Monday, July 31, 2017

"Is the So-Called Civilized World More Attractive?" - Island of the Fishmen (1979)

Director Sergio Martino is best known for his highly effective jello movies, including Blade of the Ripper (1971), All the Colors of the Dark (1972), and Torso (1973). Like most Italian filmmakers, however, he dabbled in many, many other genres, including post-apocalyptic action movies and cannibal movies. One of his finest achievements is Island of the Fishmen (1979), retitled in the U.S. as Screamers with an added opening sequence featuring Mel Ferrer and Cameron Mitchell.

Some of your universe's top critics, however, fail to recognize the high quality of the film. On IMDB, for example, reviewer The Hrunting writes, "the inconsistent creature effects and cringe worthy miniatures unabashedly shown in close-ups, instead of rolling in the fog or covering up with shadows, were just asking too much from a viewer's imagination." Aaron1375 writes, perhaps incriminatingly, "quite frankly that movie bored me too, it is way to much scientist and not enough killing for my tastes." Reviewer snausworldlove writes, "his movie was so horrible as to be quite vexing....Joseph Cotten tries hard not to look embarrassed as he staggers through his cameo appearance. In the name of all that's holy, don't rent this darned bomb."

Although these reviewers clearly have poor judgment (with one of them admitting a desire for more killing, and another using the phrase "darned bomb," and further I would argue that Mr. Cotten is not trying hard not to look embarrassed in this film), it is still incumbent upon me to refute their questionable opinions with a thorough review of the classic film Island of the Fishmen.

Monday, July 24, 2017

"Throw Me Out the Window to a Starving Cat" - Blood Harvest (1987)

Some directors may be counted on for consistently producing high-quality films. Among the many regional filmmakers working in the U.S., one of the most consistently groundbreaking horror directors is Wisconsin's Bill Rebane. We have already covered The Capture of Bigfoot (1979) and The Game (1984) aka The Cold (also 1984) here, and now it is time to discuss another of his many underrated gems, Blood Harvest (1987) aka Nightmare (also 1987).

On IMDB, reviewer Michael_Elliott writes, "the low-budget leads to some less- than-wonderful performances....BLOOD HARVEST isn't a masterpiece and it's certainly not a classic. It's not even a 'good' movie." Reviewer rwagn writes, "There is so much wrong with this film that I can't begin to list everything....Every plot device is telegraphed and you've seen this a hundred times before and done much better." Also on IMDB, reviewer Bleeding-Skull writes the film off somewhat confusingly as "Pointless, dull film makes no sense. Not to mention a rip-off of Hellraiser."

As the discussion below will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, Blood Harvest aka Nightmare is not pointless, is not dull, makes some sense, and is no way a rip-off of Hellraiser.

Monday, July 17, 2017

"I'm Whiter Than All of You!" - Rats: Night of Terror (1984)

Italian auteur Bruno Mattei has received his proper due for many of his classic films (for example, Hell of the Living Dead and Zombi 3) but at least one of his films remains a curiously unloved classic. I am speaking, of course, about Rats: Night of Terror from 1984.

Reviewer Michael A. Martinex writes on IMDB, quite incorrectly, "What could have been an interesting totally ruined by the idiotic decision to focus this movie on an assault by killer rats. The whole crux of the film completely relies on the rats to be scary enough to keep up the suspense, but they fail right off the bat. There's nothing scary about them - just the fear of stepping in or accidentally eating their feces." Contradicting this criticism, reviewer insightstraight writes, rather heartlessly, "The only sympathetic characters for me in 'Notte di Terrore' were the rats." Reviewer john-coles-1 says, "A very poor movie! 'Rats' is overly long with mediocre special effects and hyperactive synth music."

As always, I must dispel such dubious claims about the film's quality.

Monday, July 10, 2017

"I Know You No Like Devil Bee" - The Bees (1978)

In 1978, taking advantage of rampant headlines about the invasion of Africanized (aka "killer") bees, Alfredo Zacarias directed The Bees, and cinematic history was made.

Some of your universe's critics fail to recognize the brilliance of The Bees, the finest of the killer bee movies. Wizard-8 writes, "most of the movie is boring talk....while it's shorter than the full-length cut of THE SWARM (which runs about 2 1/2 hours!), it feels *longer* due to a sluggish pace." Reviewer insomniac-rod writes, "The f/x are laughable. Poor production values were used for a movie that intended to be a huge hit. We shouldn't accept this kind of crap!" Reviewer callanvass writes, "horrible flick...this has a lame score extremely bad dialog and laughable acting...and more logic lapses then you can think."

I must take issue with callanvass and inform him or her that, in fact, I can think an awful lot of logic lapses, and very few of them appear in The Bees. I disagree with the other reviewers' statements as well. Therefore, I am obligated to describe the brilliance of both the text and the subtext of The Bees.

Monday, July 3, 2017

"A Man's Ignorance of Things Unseen Is Never Questioned" - Frostbiter (1995)

There are many fine, artful cabin in the woods films (though The Cabin in the Woods, 2012, is not one of them), but few rise to the level of high art as well as Frostbiter (1995), also known as Wrath of the Wendigo and Wendigo.

Some of the illustrious critics of your universe, however, fail to recognize this film's artfulness. For example, Captain_Roberts writes, "This movie goes beyond bad, it has no redeeming qualities." TimeChaser writes, "This movie is absolutely horrible. The soundtrack is terrible, the action is awful, the special effects are laughable, and everything else is just plain bad." Paul Andrews writes that the film is "painful to watch...the dialogue is rubbish, the character's are poor & the whole set-up is childish. I really can't think of any one positive aspect to Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo (even the title sucks) & I urge everyone to do themselves a huge favour & avoid this one like your life depended upon it."

In most cases, such an abundance of ampersands would indicate a superior mind and hence a superior taste in cinema, but sadly the aforementioned reviews are, in fact, incorrect. They must be corrected here and now.