Archive for Michael Cooney

Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1997

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2013 by goregirl

Like every year of the 90s, 1997 had a handful of horror gems. I was optimistic when the first few titles I watched ended up being pretty entertaining, but my enthusiasm quickly waned. Oh boy did it wane! I watched 57 horror titles for 1997 and failed more than half of them. To be honest I am ready for this feature to be done. I am having serious 70s withdrawal! I slipped and watched A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin the other night and now I don’t want to watch any more fecking 90s crap. There is just one week left of this feature so now I find myself having to double up on the top ten lists. This list, as will be the case with the next two will be considerably more…um…efficient! I rated film number one 5/5, films two, three and four I rated 4.5/5, films five and six I rated 4/5, films seven and eight I rated 3.5/5 and films nine and ten earned a shaky 3/5. I gave one other film from 1997 a 3/5 which was Scream 2.

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#10 JACK FROST
Directed By: Michael Cooney

I did not think for a second that I would be including Jack Frost on a top ten list. Of the 57 films I saw from 1997 however it was a hell of a lot more fun than most. Jack Frost has swearing, nudity, graphic violence, rape and terribly bad one-liners. Sure, Jack Frost is a film about a serial killer-shape-shifting-icicle shooting-snowman with potty mouth, a tasteless sense of humour and a seriously bad attitude and what can I say? It made me laugh. To read the full review click here. “He’s chillin…and killin.”

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#9 MIMIC
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

I would rank Mimic fairly low among my favourite films of Guillermo del Toro. That said, the effects are neat, and I do love me some killer predatory insects. It starts out interesting enough but the second half gets a little hokey despite being the more action-packed section of the film. It’s okay. This is definitely a light recommend. If you want to check out some really brilliant Guillermo del Toro flicks check out Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone or Pan’s Labyrinth. “Evolution has a way of keeping things alive.”

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#8 NIGHTWATCH
Directed By: Ole Bornedal

When I saw this on the list for 97 I assumed this was the Russian horror film Night Watch but it turns out there are at least three titles under this name. Ole Bornedal remade his own Danish language 1994 film with English speaking actors. Chances are had I seen the original (which I have not) I would have been much harder on this remake. Being that I hadn’t I enjoyed Nightwatch despite the insanely blaring red herring and a couple overly coincidental plot twists. “He’s a full-time college student who just took the wrong part-time job. Now he’s the final piece in a brilliant serial killer’s puzzle.”

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#7 THE UGLY
Directed By: Scott Reynolds

A lot of mixed feelings out there about this New Zealand entry. I wouldn’t call The Ugly screamingly original but I dug it anyway. It is psychological, supernatural, sort of dreamy-nightmary and fairly brutal with the violence. We get a glimpse of the killer’s life through flashbacks and it isn’t pretty. In fact…it’s Ugly! “A subversive incursion into human mind perversions!”

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#6 CUBE
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali

A Canadian entry and this one is a doozy! Cube, the film about seven people plunked into a endless maze of deadly traps is an original, intense and suspenseful thrill ride with some decent performances. “Fear… Paranoia… Suspicion… Desperation.”

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#5 EVENT HORIZON
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

I wrote a long rambling review for this film with lots of pretty pictures so I am just going to say Event Horizon is a visually appealing, well cast and acted, action-packed, creepy and intense sci-fi horror flick. I love you Sam Neill you crazy bastard! To read the full review for Event Horizon click here. “Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see.”

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#4 PERFECT BLUE
Directed By: Satoshi Kon

I am just beginning to delve into the world of Japanese animated films and Perfect Blue has been one of my favourites so far. Perfect Blue is an excellent thriller-horror full of twists, turns and surprises complimented by an array of beautiful and violent images. To read the full review click here. “The color of illusion is Perfect Blue.”

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#3 PERDITA DURANGO
Directed By: Álex de la Iglesia

This is director Álex de la Iglesia’s second entry on a top ten. Before starting this feature I had no idea who Mr. Iglesia was, now I look forward to checking out all his stuff! Perdita Durango is funny, violent, action-packed, sexy, salty and a crapload of energetic fun! To read the full review click here. “A scientist? No, you’re definitely a dentist. I could tell from the stupid smile on your face.”

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#2 STARSHIP TROOPERS
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

Starship Troopers is not a horror film; but hell it has more violence in it than a lot of titles I have included on these top ten lists. I have a huge soft spot for this film! I actually went to see it at the theatre three times when it came out. It is deliciously campy, action-packed, over-the-top, and has some really top notch and fun effects. Sure it is fluff, but it is freaking awesomely fun fluff! “Join the Mobile Infantry and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?”

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#1 CURE
Directed By: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Cure is quite simply one of the best films I have ever seen with a serial killer theme. I really need to see more of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s films!! It is beautifully filmed, intense, suspenseful, brilliantly acted, well-paced, nasty and well, just freaking perfect. I can’t recommend more highly seeking this one out. “With just one word, you will do anything.”

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JACK FROST (1997) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by goregirl

What we have here is a film about a killer snowman. There are not a lot of films about killer snowmen. There is of course, Val Guest’s The Abominable Snowman starring Peter Cushing, but that is a considerably more serious affair than what we have here. The cover of Jack Frost shows a much more heinous looking snowman than what Jack is in actuality. Jack is literally three snowballs piled on top of one another with coal eyes and a carrot nose. You know, just like the ones we built when we were kids. Keeping in mind that this is a film about a killer snowman, you should not expect to be frightened. There is not a single scary moment in Jack Frost. Jack Frost is definitely a horror-comedy that is heavy on the laughs and site gags. Jack Frost is ridiculous, cheesy, incredibly stupid and occasionally tasteless; I liked it. SPOILERS AHEAD!

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An uncle tells a child a bedtime story; a happy scary story. A story about a serial killer name Jack Frost. We meet Jack as he is being driven to his execution. An accident frees Jack but the vehicle they crashed into is marked “genetic research – caution acidic solution”. Oh-Oh! Jack ends up getting doused with a comically heavy shower of the acid which melts him down into the snow. The snow begins to bubble and jump and voila! Giant, mutant killer snowman…with a hankering for revenge!

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Driven to his execution? What the hell? Who gets driven to an execution? You are not watching Jack Frost for its awesome story. There really is only one reason to venture here and that is for the killer snowman and his antics. Jack tears through a lot of neighbours on the way to finding the cop that nailed him. Sam the cop lives in a small town, the kind where everyone knows each other’s names and they have town hall meetings and barbecues and shit. Sam is pretty jittery and keeps having flashbacks of Jack swearing his vengeance. Sam even calls the FBI to ask about Jack’s death who of course confirms Jack’s demise. The FBI are totally aware that the acidic solution brought Jack back badder than ever. Bad FBI! Bad! Enough with the freaking “story” already! Like I said it is all about Jack.

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There are only 10 kills in Jack Frost, but when your kills are enacted by a snowman they tend to be a little more memorable. There are several bad one liners and catch phrases uttered by Jack with each kill. Colourful character this serial killer turned snowman. “I only “axed” ya for a smoke” which naturally accompanied an axe to the head and others like “It ain’t fucking Frosty” “It’s the world’s most pissed off snow cone” and yeah, others I don’t remember. The best and nastiest death involves Christmas ornaments. I watched twelve Christmas horror films back to back and I was so bloody disappointed that only two of the films I watched had deaths by Christmas ornaments. Jack wraps a woman in Christmas lights than shoves a glass ball in her mouth and smashes her face repeatedly into more glass balls. Damn!The most tasteless death of the lot is the rape scene. How does a snowman rape a woman? Two words; Carrot Nose. Shannon Elizabeth literally gets screwed to death by Jack. Have I mentioned Jack is a shape-shifting snowman? He can turn to water and get under doors, come through drains, taps etc. He can also shoot icicles like bullets. I’m almost embarrassed that I laughed so many times during this stupid movie. I couldn’t help it. The snowman was too cute to be doing such hideous things. I know he used to be a serial killer and all but seeing a snowman driving a car makes me laugh like a six year old.

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I don’t really know what to say about the effects. Jack is a guy in a snowman costume and there is some blood here and there, but considering the brutality of the deaths, there should have been more. They get pretty creative though, I gotta hand them that. It might be tasteless but rape by snowman via carrot nose is something you ain’t going to see twice (probably). I thought it was nifty that he could change into water and back and I sure did dig his ability to shoot icicles. Of course being a snowman, Jack does have his weaknesses. Jack is not a fan of hair dryers, ovens or antifreeze. If I learned one thing from this movie it is that sometimes it’s okay to throw your child into a pool of antifreeze. I’ll tell ya one thing; Jack Frost is a crapload better than the family-friendly Michael Keaton version that came out the year after. The cover of the Keaton film makes me want to wretch! I had a huge crush on Keaton back in the day and seeing him in Jack Frost just made me feel sad, mildly angry and slightly dizzy. Do not mistake Jack Frost (1997) for Jack Frost (1998). I don’t really know what to say about the acting; I thought it was okay I think.

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Jack Frost is a movie about a killer snowman; it has swearing, nudity, graphic violence, rape, terribly bad one-liners and it clearly knows who its audience is. On a scale of ten I would give it a 5.5 but since I don’t score out of ten I bumped it up to a 3. Yep. This movie is straight up stupid but I liked it anyway. Jack Frost is recommended to those of you who might be amused by a serial killer-shape-shifting-icicle shooting-snowman with potty mouth, a tasteless sense of humour and a seriously bad attitude; anyone else should avoid like the plague.

Dungeon Rating: 3/5

Directed By: Michael Cooney

Starring: Scott MacDonald, Christopher Allport, Stephen Mendel, F. William Parker, Eileen Seeley, Rob LaBelle, Zack Eginton, Jack Lindine, Kelly Jean Peters,  Marsha Clark, Chip Heller, Brian Leckner, Darren O. Campbell, Shannon Elizabeth, Paul Keith