Category Archives: German Horror Films
Directed by Harold Ramis
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “John, have you lost your ever-loving, modestly intelligent mind?”
“But Bedazzled is a comedy!”
“So why are you reviewing it? You write a horror film blog.”
Because I want to, because it has the devil in it; and that kind of sort of if you grade on the curve sort of way puts it into my territory. But there is one other main reason I wanted to write about this movie; besides the fact I got to see Elizabeth Hurley in all those fantasy inducing outfits. Hmm, scratch the ‘one other main reason’ part and make it ‘two other main reasons’. The other, other main reason is simply that I love this movie.
Hey, I know; it’s as stupid and ridiculous a movie as you’re ever going to see and I could care less. I’ve watched Bedazzled countless times and I laugh out loud (lol) every time. I personally think this is the best movie Brendan Fraser has ever done. His chance to portray so many characters with so many different characteristics is essentially the cherry on the whipped cream of his career. As for Elizabeth Hurley as the Devil; all I can say is that my reactions changed with each new outfit she wore.
Red Dress: Reowwwwrrrr!!!
Black Bikini (while walking Doberman Pinschers on the beach): Arf! Arf! Down boy!!
Cheerleader: Nice Pom Poms!!!
Traffic Cop: So, tell me officer, do those handcuffs come in fuzzy style?
School Teacher: I have been so bad, Miss Hurley. I really think I need to stay after school.
Nurse: I got a boo boo. Kiss it and make it better.
*Sigh* Huh, what? Oh, sorry. I got drool all over my keyboard.
Anyway, the plot of Bedazzled is this. Brendan Fraser (George of the Jungle, Encino Man) is Elliot Richards, a nerd, dweeb, and loser; just pick one because they all apply. Elliot is in love with Allison (Frances O’Connor, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Timeline); a girl who barely even knows that he exists. When Elliot says aloud that he would do anything to be with Alison he sparks the interest of Old Scratch, Beelzebub, Lucifer (well, “Lucy”-fer); you know, the Devil (Hurley, Serving Sara, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery). Appearing to Elliot in the various aforementioned fantasy inducing ensembles, the Devil grants him 7 wishes in exchange for-you guessed it-his soul. Now, of course, with the Devil and wishing with every wish there comes a curse and Elliot soon finds himself getting a lot less than he bargained for out of this agreement.
If you take Bedazzled seriously as a piece of cinematic art then there is really something wrong with you. The only way that you can take this movie and get any sort of enjoyment out of it is to see it for what it is: good, sexy, dumb as bricks fun.
The Devil’s dogs in the beach scene are named Dudley and Peter, a reference to the writers and stars of the original Bedazzled, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook.
- Fab Flash: Liz Hurley Makes Jordache Sexy (fabsugar.com)
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- Look of the Day: Chambray After Dark (fabsugar.com)
- 20 Makeup Tips Every Bride Should Know (bellasugar.com)
- Bedazzled… Am I? (apeksha23.wordpress.com)
- Screenplays – ‘Django Unchained’, ‘Looper’, ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, and many more (simongilberg.wordpress.com)
- This company will bedazzle your shoes for you [Sweet] (bazaardaily.com)
- Elizabeth Hurley injures back (bigpondnews.com)
- Curbed Maps: Where To Be Bedazzled By All The Holiday Lights This Season (dc.curbed.com)
Directed by Alexandre Aja
Screenplay by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur
Based on a screenplay by Kim Sung-ho
We begin with a man, a security guard, as he runs terrified from an unseen pursuer through a subway station. Checking, testing every locked door and gate for an escape, he finally finds himself in a locker room. There is a window, but it is bricked up. He is trapped. The locker doors open, each one with a mirror revealing the man’s reflection. He pleads and begins to clean the mirrors. One of them breaks and a shard of glass falls to the floor where he bends down to pick it up. His reflection remains standing. The reflection stabs itself in the neck and runs the shard across its throat. A crimson line appears on the man’s neck as his throat is opened and he dies.
It is 8 o’clock in the morning and Ben Carson awakens. He tells his sister to go back to sleep and that everything will be okay. He reports for his first day on the job as a security guard at the Mayflower, a once luxurious department store gutted by fire. A newspaper article and conversation with the guard, Sapelli, as they tour the building gives us clues as to why Carson, a former NYPD detective, is no longer employed with the force. The guard tells Carson about the Mayflower and the security guard, Gary Lewis, who was there before Ben and his obsession with keeping the mirrors in the building polished.
As the film progresses, we meet Ben’s estranged wife. She doesn’t want him making visits to his children without calling first. We find out that he killed a man in the line of duty and that Ben’s drinking is a cause for their separation. They argue loudly and their young son covers his ears and submerges himself in the bathtub water to drown them out. Ben leaves.
On his first night at the Mayflower Ben stands in front of a huge mirror. He sees a handprint and tries to wipe it off, but it will not come clean. He traces his flashlight along the length of the mirror and sees that it is covered with handprints. He hears the door behind him open but sees that the mirror does not reflect the action.
Later, at home with his younger sister, Ben sees a distorted image of himself reflected in the bathroom mirror. He reacts, afraid. He assumes it is because of stress.
At the Mayflower Ben again experiences strange phenomena with the mirrors. One cracks and cuts his hand and then repairs itself. He sees images of people burning. His own reflection bursts into flame and he is left writhing in pain on the floor. He escapes and later finds the ID badge of the guard, Lewis, who worked there previously. He also finds a slip of paper with one word, ‘esseker’, written on it. He explores further and hears a woman’s terrified screams coming from somewhere in the building. He sees image after image of a woman burned; but only in the mirrors.
What is the secret of the Mayflower and the mirrors? Is Ben merely stressed; or are there supernatural forces at work that are beyond his comprehension. I will stop here with my summary of the movie. To go further would tempt me to use spoilers and I hate spoilers.
I liked Mirrors. The film is directed by Alexandre Aja and is loosely based on a Korean film; Into the Mirror, written and directed by Kim Sung-ho. Aja kept a few scenes from the original film, but for the most part has crafted an entirely different interpretation.
The film appears to be a departure for Aja. Despite some intense moments of gore, the movie could be classified as more of a psychological tale and not of the relentless slasher variety as depicted in his breakthrough film High Tension or his over the top yet entertaining adaptations of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes and Joe Dante’s Piranha. I don’t know if this new approach is the reason for the lack of popular opinion for Mirrors, but I do know that people become accustomed to a certain style from a filmmaker like Aja. When that style is not presented in their work it can lead to anger from the masses. It seems ironic that I would like Mirrors; of all the people I know I am the one who hates change the most.
This is one of my favorite performances from Kiefer Sutherland (The Lost Boys and 24). He has always been an actor that I thought was full of a rage that is just bubbling underneath the surface of his skin. Sutherland uses this intensity to great effect in the role of Ben Carson. Paula Patton (Hitch and Swing Vote) is good as Amy, Carson’s estranged wife and Amy Smart (Crank and The Butterfly Effect) gives a brief but engaging performance as Ben’s younger sister, Angela.
My biggest complaint I have regarding Mirrors is that Aja throws in too many scenes of reflective surfaces. I understand that these things are a large part of our everyday lives and that we are so used to them that we barely notice them; I don’t need to be beaten over the head to remind me of this. Add a twist ending that doesn’t stray too far into M. Night Shyamalan territory and despite a few distorted moments Mirrors is a fairly polished tale of terror.
The name ‘Esseker’ is an anagram for ‘Seekers’. This can be an appropriate terminology for the demons who live on the other side of the mirrors seeking out their host, Anna Esseker.
Shot in Romania, most of it was filmed in Nicolae Ceausescu‘s unfinished Academy of Sciences building in Bucharest.
Grégory Levasseur had to fill in as director for the scene where Kiefer Sutherland thinks he’s on fire as Alexandre Aja had to leave urgently. His wife had just gone into premature labor.
Amy Smart had to be fed through a straw for her big bathroom scene as she obviously was unable to open her mouth.
- Exclusive: Alexandre Aja Talks Maniac, Future Projects – Joe Hill’s Horns and His Egyptian Found Footage Flick, Plus More! (dreadcentral.com)
- Trend Alert: Mirrors (fabsugar.com)
- Simply Fab: Who’s The Fairest Mirror (fabsugar.com)
- Mirror, mirror, on the wall (money-advice.co.uk)
- New Warp-Free Mirror Eliminates Blind Spots (carsafetynews.org)
- 5th Annual Ben Carson Celebrity Golf Tournament & Golf Ball Drop (wbaltv.com)
- Mirrors Deny Their Reflection (inkedpen.wordpress.com)
- Paul Allen Goes Old Master (thedailybeast.com)
- What’s Kiefer Sutherland Been Up To Since 24? Making Dynamite Cupcakes, Obviously (gizmodo.com.au)
- MTV Geek’s Frightful Faves: The Ending To ‘High Tension’ Is A Mess, But You Should Still See It (geek-news.mtv.com)
Directed by Timo Vuorensola
Original story by Johanna Sinisalo
Original concept by Jarmo Puskala
Screenplay by Michael Kalesniko
Alright, let me see if I can get this shit straight before I drift off into a beer-induced sleep. The Nazis have been living on the dark side of the moon since 1945. The very first black man (a model, of all things) to ever set foot on the moon is captured by those same Nazis and is then turned white and German by some Joseph Mengele want-to-be. He is then forced by a guy named Klaus (Götz Otto) to travel back to Earth with him and his fräulein Renate Richter (Julia Dietze) to meet the President (a woman who resembles a certain Governor from Alaska a bit too much) and seemingly set off an invasion by those same Nazis that will allow Herr Adler to take over the earth and begin a fourth Reich. Instead of an initial invasion, they are in turn utilized by the somewhat ball busting and quite horny campaign manager for the President and become part of a tactic to aid in said President’s re-election. The Nazi bastards then screw over the campaign manager, launch a full scale invasion of earth and are thwarted by the black man and the fräulein who has since changed her Nazi ways and taken a shine to the black man even though he is now white and German. Oh, so that’s what the hell I just watched. No wonder I spent the entire movie saying ‘What the f–k am I watching’ under my breath.
Iron Sky is one of the most ridiculously entertaining films I have seen in quite some time. It is a perfect example of a film that is so illogical and yet works in ways that I seriously doubt the filmmakers could have ever imagined. It’s the kind of film that you can say is ‘f–king stupid’ and ‘f–king genius’ in the same breath and both answers would be correct. But the thing that gets me about this film is why in the hell is it not available in the United States? I had to download a copy from the Pirate Bay. Come on, people; we spend so much time bitching and moaning about remakes and re-boots. A film like this is just what we need to quell that griping and give us something to talk about. Isn’t that what cinema needs; something to talk about?
Nazi spaceships are named after operas in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle. “Rheingold”, “Walkure”, “Siegfried” and “Götterdämmerung”.
The German customs office would not allow the film-makers to bring any Nazi costumes and regalia into Germany, but fortunately the makers of Inglourious Basterds helped director Vuorensola by revealing how they had circumvented the same problem.
When Renate Richter takes off the helmet after leaving the escape pod, it can be seen to bear the number “SS-1138″, a nod to George Lucas.
A tribute to Pink Floyd is made by using synthesizer effects for barely a few seconds from the band’s track “On the Run” from their album Dark Side of the Moon (which is where the Nazis made base). The music can be heard just after the scene where the Earth fleet departs for the moon.
During the Nazi’s invasion on New York City, three World Trade Center buildings are visible.
The time stamp on the news report of the Invasion of New York City is 9:11 PM.
- Iron Sky – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Nazis Attack from Outer Space in Iron Sky (dreadcentral.com)
- IRON SKY Launches a New Trailer (collider.com)
- Win Double Passes To See Iron Sky! (gizmodo.com.au)
- Review: Iron Sky (2012) (thefilmoracle.wordpress.com)
- What’s the fuss over Iron Sky? (bbc.co.uk)
- Jarv’s Schlock Vault Special: Iron Sky (moonwolves.wordpress.com)
- A really bad film that lost it’s funny bone to political satire; Iron Sky (marcwinger.com)
- IRON SKY – U.S. Trailer for the Moon Nazi Invasion Film (geektyrant.com)
- San Diego Comic-Con 2012: The Iron Sky Babe Army Awaits! (dreadcentral.com)
- Review: Iron Sky (pete975.wordpress.com)
- Moonnazi Daydream Read Our IRON SKY Blu-Ray Review (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- Film Reviews: Movie review: Iron Sky (15) (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Marvel At Our Winning Iron Sky Limericks (gizmodo.com.au)
- Iron Sky (noframeof.wordpress.com)
- Fantastic Concept Art from the “Moon Nazi” Movie Iron Sky (io9.com)
- Forget Neil Armstrong, The Nazi’s Are Coming Enjoy The IRON SKY Playlist! (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- Off-Topic – Re: Iron Sky (disclose.tv)
Written and Directed by Lars von Trier
I like to think that I’m a smart person. I like to think that, but sometimes what I think and the way I feel are two different things. Take the film “Antichrist”, for instance. I like to think that the film is about the stages of grief that a person or persons goes through after experiencing the sudden death of a loved one. The couple in this film remains nameless and is only referred to in the credits as He and She. Their names are not important. What’s important is their grief and how they come to terms with it. Then again, maybe I’m just blowing smoke out of my ass.
Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” is one of the most visually striking and thematically confusing films I’ve ever watched and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have no idea what this film is about. At first I think that it’s about the stages of grief; but when I get comfortable with that notion the film shifts and I find myself watching a cross between Man vs. Wild, the Salem Witch Trials and a misogynistic rant. Then the film again shifts and becomes the most bizarre murder movie I’ve ever seen. Looking back at what I just wrote I sound like a madman who can’t form a coherent thought or sentence. There’s a lot of smoke coming out of my ass, but there’s no fire.
Instead of trying to figure the film out, maybe I should just give my opinion of it. It’s fucked up. There’s my opinion of it. It’s a fucked up mess of a movie that is both riveting and repulsive and beautiful and pornographic. It is a drama and a horror film and it rolls all of that up into one neat little fucked up masterpiece of a package. The biggest compliment I can give this film is that after it was over all I could think was “What the fuck just happened?”
Eva Green was considered for the leading lady but rejected because her contract was too complex.
The story is divided into four chapters, “Grief”, “Pain (Chaos Reigns)”, “Despair (Gynocide)” and “The Three Beggars”, in addition to a prologue and an epilogue, all displayed over abstract designs by Danish artist Per Kirkeby.
The title was the first thing that was written for the film.
The aria being sung during the Prologue is called Lascia ch’io pianga from Handel’s opera ‘Rodelinda’. The libretto translates from the Italian as: Let me weep my cruel fate, and I sigh for liberty. May sorrow break these chains of my sufferings, for pity’s sake.
- Film: Newswire: Don’t worry, Lars Von Trier’s next movie will feature an abused woman (avclub.com)
- The uses of sacrilege: On Von Trier, Tarkovsky, and “Antichrist” (somecamerunning.typepad.com)
- Cronenberg’s “Crash.” Sex, Connection and Comparisons. (pekkyandthefilms.wordpress.com)
- Charlotte Gainsbourg Signs On to Do More Art Porn for Lars Von Trier (hintmag.com)
- Antichrist – Movie Interpretation (introspheric.com)
- Antichrist Movie review (thebitemagazine.wordpress.com)
- Structures of Depressive Experience in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Melancholia (Philosophy Seminar, 1 March 2012) (medicalhumanities.wordpress.com)
- Antichrist. (theslaughteredlamb.wordpress.com)
- New Official Info on Lars von Trier’s “Light and Poetic” and Hardcore ‘Nymphomaniac’ (slashfilm.com)
- Attention Splatterdeathcore Fanzz: von Trier is BACK!! (andrewhammel.typepad.com)
- In Praise of Von Trier-ian Excess, Or: Someday, You Will Ache Like I Ache (tigerbeatdown.com)
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Story by Alex Mace
Screenplay by David Johnson
Would somebody please tell me what the hell is it with kids in movies? The majority of them are either overly cute or overly creepy. What’s a cinematic parent to do when it comes to adopting a cinematic child? Take Esther, for example. She seems like a sweet little Russian orphan girl. The Coleman family seems happy with her and she appears to be a reasonably good fit with them. But then again putting a great white shark in a swimming pool filled with baby seals seem like a good fit, too. The last home Esther was in burned down under mysterious circumstances. Even if that didn’t happen, she’s still one creepy kid. Normal kids do not bludgeon nuns for any reason whatsoever. They do not push children off of sliding boards and they do not attempt to seduce their daddies. What is a parent to do?
That is where I come in. I have devised a fool proof plan to insure that no one ever has to adopt or give birth to a creepy little bastard ever again. For example, let’s say you are at the adoption agency getting ready to take little Esther home. The conversation would go something like this:
“Alright Mr. and Mrs. Coleman, Esther is a wonderful and bright little girl and I’m sure she will make a precious addition to your family.”
“Well, you know, ever since I stopped drinking and John hasn’t been screwing around, we’ve been looking to adopt a sister for Daniel and Max.”
“Esther will make a lovely sister.”
“Alright, well just show us the KIdfax.”
“The Kidfax; show us the Kidfax.”
“I’m afraid I don’t follow.”
“The Kidfax will show us the complete history of Esther. Did she set the fire on purpose? Does she bludgeon nuns? Or is she (plot twist that will not be mentioned)? So, show us the Kidfax.”
It is that simple. If they had used the Kidfax their lives would have been so much happier. All kidding aside, Orphan is an intense if uneven thriller that keeps you on edge despite traveling into the realm of the ridiculous at times. Isabelle Fuhrman shines as Esther and the rest of the cast takes a back seat to her. This isn’t the creepiest movie about orphans; The Orphanage still holds that honor; but it is creepy nonetheless. If only they had the Kidfax.
Warner Bros. edited the movie’s trailer to remove Esther’s line “It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own” after receiving numerous complaints from adoptive parents and foster care organizations. The line remains in the movie itself.
The orphanage Esther is adopted from is “Saint Mariana’s Home for Girls”. In the Catholic faith, Saint Mariana of Quito is the patron saint for those that have been rejected by religious orders and those who have lost both parents.
According to an interview on FEARnet, Isabelle Fuhrman studied the performances ofGlenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons and Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs to prepare for the role of Esther.
- And Now Russell Crowe is Linked to Jaume Collet-Serra’s ‘Dracula’ Retelling ‘Harker’ (slashfilm.com)
- Russell Crowe Sharpening Stakes for DiCaprio’s Harker (dreadcentral.com)
- Futuristic ‘Zorro Reborn’ Screen-Testing ‘The Raven’ Short Director Ricardo de Montreuil (slashfilm.com)
- 2010 Oscars: CCH Pounder (bellasugar.com)
- Jaume Collet-Serra to helm CBS pilot ‘Quean’ (variety.com)
- 2010 Independent Spirit Awards: Vera Farmiga (fabsugar.com)
- THE HUNGER GAMES’ Isabelle Furhman to Join Will Smith in AFTER EARTH (collider.com)
- Chloe Moretz, Isabelle Fuhrman: CCMA Red Carpet (celebs.gather.com)
Also starring Thomas Huber as Simon Grombeck
Directed by Martin Weisz
Written by T.S. Faull
I’m at a loss for words. I just watched a movie where one guy willingly let another guy eat his penis and I am at a complete loss for words. Well, maybe not completely. The phrase ‘what the fuck?’ keeps running through my brain. The movie, Grimm Love, is based on the true story of Armin Meiwes. Meiwes was the guy that placed an ad on an internet message board that he was ”looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed” Never mind that the message board, The Cannibal Cafe, had posted a disclaimer mentioning the distinction between fantasy and reality. I guess Meiwes never read the fine print. But what’s more disturbing about someone placing an ad for a human meal is that someone would actually answer the ad. But that is exactly what Bernd Jürgen Brandes did. The two met on March 9, 2001. Meiwes attempted to bite off Brandes penis, but it was too tough and he had to use a knife. The two of them attempted to consume it but Brandes found it to be too tough and chewy. Afterward, Meiwes killed and dismembered Brandes and over the next ten months devoured parts of his body. He was tried and convicted and eventually sentenced to life imprisonment for first degree murder.
There were two things I kept thinking about as I watched this film. The first is why would anyone want to eat another human being? The second is why would anyone volunteer to be eaten by another human being? Grimm Love tries its best to explain it by giving us glimpses into Meiwes and Brandes childhood. Supposedly Meiwes had a domineering mother who consumed (pun intended) all of his time. On the other hand Brandes’ mother committed suicide when he was a child and he blames himself for her death. I guess a mother’s suicide is enough to make a guy want his penis bitten off. But hey, who am I to criticize?
Hmm, I guess I wasn’t at a loss for words after all. By the way I watched the film at the behest of a gorgeous blonde. All this time I thought redheads were my weakness.
“Inspired” by the real life story of the “Cannibal of Rotenburg”, Armin Meiwes, who mutilated, killed, and finally ate a man who had previously agreed to Meiwes doing just that with him. Both men met on the Internet where media subsequently discovered vast communities of people fantasizing about eating and being eaten by others sharing their “quirk”.
When Oliver visits the Cannibal Cantina message board, the thread titles “Meat Hook Sodomy,” “I Will Kill You,” and “Orgasm Through Torture” are taken from songs by the death metal band Cannibal Corpse.
When screened at Sitges, the film caused one viewer to faint.