FATHER’S DAY (2011) – Brace yourself for a gory time in this enjoyably outrageous cult classic.
Ahab, the eye-patch sporting hero of the Astron 6 horror film Father’s Day is in my opinion the one true successor to Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams. And considering how unfair the ending of this movie is for Ahab and his two sidekicks a case could even be made for them replacing Ash as the most royally screwed character in the history of gore-soaked horror comedies.
It’s difficult to review this dark, grotesque gem without resorting to a series of catch phrases like “Goes where Dead Alive and similar movies failed to go” or “What Grindhouse hath wrought” or even “Twink and Walnut: They’re NOT Muppets!” Let me start with a more practical line: Do not watch this movie if you can not handle the most offensive violence, concepts, gore and deranged sexuality imaginable. Continue reading
HAMMETT (1982) – Directed by Wim Wenders and produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios, Hammett is a criminally neglected valentine to Hard-Boiled Detective Stories and Film Noir. The flick is based on the novel by Joe Gores.
The stories about the behind the scenes chaos and conflicts surrounding the production of this movie are legion. Pre-production work began in 1975 and by the time it was released in 1982 multiple cast and story changes had taken place and Coppola himself re-shot more than a third of the film.
In the way that Time After Time presented a whimsical “what if” adventure featuring H.G. Wells having a real time machine, Hammett serves up iconic detective novelist Dashiell Hammett getting caught up in solving a real-life mystery.
The timing is excellent, with the story being set in the late 1920s, after Hammett was no longer working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency but before he became a successful author. The tale begins with our hero – played by Frederic Forrest – typing out one of his penny-a-word Pulp stories for Black Mask Magazine, which was to detective fiction what Weird Tales was to horror and sci-fi.
Booze and coughing fits figure prominently in the movie, as you would expect given a protagonist who was an alcoholic with tuberculosis. For the sake of convenience the story that Hammett just finished before blacking out was one featuring his character the Continental Op (as in an operative for the fictional Continental Detective Agency).
Hammett awakens to find his most recent work being read by Jimmy Ryan (Peter Boyle), his old mentor from his Pinkerton days. Ryan jokes with “Sam” (Samuel Dashiell Hammett was his full name if you’re new to all things Hammett) that the “man with no name” in the story seems to be based on him (Ryan) and the way he operates.
Eventually Jimmy gets to the point: he saved Hammett’s life when our hero was new at detective work, and Ryan is finally calling in the debt that Sam owes him for that. The former colleague thus lures Hammett back into detective work for one last case. Continue reading
Guest Author Judy Nelson has provided this review of the film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). Thank you, Judy!
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (2011)
Short Description of the Movie
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an espionage thriller produced in 2011 and directed by Tomas Alfredson. The story is based on the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy novel written by John le Carre in 1974. Director Tomas Alfredson also created a movie about vampires – Let the Right One In.
The movie stars Gary Oldman in the lead role of George Smiley, an officer of British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy cast also involves Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, David Dencik, Mark Strong, and Ciaran Hinds. This films is definitely a piece of atmospheric cinematography in the genre. TTSS was celebrated by the audience, received BAFTA Award for Best British Film, and three Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Original Score, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The novel written by le Carre was previously adapted into a TV mini-series on the BBC in 1979 with the lead role brilliantly played by Alec Guinness. However, Gary Oldman was wonderful in this persona as well.
John le Carre is known for the novel The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, 1963, a riposte to the cult figure of James Bond. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was the turn of the tide in espionage fiction. The novel explored moral inquiries similar to those pursued by Joseph Conrad in his Lord Jim and Chance. Continue reading
Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!
Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the mid-1980s.
EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday April 19th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
EXTRAS: This episode featured footage of our Film Vault Technicians First Class Randy and Richard’s promotional appearance at Six Flags Mall in nearby Arlington, TX.
HOST SEGMENTS: One particular Host Segment featured one of the show’s behind-the- scenes people portraying Commando Cody complete with helmet and rocket pack. He was portraying the character because the Commando Cody serial Radar Men from the Moon was the current serial being shown before the movie each week on The Texas 27 Film Vault.
Since Randy Clower still outranked his co-host Richard Malmos (at least until a few episodes later) in the fictional Film Vault Corps (“The few, the proud, the sarcastic”) their relationship often featured the type of abusive “Host and Second Banana” dynamic like that between Dr Morgus and his lab assistant Chopsley or Zacherle and his wife My Dear or Dr Forester and TV’s Frank.
At any rate this Host Segment featured “Commando Cody” befriending Randy and setting out with him for a night of partying on the town while the two leave Richard behind to do all the grub work in their barracks.
SERIAL: As noted above Radar Men from the Moon was the current serial being shown. This episode featured Chapter Ten titled Mass Execution.
THE MOVIE: Continue reading
CORPSE EATERS (1974) – No, not The Brain Eaters and not The Worm Eaters, both of which are real movies, but Corpse Eaters without any “the” in front. This 57 minute wonder actually manages to overstay its welcome, believe it or not, which is just as well because the similar low-budget film Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things did everything better than this film does.
The people behind Corpse Eaters know JUST what horror fans want to see … water-skiing and plenty of it! This baby takes the concept of padding to the next level with interminable footage of two couples having a great time boating and otherwise whooping it up at lakeside. I’m not old enough to have ever sat through a suburban family’s hellishly boring home-movies but thanks to this film I can experience it as if I was alive back then! Sweeeeet!
The aforementioned lakeside footage comes after the audience is treated to several loooong minutes of a mortician and his assistant talking about what a creepy job they have. Then it’s on to our “stars” if that isn’t too strong a word for them. The frolicing couples note that it’s Friday the 13th and decide to spend the night in a graveyard just for the heck of it. Continue reading
HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (1980) – Category: A neglected bad movie classic that deserves a Plan 9-sized cult following
Okay, this movie is better known than many of the other joyously bad films I review, but it still hasn’t acquired the reputation or the following it deserves as Midnight Movie or Movie Host material. Vic Morrow IS the heavy and Doug McClure IS another bland and unmemorable hero in this film, one of the many horror flicks that tried to imitate Alien.
Roger Corman executive- produced and his gang alone would turn out a few other movies that were , shall we say – “reminiscent” – of Alien, namely Forbidden World and Galaxy of Terror (If you ever wanted to see Joannie from Joannie Loves Cha-Chi explode from within this is the movie for you!) Continue reading
POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD (2018) – The DC Comics movies just keep getting worse and worse. Some looser named Francis gets superpowers from washing the feet of poor people and little boys (creeper) and gets his own kind of Batcave called Vatican City.
Yeah, right, like with so many starving people in the world any kind of superhero would live in his own city with such opulence when they could give away 90% of their money to help the poor. It wasn’t realistic at all. Continue reading