Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Cherry Falls (2000)

logoDirector: Geoffrey Wright

Writer: Ken Selden (Screenplay)

Starring: Brittany Murphy, Jay Mohr, Michael Biehn, Jesse Bradford, Candy Clark, Amanda Anka, Joe Inscoe, Gabriel Mann, Natalie Ramsey

 

Plot: In the small town of Cherry Falls a psychotic murderer is killing off the virgins of the local high school.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slashers Guide to Film Making

 

Story: Cherry Falls starts by showing a couple of teenagers down at the proverbial loves lane but an uninvited guest turns up kills them. Move us to another couple of teenagers Jody Marken (Murphy) and Kenny (Mann) also fooling around in a car but about to break after it. Jody’s dad just happens to be the Sheriff (Biehn) meaning that Jody has to deal with stricter rules. Sheriff Marken gets a call at the curfew of his daughter and leaves to see what it is about but only makes it there when it is sunlight, just pointing out that surely he would have got there quicker.

The school is shaken by the murders and the kids are dealing with the loss in their own way. When the killer strikes again the FBI turn up and it becomes apparent the killer is after Virgins branding them after killing them. When the killer comes for his next victims, the killer crosses paths with Jody who manages to escape alive. The students come up with their own way to stay alive by arrange a party where all the kids can have sex but something from the Sheriff’s past could be key to what is happening.

Jody decides to do research on a girl from 27 years ago the same name that she heard her father mention. The truth brings out the story that the girl claims she was raped and the boys responsible got away with it, the town simply swept it under the rug before the girl disappeared. Who is the killer is the question left for us to work out and who will make it out alive?

Cherry Falls enters the slasher genre and much like the rest of the films from the 90s we get a much more human killer, we also enter heavily into the past for revenge like killing spree. These two factors make this a very standard horror slasher with generic cliché with main character being related to the sheriff. We have typical teenagers, well what people think of teenagers just being all horny which isn’t always the way. It would be fair to say the body count isn’t too high for the opportunity the idea offers up and the ones killed don’t seem to make sense to the final outcome. This comes off looking like a nice simple slasher but ends up confusing itself by the end. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Brittany Murphy: Jody Marken is our typical high school student who is in a relationship but not ready to have sex yet. When the killer turns up she tries to buck the trend and find out who the killer is. Brittany does a good job in the leading role making for a good damsel in distress. (7/10)

 

Jay Mohr: Leonard Marliston over friendly teacher who tries to help the students through the problems they are facing with the killer on the loose. Jay does a solid job in this role as most of us as used to him on comedic roles. (6/10)

 

Michael Biehn: Sheriff Brent Marken father of Jody but it is his past that has been the catalyst for everything that is going on. Michael plays the standard sheriff but nothing more. (5/10)

 

Gabriel Mann: Kenny Ascott Jody’s boyfriend who is tired of waiting and plays the jealous game with her before being the protector against the killer. Gabriel does a solid job as the typical teenager. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Cherry Falls has a large supporting cast as we do meet a lot of students all very generic though, this does give us something else because we are left wondering which ones are going to make it or not.

 

Director Review: Geoffrey Wright – Geoffrey does a solid job making a slasher horror when the genre was really on its last steps, it does what you need it to do. (6/10)

 

Horror: Cherry Falls, falls nicely into the slasher sub-genre of horror following the basic rules nicely. (7/10)

Mystery: Cherry Falls adds an air of mystery to the story as we have to figure out who the killer is. (7/10)

Thriller: Cherry Falls keeps us guessing by introducing plenty of teenagers leaving us with the problem of guessing who will be next. (7/10)

Settings: Cherry Falls uses the standard town for its settings not making any of them iconic for the film. (5/10)

Suggestion: Cherry Falls is one for the horror fans to try as it will be one that the slasher fans will enjoy. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Shark attack.

Worst Part: Not very original.

Improve Ideas: I think to make this film better we should have seen the killer only go after the people responsible children not random.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Scream, I know what you did last summer.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $14 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: At Virgin High… it’s put out or die.

 

Overall: With the slasher genre really past its peak this tries to feed of the remaining seeds the sub-genre, but it does achieve that by becoming very solid to the genre.

Rating 60

Advertisements

Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery Monthly Movie Club – Escape from the Bronx (1983)

I would like to start out by saying this is the second of two reviews from the latest showing from Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery Monthly Movie Club and I would suggest fans to check out the site and come and join the club.

 logo

Director: Enzo G Castellari

Writer: Tito Capri, Enzo G Castellari (Screenplay) Tito Carpi (Story)

Starring: Mark Gregory, Henry Silva, Valeria D’Obici, Giancarlo Prete, Paol Malco, Ennio Girolami, Antonio Sabato

 

Plot: A rag-tag group of people must fight extermination squads amid their ruined city.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bonkers, Over the Top Fun Fest

 

Story: Escape From the Bronx starts by showing us how derelict the Bronx is meant to have become compared to the vastly revamped other districts in New York. When the development team want to knock down and relocate everyone from the Bronx they start executing anyone they find there, this leads to Trash’s (Gregory) parents getting killed. Trash becomes the crusader to lead a resistance against the cooperation and their mercenaries led by Wrangler (Silva).

What follows is a the resistance kidnapping the President of the cooperation and Wrangler pulling all his men into a war on the streets of the Bronx as they fight for their homes and everything they have.

Escape From the Bronx does come off for what the film is trying to do, we have the prejudice against the people living in the Bronx. We see Trash’s story turn into a revenge like story as he transforms into a lone warrior before becoming the leader of the resistance. The battle between the so called low-lives and businessmen does come off rather clichéd but does help build up the body count in the film. The film never really takes itself too seriously, which is a big plus point because it helps you enjoy how over the top everything is. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Mark Gregory: Trash is the lone warrior fighting for his home, his people and his family’s honour after his parents are murdered. He comes off like a mix of Rambo and the Warriors characters which all works for his wild diving between shooting the seemingly endless amounts of villains. Mark makes this an entertaining performance for all the fans to enjoy. (7/10)

 

Henry Silva: Floyd Wrangler is the psychopath left in charge of cleaning out the Bronx and by doing so we learn that he will enter into genocidal tactics to rid the streets of the resistance and anybody who stands in the way. Henry does give us a good psychopath character that really makes you think twice about what he will do next. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Escape From the Bronx has a huge supporting cast that literally could have been killed at any point in the film, all very clichéd but all work for the story.

 

Director Review: Enzo G Castellari – Enzo makes a greatly entertaining film that really can be enjoyed even if it is so bad it is enjoyable. (6/10)

 

Action: Escape From the Bronx has a body count that is three figures which helps with all of the over the top gun battles and one hit explosions. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Escape From the Bronx does look at the idea that one part of the city can pull it back from a future we don’t get to see how much the rest of the city has changed for my liking. (4/10)

Settings: Escape From the Bronx creates a warzone on the streets of the Bronx and with the storyline gets to show us the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ idea clearly. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Escape From the Bronx uses nearly explosions in every scene which clearly causes more damage than they should have. (8/10)

Suggestion: Escape From the Bronx is one for the fans of drunk action films where you can laugh along enjoying the film unfold. (Watch Drunk)

 

Best Part: Final battle is mad.

Worst Part: Don’t expect anything serious.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final battle.

Funniest Scene: The kids with his homemade grenades.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: This is the middle part of a trilogy.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Tagline: The first to die were the lucky ones!

 

Overall: This is why alcohol gets served in cinemas so you can enjoy a film that is so bad it is actually very enjoyable.

Rating 70

Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery Monthly Movie Club – Escape From New York (1981)

I would like to start out by saying this is the first of two reviews from the latest showing from Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery Monthly Movie Club and I would suggest fans to check out the site and come and join the club.

 logo

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter, Nick Castle (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Season Hubley, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins

 

Plot: In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Classic Filled With Venom

 

Story: Escape From New York starts by taking us into the future 1997 (now the past) where Manhattan has been turned into a maximum security prison with no guards and no escape. When the President’s (Pleasence) plane gets hijacked and hauntingly crashed into Manhattan island right when the world is looking to become at peace. Everyone on the American side is panicking and an organised rescue mission is out of the question. Hauk (Cleef) the warden takes a chance to offer soon to be prisoner Snake Plissken (Russell) a pardon if he can retrieve the President and a tape important to the peace talks. Hauk injects Snake with explosives that will detonate in 22 hours before sending him on his way.

Snake arrives in the city by landing on the World Trade Centre where he ends up meeting a string of colourful criminals with some being good Cabbie (Borgnine) Brain (Stanton) and the evil Duke (Hayes) who runs the island. We follow Snake as he locates the President and has to find a way before the explosives go off killing him.

Escape From New York is always considered a bit of a cult classic with the easy to follow race against time rescue mission. We get the traditional mix of villains with the anti-hero having to navigate and for the most part know who he can trust. We also have the all too generic last resort being the criminal, granted this was one of the early usages of the idea. While certain parts of this film have dated it would be fair to say the most part this still looks very fresh and puts us into a world where the future is different to anything we could have imagined. I do feel this is what the action genre was always about the fun of slightly over the top action and tough guy persona leading the way. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kurt Russell: Snake Plissken is the ex-special force soldier who has fallen onto the wrong side of the law. He gets given a chance for a pardon but then gets betrayed by Hauk giving him just 22 hours to save his own life and save the President. Snake has a tough guy persona playing everything cool even if the odds are completely against him. Kurt gives this character the mark of being the coolest character he has portrayed on film. (8/10)

 snake

Lee Van Cleef: Hauk is the warden of the prison who comes up with the idea of putting Snake on the one man mission to save the day, he is smart enough Snake could be a slippery customer but shows faith in him even if he starts to think the mission could have gone wrong. Lee does a good job in the power position trying to cover his own arse. (7/10)

 

Ernest Borgnine: Cabbie just seems to show up when Snake needs wheels or directions, he makes for good comic relief as he doesn’t seem to take the situation too seriously. Ernest does make for a good supporting character. (7/10)

 

Donald Pleasence: President who spends nearly the whole film captured by The Duke and has to play the prisoner to the prisoners in a clever role reversal. Donald does a solid job but never gets to show off his acting skills. (6/10)

 

Isaac Hayes: The Duke is the king of Manhattan and after what could have been the coolest and awkward entrance with his chandelling cover car we get to see how what he says goes and that he wants out with the President being his leverage. Isaac makes for a good villain of the piece and wants just what all prisoners would want, freedom. (7/10)

duke

Support Cast: Escape From New York has a supporting cast of weird and wonderful characters but the stand out two have to be Brain (Harry Dean Stanton) and Maggie (Adrienne Barbeau) who help Snake along the way.

 

Director Review: John Carpenter – John showed how he can challenge anyone with his action films even if they are not all the cops and robbers, focusing more on the future we could have. (9/10)

 

Action: Escape From New York is filled with action, we have bullets flying all over the place, stealth like kills and a brilliant car chase across a mine filled bridge. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Escape From New York takes us into a bleak future where everything is a lot darker with Manhattan being a prison now but it also gives us the chance to see how close we could have become to peace. (8/10)

Settings: Escape From New York turns Manhattan into a warzone with prisoners coming out of every corner looking for their next victims. A point has to go out for a brilliant shot looking at Manhattan from a distance with the Twin Towers front and centre, very haunting image. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Escape From New York does use very dated computer technology but for the most part never relies on the special effects. (8/10)

Suggestion: Escape From New York is one that all action horror sci-fi fans must watch because it really is just easy to watch and enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Snake in general.

Worst Part:  Let’s be picky here and go with the idea of how Air Force One got hijacked in the first place.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car chase across the land mined bridge.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel ‘Escape From LA

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $25 Million

Budget: $6 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: 1997. New York City is now a maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.

Trivia: Clint Eastwood was considered for the role of Snake Plissken. Kurt Russell based Snake on Eastwood.

 

Overall: Escape From New York really is a classic that should be watched by all because once you do the best eye patched character will no longer be Nick Fury it will be Snake Plissken.

Rating 80

New Releases – 1st May 2015

Unfriended unfriend A group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.

My Guess for Rating – 70%
My Anticipation Rating – 85%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Everly everlyAn action/thriller centered on a woman who faces down assassins sent by her ex, a mob boss, while holed up in her apartment.

My Guess for Rating – 50%
My Anticipation Rating – 20%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Far From The Madding Crowd man In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.

My Guess for Rating – 40%
My Anticipation Rating – 1%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Bad Land: Road to Fury bad Set in the future when water is hard to find, a teenage boy sets out to protect his family and survive.

My Guess for Rating – 60%
My Anticipation Rating – 50%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Monsters: Dark Continentmonsters Ten years on from the events of Monsters, and the ‘Infected Zones’ have now spread worldwide. In the Middle East a new insurgency has begun. At the same time there has also been a proliferation of Monsters in that region. The Army decide to draft in more numbers to help deal with this insurgency

My Rating – 20%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Movie Reviews 101 Pick of the Week – Unfriended