March 07, 2004

Watching the crap so you don't have to

Oooo boy, this group is a mixed bag. One thumbs-up crapfest, one so-so offering, and one real stinker.

Behind door number so-so, we have Snowbeast. This made-for-TV bigfoot thriller stars a whole heap of washed-up TV stars like Clint Walker, Bo Swenson, Yvette Mimieux and others you'll probably recognize. Amazingly enough, this bland thriller was written by the same guy who wrote the screenplay to Hitchcock's Psycho, proving that Bob Marley was right when he sang "a hungry man is an angry man". This guy must've been desperate for grocery money (I know that doesn't quite fit the point I'm trying to make, but I wanted to throw in a Marley quote to impress you).

The plot is full of holes, and the actual violence seen is minimal - it was for TV after all. Not very good, but not unwatchable either.

Much better, in a crapesque sort of way is Night Train to Terror - a trio of tales embedded in a senseless concept meant to tie the stories together. God and Satan are riding a train together, discussing souls. Also on the train, for no apparent reason, are quite a few teenagers, partying like only teenagers in 60's beach movies can. There's a catchy song they play at various times, and you'll likely wind up with an ear-worm from it. The stories here are actually not too bad. The special effects range from tacky to good, including some pretty cool stop-action claymation work. There are gruesome moments and blood and gore, and several gratuitious breast shots (and one bush sighting as well, for those who're keeping track).

The ending credits note that God is playing himself.

Remember the Lurch-like actor Richard Moll? Apparently he had a (so-called) career playing freaks in cheesy horror movies before he hit the big time, playing the freak bailiff on the television sitcom Night Court. I used to think his role in House was what his acting career had sunk to, but apparently it was a simple return to his roots. He plays a couple different roles in this one. Recommended.

Finally, we have The Severed Arm. This flick should be studied in every cinema course as how to completely screw up a great concept. Here's the story line: "Trapped in a cave, five men cut the arm off of another companion in order to ward off starvation. After they are saved, their victim seeks revenge on them one by one."

Isn't that cool? Unfortunately, everything else about the movie is absolute dreck. I should've known that suck was inevitable when, in the first two minutes of the movie, we have an extreme windblown comb-over moment. I mean, the actor gained eight inches in height as his hair stood straight up in the breeze. Believe me, it was all downhill from there. I suggest remembering this title for the express purpose of avoiding it.

Posted by Ted at March 7, 2004 01:15 AM
Category: Cult Flicks
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