B-MOVIE OF THE MONTH - SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983)

Thanks to it's notorious twist ending Sleepaway Camp automatically holds the number one slot on a lot of best slasher lists. Whether it's a slasher or not is debatable since not all the killings happen by bladed instrument, in fact, at least three don't. One thing clear five minutes in is this flick has a vibe (some have used the term homo-erotic) completely of it's own and even it's mysterious one-time director (who is now a lawyer) can't explain why. He was only 25 and fresh out of film school when he made this, the location used was actually the camp he went to as a kid. Which was quite a feat when you think about the cult status this has achieved. But the thing that really pushes this one over the top is the memorable dialog with B-movie lines like you've never heard before including the infamous "eat sh*t and live" line. The cook guy at the beginning cracks me up and you will certainly laugh more than once at the characters and their lines. If you're new to the camp then prepare to see a horror movie like none other and if you're ready to revisit it then don't forget to take your medical exam. Sleepaway Camp is free on just about every site and I put a YT above. 2.75 stars/2.75

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

LAWRENCE FISHBURNE IS AN EX-CON TRYING TO LIVE A CLEAN LIFE BUT IS "ALWAYS OUTNUMBERED, ALWAYS OUTGUNNED" (TV 1998)

 

Those in the over 50 crowd may remember these huge paperback ordeals called the VHS movie guides that were put out every year for a while. It was through one of these books that I first discovered this HBO made-for-cable gem. I remember the paragraph saying Fishburne commanded every shot and you wouldn't be able to take your eyes off him and they were right. Through the years I've turned many a movie lover onto this one, a film with a big heart and lots of dedication from the people that made it. Namely Fishburne, Walter Mosley and the legendary Bill Cobbs. Another one of the many big pluses is a stunning cameo from Isaiah Washington as a hood who chooses the wrong day to mess with Socrates Fortlow (Fishburne.)

Fortlow is an ex-con who strives to live a better life but due to a lot of his circumstances is yep, always outnumbered, always outgunned. He's trying hard to graduate from his can-collecting life and get a real job in West LA but the supermarket manager there (Laurie Metcalf) keeps showing him the door. Meanwhile, he befriends a neglected neighborhood boy who's fallen in with the wrong crowd. His best friend (Bill Cobbs, just incredible) is dying and the movie's ending sequence where they go out for one last drink together is about as real as it gets. 

This is one of those films I will never tire of singing it's praises. Enjoy.  2.75 stars/2.75

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

REST IN PEACE THE GREAT DAVID WARNER - HERE'S ONE OF HIS LESSER KNOWN PERFORMANCES AS A CHARISMATIC PREACHER IN "THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOUGE" (1970)

 

A sad day for us movie lovers as the world loses the great David Warner. In tribute we present a lesser known but awesome performance as a feisty but loyal preacher and best friend to main character Cable Hogue. It's a neo-western from Sam Peckinpah before the term was even coined. Warner's part is big and he closes with a great monolouge in what is easily Peckinpah's most under-appreciated title. Available VOD on all the big outlets, currently on sale on Amazon and YT.  3.75 stars/5


Sunday, July 24, 2022

KEVIN KLINE, DANNY GLOVER, MARY MCDONNELL & A HOST OF OTHERS ARE ALL HEADED TO THE "GRAND CANYON" (1991)

 

Some say hit, some say miss, Lawrence Kasdan's Grand Canyon movie certainly doesn't get as much love as his other multi-character flicks The Big Chill and The Accidental Tourist. Set in LA during the turbulent Rodney King era, the script's undertones of black vs white are exemplified in the two main characters, Danny Glover's "Simon" and Kevin Kline's "Mack." Many other characters and subplots all revolve around those two who meet by chance after Mack gets lost driving home from a Lakers game at the Forum. Steve Martin also excels here in a highly dramatic role demonstrating once again his amazing diversity of genuine talent. 

I happen to be of the opinion this is not only better than Big Chill or Accidental Tourist but in many ways Kasdan's masterpiece. Kline once again is incredible and Glover's performance is one of my favorites of his of all time. Their scenes together are to watch two masters at the top of their game and making it look easy. McDonnell's performance is literally Oscar-worthy, she shines in every scene. And look for a young Jeremy Sisto in his feature debut as Mack's teenage son who is coming of age. Grand Canyon also features a most unique and surreal dream sequence where both Mack and then his wife fly, yes fly, around Los Angeles. 

So, obviously, this movie lover sees it as a hit. One of the best films of 1991? Absolutely. 

Currently streaming only on Max Go or take the DVD route. 4.0 stars/5



Tuesday, July 19, 2022

UNDERRATED WOODY ALLEN - COLIN FARRELL & EWAN MCGREGOR ARE TWO BROTHERS FORCED TO COMMIT A MURDER IN "CASSANDRA'S DREAM" (2007)

 

Consider this the first in an open-ended continuing series I'll post every now and then. As far as Mr Allen's personal life is concerned I'm going to say this as plainly as I can - if you met half the entertainers you consider idols or inspirations you would recoil in horror when you see what their personal lives and real personalities are like. I've been following this man's art for decades and decades, he may have made a mistake back on the day in question and we'll probably never really know the truth of that day but a child molester he is not. 

Now, for those that haven't heard, it was just announced that he will start shooting his 50th film soon and it will be shot in France and be shot in French (wow,) a murder-mystery kind of thing along the lines of Match Point. He has also alluded that this will he his last film while leaving that proverbial door open just in case. The man is 86 after all but I like what I'm hearing so far. I think he may redeem himself and go out with a bang on this next one. 

So, while we're talking about Match Point I enthusiastically submit Cassandra's Dream, a wonderfully acted murder mystery thing. Like a lot of Allen's films it feels like you're watching a play and the meat is in the dialog not the action. But this is a good film that moves along at a nice brisk pace, it's also the only Allen film ever to be scored (Phillip Glass, excellent as always) instead of Woody using his album collection and McGregor is particularly good. On the other hand, Tom Wilkenson, if you know what the guys capable of then you know he phoned this one in big time. Cassandra's Dream is currently streaming free on Roku, Vudu, FreeVee and You Tube which I put below.  3.0 stars/5

FEATURED THIS MONTH

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B-MOVIE GAZETTE RATING SYSTEM

5 Stars - Only awarded to the precious few.
4 Stars - Excellent, see by all means.
3 Stars - Very Good, you should like.
2 Stars - Fair, like a frozen dinner.
1 Star - Poor, like a spoiled dinner.

ALL B-MOVIES, DRIVE-IN MOVIES AND TV MOVIES HAVE A MAX AWARD OF 2.75 STARS.