Here’s The Trailer For Dead Reckoning

Let’s end this day with one last trailer.

This is the trailer for Dead Reckoning.  The trailer looks low budget and kind of predictable but that explosion at the end had to have cost some money, right?  Anyway, this film looks very melodramatic and very silly and very over the top and I imagine I’ll probably love it for exactly those reasons.

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s The Trailer for The Empty Man!

The Empty Man is an upcoming horror film about a spirit that is vengeful because …. well, it’s empty, I guess.  I mean, I guess that would make me angry too.  No one wants to be shallow.

Anyway, here’s the trailer.  How many clichés can you count?

Here’s The Trailer for I’m Your Woman

I’m Your Woman is an upcoming 70s crime drama, which is another way of saying that it’s a film about people who surround themselves with wood paneling and shag carpeting.  In this one, Rachel Brosnahan plays a woman who is forced to go on the run after her husband betrays his criminal partners.

I’m Your Woman will be released on Prime on December 11th.  Here’s the trailer:

Here’s The Trailer For Last Three Days!

I have no idea what’s going on in the trailer for Last Three Days but I do appreciate that it encourages me to “question reality.”  That’s always a good sign.

For the record, I do not think that this film is connected to The Next Three Days or Last Days of American Crime.

Watch the trailer and judge for yourself:

Horror on TV: Baywatch Nights 2.18 “Symbol of Death” (dir by Richard Friedman)

The 17th episode of Baywatch Nights was called The Servant and it featured Mitch and Ryan fighting a mummy!  Unfortunately, it’s also one of the few episodes to not be available on YouTube, or at least not in watchable form.  (There’s a sped-up version where the image is so oddly cropped that it’s basically unwatchable but that’s about it.)

So, we’ll have to skip The Servant and instead move onto Symbol of Death which features an apparent alien abduction.  If nothing else, this episode shows what a debt Baywatch Nights owed to The X-Files.

This episode originally aired on April 19th, 1997!


The TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: Ninja III: The Domination (dir by Sam Firstenberg)

This 1984 film is brilliant.

Basically, it tells the story of Christie Ryder (Lucinda Dickey), who appears to have everything that someone could want out of life.  Not only does she have a really nice place to live but she also repairs phone lines for a living!  (That might not sound glamorous but she lives in California, which means that there’s always a nice view when she’s working.)  She also teaches an aerobics class because this film is from 1984 and, in 1984, everyone taught their own aerobics class.  At least, that’s the impression that I’ve gotten from watching movies of the era.

Christie only has one problem.  She’s been possessed.  She hasn’t been possessed by any ordinary old demon, either.  Instead, she’s been possessed by a dead ninja.  Hanjuro (David Chung) came to America because there were some people on a golf course who needed to be killed.  Unfortunately, no sooner had he killed everyone on the back 9 then he found himself surrounded by cops.  It took a lot of bullets to take down Hanjuro but down he went.  However, his spirit went up and entered Christie’s body.

Now, Christie spends her time teaching aerobics, working on phone lines, and murdering everyone who Hanjuro feels has wrong him.  Hanjuro wants to kill all of the cops who shot him.  Unfortunately, one of those cops, Billy Secord (Jordan Bennett), is now dating Christie.  Once Billy finally figures out why Christie is acting so strangely, he takes her to an exorcist (James Hong) who explains that it’s going to take more than just an ordinary exorcism to defeat the ninja lurking within Christie.  It’s going to require the help of another ninja, the noble Goro Yamada (Sho Kosugi).  It’s time to go to Japan!

I may not be a huge ninja movie fan (unless, of course, they feature Franco Nero) but I have to say that I absolutely loved Ninja III.  That really shouldn’t come as a surprise.  This film is such an utterly weird mishmash of tones and genres that there’s no way that I couldn’t love it.  It starts out as a typical kung fu film, just to suddenly turn into The Exorcist before then becoming Flashdance before returning to being The Exorcist.  Finally, for the last few minutes of the film, it transforms back into a kung fu film.  As I watched the film, I found myself thinking about all of the other films throughout history that could have been livened up by a demonic or spiritual possession subplot.  For that matter, think about how much more crazy The Exorcist would have been if Father Karras and Father Merrin had been Ninja Karras and NInja Merrin.

Anyway, in all seriousness, Ninja III is exactly what an exploitation film should be.  It’s unapologetically strange and over-the-top and it makes absolutely no apologies for being what it is.  It’s a film that says, “I’m here to tell a story about a woman possessed by a dead ninja and if that’s not good enough for you, you need to figure out what’s wrong with your heart.”  Ninja III is brilliant, wonderful, and definitely a film that you must watch this October.  It’s on Prime so go watch it.  Do it now.

Witchcraft VIII: Salem’s Ghost (1996, directed by Joseph John Barmettler)

Having killed off long-suffering hero Will Spanner in the previous installment, the Witchcraft franchise attempted to chart a new course with Witchcraft VIII: Salem’s Ghost.

In this movie, we meet an entirely new group of people who manage to raise the spirit of another dead and pissed off warlock.  Trying to repair their strained marriage, Sonny (Lee Grober) and Mary Anne (Kim Kopf) have moved to Massachusetts and have purchased a house that’s existed since colonial times.  Sonny and Mary Anne celebrate their first night in the house by getting covered in chocolate.  That’s one way to fix a marriage, I guess.

They soon meet their pushy new neighbors, Mitch (David Wells) and Gayle (Anthoni Stewart).  Mitch is so helpful that he even takes it upon himself to try to fix a leaky pipe in the basement.  However, when Mitch busts a hole in the wall, it not only leads to the basement getting flooded by a strange red light but Mitch also ends up possessed by the spirit of the warlock who previously owned the property.

Other than the presence of a dead warlock and all of the usual softcore sex scenes (which, in the 90s, were pretty much a mainstay of any direct-to-video horror film franchise), there’s nothing in Witchcraft VIII to really link it to any of the previous Witchcraft films.  (I did read that the house in Witchcraft VIII also appears in one of the other films but I’m too lazy and too sick of the Witchcraft films to go back and look for it.)  There’s no Will Spanner and no Detectives Lutz or Garner.  Instead, the entire film owes more to the Amityville franchise than the previous Witchcrafts.  Apparently, when the film went into production, it wasn’t even intended to be a Witchcraft film but instead, it was added to the franchise after filming was completed.

With all that in mind, Witchcraft VIII is not that bad, especially as far as low-budget, direct-to-video horror is concerned.  It doesn’t waste any time getting the action started and the actors actually do the best that they can with the material they’ve been given.  The dead warlock is played Jack van Landingham, who comes across as if he’s auditioning for a role in a pirate film, which is exactly the right approach to take when you’re appearing in a film like this.  Even the terrible special effects are more likely to inspire nostalgia than contempt.  Witchcraft VIII is dumb fun, even if it doesn’t include Will Spanner.  In fact, it’s nice to watch people deal with a warlock without having to listen to Will complaining all the time.

Financially, Witchcraft VIII failed to do as well as the previous Witchcraft films, which led to the end of plans to continue the franchise with a series of stand-alone films.  Instead, despite being dead, Will Spanner would return for Witchcraft IX.

Here’s The Trailer for Soul!

Here’s the latest trailer for Soul!

Yes, yes …. I know.  I’m two days late in sharing this.  Listen, these things happen and I think you should find it within your soul to forgive me.  After all, how can you be angry when I’m sharing a trailer for a PIXAR film?

Personally, I have loved just about every PIXAR film that I’ve ever seen.  That said, I also think that it’s possible that PIXAR is secretly run by aliens who want to see how frequently someone can be traumatized before they totally give up on happiness.  From all of the toys being given away in Toy Story 3 to the first ten minutes of Up, PIXAR is all about getting people to cry.  I’ve cried during every PIXAR film that I’ve ever watched, with exception of those movies about the talking cars.

This latest PIXAR film is called Soul and it’s about just that.  It’s about …. well, the plot sounds really strange to me so I’m not even sure if I want to try to type it out.  I will say that it involves death and not giving up on your dreams and celebrating life and it’ll probably make me cry a lot.

Soul was originally going to be released into theaters but we all know what they say about the best laid plans of Disney and PIXAR.  So, instead, it’ll be released on Disney+ on Christmas Day.  Hopefully, Disney+ will let its subscribers watch it, as opposed to charging them an extra thirty dollars for the opportunity.  (That’s right …. I’m looking at you, Mulan!)

Here’s the latest trailer for Soul:

Game Review: Minor Arcana (2020, Jack Sanderson Thwaite)

This game is an entrant in 2020 Interactive Fiction Competition.  All of the entries can be found here.

Minor Arcana is probably not the first game to center around Tarot cards but it is probably the first one to actually be written from the point of view of the cards themselves.  You are the cards and, as you wait to reveal your next fortune, you think about your past and maybe your future.  Who created you?  Who gave you power and why?  Are you going to help the people who seek your insight or are you going to destroy them?  Are you a force of chaos or a force of peace?  These are the decisions that you, as the player, can make as you point and click your way through the story.

Like a lot of works done with Twine, Minor Arcana is more of a short story than a game.  While it’s true that you control several elements of the story and that your decisions will determine the type of story that’s told, it would be a mistake for anyone to play Minor Arcana thinking that it’s going to be a traditional IF game where you solve puzzles and examine rooms and decide whether to move north, west, or, if you’re really lucky, northeast.  Instead, Modern Arcana is more of a well-written mood piece, designed to make the player meditate on issues of fate, fortune, and the future.

Minor Arcana can be played here.

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Mark of Satan Is Upon Them from The Witchfinder General

Today’s horror scene that I love is from 1968’s The Witchfinder General, a film that featured Vincent Price in one of his greatest roles.