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Movie Reviews: Highway To Hell + Signs + 8 others

Highway To Hell (1991)
This horror is largely unknown and lost in a sea of 90s tat. Patrick Bergin, Adam Storke, Chad Lowe and Kristy Swanson star and there are lots of cameos. A wilfully self-absorbed and selfish couple elope and this takes a while to get going. The ‘heroes’ are not over burdened with intelligence. Why is the elopement illegal by the way? Charlie (Lowe) grunts and grimaces hard. He and Rachel (Swanson) ignore the gas station harbinger and with typically iron-clad confidence treat him with derision. Charlie has a soulless personality. What does Rachel see in such a feeble excuse for a protagonist?

As the couple drive along a dull, depressing, shabby backroad they encounter Hellcop who is not exactly known for his reasonable reactions. He abducts Rachel and carries her off. But her dehumanizing trauma is all about the messy ineffectual Charlie. There is dated sfx, bad acting and no general air of fear but it does entertain. The gas station harbinger tells Charlie, again, about the road to hell so Charlie goes on a single minded obsessive impractical quest to get Rachel back.

How does the gas station harbinger know all the lore? Charlie doesn’t ask being loud, hostile and contemptuous. Hellcop is unambiguously menacing and never speaks. Rachel is the prize and Charlie takes his dog on his Orpheus and Eurydice quest. This not mesmseric but is strikingly odd. Hell is full of the wildest directorial conceits. Ben Stiller is a cook at Pluto’s donuts, where nobody ever gets served. Hell is all stylization and a biker gang of thuggish looking men roam led by miserable wretched creature Rourke (Storke). Lita Ford has a cameo as a hitchhiker.

There are car chases, all the worst people on the planet, a hell child, Rourke the raging egoist likes going on rants and socially hapless Charlie runs into unpleasant enigma Beezle (Bergin) and his pathology of power. There is a hilarious take on the road to hell being paved with good intentions and the depraved attentions of satan are on Charlie. Rachel has no agency and Storke is hilariously ineffective as a badass biker/failed antichrist.

Hellcop has no overarching goals, he just reacts. Rourke’s old lady Clara has anger, regret and shame. Rachel is compliant and docile. Is satan a rapist? Because there are some unpleasant hints. Or maybe he just tempts with gleeful morbidity. Malicious things lurk in the unfathomably grim hell where chaos, anguish and erotic instigator demons lurk. A stop motion Cerberus pops up. Charon and River Styx have a brief appearance.

Charlie wants Rachel to stick to his preferred narrative. Satan is joyous but where did his beard go? There is vivacity, animosity and sinning opportunities. Nobody has even a whiff of shame. A sudden way to kill the baddie is suddenly revealed and this was good if not of historic emotional significance.

Best Lines:
“Gas is $8.”

“A road within a road”

“You’ll be sorry you left home at all.”

“Vegetarian bitch!”

“Bastard!”
“Down there, that’s a compliment.”

“You’re crazy. I like that.”

“What does Beezle do down here?”

“I’m not Hitler!”
“We’ve heard that story before haven’t we?”

“Howling!”

“The Lost Boys from hell.”

“Evil has many faces.”

“I am darkness made visible.”

“He was once part of my scheme of things.”

“I’m the one.”
“You’re not.”

“Eternity lasts too long.”

~
Signs (2002)
Crop circles are warning signs of an imminent alien invasion in this really silly film. There is a berserk board barricade, synchronised staring, water phobic treacherous enemy aliens and Mel Gibson being perfectly pained. This was an unimaginative dispiriting experience. Unpleasant irritation Mel Gibson is a stern moral judge, there is analogue relic tech, people talk like robots and a baby monitor picks up alien signals. There is narrative chunkiness and tinfoil hats. This was excruciating and had no gift for strangeness. You can’t take this seriously since ‘Scary Movie 3’ spoofed it.

Best Lines:
“They seem to have trouble with pantry doors.”

“There’s a monster outside my room. Can I have a glass of water?”

“Going to beat your ass bitch!”

“I’m insane with anger.”

“You had a tone.”

“Decided to keep it for the city people.”

“Covert like.”

“This is exactly what the nerds want.”

“The history of the world’s future is on the TV right now.”

“There is no one watching out for us.”

~
Nightmare Street (1998)
Ultra grim Thomas Gibson helps out Sherilyn Fenn who’s ended up in a parallel world.

Psycho Beach Party (2000)
Horrible, horrible, horrible.

The Devil’s Child (1997)
Satan (Thomas Gibson) knocks up a skank. This was terrible and less consistently entertaining than the winter vomiting bug.

Poolhall Junkies (2002)
Losers play pool. Michael Rosenbaum and Mars Callahan star.

Sorority Boys (2002)
Sleazy amoral crap.

Cursed (2004)
Wes Craven does werewolves. Poo.

Shadow Of The Vampire (2000)
A dull movie starring John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe that is based on the making of ‘Nosferatu’. This was not overwhelmingly creepy.

Nosferatu The Vampire (1979)
A creepy Klaus Kinski horror.
Tags: movie review, scream queens
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