Tag Archives: Christopher Young

The Fly II (1989, Chris Walas)

One of the great tragedies for soap operas has to be Fly II director Chris Walas being too good with special effects–his company does them on the film–to have to direct soap operas. With the exception of these high angle shots of impossibly expansive sets, presumably to emulate thirties horror films, Walas is a supremely mediocre director. There isn’t a single good shot in The Fly II, but there isn’t a bad shot either.

It’s a shame, really, because it gives the film a curiosity value. Walas’s painfully competent presentation of the truly insipid script never entertains or engages, but one finds him or herself transfixed. How dumb can it get next.

Sadly, there are only two good performances in the film. Daphne Zuniga isn’t as bad as everyone else, which isn’t a compliment, but both Harley Cross and John Getz are good. Getz is in a scene or two, reprising from the original, and he’s having a good time and cashing a paycheck. Cross is the lead character as a ten year-old and is actually quite good. If The Fly II were some crazy story about a ten year-old boy-fly, it’d be a lot more entertaining.

But Walas can’t direct actors. Inexplicably, he’s got lousy actors in the film. Ann Marie Lee and Garry Chalk are real bad as the sub-villains, while Lee Richardson gives it a very “Days of Our Lives” vibe as Mr. Big.

And Eric Stoltz is an anemic lead.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Chris Wales; screenplay by Mick Garris, Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat and Frank Darabont, based on a story by Garris and characters created by George Langelaan; director of photography, Robin Vidgeon; edited by Sean Barton; music by Christopher Young; production designer, Michael S. Bolton; produced by Steven-Charles Jaffe; released by 20th Century Fox.

Starring Eric Stoltz (Martin), Daphne Zuniga (Beth), Lee Richardson (Bartok), Harley Cross (10 year old Martin), Garry Chalk (Scorby), Ann Marie Lee (Jainway), Frank C. Turner (Shepard) and John Getz (Stathis).


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THIS FILM IS ALSO DISCUSSED ON BASP | THE FLY (1986) / THE FLY II (1989).

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Rapid Fire (1992, Dwight H. Little)

Even with his silly, slicked back eighties cop hair, Raymond J. Barry is easily the best actor in Rapid Fire. His first appearance is delightful, as it washes away some of the film’s already very bad taste.

Rapid Fire is an action movie without any good action. Director Little’s terrible with actors and composition, but he also has a lousy crew. Ric Waite’s photography, while mildly competent, looks like he’s shooting the picture through bathwater. Gib Jaffe’s editing loses characters and he can’t figure out how to edit star Brandon Lee’s fight scenes. It’s okay, I guess, since Little can’t figure out how to shoot them. If the draw of Rapid Fire is supposed to be Lee’s martial arts abilities, actually showing them as something other than editing tricks would be helpful.

Besides Barry, only Tzi Ma makes any good acting impression… but it might be because Ma starts out opposite Nick Mancuso. Either Little told Mancuso to do a Sonny Corleone impression or Mancuso came up with it himself. Every moment Mancuso is on screen, whether playing with his hair or staring off into space, sears the reasoning parts of the brain. It’s laughably bad.

As for Lee? He’s not very good. It’s partially Little’s direction–and a lot of it is Alan B. McElroy’s terrible script–but he’s still not good.

Speaking of McElroy, he works numerous Chinese epithet to show Rapid Fire is socially conscious.

It’s an awful movie.

And Christopher Young’s smooth jazz score doesn’t help.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Dwight H. Little; screenplay by Alan B. McElroy, based on a story by Cindy Cirile and McElroy; director of photography, Ric Waite; edited by Gib Jaffe; music by Christopher Young; production designer, Ron Foreman; produced by Robert Lawrence; released by 20th Century Fox.

Starring Brandon Lee (Jake Lo), Powers Boothe (Mace Ryan), Nick Mancuso (Antonio Serrano), Raymond J. Barry (Agent Frank Stewart), Kate Hodge (Karla Withers), Tzi Ma (Kinman Tau), Tony Longo (Brunner), Michael Paul Chan (Carl Chang), Dustin Nguyen (Paul Yang), Brigitta Stenberg (Rosalyn), Basil Wallace (Agent Wesley) and Al Leong (Minh).


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Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988, Tony Randel)

So, Hellbound is a British production, but it dubs over the British cops (who are dressed like American cops and carry guns and don’t know how to use them–because they’re British?) with American accents. It’s a lame decision and one of the few gaffs in the film not related to the story itself.

Even with Christopher Young’s really overbearing score, the film’s at least somewhat successful, if only because half of it plays a little like Tron in hell. It also features a decently plotted story this time, with plot progression and so on.

Unfortunately, it makes absolutely no sense in the context of the first film (and not just because it starts immediately following the first film, which ended with a house burning down, with the house still intact). It’s also never clear what happens to the Hellraiser box from the first movie.

Anyway….

The really confusing elements come about halfway through, when resurrected (and strangely top-billed) Clare Higgins has superpowers. Then she reveals she’s on a mission from hell to recruit souls but she does a really bad job of it, only getting one and she can’t even bring him to hell, she needs mute Imogen Boorman to do it. Kind of.

Boorman’s character arc is an example of the best thing about Hellbound. It’s implied evil doctor Kenneth Cranham (who apparently is a supervillain out to take over hell) kills Boorman’s mother just so he can perform brain surgery on her, but never made clear.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Tony Randel; screenplay by Peter Atkins, based on a story by Clive Barker; director of photography, Robin Vidgeon; edited by Richard Marden; music by Christopher Young; production designer, Michael Buchanan; produced by Christopher Figg; released by New World Pictures.

Starring Clare Higgins (Julia Cotton), Ashley Laurence (Kirsty Cotton), Kenneth Cranham (Dr. Philip Channard), Imogen Boorman (Tiffany), Sean Chapman (Frank Cotton), William Hope (Kyle MacRae), Doug Bradley (Lead Cenobite), Barbie Wilde (Female Cenobite), Simon Bamford (Butterball Cenobite), Nicholas Vince (Chatterer Cenobite), Oliver Smith (Browning) and Angus MacInnes (Detective Ronson).


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Hellraiser (1987, Clive Barker)

So, Hellraiser is supposed to be scary, right?

Because it seems like a poorly directed, completely illogical (if a wall split open in front of you, would you walk into it?) mess. It’s only ninety-four minutes, including credits, but it’s this exceptionally boring “scary” movie. The scariest thing in the movie might be the off-screen clean-up of the maggot-infested kitchen. It’s the scariest idea in the movie, anyway.

Someone, somewhere, has got to have come up with a theory about Hellraiser‘s rather negative view of heterosexual sex in relation to Barker’s homosexuality. But I can’t muster the interest to look it up. His romantic scenes between Ashley Laurence and Robert Hines are awful. Hines isn’t the worst actor in the film, but he’s close, so he doesn’t help anything.

Laurence is okay. She’s not particularly good, but not bad either. Clare Higgins and Oliver Smith are terrible. Only Andrew Robinson is good. He’s really good, but it’s Andrew Robinson and he’s always been really good and Hellraiser does give him some opportunity to flex. It’s not worth sitting through it to wait for him to have his best scenes, but he is good.

Barker opens the movie with a really gross skin pulling scene, which kind of makes everything subsequent–which tends to be a lot tamer–not so eerie or scary. Christopher Young’s music, which I think is supposed to lend mood, doesn’t help either. It’s a terrible score.

Hellraiser‘s much worse than I expected.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Clive Barker; screenplay by Barker, based on his novella; director of photography, Robin Vidgeon; edited by Richard Marden; music by Christopher Young; production designer, Michael Buchanan; produced by Christopher Figg; released by New World Pictures.

Starring Andrew Robinson (Larry), Clare Higgins (Julia), Ashley Laurence (Kirsty), Sean Chapman (Frank), Oliver Smith (Frank the Monster), Robert Hines (Steve), Anthony Allen (1st Victim), Leon Davis (2nd Victim), Michael Cassidy (3rd Victim) and Frank Baker (Derelict).


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