Review: The Walking Dead – “Consumed” S05,E06

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“And at the prison I got to be who I always thought I should be, thought I should have been. And then she got burned away. Everything now just consumes you.”–Carol

“We ain’t ashes.”–Darryl

Who would have thought in its fifth season that The Walking Dead would arguably be the best show on television? At this point in most series’ runs, writers are more or less out of ideas, the fires of their imaginations fueled solely by embers. But with “Consumed”, The Walking Dead seems to be burning brighter than ever.

I use that analogy because “Consumed” was largely about fire and how it consumes and changes whatever it comes into contact with. It doesn’t have to be a literal fire (though flames are a recurring motif throughout); instead, in Carol’s (Melissa McBride) case, fire represents a cleansing of sorts, in ways both good and bad.

As she and Darryl (Norman Reedus) search for Beth, Carol reminisces about her life, first as a battered wife unwilling to change her lot in life in a more permanent manner, then as someone who struggled to adapt to ever changing situations. Every incarnation of her has been “burned away” thus far to the point where she isn’t even certain as to her identity any longer (another important theme in the fifth season which I’ll get back to later).

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“Consumed”, like “Self-Help“, is peppered with brief flashbacks, this time centering on Carol. We see what happened to her after Rick (Andrew Lincoln) cast her out of the group, that she hadn’t gone far and was drawn back by the black smoke billowing up from the prison. That’s followed up with Carol burning the bodies of those she killed at the prison, Carol and Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) burying the girls, and her approaching Terminus prior to freeing Rick and the rest of the group. All of these serve to illuminate how much Carol has changed since she was the timid wife of an abusive man, that she’s willing to do what needs to be done in order to survive.

The main plot of “Consumed” is a rather simple one: Carol and Darryl search for Beth (Emily Kinney), overcoming walkers, injuries, and assorted hurdles in their journey*. Their discussions revolve around how life in the post-apocalyptic world has irrevocably altered them and will continue to do so with every new threat they face while struggling to survive. Eventually, they are stalked by a mystery man that turns out to be Noah (Tyler James Williams), the man Beth aided in escaping the hospital back in “Slabtown“. He tells them about Beth shortly before Carol is struck by one of the hospital’s cars**.

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*In a particularly well executed scene, Carol and Darryl are trapped inside a hospital van teetering over a bridge and besieged by walkers with only one way out. Though the crash stretched a little credibility (in that it most likely would have landed on its roof), the writers and director wisely chose to insert dark humor featuring walkers plopping down onto the roof one by one in a welcome moment of levity.

**Usually, running into a character who’s only appeared once on a series that ends up providing valuable information at an opportune moment would seem a little forced and hokey but since The Walking Dead has brilliantly crafted the episodes out of sequence yet following a strict timeline, it works beautifully.

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The most intriguing aspect of both “Consumed” and season five in general is the search for identity both as an individual and in regard to how successfully one fits within the dynamic of “society” (or at least whatever version of it exists for these people). It’s very smart of showrunner Scott Gimple to introduce something like this thematically to rejuvenate the series because by allowing us to get to know the characters better (and even tying in to the history of the show), we’re now more invested as viewers. We’re coming to know the characters as people rather than stereotypes and that’s served the overall story well.

In an already strong season, “Consumed” might just have set the bar for the finest hour thus far, not only for the season, but also the series as a whole. Thanks to an Emmy worthy performance by Melissa McBride (and strong work from Reedus as well), a sparse, yet meaningful script by Matthew Negrete & Corey Reed and tight direction from Seith Mann, The Walking Dead has become nothing short of brilliant, engrossing television.

The Walking Dead – “Consumed” grade: A+

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Review: The Babadook (2014)

Babadook

Amelia (Essie Davis) is tired. She’s tired of raising her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a precocious six year old with behavioral issues. She’s tired of working to make ends meet after abandoning her writing career. Most of all, Amelia’s tired of Samuel being a constant reminder of her husband who died in a horrific car accident while they were en route to the hospital six years earlier.

She struggles to admit it, but Samuel is a handful. Sure, he has interests like performing magic tricks, but he’s also preoccupied with creating weapons and booby traps to fight monsters. One night, after he insists she read a rather odd children’s book entitled Mister Babadook to him, he increases his efforts to protect both himself and his mother–the latter of whom is displaying signs of descending into madness.

The Babadook is a horror film that’s generated a lot of good word of mouth over the past year and one that I’ve been dying to see.

So why is it that it left me unfulfilled and unimpressed?

The Babadook is an extremely well made horror film. Director Jennifer Kent creates a world in which colors are washed out, rendering the lives of Amelia and Samuel colorless and joyless. There’s almost no hope and things only get worse with the arrival of the titular monster. In the vein of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Kent deftly utilizes Amelia’s inability to sleep to keep the audience off kilter, never knowing whether we’re in a fever dream or a stark, waking nightmare. Is the Babadook a true otherworldly creature or just the invention of an increasingly demented and beleaguered woman’s imagination?

More often than not, The Babadook will send chills up your spine. By using images of the creature on the barrage of ever changing television shows Amelia watches, we never know if she’s just going insane or if the monster is starting to possess her. And does the book really exist? She seems to think so even after attempting to destroy it and it comes back in a much more malevolent form.

The performances by both Davis and Wiseman are phenomenal and you truly believe that they’re at the point of no return, that nothing can possibly save them from the creature invading their already strained lives. Even prior to the introduction of the Babadook, you know that they have a long road ahead of them if they don’t completely break down mentally in the near future.

That said, there was just something that didn’t click with me in regard to The Babadook. I found the Samuel character to be grating (through no fault of Wiseman who expertly morphs from innocence to terror when called upon to do so) and the constant reminder that he has behavioral problems throughout the first half hour was a little too much. We only need to see it once or twice to get the idea. Once you start beating a dead horse by repeating the same information, it disconnects the viewer from the slow burn the film tries hard to create.

For the most part, I don’t need explanations regarding the origins of anything, but it would have been nice to touch upon where the Babadook came from. Why did the Mister Babadook book just appear one day and why to this specific family? And the final fate of the creature makes little sense considering the thin information we’ve been given about it. Sure it remains more or less a supernatural entity, but the inclusion of Amelia’s visit to the basement where the Babadook remains (for a reason I won’t spoil) in the final scenes remove some of the terror surrounding it and instead appear hokey.

I wish I would have enjoyed The Babadook more because it’s a pretty original premise (again, considering some scenes were inspired by elements from A Nightmare on Elm Street and even The Descent in the opening of the film) but, at least for me, the film fell flat with the execution. The pacing and some of the minor plot holes were too much of a distraction from the wonderful performances and aesthetic choices for me to rave about the film as others have.

The Babadook grade: C+

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Review: Afterlife With Archie Vol. 1 – Escape From Riverdale (2014)

Afterlife

Riverdale bad boy Reggie Mantle accidentally hits Jughead’s dog, Hot Dog, with his car, killing him. Distraught, Jughead seeks help in resurrecting him from Sabrina, who, against the wishes of her elders, casts a spell which brings Hot Dog back from the grave.

But he comes back wrong.

Hot Dog has a taste for flesh and the first one he bites is Jughead who eventually becomes a zombie and crashes a school dance looking for victims. One by one, local residents succumb to the zombie plague while Archie and several other characters (Veronica, Betty, Reggie, and a few others) barricade themselves inside the Lodge mansion and prepare to fend off the undead.

This is definitely not the Archie and the rest of the gang from Riverdale you might remember as a kid–and that’s not a bad thing! Comics have to change with the times and the Archie universe I fondly remember reading as a kid is now outdated, a remnant of a simpler time. In Afterlife with Archie, writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Francesco Francavilla create an alternative universe filled with terror and suspense, devoid of the hijinks we’ve come to expect from Archie and his pals.

I didn’t expect to enjoy Afterlife with Archie because, let’s face it, the whole zombie genre has been done to death. However, thanks to Aguirre-Sacasa’s tight plotting and the dark pencils by Francavilla that perfectly complement the story, the trade paperback (which collects the first five issues of the ongoing series) is well worth your time and money. In fact, get it just for the heartbreaking scene featuring Archie’s dog, Vegas. If it doesn’t move you, nothing will.

I’m looking forward to catching up with the rest of the series, if not in the trades, then in the ongoing monthly series because this is one comic that shows a lot of promise if the creative team sticks with it.

Afterlife with Archie grade: A-


Afterlife with Archie (Kindle Edition)

By (author): Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Release date June 10, 2014.
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Review: The Walking Dead – “Self-Help” S05,E05

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“You’re not the person people think you are…and you don’t want them to know who you are.– Maggie

Faithful readers of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic knew exactly who Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) was–or at least claimed to be during the arc of the comic book that’s currently being reflected on the show.

As it turns out, he’s a complete fraud, nothing more than a mere human doing his best to survive by masquerading as a scientist and enlisting others to help him get to a destination that might be safer. When Eugene insists that he’s smarter than everyone else, you can take that at face value because he is (or at least was until his revelation). In the post apocalyptic landscape, you use what you have to in order to stay alive. In Eugene’s case, it was his wits as well as his ability to recognize that people need a reason to move forward.

One of those people is Abraham (Michael Cudlitz). In a smart juxtaposition, Abraham is the brawn to Eugene’s brain, willing to use muscle to complete the mission of getting Eugene safely to Washington, DC. Without admitting it, though, Abraham uses Eugene as much as Eugene used him.

Thanks to a series of brief flashbacks, it’s revealed that Abraham protected his family by beating to death those people that threatened his wife and two children. After waking one morning, Abraham finds a note telling him that they’ve left and that he shouldn’t attempt to follow them. Soon after, he finds their partially devoured corpses strewn across the lawn outside. Just as he’s about to kill himself, he comes across Eugene, begging to be saved from walkers and lying about a mission he has to complete.

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“Self-Help” drops clues early on that Eugene is not what he appears to be. Shortly after the bus crashes, Eugene confides to Tara (Alanna Masterson) that he placed glass shards in the fuel line, intending to only stop the bus from getting very far instead of wrecking it. He felt that if he didn’t help save the world that he had no value. Again, he’s intelligent enough to understand the power dynamics of the new world order–if you can’t contribute, you’re nothing more than dead weight.

Later, in his discussion with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), she utters those lines above, even though she more or less chalks Eugene’s aloofness up to his intelligence and inability to use strength to survive rather than him having a terrible secret.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really impressed with the way showrunner Scott Gimple is moving things along quickly. I half expected Eugene’s sham to last at least through the end of the first half of this season (if not longer) but, as in the Terminus storyline, it came to an abrupt end with a pretty satisfactory resolution.

“Self-Help” was a marked improvement over last week’s “Slabtown” because it once again focused on the group struggle rather than just one individual. “Slabtown” failed mainly because it took us away from the characters which we’ve come to care about (I never thought I’d write those words and probably wouldn’t have during the first few seasons) and focused on one (Beth) that had been away for a while as well as a crop of new ones that won’t be around much longer (hopefully, anyway).

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“Self-Help” was also instrumental in displaying that neither an abundance of bullheaded might (Abraham) nor arrogant intelligence (Eugene) is solely responsible for survival. Yes, these attributes are helpful but you have to temper them with other things like common sense and empathy. That’s why surrounding yourself with others who have different strengths and weaknesses is essential for protection not only against the undead, but also horrible humans.

While there were a few missteps in the episode (no one gets more than a few scratches in a huge bus crash, for example), “Self-Help” more than redeems itself through its solid storytelling and sharp visuals. And even though I’m not a huge fan of flashbacks, they worked to the episode’s advantage, never telling us more than we need to know but offering vital information just the same.

Thanks to a lively script filled with action and humor (which this show needs on occasion) by Heather Bellson & Seth Hoffman and tight direction from Ernest Dickerson, “Self-Help” is another strong episode in what’s shaping up to be a fantastic comeback season for The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead – “Self-Help” grade: A-

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Review: The Walking Dead – “Slabtown” S05,E04

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Though we finally learned what happened to Beth (Emily Kinney), whatever momentum The Walking Dead had going for it through the first three episodes came to a grinding halt with “Slabtown”.

It turns out Beth was “rescued” by a group that’s taken over a major hospital in downtown Atlanta. Dawn (Christine Woods), a police officer, leads a small force that provides security in return for other favors. Some, like Noah (Tyler James Williams) take on custodial and other basic duties. Dr. Steven Edwards (Erik Jensen) is the only physician so he’s protected as long as he’s valuable. Beth is guilted into nursing tasks, though it’s alluded to that she may have to eventually perform other acts to keep the men happy.

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Eventually, Beth realizes what psychos her protectors are. The ones in charge maintain force through regular punishments, something Dawn insists upon to keep everyone in line until they’re rescued. Beth lets her know that all her beliefs are wishful thinking, that no one is going to come for them. She plots an escape with Noah which ends up being partially successful. In the end, she realizes that even those who are kind (like the good doctor) do whatever they have to in order to survive. Just as she plans to kill him, she sees Carol (Melissa McBride) being brought in on a gurney, thwarting her idea to off the only medical professional they have.

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It’s not that “Slabtown” was a terrible episode, but when an ensemble show decides to devote an entire hour to one character (and one that’s been missing for some time now), you expect it to be a little more exciting. Unfortunately, “Slabtown” has maybe a half hour’s worth of workable material that’s stretched out to a full episode.

The continual run-ins with Dawn and some of the other officers get repetitive after a while as if the writers needed to continually remind us that these are bad people who will stop at nothing to maintain the illusion of order. This theme has already been explored, most recently with the inhabitants of Terminus, so the hospital setting in “Slabtown” offers only a different location with a slight variation on the same idea.

To be honest, even with a few well done scenes, “Slabtown” was on the dull side. The Walking Dead doesn’t have to be wall to wall zombies to be a great show (as evident by the first three episodes of the season), but it does have to successfully create drama using the human characters and Sunday night’s episode just fell flat in that regard.

It looks as if we’ll have to wait a while to find out what happened to Carol. Judging by the previews for the next episode, it will focus on Abraham and his group as they make their way toward DC. I’m not certain if splitting up the group is going to work in the long run. Again, that’s another road we’ve been down already after the prison was destroyed. That worked out well and perhaps this will too.

But if “Slabtown” was indicative of where the rest of the season is going, this show’s going to have some issues.

The Walking Dead – “Slabtown” grade: C-

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My 31 Days of Halloween Retrospective

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Each year, I always promised myself that I’d watch a horror movie a day and was never able to get around to it. (I’ve gotten to the age where my goals aren’t as lofty anymore, apparently.) Due to time constraints and other circumstances, the whole plan always fell apart and usually early on in the month (which was nice because then I didn’t have to watch everything go down the drain later on).

This year, I was finally able to complete my task. Not only was I able to watch one a day, but nearly all of them were films I had never seen before–the one lone exception was The Legend of Hell House, something I’d seen years ago, but had never viewed on Blu-Ray with additional special features.

Anyway, here’s the complete list of every film seen and reviewed (the grades I gave each are within the posting at the end of the review). They span nearly 100 years, from 1921 all the way up to 2014. Hopefully, there are a few that will catch your eye and that you’ll enjoy (or despise) as much as I did. Thanks to all of you who read and commented the past month. Who knows, maybe I’ll do it again next year.

Dead Snow (2009)

The Legend of Hell House (1973)

The Sacrament (2013)

The Stepford Wives (1975)

What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962)

White Zombie (1932)

Dementia 13 (1963)

Zombie Strippers (2008)

Tentacles (1977)

Screamtime (1984)

Hatchet For The Honeymoon (1970)

Happy Birthday To Me (1981)

Blue Sunshine (1978)

The Haunted Dollhouse (aka DevilDolls) (2012)

Stake Land (2010)

The Phantom Carriage (1921)

The Hearse (1980)

Death Bed- The Bed That Eats (1977)

World War Z (2013)

Doc of the Dead (2014)

Mr. Sardonicus (1961)

Blacula (1972)

In The Mouth of Madness (1995)

The Psychopath (1966)

13 Sins (2014)

House of the Long Shadows (1983)

Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1967)

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

Scarecrows (1988)

Torture Garden (1967)

 

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Review: Torture Garden (1967)

Torture Garden

 

“It will show you nothing but what is in your own heart.”–Dr. Diabolo

When I randomly selected Torture Garden as the final film in my 31 Days of Halloween movie marathon, how could I have known that it would come from the same team that created a movie I saw a week ago today (The Psychopath)?

Director Freddie Francis (Tales From The Crypt), writer Robert Bloch (Psycho), and producer Milton Subotsky (The Monster Club) came together again in 1967 to make the anthology film starring Burgess Meredith (The Twilight Zone, Batman) and Jack Palance (City Slickers, Shane).

Torture Garden follows the same basic structure as other Amicus anthologies such as The Vault of Horror, Tales From The Crypt, and From Beyond the Grave in that a mysterious main character allows several individuals to obtain a glimpse into their very often ominous futures. In this film we meet:

  • A man who finds himself driven to murder by a mesmerizing, man-eating cat
  • A Hollywood actress who will do anything to become one of the top 10 stars
  • A famed pianist whose grand piano holds an evil sway over him
  • An Edgar Allan Poe collector (Palance) who murders another collector (Peter Cushing) to gain access to his items and uncover dark secrets

None of the segments are particularly bad. However, none are particularly memorable either. They’re basically watered down morality tales you might find on TV shows like The Twilight Zone or Thriller (both of which were far better at executing this type of material).

If you’re looking for something to pass the time on a gloomy afternoon, you could do a lot worse than Torture Garden, but I would recommend checking out one of the later Amicus anthologies–they had a bit more flair and the twists were a little more creative. Seek this one out only for a rare villainous turn by Burgess Meredith, a great character actor whose performance always elevated any story.

Torture Garden grade: C


Torture Garden (DVD)

Director: Freddie Francis
Starring: Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, Beverly Adams, Peter Cushing, Maurice Denham
Rating: NR (Not Rated)

List Price: $9.99 USD
New From: $4.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.85 USD In Stock

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Review: Scarecrows (1988)

Scarecrows

Five paramilitary bank robbers steal three million dollars from Camp Pendleton, murdering soldiers in the process. After they hijack a plane and take the pilot and his daughter hostage, one of the thieves, Bert (B.J. Turner) takes the money and parachutes out, landing in a field filled with scarecrows. To get the money back, the others track him down and, in the process, awaken the scarecrows that protect the land.

Now it’s a race against time as they try to recover the money and fight to stay alive. Can they make it to safety before the scarecrows hunt them down?

As it is, Scarecrows didn’t exactly work as a full length feature (even though it only clocks in at a scant 83 minutes), but there’s a hell of a great idea at the root of the movie. In fact, there’s even some really interesting stuff peppered throughout the course of the film.* However, what actually makes it on to the screen displays more of an interest in the characters, which aren’t at all developed, and the crime plot revolving around the money that eats up the first half hour.

*At one point, one of the thieves suggests that they all might have been killed during the robbery and that they might be dead and in hell. That was a really interesting take on it and, although it’s not necessarily something the film had to explore, I thought mentioning the possibility showed insight into their predicament. Too bad it was little more than a throwaway line.

Another huge issue I had with Scarecrows is the absence of any reasoning behind the attacks from the monsters–or even why they exist at all. We’re repeatedly shown a photo of three men (who I would assume are the scarecrows), but there’s no explanation, logical or otherwise, as to why they adopt murderous tendencies while protecting the area or even if the men are indeed the titular monsters. Why do they kill others and make them into scarecrows? Is it because these are bad people? If so, why try to kill those who aren’t?

As a horror fan, I’m never one to want more information about why something is happening within a story. For example, both the original Halloween and Black Christmas never really provided you with the reasoning behind the killings. However, there’s enough exposition within the story and plenty of interesting characters–both of which Scarecrows sorely lacked–that help to move the tale forward and provide genuine terror for both the characters inhabiting the film as well as the audience. Scarecrows could have used some sort of basic explanation to invest viewers a little more.

I can’t say I wouldn’t recommend Scarecrows because there’s so much here that I wished would have been executed in a more coherent manner to make it somewhat entertaining. However, there’s not enough here to give it a positive review either. If you’re at wits end and there’s nothing else on, sure, give Scarecrows a look, but there are a lot better films out there on which to spend your time wisely.

Scarecrows grade: C-

 

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Review: Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)

Nosferatu

 

“Time is an abyss… profound as a thousand nights. Centuries come and go. To be unable to grow old is terrible. Death is not the worst. There are things more horrible than death. Can you imagine enduring centuries, experiencing each day the same futilities?”–Count Dracula (Klaus Kinski)

Simply put, Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre is a splendid retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, albeit with a few minor twists.

In this version, Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz) is an estate agent married to Lucy (Isabelle Adjani) and is commissioned by his boss, Renfield (Roland Topor) to finalize a property deal with Count Dracula (Kinski), a nobleman looking to purchase a house in the area.

Harker travels to Transylvania so that Dracula may sign the papers, even though local townspeople warn him repeatedly not to make the trip. Harker dismisses it as superstition and continues on his journey. He finally meets Dracula, who bears a resemblance to a rodent, complete with sharp teeth, pale skin, and long nails. Enamored after a glimpse of Lucy’s photo, the count hastens his plans to relocate, taking his coffins with him to the high seas while leaving Harker to plot an escape and stop him.

After seeing that trailer, I really wish I would have watched the German language version with subtitles. Apparently, the actors found it much more comfortable to use their native languages rather than speak English and I can see the difference immediately in just those few scenes. There are times in the English version (which isn’t dubbed; it’s an alternate version where it’s done completely in the language) where the acting seems a bit stilted, most likely as a result of the lack of confidence in speaking another language.

In either case, Nosferatu the Vampire is an amazing film. Herzog (who also wrote the script) fills the movie with the lingering threat of dread and death and his direction complements it beautifully. Regardless of whether it’s the scenes with the coffins being carried across the town–the result of local residents falling prey to the vampiric “plague”–or the stark shots of the ship on the ocean (where the same fate befalls its passengers), Nosferatu the Vampyre delivers on every level and is a must see for not only film fans, but also those who love the vampire subgenre.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this version is the fact that it treats Dracula with a level of pity that hadn’t been touched upon in many films at the time. Thanks to Kinski’s performance, Dracula is a haunted individual, doomed to repeat the same cycle for eternity and searching for someone he can love. Kinski’s version of the mythical vampire carries a weariness about him that sets his portrayal apart from so many others who have inhabited the role and that alone should carve out a special place for him among vampire fans.

Yet I really never hear much about Kinski when people talk about vampire films and that’s sad. He certainly should be mentioned along with Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and Max Schreck.

Just for Kinski alone, Nosferatu the Vampyre shouldn’t be missed. But take my word for it, seek out the German subtitled version. You’ll probably enjoy that one a little more.

Nosferatu the Vampyre grade: A


Nosferatu The Vampyre [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)

Director: Werner Herzog
Starring: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

List Price: $24.97 USD
New From: $11.20 USD In Stock
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Review: All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

Mandy Lane

A bunch of teens go to a ranch and get picked off one by one. Oh, and the boys totally want to get with Mandy Lane (Amber Heard).

That’s it. That’s basically the whole plot of the movie.

Well, there’s a little more to it than that if you consider the twist ending you can see coming from miles away.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is derivative of a slew of other genre and non genre films, hearkening all the way back to 70s “grindhouse” movies. The only problem is that it doesn’t really offer anything new. The characters are little more than stereotypes stuck in a story that doesn’t have much going for it. You can easily see where screenwriter Jacob Forman was heavily influenced by the events at Columbine and his bare bones script is jazzed up by an overly artsy directorial turn by Jonathan Levine. Unfortunately, Levine ends up tipping off the climax thanks to several of those artistic choices.

The only thing that made All The Boys Love Mandy Lane worthwhile was the stark cinematography by Darren Genet. His work also evoked some of the films in the 70s, but in a positive way and lent some authenticity to the movie.

Apparently, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane was originally completed in 2006 but, due to distribution issues, wasn’t released to the masses until 2013. Perhaps the film would have felt a little more fresh back then. It’s difficult to say, but I have a feeling that my reaction would have been the same eight years ago. In addition to the issues listed above, nothing happens for at least the first 40 minutes. All we’re treated to is everyone loving the empty vessel that is Mandy Lane. That’s not enough to spark interest or care about any of the characters in the film.

My advice is to avoid All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and seek out some of the grindhouse films. At least you’ll have more fun.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane grade: D

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