Archive for B Horror

Frozen in Fear, 2001, Meh

Posted in Movies, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2016 by urbannight

Another horror film I watched was this little horror film.  Turns out it was also made for t.v.  This surprises me because of the scene with nudity.  Showtime, yes, but I wouldn’t expect it on Lifetime.  Maybe because I don’t like Lifetime.  Television for women, my ass.  As a woman, I think the programs on that station are terrible.  It would seem to indication that the people who control the programing for the station think that all women want to see are horrible, depressing shows where bad things happen and there are no good resolutions or happy endings to anything.

This film is pretty typical.  Nothing new and exciting about the plot.  Mom is an artist.  Encourages ice sculpture. Young boy walks in on his mother with another man.  He runs out as Dad is coming in from fishing.  Next thing you see, Dad kills Mom.  Boy ends up being raised with his cousin, by his uncle. Boy ends up being an artist, a painter.

For the most part, the performances were sub-par.  The supporting actress, whose name I am trying to find as IMDB only list three of the cast members, gave a better performance than the lead actress, Catherine Oxenberg.  The supporting actress as Ellina McCormick.  Apparently, this movie was also called The Flying Dutchman.  That is a very strange title since there is nothing mentioned in the film about The Flying Dutchman at all.

Catherine Oxenberg’s part as the lead character came across as blah.  She phoned it in, as they say.  Ellina McCormick, who plays her best friend and business partner has far less screen time and yet manages a better performance.  The person who really shines in this, and makes it worth watching, is Eric Roberts.  He doesn’t speak for most of the film, not until the end.  So he had to deliver his dialogue through body language and expressions.  And despite the fact that he is obviously the villain, he is dang good-looking and oddly sexy with all his not talking going on.  That isn’t rally a spoiler since it is terribly obvious he is the villain and the attempts to make it look like either his cousin or uncle come off so heavy-handed as to be unbelievable.

The movie is predictable but the pacing is good and Eric’s performance is well done and that is about all that keeps you sitting through the film.  I gave it a 1.5 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3 on IMDB.  If it weren’t for Eric Roberts, I would have given it a 1 and a 2 on each of those sites.  While typical and uninspired, the story was not a bad story, it is the acting and the direction that make this film a bad film.  Good acting and good directing could have elevated a fairly ordinary script.  The up-side is that I did watch through to the end.  It wasn’t so bad that I had to turn it off.  It is watchable and for that reason alone I can recommend it for a b-horror movie night.

7:00 Movie Hour – Phantoms

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by urbannight

For a week now, I’ve sat down and watched a movie every night at 7:00. Mostly science fiction, horror films. Which means mostly bad sci-fi.

Last night I watched a fairly bad film with a lot of big names. Phantoms is a 1998 adaptation of a Dean Koontz book. I’m wondering if they managed to get all these big names because Steven King adaptations have gone over pretty well.
Phantoms
Peter O’Toole does a fantastic job as Dr. Timothy Flyte, a man who got drummed out of academia because of an outlandish theory on missing civilizations that turns out to be exactly what is happening in this tiny Colorado town. He now writes bizarre stories for a sensationalist news rag for the paycheck.

Joanna Going is the local doctor who brings her sister to town to stay with her. She is an actress who seemed vaguely familiar. Looking her up, she has had an erratic film career from the early 1990’s until now, often going a year or two between films. 1998 was her busiest year in which she did 3 films.

Rose McGowan is the younger sister and plays a typical Rose McGowan character.

Liev Schreiber (Sabertooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) played the deputy sheriff, who has every indication of being a really creepy guy before he gets killed and becomes an extension of the monster.

Ben Affleck is the Sheriff.

The best performances seem to come from O’Toole and Schreiver. McGowan and Affleck give their typical performances. I don’t know much about Going but her performance was rather indifferent.

The special effects were reasonably well done. But the writing wasn’t the best. The opening scene was really weak. The story was so whittled down that the film seemed like it was made based on an outline what never had the details filled in.

The monster kills and eats people but absorbs their knowledge. The people, not knowing what it is, think it is a demon or satan. As a result, after killing a church full of people, the monster thinks that is what it is. It decides it needs a gospel of its own. One of the visitors to the town like to read a cheap news rag filed with fantastical stories. This person had read the theories put forth by Dr. Timothy Flyte. The result was that the monster lays a sort of trap to get him to the town. Flyte is its ‘chosen’ witness to write its gospel and make people worship it.

One of the problems is that it kills the deputy and later takes on that form. When it does so, it talks normally through the deputy. But when it kills other and takes their form, it just opens the mouth and words come out. Not normal speaking where you move the jaws and tongue and lips. Why can it talk normal one way but not the other?

The special effects, sound and film editing were all better than 100 Million BC that I watched the night before. But the story was more poorly developed. On the other hand, the transitions and resolution were all written and directed better in Phantoms. The Phantom also had slightly better acting, the best part being where Peter O’Toole taunts the monster into revealing the main portion of its body so they can try to poison it. Scheiber also had a good part where some people are talking about monsters and aliens in a bar and an officer a few seat down laughs. They want to know what’s so funny and the deputy says, “Do you want to see something?” So a part of the creature did survive after all.

So if you like B-Horror or B-SciFi, you may or may not want to give this movie a view. The decapitated heads and hands are not that well done, but the rest of the effects are good. The film does a pretty good job of building suspense. Nothing is too gory but it may make you jump. Acting is 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. If you like Peter O’Toole in general, you may want to give it a view.