Recent Reviews

Manhattan Baby (Blu-ray)
"You can take my life with stuffed birds, but you shall not have my soul, Habnumenor! Birds of darkness, consume me!"

Look, Manhattan Baby is terrible. Even the appreciation in this lavish special edition's liner notes has an air of "well, it's not a complete failure" about it, not making a case for how Manhattan Baby is undeservedly reviled so much as explaining how it wound up in such a dismal state in the first place. This wasn't a passion project of Lucio Fulci's; it was a business obligation. Manhattan Baby was intended to showcase an array of dazzling visual effects, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% of its budget was gutted from it at the eleventh hour, forcing some rushed and awfully clumsy retooling. Its storytelling is confused, woefully uninvolving, and glacially paced. It's ostensibly a horror film but is entirely devoid of anything resembling tension or suspense, to the point that it doesn't even seem as if it's trying to unnerve much of anyone. Wait, snakes are scary, right? Okay, here's another snake. Whatever. Other than poorly echoing the likes of The Exorcist, I genuinely have no idea what it's setting out to accomplish. I'm not exactly alone in bitching and moaning like this; Fulci, co-writer Dardano Sacchetti, and seemingly everyone else involved with Manhattan Baby have looked back on it as a disaster.

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With as thinly plotted as Manhattan Baby is, we can pretty much breeze through the whole synopsis part of the deal. Thrill to a working vacation in Egypt! Papa Hacker (Christopher Connelly) is in the process of unearthing a forbidden tomb, as archaeologists are wont to do. Mama Hacker (Martha Taylor) is snapping photos of pyramids and the like for some nameless magazine, with her sleepy-eyed ten year old Susie (Brigitta Boccoli) in...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Manhattan Baby]

On Dangerous Ground (Blu-ray)
"What kind of job is this anyway? Garbage, that's all we handle: garbage!"

To protect and serve what, exactly? Perhaps there was a time when Detective Jim Wilson (Robert Ryan) looked at what he did as serving the untold millions of this nameless metropolis. These days, though, it's just a job. He can't really quit; being a detective is all he knows. The seemingly universal mistrust...outright revulsion...towards cops has taken a heavy toll on Jim, feeding a vicious cycle. Jim lets their fear and lack of sympathy tear away at his humanity, fueling his isolation and self-loathing. His savagely violent outbursts in turn perpetuate the public's skewed perception of law enforcement. He has no family. He has no friends. He has no life outside of his job. Even his fellow detectives are just people he has to endure rather than partners.

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A couple of cop-killers are walking free, and although Captain Brawley (Ed Begley) knows that his men are working tirelessly to bring these murderers to justice, he impresses upon them that their best is not good enough. Do whatever it takes to bring 'em in. Jim does just that. He carelessly leaves a floozy (Cleo Moore) in the crosshairs after she spills everything he needed to know about her murderous boyfriend. He beats a suspect so brutally in search of information that his bladder ruptures, opening up the department to yet another lawsuit and well-deserved cries of police brutality. He lunges towards a random schlub who's in the wrong place at the wrong time and makes the mistake of hissing "dumb cop". Brawley lets Jim off with a stern warning, and yet he's back in the captain's office all of a day later for roughing up another hoodlum. Jim's continued presence in the city isn't doing anyone any favors. As it turns out,...[read the entire Blu-ray review of On Dangerous Ground]

The Pit (Blu-ray)
Awwww, those poor tralalogs down in the pit...!

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Those fuzzy little guys have gotta be hungry. What do you reckon they eat, Teddy? Candy bars?

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Nah. Beef?

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Getting closer. Oooh! I know!

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The Pit is the most gloriously strange movie I've experienced in a long, long time...and this is coming from a guy who just last week reviewed a flick in which Harry Potter's farting corpse is ridden like a jet ski off a desert island.

See? You swing around on one little tree wearing nothing but a Superman cape and a smile, and all of a sudden, you're an outcast. Nobody likes Jamie (Sammy Snyders). The kids in the sleepy little Wisconsin town of Beaver Dam tease and bully him relentlessly, and the adults just sort of shake their heads and sigh whenever he walks into a room. Now that he's getting to be around that age, Jamie's somehow gotten even creepier, doing oddball things like pasting a photo of the librarian's head onto a nude model, then giving it to her. He delights in watching the frogs in his terrarium gobble up insects. His only pal in the world is Teddy, his kinda ratty looking stuffed teddy bear. But...hey! While his parents are off in Seattle trying to find 'em all a new place to call home, maybe Jamie can make friends with his new babysitter. Sandy (Jeannie Elias) is up for the challenge. This psychology student is putting herself through college by looking after...err, special children, and sure enough, Jamie takes to her instantly. Like, hi-nice-to-meet-you-now-I'm-gonna-slink-under-the-dining-room-table-and-look-up-your-skirt instantly. Who can blame the kid for having a crush, though? Kind-hearted. Beautiful. Rocking that Adrienne Barbeau 'do. Jamie leers at...[read the entire Blu-ray review of The Pit]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 10/22: Hocus Pocus (Hdtv)
  • 10/22: Manhattan Baby (Blu-ray)
  • 10/19: On Dangerous Ground (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 10/18: On Dangerous Ground (Blu-ray)
  • 10/16: The Curse of the Werewolf (Blu-ray)
  • 10/15: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/15: Mutant (Blu-ray)
  • 10/14: The Hills Have Eyes (1977) (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/13: The Pit (1981) (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 10/12: The Pit (1981) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/9: Fender Bender (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 10/9: Fender Bender (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 10/8: Fender Bender (Blu-ray)
  • 10/8: It Came from Outer Space! (3D) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/7: Marvel's Captain America: Civil War (3D BD+BD+Digital HD) (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 10/26: Chopping Mall (Blu-ray)
  • 10/25: Initiation, The (Special Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/21: Burial Ground (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/21: Quiet Man (Blu-ray)
  • 10/15: Daredevil: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
  • 10/15: Manhattan Baby (Blu-ray)
  • 10/15: Mutant (Blu-ray)
  • 10/7: On Dangerous Ground (Blu-ray)
  • 10/4: The Pit (1981) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/1: Fender Bender (Blu-ray)
  • 10/1: Slugs (Special Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/1: Swiss Army Man (Blu-ray)
  • 9/30: Rick and Morty: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
  • 9/29: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (4K Ultra HD) (Blu-ray)
  • 9/22: The Hills Have Eyes (1977) (Limited Edition) (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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