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September 21, 2018

Singularity (2017) Movie Review

Okay, Moyers. I’m drunk and ready to view this movie. It better be as terrible as you said.

(SPOILERS AHOY because, basically, I can’t be bothered to filter through the entirety of this shitsack to protect you from ruining the story - you’ll thank me later. Oh yes, you’ll thank me.)

Singularity is about VA Industries, which creates a bunch of robots for human use (read: military) to stop all wars. Riiiiiight. Trouble is, the CEO of VA, Elias Van Dorne (John Cusak) has a breakthrough: Kronos. Kronos is Van Dorne’s AI creation that will save humanity from itself. Riiiiiiight.

Eventually, Kronos realizes that humanity can go eat a bag of dicks and, therefore, must destroy it, so the world will have a better chance of survival. After Elias downloads himself and his bro into Kronos, making the most awkward three-way EVAR, Kronos kills everyone.

Well, almost everyone. 97 years later... As in every single other man-vs-machine film, there are small bands of survivors scrabbling out a living, killing each other to steal supplies, or trying to reach Aurora, the last stronghold of humans that aren’t total dick knockers.

Andrew (a character we met went all this shit went down 97 years ago - I know, just wait) wakes up in an unknown building, completely freaked out, and crosses paths with Calia, a young woman trying to find Aurora. Though he has no idea what’s going on and is so obviously not from around here, she trusts him for some odd reason, and travels with him to find the human haven.

Eventually we find out (via ALL CALIA’S FUCKING NARRATION) Andrew is not Andrew. His mind belongs to the kid we met at the beginning, but it’s been put into an artificial body. He honestly BELIEVES he’s human, which is why Calia didn't realize it right away (she needs one of those dogs from Terminator.) Andrew was programmed to fit in with humanity in order to suss out Aurora so Kronos can obliterate it.

That's bad touch, Mom. BAD TOUCH!

He’s recaptured by VA, and his programming is fucked with a bit more, so he’ll target Calia and maybe force her to give up Aurora’s location. But once she kisses him, his programming glitches and...fuck, who cares? Anyone watch Divergent? Same thing, when Four is ‘programmed’ to kill Tris. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Let’s wrap up this abortion, shall we? Aurora isn’t a city, it’s a planet. And Tris and Four....I mean, Calia and Andrew, hijack a spaceship and blast off toward a planet that looks suspiciously like Earth. But don’t worry - Kronos is hot on their asses so it can destroy the last remnant of humanity from the galaxy.


ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

I almost didn’t believe Kevin when he posted on FB about how awful this film is. He basically dared me to watch it, hoping I’d rip it apart. Though my brain urged me to RUN AWAY RUN AWAY, my heart and gut said the same, but what do they know?

Quick and dirty analysis: It’s like I, Robot, Divergent, Hunger Games, Terminator, and every other dystopian trope that’s ever existed, fucked over a long weekend in some abandoned, haunted psychiatric hospital, and birthed a bastard offspring that was raised by inbred halfwits in the mountains of Virginia.

That is not hyperbole. I’m not kidding. Really. This is not my jokey face.

You know...KROOOOONOOOOOOS.

So trite; so boring; so ridiculous; so inconsistent; so unbelievable (and I mean the characters and their actions, not the AI because that shit’s coming for us all, people...); so much exposition - seriously, I never had to watch the screen because Calia pretty much narrates half the film, or has to explain to Andrew what the fuck is going on in the world; so much story that made absolutely no sense.

John Cusak is probably one of my all-time favorite actors, but I just can’t figure out why he did this film. He doesn’t even have that much screen time, considering his character CREATED the gods damned AI that’s destroying the world and monitoring everything that’s going on. He’s got his virtual fingers in everyone’s virtual pies but that’s okay, let’s get back to Calia being groped by a smudgy, sweaty, band of rogues ‘cause women folk is awfully sparse these days and ain’t no POH-lice to tell me I can’t fiddle their bits when I want to.

Terrible, awful, no good, very bad film that should never have seen the light of day. In fact, whoever had the idea to chop out good bits from other films and sew them together to create an amalgamation that would make Dr. Frankenstein shake his head in dismay, and the person who green-lit the whole project, should be marooned on a desert island with only each other’s shitty ideas to keep them company. Well, maybe a Kraken can come visit from time to time and slime them, then they’ll know how the rest of us feel after watching their monstrosity of a movie.

5 Middle Fingers to the Eye (out of 5)






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September 1, 2018

Static Age #1

Static Age(named after The Misfits’ song about television is a new column in which I will be talking to you about all sorts of genre television. Each installment will start with its spotlight in some classic or not-so classic title that doesn’t get the love it deserves and I had neglected seeing so far. Then we’ll proceed on discussing more recent shows. And in the end, we’ll be chatting about all sorts of random stuff, from mainstream film to film books. I hope you enjoy!

This Static Age’s spotlight goes to the 1st (and only) season of RoboCop: Prime Detectives (2000) which is essentially four one hour and a half movies, and whilst their satire is welcome, its predictions did not prove very accurate, while the special effects have not aged very well. Often, the soundtrack is reminiscent of westerns. However, it contains a lot of action and it is much better than what people have told you.

I also managed to catch up with the following recent shows…

The 2nd season of Peaky Blinders (2013 – present) find the same-named Birmingham gang and its leader Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) coming up against with “bigger fish” as their reputation reaches London.

The 1st season of Narcos (2015 – present) is about the real-life story of infamous smuggler Pablo Escobar (played here in excellence by Wagner Moura) who used to make a lot of money smuggling a variety of goods, but really made millions when he started exporting cocaine from Columbia to the United States of America. I am a scholar of the real-life case of Escobar, and rarely have I seen a TV show being so true to the facts (real news photos and videos from the era are employed as well, making for a peculiar blend) while also remaining very entertaining.

Witch-hunts are aplenty in the 2nd season of Salem (2014 – 2017) which is better than the previous one, but there is still not too much story to keep you interested, so the creators rely mostly on scares, and they are very successful on those. Lucy Lawless appears as a rather morbid guest star on several episodes, whilst Joe Dante directs one of them. Still, Janet Montgomery steals the show with her unmatchable beauty.

The 1st season of French television sensation The Returned (2012 – 2015), created by Fabrice Gobert, is about a school-bus road accident that left many kids dead, that several years later return from the dead, much to the terror of the people that knew them. The beautiful and haunting score is by renowned band Mogway. Aside from the violence, there is also a lot of nudity and sex to be found here. This slow-burn subtle horror masterpiece is a remake of Robin Campillo’s same-titled movie, and it went on to be remade as a series for U.S. television as well, but we’ll discuss this in a subsequent installment of the present column.

The 2nd season of The Handmaid’s Tale (2017 – present) is set in a near future, in which women have been bared of all human rights and are enslaved and forced to reproduce, because… religion! This is June Osborne’s (Elisabeth Moss) tale of survival against a totalitarian state of fundamentalist lunatics. By far this year’s most intelligent show, it raises questions on the dangers of organized religion and how easily it can turn to terrorism and eventually take control. It also doesn’t hurt that it is in essence the most feminist series in the history of the medium.

In the 1st season of In the Flesh (2013 – 2014) we are introduced to a post-post-apocalypse world where the zombies have rehabilitated and they try to fit back into the wretched society. However, trouble is still prevalent as a paramilitary group of vigilantes is roaming the streets, hungry for the blood of the undead. Severely British (be aware that it goes as far as having an aunt talking about having tea, with a zombie, no less), but also quite original, this three-episode masterpiece will have you rooting for the living dead, rather than the despicable humans.

But, I also caught up with a few mainstream films…

Director Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther (2018) is about the titular hero (Chadwick Boseman) who is the King of Wakanda, a peculiar African country, and his struggles against a very powerful opponent who seeks for revenge. Groundbreaking for being one of the very few superhero films in which the male lead is black, it was a hit with audiences as it grossed more than $1.3 billion, proving that even mainstream audiences like diversity, even when it comes to race.

A film I fell asleep while watching it was Alfie (1966) directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Michael Caine in the eponymous role (a pathetic womanizer). It actually reminded me how sad British cinema is.

Director Johannes Roberts’ The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) may be a very good and strong sequel, but it came a little too late and not many noticed and even fewer bothered. Still, it is even darker than the previous entry and it must be seen by fans of realistic horror.

In Gerald’s Game (2017) middle-aged white yuppie couple Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and Jessie (the ultra-gorgeous Carla Gugino) attempt to spice up their sex life by spending a little time on their own in a secluded house, with the help of Viagra and handcuffs. Unfortunately though Gerald dies before the act and Jessie is left handcuffed on a bed in the middle of nowhere, facing death by starvation and dehydration. However, things are not that simple as paranoia lurks and the poor woman starts talking with herself and the dead husband. Right now cinema is going through a Stephen King renaissance, as more and more of the author’s works are adapted into successful movies, which is stunning, considering that King’s books were believed to be an 1980s thing, even if he never stopped churning out product. This is another adaptation of one of his works, this time by screenwriters Mike Flanagan (who also directed) and Jeff Howard. The same-titled 1992 book was also thought to be King’s most un-filmable one, but the filmmakers did miracles here, because although it is essentially a drama about two actors in one room, what we have here is great material, nicely delivered. Sure, most of it is an art-house exercise in subtle terror, but the ending becomes a full-on horror affair. It is slow and even a bit boring at times, but nonetheless the work of a master.

Director Kevin Philips’ Super Dark Times (2017) is about a small group of high school students that go on about messing in the woods with weed and a deadly weapon (a sword, to be precise), but the fun and games end up with an accidents that leaves one of them dead. Driven by fear and panic the rest of them cover up the crime, but paranoia lurks, essentially giving them the message that you can’t get away with murder and from murder. This is a slow-burn affair that got a lot of love from prestigious film festivals and critics alike, but other than its expert cinematography (by Eli Born), I couldn’t find much else to like here.

My Friend Dahmer (2017) by writer/director Marc Meyers is based upon the 2012 same-titled graphic novel by John Backderf and is about the childhood and teenage life of convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (here played by Ross Lynch) before he went on a murder spree during which he offed at least 17 young men. At 107 minutes long I found it to be boring and overlong, without adding too much to a character that true-crime aficionados already know pretty much everything. The whole film feels a bit too comic book-like for its own good as well, making the end result seem awkward. Premiering at the prestigious 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, and gaining positive reviews and audience reactions, it strangely bombed at the box-office, grossing a mere $1.5 million.

Truth or Dare (2018) by director Jeff Wadlow is about a bunch of American teenagers that holiday in Mexico during Spring Break, when a mysterious man (Landon Liboiron) proposes a game of – you guessed it – truth or dare. The problem though is that the game results in the death of those who play it. What’s more, even after stopping playing the initial match, the kids are followed back by it and they are forced to engage in it again. This is a typical meta-slasher, in the vein of Final Destination (2000) when the air of doom is a little bit more inexplicable than, say, a regular serial killer, but the unfortunate fact that the eponymous game itself is really boring, the outcome couldn’t be a great film. Still, although it is Blumhouse’s weakest entry in a series of recent exciting horrors, it is way above the similar films of its ilk from competitor studios. Overlong at 100 minutes, this becomes torturous when some of the ‘truths’ and ‘dares’ have to do with who slept with who or who loves who. Essentially, this is an actors’ screenplay, but the acting personnel on display is not strong enough. Made on a modest budget of $3.5 million, this went on to gross an outstanding $94.8 million. Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986) was way better.

Kung Fu: The Movie (1986) by director Richard Lang, finds Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine) meeting the father of a man he had killed, and who will seek revenge by using Caine’s son Chung Wang (Brando Lee, in his acting debut). A lot of so-and-so choreography will be employed in order to solve the conflict, and much more bullshit philosophy that seems hilarious, now, more than thirty years after this TV-movie’s initial airing. Also featuring Martin Landau (no introduction needed) and William Lucking (whose acting skills are lacking). This is my first foray with the franchise, and although I’m not quite excited about it, I understand its historical importance in the 1970s and 1980s martial arts-craze, and therefore I promise to come back soon with a lengthier text in regards to its television series, via this very column.

John Travolta plays legendary gangster John Gotti in the aptly named Gotti (2018), which is nowhere near as bad as reviewers have told you, nor is it anywhere near as good as its marketing department has told you when it went on to attack the critics back in a surprising if original tactical move. It is simply meh, and quite boring at that too. As far as gangster biopics go, you should give this one a pass. Directed by Kevin Connolly.

BH Tilt’s The Belko Experiment (2016) is about the same-titled social experiment which finds 80 office workers unwillingly trapped in their job’s yuppie building where they will have to eliminate each other in order to survive. James Gunn’s screenplay (who also produced, with Peter Safran) is anti-capitalist at its core, and it comes complete with anti-corporate irony when it uses relevant signs/messages as a backdrop for mayhem and cruelty. Director Greg McLean delivered quite the masterpiece here.

In director Mark L. Lester’s Commando (1987) a South American gang makes the mistake of kidnaping John Matrix’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger) daughter along with killing some of his friends from his time in the Black Ops. Now they will have to face the consequences of the armed commando who will kill all their peers in an amazing spectacle of shootouts and explosions. A crescendo of hard-boiled action, probably the best of its kind.

Writer/director Ari Aster’s Hereditary (2018) is about the loss of a child (and it echoes the you-know-which film from the 1970s), but it goes even deeper, when the leading family has to face séances and the revelation of dark secrets. It is surely the slow-burn horror masterpiece of the year, and it doesn’t even become tiresome at over 2 hours long. Another winner from game-changers A24.

In Djinn (2013) Salama (Razane Jammal) and Khalid (Khalid Laith) have recently lost their child in its infancy and after a bit of consulting with a psychiatrist (Soumaya Akaaboune) they decide to move to Ras al-Khaimah, only to get terrorized by their neighbours that are actually monsters. Or, is the female lead going mad, as David Tully’s screenplay so cleverly is teasing? There is no doubt that this is Tobe Hooper’s worst film but it is unfair to expect from a 70 year old man to make masterpieces in 2013 the same way he did them as a 31 year old youngster in 1974 – these were/are different times. However, the film is not without its merits, as when the horror settings become familiar, such as in the car trap scene, the fear becomes realistic and quite effective too. Produced by Tim Smythe and Daniela Tully on a $5 million budget and shot on location in the exotic Dubai, it was then acquired by Fortissimo Films in 2011 with a plan to be released in 2012, but this plan was never materialized. There is a lot of speculation on why the release was held up, with contradictory information being all over the internet if you are interested. However, sales were finally launched at 2013’s Berlin International Film Festival Market. It officially premiered in Abu Dhabi Film Festival later in the year. To this day, it has only be released on physical media in Germany (on BD), although it is available on V.O.D. in the U.S – you can rent it on Amazon, which is what I did.

In Pet (2016) Seth (Dominic Monaghan) is the usual pathetic loser that is stuck on a dead-end $9/hour job, feeding animals in a small (and quite seedy) Animal Control facility. Upon returning home one day he meets gorgeous waitress Holly (Ksenia Solo) at the bus and charmed he tries to start a conversation but she politely ignores him. Seth has a friend at his job, security guard Nate (Da'Vone McDonald) who gives him advice on how to approach women, and this just what he does when he visits the diner that Holly is working, but things still don’t work and he is left disappointed. The stalking continues, until one day Seth breaks into Holly’s apartment, drugs her, puts her in a box and drags her to the Animal Control facility’s basement in which he locks her in a pet cage. As he says, he will try to save her by keeping her there. The screenplay by Jeremy Slater is centering on the psycho at hand, but is he the only true nutcase here? Whichever is the answer (which you’ll not get from me, you’ll have to see this for yourself) this is still an one-man show by Dominic Monaghan and contrary to what the poster would have you believe, it is a film about performances. This goes even further, as the audience is asked to keep an eye out to the various dynamics and mechanics that are built between the brilliant cast. If you watch Pet, you agree to be taken on a journey to a study of the psyche of loneliness, essentially an assessment of how a paranoid person proceeds with his stalking business (the second half is indeed about imprisonment, but the first half is about the hunt of the prey – and in none too adventurous way at that, the mood and the tone here are low-key). The dialogue is kept at a minimum as this is a totally visual (and thereby cinematic) experience; all set-pieces are brilliant, and it is made quickly apparent that director Carles Torrens is a true master. As such, the deeper we go into the concept of how (if we are not too careful) one day we may wake up in some sort of a jail (and frighteningly it seems that not only the state has the power to do that). Still, it is a film about a girl in her underwear locked inside a cage, which may be too strong imagery for certain audiences, but I take my hat off to the filmmakers for avoiding to employ the expected by such films rape scene. Produced by Nick Phillips and Kelly Wagner, Pet after premiering at South by Southwest, was a major box-office disappointment, as it grossed a pathetic $70 bucks from one theatre; this makes it the lowest grossing film of the year, which tells a lot about us, as audience members, and how much we don’t appreciate original material such as the one under review.

In The Visit (2015) Loretta Jamison (Kathryn Hahn) is a divorced mom and she decides she needs a little bit of time of vacationing with her current boyfriend. To ensure her privacy, she sends her young son (Ed Oxenbould) who is an unprofessional rapper (although I don’t know of any professional ones) and her teenage daughter (Olivia DeJonge) for holidays in the middle of nowhere, to their grandparents’, who they have never met. It is not long before one weird event comes after the other, in what is essentially one of the creepiest films from 2015, while also managing to maintain a necessary amount of humor throughout. The film’s original title was Sundowning and it was indeed under this title that it went into principal photography in February 2014. Shyamalan went to press commenting about the many different cuts that he had at several stages in post-production that were totally different among each other in regards to tone, and that the version released is an amalgam of all of them. The theatrical trailer debuted in April 2015. It was distributed theatrically by Universal Pictures in September 2015. It was released on disc on January 2016. It grossed more than $98.4 million, making it financially one of the most successful horror movies of the year. The festival circuit was equally generous as the film enjoyed a very healthy run.

Leatherface (2017) is set before the events of the first film and working as a prequel to that this is about a bunch of mental patients that just escaped from a mental clinic somewhere in Texas. We follow them on their wild and violent trip towards freedom and carnage, which is only matched by the similar story arc of a local ranger who is on a mission to avenge the death of his daughter. In essence there are not any distinctive bad guys or good guys here, just violent people trying to achieve their goals. And for once in a modern horror film, yes, the main characters have goals here and purpose behind their actions. The main mystery though is, who, among all the escaped mental patients will grow up to become Leatherface. This also happens to be the film’s greatest fault, as you don’t know who the focal character or villain is – all of them (including the cops) seem to be pretty terrible people. The film doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be either, but for once, again, in a modern horror film, this works on its favor, as Leatherface is a stuffed salad that is mixing so many good ingredients that somehow the end result is delicious. And yes, I used the word ‘delicious’ for a film about a chainsaw wielding maniac that slays so much raw meat that I may get sued by vegans. Actually, this – with its Texas BBQ-flavored taste – is the one film you should not show to a vegan this year. Seth M. Sherwood’s screenplay is not so much impressive for its ‘coming of age’ sensibilities (this is a piece about a man growing up from being a maniac to more maniac) but for the research that it is apparent that was conducted as there is so much attention to detail here that every little character we have seen before is carefully represented and accurately portrayed. On the other hand the direction by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury is so stylish and calculated (in a very raw way) that it less reminiscent of any recent horror reboots/remakes/whatnot, and more in tune with the works of Quentin Tarantino or Rob Zombie. It also keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times and it has you biting your nails as this is the most stress-inducing modern film I’ve seen in a while. The truth is that it is cruel for cruelty’s shake (although it never breaks into the so-called ‘torture porn’ territory) but it is also so inventive with its violence (most of the kills or the overall violence is impeccably innovative) that you can’t help it but love the material. Sure, its approach is also style over content, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. Is it the best Chainsaw film we have seen in ages? Absolutely. Do not fail to see this.

And finally, I enriched my knowledge and bookshelf by purchasing the following books…

Mike “McBeardo” McPadden’s Heavy Metal Movies is an enjoyable read and a massive tome really (more than 550 pages long) which aside from reviewing pretty much every movie that is about heavy metal (or any other kind of metal music) it also includes several other genre films, simply because they are awesome (the word metal here is often used as a synonymous for being awesome). Buy this and you will learn a lot of things, but most of all you will be captivated by the writer’s energized prose.

James Pontolillo’s The Unknown War of Edward D. Wood Jr. 1942 – 1946 is as you might have guessed about our favorite filmmaker’s time in the army. A lot has been written (and said by Eddie himself) about how heroic of a soldier he was, but this book proves otherwise, as documents reveal that Eddie was not much else other than an office clerk, whose most dangerous stunt was contracting syphilis from a prostitute. The amount of research that went into this study and the vast section of scanned documents provided is impressive, but unfortunately the little prose that can be found within its pages is suffering from the absence of an editor. Probably not too many would care about what a 1950s schlock director was doing in the army, but I did, so maybe a few other may too.


Kim Newman’s Video Dungeon: The Collected Reviews, as its title makes plain, collects many of the renowned writer’s previously published capsule reviews from his same-titled column that runs for several years now. As the writer admits in the end of the book, what presented here is only a small fraction of his output, so I hope we will see sequel books. Benefiting from Newman’s signature style, this is a blueprint of how short reviews must be written, wasting no space whilst delivering the necessary information. In fact, the writing here is so strong that the absence of pictures (strange for a film book) is almost unnoticeable. 560 pages long and quite inexpensive for its size, this is a must-buy for genre film aficionados.

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August 1, 2018

A Binge Too Far #1: American Ninja


Welcome to A Binge too Far, the new column that was named after my favorite A Bridge too Far (1977), and which will be presenting you each time with film-by-film reviews of classic (and some not so classic) franchises or movie series which I had neglected seeing so far. Without further ado, let’s start with American Ninja.
 
American Ninja (1985)

Joe (action movie legend Michael Dudikoff, in a role that was originally intended for Chuck Norris) is a soldier of many pseudonyms and an obscure past, of which he cannot remember much as at some point he had lost his memories. However, what he remembers clearly is his martial arts skills that will help him get a lot of opponent ninja butt kicked.

During an armed hold-up and attempt kidnapping of Patricia Hickock (Judie Aronson) Joe alone manages to save the girl from the hands of evil guerillas and as much evil ninjas, which only serves to generate the awe and hatred of the master ninja (Tadashi Yamashita) who now seeks for revenge.

Produced by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus now legendary Cannon Films, this is one of their most famous actioners, and although it wasn’t the one that kick-started the 1980s ninja craze, it was one of the pivotal films from that particular cinematic movement that crossed other markets as well.

Directed by renowned action film director Sam Fistenberg, this is as misogynist as were the 1980s, but you won’t be able to help it but feel charmed by the cheesy dialogues and the awesome ninja and shootout action (more than 110 people die onscreen).
 

July 31, 2018

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Skyscraper (2018)

Dwayne Johnson and Neve Campbell fight extortionists in the world's tallest building as it burns.

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July 30, 2018

Movie Review: Year of the Comet (1992)

Directed by Peter Yates

Movie review by Greg Goodsell

in•sip•id, (inˈsipid), Adjective: insipid. Lacking flavor. Synonyms: Tasteless, flavorless, bland, weak, wishy-washy; Unappetizing, unpalatable. Lacking vigor or interest. Synonyms: unimaginative, uninspired, uninspiring, characterless, flat, uninteresting, lackluster, dull, drab, boring, dry, humdrum, ho-hum, monochrome, tedious, uneventful, run-of-the-mill, commonplace, pedestrian, trite, tired, hackneyed, stale, lame, wishy-washy, colorless, anemic, lifeless

Margaret Harwood (Penelope Ann Miller) is a young, industrious wine fanatic worked to the bone by her father’s rare wine company. At an exclusive wine tasting event, she meets cute with wisecracking American wastrel Oliver Plexico (Tim Daly). Finally given the chance to prove her acumen by securing a rare, $1 million dollar bottle of wine in Scotland. As fate would have it, Plexico is assigned to be her factotum on the mission and so the chance for romantic sparks fly ever upward. Ever suave and villainous Philippe (Louis Jordan) and his henchmen want that bottle as well, and so efforts to transport the flagon hit various rough patches.

July 27, 2018

Movie Review: SHHHH (2018)

I understand the appeal of horror and comedy mashing it up. I also understand the absolute HATRED of the mixed genre, because it’s either very good or fucking awful. I’m gonna have to go with the latter for my review of this flick.

SHHHH stars James Henderson as Harris, a struggling film maker in Los Angeles (how original and unexpected.) While trying to make ends meet with his job at a crappy video store—do those still exist?—he spends most of his spare time, when not making movies, with his mom at the theater. They love to go see films together, even lesbian vampires feeling each other up and licking each other’s nipples. And while they do have fun, there’s always some asshole ruining the experience: the food wrapper crinkler, the guy on his phone the whole time, the talkers, the super tall people who sit RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU despite all the other empty seats...it’s enough to drive Harris to murder.

July 24, 2018

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - GLOW: Season 2 (2018)

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling return in a season filled with new relationships, turmoil, and some twists and turns for our favorite wrestlers.

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July 20, 2018

Sci-Fi Classics Movie Reviews

I can’t believe I’ve finally made it to the bottom of the ginormous stack of DVDs that David Hayes brought me 17 years ago. Actually, it was more like two, but it felt longer. (That’s what she said.)

ANYWAY....

I’ve got some horror/sci fi classics to review for you today. The best thing about these genre films from the 50s and 60s? They’re only about an hour long! The worst thing, aside from the low budget, crappy effects, and terrible acting, is that with such a short window, most of the action/storyline is told instead of shown. Oh well. I’m willing to overlook that when you get monsters made out of yarn and cardboard boxes...

Our first film is Creature from the Haunted Sea, a 1961 beaut from Roger Corman. In Cuba, Castro has just successfully led a revolution, ousting dictator Batista. But just because they won, doesn’t mean the Revolution has any money. So, an American casino owner, Renzo Capetto, is asked to smuggle a giant box of gold out of Cuba for Castro (I’m not really clear on why, but whatever.) Capetto agrees, but only because he plans to steal it for himself.

In on the job are his gal, Mary-Belle and her brother, Happy, Jack (the guy who makes animal noises,) and Sparks (who’s actually an undercover American Agent.) General Tostada, his aide, and a bunch of Cuban soldiers are accompanying the gold so nothing happens to it on the way. Capetto decides to kill as many of the Cubans as he can on the boat ride out of Dodge, so decides to use a local legend about a sea monster as cover.

Trouble is....the monster is actually REAL!

July 4, 2018

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Kevin and Dalyn discuss the biopic of high schooler Jeffrey Dahmer as told by friend and graphic novel author Derf Backderf.

Get books, comics, graphic novels and more at bunny17media.com. Use the code CHC at checkout for 15% off your purchase!

Click here to listen or right click and choose "Save Link As..." to download.


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June 26, 2018

Movie Review: Beyond the Gates (2016; Destroy All Entertainment; Shout/Scream Factory)


…OK, then. This next beauty on the lot…just know will appeal to one’s embraced nostalgic fervor…yes indeed, my fine folks, we have this finely restored ‘80’s model…very unconventional looking, though absolutely perfect, for one who appreciates that which suggests a measure of weathered, low-brow independent sylye…as opposed to slick, polished and princely…and not-totally-abandoned-nor-forgotten obscurity, once having meandered in a bygone age of excess. Why, just look at that wildly imaginative, albeit random array of curves, corners and points…that varied and eclectic pallet of bleached, though still madly vibrant and contrasting colors, shades & hues. There’s no mistaking it…absolutely screams ‘80’s, doesn’t it?? Hell, yes…feel free to kick the tires…really, aren’t they oh-so uncompromising…so unyielding, and yet, measurably restrictive and reserved, in the sense that they know very well what they are and aren’t capable of. Oh, and by all means, please…feel free to step inside, and take a seat. Yes, take a deep and elating whiff of that interior…that distinctly familiar and provocative air of a time when opportune and spontaneous chances taken…were daring, unconventional, and oh-so imaginatively pretentious…

…it may not be an actual 80’s original, but in pulling out all of our trump cards,…dammit to all hell...uh, quite literally, that is...we’re gonna convince you that it is

…and so, considering all that…uh, do we have a deal…Hmmmmm!!! (…with widened fiery eyes, and gnarled hands wringing…over, and over, and over again…); oh yes, please think about it…

…and yes, folks...we are going someplace with this, be rest assured...heh, heh, heh...

June 24, 2018

Movie Review: Tales from the Campfire (2017; Night of Terror Films)



…ya’ know?? This able-scribing reviewer…nay, even more so, this ardent devotee of the cinema macabre and fantastique…hath seen it hundreds of times. Uh, no…not the rather cool lil’ movie, which will momentarily get a sweep of keenly focused and illuminating spotlight, herein. Rather, we’re talking the multitude of times having been in the attentive audience of special screening personal appearances, movie-based lecture events and film convention forums…the film stars, the genre writers, the directors, the filmmakers and behind-the-scenes contributors…often times, once fans themselves, and now embracing their own fans…with the unrelenting gauntlet of varied questions asked by eagerly inquisitive forum attendees…’what was it like, working with (fill in the blank)’…’how did you manage to…’…’what are (you) doing now/what are (you) doing next?’…and so on…

…and time & time again…from the more ambitious few in the audience…the same, if not similar question of ‘…if I wanted to get started, how would I get started…how could I get my stuff out there??’ And without missing a beat…to a varying degree, the seasoned response is almost always, ‘…really?? Just get out there and do itdon’t be afraid of taking the chance, given an unswerving passion, and a respectable measure of resources…even the smallest and unpolished projects, given one’s heart and passion, may be well enough to get the ball rolling…even towards something bigger…’…or well, something along those lines…

June 10, 2018

Movie Review: 21st Century Serial Killer (2013)

Holy shit, folks. A Chemical Burn Entertainment film that DIDN’T make me want to vomit, take a cat-o-nine tails to my back before swimming through an Olympic-sized pool filled with lemon juice, or gouge out my own eyes? Did...did the apocalypse happen? Has everyone been raptured and I missed it?

I DON’T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE!!!

21stCentury Serial Killer is about Aaron, a milquetoast every guy who has a big dream -  to be a serial killer. Mostly it’s about being famous, being remembered. He tries to emulate some of the greats - Gacy, Bundy, Son of Sam - but there’s just one problem. He can’t even kill a fly, let alone a human being.

Eventually he meets a girl, settles down, and begins the routine life of a Post Office employee. While he still struggles with his murderous desires, a real serial killer is plaguing his town. With everything he’s studied over the years, Aaron tracks the killer before the cops catch him. Their chance meeting sets Aaron on the path to his dreams.

May 9, 2018

Movie Review: Terrifier (2016; Epic Pictures/Dread Central)


 …man, for the life of this reviewer…can’t understand what it is about clowns of late, that get the average folks out there, so damned riled up, unnerved and chilled to the bone. Really…just because a wayward, pasty-faced clown with crusty-stained dental work, bent into an evilly gleeful grimace, and carrying a loaded lawn-sized trash bag, loaded with gawd-knows-what, stands & stares intently and motionless on the corner…street light flicker, barely illuminating his ghastly visage…doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s about to get…er, naughty

…just because our hapless and merry fellow, decked out and dressed in oversized mud-crusted shoes, a saggy, jester-like & color-contrasting get-up, and a teeny-tiny black Oliver Hardy bowler hat, steps in, sits down across…speechlessly staring, and smiling with glistening, blackened lips…then without warning, reaches over, grabs your hand, and places a costume vending machine ring on your ring finger, as if to propose…doesn’t exactly make him an unnerving, smiley pervert…

May 4, 2018

Movie Review: Ramen Heads (2017; Netzgen Productions)


…yeah, I know what y’all are probably thinking. “Ramen?? Really!! A movie about ramen??” From a ‘domestic shores’ point of view…yeah, one might suppose that the subject of ramen…for most herein, an ‘instant’ vision of one’s grocery store isle, packed and stacked with ordinary ‘three, sometimes four for a dollar’ packaged instant soup noodles, each accompanied by a foil packet of heavily salted flavor powder, comes to mind (…and oh, how the respected nutritionist soothsayers just love to emote finger-shaking ‘shame-shame’ verbiage of dissuasion, as far as the gross dietary detriment of consuming this simple, albeit wholly processed food staple)…might seem merely that…'simple', by definition…

…OK, fair enough, right??

…with right hand raised in absolute swear-mode…left hand on the heart…yes, this reviewer shamelessly, yes proudly proclaims and admits…at least, from a urban ‘big city white boy’ perspective…”I am a Ramen Head!!” Been known to throw caution to the wind…boil up two, even three of those square-ish packages at a time…liberally seasoning those bad boys up, and slurping those puppies down like a human Hoover (…and ‘slurping’ is most assuredly the mindfully prerequisite and applicable term when eating ramen, as will be reiterated later). Given a little more creative motivation, present company even goes so far as deliciously supplementing the noodles with chicken, pork, egg, cabbage, cilantro, parsley, onion, bean sprouts, bamboo, or whatever might trip my (amateur culinary) tibia at the time…

May 3, 2018

Movie Review: Almost Invisible (2010)

I actually wanted to watch this instead of a mainstream, higher-produced, higher-budgeted film with A-list actors. What is wrong with me? CINEMA HEAD CHEESE HAS RUINED ME!!

Anyway… My next review is of yet another Chemical Burn film called Almost Invisible. It’s the deep and complex story of a group of young adults on a meaningful journey to find merriment. Also known as a bunch of dude-bros and their hos looking for someone’s house they can trash during a party.

Cue April, the not-important-enough Goth co-ed until she offers up her parent’s house for such a gathering. They’re out of town, you see, so you guys can party hearty there. Devin, the main douche bag, accepts, though no one else seemed too keen on the idea. But whatevs. We do whatever the King Douche says because, not-so-secretly, we are all douches, too.

April 24, 2018

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO, 2018)

Judd Apatow pays tribute to the life and wisdom of his mentor, comedy icon Garry Shandling, in this two-part documentary.

Get books, comics, graphic novels and more at bunny17media.com. Use the code CHC at checkout for 15% off your purchase!

Click here to listen or right click and choose "Save Link As..." to download.


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Cinema Head Cheese is sponsored by MoviePass. See unlimited movies at a theater near you for a low monthly rate.

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