Spook Fest 2011 – Movie 12 – Bats

When a movie stars Lou Diamond Phillips you know it’s going to be good.  And by good I mean that in the “so bad it’s good” type of good.  Bats is a cheesy film about a swarm of bats that have some type of infection that makes them aggressive.  The only people who can stop them are local police officer Lou Diamond Phillips and bat researcher Dina Meyer, along with her colleague who (in real life) goes by the single name of “Leon”.  Yeah.

Now, when I was probably 16 I had a huge crush on Dina Meyer after she got nekkid on Starship Troopers.  We don’t get so lucky in Bats, and instead we get some silly bat special effects.

I can’t complain about this type of movie too much because I really actually like these cheesy monster attack movies.  This is no “The Birds”, and it doesn’t try to take itself very seriously, but it’s actually pretty fun to watch.  There’s a bit of gore, a few one-liners, and chest-deep bat guano.  Basically, what more can you ask for?

Sure, Bats is a terrible movie. But I guess that’s what I like about it.

3 pumpkins out of 5

Spook Fest 2011 – Movie 11 – Trollhunter

Troll Hunter is awesome.  It’s from Norway, and should really be watched in the original language if possible.  My girlfriend got me this on Blu-ray for my birthday and the English dub is just silly.

It’s a movie format I love: Found Footage.  Basically in all of these movies you follow a film crew around as they actually do the filming of the movie.  In Troll Hunter there’s a camera man, a sound girl and the interviewer, and they follow around a grizzled old Troll Hunter as he tries to kill various trolls that are wandering around the Norwegian countryside.

The setting for this movie is breathtaking and it’s all the better in HD.  I really want to visit Norway on vacation someday now.

The trolls are really well done too.  Sure they kinda look silly, but considering this didn’t have a huge Hollywood budget I was impressed.  There’s a good sense of danger too, as you don’t even see the trolls until far along into the movie.

This is a film, like most successful non-English films, that some studio snatches up the rights for a remake, and of course an English version is in the works.  But the original has a lot of charm and is definitely worth checking out!

4.5 pumpkins out of 5


Spook Fest 2011 – Movie 10 – Death of a Ghost Hunter

This movie was half good, and half atrocious.  You see, I liked the story.  A guy inherited an old house and he hires a Paranormal Investigator to check it out and determine if the rumors of it being haunted are true.  You see, a horrible series of murders took place in the house 20 years prior, and ever since it’s been full of hauntings.  Only a cleaning lady goes in anymore, and she only goes in once a month and leaves as quickly as she can.

The Paranormal Investigator wants to work alone but the owner of the house also hired a camera man and a local reporter to stick with her over a few days.  And of course, weird, terrible things happen to these people.

But the problem with the movie isn’t really the writing or the story or even the dialog, which isn’t that great btw.  It’s just the delivery of the actors.  It’s so awkward and unnatural, for the entire movie.  At no point did they sound comfortable or at all believable, and it just takes away from the movie.  There is some awkward nudity that comes out of nowhere.  And it has a bit of a twist ending, if that’s possible with this movie that tells you the ending in the title.

3 pumpkins out of 5

Spook Fest 2011 – Movie 9 – Population 436

Population 436 is about a census worker who has to travel to a small town and clear up what must be a paperwork problem: the town of Rockwell Falls has had a population of exactly 436 on every census on record.

I would NOT want to be a census worker.  This guy (Jeremy Sisto) has to drive to this tiny town that has only one road going in, and come on… you know towns like that have to be messed up.  There’s some communities like that in my neck of the woods in Central PA and there’s all sorts of local stories and such about the “locals”.

Well in Rockwell Falls has a town tradition where it is required that the population be kept at 436.  So every new birth, or any new member of the community has to be accounted for by removing someone else.

And I guess the townspeople are okay with this?  There seems to be some sort of brainwashing going on that people other than the town’s one hot chick aren’t all up-in-arms about it all.  I mean they literally have a lottery to see who will be the next person to go when somebody is about to have a baby.  And they’re happy when they win!

This is a pretty good movie, and Jeremy Sisto is a pretty good actor.  Oh and that cop you just saw (if you just watched this trailer)… it’s FRED DURST.  Yep, Fred Durst as in Limp Bizkit Fred Durst.  Gone is the goatee, and instead you’ve got a wholesome, naive country police officer who never is seen without long sleeves.  I was pretty darn impressed by his performance too.

All in all, Population 436 was a decent movie and worth watching on Netflix anyways.  It’s a good reminder to never go to small quaint towns.

3.5 pumpkins out of 5

Spook Fest 2011 – Movie 8 – The Thing

The theme for a lot of this year’s Spook Fest as you might have noticed is to watch as many classic films I hadn’t ever seen as possible, and The Thing is yet another of them.  The other motivation for this one is that the new version is in the works which is supposedly a prequel, so watching this one was a no brainer.

Another thing I’ve realized over the past few weeks is just how much I dig John Carpenter’s movies.  They’re not all exactly gems but I have really grown to enjoy his style.

So if you are also a “The Thing” novice, you may not know that it too is a remake of the 1951 film “The Thing from Another World“, with both films taking place in a frozen research facility (the older one in the Arctic and the other in Antarctica).

One team of researchers dug up a… Thing, which is able to shapeshift into other living beings.  It then infiltrates another research camp and, once people realize what it is capable of, the scientists all become paranoid that everyone else is actually a shapeshifted monster and not really who they say they are.

Being out in Antarctica in the winter (with a radio that doesn’t work of course) makes for a less than ideal environment to combat a shapeshifting killing machine, but it sure was fun to watch.  Overall I thought this movie was really well done, and I think the prequel-remake thing is going to be worth checking out.  Considering how nice and gory the 1982 special effects were, I can only imagine what they’ll look like this time around.

4 pumpkins out of 5