While not the first to do it, The Blair Witch Project was the first movie to really bring the “found footage” style of movie to the masses. Telling the tale of three student filmmakers (stole that line from Wikipedia), who went out to make a documentary about the Blair Witch, a legendary figure, and never came back.
The film starts out with a message stating tat the movie was put together from the footage found in the cameras after the three film students had disappeared. The three, Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams had headed out to make a documentary about an evil witch, or spirit that is rumoured to haunt the woods outside of Burkittsville, Maryland (formerly known as “Blair”). They talk to locals who tell them the tales they heard as children growing up in Burkittsville, and how the witch tale was used to keep kids in line. They also hear the tail of a tragedy that happened in the 1940s with the disappearance of several local children, as well as several men from the community. Well, the three decide to head off into the woods in search of the Witch, or at lease evidence of such. Soon they find themselves hopelessly lost and it seems the focus of some weird nocturnal activities. They hear weird sounds at night and fins strange constructs of twigs and wood as well as neatly stacked rocks around their tent in the morning. As time passes and they become more and more loss, the individuals start really showing their stress in the way they interact with each other. The weird sounds and such continue and increase, adding to the stress of the group. When one member of the group disappears in the night, and fails to return, it just gets worse. You know things are just not likely to work out for our little group of film makers.
The Blair Witch Project did a great job of capturing the initial enthusiasm of the three, as well as there slide to desperation , and breakdown of the three main characters. They manage to remain believable (for the most part), and while you may grow frustrated with them at times, it’s at times where youy as a watcher are supposed to get frustrated with them. Is this a good movie? Damn straight.
Check out the trailer below, and if you haven’t seen it yet, go out and get yourself a copy.
Eastwood Week Movie 3 – Any Which Way You Can (1980)–Clint’s Great Follow Up To Every Which Way But Loose
Any Which Way You Can is the 1980 follow up to the block buster comedy, Every Which Way But Loose, and it is damned funny. Clint Eastwood returns as the Truck Driver/prize fighter, Orangutan owning Philo Beddle, as well as Geoffrey Lewis as Orville Boggs as Philo’s best human buddy, and Manis the Ape as Clyde, Philo’s best non human buddy. Also returning is Ruth Gordon as Philo’s cantankerous mother and Sandra Locke as Philo’s love interest, Lynn Halsey-Taylor. In this movie, we find Philo has continued his side line as a tough son of a bitch prize fighter. Only he’s decided to retire, having noticed he was starting to enjoy the pain. Unfortunately, the Mafia wants to setup a match between Philo and Jack Wilson, a new style of fighter that mixes boxing and martial arts together, and has managed to kill three opponents and scramble the brains of a fourth victim. Approached by the Mafia, hoping to setup this fight, Philo initially says no, but when the mob ups it to $50,000, win or lose, Philo changes his mind and accepts the fight. When Philo and Jack actually meet, it turns out that they actually get a long. They decide there is no real reason for the fight and mutually decide to call it off. The Mafia, seeing that they are about to lose the biggest grossing illegal prize fight ever, decide to kidnap Lynn Halsey-Taylor, Philo’s returning (and redeemed), love interest in order to force the fight. Frank and Philo take care of that situation, but both realize that they can’t leave the question of who would have won the fight open, so they decide to battle it out. Oh! Also returning the is Black Widows: a comical outlaw biker gang that really have it in for Philo, despite the fact that when ever they come into conflict with him, he ends up kicking their ass and they end up with less bikes. This time though, things end on a high note for them and their relationship with Philo.
This is such a fun movie, and watched back to back with Every Which Way But Loose would make for a great evening of movie watching. I heartily recommend this film and it’s predecessor. Check out the trailer below:
So, yeah, the other night my buddy was going through options on Netflix when Hobo With a Shotgun popped up. Now, we’ve both watched Hobo many times (Hell, I watched it in the theatre twice). Why did we re-watch a low budget, silly-ass pseudo-Grindhouse movie? Why do we continue to re-watch a low budget, silly-ass pseudo-Grindhouse movie? Because it’s freakin’ awesome, that’s why!
Some movies are just easy for me to re-watch and this just happens to be one of those movies. Is it a great movie? No – it is a great silly, brutal over the top crazy movie. So over the top that every once in a while I watch it again. And again.
If you haven’t already, you should check out Hobo anyway you can. As mentioned, it’s on U.S. Netflix currently and can be found for cheap on DVD and Blu-Ray (check out my post about finding it for a great price here). Hobo tells the story of a…well, Hobo (played by the great Rutger Hauer), who finds himself in a new, crappy, dirty corrupt city. He fights back against the ruling family to make a difference. You know why? ‘Cause he’s the Hobo With a Shotgun.
So don’t be stupid, watch Hobo With a Shotgun (again, if you already have).
Starting off in 1977 where we see the story of a group of Bible Campers hanging out trying to get laid and smoking dope… And eventually most of them die. Cut to 1984 and a new group is going up to the camp – mostly to die.
Where do I start? Bad plot with bad acting and bad production. Sound suffers at time (from that bad production that I just mentioned)…. and the actors and actresses are pretty ugly for the most part.
This movie is terribly stupid… but I still had fun.
Should you watch this movie? Well you freakin’ decide.
Westworld (1973)–When Will Mankind Learn That Robots Always Go Rogue and Destroy Their Human Keepers?
Imagine 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.
I 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:
So, 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.
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.
Here’s the trailer:
So, 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)
Sergio 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:
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:
The last time I watched 1981’s Southern Comfort I was 11 and I loved it. Now, there are a lot of things that I loved when I was 11 that I’m not into now – luckily this in one thing that has held up over the years.
Southern Comfort tells the story of a group of Army reservists in the Louisiana National Guard on weekend exercises in the Bayou’s swamps when they run into trouble with some Cajun’s living in said swamps. The trouble all starts when they decided to steal some canoes they find at a cabin in order to cross the water in order to get to their rendezvous. While making the crossings, they notice on the shore a group of people, most likely the owners of the canoes they are travelling in. One of their members, Private Stuckey (played by Lewis Smith) decides to fire off his M60 full of blanks to scare the Cajuns, as a joke. The Cajuns fire back, striking the squad leader, Staff Sgt. Poole (played by Peter Coyote), killing him instantly. In in immediate confusion, one of the canoes is tipped over and the map gets lost. The squad’s second in command, Sgt. Casper (played by Les Lannom) takes the leadership role and attempts to lead the group out of the swamp, hoping to find the interstate highway. Sgt. Casper, despite his best attempts is not a natural leader, and manages to get the squad lost, while they are being hunted by the Cajun’s that killed Poole. The group happen upon a trapper’s cabin and take the occupant hostage, believing him to be with the group that killed Poole and is pursuing them. In the trapper’s cabin, they find a store house of guns, ammo and dynamite – all things they can use in their attempt to get out of the swamp… Unfortunately a particularly gung-ho member of the squad, Bowden (played by Alan Autry) destroys the cabin and it’s contents, leaving them without the weapons. The group takes the Cajun prisoner and continue on their trek. Along the way certain members of the group grow more belligerent and aggressive, becoming more and more uncontrollable. Throughout the whole time, two soldiers Spencer and Hardin (played by Keith Caradine and Powers Boothe) manage to keep their heads and wits about themselves, and eventually decide to fend for themselves after Casper proves to be useless and more and more of the group end up dead.
This is a powerful film with good performances from all the actors. It also shows an interesting slice of the Cajun culture. A gritty, great film, I definitely suggest this one as a much watch.
Check out the trailer below: