Keyser Corleone's Movie Memoirs

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In 2009, an alien landed in the world of cinema. It disgusts you with its unconvential appearance, but intrigues you because it's unique. You perceive it as a threat, but you want to know more about it. So you seize it, and you dissect it to the bone marrow, going so far you can nearly split the atoms inside. And once you've written everything you can on the alien's structure, you need to go through all the notes again.

That alien is Tetro, and I need to go through all the notes again. I need to see this again tomorrow, because this is Coppola at his most Coppola, and the single most beautifully shot and unique movie I've ever seen.



Hellbreeder (2004) - Directed by James Eaves and Johannes Roberts

In dedication towards the Hall of Infamy, I'm also dedicated to my list of the worst movies I've ever seen. If a director makes a bad movie, I need to see if he's done anything else that sucked. The first movie I reviewed for the HoI was Bane, a sadistic horror movie by James Eaves. Hellbreeder is an early Collab with 47 Meters Down director Johannes Roberts. It was a pain in the ass to find with a decent service, but I found it.

Alice lost her son to a murderer while walking out with him, and for years she's been traumatized by the death and the treatment of her abusive family. As a child murder roams the city, she takes matters into her own hands as two detectives are on the hunt for the mystery murder as well.

The movie is a murder-mystery with a Pennywise knockoff told through an "art film" combo of alternating colorings, flashbacks, psycho/dream sequences and found footage. One can tell that members of the crew are fans of Twin Peaks, and yet added a Halloween-style soundtrack out of obvious fanhood. The problem is that everything it knocks off comes on too strong. As a result, this "art horror" gets in the way of itself constantly as it's wonky narrative overpowers most efforts of character development. I mean, the villain is hardly even a character because he barely has any screen time. The surreal moments are unsettling, but they aren't at all scary. If anything, it feels like an episode of a bad 90's horror anthology TV show sometimes.

This has the potential to be REALLY GOOD. The problem is that it was a mishmash of ideas that were already done more well by the various influences it nearly plagiarized. On top of that, these influences came on too strong. They should have been tamed so they could work with each other without ever trying to hard. The monster wasn't very scary in the end, so the horror factor is minimal. The art factor is so high that it hurts more than it improves the movie. Nevertheless, the plot it has and the surreal direction make for a cool atmos and a fairly unique experience despite the near-plagiarism.




Puppet Master (1989) - Directed by David Schmoeller
Genres: Supernatural Horror, Dark Fantasy

So, cheesy b-movies! What's the deal with them, right? Are they Hollywood's excuse for not coming up with anything good? I mean, imagine it. You're a critic who sees obviously cheesy puppets killing people, and he says, "A predictable death scene? Bravo! Encore!" That's essentially Puppet Master. It's campy, but not campy enough, and certainly not scary.

After a 1930's flashback where a magic puppeteer commits suicide to avoid Nazi captivity, several modern day psychics are called to meet their former colleague after his death. They meet his wife in a seaside mansion where they soon find weird things happening, including murders at the hands of those same old puppets. Aaaaand that's it.

The first ten minutes are just plain boring. It sets a magic puppeteer and the puppets, who stand out less than Geppetto ever did, as well as a cheap-ass excuse of a reason for the plot to kick off. Things pick up with some strange scenes involving dream sequences and fortune-telling. Once the major cast is kept in a whodunit-style situation where all are invited to the deceased's house, characters interact with each other in strange ways which brings out the real personality of the movie, especially when the movie dives into the various psychic powers of the group.

However, we hardly get into any real horror until the halfway mark, which means the movie spent too much time with uninspired and unemotional build up and exposition. At least we got some decent characterization out of it. And character development flat-out halts as soon as the sappy attempts at spookiness take over. It doesn't help that the music feels more fit for a cheesy kid's movie about magicians than anything. And by the last quarter, it's all just too predictable. On top of that, can the puppets teleport or what?

The way I see it, this is just another Full Moon feature with better writing than the average B-movie the company puts out. The puppets each had individual powers, but other than that they were just mini-slashers whom Chucky beats in terms of fear factor.

= 35/100.



The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) - Directed by Woody Allen
Genres: Rom-Com, Postmodernism, Low Fantasy


Well, time for another Tubi update! Purple Rose of Cairo and the first Bill and Ted are leaving in a few days, so I headed to Purple Rose, having already been made familiar with Woody Allen due to Annie Hall and Alive. I've got a free day tomorrow due to a Jewish holiday I keep (based on a relatively obscure brand of Christianity that keeps the ol' Hebrew days), which means I can stay up a little later tonight. So here I was enjoying an odd mix of lemonade Moscato, dry vermouth, tequila, lemon juice and 7up. I ended up saving the disaster with a focus on lemon. I am slightly buzzed right now, and I just got done with Purple Rose.


Another postmodern piece by the man who Americanized Bergman and Fellini, this delightful Depression-era Rom-Com focuses on a waitress who's down on her luck and finds escapism through the movies, until the lead character of one movie reveals himself to have a consciousness and LEAVES THE MOVIE to be with her. However, his stunt draws the attention of the creators of that movie, including the actor who played him. As he travels to the poor woman's town, he falls in love with her and gets locked in a love triangle.


I am head over heels in love with this movie. It's an easy pick for a desert island movie. Woody Allen is at another directorial peak here. I've never seen a meta movie like his that still keeps true to the spirit of the Tom-com. I was deeply engrossed in the realism of Cecelia's character and background, despite the fact that she was essentially another Alice Hyatt. In fact, I would say that the only flaw of this movie is that the lead cast is a little typical, with the only exception being the fictional-turned-real Tom Baxter, who fits a 30's movie trope we never see anymore: the flawless and innocent hero, thus making a trope less predictable for the 80's. And let me point out that Daniels played that actor and Baxter PERFECTLY, standing with the rest of the flawless cast and standing out at the same time! This is easily my favorite duo-tole! And the humor stays focused on the overreactions of the main cast, usually centered around drastic theories concerning the future of our fictitious deuteragonist. But that's not the only kind of humor stemming from his actions. I mean, that tap dancing scene came out of nowhere and it fit perfectly in with the period-rooted humor. And that CLIMAX between both roles by Daniels was just so heartwarming that I was too struck by the authenticity of such an absurd situation to cry or feel anything other than absolute delight... until we get to the real ending... and then I was just heartbroken at the final message: life sucks, and movies are truly out escape.


I SERIOUSLY recommend this for any movie buff who wants to watch something unique, charming, meaningful or inspired. This is a desert island movie for me due to its dedication to its characters and message, as well as the overpowering charm and heart, despite the fact that the characters were a little typical. Honestly, I almost feel like I'd bug Woody Allen to give me the rights to make a sequel until he caved in!


= 92/100



The Seduction (1982) - Directed by David Schmoeller
Genre: Thriller


On another directorial marathon, and this time, it's all about Puppet Master. I plan on seeing a few of those movies and checking out the other projects of the directors involved in the franchise. Right now it's David Schmoeller, and I've seen three of his movies, Puppet Master, Crawlspace and The Seduction, the latter of which is the second movie he ever directed. And despite one very specific strong point, the inexperience shows.

The Seduction is yet another creepy stalker movie about a news woman who has practically everything, except for safety. She soon becomes the subject of obsession by a superfan who's attempts at reaching her are way too forceful, and eventually become dangerous. With the police unable and unwilling to do anything, all this poor woman has to defend herself is her boyfriend who's life is in jeopardy as well.

And that's all there is to it.

Having already seen Schmoeller's popular Puppet Master, I felt like The Seduction didn't really have a high bar to compete with. The problem here is that the movie had such a simple story that I want to rate it lower than Puppet Master. However, I don't know if I can. This story was barely utilized in any fashion that could come close to unique, but the real clincher here is that in comparison to Puppet Master, this movie had THRILLS. Thanks to the lack of suspension of disbelief, such a plausible story becomes all the more realistic as the simple story is handled realistically. That's the real reason to see this movie, the genuine concern and fear for our leading lady.

However, this won't win any awards because despite the realism, it's still just nother b-thriller by a b-movie director. The actors are by no means brilliant or irreplaceable. They do what they're payed to do, no more and no less. I mean, they're better than Power Rangers actors, which is a good thing because many b-movie have crappy actors. But on top of this, the basic story is very predictable and the direction isn't that great. Capturing the feeling of being stalked was done more well by John Carpenter in Halloween, and this movie offers nothin fancy in the directorial school.

Personally, I don't think this movie really NEEDS to be seen by anyone unless you're a fan of Schmoeller's movies Puppet Master and Tourist Trap, and want to see what else this director has made. In my case, I always educate myself on any new director I check out, making my contribution to any movie forum games tedious and time-consuming. However, I don't see myself watching this again as I already have a love-obsession movie I'm greatly impressed with: Fatal Attraction. So it's a slight improvement over Puppet Master for being thrilling and chilling.

= 37/100



Crawlspace (1986) - Directed by David Schmoeller
Genre: Horror

The David Schmoeller marathon continues as I'm about to work my way through the rest of Tourist Trap, which is considered Schmoeller's crowning achievement. So far, the small-time Schmoeller hasn't impressed me much, resorting to tropesto tell the stories and cheap attempts at fancy cinematography to make it watchable, and Crawlspace seemed to be further proof that he deserves to be lesser known.

Crawlspace is mostly a story about the villain rather than the hero, centering on a deranged Nazi scientist who keeps a diary detailing his slow descent into murderousness. He owns an apartment building which he only rents out to beautiful women he plans to murder, as the new tenant is about to learn.

Let's be fully honest, this is the kind of movie most people could EASILY make on their own. The budget was obviously low, as the only decent actor hired was B-movie veteran Klaus Kinski, and some of the set pieces looked fake, even the damn webs. But my biggest issue with this cheap and easy to make movie is that its characters are typically super-lame and underdeveloped! If these characters had more personality, the plot could progress into other interesting areas, but Schmoeller seemed content with killing off stock characters who had minimal characterization.

The descent into madness detailed by Kinski's diary was a bit interesting. The dialogue pertaining to it described the feelings pertaining to the descent well enough to warrant its own star rating. But that's the only REAL development we get other than some subplots which have little to do with the lead character, which begs the question, why even focus on this girl at all of she's just a tool to defeat the villain in the end?

Crawlspace has a lot of flaws and only a couple of strong points, so it doesn't really need to be seen by anyone for any reason. It's not even one of those movies you could really feel that "bad enough to riff" energy emitting from other B-movie. Fancy camera work and a well developed villain are all this movie has.

= 27/100



Tourist Trap (1979) - Directed by David Schmoeller
Genres: Supernatural Horror

After a few stinkbombers by the director I've been studying for the last few days, David Schmoeller, I decided today that it was finally time for his most famous movie: Tourist Trap. I'll be honest, after not being impressed with Puppet Master, The Seduction and Crawlspace, I didn't have the highest hopes for this movie, and the same goes for practically every Schmoeller movie I might watch after this. At least Schmoeller isn't Jess Franco bad.

Tourist Trap takes a different approach to the haunted house in the middle of nowhere: a haunted museum full of movies ng mannequins. As a group of travellers pass by this rundown place in the middle of nowhere, where they meet an original plot for once. Or, they could just end up being terrorized by the mannequins, and maybe turned into them.

This is really more of a plot for fans of the cabin in the woods trope. I mean, this movie doesn't have the character development to back that kind of thing up, or the cheesy humor of Evil Dead. The characters were there to look pretty or be killed off, like usual. So, typical, right?

THIS MOVIE WAS ACTUALLY SCARY! From the getgo Schmoeller always had a basic idea of how to direct a horror movie. It's the one consistent trait that he had. But the fear here came from occasional cleverness in the death scenes and plot, and these masks and mannequins we're actually pretty damn chilling. That was easily my favorite thing about the movie. The villain was believable, but the supernatural power is what gives this movie a unique edge, especially when we see the humorous psychology behind the villain's actions. On top of that, perfect sets and lighting make it feel all the more authentic and the music, while a little all over the place, gets pretty freaky and emotional. Great stuff.

This isn't just a b-movie. Tourist Trap is legit. It's the kind of movie I would easily play at a late night showing despite it's flaws. And the fact that this movie doesn't have a remake kind of peeves me. These mannequins are freaking creepy, and they really make the movie unique with their delivery

= 66/100



Puppet Master 2 (1990) - Directed by David Allen
Genres: Supernatural Horror


Full Moon Features is a B-Movie company that makes its money entirely on cheese and its various sequels. You may know certain franchises like Evil Bong, Gingerdead Man, and of course... Puppet Master. Well, Puppet Master is one of the franchise foremost money makers and has so many sequels with weird titles that I can't even tell the order of release. For now, let's just stick with 2.

Puppet Master II takes a very different approach from the first story. Instead of continuing with the established survivors from the original film, the movie centers on a bunch of paranormal investigators who come to this one spooky mansion (the one from the first film) to investigate the murder of one of the women from the first film, and soon find a spooky old man wrapped in bandages who claims the mansion is his. It doesn't take them long to find out (as the intro shows) that the man is in fact the original Puppet Masterm Andre Toulon, and he's gone insane as his puppets begin killing again.

First, lemme say that as long as the Bands are in charge of one of their biggest moneymakers, the only possible route that the franchise could take is a bit of self-parody. Until then, we get "serious" sequels which have the same amount of lacking cheese and lacking inspiration. The story is more thick, I'll admit, but the overall plot is quite predictable. Its climax didn't really add anything, and the deaths scattered through the movie only add little bits and pieces that other movies could give you with better effect. Once again, it's a bit hard to care for the characters, so when they get killed off you don't really feel much.

However, it must be said that even the puppets had some improvements on them. First of all, their killings were a little scarier (a little), and their new addition, the flamethrower guy, looked pretty freaking menacing. He was probably my favorite, especially for the clever idea of using bullet shells for his teeth. But with the originals returning, we just get the same old styles of killings as well with only the improved mystique of the film to help whatever horror vibes the movie is attempting to accomplish.

Puppet Master II is a slight improvement over the predecessor because it takes the story, puppet designs and killings a little more seriously, and it's not quite as slow-paced as the first one, either. I mean, I'm probably in the minority concerning this, but the first one was so boring that I didn't see high hopes for the sequels. However, the fact that there were improvements made the movie much more tolerable, even though the improvements weren't drastically better. Just a little bit...

= 42 / 100.



Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (1991) - Directed by David DeCoteau
Genres: Supernatural Horror

The Puppet Master franchise is a pretty lame one. It has difficulty telling good horror stories and the puppets have very little scare-factor to them. The only reason I'm watching more of them is because I'm often on the search for the worst movies ever made. Having said that, nothing about the Puppet Master franchise is horrible, just pretty lame. The acting isn't terrible, it's mediocre. The puppet designs are pretty good, but no matter what their powers are, all they do is slash. Finally, Full Moon features decided to put story first in the third entry.

Puppet Master III is actually a prequel about the original Puppet Master from the beginning of the first film. Andre Toulon has developed a way to animate non-living objects like puppets, but when the Nazis capture him and kill his wife for the secret he vows revenge. Escaping Nazi custody, he's going after any Nazi he can, especially the one responsible for his wife's death.

Well, how did this compare to the others? Well, since the scares are the same as in the first two movies and the horror aspects have nothing added to them, that's already a HUGE con. I've said this once before, it's possible that the only way Puppet Master could be an icon is if it took the comedic route like many Fred Olen Ray movies or Full Moon's own drug-horror franchise, Evil Bong. The only original thing II added was a couple new puppets, but since this is a prequel that isn't even an option, let alone a pro.

But there is one very strong pro to this otherwise meh movie: the story itself may be predictable, but the heavy fixation on storyline and plotting makes it more worthwhile. The whole time I was hoping that the real villain would die a pretty gruesome death for his crimes because he's just THAT SCUMMY. I greatly enjoyed the relationship between Toulon and his puppets, as well as between the villain Kraus and his Nazi rival Dr. Hess, who I kinda liked by the end. And the way they explained why the puppets move was actually pretty cool. I won't spoil that for you.

Well, we have another puppet horror movie here that won't win any awards, but as far as I'm concerned,. the Puppet Master franchise once again improved on the mistakes which it unfortunately kept. This is the best of the first three, and the switch from villain to hero concerning Toulon and his puppets was a good move. Well, let's see what happens in the fourth.

= 46/100



You liked this movie a lot more than I did.

Heh, I probably watch those kinds of movies on a more regular basis. I see so many cheap ones that this was kind of a breath of fresh air. Plus, there's comparing this to the sequels.



OK, This time I'm not revealing the title of this thread review. I wanna talk about myself and my childhood first. I am a man who will watch almost any kind of movie, save straight-up adult films. Favorites of mine include the Christian Dreamworks drama for children, The Prince of Egypt, and the ultra-violent Sin City. And I have various pop culture characters and famous people I look to for inspiration for my dozens of story ideas, including a few fanfictions.

But above all, I need movies that have strict character development. I'll even take points off of a perfect score for movies that have an underdeveloped female lead to the male heroine, such as North By Northwest or Slumdog Millionaire. I NEED humanity in it in some level in order to properly enjoy a movie, even if the movie's a little half-baked. This counts for movies from my childhood as well, especially when it comes to the power of nostalgia, which is something everyone has in some way or another, even if I wasn't a part of something truly nostalgic. Example, I just completed the Chris Brown catalogue last week, and I was not blessed with the nostalgia of his first two albums that many millennials feel. And even though I have been a fan of the likes of Disney, Bluth and Ghibli for years, I was unfortunately not blessed with the oozing, bleeding and contagious nostalgic power of that modest box-office success turned cult-classic: A Goofy Movie.



It was one day at Dunkin' when a woman came in with a Powerline shirt. That pretty much nailed it: I, as an aspiring critic who wants to be a cartoonist, HAD to watch this. Well, after the first time, I found myself watching it most days of the week, almost as if I was making up for the many years I had not overplayed this with the likes of the Renaissance, later Bluth, Bugs Bunny, Dreamworks and Pixar. There's an incredible strength in A Goofy Movie that all of the above struggle with, and I'll detail it.

For those of you who were not blessed with that nostalgia as I was, A Goofy Movie is not some mere recreation of the super-slapstick Goof Troop series. This time, Max Goof, played by Jason Mardsen (no, not Cyclops, Chester McBadbat) is a teenager who's no longer amused by his fathers clumsiness and awkwardness, is desperate to separate his overall image from his father. After a clever stunt that lands him in so much trouble that his principal thinks he's gone gangster, Goofy takes him out for a father-son camping trip, which means Max has to cancel his first date with a cute girl. BUT! He makes up a lie about going to a big concert in LA to impress her, and now Max has to find a way to get to LA while his father tries hard to connect to his son once again.

It's not often that a spin-off movie / continuation makes it to the big leagues. It's kinda rare.



Creepy surrealism I'd never let my future kids watch aside, A Goofy Movie features a strong element that most kids movies don't have, and that's practically absent from the majority of Disney skits that Mickey, Donald and Goofy came from: the drama is just too real. We've all had awkward moments and heart-to-hearts with family, especially when it comes to child-parent relationships. And while the majority of Goofy's absurdist slapstick is pretty much GONE, that helps the personality of the film feel more alive than just an episode of Goof Troop drawn out to 75 minutes. In this way, the nostalgic force expends to more than just having seen this as a kid. Even someone like me who never saw the movie before last week felt like I was back in the 90's, especially when Max is doing Michael Jackson movies pretty damn well and skateboarding in every nook and cranny he can get in.

One of my favorite things about this movie is the voice acting. Bill Farmer had already been voicing Goofy for about ten years, and his level of personality and even emotion put in feels very realistic sometimes, even when butting heads with the voice-acting veteran Jim Cummings as Pete. And Mardsen acts as a perfect replacement for the actress of Max in the series, feeling like a real teenager who's had Goofy as a dad before. In fact, without that fantastic acting, the movie's realism would likely suffer. On that subject, Goofy's awkwardness extends to the real world with strange-ass trip stops like that ridiculous possum show, which which fits so many levels of awkward reality that it's probably the most essential scene to the Goofy Max relationship plotline. But the BEST voice actor in this movie is Pauly Shore taking the role of the minor character Bobby Zimuruski, who's more obnoxiously "dude" than Keanu Reeves ever got, and Shore rocks it like voice acting is just that easy. That is one of the best performances by a minor character I've ever heard.

As for any criticisms, I guess the movie's a little predictable at times. But what do you expect? It's still, as the title says, a freakin' Goofy movie. The movie was only made to fulfill a contractual obligation pertaining to an employee Disney fired before the movie was made. But that doesn't mean no heart and soul went into it, just that the rush-job had its obvious effect, especially since, and I'll repeat what I said about the necessity for strong female leads: Roxanne is no more than a normal teenage girl just as Max is no more than a normal teenage protagonist. Max wasn't exactly the most engaging person in Goof Troop, but he's pretty much just evolved into a Saved By the Bell side character. At least they took time playing up how cool he can be, being kickass at skateboarding and a good dancer. The assembly scene was extremely well-directed, no sequel pun intended.

And since this is a 90's DIsney movie, expect songs. They're mostly decent enough to get by with what the movie's going for. "After Today" and "On the Open Road" are fine for what they're trying to do, but "Nobody Else But You" feels like it was thrown in at the last minute to make Goofy and Max's eventual reconciliation more enjoyable. One thing I gotta say, though: "I2I" is one of the catchiest things Disney ever wrote. The lyrics are super-generic, but hey, that didn't stop a lot of catchy songs, especially when we have incredible theme songs for MMPR, Pokemon and (personal fave for a power metal fan) Huntik. "I2I" is the kind of song that makes you wish Powerline actually had an album.

One more tiny criticism, Max's design looks fine most of the time, but he's freaking UGLY when he's mad.



There have been times his face got so menacing that I wouldn't wanna get into a fight with him. And he doesn't even have dog fangs. He's got Goofy's horse teeth.

Well, now I'm hooked on A Goofy Movie. I even bothered to watch the sequel twice this week because as a cartoonist, I want to see more of teen Max, mostly for Mardsen's performance to justify his generic embarrassed teen character. And yet, the closest we have is still Goof Troop, a decent sequel and a few appearances on House of Mouse which really isn't that funny. In fact, HoM is kinda just a slightly more clever way to boast IP's than Space Jam. But A Goofy Movie is nostalgic for all the right reasons: it works, and it's gonna keep working because it touches so honestly on one thing about the world that will never change: parent-child relations.




Deadpool (2016) - Directed by Tim Miller
Genres: Vigilante, Superhero, Black Comedy, Action

I am a huge fan of postmodern touches, and I'm also a huge fan of the X-Men movies. Strangely enough, I haven't seen all of them yet because life throws various bad words and their synonyms at you, but when I got a notification on my phone about movies leaving Tubi in the next couple days, I checked and saw that Deadpool was on the link. It didn't get listed as leaving in two days like many of the other movies, but I wasn't taking that risk! But the thing is, I've been watching the X-Men movies since I was literally EIGHT. I remember the day my sister showed me the first movie late at night. That movie changed my life, so I'm a bug X-Men fan and its a bit of a dream of mine to make my own X-Men animated series. But combining it with the absurdist behavior of a Woody Allen movie? Forget the gore and fowl language, that's NOT something you do with X-Men.

Wait... apparently it is.

OK, so this complete tonal shift of a franchise entry centers around everyone's favorite foul-mouthed antihero, Deadpool, or Wade Wilson, who through screwing with the fourth wall in vulgar ways only he could describe, recounts the "love story" of how he was an ex-special forces agent, found love, got cancer, ended up as an experiment for treatment, and because an immortal with a grotesque body, and is now out for revenge against the man who turned his skin into Freddie Kreuger's little nephew, Ferdie. Along the way, we meet Colossus of the X-Men, who wants Deadpool to join their team. Of course, Wade's got no interest in it, especially after his last appearance in an X-Men movie where they ruined his character.

I'm a bit against the idea of making rated-R entires to franchises kids may end up watching. I mean, look at how far that got the DCEU. A rated-R extended cut of Batman vs. Superman was not a good idea. And it's bad enough that Phase 6 of the MCU will start with Deadpool 3. Having said all this, this does not mean I didn't like this movie. For what we were given, the "douchebag" addressed as the director in the opening credits really knew what he was doing, and this was his first ever movie. Quite the risk, using a newbie to direct a sub-franchise. But it worked.

Ryan Reynolds practically IS Deadpool. He brings the character to jarringly realistic life, even when he's doing a childish gasp with the cartoon motion of hands being pressed on the cheeks. One thing I loved about the movie was how in-depth the lead female was, Vanessa. She matched with Deadpool like wood and fire... oh my god I can see Deadpool making a million jokes out of "wood and fire." Yikes. Well, I guess this means the movie really leaves an impact on you, because through its vulgarity (and the fact it's coming from a PG-13 franchise), this movie is bolder than practically anything we've had so far. But it can go way too far sometimes. I mean, most things are an excuse for Wadey to ake a sex joke, so it becomes a bit predictable overtime. Thankfully, we still have jokes about moody teen girls, Deadpool's new skin, postmodernism and Wham! With the exclamation point. Yeah, so even when the sex stuff got old the movie still kept me laughing until the end.

And while the X-Men franchise is known for its incredible action, Deadpool had some of the best. It spent a copuple of moments boasting its slow-mo, but most of it was incredibly fast-paced, perfectly choreographed and totally unpredictable. It got to the point where if the movie just had a "really good" action scene, I was disappointed that it wasn't as god as some of the more surprising stuff that came around. Any aspiring filmmaker can learn something about action from this movie. And one final comment is... while this was in the X-Men universe, they spent more time making it a Deadpool movie, and not an X-Men movie. We only got a couple of the big guys at Xavier's mansion, and the rest is all about Deadpool roaming the streets, being his vulgar self and going on his vengeance quest. It was all real twisty and well-shot.

OK, I'm really glad I finally saw Deadpool. Currently, I'm of the opinion that this isn't QUITE as good as X2, and definitely not in the same league as Days of Future Past. But for the adult X-Men fan this needs to be seen. It's an excellent entry to an already great franchise, but don't EVER let anyone under 17 watch this. Seriously. Way seriously.




Carnival of Souls (1962) - Directed by Herk Harvey
Genres: Supernatural Horror, Mystery, Psychological Horror

It's time to play no one's favorite game: Who's Ever Heard of Herk Harvey!? Well, his situation is a little bit like Vashti Bunyan's: record one album, doesn't kick off, gets discouraged. There are two differences here, though. A: Herk Harvey made a single movie. B: Vashti would continue her career after being rediscovered thirty years later, but Herk never finished another movie. Let's take a look at his one low-budget failure turned cult classic: Carnival of Souls, which I only watched for the sake of comparing this original to the remake which I need to watch for the second Hall of Infamy.

Young and beautiful Mary is caught in a car accident during a street race. The car fell off a bridge, and she seems to be the only survivor. After moving away to be a church organist, she begins having hallucinations of a mysterious man with zombie eyes, and the hallucinations get worse and worse until she starts to realize that there's a reason that spirits may be after her.

This movie had a VERY strong sense of spookiness and mystery, probably too strong. This movie kind of played out like a Twilight Zone episode, but it should've probably been one instead of a movie, because 80 minutes is a bit long for this. It has very little of an actual story. Many of the characters that surround her barely have any character themselves or even influence in her life and the strange events surrounding her, and the movie's mostly focused on cinematic spectacle and mystery.


However, this is not to say that this is a bad movie. It's rare that something so lacking in a story can be so mezmerizing. It isn't just about the camera and the surrealism. Our leading lady, Candace Hilligoss as Mary, is FLAWLESS in her roll. The most challenging thing horror actors can do is recreate fear. But Hilligoss doesn't just scream. She feels. She feels so well that I felt it for her sometimes. I have never seen such realistic expressions of fear in horror movies, and I've seen over 200 of them, including the entire Alien franchise. How do you beat Sigourney Weaver? The lack of story was easily made up for by the finest horror performance I can think of, save maybe Ellen Bustyn's performance in The Exorcist.

Well, the lacking story lets this movie take a big hit from my critical perspective, but there's also a lot to love while watching this. This movie is incredibly haunting on a supernatural and psychological level, and should be taken as an example of how to do the fear factor correctly for any aspiring horror writer. I wish she was in many more movies, but apparently she only made a few (likely because she was raising a family?) But I am so glad I even heard about her through the underwritten but still hypnotic Carnival of Souls, which deserves a remake based on its strengths, even though the 1998 film may not be the one it deserves. And it's also a shame Herk Harvey never directed another movie, because he had the skill, no joke.




Lust for Frankenstein (1998) - Directed by Jess Franco
Genres: Erotic Thriller, Horror

OK, why am I reviewing this many, many months after nominating this for the first Hall of Infamy? Well, several reasons. First, this is... and I'll say it at the beginning... the worst movie I've ever seen and it was at the time of nomination. Second, I plan on including as many reviews as possible without overdoing it, and this is one I remember well enough to review. Third... I forgot to do it already and thought I did. Either way, I most likely hate this movie more than anyone else on this website, so I should be one of those very few to post a review of this.

This "modern sequel" to the actual story, which is also edited for the sake of this film's sake, sees the granddaughter of Dr. Frankenstein finding out about her grandaddies old experiments, but the monster this time is a woman. Not only that, this extremely horny granddaughter starts a relationship with the monster, who goes murderously jealous whenever she goes at it with anyone else.

This Jess Franco reimagining of the novel is an insult to the novel's legacy. I'd know. I own it, and it's one of my favorite novels of all time. It's a shame that one of the world's greatest novels lead to one of the world's worst movies, and this is proof that there are way too many Frankenstein movies. And we don't even have a perfect one yet (I blame those cheesy homunculi from Bride of Frankenstein for being the one scar on a wonderful movie). Of course, this adaptation is really more of a spin-off.

I'm gonna repeat what I said about the movie on the HoI. Any story to the film is excruciatingly hard to make out because the audio quality is terrible, and the accents are sometimes incomprehensible as a result. There's no fear to this so-called horror, because (as is the problem with so many other horror b-films, the monster is just slowly killing people off. Big woop. And as for the sex scenes in this erotic piece, the camera is blurry and the sex is further distorted by psychedelic coloring and effects backed by crappy noise rock fodder. And I like noise rock. Steve Albini is one of my favorite people in the music industry. On top of that, these people are UGLY in their skivvies. So B-movie director Jess Franco was on such a low budget that he couldn't even find any good-looking actors? Whuuut?

And all of these things drag on throughout the WHOLE MOVIE! Throughout 80 minutes these ugly ass actors are having cheaply filmed sex to cheaply filmed visuals. It gets so monotonous that it practically hurt my head to watch multiple times. I know there are people on this forum who are against pausing every ten minutes, but this movie practically forced me to do that. It was either I pause for my sanity, or risk getting addicted to aspirin. In fact, I chose this movie for the first HoI just because it was so headache-inducingly bad, although I knew not everybydy would feel that way. It's all about opinion, after all. Still, I got SECOND in that HoI. But alas, one cannot face the wrath of the obscure Adam Sandler comedy.

I don't know if Jess Franco was trying to make the worst movie ever or trying to subvert three genres at once, but everything he tried failed. The only reason I saw this is because up until that point, I had not seen a crap movie that I regretted watching because so many crap movies I've seen have either made me laugh or taught me something about what not to do when trying to make a good movie. And so many intentionally bad movies have an incredibly humorous side. Fred Olen Ray anyone? But this had no humor, no scares, and it wasn't even sexy. Absolute failure. No redeeming qualities of any kind, because no aspect of Lust for Frankenstein could even slightly succeed on its own merits.

= zero zero zero.



Tarzan (1999) - Directed by Kevin Lima
Genres: Jungle Adventure, Romance, Action-Adventure, Family

OK, I'm a man who has high standards for faithfulness. At the same time, I can appreciate creative detours and original takes. For example, while I've seen no Frankenstein movie to compare to the novel, I don't deny that Bride of Frankenstein was absolutely incredible, with the one painful stain on this otherwise perfect piece of art being the cheesy homunculi scene. This same feet goes for all of my favorite novels, ranging from children's classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Secret of NIMH to young adult novels like Jurassic Park to classic pre-copyright literature like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But the one that I'm probably gonna find the most complaints about is the average Tarzan movie. Even though The Legend of Tarzan was decent, Tarzan was drawn more like an average human with a good bod. The same is not so with the Disney version, which, despite creative detours that can be hit-or-miss, do the titular character nothing but pure justice.

Disney's take on the classic character is an action-infused reworking of the origin story. Around the time two humans are marooned with their baby in Africa, the leader of a gorilla clan and his wife lose their only son to a leopard who also ends up killing the baby's parents. The gorilla mother, Kala, finds the boy and names him Tarzan. At first he struggles to become one with the jungle, but once he does, he's thrown for a major loop when he meets his own kind, especially when he falls in love with the young lady Jane Porter.

OK, typical plotting for a Tarzan film? Maybe. But how does the plotting go? Better than you might think. It's true that creative liberties were taken. Tarzan and "John Clayton" are no longer the same character, as this Clayton seems to not be related to Tarzan as he was in the original novel, named William Cecil Clayton. And he's much more villainous, which also seems odd when they could've easily taken the villain from The Return of Tarzan. Also, Kerchak's supposed grandhcild Terkoz is no longer a guy or a villain: he's an onboxious female gorilla played jarringly well by Rosie O'Donnell. This is likely to increase the number of female characters, as the token black lady of the original novel was absent. As well, Tarzan never discovers his parents' cabin in the woods on his own. He's shown it later in the movie, so the subplot of him learning to read or write English was thrown out the window more quickly than that old guy from The Emperor's New Groove. Another thing is that Tarzan's new family, believe it or not, was not originally gorillas: it was a fictional ape-human species that had their own simplistic language, known as the Mangani. On the subject of Mangani words and languages, the naming pattern for some of the characters is treated exactly the same as the pattern for The Lion King. Whereas Simba means "lion" in Swahili, Tantor means "elephant" in Mangani, and we have an elephant named Tantor. The same for "Sabor," the leopard. And two final changes: Jane and her dad are British, not American. And Kerchak is turned from a minor villain to an anti-hero.

Now the giant question is: DO THESE CHANGES WORK?

More often than not, yes they do. Despite the fact that Tarzan didn't teach himself how to read and write, his character was still very intelligent. His ability to imitate random sounds to perfection was incredible, and a perfect replacement for the reading English subplot. They use it brilliantly as a way to develop his character and his relations to the humans. Jane's change in heritage means very little as her character was still pretty well done, thanks to some good development and an effortless performance by Minnie Driver. And on the subject of changing from Mangani to gorillas, that was probably for the best considering that the movie was simply about exploring the wild as opposed to discovering a new species, although that subplot might've have been good for a more complicated movie than a simple family movie. And Terk acts as both a pro and a con considering that her character and her actress were incredibly entertaining, even though when paired with Tantor the two are essentially a knock-off of Timon and Pumbaa. And the whole process of Jane and her father teaching Tarzan was a beautiful experience to behold, as they really brought the best of Tarzan's personality out of it.

As for cons, Clayton isn't very active in the villain department. He's essentially just waiting to do one villainous thing at the end of the movie. As a result, the plot is only different from the average land-development protest movie like Furry Vengeance, Woody Woodpecker or the far superior Pom Poko (this is the only qualification for putting the latter in with the other two) in the sense that an eco-political message was not shoved down people's throats, and that Disney just needed a villain. It's a bit obvious that the vast majority of the create prowess was put into the Tarzan's character, and the secondary focus was casting choices.

On this subject, the cast was perfect. Tony Goldwyn may not be the most famous guy, but his Tarzan was accurate, perfectly performed and just what the character needed. Then let's get to the women, who in my opinion were the better choices. It's one thing for Minnie Driver and Rosie O'Donnell to rock their roles as Jane and Terk. But you put Glenn Close in anything and the movie's quality goes up. She's never sounded so motherly as she did playing Kala. This was ELLEN BURSTYN quality mother-acting. And even then, the men still have the iconic Lance Henriksen from Alien and Pumpkinhead as Kerchak, in a role among the best of his performances. So we already have two of my favorite actors playing a married couple. I'm satisfied with this.

The movie has plenty of other strengths. Kevin Lima's direction was incredible, and probably his most creative. I say "probably" because I haven't seen Enchanted yet. The imagery of the movie, especially in regards to the musical scenes where Phil Collins delivers another catchy song, is flawless and inventive. And Collin's solo music hasn't had songs this good since his early days in the solo department (of course, they still can't hold a candle to the majority of Genesis' Collins-lead album Invisible Touch). And the action was phenomenal, and some of Disney's best. It's hard to do a proper animated action movie. The only other one I can think of where the action was this good is Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.

As far as criticisms in other departments go, there may be too many death scenes for younger audiences. Of the top of my head I count six deaths, but I'm not gonna say who they are. But it can be a pretty dark movie for the young tykes. Having said that, I watched The Lion King since I was a baby, and by the time it registered in my mind that somebody died, I was already used to it. I mean, it was a cartoon, after all. So I'll let that be a judgement call for anyone who may or may not consider showing this to their younger children.

Disney's first venture into an action movie, and their return to literature since Hunchback does have a couple problems in the adaptation department, but these problems are overshadowed by everything that was done right in that department, as well as everything done right in other departments such as action, casting and scoring. While there are changes I would make if I ever made my own Tarzan movie, this was a justice done to a character whose never had a single movie ranked among the greatest of all time. Obviously, Tarzan movies are a challenge to get right based on what the ratings online are, but despite the changes, this was nothing short of justice to Tarzan's legacy not just as a largely naked buff dude who wrestles apes, but as a thinker and a brilliant human-being for a jungle man.

Looking through this review, I can't believe how much I had to say about this. I didn't grow up with this movie the same way I did with many other Disney movies, as this was not one we bought after seeing it in theaters. But I guess this just shows how dedicated I am to the novel, as it remains one of my absolute favorites.

= 85/100.