80's Action Attack!: Wanted: Dead or Alive

From what I remember, this film kind of came and went with little attention. It rarely stands out as one of Rutger Hauer’s more iconic film roles, and that’s a shame really because having revisited this some 3 decades later, it’s really a pretty great little film. I don’t know why it took me so long to come back to it, or why it never stuck with me the way other action films from the same era did. But alas, I’m here now with some great news. Wanted: Dead or Alive rules.

If there’s anything it’s known for, it will more than likely be the fact that Gene Simmons plays the villain, here as a Middle Eastern terrorist who has a vendetta against Nick Randall (Rutger Hauer)., a bounty hunter. But really, Simmons barely appears on screen, resulting in more of a glorified cameo until the very end. It’s really Hauer’s show and man does he deliver the goods.

W:DoA surprised me for a number of reasons. First, it’s more of a thriller rather than an action film. There is action, and it actually starts off like a great one, but there really isn’t a lot in here, or at least not as much as you’d expect. But that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment factor because regardless, it’s a great piece of Badass Cinema anyway. One of it’s other surprising aspects was just how well it was made. Writer/Director Gary Sherman (Vice Squad, Poltergeist III) displays a fine hand and a sharp eye for directing action. Well, not just the action, but the entire film. The film just looks fantastic, and clearly delivers the goods on a visual level. It’s yet another reminder of how these little films were made at one point, 30 years ago, where directors actually put effort into setting camera’s shots up, in giving the film an overall aesthetic. They don’t do that anymore, and if they do, it’s becoming exceedingly rare. Lastly, the whole Middle Eastern ( Delta Force) terrorist angle obviously wouldn’t play today, but it’s interesting to see how often this idea was used ( in films back in the 80’s, and how easy they made it look.

Going back to Gary Sherman, I feel I should discuss him a bit further because he’s an integral part of the enjoyment experience with this film. I’ve only ever seen 3 films of his, Dead & Buried, parts of Vice Squad, and Poltergeist III, and I didn’t enjoy any of them. So I went in a bit wary of how he could deliver a solid 80’s action film, only to be mightily impressed with his ability to do so in an exceptionally stylistic manner. W:DoA looks fantastic and Sherman outdoes himself with this film, easily making it his most impressive that I’ve seen.

Gene Simmons never really broke out into acting the way he really could have, more often than not playing himself in television show guest stints, but he did score a few memorable roles as a villain (all in the 80’s) in cult classics like Runaway, Never Too Young To Die and this one. He does so well in fact that it’s a shame he never stretched his acting chops further into other areas or projects. Or hell, it would have been just as cool if he just kept playing villains for the rest of his acting career because he’s so good at it, even when he doesn’t utter a single line. His menacing gaze alone says enough, and comes off as way too easy and natural for him.

Rutger Hauer is a revelation in this. Much in the same way he made Split Second as enjoyable as it was, he’s the main reason why this film is as great as it is, the glue that keeps it all together. It’s his show, and he steals and chews every scene and every second he appears on screen. The film looks fantastic, and Simmons is a great villain, but it’s Hauer who elevates this film to far beyond your average 80’s action/thriller. He makes it fun, whether he’s playing it as a straight up badass, or in the moments when he’s vulnerable, weak and tired – Hauer gives the role a healthy dose of bravado, even when he’s being a jerk.

If there was one thing I would have changed, it’s that I probably would have liked just a bit more action, but that’s not in any way a complaint, because as it stands, W:DoA is a fantastic film, with enough thriller and action elements to keep you entertained, on top of everything else you get such as a sharp script and memorable performances. If it’s been a while, it’s definitely time to revisit this little gem. You won’t regret it.

How to see it:
I tracked down a VHS, and was surprised to come across one in widescreen, which was a nice added bonus. But if DVD is your thing, it’s been released multiple times as a standalone DVD or as part of a 2 pk. with another film called Death Before Dishonor. You can get the 2-pk relatively cheap, but the standalone DVD will run you anywhere from $10-$30 surprisingly. It’s also been released on VHS several different times and on Laserdisc. You can also stream it from Amazon for a few bucks as well. Sadly, I haven’t heard of any Blu Ray release. 

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Phantasm: Ravager Film Review

Just this past year, I finally decided to dig into the Phantasm franchise for the very first time after getting my hands on the first film on DVD from a "going out of business" sale Blockbuster was having as they closed their very last store down here in South Texas. I quickly learned that this horror franchise was easily the most bizarre horror franchise I'd ever come across. Quite frankly, the films don't make a whole lot of sense, yet they're also highly entertaining in a very WTF? and absurd way. So I became a big fan instantly, with Part 3: Lord of the Dead (1993) being my personal favorite. Sadly, with Part IV: Oblivion, it was painfully apparent the series had run it's course, resulting in a muddled mess that made absolutely zero sense and offered nothing to the franchise whatsoever. Of all the Phantasm films, Oblivion was the most ambiguous. Die-hard fans waited nearly 20 years for a follow up, being teased years earlier with news of a completed film that never got released until just last year. The unfortunate passing of series star Angus Scrimm was the ultimate nail in the coffin, ending a franchise that began nearly 40 years ago. Because of his recent passing, I didn't want to jump into this one right away; I needed time to process the fact that he was gone forever, and not have that thought weighing heavily on me while I watched it. This past weekend, I felt it was time to finally dig in, so here we go.

What can I say, other than that this was hands-down the worst film in the franchise, and a sad and terrible way to end one of the most unique horror franchise's in film history. Cobbled together with footage that was shot for an un-aired web series years ago, and incorporating new footage of some of the original cast members, much like Oblivion, Ravager makes zero sense. Worse of all, it looks and feels like a fan film, or something that someone shot on their iPhone. Yes, it's that bad. I half expected it to be shot digitally (which it was) since that's the way most films are made these days because it's much cheaper and easier, but co-writer/director David Hartman clearly has no sense of style when it comes to directing. Not that Coscarelli did either, but at least he had more of a professionals touch when it came to compositing and framing a scene. He knew how to keep the camera still, and more often than not, where to put it. This film looks like someone picked up their phone, opened up their camera app and just started filming as fast as they could. And when Hartman did take the time to put the camera on a stand to keep it still, they still come off as dull, sloppy and uninspired. I think David Hartman needs to stick to his forte, and that's directing animation for kids television shows. 

The clear lack of any kind of linear storyline or conventional plot (not that any film in the series had one) is made all the more frustrating by the fact that the film, one that took nearly 20 years to produce and made in an era where effects work has become cheaper to produce, with varying degrees of quality, looks so incredibly cheap. If they didn't have the budget to match the vision, why try and make it so big in the first place? They take this film in so many different directions, through alternate realities (seemingly) and post apocalyptic scenarios, but apparently didn't have the money to pull it off. And that's all you see when you watch this film, the many, many, many unforgivable shortcomings that fly at you at lightning speed. What's worse, or insulting, depending on how you look at it, Ravager plays out like a drama rather than a horror film. Why?

I only had 2 thoughts when this travesty of a film was over. 1), Why did they even bother making this? They should have just left it alone. Oblivion was a bad way to end the series, but Ravager was worse - just flat out terrible and an insult to not only the franchise, but to the fans who have kept the series alive and who waited nearly 2 decades for a proper sendoff. And 2), what a sad way for cult icon and legend Angus Scrimm to go out. Rather than on a high note, he sadly ends his career with the worst film in the entire 4 decades-long franchise. 

I wouldn't consider myself a die-hard Phantasm fan. I'm a fan, and enjoy the films, each to varying degrees, but it's really the character of The Tall Man that I love. He was able to create a character through sheer presence, using limited dialogue to deliver quotable and memorable lines that will forever brand him a horror legend. It's just too bad this was the film he went out with. 

There was only 1 single thing I did like out of this experience. The film begins with Reggie giving a 1 minute monologue, essentially telling you what has happened in the first 4 films up until now. Oddly, this was the one thing that actually made sense and what's more, he was able to give the first 4 films some clarity. It finally made sense! 

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90's Attack!: Doctor Mordrid: Master of the Unknown

Directed by: Charles & Albert Band
Category: Fantasy

Growing up on a healthy dose of horror as a teenager in the 80's and 90's, I never really got into Full Moon the way others did. I would dip into Troma from time to time, but mainly stuck to the mainstream stuff, so I wasn't even aware that this film existed until just this past year. I soon discovered that this was intended to be a legitimate Dr. Strange adaptation until Full Moon lost the rights (back when Marvel was allowing cheap low-budget adaptations of their popular titles), proceeding anyway and creating their own ripoff version. Whether that's actually true or not, it gave me a little insight into the film going in. 

What a completely pleasant surprise this was. For me, this tiny little film was able to do what Marvel's bombastic budgeted film was unable to, and that's entertain me. One of the most endearing things you'll notice immediately is that this is indeed a rather small production. So small in fact that it reminded me of an episode of a television show. But that's also one of it's greatest qualities. Because the film is so small and so intimate, not relying on a abundance of special effects or bad CGI to tell the story, rather the actors themselves and it's because of this that Doctor Mordrid is as great as it its.

Brian Thompson as Kabal
Let's begin with Jeffrey Combs, who soars and excels as the Doctor. His performance as the titular Mordrid is really the biggest plus that makes this film as entertaining as it is. His intensity, even in the most mundane scenes, is oftentimes hilarious and mesmerizing at the same time. Combs sells the shit out of it, and it makes me wonder how great he would have done in the role of Dr. Strange. One of the other highlights of this film is none other than cult cinema icon Brian Thompson as the villain Kabal, another mystical sorcerer who chooses to use his powers for evil. Aside from Combs, Thompson is another reason that this film works as well as it does. His peculiar accent and mannerisms help give the character of Kabal a much more memorable presence, and it's hilariously cheesy awesome.

Like I mentioned before, the scale of this film and it's story is so small that it looks and feels like an episode of a tv show, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining. Quite the contrary. It was a highly enjoyable experience and exactly what we were needing after spending the day watching a few duds. Could it have been better? Sure. Was it bad? Hell no! But what blows my mind is that I found it far more entertaining than the film I just saw in theaters last month. Even with all those insane special effects, they couldn't fix the fact that the film was really dull. At least in this one, you're invested, entertained, and you genuinely care about what's going to happen next, whether it's silly or not.

The good doctor being intense
While this film isn't filled with the amount of effects and magic play you hoped, I will say that what is in here is done rather well. Yea it's early 90's grade effects, but within the confines of the film and it's universe, they work well. I think the thing that was a constant surprise for me was how competent the entire thing was, from the direction, the pace, and the action. It looks better than you expect, and throw in the unintentional cheesiness, and well you've got yourself one helluva good time. Most of all though, it's Jeffrey Combs and Brian Thompson that make this great and worth the watch and investment. At a surprisingly short runtime of under an hour and a half, you've got nothing to lose.

I watched it on VHS, but it's also gotten a decent release courtesy of Full Moon on DVD and Blu Ray, which you can get for under $10. However, neither of these releases will be in widescreen; it's only available on full frame unfortunately. Honestly, it doesn't take away from the film in any way. It's not a visually impressive film to begin with, It wasn't made to be that way, so full frame works just fine, and this is coming from someone who prefers widescreen. So if you're getting tired of the stale big budget stuff Marvel throws at you, give this one a try. You might be surprised.

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Movie News & Views: IT Trailer Premieres

I'll admit I wasn't all that excited when they announced a remake of the classic 90's horror film IT. While I do like and enjoy the original classic, I don't love it. I love parts of it, but mainly for me it's the excellent cast and well, of course Tim Curry as Pennywise The Clown. I think it's a solid film overall, but not one I would revisit often. But even still, news of a remake didn't excite me in any way. These days remakes, and the idea of them, seem to be better left unsaid. 90% of the time they're a waste of time and only leave you appreciating the original more and more.

This morning the new teaser trailer for the Andres Muschietti (Mama) directed remake premiered and I have to say, I'm mighty impressed. I'm really loving everything I see. I'm liking the classic Spielberg moments with the kids, and when it comes to a very unnerving and creepy vibe, Muschietti seems to have been able to capture that really well, at least in the trailer. So I'm pretty excited about this one, and count me on board. Check out the trailer below:


The House of the Devil and Death Spa VHS On Sale Now!

Heads up tapeheads! Gorgon Video has done another run on 2 of their highly sought after releases on VHS; Ti West's The House of the Devil and the 80's cult horror classic Death Spa. And the best part?? They're only $15 (as of this post) with $5.95 shipping. Hell yes!

As with any kickass release, flippers will ultimately come in and ruin it for everyone, so I suggest you grab yours while you can because these will surely sell out the way the first runs did. And really, you just cannot beat this price for such a quality release. 

Purchase the House of the Devil tape HERE.

Purchase the Death Spa tape HERE.

Or, just go directly to the Gorgon Video website HERE.

These will surely sell out fast!

As of 8 PM on 3/28/17, Death Spa has SOLD OUT, but House of the Devil is still available. And the price has gone up from $15 to $17. 

Movie News and Views: Rodriguez To Direct Escape From New York Remake

When writer/director/editor/musician Robert Rodriguez burst onto the scene out of nowhere back in 1992 with his cult classic El Mariachi, it was the beginning of a new trend in DIY filmmaking. The guy seemed like just what the industry was needing at the time, and he would follow up that landmark film with a few others that took the action and horror genre by storm, only to take a complete 180 turn and go in a completely different direction both in genre and in technique by 2001, nearly a full 10 years later with the release of the first Spy Kids. That film was the beginning of his transition into digital camera's and filmmaking, which would, again, start a whole new way of making films for other filmmakers. On the plus, it gave people a cheaper way to make films, on the negative, it gave people a cheaper way to make cheap looking films.

Rodriguez was one of my favorite filmmakers. His work on El Mariachi, Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn, all films he shot on actual film, are considered classics to this day, and for good reason. They're badass. But not only that, Rodriguez had a very distinct style in how he shot films, even using trademark transitions that quickly identified them as a Robert Rodriguez film. That all changed with Spy Kids, and since then, he's become a director that doesn't resemble anything like the filmmaker I was obsessed with. Each new film since 1998's The Faculty is only another reminder of the CGI obsessed filmmaker he's become. Sure Sin City was fresh and exciting initially, but upon revisits comes off as choppy and less and less impressive. It just doesn't seem to flow naturally.

I for one am not at all on board for him to direct a remake of a beloved Carpenter classic. I don't know who initially came up with the idea, but personally speaking, I feel it's a bad one. And it seems I'm not the only one voicing my concern, as the film community, for the most part, feels the same. There are his defenders though who do feel he would be a welcome choice for the project. I'm just not one of them. If any film he's directed in the last 20 years is any indication, it's more than likely going to be a poorly rendered CGI mess, plain and simple. Hell, he couldn't even do Machete or Machete Kills justice, 2 films that should have been a home-run for him. Those are other perfect examples of his overuse of CGI for even the most minute little details, and it's maddening. Not only that, he doesn't seem to grasp the concept of having a CGI background look halfway normal or real in any regard, and it's details like that that seem to drive people like me mad. It's too much. What happened to the days of real gunshots and squib-work? The constant CGI blood, gunsmoke, and gun play puts a huge damper on every scene and I just can't help but feel it's totally unnecessary. I do have hope for Rodriguez though. There was a time when he was known as an important, gifted and progressive filmmaker. I doubt he'll ever go back to shooting on film, but if he can just lay off the excessive use of CGI for even the most mundane little things, I think he can become a top genre director once again. But where he stands now, I do not feel he's an adequate contender to helm a remake of a film I hold dear to my heart. But again, those are just my feelings. In any case, I'm sure he can't do any worse than what John Carpenter himself did with the awful sequel, Escape From L.A. Thoughts?

Psycho III Review: Perkins Steals The Show

Directed by: Anthony Perkins
Category: Horror/Thriller

When I randomly saw Psycho II for the very first time last year, I was blown away by how great it was. In fact, I loved it more than the original, and still do. Surprisingly though, it didn't push me to go out and get the remaining sequels any faster. Here we are a full year later and I finally got my hands on a DVD set that includes Parts II, III, and IV: The Beginning.

Before digging in I did a bit of reading online and discovered that a lot of people generally really like this one because it resembles more of a slasher, and as such, ends up being more gory than you'd expect. It's also the only time Anthony Perkins actually directed a Psycho film, and better yet, it's his directorial debut, which would ultimately be short lived. 

There are a lot of surprising aspects to Psycho III. Ultimately I liked it, but not nearly as much as I was hoping to. I think the one and only thing that really sells the film is Anthony Perkins performance. He's the anchor to the entire thing, and if we didn't have that, then the film would be pretty forgettable, which is a bit of a letdown since the previous entry, even if you had taken Perkins out of the equation, was a smartly written and expertly crafted thriller in it's own right. But this time out, Perkins stars and directed this entry himself, making it a unique film altogether.

As it stands, he does a better than average job. He gives the film a bit of style, but it doesn't always flow naturally. There are a few moments where I'll admit I was impressed with his sense of style, but it ultimately get's marred by the following scene that doesn't deliver in the same way. It could be the editing, or it could be that Perkins was just trying to find his groove, in any case, it's never consistent, often jumping from inspired to uneven. Most people, when describing this one, refer to it as the full-on slasher entry, and they would be correct. It's definitely gorier than the rest, but not gory enough to actually call it gory, just when compared to the previous 2 films. And I think that's what really keeps this from being great. Had it gone further into that area it could have been a great 80's horror slasher, but it teeters on thriller and slasher, often going back and forth unnecessarily and unsuccessfully. I think if they had just bypassed the thriller angle and just gone nuts with hit with more gore, more blood, more kills and more insanity, it would easily have set itself apart from the rest, making it a wholly unique film in the Psycho franchise. But alas, as it stands, it's a marginally entertaining horror/thriller that never realizes it's full potential in any area, made passable by Anthony Perkins scene chewing role as Norman Bates, who ultimately saves the film. I'm glad I finally saw it, but it didn't floor me the way it could have, and I'll more than likely never need to revisit this one.

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90's Action Attack!: Hurricane Smith

Directed by:
Category: Action

"He'll blow you away"

Until now, I had no idea this film even existed. I always felt that Carl Weathers deserved a better shot at being an action star, so when I see this randomly, I kind of got really excited. I thought "maybe he was bigger in the DTV circuit and I just wasn't aware?". I mean, look at that cover, and just the title alone sounds badass. I was hoping for something along the lines of Action Jackson, but in a low-budget way. Who wouldn't?!

Billy "Hurricane" Smith is in search of his sister, who has gone missing in Australia. When he heads over there to find her, he's met with resistance from the community, and discovers she may have been mixed up in a drug-smuggling and prostitution ring. 

While all the right ingredients are here, Hurricane Smith, sadly, resulted in a very tame affair. In fact, there's virtually zero action until the final 30 minutes. And while the action was fairly straight forward and competent, ultimately it couldn't save this film, which is sad really because this should have been a slam dunk.

Carl Weathers really deserves better than this. He does a fine job in the lead, but he's just completely wasted in this effort. It really carries more of a Made-for-TV vibe than a low-budget action flick because of the lack of well....action. And when it comes down to how he got his nickname "Hurricane", it's nothing like you expect. I also have to admit, it's really weird seeing him without a mustache. It's so weird in fact that it's distracting. The only other notable face in here is Jurgen Prochnow, as the always reliable screaming villain. You have to admit, the guy can scream well. His work in Judge Dredd 3 years later is another solid example of that.

It's hard to get past so many of the films absurdities because had the film been at least fun, or full of action, those little things could easily have been forgiven. But being null of any sort of excitement whatsoever, you can't help but notice. For example, there are never any cops around, ever. Even during this one sequence with a car chase where the main bad guy chases down a bus full of passengers, crashes both vehicles causing them to flip over, gets out of the vehicle, turns it right side up, gets back in and continues a chase all while shooting his gun while dozens of people are crawling out of the bus. No cops anywhere. There's another scene where he's (the villain) chasing a woman through a hotel with a large butcher knife screaming that he's going to kill her, and nobody says or does anything. The film is full of moments like this and as I mentioned, could easily have been overlooked or even gone unnoticed if there was action to distract you.

All in all, a wasted effort in my opinion. Cool title, great badass of an actor in the lead, and a very early 90's vibe that's marred by a dull script that doesn't offer up any of the things you want to see in a low-budget action film titled Hurricane Smith and starring Carl Weathers until the final act, and by then, you're kind of over it. I will say that the action, when it finally appears, was done competently well enough to be interesting. It won't blow you away or anything, but at least when it does finally show up, it's not bad. But really, Carl Weathers deserves better than this.

*Fun fact. My buddy in Germany says that this was marketed as Action Jackson 2 over there when it was released. 

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Collateral Film Review; Michael Mann's Last Hurrah

Directed by: Michael Mann
Category: Action/Thriller

As big a fan of Michael Mann as I am, something always kept me from wanting to see this. I think it was because I knew this was the start of his shift in visual imagery, where he switched to digital cameras (at least that's what I remember seeing in a TV special, where he utilized new camera's for the entire nighttime shoot that would capture the night in a way that hadn't been done before, something film was unable to do). If you don't already know, I'm a strongly visual person and visual learner. The visual aspect to a film, for me, is one of the most important parts of my experience. It's been hard for me to like anything he's done since Heat, because anything after pale in comparison for me, to match the same kind of genius I found in films like that, Thief and Manhunter. Yet Collateral comes up often as one his best, or if it's ever mentioned, the first words out of anyone's mouth is usually "I love that movie". I figured it was time to give it a shot.

When a hitman (Tom Cruise) forces a cab driver (Jamie Foxx) to be his getaway driver for a single night while he crosses off a list of targets, both men underestimate the other resulting in a cat and mouse game of wits, courage and integrity.

I have to say, this was an awesome film. While not directly written by Mann himself, rather Stuart Beattie (30 Days of Night, GI Joe), it still carries a lot of his signature characteristics in regards to character development and dialogue. Visually, it's a slightly different approach than what I tend to like from him. Here was the beginning of his visual shift, where he would utilize more of a freestyle approach, and really, while not a fan of it, I can understand why he would adopt this with Collateral. It's an oftentimes fast moving film and I assume having to shoot the entire film in the middle of the night might have made it necessary to shoot fast and free. And really, this is my one and only real gripe about this film. I honestly feel that had Mann done some of his trademark compositions by keeping the camera steady and not using handheld, it could have been a great film, maybe even a masterpiece of crime cinema. It kind of broke my heart that it could have been, but was help back by it's lack of visual punch that we had come to expect from a master of crime thrillers.

Outside of that little area, every other aspect of the film delivers big time. The script is sharp, and the film moves along briskly, offering up ample amounts of tension and thrills. The cast is pretty solid, most notably Tom Cruise as the salt and pepper haired villain/hitman. He's so good at being a likable and charming villain that you kind of end up rooting for the guy in a totally weird way. Or was that just me? Everyone delivers in their respective roles, but it's really Cruise who shines, and he steals the show.

Between Heat (1995) and this film, Michael Mann delivered 2 drama's, The Insider and Ali, so this was a bit of a nice return to form for him, at least in the sense that people like me really love his crime thriller's more than anything. Unfortunately, I feel this was his last hurrah, because he would follow this up with the dreadful Miami Vice film, something I had high hopes for only to be severely disappointed in so many aspects of it, namely it's execution. This wasn't the Mann I was familiar with, the one who produced the original series, and who blew me away with his particular Miami influenced visual aesthetic. Miami Vice ultimately ended up being a dull, gritty handheld/shaky-cam mess. Believe me, nobody was more disappointed than I. I feel had Mann done the kind of work that made Manhunter so spectacular on a visual level, his film adaptation of his show Miami Vice could easily have been a retro cult hit, but it wasn't just the eye candy aspect that it was missing, the story itself was fairly bland, tedious and uninteresting. In fact, I can't even remember what it was about.

Collateral for me is Michael Mann's last great film. Solid performances, with Cruise nailing it as a hitman and easily delivering one of his best and most memorable, a razor sharp script with plenty of action, shootouts, chases and suspense, and some decent eye candy that doesn't quite match his early stuff, but holds up well enough compared to his films that would follow. On a sad note, I can say truthfully that I haven't like a film of his since this release 13 years ago.

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80's Attack!: Night of the Comet

Directed by: Thom Eberhardt
Category: Horror

With Scream Factory's recent release of this 80's cult classic on DVD and Blu Ray, I figured I should finally give this a revisit since it's been in the back of my mind to do so for quite some time. Even though it was readily available to stream on Netflix for a long while, for some reason, I never took the time to do it, ultimately having to track down a DVD version since Netflix took it off before I could get to it. Don't you hate when that happens?

A meteor shower that was treated like a historical event, instead turns into the near end of civilization as those who witnessed it firsthand were either killed or turned into zombies. Only a few lucky survivors remain and must cope with being the last of mankind and deal with a band of scientists with a hidden agenda.

I can see why this was a film that I fondly recall seeing on HBO and Cinemax at all hours during the day and night back in the 80's. There's nothing in this that would require it to be played strictly at night, which means overall it's a pretty safe film. There isn't a lot of gore, and when there is some, it's a bit cartoony. There's no foul language, nudity, or adult situations either, yet it's an enjoyable, if albeit quirky, experience. It's a film bathed deep in neon lights and 80's cheese, but never deliberately sways into camp on purpose, it's just a product of it's time. In fact, I got into a debate about this very thing recently with my wife, who didn't like it and felt that the film was "trying" to be funny and was deliberately cheesy, where I felt the exact opposite. I don't think it's trying to be funny, mainly because I don't find it funny at all, not even unintentionally. And I don't think the film tries to be cheesy or campy just for the sake of it, I personally feel that it's a low-budget zombie film that attempts the serious route, yet it's mid-80's time frame and design just can't help but come off as campy, even if we didn't notice that then.

For me, I found it enjoyable, but it never really went as far as I hoped it would in any direction. It wasn't gory enough, or funny enough, or silly enough, or scary enough. It all comes off as a bit too safe and PG for my taste. However, there were things that do work for the film. I liked writer/director Thom Eberhardt (Captain Ron) sense of style in shooting it, especially in the scenes where he utilized filters to give the film a red or orange tone. Say what you will about it being a dated tactic, but I think it works really well, even the very few who still choose to use it today. It's effective in a very simple way and doesn't come off as tacky or fake the way CGI would more than likely make it look. But hey, that's just me.

Another aspect we debated about this was how to categorize it. I'd always considered it a horror film, and my wife thought that was the genre it was going for, but having revisited I couldn't help but feel it was more a post apocalyptic/survivalist

Overall it's a fun little film that delivers some mediocre 80's camp in an unintentional way. It plays the film straight, to my surprise, but never really realizes it's full potential. Since it's release nearly 30 years ago, it's become a certified cult classic and I can completely understand why, believe me. I just didn't feel that it delivered in a way I was anticipating. Let me put it this way. I have no qualms about letting my kid see it. At all. Still, it's not a bad film in the least. Should you want to get your hands on Shout! Factory's new DVD/Blu Ray combo packed with tons of special features like new interviews, commentaries and more, head on over to their official website HERE.

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80's Action Attack!: Iron Eagle

Directed by: Sydney J. Furie
Category: Action

I have no excuse other than I seriously missed the boat on this one. Somehow, in some way, this remarkable film was able to slip through the cracks of my 80's viewing experience, and it wasn't until now that I finally made the effort to actually track it down and watch it for the very first time in my entire life. And it was all because I came across this VHS tape at a local thrift store, only to discover that while it was indeed the correct slipcase cover, the actual tape was of something else. And from that moment on I had an insatiable need to check this film out because upon further digging, I've discovered that it's quite the essential piece of 80's nostalgia.

In short time I was able to locate an effectively priced VHS tape online that met my budget and proceeded to have my eyeballs and brain melt in pure 80's cheesy bliss. Really, it just couldn't get any better than this in my humble opinion and I loved every single second of this.

A young hot shot pilot-in-training attempts a daring rescue of his pilot father who's being held prisoner in enemy territory. With the help of Col. Chappy, a retired reserves Colonel who now works as a mechanic, and a group of high school friends, he may be able to pull it off.

Boasting a notable cast of 80's character actors (trust me, you've seen them all in other great 80's classics), a rocking 80's soundtrack, and a lighthearted cheesiness that never wears thin or overstays it's welcome. It hits the mark in nearly every department and I really can't stress enough how enjoyable it was. When I mention it to others, they all tell me it was an essential part of their 80's viewing experience, so I'm a bit sad I wasn't able to join in on that because truthfully, Iron Eagle delivers big time.

Director Sydney J. Furie has had a remarkably eclectic career filled with highs and lows, but mostly he kind of straddles the fine line of mediocre and bad. But like any director, he has his share of gems, with one of them being the insanely underrated and 100% badass The Taking of Beverly Hills, a film I am wholeheartedly obsessed with now after having recently revisited it and being completely blown away by how much it delivered a perfect 90's explosion filled action film. But then he's also responsible for Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Sooooooo.....yea. But hey, we can add Iron Eagle to his list of stellar accomplishments. Doing some digging I've discovered he's also done 2 of it's 3 sequels, so I'm looking forward to tracking those down as well at some point.

As I leave you with this, let's take a moment to admire this amazing cover. Obviously just a collection of photos put together, but man, how great is this that they're actual photo's and not photoshop rendered? I mean, who takes the time to get the actors to pose for poster art anymore like this? And how simple, yet highly effective it is at conveying exactly what it is. Not to mention it's just badass. Jason Gedrick looks cool and Louis Gossett, Jr. is just a badass here. I wish they still made more covers like this. Looking into the covers for the 3 sequels, it seems they didn't think to keep this trend alive sadly.

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Samurai Cop German VHS Tape

This is a tape I've been after for a very long time. Much like the U.S. VHS release, it's near impossible to find, so for me, they both fall under the "Holy Grail of VHS" category for me. I'll admit, my list is small, but this easily made it's way on there years ago and I'm thankful to be able to scratch it off my list. A good friend of mine in Germany, Ingo from Hellford 667 Movie Reviews, knew my birthday was coming up and shockingly came across this cheap recently and was somehow able to time it so perfect that it literally arrived in my PO Box exactly on my birthday. Talk about a sweet surprise!

I'm sure I don't need to actually talk about the film itself as I'm sure you know by now, it's pretty fucking amazing. Easily one of the BEST Bad Movie Night films ever made. Always guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser no matter how many times you've seen it. Each time it will crack you up. What I love about this particular cover is that it depicts nothing accurately about the film itself at all, which makes it all the more amusing. Fantastic cover and art for sure, but if you go into the film expecting to see anything from this cover, you'd be sorely disappointed. But not for too long, because you'd be having too much fun with the film regardless.

So yea, just wanted to share this fantastic tape with you all. Hope you enjoy it.


The Room Documentary "Room Full of Spoons" Is Up For Pre-Order

If you love bad movies, then you've surely heard of or have already seen The Room by now, regarded as one of the worst films ever made, and an excellent addition to any Bad Movie Night. I'm here to tell you, it's pretty bad, but in a highly entertaining way. It definitely lives up to the hype. It's like a trainwreck that you can't take your eyes off of, yet it's also fascinating in it's straightforward approach to a film that on the surface is supposed to be a drama, but ends up being a film so hilarious because of it's ineptitude that it instead becomes an unintentional comedy. But moving on.

Maybe you've also heard that Seth Rogen and James Franco are making a film adaptation on Room co-star Greg Sestero's book The Disaster Artist, which is based on his experience making this cult classic? They are, and I believe it's already near completion if I'm not mistaken. But I wasn't aware that there was a documentary in the works on the making of The Room, it's appeal, impact, and the mystery surrounding actor/writer/director Tommy Wiseau until just the other day. And guess what? It's done and ready for pre-order.

Here's a synopsis from the official website:

Room Full of Spoons is an in depth documentary about the cult film that is widely accepted as the worst film ever made: The Room, and it’s eccentric creator Tommy Wiseau.
Referred to as “The Citizen Kane of bad movies” by Entertainment Weekly, The Room grossed only $1800 during it’s initial box office run. Against all odds, Mr. Wiseau’s disastrous film found a new life on the midnight movie circuit and now plays to audiences around the world making it one of the most adored and important films in popular culture.
Follow Rick Harper and his team on their journey across the Globe as they experience this midnight movie phenomenon, meet with the entire cast and crew of the The Room and piece together the story behind the mysterious Tommy Wiseau.
The DVD shipping date is set for June 1st, and the pre-order price is at a low $15.99 for what's sure to be an entertaining and highly informative documentary. 

You can place your order by going to the Room Full of Spoons official website HERE.


Sweatshop Film Review; When Gore Isn't Enough

Directed by: Stacey Davidson
Category: Horror

I came upon this film when it was recently mentioned in a list of  "Underrated Gore Films You May Have Missed". It sounded pretty much right up my alley, so when my local Blockbuster was closing it's doors for good this past year, this was part of my large haul I purchased from them for dirt cheap. So let's dig in.

A group of goths, ravers and punks decide to throw an illegal rave inside an abandoned building in the middle of the night, only to discover that someone or something is already lurking in the dark, killing them off one by one.

I'm not going to mince words. I hated it. Every single second of it. While there is in fact some good gore to be found, it doesn't save this horrible amateur mess. Worse yet, you have to sit through at least half of it to even get to the gore, and by that point you're so nauseous by all of the other terrible aspects of this film that when the gore finally does come around, I just didn't really care.

What's surprising to me is that this was made in 2009, yet it looks and feels like a film that was made a good 20 years ago, and I don't think all of that was legitimate. Written, Produced, Edited, Photographed, and Directed by Stacey Davidson, his particular set of skills in even the most basic area's of this production make this an increasingly frustrating experience to sit through. For example, there's Davidson's directing style, which right from the opening frame suggests that he really put no thought into the look of the film whatsoever, unless the point was to make it look fast and cheap. The camera never sits still for one split second, often looking as if not only an amateur was trying to shoot this thing, but someone who seems as if they never have actually seen a film to begin with to know whether they were doing it right or not. One of the things I noticed almost immediately is that he shoots most of the film in closeups, never really giving you any sense of surroundings. The fact that the entire film takes place at night, in the dark, makes it nearly impossible to ever make out what's going on. And the acting is terrible. I mean, there's mediocre acting in here and then there's just terrible and most of the actors in this fall into the latter.

A hilarious aspect of the script is that the word "fuck" is used an insane amount of times. I can't tell for sure if the intent was to really have people carry on conversations like normal human beings do, or if the dialogue was laughably bad on purpose, but either way, the overuse of the F word is so obnoxious and overused that we ended up making a fun game out of it by counting every time it was used, and confidently predicting when it would show up again. We gathered that it was pretty much every sentence, sometimes twice in the same sentence.

I will give it some credit though. For a film that looks like it was shot on a weekend with a bunch of friends in the span of maybe 2 days, the gore in here is pretty impressive. In fact, it's more impressive than films with ten times the budget, so in that aspect, the film does in fact deliver. However, I found it to be surprisingly null for a film that relies solely on it's gore content to keep you invested and entertained. There's a lot here, but it's not enough to forgive the rest of the film. But hey, that's just me.

I guess of all the gripes I have, the one that bugs me the most would be that none of it is explained or makes any sense. First of all, who is this big ugly killer known as The Beast who, while large and slow, seems to be able to sneak and hide throughout the film showing up at just the right moments to kill people using a giant sledgehammer that he can barely lift without anyone noticing. And who is he? Why does he kill? Why does he live in an abandoned factory? Why does he have 2 girls that are sort of human, and sort of zombies that look like the girl from The Ring? Why do they follow him? Are they cannibals? Why does he wear all that ridiculous fur and welding mask if he's just going to kill them anyway? Why is the film called Sweatshop?

I could go on and on about all the things wrong with this, but I won't. I'm over it and I'd like to move on with my life. It's an hour and a half of my life I'll never get back, and for that, I guess I'm a bit sour, but truth be told, I've seen worse. Not by much, but there are worse films out there.


Documentary Dynamite: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of The National Lampoon

Even though I had noticed that this was recently added to the New Releases on Netflix, it took a friend of mine to convince me to watch it anyway. For some reason, the title alone wasn't enough of an attraction to get me to actually watch it, but I have to say, I'm glad I did. It's really one surprisingly entertaining documentary.

Basically it tells the story of how 2 guys in the 70's created a publication known as National Lampoon using everything in their power to shock you, often through the use of witty lowbrow humor, satire and nudity, which also touched on important topics ranging from politics to war and everything in between. They were audacious to say the least, and it proved to be a wise direction because if you look at the history, they were trendsetters. 

Personally, I was only vaguely aware of National Lampoons, and really had no idea what it actually was or where it came from. I only knew that it was associated with Animal House and the Vacation films starring Chevy Chase. But I had no idea what National Lampoons actually meant. So for me, I found this to be highly informative, a bit shocking, and funny as hell.

One of the things that kind of blew my mind was how brilliant a lot of these contributors were, and how many famous actors, writers, directors and comedians got their start working for them in the late 70's and early 80's. I won't spoil it for you by naming them here, but it was a series of constant surprises for me with each new revelation.

With tons of interviews and vintage footage from those who were there in the beginning and on through their peak and ultimate demise, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead is a must watch. 

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90's Attack!: Scanner Cop Film Review

Directed by: Pierre David
Category: Action/Horror/Thriller

This is one of those low-budget titles that I would often come across in the video store, but until today, not knowing that it had any connection to the Scanner franchise, even though I am aware that the word Scanner is in the actual title. I don't know, I just assumed it was it's own thing, not ever taking into consideration it may have been an offshoot of the franchise. In any case, I was told by a good friend that I should check it out, because he was confident that I would enjoy it. I guess I had always suspected that this would be something I could really be into, I just needed someone to confirm it.

Scanner Cop was a nice little surprise. In fact, I'm almost sure it's ultimately better than the low-budget sequels to the original David Cronenberg classic. There's really nothing remarkable or badass about this film, but it's a solid film overall, made all the more better by mega producer Pierre David in the directors chair, who I might add, was also Cronenberg's producer on a number of early projects, including the original Scanners. So that right there gives this one an instant connection to the original, and David, being the mega-producer for an insane number of low-budget and mid-budget cult classics that he is, knows his stuff. Though he's only directed 2 films, being a producer for nearly 200 of them has given him the know-how to do it efficiently, and I thought the film looked solid. Let me put it this way. He does a much better job than a lot of other directors with over 20 films under their belt do.

What I enjoyed about this one is that it fuses elements of at least 3 different genre's seamlessly together. You have some action, a little bit of horror, and most prominently, thriller elements that tie it all together effectively. One thing I would also like to point out is that the film also offers up a healthy dose of notable character actors like Richard Lynch, Brion James and a slew of others that you'll surely recognize from other projects, like the guy who plays an orderly who was a bouncer in Roadhouse. It ended up being a fun guessing game picking them all out.

I'm not gonna lie and tell you that it blew me away, because it didn't. But it does have a lot going for it that easily makes this a much better film than you anticipate going in. Pierre David shoots it well, so it looks good. There isn't a lot of blood and gore, but what is here is done really well. The acting from all involved deliver the goods, but I just wish Brion James had a much bigger part than his little cameo. Ultimately, you won't be disappointed with this one. It delivers on the title, the cover art, and the concept in a way that most other films fail. Give it a a shot, because it's pretty badass.

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Starman Blu Ray Review

When I revisited this film a few years ago because Netflix was streaming it, I was blown away. It touched me in the way only a very few number of films have. It instantly became a favorite and since that time I've revisited it often on various formats.

Upon that first revisit a few years ago, I was struck by how amazing it looked under the direction of John Carpenter. I say this because of his entire filmography, this film is never mentioned as one of is best, which I would beg to differ. To me, this easily qualifies as one of his strongest films, and dare I say his most visually brilliant, and I consider myself a HUGE fan of Carpenter. Most of his films are masterpieces to me, while others are personal classics. Still, none have ever impacted me on a visual level the way this one did. I own nearly every one of his films in various formats; VHS, Laserdisc, DVD and Blu ray. Yet of all his films, there was never one that I felt I NEEDED to see in HD. That is until I saw this film, where nearly every single frame is an exquisite example of expert composition.

When I sat down to finally watch this blu ray that I purchased almost a year ago, I was once again struck by how aesthetically gorgeous this film is. If any one of his films begged a blu ray transfer, it's certainly this one. Right from the very first frame and down to it's very last, each striking image of even the most mundane scene is made all the more exquisite by Carpenter's keen eye for detail and use of extreme widescreen. It helps that he also collaborated with Cinematographer Donald M. Morgan (Excessive Force), who he worked with the year before on Christine, Aesthetically, these two seem like a match made in heaven, yet this and the former are the only 2 films they worked on together, which is surprising.

The Blu Ray:
To my knowledge, Starman has only ever gotten this one Blu Ray release here in the U.S., and based on the simple fact that this is as bare bones as they come and literally just the film by itself, it could use a serious upgrade in terms of extra content. Now, as far as the picture itself, it's stellar, beautiful, gorgeous, striking. I have never seen the film look better than it does here in 1080p HD on a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Upon revisiting this on blu, there were things I hadn't noticed before, little details that stand out among the striking imagery and it's full widescreen ratio. And even outside of that, just seeing it in it's best presentation possible, it's like watching it on a whole new level. The blacks are a rich dark black, and the colors pop in a vivid intensity. It wasn't until watching it on Blu Ray that I noticed how striking the colors were, and how orchestrated the color schemes were throughout.

Sadly, there are zero extra's on here, not even a trailer or a commentary. What you get is the film at it's most striking, but nothing else, which is a shame because I'm sure there are plenty of bits of information behind-the-scenes that would make for a great documentary. For example, as I was watching the end credits roll up, I noticed the 1st Assistant Director was Larry Franco, Carpenter's longtime Producer, and apparently also his longtime Assistant Director, which I was not even aware of. And then there was the "Starman Transformation by Dick Smith, Stan Winston and Rick Baker" credit that literally blew me away. I mean, talk about an incredible trifecta of talent just on that one sequence alone!

I've never owned Starman on DVD, which has been released multiple times on that format as either a standalone release or as part of a 2 or 4 pack. For all I know, there very well may be some behind-the-scenes features that are present on any one of these former releases, and if so, it's a shame they didn't include them on this Blu Ray. The lack of even a simple trailer, or an old commentary imported from an earlier DVD release is a bit frustrating. Yet, the film itself is presented in a stunning transfer, so I can't be all that upset. I'm also not a big fan of the cover art they chose, wishing instead that they just stuck with the tried and true original poster art that represents the film effectively well overall.

The Starman Blu Ray will run you anywhere from $10-$20 depending on the seller, which would seem a bit steep for a bare bones release, but trust me when I tell you it's an essential addition to your Blu Ray collection, as well as a must-own John Carpenter film.


80's Thriller Throwback: Best Seller

Directed by: John Flynn
Category: Thriller

My little town is notoriously skimpy when it comes to good VHS finds at our local thrift stores. Most of the time, there just aren't any good finds, which is pretty sad. But every once in a while, I'll come across one that I think will be halfway decent, only to discover that it's so much better than I anticipated. These are the kinds of film experiences I thrive on, that I live for, and Best Seller was that kind of experience, a film that just took me completely by surprise. I've always loved the cover, it's a nice reminder of when actors actually showed up to take a photo for a movie poster, as opposed to the photoshop messes we get today. It's a cool image for sure, but the film still could have gone either way. Luckily, it ended up being awesome for all the right reasons.

Cleve (James Woods) is a hitman who reaches out to Dennis (Brian Dennehy), a cop and author, with an idea for a new book, the story of Cleve and his life as a hitman. Dennis, skeptical and weary from the beginning, and Cleve travel the country gathering evidence and facts for the book, all the while a powerful former client of Cleve's will stop at nothing to prevent it from ever seeing the light of day.

The Good:

Powerhouse performances. First and foremost, the film is only as strong as it is for 2 important reasons; James Woods and Brian Dennehy. It's as if this film, and better yet the script, was specifically written with them in mind. They're just fantastic in this, both bringing their very unique brand of tough-guy machismo to their roles. It's perfect casting if there ever was such a thing.

Mid 80's grittiness brought to life. John Flynn's impeccable direction serves the film extremely well, and after seeing this, it's no surprise he would follow this up with films like Stallone's Lock Up and Seagal's Out for Justice. His particular brand of gritty gives the film an overall sense of dread and bravado, almost as if the film's style serves as another character of the film. Even watching this in full frame on VHS didn't take away from it's visual impact.

Razor sharp intensity. Genre writer/director Larry Cohen (Maniac Cop, Q: The Winged Serpent, It's Alive) writes the film as he's writing a hard-boiled detective novel. It's a detective story in a sense, but a different one altogether. Instead of a cop investigating a series of crimes or murders, you have a cop/author who's investigating a supposed hitman and his past deeds to basically call bullshit to his claims of high profile murders, yet Cohen plots the film in such a way that it feels like you're watching an old school detective thriller about a cop tracking down a serial killer. It's brilliant and intensely effective.

The score packs a punch. Jay Ferguson delivers one helluva brilliant synth score for a film who's score would normally be the last thing you would notice. But much like John Flynn's direction, Ferguson's score serves as yet another character to the film, giving it a moody atmosphere that screams 80's synth, but in the best possible way. I loved it so much in fact that I immediately set out to try and track it down, only to discover that it may never have even gotten an official release as a soundtrack. I could be wrong though, and if I am, please feel free to correct me. I need this soundtrack in my life, because it's that good. HELP!

The Bad:

There is no bad. Much like my experience watching Shoot to Kill, this is another solid example of the perfect 80's thriller. I didn't find a single thing I would change with this film. Every single aspect, from the direction, the script, the performances, the action, the score, were all essential in creating a truly riveting film experience with an insatiably satisfying climax. It also drives home one thing I was already almost positive about, and that's that James Woods is a badass.


King Kong (1976) Film Review

Having never actually sat through this film from beginning to end before, and with the new Kong: Skull Island fast approaching, I figured what better time than now to actually give this a watch, especially since Hulu recently added it to their lineup. It was just the perfect time. I have to admit though, I went in a bit apprehensive only for the fact that this version of King Kong (the first full-on adaptation since 1933 not counting his appearances in Godzilla or Japanese films) is never mentioned. At least not in my experience. So let's dig in.

To put it simply, King Kong blew me away and I loved it. I loved it so much in fact that I find it hard to believe that it's not just automatically considered a classic. It has everything that you'd want in a big budget Hollywood epic, and doesn't overstay it's welcome by running insatiably long. It's just as long as it needs to be and entertaining every step of the way.

What immediately impressed me right from the beginning was John Guilliame's superb direction. It's just the kind you'd expect in a big budget classic Hollywood epic, and he films it with such a professional's touch, classy to the nth degree, that it really makes you miss the way films were made back then. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how, but every shot just looks incredible and gorgeous, made all the more stunning in widescreen, which he utilizes to it's full effect. In short, the cinematography is simply gorgeous. The film "looks" big, expensive and epic in every sense of the meaning, which with it being a Dino De Laurentiis production, is only natural. You can just "feel" that it's a De Laurentiis film. He doesn't skimp on the budget. When he wants to make a big epic, he goes all out. and this film is a testament to that. There were things in here that literally blew my mind, like the fact that he and f/x master Carlo Rambaldi (E.T., Dune) actually made a 40 ft tall life-size King Kong for some of the wide shots. When these moments appear on screen, you really have to be paying close attention to even notice the fact that it's a 40 ft tall robot and not another composite shot, because they're so well done. I noticed them, because I notice things like that, but even then, I was mightily impressed with their ambition. They're literally split second scenes inter-cut with other's, but used to give you a bigger grasp at the scale, and it works.

For me, the effects here were the real star of the film, with the practical effects work was nothing short of brilliant. They looked incredible, and for a film that was made in 1976, it's even more impressive. Even today, upon watching this for the first time, I was struck by how arduous they were, and how effective they are compared to the CGI stuff we use today. I mean, I went to see Peter Jackson's King Kong in theaters, and really wasn't all that engaged to the story. I personally feel that while impressive, the effects dominated the actual film. So much so that I can't even really tell you what parts of the film I actually liked because it was just a big effects heavy film and that's all I really took away from it. But here, while there are a lot of effects, the fact that they're done practically and grounded in reality, make them seem tangible. It's a completely different experience. Yes, you know it's a man in an ape suit, either superimposed against a blue screen image, or walking around in a massively impressive model environment, but it looks amazing. You can argue that while impressive, they look dated, but I would have to disagree. I found them to be better than anything Weta conjured up on a computer screen for the 2005 remake. I know I'm in the minority in this thinking, but I guess I'm just an old-school soul.

The cast is exceptionally talented in this. Jeff Bridges leads the charge as Jack, the "nice and caring" soul in the group, while an unexpectedly slimy Charles Grodin, in a serious turn, plays the villain of the film, Fred Wilson. The standout though is of course Jessica Lang, in her first film role, and she definitely steals the show as Dwan (the "w" and "e" are switched around on purpose, later explained in the film), a carefree spirit who dreams of becoming a movie star. The rest of the cast is filled with a large number of notable character actors who you're sure to recognize.

I really can't praise this film enough. It's epic film-making on a classically grande scale. This is the era of enormous sets, huge budgets, impeccable practical effects work and inspired storytelling. Everything hits the mark just right, and in my humble opinion, the film couldn't have turned out any better. To my surprise, it was able to be both touching and heartfelt, while at other times shockingly violent and brutal. This consistent shift in tone always kept me on my toes, never knowing where the next scene would take me emotionally, yet throughout, I was in constant awe and loved every single minute of it. It's damn near a King Kong masterpiece.

Review Source: Streamed on Hulu Plus