• Syngenor

    Syngenor

    ★★★

    "Schlockgenor".

    While I was watching "Scared to Death" the creature was described as a Syngenor (short for SYNthesized GENetic ORganism) and I was thinking to myself that it sounded and looked very familiar. I checked my collection and there it was on an unwatched German Blu-ray: "Syngenor (1990)", with a creature design looking very much like the one in "Scared to Death". What is this? A bonafide sequel or a spiritual successor?

    It appeared that producer Jack F. Murphy was…

  • Scared to Death

    Scared to Death

    ★★½

    Man-in-a-suit terror lurking in the sewers in the aquaduct location tradition of "Alligator (1980)" and "C.H.U.D. (1984)".

    Vinegar Syndrome is giving the early works of director William Mallone, of "House on Haunted Hill (1999)" fame, quite some love with first giving "Creature (1985)" the restoration treatment and now "Scared to Death".

    It's even lower budget as its Mallone's very first feature, shot with unknown improv actors who gave amusing performances and as he worked at the Don Post mask shop,…

  • Small Soldiers

    Small Soldiers

    ★★★★

    Basically "Gremlins 3" meets "The 'Burbs (1989)" with dangerous ancle-high artificial intelligent toys substituting for ancle-high slimy Chinese mythological creatures. Initially overlooked by Gremlins fans, over the years it grew in cult status and remains one of Joe Dante's finest gateway doll terror for kids. Basically to prep them for Chucky and the many doll-themed horrors of Charles Band's Full Moon Pictures.

    Of course I sold the movie as a Gremlins-style flick to my five year old who from that…

  • Eye of the Tiger

    Eye of the Tiger

    ★★★

    If you were wondering why Gary Busey never did more films where he was cast as the hero, look no further than "Eye of the Tiger".
    Made a couple of years before Busey's accident so don't expect an unhinged performance as he's rather restraint and indifferent in this.

    Released from prison in the film's opening he returns to his home town where he's unwelcomed by the town's sheriff. He rescues a nurse from a rape attempt from a crack-dealing motorcycle…

  • Alligator 2: The Mutation

    Alligator 2: The Mutation

    ★★

    "Alligator 2: The Recycling", as released on Blu-ray by Shout Factory.

    A nineties "sequel" to the excellent first film only proved how good the original was as everything that originally worked, fell flat on its ass in this much cheaper sequel.

    Originally conceived as a Moby Dick story with the titular alligator getting revenge on a factory where they use alligator leather for manufacturing handbags!? I'd rather watch that ridiculous concept than another repeat of the original's plot but with…

  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    ★★★½

    Movie marathon 6/6: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    A concept taking a fictional version of Nicolas Cage playing himself could go either way, but it turned out to be more than decent.

    If you're familiar with Cage's body of work, the assault of references and winks to films like "Face/Off (1997)", "Con Air (1997)" and so many more are really laugh out loud funny. His banter with his younger self "Nicky", how he looked during the period he did…

  • Alligator

    Alligator

    ★★★★★

    Movie marathon 5/6: Alligator.

    I've been waiting for an excuse to watch the Shout Factory UHD Blu-ray and my friends claiming to have never seen it, was enough to pop in the best thing since "Jaws (1975)" started a creature feature trend. This film absolutely SHINES on UHD Blu-ray as the many dark sewer scenes really benefit from the added HDR. These moments used to be too dark and washed out, missing every detail on VHS. If you're a fan,…

  • Cloak & Dagger

    Cloak & Dagger

    ★★★★

    Movie marathon 4/6: "Cloak & Dagger"

    A nostalgic intense trip through memory lane for a film I saw on VHS when I was a kid but never understood what it was about. A rewatch gave me some much needed context in a restored UHD Blu-ray edition courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome.

    I wanted to add a "kid-friendly" film so my daughter could watch one before going off to bed. It turned out to be a gateway Hitchcockian suspense/ James Bond thriller, so…

  • Deadly Weapons

    Deadly Weapons

    ★★½

    Movie marathon 3/6: "Deadly Weapons".

    We've delved deeper into the pits of schlock to expose ourselves to Chesty Morgan's extraordinary "assets" which were exploited to maximum gravity challenging heights.

    You'd expect this to come from the sleaziest of sleazy male film directors, but as it stands, this is directed by female exploitation filmmaker Doris Wishman. Probably the only person who could talk the main "attraction" into doing a vicariously embarrassing set of TWO films.

    Ineptly made without any sense of…

  • Alien Private Eye

    Alien Private Eye

    ★★★½

    Movie marathon 2/6: "Alien Private Eye"

    Another "so-bad-it's-great" restoration by the good folks of Vinegar Syndrome.

    It's an alien on earth (extremely low budget), sporting an outfit which would have made Michael Jackson jealous, moonwalking his way onto a scene where a lady in despair is being mugged on the streets for half an alien space disc. This space disc is like an atomic bomb when reunited with its other half. There's something about space drugs with a very strict…

  • Treasure of the Four Crowns

    Treasure of the Four Crowns

    ★★★½

    Movie marathon 1/6: "Treasure of the Four Crowns"

    Bless the good folks of Kino Lorber and the 3D Film Archive for restoring this work of schlock.

    Prologue Star Wars-style title crawl:''In the universe there are things man cannot hope to understand. Powers he cannot hope to possess. Forces he cannot hope to control. The Four Crowns are such things. Yet the search has begun. A soldier of fortune takes the first step. He seeks a key that will unlock the…

  • The Lost City

    The Lost City

    ★★★

    Highly indebted to "Romancing the Stone (1984)" with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas exchanged for Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. (well actually Brad Pitt). They both feature bored adventure novelists plunging into a real schlocky romantic adventure. The book tour was even called "Romancing the Page" as a clear nod to Robert Zemeckis' film.

    It's uninsulting middle of the road popcorn entertainment with Brad Pitt stealing the show in his hillarious appearance but after he dropped out, the film kind…