A DEPRESSING START
I don’t believe I’ve ever passed up a budget boxset. The thing is, I’ll buy them, get moderately excited and then completely forget about them. There are spaces in my collection that work as a phantom zone for genre films. You’ll find the Mill Creek 50 packs along with the SAW franchise and the works of Eli Roth banging against a glass screen uselessly begging for their release. I finally decided to do something about it. In Box Set Purgatory I’ll be taking a dive into very dangerous waters and you can reap the benefits of experiencing these justly forgotten turds without actually having to experience them. We start our journey at random with…
Catacomb of Creepshows
Addiction (2003) (USA)
Sleep inducing New York shot wretchedness aims to be a serious look at the mental breakdown of a businessman but instead it shits its pants and decides to just go about its day without any thought to the poor souls it meets along the way. Bobby has a nice job and a saintly wife at home, but all that is about to change after he murders a mugger while defending himself. He gets a taste for violence and murdering homeless people becomes his favorite hobby. The addiction (hey! That’s the name of the movie!) consumes him and his world crumbles around him. There’s a side story following Bobby’s junkie cousin (Joshua Nelson who is shockingly fantastic at playing a heroin addict) and the violent drug dealers he owes a good amount of cash to. The heroin plot leads to Bobby’s complete unwinding and an unintentionally hilarious nod to the climatic stabbing in William Lustig’s superior Maniac. Think of a lower income American Psycho with none of the talent behind it and you’re kind of close…but only kind of. The only interesting part of the movie (the grim heroin subplot) isn’t even wrapped up, further annoying the shit out of me. 2/10
Instead of starting with a bang, disc one opens with a wet fart and a muffled trumpet noise. I’m getting the nagging feeling that I may have made a poor choice.
Demons in My Head (1998) (Australia) What starts out as a silly and poorly made sci-fi comedy awkwardly shifts gears into a boring and poorly made bit of horror involving an ancient race of fallen angels and a headset that allows its wearer to access and transport crap from another dimension. Travis Brown is a bit of a loser. He shares a flat with a woman he’s obsessed with and a best friend who is in love with him. When a meteorite crashes in his backyard, he cracks it open and discovers a strange headset like apparatus within. He puts it on and gains the power to transport things from some dimension outside of our own. Naturally the power begins to corrupt and he opens up a door for the demonic nephilim to make their way into our world. There’s a couple Jehova’s Witnesses hanging around warning of the approaching evil and an old wise man keeps popping up too, accidentally transported into our reality thanks to Travis’ inexperience with the headset. Regis, the homosexual roommate, is the only likable person in the damn thing and Travis is such a bonehead I found myself rooting for his demise. The “digital” effects are laughably sad and offer some joy to the viewer and we also get some demonic creatures doing demonic things. There’s a belly biting torturer and pointless shifts to black and white. A fun game to play during the infinite run time is to take a shot every time you check to see how much longer you have left in the film. I died of alcohol poisoning about 45 minutes in. 3/10
Two films in and I already feel like I’ve spent ten hours watching this disc. I may be hallucinating but I’m pretty sure my beer just sprouted legs and ran off.
Hell Hath No Fury (2006) (Canada) Awkwardly comprised anthology runs nearly two hours long and you will feel every damn minute. Heroically, I somehow managed to stay awake throughout. Vignettes open up the film proper and we eventually get to the wraparound segment. Some of the vignettes will play into the actual flick, one of them has fuck all to do with anything but it does give us blood covered boobs so whatever. A black cowboy walks into a coffee shop and rudely takes a seat across the table from some poor schmuck who is waiting for his pissed off girlfriend. As one is want to do, stories are exchanged. The cowboy tells all three tales except for one story told by the other guy but it’s not shown, he just fucking tells it and there’s one tale that follows another customer who came in to use the bathroom. Anna Lynn is the tragic tale of a couple old looking high school girls who ditch school and stumble across the neighborhood crazy. Deciding to get to the bottom of all the rumors they follow the mentally unstable girl. As luck would have it, she’s possessed by the ghost of her dead brother and his supposed suicide was actually murder inflicted by a pissed off gardener. The spirit wants some revenge and isn’t afraid to use a high schooler to get it. Next up is Prey, which follows a detective who uses hypnosis in an idiotically elaborate plot to take down a rapist. This jumbled mess ties into the opening vignette just barely. It’s at this point we follow another customer’s adventure with some time traveling versions of himself. In Three Degrees Kelvin we get to watch a man watch a movie and have “witty” conversations with a version of him from one day in the future. A thrilling time if you’ve just suffered a coma inducing head injury. Back to the cowboy, we get a sucker punch in the form of Torched. A day after a nurse is raped in the rickety service elevator at her apartment, the rapist returns and she manages to subdue him. Deciding to get some vengeance she begins to torture the son of a bitch. Incredibly nihilistic and grim, it really doesn’t fit with all the lighter crap we’ve had to sit through but seeing how it’s a Ryan Nicholson (Gutterballs, Live Feed) short haphazardly crammed into the flick, it makes perfect sense. Graphic penis mutilation and the mental deterioration of our female protagonist may be hard as hell to watch but at least it leaves a mark. The wraparound story involves the waiting man’s eye-patched girlfriend (he shot her) a foxy vampire (he cheated with her) and old eyepatch’s revenge scheme. Far too long to stay in my good graces there is a little fun to be had but not enough to warrant any effort to see it. Torched has been released on its own and it’s really the only thing to recommend from the movie…and it only stands out because everything around it sucks so damn hard. The only scenario I could see this working in is if you’re really hard up for boobs and forgot how the internet works and this is the only film available. Then, maybe, it’s worth a watch. 4/10
Two hours was too much. I’m hoping this first disc is just an endurance test laid out by those bastards at Mill Creek. Maybe they just want me to be at my best in preparation for the gold that awaits. I’ll remain optimistic but there’s a strange gnawing in the back of my head and in between thunderous headaches I’m getting a message telling me I’m doomed.
Clean (2006) (Canada) Oh man. There was potential here and it does manage to squeak out some entertainment but this film has no place on any spectrum of success. It’s somewhere off in a corner, nose held high, secretly being laughed at by everyone. Crane is a psychopathic killer nearing the end of his rope and ready to call it quits. He hates the world, he hates his life…the dude just hates. He mostly stands around in his underwear listening to shitty music, reciting nihilistic philosophy written by an excessively angsty teen. He sees a chance to go out with a bang when he’s invited to an annual meeting of serial killers held in an empty theater. Once the entertainment is over (the filmed torture of a stripper) Crane goes about dispatching the degenerates. The acting chops of semi-sentient paint graces everyone involved and the film takes itself so damn seriously its hard to laugh at. Miserable shit. 3/10
Well, it’s pretty clear now. Mill Creek hates me.
Where do I stand with this brave new venture?
Till next time!