Saturday, April 19, 2008

DVD Review: Borderland

Inspired by true events, Borderland plays much like Hostel in Mexico. Having served in San Diego many moons ago, I can attest that warnings about about traveling into Mexico are unceasing. I even had a friend end up in jail there for three days, with a broken neck! So when I watched Borderland, I could truly believe that this was based on reality.

The film is about three Texas friends, about to go off to college, who venture across the border into Mexico for a night of munching shrooms and general rabble-rousing. Problems arise when one falls for a hooker, the other falls for a bar maid and the last one thinks he's invincible. Needless to say, these guys get caught up in some serious shitake!! You see, there's a cartel doing business that also happens to dabble in some Mexican voodoo, and it seems that they use the screams of terrified Americans to feed their god. So, when one of the friends stupidly accepts a ride from the most dangerous dudes in town, it's up to the other two, the bar maid and an ex-cop, who already had one run-in with the baddies, to try and save the kid.

For all intent and purposes Borderland was a good movie. It kept me interested and a little creeped out that this stuff really does happen in this goofy world. The Hollywood artistic freedom however, always seems to ruin it though. SPOILER ALERT -- In a compound of about fifty cultists, how come only about four or five come out to take on the three good guys? Does that make sense? Plus, the biggest baddie in the movie (the bald dude) gets taken out in a really weak way, nothing like the revenge you would have loved to see. But other than that, Borderland is pretty decent, at least better than a lot of the other After Dark Horrorfest films out there. It gets *** out of ***** chalupas.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DVD Review: The Rage

From the mind of Robert Kurtzman comes The Rage. Oh man, where do I begin? This movie pretty much has it all - tons of gore, man-eating vultures, cannabalized children, a mutant gimp, Erin Brown (Misty Mundae) and even Reggie Bannister as...Uncle Ben! The plot follows the disaster that ensues after Dr. Viktor Vasilienko's (Andrew Divoff) secret experiments go awry. He has his own reasons for wanting to exact his revenge on the world, and I really don't blame him, but when the vultures got involved, this tale turned directly into Sci-Fi Channel Saturday night. However, this is one that will probably become an instant cult classic, or at least a great drinking game movie! Oh yeah, and how can a movie that features music from Midnight Syndicate be all that bad? The Rage gets ** out of *****.

DVD Review: April Fool's Day

The original 1986 version of April Fool's Day holds a special place in my heart. I don't know why, maybe because I was a year away from graduating high school and it resonated with me on some level, but I'll watch it whenever I happen to come across it on cable even still. That being said, when I saw that there was a remake in the works, I was at least a little interested...and concerned. This modern incarnation of April Fool's Day follows another group of young, sexy guys and gals except this time, they're rich debutantes instead of college co-eds. The story revolves around socialite Desiree Cartier and her habit of playing particularly nasty pranks on her friends(?). Unfortunately, during a posh party thrown for one of the Cartier's friends(?) a former friend(?) falls over a balcony and dies. A year passes and then, one by one, the core group of friends(again, ?) begin to get knocked off.

While I still have no idea why this group of people were friends in the first place, I have to say that I kind of liked this movie. Although it was a direct-to-DVD release, it was much better than the remakes that have recently disgraced the box office. While not exceptional, it was well made and well acted. Even though the movie wasn't scary in the least, or thrilling for that matter, I still wanted to see how the thing would play out, even though you sort of have an idea if you already saw the original. One of the best things about the movie, in fact, was the ending. I didn't see it coming, ha ha they got me! April Fool's Day pranks ***1/2 out of *****.