I finally checked out an animated movie I’ve been curious about for years! ‘The Plague Dogs’ from 1982 is from the same team who brought us ‘Watership Down’ so if you’re familiar with that you know right off the bat that you’re in for something quite special. Like Watership down The Plague Dogs is hardly a children’s movie, it deals with some pretty damn heavy stuff. We the follow two dogs Snitter (John Hurt) & Rowf (Christopher Benjamin) who’re caged in a lab where they’re continuously abused by scientists for testing purposes.
However one day, one of the “white coats” (as the dog’s call the doctors) accidentally leaves Snitter’s cage door ajar and both him and Rowf escape to the open countryside. In the wild they struggle to find food and shelter and find help from a mischevious fox named the Tod (James Bolam). The three of them go on an epic journey. where the two dogs long to find a new kind family to take them in, but once the Government tell the locals that the two of them are infected with the bubonic plague, it becomes a race for survival as true danger lurks around every corner.
The Plague Dogs goes in some shockingly dark directions, some sequences so surprising I’d paused the movie to double check the rating. Much of it’s admittedly depressing and bleak but done so beautifully with it’s animation and painted backdrops that’s it’s really worth the effort. It’s the morning after and the movie still weighs heavily in my mind so much so that I’d really rank this in the top 10 best animated features I’ve seen. There’s so much heart in it’s characters and by mid point in the movie there’s nothing more I’d wanted than to see these characters get a happy ending. Be warned though, this one doesn’t play out like a Disney movie of the 80’s, no one remains safe here and some of the directions it goes in will literally have you on the edge of your seat. At least it did for me. All that being said I’d wondered who they made this movie for back in the early 1980s, as most kids seeing it might be fully scarred after viewing. I suppose ‘Watership Down’ follows this same formula and has a similar reputation. I’m surprised it took me this long to finally view as it’s clearly in a league of it’s own, one that nearly had me in tears several times, unlike anything I’ve seen in recent years. Continue reading
You ever have those movies that sit in your Netflix dvd Queue forever and then after years FINALLY arrive?! First off yeah I still got a dvd account with Netflix, the selection is totally way better and I also have the streaming too-so there. Anyway, get over it people, my point is I’ve got like 200 movies in that damn thing and most of em’ I probably will never get the time to check out. Surprisingly a movie snuck it’s way into the mix, ahh yes….’Superstition’ from 1982. I was pretty happy when it came in the mail, I’m always down for a good 80’s flick but I’ve been under the assumption these days that if I haven’t heard about a movie by now then it probably isn’t anything to write home about. Yep, I watch way too many movies, a lot of clunkers but every now and again I see something pretty damn cool that takes me by surprise.
‘Superstition’ (AKA “The Witch”) is one of those movies, from the opening scene it’s clear that you’re in for a bit of a treat. It’s essentially a haunted house movie, with some creepy witch business cleverly thrown in. The opening sequence has a some numb nut teenagers making out near a creepy old house in the woods, their sexy times get cut short by some meddling pranksters who give them a scare with some creepy props they’ve fastened in the trees above. After the two lovebirds flee for safety of course the pranksters can’t resist going into the house to fuck around. What follows are some impressive over the top gory kills, one of them gets thrown up into the ceiling, then winds up decapitated with his head in a microwave oven & eventually we get to see it explode. The other kid witnesses this and ends up being severed in half by a closing window. This opening sets the stage for a pretty entertaining little horror story. We have a bunch of religious nonsense as our main character is a priest who decides to fix up the property which belongs to the church readying it for a family to move into. Weird shit goes down almost instantly but you guessed it, the show goes on with little worry from anyone!
This one is definitely worth a watch, it’s only about 80 minutes long too, which I love, because one thing I’ve been noticing is there are a lot of movies from the 1980’s that would be fucking fantastic if you just cut 20 minutes out of their run time. Superstition succeeds in bringing some cool ass scenarios to life while trimming all the usual boring 80’s B.S. plots that go nowhere out of the mix. It’s a lean mean super solid retro haunted house movie, with some cool old school 17th century possessed witch flashbacks neatly inserted to give you the scoop on just what the hells going on. It’s got a ton of ridiculous characters in the frenzy of things as well with some comedic moments sprinkled in for good measure. I also think it’s got a pretty rock solid finale where the priest runs around with a magic cross he uses to ward off evil and blast open doors. Anyway I could go on but hey if you’re looking for a good gory 80’s haunted house movie look no further Superstition has got the goods!
I recently checked out an awesome early 80’s flick called ‘Evilspeak’ starring everybody’s favorite awkward actor Clint Howard who’s the younger brother of superstar director Ron Howard. Evilspeak delivers all the goods besides having Clint Howard in the lead it’s got some gruesome fx, a truly unique story and some pretty cool sets. It’s also got a swarm of possessed pigs that are more than willing to carry out the evil deeds of the devil! So track this one down if you get the chance, it’s totally worth it. Now one last thing obviously this one had got going for was the incredible VHS box cover art! One of my faves…
Well I also realized that this artist C. Winston Taylor is responsible for many of my favorite movie posters and box art of the 1970’s and 80’s in fact it turns out that he did the cover art for one of the other blogs I did recently for the movie Mutant Hunt! Also check out the blog post on with more details on his artwork on another cool ass blog I dig: Camera Viscera!!
I’ve bitched and moaned here about my complete and utter disappointment for the 2011 version of ‘The Thing’, the prequel to Carpenter’s classic 1982 monster movie! To refresh your memory we were originally promised a movie that would not only be a prequel but also give us the same style of mind blowing practical creature effects the awed us way back in ’82. Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ in my opinion is maybe the best creature feature of all time.
Yeah effects wizards at ADI (Amalgamated Dynamics Inc.) spent a ton of time and effort creating some truly astonishing practical creature FX for the movie only to have nearly ALL of them omitted from the final theatrical version of the film. Instead they gave us fans exactly what we DID NOT want, a bunch of slick, fake looking CGI in it’s place. This was a nightmare come true for all fans of the original. Well now it seems that that someone has decided to create a petition directed straight at the CEO of Universal Pictures Ronald Meyer. The petition is asking for what the fans wanted all along, the release of the work print of the 2011 film with all of the original practical monster effects that ADI worked so hard to bring us fans of the original!
This is a superb idea and something i have wondered about for so long. What would that film have looked like in it’s original form? Well now it’s time to demand that we see the film we were promised! If you’ve seen some of the Youtube videos of these FX then you know how incredible this movie just may have been!
So all of you Thing fans out there please take a minute to sign this petition and lets get the version of the prequel we all had been hoping for once and for all you can sign the Change.org petition right HERE! What are you waiting for?!
I am not sure how familiar you are with the 80’s Incredible Hulk cartoon but when I acquired the all the episides finally on a bootleg DVD (they still haven’t officially released them yet-lame!) I realized the show lacked one thing greatly. Villains!! Now don’t get me wrong the ’82 Hulk show was probably my favorite saturday morning cartoon. I lived for this show! But even back then I wondered where the Abomination was? The Rhino? The Wendigo? The Bi Beast? Zzzax? The U-Foes? Tyrannus? The Absorbing Man dammit?!!! No where to be found. In fact there was rarely ever a real Hulk villain on the show at all! Except one for one episode featuring The Leader, there weren’t any of the Hulks comic book baddies anywhere in sight. For some reason they chose Doctor Octopus and a few others oddly to fill in the void of villains for ‘ol jade jaws!