The first movie we are going to grade is Dario Argento’s, “Jenifer.” Police officer Frank Spivey saves a disfigured young woman named Jenifer from being slaughtered by a crazy old man. He takes her into his home because she has nowhere else to go, but starts to become obsessed with her. Soon, it becomes clear that there are problems with Jenifer that turn Frank's life upside-down. He realizes that there is only one thing that will keep Jenifer from hurting anyone else and let him return to a normal life.
I think that after watching this film, Argento should have named it, “Monster Porn,” instead of “Jenifer.” There was more sex in that film than I was expecting, which made the story weak, if not straight out dumb. Every time the plot started to pick up, here came another unnecessary sex scene. The best way to describe it is like watching a bad train wreck, even though it is horrible and hard to watch you can’t stop looking. It was just that bad! For “Monster Porn” A.K.A. “Jenifer” I give it one-half of an oversexed Howl of Pleasure.
And the last film to review this month comes from Starz Media (same people that bring you Starz cable T.V.), directed by Mike Hurst and staring Reed Diamond (Homicide), Shawn Pyfrom (Desperate Housewives), Lucy Lawless (Xena, Battlestar Galactica) in “Darkroom.”
He was found 15 years ago wandering a road near the woods, covered in dirt and blood with no name or memory. But when this now-grown mental patient (Diamond) is given an experimental new drug, he suddenly begins to have horrific visions of a beast that slaughters a beautiful young woman. Escaping from the institution, he is befriended by a teenage outcast (Pyfrom) who needs the stranger’s help to unlock a few frantic secrets of his own. Together, the two will discover the violence of their past and the evil in their future.
Although produced by Starz Media, I could tell that the film was independently made. But nonetheless, it was a good movie. It pulled me into it as I tried to connect the storylines together; the twist at the end took me by complete surprise! So, for the independent film “The Darkroom” I give two and a half howls of pleasure!
Well, that's it from me this month. Remember, don't take my word on these movies, go out there and judge for yourself!
Until next time, I remain...
Movie Goer Grim
Hey guys, it's Reaper Rick back at ya with some new reviews. Don't
have too many to go over this time, but they are all special, so here we go.
First off we have "The Illusionist," starring Edward Norton, Jessica
Biel, Paul Giamatti and Rufus Sewell ('Dark City' and 'A Knight's
Tale'). The story takes place in turn of the century (the 20th century) Vienna
and starts out with a young man (Eisenheim/Norton) who falls in love
with a woman (Sophie/Biel). She is far above his social standing and yet
they vow eternal love to each other. When her family learns of their
relationship, the woman is forbidden to see this young upstart, ever
again. Brokenhearted, the young man disappears for years and while no
one knows where he has been, when he returns to Vienna some time later
it is apparent that he has been studying under some of the world's most
amazingly gifted magicians.
Eisenheim's skill at prestidigitation wows the city and the theatre is
packed every night to watch his shows. His prowess even attracts the
attention of Crown Prince Leopold (Sewell), who demands a private
audience with the magician. While in the palace Eisenheim sees a grown
up Sophie, but does not think she recognizes him as her one time lover.
He also discovers that Sophie is now engaged to the self centered and
brutal Prince Leopold. During his performance for the prince,
Eisenheim embarrasses Leopold, who then decides to destroy the magician.
Enter Inspector Uhl (Giamatti), who enjoys doing minor magic tricks for
his friends and family and is obviously excited to meet (and investigate)Eisenheim for the prince. While Uhl has a duty to obey the prince (who has offered the Inspector the position of Police Captain as soon as the
king dies and Leopold assumes the throne), he becomes friends with
Eisenheim and does not wish to see the magician harmed, either
physically or professionally.
To make a long story short (all right, Too Late), Eisenheim and Sophie
take up their relationship where it left off when they were youngsters
and Leopold finds out about it. The prince kills Sophie in a jealous
rage, but since he is royalty the crime is hushed up. Only Eisenheim
knows what really happened and he brings Sophie's spirit back--on
stage--so she can accuse Leopold of killing her in front of an audience
and the crowd goes wild.
That is not the end of the story by any means, but you will have to see
it yourself to find out what else happens. "The Illusionist" is full
of surprises and tricks and the catchphrase for the movie is, 'Remember,
nothing is what it seems.' The ending will absolutely shock and
surprise you and leave you wondering how they got away with what happened. It
is a great 'period' flick and the stage tricks are wonderful, as is the
acting of Norton and Sewell. This film leaves you wondering over and
over again, 'How did they Do that?'
I have to give "The Illusionist" Four magical Howls of Pleasure . If
you haven't yet seen it, rush right out and rent the DVD.
I was waiting to see "Children of Men" because the previews looked
pretty hairy and cool. Clive Owen stars in this futuristic drama with
Julianne Moore and Michael Caine. The year is 2027 and for some reason (which
is never really explained) no children have been born for 18 years.
Civilization is rapidly collapsing all over the world (again, without
much of an explanation as to why) and riots are breaking out
everywhere.(Although I don't know why--people are just like that, I guess).
All of a sudden, a woman becomes pregnant. No one knows why and no one
attempts to explain this miracle. However, the pregnancy is kept
secret because a number of different groups would (we assume) try to kidnap
the kid and use it to advance their own (unknown) political agendas. Clive
Owen is chosen to transport the pregnant woman and her unborn baby out
of the country (England) to a group who will (supposedly) protect the
child and not allow it to be used for political purposes. And just about the
entire country is trying to stop them.
Anyway, I was quite disappointed with this flick. The scenic design
and backgrounds were well done--it looked as if everything was definitely
going to Hell, all right--and the acting was good, but the story line
had so many holes in it I was never able to really 'catch up' and know
exactly what was going on and why. The movie is worth watching for
action sequences and suspense, but I have to give "Children of Men" a
mere Two Howls of Pleasure for seriously lacking in the plot
Okay. In the last issue of "The World of Myth" a young film maker,
musician, slash writer was interviewed. Creep Creepersin talked
about--among other things--his new movie, "Creep Creepersin's
Frankenstein." After his interview Grim and I were allowed a sneak
peek at that upcoming release and I would like to be the first to review
Creep's latest opus.
This version of Frankenstein is not the 'monster' movie you have
previously seen. James Porter stars as Victor, a schizophrenic young
man who lives in an attic room and due to his complete and utter
disassociation from people has little or no contact with the outside
world. His personal world consists mainly of what he sees in old
horror movies which he watches all day with his companion, Frankenstein, a
small brown rat. Porter does an amazing job of playing a demented, lonely
character who slowly loses what little he has left of his mind as he
seeks some sort of 'human' companionship.
Creepersin uses an array of audio and visual devices to show the
audience how Victor sees and hears the world around him, frequently showing
clips of black and white horror movies to reveal Victor's thoughts and
When Victor decides it is time for him to 'make' himself a female
companion, he uses the Frankenstein movies and an annotated edition of
Mary Shelley's novel to guide his plans. Unfortunately, after he
obtains a body, he realizes he does not have the knowledge or training to turn
the dead woman into a living companion. Or does he?
As Victor gets closer and closer to insanity, he begins to blame all of
his current problems on Frankenstein (the rat, not the monster) and
his landlady discovers his secret, Victor tries to make amends, in his
own demented way.
This movie takes the viewer on a bizarre journey into a broken and
mind (I mean Victor's mind, not Creepersin's--although...). It is not
for the squeamish or those who can not follow a twisted plot line.
is a moving flick you dare not turn away from, else you may miss
something freakishly important. The soundtrack is also deeply moving
provided by Creepersin and Mrs. Creep, who also has a cameo role in the
Many may not be able to grasp the gut wrenching inner battle that is
going on within Victor or how everything in the movie intertwines, but
is a movie that should definitely be experienced. I give "Creep
Creepersin's Frankenstein" Four and a Half Horrifying Howls of
It's not out yet, but should be released within the next few months. I
will keep you updated.
All right--finally I want to talk about a Documentary Movie. Notice I
said 'talk' about, not review. "An Inconvenient Truth," the
presented by Al Gore is a movie that MUST be seen by everyone! This
describes, in layman's terms, the facts about Global Warming; what has
happened to our planet due to this disaster thus far and what WILL
in the near future if something is not done to stop it, immediately.
And before anyone shakes their head and smiles, know that Global
is a FACT which every competent scientist in the world agrees upon. In
point of fact, the only people who will Not admit that Global Warming
and has been taking place are those politicians who have ties to oil
companies, the oil companies themselves and oil producing countries.
"An Inconvenient Truth" won two Oscars and garnered 16 other awards, as
well as many more award nominations. If you have children, if you ever
plan to have children, if you plan to live another 30-40 years, you
see this film and then act upon what you see, before it is too late for
you and our descendants. If you think I am being an alarmist or just
being foolish, rent this movie and see for yourself. It is also now
playing on Showtime and possibly HBO, so if you have either of those
channels, check your local listings. Otherwise, the next time you go
the video store, pick up a copy and watch it. Just Do it and if after
watching it you still think I'm full of...myself, drop me a line and
me know. Thank you.
And that's it from me. I'm tired. Talk at ya next time.