NOPE: Easily One of the BEST of 2022!!
I’m not gonna waste too much time reviewing the hell out of ‘Nope’ because I know that it’s soooooo 2 weeks ago! But being as finicky as I am about new new Hollywood summer blockbuster movies I’ve got to take at least a moment here to tell you how fucking much I enjoyed the new Jordan peel movie!
I went into this one with no real expectations except that I might get another tale covering ssome sort of allegory about race or modern culture. However with the modern “culture war” and basically the world at each other’s throats, falling apart I’ll have to be quite honest, I really wasn’t in the mood to think more about real world injustices or real life human struggles as I entered the theater.
Thankfully Jordan Peele decided to give us a mysterious compelling monster movie with no real strings attached but with plenty of layers to peel and dissect. Nope will leave you pondering all of the unique plot points sprinkled about for days. Our duo of well crafted main characters are black ranchers and he doesn’t need to make some sort of big statement about it. They’re just great characters who happen to be black. It also features some very curious and intriguing supporting characters one being a fairly convincing CGI chimpanzee that almost steals the show!
Nope really harkens back to the golden era of Stephen Spielberg movies in the best way possible But adding a much more sinister, brooding touch. After trying to make it through his rebooted Twilight Zone series I was beginning to have my doubts about his next film as I wasn’t a big fan of ‘Us’ , that being said, trying to follow up the brilliant ‘Get Out’ seems like an impossible feat. Fortunately he was able pull it off with ease with his 3rd full length movie which is just as mindbending in my opinion at least as his first.
A beautiful looking movie filled with A super solid cast, great locales and an excellent creature design make this a truly engaging movie to see in the theater and so much more than I was expecting. It’s a different animal altogether than the summer Hollywood blockbuster you might be expecting.
Don’t go in thinking you’re gonna get Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness type effects either. Peele uses CGI sparingly and perfectly to create something that feels visceral, real and highly imaginative in today’s landscape of bloated big budget sludge. If you haven’t seen Nope yet go into the movie completely blind if you can, the less you know the better. What plays out on screen I think is one of the best cinematic events of 2022 hands down.
VHS Verdict: The Hippies and Horror of ‘HIGH DESERT KILL’!’
I just recently ran across a pretty promising looking VHS tape, at least from the cover, ‘High Desert Kill’ from 1989 has all the right ingredients for one hell of a horror flick!
Marc Singer, The Beastmaster himself, rounds out the cast in this intriguing tale of terror in the deserts of New Mexico. However don’t be too dead set on blood-and-guts in this tale of survival. There’s really not a lick of gore to be found anywhere on screen for it’s entire run time.
It actually plays out like a bit of an extended episode of the X-Files (minus the Mulder and Scully type aspect) and I mean that as a compliment. I guess this was indeed a made for cable TV movie, don’t let that deter you though, cuz there’s a lot of forgotten gems in that category. We’ve got a great setting with 3 manly dudes who head out on a camping/hunting excursion deep in the desert in honor of their long lost deceased friend. There’s plenty of testosterone here going around as these sweaty often shirtless guys begin to almost immediately encounter some eerie occurrences upon arriving the first evening as well as some hot “hippie” babes (At least that’s what they seem to think they are for some reason) to liven up the party.
But things quickly go South as they start experiencing hallucinations and begin to believe they are being stalked by some unseen malevolent force. The desert of New Mexico is the perfect place for this creepy tale to unfold, it’s filled with plenty of mystery and the stunning beauty showcasing its natural surroundings..
To be honest the setting here is really the star of the show, there’s not a hell of a lot of spectacle to behold otherwise visually. No real flashy special effects or balls to the wall action sequences. However what it seems to lack in spectacle it makes up for with atmosphere, cleverly mixing a sense of dread and mystery at play with these old friends as the plot begins to slowly unfold and reveal it’s ugly details. The cover of the movie however does reveal perhaps a little more than it should with an alien spacecraft high in the sky, but don’t expect too much of that either and don’t expect too many skeletons to be rearing their ugly heads.
Despite those minor quibbles there’s plenty to love here and the cast of characters makes this weirdo trip one worth taking. It also features a pretty interesting backstory, shrouded and Native American mythology. If you’re in the mood for a simple slowburn with a pretty satisfying twist to it ‘High Desert Kill’ will be more than sufficient watch for any fanatic of erie eighties sci fi. I also see that currently Kino Lorber has a preorder for this one on blu ray– check it out!
The PREDATOR is Back….But Maybe Too Damn Soon!
So there’s s new trailer out for the next chapter of the Predator saga. I should be fuckin’ pumped on this news right? I mean the 1st R rated movie I ever saw in theaters was Predator, one that I snuck into way back in the late eighties before I was of legsl age. It was one of my greatest cinematic experiences ever! So now its 2022, does a new “Predator” movie hold any weight for an old school fan?!
I’m gonna be completely honest here, the idea of more Predator is a pretty underwhelming freakin’ concept, especially after that last load of dog shit we got served up. We never got to see Arnold return as Dutch or even team up with Danny Glover. We did get some sorta uninspiring AVP movies and a Topher Grace starring Predators…ugggggh. it’s not been a good run for the muscle bound alien since 1990. But here we are yet AGAIN with a Predator prequel called “Prey”. They literally ran out of ways to use the word “Predator” it seems!
So whether ya like it or not the God damn Predator is back……again. So we got the teaser today and it looks actually like a decent simple concept, The Predator arrives to take down a Commanche tribe 300 years ago. With the hero being a skilled female warrior, the face off begins…Am I stoked like 1987? Nah…but I’ll check it out, but this time I hope there’s something new and fresh spun into the story because I’m starting to think this concept was really just good ultimately for one go round.
Where can they take this? Who cares! I guess this one will be on Hulu in August, NOT in theaters, I’m just fine with that, my expectations for ‘Prey’ are not high, I’m actually pretty surprised the alien is back THIS soon honestly. As expectations are low I hope to be pleasantly surprised, probably my big mistake! In the meantime just enjoy Batman: Dead End, for imo the BEST sequel to Predator 2!!
Movie Review: The Gooey Gory Greedy Horror of ‘BLACK FRIDAY’!
A good Thanksgiving horror movie has always been quite hard to come by, sure there are few out there but aside of something like 1987’s ‘Blood Rage’ the pickens are slim. Well I decided to take a chance yesterday on a brand new one called ‘Black Friday’ and was quite surprised how much I enjoyed this comedically gory and ultra gooey little horror flick. To be honest I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot even though it co-stars Bruce Campbell as the manager of a lame ass modern toy mart on Thanksgiving evening. I wasn’t particularly 100% sold on the trailer but I really wanted to see something different this year that brought some possible holiday horror cheer.
I’d at first thought this might be just another trashy low level zombie movie but right from the get go it’s clear this one’s got something more sinister going on which was immediately a relief. We start off with the discovery of a strange small glowing pulsating blob like creature discovered inside of the store by a late night maintenance man. My assumption: it must be some sort of alien, whatever it is, I’m in!
We quickly turn to our rather diverse cast of characters (whom I think are all pretty interesting) as they ready themselves for Black Friday of course! As the ravenous line of impatient shoppers grows outside of the toy mart we can see a few of them are definitely not looking too fucking healthy & the employees on the inside are gonna encounter something a lot more challenging than the average filthy greedy shoppers this year.
The plot here is about as simple as it gets, gang of ridiculous employees has to survive the night against a horde of monsters. But that’s not to say this movie doesn’t have a bit more going for it. I guess the best way to describe this one would be almost like if you took ‘The Breakfast Club’, mashed it up with ‘Evil Dead 2’ and set it inside a modern department store. There’s a lot of great character development too that adds some sweet charm & heart to the experience as well as upping the stakes for survival. Plus like I said, we get the treat of Bruce Campbell arriving to add that extra bit of b-movie legitimacy to it all.
One of the best aspects here are the monsters and the slimey, gorey effects on display. From what I could tell, almost entirely done via practical effects. It’s also got a nice lean run time of around 80 minutes, with a brisk pace, plenty of action, funny characters, gore and some pretty well done comedy. Also it’s really anyone’s guess who’s gonna survive this thing.
Yet, that’s not to say this is a perfect film, the actual toy store that it takes place in is a pretty ugly generic looking set piece. Even less fun to look at than a freakin’ Walmart. A more interesting environment could have really added a lot, a uniquely spooky looking toy store to add that extra layer of creepiness to the atmosphere. And although some of the effects towards the final standoff were pretty cool in regards to the creature, the general execution of it all felt quite clunky and a bit lazy. It could have really wowed in those final moments but fell a bit short of the mark for what had been executed quite well before, for me personally. However these are small qualms in the larger scheme of a relatively high grade creature feature. For me my favorite genre of horror.
Doubling as a Thanksgiving horror movie as well as a Christmas one ‘Black Friday’definitely delivers on many of its promises and if you’re looking for something that might be a nice double feature with say ‘Gremlins’ or ‘Krampus’ then I think there’s a decent amount here to fully enjoy. Definitely check it out if you’re feeling frisky this holiday season for surprisingly fun holiday themed horror flick jam packed with monster mayhem..
Charlie Brown & The Peanuts Take on John Carpenter’s THE THING?!!
More Recent Real Life Monster Sightings!?!
Real life monsters are something I wish we heard more about every damn day! Yeah there’s nothing quite like a good mysterious cryptid video surfacing. The only problem is that most of these, especially these days, can be easily faked digitally or of course with blurry cell phone footage to appear like something straight out of the X-Files. But not so fast folks!
Let’s take a look at some interesting videos quick of some supposed “real life monsters” caught on film within the last year or so. The first one is a totally legit video, of a giant boar, dubbed “pigzilla” that’s got the internet in a frenzy today. I’m a huge fan of the 1984 Aussie flick “Razorback” (pictured in the photo above) and this monstrous pig in the video proves to be a real life version of the 80’s creature in the flesh!
Moving on….What the hell is this?! This cool video features a seemingly big sea creature floating through the waters of the Gulf of Mexico recently. I’d hate to see this thing swimming beside me while snorkeling, some think it’s some sort of cephalopod, whatever it is it’s crazy to know things like this exist in the waters of planet Earth, real life aliens… Continue reading
The Predator Returns But Should Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Word has hit the street that The Predator will be back in a new movie called…um..well….The Predator! Yep, Shane Black who starred in the the original creature feature is set to direct this sequel and hopefully give fans what they’ve been craving for years. We’ve gotten one mediocre sequel, those ridiculous AVP movies and then Predators which pitted a band of humans against the aliens on a hunting planet. You know to be honest I kinda dug all of those movies, even the stupid AVP flicks but I’ll also be the first to say none of them come close the the awesomeness that was the first movie! One of my favorite monster movies of all time and for the record the first R-rated movie I ever snuck into. Let’s face it, the original Predator is one of the coolest monster movies ever and one of the best of the 1980’s…
So now it’s 2016, there’s again a new movie on the horizon and we all have to ask one question before proceeding: Should we get Arnold back for the next flick?!! That seems to be the question up for debate. We have the whole camp that says “no fucking way, he’s an old man why would you even think it’d be cool to see him running his old ass around fighting a Predator?” and then you have people like me who say “of course you should get Arnold back as the legendary Dutch!” Yeah it’s not even a question, bring him back for the action. It makes sense that if there’s a problem again with those Aliens again here on earth you’re gonna get the guy who survived and killed one.
This does not mean that we need a repeat of Arnold going one on one against one of these creatures. We all know in hand to hand combat he could barely hold his own way back in 1987 so of course now he’d play perhaps a little different role. I think he’d be a perfect supporting character in a new flick, perhaps a new band of bad asses are heading out to take one down and they’re gonna need someone other than Danny Glover to help them take it out. I’m almost seeing a bit of an Expendables type thing happening here again too- get a rad team of older and younger action stars together. And well, that leaves you with Dutch, older, wiser and perhaps unwilling to help at first. It really all depends on the script but it’d be easy to write Arnie the perfect part as we all wonder whatever happened to his character anyway, at least I do!
Let’s all think for a second about it, what was the best part or one of the best parts of Star Wars: Force Awakens? Harrison Ford, hands down and in a way it was kind of his movie. Now think for a second Arnold being utilized in a new Predator flick in a similar way. Or like I had been hoping one of the original Ghostbusters starring in the rebooted new movie and training a team of new Ghostbusters to help him get the business back on the map. There’s no reason to reboot the Predator series and there’s no good reason why we shouldn’t give Arnold another chance with those ugly motherfuckers…
Vintage Star Trek Mego Action Figures! Plus the History of Mego!!
I was walking to work today and passed by a giant tree with a huge bulbous moss covered root system and all around it were a bunch of action figures set up, no kids there playing just the action figures hiding out. For a split second I was transported back to simpler times when I was a kid and the highlight of my life was playing with awesome action figures all day and running around outside trying to find the coolest places for them to adventure! Ahhh to be a kid, how wonderful it truly was.
Well I decided to check out some action figure commercials on Youtube and came across this awesome collection of Mego Star Trek Action Figures commercials. As I watched them I imagined all of the cool spots today that I could play with these guys. Check this out:
Yep, I played sooo much with Mego Action figures they were my favorite and so naturally i found it incredibly awesome that someone had mad a Youtube video about the history of Mego!! If you were as a big a fan as I was then this will be pretty interesting for you as well. There is a reason why they are still called the world’s greatest action figures!!
Maxx FX: If the Ken Doll was a Bad-Ass FX Artist from the 1980’s!!
A lot of people may have forgotten about Maxx FX from the eighties, or most likely never heard of the guy at all- and what a shame that is! Maxx Fx was the guy that Barbie would have ditched Ken for if she wasn’t a total lame-o back in 1989! Unfortunately Maxx had a short lifespan, and the special fx action figure / doll only had one official costume, that of horror icon Freddy Krueger!
But if you’re a little confused let me put it this way the Maxx FX doll came with the clothing, the mask and accessories to transform him into Freddy. This awesome idea was not supposed to stop with Freddy, it was supposed to continue on with many more movie monsters, unfortunately Matchbox put the kibosh on the action figure early on.
As the awesome Maxx Fx website states Maxx Fx was a make up artist and a crimefighter and could become anyone he wanted! I highly suggest getting the whole story and taking a look at what could have been with the entire toyline, it was a brilliant idea and Matchbox totally dropped the ball!! In the meantime enjoy this cool ass Maxx FX commercial from 1989! Eat it KEN! And Barbie you BLEW it!!
This one too!
Harbinger Down: The Real Prequel to “The Thing”!!
I just checked out the long awaited trailer for a movie I’ve been pumped about for quite some time time now, Harbinger Down! If you follow my blog at all you’ve probably heard me complaining a lot about CGI and how there aren’t nearly enough movies these days that utilize rad practical monster effects like they used to back in the 1980’s. Well Alec Gillis at Studio ADI announced a while back that he planned on making a full on monster movie utilizing all practical effects only using CG to eliminate things like rods or wires.
You see a while back they made a prequel to the classic John Carpenter Monster flick “The Thing” and Gillis and his crew were hired to do the special effects, they were told to use all practical monster effects to keep the same vibe as the 1982 classic. They went hard to work and filmed much of the movie with the effects but at the last minute the studio changed their mind, and CG’d over all of there work, claiming that people these days like their movies to look more like modern video games. The movie was bashed by fans of the original and did little at the box office. So here is Alec Gillis’ response to what happened to them, a movie that bears some resemblance to the premise of The Thing, as if him and his crew is giving the fans the movie that they were hoping for in The Thing prequel. So take a look at the trailer, this one is on the top of my list!!