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Showing posts from August 25, 2013

Review: The Stuff

Oddball industrial spy (and former FBI agent) Michael Moriarty is hired by a food company to investigate a new rival product called ‘The Stuff’ (which looks somewhere in between whipped cream and shaving cream), which has become all the rage. In fact, people just can’t seem to get enough of it. What Moriarty finds, however, is that if you have too much of ‘The Stuff’, it could end up taking over you, ala “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. He hooks up with a businessman named Chocolate Chip Charlie (Garrett Morris), a Col. Kurtz-esque militia guy (Paul Sorvino), and an attractive advertising exec (Andrea Marcovicci) to infiltrate the corporation making ‘The Stuff’.

Meanwhile, a young boy (Scott Bloom) sees the eerie effect ‘The Stuff’ has on his entire family, and tries his best to avoid eating it himself. Patrick O’Neal plays the head of the corporation that makes ‘The Stuff’, Danny Aiello has a spooky cameo as an FDA administrator whose dogs apparently love ‘The Stuff’. Look for cameo…

Review: The McMasters

Brock Peters plays an African-American Union soldier who returns home after fighting in the Civil War and finding himself targeted by racists and thugs led by one-armed former Confederate officer Jack Palance and his sadistic henchman L.Q. Jones. Burl Ives plays Peters’ former slave master, a genial and dignified man who is more than happy to allow the ‘free man’ (more a friend or son than slave or employee) to have half of his land. Unfortunately, getting hands to tend to that land proves difficult, with only a few Indians (including David Carradine) willing to work for a black man. This angers the rabble-rousing racists even more, leading to violent trouble. R.G. Armstrong plays a local shopkeeper who treats Peters fairly, but buckles under pressure from Palance. John Carradine turns up as a preacher, whilst Nancy Kwan plays the squaw given to Peters by the local Indian tribe.

Every once in a while, a fine B-movie slips through the cracks and gets forgotten about. So is the case of …

Review: Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings

This prequel begins in the 70s where the inbred cannibal killers we came to know and love in “Wrong Turn” are in an insane asylum where they overpower their keepers and escape. Years later and we cut to a group of horny young twits (including two lesbians played by Kaitlyn Wong and Tenika Davis) who get lost on a ski trip in the middle of a blizzard and come across the now abandoned Sanatorium and decide to take refuge. But is it really abandoned? Of course not, or else there’d be no movie, stupid. Shouting, walking down long dark corridors, and occasional murderising ensue.

The original “Wrong Turn”, essentially a modern “Hills Have Eyes”, was one of the better horror films of the 00s (and better than the official remake of “Hills”), and I can’t say that any of the subsequent entries into the series have been outright terrible. In fact, the second one (co-starring the inimitable Henry Rollins) really wasn’t bad, and each subsequent film has taken the basic concept of inbred hillbilly…

Review: To the Devil...A Daughter

Richard Widmark stars as a writer on the occult asked by a panicked-looking Denholm Elliott to pick up his daughter (Nastassja Kinski) at the airport. Kinski is a teenage nun in a Bavarian Catholic sect. Staying with Widmark, they are pursued by the sect’s leader, a defrocked priest played by Christopher Lee (and whom the wimpy Elliott once sold his soul to for protection, but now Elliott regrets it). They are apparently a Satanic cult, and have very specific, sinister plans for Kinski as she comes close to her 18th birthday. Honor Blackman and Anthony Valentine play a couple of Widmark’s colleagues who get mixed up in helping him and Kinski.

A Hammer co-production during the famed British horror studio’s final years in its initial form, this 1976 Peter Sykes (“Demons of the Mind”, also for Hammer) film appears to be an attempt at a more serious horror outing, something along the lines of “The Exorcist”. Based on a Dennis Wheatley (“The Devil Rides Out”) novel adapted by John Peacock …

Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Although the title is perfectly apt, I suppose a plot synopsis is traditional: Set in the 1800s and beginning in 1818 where a young Abraham Lincoln witnesses the evil Jack Barts (a well-cast Marton Csokas) break into the family home and drink the blood of Abraham’s mum. Yep, he’s a creature of the night. Years later, Abraham (now played by Benjamin Walker) attempts to kill Barts, before running into Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper), who advises him against such an action. Sturgess also reveals himself to be a vampire hunter, and agrees to train the young Abe to become his apprentice, Abe eventually wielding a silver-tipped axe (the only weapon/tool he seems competent in). Abe still wants Barts dead, but instead Sturgess insists on a specific order of vampires to kill, and like it or not, Barts’ time has not yet come. So by day Lincoln studies to be a lawyer, pays bills working in a general store owned by friendly Joshua (Jimmi Simpson), and by night he hunts down bloodsuckers. He also …

Review: Bait

Xavier Samuel plays Josh, a lifesaver who saw his best mate killed by a shark, something he still hasn’t quite recovered from. He even lost girlfriend Sharni Vinson over it. Now Samuel is a shelf stacker at the local supermarket when would-be bank robbers Julian McMahon and Dan Wyllie attempt to rob the joint (Are the “Nip/Tuck” residuals so piss-poor that McMahon has to resort to robbing a piddly supermarket? Really?). Also in the supermarket are young shoplifter Phoebe Tonkin and her cop father Martin Sacks, as well as the recently returning Vinson, who has a new Singaporean boyfriend. Awkward. Oh, and a tsunami hits, putting the supermarket partly underwater. And that’s when the nasty, blood-thirsty sharks turn up! Lincoln Lewis and Paris Hilton-esque Cariba Heine play a young and dumb couple (with an ugly handbag dog to boot) stuck in the supermarket basement car park with a shark of their own to contend with.

This is the film that, with a little more competence, “Sharknado” could…