Stephen King’s A Good Marriage to a Killer Mermaid

Stephen King’s A Good Marriage is currently available on instant Netflix

A Good Marriage

 

Stephen King’s A Good Marriage¬†(2014) – Rated R

With a serial killer on the loose and a stranger stalking her family, a woman unearths a sinister secret that threatens her marriage — and her life.”

Stephen King adapted this from one of his stories in Full Dark, No Stars. It is a very straightforward tale. What would happen if you discovered X? The storytelling in both the novella and the screenplay are very refreshing. The full focus is kept on the husband and wife. Direction is similarly straightforward and not at all flashy.

Three time Oscar nominee Joan Allen is wonderful as Darcy Anderson, our woman who discovers a sinister secret. She singlehandedly makes the movie what it should be. Anthony LaPaglia is quite good as the concerned husband. Stephen Lang is mostly window dressing as a mysterious stranger.

A Good Marriage is worth watching if you like a dark what if? character study. There is not much action and not much to the movie beyond the relationship between husband and wife but that is enough.

Killer Mermaid

 

Killer Mermaid (2014) РNot Rated

Two young women go on an exotic Mediterranean vacation and uncover the watery lair of a killer mermaid hidden beneath an abandoned military fortress.”

Obviously my first thought on seeing that this was on Netflix was “oh no Asylum is back at it again”. My plan was to skip it. I looked it up on imdb and because it wasn’t Asylum, I thought I would give it a shot.

First I’d like to rant a bit about the dumbing down of the title. This was originally titled “Mamula”, the location of the film. Apparently that was too esoteric so in the UK, it was titled “Nymph”. Not on the nose enough, U.S. audiences received it as “Killer Mermaid”. It just reminded me when Amicus’ horror anthology “Asylum” came over here, someone apparently thought that we wouldn’t know what an asylum was and retitled it “House of Crazies”.

Digression: The term Asylum apparently caught on in the U.S. as there was The Asylum in 2000 and 2013. Asylum (by itself) has been the title of movies in 1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2014. There have also been Stonehearst Asylum, The Amityville Asylum, Dark Asylum, Asylum Blackout, Asylum Days, Hell Asylum, and Doom Asylum.

Pardon my digressions but there isn’t much to say about Killer Mermaid. There is some gore but not enough and not creative enough for gorehounds. There are pretty young ladies but strangely the camera only focuses on one of them. They have a wonderful location to shoot at but not much is made of it. Most of the cast is Serbian but they have Franco Nero for some international appeal.

Compared to pretty much any Asylum picture, Killer Mermaid is good but really only by comparison. By any other metric Killer Mermaid is a slightly entertaining, forgettable waste of time.

Conan the Generic

AVOID: Conan the Barbarian (2011) – Rated R for strong bloody violence, some sexuality and nudity.

The wife and I went to see the new Conan the Barbarian and felt it was not worth what we paid. We had (sort of) FREE tickets from a couple Blu-Rays at Best Buy (Highlander and Kill Bill vol.1). For some odd reason the FREE ticket is only valid for $7.50. Does anyone have a theater where the evening adult price is $7.50 or less?

I was glad to see that the movie was rated R as Conan should have plenty of violence. Unfortunately much of the R rating was for the ridiculous looking CGI blood.

The most egregious fault was the utterly generic script that hit every single cliche we could think of except for what we thought would be the final shot for the movie. The script also vacillates between being a Conan script and being a generic fantasy script so the tone is uneven.

It seems that one of the three writers knew who Conan was and snuck in a few Conan moments here and there. Still he often must have been overruled as Conan at one point drops the revenge he has been living his whole life for in order to save someone in distress.

I understand that Conan is no rocket surgeon but the script makes him out to be a complete moron. He is orphaned and then raised by another warrior. The warrior offers his aid in revenge but Conan rejects it stating that he must do this alone. Later you have essentially the same scenario, only Conan now has a ship full of people at his disposal. Sure enough he has to go it alone again.

Later still Conan accepts the help of a thief to break into a city because Conan is apparently incapable of opening doors but the trip is completely moot as he then just leaves, leaving the thief behind as he must do this alone.

In the climactic battle sequence, the entire area is shaking and falling apart (a la the opening temple in Raiders of the Lost Ark) until the battle sequence. At that point everything stops falling apart. After the battle sequence, everything starts falling apart again until the next battle sequence. This is repeated ad nauseum for no discernible reason.

Jason Momoa is okay as Conan (my wife liked his butt and abs). Rose McGowan, who I liked in Scream and Grindhouse, is actually pretty bad here as Marique and Stephen Lang fails to make an impression as Khalar Zym, which should have been a juicy role. Ron Perlman mostly just growls his way through the clunky dialogue.

I could go on but the goofs and gaffes are not bad enough to make the film funny – just annoying. Well at least my wife enjoyed the popcorn.