Showing posts with label 1980's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1980's. Show all posts

Monday, May 20, 2024

Crime Watch: The Untouchables (1987)

Watched:  05/19/2024
Format:  4K
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Brian DePalma

When I was 12, it was, for reasons lost to time, very important for me to see The Untouchables (1987).  Something about the trailers must have set me off.  But I had also, in 1986, sat through the entirety of the Geraldo Rivera debacle, The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault.  And while we all sat there in real time watching Geraldo Rivera show his whole ass to the world by famously finding nothing,* they filled that time with biographical and historical info on Capone and the 1920's mob scene in Chicago.  So it's possible Geraldo had no small part in why I wanted to see this movie.  

My excitement was such that I bought one of those movies magazines (that you can still get at Walgreen's) with "behind the scenes" material and lots of glossy promo pictures and whatnot.  But, this one was not just filler - they actually got into the actual history of Capone and his cohorts, many of whom have unnamed parts in the movie.  I also learned, hey, there had been a popular TV series of the same name back in 1959-1963.

When the movie arrived, I was 12 and had no idea who Brian DePalma was.  Or Ennio Morricone.  And certainly not David F'ing Mamet.  Thanks to a dad who was a Bond guy, I was versed in Sean Connery.  And I knew Costner from Silverado, certainly.  But unless it was Harrison Ford, I don't think I was yet watching movies to see anyone in particular.

What I remember from seeing the movie the first time includes

Friday, May 3, 2024

Scorsese Watch: After Hours (1985)

Watched:  05/03/2024
Format:  Criterion
Viewing:  First
Director:  Martin Scorsese

I have massive gaps in my Scorsese viewing - just huge, unforgivable gaps - and this movie was among the missing pieces.  I've been intending to watch it since watching the one-off episode of Ted Lasso, "Beard After Hours", which, to me, is one of the best episodes of TV ever produced.  And, you will guess, took inspiration from this movie.

The movie was pitched on the Criterion Channel as part of a collection of movies that happen over one night, and I assume After Hours (1985) was the first one they put on the white board when working out the idea.   It's the rare Scorsese comedy, steeped in 1980's-ness - maybe specifically New York 1980's-ness - and has a cast that is both very of the era, and maybe helped make some careers.

If Woody Allen made kids think that moving to New York was going to be all upper-middle-class shenanigans and politely having sex off-screen, Scorsese was tuned into other neighborhoods, and what happened in the city that never sleeps after Woody had turned in for the evening.  

Griffin Dunne was riding a wave of "maybe this guy is our next star" around this period, as a sort of charming everyman.  How and why these things pivot is anyone's guess.  He's kind of perfect in the role here, a guy who just works a dull office job in what we'd now call data entry, and who - despite his relative youth - is already pretty jaded.  He can't even feign attention when his trainee (Bronson Pinchot!) starts talking about his *real* aspirations.  

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Finally Watched It: Road House (1989)

fighter, lover, terrible driver...  DALTON ROADHOUSE

Watched:  04/12/2024
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Director:  Rowdy?
Selection:  Me

So.  Yeah.  I'd never seen Road House (1989)

In 1989, there were a lot of great movies to see, and I saw a lot of them.  But seeing Patrick Swayze try on the part of action star in a movie about bouncers was not going to draw my interest.  My guess is that we didn't have HBO during whatever window most other people saw it, and so I didn't pay it much attention.

I do remember in college some folks effusing about the film, never quite an outright appreciation for the film, but the germ of what would become the meme-ification of the movie.  Also, in summer of 1996, I worked at Camelot Records, and we stocked magazines.  Kelly Lynch was the cover model on one of these, and the entirety of the summer, we did not move a single copy of the magazine, so all summer I pondered this woman on the cover I'd never heard of, and had to be told "oh, she's from Road House". 

And then, I dunno, the past 15-20 years, it seems like the movie took on a life of it's own.  "Road House is awesome" became the refrain.   But I still never got around to it.  Partially because people always assume you've seen it, so I'd had many parts of it discussed in front of me, around me, etc... and then folks would say "well, you must love this movie!" and I'd say "no, I never saw it."  And people would demand answers.  Which I think is kind of weird.  But is also a thing people do.  

Anyway, I have now seen Road House, and it's

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

80's Watch: Cloak & Dagger (1984)

Watched:  03/18/2024
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Richard Franklin
Selection:  Me

We recently spent a weekend in San Antonio on the Riverwalk, a famed tourist trap where you can get a margarita the size of a fishbowl and try not to fall in Texas' second grossest body of water (Buffalo Bayou of Houston taking first), a thin ribbon of the San Antonio River that runs near the Alamo (which is directly downtown SA), and is now flanked by innumerable restaurants and bars.  The running joke when someone asks you where to eat on the Riverwalk is to say "oh, the Mexican place with the umbrellas" of which there are about a dozen.

On our first night out, Jamie and I discussed Cloak & Dagger (1984), and realized it had been many years since either of us had seen the movie.  As a kid, in some ways, the movie really hit home.  I was 9 when the movie came out, I played tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons, had a budding interest in espionage-type movies and my family routinely went to San Antonio for local-ish vacations - So I knew some of what I saw in the movie very well.

Cloak & Dagger is essentially a Hitchcock thriller with a child protagonist standing in for a Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant.  Kid sees something he shouldn't, kid has a macguffin, kid is pursued by nameless, mysterious forces that will do him in if he can't stay one step ahead - and he might get people killed along the way.

E.T.'s Henry Thomas plays Davey, a kid who loves his espionage table-top RPG in which he plays as agent Jack Flack.  He loves all the spy stuff, and has an imaginary pal in Jack Flack (played by Dabney Coleman in one of two roles) who is constantly goading him into playing out the role of spy in every day life.  While sent on an errand by his pal (William Forsyth!) who owns a gaming store - both RPG's and videogames (there is nothing new under the sun), Davey sees a guy get killed.  The guy hands him an Atari 5200 game cartridge of Cloak & Dagger, which is also the tabletop game Davey loves.  

No one believes Davey saw what he saw, and he's soon pursued by the killers.  Up and down the Riverwalk and around San Antonio.  

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Christmas Zombie Apocalypse Watch: Night of the Comet (1984)

Watched:  03/14/2024
Format:  Criterion
Viewing:  First
Director:  Thom Eberhardt
Selection:  me

Apparently this one is a bit of an 80's horror-kid cult classic.  I can see why - it has a good mid-80's trash cinema vibe, and pits the teens against the adults in a sort of classic 1950's manner but with a Valley Girl-meets-punk vibe.  

The movie stars two people I like off the bat:  Catherine Mary Stewart, who may have the best 80's-hair of anyone who ever 80's.  And Mary Woronov as a scientist who cannot believe this shit is the end of the world (you will know her from Eating Raoul, her time with Andy Warhol and/ or possibly as Mike's mom who would not give him a Pepsi).  It's also got fellow Eating Raoul alum Richard Beltran as Hector, the last eligible dude in LA.  

I don't actually have much to say about the movie.  It's... fine?  I liked it well enough.  It's definitely got some funny bits in a dry, 1980's indie vein.  Catherine Mary Stewart is actually really good in this, riding the line between camp and not dipping into a schtick, while still managing to remain a young adult with other priorities than the end of the world.

There's something about this movie that it's fine on it's own, but feels like connective tissue between something like Return of the Living Dead and something punkier like Repo Man.  And certainly part of the continuum of youth-oriented horror flicks of the 1980's, including stuff like Night of the Creeps.  Anyway, fun horror-comedy!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Doc Watch: The Greatest Night in Pop (2024)

Watched:  02/14/2024
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Director:  Bao Nguyen
Selection:  Jamie

I was 9 years old (about to be 10) when "We Are the World" hit the airwaves.  And then played non-stop for what seemed to be about 6 months to a year.  I can't say when I first heard the song or saw the video, but I do remember unloading the car when my mom came home from shopping (that was one of our chores) and a copy of the vinyl record being in the back of the van.  

I also recall either that year or the next school year being brought into the cafetorium at Spicewood Elementary where we were shown a "making of" doc about the song and the famine in Ethiopia and nearby countries.  (This was the 1980's, VCRs were newish, and teachers were always finding some reason to show a film).  

We're almost 40 years out from the release of the record, so a lot has changed in that time.  And a lot of people have passed.*  And it's hard for me to imagine what this would look like now.  Do musicians even still do benefit work like this, or has streaming killed the potential for raising money?

But the doc, The Greatest Night in Pop (2024) - now on Netflix - is a neat exploration of what happened and why, how it came together and the bumps along the way.  

The film relies on first-hand accounts, pulling in top-tier talent that participated, from Bruce Sprinsteen to one of the masterminds, Lionel Richie.  And, because it was so star-studded, it also features a treasury of video shot from the event of the recording.  

Unfortunately, some of the key players either weren't available for a sit-down (Quincy Jones) or were very not available for a sit-down (Michael Jackson).  But you do get a very good picture of what it must have been like for the people who walked into the room, using interviews with Cindy Lauper, Smokey Robinson, Sheila E., to the camera crew and engineer.

Sometimes you watch a doc and they talk about the situation and the huge impact it had, and you know they're kind of playing it up.  After all, no one wants to watch a doc and at the end they're like "well, it didn't really work out that great."  But USA for Africa, at worst, raised awareness for how people could take action and not just be told that people were starving, and wasn't that too bad.  At best, it did get nutrional support to the people affected by the famine, as well as medicine and other aid.

From the point of view of the doc and the unique event that was USA for Africa, it's absolutely worth watching just to see all of these people in the same room, minus their support staffs and all the trappings of top-tier rock stardom in the 1980's.  It's not like "We Are the World" is still played on the radio, and it's been a minute since I didn't just say "oh, that's the song" and then mentally tune out again.  I'd forgotten you have Bob Dylan in the room, for example.  

But it's human without getting weird, and you're reminded - much as with the Beatles doc - these are people.  And in the 1980's, the media machine really wanted us to forget that pop stars were just good singers in funny clothes.  

When you're a kid, rock stars seem like a permanent fixture.  I didn't think of Huey Lewis as a *new* thing or that he might be star struck being in the room with these people.  But, really, aside from seeing each other at awards shows where they don't *really* interact all that much, when would this many people get together?  When do you get Ray Charles and Kenny Rogers sharing air? Or Dionne Warwick and Willie Nelson sharing a verse?

The doc has it's truly shining moments, and I won't spoil them.  It never does explain why Dan Aykroyd was there - and that someone specifically tried to get him is all the more baffling.  It also doesn't dwell on who wasn't there - beyond Prince.  But for every huge celeb, we're missing a Madonna.  But I also appreciate that they didn't talk about why people were left out.

Anyway, it's a fun one to watch.  

But, seriously, it's weird this didn't become an annual sort of thing. 

*we miss you, Tina  

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

G Watch: Godzilla v. Biollante (1989)

Watched:  01/30/2024
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Director:  Kazuki ┼îmori
Selection:  Me

For the most part, it's not that hard in our modern era to get your hands on most Godzilla movies.  In fact, you can find most of the Showa Era on Max and I've noted the Millennium era movies might be popping up on Hulu.  Plus, there's now that streaming Godzilla Channel on Pluto.  I have a pretty good run of the movies on disc on various formats, so I am good as long as those discs don't let their electrons scramble or something.  And, I've seen almost all of the Godzilla movies (one day I'll finish All Monsters Attack).

But Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), in any format, eluded me for a long time.  It was out there on disc, but not through standard retailers.  You more or less had to go through eBay if you wanted to get a copy, and even those were pretty expensive as it hasn't been re-released in a decade.  And it never seems to show up on cable or streaming outlets.  It seems the distribution rights are weird on this one film for reasons I don't quite get, but it was originally put out by Miramax in the US, which is probably part of the problem.  

But, yeah, I found a disc cheap as I could, but still more than I wanted to pay, and finally just pulled the trigger.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Dug was Here Selections: The Skydivers (1963), Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967), Pumaman (1980)

Watched between:  01/12 - 10/14/2024
Viewing:  First on All (I think)
Director:  No
Selection:  Consensus - us, MST3K live feed

My father-in-law had some outpatient surgery and, thus, Dug, my brother-in-law, was here for a couple of weeks.  He capped off his visit with a stay with us.  Dug is the foremost MST3K/ Rifftrax fan in my life - and while I've been a fan since I was 14, he's the guy who remembers stuff about episodes from the show that I haven't seen since high school.

I won't be writing these movies up, but I can say I finally ticked Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967) off my list, which had been there since discovering Joi Lansing about 20 years ago via The Adventures of Superman.  But I also knew, for 20 years, this was going to be a rough ride.  The movie is a weird, all-star bash, including Lon Chaney, Basil Rathbone, John Carradine and a bunch of Nashville musicians, for whom it was intended to be a showcase.

you get two big guesses as to why Joi Lansing was included

There's also some yellow-peril as there's a spy story going on, also a gorilla and ghosts.  

this movie has everything

The Skydivers (1963) is a movie made by sky divers about sky divers, and it's like they knew one day MST3K would exist, and would need content.

The Pumaman (1980) is an Italian produced, British-shot movie about a superhero with alien-gifted powers of a puma.  Like flying, and walking through walls.  It makes no sense, and has Donald Pleasance as the villain, wearing a sort of leatherette jumpsuit.  Cannot recommend enough.

Anyway, a good time was had by all.  


Monday, January 1, 2024

Final Movie of 2023: Top Secret! (1984)

Watched:  12/31/2023
Format:  TCM
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  ZAZ

For New Year's Eve, we had a small family dinner at Steanso's place and then set off those fire-free noise makers you can get at Target or the grocery store.  But his kids have elementary school kid bedtimes, so we mercifully departed around 8:00.  Minutes after walking in the door, Jamie had foregone my plan to watch whatever countdown trash was on TV and found Top Secret! (1984) on TCM.  And, dammit people, when Top Secret! is on, you watch it.  I think Gen X will largely agree with me on this.

Somehow Top Secret! doesn't have the same level of fame as Airplane or The Naked Gun, and that's a shame, because it's easily just as funny (I won't say funnier).   And it's just as quotable as the other films.  Heck, when I'm talking to colleagues from other lands, in reference to the US, I *always* drop  "You'd really like America. We've got the Liberty Bell, Disneyland on both coasts. It's happening!"  . To blank stares.  But I do it.

Anyway, maybe The Kids(tm) wouldn't like it because they didn't grow up on WWII movies, but I don't think it's necessary.  You basically get what they're doing.  And nothing beats a cow in rubber boots.

Like all good comedies, it's the absolute straight-faced delivery that saves it, and Val Kilmer's sincerity in the role is amazing.  But so is everyone.  Including Omar Sharif, Peter Cushing, Christopher Villiers, and countless familiar faces from the era.  I really like Lucy Gutteridge in this movie, but lady decided to hang it up around 1990 and that was it.  

Minute-for-minute, it's delivering amazing gags in every scene.  Visual, conceptual, sound bits...  it's absolutely nuts.  If nothing else, you have to appreciate the jokes-per-second ratio.

Anyway, everyone has their favorite bits.  I like the confession of love as they're parachuting and the wee singing horse.  But there's no right answer.  

Saturday, December 23, 2023

80's Watch: Gung Ho (1985)

Watched:  12/21/2023
Format:  YouTubeTV
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Ron Howard

You're remembering this movie a particular way because you haven't seen it in three decades and we've all grown up since then.  I hope.  But, I am happy to say - for a 1980's movie about Japanese executives coming to revive a Pennsylvania auto-plant, it's far less racist than you're assuming, while also being standard 1980's racist.

All I knew was that last night, Jamie looked at the menu on our TV said "Gung Ho?!  Let's watch that."  And we did.  Like myself, Jamie is often curious about how things hold up, and where they fit as cultural artifacts of the era.  And, first and foremost - if I needed to explain mid-80's America and what it was kind of like, especially what people looked like, I'd probably point them in the direction of Gung Ho (1985).  

The 1980's are remembered by the people who weren't there as a period of fun and excess.  It was Reagan-time, and we were feeling great as a nation!  We had action movies and cool pop music.  We had an existential threat of nuclear war, so we might as well wear huge clothes and watch shows about super-vehicles.

But, hey, we also had a few recessions.  We were coming off of the 1970's recessions/ malaise.  Manufacturing in the US was on the downturn and careers people thought would last a lifetime were ended as work went overseas or to Mexico.  I sincerely don't think The Kids(tm) know this sometimes.

Monday, December 18, 2023

80's Watch: Better Off Dead (1985)

Watched:  12/15/2023
Format:  Paramount+
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Savage Steve Holland

In so many ways, it's a minor miracle that Better Off Dead (1985) exists at all.  Let alone in the shape in which it was delivered to audiences.  You can easily see how it could have had the edges knocked off and been made into something far less memorable if the studio felt they'd sorted out the teen-movie formula by 1985.

It's probably been 20 years since I last watched the movie, but something got me thinking about the Christmas morning sequence last week, and it turns out it's living on Paramount+ right now, so you can watch it.  It's a quasi-Christmas movie, starting in December, passing through Christmas and into New Year, so the season is right.  

everybody's going to be wearing one of these

Usually I say "you couldn't make this movie now" with anything remotely morbid, but I expect we're hitting a point where the pendulum is about to swing back hard and fast regarding what we can do and put in movies again as we've all stepped away from the pearl-clutchers over on Twitter as that site tire-fires it's way to irrelevance.  We'll see.  I imagine the patience with the bipartisan puritanism is starting to wear a bit thin.

But, yeah, Better Off Dead is a teen comedy about a young gentleman wanting to kill himself because his girlfriend dumped him for a richer, handsomer, more dickish guy.*  Attempts to do so go afoul as our hero (John Cusack) can't even really work himself up to do it properly.  But, really, it paints a near-perfect picture of what it's like to be 17 and just trying to get through your day and how utterly absurd the world can feel at that age (or any age).  

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Holiday Watch: Santa Claus - The Movie (1985)

Watched:  12/8/2023
Format:  Amazon
Viewing:  First
Director: Jeannot Szward  

Even as a kid, when I saw the trailer for this movie and it looked a little suspicious to me. I don't know what it says that a kid pretty game for whatever looked at this and was like "nah", but I think that gut instinct was dead on.   I would have been 10 when this hit, so I wasn't really the audience, anyway - just old enough to not want to see "a kiddie movie", but it looked like schlock to me at that age, and I just had no interest.  

Apparently neither did Planet Earth, because the movie made about $23 million against an estimated budget between $30 and 50 million.

Flash forward to 2023, and we put this one on and a whole bunch of things became clear immediately.

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) was produced by the Salkinds, the same shady guys who put together the first three Superman films and Supergirl.  They have their name up there first and foremost, so you know this is an Alexander Salkind joint.  And if you know anything about the Salkinds you know that if you're ethically a little shaky, these are your guys.  

Thursday, November 2, 2023

PodCast 258: "Batman" (1989) - a Kryptonian Thought Beast PodCast w/ Jamie and Ryan

Watched:  09/30/2023
Format:  Max
Viewing: Unknown
Decade:  1980s
Director: Tim Burton

Jamie and Ryan go back to a simpler era of superhero movies where a hero didn't have to turn their neck to stop crime! It's the world's greatest detective in a rubber suit, and busily recreating film language for the next few decades. We talk the 1989 smash that changed how the world saw superheroes and made everyone take a guy in a pointy hat very seriously, indeed!



Batman Main Title - Danny Elfman 
Batdance - Prince

DC Movies and TV

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

HalloWatch: Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Watched:  10/31/2023
Format:  Max
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Frank Oz

It seems unfathomable that I've never done a post on Little Shop of Horrors (1986) but a quick glance my history here, and I haven't.  We did watch it back in 2020 during Halloween season, but I seemed to think we were about to podcast the movie.  We did not.

So, the way I first saw the movie was a tad unlikely.  Some kids at my school figured out there was a pay phone outside, and they called in a bomb threat with about two hours left to go in the day.  So, we stood around in the drizzling rain until the buses came, and then we just went home without our books or homework.  

Over dinner, The Admiral realized I had nothing to do, found the next movie on, and he and I jumped in the car and drove over to Showplace 6 to see Little Shop of Horrors.  I was delighted.  Loved the movie.  Sci-fi/ horror/ comedy/ musical?  Slam dunk home run.

We were a family that attended a lot of musicals and theatrical productions, so the language of a movie musical was no real surprise to me, but I'd never seen anything that also squarely jived with a comedic sensibility of the time in that format, and which featured some of my favorite comedians.

Of course, Rick Moranis as Seymour, but cameos from Bill Murray, Steve Martin, John Candy and more.  And, of course, a giant, singing, talking plant bent on world domination.  The music was reminiscent of what I was listening to on Oldies stations (I missed the gag about our chorus' names until college), and it's kind of banger after banger.  We forget Howard Ashman and Alan Menken did this off Broadway before they were the Disney-famous Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. 

Saturday, October 28, 2023

HalloWatch: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Watched:  10/26/2023
Format:  Prime
Viewing:  ha ha ha ha ha
Director:  James Signorelli

Look, I've talked about Elvira, the character, plenty over the years, and I've watched this movie every Halloween for a while.  I even have a tag for Elvira related material.  

Suffice to say, I am a fan of the character, the film, and Ms. Peterson herself.  

I've nothing new to say on this particular viewing, but you should watch the movie before we hit the big, spooky day!

Thursday, October 19, 2023

PodCast 256: "The Blob" (1988) - Halloween 2023 w/ SimonUK and Ryan

Watched:  10/06/2023
Format:  Max
Viewing:  Third or Fourth
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Charles Russell

SimonUK and Ryan stop thinking in rigid terms and consume a movie, absorbing it before oozing their way to the next. It's a conversation on a remake of a classic - that may be a classic in its own right! Join us for an all-consuming chat on this 80's film that's out of this world.



The Blob (1988) - Michael Hoenig 
The Blob (1958) - The Five Blobs (Bacharach wrote this!)

Halloween 2023

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Hallo-Watch: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Watched:  10/12/2023
Format:  Max
Viewing:  First
Director:  Tobe Hooper

I was in no rush to watch the sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but JAL informed me that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 takes place during Texas/ OU Weekend, and, well, that's a thing around these parts.  

When I started college in the 1990's, my family did not pay any attention to UT football or tradition, and so I was unaware of what was then called The Red River Shootout, when the University of Texas and Oklahoma University football teams meet half-way in Dallas for their annual, early October game at the Cotton Bowl.  So I was very confused when, half-way through my first semester, campus emptied out as folks went to Dallas or otherwise disappeared during the day on a game day.*

Anyway - none of that is relevant except that the film starts on the Thursday or Friday night prior to the game as two dumb-ass frat guys, headed from Austin to Dallas for a weekend of debauchery, run afoul of Leatherface and family on the road (the scene is filmed in scenic Bastrop, using what is now a pedestrian bridge).   

I feel for Tobe Hooper.  He was never really wired to work within the studio-system, but that he did in order to get this movie made.  A glance at Wikipedia tells me that the studio did the thing of hiring the guy who made Texas Chainsaw Massacre, saw the glossless, raw movie that it was, and said "yes, but what if we didn't do that".  Hooper's response seems to have been "well, but what if we did, though?" and he took the dark comedy elements of the first film and made them wackier.  I mean, at the end of the day, this is a horror comedy, which was something I didn't really grok a month ago.

Moving from a farm house in the sticks to an abandoned roadside attraction made from dilapidated Quonset huts that's somehow subterranean? and a radio station, this one replays some of the greatest hits and amps things up for comedic effect.   We learn that maybe Leatherface is just a lonely heart, and Dennis Hopper is in this movie, but they had to have only had him for about a week.  Man, Hopper would sign up for *anything*.  

The star of the movie is Caroline Williams, playing Vanita "Stretch" Brock, a radio DJ who takes the call from the two frat-dudes as they get chain-sawed.  She gets involved in the investigation, agreeing to play bait as she replays the tape, which draws the family out of hiding.  

As I've commented elsewhere, I have come to appreciate that horror fans will embrace an actor and give them a whole career if that person wins them over in a role, and you will not be surprised to learn that Caroline Williams has been working steadily since this film in and out of horror.

Anyway, the shock was not that of the first film, but it's not a throw-away sequel.  It's a solid follow-up, even if the tone is wildly different.  Who knew you could do that with a movie about a family that has really figured out a solid chili recipe?

*it is a reasonable assumption that Univ. of Texas' main rival is Texas A&M University, but it's arguable that UT thinks of OU as our main rival and Texas A&M as the annoying relation who lives down the road.  Texas Tech *thinks* they're UT's rival, but we don't think about them much at all.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Concert Film Watch: Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (1984)

Watched:  10/08/2023
Format:  Alamo
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Jonathan Demme

I very much remember seeing the video for Burning Down the House on MTV at a neighbor's house in elementary school.  We watched a lot of MTV while hanging out in their living room, and so I became familiar with bands as much through visuals as the music.  And even in those early years of MTV, Talking Heads knew how to take advantage of film medium from jump.  

Over the years, I became more of a Talking Heads fan, picking up Naked on the say-so of a clerk at a music and video store near my house.  I'd asked "okay, so, what's new that's in that you'd recommend" and this guy looked at this dumb-looking 8th grader and decided to take the Pepsi Challenge, I guess, offering me that tape.  Well, I bought it and I loved it.

I slowly picked up all the Talking Heads output, and by college, had a subway poster of the band hanging in my room when that was still a thing young people did. 

In 1984, Talking Heads had teamed with director Jonathan Demme to produce a concert film.  I was aware of the movie mostly because my 4th grade art teacher had played it during class.*  No, I have no idea how he had a copy.  I guess they were selling them at record stores.  But he used it to try to explain art could be music and film, which was not a lesson my classmates were particularly ready for.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Hallo-Watch: Beetlejuice (1998)

Watched:  10/06/20230
Format:  Max
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Burton

Jamie had her covid shot Thursday, which knocked her on her ass through about 7:00 on Friday.  In our house the rule is the sick person selects what we watch until they're so sick they don't care.  

Look, there's nothing new to be said about this movie in 2023.  I like it!  It's now it's own iconic thing.  I like the whole cast, especially Catherine O'Hara.  It's a hoot.  And it does show that Tim Burton's stunt casting is actually quite brilliant, as is Michael Keaton, full stop.

Anyway, you know it, and I assume love it.  I'm glad to get a viewing in before the sequel shows up next year (I am skeptical but willing to be surprised.).  

The only thing to really discuss today is that I actually like the deconstructed exterior version of the house as much or more than the original, but would keep the interiors the way they were before the Deetzes moved in.  

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

PodCast 254: "Day Of The Dead" (1985) - Halloween 2023 w/ SimonUK and Ryan

Watched:  08/16/2023
Format:  Max
Viewing: First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  George Romero

SimonUK and Ryan are back from the grave and have holed up to bring you their take on the third of the Romero zombie trilogy. We ponder cave-dwelling, budget alterations, and who you want to throw in with when things go south.



Day of the Dead Main Titles - John Harrison

Signal Watch Halloween and Horror Playlist