Archive for the ‘From the Mists of Time’ Category

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From the Mists of Time: “Fire Birds”

September 14, 2015

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Believe it or not, there was a time when we, the movie going public, did not yet realize that Nicolas Cage was nuts. Nope, it’s true. Hindsight being 20/20, the signs were there—I give you Zandalee—but 25 years ago, most of us were perfectly willing to accept Nic Cage as a hotshot gunship pilot. Well, movie studios were willing to believe that we were willing to accept Nicolas Cage as a hotshot gunship pilot. Look, it was a different time. The Internet hadn’t been invented yet–we had to take our entertainment where it came. 
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Proof that in the ’90s anything could get green-lit: “Destiny Turns on the Radio”

August 8, 2015

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1995’s Destiny Turns on the Radio is one of those movies that, for a long time, I just assumed I’d imagined. After all, there couldn’t possibly be a movie in which Quentin Tarantino plays a supernatural agent of fate that comes out of a swimming pool, right? Hallucinogens weren’t all that popular in ‘90s, so why would anyone think that was a good idea? The movie’s near-total absence from the home video market seemed to support my theory that this was just a product of my fevered imagination, fueled by heroic amounts of Mountain Dew and endless rewatchings of Pulp Fiction.

Yeah, but nope, it’s real. And now it’s on iTunes. And holy god, it’s so bad.
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From the mists of time: “Wolfen”

August 3, 2015

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1981 was a banner year for werewolf movies. I’m sure there’s a perfectly fascinating thesis to be written about why this was the case—maybe it was a reaction to beard-friendly ‘70s, maybe it had something to do with cocaine or Vietnam or Reagan or something—whatever the case, 1981 gave us The Howling and An American Werewolf in London released within a few weeks of each other. Both films cannily married cutting-edge special effects and social commentary, and reinvigorated the werewolf genre like nothing else since Lon Chaney Jr. donned the yak-hair 40 years earlier. Also released that summer was Wolfen. You can’t hear things on a blog, but let me assure you, crickets are chirping right now.
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From the mists of time: “I, the Jury”

July 5, 2015

 

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It’s tempting to call 1982’s I, the Jury a sleazy, pulpy , mercenary adaptation of Mickey Spillane’s 1947 novel, but that would ignore just how sleazy and pulpy Spillane’s novel is in the first place. Sure, the movie basically jettisons big chunks of Spillane’s plot and fills it in with crap about mind-control and the CIA, but Spillane probably would have done that if he’d thought of it at the time (and who knows, he might have used it in later novels—he wrote, like, a million of them). No, this I, the Jury is just as trashy and lurid as its source material (which courted controversy upon its release for its violence and sex), adjusted, of course, for for 1982 sensibilities, and that amounts to very lurid and trashy. I mean, there’s a reason that during my childhood, this movie was the Holy Grail of HBO’s early offerings, and it’s not the snazzy soundtrack.
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From the Mists of Time: “Wanted Dead or Alive”

January 14, 2014

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Here’s a strange little number. It’s a movie that could just as easily fit in the “Criminally Overlooked” category as “From the Mists of Time,” since it’s actually quite a good movie, which never garnered the cult status it deserved. Even now I’m hesitant to wholeheartedly endorse it, since it’s the product of a more innocent time, which now takes on the dimension of a nightmare. Still, there’s no getting around the fact it’s a solidly-built thriller with more than ample amounts of ‘80s cheese, all served atop a hearty helping of Rutger Hauer. Okay, that metaphor went wrong, but you get the point: Rutger Hauer, sawed-off shotgun, terrorists in L.A. Need I say more? Of course not, but I will…
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From the Mists of Time: “Looker”

January 7, 2014

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Welcome back to “From the Mists of Time,” and boy, do we have a doozy today. It’s a strange, largely unknown little gem from 1981 called Looker. Why review this movie, you ask? Well, kinda because I created this while FTMOT subcategory and I feel like I should populate it with something, so it doesn’t end up like my “What Went Wrong” category (with five years before a second installment).  Besides, this movie is a great time capsule of the ‘80s. It’s got that ubiquitous SoCal setting (usually some producer or other’s beachfront pad that he’d just shooed the underage hookers out of), totally unnecessary sports cars, plastic surgery, and vapid, Barbie doll blondes. Hell, throw in a hot tub and some blow, and you pretty much have the early ‘80s in a nutshell.
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From the Mists of Time: “Assassin”

April 9, 2013

625282900796“From the Mists of Time” is a new, semi-regular filler feature based upon Sci-Fi Invasion, a cheapie DVD set of 50 films that was an impulse buy as I was killing time until it was a more respectable hour to hit the local bars.  These are all largely-forgotten movies that span the history of cinema. They’re not good—Lord, they’re not—but some of them are entertaining enough to warrant a mini-review…

Installment #1: Assassin (1986): You know, you just can’t go wrong with Robert Conrad. He was the essential ‘60s and ‘70s tough-guy—a gravely-voices, ruggedly handsome leading man for the small-screen, equally comfortable slipping into the Cockpit of an F4U Corsair in Baa Baa Black Sheep as he was into a pair of the tightest pants in existence for The Wild Wild West (you know, before the inevitable scene where he’s stripped to the wait and tied up…man, that show had issues.) Anyway, in this made-for-TV movie he plays a retired CIA operative called back in to hunt a rogue—you guessed it!—assassin. It’s a fairly solid setup for an intrepidly-goofy movie.
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