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 ALONE IN THE DARK
At long last... After so much hype... The new and improved Foywonder.com message board is finally a-go!
With any luck this will mean an end to the spambot onslaught that's been going on for so long I kept having to turn off the message board registration. Fingers crossed!
If you've wanted to register in the past but haven't been able to due to the board being turned off at the time, now is the time for you to register. If you were already a member, you should have received an email from either myself or "Archbishop of Airchex" giving you your new temporary password for the new board. If not, yours may have been one of the few that bounced. Those that got theirs, follow the instructions and join myself and the others in THE FOYER. It's been a long time coming.
And as you can see, I'm once again experimenting with the font color again. Tell me what you think? Easier to read, less eye strain than the bright white I'd been using? Head over to the message board and let me know.
October was an awfully busy month for me, so much so I cannot help but feel like I'm suffering from a...
Every time I saw a preview for this film I couldn't help but think how much it looked and sounded like one of those 1970's made-for-TV satanic panic horror movies, the sort that would have starred the likes of Pamela Sue Martin. Even the title - THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY - sounds like a title worthy of 1970's made-for-TV horror movie.
And now that I've seen it I'm fully convinced the producers just found a 30-year old screenplay laying around for such a TV movie and decided to repackage it as a big screen release aimed at tweener girls still too young to be watching those sexually-charged CW Network teen programs yet are starting to get too old for the wholesomeness of Hannah Montana and think they're just too much of a fashionista to go emo. It's even shot like a made-for-cable television movie which only adds to the disbelief I have as to how this film ended up at a theater near you in the first place.
Ladies and gentlemen, THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY is a comically overwrought tour-de-force cliché-a-thon. This is epic, folks! The director - by god he was determined to make something out of nothing. Hallucinations on top of dream sequences. Dream sequences on top of ominous music. Ominous music on top of loud crashing sounds. Loud crashing sounds on top of constant jump scares. Nobody can just enter a scene without it resulting in a jump scare; everyone has to sneak up on Molly to the sound of a loud crash. I clocked three fake jump scares in under a minute early on: a foot steps down from a toilet in the ladies bathroom (THUD!), the bathroom door swings open (BAM!), and a few moments later some yet again startles Molly outside the building (CRASH!). Almost every last one of these jump scares are nothing more than mundane happenings with their audio amplified to jolt you. This is a movie that features a cheap attempt at a jump scare in which the mailman putting mail through the front door mail slot resulted in what sounded like a gunshot that made Molly jump out of her shoes.
Now how cliché does the half-baked script get?
For starters, Molly's very first day of class at a fancy prep school, what's being taught in literature class? Milton's PARADISE LOST. Ever notice how in horror movies students are always studying something in school with some thematic relevance to the plot of the film? It's never something more innocuous like Jane Austen or Encyclopedia Brown. Of course if it was Encyclopedia Brown they were studying you can bet your bottom dollar the book title would some something along the lines of ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN & THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS HELLSPAWN.
A Zac Efron-ish rich boy takes an immediate liking to Molly because... Just because. Just like it's required by the laws of clichédom that he have a bitchy blonde girlfriend who isn't happy about this strange new girl garnering the attention of her man.
So what's haunting Molly Hartley? Are there supernatural forces at work? Is she becoming a paranoid schizophrenic like her mom who is now in an insane asylum after having stabbed Molly in the stomach with a pair of scissors claiming to have been trying to save her from the forces of evil? Or could it be that benign tumor in her sinus cavity causing all the visions, voices, headaches, and nose bleeds? Here's some hints: she's not crazy, the pre-title sequences showed us another parent going to outlandish lengths to murder their teen daughter in order to save her from turning 18 and falling into unholy hands, and, most obviously, Hollywood does not make movies about people being traumatized by supernatural forces that turn out to be figments of the imagination brought on by nasal growths.
If you watched a movie like THE ENTITY and at the end it turned out there was no poltergeist raping her, that it was all psychosomatic brought on as the result of ovarian cysts, you'd be pissed.
Simply say the name Jesus around Molly Hartley and she starts experiencing bad headaches. Have a religious discussion and she experiences a full blown panic attack accompanied by nose bleeds and occult visions. Cue the Jesus freak classmate (played by an actress who bares a resemblance to a young Pamela Bellwood, who I can guarantee you would have played the role in the 1970's TV version) who believes Molly's troubles can be cured with a good old fashioned baptism. Because devout Christians in movies are always portrayed as somewhat crazed or sinister, you just know this young church girl is going to turn out to be several Jesuses short of a Holy Trinity, if you catch my drift.
Technically speaking, there is no actual haunting of Molly Hartley. Little of what's happening to her has any rhyme or reason behind it. Satan as it turns out has a community outreach program in place with demonic women that show up in restaurant bathrooms to make infernal pacts with despondent parents who have just given birth to a still born baby right then and there. Make the deal and they'll get 18-years with their child, but on their 18th birthday the child will become an agent of Satan - or at the very least, class valedictorian from hell. How or why this causes Molly to suffer from all manner of headaches, weird visions, nightmares, nose bleeds, etc is anyone's guess. Maybe all that nonsense leading up to her climactic unholy intervention was caused by that sinus tumor after all.
Oh, my god, THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY is so lame. So stunningly lame! So astoundingly lame! So impossibly lame! So gloriously lame that I almost want to recommend it. Almost. Almost. Almost. I cannot do so yet I cannot help but smile when thinking about this turkey. Mail delivery jump scares, full-contact baptisms, satanic guidance counselors, gripping endoscopic nasal surgery scenes, toilet-clogging burritos, and how can I ever forget the triumphant moment when Molly yells at her disbelieving dad, "You have to do something! Tomorrow's my fucking birthday!" How many times have I yelled that at my own mom?
HOUSE is what I can only describe as a Christian grindhouse movie. I mean that in the sense that it's a Christian allegory horror movie involving a house and it's an absolute grind to sit through.
No relation to a much better horror film of the same name starring William Katt, this House is based on a popular book by contemporary Christian novelists Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. The movie version is directed by Robby Henson, who also directed last year's Christian serial killer thriller THR3E (reviewed in last year's "Godsploitation" Foyeurism); it too was based on a Ted Dekker novel. Like THR3E, House is also meant to tell a spiritually fulfilling tale of redemption and forgiveness in the guise of a horror movie. Also like THR3E, the spirituality is soulless, the horror is spineless, the plot is pointless, and the movie is lifeless.
I'm not familiar with the book so I cannot say how much got lost in the translation to the screen. I'm going to assume quite a bit since what I watched was a steamroller of clichés told in such a muddled and very boring fashion that it failed to accomplish what it set out to, though I'm not entirely sure what it set out to accomplish. Nothing works. Not an ounce of fear. Whatever spiritual message is amiss. All of it brought to us by a technically competent director with very bad instincts trying way too hard to be stylish. Ditto the editor. Add to it actors overplaying the creepy idiosyncrasies of their characters to the point of bordering on parody. Any hope for HOUSE ends once the film starts dealing with these flimsy characters and their great sins using flashback scenes, ghostly hallucinations, and surreal NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET type reenactments with characters living out their own childhood trauma - all of it badly overwrought, over-edited, and sleep-inducing. Not even the moments of unintended cheese offer much by way of salvation.
After a run-in with a creepy cop, a married couple experience a traffic accident on a back road shortcut in rural Alabama (actually filmed on location in Poland). An out-of-nowhere rain storm sends them scampering to a creaky old house they mistakenly believe to be a bed & breakfast where a brutal murder once occurred. There they meet up with a grad student and her boyfriend. Cue the lights going out, spooky voices, and constant over-the-top ominous music. If it wasn't bad enough that it turns out this house is lorded over by a family of gothic Southern satanists, then a masked man breaks in and pursues them as they're forced to deal with all manner of face-your-inner-demons mind games. Toss in a good deal of running water, people who bleed black smoke, a huge pentagram painted on a wall, and a ghostly little girl who constantly screeches about their pursuer not playing by the rules. Topping it all off is a special appearance by Michael Madsen as Sheriff Lucifer P. Coltrane.
Ah, yes, the satanic Southern family that occupies this house. There's an old lady who looks like a sinister version of Miss Hathaway from Beverly Hillbillies, Bill Moseley displaying hammy intensity as the menacing patriarch of the household, and their son who's like an inbred cross between Norman Bates and Renfield - but hornier. They're just a Leatherface away from being the Texas Chainsaw Mama's Family.
A Leatherface sort of arrives in the form of The Tin Man, a masked slasher (more a masked stalker who never actually kills anyone - there's simply no justifying the film's R-rating since the content barely warrants a PG-13 if you ask me) wanting into the house to punish the guilty for their sins. These four stranded motorists all happen to have deep, dark secrets that continue to haunt them. Like a Saw movie, the Tin Man informs them that there are rules they must follow. These rules are delivered to them written on the side of a tin can - because he's the Tin Man, get it?
Rule #1 - God came into my house and I killed him.
Thats really more a statement than a rule.
Rule #2 - I will kill anyone who comes into my house like I killed God.
Thats really more a threat than a rule.
Rule #3 - Give me one dead body before sunrise and I'll let rule #2 slide.
An actual rule!
Its all meant to try and turn the four interlopers against one another while forcing them to face their checkered pasts by way of supernatural manipulation. Rule #3 ultimately proves to be a moot point given how it all plays out and this Tin Man proves to be no Jigsaw. If he only had a brain.
Now lets enjoy some choice samples of actual dialogue.
brought trouble like how a dog brings fleas."
The whopper, though, comes near the end when Michael Madsen reveals his obvious demonic nature and informs us all, "I'm pure unfiltered evil... 100%." Which he says in a tone of voice typically reserved for a drowsy drunk in a bar wanting to bum a cigarette.
Somehow this whole laborious mess was meant to culminate in a spiritually redeeming climax. That falls flat because the script forgot to include anything resembling genuine spirituality outside of the frequent use of generic quasi-religious talk. Only spiritual enlightenment I achieved was thinking "Thank God that's over" when the closing credits began to roll.
Still, any movie that features a jump scare in its opening minutes involving a chicken terrifying an unsuspecting woman by jumping into her lap through an open car window deserves, any movie where the devil is defeated by what amounts to a holy spirit version of The Guyver's Megasmasher, that movie deserves at least a one-star rating.
A tribe of indigenous dwarf cannibals inhabiting a section of woods that only come out once every year on a night that amounts to a Native American Halloween - me likey already.
Dwarf cannibals that look like zombified hybrids of the IT'S ALIVE killer baby puppets and the albino creatures from THE DESCENT are just one of the many flesh-eating fiends lurking about these woods on this fateful evening, and they're not even the daffiest of the lot either. A pig-faced humanoid that cries like a baby to lure unsuspecting samaritans to their doom, a Garbage Pail Kids reject stalking and taunting potential victims from the brush, a stone man, a red man, and who can forget those ferocious, flying, fire dogs?
All of the monstrous flesh eaters are the make-up creations of Tom Devlin's 1313FX and though none of the creatures will win any awards for most convincing, for a tongue-in-cheek low rent production of this sort they're sufficiently imaginative and just wacko enough to delight more than fright. It's a nice return to 1980's style b-movie monster make-up, the sort of stuff you'd expect to see in movies of that era like SPOOKIES and such.
Baby Marilyn Manson's anti-christening photo
That throwback quality is one of the main reasons J.R. McGarrity's cheerily campy NIGHT OF THE FLESH EATERS took me by complete surprise. I was expecting something more zombie oriented given the title. Given some of my bad experiences with ultra low budget filmmaking I was expecting a less polished production equally lacking in the imagination department. McGarrity's film isn't any earth-shattering, but to my delight I got a professional-looking creature feature that's low budget limitations are off-set by some inspired wackiness, all the stuff that cult flicks are made of.
This guy from New Jersey who's like a sitcom mafioso - he reminded me very much of comedian Jay Thomas - heads off to the deep, dark woods to rendezvous with the killer he hired to whack his cheating wife and the partner she was cheating with. The killer turns out to be a young-ish guy dressed like and talking like spaghetti western Clint Eastwood; he'll spend more time waxing ecological about forest conservationism than assassination. It's an instant clash of personalities between these two. Even more so when the murder plan turns out to be a double-cross. The killer reveals himself to be his wife's actual lover, an archaeologist/folklorist/college professor, and knowing the husband was the sort who would have them killed, they in turn concocted a plan to turn the tables on him using these particular woods on this particular night, a Native American version of Halloween, but one where the ghosts and goblins are very real and very hungry, which makes for an oddly convenient means by which to make another person disappear without a trace.
The husband gets left behind to be eaten by the monsters while the lovers make their getaway. That plan doesn't quite work out either when they wreck their car and end up stranded. The intensely matter-of-fact college professor proves to be a fountain of obscure Native American flesh-eating factoids, always gleefully describing the nature of these supernatural beasties in a voice akin to someone sitting around a campfire telling a scary ghost story. None of this sits well with the adulterous wife, ever terrified and seriously reconsidering her relationships with all the men in her life.
The hotheaded husband, meanwhile, gets turned into a human Road Runner cartoon as he suffers the comically gory consequences of encountering one monster after another, narrowly surviving each time and becoming increasingly emboldened. "I am sick and tired of you frickin' flesh eaters trying to eat my frikin' flesh!" he bellows while scuffling with a demonic Indian.
Pinky & The Brain's lovechild proved to be an abomination against God
A good deal of overacting abounds, not to the degree found in your average Troma film, mind you, but strangely mannered overacting, as if each actor is striving for a particular tone of overacting for their character. It often plays very sitcom-ish and viewers are going to find it either amusing or annoying. It worked for me because this is a movie very much about how they react to the situations they keep finding themselves in more so than it is about actually advancing a plot.
Things did begin to wane a tad late in when they encounter a delirious woman in her bra & panties under the spell of a brainwashing shaman (played by writer/director J.R. McGarrity himself) who magically manipulates people to find a big stick with which he can use to roast them over an open fire. After the menagerie of zany monsters they'd encountered, having the big bad boss monster, so to speak, being just a blonde, Reggie Bannister look-a-like in a flannel shirt with glowing eyes doing a "get me a stick" running joke was a bit of a letdown.
Regardless, NIGHT OF THE FLESH EATERS is a fun, fast-paced, monster-filled hoot that deserves an audience. Head over to the official website and pick yourself up a copy. Sit back, crack a beer, and prepare to have a good time.
I know what you're thinking? This is a disaster movie, not a horror movie, right? It premiered this past October and it has the word "terror" in its title. If a thriller of any kind opens the same month as Halloween and has a word like "terror" in its title it qualifies in my book.
I've come to the conclusion that deep down every Hollywood producer, every film director, every movie screenwriter, secretly loathes New York City so much they constantly conjure up wish fulfillment cinema where the destruction of the Big Apple is the central showcase. Don't tell me Roland Emmerich doesn't secretly long to see NYC wiped off the face of the earth; that city is his favorite whipping boy. I think the only city that's been destroyed on film more often New York City is Tokyo, Japan and that's only because Godzilla never bothered to invest in a GPS system. The Big Apple takes it up the wormhole yet again in the Sci-Fi Channel original movie NYC: TORNADO TERROR.
If there's one thing nature is good at in disaster movies it's destroying recognizable landmarks. Never let it be said that Mother Nature doesn't have her own personal collection of sight-seeing brochures and marks them off as she goes down her checklist of mass destruction. Better believe the Statue of Liberty gets F5'd; only her torch arm gets taken off though. Thatll prompt the dickish Mayor of New York City to callously ask minutes later, "Okay, who wants to tell me why my favorite statue is missing an arm?" Could you imagine if this character had been mayor on 9/11? "Okay, who wants to tell me why my favorite twin towers have been reduced to a pile of ash?"
Know what else gets destroyed in this movie? Science. I'm no science expert. I'll never claim to be a meteorologist or climatologist. But even with my limited knowledge of the scientific theorem being discussed I could tell this film was giving science the Rodney King treatment.
You see global warming has caused the air around the earth to separate into high and low atmospheres with their own specific features. Earth has now developed its own high altitude vortex (ala the spot on Jupiter); this vortex is hovering right over New York City. This is leading to an outbreak of what is being described as "clear air tornadoes". You know how you normally see footage of tornadoes and their funnels are attached to dark clouds in the sky? Not anymore. The sky can be clear as can be and tornadoes can form out of the blue attached to nothing in the sky. It always starts with tiny tornadoes on the ground that everyone around find, as Cassie calls them, "cute and cuddly". But then someone off-camera turns on the wind machine and the big monster tornadoes form. They're not so cute and cuddly.
Our leads are Cassie, played by the ever chipper Nicole de Boer of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" & "The Dead Zone", and her husband Jim, played by everyman Sebastian Spence of "Battlestar Galactica" & CATEGORY 7: THE END OF THE WORLD - no stranger to catastrophe is he. Cassie works for the city's meteorological center or something along those lines. All that matters is that she immediately figures out what is happening, is dead-on accurate about everything that is happening, and is the only person on the planet capable of coming up with a solution. But what she really longs for is a baby. Oh, lordy, lordy, shes got baby fever. But Jim is the busy deputy mayor and isn't sure it's time to have a baby since he constantly finds himself having to bat clean-up for the ever belligerent Mayor of New York City.
Like the Mayor of Amity in JAWS, he's another one of those mayors constantly refusing to do the right thing simply because he's a jerkwad. Mayor Jerkwad doesn't even have any reason to stand in the way of saving his city other than just being a jerkwad. Don't worry. He'll get what he has coming to him. Too bad there wasn't a character to walk up after that scene and ask, "Okay, who wants to tell me why my favorite mayor is under that flaming car?"
The couple's niece has also come to town and almost immediately gets trapped with a handsome first responder in an underground utility tunnel on Liberty Island after the Statue of Liberty's severed arm lands right on top of the hatch they ducked into. They'll spend most of the movie down there trying to find a way out of these tunnels that appeared to be more impossible to escape from than the Minotaur's maze. They'll find love before they find a way out. Then he'll find death. Love can be so cruel sometimes.
Cassie has a plan to save the city: seeding the clouds with dry ice. But I thought these storms didn't need clouds? The seeding will be done via rockets fired from the back of a jeep missile launcher system. Now thats my kind of meteorology!
Did you know New Jersey has its own Cape Canaveral: The Garden State Spaceport? Did you know that the place is run by an anti-authority loon who looks like Tim Thomerson's homely twin? You learn things when you watch Sci-Fi Channel original movies. For example, did you know that NASA actually stands for Numbskulls Always Screwing Around? It might as well seeing as how they keep refusing to listen to the lone scientist with the crackpot theory as to how to save the world. Always listen to the lone crackpots! There is always wisdom in their ramblings.
I was having a grand old time for the first hour of NYC: TORNADO TERROR (from the king of Sci-Fi Channel original movies Tibor "MANSQUITO" Takacs). Then the tornado terror subsided in favor of people being frozen to death by bursts of cold air, the appearance of St. Elmo's Fire in the sky (and I don't mean of the 80's Brat Pack variety), and a lengthy and lame sequence where the primary characters try to escape from a skyscraper trapped by dangerous indoor electrical discharges and ball lightning that appeared to stalk people. Of course it's easy to be stalked by ball lightning when you just stand there staring at it instead of getting the hell away from it.
There's only one tornado in the whole second hour. That is not what I tuned in for. I tuned in to see tornadoes reap mass destruction. I tuned in to see mass destruction and people get tossed about like rag dolls. I tuned in for wonderful moments like when the dog walker has her dogs get sucked straight out of their leashes. If ever there was a Sci-Fi Channel original movie desperately in need of a greater budget it would be this one. Why is it so many of made-for-TV disaster movies nowadays open strong then finish limp?
Then the movie practically borrows the same ending from THE HAPPENING. Copycat or coincidence? I'm not sure, but I am sure at this point that nature most definitely hates the French.
Did you notice the "inspired by true events" line on the artwork? I'm fairly certain I'd have heard about this. I'm fairly certain we would have all heard about this. If you have any idea what aspect of NYC: TORNADO TERROR was inspired by true events then please send your answers on a postcard to...
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, will that stop Uwe Boll from making a sequel to it? Obviously not, as evidenced by the very existence of Alone in the Dark II.
Uwe Boll only serves as a producer this time. The creative reigns have been handed over to writing-directing duo Peter Scheerer and Michael Roesch, scripters of the first ALONE IN THE DARK, HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2, and Boll's upcoming FAR CRY, as well as the makers of the recently released vampire flick BROTHERHOOD OF BLOOD. The two pretty much owe their careers to Uwe Boll and judging by their work on ALONE IN THE DARK II, the apples haven't fallen very far from the tree.
ALONE IN THE DARK II is a bad movie. Bad writing. Bad acting. Bad pacing. The lighting is good though; I will give them that. They manage to generate some atmosphere even as they fail to generate any thrills or chills. The mindless action-oriented nature of Boll's film has been replaced with a failed stab at something more horrific, albeit sprinkled with a few rounds of gratuitous gunfire typically aimed at an off-camera presence. Even most of the deaths take place off-camera. The first ten minutes had me thinking it might not be too bad. Then it fell into a quagmire of tedium before giving me a few mild chuckles with its insipid climax (Always keep a barrel of water in your backyard for all your emergency witch dunking needs!).
The pointless plot somehow manages to be far more coherent than the gobbledygook original yet never rose above the level of gobbledygook nonetheless. No apocalypse this time; just this evil witch pissed off at this particular family bloodline. A group of modern witch hunters are trying to destroy her, there's a young woman meant to be sacrificed to the witch now that she's reached the proper age, and at the center of it all is a magical dagger that is both the cause and solution to the witch problem. The plot mechanics are so simple-minded the story could have easily been reworked into a sequel to Sarah Landon & the Paranormal Hour. But there's still this disconnect; the explanations behind the who's, how's, and why's are so impalpably shallow it left me slightly bewildered (but mostly disinterested).
A big part of the problem is this evil witch is such a lame nemesis it left me longing for those four-legged demon monsters from the first film. Sometimes unseen, sometimes in the form of a swishy, swooping, light and fog, CGI phantasm, and later in her physical form as a pale woman with a blood-scarred face wearing a black cloak who I swear could have been revealed to be the wife of the similar looking villain from House of the Dead and I'd have bought it. Both even enjoyed silently glaring at others from a short distance behind trees.
Judging by the shape of its head, this ghost was The Punisher's logo in its past life
There's this cursed dagger that if you touch it you'll get infected with these painful, disfiguring wounds that react to light. These are the witch's mark. Once infected she can get into your head and cause dream-like hallucinations, forcing you to do her bidding or else she'll come kill you. She can't come kill you unless you look into a mirror in these visions; doing so reveals your location to her. You could make a drinking game out of every time someone yells some variation of "She's coming!"
Stopping her requires finding the location of the witch's lab. Yes, lab. The witch has a lab. Not a lair - a lab! But when they find the "lab" it turns out to be a lair with mechanical doors. Is this a reference to the video games? I'm guessing no. It certainly has no correlation to the first ALONE IN THE DARK movie aside from the title and the return of main character Edward Carnby.
Scheerer and Roesch appeared to have been working under the assumption that everyone watching already knows who Edward Carnby is. Their failure to define his character led to some truly befuddling dialogue. "He's an idealist. He's the worst." So says another witch hunter, more than once, about Carnby's meddling in their affairs. What the hell was that even supposed to mean? Carnby argues with that same character later on, "I know who I am." Huh? I don't. You feel like sharing? I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that his character has no personality and no motivations. He's just there for the sake of being there because Edward Carnby's supposed to be the franchise's main character.
Whatever the hell that was that happened at the end of the first film must have turned him Asian. THE FAST & THE FURIOUS' Rick Yune has been cast in the role of Edward Carnby, a role originated by Christian Slater. That actually caused some initial confusion on my part. He meets with another character in his very first scene, the name Carnby is muttered, and I naturally assumed it was in relation to the white guy. Took me about ten more minutes before it truly sunk in that Yune was supposed to be Edward Carnby. I can forgive that casting quirk more than I can forgive Yune's acting (or lack thereof). The man has negative charisma. I've seen matte paintings display more personality. He'll suffer a near fatal stab wound to the stomach early in and just sit there looking like a guy who just woke up with a serious hangover trying to remember what he did the night before.
Doesn't matter much anyway since even Carnby takes a backseat to the cute but unconvincing damsel-in-distress (the chirpy voiced Rachel Specter) as her role gradually overshadows everyone else's. Her pairing with Yune left me longing for some of that magical Christian Slater/Tara Reid chemistry. They were Bogey and Bacall compared to these two.
Ladies and gentlemen.... STEVIE NICKS!
The rest of the cast is composed of enough recognizable genre faces to stock a horror movie convention. So many actors who've appeared in previous Uwe Boll movies pop up in this sequel an alternate title could have been Its a Boll, Boll, Boll, Boll World.
Boll alumni Michael Pare (SEED), Natassia Malthe (BLOODRAYNE II: DELIVERANCE), and Zack Ward (POSTAL) all appear just long enough to get killed before the pre-title sequence. Actually, Ward gets to live a few minutes longer. Ralf Moeller (SEED) then arrives in a nothing role to do what he does best: hold a weapon, smoke cigars, and appear really buff and gruff.
You also have the likes of Bill Moseley again, here looking like an Amish redneck, as the witch hunter whose daughter the witch is after. This will not go down as one of Moseley's acting career highlights and this is coming from someone who just reviewed HOUSE.
Lance Henriksen collects his usual paycheck as a crotchety retired witch hunter who should have been named "Mr. Fill-in-the-Blanks" since his part existed primarily to try and explain numerous aspects of the plot. He's also the only person who can handle the dagger unscathed because, as he puts it, he's immune to "witchcraft crap. Given some of the movies Henriksen has appeared in, I'd argue he's immune to all sorts of crap. He's definitely immune to gunshots judging by the point-blank rifle blasts to the face and leg he takes during the dumb finale that not only don't kill him, they don't even stop him from talking or hobbling away. And to think this man once lost out on the role of The Terminator to Schwarzenegger.
Danny Trejo's appearance is so blink-and-you-missed-it that I wonder if he just happened to be carpooling with one of the other actors and one day on the set they offered him a few bucks, gave him a shotgun, and had him appear in the background of a scene or two.
P.J. Soles... I guess I blinked and missed it.
Blink and miss ALONE IN THE DARK II while youre at it. There's really nothing to see here. It doesn't even have the epic train wreck quality of Boll's original. It's just a plain ol' bad movie.
LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE, eh? I know that's what it says on the DVD and the DVD case and the DVD menu and the credits of the movie itself, but let me assure you this is not a LOST BOYS sequel. I know this movie's true title:
SURF VAMPIRES MUST DIE
There's so much surfing and talk of surfing for the first 25-minutes I was wondering if they'd gotten confused as to what film they were sequalizing and made POINT BREAK OF THE LIVING DEAD by mistake. The vampires are surfers who'll kill you if you try and interfere with their surfing. The head vampire is an ex-champion surfer who vanished from the circuit after he decided to join the ranks of the undead. The good guy is also an ex-champion surfer who still yearns to get out on the waves and surf, so much so he even goes job hunting for something in the local surfboard shaping industry. Another vampire is also an ex-competitive surfer who used to be his rival and still harbors a deep grudge against him. All the hot women in the movie, living and undead, are surfer groupies. Even Corey Feldman's returning character, Edgar Frog, divides his time between hunting vampires and shaping surfboards for a living. This motion picture, ladies and gentlemen, regardless of what the powers that be insist on trying to convince us it is titled, is actually... SURF VAMPIRES MUST DIE.
The vampire clique in the original was very distinct in their manner and dress. They were goth before goth was sheik. You really believed they were vampires. This time around, "The Tribe", as they call themselves, the surf vampires as I call them, if it wasn't for the fact that they happen to be vampires they could just as easily be the villains from CRUEL INTENTIONS 7 or THE SKULLS 3-D. They're just a quartet of spoiled rich kids behaving like hormonally-charged ass clowns - but with fangs. Frat brothers of the damned... Splendid.
The producers hoped to recreate the magic Keifer Sutherland brought to the bad guy role of the original by casting another member of the Sutherland clan and hoping against hope that bad ass vampirism portrayals run in their bloodlines. Keifer's half-brother, Angus Sutherland, co-stars as Shane, the Jim Morrison wannabe leader of the surf vampires. If his uncharismatic, monotone-droning performance here is any indication, Angus Sutherland is well on his way to being the Jason Connery of the Sutherland family. It's one thing for a vampire to have no reflection in the mirror; just wait until you not see his screen presence too.
Now here's vampire Leif Garrett to perform his goth disco hit "I Was Made For Suckin' "
Brother and sister Chris and Nicole Emerson move to the California vampire mecca that is Santa Carla, back to the very same home the family occupied in the original. The script softly hints that these two are the grown children of the Jason Patric/Jami Gertz characters. Chris used to be a successful surfer until their parents were killed in a car accident and he... It's not worth getting into. Little about SURF VAMPIRES MUST DIE is worth getting into.
Nicole is played by a former cast member of The O.C. (What a shock!) and Chris is played by a guy who I wanted to punch in the face. He's really lousy and this is a movie chock full of lousy. I looked the guy up on IMDB, saw that he also co-starred in both EPIC MOVIE and DISASTER MOVIE, and then I really wanted to punch him in the face.
Chris and Nicole attend a party being thrown by surf vampires unaware that such a thing as surf vampires exists. The always uptight and overprotective Chris quickly decides they should go home; Nicole just wants to party and practically orders her brother to go mack on this bikini chick who's been eyeballing him. Chris does, and within seconds he and this young woman he's shared three sentences with are naked in a shower having sex. Good advice from sis. But his uptightness returns in mid coitus. Let me tell you; if you're in a shower screwing some hotty you met at a party less than 90-seconds ago and suddenly decide you need to stop and go check-up on your 17-year old sister, your feelings for your kid sister go well beyond just being an overprotective big brother. We just question your sexuality outright.
Kahunaferatu Shane immediately sets his sights on Nicole, because... Because he just does, that's why. It's in the script. This dorky emo guy with Frodo hair also sets his sights on Nicole, but because he's a dorky emo kid with Frodo hair she much prefers the company of a certain surf vampire who looks like he could be the frontman for a Winger tribute band.
Those in need of a refresher as to how LOST BOYS vampire lore works: drink the blood of the head vampire and you become a half-vampire; upon your first kill you become a full-fledged vampire; kill the head vampire before the half-vampire commits their first kill and they revert back to normal human being.
Chris punches out Shane for making moves on the little sis he's a little too hung up on unaware that Shane's already tricked Nicole into drinking some of his blood (disguised as alcohol in a flask). He gets her home just in time for her to begin transforming into a vampire.
This is the moment where SURF VAMPIRES MUST DIE went from being a bad movie to a really bad movie.
Good news: Corey Feldman had broken into their home and had been lurking about in the dark the whole time. He saves Chris by KO'ing her with a surfboard (Again with the damn surfing!) and begins rambling about vampires. Chris throws him out of his house because, honestly, if you came home in the dead of night to find Corey Feldman stalking your living room tell me you wouldn't shove him out the front door ASAP. Me personally, I'd strongly consider Bernard Goetz'ing his ass. One less Corey in the world would hardly make us weep.
Coming soon: Corey Feldman directs and stars in SURF VAMPIRES MUST DIE II: FANG 10
Chris puts Nicole to bed, seemingly unphased by what he just witnessed. Then the bikini chick shows up at his doorstep wanting to finish what they started - which they do on the kitchen table. Once again, Chris calls timeout because he's concerned about his sister - not that her pupils turned black moments ago, she spoke to him in a deep Satanic voice, and she lifted him by the throat 10-feet into the air with one hand, but because she might wake up, walk in on them having sex, and he really doesn't want to set a bad example for her. He even seems oblivious that the naked chick humping him has sprouted fangs and the part of his body she's trying to suck is above his waist. She gets a little too aggressive and this skinny twerp suddenly displays Herculean strength launching her across the room where she impales on a set of antlers and disintegrates before his eyes.
The next day he goes to visit Edgar Frog and tell him about what happened, doing so in an impossibly casual manner. The extraordinary events he experienced the night before, everything Edgar tells him about the town's vampire problem, and Chris reacts barely phased by any of it. This guy playing Chris is just terrible. Awful. I so wanted to punch him in the face.
And someone needs to tell Corey Feldman that just because you're playing a character with the last name Frog does not mean you have to talk like you have a frog in your throat. At least Feldman's bad acting is somewhat amusing, unlike the rest of the cast who are just plain awful. God, I wanted to punch that guy in the face. I don't why; I just do.
Chris too gets seduced by Shane (in a non-sexual way, thank goodness) and drinks the blood becoming a half-vampire. This dolt with fangs jeez; an even bigger dork than the emo kid with Frodo hair. Something is seriouly amiss when your hero in a vampire flick sprouts fangs himself and ends up looking even goofier than Jim Carrey in ONCE BITTEN.
The only way to kill this vampire is to drive a stake... RIGHT THROUGH HIS FACE!
So what finally sold him on the vampire way? They all get together to have some fun. By fun I mean taunting the cops to chase them in their squad cars while they speed away on dirt bikes and skateboards. Do they kill the cops? Do they cause them to experience a horrifying car wreck? No. The surf vampires just leave them in the dust. Cinema hasn't seen an epic police pursuit of this magnitude since the opening minutes of POLICE ACADEMY 4: CITIZENS ON PATROL.
In the end, Chris pussies out when it comes to killing, except when he finally decides that SURF VAMPIRE MUST DIE, then he's just a pussy who needs both Edgar Frog and his sister to help save his half-vampire/full-pussy ass from getting killed by wimpy Shane during the anti-climax. Thank goodness his little sister was there to save him. Pussy. Damn, I wanted to punch that guy in the face so bad.
The original LOST BOYS had a comedic streak but it was not a moron movie like this. Whenever SURF VAMPIRES MUST DIE tried to be funny it only ended up being insultingly dumb. Imagine the mentality of that short-lived "Dracula: The Series" family show from 1990 but with more sex and gore as produced by Neal Moritz. Why not have just made the vampires street racers and called it THE FANGS & THE FURIOUS?
And when it wasn't being dumb it was nothing more than a half-assed, impoverished, Cliff Notes retread of the original. I've seen a good number of these needless DVD sequels but never before have I seen one that spent so much time reminding you what it was you loved about the original while pissing on the original's legacy by seemingly going out of its way to botch the very stuff that made the original cool. The original LOST BOYS is one of those right movies at the right place at the right time. Hollywood's wanted to do a LOST BOYS sequel for awhile; rumors of a sequel or even an all-female LOST GIRLS has been going around for ages. Now here we are 20-years later and the best they could come up with was SURF VAMPIRES MUST DIE? To paraphrase a line Corey Feldman utters: this sequel is a suck monkey.
Oh, and for those that give a damn, Corey Haim makes a post-closing credits appearance as a bloodsucking vampire. It's always some sort of an addiction with that guy, isn't it?
MY NAME IS SCOTT FOY AND I PAID TO SEE FREDDY VS. JASON
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