Friday, April 30, 2010

The Devil's Rejects

Directed by Rob Zombie
Bill Moseley
Sheri Moon
Sid Haig
and William Forsythe

Horror recently has fallen into a rubbish slasher genre which gain all of their scares by using cheap loud noises and by having something quickly jump at you on the screen, no real atmosphere of fear about anything other than when your going to have to cover your ears. (Despite being a good film a perfect example of this would be Drag Me To Hell)

Now Rob Zombie moving from his music career for a small time to be a director, i had seen his first piece of work House of 1000 seemed like a typical horror movie, stealing lots from old greats like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre...basically revolved around the typical teenagers getting trapped in the middle of nowhere with an insane family only that the characters in the movie were not very well developed and the whole idea of the movie seemed to be just to show slightly disturbing things to gross out the audience, fun to watch but just quite a pointless movie.

Three years later i hear about The Devils Rejects which would be released in 2006, i was not sure whether or not to see this movie but after reading about how the movie explored the family more than just being a horror movie i was pretty curious. So after buying a cinema ticket to see some kids movie i snuck in to see The Devils Rejects.

I was incredibly surprised with this movie, Rob Zombie really did try his hardest and delivered on all aspects...acting, story, violence, scenery (most of the movie was shot on location and not in a studio).
At the time in the cinema it was just a great horror movie to me but it wasnt until about a year ago that i started to fully appreciate the movie.

Ever since the movie has came out, most of the reviews or opinions i have had off of other people appear to be the same, they are decided that they do not like this movie, thats fair enough but a large amount of people full on insult the movie calling it a simple gorefest to disturb the audience and has no real purpose or story, these points i cannot help myself to disagree 100%.

The story seems simple at first...the brother police officer of a victim of the family swears revenge and decides to hunt down the family and arrest the story goes on you see that arresting them is not his main objective he wants to torture and kill the family with extreme rage, going as far as hiring bounty hunters and going rogue from the police force. On the other side of the story we have the family Otis, Spaulding and Baby heading to meet another family member so they can hide and relax.

It seems very simple but the way in which the story develops is what makes it work so well...throughout the movie you see the family torturing and killing people, there is no way you can sympathise with them at all they are just the most disgusting human beings, and Officer Wydell (the GOOD guy) you can understand his rage and root for him to hunt these people down and kill them. As the story goes even further on you see the human side of the family, sitting down together and enjoying some relaxing time, drinking a beer and understand that they are human beings able to feel fear, happiness and every other emotion but are still bad people. Officer WYdell slowly starts to become so obsessed with catching them that it appears he is losing his mind and as the film comes to a climax you truly beleive he has and begin to root for the family.

Thats why i liked the story so much it appears to take an entire 180 on the whole thing, turning the sadistic family into the victims and you start to feel sorry for them. it would seem impossible half way through the movie for you to beleive you would feel sorry for these people, but the officer despite going insane you still root for him as well, so you are unaware who the good guys and the bad guys are and it leaves you with an original feeling which i had not really felt in a horror movie before.

The cast is brilliant, Otis played by Bill Moseley is so captivating as is the clown Captain Spaulding played by Sid Haig. We have cameos all over the place, but not cheap and comedic...its a big tribute to all horror with the cameos...even all of the minor characters are so entertaining to watch whether it be the Bounty Hunters played by Danny Trejo and Dallas Page or simple victims...almost every character in the whole movie would make a fun spin-off movie.

The music is great, Rob Zombie used music from bands that were famous during the time of the movies setting, and if there is one thing that is Rob Zombies strong point it is setting a scene to music, he seems to be able to take a relaxing song and put it to a scene that is full of disgusting violence or suspense and make it work really well.

So now i will defend the movie against some of its haters who seem to be taking a dislike to the movie and turning it into a needless attack on the movie, if you dont like the movie thats fine but there is no need to make reviews claiming stupid statements such as.

"Seriously – anyone who legitimately identifies with a band of whiny, backward serial killers with dirty hair and a shared brain needs to do a reality check."

That was part of the movies progression, to take us away for a while the 'dirty haired serial killers' and show us something more human so we can hopefully view them as more than just killers.

"we learn absolutely nothing more about the Fireflies this turn around"

Anybody who says this clearly do not understand the movie at all...the development is very clear as i have already explained.

I understand the idea of watching a movie for entertainment, and most people view this movie thinking its going to just be that...but few seem to look at the film and analyze the aspects that Rob Zombie went for, it is not a simple bloody movie made to shock the audiences, it is a well done, gritty low budget tribute to old movies like Last House on the Left and Easy Rider only with a proper named cast and decent intreaguing story and some slight preachy undertones on violence morals.

It still remains as one of my favourite horror movies, and stays high as my favourite horror movie of the 2000's.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Example of a Perfect Scene

What do i class as a perfect scene? Well i would say it is a scene which has everything a movie is about done to perfection. This would include Story, Acting, Progression, Music, Camera Angles, Action, Suspense.

Story - for a scene which is basically classed as a duel, it gives so much about the progression of the story and in a way changes everything. Throughout the whole movie you are led to beleive that Mortimer is trying to take out this wanted man for money, but the scene changed it all by letting the audience know that this way a hunt for even lets us know that Monco had an idea about this revenge all along with the stealing of the stopwatch identical to Indio's watch. They are also able to do this in a way that doesent smell of a doesent spoon-feed the information or have a big 'Oh My God' moment, it all just happens in a natural way which i prefer.

Acting - Very few lines are said, and the ones that you do hear are overdubbed, but powerfully delivered at the same time. Most of the acting is told through the faces. Lee Van Cleef clearly showing look of extreme anger but mixed with his knowledge that he is about to get shot and he cannot do much about it quickly transforms into someone who is in control, but still knows the seriousness of the situation and how he can get killed. Eastwood proving yet again he is just mellow and cool, no matter what happens in this situation he will come out the winner and the character knows it. The delivery of the line "NOW we start" sends chills down my spine. And of course lets not forget Gian Maria Volonte, through the film we know him as a broken human being emotionally and it shows, when he looks at the watch you can beleive the character is still hurting about his experience, also when the tables are turned on him he perfectly captures nerves and fear in his face, making movements that look like the character is holding back throwing up because of his fear.

Music - Ennio Moriconne always delivers, and his pocket watch melody helps in capturing the creepy suspense in the scene. When the song transforms into La Resa Dei Conti, that is when it really has effect, it uses each camera angle and shot to its advantage without coming across as cartoonish and when the climax of the scene and music combine after the 'Now We Start' line it honestly gives me goosebumps every time i watch it.

Camera Angles - Probably the main part in what makes this my favourite scene from all time. Almost every single shot is perfect whether it be the Duel camera angle over one persons shoulder, Eastwood walking from Mortimer to let them duel or the famous Sergio Leone shot of the eyes, it just looks fantastic, the setting is perfect as are all the colours. I have already mentioned the scene to music, how not only the music compliments the scene but the camera angles really compliment the music, a combination of Sergio Leone and Moriconne that i have yet to see matched.

Some would argue that the three-way duel at the end of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is better but i would have to respectfully much as i love both duels i think even by Leones standards the duel in GBA just lasted far too long and i prefer the idea of a revenge duel, turning it into just three men fighting over money i felt made the duel less powerful than For a Few Dollars More, but this is only my opinion.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Top Ten Most Dispicable Characters 10-6

#10 - Mr Henry Potter (It's a Wonderful Life)

Driven by money and claimed as the meanest man in the county, Henry Potter is seen as being cold, manipulative and very apathetic throughout the whole movie. His fair or charitable gestures being part of a far more evil plan. Desperate on the ruin of the Bailey building, he even goes as far as stealing the $8000 needed to prevent the place from going bankrupt, at first he is about to return it until he observes Uncle Billy looking for the money that he accidentally left in Potters office. Realising at that moment just how badly the money meant to George and Billy, Potter decides to keep it with the knowledge that it would result in the downfall of that moment you realise more than ever that Potter is a truly disgusting human being.

#9 - The Church Group (Cracker : Episode 2.2 The Big Crunch)

Kenneth Trant - Teacher, preacher and having an affair with a 16 year old student. Apon his wife and close family friends finding out about this affair and unplanned pregnancy with the student they decide to take action. The student (named Joanne Barnes) is not only having sex with the preacher, but has fallen madly in love with him. Instead of punishing Kenneth for this crime they instead hold Joanne hostage, performing painful Holy Rituals on her, forcing her pills and marking her with all sorts of holy symbols to absolve her. Finally needing to get rid of her so she cant talk of the affair or the torture they put her in a crate and try to use Mark (a mentally handicapped teenager who loved Joanne) to unknowingly have the crate shredded to pieces with her inside. All of this leads to Joannes death and the suicide of Mark...both to which the families appear to have no remorse, only fear of getting caught.

#8 - Theodore 'T-Bag' Bagwell (Prison Break)

Anybody who has watched at least the first two seasons of Prison Break would know that T-Bag is one of the most horrible people in modern day television. Convicted of multiple murder and rape, T-Bag got his own crew inside of prison, always preying on new weaker inmates for sexual needs...making time very difficult for them if they didnt agree. Agreeing would also result in huge embarrassment for them in the prison with them having to hold onto his pocket wherever they go and being the natural 'bitch' of the prison. Even after breaking out of prison, he continues to try and seduce and molest young girls, kills multiple people and steals all the money that the whole crew had been travelling across the country to find and refuses to give any of it up even though refusal to do so would result in deaths of a previous partners loved one. This manipulative, dangerous and devious nature sticks with T-Bag through the whole show and despite trying to change, he only proves to himself that he is just naturally an evil person.

#7 - Brother Justin (Carnivale)

This is a pick of mine that is difficult to describe, its one of those things that have to see on the show itself to actually understand. Brother Justin is basically a demon born inside a priest. He is naturally very friendly and after going missing for a long time, he comes back to his community being praised like a god. He is having his own temple built for him and lives in his house with his sister. He was always being cared for by his step-father Norman. After Normans realisation of Justin being a demon (in this show they are known as an Avatar species) he has a stroke and is struck with paralysis. Brother Justin continues caring for him in a very patronising way, you can see the fury and fear in Normans eyes every time he is in the same room. Justin is also using his followers as maids, and uses his forceful mind power to make them commit sexual acts on him. It all doesent sound quite as bad as some other villains but when you see the mental destruction of his victims and his apathetic attitude towards them once they are i said you have to see it. Brother Justin also pins the murder of many children onto a good friend of his to protect his sister.

#6 - Ralph Cifaretto (The Sopranos)

Although i find him to be the most disgusting person on The Sopranos, the majority of my reasons all take place throughout the course of one episode. They all revolve around a stripper that works at the 'Bada-Bing!' club in Jersey. Ralph is having an affair with a young girl who works there. One specific day has Silvio come round to drag her to work, she is very pissed off about it and he starts slapping her around in front of the car, from the window you can see Ralph laughing at her humiliation and he simply goes back to watching Sparticus. Later on he is at the club with her and she is mad and runs outside, he confronts her there...he seems nice at first but at the end of his conversation gives some disgusting remarks which makes her spit on him. He then violently attacks her, punching her repeatedly in the face and stomach (remember she is a young girl and pregnant) then bashes her face across the side of the road until she is dead. He shows no remorse whatsoever and moves on to a new girl. There are other horrible moments such as when he teases the doorman Georgie and whips his eye with a chain. There is also an unresolves storyline of whether or not Ralph set his pet horse on fire because he hated paying the vet bills.