Goatsucker (2009) [Fatally-Yours.com X-Clusive]

This is a low budget film about El Chupacabra [a.k.a. Goatsucker] that I wrote for a great website called Fatally-Yours.com. Check it out and enjoy!

[Review Here]


The Final Destination (2009)

David R. Ellis

Bobby Campo - Nick O'Bannon
Shantel VanSanten - Lori Milligan
Haley Webb - Janet Cunningham
Mykelti Williamson - George Lanter
Nick Zano - Hunt Wynorski
Andrew Fiscella - Andy "The Mechanic" Kewzer
Krista Allen - Samantha "The MILF" Lane
Justin Welborn - Carter "The Redneck" Daniels

Genre - Horror/Slasher/Supernatural

Running Time - 82 Minutes

Score - 2 Howls Outta 4

In 2000, one of the freshest horror films was released in the form of FINAL DESTINATION. With a villain who can't be seen and is unstoppable, interesting characters/stereotypes, and inventive gory deaths that fans gushed over, FINAL DESTINATION was a huge hit and would undoubtedly become one of the bigger horror franchises in the modern era. Of course, we got a sequel in 2003 and another in 2006, taking the death sequences to a whole new level while causing the story to suffer a bit. Still, both films did enough to be entertaining and worth a look.

In 2009, the third sequel, THE FINAL DESTINATION, was released to theaters in 3-D [which has become the "it" thing again]. Not many people thought it would do well against HALLOWEEN 2, which was released during the same weekend, due to Zombie and HALLOWEEN's big profiles. Surprisingly, THE FINAL DESTINATION [due to its 3-D gimmick] destroyed HALLOWEEN 2 in the box office, eventually becoming one of the bigger box office successes of 2009.

While HALLOWEEN 2 was a massive disappointment on all levels, does that mean that THE FINAL DESTINATION was the better horror flick that weekend? Yeah, it was. Is THE FINAL DESTINATION a great film? No, it isn't.

Nick (Bobby Campo) and his friends (Shantel VanSanten, Nick Zano, and Haley Webb) are at the local stock car race having a great time. Even though the bleachers are breaking, the foundation is crumbling, and a few nuts and bolts are coming loose, the four of them don't think too much about it. That is until a screwdriver finds it way onto the track, causing a huge car crash that kills everyone. But this crash hasn't happened yet, as it was just played in Nick's head. Warning everyone to leave before they die, Nick, his friends, and a few other spectators leave the scene before the actually carnage occurs.

The survivors feel blessed and lucky to have cheated death. But like in the other installments of this franchise, Death doesn't play and decides to kill off these cheaters one-by-one in the order of when they were supposed to die. Can Nick stop Death's design? I don't think wearing 3-D glasses will help the guy with this one.

I watched THE FINAL DESTINATION back in early September during its second week of release in Real-D but never reviewed it. Other than the fact that I had less time for reviewing back then, the bad taste that HALLOWEEN 2 had left behind left me a bit burnt out. However, a lot of the readers of this blog have requested that I should review this one ever since its release. Why? Who in the hell knows? It's not like THE FINAL DESTINATION is even deserving of the requests its gotten. To be honest, without the 3-D gimmick, this film would be a waste of time.

The story was never this franchise's strong suit and I can accept that. However, THE FINAL DESTINATION makes me wonder if this film even had an actual screenplay. Sure, we still have the protagonist who has visions of people dying to the point where he feels he has to stop Death's design from taking its course. And we still have the insane death sequences. But other than that? Nada.

I wouldn't have minded some decent characterization for the characters. Maybe it would have helped me care more about whether they lived or died. It worked in the first one, didn't it? I mean seriously, these people KNEW they were gonna die. Yet, they continued to live their lives recklessly, not giving a shit. When that's the case, why should I give a shit? Yeah, I know people don't watch these films for great, interesting characters. But there could have been an attempt here and there wasn't. For a 3-D movie, the characters were very one-dimensional. It didn't help when some of them were named "The Redneck", "The MILF", and "The Mechanic".

The dialogue was alright, I guess. I did laugh a few times. Especially the dialogue for the Hunt character, who was probably my favorite in the entire film. While a total douche stereotype, at least he was an entertaining douche stereotype. And the characters did poke fun at themselves at times, which was okay by me. I just wish the story was stronger. It felt like a skit more than an actual film.

But who needs a story when you got insane death sequences, right? Well I think THE FINAL DESTINATION had the weakest deaths in the entire franchise. Still, they're a hoot to watch. The opening race car death sequence is the weakest opening of the bunch, but it still had some great moments. I loved the escalator death and the death at the garage that made me afraid of chain-linked fences. The pool drain death was silly, but funny. I did think the ending was really lame, which shows the producers of this franchise have finally run out of ideas. Still, it's a very gory flick and that's probably the only reason I would watch this film more than once.

The direction by FINAL DESTINATION 2's director, David R. Ellis, was good. In fact, I thought it was visually better than FINAL DESTINATION 2. I loved that it was a fast paced film [82 minutes is too short for a film like this but what can you do?] and displayed a lot of energy. The opening credits montage with the deaths from the previous installments was really cool and a nice touch. The editing was great and I loved how certain shots displayed the mean sense of humor this franchise is known for. Still, for a 3-D film, it lacked...I dunno...3-D moments? Yeah, there were pretty obvious moments of three-dimensional fun. But I was expecting a lot more. Maybe I was spoiled by the awesomeness of MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D, which I felt was a lot more fun to watch. Still, Ellis brought some style to his feature and didn't shy away from the blood and guts. He even gave us a boob shot [THANK YOU]. He directed a fun film. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The acting was a mixed bag. Bobby Campo was off and on as Nick. I didn't hate the guy but I didn't particularly care either. He was the weakest of the main protagonists in this franchise. It didn't help that his dialogue and character weren't that great. Shantel VanSanten was a bit better as the girlfriend, Lori. Nick Zano won me over as Hunt, the sex-crazed prick of the group. He had the best lines, best scenes, and probably the funniest death in the entire film. The dude lucked out here. Mykelti Williamson, of FORREST GUMP fame, gave a credible performance as George the security guard. For a shallow character, Williamson gave George more depth than he probably deserved. I liked him here. Haley Webb just annoyed me as Janet. She didn't exit quickly enough for me. And Krista Allen was definitely hot as The MILF, Samantha. I wish she were in the film more. I can never get tired of looking at her.


- Hunt goes to race car events hoping to see a car crash. If Lindsay Lohan or Stevie Wonder aren't behind the wheel, chances are less than likely.

- The MILF put tampons in her kids' ears. Um yeah. Carrie White knew more about plugging it up than this woman does.

- A couple got split in two. I know they're they're each other's better half, but that's just taking it a cut above the limit.

- The redneck was pulled by the ball and chain of his tow truck, the friction causing him to catch on fire. What a flamin' drag. I hate when that happens!

- The MILF got impaled in the eye by a rock. If she was still having sex in space, living in Salem, running in slow motion on a beach, or still dating George Clooney, this would have never happened.

- The homeless guy outside the dry cleaners was offended by the idea of having a penny in his change collection. I don't blame him. He'd probably be in a nice house if his past decisions made more "cents".

God I love puns.

- Hunt, swimming for his lucky coin, got pulled into the pool's drain and came out in pieces when the pipes exploded due to pressure. Damn, that death must have sucked. Oh well... he was a Two-Face anyway.

- The cowboy got crushed by a hot tube that sat above his hospital room. Death must be a Native American.

- George got run over by a hospital van. Oh well. I'm sure there's shrimp in heaven. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich...

- People got killed watching a movie. I had no idea there was a film deadlier than GIGLI!

is nothing without its 3-D gimmick and it knows it. It's the worst installment in the franchise, but still maintains an entertaining and fun quality that makes it watchable. It sucks that the story was barebones and the characters were bland, but at least the deaths are pretty gruesome [even if the CGI was hit and miss], which is why people see these films anyway. Still, I hope this is the last installment but I'm not holding my breath. Death is a vengeful bitch, so I'm sure a 5th one is on its way sometime soon.


The Marine 2 (2009)

Roel Reine

Ted DiBiase Jr. - Joe Linwood
Michael Rooker - Church
Lara Cox - Robin Linwood
Robert Coleby - Conner
Temuera Morrison - Damo

Genre - Action

Running Time - 95 Minutes

Score - 2 Howls Outta 4

A marine on temporary leave, Joe Linwood (Ted DiBiase Jr.) wants to return home to be with his wife, Robin (Lara Cox). Unfortunately, Robin's boss (Robert Coleby) is opening some environmental friendly resort in Southeast Asia and she has to go to make sure his dumbass doesn't ruin his image. This means Joe has to go with Robin to this resort. Beautiful beaches, a romantic setting, and free food - how terrible!

Anyway, some terrorists decide to crash the party and take everyone hostage, wanting a tribute that would pay for the crimes against their people. Joe, the only one who wasn't captured, gets help from a former Army soldier (Michael Rooker) to save his wife and the rest of the hostages. Well it's better than jobbing to Triple H again!


I remember almost hearing about this sequel and just laughing at how absurd it sounded. Why anyone would want to make a sequel to one of the worst films of 2006, THE MARINE starring John Cena, was beyond me. But then again, THE MARINE is still the highest grossing WWE Studios film, so obviously Vince McMahon wanted to capitalize on that. What made things even stranger was that Cena was no longer involved, instead being replaced by Ted DiBiase Jr., the son of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase. I have nothing at all against Ted Jr. I actually like the guy, as he brings his work boots everytime he wrestles and is poised to be one of the bigger stars in the future of the WWE. But the guy is a heel [or bad guy] at the moment and making him the hero of an action film just seemed like weird marketing. Still, I took a chance on this film - and you know what? It wasn't that bad. I'm not saying THE MARINE 2 is a great film. It's not even a good film. But it's decent and it's a hell of a lot better than that Cena debacle in the original.

The story is pretty much your generic action film. It takes elements from DIE HARD, RAMBO, and any other 80s action film that was really popular at the time. Hell, it even rips off THE MARINE, as the hero has to [once again] save his wife from evil-doers. What does the WWE have with men saving their wives from danger? THE MARINE? 12 ROUNDS? THE MARINE 2? Three strikes you're out! Enough is enough with this sub-plot! But besides that, the story is a lot more focused and more grounded than in the first installment. The characters are a bit better developed, the villains actually have a reason for what they're doing, and the dialogue isn't totally repulsive. So kudos to WWE Studios for actually hiring writers who actually tried to make a film people would somewhat enjoy. Now if they would do that with their current wrestling product, especially on RAW, I would be a happy man!

And supposedly, this film is based on true events. What events those would be, I have no idea. If someone knows, let me know.

Roel Reine actually did a very nice job on THE MARINE 2. There was some style here [beautiful angles and nice camera movements and transitions] and the editing was really well done. I even thought the pacing wasn't too shabby. I wish the action scenes were more exciting to watch, but I wasn't bored. There was one action sequence where the camera rotated around the entire choregraphy of the fight scene, which I thought was very cool. And I must say that the cinematography for this film was really striking and beautiful. For a low budget direct-to-DVD film, it looked anything but. The visuals really impressed me.

Well for an action film, it's not overly violent. Still, there is blood, explosions, shootings, stabbings, killing - standard action movie stuff. The language was pretty tame. I think the worst I heard were "asshole" and "shit", both said by DiBiase. And there's no sex at all besides a make out scene on the beach. For an R rated film, it almost felt PG. With the current WWE product, not surprising.

While not Oscar-worthy in the slightest, I've seen worse. Ted DiBiase Jr. does okay in his first movie role. He's really wooden at times, but begins to loosen up towards the end of the film. He doesn't have many lines, honestly, but he does okay with them. The action scenes were really nice though, as he did his own stunts and showcased his athleticism. DiBiase doesn't have the presence or the charisma of John Cena but I didn't dislike him in the slightest. Michael Rooker, of HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, CLIFFHANGER, and SLITHER fame, is pretty much the best actor in the film. He's not in it quite a whole lot but his presence is definitely felt whenever he pops up. He should be in a better film to be honest, as he's a great underrated actor. But he doesn't half-ass it here and makes his character interesting just by being the Rook-Man. Lara Cox is hot as Robin. She's a decent actress to boot as well. And Tamuera Morrison as Damo was your generic villain-of-the-week actor/character. He did what he had to do and it worked for the most part.

Can't honestly remember what the music sounded like. I guess it was your typical action score. Nothing to write home about.

exceeded my expectations, which were none. But it's a step up from recent WWE films and it shows that McMahon is serious about his new venture. THE MARINE 2 makes for a decent rental if you have 90 minutes to fill, if you're a fan of action or Ted DiBiase Jr.

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