train
When Harry sees her again

The Woman in Black again

This movie is atmospheric
How should The Doc rate it
Mrs. Doc Splatter fears it
She doesn’t like spirits
Exhumed mud-covered boys
Or Victorian-Era toys

The Woman in Black A minus

DOCtoberFest 2014 Day 16: “The Graves” (2009)Oct 16, 2014

THAT… is some serious false advertising right there, folks.

So I’m about three minutes into “The Graves” (2009) — another one of those After Dark Horrorfest flicks — and we’re introduced to geek girls Megan and Abby Graves goofing off inside the now-closed Atomic Comics in Phoenix. Thing is, they’re in front of a wall of Lady Death comics. I mean a WALL. Of Lady Death comics. Like that’s only what the shops sells. And I thought “WOW that’s some unapologetic product placement right there…! No wonder they went out of business. Who directed this movie, Brian Pulido?”

Yes. This movie was written and directed by Brian Pulido. Creator of the Lady Death comic. And at this point I pretty much checked out.

Megan and Abby Graves in happier times

And for good reason. Clare Grant and Jillian Murray are fun to watch and they do an OK job in black tank tops running around an Arizona ghost town tourist trap trying not to have their souls devoured by Tony Todd (“Candyman”) and his small-town underlings. But the pacing is dull, the audio is poor (lots of mumbling), dialogue is hackneyed and the logic is questionable. The Graves sisters never seem to be more than 20-30 feet away from the maniac-in-pursuit and yet they speak loudly (or yell) when trying to stay hidden, they duck behind a decrepit building not 8 paces ahead of their tormentor LIKE HE COULDN’T SEE WHERE THEY WENT and so on. Also, at one point Clare is hacked in the chest with a sickle, loses a quart of blood, is nearly unconscious and at the brink of death BUT a little direct pressure with a handkerchief and two hours later she’s right as rain.

It looks and feels a lot like a comic book, but not a good comic book.

Abysmal. Doc Splatter would give this an F if it weren’t for a rare sighting of Amanda Wyss, so let’s call it a D-. Find it on Amazon Prime among other places.

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