Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Devils's Rain (1975)

After taking a slight break from movies and the blog for a couple days, I decided that it was time to fins something mindless to watch. After searching Shudder, I settled on the 1975 cult flick The Devil’s Rain.

Plot/ A bunch of Satanists in the American rural landscape have terrible powers which enable them to melt their victims. However one of the children of an earlier victim vows to destroy them.

The 1970s were such a different time, especially in movies. One of the biggest movements was the fear of Devil worship that overtook every part of culture from movies, to music, and even gaming. This movie clearly falls into the heart of that movement. Complete with a tremendous cast featuring Ernest Borgnine, Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, William Shatner, Keenan Wynn, and, even John Travolta. The storyline is interesting although some of it is incoherent (especially the opening sequence), and while the schlock-filled effects do not hold up in any way, watching all of the bodies melt is a fun (and surprising) twist I did not expect. Of course, watching Ernest Borgnine transform to a goat was complete cheese and while interesting, the storyline was a mess, but those flaws only add to the schlock factor. In the end, this is not a technically good movie and there are many flaws, but it is fun. If you are into 1970s B-Movie cheese, give it a shot. It is entertaining and fun.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Ninth Configuration (1980)

With this holiday weekend coming to a close, I decided to kick back and watch some different movies I found on Shudder over the past few days. One of the more interesting ones comes from writer William Peter Blatty, of Exorcist fame. While this one did not deal with demonic possession, it did deal with a disturbing subject matter. That movie is the 1980 cult classic The Ninth Configuration.

Plot/ A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for crazy and AWOL U.S. Army soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out their crazy fantasies while combating his own long-suppressed insanity.

When I saw this one on Shudder, I had no idea what to expect. What I found was extremely different from anything that I could have imagined coming from the mind of Blatty. The Ninth Configuration is a subtle mixture of comedy, horror, and drama that makes for an entertaining evening. Completely different from The Exorcist, this movie offers an interesting and intelligent look at mental illness and creates a narrative that is a valuable tool for understanding. The cast is tremendous, the performances solid, and the storyline offers many different angles into the mindset of the characters. Yes, some of it does feel dated at times, but that is really not a problem, as the overall power of the message comes through clearly. In the end, this is an underrated gem, and a movie that must be seen. Sure, it is not a mindless entry and it will require some thought while viewing but that is perfectly fine with this one. Check it out!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Flatliners (1990)

There are some movies that we take for granted and ignore. This is done for many reasons, but often, it happens because they hold up as solid entries into the cinematic world no matter how long it is since its release. One movie that falls into this category is the 1990 horror/thriller Flatliners.

Plot/ Four Medical students experiment on near death experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives.

Flatliners is one of those films that has stood the test of time and created a dark atmosphere that makes it both memorable and entertaining. The movie has a great storyline that is both enlightening and entertaining, something that often is overlooked in the genre. The cast and performances are tremendous within the detailed script that offers both an interesting plot and tuned subplots that draw viewers into the minds of the different characters. On top of that, the setting and cinematography of the film work perfectly with the script making everything flow in a great manner. Yes, the ending does still feel a touch rushed, but that is really the only marked flaw in a finely crafted horror/thriller. In the end, this is a film that is still memorable and shows what a great cast can do with a tremendous script. If you have not seen it, check it out. It is an entertaining and thought provoking film.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Exorcist III (1990)

With it being Thanksgiving, it was nice to be able to relax, and look forward to the future. Yes, there will be some rough times ahead; there is hope that change for the better could possibly happen. After taking a couple days away from the blog to work on a couple smaller projects, I decided to look into something relaxing yesterday to help pass the afternoon. The movie I decided on was something I had not seen in some time, the 1990 sequel, The Exorcist III.

Plot/ A police lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased 'Gemini' serial killer, lead him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

I remember seeing this one in the theater and being blown away by the depth of the storyline and some of the creepiness that saturates the atmosphere. This movie is a perfect sequel to the classic Exorcist, much better than the first sequel released much earlier. More of a intelligent psychological thriller than pure horror movie, there is a lot to like in this one. The cast is amazing and the performances work extremely well in tandem, the scripting is solid (although, it does cause viewers to think more than with a typical horror movie), and the tension builds throughout the entirety of the movie allowing every aspect to sink in. Yes, there are some moments that deem to be added in for effect that feel out of place and the minimalist style may turn some people off, but those are elements that are easily overlooked when evaluating the movie as a whole. In the end, it was such a treat to dive into this film again, as it has stood the test of time rather well. While it is not for everyone, it is a must see for fans of psychological thrillers and the Exorcist. If you have not seen it yet, find it, and watch it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Magic (1978)

After watching the cheesefest that was Contamination, I decided to venture into something different. Subsequently, I searched through Shudder until I found something down a stranger path, finally settling on the underrated 1978 flick Magic.

Plot/ A ventriloquist is at the mercy of his vicious dummy while he tries to renew a romance with his high school sweetheart.

This was an amazing film, and one that often flies under the RADAR for fans of horror flicks or thrillers. Directed by Sir Richard Attenbourough, this movie oozes atmosphere and is one of the creepier films from that era. Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins is amazing, creating a movie that is in many ways a precursor to his performance in Silence of the Lambs. The cast is strong, the cinematography is solid, the storyline works, and there is great tension sprinkled into the entire film. Yes, some of the pacing may seem slow and there are some head scratching moments, but those do not hold the movie back in any way. In the end, this is a creepy flick that for some reason often overlooked. With the movie now available on Shudder; give it a shot.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Contamination (1980)

Sometimes, I need to take a trip down memory lane to my youth and the big box VHS flicks that made the 1980s one of the best decades for no-budget horror cinema. One such movie is my next review; the 1980 horror/sci-fi entry Contamination (AKA Alien Contamination).

Plot/ A former astronaut helps a government agent and a police detective track the source of mysterious alien pod spores, filled with lethal flesh-dissolving acid, to a South American coffee plantation controlled by alien pod clones.

There is really nothing better than horror from the 1980s and the gore that often accomplished in before the political correct censorship establishment took control. While this is not the best of the era, it is a movie that offers a unique combination of gore and schlock that makes it a fun watch. Couple those elements with an entertaining storyline (albeit somewhat predictable), some solid performances, and enough classic Italian cheese to make it watchable. Yes, some of the gore effects are overused and a little dated today, and some of the movie would seem cliché with many scenes mirroring other films from the era, but that was common back in the days of big box VHS. In the end, if you love European horror from the 1980s, you have to check out this version; it is worth watching. Be warned though, this schlockfest is not for everyone.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

OUIJA: Origin of Evil (2016)

Supernatural movies are always fun, especially when the subject matter is something that is tangible (at least from a certain perspective). One such topic is the OUIJA Board, and whether it is a tool for darkness or a simple game. Personally, I have no real opinion on the legitimacy of the talking board, and where it should be placed, but it is an interesting topic for movies to explore. For my next review, I will be diving into the 2016 entry Ouija: Origin of Evil.

Plot/ In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother, and her 2 daughters add a new stunt to bolster their séance business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When a supernatural spirit overtakes the youngest daughter, the family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.

It is rare for a sequel to live up to the expectations set by the source material. That being said, it is even more rare for a sequel to surpass an original, but that is the case with Ouija: Origin of Evil. This movie is so much better than the original, and as a prequel, it makes me wonder what could have been if the entire series was as good as this entry. This flick has a dark, almost creepy atmosphere, some solid performances, and a storyline that is engaging and interesting. Yes, there are some predictable moments and some of the actions of the characters make little sense, but those elements do not really bring the flick down in any way. In the end, the retro feel, interesting storyline, and overall quality make it the best of the series, and a lot better than I expected when I went to see it with one of my daughters.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

All the President's Men (1976)

There are times where messages in movies are important. However, nothing can replace true stories that tackle some of the most important events in history without steering it to match a narrative or agenda. Unfortunately, that is an art form that seems to have been bypassed in recent years, replaced by storylines that seem to mirror the agendas of the ruling classes of the establishment. This plague has not only overtaken Hollywood, but it has overwhelmed the main stream media and majority of newsprint outlets, which act more like propaganda arms than actual news outlets. One movie that shows the importance of clear journalism is the 1976 classic All the President’s Men.

Plot/ Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Richard Nixon's resignation.

Every once in a while I have to sprinkle in a classic on the sight. While there is really nothing more that I can add to a review, this is a movie that must be kept in the spotlight, and actually in some ways still has tremendous relevance today. In this era of subpar journalism, where the mainstream media acts more like a propaganda wing for the establishment, this movie demonstrates the true power of the press. Based on the true story of reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and their tenacious investigation of the Watergate scandal, this movie succeeds even though the events are known. Between the Oscar-winning script, the amazing performances, and the natural tension everything works to perfection. In the end, this is a movie that is fact, and a movie that journalists or those interested in journalism watch and digest in its entirety. There is no agenda or hidden messages; it is just a tremendous reminder of when politics mattered less than the truth.

Friday, November 18, 2016

AmeriGeddon (2016)

I know that I have taken some time off away from the blog, but lately I have been getting back into the writing mood as I work on a new project. While I am not going to go into detail on that as of yet, it will be happening soon, and it will hopefully become something that becomes a large part of my blogging/writing footprint. The next review for The Ringmaster’s Realm is something that carries an important message, the 2016 independent flick AmeriGeddon.

Plot/ A fictional depiction of a future wherein a globalist terrorist organization aligned with the United Nations to disable the United States' power grid and institutes Martial Law. It will take a dedicated family of patriots armed with strong survival skills and the remains of the Second Amendment to save America and reclaim its freedom.

As a movie, this is a hard one to truly nail a review on. In many ways, this film is extremely believable and is full of facts that society must embrace. Unfortunately, for the masses and blind followers of oppression, the powerful messages woven into this film will likely fall on deaf ears. For the information alone, I give it complete thumbs up. As a movie, there are times where you must suspend belief with some of the action scenes. The cinematography works, the scripting is solid, and as I mentioned the information sprinkled into the storyline should wake up many viewers that may question many of the darker agendas and elements of the government and the globalist military industrial complex. Yes, some of the performances are uneven and some of the action/stunts are unbelievable, but those elements really do not bring down the storyline in any way especially when you take into account the smaller budget and independent nature of the production. In the end, this movie will be music to the ears of Libertarians or Constitutionalists that understand the true meaning and depths of items such as the NDAA and false flag operations. Personally, I feel that everyone should watch it and take stock in the overall message, it is that important.