L.A. Aids Jabber (Blu-ray) – A rare 1994 S.O.V. flick that some may know only as “Jabber” has been finally released uncut for independent film fans and packed with some interesting goodies for all to enjoy. Our story begins with a young man named Jeff Roberts who has been told he has contracted the disease AIDS. Not happy with the news of course, Jeff thinks suicide but after confronted by a social worker Jeff rethinks his death sentence? Tired, depressed, and jobless Jeff goes in a different direction with this news and makes a hit list of people he always felt done him wrong. So he figures why not and fills a syringe of his tainted blood so he can infect those on his hit list with it! Meanwhile, we have a couple of cops who are investigating the assaults and being told to keep this quiet so there isn’t major mass panic in the city. The film is gritty, grimey, touches on an uncomfortable subject (the fears of it) and how it was treated at that time, and has a great screwed up ending that will make this film the gem of the year for some and others not care for the subject matter. This film dealt with some uncomfortable stuff that I believe people still have a hard time today dealing with or talking about today which makes this an excellent weird flick to throw at someone when they say, “they have seen everything” as I give it 3 stars.
Cover-Up (DVD) – A 1991 action film that stars Dolph Lundgren as a journalist named Anderson who is covering a bombing at a U.S. Navy Base in Israel. Anderson believes there is a lot more to this story as he investigates and believes what he sees is not the whole story? Anderson having a couple of friends there in Tel Aviv tries to get what info he can get out of them but a high ranking military officer played by Louis Gossett, Jr.is stonewalling Anderson as everything is being blamed on a terrorist group “Black October”. The deeper Anderson gets the more of a scapegoat he is going to become as the military tries to keep quiet about a top secret package being retrieved from the base. But with it all being about starting a new war everyone is getting screwed over as long as its covered up what the original intention was? A fun back and forth action film that plays out more like a thriller in the end as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Sakura Killers (DVD) – Chuck Connors collecting a paycheck sends two Americans overseas to fight some ninjas! This is all because the ninjas in Japan have supposedly stolen a videotape on genetic testing that could change the scientific world? But these two Americans do not have the proper training to ensure their win in said fight with the ninjas so they must visit “The Ninja Master”… If this thing wasn’t finished in 1986 or before Dan Komarek was born I would swear he wrote this terribly absurd 80s ninja flick even the hardcore ninja movie lovers are going to have a tough time sitting through as I give it 1 star.
Wise Blood (DVD) – This 1979 oddity is from earlier in Brad Dourif’s career where I remember seeing a few pictures of his character in the movie but could never find the movie itself. Well recently one day just going through some movies that might interest me through some of the streaming sites I came across a listing for the film to play on a cable channel as it has been rereleased. Set I the late 70s where Hazel Motes comes back to his small town after a stint in the military only to find family and most of the town has moved to the big city. Not wanting to embrace his father’s preaching past Hazel decides he has found his calling preaching about the church without Christ? Nowhere near a horror movie but another example of why Brad Dourif is such a wonderful and interesting actor as I give the film 2 ½ stars.
Amityville Christmas Vacation (www.stevebuster.com) – That famous holiday/horror/love story plot has finally come to the Amityville series (entry #39 for those who are counting) in the form of Steve Rudzinski’s (Caroushell 1 & 2 fame) latest project. A familiar character from the “Steve Universe or Meowy Universe” in the form of Wally Griswold has won a random Christmas vacation trip to Amityville! Wally arrives at a bed and breakfast in Amityville that is the “second most famous haunted house” where a ghost named Jessica kills all who stay there. But this time it’s different as it the happiest time of the year, it is Christmas! And Wally and Jessica are having the time of their lives this holiday season. But there is an evil plan behind all of this and none of it had a ghost and a clueless detective falling in love in Amityville on Christmas? Move over Mark Polonia, Dustin Ferguson, Thomas J. Churchill, and Shawn C. Phillips just to name a few as Steve gives not just an entertaining entry into the endless series but hilarious entertaining energy of a story that will make you laugh out loud a few times. Steve’s intelligence behind the camera and his extremely talented cast not just poke fun at the series but also give the never dying series a watchable entry for the first time in several years as I have to give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars.
The Kindred (Blu-ray) – This is one of those forgotten horror films of the 80s as it focused on a cool creature instead of a killer in a hockey mask. A great monster flick with a great VHS cover that was released in 1987 that I had a great fondness for as it was available in all the video stores during those few years but as the video stores disappeared so did finding this film. Now thank you to Synapse Films we get to see this remastered uncut version. This interesting monster story begins with Dr. Hollins, an older scientist who had a heart attack. Her son John who also is a scientist runs to her bed side only to be asked to go back to his childhood home and burn all the evidence of her experiments and Anthony…? The brother he never knew about. John and a few friends head to his mother’s home to find out her retirement have been busy and she dived deep into human hybrid experimentation and beyond. An old partner of hers, Dr. Lloyd wants in on the new discovery of what she was able to accomplish because he was banished by Hollins many years ago for his atrocities. Now John knowing Dr. Lloyd’s real intentions is trying to destroy what his mother worked for during her life as the human race is not ready. The movie looks wonderful but the biggie for this version is definitely the creature effects as we finally get to see Anthony in all his colorful glory for the first time compared to past VHS versions of this film. We also get a great documentary about how the film got made, never before seen behind the scenes creature effects, and a commentary. Most of all this great film finally got the treatment it deserved and just in time for a new generation of horror fans to discover a beautifully designed creature film that got lost in the shuffle of slashers at the time of its release as without no doubt this gets 4 out of 4 stars and can be found at www.synapse-films.com .
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