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Movie Reviews: Vacation+Just Before Dawn+Terminal Invasion+Invaders From Mars+Inbred+ 3 others

Vacation (2015)
A sequel/reboot that stars Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Beverly D’Angelo, Ron Livingston, Chevy Chase and Chris Hemsworth. The same theme song form the original movies blare. Rusty Griswald is all grown up and is a pilot with his own family. He’s surrounded by the inevitable disruption and doom. Nobody has calm or restraint. Everything frustrates and sabotages him. He has a slightly aggressive punk son and the elder son is a wuss.

Rusty and his wife (Applegate) have no intimate happy moments. This is a semi-fascinating diversion. Sexism is painfully evident. Indignation and mortification follow Rusty around. Rusty and his wife watch Gordon Ramsey on TV. He looks at photos from the old movies. Rusty has a plan to go to Walley World, again. Rusty wants to endlessly recreate his heyday. His wife, Debbie, was a sorority wild-child in her day. Rusty is notoriously dull with intent. Comically gothic things happen to him and his family on their road trip.

There are sewage jokes, sex abuse jokes, Republican jokes, contrived ordeals and banal scene-setting. This is achingly middling and light and larky. Everything compounds Rusty’s indignity. This is comically garish and terminally naff with no massive resonances. The clan are maddening people. Rusty kills a cow with a quad bike. His sister Audrey (Mann) babbles and her man (Hemsworth) poses in his pants.

A white water rafting trip down the Grand Canyon goes awry. Rusty develops a gibbering mania. He’s into impulsive over-reaction without any thought of the consequences. He hurls abuse at his family. There are unnecessary hindrances and Rusty’s aggressively toxic and strives for status. Norman Reedus shows up as a trucker. Rusty’s wilfully stupid. There are shout-outs to iconic aspects of the original. Rusty’s parents run a B&B. This is not a profound statement. Everything is apparently Debbie’s fault. There is a punch-up at a roller-coaster. Enough already!

Best Lines:
“Did you really burn down the Taco Bell?”

“If Vin Diesel can do it, so can I.”

“Daddy flipped out there.”

Just Before Dawn (1981) Rewatch
Gregg Henry and George Kennedy star in this cult slasher. A machete wielding cackling hillbilly killer lurks in the Oregon woods. 5 teens go camping. Warren (Henry) is their leader. He wears a shirt with the sleeves ripped off and a trucker cap. A ranger (Kennedy) utters warnings, nobody listens. He is a harbinger of doom. BBC showed this years ago, when they showed interesting niche movies.

The teens ignore a man in need. They’re unrepentant about it. The scenery is visually ravishing. The dumb teens don’t notice a redneck climbing on their RV. There is no moral orientation. The teens are kind of abhorrently reprehensible. Why does the killer do his un-atoned for actions? What makes him do bad things? We never get an answer.

The nightmare has begun for the teens. Warren’s gang consists of his girlfriend Constance who is a priss. A slutty redhead. A nerd and the nerd’s dude-bro brother who is Warren’s best friend. Puffer vests are worn. The redhead dresses like she is colour-blind and has a bad perm. They ignore their fundamental vulnerability in the woods. The redhead has feistiness. The woods are disconcertingly creepy. The redhead, Megan, is groped in a lake. Her fears are dismissed.

The teens’ boombox is shotgunned. The dude-bro, Jonathan (Chris Lemmon), wears HUGE saggy grandpa pants. He gets into peril and his distress whistle is ignored. There is a twist regarding the killer and no impressive dignity in the face of danger, just girly screaming. Megan (Jamie Rose) and the nerd, Daniel (Ralph Seymour), get into peril. A cat and 2 donkeys are seen by a hillfolk hovel. Constance (Deborah Benson) suddenly puts on hot pants and a crop top.

Hillfolk with a secret lurk. Constance has to fight for her life in butt-cheek shorts. How long has the killer been perpetrating murders? This outperforms expectations. Why does the killer have aggressive tendencies? He just does. Civic bonds are broken and there is no ethos of atonement. The camping trip is emotionally challenging as the thrill-seeking teens face a viciously deranged notoriously terrifying killer who is inconsistent with city slicker values. Nobody is reassuring.

There are conveniently recapitulatory lines. Roy (Kennedy) shows up and then leaves them up the mountain with the determined, entrenched and desperate hillfolk clan still around? The bitter vendetta goes on. Warren lies on the ground as Constance has to fight for her life. The killer is uncommunicative. Constance should doubt the trust in her relationship with Warren after this. Faced with threats of physical violence, Warren has a good cry. This defies social expectations and is good and riveting.

Best Lines:
“Let em have their due.”

“I found my caramel cream!”


Terminal Invasion (2002)
Bruce Campbell and Chase Masterson star in this cheap looking film. A convict (Campbell) ends up in an airport run by a woman (Masterson) during a snow storm. Campbell gurns and wisecracking aliens show up. There is bad VFX and this is painfully dull and preposterously OTT. There is no clammy malice in this witless film.

Best Line:
“We don’t like you.”

Invaders From Mars (1986)
Karen Black stars as an over friendly school nurse in this sci-fi remake. A kid sees an alien ship land, his dad acts weird and his mother wears white jeans. The annoying kid is bothered at this school by Louise Fletcher. Only the nurse (Black) helps him. A monster that looks like Kang from ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ shows up. There is overacting and killer sand.

The aliens and humans have a mutual hostile reception. So much for first contact. The ending is dumb. Humans and aliens respond aggressively to each other and this soils the legacy of the original. This is all camp and there isn’t even mild peril. Timothy Bottoms, Bud Cort, Eric Pierpoint and Donald Hotton of ‘Deadly Lessons’ also star. A Lawrence Poindexter is listed in the cast, is that Larry Poindexter?

Inbred (2011)
A group of young offenders on community service come across a community full of violent creepy weirdoes in this rural horror. Won’t anyone wonder where they are or look for them? There are different social factors at work in this village. Nobody is wary of the weirdness they see as the travel into the village (kids stabbing what may be a living scarecrow with sticks) and they ignore the obvious dark aspects on display. 2 hapless adult care workers are with the young thugs.

The locals incite violence and class war grudges lurk. The thugs face the loss of the lives they thought they were living and the future they thought they were going to have. This has no moody relevance and is formulaic as the wildly impudent teens have self-righteous aggression and smirk in satisfaction. There is bad moral conduct and bad moral attitudes. There is no rural idyll here. This was not nuanced and thrilling as the impossibly loathsome teens fail to notice the village reeks of evil until it is way, way too late. There is a toxic atmosphere and bitter disputes.

There is no relentlessness in this vision. The teen thugs think they are hard nuts. There is no breathless sense of pace and the teens are shockingly stupid. This was wildly contrived as the breathtakingly cruel locals show their true selves. The teens are obsessed with their own marvellous qualities. This starts out okay but turns into gargantuan god-awfulness. The locals are devoid of pity or mercy and take callous delight in being nasty.

There is no rational knowable evil or understanding of consequences or reasonable arguments. Just desperate states of mind. The teens are less liked than ever. There is no wrenching sadness just brutally tough local nutters. There is no surprising vehemence. The friendly pub landlord isn’t so friendly. There is a continued breach of morals. This was okay.

The locals are right weirdoes. This does not retain credibility. It’s like ‘League of Gentlemen’ on mescaline. No serious moral topics are covered. There is bad acting and the sole female thug is Cleo from ‘Hollyoaks’! Things don’t go well for the thugs. This has a downer ending and the only one I felt sorry for was the ferret.

Best Lines:
“Certainly rustic isn’t it?”

“I’ve stayed in better squats.”

“Care nawt for strangers.”

“Hide the problem people away.”

“Stop vandalising and salvage! There is a difference!”

“I’ll be having ya!”

“They won’t leave. They never do.”

“Gentlemen. Ladies. And Angus.”

Imaginary Playmate (2006)
This is not incomparable as Dina Meyer faces a grim struggle to protect her moppet stepdaughter from a ghost. This was not genre-defining.

Afflicted (2013)
This is an utterly awful found footage horror in which 2 annoying guys go on a round the world trip. 1 gets sick. Oh wait; he’s actually a vampire now. There is bad VFX and bad acting. This was all smug self-satisfaction. This was exceptionally painful and sub-optimal.

Best Line:
“I don’t like the Ebola virus.”

Demoni aka Demons (1986)
People go to a movie screening. There is bizarre dubbing. This is produced by Dario Argento. People in the movie audience become demons and here is GORE. A pimp is in the movie audience. Punks show up. A helicopter crashes through the roof. This was incoherent.

Best Lines:
“They will make cemeteries their cathedrals and tombs your cities.”

“Nostradamus. Sounds like a rap group to me.”

“That’s Rambo talk.”
Tags: deadly lessons, movie review, white collar

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