Sunday 31 October 2010
October Horror 2010 - Installment #12
What's the Rush? Stay for some horror...
Zombie (1979 - Lucio Fulci) - So this is the pinnacle of Fulci's output, eh? Oh there's plenty to remember here - the eyeball pierced with the sharp piece of wood is indeed as wince inducing as you might expect (even with the obvious dummy stand-in), zombie vs. shark was extremely enjoyable and his raft of slow moving mummified zombies was impressively creepy - but overall it's flat and, most unforgiveable of all, kinda dull. It shouldn't be, but aside from some vague voodoo references in regards to the zombies, there's little story to care about and very little exciting going on. Sure there's a few group zombie scenes and those just risen corpses look pretty cool, but Fulci just doesn't seem to be able to carry any energy through any section of the movie. It just wilts after anything reasonably entertaining or shocking happens. It's likely not as bad as all that, but I was hoping some of Fulci's "genius" would show through here.
Suck (2009 - Rob Stefaniuk) - Yes, that's Alex Lifeson (guitarist from Rush) in my ever-so-clever opening photo and pithy comment. Though the screencap is mostly there due to my fanboy-esque love of the band Rush, it serves to illustrate how the film packs in the cameos from rock stars (Lifeson, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Moby, Carole Pope, etc.) as well as incorporating other references into its tale of a struggling club band who start finding success as the band members become vampires. There's lots of saturated colours and vivid images to go along with the goofy performances and occasional clever analogies to real band-on-the-road issues, but it really hangs by a thread sometimes. The band's French Canadian roadie provides most of the laughs while other moments seem greatly forced and simply not that funny. There's a tendency to use a far greater number of techniques and effects than is really necessary (the stop-motion car as they travel between cities, the sped up motion when a vampire is feeling sick, the music videos of the band's songs, etc.) and it dilutes the potential of what you could do with musicians clawing for success and then having it dangled in front of them - with a small price to pay. I eventually found a good rhythm with the movie, but early on I thought it was going to be a painful 90 minutes.
Bride Of Chucky (1998 - Ronny Yu) - After finally getting "Child's Play 3" under my belt at the start of my October marathon, I figured it would be fitting to end it with the two follow-on Chucky films. The third installment was bordering on straight to VHS video quality, but its two sequels dwarf it. The tone of this film works perfectly with everyone on board with the concept of two talking dolls forcing a young teenage couple to drive them to a graveyard to retrieve an amulet that will allow the souls in the dolls to return to flesh and blood hosts. Jennifer Tilly is just wonderful as Chucky's old girlfriend (when he was just a simple multiple murderer) and equally good as the voice of Tiffany the doll (it doesn't really matter much how her soul gets transported into the female doll, just that it is). A few gory kills and finally some consistent banter for Chucky. The movie stands tall on the shoulders of its trio of Child's Play films - it's really on another level (and it's the best looking by far of the bunch). Tremendous fun. And talk about setting up your sequel...
Seed Of Chucky (2004 - Don Mancini) - Possibly the most entertaining movie I've seen all month. Fun, smart, self-referential, a spiraling piece of deconstruction, gory, silly, satirical, surprising and sharp. And fun. Jennifer Tilly is even better here than in Bride - though she once again takes on the voice work of Tiffany the doll, she also plays herself - currently making a movie called "Chucky Goes Psycho" co-starring Chucky and Tiffany. When the dolls' confused child shows up from England (just go with it), he manages to accidentally re-animate the dolls and mayhem of the bloody kind results (this is likely the messiest of the series). There's some debate as to whether the little Brit is actually a boy or a girl (checking anatomically with dolls can sometimes still leave you undecided apparently), so Chucky calls him Glen and Tiffany calls her Glenda. Needless to say, the child doll has some issues and they're slowly getting worse. On top of that, Tiffany is trying a 12-step program to help her stop killing, but Chucky just can't kick the habit. Meanwhile Jennifer is concerned about her stature in Hollywood and wants better roles than stupid doll movies while also struggling to keep to her diet ("she's so fat" Tiffany says at one point). Tilly is fantastic here - not only gorgeous and sexy, but having a blast playing at the plight of female actresses in Hollywood. I was certainly biased going in that I would like it, but didn't think it would be this terrific.
OK, now what do I do in November?