House of 1000 Corpses

This zombie not featured prominently.
"Life and Death are Meaningless...And Pain Is God."

Always one for subtlety that Rob Zombie. Anyway welcome to the spooky conclusion of my October reviews! Today I will round out this celebration of spook by talking about one of my favorite terrible horror movies that's great because of how completely ridiculous it is. Obviously this is going to be a Rob Zombie movie I'm talking about (see also here and here) in this case his directorial debut, House of 1000 Corpses. Though it may be his first, This movie bears all the great hallmarks of Zombie's films, including lots of gore, intense and overbearing background music and soundtrack, Syd Haig doing random shit, and Sheri Moon Zombie being naked on camera, and dressed in a bunch of kinky outfits. Sound familiar? Well YEAH IT IS, but there's so much more to enjoy! You ain't seen nothin' yet. House of 1000 Corpses starts with an almost completely irrelevant scene where two assholes try to rob Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen. It doesn't work out so great and they both end up getting shot. Later two dumbasses named Jerry and Bill stop in with their girlfriends Mary and Denise because they're trying to write a guide of off-beat tourist attractions, because they're douchebags. On Spaulding's tour they learn about Dr. Satan, a crazy guy who used crude brain surgery to try and make an army of super-soldier zombies, which sounds a lot like the plot of Frankenstein's army actually, a really gross C-budget movie you can see on Netflix ANYWAY. The two assholes decide they just have to find the tree where this guy was hung, so they go driving out into the middle of nowhere in a thunderstorm, and nothing bad happens and they all make it home.


John Wick

Gonna be a looot of gun pointin!
"Don't Set Him Off!"

Hello friends, welcome back to The Tagline. Today we're taking a brief break from the frightfest to talk about Keanu murdering dude, because that's what I decided to spend my Saturday afternoon watching. This particular movie is perhaps a return to form for Reeves, who spent a healthy amount of time as an action star before kind of falling off the edge of the world (though I recently reviewed Man of Tai Chi, which Reeves directed and also starred in as the primary antagonist) and now he seems to slowly be coming back into focus (I mean he's been in a steady clip of movies I just mostly didn't care about them, and I didn't care about HIS role in 47 Ronin). Reeves stars as the eponymous John Wick, a man who we're introduced to at a very vulnerable moment, as his wife has just passed away from cancer. He receives as a post mortem gift from his wife, an adorable little puppy named Daisy, and bonds with the little monster while going about the process of grieving his wife. This portion of the movie lasts just long enough that you start to wonder if you're in the right movie theater, or whether there was another Keanu Reeves movie playing right next door about a sad guy bonding with a puppy. Just around that point though, Theon Greyjoy shows up and murders John Wick's puppy and steals his '69 Mustang (okay so obviously it's not Theon Greyjoy, it's Alfie Allen playing the son of a Russian crime boss names Iosef but I found his character more or less the same). Iosef tries to sell the stolen car to Aurelio (John Leguizamo), and much like Theon might, he gets bitch slapped for doing something dumb and is sent out of the shop. Iosef's father, Viggo (Michael Nyqvist, probably most famous for portraying Michael Blomkvist in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies, the Swedish ones) calls up Aurelio asking why he did such a thing, and Aurelio explains how catastrophically Iosef has fucked up. Viggo responds simply by going "oh..." 



It isn't like that at all.
"Nut up or shut up."

I honestly can't believe this, but I guess I really never reviewed one of my favorite zombie movies! Anyway, welcome back to The Tagline! Congrats you've survived another week. Unless you work weekends, in which case congrats, the worst part of your week is just beginning! So... sorry for that I guess! Today I'm going to reach back into the past to talk about Zombieland, a 2009 horror/comedy film set in a zombie apocalypse wasteland, starring Jessie Eisenberg as the fearful shut-in Columbus, who meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) a badass zombie killer who begrudgingly lets the meek Columbus tag along with him. The two are first conned and then later also join up with Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone, I'm still not over Spider Man 2) who are travelling to some amusement park because why not I guess pretend an amusement park won't be full of zombies, not like there's anything better to do right? Everyone needs to have a goal in life after all. Tallahassee's is to find a Twinkie before the last of them expire. The problem is it seems like all he can manage to find are snowballs, and I mean, who wants to eat that shit? Just not tasty, unpleasant texture combination, ugh the worst. This movie isn't about Twinkies though... well I guess it kind of is, but mostly it is about surviving in the very worst situation imaginable. Zombieland is full of those runner-type zombies, and you guys know how I feel about that shit.


Life After Beth

She seems like a nice girl right?
"Til Undeath do Us Part."

Hello friends, welcome back to the Tagline! Today I'm keeping the spook rolling with a movie about zombies why not, in this case Life After Beth, starring Aubrey Plaza (you know) as Beth, the recently deceased girlfriend of Zach (Dane DeHaan) who is deeply distraught about it. Beth went hiking alone and died from a snakebite I guess, so that's all very sudden and tragic, except then after spiraling into a weird depression and hanging around her parents' house for a while, Zach notices Beth wandering around inside. This discovery leaves Zach understandably upset, and after some more stalking and almost breaking & entering Zach finally gets Beth's dad Maury (John C. Reilly) to explain what's going on, as best as he understands it. Which is to say he has no idea what's going on, just that Beth rose from the dead and showed up at their house, and doesn't remember dying. This is all very exciting for Zach, who was deeply distraught about Beth's dying, but it is clear from the get go that something isn't quite right with Beth, who seems constantly confused and thinks that she has a big test coming up or something. It isn't long before she begins to visibly decompose, become freakishly strong, and starts experiencing insane mood swings and tries to eat Zach. Those are all totally reasonable reactions to rising from the dead I guess, even if you don't know that's what happened.


Maximum Overdrive

What a fantastic poster.
"The day horror went into overdrive."

Hi folks, welcome back to the Tagline, where its Spooktober all month, or at least until I get bored and decide to review something completely unrelated because I tend to do that. Today I am talking about a really scary movie, scary because it was DIRECTED BY STEphEN KIIINGGG WOOOOooOOOo. Sounds pretty chilling right? Well sort of. Have you ever heard of Trucks? It was a short story that Stephen King wrote in the early 70s that is about trucks (and other machines and electronics) coming to life to terrorize and murder people. If that sounds like a serviceable short story idea and not a great movie idea, I'd generally agree with you. Movie producers however did NOT agree, and they made not one but TWO movies based on this kind of absurd premise, the first one being written and directed by King himself, and that's this weird ass movie MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE. What could make a movie like this better than being about killer trucks? I'll fucking tell you what, if it was starring Emilio Estevez, and lo' and behold it does, as a parolee who works at a truck stop that becomes besieged by trucks. There's also some other losers at the truck stop, a kid riding his bike tirelessly for at least a whole day, a really annoying newlywed couple, and some drifter girl who was hitchhiking with a molester who sells bibles. King admitted later to being "coked out of his mind" for essentially the entire production of this film, which actually explains a lot of what happens during the film (this movie was released in 1986 and that was about the height of King's substance abuse problems). Keep that in mind while I talk about the rest of the movie.


Dracula: Untold

Anyone who says that's not a cool poster is lying.
"Every Bloodline Has a Beginning"

It's that time again my children of the night, time for The Tagline: Untold. Today as promised we will be travelling to Transylvania, where there are lots of spooky mountains and forests and it appears to be a creepy twilight almost all the time. This spookiness is obviously the perfect place for an awesome castle, and also VAMPIRES. So by that rationale was Dracula: Untold made, a story about the man who became the monster, or something. Dracula Untold stars Luke Evans (who you probably recognize best as Bard the Bowman in the Hobbit movies) as Vlad, the infamous impaler. After being sent away as a hostage and soldier for the Turks, Vlad returns home to take his place as the prince of Transylvania, has a wife who has a bad habit of being drained by vampires in film (Sarah Gadon, also see The Moth Diaries for her turn with Lesbian Dracula) a son and a host of loyal retainers who are certain to be dead in the following hour and a half. Things are going hunky dory until envoys arrive from the Ottoman Empire. The sultan, Mehmed II (Dominic Cooper you know Tony Stark's dad), demands in addition to his usual tribute of lots of ducats (10,000 ducats to be precise) that he be given 1000 boys to train as soldiers for his Janissary battalions. This is the same thing Vlad's dad did to him, and it looks like he's about to go for it and acquiesce, until the Turkish officer taking away Vlad's own son get's kinda lippy at him. Then in the space of I'd say ten seconds Vlad takes the guys sword and then kills all six of the Turkish soldiers with it. We must remember that at this point in the story he is just a man. A very scary man.


Galaxy Quest

Never give up, never surrender.
"The show has been cancelled... But the adventure is just beginning."

Hello all, welcome to the encore edition of this week's Tagline, where I actually post a second time in the week and don't just disappear into the internet for five days like a deadbeat! It's more Netflix today as I wait for the weekend and the coming of Drakul to kick off this most spooky of months, before I go into full spook mode for the duration. We aren't quite there though, so here's another Netflix revelation, Galaxy Quest was put up with the last batch of new arrivals and I knew immediately that I had to review it. Really how could I NOT?! So today we venture into the world of parody, though in this case it is an exceptional parody that becomes so well regarded that it becomes a sort of weird meta-commentary on the original work. So, for the unfamiliar Galaxy Quest is a 1999 movie that parodies not just Star Trek, but also the fandom and professional lives of the TOS main cast, mainly that they became the prototype for the modern idea OF fandom, and conventions held by fans featuring them as guests. Galaxy Quest stars Tim Allen (yeah you heard me Tim the tool man Taylor so what) as Jason Nesmith, who portrayed Commander Peter Quincy Taggart who commanded the starship Protector in the Galaxy Quest television show (which is imaginary and like Star Trek more or less). Alongside him is Gwen DeMarco (played by Sigourney Weaver) who played Lt. Tawny Madison, a character whose principal responsibility on the show seemed to be to repeat the computer, Alexander Dane (played by Alan Rickman) who portrayed the alien Dr. Lazarus (the Spock stand-in) Fred Kwan (portrayed by Tony Shalhoub) who played Tech Sgt. Chen, and Tommy Webber, who played child prodigy pilot Lt. Laredo. Also their guest appearances seem to be facilitated by Sam Rockwell's character Guy, who was a crew extra that died in the first five minutes of one of the show's episodes (so the equivalent of a Star Trek "red shirt").


Girl Most Likely

Kristen Wiig loves to be glamorous. 
"She has a lot to live up to. And a few things to live down."

Good morrow to you all, and welcome back to the Tagline, where movies are king or sometimes me posting late is king and movies are like the queen regent or something. It's a fresh week and today I'm going back to the Netflix to scrounge up something to watch and talk about. Today that refuse is Girl Most Likely, some slipped under the radar movie with Annette Bening (wow I misspelled BOTH her names on the first go) and Kristen Wiig. The movie centers around Wiig's character Imogene, a woman from Atlantic City who got out thanks to a writing scholarship, but that has since done nothing of note, living a kind of really sad desperate parasite life among New York socialites. You know like just really shitty rich people who do shitty things to each other, especially if one person is maybe not fitting in so well (like poor, incredibly depressing Imogene). After her complete douche boyfriend suddenly breaks up with her, what little control she has over her life is lost and she spirals into a deep dark place that anyone who ever lived in a pretty lie is probably familiar with, and decides that the best way to fix THAT issue is to write a dramatic note, take a bunch of pills, and try to kill herself. Her friend stumbles across her unconscious body though and so instead of dying Imogene wakes up in a hospital, and shares her really unfortunate history to the doctor, who then releases her into the... care of her mother (Bening) who is a compulsively gambling woman from Jersey that leaves Imogene sedated in the back of her car so she can gamble, which seems responsible. So without any of her belongings, money, or a means of transportation, and also with a legal order in effect forcing her to stay in the care of her mother for 72 hours, Imogene has no choice but to endure Jersey once more.


The Maze Runner

Run dat maze boyee.
"Based on the Best-Selling Novel"

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another thrilling, chilling edition of the Tagline! Today I am going to jump back to the present and review a movie that I don't recall fondly from 20 years ago (god it is so unreal to think that 1993 was over 20 years ago). So instead of that, today we're jumping back into the vibrant genre of "movies based on young adult novels featuring dystopic or post-apocalyptic settings" Because hell if one movie like that is good then surely eight or nine hundred will be GREAT RIGHT? I don't know. Anyway today I'm going to be talking about the Maze Runner and not the Giver, I know it was a real toss up but there it is. The Maze Runner is a thrilling film based on a novel of the same name, and starring that kid from Teen Wolf as Thomas, a boy who wakes up in a cage that has opened into a grove full of young dudes, and is understandably freaked out, because really who knows what they might do to him. Fortunately it's not that kind of movie, and Thomas discovers that he has been released into the center of a massive labyrinth where many other youths have been released before him. He learns that there is no known escape from the maze, and that at night the area outside of the grove (the maze proper) is prowled by things called grievers, which no one has encountered and survived. They sound like shrieking hell monsters, and for the curious out there, once they show us one we as the audience discover that they also LOOK like shrieking hell monsters, that are also have mechanical. They're basically like something out of doom, as I was watching I had to ask myself like... why did they build them like that? Any mechanical thing chasing you would be scary, but these guys really went the extra mile in the bowel-voiding terror department. Anyway, no one has any memories of how or why they ended up in the maze, but they all want to get out, because living in a grassy grove surrounded by monsters and with a bunch of other dirty dudes isn't the greatest way to spend the rest of your life... I mean unless that's your thing I guess. No judgement.

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