Gross Movie Reviews #307
By Tim Gross
Wake in Fright (VHS/YouTube) – Well here goes an odd film of sorts from Australia, 1971. The film stars a crazy drunken Donald Pleasance who believes he knows how to get through life for free but that’s just part of this dramatic serious film. John Grant is a teacher on vacation that seems unhappy with the state of his job and life mainly because in this time period teachers are bonded and need a thousand bucks to buy themselves out. During a layover waiting for the next train in a small and rough mining town, Mr. Grant takes in the sights along with the gambling and drinking. Days pass and Mr. Grant soon finds he is ready to shoot himself. Donald Pleasance is a highlight of this dramatic film but that story is far more interesting as it gives you a look of one teacher’s perceptive in 1971 Australia. I give the film 2 ½ stars.
Raymond Did It (DVD) – A Travis Legge independent film that revolves around two brothers. One brother, Bryce is your normal teenager, the other, Ray is mentally handicapped but the brothers hang together at all times or when mom says so. Well the brothers go out with Paige and Tammy and others to the park. Paige constantly gives Raymond a hard time until Bryce steps in and Tammy speaks up but a scuffle breaks out and Bryce falls into a tree and dies accidentally. Everyone except Tammy go in on a plan to blame Raymond. Six years have pass and all the friends are getting together at a party. Even Tammy goes who seems to be a recluse since the accident and it all takes place on the day Raymond escapes from authorities. Tammy still relives the tragic day as all her friends simply forgot about it as in their words “the re re deserved it”! Well guess what Raymond is pissed and wants revenge. We have death by washing machine (aka warshing machine if you live in Pittsburgh), very cool death by lawnmower, and we have a death of a dude where we see the aftermath of him lying on a shower curtain on the floor in blood with the shower curtain protecting the floor from all the fake blood. The independent film doesn’t go full slasher mode as Travis allows his talent to give the film some soul of not going down the same road slasher film fans are use too when watching such a flick. I love the gore, the direction of the film was brilliant, and filmmaker Travis Legge really made you feel for the characters of Tammy and Raymond. Like I said an independent slasher film with soul and as a horror movie fan I believe you can’t ask for much more. I give the film 3 ½ out of 4 stars and did I mention death by lawnmower was pretty fucking awesome? You can purchase the film and find out more at: https://www.facebook.com/RaymondDidIt and http://www.amazon.com/Raymond-Did-It/dp/B00B691NV4 .
Grave Halloween (SyFy Channel/DVD) – Another supported horror film on SyFy Channel that fails to be interesting as a college girl is haunted by dreams of her real mother and decides to travel where she committed suicide. Not only does she believe it will help her get past the suicide but allows her best friend to do a documentary on it. Oh yeah she died in a supposedly haunted forest in Japan. I just have that feeling if the film was done more in the vein of Asian cinema instead this American bastard version it would have been more interesting. I give the flick 1 ½ stars.
Resident Evil: Retribution (DVD) – If the films before this didn’t prove it then this film made sure for the stupid people you understand that Paul W.S. Anderson has some weird fantasy of his wife fighting monsters and evil corporate types in slow motion all while wearing leather and sharing it to the world. Mr. Anderson I rather just see the sex tapes not this poor excuse for another sequel that just baffles me how Hollywood hasn’t wanted to remake this whole fucking franchise? And who is giving you the budget to film these things you call films? Outside of part three this film goes about its way of insulting any fan of the original scary ass video game series of the late 90s who may still be paying attention. I watched the film for free and feel I should get money back anyway. Do yourself a favor horror fans stop supporting, go watch the two animated features, and start email blasting Hollywood why Alexander Aja hasn’t got the call to remake this series yet? I give it crap because it is crap!
The Aftermath (VHS) – A lower budget, mutants, and three some years before ‘Def-Con 4’ is this sci-fi flick about two astronauts who come back to earth after a very long mission only to find we all fucking nuke each other. While trying to come to grips with the situation the astronauts try to make the best of it until they have a run in with a wannabe cult leader named Cutter played by Sid Haig who has his followers kill the men and keep the women and eventually kill the children when they get annoying. If you are able to lay your hands on a copy of the film it does have a couple interesting extras from the filmmakers and some from the Corman group talking about the film. I give the apocalypse sci-fi flick 2 stars.
Mr. Nice Guy (DVD) – Jackie Chan is just a cook… on a cooking show in Melbourne and gets mixed up with a reporter who just happens to film incriminating evidence against a crime boss. Soon Jackie is running through malls hitting people with food, jumping onto trucks, almost getting his nuts cut off by a band saw. A good Jackie Chan film but from one of his best films you need to see as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Saturday Morning Massacre (DVD) – A film that pretty much tries to make the Scooby-Doo gang a little older and at least admit they do drugs go to a mansion to investigate ghosts that have haunted the old place for years. If you get pass the complete Scooby-Doo rip-off you might enjoy the payoff in the end or just go get high and watch Scooby-Doo and Blair Witch Project on dual screens to get the same effect. I give it 1 ½ stars.
Cruising (DVD) – A very interesting crime thriller starring Al Pacino who is a young police officer who is given the chance to make detective. But he must go undercover for Paul Sorvino into New York’s dark underbelly of the gay community to find an unknown gay serial killer who keeps stacking up bodies around the city. The film does not go your typical route of normal cop thrillers as it has Pacino’s character really get involved into an unknown world of gay bars, hook-ups, etc. Pacino puts in a great performance as his character is even showing he has problems sexually with his girlfriend when he has exposed himself to so much he did not know about gay males. The film is smart, interesting (especially for its time of New York’s glory days and before HIV-positive), and leaves you wondering if Pacino’s character get the right guy? If you are the type film fanatic always looking for a different film, do yourself a favor and watch this flick as I got to thank Russ Rutter for this recommendation. I give the film 3 ½ stars.
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