Monday, November 1, 2010

Reviews: Lost Boys (The Thirst) and "Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl". MORE...

Lost Boys: The Thirst

The Frog Brothers are back in the latest Lost Boys film, reuniting the first films vampire hunting duo for battle against the Undead. Edgar Frog is out on the skids, no longer so gung ho about delivering massive awesome death to the undead. He struggles to make ends meet by selling off his comic collection, scrap by scrap. Just as the bank prepares to foreclose on his property, Edgar is hired by a vampire-romance author to track a vampire rave and rescue her brother from the clutches of the evil DJ X. There’s a little bit of story with DJ X using Vampire blood as a drug in order to transform a literal army to do his bidding. This is a simple follow-up story featuring a spin-off on characters from the first movie and it’s not exactly going to set the world on fire… but it’s precisely the kind of story the fans of the original will most likely want to see. Edgar takes center stage, Alan returns, and the rest of the movie has some fun with itself and with modern vampire mythos.

Corey Feldman is spot on, once again, as Edgar Frog. It’s a role he created and it’s one that the actor seems to enjoy having fun with. He’s joined by Jamison Newlander, reprising the role of Alan Frog and eagerly hitting the right notes for a return to form. A flashback reveals the reason for Alans’ absence in the previous film, a forced transformation into the very thing they hate has driven a wedge between the brothers Frog. Having survived for the past several years on animal blood, Alan keeps himself away from temptation and he’s become very bitter. Sam Emerson is also gone after the results of “The Tribe”; so Edgar recruits some new help in the form of a reality show Hunter and a clerk in the local comic book store. We get a classic “bug Hunt”-style film with the good guys hunting vampires in the sub-basement of an abandoned meat-packing factory.

There’s plenty to gripe about with the film, however. The raving vampires are extremely one-dimensional and DJ X is little more than a footnote to the rest of the film. The Vampires are fashioned after the 30 Days of Night shark-teeth monsters, there are obvious allusions to Twilights’ author in Edgars’ employer, and there were far too many “flashbacks” to the original films bonding moments between the brothers and Sam. Gratuitous scenes of sex and violence are to be expected, but seemed very out of place with the tone of the film. The pacing of the story staggered a little bit around the middle, but eventually found it’s footing in the finale and with its’ awkward tongue-in-cheek humor. There was an obvious desire to stick with a lot of the formula that worked in the first film, a good number of lines rehashed for a follow up story.

3.5 out of 5.

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl

I have spent nearly half the day attempting to recover my senses. I’m trying to shape a cohesive thought, write an honest opinion, and offer my dear faceless readers a fair and objective view so that they are capable of making an informed opinion before watching this movie. I don’t know if that will be possible. My brain is a pile of mush, having been brutally dragged through the blood geysers, flying body parts, and lunatic characters of “Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl”. The Japanese import of this film includes some of the most bizarre scenes imaginable, taking direction from previous Japanese Gore-comedy films like Tokyo Gore Police and Machine Girl in order to raise the bar a little higher.

This movie is f’ed up! Look, I tried to be professional… read the above paragraph, because it sounds like I’m still a little sane. But no, I’m sorry, that’s not the case here. This movie is twisted and bizarre and I don’t honestly know if it was good OR bad. I just know that it was, and I’ll never be able to un-see that which I have seen. Vampire Girl, a new transfer student, is in love with one of her classmates and tricks him into tasting her blood. Her interests are opposed by another school friend, whose father is secretly a twisted scientist seeking to bring life to the dead… while dressed in Kabuki make-up. Surrounding this bizarre love triangle are a series of characters including a “wrist-cutting” club, the “Dark Girls” club, Igor the janitor, and a school full of potential victims, peeping tom teachers, and a seductive school nurse. The gore is way over the top and flatly ridiculous. But if you think the strangeness ends there, you are sorely mistaken… a totally twisted soundtrack mixes show tunes, fusion jazz, and playful ditties that completely warp the mind.

This skull-fucked movie isn’t going to get any star-rating. It goes right next to “Meet the Feebles”, which means you watch it and YOU take responsibility for that decision. I won’t take the blame and I am definitely NOT going to take the credit if this sort of thing spreads any further beyond my eyes. You want it, well it’s not so hard to find anymore.

Riff Trax: House On Haunted Hill (Fathom Event)

Not so much a review in this case… I decided to take a night to myself and headed off to the theater for a Riff Trax special event. Fathom Events tends to rent out space in a number of theaters across the country for simulcast promotional bits featuring the Opera, huge concert recordings, anime films, lectures, and other things. It’s kind of a special treat for people who pay some attention to these sorts of promotions… in this case; it looks like it was me and one other couple for the Riff Trax event. The boys from MST3K have been doing this performance tours for a number of films, riffing movies and shorts from coast to coast… and I love a good movie riff as much as the next guy, though probably a little more.

They opened their show with some good riffs on Instructional Video shorts, featuring a grocery witch and a talking paper bag. The talking bag was probably the most frighteningly funny thing I’ve ever seen, and I dread the day that wood pulp takes over the rest of the world with its awesome might. This poor film never stood a chance, and I almost feel a shred of sympathy for the makers… but then I remember all the school shorts I had to sit through and those unholy monstrosities can rot for all I care! I saw my first real autopsy in a school health class… what kind of sick monster decides a graphic depiction of cutting fat encrusted arteries is good learning material for middle school? You want to tell me that???

Then they went to the main event and I finally got to see Vincent Price on the big screen for the first time in my life. Price and all his mustachioed glory with the little quirks and grins and that highly distinguished voice trilling through dialogue that can’t help but sound far more respectable than it really is when he speaks it. The film was a classic schlock-fest seen in hundreds of Horror Host variations, quite possibly over-riffed if such a thing were possible. But I wanted to take another trip to the “House on Haunted Hill” to have a quick look-see, gander through the colorized rooms and admire one slow pan after another from William Castle as he belted out a good feature-length story with only an extremely small number of gags. I love Castle films, so I would’ve seen this if the guys weren’t riffing… but as it was, I was laughing until I cried. And then I got a headache and they wouldn’t stop cracking jokes, and I was in tears, and my head was pounding, and they JUST WOULDN’T STOP!!!!

The show came to a close at well past the two hour mark and I was clutching my skull, hoping for a blessed end to the horrible torments inflicted through the gift of laughter. I chuckled and guffawed and even gave a donkey-like “HEEEE-HAW!!!” at some point in the evening, giving wonder to theater mates who muttered that I had to be crazy or inebriated, but of course I was not the latter. That always leaves the former, but you all knew that already. So let me close this brief commentary that I enjoyed the Riff Trax event and hope to see some more as time warrants. Now presently and next… Midnight and the Genetic Opera!

No comments:

Post a Comment