Monday, August 23

Congratulations Piranha 3D!...errmm...wait a minute...

Last evening, before the box office tallies rolled in, I was expecting to do up a little congratulatory entry here over Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D either topping the charts or at least breaking into the top three. Sadly, this wasn't to be, and the French director's latest tanked with a 6th position at ten million. Horror, especially silly self-referential horror like this, usually doesn't produce sleepers that gain strength at the domestic box office. What can I say, the average movie-goer simply doesn't get that the genre can be knowingly fun, entertaining, and terrifying at the same time. So I wouldn't be surprised to see a complete slide off the U.S. top ten next week, but ya never know. It also appears some idiots are astonished the film is receiving such high praise. And I say fuck 'em if they don't get it. They never will. Although this failure doesn't bode well for Resident Evil: Afterlife and Saw 3D's chances. It might even kill one or both of the franchises; regardless of being shot in 3D or post-3Ded.

Naturally, I didn't help Piranha 3D by staying home and parking my ass in front of the tube (well, digital light projector) for other fare. Isn't it funny how the features that set the online horror community abuzz almost always collapse? To be honest, I'm not too keen on 3D's higher ticket price and effect with my migraine tendencies. If anything, 3D projection should be limited for only the effect scenes with markers for the audience to throw on their glasses with the rest in normal, high resolution 2D. I couldn't imagine sitting through an hour and a half of what probably amounts to over 90% of 2D material anyway. It doesn't help that I'm hearing most if not all equipped theaters are only showing this particular example in 3D-only. I'll wait for the Blu-ray and hope for the inclusion of a standard "flat" version. Can I please appreciate Kelly Brook's ass in glorious, non-color aberrated 1080p, Dimension?

In other tidbits, I figured I'd quickly cover a few flicks I've seen recently but haven't covered here. The first being Slumber Party Massacre II (1987). I enjoyed this fractured slasher quite a bit, and this analysis over at The House of Glib is tremendous. I'm unsure if writer/director Deborah Brock really intended her sequel to be that psychologically deep. If so, then she's some sorta criminally unheralded genius. Regardless, its a fun read after seeing what could be an amazingly accomplishment, happy accident, or (most likely) pleasing '80s hacker ineptness.

Moving up to this year, I watched Breck Eisner's The Crazies on BD a few weeks ago. It was okay, but really just another slam bang mainstream horror outing under the guise of being sold as intelligent. You know, some quiet, an action setpiece, more quiet, another sudden scare, and so forth. Apparently, none of the hard cultural bite of Romero's 1973 precursor to his Dawn of the Dead exists in 2010. I inexplicably hate Radha Mitchell's face as well and didn't care for the subtle inference of hunters being one infection from hunting humans. Or something.

Lastly, I popped in VCI Entertainment's VHS of Gargoyles (1972) last night. '70s television movies were unusually great and this sci-fi/horror potboiler is no exception. Great make-up for the period by Stan Winston with some effective desert atmosphere. A young Scott Glenn appears as a dirt biker wrongfully accused of attacks perpetrated by roaming cave gargoyles intent on destroying mankind. Goofy, tame, with a fizzling conclusion, yet definitely entertaining. VCI's DVD/VHS releases are out-of-print and selling for ridiculous prices. Certainly not worth those rates and poking around has yielded the film being released on tape no less than three times in the '90s. So it can't be that difficult to find; the two VCI tapes uncovered in my travels were under a buck each.

On a final note, a few long days are impending at work, so at best updates might be regulated to cover scans this week. I'm working on a little piece for The Blood Sprayer on Darren Ward's latest, A Day of Violence, so stay tuned for that.   


Buscemi said...

Piranha 3-D is one of the best 3-D cinematic experiences you'll ever see. You should shell out the extra dough.

Also, Piranha 2 3-D has just been announced with the same director returning.

Aylmer said...

I actually wouldn't be surprised if positive word of mouth results in this becoming a minor sleeper. And despite it's sixth place standing, a 10 mil opening isn't too bad for a movie of this budget. What was it, about 30 mil? It sure beats the 7.5 mil opening weekend for Splice, the most criminally ignored genre film of the year. I think Piranha will do gangbusters internationally and have a huge life on home vid too.

Franco Macabro said...

Sad to hear that Piranha is dying a quick death at the box office, but there is a lot of competition, mainly The Expendables and Scott Pilgrim. Im super stoked to see it though, it will be premiering in the Caribbean this thursday, so Ill be checking out as soon as possible. Im sure it will make its money back!

As for Gargoyles, wow, cool to know its out, I've been so curious for it ever since I learned of Stan Winstons involvement in it. Gonna have to give that one a watch soon! you dare tread upon the staircase?

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