Critters Attack! (2019) [Fantasia Festival 2019]

Critters fans have had slim pickings for a very long time, with lack of real printings of the original film on home media and new films coming together. Now in 2019 we finally got two new installments, but together they don’t really amount to much of a great “Critters” movie sadly. While “Critters Attack!” is waves better than “Critters: A New Binge” it’s still never as good as “Critters” parts one or two. It’s only an okay offering that’s right there beside “Critters 3.” That’s about as glowing as a recommendation that I can give it when all was said and done.

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Summer Night (2019)

In the nineties once the indie scene broke out and directors like Steven Soderbergh and Richard Linklater perfected the chatty character piece with young adults, every director came out of the wood work with their own. Some titles like “Clerks” and “Beautiful Girls” became classics while stuff like “Mixed Signals” and “Let It Snow” fell to the wayside– for very good reason. “Summer Night” feels like a screenplay taken from 1995 that was retrofitted for a modern audience. And that’s not entirely a compliment.

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Crawl (2019)

Sometimes it’s not about re-inventing the wheel when it comes to giving movie fans a great time at the movies. You just have to give them something entertaining and with some semblance of substance. While “Crawl” is something we’ve seen before, it has that special touch that only Alexandre Aja can inject. The same thing he did for Piranhas in his remake of “Piranha,” he does for alligators in “Crawl” offering a wonderful survival thriller that’s also a subtle commentary on global warming.

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The Bootleg Files: Uncle Croc’s Block

BOOTLEG FILES 692: “Uncle Croc’s Block” (1975-76 television series with Charles Nelson Reilly and Jonathan Harris).

LAST SEEN: Bits and pieces are on YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It was considered a bomb in its time.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

I genuinely feel sorry for today’s children, as their television viewing choices are too safe and too benign for their own good. Back in the 1970s when I was a kid, television aimed at the school-age crowd was delightfully weird and funky. But even by the standards of that excessive era, there was nothing as truly bizarre as a 1975-76 ABC show called “Uncle Croc’s Block.”
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Universal Horror Collection Volume 2 [Blu-Ray]

Now that Shout Factory has re-formatted their Karloff/Lugosi Collection in to the Universal Horror Collection, this has given them carte blanche to release pretty much everything they can get their hands on from the catalogue. I appreciate that they haven’t begun releasing the obvious titles yet, as so far the volumes have been following a specific theme and or formula. The first volume was mainly Karloff and Lugosi team ups, while this second volume is mainly about mad scientist and evil doctor, all of which are played by Lionel Atwill. Buckle up, horror buffs.

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Weird Science (1985): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

“Weird Science” is the film from John Hughes that’s managed to age the worst from his repertoire. Even “Dutch” can be considered somewhat more accessible than what “Weird Science” doles out. While it’s not a bad movie at all, “Weird Science” has gradually become an eighties comedy that has to be taken in the context of its decade. This is still a very strong air of misogyny and chauvinism within “Weird Science,” but it still works as a fun eighties romp with banner performances by its collective cast.

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Child’s Play (2019)

For a remake manufactured purely out of spite for Don Mancini, it’s shocking how great the 2019 “Child’s Play” is. It’s not a redo of the original 1988 and that works toward its benefit as the studio is able to build its own mythology and unique horror tale. While the commentary on AI run amok is on the nose, “Child’s Play” manages to be a great time that evokes a lot of the classic eighties aesthetic right down to fleshed out, clever teen heroes that we can root for.

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Rim of the World (2019)

I’d love to know what the thought process was behind “Rim of the World.” Directed by McG, it’s much too crude and violent for kids, but much too juvenile for anyone looking for a good action horror movie. Netflix and McG obviously had in mind the “Stranger Things” crowd when they concocted this unpleasant, long, obnoxious film. It wants to be mentioned in the same conversation as “The Goonies”, Amblin, and “It,” but I doubt in a few years it’ll even be mentioned in the same favor as “Mac and Me.”

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