intro - best of 2004 - worst of 2004 - best dvds of 2004
WORST MOVIES OF 2004
Chris Hartley (Head Honcho)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
We all know most movies based on video games suck, which makes the fact the first Resident Evil movie was okay entertainment even more surprising. It's just too bad writer Paul W.S. Anderson (who did the first as well as making the Mortal Kombat movie) decided to write a sequel that was so utterly ridiculous, dumb, and outright atrocious that it makes the first movie look like an Oscar winner. Take everything that's bad about Hollywood action movies these days (the overblown action sequences, the poor scripting, and the excessive overspending on budgets) and throw in some zombies and you get the idea.
Speaking of overblown we have the latest film from writer-director Stephen Sommers. Now, Sommers didn't do too bad a job with his Mummy remake and he made an enjoyable monster flick with Deep Rising, but here he's crafted what can only be termed as a roller-coaster ride gone horribly wrong. It's not the fact that he's pretty much failed to bring excitement to a movie containing three of the greatest horror film monsters in history, but the fact that he's stuffed the film so full of all these stylized gadgets and CGI effects that we barely get enough time to breathe and realize just how garbage the plotting really is.
Boa Vs. Python
I guess you could say you shouldn't expect much with a title like that, but the problem is we don't get much either because the video box art and the movies moniker promise a big knock 'em down fight between the two giant reptiles (from the Python and Boa movies, respectively) only to get about five minutes in the finale of them twisting about. Before that we have to deal with bad acting, bad plotting, and a snake outfitted with computer headgear! Another one to blame on the success of Freddy Vs. Jason.
Sexy Adventures Of Van Helsing
While it is better than the source material it's spoofing I myself am growing tired of Seduction Cinema's abundant amount of low-brow, lower-budget parodies. Not that this one is all bad as there are a few amusing moments, but most of the time films poking fun at other movies should at least have some similarities to the source material. This doesn't, at all. All we get is juvenile humour and lots of girl-on-girl tongue 'rasslin'.
Another Japanese horror film gets remade, only this time it doesn't work. I admit to enjoying 2003's The Ring (a remake of Ringu), but unfortunately the fact it was successful has led to a remake like this. Containing all the standards of the sub-genre (quick flashes, annoying noises, and a spooky kid) the main reason this doesn't work is because the main character could be taken out of the movie as it plays out as a bunch of "ooo, we're trying to scare you... BOO!" set pieces rather than a cohesive film.
Aaron "Red" Mason (Staff Writer)
This steaming pile was so bad, so unlike what it promised, so inane, clichéd, poorly acted, and downright stupid it's hard to know where to start. Shyamalan once again proves me right by finally showing the world that he's a one hit wonder (and even it kinda stunk) who recycles the same garbage over and over again in these "films" he's so applauded for. I don't want to get off on a rant here, but if you're going to market a movie as a horror movie, with monsters attacking a secluded village, the last things ticket buyers want is some ass-backwards Walden with a bunch of perverse old geezers wanting to live back in time. Sure, I just ruined the "big twist ending" but you weren't going to see it anyway, nobody else did, why should you? As I type this, the commercial is running for this genius' mega work being released on DVD. Think its gonna fair any better on that medium than on the silver screen? Not a goddamn chance. You finally put your foot in it golden boy, I'm just glad I'm alive to see it.
Tremors 4: The Legend Begins
Since the second film one man has been synonymous with the Tremors franchise, and that's Michael Gross' Bert Gummer character, a tough and not-all-that-bright hero who likes nothing more than stomping worms and running his mouth. In fact, since the first movie, the only thing to enjoy in this series is Gross' character acting and the latest troubles Gummer has gotten himself into. So what did they do in Tremors 4: The Legend Begins? They decided to turn the character on his head and make him a pansy who'd rather run for the hills than stand and fight. Clever? Maybe. Fun? Not a chance. If your entire series of films only has one thing going for it, what kind of mentality does it take to completely turn it around and ruin it? It does have to be commended on setting the story in the Old West though, something I'd like to see more horror movies do. This is an area ripe with excellent character and story opportunities that have been passed up by our beloved genre for far too long. Let's just hope any further excursions into the time of the cowpoke ends up better than this.
I have a history of missing the point of this sort of thing, mostly the reason people acclaim these movies when they're really not all that good. Silence Of The Lambs and it's ilk I can see why people enjoy them, and even why they might be inclined to talk them up (though certainly not to the fanatical reaches that movie achieves), but Saw wasn't even a good movie. It's story made little sense, it's acting wasn't above average, it wasn't scary and it wasn't even gory (despite what the advertisements claimed) but still people act like it's the new Halloween. Honestly, Saw is so underwhelming and unimpressive it's hard to even lambaste it properly, so I'll just say the best part of the film was the trailers for Devil's Rejects and Haute Tension I saw before it started.
Alien Vs. Predator
The people that complained about Freddy Vs. Jason not living up to their hopes must have been truly and utterly destroyed by how poor Alien Vs. Predator was. How hard is it to make this movie, to even make it passable? I mean, there are volumes of stories written about this idea, comic books, novels, video games, damn near any sort of media you can think of - yet the story of the film still managed suck with previously unrecorded gusto. I'm a big fan of both of these franchises, and initially seeing them together on the big screen really was a treat, but it slowly dawns on you that Alien Vs. Predator wasn't really a gift from the filmmakers, it was more a well filmed, prettily packaged raping of two of the most iconic movie monsters ever created. Does that usurp the other generally poor films that deserve to be on this list? You betcha.
The Eye (Western Release)
Never having been a big fan of Asian horror cinema The Eye wasn't as much of a letdown to me as it was a reassurance that I'm not entirely wrong, and that this current horror fad is indeed crap. Labeled as being truly scary and an equal to The Exorcist, you just know ahead of time that it's going to be the same clichéd, seudo-goth tripe that Asian cinema goers apparently love. I must be the only one that noticed that damn near every one of these films is exactly the same, scary little kid haunts moderately attractive Japanese woman. And people call the slasher film redundant and uninspired...
Derek Carlson (Staff Writer)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Well I guess it's oddly fitting that if my top two favorite horror films of the year were zombie movies that my least favorite be a zombie flick. I will not say anything more about this other than the fact I seriously (no seriously, I'm dead serious) think this could qualify as the worst movie I have ever seen. Yes, worse than Joe Dirt.
Serial Killing 101
If you've read my review you know how much I loath this hunk of... urgghhhhh.
Anacondas: Hunt For The Blood Orchid
I don't know why I get myself into these situations. What kind of situations you ask? The kind of situations where only because you're bored out of your skull will you watch the
obviously dreadful sequel to an uber-lame movie. Don't follow my example. If you're bored you can think of better ways of killing time - like plucking your eyes out with rusty nail-clippers.
Ginger Snaps III: The Beginning
The original Ginger Snaps is probably my favorite werewolf flick of all time and while the sequel, 2004's Ginger Snaps: Unleashed, was a good follow-up (but not good
enough to warrant being a favorite of mine this year), I felt the third installment was nowhere in same league as it's predecessors. Not so much a "worst movie of 2004" but probably the biggest disappoinment as this lacks pretty much all the originality and dark humour of the first two Ginger Snaps films and to be quite honest bored the heck out of me.
Hyped on the internet for months before its release as a "return to the gritty, gory horror films of the 70's" (sound familiar?), Saw was nothing more than this year's Cabin Fever. Atrocious acting(from Cary Elwes no less! - bah!), tired music video editing, and a relatively bloodless time are all crimes commited by Saw - a film so horribly bad that half the audience was laughing during it's tedious and overlong 100 minute running time.