Friday, August 22, 2008

They sure have some great costumes in the Walled City of The Killer Virus

So, last night's offering was Neil Marshall's futuristic-fantasy Doomsday.

Premise: a killer virus has wiped out a large chunk of Scotland. Sound familiar?

So, the eeeevil government decides to quarantine the upper half of Britain by building a huge maximum-security walled perimeter around it. Sound familar?

Well, several years later the virus pops up again in London. Once again, the eeeevil government cordons off a big chunk of the city, but they need a cure because of something to do with voters and money in the city coffers and not necessarily because, well, people are dying. You know, the usual thing the government worries about. Anyway, it is Revealed that there are survivors in the plague zone, you know, the one they walled off years ago.

So they send in a crack team of warriors who have a mission - find creepy doctor guy in Scotland, get cure from him, or don't come back. Sound familiar?

Or perhaps does THIS sound familiar, too?

Anyway, the leader of the team has Issues - she was saved from the Quarantine Zone as a child by her mother. Now, despite her baggage, she's going back in. Not to study them. Not to bring them back. But to wipe them ou - oh wait, wrong movie.

But the hott female team leader totally has a removable eye. Sound familiar?

You bet it does.

So in they go. Where they encounter the Glasgow natives, and boy are they pissed. They are also cannibals.

The head guy is creepy...

but he is NO comparison to the Duke of New York, A-Number-One, who would eat this Scottish punk for breakfast.

Then there are all these car chases with souped up vehicles. Sound familiar?

I thought so.

I swear to God I was rubbing my hands in anticipation waiting for the head bad guy to say "Just walk away."

Oh, and the bad guy has a Gimp. Sound familiar?

I lost count of how many movie plots and moments they stole wholesale and shoehorned into this flick, and made absolutely no pretense that they weren't doing so. It was delightful. I was giggling with glee by the end of it.

I did learn one very important lesson from this movie. Apparently, when you are walled up for years and left to die, but you survive - the FIRST place you loot is the local medieval costume rental store.

I mean, I would LOVE to know where Malcolm McDowell found his velvet doublet with the studded leather sleeves in the rubble and ruin of post-apocalyptic Glasgow, because obviously I need to be doing my shopping in some decimated plague-ridden Hot Zones.

And for the kids, it's time to raid the fetish shops and tattoo parlours and swipe every bottle of Manic Panic and AquaNet possible.

And in between all that starving and war with other tribes and torturing intruders for funsies, you have loads of time to work on your awesome Metal Chainwork Choker and Elaborate Breastplate-Like Bra, and major face tattooing.

Just because your whole society has been reduced to cannibalism and clan war is NO reason not to look totally fabulous at all times.

Friday, August 15, 2008

French Couture Graduate Seminar: How to GET IT RIGHT

I've said it before and I have no problem saying it again - when it comes to horror movies, the French ROCK.

Witness, as evidence, the film I watched earlier this week - Christophe Gans's Le Pacte Des Loups.

I'm not going to tell you what it's about, except that it's set in France in the 18th century and it takes as its premise the legend of the Beast of GĂ©vaudan. You need to either see it or read the synopsis if you really want to deprive yourself of a visual treat. Aside from the fact that it's well acted, beautifully filmed, with impeccable production values and a plot that clicks along at a brisk enough pace to make you forget this movie is two-and-a-half-hours long.....the costumes are PHENOMENAL.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I call GETTING IT RIGHT. Look at the freaking COATS.

There's no Ren-Faire panne' velvet knockoffs here, kids. No bargain-basement Hot Topic corsets or vinyl raincoats.

Best of all, even though this is sort of a werewolf movie (very much "sort of"), there is no Kate Beckinsale in a bad outfit, with a bad accent, looking like she walked in from a different movie.

Oh wait, I'm thinking of Van Helsing. Sorry.

Screw it, let's have some more coats.

Notice how the two protagonists, Fronzac and Mani, never wear red, but the potentially evil aristocrats do?

I thought you'd like that. That's some good designing there. Props to costumiere Dominique Borg. I want to be YOU when I grow up, Dominique.

Now, there were a couple minor flaws in this movie. First of all, they cast the Chairman from Iron Chef America:

...and sadly, they gave him lines.

They really should have just let him kick ass and stay mute. Because he DOES kick ass and take names in the fight scenes. And he IS rather easy on the eyes.

He needs to leave the talking (and, wisely, the Liberace outfits) to this guy.

I am now imagining Chairman Kaga in the Mani role, flinging a few yellow peppers at his opponent and crushing him with the sheer weight of his rhinestone-and-ruffle-encrusted tuxedo. Good times.

Anyway, back to the eye candy.

I am going to go out on a limb here and risk my possible banishment from the Tenebrous Empire by saying that now that Helmut Berger has Reached A Certain Age, I would not object to seeing Vincent Cassel take his place in the pantsless department.
I mean, even in a red velvet coat and a sweeping black cloak, with a latex hand borrowed from the closing scenes of Suspiria, he is totally hot. In a creepy Marquis de Sade kinda way, but still.

I'd let him challenge me to a fencing match (IYKWIM) any day.

Speaking of pantsless, there is a high volume of attractive nekkid people in this film. Kudos for making the costumes totally droolworthy and casting actors who look pretty damn good with them OFF.

Monica Bellucci. Naked. In a super awesome choker necklace. Thumbs up.

I will also admit that the ol' Chairman doesn't look half bad in a loincloth.

And Samuel le Bihan brings to mind a younger Frenchier Rutger Hauer. Yum.

You can all wipe my drool off your screen now.