With Disney’s acquisition of Fox Studios and many more of their Marvel properties, the Fox Studios “X-Men” franchise is done. It’s over. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. With “Dark Phoenix,” Simon Kinberg tries to exercise the feeling of finality for an era that began in 2000. The problem with “Dark Phoenix” is that while the pieces are all there for a slam bang exciting finale, it’s a sequel that basically takes “The Last Stand” and tries to remake it in to something decent. And it fails, for the most part.
“Tainted Love” Shorts Block
I love the whole plot twist that ensues in the middle of “My Monster,” a short film basically about finding the right mate, and them showing up when they least suspect it. Brea Grant is always a pleasure to see pop up in these genre pictures, and she’s great in Izzy Lee’s holiday set fractured love tale.
Christophe Gans offers up a richly realized and absolutely beautiful vision of “Beauty and the Beast” that embraces the dark side and fantasy of the original story. While yes, Belle begins to fall In love with the Beast, and is even enticed by him, it’s also thanks his aggression and insistence on influencing her Stockholm syndrome. Belle does eventually find the beauty of living with the beast, in that she’s able to roam his massive castle and is capable of finding secrets and fun corners within it. She even plays hide and seek with dog like creatures that find a fascination with Belle. Gans’ direction is superb and absolutely mesmerizing, I can not stress that enough. Many of his wide shots, and pans are magnificent and he knows how to make the beast both enigmatic and terrifying. There’s even a marvelous moment where the Beast is looking out on to an invading army from his perch, resembling Lon Chaney from “Phantom of the Opera.”
You could see where David DeCouteau’s contemporary film list started, as “The Killer Eye” is no more a horror film as it is a fifty minute soft core porn with twenty minutes of story added. “The Killer Eye” looks like it was made on a bargain basement budget, and considering the limited scenery, it’s not hard to figure out that DeCoteau put his entire budget on the film’s titular monster. This movie probably introduced a lot of people to hentai for all we know.
So you’re getting ready for a Halloween party and don’t have time for a feature but would like to watch something to set the atmosphere for yourself or you just want to watch some bite-size entertainment. So, in that spirit, here are a few great shorts for the season.
Let’s face it: “Meridian” is only a Full Moon classic because it has the insanely sexy Sherilyn Fenn being all nude and scantily clad and whatnot. Co-star Charlie Spradling even has her change to unclothe as we’re given full view of her breasts during a surreal scene involving a party with a bunch of supernatural gypsies. “Meridian” watches like a really sluggish two dollar romance novel from a super market, where the author tried really hard to appeal to the horror audience, but failed big time. “Meridian” has a ton of beast on woman sex scenes, all of which are slow motion, to boot. One scene in particular bears a shocking similarity to the one in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” where Dracula rapes Mina’s sister Lucy.
“Old Hag Syndrome” is a state of paralysis where the sleeper usually awakens completely frozen, but conscious and is convinced a supernatural entity is among them and is sitting on their chest. This is where the origin of creatures like the Succubus stems from. Scott Somers is a seemingly normal man married to a beautiful wife named Marie, but every night he awakens to see his wife standing at the window and muttering to herself. Convinced she’s sleepwalking, Scott awakens yet again in the middle of the night, but this time incapable of movement.
At the end of the day, “X-Men Apocalypse” is a big step up from the films in the series that preceded it, but it’s still just a Bryan Singer “X-Men” movie. Its two and a half hours of surface level action and superficial ideas that still haven’t broken in to the more complex themes of prejudice, racism, hatred, and bigotry that have made the X-Men property so beloved and widely embraced. Six movies later and only now FOX seems to be getting that a big advantage of the “X-Men” movies is that there are so many fascinating heroes and average people turned in to heroes of varied shapes, sizes, and colors. Only now that Marvel has embraced the team movie are Singer and FOX transforming the “X-Men” in to a team franchise.