Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.

There are almost as many Friday the 13th films as there are James Bond films, and with almost as many writers and directors.  Having seen the first five, I’ve filled Starkwell and Lovelock in on what they missed.  Basically that there is a dude named Jason who likes killing people and died in the last movie.  Now, while there was indeed an impressive “rise from the grave” scene at the very beginning of the fifth film, it turned out to be only a dream for main character Tommy.  It also turned out to be the only good scene in the film.  When a film’s best scene has Corey Feldman in it, you know you’re in trouble.  “New Beginning”? More like false start.  Boom! Anyways, the sixth film will feature an ACTUAL Jason “rise from the grave” scene, as well as a subsequently undead Jason Effin’ Voorhees.  Good enough?  “Yes”, replied Starkwell and Lovelock.  A resounding yes.


[Tommy, different actor, same character, heads to the graveyard to see Jason’s body, and make sure he’s really dead.  It’s almost as if the film is trying to erase "part V", and replace it with this one.  The Tommy we all saw in "part V" NEVER EXISTED.  Apparently.]

Lovelock: Considering the history and all, and that Jason was a known killer, they certainly gave him a nice tombstone.


Tommy starts digging in the dirt and opens the coffin to reveal a worm infested corpse that he then starts stabbing repeatedly with a crowbar.


[Lightning strikes Jason, and he is brought back to life.]

Lovelock: That’s why I never try to dig up the corpses of mass murderers. 

Starkwell: Yeah, that’s why.


Anyways, then Lovelock played air guitar and did jump kicks while Zombie Jason rips Tommy’s friend’s heart out of his chest, and then puts the mask on.


[Random shot of Jason walking against a black backdrop, swinging his machete, and then they show title.]

Lovelock: It’s like those James Bond opening scenes where he turns and shoots the camera... only with more kill power and excessive amounts of awesome.

Starkwell: Something like that.


Then Tommy runs immediately to the police to tell them what happened and he gets arrested because they assume he’s crazy and they don’t believe him.  Meanwhile Jason terrorizes and kills people and Lovelock cheers loud and often.


[Introducing lame teenagers.]

Lovelock: That dude is wearing a LOT of make-up.

Starkwell: And a sweet pair of ripped-up acid-washed Mom-Jeans.


Turns out Jason put Tommy’s friend into his now empty coffin, so the next day when the Drunk Grave Digger sees it, he just assumes someone dug up the grave to get a look at Jason, and fills it back in so no one will ever know!  He doesn’t want to lose his job!  Then Jason kills some weekend warrior paintball dudes with his now super strength (?).  Lovelock tried to high five Starkwell, but Starkwell left him hanging, begging “what’s the point?” to which Lovelock enthusiastically answered “to see Jason rock the shit”.  I don’t know what that means.


Lovelock: The guy playing Jason has some serious hooters… also two bullet holes exactly where his nips would be.  That can’t be accidental.


The gore is virtually non-existent, but nonetheless, Jason is still racking up an impressive body count.  But Starkwell’s right… when you introduce characters for no reason other than to be meat for Jason’s machete, it’s getting to be a little silly.  Thirty minutes in, and we are up to about ten people introduced only to be killed.  Lovelock ain’t complaining.


[Worst simulated sex ever filmed.]

Lovelock: At least the sweat looks real…

Starkwell: Judging by the music, maybe they’re just doing an aerobic workout?

Lovelock: Nobody bounces that much during sex.  Or wears that much underwear.

[Jason interrupts trailer sex, eventually kills them.]

Lovelock: Well, we did just get the best line in the movie, “Hey what are you doing back there? Taking a dump?”  A real Casanova.

Starkwell: I liked the deputy’s line “Wherever the red light goes, ya bang.”  It barely makes any sense.

[Anyways, the humpers are dead.]


After about fifteen people are killed all over and around town, the police FINALLY start realizing something is going on, but OBVIOUSLY assume that it’s Tommy.


[Sheriff’s Daughter, Megan, tries to help Tommy get away in her Corvette… she makes him bury his head in her lap, to hide from the police roadblock.]

Starkwell: Is it really necessary to show us TWO close-ups of her camel-toe?

Lovelock:  Well, it is the eighties.  Considering this film's lack of the usual gratuitous '80s T&A, a fully clothed crotch shot is actually pretty risque.

Starkwell: Also, horrifyingly stupid.


[Megan pulls the deputy’s gun on him, frees Tommy from jail.]

Starkwell: Now, I know I’m already suspending my disbelief quite a bit, but the deputy couldn’t honestly believe that Megan might actually shoot him, could he?

Lovelock: Wherever the red dot goes… YA BANG!


Starkwell and Lovelock agreed that it was pretty fucked up that there were kids at the camp, but the cops showed up in time to prevent Jason from killing any of them.  The cops, on the other hand, got mostly killed, mostly.


[Sheriff repeatedly shoots Jason, who keeps getting back up to come after him.]

Starkwell: You would think he’d learn after the third or fourth shot…

Lovelock: You know what they say… fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me three times, JASON LIVES!

Starkwell: They?

[Megan searches for her Dad, screams his name over and over again.]

Starkwell: When hiding from a killer, it is probably NOT considered a good strategy to scream like a lunatic out in the open.

[Sheriff is folded in half.]

Lovelock: Haha! Too late, Megan!

Starkwell: Dude, that’s cold.

Lovelock: If I can't celebrate Jason folding a guy in half, then what's the point?


Anyways, Tommy lures Jason out into the water, and for whatever reason sets fire to the water around his boat.  Tommy chains a boulder to Jason’s neck and sends him to the bottom of the lake.    I guess the fire on the lake is supposed to be all 'Lake of Fire', symbolizing he is sending Jason to Hell?  Pretty fucking thin.  “Yeah… that’ll hold him”, quips Starkwell, sarcastically.  Eventually Jason gets a propeller to the face and the kids all cheer when Megan’s weak-ass CPR on Tommy brings him back.  The end… FOR NOW!


The Children.

Not to be confused by an early eighties zombie film of the same name, “The Children” follows the ‘at that time’ mini trend of trying to turn children into scary as balls monsters.  Usually this involves sounds of them singing lullabies with heavy reverb, or saying stuff that’s really cute followed by “TO KILL YOU” and shit.  For the most part, these movies always turn out lame, partly because, “seriously? kids?”, and partly because child actors are hardly ever convincing.


[We get introduced to a family, the teenage daughter obviously hates everyone.]

Starkwell: The daughter and the mother look like they’re the same age.

Lovelock: Also… are we really supposed to buy that THAT teenage girl likes playing video games?

Starkwell: They’re drinking and smoking and talking about rough sex right in front of the kids?

Lovelock: Eurotrash.

[Starkwell looked it up, and there is only about 12 years separating the two actresses.]

Starkwell: I guess they’re supposed to be close in age… the classic ‘originally unwanted baby’ syndrome.


One of the kids, Paul, slaps his stepfather in the face.  Maybe this is the beginning of the violence?  Lovelock certainly hopes so.  Either way, that douchebag deserved it.


[Stepfather guy talks about wanting to teach his kids Mandarin.]

Lovelock: Serious elitist Eurotrash.


One of the uncles is REALLY giving off a creepy molesty vibe with the teenage daughter.  Even just the hint of him being a perv has Starkwell STEAMING mad.  Also, the fact that the teenage daughter’s parents are clearly self absorbed selfish assholes, who put themselves first ALL OF THE TIME, is not helping with Starkwell’s rage.


Starkwell: Maybe they just want us to hate the grown-ups so we’ll root for the kids when they start getting their murder on.

Lovelock: They don’t need to try so hard.  I’d root for them anyways,


The mood is definitely set.  Looks like this one might take a while to get going since, on this first night, the creepiest thing we get is a shot of Paul watching his parents sleep.  The next day Paul sends a toboggan flying at his unsuspecting dad.  The dad reacts by spanking the crap out of him.  Meanwhile the other kids, Leah and Nicky, seem to be getting sick, and coughing up blood, and also TOTALLY messing with the one little girl, Miranda, who doesn’t seem in on it yet.  It’s all very creepy.


Lovelock: Paul, time to take it up a notch.  Please throw a knife at him next time.

[Teenage daughter goes to smoke weed with pervy uncle who stares at her legs and bare stomach.]

Starkwell: I hope Paul goes for him second.


Miranda starts having horrifying visions and now she is sick too and starts FREAKING OUT and then she attacks her hippy aunt.  Paul seems to be the evil puppet master.  Anyways, it’s a little hard to watch because Miranda WON’T STOP SCREAMING and now her father is trying to hold her down and shut her up.  Basically it’s incredibly tense and stressful and both Lovelock and Starkwell sit quietly on the edge of their seats until the kids work together to force their uncle’s face into a pitchfork (minutes later he dies), at which point Starkwell screamed a little and Lovelock nervously farted like a lawnmower.


Lovelock: The lesson is, don’t be a pervert with your teenage niece.

Starkwell: That is at least one lesson.


The acting all works.  The writing and directing is creepy as shit.  Seriously.  SO CREEPY.  The kids don’t take long before they start tormenting all of the adults.  Miranda is still stuck in between.  She hasn’t joined the evil kids yet, but seems to know what’s going on.  But then Paul gets impaled on a glass shard by his Teenage Sister, and I think Miranda turns.


[Teenage Girl finds Miranda killing the cat.]

Lovelock: Aww… they killed the cat?  Now I don’t know whose side I’m on.

Starkwell: Teenage Daughter?

Lovelock: Sure, I guess.


Anyways, Starkwell and Lovelock don’t say much more throughout the rest of this one.  They kind of just sit and watch the movie play out, silently horrified.  ‘Evil kids’ is one thing… but this movie shows the ‘Evil Kids’ brutally murdering people, and then in turn, shows people brutally murdering the ‘Evil Kids’.  I mean, they just look like normal kids, so visually, it’s totally fucked.  So yeah, this one ends on a hyper depressing note.  Also, we see that there a whole shitload of ‘Evil Kids’ in the woods… so I don’t know if that means the world is over… or… who knows?


28 Days Later.

If Zack Snyder’s re-boot of “Dawn of the Dead” helped make zombies popular again, and push the zombie film back into “blockbuster” territory, thus paving the way for even the POSSIBILITY of popular pieces like “Zombieland” or the recent television show “The Walking Dead”, then it is safe to say that Danny Boyle (two years before the "Dawn" remake) made outbreaks cool and hip again, and reminded us all that these movies can and should be way epic.


[Monkey sits on a lab table.]

Starkwell: What are they doing to the monkey?  Oh I don’t like this.

[Activists break into lab, to free the EXPERIMENT MONKEYS.]

Lovelock: This might be the happiest I’ve ever been to see hippies.

[Doctor walks in on them, and warns them that the monkeys are infected.]


Then the newly freed RAGE monkey bites one of the activists, and she goes INSTANT RAGE.  And just like that… OUTBREAK!  After muttering “damn hippies”, I think Lovelock crapped his pants.  Then he did a jump kick and screamed “ZINGAYA! They’ve got THE BITE!” and danced while playing air guitar.  Starkwell was silently amazed.  At the movie.  He’s fully used to seeing Lovelock lose his shit (both literally and figuratively) at this point.


[Dude (we’ll find out later is named Jim) wakes up in an empty hospital.]

Lovelock: Aw weak.  Put some pants on.

[There is no one.  Anywhere.]

Starkwell: So far he’s keeping it together much better than I would be.


[Jim meets his first zombie… then his first swarm of zombies… some people help him get away.  He screams and runs… mostly asking “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?]

Starkwell: There we go.  That’s the reaction I was expecting.


Jim’s new friends, Mark and Selena, explain to him what is going on.  And now he really loses it.  Starkwell and Lovelock both sit quietly, totally smitten with this film and everything about it.


[Mark gets some blood on an open wound and Selena immediately hacks him to death with a machete.]

Lovelock: That’s why when someone asks me if I’m infected, I say no.

Starkwell: Yeah that's why... wait... why would that question come up? What kind of girls do you date?

Lovelock: …

Starkwell: Burn.


Then Jim and Selena venture up a high-rise and meet Frank and his daughter Hannah.  We get more and more character development.  Starkwell was actually drooling.  Frank has heard a radio broadcast telling tales of a safe place guarded by military, so obviously they all decide to head out that way, by car.


[Car gets a flat, they change the tire JUST before they are totally swarmed by RAGE INFECTED ZOMBIES!]

Lovelock: Remind me to learn how to change a flat tire really fast.

Starkwell: Why?  In case you wind up IN the movie?  Or working in a pit crew?

[Grocery shopping montage! And then PICNIC!  And then horseys!]

Starkwell: Well, at least the horses made it.

Lovelock: What?  You can’t be serious.  Horses?  Damn hippy.


The gang continues on in their quest for the promised land.  They make it to the advertised roadblock, Frank gets infected and then shot by soldiers.  Lovelock and Starkwell were CLEARLY choked up.  The soldiers take Hannah, Selena and Jim to their secure compound.  It has security, and food, and hot water.


[Jim showers.  We see his ass.]

Lovelock: Again? Seriously.  Cillian.  Keep your pants on.


There’s a scene where the leader soldier takes Jim on a tour and shows him their captive zombie.  He pukes brown blood and shit, and it is super gross.  Lovelock totally stopped eating his sandwich.  The soldiers are clearly not good dudes.  Jim finds out that Leader Soldier promised his men “WOMEN”.  Before Jim has a chance to take off and save the girls, he gets knocked out.  They take him out to the woods to execute him, but Jim gets away from them.


[A crazed Jim makes his way back into their little camp, kills the fuck out of the soldiers, and saves Hannah and Selena.]

Lovelock: “Rambo was a pussy”.

Starkwell: Dude? “Tango and Cash”? During this beautiful movie? Please.

Lovelock: "Why don't you just shove a leash up my ass?!"

Starkwell: ...

Lovelock: "Demolition Man".


So before he went nuts, Jim saw a plane in the sky… which implies that maybe the other soldier was right, and that the infection is quarantined to the UK.  Hannah, Selena and Jim find a place to hide out, and they wait… to be rescued.  It’s been 28 days and the infected are starving… COuld this be?  A zombie film with a happy ending? Thank heavens for films like this.


Revolt of the Zombies.

Victor Halperin followed up his classic and infamous and masterpiece “White Zombie” with this somewhat lackluster Lugosi-less cookie-cutter formulaic zombie snoozer.  Or at least, that’s what everyone seems to be saying about it.  Because Starkwell and Lovelock are always determined to make up their own minds, we find ourselves dipping back into one of those cruddy 50-in-1 movie packs to watch what certainly promises to be a piss poor print of a movie that probably didn’t look all that sharp to begin with.


[During World War I, apparently some crazy shit went down.]

Starkwell: I love how they kind of downplay war by making it sound like it’s just a series of strange events.

Lovelock: The general laughs a lot, considering that it is in fact war time.


Then there was a pretty sweet shot of “ORIENTAL” soldier zombies that charged a bunker, got shot repeatedly but wouldn’t die.  It was enough for Lovelock and Starkwell to agree to “give this one a shot” and look past the “super racism”.


[Generals travel to Angkor.]

Starkwell: Three actors walk in front of a painting led by a “native”… and PRESTO, we’ve established that they have arrived in Angkor.

Lovelock: Correction: a BAD painting.


Lovelock: They’re certainly getting a lot of use out of that bad painting.


Somehow they are managing to work a LOVE TRIANGLE sub-plot into a story about generals and archaeologists traveling to a mystical Oriental land during world wartime to discover the secret of the robotic zombie army.  Then they all end up wining and dining in 007 style tuxedoes at a wedding.


Starkwell: What does a wedding have to do with zombie armies in Angkor?

Lovelock: What does God want with a spaceship?

Starkwell: Right.  Something like that.


Lovelock and Starkwell are starting to think that this movie shot its zombie load way too early, with that cool zombie soldier scene in the first five minutes.  Since then, it has been a hodgepodge of messy and useless dialogue.


Lovelock: Is this “Revolt of the Zombies” or “Wedding Reception in Angkor”?

Starkwell: Can’t it be both?

Lovelock: It most certainly CAN'T.


[Archaeologist Dude Grumpyface explores a temple under the temple to find zombies.]

Lovelock: Totally where “Temple of Doom” got all of its ideas.

Starkwell: Hashtag Lovelock Fail.


Anyways, the Black Magic General shares some zombie secrets with Archaeology Guy, but then Archaeology Guy kills him and starts controlling all of the other Generals, and apparently entire armies of soldiers, with his brain.


Starkwell: It feels like there are missing scenes.

Lovelock: Thank God for that!  I couldn’t imagine how long this thing would be if they tried to explain everything.


Anyways, apparently World War I was just a side story.  The War was just a tool for Zombie Master to use to marry the girl he couldn’t have.  In the end, the girl asks him to give up his power, and she’d consider trying to love him.  So he does and his former zombie slaves rise up and kill him.  Then the film just ends.  I’m starting to think that she never intended on loving him at all.


They Came Back.

What if the recently made dead people started coming back to life but were essentially just walking empty shells of their former selves?  They’re not violent, they’re not particularly scary, they just came back.  Where do we put them?  How do we deal with them?  How do they deal with society as it is now?  All of these are questions that French film “Les Revenants” decides to tackle in an unusual and somewhat fresh take (pun intended) on the idea of the walking dead.  After explaining the premise of the film to Lovelock, he already left the room.  I guess that just leaves me, my notepad, the film, Starkwell, and his often lengthy monologues that I will do my best to capture and/or paraphrase.


[The film opens with a bunch of old people leaving a cemetery.]

Lovelock: Either someone really popular just died, or thems zombies!

Starkwell: You’re still here?

Lovelock: The music and creepy walking noise brought me back.

Starkwell: Might be the most subtly scary opening I’ve ever seen…

[Yay! The gang’s all here.]


Then there was a very serious scene wherein a bunch of important people in the city talked about what to do with all of the returned dead.  Are they refugees?  We can’t just send them home… it would be a tremendous effort.  They bring the army in to bring them all to a center with a bunch of cots and whatnot.


[People are being reunited with their dead ones, who look spaced out and a bit scary.]

Lovelock: How did they get that baby to look like the walking dead?  I think the French may have actually invented zombies to film this sucker!

Starkwell: Ummm… probably not.

Lovelock: That’s why I’ll never go to France.

Starkwell: Yeah, that’s why.

Lovelock: Well, also my passport expired.


There definitely seems to be something off about the undead here.  They talk a bit slow, they seem sluggish, and unable to really do the work that they used to do.  They just seem… well… off.


[We see one “zombie” at his office job, seemingly shocked by all of the progress that was made in his absence.]

Lovelock: Come on man! If I wanted to see a bunch of zombies doing office work I’d have gone to work today.

Starkwell: You have a job?


Some of the older zombies seem to wander away from the refugee center at random in the middle of the night.  No one really knows why, or what they are looking for.  And so the 'powers that be' develop a high powered sedative to knock them the fuck out, if needed.  It's never spoken of again, strangely.


[It turns out that the zombies don’t sleep… they just pretend to sleep.]

Lovelock: Right now, I think I might ACTUALLY fall asleep, but if anyone asks, you can say I’m just pretending.

Starkwell: You don’t find this fascinating?

Lovelock: On paper, yes.  In practice, on film, in French, watching it… not even a little.  On second thought, don't tell them I'm pretending.  Tell them I'm actually sleeping.


Some of the regular humans are trying to figure out just what the zombie humans are up to.  They seem to have meetings amongst themselves at night.  It’s all very weird and creepy.


Lovelock: How come all the dead people wear white and the living are in dark clothes?  Are we the bad Jedis?  What’s the deal?

Starkwell: Dude, go back to sleep.


[Office Zombie, Mathieu, has sex with his wife, main character, Rachel.  Some guy, named Gardet, spies on them with a night vision scope.]

Lovelock: You think he thinks it’s not voyeurism just because he’s all science and shit?

Starkwell: I don’t trust him.

Lovelock: Science Guy or Office Zombie?

Starkwell: I don’t even know anymore.


The Super Group of Important People have decided that the undead are only ACTING normal.  It’s just an echo of their formal selves.  They’re pretending.  What are they really up to!?!?!??!?!!?!?!


[Gardet follows Mathieu to the secret zombie meeting, he spies on the meeting in progress.]

Lovelock: He certainly likes to peep on people…

Starkwell: What are they doing?  I’m a little afraid.  A little really afraid.  In one way, this movie isn’t scary.  In another way, it might be the scariest movie ever.

Lovelock: And in yet another way, it might be boring as dirt.


The living dead seem unable to form new memories.  They can only see the past.  Also, they’re starting to really scare people.


[Zombies gather in the night, bombs start going off all over the city… they all escape into a sewer?]

Lovelock: So… the zombies are ‘Fight Club’?

Starkwell: I don’t think it’s quite that…

Lovelock: His name is Robert Paulson.


Then the Zombie Kid jumps off his balcony to join the rest of the zombies and I think I heard Lovelock scream a little.


[The army shoots at a crowd of zombies.]

Starkwell: I know they’re basically terrorists at this point, but that still seems a little harsh.

Lovelock: Man, I don’t even know who I’m rooting for anymore.


Dead zombies are placed on tombstones, and then they vanish into thin air.  And with them, ALL POSSIBILITY of knowing what the Hell is going on in this movie and what any of it meant.  I guess the sewer zombies also vanished?  I really don’t know.  The end.


The Walking Dead.

Long before the now popular comic and television show of the same name brought the Romero-style Zombie Apocalypse into modern pop culture (seriously, it's fucking everywhere), Boris Karloff starred in the 1936 classic “The Walking Dead”.  Let’s see how the best Frankenstein Monster ever handles a more subtle walking corpse role, strangely similar to his role in the equally underrated classic, "The Ghoul".  Let’s see how Starkwell and Lovelock react.


[Some rich asshole is in court being charged with crimes.]

Lovelock: Where’s Karloff? Where’s walking dead?

Starkwell: Dude. Patience.


A bunch of rich dudes in a house talk about killing the judge in the court case.  Karloff plays an ex-con who shows up at the house looking for work.  Turns out they are going to set Karloff up and frame HIM for the judge’s murder.  Karloff’s character is so sad and so dark.  We are introduced to a doctor’s assistant Jimmy and his girlfriend Nancy.  They witness the whole frame-up.


[Jimmy and Nancy don’t step forward with the truth, Karloff is sentenced to death.]

Lovelock: In conclusion, Jimmy and Nancy are pieces of shit.  Man, he’s just a musician trying to make it in this crazy world.

Starkwell: Karloff as the tortured soul… PERFECT!  But yeah, Jimmy and Nancy are definitely turds.


[All of a sudden Jimmy and Nancy step forward, but, too late, Karloff’s dead.]

Starkwell: So they sit through the whole trial, say nothing.  Months go by, appeals… nothing.  THE DAY HE IS BEING PUT TO DEATH… they can’t take it anymore?

Lovelock: Man, fuck Jimmy and fuck Nancy.

Starkwell: Did you say "MANFUCK" Jimmy and Nancy?


Starkwell and Lovelock are getting into it, but Lovelock is still unable to ignore that it is taking a long time to go anywhere.  And when the movie is only an hour, that can be a real issue.  Anyways, eventually Jimmy and Nancy try and revive Karloff.  There is absolutely no explanation as to how they got their hands on the body… but I guess that isn’t important.


Lovelock: Maybe the governor felt so bad after finding out he really WAS innocent that he decided to let a couple of mad scientists fuck around with his dead body…

Starkwell: Seems like the right thing to do…

Lovelock: I know if I was wrongfully put to death, I would want them to donate my body to the Mad Scientist and his Selfish Assistant that was too much of a pussy to step forward with the truth while I was still alive…

Starkwell: Really?

Lovelock: No.  They should send Jimmy and Nancy to jail and kill them.


Dr. Beaumont, Jimmy and Nancy revive Karloff.  The world is informed, and the Mad Doctor is now famous, as is THE WALKING DEAD man.


[Radios and Newspapers all over the world tell the tale of the resurrection.]

Lovelock: It seems to me that the world seems a lot less shocked than they should, given that they brought a dead person back to life.

Starkwell: Seriously… “Man is resurrected after wrongful conviction, also, forty percent chance of precipitation, and the Dodgers lost.”


Everyone tries to get Karloff to remember stuff.  He can’t.  He just walks around slowly, talking slowly, and being slow.  Strangely he remembers how to play the piano.  Slowly.


Lovelock: Most boring zombie ever.  Stop playing piano and start strangling people!

Starkwell: I think you’re missing the point.

Lovelock: Is the point that the girl looks like Princess Leia? Because she does.

Starkwell: That is very much not the point.


Suddenly Karloff gets all mean when one of the dudes that framed him shows up.  Even though he would have no way of knowing, he somehow knew that this guy was his enemy.  Lovelock got all happy, stating “LET THERE BE SOME KILLING!”  Then it got all dialoguey again and he was like “I said now God Dammit.


[The Framers are terrified of Karloff and his piano playing.]

Lovelock: That’s why I want to learn to play the piano.

Starkwell: Yeah, that’s why.  Also, I’m pretty sure it’s his resurrection and not his piano playing that has them scared.

Lovelock: Toe-MAY-toe, toe-MAH-toe...

Starkwell: Wait, what?


Karloff keeps visiting the guilty people and they go crazy and die (e.g. jump in front of a train, fall on a gun, etc.).  Lovelock is disappointed because of the lack of strangling, but happy with the sudden body count.


[The surviving members of the Frame-up Gang get a court order to have Karloff institutionalized.]

Lovelock: I can’t wait for those dudes to be dead.  Also, for this movie to be over.

Starkwell: What’s the matter with you?

Lovelock: Clearly, the answer is MEGA-boredom.

[Well now, that’s literally a ‘mixed’ review.]

Lovelock: Also, why wouldn't Karloff be killing Jimmy and Nancy?  If they had just stepped forward sooner, he wouldn't be in this mess.  Weak.


Well, eventually Karloff is gunned down and dies RIGHT BEFORE he gives away the secrets of the afterlife.  Also, there was an impressive high-speed car crash.  ESPECIALLY impressive given that this was the mid nineteen thirties.  And, as is the case with so many older pictures, IMMEDIATELY after the final line of dialogue, the film ends with a big ass THE END.


Return of the Living Dead Part II.

Some film series are great from first film to last.  Others take a couple of movies before they really veer off into the great unknown land of turds (think “Lethal Weapon” or the “Die Hard” films).  And others, like the “Re-Animator” films, took a massive nosedive IMMEDIATELY following the first film.  Given Dan O’Bannon’s excellent first film… I’m a little worried to see where this second installment will end up in the hands of writer-director Ken Wiederhorn.  The good news is, he was the guy that wrote and directed “Shock Waves”.  The bad news is he also later directed the “sequel in name only” to “Meatballs”.  Have at it, boys.


[Soldier driving truck full of Trioxin cans gets high and listens to bad music, when he hits a tiny pothole, canisters of Trioxin fly into the river.]

Starkwell: Don’t get me wrong, I get the notion of a wildly irresponsible army dude smoking weed while driving toxic materials… but you’d think they would have fastened the canisters in a little better… or maybe even, oh I don’t know, PUT A FUCKING BACK ON THE TRUCK!

Lovelock: Yeah but then we wouldn’t have a movie.  I, for one, applaud the shitty writing.


[Two bullies force a kid to join their club. While trying to beat him up near a cemetery, they find a canister and open it up.]

Lovelock: KIDS?!??!?!  This ain’t good…


Starkwell and Lovelock were a little confused by the fact that two of the actors from the first movie are in this one as well, except that they aren’t playing the same characters… which makes sense since they died in the first one.  Anyways, now they’re stealing shit from graves to pawn for money.  The gas from the canister starts trickling into the cememtery.


[One of the Bully Kids is sick, from breathing in the Trioxin dust.]

Lovelock: Had better not all be centered around a zombie kid.

[Dorky Kid goes back to cemetery, runs into a tar man.]

Lovelock: HOORAY!

[Dead people start emerging from the ground!]

Lovelock: I’m feeling better.  A lot better.


It becomes pretty clear pretty quickly that this movie will have no problem being “goofy”, as we have already heard the now famous “brains!” a few times, and have witnessed all sorts of zombie physical comedy. Then the main girl, the lovely Brenda, punches through a zombies head, and there was much rejoicing in the crowd.


Lovelock: I’m willing to forgive the use of annoying ass kids if there is to be more face punches like that.

Starkwell: I’m willing to forgive the horrible soundtrack, over-the-top zaniness, and atrocious acting if… no… actually I’m not, not under any circumstances.


If the movie wasn’t trying SO HARD to be “funny” and “kerrrrazy”, it would probably be much better than it is.  As Starkwell said, a severed rotting zombie head speaking in a bad southern accent telling them to “get tha’ damn screwdriver outta my head” isn’t funny it’s “absolutely lame, in every way.


Starkwell: It bugs me when a movie can’t make up its mind about what kind of zombies it has in it…

Lovelock: It always bugs me when you won’t shut up during the good scenes.

Starkwell: THESE are the good scenes?


Then one of the actors who was IN THE FIRST FILM says to the other “I feel like we’ve been here before, like it’s a dream I’ve had before”.  He did everything but wink at the camera.  There are some great zombie kills and the effects are decent enough.  I mean, actually, some of the effect work is really cheesy, but as Lovelock said, “it’s always nice to go back and see proper non-CGI zombies”.


Starkwell: Inconsistency number a million: if these zombies want to eat human brains, why would they be eating animals at the pet store?

Lovelock: Inconsistency number please shut up.

Starkwell: And why do they run sometimes, but then most of the time shuffle around?

Lovelock: Because no one cares.  Especially not the writers.

Starkwell: Wait a minute… that one can drive a car?

Lovelock: Alright, I’ll admit, that’s super weak.


[It turns out that the zombies can be stopped by electrocuting them, so the “heroes” round up all the zombies in town into a big puddle and shock them.]

Starkwell: We’re just supposed to buy that they managed to get all of the zombies there?

Lovelock: I guess…

Starkwell: And that the eight year old kid can figure out how to drive stick in five seconds?  ANd reach the pedals in a huge truck?

Lovelock: Umm…


Anyways, before it’s all over, we end up seeing a fight between Dorky Kid and Zombie Bully Kid, a super lame “Michael Jackon’s Thriller” joke, and another shot of bad southern accent severed head zombie from before… who’s there somehow.  Talking.  Ugh.


The Crow: City of Angels.

It’s difficult to even ask Starkwell and Lovelock to watch a sequel to “The Crow”.  Will the sequel destroy the pleasant memories that they had of the first film?  Will it just make them miss Brandon Lee even more than they already do?  Given that the film is directed by a music video director, and that this was his one and only foray into 'actual' film… things don’t look so good.  BUT!  BUT!  The writer, David S. Goyer, would later go on to pen movies like “Dark City”, and the Christopher Nolan reboot series of Batman films.  So, there is still some hope that this will turn out alright in the end.  Goyer started his career writing Van Damme movies, and look where he ended up… maybe this was the turning point.  We’ll see.


[Girl wakes up in her super loft with Gabriel the Cat.]

Starkwell: So, that’s the girl from the first movie?

Lovelock: I guess she isn’t blonde anymore, also, she’s… a hooker?  That helps street kids?

Starkwell: If she wants to help street kids, it might help if she didn’t look stoned out of her mind.

Lovelock: Or like so much of a hooker.


Then it cuts to some gang of bad dudes, and a flashback of them drowning a dude and his son in a river.  All the usual stereotypes are there.  Creepy Asian woman, strung out dude with a goatee, red-haired guy with a camcorder, a naked Black Guy taking a hot shower and, of course, Iggy Pop… you know, the usuals.  I don’t mean someone that looks like Iggy Pop.  It’s actually Iggy Pop.


Lovelock: Of course she’s a tattoo artist.

Starkwell: Of course they call her “The Mistress of Pain”.


The girl playing Sarah, actress Mia Kirshner, seems to be approaching the Sara character with that, as Starkwell put it, “Zooey Deschanel style of acting”… which according to him basically means to constantly “look spaced out, scared, confused and bored at the same time all the time, also, to do it in a very hammy way.  Fuck you.”  This was before Zooey’s time though, so I guess she was paving the way for that kind of acting.


[Drowned Dude, named Ash, wakes up and emerges from the water like a Cirque du Soleil performer.]

Starkwell: How is he doing that exactly?

Lovelock: Is that the Crow or Criss Angel or Alegria?

Starkwell: Is there really a difference?

Lovelock: Compared to Brandon’s rise from the grave, that was wicked lame.


Then there’s a weird scene where Iggy Pop is dancing to an old Stooges song, and all around him topless women are licking each other.  There was some dialogue, but all that Lovelock and Starkwell took from the scene is that Iggy Pop sucks at acting, or at least that he didn’t care to try for the duration of this film.


[In a flashback, we find out that Ash’s kid wandered out in the street to witness a murder, and that was why they were both killed.]

Starkwell: What kind of kid runs out into the street when he hears gunfire?

Lovelock: A dead kid.

Starkwell: Dude, harsh.

Lovelock: And that’s why I don’t have kids.

Starkwell: Yeah… that’s why.


There’s a montage of Ash getting his gear on, and it’s as long as it is pointless.  There really isn’t very much character development, and by the time Ash finds the first gang member and explodes him, Starkwell already declared “seriously, who cares?” several times. It looks like Lovelock cares a little, because he does like exploding bad guys.


Starkwell: This movie feels like the movie that “The Asylum” would have made to coincide with the release of the original Crow movie, if “The Asylum” existed at the time.


Starkwell and Lovelock had a good laugh when they realized that the camera wielding red head was actually just Tom Jane in a bad wig and “Clockwork Orange” makeup.  But then the scene transitioned into a horribly awkward scene where he was jerking off at a nudey booth and the laughter stopped completely and forever .


[Iggy Pop finds Tom Jane dead in the nudey booth.  The Stooges play.  Again.]

Lovelock: Hey audience, look it’s Iggy Pop!  Let’s remind you every chance we get!

Starkwell: As if somehow landing Iggy Pop for the prestigious role of “Second in Command Bad Guy” adds credibility to your shitty movie.

Lovelock: It would be nice to have a theme song though, in real life... mine would be the song from "The Littlest Hobo".

Starkwell: ...

Lovelock: That's Hobo-Style!!


[Sarah paints in her enormous loft.]

Starkwell: Nobody owns that many candles, let alone has them all lit all the time.


[The score from the original film plays as Ash pulls his dead son out of the water and buries him.]

Starkwell: If they were trying to remind us of how much better the first film was… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.


Then Ash fights the Creepy Asian Woman and it’s one of the slowest and lamest looking fights ever.  Starkwell got up and left half way through saying “well, I’ve seen enough”.  Lovelock said he was sticking around to “see if they explode Iggy Pop while ‘The Stooges’ play in the background.”  Eventually there was an explosion involving Iggy Pop and his motorcycle, but no “Stooges”.


[Boss Man Judas kills crow, drinks its blood and apparently gains super powers?]

Lovelock: Well… that’s new… Also, lame.


[Ash impales Judas on a pipe, and then shoots a million crows out of his body right at Judas and disintegrates him and then the black energy (?) of Judas is carried away by said million crows.]

Lovelock: … Umm…


Anyways, Sarah dies, but at least Gabriel the cat lives.  In conclusion, from the writing, to the directing, to the visuals and set design, to the acting, and even to THE SOUNDTRACK… all of this feels like a very terrible remake of the first film.  An unnecessary remake made immediately after the first film was released.  This is just a shitty bullshit inferior imitation, with none of the heart, balls or talent of the original.  I guess it took Goyer a few tries before he was able to write something like “The Dark Knight”.  Yuck.


Let's Scare Jessica to Death.

Apparently more of a psychological thriller than the more traditional zombie camp that Starkwell and Lovelock are used to, I’m pretty excited to throw them a different type of bone.  This early seventies picture was directed by John Hancock, who is better known for directing a baseball picture that helped launch DeNiro’s career.  Anyways, I literally have no idea what to expect here.


[Jessica plays in a graveyard, sees a blonde girl in a nightgown.]

Starkwell: I kind of like that we can hear Jessica’s crazy thoughts.

Lovelock: Dude she’s not crazy, I saw the blonde girl too.

Starkwell: Well… yeah we the viewer saw what she saw, but that doesn't mean... but… oh never mind.

Lovelock: Act normal, Lovelock.  Don’t let them know…

Starkwell: Who drives around in a hearse anyways?

Lovelock: Damn hippies, that’s who.


Jessica continues to hear voices, talk to herself, and see people that aren’t there.  The empty rocking chair was particularly creepy, and caused Lovelock to nervously fat a couple of times.


[Jessica and her crew find a squatter, named Emily, in their newly acquired farmhouse.]

Starkwell: So let me get this straight, they get to their house, find someone living in it, and not only do they not seem upset AT ALL, they immediately trust her and invite her to stay the night?

Lovelock: It was a different time.  I bet they still picked up hitch hikers back then.  Damn Hippies.

Starkwell: Wait, is she playing a lute?

Lovelock: Of course the dude has a cello sitting around… Damn hippies.


It’s becoming clear that Jessica is completely bonkers.  We know that she was just released from an institution of some kind, and she keeps hinting at the fact that she was nuts.  But we don’t know what happened yet.  Starkwell also says that it’s becoming clear that “this movie is awesome.”  He doesn’t usually make a call like that this early.  Let’s see if he still feels that way as we get further in.


Lovelock: Of course Emily wants to have a séance…

Starkwell: Damn hippies.

Lovelock: Hey! Thems my line.


As the story continues to unfold, and the characters are developed, Lovelock falls asleep.  Jessica goes swimming and sees a dead body and it touches her.  Her descent back into madness is happening at an appropriate pace.  I haven’t seen Starkwell this excited in a long time.


Starkwell: You know, if Jessica is worried that Duncan and Woody are going to think she is nuts, playing dress-up in the attic and dancing around by yourself isn’t exactly a good choice…


The creepy whispers that keep playing, that we assume Jessica hears in her head are exceedingly creepy.  Enough so, that I believe they caused Lovelock to have a nightmare during his nap, as he woke up screaming “JESSICA MAKE IT STOP!”  His heart is racing now… so I think he’ll stay awake for the remainder.


[Three old dudes try and intimidate Duncan and Jessica in town.  They all seem to have wounds of some kind.]

Lovelock: I don’t know… the elderly are one demographic I don’t really find creepy.  Just push’em over and they’ll break their hips.

Starkwell: Dude, really?

Lovelock: Unless they have super powers.

Starkwell: Well, there’s definitely something off with these ones.

Lovelock: They look like typical townies to me.  Just hatin’ on damn hippies.


[Jessica goes back to the cemetery and sees Blondie McNightgown again, but this time follows her into the forest and finds a dead body.]

Starkwell: At this point, I would stop following strange apparitions if I were her…

[Duncan finds Jessica, but the dead body is gone, but then, Blondie reappears.]

Starkwell: Well at least now Duncan knows she isn’t totally nuts.

Lovelock: I don’t know… she seems pretty happy and nutty for someone who just followed a random girl through a forest and found a dead body.

Starkwell: I think she’s smiling because now Duncan will believe her.

Lovelock: That’s just what they want you to think.

Starkwell: Who?

[Then they both went quiet as the couple interrogated the Blonde Girl.]


Jessica is getting more and more paranoid, and she keeps hearing voices.  But, we the audience, are starting to suspect that Emily is not who she says she is.  It’s becoming clear that she is evil, and that she may even be THE LIVING DEAD.


Starkwell: I don’t trust that red hair, not for a second.

Lovelock: That’s just what they want you to think.

Starkwell: Dude, seriously… who?


I think the movie broke Lovelock.


[Duncan tells Jessica she needs more therapy and should go back to New York.]

Lovelock: Why?  So ya can put yer peener into Emily? What a fucking asshole! He saw the nightgown girl too!  Why would he treat Jessica, HIS WIFE, like that?

Starkwell: Long answer has to do with Emily and peener, short answer is that he’s an asshole.

Lovelock: Either way, I hope he gets dead.

[Duncan sleeps on the sofa and and softly ends up putting his peener into Emily.]

Lovelock: I hope he gets REALLY dead.


Jessica realizes that Emily is Abigail Bishop, the girl who supposedly had drowned in the lake back in the nineteenth century.  Also, she very much continues her descent into madness.  Lovelock is getting annoyed at the slow pace, but Starkwell thinks it’s totally rad.  As annoyed as Lovelock may be, he is still nervous and frightened through much of the film.


[Emily/Abigail comes out of the water and tries to kill Jessica.]

Lovelock: I take it back, movie, you can go back to being slow… because now I’m scared!

Starkwell: Can I just also add that the soundtrack is absolutely perfect?


Every time Jessica heard a voice whisper “I’m here” I think I heard Lovelock let out a little gasp and/or whimper.  I say again, I think the movie broke Lovelock.  Jessica heads into town and sees all the old dudes and their creepy wounds.  While this is happening, I’m pretty sure that the Undead Abigail is sucking Woody’s blood.  Jessica runs away and falls asleep in the forest, trying to follow Blondie McNightgown and wakes up when she hears Duncan calling for her.



Lovelock: Well, I am glad that Duncan done got deaded, but I have to say, I was hoping Jessica would have a happy ending...


Woody is dead, and Jessica tries to run away.  Eventually she ends up in a boat and ends up killing Duncan.  It looks like Abigail and her creepy island full of zombies will live on and continue to torment people that come into said island.  Probably forever.  I know Lovelock will never be the same.