Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
It has been many years since David Cronenberg has made one of his trademark grotesque, disturbing, fleshy movies, and science fiction/horror fans like myself can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever see another squishy, squirmy creepfest from him ever again. But never fear, fellows lovers of body horror, for with Splice director Vincenzo Natali proves that he is more than capable of picking up where Cronenberg left off. Splice is a terrific entry into the sci-fi genre, providing the audience with interesting moral and ethical questions to ponder while at the same time making them cringe in their seats. Sarah Polley and Adrian Brody are both excellent here, playing rockstar geneticists that would feel right at home in a Cronenberg movie or even a William Gibson novel, and newcomer Delphine Chaneac plays the creature Dren just far enough removed from human to be frightening, and yet just close enough to being human to be sympathetic. Which brings me to Dren; you can tell that Guillermo Del Toro had a hand in the creation of the genetically engineered Frankenstein’s monster at the center of the story, for the melding of practical special effects with computer generated imagery and a live actor is so seamless that you begin to forget that someone’s eyes can’t possibly be that far apart. Some may complain that the film descends too far into cliched monster movie territory in the final act, and I can understand why some people would be bothered by it, but the monster movie bits are short and the payoff is well worth it. All told, Splice is a great and intelligent movie that follows the Canadian tradition of body horror perfectly.
4 out of 5
The first 15-20 minutes of Pandorum are a sci-fi lover’s dream. The film starts off with a terrific, claustrophobic, paranoid atmosphere that has you on the edge of your seat. Unfortunately, all of that goes downhill with the introduction of (SPOILER ALERT) the aliens, who seem rather like an afterthought and, frankly, aren’t done particularly well. The movie dawdles along after this point, and fails to recapture the creepy vibe of the first act, eventually sinking into mediocrity. The production design and premise are enough to keep you interested for the duration, but there’s not a lot to write home about here. Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster give decent performances, but they aren’t given a lot to work with. In the end, you’re better off just watching Alien.
2.5 out of 5
Zone of the Dead
This poor excuse for a film is apparently the first – and hopefully the last – Serbian zombie movie. There’s absolutely nothing in Zone of the Dead that you haven’t seen done better elsewhere, and Ken Foree doesn’t even seem to care that he’s acting – which says something considering how little acting he does these days. This movie literally rips off every zombie movie cliche and then manages to make them even worse than usual. It’s not offensively bad, but in the end, you could do so much better. Just go rent some Romero movies and watch them instead. I guarantee they’re more satisfying.
.5 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!