Archive for September, 2009

The Final Destination 3-D satisfies like a Snickers bar for the brain.

September 4, 2009

Final Destination 4 Movie Poster

I’m a sucker for a 3-D horror movie and I’ve had a soft spot for the FINAL DESTINATION series since the first one, back in 2000. In my opinion, it is the only “original” slasher franchise that exists in this era known as the 00’s, or the naughts, or whatever you want to call this freakish decade we’re in. You can make an argument that the SAW movies are too and I would agree that they are a variation of the genre to a certain degree, but I consider the FINAL DESTINATION movies to be the slasher formula stripped down to it’s bare bones like a rock band from Detroit.

The concept that a group of random people somehow cheat death and are in turn stalked one by one by an invisible grim reaper, who dispatches with the survivors in a series of well executed “accidents”, is brilliant in it’s simplicity. With this set up, there is never a need for a back story or continuing characters and the “killer”, the unstoppable Death, can only be delayed from taking out the survivors in order of when they were supposed to die.

Each FINAL DESTINATION movie exists in a world where around every corner a rope is ready to snap and drop something on you, or a rock could shoot through a lawnmower and into your brain, or a pool drain can suck your guts out if you get stuck in it and so on and so on. Creating a potentially dangerous situation out of everything creates an effective amount of anxiousness while watching these movies. At any moment something could short circuit, break, or fall off a shelf and create a series of domino-like actions that will lead to you being diced up into little meatballs.

THE FINAL DESTINATION is the fourth in the series and the first to be shown in 3-D. It was written by Eric Bress and directed by David R. Ellis, whom are the two men responsible for what is considered to be the best film in the series, FINAL DESTINATION 2. Truthfully, the only thing new here is a different group of victims and a series of new “creative” deaths. What makes this one “stand out” (OH! Nice one!) is the excellent 3-D that is used to send the blood and guts flying into your face. If it wasn’t for that, this movie is just a standard sequel you could probably avoid. At 82 minutes, THE FINAL DESTINATION accomplishes everything it needs to do and provides some cool 3-D thrills, but I wouldn’t see it in 2-D or watch it at home if I were you. 3-D in the theatre is the only way to go with this one.

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The Evil Dead trilogy @ the New Bev!

September 1, 2009
GROOVY!

GROOVY!

On Friday, August 28th, I attended an EVIL DEAD triple feature at the New Beverly Cinema in L.A. and it was a very “groovy” time. The theatre was completely sold out and filled with EVIL DEADHEADS anxious to watch the greatest horror-comedy trilogy ever conceived by humans! I’ve been lucky enough to have seen all three of these movies in the theatre on their initial runs and I’ve also seen them screened individually over the years at the various revival houses around town, but have never seen them all back to back, till now.

evildead

The Evil Dead in Thai!

The Evil Dead in Thai!

First up was the original, THE EVIL DEAD from 1982. I saw this film for the first time back in ’83 on a double date in high school. It was the second movie on a double bill with David Cronenberg’s THE DEAD ZONE at the Norridge Theatre in suburban Chicago, Ill. After the first movie was over, we all debated on if we should stay for the second feature or not. The girls wanted to go, but I suggested watching the first 20 minutes and if it sucked, we could leave. At about the time of the “tree rape” scene, I turned to my friend Mark and he gave me a thumbs up on staying for the rest, which we did. I have not seen THE EVIL DEAD projected on a screen since then and we were now all treated to a pristine 35mm print that belonged to none other than Mr. Sam Raimi himself. How cool is that?! THE EVIL DEAD is the ultimate experience in grueling terror and seeing it again with a big audience drove that fact home even harder. If I were to choose a favorite, it would have to be this one. But the next one is a damn close runner up…

I love the original poster!

I love the original poster!

Another cool poster!

Another cool poster!

Ash has his work "cut" out for him. Get it? OH!

Ash has his work "cut" out for him. Get it? OH!

Those Deadites suck!!

Those Deadites suck!!

I love, love, love the shit out of EVIL DEAD II! It is the greatest gore-comedy ever created. Bruce Campbell really knocked my socks off when I first saw it back in ’87 and you know what? He still does! Like the Buster Keaton/W.C Fields of horror, Campbell’s physical slapstick combined with the most spot-on line delivery imaginable has always been well deserving of all the praise he’s received. The motherfucker is awesome!! Watching him kick the living shit out of himself for this little horror movie makes me understand why he became such an icon.

Sam Raimi deserves a special 18k gold director’s chair in Heaven for this one! The frenetic style of this benchmark movie is one of the most influential in all of horror, no doubt. It was great fun seeing it with the enthusiastic New Bev audience. Then it was time for, BRUCE CAMPBELL VS.

Time to kick some medieval ass you screwheads!

Time to kick some medieval ass you screwheads!

One of the greatest posters ever!

One of the greatest posters ever!

In Japanese!

In Japanese!

When I think smart, I think S Mart.

When I think smart, I think S Mart.

ARMY OF DARKNESS is the perfect way to wrap up a trilogy and an evening of movie watching. Phil Blankenship played this as a midnight movie in ’07 and the place was packed with fans who quoted the movie out loud and applauded in all the right spots. Ditto on this night as well. AOD is a “party” movie for sure. It’s the zaniest of the three and not at all bashful about letting you know it. I love the humor and the nods to Ray Harryhausen with the skeleton army. I also think it’s great that the character of Ash becomes a total dick in this movie. His disdain for everyone around him is hilarious and totally justified. If I had been through all the shit that he’s had to deal with, I’d be an asshole to all those “medieval screwheads” too.

Seeing the whole EVIL DEAD trilogy back to back was another amazing time at my favorite movie theatre in all the world, The New Beverly Cinema. They have serious revival house “game” and their programming “pimp hand” is very strong. Check out the John Hughes memorial festival this week. You know where I’ll be.