Archive for May, 2009

#1545: Darkman

Three words:  Disfigured Liam Neeson.


Neeson plays Peyton Westlake, a scientist working on an artificial skin to help burn victims.   It’s got one problem:  it can’t survive more than 99 minutes in direct light, but functions perfectly in the dark.  Other than this stumbling block, his life is moving along well:  he’s got a great girlfriend, a sweet research gig and a swank laboratory.   Until he hits the worst day of his life.

Westlake’s girlfriend Julie (Frances McDormand) is a lawyer working for the Strack company, headed up by the evil Louis Strack.   She discovers an internal memo by accident.   It’s too bad for her that the memo contains information about Strack’s shady business dealings with a mobster named Durant and Strack’s bribes to the zoning committee.   Westlake picked it up by mistake on his way to his lab, so off go Strack  & Durant’s minions to clean up the problem.

Poor Westlake got his marriage proposal to Julie laughed off that morning, then mobsters come in, beat him, drop him in a vat of acid, kill his assistant and explode his lab.


Yeah, that day would go right in the “Shittiest Day Ever” category.

Westlake’s battered, burned body washes ashore and the local hospital mistakes him for a homeless person.   You know what this means!  Experimentation!   They snip some nerves so he can no longer feel pain, making him sorta superhuman, but with the major bummer side effect of increased emotional angst and some serious adrenaline rages.   Think half-Wolverine berserker kind of stuff.

Westlake escapes the hospital, rebuilds his lab and decides to take out the bad guys who basically fucked up his awesome life and win his girl back.   Said girl is operating under the assumption that he’s dead, actually, so Westlake has a ton of work ahead of him.


Darkman is far from greatness but it is fun.   Made by Sam Raimi, it features a lot of Raimi hallmarks, but it feels more like a throwback to the old monster & sci fi flicks from the ’30’s – ’50’s than it does a modern flick.   (Raimi’s montages in particular are evocative of this.)

Neeson does about as good a job as one can expect.   He’s part Phantom of the Opera, part Hunchback of Notre Dame, and he spends most of his role (sadly for us shallow folks) in full burned up makeup.   He’s stronger in the first part of the film, where he really does tug your heartstrings after he’s escaped from the hospital and is gradually realizing what happened to him.


What’s shocking is how much of a dullard Frances McDormand appears to be in this one.   She looks shell-shocked for most of the movie, even before Peyton catches the fireball express to the river.   Afterwards, she doesn’t get much better.   Sad, but true – and it makes you wonder what Westlake’s expending all this energy to recover.

The ending of the movie is great and solid, but probably not the one audiences wanted to see.  While the bad guys get their just rewards, the story line between McDormand and a progressively more and more unstable Neeson can only end in an unhappy way.

While it is entertaining, the effects can border on the bad and muffle the actors’ ability to do what they do best.    It’s fun, but not inventive; dated and not fresh.   This is something you’d pause to watch on cable on a Saturday afternoon and then move about your day, nothing from the movie sticking in your head.

However, since this is a Sam Raimi flick… obligatory Bruce Campbell cameo!


I know it’s widely popular to love Bruce Campbell, but how can you not?  I adore the man, so this was the cherry on the top of a fun movie.

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Okay, so  I didn’t mean to make these past few days Hellraiser-tastic, but Tommy dared me to do this one!  Unless it’s sticking my tongue to a frozen lightpole , I have been known to very rarely refuse a dare.


Hellraiser III starts out promising and then blows away all its promise in the second half of the flick.   It begins with an enterprising newswoman, hot on the trail of a Very Big Story, a hedonistic club owner, an eviscerated guest of said club and the club owner’s desperate girlfriend.

Meet the asshole club owner:


He buys an expensive statue that’s actually got some very bad things contained inside, like, for instance…Pinhead.  (At the end of Part II, we saw Pinhead and friends torn apart and shoved onto a spinning column.  That’s the statue, essentially.)   After a clubgoer of his messes with the puzzle box stuck inside the statue, aforementioned clubgoer meets a dubious end at the end of some chains.  Familiar territory we’re finding ourselves in.

Terri, the determined newscaster, smells a story.  She hooks up with Joey, the girlfriend of the piggish club owner, J.P.   Together they investigate the origins of the statue and the box, as Pinhead begins to reawaken and starts to sway J.P. into bringing him into the land of the living.

The last half of Hellraiser III is a strange brew of items that make no sense in the established canon whatsoever (Pinhead’s human self and hell self are separated and must be reintegrated, but only through Terri’s dreams).   What’s worse is that the old crack team of evil-people-retrievers are gone, gone, gone.   Pinhead slaughters a whole club full of people, trying to out-stupid his own tactics one by one.   One attendee is killed by ice, another by CD.  Yes, CD.   Don’t worry, he’ll pop up again.

Characters in this flick are bland, boring and make some of the most nonsensical decisions ever.   The sets are cheesy and the special effects are sad.

While everyone else tries to make sense of what in God’s good name is going on in the last thirty minutes or so, Terri’s being chased by eeeevil new Cenobites.   They’re the modern upgrades!   Think of them as the Windows Vista version of Cenobites, but they’re not without problems.


That, my friends, is a Cenobite who kills people by throwing CDs like ninja stars.

It’s a great idea if you want to make the concept of Hellraiser completely laughable.  If so, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.   There’s another Cenobite with a video lens for an eye and a blowtorch Cenobite.  Each is … mind-numbingly stupid.

From there, Terri, who looks as confused and stricken as any viewer would be expected to appear, travels into dream-world to reintegrate Pinhead and escapes.   Of course she does, because if formulaic horror movies have taught us anything, it’s the sacred rite of the Final Girl.

She drops the Lemarchand Box into a vat of wet concrete, which becomes…


An office building that looks like the box?  Is this Dana’s apartment building from Ghostbusters?  I don’t know.   …But it looks cool.

Stupid, stupid, STUPID movie.  STUPID.  I have a wall that my head needs to meet, thanks.

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Oh, where to begin?
If you’ve seen Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, then congratulations:  you already know most of the story in Zombie Holocaust.   Corpses in New York City are being mutilated and it’s discovered by the authorities that a group of immigrants from a faraway island are responsible for ripping up the bodies and chowing down on the pieces.  An expedition is organized to travel to the primitive people in order to discover what dastardly, nefarious things are going on to cause the corpse mutilations.
Zombie Holocaust is pretty much Zombie, only 97% fat-free (now, with less sodium!).   It was even released as Zombi 3 to capitalize on Fulci’s success with Zombie (which was released as Zombi 2, even though it’s not a sequel to anything.  Still with me?).   Unlike Zombie, it’s missing a lot of what made Zombie so entertaining and simultaneously squick-worthy; there is no zombie fighting a shark and there’s no version of the slow eye mutilation.   The acting is bad, the “action” scenes plod along and seeing a zombie take a boat motor propellor to the face toward the end of the flick is little payoff for a movie that delivers something you probably have already seen.
That being said, Zombie Holocaust is not totally horrific.   Sure, it’s been done already, but there’s a certain perverse fun in watching horror flicks, so even though Zombie Holocaust is a retread, so are 8,000 other horror movies.   The cheesy fun of watching a bad dub with dull special effects remains intact, so it’s got that going for it.
The expedition team is slowly picked off before discovering that a surgeon on the island is manipulating the bodies of the dead and experimenting on them.  Thus, the zombification plague is fully explained.  As you would expect from a mad scientist, the evil doctor’s none too pleased about the group discovering his special, special project and so he orders his zombies to slay the lot and let him mess around with some of the group while they’re still alive.   Another member of the expedition is crowned “queen” of the tribe that’s still alive.  They’re cannibals, which makes her inexplicably QUEEN OF THE CANNIBALS.   Don’t be confused by logic.  This is just an excuse to get a pretty girl naked.   Yes, I know.  A lot of you are biting your knuckles at the very thought of a pretty lady naked, but it’ll be alright.
Like a lot of z-grade horror movies, Zombie Holocaust is less about any sort of story or central theme and a lot more about creatively dismembering fake dummies with lots of Karo syrup inside.  (None of the dead folks even remotely look real in this film.  Some scenes it appears the crew didn’t even bother to hide that they were using a dummy.)   

Horror fans, go for it; everyone else… uh, you might want to skip it.

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My copy of Hellraiser is MIA so let’s recap for the first movie and don’t read further if you don’t want to be spoiled:

Kirsty is the kid of Larry, a quiet, nice guy who winds up married to an adulterous harridan by the name of Julia.   Julia’s not only icy to Kirsty, she also had a days-past affair with Larry’s brother, Frank.  Frank is into some hardcore freaky stuff – he travels the world looking for the most boundary-pushing ways to explore eroticism and one day he happens upon something that happens to be way more than he can handle.  Enter Lemarchand’s box, the well-known puzzle contraption of the Hellraiser series that opens to release demons from Hell.   Frank escapes the demons (called “Cenobites”) to come back to Earth.   Julia discovers his skinless, mangled frame and nurses him back to health by seducing men and killing them so Frank can feed.  (I’d suggest not eating anything during this one.)

Eventually the parties all must face up that some seriously Inferno-esque shit is going down in their humble abode and Kirsty releases the Cenobites, who come to claim Frank…and Julia.

So the second picks up right where the first left off, with Kirsty being hauled in from the ruined remains of her house and shuffled off into a psychiatric ward.


Kirsty’s psychiatrist is a man named Dr. Channard.   Kindly at first, he takes an interest in her because of her professed belief that demons ripped apart her family like bits of paper.   Dr. Channard also has a girl under his care who’s got a particular knack with puzzles.   Can we see where this is going?


Dr. Channard’s assistant gets wind of some fucked up goings-on at the good doctor’s house, so he inspects while Kirsty sees her dead daddy leaving her messages that he’s in hell.  She becomes determined to save him.   Dr. Channard’s assistant becomes determined to be creeped the fuck out by Dr. Channard, as his whole life seems to revolve around opening Lemarchand’s box to unleash the hellbeasts within.   It probably doesn’t help that the good-hearted assistant sees Channard allow a mental patient to mutilate himself on the bed where Julia died, thereby resurrecting a skinless lady bent on … rejuvenating herself.

Kirsty and The Assistant meet up and go back to the house, where Channard’s already pressed the girl with the puzzle talent into opening the box so he and Julia can go exploring in Hell.   There’s an appealing travel destination if I ever heard of one, so it’s no surprise that Channard’s so inquisitive.

Too bad for Channard that things don’t go according to plan…

I won’t spoil you anymore, but the whole of the movie is not good at all.   The first Hellraiser explored the crazy S&M kind of idea that pain and pleasure are closely related.  It was about as close as a flick could get to being remotely evocative of Clive Barker’s story.  (Hellraiser is based on Barker’s The Hellbound Heart, and if you haven’t read Barker and feel you can stomach it, it is worth a read.   He writes beautifully, which is a nice counterpoint to the horrific stuff he’s writing about.)   The entire first movie made people’s skin crawl not just with the overt gore but the thematic elements of the movie in general were a little out there.   Plus, Barker put a whole new riff on Hell.

The second one takes all that and kind of pitches it out the window, since the movie makes little sense.   Whole plot points are messily discarded, as Kirsty’s whole reason for entering Hell is to find her innocent Daddy, but as far as I can tell, she never gets a concrete lock on where Daddy is, let alone rescues h im.   The special effects are Harryhausen-lite, something that would’ve been appropriate for a 1950’s monster flick but deaden the terror of demonic, torture-happy beings coming to get you and take you away forever.


The makeup effects are still good as Pinhead & Co. are enough to make you twitch nervously in your sleep.   The treatment of Pinhead and his gang of pain-inducing troublemakers will make you cringe, however.

The sad thing about this one is that you can see the slim bones of a good movie in here.   There was a lot of room to move in this one and many paths they could have taken.   Instead, what you get is a cobbled mash of stuff that doesn’t totally add up.   IMDB tells me that the guy who played Kirsty’s dad refused to come back for the sequel, which mean shoddy rewrites that account for some of the movie making no damn sense.   The thing feels disjointed and odd, like something went wrong in the editing room.

Julia’s character works every angle like she doesn’t know what’s coming around the corner; Dr. Channard is more entertaining as a morally bankrupt human than what he becomes.   Kirsty’s character is reduced to histrionics and wide eyed terror … and not much else.   Supporting cast members are quickly killed off; they seem to be sacks of meat to move along the plot.

It’s a strange mess of a flick.   It sets up Julia to be the future baddie when we all know Pinhead became the Krueger-esque face of the franchise.   As a horror fan, there’s something strangely entertaining that I find about it, but my smarts tell me that few others would find much in this morass to entertain them.

It lacks in style and substance.   About the only redeeming thing I took from this movie was, “Hey!  There’s more than one Lemarchand box? Cool!”

I don’t hold much hope for any of the other sequels if this one is evocative of the path the franchise takes.

For horror fans, I’d recommend giving it a once over; for everyone else – you have been duly warned.

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May Giveaway


Well, what did you think it was going to be?

I have a two disc special edition copy for a lucky reader.  Leave a comment – don’t forget to put a valid e-mail address in the  appropriate box to leave a comment, else I can’t e-mail you for your correct address.

Alright, who wants it?

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If you’re a LAMB member, then you should be aware that the 2009 LAMMYs are going on RIGHT NOW!   The excitement, the glitz, the glamor!

trophyYes, if I win, I hear that one of these babies will be shipped to my house, where people can assume I won a trophy for genetically engineering a mutated sheep.

I’m nominated for Best Blog, which actually means that I’ll probably lose out to that dastardly Fletch over at Blog Cabins or the sneaky Stacie Ponder at Final Girl, but it would be nice if you LAMB members voted for me.   Please?

…I have cookies?

(Wait, is bribery out of the question?)

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Summer is upon us, which means barbecues, skin-melting sunshine (if you live in my area of the woods) and blockbuster flicks.   Since it’s that time of year, the impending release of Transformers 2:  Revenge of the Fallen or whatever the subtitle is has film nerds in a tizzy.   Why, in the words of the South Park creators, does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?   We ask this as we stand in line for a Michael Bay movie.

What is it about Bay movies that keeps us coming back for more?   Are we cinema masochists?   If you think about it, every Bay movie figuratively punches you in the face, defying you to think about things like “logic”, “plot” and “common sense”.   It can’t be the Academy Award worthy acting and directing, can it?

No.  And it wasn’t until Younger Sister told me about this that I realized even as we make fun of Michael Bay, it’s this one thing that makes us come to the fount of stupid again and again and again:

Genius.  Inspired.   Totally true!   Michael Bay’s Explosions might be the movie we’ve all waited to see from him.

Truly, it feels like things involving character development are so boring to Bay.    Watch him try and direct scenes with only humans.   You’ll see what I mean.  Then watch a Michael Bay explosion scene.   Every shot is lovingly crafted, with shrapnel flying full force.  Each fireball is carefully filmed and cars careen into the air with reckless abandon.  Sure, Michael Bay will scorch entire city blocks, operate with complete disregard for environmental rules and laws, and think nothing of torching $2 million + worth of equipment, but at the end of the day, he either gets the shot… or he gets the best shot that CGI will allow.

Not everyone can be Francis Ford Coppola.   Let’s face it, if you do one thing well, you should really focus on that, right?   And God has seen fit to give Michael Bay the extraordinary gift of destroying aircraft carriers and putting it on film, shouldn’t you utilize that gift in the best possible way?

I mean, if God said, “Son, go forth and BLOW SHIT UP,” well, yeah, I’d be right on that.

However, Michael’s just been picking the wrong movies to do.  Transformers? Look, I know we routinely appeal to the “lowest common denominator” here in America, but even slack-jawed snopses will eventually get tired of GIGANTIC ALIEN ROBOTS BLOWING SHIT UP.   This will probably happen sometime after Transformers Part V:  Optimus Prime’s Revenge.  Let’s face it, Michael needs a project that caters to his special needs.

It has to be something amazing.  It has to be something that is simple in the plot and character department, featuring huge explosions and next to no logic and/or common sense.   It has to be something that will enable him to have hundreds of fireballs and all sorts of vehicles exploding.   Someone, somewhere will have to detonate some C4 in a fighter jet, perhaps.

Well, I have just the thing.  And Mr. Bay?  You can have my idea for free.   I just want to see the epic masterpiece you’d make out of…


Give him Richard Dean Anderson, a matchstick, a piece of gum, a toilet paper holder and $250 million and Bay could make all our nightmares dreams come true.

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#1541: Star Trek

Kevin told me this was like a delicious beer after being in the desert for a long time.   Kevin was right.


This is how you do a summer blockbuster.

It’s by no means perfect, but Star Trek takes the original cast of characters and does more than reboot the franchise.   J.J. Abrams took a virtually lifeless franchise and managed to resuscitate it.   Then he gave it a makeover and taught it to tap dance.

While hardcore Trek fanboys may be wetting their pants in fury at the storyline, it puts Trekkies and newbies in the same place, storywise.  Nero, a bitter and furious Romulan, sees the destruction of his planet and travels back in time to inflict pain and suffering upon the person he feels is responsible for the death of his people.   Eric Bana as Nero is nigh unrecognizable but does a fantastic job as a smoldering villain who can only cling to his rage.   It is the only thing he has left.

Nero’s arrival in the past causes a schism and an ‘alternate reality’ forms, one that’s different in many ways from the Star Trek series.   Abrams and the writing team manage to keep it original and yet a fun, inspired homage to the ’60’s television show.   All the characters retain what fans loved the most about them, but veer in different paths than expected.  Spock and Uhura are makin’ out and Kirk’s daddy’s deader than a doornail; Scotty’s been assigned to a Hoth-esque ice planet when he meets up with Kirk and Chekov’s a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed lad of seventeen.   Sulu forgets to essentially disengage the parking brake the first time out of the docks.

Newbies to the Trek franchise will have no trouble keeping up.   Abrams and company didn’t forget about the old guard, though, and liberal references to the original series ranging from the obvious to the sly are sprinkled in throughout the movie.  (My personal favorite was the fact that any time a ship sustained a direct hit, Abrams cut to a scene of Engineering, complete with explosions and redshirts flying away from consoles.)

The casting director for this one deserves a raise.   Zachary Quinto’s Spock is a model of Vulcan logic and reserve with emotions barely visible in his eyes (at least until you get him around Uhura or insult his mommy).   Chris Pine nails Kirk’s cocky asshole bravado, right down to the smile and swagger.   Anton Yelchin makes a memorable mark as Chekov with about three minutes of screentime; John Cho makes Hikaru Sulu fucking badass as shit (who knew fencing was so cool?).   The real, real, real amazing cast member is Karl Urban, and thank god for that.   I’ve loved Urban for a really long time and it makes me sincerely happy to see him get a lot of accolades for playing an inspired Bones Mach II.   He gets some of the funniest lines in the whole thing – lines which could have come off as enormous clunkers in the wrong hands, but nails everything.   He was the audience favorite in my showing.  Zoe Saldana as Uhura is good, but I felt like something was strangely lacking.   I’m not sure what.  And Simon Pegg as Scotty is adorable – and his little friend, too.

Star Trek is great fun.   It has a little of everything mixed in the right amounts moved along at proper speed.   It is probably the only movie in my memory that an entire audience flooded out of a theater asking to go right back in – I even saw two guys go to a ticket counter to buy tickets for the next showing to see it again.   Never in my life have I seen people so uniformly giddy about seeing a movie AGAIN in the theater.   Everyone I know who has seen this film wants to go back, again and again and again.

This thing has got legs, that’s for sure.

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I can’t recall when I first saw The Day The Earth Stood Still, but I do reckon that it was most likely with my mom.  To say that my mother is enthusiastic about this movie is understating it a bit; I think it’s actually one of her favorites of all time.


An alien spaceship lands in Washington, triggering fear and suspicion worldwide.   Out steps an alien, Klaatu, bearing an important message for all nations of the Earth.  Along with him is Gort, a sinister looking robot.   Humans mistakenly believe Klaatu may attack them, so they shoot him.  After he’s locked up inside a hospital, he escapes and blends in with Earthlings, learning more about our culture and ways before convincing a fellow scientist to have a meeting of the greatest minds on earth so he can spread his message to all nations equally.   The message?   Embrace peace or perish.


The Day The Earth Stood Still is a sci-fi classic and with good reason:  it belongs to none of its knee-jerk, reactionary brethren of the decade.  (Them, anyone?)  Instead of being a frightful tale of how atomic power can go dreadfully wrong (duck and cover from those giant ants/spiders/creatures, kids), it’s a slow-burn tale of how we are the horrific ones.

Bad special effects aside, it’s the theme and central idea to the movie that still play to a modern audience.   The fear of outsiders, the fear of global destruction and the fear that we may not be the big fish in the food chain we perceive ourselves to be are all still very relevant – Soviets or no Soviets.  Klaatu’s indignant frustration at the stupidity of the people of Earth but kindly outlook on the mother and son duo that he befriends are exemplary of human traits, sure, but none of us had the power to reduce Earth to a cinder.


The man in the silver rubber suit is no longer as terrifying as he once was, nor does Klaatu’s then high-tech spaceship strike anyone as being anything other than ultra-retro, but the disturbing, unsettling feeling that The Day The Earth Stood Still conveys is that we do have a choice – Klaatu or no Klaatu – to decide our own fate.  It is our own stupidity and as Klaatu puts it, our own irresponsibility that gets in our way.  It is our choice to be smarter or be a lot deader, even if there’s no giant alien robot around to police the hell out of us.

We still live with the threat of horrible things looming over us.  It’s no longer worrying about the Soviets dropping A-Bombs and the idea of the KGB looming large over the capitalist stronghold of America; now it’s militant religious terrorists, dirty bombs and bioterrorism.   To be typically crude:  same shit, different day.   In other words, Klaatu’s message is something that still resonates because we’re still behaving in the same fashion.   We can doom ourselves … or not.


Arguably, while the humans are left with a choice to DON’T BE SO STUPID or DIE IN A MASSIVE FIRE, FOOLS, Patricia Neal is the initial savior of humanity.  It is she that gives Klaatu a chance; it is she that helps him evade capture and it is she that goes to Gort the giant robot and makes sure he A) doesn’t blow shit up everywhere to avenge Klaatu after he’s been killed and B) resurrects Klaatu.

In other words, Patricia Neal?  Is the shit.  Also, thanks to Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal and some screenwriters, we have the immortal words the Evil Dead franchise ticks along on:   Klaatu barada nikto.


My mom’s recollection of this is that it was really cool back in the day.  She was awed by the sound on the special edition.   One of the things that sells The Day The Earth Stood Still is the creepy, semi-disturbing music which runs to and fro through the film.   (Good job, music composer.)   She pointed out how freaking alien Michael Rennie (Klaatu) looks in his oversized suit and scary-lean figure.   And above all, the special effects still seem real to her, and I imagine the movie has a whole realm of meaning to her that it will never have to me, primarily because even though we live in times with fear, I never had the threat of having atomic bombs rained down on me by Nikita Khruschev.  (I also never lived next to a SAC base, which my mother also did, right when a bunch of Americans and Russians were thinking hard about pushing some little red buttons.)

I think it is this movie that gave me my love of sci-fi; not sci-fi for fantasy’s sake, but the kind of sci-fi that makes a larger point.   The Thing and other movies of that ilk all have bigger questions in mind than just what they are at face value and I think… I think this comes from early viewings of The Day The Earth Stood Still with my mom.

If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

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There’s so much to tackle in a film like Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, so let’s just … start with the name.


Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is exactly what the name implies plus more.   Jesus Christ returns to earth in Canada to protect lesbians from evil vampires hellbent on nomming on their blood.   If you think that’s crazy, well, that’s about one one-thousandth of all the insanity the movie has in store.

Jesus comes back and right off the bat, he’s fighting evil vampiric chicks.  But after he’s done there, he’s got time to get a haircut, get a piercing, squeeze in a song-and-dance number while simultaneously healing the sick and lame and come out looking like a member of Bad Religion.


Say what you will, but that Jesus fellow is no slacker.

Jesus slowly amasses a group of followers, including devoted ass-kicking apostle Mary Magnum, to take on the Canadian vampire coven…thing.   Pretty soon it’s an all out battle to save the souls of the innocent with both sides locked in battle.   (And Jesus manages to kick the asses of twenty-odd atheists who show up to tell him to not-so-politely get the hell out of Dodge.)   Of course, it only makes sense that El Santos, the god of Mexican wrestling, would show up to lend a helping hand.  Right?


Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is absurd fun.   Throwing back to the style of ’70’s kung-fu and exploitation, it’s great fun without being sleazy.   While some of the cinematic aspirations of the filmmakers fall short as there’s only so much you can do with a budget that would roughly pay for a ticket to Star Trek, the heart of the film is big.    Make no mistake, it’s definitely got moments where it’s clearly done on the cheap or by amateurs, but let’s face it:  professional stunt-people would’ve killed the allure of Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.  Low-budget entertainment at its finest, this is the movie that those trailers for Grindhouse aspired to be and more.  I can’t say this movie is for everyone, but it will amuse and entertain a lot of folks.   (Troma never made low-budget flicks quite so fun.)

You can find it readily on Netflix and I’d say it’s worth the rental just for watching Jesus do a kicky song and dance number.   Don’t come for the plot or the action scenes or the brief moments of vampiric gore; come for the fun of watching a slice of inspired cinematic homage-cheese.

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