Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Chillerama (2011, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan, Adam Green, Joe Lynch)


Chillerama is a dumb, mostly amusing and decent enough send up of old school horror movies. This anthology flick opens with a guy’s dick being chomped on by his undead wife. He then shows up to work at a drive in movie theater showing a bunch of horror movies on it’s final day. If this isn’t the obvious wrap around story to you, it will be midway through. Or you haven’t seen enough movies.

We begin with Wadzilla, a fairly solid mocking of 1950s and 1960s monster flicks. Ray Wise’s doctor is responsible for a man’s sperm turning into a huge creature with teeth that eats people. This is mostly funny and also really gross, particularly in one scene where the poor guy’s blind date almost gets eaten by the monster! If there was one that could be a full length movie while also thankfully being a segment in this movie, it was Wadzilla. If this movie seems obsessed with disgusting moments that cross the lines of good taste, well guilty as charged.

I Was a Teenage Werebear is actually more funnier now I think about it, and it makes fun of movies that I’m not really a big fan of, although I did like Rebel Without a Cause. The songs were actually catchy in this one, and the final act is both outlandish and rather groovy. Also the coach got eaten! Or ripped apart, anyways. So much gore in this one. Lin Shaye makes an appearance in this one, making fun of the stereotypical gipsy woman in werewolf and horror movies.

The Diary of Anne Frankenstein is in really poor taste, although Joel David Moore mocking Hitler works, I guess. This was my least favorite one of the bunch and is thankfully not very long, as the material is rather thin. Legendary Jason actor Kane Hodder pops up as the monster Adolf brings to life, only to bring retribution down upon the Nazi leader.

The wrap around, Zom-B-Movie, is fun and enjoyable mostly because it has zombies and Richard Riehle kicking zombie ass the only way he knows how: with lots of guns. Kaili Thorne was a good final girl, too. Clearly this was made for die hard horror movie fans and those of us that don’t mind a little disgusting humor. Especially considering one short flick is literally a movie about people pooping, which was not very funny. I’m too old for poop jokes, I guess.

Deception and Card Tricks: House of Games (1987)


David Mamet is one of those directors/screenwriters who knows how to craft an interesting story. Even if he gets a little twisty in his presentations, things usually work out. House of Games is a world of crooks, conmen, victims and thrill seekers. The audience is as much the mark as is anyone in the movie, which is why House of Games works so well. Even months after seeing Mamet’s cult classic I’m still thinking about how it unwinds, and the journey it so carefully takes the viewer on.

Lindsay Crouse is a psychiatrist named Margaret, who’s life changes forever when she meets Mike, played by the always excellent Joe Mantegna. How they meet draws you in immediately: you can sense it is all a con, yet Mamet refuses to play his hand and you are forced to guess along with Margaret. Crouse has the hard job of playing both mark and someone capable of looking at a situation and knowing she’s being played. Mantegna is ridiculously charming and offers her a way to engage her dark side.

I like how Mamet feels his audience is smart enough to understand what he is going for, and refuses to dumb anything down. He offers up this exciting and quite dangerous world that draws you in and makes you wonder how events will conclude. The film veers from drama to film noir and offers even suspense without missing a beat. Enjoying a movie that knows what it wants and offers satisfying multiple elements was probably refreshing in the 1980s and it is very much so even now.

Oh and this movie even revises and reexamines basic film noir tropes and cliches. I found the conclusion to be oddly surprising, although perhaps others do not. I wonder if had events transpired differently, could Mike and Margaret have taken a different path? Funny how just a little nudge towards a different line of destiny has such a marvelous impact. I’m reminded of that line from of all things the modern comedy Role Models: “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.”

31 Films 31 Years: A Favorites List


Favorite Films From Every Year I’ve Existed:

1986: Big Trouble In Little China

1987: Wings of Desire

1988: The Great Outdoors

1989: Field of Dreams

1990: Wild At Heart

1991: The Fisher King

1992: Hard Boiled

1993: Jurassic Park

1994: Cemetery Man

1995: Fallen Angels

1996:  Scream

1997: L.A. Confidential

1998: The Big Lebowski

1999: Three Kings

2000: American Psycho

2001: Memento

2002: Gangs of New York

2003: Finding Nemo

2004: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

2005: Brick

2006: A Scanner Darkly

2007: Hot Fuzz

2008: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

2009: Watchmen

2010: Monsters

2011: Drive

2012: Skyfall

2013: The Place Beyond the Pines

2014: The Guest

2015: The Hateful Eight

2016: The Nice Guys

2017: John Wick: Chapter 2

2017 Movie Viewing Log


Top 10 of the Year:

Image result for iron giant

1. The Iron Giant (1999, Bird)
2. The Castle In The Sky (1986, Miyazaki)
3. Delicatessen (1991, Jeunet, Caro)
4. Mother! (2017, Aronofsky)
5. Wind River (2017, Sheridan)
6. Arrival (2016, Villeneuve)
7. Get Out (2017, Peele)
8. Donnie Darko Directors Cut (2001, Kelly)
9. Baby Driver (2017, Wright)
10. Hell or High Water (2016, Mackenzie)

Well it’s that time again.

January:

1. Meek’s Cutoff (2010, Reichardt)-65, Netflix Instant Viewing
2. The Gunman (2015, Morel)-70, Netflix Instant Viewing
3. The Lobster (2015, Lanthimos)-92, Family Video
4. Hail, Caesar! (2016, Coen Brothers)-91, Family Video
5. Night Moves (2014, Reichardt)-88, Public Library
6. Room (2015, Abrahamson)-95, Family Video

Movie of the Month: Room (2015, Abrahamson)-95, Family Video

February:

Image result for arrival (2016)

7. Dirty Grandpa (2016, Mazer)-78, Amazon Prime
8. Hell or High Water (2016, Mackenzie)-96, Family Video
9. Out of Sight (1998, Soderbergh)-90, Crackle
10. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982, Reiner)-83, Family Video
11. Beyond The Black Rainbow (2010, Cosmatos)-81, Public Library
12. Ex Machina (2015, Alex Garland)-95, Family Video
13. Justice League: War (2014, Oliva)-70, Netflix Instant Viewing
14. Girl Asleep (2015, Myers)-93. Netflix Instant Viewing
15. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013, Oliva)-81, Netflix Instant Viewing
16. Death Race 2050 (2017, Echternkamp)-80, Netflix Instant Viewing
17. John Wick Chapter 2 (2017, Stahelski)-95, Theater Viewing
18. Manchester By The Sea [2016, Lonergan)-93, RedBox
19. Arrival (2016, Villeneuve)-97, RedBox
20. The Crippled Avengers (1978, Chang)-77, Netflix Instant Viewing
21. Finding Dory (2016, Stanton)-88, Netflix Instant Viewing
22. Gnomeo and Juliet (2011, Asbury)-60, DVD
23. Zach and Miri Make A Porno (2008, Smith)-87, Netflix Instant Viewing

Movie of the Month: Arrival (2016, Villeneuve)-97, RedBox

March:

24. Man of Steel (2013, Snyder)-90, Family Video
25. Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016, Snyder)-71, Family Video
26. Get Out (2017, Peele)-97, Theater Viewing
27. Superman: The Movie (1978, Donner)-91, Netflix Instant Viewing
28. Night Owls (2015, Hood)-86, Netflix Instant Viewing
29. Kung Fury (2015, Sandberg)-90, Netflix Instant Viewing
30. The Iron Giant (1999, Bird)-100, Netflix Instant Viewing
31. Logan (2017, Mangold)-94, Theater Viewing
32. Kong: Skull Island (2017, Vogt-Roberts)-90, Theater Viewing
33. Superman II (1980, Lester/Donner)-90, Netflix Instant Viewing
34. Ms. 45 (1981, Ferrara)-93, YouTube
35. Superman III (1983, Lester)-34, Netflix Instant Viewing
36. Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987, Furie)-65, Netflix Instant Viewing
37. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016, Singer)-81, RedBox

Movie of the Month: The Iron Giant (1999, Bird)-100, Netflix Instant Viewing

April:

38. Looney Tunes: Back In Action (2003, Dante)-80, Netflix Instant Viewing
39. HairBrained (2013, Kent)-76, Netflix Instant Viewing
40. Joe Vs The Volcano (1990, Shanley)-88, Family Video
41. In Like Flint (1967, Douglas)-88, Netflix Instant Viewing
42. Eyewitness (1981, Yates)-75, Netflix Instant Viewing
43. Micheal Bolton’s Big, Sexy Valentine’s Day Special (2017, Aukeman)-90, Netflix Instant Viewing
44. Reptilicus (1961, Pink)-40, Netflix Instant Viewing
45. Free Fire (2016, Wheatley)-93, Theater
46. High Rise (2016, Wheatley)-95, Netflix Instant Viewing
47. The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969, Franco)-7, Comet TV

Movie of the Month: High Rise (2016, Wheatley)-95, Netflix Instant Viewing

May:

48. Carnage Park (2015, Keating)-75, Netflix Instant Viewing
49. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017, Gunn)-93, Theater Viewing
50. Sausage Party (2016, Vernon and Tiernan)-80, Netflix Instant Viewing
51. Donnie Darko Directors Cut (2001, Kelly)-97, DVD
52. Eegah (1962, Hall Sr.)-15, Netflix Instant Viewing
53. Alien: Covenant (2017, Scott)-93, Theater Viewing
54. Catalina Caper (1967, Sholem)-5, Netflix Instant Viewing
55. Future War (1997, Doublin)-10, Netflix Instant Viewing
56. Twice-Told Tales (1963, Salkow)-80, Comet TV

Movie of the Month: Donnie Darko Directors Cut (2001, Kelly)-97, DVD

June:

Image result for my neighbor totoro

57. Wonder Woman (2017, Jenkins)-91, Theater Viewing
58. It Comes At Night (2017, Shults)-92, Theater Viewing
59. Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964, Gentilomo)-35, Netflix Instant Viewing
60. Horrors of Spider Island (1960, Böttger)-6, Netflix Instant Viewing
61. I Accuse My Parents (1944, Newfield)-40, Netflix Instant Viewing
62. Jack Frost (1964, Rou)-65, Netflix Instant Viewing
63. Fist Fight (2017, Keen)-80, Family Video
64. Laserblast (1978, Rae)-0, Netflix Instant Viewing
65. Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders (1996, Berton)-50, Netflix Instant Viewing
66. Los Nuevos extraterrestres (1983, Simón)-15, Netflix Instant Viewing
67. Spy (2015, Feig)-88, Family Video
68. Ant-Man (2015, Reed)-88, Family Video
69. My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Miyazaki)-95, Theater Viewing
70. The Pocket Man (2016, Chubinidze)-92, Theater Viewing
71. Snack Attack (2012, Cadelago)-75, Theater Viewing

Movie of the Month: My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Miyazaki)-95, Theater Viewing

July:

Image result for Baby Driver

72. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964, Webster)-0, Netflix Instant Viewing
73. The Sidehackers (1969, Trikonis)-0, Netflix Instant Viewing
74. Baby Driver (2017, Wright)-97, Theater Viewing
75. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017, Watts)-93, Theater Viewing
76. A Single Life (2014, Blaauw, Oprins, Roggeveen)-82, Theater Viewing
77. Game Over (2006, Pes)-85, Theater Viewing
78. Luminaris (2011, Zaramella)-91, Theater Viewing
79. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989, Miyazaki)-91, Theater Viewing
80. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017, Besson)-55, Theater Viewing
81. Teenagers From Outer Space (1959, Graeff)-51, Netflix Instant Viewing
82. National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (2006, Nathan)-56, Charge TV

Movie of the Month:  Baby Driver (2017, Wright)-97, Theater Viewing

August:

83. Dunkirk (2017, Nolan)-93, Theater Viewing
84. Night Monster (1942, Beebe)-56, MeTV
85. Bite (2015, Archibald)-60, Public Library
86. The Black Torment (1964, Hartford-Davis)-81, Public Library
87. Blair Witch (2015, Wingard)-69, Public Library
88. Atomic Blonde (2017, Leitch)-88, Theater Viewing
89. Johnny Express (2014, Woo)-93, Theater Viewing
90. The Castle In The Sky (1986, Miyazaki)-100, Theater Viewing

Repeats Seen On The Big Screen: Temple of Doom (1984, Spielberg)-90 and The Last Crusade (1989, Spielberg)-95.

Movie of the Month: The Castle In The Sky (1986, Miyazaki)-100, Theater Viewing

September:

91. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002, Tezuka)-75, Comet TV
92. Deathstalker III: The Warriors from Hell (1988, Corona)-35, Comet TV
93. The Castle of Cagliostro (1979, Miyazaki)-92, Theater Viewing
94. Cave Dwellers (1984, D’Amato)-0, Comet TV
95. Wind River (2017, Sheridan)-98, Theater Viewing
96. Afternoon Class (2015, Oh)-90, Theater Viewing
97. The Centrifuge Brain Project (2012, Nowak)-90, Theater Viewing
98. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984, Miyazaki)-92, Theater Viewing

Movie of the Month: Wind River (2017, Sheridan)-98, Theater Viewing

October:

99. Mother! (2017, Aronofsky)-98, Theater Viewing
100. Bride of Frankenstein (1935, Whale)-95, Public Library
101. Crawlspace (1986, Schmoeller)-90, Public Library
102. A Cure for Wellness (2017, Verbinski)-65, Public Library
103. Urban Legend (1998, Blanks)-80, Crackle
104. The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974, Gibson)-70, Tubi TV
105. The Manster (1959, Crane, Breakston)-45, Tubi TV
106. Final Destination 2 (2003, Ellis)-82, Public Library
107. 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957, Juran)-80, Public Library
108. Blood For Dracula (1974, Morrissey)-70, Public Library
109. Raw (2017, Ducournau)-92, Netflix Instant Viewing
110. Legion (The Exorcist III DC, 1990, Blatty)-94, Public Library
111. The Curse of the Cat People (1944, Wise, Fritsch)-71, Public Library
112. It (2017, Muschietti)-94, Theater Viewing
113. Pieces (1982, Simon)-77, TubiTV
114. Flesh For Frankenstein (1973, Morrissey)-75, Public Library
115. Fright Night (2011, Gillespie)-84, Public Library
116. Alice, Sweet Alice (1976, Sole)-82, TubiTV
117. Jennifer’s Body (2009, Kusama)-90, Blu Ray
118. Salem’s Lot (1979, Hooper)-90, Blu Ray

Movie of the Month: Mother! (2017, Aronofsky)-98, Theater Viewing

November:

Image result for delicatessen (1991)

119. Cutthroat Island (1995, Harlin)-45, Charge TV
120. Crossfire Trail (2001, Wincer)-77, Get TV
121. Delicatessen (1991, Jeunet, Caro)-100, Netflix Instant Viewing
122. Thor: Ragnarok (2017, Waititi)-91, Theater Viewing

Movie of the Month: Delicatessen (1991, Jeunet, Caro)-100, Netflix Instant Viewing

December:

Image result for paprika (2006)

123. Paprika (2006, Kon)-95, Public Library Blu Ray
124. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017, Johnson)-94, Theater Viewing
125. Scary Movie (2000, Wayans)-83, Netflix Instant Viewing
126. Justice League (2017, Snyder)-82, Theater Viewing

Movie of the Month: Paprika (2006, Kon)-95, Public Library Blu Ray

MadMan’s December Movie Challenge


The goal is to try and view as many films as possible in 31 days to end the year. Right now I’ve viewed:

1. Birdman (2014)-Great
2. Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971, Holt)-Mediocre
3. Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972, Gibson)-Decent
4. The Toxic Avenger (1984, Kaufman)- Shittastic
5. Gone Girl (2014, Fincher)-Great
6. The Yards (2000, Gray)-Really Good
7. The Visitor (1979)-Decent
8. My Darling Clementine (1946, Ford)-Great
9. Warrior of the Lost World (1983, Worth)-Garbage
10. Safety Last (1924)-Really Good
11. Gamera vs Baurgon (1966)-Awful
12. Little Odessa (1994, Gray)-Really Good
13. The Atomic Brain (1964)-Crap
14. Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993, Allen)-Wonderful
15. Thief (1981, Mann)-Great
16. Sherlock Jr. (1924, Keaton)-Amazing
17. Seven Chances (1925, Keaton)- Great
18. Batman Forever (1995, Schumacher)-Decent
19. The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974, Baker)-Fun
20. The Iceman (2012, Vromen)-Solid
21. The Crying Game (1992, Jordan)- Excellent
22. The Internship (2013, Levy)- Google
23. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002, Columbus)-Weak Sauce
24. The Hobbit Part 3: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014, Jackson)-Good
25. Jubal (1956, Daves)-Beautiful
26. Judex (1963, Franju)-James Bond
27. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971, Hellman)-Great
28. Wild (2014)-Fantastic
29. Let The Fire Burn (2013)- Moving

The Foreigner (1978, Amos Poe)


Hey look its Deborah Harry. Cool.

The Foreigner (1978) is an underground movie, at times punk driven even, and I watched it thanks to well….TCM’s Underground theater that airs on Saturday’s now. The copy was grainy, the audio scratchy, and yet I couldn’t stop watching despite not really knowing what the plot exactly was. The main character, a French agent named Max, is stationed in New York City but he has little information about his mission or why he’s there. I loved the opening credits, set to a rather cool sounding score: Max in the cab, looking quietly out the window as the taxi drives on through a tunnel into the New York City streets.

I was reminded of Michael Mann and Taxi Driver, however really this film is more Repo Man (1984) in terms of being about the punk scene and punks in general. Max wanders aimlessly through New York, getting in and out of trouble; there is a rather shocking scene where he is stabbed and assaulted by some toughs in a random dive which features…a punk band. Having Harry pop up in a back alley smoking is an amusing moment, as this film was made just as Blondie was beginning to achieve stardom, but it also speaks to this movie’s odd moments.

However later on it appears this is as much about racial intolerance and fear of “The Other” as it is a spy thriller movie. Max proves unable to save others, and by the middle to later part of the film he is chased by the very tough youths that gave him trouble earlier. Desperate to gain further meaning and understanding, he achieves neither and chases it in strong drink and strange women. I love how the film ends, with a stark viewing of the Statue of Liberty. Apparently in this film the immigrant is not received warmly, but is rather cast out and abused, beaten and in the end, destroyed.

Sure this is a really low budget film and the acting is not the greatest, but I was captivated throughout and I really would like to see this again. Unfortunately I had to delete it from my parents’ DVR (I no longer live there but I still use it heh) and according to an online search this is sadly not a better copy of this film. Too bad, as it should be seen by more and it reminded me of another equally underrated cult classic, the 1962 film Blast of Silence, which I own on Criterion.

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