Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #12: Day of Reckoning (dir by Joel Novoa)


(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by Wednesday, November 30th!  Will she make it?  Keep checking the site to find out!)

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The next film that I watched off of the DVR was Day of Reckoning, a film that premiered on the SyFy network on October 8th.

Day of Reckoning was one of the handful of films that premiered as a part of SyFy’s 31 Days of Halloween.  There was a time when the SyFy network used to air a new film every week.  That was a golden age for those of us who enjoy live tweeting and snarking online.  Unfortunately, it would appear that the network made a change in their business model and SyFy drastically cut back on the number of original films that they produced and/or bought each year.  Now, if you want to see an original film premiere on SyFy, you either have to wait for Shark Week or October.  It’s unfortunate but that’s the way things are.

This year, it seemed as if almost all of SyFy’s October premieres were essentially remakes of It Follows.  Day of Reckoning is unique because it went the opposite route.  In no way is this film a rip-off of It Follows.

Instead, it’s more of a rip-off of The Purge: Anarchy.

16 years ago, during an eclipse, Earth was attacked by a pack of dogs from Hell.  That’s not just me being overdramatic.  Fissures literally formed in the ground and these dogs sprang out from the depths of Hell.  For 24 hours, the hellhounds terrorized and killed.  And then, much like a wealthy, mask-wearing murderer at the end of the annual Purge, they just vanished.  Naturally, the survivors built barriers over the fissures and hoped that the dogs would never return.  But now, another eclipse is approaching and some people are terrified that it’s going to happen again.

And you know what?

Those people are right.

Day of Reckoning follows one family and their effort to get to safety during the canine apocalypse.  The father (Jackson Hurst) is still feeling guilty for not being home when the dogs first showed up.  He’s determined not to fail his family for a second time.  His wife (Heather McComb), meanwhile, just wants a divorce and his teenage son (Jay Jay Warren) just wants to hang out with his girlfriend.

Fortunately, a crazy uncle is coming to the rescue!  Crazy Uncle Ted (Raymond J. Barry) has built an underground bunker and he’s invited the family to come join him and his wife (Barbara Crampton).  However, the family first has to reach the shelter and that’s going to mean dealing with not only dogs but a lot of stupid people as well.  You know how that goes.  Can the family survive 24 hours of hellhound purging?

Crazy Uncles have been getting blamed for a lot lately.  As of right now, you can go to about a hundred different sites and find all sorts of guides for how to talk to your crazy uncle during Thanksgiving.  Apparently, the solution is to repeat tired soundbites.  Personally, I would think a better solution would be not to worry about it and just enjoy your holiday but what the Hell do I know?  With the character of Ted, Day of Reckoning pays tribute to the occasional wisdom of the crazy uncle and therefore, it’s essential Thanksgiving viewing.

Beyond that, Day of Reckoning is pretty much a typical SyFy film.  It’s a bit more serious than most but, ultimately, it follows the same pattern.  A group of characters have to get from one location to another without getting killed by a paranormal threat.  It won’t take you by surprise but Raymond J. Barry and Barbara Crampton are both well-cast and, if you’re a fan of SyFy movies, you’ll probably enjoy Day of Reckoning.

OH MY GOD!!!! Here’s The Trailer for Silence!


It’s here!  The trailer for Silence here!

Silence is one of the most anticipated films of 2016.  Directed by Martin Scorsese, it tells the epic story of three Jesuits in Japan.  Reportedly, Scorsese has been trying to get this film made since at least 1996.

For a while, of course, there was some doubt as to whether or not Silence would even be done in time for 2016.  In fact, it looked like the film might get pushed back to 2017 and, as a result, would fall out of Oscar contention.

If this story sounds familiar, it’s because the same thing nearly happened to Scorsese’s last film, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Will Silence have the same Oscar success as Wolf of Wall Street?  It’s hard to say.  The subject matter could be a hard sell.  I’m excited about it but then again, I love Scorsese and I come from a culturally Catholic background.  Will non-Catholics who love Michael Bay be as excited about Silence as I am?

Who knows?  To be honest, the trailer is full of striking images but I find myself wondering if this is going to be one of those visually impressive but emotionally detached films, the type that you respect more than you enjoy.

Watch the trailer below and decide for yourself!

Happy Birthday Boris Karloff: John Ford’s THE LOST PATROL (RKO 1934)


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King of Classic Horror Boris Karloff was born on this date in 1887. The actor is beloved by fans for his work in genre flicks like FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY , THE BLACK CAT, THE BODY SNATCHER , and many other screen tales of terror. But Karloff had always prided himself on being a working actor, and stepped outside the genre bounds many times. He excelled in some early gangster classics (THE CRIMINAL CODE, SCARFACE), played George Arliss’ nemesis in HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD, was a Chinese warlord in WEST OF SHANGHAI, an Oriental sleuth in Monogram’s MR. WONG series, the psychiatrist in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, and a scientist in THE VENETIAN AFFAIR . And then there’s John Ford’s THE LOST PATROL.

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The film itself tells the story of a British troop traveling through the Mesopotamian desert circa 1917. When their leader is shot dead by an unseen Arab bullet, the stoic Sergeant…

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Artwork of the Day: They Call Her One Eye


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They call her One Eye.

Of course, her name was originally Frigga.  It was only after she was kidnapped, forced into prostitution, and had her eye removed as a punishment that Frigga became known as One Eye.

And, in much the same way, They Call Her One Eye was originally known as Thriller, A Cruel Picture.  It was a Swedish picture, a feminist-themed revenge flick that had been banned for both its brutal violence and its explicit sexual content.  In 1974, when American International Pictures brought Thriller to America, they cut out the hardcore sex scenes, left the violence untouched, and gave the film a new name: They Call Her One Eye.

They also came up with the absolutely brilliant artwork seen above!  Even if They Call Her One Eye wasn’t one of the best and most subversive grindhouse films ever made, it would still deserve a place of honor just because of this poster.

It’s a classic in every sense of the word.

(And after looking at the poster, why not check out this list of Arleigh’s nine favorite revenge films?)

 

Music Video of the Day: Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant (1983, dir. Steve Barron)


I finally broke down, and went ahead and bought the book I Want My MTV. It’s a fascinating read so far. I am still in the founding years, but whether there was systemic racism or even next to none, they were destined to run into a color barrier issue. There was enough bad ingredients and thinking to make sure it happened. Perhaps that’s the reason why it only took two years for it to fall while being riddled with inconsistencies in between.

I bring that up because while I saw this music video many times as a kid, it wasn’t till now that I noticed it is a music video I would have thought verboten by MTV. Instead it was Super Freak by Rick James. That actually has an interesting story. It wasn’t rejected because James was black. It was rejected by a black woman at MTV who thought it was “crap” and wasn’t going to let that be the representation of her people on the network. I can totally get that. That video essentially took the set of an early-70s ABBA music video, threw a couple of props in, added some women fawning over James, and called it good. The song is great, but the video is underwhelming to say the least.

As for Electric Avenue, it is one of those music videos they showed from time-to-time as an example of an 80s one-hit-wonder. That was his biggest hit. It isn’t fair to call him a one-hit-wonder him though. Even to this year he is still in the news. According to Wikipedia, he is slated to receive a lifetime achievement award from Guyana–his country of birth. He’d been around since the mid-60s with the group The Equals. You might not recognize the name The Equals. You have probably heard one of their songs. They did Police On My Back, which was later covered by The Clash.

The music video also shouldn’t be cited as simply an example of a one-hit-wonder. One of the things that is clear in the pre-MTV setup chapters of I Want My MTV is that artists were already chomping at the bit to have films that didn’t just overlay their music over scenes. They wanted film that knew how to use their songs, their meaning, and would be a representation of the song. It was not as revolutionary as Herbie Hancock’s Rockit. Still, it does get the gist of the song across to the audience.

It has Eddy watching TV at the beginning. He finally turns it off, walks towards the TV, and creates one of the most iconic bits in music video history. He drops into a pool of water trying to reach his television. He then appears to wash up on the beach in the real world where what appears to be two white cops/vigilantes are on the prowl. He seems to be stalked by these two people who I am pretty sure are white. In the end, it is a shot of has face.

According to Wikipedia:

“The song’s title refers to an area historically known as Electric Avenue; a reference to the first place electricity lighted the streets in the market area of Brixton, South of London. This is an area known in the modern times for its high population of Caribbean immigrants and high unemployment. Tensions grew until violence hit the street now known as the 1981 Brixton riot. A year later, this song played over the airwaves.”

I’m really curious about when and how much this music video aired on MTV considering the content. I know his music fit with the kind they wanted to play. Wikipedia says it was thrown in for racial diversity. That doesn’t change the fact that it screams unplayable by MTV during this time.

Director Steve Barron made it. He is one of the most influential music video directors of his time. I’ve already covered three of them, and I wasn’t even trying. He seems to have directed all but a couple of Eddy Grant’s music videos.

I want to make special note that I put 1983 as the release date for the music video even though IMVDb says 1982. Mvdbase even says the music video came out in January of 1983. That’s because while it was a big hit in the UK in 1982, based on the Wikipedia article, it didn’t make its way to the United States until 1983.

Enjoy!