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Movie Reviews: The Country Girls + Scream + 2 others

The Country Girls (1984)
Channel 4 adapted Edna O’Brien’s novel about girls growing up in rural Ireland. O’Brien wrote the screenplay about Kate and Baba who have a toxic friendship and Kate is groomed by the creepy Mr Gentleman (Sam Neill). The duo are boy obsessed and badly dressed. Kate’s father is a hopeless drunk and her mother is a useless doormat who dies. It is not clear when this takes place (50s, 60s, 70s or ‘present day’?).

Kate is passive and indecisive and her ‘friendship’ with Baba seems driven by necessity more than anything else. Baba is cynical and domineering. Hickey is the idiot handyman on Kate’s decaying and collapsing farm. Kate wins a scholarship to a convent school and Baba gets her parents to send her as well. The school is miserable and their stay is going to be abrupt thanks to the fugly Baba (Jill Doyle). Mr Gentleman and his slick hair is supposed to be French. Kate narrates. The local shop owner is a perv. Baba’s mother is an idiot.

This is hyper-serious. The book trilogy showed how they desperately tried to 'escape' and never did due to endless bad decisions. This was also adapted into a play. Kate wears a hat like a tea cosy and then trades it in for an ugly convent uniform. Baba is full of hate and venom.

The convent school food is foul and the nuns are awful. They get drunk on mass wine and then Baba gets them expelled. They abruptly move to Dublin - which is a slum full of drunks. There they go man hunting and then when that fails onto England. This was mediocre, wooden and shrill.

Best Lines:
“That money’s for the rent!”

“Bald headed scutter.”

“He’s dying actually.”

“Hickey’s useless.”

“It’s like snot.”

“Eat your cabbage.”

“Who is this person?”

“What do I care?”

“Your heretical ways.”

“The horror of spiritual shipwreck.”


“What was written on the holy picture?”

Scream (1996)
Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan and Skeet Ulrich star in this okay movie with a fantastic soundtrack. It is worth mentioning that of the 14 or so horror movies mentioned during the course of this film, 9 have since been remade. Casey (Barrymore) gets the big opening death. Then Sidney (Campbell, who is a bad actress) and her 90s hair boyfriend Billy (Ulrich of ‘Jericho’ and ‘Law & Order: LA’) have issues. Trash TV ‘reporter’ Gale Weathers (Cox) shows up to report on the murders whilst sporting a mane of chemically processed hair and a neon lime green suit.

Linda Blair has a cameo as a reporter. Sidney’s best friend Tatum (McGowan of ‘Charmed’, ‘Planet Terror’ and ‘Jawbreaker’) never wears a bra and the Principle (Henry Winkler) is weird. Deputy Dewey (Arquette) lurks. Sidney, Billy, Stu (Lillard, who is the worst actor in the film after Campbell), Tatum and Randy hang out. Tatum and Gale wear the shortest skirts you have seen. In retrospect the killer is extremely obvious.

This was a nice horror deconstruction. Sidney lives in a mcmansion with a great view. There is dated technology. The killer runs around in his Father Death costume without anyone noticing. Randy (Jamie Kennedy) works in a video store. Sidney sees convict Cotton (Liev Schreiber) on TV. The killer calls and menaces people with his scary voice. By ‘Scream 4’, the voice (Roger Jackson) had changed a lot. There are red herrings, misdirection and Billy’s useless father looks unclean. This was superior to the reshot, rewritten sequels in which surviving characters didn’t seem to care about their murdered family members or friends.

In a franchise highlight Sidney punches Gale out. Tatum and Dewey’s mother shows up and is never mentioned or seen in any sequels. Gale fails to realise what an inept reporter she is. People call Sidney’s dead mother a slut - the slut shaming of the dead Maureen is relentless throughout the franchise. Dewey is 25? Stu throws a party at his remote mcmansion farmhouse which seems the ideal thing to do after a horrible murder. Director Wes Craven has a cameo as Fred the janitor.

Things get crazy, the killer is revealed and there are revelations. The corrupt unscrupulous killer is a fiendishly clever plotter who is not so much unconstrained by conscience as willing to set aside moral considerations. Luckily Sidney is intelligent and a much more clever plotter than said killer and fights back against the psychopath by choice bad guy. This was fiendishly ingenious.

Best Lines:
“Splatter movie killed. Ripped open from end to end.”

“She sits next to me in English.”
“Not any more. It’s so sad. Her mom and dad, they found her hanging from a tree. Her insides on the outside.”

“Avoid strangers!”

“Casey and Steve were completely hollowed out.”

“Liver alone!”

“Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can’t act who’s always running up the stairs when she should be going out the front door.”

“Bubble butt boyfriend Billy.”

“Your entire havoc inducing, thieving, whoring generation disgusts me.”

“What are you doing with a cellular telephone, son?”
“Everybody’s got one Sherriff.”

“What did mom tell you? When I wear this badge, you treat me as a man of the law!”

“He’s my superior.”
“Janitor’s your superior!”

“How does it feel to be almost brutally butchered?”

“Stupidity leak.”

“Maybe your movie freaked mind lost its reality button.”

“Everybody’s a suspect!”

“This is the moment where the supposedly dead killer comes back to life, for one last scare.”

“Your mother was no Sharon Stone.”

“Maybe she’s a slut just like her mother!”

“We had a run in the mass murder section.”

“That’s in poor taste.”
“If you were the only suspect in a senseless bloodbath. Would you be standing in the horror section?”

“Now that Billy tried to mutilate her, do you think Sid would go out with me?”

“Billy and his penis don’t deserve you.”

“What’s Leatherface doing here?”

“I think she wants a motive.”

“Did you really call the police?”
“You bet your sorry ass I did!”
“My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me.”

Zeppelin (1971)

The Bogey Man (1980)
A terrible messy film about a mirror, melodrama and the supernatural.
Tags: jericho, movie review

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