Review: Spirit Camp by Jamie

When it comes to getting rid of an infestation of annoying teens at your summer camp, there’s really only one person you need to call. That person is of course Jason Voorhees (and I suppose his mother has been most helpful in the family business as well). Whether a living, breathing, psychopathic man-child or a Zombie serial-killer from beyond the grave, Jason has been cleaning up the scum from Crystal Lake for 30 years now. He’s truly a credit to his craft.

Still there are those who try and follow in the big guys footsteps, maybe hoping to catch him unaware and snatch the hockey mask from right off his face. And of all the horror movies set at a summer camp, ‘Spirit Camp’ maybe the worst I’ve seen yet. I would rather watch ‘Jason Takes Manhattan’ for the rest of eternity then attempt to watch this shit again.

The first warning sign is that ’Spirit Camp’ describes itself as a horror comedy, a mix which can be difficult to achieve. There are many horror films which have comedic elements to them such as ‘Scream’ but in terms of successful horror comedies your first ports of call should be ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ (which contains action elements but seems to have far more in common with things like ‘Wicker Man’ and slasher films than it does ‘Point Break’) and something like ‘Gremlins’ and it’s sequel. These films seem to get the balance right. Fuck the balance up and you get ‘Spirit Camp’ which seems to be more like a shitty straight-to-DVD American Pie film which happens to have a serial killer for some reason (Seriously, no reason is ever given for the killers killer-ousness…).

This one time at Spirit Camp…

Let me give you an example of some of the humour. There is a sign at the camp which reads CAMP LUMIS: Pop. 69. Hahahah! That is funny because 69 is a sexual position as well as being a number! Hahahah! What great times we are having, you and I. Also if you’re going to reference a character from Halloween, maybe you should spell the name fucking correctly. It’s Loomis you fucktards, not Lumis. Fuck.

Yes that’s the level we’re dealing with here people. I’m not gonna lie to you. It hurts. Hurts deep. Hurts like a big hurty thing covered in spike being repeatedly shoved into your face before you suffer the final indignity of having it shoved somewhere you’d really rather prefer spikey, hurty things were not shoved.

As for the horror aspect, well there is shit that just doesn’t make sense here. I know, I know. There’s always shit that doesn’t make sense in a horror film. Things like characters running blindly into the woods in order to escape or people going upstairs in order to look for their friend in a wheelchair that they had left by themselves (See Friday the 13th: Part 2 for more details) but the shit that happens in this film just stretches the bounds of believability to breaking point.

For example, there are approximately six girls attending the camp, although one never makes it there, which leads me to ask the question just how the fuck does this summer camp for cheerleading actually stay open? I’m sure running a camp is probably quite costly so I’m sure they’d need to open their doors to a few more people. Anyway, that’s besides the point. My point is that one girl goes missing fairly early on and no one seems to remember her until far, far later on. I could understand her disappearance going unnoticed in a large group but in a group as small as the one in the movie, it should be noticed earlier. None of the camp counsellors notice either. In fact the woman who owns the camp leaves in order to by ammunition and is never heard from again.

The film also features what may be the most incompetent cop I have ever seen in a any film., despite his insistence that he’s hella experienced because of his 30 years on the force. A psychopathic killer has escaped from the local jail and he’s going to warn the woman who owns the camp. On his way he discovers a bag lying in the road. He pulls out a pair of panties, sniffs them and puts them in his pocket. Then he takes the bag and puts it in his car. Of course if he investigated the scene like a fucking cop probably should under these specific circumstances, then he would have found the body of a dead cheerleader mere feet away behind a tree. Then the camp would have been evacuated, a few more lives would have been saved and this movie wouldn’t of had to have happened. Fuck you cop and fuck you movie.

Fucking hell, I could go on and on about the plot holes in this film. Like why doesn’t the killer kill one character earlier on when he’s walking alone with her for sometime? Last time I checked movie serial killers weren’t that good at urge control. Why is the one girl camp counsellor coming on to the stereotypically gay camp counsellor especially when she’s known him for years and why does her head terrify me? Is the camp on week long or two weeks long? Accounts vary based on whether it is a parent or a camp counsellor doing the talking. Why is there unnecessary stock footage of an alligator? Why does that chick with the sweet body though slightly odd face have the fattest boyfriend imaginable and no one mentions it? I’m assuming they’d run out of actors. Seriously, that’s not even half of the problems but I don‘t have eternity to sit here.

Right let’s wrap this the fuck up by talking about the acting. It’s god fuck awful. It’s not helped by the god fuck awful script either and when you combine these two aspects together what you get is dialogue delivered like the worst porno you’ve ever seen. They sound like they’re just getting through the lines because hey, no ones here for that, we just need to get to the hardcore fucking as quickly as possible. But you know what? There is no hardcore fucking! Goddamn it movie, if you’re going to star what seem like Z-grade porn stars and have a Z-grade porn-esque script you good at least deliver on the promise that those things suggest. Instead the money shot here is a dude sitting next to a box full of dynamite that explodes…. And he survives with wuite minor looking burns all things considered.

So was there anything good about this movie? Well there was a raccoon in it for a few seconds and raccoons are the greatest things evolution ever produced. Raccoons make all films bearable, right?

Oh right… I guess not.

Ok, well then I guess there’s nothing redeemable about this film. Literally nothing. And don’t get me wrong. I love bad films. I’ve probably watched ‘The Room’ more times than I’ve watched any other film in the past year but this… this isn’t a film. This is just a thing that probably shouldn’t exist. Having said that, it’s still better than watching a film by those fucktards Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer so I guess I have to give it that. Well done movie. Well done. Overall, I’m gonna give it a half pint out of five just for that raccoon. I can’t help it they rule. Seriously though, if you do ever accidentally watch this film, here’s a little song I wrote to help you through:

It’s only illegal,
If you get caught.

With that in mind, I bid you adieu. Laterz.

Review: A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) by Jamie


Ah, Michael Bay. You seem to be set on ruining the things that I loved growing up. If you’re not turning the Transformers into nothing more than giant scrotum jokes and robots humping Megan Fox’s leg then you’re using your production company, Platinum Dunes, to systematically remake the horror films that morphed me into the slightly twisted and desensitized me from violence. From ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ to ‘The Amityville Horror’, it seemed as though nothing was safe from your evil clutches.

This all culminated with the one that was the biggest personal insult to me, last years remake of ‘Friday The 13th’. Jason was always my favourite of the slashers and I was actually genuinely excited to see this film in the cinema. I went into it with the feeling that you couldn’t possibly ruin a series which, arguably, had been ruined several times before. See ‘Jason Takes Manhattan’ for more details. Of course I was wrong to have hope. I left that film feeling angrier than I thought I could feel about a film. What had happened to my hockey masked hero? Little did I know that I could actually feel angrier than that but I did when a certain cinematic shitstorm called ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ hit the screens.

But then came the news of another Michael Bay produced horror remake, a remake of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. At first I was dubious. There came the news that Robert Englund wouldn’t be reprising his role as Freddy, that someone else would be donning the fedora, stripy sweatshirt and clawed glove. Of course I could understand. You want to reboot something then you want someone different in that role but for many of us, Robert Englund was Freddy. It was as simple as that.

Then there came hope. It turned out that Jackie Earle Haley would be stepping into the shoes of everyone’s favourite child murderer… Wow, that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. Still, things seemed to be looking up. Haley was certainly the best thing about ‘Watchmen’ and it seemed as though he was pretty much perfect for the role.

Other pieces of news started to break out. The film-makers said that they’d want to take Freddy away from the jokey character he had become in the later ‘Nightmare’ movies and return him to his dark origins. Not that I don’t enjoy the comic Freddy for what he was but there definitely was something genuinely scary about that first ‘Nightmare’ film. Plus it seemed like they could really do something impressive with the nightmarish dreamscapes that modern CGI would allow. Once more Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes had gotten my hopes up. But would it turn out that once more my hope was misplaced?

Well in a word, yes. The filmmakers took what is a fucking solid concept and completely screwed it up. I didn’t get as annoyed by this as I was by ‘Friday the 13th‘. Rather, I was just bored. When a movie’s main conceit is that your main characters will die if they fall asleep, it’s probably a good idea not to make the audience feel as though a little nap would be more enjoyable than watching the film.

The main problem was that the slightly surreal elements of that first ‘Nightmare’ film have almost been completely stripped away. Yes, there’s the scene where Freddy is coming through the wall but it’s honestly nowhere as impressive as in the original. There’s also a scene later on where a floor becomes a lake of turgid blood which then pools and falls through a ceiling but other than that there aren’t really any examples of Freddy drastically fucking with reality like he used to. There’s no scene where a telephone suddenly sprouts a tongue. There’s no shower of blood exploding from the mattress of a bed (though the scene I mentioned earlier of the blood falling through a ceiling is supposed to be reminiscent of it and again, it’s nowhere near as impressive). There’s not even an attempt to replicate one of the most iconic scenes from that original film where Freddy is walking along with his extra long, Stretch Armstrong arms. Everything just seems too realistic and honestly what is the fucking point?

There’s also issue of the new Freddy, both in redesign and story. I know they were trying to go for a face that looked more like an actual burn victim but what they actually came up with was something that looked like more like Lion-O from the Thundercats or maybe some kind of diseased Na’vi. Just something about the design of the nose and eyes made Freddy seem particularly feline this time around. He does still have his fedora, stripey sweatshirt and, of course, the clawed glove so that’s something I suppose. As for what they attempt to do with the story, well, it’s just bizarre.

You see about an hour into this film they toy with the idea that perhaps Freddy was innocent of his crimes. The problem is that whether or not this is true actually gets resolved pretty quickly afterwards. Of course it does because, well, you’ve only got a half hour left and you still need to fit in the final battle with Freddy which should take up at least ten or fifteen minutes. So yeah, not really enough time to develop this theory. If they’d introduced the idea a bit earlier in the film, there’s a chance that I’d give a fuck about it either way but as it is it just seems kind of empty and pointless. I should also point out that this time round, Freddy is a paedophile. They always danced around the idea in the original films simply because it was a different time and for some reason people found a child murderer more palatable as a villain than a child molester. So yeah, Freddy is a paedophile and this time he’s taking his revenge on the children who ratted him out.

That’s another problem with this version of the story. In the original Freddy was killing the kids as revenge for what the adults of Springwood had done to him. In this version he’s taking revenge against for what the children had caused to happen to him. It removes the whole ‘sons and daughters paying for the sins of the mothers and fathers’ element that the original had and that just plain sucks. It also makes it hard to see just where the planned two sequels for this film are gonna go since the film ends with only two of the original group of kids surviving.

So what about the performances? Well, the kids are there to serve their purpose and do little else. At no point do you really feel any empathy for them, don’t particularly care whether they live or die. I can remember the actual shock and sadness I felt when Jonny Depp’s character died in the original. He was a character that you had come to know and like and his death came as a genuine shock to me. There’s none of that here. Kids are brought on to be killed or fight Freddy as needed and you don’t connect with them at all. Character development is practically non-existant even for the two main characters.

As for Jackie Earle Haley, well, he tries bless him but that’s a pretty big glove he’s got to fill. I tried hard not to think about Robert Englund when I was watching this but it was impossible. The man is Freddy Krueger and he always will be. Haley said that he wasn’t going to let Englund’s performance influence his but that’s clearly something that ended up going out the window. There are the little, swift movements that Haley performs with Freddy’s gloved hand that are just too reminiscent of Englund’s Freddy to have not come from his performance. Towards the beginning of the film Haley does manage to be quite creepy and menacing but by the end it seems that the film-makers forgot that they were going to take away the comic of elements of Freddy because by that point his wise-cracking and punning it up just like he used to. It’s a complete shift in the character and it just doesn’t gel. Either stick to your guns and make Freddy a grim and dark character or have him quipping from the start. You can’t have it both ways especially after the earlier statements you had made.

So what can I say to wrap things up? Honestly, the film was just another subpar remake of a horror classic that we all know and love. Yes, there were times that Jackie Earle Haley worked but at the end of the day it’s impossible not to judge him against Robert Englund, no matter how hard I tried, and he’s just not Freddy. What they needed to do was either completely change the tone of the character, like they said they would or acknowledge Englund’s influence. You can’t just try and do both and hope that people won’t care. So, yeah, it’s fair to say I disliked this film and really apart from the few times that Haley shines, there really is no reason to watch it. One pint out of five. Laterz.

Review: Valentine by Jamie

A Special Valentine’s Day Review of the 2001 film, Valentine

Friday The 13th Month: Part 2 by Jamie
05/02/2009, 10:04 am
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My video about the second film in the Friday the 13th series.

Friday The 13th Month: Part 1 by Jamie
03/02/2009, 7:31 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My video about the first Friday the 13th film. Yeah it’s a little shitty but my laptop kept fucking up, it was half 4 in the morning and I just wanted to get it done.

Review: My Bloody Valentine 3-D by Chris
02/02/2009, 10:38 am
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Hello readers, and welcome to the review of “My Bloody Valentine 3-D”, a simple story of romance, death, and an awesome five minute, full frontal sex scene that results in some big breasted blonde’s demise. The film’s starting credits begin with newspapers moving all over the place in 3-D, explaining a horrific accident that happened ten years ago in the little town of Harmony, leaving five men dead and put survivor Harry Warden into a coma; in my opinion, the best use of 3-D animation in the entire movie. One year later, on Valentine’s Day of course, Harry Warden unexpectedly awoke from his coma and went on a random killing spree; brutally murdering twenty-two people with a pickaxe before being killed himself.

Now a decade later, Tom Hanniger, the inexperienced miner who was responsible for the death’s of the five men and Warden’s coma, returns to Harmony on, you’ve guessed it, Valentine’s Day, still haunted by the deaths he caused. Subtle much? Hanniger, played by Supernatural star Jensen Ackles, is now dealing with his unresolved feelings for his ex-girlfriend Sarah (Jaime King), who is now married to his best mate Axel (Kerr Smith), the town’s sheriff and a killer sporting a miner’s mask and a pickaxe who is on the loose. Is Harry Warden back from the dead? Or is this a copycat killer? Either way, it’s not that interesting. It’s the 3-D deaths that make this ‘slasher’ film what it is, and they are stupidly grizzly.

The film does have some quality death scenes such as when the killer grabs one man and shoves a pickaxe up through his chin, yanking his weapon back which results in blood spattering to your left and a chunk of the guy’s chin flying to your right. Another one was when the killer swings the pickaxe into the back of a teenager’s head, which shows his eye on the end of the weapon as the pickaxe goes through his eye socket and comes out at you. But the most interesting part of the story has to be the ‘3-D Full-Frontal’.

The scene starts in a seedy hotel where a couple are having sex quite aggressively. The man climaxes, and then goes to leave, as you do, and grabs his jacket, switching off a camcorder he was using. Classy. The blonde starts shouting “I’m not a whore”, but the man chucks her some cash and laughs “You are now”. The man goes to get in his truck, with the blonde tailing him outside, stark naked, with a gun. The man opens his truck door and the killer smashes the pickaxe down into his head, leaving the blonde to run back to the hotel screaming her head off. She gets in and hides under the bed, leaving the killer to remove the duvet covers to reveal her, still naked, under the wire bed frame. She somehow manages to get up, using the bed frame as a shield, and backs into a corner of the room, trapping herself. Hilarious. The killer starts to pierce the wire frame, trying to get the blonde in the head with the pickaxe. After several attempts, the killer then realises what they’re doing wrong and then goes for the stomach, which they hit first time, leaving the blonde pinned to the wall, and you feeling horny after seeing a pair of 3-D breasts bounce around at you for the last five minutes. Nice.

Now, in small doses, the film isn’t half bad; but as a whole, it’s pretty poor. The script is good in places, but not enough to keep you interested. The actor’s did an okay job, but there just isn’t enough continuity for you to care about them when they start dying. The 3-D plotline is all this film has going for it, and even then it wasn’t always appropriate. Still, at least Director Patrick Lussier pulled off a tasteful sex scene. In 3-D. Which was awesome.

Cinepub Rating: Shandy (2 out of 5)

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