In the small town of Cranberry Lake, a wannabe witch and her succubus assistant attempt to summon a demon, when this goes badly, an army of zombie evil babies is unleashed on the town for which the only hope if a group of teenagers who have seen the evil and want to survive. Writer/director Jeremiah Morehouse has some good ideas in the script that he tries his best to put on screen but the script may have been a bit too ambitious for its super micro budget. This budget is estimated at $10,000 and this unfortunately shows a lot in the film. The story is ambitious and wants to achieve a lot which is lost a bit due to the effects and other issues in the film that are mostly blamed on the budget and a bit on a lack of experience. However, the film’s ambition and love for its genre shows and this helps it greatly.
If this sequel had any balls, they’d take the reins of Johnny Blaze and hand the character over to someone talented like Idris Elba. At least then there’d be an interesting angle to this wretched sequel to a painfully mediocre movie that barely anyone remembers. Nicolas Cage once again proves he has no business being in film, reclaiming the role of Johnny Blaze, the balding mid-fifties biker who was cursed as Ghost Rider after making a deal with the devil. In case you didn’t know that, there’s five minutes of bad exposition along with Cage narration explaining the entire mythology of the Rider and what he does in particular, cue terrible animation. Most of the time during the opening animation, Cage sounds like even he doesn’t take this garbage seriously, and spend most of it making light of what is supposed to be a terrifying and mystifying character in the comic book universe.
A slew of young Canadian actors (all of whom I recognize for the wrong reasons) star in a cheap throwback to the seventies satanic horror exploitation films that has the potential to be a very excellent horror flick but is instead cheap C grade hokum worthy of the dregs of the SyFy Channel here in America. In fact I can predict its initial run on DVD to end with an edited commercial interrupted premiere on said cable channel. “Hard Ride to Hell” is a movie with a great idea but an all too convoluted plot that begins with hapless young travelers on a road to nowhere who find themselves in a world of over-complicated and rather dull trouble involving Satan, bikers, satanic bikers, and a sprig of Robert Rodriguez just to tap the familiarity of horror fans.
With a bigger budget, a better cast of actors, and higher production qualities, “Northville Cemetery Massacre” could have been one hell of a movie. But the catch is that it would have never achieved its status as a cult classic if it did have all the perks listed above. Based on a real biker gang, directors/writers William Dear and Thomas L. Dyke’s action thriller set down on the Spirits (known as the Scorpions Biker Club in real life) a kind band of pious cycle riding nomads who peruse the road for something to do. They’re so kind in fact that they stop mid travel to help an old couple whose car has been run off the road. Dyke and Dear’s story set out to educate people on the good biker clubs actually try to do and how stereotyping is the very essence of ignorance.
I tell you. I tell you. “Ghost Rider” had potential, friends. “Ghost Rider” under the right set of creators, competent direction, and writers it could have been one hell of a violent horror thriller with Ghost Rider not only serving as a horrifying anti-hero, but also a potential villain if not careful. With someone like maybe Clive Barker, along with a hard R and zero camp, “Ghost Rider” would have been a horror fan’s wet dream, but alas, we’re left with this. One of the most brutal crimes from Johnson’s screenplay is that he shamelessly cribs from the “Spawn” film. And if you’ve ever seen it, you’ll know that it’s hardly the source material capable for a competent film to begin with.
I was skeptical going into “Bubble Boy,” but as I was finishing it, I must admit it won me over mainly for its eccentric tone and “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” inspired flights of fantasy and surreal. Jake Gyllenhaal (in a goofy doo that admittedly tries too hard to gauge laughs) plays Jimmy, a boy who when he was born did not have any immunities. He’s a generally lonely boy with a very overbearing mother who protects him from the outside world as he lives in his bubble watching everything go by.
He then meets Chloe as played by Marley Shelton who begins to teach him about the world and she eventually falls in love with him. But Jimmy keeps her from truly touching him, which she wants more than anything. Eventually, she meets another guy who she tells Jimmy she’s going to marry him. Jimmy knows this guy is wrong for her, but he doesn’t stop her. Now, still in love with her, Jimmy breaks free from his bubble and goes on the road to Niagara Falls to keep her from marrying. In a protective bubble he meets a whole cast of freaks, bikers, and a cult who thinks he’s a god. Will he be able to stop the girl he loves from making the biggest mistake of her life?
“Bubble Boy” is a very niche comedy with an odd sense of humor that’s more about personal limitations we set for ourselves, more than turning the illness of the bubble boy in to a caricature. The way Jimmy perceives the world is something you only see in cartoons and I found it quite funny. Though “Bubble Boy” is mainly a comedy, it has a ton of heart and tries to build a fun adventure out of the drive Jimmy has to seal hi romance with his girlfriend. I won’t argue “Bubble Boy” is a masterpiece, but it’s a fun and oddly entertaining twist on the road trip film. While it won’t make Jimmy in to the next Pee Wee Herman, it at least aspires for off the wall fun.