Lisa’s Week In Review: 8/31/20 — 9/6/20

Happy Labor Day!

Here’s what I watched, read, and listened to this week!

Films I Watched:

  1. A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2 (2020)
  2. All That Jazz (1979)
  3. Ask Me Don’t Tell Me (1961)
  4. Avalanche (1978)
  5. Becoming Bond (2017)
  6. Beware of Mom (2020)
  7. The Bridge Curse (2020)
  8. Cabaret (1972)
  9. Car Theft (1956)
  10. Corvette Summer (1978)
  11. From the Dark (2014)
  12. Fyre Fraud (2019)
  13. Girl On The Third Floor (2019)
  14. His Fatal Fixation (2020)
  15. Killer Daddy Issues (2020)
  16. The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
  17. Psycho Escort (2020)
  18. Right or Wrong: Making More Decisions (1956)
  19. Secrets In The Woods (2020)
  20. Sinister Stalker (2020)
  21. What About Juvenile Delinquency? (1955)
  22. Why Vandalism? (1955)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. Adam-12
  2. Bar Rescue
  3. Big Brother 22
  4. The Bold and the Beautiful
  5. Days of Our Lives
  6. Diabolical
  7. Doctor Phil
  8. Dragnet
  9. Evil Lives Here
  10. General Hospital
  11. Ice Cold Killers
  12. King of the Hill
  13. Love Island
  14. My Evil Sister
  15. The Office
  16. The Power of Matthew Star
  17. Saved By The Bell
  18. South Park
  19. The Vow
  20. The Young and the Restless

Books I Read:

  1. Hidden Underneath: A History Of Lingerie (2005) by Farid Chenoune
  2. My Name Is Vittoria (2019) by Dafna Vitale Ben Bassat

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Andre Orbin
  2. Armin van Buuren
  3. Bloc Party
  4. The Black Keyes
  5. Britney Spears
  6. Broods
  7. The Chemical Brothers
  8. Christina Aguilera
  9. Coldplay
  10. Fallout Boy
  11. GRAE
  12. Jakalope
  13. Katy Perry
  14. Lord Huron
  15. Okay Kaya
  16. Royal Blood
  17. Steve Aoki
  18. White Stripes

Links From Last Week:

  1. Charles Saunders (1946-2020)

Coming Attractions:

  1. The Stand
  2. Halloween Party
  3. Possessor
  4. No Time To Die

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin profiled artist James B. Settles and shared the covers of Real Detective.  She also shared: Cry, Brother, Cry, The End of Summer, The Golden Violet, Strumpet’s Seed, The Big Flick, Motel Mismates, and The Beauty Game!
  2. Jeff paid tribute to James Coburn and Raquel Welch!  He also reviewed Speedtrap, Born American, The Woman Hunter, Rage, Maximum Revenge, Joshua, and Cry Blood, Apache!  He shared music videos from Love and Rockets, Snap!, Kim Wilde, Madness, Beastie Boys, and New Order!
  3. Ryan reviewed Cat Friends, Bird Acquaintances, and the Human Furniture, Bernadette, Big Punk, and The Funnies!
  4. I shared a music video from Grae!  I shared my Oscar predictions for August.  I reviewed Becoming Bond, Fyre Fraud, Corvette Summer, Avalanche, Secrets In The Woods, His Fatal Fixation, Beware of Mom, Killer Daddy Issues, Sinister Stalker, and Psycho Escort!  I also shared a scene from Werner Herzog’s Aguirre The Wrath of God!

More From Us:

  1. I wrote about Big Brother for the Big Brother Blog!
  2. For Horror Critic, I reviewed The Bridge Curse!
  3. Ryan has a patreon!  Consider subscribing!
  4. At her photography site, Erin shared: Tennis Center, Sun, Frog, Glowing Eyes, George Dealey, Considering, and Memorial!
  5. At Days Without Incident, Leonard shared some thoughts on the theme song from Big Trouble in Little China!
  6. At my music site, I shared songs from Broods, Katy Perry, Andre Orbin, Christina Aguilera, Steve Aoki, Bloc Party, and Royal Blood!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

Cry Blood, Apache (1970, directed by Jack Starrett)

A group of old west outlaws stumble across an Apache camp.  Though everyone’s friendly at first, the outlaws discover that the Apaches have gold so they kill all of the Apaches except for one, Jemme (Maria Gahua).  They drag Jemme off with them, intent on having their way with her after forcing her to lead them to more gold.  Only one member of the gang, Pitcallin (Jody McCrea), is willing to protect Jemme and treat her with kindness.  (In fact, Pitcallin is such a nice and decent person that it doesn’t make any sense for him to be riding with the outlaws in the first place.)  Meanwhile, Jemme’s brother (Marcus Rudnick) discovers the camp and, upon discovering his family dead, cries and screams for several minutes.  Then he sets off for revenge against the gang.

The best thing about Cry Blood, Apache is that it opens with Joel McCrea, father of Jody, playing the elderly Pitcallin and riding his horse to the where the old Apache camp used to be.  While the old Pitcallin is looking around, he hears the voices of the former members of the gang and then the rest of the film is told in flashback.  This makes it seem like Cry Blood, Apache is going to be about an old outlaw coming to terms with the terrible things that happened in the past.  Unfortunately, Joel McCrea’s only in the movie for about two minutes and since the movie sat on the shelf for three years before it was finally released, it’s probable that his scenes were shot long after the rest of the movie.  Along with starring in the film, Jody McCrea also produced it and Joel probably only agreed to lend some star power to the movie as a favor to his son.  But teasing western fans with Joel McCrea, just to then bring out Jody McCrea is just plain unfair.

Other than the opening scenes with Joel McCrea, the rest of this film is so poorly put together that it’s a struggle to sit through.  Cry Blood, Apache is edited in such a haphazard manner that it’s nearly impossible to follow the plot.  While the gang searches for more gold, Jemme’s brother searches for the gang but the film never makes it clear how close the brother is to finding the gang so there’s zero suspense generated.  Jody McCrea was too naturally amiable to play a believable outlaw.  There was nothing tough about him.  Meanwhile, both Marcus Rudnick and Maria Gahua overact to such an extent that scenes that should be emotionally wrenching become unintentionally humorous instead.

Cry Blood, Apache was directed by Jack Starrett, who went on to direct far better movies than this one.  He also appears in the film as a member of the gang, the bible-quoting Deacon.  Even though he’s got long hair and is considerably younger in his film, most viewers will hear his voice and immediately recognize him as Galt, the sadistic cop from First Blood.

Lifetime Film Review: Psycho Escort (dir by Monika Lynn Wesley)

Psycho Escort is a film that epitomizes the concept of “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Put yourself in the shoes of Diane (Victoria Barabas).  She’s a widow and she’s still misses her husband so much that she can’t even bring herself to sleep in the master bedroom.  Instead, she sleeps in the guest bedroom, an exile in her own house.  She’s a single mother, trying to raise a young son who regularly comes home from school with a black eye.  On top of all that, she’s got a job that demands a lot of her time and she works with a bunch of people who are just waiting to stab her in the back.

But, it’ll all be worth it if she gets the big promotion and becomes a partner in the firm.  With a promotion, she’ll finally be making enough money to provide a little bit of security for her son.  And if that means that she has to miss an occasional soccer game and that she doesn’t get a chance to date much, so be it.

The only problem is that, in order to get that promotion, she’s going to have to suck up to the boss and that means going to company parties.  And showing up at those parties without a date would totally make her look like a boring loser.  Her sister has a helpful suggestion, though.  Why not hire an escort!?

No, not that type of escort!  Apparently, there’s a rent-a-date firm.  You send them some money and they send you a handsome man who will pretend to be your date or your boyfriend and who will basically charm everyone in your social circle and totally make all of your friends jealous.  Even though Diane is skeptical, she finally agrees to give them a call.  I mean, it seems like a good idea at the time.  They send over Miles (Nick Ballard).

At first, Miles seems perfect.  He’s charming.  He’s handsome.  Diane’s boss likes him and even invites him to play a round of golf.  In fact, Miles is such a hit that, when Diane has to go to another party, she calls the firm and requests Miles a second time.  Diane starts to open to Miles about her husband’s death.  Miles starts to open up about his wife’s death.  Soon, Miles is becoming more than just an escort.  Soon, he’s becoming a real boyfriend….

The only problem of course is that …. well, it’s right there in the title.  Miles is a psycho escort!  And soon, Miles is becoming just a bit obsessed with Diane, to the point that he’s willing to commit murder to prove his love….

Well, you know how it goes.  This is a Lifetime movie and, as I’ve said countless times, the fact that these films all follow a certain formula is one of the most likable things about them.  There’s something comforting about watching these films and knowing that someone is making a huge mistake that you would never make (except, of course, you totally would if you were in Diane’s situation).  Psycho Escort is elevated by the performance of Nick Ballard, who is dangerously likable in the role of Miles.  It’s easy to see how someone could fall for Miles and, as a result, Diane doesn’t come across as being as naive or willfully blind as one might expect.  Victoria Barabas also gives a very good performance as Diane and is especially effective when she’s talking about the death of her husband.  The trauma is obviously still with her and has left her vulnerable to someone like Miles.  As a result, you don’t quite roll your eyes as much at Diane as you might at some people who let a total stranger into their life.  There’s a reality to her situation that elevates the story.

Psycho Escort.  Watch it the next time you’re tempted to rent a date.


Music Video of the Day: Confusion by New Order (1983, directed by Charles Sturridge)

This song, produced by New York DJ Arthur Baker, was the first song that New Order ever recorded in New York.  It was released as the follow-up to their breakthrough hit, Blue Monday.

The video was shot in New York City, primarily at a club called Funhouse.  Director Charles Sturridge was a former actor who went on to work as a television and occasionally a film director.  His best-known work is probably the original BBC adaptation of Brideshead Revisited.