Sunday, October 27, 2019

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 723rd Edition and the Madness: Kings and Masters- Week 3

Welcome to the 723rd Edition of my series.  There is not a lot going on this week except to going back to normal life for now adjusting to getting back to work after taking a week off.  It's been great so far for in the NFL for my team the 49ers who are undefeated so far.  I'll just get on with my selections and week 3 of the Madness.

Matinee (1993):  Joe Dante directed this film which is essentially an homage to the B-movie cinema.  John Goodman stars as filmmaker Lawrence Woolsey who brings his latest movie to a small town and adds some of his own theatrics within the movie theater.  This all takes place during the Cuban Missile Crisis where questions arise if the movie should be shown and other situations happening.  Cathy Moriarty, Simon Fenton, Omri Katz, Lisa Jakub, Kellie Martin, Jesse Lee Soffer, Lucinda Jenney, James Villemaire, Robert Picardo, Jesse White, Dick Miller, John Sayles, David Clennon, Lucy Butler, Naomi Watts, Kevin McCarthy, and many others co-star in this film.  This is loosely based on director William Castle who did similar things like the Lawrence Woolsey character having antics that aren't just the movie.  This was a really fun tribute to the classic b-movie cinema with Goodman perfectly cast.

Batman:  Gotham by Gaslight (2018):  I go from the homage to the B-movie cinema to an animated superhero film.  Sam Liu directed this Batman movie based on the graphic novel by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola.  This takes place in the Victorian Era of Gotham City where Batman, voiced by Bruce Greenwood, begins his war on crime during a murder spree by Jack the Ripper.  Jennifer Carpenter, Chris Cox, John Dimaggio, Grey Griffin, Anthony Head, Bob Joles, Yuri Lowenthal, Lincoln Melcher, Scott Patterson, William Salyers, Tara Strong, Kari Wuhrer, and many others provide their voices in this animated movie.  I thought this was a really good Batman movie taking place in an alternate timeline providing some great references to the Batman universe with different twists to the characters.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988):  Terry Gilliam directed this version of the novel by Rudolf Erich Raspe.  John Neville stars as the Baron who is an 18th Century aristocrat going on improbable adventures with a young girl named Sally, played by Sarah Polley.  These adventures include getting swallowed by a sea monster, a trip to the moon, and even an encounter with the Grim Reaper.  Eric Idle, Oliver Reed, Charles McKeown, Winston Dennis, Jack Purvis, Valentina Cortese, Jonathan Pryce, Bill Patterson, Peter Jeffrey, Uma Thurman, Robin Williams, Sting, and many others co-star in this film.  There have been other versions of this movie before this one but I can't imagine those exceeding the vision of the Monty Python alum.  This is a very fun fantasy film and really deserves a look.

Salome (1973):  This is my short film for the week which was directed by Clive Barker and is his directorial debut in film.  This is based on the Oscar Wilde play of the same title but Barker and some friends that include future Pinhead David Bradley did their own short take.  Mostly of interest to Barker fans.  This is included on a boxed set of HELLRAISER.

The Ghost Goes West (1935):  Rene Clair directed this ghost story where Robert Donat stars in a dual role.  One is as Murdoch who has been cursed in his death to stay in a Scottish castle until he can earn redemption.  He also plays Donald whose family decides to take the castle brick by brick to America where Murdoch has no choice but to go along.  Jean Parker, Elsa Lanchester, Eugene Pallette, Everley Gregg, Morton Selten, Chili Bouchier, and many others co-star in this story.  Some may think when they see going west that this will be a western of sorts but it was west as in going from Scotland to the United States.  This is a really good story that even though it involves ghosts, it is not really scary but is very compelling.

The Astounding She-Monster (1957):  I bring a sci-fi b-movie this week.  An heiress gets kidnapped and while waiting for the ransom, a spaceship lands and a beautiful blonde alien lands in a spaceship.  She is able to kill on one touch and the rest must band together for survival.  There is not much more to say here.  This is mostly for B-movie lovers and one worthy of MST3K and Rifftrax.  It is only a little over an hour if that makes it easier for everyone.

They Live (1988):  John Carpenter directed this underrated sci-fi cult classic.  Legendary wrestler Roddy Piper stars as Nada who is a down on his luck construction worker.  He soon discovers a pair of sunglasses that make him see some people to be human but others to be alien and also sees lots of propaganda messages.  Keith David, Meg Foster, George 'Buck' Flower, Peter Jason, Raymond St. Jacques, Jason Robards III, and many others co-star in this film.  This is probably Piper's most known movie and was kind of ahead of his time in actors trying to transition into film which is far more common today.  Piper and David have one of the best fight scenes in film David is being very stubborn when asked to try on the glasses.  Get your bubblegum and watch this movie or Piper might kick your ass.

Dr. Renault's Secret (1942):  Harry Lachman directed this B-movie horror film that is not real bad.  Shepperd Strudwick stars as Dr. Renault who as the title indicates has a secret.  That secret is that his is assistant Noel, played by J. Carrol Naish, was an ape turned into a man by his experiments.  Lynne Roberts, George Zucco, Bert Roach, and many others co-star in this movie.  This is only about an hour long and is pretty good for a movie of this type.  This is inspired by Gaston Leroux's book BALAOO and most know Leroux by a novel that would be turned into a famous musical called PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.

The Who's Tommy (1975):  This is my musical for the week which is actually a rock opera by the Who.  Roger Daltrey stars as Tommy who in childhood becomes blind, deaf, and mute prompting everyone around him to take advantage.  He soon discovers a talent of pinball and no one knows how he does it or what makes him so good.  He eventually is cured of being blind and deaf and becomes a messiah like figure.  Oliver Reed, Ann-Margret, Elton John, Eric Clapton, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, Paul Nicholas, Jack Nicholson, Robert Powell, Pete Townshend, Tina Tuner, and many others co-star in this rock opera.  I don't really know how else to describe this movie except that it is really out there but interesting enough.  Moon is rather amusing in my opinion in his cameo as Uncle Ernie.  In researching this movie, I learned that Rod Stewart played originated the role on a London stage version but apparently Elton John talked him out of it only to get the role for himself.  Rock out to some great songs by both the who and the other musicians that co-star.

In the Tall Grass (2019):  Vincenzo Natali directed this film based on the novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill.  Laysia De Oliveira and Avery Whitted co-star in this movie as a couple of siblings who are on a road trip and when stopping they hear screams of a young boy coming from a field.  As they try looking for him, they find that they cannot get out and something more sinister is a play.  Patrick Wilson, Will Buie Jr., Harrison Gilbertson, Tiffany Helm, and Rachel Wilson co-star in this Netflix original.  I found this to be pretty good and kind of like being in one of those glass houses at the fair that you get lost.  You will see that King co-wrote this book with a guy named Joe Hill which is actually the pen name for Joseph H King and the son of Stephen.  This is available to watch on Netflix and is really worth a look.

Well, that is it for this week but continue on to the 3rd week of the Madness.  Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week which so far includes Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Joaquin Phoenix, Bela Lugosi, Roger Corman, Samuel L. Jackson, Pam Grier, Vincent Price, and many others.



Alexander is not a wild card this year but has been one in the past and thought I would make him into a category.

Hidden (2015, 84 minutes, 66 1/2):  Alexander plays Ray who along with his wife and daughter stay in a bomb shelter after a dangerous outbreak that killed many.  They must leave when they learn people are pursuing them.

True Blood:  Escape From Dragon House- Episode 1.4 (2008, 50 minutes, 666):  This is the episode that introduces Eric Northman to the series and would become one of the most significant characters on the show.  No explanation needed for this HBO vampire series to count.


The Astounding She-Monster (1957, 62 minutes, 66):  Basically a B-movie of a very murderous alien that kills with a touch that contains radium poisoning.


Amy is not a wild card this year but had a movie on my list to count for her and wanted to look into an early tv show she was on so created a category for her.

Charmed:  Murphy's Luck- Episode 2.16 (2000, 42 minutes, 666):  Amy was in this one episode of the series and before she became a bigger name.  She plays the role of Maggie Murphy who has been cursed with bad luck by a darklighter.  When saved by Prue, the curse goes to her instead.  This witch show needs no explanation to count.  This was still during the Shannen Doherty era of the show.

Justice League (2017, 120 minutes, 66 1/2):  Amy reprises her role as Lois Lane in this movie which teams Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and eventually Superman.  I didn't find this to be that bad but did not do as good of job as Marvel in their lead to THE AVENGERS.  I wish Affleck would have had more commitment to Batman as I really liked him in the role.


Anna is not a wild card this year but has been in the past where I have made movies like ALMOST FAMOUS count.  Could be really good wild card choice if we ever get the "Women in Horror" category I've been wanting for many years.

Trick 'R Treat (2007, 82 minutes, 66 1/2):  Anna co-stars in this horror comedy as Laurie.  This has plenty of horror elements and many different stories that take place on Halloween that include serial killers, vampires, and werewolves.

True Blood:  Strange Love- Episode 1.1 (2008, 59 minutes, 666 1/2):  This is the first episode of the vampire series where Anna brings to life Sookie Stackhouse from the Charlaine Harris novels whose life changes after meeting the vampire Bill Compton.


Anthony is not a wild card but decided to make a category for him when I have a movie that he is in and part of the Buffy binge I'm on.

Batman Gotham by Gaslight (2018, 78 minutes, 666):  Anthony provides the voice of Alfred in this animated movie where Batman is in the Victorian Era and investigating the murders of Jack the Ripper.

Buffy:  Living Conditions- Episode 4.2 (1999, 42 minutes 666):  Anthony was a regular in the show as Rupert Giles up until about the last couple seasons where he becomes more of a recurring character.  This is the fourth season where Buffy and Willow are now in college and Buffy's roommate is driving her nuts and has nightmares about a soul sucking demon.


Clive is listed as one of the Kings this year in the madness.

The Forbidden (1978, 36 minutes, 66):  This is an early short film from Clive that also stars future Pinhead David Bradley.

Salome (1973, 18 minutes 66):  Another early short from Clive and just hoping it gets added to the 36 minutes of the other selection.


Chris is not a wild card this year but made a category for this actor.

Deliver Us From Evil (2014, 118 minutes, 66 1/2):  This deals with demonic possessions so should count.  Chris has a smaller role as an abusive boyfriend.

True Blood:  Shake and Fingerpop- episode 2.4 (2009, 55 minutes, 666):  Chris makes his first of five appearances on the vampire series as hotel employee Barry Horowitz which is ironically the same name as the famous wrestling jobber do the fans just love wrestling and that character?  Barry had the power of telepathy just like Sookie and helps her and Bill.


Dr. Renault's Secret (1942, 58 minutes, 66 1/2):  Pretty decent B-movie of a scientist who turns an ape into a man.


The Ghost Goes West (1935, 95 minutes, 666):  This old movie deals with a ghost cursed to stay in a Scottish castle and forced to move when the castle gets moved to the United States.


Joe is one of the Masters of Horror this year.

Matinee (1993, 99 minutes, 666):  Joe directed this homage to the horror cinema of the '60s.  John Goodman is perfect as the filmmaker who comes to a small town in the '60s to show his horror b-movie.


John is listed as one of the Masters of Horror this year so anything directed, written and produced works.

They Live (1988, 94 minutes, 666 1/2):  John directed this sci-fi film which stars wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and one that seems to get more and more popular as the years go by.


Ken is part of the Guest List in the Madness this year so anything written, produced or directed works.

Gothic (1986, 87 minutes, 66 1/2):  This would count no matter what but Ken Russell directed so no argument needed.  This takes place in the home of Lord Byron in a night that apparently inspired Mary Shelley to write FRANKENSTEIN.  Lots of wtf moments but stayed intriguing.  There is a dinner element and a dinner table.

The Who's Tommy (1975, 111 minutes, 666):  I could probably make an argument for this rock opera but I don't have to because of Ken Russell's direction.  I still haven't figured out how he does it and what makes him so good.


Lin is not a wild card and has not been one as far as I know.  However, she could be one and maybe someone for the Women of Horror category that I have been asking for and talked about on here.

FDR:  American Badass! (2012, 93 minutes, 66 1/2):  Lin plays Eleanor Roosevelt in this biopic that is the real story on how Franklin Delano Roosevelt got his polio which was through a werewolf bite.  This shows FDR in his unknown side of fighting werewolves.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find any photos of her from the movie.

Ouija (2014, 89 minutes, 66 1/2):  This is a movie about the popular board where a group of friends awaken the dark powers.  Lin plays Paulina Zander who is in a nursing home and appears to have a connection to the spirit.


Into the Woods (1991, 151 minutes, 666 1/2):  This is a taped theatrical production of the Sondheim musical that has a witch and wolf to make this count.  Bernadette Peters plays the witch.

Love Never Dies (2012, 121 minutes, 666 1/2):  This is Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to PHANTOM OF THE OPERA where the Phantom lives in Coney Island and lures Christine there who is now married to Raoul with a ten year old son.  Unpopular opinion:  I like this better than the original.  I just liked the darker and more bizarre elements of this one.


The legendary author one of the kings this year in the Madness.

Frasier:  Mary Christmas- Episode 8.8 (2000, 22 minutes, 666):  Stephen King is one of the guest callers in the beginning to help this Christmas oriented episode count for this year's madness.  If ever searching for loopholes, a lot of celebrities did guest spots as callers on this series.

In the Tall Grass (2019, 101 minutes, 666):  This is based on Stephen King's novella about a group of people getting trapped in the tall grass just like the title indicates.

Misery (1990, 107 minutes, 666):  Rob Reiner directed this adaptation of the Stephen King novel.  James Caan stars as a famous author who was in a bad wreck and rescued by someone who turns out to be a rather obsessed fan in Kathy Bates.


The Flash:  A Flash of the Lightning- Episode 6.2 (2019, 45 minutes, 666):  I know last week this did not count but I'm going to try again on this episode.  What I'm arguing is the vision that Barry gets when he sees everyone he knows die and has been informed he must die in order to save the world.  If that argument does not work, so be it.


Uma is not a wild card this year but found a couple movies of hers to count so I thought I'd make her into a category.  Earlier in the contest, I included a lot of her movies with Tarantino as the director.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988, 126 minutes, 666):  This is some pretty early Uma Thurman where she plays the roles of Venus and Rose.  I think this should count because of things like the Grim Reaper and the giant Sea-monster to name a few.

Batman and Robin (1997, 125 minutes, 66):  Uma plays Poison Ivy in this one.  I had not seen this one in a long time but realized that this is a very exaggerated episode of the '60s sitcom.  It was also a very non-subtle way to advertise the toys.  All kinds of ice puns and just more of a guilty pleasure at best.


Angel:  Lonely Heart- Episode 1.2 (1999, 42 minutes, 666):  This episode introduces recurring character Kate Lockley, played by Elizabeth Rohm, who is a detective that sometimes helps Angel.  Angel is out looking for a wormlike demon that preys on lonely hearts.

Angel:  In the Dark- Episode 1.3 (1999, 42 minutes, 666):  This is the first crossover episode where Oz, played by Seth Green, comes into town to bring Angel a ring that makes vampires invulnerable but Spike also comes to town looking to get it for himself.

Angel:  I Fall to Pieces- Episode 1.4 (1999, 43 minutes, 666):  Angel must protect a woman being tracked by a deranged surgeon who can actually come apart.

Angel:  Rm W/A Vu- Episode 1.5 (1999, 43 minutes, 666):  Cordelia finds a new apartment only to learn it is haunted.  The underrated Beth Grant has a guest appearance as a pretty mean ghost played by no one better.

Angel:  Sense and Senstivity- Episode 1.6 (1999, 42 minutes, 666):  An incarcerated criminal uses his connections to target Kate for elimination.

Angel:  The Bachelor Party- Episode 1.7 (1999, 45 minutes, 666):  Doyle's estranged wife pays an unexpected visit looking to end their marriage in order for her to marry a demon.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  The Harsh Light of Day- Episode 4.3 (1999, 44 minutes, 666 1/2):  Spike returns to Sunnydale in search of a ring that is said to make the wearer invincible.  This also introduces Harmony as a vampire who is in a relationship with Spike.  This is also Emma Caulfield's first appearance of the season as Anya and starts to become more of a regular.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  Fear Itself- Episode 4.4 (1999, 44 minutes, 666):  On Halloween, Buffy and friends are trapped in a haunted frat house.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  Beer Bad- Episode 4.5 (1999, 44 minutes, 66):  Buffy and some other people drink beer that gives them cavemen like tendencies.  While funny at times, not one of the best episodes though look for Kal Penn in an early role. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  Wild at Heart- Episode 4.6 (1999, 42 minutes, 666 1/2):  Oz finds himself drawn to a fellow werewolf named Veruca and must reconsider his relationship Willow.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  The Initiative- Episode 4.7 (1999, 43 minutes, 666):  Spike escapes a prison in a hi-tech facility only to learn he is unable to bite or fight humans and the start of Spike having the chip where he slowly turns good.  Riley Finn takes a liking to Buffy but has a hard time talking to her.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  Pangs- Episode 4.8 (1999, 43 minutes, 666 1/2):  Angel returns in this episode after Doyle receives a vision that Buffy was in danger but keeps his return a secret from Buffy. 

The Twilight Saga:  Breaking Dawn- Part 1 (2011, 117 minutes, 66):  The vampire saga continues and this followed in the way of HUNGER GAMES and HARRY POTTER where the last part of the series was separated into two movies.  This has both vampires and wolves to make this count.


Winona is not a wild card this year but has been in the past.  Also someone who could be a good candidate for the future category of Women in Horror.

Beetlejuice (1988, 92 minutes, 666):  Tim Burton's paranormal classic where Winona co-stars as the depressive daughter of the tenants who is able to see the ghosts of Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin.  Michael Keaton has a lot of fun in the title role.  The ghost element makes this one count and there is a dinner table involved.

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992, 128 minutes, 666 1/2):  Winona plays Mina Harker in this classic tale about the iconic vampire.  There is a dinner table involved in this as well with Jonathan Harker eating in Dracula's home.

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