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Deadtime Stories (Blu-ray)
"Uncle Miiiiiiiiike...!"

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Look, kid, your Uncle Mike (Michael Mesmer) ain't so much the babysitting type. It's late, and the guy just wants to kick back with a cold one and gawk at some titties on premium cable. Oh, you want him to tell you a story? Okay, uh...Little Red Riding Hood: a nubile teenager (Nicole Picard) strips down to her skivvies and feels herself up, gets her cherry popped by her asshole boyfriend in the deliberately least sexy way this side of Fast Times, and squares off against a werewolf (Matt Mitler). See, Willie usually dopes himself into a stupor when he's about to wolf out, but his pills got switched with Rachel's grandma's prescription, so he tries to track her down an'...it's a whole thing. What, you're still scared of a monster in your room and are crying for another story? Fine, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, only these BearsBaers are a family of psychotic bank robbers on the lam (including Melissa Leo in her first film role!), Goldi Lox (Cathryn de Prume) is a foxy blonde serial murderess squatting in their old house, and -- why not? -- she's got Carrie-style telekinetic powers. Oh, you want Uncle Mike to make up a story of his very own? Sure, this one has a couple of witchy old hags, the fisherman's kindly son (Scott Valentine) they've enslaved, a sacrificial virgin (Kathy Fleig) torn straight off a St. Pauli Girl label, and a lecherous vicar (Casper Roos) whose left hand violently tears itself from his forearm. So, yeah, uncle or no, I don't know why his parents left little Billy (Brian DePersia) alone with this nutjob either.

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For better or worse, Deadtime Stories is hardly just another horror anthology. Picture a kid with a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales on his nightstand, atop a stack of whatever...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Deadtime Stories]


One Million Years B.C. (Blu-ray)
In what few proper sentences there are to be had throughout One Million Years B.C., the narrator refers to this band of primal savages as the Rock Tribe. On one hand, that's as fitting a description as any. They hold dominion over this stark, desolate landscape borne of volcanic rock. The men are as hard as stone. The strong seize whatever they desire, women and the elderly snatch what scraps are dropped along the way, and the weak and infirmed are left for dead. They lack even the most rudimentary language, speaking instead through shows of force. Though the narrator refers to them as a tribe, that concept would be altogether lost on the Rock people. They don't recognize themselves as one group of many. The Rock Tribe is so consumed by dominance and survival that it never occurs to them that they may be anyone else out there. They're scarcely removed from the beasts they hunt. Family is an all but alien concept. Father, brother, son: they're just another obstacle to one's power. Cruel despot Akhoba (Robert Brown) doesn't pay a second thought to battling his son Tumak (John Richardson) to the death, sending him tumbling off a toweringly high cliff with no chance of survival dreamt possible. Tumak's all-but-certain demise allows his scheming brother Sakana (Percy Herbert) to inch another step closer towards ultimate rule over the Rock Tribe.

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Tumak yet lives. Cast out, he journeys as no member of his tribe ever had: through searing deserts, past colossal beasts, and just out of sight from troglodytes more primal still. As he collapses, Tumak witnesses an even more impossible sight: people. The Shell Tribe are as close to civilization as this young Earth has known. They laugh. They love. They teach. They learn. They have something close enough to...[read the entire Blu-ray review of One Million Years B.C.]


Wild Beasts (Blu-ray)
"Hey, look! She's not crazy; she's being chased by a cheetah!"

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You know what they say about animals behaving strangely in the hours leading up to an earthquake, right? Now take a zooful of these beasts, serve them up water tainted by PCP, and shudder at what horrors await when the ground starts a-rattling and these drug-crazed creatures are unleashed upon a nameless European metropolis.

Wild Beasts doesn't let itself get meaningfully distracted with any plot beyond that. Sure, there's a police inspector (Nightmare City's Ugo Bologna), a vet from the zoo (John Aldrich Tony Di Leo), the lovely assistant (Lorraine De Selle) that Doc Berner cringingly tries to browbeat into marrying him, and her sassy, tweenaged daughter (Louisa Lloyd), but they're essentially only around to help string together one unnerving, dazzlingly staged animal assault after another. Writer/director Franco E. Prosperi's instincts are as sharp as they were when he helped to helm Mondo Cane a couple decades earlier. All killer. No filler. Astonish the audience with images the likes of which they'd never seen before -- that no one else would dare capture.

Lions and hyenas mount a siege on a slaughterhouse, prompting a stampede of steer down Main St. (or I guess Hauptstraße since all the roads here are in German). An army of rats swarm upon a pair of teenage lovers in a parked car and devour them to the bone. A tiger gnawed on by her nursing cub violently convulses. Elephants smash through a brick wall like something out of a Kool-Aid ad. Some slither their serpentine trunks through a car window to torment a hapless family. Another deliberately stomps on some poor woman's head. A pride of lions feed on their prey like something out of a zombie flick. A cheetah takes chase after a young woman in a...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Wild Beasts]


More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 2/25: Arrival (Blu-ray)
  • 2/23: Wait Until Dark (1967) (Blu-ray)
  • 2/22: Kubo and the Two Strings (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) (Blu-ray)
  • 2/19: Deadtime Stories (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 2/18: Deadtime Stories (Blu-ray)
  • 2/13: One Million Years B.C. (International Cut) (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 2/12: One Million Years B.C. (International Cut) (Blu-ray)
  • 2/11: Wild Beasts (Blu-ray)
  • 2/8: Wax Mask (Blu-ray)
  • 2/4: Slumber Party Massacre III (Blu-ray)
  • 2/3: Slumber Party Massacre II (Blu-ray)
  • 2/3: Don't Breathe (Blu-ray)
  • 1/25: Wreck-It Ralph (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
  • 1/23: Brooklyn (Blu-ray)
  • 1/22: Leprechaun 4: In Space (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
 
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 2/25: Ape 3-D Aka A*P*E (Blu-ray)
  • 2/17: Wait Until Dark (1967) (Blu-ray)
  • 2/12: Nocturnal Animals (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) (Blu-ray)
  • 2/12: Doctor Strange (Blu-ray)
  • 2/12: Arrival (Blu-ray)
  • 2/10: Deadtime Stories (Blu-ray)
  • 2/1: Wild Beasts (Blu-ray)
  • 2/1: Wax Mask (Blu-ray)
  • 2/1: One Million Years B.C. (Blu-ray)
  • 1/22: Don't Breathe (Blu-ray)
  • 1/22: Kubo and the Two Strings (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) (Blu-ray)
  • 1/21: Slumber Party Massacre II / Slumber Party Massacre III (Blu-ray)
  • 1/17: Train to Busan (Blu-ray)
  • 12/27: Night and the City (Blu-ray)
  • 12/27: Gilda (The Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...


 
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