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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

What Movie Wednesday: "Billy the Kid vs Dracula" (1966)

This past Wednesday, I brought back an old feature- "What Movie Wednesday".  It went well in my opinion, and I had fun doing the tweet along.

So, here's the review!

Billy the Kid has "retired" and gotten engaged to the daughter of a wealthy rancher.  Soon, however, Billy finds himself in for the fight of his life against the Lord of the Undead... Master of the Children of the Night... DRACULA!  Billy is his fiance's only chance of avoiding a fate worse than death...

This is truly a B-Movie of epic proportions.  As Vance Kotrla (@SciFi_Romance) aptly put it:

The story, the characters, the acting, the camera work... all of it.  Just ALL of it.  The best part was John Carradine (David Carradine's father)... especially his skill at giving us "crazy eyes" like the example below:

See what I mean?  Just fantastic!

Despite it being a highly flawed movie (aka- "HOW did this movie ever get made?" flawed), it was good for a giggle and chortle while I was tweeting along to it.  It's going to sit solidly in "The Ugly"... but I must confess to feeling some guilty pleasure watching and enjoying it.


Big shout-out to the following for voting in the return of "What Movie Wednesday:

Nathan Bosa;
Jason Hewlett (@camethebasement);
David Stewart;
Jason Wiggins.

Also, special shout-out to Vance Kotrla (@Sci-Fi_Romance) for the great quote above!

 The next "What Movie Wednesday" vote will be posted 20 Feb 2019 at just after midnight that morning.  Voting will go until 6:00 pm (Pacific Standard Time), and tweeting will begin at 7:00 pm (PST).  You'll be able to vote either on Twitter, or on our Facebook page!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Mama (2013)

You wouldn't normally expect to see a movie that combines feral kids and ghosts, right?  Well, 2013's "Mama" is unexpected that way...

Years after their disappearance, Lily and Victoria are discovered living in a supposedly haunted forest.  They are taken to live with their Uncle Lucas and their Aunt Annabel (no relation to the doll).

But something has followed them from the forest... something that wants the girls back...

Guillermo Del Toro's "Mama" is not, unfortunately, one of his better movies.  The story idea is great, but the execution is a little flat in my opinion.  The plot progression is steady and moves towards an interesting- though predictable climax.

The main flaw is the characters.  The two girls- Victoria and Lily felt like they were more or less a MacGuffin, rather than fully realized characters in themselves.  Victoria gets a bit more growth and development than Lily... but not much.  Lucas doesn't get much development either, and felt like he was just sorta there without any real impact.  Annabel, the aunt gets the most- but even then you're not really felt engaged by the character.  I was also really disappointed by the character of Mama.  Beyond the very basic revelation of her story, you're not compelled to feel much towards her.

I can't say too much about the acting.  It was standard in my opinion- not great, but not shitty either.  I liked the performances given by Jennifer Chastain (Aunt Annabel), Megan Charpentier (Victoria), and Isabelle Nelisse (Lily) though.

There was some decent camera work, but the CGI used for Mama was very obvious CGI. 

Ultimately, I was left feeling, "meh".

"Mama" might be good for a single viewing, but certainly not more than once.  It's going into "The Bad".