Waiting for Armageddon (2009)

Rating: ★★★★☆

I just saw the scariest movie I have ever seen. No, it was not some Japanese revenge/thriller. No, it was not some new indie film. It definitely wasn’t an original Hollywood film (wouldn’t that be something). No, it was a documentary on Evangelical Christians.

Holy Crap! Some of these people are just plain nuts. I don’t know what is scarier, their beliefs or how many of these people are out there.

Basically, this movie tries to explain how Evangelical Christians perceive the End of Days. You know, the Rapture and Tribulation and Armageddon and so on… I won’t explain it all here, partly because I’m not sure I understand it all, but suffice to say, this stuff is scary! I mean these people have plans in place to ‘jumpstart’ Armageddon should they ever get there hands on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

I should clarify… When I say Evangelical Christians I clearly don’t mean all of them, only the really hardcore ones… You know who you are.

Oh, and this isn’t to be confused with Waiting for Ahmergeddon. That will be much scarrier (and have lots of boobs).

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Hatchet (2006)

Rating: ★★★★★

Wow! Two 5 star reviews in a row… That’s a first.

I have to start with the tagline… “It’s not a remake, It’s not a sequel and it’s not based on a Japanese one.” Brilliant…

All you need to know is on the movie poster, including the part about “old school American horror” and “stay out of the swamp”. There is nothing overly special about this movie. There are no great ‘twists’ or ‘creative’ kills. Hell, there’s not even any new and improved uses for the hatchet. You would at least think they would sneak that in there. After all, they named the movie Hatchet. What the movie does have is pretty darn good writing and pretty darn believable acting. It also has Robert Englund; you can’t go wrong with that.

The plot? A group of tourists take a nightime tour of the Louisiana Bayou. The boat skinks and hilarity ensues (or something like that…). The point? Go see this movie.

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Severance (2006)

Rating: ★★★★★

Employees of a large weapons manufacturer go on a team building retreat in Eastern Europe but things go horribly wrong.

This is a brilliant British comedy/horror, or is it horror/comedy, in the vein of Shaun of the Dead. Witty humor, horror, slapstick, and false suspense keep this movie going with nary a dull spot to be found.

One of my favorite lines from the film: ‘…our CRM-114 landmine, the Platoon Buster. “What Ordinance?” magazine calls it “The most exciting development in concealed termination in years.”‘

Another thing I like about this film, which I had to verify by reading some of the interviews with the director, is all the nods to classic films. Some scenes are near shot for shot remakes from movies like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Dr. Strangelove. There are also quite a few nods to Kubrick, but I’ll let you figure them out on your own.

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Ever Since the World Ended (2001)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

This movie could have been so good. I absolutely hate it when someone takes a brilliant idea for a film and turns it into trash [i.e. Pathology (2008)].

The movie is a faux documentary about life in San Francisco 10 years (or so) after a plague killed most people on earth. In post-plague San Fran only 186 people remain. How do we know 186? Because they tell us over and over and over.

The acting was, for the most part, terrible. Also, if this is a documentary how can the movie premier of the documentary be in said documentary as occurs at the end of this film? Other issues: How is everyone so clean and well groomed? Why are the streets still in perfect condition and devoid of any trash? If the roads are so great then why isn’t anyone driving? You mean to tell me no one has figured out how to siphon gas out of a tanker truck or gas station holding tank?

There were a few positive thought provoking moments. For example, what do you do if one of the 186 residents becomes ‘unstable’? Is it okay to kill him so you can feel safe again? How long would it take for society to revert back to the basics such as farming, hunting, and gathering? In the movie there is still a large city’s worth of modern conveniences left to sustain the survivors.

The only believable part of the film was the appearance of Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame playing pretty much a carbon copy of his techie self. If anyone in San Fran were to survive the ‘end of the world’ it would be one of the Mythbusters.

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Sunshine (2007)

Rating: ★★★★☆

The plot: The sun is dying and about ready to go out. No supernova or anything like that, just ‘poof’ and the lights go out. The people of earth get together and decide to send a spaceship to the sun and ‘restart’ it by exploding a nuclear bomb in the sun’s core.

I will not get into the absurdity of the plot. Suffice to say you have to suspend your belief in over 1000 years of science to even have a chance of liking this movie.

I expected this to be a low budget (unintentional) laugh-fest, this was reinforced by the cheesy title screen on the DVD. I have to say though, this movie wasn’t half-bad. From the special effects there was obviously some sort of budget behind this movie. As I said, if you suspend your beliefs in physics, this is actually a decent film.

The entire film takes place in space aboard Icarus II, save a few minutes at the end. I would have liked to see the effects of the ‘solar winter’ on earth in the beginning of the movie, just to give a visual representation of the desperation that drove mankind into taking action.

We find out that Icarus I was launched seven years prior but failed to complete its mission for some unknown reason. At some point between the ‘dead zone’, a point in space too close to the sun for radio communication, and the surface of the sun itself, Icarus I failed in its mission so Icarus II was sent.

As the crew of Icarus II approach Mercury they pick up the distress beacon of Icarus I, apparently Mercury’s iron composition acts like an antenna. The crew has a choice, continue on its mission which will take them within 15,000 miles of Icarus I -or- adjust their course slightly to make an approach much closer to Icarus I, and possibly learning the cause of the failure.

The crew is split on this decision. On one hand, the future of mankind depends on them completing their mission. On the other hand, they only have one bomb and the success rate (explained in the movie) is only 40%. If they are able get to Icarus I they have two bombs to try. As stated in the movie “two last hopes are better than one.”

I’ll stop there so I don’t give too much away. If you are intrigued, go rent the movie.

On a side note… The dude from 28 Days Later is the physicist in this movie. I half-expected the reason of Icarus I to be zombies… He is officially typecast in my mind.

Also, how cool would it have been if they used “Don’t let the sun go down on me” for the opening credits song? Am I the only one that thinks of this shit?

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