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Some movies are so bad they don't deserve their own page. We've given a few of them their own page here anyway.
Allumination is a - so far - direct to DVD company and, while they have a handful of winners, they have a truckful of crap. I'm guessing they work off the idea that, if a turdy piece of cinema has enough name actors in it, then stupid Horror Thriller fans will flock in droves to it: At least to foreign market suckers at the next AFM.
That might be their business model: of course they aren't going to actually spend the money it takes to put their turds in chain theaters. Boardroom theories are fine, but money is money.
THE ATTIC - HACK! - SANDS OF OBLIVION
|THE ATTIC - 2008
Intrinsic Value Films / WideyeCreative Films / Allumination Filmworks
Rated: USA: TV 14
A young woman lies in a bathtub painting her toenails. We see her and a long shot down the hall because she bathes with the bathroom door standing wide open. Another woman walks across the hall and into a room. The bathing woman calls out, "Maggie?" and promptly freaks.
Grabbing her ample bosoms in all too brief flash cuts, she gets a small knife and, in her nightgown with a towel around her head, goes hunting for Maggie (seems that if you were going to kill someone, you'd dress more appropriately). We don't know why she wants to kill Maggie, she just does.
The girl sees the attic folding stairs are open and a young woman in a nightgown with a towel wrapped around her head is standing up there. This makes the ample bosomed young miss go running out of the house and through the dark forest. Fortunately its not so dark that we can't see her ample bosoms bounce with every step. She falls down (of course), and when she looks up, she sees a woman in a nightgown. This sends her into frenetic shakes and the scene fades to black. If such a non-sequiter of an opening has you thinking - WTF? - prepare to think it for the next 85 minutes.
Sometime later the house is for sale, a new family moves in, and the daughter, Emma (Elisabeth Moss: THE LAST SUPPER) starts seeing herself in mirrors and windows. Only the self she sees isn't wearing make-up and that freaks Emma out. Clearly this twin is evil but 30 minutes into the flick and nothing evil has happened. Emma develops a romantic relationship with the young and dashing detective who is assigned to the case.
Case? What case you may ask?
Well don't ask or there won't be a movie.
Just accept that the police department is eager to find out why Emma sees a mirror image of herself in, of all things, reflective glass. The fact that Emma is agoraphobic (she's afraid to go outside) and seeing a therapist who makes house calls, doesn't deter the young detective. Of course, crazy women are renown for being wild in bed and, if you want a sex partner who is koo-koo berries, the best would have to be one who is agoraphobic.
They won't stalk you.
For a fact I know that Elisabeth Moss is a far better actor than what I see here. The same goes for Catherine Mary Stewart (NIGHT OF THE COMET, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR) and John Savage (DARK ANGEL [TV], CARNIVÀLE [TV]). And while I know that Producers can really crap up an otherwise good movie, I know that bad acting from good actors is the fault of the director.
So true to her cinematic motif, Mary Lambert (PET SEMETARY, PET SEMETARY II, URBAN LEGENDS: BLOODY MARY) made a mediocre script by Tom Malloy into this cinematic smudge pot. No scares and not even entertaining enough to be so bad it's good. Bland, banal, and boring. Ugh!
|HACK! - 2007
Smithfield Street Productions / Autumn Entertainment / Allumination Filmworks
Rated: USA: R
This movie opens with a scared guy (Kane Hodder: 2001 MANIACS, ROOM 6, HATCHET) who runs around until he loses his head.
Next, Emily Longley (Danica McKeller: QUIET KILL) is a nerdy 32 year old college student who longs for a 30 year old fellow college student, Johnny (Jay Kenneth Johnson). So amidst early 1980s pop music, she organizes a class field trip to an island for studying. Her group is made entirely of people who don't like her and are every college student cliché in the book.
There is the sexy free-spirited blonde (Adrienne Frantz: ED GEIN: THE BUTCHER OF PLAINFIELD).
The sexual yet troubled girl (Gabriele Ritchens).
The flamboyantly gay Asian guy (Justin Chon), and the pot smoking black guy (Wondgy Brunt), as well as the bullying jock (Travis Schuldt: THE HITCHER ).
They all get on a boat operated by Captain Crusty (Burt Young: CARNIVAL OF BLOOD, BLOOD BEACH, AMITYVILLE HORROR II). We get On-The-Nose, self-referential character names like Mary Shelley, Argento, Carpenter, King, Ed Nausea and all of the character tropes, you would expect of a brilliant satirical film of edgy humor: A commentary on the state of Hollywood Horror movies like we saw in GHOST BUSTERS, SCREAM and IDLE HANDS.
You would think that, but sadly you'd be wrong.
For a fact, that appears to be the statement that Writer Director Matt Flynn was going for - at first.
Then it seems around the half hour mark he just gave up and pretends that it's all an inside joke.
After another thirty minutes it feels like he just walked out of the editing booth and let the cutters wrap it up.
HACK! follows the half-assed formula of "Blood and Boobs" which is what no-talent drips make when they want a KIA return on their Pantera investment. Don't get me wrong, Blood and Boobs works great when you are making a REAL Horror Thriller movie. But if that's all you got then even the sex is boring and the blood looks like food colored goo.
Flynn can certainly direct his actors and they seemed to be sincerely giving it their all. But he can't tell a story and that's also what a director does. As well, he can't write a story either, and that's what a writer does. Matt was both but this Horror Thriller movie is neither.
A movie as hack (how meta!) as this also follows the Hollywood formula of kill all of the minorities and leave only white people, and this flick is just hipster enough to self-reference it. More about that in the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT. To read the description of the URCA on this flick, go to the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT/Hack.
|SANDS OF OBLIVION - 2007
Rated: USA: TV 14
While this movie has a fascinating premise, it was made by Kevin VanHook to be an original SciFi Channel movie.
"And all that implies!"
- Kent Mansley
I think that the most interesting thing about this movie is that I thought all of the main actors in this flick were doing far better with their careers than having to star in such a flim.
Though he has a relatively small role, it stars John Castelenetta (voice of Homer in THE SIMPSONS TREE HOUSE OF HORROR Vol. I through the present) who I thought was doing pretty well in his nearly 20 years of The Simpsons.
There's Adam Baldwin (PREDATOR 2, FIREFLY, SERENITY, THE THIRST) who I thought was doing pretty well in his re-occuring role in seemingly every TV show. And finally there's Morena Baccarin (FIREFLY, SERENITY) who I thought was doing good enough that she didn't have to star in crap like this.
This movie, which is co-produced, co-wrote, and co-directed by Kevin VanHook (FROST, VOODOO MOON) once again has VanHook's apparent love for gaspingly bad cgi and make-up special effects. Believe me, there is nothing special about these special effects!
Even cheapo cgi snakes?
You know, there are animal wranglers that can provide real snakes!
For whatever reason, VanHook, like Uwe Bolls and Ulli Lomell, seems to think that he can make Horror movies, as he keeps squeezing them out of the Play-Doh film maker set. I can't tell by looking at his output, whether or not he truly believes that he can make GOOD ones, but apparently he can cough up the dough or blackmail fairly good actors, with some small amount of audience cache, to enlist in his crap.
SANDS OF OBLIVION involves the true story of Cecil B. DeMille, who in 1923 built a massive city set out in the desert to shoot his movie and, when he was done, left it there to rot. And speaking of rot, Kevin and crew throw in a rotting, mummified Egyptian doggie god (Anubis - actor Nick Principe) to spice things up - except it doesn't.
After over five minutes of snoozy expositional prologue with narration, we go to a second prologue and are dragged through another fifteen minutes before we finally get to the actual movie.
This movie has two! Two backstories in one! Back to freaking Back!
Over 20 minutes of exposition before the movie actually starts!
Can you believe this freaking shit?
Main Director David Flores (BOA VS PYTHON, LAKE PLACID 2) appears to have Spielbergian aspirations with his orange hues and call-attention-to-itself crane shots, but by the time the movie actually starts, I didn't care about anything going on, and nothing going on re-ignited my interest.
Also, if you are going to fill your movie up with 20 plus damn minutes of narration and exposition, then your ancient god monster (which usually requires no explanation) better have a damn good reason for coming back to life and killing everybody, besides the fact that he just suddenly appears in all of his rotting rubber - rubber! - and starts killing everybody.
You over-explained your point about the Egyptian God Anubis and his God-like powers - so having him do a Michael Meyers on an abandoned movie set don't cut it. He's a god not a mindless slasher (according to all of that exposition), and after nearly a half an hour of prologue, that damn varmint needs some solid motivation!
SANDS OF OBLIVION also gets an
!!!UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT!!!:
To find out what that is, go to the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT page. To find out why this movie in particular gets one, check out URCA/SandsOfOblivion.
Though the acting is decent, because it had decent actors (except for Dan Castellaneta, who gave this movie the performance it deserved), the really bad story, ineptly written, and compounded with impotent direction, buries this crap. No matter how many years this one stays buried, good luck ever getting anyone to call it a classic!
Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE schlock!
Would I have have given DEAD MOON RISING four Negative Shriek Girls if I didn't love Schlock?
Would I have given ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES and THE TOXIC AVENGER five Negative Shriek Girls if I didn't love Schlock?
Would I even have Negative Shriek Girls if I didn't love really bad movies from HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN to WHEN THE SCREAMING STOPS? But the worst thing a Horror movie can do is be BORING! There is just no fun to be had in THE ATTIC, HACK! or SANDS OF OBLIVION, so KILL THESE
MOVIES BEFORE THEY BREED!
This review copyright 2008 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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