The inane ramblings presented here by Scott Foy (aka The Foywonder) are strictly his own opinions
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MY NAME IS SCOTT FOY AND I PAID TO SEE PROBLEM CHILD
Normally I would fire up the UWE BOLL EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM when informing people of the latest antics and upcoming motion pictures from the German filmmaking Simon Barr Sinister known as Dr. Boll. There really does not seem to be a point in doing so anymore. Boll is here to stay. People thought the box office bombing of BLOODRAYNE would be the end of him. They were wrong. They said the German government eliminating filmmaking tax incentives would spell doom for Boll. They too were wrong. He's like Jason Voorhees - you can't kill him! Short of assassination I know of nothing that will stop him now and even then I suspect he'd just get right back up eventually. If you've been keeping tabs on my B-WARE THE BLOG! postings (LINK BUTTON FOUND ABOVE - and there really is no reason you shouldn't be making frequent visits) then what I am about to tell is probably old news to you. If not, then brace yourselves for the coming onslaught of Uwe-Mania. The man has multiple movies in various stages of production and this year looks to be Boll's most prolific yet.
IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE - Boll's attempt to make a LORD OF THE RINGS with wire fu flick out of the PC video game Dungeon Siege. And what a cast he's assembled: Jason Statham, Ron Perlman, Burt Reynolds, Kristanna Lokem, John Rhys-Davies, Matthew Lillard, Claire Forlani, and Ray Liotta as an evil wizard. Official website and trailer HERE.
SEED - An original slasher flick also written by Boll about a masked serial killer named Max Seed that survives the electric chair and now seeks revenge. The film is still in post-production and seeking distribution. A rough cut screened at the American Film Market to almost universal disdain. Official website HERE.
POSTAL - Boll's almost guaranteed to be controversial comedy based on the equally controversial shoot'em game. Jokes about Columbine and 9/11 makes one wonder if he'll even be able to get a release. Well, that and a full frontal nudity from comedian Dave Foley. R & PG-rated trailers can be found HERE. More detail on what to expect from the made to offend comedy can be read HERE.
BLOODRAYNE 2: DELIVERANCE - Kristanna Loken's out and ELEKTRA's Natassia Malthe is in as the red-headed vampiress. This one will be set in the Wild West with Bloodrayne battling a vampiric Billy the Kid. Currently filming, but already slated for a May direct-to-DVD release (and possibly a Sci-Fi Channel premiere). Boll has gone on the record stating that if the sequel does well on DVD that plans are to film a third film and this one will actually follow the storyline of the game by having her battling Nazis in WW2 Germany.
ALONE IN THE DARK 2 Still in pre-production for a planned direct-to-DVD release. Boll will only produce, not direct. The storyline will supposedly be tied into a new AITD game coming soon. No word yet as to whether or not Christian Slater will return.
FAR CRY - Script completed for this video game adaptation. Production slated to start sometime later this year. Jason Statham is reportedly waiting to see how the DUNGEON SIEGE distribution works out before deciding whether or not to agree to star.
TUNNEL RATS - An original tale about the "tunnel rats" in Vietnam Boll intends to shoot in South Africa. Believe it or not, I'm legitimately interested in this one because the tunnel rats are a fascinating topic that I don't recall ever before being the subject of a war movie. Even if it is an Uwe Boll war movie, I want to see this. And in an ironic twist, Boll is reportedly talking to video game companies about producing a video game based on the films script. How's that for a turnaround a video game based on a Boll flick?
RAGING BOLL - An independently produced documentary chronicling the controversy and cult phenomenon behind "the worlds most hated director" with emphasis on his critic boxing publicity stunt from late last year. This one is still in production.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 2007 is truly the year of Boll.
HITCHER & CHOCOLATES
If ever a movie was made to be roadkill...
I am not going to bother reviewing the remake of THE HITCHER. You want a review? Here's a two word review for you: utter garbage. Simple and to the point, huh? I've also already espoused my views on Michael Bay's production company Platinum Dunes and their hard-on for producing unnecessary remakes of horror films that don't need to be remade in the opening paragraph of my TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING review back in the October 2006 Foyeurism.
No, I am not here to review the remake of THE HITCHER, but I am here to expose the truth behind this movie that no one else has figured out. I've read numerous reviews of the remake - most negative and a few shockingly positive - but not one review has figured out that which I have. Some may call me crazy for what I am about to write, but like Roddy Piper in THEY LIVE, I've seen and I'm out to expose the truth. This remake of THE HITCHER that everyone thinks is a remake of THE HITCHER... It's not a remake of THE HITCHER. It is a remake, just not of THE HITCHER. You see Platinum Dunes wanted to remake another movie, a film they could never in a million billion jillion years get the rights to remake, so they just used a remake of THE HITCHER as the beard to cover up the film they actually remade. The remake of THE HITCHER than people think is supposed to be a remake of THE HITCHER - it's actually a remake of... THE TERMINATOR.
AM NOT INSANE!
Platinum Dunes remake of THE HITCHER is actually their cleverly disguised remake of THE TERMINATOR. They used elements of THE HITCHER as a cover for their real movie agenda, an unauthorized remake of James Cameron's classic. Keep in mind this was an unauthorized remake. Therefore they had to leave out some of the more blatant TERMINATOR comparisons in order to avoid a major lawsuit. Remember that James Cameron got sued by Harlan Ellison over his claims that Cameron plagiarized one of his Outer Limits' teleplays, so you better believe that Cameron would be ready to unleash some hellacious litigious payback on anyone that dared try plagiarizing him. But try as Platinum Dunes might to cover their tracks, there are just too many similarities between the two films to ignore or dismiss as mere coincidence. Follow me on this one and I'll make you see it too.
The mysterious psychopathic hitchhiker at the heart of remake of THE HITCHER is actually a Terminator model H-1000 sent back in time to assimilate itself amongst the human populace as a serial killer lurking along the back roads of America's highway where he largely go undetected despite leaving behind a trail of carnage. The H-1000's mission is to psychologically profile potential victims to better understand human survival skills and reaction to life or death situation; its data banks to be mined by Skynet following the nuclear war and used to better understand how to intimidate and crush the human resistance. None of this is ever actually revealed in the movie because revealing the hitcher was a cyborg sent back in time would have immediately led to an immediate lawsuit. You have to fill in some blanks on your own to figure out the larger picture Platinum Dunes was going for. I realize this theory sounds far fetched, but really, is it any worse than the non-explanation of "he's just a nameless psycho that lives off the grid" that the movie provided?
The Hitcher had to be a Terminator. He was an expert with weapons, always one step ahead of his prey, mechanically methodical, physically unstoppable, virtually omnipotent in nature, and capable of eliminating multiple targets whether they be human or vehicular with greatest of ease, often using nothing more than a knife and/or a simple handgun - all prime Terminator characteristics.
Platinum Dunes has chosen to replace the muscle-bound, physically imposing Schwarzenegger-style Terminator with the less beefy and more rugged Sean Bean. Besides, if this Terminator was an Austrian beefcake in black leather hitching rides on the side of the road he'd probably attract way too many horny Thelma & Louise types and gay truck drivers; he's supposed to be a killing machine, not a sexbot.
They also needed an actor with better speaking skills since the H-1000 is the talkiest of all Terminator models. His programming requires his to constantly gauge potential victims, coercing them to say they want to die, asking them to tell him why he's doing what he's doing, and saying things designed to provoke a response from humans. Again, all part of his plan to accumulate data for defeating humans later on. Why do you think the H-1000 shows contempt when they grovel or refuse to fight back and seems almost amused by any attempt to take him on. This is his machine side showing contempt for us pathetic humans that he longs to crush.
Just as in the original TERMINATOR, the only thing standing between the H-1000 and the completion of its mission are two young lovers whose actions will impact the very future of mankind.
The original film had Kyle Reese, the soldier sent back in time by human rebel leader John Connor to protect his mother from the Terminator, fall in love with and impregnate her. The Reese character has been totally screwed up, and not just because of the changes Platinum Dunes had to make to avoid getting sued. THE HITCHER gives us young Jim Halsey, a real weenie but at least a weenie determined to protect the woman he loves short of actually growing a sack. Played by an actor who looks like Scooby Doo's human sidekick Shaggy if Shaggy was a Linkin Park fan with your typical poseur tattoos - I'm still not sure what that elongated triangular tattoo on his forearm was supposed to be, Jim Halsey too adopts the Kyle Reese "come with me if you want to live" attitude, although he still finds himself more in need of rescuing himself. Like I said, they totally screwed this character up. Kyle Reese is supposed to be a soldier from the future, not some twit from the Ozzfest mosh pit.
Then there's the new Sara Connor, now named Grace Andrews and played by actress Sophia Bush. Following the evolution of the Sarah Connor character, Grace goes from being just an average girl to being an average girl thrust into an unfathomable situation where the only things keeping her alive are her Jim Halsey and a determination to live to being an average girl who has had enough and is ready to fight back against her inhuman tormentor. Linda Hamilton fit the role perfectly capturing both her average girl and tough heroine side. Sophia Bush is perfectly fine playing a dimwit's squeeze toy, but her tough girl antics are laughable, as if she were playing a parody of the Sarah Connor character.
Obvious plot similarities to THE TERMINATOR become unmistakable as the film proceeds. The H-1000 will burst into a police station and single-handedly wipeout the officers to get at his chosen targets - one in lock up and the other being questioned by the cops. As the body count rises, the two will find themselves on the run even from the police because surely the cops aren't going to believe this insane tale about being stalked by a killing machine. A high ranking policeman who doesn't know what to make of the situation will get involved, attempt to console Grace, and eventually lose his own life by being gunned down by the H-1000, much like the Paul Winfield and Lance Henriksen police characters from the original movie. Jim & Grace will even share a brief romantic interlude in a hotel room while on the run from both the H-1000 and the law, The H-1000 will use a semi-truck as a weapon against the couple, and Reese/Halsey will eventually lose his own life to the H-1000.
In the end, Grace Andrews finally becomes Sarah Connor, having realized that there's no fate but what she makes, donning her trusty shotgun (admittedly they got ahead of themselves and stole a little from TERMINATOR 2 in that respect), and survives fiery vehicular explosions and metallic debris to finish off the H-1000 once and for all. You never see a close-up of Sean Bean after she blow his head off, but I bet you if they had shown it we'd have seen his metal skull and computer chips strewn all over the road.
The future is saved. Unfortunately, Skynet will still become self aware and launch a nuclear strike against mankind, but without the H-1000's human-killing data file, the machines will prove no match for human determination and ingenuity, and mankind shall rise again. Again, they can't tell you any of this or else... LAWSUIT!
Nor can they tell you that a sequel is already being planned. This time Grace Andrews has to deal with another Hitchernator, this one a new model that can actually morph into a MAD MAX style deathmobile.
So there you have it. I have exposed the truth behind the remake of THE HITCHER that the people at Platinum Dunes don't want anyone to know. The Platinum Dunes remake of THE HITCHER - not just an awful remake of THE HITCHER, an atrocious remake of THE TERMINATOR!
What's that? You don't buy it? You think I'm mad? Insane? Completely off my rocker? People, it's true. I've done the math. I've crunched the numbers. It's all in the numbers, folks.
release date of the remake of THE HITCHER was 1/19/2007: 1 + 19 + 2007
original's release date was 2/21/1986: 2 + 21 + 1986 = 2009
- 2009 = 18
year the original Hitcher came out in was again 1986 - 1 + 9 + 8 + 6
+ 24 = 42
number of unnecessary horror remakes Platinum Dunes has thus far produced
(TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, and now THE HITCHER)
divided by 3 = 14
year remake of THE HITCHER was released is again 2007: 2 + 0 + 0 + 7
14 + 9 = THE NUMBER 23
Do you see now? It's in the numbers, people! It's in the numbers! I don't know exactly what all it means but I'm fairly certain it can all be traced back to Michael Bay being evil incarnate. That much I am certain of.
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS meets WOLFEN meets XANADU
Odds are that fans of werewolf movies are going to be greatly disappointed with the new lycanthrope flick BLOOD & CHOCOLATE seeing as how the werewolves transform into wolves - actual wolves - not humanoid wolfmen as traditionally seen in werewolf flicks. These werewolves also don't need a full moon to transform; they can do so at will or have their wolfism triggered by physical distress. You won't become a werewolf getting bit by one these werewolves either; either you're born one or you're not. The bit about silver being lethal to them still applies though - fire works too. And don't expect any AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON transformation sequences. Werewolf transformations in the world of BLOOD & CHOCOLATE follow the same formula: they run (usually in slow motion), they leap into the air (always in slow motion, sometimes featuring some revolving bullet-time tricks); they begin to glow, and finally explode into XANADU lights. Tada! Now they're wolves.
Where did their clothes go when they transformed and why do the young males wolves feel the need to strip down to their skivvies before transforming even though their remaining clothes will just vanish with the lights? Why do some transform fully clothed yet are fully naked upon transforming back into human form? These are but a few of the mysteries poised by the type of lycanthropy on display in this film. Nitpicking perhaps, but there's no denying the inherent silliness of the film's first on-screen transformation sequence in which a handful of female and a whole bunch of semi-naked males run through the woods in slow motion like they're part of an Axe body spray commercial, leap into the air (almost always in unison, mind you), disappear into beams of light, and land on the ground ready to star in a remake of WOLFEN. The silliness of that sequence pretty much encapsulates BLOOD & CHOCOLATE perfectly. And there's much more silliness to follow.
Olivia Newton-John provides the voice of Rin Tin Tin in the musical ALL DOGS GO TO XANADU
As the poster and all of the ads for BLOOD & CHOCOLATE have gone out of their way to inform us, this movie is "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD." Now really... Was UNDERWORLD really a movie that was so good the producers of it should be able to continue getting by hyping their new movies as being "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD?" Notice it doesn't say "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD AND THE COVENANT." That's probably because it turns out THE COVENANT, shockingly, was not produced by the same producers of UNDERWORLD that also produced BLOOD & CHOCOLATE. That means that one group of UNDERWORLD producers are out putting the stink-eye on any other producers of UNDERWORLD that want to release a movie hyped as being "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD" by making craptacular films like THE COVENANT hyped as being "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORD." Now that other set of UNDERWORLD producers have returned fire by producing their own MySpace generation-centric turkey that could just as easily be a CW Network TV pilot about supernatural teenagers full of angst, in peril, looking for love, and forever talking about the pros, cons, and by-laws of their supernatural heritage. For my money, the "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD" that produced BLOOD & CHOCOLATE have less to be ashamed of with their follow-up flick than THE COVENANT's "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD" do, but not by a whole heck of a lot.
I initially had no intentions to go see BLOOD & CHOCOLATE until Dread Central scheduled another DINNER FOR FIENDS audio roundtable* to discuss this film and THE HITCHER. I honestly was not looking forward to BLOOD & CHOCOLATE at all after seeing TV spots for the film. I couldn't even bring myself to watch the full trailer online. I just remember watching one of those TV ads and asking myself, "If I had a vagina and shopped at Hot Topic and thought 30 Seconds to Mars was the greatest band ever, would I be very much looking forward to seeing this movie?" The answer to that rhetorical question is moot because the film did BLOODRAYNE-level numbers at the box office opening weekend, placing 15th. It's apparent that no one was looking forward to seeing it, not even females wearing Ruby Gloom shirts who long to carry Jared Leto's seed.
* You can listen to that DINNER FOR FIENDS by CLICKING HERE. Ironically, a technical snafu caused me to miss out on the BLOOD & CHOCOLATE portion of the roundtable - I don't appear until about the 14-minute mark of the half hour discussion - but I did get to verbalize my "Hitchernator" conspiracy to my much disbelieving Dread Central colleagues. Could it have been because I was sounding especially deranged that day?
BLOOD & CHOCOLATES is based on a novel I have not read, but I have looked it up. It's quite apparent that the book was pretty much gutted by the filmmakers. Actually, gutted would be putting it mildly. Let me quote a blurb about the novel from a rave reader review posted on Amazon.com:
"This is one of my favorite books ever! I own it and I have read it at least 7 times. It is about 16-year-old Vivian, a "werewolf" who lives in a city with many other members of her "pack," including her mother and 5 boys who are her age that she used to be friends with but now are too rowdy for her. Her father, who used to be the leader of the pack, died about a year ago when the pack was living in West Virginia, and humans found out about them and set their Inn on fire where they worked. Vivian's father was trying to save everyone left in the building, and in the process he was killed. Now the pack has no leader, and everyone is quarreling about who the new one should be. Meanwhile, at Vivian's new school (in Maryland), she has no friends, but she sees a poem in the school magazine about werewolves, written by a boy named Aiden. She falls in love with Aiden, but is it safe to tell him what she really is? Vivian tries to ignore her mother Esme, who says that Vivian should only date members of the pack. Vivian must choose between her human side (chocolate) and her wolf side (blood)."
The movie is instead set in the tax incentive filmmaking haven known
It makes me wonder why they shelled out so much money for the rights to a book that they were only going to turn around and rewrite to such a degree that the resulting film bore so little resemblance to the source material. The gutting of the novel would also help explain why the resulting movie turned out to be fairly routine supernatural love story gobbledygook that seemed to have a few potentially interesting ideas that never really got explored, and a romance that not only lacked any sparks, but spent a good portion of the film playing second fiddle to wolfpack politics.
Still, I must confess that I did not hate the movie at all. Heck, after the idiocy of THR3E (REVIEW HERE) and the sheer awfulness of PRIMEVAL (REVIEW HERE) and the pointlessness of that HITCHER remake, I found BLOOD & CHOCOLATES to be easily digestible. It goes down easy but it's not filling in the slightest. Unimaginative, hopelessly vapid, and often needlessly silly - still, I found it to be reasonably watchable. Well, at least until the ending when the whole movie self destructed right before my eyes. Just when I thought the film was about to come to a surprisingly bittersweet end it turned out there was still another twenty minutes to go. And thank goodness too because I was sitting there in my seat thinking to myself that I was going to be so pissed if they dared to end this gothic romance between a mortal man and a female werewolf without giving us a gun battle and the two main characters running away from a massive explosion. Yes, thank you, "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD," for a moment there you had me worried.
Vivian is a young "loup garou," a fancier old European term for werewolf that's pronounced "loogaroo" in the movie, almost sounding like the name of some Australian kiddy show host, ala Barney. Vivian has been living with her Aunt Astrid in Bucharest ever since her family, then living in America, was murdered by unidentified, never adequately explained, redneck werewolf hunters. The Romanian city of Bucharest has long been a sanctuary of sort for the last remaining of her species, a questionable fact given their varying accents: German, British, French Spanish, but none that actually sound Romanian. Vivian is generally unhappy. She seems to have no friends and no social life outside of working in a chocolate shop, hanging out in empty cathedrals, and sitting at a bar while others of her kind behave like horny frat boys. She does like to kick-off walls and corners whenever she goes jogging. She generally feels like an outcast even among her own kind, and she's especially distressed to hear that the current leader of the pack, Gabriel, is planning to choose her as his new mate very soon.
You see the loup garou are very much about tradition and one of those traditions is that the pack leader takes a new mate every seven years. Aunt Astrid was Gabriel's first mate; she's still deeply in love with Gabriel even though he eventually tossed her aside for a younger she-wolf. His current trophy mate doesn't seem to have any problem knowing that she's soon to be kicked to the curb in favor of a younger trophy mate. That's probably because her character only has about one or two lines of dialogue in the entire film. Gabriel and Astrid do have a son named Raif, a young punk who doesn't look to be as young as he logically should be. Following the seven year mating rule, Raif should be at most either 13 or 14 years old yet he looks to be old enough for college. Did the movie neglect to mention an extra mate along the way for Gabriel or what? Even more disturbing, young Raif's physical appearance and wardrobe makes him look like a dead ringer for Breckin Meyer's band leader character in CAN'T HARDLY WAIT. The resemblance is so uncanny it's frightening.
Speaking of characters that looks remarkably like other movie characters, we kept hearing about Gabriel over and over for the first 15 minutes of the film: Gabriel's going to take another mate, Gabriel's laws, Gabriel this, Gabriel that... The story kept building Gabriel up and then he finally appears on-screen and my immediate reaction was that he looked like a Russian mafia version of Al Pacino's SCARFACE. His name should have been Tony Fontanski. When he gives a big speech shortly thereafter before his fellow wolves denouncing us humans for always being so unkind towards werewolf-kind I kept waiting for him to start yelling, "I'll bury those cockroaches."
A chance encounter in an old church leads to Vivian meeting a young American comic book artist named Aiden who just happens to be in Romania researching werewolf lore for a graphic novel he's working on. It's a known fact that goth chicks can't resist scruffy-looking, brooding, artistic types, especially if the scruffy, brooding artist has a troubled past of his own. I realize that technically Vivian's not a goth, but she is a werewolf, her personality is rather sullen, and she does have a gothic cross tattooed on her upper arm. Close enough...
We'll come to learn that Aiden's deep dark secret is that his father was an abusive hard ass ex-Army ranger who was all about teaching his son to be a survivor and sure as hell didn't approve of his boy's less manly artistic merits. Their rocky relationship eventually led to Aiden having to fight back with the survival skills Major Dad taught him, which he did all too well, and now finds himself with a warrant out for his arrest back in the States. That explains why he uses a pen name on his comics, prefers to gallivant around Europe, and will prove quite handy with a sniper rifle during the film's absurdly action packed finale. While Vivian is instantly attracted to Aiden, she also realizes that mortal love with a non-lupine graphic novelist is not in her cards. She'll attempt to deter him, and even run away from him at one point, but eventually his persistence will pay off.
"I'd like you all to meet my new girlfriend, Vivian. She suffers from an unfortunate case of jaundice. But so what... She's hot!"
A major problem with BLOOD & CHOCOLATE is that it is at its core a romance; the story hinging entirely on the love story between Vivian and Aiden. So why is it that their first date doesn't even occur until close to the halfway point of the film and their romance thereafter consists of little more than a musical montage of more dates? The romance at the heart of the film is overpowered by a script overloaded with discussions of werewolf lore, wolfpack politics, wolfgirl angst, extraneous characters that come and go and serve little or no purpose, and subplots that lead to nowhere, such as the one about Raif murdering a girl that rejected his romantic advancements and Gabriel confronting him about the consequences if he finds out Raif was in any way responsible for the girl's death. Nothing ever comes of that particular subplot. You also have to wonder about Vivian herself since she supposedly wants to keep their relationship a secret from all the prying wolf eyes yet here we see the two of them in broad daylight in a public fountain getting all lovey dovey where everyone in Bucharest could see them, let alone the spying loup garou (in human form) who follow them about the city, sneaking about rooftops and building ledges like ninjas.
You know what else loup garou absolutely love doing while in human form? Hopping... Oh, do they love to hop. They love hopping about any chance they get. They can't even run around a corner without feeling the need to kick-off a wall. I think the only humanoid movie monsters I've ever seen that did more hopping around than the loup garou in this movie are Chinese vampires. Loup garou? More like loopy garous.
When word gets back to Gabriel that his potential future seven-year wife has fallen for another man, particularly of that most despised human persuasion, "meat" as they are sarcastically referred to as, he's howling mad. And when Gabriel gets made, people get eaten. Gabriel and the other wolves aren't just mad at her because she's fallen for a mortal human; they also believe she's committed another major faux pas by telling this mere human secrets about the loup garou. Aside from one vague mentioning of a king several centuries ago supposedly that was supposedly one, all the loup garou info comes from Aiden, not Vivian. Heck, he'll be standing there talking about the various ways he could potentially kill her and she'll just be making goo-goo eyes as if she were thinking, "Oh, he's so dreamy. I wish he'd set me on fire."
Gabriel decides it's time to put an end to this budding romance. He orders his son Raif - perhaps the least physically intimidating member of the pack - to let Aiden know that he's got until sundown to get the hell out of town or else. Aiden is lured to an old cathedral where Raif does just that. Keep in mind that Aiden still doesn't know the truth about Vivian or the existence of loup garou, so he can't figure out what all these vague comments mean about why the two can't be together. He reacts to this whole situation like one would if being told to sod off by the Amish for being an outsider dating one of their own. They scuffle and Raif transforms. The medallion on Aiden's necklace is made of pure silver. Farewell Raif.
Their showdown culminates with the sight of Aiden tackling wolf-form Raif in mid-air and bursting through the banister of a second story staircase. I can't say for sure how much stuff that happened in the film actually occurred in the book but I could not shake the feeling that a lot of the stuff I was watching would have sounded perfectly fantastical on the printed page yet when put to film looked absolutely ridiculous. That mid-air tackle, all the XANADU wolf transformations, members of the pack spying on Vivian and Raif by skulking atop buildings like ninjas preparing for an ambush, a montage of Raif and his little clique of THE COVENANT wannabes running around a construction site like hyperactive idiots for absolutely no reason whatsoever, all the endless hopping about, the stuff involving a pharmacist on Gabriel's payroll, a scene of wolf-on-wolf fighting, a wolf desperately paddling against the not-so-fierce river rapids, the constant criminal overuse of slow motion... Nothing quite on the laugh out loud level of the Dragonball Z finale to THE COVENANT or Nic Cage in a bear suit punching out women in THE WICKER MAN - just a whole lot of imagery not meant to elicit chuckles that's guaranteed to do just that.
Who doesn't love taking part in the annual Running of the Chris Cornell's?
Now Gabriel's really pissed and momma Aunt Astrid ain't all that pleased either. The wolves are out in force looking for Aiden, who, terrified, confronts Vivian about the little secret she neglected to tell him about. He angrily tells her that she should have just stayed away from him from the beginning - an incredibly ironic statement given that's exactly what she tried to do until he finally wore her down enough to agree to go out with him. Aiden is soon captured and forced to take part in a ritualistic hunt that no mortal has ever survived.
Ah, the hunt... The concept of this ritualistic hunt will first be introduced early in when Gabriel decides to make an example of a local drug deal for daring to sell narcotics to his fellow breed. The loup garou will gather at this meeting place in the woods where Gabriel can stand on a big rock and address his pack as if he were that gang leader holding the summit at the beginning of THE WARRIORS. I kept waiting for him to yell "Caaaan yoooou dig it?!" It's supposed to be a ritual where the entire pack can get together and run free in their supernatural wolf state with the ultimate objective to turn a human being into a chew toy, yet everyone attending both hunts held in the movie look to be under the age of 25 and predominantly male. Who are the parents of all these werewolves? Where are their parents? Why does Gabriel keep talking about how few of them there are and yet their numbers seem to keep growing throughout the film?
"I hereby declare this meeting of The Covenant fan club in session. What's up, my wi-otches!"
So the hunted is told that there's a river in the woods, get to the other side of this river and you win your life. It's not as easy as it sounds. Even though the hunted is given a short head start, they're not allowed to have any weapons and they have to contend with a pack of wolves chasing them down. Plus, there's the matter of having their arm cut prior to beginning so that the wolves will have an extra advantage following his scent.
But remember, Aiden's got survival skills. He knows to wipe his blood on every rock and tree he passes to make it harder for the wolves to pick up on his scent. He smuggled some silverware with him he swiped from a fancy eatery and, boy, does he knows how to use it. Aiden's got mad skillz with a steak knife so watch out wolves.
The hunting of Aiden sequence featured two of my favorite idiotic moments. Gabriel has a pair of secret service agent-looking goons keep an eye on Vivian so she can't transform into a wolf and try to rescue Aiden. Gabriel tells the two guys to take her to the car. They do just that; force her into the backseat and shut the door. She escapes the moment they turn their back by simply getting out the door on the other side. I still can't decide if this makes them morons or her a genius. I know I haven't seen anything like that since FIRE DOWN BELOW when the bad guys tried to kill Steven Seagal by sealing him up inside the cave they'd been illegally dumping chemicals in only to have him escape by simply running out the back of the cave; they having apparently forgotten they put a backdoor onto this thing.
The other moment came in the form of a line of dialogue that was clearly written into the script because everyone in the audience is assumed to be dimwit and need even the most obvious things explained to them. Aiden happens up a creek and begins wiping the blood off his arm. He then pauses like he's suddenly had a revelation and utters a line that just got under my skin. "Creeks lead to rivers." Really? Thanks for the tip, Davey Crockett. Geez, I fully realize that an uncomfortably large portion of the moviegoing audience are sadly dead from the neck up, as evidenced by the success of EPIC MOVIE at the box office, but this is hardly an intricately plotted motion picture that's trickiness may go over the audience's head without some exposition tossed in to help spell it out for anyone confused. Good grief, this isn't THE PRESTIGE. Yes, creeks lead to rivers. Duh. This throwaway line of dialogue just unnerved me for some reason. It's the sort of line I'd expect to see in a fifty-year old episode of Lassie. "Look, Lassie, a creek. Creeks lead to rivers. We're saved!"
Wolf Gabriel says to hell with abiding by tradition and attempts to maul Aiden even after he made it to the other side of the river winning his freedom. Aiden is rescued when wolf Vivian comes from out of nowhere to begin dogfighting with wolf Gabriel. Gabriel will end up going for a swim down the river and Vivian will end up being seriously wounded by Aiden, who slashes her with that steak knife even though this wolf just saved his life. When it comes to werewolves and silver the wound doesn't even have to be fatal. A simple flesh wound from anything silver causes a lethal infection. The loup garou get all sickly looking and their wound becomes increasingly diseased looking. As is par for the course with modern b-movies, unnatural sickness demands the sick begin breaking out in dark, discolored veins.
Here I was thinking that this was going to be the ending. A tragically doomed gothic romance ends when Aiden inadvertently kills Vivian after she saves his wife because he didn't realize the wolf was actually her; a bittersweet end that would have been befitting the tale be told. But no... No, the movie needs a happy ending and gun battles and a big explosion. "FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD" know what an audience wants and expects from their supernatural teen angst romances.
A dying Vivian tells Aiden the only cure for silver poisoning is an antidote that can only be gotten from a pharmacist on Gabriel's payroll, but they cannot go get it until after dark. Why do they have to wait until after dark to go get it? Damned if I know. Damned if the makers of the movie know. Heck, maybe he's an overnight pharmacist whose shift doesn't begin until sundown.
In the meantime, an increasingly sickly Vivian has Aiden take her to the last place the still out for blood wolves would look - an old moviemaking plant that's loaded with silver tins. I know it sounds odd. She insists that loup garou avoid this place because there's so much silver it's in the air and just breathing it in can be toxic to them. So what she's doing is the equivalent of Frosty the Snowman being hunted by people with torches looking to melt him, beginning to melt, and trying to buy some time by hiding out trying in a blast furnace because, well, you know - who'd look for a snowman in a blast furnace?
Astrid would; she shows up gun in hand. The first sentence out of her mouth was something along the lines of, "I knew to look for you here first because I knew you'd go to the last place you'd expect anyone would look for you." At least she didn't declare that creeks lead to water. Astrid can't bring herself to kill either one of them because she knows what it's like to be a woman in love. She gives Vivian her gun and we never see her again.
Aiden and Vivian go to the pharmacist and hold him up at gunpoint to get the antidote that cures her instantaneously. They didn't see him trip the silent alarm that apparently only alerts Gabriel and his henchwolves that show up guns a 'blazing. Vivian gets captured and now Aiden has to take up arms to go on a commando raid to rescue his werewolf lady love from the random empty warehouse that Gabriel has taken her so that he browbeat her about screwing up everything with her selfish wants and needs.
Oh, and there's a prophecy too. Seems there's a loup garou prophecy about a female becoming leader of the pack who will lead the loup garou into a new age of hope. Gabriel believed that Vivian could be that she-wolf, but now she's gone and ruined everything. He just tosses this info out there with no warning, no set-up or further explanation; the first time this prophecy has been mentioned in the entire movie. It's like waiting until the last five minutes of STAR WARS to mention that a certain Jedi could be the one prophesized to bring balance to the Force.
And then the shooting starts.
And Aiden falls through the skylight.
And things burst into flames.
And more shooting.
And more flames.
And Vivian and Aiden have to run away from an exploding building.
Much like Old Yeller, lead actress Agnes Bruckner realized that since she had the starring role in Blood & Chocolate, if anyone was going to put the movie out of its misery it needed to be her
Gabriel's dead and Aiden says something about how they're still going to have find someplace safe to escape the wrath of the remaining loup garou. Vivian says she knows a place they can go. I'm about ready to scream because this film just won't end. It's become like RETURN OF THE KING with ending after ending after ending without actually ending.
So Vivian said she knew someplace else they could go to escape the remaining loup garou. The very next scene is Vivian riding in a car with Aiden, people on the street kneeling out of respect as they drive by, her voiceover telling us how she's the new leader of the pack and these are her subjects - and they live happily ever after.
I give up. Thanks, FROM THE PRODUCERS OF UNDERWORLD. Im going to go out on a limb and guess their next film wont be billed as being FROM THE PRODUCERS OF BLOOD & CHOCOLATE, huh?
TV ads for the movie have been accompanied by a quote from film critic and noted quote whore Jeffrey Lyons calling BLOOD & CHOCOLATE "A Scary Thriller." For Jeffrey Lyons to describe this film as "A Scary Thriller" that would imply that he was actually scared at times while watching BLOOD & CHOCOLATE and this is a movie that I doubt even the people that genuinely liked it would ever describe as being either scary or thriller. Yet here's Jeffrey Lyons telling us he can vouch for it scaring you in your seat. I know the odds of Jeffrey Lyons reading this are a billion to one, but just on the off chance that he were to ever happen upon this Foyeurism I'd just like to send a personal message to him...
YOU, SIR, ARE A PUSSY!
MY NAME IS SCOTT FOY AND I PAID TO SEE PROBLEM CHILD 2
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