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Tarantino Week–Movie 4–Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp_Fiction_cover1994’s epic movie, Pulp Fiction, is a crazy, head spinning movie that just doesn’t give you a chance to take a breath. Like almost all Tarantino movies, it has a cast that is virtually a who’ who of Hollywood (as of 1994).

Pulp Fiction is a homage to the crazy B-Movies of the 60’s and 70’s, right down to the out of order timeline of events in the film. You’ve got a couple of thugs, or muscle for a Mobster by the name of Marcel, Vincent Vega (John Travolta), and Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jackson), who among other jobs, are sent to collect a briefcase with…something in it, from some young guys, who apparently believe Marcel is a bitch (watch the movie…). Things go wrong and things get messy.

We also have a sub story about a boxer, Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), who’s been paid heavily by none other than non-bitch Marcel, to take a dive in his upcoming fight.. yeah, things go wrong, and Butch and his weird and annoying French girlfriend are on the run.  Later, Butch and Marcel end up captives to some hillbilly homosexual sadist rapists. Things get crazy again. Release the Gimp. and in another segment, Butch surprises Vincent… with deadly results.

We also have Vincent, charged with keeping Marcel’s wife, Mia (Uma Thurman), entertained while Marcel is away. The two end up at a cool, over the top, 50’s style diner. There’s some talk of a $5 milk shake and a great dance off… and then later, back at Marcel’s and Mia’s things get crazy, Mia ends up almost dead, rushed to Vincent’s heroin dealer’s house with a syringe of adrenalin sticking out of her chest.

Somewhere in the middle, a crazy criminal couple (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer) decide they want to rob the restaurant where Vincent and Jules are chilling out in. Things get intese this time, with Jules and holding a gun to Roth’s neck and explaining the deal to him…

Damn this movie is cool – awesome and out of sight. Some people (my wonderful wife included), do not like the fact that the story line is not linear, but I think that’s part of what makes the movie as great as it is. Should you watch this film? Yes, many times.

Check out the trailer below:


Tarantino Week–Movie 3: True Romance (1993)

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True Romance is a crazy, wild ride of a movie. Written by Quentin Tarantino, and starring Christian Slater as Clarence Worley and Patricia Arquette as Alabama Whitman, a young couple who meet at a Sonny Chiba triple play at a theatre in Detroit. They hit off real good, have dinner and then both end up at Clarence’s apartment, having sex. Alabama then admits she’s a hooker hired by his boss, to help him blow off some steam. She also admits that she’s managed to fall in love with him over the course of the evening.  This is fortunate, as apparently Clarence has fallen in love with her also. Having known each other for a whole night, they do the logical thing and get married. Now Clarence has to deal with Alabama’s Pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman). What confronting the pimp, and after a ruckus, and a visit from Clarence’s muse/alter ego/imaginary friend in his head, Drexl ends up dead, and Clarence accidentally ends up with a suitcase full of cocaine. The newly webs hatch a plan to sell the cocaine and restart their lives somewhere warm… Well, the coke was the Mobs, and soon the two are being tracked down by some unsavoury characters, one being the always awesome Christopher Walken as gangster Vincenzo Coccotti. Before the duo leave Detroit for California, they stop by Clarence’s estranged fathers, a police officer by the name of Clifford, played by Dennis Hopper a Detroit police officer, to find out what the police believe the motive for Drexl’s murder. After they leave, Coccotti and his crew end up at Cliffords to drill him on the location of Clarence and Alabama… A great exchange between two great actors happens…only one survives.

Off to Cali, the dynamic duo meet up with an old friends of Clarence, who begrudgingly agrees to help him sell the cocaine to a director he kind of knows, using a go between, played by Bronson Pinchot. Things go wrong, cops get involved, a meeting happend and everything goes to crap…

This movie is crazy and cool – crazy cool? Yeah. Unlike the Kill Bill movies (and the others I will be reviewing), this is written by Tarantino, but directed by Tony Scott, and therefore has a different feeling than Tanatino directed films – but don’t think that is a bad thing, it’s just different. This is a great film and deserves to be watched.

Check out the trailer:


Tarantino Week–Movie 2: Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)

Kill_bill_vol_two_verWhen we finished Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 movie, Kill Bill Volume 1, Bill (played by  David Caradine) was still alive… This pretty much guaranteed us a Volume 2.

Volume 2, released in early 2004, opens with a flash beck to Bill shooting Uma Thurman’s character, The Bride, and leaving her, presumably, for dead on the floor of a small church. Then we see The Bride herself, driving, recounting what happened in Volume 1, and then calmly letting us know that she is going to kill Bill. Soon we see Bill, speaking to his brother,Budd (played by Michael Madsen), himself a former Deadly Viper, warning him that The Bride is most likely on her way to kill him. Budd, who now spends his time working as a bouncer in a titty bar, explains that they all deserve any kind of vengeance that the Bride may bestow upon them, for what they did to her. Later, The Bride, expecting to ambush Budd, end up on the wrong side of a 12 gauge shotgun packed full of rock salt. Incapacitated, Budd buries her alive, in a cemetery, and calls fellow Viper, Elle Driver (played by Daryl Hannah), bragging of his deed, and offering up The Bride’s Hanzo sword to her for a cool million dollars – an offer she snaps at. Meanwhile, we flashback to The Bride…who flashes back to her martial arts training at the hands of a merciless master by the name of Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). We see a young Bride as she develops her techniques through repetition and the seeming heartlessness of her master. Eventually it is obvious that she has won his respect. Now we flashback to the present, with the Bride using one of the many techniques taught to her by Pai Mei to escape. Meanwhile, back at Budd’s trailer, Elle has shown up to get the sword. Providing Budd a suitcase full of cash (a million dollars, I presume), she inspects the weapon while Budd starts grabbing handfuls of cash out of the suitcase… Only to find a surprise – a deadly surprise, waits for him in all that cash. Now with Budd out of the way, The Bride has made her way back to Budd’s place to find Elle – which is good, because she too was on the Bride’s list of those that have to die… A great sword fight breaks out, and along the way we discover that Elle, who also was sent to learn under Pai Mei, had killed the old master by poisoning his meal. We also lean that the Master had plucked one of Ell’s eyes out during her training for being insubordinate to the old man. Enrages, The Bride takes instant justice by relieving Elle of her remaining eye…

Now on to Bill… The Bride, now referred to as Beatrix, has tracked Bill to Mexico. Meeting an elderly, dirt bag of a gentleman by the name of Esteban Vihaio, who tells her Bill’s location, because he believes Bill would want him to. Making it to Bill’s, she receives a shocks when she discovers some interesting personal info…and a dart of truth serum to the neck. More flashbacks and some serious talking, and then battle… awesome battle.

You know the name of the movies, so you figure out what the outcome is (watch the movies if you haven’t already).  These two movies were meant to be released as a single movie, but the run time would be over 4 hours so they were broken into two. Watch both back to back for the original intended experience, The Kill Bill movies are fantastic and you should watch them.

Check out the trailer below:


Tarantino Week–Movie 1: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

barneymiller-29-2cQuentin Tarantino’s 2003 movie, Kill Bill Volume 1 tells the story of “The Bride” (played by Uma Thurman), a former member of an assassination team known as the Deadly Vipers, and her journey of revenge against her former fellow assassins, and Bill, her former master and leader of the Deadly Vipers, for attacking and massacring her wedding party and leaving her for dead during a wedding rehearsal.

Thurman’s character, in this iteration of the Kill Bill Saga is known simply as the Bride. Waking from a coma, four years after Bill left her for dead on the floor of a church, he Bride takes little time to start her path of vengeance… starting right there in the hospital,taking out the redneck that paid a greaseball orderly to have sex with her… Oh, and she takes out that orderly, quickly. also… and takes off with his ridiculous, bright yellow truck, labeled “The Pussy Wagon”. First stop. after the killing in the hospital is to the home of Vernita Green (played by Vivica A. Fox). The two do epic battle with a short break in the middle when Vernita’s young daughter comes home. Soon the action restarts, and ends with The Bride heading to her next destination/victim, O-Ren Ishii (played by Lucy Liu), a former Viper and now leader of a consortium of Yakuza families. A flashback shows us just how she won the respect and fear of the male dominated Yakuza families. When The Bride shows up in Japan, she defeats what seems to be an almost endless number of minions, known as the Crazy 88s. The scene ends with a very stylistically shot scene with The Bride and Oren in a samurai sword battle. Pretty evenly matched… but you know who is going to win, and she does so in a spectacular fashion. Upon leaving, she leaves one former member of the Deadly Vipers alive: Sophie Fatale, (played by Julie Dreyfus), is left alive, albeit minus one arm, to send the message that The Bride is coming for him. Mixed up in the story ids a sub story, where the Bride travels to the island of Okinawa, and convinces the esteemed, but now retired sword smith, Hattori Hanzō (played by the awesome Sonny Chiba), to craft her a samurai sword. At first he declines… that is until she tells him the sword is to be used to Kill Bill. Now he’s in…
Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a little disjointed. Like Tarantino’s other masterpiece, Pulp Fiction, it has a disjointed timeline – the scenes are just not in linear order. I believe this may be in homage to the cheezy B-Movies of the past where projectionists would sometimes play the reels out of order, either due to mis-labeling or just carelessness. Either way, I like it.

Watch Kill Bill Volume 1… and if you’ve seen it, watch it again.

Check out the trailer below:


Another Great Movie Deal: Die Hard 25th Anniversary BLU-RAY Collection For $20!

S I was walking though the Blu-Ray section at my local Wal-Mart when I found the Die Hard 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray  Collection. It includes Die Hard (1988), Die Hard 2 – Die Harder (1990) ,  Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995) and Live Free Or Die Hard (2007). All these awesome action movies in one cooly designed set with an added disc of extras…. all for $20! These are good action (and Christmas), movies and this is a good addition to one’s BLU-RAY collection.

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Tarantino Week–7 Days of Awesome

After a suggestion from my friend that normally watches these movies with suggested we do a Tarantino week…

Well, we are doing just that.


Tank Girl (1995)–Tank Girl, You Rock My Movie Watching World

Tank_girl_posterOh my… why has it taken so long for me to watch Tank Girl?

So, I remember when this movie first came out back in the day and thinking “that looks like crap” and never bothering to watch it. Well this week my movie watching buddy suggested we watch it, and while not totally enthused, I agreed. I’m glad I did.

Tank Girl is a 1995 post apocalypse Sci-Fi movie based on a comic of the same name. Taking place in the year 2033, 11 years after a comet hit the Earth devastating the environment. One large, evil company, Water and Power (WP) controls the World’s water supply. They are run by the equally evil Kesslee (played very well by Malcolm McDowell. Rebecca, (Tank Girl, played by Lori Petty) is a crazy ass resistance member that survive off of water they extract themselves – something very much against WP’s company policy. In a raid, most of Tank Girl’s compatriots are killed, while her young friend, Sam (Stacy Linn Ramsower), is captured. After managing on killing a good number of WP’s men, Tank Girl is also taken into captivity. Impressed by her ability to kill so many of his top men, Kesslee offer’s her a job. Refusing, Kesslee put her through a series of tortures in order to break her will… Good luck with that.

When not being tortured, she is forced to work gruelling shifts for WP. There she meets Jet Girl (played by Naomi Watts), a girl with talent, butt very timid. They get to know each other when Tank Girl saves Jet Girl from the advances of a guard. Eventually Tank Girl escapes (with a tank – go figure), and goes off to look for her friend Sam (now forced into servitude at a brothel). Along the way she meets he Rippers – mutant humanoids (and something else – watch the movie to figure that out) that fight WP at every step. Eventually Tank Girl gains the trust of the Rippers (who are actually quite civilized in their own way), and she and the Rippers take on WP. Pretty vague description… but that is on purpose.

Tank Girl successfully combines action, Science Fiction and comedy all together into a goulash  of awesomeness that I completely did not expect. This movie had my attention from the beginning, and while completely weird, is also completely awesome. I heartily suggest you watch this crazy movie.

Check out the trailer below:


R.I.P.D. (2013) – Crazy, Silly Afterlife Cop Fun

R.I.P.D._PosterI recently watched the new release, R.I.P.D. and was pleasantly surprised. Starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds as two deceased policemen, now working as cops in the afterlife, rounding up te\he Dead that just refuse to leave the living world.

Ryan Reynolds’s character, Nick, was partnered with Hayes (played by Kevin Bacon), two cops in the living world. The two of them are well meaning but slightly crooked cops. When Nick decides it’s time to stop being crooked, Hayes decides maybe it’s time for Nick to go on to the other side. Once their Nick finds himself in front of Proctor, a police woman (or administrator) played by the always great Mary-Louise Parker, who informs him he has two choices: work as a cop in the afterlife, rounding up badies that refuse to go on to the nether world, or take his chance with judgement…after being a borderline bad cop. Deciding to take the role of a cop in R.I.P.D. He is partnered up with Roy, a cop that got his start as a Marshal in the Wild West, who has some serious issues with the way he died… and some seriously funny stories about what happened shortly after his death… Damned coyotes. The two decide to investigate the fact that the “Deadies” (the dead that won’t leave the living world), are ramping up activity and gathering some weird chunks of gold. Turns out there’s a bid plan that they are trying to hatch that will change the world as we and they know it. Of course, Hayes plays a hand in this too – he’s much more bad than we first thought (well, kinda – you kind’ know he’s dirt bag).

This is a fun movie with lots of great looking “monsters” and story that made me laugh. Silly, yes, but completely fun. Watch this movie if you want a good laugh. I especially enjoyed the interesting relationship between Roy and Proctor, as well as James Hong running around with a banana (don’t worry: that sentence will make sense once you watch the movie).

Check out the trailer below:


Star Trek Movie III – The Search for Spock (1984)–No Wrath of Khan, But Better than I Remembered

search_for_spockFollowing the awesome Wrath of Khan, 1984’s, the Search For Spock, had a lot to live up to…and didn’t quite reach those lofty goals. Still, after re-watching it for the first time in 25+ years, I have to say that it is better than I remembered.

If you haven’t watched Wrath of Khan then beware, as there will be spoilers, but hell, the movie’s been out for 31 years so tough.

So, in the Wrath of Khan the movie ends with Spock, dead…kind of. They shoot his body off to the newly formed Genesis planet. Soon, McCoy starts acting weird, acting like he’s Spock or something. At the same time, there are some weird things going on on the newly formed Genesis planet, as well as new frictions between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. The Genesis planet, declared off limits to all, holds the key to resurrecting Spock and the crew of the Enterprise needs to get there… They steal Enterprise and head off to the planet. They run into a Klingon Bird of Prey, ready to kick the Enterprise’s ass. A quick battle, a ruse and the death of someone special to Kirk and then a switch-a-roo and the crew of the now wasted enterprise take off in a newly stolen Bird of Prey with a new passenger, (come on, you know the name of the damned movie), a trip to Vulcan and some Psychic surgery.

So, by some considered a crappy Trek movie, and I too used to think this, but after re-watching I have to say it is better than I remember. Also, the great Christopher Lloyd (remember Jim Ignatowski of Taxi or "Doc" Brown from the Back to the Future movies), makes a great Klingon Captain. So, don’t watch this movie expecting greatness, but to be fair I believe it’s not nearly as bad as some think it is. Also – don’t watch this movie as a stand alone movie – watch it if you are going through the movies.

Check out the trailer below:


Star Trek Movie #2: The Wrath of Khan (1982)–More Than Making Up For The First Movie

wrathofkhanOkay, after Star Trek – The Motion Picture, I believe that hopes for the second Trek movie, The Wrath of Khan were a little muted: who wants to set themselves up for disappointment. Well, little did we (Star Trek fans), know that we were in for a treat.

Wrath of Khan, the second movie in the Star Trek series of movies, revisits an episode from the original series, “Space Seed” where the enterprise encounters an ancient ship containing the cryogenically frozen bodies of a group of genetically enhanced “Supermen,” banished from Earth in the late 1990s for their crimes against humanity. Doctor McCoy revives the survivors. The e leader of the group of exiled people, Khan Noonien Singh, is a most charming man, and soon attempts to capture Kirk’s ship. Failing, Khan and his crew are exiled to a garden Planet, Ceti Alpha V.

In Wrath of Khan, Khan is encountered accidentally when original series character, Chekov (played by Walter Koenig) beams down with his current captain, Clark Terrell (Paul Winfield) of the  USS Reliant, to a planet they believe is Ceti Alpha 6, to investigate some life readings on a planet they believed to be uninhabited. The planet itself was being investigated as a possible test bed for the Genesis device – a device that can transform a dead world into a thriving, living world in almost no time. Shortly after arriving on the planet, Chekov discovers that they are on the scene of what is left of the Botany Bay – the ship,minus the drive components, that was used to exile Khan and his crew years ago. Soon they encounter Khan, who explains that they are actually on Ceti Alpha V, and that Ceti Alpha VI exploded shortly after their being exiled, and that the planet was forced from it’s orbit and had been changed from a garden to the inhospitable wreck that it is now. Khan, finding out that Kirk is still alive, has decided to exact revenge on him for the marooning (and subsequent deaths of many of his original  crew), by taking the Reliant and fooling him into a trap. There is some really good space ship to space ship combat. Actually, some of best space combat that I’ve ever seen. You also get to learn a little bit more about Captain Kirk’s life… I won’t tell you anything about that in case there’s a chance you haven’t seen this movie yet.  Oh My Gawd…. This movie has it all for a Sci-Fi fan: the acting is better than almost any Trek story, and Khan, played by the late, great Ricardo Montalbán, revising his role from the Original series episode is deliciously over the top. The humour that was missing from the first film is here, and there are some pretty emotional scenes, too. The movie is pretty deep for a Sci-Fi film. Another thing that stands out to me at least, is the orchestral score during the space battles- really awesome stuff. This movie is just good. This is the Star Trek movie I play for friends who don’t understand why I like Star Trek.

If you’ve never watched this film, you should, and if you have why not watch it again. Check out the trailer below:


Star Trek Movie #1 – The Motion Picture (1979) – Like A Super Model: Very Pretty But Quite Vacant

1As mentioned in a previous post, I am a fan of Star Trek. I have been a fan since a very small child and I am not ashamed to say that. As a kid I just loved the whole Star Trek universe. I watched the show (in syndication – I’m not quite that old), and had a few of the cool toys. When they announced that a Star Trek movie was coming out I almost lost it, in that way only a nine year old can. After watching the movie, I don’t remember being disappointed,  though I do remember being slightly underwhelmed.

Star Trek fans had been waiting for quite a while to see their favourite characters on ANY screen in a new adventure. When Star Trek – The Motion Picture was released, we were ecstatic. It’s just too bad that much of what made Star Trek the fun adventure it was, was missing – the humour. Oh they had the original cast, and a newly rejuvenated Enterprise, but the whole movie was just too antiseptic… too clean. The plot has the crew of the Enterprise rushing to save the Earth from a massive machine based probe that is leaving a path of destruction in it’s wake. A seemingly alien machine with an interesting Earthly origin. There were some big concepts, that make for a good sci-fi movie…just not a great Star Trek movie. I find that there is also a lot of filler: shots of the new Enterprise that go on forever – or as I like to call it: Nerd Porn. Oh: and I think the Uniforms in this movie are the worse Star Fleet uniforms in any Trek show or movie.

I will say one thing for this movie, though: it looks fantastic. This movie was and is (in my opinion), visually stunning.

Don’t get me wrong, as a Sci-Fi and Star Trek fan, I still watch this film once in a while, as it is Star Trek and it is a good looking movie… But It’s just not that great.

Check out the trailer below, and if you are a Star Trek fan (or am interested in the Star Trek movies), I still say watch this… But don’t expect too much.

Check out the trailer below and stay tuned for a review of the best Trek movie.


Westworld (1973)–When Will Mankind Learn That Robots Always Go Rogue and Destroy Their Human Keepers?

WestworldImagine a time when you you can vacation as a gunslinger in the Wild-West, or as a Roman citizen. Imagine being able to indulge in all the vices that a certain age was known for. Want to shoot a man for cheating at cards? Go ahead. Want to take part in a huge Roman orgy in the Emperor’s palace? No problem. Well, the movie 1973 classic Science- Fiction movie, Westworld, takes us to a future where all this and more is possible through the use of complex, very human like robots (well, Androids to be more accurate).

Starring James Brolin and Richard Benjamin as two friends, John Blane and Peter Martin, who have decided to vacation at the Delos Amusement park. For $1000 a day each, they will live as if they are in the Wildwest in Delos’ Westworld, the wild west recreation. John, having been here before, is showing Peter the ropes as he is not convinced of the authenticity or value of the Delos park. Soon Peter is engaging in a shootout in a western bar with an intimidating Gunslinger, dressed all in black and played by the naturally menacing Yul Brenner. Quickly dispatching the gunslinging android, Peter starts getting an feel for the place, though it does take some convincing to make sure he knows he didn’t actually kill a human. An amorous encounter with a female ‘droid later further cements Peter’s buy in to Westworld. Occasionally we see the people overseeing the operations of the park. We hear of little malfunctions here and there, minor at first, but increasing in severity. One of the main operators argues for shutting down the park until the issues are corrected, but is voted down. Eventually the issues become so severe that the safety of the park’s guest is in danger – and eventually people start being killed. Sh… Stuff has hit the fan.

This is a great example of Science Fiction that is smartly written – in fact it’s written and directed by the great Michael Crichton. The movie isn’t perfect, but it is good. One warning: there are quite a few “Porn-stache” moustaches in this movie! lol.

Check out the trailer below, and then head out to your local seller of DVDs/Blu-Rays and get yourself a copy of this Sci-Fi masterpiece.


The Star Trek Movies–My Next Project

Hello hello hello!

1So, after recently re-watching the second movie of the Star Trek reboot, Star Trek – Into Darkness, I have decided to revisit the Star Trek Movie Franchise and with up the experience. If you are a fan of the Star Trek universe, and are actually honest to yourself, then you know that there are many bad movies in this series (and of course a few good ones, also).

I am going to review (or whatever we call what I do here on this site) at least the first Trek films (the original series films), and perhaps film seven, Generations as it combines (poorly) The Original Series and The Next Generation. Who knows: I may continue through the entire catalogue of Trek Films… Time will tell.

I am a huge fan of Star Trek, but I am very aware that some of these films are real turkeys, but I am also of the opinion some are not just good Star Trek movies, but good Sci-Fi movies in general. I will try to be fair2 – I hope you enjoy – Keep watching!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harold’s Going Stiff (2011)–A Fun, Fresh Zombie Film of Sorts

hgsHarold’s Going Stiff popped up as a suggested watch. I had not heard about the film before last night, and boy was I pleasantly surprised.

Harold’s Gone Stiff is filmed in a documentary style and follows the progress of Harold, the earliest known sufferer of a disease, called Early Rigor that mimics a Zombie outbreak. Harold is getting physical therapy from a nurse, Penny. The film shows Harold’s progress, fighting the stiffening that happens with this disease, It also follows the evolving relationship, from a working to a friendship, between Harold and Penny. Along with there story, we are also shown a small group of three friends, one who is himself suffering from early onset of the Rigor disease, and their hunting of victims of said disease.

Harold’s Going Stiff does something that is rare: it shows the Zombies as victims of a terrible disease. I found myself feeling for the Zombies, and loathing the group of zombie killers. And the movie also creates a touching feeling regarding Penny and Harold. This can’t be easy to do with a subject matter like this,but in my opinion the film makers succeed. If you’ve seen the movie, American Zombie, you might see a bit of a resemblance in the fact that both are pseudo-documentaries, painting the Zombies as people who are sick. Both movies are good, but I liked this one better.

Do yourself a favour and watch this movie. Check out the trailer below:


Freaked (1993)–Awesome Movie–Why Haven’t I Heard of It Before Now?

freakedWell, this movie was a surprise. Coming out in 1993 and having a pretty damned big cast, I have no idea as to why I’ve never heard of it up until last week.

1993’s Freaked stars William Sadler as Dick Brian, a former child star that, along with a group of compatriots, are turned into mutant freaks by mad scientist/Showman Elijah C. Scruggs (played very well by Randy Quaid), and held captive, along with his other victims turned performers for his own Freak Show. Of course i’s up to them to plot an escape, which leads to a whole new bunch of excitement. Retelling the tale of the incident that left him horribly disfigured and ended his acting career on a daytime talk show hosted by the vacuous Skye Daily (played by Brooke Shields), while in shadow (presumable to hide his horrible disfigurement), the movie is shot as a flashback, and occasionally returning to the present either for a dumb, but funny comment from Skye, or a silly commercial. Quaid’s Scruggs is an awesomely over the top character, and his stable of freaks is truly impressive. I especially enjoyed Mr. T as the Bearded Lady! Special effect makeups are fantastic and completely over the top. The film combines horror with humour very successfully, something that isn’t easy to do.

A silly film that deserves your attention, I heartily suggest this as a watch.

Check out the trailer below:


From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)–I Used To Hate This Movie–I was Wrong

fromdusktilldawnI watched this movie in the theatre back in ‘96 when it first came out and I remember just hating this movie. Hell, for years I would tell people just how bad I thought this movie was. Yep, I couldn’t stand it. I re-watched it last night and realize I was wrong to hate it – This is a great movie.

Essentially a Vampire movie, with a lot of little twists and turns, From Dusk Till Dawn has a great cast. Starring George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino as two brothers, Seth and Richard Gecko, on the lam and heading for Mexico after Richard broke Seth out of jail, and left a trail of bodies in their wake. Harvey Keitel stars as Jacob Fuller, a Pastor that has lost his faith after the death of his beloved wife. Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu play his children, Kate and Scott Fuller. The Fuller’s are on a vacation, driving in their motorhome, when they are commandeered by the Gecko Brothers and forced to smuggle them into Mexico, where the Gecko’s are preparing to start a new life away from the authorities, after meeting up with a contact at a pre-arranged meeting place: a raucous bar named the Titty Twister.

Once at the bar, Seth starts things off on a negative note by beating the crap out of the doorman/shouter (played by Cheech Marin). Once inside, things continue on a negative, when the bartender (played by Danny Trejo) refuses to serve the group, saying that this bar is for Bikers and Truckers only. Jacob sets things “right” by using a little logic. Things seem to be going swimmingly when the doorman confronts Seth and Richard. A fight breaks out, Seth and Richard shoot a few guys… Richard’s hand, shot in the first scene of the movie starts dripping blood, which starts a chain reaction… You see, this bar is a major Vampire hang out and he just started a feeding frenzy. The always beautiful Selma Hayek, playing the super sexy Santanico Pandemonium is the first to attack. Before I go on, let me stress just how hot Selma Hayek looks in this move. I know she always looks hot, but MAN does she look good in this movie. Okay, I digressed… All of a sudden it looks like a Vampire apocalypse. A shit load of folks get killed, but the humans star turning the tide. Seth confronts Jacob, making him decide on which side of belief he’s gonna’ sit, and they hatch a plan. Time to fight Vamps or die.

This movie is an action packed, rollercoaster ride adventure. Combining Tarantino’s writing and Robert Rodriguez was sheer brilliance. The characters are interesting (Tarantino’s Richard is absolutely crazy – a loathsome animal of a man), and there isn’t a dull moment. Oh, and Cheech Marin (of Cheech and Chong fame) plays not one but three separate characters.

Watch this movie.

Here is the trailer:


The Dead Mile (2013)–Flawed But Very Fun Independent Zombie Film… And It’s Canadian!

DeadmileSo, I just watched a Zombie movie that was filmed in my home city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was a low budget film, and it lacked polish and there was some questionable performances. You know what? Who cares – this was a fun, silly Zombie film.

The Dead Mile is a truly Canadian movie that combines hockey, a Zombie Walk and real Zombies to create an end of society, Zombie outbreak movie that delivers on the fun and the gore. A group of friends are preparing for an annual Zombie Walk when an actual, cow transmitted Zombie virus hits the city. The Zombie Walk participants are actually turning into Zombies, and our little group of friends need to find a way to survive. One of our characters, Tyler, works for a dick, Kevin Wong, who owns a comic shop, who is hosting a a signing event for a couple of horror stars to coincide with the Zombie Walk. Well these two get wrapped up in the whole Zombie outbreak and join forces with Kevin and his friends. They are soon joined by two simple, hockey obsessed guys, who suggest they make a break for the hockey/ice rink – a fortress according to them. Of course, like in all Zombie films, the fortress is never quite as… fortressy (yes, I know that’s not a real word – but it’s my blog so nananana-boo-boo), as they hope. One by one the group is diminished as members fall prey to the Zombie hordes. You know, like in a Zombie movie.

This movie is low budget and flawed, but really, who cares: most Zombie movies are. At least this movie delivers on the humour, and for a low budget film, it manages to look pretty good (and thank you for not finding it necessary to make the film look grungy and 70’s like – that works when for 70’s films only – you deserve kudos for not doing that). They also deliver on the gore, like a true Zombie movie should. I say this is worth a watch, especially if you are Canadian, and even more so if you are from Calgary. The movie’s writer/Director , K.J. Kleefeld and his crew did an admirable job. The film it self is available to rent online at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thedeadmile for $4.99 – I though it was a little steep for a rental of an independent film, but I said “What the Hell,” I’m supporting a small film maker” (who just happens to be local – GO CANADA!!!). Check out the trailer below, and then go spend $4.99, you cheap bastard, and help some independent film makers.


G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)–Not a Smart Movie, But a Fun Movie

G.I._Joe_RetaliationYou don’t watch a G.I. Joe movie looking for award winning performances, but you should watch them for a fun movie full of action and explosions – this G.I. Joe movie delivers at that.

In Retaliation, the President of the United States has been replaced by face changing bad guy, Zartan (played by Arnold Vosloo), who is in the process of transforming the United States from Peacekeeper to war happy nation. Under the guise of securing a rogue nuclear device and keeping it out of the hands of terrorists, the (fake) President orders the G.I. Joe team into action. Once they complete the initial part of the mission, the G.I . Joe team is attacked in an impressive show of explosions and firepower. The team is pretty much decimated aside from a few key Joes. Vowing vengeance for their fallen brethren, the three remaining Joe’s start off looking for the one who betrayed them. Meanwhile, back in the States, fake president Zartan has made the Joe’s look like traitors and terrorists, and announced that Anerica’s new super militay team is now Cobra. Also, he’s convened a gathering of the leaders of the nations o the world with Nuclear devices in order to talk disarmament… Yeah right – he’s Evil!. A few more twists and some more explosions and some tense situations later… and the good guys end up winning (come on, it’s a G.I. Joe movie – you don’t really think there’s any chance of the bad guys winning do you?).

So, I am old, and when I was interested in G.I. Joe, he wasn’t a little 4 inch character but big enough to date Barbie and kick Ken’s ass. Pretty sure this is based on the 80’s to present version of G.I. Joe – not an important point, but I had to put this out there.

Staring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis and (for a short while) Channing Tatum, Retaliation is not suffering from big stars. At times I found myself a little confused as to who was good and who was bad, and for a movie based on a series of Toys, man there is a lot of killing. Sure, I know this is a War toy, and I was not offended in any way, shape or form, but was surprised nonetheless. But overall this was an entertaining action film.

Check out the trailer below.


Soylent Green (1973) – Slow Burning Sci-Fi

Soylent_greenIt seems to me that it is amazing that it took until yesterday for me to finally watch the 1973 Sci-Fi classic, Soylent Green, but it’s true and I am glad I finally did so.

Soylent Green takes place in New York City in 2022. The world is struggling to feed the masses a,d the human diet is primarily soy and plankton wafers (of different colours and quality) made by the Solent company. The wafers are found in red, yellow and the new, higher quality Soylent Green variety. When When New York city Police Detective Robert Thorn (played by Charlton Heston), is called to investigate the murder William R. Simonson, he discovers the dirty truth behind the Soylent corporation and their new wonder product, Soylent Green.

This movie paints an interesting if bleak view of the not so distant future: The humanity is struggling to feed it’s masses, while the upper crust lives in relative opulence. Rich executives have concubines (referred to as furniture) included with the rent of their homes. They get access to real foods instead of waiting in never ending lines for an allotment of tasteless survival food. Thorn’s persistent investigating turns up something very disturbing about the Soylent corporations new miracle food Soylent Green… Something that would definitely make it much less palatable .

This is an important Sci-Fi film, and I definitely suggest you watch it. It’s a bit slow, and if your Sci-Fi requires spaceships and laser guns, then don’t watch this as it will disappoint. But if you enjoy a good story then check it out.


Calgary Horror Con 2013 Was Amazing!!!

Thank you to everyone that made the Calgary Horror Convention an AMAZING event. A fantastic lineup of guests, including a reunion of the cast from the fantastic 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead: Bill Moseley, Tom Savini, Patricia Tallman and Tony Todd,


Basket Case Trilogy (1982,1990,1992)–Hilariously Ridiculous

coverWow… I had never heard of the Basket Case movies until my buddy suggested we watch them about a month ago. Well, last night we finished the last of the three movies and I have to say that I was left pleasantly surprised at how much these movies entertained me.

The Basket Case movies tell the story of two Siamese, or co-joined twins, separated in childhood. One twin, Duane Bradley (played hilariously cheezily by Kevin Van Hentenryck) is a fully formed, mostly normal looking guy, but his brother, Belial, is a disgusting blob of flesh with one dangerously powerful arm and, a very strong leg and a disturbingly human face with a mouth full of jagged, dangerous teeth. Belial is a dangerous character who is understandable unbalanced. Spending most of his time in a basket (hence the name of the movies), he and Duane have a psychic bond and can communicate without words). Duane and Belial were separated against their will when children in a horrific home surgery. Now Belial and Duane are looking for revenge on the doctor’s that did the brutal operation. Belial, extracting his revenge – this little guy is a damned efficient killing machine – having killed a large number of people, gets into a scuffle and he and Duane fall out a window together. Apprehended and brought to a hospital, they both escape.

Basket Case 2 picks up where Basket Case  left off – now Duane and Bradley find themselves in the home of Granny Ruth (played by Annie Ross), a woman who has taken it upon herself to provide sanctuary for horribly and bizarrely deformed people. The cast of strange creatures is interesting and funny – I thing the creature designer on this film most likely had a great time. This is a place where Belial can feel at home and not have to hide from the world. Duane, though is having a tougher time fitting in, as he feels like the outsider. That said, he manages to fall in love with Granny Ruth’s assistant, Susan (played by Heather Rattray), a seemingly normal young lady – and it seems that she loves Duane, too. Also, Belial finds love himself when he falls for a similarly mutated Eve. Soon Granny Ruth’s sanctuary is threatened by a sleazy reporter and photographer. Duane and Belial decide to organize the ragtag group of mutants into an efficient and deadly defence. After saving the day, Duane and Susan start to get it on… and Duane finds out the real reason Susan stays with Granny Ruth. Duane flips out and goes off the mental deep end (and something happens to Susan)… And the movie ends. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the weirdest love scene ever between two lumps of mutated flesh.

Basket Case 3, starts the moment Basket Case 2 ends. Duane wakes up to find himself in a straight jacket, calling out to whomever claiming that he’s all better now. Granny Ruth enters his padded cell and explains how long he’s been there and why. She also gives him some good news: he’s going to be an uncle, as Belial has impregnated Eve. Eve, being massively mutated, is starting to go into labour, and Granny Ruth is concerned that she may require medical attention. She packs up the entire group of mutants into a school bus and they take off to a sympathetic Doctor referred to as Uncle Hal. Uncle Hal has been taking care of a genius, multi-armed mutant, Little Hal. Duane, still a loose, mildly crazy loose cannon, is trying to escape at any cost. Meanwhile Eve Gives birth to a…a lot of little Belial copies, despite the fact that Belial loses it and attacks Uncle Hal (due to a flashback). Getting the attention of the Sheriff’s daughter, who he stupidly trusts, he soon finds himself behind bars, while the stupid deputy’s decided that they want to capture Belial for a reported $1,000,000 reward offered by a rag newspaper. Yeah, well that doesn’t go very well and one escapes with his life and a basket full of baby Belial looking offspring. The mutants aren’t going to stand for that, and they launch a brazen attack on the jail in order to save the babies. Things get even weirder.

Okay, these are low budget movies that leave a lot to be desired. That said, I really enjoyed them. Duane is an unbelievable silly character that while fake, is super fun to watch. Belial is such a weird character that it’s hard to find him scary, and the gallery of mutants under Granny Ruth’s roof are very… crazy. Still, I really liked these movies – they have a certain charm that is very rare in the horror genre, and if you can suspend your sense of disbelief, you might just have a good time watching these crazy movies.


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: