The Lawnmower Man


Rating: ***.5 (three and a half out of five)
Year: 1992

Plot: Poor Jobe. He’s used to be a happy simpleton spending his days mowing lawns and his nights being abused by priests. He wasn’t happy, but he was dumb enough not to realize that he wasn’t happy, so he was. Then the brainy neighbor, made entirely of chest hair and suave, had to come and muck things up for him. The neighbor makes him play virtual reality games that make him as smart as a smart monkey, and then way smarter. Jobe realizes how shitty his life is at about the same time that he gets the power to set people on fire with his mind. This turns out to be a bad combination for the meanies in his life.

Review: This is Flowers for Algernon meets Johnny Mnemonic, but more ridiculous. I do have to admit that I gave it at least a full star just because I love the feel of movies made in this era. I also gave it some leeway for the originality and weirdness of the movie, but I have a lot of complaints. The business that Dr. Angelo worked for was not believable, nor were his ‘experiments’. The 3D sequences showing Jobe getting smarter actually made me dumber for watching them. Fahey also made the mistake in the beginning of the movie that goes directly against the sage advise of Robert Downy Jr. to ‘never go full retard’. All that being said, the characters themselves and interactions between them felt pretty genuine, and the special effects were pretty damn good for their time. Most importantly, it was fun to watch.

Notable scene: When ultra-Jobe takes out a fleet of bad guys by scrambling their molecular makeup with his mega mind.
Gore:            Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
Scariness:     Screams
Campiness:  Donald Pleasances
Creepiness:  Cellar Doors
Munchy Suggestion: Weird fancy wafer things with chocolate inside from California.
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.
31Nights on October 14th, 2013 | File Under 3 Stars, 4 Stars, Biblical, Sci-Fi | 2 Comments -

Silent Hill


Rating: ****.5 ( 4 and a half out of 5)
Year: 2006

Plot: A little girl’s somnambulistic adventures make mom (Radha Mitchell) fearful and frantic. She decides to take her daughter to the town she mentions while in her trances: Silent Hill. They do so against the advice of the locals, the commands of the police, and without the husband’s knowledge. Mom and daughter are separated upon arrival, and the rest of the movie is about her search to find her child. Is Rose (the mother) experiencing some sort of psychotic episode, or does the town of Silent Hill possess a demonic power to twists the nature of reality which it uses to force new-comers to hear it’s terrible tale? Here’s a hint, it’s the latter.

Review: Probably the best movie to come from a video game. The set design, color schemes, monster effects, pacing, sound design, and religious overtones combine for a permeating sense of creepy apprehension. The movie itself develops in much the same way that a video game would, with tasks that enable the pursuit of more advanced goals, the progressive release of background exposition, and even a cut sequence towards the end that feels very much like an end-of-the-game reward video. The movie makes use of a clever mechanism that allows the town to transition every 15 minutes or so between a simply creepy, off-putting ghost town and an out-and-out hell dimension. The protagonist’s journeys into the depths of that hell build to a panting crescendo that release the viewer at just the right moment. This is a movie I watch year after year.

Notable scene: Have you ever seen a man who wears a giant, metal, pyramidical helmet rip the skin from a human being as if it were a Little Debbie snack wrapper? Pretty wicked.
Gore :         Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
Scariness:   Screams
Campiness: Donald Pleasances
Creepiness: Cellar Doors

Munchy Suggestion: Leftover cheeseburger patty and tofu scramble from The Grit in Athens, GA.
For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.

31Nights on October 13th, 2008 | File Under 4 Stars, 5 Stars, Biblical, Creature | 1 Comment -