Monday, October 17, 2011

Brad's Week In Dork! (10/9-10/15)

Didn't do much else this week other than watch movies.  Cranked in plenty of Horror to fullfil my Halloween promise but other than the typical classics (The Shining, The Thing) nothing really knocked my socks off.  Thankskilling...yeah, that's a movie I watched.  Thanks Netflix instant.


Deadly Intent:  Film starts off promising enough.  Lance Henriksen bolting through the jungle, firing upon chasing natives, beating down a compatriot to snatch his magical jewel.  Then we hit the mainland.  The film grinds to a hault under the leadership of Steve Railsback.  Not nearly enough action to drive the dull plot and not nearly enough Fred Williamson or Persis Khambatta...or Lance Henriksen for that matter.  It's a big snooze.  And it looks like USA Up All Night trash tv.

The Ides of March:  George Clooney continues his chameleon-like direction with this solid entry in the constantly cynical politoco thriller genre.  The plot points are expected but the entertainment stems from the earnest performances.  Seriously, though, can we give Jeffrey Wright more than ten minutes of screentime?  The guy is amazing, but he never seems to get the appropriate screen presence.

Dark Tower:  Soooooooooooo boring.  You have two typically fantastic leads in Michael Moriarty (The Stuff!  Q The Winged Serpent!) and Jenny Agutter (An American Werewolf in London!  Logan's Run!) in the dullest of dull haunting stories involving a series of unnatural deaths plaguing a skyscraper's construction.  I dare you to give this film your fullest attention. Sooooooooo boring.

The Sleeping Car:  Poor David Naughton.  You were so cool in An American Werewolf in London and here you are slumming it in this awful piece of dreck.  A train engineer haunts a railway car that's been converted into Naughton's college apartment cuz some kid once had sex on his train...or something.  Terrible dialog, terrible plot, terrible performances.  Jeff Conway as the sexed up journalism professor is rage inducingly annoying.

Thankskilling:  Quite terrible.  Obvioiusly, the filmmakers were attempting to make a fun, trash movie and it garners a few surprising chuckles here and there but for the most part the dialog is just bad bad and not bad funny.  The supernatural killer turkey out for revenge against the white man for what he did to the red man definitely has potential in that Jason X kinda way, but the talent falls short.

Real Steel:  If the film had ditched the awkward father/tiny dancer son storyline and just focused on the ridiculous rock em sock em robot action I think I would have enjoyed this movie much much more.  As is, it's an overlong schlocker with some fun bits here and there especially involving the bot brutality.  I definitely appreciate Hugh Jackman's A-Holeness--seriously, this guy's a jerk, but give me Lee Marvin's Twilight Zone ep any day.

The Shining:  Gosh, how many times have I seen this movie?  20?  30 times?  I've seesawed back and forth on this flick a few times in my life, but right now, having just subjected my wife to it for the first time in her life...I think The Shining is one of the scariest damn movies to ever hit celluloid.  The steadicam.  Kubrick's hold on the camera.  The wallpaper.  The score by Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind.  Redrum.  Room 237.  It's creepy calculated and utterly brilliant.  Looking forward to 20-30-100 more viewings.

Season of the Witch:  The film could have easily benefited from a stronger/harder rating, but Season of the Witch is a shockingly entertaining bit of schlock in the same vein of cheesy goodness like To The Devil A Daughter or The Conqueror Worm.  Not great genre cinema, but it gets the job done.  Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman might seem like an awkward pair, but they are a solid buddy cop duo that really sell their Head-Butting Crusader history.  The film's climax cranks it up to 11 and I just wish the craziness had started about 20 or 30 minutes earlier.

Drive Angry:  Greasy gross Nicolas Cage revels in the exploitation as the hellbent road rager John Milton on the hunt for Billy Burke's soul patched satanist.  Hot on his heels are William Fichtner's demonic accountant and Tom Atkins grouchy Sheriff.  Grab the closest human skull and take a swig of your finest Kentucky bourbon.  Drive Angry makes no appologies, it's just blood bullets and octane.

The Thing From Another World:  The original adaptation of the John W. Campbel short storyl is a straight up mad monster movie in which a group of scientists discover a Frankenstein('s mosnter) shaped plant creature who wants to take over the world by juicing humans of their blood.  The terrifying "James Arness Smash!" plantman sure knows how to crash through walls and backhand a human, but the real fun of the film comes from the three WWII army buddies sent in to oversee the expidition.    Kenneth Tobey, Douglas Spencer, and Robert Nichols appear to have genuine affection for each other and their playful banter is something you expect from a Howard Hawkes (who produced the film) adventure.  This original film might lack the paranoia on display shown so brilliantly in the Carpenter remake, but The Thing From Another World is definitely the seminal monster picture of its age.

John Carpenter's The Thing:  Put simply:  Flawless horror and one of my all time favorite films period.  This perfect pairing of John Carpenter and Kurt Russell delivers one of the best monster, Lovecraftian, cabin fever, MAN movies ever made.  Rob Bottin's effects are as effective today as they were in 1982.  Gross, slippery, and awesome.  And has there ever been a tougher, more badass collection of men in a single movie?  Nope.

The Crawling Eye:  AKA The Trollenberg Terror.  This late 50s alien invasion flick takes its time getting to the beautiful monstrosities but thankfully the weird collection of actors brought on board to investigate a series of strange mountain climber decapitations are a joy to watch.  Janet Munro and Jennifer Jayne are a pair of sisters with a psychic act that better watch out as zombie axe murderers seem determined to put an end to their threatening shenanigans.  But F Troop's Forest Tucker certainly knows how to impale a zombie beast when he has to; The Crawling Eye is a shocking gory picture for the time wit a decent amount of blood and body parts spilled.

Creatures From The Pink Lagoon:  A silly homosexual spoof of Night of the Living Dead (sorry, no Gill Man here), Creatures From The Pink Lagoon is a short but funny enough horror comedy to pass the time.  A group of friends and lovers intend to enjoy a beach house vacation but are interrupted when zombie mosquitos starts spreading their virus at the infamous Exit 5 Rest Stop.  Thankfully they're well supplied with Brute cologne and Judy Garland tunes, the zombies only weakness.

The Beyond:  In an effort to reopen the family hotel, Catriona MacColl doesn't just have a fixer-upper on her hands she has inherited an honest-to-goodness gateway to Hell!  Seriously, I would have turned away the moment I saw that black blood of the earth flooded basement let alone the psychic visions and zombie plumber problems.  Often touted as the ultimate Italian Zombie Film (it's not, that be City of the Living Dead aka Gates of Hell), The Beyond definitely showcases all the beats you come looking for in a Lucio Fulci production:  Don't Pull Away Random Gore Mutilation, In Your Face Synth Score, Awesomely Bad Dubbing, Extreme Sound Effects.  Halfway through the film becomes totally nonsensical with one extreme depravity happening after the other but I love it.


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