Monday, March 26, 2012

Fool's Views (3/5 – 3/11)

Oh, man. Willie sung it best when he asked, “Ain’t it funny how time slips away…?”

So, catching up on the last three weeks, absolutely of the essence since things are about to get truly bonkers in the Foolish World of Dr. AC (which is saying something, considering the normal state of affairs). This week saw me catching up with several fright flicks from 2011 that slipped by, as well as a couple more that are about ready to break bad. Toss in a pinch of Polanski and a colander of Cahn and a tasty cinematic stew was ours for the slurping. Keeping it short and sweet, hope you like.

If you want more blathering, you know what to do… (cue the tagline)

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.




Cheezy Horror Trailers, Vol. 1 (2006)  d. Various (USA) (1st viewing)

Watched this streaming on Netflix, basically truth in advertising, except for several of the movies don’t really fall into the “cheezy” category and they even repeat several of them. I can’t say I recommend it, except that it might give you some inspiration for films to catch up with or revisit like a long lost friend.

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) d. Cahn, Edward L. (USA) (2nd viewing)

At the conclusion of this sci-fi/horror yarn, hero Marshall Thompson dramatically intones, “Another name for Mars is death.” Perhaps, but Y-A-W-N is another word for this historically significant but shabby B-movie schlocker. A spaceship travels to Mars to apprehend Thompson, suspected of murdering his fellow crew members. His claims that the crimes were committed by a “mysterious creature” are soon borne out when the monster boards their ship and proceeds to literally suck the life out of the party one by one. Often cited as the blueprint for Alien, and while there are superficial similarities, “quickie king” Edward L. Cahn’s major coup here is the good fortune of Jerome Bixby’s script being the first to place a mean-tempered E. T. aboard a spaceship of hapless humans. Beyond that, the simplemindedness on display is pretty impressive. We have a supposed mass-murderer freely allowed to wander around, a trigger-happy crew that thinks nothing of blasting away with pistols and grenades aboard a spacecraft, a guy-in-a-rubber-suit (complete with zipper) monster whose frozen big-teeth expression fails to impress, and a hilarious melodramatic alien death scene that reaches Shakespearean proportions. One question: How does one actually get “beyond space?” Just asking.


The Dead (2010)
  d. Ford, Howard J./Ford, Jonathan (UK) (1st viewing)

The Ford Bros. arrive in a big way with this well-crafted zombie flick, one that benefits greatly from its African location shooting, solid cast, impressive f/x and an atmosphere of sunlight-drenched dread.

Father's Day (2011) d. Astron-6 (Canada/USA) (1st viewing)

Armed with $10K and a f*ckload of chutzpah, the five-man team that compose Canadian artistic collective Astron-6 churn out one of the sickest, depraved, hilarious and outside-the-box innovative horror/exploitation films in recent memory. Papa-plundering serial killers are but the crest of this creative volcano, delightfully and deliberately offensive at nearly every level.

Final Destination 5 (2011)  d. Quale, Steven (USA) (1st viewing)

They’ve got the formula down pat and darn it if they don’t keep delivering the goods. This time it’s a suspension bridge accident that serves as the curtain-raiser, with scenes of acupuncture, lasik surgery and gymnastics gone awry filling out the in-your-3D-face highlights reel.

Fright Night (2011)  d. Gillespie, Craig (USA) (1st viewing)

Hmmmm, my initial response to this remake of the ’85 classic’s announcement was one of chagrin, and the trailers did little to assuage my doubts. However, after hearing numerous positive reports from trustworthy sources, I decided to give it a whirl, and while I definitely would have opted for less craptastic CGI (employed for its 3D release, I suspect), there is a fair amount to enjoy here. Colin Farrell creates a different Jerry Dandridge for a new era, and while there is no replacing Roddy Mcdowall’s immortal Peter Vincent, David Tennant’s incarnation (a Chris Angel-type Vegas showman) has its merits. Not a complete waste of time.

Rabies (2010) d. Keshales, Aharon/Papushado, Navot (Israel) (1st viewing)

The title is a bit of a distraction, but I certainly went mad for this flick, billed as Israel’s first horror effort. (If this is any indication of the blood-blasting instincts of the Promised Land’s population, I say hand over the checkbook and let these kids rock the house.) Superbly twisted screenplay in all senses of the word, delivering a wealth of memorable characters to toss together in the same dish and through an Altman-like series of close encounters, they proceed to slice, dice, hack, shoot and smash each other to bits. Highly recommended.


Chinatown (1974) d. Polanski, Roman (USA) (3rd viewing)

A true classic of the 70s, one that deserves its reputation and repeated viewings. Every performance is spot-on and Towne’s Oscar-winning script the textbook how-to example.

Source Code (2011) d. Jones, Duncan (USA) (1st viewing)

I love smart time-travel flicks, especially of the popcorn variety. Jones, who gave us the Sam Rockwell one-man ensemble piece Moon a couple years back returns and the news is good. Light, breezy, thrilling and satisfying.

2012 Totals to date: 80 films, 71 1st time views, 33 horror, 5 cinema


  1. "Father's Day" looks amazing. I need it. NOW!

    I believe that Duncan Jones is the future of sci-fi. You can quote me on that. Just another reason to worship David Bowie.

    1. I would be happy to quote you on that, and I'm inclined to believe you might be right. He showed his hard sci-fi chops with MOON, and now his popcorn SF seems to be in working order as well. Keep 'em coming, DJ!

      And yes, you will totally dig the Troma vibe of FD. I hope it finds its way to you soon...