Welcome to another Weekly Time Waster! My name is Scott or Canadian Scott if you prefer and my area of nerd love comes from watching movies. I love them all; sometimes the worse a movie is, the more I love it. This weekly column is going to be bringing you some of the new release movies from the week relevant to us in the nerd world. I won’t be giving you spoilers but instead you’ll get to see some trailers and my thoughts on the movie. Enjoy and feel free to let me know of any others you think I missed.
Given the closeness to Halloween you would think that studios would be hammering you with themed movies but honestly this was a pretty light week in the genre department. But I did find some good ones for you to take a look at, first we have an anthology series based on the five senses but a trailer that isn’t interested in showing that to you, a found footage story involving a hybrid of Saw/Hostel but with strippers instead of naïve European tourists, a period piece described as a murder-mystery, vampire thriller with too much going on and we end off with an unnecessary sequel to a movie that was made almost 60 years ago and could make you believe that the original is better.
Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear
I’m not really sure why they called this a trailer because it looks like the opening minute and a half of one of the stories in the anthology. So this anthology basically covers the five senses: taste, smell, touch, sight and sound. Looking over the stories it looks like we run the gambit of things we have seen before in both full length features and other anthology stories before. What makes this unique I guess is the use of the senses as the focal point. And judging by this preview, look for bad writing, bad acting and shady effects. What is cool is the box art which is a man’s face with his ears, mouth, nose; an ear sewed shut but also makes this the biggest bait and switch in cinema history.
Penance (Trailer NSFW)
I watched the first Hostel and Saw and didn’t really understand the whole “torture porn” thing. I mean if I want to watch some guy get his face peeled off or graphic surgery, I’d watch surgery footage. But then this past year saw the world rediscover this genre thanks to a little Twilight Fan Fic called 50 Shades of Grey. Now the torture porn film seems to be back a little from the fringes. In this movie, a stripper is hired to make a huge payout to help get her and her son’s life back on track but when she arrives to the converted hospital, we see that she is immersed in a world where pain (and apparently slicing up your junk) leads you to salvation. Of course this whole thing must be in found footage because you know that is another thing that is in. And look for scenes of unspeakable gore that is played up for shocks to try to disrupt the senses. But I will say, having Michael Rooker (aka Merle from The Walking Dead) and Tony Todd (aka Candyman) means that for those brief moments expect some scenery chewing.
Described as a period piece, vampire thriller which I’m pretty sure describes any retelling of Dracula so nothing new here. What I did find interesting is we have a female lead who is a psychiatrist but because this is the 1800s, no one wants to be told why they’re crazy by a female! So she dresses like a male in probably the worst wig in cinema history where she meets a patient who believes he is Dracula or is he just crazy? Given the fact this is supposed to be Paris in 1885, there is a lot of people with British accents in this movie. I think the writers mixed up to many interesting plot lines and muddle this movie. A female trying to earn respect as a psychiatrist in the 1880s would be a great movie on its own. A guy who thinks he is Dracula and killing people in 1880s France, also another great movie. But blending the two together, not a very good movie.
Return of the Killer Shrews
Are you sitting there reading this and wondering when the Killer Shrews movie was released? If you guessed 1959 then you know your b movies, or you just finished watching the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode. If you’re wondering why someone would want to make a sequel almost 60 years after the original was done well understand that this movie is public domain…so might as well make a sequel to something you don’t have to pay the rights. Okay well as I watch the trailer, first of all we get one of the lead actors who I believe has never seen a camera before because why else would someone talk so wooden? Then we get a great moment where they look at a shrew track but our scientist character was nice enough to tell us “well that ain’t human!” I hate to say that we are not getting Oscar caliber writing here. One of the glories of the first Killer Shrew movie is that they literally dressed up dogs in a costume and made them run around but now we get the lowest quality CGI that we wish there was a dog in a costume. This movie also contains a lot of direct to video actors so you know what quality you’re getting. We also get what appears to be recreations of the original set and they even brought forth one of the original actors/heroes from the first movie. The only thing I can’t figure out was if this was done as tongue in cheek or if they tried to make a serious movie but like the glory that is Sharknado, it probably started out serious but fell into camp quickly and they decided to ride the wave.
That’s all for this week folks! Take the time to look up some of the selections this week and be sure to let me know what you thought. Don’t forget to hit the comments and let me know if I missed something or if there is a movie out there you think I should check out. Make sure you check out some of my friends on Nerditis and my new column The Northern Dead and old favourite Tales from the Northside. I’ll see you next week! Reminder that this October 24-31 is Nerditis Halloween Week which will feature some great themed columns and articles including new movie reviews from your truly!