Greatest Power Rangers fan fiction ever?

Last night, I had the opportunity to witness what was, in my opinion, the greatest piece of fan fiction ever.

And that fan fiction was based off of none other than the TV show known as…POWER RANGERS.

I’ll make one thing quite clear: I really disliked that show. It was corny, cheesy, lame, horrifically low-budget, with worse special effects than Battlefield Earth.
It’s just a few high school students dressing up in tacky costumes and exaggerating their limited martial arts knowledge and stupid plastic weapons on poorly costumed enemies. I can barely believe that the actors who played these schmucks could say their lines with the least bit of pride.
And seriously…can anyone take Rita Repulsa seriously? With her horned headgear, traffic cone boobs, and laughable dubbing?

But all that changed last night.

Literally the first scene blew me away.

We get a POV shot of Kimberly, now played by Katie Sackhoff (the mother from Oculus) as she and her fellow Rangers rush around, firing their machine guns, through a WAR ZONE. They literally look like they’ll be defeated as the landscape explodes around them. They’re heading for a big, evil-looking machine in a desperate attempt to take it down. All of a sudden, an actually awesome looking Zord comes out of nowhere and kills the freaking thing!

Insert brief shot of Kimberly’s helmet lying on the ground on its side.

We cut to the not too distant future. The machines have taken over and forced humanity into servitude. All of the Rangers have been killed through a conspiracy. Only three Rangers remain alive:

– Rocky, the former second Red Ranger, who has joined the machines and now sports a mechanical leg,

– Kimberly, the former Pink Ranger, who has been captured and is now being interrogated by Rocky, and

– Tommy, the former Green Ranger, who, after the machines’ invasion, became a wandering Ronin. He is now the reason Rocky is interrogating Kimberly.

During the lengthy interrogation scene in which Rocky and Kimberly discuss the history of the Mighty Morphin era Rangers, we learn how all the Rangers were not killed, but brutally murdered. Jason, the original Red Ranger, was killed eight hours after marrying Kimberly after Bulk and Skull sold them out to the machines. Zach, the Black Ranger, was so hungry for action that he defected to the machines and helped them take down the last bastions of human resistance. That is, until he wore out his usefulness and was assassinated. Billy, the Blue Ranger, became an openly gay trillionaire businessman only to also be assassinated. Trini, the Yellow Ranger, died of vague causes.

Upon Rocky’s revelation that Kimberly is bait for Tommy, Tommy comes in, kills the guards, and fights Rocky. Tommy is defeated, but before Rocky can kill him, Kimberly kills Rocky.

Tommy, after he asks who Kimberly is, reveals that Kimberly died in the battle in the beginning. Kimberly’s skin crumbles off, revealing not only that Kimberly was a disguise for her true identity: Rita Repulsa, but that Rita was the mastermind behind the killings of each of the Rangers. Tommy attacks her and we cut to the credits.

By the power of Grayskull, that was incredible! It had action, it had suspense, it was dark, it was gritty, it was brutally violent, it had an ever-twisting plot, it was VERY R-rated, and it made Rita Repulsa truly evil. She still has her horns (they’re smaller), but she’s American, her traffic cone boobs are gone, and she has an evil voice that does not require dubbing.

It was splendidly acted for a fan film. It’s story was well written. It’s characters are well developed. Considering that it’s only 15 minutes long, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Make it into a full-length movie and release it in theaters please!

Verdict: 4/5

Review 12: Psycho (remake) (.5/5)

Psycho

Directed by Gus van Sant

Starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortinson, William H. Macy

Released on December 4, 1998

Running time: 1h 49m

Rated R

Genre: Horror

I may have had a bone to pick with the original Psycho‘s R rating, but I fully support the R rating of the 1998 shot-for-shot remake.

Though this is a shot-for-shot remake, there are some major changes. The most obvious one is this: in the scene in which Norman Bates (Vince Vaughn) looks through the peephole at Marion Crane (Anne Heche) as she undresses, he masturbates. No, really. We hear the damp, rhythmic rubbing sounds as he does the deed, and we hear him quietly grunt as he climaxes. Ew. Oh, and he has porn magazines in his room.

Another one: during both of the murder scenes, as the knife rises and falls, the scene is … intercut with surreal imagery, like writhing and roiling storm clouds, or a woman dressed like she’s in Fifty Shades of Grey, or other surreal dream images. And then there’s the gratuitous butt shot of Marion Crane as she falls over in the shower, and the gratuitous butt shot of Sam Loomis (Viggo Mortinson). Both are completely unnecessary.

Oh, and there’s the fact that the blood is now in color.

Gone are the sassiness and erotic undertones of Janet Leigh. Anne Heche turns into a tiny, weak, scared little mouse that’s practically begging to be caught by my cats.

Gone is the unreadable, unpredictable, and undeniably insane Anthony Perkins. Vince Vaughn (who I KNOW is a nice guy, I just can’t stand him as an actor) throws social awkwardness and ineptitude into a role for which he was seriously miscast. He’s just…not skinny. He chuckles at inappropriate times.

This remake has the style: the cinematography, the story, the characters, the classic dialogue. It even tries to recreate the scares. But it lacks this major thing: the substance. It is reshot awkwardly. It is acted awkwardly. It is updated for 1998 awkwardly, especially in a scene in which Lila tells Sam, “Let me get my Walkman”. It lacks the feeling that something’s actually happening.

We all know the story: Marion Crane steals $40,000 (now $400,000, but still in cash) from her boss’s client. She starts to flee to the shop of her boyfriend, Sam Loomis. En route, she stops at the Bates Motel, where she meets the very strange Norman Bates. She takes a shower and is killed by his mother. Marion’s sister Lila, Sam, and a detective named Arbogast team up to find Marion. Arbogast is killed by Mother when he goes solo at the Bates Motel. Lila and Sam do their own investigation, go to the motel, and discover that Mother is Norman. Norman is committed to a sanatorium.

It’s not necessarily the things that were taken away. It’s the things that were added.

If Norman was ever caught even admiring his manhood in the mirror, Mother would force him to wear a dress in an attempt to curb his masculine tendencies. And she would go BALLISTIC if she’d caught Norman with porno mags in his room.

Despite Danny Elfman’s decent recreation of Bernard Herrmann’s original soundtrack, it lacks the Herrmannian touch.

Just like this movie lacks any sort of Hitchcockian touch.

While the material from the original Psycho isn’t goshawful, the material added by van Sant (the idiot who gave us the desperately politically correct bilge known as Milk) makes the final result almost insufferable.

Therefore proving that shot-for-shot remakes are entirely pointless.

At least Vince Vaughn TRIED.

Final verdict: .5 out of 5 stars

Review 11: Assault on Precinct 13 (remake) (3/5)

Assault on Precinct 13

Directed by Jean-François Richet

Starring Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Brian Dennehy, Drea de Matteo, Maria Bello, John Leguizamo, Aisha Hinds, Ja Rule, Gabriel Byrne

Released on January 19, 2005

Running time: 2h 0m

Rated R

Genre: Action, Thriller

A timeless classic thriller gets updated for the 21st century.

Instead of a massive group of street thugs that have gotten their hands on stolen guns, it’s a group of corrupt cops attempting to cover their tracks and eliminate loose ends. Instead of Ethan Bishop, a black Nice Cop who’s trying to embody honor, justice, taking his job seriously, and just being decent, we have Jake Roenick, a white Douche Cop who struggles with alcoholism and hits on his therapist. Instead of Napoleon Wilson, a petty crook turned implied killer, we have Marion Bishop, an infamous mob boss who is a known cop killer.

Interesting changes.

I went into this movie expecting it to suck, then squish, balls. Tiny, weak, wrinkly, impotent balls.

Our story begins eight months ago with a prologue. Ethan Hawke plays Jake Roenick…who is doing his darnedest to sound as annoying as he can. He and two other cops are undercover as they attempt to blow the cover of an infamous drug dealer. The plan does not go well; Jake’s coworkers, as well as the drug dealer, are killed.

After the title sequence, we cut to the present day on New Years Eve. The police station in Precinct 21 of Detroit is about to close for good. (Before you say anything: this is not a new error. The original AoP13 took place in Precinct 9, Division 13.) Only a skeleton crew has been left to watch over it: Jake, his secretary Iris Ferry (Drea de Matteo), Jake’s therapist Alex Sabian (Maria Bello), and retiring cop Jasper O’Shea (Brian Dennehy). Jake is an alcoholic and has an addiction to some sort of painkiller. He hits on Alex, and he and Iris, at their New Years Eve party, plan to copulate to their hearts’ content.

Crime lord Marion Bishop (Laurence Fishburne) has been arrested. He is being transferred to a different prison with several other criminals: Beck (John Leguizamo), Anna (Aisha Hinds), and Smiley (Ja Rule). The transfer cannot be completed because of a snowstorm, so the convicts will be held at Precinct 21 until morning.

After two masked men break into the prison and are killed, the crew at the police station find themselves surrounded by unknown persons. The power goes out, phone lines are cut, and cell reception is jammed. A brick labeled “BISHOP” is thrown through the window, and another assailant is revealed to be a cop. Bishop reveals that they are a large army of corrupt cops, led by Captain Marcus Duvall (Gabriel Byrne). Duvall used to work with Bishop on his crimes, and wants to kill Bishop before he can implicate Duvall and his cronies in court. Now that everyone in the station knows, they are all liabilities and must be eliminated.

Roenick releases and arms the convicts to help them attempt to survive until dawn. They attempt to repel multiple attacks by the corrupt cops, and prepare for the final confrontation with Duvall and his men.

I was as surprised as the next person to learn that this movie was, at the very least, half decent.

While Jake Roenick was the typical Douche Cop, but his character was flawed and actually more interesting.

While most of Marion Bishop’s character was all about him being DAAAAAARRRK and BROOOOOODING, he turned out to actually be kind of awesome in a fight.

While the budget was significantly higher than the original AoP13, it still had a much smaller budget than most action flicks, at roughly $20 million.

The death of Duvall was quite satisfying.

And, quite frankly, I cared for the budding romance between Jake and Alex. And it hurt when (!spoilers!) she died.

While undoubtedly flawed and not nearly as good as the original, it manages to hold up.

Final verdict: 3 out of 5.

Review 10: The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (0/5)

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie

Directed by Rod Amateau

Starring Mackenzie Astin, Anthony Newley, Katie Barberi, Ron MacLachlan

Released on August 22, 1987

Running time 1h 40m

Rated PG

Genre: Kids & Family, Comedy (you wish)

I have nothing. I have absolutely nothing. The title of this crapfest doesn’t help either.

A little history: The Garbage Pail Kids trading card series were very popular in the ’80s. Of course, it was an obvious parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids. But GPK was entirely different. They were hilariously gross, violent, and totally inappropriate. So, as you can imagine, they were a huge hit around young boys.

But then some numbnuts at MGM thought they could make a story out of them – story? If you can possibly call it that. I mean – wow.

Our story begins…IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAACE! No, really.

And guess what? Even the opening credits are wrong! The film does not credit the dwarves in the costumes of the GPKs or their voice actors in the opening credits. Instead it just shows us their trading cards. Okay, if I wanted to look at the trading cards, I’d just buy the freaking cards! And quickly sell them.

We transition to a space garbage pail flying through – okay, who wrote this? The director himself? Looks like we have a personal story here, folks! (Has the director done anything good? No? Well, that’s depressing.) I feel like this opening scene is where the movie’s $1 million budget went.

We all of a sudden cut to the thrift store owned by Captain Manzini (Anthony Newley). The garbage pail has somehow arrived there. We don’t actually see the GPKs as they run around in the store. They’re saving that up for the absolutely horrifying big reveal. Oh, and as the GPKs run around, the eyes on the several pictures on the walls follow them. Why? How? Never explained! And then we get this line from Manzini.

MANZINI: If I catch anyone…I’ll be very surprised.

We then abruptly cut to Dodger (Mackenzie Astin) as he runs away from, and is ambushed by, a group of thugs led by Juice (Ron MacLachlan, who is not related to Kyle MacLachlan of Blue Velvet and Showgirls fame). Really? Juice? That’s the bully’s – and eventually antagonist’s – name? …Now that’s just silly. Dodger is almost fifteen, and these bullies are easily in their mid to late twenties. Come on, you stupid thugs! Get a job! Don’t rely on – stealing Dodger’s lunch money and dumping him in a puddle of mud? What is wrong with these guys? Get a job! Get a life! This is elementary school playground bully crap! You guys probably have jobs! You probably have IDs and social security! This kid can call the cops! He can get you arrested and press charges! Assault and battery and theft! This will screw up the rest of your life!

Oh, wait. I forgot what movie I was watching. These characters do not exist in the realms of reality.

Anyways, back to the – no, don’t you dare call this a story!

Dodger returns to Manzini’s shop where he works. How convenient that he doesn’t have a family or school to report to. Anyways, he takes a bath in front of Manzini (creepy…)(you know, for kids!) while Manzini … uses magic to wash Dodger’s clothes. Brain cells drop like flies. After helping Manzini organize his shop, during which Manzini speaks entirely in motivational tape quotes, Dodger is warned to stay away from a shaking garbage pail. He is told to think of it as the equivalent of Pandora’s Box. But, of course, in the myth of Pandora’s Box, we all know what happens.

While Manzini is out, Juice’s girlfriend, Tangerine (Katie Barberi) – really? – shows up at Manzini’s shop and apologizes for earlier that day. Dodger smells her hair without her noticing. Awwww. How creepy.

Tangerine? Juice? These aren’t bullies. They’re a fruit salad.

Juice and his other two thugs show up, knock over the garbage pail which leaks green goo (why? how?), abduct Dodger, toss him in the sewer, and, in a stupid female empowerment bit, open a sewage pipe, spewing sewage all over him. The thugs leave Dodger to die, but he is saved by the GPKs, who reveal themselves.

They are horrifying. They’re horribly formed. Each has a set of dead eyes and lips that never close, and an annoying-while-nonexistent personality to match.

Manzini returns to the shop and is distressed that the GPKs are loose. We are then introduced to them. They are:

– Ali Gator, the established leader of the pack, is an alligator with a Mafia accent that can speak English, is dressed in PJs, and has a fetish an appetite for human toes. Ew.

– Foul Phil, dressed like a baby, has halitosis, a whiny, husky voice, a high annoyance factor, is constantly hungry, and constantly asks if a character is his mommy or daddy.

– Greaser Greg, dressed in a leather jacket and sporting a Mafia accent, is a violent greaser who threatens people with a knife. You know, for kids! What’s  youse Italianses gettings upsets aboutses?

– Messy Tessie, the most sane of the group, constantly has a stuffy, runny nose. This is the only GPK who I even come close to liking.

– Nat Nerd, who is obese, wears glasses and a superhero outfit, has terrible acne, and constantly wets his pants, much to the delight of no one.

– Valerie Vomit, sounding like she’s a stereotypical black mother, can vomit on command, or whenever the plot demands it.

– Windy Winston, who is insane, from Brooklyn, and wears a Hawaiian shirt, often farts violently.

What a pity that they neglected to put in the most popular character, Adam Bomb.

Manzini warns them against going in public, as they have to –

ALL KIDS: Stay away from the normies.

DODGER: What are “normies”?

GREASER GREG: They’re normal people.

MESSY TESSIE: We’ve got to hide from them.

ALI GATOR: Yeah, they think we’re ugly.

And they are 1000% correct. Anyone else can see that they are ugly as sin.

MANZINI: Ugliness is not in a mirror. Ugliness is cruelty. Meanness of spirit. Greed. To be blessed with unusual features…is an adventure.

(Later)

MANZINI: [Aside to DODGER.] You think they bought it?

No comment.

Apparently Manzini cannot return the GPKs to the pail without magic.

Oh, and get this: the GPKs, after not being able to find their other compatriots, think that their fellow GPKs are locked up somewhere. Where, you may ask?

FOUL PHIL: In a really terrible place!

WINDY WINSTON: In the State Home for the Ugly!

DODGER: State Home for the Ugly – I can’t believe that they would do something like that!

CAPT. MANZINI: I’m afraid so, dear boy.

“State Home for the Ugly”? Who does that? How can you think to throw “State Home for the Ugly” at us and expect us to believe that? What in heaven’s name was going through your head when you thought that up? Were you high on pot brownies and shrooms?

Okay! All bets are off! If you can’t even go halfway through the movie without insulting my intelligence, then…well, I’ll just finish the review.

Tangerine takes Dodger with her to help her sell her series of “exotic” clothes. And continuity is gang-raped and mutilated more than a Game of Thrones character in between two shots where it abruptly changes from day to night. They arrive at a dance club, where Tangerine sells the clothes. Dodger has an awkward experience when Tangerine removes her shirt to sell it, showing that her womanhood is severely lacking. You know, for kids! Dodger hides when Juice arrives and takes Tangerine away.

Dodger somehow gets back to Manzini’s shop. No, really. It was day when he and Tangerine left, and it was night at the dance club. How did Dodger get back so fast?

The GPKs steal a Pepsi truck, flatten Juice’s van, and then have a barrel fire in an alley and eat stolen food. You know, for kids!

The next morning, as the GPKs all experience hangovers (you know, for kids!), they give Dodger a Michael-Jackson-esque jacket that they have sewn – good golly gee willikers. Where would these abominations of nature learn how to sew? Anyways, Dodger takes it to Tangerine, who is impressed. Really? She asks Dodger to make more so she can sell them, all the while attempting to seduce him like Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate. You know, for kids!

While Dodger is at Tangerine’s, the GPKs just…hang around. They get bored, dress up in trench coats, sunglasses, and berets, and “go see a movie picture” at a theater that is showing Three Stooges shorts. Okay, how do those disguises work? And what theater shows Three Stooges shorts in the ’80s? Oh, and they get there using stolen ATVs. You know, for kids!

Greaser Greg and Ali Gator break off from the main group and go to a bar literally named “The Toughest Bar in the World”. They get into a fight. The bartender and other bouncers and bikers are impressed, and everyone celebrates with beers. You know, for kids! They’re Garbage Pail KIDS, so they’re obviously underage! I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’d guess that these things aren’t even 18, let alone 21.

The GPKs and Dodger return to the shop. Dodger convinces the GPKs to make more clothes. When Dodger leaves, this happens: the GPKs break out into a song about working together.

ALL KIDS: WE CAN DO ANYTHING BY WORKING WITH EACH OTHER!

This song is terrible. Absolutely horrendous.
And what is so strange about this song is that they sing about working together while breaking into a store and stealing sewing equipment. I wish I was making that up. Oh, I almost forgot – you know, for kids!

That Friday, the clothes are made and Tangerine’s business is a success. When she drops Dodger off at Manzini’s, she turns and leans toward Dodger and … nibbles his ear? You know, for kids! Okay, if they have sex, I’m outta here. They don’t, but the scene is reeeaaally creepy. Dodger shows Tangerine his GPK secret. Tangerine is originally miffed, but accepting.

However, Tangerine still loves Juice, and, in a really stupid scheme, gets Dodger out of the shop and incapacitates Manzini, and gets the GPKs sent to the State Home for the Ugly. Uh, Tangerine? You do realize that the GPKs are 100% responsible for your success.

Anyways, Tangerine – who has apparently become very well known in the fashion world now, despite the fact that she dresses like a birthday present, will be hosting a fashion show, and will attempt to pass GPK designs as her own.

While Dodger and Manzini formulate a plan to free the GPKs, we get a glimpse into SHftU operations. They go around and catch ugly people with nets as if they’re animals. They have imprisoned Santa Claus for being Too Fat, Mahatma Gandhi for being Too Bald, Abraham Lincoln for being Too Skinny, and the GPKs for being Too Gross. And not only do they imprison ugly people, but they also kill them by squishing them in something, presumably a trash compactor. They are trying way too hard to get us to hate them. I know that the film has been incredibly lazy so far, but this actually doesn’t feel lazy enough. Try wrapping your head around that.
Another thing: there is a State Home for the Ugly, but Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Michelle Obama, Trevor Noah, and Carrot Top are allowed to run free? Another thing: I know the Reagan years weren’t perfect, but I cannot, in any possible way, see him signing off on this. So…was this an attempted jab at Reaganomics? Sesame Street has been brought to you by the letters W, T, and F, and the number 666. Sigh.

Dodger and Manzini go to tTBitW and rally the bikers in about five seconds. They go to the SHftU and break out everyone. Dodger, Manzini, and the GPKs then go to and crash Tangerine’s fashion show. And how do they do this? Windy Winston, Messy Tessie, and Valerie Vomit fart, sneeze, and puke all over everyone, Ali Gator bites off peoples’ toes, and the rest of them RIP THE CLOTHES OFF THE FASHION MODELS, REVEALING THEIR NEARLY NAKED BODIES. You know, for kids! Meanwhile, Dodger gets into the final fight with Juice. Dodger defeats Juice before being pulled off of him by Manzini. And in Juice’s case, either result of the fight wouldn’t have ended well for him. “You’re beating up the 12-year-old? You’re a douche and a bully.” “You’re getting beat up by the 12-year-old? You’re a pussy.”

The group returns to Manzini’s, and after Dodger rebuffs an apologetic Tangerine, Manzini attempts to return the GPKs to the pail by singing “You can be a Garbage Pail Kid” backwards. The attempt fails, and the GPKs ride out into the night on their stolen ATVs. Dodger and Manzini are totally fine with the result.

The story is sloppy, it’s disjointed, it’s half-hearted, and insulting.

The characters are stereotypes. They are annoying. They are one-dimensional cardboard cutouts. They are insulting. Dodger’s a pissy pussy who shows no signs of strength. Manzini is too busy talking to be of any worth, and the GPKs are just evil and hateful.

The acting is clearly talentless and effortless.

The message of this movie, I think, is to show that there is no such thing as ugliness in the world, no matter what’s on the outside.

This movie has singlehandedly convinced me that there is horrible, evil ugliness in the world and it is all compiled into this movie.

I feel violated. I feel like I’ve been sodomized, castrated, crucified, and immolated by this movie.

But the worst thing about this travesty is this: it’s for kids. Kids. The youth of America. Kids that are young, impressionable, developing. This is what they could be exposed to?

Yes. This is Rod Amateau’s idea on child-friendly material.

Believe it or not, there were actually a series of protests that got the movie pulled out of theaters. These protests also stopped the first season of a TV show in its tracks.

However, there is one teeny tiny saving grace to this movie. Mackenzie Astin and Anthony Newley give surprisingly good performances as Dodger and Manzini respectively. They undoubtedly have talent. They just don’t have enough talent to survive poor direction. The thing is, very few actors do. That’s what turned Cillian Murphy into a boring emo in Sunshine. That’s what turned James McAvoy and Emily Blunt into bland, bumbling doofuses in Gnomeo and Juliet. That’s what turned Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, and Samuel L. Jackson into boring crapheads in the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Astin and Newley had talent.

But it wasn’t enough to save this movie.

Final verdict: 0 out of 5 stars.

Review 9: Evil Dead (2013) (4.5/5)

Evil Dead

Directed by Fede Alvarez

Starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

Released on April 5, 2013

Running time: 1h 31m

Rated R (originally NC-17)

Genre: Horror

Instead of black comedy, there’s brutally terrifying terror. Instead of so-over-the-top-it’s-funny blood, there’s buckets of cringe-worthy gore.
It wasn’t cringe-worthy because it was so bad. It was cringe-worthy because it’s disturbing and painful. If I had to watch you lick an X-Acto blade, slicing your tongue in half, I would cringe. Seriously.
Oh, and this movie is probably the bloodiest movie to ever come out of Hollywood.

This movie is not so much a remake as it is a sequel. The evil forces in the Naturom Demonto or Necronomicon Ex Mortis have returned, and have been updated for the 21st century. Instead of the Deadites of the ’80s being delightfully, enjoyably, laughably evil, the Deadites of 2013 are really, truly, disturbingly evil. The double or triple – hell, even quadruple – voice effect sends a chill down your spine. The way they speak gets under your skin almost as much as Hannibal Lecter (Lecktor?). They know every mistake you’ve made in the past. They know what scares you. Their words cut you to your core. They’re so evil that it’s ungodly disturbing.

Our story begins in the woods. A teenager (Phoenix Connelly) is running through the woods, terrified. She is ambushed and knocked out by two men. She awakens tied to a wooden pole, face-to-face with her dad (Jim McLarty) and surrounded by a small group of people. Her dad pours a Gatorade-bottle-full of flammable liquid on her and reveals that she killed her mother. She, after begging her dad not to set her afire, quietly utters, “I will rip your soul out”. She is revealed to be possessed by the Deadites, as her eyes turn yellow and her voice changes. And she has the ultimate potty mouth.

POSSESSED GIRL: I WILL RIP YOUR SOUL OUT, YOU PATHETIC F^CK!

[She is set afire.]

POSSESSED GIRL: MOTHERF^CKER! I WILL KILL YOU LIKE I KILLED YOUR WIFE!

[As the flames rise higher, her dad raises a shotgun and points it at her head.]

PSSESSED GIRL: F^H^H^CK! F^CK!

[Her FATHER is on the brink of tears.]

FATHER: I love you, baby.

[He pulls the trigger, blowing her head apart.]

Pardon the language. It’s not me. It’s the quotes.

We switch gears, and we focus on five young adults and their dog on their way to the cabin in the woods. They are:

– Mia (Jane Levy), a cocaine addict about to make a vow to never touch coke again, and attempt to go cold turkey,

– David (Shiloh Fernandez), Mia’s caring brother and initial suspected “replacement” of Ash from the original Evil Dead trilogy,

– Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), David’s fragile girlfriend,

– Olivia (Jessica Lucas), David’s friend who is a nurse,

– Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), David’s acquaintance, Olivia’s friend, and glasses-wearing, science-geeky know-it-all, and

– Grandpa (Inca), the gruff but lovable dog.

The group arrives at the cabin, exchange greetings, and go to the well in the back of the cabin, where Mia makes her vow and dumps her coke down the well, beginning her attempt at going cold turkey. As expected, it doesn’t end well. Not only had she attempted this before, but after she failed, she overdosed. She was legally dead for eight minutes before she was defibrillated. This time, the group intends to stay at the cabin and wait until Mia is well enough to go. As expected, this attempt causes Mia to undergo serious hangover.

Meanwhile, David and co. find the hatch to the cellar under a rug. They find a bunch of dead cats hanging from the ceiling. Ew. Eric finds something covered in black plastic and barbed wire. He takes it upstairs, cuts off the barb wire with clippers, and discovers that it is, indeed, the Naturom Demonto. He, despite multiple messages warning against him doing so (Leave this book alone)(It claws on my skull)(He is watching)(Burn b!tch)(Shatter their bones)Don’t say it Don’t write it Don’t hear it)(They open the door to him), and multiple graphic and disturbing images, he reads, “Kunda estratta montosse canda”, releasing the Deadites.

The Deadites immediately target Mia, who is outside in the rain, going through a painful withdrawal. She, not yet possessed, and after none of her friends agree to take her home, steals the keys to one of the cars and drives away. She is faced with a demonic version of herself (Randal Wilson). This causes her to swerve off the road and crash, knocking her unconscious. She wakes up, gets out of the car and runs off. She is cornered in a thicket by Demon-Mia. Demon-Mia vomits up the illegitimate child of a worm, thorny branches, and blood, which oozes up her leg and reenacts the tree-rape scene from the original ED…yikes. It is revealed that the possessed Mia kills Grandpa with a hammer after making it back to the cabin. David finds Grandpa’s body after he takes down the dead cats and prepares to throw them away. NOT THE DOG!

(AAAAH! AAAAH! AAAAH! AAAAH! OH! NO, NOT THE BEES! dog. NOT THE BEES! dog. AAAAAAAAAAAH! OH, NO, MY EYES! MY EYES! AAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAH-UURRRRRLLLLLKKK!)

David brings Mia inside and runs a shower for Mia. After David exits the shower, she, now possessed, turns the water so hot that it gives her second and third degree burns. David takes the other car in an attempt to get Mia to a hospital, but he discovers that the road is flooded. He takes Mia back to the cabin and the group prepare to wait out the night.

After the possessed Mia shoots David in the arm with a shotgun and grabs Olivia and vomits blood into her mouth – ew – David, Natalie, and Eric subdue Mia and lock her in the cellar. Olivia goes to get a sedative for Mia when the Deadites possess her. She … wets herself? Ooooookay. Ew. Eric goes to check on Olivia only to discover that she has begun cutting off her face with a piece of glass. The possessed Olivia attacks Eric with the syringe and the glass shard, shanking him with both. Eek! Eric fights back and crushes Olivia’s head with the toilet lid. And I shudder whenever i see Eric pull the needle out of the flesh just below his eye.

While David deals with Eric, Mia lures Natalie into the cellar. Mia licks the X-Acto blade, slicing her tongue in half. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

POSSESSED MIA: I can smell your filthy soul! (Beat.) NOW KISS ME, YOU DIRTY C^NT!”

[POSSESSED MIA forces a kiss on Natalie.]

Easy there, buckarooni!

David shows up and gets Natalie out of the cellar, but not before Natalie sustains a nasty bite to the hand. The possessed Mia responds accordingly.

POSSESSED MIA: Why don’t you come down here so I can suck your c%ck, pretty boy?

DAVID: [Bewildered.] Mia?

POSSESSED MIA: MIA’S NOT HERE, YOU F^CKING IDIOT! … YOUR LITTLE SISTER’S BEING RAPED IN HELL!

[DAVID slams, bolts, nails, and chains the cellar hatch shut.]

David returns to Eric and Natalie goes to the sink to wash the bite. The Deadites possess the arm, but she cuts it off with an electric knife. Yikes.

Meanwhile, Eric tries and fails to burn Naturom Demonto, and reveals the three ways that they can save Mia – full body dismemberment, live burial, or purification by fire. Natalie is found by David and brought to Eric. To save her, they’ll have to kill her.

The Deadites’ plan is revealed – a demon known as the Taker of Souls will, one by one, steal their souls. Once five souls have been taken, the sky will bleed again, and the demon known as the Abomination will rise from Hell.

A possessed Natalie attacks David and Eric with a nail gun, then savagely beats David and mutilates Eric with a crowbar. Ow. David shoots Natalie’s other arm off with the shotgun, and the Deadites leave Natalie. David cradles Natalie in his arms as she bleeds to death.

David, leaving Eric to rest, comes up with his plan to save Mia: He will go down into the cellar to knock out Mia with a syringe full of anesthetic, then bury her alive with a plastic bag over her head to prevent her from inhaling the dirt. He will dig her up, then restart her heart with a makeshift AED. Mia, David, and Eric will then leave.

DAVID: This time, the only f^cking way is the hard way.

The plan immediately falls apart as the possessed Mia quickly subdues David and attempts to drown him in the now-flooded cellar. Eric comes in and, though mortally wounded by the possessed Mia, knocks her out with a crowbar before succumbing to his wounds and dying.

David carries Mia upstairs, dresses her in a nice red dress, and digs a hole. Mia wakes up and taunts David about the events leading up to their mother’s death. David is only briefly fazed, and continues his task. Mia attempts to use the plastic bag to smother herself, but David is too quick. The burial is completed.

David digs Mia up, and desperately attempts to restart Mia’s heart, and just when all hope is lost, Mia awakens, fully healed from her burns, slit tongue, and other injuries, and reunites with her brother.

Her brother goes inside to grab the car keys. The possessed corpse of Eric stabs David in the neck with a pair of wire cutters.

POSSESSED ERIC: HE’S COMING.

David, with the shotgun, shoots a container of gasoline, immolating himself and Eric, and destroying the cabin. Mia mourns David in front of the burning wreck.

Since five souls have technically been taken, it begins raining blood, and the Abomination rises from Hell. Mia arms herself with a chainsaw – GROOVY – and duels the Abomination. After a really nasty fight – she receives two cringe-worthy slashes to her arm and her leg and cringe-worthily loses her left hand – she finally faces down the Abomination and, in the most gruesome but satisfying fashion possible, this happens:

ABOMINATION: I WILL FEAST ON YOUR SOULLLLL.

[MIA mounts the chainsaw on her left arm stump.]

MIA: FEAST ON THIS, MOTHERF^CKER

[MIA shoves the chainsaw into ABOMINATION’S mouth, and then vertically chainsaws ABOMINATION in half.]

Insert myself in place of Dave Bowman from 2001: A Space Odyssey going through the Star Gate. Seriously. That was truly COSMIC. I mean, seriously, THAT WAS AWESOME!

Mia, a better, stronger woman after tonight’s events, walks off into the sunrise, covered in blood.
We then pan to the blood-soaked Naturom Demonto, which closes by itself.

Bruce Campbell shows up for a cameo in the credits. “Groovy.”

Jeez. That crazy movie truly was pure and simple FUN!
Scary as hell, gore that reaches a 10.5 on the Holy-Crap-o-meter, disturbing Deadites, likable characters, and a hotter-n-hell Jane Levy (who’s my new celeb crush). This was a fun ride.

As a sequel, it’s pretty freakin awesome. It is one of very few movies that have even come close to quenching my thirst for gore.

Now, obviously, this is not for fans who think Ash is the absolute staple of the series. He only shows up for the credits cameo. But other than that, I’m not sure I understand why this movie is hated by filmgoers. Hell, BRUCE CAMPBELL WAS ONE OF THE PRODUCERS!

But forget about that. The plan is this: there will be another E.D. movie with Mia, and then the universes of Mia and Ash will intertwine in the final struggle against the Deadites.

Groovy.

UPDATE: The next ED movie starring Mia has been cancelled. But there will still be a sitcom known as Ash vs. Evil Dead.

I can live with that.

Final Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review 8: The Hills Have Eyes (4/5)

The Hills Have Eyes (remake)

Directed by Alexandre Aja

Starring: Aaron Stanford, Emilie de Ravin, Dan Byrd, Vinessa Shaw, Kathleen Quinlan, Ted Levine, Maisie Camilleri Preziosi

Released on March 10, 2006

Running time: 1h 47m

Rated R, uncut version rated NC-17

Genre: Horror

YAY! Horror remakes can actually be good! No, really. The Alexandre Aja remake of the Wes Craven horror classic The Hills Have Eyes supersedes the original in nearly every possible way.

The original HHE was pretty okay in its own right. While gritty and disturbing by 70s standards, it’s pretty mild today, considering the violence. While it garnered an X rating in 1977, it would barely scrape an R rating today, if that. Apart from one shot of a gutted dog’s entrails hanging out, and another shot of a mutant cannibal fingering his severed Achilles’ tendon, literally no violence, or results thereof, are shown onscreen.

But the ending is awful. It’s so abrupt. It comes out of nowhere. It leaves so much unresolved.

The remake, however, is surprisingly good for a remake. It maintains absolute loyalty to its source material.

Except for one thing. It’s violent. Gratuitously and graphically violent. It breaks every violence-related taboo. It shows you what happens. It shows, for example, onscreen, the severing via axe of two fingers.

It’s surprisingly disturbing. The dual rape and baby abduction is much more disturbing when it’s being done by the brothers of Sloth from The Goonies. (HEY YOU GUYS!) Throughout the movie, I was thinking, No. You do not kill those dogs or that baby. Each cannibal death was SOOOOO SATISFYING.

And one more thing: it’s actually kind of scary. And it successfully utilizes the plot device known as the “Slow Build”.

Our story begins as a family, on their way to California, stops for gas at a derelict gas station. They are: Bob (Ted Levine. You know, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs!) and his wife Ethel (Kathleen Quinlan), Doug (Aaron Stanford) and his wife Lynn (Vinessa Shaw), Bobby (Dan Byrd) and his sister Brenda (Emilie de Ravin), Doug’s baby daughter Katherine (Maisie Camilleri Preziosi), dogs Beauty and Beast and a couple of parakeets(?). They’re on their way to San Diego, but Bob was oh-so-smart enough to take a “shortcut” off Interstate 40. The gas station guy recommends that they take a dirt road back to the freeway.

The family does so, and they run over a row of spikes that blow out their tires. Bob and Doug go in opposite directions to get help.

Beauty runs off and is killed and gutted after Bobby runs after her. Bobby is knocked out. Cannibals Goggle (Mercury’s counterpart [black jacket, bowler hat, and binoculars]) and Ruby (red drawstring hoodie) pass by him. Beast runs off and encounters Beauty’s corpse, and, out of revenge, tears Goggle’s throat out.

Doug returns after seeing the road come to a dead end in a huge crater.

However, Bob gets to the gas station that night, encounters the gas station guy who commits suicide, and is abducted by the cannibal Papa Jupiter (long black hair and beard, black trench coat) I’m only referring to the names from the original, because the cannibals in this remake are nameless.

Two cannibals, Lizard (Mars’s counterpart [cleft lip, spike row]) and Pluto (evil version of Sloth from The Goonies), break into the family’s camper trailer. Bob is crucified and set afire. While Doug, Bobby, and Ethel are distracted, Lizard and Pluto rape Brenda, kill Lynn, Ethel, and a parakeet, and abduct Katherine. Beast returns to the trailer.

The next morning, Doug arms himself and takes Beast to find his daughter and kill the cannibals who abducted her. Bobby and Brenda remain behind to defend themselves, and prepare for the final confrontation with Papa Jupiter, who is coming to finish Pluto and Lizard’s job.

It is brutal. Unflinching. Somewhat patriotic.
No, really. Doug, a staunch Democrat, throws aside his dislike of weapons, and uses a baseball bat, an axe, the sharpened end of the staff of an American flag, and a shotgun to take down and kill Pluto and Cyst (another cannibal), and ultimately come up on top in his part of the climax: Doug vs. Lizard. Nothing can stand in the way of Doug’s reunion with his daughter, and his path of vengeance.

This remake of the horror classic is undoubtedly flawed, but it is surprisingly good.

Final verdict: 4 stars out of 5