Here at The Nerds Templar, we get a lot of movies sent our way to watch. Some are new, some are older. We get Blu-rays, DVDs, online screeners and everything in between. Sometimes we just don’t have time to write a 1000 words about every movie. Sometimes the movie doesn’t deserve a 1000 words. We do like to discuss the movie though and in those situations we do articles like this, Review Round-up.
Up first we have Horror Hall of Fame. This is a 26 classic horror film collection from Mill Creek Entertainment. It consists of a Vincent Price Collection (which I reviewed recently), a Boris Karloff Collection, a Hammer Films Collection, another Hammer Films Collection and Classic Horror. We here at The Nerds Templar are big fans of classic horror films and actors like Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee. We’ve seen most of these films and have reviewed a lot of them in the past, but this is a pretty sweet grouping. Stand out films are The Last Man on Earth, House on Haunted Hill, The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, The Gorgon and The Revenge of Frankenstein. You might own some of these already, but at Mill Creek prices, this is a great collection of 26 classic horror films.
Sticking with Mill Creek collections, next is Big Box of Nyuks a 10 disc Three Stooges set. This is another great box set for fans that might have some of it, but not all. It includes: The Three Stooges 6 Movie Collection – Time Out for Rhythm (1941), Rockin’ in the Rockies (1945), Have Rocket, Will Travel (1959), Three Stooges Go Around The World In A Daze (1963), The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962), The Outlaws Is Coming (1965), The Three Stooges The Complete Animated Series, The Three Stooges Hey Moe, Hey Dad! – The most expansive documentary ever done about the six men who comprised the iconic comedy team The Three Stooges, The Three Stooges Rare Treasures From The Vault, The Three Stooges (TV Movie 2000), The Three Stooges BONUS Content – Includes the documentary The Three Stooges Family Album, 4 classic short films, a 1949 pilot for a TV series for ABC, a rarely seen 1970 pilot for a weekly travelogue series the last known performance of The Three Stooges. I don’t know if this is the definitive collection to own, but it’s pretty darn close. The documentary is worth the price alone. Even if you own the Animated Series already, this box set has so much to offer at a great price.
One more set from Mill Creek to go over. This one is Epic Fantasy Collection and consists of: Merlin starring Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter, The 10th Kingdom starring Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Scott Cohen, Dianne Wiest, and Ed O’Neill, Odyssey starring Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi, Isabella Rossellini, Tin Man starring Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming, and Neal McDonough and Gulliver’s Travels starring Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. I had reviewed The 10th Kingdom a few years ago and found it similar to Once Upon a Time and The Chronicles of Narnia. I had never seen Tin Man which shakes up the story of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz and stars Zooey Deschanel as a waitress turned Dorothy like character. Merlin has always been a favorite with Sam Neill which I remember watching in the 1990s. Odyssey is yet another take on Homer’s epic and Gulliver’s Travels I sort of remembered because of Ted Danson. Fans of made-for-TV fantasy mini-series will love this.
Two Jean-Luc Godard films found their way on Blu-ray recently and I had never seen either. They are, La Chinoise and Le Gai Savoir. I’m not exactly sure what Le Gai Savoir is about. Allegedly it’s about two militants, Émile Rousseau and Patricia Lumumba, having a discourse on language while alone in an abandoned television studio. It’s two people on a stage talking or at least throwing words around with images popping up. Is it a film? Not to me. It’s more art and I have no issue with that. Godard has something to say and uses these two people as his vessel and again, I’m ok with that. I have an issue with it being called a film/movie because films/movies have a point, a plot, some sort of narrative that moves the story forward. This is two people talking. It looks absolutely beautiful on Blu-ray and again I’ll give it credit as a great piece of art, I’m hesitant to call it a movie though. La Chinoise is Godard having something to say and art, but it’s also a movie with a story! Godard tackles the Vietnam war and government policies in general with this one. A group of suburban students band together to change the world. It’s classic 1960s storytelling, but while you watch it you see how Godard directly influenced future filmmakers. You can see shots that Wes Anderson would copy generations later. The train scene is something you can see in Wes Anderson films today. The film is full of incredible style and I understand why filmmakers go back to Godard. It also looks beautiful on Blu-ray and if you are a fan of the film, I HIGHLY recommend picking up this HD restoration. Stunning film.
Since it’s Halloween it’s time for some horror! First is Bonejangles which is a very cool mix of horror, comedy, low budget independent filmmaking and actual entertainment. I liked this quite a bit. It feels like an homage to the slasher films I grew up with and doesn’t take itself seriously making it a lot of fun. A group of cops are transporting the serial killer Bonejangles when their vehicle breaks down. One cop realizes he’s in his old hometown which has its own deadly secret. Not one of these characters could actually be cops, but that’s funny to me especially the friend sidekick. The gay black guy as well. The town has the undead coming for them so the cops release Bonejangles as their only hope of survival. It’s a slasher flick with zombies and comedy and laughable characters, but again, a lot of freakin’ fun. For a low-budget film it has some great production value. I can see this becoming a cult favorite along the lines of Thankskilling. Highly recommended.
Next is Badass Monster Killer. Another low-budget film that surprisingly has great production value and is a lot of fun as well. The DVD cover says “If Shaft, Sin City and H.P. Lovecraft had a baby, this would be it!” and that’s pretty darn accurate. The backdrop is all fake like Sin City. The lead actor is channeling his inner Shaft with his smoothness and toughness and the monsters are pretty damn great too. I loved the running joke with the lead actor whenever he met someone new. He would always say he was in a secret organization and it made me laugh every time. The best part might be the sheer volume of nudity in the movie. Horror films should have nudity along with great kills and this has constant nudity. I was quite surprised they got that much toplessness in a low-budget flick. A lot of fun with this one too.
Last we have Darkest Day. The film takes 28 Days Later and adds a twist to it. It’s very easy to compare to the Danny Boyle zombie classic because it has a very similar plot and setting. A man washes up on the beach, wakes up and has no idea where he is or what’s going on. He wakes up in the zombie apocalypse and walks around trying to find out what happened and where everyone is ala Cillian Murphy. The government is trying to find survivors and is hunting him down. Very 28 Days Later, but the twist is, the survivor has a secret and is being hunted on purpose. Zombie films are a dime a dozen nowadays, but this one is pretty good. I’ve seen hundreds of bad zombie flicks and I’d watch this one again which I can’t always say. If you liked 28 Days Later or zombie films in general, find this one.