Monday, October 18, 2010
seventeen: kung fu vampires, sleeping beauties, and some popcorn
I saw this film when it came out in the theaters and remembered really liking it but coming away ultimately a bit empty. How would my second time viewing it turn out?
Well, pretty much the same!
A group of film students at a local college decide to put on a horror night at a run-down theater. They clean it up and set the props up because, you see (and this is the coolest part of the movie), they're going to show 3 old films the way they used to be shown, with all the gimmicks: 3-D, electro-shocks, and smell-o-vision. But, uh-oh, there's a killer on the loose, somebody with mysterious ties to one of the students. And as the festival goes off, this killer is stalking and murdering the film students one by one. Can the mystery be unraveled before all die?
So the movie within a movie stuff was truly extraordinary and worth watching the entire film for. But as the movie goes on, the stalking and killing gets a bit dull, so in the end, the film is really good and worth your time, but it's not a classic. Still, you gotta love those fake films and the nostalgia they stir up.
Whew! This is quite a movie. See if you can follow along:
An art school student goes to see his pal in a clinic that's a combination drug rehab/loony bin/sleep disorder study. He stumbled upon a hot girl suffering from Parasomnia, the Sleepy Beauty syndrome--she sleeps most of her life but wakes up now and then for moments at a time. The guy falls in love but too bad for him that the resident psycho chained-up in the room next door to the young lady is also in love with her. You see, this serial-killer mesmerist (stay with me here) is invading her dreams and seducing her to control her body so he can keep killing. This mesmerist is famous for an insta-stare that puts people under his control. The student kidnaps the girl to keep her from being experimented on by unsavory doctors and pretty soon, she starts killing those around him because she's being controlled by the killer from (formerly) next door. And it just gets weirder from there.
If you like high strangeness, then you'll be on board this little boat because this movie is truly great. Weird visuals, strange plot twists, a love story, some cute stuff, and lots of really bizarre imagery. Try it if you want to expand your horizons a bit and, a little advice: don't get caught up in the mechanics of this couldn't happen. Just enjoy the ride!
LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES
A Chinese mystic seeks Dracula's help by visiting him in Transylvania. Seems he's the servant to the 7 Golden Vampires, a group of vampires that have been holding a small Chinese village in sway for a long time but are losing their grip. They need some guidance and old Drac is happy to help. Too bad for him his arch nemesis, Dr. Van Helsing, is visiting China a little while later, and is called on by 7 brothers from the terrorized town to help them vanquish the evil.
First off, it was so disconcerting to see a Hammer film with Dracula in it not played by Christopher Lee. I was so ticked (even though I knew ahead of time he wasn't in it) I started the film in a bad mood. But then Peter Cushing showed up as Van Helsing and I immediately brightened up. And then the kung-fu fights started, and the undead rose, and before I knew it, I was having a grand old time.
It starts out kinda slow but picks up and has some thrilling fight sequences. And man, you just can't go wrong with kung-fu vampires, especially with Peter Cushing along for the ride!