Monday, March 30, 2009

Movies This Week

P2 (2007)

[Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols]

This is an intense thriller, set in a parking garage on Christmas Eve. The beginning was a little slow, but effective at setting the stage for the rest of the movie.

The premise is good and I was kept excited and involved, always a good sign. And the acting from the two leads was very good. The end, when the credits are rolling, the Elvis Christmas carol is playing and the pictures appear like vacation memories, was a nice bit of black humor.

I would watch it again, sometime... maybe at Christmas?


MST3K "Manos: The Hands of Fate" (1993, original film 1966)

This is a classic episode of the great Mystery Science Theater 3000. "Manos: The Hands of Fate" is such a horribly bad movie that both TV's Frank and Dr. Forrester appear and apologize to Joel and the bots for sending it. So many classic quotes from the guys here.

"DO something!" from Joel, when the action is action-less.

My daughter and I cracked up hysterically when one of the bots, in the little girl's voice, quietly says "Didn't I have a poodle?" Hilarious. I wish this show was still on, there are endless films for them to riff on.

Will DEFINITELY watch this again, but only the MST3K'd version.


Midnight Meat Train (2008)

[Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Vinnie Jones]

I watched this film on the recommendation of Jason from The Mad Ravings of an Entertainment Junkie and I liked it.

A photographer stumbles upon sinister goings-on in the late night train station. He slowly becomes obsessed with following the butcher who rides the train. Needless to say, all Hell breaks loose.

I have never read the Clive Barker story this is based upon, but you can feel his bizarre mind at work here. The movie is wonderfully shot, the kills sometimes spectacular. I also loved how it didn't 'cop-out' in the end. Movies like this don't need to end "happy". They shouldn't.

Not for everyone, for sure, but great for horror/slasher fans. I would watch it again.


Berserk! (1967)

[Joan Crawford, Ty Hardin, Diana Dors, Michael Gough]

I viewed this hoping for the best. Let's list the positives: Joan Crawford (awesome actress), sideshow performers and circus acts (sweet), not too many clowns mucking about (whew!), mystery and murder (woohoo!). Recipe for an great flick.

Sadly, this film isn't that great flick. There are some fun parts in this, mainly when the movie showcases actual circus acts. But these moments are more about filler than forwarding any actual plot. And there is one point where Crawford is speaking and then suddenly we see a flash of lightning and the scene changes completely into a different one. I don't know why ... and it makes no sense.

Is it dreck? I don't think so. It has all the points I mentioned above and if you are a fan of any of them, you might enjoy this. There are certainly worse movies out there. But now that I have seen it, I wouldn't bother to rewatch it.


Man in the Attic (1953)

[Jack Palance, Constance Smith, Frances Bavier]

This is a great little tale set around the mystery of Jack the Ripper. A pathologist checks in to a boarding house and soon has everyone wondering... is he Jack the Ripper?

The acting here is great and the plot is simple but effective. You are wondering about the truth along with the characters. Palance is creepy and unsettling. Just a great little film.

I would watch it again sometime.


The Lodger (1944)

[Merle Oberon, George Sanders, Cedric Hardwicke, Laird Cregar]

I also happened to catch this film, which was an earlier version of the same story as "Man in the Attic". This one is, obviously, a bit older, but it is just as moody.

One difference is that Kitty here (Lily in the other film) is a little more suspicious of Slade. And it ends less ambiguously than the later film.

I think this film is great, the acting is wonderful. Cregar isn't as creepy as Palance, but he does play a strange man very well. He only filmed one more movie after this, before his death in late '44.

I would watch this one again, too.


Have you seen any of these? What do you think?


  1. Hey man,

    Glad that you enjoyed The Midnight Meat Train! :-)

    The only other film that I've seen, on this list, is P2 and I was not really that impressed [though probably because my expectations were raised since it was written by Aja & Levasseur]

  2. Yeah, I had NO expectations of P2, so I just enjoyed it for what it was. Not the best, but good enough.

  3. MST3K is so completely hilarious. I never watched it when it was on, because I thought it would be annoying, but I was SO wrong. The first thing I ever saw from them was the movie (This Island Earth!) and I felt sick from laughing.

    I just Netflixed Manos recently, because I've heard that's one of the best episodes ever. I watched The Brain That Wouldn't Die a couple of weeks ago and there were a few parts where I thought I might pee myself.