Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Hey, big surprise here. My buddy Holder Haase over at Hammer And Beyond has nominated me for the Premio Dardos Award. What's that you ask? Beats me. I looked it up and apparently you win the award if you are selected by someone else to win it. Then you are supposed to nominate other blogs to receive the award.
I'm still working on that list. Probably more on that at a later date.
Thanks Holger! What a great honor that someone would think that this blog deserves any kind of an award. Go check out Holger's blog for some more fun stuff.
Howdy all! The Rondo Awards were announced last night. The minor fact that a rag like Rue Morgue beat out Video Watchdog is mildly irritating compared to what was shoved down our throats as best flick of the year;
THE DARK KNIGHT
Are you kidding me?!?!?! THE DARK KNIGHT?!?!?!
Let's run down the list of nominees, shall we?
CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN
THE DARK KNIGHT
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
DIARY OF THE DEAD
HELLBOY: THE GOLDEN ARMY
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
X FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE
Okay, admittedly, there is a lot of crap on this list and most of it doesn't deserve to win, but IRON MAN is a significantly better super hero film and is much better than the over hyped, bloated carcass of THE DARK KNIGHT. The newest HELLBOY flick gets it all right and is breathtaking to watch.
And then there's LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. If we continue to ignore the significant contributions that foreign films make in the world cinema by snubbing it in place of a flick that won because one of the actors died, then we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
That's why THE DARK KNIGHT lost. It lost because Heath Ledger was incapable of medicating himself properly. I realize that sounds harsh, but it's true.THE DARK KNIGHT is not a good movie. It's longer than it needs to be, preachier than it needs to be and just boring through long stretches of the film. Well, that and Two Face's makeup made me run for the bathrooms because it made me sick, but that is neither here nor there.
This is how I am rectifying the situation. I am ignoring this particular award. If someone asks me who won The Rondo for best picture I will feign ignorance or out and out lie and say that LET THE RIGHT ONE IN won.
Sure, it's denying reality, but people do that all the time. Why should I be any different.
The rest of the awards were superb, well except for that Rue Morgue nonsense. The fact that Barbie won a award was excellent.
That's all I have. Let the hate mail commence.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I never review music on this site. Time to break that particular rule. I heard Kate Micucci on The Ken P.D. Snydecast. (an excellent podcast by the way go HERE to check that out.) I found out that she had done some episodes of Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother. Then I found her EP at CD Baby. It's only five tracks for five bucks so, not a huge amount of cash. A buck a song seems pretty reasonable to me. Four of the five tracks are silly and fun and filled with ukulele. The fifth one; Just Say When is a little more melancholy, but still a good song.
I never buy music so the fact that I laid down the five shekels to get this means you should do the same. Visit CD Baby for the download and show your support for some fun filled tunage.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Before we begin I will give full warning that there are spoilers. I know what you're thinking. But, Doug, the movie hasn't been released yet, how can you have spoilers? Simple. The idiots who have made this one have prettty much given away every plot point to a movie that doesn't have much in the way of plot to begin with.
First, let's cover the original.
A first film my Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham, LAst House On The Left is brutal. David Hess as Krug is one of the most unforgiving, perverted, psychopaths to come down the cinematic pike in a while. Even today he is brutal in his portrayal of this degenerate. Can you imagine what the people thought in 1972? Shocking to say the very least.
The premise is that two young girls are on their way to see a rock concert and they want to score a little grass. They run into this funny kid who happens to tag along with this looney Krug and his flunkies. Pretty soon the two girls are dragged into the woods, raped, beaten, stabbed, forced to urinate on themselves and carved up like Christmas turkeys.
This extended scene is as brutal as I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE's extended rape scene was. It just keeps going and batters you over the head.
Well, eventually, the killers have car trouble and are forced to stop at a little house on a deserted stretch of road. They just happen to pick the house of one of the girls they have just violated and murdered. A clue leads the parents to find their daughter who dies.
The rest of the film is the calculated revenge of the two parents. This is a big crowd pleaser because revenge is always a crowd pleaser. Honestly, I would have done the same. God knows ytou couldn't turn this scum over to the American justice system. Put them down like a rabid dog. And they do in graphic detail.
See, pretty simple flick, right?
Now they want to remake it. Hell, they have reamde it and the advertising blitz tells us it will be here Friday. The killers look generic, the plot is the same, but they did one thing different.
THE DAUGHTER LIVES!!!
Okay, if they are able to save their daughter then why in the Hell are they killing everyone. The basic concept of Last House On The LEft is one of revenge. Take that away and you no longer have that movie. It becomes a different movie with a familiar title. Plus, the killers are lame.
Here is the original set of killers;
Now, here are the new ones;
Um, yeah, right. Not scary and pretty damned generic looking.
If you want to see LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, then by all means do so. You can by a very nice DVD of it or rent it from NETFLIX or your nearest video store. I recommend it and it's a very good film. This new one is crap and needs to be ignored. If we continue to support this crap then they will continue to make it.
Be intelligent and see what all the fuss is about with the new one by watching the original one instead.
Here's a trailer to show you why.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
This has been out for a while now by the good folks over at Mondo Macabro. I just got around to watching it this weekend. Really, the only thing you need to know is it's a straight up spy flick with one difference.
The leading man is three feet tall. Actor Weng Weng is one of those little people who is perfect proportioned, but only three feet tall. He plays his role as Secret Agent 00 straight and that helps with the laughs inherent in the film. His karate moves and swordplay are dead on and you can tell that this was a man who trained quite a bit in the martial arts.
I liked how they let him do the leading man thing in all areas. He fights, he kills, he seduces the ladies. He has a huge bag of special agent tricks including an awesome jet pack.
I'm sorry to hear that Weng Weng has not been with us for quite some time. This is a film that could have done a series with little effort. Can you imagine the continuing adventures of Agent 00? It would have been awesome.
Anyway, this is still available from Mondo Macabro and I would recommend it to anyone who has a thing for the super spy genre.
Here's a trailer to whet your appetite;
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
It was entirely by accident. I watched a lot of movies when I was sick recently. One that I needed to watch was the 1986 flick EYE OF THE TIGER starring Gary Busey as a good guy and William Smith takes up the role of crazed biker villain.
Seems that Busey's character, Buck, has served some hard time and is just getting out of the slammer. He goes back to the small town he grew up in where his loving wife and daughter are waiting for him. There's something else waiting for Buck. Trouble. Trouble in this guise comes in the form of a biker gang led by William Smith.
They have a drug factory and compound outside of town and they take the law into their own hands. When Buck stops a group of them from raping a nurse on her way home they retaliate by trashing his house and killing his wife. seems like overkill to me, but now Buck has no choice. Time to take those skills honed in Nam and show these bikers how ass is properly kicked. with the help of Yaphet Kotto and a tricked out truck with mortars and machine guns, Buck brings the fight to the bikers. Gary Busey versus a legion of bikers? The poor bikers never had a chance.
we get the title song three times during the course of the flick, the action really never slows down for any kind of story. The most shocking moment in the flick would have to be when the bikers tow Buck's dead wife's coffin back to his house and dump it in his front yard. That's cold blooded there boys and girls.
I like that they knew they were dealing with a revenge flick of the most basic variety so there is not a lot of slow time in the movie as I mentioned before. We get right to business from the onset and it doesn't let up until the credits roll. An action flick that knows what it is and delivers accordingly. Genius. From the director who gave us the immortal VANISHING POINT comes a classic of 80's cinema. This must have been a blast when it was first released upon the world.
Next up was COMMANDO SQUAD. I have been in a classic Fred Olen Ray mood of late and been watching a few of his flicks. None of that INVISIBLE MOM crap. Sure, it has done good business for Fred and glad to hear it, but I want Fred's crazy 80's output and that is delivered in spades in the flick from 1987.
Seems that special operative Kat wants nothing more than to go on vacation. Too bad there's a huge drug cartel that needs busting up down in Mexico. To make sure she goes she discovers that her old partner Clint (Brian Thompson) is in the clutches of the evil drug lords. Little does Kat suspect that an old member of the firm, Morgan (William Smith) has turned into the reigning drug lord of Mexico. Now she has to defeat him, save her partner and shut down the drug operations for good. Easier said than done when Morgan has the help of Sid Haig and Ross Hagen. This ruthless band of drug runners will stop at nothing to get Kat out of the way...for good.
This was mindless, good fun. Lots of guns, explosions and Sid Haig acting like, well, Sid Haig. I have to give Fred Olen Ray props for the innovative torture sequence. When they pulled Clint's tooth and then shot compressed air into the fresh socket it made my teeth ache for a while.
The only question I have is that this thing starred the Playboy Playmate of The Year. Why was there zero naked in this thing?
Even that doesn't hinder the amount of fun this flick is. You know that when the explosions start hitting fast and furious that the movie is almost over and it's time for Fred to waste his entire pyrotechnics budget in a huge blaze of glory. A good old fashioned action flick that delivers the action.
COMMANDO SQUAD TRAILER
I couldn't find an EYE OF THE TIGER trailer that I could inbed here so go HERE to see it. AMazing stuff!
Monday, March 2, 2009
UPDATE!!! Apparently, Donna Lucas has convinced Tim to come back to the WatchBlog. While Tim says he won't be posting anymore artciles and whatnot, it is good to know that he will be there for us in the future. I smiled the entire time I read his latest entry. Good to have you back, sir.I have been sick these past few days and so have not kept up on my obligatory blog reading. Haven't felt like getting near the computer. Anyway, I forced myself to go to work today and thought that since all I was doing was taking up space I would check on my favorite blogs. One of these is Tim Lucas' Video WatchBlog. Tim Lucas has been a part of my life for many, many, many moons. I can remember reading his stuff before he even had a magazine of his own. I have chatted via email with him and his lovely wife, Donna, numerous times and have always been amazed that he would even write to me to begin with. I have subscribed to Video Watchdog a couple of times in the past. Affordability prevents me from doing so currently, but who knows what the future may bring?
I have his Mario Bava book, a tome so massive and impressive that I feel I am doing it a disservice just by picking it up. Yes, I'm still reading the damned thing and love every page of it.
Tim's blog was always like the fill in the blank stuff for me. Stuff that would never make it into the pages of his magazine or not obsessive enough to create a book out of it. The WatchBlog was the spackle of Tim Lucas' life.
Now it is gone.
Thursday, February 26th will go down as a dark day here in the wilds of the Internet as a post simply titled '845' (The number of blog entries he has done) with a bittersweet poem telling us that the ride is over.
Anyone who knows me knows that I despise change. I despise that this has come to an end. I despise that I will no longer be getting a heads up when there's a new article by Tim in the recent issue of SIGHT & SOUND. Or that he uncovered a lost treasure of video importance in his attic. This immediate gratification is gone and I despise it.
I also understand that he is Tim Lucas and he won't let us down. We'll get our magazine and he's always writing something.
It just won't be the same.
Good Bye WatchBlog. The Internet has dimmed slightly at your passing.