Friday, October 3, 2008

A Review: Wizard of Gore

"Hey you, get your damn hands off of my..."

The other day, I was asked, "What type of person watches straight-to-video movies?" My answer: I do. With my appetite for film, I watch everything that I can get my hands on. I'll watch stuff that I know could not be anything other than a piece of total shit. Fuck, I'm so hungry, I'll go to the theater to watch a Michael Bay movie knowing that shit will explode every other second. "Why do you do this, Taro?" I hear you ask. I'll watch total shite because there is no way to know if the film is going to be total shite until I've seen it- plain and simple.

So what the hell does that tirade have to do with the title of this blog post? I was getting to that... Last night I watched a straight-to-DVD film called Wizard of Gore. The film is a remake of a movie of the same name from the 70s. I won't do any comparisons of this movie to the original though. No, let's approach this with a totally open mind. In case you want to cut to the chase and know the bottom line: it's a convoluted mess that really could have been better.

This is the Netflix synopsis: Amateur journalist Edmund Bigelow (Kip Pardue) becomes obsessed with the gruesome onstage magic of Montag the Magnificent (Crispin Glover), who seems to violently murder his female volunteers before the audience's very eyes. It's all an act of course, until Bigelow discovers that the women are turning up dead -- days later - - from their supposedly illusionary wounds.

Okay, so I was pretty much sold on that description. Interesting story and it has Crispin Glover (I loved Back To The Future when I was a kid). I'm sure any reveiw that you read of this movie will say the same shit: Crispin Glover owned this movie. This is true of this review as well- Crispin Glover does a pretty good job and seems to really ACT his ass off. Even in the outtakes, Crispin Glover seems pretty unwavering from his character. What about the rest of the film, you ask? As the beginning credits appear, the images on the screen make a transition from muddy black and white to color. It wasn't the trasition that caught my eye but the B-movie star names of Brad Dourif and Jeffrey Combs. That's a good sign right? Sadly, not in this case. I mean, Brad Dourif does his share of acting even if it is for a good five minutes worth of screen time but Jeffrey Combs? Jeffrey Combs has a handful of lines and I didn't even recognize him until I heard him speak (when he actually has some fucking dialogue at the end of the movie!).

Kip Pardue is just a bad actor- his mannerisms are too artificial and his delivery just doesn't seem like it was practiced enough. Bijou Phillips is foregettable and all of the victims are brought to you by the bare-breasted, tatted, pale stiffness of the Suicide Girls (no care).

What can I say? This could have been better as a short story. The main character is supposed to be this jaded noirish throwback that dresses in vintage suits, drives a vintage car, and uses a rotary phone. As the character publishes an underground newspaper and begins to sleuth around the mysterious happenings of Montag The Magnificent, it must have been seen as a way to help the story if the character could pass in some way as a vintage, hard-boiled detective-type. Some things that don't help but whose reasons behind them were meant to aid the story are the fact that our protagonist huffs from a paper bag many more times than are needed to be captured and that he cracks his neck throughout the film to annoying effect.

There are times in this film when diegetic sound is needed; it's too quiet when there really should be noise (i.e. our protagonists meander around a motel that seems to have been converted into a temple for debauchery and though the atmosphere is carnival, the guests are strangely quiet). The film itself relies heavily on its own digital filmmaking to get it through (i.e. Montag performs his tricks behind a machine that acts as a type of smart window).

Am I saying you shouldn't see this movie? Fuck no, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that you should make up your own mind but I won't be watching it again. The benefit to Netflix is that you can give back the movies that you get in the mail.

Thanks for reading.

PS- That kid that played Homer in Near Dark grew up to become this guy on the left:

Thursday, June 19, 2008


This kind of bothers me on a different level. It makes me laugh...but nervously.


I'm not a big fan of Godzilla (or Gojira if you want to be accurate) but I used to watch that shit all the time when I was little. Here's something that is pretty cool even though it isn't even from a Gojira film...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The New Eye

I stumbled across this site and found some very interesting pinhole photography as well as some awe-inspiring instruments that produced these photos:

The name of the artist is Wayne Martin Belger. Before seeing this site, I honestly had never heard of him nor of his work. I've included photos of his pinhole cameras (these were taken off of his site in hopes that you would be more inclined to click on the link).


"Untouchable (HIV)"


I'm actually more intrigued by the pinhole cameras rather than the actual photos. That isn't to say that I think the photographs are shit or something, I just enjoy the construction of these photographic instruments more than what they happen to produce.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Whateva' Encore

I'm not a big fan of the Terminator films but I have seen them all thus far and I'm pretty damn sure Chow Yun-Fat is not in any of them let alone T2.