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Archive for July, 2013

Remake Week Movie #6–Frankenstein Unbound (1990)

Frankenstein_UnboundAlright… This might be cheating, as this is a reimagining and not so much a remake. That said, this is my blog and I’m counting this one as part of Remake Week.

Frankenstein Unbound tells the story of Dr. Joe Buchanan (played by John Hurt), who in the year 2031, in an attempt to create a safer weapon for the military accidentally creates a tear in time and space and finds himself and his amazing electric, computerized car transported back to 1817 Switzerland.

In ancient Switzerland, Buchanan meets the famous Dr. Frankenstein (played by Raul Julia), who has already created his now famous, mythical monster. Said monster has killed a child, and a young girl has been accused and found guilty of the boy’s murder through Witchcraft. Buchanan tries to convince Frankenstein to tell the authorities the truth and save t he girl’s life. Ignored by Frankenstein, Buchanan tries to get the help of Mary Shelley (author of the famous Frankenstein novel, and played by Bridget Fonda). Frankenstein and his Monster turn out to be difficult to deal with, though – one insane with power, the other a beast of a man who has not been explained the very basics of life). Buchanan almost gets lynched for the murder of Frankenstein’s fiancé, a crime the monster committed – and said monster saves Buchanan from this mob, only to take him to Frankenstein’s castle to help in the reanimation of Frankenstein’s freshly dead Fiancé. Instead of helping, Buchanan tricks the Monster into helping him reopen the time space rift, propelling Frankenstein, the Monster and his self far into the distant, bleak empty future. – a future where human’s are no more. There is a bit of a twist at the end, that while weak, I won’t spoil.

Just a note: The late Michael Hutchence, then lead singer of the Australian rock band INXS plays Percy Shelley.

This movie has a half decent cast, and while entertaining, is really quite weak. Was it worth watching? Sure. Should you go out of your way to see it? I don’t think so.

Check out the trailer below:


Remake Week Movie #5 – Fright Night (2011)

FrightNight2011We decided to take on the 2011 remake of the 1985 classic Vampire film, Fright Night last night and were not disappointed.

Fright Night tells the story of Charley Brewster (played by Anton Yelchin, now famous as Chekov from the Star Trek reboot) a teenager living in the suburbs of Las Vegas. Charley discovers that his neighbour, Jerry Dandrige (played by Colin Farrell) is actually a Vampire and must defeat him to save his family and friends.

Initially Charley just thinks Jerry is a normal guy that just moved in next door – that is until former best friend, Ed (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) opens his eyes to what is going on around him. Ed and Charley have become distanced and do not hang out any more, but Ed blackmails Charley to come with him to one of there mutual friend’s place to check on him as he seems to have disappeared without a trace. When they get there they find no trace of either their friend or family. It is here where Ed reveals that Charley’s new neighbour is a Vampire – something that Charley refuses to believe. Events at home, between himself and Jerry change his mind when Jerry asks him if he could borrow some beer for an upcoming liaison between himself and a girl – Charley obliges, and notices that Jerry cannot go past the threshold of his open door… Everyone knows a vampire cannot enter a home without being invited.

Soon things ramp up, and Jerry, being a Vampire starts feeding more and more and more people that Charley knows start disappearing. Jerry discovers that Charley has learned his secret and tries to get to Charley and his family, in any way possible. Charley seeks the help of a world famous occult/vampire hunter/Vegas Magician guy, Peter Vincent (played by David Tennant who at first just kicks him out, but eventually looks over a pile of information Charley left behind and realizes Charley is dealing with a real Vampire and decides to help… well, is forced to help when Jerry forces his hand. A note: in the original Fright Night, this character was played by the late and very great Roddy McDowall, and was the host of a late night horror movie show.

What follows is an action packed human’s versus Vampires battle(s) that is actually quite entertaining. There’s a cool battle between Charlie and former buddy, now turned Vampire Ed that in a way made me sympathetic to Ed. The final battle between Charley, Jerry and Jerry’s new brood of freshly changed Vampires is exciting and in a way pays homage to the original.

Is this better than the original? Oh, hell no. Is this movie good? Oh, yes. I found it a fun, entertaining Vampire movie and would not hesitate to recommend it as a watch.

Check out the trailer:


Remake Week Movie #4 – Psycho (1998)

Psycho98Okay, I watched this movie this morning before work, because my buddy that watches these movies with me had no interest in re-watching this movie as he hated it. I watched it back in 1998, and while I barely remembered watching it, I do remember that I liked it. Re-watching it today, I think I have to suggest that my friend re-watch it himself, because this is a damned good movie.

Anne Heche revises Janet Leigh’s iconic role of Marion Crane, a secretary who steals $450,000 dollars from her employer in an attempt to get her boyfriend out of debt so that they can start a life together free of debt. Taking off to go visit him, she decides to stop at a roadside motel, the Bates Motel when he journey takes longer than anticipated. Once there she finds she is the only guest at this lonely hotel. She meets Norman Bates (played very impressively by a young Vince Vaughn), who take a liking to her, gets her a room right next to the office and invites her to dine with him. They have an awkward but friendly visit, and Marion goes back to her room. Soon we see that Norman has put a secret peephole in the wall between the office and the room that Marion is in – we learn this by watching Norman spy on her while… pleasuring himself.

Soon crapp hits the fan,and in a good recreation of a very iconic bathroom/tub murder scene, Marion end up dead at the hands of… someone. Soon we see Norman running from the house to Marion’s room, in distress and finding her body. Hmmm… Interesting. Next thing you know, Norman is cleaning up the room and dumping Marion and car in a swamp.

Okay, well people have noticed that Marion has disappeared (with a lot of someone else’s money), and are looking for her. First onto reacjh the hotel in a quest for Marion is private detective Milton Arbogast, played by William H. Macy. He questions Norman on whether or not Marion was at the hotel. His questioning trips up Norman a few time, making Norman agitated. Not satified with the answers he got from Norman, Milton decides to do a little more investigating – which leads to tragic results. Soon Marion’s sister and Marion’s lover enters the search putting even more stress on Norman. Norman starts making mistakes, and despite trying, isn’t able to take care of this latest incursion into his little world with a well placed stab of a knife or a good bludgeoning. No, the gig might be up for Norman.

So, better than the Hitchcock original? No. Good? Very. Watch both.

Here’s the trailer:


Remake Week Movie #3–Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Texas_chainsaw_massacreGood remakes may be hard to find, but I’ve been doing pretty good lately.

2003’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM), revisit’s Tobe Hooper’s ground breaking horror classic of (almost) the same name (add “The” to the beginning of the original), and gives it a great, modern refresh.

Inspired very loosely on the horrendous crimes of Ed Gein in 1950’s Wisconsin,  TCM tells the story of a group of young 20 somethings on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in Dallas. Along the way they stop and pick up a dazed, confused woman who is walking around in the middle of the road by herself, almost unresponsive. They take her into the van in order to get her some help, but in a short time she kills herself using a pistol that she had concealed… Forced to look for help from authorities, they drive into a small town…and perhaps Hell on Earth.

What ensues is a battle between this group of youths and a hillbilly clan that seems un escapable. Call the Sheriff? Sure – too bad he’s mixed right up in this hillbilly killer family. No matter where they turn, the group finds themselves deeper and deeper in crap -  One by one, they fall gruesome victims to Leatherface and his family.

If you haven’t seen the original, you can still watch this movie without missing anything, but seeing the original’s stature in the horror world, you would be doing yourself a dis-service. Is this better than the original? Well, it really is good – maybe not as important as the original – but possible as good. Jessica Biel does a great job (and looks great), and the rest of the cast is good to.

Watch it!

Here’s the trailer:


Rebooting Remake Week

Hi Folks;

Well remake week didn’t go as well as planned when I was distracted after two movies – Well, I plan on putting up 7 remakes (including the two already posted), though maybe not all in a row.

One reason why they may not be in a row is for example the THING from 1982 – my buddy that watched these movies wants to watch the prequel that came out in 2011 first – no problem, but that delays that viewing by at least a day – gonna’ try to get him to watch that prequel tonight so we can go onto the remake.

So, sorry for not powering through 7 days of remakes, but they are coming… starting now!


Remake Week Movie #2 – Dawn of The Dead (2004)

DawnoftheDead2004One could easily argue that  George A. Romero’s 1973 film, Dawn of the Dead was good enough and didn’t need a remake. Well, that can be said about almost all remakes – I mean, why would you bother remaking a movie that sucked in the first place? At least in this case the remake doesn’t suck.

A sequel to Romero’s genre defining film Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead tells the story of a group of survivors of a Zombie outbreak, forced together through necessity that have found refuge inside a shopping mall.Initially encountering a hostile group of armed mall security guards that reluctantly allow them to stay in the man, but only after relinquishing their weapons. These guards, run by a twitchy nervous asshole by the name of CJ soon have the tables turned on them. The group hangs out in the mall for as long as possible, with one couple expecting a baby at any time. Soon it’s revealed that a couple member so f the group had been bitten – They have to be dealt with. Not to spoils anything, but the birth scene and following events is awesome. Add to this a new group of people that arrive via a delivery van (a soon to be Zombie amongst them).

Lot’s of action and death and destruction, a few explosions and more than a few zombies and then a cool escape…this is a very good remake of a very good original film.

Filmed primarily in Canada, I saw a lot of familiar actors that you don’t see in many American productions, I thought this was a neat addition (hint: I’m Canadian),Is this better than the original? I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. Very watchable, I know more than a few people that consider this their favourite Zombie movie, and it’s easy to see why.

Check out Dawn of the Dead, you won’t be disappointed .

Here’s the trailer:


Remake Week Movie #1–Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)

Halloween2007Call me a heretic or call me crazy, but I like this remake better than the original.

In 2007 Rob Zombie released his remake of the classic, influential 1978 Slasher-Horror film, Halloween. The original starred an unknown actress by the name of Jamie Lee Curtis and the better known Donald Pleasence. Both movies tell the story of Michael Myers – a child who killed his family when he was 10 – now 16 years later, he’s escaped the criminal asylum where he has been held… HE’s heading back home to find his last remaining family member, his sister – oh, and he’s racking up a big body count along the way.

Rob Zombie kept true to the original story, but in my mind created a much more watchable movie. I’m sure much of that is due to the time that has passed since the original was released – hindsight is 20-20 they say.

Now, don’t get me wrong: while I thing the remake is a better movie, I still like the original, and without a doubt the original is a much more important movie – Just not as well made. I feel that the family background of Michael is more fleshed out in the remake, and the acting doesn’t seem as forced… Except in the case of Sheri Moon Zombie’s portrayal of Deborah Myers, Michael’s mother – Sheri can’t act and I really hope Rob Zombie figure this out soon. The always great Malcolm McDowell plays the role of Dr. Samuel Loomis, the role originally played by the late, great Donald Pleasence.

So, as remakes go I say this is definitely a good one. I watched the original and this remake back to back – a fun way to compare.

What do you think?

Here is the Trailer:

 

And here is the trailer to the original:


Remake Week!

sequels

Hello my fine feathered, blog reading, movie loving Internet Friends.

This week (well, starting one day late, if you start your weeks on Mondays). I will be watching sequels to well (or well enough) known movies. There are a lot of them out there and some are terrible and a few are diamonds in the rough. Stay tuned and let us know what your favourite remakes are.


Pawnshop Chronicles (2013) – Not 100% Sure Just What I Watched, But I Know I Liked It

pawn_shop_chroniclesWhat a weird film, Pawnshop Chronicles is… What a weird film.

Chock full of actor’s you’ve heard of, Pawnshop Chronicles is a circular tale of lost love, meth heads, kidnapping and the battle between good and evil.

Mathew Dillon plays Richard, a man about to begin his honeymoon with his second wife when they stop by a Pawnshop, hoping to get a little extra cash when something goes wrong with their banking. Quickly he spots a ring – the ring he gave he had custom made for his first wife, who disappeared without a trace 6 years prior. Abandoning his new wife, he takes off on a renewed search for his long missing love.

This begins a twisted tale that brings the viewer on a roller coaster ride – we encounter meth-heads, murder and white slavery (hint: you might not look at Frodo the same again). You’ll meat a failing Elvis Impersonator (played compellingly by Brendan Fraser). You’ll see bad guys screwing over bad guys, and a town split down the middle by which Barber they choose.

Add to this a character that offers salvation for your soul, leaving you wondering if he’s God or the Devil…

This movie may be weird, but I freakin’ loved it.

Check out the trailer below:


Sharknado (2013)–The Best Worst Thing I’ve Seen Since Yesterday

SharknadoI think you can tell just by the the title that Sharknado deserves to be on thins blog, but watching it drives home that conclusion.

A 2013 Sci-Fi channel production, Sharknado takes the monster/disaster movie to new ridiculous heights of lows… You know what I mean. Super stupid, super silly, all crazy awesomeness.

A terrible storm at sea is sucking up massive amounts of man eating sharks and depositing them on the streets of Los Angeles, where they are snacking on the residents of said city. Yes, the Los Angeles area has been affected by not one but three separate tornados full of sharks, or if you will, SHARNADOS!!!!! Of course, only a rag tag group od Sharknado survivors can save the day, and only by using stuff they find laying around.

This movie is absolutely terrible and yet it had me laughing BECAUSE it is so terrible. Should you watch it? Well, I say “Hell yes” but ultimately it is up to you.

Here is the trailer:


Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy (A Fist Full of Dollars(1964),For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966))

sergioSergio Leone is/was the King of Spaghetti Westerns, and with The Man With No Name Trilogy (A Fist Full of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly), he might just deserve the title of King of All Westerns, in general.

This is the series of films that took a small time, little known TV actor by the name of Clint Eastwood and made him a house hold name. In each movie he seems to go by a different name (Monco, Blondie and Joe), but is best known as the Man With No Name, a bounty hunter that proves that the good guy in a movie doesn’t always really have to be that good of a guy – an anti-hero, I guess. Two of the movies (For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly), costar Lee Van Cleef, the flint eyed leathery veteran of countless Spaghetti Westerns before and after this series. All three movies are scored with the incredible music of Ennio Morricone.

Visually stunning in their bleakness, Sergio paints a picture of a ruthless West filled with bandits and regular people, Rich man and poor men. And one thing in common for everyone is that they are trying to make a living in the west. Eastwood, in each of the films plays a cigar smoking, tall, quiet, solitary character who is quick and accurate on the draw, and if you have a bounty on your head, you’d be best to steer away from him.

Each of these movies stands alone – that is, you don’t have to watch one to follow the other, and I guess they’re not really sequels, but bound together in spirit. They are not just good Spaghetti Westerns, not just good Westerns, but actually great movies in their own right. While (re) watching The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, I was stunned by just how complex a movie it really is. Not only is it a kick ass western, but it even tries to come to grips with the horror that was the American Civil War. There is a strangely poignant scene where Blondie is walking through the area where a battle between the Union and the Confederates had just happened – coming upon a dying soldier, shivering, Blondie wraps his coat around him and gives the man a draw from his cigar, just before the soldier dies – This didn’t have to be in the movie, but it’s little things like this that elevates these movies above the rest.

So, don’t watch these movies if you’re looking for a light, fluffy watching experience – Watch these movies if you want to see great movies with great actors in great roles. I’m of the opinion that even if you don’t like Westerns, if you watch these film with an open mind, you would still like them.

Watch these movies and watch them often.

A Fistful of Dollars Trailer

For a Few Dollars More Trailer

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Trailer


White Comanche (1968)–Beam Me Up Scotty, This Movie Sucks! (Entire Movie at Bottom of Review)

Comanche BlancoSo, you see there was this little TV series back in the late 1960s called Star Trek, and it’s male lead was played by a cool, dashing, hip and awesomely hammy actor by the name of William Shatner. While Star Trek did okay in the ratings there was a cult following around the show and it’s cast. Well, White Comanche stars William Shatner, and it’s pretty clear this was an attempt to cash in on Shatner’s new found popularity, because other than William Shatner, this doesn’t have much else going for it.

William Shatner plays the roles of twin brothers, Johnny Moon and Notah, twin half breed (their words, not mine) brothers of Comanche/White persuasion. Johnny lives the life of a white guy (who happens to know how to fight and is quick on the draw), and Notah is known as the White Comanche and is an over the top, out of control killer/raider/raper – a total prick of a killer. This causes a lot trouble for Johnny since they are twins, he’s always getting mistaken for Notah and people want to kill Notah (and rightly so)… So people, wanting to kill Notah, unknowingly are trying to kill Johnny – the innocent brother… Okay? Well Johnny is friggin’ tired of this and has laid it out: meet me in 4 days at the town of Rio Honcho – two will enter, only one will survive. When Johnny gets into Rio Honco, of course everybody mistakes him for Notah… and all that stuff Notah did makes everyone want to kill Johnny… wait, I explained all this already. Notah’s evil escapades catch up to Johnny again in the days leading up to that big showdown. Add to the mix the fact that the town is divided into two factions with only a good but under resourced sheriff (played by Joseph Cotten) to keep them both from each other’s neck, which up until now has worked. Add this new Johnny/Notah thing to the mix and the whole situation boils over – and we haven’t even got to the big Johnny/Notah battle. One bad guy shoots the sheriff and then the two factions fight… Eventually Johnny and Notah have it it out, and then there’s peace.

Well, I guarantee that all that sounds better than it really is. Not actually a “Spaghetti Western” as this was a Spanish production, this movie severely lacks a budget and direction. It definitely feels and looks different from your standard Spaghetti Western and weirdly, the copy I have is 4×3 – I find most Spaghetti Westerns are shot in widescreen. On Shatner: I like William Shatner, but his Comanche “war cry” is one of the most pathetic things I have ever heard – he sounds somewhere between a small dog that had a paw stepped on and a deranged bird.  

Is this a good movie? Oh, HELL no. Should you watch it? Well, that’s a different matter all together. Honestly, I am glad I watched it just to see such a ridiculous Shatner movie.

I can’t seem to find a trailer, but apparently this movie is now public domain, so here is an entire copy of the movie for you to stream if you are a masochist!

White Comanche (Entire Movie)


A Fist Full of Dollars (1964)–A Man With No Name Brings the Spaghetti Western to The Masses

A_Fistful_of_Dollars_posterSergio Leone’s 1964 movie, A Fist Full of Dollars, took a little known American TV actor, put him in the roll of a Man With No Name, and propelled him to stardom as well as taking a waning genre, the Western, and with a twist, giving it a new lease on life. That actor? Clint Eastwood.

Joe, or “The Man With No Name, played by the then up and coming Clint Eastwood, arrives the the tiny Mexican town of San Miguel. Quickly proving himself quiet and a loner, and more importantly a really quick draw. Soon he realizes that there are two factions, the Rojo Brothers and the family of the town’s sheriff, John Baxter, both fighting for control of the town. Seeing an opportunity for profit, he works at getting the two sides to fight each other.

Witnessing a massacre of Mexican Soldiers by Rojo’s men, dressed as American Soldiers, Joe takes two of the bodies, planting them at at the local cemetery and sells information to both sides – both groups rush to the cemetery – one side to get information, the other side to silence the information before it gets out. Soon we can add kidnapping and murder to the pile of crimes both sides commit. Joe, or The Man With No Name eventually let’s his own motives shine through…

This movie is actually a retelling of the Japanese classic, Yojimbo by Akira Kurosawa and it is a wonderful, dark film that should be watched and watched often. This is the first of three “Dollars” or “Man With No Name” films to be released. The other two being For a Few Dollars More and the pinnacle of the Spaghetti Western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. All three are amazing testaments to the genre and deserve their places in the annals of movie history. Watch them soon and watch them often.

Check out the trailer below:


Beyond The Law (1968) – A Coolness Only Lee Van Cleef Could Deliver (Entire Movie at Bottom of Post)

BYTL1968’s Beyond the Law is far from a perfect movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an entertaining movie, because it is in deed that.

One of countless Spaghetti Westerns that surfaced in the 60’s and early 70’s, you might not even know this one existed – I didn’t, until recently, that is. You see, about a year ago I purchased a DVD set, titled. “Spaghetti Westerns” that is chock full of Western goodness (and badness to be honest). It’s a five disc set that includes 20 movies – Beyond the Law was one of them.

Beyond the Law tells the story of a group of bandits that dupe a mining company of the cash it is having delivered to pay the wages of the miners. Through deception, the actual crooks look like heroes, and are actually asked to help out. The brains of the unit, Billy Joe Cudlip (played by Lee Van Cleef), befriends Ben Novack (played by Antonio Sabato), at first pitying him and then gaining respect for his abilities as the movie goes on. Soon Culdip and his gang is helping protect the mining operation from a gang, controlled by the villain, Burton (played by one time muscle man turned actor, Gordon Mitchell).

Gaining respect, Culdip is asked to become the new Sheriff, kind of ironic…really. He takes the position, much to the chagrin of the members of his small band of thieves, especially when they realize that he might just be taking the job seriously.

As noted at the beginning of this post, this is far from being a perfect film, but Lee Van Cleef raises it up and makes it entertaining. Also, the theme song is simply amazing. If you already like Spaghetti Westerns, then this one will be okay – If you are on the fence about the genre, then maybe leave this one be and try something like a Fist Full of Dollars or God’s Gun.

Here is the trailer:

 

And, for as long as it lasts, here is a link to the whole movie (let me know if it stops working):


Django (1966)–Violently Awesome (Spoiler Alert)

django

The other night I watched the classic Lee Van Cleef Spaghetti Western, Death Rides a Horse, which left me a taste for more Spaghetti Westerns, so last night I watched the 1966 classic, Django.

It was a good choice.

Staring the ice blue eyed Franco Nero as Django, a coffin dragging drifter who seeks revenge for the death of his wife at the hands of KKK leader and ex military man, Major Jackson.

The film opens with Django rescuing the attractive, Maria (played by Loredana Nusciak), a prostitute, from Major Jackson’s men who had just killed a group of Mexicans that were in the process of whipping her for trying to escape from them.  Jackson’s men were going to burn her alive for going with the Mexicans in the first place.

Soon Django finds himself the target of Major Jackson, though Major Jackson does not know who he is dealing with. A series of confrontations between Django and Jackson’s men leaves Jackson’s forces seriously depleted, as Django turns out to be one bad ass. The depletion of Jackson’s men leaves an opening for a former Mexican General to move in on Jackson’s turf. It is soon revealed that Django and the General are old friends, Django apparently having saved the General’s life while they were both in prison together. Together they hatch a plot to raid a Mexican fort that holds a large amount of gold. The plan being that after the heist Django and the General are to split the gold. When the General delays giving Django his share, Django decides to take it all. Leaving with Maria and the gold, something soon goes wrong and the gold is lost. Soon the General and his band of men catch up to them. Taking into account that Django had saved him in the past, the General spares Django his life, but has one of his men smash his hands into bloody pulp. That should stop him… right? No freakin’ way, as this is Django and he has a mission. Taking Maria back to town, he tells the bar/hotel/brothel keeper to hide her from Major Jackson, and to tell Jackson that he is waiting for him at the cemetery. Since Django’s hands are a mess, he bites off the trigger guard from his pistol and waits for the Major. Once the Major arrives, he starts hurling threats at Django, and shooting at him – teasing him with shots that just graze him. Thinking Django is defenseless, the Major is careless… and that is a deadly mistake. I’m not 100% of what the symbolism means, but with the help of an iron cross (no, not the German military medal) on a tombstone, Django finally extracts his vengeance on the man responsible for the death of his wife.

Wow… This move is a violent festival of death. When it was released in 1966, it was considered possible the most violent film released. Heck, the U.K. didn’t allow it to be released until 1994!

If you like Spaghetti Westerns, then this one is a must watch, right up there with For a Few Dollars more.

Here is the trailer:

And here is a great interview with Franco Nero on the Making of Django:


Death Rides a Horse (1967)–Spaghetti Western Wonderfulness

DRHIn the 1960s there was an explosion of Westerns made in Italy by Italian film makers. These were dubbed “Spaghetti Westerns” and are/were the Western equivalent of Grindhouse films, and while most of these movies were pretty damned bad, occasionally one would actually turn out to be a good movie – 1967’s Death Rides a Horse is one of those good ones.

Starring John Phillip Law as Bill Meceita, a man seeking revenge on the bandits that he witnessed killing his family when  he was a young. The only evidence he was able to gather, as a boy. was a single, unique spur that one of the murdering bastards left behind. Years later a recently released convict, Ryan, played the always great, flinty eyed Lee Van Cleef, kills two men in self defense that were sent to kill him. The Sherriff noticed that one of the dead men was wearing spurs that exactly match the one that had been left at the scene on the Meceita family massacre so many years before. The sheriff informs Bill, and tells him the name of the stranger, Ryan thinking that perhaps Ryan can help lead him to the men who killed his family.

When Bill catches up to Ryan, he finds him sympathetic but not willing to help, as he has a large amount of money owed to him by the same bastards that killed Ryan’s family, and if Bill kills them, Ryan can’t collect. Leaving Bill temporarily stranded (in order to gain a head start), but not defenseless. Of course this only works for a bit as Bill is extremely motivated to get these guys. Ryan is looking at collecting $15,000 from each member of this gang, as he spent 15 years in prison for something they ALL took part in. Bill, killing these guys, makes it harder and harder to collect. Add to this a sub plot where one of these banditos is now a town official, promising to improve the lives of the town folks, but actually planning on taking off with all the town’s money, in a faked heist, and making it look like Ryan is part of it. Bill comes to Ryan’s aid, and for the rest of the movie they work together as a team. An interesting twist near the end makes the relationship between Bill and Ryan even more twisted. Add in some great shootouts and you have this film.

This is a long movie, and the conversion from film to digital (at least the version I have), is very crapilly done. There are bit where you can tell a few seconds of film are just missing. It’s dirty and very low resolution. Some of the actors voices are very obviously dubbed (hey, most of them were bit part Italian actors working for very little money) and not particularly great thespians. Even so, this movie oozes cool, especially with an awesome soundtrack from the amazing Ennio Morricone I absolutely enjoyed every second of this film and most likely will go on a minor Spaghetti Western binge.

And… we’re in luck folks: Not only is this movie available for really cheap on almost countless cheap bin DVD compilations, it’s also available for streaming for free (for now at least).

Check out the trailer below and the entire move below that (please let me know if the link is broken):

 

Death Rides a Horse (1967) – Trailer

 

Death Rides a Horse (1967) – The Entire Movie


Hansel and Gretel Get Baked (2013)–From Out of Nowhere Comes a Surprisingly Entertaining Retold Tale

HGBakedWell, I have to say that when this movie popped up on the list of titles that Netflix recommends me to watch, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. Then yesterday afternoon I received an email from a reader of the blog strongly suggesting that I watch it, saying that they were surprised at just how fun the movie was. Grudgingly, I decided to watch it for myself – And I am glad I did.

Hansel and Gretel Get Baked (HGGB) is a 2013 release that I am guessing was released to ride on what could have been the wave of a bigger budget Hansel and Gretel movie that seems to have actually fizzled – that’s okay though, as this movie is fun in it’s own right.

HGGB tells the modernized tale of a brother and sister duo, Hansel and Gretel, who go off on a quest to save Gretel’s stoner boyfriend who disappeared after going to get some more killer “Black Forrest” pot from a little old lady who has gained notoriety from the incredible quality of the weed she is selling. Turns out the little old lady, Agnes (and played quite well by Lara Flynn Boyle), is actually a Witch that uses the weed to lure teens to her home where she capture a select few to harvest their youthful essence, restoring her youth, and also uses their bodies as mulch to help produce the high quality pot.

The movie was much better than I expected with good production quality, plenty of gore and half decent acting – way more than I would expect from something with a title like this. I have to say I was actually pleasantly surprised at just how good this movie really is. Sure, it’s pot humour, but it’s also a horror and a comedy – watch this one folks!

Here’s the trailer:


Piranha (1995)–Just How Many Remakes of Piranha Are There?!?!

PiranhaSo I found my self with a little extra time on my hands and decided to watch the 1995 version of the Rodger Corman classic, Piranha. Now, you might be thinking that you read one, no two reviews of Piranha on this blog already. You’re right, and now here’s a third.

This 1995 release has a new story (mostly) and new actors but reuses the actual piranha attack clips from the original 1978 release – Hey, it’s good to recycle, right?.

Like all Piranha movies, the fish are accidentally released into a river or lake (river that dumps into a mam made lake this time), and a few good people have to convince some bad people to cancel an even that takes place at a beach. And like all other Piranha movies, the bad people refuse to believe them until it’s too late.

There really isn’t anything in this version that screams must watch, though it is fun. One little tidbit: the young daughter of the main character, Paul Grogan (played by William Katt of The Greatest American Hero), is played by a very young Mila Kunis. I did not know this while watching the movie, and despite not having a lot of lines, I was thinking that this child actor is the only one in the whole movie that seems believable. Looking up the cast after I was done watching is when I found out it was Mila – good job!

So, to summarize: This version of Piranha doesn’t bring anything new to the table an early performance by Mila Kunis), but it is fun nonetheless,and if you like these B-Movies then this one is as good as most and might bring a smile on a boring afternoon.

Check out the trailer below, and below that a link to the entire movie, for as long as that works (please let me know if the link is dead!):

 

Here’s the whole movie on Youtube:


Jeepers Creepers (2001)–Cyclical Demon In The Crops

Jeepers_Creepers2001’s Jeepers Creepers is a movie that I’ve meant to watch several times over the years, this weekend, I finally got around to it.

Starring Gina Philips and Justin Long as Patricia and Darius (Darry) Jenner, sister and brother are driving back home through the country after spring break. Along the way they are victims of a strange road rage like incident with a very large, armoured, almost steam punk like vehicle that tries to run them down, scaring the hell out of both of them. Later they witness a dark figure loading something body shaped from the back of the vehicle that had just shortly been trying to kill them,into a large ground pipe next to a church. Well because stupid movie characters do stupid movie character things, Darry decides that they should go back to see just what was going on back there at the church. Finding the evil vehicle gone, Darry and his sister look down the big pipe but it’s too dark to see anything. Being stupid, Darry insists on climbing down the pipe to see what’s going on… Yeah, bad idea, right? So he gets stuck in a room below ground…like a part of the Church’s cellar only accessible by this pipe. Oh, and the room is full of corpses of varying ages, all missing some part, but all weirdly well preserved.

Okay, that’s how the movie starts, and I know I paint it as lame, but it was actually quite a good start to a film that was better than I expected it to be. The creature in this film is some supernatural beast, or demon, perhaps, that is active every 23 three years, for just 23 days. During that time it feeds on people, choosing them by the way they smell when they experience fear. Apparently  some people smell/taste better than others to evil demons. The title of the movie comes from the fact that it’s victims hear the song, Jeepers Creepers” shortly before it kills them. Weird, but interesting idea. The film’s creator’s did a good job creating a cool, intimidating and scary supernatural style monster and wrapped a movie around it that’s good enough not to suck – and that’s not an easy thing to do. I have to say that this is actually a fun horror movie. Sure, it’s not perfect, and right off the bat I was hoping something bad would come to Justin Long’s character, but over all it was entertaining, fun and not a copy of everything that’s gone before it. I guess I really should have watched this quite some time ago. I definitely recommend it if you enjoy horror and haven’t seen it yet.

Check out the trailer below: