Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hatchet II

Plot Description: Marybeth escapes the clutches of the bayou-butcher Victor Crowley and returns to the swamp with an army of hunters and gunmen, determined to end Crowley's reign of horror once and for all.

Every once and a while you see a film that blows you away, it changes the way you think and just grabs you in a way that’s hard to explain.  Hatchet 2 is not that film.
  Director Adam Green, who is on the fast track to becoming the American Uwe Boll returns with a follow up to 2006 Hatchet.  The film pick's up literally when part one ended as Swamp Disfigured madman Victor Crowley has just dispatched of a group of tourists.  Of course one has gotten away, otherwise there wouldn’t have been a part 2.  Just typing that makes me wish she had died.  Daniel Harris, who in my opinion is pure death on screen escapes from the swamp, and returns to New Orleans where she learns her family has ties to Victor Crowley.  See Crowley is disfigured and looks like a very low budget Tiny from Devil Rejects because his dad was sleeping with his moms nurse, and when the mom died she came back from the dead for like 2minutes to put a curse on the unborn child of the nurse.  The lady died when she had this unborn mutant.  So the dad and son lived alone in the swamp until one day a bunch of townsfolk (why is it always townsfolk, why can’t these people live in a culdisack or something) set the house on fire.  When the dad tried to take a hatchet to the door he hit his son in the head killing him.  Years later the dad died, and the son came back looking for him.  Shouldn’t the dad have looked for the dead son?  And much like all deformed killers he has spent the last 10 years of his life working out by bench pressing alligators or something because his very big.  All killers are big.  You think that would slow them down when they have to chase people.  They must have good cardio. So anyone who came to the swamp was massacred by Victor Crowley.  Turns out that Daniel Harris's dad was one of the kids who set the fire.
  So she goes to Tony Todd, of Candyman fame to ask for help.  See he's a voodoo guy, or something that send people out in boat turns to the area of the swamp Crowley lives in.  I assume the cops in New Orleans are too busy to realize people on his tours keep coming up missing and let him operate his voodoo shop in the middle of downtown.  Also it’s not like it’s the whole swamp this guy haunts.  Just a small part.  It’s not like you have to go there to fish or hunt or anything.  It's a swamp, just stay away.
  Harris convinces Todd to gather up some bounty hunters to track down Crowley.  But Todd has other intentions.  If Harris’s dad is killed he will break the link to Victor Crowley thus ending the curse.  I guess that means he will look human, or die, or disappear, or something.  When the group arrives they are of course picked off one by one, in various low grade deaths.
  AMC pulled this from theaters after 1 day.  They said it was because it’s too extreme.  That’s true.  Extremely boring, extremely awful, extremely stupid.  It’s like everyone in the film had a bet going to see who could be the worse actor.  They all win!
  Sure it has gore, but it's very low rent.  Troma produces higher quality crap then this.  Luckily it was poorly received so with any luck we won’t see a part 3.
If you’re looking for something to watch and there’s nothing else on, or available to you, take a nap, clean your house, and draw pictures of stick figures.  Anything will pass the time better than this good awful piece of crap.

OVERALL 0 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Drive Angry

Plot Description:  A vengeful father escapes from hell and chases after the men who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter

  Director Patric Lussier from My Bloody Valentine 3D Returns with yet another 3D 70's style exploitation film starring Oscar winner Nicholas Cage, the beautiful Amber Heard.  If you've seen the trailer, the entire plot is basically described in 1 sentence.  Nicholas Cage breaks out of hell to save his granddaughter from a satanic cult who have killed his daughter and plan on sacrificing his granddaughter in an attempt to summon Satan to earth.  Not too deep of a plot, but not really a problem.
  We first see Cage crossing a bridge out of hell, then killing 3 of the cultists telling them "Hell is already walking the earth" in a cheesy kind of way.   We then cut to a dinner when Amber Heard works and Cage notices her 69 Charger.  When it breaks down he fixes it and she offers him a ride.  When she arrives home she finds her boyfriend having sex with another girl and begins punching him.  He strikes her back so Cage beats the crap out of him.  The two leave together and set off to find Cages granddaughter.
  Meanwhile Satan's Accountant has place Cage "On the books" and is looking to take him back.  Cage encounter the cultists at every turn.  Disposing of a group of them at a bar, then following them to a church.  He is shot, as the Cult leader (A weak performance by Billy Burke) runs off with Amber Heard.  Luckily Cage is already dead so he gets back up and chases after them.  During the chase the Charger is totaled so Cage calls one of his old friends, who conveniently has 1971 Chevell SS, Cage hops in that and takes off for the final battle against the cult.
  There is really nothing more to say about this film.  Its very by the numbers when it comes to story, but that's how it was supposed to be.  This was made to look, and feel like an exploitation film from the 70's.  Low plot, high action, nothing more, nothing less.  If your into films like this you will have one hell of a time watching it.  If 70's drive in films are not your style I recommend you avoid. Check your brain at the door, no thought required.  I have seen it several times, and enjoy it every time I see it. 
  Say what you want about Nicholas Cage and his films choices as of late, but you cannot argue he is a great actor, and can chew scenery with the best of them.  Throw in the always creepy William Fitchner, as Satan's accountant sent to bring him back, some classic cars, loud explosions, nudity, and tons of action and you have yourself one hell of a popcorn film.
  Nothing is  too deep in this film, no plot twists, no surprises just in your face action, that never takes itself seriously.  There is even a scene where Cage kills 15 guys while having sex with a girl he pics up in a bar.  The 3D in the theater was fantastic, and its obvious watching the DVD that the entire film was shot with the 3D gimmick in mind, but that does not hurt when watching in on DVD.  Overall I had a great time with the film, and if it sells well on DVD there will be a part 2, which I would go and see as well.

Overall 3 out of 5 Stars

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tactical Force

  Plot Summary A training exercise for the LAPD SWAT Team goes terribly wrong when they find themselves pitted against two rival gangs while trapped in an abandoned Hangar, armed with nothing but blanks. Starring Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Michael Jai White.

Ok first off let me say that I am a huge fan of cheesy action films, and of Steve Austin, and Michael Jai White.  Steve Austins last few titles, Damages, Hunt to Kill, and The Stranger were all very entertaining.  Michael Jai White is a very underrated martial arts actor, and Black Dynamite, a film he wrote, and starred in was one of the funniest films in the last few years.  So needless to say I was looking forward to this film sense I first read about it.
  We start off with Steve Austin and his S.W.A.T. team stopping a grocery store robbery, which ends with not only the criminals dead but the hostages injured as well.  After being berated by the worst angry captain in film history are team is suspended, and sent to a class on SWAT tactics.  After sitting through a very amusing scene of the group explaining how to tear gas a daycare and shoot the perp we meet our 2 different sets of criminals.  2 Russians, 1 man, sporting the worst accent this side of Al Pacino's Scarface, and his "Sexy" Russian hit woman (or something) who looked too much like the Octamom in a leather outfit.  There shaking down a weaselly type character who has stolen a briefcase from a local black gangster and hidden it, in an abandon hanger, or warehouse, or something like that.  Enter the black criminal and his henchman who also want the case back.  conveniently Austin, White, and the rest of the SWAT team show up to this empty building to run through drills.  Catch is there using blanks, and the criminal's of course have real ammo.  That where the fun should begin.  However it doesn't!
  The editing in this film is awful, quick cut aways, and choppy editing ruin most fight scenes, not that there good to begin with.  The acting is atrocious.  Steve Austin and Michael Jai White are both very Charismatic actors with great screen presence, but not in this film.  Every time a bad guy shoots at a car, or a door, or even in the air you see a obviously cg bullet explosion.  The plot also has too many holes even for an action film like this.  For starters why is Steve Austin allowed to lead his team through drills while they are suspended, even though is he on suspension with them.  Shouldn't they be at the police academy to be graded.  How come no one has a cell phone to call for help, and who in the blue hell thought it would be good to hire Keith Jardine too play the bad guys top muscle.  Sure its cool to see a UFC fighter take on a Pro Wrestler, but Jardine sets new standards for bad acting,  He was so horrible Uwe Boll would probably not even cast him in a film,  Plus they even through in a twist ending so ridiculous it doesn't even make sense.
  In Steve Austin's Autobiography he stated he wanted to make low budget films like Lorenzo Lamas.  Well I have to admit I have seen all of Mr. Lamas's and they are all leaps and bounds better then this one. 
My advice would be to watch this on cable with some friends and laugh at it.  I don't recommend this one for purchase. 

OVERALL 1 Star out of a possible 5