Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brief Thoughts- SNOWPIERCER (2013)

I find myself in the odd place of naysayer about a much lauded science fiction film. By way of NetFlix I finally caught SNOWPIERCER (2013) and after all the hubbub over the past year I was excited to experience its dystopian vision. For the first hour or so I watched and got a few thrills out of the set up and the excellent cast as they laid out the scenario and introduced the plot but I felt oddly unaffected. I thought it might be a case in which the second half would cement things and bring everything into focus so I was patient. After all- the movie looked great and was being rendered beautifully onscreen so surely the story would catch fire eventually.

Instead I found that as the film progresses I was less involved in the story and was simply hanging on to see what the final act would do to end things. The further forward in the titular train the vengeful rebels traveled the less believable the entire tale seemed until I lost all ability to care and my suspension of disbelief evaporated. The space necessary to make this perpetual motion machine seem real was just not portrayed successfully enough for me and all I kept thinking was 'Do you have to pass through all of these train cars to eat sushi?'

Don't get me wrong- I know the whole tale is a metaphor for society and the necessity for the exploited under classes to fight for the rights that the wealthy claim and hold by force. But once the fictional structure becomes silly and implausible it begins to feel like a very pretty economics lecture punctuated by a few well played scenes of violence. Hell! I agree with the class war sentiments of the story but by the end I just didn't care very much about the characters or their efforts because their plight was so artificial and improbable.

It's a shame - there is a lot to be impressed by in the film but overall its only worth a single watch as food for discussion.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Great White North: Beer Nog

And now a bit of Holiday celebrating wisdom from Bob & Doug. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Santa is Odin! by Eric W. Brown

I hope we are all on the same page now. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

NaschyCast #49 - MY FRIEND, THE VAGABOND (1984)

It's December and its time for a new NaschyCast! For years we've thought it would be interesting to have a Christmas themed show for this month. Sadly, we've never been able to arrange it but this Holiday season has us finally deliver such an episode and it's an accident! That's right- Mi Amigo el Vagabundo turns out to be a kind of Christmas film. Yes! Synchronicity exists. Or at least blind luck.

Anyway, we talk about this soft-hearted family drama written and directed by Paul Naschy and starring excellent Spanish actor José Luis López Vázquez, Julia Saly and Naschy's son Sergio Molina as the 7 (or 8) year old object of this movie's story. Naschy had a good bit to say about this film in his autobiography and, as an added bonus, I talked with Sergio about his work in this one as well. So, sit back and be prepared for a strangely cuddly Naschy film experience - Well- there is a kidnapping so its only cuddly up to a point.

The mailbag is full to bursting this month so we talk about last month's Godzilla show for a while; answer questions about Spanish horror tropes; relate tales of inappropriate teenage film viewings; ponder podcasting Jess Franco's other Dr. Orloff movies and look forward to the New Year. If you have any comments, cruelty or ideas please write us at or visit us on the NaschyCast FaceBook page. If you get the show via iTunes please rate & review us over there and if you have the scratch and like the show please consider donating to help defray the cost of hosting. Thanks! 

Christmas with the Super Heroes!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

BOBBY "BORIS" PICKETT & CRYPT-KICKERS - Monster's Holiday (1962)

How have I not posted this here before? Everybody dance! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What I Watched in November

Well, I have seen the supposed start of the new Universal Monsters franchise and it was OK. DRACULA UNTOLD is the film they seem to have set out to make even if its not exactly the film I wish that they had set out to make. It's an historical tale melding the Vlad the Impaler legend with the Bram Stoker character and as such it's not too bad. The film moves well, the cast is up to the effort and the story is not bad. The film paints Dracula as a well meaning lord that feels he must strike a harsh bargain with a terrible vampire monster to save his people from destruction. He makes the deal but events turn so that he is unable to save his land or himself from damnation and he is cursed with eternal life and its required inhuman thirst for blood.

As I said, its an OK film but hardly deserving of a sequel much less as the first step in the launch of a Monster film series. Granted, Luke Evens in the title role is very good and Charles Dance is fantastic as the monster that turns Dracula but a much better script will be necessary to make this more than a passable time waster.

BIG HERO 6 is the latest big screen animated film and it was quite fun. It is a fast, fun and very amusing science fiction adventure that even has a few narrative surprises in the form of altering the audience's perception of two characters at the midway point. This is not something that most Disney films would have tried before the more complex Pixar version of delicately complicated storytelling was introduced.

I've not be overly enthused for the past couple of years about seeking out the newest animated feature films and I as I watch BIG HERO 6 I began to understand why. I think I've finally reached the point where I've seen enough of them that I know what I'm going to get every time. Not that i don't enjoy what the films serve up but its like listening to a new performance by a band you know very well - unless there is some fresh or innovative addition to the song, it's just not as great the fifty-first time as it was the first thirty or so. There is nothing wrong with this film- in fact it is pretty damned good. I just think I've realized that it might be the last of these types of movies I actively seek out on the big screen. 

ASSAULT ON PRECIENT 13 (1976)- 7 (rewatch)
TWO SECONDS (1932)- 6 (solid but set-bound stage adaptation)
BABYLON (2014)- 8 (pilot for British TV series)
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988)- 3 (rewatch) (just as bad as I remembered)
NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2 (1994)- 6 (superior sequel!)
BYZANTIUM (2012)- 8 (excellent variation on the vampire tale)
THE BIG BOSS (1971)- 6 (Bruce Lee action film)
COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES (2012)- 7 (very fun horror comedy)
SPINETINGLER! The William Castle Story (2007)- 8 (rewatch)
BIG HERO 6 (2014)- 7
BILLY THE KID VS. DRACULA (1966)- 3 (rewatch)
I, FRANKENSTEIN (2014)- 2 (rewatch)
GAMERA (1965)- 7 (rewatch)
THE MONSTER OF THE OPERA (1964) - 5 (padded vampire tale)