Review: Ash vs. Evil Dead 1.5 “The Host”


Just forty minutes ago, I was in the process of deciding what I was going to wear to a Christmas party tomorrow night when I suddenly realized that I had yet to write up a review of the latest episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead.


Seriously, I was shocked and ashamed of myself.  It’s not just the fact that I take some earned pride in being consistent as far as my reviews are concerned.  There was also the fact that The Host was one of the best episodes of Ash vs. Evil Dead so far.

It’s also one of the most important because The Host is perhaps the first episode not to solely focus on Ash and Bruce Campbell.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Bruce Campbell and I imagine you do as well.  Bruce will always be the main reason that we watch Ash Vs. Evil Dead.  But, at the same time, Ash is not the only character on the show.  There’s also Kelly and Pablo.  While Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago have both had some strong moments, both Kelly and especially Pablo have largely existed in Ash’s shadow, with Kelly briefly capturing the spotlight during the 2nd episode.  With The Host, Pablo finally got his chance to shine.

And really, when I rewatched The Host, it was hard not to feel that the show itself was specifically acknowledging that Pablo and Kelly needed an opportunity to establish their own identities outside of just being Ash’s sidekicks.  This episode, after all, opened up with Ash bound and gagged (which, as we all know, is probably the only way to keep Ash from talking).  For fifteen minutes, Ash was incapacitated and Kelly and Pablo finally got their moment.

And both Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago made the most of it.  The highlight of this episode was definitely watching the very earnest Pablo interact with the possessed Kelly.  There was actually something rather touching about the way Pablo nervously interacted with the suddenly aggressive Kelly.  I was half-convinced that Kelly would be able to talk him into sucking on the barrel of that shotgun, just because Pablo seemed to be so genuinely upset about saying no to her.  For the first time in this series, Pablo was something more than just Ash’s sidekick.  During The Host, he finally emerged as an individual with a personality all of his own.


And it’s actually a pretty appealing personality.  Pablo may not be any smarter than Ash but he’s still a lot less destructive.  Assuming that he can ever get over his blind hero worship, Pablo could actually be a very good influence on Ash.  You need Ash to save the world from the Deadites but you also need Pablo to save the world from Ash.

Speaking of Ash, he did eventually get untied.  With the help of Pablo and Pablo’s uncle, he finally managed to get that demon to leave Kelly’s body.  Of course, the Brujo was killed during the exorcism but that’s to be expected.  With the exception of Pablo and Kelly, anyone who helps Ash ends up getting killed.  That’s just the way it goes.  At least the Brujo died an honorable death in a worth episode.

There are only five episode left of Ash vs. Evil Dead!  Who will Ash end up getting killed next?



Hallmark Review: The Note (2007, dir. Douglas Barr)


I finally worked my way backwards to the first in The Note trilogy, and I’m kind of disappointed in it.

The movie starts and we are introduced to a newspaper columnist named Peyton Macgruder (Genie Francis). She writes a newspaper column called The Heart Healer. We are then introduced to King (Ted McGinley) who plays her love interest and also writes for the paper.


A small complaint I have is that he never really had the short moment of douchebaggery that he had in the other two Note films. I know it was a weird anomaly, but I had gotten used to it. Here we just get a couple of lines that he chocks up to old locker room talk. It’s just not the same.

During the introductions to the characters, including that her column is on the chopping block, we also are hearing about a plane that is going down. Macgruder goes out to a funeral being held for the family of someone who died in the crash. This is when we are introduced to the problem with this film.


The allegedly evil TV news reporter. We know he’s supposed to be bad because how dare he ask this girl very politely a question after Macgruder also went over to her and introduced herself. She goes back to her office in disgust. She says, “How does a guy like Truman Harris sleep at night?” to which her friend responds, “Comfortably wrapped in the arms of any woman he wants.” All this because he went over, introduced himself, and politely asked her a question. This supposedly evil TV news reporter is a running thing in this story and it’s stupid.


After we get a flashback to tell us her husband is dead, she is sitting next to the water and discovers something. It’s a note and a bag of cookie crumbs. She’s struck gold! Now she has a story to milk in order to keep her job. Even King says, “I think you may have struck gold here.” When she brings the idea to her boss, she’s hesitant, but then her bosses boss tells her it’s a good idea so the hunt for who the letter is meant for is on!

Phone call! It’s the evil TV news reporter. He has called her up to dare to offer her the opportunity to use TV coverage to help find the person the note belongs to faster. But she turns him down because it’s her story, and how could he possibly think that finding the person quicker is what she wants. She wants to “do the story as a continuing feature.” You know, drag it out as long as possible to keep her column going.

Now she visits the first person she thinks the letter might have been meant for. The two of them have a nice little conversation, but it isn’t his. The evil TV news reporter shows up as she’s leaving. The guy says he doesn’t want to speak with him and she says, “no comment”. Then she makes sure to remind him that it’s her story and that “without the note you’ve really got nothin'”. Did they even read the lines they have her saying? She comes across as a person who is holding this personal private note hostage and dragging it out for her personal gain while lashing out at someone who could help her find the person who should have the letter as soon as possible.

Now she writes about it, and it’s a hit! Look she’s got 200 emails!


Of course this being a Hallmark movie, it cuts to her face and back to the screen to find it’s suddenly 1,991 messages.


Now she’s asked to work with the evil TV news reporter by her boss because their companies are related, but she’s not having any of it. She goes on a bit of a rant here saying: “I think corporate should go to…Look, this is a story that either I can tell or Truman can tell! Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. Truman can’t tell it because he doesn’t have the note.”

And just in case we thought we were meant to read her as going overboard, she has a conversation with her boss a little while on where she is congratulated. Apparently, she protected her “readers’ interests” and her bosses boss liked that she stood up to those “new media types in New York.” He has been a print guy for 30 years! Wow! That’s like way before television was invented in the 1980s. By the way, she publishes her articles on the Internet as well as in newspaper form.


Then she meets with another lady and this is when we finally get a real reason why she probably shouldn’t work with the TV guy. This lady shares quite a personal story with her. Of course that really doesn’t matter too much because she isn’t the one who the letter was for. Thus, making this exist only for her to have another article and pad the film out with more emotional material.

It basically carries on this way for the rest of the film. Ultimately, her hunt brings her back to herself. I feel bad spoiling it here for some reason even though you can figure it out if you’ve seen the other films in the series. She also gets closer to King in the process. It would all be a nice little emotional story of her going from person to person as this note touches lives ultimately coming around to touch hers in the most profound way. However, they had to throw in this evil TV news reporter. The only purpose he seems to serve is to pander to people who see someone like him as a threat to their traditional values as embodied by this somewhat religious newspaper reporter. It’s totally unnecessary to the story and damages the credibility of the main character needlessly. This isn’t a bad movie, but one with a stupid writing mistake that drags on it.

In Memory of Robert Loggia

Robert Loggia

Whenever you saw Robert Loggia in a movie or a TV show, you knew he was going to be a tough guy.

He played gangsters in The Sopranos, The Don’s Analyst, Sicilian Vampire, Innocent Blood, Prizzi’s Honor, Armed and Dangerous, and Speedtrap.  In Scarface, he played Frank Lopez and controlled the Miami drug scene until he was overthrown by Al Pacino’s Tony Montana.  In David Lynch’s Lost Highway, he played Mr. Eddy and nearly killed a man over tailgating.  (Before casting him in Lost Highway, Lynch offered Loggia the role of Frank Booth in Blue Velvet.  When Loggia turned the role down, Lynch offered it to Dennis Hopper.  If Loggia had accepted the role, the 90s would have been a very different time as far as movies are concerned.)  Loggia was nominated for an Oscar for playing a tough P.I. in Jagged Edge.  In Independence Day, he was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  If the aliens knew he was waiting for them, they probably would have stayed home.

Robert Loggia even played himself in one of the best commercials of the 1990s.

Robert Loggia’s acting career began in 1956, when he appeared alongside Paul Newman and Steve McQueen in Somebody Up There Likes Me.  Over the years, he played everyone from Joseph in The Greatest Story Ever Told to Norman Bates’s psychologist in Psycho II.  But, for many of us, he will always be best remembered as Mr. MacMillan in Big, the toy company owner who rediscovers his inner child by dancing on a keyboard with Tom Hanks.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Loggia.  Thank you for the memories.


#LateNightMovie review: “The Creeping Terror”

This week for #LateNightMovie we watched ‘The Creeping Terror’ and there are several things I want to say about this movie, but I will get to those soon!

From the start tho, Tammy, this was a great movie for us! Awesome pick! I never doubt the movies you pick for us, and this was another amazingly (horrible) one! 😉


Vic Savage (as A.J. Nelson)


Vic Savage, Robert Sillphant*


Vic Savage as Martin Gordon

Shannon O’Neil as Brett Gordon


After escaping from a crashed space ship, a snail like creature terrorizes all humanity! And all humanity snail squishing follows.


Okay, many of us retro sci-fi geeks regard this as one of the worst films ever (as pointed out by the quips below). And there have been many reviews done about how bad this movie is. So I won’t take my review in that direction. What I will do is point out all of the nepotism in the movie.

First, Vic Savage! Let’s just all giggle and get over that, AJ!

Second, most likely, Robert didn’t write this movie; His brothers Allan and Sterling did. From all the records, it looks like Robert had very little to do with the writing, but is credited anyway.

It is not consequential how the movie got made, but better the fact that we had a great movie to watch!

And obviously the #LateNightMovie gang had fun!

In Spirographvision

We all had our goggles on for that, Kelly!
This movie is exquisitely excrementlike, but I adore it

SFX Guy: Okay, here’s what we’ll do. You grab that part of the creature from the last movie we did, and I’ll just sew a couple of rugs on the back of it

Nothing this big???? Poor dear…

Sadly, yep! 😦

like no one had driven on the road before them

special unit last night was much better

Wait for the comments, Jinni!

Is this a Japanese movie?

That narrator is so handy. Saves so much time having to write pesky dialogue and stuff…

we should DUB our own dialogue into one of these for fun

I thought that is what we did each week at LNM, Myke! LOL

never pick the baby up, children are toxic

It’s the IKEA carpet that ate Cleveland

the monster isn’t attracted to hootenannies

So these people are 1) incredibly stupid 2) deaf and 3) have NO peripheral vision

But at the end of filming, they rolled up the carpet, lit it on fire, and got really high so there was that.

this is like a pre-roomba, everything getting swept under the rug
no words

Well you did have words Kelly, And I will give you to them!

Kelly said it best!

REPORT: Identified human weaknesses: 1) They stand still when frightened. 2) They stand still when their dancing is interrupted 3) Some are SUPER fat 4) They can easily be tricked into crawling

If you want to see what all the LNM fun is about, here is a link to The Creeping Terror!



Thank you Warren, Pinky, Phil, Lisa, Myrna, Kapt Kurt, Kelly, Jes, Jinni, Holly, Myke and Ambie for watching #LateNightMovie with me!

Film Review: Ashby (dir by Tony McNamara)


At first glance, Ed Wallis (Nat Wolff) seems like your typical nerdy high school student.  An introvert who has a hard time making friends, Ed is a talented writer but what he really wants to do is play for his school’s legendary football team.  One thing that sets Ed apart from cinematic nerds of the past is that he is not lacking in confidence.  He’s shy but he understands what he’s capable of accomplishing.  He knows he’s a good writer.  He also know that he has the potential to be a good football player.  When he crashes the team’s practice and manages to talk Coach Burton (Kevin Dunn) into giving him a shot, Ed proves that he’s the faster than anyone else on the team.  And when one of the other players starts to bully him, Ed has no trouble convincing the quarterback to stand up for him.  After all, as Ed explains it, if Ed’s not in a good mood than he’s not going to catch anything that the quarterback throws.  And if Ed doesn’t make those catches, the quarterback won’t have a good game and, if he doesn’t have a good game, he won’t get any scholarship offers.

At first, Ed’s determination to play football horrifies both his mother, June (Sarah Silverman), and his best (and only) friend, Eloise (Emma Roberts).  June is a single mother who terrifies Ed by openly discussing her sex life with him.  Eloise, meanwhile, is a self-styled misfit who is nicknamed “weird girl” by Ed’s fellow jocks.  It’s only after they see Ed playing on the field (and, not coincidentally, making the winning catch), that June and Eloise start to support Ed’s athletic dreams…

Meanwhile, Ed is getting to know his neighbor, Ashby (Mickey Rourke).  Ashby is a former CIA agent who has just been informed that he has only a few months to live.  Ed needs to talk to an old person for a class assignment.  Ashby needs someone to drive him around town.  At first, Ashby refuses to open up to Ed but slowly, Ashby starts to lower his defenses.  Ashby is soon coming to Ed’s football games, flirting with June, and serving as a substitute father figure.

Of course, Asby is also murdering people.  Though Ed doesn’t know it, the reason that Ashby keeps asking him for a ride is because Ashby is determined to track down and kill three men who he feels betrayed him.  Ashby does this with the full knowledge that eventually, the CIA is going to send somebody to take him out…

Ashby is a mix of genres that don’t really go together.  It’s a gentle coming-of-age comedy that’s also a violent revenge thriller.  The end result is an extremely messy film that never finds a consistent tone.  And yet, at the same time, that inconsistency is a part of the film’s strange charm.  The film is so determined to make its oddball mix of genres work that you actually do find yourself rooting for it, even if it doesn’t quite succeed.  Ashby is one of those films that shouldn’t work and yet, somehow, it does.

Some credit for that has to go to director Tony McNamara.  He directs with a good eyes for detail (the satiric portrayal of both high school and suburbia feels totally authentic) and he keeps the action moving at such a quick pace that you really don’t have time to obsess over the film’s mishmash of themes and tones.

Even more credit, however, I think has to be given to the cast, all of whom show an admirable commitment to bringing their eccentric characters to life.  Mickey Rourke’s plays Ashby as if he might be a distant relation to his character from The Wrestler while Sarah Silverman is so perfectly cast as June that you occasionally find yourself wishing that the entire film could be just about her.  I’ve lost track of how many times Emma Roberts has been cast as a quirky high school girlfriend but she still brings as much depth as she can to her underwritten character.

Ultimately, though, the film belongs to Nat Wolff, who was so good (as was Emma Roberts) in last year’s Palo Alto.  Wolff’s character in Ashby may not have much in common with the sociopath that he played in Palo Alto or the blind friend he played in The Fault In Our Stars, but Wolff brings a sly charm to all three roles and that charm convince the audience to not only accept but even embrace some of the film’s inconsistencies.  Nat Wolff truly holds Asbhy together, helping the film to survive some of its more uneven moments.

Ashby has been given a limited theatrical release and is available through VOD.  It’s definitely an uneven film but it’s worth seeing.