I came into The Texas Chain Saw Massacre series a bit out of order and at a way too young age. When I was around nine or so, the lady next door had her young nephews over each summer who were around my age. We’d hang out and it is because of them that I first saw The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2 (review forthcoming). The humor of the film fit right in with my morbid 10 year old self who though Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kidswere cultural milestones. Continue reading ‘The Summer of the Savage South Spotlight: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)’
Well, since we’re almost in the Summer solstice, and it’s hot as Satan’s armpit in my home town back in North Kakalacki, I’m going to do a series on films that take place in the SAVAGE SOUTH. First up I’m going to do a run through of the first four Texas Chain Saw Massacre flicks, then hit up Rob Zombie’s first two flicks about the Firefly clan and their untimely demise, before I move on to one called Fair Game which I found on YouTube and seems to be a mix of I Spit On Your Grave meets Mad Max. Also, I’m going to see if I can track down Slaughterhouse for this series as well. I’d like to keep this going for the duration of the summer if I can find enough films for the criteria; is there any you guys would recommend?
Like many of you, I woke up to some very sad news today. Sir Christopher Lee passed away at age 93 after having lived a life worthy of a Marvel Comics super hero. As a huge horror fan who grew up with Lee’s work (as well his contemporaries Vincent Price and Peter Cushing), I felt I should write up this piece to pay tribute to the man. In light of such greatness, I feel my words are inadequate; his life was full of adventure and great accomplishments that it makes me feel writing this is somewhat trivial. Despite those things, I felt I should give a somewhat brief statement on what the loss means to our community, and to the entertainment industry in general. Continue reading ‘RIP Christopher Lee’
For those of you who are just coming out from under the rock you’ve been living in for the past year, The Babadook is a psychological horror thriller about a young widowed mother trying to cope with the loss of her husband while raising her troubled six year old son. Anna (Essie Davis, most recently scene stateside in The Slap) has her work cut out for her as her son Sam (Noah Wiseman, in his debut) has become fixated on making traps and weapons to fight off the boogeyman. His focus is to protect his mom from the beast. Unfortunately, there isn’t any sign of the creature and he’s driving his mom insane and everyone that loves them away. Continue reading ‘The Babadook (2014)’
Lee Van Cleef, the most magnificent bastard of all time, plays against type as a hero in this western directed by Sergio Leone protege Giancarlo Santi. Even though Cleef is the good guy, he still wears a black hat, so you know he’s just as crafty as ever. Playing as Sheriff Clayton, Van Cleef is out for justice against the Saxton family — the corrupt brothers who run the town after their pwn name sake.. The Saxton family are after a young man named Phillip, who they believe killed their patriarch (who killed Phillips father). The film starts off with Clayton saving Phillip from a group of bounty hunters who are after the $3,000 price on his head. At first it seems Clayton is after the money as well, but like he says “I never kill for money”, a far cry from his character Angel Eyes in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. From here on out, it’s typical spaghetti western fare with double-crosses, grand set pieces, amazing cinematography, a sweeping musical score, and lots of people getting shot. Continue reading ‘The Grand Duel (1972)’
I always liked this guy as a kid. I’m sure I’m not the only one who grew up watching him in Full Moon/Charles Band films* where he played the quick-witted, but stoic, anti-heroes in Trancers and Dollman. I always thought he was a good actor, and up there with John Saxon as far as favorite genre guys. Interestingly enough, I came across this while looking through the comment section of the A.V. Club’s article on the Death Wish series in which they focus on the more unpleasant aspects of the series. I can’t deny the things they say exist, however, I think they miss the point that the films were meant to be escapist grindhouse fare, and not the treatise on conservatism it’s painted as. The comments section, as always with the site, is incredibly entertaining as quips about the series and fond recollections are posted, as well as the inevitable Simpsons reference. One of the more interesting comments notes the girl who played Bronson’s daughter in the first film was also the commenters history teacher. He notes it was odd seeing her ass spray painted in a film and then going to class the next day, to which one guy says “Yeah teachers have lives outside of class, how strange!” and someone quips back “Yeah seeing a teacher naked on screen isn’t exactly the same as bumping into her at the gas station”.
*I’m going to be really embarrassed if I’m the only one who remembers Tim Thomerson.