Battlefield Earth

We’ve watched a lot of bad movies. We thought we’d seen it all. But this week our special guest Rich Horecki brought us something that redefined our definition of bad.

In this sci fi epic, based upon the works of L. Ron Hubbard earth has been colonized by a race of aliens known as psychlos. When one human learns their language he leads an uprising against the Psychlos and their terrible teeth.

Halloween Month 2022

Well, it’s been a wild ride. I have managed to keep up my tradition and watch a different horror film everyday in October. I have not however kept up with writing a review each day for these movies. Sadly, my life and work schedule just have not allowed me to time to sit down and churn out the reviews in the way I would have liked. So here is my month in review. Each film I saw and a brief review of each.

  1. Eyes Without a Face – I reviewed this already. Super creepy. Great face removal scene

2. Nope – Artsy horror. Horror with a message. Jordan Peele’s latest is a solid movie and an interesting horror story

3. Umma – This movie was fine.

4. Scanners – Oh Cronenberg, you crazy body horror man. Really enjoyed this one.

5. We Are Still Here – Still sends chills down my spin. Good ghost story

6. House – Weird horror comedy. Still not sure what this was. Kind of entertaining though

7. Saint Maud – Oh jeez this movie. One woman’s descent into madness. Enigmatic and disturbing.

8. Hocus Pocus – I wish I loved this the way everyone else seems to. It has its moments, but didn’t really do it for me.

9. The Loved Ones – Ugh this movie is messed up. Completely disturbing.

10. Blair Witch – Zero for two in the Blair Witch universe so far. I know there’s another movie in the series, but I’m never checking that out. Bad movie.

11. My Bloody Valentine – This was a pretty good slasher. I liked it alright, but it didn’t leave a deep impact on me.

12. Mimic – Oh boy this was a strong movie. Great creatures. Awesome direction. Creepy and suspenseful.

13. The Bye Bye Man – Mostly forgettable in retrospective. It had a few moments, but it’s not a memorable movie.

14. Halloween Ends – I think this takes the crown for worst movie of the Halloween marathon. What a piece of garbage. See my full review for how much I hated it.

15. Prom Night – Here’s a much better slasher starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

16. X – Shocking, surprising, scary, funny, gross, its was everything I wanted it to be.

17. Pearl – Shocking, tense, and uncomfortable. Watch this woman lose her mind in beautiful technicolor.

18. Significant Other – Awesome. Really fun. Really cool. Interesting story. Unique premise. I don’t like the ending as I think bout it now, but I really liked this movie overall.

19. Disturbing Behavior – Interesting mess of a movie. I don’t recommend it unless you really want to see movie ruined in the edit.

20. Tremors – Oh boy what a fun movie. This was a really enjoyable creature feature.

21. Cape Fear – A different kind of horror. It certainly horrified me.

22. Frankenstein – As part of the podcast, we watched four scary movies. I loved this one again, and enjoyed sharing it with Michael.

23. Night of the Living Dead – I forgot how much fun this movie could be. I don’t like zombies, but they work here.

24. The Exorcist – The filmmaking is incredible. The pace is too slow at the start. Overall good movie.

25. The Ring – I enjoyed revisiting this one with Michael considering we have a shared history with this movie. It was a lot of fun to check it out again.

Now we’re getting into the movies I haven’t reviewed

26. Barbarian – This movie is unbelievable. It incorporates a unique story structure that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat. I loved it. A full review will come.

27. The Black Phone – Ethan Hawke is superbly menacing and creepy in this abduction story that was really enjoyable if a divided in its attention.

28. The People Under the Stairs – Wow. This is the most movie I’ve seen in a long time. This one left me drained and wiped out because of how much happened. I loved it, but oh boy.

29. The Howling – A werewolf story that opened with a glacial pace and ended with a gripping conclusion. I really enjoyed this one once it got moving.

30. The Addams Family – I needed a break from the disturbing intensity, so I went spooky and cooky. I love both of these movies. A lot of fun.

31. The Addams Family Values – Once I watched the first, I had to watch the second. I just wanted to spend more time with this crazy family.

32. The Wretched – Terrible movie. This one is on Netflix, and it sucks. Don’t waste your time.

33. The Curse of Frankenstein – Awesome Hammer horror. I love that Frankenstein is the true monster here. I wish we had more time with his creation, Christopher Lee is fascinating here but gets too little screen time.

34. Horror of Dracula – I love this version of the Dracula story. It takes a lot of liberties with Stoker’s original film, but it’s so good. It felt perfect on Halloween night.

Well this has been my month. I wish I could have kept up with the reviews each day, but it just proved to be too much. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to tackle the month more effectively, but regardless I’m going to continue enjoying my month of fear and frights, and deeply disturbing behavior. More reviews will come, thank you for joining me on this spooky journey.

Cape Fear

Ugh what a disturbing movie. Anchored by De Niro’s intensity and some off the wall filmmaking choices, this movie has some in your face horror and some insidious horror by implication that still makes my skin crawl.

I love the early for film. It was this strange time where big studios gave auteur directors tons of money to make whatever they wanted. And we got some wild flights of filmmaking fancy. De Palma, Scorsese, and Spielberg just to name a few got big budgets to make 3 hour Holocaust films, epic book adaptations, and remakes of Hollywood classics.

It’s the remakes where we find todays movie. Martin Scorsese was handed a big budget and relative creative freedom to make his version of the 1962 thriller of the same name. Scorsese decided to borrow from the classic Hollywood style book to make the film. His techniques here closely resemble Alfred Hitchcock. He uses the camera and staging in a very reminiscent style that a lot of viewers will probably find a little jarring. I know I did.

The film follows lawyer Sam Bowden, played by Nick Nolte, as he is menaced by Max Cady, De Niro. Cady is a former client of Bowden. He spent 14 years in prison due to a poor defense that Bowden launched on his behalf. Cady is back for vengeance. He does everything he can to legally harass Bowden and destroy his life. Bowden eventually takes the law into his own hands to protect his family.

Robert De Niro is incredible. He is terrifying. He’s charming. He’s seductive. He’s crazy. He never goes over the line to camp. He is intense and scary throughout. He’s scary when he’s beating people to death. He’s scary when he’s sexually assaulting a woman. He’s scary when he’s charmingly chatting up a woman at a bar. He’s especially scary when he’s talking to an underage girl.

Cady poses as a teacher to get close to Bowden’s 15 year old daughter Danielle played by Juliette Lewis. Cady is calm. He’s understanding. He gets her alone. He offers her weed. He listens to her problems and relates to her on her level. She is nervous and charmed and confused. She is enamored but his dangerous qualities. She clearly likes feeling seen. As I’m watching the scene I’m thinking of how often this happens in real life. Bad men have evil intentions, and all they have to do is turn on the charm and listen to the underage girls. It’s chilling how this scene plays out. It’s handled so well by Scorsese and the actors. The scene takes it’s time. It unfolds slowly. Nothing really happens in the scene except two people talking. The subtext is horrifying. When he finally asks if he can put his arm around her I was jumping out of my seat the same way I do when there’s a good jump scare in a movie. It’s more terrifying because it’s so much more real.

In other areas of the movie however, there’s less reality. Specifically the filmmaking is wildly theatrical. Scorsese goes on these flights of filmmaking bravado. It’s like he’s showing off. There’s a moment where Cady is sitting on the Bowdens fence and watching them while the worlds biggest fireworks display goes off behind him. Bowden wakes up from a nightmare and sees Cady in his bedroom, but the image turns into a negative until Bowden clears his vision. There are no transitions in this movie. Scenes just slam into each other like cars in a pileup. This increases the tension but reminds us we’re in movie land.

This is not a fun or pleasant movie to watch. Bowden is a morally compromised man facing a man he wronged. There are no good guys in this movie. A scummy lawyer vs. a rapist. There is violence, sexual assault, and terror. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it is very good at what it sets out to do.

It’s my cup of tea. It’s a good movie, but it’s not for everybody. A