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Archive for the ‘Blog Post (short for weblog)’ Category

early review on Patreon: THE PRIMEVALS

Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

For those who currently do or want to start patronizing me on the ol’ Patreon, I have posted my review of THE PRIMEVALS, Full Moon’s Yeti vs. lizard men movie that was the passion project of their top stop motion animator David Allen, first pitched in the late ’60s, filmed in 1994, and thought dormant when he died without quite finishing it in 1999. Now it’s been miraculously unfrozen and coming to VOD soon.

If you’re not able to or don’t want to give me money, I get it and I plan to post this particular one for free here very soon. But I gotta self promote and remind you every once in a while that for less than it costs to buy a refrigerator magnet at the $1.01 Store you can get access to a bunch of exclusive posts and help me continue to work only part time at the day job and put most of my time and mental focus into providing you the good shit here at outlawvern.com. Thank you!


Vern’s Oscar Round-Up and 2023 Recap Thing

Thursday, March 7th, 2024

For some years now, some of you may remember, I’ve made it a point to watch all of the best picture nominees. This year, for the first time ever, I’d already seen all of them when the nominations were announced. Achievement unlocked, as they say in whatever they say that in.

Since I was ahead of the game there I thought maybe I could also review them all for the first time ever. I always don’t get around to a couple of them, and that’s what happened this year too. I did review AMERICAN FICTION and ANATOMY OF A FALL together, as well as BARBIE, MAESTRO, OPPENHEIMER, POOR THINGS and THE ZONE OF INTEREST. The ones I missed were THE HOLDOVERS, KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON and PAST LIVES, so I’ll say a little about them now. (read the rest of this shit…)

Talking Seagal with The Suspense is Killing Us

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Some years ago I appeared on a podcast called The Suspense is Killing Us to discuss RICOCHET and two other Denzel movies. (Here’s the episode.) These are my real life friends but I think even if they weren’t I would endorse this podcast because it has the great goal of analyzing the kind of thrillers that were so big in the ’90s but don’t exist much anymore, and because they make me laugh out loud all the time.

That was episode 7, and 107 episodes later I’m finally returning. They do sometimes stretch the definition of what type of movie they can cover, and they wanted to do THE GLIMMER MAN (Seagal’s closest to fitting the type of movies they usually do). Tasked with choosing two other Seagal pictures for them to watch I went with one of the more definitively good ones (HARD TO KILL) and one of my favorite crazy ones (BELLY OF THE BEAST).

I really haven’t revisited Seagal’s movies much in recent years so it was great to have an excuse to do it and find that I can still enjoy them. Theirs is also the only podcast I’ve been able to do in person, which obviously is a different experience from calling in. I really recommend this podcast in general, it’s always a fun time, check it out.



Profiles in Badass #9: Michelle Yeoh (from the archives)

Thursday, March 16th, 2023


In 2019 and 2020 I wrote a dozen Profiles in Badass columns for a new online outlet called Rebeller. It was pitched to me as a “Fangoria for action movies” that would bring together people from all across the political spectrum. It turned out to be more of an anti-PC thing that caused me stress and shame until I quit.

I didn’t pay for a membership so I never saw the comments, and have no idea if people enjoyed my columns or dragged them across concrete. The only reader feedback I saw (other than from regulars here) was when some prick on Twitter shamed them for caving to the PC woke anti-male agenda or whatever by publishing my column about Michelle Yeoh (which he declined to read). Only the sharpest, most reasonable minds over there.

But considering Michelle Motherfuckin Yeoh’s recent upgrade to ACADEMY AWARD WINNER MICHELLE MOTHERFUCKIN YEOH I am re-upping that column for anyone who wants to know more about her filmography. For historical purposes I’m leaving it as I submitted it, but I have two corrections to make:

1) I repeatedly referred to Yuen Woo-ping as “Woo-ping” when his surname is Yuen. Sorry about that. I guess I thought we were friends.

2) At that time I still believed Yeoh did a real motorcycle jump onto that train in SUPERCOP; The Art of Action later informed me that Bruce Law did a jump over the train onto boxes and the landing was Yeoh being lowered onto the train with a very cool wire rig. (Still a great stunt, but very different from what I always believed and spread the legend of.)

(read the rest of this shit…)

Oscar preview 2023

Friday, March 10th, 2023

Hello friends, and welcome to my annual preview of the Oscars. They happen on Sunday and I’m anticipating them in the very rare-for-me position of my actual personal favorite movie of the year (EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE) being the clear favorite for many categories, including best picture. It makes me a little nervous because, for example, in 2015 I wasn’t expecting MAD MAX: FURY ROAD to win an “obviously this is the best picture, how is this even a discussion?” trophy, so I wasn’t let down when it didn’t. So I’m trying to keep in mind that whatever happens it’s amazing that this small, weird, unlikely movie managed to catch on so big and already won a bunch of the other awards. It doesn’t need to win everything. Though it would be cool.

This year for my preview I’ll go ahead and go through each of the categories, though I’ll have less informed opinions on some where I haven’t seen all the nominees. And of course I encourage following the links to my reviews of the ones I’ve seen.
(read the rest of this shit…)

New Patreon exclusive: my NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER commentary track!

Friday, February 24th, 2023

Well, I’ve been thinking about it for far too long, but I’ve finally gone and done it: my first home brew, play along commentary track. This is designed to sync up with the US cut of NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER (the shorter of the two included on the Kino Lorber DVD and blu-ray) but I think it would also work okay if you just want to listen to it like a podcast. I try to explain my love for this intersection of Hong Kong cinema and ’80s American pop culture, with my usual goal of being informative and wise but also funny, sincere, and occasionally stupid. Lots of talk about little details of the movie and the people in it, the Seattle locations, the history of action movies filmed in Seattle, the worldwide phenomenon of Bruce Lee worship, some stupid stories about me, and of course plenty about Van Damme. (Sorry for slagging Chuck Norris for the same reason two different times, but I say some nice things about him too.)

I hope you enjoy this and that it shows some of my gratitude to my supporters on Patreon, who have truly improved my life by making it possible for me to only work part time at the day job and focus on writing more and better reviews for free here on outlawvern.com. If you haven’t done that and you’re able to, please consider it – I didn’t set support levels, so even if you just do a dollar a month you get this and all the exclusive reviews that are on there.

Thanks everyone! Let me know what you think and what other types of things you might enjoy as Patreon exclusives.


Talking TOOLBOX MURDERS on ‘F This Movie!’

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

Is everyone here familiar with Patrick Bromley and ‘F This Movie!’? The latter is a websight and a podcast and I know the name sounds negative but really Patrick is all about sharing his passion for the things he loves, including his favorite director Tobe Hooper. (He even did a commentary track on that beautiful new TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 from Vinegar Syndrome.) And kind of like us ‘F This Movie!’ has a whole community of similarly-minded movie lovers talking about the shit they’re into.

Patrick knew I shared a love for Hooper and he was kind enough to invite me on to talk about it. I chose TOOLBOX MURDERS as the focus since I’m high on it again after the Halloween rewatch. I had a great time and I think I’m feeling better about the less successful time I tried to talk about Hooper on a podcast (the Kingcast incident discussed in my TOOLBOX MURDERS review). Don’t worry, we don’t dwell on that. It’s a good talk with lots of interesting tangents.



New Patreon post: Lana Wachowski’s Clive Barker comic books

Friday, October 14th, 2022

Last December when I was revisiting all the MATRIX movies I started thinking about the trivia that Lana Wachowski had written some comic books before becoming a filmmaker. It caught my attention not only because I’m interested in the evolution of her interests and ideas, but because all of the comics she wrote were based on characters created by Clive Barker, and I’m into that shit.

Other than a little bit of HELLRAISER in the battery farm I never made much of a connection between THE MATRIX and Barker until watching for it this time through. I noted some connections in the reviews, but stayed fascinated enough with the subject that I tracked down and read all 17 Barker comics credited to Lana Wachowski (under her previous name). I thought I could write about it for a Patreon bonus, but I was slow to capitalize on interest in THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS.

But hey, now there’s a new HELLRAISER! It’s timely again! So check out my findings on each of the comics, in approximate publication order.


The piece explores all of Lana Wachowski’s Hellraiser, Nightbreed, and (my favorite) EctoKid comics. To unlock it you just have to sign up for any amount of money, and then you can also read all my reviews of the TWILIGHT series, other exclusive pieces about TV specials and books, some early reviews, and most importantly your contribution keeps me only working part time at the day job so I can keep doing all the good shit here. Thank you, I have such sights to show you because there is no spoon, etc.


Talking SECTION 8 on the Dolph podcast

Sunday, October 9th, 2022

I just made my second appearance on “‘I Must Break’ This Podcast,” where I seem to go to discuss movies that Dolph Lundgren is briefly in. The first time it was for the excellent Amy Johnston vehicle FEMALE FIGHT SQUAD, and this time it’s for SECTION 8, the new one starring Ryan Kwanten, Dermot Mulroney, Mickey Rourke, a little bit of Dolph and a great guest appearance by Scott Adkins. I’ll probly do a written review soon with more detailed thoughts, but it was a good discussion with Sean Malloy and a good excuse to talk about the current state of the genre, since this movie is pretty representative of where we’re at.


The 400 Death Blows

Saturday, September 10th, 2022

Back in 2016 I did a review series where I alternated between Francois Truffaut’s five Adventures of Antoine Doinel films and Cannon Films’ five AMERICAN NINJA films, trying to keep the same open mind toward both, look for parallels, etc. I referred to it as Antoine vs. Ninja at the time, but now I like to think of it as The 400 Death Blows. Although I’m way more of a ninja guy than a French New Wave guy I think it’s good to try out a broad spectrum of art and not be put off by some other dip shit’s perception of what is supposed to be high or lowbrow or too trashy or too arty for little old you. Fuck that guy. You’re not that simple. You can appreciate all kinds of things.

The premise of this review series alone is just such a good encapsulation of what I aspire to be as a film critic and viewer that I wanted to make this post linking to all of the reviews so I could share it easier. Enjoy!

1. THE 400 BLOWS (1959)






7. BED & BOARD (1970)


9. LOVE ON THE RUN (1979)

10. AMERICAN NINJA 5 (1993)