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.


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) 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.


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:


(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.