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January 18, 2017

Movie Review: Blood Rage (Arrow, Blu-ray)


Reviewed By:

Hal Astel




Oh my goodness Blood Rage was bad, and I don't just mean bad I mean really truly beyond all reason bad. This now occupies the dubious position of 'Worst Film of the 1980s' in my ratings and it may just stay there for a long while. Everything about it is bad: the direction, the writing, the dialogue, the acting, the concept, you name it. And for a film in which almost all the female characters get naked to be this bad is almost unheard of. The best part of it is a short appearance by Ted Raimi as a condom salesman and it's over in about five seconds. He's outcredited by a baby.

The lead character Maddy is a mother of twins and we start the film with her cuddling and kissing with her boyfriend in a car parked at the drive through. The twins wake up and sneak out of the car but one of them, Terry, is rather unhappy about what his mum is getting up to, so kills a rutting couple in another car with an axe and blames his brother Todd. Yes, the axe is just hanging around somewhere. No, his brother doesn't say anything to contradict Terry's statement. No, nobody notices that Terry is covered in blood and Todd just has some on his cheek. It's all taken as read and off Todd goes to the looney bin.

January 17, 2017

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - The Red Skelton Hour: Unreleased Seasons (Time Life, 2016)

Kevin reviews a classic show from a legendary comedian.

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January 10, 2017

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - The Late Bloomer (2016)

Kevin reviews a throwback comedy based on a true story and directed by Kevin Pollak.

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January 9, 2017

Movie Review: Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman's Fantastic Four (2016)

Comic book films are ALL the rage right now. Superheroes are coming at us from all angles: comics, film, TV novelizations… everywhere. Arguably, Marvel Comics has been the most successful. The Avengers, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Captain America, Spider-man… all of these titles are in the vernacular of American conversations. The family that started the Marvel Comics Universe the 1960s has had their share of film versions. The Fantastic Four: Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Girl (now Woman), The Thing and The Human Torch have had multiple animated television shows and, to date, four feature films. The most recent, from Fox, have been critical and financial failures. It was a 1990s production by Roger Corman that has been called the BEST Fantastic Four film made to date and on a very low budget. That film has never been released. In Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four, we finally learn what happened to the film that never saw the light of day.

Movie Review: The Mad Magician (Blu-ray, Twilight Time)

Reviewed By:

Hal Astell








If you're going to make a movie in 1954 about a tortured artist screwed over by life, who could you possibly cast in the lead but Vincent Price? He's Don Gallico, known as Gallico the Great, but only recently as he's previously been a designer of illusions for other magicians, working for a company called Illusions, Inc. Unfortunately he's an artist, a genius even, but he's hardly a businessman. As his first show is closed down by court injunction by Ross Ormond, his own employer at Illusions, inc, he discovers that Ormond owns him and everything he creates, even when designed and made in his own time. Not much has changed in the entertainment business over the last fifty years, it seems.

Price is great here as the artist driven mad by those who seek only to exploit his genius, but then that's hardly surprising to us looking back because it's precisely what we see him as. In 1954 when this was a brand new 3D movie (and it later became the first 3D movie to be shown on television), Price was still new in the horror game. He had plenty of solid credits behind him but the first horror picture was only a year earlier in 1953. Given that it was the massively successful House of Wax about, yes, an artist driven mad, this one must have been a decent consolidation of his new reputation as a master of the macabre, and we know how that built.

January 8, 2017

Movie Review: Fairytales (Full Moon, Blu-ray)



Review By:

Hal Astel








I've spent many years getting as many people as I can to see Peter Jackson's debut film, Bad Taste. It's my favourite film of all time, the only movie I've seen over fifty times and probably the only film I've seen over ten. It's not a great movie, though it's astounding in many ways, but favourite movies are not always great movies and they don't have to be. A good case in point is Cinderella, which is to my wife's ex husband what Bad Taste is to me. We discovered Fairy Tales via Cinderella, as it's another soft porn comedy musical that shares the same subject matter and quite a few of the same cast and crew.

This time out the prince has turned 21 and three kooky doctors serenade him with a ballad designed to instigate him into providing an heir. He'll inherit the kingdom if only he can produce one by Thursday. The only catch is that he doesn't get turned on by beautiful naked women willing to do anything he wants, even when they're Little Bo Peep wearing nothing but her cute little bonnet. So off he goes on a quest to find the princess of his dreams who was lost years ago, because he's the only one who he'll be able to get it up for.

January 7, 2017

Movie Review: The Devil Lives Here (2015, Artsploitation)

All righty, 2017. Whatchu got for me? A Brazilian horror movie? Cool, that’s better than a Brazilian wax. But it’s kinda trite and not all that interesting? Well, it could be worse I guess. Wait, there area bunch of metaphors that aren’t really metaphors because the bad guy explains it all? Several times??
Dammit.

The Devil Lives Here comes to us from Brazil, which is actually cool because I don’t think I’ve watched one from there before! The basic story is this: three friends - Ale, Jorge, and Magu - head out to a farmhouse to spend the night with another friend, Apolo. The boys wanna play a prank on Magu but instead of just giving her a good scare, they actually stir up the resident spirits and bring about a terrifying night.

Meanwhile, the two sons of the previous caretaker of the farmhouse, Sebastiao and Luciano, raise the corpse of Bento, a centuries old slave, who’s been keeping the bad spirits inside the house so they can’t wreak havoc on the world. These two and the four friends must work together to stop the evil from getting out.

I’ll give you a hint - they fail.

January 4, 2017

Movie Review: The Keys of the Kingdom (Blu-ray, Twilight Time)

Reviewed By: Hal Astell

I recorded The Keys of the Kingdom because it's one of those intriguing opportunities to watch Vincent Price in something other than a horror movie. One of the icons of the genre who's never less than magnetic, he came to it after a surprising number of other films which are a varied and fascinating bunch to work through. He was an important name at this point, this film released a mere month after his excellent showing in Otto Preminger's Laura and a year after The Song of Bernadette, which may explain why he's third credited amongst a strong cast, even though we don't get to see much of him: one brief early scene and he's gone for over an hour and a half. What I soon found was that he's one of the least reasons to watch this film, as a Roman Catholic bishop called Angus Mealey, who knew Fr Francis Chisholm as a young Scots lad. Fr Chisholm is who the film is all about and while we first meet him as an old man, this is the story of his life.

As the film begins in 1938, Fr Chisholm has recently returned to Tweedside, his home parish in Scotland. The monsignor has been checking him out and decides that he should retire, though the good father has different ideas. He sounds just like Gregory Peck but doesn't look remotely like him because he's plastered with some capable aging make up. I should add that nobody at the time would have recognised him anyway because he was new in Hollywood, with only a single film six months behind him, a Jacques Tourneur war picture called Days of Glory in which he played a Russian fighting the Nazis, hardly how we might imagine the typical Gregory Peck role. He's a little unlike Peck here too, with despair in his voice as he asks the monsignor to talk to Bishop Angus. Of course the monsignor has already made up his mind, at least until he heads up to bed and picks up Fr Chisholm's journal, a huge volume that goes all the way back to 1878.

January 3, 2017

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Horace and Pete (Pig Newton, 2016)

Kevin reviews the dark web series from Louis CK.

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December 27, 2016

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Glitch (Netflix, 2016)

Kevin discusses the supernatural Netflix series from Australia.

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December 25, 2016

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Super Mansion: War on Christmas (Crackle, 2016)

Kevin reviews the Christmas special from a Crackle original and mentions some of his favorite holiday movies.

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December 24, 2016

Movie Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night Series Review: Part 5

Sweet baby Jesus we've finally come to the end! I think I'm gonna be off Christmas for years to come...

Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker wraps up this series with a story about a toy maker and his penchant for killer toys. Joe Petto and his son, Pino, run Petto’s Toy Shop in town. 
His name is Joe Petto. I’m not sure if you caught that. JOE PETTO is the toy maker. Are you. Fucking. Kidding me? Pino is the kid. PINO. Have you picked up on the clever writing here??? I’m pretty sure with this subterfuge you’ll NEVER guess the ending.

Anyway…

Derek, a young boy who witnesses his father’s murder at the hands of a toy meant for him, shuts down and stops talking. 2 weeks later, he’s still freaked out but his mom, Sarah, really can’t live like this anymore. She needs to get their lives back in order.

Um, it’s been 2 weeks. I think it’s okay to mourn a little longer but whatever…

December 23, 2016

Movie Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night Series Review: Part 4 - Initiation

Journal Entry #57: The hallucinations have begun. I can’t tell what’s real and what’s only in my mind. I fear that by the time help arrives I will be dead. Or worse - hopelessly lost in a delusion of my own making. What was that? Santa? Is that you…?
Day four brings us Initiation: Silent Night Deadly Night 4, a film which has ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING CONNECTION TO THE FIRST THREE SAVE FOR A QUICK CLIP FROM #3 WHILE A CHARACTER WATCHES TV.

Fucking weak.

Basically the fourth movie in the series is all about girl power, witchcraft, and how useless men are except to be parasites to the goddess within all women.

Fucking weak. Well, at least the writers didn’t make them Satan worshippers. That’s something. Not much but it’s something.

Let’s break down the plot. Kim works at a newspaper but because she’s just a woman she doesn’t get to work on any big stuff. Well, she says fuck that and decides to get the scoop on the flaming woman who recently committed suicide. When she starts interviewing the locals about it, she meets Fima, the bookstore owner who is suspicious as fuck if you ask me. Which no one did. Moving on.

Kim keeps getting drugged by Fima and her female coven…I mean colleagues. I’m not sure why they feel the need for Kim to join their group other than she’s a chick and they don’t want her to continue being held down by The Man. Because boys are yucky and have cooties and are totally useless.

December 22, 2016

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney, 2016)

Kevin, Dalyn, Mandy, Leah and Handsome J discuss the latest movie in the Star Wars series and their experience in the brand new Phoenix area Alamo Drafthouse.

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Silent Night, Deadly Night Series Review: Part 3

Okay. I'm more than halfway through this series now. Just two more to go. Somehow...that's not very comforting right now. Someone slap the shit out of me the next time I come up with another brilliant idea like this.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out (really?) at least begins with an interesting premise. Dr. Newbury is performing a dream study with a blind woman, Laura. May not seem all that unusual but here’s the twist - she’s psychic and the doc wants to see if she can link up with the comatose patient in the next room. Which happens to be our psycho from part 2, Ricky.

You may be wondering why he has a clear Tupperware bowl in place of a skull on his head (I know I was). Apparently after the shootout at the end of 2, they blew half his head off and had to reconstruct his brain. 

Um….no they didn’t. I just watched that fucking movie and that didn’t happen. But the writers needed a way to explain how the doctors had to restart his memories and give him an opening to link up with a psychic. 

Continuity, schmontinuity.

Laura does link up with Ricky though all the tells the doctor is that she just doesn’t want to do this anymore. He already knows, of course, so he uses reverse psychology on her to get her to keep going and OMG THERE’S MORE FUCKING CLIPS FROM THE FIRST MOVIE!!

December 21, 2016

Silent Night, Deadly Night Series Review - PART 2

I think I may need to reevaluate my definition of lazy writing…
Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2 begins with Ricky, the younger brother of the serial killer Santa from the first film. He's in a mental institution and is awaiting yet another doctor’s evaluation/interview about what makes him so cuckoo for cocoa puffs. An orderly, with THE tightest white pants I’ve ever seen, eyes Ricky warily as the 13th psychiatrist sets up his recording equipment.

Ooooohhhh…number 13…..wwwOOOOOOOOOoooo!

Whatever.

Ricky recounts the events from that fateful night of his parents’ murders, something he couldn’t POSSIBLY remember as he was only 6 months old at the time. Even if Billy told him everything, there’s still NO WAY he could recount the same details. He also couldn't remember events that occurred between characters when Billy wasn’t even around! Or know the crap that went down at Billy’s job because HE NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO TELL RICKY ALL THAT BEFORE HE WAS SHOT AND KILLED.

Whatever. We need filler.

Movie Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night Series Review

Again I have thrown myself into the series review ring. I did this for the Child's Play movies a little while back on another site (*cough cough* REVIEW WHORE *cough cough*) and had so much fun flogging myself for that little adventure that I want to do it again. But this time I chose a series because of the timeliness of its story elements - CHRISTMAS! And who doesn't love a good set of horror movies at this time of year? It can't be any worse than Aunt Gladys gumming your cheek as she slobbers all over you with holiday cheer.

I will review each of the 5 movies over the next 5 nights, taking us all the way to Christmas Eve. And my present to you Christmas morning will be to stop making you read these. There's enough sadness and stress during the holidays. 

You're welcome.

Our journey begins with Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984). Picture it - a young, happy couple with their two children driving across the countryside to visit Grandpa for Christmas. Granted, Pappy’s in a mental facility and just sits there, uncommunicative. That is until the folks leave the room and then he proceeds to scare the shit out of Billy by telling him Santa comes to punish all bad little boys and girls. Since Billy ain’t too sure he’s been good ALL year, Grandpa warns him he’ll have to RUN FOR HIS LIFE!!!

What the hell, grandpa?

Movie Review: The Orphan Killer (Blu-ray)

Reviewed By: James D.

The Orphan Killer is quite possibly one of the better slasher films in the indie market right now in terms of good gore and bloodshed. The kills and torture were really well done. The story focuses around Marcus, and his baby sister Audrey. When he was 6 and she was 2, their parents were killed when they got robbed. They were sent to a home, where Marcus took his parents death harder than she did. He acted out and got more violent. The nuns punished him by making where this old theater mask and treating him like some sort of freak. While Audrey found a home and a family, Marcus took it hard and vowed revenge on her.

My problems with this film are the pacing and the use of the flashbacks. You get a great kill and some adrenaline going, and they whip up this flashback that made no sense. The music in some scenes did not fit…I would have loved less music and more mood of the characters and their emotions, rather than loud music, or some female folk singer. The other negative, was the set up to the barb wire scene. Talk about something that was just dragged out getting to the point, and the conversation he has with his sister once he strings her up was just horrible.

December 18, 2016

Movie Review:The Ip Man Trilogy (Blu-ray)




Reviewed By:
James D.





I want to put the Ip Man right there with found footage films as a genre that should have stopped or died many years ago. I just feel from the first film, this was going to be a hard franchise. The second one proved my point, but thank god for the third one really living up to the hope that I had when I got into this trilogy. When anything gains any kind of fame, or a few pennies people want to keep on and on. As long as people keep buying into it, studios keep on blindly putting out more and more to meet the demand. I mean ideas like a Paranormal Activity and Ip man are so thin, that they do not have legs to continue to go on and on, but people keep on creating more and more sub stories off the original. The plot to this one is basically stale as he arrives to mainland China to try and re-establish himself after losing wealth to China being at war with Japan. Along the way in this boring story he is adopted by a group of students, they help him learn and he helps them deal with life and all that. The fights in this film are just the same old stuff you seen time and time again, they fight at times in this kinetic speed that feels like they are trying to speed them up to the point when you do not see half of what is going on. The acting in this film was fine, though at times it does go a bit cheesy dramatic that makes this film seem almost like it tried to be too deep, but have the shallowest of deliveries. 

The music in this film hurt the film the most, keep in mind I was watching this on blu ray with the surround sound on low, and it was still too loud, which hurts the dialogue at times also. This film I hope is the end of this franchise or film series however you look at it. I was a fan of a few of the films, but that was long ago, and today’s Ip man films feel more desperate than entertaining. This film is basically setting martial arts films back 80 years and unless you have to see it because you have watched all the others, I would say skip it.

December 17, 2016

Movie Review: Nightmare Sisters (1988, Vinegar Syndrome)

Directed by David DeCoteau

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Melody (Linnea Quigley in buck teeth), Mickey (Michelle Bauer in a fat suit) and Marci (Brinke Stevens all nerded out) are dorky sorority sisters who have the frat house to themselves for a weekend. Their solution? Invite some equally nerdy fraternity brothers for a house party!

Unfortunately, Marci has made a recent thrift score find with a cursed crystal ball that took the life of its previous owner, an accursed spiritual medium (Dukey Flyswatter of the notorious shock rock band Haunted Garage). The girls whip out said crystal ball for an impromptu s̩ance and our transformed into glamorous, insatiable succubi Рfemale demons who like nothing more than seducing males and then castrating them with their fangs! Things get complicated with the arrival of an exorcist (Jim Culver) to drive out the demons. Low-grade comedy hijinks ensue.