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July 16, 2005

Infection (2004) aka Kansen

Infection (2004)

Doctors and nurses in an under-funded hospital have lost several staff members recently, are concerned about getting paid, and are getting an ER call for an incoming patient with a possibly infectious rash in critical condition.

They can't accept the patient -- they're having a hard enough time keeping the 3rd degree burn patient alive -- but when the patient is given sodium chlorate instead of sodium chloride, well, just know he didn't survive and the doctors and nurses decide to falsify records so their funding will not be pulled.

Interestingly, it appears the ER patient was left by the ambulance and is suffering from a major case of Green Ooze syndrome.

Now, at this point, I would have normally been shifted into 'Camp' mode, but for some reason, my suspense gene was still pumping overtime.

I found the suppositions made by the doctors as to what this infection could be quite interesting, but when the nurses started to explode green goo things got a bit silly.

That said, I was still fixated on the film to the very end and for any horror fans into infection plots, I more than recommend Infection.

Until the end, it is not what you think it is.

Rating: 7

Posted by mark at 08:19 PM | Comments (0)

The Eye (2002)

The Eye (2002)

Ok, what was so good about Jian gui (The Eye)? Let me see... how bout


Synopsis: A woman, blind since the age of 2, receives corneal transplants and starts seeing ghosts. Turns out the donor also had this ability, but didn't exactly have the greatest life because of it.

This is one of those pictures that is creepy and heart warming at the same time. It would be unfair to compare it to The Sixth Sense, even though there's the seeing dead people theme.

Unlike, TSS however, there is no big twist at the end of The Eye, and while Wang Kar Mun (Angelica Lee) is terrified by her new encounters, she, with the help and advise of her psychotherapist Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou), wants to find out who the donor of her corneas was, and how she can do something to stop the torture she's enduring.

I'm now anxious to check out other work by the Pang Brothers.

Rating: 8

Posted by mark at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2005

Visitor Q (2001)

IMDB: Visitor Q

While it is almost an axiom that Takashi Miike's films are all Dark, Disturbing, and Difficult, there is also quite a bit of dark comedy in his work, and Visitor Q is probably the darkest.

If you can imagine a failed newsman, whose sense of self-worth is so low that he has sex with his prostitute daughter. His son is bullied by his schoolmates and so in turn beats his own mother, leaving large welts all over her body. She finds relief by shooting heroin and pimping herself out to local businessmen.

The newsman sees his son being bullied and decides this is a great story that will get him back in the graces of his former colleagues.

By the end of the film, we have a potpourri of incest, drug use, parental abuse, violence, with a smattering of necrophilia.

Needless to say, this is one whacked movie, but I have to admit, I found it to be not totally without redemption.

Rating: 6

Posted by mark at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

IMDB: House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

Wow, that was a really fun ride! This naturally belongs in my Dark, Disturbing, and Difficult box, but I found myself paying more attention to Rob Zombie's freshman film work than allowing it to affect me viscerally.

I admit I had no experience with Zombie's music prior to watching 1000 Corpses, but he most definitely has a knack for doing an interesting and not expected sound mix on top of some rather graphic imagery -- somewhat resemblant of Tarantino's musical sensibilities.

Captain Spaulding, the 'clown', portrayed by Sid Haig, was a riot. Having him welcome the viewer in the DVD Root Menu in his rather colorful fashion set the tone for the rest of the picture.

Some pretty creepy sets and costumes, and the shock/flash images purportedly taken by Zombie in his house with a handheld 16mm after the film was shot, keep the uneasy feeling nourished.

If you're the squeamish type, this is *not* the movie for you. If however, you are a fan of Horror, and especially if you intend to see the upcoming Zombie sequel "The Devil's Rejects", go now to the store and rent this one!

Rating: 7

Posted by mark at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

Zombie (1979)

Zombie (1979)

Sometimes billed as Zombi 2, this excellent example of the Italian horror genre was intended to be the 'sequel' to the 1978 George Romero's Dawn of the Dead
although it really has nothing to do with Romero's film. Director Lucio Fulci manages to stay this side of camp for the most part.

Modest production values aside, some of the scenes in Zombie are truly scary and for all but the most hardened of us, shocking. If you don't care for jagged splinters of wood meeting up with human eyeballs, you might want to stay away from this one though.


Rating: 7

Posted by mark at 06:20 PM

The Bedford Incident (1965)

The Bedford Incident (1965)

I never tire of watching this movie. The fantastic cast and depth of characters easily maintains the tension of this Cold War classic.

To say that submarine chaser Capt. Eric Finlander (Richard Widmark) maintains a taut ship is an understatement. In fact, it takes little time for the audience to realize that it is inevitible that something, or someone, will snap.

Discovering a Russian sub inside the territorial waters of Greenland leads to an oceanic cat and mouse game, but the real match of wits and fears is onboard the sub chaser.

Sidney Poitier's reporter Ben Munceford is probably the weakest performance -- he barely manages to compete with the inexorably determined Finlander.

Martin Balsam shines as the ineffable ship's doctor, and of course James McCarther (Hawaii Five O) is memorable for his small role as the somewhat too anxious to please Ensign Ralston.

Rating: 7

Posted by mark at 05:50 PM

War of the Worlds (2005)

War of the Worlds (2005)

Jude and I left the theater wondering what the fuss was about. It's truly unfortunate when watching the trailers precludes having to actually go to see the movie.

The fact that even Jude wasn't scared by anything in the movie is telling.

While I enjoyed Dakota Fanning's performance, there were too many questions unanswered in this rendition of H.G. Wells' excellent story.

Some have compared this to the status of "Close Encounters", but I would watch that film many times before watching this one again.

Rating: 5

Posted by mark at 05:41 PM