Devil’s Due (2014)


The Devil’s Reject.

Devil's Due (2014)The October Horrorthon has returned, which means I intend to spend the month randomly watching horror movies as they cross my path, and probably getting around to reviewing some of them. The movie I’m reviewing today crossed my path inside a RedBox machine. I vaguely remember seeing commercials for it and thought it was a horror movie, so I picked it up. Turns out it was a horror movie, but was it worth picking up? Find out in my review for Devil’s Due, written by Lindsay Devlin, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Oplin and Tyler Gillett, and starring Zach Gilford, Allison Miller, Sam Anderson, Aimee Carrero, Vanessa Ray, Michael Papajohn (wait … that’s a name?), Griff Furst, Robert Aberdeen, and Sammy Pizzahut (I’m guessing).

Zach (Zach Gilford) and Samantha McCall (Allison Miller) are a newly married couple that go to the Dominican Republic on their honeymoon. And you know what happens when people go to the Dominican Republic? That’s right! They get drugged and Samantha gets a demon baby put inside her. Same thing that happens to everyone that travels to the Dominican Republic. I really don’t know why people keep going there… Anyway, weird things start happening to Samantha because there’s a demon baby in her or whatever. Blah blah blah Rosemary’s Baby.

My description is perhaps a bit misleading. It makes it seem as though I hated this movie. That’s not really the case. I mean, I really remember liking this movie when it was called Rosemary’s Baby. This version just wasn’t as good as that one. I assume someone watched Rosemary’s Baby and said, “What if this happened today? And was all found footage? People love (and are not at all tired of) those movies!” I personally still see potential value in the found footage style. It works sometimes. It wasn’t too bad in this movie, but I really did start to realize that the beginnings can be super awkward and boring as you get to watch their awkward moments from their boring lives missed in with a sweaty nonsense explanation for why this guy thinks every moment of their lives should be recorded. “My dad recorded everything so I figure I should compile 70,000 hours of uncut footage of boring stuff for our child to be forced to watch eventually.” And then I saw the scene where the lady is eating raw meat and assembling a creepy looking baby stroller and I realized this was Rosemary’s Baby. That makes sense; Rosemary’s Baby was a great movie. The problem is that the found footage thing you went for takes all the mystery out of it. In Rosemary’s Baby there was a chance she imagine the whole devil rape thing. In this movie we watched it happen on a video camera.

I would say the look of the movie is pretty effective. The blood looks good, the effects look good and the CG stuff works well. …That is all.

There were actors in this movie as well, but I can’t say that I had many thoughts about them. Zach Gilford was just a dude. Nothing particularly special about him one way or another. Allison Miller worked well. She was pretty likeable and pulled off the creepy stuff pretty well. The only problem I had was with Robert Aberdeen as the second doctor. The delivery of his lines was so obvious that he might as well have been saying, “Your other doctor won’t be back because the cult I’m with killed her so that we could watch your demon baby. It’s hard to explain … have you seen Rosemary’s Baby? It’s like that.”

The Devil’s Due is not a bad movie. The acting is mostly good, it never really got boring (nor did it come close to being scary), and the story was fairly decent. It just happens that all of those things were much better when this movie was Rosemary’s Baby. So I guess my recommendation for Devil’s Due is that you should definitely watch Rosemary’s Baby. Devil’s Due gets “Devil’s Due-not” out of “Get it?!?!”

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Transmorphers (2007)


Oh, Yeah.  This Baby’s Gonna Do Some Damage.

Fuck you, Fabian.  Fuck you in your dirty, long-haired face.  So, this pirate-lookin’ douche bag sets me to watching a movie of a style called “mockbuster”.  You would think this would be the practice of taking a big, blockbuster movie and making fun of it.  You would think that except for the fact that there’s already a word for that.  It’s called a parody.  What it actually turns out to be is a movie that tries to get people to accidentally rent their movie from the shelves of Blockbuster, thinking it was a much better movie.  So this asshole starts looking into these movies at work and supplies me with a list of them that he would like me to review.  Have I mentioned that Fabian can go straight to Hell?  Anyways, today’s movie review is called Transmorphers.  It wasn’t written, but it was the script of Transformers, chewed up and shat out by Leigh Scott, directed by Leigh Scott, and starring Matthew Wolf, Griff Furst, Eliza Swenson, Amy Weber, Monique La Barr, Shaley Scott, Jeff Denton, Thomas Downey, Leigh Scott, and Colin Dunlap.

A few years ago, a great TV show and toy line were turned into a pretty good movie.  A little while after that, someone made a shitty version of it.  THE END.  Okay, this movie isn’t exactly like Transformers, but it was clearly inspired by it.  Two years ago, alien robots apparently conquered Earth.  I was not informed.  300 years later, humans are living underground, trying to survive.  A patrol lead by Blackthorn (Thomas Downey) go up to try to capture one of these “Z-bots” so that it can be studied.  The plan fails … when the crew accidentally bring back an A-bot, the exact opposite of a Z-bot.  Okay, it fails because they get killed.  General Van Ryberg (Eliza Swenson) begrudgingly agrees to reinstate a disgraced soldier named Warren Mitchell (Matthew Wolf) and his friend – and I wish I was joking – Itchy (Griff Furst).  …No word on when Scratchy comes up for parole.  They go out, ambush a group of Z-bots, and take one back to study.  They decide they should contaminate the fuel cell and put it in the machine’s radio tower.  Well, it turns out Mitchell is a robot that Dr. Voloslov Alextzavich (Michael Tower) built, so they put it in him to take it to the tower.  War breaks out.  Mitchell makes it into the tower and it turns into a giant Z-bot.  He gets into a blue tube, yells, and all of the robots die, including himself.  The sun begins to shine, not because the alien robots are dead, but because the movie is over and there is now light and happiness in the world.

Holy shit this movie sucks!  But let’s be positive about this.  Here’s the list of the good things: the sets were sometimes decent.  They clearly made a few trips to Home Depot and dropped some serious cash on PVC and spray paint.  Alright, that’s the good things.  Let’s talk crap: EVERYTHING ELSE!  The story of the movie itself was not that bad, if you step outside of it.  It’s a pretty basic tale of surviving an alien threat.  What was bad was how the story was told.  Something tells me it wasn’t thought out that well.  It was filled with logic loopholes and things that just weren’t explained that probably should have been.  I’m not sure if it’s to blame on the shitty acting or the shitty writing, but everyone talked in a manner that is the usual dead giveaway of one or the other.  They stretch out contractions in a way that is completely unnatural in normal conversation, constantly saying things like “we are not ready” and “you are poorly written”.  Something that really pissed me off early on was the fact that people in this time seemed completely confused when it comes to other people’s gender.  In the beginning, they’re talking to Mr. Chairman, who is a lady, and calling her “Sir”.  At one point, two women are arguing and someone disrupts them by saying “Gentlemen!”  I understand the concept, in a military setting, of showing respect by calling someone “sir”, but I’ve never seen them go so far as to add Mr. and Gentlemen to such terminology.  They’re women!  It got to the point where I started wondering if the parts were written for men and people just forgot to change it when a woman was cast.  If not, then it was vaguely admirable that women were in most of the high-ranking positions, and also admirable that gay marriage is apparently legal 298 years from now, but they could at least do the ladies the favor of remembering that they are women.  Also, how come whenever someone asks to be dismissed, and is allowed to leave, the allow-er always has one more thing to add?  At one point, the people in the movie forget how to count, yelling “There’s too many of them!” when fighting against two robots.  The biggest problem with the story was the end of the movie.  What I said about the end of the movie happening because Mitchell gets into a blue tube, yells, and the aliens all die was, sadly, not a joke.  I don’t know what they were trying to convey was happening, but I was completely lost.  Best I can get from Wikipedia leads me to believe that the power cell they put in him corrupted the radio tower, but I really wasn’t given any information to lead me to that conclusion in the movie.  That’s a small problem, though.  No one REALLY cares how this movie ends anyway.

The look of this movie caught me off guard.  I had my expectations going in, but the movie completely blew them out of the water.  The first thing I thought is that it looked really good for what I was expecting.  Then I saw the robots for the first time.  Now THAT’s what I was expecting.  It may have been worse than I was expecting, actually.  Think 90’s Power Rangers TV show graphics.  They jumped around as if they were puppets on strings and had no weight.  They might have actually looked better if they were puppets on strings because then the lighting would have matched the backgrounds.  They were less than concerned.    Also, these Transmorphers barely ever showed signs of any ability to … transmorph?  In the beginning, one was hiding as a structure of some sort, then for the remainder of the movie they’re just walking around and shooting.  They occasionally shift from walking robots to a “giant gun mode”, but they usually waste it by shooting 2 people standing about 5 feet away from them, well within swatting distance.  The other effects in the movie were no better.  Most of the time, the guns just fired balls of energy, but occasionally they were in “stun mode”.  This was a slight step up from cutting cardboard into the shape of lightning and jamming it down the barrel of the gun.  The humans also used some weird little blue, exploding Frisbee’s of death that came out of nowhere, were not explained, and made no sense whatsoever.  They just reached behind them, produced some poor CGI Frisbee, and flung it like a discus at the robot.  The gun props looked fine in the movie, but when they’re operating on the alien robot and the doctor asks for “thermodymes” or something to that effect, he is handed what is clearly an off-the-rack electric drill with the battery removed, possibly spray painted grey.  There were about two fist fights in this movie, with varying degrees of quality.  The first one involves Mitchell and his group of possible recruits who he orders to attack him.  This one is fairly well done.  Later (and probably in an attempt to do SOMETHING for at least the men watching the movie), they have a group of ladies fight, but they are all awful at fake fighting.  It was the worst.  To finish with this side of the awfulness, the sound effects were also shitty.  The ammunition that everyone used in the movie seemed to clearly be laser and energy-based, but they just decided to use what sounded like bullets firing anyway.  There are plenty of laser sound effects out there for you to use, people.  In another scene, the group is in the room underground when something explodes on the surface, causing everyone in the room to shift and stumble as if they were on the deck of the Enterprise, and the camera joined in on the fun by shaking a little.  But, uh-oh, they forgot to put a sound effect that would do more than just imply everyone simultaneously ejaculated and got weak in the knees.

Let’s be generous and say that 90% of the acting in this movie is shit.  What can I say?  I’m in a good mood.  I don’t know if I could point out anyone that was more bad than the rest, but I’ll try.  Matthew Wolf and Griff Furst were actually not that bad.  Eliza Swenson was clearly trying too hard, and was also the one that stretched out contractions the most in order to make her performance as stiff and as wooden as it could get.  I couldn’t remember anyone’s name in this movie, so I have no idea who played the character that I heard as “Zandria” or something, but she was pretty awful too.  She was always trying to say things that were really intellectual, and kept trying to come off as spooky, but she was just annoying.  And her face annoyed me too.  Amy Weber was decent looking, but it seemed like her eyes were not properly sized for her face.  She always seemed to have a line under her eye which could have been make up, but it also looked like her eyes were too big.  Also, she wasn’t very good.  She did have one vaguely convincing crying scene, but I couldn’t give her proper due for that because it followed a scene where we thought she died.  The problem with that was that she was up by the tower with one other girl who tells her to go to a different wall as she covers her, but Amy’s translation of that is to stand directly in front of the two giant robots, squat as if she’s going to take a shit, and get blasted to hell by missiles.  Don’t worry, though.  Going against all sanity and logic, she survived without a scratch somehow.  She was blasted to shit by missiles, but when Mitchell arrives and gets sad about it, she steps out from behind a wall and yells “PSYCH!”, or something to that effect.

This movie would be perfect fodder for Mystery Science Theater 3000 if the show was still going, but since it’s not (and since Rifftrax will likely not know this movie exists) you must survive on my ravaging alone.  If you like to make fun of a shitty movie, Transmorphers is ready to be mocked at any given time via Netflix streaming, but it can be a little painful at times.  If you’re looking for a good movie to watch, this isn’t it.  A couple of decent settings does not make up for really bad dialogue, lackluster story, awful acting, and some of the worst CG you could find.  If you want to watch a good movie, someone stole this movie’s premise and made a much better movie called Transformers that I would recommend over this crap.  Transmorphers gets “Makes Transformers 2 look like Terminator 2” out of “Send these overgrown toaster ovens to the scrap heap.”

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