Monday, May 05, 2008

Movie Mon. - Yes, I'm in a Horror Mood

Iron Man: Excellent comic book adaptation about everyone's favorite alcoholic super-genius super-hero. Robert Downey Jr. was pitch-perfect as Tony Stark, as I knew he would be, and most of the alterations to the mythos were minor tweaks that didn't bother me much.

Hogfather: Entertaining adaptation of one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels (which, in case you have forgotten, I love with a bloody passion) about what happens when a group of ethereal being plot to assassinate the Discworld's holiday figure The Hogfather, who just so happens to bear a striking resemblance to Santa Clause, only with flying boars and big tusks. Some aspects of the book translated better to the screen than others (the depicitions of assassin Teatime, Death, and Death's granddaughter Susan were great; Nobby Nobbs, however, was far too recognizable as a human being, thus ruing one of the series running gags for anyone who hasn't read the books when it was clumsily included).

Borderland: One of the 2007 After Dark Horrorfest 8 Films to Die For, which is a tad strange, since it really wasn't a horror film, more like a thriller with a tinge of horror elements. A trio of Americans run afoul of a gang whose leader happens to practice Santeria, and who has selected one of the three (Boy Meets World Rider Strong) to be his latest sacrifice. Okay film, but not what I was expecting. Was fun to see Sean Astin play one of the crazy bad guys, though.

Evil Aliens: Tongue-in-cheek British SF/Horror comedy about a TV crew sent out to film a story about a presumably fake alien abduction in Wales, only to find themselves the targets of a large number of bloodthirsty aliens. Film tries a bit too hard, and a lot of its over-the-top humor fell flat, but it had some entertaining bits; I particularly liked the mass slaughter of aliens by a piece of farm equipment as the song "I've Got a Brand New Combine Harverster" (sung to the tune of "I've Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates") played.

Altered: SF/Horror film about a group of rednecks who were abducted by aliens as kids, and who have now captured one of the abductors 15 years later for revenge. Not quite what I expected; there wasn't a single flashback to the characters' earlier abduction, nor was the information about their ordeal delivered in a single info-dump, both of which were actually bonuses for me; nice to have a film that respects its audience's ability to read between the lines and put the pieces of the puzzle together. There were a couple of "Oh, come on!" moments, but overall, a pretty solid little film.

Isolation: Yet another film about genetically engineered livestock going crazy and infecting humans with their mutant DNA? But while Black Sheep was designed more for laughs than scares, this Irish film about mutated cattle was a surprisingly dark, creepy, atmospheric film. I think it helped that the killer cattle were so incredibly mutated that they didn't really resemble cows at all; helped keep it from veering into tongue-in-cheek or Z-grade movie territory.