Thursday, September 17, 2009

Three Films Make A Post: My Sister Is A Werewolf

Rest Stop: Don't Look Back (2008): aka We're not stinking calling it Rest Stop 2.

While I had quite a bit of fun with John Shiban's Rest Stop as a neat, weird and focused if unoriginal little B movie, its sequel is just a retread of the first one with every flaw maximized. It's especially lacking in the sense of strangeness the first film achieved from time to time, and replaces it with a bit more torture. Note to filmmakers: torture without emotional context makes for a boring movie.

The slightly larger cast isn't used too well either and mostly helps to make the film feel bloated and unfocused. And the ending does make no fucking sense whatsoever.

 

High Plains Invaders (2009): Alien CGI effects that everyone calls "bugs" although they look nothing like bugs attack a Western town. Tragic train robber James Marsters and his small band of survivors fight back.

Typically depressive SciFi Channel stuff, held a mile away from being entertaining in any way or form by the usual: sloppy direction, sloppy editing, sloppy script and sloppy acting (with Marsters and female lead Cindy Sampson as exceptions I'm at least willing to call professional). Of course the effects and the actors never seem to actually interact, of course the film ignores everything it could have learned from the history of B-movies, of course it wastes a fun basic idea. It's so sloppy and just plain lazy that I'd even rather watch the Western episodes of the revived Outer Limits again.

 

Filial Son (1975): If you have seen your share of Taiwanese wuxia films, you'll more or less know the plot of this one. It's the usual vengeance business, with unagreeably little weirdness and an agreeable interest in its female characters.

The few words about this on the 'net are quite negative, but I found the film to be quite solid. It is true, Mo Man-Hung's direction is neither subtle nor does it ever deviate from genre standards. Fortunately, I happen to like the genre standard.

The film is cheaply but solidly made, with nice enough acting and unexceptional fights, and while I have seen this sort of story told about a million times - and often better - Filial Son is entertaining enough for what it is, unless you expect every film to be a timeless masterpiece.

 

2 comments:

CRwM said...

Normally I try not to drag the conversation down to the level of racially-insensitive juvenile puns, but Mo Man-Hung is one of the greatest names of all time.

houseinrlyeh said...

I'm sure Princess Dragon Mom approves.