Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This Month on El Rey - August 2014

So if you haven't taken my advice and checked out the El Rey Network, here's some of the movies showing this month (with plot summaries provided by IMDB):
Assault on Precinct 13:  The lone inhabitants of an abandoned police station are under attack by the overwhelming numbers of a seemingly unstoppable street gang.
The Harder They Come:  Wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers.
Duel:  A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by a malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.
The Street Fighter:  When an important business magnate dies, the Mafia and Yakuza want to hire Terry to kidnap the daughter so they can obtain her newly inherited fortune. When they refuse to meet Terry's exorbitant price, they try to kill him so they conceal their secret plans.

Electra Glide in Blue:  A short Arizona motorcycle cop gets his wish and is promoted to Homicide following the mysterious murder of a hermit.  However, he is forced to confront his illusions about himself and those around him in order to solve the case.

Rolling Thunder:  Major Charles Rane comes back from the war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a POW. When some greedy thugs decide to steal a number of silver dollars from the Major, they murderer his family and destroy his hand in the process... Hence Revenge!
As for original Content, Matador has been a fun show.  Part DEA, part CIA, and part Soccer player, Tony Bravo is a superspy saving the world in this Mexiploitation. 
As for The Director's Chair, some cool guests are being interviewed by Robert Rodriguez.  At the beginning of the month, Guillermo del Toro was featured.  He was a fitting pick for his involvement with horror, his Mexican roots, and his friendship with Rodriguez (Fun Fact - He was del Toro's Second Unit Director in Mimic).  Airing tonight (August 13th), we get my dream interview - Quentin Tarantino Volume 1!

So until I give another update next month, make sure you check out the El Rey Network!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bullet Points - A Scream Factory Edition


Today's Bullet Points are brought to you by Scream Factory:

Halloween III: Season of the Witch - For the longest time, I wrote this movie off.  From my edited viewings on AMC, I always considered this to be a cheesy movie with no Michael Myers to support the franchise.  However, after watching this Scream Factory release, I now realize how great this movie is.  Besides the beautiful transfer, we follow a doctor (played by Tom Atkins) investigating the death of a patient.  With some gruesome scenes involving children and Halloween masks, this movie is quite entertaining (oh, and you can't forget that catchy Silver Shamrock jingle).  As discussed in the special features, we learn the Halloween franchise was supposed to be a new tale for each film.  However, after Halloween 3 bombed, it was decided Michael Myers must return as the star of the series.  Although I like the boogy man, I wish this series would have stuck to its original plan because some interesting original stories could have come into fruition.

Death Valley - Starring Ralphie from A Christmas Story, this a pretty solid slasher that takes place in Death Valley.  When a mom (played by Catherine Hicks) takes her son on vacation to meet her new boyfriend, the young boy discovers evidence from a murder scene.  When the killer realizes the boy took a necklace that may link him back to the murder, his family becomes his next target.  With a fun set piece taking place in a mock western town, this was a fun gem uncovered by Scream Factory.

Terrorvision - Although it's a cheesy 80's film, the effects, props, and sets make this an enjoyable watch.  When a family gets a new satellite system for their television, an alien literally invades their channels.  As the alien releases itself from the television set, bizarre murders occur.  Made by an Italian director, this movie is a weird mix between a Giallo and an early Tim Burton film.

The Amityville Horror -  When a family moves into an old house with a dark past, the father begins to lose control of his senses and develops murderous tendencies.  I'm not an expert of the subject, but I'd say The Amittyville Horror is the beginning of the modern haunted house film.  Sure, William Castle made some entertaining haunted house flicks with Vincent Price in the 1950's.  However, this movie transformed the sub-genre since it was based on the accounts of real life people (even though James Brolin and Margot Kidder didn't believe in the events).