Pupdate – 3/31/17

Grimmsy Grimmling: On hiatus. Oh well, it’ll always be my ‘The Room’.

Semper Puppy Radio: Doing…ok.

HEY!

Would you like your music featured on Semper Puppy Radio?

Of course you would.

Tough.

BUT…if you REALLY do, and you want me to listen to it, here’s what you could do:

Comment here with info on how to listen. If you do, I’ll probably listen. That doesn’t mean I’ll PLAY it…but if you’re polite and all about it, the worst thing that’ll happen is nothing. I won’t trash it.

And who knows, I might like it.

P.S. – Don’t ask me to “mention” or “review” your music unless you want a genuine review. If you ask for it, you asked for it.

Portrait Of A Zombie (2012)

Mockumentary of a “regular family” and how they deal with one of them being a zombie.

Basically it’s done as everyone and everything involved being “normal”, typical real-documentary-ish, except for the ZOMBIE IN THE HOUSE.

Interesting “idea”…but the first half of the movie is pretty much jokes that fall flat, “observations” that are obvious/dull/have already been made, and tedium.

About halfway through it starts to get more interesting: the local morgue forgets basic Zombie 101, the mother gets more and more insane in her devotion, and – and this is my favorite part – the cameraman has to have one of his hands chopped off to prevent “infection”, and that becomes a bit of a running gag (the father complaining about blood on his floor, the cameraman dutifully washing off his bloody stump, the unsteady-cam but otherwise admirable camera-duty devotion, some finger jokes).

So the second half is more weird-creepy as opposed to weird-boring. And there’s definitely a few scenes you might like if that’s your thing.

But eventually even that devolves into the usual, generic, no-more-ideas zombie gore sh1t.

Recommendation: If you like creepy sh1t/zombie movies, skip about halfway in and see what you think. Turn it off when it gets relentlessly gory, cuz that’s all that’s left.

Inspirational Quote: “There’s nothin’ that woman wouldn’t give for her children.”

Grade: D

Film Grade Explanations

I grade on the system I was graded on as a wee one. It’s pretty simple:

A’s are 90-100 equivalent.
B’s are 80-89 equivalent.
C’s are 70-79 equivalent.
D’s are 60-69 equivalent (I’m expanding slightly here).
An F is under 60.
An F- is WELL under 60.
A C-for-horrificness is REALLY REALLY WELL under 60.

And further:
A+ = Brilliant, truly great
A = Great
A- = Extremely good
B+ = Very good
B = Good
B- = Pretty good
C+ = Above average
C = Average
C- = Below average
D+ = Below average/Unsatisfactory
D = Unsatisfactory
D- = Very unsatisfactory
F = Failure
F- = Complete failure

So you see, unlike critics who pan a movie and then give it 2 1/2 stars, the actual grade reflects the actual quality of the film.

So if you see an absolutely wretched movie (as explained in the REVIEW) graded “C” or “C-“, that means that QUALITY-wise, it’s lower than an F-. It also means that I like watching TRULY terrible films, and as far as terrible goes, this one’s a keeper.

And I don’t understand how people can get upset (and they have) at getting a B-.

A B- is exactly what it was defined as when I got them: Pretty Good.

To give a B- to something you don’t like is just stupid.

I mean, EVERY FCKEN MOVIE on review sites is at least 5.something out of 10. It’s like 1 through 4 don’t exist. If you hate a movie, don’t give it 5 f@cking stars out of 10. Give it 1. Because, you know, it’s REALLY REALLY bad. It’s on the LOW end. Not the MIDDLE …the LOW end.

So if I give a movie a D, that means exactly what it meant for me: “Unsatisfactory”.

It doesn’t mean “Abysmal failure”. It means: I grade according to actual grades.

Even in terms of F’s, there’s a HUGE variance.

Everything from 60-100 is NOT an F.

Everything from 0-59 IS an F/F-.

That means…there is MORE variation possible in failures than in non-failures.

It means…it’s HARDER to go from a 59 (F) to a 0 (Sub F-) than it is to go from a 60 (D-) to a 100 (A+).

It also means some F’s (59) are a LOT closer to not being failures than others (0).

What’s the difference, you might ask?

Well, if you show up for a test, do your best, but just do really badly and get a 59, you get an F.

If you show up for a test, sit there and draw smilie faces and “Fck you” for answers and get a 0…you get an F.

Not quite the same.

See how that works?

The Room (2003)

Tommy Wiseau looks sort of like what I imagine Peter Steele would look like right now.

It’s not often I can say this, but *I* could make a better movie than this. So could you.

I prefer more artistic wretched failures: ‘Troll 2’, ‘Hobo With A Shotgun’, and so on.

But this is fun to watch, knowing you have X amount of time to laugh/chuckle/shake your head/cover your eyes/go OH GAWD and, of course, revel in the fact that your life can’t possibly be as bad as this movie.

10:19 – Is that in the script, or is she guiding the other actress?

Note: Brains can only be blown out if said person has brains.

Inspirational Quote: “I’m gonna do what I wanna do, and that’s it. What do you think I should do?”

IQ2: “So, I mean, what’s the interesting part?”

Grade: C (F- adjusted for horrificness)

Creep (2014)

Netflix Streaming, I am not amused.

Well, be fair, I am a little. Is this SUPPOSED to be funny?

People LIKE this?

What a load of sh1t.

The “idea” here was to make money – it’s dumb, it’s badly acted, it’s badly written, it’s utterly unbelievable, and it’s not scary for a second.

Just an absolutely wretched “horror” film.

Upped a notch cuz you might laugh at it.

I’ve had worse dates.

Hardest part of review: spending the time to confirm how many S’s are in the word “abysmal”. I was right.

Let THIS – be a warning – to YOU.

Grade: F

Cthulhu (2007)

Ok so supposedly this is another mediocre, failed H.P. adaptation.

But before that…

Some people complain about the main character being gay; a “highly liked” review ends with the GHASTLY notion that this might leave people with the idea that Lovecraft was gay!!!

WHO GIVES A SH!T??? WTF does sexuality have to do with Lovecraft’s notion that people don’t have the SLIGHTEST idea what is really going on, that humanity is just a tiny speck in the cosmic scheme of (bigger, better, more powerful, more intelligent, etc…) things?

Answer: Nothing.

Oh, but H.P. was notoriously bigoted (see “miscegenation”), so it’s not a HUGE surprise that some of his fans are as well.

ANYHOO…as to the MOVIE…you know, the parts that MATTER…

It’s a mediocre adaptation of Lovecraft. BUT…and this is the point…it’s a very admirable, attempts-to-get-it-right adaptation.

And when I say get “it” right, it = the mood. See ‘ITMOM’.

It does about as well, I think, as a low-budget movie with no “name” actors and no real FX can do with the story.

Is that enough? No. But it does have its good points, and it’s not some cheezy cr@pfest like a lot of “Lovecraftian” sh1t films are.

The lead is actually pretty good…the family “drama” seems at least tolerably genuine and his acting is convincing throughout.

The creepiness seems to build slowly (LIKE IT SHOULD)…it’s not some stupid cheezy sh1t just THROWN at you (GASP! THRILLS! CHILLS! EXPLOSIVE! A MUST SEE!)

…and it actually IS *kinda* creepy, at times. Seems like it might have ripped a few movies here and there, but GOOD rips. ITMOM, for instance.

The ending is…interesting, and appropriately at-least-ambiguous-dark.

Grade: D+

Junk (2011)

Narrated-in-rhyme short animated film.

Creepy tale about a kid who eats junk food, then gets into really junky not-food.

Very visually creepy, and gets pretty dark.

It seems to be affectionately made for someone…

It’s interesting, I think…and it’s short. Worth a watch.

Now let’s get a f@cken snack!

Grade: B-

Masters Of Horror: Dreams In The Witch-House (2005)

Really bad adaptation of another unduly-worshipped Lovecraft story.

Points for creepiness, I guess…and lots more against for dumbness and cheeziness. And WTF is the big deal with this sh1t ness.

I mean, come on. Lovecraft’s idea that “reality” is just a veneer over things human beings can’t possibly comprehend is an extremely interesting one.

But far too often his idea of what’s “really” there just isn’t all that great.

Nice ‘Holy Grail’ reference…THUMP.

Try ‘In The Mouth Of Madness’. Or, for a reverent mock, ‘The Cabin In The Woods’.

Grade: D-

Basket Case (1982)

So a guy carries around a basket with a dangerous psychotic entity inside, unleashing it sometimes intentionally and sometimes not.

The thing is animated very badly, but that only adds to the cheezy charm of it, if you like cheeze. I mean, it’s pretty darn silly-looking, but also pretty freaky.

It gets jealous whenever the carrier tries to have any kind of life for himself, and when it gets jealous it gets mad, and you DON’T WANT IT MAD.

As for moral analysis: I actually do feel sorry for both of them, because they didn’t really *ask* for what happened…so I get the loyalty there, the sticking-together.

But while it may have been reasonably sane at first, it eventually turns into a bloodthirsty, controlling thing; definitely an “it” as opposed to what it may have been.

Then again, this is a somewhat fun sh1t film, why am I bothering with moral analysis?

Blonde secretary/Love interest: Starts…squeakin’. Then does a great totally out of character mini-rant a bit later.

Several “Don’t do it man!” moments.

Full Frontal Nudity: Hello, Sailor.

Ending: To be expected, really.

Grade: C-

Attack The Block (2011)

The most effective and expedient initial alien-invasion response ever.

Fortunately, there’s more of ’em.

Re: critical acclaim – Character development my a$$…”social commentary” my a$$.

Character development: “I live here, neglected, that’s why i mug people, but I’m rugged so I don’t complain…FEEL the pain”. No…that’s half-a$$ed.

Social commentary: “The aliens are really society’s way of attacking black people. Wait, no, that theory is wrong…but it got mentioned with drugs and guns, so there’s the social commentary…

…Oh, and don’t help starving kids in Africa when there’s horribly cared-for and completely well-nourished teen muggers right here in England!”. Quarter-a$$ed.

It’s well made: it looks and sounds “real” enough, decent fx, decent score, and the acting ain’t bad.

But it’s a small teen gang fighting a small group of shambling, neon-toothed aliens.

That’s it. Just doesn’t do it for me.

Then again, if you’re in the right demographic (teens to mid 20s, British, lower-to-middle income family, somewhat of a loner) you might love this as YOURS.

But for me, that was ‘The Crow’…and even in objective retrospect, that setting blows this away.

Grade: D

Lurking Fear (1994)

Another attempt to re-create the mood of H.P. Lovecraft’s world.

Features the ‘Re-Animator’ guy doing some halfway decent acting. Come to think of it, the ‘Re-Animator’ guy should have appeared in EVERY SINGLE LOVECRAFT ATTEMPT after ‘Re-Animator’. It’s his only thing, really, but he does it convincingly and lends some cred.

Seems tolerable at first, some promise…

Low budget and all, but it’s surprisingly decent.

The problem is…it’s just not that interesting.

I blame H.P.

It gets kinda silly at parts. I mean, not exactly insanity-inducing.

More like WTF-did-people-see-in-this-sh1t-inducing.

Obviously, two things. One, H.P. wasn’t all-powerful. Two, this isn’t his best.

Whenever I try to envision a world defined solely by Lovecraft’s visions, I edge closer and closer to insanity at the dumb-a$$ horror that I can barely comprehend.

Inspirational Quote: “I guess, uh…we’re ready to go to Church.”

Grade: D-

3/17/17: Grade Correction. Grade: D

The Crazies (1973)

The reason this particular movie failed upon release is that it’s not very good.

George Romero had a nice little idea about reanimated corpses attacking and eating people, but then he got silly.

That’s all, really…he was never much of a writer, or a director; aside from ‘Night’ and ‘Land’, he’s made mostly cheezy, occasionally interesting cr@p.

A few interesting-creepy moments half an hour in here, a few more intermittently throughout. Besides them, it’s cr@p.

Upped a notch for the superior remake it inspired.

Particularly lame: the cutaways from a poorly-written military highups convo to really stupid military ACTION! bits.

Pretty d@mn bad: The writing in general.

Almost as bad: The acting in general…but then again, it’s hard to act well given these lines. Also, George has a habit of hiring non-actors to act: one from here reappears as a dumb-a$$ in ‘Dawn’, another moves on to bigger and better-acted things as Frankenstein in ‘Day’.

Fav bad bit: Persistent suit-muffled dialogue.

Inspirational Defiance: Ted Striker goes berserk.

Inspirationally Dated Song: The end theme.

Inspirational Monotone Quote: “Stop where you are…”

Grade: D-

Pupdate – 3/8/17

Grimmsy Grimmling: TONS of ideas. But it takes some effort to make them apparent to you, and they’re already apparent to me. So, if anyone except my friends has any interest in seeing more, let me know in the comments.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m still gonna do them. Just not in as big a rush if almost noone else really gives a d@mn.

To those that DO (you know who you are), thank you very much for the support. And it REALLY will get more interesting, I promise 🙂

Semper Puppy Radio: Just set new highs in unique (recent) listeners AND in unique (recent) countries of listen-hood. THINK of it!

Also, working on maybe adding a cool new song or two or three. Not sure though, we’ll see. But don’t worry…it’s the same as it ever was!

People That Don’t Like Me: Eat my shorts.

Thoughts On Womens Day: People are people. Up with the best, forget the rest.