Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead [2014] Movie Review

Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead [2014]

Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead [2014]
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writers: Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel, Tommy Wirkola
Genre: Action/Comedy/Horror
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas
Running Time: 100 minutes

Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead is the type of movie that will rip your arm off, pull your intestines out and then run you over with a tank — just because it can. Set immediately after the original film’s ending (there is a quick primer first just in case you need a refresher on what happened), it’s clear right away just what this much-anticipated sequel has in store. The budget is much bigger, the cast is larger, and the special effects are significantly improved. This is Dead Snow cranked to 11.

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Movie Project #23: The Fly [1986]

Due to the surprising success of my initial Movies Project, I decided to do a part two for 2012. This time around I put a greater emphasis on directors I am not familiar with, but I also tried to compile a mix of different genres and eras. This will be an ongoing project with the finish date being sometime this year.

The Fly [1986]

The Fly [1986]
Director: David Cronenberg
Genre: Horror/Sci-Fi
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz
Runtime: 96 minutes

David Cronenberg’s The Fly starts off innocently enough as a simple sci-fi story. Jeff Goldblum is Seth Brundle, a reclusive scientist who meets journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) at a networking event. Brundle has been working feverishly on a scientific breakthrough and jumps at the opportunity to show off his work to a pretty lady. Veronica follows him to his home/lab, where she makes the stunning discovery that Seth has a set of “Telepods” — teleportation devices that can transport inanimate objects from one area to another.

Teleporting living creatures is still a work in progress, as his most recent attempt ended up with a baboon bloodily turned inside out. Somehow a spark ignites between Seth and Veronica, and they begin spending more time together. A romantic encounter reinvigorates Seth, and this leads to him figuring out a way to successfully transport living objects.

The Fly [1986]

One night, paranoid that Veronica is hooking back up with her former partner, Stathis Borans (John Getz), Seth gets drunk and decides to test his Telepods on himself — the very first human subject. The teleportation is successful, but there is one small problem (literally) with the test: there was a fly in the tube with Brundle.

It takes some time for the effects to kick in, but Brundle eventually begins turning into a fly. This is when the movie transforms itself from not just sci-fi but to full-blown horror as well.

The Fly [1986]

Parts of Brundle’s body begin falling off. His fingernails. His ears. He starts vomiting profusely. He develops the ability to cling to walls and ceilings. All of this is captured expertly by Cronenberg and his makeup crew, with some disgustingly impressive gore and so-called “body horror” effects. Seriously, this film has a reputation for its graphic special effects, and it does not disappoint at all in this regard. The Fly actually won an Oscar for Best Makeup, and it still holds up remarkably well today.

Underneath the horror and sci-fi elements is a tragic love story between Seth and Veronica, with Stathis finding himself entangled as well in the bizarre happenings. There is a surprising amount of depth to The Fly, and for those who can handle the excessive gore, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Goldblum and Davis are fun to watch together, and the story, while familiar, is a good one. Chalk this one up as my favorite Cronenberg film so far.

8/10

Movie Review: Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]
Director: Jason Eisener
Genre: Action/Crime/Thriller
Language: English
Country: Canada

I’m not sure there’s a movie title that encapsulates the viewing experience better than Hobo With a Shotgun. It’s brash, in your face, and a perfect indication of the grindhouse shlock that it delivers.

Rutger Hauer stars as the shotgun-toting hobo, who doesn’t have a proper name. After living a life on the rails, the hobo arrives in the anarchic wasteland ironically known as Hope Town. After witnessing murder and general mayhem created by the town’s evil ruler, The Drake (Brian Downey) and his deranged sons, Ivan (Nick Bateman) and Slick (Gregory Smith), the hobo grabs a shotgun and starts dishing out justice vigilante-style.

Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

Hobo With a Shotgun is as over-the-top as one would expect, and it dispenses gore by the truckload. In the first 10-15 minutes alone, there is a brutal decapitation, and Ivan and Slick even torch a bus full of small children with flamethrowers. This is only the beginning of a fucked up exploitation ride, as we run into a bizarre grab bag of freaks — a pedophile dressed as Santa Claus, a douchey director who films his own version of Bum Fights, and there’s even an oddly random encounter with some sort of tentacled object.

Seemingly the only other ‘decent’ person in Hope Town is Abby (Molly Dunsworth), a prostitute that the hobo saves and subsequently befriends. Watching the two of them team up together to take back the city is a blast, and they make a great, albeit unlikely, duo.

Hobo With a Shotgun [2011]

First time director Jason Eisener does a brilliant job making Hobo With a Shotgun feel like “you could have pulled [the movie] off a VHS shelf in the 80s”, as he once said. The movie is generally very dark with a nihilistic view that works well within its low budget. In fact, Eisener has crafted the genre almost too well because there is little to differentiate this from other like-minded titles. In a way, this is both a blessing and a curse.

There’s no denying that Hobo With a Shotgun is a well-made tribute to the grindhouse days of the late 70s/early 80s. It obviously has a limited audience, but those into over-the-top madness will have a great time with it. Hobo is a cut below Planet Terror and Machete, but it’s still a lot of fun.

7/10