Category Archives: 1 star

The Greatest American Snuff Film

The Greatest American Snuff Film (2010): United States – directed by Sean Tretta

Not rated by the MPAA – contains some violence, disturbing content, sexual themes, brief nudity

Note: The Greatest American Snuff Film will appeal primarily to fans of horror movies, and as such this review touches on a few unseemly subjects.  Reader discretion is advised.

Back in 2003 a few guys got together to make a small movie.  Director Sean Tretta rounded up a little money, about $3,000, and crafted a story of a serial killer who enjoyed making films.  The man, named William Allen Grones (Mike Marsh), fancied himself a director, setting up scenarios where he could document the kidnapping and imprisonment of two young ladies before killing them on camera.

The Great American Snuff Film purports to be the true story of Grones’ crimes, reenacted and dramatized.  Then, the story goes, new interview footage surfaced of Grones before his execution.  Tretta evidently cut this new footage into the old film, making it five minutes longer, and has now released it as The Greatest American Snuff Film.  The movie’s strongest selling point is that the filmmakers have created a fiction surrounding Grones, calling him one of the worst serial killers to never get any publicity.  Better yet, they claim to have the actual footage of his crimes, shown at the end of the film with an additional “Viewer Discretion Advised” warning.

Continue reading

From Paris with Love

From Paris with Love (2010): France – directed by Pierre Morel

Rated R by the MPAA – contains violence, some blood, constant profanity, some sexual content, utter stupidity, and naked mannequins

It appears that Pakistanis are officially the new Russians.  For years following the fall of the Soviet Union the movie industry was unsure who to blame for the world’s terrorist acts.  With 9/11 it became both clearer and more ambiguous: the dark, nation-less, bearded man was inevitably a jihadist terrorist intent on the destruction of America.  Now, with From Paris with Love, these terrorists have a country.

At the same time, the man who made Léon has fallen a long way.  Luc Besson is credited with writing and producing From Paris with Love, though perhaps Alan Smithee would have been better off taking the “credit.”   John Travolta attempts to return to Pulp Fiction form in what will surely end up being one of the worst films of 2010.

The trailer for the film was a disaster in its own right, with odd editing that made it painfully obvious that each sentence Travolta utters ends in profanity.  Expanding the trailer to a mind numbing 92 minutes, the film merely gets more offensive and stupid as it nears the end.

Continue reading

Sick Girl

Sick Girl (2007): United States – directed by Eben McGarr

Not rated by the MPAA – contains strong language, strong violent content and gore, some sexual content

Note: This review touches on some of the less-pleasant aspects of the film, which you might want to avoid if you are a sensitive reader

Sick Girl is the first feature by Eben McGarr, and the first starring role in a feature for its titular actor, Leslie Andrews.  Andrews plays Izzy, a girl growing up in a small town in California.  She’s tasked herself with protecting her younger brother, since her older brother became a Marine and was shipped out.  Unfortunately for almost everyone in the movie, Izzy has some problems.  Fortunately for those viewers interested in low budget gore films, Izzy has ways to vent her problems on the world.

We start out with a dirty Izzy getting picked up by a school bus.  There are some Catholic schools girls and a Sister on the bus.  It’s evident that Izzy doesn’t fit in particularly well, both receiving and giving odd looks to the other girls on the bus.  Driving behind the bus is the boyfriend of one of the girls, anxiously searching for the thong that the girl has taken off on the bus and dropped out the window.  The film starts off with a bang as Izzy beats up the nun, pees on her face, attacks the other girls and the boyfriend and his passenger, leaving most of them dead.  Two, though, she keeps hanging around in her barn.

Continue reading

I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer

I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer (2008): Australia – directed by Stacey Edmonds and Doug Turner

Not rated by the MPAA – contains profanity, violence, gore, ridiculously gratuitous nudity

Unfortunately, the title is one of the highlights of I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer.  It is pretentious, trying to be self-aware of the movie’s status as a horror film, while adding a Commonwealth spin.  Plus, the title is really long, and movies with long titles (like The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?), even though they generally suck, are sometimes worth watching because you can then say that you’ve seen a movie with a title that long.

I’m not sure I would recommend this one as a movie to watch just so you could say that.  Horror fans will find some elements to enjoy, but the general poorness of the filmmaking process, from the script to the acting, from the lighting to the score, serve to make it a terrible film.  Horror fans might appreciate the violence and gore served with an Aussie twist, but discerning or selective horror fans and everybody else will find it to be a painful viewing experience.

Continue reading

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965): United States – directed by Robert Gaffney

Not rated by the MPAA – contains some mild violence and a few 1960’s bikinis

There are lots of things one could say about Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster, so it’s difficult to know what to mention first.  You could discuss the plot, but it is so simple that it would hardly warrant much discussion.  More interesting is the manner in which the film was made, but even that thrill fades after a cursory glance.  This is truly a D-grade movie, possibly worth watching, but only because it has a funny title.

There are a couple competing factions in this film.  On the one hand we have a small spacecraft full of dozens of Martians.  They have obliterated their own planet so are looking for a new suitable home.  At the same time they must collect breeding stock to repopulate their species, since all the women died, save one.  Princess Marcuzan (Marilyn Hanold) is their leader.  She wears an odd leather ensemble and is surrounded by bald, incompetent spacemen.  They also have a space monster on board, who is hairy and ferocious.  He has very little to do with the story.

Continue reading

Sorority Row

Sorority Row (2009): United States – directed by Stewart Hendler

Rated R by the MPAA – contains violence, blood, swearing, unpleasant sorority girls, nudity, stupidity

Hmm…  Not sure exactly where to start with this one.  You’ve seen it before.  I’ve seen it before.  Just about anyone who has seen a horror film has seen it before.  In fact, if you were around in the early 1980’s you might have seen the original film, The House on Sorority Row.

Not that it’s always bad to remake films.  It’s just that when you do it this poorly it feels like an even bigger waste of time.

Our story starts during a sorority party.  A group of sorority sisters are playing a prank on an ex-boyfriend who cheated on one of them.  This prank is far too complicated to detail here, so suffice it to say that it involves scaring the boy to death.  Because this is a horror movie, one of the girls actually ends up dead and the rest of them swear to hide the body and keep it a secret forever.

Continue reading

The Lost World (1960)

The Lost World (1960): United States – directed by Irwin Allen

Not rated by the MPAA – contains stupid-looking dinosaurs and a ridiculously clean-looking cave-girl

This movie is terrible.  It’s offensive, stupid, poorly made, and almost unwatchably bad.

It’s a remake of the 1925 version of The Lost World.  I first saw that one back in sixth grade, when we were in America for a furlough.  I had wanted to watch The Lost World: Jurassic Park badly (or thought it was the Crichton movie) since I had loved the book.  Little did I know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had already written a book by the same title.  You might remember him better for creating Sherlock Holmes.

In any case, I always loved Doyle’s story of a lost plateau in South America, where Professor Challenger and a gang of explorers find a place passed over by evolution.  Dinosaurs still roam and prove rather dangerous.  In the first movie they used stop motion for the first time in a full length feature.  Here they used slightly different methods.

Continue reading