Movie Review: The Brain from Planet Arous

Directed by Nathan Juran
Starring John Agar, Joyce Meadows, Robert Fuller, Thomas Browne Henry

During my time working at a movie theater, It Came from Hollywood (1982) played there, which was sort of like a pre-MST3K concept, with comedians like Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, and a few others, making jokes over scenes of different cheesy movies. There were a ton of titles that I saw little bits of for the first time there, The Brain from Planet Arous being one of them.

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Movie Review: Beast from Haunted Cave

Directed by Monte Hellman
Starring Michael Forest, Sheila Carol, Frank Wolfe, Wally Campo, Chris Robinson

I’m a sucker for monster movies from the ‘50s, and even more so when the creature is like something we’ve never seen before. Nothing against all the vampires and werewolves out there, but it is always refreshing to see something new and unique show up on the screen, showing how creative the filmmakers could be, especially with little or no money. That alone would be enough of a reason to watch this film. The fact that is actually decent story, well-acted, and well shot, is just bonus points. It’s a real shame that while a ton of the ‘50s monster flicks get remembered and discussed over and over, this one seems to be forgotten or at least not mentioned too often. Which is a damn shame, and why I decided I needed get a review of it posted now!

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Movie Review: The Frozen Dead

Directed by Herbert J. Leder
Starring Dana Andrews, Anna Palk, Philip Gilbert, Kathleen Breck, Karel Stepanek,
Basil Henson, Alan Tilvern, Ann Tirard

There are those films we first see in our youth that sent a sense of awe through our brain, as well as chills down your spine. A time way before we’re smart enough to know whether something could really happen or not, or how far science could really go, when most concepts or ideas where completely new and therefore fascinating to our young minds, sparking that imagination. That is when I first experienced The Frozen Dead. I can remember telling the kids on the playground the next day at school, about a wall of arms that were still alive, or Nazi soldiers that could only comb their hair or bounce an imaginary ball, or even more exciting, a decapitated head that was STILL ALIVE!!! Years or maybe even decades later when we see these films again, we’re a little ashamed to think that it was it was that amazing at the time. But others, like this particular film, even though it might be a little silly or even outrageous, it still impresses me.

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Movie Review: X

Directed by Ti West
Starring Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, Kid Cudi, Martin Henderson,
Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, James Gaylyn

“X is an extremely good horror movie. Scary, smart, knowing. Oh. And entertaining.” Stephen King

When a film gets a quote like that, that’s pretty much a mic drop moment for the filmmakers. On the same token, it now has a lot to live up to when you go see it. But King is dead on with it. The two words that are key in this little review are “smart” and “knowing”. Watching a lot of horror films, it is very easy to see the “set-ups”, like when someone is going to be standing behind a door once its closed, or something about to come flying through a window when the main character is off to the side of the screen with the window in most of the shot. You start to look for something particular to happen when those shots show up. But that is the real beauty to what West has done here. He sets you up for those but is too smart to play into those tropes. He really does keep you guessing. Same goes with the storyline. You go into thinking one thing, because it’s the obviously way to go, but once again takes you down a different path.

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Movie Review: Tales from the Crypt Documentary

Directed by Chip Selby
Starring John Carpenter, Jack Davis, Digby Diehl, Al Feldstein, William M. Gaines, George Romero, Bernie Wrightson

I grew up in the late 60’s / early 70’s, so the horror comics that I remembered reading in my youth were titles like Creepy and Eerie. The moniker Tales from The Crypt was from a movie as far as I knew. Once I started really getting into horror, I kept coming across references to these comic books from the ‘50s. Eventually, I would learn a little more about what EC comics had done a good 10 years before I was born. Then when the reprints started to come out, I was able to see and enjoy these wonderfully created images and stories that caused such a roar back in the mid 50’s.

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Movie Review: Simon, King of the Witches

Directed by Bruce Kessler
Starring Andrew Prine, Brenda Scott, George Paulsin, Norman Burton, Gerald York, Ultra Violet

Back in the early days of VHS, finding a copy of this film was pretty damn tough. It had been released on VHS but was a very rare title if you happened upon it. Plus, the print was so dark and grainy that in many of the scenes you had no idea what was going on because it was pretty much black. But it was one of those cult titles that us film geeks had to seek out. Plus, because it starred Andrew Prine, that made it even more of a treasure to find. Thankfully, when Dark Sky Films released it on DVD, the print was a HUGE improvement where you could actually watch the entire film!

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Movie Review: Slither

Directed by James Gunn
Starring Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, Tania Saulnier, Don Thompson, Brenda James

Back before James Gunn was a huge player in Hollywood, not too long after his days of working for Lloyd Kaufmann and Troma, and shortly after he had written the remake for Dawn of the Dead (2004), he wanted to make a good old fashioned monster movie, like the ones he grew up on in the ‘80s. And he did just that. I went to see Slither in the theater when it came out and just loved it. Unfortunately, not too many other people did go see it and it bombed at the theater, telling Hollywood that nobody wants to see these kinds of films. How wrong they were. The real shame is that just because it didn’t draw in the crowds, it stopped producers taking chances on similar type films.

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Movie Review: Prey (2007)

Directed by Darrell James Roodt
Starring Peter Weller, Bridget Moynaham, Carly Schroeder, Connor Dowds, Jamie Bartlet

In the early 2000s, we got a lot of movies that tried to convince us not to do certain things. Hostel (2005) showed us the troubles of traveling abroad in some of those smaller European countries. Wolf Creek (2005) did the same for the Australian outback. Hell, even some of us are still heeding the warning from Jaws (1975) not to go in the water, that came out almost 50 years ago! And along those same lines, Prey is warning you about those trips through the wilds of Africa where you can see the wildlife firsthand. Never a good idea.

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Movie Review: Monster from Green Hell

Director Kenneth G. Crane
Starring Jim Davis, Robert Griffin, Joel Fluellen, Barbara Turner, Eduardo Ciannelli, Vladimir Sokoloff

I am here today to defend this movie! Yes, it is not the most fast paced, or even well-made film, which includes a lot of walking. I mean, a LOT of walking. But it does have some key elements here that I feel deserves your attention, and is something to be seen and appreciated, if only for one viewing. That is the thing about learning about films. When you learn more and more behind-the-scenes information, as well as about the different people involved, you tend to look at it a little differently. Maybe giving them a little slack for some faults it might have. Just a theory.

First off, we have GIANT WASP MONSTERS! Like a lot of movies from this era where the movie posters promise something that we don’t really get in the actual film, with Monster from Green Hell, we not only get what is promised on the poster, we get it before the first 10 minutes are up!  As a kid, seeing something like a giant wasp head pokes out from behind the bushes and trees and grabs hold of an innocent victim, that would definitely be brought up on the playground the next day at school.

Now while I never saw this on TV as a kid, I did see images of it many times while browsing through different horror & Sci-Fi reference books that I knew I wanted to see it. Plus, being a huge fan of the films that came out in the ‘50s, I am a little more forgiving on things like plot holes, slow pacing, bad acting, or really know storyline, and this film has many of those elements too, but I feel is a little better than most seem to give it credit for.

The story is about some test rockets with some animals and insects that are shot out in space to see how they deal with what is out there, I’m guessing radiation, for a very limited about of time. But when one of the rockets get lost, they just shrug it off and move on, not even too worried about looking for it or to see if did any damage where it landed. Then six months later, they hear of reports of strange attacks and “monsters” in Africa, oddly enough in the same area where they think their rocket crashed. They finally decide to go investigate and find that the wasps that were in the rocket have been affected, growing to huge size, either the size of a bus or building, depending on the shot! It is up to our heroes to destroy these creatures before they destroy the world.

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Movie Review: Terrified

Directed by Demián Rugna
Starring Maximillano Ghione, Norberto Gonzalo, Elvira Onetto, George L. Lewis, Julieta Vallina, Demián Salomón

It is not often that a film can have very little explanation of what is actually going on in the story, even once the final credits roll, and still be as effective as this one. For those who have not seen this yet, I will not mention any spoilers in this first part of my review, only because I feel it would be much better going into this completely blind. But there is so much I feel the need to comment on that in the second part I will go over some moments that I think are just amazing.

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