Piranha 3DD: How Many Sex Jokes Does It Take To Be Funny? This Film Never Found Out

1/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A film about objectifying women and then watching evil fish rip them apart.

Just from looking at a poster you know that this film knows who it is playing to…. Horny people going to get their titillation at the cinema, as well as those of us whose guilty pleasure is schlocky B movie esque horror. Both of whom will be slightly let down by this film.

In many ways this film tries to be tongue in cheek with its vulgar voyeuristic side, but struggles often to make its creepy camera angles feel in any way like self-satire or parody. In this vein the film is awash with poor female representation, despite having a female lead in Danielle Panabaker, it’s female characters are mostly given stereotypical roles and are ranked in importance under how they look more so than anything else.

Panabaker’s involvement with this is disappointing as she has proven from her other roles that she is a really talented actor, so here it feels as though she is slumming it. Yes, maybe she just wanted the cash, but it still saddens me to see her brought low like this.

Overall, self-referencing your own perviness does not somehow make it less bad.

Pros.

Some B movie esque charm to be found if you look deep enough.

Cons.

The poor female representation

It does nothing to distinguish itself from its predecessor

Panabaker deserves better

It has pacing issues

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Hotel Transylvania Transformania: This Film Needed Adam Sandler

2/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The monsters are back at it again, only now they have been turned human.

I thought this film was in danger when Adam Sandler and director Genndy Tartakovsky walked away. I know many like to malign Sandler, myself included, but he brought a lot of heart to the role of Dracula and though Brian Hull sounds like the character he can’t bring it to life in the way Sandler did. Yes, I am starting this review by saying the film is worse off for not featuring Sandler, what is the world coming to.

For those with small kids this film is just more of the same. In that you can know what to expect, if your kids liked the other three films it is likely they will like this one as well. However, if you or your kids are more discerning then this is easily the worst in the franchise. The jokes come off as far more bland and tame then they do in the other films, with not a one making me laugh. Adding to that the plot feels like a rehash of the Dracula/ Johnny, voiced by Andy Samberg, plot from the first film and sees the two at odds with one another only for them to come to like and understand each other by the end of the film. We’ve already been there and done that.

The actual transformation gimmick here is nothing impressive either it is mainly just used as set up for bad jokes and to make Dracula less capable and so able to see Johnny from a new light. It is a fairly lazy body swap approach.

Overall, a clear decline in the franchise, hopefully this will be the last one.

Pros.

Selina Gomez has far more time to shine here as Mavis

It is watchable

Cons.

It is lame

It is unfunny

The film needed Sandler and Tartakovsky

The dance number  

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Jeepers Creepers: If You See A Body Being Thrown Down A Pipe Don’t Investigate It

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A brother, played by Justin Long, and sister, played by Gina Phillips, are terrorised by an otherworldly entity as they are driving home from university.

Before I get into this film I just want to address the director. Yes, I know that the director of this film is highly problematic for a number of reasons, if you don’t know them look them up, but I tried to push that out of my mind whilst watching this film and just enjoy it for what it was.

This film and its sequel have always had a special place in my heart, as I grew up watching them. Whether it was as a child or now these films have always managed to creep me out, there is just something about them. From the unnerving car chase to the misadventure down the drainage pipe and everything that comes after this film does a really good job in building tension and creating a terrifying atmosphere. It is nice to see a horror film that isn’t solely reliant on jump scares.

Moreover, as I have previously said in other posts the creature effects on the antagonist are incredibly good. The monster looks both demonic and alien as well as simply nightmare fuel. I also appreciated how this film never really went out of its way to explain the creature or what it is doing adding to the mystery and the tension.

My main gripe with the film really comes in the form of the dumb decisions the characters make. Yes, like in many other horror films the sibling duo here make all kinds of stupid mistakes over the course of the film, worse still the film even draws attention to them and makes fun of them for doing them saying things like how it would be a terrible decision if they were in a horror film. As I have said before calling out bad writing that is reliant on cliches doesn’t suddenly make it good, it just makes it fee lazy as you are admitting that you couldn’t be bothered to fix it.

Overall, this is an underrated horror gem.

Pros.

The creature

The tension

The atmosphere

The ending

Cons.

Dumb decision making   

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Ebola Rex: Does What It Says On The Tin

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

This film will never win any awards, it will never be lauded, but it will entertain you for a little over an hour and provide you with some good, switch your brain off, trashy, fun.   

The characters are all paper thin, but again you aren’t really watching this film for nuance or for rich meaningful character arcs, you are watching it to see a T-Rex with a deadly disease destroy things and just generally be a pain. In that regard there is plenty of b movie esque destruction and carnage, enough to easily pad the film out.

The pacing of the film generally works. I found that the film was starting to run out of steam by the end, and had it been any longer it would almost certainly have suffered from pacing issues, but as it stands it feels well balanced.

I think how much you enjoy this film will come down to how much you enjoy B movie monster films.

Overall, fun but nothing to write home about.

Pros.

Mindless fun destruction

B movie charm

Well-paced

Cons.

Paper thin characters

The gimmick gets old fast.

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Dawn Of The Beast: People Should Know By Now That Nothing Good Ever Happens In The Woods.

Written by Luke Barnes

Dawn Of The Beast is a horror film directed by Bruce Wemple. The plot sees a group of graduate students head out into the woods in search of Bigfoot, however, what they find is far more terrifying.

There is only one truly good horror film about Bigfoot and that is the Lost Coast Tapes, the rest of them are frequently terrible. I am pleased to say that though this film has issues, this falls into the category of good Bigfoot horror, and does provide a nice entry into the subgenre.

I think the creature design on both Bigfoot and the Wendigo is very well done, and though we only see brief amounts of them over the course of the film they do leave an impression and look suitably scary or perhaps monstrous.

In terms of scares, the film isn’t scary, it has a few tense sequences and attempts a few jump scares but to limited success.

The issues with this film are all structural and fundamental. The pacing in this film is way off and what is a relatively short film ends up feeling far longer to watch then it actually is- developing a bloat. Moreover, the acting from the human characters is incredibly weak: yes I understand that most wont be watching this to see how layered and well written the human characters are, rather instead to watch monster carnage, but it did impact on my viewing experience.

Overall, a good Bigfoot horror film that is brought down by several glaring issues.

Pros.

Using its monster well

The creature design

A few tense sequences

Cons.

The pacing

The acting

3.5/5

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Widows Point: The Type Of Film You Can Make At Home

Widows Point is a supernatural, mystery film directed by Gregory Lamberson. The plot sees an author (Craig Sheffer), become locked overnight in a haunted lighthouse as a promotional stunt for his new book. However, the longer he trapped inside the more he realises something isn’t right and soon he becomes the prey of supernatural forces.

This is a bizarre film. I am not simply referring to the end that literally comes out of nowhere, but rather the film as a whole. Midway through the film there were that many flashbacks and timelines going on I quickly became lost, there is something to be said for keeping you central narrative simplistic.
Moreover, the film as a whole looked very cheap. I don’t know quite what it was about it, yes it would have had a smaller budget but other films with small budgets don’t look like this, in many ways it looked incredibly amateurish; like the sort of thing you might see presented as a student film.

The acting is similarly as bad, and not for a single moment throughout are you convinced off what is supposedly happening on screen, acting or otherwise.

Overall, a very poor film that needed to be drastically reformed to be anything close to good.

Pros.

The wacky randomness of the monster just showing up at the end

Cons.

It makes no sense

The narrative is far too complicated and also doesn’t work

The acting is god awful

It looks cheap

1/5

Reviewed by Luke  

Black Water, Abyss: Rooting For The Crocodiles

Black Water, Abyss is an Australian thriller film directed by Andrew Traucki. The plot sees a group of adventure seekers/ divers become trapped in a uncharted underground cave filled with vicious crocodiles.

Why do I keep coming back to the shark attack, crocodile attack, creature feature sub-genre? There is nothing left of interest in this sub-genre at all. Sometimes these sort of films can be good for a bit of low engagement, mindless viewing, but I found that was too much of an ask for this film.

Though this film is on for under 2 hours it feels much, much longer. I don’t know how you can make man vs crocodile boring, but this film finds a way. Honestly by the midpoint of the film I was completely checked out and bored; if I was not reviewing the film I would have turned it off.

The characters are exactly what you would expect, if you have seen any film like this before. It is the same collection of cliches and stereotypes that leave absolutely no impression on you at all, even as they are eaten by the crocodile.

The kills themselves are fine, probably the highlight of the film, but even then they are just average.

Overall, give this one a hard pass unless you need something to both infuriate you and send you to sleep.

Pros.

The kills are okay

Cons.

The characters are generic

The kills have no real impact as you don’t care about the characters

It is not scary or thrilling

It is tedious and hard to get through

0.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

Critters: Never Trust 80’s Pop Icons, They Are Never Who They Claim To Be

Critters is a science fiction horror film Stephen Herek. The plot sees furry alien invaders from another planet arrive on Earth, in small town America of course, and start wreaking havoc. It is down to the efforts of one plucky family, a collection of towns people and two alien bounty hunters to stop them.

So the writers of this film claim that the ideas for it originated well before Gremlins, and that any claim that Critters is inspired by Gremlins are inherently false. While I can’t claim knowledge on the subject I have to say while watching I couldn’t help but be reminded of Gremlins as the two films are very similar in a number of ways.

I enjoyed that this film was not afraid to embrace the campiness of the science fiction horror premise with the Critters themselves being somewhat tongue in cheek often cracking wise. It reminded of many B movies I have seen; it is strange, and it knows it and displays it proudly.

The premise is generic, it is your standard alien invader/ or monster takes over a town narrative that is no stranger to creature features. However, the plot takes a back seat here to the fun absurdity of the film as a whole. It is a blast to watch.

Overall, if you want a campy B movie like good time then this will please you. Don’t go in expecting too much and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Pros.

It is fun

I enjoyed the tongue in cheek parts

I liked that it embraced its inner freak

Cons.

The plot is weak, and you have seen it before

The acting is very meh

3/5

Reviewed by Luke

Bigfoot, The Lost Coast Tapes: The Adventures Of Discount Tom Cruise

The Lost Coast Tapes is a Bigfoot centric found footage film directed by Corey Grant. The plot follows a group of people who go out into the wilderness to meet with a man who says he can prove the existence of Bigfoot. Once the group get their things start to go wrong, and the threat is all too real!

When I first put this on, I was expecting the worst, I was expecting a cheap, low rent, bargain basket esque film. However, I am pleased to say I actually enjoyed it a far bit and would recommend it. I love the focus on Bigfoot, and I think it added a nice bit of variety to the usual found footage dross. I liked the exploration of what a Bigfoot would be like and what it could do: alien or not.

Although, never before in all my time watching films have I ever met a lead character more unlikable than the lead in this, Sean Reynolds (Drew Rausch). I came to call the character discount Tom Cruise and I feel like if you watch the film you will see why. There is just something so obnoxious about him, I don’t know if that is how the character is suppose to be, or if the actor if just unbearable, but in nearly every scene he is the worst character in the room; taking the idea of a ‘dude bro’ to the extreme.

I thought the Alien or possible demonic suggestion at the end was a nice twist and left you with something to think about. I personally enjoyed the ambiguity and the fact that we never got a good look at what a Bigfoot looked like; it keeps the mystery alive.

Overall, I think this is a surprisingly good found footage movie cursed with one hell of an unlikable lead, but if you can get past him there is a decent film waiting for you.

Pros.

The handling of Bigfoot.

The ambiguity.

The ending.

It is very interesting.

Cons.

The lead is utterly hateable.

4/5

Reviewed by Luke

Tusk: I Am The Walrus

Tusk is a horror comedy film directed by Kevin Smith. The plot sees internet famous podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long), go to Canada in search of a weird story for his podcast, there he meets Howard Howe (Michael Parks), a man who is obsessed with bring his dead best friend Mr Tusk (a walrus), back to life. What follows is an increasingly menacing situation as Howe tries to turn Bryton into a human walrus hybrid.

This film marks the start of Smith’s True North trilogy, (which as of the time of writing only has Yoga Hosers as the other film in the trilogy), however unlike Hosers, this film is tonally a mess. Yoga Hosers was a comedy from the get-go, it didn’t take itself seriously and was slightly serious at times. Tusk, however, has moments when it tries to be serious and dark and moments that are comedic and over the top, these two parts of the film don’t mesh together and feel at odds with one another. It seems to be as though Smith couldn’t make his mind up over how he wanted the tone of this film to be.

The performances in this film are a mixed bag, one the one hand you have Parks who plays the crazed walrus fanatic superbly; he is menacing and threatening whenever he is on screen. However, Long is not a convincing hero, his Wallace is deeply unlikable (before you even find out how bad he is towards his girlfriend), from the moment he opens his mouth he is irritating. As a result of this you end up wanting him to suffer and be turned into a walrus as it seems a fitting punishment.

Johnny Depp as disgraced detective Lapointe is easily the best thing about this film and much like in Hosers has all the best lines. He is the only character you will remember once the credits role.

Overall, this is a weak start to Smith’s trilogy as it is tonally inconsistent and Long is loathsome. However Parks and Depp make up for it. A very so-so film.

Pros.

Depp

Parks

It is an interesting idea.

Cons.

Tonally inconsistencies.

Long.

The end.

2.5/5

Reviewed by Luke