Aftershock (2012) Movie Review

Aftershock (2012)

After unsuccessfully attempting to convince Aftershock filmmakers Eli Roth and Nicolás López (see the rejection by López ) to give me a free digital download to review the film for Slasher Nation, I decided to stream the movie this evening.

In the aftermath of an earthquake, party-goers in Chile struggle to survive as all humanity is lost.

The first half hour, pre-quake, offers little in the film that is memorable. American, “Gringo” (Eli Roth), is visiting his former roommate Ariel () and rich daddy’s-boy Pollo (). The trio visit many Chilean hot-spots, awkwardly attempting to pick-up girls. The groups eventually hits it off with three female Russian tourists and hit an underground nightclub in Valparaíso. Once the quake hits, the action and gore begins… Memorably.

The earthquake has destroyed a nearby prison, releasing inmates into the streets as tsunami sirens erupt. Aftershock does a nice job of combining “real-life” tragedy with gore, but doesn’t offer too much in terms of legitimate “horror.” Reportedly, Aftershock had to be given a massive editing overhaul to fight off a NC-17 rating. While watching the film, some of these edited scenes are blatantly apparent, while other scenes definitely leave room for speculation. I will be curious to see the unrated director’s cut.

More than anything else, the absolute disregard for the safety of the films main characters is the biggest plus, with lots of creative and unexpected deaths… Although, after meeting the film’s six main characters, it’s pretty easy to guess the “survivor.”

Here’s a pretty cool quote from Eli Roth I came across on Washington Square News: “One thing I found from a lot of actors is they’re fascinated to see their own death,” Roth explained. “People have come up to me for years and said, ‘I have no interest in being an actor, but I’d love to get killed in one of your movies.’ It’s a very human thing to wonder, what we are going to look like after we’re dead, and that’s why it’s so fun to kill people on film.”

No doubt, this quote is in reference to the way “Gringo” meets his demise. Calm down, I didn’t spoil anything… I told you, it’s easy to guess the “survivor” once you’ve met the characters.

Recommendation: Gore hounds will easily enjoy Aftershock. Check out Aftershock right now, streaming on Amazon Instant Video

Rating: 7.5/10

The Iceman (2012) Movie Review

The Iceman (2012)

I just noticed that I never posted a movie review for the screening of The Iceman I attended at Gleenwood Arts Theater a while back. The Iceman is currently in theaters, on limited release.

The Iceman is a bio-pic about Mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski. When arrested in 1986, his wife and daughters had no idea of his real profession. Kuklinski is believed to have killed more than 100 men and up to 250.

 (Boardwalk Empire) plays the title character… and plays the role absolutely perfectly! Perennial crime/drama tough-guy  (Goodfellas), plays bossman Roy Demeo.  as Kuklinksi’s wife James Franco in a small role,  was good as mid-level gangster, Josh Rosenthal and Captain America, , was fantastic as Kuklinski’s friend and fellow hitman, Mr. Freezy.

Like many bio-pics that span many decades, there are certain aspects of the the film which seem slow and other aspects which are quickly glazed over. It’s inevitable with this type of film.

One thing I can say, RayLiotta and Michael Madsen better watch out! Michael Shannon might just take over as the go-to guy for bad-ass, shady character, tough guy roles! Shannon was absolutely fantastic in the film.

If you’re a crime drama fan, The Iceman is a must-watch for you. Check local arts theaters for movie times. If not, it’s definitely a film to check out when it hits Amazon Prime, Redbox or Netflix .

Rating: 7.5/10

Little Monsters (1989) Movie Review

Little Monsters (1989)

On Saturday night, I took in a double bill of Little Monsters (1989) and Drop Dead Fred (1989) at the Monkey Room in Peculiar, MO. The Monkey Room hosts movie nights at least once per month on Saturday nights. If you’re in the Kansas City area, check out the Monkey Room and their events on Facebook.

A 13 year-old boy, Brian () traps, then befriends the monster (Maurice – ) who has been haunting his brother (Eric – ) at night. While exploring the “underworld” with Maurice, Brian discovers the plot to keep him there until after sunrise, causing him to become a monster himself for eternity. With the plot foiled, the monsters then kidnap Eric. Brian must save Eric, and himself, before sunrise.

While watching Little Monsters, I kept trying to remember if I had seen the film as a kid… I could not remember.

After watching the film, I believe that if I had seen it, I likely suppressed the memory. Being 33 years old, this film had no appeal to me at all. Maurice was completely annoying, as his clothing jingled with every step he took. The character was way too over-the-top with the stupid jokes.

While there were a few chuckle moments, the majority of the laughs came from my personal in-film commentary. The film does not translate well at all to 2013 from 1989. The idea is fun and it may be worth a remake, but as it sits… No thanks. Maybe Fred Savage should direct a remake?

As a monster horror comedy, Little Monsters is not frightening in the least…

Recommendation: If Little Monsters was a part of your childhood, give it another go, then let me know your adult thoughts. Little Monsters is currently available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Rating: 2/10

This is the End (2013) Movie Review

This is the End (2013)

I was lucky enough to attend a screening of This is the End on Thursday night. The film is set to be released on June 12.

While attending a party at ‘s house, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride try to survive the Apocalypse, as they are not taken to heaven. This is the End is based off the publicly unreleased short, Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse (watch the trailer).

It’s really tough to describe/review this movie. This is the End feels like the movie a group of friends would really make… The type of movie many groups of friends have likely sat around and said to each other, “That was some funny shit. We should make a movie.” Well, when your group of friends are wealthy Hollywood A-listers, you can!

If you’re afraid of dirty comedy, stay away… If not, enjoy! At many times, it felt as if This is the End was unscripted, with the actors legitimately making fun of their friends and all their faults. It was fun. Trapped in boredom, the group decides to make a sequel to Pineapple Express (watch the fake trailer)

For me, the “characters” of Michael Cera and Danny McBride were by far the most hilarious. Cera goes the complete opposite direction as you would imagine from the roles he plays, while McBride is… Well, exactly what you would image Danny McBride to be like. A hilarious dick!

Billed as a horror comedy, This is the End is not scary, with most of the demons and demonic possessions being funny, rather than scary.

Recommendation: For comedy fans, This is the End is worth the bucks to watch in the theater. For horror fans, I would recommend waiting for a Redbox or Amazon Instant Video rental.

Rating: 7.5/10