Recent Reviews

Krampus (Blu-ray)
I get that it's a ways off, seeing as how Krampus is only just now hitting Blu-ray and everything, but I really can't wait for this movie to start popping up on cable. If you flip over to HBO once Krampus' ominous, frostbitten corporate logos are out of the way, the first twentysomeodd minutes play like a straightahead dysfunctional family Christmas comedy.

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In one corner, you have workaholic Tom (Adam Scott), his Austrian mother who doesn't seem to speak a lick of English (Krista Stadler), his embattled c'mon-it's-Christmas-put-on-a-happy-face wife Sarah (Toni Collette), perpetually eye-rolling teenage daughter Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen), and their other kid Max (Emjay Anthony) who's a little too old to still believe in Santa but can't bring himself to let the dream die. In the other, you're lookin' at Tom's blue collar, gun-toting, hellraisin' in-laws Howard (David Koechner) and Linda (Allison Tolman). Not only have they brought along their brood -- mute, barely sentient lump Howie Jr. (Maverick Flack), a pair of sisters who Daddy sure wish had been boys (Queenie Samuel and Lolo Owen), and, oh, yeah, the newborn they forgot in the Humvee -- but they've dragged along hypercritical boozehound Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell) while they're at it. Sarah's weeks of decoration are sneered at. Her baby machine of a sister and company groan about how they can't pronounce the names of the food she's gone to such time and effort to make for 'em. ...and Max! Whew, boy. When tomboys Jordan and Stevie get their hands on the kid's overly confessional letter to Santa, that's when all hell really starts breaking loose. By the time Auntie Sarah cheerfully waltzes back in with a tray full of crème brûlée, the place looks less like a dining room and more like a UFC pay-per-view cage...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Krampus]

The Perfume of the Lady in Black (Blu-ray)
Few gialli boast a title so immediately evocative of the genre as Francesco Barilli's The Perfume of the Lady in Black. It comes as a bit of a surprise, then, that Barilli has little interest in retreading the same territory as Mario Bava or Dario Argento. Though elements of the giallo are certainly on display here, his 1974 film instead draws more heavily from the psychological suspense of Rosemary's Baby, Repulsion, and Don't Look Now.

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If only Silvia (Mimsy Farmer) were being tormented by something as ordinary as a shadowy figure with black leather gloves and a straight razor. This industrial chemist is consumed by her work to the detriment of every other aspect of her life, so much so that she was likely teetering on the brink anyway. Even a marginally more blustery than usual afternoon leaving flowers at her mother's grave causes her to look around suspiciously, as if some sinister, unseen force were gazing down upon her. If she hadn't chosen the wrong evening to hang up her lab coat for a short while, perhaps she would've remained on that side of the precipice. Silvia's generally ignored boyfriend Roberto (Maurizio Bonuglia) is aching for some sort of social interaction, and they don't even have to travel far from her apartment to take in a little culture. This professor of African anthropology (Jho Jhenkins) has the palatial home to make for an unforgettable dinner party, though he doesn't quite have the manners to match, delving into sacrificial rites and cannibalism with a bit too much zeal for Silvia's tastes. It's shortly afterwards that the already rattled young woman takes her first step headlong into the abyss. One unnerving package after another arrives at her doorstep. Silvia is plagued by visions of her long-dead mother, who...[read the entire Blu-ray review of The Perfume of the Lady in Black]

The Stuff (Blu-ray)
"My fellow Americans, this is Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears. I have never mislead you, and I will never mislead you. Tonight, America is in grave danger. We are under alien attack by a substance which represents itself as a popular dessert known as The Stuff. If The Stuff is in your house, do not eat it. Repeat, I mark you, do not eat it. If you are a merchant and have it on your shelves, do not sell it. If you happen to have a distributorship and distribute the material, close your doors...make no more sales."

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On the outer edge of a frostbitten mining operation, a little patch of ground festers like a boil. Some sort of creamy goop is bubbling towards the surface, so, naturally, one of the workers dips his fingers in and gives it a taste. Mmmm, it's good! He figures there might even be enough of this stuff under the ground to make a few bucks. This'd be an awfully short review if he were wrong, so flash forward a few months, and The Stuff is everywhere. So long, Chocolate Chip Charlie! Fare thee well, Baskin-Robbins! What's not to like? The Stuff is all natural, it's low on calories, and it doesn't even have to be refrigerated. ...and, boy, is it tasty! Enough is never enough.

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The titans of the ice cream industry are in a panic. The most brilliant chemists on their payroll can't make heads or tails of The Stuff. The FDA is keeping their lips sealed. Their marketshare is circling the bottom of the toilet bowl, and desperate times call for...well, for Mo (Michael Moriarty). If you're wondering how a guy by the name of David Rutherford wound up being nicknamed "Mo", don't sweat it: he'll tell you. Over and over and over again. He may seem like some double-digit IQ blockhead who stepped on a rake and only just now...[read the entire Blu-ray review of The Stuff]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 5/1: Suspicion (Blu-ray)
  • 4/30: Dolemite (Blu-ray)
  • 4/25: Quantum of Solace (Blu-ray)
  • 4/23: Krampus (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 4/22: Krampus (Blu-ray)
  • 4/20: Ghost World (Import-Germany, Region Free Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/14: Perfume of the Lady in Black (Blu-ray)
  • 4/14: The Stuff (Special Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/13: The Chase (1946) (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 4/12: The Chase (1946) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/10: Justice League vs Teen Titans (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/10: Friends with Benefits (Blu-ray)
  • 4/10: Casino Royale (Blu-ray)
  • 4/6: Couples Retreat (Blu-ray)
  • 4/3: I Love You, Man (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 5/2: Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama (Blu-ray)
  • 4/29: Deadpool (Uhd)
  • 4/25: Marvel's Agent Carter: Season 1 (Amazon Exclusive) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/20: Dolemite (Blu-ray)
  • 4/20: Suspicion (Blu-ray)
  • 4/19: The Revenant (Blu-ray)
  • 4/12: Krampus (Blu-ray)
  • 4/12: Bride of Re-Animator (Director Approved 3-Disc Limited Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/9: Ghost World (Import-Germany, Region Free Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/5: Perfume of the Lady in Black (Blu-ray)
  • 4/4: The Stuff (Special Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/4: Justice League vs Teen Titans (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) (Blu-ray)
  • 4/4: The Chase (1946) (Blu-ray)
  • 3/26: The Hateful Eight (Blu-ray)
  • 3/25: Bad Milo! (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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