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Monday, May 23, 2011

Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) Mystery Giallo

Four Flies on Grey VelvetFour Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) - 4 mosche di velluto grigio (original title) This decent giallo by Dario Argento is one of his better pictures. Not as dark as but better than Deep Red, or as good as the wildly weird and superior horror of Suspiria, but certainly not close to the great (and Argento's best) Tenebre, but a solid effort not without problems but it keeps the audience engaged and guessing. The problems with the film are in plain view but they are not so bad that they make the film a dud. The first being the lead character Roberto (Michael Brandon). He is just not particularly likable. An introverted drummer in a rock band he is intense and not the most loving person in the world. In the end you find this is exactly why he is the main character and it is really good writing by Argento. Early in the film we see him plying his trade and in between, him noticing the same mustached man watching him from the distance. Annoyed by the man, Carlo Marosi (Calisto Calisti) always being around one night after a practice he chases the man to a empty auditorium and confronts him. He wants to know why the guy is following him. The man denies that is what is happening and tells Roberto to get lost.Michael Brandon Things go horribly wrong when the man pulls a knife. Roberto grabs at the man and accidentally stabs him. He fall into the orchestra pit and looks dead. Roberto sees someone up in the balcony saw what happened and was taking pictures as it happened. What the hell? Here is the mystery, who was the person taking pictures? What do they want? Blackmail? This is the central theme of the film.
Roberto stews and worries about the incident but tries to go about his life. His wife Nina (Mimsy Farmer) wonders whether he should go to the police, but Roberto fears being in trouble. He is sure that being an angry guy and confronting and killing a stranger would not look good if the police were to get involved. The body is discovered but his wallet is not on him. Four Flies on Grey Velvet maskThis does not make anything easier on the drummer. Roberto and Nina continue there lives as if nothing happen, at least outwardly. They have a party, or have people over however you want to see it. During the gathering Roberto finds a photo print of his incident stabbing the man slid inside his albums. Now not only does he know that the picture taker knows who he is he also knows there are games afoot. It may be someone who is in the room at the party. Who in his group would want to make his life a living hell? Why?
Since this is a mystery I don't want to go too much into the specifics of the plot. The general direction is that the blackmailer, (even though they never make a request) continues to up the ante. Nina and Roberto talk it outThere is home invasion, pet disappearance, and a murdered maid. There is a growing sense that the game may become dangerous and Roberto wants Nina to leave so she will not be in danger. Still Roberto does not want the cops involved. We the audience start to learn that Roberto is being set up for some mysterious reason. Mixed in are these scenes, flashes of a mental hospital and the voice of an angry dad. It is designed to lead the audience towards thinking Roberto had a bad spell in his life but after the big turn we learn this is not the case. Wait, have I already shared too much? Maybe not...
Roberto is not sitting around letting this happen, he gets some help from a friend of his Godfrey (Bud Spencer) they send "The Professor" (Oreste Lionello) to keep a watch on the house, and he also hires a private investigator Gianni Arrosio (Jean-Pierre Marielle). Laura TroschelUnfortunately the entire film must play out the the big turn and by that time several people are dead, we know from the mental hospital flashbacks that who ever the person in there was, they were criminally insane and we know that Roberto is a bit of a dick. His wife is not away a couple days when he and friend Maria (Laura Troschel) end up in bed together. Did I mention that Nina and Maria are cousins. Mixed in are characters being murdered and who I will not say. There is this really strange part where pseudoscience is used to figure something out. Laura TroschelAfter the death of a character the retina supposedly holds the last image seen before death. This happens to be four flies on grey velvet. It is such a contrived way of getting this information that it was annoying. Then that allows Roberto to make the connections he needs to for the big reveal. The end is just freaking wonderful and you come away feeling like this was a decent film. The music in the film is pretty grooving at times and some of the shots are quite well composed.
Rating (5.3) 5.0 and up are recommended in the Zombiegrrlz system Rent it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Splatter Beach (2007) - Horror Satire

Splatter Beach CoverSplatter Beach (2007) - Okay I have a confession to make, I take perverse pleasure in films like this. Super low budget total plays on films of the past. The characters are horrible exaggerations of beings without connection to anything in real life. The monsters are silly suits with some truly low budget effects thrown in. Still I watch and laugh and enjoy, What is wrong with me? What kind of early life attention was I lacking that made me stunted enough to like films like these? This film a parody like take off of maybe Creature from the Haunted Sea, or Humanoids from the Deep is not quite a fresh take. Rupert Pine (Dave Fife) and his friends Rodney Spinner (Brice Kennedy) and Tonya Smith( The very lovely Erika Smith) rent a cabin by the ocean so that Rupert can investigate mysterious disappearances in the area. He quickly and with only hear say believes something lurks beneath the waves.
The makers of the film the brothers John Polonia and Mark Polonia leave nothing to be discovered as they show the Monsters early and increasingly during the film. Right from the beginning scene when shower woman Leslie Culton is killed we know the score. Erica SmithLeslie may be better known for her parts in Terror at Tate Manor, MILF and Honey 3, Seduced by a Cougar 6 and Women's Extreme Wrestling: Big Pimpin Booty Kicks Butt but does an adequate job of being bloodied here.
The Rodney character is the most ridiculous of the group with his YO-yo-yo hip hop attitude and West Virginia basketball uniform he is a marvel to behold. Rupert is the nerd wanting to score a story and Tonya is Rodney's hot girlfriend happy and playful glad for the time at the ocean.
When the group arrives the people dying really starts to pick up Johnson the Fisherman is driven from his cottage by his nagging wife and heads down to the beach to cast a rod. Running into Duke (Ken Van Sant), the iron pumping comic relief who really serves only that purpose until the end of the movie.
John Polonia is a victimBodies start to pile up or drift into the ocean, in the scariest scene a lone swimmer Amanda Kerr is dragged beneath the waves. It happens early enough in the film that you think there might be something to make this a horror movie but alas it is the high water mark and everything that comes after it leave us marooned in moronic silliness.
Erin Brown (Misty Mundae in movies where she undresses) plays Tess Gardner, a local who knows something is going on and may be having premonitions or at least dreams about the creatures. At the same time Rupert is getting no help from the locals in gathering information for his story. Everyone is down at the local beach party where The Rip Tides are performing. Tess yells and tries to warn the girls dancing in front of a green scree, er I mean on the beach, about the monster but no one listens. Ken Van Sant works outExcept Rupert that is and now he has a lead on his story. The film turns into a bit of a music video for a while while the Rip Tides play. When we finally get back to Rupert he talks to Tess about she and her boyfriend being attacked and how she is the only one to survive. Now everyone thinks she is crazy but sea monsters are real.
Bald boat guy and Tonya are killed but not before we get repeated up skirt shots of Tonya's ass. Apparently this is the main selling point of the film because it is repeated. She didn't like how Rodney was talking up girls on the beach and storms off to her doom by going to the beach. Upset Rodney drinks himself into a state when she does not return by dark. Creature from the haunted Sea is on the tube when Rupert find the drunken Rodney passed out but nothing really happens. They set up a scene that could be scary but instead Duke comes by with his witty one liners and ruins the mood. So it was all for nothing.
Misty Mundae, Erin BrownThe next day things pick up, with Rupert and Rodney looking for Tonya and discussing how they should not call the police because Rodney would be suspect number one. Rupert alone find the bloody bikini that belonged to Tonya and as he discovers an egg a creature almost gets him. He runs away to the beach party that apparently is still going on. Rodney of the short attention span decides to stop looking and get high, now what happens next? Come on guess. Yes! right he is killed by monsters. Rupert runs into Tess and together they start breaking eggs, this apparently only pisses the monsters off because they attack in a group. Off to the beach party where we get a second music video "Splatter Beach that happens to recap the entire movie. NOTE: You could enter at this point and skip the rest of the movie because the song and accompanying visuals are a great catch up.
The sea creatureChaos ensues as the creature eventually trap Tess, Rupert and Duke in the house. Outcome certain to end with a hatching egg. So what to say... It is what it is, low budget parody fun. The sound quality is the most noticeable thing that is wrong. Just sounds low rent, like I said in the opening I really get a kick out of these type of films so I enjoyed it. Unfortunately the script is a bit of a mess and the acting is purposely campy and characters are less than compelling so when it comes to recommending this to someone else I have to NOT. If you know this kind of thing is for you give it a try otherwise no. Note also if you are a skin seeker this movie only has a couple booby shots to go with the up skirt shot mentioned early. It is not the purpose of this one.
Rating (3.3) 5.0 and above are recommended, in the Zombirgrrlz system SKIP IT!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

13 Assassins (2011) Action Samurai

13 Assassins (2011) - This is another historical Japanese sword story of the time period towards the end of the Shogun era. In the little lesson text in the screen we get the setup of the time period. As Feudal Japan enjoys peace, the Samurai era is waning. But this fragile calm is threatened by the growing power of Lord Naritsugu Matsudaira (Goro Inagaki), the Shogun's sadistic younger brother. Sir Doi (Mikijiro Hira) realizes Naritsugu will run the Shogunite if he gains higher political standing. As Naritsugu's evil deeds are quickly hushed up, Sir Doi must act.
In the first scene The Akashi clan house elder commit hari kari opening a position the young cruel Naritsugu could occupy thus setting himself up as the next Shogun. Sir Doi goes to Samurai (Shinza) Shinzaemon Shimada (Koji Yakusho) who he convinces with scenes and stories of the cruelty of Naritsugu. The first where in a rival clans elder's house rapes the daughter in law and then kills her and the Elder's son. He is so callas believing that because of who he is all are there to serve him in any way he wishes. Next Doi shows him a peasant woman who was punished by Naritsugu as a way to punish her peasant husband for a peasant uprising. She is disrobed and Shinza sees she has had her arms and legs cut off at the knees and elbows. They develop an idea to kill the young Lord before he can take political office.
At the same time the Samurai, (Hanbei) Hanbei Kitou(Masachika Ichimura) protecting the Lord is active too. He is loyal to his Akashi clan and takes his job seriously. He learns that Doi has visited Shinza and suspects a plot. There is an old personal animosity he feels towards Shinza. He was never quite able to rise as high as the other man or command the same respect. He will do everything possible to keep Naritsugu safe for his clan and his honor and to prove himself against his rival. There is something else going on here too. Hanbei is from the school that the purpose of the Samurai is to protect the structure of the ruling order. Even with a horrible leader he sees his duty to be about doing his superiors bidding no matter how bad that is. Shinza believes that the purpose of the ruling structure is to protect the people and that in a case of a truly bad leader the Samurai must protect the people from him. These two beliefs put the men on paths towards a confrontation only one can walk away from.
The spies that Hanbei sends to get information surround one of the young warriors who will be in the plan being designed by Doi and Shinza. It is a plan to take this guy and get the plans, luckily Ronin Sahara (Arata Furata) is nearby and intervenes. We get to see what a bad ass he his and can look forward to him dispatching more than these four thugs later. Shinza goes about collecting the men who will make up twelve of the 13 assassins, the last will be added later. Shinrouko (Takayuki Yamada) wants to redeem himself from his gambling debts. There are other stories about the various men but honestly I have a hard time after the film connecting the faces to the character names. Horrible I know but reading subtitles and taking notes at the same time is hard.
We gets scenes of them training in the dojo, practicing and learning to set explosives and in general taking there planning seriously. Hanbei makes a surprise visit in the midst of this and we get the meet of what I explained earlier as Hanbei confronts Shinza with the little he knows but lets him know, he does know something is going on. The different philosophies are espoused and the men part knowing they will meet again on the field of battle.
The plan is to attack and kill Naritsugu when he is traveling to his spring house. There are a couple of things the group needs. One is to get the Elder in Ochiai Provence to block the way so Naritsugu is force to go the other possible route to a village they will be waiting at. This will be accomplished because that elder is the father of the couple the Lord killed earlier in the film. He just has to have the will power to defy ta direct order from the ruling clan leader. Not positive this will happen but Shinza sends men ahead to try to convince him. The second thing is that the Mayor of the village they are going to attack in must be bought off. This is done by two of the men and a case load of gold.
Shinza and his remaining eight men travel towards the village and are confronted by paid thugs from Naritsugu. They fight hard and dispatch them but realize the entire trip could be like this. Hanbei has set up a situation where they could be worn out by the time they reach there destination. This leads them to leave the road and cut across over the mountains. Getting lost in the hills is a horrible end to this shortcut, but luckily they run into a mountain man named Koyata Saga (Yusuke Iseya) who joins them and leads them out and to their target village. I only had one pass on this film but is seemed to me that Saga was very obviously killed in the final battle. He had a spare through his throat if I remember correctly. Then when the battle is done he reappears unhurt and it made me wonder whether he was some deity who joined in for his own purposes. I could be wrong there is so much great stuff going on in the final twenty five minute battle.
They all get to the village where they will launch their attack and start to prepare it. The writers (Kaneo Ikegami and Daisuke Tengan) and director (Takashi Miike) do a great job in this section not showing you everything that is being done to prepare. Miike and Tengan also did one of my favorite films of all time, Audition which is a strange mix of weirdness and horror. So that when the battle starts later there are some great surprises for us as an audience. In fact this film is worth seeing just for this final sequence. Similar in idea to the Seven Samurai protecting the village from bandit but still not so concerned with leaving the village intact at the end. After all the goal is to kill Lord Naritsugu. As they work we they learn that the army of 70 and the Lord were successfully turned towards them. We the audience get to see it and I was smiling at it. Naritsugu is such a prick of a bad guy to see him fail was excellent.
All of this was for the final battle where all the preparation is put into use, but first we wait, the assassins wait, no troops come. When they do the 70 has been reinforced and is now 200 men. The battle will be epic and surprising and worth every penny I paid to watch this film. I am not going to spoil it here but when the final showdowns come it has been an excellent fulfilling ride. One give away I will give you is that the most frightening thing I never thought about but now can is flaming cows.
This was an excellent film, the cinematography by Nobuyasu Kita is both gritty and beautiful at the same time. The script is tight particularly for this genre which can be plot heavy. The direction is wonderful and scenes very well shot. The acting is subtle and powerful bringing import to the characters and letting us feel what is at stake as an audience. So lets rate this puppy remember I am a bit bias as I love these kind of stories.
Rating (8.5) 5.0 and up are recommended inthe Zombiegrrlz system Go see it!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stake Land (2010) Horror Vampire

Stake Land (2010) - Opening on a country road in Pennsylvania the voice over from our lead character Martin (Connor Paolo) sets the tone immediately. "But lets begin at the beginning, I was like every other kid. I had a family. I went to school. I didn't believe in the bogeyman, but then the world woke up to a nightmare." Kicking off how Martin's family was killed by a vampire and just how he ended up in this car driving with this man only known as Mister (Nick Damici). The scene is well done and really relays everything we are going to need to be part of this world. Dad is frantically working on hi car, trying to get it running. On the radio reports of attacks by creatures are spreading across the country. People are being told to hunker down. Mom is holding the baby and fretting about whether running is the right decision. When Martin chases the dog out in the rain you think he will see a creature but instead the attack happens back in the barn. His Mother screams and his return inside is to see his bloody Mom on the ground. Mister shows up and with Martin kill the vampire that killed his Mom and then fed on the baby. His bloody gurgling father is finished off by the stranger. Traumatic for sure for Martin. He is just a teenager and if Mister had not shown up hunting this monstrous creature his incompetence would have been his downfall. We learn that you have to kill those who have been bitten or they change. Why else kill the father in the aftermath. That the vamps are animal in nature, the monster vampire instead of the romanticized version.
Now we know what we are in for in the world where a vampire plague has spread and people are few and far between. It is a solid start for a film that really is a road survival movie at its core. Martin journeys from the scared teen to capable vampire fighter trained by the experienced hunter as they travel looking for a place where they can settle down. This place New Eden is in Canada since the vampires, cold blooded do not like the weather. It is a goal and while Mister and Martin move towards it the film captures the need for connection among humans as well as the growing up that young Martin must do.
There are some more interesting ideas also, of course the expected militant groups of survivor running there self protected communities like military camps. Surprisingly though there are also more liberal places in the world where the people struggling to survive realize that protection can come without an iron fist if people work together. It is something rarely seen in these kind of films and was welcomed. Then there is the antagonist group, the Brethren. They are a group of fanatical religious zealots that believe the vampires are doing God's work driving new followers into the cult and when God's will is done they the vamps will be taken away by God leaving the Brethren to inherit the earth. Martin and Mister save a nun, Sister (Kelly McGillis) who has been raped by a couple of these thugs. Mister kills them running afoul of the group since one of the thugs was Brethren leader Jebedia Loven's (Michael Cerveris) son. This group is captures the writer's feelings about this group perfectly when in Martin's voice we get "In desperate times, false Gods abound. People put their faith in the loudest preacher and hope they are right." When captured by this group, Mister's punishment is to have his hands bound and left for a group of vampires. Sister and Martin are to be kept as new sheep in the flock. What is great about this film is that all along all the new decisions Martin has to make are training and he becomes more complete and likely to survive. I skip scenes in this review of Mister attacking vampires so Martin can practice killing them, at first not so well. When Mister is left to the vamps Martin runs from the group, now brave enough to make such a bold decision. He makes it back to the car to find Mister who also found a way to survive. Making it back to a safe town they pick up Belle (Danielle Harris), a young pregnant singer they see in the gathering place. She joins the group and it is something I like about this movie, people in it need connection to each other. It really is human nature and Mister is a vampire hunter but also a human looking out for those who need looking out for. Soon a fourth joins there party, Willie (Sean Nelson) an ex marine who is primarily there to fill some of the back story of how the government and military eventually broke down as the plague spread.
These four travel through Brethren country together, up the back roads to the colder mountains of New York State. Here Mister gets some sweet revenge on Jebedia when they come across him manning a checkpoint. Of course this can't be the end for the main bad guy we are only two thirds the way through the movie. Leaving him cut for the vamps though is a nice payback at the time. Finally reaching the border the group can relax. When they have to leave their weapons with the people running the town I knew that something really bad was going to happen. When Belle and Martin dance at the towns party, and Mister joined in I thought "Oh Oh this is not going to end well." Then when they see Sister and the group is complete I knew the bad was just around the corner.
The attack is awesome and I will not get into it here but it was surprising and really a cool thing to do. Our group gets out of it and heads for the hills going high to the cold country. When the car dies they are on foot, an older Sister, a pregnant Belle and the three guys. They seem safe from vampires but it is taking its toll on them. Even as they grow closer struggling together they are getting weaker and Belle is quite pregnant. Martin in the ever present V.O. says "Away from people I stopped thinking about the past and my family, I've found a new one." Since that was a bright and positive sentiment something bad has to happen. They come down from the hills because it is also too cold for them. They camp in this large traffic jam of abandoned cars that had been heading to the now really close Canadian border.
After another very good tense attack scene we have our survivors hold up in an old bus. Mister senses something amiss but can not put his finger on it. When another member of the group vanishes we get the big turn in the story. It is nicely done and although veteran horror film fans could figure it out I bet a fair number of people out there won't. Building to a climax as the last three remaining in the group get so close to safety only to have to fight yet another battle. When the final group of three are hold up at roadside diner, after the climax we see the journey's end for Martin as he is a proven survivor and vampire killer. The happy ending is well done and expected.
What I liked about this film is that it never lost track of whose story it was. At its heart it was always about Mister and Martin and it held true to the relationship. Although the voice over always in the voice of Martin showed that he was the main character from the beginning. Still the story of Mister played a very complementary role inter connecting with Martin but never drowning his story out. It was well done. I do wish though that more character development was done with interactive scenes instead of using the V.O. so much. Way too much we are told about the connections of characters instead of them showing us the connections they are developing. Some of the characters are less developed and thus obviously expendable. Overall this is a wonderful entry into the genre, instead of big loud and super action filled it is quiet scary, a study of people. A bit on the predictable in what must happen, with some characters obvious feed for vampires but also some surprises. The music was a real mood setter and I am not always sure it is the mood I wanted in the movie, some really melancholy tunes more appropriate for a dreamy summer road movie than a survival one. I think that they were going for a haunted mood but I wanted a bit more tension. The vampire presentation was just excellent and monstrous, the feel of the vampire attacks was closer to the 28 Days Later feel but less frantic, so positives there. Writer/Director Jim Mickle does a nice job with what he has and he with co-writer Damici have created a worthy film for lovers of horror that I think general audience could also enjoy.
Rating (6.7) 5.0 and up are recommended, in the Zombiegrrlz system Go and see it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Decoys (2004) Horror Sci-Fi Aliens

Decoys (2004) - Let me say right up front I kinda like this movie, there are things in it that are appealing and not just all the hot young women that fill the screen, although no harm there. It does some writing things well as far as foreshadowing and moving the plot through action. For all it does well though there are some really hap handed things that drag it into mediocrity. So lets get into it. Decoys starts on Halloween, kids are trick and treating, costumes and the such and we come in and follow a college age guy into his buddies house. It is too quiet, way too quiet. He creeps into the living room and it appears his friend is watching static on the television. He moves around the couch to see his dead friend. Here is something I like, because it is Halloween the dude is initial scared by the corpse but then thinks it is a prank. Only after he sees the second friend dead in the corner does he freak. It was a small nice touch. The scene does not play into the film until much later when the final turn refers back to it, but it is also a good establishing scene for the kind of death we are to see.
Two months later in the heart of winter the movie picks up on a college campus. A Hollywood style college campus where all the women are way too hot, we see the dorms and various hotties ending on an artist doing sculpture with a blow torch, I looked at my wife at this point and said "We are going to see that flame thrower again." as it was one of those obvious visuals to set up something later. Two guys head to the laundry room to do clothes, Luke (Corey Sevier), our lead and his roommate Roger (Elias Toufexis). Here we get a bit of character development, with Luke the more responsible freshman and Roger already into partying. There is also the open window in the dead of winter. The guys close it after commenting but here it is a smarter written foreshadowing since laundry rooms get hot it sort of makes sense that someone may have opened the window. You could think nothing of it even though it is winter, it plays into the plot and is not too obvious.
Luke is a lucky guy because after sharing a few brews with Roger he comes back to the laundry room and is joined by the lovely Lilly (Stephanie von Pfetten) and Constance (Kim Poirer) who flirt relentlessly and in a clunky piece of "I have to give Luke a reason to go to the girls room" thinking, Lilly OBVIOUSLY leaves her roll of quarters in the room before they leave. He heads up and finds the room oddly empty, super clean and the window open, it is freezing in there. I like the touch of letting the audience know there is something up with these chicks by leaving a Yanni cd on the night table. Something ain't right there! Luke does not have to wait long to find out either as the plot immediately picks up. He hears the girls coming and does not want to be caught smelling their nighties so he hides in the closet. He gets to see what at first he thinks is some hot lesbian loving but instead after they get mostly naked Constance sprays Lilly with liquid nitrogen. Shit and all the tentacles that spring from her stomach really seem to like it. So we now after not much time know that these two chicks are not right, and most likely aliens from outer space. So does our main character but since he was drinking he will naturally doubt what he saw. In fact most of us under the influence will rationalize the things we see so makes a bit of sense. SO when he is with his crew of Roger, Alex (Meghan Ory), and DJ Nathan, uh Gibby (Ennis Esmer) they are reluctant to believe him. There are some subtle hints in here about who is what but the director and cowriter Mathew Hastings (with Tom Berry) does a good job at misleading later so the ending can be a surprise to the audience. I have seen way to many of these kind of films to be fooled though to the final turn was not surprising.
Roger is a virgin looking to get laid and alien Constance is just the solution he needs. So the gang heads to the blondes sorority house for a party where he hopes to get lucky. Although after seeing the girls flirt luck does not seem to be a factor in it. Lilly makes another move on Luke, with some sweet kissing but something about the memory of seeing tentacles spring from her abdomen turns him off so she moves onto the college hockey star. I really liked that they got the hockey star Bobby (Marc Trottier) to read something at the mic and he could barely read. Very funny. When Luke ends up in a fight with him though he is totally overmatched and has to say No Mas! It is really all for the best because when Lilly and Bobby head out into the cold for some nookie she shoves those tentacles right down his throat, it could have been our boy Luke. At the same time Constance is aggressively attempting to get Roger into the same position but since they are in the bathroom of the sorority he does not want his first time to be so down and dirty. She is annoyed but lets him off the hook for now.
Oobvious set piece number three when the next day the roommates talk about Rogers heart medication. Okay so now we know there will be a heart failure for poor old Rog. Geeze! They are interrupted by a knock on the door and Amanda (former Baywatch babe Nicole Eggert) a cop is there to get Luke for questioning in the death of Hockey player Bobby. Now here is the biggest problem with the rest of the film. Amanda is a bit more than 10 years older than Luke and they have a history, she dumped him. Besides the fact that he must have been in high school at the time, the script does nothing with this information. It is like there used to be a storyline there but it was edited out leaving these traces that do nothing for the story. It almost seems like later they wanted to give Luke a choice between Amanda and Alex but because the Amanda part is so stunted it is never really a choice.
Then there is Detective Francis Kirk (Richard Burgi), who plays his part as dickhead cop like William Shatner plays Capt. Kirk in Star Trek, meaning way over the top. He is horrible and distracting because he is so bad. Maybe that is what he was going for but damn it did not work. It could be that Kirk was going to be a love interest with the other cop Amanda. At some point in the screenwriting it felt like maybe there was more there where Kirk's motivation included knowing that Luke once was involved with Amanda. What ever the reason he and the cops in general have really no purpose in the outcome of the movie.
The film becomes Luke and Alex trying to capture evidence of the aliens, the Detective suspecting he is the killer, Alex puppy dogging around after Luke wishing he would spend more time noticing her and trying to look out for his friend. Luke knows something is going on and the aliens are killing people but does not know the full story. We as the audience get the full story pretty quick through our boy Gibby and the alien Constance. She takes him out to a graveyard crypt. After making it Gibby is a Popsicle and Constance is disappointed. It is obvious that the alien woman don't want the dudes to freeze solid and so there is some sympathy for them. In this scene there is a from inside Gibby's mouth camera shot. You gotta love that
Luke puts the pieces together slower than you may like but in the end he realizes what is going on. These aliens are trying and failing to breed with man. On the I could do without side, I could do without the dreaded musical interlude, there were three of them in this movie, once when Luke is seducing Lilly on web cam to get evidence, once when a major character dies, and one at the end when Alex and Luke finally hook up. I hate them they only serve to piss me off.
I am not going to talk about how the alien invasion is stopped. When Luke gets his plan together to fight them, he goes off the rails. His acting fails him completely almost like he thought acting poorly would be a good thing. I don't know if he was going for laughs? Some of the dialog in the climax is really poor and he delivers those lines with gusto that is laughable. "Belt of Orion? How about belt of O frying!" Then there is the less than stellar special effects, we get some cgi reveals of the aliens true form that are not really very good. Oh the film has such potential why can't they execute?
In the end though with all the things I didn't like about this film, I enjoyed watching it. Maybe it is the girls are hot, or that the script does a good job selling them as not really evil. They are just trying to survive and they can have feelings too. (sob :( ) Decoys is an annoying little fun flick that could have been better but goes on my bad but I liked it list.
Rating (5.1) 5.0 and up are recommended, in the Zombiegrrlz system I would Rent it.