Thursday, December 30, 2010

Midnight Movie...

One of my all time favorite places for horror movies to take place is a movie theatre.  I think the general theatre atmosphere can only add to a movie, especially if it is supposed to be scary, exciting or both.  The majority of Midnight Movie takes place in an old movie theatre.  The cool old style ones, with only a few screens, a small concession stand and the hallway leading to the different screens.  So already this movie had a lot going for it, imo. 
The movie is about a rare screening of a horror movie.  Well the director/star of the movie has been locked away in an insane asylum, but of course, he escapes on the eve of the showing.  Well the movie plays and soon enough, characters from the audience start dying on the screen.  It seems that the hulking killer from the movie can skip between the screen and real life. 
In addition to the setting, the movie has a other things going for it.  The first is a couple of likable characters.  One of them is fairly amusing even, and has all the good lines.  Since this is a slasher movie, we need well executed gore effects.  This movie delivers a couple of those.  I didn't think they were anything mind blowing, but they were certainly well done.  A couple of the death scenes fall flat, but thats par for the course. 
The design of the killer was pretty cool too.  And I'll commend the movie for taking time to develop the characters before the killing starts. 
It's not all good though.  A few parts of the movie are dull.  This is especially notable once the cat and mouse games start.  You know, the killer has been chasing people around for a while, and you glance at the clock and there is still twenty minutes left.  Hmmmm, not a good sign.  The movie opens and contiues with a great pace but things progressivly slow down as the movie continues.  I'm not saying that it's bad, because its worth a viewing or two, but had the initial energy been maintaing throughout the entire movie, I would have been much happier about the end results. 

Dolly Dearest...

A family moves to Mexico because the father has purchased a toy factory that makes world famous toys.  He gets there to find a dilapidated factory, but fuck it, they already movied into an amazing house with maids and lots of space.  He gives his daughter one of the leftover dolls and before you can say 'Child's Play rip off', his daughter is bonding with the animated doll.  You see, this doll has been possessed by a Mayan spirit which was released from its tomb by a snoopy archaeologist.  Fun fun fun.  Soon enough, the daughter is having spastic fits whenever she is around a priest and mumbling ancient language curse words. 
The whole movie is a play off of Child's Play, but it is pretty well done.  There are a couple good scares and the doll animatronics are ok for the time.  Denise Crosby looked hot from time to time, but here she didn't quite pull it off.  Maybe it was the sweaty locations, but something seemed off with her. 
There is scattered gore, but none of it is over the top or abusrd or anything like that. 
This came out in a time when all the big horror franchises has already faltered and people were scrambling to find a new horror hero.  Well, it wasn't Dolly Dearest. 
That said, the movie isn't unwatchable but it's also far from great. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This title immediately grabbed my attention due to its cool box art, the black alien in an outer space setting.  I had seen pieces of this on Saturday afternoon TV but I had never seen the entire thing.  It seemed to be a common movie at the time, since most rental stores of the day had a copy of it.  In the 90's, when many video rental stores were closing, I bought a copy of it from the epic Movie World who were, unfortunately a casualty of Blockbuster.  They always cut the VHS boxes to fit them into the white clamshell boxes that they rented, so the collector value of titles from that legendary store are pretty low, unless you find someone who just has to have a certain title.  Creature was always in the science fiction section of that store, but a lot of other great titles were, as well. 
Anyway, the movie is mostly about an alien offing people aboard a space ship.  You see, they are on a rescue mission.  They encounter a rogue scientist, who is the highlight of the movie.  He is played by Klaus Kinski, who is pretty much wacked out in any role he plays.  Another highlight of the movie is the tremendous gore.  There is a lot of alien related violence.  A lot of the aliens victims come back as zombies, so there is a lot of action in regards to that, as well.  My favorite setpiece was the alien biting off a female characters head, blood splashing everywhere and then the head plops to the ground.  It's a classic 80's gore scene, completely over the top and in your face. 
As of now, Creature isn't readily available on DVD.  There is a cheap public domain copy that shouldn't run you over $10.  The quality is ok, but the colors are real soft, especially in scenes that take place in the light.  I own two copies on VHS and they both look at least the same as the DVD.  The movie doesn't cost you a lot if you track it down on DVD or VHS and is very worth checking out.