Holy cannoli, you can watch 1980’s THE EXTERMINATOR on your computer any time you want to thanks to HULU. I swear I do not own stock in HULU, it’s just that I come from a wretched time period where you had to wait a year to watch THE WIZARD OF OZ on TV. Anyway, THE EXTERMINATOR is broncho nuts. I think if I was forced to make a top ten list of the most traumatizing movies of my youth, it would certainly be on it. Once upon a time I tried to write a traumafession about it HERE but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to properly put my feelings into words. The weird thing is, THE EXTERMINATOR does not get less insane with age, it just seems to get more and more crazy and explosively sinister. Check it out below and say so long to your mental well being….
April 19th, 2015 · No Comments
April 12th, 2015 · No Comments
Thanks to the fine folks over at HULU and a couple of dudes named HERZOG and KINKSI you can spend your Sunday watching the lusciously morbid NOSFERATU THE VAMPIRE (1979) online for free. It goes great with a bloody Mary! Let me tell you, when I worked at a video store this was one of my go-to movies to play in the shop because the glorious soundtrack by POPUL VUH can hypnotize a person in exactly one second. Check the flick out below or give your peepers a rest and just listen the incredible soundtrack HERE.
April 5th, 2015 · 3 Comments
Don’t feel bad if you don’t have the patience to watch this unfinished work print of the ill-fated sequel to 1976’s GRIZZLY in its entirety; I know I didn’t! I gotta feature it here for Sunday viewing anyway on account of it so blows my mind. You see, poor GRIZZLY 2: Grizzly On The Move never got a break and ended up in a trash heap even though its jaw-droppy cast would have eventually insured it some kind of cult classic if it had only been finished and released in some way. Seriously, this concert attending bear hangs out with DEBORAHs (RAFFIN and FOREMAN), LOUISE FLETCHER, LAURA DERN, GEORGE CLOONEY, CHARLIE SHEEN and even HALLOWEEN’s CHARLES CYPHERS! What in tarnation? The mind reels!
March 22nd, 2015 · 6 Comments
Hey look! Currently for the price of free we can all watch MATTHEW BRIGHT’s hilariously off the wall and endearingly offensive ode to little Red Riding Hood, 1996’s FREEWAY on HULU. Yay and aw, I’ll never forget that one time I was working at a video store and we got in a VHS screener and it had a double feature of AMITYVILLE DOLLHOUSE and FREEWAY on it. Of course I brought it home exclusively for AMITYVILLE DOLLHOUSE because the title promised both AMITYVILLE and a DOLLHOUSE and those are both places I want to live in. Luckily, I gave FREEWAY a chance too, even though I’m sure it was more out of laziness regarding turning the VCR off than it was about my having an open and inquisitive mind. As I recall I was in love not long after the opening credits were done.
In any case I think this is a perfect pick for Sunday Streaming as one can certainly get the wrong idea about this movie by its title, cover art and the two main leads. I know the idea of watching SUTHERLAND and WITHERSPOON drive around in a car seems like some kind of torture but SUTHERLAND is creepily menacing enough and WITHERSPOON is effervescently kick-ass cuckoo enough to make you forget all of their future, seemingly smitten with themselves baggage- I swear!
It certainly doesn’t hurt that they are accompanied by what may be the greatest cast ever assembled. Holy crap, you get the stupendously squirrelly AMANDA PLUMMER (SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER), the terrifically tarantulan DAN HEDAYA (ALIEN 3), the horrendously underappreciated chameleon ALANNA UBACH (THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE), America’s skyscraping sweetheart BROOKE SHIELDS (ALICE SWEET ALICE), the legendary SYDNEY LASSICK (THE UNSEEN) and most importantly, an early antsy and unhinged performance by the late great BRITTANY MURPHY (CHERRY FALLS) among others. Buckle up and pack a lunch, this is a must see for anyone who enjoys movies that are not afraid to go off the beaten path to reach their destination.
March 15th, 2015 · 4 Comments
This one is borderline stinky but I feel like it’s been far too long since we’ve watched a movie in which a gaggle of young folk take a trip to an isolated place to be killed off one by one by a crazed maniac. SAVAGE LOVE aka DEADLY MANOR is not as consistently entertaining as say, ICED, DEMON WIND or THE MUTILATOR but it has some enjoyable flashes here and there if you scrounge. The all too familiar opening is worthwhile as you anticipate the possibilities and adjust to the idea that none of the characters are capable of speaking like a normal human and the climax after the killer is revealed is wonderfully off its rocker; there just happens to be a half hour in the middle where you might have to slap yourself to stay awake. It’s worth the torture though because there is a comedy relief guy who is incredibly unfunny, the soundtrack sounds like it was provided by “Keyboard Cat” and you get to walk away feeling smarter than anyone who would stay the night in a abandoned house with empty coffins in the basement, a closet stuffed with scalps, scrapbooks filled with photos of dead bodies and a blood stained car crash shrine in the backyard. It’s far too dark and far too bloodless for sure and yet it’s not without a spooky setting and you have to give the killer props for working a white Laura Brannigan-style “Self Control” mask to semi creepy effect. Give it a try and feel free to curse my name later. I can take it.
March 8th, 2015 · 3 Comments
Yikes, the day is almost done and I forgot to pick a Sunday movie to view. I know, how about one of my all time favorite TV movies that never gets nearly the love it so richly deserves, 1985’s FINAL JEOPARDY? This movie made zero sense back in the day and it makes even less now but it’s so darn entertaining anyway. RICHARD THOMAS (THE WALTONS) and MARY CROSBY (DALLAS) star as a couple of country mice who get trapped in the big city overnight and face a zillion unlikely obstacles trying to get back home. It’s absurd and it’s awesome and it must be seen even if only for John Boy’s killer mustache. Hurry, the city closes at seven!!!
March 1st, 2015 · 5 Comments
I’m still shocked that I spent half my life thinking THE HAUNTING OF JULIA (aka FULL CIRCLE) was really boring when in actuality, it’s so darn good. Thank God my brain wised up and changed its tune in this dusty review that you can read HERE. I’d say this creepy flick is a perfect movie for us to check out today on YouTube because it’s not available on DVD (around these parts) and the VHS version is all costly, cropped and crappily panned and scanned. Let’s check it out below and do pay special attention to its super spooky soundtrack and MIA FARROW’s awesome turtle neck and overalls combo…
February 15th, 2015 · No Comments
What’s going on? Last week we were talking about the meta-sequel dressed up like a remake THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN, which miraculously lived up to and beyond its potential and now this week I’ve got another sequel that I’d say surpasses the film that proceeds it. If memory serves (I have no memory, I just Googled my old review), I thoroughly enjoyed the first DEAD SNOW but lamented the fact that the characters failed to register with me. As if the makers of DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD not only knew of but actually gave a crap about my grievance, every effort is made in this creative continuation to rectify that very issue. Maybe not every character is exactly likable but they’re all more vibrant and distinguisgable. Most notably lone survivor Martin (VEGAR HOEL) transforms from being an acceptable protagonist to a nearly BRUCE CAMPBELL level charismatic lead. In addition, actor/writer STIG FRODE HENRIKSEN returns in another role altogether and just like many other aspects of the film, he too makes a more memorable impression. As with the original EVIL DEAD flicks, it’s as if somebody just took the first film and smacked it with an improvement stick.
Happily, DEAD SNOW 2 can now be my latest go-to example for defending the existence of sequels, which are so often cited as representations of a lack of originality within the genre. What really matters is content. I have to ask, what is more original, another routine zombie flick with no number two in the title or a zombie movie with a two in the title that offers up a truckload of hilarious mayhem the likes of which you’ve never seen before? I mean, zombies utilize freshly ripped out intestines to siphon gas in this movie! I’m going to do zero research and still confidently say that has never been done before. Now, I’m not the sucker for zombie movies in the way that I’m a sucker for slasher movies so maybe you don’t want to go by me but I sorta begrudgingly watched DEAD SNOW 2 with a chip on my shoulder and it was still able to make me howl and exceed my expectations. You know, I can be a real stick in the mud when it comes to Nazis and this movie totally made me forget to be one. Plus it’s in English so no more subtitles! Usually I try to pretend to like subtitles in an effort to appear smart but let’s be real. If I want to read, I have cereal boxes.
February 8th, 2015 · 1 Comment
It’s sad that I never go to the movie theater anymore. Seeing films in the theater used to be such a big part of my life. There are fewer theaters now and I live farther from them than I used to but I can’t entirely blame that. The problem must lie in the fact that my urge to see something as soon as possible has completely evaporated along with my concept of time. It doesn’t help that the last few movies that I dragged myself out to see underwhelmed, that the picture quality on my TV screen is possibly superior to that at the local theater, that I’ve grown to have zero patience with people and their cell phones and that at this point for the price of one movie ticket I could buy about ten used DVDs.
I bring this glum state of affairs up because I just watched THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN on Netflix Streaming and ironically, it is the type of movie that I would have actually left my house to go see if given the chance and, more remarkably, I’m convinced that I would have left the theater happy for a change. Oh well. Nobody should really court me as an audience attendee anyway because I come alone, I’ll never spend money on popcorn and am likely to smuggle in beverages.
It would be difficult for me not to like TTTDS because it operates more like a classic slasher than even some classic slashers. You can point out many a cliché or trope if you so desire but to me pointing out a cliché in a slasher movie is like pointing out mustard on a hot dog. Mustard is why I’m eating this thing. What makes this one a cut above what you might expect is the filmmaker’s relish (ha, sorry) for atmosphere and the establishment of setting. The horror here belongs to an entire town rather than a cursed few and you get the feeling that the town’s dark past is as much a source of pride and excitement as it is a source of fear. The film’s title is taken seriously and when night falls you really do get the sense that there is something dangerous lurking in the darkness. A playing board is created where the past itself is the enemy and nowhere feels safe.
The folks we encounter are the type you’d expect but there’s a bounty of exceptional character actors on hand (VERONICA CARTWRIGHT, GARY COLE and the late EDWARD HERRMANN particularly) to make sure they stick. The cast in general comes across as real and grounded rather than the glossy model types that inhabit the usual modern revisit to seventies horror fare.
It has to be said that there is a semi-major fumble near the end of the film involving the identity of the threat. It’s not so much terrible as it is inappropriate and a betrayal of the mystery created. Luckily the foul up is late in the game and not toxic enough to unravel what’s come before. That trip-up aside, TTDS has some beautifully done stalking set pieces, loads of convincing nighttime atmosphere, an intimidating killer and a fascinating interest in memorabilia both morbid and cinematic. Plus it goes politely out of its way to honor, crystalize and not step on the toes of the original and simply offers itself as a humble companion piece that just might surpass the film it spawned from if you look at it in the right light. Check it out. It might not be a hit out the ballpark for everyone but for me it really hit the spot.
January 18th, 2015 · 1 Comment
Let’s take a field trip over to HULU where we can watch the 2014 documentary KILLER LEGENDS for the price of free! It’s from the folks who brought you CROPSY yet I kinda like it better than CROPSY because it’s stuffed with clips from so many of Kindertrauma’s favorite films. KILLER LEGENDS explores the classic hook hand urban legend and its connection to THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN, the hysteria surrounding tampered Halloween candy, the classic “the call is coming from inside the house!” routine and Chicago’s longtime issue with rampaging killer clowns. I probably would have preferred that the filmmakers stayed off camera, left some of their chatter on the cutting room floor and resisted the temptation to tell an old lady that her home was once the scene of a heinous murder, but why look a free flick in the mouth?