Tagged: the twilight zone

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!

 

 

Advertisements

The Doppelganger Genre Gets a Good Solid Entry with “+1”!

Really now who does’t love a good doppelganger movie? Forget about that crappy 90’s Drew Barrymoore movie because last night I had the pleasure of watching “+1” and to my surprise it was pretty neat little flick. At first I was about to write this one off as another crappy teen horror movie but I’m glad I gave this one a chance to get it’s engine heated. The story revolves around around a few college kids who hit the party of the century one summer. Jam packed with irritating party goers, things get twilight zone-y pretty quickly as a meteor hits nearby and they begin to see duplicates of themselves roaming the party.

plus_one_xlrg

It gets a little confusing at times but really feels like a good extended episode of the Twilight Zone. It explores some interesting revelations as well by all who have attended the odd bash. Without giving to much away I’d say this a bit of a new, fresh spin on the whole doppelganger idea and it’s really best if you know as little as possible about the plot.

plus_one-still_2

The movie was directed by Dennis Iliadis who also helmed the remake of “Last House on the Left” (which I haven’t seen and really have no interest to) yet “+1” is pretty mild on the blood and guts. The movie does have it’s shortcomings¬† though as most of the characters look like they walked out of a Justin Beiber video and the party seems a little bit too “Mtv choreographed” at times. But hell, I haven’t been to a full on rager these days in quite some time, so as far as I know this could be how the kids are doing it these days. Either way this one was a neat little self contained sci-fi¬† movie with some truly intriguing plot twists and turns. Check out +1 if you’re in dire need of a good ol’ fashioned doppelganger flick!