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ODDBear

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504 reviews in total 
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Elvis does Yoga and dives for buried treasure, 23 February 2015
6/10

A frogman (Elvis) working for the Navy discovers treasure in a sunken ship and once he becomes an ordinary citizen he sets out to retrieve it; but he's got competition for it.

One of Elvis's later entries; quite shallow and cheesy but fairly enjoyable. The slapstick humor works OK in parts and there's an underlying comic jab at the hippie lifestyle that's well played out. There are also some impressive underwater sequences here; "Easy Come, Easy Go" is a little more visually compelling than other Presley flicks around this time.

The songs are few but pretty good (6 in total) and many have commented on "Yoga is as Yoga Does" as Elvis's most embarrassing moment on film. Personally I think nothing can top his singing to the dogs in "Paradise, Hawaiian Style" but I also think the Yoga moment here is pretty funny and the song OK; in a cheesy sort of way. You gotta admire how the King was a professional through and through and pulled this off and manages to be funny as well in his bungled Yoga attempts.

Intruder (1989)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
"I guess I got a little carried away" - an understatement to be sure!, 26 January 2015
8/10

I thought I'd seen every relevant slasher worth a damn and I'd quite comfortably ruled out years '87 and upwards (mostly) as the genre had it's creative period between 1978-1984. Anyways; most likely I still have a few undiscovered gems to look forward to if "Intruder" is anything to go by.

Plot wise it's as simple as it comes. An especially gruesome maniac is dispatching a few people at work after hours in a grocery store.

Most seasoned genre fans will spot the twist a mile away but no matter; "Intruder" has everything a slasher fan could possibly want and the humor works especially well; really dark humor mind you!

You have to get through a little rough spot in the very beginning as it starts out rather clumsily but it soon finds it's ground and climaxes with some incredibly gory (and quite inventive) murder sequences. Very methodical build-up (first half hour is ho-hum introductions and false scares, the second is gore galore and the third is a final girl showdown) but the flick's sense of humor and outright nastiness ensure it a special place in a slasher lover's heart.

Casting in fun too with the Raimi brothers (Sam in particular) getting ample screen time and a Bruce Campbell cameo is always a good thing.

Highly recommended.

Spinout (1966)
Solid Presley vehicle, 26 January 2015
7/10

Elvis is Mike, a racer/singer/gypsy living free soul who impresses a spoiled rich girl (Fabares) and her dad (Betz), who desperately wants Mike to race his car and NOT marry his daughter. Along for the ride is an author (McBain) who also wants to marry Mike and a tomboy drummer in his band (Walley) who's quite obviously vying for his affections.

As formulaic as Elvis's later flicks tended to be; but somehow a little better. The goofy atmosphere is energetically played out by a willing cast, the slapstick humor works surprisingly well and the songs aren't too shabby. Granted; "Adam and Evil", "Beach Shack" and "Smorgasboard" are no "Love Me Tender", "Jailhouse Rock" or "King Creole" but they're quite fun and fit well in the movie.

Elvis isn't quite as front and center here as in most other flicks and supporting players get room to breathe and develop a little. The racing scenes here, as was the case with "Viva Las Vegas", are fairly impressive as well.

Make no mistake; this is pretty shallow stuff and Elvis looks a little bored at times. But as far as Elvis's later flicks go; "Spinout" rates pretty high.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Bitter sweet justice, 4 January 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Up till this episode everything in Season 9 of "Criminal Minds" has been pretty routine and mediocre with the team nearing complete supernatural heights of deduction skills with a series of incredibly gruesome killers and very elaborate schemes. Not that that's boring but with what seasoned viewers of the show have become accustomed to; it's pretty forgettable. This episode, however, reminds me just why I stick with the show.

Bones are discovered in the backyard of a middle class African American family and the mother, father and son are rushed to headquarters for interrogation. At first the son is suspected but soon it seems more likely the father is the guilty person. Meanwhile more bodies are being unearthed as Rossi gets in a heated situation with the household father.

We have here a bona fide victim of hatred who's killed because of what was done to him and viewers understand him, if not sympathize to a large extent. The episode also unfolds in a very different fashion in that it mostly takes place in an interrogation room with primary focus on Rossi and the guilty party. In order to try and dig deeper; Rossi admits to a heinous act in his past hoping that it will get the suspect to open up to him (and all indications point to that Rossi was telling the truth). When confession time finally comes most viewers will probably be quite shocked at what the man had to endure and fully understand his rage. This becomes at the end a bitter sweet justice at best.

This episode doesn't stray from the usual hard-to-believe fast nature of the unfolding; with DNA results getting the rushed treatment and delivering concrete data in a matter of hours being one of the more irritable "unbelievables" in the show but no matter; this is still a top tier "Criminal Minds" episode. Rossi has always (at least from Season 3 onward) been the richest of these characters and here we get another glimpse of his past and Mantegna is in top form here. Glynn Turman, as the suspect, gives Mantegna a run for his money as their scenes play out in a tense manner and could easily have gone on longer had running time permitted.

In the end; the crimes included innocent individuals so retribution is necessary. "Strange Fruit" will go down in my books as one of the more interesting episode in this long running series.

Solid creature feature in most respects, 30 December 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A boarded up silver mine in snowy Colorado is blasted open and nasty creatures are unleashed and start wrecking havoc. Caught in the crossfire are a pair of couples (and their seriously adorable dog) in a guest house where the "boogens" can easily enter through the basement.

The film is very atmospheric and the snowy locations and nice cinematography provide gorgeous scenery throughout. The small town setting is nicely captured and you really get a feel for the place. The horror; well, not so much a scary movie "The Boogens" is but it does generate a sense of dread, an eerie mood and a few set pieces are very well done. The acting, by relative unknowns, is first rate and the characters are all likable; not that common for a creature feature from the early 80's.

"The Boogens" does boast spectacularly fake looking creatures but they're wisely kept out of sight 'till the very end. Most horror aficionados will probably be in a forgiving frame of mind as a low budget most definitely contributed to that factor and they'll appreciate all the other things the flick does so well.

All in all; highly recommended for horror buffs.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Killer show from a master showman, 20 December 2014
9/10

The first Zombie concert on film and it's a good show...a f###### great show to be exact :)

I doubt I'll ever see him live so this is the closest I'll come and a Blu-ray of the show does this justice; best enjoyed when cranked up real loud. I'm not much of a heavy metal type but Zombie's music has always had that dance rhythm and catchy as hell hooks with an added oomph! to it. The guy is also a real showman and props the show with gadgets, snow, monsters, robots, film clips, a space-mobile and you name it! It's there. And that John 5 is a killer guitarist.

The set list is good but a fan of his can always point out a few tracks he'd love to have had. Particularly great here are "Teenage Nosferatu (you know the last word)", "Sick Bubblegum", "Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga" and "House of 1000 Corpses". Would love to have had "What" included here but we can't have it all.

There's loads of breast bearing women to be seen here as well as a few brawls between able bodied men; all part of the experience of a Zombie concert I'm sure.

Highly recommended for Zombie fans.

Silent Night (2012/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A very sick Santa picks off the naughty ones in grisly fashion, 3 December 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Some less than decent citizens in a remote Midwestern town are being dispatched of (some in very grizzly fashion) by a killer in a Santa costume and a young deputy (King) and her Sheriff (McDowell) try and track him down.

Not much of a remake of the old Christmas slasher classic "Silent Night, Deadly Night" but it does borrow from it and even honor it with that flick's most memorable kill scene. I first saw "Silent Night" three years ago and it's been a steady Christmas time view for me since. It's extremely brutal on occasion (that wood chipper scene is just disgusting) but it's a decent horror/thriller/slasher that moves along nicely and is peppered with some very decent performances.

Jaime King, in particular, invests in her role and is not only believable but a very likable and human character. McDowell goes the other way; delivering one cheesy line after the other but he does it so well and is obviously having a good time playing the token small town sheriff.

There's no snow here but the Christmas atmosphere is nicely captured and the small town scenario always seems to be a big plus in these types of films. There are a few very effective and graphic sequences displaying just how angry this Santa is and some scenes definitely stay with you afterwords.

I feel it kinda peters out at the end with a less-than-inspired conclusion but up until then it's an enjoyable ride for horror buffs with the stomach for some very unsettling imagery.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A stinker of a Christmas slasher, 3 December 2014
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A killer dispatches a few people on Christmas at a finishing school.

Give a film credit where credit's due. First of all; this is the first film depicting a killer Santa at Christmas (the "Tales From the Crypt" segment with Joan Collins is just that, a segment), it's a few months ahead of "Friday the 13th" with the undying formula of disposable people hacked to death at a secluded location, a minuscule budget and a 10 day shooting schedule definitely called for fast thinking and fast shooting (and a lot of painfully obvious day-for-night scenes). The fact that David Hess and co. managed to churn out a semi coherent slasher must be considered quite a feat in itself.

Too bad that "To All a Goodnight" is such a bore. The kills are mostly clumsy and the extreme gore scenes look pretty bad, there's no suspense and any attempt at a creepy atmosphere in promising surroundings falls flat with cringe worthy dialog and well below par performances. For me; a William Lauer (never heard of him before) delivers the best performance as the typical horn dog of the pack while others quite literally stink. Kiva Lawrence, as the cook and overall watchdog of the girls at the finishing school, is the most experienced actress and she's not bad per se but doesn't come off any better than the rest. Future mini starlet Jennifer Runyon doesn't do any better either.

There's also that killer second twist in the end where you think everything's wrapped up but it turns out not so much. Needless to say it doesn't better the film but it's another point in the flick's favor concerning how it beat most others with that indispensable routine.

With no Christmas atmosphere to speak of, no real suspense, not any great gore or memorable scenes for that matter or any other small things associated with decent slashers to recommend; I hardly think "To All a Goodnight" will be a seasonal mandatory viewing in the yuletide season for slasher fans.

I wanted to like...scratch that...Love "To All a Goodnight" but it's a plain old stinker in most respects.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Lacklustre season finale, 22 November 2014
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A real let down of a season finale in "Criminal Minds".

The Repclicator has been harassing the crack team of behavioral specialists all season long and here's where his modus operandi and identity is revealed.

NO SPOILER HERE - It's pretty cheap (and easily resolved!)

Spoiler ahead for those who've yet to view

- Turns out it's a disgruntled ex-employee in the bureau (a very weary looking Luke Sky...ahem; Mark Hamill) who got mistreated by Erin Strauss (Jane Atkinson) way back when and the episode starts with him disposing of her. Crackling opening in what turns into a very routine easy-to-spot villain and a speedy dispatching of (with a laugh out loud trick used by Rossi) followed by a cozy gathering of the team to close it off.

End of Spoiler

I keep sticking with "Criminal Minds" despite it's absurdities (mostly with the near supernatural deductive abilities of the team) and quite often the show manages to be both incredibly gruesome and suspenseful and, in fewer instances admittedly, even quite moving when showing a bit of the human factor with it's characters. The Eighth Season had a few very good episodes concerning Spencer (Gubler) and his doomed romance and even upped the ante in the "sickening" department with a few truly harrowing eps.

But always lurking behind the scenes was this "Replicator" who'd been shadowing the team and copying gruesome murders they'd already solved. You always knew it had to be someone with inside knowledge and the setup for the finale was quite good. Too bad the actual episode was so cut and dry and really had a silly resolution. Mark Hamill will always be fondly remembered by film lovers but he's really painful to look at and his performance here is so mundane it barely registers.

The Eighth Season finishes on a whimper :(

Strange and mostly unfunny werewolf comedy, 13 November 2014
3/10

Larry Cohen is one of the big horror names and I've been meaning to get to his movies for quite some time. Never caught his "It's Alive" trilogy, nor "Q" or "God Told Me To" but as a horror nut; I'll get to them eventually. Perhaps "Full Moon High" isn't the best introduction into Larry Cohen the director.

Adam Arkin gives his all as a teenager who's bitten by a wolf in Romania and his life falls apart soon after. Father dies (quite a funny scene though) and he fulfills his destiny; roaming the earth for a great deal of time before tiring of it eventually and then return home. He does just that but a lot has changed.

Perhaps aiming for the heights of screwball comedy gold "Airplane"; "Full Moon High" is just a plain old misfire. Maybe some quality inside jokes flew by me but the flick is spoofing Werewolf oldie's left and right while trying to be somewhat topical of changing times and values in the old US of A. There are scattered laughs here and there in 93 minutes (mostly with Ed McMahon and Kenneth Mars - the shower scene early on is pretty funny) but on the whole this is a pretty painful sit-through.

Certainly a one of a kind movie and not surprisingly it has a small cult following; I'm all for that (mostly in the horror department myself though) but I can't honestly recommend this movie for comedy buffs. Adam Arkin is likable here but like most others he looks a little lost and no wonder. I'll give the movie one thing; it's anything but predictable as I never knew what direction it was going to turn to next. Halfway through I thought I had it pegged but was I dead wrong!

Weird flick and not in the good way.


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