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insulting to local ghost culture
The episode dealing with Iao Theater is, quite frankly, pure BS. As someone whose lived here for four decades and who first went to Iao Theater in 1970, I've never heard about it being haunted. In fact, just about every real local person will say the same. The story seems borrowed from Hawai'i Theater ghost stories (which in turn are variations of the old Roosevelt Theater ghosts). Others have debunked the film (wrong type/should disintegrated) and the overall credibility of the Haunted Collector staff. It's a small island and word gets around, ranging from local historians who refused to participate because the show wanted them to read a script full of made-up "facts" to the actual identity of the woman in the film (supposedly someone who has only lived here a few years). Between the heavy editing, bad geography, and manufactured history, along with the absence of real locals, you can see why I think it's a complete fabrication. Not tuning into this show again.
deserves to be forgotten
This is the type of crappy cartoon you'd find running on some UHF station in the '80s. Someone at Filmation realized that they had a short-lived live-action TV series called "The Ghost Busters" that barely lasted a season in '75-'76. It starred Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch. After the success of GHOSTBUSTERS, Filmation sued Columbia for copyright infringement and (apparently) won an out-of-court settlement. At one point Filmation was supposed to do the animated version but Columbia backed out. Filmation retaliated by releasing this inferior version which featured the sons of the Tucker and Storch characters. Everything about this show was inferior to "Real Ghostbusters". Don't bother tracking it down.
The Insider (2004)
Just when you thought it couldn't get worse...
I really hate this type of show. I blame them for creating a population of morons who equate big budgets, box office numbers, and Nielsen ratings with actual quality. Of all of them (ET, MTV "News", EXTRA, and their ilk), THE INSIDER has to be the worst. Their so-called exclusive interviews are hardly exclusive (ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT runs in the same time slot here and if I flip channels, I almost always see the exact same story). They milk stories to death (I swear they've run the same Richard Pryor interview every week since the series began). In what was already a show filled with puff pieces, insipid happy talk, and maudlin insincere sentiment, they bring in... KATHIE LEE GIFFORD! Just when I thought we were finally rid of that talentless phony, she's back on TV everyday. Pure torture. If you value your brain cells, don't watch this.
The Cut (2005)
Out of style... and then some
It's not that this is the umpteenth ripoff of "The Apprentice" that bugs me. Nor is it that I really don't give a rat's ass about fashion or Tommy Hilfiger. It's that no one can figure out what Hilfiger's elimination criteria is. One week he's telling contestants to always listen to their clients' wishes, only to tell them later in the series that they should force their vision on the clients (despite what the clients may want). Contestants who shine are kicked off, while others who continually mess up are praised. This show is torture as it continually rewards the undeserving (of which there many among the contestants). Hopefully it won't be renewed.
Haute tension (2003)
20 years too late for the grindhouses
It was really bizarre seeing this in a multiplex at the mall. Twenty years ago, this film would've only played grindhouses and remote drive-ins. This film seems like it belongs in the same brutal revenge category as THEY CALL HER ONE EYE, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, or I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. It's gory, nihilistic, disturbing, and, quite honestly, offensive (in more ways than one). Yes, there is a bizarre twist in the end (which unfortunately raises more questions. Intentional or just sloppy film making?). Neither the art film nor the action film that we'd been led to believe it was gonna be. Cautiously recommended, but not a film I'd watch again.
Lost on Adventure Island (1984)
well, the special effects were good...
The obvious comparison I can come up with is FLESH GORDON. If you hated FLESH GORDON, you'll really hate KING DONG. Even if you liked FLESH GORDON, you'll probably hate this feeble attempt at a porno parody (if it can be called that) of KING KONG. Like FLESH GORDON, it does boast some surprisingly good stop-motion beasts. While most people who are used to big budget CGI and animatronics won't be impressed, I remember thinking that it was almost as good as Willis O'Brien's work. Nowhere near as good as Ray Harryhausen's work, though. Notice I'm spending most of the review on the effects. That's because the rest of it sucks. For a parody, it's not funny. The actors are mostly (if not all) ugly. If you're looking for adult entertainment, stay away from this. The only reason to watch this is just to say you did.
annoying not scary
This is yet another mediocre horror film. I really don't know why I wasted my seeing this. After THE GRUDGE, I should've remembered not to assume having Sam Raimi's name tacked on does not equal quality. (Is Raimi becoming the new Wes Craven?). Like other unscary films of late, this thinks quick edits and loud "shock" music make up for plot holes, zero characterization, and too many unanswered questions. The plot twists are nothing you haven't seen before in better supernatural thrillers. As for Lucy Lawless fans: don't bother. She's barely in it. Considering her husband is one of the producers, shouldn't she be getting better parts (or at least ones that showcase her talent). All this film made me want to do is dig out a copy of POLTERGEIST, PHANTASM, or the original HAUNTING. Skip this one altogether.
Blood of the Samurai (2001)
Beats KILL BILL
Anyone who thinks KILL BILL is the first and last word in chambara/grindhouse kung fu films really need to see this earlier film.
BLOOD OF THE SAMURAI may not have a hip soundtrack, name actors, or much of a budget, but it does have a lot of love for the genre. It borrows from HOUSE WHERE EVIL DWELLS, NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, and every show ever on KIKU-TV, but it doesn't have a rip-off feel to it the way KILL BILL does. Oh yeah, it also beats KB's over the top blood spurting with some interesting (and surprising) effects by Screaming Mad George.
If you wanna see an honest tribute instead of someone's egofest, watch this!
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Watered down attempt at a grindhouse film
Once again, Tarantino gives us a film that's all style, little substance, and no originality. Maybe my expectations were too high, having grown up watching Shaw Brothers films, Japanese chambaras, Jack Hill films, and other grindhouse fare back in the 70's, followed by a steady stream of great HK imports in Chinatown theatres in the '80's and '90's. KILL BILL offers nothing that wasn't done better in Japanese film series like SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH, SON OF BLACK MASS, or LADY SNOWBLOOD. This film breaks no new ground or nor does it come close to the shocks and thrills of a true grindhouse classic. It's a wanna-be film for people who'd p*** their pants if they were even near a real grindhouse theatre.
It's a Haunted Happenin'! (2002)
The greatest movie that hardly anyone will see
I'm still recovering from watching this and will do a more in-depth review in my zine. I just had to tell the world how awesome this film is RIGHT NOW! It's far superior to the SCOOBY-DOO and JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS adaptations that hit theatres. This film is a sublimely over-the-top homage to luchadore horror films, wacky '60's AIP comedies, and any '70's cartoon where bands solve crimes. Great costumes that only psychotronic fans can appreciate, a beautiful cast, and a '69 Chrysler Newport!
Dr. Laura (2000)
Should be in the TV Hall of Shame!
To be fair, "Doctor" Laura didn't spew her usual homophobic rhetoric on her TV show like she does on her radio program. However, the show was still a complete crapfest. Given its low-ratings, it would seem only insomniacs, media watchdogs (like me), and complete morons were watching. The program consisted basically of an unqualified host (her doctorate is not a medical or psychology degree), paid audience members, and phony guests. While she avoided the gay issue, she still did plenty of hypocritical moralizing, including condemning relationships between people of different religions. Thankfully, the show barely lasted a season.
High Kicks (1993)
Worst. Kung-Fu Movie. Ever.
I have to agree. This certainly has the look of an-early '80's shot-on-video porn film minus the nudity and sex.
Not only is this film hideously bad, I've only seen it available in cheap DVD box sets that force you to compare it to better films. The only reason I have it/watched it was that it came in a set titled SAVAGE SISTERS where it is included along with SISTER STREET FIGHTER (the reason I bought the set), TNT JACKSON, and the GET CHRISTIE LOVE! TV pilot. All those films are far better. Given how cheesy and dated they are should give you an indication of how bad HIGH KICKS is.
Watered-down, not hard-boiled.
James Ellroy fans will probably want to check this out. They especially are the ones who should avoid it.
Ellroy writes complex, psychologically damaged characters. James W. Harris's screenplay loses all that. It's watered-down and dumbed-down, making this just another average cop thriller.
Stick with L.A. CONFIDENTIAL or BROWN'S REQUIEM instead.
Wanda at Large (2003)
Michael Moore should take notes!
The most entertaining part of this show is Wanda's reporting segment. These bits are both as funny and as biting as anything Michael Moore did on "TV Nation" or "The Awful Truth". He must be kicking himself for not coming up with what Wanda did in the first episode's gun control story.
Let's hope Fox doesn't catch on and start dumbing down and toning down this show. It's a welcome relief from all the "reality TV" crap.