Get This! Volume 3 Feature - The Next Level

Get This! Volume 3

Kicking off the new year with a massive dose of horror and anime!

Article by Joseph Luster (Email)
January 17th 2006, 12:30AM
 

Stand Alone Complex Vol. 1
Released by:Manga Entertainment
Running Time: 110 minutes
Language: English, Japanese (with subtitles)
Directed by: Kenji Kamiyama
Available On: UMD, DVD

Whether or not all of their products are golden, animation house Production I.G. (Dead Leaves, Blood: The Last Vampire) certainly can't be faulted for a lack of polish. Stand Alone Complex is no exception. Director Kenji Kamiyama has done a stunning job making the transition from Shell's origins in manga and film to a television series with little to no sacrifice in quality. Major Motoko Kusanagi returns, and with the officers of Section 9, she risks it all solving international issues and conspiracies in our world as well as cyberspace.

Stand Alone Complex, much like other I.G. outings, mixes computer and cel-style animation pretty seamlessly, resulting in a gorgeous show that's levels beyond typical Japanese TV quality. Depending on where you stand on Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell films, you might find this series a more satisfying experience. Complex still retains some of Oshii's military fetishism while eschewing much of the would-be psychological pontifications that bog down his features. This series just seems to have a quicker pace, and the first volume is over pretty quickly. With that said, if you pick this up and enjoy it, you'll likely be in it for the long-haul.

Cabin Fever
Released by: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Running Time: 90 minutes
Language: English
Directed by: Uwe Boll
Available On: UMD, DVD

Eli Roth's feature debut is a mixed bag horror and humor that, while falling flat from time to time, is still a hell of a lot of fun. A group of freshly post-college friends take the situation as an opportunity for one last hurrah; one more chance to fully let loose. Jeff, Karen, Paul, Marcy and Bert shack up in a remote cabin, only slightly weirded out by the colorful locals. Before they know it, though, a sickness is spreading. Once Karen gets infected and they witness the results, it's apparent anyone could be next. Cue deadly suspicion with blood-red consequences.

It's hard to fault Cabin Fever because it never takes itself too seriously. Roth's flick brings back memories of campy in-the-woods horror flicks from the '70s and '80s. If you dig those, you might find a new one to add to the list. The gore isn't really that over the top, at least not if you're a fan of the genre. Like an always-returning group of victims, Cabin Fever will keep drawing you back with the ridiculous side characters and in-jokes, from the half-witted cop to the "pancakes" kid. This is more likely to stand the horror test of time than any of the more forgettable monthly outings of teen-on-teen shriek fests, so pick it up if you fit the aforementioned bill.

House of 1000 Corpses
Released by: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Running Time: 88 minutes
Language: English
Directed by: Rob Zombie
Available On: UMD, DVD

House of 1000 Corpses is the set-up to expectations that director Rob Zombie surpassed with his 2005 follow-up, Devil's Rejects. Unlike the latter, this horror flick asphyxiates its audience with neon-lit freak shows and a biting sense of humor that's anything but shocking or realistic. Staying true to its time period, House lands two young couples in the ass of America in search of the legendary Dr. Satan. Next thing they know, they're stuck in the house of a psychotic family with no way out.

The real stars here are Otis, Baby (despite her ear-punishing laugh), Tiny and the rest of the insane family. You'll forget about the lead characters after the movie's first quarter, but the villains are all strangely likable. Fittingly, the whole thing is like one of Captain Spaulding's extended horror house rides, as the survivor count dwindles and we're left exploring every corner of the sprawling house of murder. The most grizzly of moments in House don't come off as cruel or too much because of the atmosphere, which feels like a send-off to classic horror and roots itself in laughs as much as it does buckets of blood.


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