Tuesday, February 28, 2012


When I am playing CALL OF DUTY multiplayer I can almost always point out who the snipers are in the lobby.  When I see a guy with a gamer tag that has a word like SNIPE, LONE, WOLF, NINJA, SWORD, ALPHA, RECON, IAMAGAYASSSNIPER in it I just know they are setting up camp somewhere lying on the ground in a heavily dark corner complimenting themselves on just how badass they are because they are going to have the best Kill/Death ratio in the lobby.  They like to pretend that somewhere in this world there is someone who is not a child molester (this time) that gives a darn.  CALL OF DUTY has given snipers a bad name.  Thankfully Ol' Dolph is here to show how badass snipers really are.

SILENT TRIGGER (directed by Russell Mulcahy, the guy who did HIGHLANDER, lol) is a strange film indeed.  It is not your typical action film.  Dolph Lundgren plays a sniper working for something called 'The Agency'.  It is a vague organization that I can only assume exists to perform assassinations on political targets.  At the beginning of the film we are treated to a flashback where Dolph does not pull the trigger on a political target and his female spotter Clegg is ordered to kill him.  A helicopter shows up with a group of local militia (I assume) preventing her from killing Lundgren.  The question is would she have done it in the first place.  As the movie goes on we are treated to more flashbacks expanding from the beginning showing us Dolph's and Clegg's escape and parting when Dolph finds out that she has been ordered to kill him. 

The main story takes place in a large skyscraper under construction where Dolph is setting up for another assassination.  Here is what I don't understand.  Years have passed since the incident where he couldn't pull the trigger yet Dolph is still working for the same agency.  Why is he still with them and why haven't they killed him yet?  I don't get it.  I must have missed something.  Apparently Dolph is recreating the same incident with Clegg returning unaware that her partner is Dolph.  He wants to know if she would have killed him and at the same time get revenge on the guy who ordered his death.  That is the story.

What is really weird about this film is how the tone of the film changes from an action movie to a haunting psychological horror movie.  The empty building is spooked with foreboding music highlighted with the boom of thunder and drowned in falling rain.  There are two overnight watchmen who guard the building.  Now usually in most action movies these characters last about ten seconds on screen either by getting themselves perished by the baddies or they just don't show them anymore because they aren't important.  In SILENT TRIGGER they become two of the central characters of the film.  Basically there are only four main characters Dolph, Clegg and two night watchmen.  Very strange.  One of the night watchmen is a real bastard and tries to rape Clegg.  At one point he starts doing drugs and starts to see C.G.I. spiders everywhere.  Weird.  Actually what is really weird is he has small spiders tattooed all over his body.  He kind of becomes the main antagonist for awhile. None that is what you are expecting.

There are only about three action moments in the film.  I don't really count the fight with Lundgren and the crazy security guard but you can if you want to.  Actionwise this is a decent film.  The beginning with Dolph on a tower gunning down baddies with his sniper rifle is awesome and at the end he shoots a guy with it from point blank range.  Very bloody.  The blood effects are pretty good but there is a cartoon helicopter straight out of a SYFY Original Movie that crashes into a tower with really weak cartoon explosions.  Hey, at least they use practical blood effects.  Nowadays they would color that stuff in with an electronic computing device.

SILENT TRIGGER is a unique action movie experience.  I liked it alot and if you are a fan of Dolph's then you should too.  Dolph Lundgren makes camping noobs look like total badasses........Nah, they still suck but I ain't telling Dolph that.  Be my guest.


Monday, February 27, 2012


Why is the U.S. release of I COME IN PEACE titled DARK ANGEL?  This isn't nerdy anime.  This is a badass cops versus a drug dealer from outer space movie whose organs are made of cottage cheese.  The alien is a really tall guy who pumps people full of heroin and the spikes their brains and extracts the endorphins that are produced so he can sell them in space.  If Dolph doesn't stop him more will come and it will be this big time slaughter.  Coolest thing of all is the alien only knows one phrase in English.  That phrase is "I come in peace". 

So Dolph is an undercover cop trying to bust a local big time drug lord.  We are introduced to his character listening in on a conversation from his car.  His partner is inside doing a drug deal with the boss himself.  But across the street some not nice guys rob a liquor store forcing Dolph to leave his post and kick some butt.  Unfortunately this happens as his partner is exposed as a cop and murdered.  The boss leaves laughing actually enjoying the moment.  Now I just wanted to point this scene out because the rest of the movie is the standard two cops paired together who don't like each other story.  We already have seen this kind of story before.  Obviously these two will hate each other but eventually find themselves friends after saving each others life once or twice.  I COME IN PEACE should be noted as one of those rare action films that leaves a big loose end.  Dolph never avenges the death of his partner.  I guess big alien trumps that story.  You see the drug boss goes on vacation.  We never see him again.  In fact he sends Dolph a Christmas card with a picture of the boss in Hawaii or some place tropical with two hot chicks having the time of his life.  He never gets his comeuppance.  He gets away with murder and gets to boast about it.  I find that kind of shocking.  There should have been this big scene at the end where all the bad guys get together to do a really big drug deal but the alien shows up with Dolph and his new partner following closely behind to start a big shoot out between goons, cops and alien.  The whole thing should have ended with all the bad guys dead.  It kind of bothers me that it didn't.  I figure the writers forgot all about that guy and they were like "Whoops" when the film was done.

This is still a really good movie.  The tall alien is pretty badass.  He likes to shoot what I assume is his collection of Celine Dion Cd's into people's throats.  I guess liking Celine Dion was just a passing phase from back in the day.  Now he looks more like he is into Norwegian Death Power Metal.  He is a formidable foe for Dolph to say the least.  Dolph has to rely on the alien's own technology to blow him up at the end.  There is a cop alien who shows up to die and give Dolph his gun that is really good at blowing up cars.  It fires and stuff just explodes.  That is it.  I could use something like that in CALL OF DUTY.  I can't help but notice how similar this movie is to Rutger Hauer's SPLIT SECOND.  Both are about two polar opposite cops who come together to bring down a strange creature.  Also both movies have that mousy gnome faced actor Michael J. Pollard in them.  Both have an exploding monster at the end of them too.  It is just kind of weird.

I don't have much to say about this one.  It is good and you should watch it.  Just don't call it DARK ANGEL.  This isn't a film for the Nerd-o's.  THE END.


Monday, February 20, 2012


Full disclosure time, folks.  The director, SevĂ© Schelenz requested that I do a review of his film SKEW which I happily accepted.  I think that is a very ballsy move on his part to ask someone who could turn out to be a complete jerkola to review his work.  Did you know that there are horror fans out there in the world that have Internet access who are jerkolas?  Anyhoo in order to watch the film I had to subscribe to THE NETFLIX again which I am glad I did.   I was made aware of a show called DOWNTOWN ABBEY which I was told had a character named Thomas who looked just like me.  Truth be told I guess the dreamy eyed, dark haired, handsome Thomas does have a strong resemblance to me.  How charming.  Now I know what I would look like if I kissed another man.............

Moving on.

SKEW is one of those 'caught-on-camera/found footage' type of horror movies.  I know that the genre is a little overplayed nowadays like it was when THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was so popular but SKEW is one of the good ones.  There was a lot of thought put into the making of this movie.  I will admit that I am a big fan of these caught on camera films like the first PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and BLAIR WITCH so I had no problem sitting through another film with similar style.  If you hated those movies then you probably wouldn't like SKEW.  But if your main complaint was that those films didn't show anything then let me tell you that SKEW shows stuff.  Ghosts jumping at your face kind of stuff.

So three friends Simon, Eva and Richard are going cross country to a friends wedding.  Simon is the main character who has brought along his new video camera to film every single moment possible.  He has a girlfriend who oddly enough decided not to come.  Along the way we discover Simon's attraction to Eva which as the trip goes on strains the friendship of the three.  Eva is Richard's girlfriend.  Whoops.  Got to love drama.  Also it doesn't help that Simon is starting to get a little creepy with his new hand held camera.  The poor guy can't seem to stop filming and his sanity starts to be questioned.  The trip is plagued by death all around.  They accidentally run over a coyote, a bus full of people crash and die and a hotel clerk is shot shortly after checking into their hotel.  People's faces sometimes will show up on video as twisted misshapen C.G.I. gooblty-gook.  Simon discovers that his camera skews the faces of those who are about to die.  Worse yet maybe the camera itself might be causing their deaths.  To break up the monotony of people talking in cars or in hotel rooms the ghosts of the dead will pop up and say "Boo" from time to time.  At one point Simon is filming Eva and Richard sleeping.  When he pans around the room BOO! a ghost appears in the room.  Immediately we see the footage rewind and check to see if the ghost is caught on film.  It is not.  Whoa!  Now wait a minute!  Don't get all high and mighty by pointing out that if this was a caught on camera movie you wouldn't see the rewind.  Just let the movie do its thing.  This is one of those movies you got to stick with to the very end.  All will be revealed......sort of.

At first I wasn't sure how I felt about SKEW.  I have seen these kinds of movies before.  The scares are a little forced and when you can tell you are looking at a special effect the film loses a little bit of its realism.  But if you are paying attention to what is going on, SKEW has a way of reeling you in.  A lot of credit has to go to the actors who bring a strong sense of reality to the movie.  They don't feel like actors playing parts in a horror movie.  They come off as genuine people which is a hard thing to do in these kind of "reality" horror movies.  As the spooky stuff started to happen I was constantly intrigued wondering what was going to happen next.  I wanted to know why all of this was going on.  There is a strong element of the psychological at play here.  The ending is what really sets SKEW apart from the rest.  It is a very simple moment.  If you are not paying attention you might not even notice it even when the film points it out.  It is a moment that makes you question everything you have just watched.  Its good stuff and exactly what these caught on film type of horror movies are suppose to be.  CREEPY AS HELL!

Even though the ending left me with more questions than answers I can't help but recommend SKEW.  It is one of those movies that still has me thinking.  I replay a lot of the scenes from the film in my smaller than usual sized brain trying to piece together the enigma the movie left me with.  The relationship of the three characters is important to the overall outcome of the film.  You care about these three.  You care about what is going on.  And you dread what will happen next.  Not the scariest movie but it is hard to shake off the creepy feeling the film gives you at the end.  It is a good WTF moment.  Watch it on THE NETFLIX, folks.