Monday, April 30, 2012

"Rabies" review

Rabies (2010)

AKA Kalevet

Lior Ashkenazi ... Danny
Danny Geva ... Yuval
Ania Bukstein ... Adi
Menashe Noy ... Menashe
Ran Danker ... Mikey
Henry David ... Ofer
Ofer Shechter ... Pini
Liat Harlev ... Tali
Yael Grobglas ... Shir
Efrat Boimold ... Rona

A brother and sister are trapped in the woods with a madman. Meanwhile a car full of tennis players gets lost near the woods and run into the brother. This leads to mass confusion as the importance of friendship gets lost in the quest for survival. Before you know it, there are two cops and a park ranger thrown into the mix which leads to bloody results. Why is everyone going insane when they approach these woods? Who is the madman? Why are the brother and sister out there in the first place? So many questions but so few answers as madness seems to have an iron grip on anyone who ventures into the dark Israeli woods.

The first thing to know about “Rabies” is that no one has rabies. There’s no drooling St. Bernard dog, no one has Cabin Fever and no one gets rabid. Upon further research, the word Kalevet, (original title), can also mean “anything that isn’t good.” So it’s a very Kalevet afternoon in the woods for the characters in this movie. While there isn’t any rabies in the literal sense, everyone seems to go a little crazy. Sometimes they go a lot crazy. It’s just one of those Kalevet days.

“Rabies” is an Israeli made horror movie. A very unique horror film in that regard as I don’t recall ever seeing another Israeli made slasher flick. That would also explain why there was a scene with an air freshener painted with the Israeli flag dangling from a car rear view window. But I feel there may be some sort of subtle political message that perhaps I didn’t get. The movie may be trying to say something about the country going insane. Or maybe the filmmakers just don’t like the national park system. Or maybe the woods were close by and they decided to film there.

But if this movie wasn’t set in Israel, would it be as interesting? I’m not sure. One thing I am sure of is that Yael Grobglas is hot. She plays the blond tennis player who ventures into the woods. She was a pleasant sight to see as her world crumbled around her. There were extended scenes of her going to the bathroom, which one character insisted was hot, but I insist is not. I’m only saddened by the fact that she never consummated the lesbian crush that her teammate had on her.

“Rabies” is an interesting horror flick as it plays on the slasher conventions without fully committing to them. People are trapped in the woods, there’s a mad killer on the loose but nothing works out the way you think it would. It’s worth a look. The good news is that “Rabies” has plenty of bloodshed as the woods exert its homicidal hold over anyone who gets near it. The woods were completely Kalevet. Yael Grobglas wasn’t Kalevet though. She may have gone a little nuts, but nowhere near Kalevet.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 rabid women

A rabid Yael.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Stripperland" review

Stripperland (2011)

Director: Sean Skelding
Writers: Sean Skelding

Ben Sheppard ... Idaho
Jamison Challeen ... Frisco
Maren McGuire ... Virginia
Ileana Herrin ... West
Hank Cartwright ... Guy Gibson
Daniel Baldwin ... Double D
Lloyd Kaufman ... Phillip
Linnea Quigley ... Grambo

Stripperland. It’s a magical place where strippers remove their clothes for free and everyone gets a complimentary lapdance. A land where the drinks are cheap, the music is always set to hip hop and the women bump and grind the night away. That land is locked away deep in my imagination. This film shows an alternative reality to my fantasy. Their version of Stripperland is full of zombie strippers that love to eat human flesh. My version is a lot more fun.

“Stripperland” is a B-movie take on “Zombieland”. It gladly rips-off every element of its A-movie predecessor. It also manages to mangle a few “Star Wars” quotes along the way just so you understand the level of geek knowledge the filmmakers possess. The plot is essentially the same. The only difference is that all of the zombies are strippers. Two guys hit the road to Stripperland, (Portland actually), to look for life and freedom from zombies. They pick up two sisters who also want to be free of undead strippers. There are many gory interludes along the road to freedom. It all ends in a strip club with zombie women trying to hold in their guts after being blasted by shotgun wielding grannies. Just like “Zombieland”. Well, the ending was a little different.

“Stripperland” is a competently made B-rip-off of “Zombieland”. It moves briskly along from one gory set piece to the other but doesn’t provide much excitement or humor along the way. One of the main characters has an obsession with baked goods. Instead of lusting after twinkies, he wants to taste well prepared cakes. That is as humorous as “Stripperland” gets. If that’s the only funny thing I can remember about a movie called “Stripperland”, you can probably feel OK about skipping this one.

There’s one big problem with “Stripperland”. If you’ve already seen “Zombieland”, you’ve seen a better version of this film. But I was hoping that this would be an unapologetically sleazy affair which would make up for its lack of creativity. But I was disappointed again. “Stripperland” is too nice. There should have been so many undead breasts flopping about I should have lost count. Remember this B-movie golden rule: Strippers who don’t strip are not strippers. I can’t emphasize this enough. There were plenty of zombie strippers lurching about but very few actually took the time to show their rotting bodies.

So shame on you Stipperland for making me want to visit your city. I came to Stripperland to visit your glory holes and all I got was this half-baked remake.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 crazed strippers

Sunday, April 01, 2012

"Bikini Time Machine" review

Bikini Time Machine (2011)

Director: Fred Olen Ray
Writer: Fred Olen Ray

Joslyn James ... Lara
Kylee Nash ... Sara
Jenna Presley ... Kandy
T.J. Commings ... Teddy
Ted Newsom ... Watergate
Trish Cook ... Purvis
Nick Manning ... Hippy
Sara Sloane ... Princess

Time Travel. Only brave bikini time travelers have the courage to attempt such a feat. Kylee Nash and Joslyn James want to travel through the fourth dimension. They want to rip open a wormhole so that they can unlock the secrets of the universe. Like, why is Fred Olen Ray so obsessed with bikinis? They try to go back in time to witness a young Fred falling in love with bikini babes at the drive-in. Well, actually they don’t. But it would have made for a more interesting movie. Instead they have a lot of sex in another mindless Cinemax movie.

“Bikini Time Machine” starts off with a great sex scene. Intrepid time traveler Jenna Presley leaps into the abyss so that she can make out with a large breasted princess. Sara Sloane, (AKA Sarah Vandella), is eager to show her how to make sweet love to royalty. You see, one of the side effects of time travel is that you arrive at your destination extremely horny. A nice side effect to be sure especially if you happen to run into blondes with huge racks. This scene is quite pleasant as Jenna and Sarah take the time to get to know each other’s bodies and the viewer rejoices.

But then it’s all over and Jenna and Sarah leave the movie forever. I want to go back in time and see it again! But time marches on and we are stuck with some asinine movie where Joslyn is going to lose the family diner for some reason or another and no one cares. At this point you’ll want to hop into the time machine and go to the end of the film. That is where the last good sex scene awaits.

I believe if I’m not mistaken, (or slept through the dialogue), that Kylee and Joslyn are supposed to be sisters. If they are, then the last sex scene is so beautifully sleazy I have to give Ray credit for going the extra mile. Kylee and Joslyn use the time machine to get some lotto numbers but don’t count on the horny side effect to slow them down. Kylee decides that they just have to go for it if they are ever going to concentrate long enough to finish their lotto number task. Their sex scene is good but knowing that they’re horny sisters makes it even better. I don’t know about you but I like my softcore dirty.

“Bikini Time Machine” is a typical Ray softcore flick which is enlivened by Jenna’s and Kylee’s ample bosoms. Large breasts. Huge tits. I could go on and on but you get the idea. But be sure to hop in the DeLorean right after Jenna’s scene and set the flux capacitor to the Kylee and Joslyn rendezvous. Your future will be much brighter.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 bikini time travelers