Bambi (1942)

Bambi1989VHSStarring: Hardie Albright, Sam Edwards, Sterling Holloway

Directed by about seven different people

Format: VHS

Bambi. Acknowledged by generations of moviegoers as one of the greatest Disney animated Classics ever produced. This extraordinary movie miracle is most fondly remembered as Walt Disney’s favorite picture. The simple, heartwarming story of the newborn ‘prince of the forest’ reflects the universal joy in us all as we discover the wonders of life and the beauty of nature. Each new revelation, along with Bambi’s budding friendship with bashful Flower and fun-loving Thumper, elevate this beloved Classic to the status of Timeless Masterpiece.”

For my wife and I, a VHS copy of Bambi has more than likely been on our movie shelves our entire lives. When we married and consolidated, we kept a copy and that has been on our shelf for the four years we’ve been married. While discussing the VHS tapes we were going to get rid of before our cross-country move, we realized that neither of us remember ANYTHING about Bambi, and we likely has only seen the film maybe once as children. Let’s watch it.

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Thoughts:

  • The only trailer before the flick was the initial trailer for The Little Mermaid.
  • These early Disney flicks that have what my wife calls “an orchestral establishment of scenery.”
  • Animals are crazy, man.
  • Bambi is a prince? What?
  • Could you imagine waking up in the world and all these little animals were like, “Sup, Prince?” And then a scary ass owl was there.
  • My wife and friends frequently compare my lank and lack of coordination to Bambi trying to walk. “Kinda wobbly, isn’t he?”bambi walking.gif
  • Why won’t the forest creatures just give Bambi some space, jeez.
  • Bambi learning about the world is freaking adorable.
  • AH! The Natalie Merchant/Michael Stipe/Mark Bingham/The Roches version of “Little April Shower” is so good. Just a side note.
  • Wow, the thunderstorm scene is reminding me so much of how scared I was of thunderstorms as a kid. Like, my anxiety was through the roof.
  • The narratives of the early Disney films are so interesting. The story, the environment and the characters are there, but the film takes time to do these other scenes (the thunderstorm, the duckling testing the pond water) for seemingly no reason but to showcase their animation. Such a different time.
  • Thumper is such a troublemaker.
  • All I can think of is The Lion King. I’m waiting for “Circle of Life” to start playing.
  • Oh god, Bambi crying out for “Mother” is just as heartbreaking as I thought it would be.
  • Bambi On Ice would be the worst show ever.
  • If humans sleep a third of their lives away, what’s the percentage for other mammals?
  • Oh man, Bambi’s expectation was that he and mom would have gotten away because they did last time. That makes it worse.
  • “Dad, where were you when we needed you!?!” – Bambi, probably
  • Ornery owl. tumblr_mt41y0IgMx1qg6r11o1_500.gif
  • I remember NOTHING about Bambi going through deer puberty.
  • Also, where the hell was Bambi all this time? He went to find himself after his mom died?
  • TWITTERPATED.
  • “I feel like I always got Flower confused with Pepe Le Pew.” – my wife. Twitterpated skunks, yo.
  • Thumper, more like HUMPer, huh? #twitterpated
  • FALINEEEEE WHAT YOU WANNA DO? I FEEL TWITTERPATED WITH YOU, FOR A WHILE MAYBE LONGER IF I DOOOOOOOO.
  • Bambi’s gotta throw down with Faline’s jealous ex.
  • The fight scene is gorgeous.
  • THAT BIRD JUST KILLED ITSELF. We need mental health access for birds.
  • Bambi will not break the cycle of deer violence if he keeps yelling for Faline.
  • Oh shit, here come the dogs.
  • That hunter probably thought he was the coolest when he shot Bambi mid jump.
  • A FIRE?!?!
  • “DAD, YOU WERE NEVER THERE, STOP YELLING AT ME.” Bambi, again, probably.
  • Only you can prevent forest fires. But you didn’t. Now look at this.
  • Don’t forget that 64 years later, a sequel to Bambi finally came out…

The Verdict:

Just like the original purpose for this blog, we watched Bambi because it has been on the shelf FOREVER. And now we had to consider whether we were keeping it or getting rid of it. This one is a sleeper, but a keeper. Enjoyed it enough, and the flick is short enough, to deem keepable (not a word). Maybe our kids will enjoy watching it on VHS/in general some day.

 

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

the-beast-from-20000-fathoms.24135Starring: Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway

Directed by Eugene Lourie

Format: DVD

Near the Arctic Circle, an atomic bomb is detonated. This fearsome experiment disturbs the sleep of a giant rhedosaurus encased in ice over 100-million years and sends it southward on a destructive, deadly rampage!”

There is a chance I attempted to watch this flick a few times, but to no avail. This particular version is part of a Sci-Fi Double Feature DVD from Warner Brothers, with Them! on the other side. I’m pretty sure I bought this DVD for Them! after hearing Joe Dante speak about it on some documentary. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms has some incredible Harryhausen work I have only seen clips of,  so I’m excited to watch the film in its entirety. I’m particularly excited that it’s also only 80 minutes long. The perfect duration.

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Thoughts:

  • “Operation Experiment” is a terrible name for an operation. Or an experiment.
  • Ugh, the nuclear stuff is actually giving me a decent amount of anxiety.
  • AND it’s in the Arctic, mind you. Only adding to global warming. Not to mention a freaking monster is gonna be unearthed.
  • Oh wow, they did a full monster shot right away!beast
  • First stunt was hysterical. Looked like he took a sick wrestling bump. ECW! ECW! ECW!
  • Just realized that “prehistoric” literally means before written history and it kinda blew my mind. Looks like I also should go back to school and pay more attention. My wife was not as impressed.
  • I feel like if someone say a dinosaur, I actually wouldn’t think it was a hallucination. Like, there are definitely creatures in the Arctic that we don’t know about.
  • My nearly-psychologist wife is sitting next to me, and she’s really questioning this psychiatric exam.
  • I’m so bad with character names, I’m sorry, but the dude who just walked into the museum at 23 minutes has an odd accent.
  • I love that the first thing they say about the introduction of Lee Hunter is that she’s “very pretty” and that she’s “Dr. Elson’s assistant.”
  • “I made coffee strong enough to enter the Olympics.”
  • I love that Prof. Nesbitt is identifying the monster but shows no real signs of the PTSD I know I would if I saw a GODDAMN DINOSAUR.
  • People in the 50s YELLED on the phone.
  • The museum director is about to take a vacation after 30 years and BOY he doesn’t know what he’s in for, huh?
  • How much is a fathom? I can’t quite fathom it…
  • I do like that this movie is showcasing that it takes time for this monster to arrive on the coast. I feel like a lot of movies during this time, the monster just appears.
  • Man, I want to play the accordion.
  • Wow. I knew Harryhausen was an artist but holy shit, that first monster attack is gorgeous.
  • You can’t see this, but the subtitles are awful on this DVD. They are missing full sentences.
  • Our characters are at a ballet. You ever been to a ballet? I haven’t.
  • I also know nothing about the geography of Canada.
  • Oh damn, this museum director is the guy trying to save the creature. I wonder who the character would be trying to save the beast in the 2010s?
  • There is an octopus vs. shark sequence in this film that is unnerving. AND THEN THE BEAST.
  • I was worried the museum director was going to be a caricature of a greedy, money hungry businessman. Instead, he just never got to take his vacation.
  • This one cop going after the beast with a pistol is a real hero. 7-beast-20000-720x480
  • I’ve seen my fair share of monster films, but only a Harryhausen film could include a monster, show it multiple times in-full and in-motion and it wouldn’t feel cheap or “fake.” The monster’s movements are beautiful.
  • How do these guys not know where the monster went after it was on Wall Street? Is it a metaphor?
  • They really lucked into this powerline/bazooka combo to attack the creature.
  • How many war rooms exist in the U.S.?
  • The beast’s biology is a total game changer, damn.
  • Radioactive isotope, huh?

The Verdict:

Fun and short, great creature with an abrupt ending. The special features on the disc are pretty good, I’m listening to them while I write my verdict. Actually, listening to Harryhausen talk is kind of influencing my verdict, so I’ll have to put them on hold. I loved that the there were a couple factors that made the beast dangerous, not just that it was a terrifying monster. There seemed to be logic to this creature feature, not just chaos and destruction.

Fresh Eyes: The Lost Boys (1987)

FRESH EYES is a series where Kyle watches highly acclaimed horror films for the first time.

Lost-Boys-posterStarring: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Dianne West

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Format: DVD

Tagline: “Sleep All Day. Party All Night. Never Grow Old. Never Die. It’s Fun To Be A Vampire.”

“Sam and his older brother Michael are average, everyday teens. But after they move with their mother to peaceful Santa Clara, California, things mysteriously begin to change. Michael’s not himself lately. And Mom’s not going to like what he’s turning into.

The Lost Boys reshapes vampire tradition, deftly mixing heart-pounding terror, rib-tickling laughs, and a body-gyrating rock soundtrack.”

If my memory serves me right, I think my aunt got me this flick as a gift one year. We may have been at a horror convention when the topic came up that I had never seen The Lost Boys. It has sat on the shelf for at least six years. For years, I had some sort of negative relationship to the idea of watching The Lost Boys. Not quite sure where it came from; it might have been my aversion to vampire films, it might have been my aversion to Corey Feldman, it might have been me being told “oh dude, you GOTTA see Lost Boys!” If there is something I hate(d), it’s being told that I HAVE to see something. I have since grown some from that and those negative feelings towards the film have seemingly faded, I’m ready to go in with FRESH EYES.

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Thoughts:

  • Is the name of this amusement park Mullet Mountain?Kiefer
  • Oh man, I forgot that vampires fly.
  • Honestly, I think the last vampire movie I watched was Near Dark like, two years ago.
  • “If you read the TV Guide, you don’t need a TV.” Speak on it, Grandpa.
  • Oh shit, I’ve heard so much about the “I Still Believe” saxophonist. It’s happening right in front of my face and it’s glorious.
  • Dude, the Santa Carla pier is LIT.
  • Lost Boys? Found ’em.
  • David is the dude. His facial hair is on point.
  • I love that this woman is laughing maniacally while reading a “Sad Sack” comic.
  • Alright, Feldman as Edgar Frog is kinda dope.
  • Did kids in the 80s think that this was what California beach life was all about?
  • Michael did NOT learn anything from the DARE program. The peer pressure is TOO REAL.
  • Michael, man, you’ve been a real jerk ever since you hung out with those bikers.
  • I’m all for Edward Hermann’s look. Max LostBoys
  • Damn, this “Cry Little Sister” song is dope.
  • “Kill your brother, you’ll feel better.”
  • Alright, why was Alex Winter the first?
  • Grandpa is the best.
  • I want to live in the Santa Carla Video Store.
  • The Frog Brothers going to church made me laugh out loud.
  • They are straight Home Alone-ing this house, how rad.
  • Oh damn, “Death By Stereo” was dope.
  • I thought Max would be more upset about his familial dilemma. But whatever.
  • How BAD did kids want to be the Frog Brothers in ’87?frogbros
  • This cover of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” during the credits is FIRE.

 

The Verdict:

I once wrote a piece about how being a horror fan of my generation (born in ’91) can be difficult because the prior generation was around during the second “Golden Age” of horror, so they remember and lived through the films that modern horror fans celebrate. The Lost Boys fell into the category where I found it difficult to relate, or want to relate, to the film. It’s an 80s-kid adventure film with vampires and this dreamlike sense of things that I thought I couldn’t relate to. My serious interest in horror came post-9/11. And while I’ve come to enjoy many a horror film from past generations, I didn’t think The Lost Boys was gonna do it for me. But what a well-made, clever and genuinely fun flick. I was afraid the 80s cheese was going to be over the top, but there was a masterful balance between comedy, action and horror. That balance, along with the smart vampire nuances and misdirection, made for a really tight film. For me, there weren’t any eye-rolling moments or scoffs; The Lost Boys felt really fresh and pure. On par with films like Fright Night and Near Dark. Maybe my aversion to vampire flicks is waning. Or maybe I’m just picking some good ones and leaving plenty of space between. As you can see, I didn’t have many “thoughts” while watching because I was so intrigued by the film. But this verdict, man, I get it now. I get why people love this film so much. I can only imagine what it would’ve been like watching it as a kid in ’87, it would’ve blown my mind! It could’ve easily have been my favorite movie at that time. Thanks, Auntie, for getting me this movie. Sorry it took me so long to watch it.

The Loot: May 1, 2017

Happy May, y’all! Grabbed some good stuff this week. Rental place down the street from me is still trying to get rid of their VHS collection, so I picked up these five:

  • Star Kid
  • Rent-A-Cop
  • Dragonworld
  • Sticks and Stones: An Exploration of the Blair Witch Legend
  • Dracula: Dead and Loving It

Then I stopped by Dark Delicacies for the Beyond The Gates Blu-ray signing and picked up, well, that particular flick. Trailer below you to check out.

Riding The Bullet (2004)

riding-the-bullet-movie-poster-2004-1020241986Starring: Johnathan Jackson, David Arquette, Barbara Hershey, Erika Christensen

Directed by Mick Garris

Format: DVD

Tagline: “The Dead Travel Fast”

“Alan embarks on a 100-mile hitchhike to see his mother in the hospital. Along the way he must confront his many demons – both living and dead – and in the end make the ultimate choice that will mean life or death for him and his mother!”

Early 2014(?), the Blockbuster in South Pasadena was getting read to shut its doors, which meant a million DVDs were gonna be on-sale. I loaded up with a lot of trashy horror, a few documentaries and some really bad Christian films, because that’s just what I do. There were a few gems, or movies I at least wanted to give a chance. This was one of them because I’m a big King and Garris fan. I haven’t read this novella, so we’re going in blind.

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Thoughts:

  • Mick Garris is the authority. Love that guy.
  • Alan draws like Bernie Wrightson…hey…wait a sec…Bernie?.png
  • My tagline for this flick: “If you liked the Summer of ’69, you’re definitely going to enjoy the Halloween of ’69!”
  • I can’t. I can’t watch anything with a razor blade or shaving. And this isn’t shaving.
  • Whoa, that bathroom scene.
  • This flick is so goofy. The tone is so odd.
  • I can’t imagine what hitchhiking is like. Even getting into a Lyft freaks me out.
  • I dig Alan’s split personality thing.
  • While I haven’t read this novella, I feel like Garris has such a way of visualizing King’s words in his other projects. This one feels goofy but genuine and reflective.
  • There are portions of the flick that feel like creepypasta.
  • Oh man, this was King’s internet debut? Fascinating.
  • Alan can’t catch a break, 2 for 2 drivers almost in head on collisions.
  • I think Alan was just dropped off in downtown Haddonfield from Halloween II.
  • Road rage incidents are my nightmare. Watching this movies makes me realize I’m actually a big wuss who is afraid of a lot of stuff, mainly confrontation and hiding in refrigerators.
  • AND THEN HE HID IN A REFRIGERATOR. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
  • Both King and Garris have such a way of building fear and dread, even in silly premises.
  • Man, I don’t know what’s going on anymore.
  • Former WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette!
  • “That’s about as funny as a screen door in a submarine.” DUDE, GREAT LINE.
  • Nicotero and Berger effects are so clutch.
  • It feels like this conversation between Alan and George is supposed to be deeper but I don’t quite…oh, okay, we’re “Riding The Bullet” now. Nevermind.
  • The soundtrack in this is so rad.
  • Arquette is underrated.Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 1.32.19 AM
  • Shit’s kinda falling apart for me. Though “Thrill Village” is a great amusement park name.
  • Thrill Village scene is fun.
  • MICK CAMEO.
  • “A little bit of death can help you grow up real quick.”
  • Alright, the last 10 minutes are gorgeous.
  • “I never made a living as an artist, but I still paint because that’s what I do.” God bless it.

The Verdict:

I enjoyed the first half of it and I thought a lot of the visuals were great throughout. Then the story got stale and sort of fell apart on me. I could’ve done without so much back and forth in Alan’s head. But right at the end, that final hospital scene, absolutely beautiful. Made me almost not mind all that confusion I had through most of the last act. Garris has got a way of visualizing that emotion that King dives into so deeply. Yeah, man, those last 10 minutes. Really stuck it to me. I really, really didn’t think I was going to like the rest of the flick once I got all confused in the middle. You can even see it in my thoughts up top. But that emotional ending. Worth it.

The Loot: April 24, 2017

My last edition of The Loot was, uh, three and a half years ago, so these are the most recent acquisitions from the past couple weeks:

  • Feardotcom
  • The Creature From The Black Lagoon
  • Revenge Of The Creature
  • The Creature Walks Among Us
  • The Fan (1981)
  • Maybe I’ll Come Home In The Spring

Feardotcom was likely the last cover art that really struck fear in me, just before I turned into a horror lover. Looking forward to checking it out at some point.

Edge Of Sanity (1989)

MV5BMTA3MDAwNjYzMTNeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU2MDg0NTU5OA@@._V1_Starring: Anthony Perkins, Glynis Barber, Sarah Maur-Thorp

Directed by Gérard Kikoïne

Format: DVD

Tagline: “Double The Terror. Double The Fun.”

“Anthony Perkins, famous for his compelling performances in Psycho and Crimes Of Passion, creates a new face for the tormented Henry Jekyll, the respected physician whose dangerous experiments with cocaine unleash his alter ego, the uncontrollable Jack Hyde.

Under the drug’s powerful influence, Hyde has perverted nightmares of sex and violence that consume his soul. Drawn to London’s prostitute district, Hyde’s rage explodes in a killing spree. Could the Real Jack the Ripper have been someone like fictional Mr. Hyde? Explore the terrifying possibilities that lie on the EDGE OF SANITY.

Somehow I owned two copies of this movie at once. One copy on VHS (which ultimately has better cover art that Scream Factory used for their release), and one copy on DVD that was part of a four-movie pack I bought specifically for 1946’s The Spiral Staircase. I ditched the VHS and kept the DVD. The Jekyll/Hyde story has never been of much interest to me, except for when I heard that David Hasselhoff was in a musical theater version. But even that was just a flash of excitement. I do love me some Anthony Perkins, though, so let’s fire it up.

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Thoughts:

  • Sex in a barn at the turn of the century must have been as popular as sex in a car is now. Like, popular enough but not the ideal place, right?
  • Whoa, crazy little dream sequence kicking things off.
  • Oh I definitely thought this was going to be a modern retelling of the story. Damn.
  • OKAY BUT THEY’RE STILL GONNA BE GRAPHIC ABOUT SOME SHIT.
  • Cue Buckcherry’s “Lit Up” through the whole rest of this movie.
  • “Darling come and see this [I’m feeding cocaine to the monkey we have in the house]!”
  • Cocaine Monkey is my band name.
  • Uh oh, monkey spilled some sort of chemical on the cocaine and I think he’s now basically making crack? Is this all a reflection of the crack epidemic in the United States?
  • Crazy how monkey-produced crack will make you look like you’ve already been on a week-long bender.
  • Johnny is supposed to bring in customers for Flora’s brothel and he chooses meth face Mr. Hyde? Not the clientele you want if you were to judge a book by its cover.
  • Also, straight-up, not even 20 minutes in and we are just FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS. vlcsnap_2015_08_26_23h39m05s108
  • Visually, this feels very Western European. Ken Russell and Peter Greenaway combined.
  • Anthony Perkins massaging a woman’s butt and exclaiming “look at that!” is freakin’ bizarre.
  • I love how, even on crack, Jekyll/Hyde can cleanly slice a woman up.
  • Ah, looks like Kikoïne was quite the porn director at one point. No wonder this feels so free and unreserved.
  • And this was his second to last film, and it looks like he straight up fell off the face of the Earth except for some festival appearances and a book last year. I’m so intrigued by what this director is all about.
  • Perkins is so underrated.
  • Homegirl, he paid in advance, just get outta there! Don’t go chasing crackheads.
  • Okay, I’m uncomfortable.
  • Okay, I’m uncomfortable.
  • Okayyyyy, I’m uncomfortableeeeeee.
  • Hyde looking for love in all the wrong places.
  • Crack is whack.tumblr_oo3o62CQcj1uls1d1o2_1280
  • How come no one at Madam Flora’s is skeptical of Hyde? Oh, because brothels are terrible places and their clientele are often terrible people.
  • WHOA allusion to daddy issues. Allusion? Nah, more like weirdly blatant disclosure.
  • Anthony Perkins facilitating this rapey, crack-fueled threesome in a brothel is insane.
  • Jekyll, now you’re letting the drugs affect your work and your marriage. Someone needs a sponsor.
  • Nothing I hate more than constant lightning. Storms don’t work like that.
  • WOW, this climactic descent into total madness is beautiful and bizarre.
  • Now we know what repressed sexual shame, trauma and drug abuse can do to a person.
  • Poor Mrs. Jekyll, though. Drug and sex addicted multiple personality husband.
  • I really thought Cocaine Monkey was gonna save the day.

The Verdict:

What an unpleasant and unrelenting film. A retelling of Jekyll/Hyde and accounts of Jack the Ripper have room to be expound upon and told in a brutal fashion. But this was just bizarre. The performances were fantastic; Anthony Perkins is probably at his creepiest and Sarah Maur-Thorp was brilliant. It was visually very interesting and even beautiful at points, but the tone of the thing was just icky, honestly. It will forever in my collection, though, because the flipside of the DVD I own is The Spiral Staircase.