Sunday, September 27, 2020

SCARE-A-THON 2020: THINKING INSIDE THE BOX



Hello, friends and fellow fiends! It’s that time of year again, when autumn leaves rustle louder, darkness arrives sooner, and mask wearing is happily embraced by the masses….

IT'S SCARE-A-THON 2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

THE BEAST MUST DIE (1974) Blu-ray Review



The Beast Must Die (1974) d. Paul Annett (UK) (92 min)

Combining elements of Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, James Blish’s short story “There Shall Be No Darkness” is given an blaxploitation horror twist when eccentric millionaire Tom Newcliffe (Calvin Lockhart) invites eight diverse individuals to his island estate for a weekend of hunting… without telling them that they are the quarry in question. Our intrepid adventurer has it in his head that one of his guests is a lycanthrope and is eager to face the supernatural foe face to snarling face. As the hours click by and the moon waxes full, suspects become victims, the game is afoot, and the question on everyone’s lips is, “Who Is The Werewolf?”

Saturday, September 19, 2020

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1962) Blu-ray Review



The Phantom of the Opera (1962) d. Terence Fisher (UK) (84 min)

When tragedy strikes Lord D’Arcy’s (Michael Gough) London opera house during an opening night performance, it’s soon clear that the “accident” is the work of a deranged madman – The Phantom (Herbert Lom). After Christine (Heather Sears), cast as the lead in this new version of Saint Joan, is contacted by the shadowy specter, her producer/lover (Edward De Souza) investigates, tracking the ghostly Phantom to his secret underground lair. Disfigured and nearly destroyed, the former composer and musician now demands hellish revenge on those who have wronged him, with Christine, the sole glimmer of light in his dark, violent life.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

EYE SEE YOU (2002) Blu-ray Review



Eye See You (aka D-Tox) (2002) d. Jim Gillespie (USA) (96 min)

After a serial cop-killer racks up nine victims with no leads in sight, the Feds assign Jake Malloy (Sylvester Stallone) to the case, not knowing the agent is the real target for torment. Seems our intrepid lawman fouled up the psycho’s intricate masterpiece of murder involving prostitutes a few years back and vengeance is now on the menu, first in the form of Red (James Kidnie), his best buddy in blue and then Mary (Dina Meyer), his lovely fiancee. Distraught and suicidally alcoholic, Malloy is encouraged by his superior (Charles S. Dutton) to visit a specialized detox center in remote and snowy Wyoming, where he joins an array of similarly addicted keepers of the peace of every stripe… who immediately start getting bumped off by our supposedly dead killer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fool's Views (8/17 – 8/31)


Yep, six months later, still feels a bit like this....

Greetings, friends! It’s September and I see you!

Wrapped up the month with a couple of overarching themes, that of shapeshifting ape-folk and a pair of wunderkind siblings bent on tackling every cinematic genre known to man, woman, or child. Sprinkled throughout is the usual hodgepodge of randomness that makes the grass grow, so hopefully you’ll find something to suit your fancy.

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

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

STUNTWOMEN: THE UNTOLD HOLLYWOOD STORY Movie Review



Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story (2020) d. April Wright (USA) (85 min)

Remember when Joan Wilder took her big slide down the mountain in Romancing the Stone? Or when Trinity raced against traffic on a motorcycle in The Matrix Reloaded? Or when Kara and Letty beat the crap out of each other (wearing evening gowns) in Furious 7? These are some of the most memorable moments in their respective films, and you’ll notice that I refer to them by their character names, as opposed to the performers that played them. That’s because for each of these moments, it’s not Kathleen Turner, Carrie-Ann Moss, Ronda Rousey, or Michelle Rodriguez whose actions we’re applauding, but rather those of the less-recognized Jeannie Epper, Debbie Evans, Heidi Moneymaker, and Renae Moneymaker taking falls, burning rubber, and kicking ass. This is the world of the stuntwoman and, as narrator/exec producer Rodriguez declares in the intro of director Wright’s eye-opening documentary, “The best ones are invisible… until now.”


Monday, September 7, 2020

JUNGLE CAPTIVE (1945) Blu-ray Review



Jungle Captive (1945) d. Harold Young (USA) (63 min)

This second sequel to Captive Wild Woman is notable primarily for (Caucasian) Vicky Lane replacing Acquanetta as Paula Dupree and for the presence of Universal’s “Monster without Makeup” Rondo Hatton, cracking necks like nobody’s business as “Moloch the Brute,” in his second showcase role following The Pearl of Death with Sherlock Holmes (1944). Seems that a certain endocrinology enthusiast, Mr. Stendahl (Otto Kruger), is a Frankenstein in the making, obsessed with reviving dead tissue, viewing the resurrection of Paula Dupree (last seen in Jungle Woman) as his Mt. Everest to climb. Recruiting Moloch to steal her corpse from the morgue and then later to kidnap his assistant Ann (Amelita Ward), Stendahl plots a synthesis of electricity and blood transfusions (and brain transplanting, just for good measure) in order to demonstrate his superior intellect to the world.


Sunday, September 6, 2020

JUNGLE WOMAN (1944) Blu-ray Review



Jungle Woman (1944) d. Reginald LeBorg (USA) (61 min)

Paula Dupree (Acquanetta) is back… and killed in the first scene when she attacks Dr. Fletcher (J. Carroll Naish), who is then brought to trial for her murder (cue the flashback sequences). It seems that our glandular mishap survived her fate at the end of Captive Wild Woman and was nursed back to health by the good doctor, who had also acquired the late Dr. Walters’ sanitarium and continued in his research, thereby transforming Cheela/Paula back to her human form. In what amounts to a retread of Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People, we discover that whenever Paula is sexually aroused – as she is by Fletcher’s assistant Bob (Richard Davis), who has a thing going with his boss’ daughter Joan (Lois Collier) – she has a tendency to get a little hairier and homicidal.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN (1943) Blu-ray Review



Captive Wild Woman (1943) d. Edward Dmytryk (USA) (61 min)

When Cheela, a female gorilla exhibiting nearly human-like emotions, is captured and brought to the circus by famed hunter and animal trainer Fred Mason (Milburn Stone), she attracts the attention of gland specialist Dr. Walters (John Carradine) who plots to kidnap the giant beast for his own experiments. Through a combination of injections and brain surgery (compliments of his unwilling assistant, played by Fay Helm), Cheela is transformed into the beautiful Paula Dupree (Acquanetta), who subsequently develops a rather deep attraction to Mason, himself in the thick of creating a daring new circus act. Unfortunately for all, except perhaps Mason’s fiancee Beth (Evelyn Ankers), Walters’ success proves only temporary, and Paula begins devolving back to her previous primal self.


Friday, September 4, 2020

THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL (1941) Blu-ray Review



The Monster and the Girl (1941) d. Stuart Heisler (USA) (65 min)

After her brother Scot (Phillip Terry) is framed for murder, small-town girl Susan Webster (Ellen Drew) pleads with the court to show mercy, explaining her hard-luck story of being tricked into a life of prostitution by crime boss W.S. Bruhl (Paul Lukas). Unfortunately, due to some fancy talk by the District Attorney (Onslow Stevens), Scot is tossed in the clink and sentenced to death. On the eve of his execution, the hapless prisoner is visited by a mysterious Dr. Perry (George Zucco) who asks if he can have Scot’s brain for his radical experiments; frustrated and afraid, the condemned man grants permission – and wakes up with his brain inside of a gorilla! Instead of bananas, however, this particular ape now has a burning hunger for... revenge.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Fool's Views (8/1 – 8/16)


There's 2020 in a nutshell for ya....

Howdy, folks!

As the summer sun starts falling beneath the horizon earlier and earlier with each passing day, it’s hard to believe that we’re only eight months into this crazy, crazy year. I’m not going to be the one to ask what the next four months might have in store because, honestly, I’m not all that sure I want to know.

The first half of August’s Horror Views were, as is often the case, highly influenced by the guiding hand of one Jon Kitley – he who loaned me several of the titles featured below, two of which I employed to complete my Kryptic Army mission in high style. For the Civilian quarter, a couple of rarely-discussed titles fell into my sights completely out of the blue, squaring off across secret agent exploits and dusty gunfighter tales.

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

Enjoy!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

BLOODLUST! (1961) DVD Review



Bloodlust! (1961) d. Ralph Brooke (USA) (68 min)

A foursome of young outdoor enthusiasts (strapping Robert Reed, blonde June Kenney, bespectacled Gene Persson, brunette Joan Lora) are ferried about on the ocean waves for a few days by a hard-drinking sea captain (Troy Patterson), although it’s mostly a bust due to the overcast weather. On the final afternoon, however, the mist lifts, allowing them to spy an island with sandy beaches. Clambakes dancing in their heads, they leave their soused guide behind and sail ashore in the dinghy; upon their arrival, one of them promptly falls into a pit trap. Luckily, its owner, Dr. Balleau (Wilton Graff), is not far behind, helps pull him out and invites the party back to his stately cottage for some rest and refreshment. While showing off his array of mounted trophies, Balleau explains that he has traveled the globe hunting the world’s most ferocious quarry, and now has his game brought to him to stock his secluded island paradise. (Cue sinister music.) Yes, folks, it seems the good doctor’s preferred prey is of the bipedal humanoid nature, specifically the menfolk, with the women kept prisoner to suit his other, ahem, passions.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

THE BURNING COURT (1962) DVD Review



The Burning Court (1962) d. Julien Duvivier (France/Italy) (110 min)

A collective of family members gather at an ailing relative’s secluded country estate to discuss matters of finance, only to have their host abruptly shuffle off this mortal coil under less-than-natural circumstances. However, what starts off as a standard “inheritance murder mystery” quickly becomes something significantly chewier; seems that the late Uncle Mathias (Frederic Duvalles) was the last remaining descendant of a policeman who brought a supposed witch to justice in the 1600s, said sorceress cursing his family line with her dying breath. Along with two squabbling brothers, Marc (Jean-Claude Brialy) and Stephane (Claude Rich), understandably eager to get their hands on the family fortune, further thickening the pot is mystery novelist Michel (Walter Giller), down for the weekend to interview Mathias about his dark lineage. And wouldn’t you know it, Michel’s wife Marie (Edith Scob) just happens to be the last remaining descendant of the witch in question… who was also named Marie. The end result is an “old cursed house” supernatural horror whodunit where the suspects are plentiful, one of whom could be an actual ghost!


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Fool's Views (7/1 – 7/30) (Part 2 of 2)


"Sally, how many times do I have to tell you there's nothing under the bed?"

Howdy, everyone!

Sorry for the delay in posting the remainder of July’s Views – August just stepped in, stepped up, and went wild on me. However, I’ve temporarily wrestled the beast to the ground (or maybe just distracted it with food) long enough to bang the rest of these out.

As mentioned before, this represents the second half of our impromptu SLY IN JULY festival, allowing me to knock out a number of flicks that have been on my radar for a long time (F.I.S.T., Paradise Alley) and others that felt like Fate was just daring me to take the plunge (Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot). Can’t say there were any great rewards to be reaped here, but the tally increased and I’m hopefully stronger for the experience since it clearly didn’t kill me. Wounded for sure, but not mortally.

Also knocked out my Kryptic Army Mission in the waning hours, as well as crossing another one of Rue Morgue’s Alternative Horror Films off the list. Every little step forward is a step forward….

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

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

TETSUO: THE IRON MAN (1989) Blu-ray Review



Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) d. Shinya Tsukamoto (Japan) (69 min)

After a character credited as “The Metal Fetishist” (Shinya Tsukamoto) shoves a length of pipe into his thigh, the excruciating pain sends him limping into the street where he is subsequently run down by the Salaryman (Tomorowo Taguchi) and his (intentionally) nameless girlfriend (Kej Fujiwara). Fearing for their reputations, they take the fetishist’s seemingly lifeless body and dispose of it at the bottom of a ravine, pausing to make love in the shadow of their crime. Shaving in the mirror the next day, the Salaryman notices a small metal diode emerging from his cheek; attempting to pull it out only causes agony and a bleeding wound that marks him like a brand. In the subway, he is accosted by a similarly afflicted Woman with Glasses (Nobu Kanaoka), her hand encased in metal, and while he manages to escape her frenzied attack, the relentless metamorphosis continues, his flesh slowly and inexplicably being replaced by iron, chrome, and steel.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Fool's Views (7/1 – 7/30) (Part 1 of 2)


Ouch, you're on my hair
"Ouch, you're on my hair...."

Howdy, folks!

July was a wild ride, for sure. With Chicago’s public library reopening, health coaching classes in full swing, the garden yielding organic bounty on the regular, and personal training sessions increasing on a weekly basis, life is being lived at a rat-a-tat-tat pace. And, as if anyone needed further proof that I clearly require supervision, with June Claude Van Damme in the rearview, the stage was set for the inevitable sequel:


SLY IN JULY

(You know, sometimes I amaze even myself.)

With Hammer time, Robocops, Shogun Warriors, and an unexpected Al Pacino film festival trading beats with the ongoing correspondence course that is Accademia Giallo and no fewer than a dozen Stallone features (most of which I had never seen before), there was a little something for everyone.

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

Enjoy!


Saturday, July 25, 2020

ATTACK OF THE SUPER MONSTERS (1982) DVD review



Attack of the Super Monsters (1982) d. Toru Sotyama / Tom Wyner (Japan/USA) (83 min)

In the year 2000, we are informed via sonorous narration, a troop of dinosaurs living underground in a secret cave where they have been “developing an intelligence equal to that of Man and dreadful powers far beyond those of Humankind” finally decides to make their collective move and reclaim dominance over the Earth. With their chortling and taunting (yes, these dinos communicate via spoken word) leader Emperor Tyranus marshaling his minions with an iron claw, the cold-blooded behemoths mount a full-scale assault on our existing civilization, using a variety of brutal and bizarre methods. It’s up to the special forces team of Gemini Command to beat back the monstrous menace and save the day… over and over again.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

KISS OF THE VAMPIRE (1963) Blu-ray Review



Kiss of the Vampire (1963) d. Don Sharp (UK) (88 min)

When their automobile runs out of fuel on the way to their honeymoon, newlyweds Marianne (Jennifer Daniel) and Gerald Harcourt (Edward de Souza) find themselves stranded in a remote Bavarian forest. Towed by a horse-drawn wagon to the nearest village, they are invited by the hypnotic and aristocratic Dr. Ravna (Noel Willman) to attend a masked ball at his nearby castle. When Ravna reveals himself to be the leader of a dark arts-worshipping family of vampires, with an eye on Marianne as their most recent recruit, the young couple is plunged into a nightmare of horror and deception with the tortured Professor Zimmer (Clifford Evans) their only potential savior.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Fool's Views (6/16 – 6/30)


"Carrie Bradshaw, I need you!!!"

Howdy, troops!

Rolled into the halfway point of 2020 with a slightly lighter cinematic payload, due in large part to my having committed to a six-month Health Coach certification course, adding another 5-8 hours to my weekly schedule because I had SO MUCH SPARE TIME DON’T YOU KNOW. Ahem. That said, I’m feeling pretty excited and engaged by the new tools I’m acquiring, so no complaints. Plus, since the entirety of the class is conducted remotely via laptop video, it’s almost like I’m watching movies every day, the main difference being that instead of watching evil entities eviscerating everything, I’m instead learning the Axioms of Inflammatory Foods and 50 Fancy Names for Processed Sugar. Not quite as many blood and beasts, but twice as terrifying.

However, we still managed to clock in an even dozen of the flickers, including a second Kryptic Army Mission, a fistful of Jean-Claude, and a trio from the Man of Gold, William Goldman. Hopefully, you’ll find a little something to satisfy your appetites, whatever they might be. If not, we’re already halfway through July, so more Views are on the way!

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

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fool's Views (6/1 – 6/15)


"Seriously... you really want me to put on a mask? I feel fine..."

Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac 
A little voice inside my head said, ‘Don’t look back.’

You can never look back.



Hey everybody!

It’s been a crazy summer already, with cities starting to relax their COVID regulations even as the case numbers continue to rise. I feel like I’ve seen this scenario played out hundreds of times in various horror movies where our heroes watch helplessly as government officials make terrible decisions based on political gain rather than genuine concern for their constituents, opportunists seize what is not theirs, and the polite masses stand by to witness their own destruction. Personally, I’m adopting an extremely cautious attitude about all of it, practicing preparedness (not paranoia) and doing my best to stay safe and sane. This Fool is planning on coming out the other side and woe befall Any Other Fool who interferes with my plans.

The first half of June’s Views was dictated in part by Pals with Podcasts, expiring Redbox coupons, Kryptic Army missions, and punnage too juicy to pass up. (To give credit where credit is due, For It Is Man’s Number’s Kevin Matthews did a full month of “June-Claude Van Damme” back in 2018, but since I was the one who came up with the idea for him to do it in the first place, I feel like I can reappropriate it without fear of litigation. We shall see.)

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

Enjoy!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Fool's Views (5/23 – 5/31)


"Your motivation skills are very persuasive, Fraulein..."

Howdy, folks!

Apologies for the delay. I’ll be honest, I was having a hard time finding motivation casting my mind toward cinematic criticism in light of current events. I hope you are all doing okay. I know it’s been stressful on multiple levels and it’s not like we had a lot in the tank to begin with.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading numerous statements from organizations, as I’m sure you have, stating their positions on the state of the world and their place in it. For my part, I have been doing my best to show up, shut up, and listen up, because it is not necessarily my voice that needs to be heard at this time but rather my presence as an empathetic and supportive citizen of the world.

When the #metoo movement gained national attention a few years back, I felt confident that I was already on the “right” side. I identified as feminist. Previous October Scare-a-Thons had donated to Planned Parenthood, Resilience, American Women’s Self Defense Organization, and Chicago’s Greenhouse Shelter. I was even a member of an anti-sexual harassment organization, Not In Our House (Chicago). But, to be an effective ally, there was still more I could do. So I did more.

I feel the same way regarding Black Lives Matter. There is absolutely more I can do, more voices to be heard, more lessons to be learned, more action items to be taken, and I am dedicated to being a better ally. As in all things, it’s about gathering information, exploring options, and making choices, decisions, and commitments. I invite all of us to do the same. We can all do better – key word “DO.” Action is everything.

And that’s enough out of me about that.

We have a lot to get to, including the first-ever online version of Turkey Day in May, the first installment of Kicking the Seat’s "Accademia Giallo," another pair of rock docs, and stand-up people doing stand-up, so let’s just dive right in, shall we?

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

Enjoy!

Friday, June 5, 2020

DREAMLAND (2019) Movie Review



Dreamland (2019) d. Bruce McDonald (Canada-Luxembourg-Belgium) (92 min)

In an unnamed European city, a hired assassin named Johnny (Stephen McHattie) foils a child-trafficking scheme, an assignment that he performs with righteous relish. Upon completion, he discovers to his dismay that his employer Hercules (Henry Rollins) has ordered the hit so that he could take over the booming kiddie prostitution business. Johnny contemplates breaking ties with the Herc, who asks him to perform one last job: procure the little finger of famed jazz musician The Maestro (McHattie as well) who has been hired to play at the upcoming wedding of the Countess’ (Juliette Lewis) brother, a honest-to-fangs vampire (Tomas Lemarquis) who has chosen one of Hercules’ latest acquisitions as his virgin child bride.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Fool's Views (5/11 – 5/22)


I'm not sure if this "shower optional" thing is really working out...

Greetz, my fellow fiends!

Whilst wending our way through May, in addition to a quartet of excellent review assignments, interests wandered toward the “real deal” section of the viewing library, with four feature-length documentaries and two concert films making up half the titles! I’m not complaining, since all were quite engaging, but it was a little surprising when doing the final tally. I guess sometimes it’s nice to be able to choose your own version of real life, you know? Besides, I never really got to mourn/pay tribute to the late Neil Peart (R.I.P.) back in January, so I’m giving myself that gift now.

Along those lines, I’d like to take a quick moment to say thanks to everyone who has dropped in lately to see what I’ve been watching, with a Power Thank You to everyone who has seen fit to share reviews and links within their networks. Being that I’m more or less out of the social media maelstrom, it’s been a struggle at times to get the Views into the public consciousness, but with the help of dedicated folks with questionable tastes like yourselves, the Dr. AC machine keeps rolling on through good times and bad. Salute!

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

Enjoy!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961) Blu-ray Review



The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) d. Terence Fisher (UK) (93 min)

Set in 18th Century Spain, this (very) loose reworking of Guy Endore’s 1933 novel The Werewolf of Paris sees a ragged beggar (Richard Wordsworth) entering the disenchanted village of Santa Vera where a corrupt nobleman, the aptly named Marques Sinestro (Anthony Dawson), holds sway. In “service” for his supper, the Marques has the hapless homeless bark and crawl about like a dog before being imprisoned and forgotten by everyone except the jailer and his mute daughter (Yvonne Romain). 10 years of isolation drive the poor soul out of his mind such that, when the jailer’s daughter is thrown into his cell for refusing the lecherous Marques’ advances, he rapes her and promptly dies. Upon her release, the young victim murders the evil lord before escaping into the countryside, where she is discovered, pregnant and on the brink of death, by a kindly aristocrat, Don Alfredo (Clifford Evans). Her offspring, dubbed Leon (Oliver Reed), is raised by Don Alfredo to manhood where it is revealed that his unfortunate family tree and birth date (Christmas) have cursed him with bestial leanings whenever the moon is full and lust is on the rise….


Thursday, May 21, 2020

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID (2017) Blu-ray Review



Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017) d. Issa López (Mexico) (83 min)

Set against the backdrop of Mexico’s drug wars, this dark fairy tale follows Estrella (Paola Lara), whose school is closed due to a shooting, an act that unleashes a mysterious, potentially malevolent force that marks the young girl, tracking her to her home where she discovers that her mother has gone unexpectedly missing. She ultimately falls in with a group of similarly abandoned children, led by the fiery pre-teen Shine (Juan Ramon Lopez) who has stolen the cell phone (and pistol) of a former drug cartel member, an act that has the young gang running for their lives. Estrella, having been given “three magical wishes” by her schoolteacher, is tasked with facing one of the criminals as an initiation into Shine’s gang, an assignment that only escalates their perilous situation, leaving them pursued by dark forces both of this world and from beyond.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

SWORD OF GOD (aka THE MUTE) (2018) Movie Review



Sword of God (aka The Mute) (2018) d. Bartosz Konopka (Poland) (100 min)

In the early Middle Ages, a contingent of knights embarks on a dangerous journey to spread Christianity and baptize the pagan inhabitants of an isolated village hidden deep in the mountains of a faraway island. After being shipwrecked, the two survivors, the elder Bishop Willibrord (Krzysztof Pieczynski) and a younger subservient (Karol Bernacki, credited as “Noname”), proceed with their mission, but as they attempt to convert the tribe, their diverging beliefs put them at odds with one another. Soon, love is confronted with hate, peace with violence, sanity with madness, and redemption with damnation.


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Fool's Views (5/1 – 5/10)


"G'day, mate! I'll have the Double Impossible Whopper...
What do you mean no substitutions? Let me talk to your manager..."

Hey there, kids!

Hope everyone is staying safe, staying healthy, and staying the course!

The opening May Day celebrations entailed knocking out the remainder of the Death Wish films (special thanks to Dan and Tim for riding shotgun), which was quite the cause for celebration. We also clocked a couple more Bronson flicks (over 30 for the year!), as well as sampling a double scoop of Stallone, a pair of peliculas peligrosas for Kitley’s Krypt, and kept things reel/real with another smattering of documentaries.

We’ve got a ton of fun stuff on the to-watch stack, so let’s get to it without any further delay.

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

Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2020

WOLF CREEK 2 (2013) Blu-ray Review



Wolf Creek 2 (2013) d. Greg McLean (Australia) (106 min)

In 2005, audiences were introduced to Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) stalking tourists in writer/director McLean’s supremely nasty and well-executed slice of suspense and pain, based on Australia’s notorious “backpacker murders.” The young filmmaker’s debut outraged mainstream critics who ignored the slow-burn character development, palpable disorientation, excruciating suspense, and late great cinematographer Will Gibson’s breathtaking lensing of the bucolic Outback vistas, focusing their ire on the admittedly brutal third act of young bodies being bloodied and broken. Horror fans, however, immediately identified one of their own, embracing McLean and his psychotic creation with open arms.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Fool's Views (4/24 – 4/30)


"Is it safe to go out yet....? I need some Cheetos."

Hello again!

Hope everyone is staying healthy, staying hopeful, and staying at home as much as possible. With the exception of recent trips to the community garden to prep our plot for the summer (I swear, we’re not burying bodies!), we’ve been doing our best to flatten the curve without getting too curvy ourselves. Between the flicks, there have been push-ups, planks, squats, pull-ups, and crunches, at least 100 of each every day, in the hopes that once we’re allowed to re-enter this strange new world post-COVID, we’re not looking like total tubs of goo. So far, so good, building those good habits and trying to stay positive. After all, there are movie marathons on the horizon and we’ll need all our strength to see them through! THIS IS WHY WE TRAIN….

On that note, rediscovering the Chicago Public Library’s FREE streaming service Hoopla has been a total delight, stumbling across tons of films that I had been meaning to catch up with for months or even years. The “to-watch” stack just got a whole lot higher, for better or worse! For those in the Windy City area, I highly recommend it, and for those out-of-towners, try checking your own local library’s website and see what they have to offer. Despite all propaganda to the contrary, the world does not revolve around Amazon Prime and Netflix alone!

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

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

VFW (2019) Blu-ray Review



VFW (2019) d. Joe Begos (USA) (92 min)

After attempting to stretch with his modern vampire flick Bliss, Begos crashes back to earth, seemingly content in being the worst kind of Tarantino imitator, i.e. interested only in serving up “tributes” of established tropes and subgenres under his own byline. Having done body snatcher (Almost Human) and psychokinetic (The Mind’s Eye) flicks, he now offers up a siege film (Assault on Precinct 13 is the obvious model and, yes, I know that John Carpenter was himself riffing off Rio Bravo, thank you very much) combined with Stallone’s The Expendables series by hiring over-the-hill cult actors (Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Martin Kove, Daniel Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Fred Williamson) to play a group of retired soldiers defending their local watering hole from a horde of strung-out (and wildly ineffectual) druggies.