Kirby Is Here! : “Black Panther” #1


Trash Film Guru

I have to admit that when I first started to haphazardly plan my month-long tribute to The King Of Comics, reviewing Black Panther #1 (cover-dated January, 1977) wasn’t on my radar screen. It’s not that it’s a bad book, mind you — anything but — just that the schedule was already looking a little full, and while I left a few makeshift “slots” open to be filled by whatever struck my fancy, I was thinking those would most likely be a good fit for more obscure entries in the Jack Kirby canon like Dingbats Of  Danger Street or Atlas.

Both of which, fair enough, I may still get around to — but circumstances forced (well, okay, maybe forced is a bit strong — let’s go with compelled instead, shall we?) my hand a bit last Wednesday when Marvel started issuing bargain-priced Kirby reprints as part of their “True Believers”…

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A Movie A Day #209: Assassination (1987, directed by Peter R. Hunt)


Charles Bronson, man.

Long before Clint Eastwood starred in In The Line of Fire, Charles Bronson played an over the hill secret service agent in Assassination.  Having just returned to active service after a six month leave of absence, Jay Killian (Charles Bronson), thinks that he is going to be assigned back to the presidential detail.  Instead, he is given the job that no one wants.  Jay is assigned to protect the first lady, Lara Craig (Jill Ireland, Bronson’s real-life wife).

Lara is a handful.  Every one tells Killian that she is “even worse than Nancy.”  (This running joke probably played better in 1987.  If Assassination had been released ten years later, Lara would have been described as being “even worse than Hillary.”)  Lara does not like being told what she can and cannot do. When she refuses to follow Killian’s orders not to ride in a convertible, she ends up getting a black eye when a motorcycle crashes and Killian instinctively throws her to the floor.  Lara may not like Killian but when, she is targeted by a notorious terrorist (Erik Stern), she will have to learn to trust him.  Her life depends on it, especially when it becomes clear that the order to have her killed is coming from inside the White House.  It turns out that the President has been impotent for years.  That may not have troubled Lara before but now Killian is showing her that a real man looks like Charles Bronson.  A divorced president will never be reelected.  A widowed president, on the other hand…

Assassination was one of the last films that Bronson made for Cannon.  It’s never as wild as Murphy’s Law, Kinjite, or many of Bronson’s other Cannon films but it is always interesting to watch Bronson acting opposite of Ireland.  Bronson famously did not get along with many people but he loved Ireland and that was something that always came through in the 15 movies that they made together.  Whenever Bronson and Ireland acted opposite each other, Bronson actually seemed to be enjoying himself.  And while it may be subdued when compared to his other Cannon films, Assassination provides just enough scenes of Bronson being Bronson.

Who other than Bronson could tell his much younger girlfriend that, because of her, he might “die of terminal orgasm?”

Who other than Bronson could drive around a motorcycle with machine gun turrets and execute a jump that would put his old co-star Steve McQueen to shame?

Who other than Bronson could use a bazooka to kill one man and then smile about it?

Charles Bronson, man.  No offense to Bruce Willis, who will be trying to step into Bronson’s gigantic shoes with the upcoming Death Wish remake, but nobody did it better than Bronson.

 

Let’s Talk About Trailer Park Shark (dir by Griff Furst)


Oh hell yeah!

Listen, if you ever find yourself being unexpectedly menaced by a shark, you’re going to want a redneck around.  Trust me on this.  I may not be one myself but I’ve grown up around rednecks and I feel a lot safer around them than I do with sensitive types from up north.  Seriously, if you’re under shark attack, who do you want protecting you?  A guy with a gun and a cooler full of beer or someone who drives a Prius?  Elon Musk may be smarter but, when it comes to sharks, Trace Adkins is going to be more helpful.

The other great thing about rednecks is that there’s nothing that they can’t do with duct tape.  Give a redneck enough duct tape and a weather satellite and I guarantee that he’ll find a way to stop climate change.  There’s a name for that: redneck ingenuity.

When I was watching Trailer Park Shark on Wednesday night, I was impressed with the amount of duct tape on display.  As the main character, a redneck played by Thomas Ian Nicholas, was using duct tape to solve yet another problem, I tweeted that I was enjoying the music playing in the background.  To me, it sounded like something that Ennio Morricone would have come up with for a spaghetti western.  It fit the scene perfectly because Trailer Park Shark is a film that make duct tape feel just as epic as the final cemetery confrontation in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.  Andrew Morgan Smith, who did excellent work on the film’s score, informed me that the musical cue was called “Redneck Ingenuity.”

That’s a perfect name because, while Trailer Park Shark is about a lot of things, it is ultimately a celebration of redneck ingenuity and the never-give-up attitude of  life in the Southern bayou.  The characters in Trailer Park Shark have a lot to deal with.  Because of a freak rains storm and some evil plotting by mean old Mr. Deconnard (Dennis Haskins), their trailer park has been flooded.  And with the flood has come a shark!  It would be easy to give up, especially when people and horses start getting eaten.  But no one surrenders to fate!  No one gives up!

It’s a lot of fun, as any movie about a shark attacking a trailer park should be.  All of the characters in the park are memorable in their redneck way.  Even with the majority of the park underwater and neighbors getting eaten left and right, they’re still just as likely to be fighting each other as they are the shark.  While I personally have never lived in a trailer park, I’ve lived close to a few and I’ve spent a few nights visiting and this film gets the atmosphere just right.  Griff Furst, who is something of a specialist when it comes to bayou chaos, brings this location to life.  From the very first tracking shot to the film’s action-packed finale, the bayou feels alive.  You can easily imagine this location and these people existing long before the cameras started rolling.  The relationships feel real.

Speaking of feeling real, I always suspected that Dennis Haskins had the ability to play a really evil character.  Seriously, go watch the earliest episodes of Saved By The Bell and you’ll see some hints of darkness underneath Mr. Belding’s goofy exterior.  That said, Haskins does such a good job playing this film’s villain that you eventually forget that you’re watching Mr. Belding threatening to kill people.  Instead, he’s just a very bad man with an interesting preference in weapons.

(Speaking of weapons, Tara Reid also shows up, playing a trailer park resident who has a wide variety of weapons at her disposal.  Though her role is small, her appearance allows for some playful poking at the Sharknado franchise.)

I liked Trailer Park Shark.  It’s a blast of pure entertainment and my favorite of the recent SyFy shark movies.  Since SyFy reruns everything a hundred times, keep an eye out for it!

Watch it in honor of the rednecks who keep us safe from sharks, often at the cost of life, limb, and satellite dish.

Let’s Talk About Mississippi River Sharks (dir by Misty Talley)


Oh my God — sharks in the Mississippi River!?

Hey, why not?  Listen, SyFy has been showing shark films for over four years straight now.  We’ve had zombie sharks.  We’ve had toxic sharks.  We had a ghost shark.  We’ve had a planet of the sharks.  The sharks have taken over the oceans.  They’ve taken over the jersey shore.  There’s even a movie called Sand Sharks, in which the sharks take over the beach!  And, let’s not forget that SyFy and the Asylum have built an entire franchise around the idea that sharks can survive in a tornado.  (And I haven’t even mentioned what happens in Shark Exorcist.)

My point is that there are a lot of shark movies and, as a result, the sharks are having to branch out and explore new aquatic territory.  It was inevitable that the sharks would eventually find their way to the Mississippi River.

As soon as I saw the title of this movie, I thought to myself, “Please tell me that this movie will open with a big old riverboat getting attacked by sharks.”  You can imagine how happy I was when, less than five minutes into the film, that’s exactly what happened.  When you’re watching a movie on SyFy and you see a bunch of CGI sharks jumping onto the deck of a riverboat and snapping off people’s heads, you know you’re in a good hands.  You know you’re going to be properly entertained for the next two hours.

Really, when it comes to shark movies, all you really need are the sharks and some victims who, for whatever reason, refuse to stay out of the water.  However, Mississippi River Sharks offers a  bit more than that.  After the sharks get finished with that riverboat, they move on down the Mississippi and attack a small town’s annual “fish rodeo.”  Needless to say, a fish rodeo always tends to attract the most eccentric among us and this one is no different.  For instance, there’s Possum (Kevin J. McGrath), who isn’t going to let a little thing like a shark attack stand in the way of his quest to win a trophy.  There’s Big Bill (Marco St. John), who owns the local car dealership and who doesn’t see why the presence of a few sharks should stand in the way of making a little money.  There’s Wyatt (Dean West), who has a way with a quip and quickly emerged as a favorite of the viewing audience.  And then there’s Tara (played by Cassie Steele, star of both Degrassi and Zombie Shark) who quickly shows that she knows just how to deal with ill-tempered sharks.

Finally, there’s Jason London, playing the role of …. Jason London!  That’s right, Jason London plays himself in Mississippi River Sharks.  In the film’s universe, Jason is well-known for starring in multiple editions of the Shark Bite franchise.  (“We don’t talk about Shark Bite 3!” Jason snaps.)  When Jason accepted the invitation to be the fish rodeo’s special celebrity guest, he never realized that he would have to face real-life sharks!  However, when those sharks do arrive, this movie hero proves himself to be … well, not much of a hero.  Watch the movie to see what happens.  I’ll just say that London is hilarious and it’s a lot of fun to watch him pretending to be a pretentious and stuck-up movie star.  He delivers his lines with just the right amount of weary annoyance.

(And yes, there is a Jeremy London joke but I won’t spoil it.)

(Also, it’s mentioned that Jason London also starred in Here Comes Santa Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Shark.  Seriously, somebody needs to make these two films.)

Now that the sharks have invaded the Mississippi River, where will the sharks show up next year?  Well, just remember this — the Mississippi River is the biggest river in the United States.  Those sharks could end up anywhere.  Personally, I’m hoping for Minnesota Winter Sharks.

We’ll see what happens!

Windmills of Your Mind: Alfred Hitchcock’s FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (United Artists 1940)


cracked rear viewer

(When Maddy Loves Her Classic Films invited me to join in on the Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon, I jumped at the chance! I’ve just completed the Ball State/TCM 50 YEARS OF HITCHCOCK course, and have been knee-deep in his movies for a month now!)

Alfred Hitchcock’s second American film found the Master of Suspense back in the spy game with FORGEIGN CORRESPONDENT, this time with American star Joel McCrea caught up in those familiar “extraordinary circumstances” we’ve all come to love. Like REBECCA that same year, this film was nominated for Best Picture, an extraordinary circumstance indeed for a director new to these shores. Offhand I can only think of three other directors to hold that distinction – John Ford (also in ’40), Sam Wood (1942), and Francis Ford Coppola (1974). Good company, to say the least! (And please correct me if I’m wrong, any of you film fans out there).

Crime beat reporter…

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Circus Kane: Preview, Review and posters


Just be warned this movie review might not be safe for work! Read at your own discretion!

Let the games begin!

Circus Kane

Let’s get the technicals out of the way:

Studio: Uncork’d Entertainment
Director: Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray
Cast : Jonathan Lipnicki, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Nicole Fox, Jonathan Nation, Mike Jerome Putnam, Scott Thomas Reynolds, Bill Voorhees

Preview:

The notorious and disgraced circus master, Balthazar Kane, invites an unsuspecting group of social media stars to the revival of his CIRCUS KANE by promising $250,000 to any of them who can make it through the night. Kane’s true plan quickly proves to be far more sinister as the contestants realize more than money is on the line. The group must fight for their lives to escape Kane’s demented house of horrors.

Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire) and Mark Christopher Lawrence (Cooties) head up the cast of Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray’s fantastic frighthouse Circus Kane, on VOD this September.

James Cullen Bressack and Zack Ward scripted, based on a story by Sean Sellars. Gerald Webb, Christopher Ray and James Cullen Bressack produce.

Review:

For 250K? What would you do? Step right up…or not? Save your friend…or not?

Admittedly  I  have coulrophobia: I am fracking scared of clowns! It took me several days to watch this movie; and I am not sure I am still okay! I tried to watch ‘Circus Kane’ over a several day time slot. Several days in fact. After a brief viewing I posted a short review; but this will be my final one.

Here are you some stills if you want to look at them:

clown2

download

 

Would I recommend this movie?

On my horror scale of 1-5

4.5 (and watch with your eyes closed!)

Here is is the trailer:

If you are a horror freak:

Circus Kane will be available on September 8th, 2017 on VOD

And to the Actors, Director and Executive Producers that follow me, I just want to say a big “Fuck you” for scaring me to death! Not sure I will ever sleep again! But love you all!

Now, Who wants to cuddle? 

clouwn

 

Oh, and Deinstiutionalized, I see you!

deistitutal