4 Shots From 4 Films: Haute Tension, House of 1000 Corpses, Underworld, Wrong Turn


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 2003 Horror Films

Haute Tension (2003, dir by Alexandre Aja)

House of 1,000 Corpses (2003, dir by Rob Zombie)

Underworld (2003, dir by Len Wiseman)

Wrong Turn (2003, dir by Rob Schmidt)

Horror Film Review: Underworld (dir by Len Wiseman)


Underworld is one hell of a confusing movie.

I saw Underworld when it was first released in theaters, way back in 2003.  And I’ve rewatched more than a handful of times since then, mostly because of my huge girl crush on Kate Beckinsale.  And every time that I watch this movie, I find myself wondering what the Hell’s going on.

I mean, I get it.  There’s a centuries-old war between vampires and Lycans and the Lycans are basically werewolves but they’re called “Lycan” because Lycan sounds better than werewolf.  The Death Dealers are vampires who go around and shoot Lycans on dark rainy nights.  And apparently, the vampires think that the Lycan threat has been neutralized because the leader of the Lycans, Lucian, is dead but maybe he’s not because Lucian’s body was never found.  And meanwhile, there’s three vampire rulers and two of the rulers get to sleep while the other one reigns and they switch out every few centuries.

Oh!  And the vampires and the Lycans are not really supernatural creatures.  Instead, they’re people who have been infected by a virus that causes them to live a really long time and have a craving for blood or something like that.  So, that explains why none of the vampires turn into a bat or anything like that during the movie.  Instead, everyone just runs around and does parkour and shoots guns at one another.

Also, the vampires don’t have to prey on human beings because they’ve learned how to clone blood because cloning is the solution for everything.

And also, everything happens at night while it’s raining because the vampires and the Lycans are secretly living in the same world with humans, they’re just living underground.  They’re living in an underworld, if you will.

Also ….

Well, listen, there’s a lot of plot in this movie.  Underworld lasts for 121 minutes and there’s really not a slow spot in the entire film.  In fact, that’s probably one of the film’s greatest strengths.  The nonstop action keeps you from thinking about how the plot of the film just seems to be something that the filmmakers made up as they went along.  Instead of wondering how everything fits together, you’re too busy watching as the movie flies from violent set piece to another.

Underworld‘s other great strength is that it stars Kate Beckinsale.  Nowadays, the action girl who kicks ass and defeats evil while looking good has become such a cliche that it’s easy to forget just how exciting it was when we first saw Kate Beckinsale, clad in leather and effortlessly dodging bullets and ruthlessly killing Lycans.  Though its impact may have subsequently been diluted by too many sequels and imitations, watching Underworld for the first time was a very empowering experience.  Watching Underworld for the first time, I wanted to be Kate Beckinsale. If Kate could defeat both vampires and Lycans without breaking a sweat then I knew that I could defeat my own insecurities.   Of course, unlike Kate, I didn’t have the advantage of movie magic to help me down a backflip off of a wall and I ended up spraining my ankle but still, Kate Beckinsale in Underworld was the perfect antidote to years of previously watching women in horror and action films be treated like either disposable victims or damsels in need of rescue.

In Underworld, Kate Beckinsale played Selene, a Death Dealer who tries to figure out why the Lycans are all after a human named Michael (Scott Speedman).  Selene also falls in love with Michael, which leads to some complications after Michael gets bitten by Lucian (Michael Sheen), the Lycan leader who wasn’t really dead after all.  Meanwhile, Kraven (Shane Brolly) wants to take over the vampires and a vampire elder named Viktor (Bill Nighy) is woken up early and then ages backwards through the film, which is actually a pretty clever idea.

And, as I said before, it never really makes much sense.  But, as incoherent as Underworld may be, it’s still an undeniably addictive viewing experience.  The movie is pure style.  It takes place in a world where it’s always night and it’s always raining and where everyone is beautiful and deadly at the same time.  Whether they’re a vampire or a Lycan, People in Underworld movies don’t merely enter a room.  Instead, they throw the doors open and allows blue light to flood in as they make a grand entrance.  At times, the film’s style is so kinetic and overwhelming that it threatened to get a little bit silly but, again, that’s a part of the film’s appeal.  While Kate Beckinsale thrills you with her empowering performance, the visuals grab you and say, “We’re going on a trip and don’t worry about whether it makes any sense!”

That’s why I’ve watched Underworld several times.  It doesn’t have to make sense.  It just has to kick ass.

 

 

4 Shots From 4 Inaugural Oscar Winners: Wings, Sunrise, The Last Command, Seventh Heaven


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today is the 90th anniversary of the very first Academy Awards ceremony!

On May 16th, 1929, a private dinner was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California.  The dinner was largely meant to celebrate the establishment of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  The brainchild of Louis B. Mayer, the AMPAS was founded to help mediate labor disputes between the studios and the unions.  As almost an afterthought, it was decided that AMPAS would also give out annual awards to honor the best films of the year.

12 awards were handed out on May 16th, before an audience of 270 people.  The entire awards ceremony took 15 minutes.  That’s quite a contrast to what the Academy eventually became.

In honor of that 15-minute ceremony, here’s….

4 Shots From 4 Films Honored At The Very First Oscar Ceremony

Wings (1927, dir by William Wellman) Won The Outstanding Production Awards

Sunrise (1927, dir by F.W. Murnau) Won Best Unique and Artistic Picture

The Last Command (1928, dir by Josef von Sternberg) Won Best Actor — Emil Jannings

Seventh Heaven (1927, dir by Frank Borzage) Winner Best Actress — Janet Gaynor

Along with her performance in Seventh Heaven, Janet Gaynor was also honored for her work in Street Angel and Sunrise.  Emil Jannings was honored for his work in both The Last Command and The Way of all Flesh,

Here’s what else won at the inaugural Oscar ceremony:

Best Direction, Comedy Picture — Lewis Milestone for Two Arabian Knights

Best Direction, Drama Picture — Frank Borzage for Seventh Heaven

Best Original Story — Ben Hecht for Underworld

Best Adaptation — Benjamin Glazer for Seventh Heaven, based on the play by Austin Strong

Best Art Direction — William Cameron Menzies for The Dove and Tempest

Best Cinematography — Charles Rosher and Karl Struss for Sunrise

Best Engineering Effects — Roy Pomeroy for Wings

Best Title Writing — Joseph Farnham for Fair Co-Ed; Laugh, Clown, Laugh; and Telling the World.

2018 in Review: Lisa’s 10 Favorite Songs of 2018


It’s time to continue to my look back at 2018 by listing my ten favorite songs of the year.  If you want to see an example of how varied our tastes are here at the Shattered Lens, compare my picks to Necromoonyeti’s picks for the top 20 albums of 2018.

See, that’s one thing that I like about this site.  We’ve all got our own individual tastes!

Anyway, here are my picks.  I’m going to post them now and then I’ll probably spend the rest of the week getting laughed at whenever I leave my office here at the Shattered Lens Bunker.  But that’s okay!  I love everyone!

  1. The Underground by Hardwell and Timmy Trumpet

2. Get Your Shirt by Underworld and Iggy Pop

3. Boom by Tiesto, Gucci Mane & Sevenn

4. Carribish by ADI

5. Like I Do by David Guetta, Martin Garrix & Brooks

6. There Was A Time by Kedr Livanskiy

7. The Middle by Zedd, Grey, and Maren Morris

8. One Kiss by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa

9. I’m Upset by Drake

(I have to be honest.  This is one that I pretty much like exclusively because of the Degrassi-themed video.)

10. The Tired and The Hurt by Moby

That’s it for music!  Up next, either tonight or tomorrow, 10 good things I saw on television in 2018!

Lisa Looks Back At 2018:

  1. 10 Worst Films of 2018
  2. The Best of Lifetime
  3. The Best of SyFy
  4. Ten Favorite Novels
  5. Twelve Favorite Non-Fiction Books

 

Music Video of the Day: Get Your Shirt by Underworld & Iggy Pop (2018, dir by Simon Taylor)


Some youtube commenters are already predicting that this will be the theme song of Trainspotting 3.  Personally, I have my doubts as to whether there will ever be a Trainspotting 3 (if just because it took 20 years to get the 1st sequel and you have to wonder just how much long Sick Boy’s going to be able avoid either getting murdered or sent to prison) but still, I love this song and I love this video and therefore, it’s our music video of the day!

This is off the upcoming Teatime Dub Encounters.

Here are the credits for the video, as listed on YouTube:

Video by Simon Taylor (tomato)

Choreographer and Dancer: Carys Staton

Dancers Charley Logan & David Ledger

DOP Matt Broad

Post production by Jan Urbanowski

Men’s clothes by WorkNotWork

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Born Slippy by Underworld (1996, dir by ?????)


Hi, everyone!

I don’t have much to say about this video, beyond the fact that I love the song.  Yesterday, I posted a video for this song that was released to go along with the 2015 re-release of Underworld’s Second Toughest In The Infants.  This, however, is the original video that was released for Born Slippy.

If the 2015 video celebrates Born Slippy as an athem, this video treats it as a very personal portrayal of emotion.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Born Slippy NUXX by Underworld (2015, dir by Michael McCool)


You’ll recognize this song from the closing credits of the 1996 film, Trainspotting.  This video was done for the 2015 re-release of Underworld’s 1996 album Second Toughest In The Infants.

Enjoy!