Dave’s Cinema Digest 2012 – Week 39

It’s now my favorite month of the year, October! I must have been subconsciously feeling the Halloween vibes because this past week leaned more toward the horror films with four of the seven movies I saw this week being in that genre. But I did keep it varied with an action(?), a noir, and a… I don’t even know what genre Frankenstein Island was supposed to be (you’ll see why in the review). The next few weeks are going to be very heavily horror weighted because it is October and there’s nothing more proper (or awesome) than watching horror in October. Also, like every October, I’ll be attempting to watch a horror film every day of the week. Have I mentioned how much I love horror movies and October?

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The Bourne Legacy (2012)

This isn’t a complete movie. It takes way too long to set everything up so the film ends even before getting to a proper third act. Did I say ends? What I meant to say was that the film sort of just shrugs its shoulders and quits because “Extreme Ways” starts playing, signaling that it’s time to wrap things up. And it’s not enough that the story doesn’t have a proper ending, the plot itself is just boring with only a couple action scenes. It’s not all bad and there’s a workplace massacre scene in particular that’s rather haunting and well executed (no pun intended) but if this is supposed to be Bourne’s legacy, it’s not much of one.

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A Horrible Way to Die (2010)

This is a terrible trick of a film. Would you expect a mumblecore drama based on this title? Because that’s what this is. I haven’t seen many mumblecore films but I’ve seen enough to know that I’m not a fan of it. And if the genre can’t be improved by adding a serial killer murdering his way across the country, I don’t think it has any business existing.

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The Killers (1946)

An excellent noir that utilizes the Citizen Kane structure to tell it’s intriguing story. It opens with a fantastic scene in a diner with two delightfully menacing hit men then twists and turns through flashbacks from different viewpoints to fill in the gaps of why a man was killed. Like any good film noir, it’ll keep you on your toes until the very end.

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Silent House (2011)

I have no problem with remakes existing but there are two things they ought to do to earn their existence. ONE: Give the original some breathing room. This came out one year after the original (much like Quarantine to [rec]) so it appears that they only made it in English because people are too lazy to read subtitles. TWO: Make it unique. The plot (such as it is) is almost exactly the same including the idiotic and nonsensical twist ending. The film outright lies to you and the ending’s made even more improbable by the “one-take” gimmick. If there’s anything positive I could say, it’s that this film makes a good case for the importance of editors.

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Frankenstein Island (1981)

I’m not sure how I’m going to write a review for this movie because I honestly have no clue of what the hell was going on. Four ballooners (or whatever you call those people who ride hot air balloons) crash on the titular island and insanity ensues. John Carradine plays Dr. Frankenstein but he only appears as a hologram to a group of leopard skin bikini clad Amazon women who are also aliens (I think). There’s an invalid Helsing being taken care of by his elderly wife (I think) who is protecting a portion of the brain of Frankenstein (I think) with an army of beanie and sunglasses wearing mannequins (I think) come to life. Other things are going on but after a while everything sort of blurs together into a stew of madness until you’re not even sure if you’re watching a movie or having the worst acid trip of your life (I think).

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The Devil Inside (2012)

This film begins as a slow burner with a couple interesting moments and then suddenly, in the last 15 minutes, goes completely bonkers before slamming head-on into the credits (literally). The plot is utterly directionless, wandering from scene to scene with no real sense of forward motion until the end where it starts building up to something and then gets cut off before any kind of climax. It’s the worst case of cinematic blue balls ever. There’s nothing here that you haven’t seen before in any exorcism/found-footage/found-footage exorcism movie so there’s literally no reason whatsoever to see this.

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Dead & Buried (1981)

What a lovely treat this was. A fun, freaky, and surprising little film that’s been flying under the radar since it came out over 30 years ago. I knew nothing about this film except that Netflix kept recommending it to me and I thought that I might have heard about it a few years ago someplace. I still don’t know where I’d first heard about it all those years ago but I’m so glad that I decided to give it a go. It’s a little goofy in places but it has a fantastically creepy atmosphere with some effective jump scenes and superb effects by the late master, Stan Winston.

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What did you think of this week’s movies? Let me know in the comments.

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