Monday, June 27, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Here we have another episode of the great Mystery Science Theater 3000 put out by Shout! Factory. This time, Mike Nelson, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo tackle a laughably dubbed, German, made for television production of Hamlet, starring Maximilian Schell. Being the poorly read chap that I am, I have never actually read Hamlet nor seen any movie adaptions so this is probably the worst way to first see Hamlet. Then again, I couldn't give two shits about Shakespeare so this is really the only way I would.
For anyone interested, Hamlet is the story of a guy whose father has been killed by his uncle, who then marries Hamlet's mother. Hamlet then sees his father's ghost and goes crazy. At least that's what I got from it. I could be totally wrong, but once again I just couldn't care less about the story. What I do know is that Mike and his robot sidekicks seem to know the story well because they do a good job of narrating and keeping the characters straight, all while killing the dark, serious tone of the film with their machine gun fire quips.
Like I stated before, I don't know much Shakespeare so what's great about this episode is that it is both hilarious and a learning experience. The MST3K boys usually are forced to sit through low budget sci fi, monster or other b movie oddities so Hamlet is not what one would expect to see on the show. True it is a cheesy, low budget Hamlet but it's still Hamlet. That to me proves how inventive and brilliant this show is. This episode is quite funny and I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout. The movie was hard to sit through but Mike, Crow and Servo (I'm sorry, I mean Sirveaux) made it tolerable, even enjoyable. There were some parts that were even a little too slow for the crew's comical anecdotes, but it's still definitely worth a watch.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Hard at work releasing many of their classic titles on Blu Ray, Blue Underground is releasing their first new title in quite some time on June 28th - The Nesting. A little known horror film from 1981, this one is a welcome addition to Blue Underground's fantastic catalog and sure to be a hit among horror fans. I'll admit that I had never heard of this film before but when I saw the announcement for it, I instantly knew I had to get it.
Robin Groves plays mystery author Lauren Cochran, who suffers from Agoraphobia. After suffering from a panic attack on a crowded street, she decides to go out into the country to try to write her next book. She accidentally stumbles upon an old mansion that looks exactly like the one she had visions of and used for the cover of her last book. She meets some of the locals, including Colonel Lebrun (John Carradine) who has what seems like a stroke after getting some bad vibes off of Lauren. While staying in the old mansion, Lauren starts having visions of awful things that have happened there. Soon enough, more awful things start happening to those around her and it seems like the house itself is causing these deaths.
The Nesting was a neat little forgotten gem from one of my favorite periods of horror. The film is a blend of not only the haunted house films of the 70s (Legend of Hell House, The Changeling) but also on the recent 80s slasher craze. There are some nasty deaths in this film (that I won't give away) which should please any gorehound. The strongest aspect of the film however is definitely the use of atmosphere. The old mansion is used perfectly as a creepy haven for supernatural occurrences and the visions Lauren has are quite scary. The film lost some steam in the second half but it is well worth a watch, especially for those who love haunted house movies or atmospheric horror.
Blue Underground is releasing The Nesting on both DVD and Blu Ray. The copy I watched was DVD and I must say that for a 30 year old film, I don't think I have ever seen a more beautiful transfer. The film elements must have been kept in pristine condition because it is hard to believe just how good it turned out. The picture is crystal clear and the sound is also very crisp (and loud at just the right moments). Also included is a series of deleted and extended scenes, as well as trailers, tv spots and a poster & still gallery. For such an obscure film, Blue Underground has gone above and beyond to deliver such an incredible release. Hopefully they continue releasing more interesting new titles like this.
The Nesting is available for pre-order on DVD and BLU RAY direct from Blue Underground.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Trailers from Hell Volume 2 is another great collection of trailers only this time they weren't previously available on the TFH website (as the first collection's trailers were). Dante assembles some very well known directors and screenwriters to give insightful commentaries on everything from well known classics to not so well known gems. The roster is as follows:
-Roger Corman on trailers for Ski Troop Attack and Premature Burial
-Joe Dante on Donovan’s Brain and The Invisible Ghost
-Guillermo Del Toro on Deep Red and The Hunchback of Notre Dame
-Ernest Dickerson on The Creeping Unknown
-Mick Garris on Fire Maidens from Outer Space and Flesh Gordon
-Jack Hill on Pit Stop
-Larry Karaszewski on Last Summer and The Tenant
-Lloyd Kaufman on Terror Firmer
-Mary Lambert on Godzilla vs. Mothra
-John Landis on Gorgo
-Josh Olson on Jaws and The Lineup
-Michael Peyser on Seven Days in May
-Brian Trenchard-Smith on Devil Ship Pirates and Stranglers of Bombay
As anyone can see from this exciting group of films and those providing the commentaries, this collection is terrific. The commentaries are filled with little known facts, anecdotes and humor. My favorites were John Landis' Gorgo (the funniest of the bunch), Jack Hill on Pit Stop (one of my favorite directors doing one of my favorite movies) and Brian Trenchard-Smith doing two little known Hammer Horror films. The best thing about this collection is finding new movies I've never even heard of that are now on my must-see list. So I highly recommend this collection for any horror, cult, B movie, exploitation and trailer collection fan. Let's not forget though that you also get a beautiful new Anamorphic Widescreen transfer of Little Shop of Horrors too! I'll be the first to admit that this movie is pretty dumb but it's fun, silly and the scene with Jack Nicholson at the dentist is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. This new transfer is like a Michael Bay film compared to the other public domain junk versions out there so this is definitely the way to see the film.
Pre-Order Trailers from Hell Volume 2 HERE direct from Shout! Factory and receive a copy of Trailers from Hell Volume 1 FREE! (while supplies last)
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Dahmer vs. Gacy begins with a top secret government operation whose purpose is to create a super killer. To do this, they have gathered DNA from some of the most deadly serial killers in history and cloned them. Of course with every top secret government operation, something goes wrong and two of the clones escape - Jeffrey Dahmer (Ford Austin) and John Wayne Gacy (Randal Malone). Enter Ringo (Ford Austin again), a drunk hillbilly who hears the voice of God (Harland Williams) in his head, telling him he must kill the deadly clones. Meanwhile, the Dahmer and Gacy clones begin a killing spree which turns into a competition.
Dahmer vs. Gacy was a silly, bloody, offensive low budget film which was actually pretty good. I'll admit some of the scenes (especially the gay overtones) went a little overboard, but judging by the over the top nature of the film, I'm sure that was the point. Every aspect of Dahmer vs. Gacy went for the balls, from the gallons of blood to the endless use of the F word. With such a silly premise, any other approach probably would have failed so I would say the film makers succeeded. I would say most horror fans will get a kick out of this little oddity, especially those who don't mind crude, bloody humor and off the wall antics. Oh yeah, there are some ninjas thrown in for good measure too! Can't go wrong with ninjas.