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Showing posts from January 20, 2013

Review: In Cold Blood

The exploits of two paroled crims of different temperaments; cocky, two-bit hustler Dick Hickock (Scott Wilson), and psychologically damaged, volatile Perry Smith (Robert Blake), who attempt to rob an All-American Kansas family for a supposed fortune, and after making a real shemozzle of things (the money Hickcock was told would be there for the taking, was nowhere to be found), turn to brutal murder. As the duo head to Mexico to stew over their meagre earnings, detective Alvin Dewey (John Forsythe) sets about finding them. Jeff Corey and Charles McGraw play the respective fathers of the killers, Brenda Currin is one of the victims, and Paul Stewart plays a journalist covering the case.


1967 gave us two of the best true-crime flicks of all-time in “Bonnie and Clyde” and this Richard Brooks (“Blackboard Jungle”, “The Professionals”) film which must’ve shocked the hell out of audiences at the time with its almost docudrama approach. However, it’s more ‘realistic’ than ‘detached’. Even t…

Review: Saint

Principally set in 2010 in the Netherlands, we are introduced to a bunch of typical youngsters set to be menaced on December 5th, the day of holiday celebration in the Netherlands. Menaced by whom, you may ask? By jolly ‘ol Saint Nick, that’s who. Except he ain’t jolly. He’s an undead deliverer of terror who rides a zombie horse and lops people’s heads off with a staff. He does this every December 5th that has a full-moon, as we have already seen in a scene set in the 1960s. Bert Luppes plays a detective who experienced those events in the 60s and is determined to stop the menace this time once and for all.

Part 2 of my Christmas movie double-bill, I watched this 2010 flick from the Netherlands was written and directed by the amusingly named Dick Maas (Sorry, but dick jokes are still sometimes funny to me). This one is ever-so slightly better than “Rare Exports”, but once again mostly deprives us of an evil Santa Claus front and centre. It’s also a bit sloppy, with a truly shocking En…

Review: Rare Exports- A Christmas Tale

Set on the Finnish side of the Russo-Finnish border in December, young Onni Tomila and his pal Ilmari Järvenpää suspect an American mining operation in the mountains is actually an attempt to find the burial place of Santa Claus. And I don’t mean the jolly fat one. No, this Santa likes to punish naughty children, and is a bit of a sadist, really. His ‘helpers’, meanwhile, are gaunt, zombie-like little buggers who most certainly do not aspire to be dentists. And the reindeer? Mysteriously slaughtered en masse. Speaking of mysterious, the local kids start disappearing all of a sudden. Merry f’n Christmas, everyone!


I’m known for having what is referred to as a ‘selective memory’, which means although I’m forgetful about most of the things that are supposed to be important, if it’s related to movies, I’ll rarely forget. I also tend to take extensive notes during most movies, so that if I need to hold off on the review for a bit (I see a lot of movies, you understand), I can do so without…

Review: Waterhole #3

Card shark James Coburn and sheriff Carroll O’Connor (who was honest enough, until he woke up that morning) go in search of a stolen cache of gold currently in the hands of renegade cavalry officer Claude Akins, and his cohort, seedy thief Timothy Carey. Their other accomplice was Doc (Roy Jenson), who ended up on the wrong side of Coburn’s gun barrel after challenging him to a fight. In the middle is Margret Blye, who is furious after she is sorta-kinda manhandled by Coburn, but even her father- O’Connor- is ambivalent about the incident (which some viewers will- wrongly- read as misogyny). James Whitmore is the duped Cavalry Captain, and Joan Blondell steals a few scenes as a sassy madam. Bruce Dern has a fun early role as O’Connor’s lunkhead deputy.

Not bad 1967 William Graham (“Honky”, and mostly TV fare like “Get Christie Love!” and “Guyana Tragedy- The Story of Jim Jones”) comedy western benefits from the always cool Coburn (perhaps the coolest actor who ever lived), a blustery …

Review: Disorganised Crime

A bunch of crims (Fred Gwynne, Ruben Blades, Lou Diamond Phillips, and William Russ) unacquainted with one another assemble at a remote farmhouse in Montana to discuss an upcoming bank job organised by criminal mastermind Corbin Bernsen. Bernsen, however, has just been picked up by dumbski cops Ed O’Neill and Daniel Roebuck and thrown in the local pen. Foul-tempered safecracker William Russ wants to leave, but veteran explosives expert Fred Gwynne (very classy) and sharply dressed Latino Ruben Blades suggest they wait a while for their mutual acquaintance, Bernsen to arrive with whatever job he has planned. Getaway driver Lou Diamond Phillips seems happy to hang around. Meanwhile, Bernsen has managed to escape, with O’Neill and Roebuck trying (ineptly) to capture him again. When the crims find out Bernsen has been arrested, they decide to pull a few jobs to get the money to bail him out. O’Neill and Roebuck, of course, assume that these jobs are the handiwork of Bernsen. Hoyt Axton tu…

Review: Paranormal Activity 3

We begin in 2005 with Katie Featherston delivering a bunch of videotapes to her sister Kristi’s house. Kristi (Sprague Grayden) finds that they are recordings from 1988 and the house Kristi and Katie lived in as children (played by Jessica Tyler Brown and Chloe Csengery, respectively) with their mother (Lauren Bittner) and her boyfriend, a tech-head who set up video cameras all around the house. The cameras eventually captured a series of bizarre goings on, that show Kristi and Katie were already well aware of such things long before the events of the first and second film. Johanna Braddy plays a babysitter, in a minor part.


The original film was one of the better “Blair Witch Project”-inspired horror films that even managed to unsettle me during the daytime. The second film was essentially the same film made exactly the same way, and with absolutely zero effect. That’s largely because the original gave us about 40 minutes of uneventful setup before the shenanigans began. Thus repeati…