John Hughes was considered the master of teen oriented cinema in the 1980’s, often depicting somewhat lower middle class kids on the verge of adult hood. While the movies were raunchy and funny, they were also intent on building characters centered on self reflection and facing potentially dead end adult hoods. While “Weird Science” has mostly been lambasted as Hughes’ worst, I think I’d choose his debut “Sixteen Candles” as the weakest of his eighties outputs.
Approaching Stan Laurel’s 130th Birthday, from Kit Parker Films comes another in a vast library of shorts from Laurel and Hardy. For folks that love the pair of comedic performers and actors, “The Definitive Restorations” is a great set with some of the best shorts from the legendary duo. I love Laurel and Hardy, and digging through this set allowed me some great laughs, and a glimpse in to a very talented pair of comedians that brought fun to the big screen. The shorts and two features included were remastered and further restored for this set, allowing them to clean up a lot of debris and imperfections and preserve a lot of the integrity of the original masters and reels. It’s stunning to say the least, and contributes to an already worthwhile experience for comedy buffs and film collectors alike.
I pretty much grew up with Elvira as a kid, and I’m old enough to remember the bygone era of the horror host. Elvira was one of the last hold outs for a long time as Television changed formats and needed less filler with big personalities introducing us to movies. Elvira managed to live on as a cult icon, appearing in music, and on pretty much anything and everything that involved horror and or Halloween. It was only a matter of time until there was “Mistress of the Dark”
Most of my knowledge and experience with “Horrors of Spider Island” (aka “Body in the Web,” aka “A Corpse Hung in the Web” aka “It’s Hot in Paradise”) begins and ends with “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It was lampooned in easily one of the funniest episodes of the series, and as it was nothing but goofy thinly veiled porn then, it’s goofy thinly veiled porn today. It’s somehow become something of a cult classic today, which is shocking considering the movie has almost nothing to offer. Even in its original uncensored form, the narrative is non-existent, and the movie is teeming with uncomfortable rapey overtones and very obvious lesbian overtones.
If you’re looking for some frights and fun to ease your boredom during quarantine this summer, “A Deadly Place” is another of Mill Creek Entertainment’s bargain packs with two DVD’s worth of movies varying from fantasy to horror. For folks that are in the market for this kind of set, “A Deadly Place” is a big step up from the usual public domain fodder and actually delivers some treats. That is if you’re not a stickler for special features, or bells and whistles, and whatnot.
I vividly remember watching “The Case of Hana & Alice” for the Fantasia Film Festival in 2015, and it was a movie that managed to stick with me for a while. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but like a lot of its ilk, it’s a movie you have to go in with some knowledge acquired. “The Cast of Hana & Alice” is primarily a prequel, and a loose one at that, but it’s at least charming in its way, and allows a mystery to become the catalyst for an adventure with two best friends one fateful day.
After many, many years in limbo, “Creepshow” is finally revived by Shudder/AMC Networks for a modern generation bringing the love child of George Romero, Tom Savini, and Stephen King back for more terror. Premiering exclusively on the Shudder streaming service (then later on AMC), “Creepshow” is led by legendary Gregory Nicotero, doing everything to pay tribute to the EC Comics and the 1982 horror masterpiece. With six episodes featuring stories by Joe Hill (NOS4A2), Joe Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep), Josh Malerman (Bird Box), and Paul Dini et al., “Creepshow” is a great companion to the original pair of classic anthology films.
If you haven’t checked out Shinichirou Ueda’s indie horror comedy hit “One Cut of the Dead” by now then you’ve truly missed out on a prime piece of filmmaking. The film has been a festival darling, has become a hit on streaming and is being given excellent treatment for physical media collectors in a deluxe Steelbook. “One Cut of the Dead” is a genuine horror comedy gem that is best appreciated going in with as little information about it as possible. Although most reviews have given this advice of avoiding any and all spoilers, it’s sage wisdom that will only help improve an already excellent film.