29 Oct 2014

MOVIES: THE EXORCIST III:LEGION

Sorry for the lack of updates during the Halloween countdown this year. I have been very busy working around the clock finishing art projects and clothing products.

So last night I sat down and watched the Exorcist III for the first time in about ten years, and to be honest I was pretty blown away as I forgot how awesome this movie was for a sequel.

The second Exorcist movie was an absolute disaster and had little or nothing to do with the first film. This third movie however acts as a direct sequel to the original Exorcist.

The film is set 15 years after the first movie and is set in the same location. A spree of grizzly murders begin happening in George Town involving decapitations and other acts of a blasphemous nature. The killings very much resemble those of a serial killer known as the Gemini who was executed 15 years before.

A murder investigation leads to the mental ward of a hospital where Father Damian Karras (played by Jason Miller) is locked in a padded cell. Karras was the priest from the first movie who dived from Regan Mcneal's bedroom window after being possessed by the spirit which was inside the child he was trying to Exorcise. Karras survived the fall and is now still possessed by the demon and also the spirit of the Gemini killer. It's now time for one last Exorcism.


The Exorcist III is a top notch movie sequel and almost a decent movie on its own. I think the main reason for this is due to the fact the movie was written and directed by William Peter Blatty who penned the original Exorcist novel and worked very closely with Bill Friedkin on the first movie. Blatty walked out of a screening of the second movie in disgust. From what I know the production of this movie was a very troubled one and the movie was originally completed without Jason Miller. Miller was brought in after to fill the blanks and appeared in the jailhouse scenes.


There are some really good performances in this movie by all involved but especially Brad Dourif who was Oscar nominated for his supporting role in One Flew Over the Cuckoos nest and was also the voice of Chucky from the Child's Play franchise. Dourif plays the spirit of the Gemini killer which father Karras turns into while locked in the cell. His performance in this is very much like Heath Ledgers Joker in the Dark Knight.


Another spooky thing about the resemblance to Heath Ledgers joker and the Gemini killer is the fact one of the statues in the movie has the jokers head on it. There are lots of other cool little things I spotted in this one including Samuel L Jackson as an extra.


The Exorcist III is not better than the original but it does give us an extra story which carries on from the original and done really well which is what a good sequel is all about. This movie has alot more psychological stuff going on and far less of the shocking scenes the first movie had to offer. This film leaves alot more to the imagination of the viewer but still does have some very gory and shocking parts. The movie has a tremendous atmosphere and some top notch scares which are achieved by perfect atmospheric build ups and music. I could recommend watching this one as a stand alone film without watching the first movie but it works much better if you watch the original movie first. Avoid the second movie and the god awful prequel like the plague!

8 Oct 2014

MOVIES: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

ARTICLE AND ILLUSTRATION BY K-ROD
It has been 30 years since the release of Wes Craven's a Nightmare on Elm Street. With it being the countdown to Halloween here on Lost Entertainment and the anniversary of the movies release we will be taking a very in depth look at the movie that started it all.

The movie is about a notorious child killer called Freddy Krueger. Krueger who terrorized the American suburbs of Springwood by murdering dozens of the local children. When Krueger was apprehended by the police and he went to trial and was set free. This was due to a search warrant being signed in the wrong place at the time of his arrest.

After being set free angry parents took matters in to their own hands and burned Krueger to death inside his boiler room.

Years later the teenage children of Springwood start having nightmares about a burned creep with a fedora hat and knives for fingers. The teenagers are picked off one by one in their dreams and then die in real life. One girl the daughter of the local policeman who was involved in Kruegers killing (Nancy Thompson) decides she is going to fight back and take on Krueger for an ultimate confrontation.


For me Freddy Krueger is the ultimate movie monster. He's perverse, complex, creative, evil and just damned right disgusting. From his appearance, his back story and not to mention the ghoulish apparel which is topped off with a razor glove. The real life back story which created one of the most iconic characters in cinema history started from a couple of things which happened to the movies director and creator Wes Craven.


After reading an article in the New York Times about healthy Laotian refugees dying from what they believed were their own nightmares. Wes Craven was inspired and being the creative mind who put together the controversial horror movies such as The Last House on The Left and The Hills Have Eyes decided that this could be an awesome concept for a movie. Craven needed a villain for this project and needed a bloody good one. Craven based Freddy Krueger on a homeless man who he saw as a child through his bedroom window that scared him by looking at him. He also named the road Elm Street after the road where the President was shot in Dallas Texas.

The script went around Hollywood for a few years before being picked up by Bob Shay from New Line Studios. The studio had a few other minor titles under their belt but this movie would be their make or break project. 



The movie has a great cast of actors including Johnny Depp in his feature film debut. The cast have a great chemistry and really pull it off when interacting with each other and Freddy Krueger on screen.


Freddy Krueger was played by Robert Englund who ended up playing him for the rest of the entire series of Nightmare on Elm street movies. Englund would sit through hours and hours of the most grueling and tiresome special effects and make up sessions. The special effects were created by David B Miller who worked alongside Rick Baker on Michael Jacksons Thriller (though he is uncredited).


Most of the budget for A Nightmare On Elm Street was spent on the special effects. The special effects in this movie are done so well and even look better than the CGI versions done recently. They used a rotating room to achieve many of the movies classic nightmare scenes. The scene in which Glen is pulled into his bed used over 500 gallons of fake blood. Lots of great camera trickery also play a part in some very well thought and clever scenes which still stand up to this day.


A Nightmare on Elm Street is hands down one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Being an 80's kid obsessed with Freddy Krueger I am a firm believer that he is the undisputed king of horror. He even beats Dracula. The fact Freddy Krueger is a serial killer who uses the dream realm as his habitat is the scariest thing about him. With a character like that the possibilities we endless and so were the sequels!


Growing up at the time the movies were still being released was awesome as hell. Freddy Krueger became the new boogeyman of the play ground. I remember telling all the other kids at primary school the story of Freddy Krueger and how he was going to get them all in their sleep. Great times. 

I remember being scared out of my mind of him myself though. I remember watching the whole of the first movie on my own as a child with the lights out and it was the hardest and scariest thing I had ever done in my life up to that point. As the series went on he became a more humorous type character who you ended up cheering for to sort out these atrocious teenage actors instead of being terrified like you were in the first movie.


If you havent seen this movie then you suck! However you can redeem yourself and watch it and then thank me later. This is THE essential horror film that anyone needs to watch. It has good performances, visuals, story, music and not to mention FREDDY FUCKING KRUEGER!

If you have seen this movie before I suggest you re watch it as it's Halloween and it's the movies 30th birthday. 

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2 Oct 2014

HALLOWEEN 2014 COUNTDOWN: GAMING: RESIDENT EVIL 2

On April the 28th 1998 Resident Evil 2 was released on the Playstation 1. For me this was a big fucking deal as I was a huge fan of the first title. After playing the demo of the sequel in December 1997, I counted down the days to the release of Resident Evil 2.

The game was £50 which was fucking steep for a game back then and being only 14 getting hold of that kind of cash was pretty hard. I remember selling my SNES, Megadrive and Atari 2600 consoles to Cash Converters and only getting like £15. I then had to trade in some of my other Playstation 1 games and that along with some birthday money I received mid April was enough to seal the deal.

At the time I knew that sacrificing all my vintage consoles and some of my lesser loved games would be worth it on the 28th of April.. and it fucking was.


So we all played the first game in which members of the S.T.A.R.S Team are trapped inside a mansion which is full of zombies, monsters and mutants. The house also houses the secret laboratories of the Umbrella company. The first game was a purely terrifying experience which still holds up today, which is pretty cool considering the game was made almost 20 years ago!

In this second installment the virus has spread to the streets of Raccoon city and we follow the stories of Claire Redfield (the sister of the male leading character in the first game) and Leon Kennedy who is a cop on his first day on the job. The two are separated when a fuel truck explodes leaving them on either sides of the flames with hordes of the undead to contend with.


The two survivors take refuge in the local police station which turns out to be Umbrellas latest hiding place for their underground laboratories. This can be reached by solving puzzles and descending the underground sewer system. From there you have to fight some nasty monsters and then ultimately the final boss and blow the place to kingdom come. So yeah this one is a mega beefed up version of the first game.


The game play is very much the same as the first game but with many more features and tweaks. The graphics are much better and there are more varieties of zombies and monsters. In the first game there were only 3 types of zombie creatures, where this game has many different types of zombies lurking around. The game uses the same types of level designs using 3d characters over a drawn static environment which still looks pretty damn good.


The game has some terrifying moments throughout and gives the first game a run for its money in terms of atmosphere. From giant mutant crocodiles in the sewer to mutants flying through windows its all in there when it comes to bringing the terror.


One gripe I do have with this game (and the whole series in general) is the fact you can only carry a certain amount of items. Although I do really admire Capcoms taste for realism, I really don't enjoy spending a lot of game time running round storing items in boxes which magically appear in other boxes on the other side of the building. One thing I will say is that this game is more generous than the first in this aspect.


We also get to play as two other characters as the game progresses. These characters are Ada Wong and young girl called Sherry Birkin who's father caused all this mess and is the main boss at the end of the game. 


Resident Evil 2 will not only go down as one of the greatest PS1 titles of all time but it will be ranked up there with the top games of all time period. With an amazing story and gameplay experience and not to mention the hours of extra content and replay value Resident Evil 2 is a bench mark when it comes to great video games. If you want to replay a classic Resident Evil 2 should be way up on the list.

15 Sep 2014

HALLOWEEN 2014 COUNTDOWN: MOVIES: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1968

The original Night of the Living Dead movie from 1968 maybe one of if not the most important horror movies of all time. With that said I find it far from the most enjoyable movie of all time.

A few years back I wrote about the 1990 remake (click here to read) and in that article I was bold enough to make the cardinal sin by stating it was a better movie than the original. After just watching the original movie yet again I still stand by that statement.

So the film starts out as two adult siblings arrive at a grave yard to pay their respects to a dead relative when they are attacked by a member of the undead. The man is killed and his sister (Barbara) flees the scene and takes refuge in a local farm house.

Not long after more of the undead start to gain entry to the house to attack the young woman. A car pulls up and a black guy (Ben) gets out and kills the zombies and locks himself in the house with Barbara. They board up the windows and doors and a short while later are surprised to find there are 5 other survivors hiding in the basement of the house. The humans barricade themselves into the house as more and more flesh eating creatures close in.


I first saw this movie in 1996 after seeing the rest of the Romero films (including the 1990 remake) and I really wasn't that impressed, and almost 20 years later the movie still hasn't really grown on me. Don't get me wrong, I understand the importance of this movie, I love the story and I even like the characters but the original Night of the Living Dead really seems to lack something when you compare it to the other movies in the series. I don't know if its the fact the movie is filmed in black and white or just the fact it hasn't aged as well as the other movies have but this one really feels to lack something.


Although this movie gave birth to everything I love about zombie movies it also is more of a chore for me to watch than a pleasure. I think one of the main things that annoys me with this movie is the Barbara character who is just a pathetic mess through out and she is even annoying before the initial zombie attack. It's understandable that after witnessing your brother get killed and the dead return to life before your very eyes, you might be in a bit of an emotional wreck but this woman is one of the most pathetic and annoying characters in horror history. I think this is something Romero picked up on and in the remake Barbara came back as a zombie ass kicker which was a very welcome move.


The fact that all the main characters constantly bicker and argue all the time is another reason this movie is not such an enjoyable watch for me. In all these movies there is a power struggle going on between the survivors and an extreme sense of cabin fever, but this movie takes it to a whole new level. Not just that but female characters are portrayed is being non existent and useless characters with nothing good to say or do throughout the film. At times it also feels as if the zombies are non existent as well. This was something that was later corrected in the sequels.


Reading this so far this may sound like a negative review and that I hate the movie but that is not the case at all. I just feel that this is a movie that way over achieved because of the subject matter and the fact it was the first of its kind. I like the fact that a black man was cast as a leading character, I like the levels of violence and gore, I like the plot and I love the fact it only cost $112,000 to make and raked in millions at the box office. The film is culturally and historically significant which will always cement its importance but me, I just find it very dull compared to the rest of the series and not an easy movie to watch in 2014. I am sure that had I been alive in 1968 this would be a much more positive review of the film, but like I said earlier somethings don't age very well and unfortunately this movie is one of them. Sorry but I just enjoy the remake more.. shoot me if you so wish but that's my opinion.


Due to a major fuck up with the copyright Night of the Living Dead is a movie which has been in the public domain for many years. Due to this lots of other parties have cashed in re releasing colour versions, 3d Versions and even a weird audio dubbed version which earns everyone money apart from those who actually made the film. Today I include the original movie at the end of this post for you to make up your own minds.

BLACK AND WHITE VERSION

COLOUR VERSION

10 Sep 2014

HALLOWEEN 214 COUNTDOWN: MOVIES: AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

ARTICLE AND ILLUSTRATION BY K-ROD
Where do you start when writing a piece about one of your favourite movies of all time?

The movie was a concept that director John Landis had began working on ten years before the film was even made, after making his first movie titled Schlock about a missing link creature.

The movie is about two American students who go backpacking in the moors of East Proctor and are attacked by a dog like creature on all fours which is shot dead by the very strange locals.

One of the men is killed and the other winds up in a London hospital after waking from a coma weeks later.

The reports say that the two men were attacked by an escaped madman but the young man (David) is convinced he was attacked by a wild dog. Not only that but his dead best friend (Jack) has returned as a member of the walking dead to warn David that he has the curse of the werewolf in his blood and on the next full moon he will transform into a dog like creature and kill people. David casts this off as a figment of his own imagination after having some pretty surreal and macabre dreams during his stay in hospital.

However his undead friend was right and the next full moon David becomes a Lycanthrope and terrorizes London town.


In my honest opinion An American Werewolf in London is the greatest werewolf movie ever made. It has all the ingredients that make it not just a great horror movie, but a great picture all round. Witty dialogue, amazing plot, believable characters, amazing locations and some of the greatest special effects EVER to be featured on the silver screen. The movie won an academy award for the special effects created by Rick Baker. This is one of the movies that gave birth to the 1980's!


The special effects in this movie are one of the things that stand out most and for good reason. John Landis wanted re invent the werewolf creature and was tired of the way Hollywood portrayed werewolves as two legged hairy men that walked upright, plus he hated the fact men sat in chairs and painlessly transformed into the monster. In this movie the metamorphosis is a very painful one as the main character has this demon like dog stretch out of his bones, skin and teeth. Rick Baker achieved this by using latex covered sculpts with prosthetic mechanics as well as a very intense and grueling make up process. The special effects and make up took months to create for the transformation scene in which certain parts only took minutes to shoot.


The movie has a really well played out love angle between the main character and the gorgeous nurse who he met at his bedside played by Jenny Agutter. The two move in together and have a great chemistry on screen.


The movie also has some great minor characters which give lots of laughs. Like the strange locals in East Procter, the cockney cab driver who later became Brick Top in Snatch, a young Asian boy who only says no, Brian Glover and even a young Rik Mayall playing chess in the pub at the beginning.


The dream sequences leading up to the first transformation are nothing short of spectacular. From David eating wild animals in the forest to the barbaric scene where mutant Nazis massacre David and his family back in America, These are classic scenes which add a lot to the movies mythology and question the main characters mental well being.


One thing that makes the werewolf in this movie even more scary than it actually is, is the fact that you hardly see it which reminds me of the shark in Jaws. With that said we do get to see alot more of it towards the end of the movie especially in a scene where the werewolf goes berserk in a packed Piccadilly Circus after transforming in a porno theater.


In closing An American Werewolf in London is not only one of the most important horror movies of the 80's but one of the most important horror movies of all time. It taught us that horror movies could be humorous and sexy. The special effects revolutionized the genre and changed the game for the next ten years with how make up and moving prosthetics were used on screen. The movie is just a good all rounder and hits a home run in each department. The movie was awarded an Academy award for the special effects and the film was also dedicated to the marriage of Charles and Princess Diana.