We’re missing an entire genre!

Darren and I are huge movie fans, and we pretty much got into a discussion while watching “The Last Man on Earth.” (You can watch it here, as it is a part of the public domain) about how disaster movies just aren’t as popular as they used to be. We then proceeded to watch a few of the juicy disaster flicks we have in our collection.

First up, after the Vincent Price goodness, was Day After Tomorrow. For me, it’s got two things about it that rock:

1. They destroy Los Angeles with massive tornadoes. WEEE!

I do so love watching Los Angeles get destroyed

2. They destroy New York

Just about everything else in the movie is a massive plot hole. Like . . . when they are burning books in the library, why do they HAVE to burn the books? There are perfectly good chairs all around them, made of wood — and enormous wooden tables. Why burn books on tax law (or even bother to touch them) when you’re sure to find some newspaper for a starter and you can burn wood? WTF? And why exactly is Dennis Quaid so insistent he get to his son? It’s not like he brings food or anything important — in fact, it’s just another mouth to feed. WTF?

And why use expensive CGI wolves? They don’t even LOOK good. I’ve seen a couple of reviewers rant about how good the wolves were, and I completely disagree. Want good CGI? Check out D-Wars (Dragon Wars), in which LA gets destroyed by extremely beautifully rendered (some animators loved them some dragons!) dragons:

Now that, THAT is some good CGI. (Miserable movie plotting for that film, but beautifully done special effects, and well worth it to see Los Angeles tromped. They also get extra points for knowing the geography of downtown, and sticking to it (no matter what)).

I’m pretty sure we moved next to Armageddon — definitely one of Michael Bay’s more well done flicks, and a hell of a good time. It’s really hard to pick on this movie for much of anything, because it delivered what it said it would.

Sure, I wish the Earth would have gotten creamed a good one, just for the cool ass globe exploding effect, but all in all, I can’t really complain with the movie too much at all. It didn’t try to advertise it as an intellectual feast, and it was pretty straightforward and honest all the time. Good stuff.

And, I included a special movie, just to make me grin because I love it so much. I could link to the official trailer, but why, when you get more laughs from “Mars Attacks! in a Nutshell”

I do understand that the overall reluctance to make a disaster movie may have something to do with the real-life disaster we watched unfold on our screens on September 11th. I guess that makes sense, it just doesn’t make me miss disaster movies any less. There’s so many good stories that could be told and enjoyed . . .

“Masters of Horror” Series — I hate you

The first time I encountered this series is when Pete came out here and recommended that we watch John Carpenter’s piece for it, Cigarette Burns.

It was at least a decent story, and rather atmospheric — not the best but not totally sucky.

Oh, have I been disappointed since.

The next outing I attempted was “We all Scream”:

Movie Cover

I had high hopes for it. Directed by Tom Holland, of Fright Night and Child’s Play fame, it also featured William Forsythe, whose acting I’ve enjoyed since Devil’s Rejects, though he’s been around even longer than that (I can vaguely remember seeing him in the Rock and in a few of his minor roles on TV. I had high, high hopes for this flick — I thought it might be a creep fest — scary ice cream clown like guy, lots of brainwashed, sugar freaked children . . . I was totally, totally wrong. In fact, the story was so dull, I didn’t even want to keep up with it, I just wanted it . . . to be over.

I couldn’t point to one particular malady — it wasn’t JUST the plot, JUST the acting, or JUST the directing. It wasn’t JUST the small budget — I’ve enjoyed films with less of a budget, plot, acting, or directing ability before. It was all of these things combined into a plodding trip into childhood.

Man, they even had a leg up — like most Gen-Xers, I’m not a really big fan of clowns. I’ve been introduced to the creepy likes of the following:


that creepy clown doll from Poltergeist
Creepy Doll

And, of course, the master of them all, John Wayne Gacy.
Killer Klown from Earth

But this clown?

Buster, We All Scream

Eh, not so much.
It’s one of the few DVD’s we actually sold back. (Notice I didn’t mention Heath Ledger as the Joker because it hadn’t happened yet, but that’s gonna be another reason Gen X-ers hate clowns).

Fast forward to last night, when I finally had the opportunity to see the entry by Tobe Hopper, called Dance of the dead.

Dance of the Dead Cover

Just listen to the credits on this thing. Er, read. We have Tobe Hooper at the helm, best known for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I loved TCM. I have the first and second sitting on my shelf along with the remakes. Good creepy horror. So far, so good. Then there’s Richard Christian Matheson, son of Richard Matheson (I am Legend) writing. Good, good. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins doing the music. Rock.

So what happened?

I don’t even know where to start. Robert Englund cheesing it up, trying to be licentious, and instead coming off smarmy and decidedly un-scary. Then there’s the strobe lights and weird edits. The dialog was out and out laughable, with ‘great’ lines like “I’m gonna make this right!” and “You got something ugly inside of you and it wants out. I don’t want to be around when it starts hissing.” I guess it got in one good quote, “Pain transforms sensitives into cynics,” but other than that an absolute no-go on the dialog.

Most of the time, this film (it felt like two hours, and it was only one) left myself and Darren feeling like we had no idea what was going on, and the only reason we CARED, vaguely, about what was going on is that we spent Microsoft points on this tragedy.

It tried to be a zombie film, I suppose, in that dead people were dancing on stage, injected with infected blood and being prodded with cattle prods by half naked women.

Sigh. That’s not a zombie movie. That’s a short clip made for teenage boys who want to see some tits. Just sad. Go watch Skinemax. Don’t mess up horror with this tripe.

I just can’t do it. I can’t watch anymore of these things, hoping to see awesome short films for directors and instead have everything that I hate about my precious horror films paraded in front of me.