I was never aware of what “Carnival Magic” was until “Mystery Science Theater 3000” covered it years ago. I’d never seen an alleged kids’ film that was so adamantly uncomfortable, and droning, and inappropriate before. Al Adamson, who was known mainly for adult exploitation films, took his hand at making a children’s adventure film, ends up making in inadvertent cult item that promises to confuse and dumbfound movie lovers for years in the same ilk as “Manos: The Hands of Fate,” and “Troll 2.” I don’t know if I’d call it a cult gem, but it certainly is a cinematic oddity.
I truly hope you’re doing well in the current social climate and are celebrating Friday the best way you can. This week, I’m reviewing two brilliant animated series that’s female oriented, but fit for every audience imaginable. They’re two very complex and amazing animated series you can sit down and watch with the whole family, that promote strong female heroes, complex ideas about youth and discovery, and confronts very real overtones about loss of innocence and growing up way too fast.
Full Disclosure: Film Detective were kind enough to allow us viewing of the digital elements of “Fist of Fear…” for the purposes of this review, since the release of the Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD have been delayed indefinitely due to the ensuing worldwide pandemic. Pre-orders are still open and Film Detective are ensuring copies to consumers when they’re given the green light to continue manufacturing.
There’s a hilarious segment in “The Simpsons” episode “Homer Badman” where Homer is interviewed by tabloid reporter Godfry Jones who promises to redeem his image after he’s accused of groping a young girl. Jones expectedly exploits Homer for the sake of ratings, editing the interview to make Homer look bad. But the editing is so awful that it’s an obvious hack job, and you can’t help but laugh at the sheer shamelessness of it all. The same can be said for “Fist of Fear, Touch of Death” the sheer height of Brucesploitation that takes scraps from Bruce Lee’s career and repurposes, re-edits, and splices footage in to just a god awful faux-documentary/sports drama.
Earl Bellamy’s “Munster Go Home!” has become one of the most incidentally influential horror comedies of all time. One of the banner pop cult movies of the decade, “Munster, Go Home!” is the extension of the cult TV show that takes them out of their giant mansion, and brings them in to the wide open world. As we’ve seen with the series, the world isn’t too keen on their way of life, either. But they make it work with charm, and a classic sixties drag race. Continue reading
With the Umbrella Academy making waves on Netflix and Marvel getting the ball rolling on “X-Men,” DC and Warner get a jump on the formula with their adaptations of “Doom Patrol.” Although the series is now widely acclaimed and mostly celebrated by comic book fans alike, “Doom Patrol” brings with it a huge legacy. It’s widely and arguably considered the precursor to Marvel’s “X-Men” and many fans argue that Marvel outright stole the premise from right under DC Comics. The elements are all mostly the same right down to a massive mansion housing these various super beings.
I love “April Fool’s Day,” and I say that as someone that originally hated it. It took years for me to come around on it, mainly because in a decade where we got nothing but slasher movies, we were given one. But we also weren’t given one, either. In either case, if you’re going in to “April Fool’s Day,” it embraces its inherent silliness and mounts tension to be a pretty good statement about the slasher sub-genre while also having a good old time with the audience. It’s become a favorite of the sub-genre, and indicates a point where studios were beginning to satirize the tropes of the sub-genre.
Once artist Snoop Dogg became a gangster rap icon, he inevitably branched out in the early aughts in to bigger pastures. Before he became a family friendly talk show host, he was someone who promoted the image of the pimp, and then became an open advocate for cannabis. In between those hazy days in his late career, Snoop Dogg (or someone in his PR team) decided that they should try to re-condition him in to a horror character. The inevitable product was “Bones” an utterly tepid, dull horror vanity vehicle from the man that gave us “Demon Knight.”
After spending many years on sub-par DVD releases and in basic limbo for a new release, “The Wizard” is given a much overdue Collector’s Edition that treats the cult classic the way it deserves. Is it a glorified Nintendo commercial? Sure! Is it a glorified ad for Universal Studios? Definitely! Is it fun? Oh god yes. “The Wizard” is a movie that might appeal to you more if you have nostalgia attached, granted, but on its own it’s a solid kids adventure film that’s also ahead of its time in the way it digs in to the video game tournaments and how much mental and physical prowess they demand.