Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Avalon (1989)

Avalon (1989)
Director: Michael J. Murphy
Stars: Rob Bartlett, Abigail Blackmore, Patrick Oliver

It's been a while since I've done a review, so I went into my vast collection of films to pick something suitable. My eye was caught by Avalon, a low budget sword and sorcery flick that has a lot of ties to the King Arthur legend...sort of. 

While I was watching, I kept noticing how familiar Merlin looked, until it dawned on me that this was the same guy who played the killer in one of my most popular reviews, Bloodstream. So I looked up the director of that film, and lo and behold, it's the same guy!

The movie's heroes are Owen, a slightly pudgy Conan type, Clotilde, which isn't some sort of disease but a maiden, and Keiran, the world's worst thief. They all seek the mysterious island of Avalon for different reasons and are helped along by Merlin.Yes, that Merlin. Sometimes as an old man, most of the time as a young warrior. Avalon is ruled by Morgana, not of the kissing bandit variety, and her band of average looking women (and a couple of goofy eunuchs). 

Can our heroes defeat Morgana? Will Clotilde find her missing love? And what the hell is Old Gregg doing on the island? He's got a mangina.

Knowing it's a Michael J. Murphy film, I immediately know that the budget is around forty pounds (or thirty in wildly inaccurate US dollars). However, there's a real charm in this movie. The sets are pretty imaginative, and despite all the flaws this is a pretty fun eighty minute time waster. 

The whole film is up on YouTube for those who wish to venture forth to Avalon.

Things I Took From Avalon

-Never carry golden apples around. You'll almost die in a small puddle of water and then watch your buddies juggle those now normal apples right in front of you. I can stand almost dying in 3 feet of water, but juggling? No way!

- They really missed out not having the Old Gregg looking monster drink Bailey's from a shoe.

- Druids are a bunch of assholes led by a guy doing a bad Jesus cosplay wearing a Christmas wreath on his head. I bet Stonehenge was just a building they were too stupid to finish. 

- This movie has some of the funniest fight scenes ever seen in a sword and sorcery flick. Everyone is trying so hard to neither hurt each other nor break their fake weapons that it comes off like Renaissance Fair outtakes.   

-Merlin becomes a wizard whore by sleeping with the Lady in the Lake in exchange for Excalibur. 

- Gotta admit I liked the reverse motion on the chains moving around. Very smooth.

-Gotta also admit, that Michael J. Murphy is equally as bad at doing stop motion animations. The herky jerky dragon being solid proof of that.

-We get some boobs in this, and that's cool, but please space out your love scenes a bit more. having three, almost four, one right after another just made me a little ill.

-Bit disturbed to see Merlin peeking through a wall at Owen having sex with Morgana (whom Merlin used to love). His grunting and only seeing him from behind makes me think he's pulling his own little sword. I'm surprised he didn't put his penis through the hole like in Porky's.

- As disturbing as that was, it pales when Merlin realizes he hadn't slept with Morgana but one of her laughing lady friends. His response to that? He sexually assaults her. Rape ain't magic Merl...it's simply wrong.

- As disjointed as the plot got, I really enjoyed this film. I'm now on a quest to seek out Michael J. Murphy's other films. I hope there's no wizard rape in them.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Lord of Tears (2013)

Lord of Tears (2013)
Director: Lawrie Brewster
Stars: David Schofield, Alexandra Hulme, Guy in a big ass Owl mask

I had been hearing about this one for a while, with all the sites creaming their pants over how great this was. So I decided to give it a shot, despite my understandable reservations about watching newer movies.

Far as I can tell through the 8 million quick edits and the ambient noise turned on and left on, a guy inherits a house from his dead mum, but in her letter she says NOT to go back to the house. Despite having gone crazy there as a kid and trying to drown himself, our hero goes to the house like the fucking idiot he is.

He runs into Eve, an American gal who's just hanging around the house. Before long they get romantic and things seem great...until the Owlman shows back up. Seems the Owlman is the one responsible for our hero's trauma as a child (or is he?) and it seems he's picking up right where he left off in the guy's adult life as well.

Will our hero find out what to do about the Owlman? Will Eve be able to help? Will a person with the IQ of ragweed not be able to figure out the "twist"? I think you all know the answer. There were plenty of tears, but they all came from my fucking eye sockets.

Things I Took/Learned from Lord of Tears

- The cinematography here is quite good. Gavin Robertson did an excellent job with the material he had to work with.

-I admit, the Owlman outfit is pretty damn good, and there were a couple of moments when I got honestly freaked out.

-This now ends the positive portion of this review.

- Nothing ruins a movie like a bad script, and this is the very definition of a bad script. It's riddled with cliches and tropes and tries to pass itself off as original.

-Hey filmmaker. the whole point of ambient sound is to create tension, when you have it playing THROUGHOUT THE FUCKING MOVIE then it's just annoying fucking noise that makes it hard to hear the actors...not like they are saying anything worth listening to.

-Nobody wants to see someone dance for 10 minutes. It's not erotic, it's not haunting, it's not scary, it's fucking BORING. As shit.

- Why is this guy having dreams about his Jesus-looking friend chopping his dad up and covered in blood? I don't have dreams about the fat guy who walks down my road every single day fucking a dog in the middle of the road while jello smears his chest...and I've tried.

- We know you want this Owlman to be Slenderman, but he looks like he's going to a Robert Palmer video while finding out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop.

-When Eve is revealed to be a ghost (big shock) she ends up terrorizing our hero not by trying to kill him, but by jumping on his bed and playing with his fucking curtains. So she's basically going to annoy him to death. 

-I'm aware of how harsh I'm being to this film, but I hate this blatant PR bullshit I see from major sites who just basically cut and paste the filmmaker's written press release and then proclaim it "the future of horror." I may be an asshole for trashing this, but I'm an honest one at least. I'm not creating fake accounts to give glowing reviews on IMDB like these people seem to be doing. I just want to be entertained. Girls Gone Dead and Potpourri are recent films that did that. This and The Cloth are ones that make me wish these people would be forced to film an apology for the poor fucks like me who expect a decent film and got this beautifully filmed piece of shit.