Often derided but actually great!
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Also released as WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK this Italian production is now primarily known as NIGHTMARE BEACH (1989). Like a number of these genre films this was shot in the United States to take advantage of the financial deals being offered by certain cities at the time. This explains why the majority of the cast is American or Canadian making this look as much as possible like a movie made with Hollywood money. This was standard at the time to make sales of the film around the world more lucrative and, along with the use of pseudonyms in the credits, makes the product seem fully North American. But the oddity of retaining many elements of the giallo genre over the standards of the slasher makes this film feel very much a continuation of that very Italian genre. And, once the script throws in tropes from popular Spring Break comedies and enough distracting characters to keep your mind off the central mystery, this becomes a pretty entertaining ride.
Join us for a fun trip featuring sunny beaches, wet t-shirt contests, angry biker gangs and bizarre electrocutions on this episode. If you have any comments the email address is email@example.com and the show’s FaceBook page is still active. Thank you for listening to the show!
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Although I think I understand much more of the underlying metaphysical gobbledygook behind this great film than Ti West, I like his enthusiasm! Carpenter brings us his version of a Quatermass story.
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Some might think that was pretty audacious to assume that it would be possible to make a successful sequel a full decade after the original film came out and was an unexpected worldwide hit. But the fact is that the people who made the first Zombieland film had no idea that it was going to be a massive hit and really had no idea for a direct follow-up in 2009. Of course, the franchise hasn't been totally moribund in the past 10 years. There was a failed TV series pilot done for Amazon that showed promise but garnered little interest. That could have taken the idea into a potential fun area but maybe the concept requires more than weekly TV can allow for. Now I think we can be very happy that, if you were a fan of the first movie, the writers had as much time as they did to come up with something as fun as this sequel. ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (2019) picks up right after the first film and follows our mismatched but loveable quartet to the White House where they set up safe residence and then slowly become bored. In fact, the group dynamics eventually sends the youngest off on her own to find a romantic entanglement that home-life cannot provide. And then the happy couple of the team suffer a crisis of the marital kind making a cross-country journey necessary again. This leads to meeting new survivors in Zombieland and further funny adventures trying to keep everyone alive. This one is at least as fun as the first movie and may actually be better thought out and emotionally satisfying than its predecessor. If they are going to make another one, I hope it happens before 2029.
THE MASK OF SATAN (1960) – 9 (rewatch on Blu)INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) – 8 (rewatch on Blu)
THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE (1974) - 7 (rewatch on Blu)
FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) -6 (rewatch)
MUMMY’S BOYS (1936) – 3 (sad attempt at comedy)
ABBOT & COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF (1949) – 7 (rewatch)
INSEMINOID (1980) – 4 (rewatch on Blu)
THE BLACK ROOM (1935) – 7 (Karloff period horror)
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) – 8 (rewatch on Blu)
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960) – 8 (rewatch on Blu)
THE ADDAMS FAMILY (2019) – 8
BEETLEJUICE (1988) – 9 (rewatch at Drive-In!)
SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939) – 9 (rewatch)
EL CAMINO (2019) – 8 (solid coda to Breaking Bad)
IN THE TALL GRASS (2019) – 7 (well done King/Hill adaptation)
CONTAMINATION .7 (1993) – 3 (a.k.a. The Crawlers) Euro-trash plant monster mess)
THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTIEN (1942) – 7 (rewatch)
ALIEN (1979) – 10 (40th anniversary rewatch on the big screen)
MARK OF THE WITCH (1970) – 5 (OK reincarnated witch tale)
SLEEPAWAY CAMP III: TEENAGE WASTELAND (1987) – 5 (silly but fun)
SATAN’S DOLL (1969) – 6 (fairly sloppy Italian gothic thriller)
THE CORRUPTION OF CHRIS MILLER (1973) – 9 (rewatch on Blu)
MALEVOLENT (2018) – 7 (solid British ghost tale)
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981) – 7 (rewatch on Blu)
THE ENDLESS (2017) – 7 (well done sci-fi looper)
THE FOG (1980) – 9 (rewatch)
THE MUMMY (2017) - 7 (rewatch)
RETURN TO HORROR HIGH (1987) – 3 (pretty bad horror/comedy)
BOO! (2018) – 3 (dull, slow horror tale)
THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933) – 8 (rewatch on Blu)
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP (2019) – 8
THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN (1966) – 8 (rewatch)
HOUSE OF THE WITCH (2017) – 4 (mediocre, tame haunted house movie)
THE MUMMY’S CURSE (1944) – 6 (rewatch)
THE INVITATION (2015) -8 (very good slow burn drama/horror)
ELVIRA’S HAUNTED HILLS (2001) – 7 (rewatch)
THE UNCANNY (1977) – 6 (not bad anthology horror)
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Friday, November 08, 2019
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
I finally got around to seeing JOKER (2019) and found it to be an exceptional film. Much like its R rated cousin DEADPOOL (2015) this film moves the comic book movie genre into a new area but, instead of just ramping up the violence and telling dick jokes, this film is an adult drama about the generational effects of poverty and poor mental health. The film is about may things but it is unique in the genre for focusing on the elements of the human psyche that cause pain. Not just the physical kind but the much more insidious mental pain that can be the catalyst for other types. The movie uses the darkest depths of mental illness to dig into the motivations of truly hideous actions. The focus, of course, is on the title character but the illness of Arthur’s mother is laid bare in more subtle ways that point to the dangers of cycles of pain repeating themselves. But the cruel blind spots of Thomas Wayne also seem evident as he is shown to be a man with a narcissistic personality unwilling to help an individual he sees as lesser. His arrogant self-centered view of Gotham as a place he can fix even as he ignores the helpless begging for aid of people from his past was one of the smaller dark moments that mirrors many of the larger moments in the story.
I found myself coming back to the descriptor ‘sick’ over and over again as we follow Arthur Peck through his sad day-to-day existence. His suffering flows from many things but it is his sickness – his mental illness - that makes inevitable his acting in ‘sick’ ways. He is doomed in many ways but it is the pain caused by a childhood instance of violence that slowly destroys him and, through him, much of the city. Yes, JOKER is basically an amalgamation of TAXI DRIVER and THE KING OF COMEDY with an even darker back story but it works brilliantly. It’s a depressing drama and it’s good to know that the comic book genre can stretch to include such fascinating movies as this.