Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Twilight Zone Season 1 Episode 7 The Lonely

A Prisoner Falls In Love With A Realistic Robot? What is Love? 
One of my favorite movies from the past few years was “Ex Machina”. But did you know that the Twilight Zone explored this notion long ago? Seriously. On November 13, 1959 the notion of loving machine came into play, and it really shook things up. Rod Serling once again tapped into a very unique circumstance, and gets you thinking about the “What if” factors of what love is. Long before movies started to come into play with this, you are going to think about sex, love, and loneliness when it comes to robots, artificial intelligence, and the realities of loneliness in the seventh episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone.

The plot of this one is simple, as many are. A prisoner is cast off to a planet, alone. He wants to go back to Earth, but the powers that be won’t let him. The same time warp that was in “Interstellar” is described here, as a crew comes to the planet to check in on the prisoner. They say that there is no hope and he is going to stay put. He is given food, and supplies, and the crew leaves. Later a box arrives and in that box is a woman. A woman that is in fact a robot, but has all the elements of humanity, including synthetic skin, and anatomical elements, with an artificial intelligence that feels, cries, and more. It’s essentially a sex robot, come on. The prisoner doesn’t want her at first, but over time, learns to love this robot woman.

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The crew comes back. And our prisoner named Corry is allowed to go back to earth! However, they have to leave in 20 minutes, and that’s it. The crew that is there to pick him up only has room for him and a few of his things, and not the robot, whom is named Alicia. Corry screams and runs after the robot, and swears that he loves her, and that she loves him, only to find out that the world is a cold, cold place, with Alicia taking a gunshot to the face and dying.

What is love? Can you love a robot? The story here is fascinating, and it truly is epic in light of “Ex Machina” and the themes presented in that movie. There are only 5 people in this cast, and yet you get full emotion. Jack Warden and Jean Marsh put on a good performance, and you really start to feel for the lonely. But reality sets in and shakes you up. What is love? You’re left thinking as Rod Serling’s narration gives you a jolt.

“On a microscopic piece of sand that floats through space is a fragment of a man's life. Left to rust is the place he lived in and the machines he used. Without use, they will disintegrate from the wind and the sand and the years that act upon them. All of Mr. Corry's machines, including the one made in his image, kept alive by love, but now obsolete.”

And that my friends, makes for one of the best episodes of The Twilight Zone yet. It’s beyond good, seek it out. Buy the box set, holy crap. It’s an intellectual proponent that you can easily study as an academic, or at least enjoy as entertainment.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Twilight Zone Season 1 Episode 6 The Escape Clause Review

The Twilight Zone Explores Immortality 
What if you could be immortal? Would you go for it? That’s the question posed with the sixth episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone. In this case, “The Escape Clause” is the title, and it stars David Wayne, Thomas Gomez, and several others. It was first aired in 1959, and it really does showcase an interesting premise. One that we have explored in horror literature and movies for quite some time. Often, it’s the werewolf or the vampire that lives forever, but what if you didn’t have to be either?

Walter Bedeker is always thinking he is sick; he thinks he’s dying. But out of the blue comes a rogue. The devil shows up and tells him that he can in fact make sure that he lives forever. There is of course an escape clause, and Bedeker can choose to die when he’d like. Simple enough, right?

The Twilight Zone Season 1 Blu Ray - On Sale here!

Pick Up The Twilight Zone Box Set by Clicking Here, and save up to 40% on the complete Blu Ray Edition of the series!

What would you do? I don’t know what I would do, it’d be insane. Bedeker in this case uses his immortality to try and collect on a lot of money. He throws himself into insane situations, and collects money from accidents. After he gets bored of all of this, he ends up losing his wife to a fall off a roof. He admits he murdered her, hoping to go the electric chair and surviving, but nope. He gets life in prison and that’s where he asks for the escape.

And that’s that. It’s not a huge twist, but one that got me thinking yet again. This is a morality tale at heart, and one that asks what you would do with immortality? I don’t know what I would do. I can’t imagine living forever, unless I had a bit of money. I guess that’s the big deal here. Money. One has to live, right? And forever? What a cost! Oh well. This is just an example of how great Serling’s mind was. There is only one Rod Serling, and this morality play showcases that. I loved it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

WolfCop Review

WolfCop is available HERE
I love cult and horror, you know this. 800 plus reviews thus far has proved it. Well, last night while everyone in my house was asleep, I decided to slip in an action horror movie known simply as “Wolf Cop”. I had heard of this before, and I want to say that I saw it advertised at art theaters near me, but I never went to see it. This movie’s premise reminded me of an idea that I had about writing a novel with this notion of a half man, half wolf cop. Then again, maybe I dreamed this movie? I don’t know. Either way, “WolfCop” lives up to a lot of hype, even if the running time is way under the average movie. It’s only around 88 minutes total, but they do a lot more in this than many other horror movies. With that in mind, consider these thoughts on “WolfCop”.

The Transformation

The transformation in “WolfCop” is the most graphic I’ve seen. I say that because it starts with a penis shot transformation and it’s really graphic. In fact, I would not let a younger viewer watch this, it’s that graphic. It may be a few moments, but it’s enough to make you feel very uncomfortable. Heck, I had to look down to see if my junk was going to explode into a wolf penis. Other than that, the transformation is definitely great, fast, and it looked painful to boot. The practical effects and overall cinematography was great to watch, and I loved that aspect.

The story is a bit fast, convoluted, but I can dig it. A drunken cop gets thrown into a serious mess when a coven turns him into a werewolf. This all goes fast, but while he’s transforming, there’s someone close to him that is set to help him thwart off the danger of the coven, that just wants to drink his blood. Our anti-hero must defend himself and try to turn back to human before he is stuck as a wolf forever.

A Fast Paced Visual Feast

There’s enough cult movie references, and status to make “WolfCop” a good watch. It’s fast paced, doesn’t let up, and features a great deal of gore and practical effects. The story is simple, and the ending is quite enjoyable. I liked how it all panned out, and especially give credit to the director of photography for pulling out some great shots in this one. You really get a mix of grindhouse cinema and modern horror mixed with that 1980s cliché visual design palette.

Peter La Rocque’s visuals mixed with Mark Montague’s editing make this a great overall feature in my book. Lowell Dean writes and directs a classic in my book, with a great poster to boot. It’s definitely a quality horror movie that mixes action and 1980s cop influences. This is my third favorite werewolf movie of all time now, and that’s saying a lot. This is a classic folks.

Pick up “WolfCop” by clicking here, and see what all the hype is about.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Barrio Tales Review

Barrio Tales Is Available On DVD HERE
I never get screeners anymore. I did at one point, but these days, no one trusts me enough to send them. That happens, I guess. So whenever you see me review anything, I don’t get it for free like some other sites. Oh, and if I say anything bad about any film, unlike “Freddy in Space”, send it to the director or anyone involved. I’ll man up and stick to my guns about what I say. Unlike that site, and writer. I would like to say that if you are a man enough to write a negative review or opinion, you should be man enough to stand by it if someone else tweets the director. Otherwise, go to hell.

Now, let’s get into the movie “Barrio Tales”, a Latino version of the classic 3 story horror tropes. A couple of brothers directed this, Jarret and Brent Tarnol, and I was immediately drawn to it because the cover looked like a Cypress Hill cover. The movie’s tag line stated, “Terror, from south of the border”, so boom.

This is a trio of tales, like “VHS” and other movies, and it starts with a couple of young adults going to Mexico to score some drugs. When they get there, they end up meeting a Mexican guy that tells them to beware of where they are going, and what they are looking for. As the two question where the drugs are, the sage of sorts tells them 3 stories of Mexican horror, and each one has a different moral, pushing the limits of horror and generalization.

The stories go from cannibalism, witchcraft, and a monster myth. Each one is a short version of horror tropes that you already think about. From teens getting made into edible goods, to witches getting their revenge on a mean person, to the unkillable monster, each option has a Latino twist to the classic horror stories that you already know about. My favorite of the trio of stories is the opening one. A young maid gets drowned by some rich kids, only to end up having revenge taken upon them by witches that hear of the news of the death of the Latino maid. It’s a quick tale of how treating people badly, could result in reaping some serious consequences. This one really felt like “Scream Queens”, with a bit of humor and visual style overall, good stuff.

“Barrio Tales” is a fascinating movie that flows fast, and has some nice cinematography, and decent acting. At times it feels like “Scream Queens”, and at other times it feels like “Tales From The Crypt”. Either way, it’s a lot of fun, and definitely worth checking out overall. The gore was minimal, the horror elements were fine, and for an independent movie, it has some gusto. I’d give it an 8 out of 10, and definitely a rental. I definitely had fun.

You can pick up "Barrio Tales" on dvd by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Purge: Anarchy Review

Buy Purge Anarchy HERE
Look who is back to writing reviews about random horror tidbits. While I don’t have the time I used to have to write up a lot of different things in regards to horror, I still manage to catch a flick here and there. With that in mind, I went ahead and watched The Purge: Anarchy. This is perhaps one of the most talked about horror movies that I did not see when it came out. People were mixed upon the release, telling me that it either was ok or it was good. What you get here is a continuation of the original story, only this time, you are outside to see the mayhem.

The original Purge movie focused on a home invasion angle, not too unlike “The Collector” or “The Collection”. Those movies had some serious gusto, but it was the same idea that was mentioned in the Purge, with a few twists. Anyways, the marketing changed things up and you were given the notion of anarchy in the streets. This time, it was Downtown Los Angeles that was the framework starting point.

This movie mixes the notion of the original, with the concept of “Hostel”, and it works ok at first glance. But as the movie started to go through the motions, the viewer was introduced to something new, a new character that seemed very familiar. That character, as soon as I saw him, was none other than Frank Castle. That’s right, The Punisher! This movie, for all intents and purposes was nothing more than a Punisher movie to me. Even though the character did NOT have any affiliation with Marvel or the comic book world, that’s what you felt from the “Sergeant” that reuses people from mayhem.

As a horror movie, The Purge: Anarchy is not going to live up to the standards that most people have. If you’re used to slashers, gore, and monsters, this is not for you. This is more of a twisted tale, not too unlike what you’d expect from “The Outer Limits” or “The Twilight Zone”. Simple as that, this is an interesting movie with a lot of heart at times. It’s a frenetic, action movie, with horror movie marketing. So it’s not a horror movie straightway, but it does have horrific ideas.

I don’t recommend The Purge: Anarchy for horror fans. It’s not really that kind of movie. Yes, there are moments in time, but more than that, it’s a thriller or an action movie, as that’s really what you get. You get a lot of gunplay, running from foes, and random acts of evil, rather than that relentless scary element that makes this genre so interesting. It’s good, but not as great as the original, and definitely not going to win you over if you are expecting that home invasion tension that the first one had. It’s good, but not great, and well, it’s worth collecting if you love the first one, before the new one hits theaters later this year.

What do you think? If you liked it, let me know. I you hated it, let me know. If you didn't see it, then by all means pick it up on DVD by clicking here.


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