Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Devil Dog: The Hound Of Hell

The two kids from the original Escape From Witch Mountain star in this made-for-TV movie about an evil, telekinetic hound. For some reason, hooded acolytes decide the best way to take over the world is to give random children evil puppies, so a fruit peddler convinces the two lead children in this film they need a puppy even though they seem to not want one very much. The puppy grows into a dog, and flexes its evil powers by setting a housekeeper on fire and mind-controlling a lawn mower. I'm all for the long grift, but that seems a little excessive to me. It seems like a huge waste of time to fill a dog with the power of evil, impregnating it, handing one of these telekinetic demon dogs to a Real Housewife Of Beverly Hills, and then using it for the sole purpose of mentally coercing Richard Crenna to go skinny dipping, like, a year later. No one has time for that, and I'm not certain how a damp, nude Richard Crenna is going to accomplish anything. Last time I checked, the easiest way to corrupt today's youth wasn't with a fruit truck full of puppies, but through the power of rock-n-roll.

Or something like that.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Werewolves On Wheels

A group of bikers known as The Devil's Advocates visits an evil monastery in this dreadful 1970s horror film. Behaving more like hippies than bikers, they rough up some guy, read some Tarot cards, eat bread, and roll around in the grass. Someone gets vaguely bitten on the throat, and I think the film-makers confused vampires with werewolves and then decided to almost discard the werewolf angle entirely. Then the cast ate some more bread. I'm not entirely sure why.

Werewolves On Wheels consists primarily of headbands, aviator glasses, homoeroticism, setting things on fire, driving motorcycles out to the bleakest, most desolate areas of the desert, and filling up motorcycle gas tanks. The 3 pages of script consists of gibberish, barking, the cast members shouting the name Movie over and over again, lots of fire, and very few werewolves. The cinematography consists of beige panoramic shots of the desert and almost pitch-black campfire sequences. The dialogue consists of gems like, "Someone's controlling the vibe" and "MOVIE! MOVIE! MOVIE!". The action consists of rolling down hills. The entire film has a no-budget, forced surrealism similar to an Alejandro Jodorowsky film if Alejandro Jodorowsky directed a slightly surreal motorcycle-riding werewolf movie that has more bread in it than werewolves, and it's mildly recommended if you like stuff that sucks.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

blogging... a pain in the ass, literally and figuratively. You have to write a blog post, edit a blog post, add pictures, add videos, and then shamelessly promote it at all the social media sites, and for what? Being ignored, preyed upon by spambots, getting a nice case of 'roids, and not getting paid. Why do it, you ask? I honestly don't know.

I've been asked by the fine people at to be one of their 'trusted contributors'. I'm not sure what that means, however I'm doing what I have always done, which is write reviews that don't have a lot to do with the movie for movies few have people heard of or would want to watch. I am not abandoning Blogger, from what I gather I write the review here, then repost it at Moviepilot. That's fine, I guess. I don't mind writing the review once and double exposing it on another site, as I'm pretty lazy. If you don't mind reading (or not reading) something twice, I don't mind either. Moviepilot seems to have fewer spambots on it, so there's that. One drawback is that Moviepilot seems to be primarily superhero-centric. I like superheroes, but that's not my main focus. And I don't think the people who frequent Moviepilot want to read a review of Turkish Star Wars (Hey, maybe I should post my review of Turkish Star Wars on Moviepilot! That's me, always thinking ahead!).!vtpn1

An Idiot Abroad: Season One

Ricky Gervais sends his guileless, grumpy friend out into the world to see the Seven Wonders and films the hilarious results in this television travel program. Affable, artless bloke Karl Pilkington is sent by Ricky Gervais to exotic locals such as the Great Pyramid, Machu Pichu, and the Great Wall Of China, knowing full well Pilkington will hate ever minute of it. Pilkington's emotional range varies from unaffected to exasperated while riding camels, eating wasp larva, and suffering insomnia in lousy, noisy hotels. The series is well-filmed in HD, and there are plenty of fine shots of the various World Wonders, the hapless indigenous people Pilkington encounters, and the swarm of ants climbing over Pilkington's shorts as they dry on a branch in the Amazon jungle. While the landscapes are often lovely, the endlessly quotable Pilkington is the true star of the show, as he dryly muses on how the Great Wall of China is the 'All-Right Wall Of China' and compares it to the M6, or how he suggests the Egyptian Museum is the same as his Aunt Nora's house because 'there's too many ornaments'. I found myself laughing uncontrollably as Pilkington eats Pizza Hut at the Great Pyramid and seeks treatment for his travel-induced diarrhea from a guinea pig near Machu Pichu. An Idiot Abroad is a funny, insightful, warts-and-all look at the world around us from a traveler who'd just rather not go.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything

An asthmatic, neurotic author with a fascination for Victorian-era serial killers and a phobia of launderettes has an unfortunate series of events occur in this horror-comedy starring Shawn Of The Dead's Simon Pegg. Featuring a literate script, detail-oriented art direction, stop-motion animation, dark corridors, Dutch angles, The Incredible Bongo Band's cover of Inna Gadda Da Vida, and more Y-fronts than you can shake a steak knife at; A Fantastic Fear Of Everything was an over-long paranoid existential laundry crisis. I liked it, however, and I liked the little inside film jokes throughout, particularly the homage to Hitchcock's Psycho and Spielberg's Jaws (blink and you'll miss that one). A little more trimming in the editing room to bring this film in at a taut 90 minutes and to tighten up a meandering script wouldn't have hurt. Simon Pegg is always fun to watch on screen, particularly during histrionics, as he is a great physical comic actor. Come to think of it, the hedgehog needed a little more screen time, too.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Strange And Deadly Occurrence

I've been trying to expand my online presence recently, and I have a whole bunch of new Twitter followers, and by "a whole bunch" I really mean 10. Taking that into consideration, I'm going to try to be on my best behavior and attempt to make a good first impression on my legion of new followers, who I'm almost certain aren't really people at all but are probably advertising spambots. Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for webpage views, even if they're views by advertising spambots. Unfortunately, I don't often make a very good first impression, even on advertising spambots. Keep in mind, though, that a startling, intimidating, and creepy first impression I'm very good at. Maybe it's the mask? I don't know. Regardless, I welcome my throngs of new advertising spambot followers, and I hope they enjoy reading my reviews of terrible movies that often don't have a lot to do with the movie itself. Kick off your shoes, Spambots, crack open a fresh box of Junior Mints, and hang out a while.

Anyway, I recently watched the 1970s television movie The Strange And Deadly Occurrence out of sheer boredom due to yet another polar vortex trapping me in my penthouse. Here's the plot: Something lurks in the bushes in this television mystery starring Robert Stack, and *spoiler alert*, it's probably a gopher. So yeah, Robert Stack moves his family into a California ranch-style home, and there's a hint of a backstory about some sort of disgruntled Hessian being buried on the property, but I didn't really pay much attention. The daughter is slightly attacked by a dressmaker's dummy, and a gopher jumps out of a kitchen cabinet. That just about sums it all up.

For some reason, people in the 70s needed other people to dial phones for them, and I'm not exactly sure why, considering there's a phone sitting right on the desk in front of them. It's kind of an Unsolved Mystery, for sure. Hey Robert Stack, are your arms broken and you can't lift a phone receiver? Your arms seem to work just fine when later in the movie you're half-heartedly forced at gunpoint to dig for buried treasure, so I suspect your arms are just fine.

By the way, is Robert Stack still alive? Oops, according to IMDB, he's not. Never mind, then.

Finally, the movie ends in a Scooby Doo-like fashion where the haunting ended up being caused not by a gopher but by Old Man Jenkins. Meh. The Strange And Deadly Occurrence was silly, somewhat overwrought, about a month too long, and mildly recommended if you like stuff that sucks.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Aquarium For Your Home

As you are probably aware, I had a little difficulty last month where the water pipes in Deathrage Towers burst causing, destruction throughout the building. I called Aquaman for help, and he refused, stating it didn't seem like a 'fish-related emergency' (see post entitled "Cold Snap").

Fine, Aquaman. Be that way, you big fishy jerk. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to invest in some home-owner's insurance, and by "invest in home-owner's insurance" I mean invest in a saltwater fish tank to be certain next time my pipes burst I can call on Aquaman for help, well, because fish.

After doing the research on what it takes to set up and care for a 100-gallon tank full of exotic salt-water fish, I decided against it. I really can't have living things needing my constant attention in order to survive, I dislike things swimming around vacantly in a circle, and it seems to be extremely expensive and a lot of work. Did you know exotic saltwater fish need to be fed, like, every single day? I know! I don't think I can manage that, you know, because bad movies.

Just to be certain I am not in the market for a 100-gallon saltwater fish tank filled with exotic saltwater fish, I watched Aquarium For Your Home: Saltwater Reef. Wow, was that movie boring! No character development, no plot, no humor, no drama. It's just fish, swimming vacantly around in a circle. I did like the character of the sea anemone. He seems like the strong, stoic, silent type.

The Vivian Maier Mystery

Vivian Maier was a nanny with a secret. On her days off, she took photographs of the city of Chicago and sometimes some of its less fortunate citizens. These photographs were no ordinary snapshots, but over 150,000 skillfully crafted masterworks, many of which remained undeveloped after her death. Superbly composed, many of her photographs contain a sly sense of humor. Although taken at very close distances, her photographs seem very detached from her subject matter.

The Vivian Maier Mystery is a well-made, intriguing documentary featuring many of her breathtaking photographs.