Our Weekly Recommendations (October 14th 2011)

Every week the people of Super Website (Super Blog) will give you a recommendation of a Film, DVD, Bluray, Book, Soundtrack or any other item for you the readers to check out.
Super Marcey Recommends:

Saw

Looking back at my horror viewing last year, I spent a weekend watching the Saw series. Now back then I had only seen the original Saw and Saw II, the rest were new to me. So in honor of that, I recommend the first film, you can check out the original review.
“This film hooked me in right from the start, the beginning is one of the best I had seen for a long time. These two men waking up the way they do, in the situation they are in, it is frightening. Just being thrust into this situation, much like those two, I had to know what was going on. The film does slowly reveal things, and it does so in such a clever way. The events unfold in sequences and they are not all in chronological order either, which is something I figured out early on during my first viewing. This film is like a jigsaw, you have to put the pieces together, and by the end they are. The antagonist of the story ‘Jigsaw’ is one of the most unique characters I have seen, while we do not see that much of him here, we find out about him. Through the flashback’s of the other games he’s played it is clear he has a serious agenda, and we soon find out where the nickname of ‘Jigsaw’ comes from. I loved the way things get revealed, not only to the audience but to the characters in the film as well. Nothing is what it seems, however there are clues through out the film as to what is going to happen and who ‘Jigsaw’ really is. Upon my first viewing there were a lot of things I did not pick up on, but watching it again, there clues are there as to who he really is.”
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Blu-ray |
Logan J. Fowler Recommends:

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Back when I was a wee lad, I used to watch this flick a ton. I was mildly disturbed by the man eating plant featured within, but Rick Moranis always reminded me of the Ghostbusters, a property that I loved at the time (still do actually), so I probably watched it out of respect for him.
I recently purchased it on DVD and gave it a watch, and it still holds up; the music (yes, it’s a musical) is still toe-tappingly awesome, the plant looks AMAZING (kudos to the puppeteers), and it has a stellar cast-besides Moranis, John Candy, Bill Murray, Steve Martin and Jim Belushi all show up. I really never liked Ellen Greene as Audrey, but hey, what are you going to do?
Little Shop of Horrors tells the tale of Seymour (Moranis), a nice guy who just wants to get out of his home town, known as Skid Row. Audrey (Greene) thoughts run a parallel line to Seymour’s wishes, and the two almost seem destined to be with each other, if not for Audrey’s relationship with a crazy, deluded dentist (Martin). Both Seymour and Audrey work in a plant shop that has no customers, and it is run by Mr. Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia). When Seymour puts a strange plant (he came across it after a total eclipse of the sun) that he purchased at a local plant shop in the store window, people bombard the store with questions, and then make purchases to follow. However, the plant (which Seymour has dubbed, “Audrey II or 2”), seems to be willowing. Seymour takes it downstairs and cuts his finger on a thorn. Seymour then discovers that Audrey II doesn’t eat typical plant food…he needs blood to thrive. Seymour listens to Audrey II (“It talks, baby!”) as it promises Seymour all beyond his wildest dreams if he gives him the food he needs. Seymour accepts, but his path isn’t as easy as he hoped it would be…
My biggest complaint about this movie is it would be almost perfect if they kept the original ending. This version of Little Shop stamps the conclusion with the “Hollywood Happily Ever After” theme, and after witnessing the true completion of the musical at a stage production many years later, the original ending is way more terrifying, which makes the overall story much more satisfying.
Despite that, I love this movie anyhow; Little Shop of Horrors is entertaining, enjoyable, and a bloody good time. And I’m sure Audrey II wouldn’t have it any other way.
| IMDB | Purchase DVD |
Pat Torfe Recommends:

Pumpkinhead


Thinking about creature features again this week, I figured that I’d touch on a little overlooked gem directed by the late great FX wizard, Stan Winston. Of course, I’m talking about Pumpkinhead. Now I know that the film is kind of a one-hit wonder (not from a directorial standpoint, but from a series standpoint), but it’s still one of the more original films to come out of the 80s, and dammit, it starred Lance frickin’ Henriksen.
The story goes like this: Ed Harley is a hard-working single father living with his young son Billy in a small community. One day, some big city folk show up with their motorbike toys and decide to do some biking around and being a nuisance. Things take a tragic turn when one of the asshole teens driving one of the bikes accidentally runs over and kills Ed Harley’s son. Angry and full of a thirst for revenge, Ed Harley takes his boy’s body to a witch for help in extracting his revenge. Harley remembers as a boy the legend of Pumpkinhead, a monster of vengeance that could be summoned to seek revenge for those who were wronged. The witch agrees to help him and directs Ed on how to summon the monster. Soon the beast is running around killing the teens involved in the crash and anyone else who gets in its way, but Ed has a change of heart and wishes that the beast would stop. The only problem: it won’t.
Aside from the unique concept was the age-old tale of morality and revenge that is able to reach anyone, regardless of how old this movie happens to be. Helping things along is Lance Henriksen’s performance as Ed Harley. You really feel for the guy, who is so distraught over his son’s wrongful death that he goes the route of vengeance, which we know never solves anything and so on. His stuff can be a little over-the-top in spots, but given that he realizes that innocent blood is now on his hands, he’s kind of a little high-strung. As for the teens, you do care for them, but they kind of get the short end of the stick when it comes to development (Ed Harley again), but they’re effective. I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the awesomeness that was the effects and the Pumpkinhead creature itself. After all, this is Stan Winston. The creature looks damn good, and damn scary, too. It still holds up well today after 20+ years.
This is the part where I bash you guys over the head about grabbing the DVD. It’s a great one by MGM, starting with a revamped transfer that blows the original DVD out of the water. Tack on some great extras like an informative commentary, an hour-long documentary that takes a look at everything (including the monster, of course), a nice tribute to Stan Winston who sadly passed away while the DVD was being produced and more. Once again, if you’re in the mood for a great monster movie this Halloween, pick this one up for sure.
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD |
Bede Jermyn Recommends:

The Descent

While many horror films have appeared in my end-of-year top 10 year lists over the years, but it’s very rare that I would have one that would actually make it to my no.1 spot. Although there have been some in the past but they have been few and far between. But in 2005, one horror film beat out many more established and critically acclaimed films to become my pick as the no. 1 very best film of that year. Not only that, it has since made onto my list of my top 10 horror films of all time. So which film is it? That particular film that I have chosen for my recommendation this week is Neil Marshall’s 2005 horror masterpiece THE DESCENT.
The film tells story of Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), a British woman who is suffering both depression and grief after losing both her husband and young daughter in a car crash a year earlier. In effort to help her recover from her grief, her friends decide to take her on a trip to the Appalachian Mountains in the U.S. for a holiday. Once they get there Sarah’s two oldest friends Juno (Natalie Mendoza) and Beth (Alex Reid) tell her that for something fun that they can do together, they have organized a caving expedition. The following day they set off on dive into the caves. While crawling through a very harrow tunnel, Sarah gets herself stuck and she starts to panic. When Sarah’s friends pull her out, the cave behind her collapses and they become trapped. Knowing that they get out the way they came in, they continue on though the caves hoping to find another way out. However they soon discover that they are not alone as that something lurking in the darkness of the cave.
I absolutely love this film, this to me is what every horror film should strive be and it’s perfect in every way. Writer/director Neil Marshall did a fantastic job with this film. He had crafted a film that is dark, claustrophobic, intense and surprisingly even emotional as well. But most importantly: it is absolutely scary. Seriously, this film made me jump so many times during the course of it that I completely lost. It’s rare when a horror film really scares me but this one did. Also the film’s ending is very powerful and I still think about it to this day. The all female cast did a terrific job with their performances, particularly Shauna Macdonald who is especially amazing as Sarah. Her character’s journey though this film as absolutely engaging. She brought so much pain, heartache, complexity and even bad arse to her performance (also I want to give a shout-out to fellow Aussie Natalie Mendoza, who was also great as Juno). The technical aspects of the film are flawless: the production design, the creature design, the gore, the editing and the cinematography are all pitch perfect. Also score by David Julyan (who did the scores for MEMENTO, THE PRESTIGE and HEARTLESS) is very powerful and memorable. There is so much more I can about this film but all I can say is that if you haven’t seen THE DESCENT, do yourself a favour and check this film out right away. Hopefully after you watch it, you definitely understand why this is one of my favourite horror films of all time.
| IMDB | Purchase on DVD | Purchase on Blu-ray |

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