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The Iceman

Just chill.


Drama

Rod Lott

By now, playing the nice guy with a dark side must be old hat to Michael Shannon, to the point of typecasting. Think of Take Shelter. Think of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. That's how you'll think of The Iceman.

 
Friday, August 23, 2013

Q: The Winged Serpent

'Q' earns a B+.


Sci-Fi

Rod Lott
Michael Moriarty's Quinn is a lowlife blowhard, a criminal who never has paid taxes but always is quick to pay attention to the bottle. Yet it's this very collection of human deficiencies that marked Q: The Winged Serpent unique upon its 1982 release and helped keep it alive ever since.
 
Friday, August 23, 2013

The Frozen Dead

A head of its time.


Sci-Fi

Rod Lott

I've seen many a zombie movie — too many, one could argue successfully — but 1966's The Frozen Dead must be the first in which a member of the undead was so concerned with hair care, Carly Simon probably wrote a song about him. As the pic's mad scientist introduces him, “This one is harmless. He combs his hair continuously, like a vain adolescent.”

 
Friday, August 23, 2013

Magic Magic

It could use some, use some


Thriller

Rod Lott
Michael Cera … scary? It's one of the last adjectives I'd apply to Arrested Development's poster child of awkward pauses, yet in the odd thriller Magic Magic, the vibe he exudes is nothing if not uncomfortably creepy. Give him credit for not playing another Indie Mopey Hoodie Boy.
 
Thursday, August 15, 2013

Drinking Games / From the Head

No budget? No problem!


Drama

Rod Lott

For no-budget cinema, the single location is a godsend. Set a movie entirely or mostly in one spot — one room, even — and you jussssst might be able to afford to put your thinly veiled autobiographical story onto film (OK, technically video). Such is the case for two new indie offerings: Drinking Games and From the Head.

 
Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ishtar

Don't believe the hype.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Telling the truth can be dangerous business, but here goes: Time slowly is proving me correct in my long-held assertion that Ishtar is a funny movie. Believe it.
 
Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dark Angel

The high-def release comes in peace.


Sci-Fi

Rod Lott
When did 1990's I Come in Peace become Dark Angel? More importantly, why? Did some porno cop its title? Now people will confuse it with that one TV series Jessica Alba did for James Cameron before she became a movie star.
 
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Flying Fists of Kung Fu / Kickin’ It Shaolin Style

Get your kicks.


Action

Rod Lott
Mill Creek Entertainment, the DVD format’s current reigning master of the budget box set, has unleashed two separate martial-arts collections in Flying Fists of Kung Fu and Kickin’ It Shaolin Style. Containing 12 films apiece from the late 1970s and early ’80s, they account for 34 hours and 50 minutes of your potential viewing time in all.
 
Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics

Proof that crime does pay!


Drama

Rod Lott
I'm ready to proclaim Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics as the set to get for 2013. Both a crash course into the golden age of the cinematic criminal and a time capsule of black-and-white badassery, the five-disc Blu-ray package is infinitely rewarding.
 
Friday, August 9, 2013

Rapture-Palooza

This is also the end.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Amid a spate of end-of-the-world comedies this year, The Office vet Craig Robinson has starred in two of them, the hit This Is the End and the under-the-radar Rapture-Palooza. Both have as many dick jokes as comedian cameos, yet only Rapture-Palooza — a truly terrible title, that — bears the secret weapon of Anna Kendrick.
 
Thursday, August 8, 2013

Street Trash

Now every day can be garbage day.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Street Trash is a semipolitical horror comedy that pulls out all the stops in an all-out effort seemingly to offend as many viewers as possible. Personally, I think that’s a good thing.
 
Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hatchet III

Ax and ye shall receive.


Horror

Rod Lott
Hatchet III posits that a man whose face has been turned to raw meat can get right back up and walk around as if nothing happened. Then he gets chainsawed into even halves, yet even that fails to faze him.
 
Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Errors of the Human Body

What sci-fi should be.


Sci-Fi

Rod Lott
It's too easy to compare Errors of the Human Body to the "body horror" entries on David Cronenberg's CV — too easy because it's all too apt. As much as it brings that master director to mind, the new film is original enough to stand on its own terms.
 
Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Amityville Horror

Arguably better than most of the sequels (and definitely the remake).


Documentary

Rod Lott
Daniel Lutz doesn't like people to know he's one of the children who lived through The Amityville Horror — as Jay Anson's best-selling book and subsequent smash movie called it — and yet here he is, front and center for an entire documentary on that "unfortunate gift." Be glad he gave in; My Amityville Horror is an occasionally gripping portrait of a middle-aged man still coming to terms with a terrible childhood.
 
Wednesday, August 7, 2013

X-Ray / Schizoid

Prognosis: 178 minutes of frightful fun.


Horror

Rod Lott
Continuing its reissues of finely aged cheese from the Cannon Films vault, Shout! Factory presents a welcome double feature of silly-ass slashers in 1982’s X-Ray and 1980’s Schizoid.
 
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
 
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