Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Nightmares (1983) d. Joseph Sargent (USA)
Like most compendiums, this throwback to the portmanteau heyday of the early ’70s (and likely trying to recreate the windfall of 1982’s Creepshow) hits a mix of high and low points, emerging as an engaging slice of ’80s genre entertainment. Originally conceived as a television pilot for Universal, the studio apparently wasn’t willing to pony up the cash to launch the series, whereupon the surprising decision was made to give it a theatrical release. After enjoying moderate success in hardtops, an equally successful run on home video followed, and it now emerges on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory.
Monday, December 28, 2015
|Digging our way out...|
I had such good intentions to renew the normal Fool’s Views regimen once the October Challenge concluded, seeing as how I’d built up a good routine and knew I wouldn’t be watching as many movies. Unfortunately, the fact that I wasn’t taking in as many Views made it all too easy to become complacent and there were the added pressures of beginning my personal training practice to factor in. But mostly, it just comes down to a growing lack of interest in putting butt to chair in the service of spilling words about the moving image. There are others out there doing it better, with greater skill and consistency, and I find I’m less and less concerned with consuming flicks with the ardor of days gone by. The sound you’re hearing may be the final tolling of the FV and H101 bells. We shall see what 2016 has in store.
In the meantime, here are the November Views (only a month late), which included a retrospective of NYC filmmaker Larry Fessenden (thanks to Shout! Factory’s recent box set), a little Bond, and a whole lotta Turkey. As it should be.
As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962) d. Joseph Green (USA)
Brash young surgeon Bill Cortner (TV mainstay Jason Evers, billed as Herb at the time), having developed a serum that keeps human tissue alive even after being separated from the body, decides to run off with his fiancée’s head (Virginia Leith) following a tragic auto accident. He props it up in his out-of-the-way country lab for safekeeping until he can find another host body (preferably a hot rockin’ one) to stick it back on, hitting up various strippers (blonde Bonnie Sharie, brunette Paula Maurice) and models (Adele Lamont) along the way.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Thundercrack! (1975) d. Curt McDowell (USA)
“Seeking shelter from a torrential downpour, a parade of hedonistic drifters, sexual deviants, circus animals, and grieving widows co-mingle at a lonesome farmhouse, sharing stories and bodily fluids until sunrise.” At first glance, what makes Thundercrack! different from your everyday, run-of-the-mill “stranded strangers assembled in a mysterious, out-of-the-way abode on a dark and stormy night” yarn is the fact that there are extensive scenes of hardcore sex liberally sprinkled throughout the proceedings. However, that is only the first of McDowell’s singular offering’s distinctions in the annals of horror – its 2.5 hour running time will put off your average genre (and/or porno) fan, not to mention its unmitigated weirdness and stark, shadowy black-and-white cinematography. But for the adventurous student of outsider cinema, this is a challenge worth accepting – I guarantee you have never seen anything like this before.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The Car (1977) d. Elliot Silverstein (USA)
Sandwiched between Duel and Christine in the annals of “Hell on Wheels” comes this hoot about a driverless chop-top black sedan menacing the inhabitants of a small Utah township. An ill wind blows whenever it approaches, tipping us off that this, my friends, is one B-A-D motorscooter. From its yellow-tinted behind-the-wheel POV shots, we watch the vicious vehicle mow down bicyclists and pedestrians, hide in garages, and even blast through houses while local motorcycle-riding sheriff Wade Parent (James Brolin) furrows and furrows his brow.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Ghost Story (1981) d. John Irvin (USA)
In the quiet New England down of Milburn, a quartet of elderly men stir fitfully in their sleep. These are the members of The Chowder Society, and they harbor a dark, decades-old secret… one that comes bubbling to the surface as the winter nights grow shorter. When mayor Ed Wanderly’s (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) son dies in a strange accident, a tragic chain of events is set in motion, one that threatens the lives of his now-aged childhood chums Sears (John Houseman), Ricky (Fred Astaire), and John (Melvyn Douglas), as well as his surviving offspring Don (poufy-haired Craig Wasson). The rising ghosts of past wrongs have come home to Milburn, and the time has come to tell the tale....
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Blood and Lace (1971) d. Philip Gilbert (USA)
After her loose-morals mother is brutally murdered in bed with an, ahem, customer, 17-year-old Ellie Masters (Melody Patterson) becomes a ward of the state and is sent to live at Deere Youth Home, an orphanage run by the stern and strange Mrs. Deere (Gloria Grahame) with assistance from resident slimeball handyman Tom Kredge (Len Lesser). There is concern on the part of detective Calvin Carruthers (Vic Tayback) that the claw-hammer killer may still be after Ellie, fearing that she might have witnessed the crime, but one gets the impression that our local dick may have a more prurient interest than simply preventing future criminal behavior. And speaking of crime, we quickly learn that Mrs Deere isn't above torturing and killing her underage residents, holding them on ice to keep the government checks rolling in!