Monday, October 15, 2007

Movie Mon. - A Smattering of Horror

Very little movie watching got done this week due to trying to stay current on TV viewage, attending the State Fair, working out, physical therapy, roomies' softball games, etc. So here are the two whole movies I was able to watch this past week.

Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane: Low budget horror flick whose tongue may not have been firmly planted in cheek, but it definitely poked itself over to the side from time to time. Some characters entertained me (the fed and his prisoner, the stewardesses), some annoyed me (the golfer's wife, the head scientist, the jocks and their vapid girlfriends), but overall the film just left me cold; it's almost as if all the wit the writers had was wasted on the title.

1408: Director's Cut: Adaptation of a Stephen King story about a man who makes his living writing about haunted vacation spots even though he doesn't believe in the supernatural -- up until he checks into the malevolent room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel, that is. The bulk of the movie is John Cusack talking to himself as he tries to cope with the strange occurrences in the room; in the hands of a lesser actor this might have made the movie unwatchable, but Cusack's charisma and skill propelled the movie along just fine. One of the better horror movies I've seen recently. In the interest of padding today's woefully short post, there are three things in particular I'd like to comment on, for three, as you know, is the magic number. Oh yes it is; it's the magic number. Just ask School House Rock if you don't believe me.

But I digress.

  1. The version we watched was the director's cut with "alternate ending." After looking up the details of the theatrical ending, may I just say that I am extremely glad we got to watch the version we did; it appears that the original ending was replaced at the theaters because test audiences said it was "too much of a downer." And, heaven forbid a horror movie not have a sugar-coated, "they all lived happily after" ending, right? *sigh*
  2. During the mind games the room was playing on Cusack, The Lovable PigPen, prompted, one assumes, but a sort of professional respect for a fellow force for evil, repeatedly commented "Oh, the room is goooooood! I like this room!" However, there was one moment which even PigPen admitted was a step to far; I guess the fictional hotel room wins the "who's more evil?" contest.
  3. Every time Samuel L. Jackson appeared on screen, I was waiting for him to scream "I'm tired of these [expletive deleted] ghosts in this [expletive deleted] room!" Although that never happened, Mr. Jackson did get to drop at least one f-bomb, I believe, which makes me wonder if he has now made that a part of his contract, and if letting him have a purple lightsaber was the only way Lucas could get him to waive that clause for the Star Wars prequels.