Under the "House of the Dead 2" category
in Thursday's page, you have misidentified one picture as Tina
Mahler. It is actually Cristin Michele (also soon to be seen in
"2001 Maniacs"). I don't know Tina, but I do know Cristin, and was
actually there when the scene was filmed.
It's hard to argue with that ID! Thanks.
All Soul's Day (2005)
All Soul's Day was written and produced by Mark A. Altman, whose
previous track record as writer/producer consists of exactly two films:
Free Enterprise (1998)
House of the Dead (2003)
Mark seems to be reaching for the Franklin
Shaffner Award which is presented once in a generation to the
filmmaker with the greatest gap between his best work and his worst.
Here's Shaffner's own overview:
Yes, Giorgio (1982)
Altman has never directed but we'll allow him
to participate in the general category of "creative talent." As of
today, his high/low score is schooling even the master himself, with a
4.38 gap between his best and worst, compared to a mere 3.71 for
Shaffner, and Altman managed to do it in two films, while Shaffner took
most of a lifetime before he could pump his score up by directing Yes,
Giorgio. Approaching Altman's third project, you have to
wonder which Mark will show up. Will it be the guy who wrote the
delightful geek comedy Free Enterprise, which starred Bill Shatner
doing a hilarious turn as Bill Shatner; or will it be the guy who
produced and co-wrote Uwe Boll's worst movie, which is rated 14th on IMDb's list of
anybody's worst movies? I suppose your only guarantee is that the
film will offer plenty of laughs. The uncertainty lies in whether they
will be intentional.
You know what? Even after watching the movie,
I'm not sure whether the laughs are intentional. On the surface, All Soul's Day is another hilariously bad
movie about the undead, in the
tradition of House of the Dead, but maybe that's only a half-truth.
It's true that it sometimes seems to be a zombie movie which is so bad
as to be hilarious, yet at other times it leaves you thinking that the
filmmakers couldn't make such obvious mistakes, and therefore must be
attempting an over-the-top spoof of the genre, kind of the zombie
equivalent of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. I guess I should have
listened to the commentary to find the answer, but there are only so
many hours in a day, and I just didn't want to devote several more of
them to this movie.
It begins with a brief bit of action in 1892
which shows a corrupt Mexican businessman killing everyone in a small
town on The Day of the Dead. (Seems like a fitting celebration to me.)
The town is Santa Bonita. Hey, if you have to have a patron saint, it
may as well be an attractive one. The town of Santa Fea was doomed
from the start. The second part of the film skips forward sixty years
to 1952, as a white-bread American family pulls into that same small
town on their way to a tourist destination. Unfortunately for them,
they decide to visit on The Day of the Dead, when the town is filled
with zombies and ghosts and human sacrifices and Republicans. They
have no choice. They are tired and out of gas, so they stroll into a
local hotel ...
... where they promptly
start to act like characters in a grade B horror movie.
Let's see, what should we do?
H-m-m. Nobody will come to the front desk of
the hotel. When we wander around a bit, we encounter many spooky
characters, none of which will look at us or talk to us. So what do we
do? Since nobody will wait on us, we decide to sign ourselves in and
grab some keys. When we go to sign the guest register we see that
nobody has stayed in the hotel in the previous five years. This raises
no red flags. Oh, sure, we see some horrible ghosts in the mirrors,
but that must just be the result of stress built up in our long, long
day on the road, so our next step is to head on upstairs for a
relaxing night of sleep!
At this point I actually got permanently lost
in the plot. You see, the daughter took a shower and got killed by
zombies, while the son had some kind of mystical connection with the
ghosts who haunted the hotel, and ended up living in the town forever.
(The town has both ghosts and zombies. It's like a resort for the
undead.) What about the parents in that family? Beats me. I have to admit I started to lose
interest in this, but I don't think the film ever explained what happened to
them. The last we saw of them, they were gettin' ready for ... well,
ol' dad was going to eat a taco, and I don't mean Mexican food.
Then the third part of the story jumped forward another fifty
years, as another American car was driving into Santa Bonita on The
Day of the Dead. This is where I started to get really lost, because
the ghosts started talking about events that happened
"more than 150 years ago," but the events pictured seemed to be the
same events from the prologue, which took place in 1892. Did the exact
same events happen twice, or are ghosts just bad at math? Then I started to
think about some of the other plot points. The little boy from 1952 is
now supposed to be the sheriff of the town, but he was about ten in
the 1952 sequence, so that would make him about 63 years old now.
Huh?? The role is played by David Keith, who is only fifty years old
and looks younger. What the hell? Is he immortal? Did the other ghosts
manage to make him a ghost somehow? Did the filmmakers just not think about how old the
character is supposed to be? I have no idea.
That should be enough to give you the general
feeling of the movie. The script further stretches one's credulity
when the portion which takes place in the present features a very
improbable relationship between the people of the town and the girl
who just happened to wander into the town looking for directions. Is
it supposed to be a spoof of the silly plot points in bad movies, or
is it just a silly plot point? Again I have no idea.
Altman wrote Free Enterprise, so we know he
has some talent, and director Jeremy Kasten showed some good visual
style in a pretty decent little movie called The Attic Expeditions a
few years ago, so he has shown some promise as well. Unfortunately the
team just didn't mesh here, and the film was a quickie, shot in 17
days for the Sci-Fi channel. The film has dubious logic, trite
characters, confusing facts, bad acting, unresolved plot points, and
very little gore. The visual style isn't so bad, but Kasten didn't
have an adequate budget to create the special effects necessary to
support the style. Is it all meant to be a comedy? Maybe. If you
assume that all the film's most outrageous flaws are there to spoof
genre films, ala Beyond the Valley of the Dolls or Deathstalker II,
you could draw that conclusion. There are indications that the
filmmakers were headed in that direction. (The family from the 50s,
for example, seems to be a purely comic invention.) In the final
reckoning, it doesn't matter. Either way, zombie film or zombie spoof,
I just couldn't find enough positives to keep me from getting bored.
On the other hand, the DVD is a different story. It
is an Anchor Bay
production, and is up to the standard we expect from that company. It
includes a full-length commentary and 68 minutes worth of featurettes
... lots of discussion. I can't really tell you too much about all of
those features, because the film itself just didn't motivate me to
watch or listen to them, but you could easily spend three hours on the
One thing that IS worth watching is the nudity from gorgeous Mircea Monroe
Test your skill and knowledge. How many movies can you
identify from a single frame?
Here's a sweet little comedy piece. The trailer for
Brokeback to the Future.
Here is the trailer for Joyeux Noel, which has been
nominated as the best foreign film.
Basic Instinct 2 awarded an BC-17; makes some changes to
get "a hard R"
Official press release: Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix Commences Production (Includes casting update)
How to rule a message board. No Opinions? No Problem
Letterman celebrates 24 years on the air with:
The Top Ten Things I Have Learned In The Last 24 Years
"BUSH'S NEW PLAN FOR HOMELESS: CLOWN CARS!"
Howard Stern update:
"Free" speech doesn't mean you don't have to pay.
Wisconsin woman drops gun, shatters toilet
- Yes, I know it sounds boring, but it is a great
read. I love this paragraph:
- "The woman told her she was packing to move to New
York and took the loaded .357-caliber handgun from
under her bed and went into the bathroom to grab a
- She must have been expecting some serious
competition for that towel. Coyotes? Brigands?
The legendary Mike Ditka discusses the equally legendary
Half Time Flush
Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora are divorcing
Stephen Colbert debates radio host Russ Leiber on minimum
wage... and slave labor.
Stephen Colbert discusses the use of Jesus in popular
"Satan is clearly trying to confuse us, just like when he
put those dinosaur bones in the ground."
It might be time to reschedule your Hong Kong vacation:
Angry Parents Toss Kids Over Sold-Out Disney Park Fences
The Daily Show:
"Presidential historian Michael Beschloss offers his
analysis of the State of the Union speech."
Jon Stewart analyzes the State of the Union speech
The Daily Show:
"The Democrat's response seemed to lack passion, insight
and any sign of carbon-based life."
The Daily Show's Ed Helms reminisces about good times with
his old buddy, Alan Greenspan
- "One time Greenspan busted in with two hookers on
each arm and talked about raising interest rates."
The trailer from An American Haunting
- Based on "The Bell Witch: An American Haunting" by
- Known throughout Tennessee as "Old Kate," the Bell
Witch took up residence with John Bell's family in 1818.
It was a cruel and noisy spirit, given to rapping and
gnawing sounds before it found its voices. With these
voices and its supernatural acts, the Bell Witch
tormented the Bell family. This extraordinary book
recounts the only documented case in U.S. history when a
spirit actually caused a man's death. The local
schoolteacher, Richard Powell, witnessed the strange
events and recorded them for his daughter. Members of
the Bell family have previously provided information on
this fascinating case, but this book recounts the tale
with novelistic vigor and verve.
- I don't know about the film itself, but the trailer
for this has an unusual aspect ratio of 3:1. It's like
watching Ben-Hur. In fact, even Ben-Hur was "only"
An extended clip from 'Eight Below', a Disney
wilderness adventure about a man and his sled dogs.
CHENEY'S BRIEF APPEARANCE, RETURN TO SECURE LOCATION MAY
MEAN SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER ... White House
Downplays Veep's Influence Over Seasons
"Angelina Jolie has reportedly sold her Buckinghamshire
mansion and is planning a dream home with Brad Pitt in the
- The Daily Mirror says it comes after Brad and
Angelina decided they wanted to bring up their family in
It's Good To Be Big Ben - here are those pictures of
Roethlisberger partying like the new Namath.
Big Ben signs his name to a deal to sign his name
- "Tannenbaum said he is happy that Roethlisberger
exhibits good penmanship, an important factor in a name
as long as his."
- Look at that. Even if I had turned into the next
Mantle, my penmanship would have killed my market value.
Sister Mary Euthanasia was right.
Sheehan Arrested In Presidential Potty
- Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested early
yesterday after trying to unfurl a very long but narrow
banner in the bathroom of the White House living
Stoner sets up his own pot bust
"Dude, where's my weed?" He called the cops after his
stash was stolen from his home.
- Officers caught the thief, then called the victim
and asked him to come to the police station to identify
his pot. He did and was promptly arrested.
The 2006 State of the Union Address: Complete Transcript
of President George W. Bush's Speech to Congress and the
Nation (Satirical WHITEHOUSE.ORG version)
Four clips from London
- " When Syd (Chris Evans) learns that his
ex-girlfriend London (Jessica Biel) is leaving New York
without telling him, he responds by impulsively crashing
her going away party. Once there though, rather than
confront her, he holes up in the bathroom with a pile of
cocaine and Bateman (Jason Statham), an enigmatic
Englishman he barely knows. As the two engaged in a
drug-fueled conversation that runs the gamut from
anarchy to S&M to the meaning of life, Syd struggles to
work up the nerve to talk to London before it is too
Chris Evans ("Fantastic Four"), Jessica Biel
("Stealth"), Jason Statham ("Transporter 1 & 2"), Joy
Bryant ("The Skeleton Key"), Isla Fisher ("Wedding
Crashers"), Kelli Garner ("Thumbsucker") and comedian
Dane Cook star in this twisted and obsessive love story
as a group of hip, wealthy twentysomethings who share a
love of cocaine and partying. Featuring all new music by
The Crystal Method."
The trailer for The Second Chance
- "Ethan Jenkins (Michael W. Smith) and Jake Sanders
(introducing Jeff Obafemi Carr) are both passionate
pastors who worship the same God from the same book--but
that's where the similarity ends. White and well-to-do
Ethan is comfortable in his music ministry at the
media-savvy suburban mega-church, The Rock; Jake is a
street smart African-American who ministers to the gang
members, teen mothers, and drug addicts of the urban
Second Chance. When they are suddenly thrown together in
a tough neighborhood and forced to work side by side,
Ethan discovers there is no boundary between the streets
and the sanctuary. But can the faith these two men share
overcome the prejudices that divide them to give
themselves and a struggling urban church a second
Six clips from Firewall, a new thriller with Harrison Ford
and Paul Bettany
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
The Hot Wives Club (2002)
This is yet another soft core starring hard
core actresses with a typical hard core plot. For those who don't know
what I mean by a hard core plot, they have a very few lines leading up
to a sex scene, followed by another few lines, introducing the next
sex scene, and so on. In this case, a husband confides in his coworker
that he has the 7 year itch. His coworker supplies the answer in the
form of a pass to attend the hot wives club, a swingers club. When he
suggest this to his wife (Allysin Chaynes), she strips in a hallway
and screws his brains out to prove that she is as exciting as he could
want. Nevertheless, he talks her into going to the club. Turns out his
fantasy is to see her and another man.
On there first visit, they just watch. Visit two, she does another
guy, and on visit three, he does another woman. Everyone lives happily
Tonight we have way too many images from Allysin Chaynes in two sex
scenes, in which she shows everything. Tomorrow night, the other
La Teta y la Luna (1994)
"The Tit and the Moon" is a Bigas Luna
comedy seen through the eyes of a 10 year old boy. He is the "crown" on a
local pyramid team, who must climb to the very top of a huge human pyramid.
His father, a macho type, constantly pushes him, but he always loses to anther
team. This is not the worst part of his life, however, as his mother (Laura
Mañá) is pregnant, and he does not relish competition for his mother's
attention. When he sees her nursing the baby, he becomes obsessively jealous,
and sets out to find a tit of his very own. He has figured out that men pump
the milk into the women at night, based on his interpretation of what he has
seen his parents do.
Fortunately, the moon grants his wish in the form of a carnival performer,
half of a team which does a motorcycle farting act. His older brother also
falls for this lovely woman, putting the two in competition for the married
Mathilda May. Her husband, the fart master, is mostly impotent, so she is
susceptible, and likes the flamenco songs the older boy sings outside her
window all night.
Luna purposely makes it impossible to tell what is real and what is fantasy
in the mind of the young man. Thus, almost anything can and does happen in
this odd film. Both Laura Mañá and Mathilda May show breasts in this film.
IMDb readers have it at 6.9. Berardinelli was mostly unimpressed at 2.5
stars. I sort of enjoyed it. It became somewhat predictable, but the
characters were all likable. I found it an easy watch. C.
A few zipped .avi clips from Hollywood Sins. Today:
Tomorrow: the others.
Anicée Alvina has her own volume in the Encyclopedia. This French actress
was very much in demand in the late 1970's but faded into oblivion in the
early 80's. However she does have 2 credits in the IMDb in this millennium.
Here you can see her in all her glory in Isabelle devant le Désir (1975;
"Isabelle in front of lust," literally translated). The film, directed by some
guy from Brussels, is rarely shown on TV, is not available on DVD and is still
awaiting five votes on the IMDb. I haven't seen the film either since the
program ran late at night, went way over time and the end was missing when I
checked the following morning what I had recorded. But weep not my friends,
for what is important to us was still recorded.
So here are nine clips featuring Anicée in several degrees of undress, from
topless to the full monty. (1,
) I sure hope no-one gets depressed
from the overall tone of this movie.