Gross Movie Reviews #322
By Tim Gross
Class of 1984 (VHS) – Its Lincoln High and all the students seem to be violent, carrying guns, drugs, etc. Teachers are at the point they just try to get through the day without being stabbed or what not. So when Perry King a new teacher from Nebraska arrives he is in for a culture shock as all he wants to do is teach music to teenagers. In order to restore order teachers Perry King and Roddy McDowall must take on a certain gang that rules the school. This movie inspired a slew of 80s teacher/gang/school violence related films including the same director doing “Class of 1999”. Great film just because of legendary actor Roddy McDowall but also has budding star Michael J. Fox as I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars.
Don’t Go In The Woods (DVD) – I was surprised to learn that Vincent D’Onofrio decided to do a horror film that went to the Tribeca Film Festival no less. But that is where the interesting part ends as a young band goes into the woods to write and record songs without booze, sex, and drugs. For me the movie never seems to get going and when it finally does more than halfway through the film I disinterested someone decided to kill these unlikable characters that are trying to record music. I might revisited this film again in a year or two just to see if I feel the same way but until then I give the film 1 star.
Pontypool (DVD) – An oddity of a film that stars great character actor Stephen McHattie as an over the top DJ who is working at a less than high profile radio station in Canada when some strange events break out in Ontario. While on air he tries to report about the chaos that is consuming people and buildings. Soon he gets reports that a virus is spreading through the English language causing people to lose their mind and attack others. There is a couple other films with the same concept and do it well also but this film just has such a curious, odd feel to it that I cannot classify it as a zombie film but believe it is a must watch for any horror fan looking for that different kind of horror film! I give the film 3 ½ stars.
Jack Reacher (DVD) – A Tom Cruise flick that was shot in my hometown Pittsburgh, Pa. The film was originally called, “One Shot” but title like most quickly changed once filming wrapped up. But wait Tim Gross is watching another Tom Cruise flick. Heard great things about the film so I figured I would force myself to sit long enough to give it a chance… And I was not disappointed. Someone guns down five people in front of PNC Park that seems like random crazy violence only to frame a half ass sniper from the military. Once in questioning the only thing the man says after 16 hours to the police is “Jack Reacher”. Jack Reacher is a former MP who was great at his job and seems to be a ghost as he went off the grid a few years ago. Once the story goes national Reacher arrives in Pittsburgh to have a conversation with the man’s lawyer and do his own investigation which uncovers a much bigger plot. The film is awesomely written and Tom Cruise plays the part of Jack Reacher perfectly. It’s a kick ass action flick I did not expect and with this latest project Cruise is beginning to restore my faith in him as an actor but also his projects. Do yourself a favor and check out this cool flick if you haven’t seen it. But what’s even cooler is that they used all of Pittsburgh so well and really thought they did a great job of using the extras in the flick and making them true Pittsburghers except none said “Yinz”! I give the film 3 ½ stars.
The Bunnyman Massacre (DVD/Chiller TV) – Once I found out this was a sequel and had massacre in the title you knew my ass couldn’t stay away. One problem, it was a sequel to the lackluster film “Bunnyman” about a serial killer in a bunny suit. Sounds like it should be fucking awesome but gives you a headache instead just thinking about it. So somebody thought it would be good to continue it… bad move filmmaker. The film opens up with the killer in a bunny suit trying to kill a whole school bus of children which looked like total ass! And that is being kind to it. But from there the story revolves around the killer hanging out on a farm where some hick understands what the killer is and takes care of him while he turns the local police into beef jerky. Once they target some hikers in the woods as their next victims you know where the film goes from there. I could spend days on what is wrong with this film besides it giving me an upsetting headache but just do me a favor and do not do a third film and move on to a different project. Another thing that really bothered me was the computerized blood that hits the camera during murder scenes, STOP IT NOW! It looks like shit and can be utterly insulting, now saying that this isn’t the only film that has done it. There have been several low budget projects in the past year or two that have thought this is a good idea? YOU WERE WRONG! Personally I believe with the title and a killer in a bunny suit I believe you should have taken full advantage of making it more of a holiday slasher film… We need more holiday horror again, but hey that is just me. Moving on I give the flick a ½ star out of 4. If by some chance you are curious seeing it you can find it at www.midnightreleasing.com .
Captain Z & The Terror of Leviathan (DVD/You Tube) – Indy filmmaker/writer Steve Rudzinski is back at again with another project as he is one of the hardest working filmmakers out there that you the viewer should pay attention too! (Robert Elkins and Dustin Wayde Mills just to mention a couple others) Steve chooses to go away from his last kid-friendly film “Super Task Force One” to give us a time traveling pirate film. It’s 1714 Riverwood where a bad ass pirate is fighting a cult of demons who are trying to bring some evil through a portal of some kind only to screw up the ritual and they all time travel to 2014 where in Riverwood, Ohio where Captain Z and his adventures is stuff of legend and celebrated every year. Once in the present Captain Z and the demons must adjust to 300 years into the future and do it quickly as they search for the amulet that could sway the struggle between and good and evil either way. But with some help from the very funny character Professor Glen Stewart supernatural expert and volunteers from the local museum, Captain Z finds and tries to protect the amulet from the demons new forms that are some inbred fishing rednecks that want to see their sister/daughter naked. Captain Z even finds time to learn how to drive, find a winch, and find his treasure in this amazing and incredibly crafted offbeat independent feature. Movie fans I am here to say Steve Rudzinski is starting to hit his stride as a writer, director, and an actor. If you have paid attention at all to his career the biggest payoff might be Steve’s ability to grow as an actor and his ability to learn from past projects as a director. Steve proves you don’t have to stick with one genre as an independent filmmaker and for that I am grateful. Oh by the way yinz will love the chainsaw scene!!! I give this hilarious flick 3 out of 4 stars and warn readers now start paying attention to Steve Rudzinski now, you’ll thank me later! Now go buy his film: http://captainz.moonfruit.com/buy-the-movie/4582618664
Death Row Diner (VHS) – A funny SOV horror flick from 1988 that stars Michelle Bauer as a granddaughter of a movie executive (Otis) that was framed for murder in 1948 and sent to death in “The Big House”. Now 40 years later, she is producing a flick with her despicable husband in the same place. An undead Otis returns hungry and is pissed off so he is murdering all involved with the project. The movie is a funny horrible reminder of what low budget filmmaking was like in the 80s. Hell, we even get a bad Elvis impersonator who works for Celebrity Catering. I give the film 2 stars.
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