Archive for October, 2009

We're having technical difficulties…

October 29, 2009

It has been called to my attention that the site is looking a bit funky on some browsers. I’m trying to fix it, but I have no idea what’s causing the problem. We all just may have to get used to things looking fucked up.

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dvd review: THE TOURNAMENT

October 26, 2009

tournament

Some films exist as little more than excuses to do things as simple as blow things up, show hot women in various stages of undress, or subject the audience to a mindless barrage of action sequences that defy the laws of nature and logic. Jason Statham has made a career out of films like this, and when done right, there’s nothing wrong with these movies—at least not in the sense that these movies are never more than they’ve set out to be. And that is certainly the case with The Tournament, a film that exists—almost exclusively to blow things (and people) to smithereens, show some women naked, and careen out of control on a cinematic blazing trail of mindless violence. (more…)

dvd review: BLOOD NIGHT: The LEGEND OF MARY HATCHET

October 25, 2009

Mary Hatchet

Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet starts out strong enough for what it is. That’s to say that for a retro hack-‘em-and-stack-‘em horror flick that recalls countless similar movies from the 1980s, Blood Night demonstrates within its first few minutes more than a little potential, setting itself up to be fun film overflowing with tawdry sex and violence. And if that is what the film delivered during its 84-minute run, we’d all be more than content. Unfortunately, the film hits a little snag along the way, and things don’t quite work out as planned. (more…)

dvd review: NO THROUGH ROAD

October 24, 2009

no-through-roadAlthough I don’t get paid for the reviews I post here on my site, I do take my responsibilities as a critic somewhat seriously. To that end, I try hard to watch everything that I review all the way through, in one sitting, without fast-forwarding. As far as I’m concerned, a movie has to be a special type of craptacular for me to even consider engaging the fast-forward button, let alone actually pressing it. All of which is to say that fast-forwarding is not something I do lightly or often, and every time I do it, I vow to never do it again. And then I stumble across something like No Through Road, which, as near as I can tell, is the reason the sort of movie for which the fast-forward button was invented. (more…)

dvd review: THE EXILES

October 24, 2009

Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep remains one of the best films I have ever seen. A stark, meditative slice-of-life portrait of blacks living in Los Angeles, Burnett’s film recalled the neo-realism of Italian cinema, and the cinema verite of France. What I did not know when I first saw Killer of Sheep, was that it also recalled the work of Kent Mackenzie’s film, The Exiles, which had predated Burnett’s seminal work by almost a decade, but had sadly lapsed into near-forgotten obscurity. Released now on DVD, The Exiles has been given a richly deserved new lease on life, bringing with it the opportunity to explore an era that has long since passed. (more…)

DARIUS GOES WEST – watch it for FREE!!!

October 15, 2009

If you haven’t seen Darius Goes West , you’re missing one of the greatest movies of all time. Now you can watch it for free.

http://www.dariusgoeswest.org/playitforward/standalone/PIFStandalone.swf

dvd review: NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE

October 15, 2009

typicalbigfootmovie

For the record, I am one of those people that believe in Bigfoot. Like so many kids who grew up in the 1970s, I was weaned on the television series In Search of, various documentaries and docudramas like The Mysterious Monsters, Sasquatch and The Legend of Bigfoot, the ridiculous series Bigfoot and Wildboy, and of course the classic episodes of the Six Million Dollar Man where Steve Austin squares off against Bigfoot. I read books about Bigfoot and even dreamed of the day that I would be part of expedition that actually saw the legendary creature. And after all these years, through many hoaxes and even though the existence of Bigfoot has yet to be confirmed, I still believe in the creature. The problem—at least for me—is the other people who believe in Bigfoot, and tend to question my own convictions. Not that there’s anything wrong with these people (really, it’s me, not them); it’s just that they seem a little…I don’t know…different? (more…)

Blaxploitation 101 article on MSN

October 13, 2009

blackdynamite3

Just in time for the release of Black Dynamite, comes my article Blaxploitation 101, now on MSN. Click here to check it out.

dvd review: THE STEPFATHER

October 9, 2009

stepfather

There was a massive surge in horror movies in the late 1970s and the early 80, starting largely with original versions of The Hills Have Eyes, Halloween and Friday the 13th, which set much of the tone for the direction the genre would take for decades to come. There came in the wake of success enjoyed by these movies a tidal wave of slasher films, many featuring psychopaths in masks, and many centered around some holiday themes. For fans of the horror genre, there was a never-ending parade of fright flicks to choose from, but unfortunately much of it was the same thing over and over again. By the time the 1980s were over, there had been a total of eight Friday the 13th sagas, which were only part of what had drained the life (and creativity) from the genre. And all of this is crucial in understanding why a little film called The Stepfather was warmly embraced by both fans and critics, who had otherwise grown sick and tired of horror. (more…)

dvd review: KILLING ARIEL

October 8, 2009

killingariel

Not that long ago, I wrote a rather scathing review of a horror movie called Staunton Hill. In that review, I used language that might be considered objectionable by some people, and certainly was reflective of a somewhat unsophisticated way of expressing my disdain for the film. Looking back, I regret the words I used to describe Staunton Hill—but not for the reasons some of you might think. Staunton Hill is still a total piece of crap, make no mistake about that. The problem, however, is that Killing Ariel is, in its own unique way, an even bigger piece of crap, and therefore more deserving of the tirade that I laid down on Staunton Hill. But since I’ve already used up my profanity-laced tirade quota of the month, I’ll have to find other ways to express my pure hatred for Killing Ariel. (more…)