Another month, another dozen or so films. And this month, I’ve waded into some new territory — for good and ill.
As you may recall, I decided to do these posts so that people could see the new things that were happening here. But it turns out that other things have been happening on the blog.
I discovered an old Ed Wood short film, “Final Curtain.” It is interesting and shows some important things about him as a filmmaker. I also noticed what no one else did: Jenny Stevens is Ed Wood. Can it be that I’m one of the few people who actually takes Wood seriously?
Rather than wait any longer to write my grand discussion of his career, I wrote, Every JR Bookwalter Film Ranked. Bookwalter linked to it on his Facebook page and sent a huge amount of traffic over. He wrote, “To me, they’re all redheaded stepchildren, but feel free to take a stab at ranking if you dare!” My whole point of writing it was to get him to admit that Robot Ninja was better than Chickboxer…
Now onto the new additions to our Short Takes.
- The 13th Floor (1988): a sweet revenge-horror coming-of-age film about a young woman and her gangster father. It’s one of an increasing number of films that I’ve only managed to see via a terrible print. The days of the VHS were great because stores were desperate for content so everything was released. Now lots of films, like this one have never been released on disc. Note: there are a couple of other films with the same name.
- The Addams Family (1964-1966): the television series based on the cartoon. When I was a kid, I preferred The Munsters. But over time, I’ve come to appreciate The Addams Family more. I bought the whole series recently and I wasn’t disappointed. Carolyn Jones and John Astin are wonderful.
- Avenging Force: The Scarab (2010): a no-budget super-hero movie. It’s kind of amazing what Brett Kelly manages to do here. It’s pretty dorky and not close to my favorite of his films. But it is something to behold. You might want to wait until it is available on Amazon Prime, however.
- A Bucket of Blood (1959): this is the perfect film to introduce your friends to Dick Miller. And Corman does an excellent job with the material. It’s surprising that he didn’t do more comedy because he was rather good at it. It’s available for free on Archive.org.
- Dead Man (1995): another example of how art and psychotronic film so often overlap. It isn’t a traditional narrative but it’s constantly engaging and generally very funny. There is a copy on Archive.org so you really have no excuse for not seeing it.
- From Dusk Till Dawn (1996): most people think this is the best of the three films. I think it’s the weakest. It’s very silly yet the first have of the film is done very seriously. People are used to it but it doesn’t work as well as it does in the later films.
- From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999): this one never takes itself seriously. It’s a lot of goofy fun. And I really like Robert Patrick. I don’t think he gets enough credit.
- From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter (2000): probably the best of the three, Michael Parks steals the show. It’s fun to imagine that this is what really happened to Ambrose Bierce.
- Ghoul School (1990): despite all the problems this film clearly had, it’s quite a lot of fun. And I love the gore! Bookwalter and company may not have had a lot of money but they stepped up brilliantly. Of course, this is exactly my kind of film.
- Going Hog Wild (1988): a series of mud-wrestling matches. I’d hoped that it would be more. It’s not exactly my kind of thing but I’m sure there is a good audience for it. See my blog post about it.
- Scanners (1981): this was probably the first Cronenberg film I saw. And it holds up really well. A lot of things really come together in it. He managed to take the ideas of Stereo and put them into a solid thriller.
- Singam II (2013): my first Indian action film. Although not technically Bollywood, it’s still Bollywood. I’m looking forward to watching more of these. It’s quite remarkable.
- The Valley of Gwangi (1969): who knew that Ray Harryhausen made a western? Even apart from the animation, this film is pretty good. I prefer The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, but this one is still good.
It was a good month for films. I’m still trying to get the films in my personal library done but I didn’t make much progress this month. It’s more fun to add new stuff. But slowly I’ll get there.
I already have another blog post scheduled for next week. So I think that’s going to continue to happen. There’s always plenty to write about. It’s just a question of having the time.