I’ve been to Cabrini Green, a killer with a hook was the least of that place’s worries!
There appears to be a horror theme this week,
Night Of The Living Dead (1990, Tom Savini, United States Of America) ***
It’s not the original, but it doesn’t really want to be. It loses all of the socio-political context for straight up zombie fun, and I had fun. Plus, Tony Todd, yo!
Dear John (2010, Lasse Hallström, united States Of America) **
Okay, I will admit that I liked The Notebook, and when I found out that Lasse Hallström directed this Nicholas Sparks adaptation that my girlfriend wanted me to watch I had some hope it would be just as good if not better. I was wrong to have hope, this is a bad film. It’s hollow, there’s no meat to the relationship or anything that happens on screen. Some of the blame lay with Herr Hallstrom, but I think most of it is on Channing Tatum’s shoulders. People like this guy, really? He’s so dead, he has no emotion, nothing comes across his face, he has one move and that’s a shoulder shrug. He was the very definition of wooden in this film. The perfect example is later in the film when he and Amanda Seyfried reconnect and she explodes with emotion. She is doing her damnedest to make the emotions real, and all Mr. Tatum can do is stand there like a statue and shrug his shoulders a few times.
Black Christmas (1974, Bob Clark, Canada) **1/2
Maybe years from now I will see this and like it more, who knows. It does some very interesting things, and you can easily see how this influenced the horror wave of the late 70s and early 80s. I was especially impressed with some of the camera angles, but when all was said and done I was disinterested with a great majority of the film. I don’t know why, but it failed to hook me.
Candyman (1992, Bernard Rose, United States Of America) ***
All’s well and good with any movie that puts Tony Todd near the lead. It has an interesting hook, you see what I did there, and I like some of the mythological ideas it explores. But, it still feels a bit hollow, like a film of ideas in the formulation stage as opposed to ideas that are ripe and ready to be fully explored. If any of that makes any sense, if not, screw it, Tony Todd for the win.
Otto; Or, Up With Dead People (2008, Bruce La Bruce, Canada/Germany) ***
Interesting, to say the least. It’s not horror, yeah, there are zombies, or a zombie, and I’m sure to most homophobic people this would be horror, but otherwise, it’s a love story that is grasping at more. Sometimes it gets there, other times it falls short. But, it tries, and it’s different, and it’s self-indulgent, and a bit dopey at times, but it’s also interesting, and fun. Plus, it has full on sexual penetration of an eviscerated stomach, how can you go wrong with that?
Not the strongest week for movies, but some interesting ones at least. Candyman takes home retro movie of the week honors. I’ll be back next week with five more retro capsule reviews!