Tuesday, October 29, 2019


It wasn't quite what I expected.

I still took a rather demented enjoyment in viewing Midsommar, though I was expecting pure experimental trippy visuals with a loose story structure and was more about the experience than the story. But I got a visually interesting movie that may not deliver much on horror but how it affects you on a deeper level could possibly elicit strong emotions. Personally at the end I was on the verge of tears and yet I can't explain why, it has a...cathartic ending if that's the right word choice. But we need to talk story first! A young woman Danni suffered a great tragedy concerning her family and has decided to join her boyfriend on a trip to a remote community in Sweden, where once more ideologies though this time modern clash with Pagan customs and rituals. There's a lot of emphasis on miscommunication and strained relationships in this film, apparently the director made this after he had a break up so take from that what you will but it's interesting regardless. Yet very much in The Wicker Man it never pulls punches and just shows two sides, in fact I almost dare say the people in the community are without a doubt right in their actions because shock of all shocks, the american college kids are negative nancy asshats who just want to eat shrooms and get laid so forgive me if I side with the nice villagers. And truth be told they honestly seem like supremely nice folks, they're not judging or cruel, nor wary of outsiders or just wish to do bad things. They are kind, compassionate, easy going, incredibly sympathetic to other's emotions, and are not even slightly antagonistic. They only take action when symbols and objects of great worth in their religion are defiled and their simple rules are not followed. I get it! I totally get it, I have great respect and humbleness to any religion and would never tread on the toes of people who have pride and faith in it, probably because I'm a decent human being but whatever. Bottom line, I like that little village. Once again it was fascinating to see other customs and rituals, and never once did the film get dull for me. Now granted it is a two and a half hour movie, but it gives you time to get situated, relax, let down your guard then hit you with something gruesome! I was expecting terrifying psychological effects on our main characters because of the actual drug use in the film but nothing too out there occurs. It's more like if you took The Wicker Man, added some Hannibal zest, and just a tiny little bit of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, that's the best way for me to describe it. The film was distributed by A24 who if you honestly look at their filmography you can determine what film this will be, this is the same company who released The Lobster, Killing Of A Sacred Deer, Lady Bird, Under The Skin, Swiss Army Man, and their newly released film The Lighthouse which I fully intend to review as quickly as possible. So quite a few movies I've reviewed in the past, and most of them are very strange yet original film ideas and this movie is no exception. You won't be getting horrified screams or questioning of your own mental faculties out of this film, but it's interesting nevertheless and should be given a shot. I'm definitely looking forward to reading other people's emotional state by the time the credits rolled. And that is sadly the last review of this month, it truly breaks my heart that October is so near ending and yet barely has felt like it's just started. I had a wonderful time this year, and yes I will definitively say The Wicker Man is the best film I saw all month and I genuinely hope you've checked some of these movies out and enjoyed them as much as I did. But what's coming for November before the season which shall not be named on this most hallowed of all months begins? Difficult to say, but there's always something to talk about and worth watching. All my love and best wishes to the monsters, ghouls, slashers, and costumed trick or treaters in the days to come. I hope you have the happiest of Halloween's.

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Wicker Man (1973)

Oh thank the flippin' celestial beings this film wasn't a complete and utter failing of cinema.

I have no issue saying The Wicker Man is a great if not even excellent movie, and I knew it was going to be in less than 10 minutes into the film. All of my complaints with the atrocity that is the remake have been remedied and made great, every aspect of the filmmaking process must be applauded. It's a very 1970s looking film in terms of production, but the editing, cinematography, and overall look of this film is a feast to the eyes. It is gorgeous at times and knows exactly how to build the proper atmosphere and mood. The music also was a surprising but regardless highly entertaining aspect of the film, to the point where one could argue it's a musical but it's just so nice to listen to you don't even mind, it honestly reminded me of more slow folk songs like Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel. I feel the less I say about plot the better, however for a brief synopsis, a police officer is called by an anonymous letter to investigate the disappearance of a child on a remote island and the subsequent investigation of what follows. And boy howdy did the mystery aspect actually work this time, mainly because no one is clearly a shifty eyed suspicious batshit crazy cultist, but I digress. I was genuinely interested to see such a clashing of ideologies, because our policeman Seargant Howie is a very faithful Christian and has endless problems trying to get over the fact that all the inhabitants on Summerisle believe in Pagan rituals and the old gods, it's handled well and while it is a product of a more closed minded time you must know that during such a time period this sort of thing was greatly unheard of. In a predominantly Christian world, Paganism was just too out there to comprehend and rarely seen but the film doesn't pick sides and just shows one ideology against another. Yeah, there's some stuff in the movie even I was slightly confused at but really when you get right down to it all religions are a bit crazy so I greatly appreciate that it's not deviant or sacrilege with these Pagan customs but just another way of life. Which is expertly personified by Lord Summerisle played by Christopher Lee who has went on record to say this was his most favorite role to the point where he worked for free and even pitched in money just to see it get made. Such dedication is not found nowadays. Edward Woodward is a very fine lead, who has intelligence and manners but still has limits and is simply trying to be a good police officer. You get a great feeling of this town and community, not so much in geography but the spirit of the place, it was shot entirely in Scotland and it looks spectacular. Several shots are worth having framed, there is such a precise and dedicated craftsmanship to these shots, they knew exactly how to shoot this movie and what they wanted to achieve with it. It does warrant the R rating but mainly just for some nudity which I'm sure was almost razed to the ground by protests claiming it was pornography, but it's just there to show a difference of culture and views. I love this movie, I seriously need to get my hands on a physical copy as soon as possible, and I dare even say this is the best film I've reviewed this month. This is easily a 4 star, 8/10, highly recommended movie you should treat yourself to watch. It's always interesting to see customs and traditions held by people that you never get to see, and I was always an open minded individual so it was just fascinating to watch this movie even if everything isn't completely accurate. I'm so just absolutely thrilled and so appreciative I got to see this movie, I can't even explain in words how happy I was to see such a expertly made and wonderfully executed film after the unspeakable shitstorm of a betrayal that the remake was. Watch this movie and do the world a favor and perhaps burn the copies of the remake. You might fall into good graces with somebody out there.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The City Of The Dead

I know it has like 3 other titles but I'm calling it this name.

The City Of The Dead is by no means a horror classic, but should be seen at least once by lovers of atmosphere and moody gothic sets. It follows a young college student who is studying witchcraft (Where was that course in my college years?) and is encouraged by her professor to visit an ancient town known for burning witches in the 17th century. And I think we all know whether or not that trip ends badly or not. It's a basic story, with some even comparing it to Psycho though this film actually was in production first but didn't hit the States until 2 years after Psycho. But where the film's strength lies is clearly in the lighting, cinematography, and sets. The film is shot in black and white at a time when it was just cheaper to not shoot in color, but I honestly would hate this film in color, the black and white only elevates the superb set of the town of Whitewood with great lighting and shadows, wonderfully chilling sets built on a controlled soundstage that only further pushes a surreal and nightmarish quality, and fog that would put even John Carpenter to shame. But the acting isn't half bad either with Venetia Stevenson being a very charming and nice lead for a good duration of the film, and Patricia Jessel who is great as the lead witch and is probably her most well known role and for good reason, but I think the biggest reason this film has not slipped into obscurity is because it has Christopher Lee. I was genuinely surprised hearing his voice in this movie, with a clear american accent which he does well and still commands a presence, but just to have that star power in it with this being only 4 years after he became the next horror icon in Hammer's Dracula series is a big reason why more people are aware of it. I genuinely think it's a well made good film, and while the appeal is more on a visual scale you can still enjoy the story and pacing though I must admit it does feel that the movie is on repeat in the second half but I digress, it's a movie that probably hits the cult status more than an underrated horror classic but regardless, if older horror films specifically in black and white with more emphasis on creepy atmosphere and dark set design is your cup of tea then this is definitely a film for you. 3 stars from me, and a definite recommendation. Yet we have one more film from our renowned horror leading man, and next time we finally talk about The Wicker Man.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Fright Night (2011)

Thank God this didn't suck.

Yeah, the original Fright Night fell woefully short for me so I was holding high hopes for the remake to be superior. A rare case indeed in such a line of work as this. And I must say I did enjoy this one much more, in yet another rare case this is actually a remake that isn't superflous. It doesn't tread the same waters beat for beat but actually does something original of it's own while still telling the story, which is how a remake should be done! Keep the basic story of in this case, a teenage boy who suspects and soon discovers his next door neighbor is a vampire and takes matters into his own hands with the help of a now this time occultist magician instead of a TV show host to keep his friends and family safe. I think the cast this time around is great with Anton Yelchin being our main lead, and it was very bittersweet to see him again but he does well and feels like a real person. In fact everyone does, the modern quality of the writing and acting makes every character feel like they're someone in your neighborhood. There's no cliche character types or situations, it just tells the story in an entertaining way. I must admit at first I didn't buy Colin Farrell as a bloodsucker, a dark wizard perhaps but no nosferatu but he won me over as the film went on. I really like both the mom and the girlfriend, they're fun and witty and actually do stuff in the story rather than just be someone to save at the end. But my absolute favorite is David Tennant as this Criss Angel looking performer who actually looks way better and knows much of the supernatural to the point he has an entire armory to fight various beasts and monsters, I mean...it's David Tennant it's incredibly hard not to enjoy him, it's like this mix of Time Lord and ginger haired demon in his performance and it's wonderful. The effects aren't half bad either, only using CG when necessary and does some pretty neat tricks with the whole no reflection or image in cameras. It's a pretty good movie and one I actually don't mind recommending, a remake done well with some good laughs and horror elements, and yeah the characters do some dumb stuff but it doesn't hurt the movie much. It's just a fun decently made movie perfect for a movie night with some friends that's actually a huge improvement over the original. 3 stars, 7/10, a good movie for the season!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Bubba Ho-Tep

I do apologize for the brief lateness of this review, it took me ages to find it and yesterday was hectic. But let's get started on what may be the best horror film I've reviewed this year.

Damn man, that was a great movie. I don't think Bubba Ho-Tep is a great horror film, it's a great film period. And for a story about Elvis Presley and President Kennedy fighting a mummy in a stetson and cowboy boots, it's all that entails and more. It's a B-movie plot but the way it's handled is what really makes this movie special. It stars Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis, as elderly past icons living in a retirement home where no one believes they say who they are and pretty soon there's a mummy about. Why does he have a cowboy hat and boots? Beats the hell out of me, but the mummy is the most underrated monster that deserves more love and attention in my humble opinion so I don't even care. It's all a part of the style of the film, and everything works because of the writing and acting. You don't actually see the mummy much, only about 4 times including the climax, but what makes the movie great is the performance of Bruce Campbell. Now he's always done a fine job in his roles but I'll be damned if I didn't say this was his best role, and I'll stand by that to my dying day. The story focuses a lot more on how Elvis got to the retirement home and his surprisingly deep and philosophical musings and thoughts. I'm serious man if there wasn't any supernatural whatsit's going on and just focused on these two characters I wouldn't mind a bit. He thinks about his past life, his decisions, his regrets, how much time he's spent stuck in a bed, and it's really something special. I can't really explain it, though the film is a comedy it's not afraid to ask some questions about life and it's handled seriously with sincere acting. It's easily the best part of the entire movie and it would take me ages to say how much I truly love it. But it's not just the writing, it's shot very well, the editing is a bit odd but it's nothing that will hurt your enjoyment, the cast is small but the performances of our leads just knock it out of the park. I also recognized a few things related to other mummy movies, the film takes place in East Texas which is already pretty great cause that's where I'm from but it ain't the first mummy movie to take place in the south, the Universal Mummy movies centered around Kharis took place in Louisiana, and there's even more callbacks to that series. The tanna leaves are mentioned which is a key component for ressurecting the mummy, the best weapon of choice is fire, and a strangulation scene is much appreciated. You could honestly look past the horror aspects and see this film as a drama with some damn funny comedy in it, so even if this sounds like a ridiculous movie and it is, you shouldn't cast it aside. It has been awhile since I've seen something this great in terms of writing, this is an absolutely fantastic film which I couldn't recommend more if I tried. 4 stars, 8/10, this is a must see movie for horror fans or people with a good sense of humor or for those who just like a good story. And I can't even begin to say how sorry I am I didn't bring it to your attention sooner, watch this movie regardless of whether it's October or not, you owe it to yourself. Rent it, buy it, watch it, love it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Um...yeahhh. This, this is real. God help me.

Why am I reviewing this movie? I don't even know at this point. I have completely lost my damn mind this year, and I don't even care. The short review is, see it. Just see it. I'd almost compare it to a Troma movie but there's actual gore in a Troma movie though that nudity quota is matched! Okay, I gotta calm down and try to relay this plot. So our story focuses on Jeffrey who recently lost his fiancee to a tragic lawnmower accident, just bear with me, and is desperately trying to reanimate her corpse. That is bare bones plot and I honestly want to talk about the movie in depth, no spoilers but certain aspects of story progression will come up. But first, let's talk cast. James Lorinz could not have been more perfectly cast in my opinion, he's very dry and blunt in the comedy but also hits that unhinged aspect and is a real treat to watch. Believe it or not this was Patty Mullen's second and last film, and it kinda breaks my heart that it was because she friggin' cracked me up and for a shambling corpse she has a lot of charm and lovability, and she has a real good sense of humor if nothing else for accepting this part. The movie is a comedy first and is evident from the first scene where Jeffrey is experimenting on a strange one eyed creature's brain so he already found a cyclops somehow, and he's putting a scalpel into the brain on a dinner table and his future mother in law just asks, can you pass the ketchup for me? It's completely absurd but in a way so is the original story by Mary Shelley, and it only gets more bizarre from there. I dare not spoil exactly how he gets the body parts to rebuild his girlfriend but you're gonna laugh if only because you won't believe your eyes. I was actually surprised at the pacing of this movie, it doesn't even clock in at an hour and a half and you don't actually see the, oh God please don't make me type it again, the girl until about an hour in. But then I thought well that's how it was in The Bride Of Frankenstein, she didn't turn up until practically the end, but even then Elizabeth gets a lot more screen time than the Bride for sure. I'm going to lose any and all credibility as any form of movie critic, but I loved this movie. I absolutely loved it, it's an absurdist comedy and I couldn't get enough of it. I was genuinely invested in the romance and the design of the...girl was unique but recognizable and I just digged that purple hair. The film is shot well with tons of just various filth in almost every scene, whether it be graffiti, seedy bars, cigarette machines, or trashy hotel rooms. It might be trash to some people, but the old saying one person's trash is another person's treasure could not be more appropriate in this context. And if you even need one more opinion to push for this movie here it is, Bill Murray said "If you only see one movie this year, it should be Frankenhooker!". Enough said. 4 stars, check it out! This movie came out in 1990 and boy howdy did it set a benchmark for the movies of that decade, Jurassic Park ain't got nothing on this science experiment run amok!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Howling 2: Your Sister Is A Werewolf

I kinda liked it.

I mean, it's not that good a movie if you judge it by other movies however if you go into this wanting some B-movie fun you will have a blast! So yeah, I'm reviewing the sequel to a quite good werewolf movie before the first but why? Well I wanted to showcase some lesser known horror cult hits this week and any movie that has Christopher Lee and Reb Brown in it is clearly up my alley. Yes, this story follows Christopher Lee who takes on a Van Helsing-esque part who recruits the help of the original Captain America and David Ryder himself Reb Brown to hunt down a powerful sorceress in control of a werewolf clan played by B-movie bombshell Sybil Danning. It is such a ridiculous premise it is hard not to immediately enjoy it. Where do I start? Well the film is in fact a true sequel, not so much in spirit but plot of the first Howling movie and first in a long line of 7 Howling movies each with radically different quality production and stories. The film takes a horror comedy spin on it but I assure you the comedy is completely unintentional, you just can't watch this movie with a straight face and not laugh in derision. Yet I love it, it's one of the most entertaining horror movies I've seen in awhile and it's a perfect flick for a movie night with friends and variable quantities of alcohol. I could make a drinking game around the bizarre editing choices but I'm afraid you would die of alcohol poisoning before half of the film is over. It's a strange film in terms of production, the editing keeps jumping to nonsensical shots of various things and creature effects, you hardly ever see a werewolf in full special effects glory but are instead treated to brief glimpses of transformations and out of place close up shots of the creatures which fit no scene whatsoever. It's a miracle of bad editing and composition. And yet at the same time, the movie does have decent sets and each establishing shot is done well so it's a bit of half and half. Acting is much of the same, with Christopher Lee and Sybil Danning each completely owning their parts and are completely believable as these opposing forces of good and evil. Sybil Danning is great and while she is quite beautiful her acting is still strong and is a woman I would dare not even think about crossing. Christopher Lee is excellent as always with this being his first and as far as I know last werewolf film and probably for good reason, he wasn't exactly a fan of the production and actually apologized to the director of the first Howling movie Joe Dante for being in this film, but he stuck with it and is easily the saving grace of the entire picture. Reb Brown is well Reb Brown who is here to kick ass and scream loudly, now I friggin' love Reb Brown and consider him to be the most underrated action star of all time and the movie uses him correctly, he is a werewolf killing machine and emits his thunderous warcry several times. Awesome! I will say however I think the writers got their mythos mixed up severely even though this was adapted from a novel, and no doubt incredibly loosly adapted at that because well the weapons against werewolves are....familiar. Pop quiz everyone! What do these things have in common, holy water, religious symbols, stakes, and the literal cup of Christ? That is correct, these are tools used to combat vampires! Not werewolves! Oh and just for another bonus point on our pop quiz what is the country of Transylvania most known for? If you guessed werewolves you do not get a sticky star. Was this a vampire movie beforehand and then Christopher Lee signed up and then they had to rewrite the script so it wasn't vampires? I just don't get it. This film is an absolute hot mess, and it warrants that R rating like nobody's buisness! I was honestly surprised at the amount of nudity in this movie, I mean I know horror movies especially in the 80s have a nipple shot here or there but this is pushing it to softcore spank material. It gets kinda raunchy and Sybil Danning is shown topless not once, or twice, or three times a lady, but about 19 times! Nineteen! With 17 of those times being repeated during the ending credits! It gets gratuitous and I am in no way a prude or have anything against nudity or sexual situations in film but good lord this was a lot. I don't even think I can rate the movie, because how do you judge it? On a normal basis it might get a 5/10, but if you're a fan of out there 80s horror and I do mean out there it's like a 8 or 9/10. This movie is a trip and I have no problem saying I really liked this movie, and yes I do recommend it if this sounds like your cup of tea. I've seen worse werewolf movies in my time, and especially so in the same series as this movie, so take from that what you will. I'm kinda speechless, I'm not entirely sure what I just watched but damn that soundtrack is catchy! Okay enough of that, I gotta go and I'll see you next time with uh....we'll talk about it next time.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Addams Family (2019)

It couldn't be a better day.

Bleak skies, cold rushing winds, a wonderfully creepy film, it's perfect. I loved this movie, they did dang near everything right with only one or two major grumbles, they treated the film with love and appreciation and for that it has my love and likewise approval. This is more of a love letter to the 60s series with dashes of the 90s movies and it balances very well. We follow our favorite macabre family once more as Gomez and Morticia find a perfectly haunted house and begin to raise their family, as they soon decide due to Wednesday's intrigue to venture down to the quaint and colorful town below to introduce themselves. But shock of all shocks they're not well liked and soon through a fear mongering retailer decide to oust the family from their town leading to a genuinely nice resolution. The first thing I have to say is, there is a bit of Hotel Transylvania in this, a group of people are chased into hiding in a large luxurious house before a young girl is interested in the outside world and forces both worlds to collide, and this really isn't a bad thing. Because it's a decent story and because they actually do something entirely of their own with it, it's not a ripoff of Hotel Transylvania but you do see some elements there. The animation style is excellent with the original designs by Charles Addams used for the characters and they all look great, with gorgeously gruesome backgrounds and great color choice. The cast was great I mean you have Oscar Isaac as Gomez which is already spot on, but Charlize Theron is wonderful as Morticia, Chloe Grace Moretz kinda stole the show as Wednesday which is funny because Wednesday in the show was just a cute girl and was nowhere near as morbidly hilarious as she's been in the past 25 years, Finn Wolfhard is really good as Pugsley, and even Nick Kroll was cast surprisingly effective as Uncle Fester, so cast is great without a doubt. I had a blast with the comedy also but I've always had an odd and dark sense of humor so of course I loved it and it made me laugh quite a lot and even when I wasn't laughing I had the biggest smile on my face and and a gross warm feeling in my chest cavity. Not many films can do that. The satire was also updated from the 90s movies going from a critique of shallow suburban life to shallow modern life with the town literally called Assimilation, where everyone is exactly the same, everyone is using their phones to know what the other neighbors are doing, and security cameras are everywhere. It's not trying to make a big statement but just poke fun at the tropes of today, and while some people would say it dates the film I don't think so. Originally Illumination was going to make an Addams Family movie but it got cancelled and I'm honestly thankful for that, I don't completely despise Illumination's movies but I'm just very happy it turned out the way it did. Now it does have some pop culture references but it's not horrendous, it's just cute gags and is not trying to be totally hip with the fellow kids, even with Snoop Dogg voicing Cousin Itt it still sounds like Cousin Itt (also known as the funniest thing in the world and I have no idea why)! They treated it with respect and not just some cash grab with a recognizable license, they wanted to make a fun and entertaining movie and that's exactly what they accomplished! It's great to see whether with friends, yourself, or just your family, it's just a nice well made animated movie. Maybe not a great movie, but I don't think it's trying to be a great movie and trust me when I say there has never been anything wrong with that. I give the movie 3.5 stars check it out! A lovely movie for the spooky season that might make you appreciate it even more.

Next week some cult favorites from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Addams Family Values

I'll be totally clear, I don't hate this movie. In fact I enjoy this movie but does it surpass the first? Yes and no.

Our story focuses once again on Uncle Fester who ends up actually getting married to a seemingly nice lady named Debbie who turns out to be a money obssesed psycho. It happens. Meanwhile Gomez and Morticia have had their third child and due to Wednesday and Pugsley not liking the baby much along with Debbie's suggestion get sent to a summer camp. Now I think I can safely say everyone loves the camp scenes in this movie, and most will agree it is the best parts of the movie. But why exactly? It's by no means an admission to the marriage plot line being bad, but there's really not much going on except for several humorous attempts on Fester's life. So there's a hell of a lot of comedy in the camp scenes and genuinely has a conflict and story, and to be brutally honest I feel much the same way Wednesday and Pugsley feel toward the camp. I'd rather choke and die than go there, it's so....suburban. But it leads to some great comedy, this is so much more the film where Christina Ricci gets to shine, she's outstanding in this movie! Again, not to say the rest of the cast does bad cause Christopher Lloyd still does good and he is completely whipped in this movie which causes turmoil in the family which is an element I like, Anjelica Huston is still lovely and has some great lines, Carol Kane actually really cracked me up as the grandmother and I just adore Carol Kane so nothing but love there, and Raul Julia though not having much to do this film around still gives a great and very funny performance with a killer dance scene with Morticia. I think the reason this film does not surpass the first is, though it does have excellent scenes there's not much for the family to do, we're either focused on the marriage or the camp scenes despite there being a new member of the family. So it just doesn't give as much time to the other family members, and I know the entire conflict of the last movie is a bit shoehorned in because The Addams Family is above such scenarios but it still worked, and though the idea of a black widow marrying into the family could be quite funny not much is made of it. But you should still see it to judge it on it's own merits and to see if you liked it more than me. The only highlights are the camp scenes and Raul Julia, which is a shame because I love these actors and I love these characters very much and I know you can make entertaining stories and great humor from one of pop culture's most famous families. Regardless of decade or iteration, from the 60s series, to the 70s animated show, to friggin' Scooby-Doo, to these movies and beyond, The Addams Family always holds a place of undying love in my heart and I am always happy to see them time and again. Especially Lurch, because he's my favorite. I'm very interested to see what the new movie has in store, and already was putting it on my calendar just from seeing the comic strip designs for the characters, and I'll tell you what I think of it on Friday. But don't be afraid to pay a call on The Addams Family throughout this month, for it is always a grand spooky time in their house regardless of day or season. Until we meet again.

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Addams Family

I love this movie.

I've always been a fan of The Addams Family since I was dreadfully young, and this movie has always been a favorite. I'm absolutely thrilled to finally be able to see an Addams Family movie in theaters so it was high time to talk about the still loved duology from the 90s. So our story begins with Uncle Fester returning after 25 years since he disappeared, but all is not as it seems since Uncle Fester has suffered amnesia and is part of a team ready to rob the Addams blind, so we spend time with the family and see the connection begin to grow between Fester and the family before the final resolution. Yeah, this isn't a film for it's plot but more just to be a very fun movie for everyone and it succeeds greatly. This is the better of the two movies but more on the second next time, but for now let us delve deeper. This is such a funny and entertaining movie, I dare even say that the reason it's took about 25+ years for a new Addams Family movie is because the casting could not have been more perfect. I mean really ask yourself, who could have played these parts better during that time and place in the world? No one. Raul Julia is the stuff of legend, Anjelica Huston does give Carolyn Jones a run for her money, Christopher Lloyd is great and because the story focuses on Uncle Fester you get a lot of screen time with him, and well let's be honest Christina Ricci was created to be Wednesday, and the rest of the cast is just as great. The comedy is really good, it can easily make me either smile or bust out laughing, but when you have a good script and expertly delivered lines by great actors it's hard not to laugh! There's just a lot to love in this movie from the design, to the comedy, the timeless characters, even the effects. I was surprised by the effects to be honest, I mean I don't know how they pulled half of it off from Thing to even just simple throwaway gags like the books, it's quite amazing. I could praise the movie all day, but this movie grabbed my love from the very get go where our macabre family greet Christmas carolers by pouring hot oil on them. It speaks to my very soul. Though easily the best scene in the entire movie is the Mamushka, such great music and energy! This movie really does showcase Raul Julia the more I think about it, he can dance, sing, swordfight, his charisma leaps off the screen and is a bittersweet joy to experience. Raul Julia always said this was his favorite role to play because he enjoyed entertaining children and it always brought a smile to his face to see people recognize him as Gomez, and if there ever was just one single reason to watch this movie it is because of him. I definitely recommend this movie to all ages and all families, this is a funny and well done movie, easily a solid 4 stars check it out!

And we'll be back next time to look at the sequel.

Friday, October 4, 2019


This is how it happened, this is how the Joker was born.

This movie, was everything I wanted it to be. I was not expecting groundbreaking cinema, but I was expecting a mature, dark, unapologetic, essentially a character study into the best comic book villain ever created. And the movie delivered it with flying colors, I was not even slightly disappointed, I'm just so happy. Most people would severely argue against an origin story for the Joker, saying it would take all the menace and intrigue out of the character but this film proves otherwise as we see Arthur Fleck live his life in Gotham while dealing with mental illness and trying to make something of himself. I am trying desperately not to talk about every scene because you should see the movie, though I'm pretty sure if you haven't seen it today you're no doubt going to see it over the weekend. So I will not divulge too much information, I just want to say this much. This movie takes single strands from The Killing Joke, not a lot, but there is stuff there and not only makes it a good if not great movie but builds upon it more. The story and characters could not have been pulled off better, Joaquin Phoenix's performance is so good I wouldn't be surprised if he snagged several awards. This film shows everything in a brutally and unapologetic way, to where you feel uncomfortable, you feel uneasy, maybe even scared, and that's exactly what you should do! You would not like being in the company of an individual like the Joker, and the movie isn't afraid of going all in. It's actually a DC movie that fully warrants the R rating, but it doesn't throw in an F-word here or some blood there just for the rating, it's all there for a purpose. To show a seedy and more adult movie about a comic book character, I mean Gotham has never looked worst, it's like if the Gotham television series and Taxi Driver combined, and it feels genuine and real. Everybody says The Dark Knight trilogy was more realistic and grounded, but guys even I can see the idea of a guy dressing up as a bat to fight criminals is still pretty hokey even with some swanky hi-tech toys, but this though could feel like it could happen tomorrow. All it takes is one bad day, and we all have had bad days. Bottom line, I loved this movie, like love it to the point I need to see it again and again before it even hits video! It gave me everything I wanted and then some, and I'm just gonna say it. Joaquin Phoenix is the true successor to Heath Ledger, and I don't actually have problems with Jared Leto cause there's been countless iterations of this character so I can roll with it being different, but I may need more time to sit on this but Joaquin took what Heath had and did more with it. Am I slamming Heath? Of course not. But really look at this big picture, 1989 hit and Jack Nicholson made the Joker more popular than ever, best Joker ever. For almost 20 damn years he held that, then Heath Ledger hit the scene and was a big contributing factor for why The Dark Knight is the best comic book movie ever made as well as one of the best films ever made and people lost their fudge over Heath Ledger. He took it to the next level. Those are huge shoes to fill but I think Joaquin pulled it off and gave us not only a Heath Ledger level of performance but went even further. You'd be okay if this was how the Joker was actually made even though the timeline is completely screwed cause he's like late 30s to earlt 40s and Bruce is like...8, but you don't even care. They played their cards right and it came in aces. I really hope this can lead to more standalone comic movies, they don't even have to be for a mature audience, just tell a great story with recognizable characters. I hope this movie garners more critical love as well as a huge fan following, and I'll be keeping my eyes open for finely dressed clowns this Halloween. Joker gets a 9/10.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Black Cat (1934)

We've made it. It's finally here! Happy October!

I wanted to get at least one movie from the 1930s in this month and I realized I never talked about The Black Cat which is one of my favorites from the Universal golden age of horror that not many people know about. If I remember correctly this was the first film to bring the two biggest horror stars of the time in one picture, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff and I have to say they bring their all into this movie. The story follows a couple on their honeymoon that meet a doctor by the name of Vitus Werdegast played by Lugosi, who suffer a car crash on the way to Hjalmar Poelzig's house with Poelzig played by Karloff. Very soon when you meet Werdegast you suspect there's something more to this trip and it is soon revealed that Poelzig betrayed him during wartime and now he seeks vengeance. That's the basics but there's more to touch on later. Besides the two titans of terror how's the rest of the cast? Well at first I found the couple to be pretty standard for 1930s cinema but they grew on me a little and you don't wish any ill will toward them, but let's be honest you see this movie because of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff and they play their parts expertly. Lugosi plays the part with sophistication and determination, fuelled by his hatred for the man who ruined his life, he was tortured during a war and says his soul was slowly killed so there's a level of madness to him though he is our protagonist. Karloff is imposing and devilishly evil, and rightly so because it is revealed he is a Satanist and intends to sacrifice the newly wedded wife, but the film builds his character up incredibly well and you want to see him get his comeuppance. This is a wonderfully shot movie with beautiful set design that feels both gothic and surprisingly modern. Poelzig's home is amazing and wouldn't feel out of place even in today's market, but has a dark underbelly that is creepy and morbid. I'm always surprised by the cinematography in this film, you just hardly ever saw such films being made this way, with switching focuses on foreground and background, seeing characters through the use of mirrors, and the use of light and shadows throughout, it might not be much but such experimental effort gets bonus points from me. You saw this type of filmmaking more often in foreign cinema than the Hollywood industry. I have no doubts the movie was banned in certain places in it's time, dealing with torture, revenge, Satanism, necrophilia, and human sacrifice, this was an entirely different beast for that time period. But it has that atmosphere, class acting, and grim subject matter to entertain any horror fan. I will say though they took the title from a story by Edgar Allan Poe, it has nothing to do with it, there is a black cat but it's used as a symbol of undying evil and is the phobia of Werdegast. Me personally, I would treasure such a creature, so deem me a Satanist if you wish but I'm a great admirer of black cats. This is a lesser known gem of the Universal library and you should see it, don't worry about runtime, you can finish it in barely over an hour. Yeah, I'm almost certain it was part of a double bill but it can be viewed on it's own. Definitely recommend it, 4 stars, 7.5/10, this showcases the acting talents of two great stars beyond their most iconic roles so check it out!

Well I think you know what's next, and I'm going to have the biggest smile on my face this Friday.