Archive for wilson yip

Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1998

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by goregirl

Just one more list after this one and this 90s horror feature is done like dinner!! I’ll be announcing the winner of the Criterion contest this Friday, March 1! Nothing new with 1998, lots of crap and a handful of gems. The top two films earned a 5/5, films three, four and five I rated 4/5, films six, seven, eight and nine are films I rated 3.5/5 and film number ten I rated 3/5. I also rated the following films 3/5; The Untold Story 2, Progeny, Night Time and The Wolves of Kromer.

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#10 SOMBRE
Directed By: Philippe Grandrieux

Sombre is definitely a somber affair. This slow-moving artful film has lovely looking and gritty visuals and at times is thoughtful and provocative. Marc Barbé and Elina Löwensohn both give great performances but I did long for more character introspection. On reading my May 2010 review I suspect I allowed myself to be affected by another’s influences. It seems like something I would normally be all over. Even what I can recall, it was still the strongest of the films I rated 3/5 from 1998. I need to revisit this one again soon. To read my 2010 review click here.

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#9 THE FACULTY
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez

Films with covers like The Faculty scare the hell out of me. So many films I hate from the 90s and early 2000s featured covers with the faces of their 20-something cast strategically lined up. Quite a few of these god-awful abominations were on this 1998 list; Disturbing Behavior, Urban Legends, Phantoms, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. I hate those films so very very much! I was literally afraid to rent The Faculty when it showed up on the new release wall at my video store! The Faculty was an exception to the rule. While the film is not without its flaws it is actually a pretty fun movie. The students suspect their teachers might be aliens, and inevitably are correct. The teachers are as integral to the plot as the students and the cast largely speaking is pretty good. Action, laughs, a few surprises and it’s a high school flick where the adults get to have all the fun!

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#8 RAZOR BLADE SMILE
Directed By: Jake West

This trailer is a little on the “self-aware” side! Nonetheless this low budget effort is a lot of fun. Lilith Silver is a sexy black-clad assassin who also happens to be a vampire. She draws a lot of unwanted attention when she starts knocking off rich powerful business men. They do all sorts of neat original things in this vampire flick. Eating a woman out when she has her period?! Is that a little too graphic for ya’ll? Well, you have to admit that is something you don’t see too often; and frankly it makes sense that a vampire should enjoy that! In Razor Blade Smile gunfights, swordplay, sex and the obligatory stakes are all part of the fun in this violent, gory and humorous low budget effort from the UK.

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#7 GOODBYE 20th CENTURY
Directed By: Darko Mitrevski & Aleksandar Popovski

No trailer for this one I am afraid, and in fact this little bit of bizarreness does not appear to be available on DVD. Goodbye 20th Century is a Macedonian film. I don’t think I have ever seen a film from Macedonia other than this one. I watched this at a friend’s place who warned me it was not a horror film. Well, it came up on the IMDB list so here it is. My friend was right, it isn’t exactly a horror film, but it does have a ton of violence and even some gore! It is sort of a Christmas film too! Yeah, Santa is a character in Goodbye 20th Century! And he may or may not be god?! There is also an immortal dude who gets shot a whole bunch of times that is the catalyst for the whole tale. There is all manner of religious mumbo-jumbo in this crazy trippy apocalyptic film which is a real mixed bag of craziness! If Goodbye 20th Century was a stew some of its ingredients might be The Holy Mountain, Road Warrior and Bladerunner with a pinch of Batman. I don’t think I understood it all, but it sure was a visual extravaganza!

goodbye 20th century

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#6 BIO ZOMBIE
Directed By: Wilson Yip

There is a goodly amount of horror-comedy on this list, but I am surprised by how few zombie films were around in the 90s. A soft drink called Lucozade has been spiked with a bio weapon that turns its consumer into a zombie. Enter Woody and Bee, a pair of lazy, irritating losers that work in the mall selling bootleg films. These two got on my nerves early in the film, but by mid-film I found myself rooting for them and their group of pals. There is a significant body count but not much in the way of gore. It is more of a comedic character-driven affair, but there is plenty of action in its second half and a freaking great finale! Bio Zombie is undead fun from Hong Kong! To read the full review click here.

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#5 VAMPIRES
Directed By: John Carpenter

Another vampire film?! Bloody hell! Why Vampires isn’t listed as a horror-comedy on IMDB is a mystery to me. The film has more one-liners than you can shake a stick at! Vampires is an entirely campy affair that is action packed with loads o’violence! James Woods is super terrific as cheeky slayer Jack Crow and has a hell of a lot of fun with the role. Thomas Ian Griffith is also a hoot as bad-ass vampire Valek. The effects are quite decent, the kills are energetic and there are plenty of laughs. Expect more fun than frights.

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#4 RINGU
Directed By: Hideo Nakata

It is so easy to forget how good Ringu was after countless bland and outright terrible long black-haired Japanese girl ghost flicks that followed it. North America isn’t the only movie making continent that can bastardize a cool concept! A video tape that kills its viewer seven days after watching it is the premise behind this scary, well-filmed and intense little Japanese horror flick. The real fun however comes in the discovery of the story behind the tape. The first time I seen this was a midnight showing with a friend who wasn’t much of a horror fan, and it scared them so bad they insisted on spending the night at my house!

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#3 BLADE
Directed By: Stephen Norrington

This splashy big budget affair is one of a handful of mainstream flicks I love from the 90s. It is insanely action packed and I rather like the idea of a vampire slayer that is a vampire himself. Wesley Snipes is also smoking hot, even with that stupid ass looking hairdo! Martial arts, swordplay, great special effects and a nifty cast without a second of downtime. Kris Kristofferson as Blade’s mortal assistant Whistler is top notch and Udo Kier as Dragonetti is a no-brainer. Goddamn I have included a lot of vampire titles on these 90s top ten lists! Apparently I like vampire films!

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#2 BRIDE OF CHUCKY
Directed By: Ronny Yu

Yeah, that’s right Bride-of-motherfucking-Chucky! Oh how I do love this ridiculously silly film!! The Child’s Play franchise was meant to be horror-comedy in my opinion! I love that smart-ass doll and his voluptuous bride! Curvy Jennifer Tilly was the perfect choice for Tiffany and what can I say about Brad Dourif? I love that guy! I’ve probably seen this movie at least a dozen times and it makes me laugh without fail. Bride of Chucky is violent, hilarious and incredibly daft fun I personally can’t get enough of. “Chucky gets lucky” – that shit practically writes itself!!

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#1 THE QUIET FAMILY
Directed By: Jee-woon Kim

Director Jee-woon Kim is without a doubt one of my favourite directors and is one of South Korea’s most talented. His spectacular A Bittersweet Life, the gritty I Saw the Devil, the beautiful and haunting A Tale of Two Sisters, the quirky The Good, The Bad and The Weird and The Foul King; the man can do no wrong in my book. As much as I love all of these films one of my favourites is still his first feature film; The Quiet Family. Dark, hilarious and superbly cast The Quiet Family is one of the smartest and most original horror comedies ever. Damn shame I could not find an English subtitled trailer for The Quiet Family as the laughs just don’t translate here. I really can’t recommend this film more highly and I could go on and on but I will instead direct you to my friend Jason’s review over at Genkinahito’s Blog (click here).

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BIO ZOMBIE (1998) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in Hong Kong, horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by goregirl

I apologize it took me so bloody long to get my first zombie review of the month up, but I am now officially in full frontal zombie mode! For your reference (and mine!) I swiped a list of zombie films from Wikipedia which I put in my sidebar. Seems like a pretty complete list to me, but if you spot an omission leave me a comment and I’ll add it. I also included links to zombie films I’ve already reviewed. I watched 3 zombie films on the weekend and I am pleased to say I enjoyed them all in varying degrees. The zombie sub-genre has always been a personal favourite. There is however a lot of shitty zombie films out there, and an awful lot that lack any originality and just feel redundant. But when they work, they really kick ass! Regardless of quality, I always appreciate a fresh attempt at the zombie film. I’ve really enjoyed the few Asian zombie flicks I’ve watched so I thought I would start out the reviews with a horror-comedy entry from Hong Kong.

Like Dawn Of The Dead, Bio Zombie’s action takes place in a mall, although that would be where the comparisons end. There is barely a serious moment from beginning to end of Bio Zombie. It is definitely intended to be comedy first. The film focuses on its two main characters Woody and Bee. Woody and Bee are a pair of lazy, irritating losers that work in the mall selling bootleg films. They are loud, obnoxious and do some incredibly messed-up things, like mugging a character in the washroom and stealing her ring and cell phone. This film takes a while to get going and you are forced to sit through this pairs antics a little too long. I wasn’t overly impressed with the first 20 or so minutes of the film. But things do improve significantly as the film moves along. In fact, to my surprise, I actually ended up having a little bit of empathy for this pair.

We begin with the obligatory set-up where we learn that a soft drink called Lucozade has been spiked with a bio weapon that turns its consumer into a zombie. We are introduced to a prototype soldier who has drank the lucozade and goes nutzoid and chases a conspiring employee out of the building. Inevitably, the employee gets hit by our two dumbasses. Seriously injured and lying on the road he asks for a drink and wouldn’t you know it but a can of Lucozade has fallen from his briefcase. The employee ends up in their trunk full of zombifying Lucozade and the two drive to the mall. I don’t recall if there is another mention of Lucozade until the films final scene, but at this point people are turned into zombies the old-fashioned way, by biting. Well, it seems one cannot avoid some manner of build up but I just wish it hadn’t lingered so long. We watch Woody and Bee interact with various mall patrons and merchants, scamming, yelling, taunting and flirting. The other players include a couple of aestheticians; Jelly and Rolls (yeah, ha ha), Sushi-boy (you guessed it, he works at the sushi restaurant), and then there is the owner of the cell phone store and his meek wife. It is these secondary characters that help take the piss out of the Woody and Bee duo. Eventually the group must work together to survive. Even though I found the build-up tedious I must admit it definitely aided the character development. The man who owns the cell phone store is a bitter, cowardly asshole who is a complete dick to his wife. It is he who ends up being the revelation that Woody and Bee need, as the two realize he is them in grown-up form. The film ends up being a character-driven story as opposed to just a typical zombie showdown. In fact, even the zombies maintain a certain amount of their human personality.

I didn’t find much inspiration here for Zombie Walk. The zombie make-up isn’t bad; it’s just kind of mediocre. Some of the zombies face sores looked a bit gross but it really could have used some amping up. There sure seemed to be a lot more zombies than there were people in the mall, not that I consider that a negative, I actually found it amusing. The more zombies the better! Sadly there’s not much in the way of gore but there is a decent body count. There is a scene where the characters are mocked up into a video game screen that shows their profile. Their weapon, strength; the kind of stuff you see in a character profile in a video game. The scene actually works quite well. It fits the films vibe and the profiles are quite humorous. But the best part is the surprise ending which you are either going to love or hate depending on whether you like hopeful endings or bleak endings. For me, the last half of the film definitely made up for a less than stellar start. Bio Zombie does have heart and tries to do something different that works more often than not. Recommended.

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Wilson Yip

Starring: Jordan Chan, Emotion Cheung, Sam Lee, Yiu-Cheung Lai, Angela Tong Ying-Ying, Suk Yin Lai, Tat-Wah Lok, Frankie Chan