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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Horror Hangover

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Well, it’s Sunday afternoon, your dry heaving, your lungs feel like you smoked ten packs of butts, and your underwear is on backwards…that must mean it’s time for The Horror Hangover!

First up on the karate chopping block, comes a day of Stephen King made for TV mayhem over at SyFy. Starting out with part one of Stephen King’s The Langoliers (1995) at 9:00, followed up with the conclusion at 11:00. If you’re still hankering for some King action after The Langoliers, Part one of Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers (1993) is on at 1:00, with it’s conclusion at 3:00. That’s a 9-5 day of King, a full day of madness, if you will.

 

 

If you aren’t down with the crown, then ABC Family put's 'em in a body bag with an all day marathon of Karate Kid movies! Kicking things off with William Zabka’s The Karate Kid (1984) at 10:00, followed by The Karate Kid Part II (1986) at 12:30, then moving onto The Karate Kid Part III at 3:00, and finally finishing things off with The Next Karate Kid (1994) at 5:30. I love The Karate Kid…it’s a fact. The first two films are just fantastically fun movies that I hold near and dear to my heart and I still want to get my self a yellow outfit like the one Chozen wore, just so I can show up to parties on a zip line. I even love the third movie, but that is in a more cheesy, American Ninja way. Fourth film? Eh. Seriously, dude…there is no better way to spend a day feeling like Miyagi after a night of sake, than to spend it with The Karate Kid!

 

Alright, now that the all-dayers are out of the way, we can move onto Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), which is playing on FX at 10:30. It’s not a terrible movie by any stretch, but it is a remake that added nothing to what was done (with very little) in the original. It is the prime example of a remake that has no real purpose, but it’s watchable and Drea de Matteo is pretty hot. Ethan Hawke can eat it, though. Why does that guy get movie roles?

 

At 2:05, IFC is showing Primer (2004), a film I have never seen, but really want to, as I have heard very good things about it from many people. It’s a complex micro-budget Science Fiction film about time travel and at a scant 77 minutes, Primer is honored with my pick of the week. And just an FYI, it’s also available on Netflix instant view for anyone that doesn’t get a chance to check it out today.

 

3:00 has us finishing off our day with a wet fart, with Escape From L.A. (1996) on AMC. ‘Cause nothing says movie classic, quite like Escape From L.A.! The movie is such a pile, but I can’t help but get a kick out of Snake surfing and playing a little b-ball!

 

Okay baby boomers…I’m out of here. I have to go put on my gi and get ready for the Karate Kid marathon, so I’ll see you all on the flip side!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mr. T’s Friday Night Dance Party!

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Ya know, since Clubber Lang is the Monster of the Week and all, why not go all the way and make this edition of Freddy's Friday Night Dance Party a special one, by having the one and only, Mr. T bring the beats and rhymes like only he knows how! Many of you have probably seen this, but if you haven’t, it is filled with more gold than an R. Kelly shower. Just when you thought it was okay to tell ma dukes what a hoe she is, Mr. T steps in to let you know that you should Treat your mother right!

This badass entry into the Hip-Hoposphere is taken from the 1984 motivational video, Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool! It was a video meant to teach kids about respect for their elders as well as respect for themselves. Be Somebody…or Be Somebody’s Fool! was actually produced by Topper Carew, who just so happened to be the writer/producer on the cult classic, D.C. Cab – so it’s clear that when T and Carew got together, magic was made by the cock load.

There are so many things that rule about Treat your mother right, starting off with the very first line where the softball player takes a jab at the little kid by saying that he couldn’t be anymore than five. Now that’s just taking things a little too far right there. Still, I think his ear's sticking out rebuttal is what wins the battle for the little kid, but we’ll never know how it could’ve played out due to T interfering with the big girl’s impending mother joke. There are a few things that I have personally taken from this fine video and made a part of my life. First, make sure to give your mom back massages while wearing weight lifting gloves…one day that could lead to still living at home when you’re 45. Also, take the groceries in for her already! She needs to keep her back strong for when she is auditioning your new father already! And lastly, I couldn’t help but notice that Mr. T, circa this video, would have made for a fine addition to the Sleepaway Camp crew of scantly clad males. Mr. T does not approve of this post.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

CNAMB Presents: Monster of the Week!

Some monster are driven by a deep seated anger and rage that comes from having a tough and unfair childhood spent on the streets - some find a way to get that anger and hatred out in a socially acceptable way. Having an outlet, such as boxing to get the anger out is a good thing, but it doesn’t make the person less the Monster if they are driven by hurting others without remorse. Some aren’t able to take the negative experiences of a past difficult life and turn them into something positive for others with their success.

This is the case with this week’s Monster, so without any further ado, the Monster of the Week is…

James "Clubber" Lang!

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Appearing in 1982’s Rocky III, James “Clubber” Lang is the opponent and antagonist to the great Rocky Balboa. Clubber Lang is an angry man, and as he works his way up the boxing ranks, his anger is fueled by watching Balboa win frivolous title matches against weak and lesser opponents. He see’s someone at the top that in his eyes doesn’t deserve it and it just makes him all the more upset. Lang is played by the great Mr. T and I think I need not explain who that man is (loved his cereal), but I will say that his performance in Rocky III is quite fantastic. We know that Mr. T was a real life tough guy, that’s what got him the role in Rocky III, but the real T is one of the kindest and most noble people to work in film and television, and that is evident from his positive messages to children over the years. His real life persona almost mirrors that of Lang in a sense, but he decided to make a positive impact, instead of a negative one with his success.

Mr. T is as far from Clubber Lang as it gets and that is what makes him so great in the movie…Lang is incredibly intimidating and he’s as scary as a broken condom. Rocky Balboa has faced many antagonists, but what separates Clubber Lang from the rest of the pack is he never shows any signs of kindness, nor is he apologetic for his negative actions. He is just a mean dude that only wants to knock the block off Rocky Balboa out of hatred and jealousy. Even Ivan Drago wasn’t that bad of a guy and in the end, he showed signs of couth, giving respect for Rocky as a fighter, which eventually led to the end of the cold war. Thank god.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Totally Tubular Trailers!

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I’ve been battling sickness all week and just when I think I’m all better, I wake up feeling crummy again. It sucks and it’s wicked difficult to focus on writing shit when I feel like butt, but feeling crappy and writing a little less gives me the chance to just sit at the computer and search the internets for interesting trailers. So here are a few that caught my attention that I wanted to share with all you lovely ladies and germs.    

 

First up is the trailer for Lost for Words. Written and directed by Sean Wainsteim, Lost for Words is a fairytale of sorts, but no real plot details are available at this time. It is described by Wainsteim as: a love letter to the time I spent in the library as a child, immersing myself in books, illustrations, music, performance and puppetry that led to a lifelong fascination with storytelling. How endearing. The trailer is quite fascinating and the visual style, as well as the production values are very eye catching. Definitely something to look forward to.   

 

Next up is a trailer for the Malaysian horror film, Killer Clown. Now this promises to be completely awful, but more than likely, utterly entertaining. As seen with movies like Student Confidential and The Room, you know you’re getting into something special when a film is written, produced, directed, and staring the same guy, and that guy is Julian Cheah. Bathe in the badness!

 

Next is the trailer for Centurion, an epic sword and sandal film from genre favorite, Neil Marshall. The movie takes place during the war between Roman soldiers and Pict tribesmen during the 2nd century Roman conquest of Britain, and is promised by Marshall, to be very bloody and brutal! Magnolia/Magnet Releasing announced just today that they have acquired the U.S. rights to Centurion and will release it as part of their Six Shooter Film Series, which includes the sadly truncated U.S. release of Red Cliff and one of my top films of last year, Bronson. Marshall has proven to be one of the best horror/cult directors working today, so this is a film that I am definitely excited for and with it being picked up by Magnet, it should be seeing a VOD as well as a limited theatrical release very soon.

 

In tiny trailer news, here is the super quick teaser for Jorge Jaramillo and Luis Fernando Mora’s, Play with Me (Juego Conmigo). The film is described as a psychological horror film that concerns “a number of individuals drawn into a world of living childlike nightmares.” Intriguing and even though the teaser is only 20 seconds, it is certainly worth noting. 

 

Last trailer for the day comes from Someone's Knocking At the Door, which is set for a DVD release on May 25th. Written and directed by Chad Ferrin and staring Noah Segan, Someone's Knocking at the Door is a throwback to over the top Grind house cinema and blends a slew of off kilter genres. I really like this trailer a lot – the film looks incredibly strange and I enjoy how the music is used in it too.

That does it for this go around kiddies, hope you saw something new, something cool, and something that interests you, in this batch of Totally Tubular stew!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rapper’s Delight

rappin15 The 80’s were littered with Hip-Hop influenced movies with films like Wild Style, Breakin’, Beat Street, and so on and so forth. For what it’s worth, I love this genre, which I will dub Hip-Hopsploitation since many of them were taking something new and popular, and capitalizing on it (which is still very common today). Some of these films are actually pretty solid, namely the ones I mention above, but there are the few that are a little less respectable, but still oh-so-fun. These movies are a window into the past, a window that’s view is filled with crazy bad outfits, hair styles, and people that probably shouldn’t be picking up a mic for any reason at all.

rappin2 One of those people that probably shouldn’t have spit any lyrics, is the man known as Mario Van Peebles, in the 1985 film, Rappin’! But boy am I glad he did. Rappin’ is the tale of “Rappin’” John Hood (MVP), whom after getting out of jail, comes back home to find a lot has changed since he went away. Some of his old associates have formed a new rival gang, his girl is dating the gangs leader, and some corporate scum bags are trying to take over the neighborhood by getting rid of the tenants so they can build…I don’t know, something. Probably a mall, or nice houses…the usual.

rappin1 I think you might have an idea where this film is going from this point, as Rappin’ is many clich├ęs of the genre all “rapped” into one Hip-Hop extravaganza. I don’t even know where to begin with this film, but there is a lot to say for many different reasons. First of all, the movie is certainly not on par with some of the best the genre has to offer, but damn, is it a lot of fun. Some of the rappin’ is so bad and many of the people behind these verbal assaults are far from skilled at the art of rhyme. The biggest offender is certainly MVP, with his monotone voice and lack of natural flow, but it’s MVP’s lack of skill that makes the movie all the more entertaining.

The Many Faces of Hip-Hop

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There are a few familiar faces that show up in Rappin’, besides MVP, of course. There’s Kadeem Hardison, and soul glow himself, Eric La Salle who make up a portion of John Hood’s crew. Also, Hood’s little brother is played by Leo O’Brien, who was in The Last Dragon, a film that gave us our most recent Monster of the Week. Along with familiar faces, the film’s director, Joel Silberg, is treading some very familiar territory with Rappin’. He also directed the before mentioned, Breakin’ as well as the sultry dance movie, Lambada (Totally should have been called, Lambada-in’). So he clearly has a certain thing he does and it would seem he is the guy to call when making a movie that is meant to exploit the latest fad in Urban culture. Though, he did direct Catch the Heat, so that makes his resume all the more versatile. 

rappin4 Some of the dialogue is beyond classic, with one scene where a record producer asks Hood if he’s ever rapped before, in which Hood respond’s with “No, but I got a record!” Get it?! When it comes to classic dialogue, no one is better than John Hoods arch rival, Duane (Charles Flohe). First off, he has great feathered hair and while he looks perfect to play the part of a rich, white, asshole bully, he is so unconvincing as a street thug. As for some of his choicest lines – “Don’t make me thaw you out, Ice!” When referring to La Salle’s character, who’s name is Ice. Then there’s the moment when Duane grabs Hood’s love interest by the arm kind of harshly, and Hood says “Hey, don’t be so rough on her” or something to that effect. Duane quickly responds with “Hey? Hay is for horses!” Good one, Duane, but I think you forgot about the better for cows part. 

rappin9 While this film is not the best of the best, it is very fun and a major reason for that is what I like to call, “random acts of Hip-Hop” that occur throughout Rappin’. The viewer is never safe from a random outbreak of rhymes and song from the characters – it can happen at anytime, any place, and anything can set it off. And you know what, even though many of the skills on display are lacking and the lyrics are weak, they certainly are very enjoyable scenes and for some reason, brought a shit eating grin to my face. I wish I could go over them all, but that would take forever, and I’m already at 763 words, so I need to tie things up soon.

rappin8 I do have to mention Rappin’s end credit sequence, where each of the film’s characters, spit a lyric or two as their name goes by. This includes an old Asian dude, an old Jewish dude, a white, middle aged mother AND her daughter, and many, many more. It’s fucking gold. Then, there is the scene when the people of the neighborhood are trying to fight to stay in their homes and not be driven out. When all else fails, “Rappin’” John Hood and his Merry Men show up and use the influence of rap to convince the city council to their side, so they can stay in their hood! Again, fucking gold. And don’t even get me started on Snack Attack.

So, if you are a fan of this type of film, or Hip-Hop culture, or bad outfits and hair styles of the past, Rappin’ is a blast. It’s plot is messy and it tries to be too many things, but it does succeed at delivering some truly entertaining scenes and some funny moments. Plus, a 10 year old me makes an appearance. 

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Thanks for pointing this one out to me, Emily…you rock the party like no one else!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Horror Hangover

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Hoping many of you didn’t give up drinking for Lent (If you did, I give it a week), and you are still in need of a Hangover movie guide, I am here for you. We are here for each other!

SyFy shows up early (and often) this Sunday with Judge Dredd (1995) at 10:00 AM. I’ve never seen Judge Dredd, and I know I asked if Demolition Man was any good when that showed up on a previous Hangover and the responses were mostly positive. I think Judge Dredd will not get the same response. Though, Diane Lane might make it worth a watch? No?  I’m not posting the trailer for this one…when the name Judge Dredd comes up, I do not think of the comic, or the movie, but fucking ANTHRAX!!!!

 

SyFy keeps it movin’ right into noon with Showdown at Area 51 (2007). This film showed up on a previous Hangover and it looks quite fabulous. I’ll even post the same great clip just in case you are in doubt of just how fabulous this film looks.  

 

At 1:00, TNT infects it’s viewers with the second film in the franchise, Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004). I actually find the R.E. films to be fun, but Apocalypse is my least favorite of the three (my fav actually being Extinction!). I think what made this movie less than great for me was the Nemesis character - in the game, he was as scary as warts, in the movie, he yelled STARS a lot. Still, even though it’s a weak movie, I see nothing wrong with spending an afternoon with Mila Jovovich.   

 

SyFy reins it back in with Reign of Fire (2002) at 2:00. A lot of people shit on this movie and maybe that is why I didn’t hate it like others seem to – I had low expectations. It’s nothing great, but it’s okay enough, then again, a movie with dragons in it should make you blow some sort of load. Christian “Goood, for yeeeew!” Bale is always solid and it’s so nice to see Matthew McConaughey in a film that is not a shitty romantic comedy.

 

At 4:00, IFC gets wicked funky, with the awesome Martial Arts film, Iron Monkey (1993). Even though there is another great movie on at 4:00, I would bet you already have seen that one and not Iron Monkey, so I have to give it my pick of the week. Iron Monkey is a fantastic and incredibly fun Martial Arts film, and one of my favorites. There are some serious names involved with this one, namely the film’s director, Yuen woo-ping and my favorite working film Martial Artist, Donnie Yen! This one has it all, great drama, hysterical comedy, and some of the dopest fight scenes ever put to film…Iron Monkey is a must, and IFC will show it due justice I’m sure. I’ll stop now.

 

Sharing the 4:00 spot with Iron Monkey is, Predator (1987) on SyFy. If you really aren’t into Martial Arts movies, then Predator is not a bad way to spend an afternoon, in fact, it’s one hell of a way to spend an afternoon, a morning, and an evening. There is nothing I can say about Predator that could do it justice…it is a fucking awesome film, period. An action masterpiece with more testosterone than any movie ever made, and I love every second of it. This is a film that gave us a recent Monster of the Week, so that should be all that you need to know.

 

That is it for this week’s Hangover, which actually turned out pretty damned good with some great films later in the day. And how about that SyFy with it’s solid line-up?! Well played SyFy, well played.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Freddy’s Friday Night Dance Party!: Enormous Schwanzstucker Edition!

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Have I got a “Monster” of a Dance Party planned for all you jive ass turkeys this week! It is a memorable scene taken from an ageless horror comedy and is a big reminder why Mel Brooks was so awesome back in the day. It’s Puttin’ on the Ritz as performed by Dr. Frederick Fronk-en-steen! and his Monster. Enjoy.  

Originally written in 1929 by Irving Berlin, Puttin’ on the Ritz is a classic song, but that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise since it’s like, a billion years old. Now, this little song and dance number from the 1974 Mel Brooks classic, Young Frankenstein, is just as classic, without being nearly as old and man, it is still incredibly funny. The legendary Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle knock this performance right out of the park and the chorus is just flat out hysterical, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I actually revisited this film very recently after not seeing it for many years and I was so surprised at how well it holds up, as well as how enjoyable looking Teri Garr was. Roll in zee hey, indeed.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snots, Sniffles, and Conversations in the Dark

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I, as in me, as in the guy that is typing this right now, is the latest guest on B-Sol’s Conversations in the Dark podcast! You can listen to us talk about horror directors that haven’t stayed relevant and why that is. It was a great conversation and I had a buh-last doing it, so head over to The Vault of Horror and listen to me and my wicked sinus infection! Thanks to B-Sol for having me as a guest and being a big listener of podcasts, it was very cool being involved with one! Hope you hoes dig it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Doc You Meant Harry’s

I watch a pretty good amount of documentaries and I love all types, but lately, I have been on a bit of a tear with the amount of film related docs I’ve watched. I LOVE documentaries about movies, whether it be about one film in particular, a film series, or my personal favorite, docs about film genres. Here is a list and a few quick thoughts on the ones I have seen in the last two or three months. 

Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror

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1994 -  Directed by Ted Newsom - 100 min

Hammer has a truly rich history and one that spans a long time and this documentary covers a lot of that history. Filled with a ton of great interview by many involved with the studio and the films themselves, and it’s narrated by Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, there is a lot to be learned from Flesh and Blood. Being a Hammer production, there are a lot of wonderful photos, film clips, and old behind the scenes footage to be seen, however, being 16 years old, the doc already feels very dated. Another issue is what seems to be low production values, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt the movie overall as the content itself is just top notch and a must for fans of Hammer.      

Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies

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2001 – Directed by Ray Greene - 89 min

Focusing on the early stages of Exploitation cinema, this documentary covers the independent Sexploitation movies from the 50’s and 60’s. It’s really cool seeing these early films that would kick off a completely different type of cinema, and there is a lot to be learned about genres like Nudies, Roughies, and right on up to the Gore films of Hershel Gordon Lewis. There are some great interviews with Doris Wishman, Roger Corman, Vampira, plus plenty more and the film is pretty well put together. If you are a fan of Exploitation cinema, this is a must as these are the film that paved the way for what many fans know of as more modern Exploitation films. 

Z Channel - A Magnificent Obsession

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2004 – Directed by Alexandra Cassavetes - 120 min

Launched in 1974, Z channel was one of the countries very first pay cable channels predating even HBO. This was a channel that showed many art house, foreign, and underrated films often letterboxed and even directors cuts were shown. Z Channel is a great mix of real life drama and movie documentary as it focuses on the stations head programmer, Jerry Harvey who had a love and passion for film unlike anyone else. With that love, came a channel that showed films that were not shown anywhere else, or seen by many people beforehand. However, Harvey had major psychological issues that resulted in the murder of his wife and his own suicide. This is a fantastic look into a history of cinema I knew absolutely nothing about and as a film connoisseur, there is much to learn. The human drama elevates this film to a different level and adds a lot of emotional investment to this wonderful documentary.  

Baadasssss Cinema - A Bold Look at 70's Blaxploitation Films

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2003 – Directed by Isaac Julien - 58 min

And no, despite the title, it’s not about sheep, or donkeys, but this one is about Blaxploitation movies. I actually just watched this one the other night, completely forgetting I had already seen it a few times before on IFC. It is an IFC production and is a very basic introduction to the genre and what it meant, along with the impact it had on the black community and cinema in general. It is perfect for anyone new to the genre, but it doesn’t go all that deep into the films that came out, mostly the basics. There are a ton of great interviews with Tarantino, Pam Grier, Melvin Van Peebles, and Fred Williamson to name a few. IFC makes a lot of docs like this and while I wish they were longer and a little deeper into the genres they covered, they are perfect for anyone looking to learn about a type of film they have little to no knowledge about. Whether or not I know most of what is covered, I still enjoy watching it anyways.     

Not Quite Hollywood

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2008 – Directed by Mark Hartley - 103 min

Covering the Exploitation/Horror boom from Australia during the 70’s and 80’s, there are a lot of movies to be learned about with this one. Just when you think you know it all, something like Not Quite Hollywood comes along and introduces a slew of films never before heard about and it covers all of the aspects of the film industry in Australia at the time. While I really like and/or love all of these documentaries I am talking about here, this one is by far the best of the bunch. I’m surprised it’s under two hours because the wealth of cinema covered is vast and there are so many great interviews with actors, filmmakers, and of course, Tarantino. To top things off, this is one of the most incredibly produced documentaries I have ever seen and there was a lot of work put in to make it look as good as the content. Phenomenal and yet again, another must see.

Between all of these documentaries, there is a whole lot to learn about cult and midnight cinema and if you have not seen anyone of these, then certainly check them out. So worth your time and Not Quite Hollywood and Z Channel are both on Netflix instant view right now. I’d love to hear what you all love for horror/film docs…there are a whole lot of them out there and while I have seen my fair share, I always seem to find something new to learn from.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Horror Blogger Alliance

Horror Blogger Alliance Resize

If you are not yet aware of the Horror Blogger Alliance, it’s the brain child of mister sassy himself, Carl (not Weathers) of I Like Horror Movies fame and is the hottest thing since sex addiction. It’s a community for all horror bloggers to come together, a place where we all can love freely without fear of persecution. Anyone can join, all you have to do is head over to the blog and join up via a follow, or by leaving a comment saying you want your blog added into the mix. As I said, it’s open to ANYONE that is down with horror blogging and there is no sort of real rules or anything expected of you.

Still in its infantile stages, things will be evolving naturally into something very cool and there are some great community things already in motion, for example: friendly hot topic horror debates and maybe a fantasy horror league. If you have something big going on, like maybe an interview with the hottest new French horror director, or maybe a special theme month at your blog, HBA is a great way to spread the word about it to our fellow horror bloggers. Suggestions are very welcome, of course as this is something that can grow due to what we give to it. Head over to the blog, catch up on what’s happening, and join in on the fun! Oh, and there’s a spaghetti dinner ever third Sunday of the month!      

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Memoirs of An Invisible Man

Well, I wrote the review for this film about three months ago and for whatever reason, I just didn’t seem to find the right time to post it. Now that it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought what better time to put up my review of 3-Iron? A film that made my top 25 of the decade, mind you (and at number 11!). This is my anti-Hollywood made/spoon-feed romance film review in a way. While many people will sadly go out to theaters and see that piss shit of a movie, Valentine’s Day, I prefer to spread the word about a film that is the true meaning of meaning, a true film, in the truest sense. It’s not horror, but I urge you all to check out the review and the movie at some point. Happy Valentine’s Day, bitches!

3iron If someone lives their life in solidarity and are not seen by others around them, do they even exist? I guess I don't even know if some of you exist unless you leave a comment, but you could be reading my blog once or twice a week for all I know. That is almost the idea behind the Kim Ki-duk directed 3-Iron (Bin-jip). A brilliant idea in the narrative of a story that is an unconventional one, and one that in normal conventions, I despise from the lack of creativity found within. That would be, the love story.

Love stories in film are so often bullshit nonsense, and it's so rare to find one that transcends the onslaught of garbage that caters to uncreative minds (usually these films star someone like Sandra Bullock…*fart noise*). I can be a major sucker for a love story, but it has to be good, touching, real and not exploitative of the human condition. Kim Ki-duk has written and directed one of the most well crated and thought out love stories I have seen in some time.

3iron2 The film stars Jae Hee as Tae-suk who uses the front of leaving take-out menus on people’s doors to find out if they are home or not. When he discovers a home is left to his own device, he breaks in and makes it his own. He doesn't steal anything nor does he do anything bad really (outside of some significant pranks), he actually takes care of the place by cleaning things and fixing broken items. He acts as if he is in his own home and treats it as such - maybe even better. Tae-suk goes farther than to take the place over, he seems to want to have some sort of connection to the family that really lives there - he does so by taking pictures of himself with the family photos hanging on the walls as if he is in the picture with them.

3iron3 He seems like he may be bored and slightly lonely, and in his loneliness, he has become very methodical and precise with the things he does with each home he goes into. Eventually, he makes his way into a home that is not as empty as he would think. There is woman named Sun-hwa (played by Seung-yeon Lee) inside who sees Tae-suk but does nothing at first, instead, she watches him. She seems to be partially captivated by him and what he is doing around her house...taking care of things and becoming a part of a family that he assumes knows not of his existence.

3iron1 Sun-hwa, besides being curious about her polite intruder, has visible signs of physical abuse from what would be her overbearing husband. She may be ashamed of being seen this way, which could also factor in her not confronting him immediately. She does eventually bump into him when he catches her spying on him as he is in her bed. Tae-suk takes off, only to come back and in a way, save this woman from her abusive relationship.

3iron4 Both characters are suffering from loneliness as we already know from Tae-suk's actions, but the controlled, abusive life that Sun-hwa is living, makes her just as isolated as her quasi hero. They are connected by their secluded lives, to become secluded together. Sun-hwa joins Tae-suk in his home invasion adventures and partakes in the practices that he does in these empty homes. They almost become one, and like a pair of ghosts, they seem to haunt these residences, only leaving residual essence behind for the true owners to never fully be able to pick up on. While they do act almost as one, they are also avoiding what they feel about one another until the most subtle of movements connects them in the biggest way.

3iron5 Neither one of the characters speak one line of dialogue in 3-Iron's entire run time, and it is fantastic how so many small actions can speak larger than any words that they could belt out or be written for that matter. They are kindred-spirits, a couple who only know the existence of each other as they play in other peoples playgrounds. In their comfort with one another, they are eventually caught, and this results in Tae-suk being jailed and Sun-hwa being trapped back home with her abusive husband who has now changed his ways, apparently. Too little too late, as Sun-hwa is in love with Tae-suk and is completely devastated being separated from him.

3iron6 I would prefer not to go any further into the plot, as I have left it very open and the third act of 3-Iron is best left to be discovered by the viewer's eyes, not this reviewer's words. I'll say that the movie goes into some almost fairytale like territory, but not in a cheesy way, in fact, it is quite brilliant and poignant. Love story or not, 3-Iron is not a romance film, as it doesn't need to stoop to the level of cheap romantic tricks. You aren't hit over the head with their love, it evolves naturally, like the characters do themselves.

3-Iron is a nicely paced and shot film that carries you through the journey and evolution of both Sun-hwa and Tae-suk, and the silent performances from the two leads are amazing and at times magical. The significance of the littlest things in this film is remarkable, whether it be a wall picture, a touch of the foot, or even a scale for weighing yourself. The underlying message that I took from 3-Iron is, to be alone is to be nonexistent, but to be alone with someone you love, is true existence. Word.

The Horror Hangover

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Well, hopefully you are waking up to not only a Hangover, but a little V-Day morning whoopie. If that’s the case, you know it isn’t gonna last all that long and since you’re already up, I have a lot of early morning crap for you to digest. First up, AMC get’s all Gangsta on yo ass when they have an all day marathon of Gangster films! Starting with The Untouchables (1987) at 10:30, Goodfellas (1990) at 1:00, The Godfather (1972) at 4:00, and heading into the late night hours of 8:00 with, The Godfather II (1974).

Outside of the AMC gangster's paradise and starting bright and early at 9:00 AM, Godzilla (1998) is playing on ABC Family. God, I remember a time when I thought this was going to be the greatest movie ever. When I watched The Big Hit on VHS, the teaser for this monstrosity was at the beginning and I was pumped! Godzilla 1998 is one of ten thousand reasons I hate Roland Emmerich…’nuff said.

 

Still wicked early - at 9:30 Death Sentence (2007) is showing on FX. A movie I have never seen, and while I have never heard anything great about it, it still piques my interest. It’s a revenge movie and I love revenge movies (but don’t we all?!) and I like Bacon too, so Death Sentence is certainly worth a shot.  

 

SyFy is playing Open Graves (2009) at 10:30, and while the idea of a killer board game sounds great, it looks like Open Toilet might be a better title for this crap fest. I was surprised to see it only came out last year since I have never heard anything about it, which may speak of the quality. I would probably still watch it though, but that’s just me.

 

And the only late afternoon Hangover movie worth any note is at 2:30 with Joshua (2007) on SyFy. I have heard some good things about this one and I love a good creepy killer kid movie. Sam Rockwell is in it, which is certainly not a bad thing at all and it’s kind of funny that Vera Farmiga plays the mother in yet another killer kid flick. I’ll give my pick of the week to Joshua, only because every time I say the title in my head, it is in the voice of Diana Waits.

 

That about does it kiddies…hope you all have a fabulous day and an even better evening. Peace!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Take a Ride to Paracinema…

…so you can read my semi-quick review of the (kinda) road horror film, Shuttle. Also, while you’re here, take a look at that badass banner that I got going on up there…yeah, badass. I must give a shout out to the wonderfully devious Rev. Fred Phantom of Midnight Confessions for making it, and only doing so for nothing more than out of the kindness of his blackened heart. Thanks a bazillion, Rev…one day, I hope you can be the one to marry me! Wait, I don't mean you and I actually get married, I just meant that I hope you perform the ceremony. Man, this is all going downhill…just head over to Paracinema…The Blog already and read my review of Shuttle!  

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jean-Claude’s Friday Night Dance Party!

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With it being Valentine’s Day weekend, I thought I would give you all a Valentine to show how much I love you. This may be one of the most mesmerizing clips I have ever seen and chances are, you will have this catchy tune in your head for weeks!

I have no clue who made this or who crafted this captivating song, but I love it and watch it at least seven times a day. The clip is taken from the 1984 classic Hip-Hop dance film, Breakin’, where this "brief" scene was the extent of Jean-Claude’s role. And what a job he did! He really takes the moves and makes them all his own, and never have I been so enchanted by a man’s hips moving back and forth in a onesie, like I am with JCVD in this clip. With the creation of this video, there is no more need for anti-depression medication anymore – one watch and your whole day is instantly made!

Oh, and you’re welcome!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Best Original Screenplay

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Over at the LAMB, there is a piece I wrote for the Academy Awards best original screenplay category. It’s a pretty quick read and actually has absolutely nothing to do with the nominees, mainly because I only saw one of the movies that were nominated. It’s really just some pointless jibber jabber about the importance of a script and shit like that. Read it, eat it, and love it. Kisses!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Baby Babble: House of Argento

dario I’ve had this $30 Amazon gift card burning a whole in my pocket since Christmas. Actually, it wasn’t in my pocket and the hole is only there to do a little undercover scratching if need be and the burning is more than likely related to that scratching, but I digress. I have been holding on to it for a few months now and I finally buckled after seeing that James Gracey’s upcoming Argento book, Dario Argento was on pre-order sale for under $14 bucks, which is a fucking steal if you ask me. I have mentioned the book more than once here on this blog, and I’m very excited that it’s finally on the horizon, so I encourage everyone with the love of Argento in their hearts to head over to Amazon and pre-order that shit! On a related side note, there is an awesome interview with the book’s author, James over at Fascination With Fear, so give it a read when you’ve got a moment.

hotd As I said, the book was only like $14 greenbacks, so I had some more money to spend, plus I wanted to save on shipping. Back when it released a few weeks ago, I almost used the gift card to buy The House of the Devil DVD/VHS pack, but resisted mainly because it cost $30 bucks and I didn’t want to blow my whole gift card load in one shot. Still, I have been wanting to see the movie wicked bad, and when I saw it was on sale for the slightly lower price of $25 beans, I buckled. I rarely blind buy, especially for such an amount, but knowing my taste, I should enjoy the film. If not, heads will roll. Hopefully I’ll get the movie soon so I can review it and say I liked it even if I didn’t, just so I don’t look like a chump who’s $25 poorer!

amer I know my Amazon purchases must be fascinating, but what IS fascinating is the trailer for the upcoming Belgian film, Amer which I bumped into over at Twitch. Maybe I just didn’t notice (which is probably the case), but I haven’t heard much about this movie which is described as a Neo-Giallo film from Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani. One look at this trailer, and I am filled with anticipation and am looking forward to checking this one out as soon as possible.

It looks funny, but plays fine.

So it all comes full circle…House of the Devil is a throwback to 80’s Satanic films, Amer is a throwback to classic Gialli, and Dario Argento is about a director of Gialli.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Please, Hammer, Don’t hurt ‘Em! A look at Cinema Legend, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson

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Born in Gary, Indiana on March 5th 1938, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson has had a career that is more than important to cinema, especially when it comes to cult and midnight movies. Williamson got his start as a successful pro-football player and is a three time defensive pro-bowler who played for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I.

He got the nickname, “The Hammer” while during practice, one of his coaches asked him to stop hammering on the other players. Always the ego, Williamson took that term and made it a nickname, using it in a boisterous way when talking smack on and off the field, often saying he will "Put the hammer on" his opponents. He even developed a karate-chop styled offensive move fittingly called, "The Hammer" which he used on other players.

fred3 After retiring from the NFL, and with his fall back college degree, Williamson did some architectural work, but being a guy nicknamed “The Hammer,” he decided that it just wasn’t for him. He went into acting and did some television work with small roles in things like the original Star Trek series and played the romantic lead opposite Dianann Carroll on the TV show “Julia.” His first staring film role was in 1970’s M*A*S*H, which jump started his illustrious career in film.   

At an intimidating 6’3 and with black belts in Tae-Kwon-Do, Shotokan Karate, Kenpo, and charisma, Williamson had (and still has) what it takes to be an amazing action film screen presence. With his film work now spanning forty years and counting, Fred Williamson has made a major impact on some of cinema’s most entertaining of genres. His work in Blaxploitation movies makes him probably the most recognizable male star of the genre outside of Richard Roundtree, and Jim Brown.

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To add to his midnight cinema cred, Williamson appeared in numerous Italian film productions and between those, and his Blaxploitation movies, he has worked with many cult fan favorites. His work with the great Larry Cohen, resulted in one of my favorites of the genre, 1973’s Black Caesar (along with that films follow up, 1973’s Hell Up in Harlem). Some of the Italian directors of note are Antonio Margheriti with Take a Hard Ride, which also sported an impressive cast that consisted of Jim Brown, Jim Kelly, and Lee Van Cleef! Yowza! Williamson did a handful of Post Apocalyptic movies with Enzo G. Castellari, but the most prominent film the pair worked on is certainly 1978’s The Inglorious Bastards. The Hammer even worked with Lucio Fulci on the less than stellar, The New Gladiators (1984).

fred6All of this is just the tip of the iceberg in a film career that runs deep, a career that he has taken and made all his own, his way. Williamson formed his own production company in 1974 called Po’ Boy Productions, and with what he learned from working with people like Cohen and making films in Italy, he has created nearly forty movies on very meager budgets over the years. Writer, director, producer, actor, stuntman, NFL player, and sex symbol, what can’t this man do? 

fredWhat may have set “The Hammer” apart from the rest of the pack, is his ability to self promote and the way he carries himself in such an incredibly cocky and flamboyant fashion. These are the qualities that make him so awesome and he is not afraid to tell you about himself…he is completely upfront and even with such an ego, he carries himself with a genuine kindness. This is a man that has posed in playgirl, was a spokesman for King Cobra (a malt liquor that I used to drink in my high school days...shit got me cocked!), and was even nominated for an Emmy for the television series, Police Story.  Hell, he even stole the show with his bit part as a flashback suffering ‘Nam vet in 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn, which maybe where most horror fans were first introduced to him. 

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Being in the “biz” for as long as he has, Williamson has seen a lot and retained a great amount of memories. Besides being super entertaining, his interviews are always insightful, filled with stories from behind the scenes of the movies he worked on as well as the directors and other actors he worked with. With his trademark cigar, Williamson is one of a kind, and as cocky as he is, he wears it on his sleeve and is really just an honest guy that loves to talk about movies…and himself, of course. He is a true cinema badass and a legend in his spare time.   

 

“'There's only two things that I demand of my scripts, and they're the same things my audiences demand. First, I have to get the girl. And second, I have to win all the fights. We don't need suspense. With those two ingredients, the picture is assured of being a hit.” - Fred “The Hammer” Williamson -

Monday, February 8, 2010

So Low

solo11 Solo is the perfect weapon, a machine created to do deeds that any normal human cannot accomplish, Solo is a super soldier…with a heart of gold. And to the U.S military, it’s a big no-no to have the ultimate killing machine being able to make decisions that can jeopardize missions, due to a conscience. Deciding to fix the problem, the military think it best if Solo were shut down for some reprogramming. However, Solo ain’t down with that and being programmed to preserve himself, he jacks a helicopter and fly's away to safety. He is chased down by the military, but after Solo crashes into the side of a mountain, they lose sight of him as he escapes into the vast surrounding jungle.      

How on Earth 1996’s Solo (directed by Norberto Barba) ever received a theatrical release is beyond me. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie, well, it is a bad movie depending on your taste, but it reeks of direct to video, yet it was released in theaters. It speaks to no one that is not a hardcore fan of mindless action movies, anyone else, would scoff at the sheer lack of original story telling involved and the silliness of it all. Solo is a menagerie of thesolo1 action film’s and tries to deliver multiple messages as well as tries to be too many things at once.

Solo befriends a young kid and that whole storyline would seem to be tailor made to make this PG-13 movie, an action movie for the whole family. That’s not something that really works for adult action film fans as seen with movies like Robocop 3. Even Terminator 2 brought in the kid aspect, which worked great when I was young, but that film hasn’t aged well for me and I have a much lesser appreciation for it in my adult years. I think a lot of it has to do with how the Rambo films became socially acceptable for children maybe. Though, the Rambo movies never catered to kids and always remained rated R film’s with a copious amount of violence and sweat.

solo3With the young kid that Solo meets, comes an entire village who take Solo in after he is found hurt and low on battery. The villagers are plagued, or better yet, enslaved by a militant group of guys that do bad stuff. What kinda bad stuff do they do? I didn’t catch that part, but they have automatic weapons and speak a foreign language, so they must be bad. The villagers see a chance to be liberated by Solo and he is soon thought to be an ancient savior sent to help them through their dark times. Solo teaches the villagers how to fight for themselves and in return, they let him use their generator to recharge his battery.

solo7Are you won over yet?! Maybe the idea of Solo, the leader of the villagers, wearing a burlap vest without a shirt underneath will sell you?! No?! How about the cute young female villager looking to get a “charge” from Solo? Still no? Maybe the military teaming up with the bad news militant group to take out Solo catches your attention? No? Really?! What if I were to tell you Solo was played by MVP? You know, Mario Van Peebles?! Now I gotcha! MVP is one of those guys that is very hard to put a finger on…he comes from the loins of the well respected, DIY creator of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, Melvin Van Peebles and has made his own splash in a positive way with New Jack City.

MVP has also made many a splash, right into the toilet with some of his solo10character choices, as well as some of his actual acting. He can be good, but that would not be the case with Solo. He physically can handle the part and Solo was totally something meant to launch a franchise, as well as make MVP an action star. But even playing a robot, he still comes off as wooden, and playing a robot should be pretty easy, one would think.

Like I said, if you are not someone that can get into a mindless action movie, then stay far away, but if you don’t mind a little sacrificing of your brains, then there is some fun to be had with Solo. William Sadler plays the villainous Colonel Frank Madden, whom is in charge of hunting down, and bringing back Solo. Sadler is, as always, fantastically menacing and he hates Solo for no apparent reason and will do whatever it takes to take him out. Maybe there is an undercurrent of racism with the character, like he doesn’t dig the thought of a “brotha” stealing his shine and being the best of the best? Or it’s just plain old jealousy.

solo2So there’s a great villain, but what’s better than a great villain? Well, Solo is guilty of using a major amount of “Solo Vision!”

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solo Yep, that’s Adrien Brody! Oscar winner and co-star of SOLO!

solo5 I love any type of “Vision” in a movie…especially animal or robot vision and Solo, has a ton of it!

What makes Solo worth every second comes in the form of a big time SPOILER ALERT!! Not that spoiling Solo would ruin many film lover’s day, but I shall not spoil anything without warning. At the end of the film, when Solo has prevailed and beaten Sadler’s character Frank Madden and all the bad guys, and just when you think it’s all over…Super Solo shows up! Super Solo is the next level of Solo, the even more solo8advanced, advanced machine/bringer of doom, and he is here to take out, Solo! It doesn’t end right there, oh no siree bob, Super Solo is modeled after another soldier, and that soldier just so happens to be Frank Madden strapped with an oversized, badass gun arm to top it all off!

For a movie that is essentially a thoughtless action flick, there sure is a whole lot going on. I didn’t even get into how Solo tries to connect with humans and their emotions either, but he does, thus showing that even though he is a hunk of metal and wires, he is capable of feelings too. Solo is a movie, where an incomplete killing machine is asked what he wants to look like and after seeing an Air Jordan commercial, he says “Like Mike”…need I say more?

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