Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Apartment 143 (Emergo) Review


Apartment 143

 

Year: 2011

Stars:  Kai Lennox, Gia Mantegna, Rick Gonzalez, Fiona Glascott and Michael O’Keefe

Directed:  Carles Torrens

Running Time:  80mins approx.

 
 

Also known as Emergo in some countries and made in Mexico.

Ah the live footage genre something that has been steadily growing over the past few years, though it harkens way back when the brilliant Blair Witch Project pretty much introduced us to it in 1999.
Scaring so many viewers with the snot and the shaky cam, they were the days.
Apartment 143 however follows the more recent and growing in popularity paranormal found footage genre. This film though does not have the budget of those big screen films, I’ll get to that a little later though.
This movie see’s short/made for TV film maker Carles Torrens debut as a director who does a commendable job of putting Rodrigo Cort├ęs script which isn’t the best one he’s ever written into some semblance of a film. As he also wrote the brilliant and disturbing buried with Ryan Reynolds.

 

I went into this movie pretty much blind not reading up on it other than if you liked the paranormal genre you would like this. The actors are a bunch of pretty much unknowns. Rick Gonzalez from Reaper (who played Ben Gonzalez in there) was a nice surprise.
Fiona has been in some TV stuff as far as I know too.
Pretty much everyone else has had small to bit parts in movies or TV series episodes.
We are introduced to 3 parapsychologists.
They have been called to an apartment where an out of work widowed guy is experiencing supernatural phenomena.
To be honest the writing is quite nice at this point here especially between Gonzalez and Fiona.
Their scenes do seem to flow quite well and they bounce the banter ball back and forth professionally, whether this is just because they act well together or that part was both well written and directed it just seems to work there.
In the guy’s apartment (Yes 143) they set up all the usual equipment Cameras EMF meters motion sensors you know tools of trade.

 

In paranormal activity you have to wait a good portion of the films for things to build up you get started with sounds off screen doors open ajar slightly. In here you don’t have to wait more than ten minutes for the first thing to happen.
This draws me to my biggest problem in this film the team have hardly no backstory so we don’t know where they have come from or what their expertise is, we are just supposed to accept it that they know.
Now I’m pretty much convinced no real life footage or anything 100% confirming ghosts, poltergeists or any other activity has ever been found. So when this team encounter REAL stuff even for the first time and just accept it with a laugh or prod each other playfully to go check the weird shit out I was a little disappointed because I’m sure even if I was an expert I would shit a brick.
We find out he’s moved once as well, the entity has followed them apparently. The activity is mainly based around his children, a son and a daughter, quite specifically his daughter.
The daughter is your typical angst ridden teen. She has parental problems blaming her dad for anything and everything.
Another little gripe I have is you know a lot of actors say never work with kids or animals; yes you occasionally come across a Dakota Fanning or a Haley Joel Osment. This kid just comes across as retarded, quite possibly just a really bad child actor but he just has poor delivery, looks at the camera often and seems slow on his lines. Anyway the kid thinks the ghost is their dead mother.

 

With the whole no backstory, not scared about stuff team. The stereotypical single parent family you do find it a little hard to really get behind what they’re doing. Right onto the horror of it the actual scares are sub-par compared to paranormal activity. Weather this is because it’s in your face from the beginning desensitizing you, maybe it was just the horror veteran in me.
I can’t find budget info on this movie anywhere but I’m guessing it wasn’t a super amount, now even though the scares aren’t great some of the effects are pretty good.
If you’ve seen those movies you’ll know what to expect Effects wise doors opening. Weird shadows setting off sensors. A bit of possession with good make up/effects and people thrown about for good measure. These all make for a nice little bonus to this film as we all know that at least halfway decent CGI costs a pretty penny.
The ending, surprise! it ends up being the grieving widowed father’s fault (to a certain degree at least) which I won’t spoil too much for you. This is all followed by the usual lost footage predictable ending.

 

I know I have slightly panned this film in certain areas. Here’s the actual lowdown it’s not as bad as some of the found footage film drivel that’s slowly being mass produced out there.
Yes the writing is a little patchy at times thankfully the directing which is at least subpar remedies a lot of the down falls. What Torrens does with the script is commendable he makes it gel together as good as he can from what he has to work with. I would like to see how well he could handle a well written script and a good budget actually.
If you’re a fan of this genre you will probably like this film, maybe not enjoy it with gusto but it’ll be worth the watch. If not it might just be worth an hour and a half if you got nothing else lying around to watch/do.
A very decent two stars out of five

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Book Review FEED

Author: Mira Grant
Year : 2010

SUB INFO
First part in a series of books called the newsflesh series, The authors name is not really Mira Grant its a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire.
The book follows the lives of three bloggers living in a post apocalyptic world as hey follow a presidential campaign as reporters.

Review

Feed follows the aftermath of a viral zombie outbreak that happened in the year 2014, Viral is one of my favourite ways to bring about a zombie apoc.
Radiation, voodoo, chemical or some act of god are all good and well done by a lot of people but if this was really going happen? You can bet it'd be an experiment gone wrong. The way the virus is explained you can tell Mira/Seanan knows her stuff. Originally a cure to the common cold and cancer they met and formed a new super virus called Kellis Amberlee.
Referenced through out the book mostly as KA.
Explicitly detailed in the way it mutated and the way it infects Mira will keep anyone who is interested in that side reading this book alone.
This isn't a run down world is a ruin type zombie apocalypse story. We won, well kind of major cities are ours and the virus is contained. It's in us all though just dormant protecting us from the bad things it was designed too, though just waiting for the moment to spring into life and take you over.
People don't interact in real life much due to the fear of an outbreak if some one turns. The Internet blogging world is a way for these scared people to stay in and read up on whats going on around them.

So the story follows 3 such bloggers The Masons Georgia and Shaun and their Techie Georgette Meissonier. There is a holy trinity of sorts on these new news sites. They consist of 3 types of news people the newsie dedicated to telling the story as is and to the point. Irwin's (this name made me smile as a homage to good ole Steve) this reporters actively go out into the field and poke zombies and then write up on it, not just that though they also learn and tell you the best protective measures to use in emergencies.
Lastly there is the fictionals the people who write anything fiction about zombies from love stories to poems.
Georgia and Shaun are brother and sister though they lost their real mother and father at a young age and have been adopted by the masons who got them into their line of work.
Georgia is a dedicated newsie only telling the truth which she actively pursues with a religious fervour. Shaun is a Irwin which Georgia hates, they both believe that he'll die before her and she constantly scolds him for doing stupid things.
Georgette or as she likes being called Buffy (as she likes the show) is the teams fictional she is also their techno freak she can set up bugs and listening/recording devices before you know it. She is able to hack and stop hackers alike with ease.
this is the main team each of them has a sub section on their site after the end times where they have a few underlings for each of their sections also writing or sorting through things for them.

They early on in the book get told that an application to follow a new presidential trail is accepted. So the three go on what they think will be a no holds barred new story following the would be president around and reporting on his campaign.
Things take a turn for worse however when they uncover a plot to sabotage Rymans campaign that's all I'll say as i don't want to spoil anymore other than it involves terrorism and the use of live state virus.
I love the way you get blog reports in around the story chapters it makes you believe your following a trail very effectively and some of the later ones are very heart felt.
Suffice to say this story has hardly any drab or boring parts theres nearly always something to keep you interested and reading. Not that there isn't the occasional low point but these are very few and far between.
The ending of this book, now I'm a man and even i got a lump in my throat near the end an effective and good end to a book i very much enjoyed reading I've now moved onto the second book in the trilogy Deadline and will review as soon as i have read it.



A very solid 5 stars for this book and would suggest ANY zombie lover to give it a go

Friday, 24 August 2012

Kentucky Fried Zombies Movie Review


Kentucky Fried Zombies (2012)

Stars: Josh Grote, Maria Olsen and Jorge Montalvo

Written & Directed by: Patrick Horvath

Duration: 75 minutes


One thing this movie does not include in any point a fried zombie!

Also this was released in 2009 under the name Die-ner (get it?) Possibly due to the increase in popularity of zombie films it’s been noticed more and for no association with the old title to give it a new lease on life.

Now the DVD case says pulp fiction meets zombieland. Including these two brilliant films on this or even comparing them is a travesty.

That off my chest let my review start.

This movie is obviously cashing in on the now ever popular zombie genre. One that is quite a lucrative business at the moment as it seems anyone and their uncle will lap up a zombie flick. This automatically makes them a cash cow that anyone that wants to make a quick buck goes to milk. This on a rare occasion will spurt forth a reasonably good effort.  Some good little unheard of, who genuinely wants to tell us a good story.

Now this movie surprisingly starts off quite promising. The camera is focused in on Rose the waitress of an American Diner talking to a man off screen. Despite some sketchy dialogue this gets you interested in this character as she’s opening up to this man who she obviously is slightly interested in. We find out his name is Ken.

This unfortunately is the best bit of dialogue in the film.

I’m not sure if this is just the writing or the way Horvath has directed it (considering he done both). Having only one other film to draw on for this experience as a director which is Entrance all I’ll say is don’t go there with that one. The guys usually a frickin cameraman for Christ’s sake, and not even on any worthwhile films or programs. I think I could bang out something better in half hour on the toilet and I don’t mean writing.

So as I said this is a re-release and a renaming and so obviously a milking for extra money something that I hate personally.

The actors are all pretty much newbies with only a few shorts to a lot of their names and nothing major under their belts to date.

 

 

Now we learn that Ken is actually a serial killer and all the character building that’s just happened ends with him chasing her from the booth and stabbing her repeatedly.

The chef comes out and tries to run only to have the knife flung into his back. On the floor the killer now comes up gets a meat tenderizer and smashes his head in off screen (as a lot of deaths are in this) Now the DVD case also sports *AMAZING VISUALS* after killing these two he put them in the freezer where they look pretty dead.

Reasonably good looking dead make up there yes, aside from some really bad looking fake blood spots (yes spots from the stabbings and the smashing’s they received) on their clothes that’s the only thing that appears wrong.

Surely a meat tenderizer to the noggin would leave a little bit of a mark or being gutted would leave a few holes in your midriff?

I remember watching one older film children of the dead one of Tom Savinis poor additions to the zombie genre, that was done on a shoe string budget and even that had some pretty good make up effects.

Granted Savinis a make-up artist for a lot of the higher class zombie productions such as Romero’s works but still a bit more effort could have been put into a movie that’s supposed to boast amazing visuals

Kathy Rob enter at this point in the movie to some truly bad dialogue, I’ve seen better writing on toilet walls professing love for people. The dialogue doesn’t improve when they get into the diner either.

In fact the 3 way dialogue just smacks of filler content. What feels like to just flesh out the time.

Duke a cop is the next character we are introduced to who is naturally suspicious.

We are then introduced to our first zombie as the cook appears in the serving whole bumping into stuff in the kitchen.

He’s come back as a zombie, which doesn’t have any reason there’s no outbreak. That’s right I know we do have that in a lot of good zombie films its unexplained. In fact some of the best zombie films night of the living dead for instance doesn’t have any concrete reasons for the dead getting up and doing a thriller around the place.

Ken shocked goes in doesn’t realise why this has happened, Rose also comes out of the freezer, Ken quickly accepts this as the norm like you do every day of course. Oh a couple of people I killed have just come back to life as zombies!

Near this point so early on in the film it already felt like I was having teeth pulled with no numbing from the Dentists. In fact I think I’d prefer that.

 

Duke comes in as he’s obviously suspicious (and being a local and a cop actually has good reason to be) as Ken is trying to re-kill Rose the cook grabs Duke from behind and bites him.

 

Duke then spends the best part of the rest of the film slowly dying behind the counter.

 

The couple go and look after a little fracas after which they duct-tape the cook to the ground for no apparent reason. The zombies appear to be the invincible kind as we have met in a few other titles mainly the first three Return of the Living Dead films where not even head shots kill the zombies. As their half attempts to kill them by hammering nails into their head doesn’t work. Not even a better attempt at beheading one later.

Near the end of the film Ken runs out the back door.

In a scene I can truly give thumbs up to, homages Day of the Dead and the best effects sequence in which Ken is pulled into two parts very bad guts effects and all.

All in all this film is just plain bad and not worth the 75 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

Give it a go if you a really hard-core zombie or trashy films fan but even then I’d say give it a miss

 

 yup 1 star and thats
 Just for the opening dialogue and the one line it’s my duct tape and rope bag.
Q: Why do you have a duct tape and rope bag?
A: To keep my duct tape and rope in of course.