Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reviews of the Ignorant: Pulse

Now, I believe that I have made it known elsewhere in the Frog Blog that I am a horror junkie. No, I don't mean I rob the undead to buy heroin. I mean I love me some horror movies. The problem is, it seems to be about as easy to make a good horror movie as it is to teach a dog to recite the Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Ok, bad example. My dog learned the Preamble off of 'Schoolhouse Rock'. So let me try another: It's about as easy to make a good horror movie as it is to teach a dog to recite "Power of the Word" by Maya Angelou from the book "Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now". Dogs, having little respect for essays, are notoriously suspicious of Maya Angelou, and will often refuse to even say her name, let alone recite one of her essays. Don't even get me started on their opinions of Sir Francis Bacon or C.S. Lewis. Dogs can be sooooo ignorant sometimes.

It does seem to be very easy, though, to make a bad horror film, and there seem to be two recent rules that will instantly condemn even the most promising of frightfests into becoming a frightmess.

Numero Uno (as the Portuguese would say)- NEVER rate a horror movie PG-13

This should be self-explanatory. A horror movie may or may not involve gratuitous breasts (and I'm leaning heavily towards 'may' here), but it must involve things like exploding heads and flesh eating spirits and rotting corpses and intense situations and a healthy dose of profanity. Without these things, it would simply be a Merchant-Ivory, Jane Austen adaptation and we all know how good those are to sleep though, now, don't we? If you are going to have these horrible things in all of their blood-drenched gory glory, how can a reasonable person expect a PG-13 rating? You can't. If all movies were rated PG-13, what would be the point in standing around outside the box office offering to buy R-rated tickets for an extra $2.00? Where's the fun in sneaking into a PG-13 flick? I mean, maybe if you are, like, 6, it might be exciting. But what if you are 12? Or 15? No, no horror movies should be rated PG-13. and the only one that should be rated 'G' is 'Bambi'.

(As a side note, several movies that have 'horror' themes, coincidentally or not many involving Steven Spielberg, may be rated PG and still be good, but just not PG-13. These would include but not be limited to the classic catalogue of fears known as 'Poltergeist' (which is also incredibly funny, and is the sole reason I still sleep with a chair against my closet door), 'Jaws' (which, despite its 'PG', still manages to have both bloody limbs AND naked boobies), and 'Twilight Zone: The Movie', ("Look at that old ape, he looks like an old man..."). Another PG movie that doesn't involve Steven Spielberg is 'Something Wicked This Way Comes', which is not a particularly good movie, nor is it particularly frightening, but it is one of my favorite books, so I'm gonna let it slide.)

Numero Duo- Japanese horror movies suck

First of all, it's been several weeks since I attacked Japanese animation, so I think I can now safely attack Japanese horror movies without being a racist. The rule of thumb on that is "There must be more than two weeks between stereotypical statements classifying an entire nation as one simple group or else you are a racist." So I'm not a racist. I just think Japanese horror movies suck. I'm not talking about American adaptations of Japanese horror movies; these are, like, level Defcon-5 suckiness. These are like making bootleg copies of 'Rush Hour 3'. But the Japanese originals suck in the first place. Every ghost doesn't have to be blue and female and to move all slow with its head hanging down and stringy hair hiding its face, then, suddenly, move all fast up to the camera. And, really, if I wanted to read a movie full of metaphors, I'd watch Ingmar Bergman. And you don't see me doing that now, either, do you?

And if the Japanese horror movies are bad, the American remakes stink worse than month old cheese in my dad's work shoes. I mean, alright, 'The Ring'- wasn't scary, but at least it was something new. 'The Grudge'? Not scary, not new, not good. 'The Ring Two'? 'The Grudge 2'? 'One Missed Call'? Bung-filled, sleep-inducing, crap-infested piles of shinola. And now even movies that aren't remakes, like 'The Messengers', look like remakes of J-horror films, with blue women moving all hurky-jerky in the basement while little blue kids run around the bath tubs upstairs. I have to tell you, I was more frightened of 'The Smurfs'.

(And, of course, there always is the exception. In this case, the exception to the Curse of the Japanese PG-13 Horror Remake is 'Dark Water'. This movie, while also not particularly frightening (outside of its depiction of incredibly bad parenting skills) does have one thing going for it that instantly catapults it into the pantheon of 'Greatest Films Ever'. I'll put this as simply as possible so you slower Internets surfers will understand: Jennifer Connelly, white T-shirt, and 'water'. 'Nuff said. Do the words 'instant classic' have any meaning? I'd say so.)

So those are two rules, no PG-13 and no Japanese horror remakes. So where does that take us now, class?


Seeing as how I like horror films, I have, unfortunately, seen all of the films mentioned above, making them instantly not eligible for a posting on The Frog Blog, despite their general foulness. I have not, however, seen 'Pulse', and, considering it had a domestic gross of around $20 million dollars, I do not think I was alone in not seeing it. For comparison, the classic 'Cabin Boy', starring Chris Elliot, had a gross of $4 million dollars- in 1994 dollars! How, then, do 1994 dollars compare to 2006 dollars? Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I am expecting that they are more wrinkly, slightly more torn around the edges, and have some different names on the bottom. So, if you stacked up the 1994 dollar gross of 'Cabin Boy' next to the 2006 gross of 'Pulse', since the dollars from 'Pulse' would be crisper and lie flatter against each other while the older, 'Cabin Boy' dollars would be puffier from all the handling, the stacks would be almost the same height. In other words, 'Pulse' sucks.

But a movie does not suck on box office alone. No, it also sucks on the fact that it is a Japanese-based, PG-13 horror film, breaking both of the rules first introduced almost 400 words ago. You may not know what you'll see going into 'Pulse', but you know what you WON'T see, based on that PG-13 rating- exploding heads, gratuitous nudity, unnecessary profanity, religious slander, animal slaughter, oozing entrails, David Hasselhoff wearing a leotard, flesh-eating, bone-snapping, limb-chopping, or anything else that might be interesting. And, as a matter of fact, I know what you WILL see; a lot of blue people in need of conditioner, alternately shuffling and scampering around, climbing on ceilings, jumping out of TVs and telephones, splashing out of bathtubs, acting like metaphors for past misdeeds, and generally being nuisances to a cast of twenty-something rejects put out of work when the WB was closed down. Is this anyone's idea of scary? Well, actually, it is my idea of scary, but not for the right reasons. And the fact that 2.9 million people actually parted with 7 bucks to see this train wreck in the theater scares me, too, but this time for the future of our society and the good judgement of humankind.

So what's the plot of this film? Oh, the usual 'technology run amok' garbage that the Japanese have been foisting on us since the days of 'Godzilla'. But what does it really matter, considering that THE MOVIE SUCKS!!!

Anyhow, if you must watch a PG-13 Japanese remake, go for Ms. Connelly and her T-shirt in 'Dark Water'. Even better, watch a good, vein-popping R-rated flick like 'The Descent'. The only people I can figure who would choose to watch 'Pulse' would have to be those who don't have one.


Hmm, did you see that? The monitor just went all fuzzy and jumpy, all static-y, when I was trying to type that. Let me try again.


There! It did it again! Only longer! What the- ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTT

What's going on here? That time, I thought I saw a woman's face in the monitor, only she was real pale with dark circles under her eyes. What is going on- ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTT

Ok, someone's hacked my blog. What is this crap? A hand was reaching towards me out of my monitor that time. Who's screwing around out there, huh? I already told you, this Japanese horror crap doesn't scare me! Who is it? Probably one of those bozos from school who used to lock me in my locker, probably looked me up on Classmates.com. Well, you don't scare me! I don't know how you're making it so cold in here, but you don't scare me, you here! I'm not scared of this crap, alright? And I'm a big time blogger, now, you hear? So cut it out.

What was that?

Ok, is someone in here? Real funny- wet, bare footprints on the hardwood floors. Funny, ha, ha. My wife is gonna kill you for that. You should have seen her the time I accidentally urinated on-

What was that? Some scratchy sound, like a voice from the grave. A growling, clicking sound. It's done, alright? You've proven your point, J-horror fans. You can stop, now. I-

Ok, something just moved in the shadows of the hallway. Real fast.

Hold on, let me see what that- what the hell...?


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Jap Anne Nese said...

You are racist pig!

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