Mega Piranha (2010) [REVIEW] | Rider (Bycicle) KICK!

No, it’s not a spin-off of the “Mega Shark” series, nor a companion piece to Mega Python VS Gatoroid, despite being all produced by The Asylum. It’s that other type of Asylum movie, a mockbuster, but one incredibly desperate, in a way.

As in, the usually try to fool people by chasing after popular big budget production with cheap, fast features titled in a similar way to the movies they’re trying to indirectly rip-off, the plot is usually quite – if not completely – different.

Which is why we ended up with Transmorphers and stuff like Age Of Tomorrow, among many others. But, as i said, they usually do this with huge Hollywood productions, to feed from the crumbs left by the “actual movies” people went to see in theathers.

In this case, it just happens in 2010 we got a very loose remake of the original Piranha from 1978, Piranha 3D, handled by one of the better modern directors for horror and genre cinema, Alexandre Aja, and he definitely crafted a good modern B-movie in the spirit of old Roger Corman creature features, quite good, quite fun, which a direct sequel, Piranha 3DD, which went completely for total exploitation (almost Troma style), and was also quite fun in its own right.

Continua a leggere “Mega Piranha (2010) [REVIEW] | Rider (Bycicle) KICK!”

[EXPRESSO] Oxygene (2021) | Desperate Struggle

Just dropped on Netflix, Oxygen (or Oxygene, as it’s a french-american production) it’s the kind of movie with a fairly direct title and premise, as a woman awakens in a cryogenic capsule, completely unaware how she got there and who she even is to begin with, but soon learns the oxygen in the capsule is running low and struggles desperately to survive the mysterious situation, remember who she is and how she ended up there before it’s too late.

My first thought was “this does sound like a sci-fi variation on Buried”… but then i remembered i never actually got around to watch Buried, so goodbye to that comparison. Still, you can get around the general premise of struggling for survival while trapped or confined to a cage/box, it’s not original or trademarked, so let’s look at this movie on its own, even more since from renowed horror director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes 2006, Piranha 3D, Horns, Crawl).

And while you can kinda tell this is from a director not ashamed to show graphic imagery, it’s not exactly a horror movie or an horror sci-fi, more a straight up sci-fi thriller, one that will take its time to “get into gear” from its not too interesting set-up, but it’s worth because it’ll gradually grab you more and more, as you – alongside the “amnesiac” protagonist – will learn what is actually going-on, and let’s just say it delivers quite a powerful twist, but also manages an amazing balancing act between being extremely bleak and sporting some positivity in spite of it all.

Melanie Laurent is also excellent in the role of “Liz”, which is good and vital since it’s mostly a one-woman show, but one incredibly well executed.

Very pleasantly surprised by this one, pretty good.

Recommended, indeed.

[EXPRESSO] Crawl (2019) | Lator Gator

Crawl 2019 poster.jpg

My first thought when i heard the subject was: isn’t this like Bait/Shark 3D, but with a crocodile and a house instead of a shark and a submerged mart?

Nothing wrong with it, given how Bait is one of better shark movies of the lot (definitely a fuckton better among the endless pile of exploitation and B-Z cinema the marine predator attracts), and it’s not a rip-off of it anyway, it has a similar premise of being locked in the same location as an aggressive killer animal/monster. Which could also describe Aliens, so let’s just move to the plot.

Haley Keller is an underperforming swimmer, but hasn’t talked with her father (who also was her swimming coach for many years) in a long time, and their parents separated. But she goes to check on him when informed of a hurricane hitting their old house, and they find themselves trapped in the basement with alligators, with the water level constantly rising, and no help in sight.

Because what better bonding experience than trying to survive being eaten by Schnappi’s cousins can you wish for? Alexandra Aja (Piranha 3D, the 2006 The Hills Have Eyes remake, the 2012 Maniac remake, Horns) is back again with a relatively simple premise, one that could be seen in many low budget z-grade movies, but here is executed really well, with some stylish and brutal kills, tense scenes, a well known but still damn brutal primeval creature that’s lethal , no need to crossbred it with octopuses, sharks, isotopes, trilobites, etc.

Great pratical gore, great CG on the alligator, decent kill count, likeable characters, a perfect pace without any dull moment (just some brief moments of reprieve and character building), this has everything you may want from a fun “killer croc/alligator movie”, which are usually not this bloody good.