Directed by Marc Meyers
Starring: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Dallas Roberts, Anne Heche
IMDb 6.3/10 Rotten Tomatoes 86% Metacritic 68/100
I wanted to see this film because it is based off of the graphic novel I did a review on of the same name, My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf. You can read that review HERE.
This film was surprisingly good. Not only did it follow the graphic novel extremely well, the few things they seemed to add for dramatic effect were done just right.
In this film, we get a close up and personal look at what Jeffrey Dahmer was like as a teenager. He seemed to just live in a lost and miserable existence, unsure of his place in his home, his school, society and the world. It’s obvious that Jeff’s parents are clueless about what is going on in his daily life and completely in denial about what was in his head.
Jeff seemed to walk around in a pitiful, depressed posture, drawing the attention of the typical high school bullies. The first brush at a chance of a friendship he got was quickly batted down when the bullies targeted the other kid in an even worse way than they did Dahmer. My guess is, while he wanted a friend, he didn’t want to be friends with someone ELSE that got hammered on a daily basis and just took it.
His parent’s marriage was completely and utterly dysfunctional. Jeff’s mother was, in some way, ill. I don’t know if it was a mental illness or if it was the drug and alcohol abuse by itself but, she was very hard to handle and it made life difficult for everyone, especially Lionel, Jeff’s father. By senior year, Jeff’s parents were getting divorced, his father had moved into an apartment and his mother moved to his grandmother’s with his little brother, leaving him in the family home all alone to do as he pleased when he pleased, answering to no one.
Senior year was also when things seemed to somewhat turn around for Dahmer. He started acting out at school, having these “spaz” attacks and making people laugh. He then realized that the class clown doesn’t get bullied near as much as the class nerd or class nobody. This led to a small group of boys becoming what they would name “the Dahmer Fan Club”. This would also be the closest semblance to friendship he would ever have in his life.
Throughout all of his high school years Dahmer collected and dissected roadkill. He tried soaking the dead animals in acid to rid the carcasses of the flesh. He even had a hut in the woods where he had a number of dead animals covered in liquid and stored in jars.
Though he had his fan club and they hung out at school, Jeff didn’t have anyone outside of school and he didn’t have anyone at home. This bitter loneliness coupled with the anger pent up inside over years of bullying, dysfunction and feelings of inadequacy, led him to start drinking…and heavily. Soon, all he was known for was the smell of liquor that trailed behind him everywhere he went and loomed over him when he was stationary.
It’s easy, when watching this film, to see Dahmer as a human being instead of a monster, as a misunderstood kid, as an ignored and neglected son. It’s very simple to see why he was so depressed, why he felt out of place, why he just didn’t ever seem to fit in.
On the other hand, the feelings he got from having friends and making people laugh, it’s a little difficult to understand why he didn’t make friends easier and why he wasn’t more social. Once that door opened, he seemed to do well with it, under the class clown guise. Couldn’t he have done the same by toning down the goofiness a little and talking to some people after he started being liked a bit?
Anyways, I thought this film was very well done with respect to the book. I also think it gives excellent insight to what people actually knew at the time versus what shows up in hindsight.
While in hindsight the signs are always very apparent, it’s easy to see how no one person was able to put everything together at the time. If you want some insight beyond the “monster” image, then this is a good film to watch.
Ralph S. Singleton
David Andrews as John Hall
(the drifter, on cleanup crew)
Stephen Macht as Warwick
(the mill foreman)
Kelly Fox as Jane Wisconsky
(tough chick, foreman has thing for her, cleanup crew)
Brad Dourif as Tucker Cleveland
(the wacky exterminator)
Vic Pilizos as Brogan
(a schmuck that likes to bully fellow workers, on cleanup crew)
Jimmy Woodward as Charlie Carmichael
(young, quiet rookie on cleanup crew)
Susan Lowden as Daisy May
(bossman’s latest fling, on cleanup crew to her dismay)
Ilona Margolis as Nordello
Minor Rootes as Stevenson
(fellow schmuck and bully, on cleanup crew)
Andrew Divoff as Danson
(another schmucko that likes to bully workers)
IMDb 4.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes 13% Metacritic 28%
It took overnight for this movie to really sink in and make sense. To me, there are a lot of holes in the story. The basic plot-line is this:
A mill that had been closed down for some time has recently been reopened. It’s a cotton mill. The problem is that due to lack of care during abandonment and severe weather and rat infestation damage, the basement needs to be completely cleared out and cleaned up to make space for offices to be set up down there.
The rat infestation is out of control. They definitely seem to think they are in control of this mill and not human beings. Speaking of human beings, most of the men in this movie barely qualify for that title. They are more like pigs are dogs, definitely animals.
Anyways, a number of people are assigned to the cleanup crew, after all, it pays double-time. But, a few people are not thrilled that they have been picked for the daunting task. Most of all, Daisy May, the foreman’s latest worktime squeeze. I guess she figured she had earned no cleanup…on her back. However, it seems that Warwick, the foreman, doesn’t mix business and pleasure in THAT way and she receives NO special treatment.
As they start the cleanup, which must be done on the graveyard shift so the mill can run during the day, strange things begin to happen…and people start to get scared…and killed.
Now, this guy Warwick is a real sleaze. He’s the epitome of a list of DON’Ts for being in management. The guy could be the poster boy for employee abuse, sexual harassment and male chauvinism. A real winner, let me tell ya.
Our drifter, John Hall, he’s a normal kind of guy. A little quiet and withdrawn at first, he soon opens up to Jane. Now, even though Warwick is already sleeping with Daisy May he has no issues with trying to get Jane into the sack. Jane obviously loathes him but, apparently has agreed to an arrangement that if she sleeps with Warwick a few times a week she gets better hours, pay, treatment. And he treats her like crap so, I can only imagine how he’d be if he wasn’t getting some from her. Total jerk.
So, while they are all downstairs in this dark, dank, disgusting basement some are sorting through boxes of files, some are piling up damaged furniture and one guy is trying eradicate the rats with a firehose. (That seems so counterproductive since the plan is too CLEAN UP the basement, not flood it. But hey, moving on…)
So, throughout their cleaning and spraying the hell out of rats, they discover that a boatload of crap isn’t the only thing downstairs. There’s some kind of monster, killing people, eating them.
Who is going to make it out alive? You’ll have to watch to find out.
I thought this movie was okay. I felt like there were a lot of open ended things that they could have wrapped up better. I’ve not read the actual short story so I don’t know what was included or omitted. But, we get almost no background on this mill, no information as to what this monster thing is, no information about any of the characters. Everything was just kind of thrown together in this mill and people die. I was disappointed in the special effects. Just a few blood splatters and a tiny bit of the monsters. I expected more gore.
Since this IS a Stephen King story I can’t hate it too much but, this isn’t one of the better movies made from King’s works. Probably worth watching at least the one time.
Directed by Jonathan Lynn
Starring: Tim Curry, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Michael McKean, Colleen Camp, Lee Ving
IMDb 7.3/10 Rotten Tomatoes 59% Metacritic 36%
Some scenes depicted in this trailer do NOT appear in final release of film.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw online that some places consider CLUE a horror movie! Now, I love this movie. I mean, ever since I was a little kid I have loved this movie. In fact, I’ll give you the quick story of the memory attached to it. Here goes:
I was a small child when this came out, just five years old. A few years later, it happened to be on TV the night my parents were getting ready to go to my Dad’s father’s funeral, my GrandDad. My parents thought my brother and I were too young to attend a Catholic funeral at that age. To Mom, the idea of an open casket at about eight years old and the heavy emotional environment and surroundings, well, she thought that just might be too much for such a young kid. Dad, well, I know Dad agreed with that but, I think it was more he didn’t want me to see two specific things. 1. He didn’t want me to remember my GrandDad that way and 2. He didn’t want me to see him cry.
My brother and I were in the living room watching this film as Mom and Dad are getting dressed for the funeral. Keep in mind, I’m only like eight years old at the time. The movie ends and I go downstairs to the basement to our rec-room for something. I had already told my brother, who was three years older, that I was a little creeped out because of the movie. (I don’t know why! I think because, at that age, all the death and the “whodunit” aspect spooked me. Plus, a lot of the movie the characters are without lights, so that added to the creepiness. I was also creeped out by our basement. My childhood home was the original farmhouse in the neighborhood, built in 1901. So, the basement seemed to just hurl evil and scream monsters and death at me as a kid.
So, I grab my little stuffed Christmas dog to protect me and I headed downstairs. I crept down the staircase one step at a time, slowly, carefully, looking down into the dank, darkness just waiting for something to rush me and grab me. Halfway down the stairs, whatever I went down to the rec-room for was no longer important and all I wanted was to turn around and bolt up the stairs. I turn to take my first step up and “BOO!!!!” There’s my brother, nose to nose with me, yelling “Boo” at me and scaring the bejeezes out of me. I got so mad I ran up the stairs, past him laughing hysterically for “getting me good” and I run straight to my Dad and told him what happened. By this time, I am bawling as if someone just ran over my favorite pet and that infuriated Dad. Not to mention that my brother was pulling this kind of crap while they are getting ready to go bury Dad’s father.
Yes, my brother got in trouble. Major…trouble.
Later, I watched the movie again and I found it hilarious. I couldn’t figure out why it had creeped me out (I still think it was the combination of the all over circumstances) but, I wasn’t creeped out anymore. I laughed almost all the way through. After that, I watched it so many times over the years I now know every line by heart, even without the film running.
What happens is very simple premise yet, (insert chuckle here) it’s anything but simple. Seven different people are invited to a dinner party. We have Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White and Mr. Green. The seventh and last guest to arrive is Mr. Boddy. Throughout the awkward chitchat of strangers at a dinner table, they discover that they all received similar letters requesting their presence, all the letters refer to a financial liability, they all earn their living from the government and they are all being blackmailed…by Mr. Boddy. From that point on, it is a race against time to see if they can figure out which one of them is the killer before they all die.
I absolutely, totally 100% dig this movie. I think it’s a great classic type murder mystery and I think it’s got great comedic value. Don’t be put off by the fact that it was made in 1985. It’s still a good flick. Plus, the movie has three different endings! When they do it right, multiple endings can really work. And here it does. The writers went to great lengths to try to be consistent all the way through the movie no matter what the ending. I think they did a pretty good job. I’d recommend this to anyone who like to laugh and likes mysteries.
Directed by Emmett Alston
Starring: Kip Niven, Roz Kelly, Chris Wallace
IMDb 4.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes 14% Metacritic NO DATA
This film is definitely a horror film. But for many more reasons than just pure blood and gore. Let’s just start with the basics. We have a female rock ‘n’ roll shock jock who looks like she should have retired ten or fifteen years ago. She’s way over done it with the make-up and the clothes, looking like something that made out with a clown and then raided someone’s old 80s version disco clothes. She’s doing a live radio show for New Year’s, celebrating as each time zone strikes midnight across the United States. And as all shock jocks do, she takes calls from her listeners.
One particular caller disguises his voice and informs her, on the air, that he will commit a murder at each stroke of midnight as each of the time zones ring in the new year. Obviously, at first, she (and everybody else) thinks it’s some kind of hoax. But, as the caller continues to call and taunt the party hostess, he plays audio recordings of each murder, on the air.
But, the real horror of this movie, the real terror driven images and sounds that I cannot release from my mind, the music and dancing that takes place through the majority of the film. Dear lord, it was like Saturday Night Fever threw up in techno and neon. And the dancing, oh my goodness, can we even call it that??? Just horrific. I mean, this stuff, this film has truly scarred me for life.
I think the actual story line, if done now, would work but, the visual aspect of the movie is so off-putting it’s like purposely making your eyes bleed. I don’t know about any of you but, I don’t want my eyes to bleed. It was truly painful to watch.
And let’s talk about the music for a minute. I get that the whole end of the year bash radio show requires music. But, there’s ONE band and they SUCK. Royally suck. I don’t know who told these people they had talent but, they were outrageously and cruelly lied to.
As I write this I keep trying to figure out something good about the movie and all I can say is that the plot isn’t that bad. Other than that, I got nothing.
Directed by Kevin Smith, Gary Shore, Matt Johnson, Scott Stewart, Nicholas McCarthy, Dennis Widmyer, Kevin Kolsch, Sarah Adina Smith, Anthony Scott Burns
Seth Green, Clare Grant, Kalos Cluff, John C. Johnson, Shawn Parsons, Michael Sun Lee, Wes Robertson, Karina Noelle, Scott Stewart and Richard DiLorenzo
IMDb 5.1/10 Rotten Tomatoes 54% Metacritic 50/100
This was a fantastic holiday horror anthology. There are many short stories about holidays from New Year’s to Christmas. This is like a reboot (I hate that term but, this time, it fits.) of Creepshow. There are more stories and they are shorter than in Creepshow but it really has that kind of feel to it. It also got pretty good reviews and once again, the rarity of me agreeing with (or somewhat agreeing with) the Rotten Tomatoes people.
And some of these stories are pretty out there. There’s a Twilight Zone kind of edge to some of them. The idea that you think you know what is going to happen and you may even be partially or completely right, but there’s going to be something more for you…something different that you weren’t really expecting.
There’s a crazy story about the Easter Bunny, a poor woman who has issues with her pregnancy, the legend behind St. Patrick’s Day and no it’s not just about getting falling down drunk, surprisingly enough. There’s an almost “Carrie” like short with a high school girl dealing with locker room bullies and a major crush on her swim coach. There’s a very, shall we say, interesting take on a Halloween story involving webcam chicks, their boss and revenge with superglue and a car battery…and a vibrator. And we have a creepy tale of a set of VR type glasses and the cost of such toys PLUS, there’s a story about internet hookups and how they can go awry.
This was definitely worth seeing and I will, in fact, be watching it again. Finally, a NEW Creepshow type film for those of us who loved King’s short stories and Romero’s way of telling them. This is truly a gem buried in the rubble of so many unoriginal movies. You won’t want to miss this one.