Sunday, October 25, 2020

Shaun Berk's 10 Movie Recommendations- 775th Edition and the Madness: Nature Bites- Week 3

Welcome to the 775th Edition of my series.  It's been a rather crazy week for me but I'm still here to bring you my series plus week three of the Madness so just read on and enjoy.

The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies (2014):  This is the conclusion of the trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.  Bilbo, reprised by Martin Freeman, and company prepare for an all-out war to save Lonely Mountain.  Bilbo must help Thorin, reprised by Richard Armitage, as he is starting to go mad.  Gandalf, reprised by Sir Ian McKellan, finally learns who the Necromancer is.  Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Dean O'Gorman, Aidan Turner, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy, Mark Hadlow, Adam Brown, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Cate Blanchett, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Billy Connolly, Thomasin McKenzie, and many others co-star in this film.  This was a pretty good end to the series.  As I have said in the past weeks, I have never read the book THE HOBBIT so I was fine with this continued story.

Bird Box (2018):  Susanne Bier directed this film based on the novel by Josh Malerman.  This is in a time where the world is in an unknown global terror.  Sandra Bullock stars as Marlorie who takes her children, played by Julian Edwards and Vivien Lyra Blair, down the river to refuge and they must do it with blindfolds.  Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Lil Rey Howery, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, BD Wong, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Parminder Nagra, Rebecca Pidgeon, Amy Gumenick, Taylor Handley, Happy Anderson, and many others co-star in this film.  This came out on Netflix and was very hyped.  I waited until now to finally check this one out and I was glad to see this with all the faded hype and just enjoy this for what it was, a sci-fi horror film.  I noticed Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson were very well cast as sisters.  This is a very intense film to say the least with Bullock carrying this very well when they are out on the river.  This is available to watch on Netflix.

Juan of the Dead (2011):  Now I bring my zombie comedy for the week which was written and directed by Alejandro Brugues.  Alexis Diaz de Villegas stars as the Cuban slacker Juan and along with his other slacker friend Lazaro, they come across some zombies.  As they learn to kill them, they decide to start a for profit agency in killing these zombies.  Andrea Duro, Jazz Vila, Antonio Dechent, and many others co-star in this horror comedy.  I guess if Shaun can have a comedy about zombies, I guess that gives Juan the right to have one of his own.  This manages to make a lot of political points on the Cuban government while also having comedy and pretty scary zombies.  Stick around for the credits, not a end credit scene but very clever end credits.

Munster Masquerade (1964):  This is actually the first episode aired of the sitcom THE MUNSTERS and a really good monster spoof.  This is a rather unusual family who as far as they know they are like anyone else but don't understand why people look at them so strangely.  Fred Gwynne and Yvonne de Carlo star as Herman and Lily Munster, Herman obviously being Frankenstein's monster modeled from Boris Karloff and Lily being a vampire.  Al Lewis co-stars as Lily's father who is referred to as Grandpa and likes to reflect on the old days.  Butch Patrick plays Eddie who is the son of Herman and Lily and is a werewolf seemingly modeled from Lon Chaney Jr.'s Wolfman.  To round out the family is Marilyn, played by Beverley Owen, who is Herman and Lily's niece and is more of an outcast in the family due to her more "normal" looks but very strange looking in the eyes of the rest of the family.  In this episode, Marilyn is seeing a man who invites her, Herman, Lily, and Grandpa to a Halloween party where there is a costume contest.  Linden Chiles, Mabel Albertson, Frank Wilcox, Lurene Tuttle, Walter Woolf King, and many others guest star on this episode.  Also, listen for Mel Blanc who provides the voice of the Raven in the clock of the Munster household.

The Cat and the Canary (1939):  Elliott Nugent directed this horror comedy murder mystery which is based on a play by John Willard.  A family is gathered in their late uncle's home which is a remote and decaying mansion.  Murder and madness follow having Wally and Joyce, played by Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard, investigate what is going on in this creepy home.  John Beal, Douglass Montgomery, Gale Sondergaard, Elizabeth Patterson, Nydia Westman, George Zucco, John Wray, George Regas, and many others co-sat in this whodunit.  This has a rather complex plot that is a bit hard to describe.  It does a great job of combining murder and comedy while having a horror feel to it.  Hope and Goddard worked very well together and would work together again the next year in THE GLASS BREAKERS.

The Bravados (1958):  This is my western for the week which was directed by Henry King and based on the novel by Frank O'Rourke.  Gregory Peck stars as Jim Douglass who is after four men he says murdered his wife.  Lee Van Cleef, Stephen Boyd, Albert Salmi, and Henry Silva play these four people who are in jail waiting execution for an unrelated murder and escape putting Douglass on their trail for his vengeance.  Joan Collins, Barry Coe, George Voskovec, Herbert Rudley, Andrew Duggan, Ken Stott, Gene Evans, and many others co-star in this western.  This is a very dark western with Peck in a much darker role than usual and has said that it was a struggle for him to play such a hateful person.  This has a very interesting twist at the end.

The Host (2006):  This is my Korean film for the week which was directed and co-written Boon Joon Ho.  Kang-Ho Song stars as Gang-Doo who is a slacker and the black sheep of his family in the town of Seoul.  The country must fight for their life when a monster emerges from the Han River and takes Gang-Doo's daughter making him and the rest of the family set out to find her.  Hee-Bong Byun, Hae-Il Park, Doona Bae, Ko Asung, and many others co-star in this Korean film.  This could be looked at as a creature feature, but is so much more and even kind of parallels what is happening now.  This has some dark comedy to it, a pretty creepy monster that could probably stand against the Kaijus.  This is a pretty fun horror comedy with an interesting political message to go along with it.  This is the same director of the 2019 hit PARASITE so those who loved that should check out this work.

The Black Sleep (1956):  Reginald Le Borg directed this film which has quite the all-star cast of horror actors from this era.  Basil Rathbone stars as scientist Dr. Joel Cadman who has developed a drug of the title that makes people appear dead.  Herbert Rudley co-stars as Dr. Ramsey who is set to be executed for murder but Cadman saves him with the drug in belief he is innocent and wants his expertise for a project.  When this happens, he finds he is taking part in something very sinister when learning about some of the people being held in his facility.  Akim Tamiroff, Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Bela Lugosi, Patricia Blair, Phyllis Stanley, Tor Johnson, and many others co-star in this horror film.  PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE was the movie where Lugosi died during filming but this was his last completed movie project.  Carradine is very amusing in his role that words cannot even describe but feel he is a rather underrated actor.  The character of Dr. Joel Cadman might have had some inspiration to the Batman villain Mr. Freeze in terms of their motivations.  I feel this is more than a b-movie and is a pretty compelling watch.

Lady in Waiting (1971):  This is another episode of COLUMBO that I decided to use here and is directed by Norman Lloyd.  Susan Clark stars as Beth Chadwick who feels controlled by her family, most notably by her brother Bryce, played by Richard Anderson, so she resorts to murder and makes it look accidental.  Columbo, played by Peter Falk, investigates the case and does not believe for one moment that this homicide was accidental.  Leslie Nielsen co-stars as Beth's love interest which plays a big part of Beth's motive.  Jessie Royce Landis, Richard Anderson, and many others co-star in this episode.  As I explained a couple weeks ago, this was not really a murder mystery series, it was more about Columbo's persistence in the investigation.  This is available to watch on imdb tv on the imdb website so just bring this show up on their and you can watch all the episodes.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988):  Stephen Chiodo directed this horror comedy and co-wrote along with this brother Charles Chiodo.  A small town is invaded by aliens and are capturing and killing the townspeople.  These aliens look a lot like circus clowns and no one is buying the story of a few young people so they must band together in hopes of destroying the clowns and rescuing their friends.  Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael S. Siegel, Peter Licassi, Royal Dano, Christopher Titus, and many others co-star in this cult classic.  This is a pretty enjoyable horror comedy.  I found that in addition to the comical moments, this movie has a rather underrated soundtrack including the title song by a band called the Dickies.  This also had a pretty small budget that the Chiodo brothers were able to make the most of in this movie.

Well, that is it for this week but continue on for week 3 of the Madness.  Tell me what you like and dislike and stay tuned for next week which includes Patricia Arquette, Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren, Ed Wood, John Barrymore, Goldie Hawn, Brad Pitt, and many others.



I bring out wild card Adrienne back for this week.

Escape from New York (1981):  I could have used Lee Van Cleef but I gave this one to Adrienne who plays an ally to Snake Plisken.  Snake is injected with a virus to insure he would not flee the cops when they made the deal.  



This Korean director is not a wild card but could have been considered and I had the selections to go ahead and make a category for him.  

Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000, 110 minutes, 66 1/2):  Bong Joon Ho makes his feature directorial debut in this very dark comedy.  This features a man essentially becoming a dog serial killer.

The Host (2006, 120 minutes 666):  This qualifies as a creature feature.  The oversized monster should get me some bonus points.


The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (2018, 98 minutes, 66 1/2):  Years after assassinating Hitler, Calvin Barr, played by Sam Elliott and by Aidan Turner in the flashback scenes, is called back in action to kill Bigfoot who is believed to be infected by a deadly virus that is spreading.  The virus element should get me some points and the Bigfoot's attack on Calvin as well.  I just hope that as I get older, my voice gets to sounding like Sam Elliott as different as he as Turner were in terms of their voice.



I introduce Crispin to the Madness as one of our wild cards this year.

Charlie's Angels (2000, 98 minutes, 666):  I have used this in the past when we had Tim Curry as a wild card but this year this counts on account of Crispin who plays the Thin Man.  This is one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Charlie's Angels:  Full Throttle (2003, 106 minutes, 66):  The unrealistic action from the first one is taken to a new level in this sequel and it was really all over the place.  I also would have liked to see more of angel gone bad Demi Moore, I think it would have been a little more interesting if they had focused more on her character.  Nonetheless, still a fun ride.  Crispin reprises his role as Thin Man.

River's Edge (1986, 99 minutes 666):  Crispin stars as Layne who is determined to cover up a murder committed by one of his best friends.

Wild At Heart (1990, 124 minutes, 666 1/2):  This David Lynch film would likely be argued as a selection but with Crispin in it, I don't need to argue.  Glover plays the role of the Christmas obsessed Dell. 



This Buffy alum is not a wild card but found some work that qualifies her as a category this year.

The Alphabet Murders (2008, 98 minutes, 66):  Eliza stars as Detective Megan Paige whose investigation of a serial killer drives her to insanity as she is seeing ghosts.  This is based on a true story though I have heard very loosely based.

Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.:  Doorway to Destruction Part 2 (2013, 23 minutes, 666):  Eliza voices She-Hulk in this series where a group of Hulks team up to fight evil.  This has a gamma disaster that is like a tornado or hurricane.



This character actress is not a wild card this year but found a couple things to feature to make her into a category.

The Cat and the Canary (1939, 72 minutes, 66 1/2):  Gale plays Miss Lu in this comedy.  This horror comedy counts that takes place in a haunted mansion.

Night Gallery:  The Dark Boy/Keep in Touch- We'll Think of Something S2, E10 (1971, 30 minutes 66 1/2):  This was Rod Serling's other anthology series.  This episode is about a young boy who haunts the school.  Gale guest stars as one of the teachers.



Jennifer is not a wild card this year but found a couple selections to make her into a category and maybe she will be considered for the Madness theme I want which is women in horror.

Hercules:  Hercules and the Assassin S1, E4 (1998, 23 minutes, 66 1/2):  This is the Disney animated spin-off from their movie.  Jennifer voices the role of Tempest and would become a recurring character.

The Hitcher (1986, 97 minutes, 666):  Jennifer co-stars as Nash who helps a man named Jim Halsey, played by C. Thomas Howell, that is on the run from the police and the murderous hitchhiker, played by Rutger Hauer.  This cat and mouse thriller did enough to be horror, kind of on the lines of Spielberg's DUEL.  Hauer was great as the murderous title character.



Joan is a wild card so anything she has done can count in this year's madness.

The Bravados (1958, 98 minutes, 666):  I could have used Joan or Lee Van Cleef on this one but decided to use Joan Collins who plays Josefa Velarde in this western.  This western counts on account of both of the names.



John is not a wild card this year but very well could be one day.  We mostly know his sons like David, Keith, and Robert but John has gone onto be rather underrated so I'm glad to pay homage to Carradine.

The Black Sleep (1956, 82 minutes, 666 1/2):  John plays the role of Borg in this film that has quite the all-star cast.

The Twilight Zone:  Still Life S1, E13 (1985, 22 minutes, 66 1/2):  This was an episode from the Twilight Zone reboot where John was in late in his career with his son Robert Carradine who is probably most known for REVENGE OF THE NERDS.



This character actor is not a wild card but found enough that I decided to make him into a category.

The Incredible Hulk:  Raw Power S1, E3 (1996, 22 minutes, 66 1/2):  John voiced the role of Hulk's main rival General Ross in this animated series.  The creature element of Hulk should make this count.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988, 88 minutes, 666):  John plays the role of Deputy Curtis Mooney who won't believe the teens that say they saw murderous alien clowns.



Leslie is a wild card this year so I can use any of his work.

Columbo:  Lady in Waiting S1, E7 (1971, 75 minutes, 666):  This is the second episode of COLUMBO that I have used on the Madness this year and it counts because of Leslie Nielsen which would not usually count. 

Scary Movie 3 (2003, 84 minutes, 66 1/2):  The Wayans Brothers decided to pass the director torch to David Zucker who introduced Leslie Nielsen into this comedy franchise.  Leslie plays the president who must help stop an alien attack in the spoof mainly of SIGNS, THE RING, and maybe INDEPENDENCE DAY, among others.

Scary Movie 4 (2006, 83 minutes, 66 1/2):  Leslie reprises his role as the president in the 4th installment of the horror comedy franchise.  I loved the SAW parody in the beginning involving Shaq and Dr. Phil.



Martin is not a wild card this year but had a couple listed selections to make a category out of him.

Black Panther (2018, 134 minutes, 666 1/2):  Martin co-stars as CIA agent Everett K. Ross who becomes a good ally to Black Panther and his people in Wakanda.  I believe this should qualify as fantasy with what the suit does and with Wakanda itself.  There are also rhinoceros attacks in this movie that could get me some sort of bonus points.

The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies (2014, 144 minutes, 666):  This is the conclusion of the trilogy where Martin stars as Bilbo Baggins.  This should count as a fantasy but looking for bonus points for the dragon Smaug.

Sherlock:  A Study in Pink (2010, 88 minutes, 666):  Martin stars as Dr. John Watson in the BBC series that sets Sherlock Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, and Watson in the modern era where Holmes is a "consulting detective".  This episode should count because it involves a serial killer that makes the murders look like suicide.



Buffy the Vampire Slayer:  Once More With Feeling S6, E7 (2001, 44 minutes, 666):  This is the musical episode of the popular series which was written by creator Joss Whedon.  The town of Sunnydale is breaking out into song and dance while the gang must investigate something more sinister happening since they know they are in Sunnydale.

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Rock 'N' Roll Musical (2003, 91 minutes 66 1/2):  Andre Champagne directed this musical based on the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson that takes place in the modern day..  Alan Bernhoft stars as the duel title characters and also co-wrote the screenplay.  Bernhoft also wrote the music numbers.  This is available to watch on Youtube.

Hercules (1997, 93 minutes, 666):  I watched this one over at Stephanie's house and she let her son pick the movie and he picked this animated Disney film so I just decided to put it into this category.  The gods should qualify this Disney film as fantasy.

Mary Poppins Returns (2018, 130 minutes, 666):  This musical should count for fantasy.  Emily Blunt plays the role of Mary Poppins where she visits the grown siblings of Michael and Jane as well as Michael's kids as they face new troubles and adventures.  I really enjoyed this sequel myself and where can we go wrong with Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008, 98 minutes, 666 1/2):  This rock musical should count with the body parts up for repo.  I have always enjoyed this film and seeing Buffy alum Anthony Head in essentially a starring role showing off his singing talents.  I would love to play his role of Nathan on stage someday.

Shrek the Musical (2013, 130 minutes, 666):  This is a filmed live Broadway musical.  Brian D'Arcy James plays that grumpy but lovable ogre in this very well done musical adaptation.  This has ogres and a dragon so maybe we can discuss some bonus points.



Sandra is not a wild card this year but have a couple selections on my list so she is a category.

Bird Box (2018, 124 minutes, 666):  Sandra stars as Mallory who tries to get her kids to safety during an unknown global terror.  I believe that this should get bonus points for being a disaster situation.

Gravity (2013, 91 minutes, 666 1/2):  Okay, I might be pushing this one but I'm arguing the disaster element having being stuck in space after an accident happens.



I am sure that Steve is my most used wild card this year and have some more.

*Batteries Not Included (1987, 106 minutes, 66 1/2):  Spielberg produced this comedy where a group of alien mechanical life-forms help to save a group of tenants from being forced out of their apartment.  These aliens have gone overlooked through the years.

Jurassic Park (1993, 127 minutes, 666 1/2):  The one that started it it all, Spielberg directs this one so it counts for the Madness this year.  Plenty of dinosaur attacks on humans so I think I can manage some bonus points on this one.

Pinky and the Brain:  Tokyo Grows/That Smarts/Brainstem S1, E3 (1995, 23 minutes, 666):  Steph and I decided to introduce her son to this animated cartoon.  The first short has Godzilla in it and Pinky and the Brain get giant sized.

Schinder's List (1993, 195 minutes, 666 1/2):  First of all, I was not aware that this and JURASSIC PARK were put out in the same year.  I suppose this could be argued as horror as it depicts some horrible times with the Holocaust but Steven directed so no argument needed.  I mostly watched this because I need a three hour movie for the Filmopoley game my local library is doing.  This is something I feel everyone should watch at least once.



Avengers:  Assemble:  In Deep S1, E13 (2013, 23 minutes, 666):  Iron Man and Captain America try to infiltrate Red Skull's Cabal and must rely on their wits when their cover is blown.  This does feature a hurricane like disaster at the end.

Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.:  Doorway to Destruction Part 1 (2013, 23 minutes, 666):  Hulk's friend Rick Jones begins making a web series hoping to show Hulk is not such a monster. He must fight an earth invasion by Annihilus and gets some help from Red Hulk.  The invasion used gamma and it was like a tornado or hurricane.



I continue with some more work of our wild card.

Worthless (2018, 80 minutes, 666):  Tara must relive her bullying past that has not changed much.  Tara Reid makes this automatically count but can likely be argued as horror either way.



Yvonne is not a wild card this year but possibly could be someday if we ever get a women in horror theme.

The Munsters:  Munster Madness S1, E1 (1964, 30 minutes, 666):  This is the first episode in the tv series where Yvonne plays Lily Munster and is probably her most known work.

Play Dead (1983, 86 minutes, 66):  This is a Troma movie where Yvonne stars as Hester who manages to possess her usually sweet rottweiler into murdering her relatives so bonus for the dog killing humans.



Juan of the Dead (2011, 92 minutes, 666):  This zombie comedy needs no explanation.

Re-Animator (1985, 85 minutes, 666):  This is another zombie comedy of a medical student who looks to bring back dead tissue.  There is an attack from a zombie cat at the beginning.

The Return of the Living Dead (1985, 91 minutes, 666):  One more zombie comedy where zombies rise after a deadly gas is released and were near impossible to kill.

28 Weeks Later (2007, 100 minutes, 66 1/2):  This is a sequel to 28 DAYS LATER where things are getting better but the zombies come back.  This has a deadly virus outbreak so maybe some bonus points are in order.


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