Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Jackson Stewart ""

Friday, December 26, 2014

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2014 - Jackson Stewart

Jackson Stewart is a writer/director living in Los Angeles. He created the web series 'The Cartridge Family' and wrote for the CW show Supernatural. He also did a short entitled 'Sex Boss'.
He's on twitter @bossjacko.
Check out his Underrated Thrillers:
and Action/Adventure:
1. TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA (1970) For whatever reason I've never wholeheartedly dove into the Hammer films.  I'd seen 'Horror Express' (which is great) and that's it.  Oddly enough, what pushed me toward this and the other Christopher Lee Dracula films is 'Castlevania' for the NES.  I learned that the game designers had based it off of the Hammer horror films and I had to check them out to see the connection.  This one opens with a bang -- Dracula is killed and we cut forward in time quite a ways to find a group of sleazy rich guys bored with their posh lifestyles.  The main arrogant rich chap decides that reviving Dracula is a great idea to spice things up and inbetween bedding a bevy of beautiful ladies Dracula makes his return.  Additionally, I learned that Lee was completely sick of the role by this point and the heads of Hammer nearly replaced him.  Despite his reluctance to appear, he does incredible work in it.
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2. THE MAJORETTES (1987) -- My good friend Stephen Scarlata (Jodorowsky's Dune) turned me onto this movie.  It came from John A. Russo the dubious producer of 'Night Of The Living Dead' who was also responsible for the abhorrent 30th anniversary edition, was in charge of this movie getting made.  Russ Streiner and Bill Hinzman were also involved and while you can see from their filmographies that Romero was the real brain of that bunch, this is still a pretty cool little movie.  The gore is okay and the acting isn't great but the slasher premise is completely flipped on its head in the third act in a very powerful way.  I won't ruin it, but the movie deserves a lot more attention -- the ending is unreal.  See it!
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3. BAD MOON (1996) -- A whip smart Werewolf film from the writer of 'Near Dark' and director of my favorite Jeff Fahey film 'Body Parts'.  The lovely Mariel Hemingway stars alongside Mason Gamble (Dennis the Menace) and Michael Pare (Streets of Fire).  Pare is somewhat miscast as the werewolf uncle, unable to shake a distracting Jersey accent he has (completely at odds with Hemingway's tough-as-nails sister character).  The script is dynamite, the practical effects are great and though the film is overlit, the compositions are pretty nice to feast your eyeballs upon.  The cool thing about this movie is it feels very adult and the family dog Thor goes up against the werewolf to try and protect Gamble and Hemingway.  It's a strong 90s horror entry that very few have seen and should be given more attention.
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4.  BOSS (1975) -- This film also goes by an alternate title that I am not willing to type into my review.  Basically, Fred Williamson and D'Urville Martin roll into a supremely racist town and kill a bunch of shitty white people.  It's fucking awesome, with a catchy score.  Williamson produced alongside Jack Arnold (best known for directing The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island) and he's terrific as usual.  The theme song, which features liberal use of the n-word has a rousing melody and I've never been able to find out who sang it.  The real title is so un-PC it's impossible to imagine it being made under that name today but ultimately it is a well made film and seeing Fred Williamson shotgun a bunch of racist hicks is all I want as a movie-goer.  It's a wonderful Williamson tour-de-force.
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5.  SALEM'S LOT (1979) -- Not sure how I'd missed this one.  I think the TV mini-series runtime always scared me off, but this 70s vampire flick is scary as hell.  Most people have probably seen 'the Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror parody featuring a vampiric Bart  floating outside Lisa's bedroom window.  Watching this movie at 3 o'clock in the morning made for a completely terrifying night.  And sad to say, I'd always dismissed Tobe Hooper's post-Chainsaw films (not counting Funhouse and Poltergeist) and was very impressed with this one.  The characters are strong, the pacing is great and Barlow is frightening.  Also features Juliette Lewis' papa Geoffrey in a very creepy role.  I adore this movie and snapped up the book the following day.  If you've been holding off on it for any reason, check it out!
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1 comment:

George White said...

Horror Express is not Hammer. It's a Spanish-UK coproduction.