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October 25, 2014, 07:39:11 AM
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claws
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« Reply #7770 on: July 19, 2014, 10:58:10 AM »

Almost Human (2013)

October 1987: man is chased by weird sounds and lights coming from the skies. He finds shelter at a friend who goes out to investigate. Shortly after the friend is taken by an unknown force. Two years later the once abducted friend returns, but he isn't quite human anymore. His mission: turn earthlings into obedient zombies and get his old fiancee pregnant.
Gory sci-fi horror with practical effects. This was shot in rural country and everyone's wearing lumberjack fashion. They did capture the spirit of a cheaply made 1980s horror production, but this movie is far from original. They ripped off The Thing, X-tro, Fire in the Sky and High Tension (!). This low budget indie flick also comes with bad dialogue and local/amateur-ish actors/acting. Sort of fun if you totally shut down your brain. 3/5
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #7771 on: July 19, 2014, 11:11:44 AM »

"Phenomena" (1985) a girl with insect-whispering abilities uses them to solve a series of murders at an exclusive Swiss girls' boarding school. Dario Argento's weird, artsy mystery/horror flick meanders frequently and suffers from some seriously awkward dialogue but it's bizarrely compelling. Features a teenaged Jennifer Connelly, Iron Maiden and Motorhead on the soundtrack, and a razor wielding chimpanzee!!
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indianasmith
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« Reply #7772 on: July 19, 2014, 08:34:45 PM »

My latest viewing was part of an 8-pack of movies Alan sent me home with after our visit.
It was called HIDE AND CREEP - a bunch of rednecks have to deal with a zombie outbreak in
a small town in Alabama.  Full of goofy stereotypes and some very random nudity, this was
funny at times and draggy at others.  The video store owner was the funniest guy in the whole
 film!  "Yes, there's zombies here, multiple homicides, it's contagious if you get bitten, the Feds
are on it - NOW CAN YOU PUT THE GAME BACK ON TV???"
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"Carpe diem!" - Seize the day!  "Carpe per diem!" - Seize the daily living allowance! "Carpe carp!" - Seize the fish!
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #7773 on: July 19, 2014, 09:36:30 PM »

Devil's Pond - circa 03 Tara Reid horror movie that is pretty good. She goes on a honeymoon to a cabin by a lake because a lot of women would want to do that for their honeymoon. Strange things start happening, namely hubby turns out to be kind of a dickbag. This was much more compelling than you'd think. Reid's acting is decent, I'd guess she actually had a little training. My only real criticism is it's a little bare. I would like to have seen the supernatural element developed more, for example. Unless you had serious genius people in front of and behind the camera it's , again, a little bare and could use a diversion. still good 3.75 / 5
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #7774 on: July 20, 2014, 11:51:11 AM »

CRY-BABY (1990): Johnny Depp's first starring role is as a sensitive "drape" who falls in love with a "square" in this campy John Waters juvenile delinquent musical. There's quirky humor (love the orphanage modeled on an animal shelter), and the doo-wop styled music is good, but the cardboard plot and underdeveloped characters fail to consistent engage. 2.5/5.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
El Misfit
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« Reply #7775 on: July 20, 2014, 12:11:37 PM »

How To Train Your Dragon 2: If you haven't seen the first movie, then go watch it. This is the second installment and it shows what you can do to earn a dragon's trust; kick ass for the good. This is also a family reunion! Except it is short lived. It's a good movie, watch it. Please.
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yeah no.
Trevor
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« Reply #7776 on: July 21, 2014, 03:42:39 AM »

Ladder 49 with Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta. I had seen this when it was first released but not since. It's held up well - I forgot that there were quite a few funny scenes, especially when Joaquin first reports for duty, his superior is drunk  Drink (and not wearing pants)  Buggedout and he has to go to confession.  BounceGiggle
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Jack
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« Reply #7777 on: July 21, 2014, 06:58:31 AM »

Piranha (1978) - some piranha get loose in a river and of course the locals are having their big water festival so there's going to be treats o' plenty for our carnivorous fishies. They play this cheesy sound when the piranha are attacking people, it kind of makes a joke out of the whole thing. But you've got Heather Menzies and some guy running around trying to save the day (I think, I'm not really sure what they were doing actually), and it's full of '70s charm. 3/5.

Proteus (1995) - some folks are in a yacht and it sinks but luckily (or unluckily as it turns out) there's an offshore oil rig and they take shelter there. It's seems oddly deserted and the few people they meet seem insane. Oh and there's lots of labs where they find out that genetic engineering research has been going on...that's never good. This is a favorite of mine, the characters are decent and the oil rig provides some good atmosphere. It manages to maintain an at least moderately serious amount of tension throughout.  Certainly nothing all that special but I like it. 4/5.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #7778 on: July 21, 2014, 09:47:56 AM »

The Journey of Natty Gann (1985): Set in the midst of the Depression era, a young girl named Natty Gann (Meredith Salenger), somewhat of a tomboy, runs away from home in Chicago and sets out on a perilous journey hoping to rejoin her father Sol (Ray Wise) who's had to travel far abroad to Washington state in search of employment working with a logging company.  Along the way, she makes some unexpected friends and allies including a wolf, who seems to become something of a guardian to Natty, and a young wanderer named Harry (John Cusack).

This has some great moments and gives one a glimpse of the desperation and despair of the Depression era. It also shows what the strength of will and determination can achieve. Natty Gann's journey seems almost impossible yet that doesn't stop her despite numerous obstacles being her in path along the way. There are some negatives here though. Sometimes the story takes dark and disturbing turns and there's a surprisingly high amount of violence in this Disney film. Regardless, it's pretty solid entertainment overall and no animals were really harmed in this production so I'll give it a solid ***1/2 out of ***** stars.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #7779 on: July 21, 2014, 05:25:39 PM »

Watched these yet again...I'm not entirely sure as to why for the first one which I've now seen at least 4 times despite it being a drag.

The Incredible Petrified World (1957): Following an unexpected undersea accident, the crew of an experimental diving bell are shocked to discover they aren't crushed by underwater pressures and eventually make their way to an undersea cavern somehow full of open air pockets where they can breathe. There they try to survive and find their way out and are eventually threatened by a rather lackluster lizard and a kooky old man (Maurice Bernard) who been's alone far too long it seems.

This was yet another Jerry Warren borefest featuring lots of scenes of characters walking and swimming and doing ordinary things. The most interesting it gets is when Phyllis Coates and Sheila Noonan get into something of a jealous rivalry over lead Robert Clarke and when the crazy old man is on screen. John Carradine is also involved as the diving bell inventor and leader of the diving experiment but is rather forgettable here for the most part. Just a bore. ** out of ***** stars.

Queen of the Amazons (1947): An adventuress named Jean Preston (Patricia Morison) hires reluctant jungle safari guide Gary Lambert (Robert Lowery) to help lead them on a dangerous search through the jungle for her lost fiancee Greg Jones (Bruce Edwards) rumored to be held captive by an Amazon jungle queen.

At times, this is tough slugging. There's lots of walking and talking and it feels like tonnes of stock footage thrown into the mix here as well. Still leads Morison and Lowery prove likable and entertaining which helps and the cast is seemingly full of kooky characters that would have seemed quite at home in a classic movie serial style adventure. Amira Moustafa adds a certain exotic beauty and charm to the proceedings as the Amazon Queen Zita. J. Edward Bromberg also proves memorable here in his role as well and there's a surprising amount of attention given to this film's trained monkey and crow who do get some cool moments here although as comic relief, they sometimes leave something to be desired. I enjoy this but it can be tough slugging to get through at times despite only running about 1 hour. *** out of ***** stars.

Moon of the Wolf (1972): Louisiana Sheriff Aaron Whitaker (David Janssen) while investigating a series of brutal and vicious murders begin to suspect something supernatural at work, possibly a werewolf.

While this has some problems (it's too slow-moving, too darkly lit in some scenes, makeup disappoints), I rather enjoy this horror/murder mystery from 1970s television. It's not unlike many horror TV series from this period and features some great character actors notably Bradford Dillman, John Beradino, Royal Dano, and Geoffrey Lewis. There's some good suspense scenes and tension is slowly built throughout the film, perhaps much too slowly for some. Me, I still like this one. ***1/2 out of ***** stars.

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Jack
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« Reply #7780 on: July 22, 2014, 06:42:27 AM »

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) - so Hansel and Gretel are all grown up and hunting witches. This is pretty much like a lower budget version of Van Helsing I guess; Gretel is cute but Hansel doesn't have enough personality to fill a shot glass. The witches are all having some big get together and it's up to our duo to stop them with a bunch of special effects. It was mildly entertaining but nothing special. 3/5.
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"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." - Mark Twain
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #7781 on: July 22, 2014, 10:48:47 AM »

"Phenomena" (1985) a girl with insect-whispering abilities uses them to solve a series of murders at an exclusive Swiss girls' boarding school. Dario Argento's weird, artsy mystery/horror flick meanders frequently and suffers from some seriously awkward dialogue but it's bizarrely compelling. Features a teenaged Jennifer Connelly, Iron Maiden and Motorhead on the soundtrack, and a razor wielding chimpanzee!!

Though, I have yet to see it, I have certainly heard a lot about it, and I am glad you enjoyed it FatFreddy'sCat, but when you mention the razor wielding chimpanzee, I can't help but wonder if Argento did not borrow the idea from Edgar Alan Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue," which had a razor wielding orangutan. Again, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and maybe I'll see it myself one of these days.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #7782 on: July 22, 2014, 03:34:59 PM »

"42" (2013) Well made bio pic about Jackie Robinson's tumultuous ride thru baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. I love a good baseball movie and this was a great one!

@ boyscoutkevin - it's been a long time since I've read any Poe but I'm sure it was an intentional nod by Dario.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #7783 on: July 22, 2014, 04:00:44 PM »

Re-watched the following:

She Gods of Shark Reef (1958): Two brothers, one on the run from the law, shipwreck on a tropical barrier reef. They are rescued by a group of mysterious native woman from a nearby island. The women it seems have everything provided to them by a company which employs them to dive for pearls for them. Aside from that, these women are a very superstitious lot and believe that their shark god is angry with them. The good brother Chris (Bill Cord) takes a quick liking to his rescuer the lovely and exotic young Mahia (Lisa Montell) while the evil crook brother Lee (Don Durant) plots his further escape from the authorities and soon has his eyes on the island women's pearls. The tribe of women are ruled over and controlled by Queen Pua (Jeanne Gerson), a sourpuss who disapproves of the romance between Chris and Mahia and is far more concerned with sacrificing girls to appease the anger of her "shark god".

This crooks on the run from the authorities hideaway on tropical island with women proves surprisingly lackluster despite its exciting title. The women, aside from Montell, don't stand out in this one as much as arguably does the beefcake provided by Cord and Durant if that's one sort of thing. From the title, one has images of exotic amazons and shark-infested waters. The waters do prove shark-infested but the sharks here just don't prove terribly impressive given their general small size. This is one hour long film that does prove a drag to sit through. Tough slugging. Definitely a lesser effort from director Roger Corman. ** out of ***** stars

The Amazing Transparent Man (1960): Major Krenner (James Griffith), a secret spy with designs on creating an invisible army,  with the help of his aid the lovely but cunning Laura Matson (Marguerite Chapman), breaks infamous safe-cracker Joey Faust (Douglas Kennedy) out of prison hoping that he can employ Faust and through invisibility have him steal the radioactive materials necessary for Krenner's plans. Krenner's plans however also hinge upon the work of gifted scientist and creator of an invisibility ray Dr. Ulof (Ivan Triesault) whom he's holding and forcing to work for him against his will.

This low budget attempt at sci-fi thrills from director Edgar G. Ulmer seemingly had potential. The ending monologue at least seems to have shown some thought. However this surprisingly dull sci-fi actioner seems far more focused on crime thrills than science fiction for most of its running time with Joey Faust quickly becoming more concerned with using the invisibility formula to rob banks. Everyone in this film seems far too focused on their own concerns and nobody seems to care enough about anyone else. In the end, there's an attempt made to create some sort of message but it just doesn't work as well as one would like it to. Griffith's Krenner also proves a slightly disappointing and ineffectual lead villain in many ways. Has its moments but it could have been so much better. **1/2 out of ***** stars.

The Atomic Brain (1963): Hetty March (Marjorie Eaton) is a rich woman so obsessed with the idea of regaining her youth that she employs a mad scientist named Dr. Otto Frank (Frank Gerstle), who conducts his experiments in a lab in her basement, to put her brain into the body of a nubile young woman.  Mrs. March employs three maids with this purpose in mind. Dr. Frank has already successfully conducted Dr. Moreau-esque experiments placing animals brains in human bodies creating monstrosities that roam about the premises. However, the girls led by smart and wise Nina Rhodes (Erika Peters) soon suspect there is something quite amiss here especially as they are pretty much cut off from the outside world.

Personally, I consider this somewhat of a bad movie exploitation classic. It's exploitative focusing quite a lot of the bodies and figures of nubile young women whom we see in various states of undress throughout this film (somewhat racy for the time). At times, this feels slightly sleazy. Dr. Frank is a great bad movie mad scientist, if perhaps a tad more quiet than most, who justifies his experiments to himself when everyone else can see they are madness. The transposing of brains from animals to human and vice versa gives this a bizarre twisted edge. The most powerful characters in this story are almost all twisted and evil or the potential victims of those who are twisted and evil. It makes for a surprising entertaining ride. A fun bad movie IMO. ***1/2 out of ***** stars.
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #7784 on: July 22, 2014, 09:07:41 PM »

"Open Season 2" (2013) The dimwitted deer and his grizzly bear pal are back for more slapstick animated mayhem in this direct to video sequel set around a pet resort. Disposable family fun with a definite Looney Tunes inspired mean streak.
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