Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Revenant

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The Revenant

I can’t go through eternity talking with a fucking dildo on my throat!!

This is like a buddy zombie horror comedy. And you know what, it just didn’t interest me. It felt like a mess even though there were some good bits. I got bored.

Bart’s an American soldier. He gets killed in an ambush in Iraq and his body is shipped home for his funeral. His best buddy, Joey, makes the moves on Bart’s girlfriend, Janet, after the funeral. Janet muses that nothing could possibly get worse and she starts making out in earnest with the rather greasy and skeevy looking Joey. Of course, as she says that, Bart breaks out of his coffin.

I applaud the movie people for their commitment to realism. Bart’s mouth has been sewn shut as it would be on any corpse and he can only make muffled screams. Which he does. A LOT, as anyone who just woke up in a coffin with their mouth sewn shut would do. In a very cringe worthy moment (seriously, I checked my mouth), Bart cuts out the sutures in his mouth.

He then makes his way to Joey’s place. Joey’s not sure if he’s hallucinating or not, but seems to take it in stride. Bart attempts to eat but ruins the rug by vomiting black gunk. Joey takes him to the hospital, but the ER doctor calls the cops. The two guys run. Bart passes out suddenly. Joey calls over a mutual friend, Matilda, who happens to be a nurse and some kind of New Age guru thing. She says Bart’s a vampire and that his head should be cut off and a stake driven through his heart. Joey refuses, Bart’s his best bud after all. Matilda leaves, promising not to tell anybody and warning joey that Bart will need human blood to live. When the sun goes down, Bart wakes up. He tries to eat again, but the same black gunk issue happens. Honestly, the breakfast Joey made would have made me nauseous too. Joey had researched on the Internet what Bart could be, and he’s either a vampire or zombie. Either way, he needs blood to live.

So Bart decides this is his second chance at life and he and Joey go and get drunk and high.  A lot. They just kinda drive around and drink and smoke. They rob a blood bank staffed by Scientologists. Every morning, Bart passes out and Joey has to carry him back home. They’re refuelling their booze at a liquor store when a gangbanger tries to rob them. The guy shoots Bart, who doesn’t die. Joey hits the gangbanger over the head and the boys load him into the car, where Bart feeds off of him. He feels really good afterwards. They toss the gangbanger’s body into the river and take off. Another night, when they’re in a liquor store, someone tries to rob it. Bart kills the robber and feeds off of him. The two become known as vigilantes. There’s a montage of them killing gangbangers, thieves and rapists. The rescued victims are always grateful until Bart brushes off their gratitude and sticks his face in puddles of blood to suck. Then they just get grossed out. The two guys amass a lot of guns, cash and drugs taken from the bodies of the criminals they kill. Sometimes they toss the bodies of the criminals whole into the river, sometimes they cut them up first.

Eventually, Matilda tells Janet. She comes over to see Bart and they are both happy to be together again… With Joey keeping quiet about a certain night of wild animal sex. Janet calls Bart a lot, just to hear his voice.

Joey wants to be invincible too and asks Bart to make him a zombie/vampire/revenant/whatever. Bart refuses until Joey is shot multiple times in a rescue gone wrong. Bart then gives Joey the ‘Dark Kiss’ and the two go on a vigilante rampage throughout the city. It made me think a bit of Boondock Saints. But people are noticing, Joey’s not exactly a model of goodness and the boys have been sloppy with what they do with their meals.

Eh. It had some great parts. I don’t know why, it just felt disjointed and I really couldn’t get into it. The guys are great actors, and that Joey is one heck of a greasy weasel rat.  I felt that the story just wasn’t cutting it. It felt like there was something missing. Some kind of cohesion. It was very long, but I can’t think of anything to cut out. I think I lost interest when they became vigilantes. That could have been a separate movie in itself and it might have started too late in the movie. I think they lost me when the first part of the movie, a buddy horror comedy, became a vigilante gun action movie that also tossed in some questions about ethics. One or the other, people, please.

2 Black Forest cupcakes out of 5.

Juan of the Dead

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Juan of the Dead

Juan of the Dead. We kill your loved ones. How can I help you?

Kick ass Cuban zombie movie! It’s got a Shaun of the Dead flair to it (clearly!) and its own special flavour! It’s like if Shaun of the Dead was remade and there were no restrictions or parental ratings to worry about.

Juan is kicking around on a raft made out of nets and tires with his best friend Lazaro. No, they’re not trying to get to Miami, they’re just fishing. Juan nets a zombie which tries to attack them, but Lazaro, suffering from premature harpoonation, accidently harpoons the zombie through the eye and kills it. The two decide not to say anything and head back to their shared rooftop apartment in Havana.

Juan is a charming rogue type. He gets all the ladies, leaving the permanently frustrated clumsy sidekick Lazaro trailing behind. Juan even makes passes at his very elderly neighbour, Yiya, patting her ass and making her feel like a giddy teenager. Juan, Lazaro, Lazaro’s son Vladi California, the flamboyant China and his bodyguard Primo, are all part of a thieving gang. When they are at a neighbourhood watch meeting (they go to find out if their crimes are getting noticed), the leader of the watch turns into a zombie and starts killing people. The state media claims that the recent outbreaks of violence are the fault of dissidents being supported by Americans. Yiya calls Juan because her husband has died. While in the apartment, the old man reanimates and tries to attack Juan. Lazaro and Vladi burst in and help Juan subdue the old man. Lazaro, recognizing a connection between the old man and the waterlogged zombie they killed at the start, gets his harpoon gun. Again, suffering from premature harpoonation, he accidently kills Yiya too. The trio are alarmed that the old man (shot through the torso) is still ‘alive.’ In a hilarious scene, they try to determine what he is. Vladi thinks the old man’s a vampire, so they try to stuff his mouth with garlic and stake him in the chest. It doesn’t work, until Juan, in frustration, bashes the old man in the head with a large crucifix, finally killing him. When they are dumping the bodies, Yiya reanimates and they cut her in half with an elevator door.

After seeing one of the pretty neighbourhood hookers fall through a window, the trio go to check on her equally pretty hooker roommate. Out of neighbourly kindness, of course… She’s totally naked and as she tells her story, Lazaro stares openly at her chest. They all think the zombies are dissidents.

The following day, the city is in chaos. Juan goes to his former mother in law’s house to get his daughter, Camila. His ex mother in law is a zombie, but his daughter was hiding on the rooftop. He brings his daughter back to his house. The amorous Vladi is flirtatious and Camila is flattered until Juan informs her that Vladi has herpes. Lazaro tries to escape with the hooker on the tire and net raft. The hooker is grabbed by zombies and eaten while Juan is convincing Lazaro to stay.

Juan has a plan. He sees this as a business opportunity. They are going to charge people for protection and to kill their dissident (zombiefied) relatives. Armed with assorted machetes, wooden paddles, slingshots, even nunchucks for some reason, they set about advertising their services. Business is great and hilarious, even though a customer accidently got killed once. Not to worry though, they rob her house to ensure they got properly paid for their services. China and Primo join them in the business (although the large and tough Primo has to be blindfolded since he faints when he sees blood). In a great scene, the group run across what’s left of the army. The group is forced to strip and are all handcuffed together. They are tossed in the back of a truck with a bunch of other naked and handcuffed guys. The army guys, while better equipped, aren’t very good at recognizing people about to become zombies and a bloodbath in the truck ensues.

Juan begins to realize that, as much as Cuba is paradise for him, they can’t stay there much longer.

I love this. It’s absolutely hysterical. They are not taking themselves seriously at all. The jokes are all so crude and awesome. There’s lots of nudity and swearing galore. There’s a lot of very inventive zombie killing. Pulling heads apart at jaws, using marbles, just a bloodbath of inventiveness. And I love that they really don’t care where the zombies came from, what they want or even what they are (Vampires?? American supporters??? Rabies victims??). This is totally a way to make money and Juan must take advantage!

SEE IT!!!!!!!!! It’s a fucking funny romp horror comedy rampage through Havana!

5 chocolate ice cream cones out of 5