Jul 28 2011

In a Perfect World…

In a perfect world I would be roommates with Joe Dante.  Obviously, this would lead to all sorts of wacky sitcom style hijinks (I would accidentally set fire to Joe’s rare copy of Hellzapoppin’, Joe would ruin my dinner with Roger Corman by informing him that I’m not actually Paul Bartel’s son), but the best part would be our goofy lug of a next door neighbor, John Landis.  He would always be walking in unannounced and saying all of the wrong things to the dates we brought home.  Now that I think about it, here’s a clip from that show:

All kidding aside: That show I just pitched needs to happen. Joe, if you’re reading this, call me. I work cheap.

Mar 22 2011

You too can now own a freaky looking Gizmo-ish plush thing!

Depending on how you look at it, I either had nothing to post today or only THE BEST THING EVER.

via Trailers from Hell

Mar 7 2011

News I Was Too Lazy to Mention When it Was News: Roundup Post


Happy Monday, kids. Here’s another batch of stuff that fell through the cracks…

Badass Digest reports that Shane Black, writer of Lethal Weapon and writer/director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang may direct Iron Man 3.  Good news, I say.  I’m usually a fan of Black’s stuff, and he’s got just the sense of humor (and reporre with Downey Jr.) for the job.  Of course, this would be his first comic book flick.  But as you can see below, he’s been studying up:

Speaking of comics, /Film reveals that the producers for that Godawful Spider-Man musical have hired a new writer to fix it.  They wanted someone who really understood the character of Spider-Man.  What makes him appealing both from a visceral, action-focused perspective, as well as an emotional character-focused perspective.  With that in mind, they’ve hired ANY 15-YEAR-OLD IN AMERICA.

In happier times.

I’ll tell you who needs his story rewritten (segue!), Tommy the Green Power Ranger AKA Jason David Frank.  And yes I knew that name from memory because I saw it every weekday morning for a good four years straight.  Sadly, according to Geekologie, JDF’s in a bit of a jam after cracking some dude in the jaw so hard, his teeth came out.  To be fair, this was during an officially sanctioned mixed-martial arts bout.  To be EXTRA fair, this was NOT the guy he was supposed to be fighting, but some random employee of the gym.  Apparently he forgot the Power Ranger’s rule of escalation: start out with harmless gymnastics, wait for the bad guy to power up BEFORE you morph.

Hey, know what else was green and a part of my childhood?  Gremlins, which was a horror comedy directed by the great Joe Dante.  And now it looks like Dante may be returning to the genre with a new Vampire/Werewolf comedy called Monster Love.  Yeah it’s kind of a tired concept at this point, but if anyone can inject some new life into it, it’s him.  /Film’s got the pres release.

Finally, you know I love to end a roundup with a video, so check out this excellent compilation of conspicuous product placement in films put together by FilmDrunk (via /Film):

It’s a great video, but of course it’s missing one of Logan and my favorites, featuring a very-pre-famous George Clooney:

Nov 11 2010

Paging Dick Miller

Hi. I'm Joe Dante and I approve of this message. Now if you'll excuse me, I must get back to being amazing.

The Howling is the best werewolf movie of all time.  Don’t think so?  Let’s look at the the facts: Joe Dante directed.  Robert Picardo is creepy as all get out.  The effects by Rob Bottin and Rick Baker still amaze.  Dick Miller chases off a bunch of nuns.  Hell, even Roger Corman shows up to parody himself.  The only other werewolf film that even comes close to this amount of awesomeness is John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London.  So, yes, when a film is this strikingly magnificent it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood remakes it.

Which is not happening.

Instead somebody at Anchor Bay thinks we want another Howling sequel.  I kid you not.  It’s been 15 years since The Howling VII: New Moon Rising hit video shelves, and even longer since anybody cared, yet Moonstone Entertainment/Anchor Bay thinks that there’s still enough interest in the series to now warrant The Howling Reborn.  I guess they’re also ignoring the fact that most of us stopped watching the Howling sequels about five minutes into The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (actual title, I swear to God).

Head over to CHUD for the full story.  I’ll plan to see this film only if Dick Miller shows up in the middle of the first act and chases the cast and crew off.  Good riddance.

Oct 31 2010

What to Watch on Halloween


This list isn't for you, Li'l Eeyore!

Happy Halloween, folks!  If you’re like me, Halloween has transformed over the years from an excuse to dress up and bug people for candy to an excuse to sit at home and watch scary movies.  And eat candy.

Recently, some friends asked me to put together a list of thriller/horror movies that I recommended.  I was pretty happy with what I came up with, so I’m sharing it with you, in case you needed some inspiration for your own All Hallows’ Eve celebration.  Feel free to disagree in the comments.


  • Psycho (thriller/slasher) Obviously.  First and best slasher.
  • Three…Extremes (Saam gaang yi – subtitled) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – This one’s great for a party because it’s composed of three short stories, all creepy.  None of them are blow-you-away-awesome but they’re each fun and disgusting in their own way.  Gets very gross.
  • The Evil Dead Trilogy (horror/horror comedy/action adventure) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – Obviously a must see.  The second one’s the best, but they’re all great and better as a marathon.
  • Psycho Beach Party (horror comedy) My favorite horror comedy of all time.  Gidget meets Hitchcock.
  • Re-Animator (horror/dark comedy) – Crazy college student discovers Frankenstein serum, creates super disturbing zombies.  Jeffrey Combs is amazing in this.
  • Dead Alive – (horror comedy-ish) aka Braindead.  Early Peter Jackson does Evil Dead.
  • The Frighteners (horror comedy-ish) later Peter Jackson does Ghostbusters
  • The Mist (thriller) – Most of the movie is an awesome and faithful adaptation of the Stephen King novella.  Then the end…oh man, the end.  Different from the book but AMAZING.
  • Undead (horror comedy)  Probably my second favorite horror comedy.  Australian zombie flick with kickass action and a really weird plot twist.  Succeeds both in the comedy and the horror which is rare.
  • Infection (Kansen – subtitled) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – Some weird infection makes people kill people in gruesome and awesome ways.  The story’s not stellar, but the suspense and effects are pretty great.
  • Identity – Remember this?  John Cusack….anyone?  I liked it.
  • Dawn of the Dead (the 2004 remake)  I wasn’t a fan of Romero’s original but this remake is pretty good.
  • Premonition (Yogen – subtitled) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – NOT the Sandra Bullock version.  Very cool film.
  • The Omen (the original)- Watch Instantly from Netflix – Awesome suspense film made even better by giving you the opportunity to do Gregory Peck impression’s the whole time.  I’ll get you started:
    • “I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house; and that he’d rather I’d shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted – if I could hit ’em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird…”
  • The Howling (horror/dark comedy) – Early Joe Dante’s take on werewolves mixed with some weird social commentary.  If you watch this, you must PROMISE me that you’ll be deathly quiet when the female lead is searching the dark office.  Because the best thing ever is about to happen.
  • The Descent – Spooky thangs in a cave.
  • Creepshow (cheese factor) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – Adaptation of several Stephen King short stories.  The one King himself stars in is hilarious.
  • Final Destination (cheese factor)  Though I secretly like this movie on a non-ironic level.  Avoid all the sequels.
  • Gremlins and/or Gremlins 2 – Again, an obvious one.
  • The Thing (John Carpenter)
  • Black Sheep (horror comedy)
  • The Eye (Gin gwai – subtitled) NOT the Jessica Alba version.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original) – It’s not stellar but it did invent the chainsaw maniac as well as the documentary style horror movie.
  • The ‘burbs Watch Instantly from Netflix – (horror/comedy)
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night (cheese factor) Got to get a Christmas one on the list.  See Logan’s detailed review here.
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space (cheese factor/horror comedy)- Watch Instantly from Netflix
  • The Wickerman (original)  Two words: Christopher Lee.
  • Child’s Play (slasher) – Watch Instantly from Netflix – The series is really hit or miss but the first one is pretty solid.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street Series (slasher) – Most of these movies aren’t “good” per se, but they’re kind of required viewing of the genre.  The worthwhile entries are:
  • Friday the 13th Series (slasher) – Most are even worse than the Elm Street movies.  The first Friday the 13th is reasonably good and has a nice twist that everyone already knows.  And Freddy vs. Jason is actually pretty awesome (a highlight for both characters).  Also, despite Logan’s protests, I thought the Michael Bay produced remake was surprisingly good.  The others are only good for their comedic value.  Particularly…
    • Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – Funny for not being the final chapter, and containing the antics of both Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover.
    • Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – Hilarious for NOT taking place in Manhattan.
    • Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday – Watch Instantly from Netflix – Jason is killed when the FBI sets up a “sting” for him that consists of a naked chick in a cabin.  Then his demon possesses the black guy from X-Files.
    • Jason X – Jason IN SPACE!
  • Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (horror comedy) – Now you’re ready for this one.  The horror comedy that becomes an actual horror movie as it goes along.

Sep 23 2010

Joe Dante Acknowledges Logan’s Existence!

I have three celebrity heroes.  My goal in life is to some day meet each of them, shake their hand, look them straight in the eye, and simply say “thank you”.  After several years, I could only mark Ray Davies off of this list…until now.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, I managed to corner director Joe Dante on Facebook via his Trailers From Hell page and ask him the most obvious of questions: Can I have a tour of your garage?

His response, as posted on YouTube:

Granted, it’s not a handshake and a “Stay gold, Ponyboy”, but it’s a start!  I firmly believe that some day I will get that tour…seconds before the cops show up. 

Thanks, Joe!

Aug 25 2010

Critical End! (The Podcast) #63: Down Deep

Joe Dante, James Cameron, and Roger Corman.  Guess which one doesn’t have an Oscar. Wrong! REVIEWED: Piranha, Piranha 2: The Spawning, Piranha 3D. PLUS: 3D Trailer Talk and the Ultimate Dolph Lundgren Fan.

Download it.


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May 13 2010

(Insert Immature “Hole 3D” Joke Here)

It’s been a while since Joe Dante had a hit theatrical release, which is somewhat sad as he shaped a lot of childhood’s in the 80’s and early 90’s with films like Gremlins, Explorers, Innerspace, and yes, even Matinee (Hey, I loved it as a kid).  He tried to bring the same child-like touch to films like Small Solders (loved it) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (seriously underrated), but has failed to really connect with an audience of either kids or adults for some time now.

Well, it looks like he’s going to take one more shot at it, this time with the writer of Vacancy behind him.  The Hole, despite it’s unfortunate name, looks to be spooky childhood fun along the lines of Dante’s “It’s a Good Life” segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie.  And it’s Dante’s first 3D film to boot!

No word yet on an actual theatrical release, which is sad as we may never see this is in actual 3D.  Until then, I guess we’ll have to look forward to the upcoming 3D remake of Joe’s 1978 cheese classic Piranha in August.

Apr 29 2009

Richard Dreyfuss Still Hates Killer Fish

piranha-poster2It’s hard not to like Joe Dante’s 1978 film Piranha. Sure it was just a lame Roger Corman produced rip-off of Jaws, but in Dante’s hands it became a cult classic. How can you not like a film that’s got mutated killer fish eating a group of elementary school kids, Dick Miller in a huge cowboy hat, and one of my favorite horror movie lines, “Terror, horror, death. Film at eleven.”

But enough about how much I love Joe Dante and how some day he’ll have all my little Logan Jr.’s. You see, Hollywood is remaking Piranha…in 3D…with Elisabeth Shue. Some of you may recall that it was already remade in 1995 as a made for TV movie (which was completely forgettable except for the fact that it starred a young Soleil Moon Frye AND Mila Kunis), but it seems that what Hollywood really thinks it needs is a gory 3D update from that loony French guy who made the pretty bland High Tension. What was his name? Alexandre Aja or something. Crazy French and their crazy…Frenchness. As far as the remake goes, I feel like it could work. We’ll have to wait to find out, so until then why not rent the original this summer?

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is span style=”text-decoration: line-through;”>Joe Dante some more the recent news I read about Richard Dreyfuss shooting a cameo in the new remake. It turns out that the cameo will be an homage to his role in Jaws. So, if I’m understanding this correctly, Dreyfuss is doing an homage to his classic character in a film that is a remake of a rip off of the original film that featured his classic character. Does that sound about right? I was never great at math.

Meanwhile, they’re remaking Drop Dead Fred? What’s up with that?