After the travesty that was the 1998 Roland Emmerich reboot of “Godzilla,” the king of the monsters went in to hiding from the states for a long time. It was until Legendary came along to hop on the expanded universe band wagon to finally give Gojira and his merry band of monsters and allies a chance to win a new generation of fans. Despite some bumps and tumbles, Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” is a giant step up from the 1998 embarrassment and still manages to travel well, with or without the impending “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
You could almost blame “Ghost Ship” of false advertising, as it’s a movie that almost promises to deliver a new kind of ghost movie, and then backs out after the prologue. Steve Beck’s horror movie begins on a very gnarly note with easily one of the most memorable horror movie openings of all time. Beck directs this hook brilliantly and you’d feel bad for not seeing the entire movie through. Once Steve Beck’s ghost film progresses, it’s sadly more of the same.
Joe Dante’s 1984 masterpiece “Gremlins” is that perfect hybrid of a movie and culture milestone that appeals to horror fans, and fans of Amblin and Spielberg. It influenced a whole sub-genre of monster movies, and serves a wonderful purpose as a Christmas movie and a horror movie. It’s also a perfect bit of gateway horror for blossoming fans that want to ease in to what kind of heights this genre is capable of. There are also the hallmarks of Dante’s films from the chaos and terror implanted in to the suburbs, and the always great Dick Miller.
For fans that missed it the first time, Mill Creek Entertainment re-releases their stellar home version of “Gone in 60 Seconds” but now with a Digital Copy for buyers. Mill Creek is finally entering the digital arena for folks that bypass physical copies, and it’s a wise investment. The new release garners a restored and remastered version of the 1974 action film, and it’s a neat addition to the sub-genre of car based action films. “Gone in 60 Seconds” takes its premise and doles out a very solid and exciting action film with a slew of mesmerizing car chase sequences that are far more engrossing than the painfully inferior remake from 2000.
“The Granny” is the definition of late night cable movie fodder. I saw it twenty years ago very late at night on cable television here in America, and it kind of burned itself in to my brain ever since. Granted, it’s not a masterpiece of horror comedy; in fact it’s so furiously stupid and ridiculous, it’s a film that’ll inspire more eye rolls than laughter. It’s at least worthy of one viewing for folks that enjoy pain with their cinema, though, and years later it’s about as silly as I remember. Star Stella Stevens chews the scenery, adjoining buildings and most of the wildlife up with her role as Granny, a bitter and angry old woman who lives in immense wealth. Unfortunately she was cursed with a vile and greedy family, all of whom are obsessed with counting the days until she finally dies leaving her fortune to them.
For the nineties kids that grew up with great YA horror fodder like “Goosebumps,” “Fear Street,” and “Are You Afraid of the Dark,” director Paul Gandersman and writer Peter S. Hall really seem to have done their research, building a pretty damn great short horror film around the mold of a series called “The Dead Kids Club.” I hope they can find the funding to continue producing films under this label, as I’d love to see a series of shorts or feature length films within “The Dead Kids Club” concept.
An old man, Ronnie, lives with is adult son, Brayden, giving disco tours to gullible customers. Things get a bit greasy when Brayden falls for one of their customers and Ronnie becomes jealous. Their home becomes a sexual battleground and a monster is unleashed onto the public. Co-Written by Toby Harvard and Jim Hosking (who both collaborated on the same short in ABC’s of Death 2) and directed by Jim Hosking for his first full length film, The Greasy Strangler is a mind-melting experience. The film’s humor is apparent from the first scene of the movie and, like the Energizer Bunny, it keeps going and going; quips so not funny that they end up becoming gut rolling, blatant displays of comically sized genitalia and pubic hair, and disgusting food.
After presenting various cuts of “The Godfather” trilogy over the years presented on television, HBO has decided to offer up their own version of Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” entitled “The Complete Epic.” Clocking in at a little over seven hours and presented in HD, the idea for “The Complete Epic” is that “The Godfather” and “The Godfather II” are spliced together telling the entire saga of the Corleones chronologically. They then injected a lot of deleted and or extended scenes for the purpose of exposition and further elaboration on plot points somewhat evaded and under explained in the aforementioned films. As well, what’s considered “The Complete Epic” does not include the often maligned “The Godfather III.”