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Sometimes it is easy to over-do-it when it comes to writing a review. I've done it myself, so I'm going to step out of "Film 101" and review this on it's "fun" merits.
The filmmakers had to be influenced by classic sci-fi monster movies from the 50s- from that "same place" as "The Thing", "The Blob", etc. This would have played on the drive-in movie theaters back in the day. While the movie has some familiar themes that we've seen in many other horror/sci-fi flicks through the years, this one has a unique twist- the "creature" that is (if you want to call it that?).
Sure, I would have liked to seen it go further in certain areas, but that's a compliment on the idea and concept of the "creature". If you want to watch a fun and creepy sci-fi/horror flick- check it out.
Le notti del terrore (1981)
Peter Bark saved my life.
OK, for those who don't know who Peter Bark is, but have seen this film, he is the strange little boy who looks like a man (and actually was an adult too- we hope). Every time I get down and depressed and want to end it all, I put this movie in and I am reminded of how good life is when films like "Burial Ground: Nights of Terror" are available to me. So Peter Bark, if you are out there and are reading this...thank you. Watching you suckle the breast of your on screen mother is absolutely divine...
Come on everyone, together..."Peter Bark, Peter Bark, Peter Bark...!" There are those who will totally get it, and all others can go rent "The Grudge: Part 10". Me, I'm just a "Burial Ground" kind of guy...
Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974)
A classic to re-discover- sci-fi/horror fans or not
Since was only a toddler when this show originally aired I just recently picked up the DVD set and am wishing there were more episodes filmed. This show was a 70s version of the poplular 90's TV series "X-Files"- but with a bit more of a comedic/light hearted approach. But don't get me wrong, some of these episodes have full on horror themes, many in which have some pretty greuesome plots (left to the imagination of course- this was the early 70s television).
Some of the plots where a bit silly as well as the acting, but that is the charm and attraction to this series. Whether you like mystery crime dramas, comedies, or sci-fi/horror themes, this series brought all that together. Each episode clocked in at around 50 minutes or so (1 hour with commercials) and that 50 minutes goes by quick always leaving me wanting more. A great classic show that is underrated in my book!
You either "Get it" or you don't. Of course when this film first hit the theaters it was just a film about the current fads of the day. If you were a kid going to arcades in the early to mid 80s this will be very nostalgic. If games like "Zaxxon" or "Galaxian" don't mean anything to you then this film will seem ridiculous. And to answer the question, "were arcades really like this?"...Oh yeah, this portrays the arcade "scene" in the early 80s pretty well.
This is a have fun, so bad it's funny movie. It could be thrown in with the "sex-comedies" of the 80s- and there were a lot of them. I believe this is coming out on DVD soon (Summer/Fall 2006).
Twin Peaks (1990)
Beautiful, hilarious, disturbing, mysterious, erotic, etc...
I'm sure there is nothing new that could be added that has not already, but I will say that the more time passes the better "Twin Peaks" gets. It seems to age like fine wine. There are so many facets to this series just as other Lynch films, so being able to watch "Twin Peaks" on DVD has been a real treat. I catch myself watching scenes over again and even hitting the pause button just to gaze at some of the imagery. I find myself laughing one moment and then recovering the next from some of the more disturbing situations.
The fact that a series like "Twin Peaks" existed for not one, but two seasons, should give us hope that there can actually be intelligent, artfully done television. Now, let's hope season two will be released sometime in the next century!
The Hamburg Cell (2004)
I was waiting for a public service announcement at the end saying, "Terrorists- they are not bad people, just mis-informed". Ugh. You know, I am a well educated person; I am in no way "close-minded". Don't serve me a platter full of dung and tell me it is actually desert. I don't like it when writers and/or directors pull the emo trip on their audience, especially with this particular subject. Hitler was a bad guy, I don't see any films about him being mis-understood.
These terrorists (and don't forget to call them what they were) were not mis-informed. Nor was this something that they did out of panic, instinct, or defense. This was one of the most well planned, and yes, thought out, murders in history. There's more blame insinuated on the American leaders then the terrorist (who are indeed made out to be martyrs). For a film maker to put out such a piece of propaganda, in hopes to make people understand what these poor mis-guided people had to go through, reminds me of why I own a DVD player- I don't have to worry about crap like this coming through my video monitor.
On a technical level this film worked. In fact, if this tragedy had not happened, and this was just a story it probably wouldn't have bothered me as much. But I know the reality of this, and unfortunately there are people who are actually forgetting the truth and reality behind it. Film can do that. Which, is why i'll stick to my own viewing collection. What's on tonight's list...I think i'll watch "Cannibal Holocaust"...
Makes watching bad movies worth the while!
This was a real treat. The film starts off a little slow, so hang in there because once the action starts you will probably choke on your beer or mountain dew out of sheer hysterical laughter. In my journey through "grade Z" movies, it is movies like Attack of the Beast Creatures that make it all worth it. This is the type of movie that I put on that "special shelf" for the friends that don't want to have to think or invest much of themselves into a film. For those friends who you would like to impress with a movie so bad, that it is just beautiful. This was made at a time when bad films were at least still shot on film. Now days "grade z" movies are shot on daddy's new digital camcorder, so they don't have any real cinematic quality. This has some cinematic quality...OK, cinematic quality in a really "grade z" kind of way.
If you want Freddie Kreuger, Jason, or The Ring Meets the Grudge Part 4, then go to your local Blockbuster. Leave the trash to us trashmongers...I love it!
Christopher Atkins, D & D, crazed primate= $$$$$...
...ok, maybe not the $$$$ at the box office. Let's face it Christopher Atkins and D & D was not a box office grabber in 1990 either. Shakma is a lot like drinking stout or maybe even scotch. It get's better after each viewing (or maybe it gets better after drinking scotch). OK, this film is really bad in many ways. But because I have fond memories of getting loaded with my old buddies while watching a crazed baboon beat against various objects it goes down as one of my top bad movies. Come on, just the name alone should put a grin on your face. Say it...SHAKMA. Keep on saying Shakma over and over. There is nothing that makes me happier then walking into a room, saying "Shakma" and having everyone laugh in agreement. Pass this on and maybe one day everyone will know what Shakma really means...
May go over some people's head- may be too intelligent for some fans
I knew nothing about the film "Effects" going into it. I'm glad I avoided reading any reviews or summaries because in the end I walked away from it feeling like I had not watched just another 70s exploitation or slasher flick- and those are most of my collection by the way.
I have a feeling that there will be a large number of Tom Savini gore fans who will go into it expecting a slice 'em up blood fest in the tradition of Maniac or Dawn of the Dead. Instead, what you get is a film that resembles more of a drama about a group of people making a low budget horror film. It isn't really until the 3rd or 4th quarter of the film where the true horror begins; and it throws the story into a spin. This is why i'm glad I didn't research this film and spoil it. I was really impressed with the way these actor performed. This film could have easily given any "high brow" dramas a run for there money. For you Day of the Dead fans, Joe Pilato doesn't play an "out of his mind" military man in this one. Instead he plays one of the main characters, and his performance is on the mark. He is a likable guy in "Effects". That is one of the strengths of this film; there is a decent amount of character development. What may confuse people is that a few of the characters in this movie are also actors in the horror movie they are shooting. So you get sort of a duel role from the same people. So for all you pot smokers or slow people out there, this may mess with you- LOL.
All and all this is a much better film then a lot of horror fans may give it. And if it rubbed you the wrong way the first time, give it another try. If you want to watch a zombie-slasher movie with lots of blood and guts, then pick up any of the classic zombie flicks- hey Cannibal Holocaust just got re-released on DVD!
A surprisingly fun and gooey b-movie flick!
If you are in the mood for a fun horror movie that doesn't take itself too seriously and has all the right gross out gimmicks- check it out. If it wasn't for a friend mentioning this movie title I would have passed it up. But I trusted his judgment since he is a horror aficionado- and I read some decent reviews in some of my old issues of Fangoria/Gore Zone.
The acting is silly, but it is obvious that this is the way it was written. The key difference between a movie like Ticks (Infested) and some really bad Sci-Fi Channel movie is that everything is done in the Evil Dead 2/ Bad Taste slap stick kind of way. And they go for the gross out money shots in every other scene (lots of pulsating blistering skin waiting to explode, etc). And thank God this didn't have any of the cheesy computer animated gore and FX. I love the latex, goo, and prosthetic body parts of the old school- even if it does look fake. At least you know the actors are actually interacting with it rather then a "green screen".
So, gather a few friends, kick back a few beers or Mountain Dews, and be prepared to rewind a few scenes so you can watch them again!