Monday, February 22, 2021

“Must Have Been Some Phone Pervert” - Shadows Run Black (1984) - Film #198


Following in the footsteps of The Zodiac Killer (1971) and to a lesser extent Another Son of Sam (1977), Shadows Run Black (1984, or 1981, or 1986?) is an exploitation slasher film that takes some of its contents from recent true-life serial killings, in this case the Night Stalker murders terrorizing Los Angeles in 1984, despite the fact that it begins as a deep-woods slasher film.

As usual, some of your universe's critics have reviewed Shadows Run Black poorly. For example, reviewer davido-2 writes, "The dodgy lighting and wooden sets are here in all their glory,obviously a very low-budget effort all round." Reviewer Angelus-16 calls the film "One of the very worst slasher films ever made." And reviewer Coventry writes, "'Shadows Run Black' is a misogynic, incoherent, clichéd, zero-budgeted and laughably inept slasher attempt."

Read on for the truth about Shadows Run Black...

Monday, February 8, 2021

"I’m Tired of You Stumblebumming Around Here Day After Day" - The Night of the Strangler (1972) - Film #197


The legendary Mickey Dolenz was not, surprisingly, a prolific movie star. Four years after the end of his TV series The Monkees, however, he starred in Joy N. Houck Jr.'s The Night of the Strangler (1972), a hard-hitting, gritty drama that confronted 1970s racism head-on.

Not all your universe's critics appreciate such sharp drama. For example, reviewer Wizard-8 writes, “The movie is kind of slow and sluggish, padded out with a lot of filler, so much so that some characters are off the screen for significant portions of time."Reviewer AlsExGal writes, “The acting is bad, the script is worse, and the filmmaking comes in dead last.” And reviewer a-chinn writes, “It's a super cheap production without any real scares or suspense."

Read on...

Monday, January 25, 2021

“I’ll Come Looking For You to Feed on Your Intestines” - Zombie 4: After Death (1989) - Film #196


At the risk of covering only Claudio Fragasso films in order to pay appropriate tribute to the master, let us turn to Claudio Fragasso's Zombie 4: After Death (1989), part of the film "series" originated either by Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2/Zombie/Zombie Flesh Eaters (1980) or George Romero's Dawn of the Dead/Zombi (1978). As always, Mr. Fragasso and his wife Rosella Drudi effortlessly put their own stamp on a film that might be considered constrained by the expectations of the genre.

Some critics are uncharitable about Mr. Fragasso's film (one might even jump to the conclusion that critics are biased against Mr. Fragasso). For example, reviewer alanbill1074 writes, "Having been a huge fan of the original Zombie Flesh Eaters, this film was a bitter disappointment, bearing absolutely no connection to the first film. The acting and direction are below par, even for low budget horror, and the 'zombies' are laughable." Reviewer Maciste_Brother writes, "Anyway, it's only worth seeing if you're a horror completist, enjoy Euro horror or are a zombie freak. No one else should see this abomination." And reviewer RashaTheGreat writes, "This movie represents the absolute lowest point in Italian Zombie cinema."

Read on for the truth about Zombie 4: After Death...

Monday, January 11, 2021

“I Can’t Understand Why Things Like This Go On” - Another Son of Sam (1977) - Film #195


One subgenre that consistently contributes more than its fair share to the quality of world cinema is the protoslasher that references real serial killers. While arguably less focused on real-world crimes than The Zodiac Killer (1971), Dave Adams's Another Son of Sam (1977) is a sincere and successful attempt to scare its audience by showing them that dangerous killers can exist in even the most mundane places.

Some critics are oddly unimpressed with Dave Adams's vision of realism. For example, reviewer Wizard-8 writes, "For the most part this movie will test the patience of even the most forgiving viewers." Reviewer snicewanger writes, "I don't know whose idea it was to make this film, but they should be locked in a padded room." And reviewer jellopuke is so unimpressed, I will quote the entirety of their misguided review: "This is incredibly amateurish in all ways with a terrible script, terribly edited (with strange freeze frames everywhere), terrible actors giving terrible dialogue, and a beyond boring pace. STAY FAR AWAY. This is 75 minutes of your life you will never get back. Do ANYthing else with your precious time on this earth. PLEASE."

In actuality, one could hardly find a more productive use of 75 minutes than viewing Another Son of Sam. Read on to find out why...