Reviews

7 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
7/10
Cinematic Serial Killers
2 January 2008
An interesting albeit brief look at the history of serial killers in the movies. For the most part, only well known films are covered but they do range from Fritz Lang's M (1931) to Jonathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs (1991). Chances are you won't recognize many of the names and faces on screen. The majority belong to critics, authors and professors of whom most viewers will never have heard. Fortunately these folks are quite well versed in the subject matter and are very informative. There are also interviews with more familiar names like Brian Cox and Ridley Scott as well as real life serial predator Henry Lee Lucas. Areas explored include crime fact versus crime fiction, sympathetic killers, audience appreciation and trends through the years. In all, not a bad way to kill an hour. General audiences may find this documentary boring but horror fans and true crime enthusiasts should enjoy as I did.
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10/10
Judy, I implore thee! Read the scriptures!
23 August 2006
If Footmen Tire You is the epitome of a cult film. You're not going to find this title on the shelf at your local Blockbuster or Movie Gallery. This is the kind of film that for years lived in near total obscurity only to gain an audience after being promoted through cult fanzines and websites. You can't find this at Best Buy, folks. You have to seek it out through a bootlegger or download a copy. Not because you're trying to cheat 'the man' but because there's simply no other way to obtain it. But the film is certainly worth the effort.

In keeping with the true meaning of a cult film, the original intent of If Footmen Tire usually has nothing to do with why people watch and enjoy it. Originally intended to save the good Christians and the United States from an impending communist takeover, the film is now seen as an over the top example of ridiculous religious propaganda. And rightfully so. Even in an age when communism did have a strong hold on some parts of the world, the scenario presented by If Footmen Tire was still impossible to believe. According to this film, the communist takeover of the United States would be accomplished in only fifteen minutes! Apparently there would be no resistance from either our own military or the vast number of armed civilians. Basically we'd wake up one morning to find ourselves under an evil communist regime. And a hilarious, stereotypical one at that. The evil commies are portrayed by rednecks and good old boys who either can't act at all or ham it up with Bela Lugosi type accents. At times it's difficult to tell who is supposed to induce more fear, the communists or the "strange children" who wear their skirts too short or fornicate at the drive-in. What is intended to be a very frightening film comes across as one of the most hilarious you're ever likely to see. Bizarre scenes of torture which range from improbable to impossible. Inane visions of brainwashing techniques. Wacko interpretations of biblical prophecy. Reminds me a lot of growing up here in the South. Too much maybe.

If Footmen Tire provides more laughs than most comedies ever manage. So do yourself a favor and find a copy on ebay or wherever you can and watch one of the best cult movies ever.
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The Lost (II) (2006)
8/10
A Faithful Adaptation And Well Made Film
17 August 2006
Caught a special screening of The Lost this past weekend at Horrorfind Weekend in Hunt Valley, Maryland where author Jack Ketchum was in attendance. Ketchum introduced the film by saying how impressed he was with the end result. An opinion I share whole heartedly. First of all, the cast is a top notch mix of veteran character actors and relative novices, all of whom are very good at what they do. This is something one doesn't often see in such a low budget project. Many familiar faces grace the screen and talented ones at that. It is the presence of such a cast that sets the film apart from the crowd right at the start. The Lost also has a great look to it. Aesthetically speaking, the film doesn't appear to be as low budget as it actually is. That's an element which can really hold a film back and one which I was afraid might be an issue here. Fortunately the film looks wonderful. As I mentioned, The Lost is a very faithful adaptation of Ketchum's book. This isn't to say that a few liberties aren't taken. Nothing that should offend fans of the book though.

In all, The Lost is a very satisfying film which Ketchum fans should enjoy. Hopefully the film will be shown the appreciation it truly deserves.
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7/10
Don't take it too seriously and you'll have a great time.
23 April 2006
The reviewer who labeled this "The WORST movie of all time" must not have seen many movies. Far worse films top the box office on an average weekend. Some people just can't handle low budget movies. Some can't handle Horror Comedies. So if you're a stickler for a multi-million dollar budget and a film that takes itself too seriously, you may well want to avoid Hide and Creep. On the other hand, if you're like most genre fans and enjoy the occasional humor with your Horror, you should get a kick out of this film. If you like films along the lines of Bad Taste, Evil Dead 2, Evil Aliens and Slither then you'll probably understand this movie.

Hide and Creep is both a parody and an homage to Romero and Raimi and Jackson. It's chock full of in jokes and not so subtle references that only a true movie geek can fully appreciate. Lots of bad makeup and iffy effects that some movies would expect the audience to believe as genuine. That's part of the gag. The zombies aren't meant to look 'real'. The gore is meant to induce more laughs than scares. Again, don't take the film too seriously. It's not a serious film. It's a comedy. Not a broad, slapstick parody in the Scary Movie vein but a parody just the same. Better than Shaun of the Dead? No but I laughed more at Hide and Creep than I did Shaun or even Slither for that matter.

While small on budget, Hide and Creep is huge on heart. Real Horror fans should appreciate such love for the genre and the effort put forth by young filmmakers with no studio backing.
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4/10
Please, George. Go back to Pittsburgh.
26 June 2005
My heartfelt congratulations to all of you who felt that this movie was incredible or wonderful or tremendous or that it kicked ass. I envy you. I really do. You are the film enthusiast's equivalent of a cheap drunk. Only one who can toss back two beers and get plastered can fully understand how one could leave the theater after having seen this film and feel even slightly entertained.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't hate Land of the Dead. I wish to god I had. At least then I'd have felt something. Any emotion is better than no emotion at all. Total apathy. I didn't care about the characters or their situation. There was no suspense because nobody had a clear objective and whether or not they achieved whatever it was they were supposed to be striving for, I didn't give a tinker's damn about. I refuse to believe that the same man who wrote Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead wrote this film. I don't see how it's possible. The dialog in those earlier films is witty and creative and distinguished and memorable. They may as well have done that Charlie Brown adult "momp-mwomp-mwaaa" jazz. I'd have gotten just as much out of it.

Asia Argento can't act. She didn't get nude to make up for that fact, as she does in most of her films. On top of that, there are enough bags under her eyes for every resident of Fiddler's Green to go on a month long vacation. Dennis Hopper reprises his role from Speed. And Waterworld. Only this time round he's a lot more refined and a lot less interesting. Simon Baker did the best he could considering what he had to work with as did John Leguizamo. Unfortunately neither had anything to work with.

Was it the budget? Did twenty million dollars cause this catastrophe? The first time Romero has ever had the 'benefit' of this much money, such a well known cast and the backing of a big studio and the film turns out weak and ineffective. I can only hope that the money is to blame and not the man. That would leave open the possibility for him to make up for this mess with another film. One with an unknown cast made on a shoestring budget. Like the good old days. I hope this is the case as much for Romero's sake as for ours. I'd hate to see him die with this as his epitaph.
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The Split (1968)
6/10
If You Like Heist Films, You'll Love The Split
29 January 2005
Great little heist number starring some of the finest actors ever to grace the silver screen. Jim Brown made only few films between his most famous outing, The Dirty Dozen, and his biggest claim to fame, the Blaxploitation films of the 1970s. The Split may well be the best of those, though ...tick...tick...tick... with George Kennedy would be a close second. Here, Brown turns in one of his best performances as McClain, a down on his luck career criminal looking to make a big score.

Jim Brown teams with two of his Dirty Dozen cohorts, Ernest Borgnine and Donald Sutherland, as well as Jack Klugman, Warren Oates and Gene Hackman. All give fine performances as do the film's leading ladies, Julie Harris and Diahann Carroll. Warren Oates is terrific here in one of his early roles. When compared to his later work, this shows just how versatile and actor he was. Gene Hackman is also excellent as Brille, a role which foreshadows the work he would do later in The French Connection. Keep an eye out for veteran character actor James Whitmore in a small but pivotal role as Diahann Carroll's creepy landlord.

Tight direction by Gordon Flemyng, interesting cinematography by Burnett Guffey, wonderful music by Quincy Jones, an effectively clever story and script by Richard Stark and Robert Sabaroff. The Split has a lot going for it. If you liked Peckinpah's The Getaway and Don Siegel's Charley Varrick, chances are you'll like The Split.

Highly recommended.
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Super Fuzz (1980)
Super Fuzz Is Still My Name
16 November 2004
I remember first watching this film way back when it was in heavy rotation on HBO in the early 80s. This was long before I discovered Terence Hill's Spaghetti Westerns like My Name Is Nobody and his Trinity films. I certainly didn't know anything about Sergio Corbucci's impressive body of work. What I did know was that Terence Hill and Ernest Borgnine made for a lot of laughs. The film was never meant to be taken seriously. That should be obvious from the title alone. It's a parody. It's slapstick. It's fun.

If you're not into that sort of thing you probably won't like the film. Of course, if you're not into that sort of thing I don't know why you'd be watching a film called Super Fuzz to begin with.

If you have a sense of humor and enjoy films like Police Academy and Trinity, you'll probably enjoy Super Fuzz.
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