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Flash Movie Review: The Munsters

THERE WERE TWO HOUSES IN OUR neighborhood that were totally different from any other, but both were equally creepy. One house was completely painted in a drab brown color: everything from the front stairs, porch, railings, shutters, door and window frames. At nighttime no one could tell if anyone was at home because the lights were never on; or the windows were so heavily curtained that the light could not penetrate. All the years I lived in the neighborhood, I never once saw anyone entering or leaving the house. There was no front lawn; it was all cemented over with one large oak tree that stuck out from the ground like it had killed it. Whenever I cut through the alley in back, I could never tell if there was a backyard or not because the was a huge dense hedge that surrounded the perimeter. As you can imagine, no one ever ventured past the wrought iron front gate at Halloween; the place was too scary all year round. Whenever my friends and I were playing outside, we made sure to never throw or hit a ball in the house’s direction, in case the ball was to bounce into its front yard. None of us had the courage to climb over the fence and get closer to that house.      THE OTHER HOUSE THAT WAS SCARY to us was brightly painted in green and orange hues. It had trellis work all around the front porch with vines spreading across it. The stairs leading up to the front door were bowed, as if something big had climbed up and down them repeatedly. In the front yard there was an assortment of wildflowers, some that were taller than me. I never knew who lived inside because again, there was no sign of life or activity. The dense foliage that surrounded the house like a suit of armor made the place look menacing. It was the type of place that looked like Sleeping Beauty would have been served a poison apple there or Hansel and Gretel would have been held to be used in a cauldron of soup. There was an odd weathervane attached to the house’s chimney; it was hard to figure out if the figurine was a human or animal. I used to try and picture what would live in this and the other house. Now here is the interesting part; in all my imaginings, I never once thought humans were inhabiting the houses. They had to be some type of alien or monster, more akin to the family in this comedy fantasy.      MOVING TO AN AMERICAN SUBURB WOULD be a big adjustment for this Transylvanian family. It would be an even bigger adjustment for the people who lived around them. With Sheri Moon Zombie (The Lords of Salem, The Devil’s Rejects) as Lily, Jeff Daniel Phillips (3 From Hell, The Gifted-TV) as Herman, Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive, Getting Grace) as The Count, Richard Brake (The Rhythm Section, Bingo Hell) as Dr. Wolfgang and Jorge Garcia (Lost-TV, The Wedding Ringer) as Floop; this reboot of the television show has the distinction of being the worst film I have seen this year. I could appreciate the idea of bringing the Munster family to a whole new generation; but this film was too corny and boring. The special effects were dull, the script failed at humor and the story came across like a poorly done Saturday morning cartoon. The actors were not bad, considering they had a tough act to follow with the original actors; but I felt the writers were forcing the campiness so much that scenes just looked ridiculous. This could have been a better film if the story focused more on the early times just when Lily and Herman were about to meet each other. If I had my way, I would have preferred rewatching one of the Addams Family television episodes.

1 ½ stars 

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Flash Movie Review: The Lords of Salem

Hiding under the basement staircase was a poor choice. The sound of the slow, heavy footsteps descending the stairs echoed louder. Across from me was my only means of exiting: a brand new door. One of its metal locks caught the dull wisp of moonlight through the nearby glass block window, reflecting it to me, hoping to entice me. I tried steadying my breath, since I could hear my heart beating in my ears. The sound of footsteps was no longer audible. Though I had no idea who broke into my house, I knew they were going to kill me. As I thought about making a run for the door, a thick warm hand from behind gripped my throat. I tried to scream but the sound was cut-off at my Adam’s apple, while the hand squeezed harder. The last thing I remembered was gagging as I felt a foul breath spreading across the back of my head. Jarred awake from catching my breath, beads of sweat were traveling towards my beard. Last autumn I experienced this same dream for several consecutive days. I still have not figured it all out, but I would rather experience it again then sit through this horror movie for a 2nd time. This was my first encounter with one of director Rob Zombie’s (House of 1000 Corpses, Halloween) films. Sheri Moon Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween) played recovering addict Heidi Hawthorne. She along with both Hermans, played by Jeff Daniel Phillips (Faster, Unknown) and Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead, Water for Elephants) hosted a local radio show in Salem, Massachusetts. After playing a record she received as a gift, Heidi began to experience disturbing images in her dreams. Was she suffering flashbacks or was there some meaning to the gruesome scenes? The movie actually caught my attention early with its fresh, edgy filming and plot set up. But as the story progressed; things fell apart, losing any tension that had been building up. The director, I have read, was proud to make this movie on a low budget. I am happy for him, but the scenes suffered with their cheap props. It was embarrassing to see Bruce Davison (X-Men franchise, Harry and the Hendersons) and Dee Wallace (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Cujo) in this film. I understand the fun of putting older celebrities into a film, but at least write them a good role. This was a nightmare of a movie and that is not a compliment. There were multiple scenes of blood and gore.

 

1 2/3 stars

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