From the obscure to the mainstream, if it's cinematic, I'm into it! Movie reviews and dog pictures. Co-host of the Oscar Watch Podcast!

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966): The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is a fun comedy with a typically manic performance from #donknotts and some fun horror atmosphere. The film is slight but it’s breezy and entertaining enough that you probably won’t mind. Knotts is an acquired taste, to be sure, but he’s charming here and there are some fun gags—the best of which is a repeated throwaway with a faceless voice in various crowds yelling out “Attaboy” and then certain character’s names—you’ll get it when you see it. While the horror/mystery elements are downplayed in favor of broader comedic aspects; I would still think that horror fans would enjoy the atmosphere the film crafts as well as the fairly gruesome backstory behind the film’s haunted house. Knotts is backed up ably by fun performances from #dicksargent #joanstaley #liamredmond #skiphomeier and #retashaw who all seem game for this tomfoolery. Director #alanrafkin knows that Knotts is the star but I enjoyed him most when he was playing off the straighter characters. It’s great fun to watch him over-act alongside someone like Sargent or Redmond who play the material straight-faced. All that being said, I would have like the film to spend a bit more time with the haunted house/murder mystery elements. I know that this isn’t that kind of film but those are the elements I am most interested in. Rafkin is making a comedy, however, so the horror elements we bound to be sidelined a bit. Even with that very subjective criticism, the film still entertains in the vein of classic comedies and the studio production is handsome enough that the proceedings don’t seem cheap, by any means. I had only seen this film once before this re-viewing and I remember it being far more centered on the haunted house antics. While the actual film focuses more on Knotts and his attempts to prove himself to his town, his boss, and the woman he loves there are still enough fun horror-comedy sequences to make this a fun family viewing on Halloween night. #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Night of the Lepus (1972): Rabbits are not scary. End of story. That being said, Night of the Lepus still has plenty to offer cult movie enthusiasts and would make for a fun midnight movie on a summer night. It’s pretty bad but I still kind of loved it. Continuing in the nature-run-amok vein that had been swarming throughout Hollywood during the 1970s, Lepus is literally about giant rabbits terrorizing a small Arizona town. It features an incredibly solid—and probably regretful—cast in #stuartwhitman #janetleigh and #rorycalhoun who all try their best with what their given. No one really embarrasses themselves but hearing Leigh recite lines like: “It’s okay. The rabbits are gone” may give you cause to chuckle quite a bit. The rabbit FX are achieved with some forced perspective, a liberal use of miniatures, and some dude in a rabbit suit I imagine. None of them are particularly convincing but there is most definitely a charm here in watching these filmmakers try their best to make this thing work (much like the creative energy running through something like The Blob—although even those FX look better than this) and I found myself infectiously committed to the onscreen insanity (for the record, I am partial to these types of films in general, e.g. small-town horror; animals attacking, etc.). I can’t tell if director #williamfclaxton is taking this seriously or not and I suppose that is all the better for the end product—especially viewing it in 2018. There is none of the on-the-nose mentality here that permeates trash like Birdemic and similar films. The antecedent of so many 1950s creature-features, the film fits cleanly into that mold, for sure while being surprisingly more violent than I expected. I hope no rabbits were hurt in the making of this but it sure looks that way in certain shots (the stock footage shown several times is, often, hard to watch, FYI). Either way, there is a great drive-in feel to the entire film that I can never get enough of (there is a scene at the drive-in as well!) and I approve wholeheartedly of films like this: the right kind of bad. #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Escape Plan 2: Hades (2018): I was a fan of 2013’s Escape Plan. It took two ageing action stars and allowed them plenty of room to do what they do best but underneath the veneer of a more thriller-based storyline. It wasn’t completely reinventing the wheel but it felt refreshing in terms of the overall action genre. I didn’t expect a sequel but—5 years later—here we are with Escape Plan 2: Hades. Directed by the ridiculously hard working and talented @stevencmiller who has become something of an institution in the DTV action market (I still say he deserves a shot at some massive blockbuster!), the film is solid, entertaining, and well-made but it does suffer from a disjointed narrative. It’s not that the film is hard to follow or confusing. It’s that there are basically two storylines and it takes a bit too long for them to converge. I assume that this has something do with the availability of both @officialslystallone and @davebautista which is fair but it does have the tendency to leave the audience desperately wanting more of these two. Either way, the film really belongs to @huangxiaoming_official who is essentially our main character. While not possessing a ton of dramatic heft here; he does kick copious amounts of ass throughout and has a great physical presence. We also get fun turns from @realjessemetcalfe @officialweschatham #tituswelliver @50cent and the lovely @jaime_king who are all pretty fun here. With less of a Stallone presence, the film does feel slighter than the first much Miller gets tons out of his production here with strong SFX work, awesome production design, and well-shot action sequences. I was definitely entertained but I kept wanting a bit more. I also felt like the “escape” part of this one was somewhat underwhelming. The construction of the prison this time around is super-cool and has a nice sci-fi feel but this felt like one part of a larger story (part 3 is already in post-production). Either way, I’m not a cynic so this is recommended for fans of the stars, the director, and action flicks; it’s not a masterpiece but it’s a fun diversion. #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Madhouse (1981): A really fun mix of Giallo elements with American-style slasher elements, Madhouse is a super-fun horror flick that doesn’t necessarily tread any new ground but manages to continuously entertain during its brisk runtime. Basically, a woman is stalked by her deranged, deformed twin sister with their birthday rapidly approaching. While this setup sounds familiar—it is—the execution is just grand. Co-writer/Director #ovidiogassonitis spends the opening sequences of the film setting up the derangement of the sister character with excellent results. There was something so discernibly frightening about the scene in the hospital where the two sisters are reunited and the psychotic sister makes a terrifying proclamation that her sister will never be safe from her. This is something I’ve always been fascinated with in horror films—particularly slashers, this idea that we can never be safe from certain threats. Assonitis frames most of the film in an old apartment building which gives the film a claustrophobic feel throughout. There are enough sojourns out of the building that the setting doesn’t become rote but there is a labyrinthine feel to the location that works like gangbusters here. The presence of the evil sister really got under my skin and the several set pieces here were very well done with one in particular has lingering since my initial viewing. The film is pretty gory as well and, while the SFX aren’t the absolute best, we certainly get plenty of the red stuff to sate our bloodlust. There is also an unexpected twist towards the latter part of the film that came out of nowhere and—not really a spoiler—is never fully explained. Assonitis must adhere to the Lovecraft school of thought with ambiguity playing a large role in the finale of the film. This isn’t to say that things aren’t wrapped up nicely, they are, but I found the ambiguous elements only enhanced my enjoyment of this one. Not a masterpiece but definitely one of the more entertaining slashers I’ve checked out in a long while. It’s got an American feel with an Italian vibe and that’s A-OK by me! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie @arrowvideo
Lionheart (1990): I have always been a big fan of @jcvd and his Lionheart is a pretty example of why that fandom exists. Taking a Rocky-esque storyline and infusing it with a more R-rated aesthetic makes for an interesting combination but, for the most part, Lionheart is a satisfyingly cheesy action film experience—in all the best ways. Following an A.W.O.L. French legionnaire as he tries to make money for his brother’s family in the only way he knows how: underground street fighting. While this isn’t going to break any molds as far as storytelling goes, Van Damme and director #sheldonlettich stay the course and craft a well-paced, well-shot, and solidly dramatic flick. Nothing while surprise you but sometimes there is a comfort in watching something familiar done very well. Van Damme is solid in the role although dramatic work was never his strong suit. His physicality goes a long way here and he definitely gives it is all as the harried solider. His legitimate sidekick #harrisonpage is fantastic however in a role that appears to be a throwaway one but that develops quickly into a Rocky/Mickey relationship that makes up a large part of the film’s success. They are supported by fun turns from @dkrennard @brianearlthompson and @ashleythejohnson who are all rock solid and add nice elements to the film. Lettich shoots the action quite well and there is a plethora of fight sequences in a nice variety of locations. Most of this is ridiculous stuff but, for action fans, there is a great deal to like here. Van Damme appears to put his all into these sequences and the film marks a strong showcase for his athleticism. Most American martial arts-based films tend to feel stilted compared to their Asian counterparts but Lionheart stands out as being stronger than many of its ilk. In the end, what we have here is a big, shlocky, grandstanding kind of film and, for this genre, that is A-OK with me. Essential if you’re a fan of Van Dammage but check it out if you’re a fan of late-80s/early-90s action flicks! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
The Sleeper (2012): Unequivocally, I am a massive slasher fan and will seek out any or all films within this subgenre—always on the lookout for my next exploitative fix. The Sleeper is a recent entry that hearkens back to the early-1980s (both in feel and setting) and does a damn good job of playing into everything I love about these flicks. It, perhaps, doesn’t bring anything new to the table but it’s a solid film nonetheless with a nice look, a creepy villain, and some great SFX work—certainly enough to recommend to horror fans. Writer/Director/Cinematographer @never__home is clearly invested in the genre and his film and does great work as a stylist here—as a storyteller; he is—in entertaining fashion—playing into the slasher elements we all know and love. There is a great sense of atmosphere and the snowy college setting most definitely works well here. It’s not set around Halloween (which is almost too cliché now) but it still would be perfect to watch during that most beloved of seasons for us horror fans. The music is also well done, aping a John Carpenter style and mixing it with some OTT disco music (in an equally OTT disco dance sequence!). At the outset, there is a bit of the modern polish on display that comes from shooting in a retro style with modern equipment but it all balances out as the film goes on with Russell composing some nice shots here. Performances are fine but there are some standouts. @brittanyrbelland is great as our protagonist; @actressjessicacameron is fun and just a swell human being; @thenycmoon really nails the concerned boyfriend and nails the 80s look; and it’s great to see @joebobbriggsofficial in a small role here (in a movie he would certainly approve of). The film is pretty damn gory to boot! The Sleeper is a good deal of slasher fun and it’s great to finally have it in the Blu-Ray format. If you’re a slasher fan; I can’t imagine you not liking this to some degree. Support these filmmakers and this film—and beware of The Sleeper! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Wolf Guy (1975): A sloppy mix of action, horror, sci-fi, and exploitation, Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope should make for fun midnight viewing with lots of pizza and beer but, under any kind of scrutiny, would not hold up using normal cinematic conventions as a standard. #sonnychiba gets to strut his stuff a bit here as the title character who roams around Tokyo looking to stop crime using his superpowers (although it is never truly clear that this is his intention) and runs afoul of a bizarre case involving a phantom tiger and the deaths of the members of a funk rock band (!). It’s weird stuff that only gets weirder as the film progresses—for better or worse. Looking at its parts, the film should work in spades. We get lots of violence, Chiba ass-kicking, copious T&A (some of it unsavory, FYI), and werewolf on werewolf action. All of this sounds great, right? Well, it doesn’t all come together in any kind of clean or satisfying fashion. Rather, the film simply moves along from one non-sequitur sequence to another. Don’t get me wrong; there is a story to follow and it’s not complicated but there is not a great attempt at stringing things together in dramatic fashion. Director #kazuhikoyamaguchi is far more concerned with violence, nudity, stunt work, and actual footage from real surgery (gruesome!) which is fine except that he focuses a bit too much on misogyny here with a revenge subplot that, unfortunately, is never really concluded for the victim in a fair manner. Sexism in 1970s cinema shouldn’t be surprising but this stood out to me as an ill-fated choice. Chiba is fun but he never really feels like the threatening force he is supposed to be until the films finale. For most of the film, he feels like a film noir protagonist so when he starts throwing loose change like shurikens, it comes as a surprise! Wolf Guy won’t be for everyone (it might not be for anyone) but there are elements that make it an interesting viewing for fans of the star or cult Japanese cinema. #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie @arrowvideo
Another WolfCop (2017): So, if the first WolfCop was a zany origin story with tons of energy and gore; the sequel, Another WolfCop completely ups the ante. It’s louder, faster, bloodier, and—most definitely—weirder! Kudos to @lolofilm and company for getting this one off the ground and giving fans what they want—and then some! This time around, we jump right into the action with a sinister businessman and his ridiculous scheme to use the good people of Woodhaven to his own nefarious ends. There is just so much more of everything this go around. Things are still crass and rude but the film’s palette has been expanded so very much. Where, in the first film, there was some interesting rumblings of a larger supernatural word; here, things are exploded in just crazy ways and I couldn’t stop smiling. Again, the film feels like a Troma production in all the best ways but there is such a sense of creativity throughout that this becomes one of those films that simply makes the filmmaking process look like such insane fun. Returning cast members @leo_fafard @yonathancherry @amatysio are great with organic returns and Fafard in makeup so much more this go around. New players include the lovely who is just the cat’s meow; the smarmy evil of @yannick_bisson and a relatively newcomer to the scene @thatkevinsmith (!). SFX work is next level here with almost every shot requiring some form of FX assistance. I won’t get into some of the specifics because they are plot points and shouldn’t be spoiled but, needless to say, prepare for things to get weird. The 80s vibe is strong with this one with some great tunes (both from the past and originals made for the film) and a great Cobra homage in the film’s marketing materials. These films make me smile and that is something worth noting in this day and age. If you are a fan of the weird and idiosyncratic; you owe it to yourself to check out this duology (hopefully a trilogy soon!) and to let your strange animal out! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
WolfCop (2014): Sometimes a premise is all it takes and WolfCop is one of those times. Here we have a film built from the ground up in the Troma tradition. It’s nasty; it’s violent; it’s crass; it will not be everyone’s cup of tea. But, for those likeminded filmgoers to myself, it is a fun palate cleanser in a cinematic world where things can get a little stuffy. I live for diverting trash like WolfCop and it, quite simply, speaks my language. Basically, an alcoholic cop becomes an unwitting pawn in a supernatural game and, as a result, becomes a werewolf…who is also still a cop. There’s plenty going on in the film but if the idea of a booze guzzling, bullet blasting werewolf cop doesn’t tickle you, then you should probably take a long nap and rethink some things. Writer/Director @lolofilm shows clear love for his project in every frame and there is a manic sense of energy just flowing through this thing that is infectious. WolfCop feels like a low budget production but in the best of ways. It clearly has no master to obey and, as such, can feel free to play by its own rules (much like the titular character). There is a genuine sense of perverse glee in watching how far these filmmakers can push this premise and I found myself (even upon repeat viewings) laughing hysterically. Performances are great because everyone is game. We get fun stuff from @leo_fafard @yonathancherry (who probably steals the film) @amatysio and the gorgeous @sarahlindish (who are all committed to this insanity). This is an origin story so it does take a bit to get to the really good stuff but I do enjoy that Dean and company don’t just simply go for the “guy gets bit by a werewolf on a full moon” setup. Instead, they craft a larger supernatural playground and this gives the film premise longer legs—especially at the outset and in the finale. Is it silly? Yup. Is it rude? You bet! Do I love it? Without a doubt! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Incredibles 2 (2018): 14-years (!) later, we finally have Incredibles 2 and, while it might not quite hit the heights of the original (at least upon a single viewing); it is still a fantastic action-adventure film that continues this beloved storyline in organic fashion while also turning several elements on their head in expected but no less entertaining ways. Literally taking place right where the first film ends (The Underminer!) and going from there, writer/director #bradbird swings back into high right from the bravura opening. There is still a Watchmen thing going on here with superheroes and their dubious legality in our world but the film’s true joy comes from watching the role reversal of Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl. Mr. Incredible is now a stay-at-home dad and has to learn humility and how fatherhood can be quite similar to hero-work while Elastigirl becomes the poster girl for a new pro-superhero world. Bird and company have great fun crafting some insanely awesome action scenes involving her with a monorail-motorcycle chase being a clear highlight of the ever-improving animation work and of Elastigirl’s powers. This isn’t to say that the rest of the Parr family wholly plays second-fiddle—they don’t—as we get tons of moments for each character to shine. Bird also brings forth a plethora of new heroes. These new additions don’t get as much screen time but it’s still great to have some new characters in the mix. The returning voice actors are great while new additions #bobodenkirk and #catherinekeener fit right in. The storyline isn’t as fresh feeling as the first film but it does move things forward in strong fashion while also taking a distaff approach and crafting some disturbingly topical plot points—all at once. While there are plenty of adult-friendly elements here; there are still tons of great family-friendly moments for everyone else including a riotous sequence involving Jack-Jack and a raccoon (seriously) and another great appearance from Edna Mode! Incredibles 2 was a long time coming and is mostly worth the wait. I think repeat viewings, however, will only enhance this already strong sequel. #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
The Incredibles (2004): The Incredibles is my personal favorite Pixar film—hand’s down. Of course, I’m a bit biased here as I have always been a fan of superhero stories but it isn’t just that frame that makes this such a fantastic film. Writer/Director #bradbird crafts a wonderfully adult Watchmen-esque story that—although animated—takes place in the real world with real stakes and real consequences. Yes, this is a family film in many ways but I would argue that it is one of Pixar’s most adult oriented film—if not the most. This isn’t to say that there aren’t a multitude of jokes for the younger set—there are. What I mean is that the film doesn’t pander to a younger audience. It’s a serious, intelligent narrative with well-rounded characters, life or death situations, a strong villain, and fantastic—nay incredible—action sequences. It’s basically everything one goes to the movies for! Nominated for 4 Oscars—and winner of 2—the film still holds up after 14-years with retro but polished animation with Bird and company creating a great sense of movement in everything the characters do. The film also takes a Fantastic Four-style team and makes them feel fresh. This is due to excellent characterization and a superb use of the character’s powers—particularly Elastigirl. With a strong score from @m_giacchino the film also has a great spy-film feel running through it with tons of brass that wouldn’t be out of place in a Bond film. Voice acting is top notch with great stuff from #craigtnelson #hollyhunter @samuelljackson #spencerfox #sarahvowell and @jasonlee as our main cast. There are some great thematic choices here from concepts like “What makes us special/unique?” and the film explores these ideas in fascinating ways (again, far more deeply than its kind-friendly package might suggest). The Incredibles is just that…incredible! It has tons of super-hero action, great characters, and a strong story that both excites and stimulates. Pixar has many gems but here stands my personal favorite by a country mile! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
The Endless (2017): @justinhbenson and @aaronmoorhead have built quite the impressive resume of films in a short period of time. From Resolution, to Spring, to a fun bit in V/H/S Viral; these guys know their stuff and are proverbial jacks of all trades (writing, acting, directing, shooting, and editing). Their latest film, The Endless, continues this stellar track record with the bizarre nature of Resolution mixed with the grounded emotionality of Spring—all wrapped up in a wonderful Lovecraftian bow. I was hooked from word one with two brothers returning to a cult they fled from 10-year prior only to find out that—as adults—this place isn’t remotely what they thought it was. Benson and Moorhead take their time building up their narrative will skill and patience—something missing in much of modern horror—but never forget to throw some magic tricks our way to keep us hooked. There is a pervasive dread throughout but there are brief detours in comedy balance things out. The mood never becomes overwhelming but the filmmakers never lose sight it either. Performances are just fantastic with amazing stuff from Benson and Moorhead as our leads. They are supported in fine form by @calliehernandez (so very mysterious here) #lewtemple @itskirapowell #jamesjordan @shanebradyactor and a great turn from @tateellington (all of whom come together to create quite the ensemble). While the narrative seems cliché; stick with it and you will experience one trippy, twisty film that never ceased to keep me guessing. Also, and without spoiling anything, there is a standout sequence towards the end where Benson and Moorhead make a pretty bold choice that—in my opinion—really work within this film and their overall filmography! We are also treated to a good deal of SFX work that—due to some strong framing—looks amazing and works great. The Endless is a complicated film—one you need to focus on—but it is worth it to stick it out. This is confident—strut your stuff—genre cinema that could definitely appeal to a larger audience but horror/sci-fi fans should eat it up…and then, go back for a much needed second helping! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018): Pacific Rim had some redeeming dramatic qualities amidst all of its pomp and circumstance but the sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, goes right for the blockbuster jugular. It does continue the story from the first film in some interesting and fun ways concerning the main protagonist and the villain’s masterplan but, for the most part, it moves along in familiar enough fashion, giving us a good amount of robot vs. monster action, the requisite bromance, and a predictable tragic even that spurs the main character to action. Writer/Director @stevendeknight hits most of the marks in entertaining fashion and, while the film misses Del Toro’s signature touch, fashions a solid sequel that fans of the original should enjoy to some degree. Marking a shift from the first film, DeKnight shoots pretty much every action scene in broad daylight which reduces some of the drama of these sequences but keeps things visually appealing in their clarity. The sense of size and scope also has not been lost this go around which is a great thing. The film’s finale, in particular, is simply loaded with mind-numbing sound and fury but it’s all in good fun so sit back and enjoy it! It does take a bit too long to get some real Kaiju action but there’s still plenty to enjoy before that point. Performances are fine with newcomers @johnboyega @scotteastwood @caileespaeny @jingtian and @adriaarjona all putting forth solid work and returning cast members @charliedayofficial and @burngorman1 yet again stealing the show here. The Chinese co-production elements are strong with this one but it all works well within the phenomenally diverse casting that these movies strive for (meaning it sticks out but it doesn’t hamper the film any). This one does feel a bit less important and light than the original, wearing its campiness more on its sleeve this go around, but I’m okay with that. It continues the story in new ways and feels like a big budget Power Rangers spin-off—which I’m also okay with. Fun, just big, stupid fun! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Pacific Rim (2013): A B-movie premise with an A-list budget, Pacific Rim is a supremely fun bit of campy filmmaking with a strong visual style, sensational music, and some winning performances. @realgdt is back in Blade II and Hellboy-mode here with commercial filmmaking sensibilities but just enough of his patented weirdness to keep his super-fans happy. The basic conceit of giant robots vs. giant monsters is what we are here for and, in that vein, Pacific Rim delivers the goods in pretty satisfying fashion. After a strong opening sequence, we do have to wait a bit before the next rumble but, fear not, as the wait is worth it with a mid-film fracas that goes on and on with 4 robots (hear called Jaegars) vs. 2 monsters (here called Kaiju) going at it with stupidly destructive results. It’s the film’s clear highlight and never ceases to get my blood pumping. The film’s finale also features some great action but it all pales in comparison to that aforementioned sequence (although, to be fair, the opening and closing of the film are both far more dramatically satisfying, if that helps). Del Toro and his team clearly put a ton of time and effort into designing the Jaegars and the Kaiju as each one has a personality all of its own. Visually, the film does a fantastic job with the size and scope of these titans and you always have a clear sense of how large these things truly are. Other than the action, the film has a fairly standard storyline that is easy to follow and features just enough narrative twists to almost justify its 131-minute runtime. @charliedayofficial and @burngorman1 both steal the show as contrasting scientists attempting to one-up each other’s research. Their chemistry is just fantastic and their comic relief is welcome in a film populated with fairly stuffy characters. @perlmutations also shows up for a fun subplot and it’s always great to see him in anything! Pacific Rim isn’t a major artistic triumph but it kicks a ton of ass and showcases a filmmaker simply enjoying playing with his wonderful toys! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Thoroughbreds (2017): Thoroughbreds just sings from the word go. It features a tight, pitch-black screenplay, two phenomenal performances, and a great, classy sense of style throughout. Writer/Director #coryfinley appears to be in complete control of his film and this confidence is prevalent in every scene as he slowly builds to a pretty damn-near unforgettable climax. The film is a fun mixture of comedy, drama, and crime but I can definitely see horror fans getting down with this one as well—as long as they don’t mind a more psychological payoff than a visceral one. The film begins with a wicked sense of humor than slowly reveals itself to be more fixated on issues of mental illness, class dysfunctionality, and the strength of friendship. Both #oliviacooke and @anyataylorjoy are just sensational here. Cooke steals things early on with her sociopathic demeanor and her inability to feel anything but Taylor-Joy keeps right up with her as things progress. The two display great chemistry and, with Finley’s script, turn every dialogue exchange into an entertaining repartee between characters. The film also features the last performance of the late #antonyelchin who plays an integral role here quite well and reveals yet another facet of what this young actor was capable of—he will be missed sorely. The entire production is a classy affair with strong cinematography and some great avant-garde sounding music (think the weird production from Punch Drunk Love, if you’ve seen that one) that suits the film just great and keeps you on edge throughout the film’s tenser moments. While the film could delve deeper into some of the larger social issues; Finley—in a smart move, I think—bows out gracefully without making things too heavy-handed. It’s not that I didn’t want the film to pursue these ideas (it already does that); it’s just that I rather enjoyed the story on hand and enjoyed watching it unfold. Thoroughbreds is a real keeper and would be a nice entry film into those looking for something different—a little darker than the normal fare—but still damn entertaining. Check this one out! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie @thoroughbreds
Theatre of Blood (1973): Vincent Price is always an absolute delight—especially in his storied tenure in horror cinema—but Theatre of Blood might be the apex of what made him so absolutely special as a performer. With a basic plot structure similar to The Abominable Dr. Phibes, here Price plays Edward Lionheart, a Shakespearean actor who is spurned by a group of vicious critics and decides to enact vicious revenge on them as retribution. The twist is that each critic will be murdered in the vein of a death lifted directly from the Bard himself. Price is just on fire here, quoting Shakespeare throughout and constantly disguising himself in ridiculous fashion. The film’s comedy elements are certainly played up here but there is also a dark line running through the entire production. Price must have felt a strong connection to Lionheart as Price was also subject to less than pleasant write-ups from critics during his heyday. The film is also one of, if not the, most violent films in the actor’s repertoire. There is a blood aplenty throughout and, while not supremely gory, there are legitimate shocks abound here. Director #douglashickox gives the film a gritty look throughout, not afraid to wallow in the squalor of certain areas of London or to linger on the gruesome details of Lionheart’s revenge. We also get strong work from the lovely #dianarigg and the #ianhendry as Price’s chief offender. There is a perverse rush one gets from watching this film but, to be fair, the group of critics are all just reprehensible so one cannot help but enjoy watching them get their insane comeuppance. The autobiographical elements are strong here two as not only does Price get to skewer those who had lambasted him in the past; he also gets to skewer his own past as a trained Shakespearean actor. While his readings of famous moments from the Bard are excellent; there is always a cheeky air about how he performs them, which works perfectly within the film’s comedic elements. For fans of the actor; this is essential but genre fans should also inquire within! #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie
Evils of the Night (1985): Holy hell; this was quite the flick—not a film, mind you, a flick. Evils of the Night is a strange mix of Ed Wood-style sci-fi camp and 80s slasher tropes—all mixed in with some soft-core porno elements. It’s a mess and not quite the glorious one you might want. The first half of the film focuses on the teenage sex antics with the looming presence of horrific doom while the second half is far more focused on the horror elements. Interestingly enough, I found the first half of the film to be breezy, insane fun while the second half more or less plods along, going through the motions we’ve grown incredibly accustomed to in these types of films. Debating too much about the cinematic appeal of this film is a dubious proposition as the film is sloppy and sophomoric—for better or worse. The antagonists here are a mysterious group of aliens bent on harvesting the blood of young people—and only young people—for their nefarious purposes. True to the 50s-60s ultra-low-budget traditions; these aliens look like normal people—just in “futuristic” clothing which definitely adds to the low-fi appeal of the proceedings. The teens, however, are definitely of the 1980s variety with silly, over-sexed larks playing out with a charming regularity. The filmmakers even hired a few porn stars to “sex-up” the film even more with an extended diversion into soft-core territory with #amberlynn no less! I’ve got to give credit to #gttaylor who plays Connie here and is a standout, for sure. She is bubbly, funny, yet resilient and loyal—she’s just plain awesome and the only character I related to. The latter half of the film is where the horror elements are played up with most of our surviving characters trapped in a mechanic’s shop while they are tormented by the human lackeys of the aliens. It goes on for too long and doesn’t really go anywhere interesting. There are some shocks but they don’t fully register by this point and then…the movie just ends abruptly. In the end, this is trash but has some cult appeal. #movie_mattinee @oscarwatchpod @samenightmovie @vinegarsyndrome
It looks like there's a tiny ghost trapped inside the lotion bottle trying to get brain...I don't know sometimes! . . . #instaweird #instagood #goodtimes #randomthoughts #ghost #horror #instahorror #horrorjunkie #weird #mybrainisfried #strangethoughts #randomthoughts
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