Posts Tagged ‘War


The Guest (2014)

One of the best things I’ve done in recent memory is join the facebook group for the podcast The Gentlemen’s Guide to Midnite Cinema. Not only is it a group filled with folks who love my kinda movies, everyone is like, civil. So, in addition to sharing pics from your favorite flicks, or trying to get a handle on whether or not a particular movie is worth watching, the floor is open for some real, in-depth discussion of film instead of, you know, shit flinging. I strongly encourage you to listen to the podcast! Anyway, it is due to this fine group of Gents that I was first introduced to the film The Guest. Indeed, not a day went by for about a week or two when I didn’t see a post about it. Naturally, I had to check it out. I am so very glad I did.

Hello, David.

Hello, David.

Spencer and Laura (Sheila Kelly, whom I immediately recognized as Debbie with the earrings from SinglesPeterson are regrouping from the death of their son Caleb, a soldier who died in Afghanistan. Their two remaining kids, Luke and Anna (Maika Monroe, It Follows) are coping with it in their own strange ways as well. But things get a little spooky when a strange visitor stops by. David (Dan Stevens, apparently from Downton Abbey but I don’t watch that shit so… whatever) knocks on the door one morning, claiming to have known Caleb from Afghanistan. At first Laura is a little skeptical, but when she recognizes David from a picture of Caleb with some of his buddies, she’s rather excited to get the opportunity to know the guy. After all, what parent wouldn’t want the chance to learn about their son’s last days?

Maika Monroe ain't got no time for this David guy.

Maika Monroe ain’t got no time for this David guy.

Naturally, the other family members are pretty put off by David’s presence, but one by one they all seem to be taken with his charm. Dad finally shares some beers with David and gripes about the woes of working for a manager half his age; Luke learns how to beat the shit out of his bullies, and even Anna enjoys herself with him at a party. But soon, Anna starts to recognize some inconsistencies in David’s story, and starts to do some digging…

Dude, if my High School had a Halloween dance this hot, I'd never have left.

Dude, if my High School had a Halloween dance this hot, I’d never have left.

The Guest is one of those movies where it’s really best to go in knowing as little as possible. It packs some pretty big surprises and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Like, seriously, Q said he was so nervous not knowing what the expect next that it made him nauseous. Now that’s an achievement! You’re never quite sure which direction the movie will go, or the extent to which it will go there, and it unnerves the shit out of you. It is tremendous fun to watch, it looks gorgeous, and the fucking soundtrack is killer. After I watched this, I sent out a handful of text messages demanding friends seek it out immediately.

Of course, a movie like this is definitely not for everyone. If you like a cookie cutter action flick, or a predictable horror movie or whatever, this might not be your cup of tea. Seriously, the greatest joy this movie has to offer is how much it keeps you guessing. Its other joys though are pretty great as well. I can’t recommend this enough. Check it out dudes!


Frankenstein’s Army (2013)

frankensteinsarmyposterWe blindly bought a used copy of Frankenstein’s Army from a pretty impressive horror section, like, in an actual store. It was one of those days where the stack of DVDs to purchase just got bigger and bigger, and I couldn’t think of a reason why I shouldn’t just throw another one on top. What’s another $3, I thought to myself? That was, of course, before I watched the trailer for the movie. If I’d seen that first, I probably would have put it back on the shelf in favor of something else. The good news is, the movie isn’t as bad as the trailer made me believe it would be. The bad news is, that doesn’t mean the movie’s good. Just a warning, this review is spoiler-y so if you care about that kind of shit, don’t read ahead.

A group of Russian soldiers are searching for some fallen comrades in Germany during World War II. This particular troop is lucky enough to be filmed, so the folks back home can see how the war effort is going, or something. Their search for their lost brethren takes them to a derelict building ridden with nun-corpses where they encounter strange creatures that come alive when met with an electrical current. The soldiers that are lucky enough to survive find out soon enough the man behind the movie camera is there for much more than recording. Turns out he’s actually running the whole operation: there are no fallen comrades; it’s all an undercover mission to bring the mad scientist Nazi Dr. Frankenstein (yes, the great grandson of you-know-who) back to Russia alive, where Uncle Joe can exploit the good doctor’s experiments that bring the dead back to life in robotic, weapon form.

Frankenstein’s Army is a movie constructed around the idea of its strange, monstrous creations. I guess the monsters were pretty cool, but the found-footage style of the film prevents us from getting any really good glimpses of the creatures. I definitely found myself asking what the film gained by using the found-footage format… and I have no answers. If anything, it detracted from the movie’s strongest assets, all while making me want to puke with its herky-jerky movements (not a novel found-footage complaint, I realize, but some movies do it better than others).


Dr. Frankenstein’s Brain Fusion

On top of that, all of the characters are all pretty gross. I never cared if any of them lived or died. Their relationships to each-other don’t offer anything new or interesting, it’s just your typical who’s-in-command-when-the-number-one-guy-dies-at-war conflicts, and the baddest of the baddies is insufferably, annoyingly evil. I was hoping at least Dr. Frankenstein would provide us with one interesting character, but when we finally meet him he’s pretty disappointing, too! Though he’s a little off-kilter (irritatingly, ‘quirky’ is probably the best word to describe him), he’s annoyingly calculated and mechanical (hehe, get it?). I wanted him to be a much more entertainingly unhinged ‘mad’ scientist than he ended up being.

So, what does Frankenstein’s Army have to offer? Well, aside from the few shots of robot monsters (dubbed zombots), not much. Even then, you can’t really see them enough to appreciate the work that went into creating them, which is a damn shame. There’s tons of gross-out gore, including a shot of Dr. Frankenstein attempting to fuse half a gooey Nazi brain with half a gooey Communist brain in all its squishy glory, so I guess if that’s what you’re looking for maybe this movie has something for you. But even still, I don’t find any of it very interestingly done. All in all a rather disappointing purchase that we won’t be keeping.


Old Wave