JB & The Chop Do: Saw IV (2007)

JB AND THE CHOP PRESENT SAW

Here we go again. Another extensive look into the insides of people. How many more of these are there? 10? 11? Yeesh. A man can only take so many guts and swirling camera flashbacks. Jigsaw is dead now, right? So he can’t whisper for 130 minutes? Right? RIGHT??

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SYNOPSIS: Despite Jigsaw’s death, and in order to save the lives of two of his colleagues, Lieutenant Rigg is forced to take part in a new game, which promises to test him to the limit. – via IMDB

chop saw

Let’s start this piece off to do a little housekeeping and see if Bousman and the boys clean things up… by my record, still unaccounted for are: Elwes, Marky Mark’s brother, the guy from Braveheart and the guy from Braveheart’s daughter. I suppose Monica Potter and her daughter, Marky Mark’s brother’s kid and Jigsaw’s wife are just footnotes out there? Do they make comebacks in this series? We also still don’t really know why they killed the lady cop? Or how they could possibly AFFORD to make all of these elaborate traps to disgustingly kill people? We saw some boobs in the last movie – will we get some more? Will we see a pee-pee? Will there be even MORE and MORE rotating cameras and extensive flashbacks? Will this make me want to wretch?? I guess we’ll see. SPOILER: I did just see a #DeadPeePee ….. X _ X

Also – is this reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally necessary???

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So wait just a fucking second… SPOILERS This opens with this autopsy scene and they pluck out his stomach and there’s a tape recorder in there and this cop listens to it and then two guys are chained up and one of them kills the other one and then the dark skinned cop from the last two movies gets put into a Jigsaw game and then so does his boss and Marky Mark’s brother has been gone for six months and all of this stuff happens and then it’s actually concurrently running at the same place in time when the third one ends?? And this all takes place in 90 minutes?? HUH? WHAT? It’s obvious the cop is UPSET when he listens to Jigsaw’s tape recording but he’s actually the one killing everyone?? HUH???? WHAT????? This makes no fucking sense. If the beginning is actually the end then wouldn’t they have rescued that FBI guy when they gathered up Jigsaw’s body?? And the black cop?? Wouldn’t they identify the bad cop??? What the fuck?

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Also – this all takes place in NINETY minutes?? Blogga please. No way that happens unless they have Star Trek transporters. I don’t hate these movies but there’s something I have to address. These unbelievably elaborately architected traps someone keeps setting, all of the tortured and anguished screaming and moaning that goes on, all of the NOISE that these machines make when they are grinding and smashing people to pulp – all of the project that goes into setting these things up –

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HOW THE FUCK DOES ALL OF THIS GO UNNOTICED???

This cop comes home from work. His wife has been there all day (seemingly) and she’s packing a suitcase to go visit her mom or something like that. The cop goes to sleep and wakes up when he hears a noise. Somehow, the way I see it, while he was slumbering, someone came into his home, taped DOZENS of pictures around this one room, installed a large wall timer, wrote some letters in blood on his wall, put together this chair that’s going to rip this woman’s scalp off, and put a half dressed woman into the device and placed one of those pig masks over her screaming head. All while he was sleeping. He couldn’t have done it while the wife was home, right?

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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Oh well. As a movie overall, aside from the last two paragraphs I wrote, it’s not too bad. It’s better than 1 and 3 in my opinion. I couldn’t get over the poor poor acting in the first one and the third one was just fucking gross. All of the movies suffer from being WAY over edited and this one didn’t disappoint with the sweeping in circles flashbacks explaining everything.  We did get some closure on Marky Mark’s brother and the guy from Braveheart though we still don’t know about his daughter or whatever happened to Elwes.

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I guess we get some insight into why Jigsaw does what he does but it still doesn’t make any fucking sense. His wife lost their baby in a tragic accident so now he murders EVERYONE? K. If I did learn one thing from this… Jigsaw’s wife has enormous cans. That would have been a lucky baby suckle suckle.

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Looks like Julie Benz is in the next one… YAY! I swear she’s the WORST actress….

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First thoughts? 95 minutes looks a bit more realistic! That last one was ridiculously long. Not cause it had a story, nope, but just because it wanted to curl your toes. And not in the good way, either.

Seriously, not long into this movie and it begins with me thinking: “OMFG, really?!” More sif shit on the brain bit? Will they ever let this go? Come on!

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Not only was the whole brain thing rehashed, there was a really uncalled for in depth port-mortem. Definitely didn’t need that, and yet they added it in anyway, because this would totally not be Saw anything without it.

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Second thoughts? Well, maybe not second thoughts, I have had a whole bunch rush through my head by now. Okay, enough bumbling. Where was I? Oh, oh, I have seen this one, too! I still can’t remember if I stopped at this one or the next. Shows you how memorable they are after the fact.

The Saw movies truly are all about making you squirm and cringe, big time. While this one was nasty at times, it never reached the depraved depths of the last one. I am rather grateful for that.

This movie finally deals with the continuity of Detectives “Kankle” Matthews and “Ribs” Kerry, which, in my opinion, was long overdue. I would like to give these movies credit though for really pushing for the continuity and trying to keep everything tied together. Consistency, and it is pretty solid here. Solid does not mean believable or good though, it just means that they stick to things throughout.

LOL, check  out Scott Patterson here folks! Whoop! I will always look at him and think of him as old Luke Danes, the grumpy gills who runs a diner out in Stars Hollow. And he rocks as Luke, for reals! Okay, I guess this is totally not the place to discuss something as incongruous to Saw as Gilmore Girls.

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However, before you know it, he is the best thing about this movie. Danes actually gave a pretty damn good performance to boast about here, and he was pretty much the only character I honestly bought into. He was smart, determined, dedicated, the whole katoot. Pretty badass, too. Truly made this worth it – I don’t know when last there was actually a character in these movies I gave a rat’s ass about!

scott patterson saw iv

I think my biggest issue with this movie is the fact that I can’t buy into all of this going down in 90 minutes – they got Jigsaw’s ex-wife in for questioning, traversed all the crime scenes, continued the investigation, everything in 90 minutes, concurrently with Rigg running and playing Jigsaw’s game? Okay, let’s be honest, I would not say that buying into anything in these movies is easy, but if you suspend belief you can, in some sick way, picture this shit going down. But I just can’t suspend so far that all of this would tie in with the last movie and that it is all going down at exactly the same time, within ninety minutes. Sheesh. What crap!

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While there were some gruesome traps again, I thought that a particularly nasty cringe trap was the face knives contraptiono_O Gosh! Can’t tell if it is vanity or if it is to do with the fact that no human being wants anything near/in their faces fucked around with – eyes, ears, mouth? Stay away!!

As far as the sequels go – I would say this is, without a doubt, one of the better ones. It tried more successfully for a backstory, and managed to give us one, to show us Kramer/Jigsaw, though he still seems like a bloody weirdo and control freak, and shows how his whole world collapses. Doesn’t make any of this any better on his behalf though. Also – this one isn’t so offensively loud as the others (yes, yes, common complaint).

Sooooooooo…

The whole movie was about this detective listening to the tape, to set up the next film basically? Uhm… well done? Good for the plot twists at the end though, it has been the best one since the first Saw movie.

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Review: Die Again – Tess Gerritsen

Die-Again-by-Tess-Gerritsen

Rizzoli & Isles #11

SYNOPSIS: Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli is on the case of a big game hunter found dead in his apartment, alone with the body of a beautiful white snow leopard he had recently been commissioned to procure and stuff for a high-profile museum in the area.

Medical examiner Maura Isles connects the case to a number of seemingly unrelated deaths where the victims have all been found hanging upside down, the hallmark of a leopard’s kill.

Rizzoli follows the puzzling trail of clues all the way to Botswana, where she uncovers the unsolved mystery of a deadly camping safari six years prior. When she realizes the two cases are connected, Rizzoli must track down the sole survivor of the tragic trip to discover who – or what – is behind these gruesome deaths. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7Well, I read this the other day when our Beloved ESKOM decided we could do without electricity. Again. For twenty hours. Really. Anyway, I decided to get a move on with this, and it was quite a good pick. I have enjoyed the Rizzoli and Isles series – obviously some more than others. This was well written and the pacing flew along, and I was quite interested, especially seeing as how chunks of the novel took place in various places in Africa, and there were a few South African characters. Now, I would like to give Gerritsen credit for totally nailing the South African “hey”. Americans “like” a lot when they talk, it’s true, and the equivalent here is “hey”. The two separate stories were good, and quite entertaining throughout. I must admit though that Johnny’s character never creeped me out, and hence I never bought into the concept of him hunting down a group of tourists. It just didn’t fit. Plus let us not forget about the ongoing Angela/Frank Rizzoli drama that is going on, and how Angela seems perfectly willing to roll over and be totally submissive to her husband. It actually annoys the heck out of me, so I was none too pleased when this popped up. Again. Other than that, it was a whirlwind whodunnit thriller, though it isn’t rocket science to follow what is going on and guess at who is responsible. Something that did thrill me endlessly was Gabriel Dean featuring more in this book – I absolutely adore this character and always want to read as much about him as possible. I got some of my wish granted here, as he helped Rizzoli out and was a little involved. Could do with more, but I will take what I can get! I found it to be a fast and enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys the series. I found that while this one is good and can be read on it’s own, a reader might be best benefited if they have read the first two novels in this series. I don’t have much else to say on this, to be honest, so I will stop here.

VAMPIRE DIARIES LOGO

The Vampire Diaries: Season 6 (2014 – 2015)

vampire diaries season 6

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Having Alaric back, whoop! Although, it did suck while he was out and Damon was gone, I just wanted to see them drinking together again. Luckily, I got that eventually.
  • The friendship that developed between Damon and Bonnie. It is too damn sweet and I loved every minute of it! I actually squealed when Bonnie and Damon were reunited – they were like super happy children, so I was like a happy child!

vampire diaries season 6 bonnie and damon hugs

  • Damon and Elena still kicking it together – I am a massive fan of these two together.
  • The prison world – I found this to be fascinating and super interesting.
  • Elena was far less annoying this season. She was just a bit much the last two seasons.
  • Alaric and Jo were so freaking adorable together!
  • The mockery Stefan went through concerning Caroline, it was really funny that to see how blind he had been about the whole situation, and how nobody was going to let him rest easy about it.
  • The friendship between Damon and Liz that was highlighted, once again, while she was dying. It was so sad to see, but they actually got along like a house on fire, and Damon really has such a sweet, soft side.
  • The show finally really acknowledging that Stefan has moved on, and that he and Elena are over, it really let the Damon and Elena thing explode, and that was great.
  • Kai. This guy was annoying but really entertaining at the same time. I enjoyed him, when he was being a dweeb, when he was trying to make good, always.
  • Gosh, this season was so emotional – and I am not saying that in the bad way! It just keeps hitting you in the feels, it never lets up.
  • The last few episodes – like how nerve wracking could that possibly be?!

Two moments to explore the total illegality of Damon’s lip biting… like oh my gosh hot *fans self*. Not to mention the perfect rain kiss.

vampire diaries season 6 damon and elena rain kiss

What I didn’t like: 

  • Caroline switching off her humanity – highly functional, but vampires turning off their humanity always just irritates the crap out of me.
  • Matt Donovan is seriously starting to get annoying as hell. More so than usual.
  • The whole pointless storyline with Trip. Really, filler much?
  • Enzo turning that new girl Stefan was seeing. Luckily this story line didn’t last long.
  • How all these stories and events just happen to be super connected. Examples? Alaric’s ex-wife is actually Elena’s birth mother and she so happened to be turned by Damon (granted, this was back in the day, but it is stuff like this). Now it just so happens that Enzo was turned by Lily, and he happened to meet Damon later, and she just so happens to be tied to the Gemini witch coven, and Kai just so happens to be Bonnie’s mortal enemy, and Luke and Liv happened to be the witches the Salvatore’s work with, who happen to be Gemini witches. Do you see where I am going with this?
  • Mama Salvatore coming back. It is just getting too much man.
  • The immense amounts of storylines they are cramming into this show now is getting a bit much. At least they don’t go on forever, but there is constantly a new drama to deal with, meaning a ton throughout the season, and no real central focus anymore, like their used to be.

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  • Elena having her passionate love for Damon compelled away, so when he made it back to her, his heart was broken. But then they just so happened to start kicking it shortly after that and all was well again?
  • That stupid, godforsaken cure coming in again. UGH.
  • The Mystic Falls “magic boundary” that was in place for way too long. When it disappeared? What happened to those Travelers man? Come on.
  • The Jeremy leaving to be a hunter and Bonnie returning thing – nothing was addressed or resolved here, and that pissed me off no end.

vampire diaries season 6 damon and jeremy

Rating:
GRADE 8Obviously I was quite attached to this season for a ton of reasons. Alrighty, so when this season started, I was stoked to see Damon and Bonnie just fine, even though they were in a weird place. The constant bickering between them is just how they roll, but to see the beautiful friendship that comes from that is also awesome, and it just works on so many levels.

I am really pleased that this season really got into the meat of the Damon and Elena relationship. I have complained for a few seasons now that the show is really good with having Elena and Damon together, but it always feels temporary, like a placeholder for Stefan. Well, folks, season six dispels that belief completely. Why? Even when Elena could have been with Stefan, she wasn’t, and he was totally not interested; when Damon came back and Elena didn’t remember him, they still ended up together; through thick and thin, things are happening for them. It also helps immensely that Stefan has moved on to other pastures, and I think he and Caroline are great together, BUT THEY ARE NOT KLAUS AND CAROLINE (read here, it’s a really personal thing for fans). I mean, Stefan deserves his happiness, but I swear, if Klaus reappears, I will be Team Klaus all the way for Caroline.

The feels. Oh my gosh. I just can’t. 

vampire diaries season 6 last dance

I was quite irritated with the humanity switch being flipped with Caroline after her mom. Look, I understood it, but it was long and tedious (for me) to watch, so it annoyed me. I was also not a fan (at all) of Lily Salvatore and her story. Come on, people, really. These stories are way too interlinked to be taken seriously.

Alaric Saltzman returning was something that was immensely welcome. I missed him, and I missed him and Damon together. They are like besties forever man. That being said, they both suffered immense and crazy heartbreak. Like sure, Damon got the girl this time, but Alaric? He got and lost the girl. Their wedding? Screw that shit, Game of Thrones level betrayal and hurt there. Stefan endured so much torture this season for being blind about Caroline, and he deserved it. He can’t really be that thick, can he?!

vampire diaries season 6 damon teddy bear

I was a particular fan of watching Damon and Bonnie stuck in the 1994 prison world. I know it sounds so silly, but just watching the way they clicked and found this seep and enduring friendship was worth every second of it. Then there was the whole Jeremy being broken about Bonnie thing, and it was sad, but it also got old, and fast. Probably because he was overly whiny, and dealt in the worst way. Alaric and Jo? Loved that. Alaric deserves his happiness, but apparently not according to this darn show. My heart was shattered by the end.

This season also had the better villain than we have seen in a while – Kai was such a mixed bag, but I enjoyed that SOB. Seriously, he was entertaining as hell, and I was so interested in just seeing what he was going to do, etc. It was crazy, and better than we have seen since the Originals left town, albeit still a flawed villain. Certainly stronger than Lily, of course, and he is diverse. Plus interactions between him and Bonnie? Priceless.

Anyway, the interactions between the characters was really good this season, and I was hooked every step of the way. I reckon this is my favourite season since season two, there was just so much going on that I liked, and even though I had niggles, I had a blast. I suppose that is what this show is. It’s stupidly addictive, and has like, no right to be so good. The season finale for this was hectic – well, the last few episodes, to be sure. They were a crazy, painful joyride that had you hooked, whether you liked it or not. Obviously there is much to be said about this season, but I will stop now. Just know it is well worth looking into, of course, especially if you are up for a fun guilty pleasure.

vampire diaries season 6 salvatore brothers

JB & The Chop Do: Saw III (2006)

JB AND THE CHOP PRESENT SAW

Peeps! We are back for some more torture porn, set-your-teeth-on-edge gore, nastiness, a flimsy plot, characters becoming consistent that we don’t like, and some weird puppet Billy riding around all over the show. Again. What can I say? People have a darker side that calls out, and Lionsgate responded to the people, called out to their crudeness and the irdisgusting side, the gruesome and the macabre, and the people lapped it up, regardless of how good or bad the said film in the brutal franchise was. What did the Chop and I think? Was it worth all the hype it got back in the day???

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SYNOPSIS: Jigsaw kidnaps a doctor to keep him alive while he watches his new apprentice put an unlucky citizen through a brutal test. – via IMDB

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Saw III, ah, yes. I remember when this made its way to the cinema near me, nobody would let me purchase a ticket because I was too young. However, I was also resourceful and mischievous and on a mission, and no ticket sales jockey was going to deny me seeing this film. Not after the bold claims coming in from overseas about how disgusting this film was, and how it had Americans puking everywhere and all sorts.

Anyway, sneaking into this movie with a bottle (or two) of really cheap, really crap wine, I was ready for whatever they had to bring. Needless to say, I got fucking wasted watching this in the relatively deserted cinema, and didn’t remember anything about this movie. Heck, I saw it years later and only certain things I recalled. Before watching it now? I couldn’t remember jack squat about it o.O

First thoughts? An hour and fifty three minutes?! For what purpose?! Oh, I see why – they want to drag out every possible heinous scene. The movie took like twenty minutes to go somewhere that wasn’t watching the two detectives and their respective torture. No time was wasted in bringing the nasty and the gruesome forth for the viewer. Icky, icky, icky.

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Dual plot-lines running for this story, both just there to fill time. Oh wait… yes, there’s a third one. Are we really supposed to feel sorry for Amanda and Jigsaw? Are you fucking kidding me??? Who in their right minds would pity either? Psychopaths man, really.

Saw III spends immense time on a fucking sick, twisted, brutal head/brain/skull saw surgery part – it went on forever and was so evidently just there for the grossness of it. For reals people.

saw 3 brain

The movie tries so hard to make this a complicated story, which is quite embarrassing. Linking back to the first is all good and well, but this whole movie just felt like filler stuff. All of it. It was gruesome filler crap. YUCK. TWO HOURS OF YUCK, NO LESS.

BLOOD. GUTS. GORE. GRUESOME. SICK. NASTY. TWISTED. DISGUSTING.

Alright, all movies have flaws, we know this. Some are too glaring though. A prime example? The old judge? In that sif pig pit? How the fuck is he DRY and CLEAN when he is eventually rescued by Jeff, traipsing around looking for revenge everywhere? Ugh. Also, his inner “turmoil” over whether to save each victim he encountered or not took way too long, and their deaths were so not surprising.

This movie, for some completely insane reason, managed to work in some jealousy plot. When Amanda got all cuckoo about anyone being near Jigsaw? My eyes just went a-rolli’. What the hell was that even all about?!

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The detectives from last movies were brought in here (I literally think it was just to tie up loose ends from the previous movies) and they were rushed through here, which was so silly. CHECK FOR ANOTER TOTALLY SUPERFLUOUS PLOT LINE!

When I think of Saw III, all I can think about is how much time is spent lingering on gore. This movie could have easily been like twenty or even thirty minutes shorter, and I think it would have been infinitely less annoying that way. It was a movie that was way too ambitious, way too flawed, incredibly gross, and an exceptionally hollow experience. It so desperately wants to be smart, but it falls way short of being anything other than two hours of grotesque traps, blood, guts, and gore.

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chop saw

When I was taking notes for this piece (I have to do that now since writing time is so hard to come by) I wrote down things like:

  • who wears hoodies that way
  • how do they get in to so many public places with those pig costumes
  • i don’t get why they killed the copy lady – what was her ‘redemption’?
  • amanda’s hair sure changes a lot
  • Is that the guy from braveheart???

And towards the end of this movie I thought I would just come out here and give a one sentence essay about this:

THIS MOVIE IS FUCKING GROSS

But then I figured JB would hate me and my life would be worth nothing so I kept thinking about how to go about this. Then I saw what JB had started and she wasn’t shying away from some gnarliness so here we go…

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Aside from the fact that I counted THREE storylines going on here (the man, the woman and Amanda), despite the fact that there are probably six dozen too many jump-cuts and flashbacks and despite that it’s way too dark a lot of the times, I was enjoying it until they put that guy in the pit and then obliterated a dozen of rotting, maggoty pigs all over him. BARF. I get it but:

  • was that fucking necessary
  • who has THAT MANY rotting, maggoty pigs hanging around
  • when braveheart guy pulls him  out of the pit, in the next scene his striped shirt is fucking CLEAN?? Give me a break.

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By the way, I just finished watching the U.S. remake of a British TV show called Mad Dogs. In it, this Belizian lady says that her father was strangled with barbed wire but, since she’s Belizian it comes out as “barb-ed” wire. I liked it so much that now I say things like that so when I mentioned his striped shirt, in my head I said “stripe-ed”. But don’t worry, I only talk like that in my head and sometimes to Mrs THE IPC. Back to the movie!

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As it is stated above, shortly after that fucking pig scene, not pig-fucking scene mind you – there is an EXTENSIVE sequence where this doctor drills into Jigsaw’s head. It was also totally fucking disgusting and pointless and didn’t fit anywhere into the “torture porn” that these movies were labeled by the media.

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Then I realized I had another HOUR of this thing to go and wondered publicly why these movies are so fucking long. For real, I went down to the new hippie grocery store and started pestering everyone who was entering or leaving. “Why are the Saw movies so fucking long??” I pleaded. “Who thought two hours of screaming and broken bones were a good idea??” I begged.  “How does my hand on your inner thigh feel??” I probed.

After these two pieces of nastiness and realizing that I was in this for another hour or so, my mood began to sour and I just wanted this to be over. For the record, over the next long and relatively boring 60 minutes of listening to Jigsaw whisper and  Amanda scream, they twisted someone to death and then blew someone’s head to smithereens.

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I’m not sure if they were trying to tell more of a story this time around or what but it was definitely fucking sick. And not “sick” in the way kids today use the word sick. I did really like when they did they ‘intro’ for the big toilet thing which was the first movie but other than that there wasn’t anything too special about this other than it made my stomach sick and made want to retch. This will NOT go down as one of my favorite movies.

Anyway, while I am trying to finish this up and having a cocktail, I drew up this VERY FANCY grid about what I remember regarding the various ripped and shredded body parts. I know this list isn’t totally inclusive so anyone could remind me what I’m missing that would be great. I also wonder if I will keep this up or just get drunk and forget I ever made it.

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Review: Car Nex: Skin Job – Michael Thomas-Knight

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I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Car Nex Story Series Book 7

SYNOPSIS: Alex, a tattoo artist in Queens, NY, is being driven out of business by Johnny Needles, a rival tattoo artist connected to the local gangs and biker clubs. As he falls further into depression and drug abuse, Alex is drawn to a nameless book he saw at his neighbor’s apartment. The book haunts his dreams, until he can’t resist and he finally steals it. At his lowest point, in the basement of the tattoo parlor, Alex uses the book to call forth the Car Nex demon. He is completely unaware of what he is about to unleash upon the neighborhood.

The Car Nex story series presents tales from a variety of horror authors based on Terry M. West’s wicked demon, the Car Nex. – via Amazon

GRADE 7.5Folks, recently I had Mike over at Parlor of Horror drop me a mail asking if I would be interested in reading his novella, Car Nex: Skin Job. I was so pleased to have been asked by a fellow blogger to check out their work and let them know what I felt that I, of course, immediately agreed to it. I was interested. Plus saying it was a dash of Breaking Bad meets Lovecraftian horror? Hells YES I was sold! Anyway, Car Nex: Skin Job is a really quick read (so nobody here has an excuse not to support Mike by heading on over to Amazon and purchasing a copy ;) ) and it is entertaining from the off. I must admit that there weren’t an abundance of nice characters (aside from Mrs Sing, the cool Chinese-but-actually-Korean restaurant owner), but that does not detract. A novella doesn’t really have time to build these in depth and crazy characters. This read was no exception – the story gets into the thick of things, and it does so fast. It does not pussyfoot around trying to think about what it wants to be, no sirree. It just gets right in there. Down in the dumps and a frequent drug dealer, Alex is losing everything in life, and when his rival/nemesis opens up shop three stores down, you know that it is just the last straw. I really enjoy a crazy, supernatural/monster horror, I do. I am so tired of reading these crappy reviews on horror novels where people complain that the novel “expected them to suspend too much belief”. It’s a supernatural/monster horror people, it isn’t supposed to be the most believable. Car Nex: Skin Job totally delivers on that front, and does not pretend to be anything other than what it was. There were quite a few moments where the writing and the scene construction felt like something out of a movie, which was really cool. Anyway, I would highly recommend checking out Car Nex: Skin Job – $0.99 and a half hour of your time? Come on, totally worth it, especially if you enjoy crazy supernatural/monster horror!

Rapid Review: Green Room (2016)

green-room-poster

“We’re not keeping you here, you’re just staying.”
– Gabe

SYNOPSIS: A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar. – via IMDB

green room

GRADE 8After Saulnier’s debut Blue Ruin (which I loved), I was interested to see what else the writer and director would give us. Needless to say, I was quite excited to hear about his upcoming film, Green Room, especially seeing how it featured Sir Patrick Stewart and Anton Yelchin (RIP), both actors of whom I am rather fond. I found Green Room to be an intense watch, something that took a little while to get going, but was never boring, and when it finally caught into the main story, went barreling ahead with a ton of violence and an impossible situation. I enjoyed it, I really did, and found a lot to like about it. I thought that everyone did a pretty good job with what they were given, and the pacing certainly ratcheted up the tension. I was pleased to see Macon Blair returning alongside Saulnier, and was quite impressed with how incredibly gruesome things were at times (that hand, that belly!!!), and think that it was done well. My husband used to play in a band, so I know what it is to trip out all over the show, borrow money, get paid like crap, and roll into venues that you would rather not be at. However, I can at least happily say there was never a neo-Nazi gig, and just watching the crowd, the venue, the setting, got under my skin, because I really could take a few minutes and see this becoming someone’s terrible reality. The violence is never really extreme or over the top (or I am truly, horribly desensitised to that), but it was used effectively, where it lands its blows hard and fast. Saulnier, of course, made sure that the movie was really nice to look at, too, which is always appreciated. I found Green Room to be engaging from the outset, and something I would highly recommend. I don’t want to say too much in fear of spoilers, so try not to read too much on this. The less you know, the better. I had a really rudimentary idea of what this was, and I was so pleased to know so little.

JB & The Chop Do: Saw II (2005)

JB AND THE CHOP PRESENT SAW

Today we return with a look into and offer valuable insight on Saw II.  Will we enjoy it more than the irritating (IMO) first one? Will anyone saw off their own foot?? Will there be a mention of cockatoos and corpse desecrating in this post??? Read on at your own risk!


saw 2 poster large

SYNOPSIS: A detective and his team must rescue eight people trapped in a factory by the twisted serial killer known as Jigsaw. – via IMDB

chop saw

Picture this, you and your Beloved are paddling down a nice Venetian river, admiring the clouds, the warmth of love and tenderness enveloping you like your grandmother’s hugs.  Time, as it is, seems stopped as you enjoy the peaceful serenity of an Eden-like paradise. Later, you stroll, hand in hand up the marble steps of the resort, flower petals at your feet, sweet cockatoos walk wildly in the lobby. You are handed flutes of champagne that you sip as you pass the in-house orchestra, serenading you. In your suite, the room service has delivered the finest truffles, the softest lamb, the richest red wine; they have the windows open and the breeze blows the fragrance of roses throughout your room. You turn to the TV set to turn on smooth jazz on your satellite feed and really set the atmosphere. As the TV fires up, you soon realize you left it on the only movie channel in the resort’s network and it turns out it’s playing Saw 2 and you’re at that part where the chick is screaming and writhing around in that pit full of hypodermic needles and your asshole clinches so tight that you may never shit again and your Beloved is horrified and drops his or her glass of wine and throws his or herself off of your fourth floor balcony and as you rush to save him or her you slip in his or her wine puddle and you fall forward and hit your head on the table and break your fucking neck. That’s how I felt when I watched this scene:

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Further, we can imagine, you are in Heaven with your Beloved, as well as your ancestors, both forgotten and recently passed.  It is the most lovely feeling you’ve ever experienced. In the distance you see the home you grew up in, you are finally free of the burden of tax paying and hard labor, you no longer need to worry or feel guilt or remorse. Holding your Beloved’s hand once again, you stoop down and wisp away the clouds to witness the disposition of your Earthly remains. You once again see your suite, you see the chamber-person enter the room. He is holding a tray of the finest mint sorbet the country has ever produced. Aha! He spies your lifeless body! He drops the tray in shock! The horror! Then he whips off his belt, yanks down his pants and starts really getting after it, desecrating your corpse, rogering it over and over and over again with the power of a bull, shaking the table, screaming and howling like a Irish banshee; pounding and pounding and pounding until he finally releases jizzes all over the room. The walls, the ceiling, the fireplace, EVERYWHERE! There must be GALLONS!! That’s how sodomized I felt when I watched this scene:

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The point here is that I can take a lot – I will ALWAYS turn away when a spider comes onscreen but I do have a thing for needles and razor blades – they freak me the fuck out. So BOTH of these scenes were really effective to a guy like me. It’s not like I got scared and ran crying into the closet but they were both teeth gritting and uncomfortable deep breath making. How about the rest of the movie? I actually kind of liked it – I liked it more than the first, that’s for certain, and I actually thoroughly enjoyed the last ten minutes or so.

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I found the camera work less irritating, the dialogues and writing much better, the acting was moderately more believable, I saw some décolletage and it was definitely a lot gorier than the first one. Actually, I think I liked everyone in this except for this guy:

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#décolletage

I also liked that we got more of an explanation of why he does what he does even though I still find it illogical that he or his cronies have that much time or money to build such extravagant traps. I also liked how it ended up, back in the toilet. We now know what happened to Adam and Zep!! but still no mention of Elwes.

#looseends

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For the record, I thought it was a big improvement over the first one and irritated me much less. I wonder what JB thought??

jb saw

Alright, and so we move on to the second installment of the grisly Saw franchise. Even as the movie starts, you can immediately tell that they had a much larger budget to work with, and this is evident throughout the film. A big thing that counts in favour of this movie is that it is shorter than its predecessor – not by an awful lot, but by enough to make the movie tighter and quicker than the last.

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Saw II definitely goes for glory with the icky scenes, spending much more time on the nasty predicament that each and every one of the people is suffering, as well as their just punishment. The last movie had gore, sure, but not on the same level as this. Saw II wants to make you squirm and feel uncomfortable. This is the beginning chapter of the torture porn that this series is renowned for.

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They brought in some plotsies again at the end, but they just didn’t have the same bang that the original did – maybe because you expect it, follow the same formula, keep it going. Eric complained in the last movie that it was loud, not something I took particular note of, but this movie? So. Much. Noise. I won’t even pretend it didn’t bug the hell out of me.

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We got to learn more about Jigsaw in this one, but I agree with Chop – it still makes no fucking sense.

Anyway, I don’t have an awful lot to say about this one. I thought it was a decent watch, and a little more reveal about Jigsaw was great. Amanda returning and the end reveals tied this neatly back to Saw. The acting is better here, but again, most improvements here boil down to the bigger budget. Whannell staying on to write more here, and Wan producing meant that there is a certain continuity to it. Definitely not a bad sequel (it’s actually a pretty good one, considering how horror sequels can go), and holds itself well against its predecessor.

saw ii jigsaw