Category Archives: Movie

Old – M Night Shyamalan

I will watch ANY movie by M. Night Shyamalan, and when I saw this Blu(e)ray on a store shelf, I bought it without needing to read the synopsis or anything else.
I do not regret having purchased this, but I do have questions and criticism, but before I delve into the dark, I want to repeat that I enjoyed watching the movie. The bonus material was also enjoyable, especially the exploration into Shyamalan’s filming style for this movie.

Before I get to the spoilers, let me state that there were some interesting situations that were created by the aging process, and there were some compelling group dynamics. I won’t spoil those.

SPOILERS

The more I thought about the movie, the more I poked at some holes. When I watch a movie, I want to be immersed in the world. I make a deal with the movie, as a viewer, to believe the rules of the story world. I do not watch as a critic.

The people who are on the beach are unable to leave, but wouldn’t that barrier make them unable to enter? I will watch the movie again to see if I missed an explanation, but I suspect that if there is one, it will be cheesy. For the story to work, people can only leave via a tunnel, an exit that will likely result in drowning.

The premise of the movie is that evil pharmaceutical people are experimenting upon unwilling recipients, which would never be allowed in the real world because of ethics (not a philosophy – it’s a part of the design of an experiment). Maybe there has been a fake story of how a medicine was discovered (that hides how a person being raped by an elephant produced the particular form of adrenaline… but the official reported story is that elephants that were rescued from poachers had blood tests, and the adrenaline that was produced while having a tusk removed proved to be an incredible medicine for humans).

The beach ages people very quickly. This is used to test medicine on a fast track, rather than waiting decades to see the result. In real life, experiments are performed on creatures that have short life spans because of the quicker results, but this more has to do with seeing many generations, like if you make a pill that increases dick size, would that altering of genetics have results down the lineage of the big-dicked creature?

Each doomed person (experimental rat) is given only ONE dose, disguised in an alcoholic beverage. Isn’t this silly? “Wow, we can examine what happens to a person throughout his entire life span from just a single dose.” In this movie, a woman was cured of epilepsy from a single dose. Well, relatively cured. I think she was estimated to have been cured for sixteen years.

The more I thought about the movie, the more I suspected that plot-points were forced and weak justifications were put into place to make the story flow according to the main ideas, with everything stitched up in a neat bow at the end of the movie, which came off as “contrived.”

I eventually came to the conclusion that this, like many works by the director (and others in science fiction) were enveloping their ideas in story-situations that expressed the personal idea (of the creator). Much material in movies in unrealistic, like fiery explosions in space, or blood spurts from a gun shot. Fiction can be realistic, but fiction is not meant to be a newscast of a real event. It is meant for the reader or viewer (or listener) to enter the world of the creator.

Changing my perspective made me look at the movie the right way – to enjoy the dream of Shyamalan, a dream experienced at Night. (Get it?)

Barbarian Queen/Amazons Double Feature

When I was a teen, I saw BARBARIAN QUEEN for the first time on VHS. I was heavily into Dungeons & Dragons, so any movie that remotely had to do with Medieval fantasy was either rented or purchased. In this case, I rented it, because in those days, new tapes cost $80.

Being that young made me forgive a lot of cheese. I wish that I could shed the critic in me, but even now, I try to enjoy what I see rather than critique it, but I can’t always do so.

In my adulthood, the DVD of this movie came out, but to my extreme disappointment, some scenes were censored. I could not understand why those would be deleted.

When I went to horror conventions, I begged bootleggers to find a version of the movie with all the scenes intact. They told me that they had never seen a laser disc for it, nor could they find a digital file.

A decade or so later, another DVD version came out, still censored, but it contained the deleted scenes in a bonus chapter. Unfortunately, these were VHS quality.

A few weeks ago, SCREAM FACTORY announced a Blu(e)ray version, and I pre-ordered it with the hope that I would not only see the deleted scenes restored, but also to see a full, uncut version with footage that I had not seen before, which SCREAM FACTORY sometimes offers.

It was not to be. This is the censored cut, and the deleted scenes are still VHS quality. I would have been appeased if the excised content were as crisp and vibrant as the main movie. It angers me that the footage was removed.

Let’s say that the footage was removed because of sexuality. Why is that a terrifying no-no? Whenever I hear someone ask the question “Is this porn?” I never regard that person as worth talking to. It’s stupid. There were actually people who criticized “Game of Thrones” for having nudity. It’s ridiculous.

Getting back to “sexuality” being the reason for the scene being gutted. Why not scrap the whole movie? The leggy outfits of the women, and the bountiful shots of naked breasts should result in the entire movie being burned. I am joking, of course. But I am not joking when I state that I despise squeamish people. They shouldn’t be allowed to watch movies unless they sign a contact that forbids them to ever give an opinion about movies or music. Fuck them.

I joined a couple of Facebook groups for fantasy writers, but I had to quite because I was horrified by the extreme stupidity of the members. It’s like they only want to write baby-stories for retards. How can characters who carry swords and daggers encounter conflict and be expected to behave in a way that would be approved by a human resources manager? Seriously, some of those idiots actually asked how to write trigger warnings in their garbage books.

It seems that even metal has been infiltrated by the brainwashed assholes. I hate this era. We are living in a period when stupidity is rewarded.

Returning to the movie, it’s not high art that would be degraded it the sex scenes were returned. Honestly, it’s a stupid movie. I like it for nostalgia, and for the boobs – but it’s idiotic, and I wonder why I loved it so much as a teen. Well, I couldn’t have loved it much because the only thing I remembered was boobs.

There was no consistent speech style. Some character talked like they were in a bible movie, while a couple talked in a New York accent with New York slang. I don’t know why that was allowed.

Watching the movie from start to finish was not easy because it was bad, and on top of that, I was furious that it was censored. But it was a fun trip down memory lane, and it was nice to see the parts that I did remember in this pristine form.

The other movie on this double feature is “Amazons” which I also saw in my early life. I didn’t remember a thing about this story either, other than boobs, but now that I am an adult, I don’t find the boobs in this movie attractive because almost all of them are fake. When I was a teen, I don’t think that I even knew that implants existed.

This story is ten times more stupid than “Barbarian Queen” and I had to take breaks from it for that that reason. Both movies have an ultra simple plot of evil warriors trashing a village, followed by a promise of revenge, and then a resolution. Barbarian Queen provides a lot of boobage along the way, but it doesn’t get as retarded as “Amazons” (the ending to that one is too infuriatingly stupid for me to write anything). While both movies could only be loved by a teen, Barbarian Queen at least was shot in the spirit of exploitation film.

Although this review is harsh, I purchased this Blu(e)ray and have no intention of re-selling it. The movies are part of my past. I’d love to get a fully restored “Barbarian Queen” but it seems like the movie industry is more interested in appeasing simple-minded people rather than providing a variety. There are some people who love offensive content, and some people like to see nudity when there are sex scenes. (Do you remember “The Last House on the Left” remake that showed a rape scene with the victim still in bra and panties? That must have been some pointy penis to have poked through the undergarment. But it’s not the only modern horror to water down shocking footage. )

Black Metal: The ultimate Documentary

Bill Zebub has stitched together an astounding 6 hours of interviews for the ultimate black metal documentary which will be available on Blu(e)ray.

There was a crowdfunder for this that offered limited, hand-numbered artwork, and a very rare early cut that is 7 hours long. Die-hard supporters of Bill Zebub quickly obtained their prized discs.

This is the tentative cover for the retail version.

BLACK METAL: THE ULTIMATE DOCUMENTARY

Black Metal: The Ultimate Documentary

Bill Zebub is working on the ultimate documentary about black metal. Currently it is 7 hours long!!! Due to this length, the footage must be provided on Blu(e)ray. It is still too long for that, so Bill Zebub is going to run a crowdfunding campaign that will offer the deleted footage (might be up to 2 hours) on a birded disc (A BD-R is like a DVD-R, except for blu(e)ray).

This will be for a limited time, and of course, the factory-replicated actual documentary will have a different cover – hand-numbered and autographed. If only 20 people participate, then only 20 such discs will exist, and thereby will be super collectible. But even if 100 people participate, owning one out of 100 discs is something to boast.

If you want to be notified when this campaign will launch, Email bill@billzebub.com. You can also check back here.

Metal bands demonstrate humor

You may have heard that some bands promote the pussification of metal. like BENIGHTED, which some people call “Be-Nutted” – but the following video shows metal people who have no fear of humor.

Please support bands that promote independence, not conformity and cowardice.

Pussification
Pussification

Stan & Ollie – Movie Review

I loved this movie. Yes, I am a fan of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, but that would make me judge a movie about the duo more harshly. I own every possible movie and have read a few biographies.

When I discovered that this is a fictional story, it put me at ease. I loved Amadeus even though there were, shall we say, some errors. Same with Immortal Beloved – a story about Beethoven. These movies were great works of fiction that exalted the subjects. The same applies to Stan & Ollie.

The first few minutes were spent in wonder as I saw the much-loved comedy duo depicted very well, but I soon lost sense of myself as the story immersed me in that world.

There was laughter, and there was sadness. It was hard to watch at times because of my connection to the characters. They deserved to have better outcomes, but in a way, they lived as some of the characters who they depicted. Despite being poor and suffering one mishap after another, they didn’t let the cruelty of life diminish the warmth of their personalities.

I cannot put myself in the place of someone who doesn’t know these two so I can’t predict if this movie will affect such viewers, but I believe that it will be inspiring to any who watch. I will surely watch this many more times.

I am grateful that such a movie was made.

Maniac – Caroline Munro

This is an old movie that I had not seen until this anniversary 3-disc edition.

The enjoyment that I derived from viewing the movie was to see how things were done once upon a time.  The gore was humorous.  It seems that, back then, fake blood looked more like red paint in a child’s arts and crafts class rather than an attempt at a simulation.  Flesh was rubber – it stretched, as is seen during a decapitation.  But the funniest gag is the blood squirting from behind a knife – the side of the blade that you don’t see.  I keep hearing that this was once a shocking image, but I disagree.   When I was a kid, I didn’t know the exact method for the gag, but I had fun putting ketchup on the side of a knife that a person wouldn’t see, and I pretended to cut my arm, so I don’t see how this was innovative or scary.

I don’t know if this period of movies was just giving the viewer the barest essence, as if it were a play.  I thought that this was why older TV shows show just a red dot when someone gets shot, but after talking to a detective, he said that there is no blood spurt – people bleed internally.  Yes, there are exceptions, but it seems that the modern way of having squibs is just as silly as the gore of yesteryear, or yesterdecade, ha ha.

There are two unrealistic things about the movie.  One is that Caroline Munro’s character would be involved with the slob who plays the maniac.  The more striking error is that the maniac is asexual.  All serial killers are sexual predators, whether the victim is alive or dead.  This is the problem with many movies – there is only surface level knowledge.  However, there is some merit to the maniac being stuck in a childhood experience.

No, I don’t hate this movie, and I don’t regret the time I spent watching it.  I liked the spirit of the movie – it felt like a passion project.  The behind-the-scenes extras provided proof of that.  It was a step back in time to see how things were done in those days.  There are also time-capsule elements like rotary phones and cars that weighed a lot more, ha ha.  It’s a peek into the past.

Maniac - Caroline Munro
Maniac – Caroline Munro

Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE (Blue Underground)

I had not seen the movie until now,  so I have no nostalgic blindness that makes me overlook the stupidity.

This movie is one of the reasons why horror is considered a low form of cinema.  There are too idiotic parts to make this anything but a dalliance.  Perhaps that is all that one wishes in a horror movie, but there are some horror movies that are cerebral, or that provide more than cool shots here and there.

Before I begin ridiculing the movie, I would like to point out that there is one very good aspect, and that is the inclusion of nudity.  It comes from a time when there wasn’t as much fear to show the female form.

Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE
Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE

Another positive thing that can be noted is that the zombies in some scenes appear to be dead.  Their faces do not change expression, which makes them appear undead.  I favor this depiction, but of course, the movie has zombies that look like someone was reading too many newspaper pages and smudged ink in their faces.

The action is ridiculous.   Molotov cocktails are prepared.  When thrown, inside a dwelling, of all places, they miss a gang of zombies completely.  While the fire burns, another bottle is hurled, but the shot that was previously in flames now appears as if no fire had ever occurred there.  This happens again.  It was so stupid that I actually laughed.

The zombies are noisy and lumbering retards, but they manage to appear like ninjas, suddenly and silently behind people who are on guard.  There is also a zombie in the ocean who adroitly fights a shark.  The funniest straying from zombie behavior is when a woman’s hair is grabbed, and she is pulled into a shard of wood.  If a zombie just goes around biting people and acts retarded, how would it suddenly devise such a tactic?

This brings me to the behavior of the humans.  Older movies like these seem to show people as idiots who forget self defense when there is a monster.  A woman is grabbed only by a few strands of hair, and as her face is pulled toward a sharp splinter of wood, all she can do is look at the object in total stupidity and fear.  If you ever play-wrestled a girl, you know that they are masters of squirming out of any hold.  So this legendary scene that reportedly horrified audiences was actually a source of laughter for me.  It was just too stupid to be taken seriously.  I would use it in a comedy, actually.

There are other silly bits of action and behavior, like when a person driving a jeep to escape zombies isn’t paying attention to the road.  In front of him there is a zombie.  Instead of running over it, the driver reacts as if it is an insurmountable barrier, and then he drives out of control and slams into a tree after a minute.  Why didn’t he use the breaks.  To make matters more silly, a backseat passenger tears the front of his ankle.

The story elements are ignorant or boring.   Perhaps the special effects at one time were considered good, but I found them to be funny.    I watched the movie more an an outsider who was trying to see this as someone from the past would have, but I had to change attitude and view it as a comedy.  There was no substance, nothing nightmarish, and nothing interesting, side from the exquisite form of the topless actress.