Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October Movie Challenge (10/8)

Remember, if you would like to make a pledge toward Scare-A-Thon 2012 (benefitting FRIENDS OF CHILDREN) at any time, drop me an email at drach101@gmail.com to let me know how much you would like to pledge per film. Your donation is tax deductible, 100% of goes directly to aid the kids, and seriously, even a penny per film helps. Thanks in advance!

Campfire Tales (1997) (1st viewing) d. Cooper, Matt / Kunert, Martin / Semel, David (USA) 88 min.

Amusing little anthology film based on several well-known urban tales (“The Hook,” “The Locket,” “The Honeymoon”, “People Can Lick Too”). Has a welcome 80s feel to it courtesy of its trio of writer/directors, not sure why this one doesn’t get mentioned more when anthology flicks come up. James Mardsen and Amy Smart appear in the prologue sequence, with Office Space’s Ron Livingston showing up in the RV-centric “Honeymoon.”

Murders in the Zoo (1933) (1st viewing) d. Sutherland, Edward (USA) 62 min.

Lionel Atwill oozes charming menace as the owner of a zoo who eliminates his romantic rivals and anyone else who irks him, using his lethal tenants as tools of destruction. Comic character actor Charlie Ruggles might irritate some with his bumbling patter, but it’s very much in keeping with Glenda Farrell’s turn in Mystery of the Wax Museum, released the same year. Kathleen Burke (Island of Lost Souls’ “Panther Woman”) appears as Atwill’s unhappy wife, while a very young Randolph Scott plays a zoo vet. Great fun, with another wingding climax that should have PETA losing their minds.

Playhouse (2003) (1st viewing) d. Roberts, Hunter F. (USA) 86 min.

Honestly, I was given this by a friend (who shall remain nameless) who knew some of the folks in this oh-so-very-independent film and that was the only reason I actually sat through the whole thing. And to be even more honest, I had to switch over to the commentary track featuring the director, composer and a couple of the actors because the “comedy” portion of this horror/comedy was so strained and the production values so low on every level, that I needed to get off the viewer side of the couch and sit over with the kids who made this to keep from losing my mind. To their credit, however, they make fun of their inadequacies like champs, so I liked them more during the last 10 minutes of the movie than I did during the first 10.

Total Movies: 30
First Time Views: 30
Money Raised for Friends of Children: $280.50

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