Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Homicidal - 1961

William Castle was a producer and a director much known for gimmicks being involved in his A, B and Z level horror films he put out. Some of these movies are pretty well known, such as House on Haunted Hill which had the gimmick of a skeleton with red lighted eye sockets which was attached to a wire, and floated over the audience in the final moments of some showings of the film, to parallel the action on screen when a skeleton rises from a vat of acid.

Homicidal is a pretty obvious Psycho ripoff, it being a horror murder mystery.  In the beginning, we see a mystery woman ask a man to marry her.  She offers him a few thousand dollars for about 15 minutes of work.  Then, after the short marriage session, she randomly pulls out a knife and stabs the minister like 8 times.  She bolts, trades cars, and is soon back at her home.  Home it seems is a caregiver job to an elderly woman who can't communicate besides knocking on wood.  

We soon learn that our main character Emily has some sort of evil plot in mind.  She mentions wanting revenge to the old elderly woman Helga.  Helga can understand her, just not express her knowledge.  We see Helga trying to warn others of Emily's evil, in many ways.  But Emily is always there to dismiss the knocking as meaning other things.  Emily trashes the store owned by Miriam, the sister of Emily's husband Warren.  Miriam is suspicious after catching Emily sneaking into her room.  Miriam is more and more convinced, and in the meantime Emily's murder of the minister is being pieced together.

This movie could've been decent I suppose, but honestly the gimmick was pretty bad and almost ruined it.  It's definitely a "product of it's time".  Here's the gimmick....   At about the hour and fifteen minute mark, Miriam is going into the house to finally confront Warren about Emily's behavior, and we as an audience know that Emily is in the house.  Slow movement as the camera nears the door of the house....  and then a clock appears on the screen.  We watch as the clock starts to count down from 30 seconds.  Then, William Castle's voice over tells us: "This is your chance to leave if you're too scared.  You have 20 seconds left..." etc.  He later congratulates us for staying, saying we're brave. Really?  Really!  That's what this movie did. 

Spoilers now.  Then, the big reveal of the movie is that Warren is Emily.  Which, for me, was....um, kinda interesting I guess.  Not terrible.  It was original and it was not something I in particular saw coming.  In retrospect, it makes sense too, and they do explain it.  It makes her be a sympathetic villain also.  One thing though, which I kept wondering, why the whole intro with marrying the guy just to stab the minister?  Seriously, she left two eyewitnesses when she could've just found the minister some day and kill him.  I mean I get it, she did it to make Emily be the villain, but she didn't need to do it in that way.  Ah well.  Spoilers over.

It's not overly gimmicky, just the clock and a short intro piece by Castle also.  The clock is sort of funny now, and the intro piece is whatever.  I just read the Wikipedia article which states: "Time magazine said: "It surpasses Psycho in structure, suspense and sheer nervous drive".  Holy shit, someone actually liked this more than Psycho?!  That's gonna be the first and last time this movie gets favorable reviews over Psycho.  It wasn't BAD, it just certainly wasn't GOOD.  2 stars.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Strays - 1991

I haven't done a made for TV movie in a long time, so with the help of some Mexican beer and Indian food, I watched Strays from 1991.  I'm gonna keep this review kinda short, but again, it felt nice to not be watching something from the boxset, and it also was nice to watch what I'd say was a pretty decent horror/suspense movie.

Strays is very minimal, which helped it along.  A family moves into a recently emptied house in a tiny little suburb somewhere.  Husband and wife Paul and Lindsey have a young daughter, and from the onset of moving into the house nothing goes right.  First the phone doesn't work, then the car crashes, then they find Paul's dog has been attacked by something in the night.  Paul is allergic to cats, and has been sneezing this whole time.  At first they think it's because of the cat they find living in the attic, but soon realize that might not be all that's setting him off.

I'm also gonna break here and say that I've been on an 80's binge for a long, long time.  I am not sure if this is because of my original 1986 marathon, or just because I love 80's movies, but it did feel good to watch something 90's again.  I do like the 90's.

This movie felt very traditional in it's approach, and was a semi slow moving feature, but still very likable.  The characters are not terribly defined, but still very charismatic.  They come off as a young and very in love couple, and even have a small story line of their own thrown in.  The daughter character annoyed me, but was probably realistic.  Then you have the cats.

The cats were shot extremely well.  This is how you make a horror movie about something like cats.  Shot in cool angles, with nice lighting, and capturing cats in a way that actually made you fear these things.  If you don't think a cat can kill you, well you're probably wrong, but second off, watch this movie.  They're surprisingly wily, strong, and intelligent creatures.  If they went for your jugular while scratching your face, you'd probably be fucked.

Some of the typical elements are in place, and there's maybe a plot hole or two, but nothing glaring that makes you hate the movie.  All in all, I'd say it was really quite good.  Not like, a classic, but for sure one to see if you like animal attack movies or if you hate cats.  My two cats slept through the whole thing, but maybe it gave them sadistic dreams about torturing me.  I guess I'll find out!
3 stars.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Day of the Panther - 1988

Is it possible for a movie to have pretty decent stunt coordination, yet only average to okay action?  I guess the action in this is pretty good sometimes, I don't mean to ride it, but the stunts and the coordination of the whole thing is great.  Actually, truth be told I liked this movie.  Could have been because of the whole charm of being shot in Australia, but I think that it was more of a genuine heartfelt action movie, where you can tell everyone had a great time making it, and they didn't get too blown outta shape about it.

Low budget, yet well acted and well shot, Day of the Panther has main character Jason Blade infiltrate a drug ring to bring it down from the inside after they kill his partner.  It's an excuse for a plot, and in the directors own words, "there were eight fight scenes in the first film and nine in the second" so it wasn't light on the action.  In case you were wondering, this was shot at the same time as the sequel, Strike of the Panther.  So it may have been mostly fight scenes, so what?!

Jason Blade is your very average but likable overconfident action star, he finds endless excuses to not wear a shirt, he beds plenty of women, and he never fights a fight which makes him look like he couldn't win.  This considered, it is never boring, and it kept me reasonably entertained.  The action is fast paced and well shot, they last just the right length and have plenty of cutaways so you're not just looking at two guys throwin punches for 15 minutes straight, like some of those action movies.  Also, there are people besides Jason who fight, like in the first opening scene, and those fights are more entertaining cause they're closer matched.

Like I said, Jason is after the drug gang that killed his partner.  Above is one of the drug gang members.  Why they wear weird masks in the opening scene, and then never again in the movie is anyone's guess.  I'd guess, if I had to, they used several actors in multiple roles.  Jason infiltrates the gang because they like how well he fights, and soon enough he's tracking down the leader and slowly his cover is being blown.  It all comes to a head and Jason gets his revenge in the short 83 minute movie.  Those weren't spoilers, you knew how this movie was gonna go.

It all makes sense, and it's handled well by Australian director Brian Trenchard-Smith who did Dead End Drive-In and BMX Bandits.  It was made to be low rent, it achieves low rent.  But for likable characters, a fun sense to it that never takes itself too seriously, and some badass fights, it gets placed even higher!  What can I say, I liked it?!  4 action movie stars.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Curse of the Faceless Man - 1958

On Wednesday, I got off work without a thing to do in the world.  I wandered over to the bus stop, not wanting to go home just yet, and hopped on a bus with no plan at all.  This is the kinda reason I am never going to have kids.  Anyways, I whipped out the phone (as is the thing to do) and took to the internet.  Since I was on a bus that went on Balboa Street in SF, I googled the Balboa Theater, and discovered there was a double feature playing that very night!  This movie along with "It!" from 1967.  So naturally, I went.

Let's start off with the theater.  This place is a small independent joint, with decent pricing and a nice staff.  Their popcorn is also quite good.  I sneaked in a bottle of Miller High Life, to be enjoyed during the film, as well as some gummy bears.  Cause that's how I roll.  A short intro and a short, insanely difficult trivia contest ensued, and then we were thrust headlong into Curse of the Faceless Man.

In Faceless Man, the volcanic explosion at Pompeii unearths a weird statue that looks like a human.  It is taken to a museum, where it's put on display.  Soon, people are dying, and it seems as if the statue is involved.  Also, we then see that it's moving.  The statue does look very cool, and especially when we see it moving ever so slowly.

 I have to give major props to the curator/movie presenter in this situation.  "It!" which is also known as the Curse of the Golem, was extremely similar to this movie, and I keep getting the two confused in my mind.  In fact, now I remember more of It! and less of this movie.  For example, I cannot for the life of me remember how this movie ends!

The pacing in this one was good, the movie was shot well, and the acting was not over the top in scope.  The film is very light, a good popcorn movie, and one that is good for pretty much anything.  I remember when I used to rate things in terms of drinking, smoking, seeing it with friends, and cult status.  Well, this one would be a great drinking/smoking movie, a great one for friends and bad movie night.  Long silences would offer plenty of riffing opportunity, and it's straight-forward approach is easy to understand in inebriated condition.

It is your average 50's monster movie, a light rip off of The Mummy, even sharing similar plot elements about lovers being reincarnated.  So, there's that.

Basically, it's fun, and one to watch if you like 50's movies, especially if you like them on the light side, not overdone, and not overtly cheesy.

Hyper Sapien: People from Another Star - 1986

If I'd known I had a few more 1986 movies in this Sci Fi Invasion boxset, I might have watched them before I turned 30 in my '86 movie marathon!  But I didn't even fucking check.  Here's how I was going to originally intro this movie:

There are two basic types of movies that exist.  The ones you forget, and the ones you remember.  I watched this movie last night, and then I watched Full Metal Jacket afterwards.  Guess which movie I enjoyed more?  Now guess which movie I was thinking about afterwards, and that I was still thinking about this morning?  Well, I guess it's a tad unfair to compare this to a Stanley Kubrick masterpiece, but still, I'm just saying there's the movies you forget about (this one) and the ones you never do (Full Metal Jacket).

Looking through the filmographies of the actors involved in this, I see a lotta different soap operas.  I wonder if those actors ever make it.  I can't think of pretty much anyone who was in soap operas and still made it big after that.  Of course George Clooney was in E/R, but I dunno if that was a true "soap" or if it was a TV show.  I think it was a soap.  But anyways, it seems to be the last ditch type of acting that people can do besides being on a local TV commercial, like the ones that are produced and shown specifically in one city.  The director however has done a Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the one film with Lazenby.  So that's interesting.

Hyper Sapien was definitely made with the kids in mind, this one is more of a kids movie that even Pod People. It's an upbeat little romp about some aliens that come down from the moon to see what Earth is like.  Two of the aliens are human-looking females, and the third alien is their pet Kirby, who is a three-legged weird-ass creature with psychic powers....
The aliens encounter our main character Dirt (on the left in the above pic) and quickly an attraction forms between Dirt and the older female alien, Robyn.  They all live with Dirt's grandfather and....ah fuck it, you get it.

This movie was pretty bland, it's your average mix of boring and also lightly entertaining.  Extremely predictable, and nothing in it happens that will make you want to pay attention 100%.  No one ever shows any surprise about the ridiculous alien Kirby there either.  When Dirt and later his grandpa meet Kirby they're just like "uh, hi?" instead of being like "wtf is this thing?!"

For being completely average and not a complete waste of time, I think 2 stars is more than enough, but due to the fact this is really childish, I might downgrade to 1.5.  It sure doesn't deserve more than 2, and now that I think about it more, it was pretty annoying.  Movies have to have something that makes you like them.  Although, the Kirby creature and the acting were okay, I still remain set on a 1.5.  I make the rules here after all.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Star Wars Episodes 1, 2 and 3 - 1999, 2002, 2005

I did it.  I rewatched episodes 1 2 and 3.  Someone had to!  Fuck, ya'll.  Here's my brief backstory:  I saw episode 1 in 1999 and was on the "this movie sucks" bandwagon, until I got it for free on DVD.  Upon more and more repeat viewings, I eventually grew to like it.  Attack of the Clones came out, and I didn't even see it in theaters.  I waited for it on DVD, and watched it once.  I remember absolutely hating it.  Then I liked part 3, Revenge of the Sith.  I especially liked the ending, with the hot lava etc. Backstory over.

I'm not going to dwell too much on The Phantom Menace.  Darth Maul was one of my favorite villains, and also displays the first real fault in this prequel trilogy: disposable villains.  I was so disappointed to see him die without barely even doing anything.  He kills Qui Gon Jinn, is more than capable with his sword, and looked badass.  Have Obi-wan and him have a draw, have something interrupt their fight, anything.  Also, the whole Jar Jar thing....Yes, this was a mistake.  I've heard there are fan edits that take out some of his worst moments, and I'd be really interested in seeing that.  Additionally, I'd like to see a fan edit that takes out some of the really, really embarrassing CGI, because a lot of it was bad.  But it's a light-hearted film, it has a nice little story to it, and it feels like a completely different atmosphere, which was the intention.

In my opinion, Attack of the Clones is perhaps the most hated but least understood of the prequel trilogy.  Everyone dumps on this movie.  Yes, I'll be the first to admit it, the movie is overly long and the romance between Padme and Anakin feels very rushed.  But I think I won't be the first nor the last to suggest that Anakin was using the force to help "influence" the relationship.  Padme is only human, and even though Anakin himself says she is strong minded, he's a fucking force prodigy.  He is said to be stronger with the force than Yoda.  Even if he wasn't trying to use the force to influence her, his enduring attraction and feelings for her probably influenced her into loving him back.  I feel like the truly worst part of this movie is the overly elongated plot for a pretty simple thing.  Basically the only thing that happens in this movie is: they discover there's an army that was made, dunno who made it, and Padme and Anakin fall in love.  That's really, like, it.  I guess there's also the whole thing of Anakin's mother dying, and he takes his first walk on the dark side, but altogether, this one probably gets more hate than it deserves.  (BTW just have her killed in a raid...don't do the whole kidnapping thing, and certainly don't have the inclusion of Owen/Beru and that dude she married)

One thing about Hayden Christensen's performance as Anakin.  I will say that he gets bombed almost as bad as Jake Lloyd for his "bad acting" as Anakin.  But seriously, I think people don't understand what he's trying to do.  People rag on him, but dude the guy is trying to act awkward.  He's not trying to go Hollywood as a bad guy or anything.  He's acting like a weirdo, a guy that doesn't fit in, doesn't know what to say or how to act.  The whole thing about sand.  That's like point number one of bad dialogue and acting.  But I think it's spot on.  It's the type of thing that people do, that people say, when they feel slightly uncomfortable, awkward, when they look back and they say "what the hell was I talking about?"  It's touching, and in my opinion, really genuine as a character.  It's not written to be a funny or plot point speech.  It's written so that we as an audience understand this guy is an immature, undeveloped, and entirely clueless person.  He is an outcast, a misfit, and he's only ever had two things: people enslaving him, or telling him he's a messiah and treating him like he could be the next Jesus.

Also, two more plot points I didn't like before I get to Revenge of the Sith.  One, I hate how in The Force Awakens and in this movie, how the force, the midichlorians if you will, are genetic.  One thing I loved about episode 4, 5 and 6 is that we sort of get the feeling anybody could have the force.  It's more of an analogy.  So don't, I repeat DON'T have Anakin literally be a Jesus.  They say he was an immaculate conception.  He had no father.  Just have the father be some guy.  It doesn't need to be, oh his father was so-and-so, this legendary fighter, and it also doesn't need to be a god-like cause.
Also, one thing that occurred to me towards the middle of Sith...Did it have to be Obi-Wan in these movies?  I think that was a grave mistake, and one that most people wouldn't think of.  To me, the most plot-holes in the series are created by Obi-Wan having been so involved in Anakin's life.  HOW could he have been this close to Anakin and yet in episode 4, he doesn't tell Luke jack shit about it.  Have Obi-Wan in the movie, as a minor character, maybe, and have the lead to this be just some other Jedi.

Revenge of the Sith was the one I was looking forward to rewatching the most, and the one that fell the most flat for me in truth.  It kind of comes off as almost uncaring.  First of all, it's all the death that happens without pretty much anyone knowing or caring.  Mace Windu is killed, and it's never even acknowledged by the good guys.  All the Jedi council is killed and we pretty much only get Yoda saying, "well that sucks, guess I'll go into exile...."  Anakin killing children is pretty much the only plot point that is dwelled on, but when Padme and Obi-Wan confront him about it later, they just seem to be life "wtf bro" instead of "HOLY SHIT DUDE, YOU FUCKING KILLED KIDS".  General Grievous was the most throw away villain yet, and once Palpatine is disfigured he is instantly like 400% more evil.  All those things are not handled particularly well, and Anakin really doesn't have much screen time with all that shit going on.

I wonder if the plans to these movies changed because of the awful reviews and the drop in box office that happened when Attack of the Clones came out?  I have to think they did.  Mostly it's the third movie.  It was like they kept being called kiddy and that they were too lighthearted and love stories and all, so they felt they needed an abrupt change in the third movie.  It honestly feels a little out of place in comparison to just about any other Star Wars movie.

If I could change this series, I'd tone down Jar Jar and the CGI in number one.  I'd have Qui Gon die just like he did in the first one.  He is perhaps the best new character they introduced in the whole threesome, and I think a lot of people agree.  He's a classic Jedi and the fact that it's Liam Neeson actually doesn't take away from his character.  I'd have Obi Wan replaced by some random ass Jedi trainer, lets call him "Our Replacement Main Character", and he's still Padawan to Qui Gon.  Maybe Obi Wan could be in it, have Obi Wan be another Padawan, maybe he could have been the last Padawan of Yoda's before Yoda was going to retire from training Jedi's?  And as I said earlier have Darth Maul live.

In number two, I'd have the relationship between Anakin and Padme remain similar, except I'd add a few scenes of Anakin's powers.  Now, I know there are scenes of him moving things, but if you only added like 2 scenes of him controlling people's minds, think of the connotation.  That and like one line of dialogue spoken to him as a warning "Anakin, you must resist controlling other's minds."  Have that power be like, the one he's especially good at.  Get rid of Count Dooku entirely.  Have Darth Maul continue to be Palpatine's henchman, and have him and Anakin have a rocky relationship as they both try to be the "favorite" of Palpatine. Have Darth Maul continue to kick ass and destroy several important people, emphasis on how good with fighting he is.  Meanwhile, whatever, keep the mystery the same with the droid army, and get rid of that whole retarded sequence where C3PO's head is put on the droid body and vice versa.

In number three, despite what the fans say, have the movie still focused on Anakin.  Have him losing faith in the Jedi's because of the whole Mace Windu incident.   Have Palpatine, disfigured, take a sabbatical from the council, instead of becoming Hitler with his speeches and his characteristics, keep him secret and in the background.  Get rid of the fucking Yoda/Palapatine fight.  Lose Grievous entirely.  Palpatine gives Maul and Anakin both the order to kill the Jedi.  Have Anakin somehow kill more of the Jedi's versus it just being the clone troops.  How badass would it be if he just straight-up force-choked like two of them at the same time?  Bad fucking ass.  Then, have Darth Maul and Anakin have a relationship strain again, and Palpatine says "Enough.  Anakin, destroy him" Maul looks at Palpatine with rage, Anakin comes in and after like a 5 second fight Anakin just wins hands down.  We've seen Maul kick ass and be a badass, and it would emphasize just how good Anakin is if he kills him with extreme ease.

"Our Replacement Main Character" could possibly die in the fight with Anakin.  Now, we've seen how badass Anakin is.  Get rid of the scene where he has the fight and fallout with Padme.  Instead have her in a coma since childbirth, and have Palpatine tell Anakin she died in childbirth.  Enraged, he blames "Our Replacement Main Character", but blinded by rage he barely defeats him.  He still gets all fucked up and burned, and in his last moments of strength, he sees the ship with her taking off.  He reaches out with the force, grabs the ship, blindly trying to keep Padme with him. He doesn't see the enemy fighter that was following them, and that now gets a lock on them because of Anakin's force pull..... He loses consciousness just as the ship fires....

I'd also change the end of Revenge of the Sith.  Don't have all the dialogue and play out of how Luke and Leia are separated.  Padme gives birth to twins, and Yoda says they should split them up, the ship flies off, the end.  We do NOT need episode 4 spelled out that much for us.  Get rid of Chewbacca too.  If he was so tight with Yoda and all, why doesn't he just tell Han in episode 4, "Nah bro, the force hella exists, I used to be bff's with Yoda"? Also, episode 4 takes place, what 20 years after this movie?  And they're already like 25% done with the death star?  What the fuck took them so long to get that thing up and operational?

Well, we all have things we'd change about it.  I just think Anakin as a mal-adjusted, awkward teenager was perhaps not a bad idea.  It emphasizes just how completely out of control he is, and honestly it's quite obvious that Kylo Ren in the new film is modeled the exact same way, it's just that he's not shoved in our face and down our throat like Anakin was.  This all said, it does make Darth Vader into perhaps the most sympathetic villain of all time, which again, I'm not sure was the best idea.

I really liked the idea that the force is random. It's the belief in yourself, the reaching something that perhaps anyone could if they just tried.  I implore you, anybody, DO NOT have Rey from the Force Awakens be anyone's fucking daughter.  Just have her be someone.  Not everyone needs to be related to so and so.  Because if that was true, why would Obi Wan not just go out and fuck like 80 women so that they could all give birth to new Jedi's, and then train all those guys to fight the empire?  You know what I mean right, if this is genetic, then the Jedi's just need to have children, bam new Jedi.  And while that might be out for Yoda, Obi Wan could have certainly fathered some kids.  Instead have it be mostly fucking random.  Thus, you add a new entire layer to the universe:  at any point a new Jedi could be born.  And what about the Jedi council?  There's like 10 guys in that, are they all sons or daughters of so-and-so, who was also a Jedi?  In my opinion it's just lazy.

I keep wanting to end this review, but I'm not done yet.  I think a large, a truly large part of these movies should be blamed on the fans.  Can you imagine that everyone, fucking everyone kept asking George Lucas questions about this character, that character, this plot point, that plot point, etc.  It's like they try to answer every single question with this series.  Part of what makes Star Wars 4-6 so good in my opinion is that we didn't have all the answers.  The Stormtroopers, who Boba Fett was, what the force was, etc.  It's the mystery, but we accept it because of the fucking opening credit crawl:  A long time ago in a galaxy far far away.  This isn't Earth!  This isn't our solar system, our laws, our way of doing things!  You don't need to explain everything.

But I'm sure after being asked these questions billions of times, and after seeing all the expansion books, all the comic books, etc, he got it into his head he should actually answer these questions.  So, we got everything answered.  People complain about the midichlorians being a plot point:  of course they are, cause you kept asking how the force worked!  People might complain about Vader being made to be a sympathetic villain, or of being diminished in his evil scope:  of course he was, cause you kept asking about him, who is he, why does he wear the mask, etc.  People asked about Boba Fett because he was like a cult icon: so we got Jango and the inclusion that Stormtroopers are all clones of him.  (Dude by the way how weird is that for Boba having thousands of clones of his dad around?)

I think the best thing that Lucas could have done with this series is to not have focused so much on answering the questions.  But then, you'd have people endlessly hounding him, "Well, okay so Darth and Palpatine are around, where do they get all the Stormtroopers?" etc.  He had to answer all these questions, cause otherwise fans would be angry(er) at him.

The new trilogy has no questions it needs to answer except, what happens next?  They could have Chewbacca turn into a fucking evil Sith lord, or whatever, cause there is no box those movies need to fit into.  They only need to answer the stupid fans who are asking "Who are Rey's parents?"  and perhaps "Who are Finn's parents?"  I swear to god if you make Finn actually the child of Lando or of any other black guy, I'll be pissed.  Just have it be some guy!!!!!  What the actual fuck?!  20 bucks says Rey is Obi Wan's daughter.  You read it here first.

I give Phantom Menace a pretty decent 3.5 stars.  It created a different universe, it had two awesome characters in Qui Gon and Darth Maul, and the politics were extremely light.  It was a fun, light hearted romp through a cool universe, and yet established a lot without ever feeling rushed.
I give Attack of the Clones 4 stars.  It felt a tad rushed in the relationship, but still kept a close eye over a lot of different things without every feeling like it was trying to do too much.  Jar Jar was made minimal, and the CGI wasn't as bad, and if you accept Anakin as being a simply awkward young man who's going through a LOT, you might like it more.
I think I give Revenge of the Sith 2....wow, that's hard.  It felt extremely rushed.  Literally, everything had to happen in this movie.  You could partially blame that on Clones, but....this movie felt cluttered.  Too much explanation, too much over the top villainy from Palpatine once he is truly Darth Sidious, a bad throw away villain in Grievous who really...never does anything?  All that and the way too explained ending.  This one is my new least favorite.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Deadtime Stories - 1986

At work, over the thrill of playing video games and also of researching Japanese musicians, I was hard up for something to do today.  So I opened up the ol' Amazon and dialed in a movie, Deadtime Stories.  Deadtime is another one of these anthology films I know, and that I love.  I just cannot get over it, it's so brilliant to have one movie with three different stories in it.  Why wouldn't you do this?  It's awesome!  To add to the why, why aren't movies like this made any more?  Quite sad.

Segment one - Some weird witch reincarnation story.  This one was the sure sign I'd chosen right, though in retrospect it's perhaps the most incomplete story.  Two witches have a young boy that works for them.  One day, it seems the witches just randomly decide to bring their old friend back to life, and they have the boy lure a priest to their house.  They kill the priest and use his heart to help bring their friend back to life.  Turns out they also need another sacrifice, and they ask the boy to bring them a girl.  The boy and girl hit it off and he decides to betray the witches to rescue her.

This segment was cool because it easily had the most effects and was the quickest paced of the segments.  The creature they bring back to life was an awesome mix of practical effects and heavy makeup:
Okay, maybe it doesn't look to great here, but you get he picture.  There was tiny bit of nudity, and the ending was cool.

Segment two - Little Red Riding Hood, changed up.  I haven't mentioned yet these stories are being introduced and told by a horny dude who wants to watch the nude miss america pageant (or something like that) and he injects his stories with the teenage lust and deadbeat tinge we'd all expect.  Red in this story is a virgin living with her grandma.  She goes to pick up her grandma's medication at the same time as a werewolf (werewolf in his human form).  The medication gets switched, and the werewolf gets the wrong pills, so he goes to the grandma's house to get his correct pills.  Meanwhile, Red and her bf get it on in a funny sequence, and the full moon starts to rise before the wolf's gotten his pills.

Segment three - Goldi Lox.  In this attempt at funny, Goldi Lox is a psychically powered teenage girl, the three bears are a criminal family, and they all run into each other at the same house.  The cops are imagined as inept and completely ridiculous, and well....yeah this one was pretty dumb.  It felt like the Troma level of humor, and yet I did laugh at it maybe twice.  It's a dividing segment, as I'm sure some would hate it and other might love it.  It's very self aware, and really over the top for the sake of being over the top.  I mean, why does Goldi Lox have psychic powers?  What the fuck?

So 2/3 of the segments were pretty cool, and the overarching story, the guy telling the story to the kid, that was okay too.  The movie has some decent as well as some not so decent attempts at comedy, three or so nude scenes, and is very light on the gore effects until the very end.  All in all though, I was solidly entertained.  The movie is barely 80 minutes, and it flew right on by.  Also, it felt good to watch something on Amazon again, not a Sci Fi one, and to review it.  In the end, I give this an optimistic 3.5 stars.


Oh I almost forgot, one thing I did love was the music.  Weird but really cool and fun original music in the beginning of this practically sold me on the film in the first 5 minutes.  They also borrowed the Monty Python page turning scene for the credits, though you might have to watch it and know Monty Python to see what I mean.