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SATURDAY NIGHTS @ 11 PM EST / 10 PM CST on WCUN!

 Return of the Living Dead, 1985, Dan O'Bannon.

NIGHT VISIONS is where we offer up our capsule reviews of genre films as well as the occasional bad line reading, and bonkers death scene  from the cinema boneyard. Be warned that these reviews are stream-of-consciousness and under the influence. While they are generally spoiler-free they are also often plot and rating free. As always, all respect due to the filmmakers and performers that have provided us with so many hours of cinematic bliss. 

GNAW: Food of the Gods II

GNAW: FOOD OF THE GODS II (1989) Dir. Damian Lee. Written by Richard Bennet and Mike Werb. Starring: Paul Coufos, Lisa Schrage, Real Andrews. Directed by Damian Lee, Written by Richard Bennet and Mike Werb.

THE DEVIL'S RAIN

THE DEVIL'S RAIN (1975) Dir. Robert Fuest. Written by Gabe Essoe, James Ashton and Gerald Hopman. Starring: Ernest Borgnine, William Shatner, Ida Lupino, Keenan Wynn, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, Joan Prather, John Travolta, and Anton Lavey.

Heaven help us all when the Devil's Rain!

The Devil's Rain could easily be considered, along with Race with the Devil, one of the more baroque opening shots of the Satanic Panic paranoia that started in the late 60's, flourished in the 70's and would eventually peter out in the 80's. While no…

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SPLIT SECOND

SPLIT SECOND (1992) Dir. Tony Maylam. Written by Gary Scott Thompson. Starring: Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair Duncan, Alun Armstrong, Pete Postlethwaite, and Michael J. Pollard.

 

 

He's seen the future. Now he has to kill it. 

 

A flooded London is a great setting for a Sci-Fi Horror hybrid like this. Mix in some not too serious Rutger Hauer with a jones for chocolate, coffee, cigars and heavy artillery and you've got a fun diversion to help that six-pack i…

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bad line reading #1

BAD LINE READING #7: VIDEODROME

Videodrome is a masterpiece. I'm not here to argue the point, however I can admit there is at least one terrible line reading in the film and while I am inclined to believe the line reading is Cronenberg's intention and not James Woods' acting, it doesn't change my opinion that the scene would have been better delivered with a modicum of enthusiasm. Written as an obvious play on the superfluous See You in Hell! See You in Pittsburgh is delivered by James Woods as if an afterthought instead of the tongue-in-cheek one-liner it appears to be on the written page. Cronenberg's desire may very well have been to undermine the typical macho one-liner often delivered in action films after the dispatching of enemies, and if that's the case it works in so far as it robs the surreal murder of Harlan of any kind of visceral excitement, but at what cost?! 

THE PUNISHER: WAR ZONE

THE PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (2008) Dir. Lexi Alexander. Written by Nick Santora, Art Marcum, & Matt Holloway. Starring: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, Julie Benz, Wayne Night, Doug Hutchison, and Dash Mihok.

Vengeance has a name. 

The fact that we've had the best possible actor to play Wolverine actually playing Wolverine for more than a decade and the studios are just now deciding to let the filmmakers do it right with Logan—when Hugh Jackman is supposedly done with the character—gives me blu…

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VAMP

VAMP (1986) Dir. Richard Wenk. Written by Richard Wenk, based on a Story by Donald P. Borchers and Richard Wenk. Starring: Grace Jones, Chris Makepeace, Robert Rusler, Billy Drago, Gedde Watanabe, Deedee Pfeiffer, Sandy Baron, and Paunita Nichols.

Ever have one of those nights?

Look at Grace Jones, right here and now and submit to the baddest bitch of the eighties. A terrifyingly beautiful example of an utterly unique woman doing shit her way. It's always baffled me that the notoriously vanilla gatekeepers ever let her into the collect…

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FULL ECLIPSE

FULL ECLIPSE (1993) Dir. Anthony Hickox. Written by Richard Christian Matheson, and Michael Reeves. Starring: Mario Van Peebles, Patsy Kinsit, Bruce Payne, Jennifer Rubin, Jason Beghe, and Paula Marshall.

There's a new police force on the streets... and they only come out at night.

I've got a soft spot in my black heart for made for HBO movies, Patsy Kensit and Anthony Hickox as a director. Call it a side effect of coming of age during the heyday of all three. Full Eclipse then is a triple thr…

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BAD LINE READING #2

BAD LINE READING #6: TOUGH GUYS DON'T DANCE

 

While I have never been a big fan of Ryan O'Neil, I sure love this movie and a huge part of that love is because of how bad O'Neil is in it. If you don't believe me just take a look at this clip and behold the wonder of a one-time stars total disintegration in the shadow of Norman Mailer's fancy. The other reasons to love this movie unconditionally are Debra Sandland/Stipe as Patty Lareine, a gorgeous blonde with a terrible accent and a foul mouth, Isabella Rossellini as the forever put-upon ex-girlfriend, Laurence Tierney as the tough guy who doesn't dance, Wings "Ramrod" Hauser as the maniac Police Captain fond of chopping heads, Penn Jillette as a Swinging Preacher called Big Stoop, and Clarence Williams III as Patty Lareine's cryptically in the know chauffeur. Plus we get dialogue like this: "Are you trying to wake up all the ghosts in hell town? ", "You Yankees got tongues like tallywhackers," "I just deep-sixed two heads," and "My pussy hair used to be golden until I scorched it with the football team." The fact that Norman Mailer directed and Angelo Badalamenti scored is just icing on the weirdo cake.  As a side note, I am pretty sure Lynch was intensely influenced by this film when he started down the rabbit hole of Twin Peaks. 

TWO EVIL EYES

TWO EVIL EYES (1990) Dir. George A. Romero & Dario Argento. Written by Franco Ferrini, Peter Koper, George A. Romero, Dario Argento and based on Stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Starring: Adrienne Barbeau, E.G. Marshall, Harvey Keitel, Tom Atkins, and John

When I wake you . . . You'll be dead.

I'm never quite sure what to make of my fellow horror fan's taste. The casual, mainstream viewer with a taste for the macabre is easy enough to figure, but the seasoned ghoul down in the trenches with the rest of us can sometimes perplex me. They can ratt…

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The Hard Way

THE HARD WAY (1991) Dir. John Badham. Written by Lem Hobbs and Daniel Pyne. Starring: James Woods, Michael J. Fox, Anabella Sciorra, Stephen Lang, Luis Guzman, LL Cool J, Delroy Lindo, Christina Ricci, and Penny Marshall.

There's only one way these two are going to get along... the Hard Way.

John Badham is one of those directors who never really seemed to be anything more than a competent craftsman with his ability tied directly to the quality of the script he was working with. From Saturday Night Fever and th…

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: SPACE SPACEY

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: SPACE SPACEY

Over the years, my cinematically saturated brain has made more than a few strange connections between actors and their inspirations, directors and their crib sheets, writers and their muses. For Your Consideration is not so much a place to expose homages and rip-offs, but more a space to raise questions about more abstract and potentially subconscious influences on the work of film artists in general. Rather than further explanation, I will demonstrate. For your consideration . . .

When I first saw Kevin Spacey in Seven:

My initial reaction was that he was channeling HAL from Kubrick's 2001: 

I had been making this connection for years. How strange then that in 2009, Spacey decides to make his own foray into A.I. voices with Duncan Jones' Moon wherein he voices Gerty:

Mere Coincidence? Knowing homage? Spacey a robot? You decide. 

THE AMBULANCE

THE AMBULANCE (1990) Dir. Larry Cohen. Written by Larry Cohen. Starring: Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones, Megan Gallagher, Red Buttons, Janine Turner, and Stan Lee.

You'll be in perfect health . . . before you die. 

Before my latest re-watch of this forgotten Larry Cohen gem my main memories of the film were of James Earl Jones laying in the middle of the street obsessively and loudly chewing gum - one of the weirdest death scenes in film - and an out o…

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RUN

RUN (1991) Dir. Geoff Burrowes. Written by Dennis Shryack, and Michael Blodgett. Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Kelly Preston, and Ken Pogue.

Hunted By The Mafia And The Police, He's Running For His Life.

Smarmy law student/amateur card sharp, Charlie Farrow gets a job driving a Porsche down to Atlantic City, has some mechanical issues on the way, and lets his winning ways and running mouth get himself into big trouble at a little …

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BAD LINE READING #3

BAD LINE READING #5: SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT PART 2

I originally wanted to only feature bad line readings by known actors in Hollywood films, because really it's too easy to pick on the little guys, and who needs that kind of negativity? The older I get the more I enjoy what I enjoy and don't really care to read or hear snide comments on old favorites. Sure Eric Freeman's performance here is insane and if you're a horror fan then I am sure this clip is not a stranger to your twisted little heart, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be shared and shared again, because really who can watch this clip and not weep with laughter? It's a gift really and we should all thank Eric Freeman for his performance. If there was any justice in the world he would still be acting.

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE (1991) Dir. Dan Aykroyd. Written by Dan Aykroyd based on a Story by Peter Aykroyd. Starring: Chevy Chase, Demi Moore, John Candy, Dan Akroyd, Taylor Negron, Brian Doyle-Murray, Daniel Baldwin, Digital Underground and Tupac Shakur.

All they wanted was a little getaway. All they got was nothing but trouble.

People far more connected than I have tried to get Aykroyd to talk about this little loved dark comedy and all have been met with total shutdown from brother Elroy. As soon as the movie is mentioned he hangs up or red…

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ONE GOOD COP

ONE GOOD COP (1991) Dir. Heywood Gould. Written by Heywood Gould. Starring: Michael Keaton, Rene Russo, Anthony Lapaglia, Benjamin Bratt, Rachel Ticotin, Kevin Conway, Tony Plana, and Victor Rivers.

How far will one man go to be a good father and stay...

One Good Cop has a lot of heart and its the rare character study outside of Clean & Sober where Keaton gets to show us what a damn fine actor he can be. It's great that he's made a comeback as of late, but he's still not getting the kind…

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HAPPY HELL NIGHT

HAPPY HELL NIGHT (1992) Dir. Brian Owens. Written by Brian Owens and Michael Fitzpatrick. Starring: Sam Rockwell, Charles Cragin, and Darren McGavin.

Tonight The Party Animals Of Phi Delta Kappa Will Raise More Than Hell!

Well, what can be said about Happy Hell Night that could possibly make you want to see it? Sam Rockwell has a small part early on in both the film and his career. Kolchak himself, Darren McGavin plays Rockwell as an old m…

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BAD LINE READING #4

BAD LINE READING #4: THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW

The House on Sorority Row is such a good time it's on regular Halloween rotation around here, one of the few second tier 80's Slashers that has that honor, and it's for good reason. Decent acting, gory deaths, groovy dancing, a solid mystery and a satisfying ending all help to make this a pretty fun 90 minutes of slasher goodness. And as much as I dig Carrie Fisher in the remake, she's just not enough to make me forget about that pesky House Mother in the original. Is she really dead? Liz isn't quite so sure . . .

Later, Liz gets a surprise John Wayne Gacy Jack-in-the-Box that she is way too happy about and then gives us all a little something extra.

 

BLIND FURY

BLIND FURY (1989) Dir. Phillip Noyce. Written by Charles Robert Carner. Starring: Rutger Hauer, Meg Foster, Terry O'Quinn, Brandon Call, Lisa Blount, Noble Willingham, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, and Nick Cassavetes.

He's lucky he can't see what he's up against. 

It's unfortunate that casting directors, agents and directors didn't know what to do with Rutger Hauer here in America. After Blade Runner, I think most us would have expected a different career path for the man who gave us Roy Batty and improvi…

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UZUMAKI

UZUMAKI (2000) Dir. Higurchinsky. Written by Takao Nitta, Chika Yasuo, Kengo Kaji based on a Manga by Junji Ito. Starring: Eriko Hatsune, Fhi Fan, Hinako Saeki, and Denden.

Based on Junji Ito's mindbending, gut-swirling manga of the same name, Uzumaki, the film, holds its place as one of the most unique films I've seen inside or outside of genre. The film's story and style is beyond strange even for Japanese Horror. Ultimately, we are bearing witness to a sma…

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BAD LINE READING #5

BAD LINE READING #3: THE HAPPENING

 

What can we say about Shyamalan's The Happening that hasn't been said before? How about this? I love the first half and think it's genuinely unsettling, and might have been a classic, but it's the ridiculous second half that earns the film its reputation and of course, this Wahlberg delivery - a classic among his many tone-deaf line deliveries. Still, I'll watch that first half whenever it's on so . . .

 

TRESPASS

TRESPASS (1992) Dir. Walter Hill. Written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis. Starring: William Sadler, Bill Paxton, Ice-T, Ice Cube, Art Evans, Tommy Tiny Lister, Glenn Plummer, and De'voreaux White.

Two Arkansas Firemen, Don and Vince come into possession of a treasure map that promises a 50-year-old cache of stolen relics from a Catholic church. The catch is it's in an abandoned building in East St. Louis. Paxton is a bit of a naive idiot in this one - an interesting departure from his usu…

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THE MANITOU

THE MANITOU (1977) Dir. William Girdler. Written by William Girdler based on a Novel by Graham Masterton. Starring: Tony Curtis, Susan Strasberg, Michael Ansara, Burgess Meredith, Stella Stevens, and Ann Sothern.

You have to understand that when I first saw the Manitou, I had heard nothing about it. It didn't come as a recommendation from an in the know buddy, or an evil algorithm. I just came across it one night on an old VHS tape and buckled in. I wasn't aware it was directed by William Girdler (oh he …

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BAD LINE READING #6

BAD LINE READING #2: BATTLEFIELD EARTH

Sure, this is 100% Sci-Fi with nary a horror or crime element in it, but damn if it isn't amazing in its wrong-headedness. Enough has been said about this disaster elsewhere, so I'll keep it brief and only wonder aloud that this moment had to be the point at which Travolta knew the entire project was doomed. You can hear the futility of defeat in his delivery.

RICOCHET

RICOCHET (1991) Dir. Russell Mulcahy. Written by Steven E. De Souza based on a story by Fred Dekker and Menno Meyjas. Starring: Denzel Washington, John Lithgow, Kevin Pollack, Ice-T, Victoria Dillard, Mary Ellen Trainor, John Amos, and Jesse Ventura.

John Lithgow seemed to be on a roll playing bad guys in the early 90's with this, Cliffhanger and Raising Cain apparently working out the kinks before he spent the next 10 years on 3rd Rock from the Sun. And as good as he is at playing the nice guy, he's even better at playing the baddie. Can …

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DEEP COVER

DEEP COVER (1992) Dir. Bill Duke. Written by Michael Tolkin and Henry Bean. Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Goldblum, Paunita Nichols, Clarence Williams III, Charles Martin Smith, Roger Guenever Smith, and Sydney Lassick.

 "The jungle creed says the strongest feed on any prey that it can. And I was branded beast at every feast before I ever became a man."

The story of John Hull's descent into deep cover as drug dealer for the DEA, eventual shunning of the DEA, and acceptance of his criminal nature is a sligh…

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BAD LINE READING #7

BAD LINE READING #1: BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA

Another easy target you might say, but I would argue that Keanu Reeves is not the terrible actor everyone believes him to be, he just really needs diction lessons and a voice coach like all the time, everywhere, not just on sets. That, and directors, who really should know better, need to stop casting him in roles he has no chance of pulling off. I couldn't find a clip of the "Blue Inferno" line by itself so you will have to suffer through this mix someone made of his greatest hits from Coppola's Bram Stoker's  Dracula.

 

PRIMAL RAGE

PRIMAL RAGE (1988) Dir. Vittorio Rambaldi. Written by Umberto Lenzi and James Justice. Starring: Patrick Lowe, Cheryl Arutt, Sarah Buxton, Mitch Watson, Bo Svenson.

RACE WITH THE DEVIL

RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975) Dir. Jack Starrett. Written by Les Frost and Wes Bishop. Starring: Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit, Lara Parker, R.G. Armstrong, Jack Starrett, Paul A. Partial, and R.C. Keene.

If you're going to race with the devil, you've got to be as fast as Hell!

Released the same year as The Devil's Rain and presenting a far less supernatural take on Satanism in the good old U.S. of A., Race with the Devil is equal parts stunt-crazy action and frightening horror. In fact, it ma…

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Class of 1999

CLASS OF 1999 (1990) Dir. Mark L. Lester. Written by C. Courtney Joyner and Mark L. Lester. Starring: Stacy Keach, Malcolm McDowell, Pam Grier, Bradlee Gregg, Traci Lind, Patrick Kilpatrick, John P. Ryan, and Joshua Miller.

There's Just One Subject at Kennedy High ... Survival!

I'll probably take some heat for this one, but I much prefer Class of 1999 to Lester's Class of 1984. 1984 is great fun, but it doesn't have anything on the quick pace, Sci-Fi facelift and nutty cast being way nutty in 1999. I mean, check…

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Miami Blues

MIAMI BLUES (1990) Dir. George Armitage. Written by George Armitage based on a Novel by Charles Willeford. Starring: Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Fred Ward, Nora Dunn, Paul Gleason Jack Napier, Obba Babatunde, and Shirley Stoler.

 Real badge. Real gun. Fake cop.

1990 was a big year for Baldwin. With The Hunt for Red October and Miami Blues both released, he was on his way to becoming a household name, but still a year out from his romance with Kim Basinger and a couple of years out from his legendary performance in G…

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ABSURD DEATHS #1

ABSURD DEATHS #6: DEADLY FRIEND

Wes Craven was definitely trawling the waters of B moviedom for that one of a kind idea after The Hills Have Eyes. With the Amish gender bender Deadly Blessing, the comic book adaptation Swamp Thing and TV movie weirdness like Invitation to Hell and Summer of Fear all getting the Craven treatment before he finally broke through to the mainstream with A Nightmare on Elm Street. What did he do, you may ask, after creating the iconic Freddy Krueger? He made Deadly Friend, a kind of After School Special riff on Frankenstein and Short Circuit with a robotic Kristy Swanson, a fun 80's vibe and one, count'em one, memorable death scene. To be fair to Craven, though, it's a doozy. 

The Hitcher

THE HITCHER (1986) Dir. Robert Harmon. Written by Eric Red. Starring: Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jeffrey DeMunn.

The terror starts when he stops!

If ever a movie could lay claim to illustrating the perils of picking up strangers in the middle of the night to Generation X it's the first ten minutes of this movie. Penned by Eric Red in the midst of a run of ridiculous but excellent genre scripts, The Hitc…

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RUNAWAY

RUNAWAY (1984) Dir. Michael Crichton. Written by Michael Crichton. Starring: Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, Gene Simmons, Kirstie Alley, Chris Mulkey, G.W. Bailey, and Stan Shaw.

It Is The Future. He fought the horror of robots programmed to kill.

Runaway is the kind of movie I am all for seeing remade . . . if we could keep the performances and the majority of the script. It simply needs a visual make-over and a defter hand than Michael Crichton to smooth over some …

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ABSURD DEATHS #2

ABSURD DEATHS #5: : SNAKE IN THE EAGLE'S SHADOW

Jackie Chan learning that his Snake Fist is no match for the Eagle's Claw, takes inspiration from his house cat and perfects the Cat Claw executed flawlessly in the above gif. What more do you need to know? This was Woo-Ping Yuen's first film as a director and he would re-team with Jackie Chan directly afterwards for the much more well known Drunken Master.

FRAILITY

FRAILTY (2001) Dir. Bill Paxton. Written by Brent Hanley. Starring: Bill Paxton, Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe, Matt O'Leary, Jeremy Sumpter, Luke Askew, and Levi Kreis.

There are demons among us.

As you might have noticed, or will very soon, we are big fans of Bill Paxton around here, but who isn't you say? Well, I don't know and I don't wanna know. As good as he was as a character actor, from Chet in Weird Science to Hudson in Aliens, Severin in Near Dark a…

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Miracle Mile

MIRACLE MILE (1988) Dir. Steve De Jarnatt. Written by Steve De Jarnatt. Starring: Anthony Edwards, Mare Winningham, Mykelti Williamson, Kelly Jo Minter, Kurt Fuller, Denise Crosby, Robert Doqui, Jeanette Goldstein, Eddie Bunker, and O-Lan Jones.

There are 70 minutes to the end of the world. Where can you hide?

I was lucky enough to catch Steve De Jarnatt at a screening of Miracle Mile a couple of years back at Northwest Film Forum here in Seattle. He was there promoting the Blu-Ray release of the film which has haunted my dreams of n…

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DR. GIGGLES

DR. GIGGLES (1992) Dir. Manny Coto. Written by Manny Coto and Graeme Whifler. Starring: Larry Drake, Holly Marie Combs, Cliff De Young, Glenn Quinn, Keith Diamond, Richard Bradford, and Doug E. Doug.

The Doctor is out . . . of his mind. 

Oh, what I wouldn't give to have a whole series of Dr. Giggles films. Of all the attempts at new franchise slashers made in the 90's, Dr. Giggles is the only one that ever really had a chance with me, beating out Brainscan's Trickster (who never really …

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JACOB'S LADDER

JACOB'S LADDER (1990) Dir. Adrian Lyne. Written by Bruce Joel Rubin. Starring: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Pena, Danny Aiello, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Ving Rhames, Matt Craven, Jason Alexander, Eriq La Salle, and Macaulay Culkin.

 

The most frightening thing about Jacob Singer's nightmare is that he isn't dreaming.

Jacob's Ladder is a bit of an anomaly in Adrian Lyne's career. The director of such films as Flashdance,  9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, Indecent Proposal, Lolita, and Unfaithful wouldn't necessarily be…

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ABSURD DEATHS #3, 4 & 5

ABSURD DEATHS #2, 3 & 4: HARD TICKET TO HAWAII

 

 

 

THE FIRST POWER

THE FIRST POWER (1990) Dir. Robert Renikoff. Written by Robert Renikoff. Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips, Tracy Griffith, Jeff Kober, Mykelti Williamson, and David Gale.

 Satan has created the perfect killer. One who cannot be stopped. Be warned.

I saw The First Power upon its release in theaters, and I'm pretty sure I took my Mother to see it for Mother's Day. Being probably know more than 12 at the time, I am totally sure this was a mere ploy on my part to…

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JOHNNY HANDSOME

JOHNNY HANDSOME (1989) Dir. Walter Hill. Written by Ken Friedman based on a Novel by John Godey. Starring: Mickey Rourke, Lance Henrickson, Ellen Barkin, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Elizabeth McGovern, and Peter Jason.

Revenge has a new face. 

Johnny Handsome is the kind of lean, mean and well-wrought Crime Drama that Hollywood doesn't make anymore mostly because they don't let Walter Hill direct movies much these days. There are no overreaching themes of redemption or philosophical meditations on the natu…

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: DEL TORO DIGS MONK

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: DEL TORO DIGS MONK

 

Benicia Del Toro initially made a name for himself as being the guy who demanded doing every role in some invented alien patois unintelligible to nearly everyone but himself and perhaps Pacino in Scarface; see his small role in Weir's Fearless as well as the following evidence - his most notorious: 

Thelonious Monk made a name for himself for being a genius piano player and eccentric;

 

Enjoy the music then at 3:30 listen . . . 

Del Toro a fan of Monk? Both simply mumble mouths suffering the occasional Tourette's outburst? Completely unrelated? You decide.

BODY PARTS

BODY PARTS (1991) Dir. Eric Red. Written by Eric Red and Norman Snider based on a Story by Patricia Herskovic and Joyce Taylor from a Novel by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Starring: Jeff Fahey, Lindsay Duncan, Kim Delaney, and Brad Dourif.

A medical miracle has become a murderous nightmare.

Body Parts is the third of an unofficial 'written by Eric Red' trilogy of kickass horror movies made in the 80's and early 90's with The Hitcher and Near Dark being the other two. While Red wrote and directed other movies during this time an…

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THE UNNAMABLE I & II

THE UNNAMABLE I & II (1988 & 1992) Dir. Jean-Paul Ouelette. Written by Jean-Paul Ouelette based on Stories by H.P. Lovecraft. Starring: Mark Kinsey Stephenson, Charles King, Laura Albert, John Rhys-Davies, David Warner, and Julie Strain.

From the depths of HELL.

With Dan O’Bannon’s The Resurrected recently treated to a Blu-Ray special edition by Scream Factory, we can only hope The Unnameable films aren’t far behind. It’s hard to gauge how much of my own love for these films is rooted in nostalgia from seeing them upon releas…

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GRAVEYARD SHIFT

GRAVEYARD SHIFT (1990) Dir. Ralph S. Singleton. Written by John Esposito based on a Story by Stephen King. Starring: David Andrews, Kelly Wolf, Stephen Macht, Brad Dourif, Andrew Divoff, and Vic Polizos.

 Stephen King took you to the edge with The Shining and Pet Sematary. This time......he pushes you over.

Another unfairly maligned screen adaptation of a King short story, Graveyard Shift delivers a solid bit of entertainment about a drifter taking a summer job at a textile mill and getting …

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ABSURD DEATHS #6

ABSURD DEATHS #1: HARD TARGET

What is there to say about Hard Target that the above image doesn't say for me? Well, it's John Woo's American debut and it's yet another take on the Most Dangerous Game story, this time with that ubiquitous 90's bad-ass Lance Henricksen as the villain with a capital V and . . . Yancey Butler in a movie not released by Full Moon! Oh, and there's some very bad Cajun nonsense delivered by none other than Wilfred Brimley so it's pretty much a viewing requirement for bad movie junkies. Get on it! 

DISORGANIZED CRIME

DISORGANIZED CRIME (1989) Dir. Jim Kouf. Written by Jim Kouf. Starring: Corbin Bernsen, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ruben Blades, Fred Gwynne, William Russ, Ed O'Neill, Daniel Roebuck, and Hoyt Axton.

Salazar, a not bald Corbin Bernsen - this was the L.A. Law days - cases a local bank in a podunk Montana town. Before the opening titles have ended he's busted by two New Jersey Detectives (Roebuck and O'Neill) who have been tracking him for the robbery of several banks back East. Enter the rest…

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BRAINSCAN

BRAINSCAN (1994) Dir. John Flynn. Written by Andrew Kevin Walker based on a Story by Brian Owens. Starring: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, and T. Ryder Smith

"Death, Death, Death . . . Part Two." So says Michael (Furlong) when questioned about his in-class viewing habits by the School Dean and if that doesn't win you over to this morbid little sonovabitch with a bum leg and even bummer back story then his Igor inspired answering service, love for Fan…

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JUDGEMENT NIGHT

JUDGEMENT NIGHT (1993) Dir. Stephen Hopkins. Written by Lewis Colick based on a Story by Jere Cunningham. Starring: Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Piven, Denis Leary, and Peter Greene.

A group of middle-class dudes out for a night on the town end up fighting for their lives in the inner city when their party RV breaks down and they witness Denis Leary murder a body. There's no more plot than that which is perhaps why the subtext is so apparent, well the attempt at subtext. I m…

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STONE COLD

STONE COLD (1991) Dir. Craig R. Baxley. Written by Walter Doniger. Starring: Brian Bosworth, Lance Henricksen, William Forsythe, and Sam McMurray.

Craig R. Baxley directed three movies between 1988 and 1991 and for my money, the ex-stuntman turned action director is one of the best when it comes to stunt-heavy, brain-dead over the top fun. From Action Jackson to I Come in Peace to this Biker bacchanalia of tattooed tits and heavy artiller…

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POPCORN

POPCORN (1991) Dir. Mark Herrier, Alan Ormsby and Bob Clark (both uncredited.) Written by Alan Ormsby as Tod Hackett and based on a Story by Mitchell Smith. Starring: Jill Schoelen, Tom Villard, Dee Wallace, Tony Roberts, Kelly Jo Minter, and Ray Walston.

Oh, Jill Schoelen, where did you go? Horror sorely needs another actress with Schoelen's easy charm. The perfect Final Girl, though she never quite played one unless you count this movie as a Slasher which I don't. Looking back at her roles in Horror, it's surprising how little she actually did …

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ABSURD DEATHS #7

ABSURD DEATHS #7: LIVE AND LET DIE

 

THE RESSURRECTED

THE RESURRECTED (1991) Dir. Dan O'Bannon. Written Brent V. Friedman based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft. Starring: Chris Sarandon, John Terry, Jane Sibbett, and Robert Romanus.

I'm one of those weirdos that has championed The Resurrected since catching it on cable in the 90's back to back with that other forgotten Chris Sarandon horror film, Whispers, and while I have never met anyone outside of a festival who has seen either, fans apparently exist. Enough so that Scre…

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I COME IN PEACE

I COME IN PEACE aka DARK ANGEL (1990) Dir. Craig R. Baxley. Written by Jonathan Tydor, David Koepp as Leonard Maas Jr. Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Brian Benben, Betsy Brantley, Mathias Hues, Sherman Howard, and Michael J. Pollard.

Much has been made of the awesome impact the giant Intergalactic Drug Dealer of I Come in Peace made on genre fans in 1990 and he was certainly a stroke of genius in concept (early Koepp idea?) and realization. Often, the next point of praise falls to the killer CD-like weapon deployed by said a…

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