Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Waxwork II: Lost in Time
Mark (Zach Galligan) and Sarah (Monika Schnarre) have just escaped from the flaming ruins of the Waxwork. They’re tired and they just want to go home. Their job is done… or so they think. Little do they suspect that a disembodied hand has survived the inferno and has followed Sarah home! The hand attacks her stepfather. Sarah tries to save him, but her efforts are in vain. Unfortunately, that’s a hard scenario to explain to the police, and Sarah is accused of her stepfather’s murder!
Mark is determined to save her, but they need proof. The question is how to get it? They go to Sir Wilfred’s house and find a video message he left for Mark in the event of his demise, with a cryptic explanation of how to go back in time. But the two figure it out and off they go!
The second Waxwork film is even campier than the first one as the two would-be lovers seek the evidence they need to clear Sarah of murder (whatever that might be, to prove that disembodied hands do exist and can kill people). Played for even more laughs than the first one, this film is also gorier, so watch out for that spraying blood and flying body parts. At the same time, don’t look for any kind of logic here either.
Doesn’t this remind you of a scene from Die Hard, where one of the bad guys is about to take down Bruce Willis, John McClaine? Not surprising, as this is Alexander Godunov, who also played in Die Hard. And that will give you some indication of what the film makers were going for as they fly through various points in time and pay homage to a number of different stories, some of which I may even have missed. (One reviewer referenced Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, which I remembered from the first film, not the second).
We see Baron von Frankenstein and his monster, and also the ship and crew from the movie Alien. There are references to Poe, including the Raven, as well as Dawn of the Dead. One black-and-white sequence has a very funny Bruce Campbell. I believe he’s meant to be related to Mark, but if so, no one mentions it. There is a montage of quick visits that include Jack the Ripper and Godzilla, and a lengthier story that takes place in the time of King Arthur (although they never use his and his knights remind me of the Knights Templar, with their Maltese crosses. John Ireland plays the king, and Michael Des Barres his right-hand man, George. Alexander Godunov is Scarabis, the would-be usurper of the throne. Look for a small cameo appearance by Drew Barrymore in the Nosferatu sequence.
While the film was funny, sometimes it’s just a bit unbelievable. I mean, Sarah is being tried for murder, and they’re not holding her in the jail? When does that happen? I find it hard to believe either one of them could make her bail, assuming they even set bail for such a heinous crime. The story is inconsistent and weak, and most of the time we forget why they are really traveling in time and just going with the traveling thing. The ending is rather unbelievable too, and the film is, much like the first one, too long. Better writing would have benefited this immensely. I don’t think there is room for a third. I’ll give this one 3 Stars.
See No Evil: The Moors Murders
In 1965 England, children disappeared without explanation, alarming the community. Maureen and Dave Smith (Joanne Froggattand Matthew McNulty) are a young married couple with a baby of their own. They’re distraught when the child unexpectedly dies. Maureen is close to her older sister Myra (Maxine Peake), although she is wary of Myra’s boyfriend Ian Brady (Sean Harris). Even so, she encourages her husband to get close to Brady, at Myra’s request.
The two couples takes trips out to the moors together, where Brady shows Dave how to fire a gun. They talk about robbing a bank, as the Smiths are low on funds and about to get evicted. Myra comes to get Dave one night and takes him back to their house where he witnesses Brady kill a man. Dave is horrified and tells his wife. Together they approach the police, who pick up Brady and Myra, who lie and say that Dave helped Brady kill the man.
Dave tells the police that Brady boasted of having killed someone before. and he shows them photos taken on the moor. The police begin to look at Brady and Hindley as suspects but they have no evidence of the missing children. Life is getting harder for the Smiths, who are looked up as suspects despite the fact that they came to the police of their own volition. If only they could find the spot where the photos were taken, then maybe they’ll be able to find the childrens’ graves and make a case against the pair.
This is the true story of the Moors Murders, a case I read about many years ago. The series is very well done, and very well acted. Most of it is from the POV of Maureen and Dave Smith, and doesn’t glorify the killers in any way. It’s very informative and interesting besides being good drama. I give this series 4.5 Stars.
Jeepers Creepers 2
The Creeper lies dormant for 23 years and then he returns for 23 days in order to feed. Twenty-three years have passed since the last time, and now it’s day 22…
Billy Taggart is helping out on the family farm, putting up scarecrows, when he notices that one is acting rather strangely. Too late, he realizes this is no real scarecrow. Despite his screams for help, his father Jack Sr (Ray Wise) and older brother Jack Jr (Luke Edwards) are helpless to do other than watch as he is flown away by a large creature.
On Day 23, a busload of high school students is returning from a victorious tournament. Suddenly the bus lurches to a halt. The bus driver, Betty (Diane Delano) discovers a strange looking implement has shredded the tire, something very odd and disturbing, as it contains what appears to be a human tooth.
It’s getting dark, but no one can get cell reception. So the coach goes out to light some flares and put
them on the road so they can be seen. But he suddenly disappears. Another adult goes to finish the job, but this time they see what flies out of the sky and grabs him, to their horror!
One by one the adults are picked off, leaving just the frightened teens. But rather than behaving like a team, they fight amongst themselves, which doesn’t help the situation. When they finally manage to make contact with someone, he tries to pinpoint their location, but they only vaguely know where they are. They believe that help is now on the way, but they have only managed to contact Jack Taggart Sr, who is determined to kill the creature who killed his son.
I liked this sequel to the original Jeepers Creepers. It has a solid premise and decent acting. Not surprising that it has good production values, it’s a Coppola production. It was certainly creepy, and the division among the team players was realistic, although it never came out and said racism, but it was pretty evident what the problem was, at least for one student.
The part about the student who had some kind of telepathic abilities, though, was a bit much, and really just served as exposition to explain to the kids what they were dealing with. Seemed kind of hokey to me. Still, all in all, it was a decent horror film, and worth watching. I’ll give it 4 Stars.