Even though I was born in the eighties, I don’t have a particular connection with “The Goonies” as while it’s mostly considered a masterpiece, I’ve only ever considered it just pretty good. Director Richard Donner’s adventure film is the Hardy Boys Meets Indiana Jones and for the most part it’s an entertaining call back to fodder like “The East Side Kids,” which keeps in line with Spielberg’s ode to his childhood cinema.
We’re nearing the beginning of October so as is the mandate to keep reality from collapsing, we have another Tim Burton classic re-released and updated. Burton’s horror comedy classic “Beetlejuice” gets another big re-release for physical media collectors, allowing fans to re-visit the demented and dark supernatural comedy in a 4K UHD upgrade. Of course Burton’s film is being released in various other editions online, including Steelbook.
Was “The Crow” cursed? Did “Poltergeist” bring a hex upon the entire cast? Were there real satanic forces behind “The Exorcist”? Did “Twilight Zone: The Movie” conjure up bad luck and ultimately a curse? Well, hell no on all fronts. The thing about “Cursed Films” (now on Blu-Ray from Shudder and Image Entertainment), is that if you’re a movie buff and horror fan, you’ve heard about literally everything that’s explored in “Cursed Films.” At five episodes and thirty minutes an episode, “Cursed Films” basically goes over the same material we’ve seen or read about a thousand times but in greater length.
Recently, Scream Factory put out a filled to the gills Blu-Ray of “The Hills Run Red” which felt like a “finally” on this film as it’s one that seems under-seen and under-appreciated. This slasher is one that came and seemingly went with the general public, but that slasher fans and many horror fans have been loving its release. It’s a brutal, meta slasher film that is a fun watch for fans of the genre and is a bit much for casual horror fans, which is exactly why it’s so great. The film itself is greatly entertaining and the kills are violent and bloody. It’s what a slasher fan wants and it’s what a horror fan in general wants. The story itself is strong enough to support the film without the blood, but there is more than that to this film. There is a lot here to unpack and it’s definitely a must see.
In 1996, John Carpenter essentially pulled a Sam Raimi with one of his key creations, Snake Plissken. While “Escape from New York” is a great scifi action film, Carpenter is this time given a bigger budget and decides to cover a wider field of his mythology, cramming in as much as he could with this sequel/remake. While I wouldn’t call “Escape from LA,” it manages to rise above the rest in Carpenter’s ouevre with some very good concepts, and Kurt Russell doing a bang up job, as always.
There are some films you can sense where everyone put their best foot forward. And then there are some films where it’s obvious people were just running out the clock to get a paycheck. With “Mondo Balordo” you can sense Boris Karloff would shamble in to the studio, record his narration for this monstrosity and then leave back to his home. The absolutely awful “Mondo Balordo” is one in a series of pseudo-documentaries that exploit their topics to a certain degree.
“Legion of Superheroes” arrived during that darker time where “Teen Titans” and “Justice League” had ended their excellent runs and DC was embroiled in a lawsuit over the Superman name. Around this time DC and Warner were attempting to create series less about critical acclaim and more about making merchandise money. “Legion of Super Heroes: The Complete Series” (now on Blu-Ray with all 26 episodes) isn’t a bad series per se, it’s just as grand as “Justice League” or as entertaining as “Teen Titans” was. Even during its entire run, the best episodes were just okay.