Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sexy Killer (2008)

I saw this Italian film this week, it is a comedy-horror: two genres that don't really go very well together despite many attempts. In this same genre I like the Simon Pegg films like the zombie one made (Sean of the Dead).
The main character is a female serial killer who earns the nickname the Campus Killer because she seems to kill where she lives on campus. This film is an outrageous romp, there are lots of murders, lots of blood spurting body parts and a little bit of sex thrown in. To be honest though, it is not very sexy. I also had trouble reading the subtitles because they were white and against some scenes they were unreadable - not the problem of the director though.
The killer thinks she has found a soulmate who enjoys the killing as much as she does but it turns out he was talking about his job as a police pathologist. She thinks he is killing a man in the toilet of a restaurant when infact he is convincing the man to swap clothes and to do this he explains he will get laid with a hot girl. The man looks unconvinced until the pathologist appeals to the nerd qualities of the man, the both exchange a Star Trek salute. The pathologist is not some ordinary guy though, he is also an inventor and has built a device that can display the thoughts of a person or an animal. He has a liquid that can keep the brain of something dead alive a bit longer and he uses both on a fresh victim of the serial killer. This victim was the police detective and although the memory machine doesn't show who the killer is, the liquid somehow turns the police detective into a zombie. He makes the pathologist inject the same liquid into all of the serial killers victims and they then go to a fancy dress house party. The people in fancy dress think that the zombies are other party guests. You can guess the rest.
It didn't live up to the promise of the title but was fast paced and entertaining while it lasted.

Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter (1974)

I saw this film this week. I was looking forward to it because I remembered it was a film I enjoyed as a teenager. I liked the idea of a horror film about a vampire hunter at the time. It was quite different to many vampire films where the female is the victim. Near the start of the film he rescues a woman stuck in the stocks. She is a really beautiful woman (actually, it's Caroline Munro) and she ends up staying with him for a while. Captain Kronos is a war hero but I'm not sure which war he fought in. He has a hunchback professor as a sidekick, he seems to be the brains of the operation and Kronos is the skilled swordsman. They are the perfect match and I'm a bit surprised that they didn't make any more films with these characters. I wonder if they appear in anything else? Such as a comic or a book?
Kronos has been requested to visit a doctor friend who is troubled by the occurence of several young girls from the village who have been found dead but with their blood drained and their faces terribly aged. What I liked about the film as a teenager was that it wasn't just the run of the mill vampire tale. Here there were elements such as the ageing, the professor's knowledge about different kinds of vampire and the dead frog in a box vampire detector (life is restored to the frog if a vampire crosses its path).
The film wasn't quite as exciting as I remembered it as a teenager but I do still enjoy watching it.

Altitude (2010)

This film was one of those featuring annoying American teenagers who find themselves in a situation that means they have to work out their personality differences under extreme stress. The film it reminds me of is Frozen where the characters are stuck on a ski-lift in a closed ski resort with a pack of hungry wolves pacing around below them. This film is improbably set in a small plane piloted by a female student (played by the beautiful Jessica Lowndes) who happens to be the daughter of a general. Actually the detail about the daughter's father seemed a little unnecessary in the end as it didn't have much significance to the plot. There are five of them: the pilot, her boyfriend, a single guy, another female and her boyfriend who plays being an annoying drunk teenager very well. SPOILER ALERT: it turns out that the pilots boyfriend is a sole survivor of a light plane crash that killed both his parents and the female pilot's mother. How the female pilot didn't know this before getting on to the plane is very strange. It does explain his unease, I wouldn't even consider it and I probably wouldn't have chosen her for a girlfriend. He seems to be a bit clingy. She doesn't seem to want him to follow him to college wherever she is going but he has a bus ticket to the place in his rucksack. She finds this out through a tussle later in the film.
The disaster in this film is that a loose bolt in the plane's tailfin elevator
gets under the mechanism jamming it up. they fly in to a storm and then experience a supernatural being in the air that is out to kill them. This entity seems to be in the imagination of the pilot's boyfriend. They discover this because she bought him a copy of a comic where the whole plot is drawn out. I know, it is bizarre. I was totally confused during the film. It mixes so many elements and doesn't really do any story element justice. There is some hint of love between the single guy and the drunk's girlfriend. But he drops from the plane in an attempt to fix the elevator.
I can't really recommend this film.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Hostel: Part II (2007)

I saw the first Hostel film on TV some years ago and it surprised me at just how gruesome it was. Having seen the first film, I was prepared for this one. I think actually that the worst scenes in the film were cut from the version I saw but without seeing it all I can't really tell.
Rich people bid for the "privilege" of torturing and killing tourists in Slovakia abducted from a hostel there. The facility where the killings are done is an old factory. This film sees a group of female college students on holiday get abducted. I liked the way that the two American men are depicted, one of the characters seems really intent on having a great time in his torture and killing. He is really vocal about it and the other man seems really unsure and just there because his friend is interested. Things don't quite turn out that way but I won't spoil the plot.
It is certainly well made and acted but the subject matter is pretty awful and dark. Not a family film, as they say! It's a film I can recommend to those who can watch it without taking it seriously. There is some dark humour in the film but you have to have the stomach for it, to catch it.