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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Socket (2007): Some Holes Should Never Be Plugged

Socket (Sean Abley, 2007)

 

photo credit: mrqe.com

“Is this like that dream where you’re in english class in your underwear? And if so, where’s our underwear?”

A while back, I reviewed a ridiculous, but quite amusing, little movie called The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror. While I was doing the research on that one, I happened upon Socket; so many personnel cross over between the two films that it almost seems as if this was one of those Roger Corman-esque situations where they wrapped one film early, realized they had time on their hands and extra film stock, and said “hey, who’s got a script they want to film?” If I’m right on that, this was the movie they set out to make, and …Bed and Breakfast… was the afterthought; every place that movie is silly, stupid fun, Socket is serious as an electrocution burn. The unfortunate side effect of this is that where …Bed and Breakfast… escaped its basement budget relatively unharmed—in fact, connoisseurs of bad slasher movies almost expect movies to have zero budget going into them—Socket is a movie that could have really, really used a budget boost in order to get the most out of its ideas. None of the movie’s problems on its own is a showstopper, but they do add up.

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Das Waren Noch Zeiten (2000): Too Loud (for the Crowd)

Baal/Luftkanone, Des Waren Noch Zeiten (ES3, 2000)

[originally posted 7Jul2000]

photo credit: discogs.com

The blind leading the naked.

Two of the area’s most original bands get together and record a CD. The cliche “expect the unexpected” pops into mind. And, as cliched as it is, that’s about the long and short of it.
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Schizo (1976): Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, I’m Schizophrenic, And So Am I

photo credit: Oregon State University

Schizo (Pete Walker, 1976)

 

photo credit: wrongsideoftheart.com

How does one make basic black lurid? Ask Pete Walker.

I can’t believe I’m the only person who saw the ending of Schizo coming less than five minutes into the movie. In the seventies (and, unfortunately, beyond), there was a tendency to conflate schizophrenia and what we now know as Dissociative Identity Disorder. (That whether DID even exists is still a controversy raging in psychology journals, as depicted in the recent Julianne Moore vehicle 6 Souls, is interesting, but ultimately irrelevant to the current discussion.) The film starts out with a voice-over about schizophrenia. Well, actually, it starts out with a voice-over about split personality (the seventies term for DID, back when the now-discredited Sybil was all the rage) that contains a few less-than-subtle clues about the Big Reveal at the end of the film. Within two sequences of that voiceover, I knew what that Big Reveal was going to be, and you probably will as well. Given that the movie is framed as a genre mystery, this does tend to curtail one’s enjoyment.

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Desert Island Disc Day 4C; Detroit Metal City, Round One

Day 4C: Detroit Metal City, Round One

Day 4C Start

Another day of battle and bloodshed is upon us as the third redraw bracket gets underway…

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Night of the Vampire (1969): Still a Better Love Story than Twilight

Raymond Giles, Night of the Vampire (Avon, 1969)

[originally posted 6Nov2000]

photo credit: toomuchhorrorfiction.blogspot.com

Pile of bats?

I picked this up because it had the same cover scheme as another Avon horror paperback of the time, Helen McCloy’s much-loved (at least by me) Mister Splitfoot. Don’t know whether they used the same
brutally red cover scheme for all their late-sixties horror novels [ed. note 11Sept2013: probably, as I have another half-dozen of them now], but that’s the only reason why McCloy’s charmingly quirky mystery and this rather second-rate Harvest Home ripoff would be lumped together.
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Jefferson and the Gun-Men: How the West Was Almost Lost (2000): The Trip to Bounty-ful

M. R. Montgomery, Jefferson and the Gun-Men: How the West Was Almost Lost (Crown, 2000)

photo credit: Barnes and Noble

Into the great… what? open.

[originally posted 19Sep2000]

There is a common misconception among readers that history is dry stuff. Dates are to be memorized for tests, names blend together, and it’s all forgotten at the end of the term. This misconception has a lot to do with history textbooks, which often are lists of names and dates, but it can also be traced to non-academic history books. Let’s face it, the majority of history researchers are more comfortable finding facts than relating them. That’s why coming upon an author like Montgomery is as refreshing as it is; he can spin a tale.
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Sharknado (2013): Is that a Hammerhead in Your Pocket or Are You Just Glad to See Me?

Sharknado (Anthony C. Ferrante, 2013)

 

photo credit: movieweb.com

Enough Said!, the poster shrieks. Indeed.

[ed. note: a shout-out to my compatriot at Baked Movie Reviews, who is in love with Tara Reid.]

When a friend of mine posted joyously on Facebook that Sharknado was available on Netflix Instant, I knew there was no chance I was going to be able to stop myself from watching the movie that seemed, from all I had read about it, to be the biggest cinematic clusterfuck since The Room. At the time I thought this, I did not realize two very important points about the movie that I was apprised of less than two minutes into it. First, it stars Tara Reid, one of the most godawfully horrendous actors working in Hollywood today. (You thought Alone in the Dark was bad? Pray you are never forced to sit through Incubus.) Second, it was bankrolled and released by The Asylum. On the other hand, there is director Anthony C. Ferrante. When Ferrante brings his A game, he’s capable of turning in decent-if-not-great movies (Boo, from 2005, is a good example), but when he phones it in, you get House of Bones. No one should ever get House of Bones. So which Ferrante was going to show up? Given the shadowy hand of The Asylum, I figured I knew the answer, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Silly me.

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