It’s time for another good-sized roundup of good movie reviews from the tweeps. Love how you folks are keeping exploitation and B-movies in circulation.
With a good-sized H/T to Cultural Gutter, I saw this interesting post on TV criticism vs. TV recapping, among other things. I liked it because it gives voice to what I’m trying to give birth to on this blog, in the context of exploitation and B-Movies, instead of scripted television dramas:
. . . carving out a niche for long-form pieces that look beyond the pluses and minuses of a single episode to examine its greater potential and its place in the culture . . .
I’ve been trying to figure ways to take my movie blog that you’re reading now beyond recapping and reviewing individual films, which does seem to me to be the dominant mode of the cinema blogosphere. Giving as much as I can about the backstory of a film’s making, information sometimes captured in book-length pieces, or trapped in the academic community seems one good way to get there. Another seems to be the looking into period press, much of which is is not online, to give some idea of how these films I cover were received as they came out seems like a fruitful avenue. I’ve some other ideas too, which are not ready for prime time yet, but suffice it to say I was glad to see the idea of moving beyond single-film perspectives in the above post.
- Horrorpedia has been busy with some fun takes on The Mummy (1959); Jack the Reaper (2011); and my favorite of this odd trifecta, Malibu Shark Attack (2009). This is not the sum total of Horrorpedia’s work last week, but these were what I enjoyed most.
This last one reminds me of a side-project I just might get going, doing a “movie-of-the-day” about Jaws-rip-offs of various kinds of animals attacking people. If this furlough keeps going, you never know what can happen!
- Horror Movie Project wrote up some important exploitation/horror films of the last couple decades, starting with the 1990 Tom Savini remake of Night of the Living Dead, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), starring a younger version of The Walking Dead’s Michael Rooker (and with a full head of hair), the essential Deep Red (1975), and the even more essential original version of Rosemary’s Baby (1968).
- Over at Forgotten Films we get some good posts on a variety of fun flicks, a couple of which should be seen annually, I think: Blackenstein (1973) was part of the early-to-mid 1970s blaxploitation series remaking classic horror icons, other examples being the William Marshall vehicles Blacula and Abby (remaking The Exorcist). FF also talks Grizzly (1976), another of the aforementioned Jaws rips; The Awakening (1980) a snoozer in which yet another ancient Egyptian queen comes back to life, this time with no thanks to Charlton Heston’s and Stephanie Zimbalist’s overwrought acting. Lastly, we get one of two takes this week of my own guilty pleasure, Zombie Lake (1981), about zombie Nazis. Or Nazis, who happen to be zombies. Or whatever. Also, check out Midnight Triple Feature’s separate review of Zombie Lake.
- There’s a whole lot of 1960s sweetness over at Anti-Film School, with fresh posts on Black Sunday (1960); Kiss of the Vampire (1963); Nightmare (1964); The Evil of Frankenstein (1964); and Plague of the Zombies (1966). Love me some classic Hammer horror! And while you’re there, be sure and vote for which film you’d like to see reviewed on Halloween, I voted for The Exorcist, fwiw.
Starring Barbara Steele, who I recently saw in Piranha 18 years after this one, still messing shit up, this time, and yet again, with the wildlife eating people!
Co-starring Sandor Elès, whose death anniversary was a month or so ago.
- Lost Highway was three fun ones this time: Pieces (1983), a self-explanatory classic slasher ripoff of the irreplaceable Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974); Night Tide (1961) in which young Dennis Hopper falls in love with a woman who may or may not be a mermaid; and Journey to the Seventh Planet (1961), classic B-sci-fi about visiting Uranus. My tweeps are pretty monster/slasher horror-focused, so seeing some good old fashioned sci-fi/horror here in the bunch is nice and refreshing.
- The positively essential Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) gets a new review, courtesy of Church of Splatter-Day Saints, not only did this flick introduce the facehugging monster that Alien gets all the credit foe later, but this film helped revive Universal Studios’ flagging fortunes by introducing new possibilities for monster movies when the genre had all but run its course in the mid-1950s.
- Rupert Pupkin Speaks continues a really great series enlisting the help of some truly excellent horror buffs and auteurs to give some lists of underrated genre films. Taken together, they comprise a good “essentials” and “deep cuts” (pardon the pun) list for every fan. This time out, RP gets some recommendations from Scott Derrickson, Heather Drain (her blog, her Twitter) Josh Miller, Marya Gates, Rockie Juarez, and John Carpenter—no, not that John Carpenter. Here are some highlights of their essentials:
Lastly, I’ll conclude this post with a fun link over to The Hollywood Reporter and their interviews with all concerned with the making of Evil Dead 2. “We were like ‘Jackass’ with a plot”! Enjoy!