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Jun 142013
 

The Shrek films may have ended, but the franchise continues with the prequel Puss in Boots. Years before he joined up with Shrek and friends, Puss (voice of Antonio Banderas) was an outlaw in the town of San Ricardo. He hears about the legendary magic beans from a couple of guys in a tavern, with the help of some tattoos that tell the story. Couldn’t they have just used a picture book?

Puss seizes the opportunity, but the murderous outlaws Jack (voice of Billy Bob Thorton) and Jill (voice of Amy Sedaris) have the magic beans. Compared to other versions, Jack and Jill are much older and creepier than I ever would’ve expected them to be.

Puss finds Jack and Jill, but also finds some new competition. She is a master thief cat named Kitty Soft Paws (voice of Salma Hayek). She interferes with Puss’s attempt at the magic beans, so he chases her all over town to a hidden place called The Glitter Box. There, Puss confronts Kitty in a dance fight.

The dance fight is very smooth. In addition to that, the other cats there show plenty of cat related humor, like cats batting at cowbells and other instruments. It wasn’t until the fight ends when Kitty reveals her identity and actually speaks.

Later, Puss meets up with his old friend Humpty Alexander Dumpty (voice of Zach Galifianakis, who I remember best as Davis from Tru Calling). The two of them go way back with the dream of finding the magic beans and going up to the giant’s castle to get the golden goose. Puss and Humpty never found the magic beans and their fates begin to change. Puss had become a town hero and Humpty became a criminal. One night, Humpty tricked Puss into robbing a bank, which is how Puss became an outlaw and has been running ever since.

Puss never forgave Humpty, but he eventually agrees to help Humpty get the magic beans from Jack and Jill with the added assistance of Kitty Soft Paws. They find Jack and Jill on a canyon road and retrieve the magic beans in an exciting chase with Humpty’s wagon that doubles as a flying contraption. The transformation is smooth, especially with how the horse is secured.

Puss, Humpty, and Kitty succeed at planting the magic beans that creates a beanstalk up to the giant’s castle. Although the giant died years ago, the castle is home to the Great Terror, which guards the Golden Goose. That makes me wonder if the giant would have been worse if he were still around.

The group soon finds the Golden Goose and head out in a smooth exciting escape without even revealing what the Great Terror is. The mission was a success, but the danger isn’t over. Jack and Jill arrive and capture the goose. Puss finds himself all alone and when he gets back to town, he’s in for a big surprise, and ends up in prison.

There, Puss meets Andy Beanstalk (voice of Mike Mitchell) who was the original owner of the magic beans. Yes, that’s Jack from the fairytale. He tells Puss about the Great Terror and it’s coming to San Ricardo for the goose.

This was a good addition to the Shrek franchise with adventure smooth action, and of course, cat humor. Although Kitty has become Puss’s love interest, it makes me wonder what became of her after Puss joined up with Shrek.

 

Oct 182010
 
 
From Dusk Till Dawn is about Seth (George Clooney) and Richard (Quentin Tarantino, who also wrote the screenplay), two cop killing brothers who take Jake (Harvey Keitel) a widowed preacher and his two kids, Scott (Ernest Liu) and Kate (Juliette Lewis), hostage as they head down to Mexico on the run.
 
After an intense trip, they all arrive at a club called “The Titty Twister”. That’s a tender name for a bar with strippers. Only to find out that it’s infested with vampires. No wonder it’s a private bar for bikers and truck drivers only.
 
Now here’s a funny scene. Two bikers sit a table. One biker named Sex Machine (Tom Savini) snatches a beer from the other with a whip. The other guy pulls out a knife, but Sex Machine reveals a mini machinegun from his belt buckle, which causes the other guy to put his knife away. At least I think it was his belt buckle.

         

The bartender was Razor Charlie. Danny Trejo, who I met at Spooky Empire 2010, played him. He was a nice guy and pointed out that this autographed photo from his latest film Machete was his favorite among the ones he had. 

        

Salma Hayek plays Santanico Pandemonium, the top exotic dancer and primary queen vampire. As hot as she was, the way she pours the alcohol on herself for Richard to drink off of her was pretty grotesque. 

          

It then becomes a fight for surviving the night. As the vampires get slayed, there is no consistent effect. Some turn to dust, some explode like the zombies from The Evil Dead, some burn up, and others just lay dead on the ground, then burn up. 

After many slayings and casualties, the survivors regroup. Where there are truck drivers, there are shipments of all sorts of different items. The survivors get real creative using them as weaponry against the vampires. My most favorite was that motorized wooden stake Seth uses. 

This was a good vampire horror movie. I can remember when George Clooney won the award for Best Breakthrough Performance on the 1996 MTV Movie Awards for his role as Seth Gecko. Now if only the vampire part had started sooner, then I would’ve known that it really was that kind of a horror film.

Oct 302009
 

As a special treat for Halloween, I put together a list of 13, that’s right 13, of my favorite scary and seductive female vamps that horror fans love to be afraid of.

#13) Selene (Kate Beckinsale) from Underworld: She’s a kick butt death dealer vampire. Unlike many of the others listed here, Selene is on the side of good. She’s not really seductive because her main focus is to take out lycons. You’ve got to admit though, Selene is a hottie.

#12) Rachael (Jennifer Beals) from Vampire’s Kiss: Her kisses are addictive, even if it does include biting. Not only that, but they cause her victims to go totally mad. I wonder if she’s part siren.

Lauren Hutton as the Countess

#11) The Countess (Lauren Hutton) from Once Bitten: Like the famous Count Dracula, the Countess seduces her victims before biting them. However, she prefers virgin males and instead of aiming for the neck, she goes for the thigh. Doesn’t thinking about that just make you want to cringe?

#10) Queen Akasha (Aaliyah) from Queen of the Damned: After the vampire Lestat awakens her, Akasha only cares about destroying all life and ruling the world. She sounds like a pretty typical warlord, but the character was nominated for Best Villain on the 2002 MTV Movie Awards, even after Aaliyah’s death. So that has to account for something, right.

#9) Rayne (Kristanna Loken) from BloodRayne: Well, Rayne isn’t exactly a vampire. She’s a dhampir, which means a half-breed, kind of like Blade. Rayne is also on the side of good, but still needs to feed. Not to mention that she can kick butt while doing it.

Lorena from True Blood

#8) Lorena (Mariana Klaveno) from True Blood: This gorgeous vamp is strong, fast, and obsessive like a femme fatale. She will do anything, and I mean anything, for love. And she loves Bill Compton, which was why she sired him. Boy, does she love Bill Compton.

van-helsing-brides

#7) Allera (Elena Anaya), Verona (Silvia Colloca), and Marishka (Josie Maran) from Van Helsing: They all have a very distinctive demon-like presence. Yet they can also take human form and stand on the ceiling. Heck with seduction, these women want blood.

#6) Darla (Julie Benz) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Don’t let her innocence fool you. This vampire is highly fearsome and most effective. She was The Master’s favorite and the one who sired Angel. Darla has been slayed, but keeps coming back. Maybe she knows Dracula’s secret?

buffydr2

#5) Drusilla (Juliet Landau) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Other than the fact that she is a bit loony, Drusilla really stands out as a tough vampire. Not only was she the one who sired Spike, but she was one of few vampires to ever kill a slayer.

#4) Lucy Westenra (Lysette Anthony) from Dracula: Dead and Loving it: That’s right, the Mel Brooks version. After being sired by Count Dracula, Lucy becomes a sexy and seductive vampire. When she gets slayed, it becomes one of the funniest bloodbaths I ever seen.

Salma Hayek

#3) Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek) from From Dusk Till Dawn: She was a seductive dancer at a private bar meant for bikers and truck drivers only, only to find out that she is the primary queen vampire of the place. In this movie, the female vampires are much more gruesome than the males.

#2) Lillith (Angie Everhart) from Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood: This shape shifting whorehouse hottie has a huge tongue that literally goes down a victim’s throat, brings his heart out of his chest, and eats it. And I thought Sil from Species had a monster tongue. Oddly, Lillith doesn’t like vegetarian hearts. They probably taste like veggie burgers.

Fright NIght 2

#1) Regine Dandridge (Julie Carmen) from Fright Night Part 2: I haven’t seen this movie in years. What I remember most is when this vampire makes out with a guy, then reveals the largest set of fangs I ever seen. It used to scare the heck out of me. Obviously she doesn’t scare me now, but I can still remember that horrifying image in the back of my mind from back in the day. That’s why I rank Regine as number one.