Gross Movie Reviews #360
By Tim Gross
Mongrel (VHS/DVD-R) – A 1982 thriller about people living at a boardinghouse where an old mean dog terrorizes a timid tenant that looks a lot like Jeffery Combs. One day one of the tenants teases the dog and the dog gets loose and attacks. After the dog is put down the timid tenant claims to hear strange noises at night (which sounds like me burping after guzzling a bottle of Yuengling). And tenants begin to die of strange vicious deaths. The film has its moments and also two things going for it: first, it’s Mitch Pileggi’s first film and second, there is a “Deep Throat” pinball game featured in a scene where tenants are drinking in a game room gossiping. Never heard much about the film before this but believe this will be a film I will revisit in the future as I give it 2 ½ stars.
The Gallows (On Demand) – Another so-called “found footage” film that involves a high school drama class. Apparently, twenty years ago during a play called “The Gallows” a kid hangs himself when the play was being performed. After much speculation and begging by the drama class director they are doing the play again. But a kid that films everything has other plans and just happens to be best friends with the lead of the play also. Together with another friend learn the back door to the high school does not lock and break-in to destroy the set so they “The Gallows” play cannot go on the next night. Once in, strange things begin to happen while the camera rolls. Think “Grave Encounters” in a high school. There isn’t much to the film besides it being a cheap cash-in for Hollywood but again it raises the question for me… Who found this footage? Especially since it never made it out of the high school and if it did the person or persons that were a part of the deaths in the school would be arrested for the deaths. Oh no, I gave away the awesome plot! I give this uninteresting film 1 star.
Tremors 5: Bloodlines (DVD) – The film series that features blind giant man-eating worms and things called ass-blasters has been revived once more again featuring Michael Gross aka Burt Gummer. Gummer is now hanging out in the Nevada desert filming his survivalist internet show. It’s been years since Graboids have attacked or any new ones have popped up. But Gummer soon gets two visitors. The first is Jamie Kennedy who plays the role of crazy cameraman and fan of Gummer and second is a man from South Africa that proposes Mr. Gummer to come to South Africa to help them with their Graboid problem or I should say Ass-blaster problem. Gummer says, “If you got ass-blasters, you have Graboids.” From there Burt Gummer explains the evolution of Graboids not only for his new cameraman but for the viewers and catches everybody up on the evolution of the Graboids. Great stuff! But Gummer finds out the game has changed again in South Africa as the Graboids may have mutated one more time as their tentacles are able to detach and seek food but the Graboid is bigger and ass-blasters are not after heat as much anymore. Once Gummer understands he is being screwed over by a poacher and has a possible adult son it is time to find and destroy the nest of the mutated Graboids. Once again there isn’t a bad installment in this series that gets revived every few years or so and for great reason as the source material “Graboids” are fun to see and have been smartly written to keep audiences enjoying the evolution of them. I give the flick 3 stars.
Death Squad (DVD) – Rutger Hauer, Darryl Hannah, Stephen Baldwin, Danny Glover, and Michael Madsen and its set in 2046! With a title and cast like this the flick should be movie gold? NOT THIS PILE OF DOG SHIT! Somebody, somewhere overthought this futuristic film that didn’t get a big release and for good reason. Its 2046 and the government has broken down, there is war, Danny Glover has two computers from the late 90s, and zones where radiation has killed millions of people. What it comes down to is a secret mission has Baldwin’s character trying to find an old uplink to a satellite that could change the course of the war. Danny Glover just spends the whole movie in one room yelling at Baldwin. Rutger Hauer is one bad dude in charge of Darryl Hannah’s character and apparently has Michael Madsen on speed dial to go kill people double secretly. Got it? Good! Because it doesn’t make a lick a sense at times especially when Baldwin’s character meets a purple/red painted lady who may be real or may be from radiation poisoning to a person who has been in this infected zone too long without medicine. I love me some Rutger Hauer but someone fucked up royally on this flick as I give it a ½ star.
Storage 24 (DVD) – A not much known UK sci-fi/horror flick that of course involves a huge storage facility and a down spacecraft or debris nearby during a couple of friends who are trying to help a couple split up their stuff after a break-up. Soon power and computer outages cause the storage facility to go into lockdown where no one can leave and the storage company is trying to fix it while a soap opera unfolds inside. And… there is a bad ass looking alien chowing down on humans trapped inside. Before you say “I have seen this before”, give this film a chance as the film has great effects in the creature and the death scenes as buckets of blood and goo flow. But also the film keeps it simple and claustrophobic for a lot of the film so it never seems to drag. Horror fans this is a hidden gem worth seeking out and enjoying this creature feature as I give it 3 stars.
Lucy (DVD) – Need to waste 90 minutes watching a flick that won’t make you think this science fiction flick starring Scar Jo and Morgan Freeman is the go to film. Scar Jo’s character gets used as a drug mule for a new drug that could kill you or in Lucy’s case unlocks her brain. Lucy knows she could die soon but discovers as more of her brain is able to unlock she is becoming less human and control almost everything around her. But she also wants to pass the knowledge along to Morgan Freeman’s character who is studying the effects of unlocking the brain. The film isn’t bad or great but a fun time to waste 90 minutes and not have to think too much as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Area 51 (DVD) – Another ‘found footage’ film that features three friends who are going to break-in at the Area 51 facility and get proof that aliens exist. I always enjoy these types of movies that involve Area 51 mainly because I find the location interesting just like the Reed character. But Reed is searching it out for a whole different reason as three months ago he was a typical college-aged dude partying with friends and loses a bet where he must sing or rap karaoke. Lights go out and Reed disappears. His two buddies leave the party a few hours later and find a disorientated Reed wondering the highway. Now the past three months he has become obsessed with aliens and Area 51and his personality has completely changed. They find a way to break-in and find a whole lot more inside after being chased by the military. But with the camera falling into the desert and busted again I ask the question “Who found this footage?” I give the film 2 ½ stars not so much for the characters as much for the plot of the film of three people going to great lengths to find aliens in Area 51.
The Slashening (DVD/Vimeo) – Five girlfriends are having a slumber party and the parents are out of town. Old friends just celebrating friendship as you have one straight out of rehab and another coming off a very bad relationship. This Brandon Bassham directed feature follows the formula of a “Slumber Party Massacre” and “Student Bodies”. As the five friends have boys show up and I learn new phrases like “coke pussy”, someone in a tater sack is slashing their way through dumb pizza dudes. If that wasn’t enough everyone confesses to banging Lucy’s boyfriend and the pizza is three hours late as the girls begin to disappear one by one by the hands of a tater sack killer. What the film lacks in effects more than makes up in talented actors, dialogue, and the filmmaker’s love for horror/comedies. Annum Films and Mr. Bassham get kudos from me for making a smart and hilarious horror/comedy on a shoestring budget! Many are made but very few worth viewing but also owning like this great feature. Picked up Troma and sold on amazon.com I have to give one of the better films of 2015 3 ½ out of 4 stars.
Super Fuzz (YouTube/VHS) – Ernest Borgnine has a rookie partner who was presumed dead after a rocket exploded over a remote are the officer was at. But a red powder has given Officer David Speed super powers. Only one problem every time he sees red he loses his super powers. But that doesn’t stop this film being a prototype for the TV show “The Greatest American Hero” and being a staple for us old people in our young days of early 80s HBO. One scene after another has David stopping crime before it stops because of his super powers along with falling out of windows also. The film is a hilarious reminder of what played constantly on the early days of cable and what we all found amusing. If you remember it or never witnessed a man talk to a fish in a movie do yourself a favor and look this up now! I give it 3 stars.
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