Quantcast Trilogy Pics - 3 Movies You Should Watch Tonight: DECEMBER 2006 - GREAT DIRECTOR/BAD HORROR MOVIE



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Dec. 2006 Trilogy Pics:


The horror genre gets a lot of crap from its critics. It's often assumed by those that don't appreciate the genre that horror films are low-art and hence easy to make, anyone could do it. Of course, we know that a good horror film that scares its audience has an effective atmosphere, and a compelling story is just as hard to make as any Oscar-winning drama. December is the last month of the year, and often sees the release of many of Hollywood's Big Oscar Movies so this month I'm doing something a little different. Rather than highlighting three great movies you should watch tonight, I'm channeling a bit of “Jsyn's Vault of the Forgotten and Obscure” and giving you 3 absolutely terrible movies. Three terrible movies from three phenomenal directors. Two are early efforts from Oscar-winning directors Oliver Stone and James Cameron, the other is from Stanley Donen, better known for his big, colorful 50's musicals, like “Singin' In The Rain” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. All three are highly recognized and immensely talented, but neither was able to pull of a really great horror film. Um, it's some strange coicidence and not intentional that all three of these films are from 1980-81.

The Hand (1981):

Oliver Stone's first big feature film starred Michael Caine (big red flag here already) as a comic strip writer who loses his hand in a car accident. Nobody can seem to find the hand at the scene of the accident, however, the hand does a pretty good job of finding Michael Caine's enemies. Whenever Michael Caine gets a little angry (stiff eyes, staccato line reading, see also “The Swarm”) the hand, still alive, seeks people out and strangles them. It's ridiculous, and it's all taken entirely too seriously and, er, heavy-handed (ho ho ho) that it renders the film stiflingly boring.

Piranha II: The Spawning/Flying Killers/Sushi Gone Wild (1981):

Damn it, 1981 was a bad year to be a struggling up-and-coming talented director as James Cameron would find out on his first feature film. He got himself stuck in an Italian-produced sequel to the Roger Corman produced original. “Piranha” was no big thrill itself, but something about it works (I think it's the scene where the fish attack kids at a summer camp). This one...not so much works. First it has major logic problems, for example, piranha are fresh-water fish, and um...they don't fly. That's right, dear reader, they fly in this movie. Not the jump out of the water and glide kind of flying, full on wing-flapping flying fish. And when do they like the most to fly? After a good, healthy fuck, that's when. You got a movie where the big climatic scene is of horny fish flying through the beach attacking tourists. So, of course, you ask, “Hey, what's not the love about this movie?” Not much, unlike “The Hand” and Donen's movie (we'll get to that in a second), “Piranha II” is mildly entertaining in the so-bad-it's-good way. To Cameron's credit he was fired after the first half of the production. How do you get fired from “Pirahna II: The Spawning”? The film was finished and re-edited by the director of “Tentacles” and “Beyond the Door”.

Saturn 3 (1980):

“Saturn 3” is not a sequel. What business did the director of light, colorful, big-budgeted Hollywood musicals have making a film that wants to ape the style of better, dark sci-fi films from the 70's and 80's? This movie is one big mess. In fact, it was nominated in all major categories at the first Razzie Awards. The movies biggest problem is that it’s boring - really, really, really boring. And for all the money they must have spent it looks damn cheap. Kirk Douglas and Farah Fawcett are the ONLY TWO people on Saturn 3, a space station located near, er, Saturn. The ONLY other person who shows up in the movie is Harvey Keitel, who's pretending to be a spaceship captain that he's actually murdered. He brought along a robot named Hector. A robot named Hector. Hector!! Hector is a bastard. He's going to try to kill Farrah and/or make sweet greasy, hydraulic robot sex with her. I can't tell. There's the brilliant scene where Kirk and Farrah try to get the robot to crash through the floor of the space station so it'll fly off into space, without realizing this will also suck out their air. I remember this best from when I was a kid. WNYW-5 in NY would often show it on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for “The Big Apple Movie”, it bored me then too. - mikec.


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