Happy Mother’s Day! Let’s watch BLOOD RAGE! I know this movie takes place on Thanksgiving but that doesn’t mean it’s not a swell Mother’s Day movie too! I’d say BLOOD RAGE (aka NIGHTMARE AT SHADOW WOODS) is a better Mother’s Day movie than MOTHER”S DAY but then again, what isn’t? LOUISE LASSER plays Maddie, a caring mother of two twins. One of the twins is a crazy psycho and one of them is not. One Thanksgiving the nutty twin escapes from the funny farm and blood-soaked, identity mix-up hijinks ensue. BLOOD RAGE has got to be one of the funniest slasher movies I have ever seen. It just kills me. The music is out of control, there’s a ridiculous attempt at exposition using a psychiatrist’s voice-over narration, the violence is slapstick hilarious and the incredible LASSER is constantly forced to fill in the gaps in the script with lunatic ad-libbing! Frankly, it’s non-stop awesome. The strange thing is I don’t think MARK SOPER who plays twins Todd & Terry is half bad! He kinda reminds me of ALEX McARTHUR in RAMPAGE (1987)! If you really love your mother, you will force her to watch this with you and if you really love yourself, you’ll invite your evil twin along too!
May 12th, 2013 · 4 Comments
May 5th, 2013 · 8 Comments
Let’s give Netflix Streaming the cold shoulder today on account of how it put us through the emotional wringer last week and forced me to eschew my much needed beauty sleep! Let’s go visit our unreliable and fickle old pal YouTube instead! I usually don’t feel entirely comfortable wrapping a post around a YouTube movie as you never know when they too will skip out on you, but today’s flick is so good it has inspired me to throw caution to the wind. I also sometimes worry that if I get folks to watch something for free (!) then somebody somewhere, a bag lady perhaps, is not getting her royalty check! Karma-lamity! The thing is this one isn’t on DVD anyway and my theory is if you watch it on YouTube now, you’ll be happy to buy it if it ever does become available and then save that hypothetical bag lady! You can’t save her if you don’t know the movie exists! Yes, I’m only pretending to care!
Anyway, today’s fantastic flick is called NEXT OF KIN! If you’ve already seen it you know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t, get ready for your next favorite thing in the world. Just listen to these incredible stats! It’s from Australia, it’s a lady vs. awesome house tale, it’s from 1982 the magical year for perfect movies, the cinematography is outstanding, it has one of the best horror scores of literally all time (Viva KLAUS SCHULZE!) and the strapping love interest is the psycho from WOLF CREEK (thumbs up JOHN JARRATT!)!!! I would not be terribly surprised if NEXT OF KIN was an influence on TI WEST’s HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. It’s got the same lazy stroll pace and then just when you are all warm and snuggly, it crashes your cranium with an iron frying pan. Although, allow me to say, I think NEXT OF KIN carries the superior clobber! It’s a lightening bolt! It’s a veritable goth-gasm! Nobody deserves to be as happy as it’s sure to make you! I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve watched this movie a couple times now and I’m still unclear about why folks want to kill this lady. I’m not sure it matters. Now, think of a movie in your head! NEXT OF KIN is better than that movie!!! It’s my favorite type of thing except this time it’s actually done well! It’s proof positive that there is gold in them there hills just waiting to be unearthed! Watch it now!!!! Or don’t!
April 28th, 2013 · 18 Comments
Christ on a cracker! I was looking at my Netflix Streaming queue for something to spotlight today and I was shocked to see that tons of my favorite flicks are slotted to expire on May first! I have no idea why but apparently a grand scale purging of epic proportions is about to take place! It’s very upsetting when I consider all the movies that are not available on other formats! Oh the humanity! Kids, you have to jump on these movies while you can! You never know when Netflix is going to… (I’m making a slashing across my throat gesture with my finger and then rolling my eyes and sticking my tongue out to represent death.)
BLOOD AND LACE (1971)
I know I’m always gushing on this one but it’s one of my favorite finds and it is greatly responsible for my falling in love with the possibilities of Netflix Streaming! Full review HERE.
SUGAR HILL (1974)
Luckily this one is on DVD. I’m still going got to give it a shout out though for it also brings back fond memories of my early days of discovery with the betrayer known as Netflix. Full review HERE!
Ack! Not available on DVD! This is a fun anthology of short films one of which concerns garden gnomes that come to life! It also features a video store from way back in the early days! Must see. Full review HERE!
I START COUNTING (1969)
I don’t think this one is on DVD either! Jenny Agutter is in this movie! If that name means nothing to you…get lost! Weirdo! Full review HERE!
10 TO MIDNIGHT (1983)
This one is pretty easy to get a hold of but I’ll just mention it anyway as a gentle reminder that if you haven’t watched it yet, you should. I know it looks like an action flick but its heart bleeds sticky, icky ‘80s slasher blood! More HERE!
BLOOD GAMES (1990)
Just watch this trailer and realize this is your new favorite movie…
Plus I noticed these babies are splitting too… AMOK TRAIN, OPEN HOUSE, HOUSE WHERE EVIL DWELLS, COMMITTED, DERANGED, VAMPIRE CIRCUS, BLOOD CREEK, THE FALLING (aka ALIEN PREDATOR), SQUIRM, THE EVICTORS, RAW MEAT, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE BEAST WITHIN, INITIATION OF SARAH, BLACK CAT (‘89), QUEEN OF BLOOD, THE DUNGEONMASTER and even ROLLER BOOGIE and who knows what else! THE APLLE too!!!! Egad No!!!!! Not THE APPLE! This is a nightmare! CRY FOR ME!!!!!
April 21st, 2013 · 5 Comments
How’s about let’s do something different this week!? I know it probably seems that I love everything but that is far from the case. I’d just rather talk about the films I enjoy and I figure if anybody desires feigned outrage, pointless fussbudgetry and persnickety cynicism, they can always visit an IMDb board! Every once in a while though, it’s probably good to clear out the rain gutters. So, in the spirit of spring cleaning, let me now share some Netflix Streaming films that, for whatever reason, failed to float my boat! If you yourself enjoyed any of the following, my apologies and good for you. I never say never and I invite these films to seek me out on a later date and convert me if they can!
THE RAVEN (2012)
I wasn’t asking too much from THE RAVEN. I only needed it to respectfully capture its time period, throw in a few POE references and tell a reasonably engaging story. I figured if I could look past the convolutions in SLEEPY HOLLOW and the atrocious acting in BRAM STOKER’s DRACULA anything was doable. What I wasn’t counting on was the misguided casting of the usually likable JOHN CUSAK. I’m guessing an attempt was made to present a lovably roguish character a ‘la ROBERT DOWNEY JR. in GUY RITCHIE’s SHERLOCK HOLMES flicks (both of which I did enjoy) but all we end up with here is an annoying prick. The one saving grace of the movie is LUKE EVANS and I have a theory that this whole thing might have worked if he and CUSAK just switched roles. Nah, probably not.
GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2 (2012)
This one makes me sad. The first film was fun as hell and made me rethink all my prejudices concerning found footage movies. This one is exactly the movie I mistook the first one for. If you are wondering what the original would have been like with an intolerable cast… here is your answer. Also, I think somebody is gravely overestimating the terror value of elongated mouths.
SHARK NIGHT (2011)
You’d think aiming as low as possible might ensure some level of success but not in this case. There are plenty more fish in the shark movie sea, pick any and you’d be better off (I suggest JAWS: THE REVENGE, at least its funny) Thank God we’ll always have THE INNKEEPERS to remind us what SARA PAXTON is actually capable of.
KILLER’S MOON (1978)
A bus full of schoolgirls face off against four escaped mental patients tripping on LSD! I don’t know how this movie finds a way to be boring but it does. On the plus side, it stars a three legged dog named Hannah who lost her leg in a real life pub robbery and won an award for bravery! Hannah deserves better roles!
April 14th, 2013 · 5 Comments
CIARON FOY’s CITADEL (2012) is a movie about fear, particularly debilitating fear. ANEURIN BARNARD plays Tommy, a man who witnesses a violent and ultimately fatal attack upon his pregnant wife by hooded youths. The unborn baby survives but Tommy’s perception of the world does not. Everywhere he looks he sees his wife’s attackers and they appear to be multiplying and taking on hideous unnatural forms. He becomes convinced that the suddenly BROOD-esque troll squad want to snatch his baby and he’s terrified that he’ll fail again at protecting his own. Sympathetic nurse Marie (WUNMI MOSAKU) tries her best to pull the movie back into the realm of reality (where Tommy’s suspicions can be attributed to post traumatic stress) but writer/director FOY shoos her away with a lead pipe and we’re left trapped in the world built by Tommy’s psychosis where the only way out (sorry, shotguns, chainsaws and quippy one-liners) is facing his fear head on.
Now this a horror movie. As frustrating as it may be to some viewers, here is a film that is not afraid to delve into feelings of powerlessness and doesn’t let you off the hook with fantasy heroics. It plays out like a nightmare, the kind where you want to move your legs but can’t, the kind where you need to protect something other than yourself and fail, the kind where things don’t always go your way and your best option could be to simply hide and hope you’re not seen. We’re not traveling the pandering pay-off strewn path of mainstream cinema, we’re being lead by the nose through the trenches of mental distress and raging paranoia where frankly, you’re anxiety’s bitch. One of the reasons FOY isn’t tied to selling the old “we can all lift trucks off of babies when we really need to” theory, may be because he himself was the victim of a brutal attack at the age of 18 and suffered the psychological effects first hand. CITADEL isn’t the story of what happened, it’s a purging of what it felt like happened and that’s what makes it so solid and substantial. Through Tommy and HOY’s eyes, buildings come across as giant tombstones, tunnels become crypts, doors resemble glass coffins and dread is omnipresent. I’d put this one up on the shelf next to JACOB’S LADDER and POLANSKI‘s REPULSION and I thank HOY for sharing something that horror fans too often cower from, the true fallout of fear.
April 3rd, 2013 · 10 Comments
On account of the Easter bunny I neglected to do a Sunday Streaming post last weekend. Now I’m going to make up for that. Don’t worry this is going to be short because if ever there was a movie you should know as little as possible about before seeing it, it’s Andres Baiz’s THE HIDDEN FACE (LA CARA ACULTA). Promise me that whatever you do, you will not watch the trailer! The trailer needs to shut up and so you will not be seeing it here! I will chase it away with a broom! Get lost trailer!
THE HIDDEN FACE is an incredibly engrossing psychological thriller and even though it’s about as violent as a throw pillow, it succeeds at being exceedingly tense and rousing. It’s about this guy named Adrian whose girlfriend unexpectedly vanishes, leaving behind only a vague adios video. He’s devastated for a while but promptly gets chummy with a pretty waitress named Fabiana. Soon Adrian and Fabiana are shacking up and she’s discovering that his house is prone to spooky sounds and that the police think the first girlfriend’s disappearance smells fishy…and then a zillion things you’d never expect that I refuse to tell you happen! It should be dark and rainy when you watch this but then again, it should be dark and rainy all the time as far as I’m concerned. Feel free to expect whatever you like, no matter what path you start on, you’ll end up finding yourself on another. On top of the indisputable thrills, I’d say this movie is a pretty slick rumination on the anxiety that generates from the inevitable blind spots in human relationships. There’s a perverse thrill on display over how easily judgmental perceptions are toppled with just a little bit of added information. O.K. now I’m stalling. If you enjoy subtle atmospheric thrillers and the taste of your own fingernails, get on this one!
March 24th, 2013 · 4 Comments
There are many fine things in this world that are simply not built to obtain universal appeal. Maybe it’s more important to concern ourselves not with how many people appreciate something, but the depth of the feeling of those who do. I can tell you with certainty that not everybody is going to get/enjoy THE ECLIPSE (2009) but I guarantee a few folks are going to think it’s outstanding. If you are interested in the supernatural that should aid in your affection for it and if you’ve got some Irish in your blood, well that won’t hurt either. Can you withstand a romantic drama that features adult characters? Do you have patience? Do you mind the quiet? Do you like to read? Yeses to these questions will come in handy. You might also be required to be the type of person who can live with not everything being identified, tagged and put away in the proper drawer. Most urgently though, I suspect you’d better believe in ghosts. Hopefully you’ve even encountered one or two.
The haunted looking CIARAN HINDS (THERE WILL BE BLOOD) plays a widower knee deep in grief whose job it is to chauffer authors about a small seaside town during a literary festival. Lately he’s been seeing spooky apparitions and so he cozies up to a novelist (IBEN HJEJLE) whose writing suggests she’d be less skeptical than most. She’s got some baggage too, most notably a lecherous, drunk hook up (AIDAN QUINN) that she can’t seem to scrape off her shoe. Basically we’ve got a four-sided love triangle with one of those sides being already dead. I love this cast. CIABRAN breaks your heart and HJEJLE should be in so many more movies. I kept thinking that I knew her somehow and yes, I do; I met her in HIGH FIDELITY and MIFUNE years ago and then we totally lost touch. Do you know who has aged well? AIDAN QUINN. Here he’s playing against type as a belligerent miscreant and he’s surprisingly successful at being repellent!
Here’s something else I should confess. There is a scare in this movie that knocked my unsuspecting boots off. I can’t promise it’ll have the same effect on you, but it really, truly got to me. Maybe I was taken off guard because the movie is so generally hushed and melancholic or maybe it was just really late at night. Perhaps I was somewhat hypnotized by HJEJLE’s character reading out loud a finely tuned description of how the mind reacts when facing the dead. I don’t want to spoil the shock for those who might be susceptible too, but a big heap of the credit falls on the way the music is handled. You are sort of surrounded by soaring angelic chanting that abruptly transforms into a horrific banshee shriek and it’s like a marching band walking on your grave. I felt like somebody poured a tub of ice water down the back of my shirt and the sensation stuck around. I know, now I’ve got your expectations up and you’ll watch it and be bored out of your skull. Sorry about that but even if your hair does not turn as white as mine did, you may still find this worthwhile. But again, only if you like ghosts stories and only if you can stand the quiet.
March 4th, 2013 · 1 Comment
Hey Uncle Lancifer and Aunt John,
I stumbled on a rare find when cruising through YouTube today. Do you remember a British anthology fantasy/horror series that aired on ABC in the U.S. called “Journey to the Unknown“? Anyway, I found most if not all the episodes under “The 60′s horror Realm” page. You’ll have to scroll a bit to find the episodes. The quality is very good.
I thought the other members would like to watch them. I figured YouTube is free and some people may not have access to Netflix Streaming.
UNK SEZ: Thanks for the great tip Ozne! I watched the first episode “The New People” this morning and thought it was excellent! It turns out it was written by CHARLES BEAUMONT the brilliant mind behind so many classic TWILIGHT ZONE episodes!
March 3rd, 2013 · 3 Comments
Today’s Sunday Streaming pick is PENELOPE SPHEERIS’ THE BOYS NEXT DOOR! How can you say no to both a psycho killing spree road movie and a sleazy L.A. circa 1985 flick all in one? This is a movie that I once caught on late night cable a zillion years ago and it left a permanent mark on my brain. I found it really compelling and impossible to turn off and yet I never wanted to watch it again because it disturbed me. I should lie and tell you that I was disturbed by the vicious misogynistic, racist, homophobic killings that pepper the film or even that I took offense to an old lady being conked on the head with a beer bottle but the sad truth is, I was rattled by the fact that a little dog is kidnapped and left on a beach far away from home!
The ”boys” of the title are Roy (a post-GREASE 2 MAXWELL CAULFIELD) and Bo (a pre-PLATOON CHARLIE SHEEN). Rebels without a conscious, the two have just graduated high school and have only soulless factory work to look forward to. SHEEN is the ghost of his father in BADLANDS and CAUFIELD does his best American sociopath by dropping his accent and lumbering around like an inhabitant of THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU. Ignored by their parents and scorned by their peers, you can’t blame these two for stealing a car and searching for greener pastures. Unfortunately for many, they are unable to outdrive the lit wick of the explosive rage they have against the world that’s not their oyster. It’s not long before innocent drunk cougars (PATTI D’ARBANVILLE) and optimistic gay dudes are being beaten to death for inviting the wolves in tight sheep clothing home.
THE BOYS NEXT DOOR is built to unnerve, it opens with news clippings reminding us how harmless appearing the most savage serial killers are. Like many films focusing on those who break against society the audience may find themselves torn between being mortified by their escalating deeds and oddly pulling for them not to get caught. SPHEERIS keeps things from getting too heavy by throwing in a cop that we can relate to (CAULFIELD’s GREASE 2 co-star CHRISTOPHER McDONALD) and by drumming up energy with a lively soundtrack. Roy and Bo’s actions aren’t nearly as fascinating as their complicated relationship but how deep you want to dive into that psychological tar pit is up to you. I’m thinking for many seeing 1985 captured in a bottle complete with a MOON UNIT ZAPPA appearance should be enough.
February 24th, 2013 · 3 Comments
UNK SEZ: Every winner is currently available on Netflix Streaming!
Actress In A Supporting Role: AUDRA LINDLEY, SPELLBINDER (1988)
Actor In A Supporting Role: JEFFREY COMBS, DARK HOUSE (2009)
Music (Original Score): STELVIO CIPRIANI, TENTACLES (1977)
Music (Original Song): ALICE COOPER “Identity Crisis” MONSTER DOG (1984)
Production Design: DOLLS (1987)
Visual Effects: POLTERGEIST III (1988)
Makeup: THE BEAST WITHIN (1982)
Costume Design: THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (1982)
Hair Styling: THE BABY (1973)
Achievement In Dentistry: LEVIATHAN (1989)
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): THE SENTINEL (1977)
Writing (Original Screenplay): KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988)
Cinematography: EATEN ALIVE (1977)
Foreign Language Film: TROLL HUNTER(2010)
Documentary: HER MASTER’S VOICE (2012)
Actress In A Leading Role: GLORIA GRAHAME, BLOOD AND LACE (1971)
Actor In A Leading Role: STEVE RAILSBACK, SCISSORS (1991)
Actress In A Chearleading Role: KELLI MARONEY, NIGHT OF THE COMET (1984)
Actor In A People Eating Role: JEREMY RENNER: DAHMER (2002)
Prom King And Queen: TOM SIZEMORE & LINDA HUNT, THE RELIC (1997)
Most Romantic Monkey: “Ella” aka BOO, MONKEY SHINES (1988)
Best This Thing: DOG A-PILLAR? HOUSE 2: THE SECOND STORY (1987)
Directing: JEFF LIEBERMAN, SQUIRM (1976)
Best Picture: HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (1980)