Thursday, November 23, 2017

Creature from Black Lake - 1976

Mini review number 2 finds another 1976 movie and another bigfoot movie, having been underrepresented here for quite a while.  This movie was okay.  I'm fast forwarding a lot here obviously, but yeah it was just decent.

Two dudes are investigating bigfoot in Oil City.  Why I remember the name of the town is anyone's guess.  They're average guys, believe in the monster, and go from spot to spot trying to ask the locals what the deal is with the monster.

Eventually the local drunkard tells the story while at the same time the two guys get mixed up with the sheriff and the sheriff's daughter.  You can guess at the "plot intricacies" here. 

Not particularly well done, nothing stuck out except how bland it was.  Not the worst movie ever, but just so thoroughly middle of the road I have virtually nothing to say about it.  A few deaths, a decent bigfoot costume, and okay enough acting.  Nothing special.  2.5 stars.

Blood Rage - 1987

Filmed in 1983 and released in 87, this is the beginning of a series of Thanksgiving day mini reviews.  I am going to bulk marathon horror films and do a mini review for each.  I also saw Thor: Ragnarok.  I give it 3 stars mostly for style and Jeff Goldblum. 

Blood Rage was fucking awesome.  I googled "Thanksgiving horror movies" and this was on most lists.  I probably missed some line of dialogue about it being Thanksgiving, cause I don't remember anything about the holiday in this flick.

Oodles of blood, good acting, fantastic 80's music, and a mildly confusing story make this an instant classic.  Nudity is there, the pacing is there, the blood is over the top.  I'd say since it was filmed in 83 it was actually quite ahead of it's time since it feels late 80's. 

It's an obvious entry into the 80's horror slasher genre, and it's pretty scant and thin, but delivers.  Basically two twins are both crazy-ish, one in an asylum, and he escapes and is homicidal.  He impersonates his bro, but his bro also is maybe a killer...?  I wasn't sure, it doesn't matter, and basically just watch the nude girls and the kills, which are plenty and plenty.

I give it 5 stars for an underrated, fantastic 80's slasher to the very definition.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Alien Species - 1996

I guessed earlier 90's, but I should've known better, cause it's pretty painfully obvious this was a immediate rip off of Independence Day also from 96, that or this was rushed out right before Independence Day to capitalize.  Do you ever find yourself curious, and end up stalking someone?  I just googled where my girl's work is and then the bus it takes to get there.  I realize this has nothing to do with Alien Species per say, but hey, gotta add in some flavor here somewhere.

Alien Species.  Generic nae for a generic movie.  Also, did these guys like, have any original ideas?  I know I just said it's generic, but this is just 500 different shades of copycat bs with basically no originality to it.  It's not like I'm trying to find fault, cut on my Strange Tales boxset, these films are below the scope normally considered "bad" even for me.

Alien Species has it all.  Terrible, hackneyed cartoonish CGI alien ships that zoom around blowing shit up.  Some innocent-or-not criminals that eventually have to get let loose by the cops so they can help out fight the aliens.  Horribly acted ditsy blonde airhead women who run around in small outfits.  And surprisingly, somewhat decent looking physical embodiments of aliens when they actually appear in the flesh.

That paragraph is basically the plot too.  Criminals being transported by Charles Napier in a small sheriff role get let loose eventually to help fight off the alien ships, and then it's like fuckin bullshit crap as the aliens and humans struggle in their intergalactic fight and the movie goes on like you care.  90 minutes, it didn't feel like an eternity, but there were many other things I could've done instead. 

Effects, acting, pacing, and dialogue were all in the crapper.  Seriously the acting here was goddamn some of the worst I have seen yet.  I watched this while texting and petting my cat.  I was way more interested in scratching my cats chin then this mess of a flick.  I wonder what the best movie is that director Peter Maris as ever made?  I don't intend to watch them and find out.  I would give this one star, but since it might be fun to rip on with friends, I'll upgrade to 2.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Lost Jungle - 1934

Now this is stretching the strange tales thing a little bit more.  I mean, come on REALLY.  This movie is essentially made in a time when people didn't know what animals looked like, and why not capitalize on that shit by having the fear of lions and crap brought to your local cinema show.  Step right up, step right up, see real lions menacing Clyde Beatty for only a nickel!

The thing about The Lost Jungle is that it does have it's place.  The shock factor of just seeing something on a screen is lost to those of us that grew up watching movies, especially movies that were around in the 80s-90s when I was young.  I saw The Matrix in theaters at age 13 in 1999.  Obviously I wasn't blown away by watching a real life tiger pacing back and forth while Clyde stands there holding a chair.

So what else do I even mention here...  There's a thin plot about Clyde's love interest Ruth, and how she just wants him to pay her attention.  There's a small storyline about the tiger getting lose and Clyde getting trapped in a hole in the ground with it.  There's the comic relief, the bowtie wearing buffoon Larry.  And hm.  Not much else.

This was a serial, meaning it originally had tons and tons of parts to it.  I guess this is part one, or maybe parts one and two or something.  What I watched was barely an hour, and it ends abruptly after they trap the tiger.  So I'm sure normally I'd have to "tune in next week" to see what happened to my beloved Clyde and Ruth.  But there's a total of 4 hours of this crap???!  Ehhh, no.  I'm good.  This is classic and it should be looked at that way, but I can't give it more than 2 stars.

This is Not a Test - 1962

Okay so I was a little bit off in my guessing game trying to guess the year of this movie.  It feels a little bit older.  However, if I had paid enough attention to the dialogue, I'm sure I could've been a bit more accurate.

No one ever makes horror tinged, fear mongering, exploitation films quite like this any more.  This is straight fucking propaganda practically, but in a good way.  It's also got the classic "me" approach I like.  You have a small group of people cluttered together, and most the plot development and most the film is communicated through dialogue.  It's the idea of the play, basically.  Can you communicate your idea without a lot of "things happening"?

In the beginning, a cop driving along hears the radio call, the one they've all been fearing.  Imminent fear of nuclear attack.  He stops all the nearby cars (movie takes place at 4am so there's not a lot).  Then it's all dialogue from the people as they try and find out what's going on, as the cop holds them there, and as the shit goes down.  They try to build a bomb shelter out of a truck, they suspect one of them is an escaped criminal, and people panic in different ways as they wait for more updates about the nuclear strike on the cops radio.

This has the ingredients for a film I'd appreciate and enjoy, however it wasn't all great.  It's main flaw was that you need some good, solid writing for this idea to work out well.  And this film had intriguing moments, but it ultimately fell short on the interest factor.  There's a few unanswered questions that plagued the movie, such as, why doesn't the cop communicate with people a tiny bit more, but not enough to panic them?  They also didn't need some of the less central plotlines that come up.

At only 73 minutes, I was interested about 35-40 of them.  So this one's not all bad.  It's on my newer (older) sci fi boxset.  This boxset is so much more what I expected from some shitty old sci fi movie set.  It's all black and white, it's totally mixed genre.  I have to say, in retrospect, they did a great job on Sci Fi Invasion, keeping most of those films truly about aliens, sci fi, even with a theme of invading aliens.  I mean seriously, without looking back at the blog post, I could name at least 10 movies where aliens were actually invading to a greater or lesser extent:
The 3 Rocky Jones movies
Evil Brain from Outer Space and the other one with Starman
The Eyes Behind the Stars
Footprints on the Moon
(forgetting names here) the weird one with the dude with the clear glass skull helmet
The Day Time Ended

I could go on but I forget a lot of their names.  The point is, this boxset so  I give this movie a substandard 1.5 stars.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Counterblast - 1948

I needed this.  I needed to start this new sci fi boxset.  Almost as much as I needed to go a month without drinking, almost as much as I needed to have a new sexual experience with a new girl.  Yes dear readers, I said I'd been going through a lot, one of those things was the whole "splitting up with the wife" thing which is apparently not as easy on paper as it might seem.  But the sci fi boxset is the last link in the chain which now I'm saying, damn I'm glad I did this.

However, Counterblast is a bad example of a movie that I had to watch.  What you have here is a dismally old, incredibly long feeling drama about disease vaccination.  First of all, what is this doing on my boxset?  And, okay I get it the DVD box says Strange Tales.  It's not like I'd go out of my way to call it "Strange" per say, but I guess as a general catch all category you could make it fit.  This movie is as much a "Strange Tale" as it is "a film".  Anything is strange in some context.

Counterblast was a interesting flick, and it's not all bad.  Made just a few years after the end of WWII, it's all about a real life fear:  the fear that German scientists, German sympathizers, etc were infiltrating the government and the ranks of the world.  This is a microcosm of that idea, it's all about one particular small experiment that's ongoing that a German scientist infiltrates.

Dr. Forester gets replaced early on by a German scientist.  Dr. Forester was working on an immunization for the common cold (I think) and essentially continues the work.  He has several guinea pigs as well as a hot assistant, Tracy.  Tracy has never met Dr. Forester, so when she meets the imposter she knows no different.  She eagerly helps him, and explains away all the seeming inconsistencies that her man-meat Dr. Paul Rankin brings up.

Not much really happens along the way.  Honestly, I did watch this in two sittings, and I don't remember about the first 45 minutes of this movie.  It's a glacial plot movement, and it doesn't pick up in the end either.  Sure, eventually Forester has to end the experiment, and sure eventually Dr. Rankin is after Forester, but if that sounds interesting, you are far off track.  Instead it's dialogue aplenty and many unneeded scenes.  IMDb claims this movie is 90 minutes, but it was actually longer on my DVD.  It was at least 1:40, and it should've been a 75 minute work at most.

The acting was alright.  The quality is typically bad for a cheap ass DVD and a movie that's almost 70 years old.  I wonder if the last WWII veteran has died yet?  That war ended over 70 years ago?  Wow.  Google tells me there are still some veterans alive.

Not much else.  Very low entertainment value.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

It - 2017

I'm going to jump the shark, I'm going to subvert the norm, I'm going to (insert similar phrase here) and review a brand spanking new horror movie from 2017 that's in theaters right now, and that I saw last night with two friends while I was somewhat plastered on beer.

It fucking sucked.  Let me start off by saying that right out.  This movie, while I wanted to like it, was far too terrible for me to even care about what the hell was going on.  I will say the pacing was masterful, in that the long ass 2 hour 15 minutes didn't feel like a chore to get through, however the reason it worked will be hard to explain, but I'll try.

First of all, there are plenty of "scary" attempts with the clown and other bizarre shit happening.   There's not a lot of focus on characters, which is good cause the kids in the movie were written horribly.  The dialogue from the kids was first and foremost some of the worst I have EVER had to listen to.  Who the fuck wrote this script?  Oh my god are you kidding me, Cary Fukunaga???!  WHAT THE FUCK?  Cary "I made an actually decent movie with a good script called Sin Nombre" Fukumotherfuckingnaga?  HOW did this end up sounding so terrible then?

I am a child of the 90's.  I was born in 86 and the 90's were my jam as well as the early 2000's. And even in the 90's kids didn't talk like this.  This is some smartphone millennial bullshit ass dialogue that HURTS with how deplorably ridiculous and over the top it is.  Dick jokes, constant "your mom" jokes, awful one liners and cheesy ass bullshit spews forth like a vomited lollipop, and this crap runs the ENTIRE MOVIE.

I might sound angry, but honestly, this movie was right up there in terms of laughably bad.  It is going to be a possible classic with how bad it is, which is sort of refreshing.  It, as a flick, could have potential but honestly I feel like the book has too many campy and hokey elements which would need to change.  It was a good book to read as a young adult, since it delves into the childlike mind, but it's far too silly for an adult audience.  I get that it takes place in the 80's but everything feels so completely cartoonish and overdone that it reaches a whole different level of lame.

There was a cool scene in the bathroom where blood erupts from the toilet, and there was a cool scene trying to remember another cool scene.  Maybe that was it?!  The acting, while not stellar, was okay.  Pennywise was okay, not great though.  The guy clearly did his best but the over the top cartoonish nature wasn't congruent.  He's a bit too animated I'd say.  Which is again, part of the problem with the book.  Maybe if you already have a fear of clowns it's scarier, I couldn't say.

The effects and music were pretty good.  The pacing was very good.  The cinematography and all was adequate, nothing super noticeable.  Hm...  What else.  I dunno!  I'll wrap it up.  Wrap that shit up B.  2-2.5 star range I suppose.  We'll see if it holds up.