Ha ha!

You certainly never know what movie he'll review next!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Burl reviews Jurassic World! (2015)

Groww, groww, it’s Burl here with a review of the dinosaur picture! Yes, this is the newest one in the dinosaur series we all thought had closed up shop with Jurassic Park III, but this one, they tells us, is called Jurassic World!
Ha ha, and that title raises all sorts of possibilities: have the dinosaurs upended the food chain and somehow reclaimed the world? No, they haven’t: it’s just the same island theme park from the first one! However, it’s now operational, which affords the filmmakers plenty of opportunities to give it a When Time Ran Out-style old-fashioned disaster movie build-up, which they mostly miss, and for chomping scenes, which they largely take! Ha ha, plenty of splattering pasta sauce in this picture!
The plot is a kind of suck-pit of silliness, I’m sorry to say! Ha ha! There’s a parade of highly unlikely “attraction” scenes, such as the one with the giant dino-croc thing, the people kayaking serenely past stegosaurs (after all, hippos, just as herbaceous, drown anyone who tries to swim with them!), and of course the big bird dome made apparently of spun sugar!
Chris Pratt, who was in Guardians of the Galaxy, plays the highly generic Hero In Khaki, and a complete screenplay construction is played by Bryce Dallas Howard! Have I got that name right? Ha ha, and there are a couple of kids, brothers actually, who perform their functions well! The little one especially is good at looking sad and scared! The bad guy is Vincent D’Onofrio from Full Metal Jacket and The First Turn-On, and his badguyness is pretty rote, I have to say, and there’s not much old Vincent can do about it! (I’d like to have seen Vincent Price in the role, frankly! Ha ha!)
I liked some of the trick effects, and also the scene in which the two kids explore the ruins of the main building from the original! That seemed like a comment on the increasing speed of, shall we say, chrono-cultural turnover: today’s kids who are looking at our detritus already qualify as archeologists, or at least feel like they do! Those kids pushing aside the spider webs in the old Jurassic Park complex and dusting off “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” banners may just as well be flipping through Dad’s old record collection, wondering what these round black things are and what “Pavement” was! Ha ha!
But this hint of subtext was brief, and then things returned to the general entertainment of dino attacks and so forth, with a few bits of humour aimed at corporate branding, the unreasonable demands of audiences, and so forth! Welcome stuff, but it’s spread pretty thin! The things about it that work do work well enough, but there’s nothing all that memorable about it! Ha ha! I’m going to give Jurassic World one and a half bird feet!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Burl reviews The Slams! (1973)

Ha ha, and clang goes the cell door, it’s Burl! Yes, I have a review of a pokey picture for you today, directed by our old pal Jonathan “White Line Fever” Kaplan! Yes, the movie is called The Slams, and, ha ha, it’s a tough little quillici of a Gene Corman production, with none other than football great Jim “Small Soldiers” Brown in top form as the lead jailbird, Curtis Hook!
The opening of the movie is a bit queasy! Hook and his associates, arrive at a gathering of mind-dr*g mobsters! They will have precious few seconds to regret their choice of a shipping container as a meeting place when they are locked in and fed cyanide-laced exhaust in place of air! Ha ha! The successful heist is quickly followed by a fatal falling-out between Hook and the others, and a wounded Hook ends up tossing away the sm*ck and hiding the million-and-a-half in ill-gotten gains!
Well, he’s soon checked into the crossbar hotel, an object of interest to all! Brutal goon Ted Cassidy, who of course fought Steve Austin in the terrifying Bigfoot episode of The Six Million Dollar Man, wants to do horrible things involving caustic liquids to him! The high-living capo, played by Frank De Kova of course, wants the money on behalf of the mob! And the round-faced Captain of the Guards, who I thought the whole time was being played by David from Sesame, silly Burl ha ha, also would like the money, and is willing to employ some pretty underhanded methods too!
On the outside, Hook’s ladyfr*end, at her man’s direction, gets in touch with a shady character who owes Hook a favor, or is his bosom chum, or some admixture of the two! (Hook’s lovely lady is played by Judy Pace from Frogs, and the buddy is Paul Harris from Kaplan’s later Truck Turner!) An escape plan is cooked up, and many punchings are laid upon one and all!
Critical to the plan is a cab ride with driver Dick Miller, that great actor whom we know from Lies, Gremlins 2, Get Crazy, Moving Violation and all sorts of other movies! Ha ha, as good as most of the other actors are, the movie really felt as though it upped its game during those Miller moments! You forget what a good actor he is unless you really pay attention, ha ha!
I’ll tell you that a cement truck provides a grisly surprise in the penultimate moments of the picture! The very last scene shows Hook and his lady enjoying the spoils of their booty, ha ha, although one thinks with regret of his old mum, whom he appears to have left behind with her believing him dead! Poor goodhearted old lady!
The pokey picture isn’t my favourite genre, I must admit, but this is a pretty entertaining one! It’s fairly nasty and brutal too, but not very realistic! The escape scene is easy enough to buy into, though some of the specifics of the outh*use hiding spot were a little mystifying to me! Ha ha! I’m going to give The Slams two and a half ladles of bleach, with almost a full one of those for the Dick Miller scene alone!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Burl reviews Creepshow! (1982)

Hi, Burl here to review a movie I’ve always kind of liked but never completely loved! Yes, it’s Creepshow, ha ha, how did you know? Or should I say Bwa-ha-ha?
Anyway, though I may feel it failed to achieve greatness, the picture nonetheless fits very well into that strong year of genre filmmaking, 1982! Whether you were the exact right age that year, as I was, or not, it must be acknowledged as something special for movie viewers! Certainly Creepshow was pushed as itself something special: this triad of terror titans, Romero, King and Savini, conspiring to petrify us in one pulse-pounding portmanteau!
So it couldn’t ever have been anything but an enjoyable if mildly underwhelming bohankie, but I nevertheless had the poster tacked with pride on my teen bedroom wall! It’s a comfort movie I suppose! And though it’s a Halloween picture through and through – it was originally released in the late fall, and of course it has the bookending scenes involving pumpkins and comic books and little badactor Joe King (who I understand has since found his true calling as a writer like his old man) and good old Tom “Halloween III” Atkins as the nasty dad – I think of it more as an early summer movie because of its first story, “Father’s Day!” Ha ha!
Yes, that’s the one with the great Viveca Lindfors, whom we know from Exorcist III and Silent Madness! It’s also got Ed Harris in there of course, and Carrie “Too Scared To Scream” Nye, and Jon Lormer from the boo-boo-Boogens, and an ambling corpse who uses corpse magic to crush Ed with a gravestone!
The next story involves Stephen “Maximum Overdrive” King himself, playing an overalled clod who finds a meteor and turns into a moss! After that is a tale of watery revenge, where we get Leslie “Four Rode Out” Nielsen planting Ted “Body Heat” Danson and Gaylen “Madman” Ross in the beach, then gibbering as they come shambling back for him! Ha ha, I’ve always liked the beach atmosphere in this one!
After that comes probably my fave of the bunch, “The Crate,” where janitor Don “The Car” Keefer finds a box with an ape monster in it, and after he and Fritz “The Big Fix” Weaver open it up, there’s a mild rampage! The janitor, a young brain wizard and the world’s most unpleasant woman, played by Adrienne “The Fog” Barbeau (who in real life is an extremely pleasant woman) are all munched down without delay! Finally we experience a nasty millionaire with a cleanliness fet*sh, played by E. G. “Christmas Vacation” Marshall, who experiences the worst sort of bug-out! Ha ha!
So there’s a lot going on, and it’s all pretty entertaining, if never very scary! Certainly, however, this is streets ahead of its poor sequel, Creepshow 2; word has it there’s even a third picture in the series, but I feel it might be wise to stay far away from that one! The original, with its funny colours and strange cast of stars, is clearly the way to go! I give Creepshow two and a half glazed hams!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Burl reviews Design for Living! (1933)

Hi, Burl here to deliver a bit more of the old Burlitsch Touch! Ha ha, I’m not sure if there really is a Burlitsch Touch, but certainly we all know there’s a Lubitsch Touch, and that came of course from good old Ernst Lubitsch, who brought us pictures like Eternal Love, The Shop Around the Corner, and Heaven Can Wait!
All fine pictures in their way, but my very favourite of them all is Design for Living, the picture I want to write about today! Ha ha, this is a pre-Code picture, based on a play by Noël Coward, and is very contemporary in its themes! (They were still making pictures on these themes in the 1990s, though considerably relieved of the wit with which Design for Living is amply supplied – remember Threesomes for example, or Three of Hearts? Ha ha, you don’t? Well don’t worry about it!)
Of course this movie’s best and most relevant antecedent is Jules et Jim, but Design for Living neglects to include the tragic ending, and more importantly omits the implication of mental disturbance as a necessary prerequisite for enjoying a non-traditional r*mantic or sexu*l situation! In fact the movie celebrates the capacity for such relationships! Most unusual for 1933, or for almost any period I can think of! Ha ha!
The story kicks off on a train, where two sleeping fellows, Tom and George, are sketched by their compartment-mate, a commercial illustrator called Gilda! (That’s pronounced “Jilda,” by the way!) Tom and George (which is to say Fredric March and Gary Cooper) are old friends and roommates who share a bohemian atelier in Paris! Tom is a playwrite, George a painter, and neither can as yet claim much success! Quickly a r*mantic triangle forms, and this is supplanted by a “gentleman’s agreement” whereby the happy-go-lucky Gilda, played by the delightful Miriam Hopkins, becomes the pair’s “art mother,” and guides them to success and acclaim!
But of course the gentleman’s agreement falls apart (“I, unfortunately, am no gentleman, ha ha!” Gilda laments), and matters are further complicated by a stuffed-shirt advertiser played by Edward Everett Horton! (He played these roles whenever a snippier version of Ralph Bellamy was required!) “Ha ha, immorality may be fun, but it isn’t fun enough to take the place of one hundred percent virtue and three square meals a day!” says Horton several times!
Anyway, the picture is very funny, and the script, which was by all reports, especially screenwriter Ben Hecht’s, vastly overhauled from the original Coward play, is a constant delight! All the performances are good, but I was especially taken with Coop, to tell you the truth! And can you imagine a movie featuring both Edward Everett Horton and Franklin Pangborn? Ha ha, friends, this is it!
Yes, this really is a great picture, and almost certainly my very favourite romantic comedy ever! I mean, When Harry Met Sally is fine and all, but this is the real deal! I give Design for Living four Eaglebauers, which is the highest number of Eaglebauers I have ever awarded a film! Ha ha!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Burl reviews Ridin' on a Rainbow! (1941)

Yee-ha-ha, it’s Burl! Yes, I’ve got another oater for you, and, like Susanna Pass, it features a singin’ cowboy! Not Roy Rogers this time though, but Gene Autry, starring as himself, or rather as a guy named “Gene Autry,” in a picture called Ridin’ on a Rainbow!
Yes, Gene’s here, a-warblin’ his tunes, and his good pal Frog, played as ever by Smiley Burnette, is right thar by his side! Ha ha! Gene plays a rancher who persuades his ranching buddies to put all their money into the bank, which is then promptly robbed by two badmen and a clown! The clown escapes the bank by mixing in with the crowd, who somehow fail to notice an enormous harlequin in their midst! And of course Gene is left feeling badly for having helped lose all his friends their money!
The clown, played by prolific performer Byron Foulger from The Man They Could Not Hang, is part of a showboat ensemble which happens to be docked in town and conducting a parade! He’s not really a bad guy, just a little misguided, and his doting daughter, also a showboat performer, promises not to tell where he is! The badmen, who cold-bloodedly shot down the old bank manager, are the real bad guys!
Nevertheless, we have a clown on the run, which is a great scene because so rarely in these dime-book Westerns do we get to see a stagecoach pounding through the sagebrush with a Pierrot at the reins! He’s got the fuzzbuttons, the Elizabethan collar and everything! Ha ha! And this remarkable scene closely follows a mindbending showboat number with a holiday theme, such that, before the act is over, the stage is crowded with a clutch of Pilgrims, a cherub, a goblin, a demented Easter Bunny, and Santa! Ha ha!
Of course Gene and Smiley go undercover as entertainers as part of their campaign to catch the bandits! They seem a lot more interested in performing than in solving the crime, it must be said, but some time is also given to scenes of contrived drama wherein friction is created by having the other characters simply refuse to listen to what Gene is saying! He’s always right of course, and they should have listened to him and believed him!
Ridin’ on a Rainbow has a supporting cast of journeymen, of that there’s no doubt, with recognizable faces like Ferris Taylor from You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man, Anthony Warde from Rear Window, and many others! I even liked the songs, except that holiday one and the title track, which really is a miserable ditty! Ha ha! But I enjoyed watching it, and found the relationship between Gene and Smiley to be the most compelling! Evidently is was spread through dozens of movies, and it would be interesting to watch them all and try putting their interactions into chart form, proving what I can’t say, but something noteworthy no doubt! (Ha ha, I’m not intimating something r*mantic, though!)
Anyway, Ridin’ on a Rainbow has some tapdancing, which I always love to see, and lots of great entertainment, and the showboat setting is novel for a Western, and the clown stuff is good for a chuckle! Give it a watch, why not! I give Ridin’ on a Rainbow two missing puffbuttons!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Burl reviews Best Seller! (1987)

Ha ha and chickenpox, it’s Burl, here to review a face-off between two pretty interesting actors, James “Night Moves” Woods and Brian Dennehy, fresh off of The Belly of an Architect! It’s kind of a wonder that I’ve never seen this before recently, considering that I like both those guys, as well as screenwriter Larry “half of Deadly Illusion” Cohen and director John “Rolling Thunder” Flynn!
The movie’s called Best Seller, and it has a very Cohenian premise: an ex-cop bookwriter, probably based on Joseph Wambaugh, is looking for his next big book subject, and along comes a weasel-faced killer who wants to spill the beans about his life as a trigger man and, more specifically about the work he does for a certain shady businessman! Naturally the businessman is not happy about this
The picture suffers from taking the lack of trust that should be strictly a first-act conflict and making it the driver of the entire second act as well! Sure, Dennehy might reasonably demand a little proof of Woods’s intentions and truthfulness, but after a while, you know, move on! Ha ha, at least from a narrative point of view, that’s the way to go! Having Dennehy continually refuse to take Woods at his word leads to an extended feeling of stasis and repetition!
We are treated to staging and mise en scène that frequently make it seem as though the two leads are on a romantic date, ha ha! If this was a directorial decision, I applaud it! Seeing two tough guy actors lying across a frilly bed having an earnest discussion is a real spectacle, and distinctly novel – I’m trying to imagine, say, Robert Ryan and Bob Mitchum doing the same thing, but, ha ha, cannot!
It’s just as much a squib movie as Fatal Beauty, which is nice and very 1980s! The supporting cast, featuring Paul Shenar from Scarface and Victoria Tennant from All Of Me, is disappointingly unmemorable, but this picture is all about its principals, and of course Woods and Dennehy are top-flight as always!
This picture got plenty of acclaim when it came out, as I recall, but doesn’t quite live up to it in retrospect! Ha ha, perhaps at the time it seemed a lot fresher! At any rate, it’s still a very decent B picture, tough and amusing (though undercut by one of the worst musical scores ever heard), and I’m going to give Best Seller two Richard Nixon masks!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Burl reviews Mad Max: Fury Road! (2015)

Brrrumm, brrrumm, it’s Burl, here to review a nitro-burning automotive action picture, that new picture from the eminence gris of funny car calamity, George “The Witches of Eastwick” Miller! Of course I’m talking about his newest Mad Max picture, Mad Max: Fury Road! Ha ha, that’s right!
I can’t tell you how pleased I am that Miller is the one directing this, and, ha ha, not some television commercials director! It’s been quite a while since that old bushie boy took on the crashing cars, the eruptions of flesh and metal, the high-octane mayhem; but on the evidence he seems over the past thirty years to have been thinking of nothing else! In any case, Miller and his similarly superannuated cinematographer, John Seale, have certainly delivered a movie with no shortage of pep!
Tom Hardy is our new Max, taking over from the unpleasant crazyman who had the part before, and he’s perfectly good in the role, even if he never seems to have suffered as much abuse as we see him undergo, and as is implied! He also suffers from visions of past traumas, and this is a device which I for one could have easily done without! Ha ha!
Charlize Theron, well-known from Prometheus, is the picture’s alternate protagonist, a short-haired lady truck driver with a mission to steal away five beauty-ladies from the skull-masked bad guy Immortan Joe, who by the way is played by the old Toecutter himself, ha ha! She wants to take these ladies to The Green Place, which is not in fact the neighbourhood plant store, but rather the same imaginary patch of Shangri-La people in these post-apocalyptic movies are always searching for!
But Immortan Joe, tubby and pustulated in the classic Baron Harkonnen style, will not stand for this insubordination! He seems a reasonable man, but draws the line at lady-stealing! So the chase is on, and soon a crazy cavalcade of conveyances is hurtling across the Namibian desert! It’s very like Mad Max II, aka The Road Warrior, since everyone is after the same gosh-darn big rig! (Ha ha, in that sense it’s as much a trucker picture as White Line Fever or even High-Ballin’!)
Of course there are crazy stunts galore, which were apparently mostly filmed without the usual CGI enhancements; but any verisimilitude this process lends was undermined by the usual claptrap 3-D at the screening I attended! Ha ha, sure, stuff was flying around a bit, but I think they ought to just leave these movies flat! If I were to see this picture in the cinema again, it would be the flat version hands down!
I hear you asking, ha ha, Burl, but is the movie any good? Well, sure! It’s exciting and exceedingly well done in every department, and it’s great to have that marvelous desert car-crash sensibility at work again! I’m an unabashed fan of all three previous Mad Max movies, and this one fits nicely into the series! As spectacular as it is – ha ha, they didn’t spare the samoleans on this one! – I still prefer the more modest Road Warrior! But if you like goofy names and car crashes, this picture should be in your top four picks! I’m going to give Mad Max: Fury Road three chapped lips!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Burl reviews White Line Fever! (1975)

Hi, Burl here, putting the hammer down and roaring back to life! Ha ha, Carrol Jo Hummer! Yes, good buddies, that’s the name of the main character in White Line Fever, and I like it so much, and it gets repeated so much in the movie, that I just have to say ha ha and repeat once more, Carrol Jo Hummer! Of course Carrol Jo Hummer is played by good old Jan Michael Vincent, whom we know well from pictures like Enemy Territory and Shadow of the Hawk!
Well, White Line Fever is not so much a trucking movie as it is a trucker’s movie! The distinction is important! Most trucker pictures are workingman films, or purport to be, but this one actually walks the walk that it talks! It’s about as pro-union a picture as you’ll find outside of Matewan, and that’s a fine thing as far as old Burl is concerned! You see, Carrol Jo Hummer (ha ha!) is an independent trucker, and he’s trying to get out from under the heavy thumb of the corrupt and greedy company that wants to control all the trucking in the state of Arizona!
Kay Lenz, from Moving Violation, plays Carrol Jo’s long-suffering wife, and here I really mean suffering! Ha ha, she really gets the short end of the stick here, and no mistake! But she sticks by Carrol Jo, at least until she’s beaten so badly that she becomes insensate and unable to either stick by or not stick by any man in particular!
The movie features some excellent character actors, like R. G. Armstrong, the kindly doctor in The Beast Within, and L. Q. Jones, who was the sheriff in that very same picture! Ha ha, old L.Q. sure plays a good bad guy! Sam Laws from Get Crazy is here, as is the excellent Slim “The Howling” Pickens! But of course the finest actor we find in this movie, which is saying a lot, is the great Dick Miller, from The Long Ride Home and so many other pictures, who here plays a friendly, good-hearted, squirrel hunting jacket-wearing trucker named Birdie!
The picture has a strange, only-in-the-70s ending, wherein the bad guys are not really vanquished in any substantive way; though Carrol Jo performs a symbolic gesture which puts him in the hospital, but wins him the acclaim of an Arizona crowd, including Dick Miller, who’s sitting on a wall wearing his best squirrel-hunting jacket! Ha ha! But aside from L.Q. Jones, who catches a punching, the bad guys responsible for all the pain and suffering undergone by Mr. and Mrs. Carrol Jo remain unpunished!
But that makes it a more interesting movie by many leagues! Ha ha, with its unusual approach to trucker cinema, its pro-union bona fides and its cast of marvelous faces, White Line Fever is an enjoyable little exercise in long-haul filmmaking! Ha ha, sure, it’s a bit dumb here and there, but I’m going to give White Line Fever two and a half Glass Houses!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Burl reviews Fatal Beauty! (1987)

Ha ha, the funny thing is, other than The Color Purple, which I haven’t seen since 1985 or whenever, and The Player and I guess Girl, Interrupted, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one single Whoopi Goldberg movie before! Ha ha, and don’t scream “Ha ha, Ghost!” at me, ha ha, because I’ve never seen it! But now I’ve seen Fatal Beauty, which is when Whoopi teamed up with Tom Holland, who wrote The Beast Within and directed Fright Night!
It’s pretty 1987, ha ha, but if you’ve ever wanted to see Whoopi and Jennifer “Night Moves” Warren have a punch-up, this is where you want to dock your boat! If your fondest wish involves Charles “The Thing” Hallahan as a nasty cop and John P. “Avenging Force” Ryan as the angry police captain who gives Whoopi h*ck, steer your buffalo here! If you’ve ever desired to see Whoopi m*ke l*ve with Sam “Road House” Elliott, however, you’re out of luck, since, so the story goes, gutless studio executives excised the scene after apparently bigoted test audiences were ruffled by the inte*racial aspect! This doesn’t just look goofy from our slightly-more-racially-enlightened times, it was goofy then too!
Ah well! The movie’s a pretty straightforward 80s cop thriller, with the businessman-drug dealer, the henchmen, so forth, the umbrella hair, the bloody squibs! Ha ha, this is a squib movie, all right! Whoopi is the sort of cop who frequently has to go undercover as a ridiculous caricature of a pr*statute, and she’s after the dealers of a deadly new mind-drug called, ha ha, “Fatal Beauty,” which of course is stenciled across each little baggie of the stuff! But beware, because one sniff of “Fatal Beauty” brings on a case of the terminal jim-jams!
Whoopi’s partner is a stylish and laconic Hispanic fellow, who gets wounded but thankfully not killed in the process of the investigation! I say thankfully because he was probably my favourite character in the movie! Another enjoyable character is the main henchman, who actually seems more like the principal bad guy; he’s played by Brad “Dune” Dourif! And Whoopi, whom I’ve been calling ‘Whoopi” because that’s a fun word to type and to think about, is named “Rita Rizzoli” for some reason! Ha ha, I suspect it’s because the part was originally intended for someone like, I don’t know, Mad*nna! That’s pure speculation on my part, but remember, Beverly Hills Cop was originally a Sly Stallone vehicle! Ha ha!
One thing that sets the movie aside from most of its contemporary genre-mates (and the only thing, really) is that putative love interest Sam Elliott starts out as one of the bad guy’s henchmen, in fact his chief henchman! Elliott seems to turn up everywhere Whoopi goes, helping her out of scrapes or just observing her as she razzle-dazzles perps with her manic improv skills!
Whoopi is okay in the movie! She gets a very sad backstory and delivers it well! But the rest of this thing, and I’m agreeing with the portly critic Roger Ebert here, is very paint-by-numbers, the more so in retrospect! As mentioned it’s very, very 1980s, with the remonstrating ghost of Nancy Reagan seeming to hover overhead at all times; but it also looks ahead slightly to the even more generic cop movies of the 90s, which, ha ha, is not a compliment! I watched the whole thing though, and that, in my current state of finding it difficult to watch a whole movie, much less review it, is a sort of compliment I suppose! It’s the best I can muster anyway! I give Fatal Beauty one pair of hand glasses!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Burl reviews It Follows! (2014)

Burl here! Ha ha, do you know Garfield Without Garfield? Well, if you can imagine a sort of Freddy Without Freddy, you’d have something very like this most Eighties-style hocus-pocus picture, It Follows! It comes from the director of The Myth of the American Sleepover, and shares with that film a fondness for abandoned concrete structures and aimless youth! It wears its influences pretty squarely on its shoulders, and is at times overly committed to its bit, but the picture is in general scary and very well done! Ha ha!
The story is pretty simple, even if the implications are not! It turns out there’s a sort of ghostly virus that gets passed on by interc*urse! Ha ha, once you’ve got it, you will be stalked by a phantom only you can see, a person walking through a crowd straight at you, looking like a stranger or someone you know, “whatever helps it get closer to you,” one character explains, though remaining undelineated is how looking like a ghoulish giant moron or a wall-eyed freak child would help it get closer! An unlucky young lady comes afoul of this baneful curse, and she and her Scooby-gang engage in research, screaming and running, and monumentally poor decision-making! Ha ha, Endut! Hoch Hech!
Now, the Halloween influence is quite strong, which the movie cheerfully admits by virtually recreating that 1978 picture’s schoolroom scene! And the picture owes a lot to A Nightmare on Elm Street, and the J-horror style, and also, it seemed to me, to Phantasm! But it chooses smartly from all these pictures, and if it’s something of a cinematic collage, like so many other films of recent years, it’s a marvelously-done one! And I’m a fellow who appreciates the art form of collage very much!
I also appreciate when horror movies take the time to be scary! This one does, and it’s a pleasure to watch! The photography is generally nice: parts of Detroit look as bombed-out and decrepit as they did in Only Lovers Left Alive, though the digital photography is occasionally a little too evident! Ha ha! The characters make some pretty boneheaded decisions throughout the picture, I do have to say, and there is some ineffective staging near the end; and one must admit that the score frequently over-eggs its synth-80s pudding!
But it’s a fine picture with some pleasant eccentricities and a bold style! It’s a real pleasure to watch, frankly, and I’m glad to have caught it in a movie theatre with an audience! It’ll pop up at a few festivals yet, so keep an eye out and watch it if you get the chance! I liked It Follows and am pleased to award it three and a half seashell readers!