Reviews written by
Ann_Bowman_Invents

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42 reviews in total 
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Society (1989)
My neighbors aren't human???!, 15 June 2003

All-American super-hunk Bill is high school student who doesn't fit in. With his family or the other teens. Then, he begins to get clues that acts of incest are being committed among his family and he discovers that everyone in high society is looking to scrape him off the face of the Earth, literally.

Through a couple tons of special effects splatter make-up, Society is born. A poor satire, a decent conspiracy-theory thriller, and an effective shock machine. But, this affair is strictly routine when it's most important to try an experiment. **1/2 out of ****

Bio-Zombie (1998)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
What do you know?!!, 15 June 2003

A pair of teen punks who work in a mall video-compact-disc shop hit a chemical corporation employee with their car and give him a sip of his contaminated soft-drink to quench his thirst. They drag him back to the mall, he becomes a zombie, and soon all the punks in the mall are fighting against a consumer army of the undead.

Slick Asian zombie flick is the reminiscent combination of Dawn of the Dead and Return of the Living Dead. Bio Zombie has an awesome theme song, an influential conclusion, brains, and a terrific subjective point of view. It will be revered as a classic one day. *** out of ****

What you own... always comes home to you, 11 June 2003

The Creed family, complete with handsome doctor husband and pet feline, move into a new house in the country. Too bad their move used up all of their good fortune. Now, they live in constant danger of being exposed to an evil burial ground that resurrects the dead and being killed by one of the many huge trucks that rip down the road, seeming to come out of nowhere. First the family cat is run down. Father decides he'll bury it in the evil indian cemetery, and it comes back from the dead. But, what goes in is not the same as what comes out.

Shrill, tactless adaptation of the novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary (cemetery, how it is correctly spelled) is a poor outing which lacks direction, conviction, and discernment. Actor Dale Midkiff is a real hunk! Can be harshly striking at times, which is a plus. Picks up a little steam in the way of pacing and make-up effects for it's genuinely scary finale. But overall- you can swear you've heard it somewhere before and you've seen it done better elsewhere.

** out of ****

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Sleepless nights, 11 June 2003

This documentary on the films and influences of the greatest Italian horror director since Mario Bava, is a real treat... if you've never really heard of him before. There are a lot of clips from his movies - which are redundant if you've seen them - and behind the scenes footage from Tenebre and Phenomena that would do better as an extra on individual DVD or laserdisc editions. And finally, clips from interviews with Dario Argento which are insightful and interesting. This is the best feature of this documentary. But, this will be a perfect introduction to his world if you're not in 'the know'. For a documentary, I give it a silver star.

Motel Hell (1980)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Meat's meat..., 11 June 2003

Terry and her biker boyfriend are riding down the road one day when suddenly, they crash into a tree. Luckily for her, the famous Farmer Vincent just happens to be strolling along and plucks this flower away from the grim reaper. He takes her back to the motel where he and his plump sister nurse her back to health. Terry, being completely unaware of what has happened, is told the terrible news and tries to understand this devastating tragedy. His kindness and wisdom impress and woo her, and she falls in love with him. She then learns why Vincent's so famous... for smoking human meat that he harvests from the unfortunate guests of Motel Hello (the O in the second word is faded out on the sign).

The wicked performances from Rory Calhoun as Vincent and Nancy Parsons as Ida are great. It's easier to believe the dialogue coming out of their mouths than the rest of the majors, who are such bad actors that Motel Hell becomes a chore to watch. Decent writing job. A couple of effective scenes (the little twin girls in the slaughterhouse, the victims' revenge, and the trippy 'spaceship' sequence) and Lance Rubin's Keith Emerson-esque score make this somewhat required viewing for horror fans.

One prospective tagline - "No one will be admitted after the guests check in" - rips off the theater-gimmick from Psycho where patrons were only allowed to view the film from the beginning. ** out of ****

Hairspray (1988)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
...I wished my hair was 10 feet high!, 9 June 2003

Tracy Turnblad is a 'hair-hopper'. She feathers and dyes it, and wears it so high that it blocks the other teens' heads who sit behind her in geometry class. But, she has a dream. To be 'the baddest' white dancer on The Corny Collins Show. So one night, during the local Record Hop, she struts her stuff on the dancefloor during "Madison Time" and blows away the competition. She gets an invitation to try out for the counsel, and wins. But she faces opposition from senior member Amber Von Tussle and her high class family, who own the segregated Tilted Acres amusement park. Tracy vows to end segregation on the show, and falls in love with Amber's boyfriend- gorgeous Elvis-esque actor Michael St. Gerard (a boy who really knows how to do the Waddle!).

John Waters successfully makes his transition to mainstream fluff, with this outrageous tale of how dance-pop TV became integrated. For some, the fact that it's extremely dated will bring it down. But the radical costumes, sets, and production design will no doubt be a real kick to the rest of us. Ricki Lake- who only got a talk show, and two measly one-line roles in Working Girl and Buffy the Vampire Slayer out of the deal- makes her film debut here. She went on to work with Mr. Waters three more times. Classic soundtrack! I can't get enough of "Shake a Tail Feather", it's my favorite in the movie. Hairspray is a lot of fun. Because it's "way beyond Grease"! **** out of ****

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
See a ghost?, 9 June 2003

Constable Ichabod Crane, a bit of a bug-phobe but a brilliant deducer, is sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to assist in the investigation of a rash of murders that turn out to be motivated by a secret conspiracy. Everyone in the town is in fear of their lives from the grim reaper on horseback, otherwise known as the Headless Horseman. He lost his head in the western woods because one little girl couldn't keep a tree quiet (that scene is a must-see!). Crane sets himself to figuring who is controlling this demonic killer... though he may lose his own head in the process.

Great classic style horror opus, the first real outing in this genre for Burton. Handled with great flair by someone with obvious affection for the Hammer horror films of yesterday. Depp gives another all-out performance different from his other roles in Ed Wood or Edward Scissorhands, with great manic comic moments that remind me of Carol Burnett. Christina Ricci on the other hand is a little stiff. But, the real showstopper here is Miranda Richardson. You'll see what I mean if you watch Sleepy Hollow. The modern special effects strangely blend in nicely with the photography. A lot of terrific horror scenes here are sure to become classics. *** out of ****

You knew and you did nothing, 9 June 2003

Johnny Smith was an influential teacher of classic literature with a wonderfully caring girlfriend, until an accidental collision with a truck changed his life. After awaking from a five year coma, he finds everything he once had he has now lost- including the love of his life. But, he has gained something. The power to see into the future by making physical contact with another person. Once he gets a good idea of just how powerful this new capability is, he makes an honest effort never to use it. And then, he runs into an old flame, which really turns up the heat.

Disturbing, well executed, and almost touching adaptation of the novel by Stephen King. Christopher Walken's humanity is at times ominous. Brooke Adams (the Lace mini-series), having most of her experience in made for television movies, makes big waves. And who knew that Martin Sheen looked so young once?? He's one of those men who is more attractive with age. His performance is certainly an energetic one, not that I'm so sure that's what best suits the film. Nicholas Campbell is one of the best surprises here as an actor of stupendous facial expressions; this man's one to watch.

Great winter locations. But, this dramatic vehicle is a little too pitiable for our own good. **1/2 out of ****

Clueless (1995)
You try driving in platforms!, 9 June 2003

In Cher's world- Ren & Stimpy are "way existential", everywhere you go has valet, and the mall is a place you go to gather your thoughts and regain your strength. She's a ditz. But she's got a very clever outlook on everything. When the grades on her report card are dragging down her average, she 'persuades' her teachers to lift them up by telling little pink lies. When new girl in town Tai is unknowing the ways of her High School, Cher and her best friend Dionne kindly offer to give her a makeover- complete with popular boyfriend, lean but husky-voice hunk Elton. Cher does it all.

But, she's only human. And everybody messes up. The boyfriend she sets Tai up with happens to be interested in Cher, new sexy boy Christian who breezes into town who Cher falls head over heels for turns out to be gay, Cher fails her totally important driver's test, and Tai bites when Cher begrudges her a chance to go for her adorable ex-step brother Josh. It all boils down to one inevitable conclusion- Cher is totally CLUELESS.

Clueless is through and through a good-hearted movie for real teenagers (unlike Legally Blonde). Authentic ones who curse, have social addictions with boundaries, smoke marijuana in responsible party-moderation with trusted friends, lie to get what they want sometimes, and have a good time without getting in anyone's way. The 94-95 soundtrack is chock full of bands we don't get to hear a lot on the radio anymore- Lightning Seeds, Cracker, Luscious Jackson, Lightning Seeds. It's a great nostalgic vacation to a time that rocked, in every way. Alicia Silverstone is completely enigmatic, her performance is youthful and carefree. Clueless is a totally great movie. ***1/2 out of ****

Fly my pretties, 9 June 2003

Eglantine Price is an apprentice witch who is trying to end World War II. She is picking up her latest witch-course gift one day when she is forced to take three refugee kids into her home. One night, when they try to run away, they see her flying on her broomstick and try to blackmail her. They have a change of heart however, and she gives them a gift- a bedknob that will take them anywhere they wish to go. They go on a journey after Price gets a canceling letter in the mail from the witch course, to get the final spell for substitutiary locomotion. They meet the professor and when they come home... they are ambushed by soldiers planning an invasion scare tactic.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks is recorded to have been re-cut for it's length many times. And as rumor has it, Disney has released a new millennium cut of the film in it's complete entirety at a whopping 139 minutes, making it one minute shorter than Mary Poppins. It's okay fun for older kids. But there are serious plot elements that will bore some children to death, no matter how short the movie is. I found it a little long in the tooth at 117 minutes, though it had a few pay-offs. The music is good, the best scenes involve the traveling bed. Not as magical as other Disney movies. 6/10


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