Imagine Psycho, but if instead of running a motel, Norman Bates was a sculptor, his mother was still alive and a raging alcoholic and Marion Crane didn’t take that shower, but performed light housekeeping duties and was an art student who had a crush on Norman. By the time the denouement finally occurs, it’s clear that at best Scream, Pretty Peggy was heavily influenced by that earlier, far superior film and the only suspense is whether it really is going to blatantly rip off Psycho. (For fans of homely guys in drag, it happily does!) Continue reading “Scream, Pretty Peggy (1973)”
A train full of skiing revelers on the way down the mountain! But engineer Holly Gibson (Ben Johnson) has never seen it this cold before! But by tomorrow it won’t even matter because Holly is just one day from retirement! (The savvy traveler never takes public transportation piloted by a guy who is just trying to get through his last shift! It’s in all the guidebooks!) Continue reading “Runaway! (1973)”
A couple of years spent in a tiger cage, only the memories of his idyllic childhood in small town Vermont to cling to in attempt to keep him and his buddy sane, it is perhaps inevitable that when Johnny Bristol finally comes marching home again (his buddy doesn’t make it), that he’s going to have issues. But is Johnny going crazy, suffering from PTSD? Or the victim of a government conspiracy? Or maybe he’s just gone full Jacob’s Ladder on us and never really made out of Vietnam at all? Continue reading “Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol (1972)”
Literally starting off with a bang, Dead Men Tell No Tales squanders that explosive beginning (and most likely its entire budget) as it places our hero, who’s on the lam from a pack of ruthless killers, into a building slated for demolition for much of the movie, senselessly turning him from a man on the run to a man sitting on his ass in some rubble. Continue reading “Dead Men Tell No Tales (1971)”
So how did Yvette, wife of shipping scion Jason Drake really die when she plunged from the bluffs outside her home? Was it suicide as her snippy sister-in-law Jessica claimed? Or did she get too close to the edge picking flowers and she slipped out of Jason’s desperate grasp in the version he related?
But wait, his crabby brother Phillip claims Jason pretty much killed her and lured her to edge and didn’t do anything to stop her! And who could forget her son Nicholas came up with a version where she was picking flowers for him and she got too close to the edge despite his warnings? Okay, we should probably forget that account since it came after his blind cousin used her supernatural powers to hypnotize him into recovering this memory after he also recovered the “memory” of being born with a dead twin he never knew had. (Even the blind cousin’s dog looked flummoxed by it all during its reaction shots someone thought was a good idea to edit into the sequence.) Continue reading “Dark Mansions (1986)”
In one world Jennie Logan is married to a guy who cheated on her and desperately tries to make it up to her by paying lots of attention to her. After the basketball game he’s watching is over. In her other world, Jennie Logan is 80 years in the past, going on boat rides and sharing the bed of an artist played by Beastmaster Marc Singer (Dead Space). Jennie is seeing a disbelieving therapist about all this, but who could blame her if her sessions were more so that she could brag about her sexy time traveling than trying to actually get any help? Continue reading “The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan (1979)”
“Everybody’s a hooker. Some more, some less. Including me,” says has-been actor Randy Brent to his new wife, an actual hooker (that’s how they met!) named Elena. Randy was describing the denizens of Hollywood and while his brutal honesty about showbiz was an admirable attempt to put Elena at ease about her own sleazy past, you know what didn’t put her at ease so much? Catching Randy with another man in their bedroom after Randy goes into a funk about his latest flop movie! While Elena said she expected that he might take to drugs and liquor following yet another failure, she didn’t expect that! Guess what else she didn’t expect? Randy’s suicide attempt! (That he failed at that as well was probably anticipated though.) Continue reading “The Users (1978)”