Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Solitary Corner Under the Stairs... and thoughts on horror by Carey Copeland


Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Clay Dalton, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao and David Paymer

It starts off in Pasadena, California in 1969; a young Mexican couple frantically rushes their young son to the home of a medium. Their son had stolen jewelry from a group of Gypsies three days earlier, and since then, has been seeing and hearing things. The medium tries to help the boy and during a séance, she and the boy's parents can only watch as the boy is thrown from a balcony by an invisible force. After hitting the ground the boy is pulled down by demonic hands straight into HELL. The medium swears she will meet this demon again one day.
Forty years later, enter Christine Brown. Christine is a loans officer at a bank and is in competition with her asshole colleague for an assistant manager position. On her lunch break, Christine visits her boyfriend, in his office. She gives him a rare coin she found at the office in circulation. Her boyfriend puts it in an envelope and puts it in his bag. Christine's boss tells her that the position has come down to her and the new guy. He advises her that she needs to demonstrate that she can make tough decisions when she needs to. Worried about what her boss thinks of her, she refuses an extension on a loan to an old woman, Mrs. Ganush. Facing foreclosure and the loss of her house, in retaliation, Christine is stalked and assaulted by the old woman but her coat button is removed, after a smack down is laid down on her ass, a curse is placed on Christine which will take her to hell in a few days’ time . The old woman even gets stapled in the head and eye as well as gnawing on Christine’s bottom jaw during the fight. After the fight and the police have investigated, Christine calls her boyfriend (The Apple guy, Justin Long) to take her home. On the way home, Christine hears a strange whispering and tells her boyfriend she wants to get her fortune told. Christine enlists the help of a psychic to try to make sense of what is going on. Christine is visited by the Lamia and is thrown around and tormented. While the Lamia doesn’t immediately take Christine to hell, he lets her know that he is coming to take her away. It’s a classic case of seeing and hearing things that other people don’t. Her boyfriend is trying to help her the best he can, but not experiencing what she is talking about makes things hard to grasp. The rest of the movie is Christine trying to stay one step ahead of this demon and trying to redeem her soul. There are a lot of twists and a lot of gross outs.
The movie is classic Raimi. It has a feel of “The evil dead.” There are a lot of gags such as blood and pus spewing, eyeballs flying and cake with an eyeball being impaled. These are things that made “The evil dead” memorable. Although it is a Sam Raimi movie, there is no cameo or even a mention of Bruce “the chin” Campbell. The camera angles and the overall feel is Raimi. I like the way he has the actors in field and then has them react to a noise off camera. If that doesn’t say ASH, I don’t know what does. I noticed that the old lady is driving Raimi’s car that was in evil dead. While this movie isn’t “The evil dead”, it does kind of fill the void until Raimi and Campbell make “evil dead 4”. I like the movie and would suggest it to friends and anybody that loves the dead trilogy or Bruce Campbell. Surprisingly the movie won some awards and nominations.


Writer/Director: Jay Lee

Cast: Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, Roxy Saint, Penny Drake, Whitney Anderson and Jennifer Holland

In a near future, President George Bush has been just elected for the fourth time with his vice Arnold Schwarzenegger and the USA is in war against many nations, among them Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, France and Alaska. To make up for the loss of troops the government is creating a virus to reanimate dead soldiers and reactivate their brains, to build an army of undead. The virus effects men and women differently and gets released in a Sartre, Nebraska lab. The men turn to mindless zombies and the women turn into lucid zombies and a special containment team of badasses, The Z Squad, must take care of the viral outbreak. Once again, it sounds like Resident Evil and the awesome Steven Seagal movie, Against the dark. One of the badasses, the soldier Byrdflough, is bitten by a zombie and afraid of being killed, he escapes to the underground Brademus strip-club owned by Ian Esco. This guy is starting to look bad and dies due to the virus. Guess what happens? Wait for it. Wait for it. He becomes a zombie!!! This zombie takes a chunk out of the star of the club, Kat. She becomes a lucid, thinking zombie. A zombie stripper. Kat spreads the virus, turning her colleagues into zombies and eating the flesh of their clients. The whole time this is going on, Ian is still running a strip club. The clients are now dying to see the “zombie strippers.” The strippers are ravenous for the attention and begin fighting amongst each other for their tips. As the clients are turned into mindless zombies, the ladies take them down to a holding cell. I’m not going to tell you how the zombies escape or even how they are subdued, I will tell you that this movies isn’t as bad as the name implies. I actually enjoyed the movie because of it having Robert Englund and getting to see Tito Ortiz run off like a little bitch. Check the movie out, it’s worth watching on cable or free on demand. This movie was even nominated for an award in 2008, The Golden Trailer Award for the “Trashiest Trailer”.

--Carey Copeland