Vampires Suck. Yes, but you suck even more

Full disclosure: Yes, I watched this. But I didn't pay for it, so it doesn't put any coins in the coffers of the Movie Movie team. Normally I would lie or feel bad for having streamed someone else's hard work online, but no-one worked hard on Vampires Suck. In fact, the hardest piece of work anyone put into Vampires Suck was choosing a title that's not Vampire Movie.

Only seconds in, and it's easily as bad as Twilight. Becca moves to the small town of Sporks (I jest you not, Sporks is the town name I had in mind for my own Twilight spoof. There's little more depressing than the realization that you have the same mindset as a Movie Movie writer). The plot is basically Twilight then New Moon with added penis jokes ("I'M IN A WHEELCHAIR. I FEEL NOTHING BELOW MY WAIST. DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S BELOW MY WAIST?" MY PENIS". And I'm not being sarcastic. Someone actually says that) and something they stole from Little Britain. In fact, Vampires Suck could have actually been Twilight as directed by someone a little less reverent than Catherine Hardwicke. It's replayed scene-for-scene, sometimes with actors who look exactly the same as the original lot. "From the guys who couldn't sit through another vampire movie?" Fuck off, they barely watched one.

And oh for fuck's sake, just to piss you off they even use that song by "Muse" too. Thanks universe, way to conspire to make me hate "Muse". So the plot is exactly the same, lines from Twilight's script are repeated verbatim and even the actors look the same. Some things are done a lot better than Twilight, some the same, and some a whole lot worse. There's actually a lot more action, which breaks up the inanity of the plot, even if said action involves someone being hit in the balls. The actors are ever so slightly less wooden and it's actually not as mysoginistic than as Stephenie Meyer's work. The bad: everything else.

The jokes are exactly what one might expect, plus a few you'd think too obvious or too not funny. Silly cinemagoer, no joke is too not funny for a Movie Movie. Get it, Jacob's a werewolf so he pisses up lampposts and chases cats. The vampires are really emo, so the Cullens are called the Sullens. Hi-larity. The jokes are a bunch of lazy pop culture references (oh look, Lady Gaga), shitty slapstick humour (MAN GET KICKED IN BALLS), faux-smut and assorted other horrible bullshit cribbed from the first Scary Movie and every episode of Family Guy ever.

Even fuller disclosure: I couldn't watch all of Vampires Suck. It's ball-achingly unfunny, brain-achingly stupid and depressingly boring. As much so as Twilight, in fact that I felt like I had just re-watched those shitty movies. With that in mind, it's only fair that we resurrect Johnny Cash and his Twilight-exclusive fuck you/5. Friedberg, Seltzer, Meyer - when will you ever learn? You all fucking suck.

Open House

Director: Andrew Paquin (2010)
Starring: Rachel Blanchard, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Tricia Helfer
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Featuring, for some reason, cameos frpom Rogue and her Vampire BF off've True Blood, Open House is a movie in which a pair of serial killers strike on a nice suburban love-nest, taking the lovely Alice (Blanchard) hostage as they do. Tricia Helfer looks anorexic in a bikini and Stephen Moyer doesn't drink any blood. Well, it sounds odd hearing him speak in anything but a Southern drawl now. Open House is like Funny Games except there's not as much tension and no-one is quite as annoying. So much so, that one half of its villainous duo wears a white polo shirt and speaks in an effete, very middle-class manner. Ugh, middle-class killers. Thanks, but I'll stick with my very working class Freddies, Jasons and Michaels (original Michael, ta - I said working class, not white trash Rob Zombie).

Like its killers, Open House is an effective if predictable and slightly dull psychothriller. There's very little at play other than a pair of serial killers and that girl off've Flight of the Conchords being menaced. Being quite the fan of Flight of the Conchords, I found this quite distracting. In fact, I had to pause the movie two or three times just to go youtube the videos in which she appears. Anyway. Tricia Helfer has some sort of job which involves her leaving the house and Camp Serial Killer Man is a writer. This allows him to spend his days - his Business Time*, if you will - torturing poor Rachel Blanchard and murdering her window cleaners. Open House is the sort of movie in which a lot of innocent bystanders get murdered for no other reason than to amp up the bodycount. It's neither noticably bad nor remarkably good. The acting is fine, especially from Blanchard (the most beautiful woman in any room*) but not enough around the board to make this rise above STD dross. Although it does give me an excuse to post this, which is always nice:

* If you get that reference, you are awesome and I love you.

The Expendables

Director: Sylvester Stallone (2010)
Starring: TERRY CREWS, Stallone, Statham, Li, Austin, Roberts, Rourke
Find it online: IMDB

If I was drunk, 13 years old, or a 13-year-old drunk, The Expendables would be my favourite movie of 2010. There's nary ten minutes goes by without something exploding or someone exclaiming macho expletives. Stallone plays Barney, leader of the titular expendables; essentially a group of mercenaries for hire. His team includes knifey Lee Christmas (Statham), Jet Li, Mad druggy Gunnar (Lundgren), Terry Crews and Randy Couture. As you may have guessed, the script doesn't really give us time to learn their names. I'm still not entirely convinced that Crews and Couture's characters even have names. Which is a shame when you consider that Terry Crews is perhaps the most likeable Expendable. Even if his tough guy image is slightly ruined by the Everybody Hates Chris dad speeches going through my head whenever he's onscreen.

But you don't care about Terry Crews. No-one cares about Terry Crews, hence his name coming second to the likes of Schwarznegger and Willis on some of the posters. Schwarznegger appears for about two minutes, just long enough to declare his lack of interest in the job. Bruce Willis, meanwhile, condenses about 90 minutes worth of smirking into his five-minute cameo. He does, however, tell Stallone and Schwarznegger to suck each others' dicks. It speaks volumes that this is the most memorable line in the movie. There's not even a "he'll be back" joke. Had Willis just decked Schwarznegger or Stallone, that might've won The Expendables a bit of goodwill from this idiot. As it stands, Schwarznegger and Stallone mumble machismo at one another and Willis looks smugger than he has in his whole career. Plus Arnie seems to have forgotten how to speak (even moreso) since his last acting foray. The Church scenes are the mumbliest in a movie full of mumbling. It gives a whole new meaning to the word "mumblecore."

The closest you'll get to any actual Stallone/Schwarznegger action. Probably ever

Faring slightly better is Jason Statham, ostensibly netting supporting actor next to Stallone. For the first forty-five minutes or so, The Expendables is basically The Stallone & Statham Show. Eventually this lets up a bit though, and other hardmen are given their individual chances to shine. Jet Li gets a couple of good rumbles with Lundgren and Steve Austin, whilst Crews and Couture stand around in the background blasting at people with ludicrous guns. Mickey Rourke gets a few short scenes, just long enough to provide a moral message and some guidance for Stallone's lost soul. But there are a lot of missed opportunities. Dolph Lundgren is a lot better than I ever thought he could be, Terry Crews is great and even Steve Austin is quite good. Still not sure why Randy Couture is in this movie though.

Eric Roberts plays it evil, with Austin providing the muscle as his bodyguard. A Lundgren/Austin smackdown is hinted at, but unfortunately never happens. It's still amusing enough watching Stallone pull wrestler moves on Austin, and particularly smile-rousing when Austin clothesline punches the Italian Stallion. There are but two women in the movie (Charisma Carpenter being the most notable) and they exist only to either be rescued or punched by the men in the cast. Ladies and people with discerning tastes, this movie is not for you.

The action in The Expendables is good, but just doesn't have the pizzazz of 2005's Rambo or the knockabout humour of say, Crank or The Transporter. This might sound like a bad review, but it's not - not really. I love the cast. Terry Crews and his shotgun are amazing. Bruce Willis tells Sly & Arnie to suck one anothers' dicks! With all that in mind, The Expendables never could live up to its own hype and expectation, could it? As it stands, The Expendables is little more than a Direct-to-DVD movie with the greatest cast, marketing and hype perhaps ever. It's like Tropic Thunder but with disappointing action instead of disappointing comedy. And like that movie, it'll play a lot better on DVD to the post-pub crowd. At the very least, there'll be a subtitle track.

Aw, shucks. Another award

Thanks most kindly to Jinx at Totally Jinxed and Freddie at Full Moon Reviews for bestowing the Horror Review Hole with its third ever award. I'm touched, not the least because Jinx, Fred and their blogs really rather rock. Thanks dudes. There are rules, because nothing ever comes for free. List ten things that make you joyous, and then pass it on to ten people. This may be quite difficult. I'm not really the sort of person that gets 'joyous' about things, but we'll give it a go.

2. Writing
3. My family & friends
4. William Shakespeare
5. Queen. See also Cash, Bowie, Meatloaf and ELO
6. Booze, Haribos and fried eggs.
7. Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man
8. That episode of Futurama when Fry gets infested with parasites. *sobs*
9. Slaughtering & peeling your horse in Red Dead Redemption
10. Zooey Deschanel

It was actually a toss-up (don't be so filthy. Not that kind of toss-up) between her and Timothy Olyphant. But I'll take any excuse I can get to post pictures of Zooey Deschanel. A true admission: I'm incapable of watching Zooey's movies (Elf, for example) without getting all angry and wanting to punch Will Ferrell in the face. Not because I dislike Ferrell, but rather I can't stand seeing my Zooey with another man. *double sobs*

And now for the blogs. Or rather, now for laziness. If you can find yourself on our links page, then the award's yours. I know, it's a half arsed job. But I'm a half arsed kinda person.

Friday the 13th: Part 2

Director: Steve Miner (1981)
Starring: Amy Steel, John Furey, Adrienne King, Kirsten Baker
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Still no hockey mask. Jason spends the movie in Hillbilly mode, wearing dungarees and a white burlap sack on his head throughout. Despite the fact that it takes place not too long after the original movie, Part 2 has Jason Voorhees all growed up. He's massive as you'd recognize Jason, but not yet played by Kane Hodder.

The big man may have arrived, but the movie feels like little more than a rehash of both the original and every other summer camp slasher you've ever seen. Aside from the killer in parts 1-2 and Jason's outfit, these first three Fridays are basically interchangeable. It wouldn't be until Part 4 that the series hit its stride, before delivering slicker, top notch action in Parts 6 & 7 (and, to a lesser extent Jason Takes Manhattan). Jason's more human stages are fun but lack the later episodes' dynamism and eccentricity. Re-watching these earlier movies, one can't help but think it a wise move that the '09 remake opted to condense Voorhees & Son's early adventures into forty five minutes.

Part 2 quickly does away with the earlier movie's survivor, and then skips to a new group of youths five years later. You'll be hard pressed to remember any of them after five minutes, although you can rest assured that the girls are all hot, the guys horny and there's at least one annoying character amongst the number whose death you'll be sure to cheer. There's also the prerequisite appearance from a local crazy (aptly named "Crazy Ralph") to warn the lot of their impending doom. As usual, the kills are really the only bits worth watching. Mildly forgettable as the rest of the movie might be, the final scenes have their merits and the Final Gal's method of outwitting Jason is an interesting one.

Next up: More interchangeable youths die, and Jason finally gets his mask.

SHARK WEEK: My favourite TV & Movie Sharks

The Discovery Channel are doing their yearly "shark week" thing, although every other programme seems to be about sharks on that channel anyway. I suppose this means that there just won't be any programmes about Nazis about to interrupt the shark documentaries. Nevertheless, this lazy hack writer smells a list coming on. Twilighters beware, there will be no Taylor Lautner on this list. At least not until he gets his head bitten off by a Great White.

10. Batman vs Shark - Batman: The Movie

9. Shark - Shark.

8. The Shark that Eats Samuel Motherfucking L Jackson - Deep Blue Motherfucking Sea.

7. Bruce the Shark - Finding Nemo. I'm running out here. Determined not to resort to Shark Tale though.

6. Hammerhead - Spider-man. I'm not entirely sure that having a really flat head is a super power as such, but y'know.

5. That one good joke in My Super Ex Girlfriend

4. Sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads - Austin Powers

3. Mega Shark - Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

2. Shark vs Zombie - Zombi 2. An outstanding movie idea in its own right, relegated to one minor scene in a movie that was itself pretty good anyway. Wasted idea though.

1. Jaws - Jaws. Obviously. Happy Shark Week, if such a thing exists and doesn't sound stupid. It does, doesn't it? Sound stupid, that is. Well happy Shark Week, anyway.

Friday the 13th (1980)

Director: Sean S Cunningham (1980)
Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

After her squiff-headed son dies in a silly camp counsellor related accident, Mother Voorhees seeks out vengeance against the horny stoned youths she thinks responsible. Bad news for Kevin Bacon and his chums, who find themselves on the business end of Not Jason's knife. As you should know, everyone dies but one. A youthful faced Kevin Bacon finds himself with an arrow in the throat, recieving the opening episode's best death scene. The reveal of Mommy Voorhees as the killer doesn't really ring true, but it did give rise to Jason in Part 2 onwards, so we'll let 'em off. And besides, it lends a slight Giallo touch to only see the killer's (usually gloved) hands. And in another aside, Betsy Palmer is at least scarier than the remake's Nana Visitor.

Footloose 2: John Lithgow was havin' none of Kevin Bacon's prancy dancy shenanigans this time around

Of course, you know that Jason isn't the killer in this original piece. It's almost a cliche to mention it now, thanks to the smart-mouthed referential dialogue in Wes Craven's Scream. Jason's mummy dearest is on stabby duties, and Betsy Palmer does a fine job as the wrinkled avenger. A young Kevin Bacon and assorted pretty young things are on hand as stab-fodder, with the mighty Tom Savini handling the special effects and splatter.

The splatter is always the highpoint of a Friday the 13th movie. After all, it doesn't have Elm Street's surrealism, Halloween's use of a Shatner mask or Texas Chainsaw Massacre's pure dementedness. It's fun and influential in its own right, but Jason and his hockey mask are sorely missed in this opening piece. There's much fun to be had here though. The most annoying character dies first, much to this grumpy viewer's delight. All smiles and virginity, our would-be heroine arrives in Crystal Lake's local town only to be warned off and regailed with legends of 'Camp Blood'. Our plucky heroine heeds not these warnings and continues on her (all too) merry way, taking in a little light sexual assault from a sleazy trucker and other such rustic sights as she goes. No sooner has she reached Crystal Lake than the slightly cretinous all-too-cheerful chappette ends up dead.

Next up, Jason Resurrected with a bag on his head and a whole lot more youths to puncture. No Kevin Bacon though.