Saturday, September 26, 2015

Random Horror Review : Lost Woods (2012)

Horror Sub-Genre:  Bigfoot, Aliens

Year:  2012

Country:  USA

Language:  English

Runtime:  88 minutes

No Tagline

Watched:  iPhone Fire TV Cast (Source:  YouTube) (it's also currently on Amazon Prime)

There aren't really an bonuses, I suppose glowing Sasquatch eyes, maybe...and there's a great "folk" song about boners sung by two guys who are pissing in the woods.  Mullet hairdos definitely don't count!!

Recommendation: Skip It!

Possible Reason Not To Watch:  ridiculous burials, bad "Clint Eastwood" ending.

[As usual, all weekly reviews contain serious spoilers]

First I would like address the IMDb page doesn't list this as a "horror" film in it's list of genre--it clearly is.  Every horror blog that reviews films has to deal with this issue at some point or other.  True enough there are some films out there that are not straight out horror--like some thrillers, for example--that clearly warrant reviews on horror blogs; this film certainly does not fall into this category!  I don't know whether it was the film makers (more on them later) who listed the genres on IMDb, or if it's IMDb that did it.  Over the years, after Internet Movie Database was acquired by Amazon, they have gotten weird about genres, especially the thin line between some thriller/horror type movies, like Jaws (I can complain about IMDb Pro another time...boring not?).  In this case, though I think it was the filmmakers, three of whom are in the film that submitted the genres, which just puzzles me.  I mean who the hell wouldn't want to brag about making their very own independently home growth horror film.  The Sci-Fi part fits, but so, too would "adventure."  I will say that the "action" genre does not apply, and boy this certainly not thrilling.  It is clearly a horror film.  A patchwork horror film, but horror none the least.

Now on the the film makers: 3 of the actors, Joey Brown, Phillip Ellering and Nathan Ellering wrote the thing; and the Ellering's, whom I can only assume are brothers, directed it.  I have no idea what kind of equipment it was shot on (and yes I did go to the trouble of trying to find out), but being that it was shot out in actual woods, almost entirely during daylight hours, I would have to assume the equipment wasn't anything close to slightly sophisticated.  This leads to a great of deal harsh, harsh light in the finished product, and it actually gave me a headache watching it.  The acting, no surprise, is anything but stellar!

I feel rather stupid for writing down so many notes on this turkey, because what's the point of trying to review a movie on the merits of the story, including character interaction and just basic dialog, when none of it makes any sense: on no level, why bother!  Well I'm giving it a shot... Whole parts of the plot are just make no sense, and others are just missing.  The basics are something along the lines of:  a group of old friends (who the viewer is not made aware of until much later in the film--this leads to one very big component in the story being confusing--it didn't need to be--it's bad writing) heading off on a camping trip, just after we hear a news report that a young man is missing those same woods--and the search is still on for him.  They are even stopped by a ranger out searching for the kid and warned along their way up into the mountains.

Then tedium starts, some plot about two of the characters Warren (Garrett Vander Leun) and Darrin (played one of the writers Brown), haven't seen each other in like 15 years, had some sort of falling out, that is never properly explained (but hey turns out he's great at starting fires, since none of these camping bo-sos remembered matches or lighters).  Then there is the issue of one of the characters Rey (played another writer and one the directors--Phillip Ellering) having two siblings in the cast (at least I think that's the case--if co-writer/co-director Nathan Ellering is actually his brother), character Lucy (Nina Brissey) is Rey's sister in the film.  Nanthan Ellering plays the comic relief character, George.  He a penchant for science fiction horror comics, out of date attire and hair (seriously bad 1970's gym shorts and the worst "I heart" t-shirt I have ever seen, and who the hell sports a mullet in 2012?  Or is this a period piece??  Hard to tell from the jumbbled script--don't think so due to hair taunting later in movie).  Also, just so happens that George has a comic with him about Bigfoot with--an alien Bigfoot at the....ooooh, getting chills yet?  So back the that sibling thing, it makes the movie even more confusing, like they decided that Lucy had to be one the character's sister so something untoward wouldn'y happen to her--other than dying that is.  Then we are hit with some all lined in row cast shot, and story about Darrin's mother having died some 14 years ago--because his father "disappeared."  Disappeared how, did he just go out for Chinese food, like Adrian Monk's dad and never come back....or was a bigfoot??!!  More chills......not. (Yes, that was a reference to the show Monk)

Oh. Darrin, don't you know guns don't work on this creature??  You wrote the script!

A brief respite:  wake up in nature, do your bathing in a waterfall sceniorio and run into weird moss. If that wasn't enough back story--the campers then run into some truly steroetyped rednecks them there Pacific Northwest backwoods. Next morning the engine to their truck is missing.  You would think someone would have noticed something--even if the truck was pretty far away from the camp site.   Really?? The whole damn truck engine!  If this was some sort Moonshine reference--I don't get it.  George had previously gone off the day before, as he unceremonicially annouces he, "has to go take a shit," comes back with story about spotting some giant hairy thing with glowing eyes, of course because of his comic book--no one (who would) takes him seriously (why should they??).  So, who stole the truck engine?  Rednecks with bear traps and/or glowy eyed bigfoot?  To quote Earl from Tremors, "but why would they do it?"  George is the first to go--again who did it???

It takes forever for the monster to appear in this--after all the film is less than 90 minutes long. It seems unkillable by most conventional means and it's eyes are not impressive.  More dialog that is so mixed up between characters here, than real monter action.  Also dude in the suit is clearly a normal (maybe less than 6 feet tall) human sized creature.  There's some crap about hunting bears--which in no way squares with the rednecks setting bear traps, and bullets that seem to just keep appearing almost from the hand of God. Then there is the whole face shit face rubbing incident that isn't just "gross", it's actually just kind of pathetic.  Turns out this is not your "regular" bogfoot and the comic book was the "hint".  Close to final scene when creature in "vanquished" is, well, just dumb.  Really I don't have much more on this one.  Other that some sort of Clint Eastwood style final scene is, well just dumb. Some find it a curiosity.  I didn't.  I understand, from some back digging that the film makers seriously, and honestly, went to great trouble to get the film made.  So now I feel like one of those "crictics" writing up an Ed Wood theatrical production.  The ones that were live theater.  But this, I'm sorry, is just badly done.

  If You Dare:

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Relic (1997)

Yes, great way to explain why you are in a movie about weird Native South American sudden mutation mystery to a group of kids visiting a museum...."I'm an evolutionary biologist--I'm trying to figure out where our tails went."  Ha, ha (seriously).  This is another of those made of the Native monster affairs, but it amuses the hell out of me--so why not! 

This dude on the loose (via a South American tribe) here...

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Up to now, this has just been a mostly northern US and Canadian Native thing--gotta get some Mexican action in here.! [Not: that anyone should give a shit, but I've been learning the Nahuatl language--love it!!]  This came out in 1996--every horror fan out there should know that it starts out a crime film in dusty Texas and ends up a Vampire film in Mexico...with serious "Aztec" overtones--hell they could be Toltecs for all I know!  But does star Danny Trejo (cousin of director Robert Rodriguez) who is of Yaqui descent and Quentin Tarantino (who wrote the screenplay) is of Tsalagi [Cherokee ancestry--his mother if half Cherokee/Irish in ancestry)].  And, my Lordy, does the partially Arabic--but still also Mexican/Spanish--Salma Hayek do a great job of Native Mexican dressed seductive dancer!!! I mean Salma was born in a town in Veracruz called Coatzacoalcos--that ain't Spanish (but then again, it's not Totonac either....that a story for another time).  Also, just because I'm gushing on the movie from a sort of Tejana/Native view--I love Tito and Taranturla--great band!  (Because, let's fact it they are great spiders too!)  Also three characters for Cheech, from Cheech and Chong.

Man have they really junked the place up!!

Lost Tapes: Skinwalker

Dead Files: Evil Underground

Supernatural: Wendigo

This is a true, and mean Native people really believe in it too, Native American monster.  If I wasn't blogging from a "crippled house" I'd have another computer to actually put I list of some of monsters from different parts of the Americas.  This one eats people--alive.  It's generally though to be Anishanabeg (Ojibwe) legend, but it's pretty much all over Algonquin Canada and some part of the US.  Maybe I can try this next month, in the big countdown to the Great Pumpkin!

Hey, even Wendigo's need to rest sometime!

Skinwalkers (2006)

This is film that's subject line is similar to the X-Files Shapes episode.  Thought they would make a good pairing. In that they were called Manitou, in this Skinwalkers (one is Algonquin, the other Navajo). The stars a whole host of people the acting chops, including Canadian Metis Mohawk actor Tom Jackson.  I read somewhere that Jason Behr had some Ojibwe ancestry, I don't know if that's true or not, but it hardly matters--he makes one hell of a bad-ass were-wolf like shifter!  One of the three writers of the screenplay was James Roday, of the hit television show Psych, himself a Tejano.  Crappy full movie YouTube below.

X-Files: Shapes

This is more in line with a traditional Native American monster--done up X-Files style.  The epiosde is currently on Amazon Prime and can be streamed or cast from Dailymotion.  

Blood Shack

This is seriously independent film from 1971.  A young woman inherits a house--wait, sorry a "shack"--in Arizona, only problem is that it's haunted by a sort ghost--a murderous Native spirit called "The Chooper" (I can ensure you, NO Native group has a monster called The Chooper--would any culture?), in any case it's got some good slasher moments in it, but the rest is pretty silly.  What kind of ghost haunts a crappy shack anyway?  The embed below, I believe is the original length--so you won't have to endure the stupid rodeo crap that was included to make the film long enough for theater release.

Supernatural: Bugs

Thought I would follow up one non-real Native American monsters with one that is kinda semi-real.  Simple plot, a tribe is forced from their location and a tribal leader curses the land; when a bunch of Anglo land developers start a building a gated community....well people's brains getting eaten by something...starting (hint:  it's bugs-ha), of course, with the lowly workers, and working it's way up the food chain to realtors and such--the boys are on the job.  At least they get the tribe and location in Oklahoma correct and Canada's Jimmie Herman does and great turn as Joe White Tree of the Yuchi tribe.  Though they do make Sapulpa OK look like it belongs on the Navajo Rez--how in the world did they do that in a Pacific Northwest shooting location??  Below in a funny mock up on the episode well put together--it you don't like the music, watch it with the sound down.