Thursday, May 25, 2017

SO, I DECIDED TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT THE POLONIA BROS.




If you asked me what the first Polonia Bros. movie I ever saw I could probably narrow it down to HOLLA IF I KILL YOU I remember just not liking that film at all. If anyone recommended going down the long, twisted path of Polonia Bros. films, I would not have recommended this as the first foray into their body of work.
Then FEEDERS came along and I was hooked.
Over the years I have watched many of their movies and I thought it was odd that no one had written anything in any depth about them. I had this same thought process when I started on my book of Michael Legge films. These are great movies and people should know as much about them as possible.
I like to share my obsessions.
The process for these books is a little low tech. I watch the movie with a notepad. I make notes on the film and then make sure to get every credit written down. I believe that everyone who makes these movies deserves credit where credit is due.
Then, luckily, I have slow time between calls at work so I'm able to transcribe my notes at work. Then I write a review of the film that goes between the film overview and the credits.
It sounds like a lot of work, but this is just my way of doing things.
I actually managed to get an interview with The Polonia Bros. and Jon McBride before John passed away. It is a great interview and I may include it in the book.
I have decided to add a couple of things to the Polonia book. Besides people telling stories of working with them I am asking Mark Polonia one question about each film. They will accompany each film overview/review/credits.
Also, this time I am going with alphabetical instead of chronological. With this many films I believe that it will work better that way.
I have finished six reviews. I'm trying to get at least one a week, maybe more as time allows.
At the average rate of 1400 words per film this thing will be over 100K the longest thing I have ever written.
Sheesh!
The things i get myself into.

Here are some trailers of Polonia Bros. magic.
Enjoy!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

CHUPACABRA TERRITORY (2016)





Every so often a film pops up in my inbox that looks interesting and I tell them to go ahead and send me a screener. I don't do it as often as I did in the past, but, hey this one had Sarah Nicklin in it. Who was I to say no.
For those of you that don't know who Sarah Nicklin is, well first, shame on you and, second, there is a magnificent director named Richard Griffin who has given us excellent films like;
ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION
DISCO EXORCIST
BEYOND THE DUNWICH HORROR
Sarah was in all of these along with her then husband, Michael Reed. Both of them are in this one.
Let's run it down shall we?
First off, it's a found footage film. Get the groaning out of the way and get back here. I can't stand found footage movies. So, if I'm still here that's a great sign.
Anyway, it starts with a disclaimer from the government about the footage they found. Due to the Freedom of Information Act anyone can watch this.
That works for me.
Our foursome are Amber, Joe, Morgan and Dave. They have heard of a place that is where the chupacabra dwell and they are out to prove it. The first road to where they need to go is barricaded. The second one has a ranger guarding it and some shifty guy who the ranger refers to as a biologist.
Yeah, right, a biologist in fatigues with a weird looking tank strapped to his back.
I ain't buying it.
Anyway, these kooky kids manage to get around the ranger and deep into chupacabra territory. (Yeah, see what I did there? Funny, huh?)
So, they run into other campers, get drunk. The other campers wander off to get slaughtered while our gang keeps looking.
Sometimes, the thing you want to find should just be left alone.
Right?



Since it touts itself as a found footage film, I start looking for illogical things. There were a few camera angles that no one would have shot. Shots of the car driving down the road. Things like that. One time a character grabbed a camera and ran for it. I do not believe for an instance he would have done that, but what are you going to do?
That being said, I liked the movie. Sure, Sarah Nicklin's character, Amber, could have worn more convincing clothes. Most people don't camp in a mini skirt, but she has nice legs so I'm going to let that pass. It was clever to introduce the other campers so we got some nudity to help crank up the exploitation quotient of the movie. The blood and guts looked good and I was happy they showed the monsters.
So many of these don't show the monster and I think that's a mistake. The whole reason for being there is to see the monster not just hear some passable foley work.
There is lots of professional looking camera work instead of nothing but GoPro and shaky cam. Sure, I get what your going for with that, but you can't get a guy to hold the camera steady for some exposition shots?



So, in the end, while this has not won me over to the found footage form of film making I liked this a lot. It produces an eerie effect overall, the monsters work and there are questions that we never get an answer to. Maybe we could get a sequel? Chupacabra Territory: The Biologist. That would be cool. And Morgan was the coolest one of the bunch. Made me laugh out loud more than once.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why I'm Not Watching Any New Star Wars Movies

A lot of you will look at that title and figure the old man is getting ready to go on a rant. Yeah, I could, but I decided this might be a good learning experience for everyone. See, I go to new movies all the time. I watch new shows. No problem at all. But, you have to remember one thing. Star Wars came out in 1977. That was the year I turned fifteen. Yeah, I get that I'm old, I understand. But, here's the thing. You find out when you were fifteen and go see what movies were made that year. It's easy to get a list.
Here's mine; (Yes I expect you to at least glance over the list. I'll meet you down below.)

Airport ‘77
Andy Warhol’s Bad
Annie Hall
Audrey Rose
The Bad News Bears In Breaking Training
Billy Jack Goes to Washington
Black Sunday
Breaker! Breaker!
A Bridge Too Far
The Car
The Choirboys
Cinderella
Citizen’s Band
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Cross of Iron
Damnation Alley
The Day of the Animals
The Deep
Demon Seed
Desperate Living
The Domino Principle
Drive-In Massacre
Eaten Alive
Empire of the Ants
Equus
Exorcist 2: The Heretic
For the Love of Benji
Fun With Dick And Jane
The Gauntlet
The Goodbye Girl
Grand Theft Auto
Greased Lightning
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Heroes
High Anxiety
The Hills Have Eyes
The Incredible Melting Man
The Island of Dr. Moreau
Islands in the Stream
The Kentucky Fried Movie
Kingdom of the Spiders
Last House on Dead End Street
The Last Remake of Beau Geste
The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
Martin
New York, New York
Oh ,God!
Orca
The Other Side of Midnight
Outlaw Blues
The People That Time Forgot
Pete’s Dragon
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Pumping Iron
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure
The Rescuers
Rollercoaster
Rolling Thunder
Ruby
Satan’s Cheerleaders
Semi Tough
The Sentinel
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
Slap Shot
Smokey and the Bandit
Star Wars
Telefon
Tentacles
Valentino
The Van
Viva Knievel!
Which Way Is Up?
Wizards
The World’s Greatest Lover

You Light Up My Life

And these are just the ones that I remember watching. Some good, some bad. Some really great movies in there. Some people on their A game with some of these films. Turning fifteen means you are on your way to adult hood, but you're still a kid. Everything is changing in your life and you either plow through it or examine everything.
See, I was lucky. My parents love movies. They loved to take us to movies. We saw them all. My dad took us to see All The President's Men because he thought it was important. That was the year before and all four of us went, even my little sister. Most of the movies up there can bring some long ago memory into laser focus for me. They remind me of that time that I was on the cusp of adulthood.
Of them all Star Wars was one of the more important ones. Remember, we had no VCRs or DVDs. If we wanted to see a movie we went and watched it. The first time we went we were blown away. My dad got us all in the car, we sat there for a minute and he said,
"Do you want to go see it again, right now?"
We all shouted yes and we went back in. One time, it was at The Douglas Drive in with Grey Lady Down and a thunder storm broke out as they were making the run on the Death Star. I stuck my head out the window to see it.
Star Wars was awesome. I watched the two sequels. I read Marvel's comic book. I even got Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster and thought that was great.  The trilogy ended on a happy note for me and that was fine.
The prequels were just the worst. I watched the first one, snippets of the second one and a couple of pieces of the third one and felt that I had not missed a thing. Those weren't made for me. I had my three Star Wars movies and I was very happy with that.
The real reason I'm not watching any of the new Star Wars movies?
I don;t need them.
I have my Star Wars movies and that's just fine with me.
Look at that list again.
Isn't that a great list?
Just reading it makes me want to go and watch at least ten of them right now.
Enjoy the new Star Wars movies.
Those are for you.
May The Force Be With you.

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