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Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.

Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.

With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.


Released: 08/11/06

Viewed: 4:45pm 08/12/06

Starring: Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder, Christina Milian, Rick Gonzalez, Jonathan Tucker, Samm Levine, Ron Rifkin

Directed by: Jim Sonzero

Official Site of the movie

I’ve been waiting a long time for Pulse to be released. After two false start-ups (published release dates on March 3rd and July 14th) the movie finally kur-plunked into theaters on August 11th, only to be knocked into obscurity by Step Up, a teen targeted dance film. But the fact that the movie finally came out was enough reason to celebrate for me. I sat in that theater in pure glee as I cowering behind my large diet coke watching digital effects creep out of shadows and stalk beautiful people. And I know deep down that with its fresh young stars and new fangled digital effects, Pulse is essentially just the horror equivalent of Step Up, but I can’t help it. I was ready for this film. I was waiting for this film. And based on the box office, apparently I was one of the only ones.

Some of the best youth TV has to offer, Veronica Mars’s Kristen Bell and LOST’s Ian Somerhalder, star in Pulse. Another Japanese horror movie remade for the U.S. market. And I’m not convinced that this is a good thing. Not because you shouldn’t mess with classics, but because Japan has contributed to the fascination of the haunting of technology. Videotapes are haunted. Video games are haunted. Pulse of course takes it to the next level because, when there’s nothing left for the dead to dead to possess, they’ll spam the hell out of you.

Spam is the worlds greatest evil at this point, so I totally buy it. But seriously, houses are haunted not your inbox.

Still, the movie manages to be pretty scary by using (for the most part) the old standard of quick cuts and loud noises. It’s not the kind of terror that will stay with you, but I was a flinching machine in the theater. What’s upsetting is that they had real horror months ago. They had it! In the early previews there was footage of stark white, hairless ghouls rolling out of the shadows, dancing in slow motion, and popping out of laundry machines. They were real, and tangible, and frightening. In the actual film the real life figures were filtered out with a sort of digital fuzz. An effect, I assume, to try and connect them to the plot of “lost souls travelling on a different frequency.” It helps the story but hurts the horror.

I should mention that the bathtub scene was probably the freakiest part of the movie. What happens in that tub isn’t the sort of thing you’ll think about on a day to day basis as a great horror moment, but the next time you take a bath you’ll think twice about clouding the water with bubbles. Honestly, who takes baths any more anyway?

Here’s the thing – I don’t even blame the makers of the film for the disappointing fuzz filter. I blame the Internet. Because it’s haunted! Just kidding. I blame the Internet because after test screenings in the beginning of the year, blogs across the country lit up with complaints. Of what, I’m not completely sure, but I can totally picture some nerd saying, “The dead are too real. Shouldn’t they be on a different frequency?” “Hey, that little shit is right. Let’s change everything!” Thanks a lot jackass. One complaint I’m aware of is a plane crash scene lifted directly from the Japanese film Kairo which Pulse is based on. Stolen footage is a big turn off even if next to none of your target audience is even aware of the original film. This clip was even used in the theatrical trailers and TV spots, but thankfully a new, elaborate, totally out of place plane crash was edited in. This of course led to the film being pushed back for rumoured re-shoots and effects work, and for that I cannot forgive you Internet.

Like most of the horror Americanizations of Japanese films, Pulse is much slicker and stylized, but sadly it’s much tamer in the fright department. Something gets lost in translation and creepy becomes campy, suspense becomes a new song on the soundtrack, and the beast in the shadows becomes nothing more than nice special effects work. It’s a hollow shell and I kept thinking it might have held more resonance had they not over-polished it.

So I’m not exactly a huge horror buff, and some regular readers might be aware of that. I’m the sort of person that gets excited about the idea of a horror movie, and when I get to the theater I find myself freaked out within the first 2 minutes, and consequently pissed off at the realization that there’s another hour and a half to go! For the most part I end up having a good time but it’s rarely a smooth ride. The real draw for this film was Kristen Bell.

I’m a huge Veronica Mars fan. I think it’s one of the best shows on TV, so when I saw this as Bell’s first big Hollywood film I made myself get interested in it. It didn’t hurt that her roommate in the movie is Christina Milian who is so smoking hot. And they hang out with nerds! (Rick Gonzalez and Samm Levine. Sorry guys. Loved Old School and Freaks and Geeks.) I want to know what school they go to so I can enroll there and be creepy old nerd. I could totally buy them beer! I want to be part of that world. Internet viruses be damned, I like those odds!

Ok, that was creepy. But fun.

Every actor and actress mentioned, nerdy or hot, is solid in the film. I think Bell and Somerhalder, who do all the heavy lifting here, are able to carry the film well. But it could have been a great film had there been a bit more material. Things fizzle down and they actually run out of things to do. I’m very hesitant to ruin the ending even though it bothered the hell out of me. It’s a classic Hitchcokian closing that I was never a big fan of in its origional form, but it’s a classic, and the classics are classic for a reason.

Pulse is a nice flashy horror film with a few good thrills. True horror nuts may appreciate the concept but will be disappointed by film school scare tactics. But I think most people know what to expect. It’s not brilliant but it’s a night out at the movies. It could be worse. It could be another damn movie about a creepy kid that just… won’t… die! Wickerman review goes up in about 2 weeks!

Rating: 5 out of 10

Pulse is a bit of a disappointment after waiting so long, and it’s not the strongest horror movie you’ll see this season, but it’s not a complete waste. Add it to your Netflix cue in a couple of months. You might regret it, but I doubt you’ll regret it enough to write me an angry e-mail. If you do, let me know what you though about the ending. Stupid, right?

DVD Worthy?:

Pass. I’m not one for horror on DVD. Once you know where all the jumps are, the thrill is gone.

Trailer Hitch: The Covenant

I’ve seen the trailer for The Covenant 3 or 4 times now and it always gets a mixed reaction. Either the crowd is really into the exploding cars or they laugh at how lame the cast looks in their over-posed action stances. I’m all for it though. In the trailer they lay down the structure for a cool sci-fi action adventure with it’s own built in history and mythology. It reminds me a lot of Highlander. They live in their own world with awesome secret powers. I think that sounds like fun.

If You liked this movie check out: feardotcom

Ok, my group of friends and I have always considered feardotcom to be the worst movie we ever saw in a theater. It’s website haunting angle was a little ahead of it’s time, but so poorly done it’s almost un-watchable. Like Pulse, its major themes have to do with the dead haunting the Internet. Pulse is more literal and feardotcom went the “trippy” route to try and scare it’s audiences. Neither worked perfectly but we’re talking about ghosts on line. It’ll be 50 years before that makes sense to anyone.

Back in June a bunch of us got together for a full day of Superman. One of the films Phil made us watch was the directors cut of Supergirl. It sucked so hard that I bought Phil feardotcom for his birthday, just out of spite. Driving home from Chicago someone dared us to put it in the minivans DVD player. I was all for it because I wanted to see Phil squirm in the horrible Stephen Dorff-ness of it all. 5 minutes in, he’s out cold. Everyone was out cold except for the driver and me. This may not sound to bad except the driver was actually interested so I had to describe it to him. “She’s walking down the hall… There’s a creepy ball bouncing in slow motion. There’s a little girl there. I think she has vitiligo.” It was a miserable experience but ended up being a lot of fun to make fun of. I don’t actually recommend watching it, but I dare you to get together with your friends and see how bad it is.

Non Movie Related News

If that wasn’t enough Pulse discussion for you take a look at this post in the Pulse thread on the Digital Pimp boards, where I’ve posted a detailed account of my relationship with the delay of the film. It’s fun stuff but made the review impossibly long.

In less Internet haunting news, Joe Loves Crappy movies was officially added on as a member over at Boxcar Comics! It sort of happened quickly and I’m still shaken up by it. It’s always been nice being a member of the group with the Coffee Achievers, but because I was only half of that comic I always felt like a junior member of the group. Not because of anything they said or did, everyone over there is totally cool, I just never felt like a real contributor. Or sort of like a half contributor.

So I was invited in at the same time Multiplex was voted in (Congrats Gordon!) and there you have it. It’s such a great group to be involved with. I couldn’t be happier.

Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!

Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - The Introduction

Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.

First Appearance - Fever Pitch

Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.

First Appearance - V for Vendetta

Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison

Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.

First Appearance - 300

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe

Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.

First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet

Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.

First Appearance - Four Brothers

Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.

First Appearance - Ultraviolet

Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.

First Appearance - The Producers

Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?

First Appearance - Saw IV

Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V