Friday, August 18, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Dave Made A Maze

5 of  5 viewers "Liked" "Dave Made A Maze" (2017, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

The Berkeley Blazer - "Dave Made a Maze is an inventive delight almost from beginning to end. There is beauty for the eye and the mind in the chambers of the titular cardboard and paper maze that magnify rather than distract from the hilarity. There is a documentarian element used for meta-narrative comment that is genuinely interesting, and with the exception of Dave himself the performances were pitch perfect. There are a few moments where the film attempts to be emotionally resonant or profound that struck me with immediate and profound --albeit very temporary-- boredom that was paradoxically jarring. In this case though, who cares? This movie is rad." - 4 Stars

Trash - "Extremely inventive, sweet and crafty, while managing to not be at all precious. It's a science fiction set, constructed purposefully and intricately, and it's used to tell the story, really well. The filmmakers are comfortable making very dumb jokes, that are sometimes super funny, and sometimes made me roll my eyes, but didn't turn me off. The movie's biggest weakness is at times it feels like an extended YouTube video. But when it goes into real shit, like avoiding actual life issues and making literally anything just to not feel like nothing, it stops seeming like a clever video, and becomes a real story." - 4 Stars

Math Mage - "Excellently tragic/cathartic horror comedy." - 4.5 Stars

Lord Battle - "When a film is based on or marketed as a gimmick, you always hope that they can either sustain the gimmick throughout the film or manage to sneak in/deceive you with an emotional story. Dave Made a Maze is an adult drama, disguised as a fantasy/adventure film, disguised as a rom-com, and amazingly succeeds on all levels. The pace may betray you in the beginning as it seems they are buying time rather than developing characters until they enter the labyrinth, but damn does it deliver once they get in! I don't think I've been visually stunned like I was watching Dave Made A Maze since... you know I really can't compare this film to anything else. The look/vibe is untethered indie film, yet the set design will have you asking; How much was the budget? And How long did these sets take to build?! Dave Made a Maze is a must see!" - 4.5 Stars

Huntress - "Intricate details and jaw-dropping set design are the backdrop to the nonstop adventure story within Dave Made A Maze, and they alone warrant a second and third viewing, just to get a taste of how much work went into them. The fantastical element of this movie, which drenches everything within the cardboard world, tempts you to forget your adult life and beckons you to take every blind turn and hopeful leap with the adventuring party. Fantasy runs wild in this labyrinth, but the characters handle their hurdles rationally and realistically, so you never lose sight of them as real people. But no, that didn’t detract from how much I enjoyed the original and thematically appropriate ways in which the party members fell to the maze's traps and insane monsters. Dave Made A Maze is unlike any movie I’ve seen, and it’s not likely to be replicated any time soon." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

I'm sure some people thought of Dave Made A Maze as a poignant emotional exploration of gender, culture, and the modern struggle to create something worthwhile, and I truly think they are right. But what I saw as I watched everything unfold was the need to escape reality by creating an elaborate fantasy. Thing is this emotional ride also turned out to be a kickass fantasy film, so I thought Math Mage and I should put it to our test and see if this undercover fantasy film was also hiding the Secret of Cinema Steel!
The Secret of Cinema Steel

A fantastical beast must make an appearance, be it help or hindrance
Lord Battle - "John "Minotaur" Morrison" - (1pt)
Math Mage - "Cardboard golems aka Origami" - (1pt)

The World must contain more than just one story
(Non Epic)
Math Mage - "Do something cool (actually never finish anything so you can say you never fail) vs rescue your boyfriend (though not from what you think)" - (1pt)
Lord Battle - "Pick your plotline. Depending on which narrative you follow this film is about all sorts of things..." - (1pt)

Multiple protagonists are needed for a proper adventure
(Characters/Adventuring Party)
Lord Battle - "Not the most inspiring adventuring party but they come together when they have to." - (1pt)
Math Mage - "The core adventuring party (girlfriend boyfriend his other friend the film crew) other characters only exist to pad the body count (see violence below)" - (1pt)

With fantasy risk there better be fantasy reward
(Treasure/Magic Items)
Lord Battle - "Not a cardboard coin in the house." - (0pts)
Math Mage - "There is no treasure at the center of the maze (until they make it); the real treasure is maturity" - (0pts)

Class and Racial tension is great for storytelling, adapt it to fantasy
(Classes/Multiple Races)
Lord Battle - "Dave Made a Maze had a cleric, a couple fighters, and filmmakers." - (1pt)
Math Mage - "Filmmaker and his crew are filmmakers and his crew, the rest of the cast is millennial and loser." - (1pt)

Solutions and obstacles must sometimes surpass realities limits
Lord Battle - "Curse of the cardboard fist? Brutal." - (1pt)
Math Mage - "Why did all this happen? It's not important and an explanation would make it less magical." - (1pt)

True adventurers are greedy beyond reason
Math Mage - "Is more properly called a labyrinth." - (1pt)
Lord Battle - "Is it first degree murder when your booby traps kill your friends?" - (1pt)

Heroes and beasts must look good fighting and dying
Math Mage - "Quite a few deaths but they are the themed killed of a slashers rather than violent battle deaths." - (1/2pt)
Lord Battle - "This party was full of lovers, not fighters but on the up side, they died beautiful deaths." - (1pt)

Misogyny isn't for children
(Adult Themes/Nudity)
Math Mage - "The childish pandering routinely found in S&S is replaced by a serious adult relationship (expect for a couple of traps no one falls for)" - (1pt)
Lord Battle - "I think the dungeon is nude at one point..." - (1/2pt)

Characters should look of the land and vise versa
Math Mage - "Amazing set designs and period appropriate costumes." - (1pt)
Lord Battle - "They literally have cardboard clothes at one point!" - (1pt)

With a total of 17 out of 20 points, Dave Made A Maze is concluded to be 85% Sword and Sorcery. In my book that's good enough for a stamp of Cinema Steel approval!

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 8/14/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Secret of Cinema Steel aka Sword & Sorcery 17'

Back in March of 2016 the New Mission Alamo Drafthouse in San Francisco held what they called Cinemapocolypse. This event was a 5 mystery movie marathon, each film being selected by a programmer from a different Alamo. All films were in 35mm and presented as a kind of oddity film with no restriction other that it was a sight to be seen. The films shown (in order) were Carnival Magic, Conquest, The Ying and Yang of Dr No, Lady Terminator, and Boarding House. After the screening I couldn't have been more excited to talk about one of my all time favorite films Conquest with other genre film fanatics and friends I made frequenting the Alamo. Everyone's reaction seemed to be one of surprise after being met with a very stylized vision of a nightmarish fantasy landscape. And it wasn't because they were unfamiliar with the director Lucio Fulci or his approach, but simply because there was a fantasy film other than Conan the Barbarian that had some cinematic value. I was slightly offended by the reactions of most, as fantasy has long been a loved genre of mine, but I'll be the first to admit that finding anything more than a Conan money grab is hard to do. It's not like the horror genre which has had many throw their hat in to try making a quick buck for little money. Fantasy films cost A LOT to do right, I mean how much does a fucking horse cost to rent for a day?!

I can't help but find it hypocritical how many "film" fans turn their nose to an entire genre. I mean Conan the Barbarian is a slow paced action film set in a desert that managed to capture people's imagination in such a way that it's still a household name. Was that because of Arnold? Or the character license? Or maybe because the film visually plays like a Western? How come there hasn't been another fantasy film considered great until the Lord of the Rings trilogy? And why does a genre referred to as Fantasy have the most strict parameters?

There are so many questions a cinema adventurer may have about the Fantasy genre, so instead of trying to answer them all, I've enlisted the Overlook wizard, Math Mage to help me create a version of the Vow of Chastity for Fantasy... The Vow of Iron Chastity! And instead of having film makers follow the rules while making a film, we will take our 10 commandments and apply them to existing films, thus weeding out fairy tales, family friendly adventures, and false fantasy across the board.
Join us if you dare, as Lord Battle and Math Mage brave the hordes of Conan cash grabs, best the waves of brutal CGI behemoths, and transverse the cinema landscape in search of lost fantasy films which have tapped into the Secret of Cinema Steel!

The Secret of Cinema Steel

(Monster) : A fantastical beast must make an appearance, be it help or hindrance

(Non Epic) : The World must contain more than just one story

(Characters/Adventuring Party) : Multiple protagonists are needed for a proper adventure

(Treasure/Magic Items) : With fantasy risk there better be fantasy reward

(Classes/Multiple Races) : Class and Racial tension is great for storytelling, adapt it to fantasy

(Spells/Curses) : Solutions and obstacles must sometimes surpass realities limits

(Dungeons/Traps) : True adventurers are greedy beyond reason

(Choreography/Violence) : Heroes and beasts must look good fighting and dying

(Adult Themes/Nudity) Misogyny isn't for children

(Costumes/Setting) : Characters should look of the land and vise versa

-Lord Battle

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bluray Tuesday: Featuring Alien Covenant, The Scarehouse and Bluebeard

August 15th 2017

Bluray Tuesday is back once more. This week is light but features new, old, and TV seasons to catch up on before the Fall TV season. First up is my number one pickup today Alien Covenant, the second film in the Alien prequel series. If you are a fan of Prometheus you will enjoy this one for sure. Best Buy will carry an exclusive steelbook of this film. Target will also have a retailer exclusive for Alien in a digi-book packaging with special bonus content. On the indie side is The Scarehouse which looks promising. I may check this out later in the week. This week we also get a re release of classic Stephen King film, Pet Semetary for a low price and 90's clown comedy, Shakes The Clown, starring Bobcat Goldthwait. TV seasons released today are Riverdale, the classic Archie comic book series comes to life with a murder mystery twist, Once Upon A Time season 6, the Disney series with many twists and turns and DC's Legends of Tomorrow the complete second season which ups the ante of its first season. So good time to catch up before new seasons air this fall. So what will you buy, rent or skip this week? Let us know in the comments. Next week is huge so stay tuned! There will be lots of cool steelbooks and releases I've been looking forward to. Until next week!

Alien Covenant: Amazon - $19.99
4K: Amazon - $26.99

Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members (Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup) of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David (Michael Fassbender), the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.

Alien: Covenant (Blu-ray) 

Alien: Covenant 4K (Blu-ray) 

Steelbook: Best Buy - $26.99

Alien: Covenant 4K (Blu-ray) 

Digibook: Target - $19.99

Alien: Covenant (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

The Scarehouse: Amazon - $17.99

When two friends open a Halloween fun house on Devil's Night it is all fun and games until their former sorority sisters begin to arrive. These six sisters are confronted by their past as the night spins out of control.
The Scarehouse (Blu-ray) 

Bluebeard: Amazon - $21.00

Dr. Seung-hoon sedates his landlord before medical check-up, when the old man begins telling him a convincing murder confession.

Bluebeard (Blu-ray) 

Once Upon A Time In Venice: Amazon - $15.99

Steve Ford is a private detective in Venice Beach, Calif., who's good with the ladies, bad with the punches and wild about his dog Buddy. When local thugs steal Buddy, Ford turns to Spyder, their devious leader, and forges an unlikely alliance. With help from his best friend, Steve pulls out the big guns to retrieve Spyder's stolen cash and cocaine and save Buddy.

Once Upon a Time in Venice (Blu-ray) 

Shakes The Clown: Amazon - $8.99

The all-clown town of Palukaville provides a colorful backdrop for this tale of an alcoholic funnyman framed for murder.

Shakes the Clown (Blu-ray) 

Everything, Everything: Amazon - $22.99

Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) is a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who is unable to leave the protection of the hermetically-sealed environment within her house because of an illness. Olly (Nick Robinson) is the boy next door who won't let that stop them from being together. Gazing through windows and talking only through texts, Maddy and Olly form a deep bond that leads them to risk everything to be together, even if it means losing everything.

Everything, Everything (Blu-ray) 

Pet Semetary: Amazon - $6.99

Doctor Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) moves his family to Maine, where he meets a friendly local named Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne). After the Creeds' cat is accidentally killed, Crandall advises Louis to bury it in the ground near the old pet cemetery. The cat returns to life, its personality changed for the worse. When Louis' son, Gage (Miko Hughes), dies tragically, Louis decides to bury the boy's body in the same ground despite the warnings of Crandall and Louis' visions of a deceased patient.

Pet Sematary (Blu-ray) 

Riverdale: Season One: Amazon - $33.99

Archie Andrews starts the school year with the world weighing on his shoulders. He's decided he wants to pursue a future in the music business, but his recently ended clandestine relationship with the music teacher has left him without a mentor, and his friendship with Jughead Jones is in a bad place. Things look like they might be turning around when Veronica Lodge, a new girl, arrives. Despite the instant chemistry, Veronica is hesitant to risk a friendship with Betty -- who has a crush on Archie -- to pursue anything. Amidst all the small-town banality lurks a mystery: the recent tragic death of Jason Blossom, the twin brother of beautiful and popular troublemaker, Cheryl.

Riverdale: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) 

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2: Amazon - $29.99

Time Master Rip Hunter travels back in time to the present day where he brings together a team of heroes and villains in an attempt to prevent Vandal Savage from destroying the world and time itself.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray) 

Once Upon A Time: Season Six: Best Buy - $44.99

In the town of Storybrooke, Maine, not everything is as it seems. When Henry, the adopted son of the town's mayor, goes searching for his birth mother, he begins to unravel a web of secrets connected to his adoptive mother and her relationship to the strange amnesia afflicting the town's residents. While all of the people in Storybrooke are actually fairytale characters, only the mayor remembers the magical past. As Henry's quest progresses, however, the real stories of the town's residents come to light. Together with Emma, his birth mother, and their friends, including Jiminy Cricket, Snow White, Prince Charming and other fairytale legends, Henry fights to restore love and magic to the town. This often puts him at odds with his adoptive mother, the evil queen who cursed the town's residents.

Once Upon a Time: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) 

  - The Impostor 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Dave Made a Maze, Army of Darkness, Night Warning

It's going to be another crazy week in the bay area! Dave Made a Maze opens Friday and is actually screening in San Francisco, The Monster Project hits VOD, and Army of Darkness screens at midnight. Not to mention Terror Tuesday, Nippon Nights, and some dark double features.
Read on for details!

Opening This Week

Dave Made A Maze (2017)
Limited Theatres / VOD Friday 18th (1hr 20min)
Adventure/ Comedy/ Horror (IMDB)
Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Dave's girlfriend Annie leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. Once inside, they find themselves trapped in an ever-changing supernatural world, threatened by booby traps and pursued by a bloodthirsty Minotaur.

The Monster Project (2017)
Limited Theatres/ VOD Friday 18th (1hr 35min)
Action/ Horror (IMDB)
In a chilling and inventive take on the classic monster movie genre, THE MONSTER PROJECT follows a group of aspiring horror filmmakers, eager to raise their YouTube subscriber count, who post an online casting call for "real life" monsters to interview for their documentary. They find three participants and choose to film them sharing their haunted experiences in a mansion in the woods on the night of a lunar eclipse. The production suddenly turns into a nightmare when the participants transform into a real vampire, demon, and skinwalker (a type of harmful witch, according to Navajo legends, that can transform into any animal with the intent of harming people), forcing the unsuspecting crew to fight for their lives.

30th Anniversary Tour

Monday 14th @ 7pm (1hr 22min)
Adventure/ Comedy/ Horror (Rotten Tomatoes)
A quintet of classic movie monsters invades a small town looking for a lost amulet that will help them rule the world. A bunch of kids decide to fight back by forming the "Monster Squad."

With Special Guests Andre Gower, Ryan Lambert, and Ashley Bank

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 15th @ 9:45pm (1hr 36min)
Horror/ Slasher
In this off-beat slasher film, the over-coddled nephew of a sexually frustrated spinster aunt finds his life in jeopardy after his aunt's inner demons get the best of her.
Weird Wednesday

Wednesday 16th @ 10pm (1hr 45min)
Drama (IMDB)
An attractive but conservative mid-30's housewife stays at the house of her sexually open daughter and soon becomes involved in her daughter's swinger lifestyle.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Thursday 17th @ 7pm (2hrs 16min)
Crime/ Drama/ Scifi (IMDB)
"In an England of the future, Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his "Droogs" spend their nights getting high at the Korova Milkbar before embarking on "a little of the old ultraviolence," while jauntily warbling "Singin' in the Rain." After he's jailed for bludgeoning the Cat Lady to death, Alex submits to behavior modification technique to earn his freedom; he's conditioned to abhor violence. Returned to the world defenseless, Alex becomes the victim of his prior victims."


Straw Dogs (1971)
Thursday 17th @ 9:30pm (1hr 53min)
Crime/ Drama/ Thriller (IMDB)
Sam Peckinpah examines the instinctual capacity for violence in his controversial 1971 film, loosely based on the novel The Siege of Trencher's Farm. To avoid the Vietnam-era social chaos in the U.S., American mathematician David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) moves with his British wife, Amy (Susan George), to the isolated Cornish town where she grew up, but their presence provokes antagonism among the village's men. As the hostilities escalate from routine bullying to the gang rape of his wife, David finds his pacifistic self backed into a corner. When the hooligans attack his house, David finally resorts to the gruesome violence that he abhors. 

Midnight Madness

Friday 18th @ 11:55pm (1hr 21min)
Comedy/ Horror (IMDB)
The third in director Sam Raimi's stylish, comic book-like horror trilogy that began with The Evil Dead (1982), this tongue-in-cheek sequel offers equal parts sword-and-sorcery-style action, gore, and comedy. Bruce Campbell returns as the one-armed Ash, now a supermarket employee ("Shop Smart...Shop S-Mart") who is transported by the powers of a mysterious book back in time with his Oldsmobile '88 to the 14th century medieval era. Armed only with a shotgun, his high school chemistry textbook, and a chainsaw that mounts where his missing appendage once resided, the square-jawed, brutally competent Ash quickly establishes himself as a besieged kingdom's best hope against an "army of darkness" currently plaguing the land.

Also screening Saturday

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Friday 18th @ 10:30pm (1hr 36min)
Horror (IMDB)
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these flesh eating monsters.

Nippon Nights

Wednesday 16th @ 9:20pm (1hr 28min)
Comedy/ Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
In an effort to avoid spending time with her father and his creepy new lover, young Gorgeous (Kimiko Ikegami) resolves to visit her aunt's remote mansion. With six of her closest friends in tow, including the musically inclined Melody (Eriko Tanaka) and the geeky Prof (Ai Matsubara), Gorgeous arrives at the estate, where supernatural events occur almost immediately. A severed head takes flight, household appliances come to life and a portrait of a cat seems to contain an evil spirit.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Bloodmarsh Krackoon

0 of 5 viewers "Liked" "Bloodmarsh Krackoon" (1989, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Lord Battle - "Monsters are cool because they're not. They have no friends, are usually ugly, and only ironically drive sports cars, shoot guns, and get the girl at the end of the film. This is why I grew up loving monsters, I relate to them. What I hate is cool guy culture. Fast cars and faster women (whatever the fuck that means) culture. But what I hate more than anything is when cool guy culture bleeds into my indie monster movie. Bloodmarsh Krackoon features hitmen in a way I thought only Krampus 2: The Devil Returns could. Actually no, Krampus 2 was a lot of fun and even though the Krampus was barely in it. The Devil Returns still took a Tarantino stylized genre trope and misfired so badly that it was a ton of fun to watch and has become something I'll revisit every Christmas. The Krackoon however was a laborious wade through a ton of bad "cool guy" dialogue that never even approaches fun and does absolutely nothing for an audience that would purchase, let alone watch a film like Bloodmarsh Krackoon. I will say that I am still excited to see the original feature Krackoon which they include on the DVD. I'm hoping it will be the micro budget film I was looking for, not a micro budget "The Wire" who sometimes guest starred a puppet." - 1 Star

Dabbles - "I really wanted to walk out. But I had nowhere to go. It was trying to be clever, while painful acting and pacing needed to be worked on. This was the first time I wish I fell asleep, because sleep is definitely better than this movie. But it got an extra star because the puppet was cool and funny." - 2 Stars

Huntress - "Bloodmarsh Krackoon is one of those movies that completely messes with your perception of time. Ten minutes feels like an hour in this strange universe, where all you want is for some crazy monsters to appear and wreck everyone around but instead you get corrupt politicians and gang wars thrown together in a collage of confusion. And on top of all that it was boring!" - 1.5 Stars

Math Mage - "The theme song set my expectations too high. This film was a slog. The hadorable (horrible + adorable, like Gibble the Pokemon) hand puppets were excellent. Some terrible films are clearly about something and you can describe the film by saying that; but if I told someone this film was about a mutant raccoon that eats people I would be lying. This film is about an assisted living facility were a gangster feigning senility is housed and he plots with two orderlies to ruin the business so he brings the ---- to build a casino. It's about the deputy (now mayor since he was killed in the last one (yes it's a direct sequel to Krackoon, which is included as a feature on the DVD)) hiring his cousin (who is a mafia hit man) to hunt the Krackoon but they instead get drunk with the chief of police?! It's also about an old woman in the facility (who is the mayor's mother) adopting a homeless boy and giving him to a nurse who finds the boy is keeping the Krackoon (finally!) and that it killed the mayor and his parents. Then the Krackoon mutates into a werewolf to get revenge on a random guy who stepped on its baby?! Do not watch this film." - 1 Star

Trash - "Oh hell no. This isn't for me. Who is this even for? Put me down as a walkout, I can't deal with this." - Walkout - Default 2 Stars

The Great Hornito - Walkout - Default 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

It was a humid Thursday evening, attendance was at its minimum for an Overlook film review. This had been the third week in a row with this particular crowd (Huntress, Dabbles, The Great Hornito, Math Mage and I) thought it would be fun to revisit our old way of selecting a film. I grabbed 3 movies that I predicted would be fun and most likely bad (in a critical sense). The films I selected to choose from were Night Hunter, Bloodmarsh Krackoon, and Quest for the Egg Salad. The popular choice was Night Hunter, but because everyone was so excited to watch it we put the film on hold for a big crowd... Quest for the Egg Salad is a very tough sell to any audience (look it up, I think it's streaming for  free on YouTube) and it will most likely play for just Math Mage and me in our new segment (more on that later) since only one person voted for it (me). That left us with Bloodmarsh Krackoon, which we were all happy with even though it was no one's first choice, simply because a micro budget film with a puppet raccoon high on crack can be many things. Certainly not boring!

As we lingered on the DVD menu (to make proper social media posts and whatnot) we slowly became endeared to the theme song playing on loop. Once the film started we were greeted with a 5 minute summary of the first film Krackoon (2010), which Bloodmarsh Krackoon is a sequel to but doesn't attempt to make clear on the DVD box at all; Krackoon is however available as a bonus feature on the DVD. Now I should mention that this lead to a brief discussion about which film we should be watching. I made a executive decision and decided we would digest the films the way they wanted us to, which I think means we watch the film on the cover of the DVD. So we fast forwarded through the recap intro and resumed the film. It was my choice to skip the "what happened on the last episode of Krackoon" portion of the film and I question whether or not that was the right choice. Because I had made the decision to go on with the sequel, I didn't want to spoil the original for everyone (and even though no one enjoyed this film we will be screening the original at some point). How was I supposed to know that the entire feature would be an attempt at a micro budget Coen Brothers film?

I know this might just seem like fun ribbing at a little horror movie's expense but if you know anything about Lord Battle it's that I couldn't be more against that. In fact, what I'm trying to articulate is that somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area a group of 5 friends got together to watch a movie that had monetary limitations, which meant nothing to us because what we want from our stories are ideas. An earnest attempt at bringing to life ideas. The thing about making movies is it's hard, especially for the earnest micro budget film which will rarely be watched and possibly never understood. Bloodmarsh Krackoon looks like it was a lot of fun to make, and I'll leave it at that.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 7/27/2017
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): Annabelle: Creation, The Night of the Hunter, Cape Fear

It's the weekend of obsession and revenge! The Alamo continues their Tales of the Obsessed series in anticipation of the opening of Ingrid Goes West, the Castro Theatre presents a Robert Mitchum Centennial weekend, and Annabelle: Creation is officially released today! A mob of Overlook nerds saw Annabelle 2 last night at as early screening and it definitely sparked a lot of conversation. I won't say in what direction... But I personally think it's one you should see in theatres.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Opening Today

Opens Friday 11th (1hr 49min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller (IMDB)
A couple still grieving the death of their daughter take in children from a local orphanage, but the family are soon terrorized by a demented doll known as Annabelle. Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, and Lulu Wilson star in this horror sequel from director David F. Sandberg (Lights Out).

Limited Theatres/ VOD Friday 11th (1hr 20min)
Drama/ Horror (Rotten Tomatoes)
In this intense thriller, three friends from California head to the rugged Australian coast for a cage-dive encounter with deadly Great Whites. But after attracting a swarm of vicious sharks, their tour boat is destroyed by a massive rogue wave. As clouds gather and darkness descends, the three friends find themselves alone and defenseless, afloat in the chilly ocean as hungry man-eaters begin to circle. With little hope of rescue, they must fight to survive using only their courage.

Limited Theatres/ VOD Friday 11th (1hr 31min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
Five friends are terrorized by a supernatural entity after downloading a mysterious app.

Tales of the Obsessed

Sunday 13th @ 7pm (1hr 28min)
Comedy/ Drama (IMDB)
An unpopular seventh-grade girl finds her life a living hell, thanks to the ridicule of her peers and the indifference of her family. This critically acclaimed, entirely unsentimental dark comedy depicts her struggles to survive this incredibly awkward age.

Beer Movies

Forbidden Zone (1980)
Saturday 12th @ 10pm (1hr 14min)
Comedy/ Musical/ Fantasy (IMDB)
The bizarre and musical tale of a girl who travels to another dimension through the gateway found in her family's basement.

Thunder Road (1958)
Friday 11th @ 7pm (1hr 32min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.


Mad Max (1979)
Friday 11th @ 8:45pm (1hr 28min)
Actin/ Adventure/ Sci-Fi (IMDB)
This stunning, post-apocalyptic action thriller from director George Miller stars Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky, a policeman in the near future who is tired of his job. Since the apocalypse, the lengthy, desolate stretches of highway in the Australian outback have become bloodstained battlegrounds. Max has seen too many innocents and fellow officers murdered by the bomb's savage offspring, bestial marauding bikers for whom killing, rape, and looting is a way of life. He just wants to retire and spend time with his wife and son but lets his boss talk him into taking a peaceful vacation and he starts to reconsider. Then his world is shattered as a gang led by the evil Toecutter (Hugh Keays-Byrne) murders his family in retaliation for the death of one of its members. Dead inside, Max straps on his helmet and climbs into a souped-up V8 racing machine to seek his bloody revenge.

Robert Mitchum Centennial 

Out of the Past (1947)
Saturday 12th @ 7pm (1hr 37min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
This quintessential film noir made contract player Robert Mitchum a star and set the standard for the genre for years to come. Private eye Jeff Bailey (Robert Mitchum) is hired by notorious gangster Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas) to find his mistress, Kathie Moffett (Jane Greer), who shot him and ran off with $40,000. Jeff traces Kathie to Mexico, but when he meets her he falls in love and willingly becomes involved in an increasingly complicated web of double-crosses, blackmail, and murder.


The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)
Saturday 12th @ 5pm & 8:55pm (1hr 42min)
Drama/ Horror/ Mystery (Rotten Tomatoes)
Based on the best-selling novel by George V. Higgins, The Friends of Eddie Coyle chronicles the last days of a weary Boston-based weapons dealer. Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum) doesn't want to serve a life sentence in prison, so he becomes an informant for both the police and the treasury department. Coyle is likewise unwilling to give up his lifestyle, thus he continues his illegal gun-running operation for the underworld. The mob becomes aware that Eddie is squealing to the cops, so they send his best friend, Dillon (Peter Boyle), to rub him out. Dillon compassionately takes Eddie out on the town, treating him to dinner and a hockey game...then drives to a deserted field to carry out his orders. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Night of the Hunter (1955)
Sunday 13th @ 7pm (1hr 32min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
Adapted by James Agee from a novel by Davis Grubb, The Night of the Hunter represented legendary actor Charles Laughton's only film directing effort. Combining stark realism with Germanic expressionism, the movie is a brilliant good-and-evil parable, with "good" represented by a couple of farm kids and a pious old lady, and "evil" literally in the hands of a posturing psychopath. Imprisoned with thief Ben Harper (Peter Graves), phony preacher Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) learns that Ben has hidden a huge sum of money somewhere near his home. Upon his release, the murderously misogynistic Powell insinuates himself into Ben's home, eventually marrying his widow Willa (Shelley Winters). Eventually all that stands between Powell and the money are Ben's son (Billy Chapin) and daughter (Sally Jane Bruce), who take refuge in a home for abandoned children presided over by the indomitable, scripture-quoting Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish). The war of wills between Mitchum and Gish is the heart of the film's final third, a masterful blend of horror and lyricism. Laughton's tight, disciplined direction is superb -- and all the more impressive when one realizes that he intensely disliked all child actors. The music by Walter Schumann and the cinematography of Stanley Cortez are every bit as brilliant as the contributions by Laughton and Agee. Overlooked on its first release, The Night of the Hunter is now regarded as a classic. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Cape Fear (1962)
Sunday 13th @ 5pm & 8:45pm (1hr 446min)
Drama/ Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
After an eight-year prison term for rape and assault, Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) is set free. Immediately making a beeline to Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck), the former prosecutor responsible for Cady's conviction, Cady laconically informs Sam that he intends to "pay back" the attorney for his years behind bars. Conducting a meticulous campaign of terror, Cady is careful to stay within the law. Sam, realizing that Cady intends to wreak vengeance by raping the attorney's wife (Polly Bergen) and daughter (Lori Martin), tries to put the ex-criminal behind bars, but has no grounds to do so. Chief Dutton (Martin Balsam) tries to help Sam with a few strong-arm tactics, but succeeds only in having the courts take Cady's side in the matter. Things come to a head when Sam moves his family to the "safety" of a remote houseboat on Cape Fear river. Cady shows up unannounced and is about to ravage Bowden's wife and daughter and when Sam turns the tables. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bluray Tuesday: Featuring King Arthur, Teen Wolf & The Dinner

August 8th 2017

Bluray Tuesday arrives once again. A bit of a lighter week compared to last week's releases, but there are some cool additions you can add to your growing collections. Scream Factory releases two collector's editions this week, Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Too. The original Teen Wolf is classic I remember watching as a kid but I don't recall the sequel too much. I look forward to checking these out this week with the all new transfers and bonus material. The Dinner is next up for today. The Dinner is not one for everyone I'd say. I expected more from the cast of this caliber. The acting is great and story line definitely deals with issues of today's time. The ending did kind of upset me but I still understand why it had to end the way it did. On to the bigger releases today we have a King Arthur reboot called King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword and Snatched, a comedy starring Amy Schumer and veteran actress Goldie Hawn who play daughter and mother. Lots of different things to choose from this week, so what will you buy, rent or skip? Let us know in the comment section. Until next week! 

Teen Wolf: Amazon - $19.99

When high school nerd Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox) learns from his father, Harold (James Hampton), that being a werewolf runs in the family, he decides to take advantage of his freakish trait. With his newfound strength and agility, Scott quickly becomes the hero of his school's basketball team while winning over longtime crush Pamela Wells (Lorie Griffin). As he grows more popular, Scott worries he is being celebrated as a novelty rather than for who he is.

Teen Wolf (Blu-ray) 

Teen Wolf Too: Amazon - $19.99

Although awkward college student Todd Howard (Jason Bateman) is particularly adept at science, he's paying for school with an athletic scholarship that he will lose should he not fare well in an upcoming boxing tournament. Luckily for Todd, he has inherited the same family curse that once turned his cousin into a werewolf. As he transforms into the hairy, fanged, howling monster, he finds both his physical agility and his popularity skyrocketing -- but at what cost?

Teen Wolf Too (Blu-ray)   

The Dinner: Amazon - $15.99

As two couples dine at an upscale restaurant, their polite discourse disguises the fact that they are struggling with weighty family issues.

The Dinner (Blu-ray) 

King Arthur: Amazon - $24.99
4K: Amazon - $29.99

After the murder of his father, young Arthur's power-hungry uncle Vortigern seizes control of the crown. Robbed of his birthright, he grows up the hard way in the back alleys of the city, not knowing who he truly is. When fate leads him to pull the Excalibur sword from stone, Arthur embraces his true destiny to become a legendary fighter and leader.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Blu-ray) 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword 4K (Blu-ray) 

Snatched: Best Buy - $19.99
4K: Best Buy - $24.99

Dumped by her boyfriend on the eve of their vacation, impetuous dreamer Emily Middleton persuades her cautious mother, Linda, to accompany her on an exotic getaway to South America. Polar opposites, Emily and Linda must soon work through their differences to escape from a wildly outrageous and dangerous jungle adventure.

Snatched (Blu-ray) 

Snatched 4K (Blu-ray) 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul: Amazon - $19.99

Young Greg Heffley is looking forward to a long summer of just hanging out, but his mother throws a monkey wrench into his plans when she forces the entire family to take a road trip for a relative's birthday celebration. His eyes soon light up after he realizes that the excursion is his ticket to a gaming convention to meet YouTube sensation Mac Digby. Greg's imagination then kicks into overdrive as he sneakily hatches a scheme to attend the expo and gain some much-deserved fame.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Blu-ray) 

Night of the Sorcerers/The Loreley's Gasp: Amazon - $19.99

The Night of the Sorcerers:A team of researchers travel into the African jungle to study the mysterious disappearance of elephants in the area. Instead they discover a tribe of voodoo-zombies who rise from the ground, capture the women, whip them and slice their heads off on an altar. The women return as vampires who look for more women to kill. 
The Loreley's Gasp: Loreley lives for centuries beneath the river Rhein and hunts humans during the full moon. When several girls from a boarding school are killed, a hunter (Tony Kendall) is hired to kill the monster.

The Night of the Sorcerers / The Loreley's Grasp (Blu-ray) 
Fargo (Steelbook): Amazon - $13.99

"Fargo" is a reality-based crime drama set in Minnesota in 1987. Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is a car salesman in Minneapolis who has gotten himself into debt and is so desperate for money that he hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi), (Peter Stormare) to kidnap his own wife. Jerry will collect the ransom from her wealthy father (Harve Presnell), paying the thugs a small portion and keeping the rest to satisfy his debts. The scheme collapses when the thugs shoot a state trooper.

Fargo (Blu-ray) 

Among Us: Amazon - $19.99

After the mysterious death of their young son, a couple desperately flees to a remote lake house to escape the unrelenting haunting following them only to discover the mysterious entity is still very much a part of their lives.

Among Us (Blu-ray) 

 - The Impostor