Saturday, December 27, 2008
Okay... the title is horrible. And the DVD cover, while adequate, still isn't exactly something that jumps off the shelf and chases you around the video store...
... but this D2DVD sleeper had me at the opening credits (with ironic use of the Siouxsie track, "Into a Swan") and kept me smiling through the final line.
Granted, I smile at weird things, but...
One of the worst things about the Christmas season is the damned music that sparkles from every public music system. But in a supermarket in podunk Buck Lake, the music becomes the last thing on the shoppers' minds as a vanload of paramilitary toughs roll in and start capping some folks in the aisles...
... but just some folks.
Things can't get any worse, and then they do as the flick shifts into The Thing Hidden in the Mist. Shot on HD (and looking pretty damn' swell), Alien Raiders is a surprisingly entertaining throwback to the early eighties creature features. There's some sly black humor at work, but the emphasis is on keeping the suspense and intermittent mayhem sustained.
Director Ben Rock (part of the original Blair Witch posse) doesn't seem to have had much of a budget to work with here, but delivers more than satisfactorily with what he had on hand. The creature effects are old school prosthetics, with a minimum of CGI wankery.
And with a cast of relatively unfamiliar faces that hit their marks as well (if not better) than the Albas and Gellars that are polluting mainstream horror films, there's no public image getting in the way of characterization. Not to mention that this puppy doesn't let itself get bogged down with needless backstory...
... it hits the ground running and doesn't stop until it rolls through the exit.
Although I'm not saying that it's a new classic. The momentum gets a little slack towards the end, and the "twist" is pretty obvious once our heroes start going all Bush Administration metaphor to figure out who's with us or who's with them...
... although the poignancy of the final line does work to offset that minor weakness. Ultimately, there's a certain Shane Black snap to the dialogue that makes this one stand out.
But hell... I woulda been happy goin' crosstown and paying to see this in the theatre. If more D2DVD entries were this polished, I'd be even more happy staying home and letting the movie come to me.
Images swiped from the flick's MySpace (heh) page.
Friday, December 5, 2008
... if there is an afterlife, there was an e-ticket waiting at the gate for Uncle Forry, to make a beeline towards the table seated with Vinnie, Boris, Lon, Jr., Bela, Lorre, Cushing, Rathbone, Atwill, Wray, Agar...
Um, well... you get the point.
... to keep going 'til he got to Lon Chaney, Sr.
Personally, I woulda skidded to a halt right at Wray, but that's just me.
There's been a hell of a mad monster party waiting for the old man, and he richly deserves it.
Axed For It, even.