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Nightmares (1983)
THE TWILIGHT DRONE, 22 October 2004

this movie consists of four stories. two of them, the first two, are interesting, and the last two are awful. mind you, the awful last two are fun to watch, and entertaining - but campy. the first story deals with a serial killer, a woman who needs cigarettes, and a strange looking gas station attendant. at least that's what it comes down to in the end. it's a familiar story, and without spoiling it, when it's done you will be reminded of a newer movie, URBAN LEGEND. the second story concerns Emilio Estevez as a video game junky who goes from local punk to "Tron" himself (practically). he is the champ of a video game (no, NOT Space Paranoids but a game called The Bishop of Battle) and then he has to fight the invaders outside of the game - the opposite of Tron actually. the end is very predictable. the third story is a ripoff of Steven Spielberg's DUEL. it involves a faithless priest (played by Lance Hendrickson who looks very much like Christopher Lloyd here) who is being chased by a demon black raised truck. the truck has an upside-down cross hanging from the rear-view mirror that we see in one scene; and in another the truck comes up through the earth like a demonic giant gopher: those effects are in fact, pretty cool. the license plate Doesn't read: 666, but why not - it wouldn't make it any cornier. and the forth story is the funniest, about a giant rat who lives inside of a suburban house, hanting a cute little girl, a troubled mother (Veronica Cartright who played the haunted daughter in THE BIRDS) and a very stubborn father played by the milktoast actor Richard Masur. the end of this rat story is truly amazing. the last five minutes provide the worst special effects I have ever seen, making LASERBLAST seem like THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. you'll be laughing out loud. all in all, this movie is half good and half bad, and the half good is bad and the half bad is good - as in, like I've fore mentioned, it's mostly just plain old CAMP: so much so you'll have the desire, after watching the movie, to hang your underwear up on a flagpole!!!

6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Kaplan would never hear "WELCOME BACK" (in Hollywood) again!!!, 27 September 2004

this is an awful movie. one of the worst, unfunniest comedies i have ever, ever seen. concerns three friends, all mental patients. one has an extremely bad memory; one has a ghost for a mother that only he can see; one has a split personality, neither of them funny. Gabe Kaplan, famous for the (now quite dated and unfunny) hit series WELCOME BACK KOTTER, is the PET ROCK of comedy. he is a likable enough guy but tries too hard to seem as if he's not trying at all, and thinks he's so darn cute. Gabe plays the guy with the bad memory; as a viewer, you'll wish you had his same ailment when the credits role. Alex Karras has the ghost mother. he is likable enough too, but unfunny; he has nothing to go on here. and last, AND least, the unfunniest comedic actor of all time (although I guess he's an okay standup, but his acting is horrid) Robert Klein, who is so uninteresting you almost want to turn off your television when he appears. Robert, unlike the other two, Isn't likable. he's got a split personality, one a stuffy woman, the other a tough gangster. awful meets awful. and Susan Clark, Karras' real life wife, plays Gabe Kaplan's wife, and is as boring as the rest of the cast. this movie is plain bad; it's directed by Bob Newhart's dentist friend Peter Bonerz who has a lame cameo for no apparent reason at all; one wonders how this film was ever made in the first place.

24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
who needs CGI when you have a totally enjoyable story?, 16 September 2004

this movie is corny, sure. but it's fantastic. the story is about a man who hires another man to go with him in a giant zeppelin to find his son who was lost on an expedition to the north pole. the adventure doesn't end, ever. it's nonstop action and the color is amazing and the special effects, though dated, are very good simply because the story is good, as is the acting. who needs CGI when you have a good story? it's a fantastic little epic and although unrealistic this is pure jules vernish fun (jules didn't write it but it's his style) and totally enjoyable. i won't give away what is found or how things turn out - but let me just say that you'll have a terrific time watching this movie, especially with your kids, or niece, nephew, cousin, or just some kiddo you happen to be babysitting. this is pure imaginative fun!!!

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Willy Boy (Robert Blake) is here, but he's not in the movie enough!, 1 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(possible SPOILER)

this movie let me down. the beginning credits were great as we see Robert Blake, as an Indian named Willy Boy, walking into a small town. the setting is the West as this is a Western and there is prejudice against Indians and Blake plays the part of a disliked rogue unliked by the white man "baddies" in a laid back natural confident air. and after he, Blake, is accused of a murder and is on the run, chased by the "good cop" played by Robert Redford with a meaner posse in tow, we don't get enough of Willy Boy's plight. the film centers more on Redford's love story and it's quite a bore - and common. then when we do follow Blake he has his girlfriend (or wife) with him (played by Katherine Ross who DOESN'T look at all Indian), who's also a Native American, and it brings the whole chase down to a slow moving snail's pace, for now we are dealing with Redford's relationship with Susan George and Blake's relationship with Kathrine Ross instead of centering on a pre-FIRST BLOOD like mountain chase. this movie was okay i guess, but could have been much, much better. there should have been way more Willy Boy... for as some of us know, Robert Blake is a GREAT actor (IN COLD BLOOD, ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE, TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, BLOOD FEUD) and very underrated, and this would have been a better film had it been Blake's, not Redford's. Robert Redford is a good actor but we have plenty of films with him as the centerpointe. and since the movie is named after Willy Boy, well... I think you get my point!

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
"smokey and the benzedrine", or, "the speedball run", 1 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(possible spoilers)

this is a groundbreaking chase movie in my opinion. movies that followed, most starring Burt Reynolds and directed by Hal Needham, were comedies and this was a very good drama and came out years before the latter, more popular films. there is a scene where a song playing sounds so much like the theme for CANNONBALL RUN i was almost in shock. but enough comparisons... on it's own, VANISHING POINT is very good; at least the first 50 minutes. we get a chase, chase, chase, with camera angles unequaled in this genre. it's quite relaxing to watch even though it's pure action. but then after the driver pulls off the road and ventures into the center of the desert, and meets an old prospector and then visits a religious gathering and the picks up two gun-toting homosexuals and then meets a very nice motorcycle rider who has a shack and a very good looking, shirtless girlfriend, the movie begins to run out of gas - pun intended. but it's still a fun flick to watch - that is, to enjoy and relax to. most reviews i read center on Cleavon Little's role as a soul DJ who helps the driver along with his "plight" but personally, Cleavon, whom I loved in BLAZING SADDLES, over-acts to the hilt and is pretty darn annoying. but it's the first 50 minutes that really, really knocks my socks off - they should have kept the chase going because there were flashbacks during that chase and it worked wonderfully and didn't tire the eyes, or nerves, one bit. but, the characters that the driver meets after going into the center of the desert DO get tiring - and the story, tired. they should have stuck with the chase: chase, chase, chase... which does continue towards the end, and lasts for another ten minutes until the abrupt climax that will leave the viewer reminiscing EASY RIDER, ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE, and even THELMA AND LOUISE.

4 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
wears its heart on its sleeve, 29 August 2004

there are so many Vietnam movies that have the good guys and the bad guys and the bad guys are always the American generals or any leader who wants to win the war. then there is the smart and more accomplished American in charge (above the men but below that darn general) who can see beyond the bull of the Patton type generals and it's as if they are foreseeing the future when the war won't be popular. this movie GO TELL THE SPARTANS has a good pace but resembles one of the 'serious' latter MASH episodes after Alan Alda took the helm. this film starring Burt Lancaster as the 'good' guy in charge who is negative about any positivity as far as accomplishment goes is, in its own way, as dated as a episode of CHIPS... and Burt's usual overracting is subdued this time but his character isn't. and yes there is an 'evil' American general (played over the top by an otherwise good character actor, Dolph Sweet) and a conceitedly pretentious Lt who thinks he will win the war in a day's time. and there's a harsh but well liked field sergeant and he has the Lt to unadmire for getting in his way. and there are the usual stoned grunts and there's even a character like the ones in the old black and white WW2 movies that in one scene talk about their girl Mary Lou from Pigsknuckle, Arkansas and in the next scene are dead as doornails, played by Craig Wasson who co-starred in a much better and more anti-bias Vietnam war movie that same year titled, THE BOYS OF COMPANY C, which i recommend far, far above this television show with swear words directed by Ted Post, responsible for the horrendous BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. it seems, in the long list of Vietnam movies (or otherwise) there are what are referred to as "anti-war movies", but what this really means is anti "war movies"; that is, they aren't anti war in general as much as they're anti (against) the kind of war movie like THE GREEN BERETS that, as many critics believe, glamorize war. but in my opinion a filmmaker should show simply what needs to be shown or else there's a red organ beating on the sleeve of the entire film and you can hear it ticking like a time bomb and it's quite distracting for viewers like myself who just want to see a movie about war, and not a war movie - anti or otherwise.