Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fool's Views (11/26 – 12/2)

Bonjourno, as Lt. Aldo Raine would say.

Been a long time, and I’ll just ‘fess up right now and say this ain’t gonna be the most detailed and glorious FV session on record. I’ve been keeping myself occupado with a brand new book project (which you’ll be hearing plenty about come the new year) and we’re fast running out of ’12. So, it’s time to slap this life raft of a cinematic journal together and get paddlin’ for shore.

This week’s Horror Views constitute a rather awesome weekend of Sharin’ the Scare with Oshkosh blood brother John Pata who came down to Chi-town and chilled on our futon to the tune of flicks, feasting and occasionally filming the short film version of Stephen King’s short story “Gray Matter.” Again, they deserve better than they’re going to get here, and hopefully we’ll remedy that in the not-too-distant future…but I wouldn’t hold my breath either.

Feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.



Crazy Lips (2000) (3rd viewing) d. Sasaki, Hirohisa (Japan)

This is one crazy effed up flick, and it held up just fine for the third go-round. You got a mom and two daughters who are being terrorized by the press because it seems like their brother has murdered a group of children. But that’s just the tip of the twisted iceberg, one that culminates in an array of sexual violence, government espionage and massive amounts of carnage. Recommended with a bullet.

Johnsons, The (1992) (2nd viewing) d. van den berg, Rudolph (Netherlands)

Confusing but compelling tale about an ancient prophecy concerning psychotic septuplets coming of age and seeking out their sister so that she may give birth to the creature who will bring about the end of the world. Low budget effects, but high scores for imagination.

Killer Workout (aka Aerobicide) (1987) (2nd viewing) d. Prior, David A. (USA)

I had completely forgotten that I had seen this before until we got to the big reveal whereupon it all came crashing back in. What’s hilarious is that the shockingly 80s outfits and hairstyles – which provide a goodly amount of the unintentional humor surrounding a serial killer’s targeting of a workout facility – didn’t strike me as odd during my original viewing 25 years ago because, well, that’s what we all were wearing.

Night to Dismember, A (1983) (1st viewing) d. Wishman, Doris (USA)

Jason Coffman will explain this all to you in essay form come next year. “So bad it’s good” doesn’t even apply here – this is more like “So bad you think you’ve gone insane.”

Reflecting Skin, The (1990) (2nd viewing) d. Ridley, Philip (UK)

I will be posting my original review of this in a day or so, but suffice to say, I love this flick and I’m appalled that a) Miramax released it onto DVD in a completely bare bones package with zero fanfare, but they also b) released it in full-frame ratio, which is exponentially shocking when you consider the visual splendor that Ridley has composed. Thank you, Tom Simmons of Video Junkie Strikes Back for hooking me up with a widescreen version.

Shakma (1990) (1st viewing) d. Logan, Tom / Parks, Hugh (USA)

Okay, seriously, why had I never heard of this killer monkey flick starring Christopher Atkins, Amanda Wyss and Roddy McDowall and one seriously terrifying baboon hunting medical students in a locked-in hospital?? Why has NO ONE told me about this, considering how satisfying and well-executed it’s done? Sound the alarms – Shakma Monkey to Life!

Unhinged (1982) (2nd viewing) d. Gronquist, Ron (USA)

Girls go on trip, girls get in accident, girls get taken to creepy house, girls get dead. Video Nasty gets a bad rap for being dull and clunky, and to be honest, not a lot happens that can be considered “plot.” But for the second time around, I was still impressed by how well my attention was kept by all that nothing.

Violent Midnight (1963) (1st viewing) d. Hilliard, Richard (USA)

Terrific b/w mystery produced by Del Tenney (of Horror of Party Beach fame) with a Korean War vet returning home to pursue a fine arts painting career, but soon finds himself caught up in a spate of girls school murders where he is the prime suspect. In a room full of horrorhounds, not one of us could guess with any certainty how things were going to turn out, which was pretty darn impressive.


Hancock (2008) (1st viewing) d. Berg, Peter (USA)

Surly superhero Will Smith tries to undergo an image makeover at the hands of promotional artist Jason Bateman. Not as funny or clever as it could be, and it takes a pretty serious tonal shift in the last act where Bateman’s wife Charlize Theron takes center stage. Not awful either.

Planet of the Apes (1968) (6th viewing) d. Schaffner, Franklin (USA)

The femalien, believe it or not, has never seen any of the Ape movies. I learned this a couple years back, and it’s my mission to rectify the situation. I know there’s no way she’ll sit still for an big “Go Ape” marathon like we used to do back in the day, but the journey has finally begun. Cheston has never been better than when he’s bellowing at his captors or his Creator.

2012 Totals to date: 577 films, 503 1st time views, 349 horror, 159 cinema

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