Friday, September 29, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Doors: The Singles (2017) Review

Just in time for their 50th anniversary, this new compilation of every single that The Doors ever released is sure to light your fire, but what makes it different from all the other compilations on the market? As it turns out, a whole lot.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pick-Up (1975)

I've begun working my way through Mill Creek's "Drive-In Cult Classics: 32 Movie Collection," which is comprised entirely of films from the Crown International catalog. That studio was (is?) one of the biggest names in cult, exploitation, and low-budget fare; when I think of the seventies grindhouse movies with chunka-bow-bow funk scores and flashy cinematography, I'm becoming more and more aware of the role Crown International actually played in creating those cliches.In researching these movies from the set, I'm seeing a lot of one-sentence or one-paragraph reviews, as if the craziness or brilliance or cheesiness contained in each Crown International movie could be  encapsulated or dismissed with a single statement. I was bothered by the trend, so here's my attempt to do service to the movies that demand more than that (some of them don't demand more than that), starting with a movie that I don't think has gotten its due.

Pick-Up is a 1975 film that seems ill-defined by the poster above. This is not unusual for a grindhouse-style movie, but it seems to me that the posters for these cheap drive-in flicks are usually a lot better than the movies, not the other way around, which is the case here. The plot: two hippie girls (Carol and Maureen) are hitchhiking their way through Florida when this dude named Chuck stops in a huge mega-bus to take a leak by the side of the road. The bus is awesome, the kind that a band like Foghat would use for their American world tour, or that Stillwater drove in Almost Famous, only nicer. Chuck has to get the bus to Tallahassee (to that sweet sassafrassy), but he's not really in a hurry, as evidenced by his laid-back demeanor and affection for jazz cigarettes. Within minutes of the title screen, the trio are on the bus, partying, smoking pot, and getting lost. When a big storm blows in, the gang find themselves stranded in the middle of the Everglades with no idea how to get back on track. The next 80 minutes is a journey of self-discovery and some *really* trippy visuals.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Marvel Captain America Epic Collection: Man Without a Country

We go through Marvel's "Captain America: Man Without a Country" Epic Collection and talk about what works and what doesn't. 1995-1996 was a crazy time for comic books! Plus, did Bucky fart on Red Skull?!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Catacombs aka Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice (1988)

European horror has always been a little bit challenging for me because the sensibilities are different from my own. If I'm being honest, some of the European film-making traditions are just difficult for me to relate to because they're so rooted in a particular way of life and tradition that's simply foreign to me. Having said that, Catacombs isn't fully Euro-horror; i'ts directed by an American but is shot in Italy using a cast drawn from both countries. This attempt to walk the line between both European and American horror traditions yields mixed results.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Johnny Cash: The Complete Columbia Album Collection

Come along on a full tour of the 2012 Johnny Cash box set which contains every album he recorded for Columbia Records. See all 63 discs, the book that comes with the set, and learn how to complete your Johnny Cash discography with the albums not included in the box.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Time Guardian (1987)

This ambitious Australian science fiction movie from 1987 never quite lives up to its own hype. Exhibit A: the poster for The Time Guardian depicts a muscular guy in a sleeveless shirt and sunglasses, blasting what appears to be a robot or cyborg in the face with a huge laser cannon while the world around him crumbles and burns. The tagline reads "Time is just about the only thing he won't waste." This image and blurb conjures a Schwarzenegger-style action movie in which our hero takes on cybernetic hordes with no holds barred, delivering one-liners as he serves up destruction. In grand exploitation movie fashion, nothing in the actual movie comes close to being as cool as what this poster promises.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Cult and Exploitation Movie Collection Pick Ups (Shout, Scream Factory, Empire, Cannon, DVD, Blu)

A conversational video about movie collecting complete with an update on new pick ups. Talk includes Scream and Shout Factory movies, Charles Band's Empire Pictures, The Cannon Group, Vestron, and a talk about collecting in a market where boutique label prices are rising. I even talk about how Kevin Costner's movies are usually too long.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Continuing Voyages: Crucible - Provenance of Shadows

In 2006, Pocket Books published a trio of novels in celebration of Star Trek's 40th Anniversary. These books looked back affectionately at the original 1966 television series, but with a fresh twist that turned established stories on their head. Each book of David R. George III's "Crucible" trilogy highlighted a member of the show's trinity (Kirk, Spock, and McCoy), and explored how their pasts and futures hinged on one very pivotal event. The first of these books was Crucible: McCoy - Provenance of Shadows, and it's one of the best Star Trek  books I've ever read.