Cleaning Out The DVR: Stage Fright (dir by Fred Olen Ray)


(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 188 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on January 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded Stage Fright off of the Lifetime Movie Network on January 29th, 2017!)

(aka Stage Fright)

Right above this sentence, you’ll see the original “poster art” for the film that was eventually broadcast on the Lifetime Movie Network as Stage Fright.  Even though the title changed (and personally, I think Stage Fright does carry a bit more oomph than Her Final Bow), I love this poster.  It’s just so melodramatic and I like how the stalker’s blue eye is staring straight at the viewer.  Even though the scene itself never actually occurs in the film, the poster still tells you everything that you need to know about this movie.  If I saw a paperback novel with this poster as the cover, I would definitely buy it and probably read it in one sitting.

Stage Fright tells the story of Sarah Conrade (Jordan Ladd).  At one time, Sarah was one of the most popular and famous opera singers in the world.  But then she was attacked by an obsessed fan.  Though he was subsequently gunned down by the police, he left Sarah with scars that are both physical and mental.  After she had a nervous breakdown, Sarah retired from performing and devoted her time to raising her daughter, Haley (Savannah Osborn).  However, one day, Sarah gets a call from a producer, letting her know that another singer is planning to perform Sarah’s signature songs and claim them as her own.  Though Sarah may be frightened of stepping back out on the stage, she’s a performer and she has her pride.  Sarah agrees to make a comeback and perform for one night only.

A lot of people are happy to hear this but it’s debatable whether any of them are as happy as Kevin (Peter Stickles).  Kevin works in a music store and he is one of Sarah’s biggest fans.  When she happens to step into the store, he not only tells her that he listens to her voice regularly but he also contrives to take a quick look in her purse.  Of course, Kevin also has a shrine to her in his house.  That’s … well, that’s a little bit creepy…

Audiences have waited for years for Sarah to make a comeback and now that she’s making it, the people around her are mysteriously dying.  The police even suspect that Sarah might have something to do with it.  Of course, we suspect the truth…

State Fright was directed by Fred Olen Ray, who is a veteran of these type of thrillers and who specializes in giving the audience what it wants.  In this case, the audience wants melodrama and Stage Fright certainly delivers that.  (Ray also delivers some effectively creepy shots of characters running around in the dank, lower levels of the opera house.)  Personally, I would have liked it if there had been a little more mystery about the identity of Sarah’s stalker but Jordan Ladd gave a good performance as Sarah and the mother-daughter relationship between Sarah and Haley felt real.  This is an entertaining little Lifetime movie that delivers exactly what it promises.

Advertisements

We Now Cut Away To “Cut-Away Comics” —


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Way back when the world still made some small degree of sense — in 2013, to be specific — iconoclastic cartoonist Dan Zettwoch put out the first of what was promised to be a trilogy of minis called Cut-Away Comics. Or maybe the title was going to be an ongoing concern, and it was just the current story, “Tree Swallows,” that was going to be three parts in length, then he’d continue the comic with a new story after that one was done? It was hard to say.

And soon enough, the distinction became an academic one, because even by the uneven publication “standards” of independent minis, Cut-Away Comics was a “you’ll get it when you get it” affair, and Zettwoch’s readership just had to learn to be happy whenever we got something new from him. The second 12-page installment came out a year later, and the third and…

View original post 580 more words

Here’s The Final Trailer for Liam Neeson In The Commuter!


I have a theory that the Taken films, Non-Stop, and the upcoming The Commuter are really just documentaries about the every day life of Liam Neeson.  I think Neeson retired from acting in 2009 and since that time, he’s been just been traveling around the world and beating people up.

That’s my theory anyway.

The Commuter is the latest film in the Neeson documentary series.  In this one, he gets involved in intrigue on a train.  This movie is scheduled to come out in a few weeks and, since it’s a January release, we will probably have forgotten about it by March.

Here’s The Trailer For Fifty Shades Freed!


Yes, it’s time for this again.

I have to say, though, this trailer amuses the Hell out of me.  It’s almost as if the trailer is trying to be snarky about the film that it’s advertising.  I especially enjoyed the Saved By The Bell-style acting when Ana told the architect to stay away from her man and to call her “Mrs. Grey.”

And then, that ending.

“You’re pregnant, Mrs. Grey.”

Apparently, the doctor got the memo about Ana’s new name.  So, that’s a good thing, I guess.

Anyway, here’s the trailer…

(If you need a refresher on what this is all about, why not check out my reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker?)

Cleaning Out The DVR: The Sandman (dir by Peter Sullivan)


(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 189 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on January 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded The Sandman off of the SyFy on October 14th!)

Madison (Shae Smolik) is a little girl who appears to have some issues.

For instance, her father just died under the most mysterious of circumstances.  One of the last things that he did before he died was get paranoid when a police car drove by him.  He was carrying a gun when he died, as well.  Also, he died right in front of Madison.

Madison ends up at the hospital, where she has violent nightmares and struggles so much with the doctors and the orderlies that she has to be strapped down.  Since both of her parents are dead, a call is made to her Aunt Claire (Haylie Duff).  Claire is willing to adopt Madison but Child Protective Services is a bit less enthusiastic.  Claire is unmarried and hasn’t always been the most responsible adult.  She currently works as a photographer, taking pictures of aspiring Bettie Pages in her garage.  Can Claire not only prove herself to be a good mother but also solve the mystery of what happened to Madison’s father?

You probably read that plot description and thought to yourself, “That sounds like a typical Lifetime film.”  And certainly, there is a bit of Lifetime to be found in this SyFy movie.  Peter Sullivan has produced, written, and directed several films that have appeared on both SyFy and Lifetime.  Haylie Duff is a regular Lifetime actress.  For a financially struggling photographer, Claire certainly does live in a nice, big house, which is one of the most familiar signs that you might be watching Lifetime film.

However, make no doubt about it, this is definitely not a Lifetime film.

You see, the reason why Madison is a nightmare to deal with it is because she’s linked to a monster.  The reason why Madison is an orphan is because the monster killed her father.  And now that Madison is living with Claire, the monster is coming for both of them.

And what a monster!  Seriously, the Sandman is about as frightening as a SyFy monster can get.  As you can probably guess from the name, he’s made of sand. The best way to avoid him, of course, would be to go some place where there is no sand but good luck with that.  SAND IS EVERYWHERE!  The Sandman pops up whenever Madison is in danger.

Nosy neighbor wants to know about Madison’s father?  Here comes the Sandman, pouring in through the kitchen faucet!

Hospital doctor planning on recommending that Madison be institutionalized?  Sandman!

In fact, anyone who poses a threat to Madison, whether real or perceived, can expect a visit from the Sandman.

Tobin Bell plays Valentine, a government agent who thinks that Madison could be weaponized.  He’s probably right but seriously, everyone should know better than to mess with the Sandman.  That said, it’s always fun when Tobin Bell is in one of these movies.  He’s just such a good villain.

The Sandman was a good mix of Lifetime family melodrama and SyFy horror.  As the aunt and the seriously disturbed niece, Haylie Duff and Shae Smolik were believable and sympathetic and the Sandman made for a memorable monster.  Watch this movie the next time you’re planning on spending a weekend at the beach.

Get Your Motor Runnin’ with THE WILD ANGELS (AIP 1966)


cracked rear viewer

Roger Corman  kicked off the outlaw biker film genre with THE WILD ANGELS, setting the template for all biker flicks to come. Sure, there had been motorcycle movies before: Marlon Brando in THE WILD ONE and the low-budget MOTORCYCLE GANG spring to mind. But THE WILD ANGELS busted open box offices on the Grindhouse and Drive-In circuits, and soon an army of outlaw bikers roared into a theater near you! There was BORN LOSERS , DEVIL’S ANGELS, THE GLORY STOMPERS , REBEL ROUSERS, ANGELS FROM HELL, and dozens more straight into the mid-70’s, when the cycle cycle revved its last rev. But Corman’s saga of the freewheeling Angels  was there first; as always, Rapid Roger was the leader of the pack.

Our movie begins with the classic fuzz-tone guitar sound of Davie Allen, as Angels president Heavenly Blues (Peter Fonda ) rolls down the road to pick up club…

View original post 422 more words

Cleaning Out The DVR: Neverknock (dir by Sheldon Wilson)


(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 190 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on January 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded NeverKnock off of the SyFy on October 16th!)

Sitting in a small town, there’s a deserted and dilapidated house.  The address is 59 Oakwood Lane.  In 1986, three teenagers were found dead in the house.  Carved in their backs were three words: “Never never knock.”  Forty years later, the murders remain unsolved but everyone has heard the legend.  If you knock on the door, the Never Knock Creature comes to life and uses your own fears to kill not only you but also all of your friends…

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  “Easy solution to this problem!  Don’t knock on the freaking door!”

But let’s be honest here.  If I lived in that town, I probably wouldn’t knock on that door but I’d sure as Hell beg all of my friends to do it.  After all, who wouldn’t want to see what would happen?  When I was in college, there was a legend that one of the hallways of my dorm was haunted by Wicked Wanda.  They said Wicked Wanda could kill you but I still begged my roommate to go look for her.  Urban legends are like wet paint signs.  You have to encourage people you know to test them.

Needless to say, that is what happens in Neverknock.  Grace (Dominque Provost-Chalkley) is the new girl in town.  She’s still struggling to recover from a personal tragedy.  Her best friend, Leah (Jodelle Ferland), invites her to spend Halloween night with her and her friends.  Grace agrees but she makes the mistake of bringing along her bratty younger sister, Jenna (Lola Flanery).  Jenna dresses up like the devil for Halloween and she soon proves that it’s not a totally inappropriate costume by knocking on the door to 59 Oakwood Lane.  The Never Knock Creature comes to life, Jenna promptly disappears, and Leah, Grace, and all their friends find themselves being stalked by a creature that uses their worst fears to kill them.

(So, if the Never Knock Creature came after me, I’d have to worry about heights, drowning, dogs, fire, deserted barns, dead wasps lying unseen in the carpet, odd numbers, and the wire popping out of my favorite bra and stabbing me.  Good to know.)

Anyway, I liked Neverknock.  As is typical of Sheldon Wilson’s SyFy film, Neverknock has a ton of atmosphere and the pace never lags.  Wilson changes things up a little in this movie by having the fright scenes occur during both the day and the night.  For some reason, to me, it’s even scarier when someone gets attacked by an evil creature during the middle of the day.  Even with the sun out and hundreds of people around, there’s no escape from the Never Knock Creature.  Admittedly, Neverknock‘s characters are not exactly the most complex group of people to show up in a horror film.  For the most part, they’re just teenagers who don’t understand that importance to staying together in one group while being stalked by a demonic force.  But the cast is made up of appealing performers and veteran actor Nicholas Campbell makes a welcome appearance.  You don’t want to see any of them die and that’s really all that a movie like this demands.

And finally, the Never Knock Creature is seriously creepy!  When he first responds to Jenna knocking on that door … AGCK!

All in all, this was a good SyFy horror film.