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Die, Monster, Die!

Buy, viewer, buy!


Horror

Rod Lott

In Die, Monster, Die!, a decent H.P. Lovecraft adaptation from 1965, the repellent Reinhart (Nick Adams, Frankenstein Conquers the World) visits the secluded mansion of wacky, wheelchair-bound Witley (Boris Karloff, Targets), who has discovered something quite peculiar residing in his basement.

 
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rewind This!

Be kind, Rewind.


Documentary

Rod Lott

Anyone who recalls the days of loading up on VHS rentals at mom-and-pop video stores back in "The Day" will feel that joy return in a rush from Rewind This!, on DVD from, appropriately, the FilmBuff label. 

 
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We Are What We Are

Tastes like chicken.


Horror

Rod Lott
While not an entirely successful remake of the 2010 Spanish-language film of the same name, We Are What We Are bears enough sweeping changes that it stands as its own thing. Both versions are worth watching.
 
Friday, January 10, 2014

Badges of Fury

Purely Expendable.


Action

Rod Lott
Stop me if you've heard this one before: A skydiver, a ballroom dancer and a professional diver all die in the middle of doing what they do best, and with a big, cheesy smile on their faces as they expire.
 
Friday, January 10, 2014

A Single Shot

A backwoods noir.


Thriller

Rod Lott
In the thriller A Single Shot, director David M. Rosenthal follows the path Sam Raimi set in the snow with 1998's A Simple Plan: one that leads blue-collar folk to misappropriated money and, ergo, evil deeds. File it under “When Bad Things Happen to Good Rednecks.”
 
Friday, January 10, 2014

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box

On her majesty's National Treasure.


Action

Rod Lott
Hasn't Frozen earned enough coin? (That's rhetorical; it has.) So instead of taking the family to see it again and again, try something different. Try The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, which opens Friday exclusively at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, 2501 W. Memorial. If your kids enjoy the National Treasure movies, they're apt to enjoy this live-action British film, too. 
 
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

August: Osage County

Set and shot in Oklahoma, August: Osage County loses its darkly comic teeth on the way to the silver screen. Now, it simply bites.


Drama

Rod Lott
August: Osage County is the worst kind of Oscar bait: unearned. Seemingly hoping to join the race by pedigree alone, the Oklahoma-set family drama is as patently false as a plastic worm concealing the business end of a fishing hook. At a glance, it looks like the real deal, but look closer. See, kids? All for show!
 
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cat People

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty …


Horror

Rod Lott

Dripping with atmosphere as thick as gumbo, the New Orleans-centered Cat People of 1982 is the right way to remake a genuinely great film: Hold on to that central concept; dispense with most everything else.

 
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Big Gundown

A spaghetti feast


Western

Rod Lott
Italian-made yet America-set, The Big Gundown is the second spaghetti Western in a row I've seen in which a man is silenced by having a soapy shaving brush shoved into his mouth. For the record, the first was the recently re-released My Name Is Nobody, a 1973 film as fine as this 1966 one.
 
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cassadaga

Year's worst title, but how's the movie?


Horror

Rod Lott
Cassadaga is better than its terrible title, but still an indie picture that's clearly out of whack. In a good way, it opens with a boy who so wants to be a girl, he employs scissors to achieve that goal. In a bad way, it then largely shoves all that business aside until the third act. 
 
Monday, December 30, 2013

The Wolverine / Prisoners

Hugh times two.


Action

Rod Lott
The Wolverine is the X-Men spin-off we should have received four years ago with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Like the franchise's characters, the first mutation is not necessarily the best; whereas the 2009 version sought to be a comic book, the 2013 error-correcting reboot aims higher: comic book art. 
 
Monday, December 30, 2013

The Horror Show

No 'Show.'


Horror

Rod Lott
Although the title does not let on, 1989's The Horror Show actually began life as House III, a misbegotten sequel to 1986's hit House. In the end, it doesn't matter, because The Horror Show is every bit as terrible as House II or House IV.
 
Friday, December 27, 2013

The Snake God


Drama

Rod Lott
I love the Mondo Macabro label, but with its last three releases, it seems to have only one thing on its mind: spelled S-E-X. There was Countess Perverse, then How to Seduce a Virgin and now 1970's The Snake God.
 
Friday, December 27, 2013

Saving Mr. Banks

Making Disney's Mary Poppins was anything but merry, as this winner shows.


Drama

Rod Lott
If there's one thing Hollywood loves more than itself, it's stories about itself. From The Artist to Argo, these films have translated into Tinseltown's ultimate display of self-affection: Oscar gold.
 
Friday, December 20, 2013

Sanitarium

Commit yourself.


Horror

Rod Lott
It's official: We're living in a golden age of horror anthologies. True, the long-moribund subgenre isn't every fright fan's cup of tea, but those who like variety in one double-hour package have enjoyed a wealth of opportunities over the last few years and especially 2013.
 
Thursday, December 19, 2013
 
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