Killer viruses in “King of Thorn (2009)”

0

While I love manga/anime with a medical-thriller vibe (think Naoki Urasawa’s “Monster”) this killer virus flick, “King of Thorn” totally escaped my radar. In fact, I hadn’t heard of this anime or the manga until last night while dicking around on YouTube for something to review. If you’re familiar with the anime series, “Big O” (an adolescent favorite: mecha meets Batman) then you’ve already seen Kazuyoshi Katayama’s directorial style. That alone convinced me to give this movie a try. Although I sorta wished I hadn’t.

King of Thorn (2009)

Director and screenwriter: Kazuyoshi Katayama 

Original writer: Yuji Iwahara (Manga) 

Voice actors (Japanese — English dubs generally SUCK donkey balls) Kana Hanazawa, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Misaki Kuno, Akiko Yajima

The first one-third of the movie was what I expected (in a good way). To survive a pandemic virus, humankind’s last hope is to freeze a selected few for 100yrs until a cure is found. While asleep, mutant creatures attack the dreaming facility and those lucky not to have died while asleep, fight off crazy scientists, mutants, and other odd creatures through gory, pulptastic, action sequences. The animation isn’t terrible and I liked all the crazy characters. Even Kasumi. I wish the movie had stuck with its simple survival horror plot instead of veering left and getting lost in its metaphorical “Sleeping Beauty” message.

I thought the virus was a virus, but apparently the whole thing is just a dream, but the main character is also a figment of that dream, who is a clone of her twin and…yeah…what? Why couldn’t this just be a shoot’em up monster movie as advertised? “King of Thorn” tried way way way too hard to be philosophical and just sorta fell flat by the second-third of the movie. It’s so convoluted I can’t really tell you what the ending even means.

All in all, I’d give it a “C.” I’ll try to review other anime horror movies in the future. This one was just OK.

Advertisements

Lesbian STDs in “Contracted!”

0

Directed by Eric England

Stars: Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Katie Stegemen, Alice McDonald, and Matt Mercer

Another lesbian horror movie, yay! And for once the lesbian relationship wasn’t just “hinted” at. There’s full blown lesbianism and STDs, ha! “Contracted” (2013) is about a girl who develops unusual symptoms after a one-night stand at a party. She has drunken sex with a dude. Or at least I think he’s a dude. More than likely the guy was an alien or a monster…but that’s beside the point.

She goes to the doctor but he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with her. Panic starts to set in as her symptoms get worse. At the same time, her social life is crumbling, which causes her to fuck up at work. There are two persistent suitors in her life, one male, one female, which further complicates things. Her girlfriend refuses to give her the time of day, even going so far as to doubt her sexuality. The crazier her symptoms, the more her friends and family turn their backs on her. They blame her behavior on drugs and her (abusive?) lesbian relationship.  Things come to a head when her eye turns into…whatever it turns into, and her teeth and nails fall out. This is a body horror movie, and so of course her transformation is gruesome and unsettling.

I was impressed with the horror make-up. It’s simple but effective. Trailer below:

Overall, I liked this movie. I don’t know if the writer/director has paranoia about lesbians, bisexuals, or women in general…but he clearly doesn’t want them to have sex. C+

Fever: A Review

0

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HFDMfA1WL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

I think I might be a vain writer. I was lucky enough to have one of my stories selected to be the anthology “Under the Stairs” edited by Jessica A. Weiss, but I never took the time to see what other lucky ones are in this book. So, while I was getting a pedicure, I flipped through and picked one that I would review.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Here is “Fever” by Christine Rains. The story centers around a kind-hearted nurse who is thrown into a possible epidemic scenario. What makes matters worse is that the disease itself is a mystery and not only does she have to worry about her ailing patients, but she has to worry about her own life.

Wow! One of the things I look for in a story is how believable that world is. This short gem is centered in a hospital so medical terminology is important. I was impressed because it wasn’t complicated terminology, but it wasn’t random gibberish either. I was also to follow along quite well. It was also an intense ride because diseases are scary. To me anyway. Especially when the news always features a news catastrophic illness (bird flu and swine flu).

So it played with a realistic fear and was able to make you believe in the world of that story. I’d suggest looking into anything else that Ms. Rains has to offer. Check out her website at http://christinerains.net/index.html