Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Hubie Halloween (2020)

Hubie Halloween (2020) - IMDb

‘Hubie Halloween’ is Adam Sandler’s bovine, stratospherically unfunny vendetta against the Academy Awards committee who omitted his nomination for his tour-de-force performance in last year’s ‘Uncut Gems’.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Gems – Shivers (1975)

Shivers (1975) - IMDb

Slide-show photography of Montreal’s Starliner Towers is immediately unnerving despite being pictures of the swanky tennis court and delicatessen. It could be the wryly monotone instructional video announcer and how it culminates with the medical examiner on the premises. David Cronenberg germinates the groundwork for the epidemic thunderclap ahead with those images and how the doorman’s gun is “just an advertising gimmick.”

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Peninsula: Train to Busan (2020)

‘Train to Busan: Peninsula’ is a faineant sequel to the exquisitely overrated South Korean zombie flick from 2016 and it doesn’t filibuster about pandemic theories (a pundit television appearance is the viewers’ only hypothesis and the acting is quite amateurish) when a breakneck pace is stipulated.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Gems – Blacula (1972)

The Beauty of Blacula - ComingSoon.net

Let’s all marvel at the fact that this blaxploitation horror flick is rated PG which was much more lenient during this era. While the boom mics are either hovering in the frame or muzzled with echoes around Count Dracula’s (Charles Macaulay) opulent manor in Transylvania, the frugal sound design is the only AIP aspect of this surprisingly baroque, sophisticated production.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – DeepStar Six (1989)

DeepStar Six' Turns 30 - Not All Aliens Come From Space! - PopHorror

Onward with the pervasive trends of the 80’s, ‘DeepStar Six’ is Carolco’s twiddling, extremely slow-burn installment in the abyss-spelunking subgenre. The dry-for-wet technique for marine-biology authenticity that was so palpable in ‘Leviathan’ is a facsimile of matte composites and miniatures here. The sea floor collapse beneath a trawler is aesthetically apocryphal.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Gems – The Devil All the Time (2020)

The Devil All the Time Poster Further Teases Tom Holland's Netflix Movie |  Collider

‘ The Devil All the Time’ is a chronologically jagged, hyperliterate mood piece with a homespun narrator device for a William Peter Blatty-esque yarn about Pentecostal extremism. The clergical image of a gunnery sergeant Miller Jones crucified in the Solomon Islands is graphically evocative but many of the backwoods horror are effigies for smarmy shock value.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Nightmare Beach (1989)

Watch Nightmare Beach | Prime Video

I suppose the reason that left-wing filmmakers regurgitated the analogous storyline of a resurrected death-row killer was because it was their soapbox against capital punishment. As such, ‘Nightmare Beach’s is a tactless notch on the flashpoint topic which nullifies any plea for a venial, Innocent man bring executed since Edward Diablo (Tony Bolano) is truly a flaying biker sadist.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Species II (1998)

Species II (1998) - IMDb

Having recently watched Peter Medak in ‘The Ghost of Peter Sellers‘, I could only envision how insignificant the maelstrom of egos between Michael Madsen and Natasha Henstridge must’ve been in comparison to Sellers’ manipulative megalomania. Luckily, the most vanity Medak probably had to massage was the angles at which Henstridge’s rather melon-like breasts were to be photographed for utmost ampleness. Whereas the 1995 film was a slightly more dignified science-fiction skin flick, the oafishly glandular ‘Species II‘ sheds any notion of A-list credence for wanton violence, splatter effects and gyrating nudity. And under that criteria, it is a modestly racy upgrade were it not for a very preliminary shotgun-blast head regeneration.

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Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: Saturday Night Fever

Magill wrote a fun piece on this film a couple years ago, but I really wanted to revisit Saturday Night Fever (undeniably one of my all-time favourites and my favourite musical) in the wake of the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements. Regrettably, it doesn’t hold up well with the times, and although I still love it, there were many cringe moments, even in the classic opening sequence where Tony’s walking through the streets with the paint cans and possibly harassing (?) some of the beautiful women who pass him by. John Travolta is at the peak of his powers here, the film has a killer Bee Gees soundtrack (also at the peak of their powers, although their pre-disco stuff is worth checking out too), the screenplay is riveting, subversive, and compelling, the dance scenes are the best ever (I always tried to mimic his dance moves when I was out dancing pre-pandemic) and I really identified with Tony Manero (for the most part). He works a dead end job, but he’s found something he’s good at (dancing), and he dreams of a world beyond his fairly boring neighbourhood. The discotheque offers him that gateway to something more, beyond his seemingly indifferent and out of touch family and his “friends,” a couple guys who literally act like animals (barking at the diner) and treat their friend Bobby (who is a bit of a loser but really needs a friend who cares) like crap and just use him for his car. And Tony can dance, and he knows it too! The story focuses on his trials to become something more, a chance to be great, against his family and friends, who seem to hold him back, and it does a great job of showing us how his weekends really epitomize who he wants to be and dreams of being, rather than the drudgery of the weekdays, where he works at a paint store. For me, Saturday Night Fever really stands out from the other musicals of its time for its raw, brutal energy and holds nothing back – it deals with rape, suicide (?), unwanted pregnancy, the death of a friend, unrequited love, gang fights, and dysfunctional family life, whereas Travolta’s other big musical Grease is fairly tame in comparison. Saturday Night Fever feels more adult and more real. But I think Saturday Night Fever has a problem with misogyny, homophobia, and racism, and it’s hard to talk about, but they are topics that need to be confronted and discussed. It was filmed in late ’70s New York City, and I imagine much of it tries to capture the gritty and disturbing aspects of the time and it also has different ideas on sex and gender back then, but its treatment of these topics is still troubling and problematic, even for its time and place.

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Castor’s Underrated Gems – Bat*21 (1988)

Bat*21 streaming: where to watch movie online?

The heedlessly invigorating Bat*21 is fundamentally a role-reversal prequel to Behind Enemy Lines with Gene Hackman evading enemies on the ground while Danny Glover is his audio guide back to safety. Although Lieutenant Colonel Iceal E. Hambleton (Hackman) was a consultant for the film, it never panegyrizes him with untoward hero-worship. The film doesn’t sputter over prolonged introduction to Hambleton before he is deployed into North Vietnam. After a round of golf, Hackman is reconnoitering ahead of a bombing strike when missiles penetrate his aircraft.

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