New Review: Infestation

Before we get started, let me tell you what motivated me to work on this review today.  I saw a new e-mail in my inbox, it was from “bob” and the subject was “stuff”.  Instantly, I figured it was my good friend Bob Marshall (of Biga Pizza fame, drummer for Volumen).  I started the e-mail and then my brain started reeling with me wondering how I’d wronged Bob.  He sounded pissed.  Here’s the e-mail:

the stuff you wrote about hitting a wall was totally lame. Getting old sounds fucking typical at your house. break the mold homeboy. your page is to good for that type of talk.

Instantly I’m rejuvenated!  I’m ready to watch just about any steaming pile of horseshit and write a review.  Hell, I might go back and watch Diary of the Dead now.  Hell, I might even re-watch The Stand and Waterworld and that’s saying alot.

This site gets roughly 300 unique visits a day, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that.  I mean, I guess if I don’t get angry or crazy e-mails then I feel like you guys aren’t out there.  Turns out, you are.  Heh.  And you are as crazy and pissed as ever.

So, on to Infestation, or as it’s known in Japan “Big Bugs Panic”.  (Aside: They’ve got movie naming down to a real art form over there in Japan.  Big Bugs Panic tells me everything I need to know and it sounds fun as hell, right?)  Infestation is kind of a cross between Waiting… and Them! (Damn, I need to review Them!).

Now, before you get your panties in a twist, it’s not totally accurate to say that Infestation is post-apocalyptic.  But, you can’t prove to me that what happens in the movie didn’t happen everywhere on Earth, so I think I can get away with it.  Also, the ending provides a silly clue that maybe there’s more to this.  Regardless, I knew I was going to try and sneak it in once the movie got rolling mainly because I like to fill out the “Apocalypse by Miscellaneous” category.  Everything is freaking Zombies these days!  I get it, though, in the 80s it was all Nukes,  90s had more Plague.  But, I’m ready for giant bugs and space slime again.

So, the star of Infestation is Chris Marquette and it’s looking like guy has put on some weight since Fanboys (which, by the way, is pretty freaking rad as well).  Basically, think of Chris’s character as a sarcastic slacker-type who is thrown into a Giant Bug Apocalypse and you are ready to roll.

Now, look, I’m not saying this movie is Delicatessan or anything, but it definitely has more than enough moments to keep you entertained.  Also, the giant rubber bugs are pretty freaking rad.  There’s some CG as well, but it’s all cheesy enough to be charming some how.

Oh crap, I almost forgot!  It’s got Ray Wise!  You know…. Ray Wise!  Huh?  C’mon.  Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks?!  Yah!  I dunno why, but I freaking love Ray Wise.

So, summation time.  Giant Bug Apocalypse, Hip Ironic Smartass, Ray Wise!  If that isn’t enough for you, then check out this picture….. Gah!  Nevermind!  I was trying to find a cool picture of the half bug, half spider mutant creatures.  Don’t ever do a Google Images search for “Infestation”.  Freaking gross!  I’m going to go wash my eyes now… with beer.

I’m back baby.  I’m back!  Luv, Shane

Night of the Comet (the review that got me into trouble)

NOTE: Yeah.   I know.  A note before the review, that’s weird, right?  Well, I just want to reiterate that this is my original review of  Night of the Comet from 1997-ish.  Clearly I was drunk when I wrote it.  Clearly I was wrong because I’ve been getting shit for this for nearly 13 years.  So, my plan is to post this and then re-watch this movie and give it a chance this time.  Yeah, that’s right.  I’m not such an asshole that I can’t admit when I might have made a mistake.  Ok.  Enough hedging, here’s the original review:

Ladies and Gentlemen. Announcing a cage-grudge-death match. In this corner, we have Dawn of the Dead. In opposite corner, Day of the Triffids. And in our third corner, Valley Girl.
This is what Night of the Comet is. If you are wondering who wins in such an unusual match, the answer is no one. I watched this movie in the same weekend as Warriors of the Apocalypse and it took me three attempts to get all of the way through it. Whereas I just breezed right on through “Warriors“. I think that much speaks volumes.
Now, don’t get me wrong. A lot of the movies I’ve reviewed for these pages have looked and been much, much worse. I think this one bothered me because it was almost like a real movie. I mean, the only thing you can really bitch about is the plot. There aren’t minor filming, acting, effects flaws to distract you. Therefore you can focus your full hatred on the plot. Does that make sense?
Anyway, this is your basic Up-All-Night movie, only without the nudity and quirkiness that makes them so charming. Comets fly over the planet and instead of turning everyone blind (a la Day of the Triffids) they turn everyone into dust. Somehow, though, some people are turned into zombies instead. I have to admit that I liked this, even though there was absolutely no explanation given for it. I mean, there is no movie that is so bad that zombies won’t make it worse… umm.. yeah.
O.K. To top it all off, there are some wacky plot twists in this movie that they actually did pretty good. I won’t ruin it for you. Course, if you have a half a brain you’ll prolly figure it out way before I did. Well.. actually I never figured it out until they revealed it. See, I am dumb. Anyway, I forgot to talk about the “Valley Girls” in this movie. Maybe that is because they are about as Valley-ish as a drunken monkey. Huh?
Anyway, you can prolly afford to skip this one. That is, unless you want to hear cool 80’s-ish music and a wicked cover of “Girls just wanna have fun” that sounds just like Cyndi Lauper, only different.

Okey doke. I’ve gotten a lot of crap about my review of this movie. My advice, avoid criticizing 80’s nostalgia movies. Anyway, here’s a guest editor comment from Gene Splicer:

Guest Editor’s Note: You reviewed Night of the Comet, and stated that no explanation was given for some of them turning into zombies. The explanation was that exposure to the cometery radiation (bleeeeach) messed up your brain chemistry, making you prone to outbursts of anger. This didn’t really matter, because it also caused rapid and fairly impressive dehydration (in the lose ALL your water content and turn into dust manner) (paraphrasing madly here) Somehow this effect is blocked by steel, so people who were in airtight, steel containers were saved. People with partial protection (unsealed containers, sleeping under sheet metal) weren’t affected so badly, and started dehydrating verrrry sloowly. They didn’t actually turn into zombies, though. Just a bunch of soon-to-be-dead psychopaths with flaky skin.

Besides, the REAL point of this movie is to watch Chakotay swear.

Night of the Comet (1984) Starring: Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart Director: Thom Eberhardt
Night of the Comet (1984) Starring: Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart Director: Thom Eberhardt

The Quiet Earth

Hoooo ah! I’m back in action. This is 9-23-97 (Editor’s Note: this is an old review, you haven’t been sucked into some sort of temporal rift.  Don’t worry) and this is my first review in a coon’s age. I actually saw The Quiet Earth about 3 months back and it rocked my world. It was kind of cold outside and I believe I was recovering from a mean hangover. Anyway, it is English or Australian and it features the main male lead in many wacky full frontal nudity scenes. I know all youse fancy pantses is just rushing out there to purchase it now.
Editor’s Note: Ahem. I guess it is a New Zealand movie. Sorry all you kiwis out there.
So… the cause of apocalypse is some kind of accidental energy feedback explosion something or other. And the only people who are left alive are the people who were currently in a state of dying when it happened. So, if you were popping pills and were out of your body when the end hit… you are perfectly safe and alive now. Makes perfect sense, eh?
Like I was saying, there is only 3 people left on earth that you get to see and they are trying to stop the world from going completely in the shitcan. It is 2 guys and a girl, so there is some wacky tension about who digs who and who is rollin in the hay with who. These sort of situations make me feel uncomfortable, but I liked the way they did it.
Anyway, real good looting in this one and you get to see the guy go all wacky and crazy and junk. He starts broadcasting over the airwaves and he gets less and less stable as the days go on. Pretty much a perfect world…. I think I would put this one on my top ten list. It even inspired me to make a post-apocalyptic rap song. I will post it on here very soon in RealAudio format. Check out Volumen Records for more of this insanity. It’s my label. But I digress. What was I talking about? Oh yeah… I love tacos too. Especially squirrel.

The Quiet Earth (1985) Starring: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge Director: Geoff Murphy
The Quiet Earth (1985) Starring: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge Director: Geoff Murphy

Note: This original review was written sometime during 1996-1997, when I was a drunken, twenty-something nincompoop.  I am no longer that person.  Or, that is to say, I am in my thirties now. 😉

Night of the Comet (Guest Review by Patrick Merritt)

Samantha and Regina Belmont, two high school girls with Uzis. Its the end
of the world and all they want to do is go shopping and have a little fun.
However, there’s trouble on the way in the form of mutants, and crazy
scientists. Ah, Night of the Comet. I get cravings to watch this movie. This
movie is truly something I get nostalgic over.The thing that it has going
for it the most is this sense of “Hey the world is over, i can do whatever
the fuck I want and nobody is there to stop me!”. I watched this back when I
was a kid and the thing I remembered the most was Kelli Maroni. This girl
was an 80s B movie queen. She was on this movie, and another 80s popcorn up
all night great Chopping Mall! Now, some may not like it, but this was my
first post apocalyptic movie. I didn’t watch greats like the Mad Max series
till recently(damn I was missing out). Small part great Michael Bowen makes
an appearance, but this dude is Buck as in “Im Buck and I’m here to fuck”
the bride from Kill Bill. Then there is Catherine Mary Stewart, I can’t
think of anything else she’s been on but she sure does look an awful lot
like Linda Hamilton. Then there is Robert Beltran….Chakotay!!!! Oh and
that little asian girl played Gi on Captain Planet.

The intro is like one of those old 50s sci-fi movies, it has a narrator and
some sort of flawed explanation on what is about to happen. This sort of
thing was fading away in the 80s. it was cheesy, but was enough to set up
some events. The intro is a showcase of 80s culture, Regina Belmont is
playing an arcade game trying to have an uncontested score board when she
notices DMK has taken a spot. This sort of has a Back to the Future vibe. On
the other side of things her sister Sam is dealing with her cheating bitch
mother in law while their dad fights in some contra down in Honduras. Most
everybody goes out like lemmings, stare at the commet and get obliterated
like deers in headlights. The only thing left of cheating Doris is red dust!
The poor dog gets it too, and Reggie’s boyfriend quickly gets chomped down by
a mutant zombie. There are some great visuals of the empty city, with its
red dust. Pretty good stuff.

The mall scene was great, looting to great music, and then a mutant attack.
I thought the scientists were great, is it me but is the Dharma initiative
from LOST based on these guys. They wear like the same outfits and the logo
is nearly the same. They are fucking creepy, cold and calculated. That dream
Samantha had in the radio station scared the shit out of me as a kid. You
ever notice in good zombie flicks there is always a kid zombie that pops out
and gets killed. Dawn of the Dead 78′ had it, Night of the Comet had it, and
so did 28 Days Later. The movie wraps up nicely when we find out who DMK is.
“Great Car!” “Thanks! I have 23 of them”…”The burden of Civilization is on
us, okay?” “Oh, yeah. Bitching, isn’t it?” I’m pretty surprised this movie
got slammed by other reviewers. I would pretty much put it in the same
category in quality as Def Con 4, another great B post apocalyptic movie.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Night of the Comet (1984) Starring: Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart Director: Thom Eberhardt
Night of the Comet (1984) Starring: Robert Beltran, Catherine Mary Stewart Director: Thom Eberhardt

Note: The “other reviewers” in this guest review refers to yours truly.  In my defense, I must have been drunker than usual when I originally reviewed Night of the Comet.  I’ll re-post my original review soon and then I promise to re-watch this gem and review it properly…. slightly sober.

Day of the Triffids

Day of the Triffids should be a yardstick for every movie ever made. Especially post-apocalyptic movies. I mean, if they could make such a great looking movie with 1960’s tech and with 1960’s money, then anything is possible. This movie kicks the crap outta movies that just came out last week. But, maybe I should explain?
The earth is showered with meteorites and of course almost everyone has to look at them in all their purtiness. Well, not only are these meteorites harboring evil carnivorous plants, but they make you go blind. Only the people who don’t look at them are spared. I think the Stand ripped this concept off a little. You get a rag-tag bunch left over, drunks, sailors, a little girl… etc.
Well, then these Triffids (carnivorous plants) start moving around, multiplying and kicking serious butt. They are poisonous and they turn you green when before they eat you. It seems like there isn’t going to be any hope, cause they are organized like the Borg or ants. At this point the characters in the movie should be thankful that War of the Worlds was ever realeased. Because it turns out that the alien’s weakness is just everyday sea water.
This movie has a lot of the standard conventions that you see in post-apoc movies these days. Societies’ fabric is torn to shreds and there are always roving bands of wrongdooers. In this movie, it is drunken convicts. In Dawn of the Dead it was bikers.  Seeing a pattern, I took this to heart, so when the end hits, I’m hanging out at seedy bars to meet the future.
The Day of the Triffids (1963) Starring: Nicole Maurey, Howard Keel Director: Freddie Francis, Steve Sekely
The Day of the Triffids (1963) Starring: Nicole Maurey, Howard Keel Director: Freddie Francis, Steve Sekely