• The Deadly Mantis

    The Deadly Mantis

    ★★½

    I'm usually in the mood for these types of movies, but I found The Deadly Mantis to be deadly dull.

    Unlike other giant bug movies from the 1950s, the deadly mantis isn't created by radiation; it's a prehistoric creature that is buried in ice until a volcanic eruption awakens it. As you might imagine, it's a bit annoyed after such a long nap and begins to destroy anything in its path—and it gobbles up humans along the way. Can we…

  • Lust for Love

    Lust for Love

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Mahlzeiten (a.k.a. Mealtimes a.k.a. Lust for Love a.k.a. Table for Love) is the story of Elisabeth and Rolf. They fall in love, get married, and have kids. Their marriage has ups and downs.

    I watched this movie before reading the back cover of the DVD case, which says this:

    Lust for Love . . . is the story of Elizabeth (Heidi Stroh), a beautiful and seductive woman who has only one aim: happiness - and as much of it as…

  • Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

    Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and Duel (1971) might be the two best made-for-TV movies ever. Trilogy of Terror (1975) is a close second. (Boy, do I miss the days when a made-for-TV movie was an event.)

    The Farnhams, Sally (Kim Darby) and Alex (Jim Hutton) move into an older house that needs some renovations. Sally is ready for the challenge, while Alex is thinking about making partner at his law firm. Mr. Harris (William Demarest) is helping Sally…

  • Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh

    Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh

    ★★★

    Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh is a good followup to Candyman (1992), but it left me a bit confused.

    Farewell to the Flesh begins with an author giving a lecture on the Candyman. After the lecture, he's confronted by an angry man named Ethan Turrant whose father was killed by the Candyman. Ethan feels like the author could have done more to help his father. Well, it's all academic anyway because the author says "Candyman" five times into a mirror…

  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife

    Ghostbusters: Afterlife

    ★★★½

    I'm going to say something mildly blasphemous: I think Ghostbusters (1984) is a fun movie, but it's not the classic that everyone believes it to be. (And, yes, I saw it in the theaters in 1984.) I liked Ghostbusters when it came out, but I could never understand why the nation went gaga over it. I guess it was just the era of Bill Murray.

    Having said that, I didn't have huge expectations for Ghostbusters: Afterlife because I never thought…

  • John Wick

    John Wick

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I didn't see John Wick when it first came out. I thought it was some supernatural flick. (I think I may have confused it with The Last Witch Hunter [2015].) I didn't want to see a film about a ghost-guy who goes around killing people.

    I finally caught up with it after hearing it referenced so many times. Besides, who doesn't like Keanu Reeves? (And it's not about a ghost-guy—although John Wick's skills do border on the supernatural.)

    One thing…

  • Go West

    Go West

    ★★★★

    While not as classic as some of their other pictures, Go West is a pretty darn fun Marx Brothers' production. Take the Marx Brothers, add some Western tropes, and shake well.

    As with most Marx Brothers' movies, the plot is almost incidental; it exists to hang gags on. In this case, a young man, Terry Turner, wants to marry Eve Wilson. Unfortunately, their families hate each other because Grandpa Turner sold Grandpa Wilson a bum piece of land called Dead…

  • Night of the Bloody Apes

    Night of the Bloody Apes

    ★★½

    "Ultimately, [Night of the] Bloody Apes reflects the violence, disarray, and pessimism of late 1960s Mexican political life. Fittingly, the retirement of the luchadora from the ring closes the book on [René] Cardona's 'Wrestling Women' cycle. As Arthur and Lucy drive away into the darkness, perhaps this is also Cardona's concession that the Luchadoras film cycle itself has been consigned to the darkness, no longer adequately able to express the simplistic triumph of good over evil within the exploding political…

  • The Big Gundown

    The Big Gundown

    ★★★★

    I like films like The Big Gundown that make me think they're going to go one way but then go in a different, and interesting, direction.

    Jonathan Corbett (Lee Van Cleef) is a lawman without mercy. Because he's made such a name for himself hunting down criminals, many people want him to run for senate—including a wealthy tycoon named Brokston. Brokston wants Corbett to run for senate so he can champion a railroad line through Texas into Mexico, which will…

  • Back to School

    Back to School

    ★★★

    I've never been a big Rodney Dangerfield fan, but Back to School is kinda fun.

    The movie starts in New York City in 1940. Thornton Meloni is a boy who brings a bad report card home to his hard-working father. His father chastises him for the bad grades, telling him that there is nothing more important than education.

    Fast-forward to 1986. Thornton (Rodney Dangerfield) now owns a chain of Big and Fat Clothing Stores, and he's changed his last name…

  • Daredevil

    Daredevil

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I don't hate Daredevil, but it's one of those films that makes you feel like it could have been so much better.

    Ben Affleck is Daredevil, a blind superhero. In several flashbacks, we see how the young Matt Murdock lost his sight. (Some radioactive gunk sprayed on his eyes. His lost his sight, but his other senses were heightened and now he has a weird type of sonar.) In the day, Matt is a lawyer for the poor and unlucky;…

  • The House on Sorority Row

    The House on Sorority Row

    ★★½

    I never watched this little horror movie because the poster makes it looks like a soft-core porn movie. (Apparently the director didn't like the poster. He wanted a Deliverance-style image with a hand rising up out of a murky swimming pool. Honestly, that would have been better.) After watching Sorority Row (2009), I decided to watch the original.

    While it's not a classic in any way, I suppose I have more tolerance for older films. Why? Because in 1982 the…