I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Posts Tagged ‘Donald Pleasence’

THX 1138

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

tn_thx1138So, we got this new STAR WARS movie coming up at the end of the month. The world has breathed a sigh of relief that the Star Wars story and characters have been liberated from the tyrannical grip of their creator and are finally where they belong: as a trademarked intellectual property of the Walt Disney corporation to hire different less visionary/uppity directors to make authorized fake versions of every year forever.

But what do we really know about former Star Wars creator George Lucas, other than that he is one of history’s greatest monsters and childhood rapers? Not much. We know he moved millions of people for generations with his Star Wars movies, revolutionized the technology of special effects and theater presentation, sold his creations for $4.05 billion (actual number, not funny exaggerated one) and then donated almost all of that to charity. That’s kind of nice trivia, but of course it doesn’t change the sinister fact that he altered a bunch of things in his beloved movies years after the fact and then made three new movies that some people thought were bad, making him the boogie man of twenty first century pop culture.

But perhaps there is a way for us to separate the artist from the special editioner. Exhaustive research has uncovered evidence of Lucas’s name in the credits of other films that do not even take place in space. Outlawvern.com is prepared to EXCLUSIVELY report that George Lucas had a hand in some movies that weren’t about any star wars at all. And though it may be painful, though it may be politically uncorrect, I thought maybe they would be worth getting to know and understand. How do we prevent this from happening again, etc.

So, throughout this next month or two, depending on how long it takes me, I will be doing LUCAS MINUS STAR WARS, reviewing every non-Star-Wars movie released by his company Lucasfilm (note: I already reviewed HOWARD THE DUCK so I might skip that one) and a few others that he had a hand in outside of his company, starting with his directorial debut THX 1138. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Halloween II

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

tn_halloweeniiHALLOWEEN II is… not HALLOWEEN. But I guess that’s why they added the “II” on it. I should’ve caught that.

Continuing immediately from the end of John Carpenter’s genre-defining much-imitated timeless unkillable masterpiece classic, and using most of the same crew (including cinematographer Dean Cundey), it’s able to imitate the style enough to recapture the feel sometimes. Other times it just emphasizes how outstanding and impossible to duplicate Carpenter’s touch was.

To be fair, this was written and produced by Carpenter and Debra Hill, scored by Carpenter, who also chose the director, Rick Rosenthal (who later ended the series in disgrace with HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION) on the basis of a short he directed. Then, when it was filmed and Carpenter didn’t think it was scary enough he went and shot gorier death scenes. So he has a hand in it, for good or bad.

This is one of the rare sequels that just continues exactly from the ending of the last one. So it starts by replaying the ending of the original, where Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) shows up to rescue Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) by shooting Michael “The Shape” Myers (in the new footage played by stunt coordinator Dick Warlock, the only major cast change), who then disappears. I always wonder if the end of HALLOWEEN, a series of shots of empty locations, was meant to imply that Michael could be anywhere, or that he IS everywhere. But part II goes with the first choice. He snuck off.

The sequel proper begins with an excellent steadicam P.O.V. sequence. Carpenter has his scene from the point-of-view of young clown-costumed Michael spying on and then murdering his sister on Halloween night. Rosenthal has adult Michael walking around dark Haddonfield unseen by unsuspecting suburbanites. We hear his breath, the dogs barking and nearby cars driving by as he walks through an alley and looks into people’s homes. Some of the innocents he comes across are doomed, most will not know how close they came, or that they walked right past him without noticing his presence. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Raw Meat

Friday, October 19th, 2012

All I knew was RAW MEAT was some kind of a cannibal-in-the-subway movie from Gary Sherman, director of VICE SQUAD and POLTERGEIST III. I heard it was good, meant to see it for a long time, finally did.

During the opening credits – an artful, colorful montage of an upper class gentleman walking through strip club neon, set to some crazy jazz – I learned that it’s from 1972. I expected later. This is pre-TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. I don’t know about this. Is this modern enough to be a good cannibal movie?
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Django Strikes Again

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

“Hey shithead. What’s the big idea, bringing this coffin here?”

So there are around 30 spaghetti westerns (and one Tarantino movie) that use the name “Django,” but none of them are official sequels except 1987’s DJANGO 2: IL GRANDE RITORNO, aka DJANGO STRIKE AGAIN or DJANGO RIDES AGAIN or D2ANGO. Franco Nero returns as Django. Sergio Corbucci was supposed to return as director, but backed out and just got a story credit. The director is Nello Rossati, who doesn’t seem to be a big name director but did direct a movie called DON’T TOUCH THE CHILDREN!
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Alone in the Dark

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

tn_aloneindarkALONE IN THE DARK is the story of a bunch of people together in the dark. It’s a siege movie, but it starts out like THE NINTH CONFIGURATION or other movies where a guy comes in to take over as the new doctor at a mental hospital, and he meets all the colorful characters and what not. For example New Line Cinema’s mascot Lynn Shaye plays the receptionist who turns out to be a patient.

Dwight Schultz, aka Howling Mad Murdoch, the mentally ill member of the A-Team, gets to play the doctor in this one. It would be cool if Mr. T showed up as a vegan helicopter pilot, or George Peppard as a spacey hippie who absolutely hates it when a plan comes together. Instead they have ex-military Jack Palance and preacher/arsonist Martin Landau as two of the guys on the third floor. These are the patients one hospital employee describes as “very, very intense.” They also got a huge fat child molester (Erland van Lidth, Dynamo from THE RUNNING MAN) and a notion that Dwight Schultz killed the old doctor and they gotta get revenge. They wait for a window of opportunity, and it opens up pretty quick when there’s a power outage and they’re able to get out, Michael Meyers style. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Wake in Fright (aka Outback)

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

tn_wakeinfrightWAKE IN FRIGHT is a fever dream of a movie from Australia circa 1971 and director Ted Kotcheff (FIRST BLOOD). It stars Bond… Gary Bond as a teacher leaving for Christmas break from a school he’s stuck teaching at out in the middle of nowhere in the outback. He hates it and is desperate to make it back to Sydney and see his surfer girlfriend. But it’s a long trip and while staying the night in a town called “The Yabba” he goes out for a drink. And it turns out to be a long fucking night. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.