I fear this site seems static to the normal visitor. But this is not true. I’m constantly adding things. The problem is that most of what I’m adding are capsule reviews in the Short Takes section of the site.
So I figured maybe I should create posts to talk about what I’m adding.
- 12 Monkeys (1995): one of the best films ever made. I don’t think that’s hyperbolic. It’s Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece — propelled beyond Brail because of David & Janet Peoples’ fantastic script.
- Addams Family Values (1993): this Barry Sonnenfeld film (plus the original) holds up remarkably well with a good script and great acting. I still watch it from time to time even though you really can’t beat the original series.
- Army of Darkness (1992): I like this film a lot but I don’t think it is that good. The middle is kind of a mess. And it bugs me that Ash drinks boiling water to kill the creature inside himself. How does that make sense? But mostly, it’s just way too silly for the beginning and ending. It does, however, set up Ash vs Evil Dead, which is a hell of a lot of fun.
- The Blair Witch Project (1999): everyone I know talks smack about this film. I get that they are all embarrassed that they were wrong and I was right when it came out: it wasn’t actual found footage; it was just a clever storytelling device. But that’s no reason to pretend it isn’t a great film.
- Blind Fury (1989): Zatoichi in America. I’m not sure you can go wrong with a blind Vietnam vet who’s a badass with a sword. Who knows why the film wasn’t a hit except that it comes off a bit too much like a television movie. It’s loads of fun regardless.
- Bloody Mallory (2002): I love this film but I’m not sure others will. It’s pretty wacky with a crack team of demon hunters headed by Mallory with her knuckles tattooed with “FUCK EVIL.” It’s also very woke with strong cis and trans women. YouTube skeptics would love its anti-religious bent but not the fact that the filmmakers clearly like women.
- Cast a Deadly Spell (1991): this is Raymond Chandler meets Terry Pratchett. It’s also very self-conscience and meta. They kind of blew the sequel by casting Dennis Hopper. This one is perfect with Fred Ward.
- Christmas Evil (1980): it’s hard to believe this film is so little seen. It’s about a meek guy who is obsessed with Christmas and decides to become Santa — giving out toys to the good and vengeance to the bad. Essential Christmas viewing if you can get everyone to stop watching football or drag racing or whatever.
- Dolls (1987): killer dolls, kinda. It’s a dark house film where all the bad people are cleverly killed by dolls and the good people live happily ever after. I use it as a lift-me-up when I’m feeling down.
- Grave of the Vampire (1974): a halfbreed seeks vengeance against the vampire who raped his mother. This is an odd one with some nice touches like feeding the halfbreed blood out of a bottle.
Bootlegger’s Drive-in Saturday Night
I have Grave of the Vampire on a great DVD collection called Bootlegger’s Drive-in Saturday Night. Each of the discs contained two films. That one came with The Werewolf of Washington. It also has previews, intermission, and a reminder to replace the speaker before you drive away. You can get it and the other editions on Archive.org.
There are a lot of notable actors in these films: Lynn Bari, Antony Carbone, John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr, Jackie Coogan, Sid Haig, Dennis Hopper, Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Dorothy Malone, Dick Miller, Jack Nicholson, Carol Ohmart, Basil Rathbone, Robert Reed, Steve Reeves, William Shatner, William Smith, Dean Stockwell, Rod Taylor, Mamie Van Doren, and Yvette Vickers.
So check them out! It’s a lot of fun to watch them all together with the filler material. And some of the films are great!
- Ring of Terror (1962) / Trauma (1962)
- War of the Satellites (1958) / Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965)
- Vulcan Son of Jupiter (1962) / Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops (1961)
- Colossus and the Headhunters (1963) / Colossus and the Amazon Queen (1960)
- Hercules Against the Barbarians (1964) / Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964)
- Hercules (1958) / Hercules Unchained (1959)
- The Snow Creature (1954) / The Phantom Planet (1961)
- The Fast and the Furious (1955) / The Intruder (1962)
- Night Tide (1961) / Horror Hotel (1960)
- The Werewolf of Washington (1973) / Grave of the Vampire (1972)
- Venus Against the Son of Hercules (1962) / Hercules the Invincible (1964)
- Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) / Bloody Pit of Horror (1965)
- The Brain (1962) / Werewolf in a Girls’ Dormitory (1961)
- Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon (1964) / Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)
- The Terror (1963) / Dementia 13 (1963)
- Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966) / Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (1966)
- The Killer Shrews (1959) / The Giant Gila Monster (1959)
- Ski Troop Attack (1960) / Swamp Women (1956)
- The Terror of Rome Against the Son of Hercules (1964) / Triumph of the Son of Hercules (1961)
- The Wasp Woman (1959) / Last Woman on Earth (1960)
- Night of the Blood Beast (1958) / Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)
- Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961) / The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
- Mesa of Lost Women (1953) / The Amazing Transparent Man (1960)
- Teenage Zombies (1959) / The Screaming Skull (1958)
- Beast from Haunted Cave (1959) / A Bucket of Blood (1959)
- Bloodlust! (1961) / Carnival of Souls (1962)
- The Beach Girls and the Monster (1965) / Spider Baby (1968)
- Giant from the Unknown (1958) / Frankenstein’s Daughter (1958) — removed from Archive.org
- Battle Beyond the Sun (1959) / Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968)
As you can probably tell with the titles I’ve added to Short Takes, I’m going through my personal collection. As a result, I tend to be a bit more keen on these than I am other films.
But as always: there are no bad films only limited viewers.