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Alien vs. Predator (2004) Review

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"Don't turn your back on me!" -Charles Bishop Weyland


When his company discovers a mysterious temple buried in the ice beneath Antartica, Charlies Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen) puts together a team of scientists and explorers to go investigate. Deep inside the temple, they discover an infestation of Xenomorphs.  To make matters worse, a group of three Predators have also entered the temple.  A brutal showdown between the two species begins with the humans caught in the crossfire.

What Works:
To start, I think the premise for this movies works fine.  We get a bit more information on the backstory of both the Predators and the Xenomorphs, but they don't overdo it.  The story for this film could have been a lot worse.
The practical effects are really fantastic.  Both species look great.  The practical Xenomorphs are as terrifying as effort and the Predators have a lot of great detail to their designs.
I love that we get to see more of the respect Predators have for f…

Predator 2 (1990) Review

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"Want some candy?" -Predator



Lt. Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) is a fearless Los Angeles police officer on the front-line of the war with various drug cartels.  After a brutal shootout, Mike and his team discovers some of the cartel was murdered by an unknown third party.  When a mysterious government team is brought in, led by Peter Keyes (Gary Busey), Mike becomes even more concerned about what is happening in his city and starts hunting the unknown killer only to discover it's from another world.  The Predator (Kevin Peter Hall) starts killing off members of Mike's team making the inevitable confrontation between the two fearless warriors personal.

What Works:
I think Predator 2 is a very underrated movie and I actually like it more than the original.  I know that's a hot take, but hear me out.  Mike Harrigan is a more interesting protagonist than Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the original.  Dutch was just a standard tough guy.  Mike is a hot-head an…

The Predator (2018) Review

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"I had a run-in with a space alien." -Quinn McKenna


During a mission, Army Ranger Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) witness a spaceship crash.  Onboard is a Predator (Brian A. Prince) who proceeds to kill McKenna's entire team, but he escapes with pieces of the Predator's armor and mails it to his family's home before being captured along with the Predator.  Of course, the Predator manages to escape and goes after McKenna's family, so he recruits a group of ex-soldiers who are suffering from PTSD to defeat the alien and the government group wanting to eliminate anyone who witnessed the events.

What Works:
Basically every single character in this film is comic-relief, which isn't a good thing, but the constant stream of jokes churns out a good one every so often.  They get fewer and fewer as the movie goes on, but there a few really funny moments in the film.
For the most part, the action is solid and we get a few decent kills throughout the film.  Almost anyt…

Predator (1987) Review

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"I ain't got time to bleed." -Blain Cooper


Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the leader of a elite, military rescue team, which is brought down to Central America to rescue a politician, who's helicopter crashed in the jungle and was captured by insurgents.  Dutch and his team are joined by an old friend of his, Al Dillon (Carl Weathers), who is now a CIA operative.  On their trek through the jungle, they discover human bodies skinned and strung up in the trees.  Dutch starts to suspect Dillon isn't telling him everything and to make matters worse, something is hunting the team...something not of this Earth.

What Works:
The highlight of this movie is the titular Predator.  The creature design is really f***ing cool.  It's got awesome weapons and armor, plus a really gnarly face.  These creatures are far more interesting than most sci-fi monsters because they have their own set of rules of engagement.  They don't attack the w…

But I'm a Cheerleader (1999) Review

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"If I catch you looking at another man like that ever again, you'll be watching sports...the whole weekend! -Mike


Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is a typical 17-year-old cheerleader.  She's pretty, popular, and is dating a football player, who she doesn't like to kiss.  Her friends and family begin to suspect Megan is a lesbian, even if she doesn't realize it herself, and she is sent to a conversion therapy camp to make her straight.  Her parents threaten her by saying if she fails to become straight, she will not be welcomed back home.  Megan tries her best to follow the therapy, but is conflicted as she falls for one of the other female campers, Graham (Clea DuVall).

What Works:
But I'm a Cheerleader has a very light and campy tone for a story that has the potential to get very dark.  Earlier this year, I saw the film, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which has pretty much the exact same plot, only it gets incredibly dark.  This movie is more of a romantic comedy th…

Cold Skin (2018) Review

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"We are the invaders, which makes us the enemy." -Gruner


With the world on the brink of World War I, a young man called Friend (David Oakes) is brought to a remote and barren island to be the new meteorologist.  The only other inhabitant is the lighthouse keeper, Gruner (Ray Stevenson), who is reclusive and hostile.  Friend discovers that the island is overrun by humanoid-amphibious creatures at night, which results in his cabin being destroyed.  Friend is forced to move in with Gruner, who has captured one of the creatures (Aura Garrido) and keeps her as a slave.  At night, Gruner and Friend do their best to defend the lighthouse as they face a full year before the next ship arrives.  But Friend begins to wonder if Gruner is the real monster on the island.

What Works:
The highlight of this film is the large-scale monster attacks.  From the trailer I guessed there would be at best two or three monster attacks in the whole film, but there was more than double that.  It was re…

Terrifier (2018) Review

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"What?  Did you think he was going to hack me up into little pieces or something?" -Dawn


It's Halloween night and best friends Tara (Jenna Kanell) and Dawn (Catherine Corcoran) find themselves with a flat-tire.  They call Tara's sister, Victoria (Samantha Scaffidi), to pick them up, but soon all three girls find themselves in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a psychotic killer, Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton), who is trying to rack up as many gruesome kills as he can before Halloween comes to an end.

What Works:
The best part of Terrifier is David Howard Thornton's performance as Art the Clown.  This guy is just incredible in the role, mixing a terrifying, unstoppable killer in the vein of Michael Meyers and the personality of Freddy Krueger, all without saying a word.  Art says all he needs to with his facial expressions and his miming.  His makeup and design are fantastic, but Thornton really sells this character as one of the most terrifying psycho ki…