Showing posts with label interaction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interaction. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Friday Watch Party: This Gun For Hire (a Noirvember/ Veronica Lake 100th B-Day Celebration 2-fer)

POSTPONED TO Friday 11/18/2022

Noirvember is underway!  We'll have our first Noirvember screening by pairing it with a celebration of Veronica Lake, who would have turned 100 on November 14th of this year.  

This is sort of proto-noir, but plays with a lot of the ideas that would inform characters and movies after the war.  It also has so many great talents, from Lake to Ladd to Cregar.  Also, a cat.  You'll be glad, I tell you.  GLAD!

So join us for some WWII-era moralizing, bare witness to the first pairing of Lake and Ladd, and see what the fuss was about Lake.*  And what a hundred movies and pulp novels would borrow when it comes to loner hit-man types in the years to come.

Day:  Friday 11/18/2022
Time:  8:30 Central/ 6:30 PM Pacific
Service:  Amazon
Price:  $4

(link live 10 minutes before showtime)

*she is very, very, very good looking

Friday, October 28, 2022

Friday Watch Party: House of Dracula

I asked Jenifer what she wanted to watch, and her instructions were to find something with Dracula meeting another monster.  Which is harder than you'd think.  Anyway, here's House of Dracula, one of the movies so late in the original run of Universal movies that I've never seen it.  

Dracula (John Carradine), the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.) an Frankenstein (Glenn Strange) meet a mad scientist and his nurse.  Even if it's bad, it's only 67 minutes.  Sure to include some serious monster-mashing mayhem!

Wait, no.  I've seen this.  ha ha ha. Ok.  This movie is goofy as hell.

Day:  Friday 10/28/2022
Time:  8:30 Central/ 6:30 Pacific
Service:  Amazon
Cost:  $4

link live 10 minutes before showtime

Friday, October 21, 2022

Friday Watch Party: The Fog (1980)

I keep telling people "The Fog is, like, a perfect movie for Halloween."  So I'm going to make you watch it before Halloween.  

Featuring a sort of perfect trinity of female leads in Adrienne Barbeau (in her first role!), Jamie Lee Curtis showing up for Carpenter because of course she did, and Janet Leigh(!) - that's a good reason to watch any movie.  But it also features the great Hal Holbrook and unlikely hero Tom Atkins.  

Produced by Debra Hill, directed by John Carpenter and co-written by both - this thing just fires on all cylinders.

"I'm Stevie Wayne, and you're listening to 'Sounds to Get Ghost Murdered By'"

And the movie is creepy AF.  A lovely ghost/ revenge story!

Day:  Friday 10/21/2022
Time:  8:30 Central
Service:  Amazon
Cost:  $4

link active 10 minutes before showtime

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Halloween Watch Party: The Black Cat (1934)

This one is real weird.  Like, I don't really feel like anything I can say would really prepare you for or contextualize the movie terribly well, so let's just light this candle.

Day:  Friday - 10/14/2022
Time:  8:30 Central/ 6:30 Pacific
Service:  Amazon 
Cost:  $4

link live 10 minutes prior to show

Friday, October 7, 2022

Friday Watch Party (Halloween Edition): An American Werewolf In London


This one is streaming for free with Prime, which is mind-blowing, and so we're going to do it.  One of my favorite horror pictures, An American Werewolf in London is about what you see in the title. It's scary, funny, grim, and has kind of everything.  Plus:  Jenny Agutter

And it will really make you think twice about taking the subway.

Day:  Friday 10/07
Time:  8:30 Central
Service:  Amazon Prime
Cost:  $4 - $0

link live 10 minutes before show

Friday, September 16, 2022

Friday Watch Party: Ladies in Retirement

Before we get into the Halloween season, we need to check in on another Ida Lupino movie.  I know nothing about it, but here's what Amazon is saying it's about:

A wealthy woman's companion turns to murder to keep her deranged sisters from being committed to an asylum.

That's bananas, and I'm here for it.  Add in Lupino and the always amazing Evelyn Keyes (we'll do 99 River Street some time.  Amazing film.), and - of course - Elsa Lanchester, my imaginary movie friend.

It's mystery and murder on the moors!

Day:  09/16/2022 - Friday
Time:  8:30 Central/ 6:30 Pacific
Cost:  $0 if you have Amazon Prime

link live 10 minutes prior to showtime

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Watch Party Watch: They Live (1987)

Watched:  09/02/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  John Carpenter

I saw They Live (1987) twice in the theater.  I still think it's a pretty keen movie, and would now make for an interesting TV series or something.  

But, yeah, when I was twelve, there was some sci-fi coming out (see: RoboCop, Running Man, arguably even Spaceballs) that was kind of tricking studios into making movies that were some curious cultural commentary dressed up in action-adventure guise.  Which, you know, is what good sci-fi should be, anyway.

They Live mostly went under the radar, and I recall straight through college being The Only Guy In The Room Who Had Seen It, but as I kidded/ not kidded - it's not like I wasn't getting what these movies were on about.  But I do think in the past 30-something years, people have eventually seen They Live, and it's not everyone's cup of tea.  I can still bathe in the nostalgia I have for the movie and remember what it was like getting served up the movie's messaging as a novelty (there's always a 12-year-old out there getting these ideas for the first time).  But, I mean, as a 47-year-old, it is, as someone at the watch party said, a bit like something written by a college freshman.

It's got some strange pacing and budgetary constraints that keep the hard sci-fi stuff crammed into just the last few minutes.  The pacing is super odd, from the kind of draggy first twenty minutes of set-up to the five and a half minute fight in the middle of the film.  We clearly needed more Meg Foster, but that's always true.  And I think it's 100% intentional that the aliens look ridiculous.  Because they're grotesque and laughable at the same time, and that's just good stuff.  Make it weird, man!

Anyway, it was a kick to watch it with people who hadn't seen it.  

Meg Foster will come with her own special FX, thank you

Friday, September 2, 2022

Friday Watch Party: They Live

In ways I cannot calculate, They Live had a tremendous impact on me.  Not like Star Wars or Star Trek or The Godfather, but it left me cackling in the theater and - as I got older - made me appreciate how you can take something like a goofy sci-fi film and put even a single idea in it, and everyone who sees that movie *gets it* and will respond to that idea forever.  For a kid verging on teendom when I saw the movie, this was a perfect packet delivery system for teaching me a way to look at the world.  Who knew?

They Live has several key things we will be looking for

  • Meg Foster and her eyes
  • Keith David
  • the world's most unnecessarily protracted fight scene
  • the greatest line ever delivered in cinema, that you know whether you've even heard of this movie or not
Join me, Jamie and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper as we take in the John Carpenter opus that just keeps being awesome 30-odd years after its release

Day:  Friday 09/02/2022
Time:  8:30 Central
Service:  Amazon
Price:  $3-4

(link live 10 minutes before showtime)

Friday, August 19, 2022

Friday Watch Party: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

I have never seen a Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film, and now I found out a very young Ida Lupino co-stars in this particular movie.  

Look, I'm remarkably easy to please, in many respects.  Just put Ida Lupino in your movie.  Or Basil Rathbone.  Or Sherlock Holmes.  All are perfectly cromulent reasons to watch a film.

So let's do this.  

Day:  08/19/2022
Time:  8:30 PM Central/ 6:30 PM Pacific
Format:  Amazon Prime
Price:  $4

link is live 10 minutes before showtime

Friday, August 12, 2022

Friday Watch Party: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

Well.  We had a request, and while I can't accommodate every request, (a) I love this movie, (b) this person is in a way, and it wouldn't be right turning her down when this is all she asks, and (c) turns out this week is the 37th anniversary of the film's release!  Tuesday, as I write this, is actually the day it was released.

This movie - which is mostly *not* filmed in Texas - is the most accurate depiction you will ever see of Texas, in spirit.  

This movie has everything.  Adventure.  Romance.  Ghosts.  Snakes.  Morgan Fairchild!

So, join us for one the 1980's finest works of art!

Day:  08/12/2022
Time:  8:30 PM Central
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Cost:  $4

Link live 10 minutes before showtime

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Death Spa (1987)

Watched:  08/05/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First!
Director:  Michael Fischa

So, I mistook this movie for something else I'd watched not too long ago, Killer Workout - the other 1987 movie about a string of murders occurring within an LA health club.  And, I assure you, this would be the best possible double-bill one could program, and one day I will make that happen.  The movies are similar to a point - but this one has a budget and actors you've seen before.  And a *lot* more shenanigans, but with fewer curiously placed yard-phones.

Anyway, I spent the first fifteen minutes of the movie utterly confused as this was *not* the same movie I'd watched, but due to the aesthetics of a 1980's LA gym, film grain of the 1980's all looking pretty similar circa 1987, and my face-blindness, I thought I'd stumbled onto a different cut of the same movie.  But it's not.  It's wildly different.

Is it better?  I mean - yes.  This one doesn't feel like guerilla film-making, and it has te budget to deliver on the things you were expecting in Killer Workout but didn't really get.  Namely, gory FX and a bounty of bewbs - just kinda strewn about in that 1980's way that says "look what we got to do.  Let's go enjoy some cocaine."

The plot is an insane mix of future-shock computer stuff that never really plays out, possession of humans AND computers, Dressed to KillPsycho, Carrie and many things I am sure I missed.  Anyway, I was kinda blue I'd picked the wrong movie at first - but at this point I now stan Death Spa.  The back half of this movie is absolutely bonkers and you realize the first half just exists to lull you into a false sense of security that you know what this movie is.  And you do not.  

Somehow casting but not really starring one of the guys from Dawn of the Dead, Kirk's son David from Wrath of Khan, and the woman who played Teela in Masters of the Universe, it's got a "that guy!" vibe I particularly enjoyed.  I don't know who the actual leads are, and was frankly confused who some of the women in the film were supposed to be or what their relationship was to anything - but that's 1980's filmmaking for you.  It's about MEN.  In JACKETS.  Who PUSH UP THEIR JACKET SLEEVES.

There's also some amazing sound design where they do not care that planes are flying overhead and birds are furiously chirping.  I always like it when its clear they couldn't afford a re-record session and the real world invades your killer computer ghost movie.  

OH.  And there's a parapsychologist.  And a kinda sexy lady who is blinded by chlorine?  And the guy lives in a house seemingly designed by MC Escher and that's where he puts her, and despite her recent hospital stay he keeps changing her into very formal clothes and then 9 1/2 Weeks-ing her with asparagus, the sexiest vegetable.

Anyway, watch this movie.  Ten thumbs up.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Friday Watch Party: Death Spa


Well, it's time to watch Death Spa.

I have nothing in particular to say about this movie before we watch it, but there are deaths at a health spa.  So get ready to scream... and sweat!

Day:  Friday 08/05/2022
Time:  8:30 Central
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Cost:  $4

(link live 10 minutes before showtime)

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Amazon Watch Party Watch: War of the Worlds (1953)

Watched:  07/29/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Director:  Byron Haskin

It's tough to beat this sci-fi classic.  And I write about it pretty often.  So I'll be brief.

Here.  Here.  Here.  and Here.  And part of why we even have a "mars" category here at The Signal Watch.  

I own a model of the Martian craft and of a Martian.  This movie is absolutely my jam.

Anyway, you can read prior posts about that, but it was indeed a lot of fun to watch the movie with other people, some of whom had seen it, and some not.  It's a high water mark of science fiction film for a reason, and I expect that won't diminish for some time.  

Even Spielberg seemed to only bounce up against this version with his 2005 version of the story.  But I think there's room for all the interpretations.  And all the movies (see:  Independence Day) that riff on it or rip it off.  

Anyway, it disappears from Amazon Prime Monday, so you have like a day or two to watch it for "free".

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Friday Watch Party: War of the Worlds (1953)

I just noticed that (a) the 1953 sci-fi classic War of the Worlds is on Amazon Prime and (b) it is leaving this weekend.  

Look - this movie hit me like a ton of bricks when I watched it in middle school for the first time.  I was genuinely scared watching the movie - shit gets bleak - and couldn't look away.  It's an astonishingly gorgeous film even as lasers are turning people to ash and scorch marks.  

But, sure, dial in and have a good time!  I've seen this thing a dozen times, and it can take whatever slings and arrows we chuck its way.  

Anyway, join us for some space invaders bringing their A Game and dumb ol' humans getting turned into vapor.  

Day:  Friday - 07/29/2022
Time:  8:30 PM Central
Service:  Amazon Prime
Cost:  $0

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Man's Best Friend (1993)

Watched:  07/22/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second
Director:  John Lafia

I saw this movie in the theater and was mostly curious about it because I had absolutely no memory of what happened in the film.  I was 18 and it was during my college winter break so I was home, so I'm pretty sure I was sober, but...  man.  Aside from one very iffy CGI shot, I had nothing.

The basic gist of the film is that the world's most negligent reporter decides to break and enter at a science-place where it turns out Lance Henriksen is doing gene-splicing to create "the ultimate guard dog".  Why?  No idea.  We're never told.  But Ally Sheedy accidentally earns some life-debt from "Max" the ultra-dog whom she spirits away (hint: never take an animal from a lab) and brings to her home.  

She lies to her live-in boyfriend about where she got the dog, and - as a reporter - if she airs any of what she's got on tape, she is absolutely going to jail.  That's B&E and larceny.  

Well, this is ostensibly a horror movie, so it turns out the dog isn't just murderous, he can climb walls or trees, swallow cats like a python and piss acid?  I remembered none of this.  But I did remember there's one shot where they do the Predator CGI shtick where he's kind of clear and then you can see him.

I'm not a *huge* fan of complaining about movies having tone problems*, but this movie has them.  It genuinely feels like a 90's kid's film at times, complete with the neigbor kid who acts like he's 45 and 13 at the same time and wears the neon colors you saw kids wearing in movies and TV in the 90's, but not in real life.  

There's kids telling fart stories that are irrelevant to anything, but then bearing witness to cat murder and simply running away lest they be implicated in the cat murder, which is probably the only honest thing in this movie.

What is impossible to determine from the film's various murders and wacky cops is whether this movie is kidding or not, or a comedy or not.  It's not funny, but you can tell someone decided this movie should be "fun", so we murder a mailman, etc..  And you have to wonder if Ally Sheedy's insane negligence and obliviousness were supposed to be funny.  Oh, also, there's the implication of dog-on-dog non-consensual sex.  Which... seems played for laughs?  Well, the mid-90's were a weird time.  

In an era of "content" and rapidly forgotten films, it's easy to forget that stuff like this was hitting cinemas on a regular basis.  We had studios like New Line - who released this movie - who were like "sci-fi killer dog?  And no one suspects?  So... like one of those trash 450 page horror novels you get at the airport?  GREEN LIGHT."  I mean, this is a $6 million movie.  There are about four sets, and the rest is spent on talent, which is kind of sweet, actually.  And they made a profit of some sort if Wikipedia is to be believed.

But, make no mistake - this movie is absolutely terrible.  

*it usually tells me more about a viewer's expectations of the way they think a movie is supposed to be versus what the movie is

Friday, July 22, 2022

Friday Watch Party: Man's Best Friend

This is a movie about having a dog, Ally Sheedy, Lance Henriksen and this newfangled thing called "CGI".  

Winter of 1993, I saw this in the theater.  It's basically competent, and has a doggy you can cheer for.

You may be saying to yourself "isn't this Short Circuit having a baby with a Dean Koontz novel?" and you'd be right.  It's the sort of low-grade non-horror that the late 80's and 90's kicked around a lot.  

It's a mid-low-budget thriller about a mutant dog!  Maybe a robot?  I can't remember.   And the Ally Sheedy who loves him.  What's not to like?

Day:  Friday - 07/22/2022
Time:  8:30 Central/ 6:30 Pacific
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Cost:  $3

link live 10 minutes before showtime

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Friday Night Watch Party: Mae West (PIVOT - we're doing FUTUREWORLD)


Probably the first platinum blonde that crossed my young brain was Ann Jillian, even before I put a name to Marilyn Monroe.  Ann Jillian was absolutely one of the few TV stars whose name I learned in part because of curiosity, but she was pushed super hard at audiences for a couple of years before she stepped away from the spotlight.

Anyway, Mae West is a GREAT topic for a movie, and while I think Ann Jillian has 6 inches on West, sure... why not?  Also starring James Brolin, Piper Laurie, Roddy McDowall(!) and more!  

Let's engage in some 1980's TV movie goodness!  Complete with commercials!

Day:  Friday - July 15th
Time:  8:30 PM central
Format:  Amazon FreeVee
Cost:  $0 (but commercials)

link live 10 minutes prior to showtime

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Princess of Mars (2009)

Watched:  07/01/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000s
Director:  Don't care

In it's way, Edgar Rice Burrough's novel A Princess of Mars is maybe the most important book of the 20th Century that you've never read.  Published in 1912 as a serialized adventure, it laid the groundwork for 20th and 21st Century science fiction and fantasy of a certain swashbuckling flavor.  You do not get to Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Dune or Star Wars without the book.

It's had two adaptations that I know of - this one by SyFy Channel's unholy love child, The Asylum, and then the billion dollar dud from Disney, which I quite like as it's own thing.  

This movie had two things going for it:  
1)  A book beloved by 12 year olds that should have been a slam dunk to adapt, even for The Asylum
2)  Traci Lords

I am here to report that Traci Lords is a force even (especially?) when she's standing in the middle of a smoking crater of where a film was supposed to be.  All told, if you came to see Traci Lords, there's not really enough, but is there ever enough Traci Lords?

The movie was... bad.  Absolutely handicapped not just by a slim budget but by what they chose to excise from the book, what they added in, and then 79 minutes of the 90 minute run time all telling and zero showing.  Which is a really fucking dumb way to use your money when it comes to retelling A Princess of Mars.  

Not actually a set pic.  This is just Traci Lords on a Thursday.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Friday Watch Party: A Princess of Mars

I love the novel A Princess of Mars, by Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs.   It's some bat-shit sci-fi-fantasy that's wildly imaginative, weird, violent and romantic in the way that would have deeply satisfied me at age 13.

A while back (2012), Disney had its famous catastrophe with John Carter, a several hundred million dollar adaptation of the book(s).  But that book is out of copyright, and three years before that bomb hit the screen, our friends at The Asylum, grabbed Antonio Sabato Jr. and someone we don't talk about nearly enough, Traci Lords, and they went out to the Vasquez Rocks and made a movie.       

I've only seen about thirty minutes of this back in 2009, but it always stuck with me.  And not just because it features Traci Lords.  I felt like, hey - this is them kinda trying.  It's still The Asylum, so, you know, it's got it's quirks. 

  • Day:  Friday July 1
  • Time:  8:30 Central
  • Service:  Amazon
  • Cost:  $2

Friday - Click Here to Leap Into Adventure

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Watch Party Watch: His Kind of Woman (1951)

Watched:  06/24/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Third?
Director:  John Farrow

In celebration of Jane Russel's 101st birthday and enduring foxiness, we watched His Kind of Woman (1951) for our Friday watch party.  

I was aware this movie was weird and goofy, coming out of the Howard Hughes-era RKO studio where things seemed more dictated by Hughes' whims and libido than proven formula,  But until you watch a movie with a bunch of other people and you're responsible for what you're all watching - that's when you go from "yeah, this is kind of wacky" to "wow, this movie is bonkers".  

I'm aware that classic film folks turn their nose up at this movie, but they are wrong.  This is a movie that has everything, and it makes me laugh consistently throughout.  If you want serious, dark film noir, keep walking, because this thing has songs, Mitchum just swinging his dick everywhere, Vincent Price showing the moxie he'd bring to his horror career, and Jane Russell just being as Jane Russell-y as all get out (that's decidedly a feature).  

I had forgotten Raymond Burr was our big bad, and that Charles McGraw had shown up as a heavy.  Anyway, I can't think of a lot against the movie except that the last ten minutes goes on for 25.  Like - there's just way too much climax in this movie and it doesn't include Russell, and that is math I can't get behind.

Anyway, here's to the birthday girl.  Here's hoping she's having a great time wherever she is out there.