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Monday, May 4, 2009

"Read If You Dare!": Weirdest Movie Taglines

The Tagline. Every movie has one. 

It's a big part of advertising a film and a good tagline can make you interested in seeing a film. 

There have been great taglines in film. Such as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...

"For Three Men the Civil War Wasn't Hell. It was Practice"

Or Alien...

"In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream"

Here I've gathered up some odd movie taglines. Some are funny and some just flat out don't make sense. A lot of these seem unintentionally funny. Maybe the advertisers and film makers were going for that with some of these or maybe they just stopped caring. Who knows?

But either way, here they are...


   "Actually Filmed in a Nudist Camp"

     "The Only Thing More Terrifying Than The Last 12 Minutes Of This Film Are The First 92"




"You Better Get Those Kids The Hell Out Of There!"

  A*P*E (1976)

   "Not To Be Confused With KING KONG"


  "See Paris (Hilton) Die"


  "Don't Be Ashamed to Scream...It Helps To Relieve The Tension"

     OUANGA a.k.a THE LOVE WANGA (1936)

 "Strange Loves Of Queer People"


"The Only People Who Will Not Be STERILIZED With FEAR Are Those Amongst You Who Are Already DEAD!"


  "The Most Amazing Motion Picture Of Our Time"   .................................................................................................................


  "Terror Stalks The Nudists!"


  "A Dracula On Drugs"

"CORRUPTION Is Not A Woman's Picture! Therefor: No Woman Will Be Admitted Alone To See This Super-Shock Film!!"


  "She Gives You That Weird Feeling"

These are just a few of many. If you feel I missed any really good goofy taglines, let me know. I get a kick out of these and would love to see more!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Review: The WIld Angels

"Their Credo is Violence! Their God is Hate!"

With all due respect, this movie sounds a lot tougher than it really is. 

The Wild Angels is a 1966 biker film produced and directed by the notorious Roger Corman. Starring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra, this film is about a motorcycle riding killer named Heavenly Blue (Fonda) who gathers up a crew of rough Nazi bikers (Some of which were real members of the Hell's Angels) to help him get a stolen chopper. After a conflict with the police, one of their crew is shot and killed. Then at his funeral, the motley gang gets wasted and turns the place into an all out biker party. 

I am a huge fan of and have nothing but respect or Roger Corman. He is the king of low budget cinema. He once said he could make a film about the fall of the Roman Empire with two extras and a sage bush. He has done great things for and inspired many film makers for decades now.

I did however, find The Wild Angels to be very slow and somewhat anti-climactic. It has great style and feel. And the cinematography on some parts is actually brilliant. It's very entertaining on a cinematic level. Roger Corman knows how to make a movie with almost no budget and still pull it off. On the other hand, the overall story lacks kick and plot. 

This film presents itself as an action packed violent ride. For it's time in 1966 it may have been, but all the action is at the end and even that is not the kind of action you may expect from the films tag line and mystique. Although it was banned in Denmark when it was first released. 

But that's what these films did back then. They would sometimes exaggerate through advertising to get you to see their movie. I don't blame them, sometimes they had to, and it worked!

I also am a fan of and have nothing but respect for Peter Fonda, but you don't really buy his character in this film. In The Wild Angels, he is suppose to be the hardest guy around, he is the biker that none of the other bikers want to mess with. I just don't buy it with him. It's not a case of bad acting, Fonda is awesome in Easy Rider. In Easy Rider, Peter Fonda plays an easy going, cool guy that rides a motorcycle. You could say he is like a hippie biker or something along those lines. I get him in that. It's a good fit and is totally plausible. He is the opposite in The Wild Angels and it just doesn't fit as well for him. 

Now don't get me wrong. I didn't hate this movie. I just didn't love it either. It's a stylish Nazi- Biker movie with some really cool scenes. I thought the soundtrack was great as well. It just presents itself as an action film when it is really more of a hang out film. And I love films that are plotless and we are just hanging out with characters, but only when I expect it. 

If you like 60's and 70's biker films then this is worth checking out for the sake of seeing it. I don't think it's the best biker film ever made and I don't think it is Roger Corman's best by far. 

Though I can tell you, this has one of the most interesting funerals you may see in film. 

And Nazi Bikers.....

As I said.....Interesting.

Review: Sleepaway Camp

"You Won't Be Coming Home"

It's movies like these that remind me why I love low-budget horror films. 

They have the balls to do whatever they want and they are just plain fun. 

Sleepaway Camp is campy, funny, and very perverted. It's not the goriest movie you will ever see, but it does have it's moments and makes up for the lack of bloodshed with weirdness and suspense. 

Even though it is as low budget as they come, it still kept me interested and wondering what was going to happen next. Because in these kind of films, you never know. There is no safe zone like there is in so many big Hollywood movies. All the rules go right out the window, and thats why we love them.

The story is about this girl who witnesses her family get killed in a boating accident when she was a child. We jump ahead to eight years later and she and her cousin are living with their aunt. But this year their aunt is sending them away to camp for the summer. 

They arrive at the camp, but the girl is anti-social and refuses to speak. She is still not over the trauma of losing her family. Meanwhile, a mysterious killer is knocking off campers one by one. 

This film has one of the weirdest endings I have ever seen. I wont say anything because I don"t want to spoil it. It's one of those things that's half funny and half disturbing. 

If you can get past the low budget, some bad acting, cheesy humor, 80's iconology and guys wearing really short shorts.... then you should enjoy Sleepaway Camp. 

If not, I understand...

More than just a slasher movie, Sleepaway Camp is more involved in character structure and humor. Sometimes intentional, sometimes not. I found this movie very funny!

As I said, this is a sleazy film. 

It's as if you took American Pie:Band Camp and threw it in the gutter. Then shoveled it back up and spliced it with Friday the 13th and then let John Waters direct it.

Then you might have something like Sleepaway Camp. 

If you enjoy sleazy campy fun, then I recommend this cult classic. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rarities: My Best Friend's Birthday

There's something you should know about me... 

I am a HUGE Quentin Tarantino fan!

He is my favorite director of all time and I think he is one of the best writers to ever breath air.

 I plan to fully review all of his movies on here and review one movie everyday of the week that Inglorious Basterds comes out. And then review that after I see it. 

I know, I'm a geek...

But anyway, My Best Friends Birthday is basically Quentin Tarantino's unofficial first film. It's a black and white and ultra low budget movie written by Craig Hamann and Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tarantino. 

They began shooting in 1984 with a budget of $5,000 and used friends from their acting classes and co-workers at a video store to star in the film, along with Hamann and Tarantino. After a four year period, they finally completed My Best Friend's Birthday. Unfortunetly, the film was in a house fire and now only 36 minutes of the movie remain. 

It's about a guy who is down about his ex-girlfriend on his birthday. So his friend tries to do things for him to cheer him up, but everything he tries goes wrong and makes him feel worse. 

This is Tarantino at his most comical. This movie is very funny and of course filled with long scenes of plot irrelevant dialogue that is always entertaining and one of the reasons we love him. 

While this film is very low budget and amatuer, Tarantino's writing and style are clear as day. You can tell he wrote it. Some lines are the exact same dialoge used some years later in True Romance, an early Tarantino script that was sold to Tony Scott. You can also catch references that would belong to many of his later films if you listen carefully. 

This movie could easily remind you of clerks in style and writing alone. The writing and story are very good, However the directing and the acting could be better, but I don't think it ruins the fun of it. besides, we can't be too harsh, it was their first film and was shot for only $5,000 in a time before computers and digital cameras. Back then you only had a film camera, and shooting in film is not cheap.

If you are interested in seeing My Best friend's Birthday, you can watch the 36 minutes that remain of the film  on Youtube at...     

And I believe it is on DVD as well. would probably be your best bet there. 

If you are a fan of Quentin Tarantino then you should really check this out. I really enjoyed this movie and wish the rest of it remained. It's an interesting look at the early work of a man who would go on to make some of the best films of our generation. Tarantino admits that this film is poorly directed but he says that this was his film school. He says the experience he had with My Best Friends Birthday taught him a lot and made his future films possible. 

For a movie made by two film fanatics who funded the entire project with their jobs at a video store... 

Not bad. Not bad at all! 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Under the Radar: WestWorld

"Boy, have we got s vacation for you..."

With the way technology is growing and flourishing more and more these days, a real life WestWorld could possibly be in our future. Science fiction has always shown us the possibilities of a future world. It shows us what we as humans someday could be capable of. But it also shows us what can go wrong if our mechanical creations turn against us. 

Welcome to WestWorld, a theme park where you can live in the days of the wild west. For $1,000 a day you can get in a wild bar fight, visit a brothel, bust out of jail, or have a gunfight with an unwelcomed stranger. At WestWorld you can step inside the world of a real cowboy.

And best of all, it's 100% safe. The parks lifelike androids are programmed never to harm customers and the guns will only fire at the androids. So you can experience the wild west and leave without a scratch. Perfect Huh? 

Well almost... 

The androids are created by some of the best and brightest scientist and engineers. They are extremely lifelike and programmed to always let you come out the victor. Except lately, the androids are starting to fight back!

In Michael Crichton's story and directorial debut, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin play two friends who decide to visit the new theme park. They have a good ol' time until they mess with the wrong android cowboy. Yul Brynner is a spur jangling and gun slinging android that keeps coming back for more until the friends are no longer fighting for fun, but are fighting for their lives. 

This theme park is not big enough for the both of them

Like so many Sci-Fi films, this is the classic story of man vs. machine. Michael Crichton's style and touch is all over this movie, which is a very good thing. Crichton is one of the masters of showing us a great and genius idea like WestWorld or Jurassic Park, and then showing us why it might not be such a good idea after all. Crichton does a great job of directing this cult classic sci-fi thriller. 

Yul Brynner is everything he is suppose to be in this movie and more. First off, he plays a very convincing robot. He plays his character to the bone as a cold and mechanical android. He is so good at it you would think that it is just an android made to look like Yul Brynner, instead of the actual actor. At the same time he is intimidating and scary. Yul Brynner is the shining star of this film. 

Also, a fun fact, this movie made history in 1973 for being the first to use digitized imaging.

I really enjoyed WestWorld. It's just an overall good and fun movie. I think it stands the test of time and it was groundbreaking in it's time. Sadly Michael Crichton is no longer with us, but he has left behind some of the greatest science fiction stories ever told and WestWorld is no exception. 

As I was saying about sci-fi earlier. It has always shown us the future. Many of the scientist and developers who have created many of the technological advancements that we enjoy today (I'm writing on one right now) were influenced as children by science fiction and pulled their ideas from shows like Star Trek and films like Star Wars. While I wouldn't call him a pessimist, Michael Crichton wrote tales about the damage that can be done if we are not careful in our endeavours and the problems that can arise from creating something bigger and stronger than ourselves. Maybe he wrote keeping in mind that someday this could all be possible and he was trying to tell us something. 

Because someday, it could be science non-fiction. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Must See Movie: Tokyo Gore Police

I think this is the most insane and F$#ked up movie I have ever seen! 

And I loved every minute of it! 

Tokyo Gore Police has no boundaries and no shame. This movie is not for the weak stomached or the faint hearted. I know you've heard this said about many movies, but trust me on this one! 

For many years now I've considered Peter Jackson's Dead Alive the goriest movie ever. Not the scariest or the most brutally violent, but the goriest movie I have ever seen. I think Tokyo Gore Police just one upped it, and that is no easy task. This movie is farther than over the top and it is damn proud of it.

With that said, the violence and gore in Tokyo Gore Police is not entirely mean spirited compared to such horror films like The Devil's Rejects and Cannibal Holocaust. Those two films are more of a brutal and abrasive violence because it is so realistic. Tokyo Gore Police is more of a gorefest than both those films put together, but it has more fun. The deaths and dismemberments are very exploitative and extremely operatic. Kind of like Ichi the Killer, except this movie makes Ichi the Killer look like Juno. This has to be one of the biggest blood baths in film history. What makes this movie so good though, is not just blood and guts for blood and gut's sake. It does it so creatively that it makes for many disturbingly beautiful shots. This film is so bloody that it will use blood as cinematic art. This movie is visually stunning because of it's gore and violence. 

Another thing is that this film is extremely perverted. Like, beyond BDSM perverted. Some images in this movie will stay with you for life. I promise. Some things you just can't unsee. Part of me appreciates the creativity of coming up with some of this stuff, and part of me thinks some therapy sessions may have been in order. But either way it makes for great interesting cinema. When it comes to this genre, some say the crazier the better. 

Think Pan's Labyrinth meets Dead Alive meets Ichi the Killer and they all go to a fetish club in Hell!

While it's gore-factor competes if not surpasses any horror movie, this is actually a science fiction movie with a pretty decent plot. It takes place in the future (as most sci-fi films do) and the Tokyo police are at war with these genetically modified super human criminals called "engineers". These engineers can turn their wounds into weapons. So if you cut off their arm, they can bio-fuse it into a much deadlier weapon. Ruka is the top engineer hunter and it's her job to wipe out these pests completely. Even though she struggles with her fathers death and is still vengeful towards her father's killer, she lets nothing stand in the way of her doing her job of slicing and dicing her way to the cause of the engineers.
Ruka is played by a young actress named Eihi Shina, whom you may remember from another great movie called Audition. Shina is absolutely amazing in this film. She's not the superstar here in the states that she is in Asia, but it's only a matter of time before we come around to her great talent as an actress. 

While being a gorehounds paradise, this film is also very well directed with style and visual substance, and the cinematography is horrifyingly beautiful. I'm starting to notice that Asian film makers seem to have more of a freedom and ballsy attitude towards cinema than we let ourselves have over here sometimes. They seem to be having fun with their work,  while we are just working. Along with all the carnage and bloodshed, this film even finds time to be very funny and satirical. It's not just one thing or the other, it's many things at once.

I could go on and on about how much I love this movie, but I'll just say this...

If you are a fan of horror and/or sci-fi, you MUST see this movie! As I said it is not for the faint hearted, but if you are like me and your philosophy on violence in movies is "The gorier the better", then boy do I have a movie for you! 

I enjoyed every aspect of this movie. Something like this doesn't come along everyday. This is an instant cult-classic. It is over the top in the best of ways. Check this one out and tell me what you think! 

I'll say it one last time. This movie is extreme, bloody, ruthless, over the top, perverted, freaky, and completely insane.

Just don't say I didn't warn you!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great Movie: Sling Blade

I remember where I was when I first realized that Billy Bob Thornton is a genius. 

I was at a friends house when he suggested that we watch a movie called Sling Blade. For one reason or another I really didn't feel like watching it. All I knew about Sling Blade was that voice that everybody would impersonate and that Billy Bob Thornton was in it. I also knew that it was about a mentally challenged fellow and thought it would be something along the lines of Rain Man or God forbid, I am Sam. 

This was only a few years ago so all I knew from Thornton was the mediocre comedies he has done (Bad News Bears, Mr. Woodcock) and Bad Santa, which I though he was very good in. 

But as a film fanatic, I'll watch anything at least once. I'll give anything a chance.

So I started watching this story about a man named Karl (Thornton) who is returning home after spending 25 years in a mental hospital after killing his mother and her lover when he was a kid. When he returns to his home town, he finds himself with nowhere to go and is not sure what he is suppose to do. He eventually befriends a boy named Frank and his mother and is invited to stay with them. 

Karl starts to get into the swing of things. He gets a job and his relationship with Frank and his mother continue to grow. Along with forming somewhat of a friendship with the mother's boss/friend (John Ritter). He even meets a woman. For the first time in his life, Karl may be finding some sense of peace.

But there is one problem.

This situation does not settle well with Frank's mother's mean and hard drinking live-in boyfriend, Doyle (Dwight Yoakem). 

Doyle is a loud and proud redneck. He seems to have it out for Frank because he is not his child. He verbally abuses Frank every chance he gets and is no nicer to Karl. The mother seems to be more scared to leave Doyle than she does in love with him. She knows that unfortunately, Doyle runs the show.

After witnessing Doyle's unstable anger and abusive behavior. Karl sees the stress and sadness this is putting on young Frank. As their friendship grows, Frank and Karl's conversations grows deeper. Frank tells Karl about how his father took his own life because he could not provide for him and his mother, and about how he has been miserable since living with the monster that is Doyle. Karl tells Frank about what he has done in the past and about his childhood. It seems they both have their demons, and they confide in each other. 

But they both know that as long as Doyle is around, things will only get worse.

Karl is, for lack of a better term, slow. But he is in no way stupid. He is a good man who did something very wrong once. He is simple and quiet, but seems to always be thinking. Though his past is dark and people are curious and scared as to why he was in the mental hospital, Karl is not mean spirited. It's quite the opposite. He is just misunderstood and underestimated. He carries the weight of his trials and tribulations and is just trying to make sense of an outside world that has never been easy on him.

Karl like every character in this movie is very well written and crafted. It's hard to believe sometimes that they are fictional characters, they could live right next door. Every character in this movie shines. Billy Bob Thornton should have won an Oscar for best actor and John Ritter is absolutely phenomenal. Dwight Yoakem is brilliant as well. If you're playing the bad guy and you make people hate your character, that means you did it well. 

I watched Sling Blade until the end and then I saw the credits role. After being blown away, I noticed that this film was written and directed by it's star, Billy Bob Thornton.

That's when it hit me...

Billy Bob Thornton is a genius!

Sling Blade is such a realistic and honest movie. This film is conflicted and contradictory only in the way it is in real life. Life is not like the movies. In the movies things are clear most of the time. Plot and narrative is mostly black and white. The moral compass is easy to follow. Where in life, things are often a shade of grey. Things are more complicated here. Not that I judge a movies greatness by it's level if realism, sometimes it's good to escape. Though when done right, realism can make you do something you normally don't with fictional characters. It makes you really care for them. Then you don't just have the audience's attention, you also have their heart. 

Then I started thinking more about Billy Bob Thornton. He wrote this beautiful yet tragic movie from his heart. You don't write a story like this by accident, it takes love and passion. So the question I have to ask is, what happened? 

Billy Bob Thornton is a great actor. He has a style and deliverance that is his own. He can be hilariously funny and painfully serious. I think he deserves more credit. What I don't understand is why he hasn't done anything as great, intelligent, moving, extraordinary as Sling Blade since Sling Blade? It seems in recent years that he's lowered himself by just doing the safe comedy or the commercially safe picture. I understand we all need to work and make money, but what about the artist inside? What about the heart and love that draws us all to cinema in the first place. Where are your balls? 

If I seem harsh on Billy Bob Thornton, it's not out of disrespect or dislike. It's because I know for a fact that he has it in him! Sling Blade is living proof that he is far more capable of greater things than he has been doing. I know he is a brilliant writer. I know he is a great director. I know he is an amazing actor. I know that he knows it too. I know he has it in him make some of the best pictures of our time. He already did it once. 

And I still think he's a genius.

Sling Blade is one of my favorite films of all time and I recommend it to anyone. This film tugged on my heartstrings when I first seen it and after several years and many viewings later, it hasn't let go. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Midnight Movie: Torso

"It Saturates the Scream with Terror"

Sergio Martinos' grindhouse masterpiece "Torso" is packed full of everything you could want from a 70's Italian Giallo film. Bloody deaths, sex, drugs, psycho sexual killers, nudity, lesbian love scenes, and more nudity. Yes, there will be Boobs! I think this is one of the great films of the genre and is highly underrated. But aren't they all...

What I also found in Torso, was a really good "who done it?" mystery. 

Torso takes place at a college campus where a recent series of sex murders has the campus community shook up. A mysterious masked killer is murdering women and the only clue they have is a red scarf left behind at one of the murder scenes. So four young girlfriends leave to go stay in an isolated country villa for the weekend. It starts out to be a nice weekend of partying and sex, but soon turns sour when the girls and guys they've met start to drop like flies. Just when we think we know who the killer is, they get killed. Forcing us to start over again. 

For what it is, Torso is  a very good suspense mystery. This movie in comparison is no Psycho or Rope, but imagine if Alfred Hitchcock was a gorehound and a pervert. Torso would probably be the end result.

I read that Martino took the ending out of the scripts and wanted the actors and actresses to guess which character was the killer. Not one person in the cast guessed right. Rumor has it that he didn't tell them until after the film was finished.

I think Sergio Martino did a fine job of directing this film. There's a scene where a girl running though the mud in the woods trying to escape from two guys that are chasing after her. She was at a party and the guys tried to get her high and grope all over her. She puts the joint out on one of the guys chest and runs out. They were chasing her. But anyway... She is walking through the muddy woods and the killer is lurking close by. After a well filmed chase, he catches up with her. This scene is my favorite in the movie. The cinematography is very good at times. Martino seems to have a knack for capturing suspense in plot and in action. 

Torso is the epitome of a 70's grindhouse slasher, and i mean that in a good way. Though I think it is an overall good horror film. You can kill people all day long in a movie but that doesn't always make it a good horror. Of course that is what we go to see, but that thing that keeps you on the edge or your seat or that thing makes you or your date jump at a climactic scenes. That's called suspense and without it the death scenes just aren't  as scary. Then it's just violence. Even though Torso is a low budget movie, it remembered that suspense costs nothing. And if done right, it's effective. 

If your a fan of 70's Italian Giallo films from Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, then Torso is definitely worth watching!

Review: The Wrestler

I thought I had this movie figured out before I even watched it. I expected the classic tale of the rise and fall of an athlete. Kind of like Raging Bull, just take out boxing and insert wrestling. Because I'm not really a fan of wrestling, I also expected to be somewhat bored since the film revolves around a wrestler. My expectations were poor and I was wrong on both accounts.

Everything you've heard about The Wrestler is true. It is one of the best movies of the year and Mickey Rourke is brilliant in it. 
This movie is not about the rise and fall of a wrestler. The film takes place long after the fall. We meet Randy "The Ram" Robinson many years after his better days. Once a superstar, he now gets locked out of his trailer home because he is late on rent and has to work odd jobs to survive. Despite the hardships, Randy will not give up his dream and still wrestles on the amateur circuit. But after twenty years in the business, the sport is taking it's toll on him.

One night after a match, Randy has a heart attack in the locker room. He survives but the doctors say he cannot wrestle again or he faces a big chance of having another heart attack that he might not survive. After the heartbreaking news, Randy tries to put his life in perspective without wrestling being a part of it.

He starts by trying to turn a friendship with a stripper (Marisa Tomei) into something more. Then he picks up a job at a deli in  grocery store, which he seems to like at first. Most challenging of all, he attempts to mend the broken relationship between him and his daughter. 

!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER  ALERT!!!!!!!!!!

If you haven't seen this movie then you might not want to read on.

If you have... then go right ahead....

After everything falls apart, he decides that life outside the ring hurts him more than life inside the ring. Even though it could kill him, he decides to wrestle again.

Director Darren Aronofsky tells this story with a down to earth style and a voyeuristic attitude. Mickey Rourke shines throughout the whole movie. He shows us what he's made of and why he made one of the greatest comebacks as an actor. It's good to finally see him get the credit and respect he's deserved for a long time now.Marisa Tomei is very good as well. I'd say it's her best role since My Cousin Vinnie. 

Earlier I said that I thought I knew what to expect from The Wrestler, that it would be something like Raging Bull just replacing boxing with wrestling. I was very wrong of that note. But this movie is like Raging Bull in the fact that The Wrestler is also a great movie! 

You don't have to like wrestling to like this movie, you just have to like good movies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review: Friday the 13Th (2009)

If you've read some of my previous blogs, then you know that I am not a big fan of the remake machine that Hollywood has turned into lately. I think it shows a lack of fresh new ideas and has gotten completely out of control, especially in the horror genre. I'm not trying to get on a soapbox or take some big stand against it, there are many horror remakes that I like. Such as Halloween, The Hills Have Eyes, The Thing, Dawn of the Dead, and now Friday the 13Th. 

I liked Friday the 13Th because it feels more like a update or a continuation than it does a blatant remake. It stays true to the previous series but does it's own thing also. Jason runs now, and he's quick, but that makes him more intimidating to me. Not that I dislike the former Jason now, but he moved at the rate of a slug. But I guess if I died over ten times, I'd move a slower too. 

I was very skeptical about this though. I think most of us were. Especially after the debacle that is Freddy vs. Jason. Come on, you know it was silly! It seemed like a good idea at first glance but was ruined by bad writing and bad characters. You wanted the teens to get killed in this one. 

Friday the 13Th is a step in a better direction. The characters are a little more likable and it is written with much better thought into realism meanwhile staying true to the tradition of the Friday the 13Th legacy. 

I loved the opening to the movie. For me, the longer the scene before the credits, the better. I don't know why, I just like it. I don't want to spoil it if you haven't seen it, but I think the opening scene is very well done. Of course, the death scenes are cool too. 

I'm still not a big fan of the remake machine that Hollywood has turned into. I think they need fresh new idea via fresh new writers. However, some are good. Some pay tribute and bring a modern realism and integrity to a story with the love they had for it as a fan. I get that. But some are bad. Some just copy the formula that made money the first time and commercialize out any organic integrity the film ever had.

Friday the 13Th is one of the good ones. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

News: Eli Roth to make "Thanksgiving" a full feature film

In 2007, Eli Roth made a "fake" trailer for Quentin Tarantino's and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse double feature called "Thanksgiving", a horror movie about a Thanksgiving day killer. Roth said he got the idea because Thanksgiving was the only holiday he could think of that hasn't been used for a horror movie theme. 

After audience response and demand, Roth has decided that he will turn the trailer into a full length movie. It is rumored that Robert Rodriguez will do the same for his trailer from the same project called "Machete".

Roth is now shooting for his next film. His current project is a big secret but some say that he is adapting Stephen King's novel "The Cell". Roth said he wants to shoot this project and then extend the shooting for three weeks to film Thanksgiving and knock it out in those three weeks alone. 

I think this would be a good move. He can completely get away with shooting this cheaply and quickly because that will only ad to the authenticity of what he is going for anyway. With the buzz this has gotten since the few minute trailer, I can only imagine that they will make double if not triple back of what it will cost to make this. Better yet, they could put Thanksgiving and Machete on the same bill like they did the first time with Planet Terror and Death Proof. 

Together or not, I am looking forward to both of these. I was very glad to hear the Roth was going to be making Thanksgiving!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flashback: Flight of the Navigator

Everyone has that one movie from their childhood. The one that you use to watch over and over again. Then as you grow up, your taste changes and you forget about it. Until one day when your going through your old things or stumble across it in a video store. Then for fun's sake you watch it again years later, to see what all the fuss what about. You watch it and even after all this time, you still enjoy it. The you realize that the child in you is very much still alive. Everyone has that one movie. For me, that movie is Flight of the Navigator. 

Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 Disney movie starring Joey Cramer, Paul Rubens(Voice of the UFO) and a young Sarah Jessica Parker. The story takes place in 1978. A boy is walking through the woods to go to a friends house to get his brother when he falls and hits his head, which knocks him unconscious. He wakes up after what seems like only a few minutes and heads back home. He returns home to realize that his parents no longer live there and he has been missing for eight years, it is now 1986. 

The couple who now lives in his home report him to the local police. They are puzzled because the boy has not aged and looks exactly like he did in 1978. He also thinks Jimmy Carter is the president. The police reunite him with his family, who have all aged. 

Meanwhile, NASA discovers a UFO that has crashed into power lines. After arguing with the police, NASA convinces them that the spacecraft is theirs and they take it to study it. 

The boy is taken to a hospital to help determine what happened to him. They run tests on his brain and find that he contains information about the spacecraft at the NASA base. 

After events, the ship telepathically calls for the boy to come to it. The boy eventually sneaks out of the nearby hospital and goes to the ship and they both escape. The ship has a personality and makes the boy it's navigator. They travel around and befriend each other as they are being chased by NASA.

Compared to most of the kids movies I know of today, Flight of the Navigator is very well written and a movie that I'm not ashamed to say that I still very much like. The special effects for the time are phenomenal. The spacecraft is very cool and the creature inside the ship are very well done as well. 

This is a good movie. The film has mostly been forgotten over time but is considered a cult or retro classic by film fans. It seemed like the makers of Flight of the Navigator tried to make a very good, well written, and visually pleasing kids movie. And they did just that. 
Whenever I feel the stresses of the adult world weighing down on me and I want to reminisce about the carefree days of being a kid, I watch Flight of the Navigator and it all comes rushing back. 

If you have children, spare them the crap that is made for kids now, and show them Flight of the Navigator!

DVD Review: Grindhouse Experience-20 Film Feature Collection

A few years ago they released this set of 70's and 80's grindhouse movies. I bought it back then and just thought about it for the first time in a while. If your a fan of the genre, some of these films were very entertaining. Some were not. 

On a business aspect, the idea is pure genius. This company called Fortune Five found all these old and somewhat rare movies from when the grindhouse genre actually existed. Since most if not all of these movies are available in the public domain, they are completely free and legal to distribute by anyone. So they gathered up 20 movies and put them in a set and sold the set for $20 a pop. Other than the cost of the box, disc, and cases, they are almost making 100% profit. Then they released it right after "Grindhouse (Planet Terror and Death Proof) hit the theaters. They obviously did something right because they released "Grindhouse Experience 2" shortly after.
So now I'm going to go through and talk about each of these films. Some of these movies have more than one name (Back then the theaters use to show the same movies under different names in order to get you to buy another ticket thinking it was a different movie. Pretty sneaky, huh?) So I'm just going to use the titles as stated in this set. Let's get started!

Women's Camp 119

I enjoyed this one! It's a good old fashion Nazisploitation and has a decent plot. It's almost a women in cages movie but with a nazi twist. These doctors do weird and horrible experiments on female prisoners but there are two doctors who are trying to shut the whole operation down. What I remember the most is this odd perverted guy named Kurt running around trying to rape and molest women the whole entire time. I'm not sure if he is suppose to be retarded or a experiment himself, but he is funny and the comic relief of the film. I'm not sure if the film makers intended on him being funny, but it's too late. He's hilarious! 

Strike of the Tortured Angels

This one was not bad either. As I recall, it's about these girls in a jail or boarding school. They are supposed to be "Tortured Angels" but don't have it nearly as bad as the girls in the first movie above. You have trouble feeling sorry for them if you watch the first movie first. Some of the girls escape and the main character finds out that her boyfriend has double crossed her. So she seeks revenge. As I said, this one is not bad...

Savage Man/Savage Beast

This one is interesting. It's a documentary that focuses on animal and human nature. It deals with violence, sex, rituals, and nature. I guess they use to show this in the grindhouses back in the day. While it is very graphic and in your face, it is also very entertaining and educational. There are some very weird, cool, shocking, and interesting images throughout Savage Man/Savage Beast. 

Raw Force

I wasn't very impressed with Raw Force. It's suppose to be a Kung-Fu cannibal movie. It does have a lot of poorly executed Kung -Fu, but not a lot of cannibals. I don't have a huge gripe against this one,  it just didn't do anything for me. 

Confessions of a Police Captain

This one was just alright. It was somewhat boring and seemed to drag on. It does have it's cool scenes but that involves sitting through the very slow parts. I don't hate this movie, it's just not my favorite. I just don't have much to say about it.

Executioner 2

I liked this one a lot. Of course it's cheaply made and poorly acted like most movies of the genre, but this one is bad in that good kind of way. It's about a Vietnam Vet that becomes a crime fighting vigilante. I thought it was fun and had it's moments. It kind of makes me want to see the first one!

Poseidon Explosion

This is one of two of the disaster movies in the set. I thought this one was just ok as well. It has all the effects and elements but it lacks cinematic suspense and action. I know that these are low budget movies, and I'm fine with that. But it doesn't cost anything to create suspense. 

Earthquake 7.5

I could almost say the same this for this one as I did for the one above. I did like this one a little more though. it seemed to have better characters and piled on the suspense a little better. 

Violent Professionals

This was a decent action movie. Some parts a little cheesy but that's to be expected. It's just you're good old fashioned run of the mill crime movie. I think they may have remade this one. I know there are a few movies with this same name, but maybe I'm wrong.

Frank and Tony

This is the only one in the set that I don't remember watching, but I know i did. Sorry. 

Kung Fu Punch of Death

This one is my favorite of the set. It's the most entertaining and just as good as many other famous kung fu movies. The story is simple. A young man learns how to fight to stop a kung fu gang that terrorizes his town. That's what I love about Hong Kong cinema of the 60's and 70's, they're straight to the point and arise our most basic emotions through the characters and story. These are tales of revenge, betrayal, and strength of will. This and many movies of the genre aren't about over complicating things or trying to make you think with some bold and larger than life story. They know that they are here to entertain and amuse. So many movies forget that.

Return of the Tiger

This one was pretty good too. It stars and martial arts actor named Bruce Li, obviously trying to capitalize of the success of another greatly know martial artist. That is what these grindhouse movies did though, they attempted to capitalize on the success of famous movies of the time. For every hit Hollywood had in the late 60's and 70's, there was a low budget version shortly after. Bruce Li is however, a fun and charismatic character and this movie is worth watching. 

Go Kill and Come Back

If you love spaghetti westerns as much as I do, than you'll enjoy this movie. This Italian western seems to be heavily inspired by Sergio Leone. Like it could be one of his early films before "The Stranger" Trilogy. This had a decent plot and is good gritty fun. And tell me that's not a great name for a movie, "Go Kill and Come Back". I love it!

Bounty Man

This one was alright. I didn't enjoy it as much as Go Kill and Come Back, but it was good. If you are a fan of spaghetti westerns then this one is worth a watch. 

Three Tough Guys

This is a blaxsploitation crime movie starring Isaac Hayes. Hayes makes this movie being the best actor in it. This one is very very slow starting out but picks up about halfway through. It is a blaxsploitation but is a little lighter about it compared to most of the genre. Not a bad crime movie overall.


This movie took blaxsploitation and tapped into a sub genre of it we could call slavesploitation. It proves that there is no limit to where these film makers would go. Nothing was too taboo. Mandinga is about a woman who is married to a slave owner. She sneaks off at night and has sex with her husband's slaves. Just about all of them I think. The story takes it's course when she ends up getting pregnant. Uh oh! Is it her husbands or one of the countless slaves she got it on with? You could also file this under a sexploitation as well. 

The Children

I really liked this one. One of my favorites of the set. It's about a school bus filled with kids that passes a cemetery where some kind of poisonous gas is spreading out. The bus drives through the gas and the children disappear. They are later found in the cemetery but now they are blood thirsty little killers. This movie asks the question that only these movies had the balls to. Would you kill a child? This is a good horror movie! Not bad all the way around.

Demon Witch Child

This movie is a blunt and shameless rip off of "The Exorcist". It's almost the same exact movie only with about one fourth of the budget. It doesn't really offer any other take or outlook on the Exorcist. Like they just wanted to remake it the best they could and change as little as they could without getting sued. 

High School Hitchhikers

I liked this one. It's a entertaining Sexploitation crime movie. Oh, and yes, there are lesbians and boobs. These two hot girls sneak into a random home where they get it on in a strangers bed. After being caught by the guy who lives there, a mobster, they have sex with him. Later on that day after the girls have left, the mobsters get together at the lucky guys house for business. They discover that a large amount of money is missing and he immediately assumes the girls stole it when they were there. So now he has to hunt them down. This is a fun movie and worth watching.

Carry on Emannuelle

Lastly, this is a sexploitation comedy. Emannuelle is this extremely sexual and horny girl who tries to get it on with this older rich man. She throws herself at him but he is scared and awkward. It is funny, some ways intentional and in some ways not. 

If you are a fan of this genre and know what to expect from it, this is a pretty good collection of otherwise hard to find movies. True to their roots, these films are grainy and rough. Some are straight film transfers and some are VHS transfers. My only argument or suggestion is that they should have put old vintage previews between the movies. I like the set up. How they have two movies from each sub-genre. That's how it was in the theaters then. A lot of the time they would show double features with movies that were similar. If it had previews it would be even closer to the true experience. So if you are like me and are a fan of exploitation or are interested but need a good place to start, then I highly recommend "Grindhouse Experience - 20 Film Feature Collection".

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Must See Movie: The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter is such a great movie that I'm not sure where to begin talking about it. This is one of those times in film where all the stars align and every element is perfectly in place. Winning 5 academy awards including best picture, The Deer Hunter is one of the great films of the 70's. It's very appealing to all tastes and seems to have something for everyone. It has enough action to keep the guys happy and enough romance to keep the girls happy. Besides, we all love a good drama every now and then.

The over all appeal and broadness of the film is not forced though. It just kind of happens, like it wasn't written but has just always been there. Like we are dropping in on the lives of these people. To me, The Deer Hunter isn't just about steelworkers, love, friendship, war, Vietnam, insanity, loss, guilt, or deer hunting. It's about life.

Director Michael Cimino's masterpiece not only owes it's success to it's beautifully written story, but also to it's greatly talented cast.

Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken are steelworkers from Pennsylvania. When they're not working or at the bar with the guys drinking, they go deer hunting. The group spend one last drunken wild weekend together before De Niro and Walken's characters are sent to Vietnam. While there, they get captured by the Vietnamese, where they are forced to play Russian roulette.

Some argue that this movie is slow moving, and it is, but when it gets to the Russian Roulette scene, everyone shuts the hell up! You're so glued to the screen and engrossed in the movie that you realize that sitting through the slow parts and waiting this one out may be the best decision you've ever made in your life! This sequence is one of the best moments in film history!

After their tour in Vietnam, De Niro's character returns home. Walken's character is M.I.A. Walken leaves behind a young Meryl Streep, whom he proposed to right before he left. We get a strong sense that the two (De Niro and Streep) are very attracted to each other, but their conscience doesn't want to let them cross that line. 

I won't tell you anymore because I don't want to ruin anything for you if you haven't seen it.

This movie has balls. I compare The Deer Hunter to "No Country for Old Men" or "The Unforgiven" in the fact that it was a movie that had guts and grit but was so good that the mainstream recognized it's greatness as well. Films like these seem to come along once every decade or so. I think it needs to happen more often. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Legends: Stanley Kubrick

I'm sure at one point in your life you have seen a Stanley Kubrick film. If not, please stop reading this and go do it! You are missing out on a lot and you need to catch up. Stanley Kubrick changed film forever. He was films abstract artist but at the same time his work made perfect sense. He thought outside the box but struck a cord inside a generation. 

It's written that some successful and well known painters gave up painting for good after they seen works from a young Leonardo Da Vinci. Claiming they lost their creativity because they would never be able to do what Da Vinci did.  When Jimi Hendrix started gaining fame, many famous guitarist including Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend said that Hendrix was so good that they considered giving up playing guitar altogether. Stanley Kubrick has done the same thing in film. Like Da Vinci and Hendrix, he took his art to another level. Raised the bar as far as what we can do in cinema. 

Stanley Kubrick was one of the most professional and well prepared directors to ever breath, but he also ignored the rules of conventional cinema and did it with such grace and beauty, that it became the new standard that directors then and now are to live up to.

I though I would go over some of the films of Stanley Kubrick. Unfortunately, I haven't seen all his films but I have seen most of them. (Only missing a few) We'll start from earliest on....

The Killing (1956)

The Killing is a crime classic about a race track robbery gone wrong. Groundbreaking in it's time for having a nonlinear storyline and a unhappy ending. It's very much a film noir. It was Kubrick's first full length feature. it didn't gain much commercial success but it did get good reviews from critics. The masks are very cool! They were used again in "A Clockwork Orange"

Spartacus (1960)

This was Stanley Kubrick's big epic. Spartacus was a huge commercial success and put Kubrick's name on the map. Though the film was a hit, the production was very difficult. Kubrick and the films star, Kirk Douglas, had constant creative differences and led to a rocky relationship between the two. After production, Kubrick largely disowned the film because of a lack of creative control. Years later, Douglas called Kubrick "a talented shit" in interviews.

Lolita (1962)

This is one of my favorite movies from Kubrick. A very controversial film in it's time, about a relationship between a middle aged man and his twelve year old stepdaughter. After many problems with the censors, the film was released to mixed reviews from critics but was nominated for many awards. Kubrick takes this taboo and uncomfortable story and delivers it brilliantly! 

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Once a cult classic, this film is now a CLASSIC. Peter Sellers plays four roles in this nuclear war macabre comedy. Based on the novel "Red Alert" by Peter Bryant, Kubrick puts a comical spin on Bryant's serious novel. Kubrick said he found the conditions leading to nuclear war absurd and decided to change the format. All throughout Kubrick's career, many novelist whom he has adapted works from, have been angry about Kubrick's version of their work. Who's right or wrong? I don't know. That's to be debated. I just know a good movie when I see one.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

To me, this is the greatest science fiction movie ever made! Period! Made one year before the U.S. moon landing, 2001 took us cinematicaly to a place we've never been before. Space! This film took science fiction to a new serious and evolved level! In the 50's and 60's, the science fiction genre was considered by some to be campy, cheaply made, and lightly written. 2001: A Space Odyssey raised the bar by being cleverly written, beautifully stunning visually, and by groundbreaking special effects for the time. Without 2001, would there have ever been Star Wars and countless other films today?

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A great film that didn't get the respect it deserved until after Kubrick's death in 1999. Rated x upon release, this film caused a lot of controversy around Stanley Kubrick. He was forced to have the film removed in Britain completely after receiving death threats to him and his family. It was completely banned in all of the UK until 2000. This movie is wonderfully stylish and brilliant. Some would say it is Kubrick's most violent film, full of fighting and rape. It's based on the Anthony Burgess novel by the same name. While this movie is very violent, it is also about violence. It's almost a science fiction film but not quite. I really love this movie!

Barry Lyndon (1975)

This is probably my least favorite Kubrick movie, but it is still very good. Barry Lyndon was not a huge financial or commercial success for Kubrick. Many critics and moviegoers found the film to be lifeless and somewhat dull. With a running time of over three hours, many also found it to be too long. However, it was nominated for seven Oscars and won four. Not too shabby! Barry Lyndon is widely appreciated for it's spot on accuracy as far as sets and wardrobe. Kubrick pulled every little detail from paintings and writings of the era in which the film takes place. Every detail down to the napkins, buttons, floors, etc. Every single thing in this movie had to be accurate. I'm not a huge fan of period movies (I don't hate them, I like them, it's just not my big niche.) but i thought Barry Lyndon was very good and definitely is worth at least one viewing. 

The shining (1980)

I think this is a very underrated movie! It's beautifully directed and a great thriller. The shining gave rise to the legend of Stanley Kubrick as a megalomaniac perfectionist. He demanded hundreds of takes on certain pivotal scenes. Author of the book it was adapted from, Stephen King publicly disliked the film. He said that Stanley Kubrick was "a man who thought too much and felt too little". The film gained cult status in the eighties and nineties and is now considered a horror classic.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

I've always found this film interesting because it is not anti-war and it not pro-war. Full Metal jacket shows war for what it is. The politics of it are for you the viewer to decide. I will admit, the first half of this movie is the best. Not that the second half is bad, it's just that the whole story in the marine training camp is so well done and gripping that it is what you remember from it. This is definatley in my top ten war movies list! (I may do a blog on my top ten war movies). 

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

This was Stanley Kubrick's final film. This film like many of his others, had problems with censors and the ratings board. Eyes Wide Shut is a tale of love, jealousy, sex, cults, and human nature. Starring Tom Cruise and Nicole kidman when they were a real life couple, they are both very good in this. There's a old legend that Kubrick use to joke about making a high budget, well written, well acted porno movie. Some argue that he did just that with Eyes Wide Shut. I don't know if I would go that far. It does have enough sex and nudity to compete with a softcore porn like you can see on Cinemax any late night. But unlike most of them, it's done very very well!

Stanley Kubrick died at 70 from a heart attack he suffered in his sleep. He passed away only 4 days after screening a final cut of Eyes Wide Shut. 

Stanley Kubrick will always be remembered as one of the greatest Directors and visionaries of the 20th century. He leaves behind a series of works that are still being discussed and still push the envelope of what film makers are capable of if they let their imagination lead the way and except no boundaries as to what is possible in cinema.