Archive | Movies RSS for this section

Candyman Farewell to the Flesh Review

By: Justin Hopkins

**SPOILER WARNING**

And the march goes on. One more day closer to The Candyman’s big return. We went through the first one last night so lets keep the train moving to the 1995 sequel, Farewell to the Flesh. Taking the titular character from Chicago and dropping him into New Orleans, while digging deeper into the lore at the same time. Lets jump in and see how the shift paid off for them.

**SYNOPSIS**

The movie starts with Professor Purcell going through the story of The Candyman, giving him a name, Daniel Tobitaille, during an event at a book store promoting his book on the Candyman. Bringing up the events in the first movie, claiming Helen Lyle was to blame for the murders. As she had taken such an intense obsession with the topic and turned herself into the Candyman. After being pushed a bit by the crowd. Uses the shine on his book to say Candyman five time. Which was to set up a joke of being attacked by an associate. All the while, a nervous guy watches from the back. Later confronting Purcell when he is walking down the street. Recognizing Ethan when he gave his name, and apologizing for his Dad dying, only Ethan yelled at him. Claiming his Dad came to him for help and Candyman was real and Purcell would be next. Shaken up by it, he goes to the bar. When Ethan attacks him and is thrown out. Yelling that he is next. The Professor goes to clean himself off, when the Candyman shows himself and kills the Professor. After the title card, we see Mardi Gras in effect and three more days till the start of lent. Hear the Radio DJ, King Fish talking as we meet Annie, as she is driving through. On her way to work. While King Fish is warning people not to say his name in front of the mirror. We meet up with her at her job as a school teacher. Student working on art projects. One of the kids, drawing a picture of the Candyman. When someone comes in and tell her their has been a problem with her brother, Ethan. Which she rushes to deal with. Stopping at her Mother’s house, who is drinking and upset about Ethan and the fact she has cancer. Together, along with Annie’s Husband, Paul. She tries to get him to talk or get a lawyer, but Ethan isn’t listen. Content with just confessing and taking the fall. When she pushes him, he throws an ashtray through the window, and he gets carried away. While she says she won’t give up on him. Trying to talk to the lady cop, but she won’t hear it either. Believing it to be a slam dunk case, on not only Purcell, but a string of other, including their Father. Later that night, she gets inspired by some old photos, to take a trip to the old family house. To try and finding anything that might be able to help her Brother. Finding a small group pf homeless and see the ruins of the old slave house out back. When she goes upstairs, she finds multiple graffiti pictures of Daniel and his death, till reached the final image of Birth of Candyman. Standing in front of a pile of skulls. From their, she goes back to work, in time to break up a fight between a picture, Matthew drew of Candyman being chased. Telling her that if you said his name five times in the mirror, he will come for her. In an attempt to prove that it is made up. She does just that. Having a laugh when nothing happened but Matthew is still upset. That night, she can’t sleep and Paul comes to get her off the balcony. Making her dessert, while she is in the bathroom, and Candyman appears. Telling her soon they will take a journey together, before disappearing. Rushing out of the bathroom, when she hears a clatter. Candyman having Paul. Annie, watching helplessly as he kills Paul with the hook. She tries to run, but he appears before her and she blacks out and that is where I will leave it for now.

**Review**

Lets start this off with how we did the first and that is talking about the myth. which has changed from the first, and as far as this movie goes, I did like it. I know a lot of people may disagree with that point of view, but for me. Kind of plays with the idea of hoe an Urban Legend works. How the point of it is there, but elements of it change based on location. The premise, being that he was alive and killed after falling for a white woman, and he could be summoned by saying his name five time. While some of the details changing and adding to it. Such as the location of his death changing and his soul being tied to a mirror. Which was what was allowing him to get around. They gave him a name, Daniel and that even calling him Candyman, was a horrible thing to say. An insult one of the kids in the lynch mob called him and the mob mocked him with the term. As far as this movie goes, I do like the direction they went in with the story.

This one definitely upped the gore factor. Racking up the body count and carnage candy in spectacular fashion. Getting the first kill in the opening sequence and settling just long enough to tell the story before ratcheting right back up. The death of Paul was both grotesque and hard hitting, since Paul was a likeable guy and they made his death a rather slow one painful one. While the blood splattering Annie’s face was a nice touch. They utilized the the hook in some fun ways. From slow and painful to fast, and the death by bees scene was particularly brutal as it would be. All of which gets a big thumbs up from me.

Once again, they handled the racial and social aspects of the movie very well. Not just with the cruelty and unjust scene of what happened to Daniel, but with the Reverend having to live with the idea that the cops would not help him find Mathew when he went missing. As well with the family aspect as well. Isabelle growing up never knowing about Daniel, but even Annie’s Mom refusing to admit that Daniel was related because she would be ashamed by the association. Leaving off on a bit of hope, with Annie including Daniel’s picture in the family Photobook.

I loved the fact that this story was set around Mardi Gras. Seeing the city celebrate and party, oblivious to the terror that is unfolding to Annie. Allowing not just her to slip through the crowd but Candyman as well. The symbolism of it all coming to a close, on the final day, and seeing her and Matthew leave it all behind at the start of Ash Wednesday.

Tony Todd was once again fantastic in the roll of Candyman as well as Daniel. Bringing out so much pain and agony and sorrow during his final moments alive. Making you hate everyone involved. Wonderfully bringing back the terror and frightening calmness in the Candyman when he talks. To the sickening joy he gets in killing. He had a great grasp on the character and the second time around he came back better. Playing off him was the wonderful Kelly Rowan, who did excellent as Annie. Who built up a really likeable character in Annie. Feeling the fear and desperation that continued to build up within her, but the sympathy she had for him was there as well. Knew she had to stop him, but did feel bad for Daniel. And we got to mention Timothy Carhart, for loveable Paul. Complete opposite of Trevor, and saved dessert.

This movie did have a bit of minor negatives. I feel like they could have done more with Detective Ray and Pam. Especially after Pam learned the truth. A little closer look at the Slave house before the finale. At least let Annie go to the front of it. A bigger negative would have been how little we got to know Matthew. Would like to know more about his story and how he got involved with Candyman.

With all of that said, Farewell to the Flesh was a much better sequel than what people give credit for. I enjoyed the direction they took the myth into. Building up on it and learning more his story. Diving into the family descendants. Loved the ramp up on carnage candy, New characters and return of a horror icon. All coming together for a great entry in the series. Final Grade – A –

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!

Candyman Review

By: Justin Hopkins

**SPOILER WARNING**

Welcome to this months Classic 13 review… three days late. I know, I am sorry. Between getting ready for this past weekend and attending Rampage. Didn’t have enough time to get this one done, but didn’t want to pass this one up. Since we are less then 2 weeks away from Candyman’s return to the theaters. No better time to go back to the 1992 classic that started it all. A movie that I have only actually seen one time going into this when I was a kid. A lot of it going over my head and no really sticking with me. Now, older and somewhat capable of understanding things. It was time to give it another go. So, lets jump in and discuss.

**SYNOPSIS**

The movie kicks off with a title sequence, ending with a swarm of bees and Candyman talking, ” They say I have shed some blood, but what’s blood for if not for shedding. With my hook for a hand, I will split you from groin to gullet.” After a shot of bees overtaking the city, we jump to Helen, a grad student, listening to story of The Candyman. A babysitter who had a guy name Billy show up. Taking him upstairs and to the bathroom. Telling him the story and he said the name 4 times. When she sends him downstairs she says it a 5th and he came for her. Killing her and the baby. Billy managing to escape but went crazy. Hair turning white. She knows the story because her roommates’ boyfriend knows him. Meanwhile, fellow Grad Student Bernadette hearing a different story. Heading back to the university, a little annoyed by the way one of the students is looking at the professor, her husband, Trevor. She pushes on, because she is more upset that he is teaching the Urban Legend portion while her and Bernadette are working on their thesis. See her typing on a computer later, when one of the cleaning ladies overhears the recording. Knowing someone, another cleaning lady who knows about the Candyman. Telling her the story of Ruthie Jean, a woman who lived at Cabrini Green housing. Heard what sounded like someone banging through her wall. She tried numerous times to call the police, but they ignored her till it was to late. Finding her dead when they finally arrived. Believing it to be the Candyman who did it. Helen found numerous articles and the Ruthie Jean murder. Making a connection between Cabrini Green and her apartment tower. Showing Bernadette how the apartments are connected through the bathroom mirror. Where she said Candyman five time, Bernadette only doing it four, but nothing happens. The next day, they head to Cabrini Green, much to Bernadette’s chagrin. The gang catching sight of them immediately. Not messing with them, because they thought they were cops, but shouted a warning up the stairs. Making their way to Ruthie Jean’s. Where she climbed through the hole to the abandoned apartment. Taking pictures. Finding a massive mural of The Candyman on the wall. Along with an offering of candy before it. Coming back when she runs out of film, one of the neighbors, Ann-Marie, comes to check what is going on. After a little reluctance, not wanting them to bash those who lived here. That not all of them are bad. She tells then a bit more about when Ruthie died. How she heard her screams and tried to call the police, but no one came. Believing it to be done, by Candyman. Over dinner with a group of professors, we learn more about Candyman. 1890, he was the son of a slave who struck it rich. Allowing his Father to send him to the best schools. Where he became an artist. Sleeping with a woman he was hired to paint a portrait of. Father hiring a group to punish him. Chasing him down to where Cabrini Green would be built. Sawing his hand off with a rusty blade. Smashing honeycombs over his body and dying by bee stings. Burning his body to ash and scattered across the grounds. When she goes back, tricks a kid, Jake into taking her to where he claims the Candyman can be found. Taking her to the restroom outside. Telling her about a kid the Candyman killed. Was told that was where he is. While she is inside, a group of guys come in. One brandishing a hook. Calling himself the Candyman, brandishing a hook and hits her in the head. Leaving her out cold and bleeding. Jake calling for help. The police catch the man, because unlike before they do come and sweep the building. The man was the leader of the Overlord Gang, and with her testimony could be put away. Jake is upset about her breaking their promise. Afraid of the Candyman, which she assures him is only a myth. When she is well enough to finally go back to school. Making her way through the parking garage, when a man calls out to her. Seeing flashes of Cabrini, as he lulls her into a hypnotic state. Telling her that he was obliged to come because of her spreading doubt of his existence. Be his victim, as she sees a swarm of bees as she blacked out. Coming to on the floor. Covered in blood. Hearing a woman screaming. Finding herself in Ann- Marie’s Apartment. Head of the dog on the floor. Helen picks up a knife, going to see what is happening. Baby Anthony is gone, and Ann Marie attacks her. Police bursting in as Helen is defending herself and she is arrested and that is where I will mercifully leave it for now.

**Review**

I enjoyed what they were going for with the Candyman and the myth surrounding him. Way he feed on the fears and thrived by being the boogeyman of Cabrini Green. Way he had to go about targeting Helen when she threatened to debunk his myth with his “Congregation.” Way he masterfully tore down here life. Leaving her with no other choice but to come to him. Then the switch happened, by him reneging and she fought back. Dying as she saved the baby. Making her the new Myth of Cabrini Green. Which was a risky move , especially with great of a character they had made, in Candyman, but one that they paid off for them.

I like the fact they didn’t just make him another hack n’ slash serial killer. Candyman being more suave and sophisticated. The way he talked and his movement. Story based in sadness and racial inequalities. That his only crime was falling for a white woman. Then preying and feeding off the black community who can never get any help. His crimes being ignored and just written up as gangs. While people Ann-Marie and Jake are caught in the middle.

The prosthetics were wonderful. From the small stuff like Helen’s swollen eye after she was attacked in the restroom. The aftermath of Bernadette and Trevor and the hook for a hand was excellent. The burns on Helen were morbid in the right way. For a movie that didn’t show a lot of the actual killing. Went all in on the aftermath and a great job with it. And a massive round of applause to Virginia Madsen and Tony Todd for working with swarms of bees. Couldn’t even imagine the amount of tension they were under pulling that off.

It almost goes without saying that the actors and actresses were phenomenal. Tony Todd created a villain of the ages in Candyman. Bringing the look, style, and derangement to stay with you long after you leave. Virginia Madsen was the perfect woman to bring in for the part of Helen. Nailing Helen’s descent . Making you feel so much sympathy for her as not only Candyman tore apart her life, but her Husband was cheating and moved in his girlfriend after she was committed and Virginia and Tony had excellent chemistry. Then you had Xander Berkeley, who played Trevor. A guy you just knew was cheating on Helen and became more unlikeable as you went and seeing him get his comeuppance was the cherry on the top, and it was because of how good Xander pulled it off.

Most of my nitpicks I had going from my first watch was cleared up on this one. So, guess we will go into final thoughts. Candyman is a really enjoyable film that had a lot going on for it. Good carnage candy, tragic tale, social breakdowns. An excellent final girl and Iconic killer in Candyman. With the sequel right around the corner, now is the best time to leap back to where it all started with this 1992 classic. Final Grade – A

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!

Saturday Sequel Presents Phantasm 2

By Paul Anthony

This film series begun way back in 1979 and finally ended in 2016, from the title you know I am talking about the Phantasm film series. The first one which was released in 1979 off a budget of 300,000 managed to make 22 million with using such a small budget and a cast that up to this point were just amateurs and aspiring professionals. At first the movie was indeed considered a failure though it made money. The Director Don Coscarelli revealed that he was under pressure to make a sequel though he couldn’t come up with a good story until later in the 80’s. Part 2 was released in the summer of 1988. The film is the only film that doesn’t include a few people from the first film, the biggest issue was recasting the role of Mike Pearson which was now being played by James LeGros, which was only for this film. The film was made from a budget of 3 million and only managed to grossed 7.3 million. Now we know there were films after this one but for now let’s look at this film!!

The film takes places seven years after the event of the first film and meet a young girl name Liz who has psychic bond with Mike and the Tall Man and she is trying reach Mike because she fears that The Tall Man will come for her grandfather when he dies and she needs Mike’s help. Here at this point we learn that Mike has been institutionalized since the events of the first film and fakes his recovery so he can leave and help Liz out. Mike Knows he can’t do this on his own so he sets out to find his old friend Reggie, who believes Mike after his family dies and Mike tried to warn him. They begin to travel from small town to small town and finally the run into Liz who by now has lost her sister and her grandfather. With the help of Reggie’s new girlfriend who was just a hitchhiker they decide to take on the Tall Man and his army of zombies. In the end seems like the four beat the Tall Man and all the hope is restored except the movie ends with Reggie’s girlfriend being on the side of the Tall Man and The tall Man revealing he is still alive and they hope that this is a dream which the Tall Man reveals it is not a dream!!

Now honestly I have to admit I had to watch the first film to be able to do this review because up until like two months ago, I never seen the first one but was always a fan of the second because that it is the only one that I really watched before this of course. I understand the casting of Mike was one that the fans were bitter about but From watching the first film I didn’t have a problem with it to be honest. The Story felt random with adding Liz into it. Mike had enough reasons to finish the job. The acting was on par with the first film, same with how the scenes were put together. So honestly more amateur than professional. best part of the film had to be the Tall Man and the killing spares with the spikes. Everything in between has and always seem a bit cheesy. In the end I am giving this horror film of the 80’s a B or 80 percent!!

The Ice Road Review

By Paul Anthony

As many of you guys know that me and Justin was once truck drivers and even though we aren’t truckers anymore but I can speak for myself when I say this my passion for trucks will never go away. So When I heard about The Ice Road, I just had to give it a look but then I saw the trailer and saw Liam Neeson in it, I knew I had to bump this up to the top of my list. The Ice Road is a action thriller that was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh who also directed such films as 2004’s The Punisher and Kill the Irishman. So We know Liam Neeson is in it but he wasn’t the only big time star in this film another big name was Laurence Fishburne. The film was released on Netflix for the United States and Amazon Prime for the United Kingdom. When the film debut on Netflix it became their highest streamed movie for its opening weekend. The film was 108 minutes long. Now most critics who review the film gave it mixed reviews, well let’s take a look for ourselves!

The film basically starts with a mining accident, that leaves 26 miners trapped but time is against them because if they don’t get out they will all run out of oxygen and the carbon will kill them. At first we seethe company rush to get the help they need which will require tractor-trailers to bring part up to the mine to free the miners. This where we meet Mike(Neeson) who keeps getting fired from one job to another because he defends his brother who has PTSD and Aphasia. Now Jim Goldenrod gets handed the job to find truckers to deliver the parts which includes himself, Mike and another driver who goes by the name of Tantoo, also joining the team is Mike’s brother and a guy name Varnay who is a insurance risk assessment. As the film goes on we begin to learn that the company that owns the mine cut safety guidelines to save money which caused the explosion and they hope that the miners do in fact die because if they live they will reveal the truth and as for Varnay, he begins to mess up the trucks to prevent the team from making it to the mine. Jim is the first to die while he is trying to hook up his rig as the ice road begins to crack and Tantoo basically gets kidnapped by Varnay who turns out to be a pretty bad ass in his own right because every time Mike tries to stop him, he just gets back up for more . Finally with just one truck they get up to the mine and saves day and exposes the truth!!

Now it’s time to talk about the movie and let’s start with the plot. There wasn’t really any turns that you didn’t see coming even with Varnay. Killing Fishburne off early in the film when it seems like he would have an bigger role was a mistake in my eyes. Neeson being himself was just fine. The graphics were on the cheaper end and I expected a little better but not this. Neeson isn’t who he once was so the action was very little. In the end I am giving this movie a C or 70 percent as a review!

I Am Lisa Movie Review

By: Justin Hopkins

**SPOILER WARNING**

I was fifty-fifty with picking this movie for B Movie Sunday. Had a solid enough premise and found myself circling back around to it the last few weeks. Thinking about it but wasn’t too sure about it. Have come across similar movies and they always seemed to be a let down. Found myself circling back to it again today and decided to stop putting it off and give it a shot. Lets dive in and see if it was worth while.

**SYNOPSIS**

We kick things off with a woman running through the woods. Turning out to be a werewolf when she attacks the man. Only to be put down by the Sheriff. We jump to Lisa, going to work at a book store. Having a friendly chat with a woman named Mary about Werewolves and how Lisa doesn’t believe in supernatural. When Mary leaves, A group of women come in. Being led by Jessica. Who begins tearing into Lisa on everything. How she only came back because her Grandmother died and left her the store. Before stealing a copy of a Clockwork Orange. She goes out with her friend Sam later. Still upset but they can’t do anything since her Mother is the Sheriff. The next day Jessica brings the book back, and spits in her face when she opens up and her kiss is rejected. Threatening her when she throws her out. Having enough Lisa goes to the Sheriff, who tells her it was nothing. When she threatens to go over her head though. Her and her son, deputy start throwing charges at her. Then Jessica says she assaulted her to. When the Sheriff breaks her glasses she slaps her and the Sheriff knocks her out. When she comes to they proceed to assault her and knock her out again. Instructed Jessica to ditch the car in the River. Which gives Nick a chance to continue the assault in the woods. When Jess isn’t around to stop him. When she finally comes around later that evening. She is bitten by a wolf. She manages to knock him away with a rock, before blacking out. While a man watches from the shadows. Unaware of the woman sneaking up on him till she lays him out. This time, when Jessica comes around. She is in a bed and bandaged, by Mary. Who takes her home later that day. Trying to get her to talk but Lisa isn’t ready. Breaking down when she is alone and Sam comes. Checking her over, but all of her wounds, short of the bit have completely healed. Agreeing to take her home. The next day, after a long night. Lisa goes out. Needing to get air. When the Lycan takes over and she goes to pay a visit to one of her attackers and that is where I will leave it for now.

**Review**

This story had a lot of things going for it and for the most part, they handle it pretty well. Had Lisa going through the trauma of what the family did to her. To not wanting to talk and thinking she could handle it herself. While being tormented by nightmares. At the same time blending with rise of the Lycan inside her. Changing her both physically and mentally. Slowly losing her hesitancy and leaving you to wonder how the changes would take her and if she could come back.

For a low budget film, the y did a pretty good job on the gore. The make up on the woman Lisa dunked into the deep fryer being a favorite. To Lisa getting her arms nailed to the wall and branded. While the assault scene started kind of bad, with them staying on the kicks for a bit to long. Amplified in intensity pretty quick and the state she was left in by the end was brutal. Make up doing a great job on it.

Now, we got to talk the look of their werewolf and have kind of a like/hate mindset going on here. I did like how she looked for most of the movie. With the bigger, shined eyes and claws. Even liked the teeth. Now, the look we got at the end was pretty bad. It just didn’t work for me. As I have covered before, I am very picky when it comes to werewolves and this didn’t do it for me. Would have been better to keep her the way she looked during the rest of the movie. Would have helped differentiate her more. Since, she was overcoming the curse. Something to keep her out of that final look.

Kristen Vaganos did brilliant as Lisa. Starting off as a really likeable girl who made you feel a tremendous amounts of sympathy for. Bringing out all of the trauma and the changes to perfection. While Manon Halliburton was an excellent enemy for Lisa. She came off a heinous and gritty. A villain who was not afraid to get her hands dirty. Than we get Carmen Anello’s performance as Jessica. Who, did a great job. This is not shade on her but, I don’t think we got enough of Jessica. She was playing with a certain degree of remorse over what happened and think that could have been a fun avenue to go down and even help tell the story of revenge a bit more. If she could have had more time to build off that and while not have a full redemption arc. But becoming aware and changing along the way. Leading Lisa to have a question at the end on whether she should forgive and move on. Unless, I read it wrong, than my bad.

On to some soft negatives. The movie could feel a bit slow at times. Some of the scenes do drag on a bit to long and could have cut a few minutes here or there to make things move a bit more. Like I said, could have used a bit more time with Jessica. For better or worse, she was the one who initiated all of this. Only to become a bit character in it. None of these hurt the movie. Just a few nitpicks.

At the end, I did enjoy I am Lisa quite a bit. From feeling sorry for Lisa and wanting to see her pull through all of this and see her survive the ordeal of the Family and be able to leave with Sam. To some nasty pieces of work in the Huckins Family. While this movie can getting pretty dark. Would suggest giving it a watch.

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!

Fear Street 1666 Movie Review

By: Justin Hopkins

**SPOILER WARNING**

The hype was real going into Fear Street 1666. The third in a trilogy that has been simply blow away expectations by leaps in bounds. Me and Paulie did the reviews on the other two on the Podcast, where we did a bit of speculations on where they were going, but they were just minor. Had no idea on what to expect going in or the feintest idea on where it was going and was excited. Been such a wild ride and couldn’t wait to see the conclusion. So, lets not waste time and jump right in.

**Synopsis**

After the recap we get things going with Sarah Fier and her brother, Henry helping to deliver piglets. Taking one to Solomon Goode, giving us a chance to meet the people of the village. All secretly planning not only a party later, but Sarah, Hannah and other friend, head on out to the woods first. Sneaking out to a recluse Widow to steal berries. Telling various stories about the Widow along the way. When they finally sneak in. Starting to look, sure she wasn’t there. Sarah finds a book, detailing the way to make a deal with the devil. When the Widow arrives. Giving her a cryptic warning. To beware the devil before they make their leave. Heading back to the party around the bomb fire. Sarah stepping in when Caleb grabs Hannah. Hitting and humiliating him, as her and Hannah run off into the woods. Where they share a kiss and as it started to progress. A sound gets them running. Afraid of what may happen if they are caught. The next morning Hannah comes to get her. Her Father, Pastor Cyrus was acting strange. Sitting up in bed. Just mumbling and she was afraid that they brought the devil because of what they did. That they wouldn’t be able to see each other anymore. While Sarah was reassuring her that it would be fine. Hannah’s Mother comes back and is enraged. They had been spotted by Thomas who was telling the village. Throwing Sarah out and everyone is watching. Making it home and her Dad is blaming himself. As the day goes on, Sarah notices all the food is rotted and the Mother Pig had eaten all of the piglets. Through the town, similar craziness is going on. Bad food, horses are going wild. Sarah’s dog is found dead in the well and the locals start blaming the Devil. When she goes home, Solomon swings by and she tells him she is worried that it is her fault. It wasn’t just a dalliance she had with Hannah and those feels are what has brought the devil to Union. Which Solomon disagrees with. When they are interrupted by what was going on outside. Pastor Cyrus had taken the kids and barricaded them into the church. When Solomon finally breaks in. The kids are dead and have had their eyes cut out. Cyrus, has his eyes out as well, but goes for Sarah and Solomon has to put him down with a rake. A town meeting is called, which Sarah and Hannah watch through the window. Everyone wanting to find the culprit. Everyone yelling and screaming. Some blamed all the kids for partying. Another wants body checks for the mark of the beast. One even has a list. Solomon tries to talk sense into them, but that was when caleb lies about what happened at the party. That he was bewitched and humiliated by the two witches in town, Sarah and Hannah. Who are then spotted. They try to run, but Hannah is caught. Sarah manages to sneak her way back. Where Hannah tells her that they are going to hang her tomorrow. When Sarah concocts a plan. That they want a witch. She will give them a witch and that is where I will leave it for now.

**Review**

This was such a great end for the trilogy. Did a great job setting the stage for Sarah to be the witch and within reason. She was pushed into it by the village to protect herself and Hannah. All the things like the Widows warning and Cyrus attacking her. Putting the pieces together. Setting Sarah up to go full witch and then shifted direction entirely and you see the shift coming. When she goes to Solomon. You can see where this is going, but it doesn’t deflate you, but sucks you in. Changes how you felt and know about Sarah and what this means for what is currently happening in 1994. Speaking of which. I loved the fact that this was an almost even split of our time spent in 1666 and 1994. We got to spent enough time learning the truth behind Sarah Fier and what we needed. So, we can go back with more than enough time to properly round things out in a thrilling way.

The cinematography was stellar. I loved the camera work throughout. Especially on scenes like the town hall meeting. Making the descent into madness as the townsfolk all set their targets on Hannah and Sarah. The clashes between colonial times of being dirty and gritty to the neon aesthetics of the mall worked nice. The score was much better in this movie, without constant music changes in the first two. The gore was again, well done, including the visual of Sarah’s hanging body.

They did a great job at putting all the pieces in place and tying up the loose end. Explaining how her hand ended up where it did without being cheap. How her body was dug up and relocated by Hannah and her friend. Taking the secret with them so she could rest in peace. Explaining why Goode kept his mouth shut and didn’t back Ziggy’s story. Even having Ziggy bring Nurse Lane closure so she can find peace of her own.

The actresses and actors not only did a great job, but most did it twice. Since almost everyone that we have seen in 1994 and 1978 were back and killing it with a whole new character. Kiana Madeira was excellent as Sarah. The chemistry she had with Olivia Scott Welch was on point. When the two of them were on screen whether it was as Sarah and Hannah or Deena and Sam. They always made you care. From the very beginning with the mixed feelings from the break up to grief of Deena losing Sam to the madness she was in and the heart wrenching scene of Hannah helplessly watching them kill Sarah and being the last one at the tree to the feel good end we got. All coming together off their hard work. Ashley Zuckerman really used this movie let himself shine. First as Solomon but then we got to see the evil side of Nick Goode and he nailed it in that aspect. Same with a lout of the others. Benjamin Flores Jr., Julia Rehwald, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Gillian Jacobs, and while we didn’t get to see Elizabeth Scopel’s Sarah Fier outside of a scene or two. Her voice was chilling.

Negatives… I suppose we didn’t need the list mid credit scene of the book being snatched from the caverns by a mystery person. Could have really just ended it with Deena and Sam. I want to see more of course, but this felt like a close for the story we have been following. This is a nothing negative. Just didn’t care for it.

Leigh Janiak crafted a wonderful trilogy and Fear Street 1666 was a spectacular, wild ride of a finale. The cast all came out and pulled out multiple great characters and if you haven’t seen these movies yet. You should change that and check it out. Final Grade – S

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!

Escape From New York Movie Review

By: Justin Hopkins

**SPOILER WARNING**

July 10th marked the 40th Anniversary of John Carpenters Escape From New York. A Science Fiction Action movie, starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken and I couldn’t think of a better movie to talk about for this months Classic 13. When I watched this movie when I was a kid to watch it a few times before it grew on me. See, I watched Escape From L.A first and the tone shifts were a bit jarring, but that is for another time. Lets jump in and see what makes Escape From New York a Classic.

Synopsis

We start off with voice over telling explaining that after crime had skyrocketed to 400 percent in 1988. New York had been converted to a Maximum Security Prison, for the entirety of the county. A fifty foot wall surrounding Manhattan Island with mines on the bridges. The only inhabitants are prisoners. If you go in; you don’t come back. We jump to 1997. Where we see two prisoners getting blown up when they tried to escape on a make shift raft. We jump back to the base and see the arrival of Snake Plissken. Who is in cuffs and being led down the hall and is stopped by someone. While that was going on, they had an issue of a plane entering the city. A terrorist had taken it over and flying it into the city. Going to crash it, when they run the name they learn that it is in fact Air Force One that is being taken down. The President manages to make it out in an escape pod. They rush in to get him, but he i s already gone and are confronted by a guy. Who shows them the president’s cut off finger and tells them they have thirty seconds to get out. Which brings us back to why they stopped Snake. A war Hero turned criminal. They offer him a pardon to go in and bring the president back in 24 hours, for the Hartford Summit. He agrees but while he is getting ready, he unwittingly gets injected with a heat charges. That will blow out his arteries if he doesn’t make it back in time. He makes it in with relatively no issues. Even manages to track the President’s Vital blip on the devise only it is not on the president, but a drunk and they are not letting him comeback without the President. Leaving him to have to track the President down in the city before it is to late.

Review

The Cinematography in this movie is gorgeous. Keeping the lights down and using the darkness to their advantages. Never knowing if what you saw is something important or just a crazy running around. The city being a dark and gritty place that you did not want to find yourself in. The score was spot on. From building up hype during the opening credits to the music going when the crazies were coming out if the sewers. Ambient noise was just as prevalent though. Just letting the sounds of what was going on carry and build the tension. Had a lot of fun with what the world the prisoners have concocted with what they had. I really want the chandeliers on my car asap. Carpenter did wonderfully in this area.

The story was a wild one but played really well and the pacing was good. On top of the ticking clock on Snake’s wrist, you ended up having so many pieces. Had Brain and Maggie working behind his back. Figuring out how he got in and went to save the President by themselves. To the tape floating out in the world. Leaving you wondering how Snake would escape captivity and pull it all together and generally had me enticed to see how it concluded. I loved all the little nods to Snake’s past. How everyone thought he was dead and the ties he had top Brain. Making you wonder, but never really telling or showing. Just letting his legend grow.

The cast killed it here. Kurt Russell created such an amazing, memorable character in Snake Plissken. He just went for it and owned every scene he is in. Brought such a presence and demeanor to the character that stays with you after it is over and it is almost a shame that we didn’t get an encounter between him and Frank Doubleday’s Romero, who was just the best. He turned up the charisma and eccentricity to this character. He was creepy and unnerving and it was amazing. Donald Pleasence was excellent as the president. Nailing the fear he had when he was prisoner. Especially with the line over not being able to stop shaking. Than on a dime, not caring about any of the ones who died to save him. Setting up for the end perfectly. Harry Dean Stanton and Adrienne Bardeau nailed it as Brain and Maggie. We didn’t get to see much of Isaac Hayes as the Duke and that is kind of a down, but the time we spent with the Duke was all postive.

The ending was fantastic and felt perfect. One small little move of Snake pocketing the two tapes to give them the wrong one was perfect revenge for what they did to him. Sticking it to the cops who used and nearly killed him and the President who couldn’t be bothered to show respect to those who died to get him here and just… perfect way to close off on.

I have no negatives. This was just a fun Sci-Fi Action movie. A memorable character in Snake Plissken, an excellent cast and a wild story. A classic for a reason. That is fun to watch at any time. Gladly suggest checking it out if you haven’t already. Final Grade – S

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading!!!!

Saturday Sequel Presents Independence Day: Resurgence

By Paul Anthony

Well you know what the problem is when a film becomes a legendary film like the first one did? The problem is people will want a sequel and studios will find a way to make sequel happen. We know Independence Day was a big hit and so we knew a sequel would happen, twenty years later is crazy long though. But plans for this film started back in 2001 and ran into issues like any script does then you had the factor that the biggest star in the world, Will Smith wanted his normal 50 million dollars to do the sequel and that was number that Fox did not want to pay which probably was a mistake on their part but at the same time 50 million dollars is a lot. the budget for this film was nearly 100 million dollars more which was coming in at 165 million and the film only grossed 389 million which was far less than the first film and that’s not even counting inflation.  Many have to wonder was the film really that bad or what? I know I stayed away from the film for so long because Will Smith wasn’t in and When major stars don’t return for a sequel it does usually spell out bad news for the film. See why it is important to have actors under contract. Well there is no doubt more to it than just Will Smith not being in it. First like always let’s take a look at the plot.

The plot actually makes sense for the most part, the film picks up twenty years after the first film, where humans learn to use the technology from the alien’s space ships that were left behind which help bring the earth’s countries together  and make better weapons to fight off any other invaders, we know have force shields as well and moon base camps and even crazy looking space fighting jets, basically taking their technology made our world seem so different. But these Aliens want revenge and little did the humans know but the previous group of invaders sent out a distress call minutes before their defeat for reinforcements which took twenty years to reach the back up and tis time they brought the big guns, more aliens and a bigger mothership which is carrying a much bigger queen, but as the humans are trying to get a grip on wants happening, they start putting pieces together that these aliens aren’t the only ones out there, they do have help from another group which they blew up the ship that was sent to help rescue them when they do finally speak to this alien which you don’t actually see, they learn these good aliens are willing to share more technology for better travel and weapons and would like to have planets come together and fight these bad aliens once and for all by bringing the fight to them since the Humans are the ones to defeat them twice! which the film ends with them wanting to go off into space to fight the fight.

Now killing off Will Smith’s character was a big mistake because it closes the door on his return, then you also killed off Bill Pullman character during the film as well. CGI is a gift and a curse as I always say and, in this film, it was a curse to the point certain things just looked so cheap. Sure, some was needed but not all. Unlike the first film where they executed the plot correctly, they failed this time around. The light for a part 3 pretty much died out because this film failed to achieve the heights of the first film. In the end I am giving it C or 70 percent for just being another average film instead of being something better.

Independence Day Review

By Paul Anthony

After so many years of writing now and seeing SmashWriting grow to all platforms, the one thing I haven’t done was review a film that I have watched so many times and have yet to give it a review. With Independence Day upon us I figured to do a weekend worth of blogs and of course I had to start with this film, well let’s waste no time and start discussing this movie. The film had a star studded cast which was being led by Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, Vivica A. Fox, James Rebhorn and Judd Hirsch. A whole lot of big time stars here. People may wonder why I didn’t put Will Smith first but his character was a co lead not the main lead and Will Smith wasn’t a big movie star just yet when this film came out in fact this movie plus Bad Boys which came out a year early started to launch him into superstardom but that is a discussion for another day. The movie was made on a 75 million dollar budget and ended up grossing 817 million dollars worldwide. Making it the highest grossing movie of 1996 and the second highest grossing film of all time at the time. the Movie was nominated for Academy award for best sound and won the academy award for best visual effects. The film was released on July 3rd but had a limited release on July 2nd in which the film takes place from July second to July fourth.

Honestly the plot is simple aliens begin to invade earth randomly, which of course catches the earth as whole off guard, though they had warnings those warnings were just too late and the aliens begin to destroy certain cities once again for unknown reasons at this point. The attack happens on July second and by July third the world does a counter attack which does nothing because the learn that the Aliens have some type of force shields that make any outside attack useless. When the president arrives at Area 51, we do learn that these Aliens at some point arrived on earth in small waves because here they had the old ones that arrived and also justified crazy character Russell Casse played by Randy Quaid. At this point we learn that the aliens can communicate through humans by basically chocking them and leaves the humans mentally linked to them but it is a two way thing because the presidents sees images and learns they are here to suck up the Earth’s resources which would also kill all of Mankind. But they come up with a plan to install a computer virus that will lower the aliens force shields and allow the attacks to happen which in time does work after a few tries and all ends well!

First let me say this about the cast, I thought the cast put on a pretty good performance, at first Randy Quaid’s character was just annoying at first and almost made the film cheesy but ended up serving a good purpose as the film went on. For a budget of only 75 millions the effects were on par, even using practical effects was a good touch. The story was honestly predictable but that was okay because it worked. Even keeping the aliens a low profile was brilliant because too much of them would ruin the shock value of them. In the end, I have to give this film a A plus or 95 percent for a rating and this film will continue to be one of my favorite films!

Willy’s Wonderland Movie Review

By: Justin Hopkins

I actually don’t know why I took so long to review Willy’s Wonderland. Feel in love with it from the moment I saw the trailer and wanted to get to it right away. Just kept getting pushed back. With how much fun I had watching The Banana Splits Movie and this was has Nicolas Cage. Perfect combination for Sunday Movie watching. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of Willy’s Wonderland.

Synopsis

The movie starts with an ad playing on a TV, while a terrified couple run for their lies. Being chased down corridors, where the guy gets pulled backward. The woman makes it to the Banquet Hall. While a Kid is watching on in horror. We hear a woman scream and blood splattering and we jump to the title card. While a guy is speeding down the back roads. Blowing his tires out on a spike strip. He gets a ride to Hayesville, by the chatty Tow Truck Driver, who tells him a couple kids stole the spike strip and he was the unfortunate prank victim. Meanwhile, we met Liv, who is dumping gas, and about to set Willy’s on fire, but is stopped by the Sheriff, her guardian, who takes her back home. Getting there in time to see the Tow Truck Driver arriving with the guy. When they drive off, she cuffs Liv to the radiator so she can’t get involved. Back with the guy, he does not have the cash, or the means to get the cash from the ATM, but the Driver has an offer to have him work it off, and we go to Willy’s Wonderland and meet Tex. Who offers to pay for the repairs if he stayed the night and help clean Willy’s so he could reopen for business. Which he agrees and is locked in. Getting to work. We rejoin, Liv, who is rescued by her group of friends, who all want to see Willy’s burn and see the nightmare come to an end. Which is that the Animatronic Puppets are alive, which we learn when the ostrich comes to life and attacks him. He takes out the puppet and shakes himself off and keeps cleaning. Determined to finish his cleaning job, no matter the cost and that is where I will leave this for now.

Review

This was certainly it’s own bag of insanity. With the premise behind the Animatronics, coming from Willy’s being run by a Serial Killer. Who hired several others and they would kill families celebrating Birthdays, till they were raided by the cops. Before they could be arrested, took their own lives in a satanic suicide ritual. Which transferred their souls into the Animatronic Dolls. When they started killing townsfolk, the Sheriff made a deal to send them strangers, who they manipulated to entering for the night. One of which, was Liv’s Parents, and the Sheriff took her in after surviving the night. It is silly and over the top, but fit right in perfect for the story they were telling.

They knew what they were and had fun with the over the top nature. Having some crazy deaths and the fight scenes were a lot of fun. Utilizing Cage’s character perfectly. A guy bent on finishing the job. Couldn’t be bothered and created some really amusing moments of him stopping to go back on break and not worrying about anything while playing his Pinball Machine. While the others were experiencing a horror movie, he was just there and it was great.

Designs of the Animatronics all looked great. A lot of love and care went into making them. Each feeling special in their own ways. From intimidating size and presence of Gorilla to Sara Siren using speed and the way Cammy Chameleon lured Chris in. The gore was really well done. Know they had to bring it by the bucket load and they did just that. Really playing up on various different ways and methods the Animatronics can both kill and be killed. Both of which coming in the form of bloodbaths. The location was perfect. The child environment lending itself well with the horror themes. Especially with the fights between Liv and Siren Sara and Cage and Willy.

It was a bold move, making a character that doesn’t speak, but for the most part it does kind of work. A lot of entertainment trying to figure out his character from his behavior and mannerisms. While some were a bit cringe, they had way more hits and at the end. It all just worked better for it, instead of an onslaught of one-liners.

And that was made possible because of Nicolas Cage. Eccentric guy who can go all out and he did a great job at almost restraint. Letting most of the eccentricity out while playing the Pinball Machine. He was just a mute around the people. Giving little facial expressions here and there when it came in response to something they said. Beth Grant was a great addition as the Corrupt cop who was obsessed with the idea of finishing the sacrifice. No matter what she was seeing and how well this guy was dispatching the threats. It had to be this way. Along with Emily Tosta for being the only bearable one in the friend group. Huge shouts to Jiri Stanek, Jessica Graves Davis, Taylor Towery, Chris Schmidt Jr., Christopher Bradley, Duke Jackson, Billy Bussey, and BJ Guyer for being in the Animatronic Suits.

On to a negative, and that was the group of kids. I know I shouldn’t expect much from them. They are just there to die, but just a little bit more. They had to scenes with them arguing about going in or not, when they made the decision in the first scene. Could have split them up and come in for different reasons or something. Just make what they are doing make a little bit of sense, particularly Bob and Kathy. I get why they are here, need to check off that trope, but can at least make an effort for it to make sense.

And that is all I got. This movie is a fun ride, with murderous Animatronics trying to kill everyone who comes in and one guy dead set on just cleaning the building. This won’t be for everyone, but as far as I goy, I would suggest giving it a watch.

As always, I hope you enjoyed and….

Thank You For Reading.

%d bloggers like this: