Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2015 - Jackson Stewart ""

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Film Discoveries of 2015 - 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' and recently finished a film called BEYOND THE GATES. BEYOND THE GATES was co-written by RPS friend and contributor Stephen Scarlata and the IMDB plot description has me wanting to see it:
"Two estranged brothers reunite at their missing father's video store to liquidate the property and sell off his assets. As they dig through the store, they find a VCR board game dubbed 'Beyond The Gates' that holds a connection to their father's disappearance and deadly consequences for anyone who plays it."

Jackson is on twitter @bossjacko.
Here's his discoveries list from last year:

Crime in the Streets (1956): Don Siegel's follow-up to INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. A twentysomething John Cassavetes stars as Frankie, a troubled 'teen' struggling between furthering his life of crime or heading down the less certain straight and narrow path a social worker is trying to lead him down. Siegel's direction in this is fairly workmanlike, a step backward from his taut BODYSNATCHERS though still quite effective. He tends to mostly work in the mastershot in this movie and it packs a serious emotional punch at the end as Frankie must decide the course of his future over one fateful event.
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Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973): This is notably the last movie the amazing Christopher Lee played Dracula. Peter Cushing continues delivering his top-notch work as Van Helsing (this time a descendant of the
original) and I believe this is the second 1970s era Dracula movie after DRACULA AD 1972. Lee only appears in three or four scenes as Dracula (clearly growing tired of the role), though none of that comes through in his work. Van Helsing and Dracula share one final showdown in a murky nighttime scene, filled with Lee's real blood as he fights his way through a thornbush and it's really quite fabulous.
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See No Evil (1971): Definitely not the movie starring Kane from WWE. The adorable Mia Farrow plays a blind woman in this nail biting thriller; clearly made off the success of 'Wait Until Dark'. Richard Fleischer knocks it out of the park in a terrifying sequence featuring Farrow wandering through a remote, countryside mansion and being oblivious to the fact that everyone inside has been brutally murdered while the killer is still in the house.
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The Ambulance (1990): Holy shit, this movie is incredible. I saw this on a whim at the Egyptian as part of a Larry Cohen retrospective doubled with 'Special Effects' and I'm quite glad I did. The movie centers
around a Marvel comic book artist played by the master Eric Roberts who becomes obsessed with a girl seemingly kidnapped by an ambulance in the middle of the city. The whole thing turns into a bit of a shaggy dog story but it's got some amazing stunt work from my hero Spiro Razatos and Cohen's writing is airtight as usual. This movie deserves a huge cult following.
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Nightmares (1983): An intense 1980s horror anthology film initially intended for release as a TV movie but deemed too intense by wussy television executives and put out in all its R-rated glory for us cinefiles.
Each segment has its own strengths, though the opener 'Terror In Topanga' really ratchets up the tension. Interestingly, Joseph Sargent directed all four segments, which might explain why it doesn't suffer from the usual unevenness most anthologies do.
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