Sunday, 19 June 2016

Maximum Overdrive 1986

Stars: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle             

Directed By: Stephen King!

Budget: 9 million

By far one of my favorite King, book to movie adaps. Well
his horror books at the least. This for some reason does not get good rap from many reviewers. I mean i can see why but if anything like Kings attitude back then its very tongue in cheek.
I mean have any of you seen his acting turn in creepshow?
I loved it and i really think he tried to capture that essence in this film with his directorial debut.

People and critics also dis Emilio's acting in here. Again i quite like it, each to their own though. So the film was quite a costly one back then for 9mill. Unfortunately it only made 7.4 of that back in the box office.
I think like a lot of films of this era this now has a decent cult following behind it.

So whats the film about? Well everything electrical from digital watches to giant trucks go haywire. They get a killer instinct like no other installed in them. This is due to the earth passing through the tail end of some comet, the usual suspect in a lot of 80's films for zombie, haywire electronics, or just doomsday scenarios. Aside from other people we see in montages being killed in an assortment of ways by random equipment the main story of the film takes place in a truck gas station.

Estevez's character is an ex con named William 'bill' Robinson is the first to think something isn't quite right. Especially when an electric knife attacks one of the waitress's. Before long the trucks of the drivers start to get aggressive seemingly led by one sporting a giant green goblin mask.
Anyone daring to escape, make a break or just stupidly venture out gets mercilessly mown down by these angry multi wheeler's.
I do love the way after any carnage the trucks just neatly park themselves back up all nice and quiet like. it's very amusing.

Bill manages to keep moral up and to give courage to the others. Using, strangely a load of weapons that they find stored under the diner they start to fight back against the rampaging trucks. Unfortunately they have been joined by an army truck with a massive machine gun on the back of it. This is one of the machines that causes a lot of fatalities.
Low of fuel the trucks promise not to kill anymore humans (by using Morse code with their horns) if they come and refuel them with diesel. While refueling them Robinson destroys the machine gun truck with a grenade.
The rest of the survivors decide to try and make it to an island where no electronics are permitted. The green truck which is by far the most aggressive of the lot gives chase as they all try to make it to the docks. One more person is killed before Bill destroys the truck with a direct missile launcher hit.

They all then take off on a row boat to safety, You know i don't spoil endings here and you may think i've said to much already but in typical 80's fashion there's more to the ending in a twist if you keep watching and it's a proper 80's doozy too.

So is this a good film?, is the acting subpar?
Yes and Yes This shouldn't let you decide not to at least watch this campy mess once in your lifetime though, so for that i'm giving this a strong first watch of a three out of five it may become a 2 after repeated watching's in many people books though.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Once Bitten (Comedy Horror) 1985

Stars: Jim Carey, Karen Kopins,    
Lauren Hutton

Budget:
$3,200,000

Director:
Howard Storm














Okay so i watched this last night didn't even know this existed. Apparently Jim's first starring role (I new earth girls easy was one his 'first' movies but that wasn't starring) and despite some amazingly Carrey moments this is painfully obvious.
Most of the time this this goes for spoof and slapstick but it could just be it's age as most of this falls flat on it's face. This really didn't feel like age though and just felt like either poor writing or late comedy timing. Who is to blame? The director, the writers or the actors?
Maybe even the cutting.
So thats my thoughts on the movie as a whole, lets take a look at the films plot etc now.

So we meet a female vampire who is around 400 years old every now and then she needs to feed on the blood of a virgin to keep her youthful looks. Her main servant/butler is a camp, homosexual man. Of course he he the stereotypical tongue in cheek type of gay person always done in these early films, over the top speech and flamboyance.
She has other lackey's who are people she's turned into vampires over the past years. Now this being the 80's it's supposedly really hard to get hold of a virgin. Especially since she's quite picky and seemingly has some morals for being a vampire.
We meet Jim trying to get it on with his girlfriend, who really wants to but feels she wants to wait for the right moment ( like most girls of that age/time). So while seemingly everyone else in the parking lot he's in are getting lucky Jim goes without.

He has two friends who suggest they go out on the town in Hollywood and try to pick up some easier girls. The lackey's spot Jim's character and they report back. Though how they surmise he's a virgin or report back so fast is lost on me.
So she woes him back to her place and feeds on him once (oh she also has to do it three times at set instances) then sends him on his merry way. He obviously starts taking on some vampiric traits due this and people start noticing and worrying. Especially his girlfriend who despite them breaking up for like a day takes his sleeping with another woman (though we find out she didn't sleep with him, he needs to be a virgin duhhh!!) very well.
So she feeds once more, but it's established his girlfriend has quite a hold over his heart and this may prove to be a problem. I can't even bothered to speak on this film any more as it's so abysmal in it's writing and seemingly glaring holes that are covered over from scene to scene.
Like i said one of the films saving graces is Carrey and you can see why he went on to do much bigger and better things from this. His trademark slapstick and rubber facing are prevalent throughout this and did actually get a laugh or two out of me.

Both his girlfriend and the vampire are delicious eye candy for the fellas too, especially in the high school dance off. Which again would have excruciatingly bad if wasn't for all the factors I mentioned.

Despite this i think just to see Carrey in an early role wight be a reasonably good reason to give this film just one watch, even if it is just to see old stereotypes in very over the top performances (even the indian book shop owner later on) So rating for this film?

THN gives a poor 2 out of 5 to this dated, poorly timed stereotypical comedy.