Archive for April, 2010

COMING NEXT WEEK

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2010 by knifefighter

Next Monday is the Cinema Knife Fight review of the new remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Come back then to check out what we thought of the new Freddy Krueger!

Also coming next week:

Our MAY COMING ATTRACTIONS column- letting you know what movies the CKF guys will be reviewing in May.

A brand new feature called the MONSTROUS QUESTION OF THE MONTH, where the CKF guys (and our pack of other contributing writers) answer a mutual horror-related question.

A review of the new horror television show HAPPY TOWN!

And other surprises.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday!

Suburban Grindhouse Memories Presents: ZOMBIE ISLAND MASSACRE!

Posted in Garbage, Grindhouse, Suburban Grindhouse Memories, Voodoo Movies, Zombie Movies with tags , , , , on April 29, 2010 by knifefighter

SUBURBAN GRINDHOUSE MEMORIES No. 3: “What’s in a Title? NOTHING!”
By Nick Cato

1984.  One year before they shot and released their seminal hit, THE TOXIC AVENGER, Troma Films was responsible for the theatrical distribution of one of the most misleading titles in the history of the horror film.  While the poster promised everything from “Toe-Tapping Machete Head Dances!” to “Fabulous Air-Conditioned Tiger Pits!,” ZOMBIE ISLAND MASSACRE basically delivered 95 minutes of mind-numbing boredom after flashing Rita Jenrette’s butt and boobs in an early shower scene (this was a bit of a controversy at the time as she was the former wife of (then) South Carolina congressman John Jenrette).  When a nude scene from a politician’s wife (a Democrat, no less!) is the highlight of a film, you know you’re in for a B-flick to test the limits even of B-flick aficionados.

I barely made it.

I attended a Monday night screening at Staten Island’s now long-defunct Amboy Twin Cinema, arguably the easiest theater on the east coast for under age patrons to be admitted to an R-rated film; this small neighborhood theater wouldn’t have lasted a week had it existed during the Guliani administration.  With maybe four other people in attendance (one being a friend), we stretched out in anticipation of the coming Zombie Island Massacre.  And guess what?  There were NO zombies!  There was NO massacre!

(But at least there was an ISLAND).

And on this Caribbean island, a bunch of American tourists hit a swanky hotel before taking a boat to a smaller island to see an authentic voodoo ritual.  “Yes!” my buddy said in anticipation of the coming ghoul attack, still excited from the site of Rita’s swaying schnoobs.

Naturally, one couple leaves the group and winds up dead…but not from zombies.  The rest of the tourists find the tour bus driver is gone, and eventually their tour guide vanishes, too.

What follows are painfully lifeless (full pun intended) scenes of the tourists getting picked off one-by-one as they try to make their way through the woods (because, after all, why would anyone want to stay put until help arrives?).  ZOMBIE ISLAND MASSACRE quickly turns into the lamest FRIDAY THE 13th-type of stalker film you’ve ever seen.  And we never really see how the tourists are being killed; after hearing their annoying screams, we see quick flashes of their corpses (very darkly lit).  We have no idea if they’re actually dead or just taking a nap (I mean, this IS supposed to be a vacation).  The money the film crew must’ve saved on lighting (and script writers) during this production could have financed TITANIC.

At one point in the film, what looks like a man dressed in bushes is seen sneaking up on the tourists.  One guy in front of me yelled out, “THAT’S a zombie?”  His 2-second comment provided more entertainment than anything seen during this clunker’s entire running time.

To make matters worse (and more baffling in light of the film’s title), ZOMBIE ISLAND MASSACRE attempts to throw the audience a curve ball by turning into a semi-crime drama.  At this point I was an inch away from demanding my money back.  But I just HAD to stick it through.  I had to see if there’d be any final-frame zombie attack or a last-minute massacre during the final credits.  I’d even have been happy if the voodoo “priest” would have done something besides hide behind the poor lighting.

When it comes to titles that are better than the actual film, NO ONE can beat Troma.  ZOMBIE ISLAND MASSACRE turned out to be one of the worst films in their huge arsenal (I’d rather sit through A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL (1991) or GIRLS SCHOOL SCREAMERS (1986) three more times each than have to sit through ZOMBIE ISLAND MASSACRE even for a quarter of its running time).

If memory serves correctly, even the popcorn was stale that night.

In the world of Grindhouse cinema, you’re going to run into some turkeys (okay, MANY turkeys).  If I had to make a top ten list of all-time worst Grindhouse films, this would most likely make the top five.

So why does this Grindhouse memory bring a smile to my face?  I’ll get back to you on that in two weeks…

© Copyright 2010 by Nick Cato

THE LOSERS

Posted in 2010, Action Movies, Comic Book Movies, John Harvey Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 28, 2010 by knifefighter

THE LOSERS Fails To Impress with Formula Action and Flat Acting
by John D. Harvey

One of the earliest revelations you’ll have while watching the first 10 to 15 minutes of THE LOSERS (PG-13) is that the movie’s title refers to the audience and not anyone in the film.

Directed by Sylvain White, this hollow action-adventure movie adapts the Vertigo Comics series written by Andy Diggle from 2003 to 2006. THE LOSERS tells the story of a team of special forces operatives who wage war on Max (Jason Patric), a rogue CIA agent who double-crosses them in the Bolivian Jungle. Helping them (or is she…?) on their suicide mission is Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who has her own reasons to want Max dead.

Listen, it’s not like I can’t enjoy a brainless action-adventure movie at face value. Whether it’s some flick featuring Bruce Willis, Jason Strathan, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, I can dial down the synapses in my brain that require logic, theme, and good acting. But good action films find some way to pop off the screen even though they don’t entirely make sense. There’s always a “That’s so %@#$ing cool!” factor that makes you feel okay about seeing a movie that will NEVER win a critical award.

THE LOSERS never pops. Not once.

It fizzles, it flails, and it struggles. But it never pops. Improbable yet predictable high-tech heists and action sequences include lots of generic explosions and shoot-em-ups, as well as slow-motion, fast-motion, jump shots, jiggle-cam, wiggle-cam, and steady-cam camera tricks. There’s also the required fast-talking, quips, quirks, sneers, and one-liners. Crosses, double-crosses, and triple-crosses jerk the film’s plot around like a rag doll. Heck, this film has more crosses littered across its landscape than the Vatican.

The black ops team includes Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short), and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada), all providing performances ranging from flat to downright annoying. Morgan’s role was particularly disappointing as I’d really enjoyed his depiction of The Comedian in WATCHMEN (2009).

Zoe Saldana, who earned her geek street cred in both STAR TREK (2009) and AVATAR (2009), was apparently cast for THE LOSERS for the sole purpose of not wearing a lot of clothing. On a fundamental level … I’m okay with that. Still, I don’t like to pay over $10 for that which I can get for free on the Internet.

But perhaps the most aggravating actor in the film is Jason Patric as ‘Max’, an oddly nonsensical villain whose plastic comedic presence grates the nerves almost constantly. One wonders if Patric thought he was in a Wayans Brothers spoof movie on the action-adventure genre.

One also has to wonder if Weed Road Pictures pushed out this flat ensemble explosion-fest solely to tap an audience looking forward to the upcoming THE A-TEAM (2010) remake. If so, they got it wrong.

I’ll still go see THE A-TEAM and THE EXPENDABLES (2010), but this is more despite THE LOSERS, and not because of it.

-END-

© Copyright 2010 by John D. Harvey

ADDED BONUS: THE LOSERS Trailer

2012!

Posted in Apocalyptic Films, Daniel Keohane Reviews, Disaster Films, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by knifefighter

DVD Review : 2012 (2009)
by Daniel G. Keohane

OK, well, this is a big movie, so let’s get right to it. 2012 is a good old-fashioned disaster movie – a disaster of Epic Proportions, yes, but still a disaster movie. Was it a good one? If I told you that in the first paragraph, you’d stop reading, so on we go:

Directed by today’s disaster master Roland Emmerich (who also gave us INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996), GODZILLA (1998) and DAY AFTER TOMORROW (2004), this film delivers what his movies usually offer: a lot of screaming people dying in disturbingly large numbers, a cast of hundreds doing a good day’s work and eye-popping special effects.

I popped this movie into the player not expecting anything more than to be entertained, and maybe a little depressed. Do that, this movie will blow you away.

2012 opens as all well-behaved End of World stories open, showing the earth from space with the planets aligning. Racing through 2009, 2010 and 2011 in the first five minutes, the stage is set for the coming carnage. The governments of Earth learn that its core is being microwaved by a new kind of neutrino from the sun. No special drill-ship is going to dig to the center of the planet and save us this time. In fact, nothing is. What follows are quick scenes taking place over the next couple of years. The world’s most beloved artworks are being replaced with perfect replicas. The richest people in the world are being asked for a lot of money to fund Something Big.

With the appropriate Ba-Doom of music, the year 2012 arrives, and we meet our characters and learn the status of the sun’s flares and weird neutrinos via background news broadcasts (a method which works well because we can actually hear what they’re saying without having to use subtitles)

From here on in, the End of the World (sorry, those words need appropriate Capitalization) is told through two distinct groups (with a million extras looking skyward and screaming in between): The White House, spearheading a secret project aimed at saving vestiges of the human race before it’s wiped out, and a fractured family thrown back into each others’ arms (there’s always a fractured family thrown back into each others’ arms in these stories) as they try to find this fabled salvation before they’re sucked into the bowels of the dying earth with everyone else.

Everyone playing a part in this film did a superb job. They took their roles seriously, seemed to put everything they had into their roles. More so than some of Emmerich’s earlier films. I enjoyed INDEPENDENCE DAY, but it felt a little campy at times. In 2012, everyone played it straight, and did so really, really well.

The best: tough call, but I’d have to say from the opening scene, I was very impressed with Chiwetel Ejiofor. He played science advisor Adrian Helmsley with such an understated intensity I immediately wanted more of him in the film, and was happy to learn he was the main character in the White House storyline. His co-lead, in the Hapless Family storyline, was John Cusak – also excellent as writer and estranged dad Jackson Curtis. Oddly In the two scenes where these actors shared the screen, however, it didn’t work. Not sure why, and I won’t waste your time trying to figure it out. No chemistry, or maybe it was simply two great actors dimming when their respective lights shone… sorry, it’s National Poetry Month as I write this. The best White House scenes were between Ejiofor’s Adrian and the Secretary of State, played by one of my favorites Oliver Platt. Platt’s Carl Anheuser is the no-nonsense, tunnel-vision leader of the project. The fate of humanity rests on him being as cold (and secretive) as possible. Against this, Adrian’s passion for the individual’s Right To Know constantly battled. Neither is wrong, and I appreciated that neither was elevated to the Noble Right Thing… until the end, which I was a little disappointed in.

Honorable Mentions:  Thomas McCarthy as the hapless boyfriend of the ex-wife, a stereotype always thrown into the Fractured Family storyline as the scapegoat for the male lead’s angst. He was played as a nice guy. I enjoyed that about this movie – the filmmakers had a large canvas, and used it to full force on the Big Things, but took the time to throw in smaller plot elements, like spice to a stew, enough to add color and depth to what could have otherwise been a flat plot with nothing but a series of progressions toward the inevitable end.

Woody Harrelson is a major presence in any movie he’s in. He plays an over-the-top radio personality who points the Curtis family in the right direction with perfectly crazed flair. He’s in only three scenes, but steals them when he does (another nod to Cusak: he keeps up). Hell, I could list everyone, from Blu Mankuma’s aged lounge singer stuck on a cruise ship with buddy George Segal, to the small but memorable role of bodyguard played by Johann Urb. Everyone was peachy, and this facet elevates this movie above the more two-dimensional DAY AFTER TOMORROW.

And there’s the End of the World, itself. All we can do is sit back, watch it happen, and hope someone survives.

It begins in a supermarket being ripped in half and falling into the earth. Most of this scene looked shot on a full set which was then torn in half, illustrating just how big a budget this movie had. The special effects in this film really, really impressed me. I think they did a lot with the old “mix & match” approach Peter Jackson used in the LORD OF THE RINGS, fooling the eye before it got used to seeing the “strings.” For example, Las Vegas’ destruction was a combination of CGI and modeling like the old masters used. As you probably read in the papers, however, the filmmakers actually destroyed the city of Malibu so you wouldn’t be able to tell what was real and what was not.

Speaking of Malibu… this was the first Oh WOW That’s An Amazing Scene! scene. If it wouldn’t be in very poor taste, it’d be a cool Islands of Adventure ride. Now, there’s only one way to watch this movie and still come out with a smile on your face – and not because the revolver is pressing too hard against the roof of your mouth:

By the time the End of the World begins with the Malibu scene, you need to have been watching the first 20 minutes carefully and with an open mind. The filmmakers added many winks and nods to get you ready for the sheer impossibility of our Hapless Family’s escape from mortal danger without making the film seem annoyingly cute. There are subtle nods to other disaster movies and disaster movie stereotypes, both in dialogue and in quick background images. The first scene between Cusak and Harrelson is a good example. By the time the Curtis family take off through Malibu airspace in a plane (freshly refueled by a Union actor whose character seemed to have died before their arrival from nothing more than fear) you’re not mumbling to yourself, “Oh, please, there’s NO way they could have done that…”  These characters are simply anatomically-correct human cameras through whose lenses we see the apocalyptic events and how they contrast to the We Have All Information and Know We’re Screwed view of the scientists and government. You expect these people will see it all, so sit back and try to think happy thoughts as they do. Even so, I found myself gripping the arms of my couch in a scene where Yellowstone Park explodes and our Hapless Dad races to make it back to the plane in time. Gotta give kudos to the crew for making me do that.

Time for a sidebar, before we skip quickly through the remaining carnage.

I wouldn’t let my 12-year old daughter watch this movie. Why? She already got her “Don’t Open Till Doomsdayscare a few months back when I let her watch KNOWING (2009), another end-of-the-world flick. When the latter was over, she was as quietly terrified as any Innocent Young Thing would be after seeing such devastation. Could that happen, she asked? Is the end of the world going to be like that? When I was her age, two things scared me like that: the above-referenced Outer Limits episode, and the movie WHEN WORLD’S COLLIDE (1951). I was probably younger than twelve when I saw that OL episode, “Don’t Open Till Doomsday” (which first aired in 1964),  but remember asking Mom, “Is Doomsday real?” The same question Youngest Daughter asked, in so many words. Mom gave the same “Um”-filled half-answer I offered to YD, including the requisite “Oh, but it won’t happen in your lifetime” wrap-up. We’re so clever, we parents. Still, it’s either say that, or stare in horror and shout, “Is that a spider in your hair?” Either method effectively ends the conversation. Seeing Earth completely destroyed in WHEN WORLD’S COLLIDE hit my younger self the way a film like that is intended: Some fates cannot be escaped, so you may as well see it all unfold now with popcorn, because when it really happens you’ll probably have no head. Unless, of course, you build a ship and save the remnants of humanity like both films offer.

So: Malibu, toast. Las Vegas, toast and now Hapless Family is in a bigger plane crossing the Pacific Ocean. Via the frenzied-announcements-of-news-anchors trope we witness the terrible events across the world, and see most of the scenes we’d become inured to from the trailers. The Vatican, toast. Washington DC, toast. It was during this barrage of destruction when my psyche began to take a bruising from watching billions of people – fictitious as they are – die swift and terrible deaths. It was akin to the horrific sinking scene in TITANIC (1997), where most characters we’d gotten to know throughout the film meet a brutal end. I remember watching the James Cameron’s opus and, when the back of the ship rose and so many frightened people fell into the water, closing my eyes. Couldn’t watch any more. Since I watched 2012 at home, I simply looked left and gave my dog Molly a scratch. She appreciated it.

The White House crew (now Air Force One en route to the escape plan) gets word: all communication on the ground has ceased. The carnage has mostly ended. Quiet falls. Now, we simply have to deal with saving the Remnant on modern day arks. Much like a novel I wrote a few years back and haven’t sold yet and probably never will now.. sigh….

Welcome to Tibet, a mountaintop retreat in this mysterious (and high elevation) country. Nice scene, calm, until a little later when we get the infamous bell ringing / oceans drowning the world scene which graces the DVD cover.

Through a series of impossibly lucky breaks (like a near-immediate Continental Shift), our heroes reach their destination – a few characters lighter. By now you’re either swearing off disaster movies for another few years or, like me, have been more than happy with how they carried this movie off and simply want to see which of our heroes survive. The final survivor list will not surprise you – at all – which I found a little disappointing.

One last point and I’ll wrap this puppy up: The soundtrack was great. Composed by Harald Kloser (who also co-wrote the script) and Thomas Wanker (snicker) it wove non-stop throughout the film, but subtly. The score played to the mood of each scene, fell silent when required to and when it did, its absence was strong enough for an effect. Never overbearing. Good stuff. First time I’ve noticed how good a soundtrack was since SIGNS (2002). I also liked the closing credits song. Can’t remember the lyrics, but it had a general theme of, “Everything’s OK, life is really good, honest, don’t go doing anything rash on the way home. Have a nice day.”

I gave this movie 4 out of 5 stars because I’m a Movie Reviewer and we like to give stars to movies. Though 2012 isn’t much of a date movie, for what it is, it’s terrific. The Special Effects are mind-boggling; the actors took their jobs seriously and played their roles with enough gusto and vigor to make this over-the-top ride of a movie, human enough to make diehards like myself occasionally grip the arm of my couch.

-THE END…………(of the WORLD!)

© Copyright 2010 by Daniel G. Keohane

A Look Back at the Original: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

Posted in 2010, Michael Arruda Reviews, Second Looks, Slasher Movies with tags , , , , on April 26, 2010 by knifefighter

CKF SOLO REVIEW:  A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
by Michael Arruda

On April 30, the remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) will hit theaters. Is everyone good and excited?  Yes?  No?  While some people flat-out hate remakes, I’m always curious because I like to see what kind of vision the folks making these remakes give to their new baby. Sure, most of the time I’m disappointed, but sometimes, and these times are special, I’m pleasantly surprised.

In expectation of the new movie, let’s look back at the old movie, to see just how the Freddy Krueger phenomenon got its start.

Written and directed by Wes Craven, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET was a huge hit back in 1984. I was never that turned on by this movie, and though I enjoyed it and its sequels well enough, I never felt they deserved all the hype and glory they received.

Let’s see if time has changed my opinion.

In A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, a group of teens discover that they’ve been seeing the same creepy guy in their nightmares, a disfigured creep with razor sharp knives in place of fingers. Tina (Amanda Wyss) seems to be the most frightened by all this, as her friends Nancy (Heather Langencamp), Glen (Johnny Depp), and her boyfriend Rod (Nick Corri) laugh it off and poke fun at her fears.

However, when Tina has a nightmare and sees the same guy again, he attacks and kills her. She not only dies in the dream, but in real life as well, in a brutally violent scene that still packs a punch today. Rod is in the room with her when she is murdered, but since he didn’t see anyone else in the room with them, and since the police find no evidence of a third person being there, he quickly becomes the prime suspect, especially since he has a history of being a hothead. He’s arrested by Lt. Thompson (John Saxon) who also happens to be Nancy’s father.

With one friend murdered and another arrested for the crime, Nancy begins to take these dreams seriously. When she discovers that she can be physically hurt in the dreams, she realizes that it’s also possible one can be murdered in these dreams as well. Of course, no one believes her story, that some maniac in their dreams is responsible for the murder of Tina.

Nancy learns the identity of the man in their dreams, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), and his story. Krueger was a child killer in their neighborhood years ago, and when he was freed from jail on a legal technicality, the parents in the area rebelled and took the law into their own hands. They hunted Krueger down and burned him to death.

Since they can’t get the support of any adults because their story is so unbelievable, Nancy and Glen have to take on Freddy Krueger on their own, which is no easy task since they have to enter a dream world to do it.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET contains a creative and thought-provoking story that strangely is both a strength and a weakness.

I like the idea that a group of friends would suddenly discover they’d been dreaming about the same guy. It’s a very creepy concept. Early on in the movie, this idea works very well, as you really relate to Tina when she’s creeped out by the whole thing. I’d be creeped out too.

But— and this is a problem I have with all the movies in the series— as the story goes on, the thinking behind the dream world becomes muddled and unclear, generating more questions than answers, and leaving most of these questions unanswered.

To begin with, let’s start with Freddy himself. It’s never clearly explained what he’s doing in their dreams. I’m assuming he’s a ghost of some sort, but why he haunts them in their dreams rather than in reality is not explained.

And what about this dream world?  Where is it?  In their minds?  Or is it some physical place somewhere in another dimension?  Since they can be physically injured, to the point of death, you’d think it would be a physical place somewhere. Again, this is not explained.

And how is it Freddy can jump back and forth between worlds?  Again, no explanation.

The problem is, this is a fascinating concept and deserves some heavy-duty thinking, the likes of which the movie doesn’t offer.

There are other problems as well.

The cast is average at best. Compare lead Heather Langencamp to say, Jamie Lee Curtis in HALLOWEEN (1978) and you’ll quickly see there is no comparison. Curtis delivered a knockout performance. Langecamp’s performance isn’t very good at all, mostly because she’s not that believable. Johnny Depp is fine as Glenn, and it is a lot of fun to see Depp looking so young, but his performance is not even close to the kinds of things he’d be doing later, and that he’s doing right now. John Saxon, a veteran of genre films, as Lt. Thompson, is barely memorable here, and as a hero, he hardly compares to Donald Pleasance in HALLOWEEN.

The performance of the film really belongs to Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. By far, he’s the best part of the movie. There’s a reason Krueger would become a horror movie icon. Part of it is the writing of the character, sure, but the bigger part is the performance by Englund. As played by Englund, Krueger is one creepy dude. Although he does have some comical lines in the first film, we’re spared the ones which became almost ridiculous in the sequels.

Krueger also has a neat look, as the charred scarred facial make-up is frightening. Another advantage that Krueger has over some of the other movie maniacs like Michael Myers and Jason from the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies, is that he moves swiftly. While Michael Myers might lose a foot race to a turtle, no such luck if you’re fleeing from Freddie Krueger. Not only is he fast, but he also possesses supernatural abilities to appear where he wants, when he wants. Even if you could outrun him, he’d just materialize a few feet in front of you anyway.

Freddy is unpredictable. He takes different forms, sometimes appearing as different people, other times contorting his body in bizarre ways. In this one, his arms elongate to three times their normal length at one point. In short, Freddy Krueger is a most unsettling character, and as played by Robert Englund, he’s viciously frightening. The movie belongs to him.

The music score is a downer. I’ve always found the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET theme by Charles Bernstein boring and uninspiring, sounding like filler music on a soap opera.

Wes Craven wrote and directed A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, with mixed results. Again, the plot is creative and thought-provoking, but the story never delves as deeply into its mysteries as it should, and, as a result, leaves the viewer disappointed.

There are a couple of well-crafted thrill scenes in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. The murder of Tina, for example, and towards the end, the tragic fate of Glen. Both these scenes are hard-hitting and scary.

However, the pacing is way off in this movie. In fact, towards the end, when the suspense should be building, things actually slow down. The way things wrap up is anticlimactic, and the very ending no better than the old “it was just a dream” revelation, which I think is horrible. The action in the final scenes is reminiscent of HOME ALONE. Let’s watch Nancy set booby traps for Freddy, and let’s watch Freddy bumble his way through them. Ha ha!  I half-expected to see Macaulay Culkin running through the house throwing paint cans at Freddy’s head.

Another problem is–dreams just aren’t that scary. They’re certainly not scarier than reality. Sure, you can have some wicked nightmares, but guess what?  You wake up and you sigh in relief, “It was just a dream.”  And so in the movie when all these events which happen in dreams occur, they play like dreams. How scary is that?  Not very.

But what if dreams were actually real, you ask?  Supposedly, this is what is happening in the movie, after all. The dreams the teens are having in which Freddy terrorizes them are real. But if this were true, it still leaves the question, why?  Why are dreams with Freddy real and others not?  Since this isn’t explained, the dreams don’t seem real, nor do the scares.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is an entertaining horror movie that has its moments, but ultimately doesn’t deliver the goods. It never gets to the heart of its dream philosophy to really get under your skin, and, as a result, never explains what’s going on to any great satisfaction. Plot-wise, the movie is very disappointing, and while it does better in terms of style, it’s hardly an exercise in creative movie making.

The best part is Freddy Krueger himself, and the performance by Robert Englund as Krueger. They’re the reason to see A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and the reason it’s scary. The rest of the movie is cloudy, vague and unfocused, like a dream.

—END—

© Copyright 2010 by Michael Arruda

NEXT WEEK

Posted in Uncategorized on April 23, 2010 by knifefighter

Just some of the things coming next week:

MONDAY: To prepare for the second coming of FREDDY KRUEGER, Michael Arruda looks back at Wes Craven’s original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

TUESDAY: Dan Keohane reviews Roland Emmerich’s 2012

WEDNESDAY: John Harvey reviews THE LOSERS

THURSDAY: A brand new edition of SUBURBAN GRINDHOUSE MEMORIES.

See you then!

Meet the Contributors: DANIEL G. KEOHANE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 22, 2010 by knifefighter

Dan and I go back a long time. He was one of the first fellow horror writers I ever met, and we hit it off right away. Right now, we’re both the co-chairs of the New England Horror Writers. We also both had the pleasure of being nominated for the Bram Stoker Award this year: Dan for his first novel, and me (and Michael Arruda) for our column here, Cinema Knife Fight.

He’s one of the most easy-going guys I know, and he’s always quick with a joke. He’ll be reviewing science-fiction films for this site. His first review, which will be published next week, will be of the DVD of the Roland Emmerich film 2012

Here’s what Dan had to say about himself as way of an introduction:

“Dan Keohane is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of SOLOMON’S GRAVE and a rabid movie junkie (though he doesn’t get out to ye ol’ movie house nearly as much as he used to). His short stories have appeared in Cemetery DanceApex Digest, Shroud MagazineFantastic Stories, Coach’s Midnight Diner, to name a few. Some have received Honorable Mentions in the annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror / Best Horror of the Year anthologies. He and his family live in New England.”

Welcome aboard, Dan! Our Cinema Knife Fight family keeps on growing.

~LL Soares