Posts Tagged ‘Stuart Gordon’
Monday, September 5th, 2022
note: I am very much aware that I’m way behind and the summer movie season is over but I’m gonna keep going and finish this Weird Summer retrospective. Enjoy! Please?
July 17, 1992
HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID is the first sequel to the 1989 Joe Johnston directed Walt Disney hit HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS. Last time, eccentric inventor Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis, STREETS OF FIRE)’s machine accidentally shrunk his and the neighbors’ kids to, by one kid’s estimation, “the size of boogers.” This time he accidentally causes his new toddler son Adam (played by twins Daniel and Joshua Shalikar) to grow in spurts until he becomes basically a kaiju.
It’s directed by Randal Kleiser (THE BLUE LAGOON) and written by Thom Eberhardt (writer/director of NIGHT OF THE COMET) and Peter Elbling (Mr. T’s Be Somebody… or Be Somebody’s Fool!) & Garry Goodrow (The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour). A story credit goes to Goodrow (who was also an actor in Shirley Clarke’s THE CONNECTION), so I suspect that means he was the one who wrote BIG BABY, an unrelated giant baby script that was rewritten to fit into the HONEYverse. In that sense, the HONEY saga is much like the DIE HARD series. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Amy O'Neill, Bill Moseley, Brian Yuzna, Ed Naha, Garry Goodrow, John Paragon, John Shea, Julia Sweeney, Keri Russell, Las Vegas, Linda Carlson, Lloyd Bridges, Marcia Strassman, Randal Kleiser, Rick Moranis, Robert Oliveri, Stuart Gordon, Suzanne Kent, Thom Eberhardt
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Family, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 29 Comments »
Monday, July 20th, 2020
When Stuart Gordon died at the end of March I decided it was finally time to watch SPACE TRUCKERS, a movie I had been meaning to see for literally 23 years. You know how it is. You get busy sometimes.
Obviously I dig Gordon as a Master of Horror, director of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND, as one should. And in recent years I’ve really come to love THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM and CASTLE FREAK. But I also think he’s under-appreciated for his sci-fi movies ROBOT JOX and FORTRESS. And ever since I first saw ALIEN I’ve loved those stories that are about space but the heroes are just working class people doing their job, not some royalty or chosen one or member of any federation or academy. As the title makes clear, this is about characters like that. Truckers. In space. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Charles Dance, Debi Mazar, Dennis Hopper, George Wendt, Koichi Sakamoto, Screaming Mad George, Stephen Dorff, Stuart Gordon, Vernon Wells
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 11 Comments »
Wednesday, April 15th, 2020
When we lost the great Stuart Gordon recently, I realized there were a few of his films I still hadn’t seen. It’s kind of nice, actually, to still have something left to discover. There’s a particular one that happens in space that involves truckers that I honestly have wanted to see since before it even came out, and somehow never have. It’ll be a few weeks before I can finally change that, because I decided to order a UK Blu-Ray instead of pay Amazon to stream it in standard def. But I wanted to watch this one first anyway – the one based on the David Mamet play.
Gordon and Mamet, if you don’t know, go way back. Long before RE-ANIMATOR, Gordon was doing envelope-pushing theater work in Chicago. He directed, at his Organic Theater Company, the production of Sexual Perversity in Chicago credited with establishing Mamet as a playwright, although there was an earlier one starring William H. Macy, who also stars in this movie.
Here he plays Edmond Burke, a dude who works for some kind of financial firm called Stearns & Harrington. He’s apparently had a bad day (his meeting on Monday got pushed back to 1:15 – WHAT IN THE LIVING GOD DAMN FUCK!?) when he heads home and, on a whim, stops to get a tarot reading. She tells him “You don’t belong here.” (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Aldiss Hodge, Bai Ling, Bokeem Woodbine, David Mamet, Debi Mazar, Denise Richards, George Wendt, Jeffrey Combs, Joe Mantegna, Julia Stiles, Lionel Mark Smith, Mena Suvari, Rebecca Pidgeon, Stuart Gordon, William H. Macy
Posted in Drama, Reviews | 12 Comments »
Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
You know how it is: you have these reoccurring nightmares about a sexy mermaid, and then you’re on a yacht trip with your girlfriend and an older couple, and a violent storm hits out of the blue and the boat wrecks and your friend is injured and you try to get help on the nearby island of Iboca but everyone’s weird and people have noticeable gills and tentacles and shit and a homeless guy explains to you that years ago a guy convinced them to give up Christianity and worship the sea god Dagon, who is different than Jesus in that he requires his followers to throw him women to impregnate with immortal monster babies. We’ve all been through it, and H.P. Lovecraft wrote about it in 1931, so Stuart Gordon made a movie about it in 2001.
Gordon is a rightfully designated Master of Horror, but I think deserves more recognition than he receives. Every time I watch or rewatch one of his movies it ends up being better than expected or remembered. In this case it still had the same issue I remembered, but it’s pretty good. Maybe pretty good plus. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brian Yuzna, Dennis Paoli, Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, H.P. Lovecraft, Macarena Gomez, Stuart Gordon
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 15 Comments »
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
THE DENTIST is a unique little horror movie about a couple of days where a guy’s life totally unravels. Dr. Alan Feinstone (Corbin Bernsen, TALES FROM THE HOOD) is an asshole from the word go – we see him berating his wife Brooke (Linda Hoffman, FACE/OFF) over a stain not coming out of one of his shirts, then forgiving her because she bought him expensive cuff links. When he catches her blowing the pool cleaner (Michael Stadvec, SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK… AGAIN, SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK… FOR MORE, SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK… TO APOLOGIZE BECAUSE THEY’VE REALLY CHANGED) he fantasizes about screaming at her and forcing her at gunpoint to bite down with her “perfect teeth.” Instead he doesn’t confront her and then completely loses his shit.
I like the messy, accidental piling up of events. There’s almost a true crime feel to it. He tries to sneak up on the homewrecker and shoot him, ends up instead shooting a neighbor’s dog that attacks him for trespassing. Ken Foree (FROM BEYOND) and Tony Noakes (BREAKAWAY) play the police detectives who circle around with the potential to catch him, but they’re investigating the killing of a pet, not a person. They’re investigating a weird, creepy thing, not knowing it’s more serious than that. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alan Howarth, Brian Yuzna, Christa Sauls, Corbin Bernsen, Ken Foree, Linda Hoffman, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Stadvec, Molly Hagan, Stuart Gordon, Tony Noakes, Virginya Keehne
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 20 Comments »
Thursday, October 4th, 2018
The way Stuart Gordon tells it, CASTLE FREAK was made because he saw Charles Band’s poster for it before it was even really a premise.
“What’s that about?”
“A castle and a freak.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how the majority of Full Moon Pictures come about, but they usually don’t have the brilliant director of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND as the guy translating the poster into an actual movie, so they don’t turn out this well.
Gordon’s idea of CASTLE FREAK takes inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft. I’m sure you could also say that about what he eats for breakfast every morning. But he credits the short story “The Outsider,” about a man escaping from the castle where he’s lived alone for as long as he can remember. The screenplay is by Gordon’s longtime collaborator Dennis Paoli (RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, DAGON), and its hook is simple: American asshole John Reilly (Jeffrey Combs, THE FRIGHTENERS) inherits a 12th century castle from a Duchess and brings his unhappy wife (Barbara Crampton, FRATERNITY VACATION) and blind daughter (Jessica Dollarhide, 1 episode of Major Dad, 2 episodes of In Living Color, 2 episodes of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) to check it out with him. Little do they know that his dead relative also left behind the feral, mutilated man she’d been torturing in the dungeon for most of his life. Probly should’ve mentioned that. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Barbara Crampton, Charles Band, Dennis Paoli, DTV, Jeffrey Combs, Jessica Dollarhide, Jonathan Fuller, Rafaella Offidani, Stuart Gordon
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 21 Comments »
Tuesday, October 24th, 2017
After Stuart Gordon’s opening one-two punch of RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND, he did his first non-H.P.-Lovecraft picture, DOLLS. Produced by Charles Band two years before PUPPET MASTER, it sort of invents the template for his killer doll movies. The script is by Ed Naha, the first editor of Fangoria, who’s another important figure in the history of miniature cinema, having written TROLL, DOLLMAN and (with Gordon) HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS. He also wrote the regular-sized CHUD II and OMEGA DOOM.
The story here is your basic trapped-in-a-spooky-mansion-during-a-storm yarn. A little girl named Judy (Carrie Lorraine, POLTERGEIST II and one episode of ALF), her dad David (Ian Patrick Williams, RE-ANIMATOR, ROBOT JOX, KING OF THE ANTS) and uptight step-mom Rosemary (Carolyn Purdy Gordon, RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, ROBOT JOX, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, FORTRESS, STUCK) are driving somewhere in the woods or some shit, their car gets stuck in the mud, so they go knock on the door of the nearest gothic mansion. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bunty Bailey, Carolyn Purdy Gordon, Cassie Stuart, Charles Band, Ed Naha, Guy Rolfe, Hilary Mason, Ian Patrick Williams, John Carl Buechler, killer dolls, li'l bastards, Stephen Lee, Stuart Gordon
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 38 Comments »
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
“Confessions are only admitted under torture, otherwise you might confess just to avoid torture and it wouldn’t be a true confession.”
Stuart Gordon’s THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM opens with Grand Inquisitor Torquemada (Lance Henriksen, STONE COLD) and his Spanish Inquisition goons pulling a dead body out of a coffin, convicting him of heresy and giving him 20 lashes, which busts him apart until he’s a pile of bones. The man’s family watch, outraged, while a bunch of other rich people smile to themselves and lick their lips. Torquemada crushes the dead man’s skull into powder and uses it to fill an hourglass. That’s all before the credits start.
So, this movie is not fuckin around. And you guys know how I feel about a movie that’s not fuckin around. (Usually positive.)
Even still, it kinda snuck up on me. It’s a Full Moon production, and they’re doing a period piece (Spain, 1492) in the one castle they have access to, lots of fake looking wigs, some actors delivering their lines in a modern tone, some not. And then there’s a shitty looking font on the credits and they still couldn’t bother to change the title (it calls it THE INQUISITOR). And as it gets into the plot about a woman falsely accused by the Spanish Inquisition it seems like it’s gonna be mostly sitting through gruesome torture scenes: public whipping, burning at the stake, some citizens enjoying it, others being forced to watch, people tied to racks, screaming, getting slashed and/or sexually humiliated. But that’s just the fuel to a story that really comes together, a nice amalgam of Edgar Allan Poe ideas, adventure and most of all an extreme caricature of the type of hypocrites who stand in judgment of others to hide their own faults. Gordon worked in theater for years before RE-ANIMATOR made him a Master of Horror, and I imagine this is alot like one of his plays. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Dennis Paoli, Edgar Allan Poe, Frances Bay, Jeffrey Combs, Jonathan Fuller, Lance Henriksen, Mark Margolis, Oliver Reed, Rona De Ricci, Spanish Inquisition, Stuart Gordon, Tom Towles
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 8 Comments »
Monday, April 20th, 2015
FORTRESS is one of those rare b-movie (or B+ movie?) gems that you come across every once in a while that has everything: good cast, great gimmicks, unexpected emotion and substance, cyborgs. It’s a 1993 sci-fi action movie, but clearly without a summer blockbuster budget, so it feels somewhere between Paul Verhoeven and ROBOT JOX. And that makes sense, because it’s the same director. Man, why did I never see this before? Didn’t I know it was a Christopher Lambert movie directed by Stuart Gordon? Don’t I believe in the auteur theory?
Lambert plays Brennick, an ex-soldier (“the most decorated captain of the Black Berets, yet you quit in disgrace…”) busted with his pregnant wife Karen (Loryn Locklin) trying to sneak out of the country because it’s illegal to give birth twice. They both end up at the Fortress, a giant underground, privately owned prison. The convicts become property of the Men-Tel Corporation and used for prison labor. Their job: to keep building further into the ground, making more room for more convicts to build even further. That’s my favorite concept in the movie because it so deviously illustrates the problem of the prison industrial complex. Zed-10, the computer program that runs the place (voice of the director’s wife Carolyn Purdy-Gordon), keeps saying the Men-Tel slogan “Crime does not pay.” But of course for them it does. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Christopher Lambert, Clifton Collins Jr., Jeffrey Combs, Kurtwood Smith, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Loryn Locklin, prison, prison escape, Stuart Gordon, Tom Towles, Vernon Wells
Posted in Action, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 19 Comments »
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Damn, talk about a movie that surpasses my memory of it being pretty good. Stuart Gordon’s FROM BEYOND is a minor horror classic with the elegant simplicity and tone of RE-ANIMATOR and the body transmogrifying ambition of John Carpenter’s THE THING. It’s all about an incident when another dimension bonks heads with ours, and you can guess which one of us gets a bloody nose.
Jeffrey Combs stars in this one too, this time as Crawford, the more reasonable assistant to his groundbreaking professor at Miskatonic, Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel, NETWORK, BASKET CASE 2), whose invention “The Resonator” uses a bunch of analog computers and Tesla-tech hooked to a row of tuning forks to create a vibration that stimulates our pineal glands, causing us to see beings that have been around us, unseen, all along. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Barbara Crampton, H.P. Lovecraft, Jeffrey Combs, Ken Foree, Stuart Gordon, Ted Sorel
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 28 Comments »