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  • The Serpent and the Rainbow 1988

    ★★★½ Watched 07 Oct, 2014

    I was torn between rating this 3 and 3.5 stars - in terms of quote-unquote lesser Craven, this is definitely a nice surprise.

    I'm definitely a critic of Craven's when it comes to terms like "Master of Horror" being tossed around, as he's certainly got far more duds than he does hits, in my opinion.

    But The Serpent and the Rainbow nails a lot of really key elements: atmosphere, dread, and a handful of true creep-out moments. It's not all perfect when rolled up into a whole, but overall, I dug it.

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child 1989

    ★★½ Watched 04 Oct, 2014

    Viewed for an upcoming Time Bandits Podcast episode.

    I will say for now that this time around I didn't hate it as much as I remembered, but it's still a confusing mess, plot-wise. The joke-kills are pretty overly goofy at times - comic book kill especially.

    There's a real decent attempt at injecting some Gothic gravitas into the mix here, alongside some heavy themes, and it almost works when paired with the amazing visual landscape and language of the film.

    But still, being sandwiched in-between #4 and Freddy's Dead does this film no justice, as these three in a row are easily the series' overall low-point.

  • The Skeleton Twins 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 29 Sep, 2014

    The Skeleton Twins might not be the most inventive sad-funny movie of the year, but it's certainly one of the better ones.

    Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig put in amazing performances that make the film, and Luke Wilson is perfect in his role as Wiig's husband. You forget that when Luke is as well-cast as he is here, that he can be absolutely brilliant. I feel like he doesn't get the credit he oft-deserves, and here he proves worthy of…

  • Punchline 1988

    ★★½ Watched 27 Sep, 2014

    Not as bad as its reputation may have you believe (it was featured on Siskel & Ebert's Worst of 1988), but I'm struggling with the rating here. I can't decide between two-and-a-half or three. It's uneven and maybe even fatally flawed in some respects, but there are glimpses of greatness in there, actually.

    All of the best stuff - to me - in Punchline happens off-stage. The stand-up segments just don't work very well - aside from some moments - and…

  • Burning Bright 2010

    ★★½ Watched 28 Sep, 2014

    I bet this movie tore up the festival circuit when it came out. It has the kind of unbelievable-I've-gotta-see-that plot that grabbed me, even just seeing it listed on Netflix: A woman is trapped in a house, with hurricane raging outside, and a tiger snarling within.

    Okay, yes, I'm pressing play now.

    Anyway, as I said I can imagine crowds really ate this up in the moment, as these crowds tend to do. Watching this on the small screen, I…

  • A Walk Among the Tombstones 2014

    ★★½ Watched 19 Sep, 2014

    Reviewed on Episode 132 of See You Next Wednesday Podcast.

    I had really high hopes going in to this one, which is probably why I left a bit disappointed. From the director of the criminally underrated The Lookout, I was really hoping for another movie of that quality.

    Unfortunately, the tone and pacing are all over the map in this one, despite there being a lot to like. Liam Neeson does what he does best here, playing the grizzled noir…

  • Haunt 2013

    ★★ Watched 22 Sep, 2014

    Haunt starts off on the right note - a suitably creepy introduction leads us to well-worm supernatural thriller territory, but territory that is well worn for a reason.

    After some classic family-moves-into-home-with-dark-past plotting, things get going. Despite some poor spectral-effects, Haunt is extremely well crafted on the technical side. This flick checks off almost all the right boxes, from cinematography to score and atmosphere. But it misses one of the most important elements of all: substance.

    Despite having so much…

  • Howling V: The Rebirth 1989

    Watched 18 Sep, 2014

    I hated this awful fucking movie. I don't like calling movies boring that much, but damn Howling V: The Rebirth was BORING!

    It's even worse due to the fact that it has an intriguing set-up - you'll read in pretty much every review for this thing that it's a take on Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, but with a werewolf.

    I love that idea, a whodunnit murder-mystery in a spooky castle with the added bonus of having the killer transform…

  • Lifeforce 1985

    ★★★★ Rewatched 13 Sep, 2014 1

    I'm starting to think this might be one of my favourite Hooper films post-Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

    It probably edges out The Funhouse just a little bit seeing how batshit-insane it all is. It's just berserk from start to finish - even the dialogue-driven scenes are all bonkers. The effects are fantastic, the performers give it their all - even with how silly some of it all - and Hooper renders everything with a really classy, throwback vibe to the cinematography.…

  • Batman 1989

    ★★★ Watched 10 Sep, 2014

    Reviewed and discussed on Episode 44 of Time Bandits Podcast.

    This was basically a fresh viewing, as I have not seen the film since I was so young that I don't even remember any details any more.

    Without that attachment, I couldn't muster a lot of interest in praising this messy, uneven, yet often wonderful film.

    There's a lot to like in here - from the casting, to the production design, sets, and in some regards the script, which chooses…

  • Furious 1984

    ★½ Added

    In this film, someone shoots chickens out of their fingers at the hero.

    So, yeah, you need to go watch it now.

  • Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films 2014

    ★★½ Watched 08 Sep, 2014

    This is a tough one to write, as a huge fan of Cannon films.

    I've been pretty pumped for this movie, having loved Cannon since the first time I saw their logo adorning tapes in my local rental shop.

    A few years back, I had a job that allowed me to read online while I worked, and I often poured over the Cannon Group Wikipedia, obsessed with their storied rise and subsequent demise.

    Unfortunately, Mark Hartley's film didn't quite do…