Torgo decrees that there is far too much good taste in this forum. Therefor, I hereby act to counterbalance it. Welcome to my new thread...
Torgo’s Shrine to SHLOCK
What is this? This is a space where I devote my valuable yet wasted free time into providing in-depth analyses of the most doofus movies cinema has to offer. This is an MST forum after all. If we can’t celebrate the worst along with the best, then what the hell do we post here for?
“But Torgo,” you ask, “There are so many crummy movies out there, how do you know where to start?” Elementary, my dear discussion board reader. I go where my gut tells me to. To start off, there was really only one place I could turn to. Ask yourself, what are the most obvious bad movies that are currently making assloads of bank at the box office ensuring they’ll be around forever?
If you answered Transformers...well, I’d admit you’re probably right. But that’s not where I’m going to go (though, Revenge of the Fallen might earn a page in the near future).
I’m talking about Resident Evil. Guns, zombies, explosions, hot chicks in tight outfits, senseless plots, and, above all else, Paul W.S. Anderson. How could I not start with this?
Those who wish to keep track of my mad ranting may want to do so with my handy organizer. A list of all the entries that I have made to date. Check it out and see if your favorite bad movie made the cut!
Babes, ammo, living dead, slow mo...no, it’s not the latest Zack Snyder movie (if it were, run for the hills), it’s the...
Resident Evil Series
Based on the popular video game series, the Resident Evil film series are the movies gamers can’t stop bitching about yet can’t stop watching. The power of Milla Jovovich compels them.
I’ll admit right off the bat that I don’t give a damn about the game series. I tried to play the first one, but the problem I have with it is that it’s for gamers who like to take their time. I game for about 15 minutes before I get bored and do something else, unless it’s Mario or a game that catches my interest right off the bat. Resident Evil has to warm up its engine before it starts running, and even when it’s reved up, you have to be selective of your save points. That was the last straw. I turned it off and I never looked back. It wasn’t a game for me.
The movies are an entirely different breed of animal. The games are atmospheric and claustrophobic, the movies are hyper and large. It’s not hard to see why the gaming community has their panties in a bunch over these flicks once you’ve played them, especially when you consider that the games protagonists have been downplayed and pussified in order to scale up a brand new character named Alice, who honestly in the world of the games would have been entirely out of place, as if she wandered off of some superhero thriller and wound up here by mistake.
Adding insult to injury is the constant presence of screenwriter/director combo (who only shows skill in one of those areas) Paul W.S. Anderson, who’s obsession with this Alice girl is questionable, seeing how she’s played by his newlywed wife. But there’s an aura of romance to the franchise, seeing how the two met while working on the first film, love blossomed, and their relationship lasts to this day. Maybe a Resident Evil franchise was part of the pre-nuptials.
Our silly journey with this Alice character begins in the first instalment, Resident Evil. Originally intended to be a low budget horror film written and directed by Night of the Living Dead director George A. Romero. A script faithfully based upon the first game was completed, but I suppose Romero’s vision for the franchise didn’t line up with that of the producers, who didn’t seem all that interested in the game and more interested in the title. Romero left the project and Paul W.S. Anderson (helmer of previous video game adaptation Mortal Kombat) pitched an idea called Resident Evil: Ground Zero, which he envisioned as a prequel to the video game, explaining what happened in the mansion before game characters Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield took refuge there. Anderson was hired and the film went into production, though the title was changed back to simply Resident Evil after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.
My own history with the film was rather simple. I was bored one day and wanted to rent a movie. I wanted something I could just sit and watch, and Resident Evil was right in front of me. So I picked it up, thinking if nothing else, maybe I’ll see a couple of boobs (there were chicks on the cover after all. There had to be nudity). In the end, I got brief side-boob with nipple, but surprisingly enough, I got to see a brief shot of Milla Jovovich’s netherregions. Saved the movie for my hormonal teenager self.
What? I have a sex drive. Or at least I used to.
Resident Evil tells the story of an amnesiac heroine who goes unnamed in the film but is referred to as Alice in the end credits, played by Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element), who wakes up in a giant mansion and looks mighty cute in that tiny red dress. Soon the place is raided by soldiers from the Umbrella Corporation, the largest corporate entity in the world. This group is headed by James Shade, played by Colon Salmon (Punisher: War Zone), and Rain Ocampo, played by Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar) who is quite honestly the only actress in Hollywood I can’t decide if I find attractive or not. There’s definitely an allure about her, but she has certain masculine qualities that make me uneasy.
I’d probably sex her up either way, though the masculinity makes me feel that it might be a repressed homosexuality trying to break free. She looks pretty when she smiles though. Too bad she’s always scowling in every damn movie she makes.
Moving on, the soldiers drag Alice along on their little underground adventure to shut down the Red Queen, a computer program that has just murdered all the employees in facility that lies below the surface. However, they get more than they bargained for when the see that there’s been a virus released that bring the dead back to life.
To put it simply, I went in wanting a movie to just sit and watch and not get anything from, that’s exactly what I got in return. Resident Evil’s ambition is light, despite writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson’s claims to the contrary. I’m sure he thinks he’s unearthing a brand new world with this series, but when your world amounts to jumbled up nonsense, take a few steps back and take a good long look at what you’re creating.
The zombie apocalypse is a genre that brings me great joy. I’m a big fan of Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Fido, The Zombie Diaries, Zombieland, and Rec. Confining it to an underground lab seems like a lackluster move. But the games are effective because you never can tell what lies behind each door. Here, zombies are all over the place, and there are BUTTLOADS. The surprise of what is awaiting around every corner becomes a non-factor, because every corner is covered with an army of undead.
Anderson’s script is a failure. There’s no horror in it, and if there is any, it’s covered by the noises of guns, guns, and more guns. Obviously, sheer intimidation in VOLUME is what he’s going for, in both how many zombies there are and how loud the f***ing movie is.
Anderson’s look for the movie is a triumph. I might get a lot of flack for it, but I always enjoy watching Anderson’s movies. His sets are always spectacular and his editing is smoother than most director’s of the same caliber. For that, I can’t consider Anderson anywhere close to the worst director of all time, which most like to label him for nothing more than just pure internet rage. But then again, this is the same rage that fuels people into still bashing Gigli, even though most people don’t give a crap about a flop the better half of a decade old. And yet the film is brought up as if it’s the worst thing in creation, even though those who claim it is never even saw it.
I dig the hyper action, I loved the score by Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson, and the final showdown with an obvious CG creature called the Licker (who might be a game villain, I’d have to check on that) is a hoot. This waste of time is time well wasted.
After gaining good box office numbers, a sequel was put in development titled Resident Evil: Nemesis. Sporting game player Jill Valentine, backup characters Carlos Olivera and Nicholai Ginovaeff, megaboss Nemesis, and a setting in the torn apart cityscape of Raccoon City, it would be the only film of the series to actually be based upon an actual video game (in this case, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis), only with Anderson’s little crush Alice tearing through it.
Anderson keeps to writing (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) but passes on the directing duties (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) in favor of working on AVP: Alien vs. Predator. Instead he passes the project to first (and only) time director Alexander Witt, a second unit director who got his lucky break.
As it approached release in 2004, it’s title was changed to Resident Evil: Apocalypse after the box office failure of Star Trek: Nemesis. Never you mind that Star Trek and Resident Evil cater to two entirely different fanbases. Never you mind that there’s no actual apocalypse in the damn movie. This seemed to make sense to the producers, so play along.
Jovovich returns as Alice, AKA Super Chick from the last one. She’s been upgraded by having her DNA somehow mutated with the deadly virus through bad writing, which means Super Chick is now Mega Chick.
Alice wakes up in the middle of Raccoon City, which is currently being terrorized by a zombie outbreak. She leads a band of survivors including game heroine Jill Valentine, played by Sienna Guillory (Eragon) and Carlos Olivera, played by Oded Fehr (The Mummy).
But as powerful as Alice is, she may be no match for the awful screenplay. You see, the Umbrella Corporation decides that this quarantined city is the perfect place for her to do battle with a giant lug named Nemesis, played by Matthew J. Taylor (Exit Wounds), for some reason that wouldn’t make sense even if they tried to explain it. So they spend most of the movie running away from the giant guy in a rubber suit that likes to shoot people until she has to have a final showdown with him at the end.
In one of his trademark moments of jackassery, when Roger Ebert reviewed this film back in 2004, he ended it with a warning that parents should not allow their children to date anybody who likes this movie (can you picture an interrogation scene between adults and teenagers where the most important question is “DID YOU LIKE RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE?”). Well, lock up your daughters boys and girls, because I love this movie.
Though to be clear, I don’t think I enjoy it in the way that Ebert was supposedly alluding to. He was possibly referring to an audience that would have the audacity to claim this superb filmmaking. As hard as it is to believe, there are those out there who claim entries in the Friday the 13th series are both scary and terrific, even though no entry in the series is either (and if you point at the first one, I’m just going to raise my eyebrow at you, because that’s arguably one of the worst movies ever made). I like the movie in spite of what it is, because it’s so dumb and so awful. I had a blast in the theater watching these aimless shenanigans, and watching today on Blu-Ray, I’m surprised as to how well its silliness holds up after all these years.
A contributing factor was no doubt Sienna Guillory as Jill, who is a knockout in her breast thrusting tube top and hip hugging mini-skirt. My hormonal young self just had to look at this woman to get aroused. It’s kind of strange that I’ve never been attracted to Guillory in any other role she plays, but when she put that brunette wig on...hot damn!
I want one.
Also making the most of this silly movie is the main antagonist, Nemesis. I looooooooove this dumpy bastard. The costume looks ridiculous. Watching this guy waddle around and grunt to himself is just too funny. There’s also Zach Ward (Titus), who plays Nicholai and attempts his best Russian accent. The results are quit comical. Sadly, while Ward is a very funny guy, I doubt he was trying to be funny here.
The energetic action looks impossible, but gets the energy in the room flowing. Hell, this is a movie with the dead rising, but the protagonists decide to take a stroll through a goddamn cemetery! Yes, of course there’s going to be zombies in there, but let’s go in anyway!
I can fault the movie for being bad, but I can’t remove points for having a good time while watching it. This is a movie I like to watch once a year, even if I’m not in the mood for the other Resident Evil flicks.
Which brings us to the third instalment in the series, which was produced under the title Resident Evil: Afterlife but switched to Resident Evil: Extiction. Don’t know why. Just did.
Anderson penned the script and passed on the directorial duties to Russell Mulcahy of Highlander fame. Mulcahy is probably the most skilled director of the ones who have worked on the franchise, but the problem is he’s a little too good. That’s not to say he’s known for good movies, lord knows Highlander was a terrible movie that was too original to be void of any charm. However, Mulcahy has a knack of picking lemon scripts. Out of his lemons, he tries to make lemonade, but he doesn’t seem to have the right recipe.
To put it simply, Resident Evil: Extinction seems to have been made under the presumption that the franchise is actually good. His direction tries to deliver everything the previous films did poorly and tries to deliver them well. The results aren’t nearly as entertaining. In fact, their downright boring.
At the end of the last movie, Alice had mutated even further and now has all these gnarly psychic powers so she can kill people with her head. Mega Chick has become Ultra Chick. She narrates the opening that the dreaded zombie virus wasn’t contained and we weren’t shown for budgetary reasons.
The movie really gets off on the wrong foot right here, because there’s a giant chumk missing between Apocalypse and Extinction. It can be argued that there was a giant chunk missing in between the original and Apocalypse as well, seeing how Jill Valentine’s history with zombie outbreak in the mansion was entirely skipped over, but one can assume that the original video game was accepted into continuity there. There’s no reason for worldwide apocalypse taking place if it wasn’t even alluded to in the previous film.
Oh, Anderson. Will your storytelling ever not suck?
Anywho, the Umbrella Corporation is trying to control the virus, yet somehow they’re still the bad guys. They need Alice’s blood for the anti-virus, but Alice is nowhere to be found.
She finally pops up on the map with a group of survivors including Oded Fehr’s character Carlos and video game established but film newcomer Claire Redfield, played by Ali Larter (Heroes). The group tries to get gas in Las Vegas and gets ambushed by an army of zombies, while Umbrella uses the chaos to try and get a hold of Alice.
It ends with Alice facing off against a mad doctor who has turned himself into something I’m told is called a Tyrant, and he fights Alice just to prove how much better he is than her. Bringing such life-defining dialogue like this...
“I AM THE FUTURE!” “No...you’re just...another asshole.”
The film’s entertainment value is as dry as the desert it’s set in. However, the film plays out better now that it’s definitely known to not be the last of the series. Anderson’s hard-on for the cliffhanger ending is obnoxious, especially when he’s been bragging about how he “envisions” a trilogy. If you’re just going to end the series wide open like that, then you need to learn the definition of closure.
But that assumes that I’m emotionally invested in the series. I ensure you that’s not the case.
From the ashes of Extinction comes yet another movie that went under the title Resident Evil: Afterlife. Surprisingly, this one kept the title from beginning to end of production. Paul W.S. Anderson returns to the directors chair with a new toy called a 3D camera.
Opening up the film, Alice and an army of clones embark upon a mission to kill some Umbrella Corporation executives because they’re jerks.
Okay, here’s my question: Why does Umbrella still want to rule the world when there’s no world left? Why the hell does this fight against them matter? They seem to be the only ones in the world that kind of seem like they’re trying to get rid of the zombies that are eating people out there. Add that to the fact that given they seem to be constantly having people under their employ, the job rate after the apocalypse seems to be through the roof because of them.
I say we should put the Umbrella Corporation in charge of our economy. They seem like they know what they’re doing.
In the aftermath, Alice supposedly loses her superpowers. Character development? Nope! We can’t have that! This is never mentioned again and Alice still can do super jumps and flips and crap.
The remainder of the survivors all headed to Alaska to find a safe zone named Arcadia. Alice returns to find them, but only finds Claire Redfield, who has amnesia. AGAIN with the amnesia...
Jump settings...again...to Los Angeles, where Alice and Claire come across civilians hiding out in a prison, including a new video game character Chris Redfield, played by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break), Claire’s brother! Character development? Nope! Claire has amnesia so they stare at each other for a second and it’s never mentioned again!
Together the band of survivors must escape the building and make it to Arcadia, which is discovered to be ship sailing around the coast looking for survivors. Unfortunately, the zombie picked an inconvenient time to finally break in and eat some people. Including some giant zombie in a hood that has some giant hammer for some reason.
I’m hard-pressed to say that Afterlife is an improvement over Extinction, though it’s at times more entertaining. Anderson doesn’t seem to actually have an idea for a movie here. The concept for Resident Evil was always expanding, from underground facility to city to country. Now we’re restricted to a building. Kind of a slingshot backward if you ask me.
This is one of those horror movies where all the characters presumably know each other, yet when their comrades get killed off screen nobody ever mentions them or wonders where they are. The most obvious case being that of a character named Crystal, a looker who is actually the only woman that has been hanging around in this sausage-fest for supposedly three years (you know a fact this girl was passed around like a fattie over the years). She, for some reason, feels it’s necessary to follow Alice and Chris on a mission for no real reason at all, except to be Anderson’s cannon fodder. She gets eaten and nobody seems to notice. And she’s right behind them the entire time.
I guess nobody is allowed to be hotter than Milla Jovovich in these movies. I guess that explains why Jill Valentine disappeared.
A lot of the cinematography in the film was designed to pop in 3D. The bits that looked best in the format were the opening and closing 15 minutes (the opening credit sequence was pretty bitching. If I ever feel pressured to get a 3D enabled TV, it’ll be to see that again). I had several issues with the use of the format, though. A lot of the scenes are very dark, which makes the effect hard to see, the only real exception was the finale which is set in a large white room (which looks gorgeous in its full 3D glory). My other issue is the overuse of shoving objects into people’s faces. The effect of trying to make it feel as if it’s right in front of you doesn’t work, and it just looks like this giant-assed thing hovering and getting bigger.
If you haven’t listened to Anderson’s commentary on the film, I suggest you do so. He has a passionate love for the 3D format that’s borderline obsession. His boasting of 3D as the future of cinema (even though it’s existed for half a century) is quite hilarious. I swear, if his 3D glasses had a vagina, he’d dump Milla and elope with them.
It’s become clear at this stage in the game that the Resident Evil movies are each just some level playing out in a video game that Paul W.S. Anderson is making up in his head. In each film, the protagonist Alice wanders through a setting beating up bad guys before taking on a boss. In recreating the feel of an actual video game, you have to give him high points for that. A fifth instalment called Resident Evil: Retribution is due out in theaters next year, also in 3D. Will I be seeing it? My honest to God answer is “I saw the others, didn’t I?”
Final Verdict: Pissing off the gamers, but still selling tickets. The first two Resident Evil films are guilty pleasures of the highest caliber. The last two are just guilty. Here’s hoping the franchise can redeem itself with some goofy entertainment next time.
Torgo’s thirst for Paul W.S. Anderson has yet to be quenched. He’s looking for more nonsense from the director and will pit him up against two other director’s of the lowest denominator, the Strause Brothers. Be here to watch an epic battle, not just between two cinema titans, but two movies that have torn Sci-Fi nerds apart as to which was worse. Torgo will cast the deciding vote as he pits AVP: Alien vs. Predator up against AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem!
There's no doubt that Anderson's writing style is to steal from much better movies than his own. He's always done this. The Reident Evil franchise is one that sells trash to people who will eat out of a garbage can IE me.
Author of MST3K, Rifftrax, and Beyond! Latest MST3K Review: Gamera vs. Jiger Latest Rifftrax Review: Zombie Nightmare Latest Beyond Review: Cinematic Titanic's War of the Insects
Post by Mighty Jack on Sept 1, 2011 0:34:29 GMT -5
And I countered Atari's review with one of my own on the following page.
Yay for Torgo for making this thread! I'll read this in depth as the night goes on.
I enjoyed the first 2, 3rd, not so much, 4th had some fun stuff in it.
These shouldn't be my kind of movie.... except that I do like watching women who kick-ass. Men who kick ass can be cool too, like Bruce Lee - and maybe that's the appeal. Bruce was lithe and graceful in addition to being a force of nature. Maybe I like the juxtaopistion of gracefulness and violence in my action. (and being a guy, having attractive women around to wreak this havoc is a plus)
Milla is just cool, that's all there is to it. Yeah there's some sex appeal (in addition to the hint of masculinity), but cool trumps everything in movies like this. When she does that spin kick on the dogs in the first film, Christ almighty that was awesome (to quote Dieter, "I was as happy as a little girl") Oh and Valentine is hella cool to boot.
RE movies -I guess- are me letting my hair down (what's left of my hair). I know it's not art, I know it's often not very good. But I also know I'm having one hell of a good time.
AVPVAVPR Alien vs. Predator VS Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem
Ahhhh the early 2000's...what a good time to be a fan of Alien or Predator. The franchises had both underperformed and were now dead, and after Alien: Resurrection and Predator 2, let me tell you that was a gooooooooood thing. But then rumors of a franchise crossover came about, and a giant question mark appeared above all of our heads. In fact, Sigourney Weaver had stated one of the reasons she signed up to do Alien: Resurrection was to prevent an Alien vs. Predator movie from being made.
Yeah. That worked out real well, Sigourney.
Freddy vs. Jason hit theaters in August of 2003, and made major bank. Naturally, other studios tried to cash in. One project that didn’t get made was a cross over at Warner Brothers called Batman vs. Superman, with Wolfgang Peterson set to direct. I totally sh*t you not. The project got scrapped in favor of reboots Batman Begins (which was made) and Superman: Flyby (which was also thrown away).
20th Century Fox, on the other had, rushed for a release the following August of an Alien vs. Predator film. They took a pitch by Resident Evil helmer Paul W.S. Anderson, which Predator producer John Davis reportedly fell in love with. With less a year until release date, they went into production with first draft. Yeah. That can’t be good.
Anderson’s story, dubbed with the silly acronym AVP, revolved around Charles Bishop Weyland, played by Lance Henrickson (the android Bishop from Aliens and Alien 3), CEO of Weyland industries who wants to leave a legacy behind.. Upon discovering a heat bloom in Antarctica, Weyland discovers a pyramid underneath the ice. He puts a team together consisting of actors Sanaa Lanthan (The Cleveland Show), Raoul Bova (Under the Tuscan Sun), Ewen Bremmer (Pearl Harbor), and Colin Salmon (Resident Evil). However, the entire heat bloom was a ploy by the alien race known to moviegoers as the Predators (uber-nerds call them Yuatjas, but they can go screw themselves if they think I’m going to use that word) in order to attract humans to the pyramid. There they have an Alien Queen (need speak calls this species Xenomorph, once again to hell with that) which has been laying eggs to breed Facehuggers, which use the humans to populate the pyramid with Alien drones, so they can partake in the ultimate hunt.
Goddamn Predators. Everything the hard way. Their plan here leaves a lot to chance. It is said they had to perform this hunt by a certain day, but how could they be certain the humans would arrive in time for it? Even still, how could they be certain they’d arrive at all? And it’s implied that the Predators do this every hundred years...how did they do it before we had satellites in space to discover their pyramid with a heating problem? We most certainly wouldn’t have had one of those in 1904.
You know what would have been easier, and probably more cost effective? Save your heating bill, abduct the humans yourselves, anal probe them (acause the alien races love the probes), and stick them in your damn sacrificial chamber yourself. But nooooooooo, that wouldn’t be an interesting enough movie. It’s much better to have the humans wander around aimlessly, f*** around with your pyramid, and stealing your weapons.
But whatever. It’s your party, I’ll roll with it.
This is a dumb movie. A really dumb movie. But as far as movies that show little brain matter go, it’s pretty watchable. Anderson’s lacking concepts do make for some fun execution, stealing...er...I mean paying tribute to the likes of the Indiana Jones series and Cube (which is a pretty dumbassed movie itself).
It’s unfortunate that the film is as slow as it is. Anderson claims it was made in the vein of the early entries in the Alien franchise, which held off on creature excitement until over halfway through. That’s all well and good, but when your movie runs less than 90 minutes long (not including end credit sequence) saving your big monster scenes until about 50 minutes in is a mistake. The first half of the film takes too long to tell too little and the payoff is so brisk that it’s hard to really appreciate it. One could claim that Alien and Aliens succeeded because the build up and the pay off were just about equal (Aliens moreso than Alien, but that’s just my opinion), and AVP: Alien vs. Predator feels about as lopsided as a one-legged whore doing it doggie style.
The animatronics are quite one-sided as well. I’m not a fan of Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr.’s effects work, as their stuff always looks rubbery and cartoonish. I don’t mind them so much on the Alien franchise because the Alien species is a very mechanical creation that offers very little points where the duo’s shortcomings become obvious. However, this is the first time they’ve done the Predator (and the first time the Predator’s been outside of the late Stan Winston’s studio) and the results are horrendous. The face looks very much like a rubber mask, and the mandibles are hilariously baggy. And I thought effects were supposed to improve since the 80's!
Controversial was the decision to make the film PG-13, which plague a lot of Fox’s projects, such as Daredevil and Live Free or Die Hard, where they’re uneasy of signing over a budget check over $50 million to a film that has a restricted audience. The film feels a bit subdued, but Anderson concentrates on the brutality between the creatures to try and make up for it. The results are mixed, but they’re better than expected.
The film failed to impress many, but it did gain one fan, Aliens director James Cameron, who claimed AVP was easily the best of the Alien films that followed his own (and if you’ve never heard him rant about Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection, do yourself a favor and look that up. He’s relentless). Considering how critical he is of the idea of a franchise cross over (claiming it would ruin the franchise), that’s quite a compliment. Reportedly, Cameron invited Anderson to one of the first screenings of Avatar, which caused Anderson to start lusting over the 3D format used for Resident Evil: Afterlife and The Three Musketeers.
The film made good money, though wasn’t even able to top Freddy vs. Jason at the box office. It was still the second highest grossing Alien film domestically (topped only by Aliens, which had far reduced ticket prices to boot) and the highest grossing Predator film period. There was talk of a Freddy vs. Jason sequel (the best rumor of all was that they were going to pitted against Bruce Campbell’s character Ash from the Evil Dead franchise) but common sense prevailed and New Line Cinema decided one and done. 20th Century Fox, however, has no such thing and an AVP2 was put into development under the title Aliens vs. Predator: Survival of the Fittest. Paul W.S. Anderson showed that he’s actually smarter than his screenwriting suggests and bowed out instantly. Why? He didn’t think it needed a sequel. You gotta respect the man for sticking to his guns, especially when he’s right.
Replacing Anderson were visual effects artists Greg and Colin Strause, who worked on films like The Day After Tomorrow and X-Men: The Last Stand. They never worked on a film before, but they’re cheap! Let’s hand them this one! Changing the title to AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem, they pumped out a cheapie released on Christmas Day in 2007 (under the cheeky tagline “There will be no peace on Earth”).
The movie was pummeled by Alvin and the Chipmunks and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I guess alien invasion and bloodshed isn’t what people want on Christmas. Go figure.
Taking place not long after the events of the first movie, the dead Predator impregnated by an Facehugger at the end of the previous movie gives birth to an Alien with Predator features, the “Predalien,” and the creature kills the crew of the Predator ship. The ship crashes outside of a small town and the Predalien survives, wrecking havok and breeding Aliens throughout the town.
To show just how little thought was put into this production, the ship that crashes and the ship from the previous film are obviously not the same one, yet it’s supposed to be. In the unrated cut a small scene was added to try and explain the error, claiming it was a small ship that was sent back to Earth. Why? Just ‘acause. They felt like hanging and dicking around I suppose.
Anyway, the distress signal reaches the Predator homeworld where a rogue Predator receives it. He gears up into Steven Segal mode and decides to take all the Aliens out by himself.
Wouldn’t a group be...I don’t know...more effective? Whatever. He’s a badass.
To give credit where credit is due, the movie looks so incredibly 80's. It seems less like an homage to the Alien and Predator franchises and more like an homage to 80's cult cinema in general. Unfortunately, they’re heading in directions that the Alien and Predator franchises never went, specifically the teenage slasher genre. AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem feels more like a Friday the 13th film than it does of the two franchises it’s supposedly following. The characters are cardboard cutouts of horror cliches and you’re actually happy to see them die.
The Strause Brothers’ direction is haphazard. They’ve tampered with the color saturation to the point where the entire movie looks like black figures against black backgrounds. If you’re watching this movie on DVD, you might as well give up, because you might has well have payed for blank disc with monster noises. The movie plays out better on Blu-Ray, where image has been enriched, but honestly it’s not that much of an improvement.
The creature effects are flipped from the previous film. The Predators look decent, which unfortunately might be due to the fact that we can never clearly see them. The choreography for them is superb, though. The Aliens look weak here, catering to Stan Winston’s designs for them on Aliens but to lesser effect. The special effects just look stiff and inorganic. The Predalien is a great design squandered with limited resources, and the ideas used for the thing are puzzling. For some reason the creature acts as a sort of walking Facehugger, impregnating people left and right. The Strauses try and explain this in the commentary, stating that the Predalien is actually a maturing Queen, but the big mistake is that it’s glazed over in the movie so the explanation doesn’t exist.
The creature action between the beasts is pretty rock solid, though. And it takes advantage of it’s R rating to push the boundaries in order to make up for the PG-13 first instalment. It might just be a bit too much, though. The film is filled with cruel and barbaric imagery, such as Alien embryos breaking out of a pregnant woman after feasting upon her child and even the Predalien hovering over a newborn nursery as if it were a buffet table. Movies like this are supposed to be fun. This sh*t isn’t fun. It’s vile and hateful.
Interesting side note: This film takes place in wide open spaces, much like a Predator film, contrasting the dark and claustrophobic sets of the previous film which was more in the style of the Alien series. Kind of covering your bases there. I like that.
The Strause Brothers stated they had hoped to continue the franchise with a third film, which they wanted to set up in space, like the comics and games based on these properties. But cooler heads prevailed after these two were revealed to be complete hacks and the AVP franchise is now dead. I do get a good laugh when I watch the end credits pop up in this movie, as a pretentious credit for the directors pops up...
Directed by THE BROTHERS STRAUSE
I’m sure this was unintentional, since the credits seem to be using the font of the Aliens logo for the first name in the crew member and the Predator font for the last name. But still, the effect is hilarious.
Final Verdict: Those with taste will want to avoid each, but those who like brainless monster mash are better off with Anderson’s film. However, if your R-rating is really that precious to you, go ahead and watch Requiem. I won’t judge.
Torgo dares brave what is arguably the worst movie series in film history. Be here as he wades his way through blood, guts, breasts, and bad acting by watching the films the fans voted the very worst of the Friday the 13th series!
And let’s face it, these movies are more painful than anything Jason has ever dished out.
The unluckiest franchise on the calender...at least for those with taste...
The ”WORST” of Friday the 13th
It all started decades ago. A man name Sean Cunningham came up with the title Friday the 13th and said “horror movie!” He didn’t have a story, but he figured “screw it, I’m going to make a movie with this title.”
And true to the original concept, the final movie didn’t have a story either. Sadly, 11 more films bloomed from that. And thus, the James Bond of slashers was born.
The Friday the 13th franchise pretty much a black mark on Hollywood’s history. The movies offer nothing, deliver nothing, and are empty experiences, yet audiences ate them up. Kind of like if you’re drinking a Mountain Dew after journeying through the desert. If you’re expecting it to quench your thirst, you’ve got another thing coming. However, that Mountain Dew is just fine if you’re killing an afternoon and just want some sugar.
Picking the three trashiest movies in this series for this week’s column was no easy task. By definition, each and every one is trashy. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be Friday the 13th. I left this choice up to the fans and selected the three lowest rated films on the Internet Movie Database. Reading the horror fan comments on this series raises an eyebrow, as when you try and discuss the series with them, the impression they’d give you is that the series is a work of art that has been tainted by the three films I’m about to review. I’m inclined to disagree. The three movies I just watched are no worse than any others in the series, so I have to ask...why are these the crappy ones again?
First off, 1993's Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. New Line Cinema celebrates their new purchase of the Friday the 13th franchise by...killing it off? Whatever. About two years prior, Freddy Krueger supposedly took his final bow with Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, so I suppose they felt a Final Friday needed to be made to match.
This gooey monster movie (one that would give the makers of The Incredible Melting Man a hard-on) starts off with a scene at good ol’ Camp Crystal Lake. An FBI agent with silicone enhanced breasts and underwear that titillates you less than makes you wonder how much distance you’d get if you used them as a slingshot strips down and takes a shower as bait for the elusive serial killer Jason Voorhees. Sensing erotic imagery (and resenting the fact that he has never gotten laid), Jason shows up. She runs off and he chases her into an ambush, where a bunch of agents are waiting to blow him away.
And blow them away they do! Now that was f***ing awesome. The one thing I’ve always said is that horror movies are action movies without a strong protagonist. If Jason had taken on Schwarzenegger or Statham, he would have gone down real good years ago.
Jason is blown up and his remains are taken to the coroner’s office. There, his heart starts beating. Apparently it’s morse code for “Eat me!” Whether he meant it figuratively or literally is up to interpretation, but the coroner just randomly picks up the heart and eats it.
The coroner is now possessed by one Jason Voorhees and is looking for some action. He detours briefly into Camp Crystal Lake to kill a few sexing teenagers before getting on with the plot. Or what passes for the plot. It seems that Jason can’t stay in one body for very long before it pusses out and melts, and he must switch bodies until he finds a female member of his family line, shove his giant purple tongue down their throats, and becomes reborn.
Hilariously enough, when he’s reborn, he’s reborn with overalls and a f***ing hockey mask.
Jason Goes to Hell is shameless. It’s feels less like a Friday the 13th movie and more like Hellraiser. The gore level is through the roof, with limbs flying everywhere and melting people abound. Jason, himself, looks goofy, with skin bubbling out and his mask looks as if it’s fused to his skin. Presumably, this could be an unspoken reference to the previous Friday the 13th film, in which Jason was doused in toxic waste, but that would be assuming the filmmakers actually cared about continuity.
Henry Manfredini, often cited to be a genius composer of the horror genre, has often failed to impressed me. His early Friday the 13th compositions were blatant rip-offs of the score to Psycho. Of course, I wouldn’t extpect a Friday the 13th fan to notice that. That would assume that they’ve watched a movie that was released before Star Wars. Manfredini hits a new low with Jason Goes to Hell, as it’s score sounds like a hyper five-year-old let loose on a piano. This could very well be the worst score in film history.
That said, you’ve gotta give Jason Goes to Hell props for thinking out of the box. The franchise had long gotten tiresome with it’s repeated formula, and while the last few Paramount entries tried to shake things up with a psychic girl and switching settings, they still felt same old, same old. Jason Goes to Hell, however, is rambunctiously silly to the point that late in the film the owners of a slophouse diner and their waitresses go commando and try and blow the Jason-possessed villain to smitherines.
One can’t help but wonder if they really thought this through. Jason is claimed to be some sort of creature that has his own handybook with rules as to how to kill him. When the hell did this happen? Why? How? Ugh. Nevermind. I don’t really care right now.
Notably the film is famous for setting up Freddy vs. Jason, a film that was supposed to be made in the 80's but was aborted because of the two conflicting studios Paramount and New Line had trouble working together (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood and ANightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master were made instead). After Jason is sucked up into hell, Freddy’s glove is seen grabbing Jason’s hockey mask. Producers claim this was a note of “welcome to the club” to Jason, but producer Sean Cunningham went hard at work at trying to realize the film for 10 years. Incidentally, also featured is the Necronomicon from the Evil Dead trilogy, hinting ties to that series as well. After Freddy vs. Jason hit it big, there was talk of building upon that in a sequel called Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, but the only thing that resulted was a comic book.
Jumping back to 1985, Marty McFly was off on another time travel adventure...presumably to get away from the Friday the 13th (which had already claimed his father, Crispin Glover, as a victim in its fourth entry). Even less importantly, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning was released.
This entry has a now non-Corey Feldman Tommy Jarvis being taken to a mental health center for teenagers. Soon after his arrival a masked killer with a hockey mask begins slaughtering the people inhabiting it. Is it Jason? Is it Tommy?
It’s neither. What a cheat.
But that isn’t what makes this movie bad. The movie is bad simply because it’s bearing the Friday the 13th logo. Why is this movie hated? Because Jason isn’t in it! Waaaaaaaaaaaah!
Oh bitch, bitch, bitch.
A New Beginning is more watchable than many of the other entries in this series. The characters, while aren’t actually well-written, are about as close to likeable as the series ever approached. In fact, it even starts to develope them.
WHAT? We can’t have that in a Friday the 13th movie! Kill them off, NOW!
Sure enough, just as relationships begin to be established, these kids are slaughtered mercilessly, throwing any idea of plotlines out the window.
It’s a bit haphazardly done. Characters clog the entire movie, and many of them are introduced merely to get killed. The drifter comes immediately to mind, he has two lines and dies. That about sums up the entire writing process right there. It seems to me that the entire acting challenges of the Friday the 13th series is to be able to walk and/or breathe. The size of one’s boobs is a good indicator as to how talented you are, as well.
The final conclusion to the film where the identity of “Jason” is finally revealed isn’t very satisfying. The character is given a name and a motive, but the motive doesn’t really hold up that well. These kids didn’t really do anything to deserve it (and the one he should have had a grudge against got away scott free) and the whole Jason MO thing just doesn’t make sense.
But that assumes anything in this series had made sense. Since when do mongoloids have nine lives?
We conclude our mini-marathon with Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, hand selected by the fans as the worst Firday the 13th ever!
My verdict? Eh.
In it, Jason climbs aboard a cruise ship heading for New York. He offs people one by one (most telling scene of the film is when he rips off a girl’s robe, leaving her completely nude for no reason other than ass-shot, and then kills her) until they get wise to him and abondon ship. Jason follows them all the way to the big city where he proceeds to chase them through...Toronto.
Most of the fan disappointment in this flick comes from the fact that very few scenes are actually shot in New York, and just as little supposedly take place in New York itself. This was due to budgetary limitations however, and honestly, I don’t really see what could have been gained by more New York footage itself. The shots of Jason in Times Square are quirky fun, but if it were overdone it would have been too much of a good thing.
One thing that should be noted is that Jason here is played by Kane Hodder (who also played him in Jason Goes to Hell), the only actor to play the character more than once. Apparently he is beloved by the fanbase, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s the favorite Jason by far, how come everyone seems to hate his movies? The two that aren’t covered in this essay (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood and Jason X) aren’t rated much higher.
Incidentally, Ken Kirzinger, who played Jason in Freddy vs. Jason, plays a chef in this movie. Jason punches him through a window. I guess that was pre-karma for stealing Hodder’s job?
All taken into account, Jason Takes Manhattan is honestly one of the most enjoyable entries of the series. It’s massively stupid, as poor editing and a desire to make Jason appear as if he’s “everywhere” has the zombie serial killer teleporting from location to location without any reasonable means of transportation. An example comes in the climax, as Jason has just punched some poor kid’s head off. The survivors stop a police car and have a conversation with the officer outside of it, with the car out of view for a few moments. They return to the car only to discover their comrade’s head propped up on the dashboard.
But wait, let's rewind a bit, shall we? Let's take a look at the way Jason Voorhees thinks. First of all, he knocks this poor black guy's head off and it lands in a dumpster. Now Jason climbs down the building this confrontation took place and takes the time to retrieve the head. Why? For sh*ts and giggles I guess, or maybe something to put on the mantel (after all, the guy did put up a better fight than most of Jason's victims). Now Jason spots a police car and his old buddies from the cruise ship talking to the cop. Now he wants to give them a good spook before he even tries to kill them. Somehow he sneaks around everyone, aproaches the car with a giddy grin on his face, all the while thinking Teehee Teehee, carefully props the head up inside the car, and sneaks off into the shadows before anyone notices.
Jason Voorhees: The most elaborate killer the screen has ever seen. It's a wonder he even gets anything done.
The film also attempts some hilarious means of character development as one of the main characters confronts her fear of water after almost being drowned by Jason as a little girl. This plotline concludes at the most rediculous point, right in the middle of the climax when the characters are running for their lives.
Add in a shoddy make-up job for our main baddie and you’ve got yourself a riffing goldmine. Jason Takes Manhattan is a blast for the fan of the bad movie...well, those who are willing to admit what a bad movie is (Friday the 13th fans usually don’t), and for those of us who wish to sit down with a couple of brewskies, pizza, and watch something that will dull the senses, it’s really the perfect candidate.
Watch for a young Kelly Hu (X2) as one of the teenagers on Jason’s menu. Unfortunately, she’s one of the elite few women in the series who didn’t get naked.
Final Verdict: So these are what Friday the 13th fans consider to be the bad movies of the franchise. Huh.
You know what, I take this entire column back. This isn’t the worst of the series. Those who wish to see me review the true worst of the series stay tuned, because that will be on the horizon.
Jason’s attempts to defeat the mighty Torgo have been futile, but what about his fellow 80's slasher king Freddy? Next week, Torgo will brave the fan picked worst entries of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. And he intends to sleep well, so watch out Freddy.
Author of MST3K, Rifftrax, and Beyond! Latest MST3K Review: Gamera vs. Jiger Latest Rifftrax Review: Zombie Nightmare Latest Beyond Review: Cinematic Titanic's War of the Insects