Tag Archives: Vietnam

Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth

And this is where the Hellraiser series begins to fall flat. Bought by Miramax, an American company. Pinhead crosses the ocean and finds his feet on shaky ground in Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth. Claiming that “Hell has come to Earth,” this installment enters the club scene of New York in the early 90’s. (Or some such city…) With Clive Barker becoming a co-producer and a basis for the series, this is where the Jenga tower gets wobbly.

In this part of the series, Kirsty is no longer involved. She did her duty to send back the Cenobites to Hell and gains a well deserved rest. It is now her testimony on a couple of psychiatric tapes that give clues to the new main female protagonist of the film. Pinhead has been rent in twain and his former self as Captian Elliott Spencer and his id as Pinhead (both Doug Bradley as classically usual) are about to throw down. It is up to young reporter Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell) to reunite the two.

This really was the best scene though. Yay sacrilege!

Basic plot? Here goes. J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt) is a pimpin’ playa hatin’ psycho club owner of the aptly named Boiler Room. (This club was incidentally the most expensive aspect of the production and was filled with cast, crew, and friends.) In order to exude this strangely masochistic feel, J.P. gets his hands on the pillar of souls from the last movie, containing Pinhead’s veracious killing streak. After sucking in one of J.P.’s sluts, Pinhead emerges, asking for more souls to release him from his prison.

J.P.'s pimpin' Pillar of Souls!

Meanwhile, Joey Summerskill is on the case! Like a modern day Nancy Drew, Joey walks the bad streets of her newly formed beat, somehow stumbling on this supernatural case of torture. With the chance meeting of J.P.’s main squeeze Terri (Paula Marshall). Once they discover the secrets of the Lament Configuration, things get weird. Although, Joey has been having some strange Vietnam flashbacks of her father dying in Vietnam. I don’t know the time frame on this movie, but I really am not seein’ it.

The bastardized Cenobites pull Joey's hair!

With a whole new crew of Cenobites (because all the originals died in the last movie, but come back in the fourth for no reason…), these rip-off cyborgs must be stopped at all costs and Pinhead must be stopped from his sacrilegious ways. I wasn’t so sure about the ending, but hey, this movie was the weak link.

I dunno about this movie, it was just strange overall. After having so much fun watching the first two, the third kind of burnt me out on the series. What makes the next one even better is a little secret about the director (I can’t wait to tell you all!). With Clive Barker as a backseat driver in this series from this point on, it makes it hard knowing he is not the driving force behind what’s going on onscreen. The acting became worse, I cared less about the characters, and the only good thing that came out of this one in the series was a bit more development with Pinhead’s character. Leave it to an American company to make a great horror series lame (insert every Asian horror movie and its destruction when turned into an American remake).

With that in mind, I am not disappointed with the Hellraiser series overall. This one had a bit less gore and animatronics, but just a bit. The kill scenes became comedic, and the Cenobites were bastardized American versions of Chatterbox, Butterball, and The Female. With the amount of over the top gore in this movie, I felt short changed. It gets a bit better in Bloodline, but not a whole lot. Hopefully the stride will be regained in 6… But I gotta give Hell on Earth less than 1 or 2, it’s a saddening 3.8 out of 10.

I will survive.

Advertisements

Predator: Some of that Schwarzennshizz.

Here’s The Abyss back again for a quick review on an oldie but a goodie, Predator. In happening upon Predator in a friend’s movie collection, I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity not to watch this one again. Let me just say that, when it came to the Alien and Predator series, I watched those bad boys in order. And then watched AVP 1 & 2. I immersed myself in the horror/sci-fi genre and it felt real nostalgic to come back to it after so long. And it doesn’t hurt to love the Govenator.

So let’s travel back to a wonderful time when Arnold was still a huge action star and not involved in politics. A time when Carl Weathers was ripped as balls. A time when Predator was a badass. Oh wait, he still is. In having to choose between the two successful baddies of the AVP series, I will always lean towards the Predator species. Superior hunting skills? No need for vast numbers to eradicate from within the human species? Sign me up for that. Although I get a bit hesitant to say I like the way Predator looks with those mandibles in comparison to Alien, but I like the way Peter Cullen did the voice effects. I’ll take blades over acid

What a rag tag group of hardasses.

blood any day.

So, coming from an operation gone wrong standpoint, (a helpful suggestion from Arnold himself) Dutch (Schwarzenegger) and crew get dropped into hostile territory. Somewhere in the vast wilderness of Central America, the military has recruited a handful of elite operatives for a rescue mission. Some officials were downed in their chopper (“Get to the choppa!”) and they must be rescued from some bad news drug smugglers. So throw in some Carl Weathers in his prime as C.I.A. Dillon and a Native American spirit dweller (Sonny Landham) and you have yourself a gruesome, action packed, guys gettin’ vaporized horror thriller.

Pretty dope. A bit strange with that face though...

Now, when you think about Predator and the cast that was assembled, you have to wonder about the steroid requirement on set. And the fact that there wasn’t one. Arnold was bustin’ his dogs out hardcore for some guerilla warfare with Carl Weathers not far behind (it must’ve helped being Apollo Creed). You got Jesse Ventura as Blain. That absurdly crazy man was in Vietnam, the WWF, and a political activist, all in one life. Let’s talk accomplished. Add Bill Duke, the insanely gargantuan Bible thumper of the group with a bad attitude, always mumbling about noises and the Holy Spirit. Everybody else’s bodies kind of dropped off the radar after that, because you only need 4 or 5 big bodies to really take on a single Predator.

And let’s talk about the heartbreak that would’ve made this movie even better. Van Damme was supposed to play Predator. His kicks and karate know-how

That's a big gun, Bible Thumper. Gonna fell some trees?

would’ve left everyone on set in shambles. But he just had to complain about the awkwardness of the suit and its clammy feeling walking around. Where’s Seagal when you need him? Steven never complains. With that tragic loss, the movie turned to Kevin Peter Hall, creature enthusiast. Whether it be Predator or Harry and the Hendersons, this guy gave it his all until he died. Although you could tell that costume was mad awkward to maneuver.

Ventura and Duke. The big old crazies.

Overall, the story is simple and easy to follow. With a film like this, or Alien (which is a bit more complicated) you don’t need too much to go on. It’s more about the visual effects and aspect anyways. Despite a ridiculous initial battle scene with the guerrilla warriors that left not a single man in Dutch’s platoon scarred, the movie fell into what I would consider a Hollywood realm of possibility. The acting didn’t matter so much and the believability of an elite force just barreling through the woods with giant ass guns, firing from the hip and felling trees with their biceps, didn’t help much either. But this series has become quite iconic in its scope in pop culture today. Everyone gives it up for Arnold and his attempts at becoming a beloved American actor. Not acclaimed, but loved all the same. His lines will forever stand out in my mind.

He's wondering where Van Damme is...

And to create such a creature as they did who is loved and recognized by a considerable number of sci-fi fans. I applaud those who attempt his costume, if at all at conventions. So, if nothing else, appreciate this movie for its novelty. Overall, even for its time, it just falls through the cracks of what is considered a classically good movie. But a cult followed movie? This fits right in. So let’s take it that way and appreciate Carl Weather’s screams in vain as his arm is severed by Predator’s heat laser. Get some of that Schwarzennschizz. A solid 6.8 out of 10.


It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia

Okay, this review is a big deal to me. I love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. A few years ago, out of the blue, I was watching FX and came across this man standing in front of a hot dog bar. This girl comes up from behind up and pinched him. His reaction? Turn around and punch a wench. Full fist, to the face. Needless to say, I rolled around on my floor and peed myself continuously for a full hour. Then, the show ended and it left my mind for a while. It’s Always Sunny left my radar for a few years. Then, just last year (as I’m finding most college students are discovering) it came back. My friend reminded my of that very scene and I had a repeat of 3 years ago. Again, needless to say, I went online and bought seasons 1-4.

And let me tell you, this show is good. Every episode is good. I wish I could forget this show over and over so every time I watch it is just as funny as the first time I witnessed it. I love showing this show to my friends, and that’s just what I did for my lucky friend Ian right before I decided to review it. We spent many a night watching 3 or 4 episodes at a time, laughing until our beds ran wet with urine. That’s how funny this show is.

Basic plot/premise: Dennis and Sweet Dee, Mac, and Charlie run this terrible bar in south Philly. They get little to no foot traffic in there, leaving lots of time for shenanigans and terrible screw ups. This guys are offensive in every way possible. The first episode of the show deals with just how ignorantly racist “The Gang” truly is. It’s fantastic. These guys are not afraid to go there.

Now, usually everybody picks a favorite character. (Let me know who yours is and why. Classic.) My favorite is Mac. Muscles and yet intelligent, Rob

"The Gang"

McElhenney creates and writes this show, giving the meat and potatoes for which everyone else works with. He is quite the genius in my opinion. Then there’s Dennis. The conceited, egotistical, narcissist who brings looks and carelessness to the table. His lines are great and his witticisms supreme. There are not many characters on modern T.V. or otherwise who compare to either Mac or Dennis. Glenn Howerton is quite the man.

That’s not to say that Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Charlie (Charlie Day) are not great character.

Charlie before the inspiration of Day Man

Charlie is consistently hilarious as the wild card who is basically a retard. His illiteracy and horrible way of living always spice up life. And yes, even Sweet Dee brings her own ridiculed “useless girl” identity into play for some of the best burns ever laid on a human being.

Interesting note. Shortly after the first season aired, Danny Devito’s children (grandchildren) approached him about Always Sunny. They told him they loved the show and that they really think he should get involved with it. And get involved with it he did. As Dennis and Dee’s father, Frank Reynolds is quite the angry, business-oriented character. His obsession with Vietnam and Rambo is just to good to be true. (Also the Cuckoo’s Nest reference episode can’t be beat.)

But yeah, these guys get into all kinds of a hootinanny. They get racist, patriotic, Invincible (New Kids on the Block guy), America, extreme, you name it, as long as it’s offensive, they’ve done it. The cast works so well

Yeah, it's that good.

together (watch the Gas Crisis episode) and their chemistry is unstoppable. I really hope this show never quits. It’s quite excellent. I plan on buying the fifth season and reviewing it as well, but you know, being a college student, I’m hard up on funds. (Someone buy it for me?) I haven’t really caught any of the sixth season, but it’s on my to do. I don’t really have a lot else to say, it’s just something you have to experience for yourself. 10 out of 10.

Oh, and here’s that scene I was talking about. Let me know if you pee your pants.