Continuing from last year, this project is an attempt to help me get dvds that for one reason or another I’ve never seen off of my shelf and give them a watch. To wrap things up, I watched The Legend of Sorrow Creek, Below, I Am Omega, Decadent Evil, and Evil Bong. Happy Halloween.
IMDb: The Legend of Sorrow Creek (31 January 2010)
Kayla and Jesse loved spending their childhood summers at their grandfather’s secluded cottage in the pristine mountains of rural New England. Now, fifteen years since their last visit, the sisters return along with Kayla’s boyfriend Dean and his best-friend Tobe for a much-needed break from their busy lives in New York. But when a simple fishing accident leads the foursome to follow an unexplored shortcut through the woods, the lives of this small group of friends are shattered forever as they suddenly find themselves facing the shocking and terrible curse of one of America’s most haunted places.
Ugh, that was a rough start in two ways. It was a bad start to this five movie run that I’m on and a rough start to this movie itself. The opening sequence is the worst part of the movie by far. The shot fades in and out to a black screen over and over when they are setting up the background for the legend. It’s an irritating attempt at style that simply doesn’t work. Once the movie reaches present day it becomes standard no budget fare. There is decent camera work and some of the shots are well composed in an amateur way. For example, there’s a shot where the main couple are in the foreground to the right and the negative space draws your eye to the door in the background. It looks interesting enough, but nothing happens back there so it was pointless. The end feels inspired by The Blair Witch even though it’s shot traditionally and not found footage. Let’s keep moving.
IMDb: Below (18 October 2002)
Strange happenings occur on a WW II submarine.
I was very impressed by this. It’s directed by David Twohy, the lunatic behind the Riddick series, and written by him, Darren Aronofsky, and one other person. According to IMDb trivia, Aronofsky was supposed to direct this. I’m fine with him not doing it as I’m generally not interested in his work. This on the other hand is something I would like to hear more people talking about. Bruce Greenwood who’s been getting some attention lately based on Gerald’s Game is in this as the commanding officer along with several character actors that pop up in the Riddick movies. This also has Zach Galifanakis which I didn’t realized until after I already called the character that as a joke. Anyway, I’ve seen the cover of the movie before but nothing about it grabbed my attention. It looks generic and the title doesn’t exact hook you. I can see why it would be overlooked, but it totally shouldn’t be.
IMDb: I Am Omega (Video 18 November 2007)
In post apocalyptic LA being rampaged by zombie like cannibals humans that have some kind of genetic infection local man renchard is forced to live a daily struggle as he tries to locate radio signals and find a cure.
This is the first Asylum film I’ve done this month. I almost made it, but they caught me on the last day. This is the mockbuster version of I Am Legend (along with Omega Man and The Last Man on Earth going back to the source material). Mark Dacascos is our main character. What I know him from is The Island of Dr Muroe where he’s one of the dog boys and D.O.A. which is like a mash up of Jurassic Park and Predator. He’s kind of a Dollar Store version of Brandon Lee but still alive. He plays a guy named Renchard. I think he mispronounced it on the first take, so they just changed the name in the script. It doesn’t stray too far from the other versions. He does fight off zombies using his sweet nunchuck skills. That’s a strong positive in favor of this movie. It makes me think you could do a fun, cheesy take on the I Am Legend storyline, but this didn’t work for me.
IMDb: Decadent Evil (Video 25 June 2005)
A fallen foot tall Homunculus called Marvin (a part human/part reptile creature) is imprisoned in a birdcage by a vengeful lover who is bidding to become the world’s most powerful vampire.
I’m ending up on a Charles Band double. Like many Full Moon/Empire productions, this has got a little creature in it. It feels like a bait and switch for the majority of the movie. If you get lured in by the tiny red bastard on the cover, you have a high probability of being disappointed. He doesn’t do much aside from looking around, holding onto his cage, and high-pitched grunting. Outside of that, there are two brief scenes where Marvin does sexual stuff if that’s what you’re looking for. The one actor you might recognize is Phil Fondacaro. He was Kramer’s little person friend on Seinfeld. Here he plays Ivan, a vampire hunter on a revenge mission. He’s in multiple other Full Moon movies, sometimes as this character, other times not. Charles Band doesn’t get enough credit in regards to having a shared universe. Everything he makes, if not stated specifically, feels like it could be in the same world. He’s been doing it for decades to various results. Consistent quality isn’t exactly guaranteed. Back to this movie though. There is a lot of nudity for a movie that’s only just over an hour. It’s padded out by reusing shots. I noticed after a stripper took off her underwear about four times in a row. The movie is padded in more traditional ways too. There are clips of Vampire Journals. According to IMDb, this is a remake of it but that doesn’t add up. What remake uses clips of the original in it? Not only that, the end has a full trailer for the sequel. They must have been shot at the same time. I think I got all I need of this particular storyline from the trailer, but I’m looking forward to seeing the Ivan character again soon.
IMDb: Evil Bong (31 October 2006)
Straight-laced nerd Alistair moves into a college dorm with hardcore marijuana users Brett, Larnell, and Bachman. Larnell orders an old giant bong that proves to have strange magical powers. When smoked said bong sends a person to a bizarre drugged-out alternate realm from which there is no easy escape.
This may be the keystone to the Full Moon extended universe. This is loaded with cameos. Fondacaro is back. Motion Picture Meltdown favorite Tim Thomerson shows up as well as the usual tiny creatures that populate these movies. My personal theory that the Full Moon universe is inside the Bong world. Having said that, it’s kind of a bummer that isn’t an actual horror movie. E.B. is technically a monster, but this is 100% a comedy. The brand of comedy in this film isn’t really for me. I liked Tommy Chong in the Cheech and Chong movies. I think those had more work put into them though. I don’t know. This is ok.
The remaining three out of this eight movie pack are Prom Night, Meridian, and Demonic Toys. Prom Night of course has Jamie Lee Curtis and is one of the films from her early scream queen days. Of those, I would rank it near the bottom due to how standard it all feels, but it’s still ahead of dozens of slashers based on quality. I remember nothing about Meridian except Sherilyn Fenn. She’s enough reason to watch it at least once. Finally Demonic Toys which is the previously mentioned killer small things genre Full Moon is known for. The package is called The Midnight Horror and I would recommend picking this up if you find it cheap. It’s worth it for Below alone in my opinion. I would consider Below, Dead Meat, and Carnivore my stand outs from everything I’ve watched this month.
This is the end. Thanks to anyone that bothered to read any of this. I’ll either do this again next year or come up with another project. Until then, I hope you subscribe to Motion Picture Meltdown on whatever podcast service you use. To make a quick connection, I would recommend our two Trancers episodes, Trancers 1 and 2 and Trancers 3 and 4.