Saturday, July 30, 2011

He's Back! The Man Behind the Mask

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)
Dir - Tom McLoughlin

This is my favorite of the infamous franchise. There are so many great things - Thom Mathews, Alice Cooper song, random paintballers and midnight picnickers. Out of everything I would say one thing that propels this beyond any other entry is the fact that there are actual kids in the camp. None of the others, save for the originals prologue, have this and I find it a little more fun and interesting. This entry has a tad more intentional humor than the previous entries and I find it a welcome addition.

The only real downside to this sequel is that it's the only one lacking nudity. :(

Oh Niles...

The Perfect Host (2010)
Dir - Nick Tomnay

Heard some good things about this from some and decided to stay for its last show at the Texas Theatre. Good choice. Really interesting low budget thriller with an outstanding performance by David Hyde Pierce. I really love films that are smaller and take place closer to real time. This only spans about twelve hours (mostly) and the main location is just one house. Not sure why so many seemed to not enjoy it, according to the low rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I thought it was great.

End of the World

Night of the Comet (1984)
Dir - Thom Eberhardt

Had not watched this since the DVD came out a few years back and really enjoyed seeing it in 35mm for the first time. So much of this film is great, but I love it mainly for every little thing that Kelli Maroney does. She's cute and funny.

Got the Brass

Monamour (2006)
Dir - Tinto Brass

Watched Cult Epic's new Blu release and this is one of my first Brass films - definitely the first non-classic Brass film. There are some highly erotic moments but it's quite boring other than that. Some quite beautiful cinematography though.

Full review coming soon to Freakin Awesome

Palance Poliziottesco

Mr. Scarface (1976) aka I padroni della citta'
Dir - Fernando Di Leo
Weird Wednesday

This week's WW pick took us to the world of Italian crime films. In this one Jack Palance is a dirty boss who our main characters are trying to rob to retire to Brazil. I know this because Tony wears a Brazil shirt, his apartment is covered in posters from the country and he mentions it repeatedly. I thought his cohort, played by Al Cliver, looked really familiar and when I checked him on IMDb it's because he was  in tons of Fulci's films. Can't believe I didn't recognize him. While parts of the film get a tad slow the end shoot-out and chase scenes more than make up for it all.

Santa's Gonna Get Ya

To All a Good Night (1980)
Dir - David Hess
Horror Movie Night

Welcome to Christmas in July for HMN. A fun, but poorly lit, holiday slasher from David (Last House on the Left) Hess. There are some good moments and a lot to leave you very confused.

Look for my full review coming Wednesday to HORROR'S NOT DEAD!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Squiggy the Clown

Funland (1987)
Dir - Michael A. Simpson

After watching The Funhouse I decided to make this a "fun" double feature with another film I've never seen. This is a dark comedy about a crazy theme park mascot clown who goes a little crazy. His name is Bruce Burger yet he dresses as a giant slice of pizza and has a puppet named Peter the Pepperoni. Just an example of the insanity. Funny and completely weird. Just what I would expect from the director of Sleepaway Camp II AND III.

The Carnival's in Town

The Funhouse (1981)
Dir - Tobe Hooper

First time seeing this flick from Hooper via the new Arrow Video Blu-Ray. Very enjoyable film that goes pretty quick with some damn creepy animatronic creatures.

Full review coming soon on Gordon and the Whale.

Soooo Happy

Golden Slumber (2010)
Dir - Yoshihiro Nakamura

Yep, I saw it a second time at AFFD and third time overall. I love this movie so much and didn't know when I would ever get to see it again. Glad I went.


Outrage (2010)
Dir - Takeshi Kitano

Check out my thoughts HERE on Gordon and the Whale.

Fallen Very Far

Fallen Angels (1995)
Dir - Kar Wai Wong

Here is one of the repertory films I saw that people praised. I don't get it. There are some great moments in this film and I can appreciate some of what Wong did but it just didn't really do it for me. There was some quality, something very mid-90s indie, that just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for this type of film at that point in the day. I'll give it a shot some other time and see if my opinion changes.

Bang Bang Bang

Triple Tap (2010)
Dir - Tung-Shing Yee

Check out my thoughts HERE on Gordon and the Whale.

The Howard and Eli Show

Video Violence 2 (1987)
Dir - Gary Cohen
Horror Movie Night

An unexpected schedule change left an opening this week so I decided to go with the sequel to one of my earlier picks. This is a fun, short sequel with some hilarious gags - gore or otherwise.

Full review coming soon on Gordon and the Whale.

Caller, You're On the Air

Midnight FM (2010)
Dir - Sang Man-Kim

Read my thoughts HERE on Gordon and the Whale.

Smoking Romance

Love in a Puff (2010)
Dir - Ho-Cheung Pang

Read my thoughts HERE on Gordon and the Whale.

Hospital Hijinks

Enemy at the Dead End (2010)
Dir - Owen Cho

You can read my thoughts HERE at Gordon and the Whale.

Circus Mutant Fun

City Under Siege (2010)
Dir - Benny Chan

You can read my thoughts HERE on Gordon and the Whale.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Island Livin'

Bedevilled (2010)
Dir - Chui-soo Jang

Check out my review of this fantastic film RIGHT HERE!


Seven Samurai (1954)
Dir - Akira Kurosawa

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've seen this classic. What a great way for a first viewing - 35mm print on a large screen. This is amazing as everyone has said and it's easy to see how it influenced so many films that would come later.

Great acting, story, cinematography, directing - everything. This is why I love film so much. Three-and-a-half hours and not a single wasted or dull moment in there. Amazing.

Stop AIDS!

Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City (2011)
Dir - Takashi Miike

Check out my review HERE!


The Stool Pigeon (2010)
Dir - Dante Lam

Check out my review HERE!

Brotherhood Means Everything

Monga (2010)
Dir - Doze Niu

Check out my review HERE!

B-Boys & B-Girls

Saigon Electric (2011)
Dir - Stephane Gauger

Check out my review HERE!

Go, Go Robot

Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011)
Dir - Noboru Iguchi

Check out my full review HERE!

Absolute Bliss

Golden Slumber (2010)
Dir - Yoshirio Nakamura

LOVE! Check out my review HERE!

The End of it All

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
Dir - David Yates

A fitting end to the series in my opinion. Really loved everything about this movie and found myself following along just fine having not read the books. I did have a few questions, but nothing major. Now my plan is to start reading the books soon-ish and I'll revisit the films after each corresponding book.

Neville FTW!

Almost The End of it All

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)
Dir - David Yates

Saw this last year when it was first released but when there was double feature of this and the final installment we jumped at the chance. Great movie!

Those Damn Hippies!

Riot on the Sunset Strip (1967)
Dir - Arthur Dreifuss
Weird Wednesday

This is about those crazy out-of-control hippies as they run amok on the Sunset Strip in L.A. There are some great music scenes and wonderful appearances by Aldo Ray and the lovely Mimsy Farmer but it gets really weird about halfway through with the tripping scene. Pretty middle of the road for me.

In the Woods Now

Rituals (1977)
Dir - Peter Carter
Horror Movie Night

A nice surprise. Pretty dark and has some rather frightening moments. Great acting, script and terror.

Full review coming soon to Gordon and the Whale.

More Murder in Italy

Tenebrae (1982)
Dir - Dario Argento

Great movie! Not a great release.

Read my full review RIGHT HERE on Gordon and the Whale!

The Downside of Studying Abroad

Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy (2011)
Dir - Robert Dornhelm
Lifetime Original Movie

Yeah, so sometimes I'll watch a Lifetime Original Movie. Wanna make something of it? I like Hayden (well, I like to look at her) and the story seemed interesting. I didn't know much about the Knox issue but glad I watched this film. This is about what you would expect from the source - not horrible, not fantastic. Wish I would have let the DVR record the documentary on the case afterwards but I didn't. I never learn.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Show Her All 50 States

Horrible Bosses (2011)
Dir - Seth Gordon

I'm really glad this turned out to be as funny as I hoped it would be. Laughed quite hard many times and look forward to seeing it again. Sudeikis, Bateman and Day are hysterical and their evil bosses are each just as fun. I was hoping they were heading into a Swimming with Sharks in-joke at one point but they didn't - my only minor disappointment.

Ch'i, Power

No Retreat, No Surrender (1986) aka Karate Tiger
Dir - Corey Yuen

Re-watched for the eleventy millionth time for my upcoming first Reel Bad Dudes article on Gordon and the Whale. Look for it on Monday the 18th!

This is fantastic, hilarious and bad. I could probably write an entire book of essays and reactions about this film while critiquing each and every moment. It's truly special.

The Rent is Too Damn High

Dream Home (2010) Wai dor lei ah yut ho
Dir - Ho-Cheung Pang

Oh. My. God.

This movie really just whips it out and slaps you on the face with it. Some truly brutal moments and great make-up FX add to a very interesting tale of the extreme reactions one can have to the crazy housing market/economy. Not sure if/when this will get a US release or if it will be completely uncut. The only way to see it in its full unedited state at the moment is through the French DVD, which is what I watched. I would looooove to see this in a crowded theater full of horror fans to share in the gorehound's delighted reaction. Fantastic Fest 2011? I can dream...

Striping Evil

Zebraman (2004)
Dir - Takashi Miike

Had to quickly get this from Netflix and watch it before the Asian Film Festival of Dallas starts because they are showing Miike's sequel. It took a little while to get into for me but I ended up really enjoying this odd little ride. Can't wait to see part two in the next week!

Carrot Babies!

The Thing from Another World (1951)
Dir - Christian Nyby & Howard Hawks

I had never seen this whole film but really love John Carpenter's take on the same source story. In fact that is one of my top sci-fi, horror and horror/sci-fi films of all time. This tale definitely has its merits and some really effective moments. The fire scene is creepy and an amazing minute or two of film. Still, I prefer what Carpenter did and find it much more frightening. Of course had I seen this film in its initial run I might feel different. Who knows?

Welcome to the Jungle

Jungle Warriors (1984)
Dir - Ernst R. von Theumer

This is part of the Panik House release of Mr. Skin's top three women-in-prison films. This was my least favorite out of the three (the others being Chained Heat and Red Heat) but it stepped up the violence level a bit more, and that's always a good thing.

Read my review over at Gordon and the Whale RIGHT HERE!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why Wasn't My Prom Like This?

Dance of the Dead (2008)
Dir - Gregg Bishop

I heard good things about this low budget zombie flick that Raimi's Ghost House Underground release a year or two ago, but never got around to it until last night. For the first 30-40 minutes I was enjoying it but nothing too special, and then... it got freaking sweet! Some great FX and jokes with a few fun characters along the way. Also nice to see some unusual turn of events, like the bathroom stall make-out, and there are a sprinkling of good scares too. Definitely will have to pick up the DVD because I'm going to want to watch this again for sure.

Put Yo' Weight on It

Disco Godfather (1979)
Dir - J. Robert Wagoner
Weird Wednesday

This is my first full Rudy Ray Moore film and I probably should have started with a double feature of Dolomite & The Human Tornado but oh well. There is a lot of disco dancing and some heavy handed anti-drug messages being shoved down your throat. Not that I'm saying PCP is a good thing but come on. Luckily the last 15-20 minutes are amazing! Crazy hallucinations and some batshit scenarios. Not quite sure if it makes up for the first 70 minutes but it is definitely special.

Crack That Whip!

The Dark Power (1985)
Dir - Phil Smoot
Horror Movie Night

This year's haunted Indian land film, and it's much better than last year's - Scalps. These crazy demon tribesmen have a great look, do some wicked killing and act a bit like the Three Stooges. All this set around a heavy helping of racism. What more could you want?!

Full review next week on Gordon and the Whale!

Out of My Mind

Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Di r - Adrian Lyne

I gave this movie a good eleven years before watching. It was just so the hype would die down... yeah, that's right. Regardless of the reason, all of the good things I've heard over the years are well earned and then some. There are some incredible moments in this movie and Robbins gives quite a performance. Love that all of the special effects were done live and not altered in post. Some pretty skin-crawling imagery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Every Teen Boy's Fantasy

Private Lessons (1981)
Dir - Alan Myerson

I'm always up for a good sex comedy and who doesn't love Sylvia Kristel from Emmanuelle? This is pretty light on the comedy, unless you count how young Phillip is seemingly always helping his overweight friend Sherman out of/off of/on top of something, but a lot of it is kind of disturbing. Sure, most teen boys have fantasies about being seduced and taught the ropes by an older, good looking woman, but as an adult I just saw all of the awkward. Not only is Phillip unsure of what he's doing but just seeing her seduce him felt kind of icky. They even shot the love scenes in another state because of the lower age of consent since the actor was only about 16 and Kristel was in her late 20s. I also think that Kristel's haircut and facial structure reminded me a bit too much of Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but maybe I'm just weird.

Who is Dr. Star?

Asylum (1972)
Dir - Roy Ward Baker

An Amicus horror anthology from the early 70s that is full of win! Each story is great and backed up by a wonderful cast. Seeing Charlottle Rampling and Britt Ekland together is lovely. This makes me remember what is so great about the anthology film and want to watch more, as well as more Amicus releases. I also want a Byron doll quite badly, but I'm sure that won't happen. Sigh.

We're Gonna Need an Even Bigger Boat

This Polish poster really gives the wrong impression about this film. If the shark had two mouths that would have been cool.

Jaws 2 (1978)
Dir - Jeannot Szwarc

For whatever reason I think I've only seen this installment once before, and I don't think I've ever seen part 4 (but will soon). I spend all of my Jaws time with the original and the badass third flick. Shut up, Jaws 3 rules! 

Anyway, this is a great follow-up with Brody. I love his touchy demeanor and how he begins to unravel and the thought of another shark coming to Amity Island. We see a lot more of the shark out of the water in this one and that is always a good thing. I'll have to remember not to neglect this one in the future. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

When Gremlins is Too Much...

Munchies (1987)
Dir - Tina Hirsch

Always saw this VHS in video stores but never saw the film. This is a Roger Corman produced film, starring Harvey Korman (Ha!), that takes the idea of films like Gremlins, Ghoulies and Critters but removes what little scary out in favor of some groan inducing humor. Plenty of nods to the other films like the Munchies driving around in a Gremlin, an E.T. spoof and one of the stars was also in Critters to keep the fans hunting for Easter eggs. Don't mistake this as all praise, it is not a very good movie.

Evidently the great Jim Wynorski made a couple of even more family friendly non-sequel sequels, Munchie and Munchie Strikes Back, that have a creepy character voiced by Dom DeLuise who rides around on a flying pizza! I've heard of them but didn't know they were related in any way. They have been added to my to watch list.

FYI - This will kick off my watch/re-watch of many "small creature films" that will mainly be from the Critters and Ghoulies series. I recently acquired all of them and don't think I'e seen the complete works and what few I have it's been since original VHS release - so, around 25 years. Should be fun.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Second Quarter Results

Here we are in July, the year already half over. I had a pretty decent second quarter and was able to maintain my pace, though I'm behind last year. Here's the breakdown...

Total Films Seen in 2011 So Far: 230
New/New-to-Me Films: 191
Re-Watches: 39

Most Watched Decade: 80s, with 66 films
Most Watched Genre: Horror with 80s films (still no surprise here)
Most Watched Format/Location: DVD with 50 films
Number of Films Seen In a Theater: 39 - This expanded from the pitiful 8 after March. Go me!

Now... on with more movies!

Wait... What?

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (Part 5) (1985)
Dir - Danny Steinmann

This is the one out of the series that I've watched the least. Yes, I've (probably) seen Jason X more. Part 5 is where they tried to change everything to a new killer before quickly going back into the formula that would work. It's not all bad and has some great moments. Demon is an awesome character, especially whilst singing on the toilet, and having Dudley from Diff'rent Strokes (Shavar Ross) is always good. Luckily the he was only dealing with a psycho killer and not being molested by the Maytag man. A few great deaths but surprisingly not as graphic as some of the others. While good, my least favorite of the series.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Betty White is Bad

Lake Placid (1999)
Dir - Steve Miner

Not sure why I waited 12 years to watch this movie, but I did. Nothing too great overall but has some cool moments - it is about a giant killer crocodile after all. Love the bear scene and hearing Betty White call people "cocksuckers" is like sweet angelic music. Guess I'll have to get around to the other two direct-to-SyFy sequels now.