Posts Tagged ‘Tobe Hooper’

RICHARD’S WEEKEND MOVIE REVIEWS FROM CP24! FRIDAY MAY 22, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 4.43.51 PMRichard CP24 reviews for “Tomorrowland,” “Poltergeist” and “Welcome to Me.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

POLTERGEIST: ½ STAR. “‘Paychequegeist: Good Actors, Terrible Movie.'”

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 11.29.39 PMIn “Poltergeist,” the new reworking of the 1982 ghost-in-the-TV Tobe Hooper cult classic chiller, when Mom (Rosemarie DeWitt), “There’s nothing to be afraid of,” you know, of course, here’s loads to be afraid of… like crappy special effects and a story almost entirely devoid of thrills or chills.

Sam Rockwell and DeWitt are Eric and Amy, underemployed parents of three, Maddy (Kennedi Clements), Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and Kendra (Saxon Sharbino). Forced to downsize, the young family relocates to a rundown and apparently haunted home in suburban Illinois. The older kids aren’t thrilled with their new home but little Maddy loves it, immediately talking to the invisible spirits that also live there.

On their first full night in the place Maddy modernizes the most famous visual from the original film by sitting in front of the flashing big screen television. “They’re here,” she says and soon things get poltergeisty. Clown dolls attack the kids and Maddy disappears but is able to communicate with them through the television. And people say there’s nothing worth watch on TV now that “Mad Men” has gone off the air.

They discover the house was built on top of an old cemetery but are told the bodies were “moved to a nicer neighbourhood.” Freaked out, Eric and Amy call in experts, Dr. Claire Powell (Jane Adams) from the local university’s Department of Paranormal Research and reality show ghostbuster Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris) to rid themselves of the pesky poltergeist and rescue Maddy from the 500 channel universe.

“Poltergeist” would more accurately have been called “Paychequegeist: Good Actors, Terrible Movie.” I hope whatever money Rockwell, DeWitt and Harris were paid for this was worth it because cash must have been the only incentive to sign on for this movie. It certainly wasn’t the script and this one is likely going to come back to haunt them

Where to start? How about Rockwell’s reaction to Maddy’s disappearance? “If we call the cops they’ll blame us,” he says, opting instead to bring in a ghostbuster to locate his youngest daughter. Or how about DeWitt’s sly smile after overhearing a lover’s tiff between Powell and Burke? Her daughter is being tormented by malicious spirits who aim to drag her to hell but, hey, laughter is the best medicine, right? Yes, it’s laughable, but for us, not her.

There is so much wrong with “Poltergeist” it’s hard to know where to begin. Sure little Kennedi Clements could probably win an award for Best Scared Face of the Year but she’s more scared than anyone in the audience for this generic reboot will ever be.

HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR DAY 12! Carving out a killer franchise

936full-the-texas-chainsaw-massacre-screenshotTwo far flung events inspired director Tobe Hooper to write The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the down-and-dirty 1974 indie film that spawned sequels, prequels and last year’s splashy 3D remake–the imaginatively titled Texas Chainsaw 3D.

In November 1957 police raided the home of Plainfield, Wisconsin farmer Ed Gein, uncovering some gruesome evidence that would lead to charges of murder and body snatching. After two trials he spent the rest of his life in a mental facility, but his story would go on to inspire three memorable movie characters–Norman Bates from Psycho, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs and one other that would serve as the basis for six films.

Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in Texas Chain Saw Massacre, says Hooper and co-writer Kim Henkel based the character of the hooded chainsaw killer on Gein.

“When they set out to write this movie,” he said, “they decided to have a family of killers who had some of the characteristics of Gein: the skin masks, the furniture made from bones, the possibility of cannibalism.”

Hooper adds the story was also partially inspired by “the massacres and atrocities in the Vietnam War” and a display of chainsaws in the hardware section of a crowded Montgomery Ward’s department store.

“The idea popped,” he remembered. “I said, ‘Ooh, I know how I could get out of this place fast — if I just start one of these things up and make that sound.’”

That nerve jangling noise–the revving of a chainsaw–has been the soundtrack of terror ever since. The original is an atmospheric gem, a white-knuckle movie that made Leatherface the first icon of modern horror.

The apron-wearing cannibal has appeared in five more films–most of which don’t veer too far from the original plot line of unsuspecting kids falling prey to a family of demented, cannibalistic inbreds. There’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2, directed by Tobe Hooper and starring Dennis Hopper, Leatherface: TCM III, TCM: The Next Generation (starring the then unknown Matthew McConaughey and Renée Zellweger), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, TCM: The Beginning and the new 3D version.

Leatherface’s scares don’t always happen on screen, however. At the Kingsway Theatre in Toronto the flick inspired audience participation when someone dressed in a butcher’s outfit ran down the aisle brandishing a real, revving chainsaw.

MASTERS OF HORROR SEASON TWO BOX SET: PACKAGING: 4 STARS DVDS: 3 STARS TOTAL: 3 ½ STARS

MastersOfHorror_S2LE_intThe video store can be a daunting place. Thousands of discs, all in uniform sizes and colorful cases can boggle the mind. Occasionally a snappily designed box can cut through the quagmire, however. So it is with the Masters of Horror Season Two Box Set human skull packaging. The Skull Box leaps off the rack and catches your eye, and if you’re a horror fan that’s a good thing.

For the uninitiated The Masters of Horror is an anthology television series with each episode featuring a one-hour film helmed by a famous horror film director. Season one highlighted the work of genre legends Joe Dante, John Carpenter and Dario Argento. To commemorate the end of season two Anchor Bay has released the thirteen episodes in a ghoulish box set with DVDs where the brains should be.

Some of the same directors make return appearances—Argento, Tobe Hooper and John Landis all come back for more—but welcome newcomers include Norio Tsuruta who adapts Dream Cruise from a short story of the same name by Japan’s Steven King, Koji Suzuki and The Washingtonians from Romeo is Bleeding director Peter Medak.

Not all are successful. The V Word from Ernest Dickerson, despite a fun performance from horror legend Michael Ironside, and Tobe Hooper’s The Damned Thing both start with great promise but wither before the end credits roll. Overall, however, the production value is of feature film quality, the stories unique—Cannibalistic Founding Fathers! Merciless raccoons!—and the set offers up an antidote to people who think that modern horror is dull and unimaginative.  

Carving out a killer franchise – in 3D By Richard Crouse Metro Canada In Focus Wednesday January 2, 2013

tcmue4Two far flung events inspired director Tobe Hooper to write The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the down-and-dirty 1974 indie film that spawned sequels, prequels and this weekend’s splashy 3D remake–the imaginatively titled Texas Chainsaw 3D.

In November 1957 police raided the home of Plainfield, Wisconsin farmer Ed Gein, uncovering some gruesome evidence that would lead to charges of murder and body snatching. After two trials he spent the rest of his life in a mental facility, but his story would go on to inspire three memorable movie characters–Norman Bates from Psycho, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs and one other that would serve as the basis for six films.

Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in Texas Chain Saw Massacre, says Hooper and co-writer Kim Henkel based the character of the hooded chainsaw killer on Gein.

“When they set out to write this movie,” he said, “they decided to have a family of killers who had some of the characteristics of Gein: the skin masks, the furniture made from bones, the possibility of cannibalism.”

Hooper adds the story was also partially inspired by “the massacres and atrocities in the Vietnam War” and a display of chainsaws in the hardware section of a crowded Montgomery Ward’s department store.

“The idea popped,” he remembered. “I said, ‘Ooh, I know how I could get out of this place fast — if I just start one of these things up and make that sound.'”

That nerve jangling noise–the revving of a chainsaw–has been the soundtrack of terror ever since. The original is an atmospheric gem, a white-knuckle movie that made Leatherface the first icon of modern horror.

The apron-wearing cannibal has appeared in five more films–most of which don’t veer too far from the original plot line of unsuspecting kids falling prey to a family of demented, cannibalistic inbreds. There’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2, directed by Tobe Hooper and starring Dennis Hopper, Leatherface: TCM III, TCM: The Next Generation (starring the then unknown Matthew McConaughey and Renée Zellweger), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, TCM: The Beginning and the new 3D version.

Leatherface’s scares don’t always happen on screen, however. At the Kingsway Theatre in Toronto the flick inspired audience participation when someone dressed in a butcher’s outfit ran down the aisle brandishing a real, revving chainsaw.