Tag Archives: Canuck

SEED

seed1.5 Stars  2007/18/86m

Director/Writer: Uwe Boll / Cast: Michael Pare, Will Sanderson, Ralf Moeller, Andrew Jackson, Thea Gill, Jodelle Micah Ferland.

Body Count: 10


At the “world premiere” of Seed, much-critiqued director Uwe Boll told the audience he wanted to make a horror film “that was no fun.” Well, he’s done something right…

Seed begins with a warning that it contains “actual scenes of torture,” but the only ‘real’ footage is that of animals a pelt house, supposedly being watched by the killer. It’s gross, to be sure, as a soppy animal lover and immediately dragged my dog closer to me in protection from it’s icky grossness. Strangely – and possibly emphatic of the criticism levelled at Boll’s questionable skills – none of it has anything to do with the rest of the film, which is set in 1979, although we don’t learn this until we see the date written down at least one third of the way through!

The loon here, Max Seed, has apparently murdered 666 people in 6 years – which means 2.13 victims per week without being caught. Yeah, Uwe, “OK”. We see the killer’s cell where he starves various unfortunates to death, starting with a dog (mine is huddled ever closer), then a baby. Through time-lapse photography, they rot into skeletons. Fairly grim. I toy with ejecting the disc and skipping this one altogether.

“Fortunately”, things brighten up just a lil bit once he is caught and strapped into The Chair. There’s some gibberish about the chair not working properly and a bullshit triple jeopardy rule that states if a convict survives three jolts of electricity, he goes free! The prison warden, doctor and detectives conspire and bury Seed alive. A happy ending? Hell-to-the-no! Seed digs himself free and does away with those responsible.

On paper, the plot sounds familiarly acceptable (echoes of Welcome to Spring Break and Destroyer) but the film is half over by the time the stalk n’ slashing begins and is structured so unconventionally that the story is neo impossible to follow. Character names are unclear, as are their roles for the most part, hell they don’t even tell us when the damn thing is set for ages! The absence of any identifiable hero or final girl doesn’t help matters either.

A scene where Seed hammers an anonymous woman’s head in, shot entirely in one take and lasting several minutes, burrows new depths of ‘torture porn’ but thankfully features a level of CGI I could create with Microsoft Paint. That doesn’t work properly. With no mouse. And no hands.

This is the first Boll film I’ve seen, likely to be the last as well. Technically, there’s some negotiable ability there but a brief scan of the articles the detective reads reveals countless spelling and grammar errors – it’s like nobody even tried. Seed, schmeed, ‘PC game’ (!?) included or not. FAIL!

October Opposition: Mike Myers vs. Michael Myers

Friends of my folks have a son called Michael Myers, so this could have been a ménage a trois of sorts… Anyhoo, never since the prospect of Chris Evans (sexy Hollywood star) versus Chris Evans (gorky UK radio dweeb who spent most of the 90s with his head wedged in the Gallagher brothers respective arses) has a big-hitter of the namesakes been so exciting. For me, anyway. Maybe you have more exciting things to be excited about, excitoface.

So, let’s start with Myers, the older, MICHAEL:

michaelmyersHere he is then, the first of the seminal slasher movie boogeymen (unless you want to count Leatherface), born in 1957 (ironically the same year major rival Jason Voorhees ‘drowned’ in Crystal Lake), stabbed big sis Judith at the age of six, locked away for fifteen years before escaping, returning to hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, to stab lil sis Laurie. Underestimates Laurie’s ability to survive said stabbing and goes into coma for a decade. Returns time and time again throughout late 80s and 90s before being wiped clean by Hollywood, losing his head, regaining his head, wiped again and reignited as a white trash shadow of his former self…

And MIKE…?

mikemyersBorn in ’63 (the year other Mike stabbed sis), but in the land of pleasantry that is Canada. Did not dress up as a clown to kill sister and was not, as far as his biog states, locked up at Smith’s Grove for a decade and a half…

Instead, Myers went to Saturday Night Live, created the character of Wayne Campbell, spun that into a movie, spun a sequel outta that, languished in a bit of a non-place for a few years before becoming ultra-starry from the Austin Powers films and as the voice of Shrek.

INCARNATIONS

Michael started out as a cute clown, quickly became a creepy clown, killer creepy clown, and was then unmasked as six-year-old killer creepy clown.

michaelclownHe then donned a bleached William Shatner Halloween mask for the look pictured above, only until Laurie managed to pull it from his face on the solitary occasion we’ve ever seen Michael unmasked (with the possible exception of Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, which I haven’t seen yet).

michaelunmaskedWhat a good looking young man he almost coulda sorta been if, y’know, he wasn’t a mute psycho obsessed with knifing his bloodline to death for reasons never really explained, unless you’re into that Thorn crap they tried to palm us off with in Halloween 6.

After that, for sequels H20 and Resurrection, Michael was given a slightly smoothed out look and then, when Rob Zombie was charged with re-starting the entire franchise, he became White Trash Michael in need of shampoo. Sad times.

remakemichael

In a slightly sunnier part of the universe, Mike Myers started out as geeky-metaller Wayne Campbell who, with best bud Garth Elgar, presented Wayne’s World, which was made into a film called, uh, Wayne’s World about the show being picked up by evil big-shot Rob Lowe and exploited. Nothing much happens but the film makes me piss myself with laughter 17 years after I saw it at the movies, largely remembered by all for the time I pulled a bendy straw out of a sipper-flask during quite a silent moment, thus resembling a kind of thunder-fart in the cinema…

wayneWayne and Garth returned for a not-as-good sequel in 1993 before vanishing for good. Rumour was that Myers and Dana Carvey could not agree over who got the best gags and fell out.

Still, for Mike there was hit-and-miss comedy So I Married an Axe Murderer, which almost sounds like a slasher flick. But isn’t. Then four years later he returned as James Bond-wannabe Austin Powers, British, dentally-challenged, 60’s trapped spy for MI5/6/7/whatever, to save the world from the arguably funnier Dr Evil…drevil

As well as playing the Blofeld-lite role of Dr Evil, Mike also played Scottish assassin Fat Bastard and Dutch big-bad Goldmember.

After three Austin Powers films (with a fourth in the pipeline), Myers voiced green ogre Shrek for the Disney franchise and attempted to kick-start a new character in 2008 with The Love Guru, but nobody seemed to care about it.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Michael: can never be dethroned as the original stalk n’ slasher, amassing (across the original set of films) a staggering 69 victims, plus another twenty or so in the remake.

Mike: The Austin Powers films were phenomenally successful, turning Myers into an A-lister, but Wayne’s World will always be my favourite of his!

LOW POINTS

Michael: Halloween III didn’t involve Michael at all. Halloween 5 was boring and the remake (and probably its sequel) may well have ruined his appeal for good.

Mike: Goldmember wasn’t very funny. Did anyone actually see The Cat in the Hat?

FUTURE PROSPECTS

Michael: A “third” (albeit eleventh really) Halloween film is planned for a 3D release in 2010. What this will add to the crumbling towerblock that once was the greatest slasher series going is unknown, besides 3D boobs. As it’s going to be written by Todd Farmer, odds are it will make next to no sense and be riddled with plotholes and contrivances. See Jason X or My Bloody Valentine 3D for evidentiary support.

Mike: if Austin Powers 4 happens, it’ll doubtlessly be huge, as will the inevitable next Shrek outing, but otherwise things are looking a bit quiet in the Myers’ yard of late… Hmmm.

VICTOR: For the first time, I’m going against my slasher loyalties and giving it to Mike Myers as Michael has been reduced to a trailer park caricature of his once great self thanks to corporate greed and lack of imagination. But it’d be nice if Mike Myers took up a cameo in the next Halloween outing…

GUTTERBALLS

gutterballs2 Stars  2008/96m

“Heads will roll bowl.”

Director/Writer: Ryan Nicholson / Cast: Alastair Gamble, Mihola Terzic, Nathan Witte, Wade Gibb, Candice Lewald, Dan Ellis, Jeremy Beland, Trevor Gemma, Nathan Dashwood, Scott Alonzo, Jimmy Blais, Danielle Munro, Stephanie Schlacter, Saraphina Bardeaux.

Body Count: 13

Dire-logue: “Those balls are shitty and used…just like your underwear.”


Sometimes a product seems to garner a word of mouth that doesn’t ring true. Such was the case of Gutterballs last year; such a great, nostalgic slasher flick yadda yadda yadda… My spider senses told me otherwise and, quite smugly, I was proven right when I watched it earlier today. Talk about nauseating…

Within a few minutes, we’re subjected to an extreme close up of a mini-skirt, no-pants-wearing girl’s undercarriage. Graphically. This is accompanied by two groups of people, a quartet of guys who hate the other pack, some girls, a pre-snip transvestite and three other guys (I wasn’t sure who they were), shouting obscenities at each other and no more. Barely a sentence of the following 95 minutes goes by without the word ‘fuck’ in it. I swear like a brickie but have an extensive enough vocab to get through most social situations without having to, something these folks are incapable of.

A fight breaks out that leads to the gang-rape of no-pants, who eventually has a skittle shoved up shown crack. Naturally, she is upset about this and when the entire cast return to the Xcalibur Lanes the next night, they’re locked in and picked off one by one by a psycho with a bag over his head, who favours using sharpened skittles and bowling balls to kill. There’s a grim member-slicing moment for the tranny and a head shoved in a ball polisher before numbers are whittled down to the last couple for the obligatory unmasking and exposition blah, by which time I was both bored and tired.

Gutterballs does try in some areas, there’s a funky sub-disco soundtrack and little reliance of modern technology to aid the victims but it’s all crushed beneath a script so horribly dismal that the actors are given absolutely no range to work with, they’re just antagonistic assholes who can’t utter a profanity-free sentence. It’s odd to see so much male nudity, albeit some prosthetic but the film is just a train wreck of juvenile cliches seemingly designed to make morons laugh at the excesses of gore and skin on parade, glued together with crap dialogue but hearing “the C word” every fifth sentence, wanton homophobia and a plot my three-year-old nephew could’ve written doesn’t do it for me. Spend your rental money on a couple of games at the bowl-o-plex.

THE CLOWN AT MIDNIGHT

clownatmidnight2 Stars  1998/18/86m

“So many victims, so little time.”

Director: Jean Pellerin / Writer: Kenneth J. Hall / Cast: Sarah Lassez, James Duval, Christopher Plummer, Margot Kidder, Tatyana Ali, Melissa Galianos, J.P. Grimard, Ryan Bittle, Liz Crawford.

Body Count: 9

Dire-logue: “Once you go down there I have a feeling we won’t be seeing you again.”


This grandiose slice of cheddar hails from Canada, not famous enough for its quite sterling record when it comes to quality slasher flicks. Sad to say that’s not the case here…

A group of off-the-shelf high schoolers are helping out their drama teacher Margot Kidder (in a role that accounts for all of ten minutes’ screen time) to restore an old opera house that’s been closed since the leading diva was moidered by her jealous lover. “Coincidentally,” one of the group happens to be the daughter of said murder victim and spends most of her time brooding about it.

What this made-for-video combo of Stagefright and Scream 2 comes down to is a cash-in blag on the success of the films it’s aping. This said, there are some fairly decent aspects at play: it’s certainly well produced with some adventurous photography creeping in here and there – along with the boom – but ultimately suffers from exaggerated ‘token’ characters who’re given dreadful lines: “Ashley carries a cellular in her bag,” “Thank God for technology.” They’re all here in full force: the bitchy girl, her jock boyfriend, sassy black girl, misunderstood rebel… Disappointingly, the kooky girl who thinks it’s all paranormal (“spirits don’t hurt people, not in anything I’ve ever read!”) and the gay kid are offed with much prejudice.

clown_at_midnight_7

Aren’t clowns normally scary?

Then there’s the killer, dressed up in full clown garb as was the killer of Opera Diva Lady in the prologue. But his presence doesn’t stop another character dressing up in exactly the same make-up to frighten Tatyana Ali’s sassy girl. Whatever happened to Tatyana, I wonder? Well here, she goes all Jada Pinkett and dies with an expression appears to cross constipation with childbirth. The fiend’s identity isn’t even worth trying to figure out, it’s so damn obvious. Given the ‘past event trauma’, there’s barely anyone to choose from as a likely suspect. Chalk this one up with the hoards of other video flicks of the late 90s.

Blurbs-of-interest: scribe Hall wrote Terror Night (a.k.a. Bloody Movie); Margot Kidder played Barb in the original, and therefore perfect, Black Christmas; James Duval was in May; Ryan Bittle was in Devil in the Flesh.

Today I love…

degrassijh

Degrassi Junior High.

The sub-Madonna hair, the over-sized glasses, the complex plotting and ‘teen issues’, like when Stephanie thanked Joey instead of Voula and their friendship was terminated, or when the girl with the Pat Benetar hair and her pal donned rubber pig noses to try and make the kid who was getting beat up by his dad laugh…

Not to forget that great theme song; “…c’mon you gotta try at Degrassi Junior Hiiiiiigh!”

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