Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All Souls Day Review: A Testamete to the Horror Movies of the 00s

All Souls Day. The zombie genre
is reborn. Or not. 
Few can speak of the most influential horror movies of the 00s, and not mention All Souls Day. Ok, maybe that isn't completely true, but the gospel according to Jack specifically states "All Souls Day isn't the worst-eth movie produc-ed by man." So, there you have it.

Alright, I'll go into more detail. Director Jeremy Kasten, who you may know as the director of the remake of The Wizard of Gore, was given a fairly standard script, and he ultimately pushed out a fairly standard zombie movie. What's the difference with this one? The zombies are Mexican, of course!

People To Know

Alicia - The only person who speaks Spanish in the whole movie, in spite of the fact that it takes place entirely in Mexico. She has an incurable condition known as "the creeps."

Joss - Don't even ask. I've never hated a completely underdeveloped character the way that I hate this guy. You know that kid that warms the bench, but still thinks he's the stuff and acts like an ass because he's technically on the team? That's Joss.

Erica - Cheerleader bimbo. She's rich. We know that because it's mentioned about 7,291 times. I don't want to be mean, but I think that this actress may want to learn how to type. Acting doesn't seem to be her thing.

Tyler - A fairly unconvincing premed student that has to take care of things once Joss is injured. His other choice for a major was pre-law. This leads me to believe that he isn't really interested in becoming a doctor, but he instead just doesn't want to finish school. Why go for 4 years of nonstop drinking when you can go for 6 years of nonstop drinking?

Martia - Enigmatic inn keeper. This Laura Harring  from Mulholland Dr! How is this possible?! Maybe David Lynch was originally signed on to direct this?

Vargas Diaz - The villain, played by Danny Trejo. He's so important that he gets a surname. He's known for laying in bed and beating it while his subject is standing in the room with him. He hasn't perfected his stalking techniques, I guess.

And the Story Goes...

There is a prologue in the beginning, that really isn't important, about the White family who stops in this backwards little Mexican town while on vacation, and it ends with a bunch of screaming. The family is eliminated with the exception of the little crip boy for some reason.

Now the real story begins! We catch our first glimpse of our main characters, an interracial couple, a Mexican girl and a white American guy, who are going to visit her family on what happens be Dia De Los Muertos...The Day of the Dead! Oh Kasten, you're always pushing the envelope.

As they drive, they discuss important issues such as Mexican street name diversity, and the struggle that all interracial couples face.

You know, we're all alone out here in this desert. Your
emotions are probably running wild, and you know that you
don't really have a choice....because of the implication.
Throughout these dialogs we learn that Alicia is a sassy-streetwise Latina, who's always quick with a comeback. Oh, wait...that's a character that would've been fun to watch. Our Alicia is not really boring, but not somebody that you would want to watch for an 1.5 hours...aside from her physical appearance. She's just kind of there.

Joss is annoying. I know that in my review of The Wizards of the Demon Sword review I said that Damon is extremely annoying, but Joss blows that idiot out of the water. I don't even want to think about it.

Anyways, Joss is being his tarded self and is paying more attention to trying to make his "girlfriend" laugh than driving. Because of his constant search for attention and approval, he ends up driving into a funeral progression. The people in the progression want to not die, and end up dropping the casket into the street while jumping out of the way of the car. A living girl, whose tongue has been cut off, falls out, and a shifty eyed cop takes her to the station to help her. Meanwhile our favorite couple is stranded in this Mexican equivalent to a hick town until their car can be fixed. They seek shelter in the only inn in town, where they meet the enigmatic Martia.

Hi, I'm Laura Harring. My career started off good enough, but
 for some strange reason it plummeted, and now I'm forced to
act in low budget films like All Souls Day.
 How can I hep you today?
 As they find their way around the inn, strange things begin to happen. It's your standard low budge scare tactics such as little boys in the mirror's reflection, screaming, and bones in bread.

In spite of all that's happened, Jack-off-Joss decides that he is bored, and the best thing to do is call his friends Tyler and Erica to join them in Mexi-hell. They inevitably come, just in time for All Souls Day. It's a good thing that they do come because where else are we going to get our exposition?! I'm being serious, almost all the attempts at character development in this movie take place in this one scene where they arrive.

Oh, there's also a series of not-really-necessary flashbacks that let us know that Vargas Diaz was a bad man who destroyed all of the villagers of the small town for some reason decades ago. Trejo is Trejo, so I'm not going to be too judgmental of these scenes. I've always had a deep admiration for former-childhood-drug-addicts-turned-actors.

Back to the main story. It turns out that the tongueless girl was meant to be a sacrifice to appease some zombies that are cursed. Without her, the zombies will rise and kill everybody that lives in the town. Tongueless girl dies, and Alicia is taken as her replacement, but Joss saves her before the ceremony is finished. So, the zombies rise. Even when Joss tries to do good, he is annoying, and he screws things up.

The gang eventually gets trapped in the inn with a ton zombies roaming the streets. It's here that Erica displays her supernatural jumping/flying abilities that she learned in cheerleader camp(?). Luckily for us Joss is injured because a zombie thinks his leg "is a Bigmac." There is still hope for this movie!

Can the gang get out alive? Can they discover the secret of the zombies, and how to stop them? I don't want to give away too much, but just know that my dreams were shattered when a certain character does survive.

And for the record, I'm not really leaving too much out of the story here. This is pretty much it. There are a couple of scenes where the kids argue about Joss' possible transformation, and Erica's richness. But, it doesn't go much deeper than that.

What do you like to eat again?
The acting is somewhat uneven. Some were pretty decent, but some were not even almost good. I was really impressed at how well David Keith was able to deliver his monologue about how much he enjoys eating cats. I found it a little strange because we don't usually eat cats in Ameri....wait...what? He wasn't talking about cats?! 

Poor Laura Harring. That's all I got to say about that. 

Do I recommend? Sure. A dirty little secret that I like to keep is that I've seen this thing more than 10 times. It makes great background noise when you're trying to type up resumes, write blog posts, ignore your family, or find a job! 

It's stupid, but honestly what zombie movies aren't these days.   

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