by John S
Common cinematic wisdom has it that, in 1978, Halloween cemented the Slasher Movie trope which dictates that if you are young and horny and you give in to your horniness, you will die a horrible, horrible death. However, we submit that Jaws actually first trotted out that particular nugget three years earlier in 1975. Substitute a Great White shark the size of a station wagon for Michael Myers, and you still have the same result: lots of screaming and flailing and dying. Our story starts with Chrissie (Susan Backlinie) sitting on a beach on Amity Island, MA, making googley eyes at Cassidy (Jonathan Filley) over a bonfire. Oh, yes, this beach vacation will end so very, very badly. Read More
by Travis Vogt
I’d really love to say that I thought Suicide Squad was good. After reading all of the negative reviews (40 on Metacritic? That is WAY too high) and hearing all of my friends tell me how much I was going to hate it, it would’ve been a neat angle. To be one of those “Actually…” people, unearthing a fresh perspective on commonly held opinions. Sadly, friends, today is not that day. Suicide Squad is one of the worst big-budget Hollywood films I’ve ever seen. We’re talking Eragon bad, and I don’t say that lightly. This is one of those movies that sucks immediately. Even during the opening credits, before a frame of story had been projected, I was literally making loud fart noises in the back of the theater. And by “literally,” of course, I mean “not literally.”
I’d love to go through all of the trouble of assembling a legit essay about why Suicide Squad sucks ass, but such a task is not worthy of my exalted English degree. If the lazy asshats who made this film weren’t gonna put in any thought or effort into the making of a $175 million movie, why should I write a legit think piece? I’m just gonna do this baby in list form and get it out of my system. Read More
by Greg Carlson
One of the great features of the still-standing independent video stores is the meticulous classification of distinct subgenres on the shelves. Managers at Blockbuster Video had no problem with Smokey and the Bandit being placed in either the Action or Comedy section, but a dyed-in-the-wool indie video store clerk would make sure to file it under the “Road Race” section, alongside Cannonball Run, The Gumball Rally, and (to a lesser degree) Death Race 2000.
My favorite movie subgenre is the “Man vs. Beast” film; specifically, the ones that came out in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s to capitalize on the success of Jaws and its sequels, right down to the one-word title (Piranha, Grizzly, Barracuda, Tentacles, among many others.) As with any subgenre riding the wave of a popular franchise, the quality of these films can range from camp classic to Z-grade unwatchable. However, there are a few rip-off genre movies that rise to B-list levels of entertainment, gaining repeat viewings due to the serious performances of the actors and/or the “less is more” aesthetic of the director/screenwriter. These niche films must have had an effect on me – out of the three movie posters I have hanging in my downstairs rec room, two of them are Orca and Alligator. Read More
by John S
Movie Postmortem is a monthly series that reviews certain films that showed promise but misfired (critically and/or commercially) upon initial release. Join us in our attempt to find out exactly what the hell happened.
The Casualty: Memoirs of an Invisible Man
The Case History: Somewhat based on the 1987 novel of the same title by H.F. Saint, this movie promised an entertaining blend of comedy, suspense, sci-fi, action and romance. Think Hitchcock meets Phillip K. Dick. Basically, we have a regular everyman named Nick Halloway (who just happens to look and snark brilliantly like Chevy Chase) who is rendered invisible when a lab explosion rips apart the sci-tech company he is visiting one day with a pounding hangover (don’t ask). Read More