Saturday, February 23, 2019

Three Films Make A Post: There are places you should never visit. This is one of them.

Indigenous (2014): Your usual young tourist types visit Panama and go off with a local to tourist up a forbidden waterfall. There, they encounter the Chupacabra. The usual mix of running through the jungle, screeching, and “I’m so sorry”s ensues. Well, you can’t blame Alastair Orr’s film for rampant originality, or pretend it does anything with the characters that’ll make you care for them even the tiniest bit. The whole film is shot competently enough but terribly dull even if you’re like me and okay with generic horror films being generic. There’s just nothing to grab one even a little bit here.

Dollman vs. Demonic Toys (1993): On the other hand, at least Indigenous doesn’t reek of complete loathing for the audience that pays the filmmakers’ bills. This Full Moon abomination, on the other hand, directed by Charles Band himself, does reek so quite a bit. At one hour of running time, at least fifteen minutes of which are taken up by the credits and flashbacks to Dollman, Demonic Toys and Bad Channels, it’s difficult to shake the feeling of watching a really bad clip show episode of a horrible TV show (or Phantasm IV, for that matter). It doesn’t help that the plot of what’s there of actual new footage makes little sense even for a Full Moon film, the jokes are tepid, and most of it feels like filler with little of interest happening whatsoever. Not even Tim Thomerson and Tracy Scoggins reprising their roles from the earlier movies can save anything here, because there’s no attempt on screen to do anything but dupe us suckers paying for Full Moon films into literally buying crap.

Three O’Clock High (1987): Fortunately, this 80s high school comedy rides to the rescue. This is not exactly in my genre of choice but Phil Joanou’s film recommends itself even to people like me with a non-generic story made out of very generic elements and a focussed script that plots comedy nearly as tightly as a good thriller. Which is a good fit for Phil Joanou’s breathless direction that really goes in for the living nightmare elements of the plot, as if this were a Hitchcock film, and Casey Siemaszko one of Hitchcock’s everyman protagonists going accidentally stumbling into a convoluted plot. Just that it takes place in high school, and there are jokes which are actually funny. There’s no boring second here.

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