March 24th, 2009

QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC (1979) **

A young bride starts seeing skeletons and snakes on her wedding day so her fiancé calls in a witch doctor to help.  The poor doc dies soon after treating her and the villagers blame the death on the groom's ex-girlfriend, who is a known witch.  A lynch mob quickly gathers and they throw the (innocent) witch off a mountain, but she is caught (!) by an evil witch doctor, who is really the one causing all the supernatural shenanigans.  He nurses her back to health and teaches her some deadly black magic which she uses to get revenge on the lynch mob.  She kills her victims via killer bee attack, turning one guy's face into a mass of exploding sores, pulling one dude into the mud and letting his face get eaten off by worms, using a supernatural scarf that has a mind of it's own to hang another guy, making a dude's belly blow up like a balloon, and setting people ablaze using fireballs.  In the most insane scene of the movie, she unleashes a flying acid-filled egg on her ex and when it hits him in the face, his head falls off and starts to fly around and bite the villagers!  In the end, she turns on the villagers and begins shooting fire out of her hands until a priest with a mysterious past (FLASHBACK ALERT) sets her head straight.  (But not before having a Magician Power Battle with her first.)

 

Although completely unrelated, the film was released in some regions as the third entry in the Black Magic series.  Like those films, the plot of Queen of Black Magic is probably way too complicated for it's own good and features a lot of unnecessary flashbacks and assorted rigmarole.  While the flick works like gangbusters whenever the witch is dishing out her vengeance, the screen time spent on anything other than people getting attacked by bees, worms, and eggs is pretty lame and extremely boring.  For the most part, it's like watching a porno.  You have to sit through all the talking and stuff to get to the action.  If you fast forward through all of the plot, Queen of Black Magic would get Four Stars easy; as it is, it's only good for about Two.

 

Best line:  "Everybody knows that prayers frighten the devil!  Maybe you people oughta pray then!"

 

AKA:  Black Magic.  AKA:  Black Magic 3.  AKA:  Black Magic Queen.  AKA:  Black Magic Terror.

REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA (2008) *

In the not too distant future, a corporation called GeneCo will offer everybody expensive elective surgeries and organ transplants.  When the idiots can't pay, the company sends out a "Repo Man" (Anthony Head) to cut out the organs and bring them back to headquarters.  Because this is an opera, there is a lot of backstabbing, familial meddling, and unfortunately... singing.

 

Since Saw 2 and 3 was a hit, director Darren Lynn Bousman begged Lionsgate to finance this turd.  In return, he said he'd make Saw 4.  Both flicks make me want to never see another Darren Lynn Bousman movie for a very, very long time.  Visually the flick looks muddy and muddled and is wildly inconsistent.  At all times the film has the look and feel of an Evanescence video; and it makes about as much sense.

 

You can't really blame Bousman for screwing the pooch on this one though.  Even though the premise had potential, a musical lives and dies by its songs, and these songs suck balls.  Giant, hairy, smelly, unkempt balls.  Even a bad musical has to have at least one show stopping tune.  Repo doesn't.  Every song sounds exactly the same and is pretty much indistinguishable from the next.  To make matters even worse, just about everyone in the cast couldn't carry a tune if their life depended on it and most of the performers more or less talk really fast instead of actually trying to sing.  You know it's bad when Paris Hilton is the best singer in the bunch.

 

Folks, it makes Shock Treatment look like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  At one point, I started to yearn for the nuanced vocal stylings of Pierce Brosnan in Mama Mia!  It's that bad, people.  As shitty and mind-numbing as this mess was, any movie in which Paris Hilton's face falls off is worth at least One Star in my book.