About Brian Orndorf

Published Articles: 11

Brian Orndorf is one of the best film critics in the universe. You can check out all of his reviews, including some hate mail, over at This Is Briandom.

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN started life as a faux trailer used to help promote the 2007 release of the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino extravaganza, GRINDHOUSE. It probably should’ve remained as a kitschy, grimy celebration of scratchy B-movie promotion. Since iffy internet jokes never seem to die peacefully anymore, we now have a feature-length version of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, and the upgrade is mostly unbearable camp disguised as hip homage, splattered with enough blood and guts to distract from a cinematically empty reality, with director Jason Eisener declaring screen war without any notable scripted ideas.

Into the decaying Hope City comes Hobo (Rutger Hauer), a broken man with dreams of owning a lawn mower in an attempt to rebuild his shattered existence. Facing life on the street, Hobo witnesses a daily parade of brutality, orchestrated by crime lord Drake (Brian Downey) and his two sadistic sons, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman). The ghouls own the town, leaving Hobo disgusted and aching for change. Salvation comes in the form of a shotgun, which gives the homeless man an opportunity to fight back, soon cleaning up the streets with his boomstick brand of justice.…

Review: The Wolfman (2010)

February 15, 2010 at 10:49 pm by  

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

November 20, 2009 at 2:54 pm by  

2012 Movie Review

November 12, 2009 at 3:40 pm by  

In the high stakes Hollywood blockbuster poker game, Roland Emmerich is going all in with “2012.” A disaster movie to end all disaster movies, “2012” is an enormous moviegoing event guaranteed to make eyes bleed and ears burst with its sheer scale and thundering execution. To bend the dictionary a little, it’s positively ginormous. “2012” is also disturbingly repetitive, obnoxiously noisy, and almost pornographic in length. Instead of providing a comforting bowl of melted apocalyptic cheese, Emmerich wants to beat the living hell out of his audience instead, staging doom after doom, death after death, until it reaches a nauseating spin of sensorial overload. It’s cinematic waterboarding and there was more than one occasion during the film when I was convinced it was never going to end. …

Saw VI Review

October 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm by  

I walked out of a screening of “Saw” in 2004 absolutely appalled with the movie. Not for the sadomasochistic violence the film would soon popularize, but for the cruddy production value and the laughably abysmal performances — Cary Elwes should be gifted a national holiday for his whimpering, career-smothering work, effectively neutering the repulsion of the ultraviolence. I loathed the film, yet watched with some degree of surprise as the franchise developed a defensive mainstream following; kindly folk who cheerfully hurdled generous filmmaking clichés and further acting decimation to bathe in the warm pools of blood, sucking up the suffering with a bendy straw as if the nightmare were Cherry Coke.…

The projectionist could’ve run this film backwards, and I don’t think I would’ve noticed. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is a Hollywood attempt to massage author Darren Shan’s 12-part saga of vampires and teenagers into a viable, cash-cow franchise. Spanning the first three novels, Assistant doesn’t tell a story as much as it hurls everything that isn’t nailed down against the wall to see what sticks. Labored and often tedious, the picture is a friendly stab at Burtonesque macabre antics, but director Paul Weitz is in way over his head trying to juggle huge portions of the grotesque and the epic. 16-year-old Darren (Chris Massoglia) is an average teen with good grades and a love for spiders. Finding a flyer for the Cirque du Freak sideshow, Darren decides to attend with impulsive best friend Steve (the limited Josh Hutcherson), finding …

Review Of The Stepfather

October 16, 2009 at 11:16 am by  

What would the world be like without horror remakes? Probably a happier place. The Stepfather was a 1987 genre classic, constructing a tremendously suspenseful chiller out of a fine collection of untested actors and mere pennies for a budget. Take out a few synth stings and fogged lighting techniques, and it still holds up damn well today, elevated by Terry O’Quinn’s masterful take on demented Robert Young envy. The new Stepfather is 100 minutes of dopey behavior and filmmaking inanity wrapped up tight in a bland, gutless PG-13 wooby, taking a proven premise and watering it down to a parade of nonsense created only to tickle gullible teen audiences. We’ve danced this dance a hundred times before, but it never ceases to kill a few brain cells and leave behind deep scratches of impatience on the armrest.…

Grief, death, and rusty scissors collide in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist. A metaphysical sojourn with cinema’s loudest spoilsport, the picture stuns and sickens, almost daring viewers to keep watching as it articulates the ravages of the unwound mind, filling the frame with demented acts of unspeakable violence and deeply considered thematic stimulation. For fans of Trier, Antichrist is a return to his once irresistible provocative appetites, shamelessly exploiting suffering and misogyny to generate the outrage that fuels his daydreams (and bank accounts). It’s a pitch-black torrential downpour of pain, and should only be approached by those willing to allow Trier 100 precious minutes to play his madcap mind games.…

Many films register as forgettable. Whiteout is practically the definition of the word, not actually requiring a viewing to sense a distinct worthlessness to this cinematic endeavor. Purportedly based on a beloved 1998 graphic novel, this Antarctic thriller is a dreadful sleeping pill, marching into production with the best intentions in the world, but coming out the other side a jumbled, incompetent, ludicrously underlined whodunit. Stationed on a remote base on Antarctica, U.S. Marshall Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale, failing to hide her embarrassment) is looking forward to her last days patrolling a frozen wasteland. Riding out her final moments of duty with friends (Ton Skerritt, Columbus Short), dreaming of a warmer future, Carrie is instead pulled into a last-minute murder investigation when a body is discovered out in the middle of nowhere.…

Review: World’s Greatest Dad

August 15, 2009 at 9:07 pm by  

Spending his directorial career in search of the proper script with the proper oddity to fit his established sense of humor, Bobcat Goldthwait has finally captured the secret formula with World’s Greatest Dad. A pitch-perfect black comedy, Dad drips with the sort of acidic smile that Goldthwait has built a career upon, bravely marching forward as not only one of the most uproarious films of the year, but perhaps the most accurate depiction of teen bile ever to grace the screen. It’s a double miracle: a stupendous comedy and a great argument for mass sterilization.…

Off on a honeymoon in Hawaii, screenwriter Cliff (Steve Zahn) and babyfevered Cydney (Milla Jovovich) are looking for adventure, seeking out a special trail to a secret beach for excitement. Hitting the mountainside, the couple runs into outdoorsy superman Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and his girlfriend Gina (Kiele Sanchez). Striking up a tentative friendship, Nick wins over the gang with his wild stories of near-death experiences and military history. Learning of the presence of a killer on the island, Cliff’s paranoia kicks into overdrive, leading him to suspect Nick and Gina of wrongdoing; but another couple (Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth) nearby fits the profile, leaving Cliff and Cydney eager to leave the beach before they become the next two victims.…

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