What I'm Watching: Early May, 2011
Before diving into the few things I've watched lately, I came across a serious bit of WTF news that made my jaw clang off my desk. Which is especially impressive, since the desk is wooden.
Remember that movie I *just* reviewed? The Killer Eye? Full Moon has lost their nut and decided it would be a brilliant idea, 12 years later, to make a sequel. Yes, a sequel. Killer Eye 2. Whafuh? Seriously?? I still can't believe it. And the timing of it is what really blows my mind. JUST as I've reviewed it, they announce the sequel.
Here's the rough plotline from Charles Band himself: "Our killer horny eyeball is back as a replica size hypnotic monster that terrorizes 5 hot chicks as they set up a Halloween haunt in an old mansion!"
Oh, Charles. What is it with you and killer puppets/replicas? It was cute with the first half dozen Puppet Masters, and Dolls, and Dollman, and Demonic Toys, and Blood Dolls, and... You get the point.
This idea hurts my soul.
And speaking of Rolfe...holy crap! The man himself replied to my reviews of Killer Eye and TNOT! I nearly spat out my morning coffee when I saw those replies. I've long looked forward to and dreaded someone I poke fun at coming across my reviews of their work, since this is the internet and it was inevitable. But much like how he hoped people would get his intentions with TNOT, I hoped whoever it was that finds Trisk would understand my intentions of mocking with love, and it's clear to me that Rolfe does get that. Of course he would.
Less soul-hurtingly, I've been watching the 1996 NBC scifi conspiracy series, Dark Skies. I passed on this in its initial run, for whatever reason. I can't remember now. But man, this was some good stuff. It's rough, it's mid 90s, it's mid 90s CGI. But the writing is pretty solid. I love weaving in and out of real history and UFO lore. It's a fascinating build up of fact, and real mystery to weave together a truly interesting alternate take on what's really gone on. It is truly a shame the show never made it any further. If only the Scifi Channel was airing it instead, it might have lasted a few more years. The storytelling can get a bit goofy 'monster of the week' in their attempts to give the protagonists something to do, but when it's dealing with history and such, it's pretty darned good. If this show was made today, in a post-Lost world, it surely would have been written differently, and would have been all the stronger for it, I think. A true shame.
And finally, Scream 4. It has been AGES since I've watched any of the original trilogy, but the latest installment *felt* like it sat well in the Scream universe. I especially liked one character calling Sydney the angel of death. That's a terribly accurate description of her, with everything that's happened, and one of those knowing nods that works for the movie. Honestly though, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the movie. I loved the opening, there were some good moments, the writing wasn't bad, and the acting was pretty solid almost across the board, especially for a horror movie. But where the movie fails was in part it's reason for being; the metatextual commentary. Several reviewers commented that the movie gets a little up its own metatextual butt, and that's not too far off. In some ways it's too meta, and not meta enough, somehow at the same time. It had a few good comments on the recent state of horror, which has changed a LOT in the last ten years, but it didn't do much more than say, "I don't like torture porn" without adding anything to that discussion, or doing anything with that. But then it goes all out to subvert the various rules and tropes of the genre from the last 30 years, but the problem there is, EVERYTHING is a cliche. You do this, that's a cliche, you do the opposite, well...THAT has become a cliche too! They kept saying everything was the rules of the genre to the point where such statements become meaningless to the point of annoyance. It's a joke that would've worked a few times, but they hammered it home a few too many times.
Overall, it wasn't a bad story, but they got a bit too in love with themselves and trying to be clever, that they missed the mark more than hit it. But a strong cast with a fun story make up for a lot of that. It's enjoyable, but becomes frustrating at times. I'm also not sure how I feel about the ending, and that's the most important part of this movie. I think the twist works, and is actually pretty clever to go the route they did, I just think the motivation is a bit over the top. That said, it's a meta moment that almost works, and is a good turn on the previous movies being inspired by horror movies of the time, and this time having the killer being inspired by the original Scream. That makes a lot of sense, and is a good way for this to have gone. But I never liked the whole, "We kill people because horror movies are kewl" motivation from the first movie, and this pays more than a fair share of homage to that.
If you're a fan of the originals, you might just enjoy this if you go in with an open mind and don't take it too seriously. Lord knows I've seen worse movies than this.
That's it for now, keep an eye out for the next review, something with a little less Rolfe, thankfully!