Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Movie: (Spawn of the) Slithis - 1978
Watch Movie at: Amazon Streaming
Time: 8:30 PM
Let's pause it right at the beginning and wait for the cue at the hashtag. We usually get going right at 8:32 or so.
This looks super good. Nuclear waste! Swamp creature! Southern California sun-dappled beach town and mayhem and murder! And very, very good acting. Plus, it looks like they're kinda riffin' on Jaws, too.
Friday night! Prepare your own beverage of nuclear waste, fire up your twitter machine and join us as we ponder SLITHIS. Or SPAWN of the SLITHIS. Or whatever they called this thing.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Viewing: No idea
Directors: Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman
I feel like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) found its audience on home video that it didn't quite find at the theater, which makes me wonder how the coming sequel will do. I will say - I am delighted that the movie is finding the bigger audience it deserves and I'm still disappointed in Sony for failing to push the movie harder when it was coming out. Especially because - as much as I like the movie, it's just something to see on the big screen. I feel like a lot of people I've talked to who watched it on their screens aren't quite getting it because they aren't able to "see" the movie the same way and see how every frame and every detail is next level work.
Maybe when theaters re-open and there's nothing new to show, Sony can re-release S:ItSV. If they do, go see it on the biggest screen you can find.
At some point in the past year I mentioned wanting to show this movie to my dad, and he was just sort of confused (it happens. He was not expecting a Spidey rec.). But, man, this movie does such a phenomenal job of catching what it is to be in those early years of high school where you're figuring things out, and your parents are looking in from the outside as you come into yourself and find your people.
One of these days.
Anyway - in these days of challenge and change, I'm glad Jamie thought to put it on. Anyone can wear the mask.
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Frank Henenlotter
We've been taking suggestions from the peanut gallery for Friday night Tweet-a-Long, and Lauren brought this one.
Horror isn't really my thing, but sometimes the movies hit me just right, and that was the case with Basket Case (1982). A no-budget film that relies on a strong concept, some non-Henson-inspired puppetry and a go at stop-motion that would do Gumby proud, it's just simply way better than it seems like it should be. They go with less-is-more approach to our friend in the basket, and make sure a heaping helping of the horror is the descent our lead is on, acting out of love and Stockholm Syndrome.
Essentially the story follows a young man who hits NYC with *something* in a wicker basket - his conjoined twin from whom he was separated at a young age, with the intention the twin would die. Both have lived, and now seek revenge on the doctors who performed the surgery.
Along the way, the more normal brother begins to get an idea of what it would be to fall in love - which is at odds with his brother for any number of reasons I'll leave it to you to find out.
Anyway - good pick, Lauren!
Monday, June 22, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: William Conlin
There's not much to spoil here - it's a fact based documentary on the people behind the iconic make-up for the run of the original 5 Planet of the Apes films, the TV show and more. It does a good job of contextualizing the state of the art in the mid-60's and how they got there, starting in the Lon Chaney era.
Really, what I liked is that - as much as it's about the make-up and creation of - it gives personality and stories to the people who were there and made a vision a reality. We sometimes forget there are minds and lives behind the people who aren't the writers, directors and actors - but those unseen wizards who rise at 2:30 AM to be at work by 4:30 AM to get the actor on the set by morning, looking like a gorilla? Those are people who fell in love with monster make-up to such a degree, that's how they love and what they've chosen to do.
And, of course, for the people involved, Planet of the Apes - which won an honorary Academy Award for make-up before it became a staple of the Oscars - was a major turning point in the lives of a lot of people in the Hollywood make-up industry. It was sort of the digital T-Rex of its day.
It's currently streaming on Amazon, and if you're any kind of POTA fan, I recommend giving Making the Apes: The Artists Who Changed Film a go.
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Stanley Tong
Back during my early years of college, one of the student associations would bring in Hong Kong cinema to Hogg Auditorium on the University of Texas campus. JAL and a few others of us would wander down there, and the place would be half-full with bats flying around during the show. Sometimes we'd be less sober than other times, but we were getting great stuff that didn't play even the arthouse theaters, and seeing it on the big screen.
But the thing JAL first used to get me to show up was describing how Jackie Chan films worked, so - we went and watched Police Story 3: Supercop.
Friday, June 19, 2020
Watched: 06/11/2020 (Backtrack) & 06/16/2020 (Contract)
Format: Amazon Streaming and TCM Noir Alley
Viewing: First / Second
Decade: 1990's/ 1950's
Director: Dennis Hopper/ Irving Lerner
More ways to listen - choose an app
We're back with more noir - neo and otherwise! It's two movies about weirdo hitmen filmed 30 years apart. One is from the go-go 90's and has a lot of surprises, and the other is a cult classic of noir, about a man who just wants enough money to get that house he's had his eye on. Both have casts worth discussing and off-kilter approaches to their form. Join JAL and Ryan as we make our way through two features that don't get that many mentions.
The Signal Watch PodCast · 107: "Backtrack" (1990)/ "Contract for Murder" (1958) - Noir Watch w/ JAL & Ryan
The Executioner Theme - Perry Botkin, Murder By Contract score
Format: Criterion BluRay
Viewing: 4th? - for whatever reason, I've seen this a few times
Director: Ishiro Honda
This one I've seen a few times and very much remember watching it as a kid on some local UHF channel. However, I think watching it with Japanese language subtitled to English may have changed a few details. I swear I thought this whole movie took place on Mars.
It does not.
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Movie: Basket Case (1982)
Watch at: Amazon Streaming
Price: $2.99 HD, $1.99 SD (it was shot in 16mm, so...)
Day: Friday 06/19/2020
Time: 8:30 Central
at 8:20, I'll tweet out a screenshot of where we're pausing, so look for the hashtag
This Friday, the movie is no picnic! It's Basket Case, a 1982 no-budget horror movie made in NYC and selected by our own Lauren (in NYC, natch).
I've never seen it, but watched a clip that was bananas. So - get ready for some old school, 16mm Rated-R nuttiness. I assume, based on the rating, era, what I read of the movie's description, etc... if you're a sensitive sort, this may be one to skip.
But I hope you don't! This movie is pretty famous and it's worth a gander. Come and behold one angry puppet.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
Director: Sam Liu, Justin Copeland
I don't watch DC Animated Films like I used to, but the Reign of Supermen film last year was okay, and I was curious how they were going to handle The Silver Swan, who was on the poster for this movie. Plus, I am not like to avoid a Wonder Woman movie.
For anyone who reads Wonder Woman comics, the story borrows from the Perez era, the Jimenez era and the Rucka era - plus whatever the continuity derives from the DC animated movies, post Flashpoint. I watched with Jamie who has read a good chunk of Wonder Woman comics, but not as much of the Perez era, so I was surprised how many gaps I was mentally filling in which, for her, were larger story gaps.
Monday, June 15, 2020
Format: TCM on DVR
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
I'd had this cooling on the DVR for a long time, but Jamie wanted to watch a comedy and I'd had this vouched for by a few people, including our own NathanC. What's Up, Doc? (1972) was a movie I'd seen name-dropped for decades, but didn't think much about it. Lately, the past couple years or so, though, both some of y'all and a few comments I picked up by osmosis led me to become curious about the movie.