Monday, September 30, 2019

Fool's Views (9/16 – 9/30)


Howdy, folks!

Since we’re kicking off the October Horror Movie Challenge and SCARE-A-THON 2019 in a matter of hours and (par for the course) I am not caught up, these will have to serve as placeholders for the time being until I get around to giving the films below their proper due.

Because I definitely have a few more things to say about them.

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


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fool's Views (9/1 - 9/15)

Turn in your assignments, class!

Yep, the annual crunch to get things in order before the October Challenge and SCARE-A-THON 2019 proceedings kick into high gear is well underway, but so far, so good.

All four horror features this time around arrived courtesy of an impromptu September Share the Scare with good friend and host Jon Kitley (taking a break from his Discover the Horror world tour), while the trio of Witch Mountain movies came from the same Chicago Public Library well that spawned last month’s animation cornucopia.

We also knocked out another pair of Bond flicks, pitting Connery against Moore in a battle for 007 Domination, as well as an unforeseen double header from everyone’s favorite musclehead, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Just think what kind of madness we could get into if we were actually planning any of this!

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


Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Greetings, friends and fellow fiends! It’s that time of year again, when shadows grow longer, autumn leaves rustle just a little louder, and the thrills and chills come fast and furious in 90-minute intervals....

It’s time for SCARE-A-THON 2019.

Monday, September 23, 2019


Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) d. Michael Dougherty (USA) (137 min)

Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I grew up a big Godzilla fan, that the Big G was essentially my gateway into the new world of gods and monsters, that from my love for this overgrown radioactive lizard (and his kaiju pals) would come the pursuit of further thrills in the form of King Kong and Frankenstein and Dracula and the Wolf Man and the magic of Ray Harryhausen and Bert I. Gordon, which in turn would turn a dark corner and reveal such deeper chills as Psycho, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and more. It’s all thanks to Godzilla.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Fool's Views (8/16 - 8/31)

Gotta have a bite of the ninjabread man!

Greetings, lords and ladies!

Well, once again, I was surprised by the direction my viewing took in the latter half of August. I’m already halfway through my ongoing Bond saga (13 films in) with my faithful co-pilot Daniel Millhouse, but if you had told me that I’d also be doing a small animation festival coupled with a side of Western, I would have looked at you through narrowed eyes and wondered what you were drinking. But having wandered into the “Kids Section” of the Chicago Public Library and realizing that’s where they’d been hiding all of the animated films that I had forgotten about (because out of sight out of mind), I felt my course was clear. The following week, the Monte Hellman double feature of The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind popped up on the shelf next to the Magnificent Seven remake and Winchester ’73, the first teaming of James Stewart and Anthony Mann. I mean, what was I supposed to do?

On the scarier side of things, Arrow Video’s triple threat of forgotten chills surfaced in the form of The American Horror Project Vol. 2, as curated by Stephen Thrower, with slices of cheesy chomping and Hammer swinging as bookends. No complaints from here.

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


Thursday, September 12, 2019

THE VELOCIPASTOR (2018) Blu-ray Review

The VelociPastor (2018) d. Brendan Steere (USA) (75 min)

Following a horrific terrorist act that claims the lives of both his parents, young priest Doug Jones (Greg Cohan) attempts to restore his faith by traveling to China (complete with a big onscreen supertitle proclaiming “CHINA”). As he breathes in the restorative mountain air, Doug crosses paths with a frightened woman on the run from murderous ninja assassins (never mind that ninjas are native to Japan and not China) whose dying act is to place a tooth-shaped artifact into his hand. Oh, who are we kidding, it’s an actual tooth of the magical kind, and when our holy hero cuts his hand on its sharp surface, he inherits the ability to transform into a GODDAM, er, GODBLESSED DINOSAUR.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

THE CHILD (1977) Blu-ray review

The Child (1977) d. Robert Voskanian (USA) (82 min)

When lovely nanny Alicianne (Laurel Barnett) returns to her childhood burg to take a position caring for Rosalie (Rosalie Cole), a strange little girl whose mother recently passed away, she unwittingly enters into a bizarre small-town realm where small animals – and soon the human residents – are disappearing into the clutches of a growing army of resurrected corpses. Seems young Rosalie has been sending her undead “friends” to avenge her mother’s death… even though there isn’t a lot of evidence to support her claims that anyone actually contributed to it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

DARK AUGUST (1976) Blu-ray Review

Dark August (1976) d. Martin Goldman (USA) (87 min)

In what amounts to be more dramatic character study than straight-ahead fright flick, former New York illustrator Sal (J.J. Barry) flees the city and his current marriage to “find himself” in the quieter climes of Stowe, VT (where the film was actually shot). Unfortunately, one day he accidentally runs down a young girl crossing the country roads, whereupon her vengeful grandfather (William Robertson) lays down a curse on the urban interloper, setting in motion a series of events that threaten to rob Sal of both his sanity and his life.

Monday, September 9, 2019

DREAM NO EVIL (1970) Blu-ray Review

Dream No Evil (1970) d. John Hayes (USA) (84 min)

This offbeat, Psycho-inspired offering from writer/director Hayes (Grave of the Vampire, Garden of the Dead) is a meandering examination of young orphan Grace’s lifelong desire to track down her father (Oscar-winner Edmond O’Brien). After encountering our emotionally battered heroine in a pre-credits sequence, we flash forward and find a grown-up and curvaceous Grace (now played by Brooke Mills) dazzling the assembled masses via her high-fall act within a traveling salvation show headed by charismatic preacher Jessie (Michael Pataki), who just happens to be the brother of Grace’s beloved betrothed, Patrick (Paul Prokop).