Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Terror in the Haunted House (1958)

As I creep forward transitioning from children’s writing into some of the intricacies of creative writing industry, I decided to kick back and watch something from a much simpler time. After some searching, I decided on Terror in the Haunted House  (AKA My World Dies Screaming) from 1958.

Plot/ A newlywed is terrified when her husband brings her to live in the old house that figures in her recurring nightmare.

As many know, I love going back in time and watching some of the movies that helped shape horror cinema today. While this is not truly a horror movie (yes, it does have the Psycho Rama Subliminal Messages), it is an interesting movie to watch. The acting is solid (especially for the era), the storyline is entertaining, and the soundtrack fits in perfectly. Sure, it is not scary in any way and is quite tame by today’s standards, but it is an entertaining way to revisit some of the B-movies that made the genre great. In the end, if you are searching for something to pass a few moments and love the movies of the 1950s, give it a shot. You could definitely do much worse.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

King Kong (1976)

Last night, I was finally able to finish my children’s writing assignment, as well as, American Horror Story Asylum. Needing some type of mindless horror to help pass the afternoon, I decided to watch something from my childhood. Plus, seeing Jessica Lange in a more relaxed role was cool. My selection for the evening was the 1976 creature feature, King Kong.

Plot/ A petroleum exploration expedition comes to an isolated island and encounters a colossal giant gorilla.

It had been a long time since I had visited this edition of King Kong. For me, it was my introduction into the mythos when I was young, but looking at it now, I can see that the hype with the marketing was much better than the movie itself. While not a terrible movie by any means, it definitely suffers from many flaws once Kong arrives and the effects take over. Over all, the movie has some solid performances, some comedic moments, and an outstanding cast. Unfortunately, between the rough effects, some head scratching dialog, and uneven chemistry, the movie never quite reaches its potential. In the end, it was a nice change of pace to sit back and revisit something from my youth. While it may not have held up as well as some movies, it is also better than most of the creature features being pushed out today. If you are in the mood for a creature feature, give it a shot. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Manson Family Vacation (2015)

After spending last night immersed in the conspiracy surrounding the tragic death of Kurt Cobain with the documentary Soaked in Bleach, I decided t venture into something different before heading to bed. After some thought, I decided to venture into the mind of something different with the 2015 independent flick Manson Family Vacation.

Plot/ Two brothers tour Charles Manson murder sites. One is a devoted family man. One is devoted to The Family.

While this movie was not quite, what I expected, it was entertaining and actually, an interesting trip into something that many can relate to. Funded partly by a kickstarter campaign, there are some uneven production and scripting aspects, but those are easily overlooked because of the limited budget involved (as any fan of true indie films should understand). More of a drama than dark comedy or thriller, this one has some solid performances, some interesting thoughts, and a subject matter that is still extremely polarizing. Not truly, about Charles Manson, the ideas that were put on display or alluded to are definitely not for everyone. In the end, this was a nice change of pace from my usual viewing selections and an entertaining way to spend 90 minutes. If you are searching for something, you could do a lot worse than this one.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Soaked in Bleach (2015)

This week has been a bit of a challenge, between a parade and softball batting practice, it has been a busy one. Plus, I had to finish off my journey into American Horror Story Coven (another amazing entry). Now that I have some time to relax as I prepare to work on one of my final assignments for class, I decided to find some type of thought provoking movie. After some searching, I found an interesting documentary, the 2015 docudrama Soaked in Bleach.

Plot/ Tom Grant, a private investigator once hired by Courtney Love, reveals his take on the death of Kurt Cobain.

I can still remember hearing the news about Kurt Cobain’s suicide and I could not believe it. Even after all these years, there is something that just doesn’t make sense about the death and I honestly do not believe that he committed suicide. This documentary was an amazing journey into that case, and again shows enough evidence to prompt a new investigation into the tragic death of a rock icon. There was so much to like about this documentary, as everything seemed to flow in a logical manner. A combination of reenactments and playbacks of the actual audio recordings taken by private investigator Tom Grant during the investigation, the information presented was powerful and definitely presents the suicide in a different light. In the end, there is no doubt that this case muse be reopened, as there are too many flaws in the reported storyline. If, like me, you were a fan of Nirvana and can remember where you were when this tragedy was reported, you have to watch this documentary. It is a must see, and one of the best documentaries I have seen in some time.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Stung (2015)

Needing to pass some time while doing homework and waiting for the kids to get to bed so I can watch the final episode of American Horror Story Coven, I wanted something mindless to help get me through. In searching for something mindless, I decided upon the 2015 horror/comedy Stung.

Plot/ A fancy garden party turns into upper class prey when a colony of killer wasps mutates into seven foot tall predators.

When I saw this one, I figured it would be the perfect mindless creature feature that I could use to bridge the gap until I put on the final episode of American Horror Story Coven. When I got inside that is what I found. Sure, it was not quite as funny as I expected it to be, but it had enough over the top moments, unbelievable action, and goo to add at least a little humor. The performances are uneven bur cult icon, Lance Henriksen, more than fills his role. The effects and cinematography are solid, the storyline ridiculous but funny, and some of the effects are decent. In the end, this may not be the greatest horror comedy or creature feature to come out, but it is a decent flick to watch with just enough bloodshed to help pass time. If you have some time and need to watch something, give it shot.