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January 28, 2017

Movie Review: 9 to 5 (1980)

Directed by Colin Higgins

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

The 1980s comedy classic 9 to 5 comes to Blu-Ray courtesy the fine folks from Twilight Time! At 37 years old, a lot of the subject matter here, such as blatant discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace, seems unconscionable at this point in American history, but one must sadly admit was this was how it was in the workplace on the eve of the Reagan Administration.

To recap: freshly divorced housewife Judy (Jane Fonda) ventures back into the workplace at a large corporation, She is taken under the wing of worldly wise widow Violet (Lily Tomlin), the “gal Friday” of the repulsive Mr. Hart (Dabney Coleman in the role that only could be played by Dabney Coleman) who routinely steals all her ideas and passes her over for promotion. Sassy country gal Doralee (Dolly Parton), unfairly singled out as the office “desk polisher” by her coworkers, strikes up a friendship between Violet and Judy, and over drinks, dope and barbecue share their fantasies of murdering Mr. Hart. An unfortunate series of events the following day actually lead the trio do believe they DID murder Mr. Hart. When he reappears and threatens blackmail against them, the women abduct him and begin to put their own version of “employee relations” into practice.

January 27, 2017

Movie Review: Blue Sunshine (1977, FilmCentrix)

Directed by Jeff Lieberman

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

In elementary school, us kids passed around a story about how one man took LSD and didn’t have a trip until exactly one year later – wreaking havoc as he was driving a school bus. While by all accounts, if the story was true, the man in question probably just scored some bunk acid. This bit of apocryphal information seemingly informed writer-director Jeff (Squirm) Lieberman’s Blue Sunshine, wherein some former hippie Stanford University students feel the effects of the titular drug and turn into raving, bald maniacs ten years afterwards.

Blue Sunshine begins with a Big Chill-like reunion in a mountain cabin when someone pulls the wig off a largely untalented comedian and singer, revealing him to be a balding, wide-eyed lunatic. Stuffing three screaming ladies into the cabin’s fireplace, the film’s erstwhile hero Jerry (future soft-core porn director Zalman King) is fingered for the killings. Hitting the road, Jerry eventually traces the murderous outbreaks to a strain of LSD downed by college students during the hippie era. Jerry traces the distribution of the drug to former hippie guru to aspiring conservative politician Mark Godard (from TV’s “Lost in Space”). Blue Sunshine’s climactic scene, wherein Jerry confronts a raging bald lunatic is set in a shopping mall disco, adds yet another layer of social commentary. The fact that Jerry saves the day due to the advice given to him by a gun shop owner – a longtime symbol of institutionalized evil as seen by the Left, leaves the audience much to ponder.

January 26, 2017

TV On Blu-ray Review: From Dusk Till Dawn - Season 3

Reviewed By: James D.

"From Dusk Till Dawn” so far has been an up and down ride. I think the ambition of the first season was a little questionable. You are asking people to take a hour and forty minute film, and give them the same story in 10 hours. The depth and interaction was what kept the first season from being a miss. Where the first half of the season was pretty much a copy of the film, the second half of the season went in new directions. Season two was able to stray from what people knew of “ From Dusk Till Dawn” and started to carve its own identity. Season Three is by far the best season for this show so far. Where the first season was a retelling of a film, and the second was a clear turn from that. This season is a different beast altogether.

January 25, 2017

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Neal Brennan's "3 Mics" and Tom Papa's "Human Mule" (2017)

Kevin reviews an interesting new Netflix comedy special and a new Epix special from a modern comedy legend.

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January 24, 2017

Movie Review: Hobgoblins (1988, Vinegar Syndrome)

The 1980s were a weird time, man. Seriously. I was there for all of it. Bizarre. Near the beginning of the decade, Joe Dante made a little movie you may have heard of. It was called Gremlins. It was modestly successful. I kid. It was a huge and caused a MONUMENTAL TIDAL WAVE OF MONEY to crash into Steven Speilberg. That began a trend. A trend that continues to this day. A trend that we all wish had gone away forever: the cute, mischeivous and ultimately evil gaggle of little creatures film. Gremlins spawned Munchies, Critters (1 through 4), Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, Troll, Ghoulies (1 through 3), the list goes on. The least of which, by all accounts, is one of the final entries on the list. Hobgoblins. Written, produced and directed by Rick Sloane, Hobgoblins took advantage of the mini-creature fad to the best of it's ability. Most of the time, when the biggest selling point of your movie is Mystery Science Theater 3000 infamy, that is a sure sign to stay away. Not so fast, kemosabe. Hobgoblins, and the blu-ray treatment from Vinegar Syndrome is worth a shot.

January 20, 2017

Movie Review: The Chase (1966)

Directed by Arthur Penn

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

The African Queen, The Bridge on the River Kwai, On the Waterfront ….Quite an impressive resume. Producer Sam Spiegel had an unbroken string of unquestioned cinema classics. Spiegel’s follow-up to Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Chase is nowhere near as widely known, in spite of a star-studded cast list under the hands of the more-than-capable director Arthur Penn, just before he was to rocket to superstardom as the helmer of Bonnie and Clyde (1967). Diving into the Twilight Time Blu-Ray release (limited to 3,000 copies), these reasons become ever more apparent …

Movie Review: The Manson Family (2003 via 1997)

Nothing like delving into the nightmare world of Charlie Manson and his followers. Most of the US, and probably the world, know of the atrocities these people committed. And sometimes it can be interesting to get a peek behind the curtain inside a madman’s mind.

But this is not one of those times.

The Manson Family was shot like a documentary. A local television producer is tired of Charles Manson getting all the hype. Why is no one talking to the Family to get their side of the story? He puts together several interviews with the ‘where are they now’ members. In between those scenes, we are privy to flashbacks to 1969 and the events therein with Charles and his followers. And while all of this is going down, we get to watch a group of young people as they prepare themselves for…something by doing drugs naked, performing S&M, and worshipping Manson in someone’s mom’s basement because angst.

Cinema Head Cheese: Podshort! - Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States (2013)

On Inauguration Day, Kevin takes a look back through presidential history with Oliver Stone's documentary series.

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January 19, 2017

The "Phantasm" Series Arrives Soon on Blu-ray from Well Go USA!

“It’s Never Over!”

Five Chilling Cult Classics in One Terrifying Box Set


All Five Films in Don Coscarelli’s Legendary Horror Franchise,
Plus a Bonus Disc Loaded with Special Features

Six-Disc Box Set Debuts on Blu-ray™ March 28

PLANO, TEXAS. (January 19, 2017) – One of the world’s most popular franchises in the history of horror, the Phantasm film series has terrified fans for generations. Well Go USA Entertainment answers the prayers of those fans with the highly anticipated release of THE PHANTASM COLLECTION, a six-disc Blu-ray™ box set debuting on March 28.  The collection features all five frightening films in the series – PHANTASM: REMASTERED (1979), PHANTASM II (1988), PHANTASM III: LORD OF THE DEAD (1994), PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION (1998) and the most recent installment PHANTASM: RAVAGER (2016). In all five films in Don Coscarelli’s iconic series, Mike (Michael Baldwin) faces off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm) and his lethal arsenal of terrible weapons.

The sixth disc of THE PHANTASM COLLECTION features vintage special features, including “Phantasmagoria” a documentary containing new and archival interviews with cast and crew.  In addition, an announcement on new, never-before-seen bonus materials will be coming soon.

January 17, 2017

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.

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.

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??

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: 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.

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

Movie Review: Phantasm: Ravager (2016, Blu-ray)

Reviewed By: James D.

Phantasm: Ravager is our first film in almost 18 years and happy to report, you can tell the energy and passion was all over the writing and directing of this film. The brothers Jody and Mike with the help of Reggie, the two teens surviving the Tall Man has become a iconic story. Their lack of defeat on The Tall Man, let this story move forward with sequels. The story picks up with Reggie. He is living in a hospital and is wheelchair bound. He is haunted with nightmares and lapses in time and memory. We get the feeling early on that he may be suffering from Alzheimer’s. That is what he wants us to think. In this other dimension, Reggie is a shotgun carrying ice cream man on the trail of the Tall Man and his minions. That is also what he wants us to think. He may be just trapped in this post-apocalyptic alternate dimension that The Tall Man and annihilated the world with a virus, with the exception of clones of the Tall Man.

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

Kevin reviews the dark web series from Louis CK.

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