1. Brain Dead/AKA Dead Alive ~ 1992, Peter Jackson, New Zealand


Before New Line made the ballsiest gamble of the 21st century and entrusted him with directing the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson, honorary Hobbit and King Kiwi of the cinematic lexicon, was a handsomely bearded, but little known director, who spent the first phase of his career crafting some of the zaniest splatter films ever made. Like, obnoxiously, unreasonably zany.

It’s worth mentioning this was not necessarily the most hospitable environment for that type of cinema, either, the 1990’s were a bleak and dismal period for horror films on the whole. The genre had enjoyed a reckless hayday in the 1980’s, but by the close of the decade, the market had become saturated, the products dated, and mainstream audiences no longer gave a shit. The once proud horror subculture retreated underground like the primitive Morlocks that they are, and America’s first tier film studios lost faith in tentpole horror franchises of yesteryear, motivating them to move away from the likes of Freddy and Jason, and onto greener pastures, like Ace Ventura 2, Battlefield Earth, and Big Momma’s House. As such, 1992 yielded precious few zombie films, but one that it did produce was Brain Dead, or, as its known in the United States, Dead Alive. Luckily, sometimes it’s quality over quantity, and Dead Alive has quality on lock down.

THE PLOT: Lionel is a meek and unremarkable man who lives with his manipulative, over-baring mother Vera, in a small coastal town somewhere in New Zealand. Lionel is a straight up momma’s boy, Vera has him 200% under her thumb, and he doesn’t appear to have the strength of character to tell her to friggin’ back off now, or ever. In fact, Lionel is so incapable of letting go of his unhealthy relationship with his mother, that when she becomes zombified in a freak primate exhibit accident at the zoo (yep), he does everything in his power to conceal her condition from the public, even going so far as to round up all of her newly zombified victims and keep them hidden away in his basement. Seems like if he had any intention of moving out of his mother’s house, her turning into a homicidal ghoul would be as good a time as any to pull the trigger. Clearly, this birdie ain’t leavin’ the nest.

…But if Lionel won’t ever man up his own, a much needed catalyst arrives in the form of Paquita, a pretty young woman who meets Lionel through coincidence, and who quickly decides that he’s the man she’s going to marry, whether he likes it or not. For a time, Lionel tries to juggle these two relationships, but eventually this becomes infeasible, and he is forced to choose between his controlling, domineering mother, who makes all of his decisions for him… and his controlling, domineering girlfriend…. who makes all of his decisions for him… So, really, this is sort of a long trip to wind up right back where you started, but at least Paquita isn’t a zombie. He for sure upgraded.

Dead Alive’s dodgy super-motif doesn’t bother us. The journey is enjoyable enough that we aren’t deterred by Lionel’s half assed character arc, and the film is silly enough that we assume this lateral development to be deliberate. And anyway, this is easily the most true to life component in the entire film,  everybody knows somebody like Lionel, and that guy usually winds up with a Paquita. Most people even know a Vera!


Sadly, few of us have religious leaders like this guy in our lives.

It’s a hell of a movie. For years, Dead Alive was said to be the goriest movie ever made- a boast that’s easy to believe if you see the unrated version of the film. It really feels like if Peter Jackson could have conceived of a way to make this movie gorier, he would have done it. The much coveted “goriest film ever” crown has been snatched up more than once over the years- last I checked, Fede Alvarez’s remake of The Evil Dead is the curent record holder, but I’ll tell you this; Dead Alive still FEELS gorier. In fact, I’ve searched and searched, and no film feels quite as bloody as this one does. No matter how many gallons of red stuff Alvarez dumped onto a sound stage, Dead Alive will trump that volume through it’s execution. Truly, if you have any interest in gore cinema, this needs to be your next stop.

Dead Alive’s 1992 vintage is indeed a rarity. Zombies were sort of in hibernation during this period, meaning that Dead Alive came out after the second wave of zombie fiction, but before the third. More than likely this helps to make the film feel fresher, it’s not really part of any trend, and it’s not really a rehash of anything else, it’s a zombie film that was made because Peter Jackson wanted to tell a zombie story. Really, it’s a rare home run from an era where not many people even cared to swing the bat. If you’re a fan of Jackson’s Hobbit and or magical elf related motion pictures, or if you fancy yourself a fan of zombies, but kinda want to see a film that isn’t a broken mess of lowest common denominator pandering and heat chasing, then do yourself a favor and get this shit on your TV pronto. It’s plenty of fun.


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Batman versus Superman : Dawn of justice

Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice~ 2016, Zack Snyder (ugh), USA


Imagine that one day you’re browsing social media, and you come upon a photograph of some people playing joyfully in the snow. They’re smiling, laughing, having the time of their lives. They’ve even made a snowman, and you can see a kind of happiness in their faces that you remember from your childhood, but which you haven’t experienced in what seems like forever. This picture is getting mad ‘likes’, tons of shares, and everyone is commenting about how much they enjoy it. Meanwhile, the last photo you posted is a damn ghost town, initially ignored, and now forgotten, today it stands as a nagging illustration of your many failings in life, forever enshrined digitally and available worldwide. These people in the snow… Their popular photograph… This is an experience you must have for yourself. This need consumes you.

But there’s a problem; you don’t have snow. You look outside, and there’s not a single flake to be had. You NEVER really get snow, you live in Arizona, and it’s dry as a bone year ’round! I’ll tell you what you DO have, though: DOG SHIT! You have PLENTY of that! Enough to build a house!

So, you spread it all around your property, sprinkling it on your car, on the house, you make sure the ground has an even coat, and soon, it’s just like the picture! It’s a different color, it smells different, but such details are lost on you. To you, this looks great! A perfect reproduction! For the finishing touch, you even build a dog shit snowman, but you take the liberty of updating the no longer relevant snowman design that everyone else doesn’t seem to understand is broken, and after you’ve outfitted him with some wrap around shades and a trenchcoat, you have made a superior snowman that you fully believe will be embraced as the new standard in anthropomorphic snow mounds for all time. And now, the preparation is complete. You stand in your shitscape, and briefly, you feel pride… Except… Then you notice that you are alone. There are no people… No laughing children… And you don’t understand. Why?! What happened? You even went on Conan and showed everyone your sweet tribal arm tattoos, so what went wrong? You shake it off. “Hold it together,” you tell yourself, “the fans just need some time to process this…” Quickly, you upload your photo to Facebook, knowing that an avalanche of ‘likes’, comments, and shares is sure to come crashing down upon you, quickly elevating your photograph to one of the most treasured destinations on all of Facebook, and finally filling that emptiness inside that eats away at you every waking moment of every miserable day. This photo is your salvation, and you cannot wait for the people to embrace it.

But then they don’t. In fact, people don’t really seem to like your photo at all. You get a couple likes- but these are just the people who like anything you post no matter what. The rest of the world tries to ignore you, and the people who comment… Well, some of them actually seem to dislike what you’ve done. What happened?! How did your dream become a nightmare, and why can’t you have your own moment of happiness in the snow? Why? WHY!?

This emotional journey that I have taken you on is exactly the experience that Zack Snyder has experienced with the production and release of his latest (last? a guy can dream) motion picture; Batman V. Superman: Giant Hunk of Bullshit– oh, wait. Sorry. Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. But hold up, dear readers, do not feel sympathy for Mr. Snyder, there is a corner booth reserved for him in the darkest corner of hell, and I assure you, he’s earned it. The real victims here are the fans. To them, I would like to extend my most heartfelt condolences. Honestly, I’m really sorry this happened to you.

THE PLOT~ Ugh. I want to skip this. We don’t need this. It’s bad, just take my word for it.

So, here’s the skinny: We KNEW this would suck. I knew it would suck from the moment that Snyder was named director (and therefore de-facto architect of the entire DC Comics Cinematic Universe,) but funnily enough, the WAY it chose to suck was entirely unexpected. For a comic book action film, this fucker is SO, SO, SO unforgivably slow and boring. The title of the fucking thing is “BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN“- there are not one, but TWO of the biggest superheroes of all time in the damn name of the movie– so why is it that if feels like four hours of slow, boring, clumsy exposition before we even get see anything remotely superhuman go down? The “fun” is kept on a tight leash throughout the entire film until the third act, which attempts to wad about nine storylines into 45 minutes of motion picture, dropping the most extreme overdose of superhero bullshit on you ever in one radically condensed portion of the movie. The structure of the film is basically this: ACT ONE: No where near enough, ACT TWO: No where near enough, ACT THREE: WAAAAY WAAAY TOO MUCH, The end. And why!? What’s the motivation here?! To catch up with Marvel, of course, but do they not see how foolish this is? This literally could have been like, eight movies, and with OTHER directors behind the camera, there could have even been some good ones in there. But instead, DC tries to match Marvel’s eight years of painstaking work to establish a well nurtured universe that fans will want to come back to time and time again with a single movie, and we end up with an overly long, horribly written, convoluted shit show. I can’t believe it, but even Man Of Steel was superior to this. Batman V. Superman is just as bad as we feared.

I feel like what must have happened here is that Snyder, knowing he is routinely criticised for being all shine and no substance, badly overcompensated, and tried to hold back on the action, mistakenly thinking that people not dressed in tights and talking was the same thing as character development. He knows he has to really bring the thunder sometime, though, so in the third act he drops the beat like crazy, and it’s so out of balance that the whole ship sinks. Batman V. Superman has a long list of problems, but I think this might actually be the single biggest flaw in the entire picture.

But what else wrong with the film? Well, ALL of the dialogue is bad. All of it. Jeremy Irons and Jesse Eisenberg especially have some lines that are just embarrassing, one that sticks out for me is even in the trailer:

Lois Lame: You’re psychotic.
Lex Luthor: It is a three syllable word for any thought too big for little minds.

That sounds like it should be printed on the front of a Wal*Mart T-shirt, and then worn by the most hopelessly socially awkward high schooler ever during an all night Deviant Art Marathon, not a piece of dialogue deemed suitable for inclusion in a major motion picture. Nobody smart would ever say that. That’s the dumbest, most embarrassing shit I’ve ever heard. Who wrote this? You did a bad job, you should feel terrible about yourselves.

Additionally, the plot is awful. There’s way too much going on here, predictably, so we end up wasting storylines which could have been their own movie, if handled by a more capable studio. It feels like the scripts for nine movies were just copy and pasted together into one overly long mess and then nobody bothered to proofread the results. We spend the first two thirds of the film trying to establish our character’s motives, and yet when things finally start to happen, nobody’s actions make any sense. Superman winds up being easier to manipulate than a senior citizen lost at the wrong bus stop, and Batman, in the act of murdering Superman, pulls a full 180 when he discovers that both of them have moms named Martha. That ends up being a major plot point. I’m serious. They go from nemesis to BFF in an instant, and learning the name of Clark Kent’s mom is what makes the difference. Imagine what’s going to happen when he meets the Hulk!

At the end of the day, millions of desperate people are going to pretend that this a good movie no matter what, and it’ll make money. It’s disheartening, but it’s true. We’re at a funny point in human history, these days we’ve become so dependent on media to dull the aches and pains of modern life that we’ve developed a kind of Stockholm Syndrome for bad artists. People want to love this so badly that they would have accepted absolutely anything. The whole film could have just been Zack Snyder in Superman tighty whities rolling around on the floor of a public restroom and humming the theme song to the 1960’s Batman TV show for three hours, and it still would have been defended to the death by legions of sad DC Comics fans who just want to have a good time at the movies. As it is, we have a film so critically reviled that it currently rests a full five percent more rotten that The Room on Rotten Tomatoes, and honestly, that’s where it belongs. Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice is a stinker I would not wish on my worst enemies.

Still a better movie than Sucker Punch.


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Leprechaun– 1993, Mark Jones

Leprechaun 1993 1080p WEB-DL AAC2 0 H 264 HKD

Holiday-themed slasher films are a proud tradition for horror fans, and when it comes to larger than life, murderous, movie-maniacs, Warwick Davis in a green jacket sounds like about as logical a choice as any, to me. Evidently, the rest of the world thought so too, because it was with open arms that the we, as a global, human family, first welcomed Leprechaun into our lives way back in the naive, carefree days of 1993. The movie was a relative success, and in the years that followed, we ended up with way more sequels than we wanted, needed, or asked for. It’s the American way. I’ve also heard many people claim that an annual re-watching of Leprechaun has become a cherished St. Patrick’s Day tradition in some social circles, so certainly we can declare this whimsical horror jam to be a true classic, right?

Wrong, Leprechaun totally and completely fucking sucks. This is a terrible movie.

Drops-MicCome at me, bro.

THE PLOT- While renovating an old farmhouse, a group of unlikable morons inadvertently frees a malicious leprechaun, who had been trapped on the property in an old trunk. This gnarly little fairy creature proceeds to kill his way through the local population on a murderous, limerick-laiden rampage, with the intention of finding his much cherished and now stolen pot of gold. Also, none of our main characters die, which is a shame because every single one of them suck, and I wish more than anything that I could watch them breath their last, and know that they are finally gone forever.

We have a lot of ground to cover with this stinker, so I’mma dive right in.

I guess it’s not really the fact that Leprechaun sucks that is the problem, hell, tons of my favorite movies completely suck, especially in this genre. It’s more an issue of HOW Leprechaun chose to suck. This flick is super bipolar, it switches abruptly between more or less enjoyable sequences where Warwick Davis kills people or lurks around in the shadows, and terrible, boring sequences which last forever and manage to out bland Admiral Blandy McBlanderson of the Planet Blandtron. For real, we get the most boring, artless photography imaginable, a lame story, embarrassing dialogue, and characters nobody could possibly care about. Leprechaun feels like an R rated children’s movie. This stuff is the opiate of the ignorant.

The music is maybe the worst part of the whole shebang. The score is all shitty, Casio music which sounds like a mix of PBS standbys and what you’d see in one of Full Moon’s more mediocre productions. Here, in Leprechaun, this horrible music plays over the entire length of the picture, and any film, be it Taxi Driver or The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie, would instantly tank and remain forever banished to the realm of cinema’s most heinous rejects if they were shackled to a score this overbearingly fuck-awful. Luckily, however, this isn’t a situation where the music spoils a perfectly good film, because every other aspect of Leprechaun sucks with equal ferocity as well. Director Mark Jones captures the suspense and drama of the film’s scattered “horror” sequences with the sort of constant menace you might expect from an episode of Loony Tunes, except not as funny… And Leprechaun WANTS to be funny. Trust me, it’s not. This film just flat out sucks A to Z, and there’s nothing in here that works.

A legit claim to fame for this groan-fest is that it’s an early on-screen appearance of the now popular actress Jennifer Aniston, but she’s really just here as an outlet for the film to condenscend to women, which is another point that absolutely needs to be brought up; Leprechaun has a very disturbing “That’s cute, now get back in the kitchen” outlook on feminism. Aniston’s character does nothing but complain, fawn over dudes, and scream at spiders for the entire fucking movie. Really, if you twisted my arm and demanded I say one nice thing about Leprechaun’s treatment of this actress, I guess it would be that she’s really not sexualized all that much. No nude scenes, no wet t-shirts, no butt close ups (I’m looking at you Tobe Hooper,) so it COULD be much more exploitative… But she’s still really, really awful, and more than anything else, this whole thing is pretty telling of a harsh, deep seeded sexism, which hangs over every second of Leprechaun’s unforgivably long run time.

The other characters in the film aren’t a hell of a lot better, either. We spend a lot of time with an obnoxious, smart ass kid named Alex, and Ozzy, a mentally retarded man that Alex hangs out with. Even though Alex is like, nine, and knows nothing about the world around him, he seems to be a few notches above Jenifer Anniston in the groups social pecking order. Anniston and Ozzy, however, are more or less on the same level. Regardless, every single moment with those two is about as pleasant as a handjob from Edward Scissorhands. It’s beyond reason, I cannot rationalize why any human being would write a script like this. Firstly, that kid is just an annoying little shit, someone needs to tell him to shut the fuck up when the adults are talking. As for Ozzy, I’ve not seen an adult actor demean themselves to this extreme a degree since Dom Deluise REALLY started slumming it (see Going Bananas for an adequate example of this. jk, don’t ever see Going Bananas. Ever.) It’s basically an insult to the audience that this is our movie and these are our characters. Why did we accept this?!

The only times that Leprechaun feels watchable are during the its adequately imaginative kill scenes. Lep does do some fun stuff, even if he is really is just a squat, Irish, Freddy Kruger rip off. The character does have some potential, and Davis does a good job here. In fact, many of the Leprechaun sequels actually suck much, much less than this first outing, if you really wanted this movie to work, all is not lost, and you won’t have to wait long for a drastically improved sequel. I would just skip this thing if I was you, it’s flat out shitty, and most likely, I’ll never watch Leprechaun again.

…But people like this movie! I don’t know, I guess there is a good chunk of horror fandom that will watch just about anything… Maybe that in and of itself accounts for most of the Lep-Love out there in the world, but I have a different theory…. Bare with me; since Leprechaun is a movie which, as stated above, is often enjoyed annually during St. Patrick’s Day, I wonder if it’s a safe assumption that, by the time they hit play on the DVD player, most of the returning audience is already fully hammered, and possibly not even paying attention… I’m sure that could help make this thing more bearable. Aside from that, I theorize that 100% of Leprechaun’s remaining supporters fall into one of two categories;

 Nostalgia addicts, people who are happy to overlook glaring inadequacies of literally anything that reminds them of a happier, simple time…
2. …Warwick Davis. Ever the self promoter, Warwick Davis is more than happy to tell you about how great this movie is. Homeboy left the franchise kicking and screaming.

My official take: More like SUCK of the Irish! (zing!) Leprechaun totally blows.


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