Cinepub


Halloweak: Cheerleader Autopsy by Jamie

I have just finished watching what may be the worst film I have ever seen. And that really is saying something. I’ve seen ‘The Room’, ‘Troll 2’, ‘Birdemic’, ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’ and ‘Battlefield Earth’ but at least they had some redeeming features. They were all, in some way enjoyable. They fall into the category of film that can be described as being so bad that they are good. It is fun to watch them just because they are so bowel-shatteringly awful and the important thing to remember is that each film takes themselves completely and utterly seriously. Cheerleader Autopsy doesn’t fall into this category. It falls into the so bad, it’s bad category and one of the reasons for this is because it’s intentionally trying to be funny and as far as horror comedies go, it makes yesterday’s entry, ‘Horny House of Horror’ look like Shaun of the Dead.

So what makes Cheerleader Autopsy so painfully unfunny? Is it the crude, incredibly lowbrow humour that includes a close up of someone hacking of their own penis (is every film I review this week going to involve some form of genital mutilation?), pressing down just above a dead girls corpse to make a jet of water shoot from her vagina and a hillbilly mistakenly shooting himself in the head when he thinks there is something wrong with his gun? No, I generally consider myself to be quite immature but these jokes just weren’t hitting home. I think what it may have been was the constant stream of immature and gross out humour. I think back to the films that I love which have quite a high level of what could be considered juvenile humour, such as the films of Kevin Smith, and the reason I’ve enjoyed them is because whilst they do have that level of immaturity, they are well written and always have something else going on in them as well, something substantial that raises the level of the film as a whole. Cheerleader Autopsy is poorly written, cramming as many stupid jokes in as it can within it’s short (but seemingly excruciatingly long) 73 minute run time and it has nothing of substance to fall back on.

So what is the plot of Cheerleader Autopsy? Well, that’s kind of like asking what is the meaning of life. There could be many interpretations but the question itself is practically unanswerable. There’s a cheerleader team called the Stinkwater Beavers (oh, the hilarity!), they get killed, there is a mental mortician who also happens to be the sheriff of the town and his nephew who works as his assistant. The mortician has another assistant who’s a bit socially retarded because he has a small penis (he’s the guy who chops off his own in order to attach a larger member from a body that’s brought in) and now that I think about it, I think there’s only one actual autopsy… although I suppose the film isn‘t called Cheerleader Autopsies so far enough. Oh and there’s jokes and hints about necrophilia and eating the brains of foetuses littered throughout. Now that I think about it, maybe it is the crude humour that makes this suck. I mean, eating the brains of foetuses? I’m a man who regularly makes jokes about paedophilia and even I think that’s going a bit too far.

Of course, the humour can’t be completely held responsible here. There’s also the terrible acting, terrible editing, terrible sound, terrible camera work, terrible picture quality and terrible everything. If you’ve seen Birdemic, imagine all of these things being a fraction better than that and yet Birdemic still remains the far more enjoyable film. Look, I’m really sick of thinking about this film and I’ve got a pub quiz to get ready for. Time to get completely drunk. To sum up just imagine you had a really stupid friend with a camcorder and a worrying level of access to a number of Real Dolls. The result would be something like this film. To further sum up, just watch the damn trailer. 0 pints out of five. Laterz.

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Halloweak: Horny House of Horror by Jamie

Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year again, Halloween, and that can mean only one thing: Watching a huge amount of shitty horror movies in order to get you in the right mood. Sure, you could watch a bunch of good horror movies, and I’ll certainly be doing that after I’ve finished this week of bad ones in order to cleanse my palate, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of horror films aren’t worth the film they’re printed on.

It’s a genre plagued with crap largely because many people who make horror films think you don’t need to rely to heavily on plot. A couple of gruesome effects shots, a few gallons of blood and zang, you have a horror film. Another thing that contributes to the glut of truly awful horror films is the fact that, compared to some other genres, they can be done relatively cheaply. So with all that out of the way, let’s get on to the first entry of this cavalcade of crap, the Japanese offering ‘Horny House of Horror’.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this before but the Japanese can sometimes seem a little weird to our Western sensibilities, what with their ultra-violent cartoon porn and their robots and what have you. But fair enough, each to their own and all that. I’m sure they find the prospect of NASCAR or uncensored hardcore pornography equally as weird. And sure, the Japanese never didn’t come up with some of the crazy shit that we have like the ‘Saw’ films, the ‘Hostel’ films or indeed ‘A Serbian Film’ (more on that later in the week) but they certainly have a certain talent for taking the term torture porn and really running with it. Just look at ‘Audition’ for example. And it’s kinda in this vein that ‘Horny House of Horror’ falls though with a bit more of an (attempted) comic twist.

The story begins inside Shogun Massage Parlour where a customer is receiving a happy ending of the oral variety from an employee, Nagisa (Saori Hara) and he excitedly tells her to suck as hard as she wants. She smiles, descends on his penis and proceeds to bite it of, much to the man’s chagrin. It tunes out that this is a most decidedly unhappy ending. Cue unrealistic amounts of blood and cut to credits. So yeah, this pretty much tells you what you should be coming to expect from this film.

After the credits we are introduced to three friends returning home after a baseball match, Nakazu (Yuya Ishikawa) a man about to get married, Toshida (Wani Kansai) and Uno (Toushi Yanagi). Besides Nakazu (and I might be being a bit generous), none of these characters really have much in the way of characterization. The two friends actually kinda seem to have the exact same personality which can be best be described thusly: They are both douche bags. Still, the three friends come across the Massage Parlour and Toshida and Uno decide they should get Nakazu a girl as one last gift before he is married. This makes Nakazu incredibly nervous as he’s never paid for sex before. In fact it’s hinted that, even though he’s a man of forty, he might still be a virgin. Also, he’s incredibly faithful to his wife to be even though she forced him to quit the baseball team and seems to ring him constantly to check up on him. Still his douche bag friends force him to go in there anyway. Because they are douche bags.

Upon entering the men are confronted with three holes through which the three female employees stick their arses so the men can judge just which one they’d like to be getting a “massage” from. This leads to fondling, pinching and farting causing much hilarity. No, wait. Not hilarity. What’s that thing that’s not hilarity? Oh yeah, boredom. Seriously, just get to the genital mutilation already… Hmm, never thought I’d find myself typing those words.

Finally after a short period of waiting during which Toshida and Uno continue to mock Nakazu, the action finally gets underway. It’s Toshida’s turn first and he get’s his revenge for the girl, Nonoko (Asami) farting in his face earlier by cumming in her mouth. She takes great offence to this and proceeds to cut his penis of with a metallic pair of jaws she has stashed away in her vagina. This results in an amount of blood that can only be described as biologically unfeasible, especially since Toshida survives this assault.

Next, it’s Uno’s member that’s on the chopping block, quite literally this time as he has been chained to a wall and has to resist getting a boner whilst Kaori (Mint Suzuki) does a sexy dance for him. If he manages to stay flaccid, he gets to keep his member and go free but if he fails and becomes aroused, his cock will be sliced off by a samurai sword. Of course, he fails leading to yet more crazy amounts of bloodshed.

Meanwhile Nakazu is managing to resist the charms of Nagisa and finally realises the danger that he’s in when he hears the screams of Uno as he is de-membered and he narrowly avoids Nagisa’s hand job with special acidic lotion. He attempts to rescue his friends but they both die along the way, as long as the two hookers who had so grievously wronged them. So in the end it’s down to Nakazu and Nagisa, both trying to escape as it turns out that the poor girl only worked there to raise money for her brothers. Unfortunately Nakazu is shot by a gun that emerges from the wall and Nagisa is left to confront the Big Boss who has been watching this whole time. He claims to have some grand scheme for removing all of the brothel’s client’s genitals and, as it turns out, keeping them in jars of formaldehyde but Nakazu accuses him of doing just because he has a small penis and is just jealous of every other man on the planet which I guess kinda makes sense but seems to be a bit of a harsh way to go about resolving the issue.

So what to make of a film about a whorehouse where customers are lured in with the promise of cheap sex on to get their members dismembered? Well, I kinda wished they’d made up their mind about whether they were making a horror or a comedy. Yes, horror and comedy can mix really well together but there needs to be a delicate balance. I suppose that if I had to call it, this tried to be far more of a comedy but it just wasn’t funny enough for that. As for the horror side, well, because of the continued attempts at humour it really wasn’t particularly scary either. It really needed to be a bit more over the top, violence wise, which is kinda odd for me to say because I’m generally not one for what has been dubbed ‘torture porn’ but when the film’s about something like genital mutilation then tortuous and hard to watch is exactly what those scenes should be. In the end it’s kind of like this old advert from America. Just imagine that instead of chocolate the guy is saying ‘genital mutilation horror’ and the girl is saying ‘cheesy sex comedy’ instead of peanut butter. Also imagine they are both incredibly disappointed by the outcome of the combination of both of these things:

 

On the plus side I suppose, the girls are hot and the acting is fairly competent throughout. The effects are, again, kinda underwhelming mainly because of the ridiculous amount of blood that ends up spurting everywhere. I know that this is kind of a hallmark of Japanese horror films, particularly those of these type but it just serves to pull me out of what is already a pretty ridiculous affair even more. All in all, the whole thing was just really, really unsatisfying and overall quite boring which is disappointing in something that probably should have been just a cheesy, fun film. Still, I’m sure this film will have it’s fans and bless their little cotton socks for getting something out of it that I just couldn’t find myself. One pint out of five.



Review: The Smurfs (2011) by Jamie

I don’t really remember ever watching ‘The Smurfs’ as a kid but I know the basic gist of the whole thing. Bunch of little blue creatures live in a forest and an evil wizard tries to capture them. Pretty simple premise so why not take that idea and stretch it out in a live action/CGI mixed feature length film? Well how about because a) that’s a paper-thin premise that seems like it would require a lot of padding and b) The Smurfs are some of the most irritating fuckers to ever grace the silver screen. This is a point which is actually acknowledged several times throughout the film. If much of the supporting cast are pointing out just how unlikeable the little blue shits are, what makes the film makers believe that anyone watching it should care about them?

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to point a. So how do you pad out such a simple concept? Well, you take the Smurfs and the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) and teleport them to modern day Manhattan! It’s a fish out of water story where the characters find themselves confused by the everyday things we take for granted! That concept’s never been done before! (For films that have, to some extent, explored very similar concepts see: Blast From The Past, Coneheads, Crocodile Dundee, Elf, Enchanted, Encino Man, Hercules In New York, The Little Mermaid, Short Circuit, Thor… I think you get my point). I suppose I shouldn’t be to angry with the writers. I imagine they were just told to write a script for a Smurf movie and, honestly, what more could really be done with the concept?

So anyway, The Smurfs are transported to New York and end up staying with Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and Grace (Jayma Mays) Winslow and together the group learn important lessons about how important family is and how you’re more than just one defining characteristic, which may be true for humans but honestly seems to go against everything Smurf society is built on. In fact I imagine the sequel to this film involving Clumsy Smurf bringing this dangerous new philosophy back to the Smurf village and, in turn, starting a revolution against the dictatorial Papa Smurf who was the one who gave them all their predetermined roles in life in the first place. Yes, an encounter with human characters other than a one dimensional bad guy can only lead to the spilling of gallons of blue blood. Will the plucky rebels come out on top or will Papa Smurf be able to retain his iron grip on Smurf Society? Find out in ‘The Smurfs 2: Viva La Smurfolucion!’ coming in the summer of 2013.

Ahem. I seem to have gotten a little sidetracked. There are some amusing moments from the couples interaction with the blue demonspawn most of it stemming from Will’s absolute and completely understandable annoyance when it comes to the way that the Smurfs, well, just the way that the Smurfs are. He rails against them for randomly replacing words with the word Smurf. This makes sense because seriously CAN’T POSSIBLY MAKE ANY SENSE IF YOU USE THE WORD SMURF FOR EVERYTHING! VERBS, ADVERBS, NOUNS, PRONOUNS, PROFANITIES! IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE GRAMATICALLY OR LINGUISTICALLY! I mean, the last thing Patrick says to Grace is “Grace, I smurf you” which is either very sweet or a filthy and degrading insult. There ambiguity of the word Smurf means that there is no way to tell which.

He also points out just how fucking irritating the Smurfs theme tune is which they sing, whistle or hum a fuck load in this goddamn movie. If you’re lucky enough to have never heard the theme tune to the Smurfs, allow me to shatter that peaceful existence you one had and destroy the happiness that once dwelled in your heart:

Yeah, like I said, that theme just keeps coming back again and again and again. There is one time, near the end, where the song is used almost as a war chant a the creatures prepare for their showdown with Gargamel which was, admittedly, kinda inventive. So well done for that I guess.

Speaking of Gargamel, Hank Azaria is actually one of the movies small redeeming features, particularly near the beginning of the film. He also makes a few cracks about The Smurf way of life that everyone has discussed since they got old enough to realise just how fucking weird it was that the Smurfs lived in a village that only had one female. Unfortunately as the film goes on, Azaria gets more and more over the top and eventually becomes almost as irritating as the protagonists. As for the rest of the cast, well, there’s really only one person worth mentioning and that’s Sofia Vergara.

 

Sofia Vergara

I don’t remember anything about her performance,
but she is worth mentioning.

So all in all, just how bad is ‘The Smurfs’? Well, it’s pretty fucking bad, I don’t know how well it would play for kids but really who cares because kids are idiots. If they weren’t then they wouldn’t get smarter as they got older. In terms of these CGI/live action reboots of old cartoon series though, it is better than the Chipmunk movies and the Transformers movies because whilst this film is awful, it does have some redeeming moments here and there and I didn’t feel totally mentally, physically and spiritually drained after watching it unlike those other franchises. On the other hand, it did have one of the worst blasphemies committed against music. The Smurfs replacing various words in ‘Walk This Way’ with word Smurf…Fuckers.

And that’s one of the big problems with these kinds of films. They take these innocent little cartoons that made up many of our childhoods and try and modernise them in a way that just seems tacky, out of place, completely unnecessary and it just reeks of a coroporate type’s idea of getting down with the kids in the most simplistic, basic and crass way possible. “What do kids like? Rap. Can we make the Smurfs rap? Excellent. That should sell a few more tickets.” All it actually ends up doing is to make the whole thing end up seeming like an empty shell of what it once was, putting as little effort as possible into what was once a beloved franchise in order to make a quick buck. And that’s sad… On the other hand:

 

Sofia2

The Smurfs gets one pint out of five.




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