Friday, December 13, 2013

420 Reviews: The Battery, Frankenstein's Army, Hell Baby, Hidden In The Woods, The Purge

A brief explanation: 420 reviews have nothing to do with weed, although I won’t confirm nor deny being high while watching the movies.  The deal is this: Before I had a blog, I did mini reviews on facebook.  Back then, statuses had a 420 character limit.  Now, from time to time I play my little nostalgic word game and try to express my opinions about a flick in EXACTLY 420 characters.  Think of them as fun-sized reviews.

Hell Baby

I hated RENO 911, so I expected to hate this. Turns out, it’s not so bad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s dumb as hell, but there are a few good laughs. There’s even a well timed jump scare or two. The cast of familiar Comedy Central faces is good enough. The big problem is the “Family Guy” tendency to let a gag go on way too long. If you like lowbrow horror parodies but the Wayans are too stupid, give Hell Baby a try. 6/10

The Battery

This post apocalyptic buddy flick has a pair of perfectly cast leads, actual character development, a lot of heart, great dialogue, and the absolute funniest scene in any film this year. It gets pretty tense in the final act too. It’s hard to make “zombie” flicks feel fresh these days, but this does. Things do get a little slow here and there and a bit more action would have been nice, but overall it’s a winner. 8/10

The Purge

How the hell do you take a premise this good and make a flick this bad?  Any pitiful attempts at suspense were undone by the absolute predictability. The “brutal” violence was anything but, most of the acting sucked, and the script just did not work. Ethan Hawke loses any points he had regained with Sinister. The only reason this doesn’t get a zero is because Rys Wakefield was pretty good as the evil pretty boy. 2/10

Hidden In The Woods

This Chilean exploitation romp delivers five star sleaze. Rape, incest, cannibalism, buckets of blood, a mongoloid, drug dealers, blowjobs, and chainsaws murders. What else could you ask for? Acting? Maybe a coherent story? Nah, this is just good unwholesome fun. There’s way too much shaky-cam for my taste, but when they hold the camera still it’s shot beautifully. No brain, just blood, guts, boobs, and cajones. 7/10

Frankenstein’s Army
It’s a damn shame this was a found footage flick. In a few spots it did work, giving the feel of running through a haunt, but overall the gimmick marred what was an otherwise fantastic ride. Decent gore, great sets and some of the best monster design in years still made this one a real treat to look at. The acting was good even if some of the accents were sketchy. Most importantly, this movie was just plain fun. 7/10

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