Saturday, March 30, 2013

Phantasm II (Blu-Ray) and a story

I got a copy of this today from a friend as an early birthday present.  I'm going to do a proper review next week, but it reminded of something amusing.

When Phantasm II was released in theaters back in 1988, I was in high school in Joplin Missouri.  The theater that would be showing it was massively promoting it the entire week before it opened.  They promised a big surprise for everyone there on opening night.   My friends and I were already excited to see it, so this got us even more amped up for it. 

The theater showing it was on the mall, but it only had two screens.  There was no stadium seating, and it was very cramped.  This theater usually only got the worst movies, only occasionally did it get something good. 

They were hoping that this would be a big draw, it was summer and it was the only horror movie coming out that month.  We arrived for the first showing that night and were shocked at the turnout.  Other than me and my friends there was only a handful of people in the theater.  The theater was obviously expecting a bigger turnout.  

Suspended above the seats was a huge net full of balloons. They were all silver balloons, blown up to about the size of "The Ball".  The theater manager came out and explained that hidden inside one of the balloons was a ticket.  Whoever got the balloon with the ticket would get a t-shirt, poster, and a press kit from the movie. 

The theater manager, complete with looked like a "Mr. Microphone" then said "Ladies, release the balloons".  Two young ladies pulled on different corners of the net and down they came.   Chaos ensued as everyone scrambled to sort through the balloons.  This went on for longer than expected, seeing as the theater was less than a 1/3 full.

Sadly, I didn't find a special balloon.  I have however, never forgotten that night at the theater..

Monday, March 25, 2013

Grave Encounters/Grave Encounters 2

After hearing about these for some time I finally decided to set down and watch them this weekend.

Grave Encounters

The Plot:
The cast and crew of the ghost hunting show Grave Encounters spend the night in the supposedly haunted  Collingwood asylum. They get more than they ever bargained for at Collingwood though. 

My Thoughts:
While I generally don't like the found footage genre, I was surprised with Grave Encounters.  The start of the movie is a great send up of every ghost hunting show you've ever seen.  Watching the crew bribe gardeners, coach the fake psychic, and stage the "scary" shots was great.  When the ghost inevitably arrive there are quite a few good scares. 
and that's a wrap!

The crew avoided doing typical horror movie cliches and they reacted realistically to the ghosts. The only complaint I have is that the last act was too long.

Grave Encounters 2

The Plot:
A group of film students sets out to prove that the film Grave Encounters  actually happened.

My Thoughts:
As much as I enjoyed the first one, the sequel left me flat.  It was to meta for my taste. Starting the movie off with people reviewing the first movie just killed it for me.  They took the shaky camera to the extreme too.   Motion sickness does not endear a movie to me.  Also I'm pretty sure  film students wouldn't record themselves buying pot.

They should definitely stop here and not try to squeeze any more life out of this concept.