“I’ve come to realize that keeping B-movie cliches alive is my mission. After all, we all enjoy old movies like The Blob and I Married A Monster From Outer Space, but what’s going to happen when all those movies have been seen? Who’s making more? Not Spielberg or Lucas, that’s for sure. Just me, baby!” (Brett […]Read more "Psyclops (2002)"
The short version: Blech. The long version: Starlog magazine was doing very well in the early 90s. They’d spun off two additional titles, Cinemagic, which dealt with filmmaking techniques for do-it-yourselfers, and Fangoria, which gave readers an icky, behind-the-scenes look at the new wave of explicit horror films. And then Fangoria briefly went into the production […]Read more "Mindwarp [aka Brainslasher] (1992)"
I first encountered this one years ago, probably on the old Turner Superstation, but had no idea what it was. At the time, we were shocked by just how bad it was, and eventually (very eventually at that) turned away to catch another show that was on at the same time, which we wanted to see. […]Read more "The Alien Factor (1978)"
I’m not sure what to make of this one. Or exactly what to say about it. Just to give you one example: when someone says “bad acting”, what generally comes to mind involves uncertain line deliveries, misplaced emphases and self-consciousness. But here? none of that applies. Everyone seems confident and the lines come out correctly, […]Read more "MindScans (2013)"
One never quite knows what to expect of an SF movie that’s won a lot of festival awards. A few, yes, are great classics. Some seem to have won not because they were great, but because the other nominees were worse. Perhaps the competent, if rather modest, Alien Raiders comes to mind. And others? Simple. […]Read more "Magnetic (2015)"
It would be tempting to describe this as a Russian Primer. Primer sparked a long stream of imitators, all ultra-low budget independent films where the heroes working in their garages make scientific breakthroughs which require minimal effects. There’s something similar at work here, although with a lot more gore and a slew of digital effects. Which is […]Read more "Bilet v odin konets [One Way Ticket] (2012)"
Sometimes you have to wonder what in the world the distributors were thinking. Case in point: here we have a film with an interesting and evocative title, “Lake on Fire” and somehow we’ve improved things by switching to something bland and overused (and no, this isn’t the one with Mel Gibson. Stop asking that). Perhaps […]Read more "Conspiracy Theory [Lake on Fire] (2016)"
Horror films often take a “hit-and-run” approach to science. Take this stylish Giallo thriller by Italian cult favorite, Dario Argento. We have a genius scientist, an entomologist, played with eccentric zest by Donald Pleasance – one of the indispensable actors of the 70s and 80’s horror boom – who calmly informs us that insects have an incredible […]Read more "Phenomena (1985)"
This is a movie that has the same sort of low-budget TV look as a Blakes 7 episode from the 1970s and lots of very low res, barely shaded CGI graphics. And I do mean lots of them. If any of this matters to you, you should stop reading this review now. It would be fair […]Read more "On the Shoulders of Giants (2012)"
Sometimes you just can’t argue with a title. Instead, one is left saying, “What the *BLEEP* is that????” Or words to that effect. We already know we’re in trouble when someone says “science fiction movie” and sock puppets in the same sentence. This particular piece of insanity is far stranger than it sounds. It came […]Read more "Dolcezza Extrema [Sick Sock Monsters From Outer Space] (2015)"