Directed by Keith Allan
No. No. No. Not the Darren Lynn Bousman 11-11-11. This is The Asylum’s 11/11/11. You see, there are slashes instead of dashes. I watched it on Amazon Instant Video where the only reader review was from a very pissed off person that thought they were renting the Bousman version. Score another mockbuster victory for The Asylum.
The numbers 666 and 13 are always being attributed to Satan in popular media. This movie sets the record straight. 11 is truly the devil’s number. That number is all anyone ever talks about in this film. The only way you could ever hear more numerology discussions about the number 11 would be to get Louis Farrakhan to do a “Sesame Street” segment on it with The Count.
The young boy at the center of the film is set to turn 11 on 11/11/11, at which time he will transform into the Antichrist. Even before he transforms into the Antichrist, even before he tries to murder his pregnant mom, even before he’s supposed to be turning evil, he’s already displaying abnormal behavior. If anything this movie makes a strong case against homeschooling your children because even if they don’t turn out to be the son of Satan, there’s a good chance they’re going to grow up to become socially crippled weirdos.
Quite frankly, this boy is probably better off in Satan’s hands because his dad is an idiot of biblical proportions. We’re supposed to believe this man is some sort of learned academic professor, a fact I dispute based on this moron’s inability to take even the least subtle of hints. You just moved into a new neighborhood and every single person you meet behaves strangely around your son whose impending birthday they’re already aware of even when they’ve just met your family. People you barely know are constantly making cryptic comments to you regarding your son and the number eleven; many of these people will end up dead soon after. The six giant slashes on the living room wall won’t go away no matter how much you paint over them. Your son is acting even weirder than usual and has begun making accurate premonitions of things to come. The new babysitter who got the job after kicking and stomping the other girl up for the job to death right outside your house is constantly reading your kid a birthday book called “Being 11” that has a two-page entry in it that reads “The devil will be reborn at age 11 on 11/11/11”, which is really not the sort of information one typically expects to come across in children’s literature. Still, this man remains indignant to the situation. Mom at least has the excuse of being bedridden most of the movie dealing with a difficult pregnancy while this allegedly intelligent professor gets slapped between the eyes with an endless barrage of strangeness regarding his son and how others react around him that he responds to with more of a sense of annoyance than concern that maybe there really is something sinister at work.
Since I’m on the subject of perplexing behavior, these Satanists… Even though dad can’t take a hint, anyone that even tries giving him a hint, that person quickly ends up dead. Their agenda is to ensure this kid’s transformation goes off without any interference and will kill to ensure as much. Yet, at the end when the dad is ready to take a machete to his own son, the devil worshipers in the same room are too busy on their knees devil worshiping to try and prevent this man from ruining everything they’ve worked for.
It’s not just Satanists that behave in ways detrimental to their cause. Naturally, there’s an old lady who knows what’s up and instead of actually doing anything about it right away chooses instead to just be another stranger behaving strangely around this boy. Phoning up the dad in the middle of the night and telling him his son must be killed for the sake of mankind is probably not the best way to win him over. She’ll wait until the last second to actually try and do anything, and what she does only makes her come across even crazier than the Satanic cabal she’s trying to stop.
11/11/11 is a movie almost completely devoid of any characters that behave in a rational manner. This actually makes the movie work as a dark comedy more than as a horror movie. There is not a single moment I would describe as scary, but there are several instances where it is absurdly amusing. If you enjoy schlocky horror movies like Amityville 1992: It’s About Time, then you’ll have some fun with this one, assuming the slow pace doesn’t wear you down like it did me. The film gets a second wind of silliness at the end, but getting through the pokey midsection definitely requires some patience.
Just as I would have been more inclined to give The Asylum’s Zombie Apocalypse a more favorable rating had I not been so turned off by the overuse of digital squibs, I probably could give this one a more favorable rating if it had just picked up the pace.
Now that I think about it, back in 1996 The Asylum counter-programmed The Omen remake with its own Omen-inspired cash-in 666: The Child. 11/11/11 is practically a remake of that mockbuster. Even the DVD art is almost identical. My God! The Asylum has begun mockbustering its own mockbusters! These truly are the end times!
2 out of 5
The Cured Review – Ellen Page Fights for Her Life
Written and directed by David Freyne
Taking a cue from AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the new Irish horror film The Cured begins where most zombie stories end. Drawing more comparisons, the themes of mistrust and social upheaval are front and center here as well. We’re the real villains, and the infectious disease turning humans into monsters is only there to hold up a mirror to show the worst sides of ourselves. The Cured uses the zombie mythos as Romero intended as a commentary on culture, with a little cannibalism thrown in for good measure.
Against the backdrop of a military takeover attempting to reintroduce the recently cured back into society, two people try to return to some kind of normalcy in a war-torn Ireland that’s been turned upside down by the zombie menace. Recently widowed, Abbey (Page) allows her now virus-free brother-in-law Senan (Keeley) to live with her and her son, even though most survivors are forced to live in an army encampment. Under constant surveillance, Senan’s old friend Conor (Vaughan-Lawlor) radicalizes the mistreated survivors of the virus into open rebellion.
The treatment of the survivors isn’t entirely unfair considering that they still have a connection and are not detected by a small percentage of the infected that haven’t responded to the cure. As both sides size each other up, Abbey and Senan are caught in the middle as they try to restore their humanity before the powder keg around them erupts.
Given its far out premise, the story stays firmly grounded in reality, focusing on the growing resistance and its political implications, drawing parallels to the protest movements such as the “Black Block” that have dominated some recent news cycles. When the virus divided the population, it was easy to know what side you were on; now, the cure has created a new class structure where the lower class is maligned until they cross the line and overthrow the uninfected. Clearly still affected and haunted by the heinous acts they committed when they were infected, the cannibalistic rage they still carry reflects the rage felt by the mistreated masses hellbent on overthrowing the powers-that-be.
Whether for budget reasons or simply a style choice, the eating frenzies that occurred before the cure are never fully shown so any gore and graphic images that could’ve been showcases for effects are left to the imagination. Maybe they weren’t shown because these acts were so unspeakable that they are too horrific to see and too painful to fully be remembered by the survivors. The top-notch sound design ratchets up instead and roars to life to the point where just hearing the carnage is enough to make you turn away.
Page’s performance is the emotional core of the film as she goes from understanding to fear to dealing with the ultimate betrayal. It’s important for a slow-developing story like this to have an actress with some star power, and director David Freyne and his team were fortunate to have a high caliber actress ready to deliver in some of the film’s quieter, more intense moments. Freyne directs these smaller character moments with care and also delivers once things open up to show the inevitable anarchy brimming under the surface.
The Cured may feel too closed off at times to allow its bigger ideas to fully breathe, but it never pretends to encompass a more epic scope that would be more in the vein of something like World War Z. Without ever addressing it directly, Freyne, as an Irishman, seems well aware of the history of the country; and he and cinematographer Piers McGrail inject their film with a pathos that makes Dublin come to life inside the world of the undead.
The Cured is a gritty take on the genre that fits nicely into the new type of storytelling that these stories need to embrace in a post-Romero world.
Bad Apples Review – Rotten Fruit, Indeed
Starring Brea Grant, Graham Skipper, Alycia Lourim
Directed by Brian Coyne
Like a seriously bad rash, some films stick with you regardless of whichever topical ointment you slather in generous fashion over your regions – ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce today’s orbital irritant: Bad Apples.
Directed (rather misdirected) by Brian Coyne, this lamentably sterile piece of celluloid follows a couple of murderous sisters, donning horrific (and not in a good sense) masks, and generally putting the sharp edges to random folk on Halloween night…case closed. Only problem here is this: the film has no pulse, no interesting characters to speak of, and basically nothing to redeem or recapture the time that you’ll have spent watching this complete dud. A husband and wife duo has a spotlight on them as well, but their tempestuous relationship makes rooting for them about as pleasing as sitting through 3 hours of Olympic curling…absolutely brutal. Also, you’re reading the babblings of a guy who loves to put the boots to any film that has been deemed “unwatchable”, but this complete wreck of a production is entirely that – something so remedial and uninspired that to type an endless array of rightful vitriol would be an utter waste of time.
So I’ll go on a bit longer with my public display of vehemence, as the casting seems WAY out of whack, and the production? Whoa…don’t even get me started on this – okay, I’ll go on a bit. With differing levels of sound editing, you’ll get the feeling at times like you could pick up a needle drop inside of a concert hall, and other frames of dialogue are so muddled they’re incomprehensible (not like you’ll feel the need to know what’s going on). Wonky camera angles and following shots are so horrendously captured, you’ll be wishing to watch your Mom and Dad’s old home movies just to gain a sense of stability. I normally pride myself on not begging this particular audience to take what I say to heart, or to shy away from something that could potentially ruin their eyesight, but believe me when I plead with you: do not waste your valuable time on this shipwreck – even if your time isn’t all that valuable: don’t waste it. Find something else to do and take a big ol’ pass on this wannabe slasher.
I don’t mean to pick on the low-hanging fruit, but these Apples should be batted away with a Louisville Slugger.
Edge of Isolation Review – A Movie with a Simple Message: Don’t Trust Anyone
Starring Michael Marcel, Marem Hassler, Alexandra Peters
Directed by Jeff Houkal
Sometimes, relying on the kindness of strangers is the thing that’ll do your gullible asses in – kindness? Strangers? Come on – think about it! Even further proof of said warning comes in the form of director Jeff Houkal’s brutally blatant film, Edge Of Isolation – won’t you come inside and grab a seat? You see! You fell right into another trap – jeezus, people…don’t trust just anyone, will ya?
Set up in a simplistic format, we’ve got a traveling couple (Lance and Kendra) whose Jeep, conveniently enough decides to shit the bed along a desolate stretch of roadway, leaving them at the mercy of the Polifer family, a slightly odd bunch of backwoods residents. This particular clan isn’t exactly wrapped too tightly, and they’re not afraid to let their freak flags fly, that’s for sure. You see, the family has been deeply-rooted in these here woods, and their “hospitality” has kept them fed for quite some time, and with a fresh supply of unsuspecting commuters stopping in at varying spells, their stomachs never truly seem to growl out of sustained hunger…oh, that kindness will bite you in the ass every single waking moment.
As I mentioned earlier, the film is constructed fairly simple, yet effective in its barbarism, and those who dig survivalist-horror will be wringing their mitts in anticipation for this one. While some editing does look a bit hokey, the practical effects more than make up for an at-times bit of strewn-about plot navigation, but who’s keeping score? Certainly not me, that’s for sure. I absolutely revel in low-budgeted films that don’t necessarily have the looks and feels of such, and Edge Of Isolation is one of those presentations that is certainly worth its weight in blood and guts – do yourself a solid and give this one a look when it becomes available to the masses, and for f**k’s sake, don’t take up anyone’s offer to chill at their place when your ride breaks down – get AAA and save your life (the previous statement was in no way affiliated or endorsed by the Triple A Automotive group – just sayin’).
Edge Of Isolation doesn’t need a full-blown allocation to keep future stranded motorists from losing their heads – all they have to do is push “play.”
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