Monday, July 28, 2014

Eroddity(s) (2014)

Eroddity(s) opens with a fake dictionary entry for the word eroddity, and there are already a few problems. It is identified as a noun, but the first definition is “of, tending to arouse sexual desire.” That’s the definition of an adjective, not a noun. And then the third definition is “(s) plural, consisting of, containing more then one.” I’m sure the filmmaker meant “more than one,” and I have to wonder why no one proofread the opening of the film. Also, that definition doesn’t really apply. Basically, he’s defining the word plural there, not the word errodity (or erroditys – and wouldn’t it be errodities anyway?) Not an auspicious beginning, and my expectations for this film plummet.

As low as my expectations are, they are not met by anything in this film. The movie is an anthology of gay-themed short films, none of which are worth watching. The first, “Forever Mine,” opens with a gay couple watching a porn. “I put in your favorite movie for you,” one of them says, and it’s said without humor. So the other guy’s favorite movie is a porn. “Let’s just get this over with,” the second guy says, leaning in to kiss the first. Not what I want to hear from a lover, and again it’s said without any humor or emotion. But apparently it’s good enough for the first guy.

The film then goes back to an earlier moment in their relationship, with the two walking through a park. One of them then pees. That’s it; that’s the scene. Then they’re back in bed, and he says, “You’re all I have.” He repeats it, and then the camera pans over to reveal that the other guy is now a skeleton. What? We go back to the peeing shot because certainly that’s a shot worth showing twice. And since they’re showing it a second time, let me mention this: The guy has pulled his pants halfway down his thighs. Does any guy do that to pee? It would be funny to run into this guy at one of those group urinals at a baseball stadium or something – everyone all covered up from behind, except this guy, whose ass is bare. The non-peeing guy then says, “Dude, I’m your brother.” Again, what? Dramatic music plays, and we’re back in their house and the peeing guy pulls a gun out of a drawer and shoots the other one. And that’s that. A few pointless, empty scenes and then a death.

The dead one then addresses the camera directly: “I have a bone to pick with my little brother.” This is the first line that seems intended to be funny, but of course it’s not. He continues: “Hi, I’m Corey Tyndall. And welcome to Eroddity(s).” And then he winks. Seriously. Then in voice over, he continues: “You have entered a realm where teenage boys make new discoveries behind locked bedroom doors. We take you behind these doors and offer you a voyeuristic window into the world of the young and the inexperienced.” Inexperienced filmmakers, yes. And wait, they put a voyeuristic window behind a bedroom door? The film is just this side of porn, but the performances and the music aren’t quite up to that level.

When the next story, “A Mind Of Their Own,” begins, it has its own opening credits sequence, which seems unnecessary. Aaron is an annoying guy who narrates this story. “I decided to do a little investigation,” he says as we see him doing a little investigation on screen. Note to filmmakers: Don’t have a narrator tell us what we’re already seeing. He finds a cassette tape and a note. So he goes to Orange County and meets some other guy who can’t act. It’s painful listening to them talk, partly because this is the worst dialogue in the history of film (and yes, I’m including porn) and partly because these two have no acting talent whatsoever. We then have a flashback to Aaron with a girl who has slightly less talent than the others. Shocking. Anyway, there is some silliness about a magic tape recorder that creates male lovers. The truly magical thing here is that someone was able to find a tape recorder.

Clearly, writer/director Steven Vasquez loves to see his own name on screen, because at the beginning of the next story, “Unsolved Christmas,” he has once again given himself writing and directing credits. Since he wrote and directed the entire film, it seems one credit at the beginning would have sufficed. Anyway, this one too features narration, and the narration is done as a Christmas poem, and yes, it’s as annoying as you might think. Zach spies on a couple having sex, and the narrator tells us his parents overheard his phone conversation and want to make him straight, and so they buy him a camera. There are actually some cute moments when the narrator makes suggestions for use of the camera. This is the one worthwhile sequence in the entire film, so be sure to enjoy it. Then of course he uses the camera to photograph a boy he has a crush on, following him through a park. At the end of this one, host Cory Tyndall says, “Hey, don’t look at me, I don’t write these things.” True, Cory didn't write that story. But he also didn't write the line about having not written the story. Steve Vasquez wrote that line, so does that mean he knew the story was garbage?

“The Way To A Man’s Heart” (and hey, look, more credits for Steven Vasquez!) opens with a guy going to another guy’s grave and talking to a photograph there, saying he’s sorry and that he misses him. Then it cuts to a bar where a horrible singer is playing an awful song on the keyboard. The guy meets Kevin and the two talk about how Thomas died a year ago. The next scene finds the terrible singer going to the guy’s room to celebrate the anniversary with wine. The guy asks, “Is it really something we should be celebrating?” And the girl says, “Us being together for a year and a half.” Okay, someone needs to tell this stupid girl the definition of anniversary. Apparently they buried Thomas in a cardboard box in someone else’s grave, as we learn through some dialogue in between sex scenes. Thomas returns from his grave (well, someone else’s grave) to seek revenge, his plan including a lot of cooking.

At the end of the film, the host threatens us, “Until next time.” No!

Eroddity(s) was written and directed by Steven Vasquez (I figured he’d want me to mention that one more time). By the way, the DVD includes the film's trailer, which has this ridiculous phrase: "a teen's long-forgotten past." Obviously, whoever wrote this is very young.

(Note: I posted a somewhat shorter version of this review on another web site.)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Slaughtered (2010)

Slaughtered is an incredibly stupid slasher film written and directed by Kate Glover. The first scene takes place at a bar after closing time. We see the last patrons being ushered out and the place locked up. And then those who work there gather for a few drinks and laughs. One customer (looking like Peter Jackson) emerges from the bathroom, having had fallen asleep in there. So they make him leave, and outside he is killed.

Then on the screen it says “24 Hours Later.” That means it’s a little after closing time again. Yet the girls are on their way to work, getting a ride from Luke. Luke stops the car and gets out to pee. Sarah says, “Great, now we’re going to be late for work.” Well, since it’s twenty-four hours after the first scene, I’d say Sarah is already late for work. In fact, she has missed her entire shift. When Luke comes back, his car won’t start. Oh, come on, movie. And again the girls whine about being late for work.

Well, the girls get a ride from a dirty old guy who is going to the pub anyway. He’ll be disappointed when he finds it’s closed. But when they get there, it’s crowded, even though it must be something like 3 a.m. By the way, the girls don’t even thank the guy for the ride, so before one gets out, he grabs her thigh. Good for him.

Jack shows a new employee, Jasper, the ropes. It’s all very exciting, except it’s clearly not twenty-four hours later. We’ve been lied to. How can we trust the film at all now? As that recalled Barbie doll says, “Math class is tough.” Kate Glover, the silly bitch who wrote this film, should know that twenty-four hours later is exactly a day later, but it seems she thinks it means “some time the next night.” 

Anyway, apparently Jasper has just moved to town and is living in a creepy house. He says he’s not afraid of ghosts, and another old customer suddenly appears, telling him he will be. Well, not to spoil anything for you, but he won’t be. This film never quite leaves the bar. The promises of a creepy house and ghosts are left unfulfilled.

Well, Jack and the bar manager discover the body of the Peter Jackson clone upstairs on a pool table. They decide to call the police, then say, “What are we going to do?” And then they call the police. Also, they decide not to tell the girls. The manager says to the police: “I just can’t believe it. Sorry. It’s unbelievable.” They then lock the place up. The manager explains to Jack how to do it: “We go to each door, we’re gonna make sure it’s completely locked.” Hmm, sounds complicated. But we see them lock the doors, and it doesn’t look all that difficult. So, where are the patrons? Unless perhaps now it is suddenly truly twenty-four hours later? The girls say they’re bored. Well, is the place open or not? We saw them lock the doors completely, but now we see there are a few customers.

And apparently the pub is also a liquor store, for there’s suddenly a boy wanting to buy a six-pack. A lot of time is passing. Where are the police? Unless, could it be that the manager didn’t call the cops at all? Well, they find another body in the basement, attached to the taps. How big is this pub? The manager still wants to keep this quiet, and moves the body somewhere. More time passes. Sarah and Ash make out in the basement. And then the killer attacks Sarah. Another girl hears this, but doesn’t go for help. There are a lot of people about. It wouldn’t take much effort on her part to get help. She finally runs upstairs, but can’t say what happened. She says, “We’re all going to die,” and then goes to the bathroom. Why doesn’t she just leave?

It’s because Kate Glover has created the stupidest group of people to ever inhabit a film. Seriously. And I think it’s because Kate Glover herself has the intellect of a drowned shoe.

Well, the girl is attacked in the bathroom stall, because apparently the killer was hiding and waiting in the stall next to hers. When she screams, her friend in the stall on the other side of hers just bangs on the wall between them rather than exiting her stall, and seeing what is the matter with her friend. Again, these are stupid, stupid people. I hate them all, but most of all I hate Kate Glover, who wrote and directed this pile of shit. And isn’t it convenient that the killer happened to pick the one stall that the girls didn’t enter? There are only three stalls, after all.

Also, it’s impossible to figure out the lay-out of this location. It makes no sense. There are apparently two or three bars, a liquor store, an upstairs pool hall, a video poker room and lots of other rooms, but it’s all one establishment. You need a fucking map if you’re at all interested in following where people are at any given moment, though I suspect that the director wasn’t paying much attention to this herself. And are the doors completely locked or not? Don’t any of the patrons want to leave? Don’t other people perhaps want to come in? The manager wants to move the patrons upstairs, but they’re not interested in doing that.

By the way, the girl in the bathroom finally does go over to the next stall, but only after her friend was killed. So she sees the bloody, mangled body of her friend, and then calms down in like ten seconds and gets back to work. Really? The new guy, Jasper, says, “Could someone tell me what the fuck is going on?” Indeed. Well, Jasper, what’s happened is Kate Glover wrote the worst horror script of all time and somehow got it financed and then coerced you into playing a small part. Jasper tries to call the cops, but says the phone is dead.

Finally someone shows up, wanting to get in the bar. It’s Luke. Hi, Luke. He bangs on the door a couple of times, then apparently loses interest. Bye, Luke. Why aren’t the patrons alarmed that the doors are completely locked? The dead phone then rings, but it’s just some heavy breathing at the other end. (Later Jasper will call the police again, after realizing you have to press one to get an outside line.)

The girl sees another corpse, then exits through a door that’s not completely locked, or actually not even a little bit locked. But then she’s back inside in another room. Seriously, the DVD should have come with the blueprints of this location.

Well, the only bit of intelligence shown by anyone in this entire film comes after the girl hits the killer with a fire extinguisher and knocks him out. The guy with her tells her, “Well, hit him again.” Very good advice. Of course, she doesn’t follow it, because she’s about as bright as a moldy sandwich. So the killer gets up and grabs the guy. And the stupid bitch doesn’t even seem to feel bad. And apparently she’s the hero of this garbage. She decides to leave – finally – but is unable to unlock the completely locked doors. And finally we see the bar patrons. Get this: they are all asleep at tables in some section of the bar. Seriously. One of them wakes up and tries to grab the girl, probably to place another drink order, but she ignores him. The service at this place is terrible.

And then a little later the movie ends. It’s no surprise who the killer is. But there is certainly no reason for the killing. No explanation or anything. Apparently this is the only film that Kate Glover has written and directed. Let’s hope it remains that way.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Treasure Of The Four Crowns (1983)

Treasure Of The Four Crowns is one of the worst of the worst. It’s almost unbearable. It was originally shot in 3D, and is not in 3D on the DVD, so perhaps a small part of the problem (very small) is the lack of that effect. But really I’m just being kind in even mentioning that.

Anyway, the film begins with a man exploring a castle. Think of the opening of Raiders Of The Lost Ark, then subtract the suspense and the humor, remove all of the fun, and put in some birds and dogs and a less charismatic actor, and you’ll have a good idea of what this is about. He suddenly does an acrobatic move, which is unbelievable and hilarious. The scene goes on and on. Apparently the basement of the castle is a haunted house from the cheapest, shittiest traveling carnival you ever attended. Nice hovering crossbows. I love the thick strings holding them in place. Do the crossbows fire repeatedly at the camera? You bet! And in slow motion. And not just crossbow bolts, but also swords, spears and maces are hurled at the camera. By whom? No idea. It doesn’t matter.

We’re sixteen minutes into the film and nothing has happened. What is this guy doing? Disembodied voices howl and moan and laugh. Perhaps they’ve read the script. Is there a script? There’s been no dialogue or anything. So far the script is just a list of objects that are thrown at the camera. This would have been irritating in 3D, but in 2D it’s just dull as shit. Who is this guy? Can something hit him already? There is a growing and terrible fear that this guy is our hero.

The castle suddenly catches fire, like at the end of a Hammer film. And twenty minutes into this movie the man exits the castle, having achieved… well, I’m not sure what he accomplished. Random explosions go off behind him for some reason as he runs away.

Twenty-two minutes into the film we get our first line of dialogue: “How ya doin’, J.T.?” So the guy is named J.T. Well, those are his initials anyway. Or maybe not, because he doesn’t answer. Twenty-two minutes in we have our first line of dialogue – a question that he doesn’t bother to answer. Great. And it turns out this jackass is our hero. Great again.

Regarding the castle, J.T. says: “That place was a nightmare. It almost got me killed.” Not really. Whoever was tossing random objects at him never even hit him. Even the large rolling fireball didn’t come close. What a whiner this J.T. is. The other guys ask if he got the key or not, and J.T. says he got it. So that’s what he accomplished in that excruciating opening scene.

Well, there is some nonsense about crowns and unspeakable power and whatever. Meanwhile, a magnifying glass and other items are passed directly toward the camera whenever possible. It's like the camera is the go-between in all hand-offs among characters. These guys treat J.T. to a slide show and a recording of some man yelling. His name is Brother Jonas, and he has the other crowns. They tell J.T.: “The sick, the desperate, the lonely. His apostles go out and round ‘em up like they were stray dogs and they ship ‘em off to his private mountain fortress.” They want J.T. to steal the crowns from Brother Jonas. J.T. says no, but we all know that means yes.

There are more props on strings when J.T. tries to recruit a drunk friend into their stupid plan. And more ridiculous explosions. And more objects are tossed at the camera. Then we have to suffer as J.T. and the other guy go about gathering the rest of the team. Then when the plan is explained – well, sort of explained – we get more crap flying at the camera. It makes no sense, and has no real bearing on anything, so think of it as a good time to refill your bong or take a piss. You won’t miss anything. (Actually, this is true of any moment in this film.)

When they get to the castle, there are random and very annoying sound effects. They indicate nothing, of course. They’re just there to irritate you.

Also, this is perhaps the worst print ever. Or did the camera crew just never check the gate? Never clean the lens? There are black blobs all over the place.

What does it all add up to? One hundred and one minutes of totally wasted time. Stay away from this one unless you’re completely stoned.  The only cool thing in the movie is the trapeze work, and how it comes into play in their scheme. That's it. The rest is just garbage. At one point J.T.’s head spins around several times, but he’s okay. Well, except half his face begins melting for some reason. This is certainly one of the stupidest films ever made. Shockingly bad.

(Note: I posted a shorter version of this review on another web site.)