Blind Fury (1989)–Great Movie, But I Like to Refer To It As “Hobo With A Stick”
I haven’t seen Blind Fury since it was out in the theatres in 1989. I remembered liking it, but other than the fact it starred Rutger Hauer as a blind, staff wielding white martial arts guy that fights bad guys… Well, It was like watching a new movie this go around, and I must say, I still like this movie.
Check out the video review below:
Neighbors (1981) A Perfect Dark Comedy
Today I take a look at the 1981 dark comedy, Neighbors, starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd. I’ll explain why I feel this is one of the best dark comedies and why it has stayed fresh in my mind over so many years. Check out the video review below:
Alien Horror Week – Movie 5: Deadly Spawn (1983)
It was a toss up as to whether or not we were going to watch Alien or Deadly Spawn. My buddy made the argument for Deadly Spawn as it is a much less known movie, and I went along.
So, a small town is invaded by a life form from space that looks a lot like a giant multiple headed lamprey with a penchant for making slug like babies (lots of them), and eating the locals. A group of four geeky science nerd teens and a young boy do their best to save the town (and most likely the world) from this infestation. It’s kind of weird that three of our movies had similar themes and creatures (Slither, Night of the Creeps and Deadly Spawn), not in that they are alien infestation movies (it’s kind of the theme), but the fact that the three creatures in the mentioned movies all propagate by releasing slug like grubs, liked to enter through the mouth id possible, and the main “mother” creature found someplace out of the way to grow and develop. Well, if they copied each other, this is the progenitor of all of ‘em. A silly movie, Deadly Spawn stays entertaining, and cheezy which is perfect for me. Lots of campiness to go around, and some really questionable actions by it’s characters may make you moan at times…but don’;t let that stop you from enjoying the movie. A true representative of it’s time, the early 1980’s, it still stands out as a fun, throwback to the creature features of the 50’s and 60’s…
Watch this film, my friends!
Alien Horror Week – Movie 3: Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)–Now This… This is A Movie You Should Watch
1988’s way over the top, Killer Klowns From Outer Space tells the tale of a group of evil aliens that come to Earth, specifically Crescent Cove, California, in their space craft to harvest humans. Pretty typical of a Sci-Fi horror film, I know, but these aliens look like demented clowns, and their space ship looks like a giant circus tent.
Starting off with a farmer going to investigate what looked like a comet that has fallen to Earth (he thinks it is Halley’s Comet), and stumbling across the Circus tent like Alien spacecraft, he and his dog are quickly captured by the Aliens. Now, of course the Farmer wasn’t the only one to see this shooting star like object. Mike (Grant Cramer), and his girlfriend Debbie (Suzanne Snyder), decide to also check it out. They find the spacecraft (just like the farmer did), and manage to find a way in, where they discover the remains of the farmer and his dog, cocooned in a cotton candy like substance (hey – they’re alien clowns… errr “Klowns”), and themselves just barely missing being capture by one of the aliens. After a hairy escape (including being chased by a balloon animal, they head to the police station. They tell their story to officer Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson), who happens to be Debbie’s ex boyfriend. The story, of course sounds ridiculous – I mean, really? Space Alien Clowns? Bodies cocooned in cotton candy? It’s fair to say that Dave is is sceptical, but his fellow officer, the gruff jerk of a cop Mooney (played by the awesome John Vernon) calls them outright liars and wants to put them in jail for making up stories about murders and such. Dave at least agrees to chesk out what they are saying as they did say a couple of people were killed. Dropping Debbie off first (against her wishes), Mike takes Dave out to where they found the ship and the bodies, but unfortunately the ship is no longer there and Dave thinks they made the whole thing up and places under arrest. Well with the clowns loose in the town and more and more people falling victim to their ridiculously amusing weapons and ways, Dave and Mike don’t get far before Dave sees for himself the Killer Klowns and what they are capable of. Meanwhile, back at the police station, Maloney has himself that the entire town is trying to mess with his head with a coordinated series of call from all over town about killer clowns. When Dave calls into the station and instructs Maloney to call for back up, describing the Klown menace, he just thinks Dave is in on the whole thing to and refuses to get or give help. It’s not until one actually strolls into the station that he actually realizes this isn’t hoax. Of coarse, by that time… well, you know. So it’s all up to Mike, Dave and Debbie to infiltrate the Klown ship and save the day… Okay, I left a whole bunch out there at the end because I realized I was just rattling off the movie instead of reviewing it. I don’t want to do that. What I do want is for you to watch this movie because it’s cool, crazy and funny and desreves to be watched by soimeone who can appreciate it for what it is: a fun movie. No one can argue that it isn’t original – Hell, I doubt there is any movie that even resembles this film. A crazy concept, wrapped in a funny script and created by people that must love the genre, this is a film for any Sci-Fi/Horror or Comedy fan. Yeah, it is ridiculous, but it is supposed to be so. Sure, if you watch this movie expecting it to be a serious horror/sci-fi film, you will be mistaken – and most likely stupid, too. I mean, really: it’s about Killer Aliens from space that travel in a Circus tent space craft and look like demented clowns. Still,
it’s great ands it’s fun and you should watch it. Oh, you already saw it? Well, see it again!
Check out the trailer below:
Alien Horror Week – Movie 2: Night of Creeps (1986)–Simply Awesome
Having just watched Slither (again),last night and remembering the outcry from a lot of fans of the classic 1986 Night of the Creeps due to the many similarities between the two movies, I just had to watch Night of the Creeps (again), tonight.
Night of the Creeps is a neat Horror/Sci-Fi/Comedy about an infestation of alien slug like creatures when they are released on the unsuspecting Earth during the 1950s, landing in a town/city in the states. Initially infecting an escaped lunatic, and a young man on a date with his girl, resulting in a couple of deaths. Cut to the 1980’s where a couple of friends, Chris Romero and J.C.are new to college and trying to fit in. Chris has a crush on a hot girl, Cynthia Cronenberg. Cynthia, though has a meathead boyfriend who is in charge of the frat house that the two want to join (so Chris can hopefully impress Cynthia). In order to join, the two are given the task of stealing a cadaver and leave it on the steps of a rival frat house. While the two manage to enter a lab where they think they will find a corpse, they actually manage to stumble upon a body in cryogenic suspension,. They decide one body is as good as another, and try to take this one. When the corpse opens it’s eyes and grabs a hold of one of the two, they take off “screaming like banshees” (you’ll know why I put that in quotes when you watch the film). Well, turns out this is the corpse of the guy that was infected by the alien life form way back in 1959. So, now we have a reanimated corpse, under the control of an alien life form… The corpse, a sort of alien zombie kills a scientist in the lab and heads out…on the town, eventually ending up on the steps of a girl’s frat (the same one Cynthia calls home). Cynthia sees the zombie and sees his head explode, releasing a bunch of those alien worms… and they spread out. Soon a crap load of the town is infected, including the dead, which rise (hence the Zombie word), animated by there worms. J.C. himself falls prey to the creatures also, but not before he learns the secrets to the destruction of the worms…
Of course everything ramps up to a big good versus bad scene, but I have told you more than enough of the story. You should watch this movie, as it is damned fun. Definitely an homage to the sci-fi creature flicks of the 50’s and 60’s, if you enjoy sci-fi, horror and comedy then you have to see this one, folks. Check out the trailer below:
Alien Horror Week – Movie 1: Slither (2006)–A Great Sci-Fi Horror With a Lot Of Humour
2006’s Slither does something very difficult: it manages to mix horror with Science Fiction (Sci-Fi), and adding a large dose of comedy…and gets it all right. I’ve reviewed the move in the past (here is the original, tiny write up: Slither 2006). It was so good, that I decided we should watch it again, and maybe put a little more effort in the write up this time.
Starring Canada’s own (hell,we were in the same high school at the same time), Nathan Fillion (Firefly anyone?), as Chief of Police of the town of Wheelsy, South Carolina, where a meteorite crashed to earth, carrying an alien life form. Shortly after it crashes to earth, local, well to do guy, Grant Grant (played by Michael Rooker), gets taken over by the creature after poking at the gelatinous, pulsing mass in the nearby woods (after almost, but not quite cheating on his wife). Soon Grant starts craving fresh, raw meat, and also starts mutating. When Grant’s lovely wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks), see’s a misshapen Grant, he explains he had a reaction to a bee sting. Well, soon other things start happening, including the disappearance of neighbourhood pets, as well as Barbara, a local drinkin’ floozy…
Well, you see, Grant is now the host of an alien intelligence who spreads through taking over individuals, either through assimilation or through infection via a parasitic worm/slug like form. The creature can also use a life form as a host to breed the aforementioned worms/slugs…and it does – boy does it ever. Of course this turns in to a battle of a few against a lot, and is tense and action packed… as well as a lot of always cool grossness. The creature design is fantastic, and the whole cast does a great job in creating what feels like a heartfelt homage to the alien invasion/creature films of the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is a great Sci-Fi/Horror/comedy that I strongly suggest you check out.
Here is the trailer:
Alien Horror Week!
So, this week is dedicated to Alien Based Horror movies. I expect a few possible turkeys, but I believe it’s going to be fun anyway. I am a fan of Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) and horror, and the two mix reasonable well at the hands of competent film makers… and some horribly awesome films when created by bad film makers. I hope we get to see both sides of the coin this week.
We haven’t filled the roster of films yet, so if you have a suggestion or two, feel free to send them on over by using this link:
Free Ride (2013)–This Has To Be The Most Boring Movie About Drug Trafficking Ever
2013’s Free Ride stars Anna Paquin and is based on a true story as a mom in the 1970’s that escapes an abusive relationship with her kids and heads to Florida. Once there she starts working for a major pot importer whom she meets through a friend. She is raising two daughters and not doing a particular job about that. Stuff happens, people get hurt/go to jail etc…
Okay, the acting isn’t bad in this film, but the story is freakin’ boring. Coming in at only an hour and twenty-six minutes, it felt like a damned eternity. You know, just because you have a story to tell, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should, We learn that the story/movie is written by one of the daughters… Next time stick to your diary, as this is a waste of time.
Check out the trailer below, but don’t be fooled by it as it’s all smoke and mirrors – the trailer is all you really need.
Eastwood Week Movie 4 – The Gauntlet (1977) – Never Count an Eastwood Character Out, and Never Set Him Up, And Most Of All, Never Bet Against Him
In 1977’s The Gauntlet, Clint Eastwood plays Ben Shockley, an alcoholic, circling the drain, Phoenix cop, sent by the police commissioner to Las Vegas to pick up a witness and escort them to Phoenix for an upcoming trial. Described as a two bit witness in a two bit trial, Ben is told he is given the job because he get’s jobs done. Arriving in Vegas, Ben is surprised to find out the witness is a female, August “Gus” Malley (played by Sandra Locke), and deathly afraid of leaving her cell, stating she and anyone with her would be killed. Ignoring her warning, Ben ushers her to an ambulance to leave the jail, and to rendezvous with with a rented car. After that car explodes (killing an Emergency Medical Technician), and then a chase and shoot out, Ben starts believing Gus as to the seriousness of the situation. As the situation progresses, more and more attempts are made on both Ben’s and Gus’ life, it becomes obvious (to Gus at first), that someone inside the Phoenix force is plotting to kill the two. When Ben asks some probing questions as to who Gus is being asked to testify against, it becomes obvious who the rat in the force is, and that they are up against something very big, and the only chance for either of them is to get to the Phoenix City Hall, but it’s not going to be easy. So what’s Ben going to do? He highjacks a Greyhound bus, shields the drivers section, and lets the Phoenix Police Department, which has been told erroneously, that Ben is a killer, that he is coming in, even providing the exact route they will be taking. The route is lined with police on all sides, hence the title of the movie, The Gauntlet, who unload countless rounds into the bus trying to stop them. Well, apparently they never saw any other Eastwood films, as if they did they would know that their efforts would fail. Once at City Hall, the bad guy (watch the movie to figure out who that really is), is outed under duress by a co-conspirator, who is then promptly silenced by that bad guy…and them something else happens (hehehe… sorry, I know that is cheezy).
Well, this is another damned fine Clint Eastwood movie and you should see this one – ton’s of action and great dialogue. What are you waiting for?
Check out the trailer below:
Eastwood Week Movie 3 – Any Which Way You Can (1980)–Clint’s Great Follow Up To Every Which Way But Loose
If you read my review of Every Which Way But Loose, then you know I like that movie. Well, this is the sequel to that movie, and you know what? I like this one too.
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:
Eastwood Week Movie 1 – High Plains Drifter (1973)
How have I not seen High Plains Drifter before this? this 1973 Western is a gritty, dark tale. A tale of deceit, of murder and vengeance. Heck, it’s even a ghost story. This is a very unique film, and a very good one at that. A drifter enters a small town, apparently looking for a drink, a shave, a bath and a bed. Once there he is confronted by three guys, Company men, they are called. In defense he kills all three. The local sheriff tells him they were known to be trouble and that he didn’t have to worry about charges. Heck, the sheriff would like to hire him to protect the town from three gun fighters, just released from jail that will most likely be coming back to the town to seek vengeance for their incarceration. The stranger, played by Clint Eastwood, at first declines, but when the sheriff offers him “anything he wants,” he accepts the job, and goes about making big changes to the town. These changes cause some of the town to question the decision to put him in charge of the town’s defense. The stranger is also troubled by dreams, dreams of the town’s Marshal being whipped to death by the men who he is hired to protect the town. While the murder is taking place, the people of the town stand by and do nothing to stop it. Is it a dream? Or are these memories? It seems pretty obvious to me. The stranger gets the town busy making changes. He run drills simulating an attack and has the town folk put up resistance, preparing them for the inevitable attack that is to come. He also orders unusual things to be done, like painting the town red, and having the towns people tear apart a livery barn to build picnic tables an such… The business men of the town are really questioning their initial decision to hire this stranger. So much so that they try to kill him themselves… Yeah, good luck boys. When the attack comes, the towns people’s weak attempts at fighting off the gun men come to little, and eventually (hell, pretty damned quickly), they have the upper hand, and have gathered the remaining towns folk together in the saloon. Well, this isn’t over folks – they still have to deal with the Stranger…
Okay, let’s not give it all away. I will say that this is a creepy, dark Western. It’s also one of the best Westerns I have ever seen. Actually this is just a really good movie, chock full of darkness and hidden meanings. Heck, it’s a Western and a Ghost story, and it does both great. For the first movie of Eastwood Week, I have to say it’s an incredible start. Check out the trailer below, and then immediately go find yourself a copy and watch it today!
Do You Feel Lucky Punk? Because This Week Is Clint Eastwood Week
This is going to be a damned good week. That’s right: this week is Clint Eastwood week.
There are very few actors with a career as long as Eastwood’s, and for the ones that do, very few can say they made as many good movies as Eastwood has. From the toughest damned cowboy you’ve met to an Orang-utan owning prize fighter to the toughest damned cop you’ve ever seen, Clint has rocked it.
I know the blog is called I Like Bad Movies, but if you’ve read it long enough, you know that the truth is, I just plain like movies. So, don’t go thinking these are bad movies, because they are not – you’ll know when I watch a bad movie, and I don’t think that’s happening this week.
Yep, this is going to be a damned good week.
Godzilla Week Movie 3 – Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (1971) – Godzilla Takes Out The Trash!!!
Most people in North America would know this movie as Godzilla Versus the Smog Monster, though it’s original release title is Godzilla Versus Hedorah. That said, they are both the same movie.
In 1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah , Japan has a new enemy: a new creature that has evolved to live on the pollutants of our modern society. Not only that, but it is producing deadly pollution itself, incapacitating and humans that may get close. This is a disaster!!! Oh, and guess what? Godzilla doesn’t like to see other monsters on it’s own turf. Yeah, Godzilla and Hedorah are heading for a showdown. I pity the Japanese that get caught in the middle!
So, this is a time when the Godzilla character was transitioning from a bad guy who seemed to get kicks from beating the crap out of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, to a protector of the Japanese people. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be injured or killed if you get too close: Godzilla is a Big Picture kind of monster, and may stomp the occasional person or building on the sidelines. Heck – you might even get drowned in a big piece of polluted monster if you are not careful – should have stayed away from Godzilla, idiot…
Godzilla Vs Hedorah is actually one of my favourite Godzilla movies, and I really like the three stage design of the Hedorah – pretty cool, and add a neat, cheezy transition effect between the stages and you’ve got gold. Add to that the hippiness of the movie – lots of trippy music and psychedelic gels, and some trippy animated series really reminds you of when this movie was made – and that in my opinion is a very good and neat thing. Without a doubt, I would say that this is the most unique Godzilla movie that I have watched (so far, at least). Should you watch it? You should watch ALL Godzilla movies (with the exception of the Mathew Broderick version), but you should especially watch this Godzilla movie.
Check out the trailer below:
Godzilla Week Movie 2 – King Kong Versus Godzilla (1963) Gorilla Versus Lizard Madness
I am so damned glad we are doing Godzilla Week because I am getting to relive some great childhood memories along the way.
1963’s King Kong vs Godzilla is a movie that I saw as a very young child and I tell you, it stuck with me through the years. Heck, I thought this movie was in black and white – turns out I watched it on a black and white TV back in the day! Well, this movie is in glorious colour.
So, a Godzilla has escaped from a frozen chunk of an iceberg, and recently King Kong has been discovered to be a real thing. Okay, he’s a bit of a lush (or junkie), having become addicted to a narcotic berry juice that the locals on the the south Pacific island that Kong calls home. Back to Godzilla: Of course Godzilla is bent of some big time Japanese destruction. From their previous encounters with Godzilla, the Japanese know they are in trouble. Why not play Godzilla off against Kong and maybe the two monsters will destroy each other and Japan can go back to it’s daily normal schedule? Well that is just what is done, in this epic meeting of two iconic movie monsters.
King Kong Versus Godzilla is a fun monster mash of Japanese destruction, tied together with and interesting concept: The action is being described and reported (between scenes), by what appear to be reporters working for the United Nations. Fun stuff!
So, check out this amazing monster movie!
Here is the trailer:
Godzilla Week Movie 1 – Gojira (1954) – Godzilla Makes It’s Debut And Japan Is Screwed
1954’s Gojira (the Japanese name for Godzilla, and not some cheap knock off of the Godzilla licence) if the first appearance of Godzilla in film, and it’s a good one.
A Japanese film, through and through, Gojira tells the tale of an ancient beast, a creature of legends, that has been released from it’s lair beneath the ocean when it’s home is destroyed by atomic tests being conducted in the Pacific ocean (this is the early to mid-1950s, after all). At first a few boats go missing with no clues. When a few survivors are found, they speak seemingly gibberish about the ocean exploding. Seems only an old and grumpy man, knows what’s happening when he starts talking about the old legends of a giant lizard beast that would emerge and wreak havoc, and how they used to appease the beast by setting the occasional girl adrift on a raft for the creature’s snacking pleasure. Finally enough sightings and reports of the creature start coming through that a scientific research team is put together to study the beast. Once they discover that Godzilla is real, it’s then up to the military to destroy Godilla, who is now working it’s way towards Tokyo. As usual, (though not “as usual” for the audiences of 1954), traditional tactics do nothing but piss the monster off, and just causes more destruction. It’s not until a physically and emotionally scarred scientist is convinced to use his discovery, a device that destroys oxygen and liquefies living flesh, that Japan has even a slim hope of surviving the monster’s attack.
Gojira is as good as an introduction to a movie beast as any I’ve seen. The creature design has proven solid, as this 1954 Godzilla still looks like the same Godzilla that you would find in the 60’s,70’s and beyond (except for that crappy American Godzilla movie). Also, the creatures iconic roar is there, right from the start. It’s also interesting to watch this film with the knowledge that this was made in a Japan that is very different from today’s Japan. This is a Japan that was still healing from a World War that almost decimated them. The war is mentioned, and the testing of nuclear weapons are highlighted as a bad thing. If you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this film. If you are unsure if you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this and a number of other Godzilla movies if you really want to decide if you are a fan or not. I know I am.
Check out the trailer below:
You read that right: This week of movie watching is dedicated to everybody’s favourite, reptilian destroyer of Japanese cities, Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira).
Why Godzilla? Well, it started after watching Dragonslayer – I was talking to my buddy and thought that perhaps a week dedicated to movies about Dragons might be a cool idea… Until I started searching out movies about Dragons – there aren’t many, and for the most part, the ones that do exist I am not interested in. Except one thing: I consider Godzilla to be a Dragon, and there are a lot of Godzilla movies to choose from, and I just happen to like Godzilla. I think this is what is known as a Win/Win situation folks. Over the next week I will write up the Godzilla movies I watch and share them with you, as usual. But take note: I will not be watching the travesty of a Godzilla movie that starred Mathew Broderick – to me that is not a true Godzilla movie.
So… Welcome to Godzilla Week my Internet friends!
Dragonslayer (1981) – To This Day, Still One Of My Favourite Movie Dragon Designs
1981’s movie, Dragonslayer, blew my twelve year old mind when I fist sat through this movie with my good friend, Robin. Now, 23 years later, I am still liking this movie.
Staring Peter MacNicol (better known to some as the short, curly haired lawyer, John Cage, from the TV show Ally McBeal), as Galen Bradwarden, a young apprentice of the Wizard, Ulrich of Craggenmoor (Ralph Richardson), who takes up the Wizard’s quest to slay the Dragon, Vermithrax Pejorative, after Ulrich is apparently killed while proving a point by brutish henchman Tyrian, right hand of King Casiodorus (Peter Eyre). Ulrich had just accepted the task of killing the Dragon when a delegation of peasants approached him asking for his help. Kind Casiodorus had implemented a lottery, offering up a female virgin each year to appease the beast. The people have had enough of the Lottery and living under the fear of the Dragon, and are at their wits end. Now seeing their hopes die almost immediately, with the death of Ulrich, they head back to their town. Soon, though, they are joined by Galen, who has just inherited the Wizard’s magic amulet, who states that he will take up his former Master’s task and slay the Dragon himself. Along the way he risks strong resistance from the King, who believes his lottery system is best for his people, and is temporarily jailed so as not to meddle with the lottery. It’s not until the King’s own daughter is in jeopardy that the King releases Galen in the hopes Galen can actually end the Dragon menace. Along the journey, Galen discovers one of their party is not what they seem (no, not a traitor)…
So, this early 190’s fantasy film still looks beautiful (not something that most movies with special effects from that era can say), and is still interesting. As stated in the title of the review/write up, the Dragon in this movie is still one of my favourite designs of a Dragon in movies, ever. Maybe it’s second to Smaug, now, though I’ll decide that after the third and final Hobbit movie. Still, this movie, in my opinion, still hold up well. I heartily suggest this as a must watch for any fan of the Fantasy genre.
Vampire Week Movie 7 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Full Circle
So, here we are, with the seventh and last movie of our Vampire movie week. With this movie, 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, we have in a away returned to the beginning. Our first movie of our Vampire week, 1979’s Dracula starring Frank Langella, and tonight’s movie, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), are both retellings of the classic Dracula story.
Starring the great Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, and taking place primarily in 1897 (with some important scenes happening in 1462). Count Dracula has decided to purchase several properties in London, England and his case has been handed to a new solicitor (like a lawyer), Jonathan Harker (played by Keanu Reeves, with the absolutely worse English accent I have heard in I don’t know how long). Harker has taken on Dracula’s portfolio from a Mr Renfield (played extremely well by Tom Waits), who has since gone completely insane. Harker must travel to Transylvania to meet with Count Dracula to discuss his plan to purchase Carfax Abbey. Once in the hands of Dracula, he soon finds that he is a prisoner. While there are some perks (there are some pretty sexy vampire chicks), he escapes, a changed man, and heads back to London. Dracula, himself changed from a decrepit, creepy old man, to a now dashing young gentleman, has put a spell on Harker’s fiancé, Mina (played by Winona Rider who also struggles with her accent… though nothing like Keanu’s). Oh… He also seduces, rapes and drains Lucy, Mina’s friend. Yeah, this is Dracula – he does stuff like that. Enter Van Helsing, (portrayed by Anthony Hopkins) everybody’s favourite Vampire hunter.
Okay – this is the classic Dracula story, retold in 1992 with a good cast and a big budget. Director Francis Ford Coppola did a good job bringing the story back to the screen in this very watchable retelling. Is it better than the 1979 version? I wouldn’t say so, but it is good enough to watch and enjoy. Also, it’s good enough to forgive that awful accent of Reeve’s. Check out the trailer below:
Vampire Week Movie 6–Martin (1976) – Is He or Isn’t He?
George A. Romero’s 1976 (or 1977 or even 1978 depending on your source), film, Martin, tells the tale of a man, Martin, who may or may not be a vampire…
Martin is a weird film. John Amplas played the title role, a weird, young looking man who has come to live with his great uncle, Tateh Cuda, an Old World Man who accuses Martin of being a Vampire – referring to him as Nosferatu. It doesn’t help that in the opening minutes of the film, we witness Martin drug, rape and bleed a woman on the train he took to get to said Uncle’s house. Once at the house, his uncle instructs Martin forcefully not to speak to Christine (a cousin I believe), and then goes about trying various traditional Vampire repellents (you know, like garlic and crucifixes), but Martin let’s him know that there’s no real magic. Martin starts working at Tateh’s butcher shop and meets local women while making deliveries – these woman later become his victims (or meals, if you will). One of these women eventually becomes Martin’s lover (she’s cheating on her husband). She finds herself attracted to Martin’s quietness, and lack of opinions and judgements. Martin, at first, runs from her advances, but after talking over the phone (and on air), with a local late night DJ, he decides to give into her advances. At the same time, while speaking to the DJ, he tries to remove the mystery from Vampirism . The DJ’s audience just eats this stuff up, and Martin is a hit. Martin’s relationship with this woman changes his feeding habits, and the fact that his uncle forbade him from feeding on anyone from their already dying town, so he soon finds himself in Pittsburgh looking for victims. There he manages to feed well, but took chances that almost got him caught twice. Sated, he returns home only to find his love interest has taken her own life. And that event triggers… another major event.
So we have a guy that may or may not be a vampire who is becoming a bit of an anonymous pop icon, sleeping with a local, married woman, living in a home with a Great Uncle who is trying to ward you off, as he is convinced Martin is none other than Nosferatu. This is pretty interesting stuff here and it’s all put together by one of the Horror genre’s greats, George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, anyone?). You never really know if you’re watching a vampire or just a crazy guy who believes he’s a vampire. We see scenes in black and white of events that would have to happen a long time in the past, but we’re never told whether or not these are Martin’s memories or figments of his imagination. Add that to the fact that he tells Christine, in passing, that he is 84 years old. What… What is going on here. A good movie – that, my friends, is what is going on here.
Check out the trailer below, and if you get a chance, check out the movie too.
Vampire Week Movie 5 – Shadow of the Vampire (2000)–The Troubles of Casting a Vampire – In Your Vampire Movie
Set during the shooting of the iconic 1922 Vampire film, Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire tells the tale of the dangers that can face you when you look for too much realism in your films. Staring John Malkovich as famous German Director, Frederich Wilhelm Murnau, during his filming of the above mentioned Nosferatu. Taking his cast and crew to film on location in Czechoslovakia, where he instroduces the rest of the crew to the star of the film, Max Schreck, whom, Murnau explains, will be in character for the entire time of the filming, and will only be seen at night. Schreck is played masterfully by Willem Dafoe. When members of the crew start to disappear, we see interesting back and forth between Murnau and the Vampire, in which we find out that Murnau has made a very interesting and questionable bargain with the Vampire: His good behaviour for the life of one of his cast. Shame it’s so difficult to deal with the undead.
Shadow of the Vampire puts a new twist to the Vampire movie: it’s a movie about the making of a vampire movie – wherein the Director of said movie chose to hire a real Vampire to play the title role. The cast is composed of a lot of “A” Listers and they all do an amazing job in this unusual film. The story is gripping, and the switch between regular filming, and the representation of what Murnau is capturing on his cameras is a great way to capture the dualism of the story. After watching this, I was compelled to watch the original, 1922 Nosferatu the very next day. If you enjoy horror movies, plot twists and damn good acting then you owe it to yourself to watch this film. Check out the trailer below:
It’s Alive (1974)–Finally Tackled a Childhood Terror
When 1974’s horror movie, It’s Alive was released, there was the creepiest commercial for the movie where you see a baby carriage, and hear what appears to be a normal baby cry…but as the camera pans around the baby carriage, you see a big monster hand coming out from inside the pram… Well that commercial used to scare the living crap out of me… seriously (hey, I was 4 or 5 at the time). Well, today I finally faced down that fear and watched the movie.
Check out that scary (for a 4 or 5 year old) TV spot here:
It’s Alive tells the tale of a couple, Frank and Lenore Davis (John Ryan and Sharon Farrell), who give birth to a child that is nothing short of a monster. The initial birth is a little tough, as the baby is larger than a normal baby, but the doctor is still confident is all right… Next thing you know the delivery room is full of the dead or dying bodies of the doctors an nurses that were assisting in the birth… and a monster baby is on the loose in the city of Los Angeles.
Dad wants the baby dead because it’s an abomination who’s existence has caused the loss of his job, and the ruination of his family. The big drug companies want the baby dead in the off chance he’s a by product of there chemicals. And the police want the baby dead… because it’s killing people. The only one that seems not to want the baby dead is the mother… at first, at least.
This is definitely a creepy movie, and reasonable well done, if a little slow. Having been as scared as I was of the damned commercial as a child, I do wish the movie was scarier than it is, though I am happy that it doesn’t totally suck. An interesting concept and if the idea sounds like something that you’d like, then definitely watch it.
Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself: