Tagged: twist ending

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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The Walking Dead #156: Kirkman Pulls an M. Negan Shyamalan!

I just read issue #156 of the Walking Dead last night and it seems Kirkman did a mighty fine job of pulling off an “M. Night Shyamalan”, at least on me. Beware of SPOILERS ahead. I’ve been having a pretty good time recently with The Walking Dead, which is somewhat of a surprise as I’d gotten a bit bored with the title over time. Heck though issue #156 was definitely an interesting read. We got a full issue of the escaped Negan who was up to his old crazy antics once again. The way this issue read having him as the main focal point however almost felt like it had been written by The Farrelly Brothers. It felt a bit like a raunchy slapstick comedy as this guy tried in his own messed up way to “fit in” with his new crew. We got Negan hanging out with Alpha and The Whisperers, the latest gang of human scum that is threatening Rick and his gang. It felt awkward at times watching Negan interact with them all, like the dude was a foul mouthed Jim Carey. I would be lying if I didn’t say how much I thought the Whisperers in reality would have offed him within five minutes of meeting him- he’s so god damn irritating!

Ok I guess the guy is somewhat amusing but still as a main character it’s hard to take the story seriously at times. Anyway we’ve got yet another shocking act of violence that stains the issue by it’s end. Just as I thought I kinda had Negan figured out he goes and does something completely insane. I guess I should have seen it coming by now huh? Well this time as he’s trying to prove his worth to The Whisperers and impress their female leader Alpha he goes for the shocking twist ending. Negan appears concerned here about doing “the right thing” as he witnesses a woman being sexually assaulted. He tries to convince Alpha that it’s wrong not to interfere and later has a long discussion with her about how though he’s done some fucked up shit in his time, it’s always been to protect people.

I was starting to suspect he was up to something funny, in fact I highly suspected that he was pulling a full on fast one on Alpha. He even got her to open up to him and cry. What happened next though was pretty out of the blue as he went into psycho mode slitting her throat and then continuing to decapitate her. As we see him hold her head up it appears he’s under the impression that good ol’ Ricky boy is gonna be tickled pink at his latest kill. So I wonder just what Rick IS going to think?

Issue #156 is pretty interesting and it’s likely to generate a lot of controversy as Negan kills a seemingly powerful female villain named Alpha. Not the most PC thing to do at this point in 2016 but of course a ballsy move by Robert. We’ll see what happens as The Walking Dead has peaked my interest once again…what did you think?  

 

Will M. Night Shyamalan Right His Wrongs With His Top Secret Flick “Sundowning”?

I really love the the first few M. Night Shyamalan movies, heck I even liked The Village and yes Lady in the Water!! Get over it people, Lady in the Water was corny but a ton of fun! I think the order in which his movies were made go from best to worst, which is kinda interesting. Once one of the most well respected directors in Hollywood, Night now rarely even gets his name mentioned in ads for his most recent movies. The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth were three big time stinkers that most people just want to forget they wasted their time watching. I’ll even admit I’ve serious doubts that the guy can craft another hit or something as intriguing as his first couple films! Yet recently it has been reported that Night wrapped up a top secret micro budget film called “Sundowning”. It has a super small cast and sounds like a possible return to form for him. All we really know about it is that it involves a single mother with two kids visiting their grandparents out in the country during winter when things go terribly wrong. Sounds interesting to me and I’ve always thought Night was a master of mood & atmosphere.

I’ve always hoped he’d give us a full on horror movie, you know without all the preachy-ness he he somehow always seems to insert into the endings be it relgious or philosophical. Now a micro budget is where a lot of these big time directors should be spending their time. What I wouldn’t give to have someone like Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi return to a small budget flick and be forced to make something truly incredible again So this could be Night’s chance to amaze people once again, far away from the flashy effects and overblown plots.

I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I think there’s a good chance he could blow some minds with this one. If it’s rating is revealed to be an R, there’s a good chance otherwise we could be getting his tame family friendly recent styles. However the term “Sundowning” reveals some truly spooky possibilities, this is it’s definition: “a psychological phenomenon associated with increased confusion and restlessness in patients with some form of dementia. Most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but also found in those with mixed dementia, the term “sundowning” was coined due to the timing of the patient’s confusion.” This sounds to me like it could be a truly creepy endeavor. How about you? Are you willing to give Shyamalan one more try?