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2001: A Review Odyssey

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2001 3:50 pm
by Remo D
Forgive the gag in the header--this is the only time in history that I'll ever use it, after all...

The horror movie year of 2001 was FINALLY better than the deadly 2000--mainly due to a late rally, as it sure didn't get off to all that great a start. Dedicated application of deceptively simple concepts turned out to be the best theme out there...

Here's the year as I called it--opinions strictly my own, sometimes controversial, always open to debate--but I think you'll find me consistent. I've included all the horror titles I saw on the big screen, but this year I threw in a couple of video titles simply because I knew for a fact that they HAD played theatrically (if out of my reach).

Out of contention because I got NO chance to see them: SESSION 9, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, DONNIE DARKO and probably some more...


While I still regret the severely compromised ending that essentially shattered the effect of Thomas Harris's story, HANNIBAL was by and large a beautiful adaptation--and who could deny the climactic dinner table scene its place of honor?

GINGER SNAPS once again proved that you CAN make an excellent horror film with teenage characters and/or a high-school setting. Not a spoof at all--this unconventional werewolf story really knew what was going on in the minds (and bodies) of its young female protagonists. And yet it worked as a HORROR FILM--it didn't use "horror" as a superficial disguise for a "women's issues" weepie.

FROM HELL was impeccably cast and put together, if not flawless. True, it didn't say anything about Jack the Ripper that I hadn't heard before, but what an evocative rendition of the legend, nonetheless. Right up there with HANNIBAL as a "handsome" production.

SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS is one you need to go out and rent right now if you haven't already. Perhaps I'm pushing the definition of "horror," but this "ultimate reality show" showed up at just the right time and with just the right attitude. Best punchline ending of the year, as well...

JURASSIC PARK III was initially marked "so SUE me" in my header, and I repeat the sentiment. It's a monster movie, pure and simple, and it provided some great dino action that didn't simply rehash what had gone on before. The "birdcage" sequence in itself was worth the price of admission--and the price of the DVD, for that matter. Plot? Yeah, there was one of those--and you got Sam Neill and William H. Macy, too. Good, unassuming fun.

THE OTHERS didn't blow me away with any "surprise" ending, but worked quite well with quiet intensity and genuine shocks--as well as child actors who succeeded in being sympathetic--but not at all cloying. Nicole Kidman deserves every good thing said about her this year--unlike some OTHER actresses I could name...

This year I'm handing the trophy to John Dahl's JOY RIDE just for being true to itself as an unpretentious, straightforward shocker based on a premise that could never lose its appeal--the misdirected message, the "harmless" prank. Thoroughly well-acted, cast and directed, with more than its share of "jump out of your seat" moments. Forget profundity--this one delivers just what you want it to, and there's no greater compliment to be made.


THIR13EN GHOSTS didn't live up to the HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL remake, thanks to its vapor-thin writing and the annoying presence of Matthew Lillard as a character that belonged in a different film (namely HOUSE!). But the set design, makeup effects and rapid-fire ghost mayhem kept things enjoyable while it lasted--I still think it delivers what William Castle would have wanted it to.

BONES took a while to decide what it wanted to be--it's an awfully strange combination when you start with 70's style black-cast action films and end with a double-whammy Argento/Fulci tribute. It takes a while, but this one grows on you.

As for JEEPERS CREEPERS, if you want to talk about the director, tell it to Roman Polanski. I don't want him for a babysitter, I just want to deal with the MOVIE. And no amount of dialogue in which the characters admit that they're being stupid changes the fact that they're being stupid and that there should have been a better way to get the story going. That said, this still had some of the best individual SCENES of the horror year--such as the attack on the police car and the "scarecrow" scene with Eileen Brennan... among others. I'm not sorry I saw it.

If THE FORSAKEN hadn't been such a combo clone of NEAR DARK and Carpenter's VAMPIRES, it would have been in the "best" list thanks to the non-stop action, gore and nudity (the kind just about everyone's afraid to use today). Good, stylish, stuff--but far, far, too indebted to its inspirations.

Speaking of which, exactly how much credit does Cameron Crowe truly deserve for remaking OPEN YOUR EYES as VANILLA SKY? This isn't a bad movie by any means, but it's only a step or two above what Gus Van Sant did with PSYCHO in concept and execution.

Give me the unrated version of SLEEPLESS some time and I'll get back to you, please? What I got on tape was an exercise in frustration--an Argento film desperately trying to be an Argento film but running into giant scissors throughout.

And MEGIDDO? Come on out--it's okay. I promise not to clobber you. You see--I know that you really wanted to be a horror film, no matter what your fundamentalist makers intended you to be. You wanted to be right there with the OMEN films, right? Hey--it's NOT your fault what you are--and the best way to hurt your creators is to wear the "horror" badge on your sleeve proudly. You are one wacky movie, MEGIDDO. Thanks for trying.

Before we get to the bad stuff, let's acknowledge the world of fantasy--the stuff that can't quite be called "horror." Fantasy tended to take the year over by storm, as it turned out. From the gentle Stephen King adaptation HEARTS IN ATLANTIS, to the first-rate family film SPY KIDS to the Jeunet-directed romantic fantasy AMELIE, my genre leanings drew me to some fine stuff that I otherwise might have missed altogether. PLANET OF THE APES, for all its hollow core, was a fantastic looking film with a truly possessed performance by Tim Roth, David Lynch did it again and perhaps better than ever with MULHOLLAND DR., Spielberg's A.I. could have been a contender but for those disastrous final twenty minutes, and who can forget those two epics that lived up to every bit of their hype: HARRY POTTER and LORD OF THE RINGS?

Okay, knives are sharpened...


You know I loved the 1999 version of THE MUMMY, no matter what anybody else thought. But THE MUMMY RETURNS was a sequel that truly was what everybody accused the first one of being. Nothing but rehash with different camera angles--and Brendan Fraser's every other line confirms that we're watching a sequel, a sequel, a sequel. At least JP3 did something different with its prehistoric beasts...

It upset me to no end that I liked GHOSTS OF MARS as little as I did--of all the films I wanted to be good, you know? Horrendous dialogue, a wasted Pam Grier, confused script, a lack of resolve concerning just what the menace could and could not do, and uninspired acting (except from Natasha Henstridge) hit me like bludgeons from every angle throughout the entire running time.

SCARY MOVIE almost took the crown for 2000 by being better than most of the actual horror films out there--but with the entire SCREAM trilogy and its ilk used up in the original, there was precious little for SCARY MOVIE 2 to do except lie there and die. One of the sloppiest rush-jobs I've ever seen.

Speaking of sloppy, naming SOUL SURVIVORS the worst of the year would be too easy--almost like kicking a puppy. This project was doomed from the start, and no amount of fiddling could ever have helped it. But it's NOT the be-all and end-all of lousy teen horror...

...that honor would have to go to VALENTINE. Why must I constantly blast Jamie Blanks? He's a filmmaker with a lot of talent and he certainly seems to know and love his horror films--but why won't he do anything but stale teenkill crap? The fact that this is technically better than utter nonsense like SOUL SURVIVORS only makes it more painful to sit through--right up to the ending which sacrifices its last shred of coherency just to pay misdirected "tribute" to one of my favorites--ALONE IN THE DARK. VALENTINE physically HURT.

All right--here comes 2002, starting with BLADE 2 and hopefully a big handful of stuff they're still dangling out of my reach from this year.

Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen?

"Nya-nya, nya-nya, nyahh-nyahh... I made you eat your parents!!!" --Cartman

[This message has been edited by Remo D (edited 12-31-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Remo D (edited 12-31-2001).]

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2001 6:29 pm
by Griff [Mola]
Bravo, Remo. Long live tradition here at Mortado's!

I'm afraid I don't get out to the flicks much here, I'm rarely inspired to, so I can't comment on the scene at large but I'll offer up an extremely brief assessment.

BATTLE ROYALE (yeah so its 2000 but it didn't hit us until 2001) and FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING are dukin' it out for top spot. The former a cinematic wonder of hyper-passionate teenage gushings and murderous mayhem, beautifully staged and scored with a bit of (Japanese) social commentary to keep you thinking during each successive viewing. The latter: well... its what attracted me to movies as a kid. Its magic.

My worst? I'm not so sure Burton made PLANET OF THE APES. I think he was covering for Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. Quite simply a stupid movie, even on its own terms.

I forgot what else I saw.

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2002 6:24 am
by David Austin
Excellent list as always, Remo. Really was surprised by your picks this year...sadly, it seems like more bad movies than good movies came out this year. In 2001, you had to take what little pleasure you could get from your moviegoing experience.

It'll be pretty fucking hard to make a 10 Best List for this year, but I'll try.

1.) MEMENTO - Anyone else here dig this brilliant mindfucker of a motion picture?
2.) BRUISER - I'm not even gonna get into it, but rest assured that I still loved every second.
3.) FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING - `nuff said.
4.) BULLY - Larry Clark strikes back and kicks your ass all over again.
5.) CENTER OF THE WORLD - Utterly heartbreaking.
6.) L.I.E. - Brian Cox deserves an Oscar for his brutally honest portrayal of a struggling pedophile.
7.) JOY RIDE - Enjoyed the fuck out of this one. Thank you, Remo D!
8.) UNSPEAKABLE - Troma finally released something to compete with their only true masterpiece, COMBAT SHOCK. Check it out.
10.) FEVER

"Pat yourself on the back and be sure to let your board buddies know what
a Keyboard Commando you are."

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:59 am
by Remo D
Enjoyed plenty of your favorites, too--they just didn't make the "horror" list. I should have mentioned that CHOPPER was one of the best of the year, with some of the most intense gore, to boot (I feel compelled to mention again that NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE actually had one of the best gore scenes of the entire year--the "football" scene). MEMENTO was terrific, as well.

Seen Larry Clark's TEENAGE CAVEMAN yet?

Finally caught up with the DVD of FREDDY GOT FINGERED--does it count if I think it's a "horror OF a movie?" Tom Green knows how to be gross, but not necessarily how to make the grossouts actually FUNNY. I suppose it's completely pointless to take offense when, for instance, he whacks off an elephant, but is it pointless to mention that it failed to make me laugh? Ah, there's the catch... you'd LOVE me to be outraged about your controversial, confrontational material--about how nothing, including animals, children and infants, is sacred... but what defense do you offer when I simply DON'T LAUGH? Bzzzt. Next.

I'll be sure and check out some more of your tips--thanks!

"Nya-nya, nya-nya, nyahh-nyahh... I made you eat your parents!!!" --Cartman

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2002 8:25 am
by Griff [Mola]
I don't think I even saw enough NEW horror movies this year to fill out a top ten, let alone a top five. My pessimism is tragic considering its quite obviously my favourite genre.

I'm thinking that CHOPPER must've been released here last year as it didn't even make my consideration. Its been awhile since I felt Australia had anything truly worthy to contribute to the scene so its good to see its transcending its cultural origins.

As for FREDDY GOT FINGERED, well, I guess the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. I fully sympathize with anyone that couldn't find it in their heart to enjoy it. Under such circumstances, I imagine it would be purely torturous to sit through and I'm just glad that I find Green barging into a restaurant dressed as an English bobby for no apparent reason inherently funny. I imagine it would be like trying to describe how one could find, say, a movie like ERASUREHEAD charming. It defies rationale. No apologies, however.

How about a brief rundown of your favourites from all genres, Mr. Remo sir? And that goes for the rest of you miserable movie-lovin' bastards.

"I think they should give Harvey Weinstein [president of Miramax] to the Taliban. I'd like to see him on the other side. I'd like to hunt him down in a cave." - Filmmaker John Milius.

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2002 8:27 am
by Latte Thunder
A righteous recap.

I didn't get out the movies much this year. There wasn't a whole lot that I thought was interesting. The lack of money was also a factor. But I'll drop a little science on this year also.

LORD OF THE RINGS - This one just tops my list. Not only for this year but as far back as 1982. I've seen a shitload of movies, thousands and I haven't felt the emotions that I did in a movie like that since I saw The Empire Strikes Back on the roof of my parents Honda Civic at a drive-in theater in Vestal, New york. I saw it a second time yesterday with some friends of mine who hadn't yet seen it and I loved it more than I did the first time. This time I knew what was coming and had the chance to really examine it. I speak high praises of this movie like it's the return of cinema... but I haven't talked about a movie with these words in a very, very long time. I could go on and on about, but I'll leave it there.

MEMENTO - Definitely high on my list for the best of 2001, but not as great as I was hoping it would be. See, I only recently caught this one on DVD and had been subjected to a hype barrage from everyone I knew who had seen it (the same hype barrage ruined Angel Heart, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Clockwork Orange and a couple of other movies for me). I was expecting grand film noir and got an innovation in story telling and a movie that kept me guessing the entire time. It felt more like a game than a movie. I was really drawn deeply into it... but was totally let down at the end. While the end was a total surprise, I found it to be so anti-climactic that I felt it had taken away from the rest of the movie. Not bad, but I didn't think it was as great as everyone else did.

BATTLE ROYALE - Another one of my favorites from this year (actually, I think it made the Japanese circuit late last year). Beat Takeshi rocks. I can't find words to describe just how cool that guy is. He was oozing with Harvey Keitel in this movie. The examination of Japanese society was some pretty strong content and I think it was more controversial in Japan more for it's message about society than it's on screen violence. Come on now. This is the country that brought us the All Night Long series, the Guts of a Virgin series and the Guinea Pigs and they're making a big stink over some kids shooting each other in a movie? I think they're just more nervous about the social observations changing their society for the better.

HANNIBAL - The jury is still out on this one as far as I'm concerned. I read the book, you see, and I liked it a lot. I had really high expectations for the movie (which I probably shouldn't have) and while I thought it was near verbatim, it was also evidence justifying film makers needs to make the right changes to suit the screen. A faithful adaptation is nice, but you can be TOO close to the book. Which we saw here and in Harry Potter. Not bad movies by any means, but in trying to be faithful to the source and trying to squeeze it all in under 3 hours, you wind up losing a lot of character development and that was my biggest gripe with this movie. No one is explored too deeply. The gore was off the charts, though, and the audience was visibly repulsed in the theater. You could hear the collective groans and see people squirming in their seats. It was awesome! My hat is off to Ridley Scott. Can't wait to see Blackhawk Down.

GINGER SNAPS - wicked good call. I loved this movie to death. Aside from being really unforgiving in the blood department, I thought it put a pretty cool spin on the werewolf story. I love the whole werewolf "thing" and I can't say I've seen a decent one since I saw American Werewolf in London many, many moons ago. Great movie.

SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS - still haven't seen this one but after catching the trailer for it a ways back, I feel that I need to since I have a hatred that burns in my very soul for so-called Reality TV.

THE OTHERS - Loved it. Even though it's ending was riding on the coat tails of 6th Sense, I really dug it and can honestly say that I didn't see it coming.

BONES - another one I missed but oddly, wanted to see. I'd read a few reviews that just slammed it and I don't even think it screened anywhere around here. I dig Snoop Dog for some reason. I don't do the whole hip hop thing, but there's something about him and the costuming of that movie that just screamed Blaxploitation, a genre I hold dear to me.

VANILLA SKY - I never saw the Amenabar movie so I had no idea what to expect going in to this movie. I understand Crowe's is almost shot for shot to the Amenabar movie and that's too bad. But, I really like Crowe's style and even if his movie was a carbon copy, it had enough of that Crowe flava to keep me happy.

SCARY MOVIE 2 - my fiancee and I almost walked out of this one. We liked the first one a lot and went back for seconds when the sequel was released. The food at that buffet had spoiled, however, and we were left with a really awful taste in our mouths that we just could not get rid of. Aside from the mildly funny Exorcist gag at the beginning it was one of those comedies where everything was forced and nothing is worse than a not funny comedy. NOTHING. The fact alone that they had to resort to spoofing other non-horror teen favorites because they ran out of spoof material (by using it all in the first movie) should have sent up the red flags... but we endured it and left the theater feeling a little stupider than when we entered.

[This message has been edited by Latte Thunder (edited 01-01-2002).]

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2002 11:38 am
by Jon
Well, I still have to catch up on a few titles and several of the films already listed are yet to be released Down Under but here's my choices anyway:

The ultimate dysfunctional family find a very twisted kind of bliss in this knockoff of TEOREMA (my favourite Pasolini film) from Takeshi Miike. When I wasn't rolling on the floor with laughter I was picking my jaw up off it. Taboo breaking and disturbing, but ultimately quite touching.

Lonliness, depression, self-abuse, murder and fishing. It may sound like the average weekend of your regular Horrornews reader, but this Korean flick is one disturbing little baby. Featuring the most scenes of real animal cruelty outside of an Italian cannibal film, as well as several nasty fish hook related scenes of violence, your next fishing trip just won't seem the same after viewing this.

The spirit of Peter Jackson's BAD TASTE lives on. Alright, it's just 2 hours of guys fighting each other in a forest and it's a concoction of a huge number of genre favourites from the last couple of decades. But it's the best action/splatter/slapstick movie I've seen for quite a while and may be the ultimate "Saturday night beer drinkin' with your buddies" movie.

Takeshi Kitano and lot's of dumb teenagers killing each other. Say no more.

Doesn't really bring anything new to the gangster genre, lacks much of the irony found in Kitano's other work, has an unsuccessful emotional hook and an embarrassing tacked-on final scene, but, goddamn it, this movie is FUN. It's a Yakuza versus wanna-be wise guys rollercoaster ride with an outrageous body count. Basically a series of scenes of gangsters blowing each other away, some poor bastard dies every 2 minutes with , of course, 'Beat' Kitano leading the way as yet another great cold-blooded badass.

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:41 pm
by Darth Tanner
Well IMO 2001 seemed to be slightly better than 2000 in terms of genre offerings. That was a great recap Remo. While I did see some of the stuff you mentioned, reading your post made me realize how many I missed (THIR13EN GHOSTS, GINGER SNAPS). SERIES 7 and MULHOLLAND DRIVE didn't play anywhere near me, but I plan to see them when I get a chance. As I recall SOUL SURVIVORS didn't come to town either, but I don't think I would have paid to see it anyway. Speaking of avoidances, I managed to stay away from GHOSTS OF MARS, BONES, TOMB RAIDER and JURASSIC PARK 3 since they didn't grab my interest that much(sorry Remo). But I did enjoy most of what I went out to see this year...and I saw a lot!

The movies that I felt were well worth my time and money this year were: HANNIBAL, FROM HELL, AMERICAN OUTLAWS, JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, THE OTHERS, ALONG CAME A SPIDER, SHREK, O, JOY RIDE, NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE, A.I., ENEMY AT THE GATES, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, AMERICAN PIE 2, TRAFFIC and SPY KIDS. Out of this batch I would pick A.I. as the best of the year. Aside from the cop-out ending, it still worked for me. But for best horror film, my vote goes to HANNIBAL.


Now for my worst picks of the year: WEDDING PLANNER (don't ask!), GET OVER IT, JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, SCARY MOVIE 2, VALENTINE, and THE MUMMY RETURNS. Out of this bunch, I would say VALENTINE was the worst of 2001. I was about to pick SCARY MOVIE 2 as the worst, but at least it did provide a few laughs.

Yeah I know some of the above titles aren't horror, but I wanted to offer a recap of everything I saw for the year in one post. As for FREDDY GOT FINGERED, I'm not too sure if I would call it OK or one of the worst of the year. When I first saw it, I did indeed label it the worst movie ever. However I recently saw it again on DVD and appreciated it a little more. But it still doesn't excuse the fact that Tom Green is a talentless "John Waters wannabe".

BTW Remo, I noticed you didn't have THE GIFT listed in your recap. Where would it go on your list?

[This message has been edited by Darth Tanner (edited 01-02-2002).]

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2002 6:51 pm
by Remo D
THE GIFT, eh? Films like that and SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE fell through the cracks because they were 2000 releases that only played a few houses in December for the Oscars--even if the rest of the country saw them in 2001. It was a decent enough release (and provided Keanu Reeves with one of his best roles), but the mystery was as transparent as a ghost and the ending, while emotionally appropriate, was nothing I hadn't seen in a TWILIGHT ZONE episode or two. So it would probably end up in the "high middle" or some such.

A rundown of ALL genres? Good Lord, people! I'm a specialist, not a GP! But I'll try and recap what I saw--be forewarned that I don't begin to qualify to name the best and worst comedies, action films, etc...

Mystery/thriller: THE PLEDGE was uncompromising and uncomfortable as hell, but it was one great movie (though I've read other people cursing it to hell for messing with the book). WITH A FRIEND LIKE HARRY was a French winner that (sigh) will be along in American remake format before you know it (thanks, Wes). There was THE TAILOR OF PANAMA, which was almost unclassifiable, but emerged as one of the most endearing "spy movies" out there. Mentioned how much I liked MEMENTO--probably my best in category, but the noir tribute THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE is one of the very best things the Coen Brothers have ever given us.

Action: RUSH HOUR 2 didn't threaten the brain, but it delivered the perfect drive-in goodies and is always good for a laugh and a mild thrill. I think I'm the only one who ever saw TIME AND TIDE, but it kicks tail like the best Tsui Hark films should. KISS OF THE DRAGON was good, strong stuff--the Jet Li/Luc Besson combo, unlikely as it seemed, paid off with great action and enough violence to upset the majority of the critics--good! Never did get around to seeing THE ONE, though... And 15 MINUTES made a huge deal out of issues that we've been aware of for much longer than its makers gave us credit for. SERIES 7 was far better as a media satire. But for sheer award-caliber moxie (you notice I don't say "Oscar" anymore, as I've come to think of the award as a joke more than anything else), it's got to go to SEXY BEAST. Once seen, Ben Kingsley can't be forgotten--but he's not the only one... see for yourself!

Drama: No great payoffs for me here--DANCING AT THE BLUE IGUANA had little to say beyond "strippers don't lead glamorous lives," but Darryl Hannah's performance was terrific and touching. And I think that critics are afraid to say bad things about FAT GIRL--that's one film I don't want to rehash, but I'll happily call it "sludge" one more time.

Do you realize that unless you count the sequels RUSH HOUR 2 and SCARY MOVIE 2 that I didn't catch any actual comedies besides NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE? If it turns out I'm wrong, I'll remember eventually...

As you see, I'm no full-time Roger Ebert, and there's TONS of stuff I've not seen--including such borderline titles as THE ONE, EVOLUTION, TOMB RAIDER, ALONG CAME A SPIDER, ANGEL EYES... eh, the list goes on. But I think I've finally covered 2001 in enough detail to face a new year. Cheers again!

"Nya-nya, nya-nya, nyahh-nyahh... I made you eat your parents!!!" --Cartman

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 2:20 pm
Rob's top ten:

1.The Devil's Backbone.A simply astonishing ghost story masquarading as a WW.2 antiwar parable. Don't let that last part turn you off. Part hammer film,art film, Val Lewton.A winner on all levels.It's the year's BEST film.Seek it out if you can.

2.VERSUS A great martial arts/horror/zombie rip off of Highlander flick. Great editing, and frenetic pacing, make this one of 2001's stand outs.

3.Battle Royale Another winner from Japan.An interesting take on Reality survival TV shows.

4.Ichi,(one) the Killer. A completely fucked up Japanese Yakuza Gore film, about a manic depressive hitman who skewers all his victims. Gouts of Gore! An incredible and fucked up ending earns it it's place here.

5.From Hell. A Faithful adaptation of the Graphic Novel. Although I read it a long time ago.From what I can recall,okay?. Above average direction,set design,scripting and atmosphere,make this a pick.

6.The Item Although made in 1997 and not released until 2001. It's an above average sci fi horror flick about a bunch of criminals that acquire a metal box, with a parasite, for a mysterious client. Interesting and entertaining, with decent performances and good scripting.

7. Ginger Snaps An overrated but very effective werewolf teen flick. It's NO Howling though.

8. Brotherhood of The Wolf An incredible and ORIGINAL Fantasy,adventure film, set in 1700s France. About a mysterious Beast, that's roaming the countryside consuming victims, and the french soldier and his native Indian companion, who are asigned the task of tracking the beast. It's as good if not better than Versus, in terms of action.

9.Baise Moi(rape me) An acquired taste here. But it earns marks for being an UNCOMPRIMISING exploitation film.A fresh blast of subversive cinema.

10.Lord Of The Rings. Seems that Jackson simply can't miss. I'll be looking forward to the next film in the series.

THE SHIT: Olaf Ittenbach's Legion of the Dead, Children of the Dead, 13 Ghosts,Jeepers Creepers

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 3:14 pm
by Remo D
Robert--remind me again where you live? How you're able to see all of those things? BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, for Pete's sake? You caught that on the big screen or on tape? I've only been teased by the trailer!

Just curious...

"Nya-nya, nya-nya, nyahh-nyahh... I made you eat your parents!!!" --Cartman

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 3:40 pm
The Toronto(where I live) Film Festival is the 2nd largest and some say most influential film festival in the world. I even met the directors and casts of Versus,Pulse and Ichi. But not Brotherhood,because of fucking 9-11. Christophe Gans(director) took off,understandably. I attended the Fantasia film festival as well. Which according to the film trades, variety no less,is the largest genre film festival in the world.

Battle Royale had a very small theatrical release up here.More like a weekend.I only saw The Item on video, the rest were theatrical. I forgot about Spain's HEART OF THE WARRIOR. It deserves second spot over VERSUS although that's very tough call. It's a modern day socio political allegory guised as a Frank Franzetta Sword and Sorcery spectacle.GREAT art direction, STRAIGHT out of Franzetta's art work. But the juxtaposition of modern day teen war hammer D&D playing, a subplot about a take over in modern Spain by a right wing neo-nazi, and a the aforementioned Sword and sorcery spectacle which may or not be real to the protagonist(and us) leads to a challenging thinking man's genre film. It certainly is not to all tastes. But HIGHLY recommended fro the more adventurous. I saw it at The Fantasia Film Festival. I thought it was the best film there.

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 3:56 pm
Btw,Are you far from L.A? I think they had a screening of Brotherhood of The Wolf, there.Look for more.

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 4:21 pm
by Remo D
I've been to LA frequently, but I live in Marina, which is a Northern California coastal town about a 90m-2hr drive from San Francisco. It's been a few years since I've driven out of town for a movie (not counting the drive-in in nearby Scotts Valley)--I spent a day in San Jose to catch CEMETERY MAN, ORIGINAL GANGSTAS and THE MONSTER (Benigni) on the big screen. As you may have surmised by the vintage of these films, that was before I had a son. I can usually catch a weekend movie around town as part of my Saturday shopping, which puts me at the mercy of the local arthouse more often than not. Some great releases I can get--but there are plenty more that just never seem to turn up. FantAsia--now THAT would be nice...

"Nya-nya, nya-nya, nyahh-nyahh... I made you eat your parents!!!" --Cartman

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2002 4:21 pm
by Scott
I'd say 2001 was a better year for horror films than 2000 but not by much. The two films I'd been looking forward to, Jason X and House of 1000 Corpses both had their release dates postponed. I don't know what New Line is waiting for on Jason X. As for HO1KC, who knows. I thought The Others was tops for 2001. I'm in agreement that From Hell and Ginger Snaps were the best of the rest. I'd give an honorable mention to Joy Ride as the most underrated. 13 Ghosts wasn't bad. Jurassic Park III was nothing special, but the dino scenes still make it worthwhile.

I had high expectations for Bones and Jeepers Creepers but both fell short. Valentine was disappointing, the book is much better. Even more frustrating was much of the gore that Jamie Blanks included was cut. Did the Wayans brothers even try with Scary Movie 2?

I'm hoping 2002 will bear more fruit with the likes of Jason X, HO1KC, Blade 2, and Return to Sleepaway Camp! Maybe if things really work out, Tom Savini might actually do a decent flick and George Romero gets a greenlight for a fourth Dead film. On a good note, I think we're seeing the end of the 90210 teen slasher flicks.