HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Terror Washes Up in Thriller "PARADISE COVE" Starring Mena Suvari, Kristin Bauer van Straten & Todd Grinnell

Terror Washes Up in PARADISE COVE

Production Underway on Malibu Beachfront Thriller

Starring Mena Suvari, Kristin Bauer van Straten & Todd Grinnell

Los Angeles, CA - Principal production has begun on the scenic psychological thriller Paradise Cove. The Martin Guigui-helmed feature is now filming in Los Angeles with leads Mena Suvari (American Beauty, American Pie, "American Horror Story") and Todd Grinnell (Netflix's "One Day at a Time" and "Grace and Frankie") at the mercy of "True Blood" and "Once Upon a Time" alum Kristin Bauer van Straten.

A contractor and his wife (Grinnell, Suvari) head to Malibu to flip his late mother's beach house and are terrorized by the deranged homeless woman (Bauer van Straten) living underneath.

Paradise Cove is the latest feature for director Martin Guigui, who has enjoyed a long career as both a feature director and Grammy-nominated music producer. The script was penned by executive producer Sherry Klein, making her first foray into the thriller genre after starting her career on TV's "Star Trek: Voyager" and recently working on the animated fantasy film franchise Ever After High.

Mena Suvari is repped by APA and MPE. Todd Grinnell is repped by The Gersh Agency and Gartner/Green Entertainment. Kristin Bauer van Straten is repped by Buchwald and LINK Entertainment.


W.C. Fields: How To Play Squigilum ("Never Give A Sucker An Even Break", 1941) (video)

W.C. Fields drops in on a young woman (Susan Miller)...

...who's never seen a man before.

He introduces her to a kissing game called "Squigilum."

Then her mother (Margaret Dumont) shows up and wants to play, too.

That's when Fields decides it's time to bail out--fast!

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Monday, April 29, 2019

"AN HOUR TO KILL" -- New Gangster Horror/Comedy From Rotten Productions -- Watch the Trailer HERE!

Before they make the hit, these gangsters shoot the sh!t


GENRE: Horror / Comedy / Action

Two assassins have an hour to kill (so to speak) before their next hit. To help pass the time, they entertain themselves by sharing horror stories to one another.

With bizarre titles such as "Valkyrie's Bunker" "Assacre" and "Hog Hunters" - which hit-man's story will be deemed most disturbing when all is said and done? 





RUN TIME: 96 min
COMPANY: Rotten Productions

DIRECTED BY: Aaron K. Carter
WRITTEN BY: Aaron K. Carter / Ronnie Jimenez
PRODUCED BY: Aaron K. Carter / Jacob Harlow


Mel Novak (Game Of Death, An Eye For An Eye, Syndicate Smasher)
Frankie Pozos (LA 143)
Aaron Guerrero (Dead Kansas)
Amanda Rau (Living Among Us) 
Joe McQueen (Confessions Of A SuperHero)
Veronica Ricci (Treasure Chest Of Horrors II / Bloody Mary 3D) 
Brendan Mitchell (WetMovie1 / YouTube Personality)
Gabriel Mercado (Dysmorphia)Luna Meow (Things 4)
Arash Dibazar (seduction artist)
Vince Kelvin (seduction artist)


New Clip & Poster for Emily Cohn's Wild Teen Comedy "CRSHD!" Tribeca '19


Written and Directed by Emily Cohn

Starring Isabelle Barbier, Deeksha Ketkar, Sadie Scott, Will Janowitz, L.H. González, Abdul Seidu

Watch the clip HERE

End-of-the-year celebrations are underway at a small liberal arts college in Ohio. The night’s main event? A CRUSH PARTY. The rules? Submit your crush and they get an invite. Or if you’re “crushed,” you also get an invite.

Self-conscious freshman IZZY ALDEN is still a virgin and the crush party is her last chance to do something about it before summer break. ANUKA and FIONA, Izzy’s two best friends, help Izzy on her mission to “bone” as they each pursue romantic interests of their own. Anuka, annoyed with her boyfriend, crushes a senior meme lord while Fiona crushes a hot liberal arts lesbian. In typical millennial style, social media plays mediator and the girls chase their crushes in real life and online.

But Izzy’s moral compass skews as the night progresses and her quest to have sex with her crush on his twin-XL bed might cost Izzy the friendships she cares about most. Even so, by the next morning, it seems some of Izzy’s mistakes happened “for a reason” and maybe the right person has been in front of her all along.

About Emily Cohn (Writer/Director):
Emily studied Creative Writing at Oberlin College and Film Production at the Prague Film School. Her first short film, PIERCED, was funded by the Tribeca Film Institute and won Best Drama at the 2012 All American High School Film Festival. Her web series "The Do Not Enter Diaries" was featured in The New York Times. CRSHD is her leap into long-form content.

TRT: 81 mins
Country: USA
Language: English
Section: Viewpoints
Sales: Visit Films


Tuesday, April 30 | 6:30 PM at Village East Cinema
Wednesday, May 1 | 7:00 PM at Regal Cinemas Battery Park
Saturday, May 4 | 5:00 PM at Regal Cinemas Battery Park
Stay Connected:
Instagram: @crshdmovie
Facebook: @crshdfilm


The Movie That Inspired Jack Webb To Create "Dragnet" ("He Walked By Night", 1948) (video)

"He Walked By Night" is a tough, terse police procedural...

...with a soon-to-be-familiar opening.

We witness a shocking crime.
We meet the realistic, no-nonsense police detectives.

Their investigation is methodical and by the book.
Eventually their "dragnet" closes around the wily suspect.

In the film, a young Jack Webb plays one of the "lab boys."

It would inspire him in creating the radio and TV classic "Dragnet"... which he starred as realistic, no-nonsense Detective Joe Friday.


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Cinematic Horror Icons Come To Life in All-New "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS" Mazes At Universal Studios' "Halloween Horror Nights"


Universal Pictures’ Legendary Monsters Return to Wreak Havoc at Universal Studios Hollywood and Make Frightening Debut at Universal Orlando Resort

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., ORLANDO, Fla. (April 29, 2019) – “Universal Monsters” will come to life in all-new terrifying Halloween Horror Nights mazes at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, inspired by Universal’s original cinematic monsters and the movie studio that invented the horror films. The terrifying experiences on both coasts will wake some of the most frightening and legendary monsters in horror history and bring them face-to-face with guests at the nation's premier Halloween events.

On the heels of last year’s successful “Universal Monsters” experience, Universal Studios Hollywood will introduce an all-new horrifying maze, “Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man,” that delves deeper into the Universal Monsters’ lore. Loosely based on Universal’s 1943 horror movie of the same name, this reimagined tale for the 21st century takes guests on a terrifying journey that bears witness to a deadly confrontation between these two horror icons and the epic battle that rages between them. Guests will follow in the footsteps of the Frankenstein Monster, lured by exotic music towards a nearby gypsy camp while desperately seeking sanctuary from a mob of angry villagers determined to destroy him. It is within the gypsy encampment that the Frankenstein Monster meets The Wolf Man and where the madness begins as guests are led along a path of destruction through the murky Moors, to a creepy cemetery and into the smoldering ruins of Castle Frankenstein and its icy cellars beneath.

Once again, GRAMMY® Award-winning musician, SLASH, long hailed as one of the best electric guitar-players of all time, will collaborate with Universal Studios Hollywood to compose an original score for the maze. Click here to witness the rise of the undead that begins this fall at Universal Studios Hollywood.

At Universal Orlando Resort, guests will be hunted by every single grisly monster from the anthology, including Dracula, The Wolf Man and Frankenstein, in the all-new experience, “Universal Monsters.” Each sinister environment will bleed from one to the next as guests press through the darkened realms of horrifying creatures. Guests will face bloody terrors in Dracula’s castle and flee from what is behind the cryptic howls of the grim forest. They’ll run from the horrifying manmade monster within Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory, and fall prey to an ancient Egyptian curse as they are pursued by the evil Mummy. Guests will try to escape the mysterious Creature lurking in the Black Lagoon, or become victims of other horrors waiting in the shadows. Click here to witness the terror that is coming to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited “Halloween Horror Nights” to become victims inside their own horror film.  Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each park’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

“Halloween Horror Nights” begins Friday, September 6 in Orlando and on Friday, September 13 in Hollywood. Additional details about the events will be revealed soon. A limited time ticket offer and vacation package for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are on sale now. For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, visit

About Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Attractions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff™”, and the highly-anticipated Summer opening of “Jurassic World—The Ride.”  Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons Ride™” and DreamWorks Theatre featuring “Kung Fu Panda Adventure.”  The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television production studio where they can also experience such thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” and “King Kong 360 3D.” The adjacent Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex also includes the all-new multi-million dollar, redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres, and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.

Updates on “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood are available online at and on Facebook at: “Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood,” Instagram at @HorrorNights and Twitter at @HorrorNights as Creative Director John Murdy reveals a running chronicle of exclusive information. Watch videos on Halloween Horror Nights YouTube and join the conversation using #UniversalHHN.

About Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is a unique vacation destination that is part of the NBCUniversal Comcast family. For more than 25 years, Universal Orlando has been creating epic vacations for the entire family – incredible experiences that place guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures.

Universal Orlando’s three theme parks, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay, are home to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative theme park experiences – including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Universal Orlando’s hotels are destinations unto themselves and include Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel. Its entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, offers immersive dining and entertainment for every member of the family.

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

ESCAPE FROM WOMEN'S PRISON -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

It looks like ESCAPE FROM WOMEN'S PRISON (Severin Films, 1978) is going to be one of those women's prison movies (natch) that ends with a big escape. Not so, Blu-ray breath.  This Italian sexploitation thriller is about what happens after some desperate women escape from women's prison, take over a bus full of female tennis players going to a big tournament, and hole up in the secluded, hotel-like villa of a judge until the heat's off. 

The leader of the bad girls, Monica (Lilli Carati, THE ALCOVE), is a political terrorist who's always at odds with Diana (Marina D'Aunia), a real tough cookie who thinks she should be in charge. 

The rest of the gang consists of big Betty (Artemia Terenziani) and flaky Erica (Ada Pometti), as well as Monica's brother who was shot helping them escape. 

The good girls include Anna (Zora Kerova), who will be forced to take charge of her peers and eventually confront the escapees, and Terry (Ines Pellegrini, WAR OF THE ROBOTS, EYEBALL), the spineless one who'll do anything to cooperate with their captors. 

Marco (Franco Ferrer) the bus driver, a handsome hunk, gets the romantic treatment from man-hungry Erica and even their wimpy tennis coach is in for some carnal attention from Betty. 

As for the judge (Filippo De Gara, LION OF THE DESERT), he's none too popular with the prison women and is the target for much of their scorn and abuse, until finally he's driven over the edge.

It's your basic "The Desperate Hours"-type situation with the hostages scheming to either escape or overpower their captors before they outlive their usefulness and the fugitives grating on each other and vying for power.  Monica and Diana in particular keep things on a hair trigger as the powderkeg gets ever closer to exploding. 

Meanwhile, the film lives up to its sexploitation status with a number of couplings that include at least three kinds of rape (female on male, male on female, and female on female), with Erica in particular making sure she gets the most out of her tied-up beau Marco.  Good girl Claudine (Dirce Funari) is targeted by Diana in yet another softcore sex sequence.

I love the ways in which these hardbitten dames push their weight around and cuss up a storm at each other with language that could make flowers wilt.  Even in the slower passages their hostile, unpredictable natures keep things hopping.

Actor and screenwriter Giovanni Brusadori chalks up his sole directorial effort here and does so in capable form.  The film benefits from some exceedingly good found locations, from that spacious villa to a nearby Italian town that's very picturesque. The script is co-written by actor George Eastman of such Joe D'Amato films as ABSURD, EMMANUELLE AND FRANCOISE, and ANTROPOPHAGUS.

The Blu-ray from Severin Films is 1080p full HD resolution with English-dubbed mono soundtrack and English captions. The element used for the scan is "a dupe negative and the best known element of the U.S. release version."  The bonus menu includes the original Italian cut "Le Evase" with Italian soundtrack and English captions, as well as "Freedom, Sex & Violence: Interview with Director Giovanni Brusadori" and the trailer.

Picture quality is, I assume, as good as possible though hardly perfect--but, as my regular readers know, I like a print that looks like it's been around the block a few times, especially when it's a lurid exploitation flick like this. 

Things heat up to a savory boil when the cops finally surround the place and the tense stand-off devolves into an exchange of gunfire as the bad girls work out their differences with both the law and each other in deadly terms.  I like the way all the various subplots resolve themselves here in violent, satisfying ways, right up to the final rat-a-tat freeze-frame before the credits roll. 

Buy it at Severin Films

Special Features:
    Le Evase: Italian cut
    Freedom, Sex & Violence: Interview with Director Giovanni Brusadori

Street date: April 30, 2019


W.C. Fields: "This Scene's Supposed To Be In A Saloon, But The Censor Cut It Out" ("Never Give A Sucker An Even Break", 1941) (video)

Fields stops by a soda shop for a "drink."

"This scene's supposed to be in a saloon," he tells us under his breath...

"...but the censor cut it out."

Then he adds, "It'll play just as well..."

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Saturday, April 27, 2019

DEATH WARMED UP -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

The cover art for Severin Films' Blu-ray release of the 1984 New Zealand sci-fi/horror extravaganza DEATH WARMED UP gives barely a hint of what a bloody, violent cavalcade of carnage that awaits within. 

This low-budget, high-octane thriller is packed with everything from breakneck action to fountains of gore, with a slow build-up in the first half giving way to a second half that barely stops to take a jagged breath.

Michael Tucker (Michael Hurst, BITCH SLAP) is a young man who is chemically hynotized into killing his own parents (in a shocking shotgun murder scene) by an unscruplous scientist named Howell (Gary Day, NIGHTMARES) because his partner, Michael's father, was threatening to blow the whistle on Howell's dangerous experiments in prolonging life in hopes of abolishing death altogether.

Naturally, these experiments only result in a new strain of horrible, prolonged death that transforms victims into kill-crazy zombie maniacs whose roiling innards are primed to eventually explode. 

And thankfully, we don't just have to imagine this ourselves after having it described to us, since the film's final, frantic people vs. monsters free-for-all will plunge viewers neck-deep into all the gory carnage a horror fan could hope for.

This is brought about when Michael, emerging after seven years in the nut house for killing his parents, travels to Dr. Howell's island clinic looking for revenge.

Along to help is his friend Lucas (William Upjohn, DARK CITY) as well as, for some reason, their unwilling girlfriends Sandy (Margaret Umbers, SMASH PALACE) and Jeannie (Norelle Scott).

The opening--up to and including Michael's murder of his parents--reminded me of another New Zealand classic, Michael Laughlin's DEAD KIDS, while the middle section, with Dr. Howell's freaky motorcycle-punk henchmen (including David Letch as the wretched "Spider") attacking our heroes as they try to infiltrate the clinic via an old system of tunnels, gives off a distinct MAD MAX vibe. 

But the moment all of Dr. Howell's super-strong, super-psycho "failed experiments" break out of their cells and go on the attack against everyone in the science facility, including Michael and his hapless crew, DEATH WARMED UP lapses into pure, unadulterated bloody chaos strewn with throbbing brains, exploding entrails, wall-to-wall body parts, and rivers of the old red stuff. 

All of this is depicted in imaginative style by David Blyth (MY GRANDPA IS A VAMPIRE, GHOST BRIDE), whose mobile camera and sharp editing keep everything visually interesting throughout.  The cast are well up to the intensity of the story, while production design and SPFX utilize the $400,000 budget to its fullest.

DEATH WARMED UP is packed with situations bleak and grim, yet offers a wealth of fun and excitement to those who get off on this sort of small-scale apocalyptic action.  I felt like I'd been put through a wringer, and when it was over I wanted to go through it again.

Buy it from Severin Films

Street date: April 30, 2019

Special Features:

    BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: Original New Zealand 4×3 VHS cut
    Audio Commentary with Director David Blyth and Writer Michael Heath
    I’ll Get You All: Interview with Actor David Letch
    Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Director David Blyth and Writer Michael Heath
    Interview Featurette with David Blyth and Michael Heath
    Theatrical trailer
    VHS  trailers
    TV Spot

    Reversible cover art


EMANUELLE AND FRANCOISE -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

Is "Cinemax After Dark" still a thing? I remember in the 80s when HBO's sister channel Cinemax would show softcore sex comedies and thrillers during the late-night hours. Director Joe D'Amato's EMANUELLE AND FRANCOISE, aka "Emanuelle's Revenge" and "Blood Revenge" (Severin Films, 1975), is a lot like what would happen if one of those softcore sex thrillers had a head-on collision with one of the director's celebrated blood 'n' guts gore epics. 

Francoise (Patrizia Gori, WAR OF THE ROBOTS, DEADLY CHASE) is a cute, chipper fashion model whose life would be sunshine and lollipops if her live-in boyfriend Carlo (well-played by George Eastman of D'Amato's ABSURD and ANTROPOPHAGUS) weren't such a horrible cad.

Not only does he make her have sex with guys he owes money to, but when she walks in on him getting it on with another woman, his response is to stuff her clothes in a suitcase and toss her out on her ear.  Poor heartbroken Francoise goes straight to the nearest train track and throws herself in front of the next speeding locomotive.

Enter Francoise's worldly older sister Emanuelle (Rosemarie Lindt, SALON KITTY, PORNO-EROTIC WESTERN), who, after reading Francoise's novella-length suicide note, vows revenge against Carlo. 

She contrives to meet him and then leads him on until he ends up in her trap--a secret prison cell behind a sliding wall in her living room, with a two-way mirror through which chained-up Carlo must watch her indulge in the culinary and sexual delights he is now denied (with a much harsher final punishment reserved for the end).

The film is an example of how capable director Joe D'Amato (THE ALCOVE, ABSURD, ANTROPOPHAGUS, BEYOND THE DARKNESS, EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS) was at handling this sort of sexy potboiler, which has the look of one of the better low-budget Italian films of its kind being produced during that era. 

There's a good deal of nudity and sexual activity, from Francoise's unfortunate encounters to Emanuelle herself cavorting with various male and female partners for Carlo to see.  Rosemarie Lindt, not exactly the kind of woman I picture when I hear the name "Emanuelle", is a good actress with sort of an Honor Blackman quality.

Co-written by D'Amato and Bruno Mattei (SHOCKING DARK, ZOMBIE 3, ZOMBIE 4), the film resembles a giallo much of the time, but what really plunges it into horror territory is when Carlo, forced to watch as his captor and her guests gorge themselves on an elegant candlelight dinner, imagines them feasting on human body parts.  Thus we see these sophisticated diners happily chomping away on severed hands, feet, and various other carnal delicacies rarely seen outside of a zombie flick.

A later scene (which may or may not be a hallucination) finds Carlo on the loose after escaping his secret room and attacking Emanuelle with a meat cleaver.  This scene consists mainly of Lindt rolling around nude in a gallon or two of fake blood while a crazed Eastman swings the meat cleaver, which doesn't look very convincing but is certainly lively and fun to watch.

Things finally come to a head when Emanuelle decides it's time for Carlo to pay the ultimate price (I'll give you three guesses what that is), leading to an entertaining final sequence with a pleasing twist ending.  It's more of a kick in the rear than a gut punch, but fans of both sexy thrillers and gruesome gorefests should find that EMANUELLE AND FRANCOISE fits the bill on both counts. 

Buy it at Severin Films

Street date: April 30, 2019

Special Features:
    Three Women and a Mirror: Interview With Actress Maria Rosaria Riuzzi
    The Other Side of the Mirror: Interview With Actor George Eastman
    Deleted/Alternate scenes

    2k Scan From Original Negative
    Reversible Cover


Marc Maron and Jillian Bell in Lynn Shelton's "SWORD OF TRUST" -- Opens July 12th in NY; July 19th in LA

IFC Films Presents
A Film by Lynn Shelton


Starring Marc Maron, Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins and Jon Bass

"Lynn Shelton's loose, funny improv-based comedy feature [has an] excellent cast and something to say. One wishes more tightly scripted comedy screenplays had such savory dialogue, or inspired character conceptions . " 
- Dennis Harvey, VARIETY

"Fun and funny, and we're never entirely sure where it's going. A sense of generosity and an emotional core in addition to its laughs." 
- Kimber Myers, THE PLAYLIST

IFC Films will release SWORD OF TRUST on July 12th in New York (IFC Center and The Landmark at 57 West) and July 19th in Los Angeles (Landmark's Nuart Theatre)

**World Premiere: SXSW 2019**

This riotously funny, improv-based eighth feature from acclaimed director Lynn Shelton (Outside In, Your Sister's Sister, Humpday) is filled with her trademark insight and humanism while slyly exploring our increasingly divided culture of conspiracy theories and revisionist history.

When Cynthia (Jillian Bell, 22 Jump Street) and Mary (Michaela Watkins, "Casual") show up to collect Cynthia’s inheritance from her deceased grandfather, the only item she’s received is an antique sword that he believed to be proof that the South won the Civil War.

The two attempt to unload the object to a curmudgeonly pawnshop owner Mel (Marc Maron, "GLOW") and his man-child sidekick Nathaniel (Jon Bass, Molly's Game). When Mel and Nathaniel discover there’s a black market for the relic, the two pairs reluctantly join forces to sell this rarefied ‘prover item’ to the highest bidder.

The adventure that ensues takes the four of them on a wild journey into the depths of conspiracy theory and Southern disillusionment. Anchored by a hilarious and emotionally raw performance from Maron (who also wrote and performed the music), Sword of Trust is a sharp, unexpected ensemble comedy with Shelton's authentic take on the complexities of interpersonal relationships on full display.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Screenwriters: Lynn Shelton, Mike O'Brien
Cast: Marc Maron, Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins, Jon Bass, Toby Huss, Dan Bakkedahl
Release Date: New York on July 12 (IFC Center and The Landmark at 57 West); Los Angeles on July 19 (Landmark's Nuart Theatre)

TRT: 89 min.
Producers: Ted Speaker, Lynn Shelton
Executive Producers: Peter Gilbert, Eddie Linker, Joe Swanberg
Director of Photography: Jason Oldak

Editor: Tyler L. Cook


John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #35: This Gun Not For Hire, "El Dorado" (1967) (video)

Cole Thornton (John Wayne) is a gun for hire...

...offered employment by crooked rancher Jason (Ed Asner).

Jason wants to take over the whole area and kill anyone who gets in his way.

After checking out the situation, Thornton turns him down cold.

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Friday, April 26, 2019

GEMR Selects the Top 10 Marvel Legends Figures Of All Time


Just in time for Avengers: Endgame

LOS ANGELES --  Gemr, the world’s #1 destination for fans to discover, display and connect, announced today its Top 10 Marvel Legends Figures list of all time and it’s not what you’d expect. The Gemr team selected figures that stand the test of time and look great in any collection. Some of the figures are older and hard to find and some are new enough that you can still get them for close to retail price…at least until the April 26th release of Avengers: Endgame.

A quick bit of toy history though before the list.  The Marvel Legends lines have been around for quite some time. When the line was started by Toybiz, they were the most articulated action figures you could buy. Their articulation had articulation, as Gemr likes to point out. From moving fingers to their articulated toes, they were works of art for their time. Then, like a hungry Blob, Hasbro consumed Toybiz and took over the line.  Over the years, both companies have produced some good (and some bad) figures.

Below is the Gemr’s Top 10 list.

10.  Toybiz Beast

According to Gemr, this is an old standby figure. One thing to remember when talking about it is that this figure is 10 years old, so there are going to be some things that are...lacking. The sculpt isn’t as detailed as many of the figures that are coming out now, but that’s perhaps mostly a technology thing. The fur detail doesn’t cover his entire body, and is sort of patchy instead. However, where the fuzz is lacking -- the articulation isn’t.  The articulation, right down to his fingers and toes, allowed fans to pose him in so many ways as to never get bored. He could be placed into a handstand, or a perfect crouch, without breaking a sweat. And where the fur was lacking, the face wasn’t. His head sculpt is still one of the most comic accurate you can buy. Sure, he looked a little weird with his mouth open, but that doesn’t even take points off.

9.  Spider Gwen (Absorbing Wave)
This was a really anticipated figure and we weren’t disappointed. Spider Gwen, or Spider-Woman in her universe, is a character all seem to really enjoy. She doesn’t come with a vast range of accessories, or any extra hands (we really wish she came with a few extra hands -- they gave so many to Ben Riley from the same line), but that doesn’t stop her from being one of our all-time favorite figures. Her sculpt and paint app are beautiful. Her articulation is on point, and it’s worth it to say she has the best non-cloth hood we’ve ever seen.  She comes with two different heads, one with the mask on and hood up, and one with her mask off and hood down. Despite the hood, the masked head doesn’t lose any articulation and actually has more range of motion than the unmasked head. The biggest complaint with the figure is actually the really neutral expression of the unmasked head. It feels like she lacks the distinctive personality of Gwen so it is recommended to display her with the masked head. A must for any fan.

8.  Deadpool (Juggernaut Wave)
If you’re looking for a high-quality Deadpool with pretty much every accessory ever -- this is the one you want. There are a couple of other excellent Deadpools out there (the Toybiz is another favorite), but for the value, this is the one. The modern suit looks really good, the Bucky/Cap body is perfect for Deadpool, and the masked face has a really great, slightly sassy expression. The second head, an unmasked face with a rather playful, but murderous grin, is also good. This sculpt and paint app are much better than some of the others. The articulation is fantastic as well, which means it’s not only nice to look at -- but fun to pose. Then, there are the accessories -- there are so many accessories! It comes with two swords, two pistols, a knife, a shotgun, an energy rifle, a rocket launcher (complete with removable boxing glove), and finally -- a taco. What’s even more amazing is that almost every single thing Deadpool comes with can be stored on his body! The swords sheath on his back, the rocket launcher pegs between them, the pistols have holsters, the knife goes in the boot, and the laser rifle and shotguns fit perfectly into his hands. The only thing left is the taco -- which is a crying shame. A taco holster would have been a nice addition. Alas, maybe next time.

7.  MCU Gamora (Mantis Wave)
Now, Gemr was hesitant to put an MCU figure on this list, but all agreed this one needs to be here. The first Gamora was ‘meh’ at best -- maybe a wiggly hand gesture if we’re feeling generous. Thankfully for the fans, they kicked it up a notch with the Mantis Wave. Her articulation and sculpt are much better and is one of the many things that made her the standout of the wave. The accessories are really nice; you get an extended sword with nicely sculpted lines to show where it folds (much better than the last one), a folded sword, and her giant gun. These things are all fantastic -- great accessories can make a figure, after all. But for true critics, it’s the head sculpt. This Gamora has one of the closest resemblances to the on-screen character seen from Hasbro. The likeness alone makes it worth the purchase. The paint app is overall really nice, and the ombre of her hair is excellent. She looks awesome posed with the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy crew. Skip the older version -- this is the Gamora you want.

6.  Dark Phoenix (Toys-R-Us exclusive two pack)
Gemr suggests ignoring the Cyclops in this two pack because he’s not all that special, but Dark Phoenix is incredible -- and why fans need to pick up this pack. Never have you seen such a dangerous looking female sculpt in a Marvel Legends figure, and it makes most fans very happy. The paint is really great, and the one non-head accessory, the translucent fire phoenix, is perfect.  The three heads she comes with are what pushes this figure over the edge. Two of the heads are nice, but not enough to make this a must buy -- however, the third head makes this figure. This new sculpt is stellar. Her eyes are painted yellow, her lips black, and her hair is a beautiful translucent red which catches the light incredibly. She is really easy to pose, and her paint app steals the show. All these things add up to a must-have figure for any Legends Collection.

5.  Wolverine (Juggernaut Wave)
There are a few good Wolverine figures out there, and the Toy Biz Wolverine is an old favorite -- but Gemr believes this one is better. First things first, the Juggernaut Wave Wolverine’s accessories. Fans actually get interchangeable hands! The claws in and claws out hands give so many more posing options, and boy does this figure pose nicely. They also gave him a nice ab crunch, which opens up even more dynamic poses for display. There are a few complaints about this Wolverine, but they are more minor gripes (we’re collectors, after all -- there are always gripes). It would be nice if they had given him some hair. Wolverine is a hairy, hairy man, and they didn’t paint any hair on the arms or give him any stubble. They also could have been a bit cleaner on the mask paint app. Not all of the figures have the paint issue, but some do. Even with those minor annoyances, this is still by far the best Wolverine in the line. If it came with a snarling head, it would have been perfect.

4.  Archangel (Hit Monkey Wave)
This guy is actually a repaint of the SDCC Archangel they released, and no one at Gemr seemed to be bothered by that. The color is a little off from the comics, but honestly, it’s not bad. We think that the darker blue makes the metallic pink stand out better. We also think the metallic pink makes the figure ‘pop’ more. The head sculpt and paint are SO much better than anything previously released, which makes him a better fit in the line-up than the previous one (who had a bizarre face). The wings are incredibly sculpted and make him look great in any pose. They move enough that fans can set him on the ground or set him up on a peg stand for flying poses. The only comment is that they didn’t keep the metallic silver paint app of the SDCC exclusive. Though the SDCC wings flop around and fall off really easily, the color was so spot on. We get it -- they need to keep the con exclusives unique -- but that one change would have made this figure perfect.

3.  ToyBiz Nightcrawler
Despite being about a decade old, this Nightcrawler holds up really, really well. As mentioned before, the articulation on the Toybiz Marvel Legends lines are insane! Nightcrawler is another figure where the articulation isn’t a detriment. He has so many joints that it’s hard to keep track of them all, and it allows for some incredible posing. Not to mention that the sculpt is really, really good for the time it was released. The musculature isn’t outrageous, and it keeps him looking slim but still ready to throw down. His hands and feet are comic accurate, and the individual finger movement makes for natural posing.  Fans will want to play with it for hours. The variety of poses he can be put into is unrivaled. Then there is the head sculpt. While it isn’t the iconic Jim Lee version, it’s still amazing. He’s a little more chiseled than one might expect from Nightcrawler, but even so, all the wrinkles are perfectly crafted, and the hair is really well sculpted and painted. Even if this figure is a decade old -- hunt it down and pick it up. It’s worth every penny.

2.  Toy Biz BAF Sentinel
Gemr didn’t want to include any Build a Figures, mainly because they felt like they are in a class of their own. However, this one needs to be on the list of best Marvel Legends figures. It just has to. The sculpt on this is incredible. Every opening in the armor has incredible details on the wiring inside, and the metallic paint app is perfect. The whole look is so perfectly iconic, that it warranted being on the list. The paint, overall, is kind of sloppy -- but that isn’t a drawback. Usually, haphazard paint would upset fans, but the slapdash dry brushing makes the Sentinel look as if it’s been through hell. There are lots of dings, scuffs, and roughing up, which makes it look like this guy has been through combat and came out kicking. It comes with a pair of highly posable tentacles which hold up nicely -- though they take a little force to get in the holes on its palms. And at about 15” tall, it will dominate a X-Men display and make for an ominous presence on the shelf.

1.Pizza Spidey (Hobgoblin Wave)
Fans worldwide have strong feelings about Spider-Man. Like most Marvel fans, he’s one of Gemr’s favorite characters -- so standards for a figure are pretty high. There are quite a few of the different Spidey releases, but this is by far the favorite. He is as close to a perfect Spider-Man as you can get. Everything about the sculpt is excellent, and they went with the painted on webbing instead of the sculpted version -- it can make the figure look too chunky and take away from the figure itself. Not to mention that fans get a second head sculpt -- half unmasked. This was completely necessary and a great bonus for this figure. Then the hands -- you get so many hands! He comes with three sets: fists, thwip, and wall-crawler. All those hands lead to an abundance of poses and opportunities.  Most fans like to play with their figures and this one is great for that.

Pizza Spidey can actually do an unaided handstand on his wall-crawling hands, and there is the accessory that gives this iconic figure his name in collector circles. The slice of pepperoni pizza he comes with is sculpted as well as the figure, and sits really nicely in his hand. It wasn’t needed to make this the top Spidey figure -- but it definitely helps.

To celebrate the upcoming release of Avengers: Endgame, Gemr has set up a “Back Up Plan” Giveaway.  Fans can enter by signing up for the Gemr platform or app and joining the Marvel club. Additional entries can be gained by adding their own Marvel collection photos to their page. Deadline to enter is April 29, 2019.

Gemr is the leading platform for collectors to discover, display, discuss and buy & sell collectibles. With over 75 million collectors worldwide, Gemr offers a vertically integrated platform for all levels of collecting. Gemr currently has over 540,000 users and 537 unique clubs covering anime, comics, gaming, horror, sci-fi, sports and more. Visit Gemr at or download the app to join the Gemr world. 


"PLAY OR DIE" -- Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires North American Rights to Jacques Kluger's Escape Room Horror


Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires North American Rights to Jacques Kluger's Escape Room Horror

Los Angeles, CA (April 24, 2019) – Samuel Goldwyn Films announced today that the company has acquired North American rights to the horror movie PLAY OR DIE, directed by Jacques Kluger. The film stars Charley Palmer (DUNKIRK), Roxane Mesquida (“Now Apocalypse”), Marie Zabukovec (INTERRAIL), Thomas Mustin (RAW), and Igor Van Dessel (RACER AND THE JAILBIRD). PLAY OR DIE will be available through On-Demand and on Digital platforms July 2.

In the story, Lucas and Chloe are two passionate gamers. They decide to participate in Paranoia, a very exclusive escape game. After solving the first riddle, they make it to the location of the finale in an abandoned mental hospital, hidden deep in a frightening forest. There, four other participants are waiting for them. Together, they soon realize that only one of them will get out alive.

PLAY OR DIE was directed by Jacques Kluger and co-written with Amiel Bartana. The film is based on the best-selling novel “Puzzle” by Franck Thilliez and published by Fleuve Editions. The film was produced by Jacques Kluger (Kluger Partners), Nexus, and Nadia Khamlichi & Gilles Waterkeyn (Umedia).

The deal was negotiated by Meg Longo on behalf of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Gregory Chambet at WTFilms - on behalf of the filmmakers.


Charley Palmer
Roxane Mesquida
Marie Zabukovec
Thomas Mustin
Igor Van Dessel
Genre Thriller Horror
Runtime 89 min
Language English

VOD Release Date


Samuel Goldwyn Films is a major, independently owned and operated motion-picture company that develops, produces and distributes innovative feature films and documentaries.

The company is dedicated to working with both world-renowned and emerging writers/filmmakers and committed to filmed entertainment that offers original voices in uniquely told stories. This is best exemplified by the Academy Award® nominated SUPER SIZE ME; Sundance winner GOOK written and directed by Justin Chon; the critically acclaimed feature debut by Francis Lee GOD’S OWN COUNTRY; SXSW winner MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND; the high-school drama BLAME directed, written, and starring Quinn Shephard; LGBTQ musical drama SATURDAY CHURCH; ALLURE starring Evan Rachel Wood; Warwick Thornton’s Australian western SWEET COUNTRY starring Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, and Hamilton Morris; the Wim Wenders film, starring James McAvoy and Academy Award winner® Alicia Vikander, SUBMERGENCE; the family film ZOO; NANCY, a psychological thriller starring Andrea Riseborough; COLD SKIN from director Xavier Gens; A BOY A GIRL A DREAM starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good, and Ondi Timoner’s bio-pic MAPPLETHORPE starring Matt Smith. Upcoming releases include Joseph Cross’ directorial debut SUMMER NIGHT, the Karen Gillan & David Dastmalchian lead film ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW, and the action-packed film starring Scott Adkins AVENGEMENT.


The 3 Stooges' Bizarre Film Debut ("Woman Haters", 1934) (video)

The Stooges made several brief screen appearances with top banana Ted Healy.

But their official debut for Columbia as a stand-alone team...
...came with the 1934 comedy short "Woman Haters."

Moe, Larry, and Curly play characters named "Tom", "Jim", and "Jack."

It was an odd, disjointed affair, with awkward rhyming dialogue...
...which was recited with very little finesse.

The boys occasionally broke into song as well.
A young Walter Brennan makes his first of two appearances with them. 
Sadly, their leading lady, Marjorie White, would die in an auto accident a year later.

Columbia clearly didn't yet know just what to do with the Stooges.

Fortunately, the short featured enough of their trademark slapstick... leave audiences wanting more of this unique, raucous new trio. 

And from 1934-1957, they would make a total of 190 comedy shorts for Columbia.

But none quite so oddly uncharacteristic as the first.

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Thursday, April 25, 2019

"350 DAYS", The Most Star-Studded Documentary Ever Made On The Legends Of Professional Wrestling -- See Trailer HERE

"350 Days", The Most Star-Studded Documentary Ever Made On The Legends Of Professional Wrestling, Now Available for Purchase

Legends include Bret "Hitman" Hart, "Superstar" Billy Graham, "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, JJ Dillon, Lanny Poffo and more

Hollywood, Calif. - In "350 Days," pro wrestling legends Bret Hart, Superstar Billy Graham and dozens more peel back the curtain on the severe toll working on the road 350 days a year took on their bodies, families, marriages and psyches.

"350 Days" is now available on iTunes (, as well as on BluRay and DVD at, and other online streaming and retail sites.

This compelling documentary chronicles their struggles to survive the chaos of 1980s era wrestling. Living a rock and roll lifestyle, they faced nightly temptations, battled their vices, and were absentee parents and spouses while chasing dreams of fame and fortune.

In their own words, with the cutting insight and sharp wit one would expect from such legendary icons including Bret "Hitman" Hart, "Superstar" Billy Graham, "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, JJ Dillon, Tito Santana, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, George "The Animal" Steele, Abdullah The Butcher, Wendi Richter, Lex Luger, Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff, Marty Jannetty, Lanny Poffo, "The Masked Superstar" Bill Eadie and Ox Baker, these gentle giants tell their harrowing (yet often darkly humorous) tales as marriages dissolve and relationships with their children are strained, sometimes permanently.

Such is the life of the professional wrestler; such is life itself.

About The Filmmakers:

Producer Darren Antola is a noted boxing cut man who has worked with such champions as Kendall Holt & Yuri Foreman and acted as an agent for Riddick Bowe. Antola has moved into the wrestling world as a promoter and now filmmaker.

Director/Producer Fulvio Cecere has worked both as an actor and director. His acting resume includes over 200 film and television credits, most notably "Cinderella Man," "Watchmen," "Resident Evil: Afterlife," and "Assault on Precinct 13," as well as 17 recurring television roles and numerous guest-starring roles in shows including "Blue Bloods," "Supernatural," "iZombie," "Elementary" and "Criminal Intent." Cecere also directed "The Regular Guy", an award winning short film. "350 Days" is his first full length feature film. Cecere savors the epic challenge of telling innumerable amazing stories in the future.

Editor Michael Burlingame is a highly respected pro whose credits include "Dave Matthews Band: Listener Supported," "Neil Diamond: The Making of 'The Movie Album', "Bob Dylan: 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration" "Sting at the Hollywood Bowl."


"350 Days" Associate Producer Evan Ginzburg was also Associate Producer and appeared as himself in Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler." He is host of "The Evan Ginzburg Show" on Village Connection Radio as well as acting as a professional wrestling agent and working in virtually every aspect of the wrestling business.

Producer David Wilkins works behind the scenes in a variety of capacities at Rivalry Championship Wrestling and has been instrumental in getting "350 Days" off the ground.

"350 Days" Official Website:

Social Media:



The Three Undead Brides Of "Dracula" (Bela Lugosi, 1931) (video)

One of the eeriest aspects of the 1931 "Dracula"... the sight of his three ghostly, cadaverous brides.

Dorothy Tree
Geraldine Dvorak
Cornelia Thaw 

And with the Spanish version of the film...

...comes yet another ghostly trio.

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Cast Lines Up for Bryan Bertino's "THE DARK & THE WICKED" for Unbroken Pictures and The Traveling Picture Show Company


Marin Ireland, Michael Abbott Jr. and Xander Berkeley to Star

LOS ANGELES (April 23, 2019) - Marin Ireland (Hell or High Water, “Sneaky Pete”), Michael Abbott Jr. (The Death of Dick Long, Loving) and Xander Berkeley (“The Walking Dead,” Air Force One) will star in the upcoming horror film The Dark & The Wicked from writer and director Bryan Bertino (The Strangers, The Monster). 

Adrienne Biddle and Bertino are producing for Unbroken Pictures with Sonny Mallhi (Anguish, The Strangers), and Kevin Matusow for The Traveling Picture Show Company (Josie, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, A Walk Among the Tombstones). Executive Producers are Mike Scannell, TPSC’s Carissa Buffel and Steven Chester Prince, Inwood Road Films’ John Short and James Short (Plus One, Confessional), Brian Dalton, and Milan Chakraborty (My Friend Dahmer, Assassination Nation).

The film co-stars Lynne Andrews, Julie Oliver-Touchstone (Mulberry Stains, “Preacher”), Tom Nowicki (The Punisher, Remember the Titans) and Ella Ballentine (The Monster, The Captive) and is being shot on location in Texas.  The Dark & The Wicked follows two siblings who are summoned back to the family farm to await the inevitability of their father’s death. What initially appears to be a timeless ritual of loss and remembrance turns out to be something very different.

Bertino's feature debut The Strangers, a chilling home invasion film starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, was a major hit and went on to gross more than $80 million domestically.  Bertino followed that up with The Monster, starring Zoe Kazan, which was released by A24 last year.

Tony Award® nominated Ireland recently starred alongside Jim Gaffigan in Light from Light which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  She appeared in the 2018 Sundance Film Festival award winner The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Academy Award® nominated Hell or High Water.  Ireland currently stars alongside Giovanni Ribisi in Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete” from Bryan Cranston and David Shore and the FX series “Y: The Last Man”.

Abbott stars in A24’s The Death of Dick Long directed by Daniel Scheinert which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. He also starred in the indie drama In the Radiant City, for which Paste Magazine named him one of the “Top 12 Performances of TIFF 2016”.  Abbott made his film debut in Jeff Nichols’ Shotgun Stories starring Michael Shannon and then appeared in Academy Award® nominated Loving starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton and Lionsgate’s Mud starring Matthew McConaughey.

Known for his recurring roles on Fox’s “24” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Berkeley most recently appeared in The Wall of Mexico which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival.  He has appeared in films such as City of Lies starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker, Proud Mary starring Taraji P. Henson, Lionsgate’s Allegiant starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James and Warner Bros.’ Transcendence starring Johnny Depp.

Bertino is represented by UTA and Grandview. Ireland is represented by ICM Partners and Untitled Entertainment who also represents Berkeley and Abbott.

Unbroken Pictures, formed in 2009, most recently produced He’s Out There, written by Mike Scannell and starring Yvonne Strahovski for Screen Gems; The Blackcoat’s Daughter, written and directed by Osgood Perkins, starring Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton  and Kiernan Shipka released by A24; Stephanie, written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, directed by Akiva Goldsman, starring Frank Grillo and Ana Torv for Blumhouse and Universal Pictures; The Monster, written and directed by Bertino, starring Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine for A24.

The Traveling Picture Show Company is headed by CEO’s Kevin Matusow and Carissa Buffel and President Steven Chester Prince.  Formed in 2012, the company has produced and financed multiple feature films, all of which have been acquired by top level domestic distributors.  TPSC’s experienced team specializes in taking a hands-on approach in the production, film finance, and creative development arenas.  Select Company credits include Lionsgate’s The Quiet Ones starring Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke and Jared Harris, A24’s The Blackcoat's Daughter starring Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton and Kiernan Shipka, A Walk Among the Tombstones starring Liam Neeson, and the recently released thriller Joise starring Sophie Turner and Dylan McDermott, from the 2014 blacklist script written by Anthony Ragnone.

For more information, please visit:


Jerry Lewis Goes To The Gym! ("The Nutty Professor", 1963) (video)

Prof. Julius Kelp (Jerry Lewis) is a 98-pound weakling...

...hoping to muscle up as a defense against campus bullies.

But will he survive the training?

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

BELOVED BEAST -- Movie Review by Porfle

An impressive, often brilliant horror-thriller that's miles above much of what's coming out of the genre these days, BELOVED BEAST (Indican Pictures, 2018) excells on almost all levels and comes off like something Quentin Tarantino might do if he really got serious about making a grim, mind-bending horror movie.

Nina (Sanae Loutsis) is the injured survivor of a car crash that kills her parents and puts her in the home of a surly, irresponsible aunt, Erma Ritz (Joy Yaholkovsky), who doesn't want her.  Erma's a dopehead who is friends with the lowest elements in town including its worst criminal, Ash (Earl Gray), who deals not only in drugs but human trafficking as well, and will soon set his sights on Nina.

Meanwhile, the biggest, craziest, scariest psycho ever (Jonathan Holbrook as "Milton Treadwell") has just turned the asylum into a corpse-strewn charnel house and escaped into the wild.  A horribly disfigured behemoth with the mind of a ten-year-old, Milton will eventually murder his way to Nina, who will mistake him for the Rabbit King in her favorite fantasy story that her parents used to read to her.

There's a lot of story contriving going on here, but it all works so well that we don't really care. Milton ends up wearing the big rabbit-head mask that belonged to Nina's father and protecting her from all potential harm, mainly by slinging a hefty wooden mallet that smashes skulls with one blow. 

Milton smashes a lot of skulls in this movie--sometimes those belonging to people who deserve a good skull smashing, and sometimes to nice people in the wrong place, wrong time.

But lest you think BELOVED BEAST is just some slasher/smasher flick, writer-director Jonathan Holbrook (TALL MEN, CUSTOMER 152) has crafted this thing like a true artiste, loading it to the gills with fascinating characters exchanging sharp, smart dialogue and situations that are either tongue-in-cheek funny (I love the scenes between the jaded police chief and his constantly appalled rookie deputy) or blood-chillingly grim (as when Ash meets "The Belgian", a bad guy so vile and inhuman that even he is taken aback). 

Direction and photography are top-notch, as is a cast of excellent actors making the most of their fully-rounded, often eccentric characters, each of whom contributes added delight to the story.  The narrative often lapses into a sort of fever dream quality, as when Erma's drug-fueled house party turns surreal or Nina's head injury has her imagining rabbit-headed, hammer-wielding Milton as her fairytale savior.

Switching easily between horror film and ultra-gritty crime thriller that's occasionally dipped in delirium, BELOVED BEAST is one of the most heady, engaging, and thoroughly entertaining movies I've seen in the last ten years. It's only flaw is its length--at almost three hours, the ending is stretched out way longer than necessary--but its overall awesomeness more than makes up for being a bit too much of a good thing. 


Dr. Smith At His Grooviest! ("Lost In Space: The Promised Planet", 1968) (video)

Dr. Smith is captured by teenage aliens called "Youngers"...

...who turn him into a Space Hippy!

He really gets into the groove! It's a freak-out!

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Monday, April 22, 2019

THE GLIKSMANS -- Movie Review by Porfle

Sometimes one of these low-budget indy films will turn out to be something really unexpected. And if you're lucky, as in the case of THE GLIKSMANS (2018), it's an unexpected pleasure.

Not that this story of an elderly, middle-class Jewish couple living on the wrong end of Beverly Hills is some kind of twisty, plot-driven nailbiter or anything. And when they get out of bed at 4:30 one morning to drive into the valley to straighten out some credit card trouble at a small bank, this bickering couple's entire day turns into one long, drawn-out senior moment.

Jon Jacobs is put-upon husband Barry Gliksman, who just wants to stay home, and Bryna Weiss is marvelous as his eternally kvetching wife Barbara, who must drive because Barry's license is suspended.

She badgers him to get out of bed and hurry up in the shower, then scolds him for having eaten all the eggs so that she must have oatmeal for breakfast, and he looks on in disgust at the way she eats the oatmeal.  Then they choke down their morning pills and eventually manage to get on the road.

That's just the beginning of what one might call the slice-of-life story of their day, which abruptly escalates into a terrifying nightmare when a pickup starts following them and they imagine the absolute worst.  It almost turns into a old folks version of the car chase from BULLITT, only with lots more screaming and yelling and kvetching.

One thing leads to another and the couple get separated, with Barry wandering around the streets on foot and Barbara driving around frantically trying to find him.  Director and co-writer (with Eden Stelmach) Michael Skolnick lets the story get good and nutty, surreal in fact, when Barbara goes off on a mental  tangent (that looks something like a Mike Judge cartoon) in which she discovers Barry being held prisoner in a prison-like nursing home and forced to play Bingo.

Barry, meanwhile, seeks comfort in a Jewish temple but gets lassoed into being the tenth man in a minyan from which there is no escape.  We see flashbacks of other minyans during the past 2,000 years from which people have tried to escape without success, driving Barry to an act of desperation in which he ends up the target of a flying tackle from an overzealous rabbi. 

But there's no attempt to make any of this look like your standard comedy with mugging and slapstick and funny music. One of the joys of THE GLIKSMANS is that all of this crazy stuff just happens, like it's part of their day and nothing more, and their over-the-top reactions to this distressing chain of events are frequently hilarious. 

The cast is dotted with surprise cameos (which I'm about to ruin so skip this sentence if you don't want me to) including Cloris Leachman and Richard Portnow as the Neumans (Barbara and Barry duck into their house to escape the mysterious pickup truck), Ed Asner as their senile friend Moshe, and Ron Jeremy as a grocery story clerk.

One heart-touching aspect of the story is how, whenever one of the older characters suddenly starts coughing and can't stop, usually from swallowing something the wrong way, everyone freezes and waits to see whether it's going to be (a) nothing, or (b) the end.  Life for these elderly characters is tenuous, and in those moments of uncertain fate they're suddenly forced to face their feelings. 

Barely over 70 minutes long, THE GLIKSMANS is short and sweet, but not too sweet. In fact, it's often a pretty caustic look at what everyday life is like when you get (way) past a certain age, showing us the pros and cons of long-term married life (and long-term life itself) in ways that are frankly revealing, startling, surprising, and wonderfully amusing.

Watch the trailer


The Lone Ranger Vs. Forrest Gump (video)

The Lone Ranger Vs. Forrest Gump



I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Sunday, April 21, 2019

KILLER UNICORN -- Movie Review by Porfle

KILLER UNICORN (Indican Pictures, 2018) is kind of like I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, except instead of a bunch of teens being stalked by the Gorton's fisherman after they run over him a year earlier and leave him for dead, it's a bunch of extremely flamboyant drag queens being stalked by a buff stud in a unicorn mask because they kicked the crap out of him for raping their friend Danny a year earlier and left him for dead. 

Except he wasn't dead, and now Killer Unicorn is haunting the LGBTQ club scene and picking off members of that particular clique one by one in horrible ways while working his way back to his original victim, Danny. 

When Danny (Alejandro La Rosa) realizes what's going on (the severed head in his closet is a big tip-off), he notifies everyone else that they're all on the hit list.  Then they decide to get together at the big "Brooklyn Annual Enema Party" that night and use Danny as bait to bring Killer Unicorn into the open, and kill him.

It's sort of a comedy, except instead of gags we're just supposed to laugh at the ultra-camp, over-the-top drag queens like Jess J*zz, C*nt Stanley, Madame Mortimer, et al, as they exchange ribald dialogue and sexual innuendos in as stereotypical a fashion as they can muster. 

The "regular" gay guys like Danny seem positively normal by comparison, although it's Danny and his new friend "Puppy Pup" (José D. Álvarez) who get to have the big romantic softcore gay sex scene.  As a whole, the cast performs in a pleasingly uninhibited and, dare I say, natural fashion.

The murder scenes are violent, gory, and rather ugly in contrast to all of this, and are played more for ironic than comedic effect.  Again, however, the personalities of the drag queens are so outlandish that even here they can't help but lend a kind of curdled humor to their own violent death scenes.

Early scenes of the first victim's memorial party in the bar where Danny works focus on the group's decadent party lifestyles, an atmosphere that will reoccur in the film's second half during the raucous "enema party" in a crowded, dimly-lit club.

Here, first-time director Drew Bolton will manage some interesting low-budget visuals while building a fair amount of suspense amidst the chaos, especially in the scene where all the lights in the club are flashing on and off as the killer keeps popping up unexpectedly.  Through it all, the film tries its best to shock us with its outrageousness although we're already seen much of this kind of stuff before.

KILLER UNICORN wasn't clicking for me at all on first viewing, so a second one really helped.  While I first took it as an unsuccessful attempt to create a synthesis of "Liquid Sky" and John Waters, I came to realize that it's simply its own silly, mostly harmless, sometimes shockingly violent little horror/slasher comedy that you may find mildly entertaining.

Preorder on DVD or VOD at Indican Pictures

Runtime: 74 Minutes
Format: 2:35:1
Sound: Dolby DIGITAL 5.1
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Horror