Five Thoughts & Observations On “The Legend of Billie Jean”

I first saw “The Legend of Billie Jean” on Television when I was nine years old on my favorite network WPIX Channel 11 in New York. This was a time when I had no cable, so my only movie entertainment were the edited for time, pan and scan films from the eighties that were also cut for adult content and language. In either case, “The Legend of Billie Jean” became an instant favorite and it’s remained one of my favorites for a very long time. Now with a Retro VHS re-release from Mill Creek, I thought I’d ponder on my favorite memories with what I consider a classic from 1985.

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An Hour to Kill (2018)

I kind of see what Aaron K. Carter is going for with “An Hour to Kill.” What his film tries to be is a basic meshing of the gangster politics of “Pulp Fiction” with the horror tales of “Creepshow.” I don’t begrudge him for trying something completely different and unique, it’s just sad that “An Hour to Kill” never comes together as a coherent or even entertaining horror comedy anthology. Even taken as a silly horror comedy, it’s tough to find any real redeeming aspects here, as Carter seems to work hard in keeping his film together as it falls apart from minute one.

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2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action

It’s pretty disappointing that the Academy almost cut out the entire Live Action short category this year for the Oscars, as there are so many wonderful short films nominated. There are five pretty fantastic short films with strong messages about childhood and loss of innocence, and I hope now that they’re back in the broadcast, that audiences get a chance to watch and celebrate them.

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Cobra (1986): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

Take the unabashed violence of the eighties action films where all that stood between peace and war was one guy with a gun, throw in a slasher film, and you have what is one of my absolute childhood favorites. “Cobra” brings me back to a time where I’d watch Marion Cobretti bring down a thug with the cold hard steel of his Colt .45 and still have time to go home and unwind with some left over pizza. Thankfully “Cobra” still pretty much holds up today as a mixing of two very popular genres from the decade, and it works for the most part.

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All Men Must Die! (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“A Real Scream” Shorts Block

At nine minutes Kate Beacom’s “All Men Must Die!” is a complete swing and miss. I get what she’s going for, here, but all sense of the horror element is lost in favor of this odd indie flourish, and a climax that makes no actual point. While director Beacom does enter in to a turn of events that universal to the intended audience, “All Men Must Die” takes forever to get to the literal splash in the climax, and I was left thinking “That’s it?” Continue reading

The Poison Ivy Collection [Blu-Ray]

For all three of you fans of the “Poison Ivy” movie series wondering when we’d finally see all four of the films from the series on Blu-Ray, Shout Factory finally brings it to us with extras and restorations. Truth is I’m eagerly awaiting the “Devil in the Flesh” duology on Blu-Ray (Sidenote: Do you think anyone has the balls to release the entire “Wild Things” saga?), but for now we have this neat box set of some of the best worst erotic trash that’s ever been brought to movie fans from Warner bros. And just in time for Valentine’s Day and Women in Horror Month, too! You can ogle a pre-career renaissance Drew Barrymore, or up and comer Jaime Pressly, or a post-“Degrassi” Miriam McDonald.

There’s no wrong option, is the bullet point of my explanation.

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Knock Knock (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Social Horror” Shorts Block

Kennikki Jones-Jones’s short horror drama is a film with a premise that rang a bit too close to home for yours truly. Growing up in the Bronx, there are certain kind of boundaries and rules people are expected to follow. Often times children can be heard in the distance crying or being disciplined by their parents and it’s kind of a mutual agreement among many to ignore it unless it gets all too severe. And even then, people tend to turn a blind eye.

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