Saturday, October 8, 2011

Urban Legends, Ripper, Village of the Damned

Urban Legend

It's an interesting take on the slasher genre: someone is killing college students (at Pendleton University) in the manner of urban legends.
People fight.  People die.  The ones that aren't dead try to figure out who is behind the killings before they die.  There's really not much to it, but I think it's a fresh take on the genre.  I really like it.

There are a handful of big names in this movie: Joshua Jackson, Rebecca Gayheart, Tara Reid, Jared Leto, and Robert Englund.
There are also some other, not-so-big names in this movie: Loretta Devine (who plays the Foxy Brown loving security guard), Alicia Witt (better known for her role at the clarinet player in Mr. Holland's Opus), Brad Dourif, and Danielle Harris.  My favorite connection here is Dourif and Harris.  Dourif played Harris' father in the Rob Zombie Halloween series.  And, while they never share screen time here, I still liked that they were in the same movie.

Rating: 4/5

Urban Legends: Final Cut

This movie is a sequel in name only.  The only character who shows up from the first movie is Loretta Devine, who is now working as a security guard at a new school.
This movie takes place at a film school.  I can't remember the name, but I guess it's not really important.  The main character can't figure out what her senior film thesis should be.  But, after talking with Devine's character, she decides to make a movie where someone kills people in the manner of urban legends.  Shortly thereafter, a friend of hers is said to have committed suicide, but she believes otherwise.  As she begins work on her movie, her friends (and crew members) start being murdered.  Although, unlike the first movie, they're not being killed in the manner of urban legends (except for one).

I don't like this one quite as well as the original, but it was still an enjoyable movie.  I thought it ended really well.

Random actor sighting: Eva Mendes, Anthony Anderson, Joey Lawrence

Rating: 3.5/5

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary

Another sequel in name only.  They reference the events of Pendleton University in passing, but that's about it.  No characters from the first two movies show up at all.

The basic plot: the movie starts in the 50s at a dance.  Football players drug three girls in order do what football players do to girls after they drug them.  One refuses her drink, and fights back.  She is accidentally killed, and her killer stuffs her in a box in a storage room.
Fast forward to present day.  Three girls are having a slumber party, and they talk about Bloody Mary.  So, after a pillow fight, one of the girls says "Bloody Mary" three times.  They giggle.
The next morning, the girls are missing.  As it turns out, some football players drugged them and took them to a cave.  Or something.  Basically just to pull a prank on them.  One by one, the football players start dying in terrible ways.  We find out that it's the girl who was killed in the 50s, exacting her revenge.

This was a terrible movie.  It was just awful.  About the only thing worse than the acting was the script.  This was an amazingly terrible movie.  At about the 15 minute mark, I just started fast forwarding through the movie, stopping at points to see if it got any better.  It never did.

The only person I recognized in this movie was Kate Mara.

Rating: 0/5

Ripper: Letter from Hell

Years before, Molly Keller (AJ Cook from Tru Calling) was the only survivor of a terrible massacre of her friends.  She is now in college, and is studying serial killers under a famous FBI profiler.  One by one, her classmates start getting murdered in the same manner of Jack the Ripper's kills.  By studying Jack the Ripper, the class hopes to find out who the next victim might be, and who the killer is.

This was a fun movie.  Not altogether different from most slasher movies, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: 4/5

Village of the Damned

Since this was on Netflix instant watch, I opted for this version over the 1960 original.

In a small town, the entire population loses consciousness at the same time.  When they wake up, all the women are pregnant.  Then, 9 months later, they all give birth at the same time.
Before too long, it is apparent that these children are not normal.  There are a series of deaths, all of them ruled accidents.  As it turns out, the children are the spawn of an alien race, and are capable of mind control.  As they get older, the children get stranger.  They all have white hair, they all hang out together, they show no emotion, and they kill anyone who gets in their way.
The movie turns into a fight between the townspeople and the children.  But, as the townspeople find, it's hard to fight against a group of mind-controlling children.

It was an enjoyable movie.  The set-up was a little long, but, once it got past the birthing scene, it was really good.

Big name actors in this movie: Christopher Reeve, Mark Hamill and Kirstie Alley

Rating: 4/5

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