Music Review: Saw 3D – Music Inspired By The Motion Picture

I hold in my hot little hands the soundtrack to the newest, & reportedly last, Saw movie – Saw 3D. Actually, it’s not so much a soundtrack as it is “music inspired by the motion picture”. How one is inspired by a movie BEFORE it is released is beyond the scope of this review. I’ll let the philosophic online decide that one.

And what an eclectic mixture it contains; the heaviest song is either Lordi performing the anthemic “This Is Heavy Metal” or the growling Wagdug Futuristic Unity song “Ram The Crush, but no black or death metal like one might half expect. However, of the 16 tracks on the disc, there are quite a few heavy hitters including songs from Saving Abel, Hinder, Dead By Sunrise (side project of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, who’s also in the film), Saliva, My Darkest Days, Krokus, Nitzer Ebb, Adelitas Way and Dir En Grey being the most instantly recognizable to me.  Also included are Rim of Hell fav’s Karnivool & Kopek, both of which have CD’s reviewed by yours truly.

This is a solid assemblage, with predominately radio accessible tracks but the occasional “WTF!” track (EBM legends Nitzer Ebb’s inclusion threw me for a loop but I was glad to see them on the track list all the same).  Many songs are previously released but a few gems are hidden for collectors; Saving Abel’s “Never”, Saliva’s most excellent “Badass”, and Dir En Grey’s “Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami” (Whew!) are all unreleased & not a one is ‘filler’.

Lesser known works worth mentioning include I-Exist “Fire Fly” &  Boom Boom Satellites “What Goes Round Comes Around” – both songs reminding me of Orgy or an edgier Gary Numan.    I also find myself playing Adelitas Way “Scream”, Hinder’s “Waking Up The Devil” and Saliva’s “Badass” a LOT.  How many soundtrack albums can you say that about?

Saw fans – this is a must have.  Rock enthusiasts – ditto.  I’m all the more excited for the movie’s release after playing this disc a few times through.  Bring on the blood!

Movie Review: Legion (2010)

Just got back from a preview of the new flick ‘Legion’ starring Paul Bettany,  Lucas Black,  Dennis Quaid & Charles S. Dutton.  It’s essentially a biblical apocalypse story with a thinly guised homage to numerous other genre films thrown in for good measure.

Bettany plays the archangel Michael, who’s been cast out of Heaven (a la Terminator – the first of numerous scenes that are heavily influenced by those films) for siding with the humans against God.  Seems the Divine has decided we’re all worthless again and instead of flooding everything, this time he’s sending his ‘legion’ of angels to destroy us all.

Dennis Quaid & Lucas Black play a misfit pair of father/son who own & run the ironically named (but not really) Paradise Falls diner wherein works an expecting waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki).  Oh, and she’s carrying some ‘messiah’-like child in her womb that Michael swears to protect and God’s legions are sent to destroy.  Cue scenes from ‘The Mist’ as strangers are trapped in the diner along with the above named cast while an army of possessed zombie/angel people try to break in and gut the waitress.  Nice eh – boy, when God get’s pissed he REALLY gets pissed.

Redeeming performances by Charles S. Dutton as kindly, religious cook Percy (& probably the strongest character portrayal of the movie), Tyrese Gibson as reformed thug Kyle and Kevin Durand as the archangel Gabriel do help keep one interested, but there’s plenty of slow spots to trudge through before the final reel.  Lots of unlikely plot twists are thankfully tempered with sizable amounts of action (especially if you’re a fan of car explosions), building up to a so-so ending that also borrows heavily from James Cameron.

There are some good creepy scenes however;  the possessed granny and the ice cream man give some genuine chills but no mention of any demons or devils through-out the entire film.  Yep – the apocalypse starts and apparently Ole’ Scratch was nappin’.  Or maybe holding out until the sequel.  In either case, not a terribly bloody film and worth a watch if you’re into this type of thing (like I am).  However, I have to add that I thought the similarly themed ‘The Prophecy’ was better.  And it HAD the Devil in it.

Movie Review: Train (2008)

Train** May Contain Spoilers **

If you’re a big fan of Tortureporn, then by all means rent ‘Train’ this Tuesday when it comes to your local video store. Starring Thora Birch (‘American Beauty’) who seems a bit too classy for this type of film, she nonetheless turns in a believable performance even if the script itself has holes large enough to drive a truck through.

The plot is basically a revamping of ‘Turistas’ with a hint of ‘Hostel’ thrown in for good measure, wherein a touring American wrestling team gets lost somewhere in Russia and wind up on a train where all sorts of nastiness is taking place. From there, it’s pretty predictable with gratuitous hacking, ripping and even raping – if you’re into that sort of thing. Myself, I prefer to actually be scared in a Horror-ish film so I found the storyline to be sparsely inspired & chock full of unbelievable plot elements.

Not bad visually and decently paced for the most part, in the end there’s just not much here to stand out in a genre dripping full of bloody look-a-likes. ‘Train’ chugs along, but ultimately doesn’t take us anyplace new.

$70 Zombie Film Causes Stir at Cannes

CNN.com – Saw this article on CNN & thought it worth sharing. Director Marc Price has had unexpected attention over his new film ‘Colin’, which was reportedly shot on a budget of about $70 (!!). Yeah, that’s 7 with one zero behind it.

Interesting tale but truth be told, not just anyone could accomplish this feat as Mr. Price appears to be fairly well connected with industry insiders (they used leftover makeup from ‘X-men III’, for example). So although it’s a stirring testimony to what can be accomplished with pith and resourcefulness, it’s also a bit misleading. Most of us don’t know anyone in Hollywood nor have access to big budget leftovers.

Still, anyone with that level of drive & resourcefulness SHOULD be making movies, so I’m glad to see him getting some much deserved attention. Now I just hope his movie doesn’t suck!

Movie Review: Plague Town

plaguetownWatched this over at a friend’s house the other night, a pre-release from his video store gig (a nice perk considering the amount of suck that job can have to it). Never heard of it when it was released theatrically nor anybody associated with it. Prepared myself for the worst.  Glad to say I was pleasantly surprised.

The story concerns a typical dysfunctional family lost while on a typical horror movie vacation (supposedly Ireland but Connecticut countrysides in real-life), with the typical mysterious going-ons and sinister whispers from the woods. It seems they’d happened into a village where the children are all . . . well, let’s just say you wouldn’t wanna play hide and go seek with any of ’em.

Their leader is the eerie little witch in the photo.  Her name is Rosemary and she’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve seen in a horror movie in quite some time (hauntingly brought to life by unknown young actress Kate Aspinwall).

I don’t wanna give too much away here but let’s just say director/co-writer David Gregory & writing partner John Cregan have brought us a violent yet stylish new entry into the ‘children of the damned’ type genre.  Very atmospheric and awesomely scored by Mark Raskin, featuring a song by the composer for Andy Warhol’s Blood for Dracula (Claudio Gizzi), who incidently has only recently begun scoring movies again after stopping in 1974!

Painstakingly developed, shot completely on film (they still do that!?) – the only real drawback is some of the acting (I’m looking directly at you David Lombard).  Still, if you don’t mind some heavy gore – not all the time, just in key scenes – and enjoy a movie that at least TRIES to creep you out, give this one a rent.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans Soundtrack Online

Got a news release a few days ago about the upcoming movie ‘Underworld: Rise of the Lycans’ & it’s Electronic/Industrial soundtrack.   Not only does the movie look excellent from the trailer (it comes out TOMORROW!) but the soundtrack sounds pretty awesome as well, what with tracks by Wes Borland, Maynard James Keenan & Puscifer, Deftones, The Cure, Perry Farrell, A.F.I. and up & coming industrialists Combichrist – just to name a few.  Cool thing is the ENTIRE CD is available for streaming off of Myspace!  Plus Wes Borland’s remix of William Control’s “Deathclub” is available as a video online.

Details below;

The video for the Wes Borland/Renholder remix of William Control’s “Deathclub” is now on MySpace! The track features Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio on backing vocals and Wes Borland on Guitar.
The video has a lot of footage from the upcoming
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.
You can check it out here:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=50469283

Also, the entire album is streaming over at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/underworldrise

Tracklist:

01. Puscifer – Lighten Up Francis (JLE Dub Mix)
02. The Cure (f/ Maynard James Keenan/Puscifer and Milla) – Underneath The Stars (Renholder Remix)
03. Perry Farrell – Nasty Little Perv (Renholder Remix)
04. Deftones – Hole In The Earth (Renholder Remix)
05. AFI – Miss Murder (VNV Nation Remix)
06. Alkaline Trio – Over And Out (Renholder Remix)
07. William Control (f/ Matt Skiba) – Deathclub (Wes Borland/Renholder Remix)
08. Genghis Tron – Board Up The House (Renholder Remix)
09. Blaqk Audio – Stiff Kittens (Jnrsnchz Blaqkout Remix)
10. Thrice – Broken Lungs (Legion Of Doom Remix)
11. Combichrist – Today We Are All Demons (Beneath The World Mix)
12. Black Light Burns – I Want You To
13. Drop Dead, Gorgeous – Two Birds, One Stone (Wes Borland/Renholder Remix)
14. King Black Acid – Let’s Burn
15. From First To Last – Tick Tock Tomorrow (Wes Borland/Renholder Remix)
16. Ghosts On The Radio – Steal My Romance

Insert Yourself Into The Terror

You may have noticed I’m fond of the various promo sites that let you upload a pic of yourself into the video. Found another one, this time Halloween themed. It’s sponsored by Fox Video & promotes several of their creepier DVD titles. The site is http://mymoviemoment.com in case you want to try this yourself. I chose ‘Alien’. . . but I look more like a refugee from John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’. Scary!

Horror Movies That Made It to Five (Sequels, That Is)

Maxim.com – Found a somewhat funny slide show on Maxim.com recounting Horror movie franchises that made it to at least 5 films in the series (in honor of Saw V coming out, no doubt).

Some of these should never have made it past. . . oh, ONE (I’m looking right at you, creators of ‘Chucky’). And for that matter – I wasn’t even aware that they’d made five movies in the ‘Children of the Corn’ series. Wow, that’s a whole lot of corn field footage!

So, check it out at the link while I go hit a few Haunted Houses this weekend.   I’ll fill you in later.

Stop Picking on Uwe Boll

That’s right, you read the header. . . I’m DEFENDING one of the most notorious film directors on the internet.  Why, you ask? 

“The man directed Bloodrayne II for Christ’s sake, Rev!  Have you lost your freakin’ mind!?! HE GAVE TARA REID A LEADING ROLE – AS A SCIENTIST!!!  MY GOD MAN, WHAT ARE YOU (OR HIM FOR THAT MATTER) THINKING !?!?!?”

Maybe I’ve lost my mind, but that’s another discussion.  Let’s stick to the facts, shall we?

Fact: Uwe may be a schlock director, but I LIKE schlock.  And I’m not alone.  The man delivers what a schlock cinema fan wants to see – boobs, blood, bad ass monsters.  I liked ‘House of the Dead’.  Let me repeat that. . . I liked  ‘House of the Dead’.  I’ve sat through far worse, and some of it was done by Academy Awarded (trademarked yadda yadda) people.  So, with Uwe, you get what you pay for. . .or didn’t pay for, as the case may be.  It’s kinda of like his own genre, take it or leave it.

Fact:  His cinematography (albeit probably not really HIS cinematography but the cinematography in HIS films) is decent, his movies are action packed.  You are entertained.  Perhaps not as much as you’d like, but you’re entertained.  Let’s face it – it’s the scripts that are usually. . . .a bit . . . .wanting.  Well, I’m just being honest here.  But to decry this man as such a horrible director, to have a PETITION requesting he quit making films.  Aw, c’mon!  That’s just lame.   If we’re gonna demand people stop producing stuff just ’cause SOME folks don’t like it, - well then I would’ve willed away Emo a long time ago, trust me. 

Fact: Uwe is one of the only film makers using the German tax code to finance his productions in the way it was intended i.e. to benefit the German economy.  He makes ’em, produces them and distributes them entirely through his home country.  Yes, supported by the German tax law, but hey – he didn’t write the damn law.  He’s a businessman, not a politician. 

Fact: Sometimes Uwe has been known to threaten beating the ass of critics of his films. Ok, well – he’s an artist, and artists get defensive. And hell, some of those critics probably HAVE an asswhipping coming to ’em anyhow, y’know? So he’s a bit melodramatic, well – the great ones generally are. Can you truly fault the guy for protecting his art?? No, God love him for caring so much!

In conclusion, a great post on this very subject can be found at Beyond Hollywood (where I also stole this picture.  Thanks!). I kinda of agree with their logic & wish Mr. Boll a long and fruitful career of making sexy, blood soaked movies-that-make-no-sense-sometimes-but-you-still-like-them-because-at-least-a-hot-chick-gets-naked-and-fights-the-big-bad-demon type movies.  For some of us, Uwe Boll is our spokesperson.  Not necessarily a very CLEAR spokesperson, but he’s our man.

So back off, preppie boys.  Lest we get mean about it.  ;>