I really should do more of these Listomania posts with smaller reviews (can you hear Tom’s whip cracking?). Here are 5 flicks that I watched during March that are worthy of a mention on the blog.
Anyway, having been singed by Tinseltown one too many times, Koontz is now very selective about giving out his film rights. So the news of him giving Stephen Sommers the rights to the first “Odd Thomas” book was met with a crooked eyebrow by me. Sommers started off his horror career nicely with films like DEEP RISING (1998) and the fun remake of THE MUMMY (1999). He killed that all for me a few years later with THE MUMMY RETURNS (2001), a film so aggressively loud and annoying with its CGI mummy madness that I walked out of the theater after a half hour. So, sadly, I missed his subsequent work like VAN HELSING (2004) and G.I. JOE (2009). I’m sure they made plenty of eyes and ears bleed. So the idea of him tackling a low budget (well, in Hollywood terms at $27 million) film was intriguing and I’ll be damned if he doesn’t redeem himself.
I have to say this film was a pleasant surprise. I went in with tempered expectations, but ended up really liking the characters and the plot. To be honest, a relationship like the one Odd and Stormy have would usually drive me up the wall in a film, but it works here and I found it oddly (haha) endearing. I’d say I was just finding it an enjoyable film until the end, which really was a kick in the gut and moves the film to great territory for me. No spoilers, but you can bet some arguments went down among the 17 credited producers (!) on whether they should maintain it. Sommers also keeps himself in check most of the time (he still can’t help having a few CGI over-the-top moments) and the film has some really creative editing. Ironically, Koontz felt this was the best adaptation of his work yet and what happened? Hollywood still found a way to screw it up with the film being mired in lawsuits for the past year and a half. As it stands, it got a direct-to-video release, almost ensuring we won’t see any more of Odd’s adventures. That means I might actually have to read a fiction book. Yuck!
So it was with quite a bit of surprised when director Gregory Lamberson announced a follow up two decades later. Not only was he bringing the slime back, but he also got lead Sabin to reappear in a new, but pivotal role. Not looking to tread the same old turf, Lamberson opens his sequel with a dirty bomb nuking most of NYC. The survivors live destitute in the nuclear wasteland dubbed “Slime City.” Among them are Alexa (Jennifer Bihl) and Cory (Kealan Patrick Burke), a young couple looking for a place to stay safe. They end up shacking up with another couple, Alice (Debbie Rochon) and Mason (Lee Perkins), who have a secure spot in a crumbling building. The two men head out to forage for some food and soon discover Zachary’s old basement still filled with the delicious slime made from human souls. Soon all four are turning various shades of neon primary colors.