JB & The Chop Do: The Amityville Curse (1990)

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“A return to the most dangerous house in the world”?????? HA!!!!! BULLSHIT!!!!! it’s not even the same fucking house in the fucking poster!!! Remember how I reflected on last week’s post saying that it was an awful film but still fun because JB and I watched it at the same time? Well, no such luck with this one and I had to watch it on YouTube and the file was shit and everything was dark all of the time so I couldn’t make anything out and the cast was shit and……. ugh…… Let’s see what we’ve got!!

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SYNOPSIS: Five people spend the night in an abandoned house, the Amityville haunted house, and soon find themselves terrorized by assorted ghosts, venomous insects and ghostly apparitions. – via IMDB

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 *My part is going to contain spoilers*

This starts off reasonably well with some old priest playing an organ and then going to hear some confessions. In the booth next to him, someone is smoking a cigarette and tells the old coot that he’s sinned and blows the priest away with a handgun. Nice! Next up, an irritating, pudgy Canadian dude wakes up and yells at his Canadian wife to get up because they’re running late and he wants to make money and he’s the fucking most grating person I’ve ever seen in anything. How would this cute, tiny Canadian be married to this fucker? Anyway, they head into Amityville the city to buy this house, marked for cheap. NOTE: It is not the Amityville house from the first three movies that was destroyed at the end of the third but was still around in the fourth.

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Soon, the Canadian couple invite over their Canadian friends for the weekend to do some fix-it-up and they all suck and I hated them and one of em is Kim Coates who you might remember from The Last Boy Scout. He whines constantly and smokes cigarette after cigarette and they all really worked my last nerve the entire time.

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Coates:

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I would mention though that I did like the lead actress (Dawna Wightman) – I thought she was a cute Canadian even though the script was bullshit and so was her movie but she seemed to be likeable, at best. After about 20 minutes of not really giving a shit about what was going on, I finally decided to look up the dark skinned chick because I swore I had seen her in something before and YEP – it’s the witch from the original Conan the Barbarian!

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For real, nothing at all interesting happens to these Canadians for about an hour and then the witch takes a bath and her boob floats around and she starts to shave her legs and realizes the water has turned to blood. ACK!!

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While she is doing her leg shaving, the cute Canadian is having a nightmare and it turns out that Coates is the asshole who killed the priest because – he abandoned his mother, so he killed the priest and now he’s going to kill everyone in the house because that makes a lot fucking sense. AND – since there’s NOTHING going on at all, they decide to make Coates look demon-y by having the short Canadian splash his face with candle wax. YAWN – spoiler – she kills him. The end.

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This is easily the worst out of all of these movies so far but I don’t have high hopes for:

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Seriously, when I sat down to write this I could not, for the life of me, recall what the hell went down in this one. I really couldn’t. I sat and fished around my memories for all the shitty things I have subjected myself to recently on this and there was nothing that stood out to me from this. Until I pulled up the Wikipedia page for these movies then it all hit me again like a ton of bricks…

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When I finally remembered, I just wanted to shut it out again.

The Amityville Curse is by far the least memorable, most forgettable, longest piece of trash so far in the film series. Not even kidding. It was a yawn from the opening credits, and let me just tell you that there were no improvements after that. This couple buys this house in Amityville, and no, before you ask, it isn’t even the house. But fine, now apparently all of Amityville is cuckoo since DeFeo deemed it so.

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These friends all move in to a house together. Right. But… uhm… I was a bit confused. You have a newlywed couple that bought the house, another couple and some dude helping with renovations and they have all moved in together. I don’t know, but since when do five adults move in to the same house together? Especially the way it was done? Not only that, but Marvin was a total twat. Gosh. How does he even have friends? As if the movie wasn’t already annoying enough, that tit had to open his mouth and it would all just get SO. MUCH. WORSE.

Oh yeah, and there was some angry dog that tried to savage Kim Coates… almost did us a favour, but noooo, you have to only half deliver, right dog? You could have ended this… all of this…

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Moving on from that, this movie has no idea what it wants to be. It languished forever going nowhere incredibly slowly, and then before we know it Frank is cuckoo-crazy-and-insane and possessed and killing weird old housekeepers and drinking and his face is burning and he is hunting his wife and friends down and the basement is all bizarre and a dead priest is in the thick of everything and there is some pissant showdown by the end and… what the hell did I just watch? I mean really. This movie is typically something that adheres to Anna’s Vacuum Test. I promise. Tried and tested. Ugh.

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I, too, was desperate to escape.

What I must give this movie credit for is making the others look infinitely more thrilling, even though they are all mostly crappy. It had some terribly sketchy acting, a horrible score, a stupid, stupid, stupid plot and it wasn’t even like some old, crappy movies that are so bad they are good, or have redeeming qualities. This was just… I will never, ever be able to reclaim those 90 minutes of my life :(


Review: The Search – Nora Roberts

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Fiona Bristow runs a dog training centre and heads up a canine search and rescue unit, and both are her life. Fiona has a history, a bad one, that cost her the love of her life. Kidnapped and almost killed, Fiona escaped from the Red Scarf Killer, George Perry, being the only woman in dozens that survived his murder spree. In return, Perry retaliated and killed Greg, her love, and his K-9 partner, Kong. Fiona has had to move on and rebuild her life, and went to Orcas Island to do so.

Her mother-in-law, Sylvia, sends bachelor and artist Simon Doyle to Fiona for help training his puppy, Jaws, who he cannot stand and was a gift from his mother. Initially the two do not get along, yet they fascinate each other, and eventually things heat up enough to end up in a sexual romp. The two are forced to spend more time together when a fresh bout of murders occurs, the MO identical to Perry’s, though he is in prison. The only conclusions that can be drawn is that there is a copycat, or Perry groomed someone.

Fiona refuses to let her life be ruled by fear again, and continues as best she can. She and Simon do not want a relationship, but they are steadily moving in that direction. It soon becomes evident that the new Red Scarf killer is making his way toward Fiona, and he starts taunting her. Fiona is terrified, and this aggravates Simon. The entire island is looking out for Fiona, and the feds work their way back into her life while they hunt down their latest problem. Fiona is also dealing with a pesky reporter who does not care who she needs to walk over to get her next scoop and make a name for herself.

Will the island looking out for her be enough? Will the solitude of her home count against her? Will Perry’s disciple ever get to her? Will the FBI stop this man, too? Will Fiona be able to hold it together? Will her and Simon ever get over themselves and just let themselves be together?

GRADE 4.5So here was another one that I gave a try and I must say that again, I was not bowled over. I think my issue is that Roberts writes too unrealistically for me, and it is more about some soppy, ludicrous romance as opposed to the crime section that I want more of. I like layered villains, or more scary criminals, or something like that. Also, so far her books are overwhelmingly similar. For instance, The Search was too similar to The Witness, what with escaping a bad past, too much gardening and dogs, wine and all that. Another thing that worked on my last nerve was the fact that this book revolved so much around dogs. Like I don’t mind dogs and pets and all that but seriously, I am sure that there are so many other types of things to write about. The romance, again, just felt rushed and hollow and I wasn’t a fan. She also sets this unattainable type of relationship up in her books, and then this just again reminds me why women that read too many romance novels have issues dealing with a real relationship because they are expecting something like this which is just not right. This one definitely had a more satisfying end than the failure from The Witness, but it still felt like a rushed cop out. So much of this book just felt like it was going in circles and not contributing anything, and I felt like I wasted my time. I think I just have really high expectations for stories in this genre because I want some flesh, some more psychology and a deeper meaning behind things. Again, it is not because Roberts is a bad writer, he work flows and all, it is just the realism that gets to me, and how it can feel like an empty affair sometimes. Probably because the bulk of what I read usually is either crime thrillers, dramas or horrors, etc. so I am used to something being more serious, well thought out and constructed, with logic that flows and a creepy villain. I wanted to like this more, I did, but it just didn’t really work for me. Seeing as Natasha is a huge fan and has recommended me some more of her work I am bound to find something in there that I like. Oh well, maybe there are others that are like The Villa, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I suppose we will find out. Maybe.


Rapid Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

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“Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.”
– Mike Shiner

SYNOPSIS: A washed-up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself in the days leading up to the opening of his Broadway play. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8There was hype around this movie, but it was something I had been waiting for and looking forward to see, then it released and got rave reviews. I had to know now if the cast was worth getting excited over the movie for. Let me tell you, it was. I loved the comedic aspect to Birdman, it was sharp and dark with a dash of quirk, and I liked it for the most part, though it certainly isn’t my favourite film or the next best thing I have seen in ages. Birdman was carried by a great cast. In all honesty, I wanted to see this specifically for Emma Stone and Edward Norton, both whom I absolutely love to watch. It all paid off. Michael Keaton delivers a powerhouse performance and just owned his role. I had a giggle to see Norton play an actor who is so difficult to work with, especially when he has a reputation of being so much like that in real life. Naturally, he was worth the watch every second he was on screen, and the interactions between him and Keaton’s Riggan were just fantastic. Emma Stone really sunk her teeth into the role of pissed off, drugged out, damaged daughter and she managed to rock that role, too. She’s just so good to watch, no matter what. My other half specifically commented on the camera work in this film, so now I will have to make mention of it. He loved the feeling it gave you and the way it made the whole movie look and feel different, and he was right. The incessant drum score worked, too, and it had all the potential to fail but never actually went there. I liked how, watching Birdman, it was aware of being a film but also brought in so many real life aspects (looking specifically here at Keaton’s career and choices and Batman as well as Norton and his reputation of being difficult to work with). It’s like… a film being real being film. I don’t know how to explain it properly, but those who have seen this will understand. Cara gave a wonderful explanation of this if you want to know a little more in her review of the film. I enjoyed Birdman and thought it was well worth looking into, though I can see how some people aren’t going to like it. As much as I liked this, though, I also feel that there is some extreme over-hyping going on over it. It is definitely going to lose out with some viewers who won’t appreciate everything, but overall it’s a nice watch.


Digital Shortbread Sporadic Scene: Jurassic Park (1993) – That Is One Big Pile Of Shit

So, in this guest post fashion that has popped up on my blog recently, I am immensely pleased to welcome Tom of Digital Shortbread back with another Sporadic Scene pick. Thanks Tom!

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).


Jeff Goldblum’s haircut: $400

Jurassic Park’s special/practical FX: $several million

Casting Jeff Goldblum (and his hair): Priceless.

There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s this one big pile of shit:


Rapid Review: Suburban Gothic (2014)

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SYNOPSIS: Raymond has a prestigious MBA, but he can’t find work. He can channel the paranormal, but chatting with a cute girl mystifies him. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates. But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, the city-boy recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to solve the mystery of the spirit threatening everyone’s lives. – via IMDB

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GRADE 7I have been waiting for Suburban Gothic for a while. After watching the trailers, it ticked all the boxes for me for what I would like in a movie, highest up being a little quirky. So watching this while on holiday, I was extremely happy to find that I enjoyed it in execution, too. It is really strange, which might throw some people, but it is handled well. You can see that everyone is having a total blast. The movie wants to be a horror comedy, and like I have complained before, most movies in this genre will forget to do both, and focus on one. That was certainly the case here, once again, when all the focus went with the comedic side of things. There was cheese laced throughout this, but it worked (in my opinion) and I had fun – Suburban Gothic managed to be hilarious, even though there were one or two hiccups along the way in terms of pacing. There was so much bizarre stuff going down, and I can honestly say that I detested Ray Wise’s Donald. A seriously reprehensible man, even though I understand the stereotypes of characters were grossly deliberate and overblown. The biggest sell for me on this film was, undeniably, Matthew Gray Gubler. He is just awesome, and he can do peculiar and eccentric so well. One cannot miss that the movie was shot on a budget,  but all things considered I think they did they best they could with it, and it never got to that ridiculously dodgy effects part (though don’t get me wrong, some were so cheesy you had to laugh). Remember, if the story is good for me, I am not too concerned about the effects. Dennings and Gubler managed to work well together, and it was enjoyable to watch them strut their stuff. I think the characters and their antics are far more entertaining to watch, and take front and centre when it comes to the film – the horror and ghosts took a backseat, and I was fine with that. Richard Bates Jr handles his material very well and makes it work, flaws and all. This movie knows what it is, and sticks to that most of the time. The characters were so crazy here, and everything was done in the extreme. Obviously I liked it, and so did my other half, but I think this movie just might be too odd and out there for most people, but that is alright – a little gem for us crazies then :P


JB & The Chop Do: Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989)

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So folks, we are back. As always. With another one of these. This one The Chop and I decided to watch together, and while it was truly godawful, it was fun to watch with someone and rip it. Eric had some… difficulties sourcing this one, and when he did, let’s just say he really, really wasn’t winning. I am impressed you  made it through that PSC!

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SYNOPSIS: The demonic force lurking in Amityville for over 300 years escapes to a remote California mansion. It encounters a struggling family living together by uncertain means. The beast manipulates a little girl by manifesting itself in the form of her dead father. Soon it will be able to possess her completely… is it too late for a young priest to defeat the demon and end the curse? – via IMDB

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Review: The Apprentice – Tess Gerritsen

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Rizzoli & Isles #2

A year after the close of the Surgeon case, Detective Jane Rizzoli is haunted by the events of the previous summer,  yet still doing her best to work her job. She is a changed woman though, anyone could tell you that. While dealing with her near-death experience and the fact that her partner, Thomas Moore, married Catherine Cordell, the Surgeon Warren Hoyt’s obsession, she gets called out to an investigation which chills her to the bone. Detective Vince Korsak calls her in for input because someone is using the Surgeon’s signature and the crime scenes look eerily familiar yet with minor differences. Dr Maura Isles informs the police of a grisly turn of events in the case: necrophilia.

The FBI is called in, complicating the investigation intensely as everyone is playing cloak and dagger, smoke and mirrors. The latest killer on the loose is soon coined the Dominator due to the nature of his crimes. Attacking couples, horrific murders, teacups as warning systems while he forces the husband to watch the total desecration of his wife in front of him before being killed and the wife being taken. The situation becomes extremely aggravated when the Surgeon makes his grand escape after reading about the Dominator’s work in the papers. His long lost brother has been found, as he thinks, and a bloody plot of revenge to trap Rizzoli develops. Rizzoli is terrified but refuses to let the world see it, and her fights with FBI agent Gabriel Dean ratchet up.

After Dean apparently steps off the case, Rizzoli gets called off to Washington, where more past crimes are laid bare for her, and the case runs far deeper than even she initially suspected. She knew Dean had been witholding information from her, but the magnitude is shocking. Warren Hoyt is missing, and unknown subject is hunting and butchering couples, and there are absolutely no leads. The Dominator and the Surgeon are cut from the same cloth, and working together they will be unstoppable, something that certainly cannot happen. On top of all of this, it occurs to Rizzoli that they still might come after her, and fighting off two will be an impossibility. 

Will the serial killers come for Rizzoli? Will they ever catch up with Warren Hoyt and put him back where he belongs? Do the Dominator and the Surgeon identify with one another, and will they be a terrifying force to be reckoned with? What is Dean’s involvement with all of this?

GRADE 7.5I must say that I enjoyed The Apprentice. I thought that it was a step up a little from the last book in the way that Rizzoli certainly developed more as a character, and you don’t dislike her as much as you did. She has been broken, but I don’t really look at her as a victim, because she refuses to acknowledge that and rails against it constantly. Dr Maura Isles is a welcome addition of a character, and I liked her calm and cool attitude, though I do wish she had been included more. Then again, this is a simple introduction, and one that is subtle enough to work. I really liked Dean’s character, attitude and all, and I was really happy that Rizzoli eventually let herself be seen as a woman, too, and not just the cop. The passages about Hoyt were eerily similar to those from The Surgeon, but when you consider how closely linked these two are, it works. There were certainly changes from the last one, but much was the same. It worked, though, so I have no real complaints there. What I did have issues with is how some things were introduced and then fell away later on, got overlooked and forgotten (and here is specifically referencing the case she was called out on with the airplane man). Also, I felt that the conclusion, even though it was a triumph, was a little rushed and came to a screeching halt. It isn’t the worst thing. There was significantly more character growth in this one for Rizzoli, and I like the direction the books are headed in.


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