The Vineyard (1989):
Synopsis – A wine maker who seeks eternal life invites a group of young actors to his home, wining and dining them so that he can chain them up and stuff. Uh, I kind of don’t really get what was going on. Oh, and there are zombies.
One of the things us film lovers like to do is count how many movies in a director’s catalogue we have seen. There are completest out there who can claim to have seen every movie, no matter how obscure, by any director you can mention off the top of your head. Me? I can only say that for the Coen brothers and Christopher Nolan, and that’s it as far as I know. Why do I bring this up? Well, one day when I was going on one of my click-fests through IMDB cast pages, I ended up clicking on James Hong, in order to see how many films he had been in. That is a huge number, by the way. More interesting to me though was that he is credited as director for 4 movies, only 2 of which appear to be soft-core pornography! I thought to myself, now this is a director’s filmography I could conquer fairly easily! Turns out, that is only partly true. Because of the obscurity of these films, not all of them are readily available. I took the one that happened to be streaming on Netflix Instant and put it directly on my eye holes. This movie, The Vineyard… is pretty terrible. So bad, that I can see people watching it just to laugh at it. Bad acting, incomprehensible plot, digital soundtrack, need I say more? The film also leans into the soft-core area, although there is really only one scene that does that. It is a crappy horror film, and way to goofy to be taken seriously.
What I Liked:
-Well, this is a first I think. Nope, I really can’t say I “liked” anything in this movie. It made me laugh a few times, I guess there’s that.
What I Didn’t Like:
-Acting isn’t something most of the cast seemed to be familiar with, with the exception of Mr. Hong of course. Everyone in this movie must have fell off the California beach bus on its way to Cinemax’s studios for the next episode of Madam’s Closet. Seriously, the cast is all scantily clad women and dumb jocks, and of course there is one “nerd” who is actually a buff dude just wearing thick glasses. The “nerd” in this movie was one of the highlights, because someone told him he needed to be really annoying and so he speaks in a high pitched voice the whole movie. I should also note that there is one henchman who is a fat dude. He, of course, is super strong!
-What the hell was going on in this story? James Hong is a wine maker who is immortal because of an amulet that he stole from… his mother I think? Also he worships some weird God, who is only referenced to when he is at a tiny altar that we never get a good look at. And he is really old. How do we know this? Well, when he was about to kill the nerd he suddenly has a flashback where a Samurai type dude is going to kill his mom. That single flashback is the only reference to that though, so it might have just been an acid hallucination I had. Oh, and his wine is the best, so people are always paying huge amounts o’ cash for it! What are all these details for? They don’t equal out into anything. He has a torture dungeon, a vineyard full of dead bodies, and an Asian sidekick who is not that good at fighting. It’s not worth puzzling over.
-James Hong is supposed to be a dreamboat. I’m not buying it.
What I Hated:
-Please, someone needs to go back and time and take away all the synthesizers so I don’t ever have to hear one of these soundtracks again.
I can recommend this movie on a single condition: If you are looking to get together with some buddies and watch a bad movie to laugh at, this one will work well. Otherwise, it is so bad, don’t punish yourself with it.
I totally forgot, there is a masquerade party! And it is hilariously awful! ARRGGHHH