Film Reviews: “Heavy Metal” (1981)

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Produced by Ivan Reitman.
Featuring the voice work of: John Candy, Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis, and Joe Flaherty.

“Heavy Metal” is a 1980’s adult cartoon anthology. I wish more of these were made!

The segments are mature, but uniquely told in animation form. They’re dark and full of imagination. Stories range from deep space, to the past, on board a WW2 fighter jet, to the future. The best way to describe “Heavy Metal” is an American version of an adult Japanese Anime. If that sounds good to you, then give it a watch.

3.0 out of 4.0 stars.

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Film Reviews: “The Hidden” (1987)

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Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Chris Mulkey, Lin Shaye, and Clu Gulager.

FBI Agent Lloyd Gallagher (MacLachlan) is on the hunt for a space alien serial killer who constantly inhabits new bodies, changing its identity along the way. Gallagher finally knows which the body the alien is in, and recruits a local police detective to help stop the creature before it morphs again. Gallagher reveals that this issue is more than personal to him because the creature killed his partner, his wife and his daughter.

This was a lot of fun. “The Hidden” has it all. Explosions, car chases, guns, emotion, suspense, and humor! This should appeal to just about anyone. Awesome cast and a very smart story. Kyle MacLachlan in particular is great in this, and very reminiscent of his role as Agent Dale Cooper in “Twin Peaks.” Overall, I call this film a big win!

3.5 out of 4 stars.

Film Reviews: “The Driller Killer” (1979)

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Directed by and starring Abel Ferrara.

Reno Miller is an artist working on his latest and greatest painting. He is out of money, struggling to pay the bills, gets rejected by his art dealer, and his neighbors are noisy-playing music all hours of the night! Reno’s stress gets worse and worse, eventually to the point where he goes nuts, buys a drill and takes out his frustrations on society.

While it’s a little slow in the beginning, and unfocused at times, I enjoyed “The Driller Killer.” For 1979 this was some extreme shit! Between minute 50 and minute 60, Reno kills 7 different people wandering the streets. 7 kills within 10 minutes. There’s no question as to why this was banned in the UK for over 20 years!

It’s low budget, raw, and takes some attention, but this film mostly delivers where it needs to. I can’t say that “The Driller Killer” is for the average movie goer, but if you enjoy underground grindhouse style horror, then I say give it a watch.

2.5 out of 4.0 stars.

Film Reviews: “Beneath the Darkness” (2011)

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Starring Dennis Quaid, Aimee Teegarden, and Tony Oller.

A group of rad high schoolers believe that their local mortician is up to something fishy… Turns out, they’re right! Dead right…

I dug this one. Quaid is creepy, and hilarious as Ely the mortician. All of the actors were surprisingly great, even the teens. The script was smart, avoiding a lot of horror cliches. It’s strange that this wasn’t in theaters. So much crap makes it to the big screen, how come gems like this miss out?

Overall, a fun flick with lots of dark humor. If “Phantasm” meets “Freddy vs. Jason” sounds good to you, you’ll enjoy “Beneath the Darkness.”

3.0 out of 4.0 stars.

Film Reviews: “M.A.R.K.-13”, aka “Hardware” (1990)

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Starring Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, Iggy Pop, and Lemmy Kilmister.

“Hardware” takes place in a radiation filled, futuristic post-war wasteland. Moses Baxter wanders around in search of treasure he can sell. It’s Christmas eve, and for his girlfriend he brings back the head of an old robot that she can use in her sculptures. The head comes alive and rebuilds it’s body using parts from her apartment. The android has one purpose in mind… To kill.

What a strange movie! The set design, and style of “Hardware” is fantastic, but with little substance or story to accompany. If I was to compare this to anything, it would be “Fallout 3” meets “The 5th Element” meets “The Terminator.” It’s a crazy artsy industrial rock n roll horror sci-fi slasher. I enjoyed it for what it was. Great to look at, but wish there was more story.

2.5 out of 4.0 stars.

Film Reviews: “Beyond Evil” (1980)

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Starring John Saxon and Lynda Day George.

Larry and Barbara move to an island so that Larry can begin work on an important architecture project. They are set up in a beautiful 100 year old mansion with lots of spooky history, and a vengeful spirit that begins to haunt the couple, and possess Barbara. Larry notices that his wife is drastically changing, and he must seek help to stop the evil before it’s too late!

This was a decent little flick. Actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I realize that John Saxon kind of looks like a young Sean Connery, but to me he’ll always be the dad from “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” It’s nice to see him in the leading role. “Beyond Evil” is basic, enjoyable, but not groundbreaking or really all that scary.

2.5 out of 4.0 stars.

Film Reviews: “Lost Boys 3: The Thirst” (2010)

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Starring Corey Feldman.

Corey Feldmen returns as Edgar Frog, vampire hunter. Edgar is approached Gwen Lieber, a best selling author of “Twilight” esque books. She offers Edgar a hunting job with the potential to kill the true head vampire, which would undo all remaining vampirism, including the curse on his brother Alan Frog.

I thought LB3 was much better than LB2. We have an original character in the lead role and with a new story. It’s more enjoyable, has a good sense of humor, and didn’t feel like a rehash. If you’ve seen and enjoyed the original “Lost Boys”, I say skip “LB2: The Tribe” and just go straight to “LB3: The Thirst.”

3.0 out of 4.0 stars.