Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Haunted World of El Superbeasto

Rob Zombie has brought his characters from the adult-themed, horror comic, Rob Zombie's Spookshow International, to life in this R-rated masterpiece filled with a pickled Hitler's head, werewolf Nazis solders, SS zombies, a talking gorilla, the corpse of King Kong, Dr. Satan and a few of The Devil's Rejects, with loads of large breasted, naked ladies and an order of scrumptious hot wings. The plot is how our hero, El Superbeasto voice by Tom Pappa, brings in the help of his sexy, eye-patch wearing, blond bombshell of a sister, Suzi X voiced by Sherri Moon Zombie, to help him supposedly save a stripper that was kidnapped by a talking gorilla working for Dr. Satan but really just wants to get her back so he can "tap that ass". The voice talent includes Zombie regulars and a few new surprises like Clint Howard, Dee Wallace, Danny Trejo, Bill Moseley, Sid Haig, Geoffrey Lewis, Ken Foree, Cassandra Peterson -I love Elvira-, Rosario Dawson, Harland Williams and Paul Giamatti as Dr. Satan. The nods to classic horror icon films are endless and the reference of 80s music and culture are awesome. Everyone loves Loverboy, right?

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Whip It

Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page bring back to the screen one of the sports I loved watching as a kid on TV and these are not the gigantic blond bombshell bruisers I remember from my youth but more like indie and goth Suicide Girls on skates with killer music and awesome tattoos! The story is about high school girl Bliss Cavendar trying to find her own way of dealing with living in a small town and wanting to be, or do, something different than what her mother wants and she finds her inspiration when girls from the local roller derby league are passing out flyers for their next match. The casting of Marcia Gay Harden and Daniel Stern as the strict mother and doting father is perfect and The Hurl Scouts played by Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Eve, and Zoe Bell are bombastic and hilarious. This is a great follow up film for Page to the critically acclaimed Juno and Barrymore does a great directing job and does not over indulge in her own character's share of on screen time. The soundtrack is awesome and I can't wait to see this again on opening night if it works out with Kelly and our friends.

Click here to check out the official website.

Love Happens

I was debating whether to go home or stick around at AMC Hoffman 22 - my theater of choice - to see the 7:00 pm sneak preview screening of Whip It and resigned myself to see this film since it would be only one of two films I had not seen yet besides Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All by Myself currently playing there. It was a good decision to stay and I really enjoyed the movie and may have had a tear or two in my eye when Aaron Eckhart's character finally comes clean and confesses his feelings of deep-seated guilt on the accidental death of his wife with her father played by Martin Sheen. Eckhart's star is definitely on the rise with fantastic performances in The Dark Knight as Harvey Dent, in The Core as Dr Josh Keyes, and his breakout role as Nick Naylor in Thank You For Smoking. Jennifer Aniston is good as quirky Eloise who helps Burke finally deal with his own wife's death as he has been helping clients deal with their own life tragedies. A good little movie for date night if you need one in a pinch.

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I know a lot of people are going to go see this film because it looks like a glossier version of Alien or Event Horizon from the trailers and looks down right creepy and just maybe a bit scary too. But for me it is all about Ben Foster who has really come in to his own with great lead up performances as The Stranger in 30 Days of Night, Charlie Prince in the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, Dave in 2004's The Punisher, and the iconic image of Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand. Ben does not disappoint as Corporal Bower who wakes up on a spaceship from a long stretch in hyper-sleep and must piece together his past,why he and his apparent teammates are there before the ship's reactor goes terminal, and what are these things that are hunting and trying to trap him? The movie is dark and and claustrophobic and seems to channel some of the best elements of Neil Marshall's The Descent if it was set in deep space and the spelunking woman were being attacked by Road Warrior versions of Gollum. A definite must see for thriller SciFi fans and worth the price of admission.

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I have to agree with some of the critics on that this movie would have been more relevant and interesting back in 1981 even if the filmmakers would not have had access to the great CGI we have today. The plot is very transparent and the characters are not engaging or that interesting even if you write it off to the wooden performances because they are robots filling in for live people. Rosamund Pike is the one perfect casting choice because every movie I have ever seen her in before she has had the same emotional range as a robot. The other high point is the casting of James Cromwell who seems to always be the go to science and leading technology patriarch in this type of film just like in I, Robot and Star Trek: First Contact. Your best bet is to save your money and watch this when it runs on SyFy - I really hate the new logo - or hits Netflix.

Click here to check out the official website.

Fame (2009)

Even though I have yet to see all of the 1980's Fame movie, I was a huge teenage fan of the TV series that ran on NBC back in 1982. Instead of being a remake, this movie is more of a generational true-up that reflects the current state of the arts and struggles of the school's gifted performers. There was no chance that I was not going to see this movie and I did enjoy it despite the early critics reviews. The performing set pieces are fun and energetic but the quick transition between school years and the lack of any real investment in the students back stories does not suck you in and engage you as much as you would like. It was good seeing Debbie Allen from the original film and the TV series even though I did not get any nostalgia pangs but the movie was worth seeing during my Saturday matinee.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

Going through the DVD collection brought me to this little dandy of a film that is sort of a western vampire comedy that is campy as hell an loaded with more stars than you can throw a stick at. I know I originally picked it up because it had Bruce Campbell on the DVD cover and knew it would be funny but the stars they got to appear in this little film that no one remembers from 1990 is just amazing. The film stars genre and 80's favorites like David Carradine, Maxwell Caulfield, Deborah Foreman, M. Emmet Walsh, John Ireland, Dabbs Greer, George "Buck" Flower and the one hit wonder Gerardo Mejia - can you say "Rico y Suave". Basically, Dracula has changed his name and has set up his own retirement community in the west where vampires who no longer want to kill or drink blood can live off of a blood substitute but there is a faction that misses the more traditional life style and they are planning a coup. This may have been an inspiration for True Blood's drink of choice but definitely a fun way to while away a Sunday after noon. Click here to check out this clip on

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jekyll + Hyde

Robert Louise Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde has to be one of the most re-made, re-interpreted, and re-imaged literature classics of all time. This time out Jekyll is a medical student who experiments with a designer drug that brings out the Hyde persona that starts killing his fellow students and locals girls. The only actor I knew in the movie was Bree Turner who can be seen in such films as The Ugly Truth, Incident On and Off a Mountain Road, and Bring It On Again. The movie was not to bad with some descent bloody set pieces and Turner looks good even as a brunette. Another freebie on FEARNet so who needs cable any more?

Click here to check out the trailer on

La Monja

Also know as the The Nun, a click of catholic school girls drown an abusive nun and swear to keep the secret but twenty years later the nun returns to seek revenge. The movie was produced as part of Brian Yuzna's Fantastic Factory film projects with the goal to produce low budget but high quality genre films for the international market. Previous films include Faust: Love of the Damned, Dagon, Darkenss, and Beyond Re-Animator which I already have in my DVD collection. The water effects and the demonic Nun are very cool and the story is well crafted. Definely worth a free watch on FEARNet or a rental from NetFlix if you prefer.

Click here to check out the trailer on

Night of the Demons (1988)

I got my weekly update from FEARNet and an 80's classic is on tap for all us horror fans who love anything with scream queen, Linnea Quigley. The story is about a group of teenagers partying at an abandoned funeral parlor on Halloween night and get the attention of some demons when a mirror breaks and they are unleashed to wreak havoc. Kevin Tenney's sophomore directorial effort captures all of the 80's horror staples with cheesy dialogue, plenty of T & A, and special makeup effects designs by industry favorite Steve Johnson. The unforgettable scenes for me from my freshmen college days was the image of Linnea bent over so her friend can steal party supplies from the local convenience store as the counter guys stare at her ass and the lipstick pushed in through the nipple. The internet, free 80's horror classics online and take out from the local Wing Zone - all make for a good Saturday afternoon.

Check out the trailer out on

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Who knew the best film of my day at the theater would be the kids movie about a nerdy kid who wanted to grow up to be an inventor and who saves his town from just being know for sardines? The animation is good and the raining cornucopia of food, the quasi-talking money and roaming rat-birds are just a few of the visual treats awaiting you and your children. The voice cast includes the talents of SNL cast members Bill Hader and Andy Sandberg with Al Roker, Anna Farris, James Cann, and of course Bruce Campbell as the town's desperate and bloated Mayor with Mr. T as the local sheriff. Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig seem to be popping up everywhere and now in the family films. This is a good time out for the whole family and you should check it out but not before eating.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Informant!

Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh team up to bring us the story of a corporate VP who turns informant on his agri-business and their price-fixing practices around corn. The movie is fun and ridiculous at points just like the informant himself who seems to be somehow off in an American apple pie sorta way filled with tasty lies and half-truths. The movie is linear but has a very stream of consciousness feel as you get the random thought tangents that come from Damon's character. The cast also includes some of my favorite genre actors and entertainers like Scott Bakula aka Harry D'Amour, Clancy Brown aka The Kurgan ,Thomas F. Wilson aka Biff Tannen, and the Smothers Brothers! A worthwhile film and really makes you hope that all corporations really do try to minimize the use of the Peter Principle.

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Jennifer's Body

Diablo Cody, who won the 2008 Oscar for Best Writing, Screen Play for Juno, is back with her crack at the teen horror flick. The film stars Meagan Fox and Amanda Seyfried as Jennifer and Needy who have been BFFs since the sandbox but things go wrong after Jennifer falls victim to an unknown indie rock band that has their own twisted plan to become infamous. Great White must wish they could have been as lucky as the band in this flick. This was a pretty decent horror film with hot girls, copious amounts of blood, a fair display of gore but more tease then actual T&A. A BFF's revenge is something to watch out for so let's see if this comes with a sequel.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Two stars who made names for themselves as vampires, Kate Beckinsale as Selene in Underworld and Alex O'Loughlin as Mick St, John in the series Moonlight, star in this thriller set on a research base in Antarctica with Tom Skerritt along for the freezing ride. I was expecting something along the lines of The Thing and was pleasantly surprised with the plot even after I figured out who the "bad" guy was going to be and there was not going to be a mutating alien killing and replacing humans at the station. Kate gives a good performance as Greg Rucka's U.S. Marshall Carrie Stetko who has to investigate a murder before the base is locked down by an impending storm. For those who do not know him, Greg Rucka is one of the big name writers for DC comics who has worked on such titles as 52, Action Comics, Adventures of Superman, Batman, Detective Comics, Gotham Central, Supergirl, Wonder Woman and the amazing mini-series Crime Bible. This movie goes to show that comics and graphic novels are still the best place to find cool and interesting stories and they are not all just about superheroes.

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Before anything else I must say the computer animation in this film is flawless and would give Pixar a good run for their money and the story is not as kid friendly as you would expect. Also, this is not a Tim Burton movie - he served as a producer - but Shane Acker does deliver a hauntingly bleak visual landscape with a unique and charming story that holds its own with some of Burton's best work. The voice talents for the sock puppets include some of the best the industry has to offer like Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover and Elijah Wood. But the highlight for me was seeing that Fred Tatasciore provided the voice of #8 who is known to those who follow voice-over actors as the voice of the Hulk in such films as Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow and Hulk vs Thor and Wolverine. This is a must see movie for all animation and Burton fans!

Click here to check out the official website.

Sorority Row (2009)

1983's The House on Sorority Row gets an update this weekend and stars Briana Evigan, Rumer Willis, and Carrie Fisher as the stalked sorority sisters and house mother by a cloaked killer bent on revenge for the death of one of their sorority sisters. As you would expect, there is plenty of T & A but not from the main cast which is a little disappointing but the death scenes are ok even if they lack any real gore. As for being the stereotypical lead bitch sister, Leah Pipes does a great job and delivers a fun performance that makes you love and hate her character from the get go. All in all a mediocre horror film but not really a waste of a matinee viewing. The highlight for me was seeing the trailer for Avatar again before the movie started and damn if it does not keep looking cooler each time I see it.

Click here to check out the official website.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Knockaround Guys

So it will be mobsters tonight and what better than a film staring Dennis Hooper, John Malkovich, Tom Noonan, Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel and my favorite little dude Seth Green. The premise is that Matty, played by Pepper, is trying to win the favor of his mobster father and enlists his friends to do a job that goes horribly wrong when Green loses the package to some stoner kids and then corrupt local cops. The stand out performances here are by Diesel as a tough street thug, who would have guessed, and Malkovich as the second in command with his own agenda. Is there any role that Malkovich can not play and not play well? A fun little movie along the lines of Mobsters and Sleepers but not as deep if that can be said with a straight face.

Click here to checkout the official website.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


A DVD still in the wrapper and unopened until now and it's a movie I have not seen or watched on cable to date. Keira Knightly stars as Domino Harvey a former model turned bounty hunter that gets caught up in a money scam ran by her bail bondsman boss that is ripping of the mob to save the life of his little girl by one of his many mistresses while being filmed for a WB reality show. Also starring are Mickey Rourke and Edgar Ramirez as fellow bounty hunters Ed Moseby and Choco, Delroy Lindo and Mo'Nique as the bail bondsman and his mistress, Jacqueline Bisset and Christopker Walken as social climbing mom and the WB executive, and Brian Austin Green and Ian Ziering as themselves and the hosts of the reality show. The plot is crazy and entertaining as hell and supposedly based on the life of the real Domino Harvey who passed away in 2005. A fun film and you do get to see Keira topless like in her other fine films like The Hole and The Jacket - WOOHOO!

Click here to check out the official website.

Monday, September 7, 2009


As my return to TV series of my youth continues, I just completed a marathon viewing of another 80's classic from Fox TV and the USA Networks thanks to Midtown Comics' collection of bootleg VHS to DVD videos. The series starred General Hospital's John J. York, The Rifleman's Chuck Connors and genre character actor Brian Thompson as the principal werewolves of the show with York's werewolf always being on the run from the part Indian bounty hunter, Alamo Joe aka Lance LeGault. The show is quintessential 80's fair from its visual style and soundtrack with the episodes still holding up for me sporting Rick Baker's werewolf designs refined from his work on An American Werewolf in London but brought to life each week by the talents of Greg Cannom. The werewolf effects are what brought me back each week and the thirty minute episodes kept the shows tight but ultimately very formulaic where you could see the repeated use of shots from previous episodes to save on effects costs. If you love werewolves, in-camera effects and classic mask and suited monster makeups, you will want to check out this series again and add it to you home entertainment collection just like me.

Click here to check out the unofficial website.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Man From Atlantis

After realizing I was pissing away money on digital cable TV and Tivo service, I decided to cancel my services in an experiment to see if I could watch all the shows I like online via one method or another for the upcoming fall season . While waiting for new fall season episodes to update for online watching via Hulu and the various TV network websites, I have started working my way through old TV shows from my youth that I picked up from places like Midtown Comics to see how they hold up like this week's selection, Man from Atlantis. Although the series is quite dated and it is a hoot seeing old TV stars that have fallen off of the TV landscape, a gem of an actor has risen from the TV land of my past that I would like to acknowledge here - Victor Bruno aka Dr. Schubert. Victor Bruno was the go to villain in all of the shows of my childhood and had, no has, an unforgettable screen presence. For the old Adam West Batman fans you would remember his as the wonderful villain King Tut.

Friday, September 4, 2009

All About Steve

Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper, both fresh of the box office hits The Proposal and The Hangover this year, co-star in this ugly-duckling based story plot and it is not a romantic comedy as you would think. Other comedy notables Thomas Haden Church and Ken Jeong flesh out the news crew with Cooper who is being followed from assignment to assignment by Bullock after their blind date is disrupted. Comedies seem to be the thing for Sandra these days and she is doing them well. Cooper has come along way from his Alias days and horror outing The Midnight Meat Train - based on a favorite Clive Barker short story of mine from the Books of Blood. A good movie and an easy pick for date night.

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Jason Bateman takes the lead in this latest Mike Judge big screen comedy. Although this does not rank up there with the cult classic Office Space, it is very funny and delivers fun performances from Ben Affleck, Mila Kunis, J. K. Simmons and Kristen Wiig. Judge has the ability to take mundane situations and build them up with interesting and likable characters that delivers working class comedy gold. I have always been a fan of Bateman's comedic performances since his first staring TV series, It's Your Move, back in 1984. Just Like Paul Rudd in I Love You, Man, Jason has proven he can carry a movie on his own here and his fans will love it.

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Gerald Butler continues his reign on the big screen this year in this action thriller cross-over with a Sims fetish community. The action and carnage are fun to watch and the Society gaming piece kinky and fun until you get to see the human controllers behind the Society avatars. Michael C. Hall from Dexter is the master mind behind Society and Slayers and delivers an eccentric performance that will not be forgotten. Kyra Sedgwick is a pleasant surprise to see back on the big screen as well and outside of The Closer TV series. A good flick for adult gamers but definitely not a kids movie and deserves its R-Rating.

Click here to check out the official website.