House of the Dead (2013) – Uwe Boll

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It’s a pretty well-established rule that movies based on video games are shit. There’s really no beating around the bush. There are, of course, exceptions Silent Hill, for example. Then there are terrible films that have gained a cult following (Super Mario Brothers). But for the most part, video game films are uninspired and really just made to cash in on the popularity of the game. Enter House of the Dead, Uwe Boll’s 2003 adaptation of an admittedly cool arcade zombie shooter. This movie is in the running for the worst film I’ve ever seen. I mean that with no sense of hyperbole.

The House of the Dead game was one of the ones where you got to hold the gun and actually shoot at the screen. (Hang on to that image, because we’ll be back to it shortly). Now, I have to admit that I pumped my fair share of quarters into this game back in the day. And while there may have been some kind of story to go along with the zombie carnage, it was not one that stuck with me through the years. I basically remember a haunted house scene where zombies and ghosts would stagger down a hall towards you and throw axes and such and try to eat you. Then you blasted their faces off until your allowance ran out.

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Regardless of where it came from, the plot that made it to the film is ludicrous. A group of college kids hitch a boat ride to a remote island for a rave (this “rave” consists of sixteen 30-year-old college students dancing in the woods). On this island they find — you guessed it — the House of the Dead. I wont spoil too much but we do find out the source of the supernatural forces behind the zombies. And it’s a pirate curse. I’m not big on Twitter, but I think I’m going to start using #piratecurse. Like all the time.

Ok well let’s get down to it. House of the Dead fails on basically every front. It is a staggering failure, and one that astonishingly launched the career of the director Uwe Boll to a new level. The script is like the first draft of a freshman film student banged out the night before it was due. We have poor attempts at humor: “Muerte is Spanish for death, in case you don’t speak Mexican.” (That line was actually one of the Shining Lights of the film). The characters are utterly flat and one-dimensional. The only character’s name that I actually remembered through the film was the Asian raver chick in a spandex American flag jump suit named Liberty.

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Aside from the narrative problems the technical aspects of HotD are abysmal. They actually edited short clips from the actual video game into action sequences. Several times. It almost feels like they were trying to prove something. “See, this scene comes from the game!” Also, I’m a guy who loves to watch zombies get their heads shot off, maybe more than anybody. But there are a few LONG action sequences that really just feel like treading water.

Is it scary: 1 – I mean, there are dead bodies walking around for 90 mins, but really, if you’re not in diapers, this won’t scare you at all.

Originality: 1 – It’s a very spot-on adaptation of an unoriginal video game. So…

Blood: 6 – It’s pretty gory, even though the blood in the shots from the game is green.

Believability: 0 – Every inch of this thing screams illogical and ridiculous.

Setting/Cinematography: 1 – Uwe Boll uses lots of gimmicky spinning camera shots that are supposed to be reminiscent of the game, but they just don’t translate well to the big screen. Also the house itself is just tacky and unconvincing. It felt like of Legends of the Hidden Temple.

Final Score: 9/50

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So what’s the verdict? Don’t even bother watching this film. It’s not “so bad it’s good.” It’s just so bad it’s bad. Like unwatchable.

City of the Living Dead (1980) – Lucio Fulci

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If your idea of a nice relaxing evening is to sit down with a glass of wine and watch a Lucio Fulci movie, you’re probably a sick fuck- like me. If you’re not familiar with him, he was an Italian film director who went absolutely nuts with gory movies in the 1970s-80s. Think of him as the Italian Eli Roth. He directed tons of horror movies, most notably, Zombi 2, The New York Ripper, and the Beyond. His 1980 City of the Living Dead, is pretty much understood to be on a lower tear in terms of overall quality, but it hangs right in there in in the blood and guts department.

The plot of this movie is really just an afterthought. The whole film is more of a “Top 10 Horror Movie Deaths” YouTube video with a story tacked on so they could show it in theaters. Don’t get me wrong, there are some hall of fame death scenes in this one. At one point, this poor girl literally pukes up her own guts. It’s revolting, and surprisingly realistic. Fulci is just messing with us. He actually started his career writing and directing comedy movies. I have to think that he was dying laughing behind the camera as it pans across the room to show a pulsating, maggot-infested baby corpse.

ImageOk, so the plot-yeah, we’ll call it a plot. The movie opens with a priest in a cemetery hanging himself. As everybody knows, priest-cemetery-suicide is a key to opening up the gates of Hell. So now creepy stuff starts to happen in this town and people start to disappear/die. For some reason, a journalist from New York teams up with a psychic medium who he saves from being buried alive, and they travel to the town to solve the mystery/close the gate. This sounds fairly reasonable but it’s all presented in a backwards and confusing way. The first 30 minutes of the movie is spent introducing new characters. Ultimately this is fine because that really equates to introducing more body bags. It’s almost too much though. A lot of the characters are really pointless other than to have their skulls bashed in and their brains ripped out.

But don’t forget, that’s why you’re here. You don’t go to McDonald’s and order chardonnay. These movies are not about challenging your morality, or making you reevaluate your life choices, they’re about challenging your ability to keep your lunch down. City of the Living Dead is a visual nightmare. And Fulci is not timid about showing you every little detail. Walking, decomposed corpses, swarms of worms and maggots, and even a guy getting his skull ventilated with a large table-mounted drill. The scares are about 25% atmosphere and 75% visual. These images stay with you too, so get ready for some nightmares.

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On paper, there’s not really much to this movie. It’s rehashed, formulaic and at times clichéd. But it still gets its point across and comes out as a solid horror movie. Fulci nails a couple of basic atmospheric details and handles the blood and guts special effects perfectly. Most of the direction is Horror movie 101. But he makes it work. There’s a fog machine running in just about every shot. You never see the sun; if you see the sky, it’s cloudy. Everything is dark, gloomy, oppressive. The sound effects are great. You can just imagine them sticking a microphone in a pot of wet spaghetti to get the pulsating guts, brains sounds. It’s a low-fi bloody masterpiece.

In short, despite it’s awkward storytelling and characterization, the movie is a homerun for any Fulci fans out there. If you’ve never seen any of his movies, you should check them out, but buckle up, they’re not going to be pleasant.

  1. Is it scary: 7CotLD is really more disturbing than scary. But it’s still pretty fucking scary.
  2. Originality: 5 – Like I said, all the elements taken separately are not very original, but Fulci arranges things in a way that gives them new life. This movie is more than just the sum of its parts. I was expecting a typical zombie movie, this was not that.
  3. Blood: 8– This is a quality over quantity movie. There aren’t tons of violent scenes, but each bloody scene is a monster.
  4. Believability: 3-This movie was a technical nightmare. The sound editing/voice dubbing was terrible. The acting was delightfully terrible too. This just makes these 80’s movies better though.
  5. Setting/Cinematography: 6– Like I said, in terms of setting, lighting, atmosphere, cinematography, it was horror movie 101. Nothing too adventurous or fancy, but they got the job done.

Final Score: 29/50                                                                                              

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La Horde (2009) – Yannick Dahan, Benjamin Rocher

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First, a quick PSA. I’d like to apologize to my legions (read: baker’s dozen) of loyal readers for my recent hiatus. Work has been more hellish than usual lately and I haven’t’ had time to do much of anything besides cry, drink whisky, and occasionally sleep. I don’t see it getting much better in the near future, but I’m going to try to post at least once a week.

It’s not a new concept that Zombie movies- the good ones anyway- are really about people, not zombies. A good zombie movie will look at the way people react to the situation of having an utter and complete breakdown of all societal influences. There’s no government, there’s no law, only survival. State of Nature, the Social Contract, all that good stuff. The Walking Dead does a great job with this. I guess it’s easier to develop that well when you have 13 hours times 3 seasons, instead of an hour and 40 minutes. In general, the zombie scenario is a quick, effective and believable (at least in terms of narrative) way to extract people from society and make your point that we’re all really good/evil/whatever at heart.

Ok, so we’ve got that. Now, put it on the back burner for a minute.

Now let’s talk about the French. They’re great at kissing and making toast and if you’ve been paying attention to horror movies in the last 10 years or so, you’re probably aware that they are sick and fucked up people who have made some of the most brutal, bleak, and nasty horror films in recent memory. High Tension, Martyrs, Irreversible, Frontiers, you get the picture. Take that vicious French horror trend and apply it to your standard zombie film. You’ll get Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher’s La Horde (that’s French for The Horde- I took French for about 5 years in school- you’re welcome).

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In short, La Horde leaves something to be desired in terms of plot and originality. Overall, it’s not a bad flick. It aims low and it accomplishes its goal. Though it feels sort of stale and I found myself thinking that it seems like something straight out of the 80’s-in a bad way. That being said, the movie is ok, for what it is. It’s a fast-paced, exciting zombie movie with tons of bullets, blood, and berets. But that’s all it is. I think they attempted to shoehorn some of the social commentary that I mentioned above but it felt clichéd.

The story is about a team of cops who goes to this abandoned old apartment building to take revenge on the gang that killed one of their partners. During the raid, a zombie outbreak takes place and the cops and the robbers have to team up to try to survive. They shoehorn a little bit of “Who is truly good and who is evil?” routine in there but it all feels forced. In typical French horror fashion, the ending is grim, at best. We basically learn that everyone is a monster, not just the zombies. At least there’s a sense of savage justice or karma when all’s said and done.

ImageLike many other modern zombie movies, La Horde is less horror than it is action. It relies more on suspense than it does on cinematography or subtle psychological tricks to scare you. Though there are a few cool shots that are lit so everything behind the subject (which is usually a wall of zombies) is completely black. It sets the mood a bit I guess.  Other than that, it’s all in your face rather than in your head and that is fleeting horror. This one isn’t going to keep you up at night.

Is it scary: 4– Like I said, it’s really not big on scares. But that’s not a big surprise   

Originality: 3 – It really feels like a bad 80’s movie that you might catch on TV on a Saturday afternoon. It just felt pretty stale.

Blood: 7– Lots and lots of blood. It’s like a strawberry crepe factory exploded.

Believability: 5– I had a hard time buying a lot of the back and forth with this. Though, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because it was subtitled and I know that some of the subtitles were not completely correct. Also there’s always something lost in the translation.  

Setting/Cinematography: 5– Ehh, This was solid but not the greatest. Dark dilapidated old apartment building. Cut off from the rest of the world by hordes of snarling monsters. The cinematography was sufficient but didn’t contribute much to the feeling of fear.

Final Score: 24/50                                                                                               

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Deadgirl (2008) – Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel

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Remember Boy Meets World?  Remember how perfect and pretty and nice everything was? Even the badass trailer trash best friend had a heart of gold. Well we all know that real life isn’t as nice and perfect as the TGIF lineup of the mid 90’s would have us believe. Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel have made that fact abundantly clear in their gloomy 2008 zombie flick Deadgirl.

The entire movie is dark, oppressive, and just depressing. Instead of sunny skies, white picket fences, khakis and sweater vests, this film is filled with dark, decrepit scenery, cloudy skies and guys in their mid-to-late 20’s playing high-schoolers who live perpetually in pajamas. And you should take that in the most depressing way possible. The film has some pretty intense and scary moments but overall the tone is just a bleak, and hopeless. It could be scarier, but I don’t think that’s what they were going for here. It was more of a story about how fucked up, lonely, and isolated the world is, that happened to have zombies. As with most zombie movies, Deadgirl could be taken as a thinly veiled-social criticism, but I’m not really going to get into that.

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If you’ll indulge me for a bit, let’s go back to the Boy Meets World metaphor. Deadgirl is like a real life Cory and Shawn except Topanga is a naked zombie chick chained to a steel table in the basement of an abandoned mental hospital. Instead of worrying about what to wear to their first high school party, Cory and Shawn are busy taking turns “introducing Topanga to Mr. Feeny” (if you catch my drift). So yeah, it’s that kind of movie. Of course, Cory (Rickie) is really against it while Shawn (JT) gets too into it. He lets the secret slip and then other people start to find out about it. Rickie fights JT and his new friends to try to shut it down but JT is starting to get a little crazy.

So far, it’s all been fun and games so to speak, until one genius dude decides he wants a BJ. (They don’t fully understand that she’s a zombie.) So of course she chomps down his dick and he gets infected. Without being too graphic, JT has decided that they need to get some new girls in here to get infected because this one is getting a little ripe. So we have the classic Icarus situation but instead of the sun, they’re trying to set up a zombie brothel.

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I don’t really know what else to say. The ending was OKI guess, but I kept hoping that it would be over while it just dragged on and on. The whole movie is really upsetting. You kindof feel for Rickie and root for him while he’s trying to do the right thing (I guess). It’s like the directors are really trying to upset us. There’s a scene where JT and one of his cronies are talking about um, hygiene, and JT suggests that they fuck the bullet holes in the woman’s stomach to switch it up a bit.

Other than the fact that their sex doll was a reanimated corpse, the whole zombie thing took a bit of a back seat to the rest of the plot. I will actually give them credit for originality here. It was a novel idea for sure. But I don’t think that’ll be enough to save this one.

  1. Is it scary: 4– There are two or three great scenes that really got scary, but for the most part, this is upsetting and sad more than it is scary.
  2. Originality: 7 – Definitely a good job here. They took the saturated zombie genre and came up with something new.
  3. Blood: 4– Not much for a zombie movie. It got good at the end but it was pretty slow getting there.
  4. Believability: 5– This one is a tough call. I don’t find the premise that believable overall. I know teenagers are horny and whatever but to stick your dick in a corpse takes a special kind of desperation. I’m not buying it
  5. Setting/Cinematography: 3– This was the worst part for me. The way it was shot and the scenery didn’t give me a scary vibe, it gave me a depressing vibe.

Final Score: 23/50                                                                                              

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REC 3: Genesis (2012) Paco Plaza

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Movie sequels and trilogies are a tricky thing to get right. You want to stay true to the originals, while still bringing something new to the table. It’s a bit of a catch 22. You can assume that the audience is already familiar with the characters and the basic plotline, so you can save some time in background and development. Skip the foreplay, grab the Astro-glide and get strait down to the banging. The problem is, not everybody has the stamina to bang for an hour and a half. So you have people trying fancy finger tricks and weird butt stuff and –wait, this metaphor is over. But you get the picture. Unless there’s a great new addition to the story, a filmmaker is just going to deploy gimmicks and clichés to fill out the bits of the film that would have been spent on background and character development. As a result, the characters often feel flat in sequels and trilogies and this sets the film up to fail.

In his 2012 installment of the found-footage zombie series Rec 3: Genesis, Paco Plaza has made a noble effort to bring new life to the series, though he didn’t quite pull it off. The issue was that he tried to make it bigger than it was. The previous 2 films took place inside a small apartment building. Rec 3 takes place in a large banquet hall and the surrounding area with buildings, woods, and an underground tunnel. It’s just too much space to handle in this format.

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The movie takes place at a wedding reception, and it’s catered buffet-style. Probably a couple hundred guests (aka hors d’oeuvres). We meet the happy couple and a few of their closest, most delicious friends. Of course there’s a guy with a dog bite on his hand (and we immediately think of the scene in REC 1 where the girl mentions her sick dog at the vet, before she eats her mom).  So this dude turns out to be the new “patient-zero” of the film. He starts chowing down on wedding guests and projectilly-vomiting blood onto people. Pretty soon, there’s a full-on outbreak and the bride and groom get separated amidst the chaos. Basically the last 2/3 of the film is the two of them trying to find each other and not get eaten. It gets a little too lovey-dovey when they keep saying things like, “I know he/she is still alive; I can feel her spirit.” Come on.

The whole thing was very, very slightly tongue-in-cheek. There are some little moments of comedy and kitschyness that took away from the scariness a little. There are times when it’s a little to stylish and cool to be scary, like when the bride uses a chainsaw to cut away the bottom of her dress so she can run/eviscerate zombies better/sexier. (Though the scene with the chainsaw is fucking perfect). And while we’re on the subject, these people can’t seem to hold on to a weapon to save their lives (no pun intended). Throughout the film, we see our heros discard a medieval spiked mace and shield, a sword and a fucking chainsaw. You don’t even deserve to survive this film if you lack the self-preservation and common sense to hold on to these things.

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Finally, I felt a little cheated that this movie just nodded to the originals and didn’t pick up on the direct potline from the end of the REC 2. The ending of that movie was great and I’d have liked to see where it was going. Guess we’ll have to wait for Rec 4. Edit: I originally said this as a joke but there appears to be a Rec  4 in the works.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this movie. The zombies are great, though not as aggressive as in the previous films. They’re somewhere between Night of the Living Dead and 28 Days Later. And like I said, everything is just on too grand a scale. There are too many characters up front and they seem to get awkward amounts of development before they die. We kind of get to know some people in little bursts and waves and then they’re just gone.

The verdict: Not the best in the series, but not a bad follow-up either. It’s solid zombie fun but doesn’t open any new doors.

  1. Is it scary: 3– Fairly scary, but some of the effect is taken away but the style choices and the subtle humor.
  2. Originality: 5– Pretty much run of the mill. Slight twist on the same format as the first 2 in the series.
  3. Blood: 7– Pretty good and bloody throughout. Not much more to ask for here.
  4. Believability: 5– I think this one falls flat a bit. Characters leaving behind weapons is a big deal breaker for me. It just sets up unnecessary intensity because any rational person would still be armed and able to defend themselves.
  5. Setting/Cinematography: 6–  Tough call here. The setting was fine, but possibly too big to handle appropriately, given the format. Plaza did turn away from the found footage stuff for most of the film, while keeping bits and pieces of it. I thought that was cool. In general, the cinematography was well done.

Final Score: 26/50

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Exit Humanity (2011) – John Geddes

ImageZombie movies pretty much always take place in modern times. If zombies were smarter, they’d have attacked the human race when there were no guns. There’s nothing worse than food shoots at you. Also, there were no malls in which to hold up back then- Everybody knows the Mall is the best place to hide from zombies. The zombies in John Geddes’ 2011 historical-zombie-drama (what?) Exit Humanity, had the right idea. It takes place in a rural, post-Civil War Kentucky.  I like where your heads’ at, zombies, no machine guns- and it takes a good long while to reload a rifle, but could you have picked a slightly more populated area? Maybe one where half a million people haven’t just gotten crossed off the menu? You’re just begging to starve to death, again.

Overall, the movie was really good, but not as a horror movie. It was more of a pretentious drama with zombies. Too few scares and too many introspective moments where the characters (and the audience) question the nature of humanity in the presence of violent inhuman creatures (i.e. the zombies and the humans). For a zombie movie, it could-rather it should- have been bloodier. That’s not what this was film about though. It was a story about how people deal with loss and how they find new things to keep them going in dark times. There just happened to be soulless, undead cannibals running around as a backdrop.

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The movie starts out with a scene of a civil war battle that gets interrupted by some rude zombies. Then we fast forward 6 years and find that our hero, Edward has lost his wife to the spreading zombie plague. He had to treat her illness himself, the only way he knew how: with a searing hot ball of lead administered to the face at 400 meters per second.  It was all very sad. His son has also gone missing so Edward goes on a quest to find the little dude. Of course after about 5 minutes the son shows up as a zombie. Then Eddie cries, throws a tantrum, drinks a bottle of whiskey  throws himself around his little shotgun shack, plays Russian roulette by himself, yada yada, and everyone’s really sad. Note- for the record, nothing scary has happened yet.  Now that he has officially nothing to live for he wants to kill himself, but he decides to take his son’s ashes to his favorite place as a sort of last mission.Image

So Eddie puts on his most stylish leather jacket (I’m no historical fashion expert but that jacket looks like he JUST bought this thing from a fancy department store in 2012) and heads off into the wilderness. He meets up with a stranger and they become friends. It turns out that a band of soldiers has taken over the woods and kidnaps people to do weird zombie experiments on. Homeboy’s sister got snatched so Eddie decides to help. Of course, the sister is pretty hot and has found a slinky off-the-shoulder number to live out the apocalypse in so that’s good for everyone. (Note-still nothing scary). Then we meet a witch with a (sad and) sinister secret and some more sad stuff happens. Then everyone gets really sad and then they either get eaten or they get even sadder. Then there’s a bittersweet moment (60% sad, 30% happy, 10% hungry). The End. (And by the way, nothing really scary happens in the whole movie.) It’s all a little too melodramatic and emo. I’m pretty sure the soundtrack was done by Smashing Pumpkins or maybe Bright Eyes.

Ok, so it wasn’t really a horror movie but it was still pretty good. The zombies were really well-done. They’re all pale and super dead-looking (as opposed to those live-looking zombies in other movies…) The whole thing is framed in chapters around Edward’s diary. He studies the zombies a bit and writes down all his findings and observations and thoughts and feelings and… here we go again. It’s basically a 2-hour LiveJournal entry with zombies. A DeadJournal if you will (sorry). Like I said, it was really a story about people and how we deal with tragedy and loss. The scariest part is that it makes sort of makes us take a look at ourselves as a people and think about what we’re doing on this planet/ the value of human life. A sort of post-mortem existentialism Whoa. That was like, deep and stuff.

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The most conventionally successful part of this film was the visual production. The cinematography was really great (hence the extra photos). Nothing too fancy but just well-established shots that look like they were set up by a true photographer. You can tell a lot of thought was put into each shot and the lighting and background. A lot of the shots have balance and composition that you’d see in a photograph. It’s minor, but it’s just more pleasing to look at, even on a subconscious level. I’ll spare you the Intro Photography lesson; just trust me.

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In short, it was a good movie but it won’t get a great score here because it wasn’t a good scary movie.

  1. Is it scary: 2– Well, if you’ve read this far, you know my feelings here. Good, but not scary.
  2. Originality: 5– I like the idea of setting the zombies in a historical period, and the way it was framed, but there’s still nothing really unique about this.
  3. Blood: 3– I was disappointed here. Especially for a zombie movie.
  4. Believability: 8–For a historical horror drama, it felt pretty genuine to me. The characters reactions to things all rang true albeit melodramatic.
  5. Setting/Cinematography: 8– The setting was good. Backwater Kentucky can be a bleak place especially after the collapse of civilization. Overall, this movie was really well produced so everything looked great. I wouldn’t say it looked scary but it was pretty to watch the zombies eating people.

Final Score: 26/50

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Bone Sickness (2004) Brian Paulin

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Ok, let’s say you want to make a pie- probably cherry, or maybe mincemeat, for obvious reasons. You go to the store and you buy the ingredients for the filling. Cherries, some thick red syrup, a blender to chop everything up. However much red cherry goop the recipe calls for, it’s not enough. How much money do you have in your bank account? Spend it on thick, sloppy, red pie filling. Now make sure you get some whipped cream. Maybe if you have a horror screenplay to write, you can do some whip-its, but we’ll get back to that. Now you’re in your car driving home. Mmm this is going to be a delicious pie, you say to yourself. Oh shit, you forgot to buy a pie crust. Don’t worry-that’s not important. You can just use wheat toast or pop tarts, whatever you’ve got laying around the house.

Now you’re assembling everything in the pan. You didn’t have any bread, so you’ve got an old pizza box along the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry, there’s not much dried cheese stuck to it. Dump on gallons and gallons of oozing red cherry filling. By the time you’re done, there’s cherry slop all over the kitchen- it’s on your hands, in your hair, on the ceiling fan-but goddamn it’s so good, you don’t even care. Damnit, you forgot to preheat the oven. Don’t worry, just throw the pie in there and set it to broil.  You go out to have a cigarette. When you come back, the top half of the pizza box-crust is on fire and the center is still cold. Fuck it, just put it in the microwave and then throw some whipped cream on top. Nobody will know the difference.

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This awkward and drawn-out metaphor describes exactly how I feel about Brian Paulin’s 2004 splatter-fest Bone Sickness. The movie has a budget listed at $4,000 and I’d be surprised if I found out they spent less than $3,800 of that on blood and gore-related special effects-for real, that’s not an exaggeration. By any practical measure, the movie is terrible. The plot is confusing and disjointed. It’s paced awkwardly and it needs a ruthless edit like Art Garfunkel needed a haircut.  To say that the script left something to be desired would display a Mother Theresa-caliber of generosity. But for some reason, despite its technical deficiencies, I really liked this movie. Mainly because of the insane, over the top, blood and gore. But also, you can kind of tell that there was a level of ambition and authenticity about it that you wouldn’t see in a big-budget studio horror flick. And I can hardly fault what might have been a good movie for having a small budget.

Like I said, the plot is a little confusing, but here goes. The main character (I guess), Kristen, has to take care of her bed-ridden husband, Alex. He’s suffering from some sort of degenerative bone disease. To keep Alex strong, family friend Tom (played by director Brian Paulin and his awesome 1986 Motley Crue haircut), who works in a morgue, pilfers body parts from the corpses and makes soup from the bones for him. For some reason that only gets partially explained at the very end, the corpses in the local graveyard begin to rise and attack the town.

There’s some awkward nudity and a weird psychic zombie sex scene. What? You heard me. Then there are lots of little side plot elements that are confusing and eventually go nowhere. At one point, Tom’s wife thinks he’s having an affair with Kristen because she finds some sexy photos of Kristen hidden in Tom’s dresser that Kristen asked Tom to take of her to give to Alex. Wait, what? Don’t worry, it has no bearing on the plot of the film whatsoever. There’s also a semi-pointless police investigation subplot. In short, I think they tried to hard. These things tend to work better if you just keep them simple.

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At any rate, there’s more going on here than just a bad script and an overly complicated storyline. The blood and guts in this movie are more than you could possibly hope for. There are a few very long and drawn out zombie massacre scenes in which you see everyone getting ripped into human confetti. Lots of people get the Pez-dispenser treatment and have their heads ripped in half at the jaw. It’s really one of the most horrifyingly bloody movies I’ve ever seen. A handful of characters are just introduced for the pleasure of becoming a zombie buffet. A bunch of people get the Pez-Dispenser treatment where their mouth gets pulled open so far, the top half pops off.

You’ll see demons and maggots and zombies and skeletons and cannibals, and murderers, and scorpions, and lots actual food items used as body parts. I recognized, spaghetti, apple pie filling, and at one point, homeboy reaches into the chest cavity of a corpse and pulls out an actual cooked rack of pork ribs. It’s so wonderfully awful that it’s fun to watch.

Anyway, I think you get the picture. So bad it’s good. The director has done a couple other films that I’m interested in checking out. He obviously knows what he wants to do and I think it’s something I’d like. He probably just needs to get a bigger budget behind it to pull everything off.  This one is definitely worth a viewing, but make sure you bring beer and some friends to help make fun of it.

Is it scary: 1– Only a couple scenes really had scares in them. Mostly you’re just distracted by the shitty acting or you’re trying to figure out the plot.

Originality: 5– No one part seems directly similar to any other movie but the whole thing still sort of resides in a familiar realm. Framing the story around the bone disease was a cool angle though.

Blood: 10- Very few movies get a 10 in any category on this blog. Bone Sickness definitely earned the top score for blood. And did it with an incredibly low budget. When you’re done watching it, you’re going to want to take a shower.

Believability: 2–Well, it fell short here. There weren’t individual plot holes as much as the entire movie was just a plot Grand Canyon.

Setting/Cinematography: 2– This one is especially tough on a low budget. It’s hard to make a movie look really good and scary without tons of money. So I have to give Paulin some props here- I recognized some cool close up shots and camera angles and whatnot but when I hold it up strictly to the rating system, This one just didn’t make the cut.

Final Score: 20/50

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