My Loyal Seven readers know that Missile Test is a big fan of John Carpenter. In fact, he’s the unofficial official director of both the Empty Balcony and Shitty Movie Sundays. He didn’t direct The Running Man, the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle from 1987, but he should have. In style, flavor, pacing, look, feel, music, inherent mistrust of authority, and its very ’80s-ness, I have never seen a film so Carpenteresque without being directed by the man himself. It’s uncanny. But, this month is not about John Carpenter. It’s about His Arnoldness. Continue reading “Schwarzenegger Month: The Running Man”
Is The Terminator the best movie Arnold Schwarzenegger has ever been in? There’s a strong possibility that it is. Some viewers have an affinity for Terminator 2, others for Conan the Barbarian. As for me, I voted with my eyes a long time ago. Of all the films Arnold has made, The Terminator is the one I’ve watched the most. It is impossible for me to recall just how many times I’ve seen it, but I would not be surprised if it’s somewhere in the 20s, maybe even the 30s. So, pardon me while I gush. Continue reading “Schwarzenegger Month: The Terminator”
Europa Report is a film that exists on the verge of being good. There is certainly a good premise behind the story, but the film falls just short of telling that story effectively. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Europa Report”
You can save her, Kal. You can save all of them.
So says the ghostly avatar of Jor-El (Russell Crowe) in Team Nolan’s Man of Steel, right before the Man himself, Superman (Henry Cavill), falls backwards out of a spacecraft, arms spread wide, mimicking the posture of Christ on the cross. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Man of Steel, or, Church”
I was really hoping this movie would have been appropriate for the October Horrorshow. Alas, it was not. Sure, there is some exotic, overly aggressive wildlife to be found, and they do devour a good amount of the cast, but this movie is more a straight action flick than anything else. Too bad. I was looking forward to featuring this review right after Pitch Black. Well, at least it’s shitty!
Riddick, of course, is the second sequel to Pitch Black, featuring the eponymous character played by Vin Diesel. In this flick, Riddick has abandoned the burdens of galactic leadership and returned to his animal nature, a sly acknowledgment by writer/director David Twohy that the second movie in the series, The Chronicles of Riddick, was a stupidly overwrought idea that never should have been put to film. Riddick isn’t a fucking politician. He’s a badass. No one wants to see him speechifying or fending off the knives of palace assassins. The world, this world, needs Riddick to get in gunfights with mercenaries and fight creatures with big pointy teeth. Message received. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Riddick”
I’m a sucker for Alien ripoffs. Really, I am. Something about the shared stories (monsters whittling down hapless cast members) strikes something elemental in my brain. The formula for films like Alien seems so fundamentally sound to modern storytelling that I bet, had he been alive in the era of science fiction, the Bard himself would have come up with it. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Pitch Black”
Some films have a premise that is promising, but then little works in execution. Such is the case with The Stuff, Larry Cohen’s sci-fi/horror/mystery/comedy from 1985. The problem with The Stuff isn’t that it tries to be too many things. The problem is that it just can’t do anything right. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Stuff”
I don’t think I’ve seen this movie since the late 1980s. That’s almost thirty years of depriving myself of big hair, a pack of unstoppable, ravenous fur balls that are more teeth than animal, and Power of the Night, the number one single by Johnny Steele. Oh yeah, this was the decade I grew up in, with all its foibles, bad fashion, and shit music. This was the decade that put Eric Clapton in pastels and convinced teenagers everywhere that synthesizers were an acceptable accouterment to rock music. And my God, Reagan was in the White House. No, no, no. If it weren’t for the amazing run of substandard cinema throughout the decade, I would want to have the entire time wiped clean from my memory. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Critters, or, Power of the Night!”
What a putrid mess. But, I’ve been watching far too many good or passable movies of late (ha!). I needed to get back in the shit. Once a person gets into shitty movies they can’t stay away for long. The world stops making sense. Things seem to slow down and speed up at the same time. Knowledge begins to lack clarity, begins to fade, and taken to its extreme, all that’s left is a blank stare into the abyss. It’s not pretty. Thank goodness DeepStar Six was there to save the day! Continue reading “October Horrorshow: DeepStar Six”
What a putrid mess. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a cheap 1950s monster flick. They have a certain amount of kitsch to them that paid quite a lot of dividends back in the decade of above ground nuclear tests and Leave It to Beaver. Stylistically non-offensive but at the same time strangely subversive, a good monster flick can be a commentary on the creeping destructiveness of American power, the precarious balance of post Word War II peace, and the boring homogeneity of typical Hollywood cinema. All of this can be contained in a film that looks like it cost about five bucks to make. Yep, 1950s monster cinema was great.
Too bad The Navy vs. the Night Monsters was made in 1966. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Navy vs. The Night Monsters”