Terror Squad (VHS/YouTube) – This 1988 forgotten action gem falls into the category of “it’s so bad it is fucking wonderful”. The film opens with a rally of sorts and people saying, “Death to America”, (sounds familiar but it’s the Libyans)… Yes the folks who seem to be the bad guys of the 80s for most action flicks. Anyhow, the terrorist army and I mean four of them cross a small body of water over the Canadian border into small town Indiana. Their evil goals are takeover or destroy a small nuclear power plant in this small town. Well that plan goes south quickly and the other three wait in the car to watch so authorities can start chasing them through this small town for over 35 minutes that includes town sheriff Chuck Connors in a Brooklyn Dodgers jacket in which the car chase turns into a murderous rampage! But back to Chuck Connors for a minute as I am watching this flick and after the car chase is done and the terrorists decide to hold the local high school detention hall as hostages he is wearing this jacket while negotiating for the hostages. Now no one else in frame is wearing a jacket including our favorite “Dawn of the Dead” actor Ken Foree! So what is the point of this? Is there some kind of symbolism that I am missing? Why am I so fascinated by this even though Chuck Connors was like an actual college basketball star which made super focus that much more on him wearing this jacket? I mean for the love of Rutger Hauer he is the fucking sheriff but come on people is this in his contract somewhere? Because here is the thing I have watched a few late-80s films starring Chuck Connors and this fucking jacket appears randomly for no reason… I NEED TO KNOW! So back to the review kids: first half of the movie car chase with terrorists and having dumbest Hollywood police force since “Smokey and the Bandit” and second half of movie Libyans take hostages in a high school detention hall with Chuck Connors blurting out a few times, “We don’t need the FBI!” Yep, got it, good, because this film was entertaining as hell and had me laughing for days so it gets 3 stars folks!
Catch the Heat (DVD/YouTube) – Or by some chance you are watching the Australian version of the film it is called “Feel the Heat”. It is 1987, an action film with an Asian federal agent undercover named Cinderella Poo kicking ass against the likes of Rod Steiger, Brian Thompson, and Professor Toru Tanaka! (I am pausing a minute for those of you that don’t understand and the others went looking immediately for this film on their phones or nearest streaming sites to start watching NOW!) Okay kids for those of you that are still reading not knowing who those people are thank you for being younger than me and giving a shit by reading the rest of this review. An uncover federal agent named Checkers heads from San Francisco to Buenos Aires to track down the big boss that is sending large shipments of drugs to the US and getting fine women’s breasts butchered… Here she gets close to the big boss man by being a dancer who is looking to move up to Hollywood. One by one she fucks bad guys’ asses up to bring down Hannibal aka Rod Steiger the boss. The fight scenes are entertaining, the dialogue is absolutely hilarious at times, and I dare you to tell me this isn’t a fun action flick as I give it 3 stars.
The Hackers (DVD) – This lesser known SOV flick is about three weirdos and a truck that drive around for odd jobs of fixing up homes, cabins, etc., out in the sticks. While not working they keep bothering a beautiful woman who just happens to be housesitting. First 15 minutes is where all the murders happen and then an hour of torturing this poor lady n’at. Yinz will absolutely hate the ending or semi-like it and feel that the movie makes some kind of sense is the best way to describe where this film goes as its worth at least one watch as I give it 2 stars.
Nightmare at 43 Hillcrest (DVD/YouTube) – Thanks to an overseas friend for pointing out this weirdo TV movie that feels like a more dramatic ‘After School Special’ about drugs and corrupt cops. A well-known police detective and his associate hit a house for a drug bust, problem is they fucked up and hit the wrong house. Instead of being empty handed and a laughing stock they plant drugs and turn this family’s life upside down. This TV movie looks more like a soap opera from the 70s more than anything but it was a well spent 70-some minutes as I give this special 2 stars.
In Search of Darkness: Part III (Shudder) – If your brain didn’t melt the first two times taking in all the beautiful horror that was out there in the universe? Well this documentary ups its game with going over 5 ½ hours! Enjoy 80s horror kids as this will last longer than that boner you keep trying to have with those generic pills that keep saying you have “low-T” at the age of 20? Any doodles yinz have fun with this because it was just as glorious as the others as I give this documentary 4 stars.
Last Man on Earth (Blu-ray) – Being a Vincent Price fan and being a fan of this film I don’t know if I ever put out a propper review of this flick? I mean honestly most horror fans over the age of 12 have seen or have said something about this film… Fan or not (which I am not) of the Will Smith film “I Am Legend” many youngsters seeked out the original. Now there will always be debate which film is the best version or interputation (mine is The Omega Man) of the original source material but that is for a whole other conversation? We are talking this 1964 film about gloom and doom that has possibly the most serious role of Vincent Price’s career? Price is Professor Robert Morgan and it is now 1968: a few years have passed since the plague started, he lost his wife and daughter, and he became the supposedly last survivor of mankind. During the day he tries to do clean up of the corpses in the street, get food, gas, and find the nest of ghouls that come out at night for him. This all stems from a possible airbourne virus that started in Europe that the professor may have immunity? (sounds interesting like now but funny how this film wasn’t brought up when the COVID shit went down) Back to the review, the ghouls, vampires, zombies, whatever you wanna call them are afraid of daylight, can speak, stakes to the chest kill them, garlic keeps them away, might be a vampire germ, and only come out at night. As you see the film plays with the lines or mythology of vampirism and zombies (especially before it was a term on the tips of tongues of every horror movie fan). The good professor believes he is doing something right until he meets a woman in Ruth who is half and half and learns he maybe the real monster? But pay attention to the dialogue about violence and society trying to survive because I think this why horror movie fans hold on to this version more than the others. For years if you are my age you grew up grainy versions of this film but with technology into DVDs the film looks never better but depending streaming, Blu-ray, etc., there is little differences in credits, beginning of the film , even the ending. Nothing crazy but stuff that the nerds will stay up at night knowing you didn’t know? No matter what the film is timeless in the fact of Vincent Price’s role but the subject matter and what it set up for a genre for decades to come so enjoy as I give this 3 ½ stars.
Haunted (DVD) – This 1995 film is about the paranormal but not just your ordinary ghost flick that at the time it was made may have flown under the radar unlike today if it would have been released. It begins in 1905 England where a boy loses his twin sister in an unfortunate accident that causes his mother to take him to the states until many years later. Now 1928, Aidan Quinn the grown up boy is back in England as a Professor and who has written a popular book proving ghosts don’t exist. After being contacted by an older woman several times he heads to a large property to debunk the latest haunting. There he meets a young and stunning woman in Kate Beckinsale who her and her two brothers have come back to Nanny to live since their parents have died in a monsoon. Shortly after the good professor believes Miss Webb is disturbed but soon finds his reality unraveling. The film goes in weird areas that include incest, who is alive, and how far is Christina willing to go to keep the professor there to stay? The film might be much more story driven than most ghost stories these days but stick with it as this is an interesting paranormal film that has quite an ending I think you may like as I give the film 3 stars.
The Banana Splits Movie (Blu-ray) – An absolute fun film about a kids television show from the late 60s and 70s that wasn’t perfect but now that I got the blu-ray it was time to revisit this fun creation. The April Fool’s joke that never went away and most likely never get a sequel was something off the wall and different than what horror fans are fed on a regular basis. Remember the show must go on but weird thing the Blu-ray doesn’t have a commentary but a cuple other extras worth oogling. If yinz are still into physical media like myself this is worth grabbing at the right price as I still give it 3 stars but also something tells me this will disappear if there is another upgrade in DVD/Blu-ray tech just some genre titles have in the past?
Phenomena (4K Ultra HD Set) – Just when I thought I seen it all Synapse has upgraded one of Argento’s weirdest flicks to the latest tech where the sound is somehow that much better and the colors are ridiculous. Now this one is a weird but understandable choice as American audiences just eat up anything Argento. This new set works on two fronts… if by some chance you never picked up the original US Blu-ray that first featured all three versions of the film well here is your chance to finally upgrade. Second front is, there is a different documentary on this new 4K version that wasn’t on the original Blu-ray set from a couple years ago. But outside of the new slipcase there isn’t much difference exception for the nerd that is in you. Yeah this weirdo Argento flick literally jumps off the screen but this new version really is about color and sound and if you got all the new tech in HDTV and 4K player stuff. Don’t get my wrong I enjoy Donald Pleasance and Jennifer Connelly but this set is literally made for the movie nerds in the US that may have not gotten that chance to get those selected huge box sets that were released overseas. I still give the flick 3 stars and 4 out of 4 to Synapse Films for putting this package together but this will be more for those who haven’t upgraded yet more than anything. But again Synapse is smart… Argento in 4K… I can hear the movie being shipped to many as we speak. For details on the new package check out www.synapse-films.com .
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