Movie Review: The Whole Damn Phantasm Franchise

Phantasm is both one of the most enduring and one of the oddest horror franchises. Or is it sci-fi? Fantasy, maybe? The first film was released 38 years ago and the fifth – and reportedly last in the sporadically produced series- released late in 2016. Last month, the entire saga was released as a deluxe Blu-Ray Box Set [Amazon] making it a great time to revisit this often overlooked gem.

The films are the passion project of writer/director Don Coscarelli [IMDB], who also gave us the cult classic “The Beastmaster” [IMDB] and the wonderfully mind-bending “John Dies at the End” [My Review]. He once described Phantasm as “barely linear”, a characterization that some might call generous. The films are a loose mixture of original ideas, interesting imagery and budget-induced compromise.

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Remembering Dave Allen

Dave Allen at LargeWay back in the history times when I was a child in the suburbs of Buffalo, I had a small TV in my bedroom. With the bent rabbit ears, I could pick up a small handful of channels and the clearest was WNED PBS, channel 17. As part of their “cultural offerings”, the channel showed British Comedies each evening ending with an episode of “Benny Hill” at 10 and “Dave Allen at Large” at 10:30.

Benny Hill’s antics – and his scantily clad Angels – may have gotten all of the attention, but I connected with more Dave Allen’s brand of intimate, laid back, yet deeply challenging humor. At the age of nine or ten, I often didn’t understand what he was talking about, but adored the quiet passion which which he said it.

He had a powerful ability to lovingly mock the institutions of authority, especially religion, while maintaining a genuine respect the people that formed them. Like all great comics, he ran the gamut from serious and complex to silly and shallow, but his body of work has a clear, overarching message: it’s a pretty damn good thing to be alive, so enjoy yourself and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

This wonderful biography captures much of the feelings that I have, although my exposure to him was quite small.

If you’ve never seen him, do yourself a favor and follow some of the related links. If you’re an old fan, I hope this brings a smile to your face.

Movie Review: Logan

IMDB, Logan“Logan” on IMDB

Drama/Action/Sci-fi, 137 Minutes, 2017

Before we begin, we must recognize the true hero of this story: Chatty-guy-behind-us. When the movie was sneakily attempting to foreshadow something or self-indulgently tried to build a moment, Chatty-guy was there for us! He heroically defused the tension from key scenes and selflessly, loudly kept us informed of events happening directly in front of us on a giant screen.

That boy deserves a medal. A god-damned medal.

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Happy Ash Wednesday!

Ash-vs-Evil-Dead-Ashy-Slashy-Puppet-Prop-Replica-1It’s Ash Wednesday! Last year we reviewed all of the Evil Dead movies, but as things are more hectic this year, we decided to go with a simple, solemn viewing of “Evil Dead 2”.

To add to the festivities, Entertainment Earth has announced an amazing, full sized Ashy Slashy Puppet Prop Replica (pictured) from the amazing Ash vs. Evil Dead series! It’s not coming out until July, but preorders are open.

In the past we’ve shared quotes from the films to spread the wisdom of Ash. This time, let’s delve into the TV show:

Ash on Puppets

Puppets? I hate puppets! Even stunningly handsome ones.

Ash on Traveling

Yes, I’m upset. Yes, I’m behind the wheel. Yes I’m drunk, and maybe my license isn’t the fancy kind from the DMV, but at least I’m drunk!

 Ash on Coincidence

You’re the one that grew up your entire life looking for that book and you never found it. Me on the other hand, can’t fart without tripping over that thing, and I fart a lot!

Ash on Exercise

Brand spanking new hand, or…brand new ‘spanking’ hand!

Ash on Meditation

Ruby: I’m not dead you dumb bastard.
Ash: Oh wow, that was weird you were really still for a minute.

 

Ash on Racial Etiquette

Hey! He’s not “the Mexican” okay? He’s Pablo. “Pablo the Mexican.”

Ash on Education

Okay, uhh…obviously I know exactly what’s going on but, for the sake of these people, maybe you should explain.

Ash on Romance

Linda, from the moment I saw you I realized, that you were one of the only Lindas for me.

 

Ash on Nostalgia 

Wow. Last time I was here I was hopin’ to get laid. Didn’t quite work out that way. I did cut my own hand off with a chainsaw, though. Fun weekend.

So, however you celebrate the glory that is Ash, we hope that you do so surrounded by loving family, strong walls and very few deadites.

One Smart Car and 18 Ass-cheeks

I was minding my own business when my wife asked, “Can a bunch of people try and squeeze into your car?” Apparently the high-school is having a scavenger hunt and somehow stuffing innocent Smart Cars full of teenagers is an integral part of it. It took some convincing, but I gave in. Here’s the result:

SmartCar Pile-in

That’s 2009 Smart ForTwo Passion with nine teenagers stuffed inside. I told them that they could have doubled that if they used toddlers, but they seemed happy enough.

Movie Review: After the Dark

IMDB, After the Dark“After the Dark” on IMDB

Drama, 104 Minutes, 2013

The purpose of some films is to make the audience think; to provide discussion topics. They lay out rules, set up pressures and obstacles then examine the reactions of their ridiculously verbose characters. Success might be measured by the time the audience spends discussing the problems posed. It might also result in a violent argument with dear friends!

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Thanks for the Belated Recognition, Sony!

Sony just emailed me a congratulations for getting the platinum trophy for “Infamous: Second Son“; which I earned in March of 2014. The email subject was, “You just dominated inFAMOUS Second Son“. Hooray for past accomplishments!

Congratulations from Sony

Oddly enough, I actually earned two Platinum trophies – for “Dishonored 2” and “The Order: 1886” in the past couple of days. I guess I should expect a couple emails in, say, 2021!

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