Thursday, October 18, 2012

October Movie Challenge 2012 (10/16-10/17)

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 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!

Birds II: Land’s End, The (1994) (1st viewing) d. Rosenthal, Rick / Smithee, Alan (USA) 87 min.

Okay, I think we all knew from the get-go that odds of this being a worthy sequel to Hitchcock’s 1963 masterpiece of avian terror were pretty slim. However, taken purely for its “when animals attack” schlock pleasures, I’ve seen a lot worse. Truth be told, had they elected to make it a standalone film with no connection to the original (which comes off as a tangential afterthought anyway, title notwithstanding), it would have probably fared better as a goofy guilty pleasure in its day. Tippi Hedren must have had some bills to pay – no accounting for her turning up as a completely different character in yet another "nightmare with wings" scenario.


Dark Age (1987) (1st viewing) d. Nicholson, Arch (Australia) 91 min.

John Jarratt stars in this underrated (the cryptic title probbly bears a fair amount responsibility for that) Ozploitation flick about a giant crocodile nibbling away at the local population, taking pages from the Jaws handbook as it goes. The biggest twist is that naturalist Jarratt and his Aborigine pals are looking to safely transport the big beastie to a secluded spot where the marvel of nature can continue to exist, while the bad white men attempt to turn it into trophy material. Some decent munching sequences set to a trippy synth soundtrack.

Guardian, The (1990) (1st viewing) d. Friedkin, William (USA) 92 min.

Despite its director's Exorcist pedigree, this cheapie schlockfest about an evil tree spirit feeding off kidnapped infants doesn’t do much in the way of dazzling. Sexy nanny Jenny Seagrove is the one nabbing the nippers, with her latest quarry having sprung from the loins of Carey Lowell and Dwier Brown. There’s some fun homicidal botanical altercations and a few snarling wolves on the perimeter keeping things lively, but it never really rises out of the “B” bunker.

Rite, The (2011) (1st viewing) d. Hafstrom, Mikael (USA) 114 min.

Anthony Hopkins as an equal parts quirky and nonchalant exorcist + handsome young skeptic priest Colin O’Donoghue + crazy pregnant possessed girl Marta Gastini = Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wannabe chiller.

Total Movies: 54
First Time Views: 54
Money Raised for Friends of Children: $548.10


  1. Oh man, I've been meaning to revisit THE BIRDS II for a couple of years now. I was hoping it would be more amusing than I remember it to be.

    1. It's not a great "animals attack" flick, but it's not as terrible as I had been led to believe. Mostly, it just doesn't deserve its association with its "predecessor."