Reviews written by registered user
merklekranz

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1192 reviews in total 
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A few redeeming qualities among the bad .........., 19 June 2017
5/10

It's difficult to make a case for recommending "The Crater Lake Monster", because while it is definitely not totally terrible, it has many, many problems. Let's break down some of the bad first. Because of the budget constraints the acting is a real mixed bag. The sheriff is sort of the cream of the crap. All females in the film are beyond bad, and often appear to be reading their script during filming. The two hillbillies take up way too much running time, and their act eventually wears out it's welcome. The story itself is disjointed, and continuity non existent, especially admiring the stars in the sky with noontime shadows and obvious bright daylight. The musical score is awful, and at times grating. Now for the good. The on location scenery is nicely photographed. The stop motion sequences are well done. The film is only 85 minutes. - MERK

Pit Stop (1969)
50s iron bent every which way ....., 9 June 2017
7/10

Pure and simple, "Pit Stop" is a car crash movie that happens to have a story attached to it. The figure eight track will quickly remind you of the dirt in your face racing that used to be. Richard Davalos plays sort of an anti-hero, taking advantage of situations that could work in his favor at the expense of others. Brian Donlevy really doesn't fit here, and acts as though he would rather be somewhere else. Meanwhile, Sid Haig steals the movie, and is definitely the most interesting character. Do not come into this with expectations beyond drive in fodder, and you will be pleasantly surprised. It moves along at a nice pace, and the race scenes are well done. If you enjoy car carnage , this is definitely one to seek out. - MERK

Bad Words (2013)
"Bad Santa" wannabe ......., 4 June 2017
6/10

Jason Bateman's "Bad Words" has a pretty intriguing plot, an adult entering a spelling bee through a loophole in the rules, and then wrecking havoc on the contest. I'm not sure there was enough material here for a feature film? The movie seems padded with unnecessary bouts of foul language, and sex scenes. This would have been an excellent sketch on "Saturday Night Live", but often losers momentum as a ninety minute movie. Also, for dark comedy to work, it needs to be outrageous, but not hurtful. Bateman's methods for getting rid of his competition really borders on sadism, rather than "black comedy". No doubt there are some good laughs to be had but, unfortunately often at the expense of children. - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Fast moving "Who done it?", 3 June 2017
7/10

Cliff Robertson plays a very frustrated small town Sheriff, trying to solve a murder case. Mucking things up is Joel Grey claiming to be a psychic, who can help Robertson find the killer. Unfortunately, Grey supplies just enough officially withheld information to tantalize the police, but not enough to solve the case. This causes Robertson to challenge Grey's psychic abilities with professional testing that is inconclusive and only further muddy the waters. "Man on a Swing" is based on a true murder investigation, and is superbly edited so that it never bogs down. The viewer is interested right up to the open ended conclusion, and is left wondering, just as the creative script intended. - MERK

Seconds (1966)
Like a stretched "Twilight Zone" episode ....., 1 June 2017
5/10

I cannot jump on board the positive review bandwagon for "Seconds". Although the acting is good, Frankenheimer stretches scenes that just plain lack interest. One example would be the grape stomping orgy. It goes on and on without moving the story forward. The concept of leaving one life for another is nothing that hasn't been seen before, so to have the audience basically in neutral for what seems like at least ten minutes is unacceptable. In other words, let's get on with it, especially since the story is not unpredictable. Frankly I was disappointed, not with the acting, or the black and white photography, or even the musical score. I just thought the story played like nothing more than a "Twilight Zone" episode that had been padded with over long scenes. - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Vastly superior to it's predecessor with a "killer" score ......, 20 May 2017
7/10

"The Stranger Returns", is much better than the first "Stranger" movie, just as "For a Few Dollars More" eclipsed "A Fistful of Dollars". The score here is an absolute "killer" , and very Morricone like. I would say that Warner Brothers has done a great job with the Archive Collection transfer. Colors are sharp and the musical score is clearly a highlight. The story itself, has Tony Anthony playing the low key sly fox, taking a beating, but eventually outsmarting Dan Vadis and his gang. There are several chuckles that actually work, and the action, although predictable, moves along at a good pace. I consider this film to be one of the better non-Leone spaghetti westerns, and is recommended viewing, especially for "spaghetti" fans. - MERK

Roadkill (2011) (TV)
"Dude" this movie is really awful ........, 11 May 2017
1/10

Any movie that overuses the word "dude" like "Roadkill" really must suck, and this one certainly does. I mean "dude" there is zero character development". The Winnebago vacationing "twenty somethings" are all annoying "dude". The story of Gypsies placing a curse that calls to life a giant turkey necked, scraggly bird is laughable "dude"' This is what happens "dude", when the Sci-Fi Channel , runs out of ideas, they like improvise "dude", with a story that makes no sense. This move has about as much entertainment value as watching a burning orphanage "dude". So like "dude", you have been warned, avoid this like you would a rabid dog, unless of course you like dumb movies "dude". - MERK

Dead Broke (1998)
A play on film ......, 11 May 2017
6/10

"Dead Broke" is essentially a one room play with eight suspects being interrogated in a murder case. You cannot set your expectations beyond this very limited environment. The movie is very much like "Twelve Angry Men", except instead of a sequestered jury, here we have sequestered suspects. The acting is strong and as each of the eight reveal their suspicions, anyone could be implicated in the crime. Things are complicated however, because the victim's body, which fell into a river, has yet to be recovered. The film is a bit long, and the claustrophobic atmosphere monotonous. Nevertheless, persevering to the conclusion is mandatory. - MERK

Bud Cort goes bonkers ......., 10 May 2017
6/10

Make no mistake, "Ted & Venus" is not an easy watch. It is however daring in a way most films fail. Obviously willing to take chances with questionable themes like stalking, obsession, and madness, the movie treads ground that many audiences will not appreciate. If however, you are entertained by the likes of "Where's Poppa?", "Eating Raoul", and of course "Harold and Maude", then you will revel in some of the the dark comedy here. There is a courtroom scene that is especially funny, and there are sporadic situations and dialog that are excellent. It's just that the whole movie feels uneven and this choppiness may be due to a difficult edit? Bud Cort should have realized that beauty is only a light switch away. - MERK

Legendary (2013)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Insulting the audience 101 ........, 8 May 2017
1/10

The primary purpose of any movie should be to entertain. The best way to accomplish that goal is to fulfill what is promised. "Legendary" fails on all counts to deliver a satisfactory viewing experience. The script is infantile, and borders on insulting. For example, instead of ducking into a cave crevice to avoid the rampaging "whatever it is?" the hero finds it necessary to exclaim "let's hide in here". The boating scenes are a complete joke as every time it is necessary to announce "it's at 400 yards, 300 yards, 200 yards, and closing fast". There is no suspense, no sensible science, and a creature that is about as scary as a basket of bunnies. In total, a complete disaster, that fails to deliver on it's promise. To be avoided. - MERK


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