Saturday, September 23, 2017

Witchboard (1986)

Today was a long day. Between one daughter at taking a walk back in time to the colonial era at FestiFall and another one at softball practice, it felt like I never sat down. When I did finally find time to relax, I decided to venture into the 1980s for my next flick, the 1986 classic Witchboard.

Plot/ At a party, a guest brings out an Ouija board, and they attempt to contact a spirit he knows. The spirit does appear, but it becomes apparent to the one who brought the Ouija board that this is an evil spirit that is impersonating his spirit.

This was one of my favorites back in the 1980s and I have seen it many times and it never fails to entertain. Yes, it does feel a touch dated when I watch it today, but that is only a minor flaw in the film. This one is great for the Halloween season and one that adds to the lore of the Ouija Board. The performances are solid, the soundtrack does a great job promoting the mood, the cinematography is outstanding, and the scripting and overall storyline is both entertaining and interesting. Sure, there are a few parts of the film that feels a little underdeveloped and the ending may feel a touch forced, but those areas do nothing to hurt the movie. In the end, this one is well worth watching and is a great example of what horror could be without the crazy gore that was quite popular during the decade. If you have not seen it, check it out on Shudder, you too should enjoy it.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Invasion (2007)

The other day I went through a few movies before I started binge-watching Salem. The next movie I will review is the 2007 semi-reboot The Invasion.

Plot/ As a Washington psychiatrist unearths the origin of an alien epidemic, she also discovers her son might be the only way it can be stopped.

I had never watched this one and went into the movie not knowing what to expect. While this is not the worst body snatchers retooling, it is far from the best.  While the cast featuring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig are solid and their performances are decent, they really cannot do anything to save this film from spiraling out of control. The character development is non-existent, the film lacks atmosphere, for the most part, the film lacked originality, and there was an overall lack of action and effects. On top of that, the overt addition of political and social ideologies felt out of place and forced. Yes, there were some decent elements and there was some potential out there, but it in no way was able to reach that potential and it feels uninspired. In the end, while there were some decent visuals with the cinematography, the movie does not really ever create tension or give the viewer a reason to keep watching it. If you have not seen it, you aren’t missing anything at all.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Chopping Mall (1986)

Last night, I sat back and decided to venture into the world of alien documentaries and that is what I reviewed. Tonight, I am going back to a film I watched early in the week, Chopping Mall from 1986.

Plot/ Eight teenagers are trapped after hours in a high-tech shopping mall and pursued by three murderous security robots out of control.

I remember the disappointment I had when this one came out and I discovered it wasn’t the slasher film that I expected. While I am not saying that this one is terrible, I am just pointing out the disconnect that exists between the cover art, title, and the actual film. That is not to say that this is not a fun and entertaining trip into 1980s low-budget cheese. This horror/sci-fi mixture comes complete with all the elements that made movies of the era what they were. There are some boobs, blood, and a strange storyline that was so ridiculous that the impossibilities made it ripe for mindless schlock. Plus, some of the effects, robots, performances, and direction were not bad considering the subject matter and budget. Yes, some of the kills are a touch absurd, most of it is unrealistic, and there are definitely times where you wonder why you are watching, but that is part of the fun. In the end, this is in no way a perfect flick, but it is one that shows the lasting importance of low budget horror. If you have not seen it, be warned this one is more sci-fi than slasher, but that means little. Find it and check it out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Unacknowledged (2017)

After taking the night off to watch a competitive softball game last night, I decided that I wanted to watch something different. It has been some time since I ventured into a documentary and this one seemed perfect for my mood. This documentary is the 2017 entry Unacknowledged.

Plot/ Unacknowledged focuses on the historic files of the Disclosure Project and how UFO secrecy has been ruthlessly enforced, and why. The best evidence for extraterrestrial contact, dating back decades, is presented with direct top-secret witness testimony, documents and UFO footage, 80% of which has never been revealed anywhere else.

If you have read my works on here that deal with the UFO phenomena, you already know that I feel that the government has been lying to the populace for decades about the alien presence that exists here on Earth right now. This documentary does a great job at presenting a combination of evidence and witnesses, as well as outlining the level of secrecy that is maintained on the subject. For me, that area resonated and can be tied directly to the news if you truly pay attention. The government knows more than they will ever say, because they allow billions of dollars to disappear every year right in front of us, and they never touch on it. No matter what party affiliation you are, think back to the news about the missing State Department money that was brought up during the election and then look back at the other times you heard this. Black Ops (including the study of aliens/UFOs) eats that money.

This documentary is well made with a nice mixture of pictorial and video evidence and interviews, the theories presented connecting it to our atomic, or nuclear testing facilities are interesting, the material is set in a logical manner that creates a compelling and coherent storyline, and the depth and variety of the witness creates an argument that can be used against the many skeptics that have digested all of the Kool-Aid. Yes, there are some issues with the editing that make some of the material hard to make out and some of the witnesses are hard to research on your own, but those issues are minor. In the end, this is a great documentary that helps expose the elites, mainstream media, and government officials that continue to run Psychological Warfare Initiatives against the people and spread lies on the subject. Much like the deceptions of 9-11, other government-backed operations, and the disinformation that is all around us, the alien/UFO phenomenon has become another piece of history that has been developed to divide the country. Stand up and say enough already and become a champion for disclosure. Unacknowledged is an entertaining documentary and a movie for both believers and skeptics. Watch this one, it needs to be seen.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

With Death Note being a bit of a downer, I decided that I would venture into something completely different. After searching my streaming services, I decided on the 1987 supernatural sequel Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II.

Plot/ Thirty years after her accidental death at her 1957 senior prom, the tortured spirit of prom queen Mary Lou Maloney returns to seek revenge.

I remember seeing this when it came out. As a fan of the original Prom Night with Jamie Lee Curtis, I was somewhat disappointed in the change of direction with the sequel. However, after watching it again, I found it a decent flashback to the classic 1980s cheese that seemed to become more prevalent as the decade wore on. While this one had almost zero connection to the original and was a complete mixture of multiple supernatural classics (The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Carrie for a start), this one was fun and mindless. Most importantly, it was not afraid of pushing the boundaries or limits of the rating system (something it seems like no films will do today). Sure, the looks are dated, the performances were uneven, it lacked the tension from the slasher craze, the storyline was unoriginal, and it was rather predictable, but there was a decent amount of blood and it created an interesting departure from what many would have expected. In the end, this is in no way a great movie and it is quite mindless, but it can serve its purpose as background fodder on a slow afternoon. Give it a shot; you could do worse.