Friday, March 8, 2013

Mega Shark versus Crocosaurus (2010)

Number Rolled: 24
Movie Name/Year: Mega Shark versus Crocosaurus (2010)
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Christopher Ray
Writer: Micho Rutare, Naomi L. Selfman
Actors: Gary Stretch, Jaleel White, Sarah Lieving, Robert Picardo, Gerald Webb, Dylan Vox, Hannah Cowley, Steve Mason, Robert R. Shafer, Nicola Lambo, Michael Gaglio, Sean Cory, Tarnue Massaquoi, Bechir Sylvain

With a name like “Mega Shark versus Crocosaurus,” what could this movie possibly be about? A crocosaurus is found and captured by a hunter. In the attempts to transport it, his boat is attacked by a megalodon (or mega shark) that just finished demolishing a Navy ship. When the two monsters meet a battle of the giant predators begin. A struggle that causes severe devastation in its wake.

Creature feature. The mere utterance of the genre brings to mind the dregs of the sci-fi horror world. Despite the epic success of such creature features as the Jurassic Park series, Jaws, and King Kong, there is a huge stigma where creature features are involved. Personally, I enjoy them. I loved all of the three mentioned, but I also liked less celebrated films such as Anaconda and Arachnophobia. However, this genre of film is less known for its storylines than it is for bad acting, horrible graphics and the general ability it has to parody more well known creatures (such as the shark to the mega shark or the crocodile to the crocosaurus).

I’d love to say that this creature feature fit alongside the three greats mentioned or even the two goods. I can’t. The storyline was ridiculous. The graphics were even worse and the parts that were supposed to make me jump made me shake my head and laugh instead. Not one of those joyous laughs either, I was laughing at the movie – not with it.

There was one silver lining. I don’t know how they did it, but the actors managed to be really good at what they were doing. Despite the horrible script and the bullshit storyline, I believed Jaleel White was a Navy scientist. I believed Gary Stretch was a rugged hunter. I mean, there were duds among them, but for the most part, the actors really brought their A game to a very B movie.

Netflix makes no mention of it, but I made sure to look it up after getting the feeling that this was actually a sequel. It is. “Mega Shark versus Crocosaurus” is the sequel to “Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus.” Apparently, there are a couple of other films that might be out there that relate to this movie, “Mega Shark versus Mecha Shark” and “Mega Python versus Gatoroid.” To be frank, I wouldn’t watch this movie again, so I won’t go looking for those to see if they actually got made. Search at your own risk.

Overall Opinion – 1.5/5

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011)

Number Rolled: 2
Movie Name/Year: Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011)
Genre: Horror
Length: 86 minutes
Rating: R
Director: John Pogue
Writer: John Pogue, John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle, Jaume Balaguero, Luiso Berdejo, Paco Plaza
Actors: Mercedes Masohn, Josh Cooke, Mattie Liptak, Ignacio Serricchio, Noree Victoria, Bre Blair, Lamara Stewart, George Back, Phillip DeVona, Julie Gribble, Erin Aine Smith, Lynn Cole, Tom Thon, Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Tyler Kunkle, John Curran, Andrew Benator

This movie takes place just hours after the events of the first “Quarantine.” As passengers are just hearing the news of the CDC quarantined building, their plane is taking off to what is supposed to be a very long flight. Jenny, one of the flight attendants, notices the passenger seated in back seems a little off. When bringing him a glass of water, she learns that he is very sick. While trying to aid him, the sickness warps his mood to a rather dangerous one and he needs to be subdued. The plane goes in for an unscheduled landing to get him aid. Shortly after, as the sickness begins to spread, the passengers learn they are under quarantine.

It’s a lot better than I thought it would be, but it doesn’t feel like the sequel to the first “Quarantine.” It’s not that I thought they got it wrong, but that they got the story so right that it turned out to be better than the original and able to stand on its own. The core of the story that tacks the two movies together was very creative but, even if the first movie never existed, it still would have worked.

The style of the movie was different than the first. Less “found” footage and more of a steady camera. I prefer that because I can watch the whole thing without getting a headache.

There were some parts that didn’t work. The very first thing that comes to mind is that it was very slow to start. Fifteen minutes into the movie I actually felt like I was boarding a plane. I was getting ready to pull Ascension up on my iPad and wait for my seat to be called. It was rough getting through that first part. I yawned a lot. When it got going, though, the scares were mostly worth it. Not going to lie, I jumped a couple of times.

Also, there was this five hour scene involving eye trauma. I’m sure it was closer to 1 minute, but that’s what it felt like. I have rather severe ommetaphobia, so me and eye trauma don’t mix. During this time I had my face buried in my hands. This means I missed a little bit, but I’m confident it wouldn’t have affected my assessment.

The movie was kind of generic. I knew the next scene almost before the one I was watching was over. That being said, this being a straight-to-video movie, it did better that you would expect. I particularly enjoyed the ending.  

Overall Opinion – 2.5/5

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lo (2009)

Number Rolled: 4
Movie Name/Year: Lo (2009)
Genre: Horror
Length: 80 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Travis Betz
Writer: Travis Betz
Actors: Jeremiah Birkett, Sarah Lassez, Ward Roberts, Devin Barry, Aaron Gaffey, Sarah Larissa Deckert, John Karyus, Liz Loza

Justin has lost the love of his life. Not to another man or even to death (not really anyway). Instead, he’s lost his love, April, to a demonic abduction. In the hopes of getting her back, he uses a book she gave him to summon a powerful demon. Negotiations with the demon, Lo, then begin. Lo continuously tries to get Justin to leave the safety of his circle while Justin continues to try to order him to bring April to him.

The struggle for power is the backbone of this story. Justin is the master. He’s lost his girlfriend and will do anything to get her back. Meanwhile, Lo is trying to show Justin just how little power he has in the situation. Distracting him with visions, illusions, and lies; even using the truth against him.

This is not your typical movie. It’s filmed like a play being shown on stage. Curtains, some basic music numbers, minor scenery, etc. The first time I saw the movie I was a little thrown by how minimalistic and almost parody-ish it was. I still believe the word ‘horror’ fits for its genre, but it also has a great many comedic and romantic moments.

I thought the costumes were spectacular. The demon Lo was the best. He might be the best looking demon I’ve ever seen in any movie, let alone one with a low-budget. Lo is so terrifying because he looks like a warped human. With scars that make you wonder what caused them, excess hair and a crushed lower half. He’s not red and he doesn’t have horns sticking out of his head. He looks like what I expect a human would look like after a lot of time in hell.

The director paid a great deal of attention to the story and the way the story was told, enough so that acting was sacrificed a bit. I’m not so sure I blame the actors for what was lacking, though. I think this was meant to have a parody-ish feel to it and the actors simply owned that fact.

In short, it’s a low-budget film with a high-budget rating. In fact, it was this movie that made me want to watch all the other low-budget films Netflix has to offer alongside their blockbusters. It’s worth the mere 80 minutes of your time.

I can certainly understand why this movie is noted as a cult classic.

Overall Opinion – 4/5