Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fool's Views (3/1 – 3/15)

"Don't mind me. I'll be in here for while....."

“Beware the Ides of March.”

“He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.”

The month came in like a lamb and, almost as if on cue, March 15 came crashing in like a ton of bricks (if the bricks were all radioactive and labeled “Stay the #$%*&$#@ in your house!!!!”) and the world will never be the same again. It’s strange, looking back on this period of time, going through it thinking it was just another ordinary couple weeks. Not so, said the crow.

Truth be told, my main focus was to watch a few VHS movies that my buddy Gert had ordered from a U.S. dealer and get them relayed onto him in Brussels. It seems so benign in retrospective: plugging in the VCR and adjusting the tracking accordingly to viddy a few flicks the old fashioned way, and then repackaging them to send overseas. (Here’s hoping they arrive soon, amigo!!!!) Then I banged out a few other films that I had borrowed from friends (Tim, Jason, Jon), thinking, “Okay, I’ll finish these up and then set up a time when I can return them and we can watch a bunch more together.”

And now, here we are. Advised to stay indoors and avoid contact with anyone. It’s looking like it will be at least a few more weeks of the same, and no one knows when the communal viewings will resume. It’s a strange realization. But the femalien and I are both healthy and hopeful, which is about all anyone can ask. We’ve got food and shelter and each other, and we live in a world where most communication occurs online anyway, so the world – while undeniably different – isn’t all that different. And there are movies to be watched and Fools to View them. For this, I am extremely thankful.

I wish you, Faithful Reader, the very best to you and yours during these strange days. Thank you for spending a little time here at the Doc’s office. It means a lot.

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


Saturday, March 28, 2020

NURSE SHERRI (1978) DVD review

Nurse Sherri (1978) d. Al Adamson (USA) (88 min)

Attempting to jump on two exploitation bandwagons at once, producer Sam Sherman and director Adamson (in their final collaboration) concocted this mash-up of The Exorcist and Roger Corman’s “Nurse” movies which features the titular character (Jill Jacobson) being possessed by the spirit of a religious nutbag (Bill Roy) and murdering off half the hospital staff and patients where she works, growling in a none-too-convincing dubbed male voice all the while.

Friday, March 27, 2020


Dr. Tarr’s Torture Dungeon (aka Mansion of Madness) (1973) d. Juan Lopez Monteczuma (Mexico) (82 min)

Newspaper reporter Gaston LeBlanc (Arthur Hanel), interested in exploring his French ancestry, requests that his editor send him on assignment to a remote country sanitarium using the groundbreaking “soothing system,” where patients are encouraged to explore their emotions to the fullest without discipline, punishment, or confinement. Upon touring the facility, however, LeBlanc comes to the horrifying realization that the mental hospital is actually being run by the inmates and the mysterious and charismatic Dr. Maillard (Claudio Brook) is allowing them to live out their wildest and most bizarre fantasies.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fool's Views (2/15 – 2/29)

Look who's knocking out the Views! Cyber High Five!!!

Greetz and treatz!

Wrapping up the shortest month of the year with our Kryptic Army assignment (films starting with E, V, I, or L), most of which were accomplished courtesy of an impromptu Share the Scare at the Krypt itself. (Who knew it was going to be the last one for the foreseeable future? #socialdistancing) Seems Jon had picked up an array of discs from Sinister Cinema and was inclined to share the wealth. While not all were winners, there were definitely some jewels in the mix from all corners of the globe and, with Dawn working her usual magic in the kitchen, it was a fantastic way to wrap up the month.

I also started my Bronson-fest in earnest, hitting up the Chicago Public Library for a few lesser-known entries in the star’s CV, with many more on the way. For the record, prior to 2020, I had previously seen 17 of Charlie’s 95 films, a tally that includes his bit and supporting parts; I suspect I will be revisiting most of those along the way, but all the ones this month were First Time Views. Speaking of CB, one of his frequent co-stars, James Coburn (The Magnificent Seven, Hard Times, The Great Escape) popped up for the most recent installment of Kicking the Seat, so if you get tired of reading, just pop in the earbuds and have a little listen.

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


Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Return of the Witch (1952) d. Roland af Hallstrom (Finland) (80 min)

Released the same year as The White Reindeer, here is yet another surprisingly underviewed effort from the Land of Fin, with yet another supernatural menace taking the form of a beautiful woman. Here, the plot (adapted from a play by Mika Waltari) revolves around an archaeologist (Toivo Makela) who unearths a 300-year-old skeleton with a stake buried in its chest, but after he transports the bones indoors to be studied, the makeshift grave is filled once again – this time with the shapely naked body of a young woman (Mirja Mane)!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

ONE CUT OF THE DEAD (2017) Movie Review

One Cut of the Dead (2017) d. Shinichiro Ueda (Japan) (97 min)

I don’t want to diminish anyone’s experience of this fantastic independent effort, one whose against-all-odds genesis and Cinderella success story mirrors its onscreen against-all-odds narrative. So, if you haven’t seen it, stop reading now and track it down because it comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Monday, March 23, 2020

DEEP RISING (1998) Blu-ray Review

Deep Rising (1998) d. Stephen Sommers (USA) (106 min)

A group of terrorists looking to hijack Simon Canton’s (Anthony Heald) luxury ocean liner find the vessel almost completely deserted, with something big, dark and slippery lurking in the shadows. Skipper John Finnegan (Treat Williams, doing his best Harrison Ford impression), sassy jewel thief Trillian St. James (Famke Janssen, doing her best Julia Roberts impression), and kooky mechanic Joey Pantucci (Kevin J. O’Connor, doing his best Bobcat Goldthwait impression) are the good guys matching wits against the thugs, while the bloodthirsty sea monster grabs and devours whoever is closest to its multitude of lethal tentacles.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fool's Views (2/1 – 2/14)

Better late than never, right?

Hello, hello.

Yes, it’s been a few weeks since I last reported in – anything new going on in the world?

I jest, of course. It’s an odd time we’re living in, with the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe and most of the U.S. on lockdown. My personal training career is at a bit of standstill, since our health club is currently closed, so I’m finally sitting down to catch up on the Views. I wasn’t really feeling motivated to do so over the past month, but thanks to a few inspiring emails from my Belgian blood brother Gert, I seem to have rallied for the time being.

This batch takes us to the halfway point of February, which I celebrated by watching a double-feature of Shout Factory’s extras-packed Blu-ray release of My Bloody Valentine and the surprisingly solid 3D remake from 2009. It also marked the spark for an unexpected deep dive into a certain action-star icon’s filmography which you’ll be reading about in FV reports to come. (You have Tim to thank/curse for this.) I also wrapped up the final lap (for now) of my animated features (itself inspired by legendary pun-meister Kevin Matthews’ Ani-May-Tion last year).

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


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Fool's Views (1/16 – 1/31)

Just... give me a second.

Wow. So far behind. But I’m here now!

I spent the latter half of January whittling through the stacks of DVDs and Blu-rays that had been covering my desk for months, especially with the Oscar-nominated fare off my plate, including hosting a little Angel-ic marathon as we crossed the halfway point. (And then, of course, I got preoccupied with doing non-movie stuff like getting my Box N Burn certification and so was spending less time on the couch or at the keyboard.) As a result, there were a lot of titles consumed and, considering the late hour, I’m going to keep the preamble short and the reviews shorter in order to get back to even keel. Hold on, folks. Here we go!

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