Final week: Month of monsters

By Chris Witherssilenthill

So here we are with the delayed but much anticipated finale of this month of B-Movies, horror, and D-grade schlock. I hope you’ve all had as much fun as I’ve had. Maybe I’ve even convinced a few people to go out there and actually watch some of these movies. Next week I’ll finish this with a run-down of my favorites from the entire month but for now I’d like to say that I’ve really enjoyed this experience. For now though it’s time to finish this with one hell of a bang. This week we are covering one of the greatest film series ever! This week we are going to Tromaville for The Toxic Avenger. After a little side-trip to Silent Hill, and we’ll need a Hostel to stay in on the way.

Silent Hill: Rose Da Silva just wants a normal suburban life. But her daughter frequently dreams of a horrible place called Silent Hill. Realizing that it might help for her to go to the town Rose packs up and heads there… unaware of the horrors that await her.

I guess I should start by mentioning that I’m a huge fan of the Silent Hill game series. The reason I bring this up is that a lot of people in my same boat hated the Silent Hill movie. The reason for this was largely one of adaptive changes. Many things from the first game were altered to make this movie different. The cult from the games was changed into a witch-burning cult, the themes were radically different, and many of the monsters from the first game didn’t make an appearance, replaced by monsters from the later games. On its own merits though, the movie isn’t bad. It’s got some fun set pieces, lots of good atmosphere, and some pretty good performances rounding it all out. If you wanted to see this movie, go do it but try not to read much about it, its better to go in blind.

Silent Hill: Revelation: Heather, or Sharon, has been having nightmares of the town called Silent Hill her entire life. Particularly since she got back from it at the end of the first movie. But when the cult of Silent Hill kidnaps her father Harry, or Christopher, she has to go there to save him. What happens next is incredibly stupid.

I was excited for this movie, really excited even. But once I got to the theater everything went to hell. The movie is garbage, pure garbage. I will however exclude from my bile the director and the main actors of the film. Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harrington do very well, with what the script gives them, as Heather and Vincent. The real problems with the acting comes from the known actors, Carrie-Ann Moss can’t keep a straight face as Claudia, and Malcolm McDowell seems to think he’s in a comedy. The direction is weird but at the same time strangely compelling. I need to see another movie by director Michael J. Basset before I say he’s good or bad but he managed to keep my attention. The last thing I will say is that if you are a fan of the games, this movie is heartbreaking. They get everything wrong, avoid at all costs.

Hostel (All of them): A bunch of people are captured and tortured by some of the stupidest torturers in history.

Yes, this is technically a review of all three Hostel films. I saw the first two movies years ago on the Internet and the one I actually just saw was Hostel III. But these movies are essentially exact copies of one another sans a few plot points so I think it counts. All three films have serious problems with character that in turn becomes a problem with tension. Because the characters in all three films are such obnoxious, disgusting human beings you don’t feel anything about their torture. You don’t even really feel happy since, in the first two movies anyways, they cut away from most of the torture. I will say that the gore prosthetics in the first movie were really damn good. But the real problem is that the films are boring. Because you don’t feel anything for the main cast the excessive gore really just bores you. Overall just skip these movies; you’ll thank me later.

toxicavenger1The Toxic Avenger: Young nerd Melvin falls out of a window and into a vat of chemical waste. Instead of killing him this transforms Melvin into… The Toxic Avenger!

This is well known for being a fun gory superhero movie. However this actually has deeper connotations as a film about a citizen’s revolt against a corrupt government. The film was made in the Reagan era, a time when “otherness” was considered bad. And we were told that we were all supposed to be like Reagan and his supporters. The villains of the film are all members of ‘the man’ and cartoonish and over-the-top. Where the Toxic Avenger acts like what we would consider a ‘normal’ person. The overall ‘point’ of the film is that the revolutionaries or ‘abnormal’ people like Toxie need to show the general people like us that we need to revolt. It may seem odd for me go into such detail about the social commentary but its what makes the film so timeless. There are a ton of movies filled with boobs and gore, very few of those are about something. That’s what makes this special.

toxicavenger2The Toxic Avenger Part II: Ever since the event’s of the first movie Melvin, also known as the Toxic Avenger, has cleaned up his hometown completely. However with no crime around there isn’t much for the superhero to do. Whilst the evil Apocalypse incorporated tries to take over Tromaville Toxie is sent to Japan to find his father.
This. Film. Is. Garbage. Seriously its one of the worst films that I’ve ever seen, and that list includes The Human Centipede II. For those of you who remember how disappointing the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film was congratulations you can now see that happen again! Much like TMNT 2 the film trades its adult tone for a more kid friendly atmosphere, but doesn’t ditch the R rating for some reason. It adds cartoon noises to the fight scenes, which are also way too long. A fight in the first movie would maybe last four minutes at longest, but here the first fight scene is over eight minutes. Don’t even get me started on the depiction of Japan in this movie; suffice it to say that I’ve grown a certain amount of respect for Michael Bay’s racism. At least it’s remotely subtle.

toxicavenger3The Toxic Avenger Part III: The last temptation of Toxie: Ever since the event’s of the first movie Melvin, also known as the Toxic Avenger, has cleaned up his hometown completely. However with no crime around there isn’t much for the superhero to do. So he takes a job with Apocalypse incorporated’s PR department and… hey wait a minute, haven’t I seen this somewhere before?

Ah yes the ugly secret of Toxic Avenger II/III the two were originally meant to be one movie. Yes parts from both movies were originally meant to form a cohesive whole… that was nearly three hours in length. Despite the fact that you’d think that one three-hour movie would split pretty evenly into two one hour and a half movies that isn’t the angle they went with. The way you can tell this is that both films are relentlessly padded. The fight scenes last for upwards of seven to ten minutes, pointless narration fills in the gaps in the plotting, everything is a mess. Thus Last Temptation of Toxie feels less like a sequel than it does a remake of Toxic Avenger II. And therefore it has all of the problems that Toxic II had. No really all of them. And the Devil shows up at one point to remind you of how scarier he was in Santa Claus (1959).

Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV: A tale of two Toxie’s: Toxie falls into a parallel universe allowing that universes Toxie, a horrible criminal, to escape to his world.

At first this movie seems to fix one of my problems with the second movie. The fact that it could have easily been recut into a PG-13 release. And that is because I can’t see this movie being unrated in any sane dimension, and not in a good way. Not in a straight-to-video kind of way either, I’m still shocked that someone looked at this finished product and genuinely thought that people would enjoy it. All of the problems that I had with the last two movies are back and worse than ever. The toilet humor has been amped up so that it even infiltrates the gore scenes, as people crap themselves whenever they die. The terrible sexism and racism of the last two movies is replaced with a seething distaste for special needs kids. And even better the film takes pot shots at basically anyone that it can fire at, the news media in particular, but it isn’t saying anything. It’s being insulting for the sake of being insulting, and that’s not fun.

Awards

Most Entertaining: The Toxic Avenger: I still rate this as one of the better movies of the era. Considering that this was the 80’s and how great movies of that era were that should give you a clue as to how good this movie is. The movie really is fantastic; if you remotely like horror, superhero movies, or social commentary and you have the stomach for it you’re going to be in for a treat.

Least Entertaining: Citizen Toxie: I was barely able to sit through this movie. Honest to God I sat through Human Centipede II in one sitting but couldn’t stomach Citizen Toxie for more than thirty minutes at a time.

Scariest: Silent Hill: This film had some great visual atmosphere, and I’ve met very few people that disagree with that assessment. Even those who really hated the story still thought that the atmosphere was good. That should count for something, when even those who didn’t like the overall movie still liked parts of the movie.

Best Made: Silent Hill: This was a tough call between Silent Hill and Toxic Avenger but it came down to one word, subtlety. While the reason that I like Toxic Avenger is it’s insanity the fact that the film’s characters never stop being wacky detracts from the sense of reality. Silent Hill didn’t have that problem.

Worst Made: The Toxic Avenger Part II: Honestly I thought that this award would go to Silent Hill: Revelation. Considering how much I hated that film and it didn’t even earn either of the ‘bad’ awards should show how bad these sequels really are. What pushed this one over into the worst category was the dubbing. Instead of the actors being filmed with voices they added them in post-production, and boy was that a mistake. Characters never look as serious as the things they’re saying, let alone having their lips match-up or any basic stuff.

Well that’s it; the last movie has been reviewed. Tune in soon though for the real stunning conclusion to this epic, operatic, and frankly beautiful series of reviews. Next week we’ll be going over my thoughts on the various weeks, and of course give out the REAL awards. Next time is the wrap-up special.  

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Categories: Entertainment, Opinion

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