Archive for the 2006 Category

In the Spooklight: ALIEN (1979)

Posted in 2006, 70s Horror, Alien Worlds, Aliens, Classic Films, Cult Movies, Horror, In the Spooklight, Michael Arruda Reviews, Outer Space, Ridley Scott, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by knifefighter

Since we just reviewed PROMETHEUS (2012), here’s an IN THE SPOOKLIGHT column on ALIEN (1979), first published in the HWA NEWSLETTER in January 2006. It will also be appearing—shameless plug! —in my new IN THE SPOOKLIGHT ebook, set to come out later this year by NECON EBooks!

—Michael Arruda, 6/13/12

In The Spooklight: ALIEN (1979)
By Michael Arruda

When I first saw ALIEN (1979) at the movies in the summer of ’79, as a 15-year-old kid and budding movie critic, I remember leaving the theater disappointed. I thought the scares were too few and far between, and it simply wasn’t as gross and disgusting as I had been led to believe. See, in those days, there was nothing like the thrill of being grossed out at the movies ah, youth!

But a funny thing happened on the way to adulthoodALIEN grew scarier.

ALIEN is a film that, in spite of its reputation as an all-out-stomach-churning-gross-fest back in 1979, really draws its strength from a combination of strong acting performances and taut direction.

The alien itself isn’t really on screen that much, but when it is, it scares the you-know-what out of you. Watching the alien in ALIEN reminds me of watching Christopher Lee as Dracula in HORROR OF DRACULA (1958). Both menaces are so scary they trick you into believing they’re on screen more, because when they’re off screen, you’re still frightened and carry that fright with you, similar to the way a flash bulb remains in your vision after it’s flashed, only longer.

ALIEN sports an outstanding cast, led by Sigourney Weaver and Tom Skerritt, as the leaders on the spaceship, The Nostromo, which answers a distress call in deep space from a mysterious derelict spaceship on an equally mysterious planet. The strong cast also includes John Hurt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, and Veronica Cartwright, all playing crew members of The Nostromo.

The trek along the alien landscape towards the derelict ship is weird and creepy, and is another reason why ALIEN works so well. It gets under your skin long before the titled alien even appears.

A strange squid-like creature attaches itself to the head of one of the crew (John Hurt) and lays an egg inside his body, which leads to the most famous scene from the movie, where the baby alien bursts through the chest of actor John Hurt. This scene is gross, and still packs a punch. Thus the alien is born, and now the fun really begins. Of course, for the rest of the film, the crew has to fight for their lives against a seemingly unstoppable creature. (Too bad the makers of the recent ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (2004) forgot this and reduced the aliens in that film to target practice.).

The direction by Ridley Scott is right on the money. He makes ALIEN a nail-biter and fills the film with suspense scenes that make you very uncomfortable. My favorite is crew member Dallas’s (Tom Skerritt) search for the alien inside the air ducts, which, suffice to say, doesn’t end in the man’s favor.

There’s a great music score by Jerry Goldsmith, which also adds to the mood, and the sets are dark and grim. They give the film a real gritty feel. You get the sense this is the way a spaceship of the future would look, as opposed to the fantasy images from say, STAR WARS. The special effects won an Oscar.

Dan O’Bannon’s screenplay is full of realistic dialogue, and the crew members seem like real people, even griping about low pay.

ALIEN is a fine example of how some films get better with age. Today, years after its initial release, it’s scarier than ever. “In space no one can you hear scream,” warned the tagline in 1979, but in your living room they sure can, so to be safe, when you watch ALIEN, you might want to warn your neighbors.

—END—

© Copyright 2006 by Michael Arruda

CKF On The Edge: IMPRINT

Posted in 2006, CKF On the Edge, Controverisal Films, Extreme Movies, Japanese Horror, LL Soares Reviews, Takashi Miike Films, Television with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2011 by knifefighter

CKF ON THE EDGE:
IMPRINT (2006) (An unaired episode of the Showtime series MASTERS OF HORROR)
DVD Review by L.L. Soares

I was pretty excited when the cable channel Showtime began showing their MASTERS OF HORROR series in 2006. The idea behind the show was great. Take some top-notch, and mostly A-List, horror directors and let them push the envelope and go further than past anthology shows. The result, however, was a mixed bag. Although I’d say that, in Season One at least, there were more interesting or downright good episodes than there were clunkers. (Season Two was another thing entirely)

Looking back on the first season, the one thing that struck me most is how Showtime reneged on their original concept. They shied away from truly subversive cinema by first censoring Dario Argento’s episode JENIFER (cutting an oral sex scene gone awry) and then refusing to air Takeshi Miike’s installment, IMPRINT.

Some of my favorite episodes of the season were John Carpenter’s stellar outing CIGARETTE BURNS, John Landis’s return to form in DEER WOMAN (a perfect blend of humor and horror that harkened back to his AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON from 1981) and Argento’s aforementioned, and totally twisted, mini-masterpiece JENIFER.

But after seeing Miike’s banned episode, I found IMPRINT to be easily the best of the bunch.

This wasn’t really much of a surprise. Miike’s film AUDITION (1999) is in my top 10 of best horror movies of all time, and he directs IMPRINT with the same kind of disturbed poetry that permeates his best work.

Billy Drago, the quirky, intense actor who has appeared in everything from B movies like the Chuck Norris flick HERO AND THE TERROR (1988) and Alexandre Aja’s remake of HILLS HAVE EYES from 2006 (as Papa Jupiter) to television shows over the years, from T.J. HOOKER to CHARMED, plays Christopher, an American who begins the episode taking an eerie late night boat ride, on a river full of corpses, to an island in 1890s Japan. He has searched all over the country for the beautiful Komomo (Michie Ito), his one true love, who he promised he would one day rescue and take away from her life of prostitution.

The island is full of prostitutes, and while Komomo is not there, Christopher is forced to choose someone else for the night. With dozens of women reaching out for him from behind barred windows, he chooses an isolated woman at the back of the room (Youki Kudoh), who it turns out is disfigured.

When he is alone with his choice, the woman sees right through him and knows that he pines for someone else. She gets him to talk about Komomo and his plans to find her, and then reveals that she knew his great love. The prostitute then goes on to tell him the story of how his beloved Komomo met her horrific end.

At first she tells him a story of how Komomo was the only one on the island to be nice to her, and how the other prostitutes hated Komomo because of her beauty. When the Madame’s jade ring is stolen, and Komomo is framed for the theft, the other women take great glee in finally having an excuse to punish the girl who is prettier and thinks she is better than they are. They all bring her to a punishment room, where they wait eagerly for Komomo’s comeuppance. What happens next is a long, drawn-out torture scene involving at first burning incense and then long vicious needles applied to fingernails and gums, which was probably a big part of Showtime’s reluctance to air the episode.

Once the disfigured prostitute’s story is over, however, Christopher knows that she is not telling the entire truth, and demands that she tells him everything. This results in her telling the story twice more, about her own childhood and about how she met Komomo, and Komomo’s torture and death. Each time, the story changes slightly. The structure of the episode is similar to the classic Japanese film RASHOMON (1950), except that instead of telling the story from several characters’ point of view, IMPRINT tells us multiple versions of the same story from one person.

I do not want to give too much away, but, as the story gets more horrific with each telling, we start getting into such taboo areas as incest and abortion (probably the number one reason why this episode did not air on American TV). Throughout, there is a strong surreal quality to the proceedings that make us feel as if we’re drifting through a nightmare, up to the ending which is completely bizarre, yet effective.

I thought the lead actors were all good, even Drago whose character is a little over the top. Drago’s performance worked for me, however, because its oddness added to the nightmarish tone.

Miike is a director who does not shy away from shocking images and truly disturbing subject matter, but he is also a visual poet, and there is as much beauty and strong use of color in IMPRINT as there is repulsive and terrifying imagery.

While I did think IMPRINT was a strong, disturbing film, and am not surprised by Showtime’s timidity in not showing this episode, I do not agree with their decision at all. IMPRINT is a very powerful episode and Miike is a true artist. Since horror is supposed to push our buttons, Miike succeeds in proving that he is a true Master of the genre. If it had caused more controversy by being aired, then it would have simply confirmed the promise of the series. A premium cable channel that claims to offer true freedom for filmmakers needs to stick to its guns. But I guess keeping subscribers from possibly jumping ship is the true bottom line.

I suppose we should be thankful that IMPRINT saw the light of day at all, and that we’re able to watch it on DVD (the DVD came out after Season One was over. But I find it supremely ironic that the one episode they didn’t show on television was the crown jewel of the bunch.

Directed by: Takashi Miike
Screenplay by: DaisukeTengan (based on the novel by Shimako Iwai)
Starring:
Billy Drago, Youki Kudoh, Michie Ito, Toshie Negishi and Shimako Iwai
Cinematography by:
Toyomichi Kurita
Special Effects by:
Yuuichi Matsui

© Copyright 2011 by L.L. Soares

(Note: A slightly different version of this article was first published on the Australian movie website DVD RESURRECTIONS in 2006)

THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006)

Posted in 2006, Cinema Knife Fights, Extreme Movies, Remakes with tags , , , on April 9, 2010 by knifefighter

(This is it for the old Cinema Knife Fights – this is the last column we did for the old HELLNOTES newsletter, and marks the fact that all of our previous CKF columns are now posted on this site – the HELLNOTES ones and the ones we did for FEAR ZONE. But don’t worry – we’ve got plenty of other things in the pipeline, as next week we introduce lots of new material, and some other surprises. So keep checking in daily – we haven’t run out of material. Not by a long shot~LLS).

CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT: THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006)
by Michael Arruda & L.L. Soares

(MICHAEL ARRUDA and L.L. SOARES are stranded in the middle of the desert; their Winnebago has a flat tire.  Behind them, having emerged from the desert hills, stand hundreds of malformed MUTANTS, holding knives and forks and all singing “We Are The World.”)

MA:  Aah, we’re just one big happy family here!

This month’s movie, THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006), is a remake of the 1977 Wes Craven film of the same name, a film I know you’re a big fan of, L.L.  Myself, I was never really into it.

It’s the story of a family making a cross-country trip, who get stranded in the desert and are preyed upon by vicious cannibalistic mutants.  The mutants are the result of atomic testing in the desert in the 1950s.  And that’s it in a nutshell.  If you’re into seeing nice people terrorized, beaten, and eaten by deformed people, then THE HILLS HAVE EYES is your cup of tea.

It’s not mine.

It’s not necessarily a problem of blood and gore.  I’m okay with that.  It’s the subject, the plot.  Watching a family brutally terrorized for 90 minutes for no other reason that I can see, other than the whim of the filmmaker, is not my idea of entertainment.

So I can’t recommend THE HILLS HAVE EYES, but I’m sure you loved it.  So, take it away.

LS: (Looks around and waves )  Lookit all them muties! Looks like an Arruda family reunion!

MA:  Hey, don’t insult my family! (surrounded by various monsters, vampires, aliens, and a giant pink starfish all wearing “Arruda” T-shirts.)

LS:  Y’know, the whole time I was watching this movie, I couldn’t help laughing, thinking of what your reaction would be to certain scenes. That was enjoyable in itself.

MA:  Glad I could brighten your day, Bud.

LS:  Yeah, HILLS is a remake of Craven’s 70s classic. This time around, the movie is directed by Alexandre Aja, whose last film, HAUTE TENSION (HIGH TENSION to American audiences, from 2003), was a mixed bag. It was derivative as hell, which annoyed me, but it was also very well made and atmospheric. While I didn’t love HIGH TENSION, I could tell that Aja was a director to watch, and since he seems to be short on original ideas, he’s the perfect guy to direct a remake.  And he really excelled this time around; his version of HILLS is a great movie.

MA:  If you’re a sadist.

UGLY MUTANT (Pops up with white lips): Got Milk?

LS:  I was amazed how similar the two versions of HILLS are. There are whole scenes that are exactly the same. The one big change is that, instead of being a group of feral people living in the desert, who are clearly human, the villains in the new movie are twisted and disfigured mutations. While this does ratchet up the scares, it does take away any vestiges of humanity the villains had in the original film. In Craven’s version, the bad guys had distinct personalities. Here, the monsters are more interchangeable, but also more formidable.

However, the mutant angle sets up a great scene mid-way into the movie where the hero by default, Doug, comes upon a strange little model town, full of mannequins. This whole section wasn’t in the original film and it’s a fascinating addition. Doug’s run-in there with a man with a humungous head, who can’t move, is especially surreal. Aja knows how to create atmosphere and there is a real sense of desperation that permeates the film.

HILLS is a family feud, with a modern family vs. the savage mutants who want to eat them. The movie plays upon one of my favorite themes, the fine line between “civilized” society and our animal natures. In order to fight the mutants, the civilized family has to stoop to their level. There is one scene where a bloodied Doug picks up his cracked glasses and puts them on, which reminded me a lot of Dustin Hoffman in director Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 classic, STRAW DOGS, another movie about a civilized man forced to deal with savagery head on.

I have to admit, I liked this remake even better than the original – something that almost never happens. Aja knows what he’s doing here. Where most remakes jettison what was good about the original film, his film keeps the good stuff from Craven’s version and builds on it.

Aaron Stanford as Doug does a fine job as the unlikely hero of the film. The only other recognizable faces I saw were Kathleen Quinlan as the mother and Emelie de Ravin (Claire from  the TV show  LOST) as the more rebellious daughter, Brenda .But the acting is good all around, and the make-up effects for the mutants are especially good.

This movie has a strong R rating for violence and doesn’t flinch on the violence and gore. It’s even more graphic than Craven’s original, where more is implied than shown.

(Winnebago blows up behind them with a loud roar.)

MA:  Oooh!  Fireworks!  (Mutants all cheer!)  You’re right.  Aja does a good job with the suspense scenes.  Technically, the film is fine.  I also really liked the music score by “tomandandy” (Tom Hajdu and Andy Milburn).  But it’s still a barbaric tale that is too offensive for my tastes.

And forgetting the fact that it is so offensive, it’s also unbelievable, when you come right down to it.  Doug’s character, who I also liked, has more lives than James Bond and after a while begins to look like a bloodied Monty Python character (“I’m not dead, yet!”)

And any film where you’re rooting for the dog – that raises a red flag for me.  Why am I rooting for the dog?  Is it because the people are all dead??  Pretty much!  The hills may have eyes, but they’re short on brains.

(MUTANTS stop singing.).

LS:   Uh oh, now you went and done it.

MA:   Not to worry.  Okay, everybody, how about a round of “Kumbaya?”

—END—

(Originally published in the HELLNOTES newsletter on March 23, 2006)

© Copyright 2006 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

FINAL DESTINATION 3

Posted in 2006, Cinema Knife Fights, Sequels with tags , , , , on April 7, 2010 by knifefighter

CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT- FINAL DESTINATION 3  (2006)
by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares


(MICHAEL ARRUDA and L.L. SOARES are looking at odd blurry pictures on a computer screen.)

MA:  These pictures will provide the clues.  They’ll tell us how we’re going to die!

(Image on computer screen shows MA & LS standing underneath a falling safe, just inches above their heads).

MA (overacting):  If only we could see the clue!

(A loud pounding at the door.  LS opens door to find the GRIM REAPER, carnival music playing behind him).

LS: Come on in.

(DEATH sits down.)

LS: We’re reviewing the movie FINAL DESTINATION 3 this month. I haven’t seen the other films in the series, but the formula is pretty simple. A bunch of characters are involved in a disaster. Most die, but a few somehow escape their fate. Death doesn’t like people cheating him and goes about putting an end to the lives of the survivors anyway, and people begin dying in strangely elaborate ways in the order they would have died if they’d succumbed to the disaster. In the first movie, the disaster was a plane crash. In the second, it was a pile-up on the highway. This time it’s a faulty rollercoaster that runs off the tracks during a high school senior outing. Wendy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a premonition of the upcoming catastrophe and freaks out. She gets off the coaster with a few of her friends before the rest of the passengers ride to their deaths.

It’s up to Wendy and her friend Kevin to stop Death from killing the survivors.  But Death is not easily bested.

There are some flaws. Wendy’s premonition scenes are particularly annoying, especially when you’re led to believe they’re actually happening at the time. And Wendy herself is a dour, self-professed control freak who can get tiresome at times with her ultra-seriousness.

(LS is playing chess with DEATH). This certainly isn’t an Ingmar Bergman movie, but it’s fun and keeps you watching. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also R-rated, which means there’s some nudity and gore – minor points, but a nice change from the sanitized blandness of the PG-13 horror movies we usually have to sit through.

The movie’s director, James Wong, and co-writer Glen Morgan were also writers for THE X-FILES (and wrote some of the best episodes). Wong and Morgan know how to tell a story and ratchet up the suspense. I have to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to seeing a movie with a 3 in the title, but this movie is better than it should be. What did you think?

MA: I thought the first 20 minutes were damn cool.  See, I live in mortal fear of roller coasters—

LS:  Don’t you mean merry-go-rounds?

MA (ignoring him):  — and the roller coaster sequence that begins the film is one of the best I’ve ever seen.  It truly captures what it’s like to be afraid of riding a coaster, as well as the sights and sounds of an amusement park.  To make matters even better, the pay-off doesn’t disappoint.  The actual accident is horrific – extremely well done, I thought.

But then the film drifts off into silliness, relying on creative and grotesque ways to kill off its victims.  I’m surprised you liked this movie.  I thought it suffered from the “slaughtered sheep” problem you’ve mentioned before, in that the characters weren’t fleshed out people we cared about.  The two leads aren’t bad, but the rest are cardboard cutouts.  It’s the old slasher formula, but without the slasher, which is another problem.

LS: You’re right, the movie does lapse into silliness at times, but in this case that’s intentional. This movie clearly has a sense of humor about itself, which somehow makes the lack of truly fleshed-out characters less annoying.

MA:  Yeah, that’s what I heard – that it had a good sense of humor about it – but I didn’t find it that funny. FINAL DESTINATION 3 also suffers from the lack of a villain.  Death, unlike the fellow playing chess with you, doesn’t make an appearance.  Evil personified would have been scarier.

LS: I actually found the lack of an actual slasher refreshing. Slashers are a dime a dozen. And I think that an actual personification of death would have made this movie even sillier.

(GRIM REAPER grunts)

MA:  I didn’t mean I wanted a slasher or the Grim Reaper.  I just think the film suffers from not having a villain.  I like villains.

LS:  I do, too, but the fact that death is portrayed here as simply a force that is inevitable worked better for me in this case.

(GRIM REAPER nods in approval).

MA: Inevitably predictable!  It’s the same old boring formula we’ve seen a thousand times before, otherwise known as “second sequel syndrome,” (HALLOWEEN 3, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3, you get the idea).

LS: (to DEATH) Checkmate !  (to MA) The real appeal of this movie was the way death cleaned up after itself. I’m a fan of “elaborate death” movies. The peak for me was Vincent Price’s movies from the 70s like THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (where the deaths were based on the biblical plagues) and the best of all, THEATER OF BLOOD (where the murders were based on Shakespeare’s plays). I don’t think the FINAL DESTINATION movies are anywhere near as cool, but I think they share the same sense of fun in coming up with bizarre, convoluted death scenes. And I think that’s just enough to push this series slightly ahead of most tired, slasher sequels.

MA:  I like those movies, too, and that’s my point.  This film doesn’t have a “Vincent Price” presence.   I loved the beginning, but the rest I found boring and predictable.

(GRIM REAPER pulls a cord, and a giant safe falls from ceiling.  It stops in midair.  LS reaches inside, grabs 3 beers, and hands one each to MA and the GRIM REAPER).

LS (to readers):  What else did you expect?  (points to GRIM REAPER).  He’s a horror fan.

—END—


(Originally published in the HELLNOTES newsletter on February 23, 2006)

© Copyright 2006 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

HOSTEL

Posted in 2006, Cinema Knife Fights, Extreme Movies with tags , , , on March 30, 2010 by knifefighter

(It’s no secret that I love the HOSTEL films. But pulling this review out, I have to admit, I have no memory of reviewing this one with Michael. ~ LLS)


CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT: HOSTEL (2006)
by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

(Inside a dilapidated mill, the walls covered with disgusting muck, MICHAEL ARRUDA and L.L. SOARES wear butcher aprons. Behind them, strapped to a chair, is a giant GINGERBREAD MAN, and next to him, a tray full of knives, saws, drills and a Slinky).

MA (Taking in surroundings): Ah, this job takes us to the finest places!

LS: Kinda looks like my living room.

MA: We’re here to review HOSTEL (2005), the new thriller produced by Quentin Tarantino. Now, as most of you already know, I don’t exactly have an affinity for ultra-violent movies. You might say, I hate them. I might say that too.

However, I went into HOSTEL with an open mind, and to prove it to you, here it is (pulls out brain from a backpack). We had a good time together. Both enjoyed the popcorn.

HOSTEL begins well. Three young men are backpacking through Europe, doing the things that most young men either do or dream about doing – having sex with beautiful women. They arrive at a hostel which supposedly has the most incredible women in Europe. They are not disappointed, but then the nightmare begins.

One of the guys disappears, and the search for their friend leads the two young Americans to answers they’re certainly not expecting to find, involving dark rooms, brutal tortures and painful mutilations.

The first half of HOSTEL is well crafted, with fine European locations and superb acting performances by its two male leads, Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson. Even though I didn’t really like these characters at first, they grew on me. I even cared for them a little bit. And when the soundtrack played the siren song from THE WICKER MAN (1973) during one of the steamy sex scenes, the film really won me over.

But then the violence is thrown in – like a bottle of ketchup on a burger. You don’t need a whole bottle of ketchup! It ruins the flavor.

LS (Eating a dripping hamburger): Says you!

MA: Instead of crafting a creative mystery, a chilling tale of terror, writer director Eli Roth goes for the gross-out with graphic scenes of torture. The fun stops here.

The second half of HOSTEL is a disappointment, which is sad because it had an intriguing beginning. And the story itself, once explained, is pretty dumb. HOSTEL is a movie with nothing to say, which is too bad, because its premise led you to believe it did.

(To LS) I won’t even ask you how you liked it. I’m sure you were slobbering with glee the whole time.

LS: If HOSTEL is any idea what we have to look forward to in 2006, then this is going to be a very good year for horror movies. Of course, you’re wrong about a lot of the movie, but since I’m shocked you even agreed to see this flick, I guess I should be glad we’re reviewing it at all.

MA: Hey, thank the open mind, here.

LS: The “Tarantino Presents” tag-line is obviously there to sell tickets, but this movie stands or falls on the ability of the director, Eli Roth. This is the same guy who gave us the overrated CABIN FEVER a couple of years ago, which for me, was a big disappointment. But Roth seems to truly love the genre, so I was rooting for him to finally live up to his promise with his second film.

HOSTEL doesn’t disappoint. I actually loved this movie from beginning to end. In a lot of Hollywood horror movies, the “victims” are one dimensional sheep waiting to get slaughtered. Most of them are pretty annoying, too. But I liked the characters in HOSTEL and found them believable. I know people just like Hernandez and Richardson’s characters. They seemed real to me. And so, I cared about what happened to them, which is crucial if you’re going to make a horror movie work.

The first half of the film is well-paced, pulls you in quickly, and keeps you interested. We agree about that. But you’re totally wrong about the second half, and you’re totally missing the point. The violence in HOSTEL is not gratuitous. It’s the point of the whole movie. It HAS to be there because that’s what the plot is all about. The way Tobe Hooper exploited the fear Northerners had of the Deep South in the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, Roth exploits the fear many Americans have of foreign countries.

MA: I didn’t find these characters afraid of Europe.

LS: Stick to your Hammer movies, Pollyanna. The very fact that the violent scenes made you care about the characters means the movie succeeded. If the torture scenes weren’t so intense, then you wouldn’t care as much.

MA: Well, I actually cared about these characters BEFORE the violence began.

LS: But this is a horror movie, dammit! I also think that in these times, when incidents like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal are in the in the news, a movie like HOSTEL is more relevant than ever.

MA: I don’t buy that argument at all. The only relevance a film like HOSTEL has in the real world is that it adds to the mindset that horror movies are crap.

LS: No. HOSTEL says a lot about human nature and isn’t dumb at all. If HOSTEL and Rob Zombie’s latest film THE DEVIL’S REJECTS are any indication, there is a new generation of horror directors coming up to take the mantle from the old masters like Romero and Carpenter and Hooper.

And that’s very pleasant news indeed.

MA: About as pleasant as the muck on those walls. Take a good look at that muck, because that’s the stuff films like HOSTEL are made of.

Horror deserves better.

LS: What horror deserves is its balls back, and HOSTEL is a step in the right direction.

(Cranks up a chainsaw. Looks at GINGERBREAD MAN, who is quaking in fear)

LS: Dessert, anyone?

—END —

© Copyright 2006 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares