Tagged: charles band

VHS Verdict 1987: ‘The Caller’ & The Art of the Twist Ending!

I checked out a perplexing VHS tape last night, ‘The Caller’, a “thriller” from 1987 starring Malcolm Mcdowell & Madolyn Smith. Now even though I’d been told this flick had a twist ending and even on the cover it boasts “a surprise ending”, somehow I’d just had no way of predicting what was gonna go down no matter how hard I tried during. That’s a pretty difficult task especially in this day and age. M Night Shyamalan eat your heart out. Warning, this one’s got a ton o’ dialogue and then some, oh boy and then some. At it’s beginning something is most definitely off with our two main characters and immediately my mind began racing to try to figure out just what the hell it could be. Basically it’s just two actors the entire movie and is a simple story about a woman who resides in an cabin out in the woods, who one dark night has a strange creeping man, Mcdowell, appear at her front door, claiming his car broke down and needs to use a phone.

From that point on both of these characters act in truly bizarre ways, they talk to each other about how they’d get away with murdering one another and at times actually get quite physical while doing so. There’s a ton of tense talk here and overacting a ‘plenty to behold from them both. The premise though startlingly simplistic and a bit absurd does a decent enough job of keeping you curious about where the fuck this one’s going to end up. It’s not the average “stalker” movie that the cover makes it out to be either, think more of an extended episode of The Twilight Zone instead. I’ve gotta admit the interesting thing about this one is that about an hour in I was getting a bit frustrated and had some serious doubts that things were going anywhere remotely interesting. There’s a lot of weird motive flip flopping amongst the two leads & at one point it almost seemed as if it might sharply go the erotic thriller route.

The odd banter at times can become quite tiresome but as the movie ended, I appreciated it and actually consider the lengthy chatty-ness of it all to make the finale that much more effective. Being a bit of a sleuth at the movie’s beginning I’d noticed a couple things that reinforced my will to stick it through to the end the first being the legendary horror b-movie bandit Charles Band was an executive producer, Richard Band did the music and also fx wizard John Carl Beuchler who’s know for his work on Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood (which is one of my faves), Nightmare on Elm St. 4: The Dream Master & Re-Animator was behind the fx work. These three things should give you enough of a reason to check this one out, if in fact the names mean anything to you. Definitely a hidden gem, that most definitely worth one solid viewing!! It also may deserve a quick re-watch to see if there perhaps are some clues amidst all the dialogue that may have really foreshadowed the movies bizarre ending. A neat-o 80’s low budget mind bender~

I couldn’t find a trailer for this one but here’s the whole damn movie if you’re feeling frisky!

 

 

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‘Krampus’ is Easily One of the Best Christmas Movies EVER!!

My Christmas wishes were answered yesterday as I headed off into the chilly night with a bunch of friends to check out Michael Dougherty’s holiday horror flick ‘Krampus’! I’ve been waiting for a proper Krampus movie for ages and the wait is finally over folks, this movie was awesome. Dougherty has proven he IS the master of holiday horror as now he’s got two incredible movies under his belt, his first being ‘Trick ‘R Treat’ from 2007 which has already become a cult classic. So why did I enjoy Krampus so damn much?

First it’s the perfect movie for the season at hand as it has a true heart of gold at it’s core. We start out seeing a crazy sort of Black Friday shopping experience on screen where insane Christmas shoppers fight in slow motion in  greedy hordes for their gifts. It really kinda sets the mood for the rest of the movie, Christmas has become ugly. No one really has the holiday spirit anymore and our main characters who’re basically your average modern day family have forgotten what’s really important in life. We’ve got a great comedic cast here to and once all the relatives arrive for Christmas dinner it’s evident they’re in for a long weekend.

Krampus has a great cast going for it, Emjay Anthony really shines as Max a young boy who finally gets fed up with everyone’s selfish, negative attitudes and decides to rip up his Christmas letter to Santa chucking it out into the winter winds. Soon after a dark looming storm cloud settles above his neighborhood and hits it hard with one helluva winter storm. This is where all hell begins to break loose. From this point the neighborhood feels disconnected from reality and the way the winter transforms the landscape is a sight in itself to behold. Suddenly odd sinister snowmen begin appearing all around their house. Soon the family is entrenched in a fantastical fight for their lives against an evil hulking force with more than a few frightening tricks it up it’s shaggy sleeve.

The first time we see Krampus is an excellent sequence and form that point on we’re taken on a continuous roller coaster ride that brings to mind the best about movies like Gremlins and The Gate. This movie really feels like a lost movie from the 80’s that Speilberg produced, not directed. In fact this one feels like an old Joe Dante flick. The sets are incredible yet centralized in mainly one location and the monsters are a true spectacle to behold. Feeling a bit like if Charles Band (Puppetmaster/Full Moon) had a big budget back in the 80’s to make an X-mas flick. Also the effects are almost all practical with every bit of CG used exactly the way it should be. The costumes too of Krampus and his crew are quite impressive as well, simply put this one didn’t feel like your average mainstream horror movie and that’s a damn good thing.

Lastly we do have the big baddie Krampus who looks simply amazing, though maybe not quite like what you may have been expecting. My only real problem with this movie was that I really was hoping for more of the actual Krampus and maybe a bit of his true mythology. Most of the mayhem here is brought on by his minions and Krampus is more of an evil presence watching the shit hit the fan than a big bad guy like the Predator or Alien. I was hoping for a game of cat and mouse with the family squaring off directly with Krampus but in the end I really enjoyed the finale equally just in a different way. So that being said, I’m going to say this was easily one of if not my favorite movie this year so far. I’m actually quite happy as well with the PG-13 rating and some of the family friendly tones of the movie, besides with all the ugliness in the world right now it’s nice to have something to warm our hearts a little this Christmas season! I’m already hoping for a sequel where Krampus truly meets his match!  

Pulse Pounders: Lost Sequels To Charles Band’s Classic Horror Flicks!

I know there’s a select group of people who probably actually care about the films of Charles Band, but to me he’s a legendary dude in the scheme of cheezy horror flicks of the 80’s! So I’m thrilled myself, just to find out about this lost movie called “Pulse Pounders” which was filmed way back in 1987 and has never really seen the light of day! This flick is an anthology, consisting of three tales of “terror” one being an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Evil Clergyman starring Jeffrey Combs, the next being a sequel to the movie “Trancers” and the last being a sequel to one of my favorite ridiculously awesome movies of the 80’s The Dungeonmaster which stars Richard Moll & W.A.S.P…….yeah the metal band!

Now the first two segments were actually already released, the Lovecraft tale was released on dvd in 2012 (I have not seen it yet) and the Trancers one was released in 2013. However the segment I’m most excited for has yet to see the light of day, perhaps saving the best for last?

Anyway if you have not seen The Dungeonmaster I highly recommend hunting that down and watching it with plenty of booze and a good group of friends. It’s the perfect party flick. Don’t believe me check this out:

So the movie is planned to be released in it’s entirety on the Full Moon Streaming site, as far as I know it hasn’t been featured there yet but this news which may be old news to some of you has got me quite excited! It’s a rare treat when you find out that a movie that’s been shelved for over two decades gets a real release. In this case a movie I never even knew existed. Supposedly the company set to release the movie folded back in the late 80’s. So hopefully this will be worth the wait! 

VHS Verdict: Ray Parker Jr. Kicks Ass in “Enemy Territory”!

First off today I’ve gotta say, I’m so tired of the new Ghostbusters movie rumors, the latest being that there’s a new all male version of the franchise that was announced in the last day or two. So we we now have two reboot Ghostbusters flicks coming our way and you know what? Who really gives a shit?! This whole new Ghostbusting movie thing has been going on for far, far too long, with the original cast, then no Bill Murray, on again off again, it’s happening, no it’s not, female cast, male cast, expanded Avengers universe treatment, blah blah blah-enuff already! Now onto something Ghostbusters related that actually kicks ass!!

I sat down a few nights ago to check out my recently acquired VHS “Enemy Territory” a rad movie back from the 1980’s(when you might have been able to really get people pumped about another Ghostbusters flick!) that I’ve never seen before. It’s star power being the man who made the Ghostbusters theme song a bonafide hit back in 1984- Ray Parker Jr.!!

This movie was such a damn pleasure to watch that it had me grinning from ear to ear the moment it started, perfectly bumpin’ with some totally def 80’s hip hop as we meet our movies main characters. We also see a few other cool things, Charles Band (the king of cheezy 80’s horror flicks/ Full Moon) produced this one, and Peter Manoogian who directed such awesome 80’s “so bad it’s amazing” flicks Dungeonmaster, Eliminators & Arena! So this was bound to be a good one, and it was. In 87′ this one flew pretty low under the radar and that’s a shame as this one is a total crowd pleaser for anyone who loves the 1980’s as much as I do.

This one is like a 1980’s version of “The Raid” or the more recent “Dredd” but full of comedy and goofy as characters. It tells the story of a schlubby life insurance agent, a lame white guy played by Gary Frank who heads off into the rough part of town late one night to get an elderly woman to sign off on a policy. He has to head into a super duper dodgy apartment complex, travel all the way to the top floor, the only problem is that the building is “owned” by a crazy ass street gang called “The Vampires” headed by a bad ass to the bone Tony “Candyman” Todd in one of my fav roles of his.

Yeah Gary Frank get’s into an altercation with one of the Vamps on the way up the elevator and soon all muthafukin’ hell breaks loose on this cowardly guy! Well lucky for him telephone repair man, played Ray Parker Jr. is there to save his ass! The movie’s a nonstop great time, filled with great action, over the top villains and even a crippled ally in a wheelchair that’s equipped with welded shotguns!

It’s a race for survival as Ray Parker Jr. kicks some serious  gang ass while trying to make it from the top floor to “safety” on the streets. This one’s not real keen on being PC but it’s a serious ton of 80’s fun, a true lost gem! Seek this one out and watch with friends and plenty o’ booze asap!!

Modok Exposed! Sexy Comic Book Cover of the Week!!

Modok is easily one of my fave Marvel villains of all time and that’s why I had to add this awesome cover for Captain America #313 from 1986 by probably my fave comic book artist of all time Mr. John Byrne! This one always kinda gave me the creeps because it showed Modok who’s easily one of the strangest Marvel villains with his pants down! By that I mean we see the guy without his armor chair which normally covers most of his body. This story was titled “Mission: Murder Modok!” and it featured one of my personal fave super villain teams the “Serpent Society” as they attempted to assasinate him! Seeing Modok on the cover laying on his back like a big cryin’ baby with his little body(he can’t walk because his head is too big) was kinda like when as a kid I’d see my pet hermit crab walking around at night without his shell searching for a larger one. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a hermit crab without it’s shell, but it’s pretty weird, It freaked me the fuck out! This is a cool cover and a rare glimpse of Modok “undressed”!!!

Captain-America-313

 

I really hope that Modok makes it into the Marvel cinematic universe-he’d be such a fun villain to see on the big screen! Hopefully they would go with animatronics and puppetry rather than CG, it’d be quite a site! If hadn’t already noticed someone did indeed put a Modok inspired character into a movie already – the 1996 flick “Head of the Family” !

Total Modok rip-off!!! But you can see how cool of a villain he would be on the big screen!!

Oh yeah and then there’s THIS!

 

 

Universal Dork’s Halloween Movie Picks: Creepy Ass Dolls!

Hey I am back again with another Halloween horror movie pick from the past! One of my personal favorite topics of horror flicks are that of the creepy doll! Yeah I know we all first think of Child’s Play which is easily one of if not the best creepy doll movie. However there are a good number of others that are pretty swell as well like Dolly Dearest from 1991 which is basically a female version of Child’s Play and of course The Puppetmaster series is also fairly decent.

But one of my personal faves is “Dolls” from 1986 from horror legend Stuart Gordon and of course the wonderfully cheesy Charles Band. This short and sweet little creepy horror classic is essentially a dark fairy tale jammed to the brim with freaky living dolls.

It follows a group of travelers as they take refuge from a strom in a strange mansion in the countryside owned by a far too friendly elderly couple. However the group consists some people that are far from friendly, two rowdy British punkers and a greedy married couple along with their little girl and the young at heart traveling salesman. It seems that when the lights go out for the night the dolls emerge to teach the naughty adults some lessons.

The whole movie is just a whole lot of fun all together. A simple plot can sometimes make for the best type of film and Gordon does a great job with presenting us with a whimsical, dark & atmospheric setting. Dolls is also filled with some fun 80’s fx via puppetry, animatronics and some cool stop motion.

So this Halloween check this out, it’s a great little horror flick that we will all learn a valuable lesson from, I know I’ll be popping this into my dvd player again this Halloween!

Arena: The Greatest Movie Ever?!

Ok, probably not the greatest movie ever but seriously check out this trailer for this sci fi monster movie from 1989 and tell me it doesn’t look AWESOME! It sometimes amazes me that there are movies out there like this that I have never seen. I can’t be certain of how rad or awesomely BAD it might be but the whole man vs. monster in a cheezy sci fi version of the Karate Kid sounds like a winner to me! It seems like Peter Manoogian who directed this movie was a huge fan of the Chalmun Cantina scene in Star Wars movie and that’s just fine by me as this one pretty much looks like it takes place there.

Of course you guessed it this movie was produced by Charles Band! Never has the idea of intergallactic monster boxing sounded so awesome! I am on the hunt ofr this one but of course it’s nowhere to be found on Ebay or Amazon. I am sure you can find some downloads online but another cool place to get crazy rare movies on dvd is Ioffer.com check that out too!