fredag 31 maj 2013

My Amityville Horror

Ever since i started this movie review blog, i have never written any movie review of a documentary. Why is that ? Well, i have no good answer, even if i have seen some great ones, i never really thought about writing a review on one so far. But since documentaries have become box office success worldwide, it is hard to avoid the impact a documentary can give the audience. We all read about Searching For Sugar Man, that became one of the biggest documentary successes of all time. Personally i really loved Never Sleep Again - The Elm Street Legacy, this is without a doubt the best documentary ever made so far, 4 hours long with a perfect example of interesting information of cult film making. For those of you who have heard the true story of George Lutz and the so called The Amityville Horror story, you may think this is another movie adaption of what happened to the Lutz family. Actually this is documentary where George´s stepson Daniel Lutz, where he tells his story, of what happened in the so called posessed house. Is it possible My Amityville Horror will tell us the real truth on this case, or was this all a hoax ?

December 1975. George Lutz, his wife Kathy Lutz, and her three kids move into 112 Ocean Avenue, in Amityville, on the south shore of Long Island, New York. They are informed that 13 months ago, former owner Ronald DeFeo, Jr killed 6 family members in the house. George still belive this is the perfect house for the family. Until strange things begin to happen, as objects move and family members experience strange events in the house. Every day that pass by, things become worse. Until one day George decide to escape from the house, with the family. 35 years later, Daniel Lutz decide to tell the story his way, what he experienced in the haunted house. Was this story a hoax to make money, or did the Lutz family experience hell ?

The most interesting part of My Amityville Horror, is to hear Daniel Lutz tell his side of the story. You can see the pain he has carried inside for all these years, a normal kid does not grow up like he did. And then we hear audio interview from George Lutz himself, telling us what happened in the house. It´s hard to belive that this is all true, as the family claims. I understand many people out there belive in haunted houses, but somewhere along the way, i feel that this might have been mental issues, instead of haunted experiences. When you hear George Lutz tell you he was thrown away by a spirit, alot of questions comes to my mind. Even if i feel some details are told in a very easy way, My Amityville Horror gives some interesting information, in a case that became popular worldwide. I wish director Eric Walter would have given us much more deeper details, especially about the many strange happenings in the house. Now we only get some detailed information from the audio with George Lutz, and of course with Daniel Lutz. But things get even more interesting when former Channel 5 reporter Marvin Scott, tell the story when he stayed in the house for 6 hours. Nothing happened at first, and still he brought with him a professional paranormal expert. Not until they went upstairs, the paranormal expert felt a presence . Is this all a hoax ? I think you should decide for yourself. As a documentary, My Amityville Horror delivers a interesting story, that should please people who love ghost stories. No matter what you belive, i have a feeling you will ask yourself many questions after hearing these witnesses.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 22 maj 2013

American Mary

Yes, a new American Pie movie.....or wait....maybe the title just sounded like some college movie. Since college are released in so many different titles, it would be easy to think that this is another one. But the fact is that American Mary is a completely different story. From the Canadian twin sisters Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska, who debuted with Dead Hooker In A Trunk, comes a new motion piture, with a surgery theme on our hands. Actor Katherine Isabelle, who i remember mostly from Insomnia with Al Pacino, seems to try a completely different character than we would have thought. Does America Mary bring anything fresh to the horror genre, or is this just another try to make disturbing images to make profit ?

Mary Mason ( Katheryn Isabelle ) is a medical student, studying to become a surgeon. Since she is having problems with paying bills, she decide to begin work at a strip club. She meets the club owner Billy Barker ( Antonio Cupo ) who agree to give her a job. But first he offers her 5000 dollars, if she can save a man they have tortured with her surgeon skills. She finish the job, and gets paid. Mary is disgusted as she returns home. A few days later, a stripper at the club named Beatress Johnson ( Tristan Risk ), approach Mary, asking her if she can help her friend Ruby Realgirl ( Paula Lindberg ). Beatress will pay her a big amount of money, if she remove her nipples and labia. Mary doubts this at first, but considering she needs money, she agrees. The word of surgeon Mary hit the streets, as she begin to take more customers. But one night, at a party with some surgeons from Medical School, Mary is drugged and raped by her teacher Dr Grant ( David Lovgren ). Mary wakes up, when she realise what happened to her. Now things will never be the same again, and Mary start a new way of Life where surgery gives her the Power to Control anyone who wants to hurt her.

If you thought this would be like Hostel, or The Human Centepide, you will be dissapointed. On the other hand, if you love intelligent film making, American Mary delivers a disturbing fascinating image of a dark world, where torture goes deep within sexual minds. Katheryn Isabelle gives us her best performance in a motion picture so far, she really found a great balance in character between insanity and emotions. One detail i love is that we don´t get to see all the brutal murders in full details, because you ase supposed to imagine how mentally sick a surgeon can become after a devastating trauma. The scenes where Mary cut in bodies, to make them even more perfect, makes me think of how todays society is. So many women want a perfect body, but is it worth it? The Soska Sisters delivers a horror movie, with so many ideas put together in such a stylish way, i have to say i love this. The acting is really good but most of all, i love the sexual disturbing images, because they feel so honest. It´s easy to make sexual content in a horror movie, but to make it stylish and very disturbing is a complete different chapter. American Mary is out now in the UK on dvd and blu ray, i bought my copy from there, and so should you. A feast for us who love the work of David Cronenberg inspired directors with their own touch.

Rating: DDDD

Olympus Has Fallen

Back in 1997, we had a president taking care of terrorists in Air Force One. Harrison Ford gave The Persident Of United States Of America a completely different look. The president does not only drink coffee, hold speeches, he also use his fists. Patriotic movies have been delivered in many years, in many different shapes. So what if Aaron Eckhart, who killed aliens in Battle: Los Angeles is now president, and Gerald Butler a body guard, is this combination a new hope for the american people?  Olympus Has Fallen looks like an action movie, for those who grew up watching The Rock. Is this action smoker solid entertainment, or is this another typical american patriotic view of America ?

Mike Banning ( Gerald Butler ) is the lead Secret Service agent, assigned to lead the Presidential Detail. While the President Benjamin Asher ( Aaron Eckhart ) and First Lady Margaret Asher ( Ashley Judd ) are travelling from Camp David to a campaign fundraiser. Suddenly a tree hits the Presidental convoy, and hit a bridge. Mike and his crew manage to save President Benjamin, but First Lady Margaret dies, falling down into the water.18 months later, Mike still thinks about what happened, while he works at the Treasure Department. President Benjamin is just about to have a meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Tae-Woo ( Keon Sing ), when The White House is invaded by North Korean terrorists. The attack has been masterminded by Kang Yeonsak ( Rick Yune ), who wants to revenge his parents Death by destroying Americas nuclear weapons, from the inside, and make the whole country a wasteland. To make his vision come true, he needs access codes to a system in the bunker called Cerberus. The President have one code, and 2 more of his staff have the rest of the codes. Trapped inside the bunker, and most of the Secret Service agents have been murdered, hope is running out of time. Speaker Of The White House,  Allan Trumball ( Morgan Freeman ), is chosen to be Acting President for this moment. Allan finds out Mike Banning have managed to get into the White House, and found President Benjamins son Connor Asher ( Finley Jacobsen ) alive and well. He manage to get Connor out, and now he must try and save The President.

I can understand why Olympus Has Fallen have so much negative reviews. The plot is filled with patriosm, patriotic characters, and how easy North Korea can invade Washington. But hold on a second. If you leave the flaws and look what this is, an action movie for people, who don´t care much about the plot, and just want pure action entertainment. And this is where Olympus Has Fallen works best. There is so much action and violence, Martha Stewart is guaranteed to have an orgasm seeing Gerald Butler running around with big muscles and sweaty hands. There are plenty of great actors here, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Aaron Eckhart among others. My biggest problem with this motion picture is that the patriosm is so clearly detailed, in so many scenes, it gets a bit frustrating to hear that America is the greatest country. Personally i feel that every country have something to be proud of. Anyway, back to the review. Director Antione Fuqua, who gave us the classic motion picture Training Day, gives us a popcorn movie, made for an audience who loves Michael Bay, and hope to see another Con Air production see the light of day. Even if there are flaws, i still feel this is entertaining enough to check out. I have a feeling many people want to see extremists from North Korea get their ass kicked.

Rating: DDD

fredag 3 maj 2013

The Lords Of Salem

2 of my personal favourite horror movies House Of 1000 Corpses and The Devil´s Rejects, are simply classics already. While the horror genre were spitting out boring stories, and no interesting stories, Rob Zombie, both musician and director, turned everything around with his debut movie House Of 1000 Corpses in 2003. The style, the characters, the actors, he nailed everything you want in a great horror movie. The Devil´s Rejects were even better in every possible way, i don´t know how many times i have seen it since the release on dvd. So, after making Halloween and Halloween 2, i only heard rumours about a new movie is being planned. This got me really excited, especially when i read he was ready to try something different. Is The Lords Of Salem another classic from this incredible director, or is he running out of ideas ?

Heidi Hawthorne ( Sheri Moon Zombie ) works at a local radio station, together with Whitey ( Jeff Daniel Phillips ) and Munster ( Ken Foree ). On every show the discuss all kinds of things and have special guests. One day a mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi. The cover says :- A gift from the Lords. As she and Whitey play the vinyl record, it plays backwards, and Heidi experience a flashback of trauma. Whitey decide to play the record again, on radio, as it turns out the record plays normal again. Listeners seem to like it, so Whitey decide to name the album The Lords Of Salem. While strange things begin to happen in Heidi´s home with the neighbours, another gift arrives to the radio station. Why is Heidi chosen and who is behind all of this ?

I will agree with some critisim about The Lords Of Salem, that this is not on the same level of film making as Rob Zombies first 2 movies. But to call this shit, like some movie reviewes did ? Let´s think for a minute, we get shit movies released every year, even if the audience still want to see them. And even if young actors from Disney get a major role, does not make it a good movie. But this is not a bad movie, just because it is very different. The Lords Of Salem is a very daring try for Rob Zombie, he leaves his usual grindhouse horror and does a satanist psychotic motion picture, with a very different approach. In some ways, it feels like a natural step outside Rob´s comfort zone, to go on another path into a world of darkness, So far, so good. The biggest problem with The Lords Of Salem is that the Rob Zombie wants to give so many things, but try too hard to put the pieces together. If you remember The Devil´s Rejects, it was a simple story but very effectively made with the brutal grindhouse feeling. Here we are served a satanist movie that looks really good, but the story does not offer very much. Thankfully the gore, and the satanic atmosphere gives The Lords Of Salem a positive vibe at least. I hope that Rob comes back next time with something just as powerful as his first 2 motion pictures. I know he have a lot of ideas, and he is one of the best horror directors out there. Until then, this will at least give you a pleasent moment, while we wait for another classic.

Rating: DDD