"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Posts Tagged ‘Justin Long’

Drag Me to Hell

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

“What we really have at the core here is a timeless story concept that was used in this film, along with many others: the idea of a character that commits a sin of greed and has to pay the terrible price for it. It’s a morality tale that many churches have told, throughout the ages. So it’s a tried and true, oldest horror story in the book, basically.” —Sam Raimi, describing DRAG ME TO HELL (but also A SIMPLE PLAN)


While Raimi was preparing what he thought would be SPIDER-MAN 4, he decided to do a smaller film first. Previously titled THE CURSED or THE LAMIA, Sam and Ivan Raimi had originally written it as a short story in 1989, then considered adapting it into a movie after ARMY OF DARKNESS. In 2002 they planned to give it to another director and produce it through Raimi and Rob Tapert’s new company Ghost House Pictures. But they decided it required a larger budget than they were dealing with at the time. Later they offered it to Edgar Wright, who didn’t feel he was right for it, and was about to do HOT FUZZ anyway.

Then, finally, Raimi realized that he should do it himself. In an interview posted on Cinema.com, he explained how working on DRAG ME TO HELL was more fulfilling than what he’d been doing:

“On this picture I could have complete creative control and final cut, which I actually had for the first time since my first film, THE EVIL DEAD. I could just do what I believed in… for the last seven or eight years I’d been working with the luxury of SPIDER-MAN type budgets, big studio productions. This was much more hands-on. No department heads to deal with – just the actors, and the technicians. And it’s much more rewarding I think.”

It was also rewarding for those of us who first knew Raimi from horror movies, and were thrilled to see him back. Not that everyone got what they wanted out of it. In my very positive 2009 review I noted others fretting about the film’s use of digital effects and its PG-13 rating (later bumped up to “unrated” on DVD), complaints that seem more irrelevant the more time passes and the more times I revisit it and love it even more. This is a movie that combines the go-for-broke energy and macabre humor of the EVIL DEAD series with the morality and character-based centers of A SIMPLE PLAN and the SPIDER-MAN trilogy. So it’s not like it’s just EVIL DEAD lite. It’s a different sort of thing. Whatever it loses in volume of rubbery fluid-spewing cackling soul-swallowers it balances with other interests. (read the rest of this shit…)

Jeepers Creepers 2

Monday, September 14th, 2015

tn_jeeperscreepersiiJEEPERS CREEPERS 2 is a confident, well-constructed movie about a weird monster dude flying around eating a whole bunch of people. It starts out with the admirably to-the-point text:

“Every 23rd Spring
for 23 days
it gets to eat”

This is day 22, shortly after the events of part 1. We hear in a TEXAS CHAIN SAW-esque radio broadcast that the authorities are still dealing with the “The Horror in Poho County,” the “well past 300” dead bodies with missing organs that they discovered under a burned down church.

This is the handiwork of “the Creeper” (Jonathan Breck, SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D), who seemed at first like a spooky serial killer in a big farmer hat and long coat driving around in a creepy truck, but turned out to be a demon with big ol’ wings tucked under there. Well, it’s no secret anymore so this time he uses the wings for most of the movie, which leads to some cool action ideas, but also some special effects-related weaknesses. There are some shots of him flying that take you out of the movie with fakiness. But there are some good ones too. This scene where he chases after a car at night looks pretty convincing:

still_jeeperscreepersii1
(read the rest of this shit…)

Tusk

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

tn_tuskI don’t know how it happened but somehow I became the guy that’s more lenient on Kevin Smith movies than everybody else. Back in his hey day when he was a Miramax family member, an indie movement poster boy, a voice of a generation, a director of a movie in the Criterion Collection, a critical darling praised for his dialogue, I used to think he sucked. Here’s an overly harsh one I wrote back when people still seemed to like him (I advised readers not to make eye contact with people who recommend it to them). So I’m as confused as anybody that now that he’s widely hated and semi-retired I keep having an  “actually it’s not that bad” reaction to his “flicks,” as he calls them. COP OUT at least had a couple laughs, and his first horror movie, RED STATE, I actually thought was kinda good and now, I’ll be damned, I kinda liked TUSK too. What the hell?

TUSK is less consistent than RED STATE but a little more inspired in its absurdity. It continues the technique of coasting on an excellent performance by Michael Parks as a sadistic weirdo. This time he plays a retired Canadian proud of his life of rugged adventure and deranged, it turns out, by a long period of being stranded after a shipwreck. What’s that mean, that he had to go cannibal to survive, something like that? No, not quite. It means he got messed up by being isolated with only a walrus as his friend. He called him Mr. Tusk, according to his JAWS style monologue about the incident. And now he’s undergoing unusual measures to get that relationship back. (read the rest of this shit…)

Jeepers Creepers

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

tn_jeeperscreepers
chapter 13

2001posterIf a horror movie is a big hit, and it doesn’t look totally stupid, and especially if it ends up getting theatrically released sequels, I usually watch it at some point, just to give it a shot, or to understand it. For example after a while I sat down and watched all the SAW movies they had made up to that point, even though it was not something I had followed before. As a subscriber to Fangoria Magazine it is my duty. They got those “Chainsaw Awards” you can vote on every year, you want to take that shit seriously. But I always avoided JEEPERS CREEPERS. (read the rest of this shit…)

Drag Me To Hell

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

tn_dragmetohellA supernatural horror movie like DRAG ME TO HELL might seem like a weird thing to release in the end of May. But it’s a hell of a fun time at the movies, making up for some of the underwhelming feelings we had from the bigger popcorn type movies. Looks like it’s not doing so well right now, which is too bad. I recommend all horror fans see this immediately. But if you don’t like being bossed around (and I don’t blame you on that) at least read my review please. Thanks.

Have you ever had a friend, a relative or a pet that disappeared for so long you thought they were dead, and after you gave up hope they showed up again? Or maybe your car got stolen, you figured it was gone for good but then one day the cops called you and they found it on the side of a road somewhere without that much damage? Well, that’s Sam Raimi. He was lost so deep in Spider-land we went through a period of denial, then acceptance, then moved on with our lives in a Raimi-free world and forgot all about him. But all the sudden the intercom buzzes in the middle of the night, we rub the sleep from our eyes and look out the window and holy shit if that isn’t Sam Raimi standing at the gate holding DRAG ME TO HELL in a little cage. (read the rest of this shit…)