because hollywood told us it’s so much fun…

Dead SnowSure, zombies are bad. But like everything, some kinds are worse than others. Of course, there are many different philosophies on this subject as to which varieties of zombie are the most troublesome: mummies, fast zombies, slow zombies, non-zombies (the not dead kind of “zombie”), smart zombies, dumb zombies… But I happen to think that fast zombies are the worst. Though coupled with minds, you have the rare and dreaded speedy thinker zombies. Could your zombies get any worse?

How about speedy and thinky Nazi zombies? Well, when this ill-fated group of 8 friends heads to the proverbial isolated cabin in the wilderness for a holiday, that is exactly what they find… That and a box of gold treasure and a condescending local fellow full of warnings. Of course, why bother heeding the warnings of the locals when good times are at hand?

Dead Snow

With all of this, you have the makings for this greatly fun Norwegian Zombie movie, Dead Snow. Somewhat of a zomedy, but not really a full-on comedy, just a humorous and gorey movie that is well worth watching. While the zombies aren’t all that good, there is certainly a lot of bloody gore. Plus a machine gun, a hand grenade, zombie fistacuffs, sex in an outhouse, and lots of tough dead nazi’s.

Dead Snow

As is common with these, while it starts out feeling like a “scary” horror movie, after a point it just turns into a gore/action film, but one that can be tense enough to keep your attention… The snowy environment is a nice one for the subject matter, though the soundtrack can be a bit horrible and out of place. I thought that this movie was a lot of fun, one of the better examples of what you can find for horror movies in the watch instantly section at Netflix.

life in the fast lane…

Sexy BeastAh, the good life! That’s what Gal and Aitch have found in Spain. Two British gangsters retired to Spanish villas and enjoying nights of drinking, dancing and general merriment with their molls. Could life get any better? Probably not… But could it get worse? Starting right off during the opening credits (the best opening scene ever, by the way) we get a hint the filmmakers may not intend this particular retirement to be as relaxing as it might seem.

Into this situation comes a phone call from back home in jolly old England. It seems that there is a big job on the horizon and someone has decided that good old Gal has to join in. The problem is that good old Gal doesn’t want to come out of retirement. Unfortunately, this call came from good old Don Logan, the scariest psychopath this side of… Well, not this side of anyone. Really just about the scariest psychopath around. And Don has decided, in light of Gal’s hesitation, to come for a visit and make the invitation in person. And so we encounter one of the great film performances of all time. While all of the cast does a great job: Ray Winstone is just great as Gal, Cavan Kendall does a terrific job as his nervous and twitchy old pal Aitch… But Ben Kingsley? Ah, yes… It was this role, coming after his great performance in Death and the Maiden, that convinced me that Ben Kingsley could do no wrong, and here he doesn’t. Don is angry. Don is calm. Don is in charge and Don is a free-of-charge profanity dispenser. You want to be cursed at? Threatened? Smacked? All from someone who really is just trying to set you right? Logan’s your man! If you want to say no to him, he’d just as well chop your head off with an axe while he’s using the loo, burn your house down while he’s on the phone and then go out for lunch. One of those kinds of chaps.

Watching our little group trying to keep themselves together and not completely wilt under the heat of Don Logan is a very stressful and uncomfortable situation… And one of my favorites to watch. The second half of the movie is similarly stressful but in a much different sense. They do not drop the suspense and dread for poor old Gal, as he goes off to London under somewhat unexpected circumstances to participate in this job. Trying to get this job dealt with under the weighty shadow of Don Logan and trying to keep himself together while dealing with a much different, yet equally intimidating thug Teddy (Ian McShane in another great performance), keeps us on the edge of our seats. Sexy Beast is an hour and a half of stress, and it is worth every minute of it.

you’ve got to be f’n kidding…

The Thing What else needs to be said about The Thing? Easily the best John Carpenter movie and easily the best of Kurt Russel’s (rather tired) series of scraggy independent tough guy roles, The Thing is also one of the greatest horror movies of all time and easily ranking in the top three of Sci-Fi monster movies (along with, obviously, Alien and, not so obviously, Event Horizon)… And yes, it is also one of the few examples of remakes that are completely superior to their originals.

Taking place on a secluded base in the Antarctic, the small crew of 12 men are getting ready to settle in for a long winter when they get some rather unexpected visitors. A couple of Norwegians in a helicopter chasing (well, and shooting at) a dog. When the helicopter lands and the Norwegians run through the base still shooting in pursuit of the dog, well, something just had to be done. The Norwegians end up dead, the dog ends up in the kennel and a couple of the guys take their helicopter off through the bad weather to see what might be up at the Norwegian’s base.

Of course, upon investigation, the Norwegian base is gutted and only corpses are to be found, including a very unusual one… What they also find is that those fellows seem to have uncovered an ancient spaceship and dug something out of the ice next to it. As our guys return to the base and the crew start to realize what is going on, we settle into a very unsettling case of rampant paranoia wherein everyone thinks that everyone else is not to be trusted. Scary, creepy and suspenseful with the great isolating environment of Antarctica, The Thing is a monster movie with great ideas.

Featuring one of the most outlandish and tricky monsters out there and a great cast. While the special effects are certainly starting to get pretty dated after 30 years, they still hold your attention with their great, grotesque and outrageous gore.


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