Sunday, January 31, 2010

How I Wasted my Weekend

I really can't trust myself. I got about a quarter of the way through The A.B.C Murders, set it down for a bit, and ended up watching movies for the rest of my weekend. Oh well, do what makes you happy right? I'll try to finish this book up sometime this week. So...movies? Okay.

You know what bugs me? The fact that there's very few good werewolf movies out there. It sounds like an awesome concept, but apparently it's hard to pull off because I've seen a ton of awful ones and I can count the good ones on my hand. Bad Moon(1996) is not one of the good ones. It starts off alright, not good exactly, but cheesy fun all the same. There's a couple of annoying rich tourists on vacation in the jungle somewhere, they have sex and are attacked by a werewolf. Where the wolfman of the jungle came from is never explained. The woman is brutally attacked and the man is beat up pretty good till he gets a shotgun and blows the things head off.
This opening is almost completely different in tone from the rest of the movie. After that it turns into a glurgy family film, almost like a lifetime original movie. It's still gory in parts and the effects (other than a really dated CGI morphing scene) are pretty good. But the gore is at odds with the wholesome family feel of the rest of the film. It's like two completely different movies that don't mesh well. It's also stupid and full of plot holes John Goodman could fit through.
And it's not scary. Well, I counted one good scare, right at the end of the movie, it's like they weren't even trying to make it creepy in any way and the last one was an accident. So yeah, this one sucks.

Things I learned from watching this movie:
1. Trailers can magically transport themselves where ever you need them to be.
2. Despite what you think, the power of love cannot cure lycanthropy.
3. Don't leave pictures of your dead wife's mauled body out where people can see it, It's just not a good idea.

1981 was a great year for werewolves. In fact, it's probably the best year for them ever film-wise. There were three good successful lycanthropic flicks that year. First was The Howling. The second was American Werewolf in London. The third is kind of forgotten, and not as good as the first two, but it's still miles ahead of most of the other shitty attempts at werewolf movies.
Wolfen (1981) is sort of a mystery story that doesn't follow any of the werewolf legends that were set up by Kurt Siodmak for The Wolfman in 1941. A rich man, his wife, and their chauffeur, are killed by something while taking a coked up side trip to a park. Not just killed, but brutally mauled. The man's brain is found missing, all of it.
Of course you know it's werewolves, but where do they come from, in New York City of all places? The truth turns out to be kind of underwhelming, but it's quite a ride getting there. The movie is a bit slow, but it has some really creepy moments that make the whole thing worth sitting through. I'm not sure if the run down decayed city sets a large part of the movie was filmed in were real, but they sure look like it. The burnt out church is one of the coolest looking sets I've ever seen and it provides one of the most nightmare inducing images of all the hundreds of horror films I've sat through. Of course, your mileage may vary, but I liked this one a lot.
Some interesting trivia bits: This film is the second of director Michael Wadleigh, and his only non-Woodstock film. After this he would release a few straight to video documentaries about the festival and then pretty much vanish from the film world altogether.
Wadleigh claims that Wolfen isn't a horror movie at all but a political film that was taken from him by the studio and re-edited. It'd be interesting to see his cut of it, or at least a commentary track, which the DVD doesn't have.

Alright, so that was my Saturday. Sunday was Toho day. Well, bargain bin Toho day anyways. I found a double feature of Mothra movies in the bin for five bucks. I can't resist a cheesy Japanese monster movie, especially two for a dirt cheap price. These were...well...goofy. To say the least.
Mosura (1996) was released in the US as Rebirth of Mothra. It and it's sequel, Mosura 2 - Kaitei no daikessen (1997), released in the US as Rebirth of Mothra II, are two films in a Mothra re-boot trilogy. Why the third one hasn't been released in the US, I have no idea. They could have just stuffed in on the first side of the DVD. Why they only released both films in a terrible English dub, I have no idea either. At least they don't look cut at all, except they took the credits out. (Grumble.)
I suppose since these are both aimed at kids, like the Gamera flicks, they figured kids wouldn't care.
So how do I describe watching these? Well, take your average 90s Nickelodeon movies, and put giant fighting monsters in them. The doomy feeling and city destruction of the Godzilla movies is almost completely gone and is replaced by dumb slapstick and ham-fisted environmental messages. They also focus more on the humans, which always pisses me off. Nobody pays for these things to see whiny cardboard actors. We want to see guys in rubber suits beating the crap out of each other! The second movie is much better because we see more monster fighting and because it has a Furby with a penis on it's head who's piss can cure injuries. At the end, the Furby sacrifices itself to save the giant bug, leaving it's kid heroes to regard it with awe. Later they will start a church and worship it as a god. Remember kids, Furby died for your sins.
But anyways, Mothra is interesting, but no Godzilla. A giant moth isn't as cool as a giant fire-breathing lizard. Even if it does have two hot faeries that worship it. I'd say these were worth five bucks, but both were way overlong and too kid-friendly for their own good.
What say you Tiki Bear?

"Your taste in movies sucks and so do you!"
Hey, that's not very nice, I rescued you from the cold outside!
"I'd rather have frozen to death than watched Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders."
You're just bitter because you have no genitals....

And with that, I bid you all a fond adieu. Thanks for reading!

Totally random thing at the end:
I want this song played at my funeral:

1 comment:

Justin said...

I need to watch the Flesh Gordon movies. Well... no, I don't, but I really want to.