Monday, August 25, 2014

Fool's Views (8/4 – 8/10)

Sunscreen is your friend.

Well, hello!

Thanks to a week of memorizing lines and getting prepared for the awesomeness that was Flashback Weekend 2014 (celebrating their 10-year anniversary), I didn’t spend too much time in front of the tube, but I did manage to knock out a couple more Redford flicks (bringing 2014’s total to six, to which I’ve already added an additional three), as well as the glorious Blu-ray debut of a certain Hidden Horror and an impromptu Share the Scare with filmmaker pals Robert Cappelletto, David Schmidt, and Clare Martin. Remember: Frights always go better with friends.

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


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fool's Views (7/28 – 8/3)

Pardon the delay. I've had a lot on my mind lately...

Howdy folks,

This week marked the mad dash of banging out reviews for Scream Factory’s awesome “Summer of Fear” as well as a long overdue return to the multiplex to check out a few of the flicks that had been generating some positive buzz. Happy to say that of the four big-screen features imbibed, all were worthwhile and two will likely land in my top 10 list for 2014 (Boyhood and Guardians of the Galaxy).

As part of this year’s ongoing Robert Redford festival, I was given the chance to introduce the femalien to the joys of 1973’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, although I’ll come clean that I only made it 20 minutes into 1960’s Play of the Week version of The Iceman Cometh starring Jason Robards; I’m not a huge fan of the four-hour play anyway, and our young Redford is just so very terrible as Parritt. This guy was on Broadway? Wow. To paraphrase Monty Python and the Holy Grail, he got better.

Also, being as I am in the throes of rehearsals for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s season opener, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, I thought it might be fun to shine a light on a few of my favorite fellow reviewers’ thoughts for this week’s Civilian offerings (and one semi-horror flick). Follow the links provided and you will find my own sentiments captured with grace, eloquence, and in greater detail than I can afford at present.

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


Friday, August 8, 2014

CURTAINS (1983) Blu-ray Review

Curtains (1983) d. Richard Ciupka / Peter Simpson (Canada)

This moderately entertaining Canadian slasher flick centers on tyrannical director Jonathan Stryker (John Vernon) as he auditions six female candidates for the lead role in his upcoming film project, Audra. However, Samantha Sherwood (Samantha Eggar), the aging starlet originally promised the part, has checked herself out of the mental institution where she was incarcerated to do “research,” arriving at Stryker’s secluded mountain cabin getaway to size up – and perhaps scythe up – the competition.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

LEVIATHAN (1989) Blu-ray Review

Leviathan (1989) d. George P. Cosmatos (USA/Italy)

Days away from completing its tour of duty, the highly photogenic crew of Tri-Oceanic Mining Corporation’s Shack #7 encounters a submerged Soviet submarine and salvages one of the craft’s storage containers. A couple sips of pilfered noxious vodka later, several members are dead, with their bodies mutating into a strange and messy amphibian organism possessing tendrils, teeth, tails, and a terrible ’tude. With icy deep waters all around, the surviving rock jockeys pit their wits against the carnivorous monsters below and wait for help from the corporate monsters above (personified by oily Meg Foster), though they probably shouldn’t hold their breath.

Sorry, I had to.

MOTEL HELL (1980) Blu-ray Review

Motel Hell (1980) d. Kevin Connor (USA)

“It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent’s Fritters.” So runs the tagline for this oddball combo of black humor and horror, featuring veteran character actor Rory Calhoun as Vincent, the proprietor of the titular establishment (the “O” on the “Motel Hello” neon sign keeps going on the blink) He and equally wacky sibling Ida (a pre-Porky’s Nancy Parsons) make their living by snaring unsuspecting passing motorists to fill up the skins of their famous, delight-of-the-county sausages. When Vincent takes a shine to potential tasty treat Terry (bland blonde Nina Axelrod), tensions rise between the killer siblings, not to mention goofy brother Bruce (Paul Linke) who serves as the local badge.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

WITHOUT WARNING (1980) Blu-ray Review

Without Warning (1980) d. Greydon Clark (USA)

Despite the emphatic warnings of the local gas station attendant (Jack Palance), a quartet of hormonal teens head out to the ol’ swimming hole for a weekend getaway and find themselves in the middle an extraterrestrial’s private hunting preserve. The result is a don’t-go-in-the-woods thriller that swaps out the requisite blade-swinging psycho with a melon-headed space alien given to flinging blood-sucking parasites at myriad hapless victims (including a young David Caruso in his second screen appearance, sporting some wicked short shorts).