Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Loved Ones (2009) Review

Lola, a quiet loner,  works up the courage to ask Brent to the School Dance.  Brent lets her down quickly and politely because he is already planning on going to the Dance with his long time girlfriend, Holly.   Brent is racked with guilt over the accident that caused the death of his Father six months earlier.  He wears a razor blade around his neck and cuts himself on a regular basis to remind him of the pain and guilt that he feels about his Father dying in a car accident while Brent was driving on a country road.

Unfortunately for Brent, Lola doesn't handle rejection very well.  She is Daddy's little princess and usually gets anything and everything she wants, and right now she wants Brent.  Lola's father kidnaps Brent and brings him home for his little princess to do with what she will.  Lola is looking for her Prince Charming among all the frogs in High School and none of them seem to measure up to her Father.  After  Lola decides a boy is not good enough for her, she likes to torture them with knives, power tools, or anything else she might find around the house.

The Loved Ones is a strange mix between an 80s Romantic Teen Comedy and a Torture Porn movie.   This unusual combination makes for an extremely  unique and different kind of  Horror Movie.   It was quite beautiful to look at with pink dresses, glitter, and a disco ball during the Dance scene.   But don't be fooled into thinking The Loved Ones is all pretty girl stuff though,  there are some real cringe worthy horrific moments to be had as well.  The pretty prom scene is in very sharp contrast to the brutal torture that Brent has to endure from Lola after she has decided she doesn't want him anymore.

Lola is the type of girl that blends into the background at school.  The quiet girl that sits in the corner or the Teacher's pet that gets straight A's.  She hasn't quite grown up yet and she is looking for her version of the Perfect Prom King.  It's as if she watched too many Disney movies when she was a little girl and no boy can ever measure up to her high standard.   Lola and her Father have a very unique and close relationship though.

What Lola failed to plan for , was Brent's addiction to pain.  No matter what she seems to do to him, he has the strength to endure.   If anything it spurns Lola on and makes her even more vindictive and vicious towards Brent.  The moral of the story seems to be don't ignore the quiet girl in the corner.  It's always the quiet ones in the end that you have to watch out for.

Friday, July 6, 2012

I Spit On Your Grave (1978) Review

A young beautiful New York writer, Jennifer Hills,  rents a cottage in the country in order to finish her first novel.   She stops at a Gas Station on the way to her Cottage to fill up and stretch her legs after a long drive from the city.  The Gas Station Attendant, Johnny,  finds her very attractive and flirts with her while he pumps her gas.  After she arrives at the Cottage on the lake,  Jennifer has some groceries delivered by Mathew,  a slightly mentally challenged boy that works at the local grocery store.  Matthew delivers the groceries, and then goes to tell his friends about the beautiful woman that he met by the lake.
Johnny, Matthew, and two other friends decide that Matthew needs to get laid. They conspire to attack Jennifer and hold her down so that Matthew can lose his virginity.   Jennifer fights with all her strength, but she is quickly over powered by the four men.  The men each take their turn raping and beating Jennifer until she can no longer stand or fight back.

I Spit On Your Grave AKA Day of the Woman  is infamous for the 25 minute long rape scene in the middle of the movie,  and for being on the Video Nasties list made in the UK.   Some films age gracefully and lose their shock value over the years.  After all, morals and values are quite different today than they were 34 years ago.  This is one of those rare films that are just as shocking and thought provoking as the day it was made.  The rape scene is truly disturbing to watch and will shock even the most seasoned viewers.  It shows the gang rape of a young woman in a very realistic and believable way.  Just when you think the rape is over and she will make her way back to the safety of her Cottage, she is attacked again and again.
I Spit On Your Grave does not use any type of music score to warn the viewer that something bad is about to happen.  Instead, the film is minimal and basic in telling the sad story, which makes it seem even more brutal somehow.  The only sounds during the rape are shrill screams from Jennifer and maniacal laughter from her attackers.

I remember watching I Spit On Your Grave when I was very young because it used to play on late night Cable TV.   I certainly remember it more vividly than most films I watched a long time ago, so it left a huge impression on my young mind.   Although the during the second viewing,  I found it wasn't as gory as I remembered all those years ago.  In fact most of the gory scenes don't even take place on camera.   The most disturbing scenes are during the rape not the revenge scenes.   The only revenge scene that is hard to watch is the bathtub scene, but it is mostly done with suspense and no real gore.

It might seem strange for a woman to say, but I actually enjoy a good rape/revenge movie.  It allows for the female character to be as evil and ruthless as she wants to be, but the audience still feels sympathy for her because of what happened to her.  A few of my favourites are Thriller A Cruel Picture, Ms. 45, Last House on the Left, and Sudden Impact I Spit On Your Grave is certainly one of the better exploitation films of the 70s.

Monster Mary's Top Ten Women of Horror To Fear

Horror Movies are well known for screaming girls as they run for their lives being chased by a murderous Villain.    Women in Horror Movies aren't always the victims though.  In fact sometimes they are just as evil as the guys, maybe even more so.  Whether they like to tie up and torture their victims slowly or kill them swiftly the ladies can hold their own in the scary Villain category.  The old saying "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"  is certainly true in Horror Films.  So be careful not to tangle with these ladies or you might end up missing a few body parts.

10-   Ginger (Ginger Snaps)
Ginger and her younger sister, Brigitte, like to pose like they are dead and take Macabre pictures of themselves.  Ginger has her first period and gets bitten by a werewolf on the same night during a full moon.   Ginger doesn't mean to be bad, but her inner wolf comes out and wants more than just a light snack!

9- Baby Firefly (House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects)
Baby Firefly seems to get her thrills from torturing other people just for fun.   Don't let her pretty face fool you though, she is seriously evil and demented.  Baby Firefly is very skilled on the dance floor and with a knife.  She carves up her victims and laughs about it!

8- Jennet Humfrye  (The Woman in Black)
Jennet's son was stolen from her by her sister because she was a single mother. Her sister adopted the little boy and then in a tragic accident he died in the Eel Marsh.  Jennet never forgave her sister and commited suicide over the tragic turn of events.  Her vengeful spirit haunts Eel Marsh and the Village nearby by entrancing the children and leading them to their deaths.

7-  Lola (Loved Ones)
Lola and her Father have a very close and strange relationship.  Anything she wants, her Father will try to do his best to fulfill her wishes.   At the moment, she wants the boy who turned her down for Prom, so Daddy kidnaps him and brings him to Lola.  Lola is truly evil and not good girlfriend material.   She gets her kicks by kidnapping guys and torturing them while Daddy watches.

6- Julia (Hellraiser 1 and 2)
Julia will do anything for the man that she loves.  She lies, Cheats, and Kills just to bring her man back from Hell.   Julia seduces innocent men and brings them back to her skinless lover, Frank,  so that he can devour them and regain his strength.  Unfortunately for Julia, the Cenobites have other plans and she ends up as helpless as her lover was.

5- La Femme (Inside)
The Woman will stop at nothing to get back the child that she lost.  Months earlier, The woman and Sarah were involved in a fatal car crash that killed Sarah's husband and The Woman's unborn child.  The Woman has come to exact her revenge and take Sarah's baby for her own.   A bloody battle ensues and The Woman is ruthlessly determined to take the baby any way she can.

4- May (May)
May is a very lonely girl and she wishes she had a friend more than anything else.   She finds a boyfriend and a girlfriend, but May soon starts to reveal her true creepy self, and they are both scared away.  May decides if she can not find friends easily, then she has to make them from scratch.  She is very skilled at sewing and doll making, and stitches up a new friend from "perfect parts"  in no time!

3- Pamela Voorhees (Friday the 13th)
Mrs. Voorhees has never gotten over the drowning of her only son, Jason.   She   carries out her revenge on anyone who tries to reopen Camp Crystal Lake.  She especially hates teenagers that have sex,  drink alcohol, or smoke pot.  She blames teenagers because it was a group of partying camp counselors that let her son die in the lake.  Mrs. Voorhees is quite skilled with a bow and arrow!

2- Annie Wilkes (Misery)
Annie Wilkes is Paul Sheldon's number one fan, she is obsessed with his novels about a character named Misery.  She finds Paul after he crashes his car on a mountain road and brings him back to her isolated house in the woods.  Paul broke both his legs and dislocated his shoulder in the crash, so he is bed ridden and must rely on Annie for everything.   When Annie discovers that Paul has killed off her favourite character in his latest book, she goes into a rage.  Annie forces Paul to burn the manuscript he has worked so hard on and forces him to write a new book instead.  It turns out that Annie has a very troubled past and he is being held captive by an insane killer.

1- Auntie Ruth (The Girl Next Door)
Auntie Ruth is a widow that takes care of two young girls after their parents die in a car accident.  At first everything seems normal to her friend, David, that lives next door but eventually Meg tells him that Ruth is cruel to her and her younger sister.  Meg tells a local policeman about Ruth's abuse, and ends up getting caught.  Ruth ties her up and tortures her using a small group of children  in the neighbourhood  to do her evil deeds for her.  One of  the most evil and vindictive female characters in Horror, Auntie Ruth,  is actually based on a real woman that tortured a young girl to death.  Real life is is sometimes worse than fiction!