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The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)
The music saves it
I saw the original Strangers the day it was released back in 2008 with my late friend. That film impressed me with it's display of suspense, including an edge of your seat scene involving a masked maniac behind the main character's best friend and a waiting shotgun.
Fast forward ten years and we have The Strangers: Prey at Night. I watched this at the theater in its fifth day of release at a matinee showing. My expectations weren't extremely low nor were they necessarily high. The film starts with a cool 80's beat that brought a smile to my face, but then we have to wait about a half hour for this film to really get going.
Once the mayhem ensues, the 1980's soundtrack starts to boom with it, and that's when this flick gets fun. The brown suited masked madman clearly enjoys his retro soundtrack, but he means business this time around, along with his two female accomplices, they come prepared swinging axes and knives.
The original film dealt more with cause and effect, where this time around they're looking to flat out maim and destroy, starting off with an elder couple who are the lone fall residents in a trailer park.
I had never seen such a film featuring blood squirting and flames burning to the sounds of Bonnie Tyler and Air Supply. You'll find that here.
WrestleMania 2 (1986)
Three cities! Television personalities! Fast Food mascots! Football players! Awful matches! Yup, WrestleMania 2 has all of that. For some reason or another, Vince McMahon decided to broadcast this event from three different arenas in three different time zones. I'm not sure where the event would have originated from had he chosen just one venue, probably Nassau if I were to guess.
So we start off from the New York segment at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Vince broadcasts with scratchy voiced actress Susan St. James, who just happens to be married to Vince's buddy Dick Ebersol. I didn't count how many times she said "Uh Oh!" during these 4 matches but it was at least 22. We start off with Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff vs The Magnificent Don Muraco. This ends in a lame double count out, not a strong kick off to what is supposed to be your mecca event, granted it was only the second incarnation of it. Next we get the Intercontinental Title match between Macho Man Randy Savage and George "The Animal" Steele. About what you'd expect from an Animal Steele match, entertaining to a point, but it doesn't give Savage the chance to show off his true in ring talent (that would have to wait til WrestleMania III). Next is an encounter between Jake "The Snake" Roberts and former football player George Wells. Wells is wearing football pants that he either kept from his CFL days or stole from the Houston Oilers. Jake wins the match with a DDT that flips Wells completely over and then smothers and chokes him with Damian the snake. The final match in NY is a boxing match between Roddy Piper and actor Mr. T. This is not a good match by any means, but you DO get to see Burger King's Herb do a dance prior to the bell. Piper loses by DQ for shoving the ref and body slamming Mr. T. The real life dislike for each other was evident by this point, I wonder if a regular wrestling match would have sufficed better. Oh well, at least Cab Calloway was in attendance right?
Now we're shipped to Chicago's portion of the event emulating from The Rosemont Horizon, which Gorilla Monsoon calls a beautiful arena, trust me it's not. He's joined on commentary by actress Cathy Lee Crosby and Mean Gene Okerlund and Big Cat Ernie Ladd during the battle royal only. We start with a women's championship match that lasts about a minute when The Fabulous Moolah pinned Velvet McIntyre in about a minute. Then Corporal Kirchner beats Nikolia Volkoff in a flag match in two minutes. Wow, these matches just keep getting longer. Now we get to the 20 man battle royal which has a mixture of WWF wrestlers as well as NFL football players. Mean Gene announces former Wendy's commercial actress Clara Peller and she has to ask "Now?" twice for her cue. Yes lady NOW! She then waves her microphone like a magic wand and says "Where's the Beef" but no one hears her. The Horizon comes unglued for hometown player (and recent champion) William "Refrigerator" Perry. The match also featured a trio of former world champions in Bruno Sammartino, The Iron Shiek, and Pedro Morales. Andre the Giant and "Golden Boy" Danny Spivey dress the same here, as they both don yellow Hulk Hogan tights and boots. Andre gets the win after last eliminating The Hart Foundation. The final match is for the WWF tag team titles in which The British Bulldogs win the gold from Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake. With Ozzy Osbourne and Captain Lou in your corner how could you lose? So far I'd say the battle royal and tag title match are the best of the night giving the edge to Chicago over New York. Let's go to L.A.
In L.A., Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Elvira are your broadcast team. Elvira wasn't the quickest thinker when asked questions but she's Elvira and she's sexy so it's ok. Sometimes the audio volume level goes up and down here, 1986 technology was only so good when you're running one show from three cities. First bout here Ricky Steamboat pins Hercules in a decent match, a clash of styles bogs it down a bit. Like Randy Savage, Steambout would have to wait a year to truly show off his talents. Next, Adorable Adrian Adonis defeats Uncle Elmer in an awful match with just a few bumps and flips by Adonis saving it from being completely bottom of the barrel. In a tag match, the Funk Brothers beat Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana in a decent match saved by some bumps by Terry Funk. Now the main event. Wait, no WrestleMania main event is complete without celebrities. Bring out Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who spits (literally) as he's announcing Ricky Schroeder and Robert Conrad. WWF title on the line in a steel cage, Hulk Hogan vs King Kong Bundy. This is a better main event than the first WrestleMania. Some fans rated this match as mediocre but I found it to be pretty good. Despite some audio trouble, I'd give the edge to L.A. as the best segment of this lackluster event.
In conclusion, between celebrity broadcasting, city hopping, bad matches, and low production values turn this one into a bottom 5 WrestleMania.
I jumped at least 5 times and I don't scare easy.
Let's face it, these days horror films have a tendency to neither be 2 things, scary or good. This movie is quite effective with some truly eerie visuals and plot points that keeps the movie interesting. Usually in these types of movies a family will move into a "haunted house" where a spirit or two lurks, but this movie is so layered with details and thrills that is keeps us viewers glued to the television set for nearly 2 hours.
Ethan Hawke, being the good actor that he is, does a good job here, just as Kevin Bacon did in Stir of Echoes. As he plunges deeper and deeper into the dark history of what he has found in his attic, he starts questioning more and more whether unveiling facts for his new book is even worth putting his family at risk.
Sinister is a quite good thriller which had all the elements to keep me interested for nearly 2 hours, not to mention make me jump and squirm a few times, which is no easy task.
The Anatomy of Horror (1995)
Where I first learned of Halloween 6!
Summer of 1995, I was approaching my first year of high school. I was an avid lover of horror films and this naturally caught my eye.
It starts out reviewing some classics such as Alien and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But then I was completely caught off guard being shown footage from a brand new Halloween movie starring Donald Pleasence! My jaw dropped and was thankful that I had been recording the program on my VCR. The frustrating part was when I went to see Halloween 6 in the theater, there were many scenes I was expecting to see but didn't. Anatomy of Horror had shown many scenes from the infamous Producers Cut.
All in all, it was a nice little program that had interviews with legendary directors and producers.
WWF Superstars of Wrestling (1986)
I miss this show
Every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. I watched Superstars. All the biggest events happened on this show at the time. Challenge, which aired Sunday mornings, was decent too, but all the big stuff happened on this show. Wrestlers would do all their interviews with Mean Gene on a platform next to the live crowd or talk on their own to the screen in front of a background that promoted them. The matches were usually squashes but sometimes you would see 2 mid carders square off in the main event. There were also interview shows that usually resulted in violence thus setting up a feud. These segments ranged from Pipers Pit, The Body Shop, The Flower Shop, The Snake Pit, The Brother Love Show, The Funeral Parlor, and The Barber Shop. I don't recall any titles changing hands on this show. That usually happened at pay per views and Saturday Nights Main Event.
The last great SNME
This was the first SNME that I watched the night it aired. It ended up being the last one aired for a year and a half when the WWF decided to bring it back, but the show was changed a lot and didn't have that SNME feel to it. But going back to this episode, it had an awesome 20 man battle royal that was really the best match of the night. Mr. Perfect and Greg Valentine were the final two left in the ring and they really fought it out til the end. The Ultimate Warrior/Sgt. Slaughter match was awful. The Bushwhackers should have won the tag titles on this night, it seemed that referee Joey Marella had counted to 3. Bret Hart/ted Dibiase match wasn't bad. Tito Santana vs The Mountie was OK, pretty short match. Overall it was a memorable event that I watched over and over during my childhood.
The Cars: Unlocked (2006)
Great behind the scenes look at The Cars
The Cars were one of those bands that had a lot of mystery about them. I'm sure Ric Ocasek preferred it that way. But in 2006, 6 years after Ben Orr's passing, he took it upon himself to dig up some old footage and show the world just how much fun The Cars really were having.
It's a mixture of live performances and dressing room antics. Some of these performances are very rare, originating from the never before released Panorama and Shake it Up tours.
Ric's son Eron helped with the editing process and the two did a great job at putting this together. Cars fans are hoping for a volume 2 that would include all of the bands videos.
Anybody who has enjoyed the timeless music from The Cars will certainly enjoy this DVD.
My favorite of the sequels
This one was definitely different than the rest of the Elm Street's. But I loved all of Freddy's scenes and the way he delivered his lines. Robert England knew which words to emphasize in order to be effective.
The teenage characters were all likable. Especially Kim Myers' character Lisa. She could have very easily abandoned Jesse when he started to get weirded out every day, but she stuck by his side to fight Freddy.
The special effects in this movie were really good. The best one being Freddy emerging right out of Jesse's body.
The film's humor wasn't bad either. The littlest things still make me chuckle.
I couldn't wait to hear everyone bombard the Warrior with their thoughts about him. Their remarks weren't as bad as I thought they would be. You could tell that Ted DiBiase despised the Warrior. Ric Flair didn't like him. Bobby Heenan didn't like how dangerous and careless he was in the ring. If you watch when Warrior gorilla press slams Heenan at Wrestlemania V you can see how he just lets him drop to the ground.
Hulk Hogan for the most part liked Jim Hellwig. Except for of course when he thought he killed the build up to their Halloween Havoc match. I agree it wasn't a good idea to ramble on and brag about how he beat the Hulkster 8 years prior.
Vince brought back the Warrior a few times to try to make some dollars but the Warrior's unreliability and unprofessional ism kept ruining those chances.
Jim Ross' input wasn't really necessary. He was not around for much of the Warrior's career.
All in all if you're curious about other wrestlers thoughts on the man behind the makeup check out the DVD, it retails for around $14.99.
Super Mario Bros. (1985)
It's as fun now as it was in 1985!
Certain games age well and some do not. Super Mario Bros. for NES has aged significantly well.
The fun part about this game is, you could not play it for years and still remember where all the hidden items are, all the tricks.
You'll never forget how to get a trillion lives by hopping on the turtle shell in level 3.
Electronic Gaming Monthly recently counted down the best 200 video games in history. Super Mario Bros. was number 1, and deservingly so.
Some people say that Mario 3 was better than the original. Sure it was a thicker challenge, loaded with way more extra items to use. Changing Mario into a raccoon or a frog, but the original has so much broad appeal that it's just so tough say which is in turn better.
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
A Carpenter gem
John Carpenter has always been one of my favorite directors. I kick myself for waiting so long to see In the Mouth of Madness.
An insurance investigator (Sam Neill) is hired to track down the whereabouts of Sutter Cane, the most popular thriller author since Stephen King. He along with a secretary embark on a journey to find Cane's hometown. After a very bizarre car ride, they find the remote town and some very strange things start to happen. Fiction and reality combine to a world of horror.
The eeriest scene I thought was during the car ride they pass a young boy on a bike. Seconds later a much older biker peddles by again and again. The older man is creepy looking and watching the movie for the first time I thought the biker was John Carpenter himself! The hair matched his, but after watching it in slo-mo, I could tell the person was way too short to be Carpenter.
Overall it's a real shame this movie wasn't more successful in it's initial release, but then again most of Carpenter's movies bomb in theaters then become cult classics. It's bizarre and creepy atmosphere make this a worthwhile edition to the career of John Carpenter.
The Shining (1980)
What a movie
Sure Kubrick drifted from the novel, but it's still a hell of a movie.
Fed up with low annual salary as a school teacher, Jack Torrance decides to pursue a career in writing. Soon Jack gets the job as winter caretaker at a luxurious hotel in Colorado. It sounds like a dreamjob to Jack as he will have plenty of time on his hands to write. Little does he know how "cabin fever" will set in and he will eventually lose his mind.
Nicholson's over the top performance and Kubrick's perfection driven direction help propel the movie into being a masterpiece.
Royal Rumble (1989)
Good start to the 30 man Rumble
The second Royal Rumble added an additional 10 wrestlers than the previous year. The other matched on the card weren't bad except for the womens title match which was a waste of time. For some reason the crown match has been omitted from most copies of this event.
It was fun seeing Ax and Smash of Demolition start the Rumble drawing numbers 1 and 2. They sure battled each other! I never quite understood why Big John Studd was the eventual winner of the event, he didn't wrestle too much longer after the event took place. Wouldn't you rather have an up and coming star win such a prestigious event? Overall a satisfactory event that is still fun to watch to this day.
No real sense of fear
I almost paid to see this at the theater. After renting it last night I'm glad I went with the latter.
After a bank robbery doesn't go quite as planned, some thieves end up at the hideaway where they were to divide the cash. Only problem is, the hideaway is very close to a slaughterhouse where a sadistic killer lurks. Not only are the criminals in danger, but also a couple of innocent bystanders being held captive.
While watching this movie you might see things that remind you of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th Part 2 while it sounds a little like Halloween at times.
If this movie ever makes it way to cable then you might want to check it out, but I wouldn't recommend buying it.
Hardly ever does a movie open with an interesting premise. But Saw sure is an exception.
Sitting at the theater, not sure what to expect, Saw opens with two strangers chained down in a filthy bathroom. Both men are completely puzzled on how they got in that situation so they try to find clues to figure out the bizarre puzzle.
It turns out they are the latest victims of the Jigsaw killer, a sadistic maniac who liked to torture people who he believes don't understand the proper way of living life.
The plot isn't totally original though it does manage to spin some original ideas into it.
Normally movies like these end up straight to video, while the total garbage hits theaters. Luckily this hit theaters and let's hope there's more little gems like these that make it to the big screen.
The Cars: Live (2000)
Wish I had been there!!
This was an awesome concert from summer of 1979. This is my only source of hearing Don't Cha Stop live!
Ric Ocasek primed The Cars to be the best band I've ever heard! The reunion interview was fun to watch too.
Listening to Ocasek talk about the night and darkness crawling into his songs is a hoot!
So was Greg Hawkes' remembrance to how drunk every one was thanks to the German hospitality!
Buy this DVD, you won't regret it!
P.S. I also liked the added keyboard solo in Since I Held You as well.
The Karate Kid (1984)
Growing up in the 80's I thought Karate Kid was more of a commercial type of product. But watching this film 20 years later made me see that is actually a winner of a film.
You can kind of tell it had the same director as Rocky, as underdog tales seem to be his specialty.
Ralph Macchio is Daniel LaRusso, a poor kid who lives with his mother. They just moved to Resida, California after his mom switched jobs. After being bullied by local punks he turns to handyman Mr. Miyagi for karate lessons.
Little does Daniel realize is that he learns karate from painting, waxing, and sanding!
Miyagi tells Daniel to "Wax on, Wax off!" and just by the motions of his hands he learns how to block karate chops!
Not as good as Rocky, but it's marvelous storytelling.
Still love it after all these years
I first saw Gremlins around 1988, and have never grown tired of it. Stripe, Gizmo, and company were wildly thought up and put to life.
Billy Peltzer gets a bizarre pet for Christmas. A Mogwai, which originates from China. But beware there are 3 important rules that tag along with owning a mogwai.
1. Never get it wet. Don't give it any water to drink and don't ever give it a bath.
2. Keep it out of bright light. Especially sunlight, it could kill it.
3. And the most important rule of all. No matter how much it begs, don't ever feed it after midnight.
So of course after accidentally getting it wet the mogwai multiplies. Then thinking it's only 11:42 p.m., Billy decides to give the whole brood of creatures a batch of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
But of course Billy's clock had stopped! So now after emerging from a cocoon stage, Kingston Falls is blessed with little monsters called Gremlins, and Christmas will never be the same!
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Alien and Predator fans obviously had high hopes for this film.
The first big blow was the PG-13 rating was reveiled. Well, we now know at least 10 minutes of footage might have to wait for dvd. Great, whats next?
We pay our hard earned money and learn some mumbo jumbo about Antarctica. Then the first scare tactic scene ends up being a penguin!
Ok, lets get this thing rolling shall we? Finally some Predators arrive via a unique aircraft. The humans start getting shuffled around the cube because it's pattern shifts every 10 minutes (neat but not original).
Finally we get some action between Alien and Predator but it's short lived. Aliens tail can rip apart anything apparently.
The only twist I got out of this was the teaming of Predator and a human. Had Arnold teamed with Predator, that would of been a tag team!!
There were some cool scenes but I would have liked to seen some more actual wrestling between the two creatures. Yes there was some action, but not enough to satisfy.
I like the movie, but it leaves you wanting more.
I just saw this at a second run theater and I found it to be very hilarious.
Funniest movie since Road Trip in my opinion.
Scotty's girl dumps him on graduation day, so he decides to find his internet friend in Europe, only to be taken for one heck of a ride. Along for the ride with Scotty are his friend Cooper (who looks and sounds like David Spade) and twins Jenny and Jamie.
The characters are likable, which really helps in this kind of movie.
Some surprise cameos also pop up.
I'll be adding adding this to my DVD collection for sure.
Hospital Massacre (1981)
Not too bad
Of all the B horror films out there, this one was actually watchable.
Barbi Benton goes to the local hospital to recieve her check up results to turn in to her new insurance provider. Little does she know a pyshcotic killer has switched her test results to keep her pinned inside the hospital.
There, the doctors themselves seem evil and the whole hospital itself is pretty creepy. Slicing and dicing soon occurs and Barbi must fight to stay alive.
The death scenes are pretty cool. Though I thought the scene where he smothers a nurse with a sheet was kind of bizzare, the way he came out holding it running down the hallway.
Somewhere in Time (1980)
I didn't know quite what to expect before watching Somewhere in Time. I like time travel movies and I also like movies that were filmed in areas that I've been. Well this film had both. So I just had to watch it. I liked the science fiction elements more than the romantic story.
Christopher Reeve drives off from his Chicago pad in search for an escape from the ordinary. He ends up at Mackinac Island and checks into the fancy Grand Hotel. There, he comes across a portrait of a woman who he just has to meet. So he asks his old college professor if time travel is possible and somehow gets the act to work. Next thing you know, he's instantly in 1912 and courting the woman of his dreams.
It's not the finest movie ever made, but it is intrieging.
Graduation Day (1981)
It's watchable, but barely
Dull horror films takes us through the final days of high school, and the school's track team starts disappearing one by one.
The teams star runner drops dead from a blood clot, and someone starts to take revenge.
The movie isn't gory enough to say it's a worthy rental. The death scenes are very corny. Only the pole vaulting death was interesting, in my opinion. Rent it only if you have seen every other horror film at your video store.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Great, but not the best
This is many Terminator fans' favorite installment, but I don't believe it topped the original. Maybe I just liked seeing Arnold as the bad guy for a change in that movie, but it just seemed funner.
T2 soars on many levels. Special effects to knock your socks off, but sometimes less is more. Arnie in the original I thought was more menacing than the T-1000. It could be Arnold's mere appearance to however.
The chase scenes in this movie are awesome, as is the exciting climax.
There was a 7 year gap between T1 and T2. And now a 12 year gap between T2 and T3. But is was worth the wait. The Terminator is sent through time to save mankind and John Conner! To do so, he has to contend with the TX, a sophisticated evil terminator that will stop at nothing to do what is programmed to do.
Kristanna Loken is the TX, a beautiful but deadly cyborg and only Arnold Schwarzenegger can stop her!
The film greatly combines action, drama, and even humor. The humor doesn't fall flat either.
The film offers one of the best chase scenes ever filmed, a 7 minute crane chase that will have your jaw dropping and your eyes widened.