Friday, October 30, 2015

King Sized Movie Glut.


Honorable Mentions (part 3)

Yep, here's the full sized bar that ruins your supper.

These are ones I wanted to do in "Fun Sized Movie Treats", but I couldn't get them to fit into my pattern of 31 days.

So, I decided to moosh 'em all into one thing, and make it a threequel to the original "honorable mentions", because those were the original leftovers.
To make it a proper continuation, here's the link to those...
...and here we go.

Sssssss (1973)

A scientist with the same ethics as the ones in "The Kindred", turns Dirk Benedict into a snake man.
Because, y'know, science.

Before we got cable, both sets of grandparents had it before us, and I dunno if my dad thought it was a fad that was going to go away, or what, but he really dragged his feet hard in getting it for us.

I think "Fraggle Rock", on HBO made him give in.
Like, if Jim Henson was making original shows for it, it must be a real thing.
I think that was the logic.
I could be wrong.

Anyway, USA played this over one of my grandparent's houses, and I think it was my first actual horror movie.
That's why it stands out.
Safe to say it would be schlock to me now.
But, it was a good one to get me started, no real gore or nothin.

Caligula (1979)

Just wonderful.
If only all movies were this full-tilt.
Jesus, I get so bored.

You can see the high powered talent involved on the poster there.
It's the classiest porn ever about the greatest villain ever.

Yep, Caligula was a real guy from history, Google it, kids.
You'll become a fan.

"Salo", pathetically wishes it were "Caligula".

"Cannibal Holocaust", cries into its pillow every night that it isn't "Caligula".

And "Annabelle"?
Caligula fists Annabelle, and makes Loraine Warren watch
Fuck you, lame modern horror.
Fuck you!

Heartbreakingly, a movie like this will probably never be made again.
Savor this one.
Its gotta get you through a whole lifetime.

Prom Night (1980)

Jamie Lee Curtis's followup to "Halloween".

Ehhh, it's not so hot.
Pretty formulaic.
And the big twist is sorta "meh".

But, at least after seeing it on video store shelves for ages, I finally saw the damned thing.

Motel Hell (1980)

Another one I saw on shelves, and always chickened out, and got something else.
Yes, that's a repeating story, and yes, I nailed them all this year.
I ground Google's gears to powder, and made goddamned sure of it.

Pretty much the same basic premise as "Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
Cannibal rednecks.
This time, they run a hotel, and sell their meats as packaged products.
The Sawyer family wishes they were the Smiths.

This was supposed to be a goof on flicks like TCM1, but then Tobe Hooper made TCM2, and took dark humor out a whole new door.

Anyhoo, it's got Rory Calhoun, Wolfman Jack, Nancy Parsons (Balbricker from "Porky's"), and John Ratzenberger (Cliff from "Cheers").

As implied above, it's no TCM2, but, it's a fun little flick, and the whole thing ends with a punchline delivered by Calhoun that's fucking priceless.
Worth checking out.

The Burning (1981)

Okay, so "The Final Girls", actually parodies two movies.
"Friday The 13th", of course, and "The Burning".

But, "The Burning", is essentially a store-brand knockoff of "Friday The 13th", anyway.

You've got humping campers vs. a psychopath, and characters drop off one by one.

The titular burning refers to the villain, Cropsy, getting burnt all over his body in a prank gone wrong.
This motivates him into homicidal revenge...on kids that didn't do it.

Well, it's not like real psychopathic assholes don't take their problems out on innocents.
Pretty much every rampage shooter ever.

Cropsy's trademark weapon is hedge clippers.
Like I said with "The Kindred", I bet there was a kid out there who drew Cropsy pics, and hyped up Cropsy like he was the new Jason.
You just know there had to have been.
And you know he got picked on.
I hope he didn't end up on a clock tower.
Poor bastid.

Anyway, it's mostly notable for Tom Savini doing the effects right after "Friday The 13th".
So, they not only stole its structure, they stole its effects wizard.
Total clone, top to bottom.

Is it any good?
Ehhhhhhhhhhh.....*wavey hand*
You could miss it, and not have a deficit in your life.

I only researched it to enhance my enjoyment of "The Final Girls".

The Pit (1981)

I just stumbled onto this looking for 80's ones I'd missed out on.
What a pleasant surprise!
What a lost gem!

An evil little boy finds a pit in the woods full of flesh eating Wookies, and lures all his tormentors into said pit to get munched one by one.

His Teddy bear talks him into all this shit.
We're mostly to assume the bear's voice is all in his head, but they toss in a scene where the bear's head turns when another character's back is turned, so I dunno anymore.

I like to pretend this is a lost prequel to "Ted", and this shit went down in between Mark Wahlberg being a really little kid, and the story we did see.

Makes it a whole lot more fucking interesting.

Zodiac (2007)

These next two were recommended by Billdude in Comments.
Thanks, Billdude.
Your efforts weren't in vain.
Here you go.

Based on the book written by the guy played by Jake Gyllenhaal, and based off real events.

The Zodiac is right up there with Manson and Dahmer for famous killers that scared the shit out of everyone. Wish I'd done this along with those.
But, here it is anyway.

Really good, but really long.
Good performances by everyone.
And "based on a true story", isn't a lie.
So that's always a plus.

Robert Downey just before he became "Iron Man".
And Mark Ruffalo 5 years before becoming Banner/Hulk.

Highly recommended.

Nightcrawler (2014)

And "Nightcrawler", for the fucking WIN!

Best of this batch, IMHO.

Jake Gyllenhaal (him again) plays a directionless guy who sees cameramen swarming around a car accident, and is inspired to become one of these independent cameramen (nicknamed nightcrawlers) who get footage (usually bloody and exploitative) for news outfits.

Gyllenhaal's character is a functioning psychopath, so things escalate.
Hi-jinks and shenanigans ensue.

I found it an indictment on the media more than anything else.

Deserves way more awards than it got.
Shoulda got Oscars.

And, that's the real end.

Up next, compilation time.


Billdude said...

"Caligula": I thought it was pretty retarded, but I know why it has its fans. Hey, if you want a total middle finger of a movie, you could do worse. I hope you'll agree with me that visually it's one of the most hideous movies ever made and that it's probably also the beginning of McDowell hamming it up something fierce.
I watched both the porn and non-porn versions and found the movie pretty silly either way.
You won't see it today because Guccione doesn't even have that kind of clout and Hugh Hefner is of course the McDonalds of porn, it's definitely a 70s thing.

"Zodiac": The David Fincheriest of all David Fincher movies. I hate you, the public, for not making this movie a box office hit, but it's probably just better on video anyway.
The more familiar you are with the real case, the more awesome it is, everything's there, the letters, the phone calls, the desktop with the morbid poem on it, the people, and Downey Jr. in one of my all time favorite supporting performances.
It's also been cited as one of the best recreations of its era, Fincher went all out on that. And it references "The Conversation," awesome.
Don't forget the legitimately profound theme of having all that evidence to get the guy, and not getting the guy. Lack of closure.
It's a hugely personal film from Fincher and possibly my pick for the best of the decade. Engrossing through the whole running time IMO.

"Nightcrawler": The main reason to see it is Gyllenhaal, who's never been better. He's never played crazy before to my knowledge (and he doesn't look like a kid anymore) but he was awesome at it.
The points the movie makes about the media could have easily come from the 90s as today but I'd sure rather watch this than "Natural Born Killers"!

Diacanu said...

Oh, Caligula is no AFI Top 100 masterwork or nothin' but...yeah, you nailed it, it's the middle finger factor.

"I hate you, the public, for not making this movie a box office hit".

Welcome to a slice of my whole existence. :-P

Bee Dee said...

"Fight Club" lost money at the box office too (and it had a really good hype campaign well in advance unlike "Zodiac" which was dumped into a pathetic spring 2007 slot) but FC ended up with a huge cult on video where probably three hundred times as many people saw it on DVD/Blu-Ray as did in theaters, now everyone knows that movie inside out.

"Zodiac" will never be more than a huge critical favorite, unless America gets much much much more tasteful/smart.

Oh one more thing: if smartphones had existed in 1969-70 they'd have caught Zodiac. I mean, think of Dennis "BTK" Rader going back into action later in his life and how easily they caught him, because of a computer disk. That's kind of underlining the movie too.

Oh one more thing after that: Robert Graysmith, the guy who wrote "Zodiac" and "Zodiac Unmasked," and who Gyllenhaal played in the movie, is one god-awful fucking writer. "Zodiac Unmasked" has a wealth of information in it but Graysmith writes like a guy introducing you to a spook ride at an Oklahoma county fair, the book is hideously organized and full of half-hearted guessing and unsubstantiated facts and of course he one hundred percent thinks Arthur Leigh Allen is Zodiac, even though Allen's DNA, fingerprints and handwriting do not match Zodiac. Maybe Allen did do it but maybe he was also just some fat weirdo living in California (note: that shit smeared dildo they find in his trailer is the most disgusting moment in a movie that has three chilling murder scenes in it, not to mention THIS: Just a heads up for you if you read true crime books ("Helter Skelter," the mother of all TC books, remains a good read.)

Eeew, Arthur Leigh Allen, those second and third photos are creeeepy:

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