Sunday, October 23, 2011

Top Of The Brine (2011)

Top Of The Brine is an odd little entity. This film is a strange collaboration, the product of several film buffs. Done in the manner of the exquisite corpse. Each filmmaker was instructed to do three ten-second shots. At least one of them clearly couldn't follow these simple directions. Each filmmaker only saw what the previous one shot, not the entire piece - and had to continue the story based on what he saw. So of course, there really isn't a story.

But there are some cool shots, and some great moments. The opening is actually pretty cool, with some insane shots of a person's mouth. The movie actually starts with a man being punched until the phone rings. The man doing the punching answers the phone, and says "That's why water is poison," and that leads to the next filmmaker's section. Several shots of water, presumably poisonous - rain, water running in a kitchen sink, a man drinking a glass (this is a filmmaker that did more than three shots).

It's the next section that I love. A man turns off the television (on which the movie thus far has been playing), and then turns to the figure seated next to him and begins sawing his head off. Totally random, deliciously gory, with plenty of blood spurting out. The best bit is when the doorbell rings, the man spits some of the other man's blood out of his mouth. At the door is a bloody (and shaking) package, which one filmmaker gets to open, and which the next filmmaker reveals to be a silly hand puppet. The film went from horror to comedy, with some not-at-all-convincing screaming from a man with his hand taken off.

The final section takes place in what is referred to as "Damon Packard's meth lab." The presence of Damon Packard, playing himself - well, a fictitious twisted version of himself - is wonderful. Most people know Damon Packard from his 2002 film Reflections Of Evil. But he has quite a list of films to his credit, including The Untitled Star Wars Mockumentary (2003) and SpaceDisco One (2007). Anyway, in Top Of The Brine, Damon watches over a couple of topless meth slaves who are mixing chemicals for him in the kitchen. And who is that weirdo in the surgical-looking shorts?

There are seven sections, including the opening/title section. So seven filmmakers. Is the result a film? Not really. But it's only a few minutes long. So relax.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Decadent Evil (2005)

Decadent Evil begins with a voice over and several quick scenes of a hot pianist being turned into a vampire. It makes the movie feel like a sequel to some other film. It seems like the voice over should be saying, "Previously, on Decadent Evil..." Now the pianist is moving to the United States to start her own clan. It sounds like a spin-off. Right?

Anyway, we then have a long terrible scene in a strip club. Some lame guy named Bruce is taking his girlfriend there, though she's not into it. But after all, he did buy her dinner, so what's her problem? One of the strippers gives the girl a free lap dance and then invites the couple back to her house. Or castle. And they go. The girl, whose name is Tami, is still whining that she's not into it. But whatever, she followed a stripper to a castle and is in her bedroom. At this point she should just shut the fuck up. Bruce thinks he's getting a threesome, but what he gets is death. Because the stripper is a vampire.

Decadent Evil would be typical softcore vampire nonsense were it not for Marvin and Ivan. Marvin is this little demonic-looking puppet in a cage. Ivan is a midget vampire-hunter who acts like a film noir detective. He's played by Phil Fondacaro, who is by far the best actor of the film. And he has all of the good lines. Well, all but one. A tied up prostitute has a great line when Marvin climbs into bed with her. She says, "What are you - some little fucked up monkey?" She's curious, but not alarmed. Clearly, this whore has been around.

The two stripper vampires are named Sugar and Spyce. (Yes, "Spyce with a Y," she says.) Sugar is played by Jill Michelle, who is the worst actor of the group. Watch and laugh especially when she tries to keep the main vampire from killing her boyfriend. She just sort of waves her arms above her head for a moment. I watched that bit twice. And laughed both times.

There is a Shakespeare reference in this film. Ivan tells the boyfriend, "I hate to break it to you, Romeo. I think your little Juliet's a vampire."

During the end credits, there is a trailer for the sequel, Decadent Evil II. I've never seen someone put a trailer in the closing credits before. Very tacky. By the way, those closing credits were the slowest-moving credits I've ever seen. The movie was so short that clearly the filmmakers decided to draw out the credit sequence just to add a bit of time.

This movie is included in a two-disc collection titled The Midnight Horror Collection. Eight movies for five dollars at Ralph's. Not bad.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Decoys (2004)

The idea behind this one is pretty good - that squeaky blond sorority girls are actually aliens. It's not that far-fetched. And wouldn't we all prefer to think of these morons as being another species, rather than have to admit to having any similarities to us? And the movie plays for comedy. It makes fun of dumb jocks as well as the sorority girls. Apparently aliens are as shallow as sorority girls, because two of them are actually upset with each other over the selection of this year's Ice Queen.

So anyway, these extraterrestrial bimbos have sex with men and in the process kill them, freezing them from the inside. They're actually trying to mate, to save their species. (That might remind you of another science fiction horror film - and yes, Decoys does owe a lot to Species. That's my polite way of saying that it really rips off Species.)

There is some interesting use of music - songs rather than a score - which also helps to keep this film from being real horror. It's more like some twisted version of a Dawson's Creek episode or something. You'll know what I mean when you watch it.

There are some questionable things in this film. Like, the main guy is a college freshman, so he's 18 years old. But it turns out that he used to date the female detective. When? When he was 15, and she was 28? I was really curious about that, but it's not really explained.

So yeah, this movie is kind of bad. But I really did like it. It doesn't take itself seriously at all. And there are actually some good turns that this film takes that make it feel original. I'm not going to spoil them by mentioning them here. But I was pleasantly surprised.

(This movie reminded me of a song I wrote in the early 1990s. Here are the first few lines:
Squeaky blond sorority girls
Squealing in the sun
What makes them tick?
What makes them talk?
What makes them seem like so much fun?)