Rupert Pupkin Speaks: 2018 ""

Friday, May 18, 2018

Just The Discs - Bonus - An Indicator Quintet

On this bonus episode, Brian runs down a stack of titles from Indicator including: THE CHASE, OTLEY, THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER and THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS.

Check out Indicator here:
http://www.powerhousefilms.co.uk/products

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Discs discussed on this episode:
THE CHASE


OTLEY


THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE


SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER


THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN-IN-THE-MOON MARIGOLDS

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Underrated '98 - Daniel Budnik

Dan Budnik's second book, '80s Action Movies On The Cheap, is available now and can be ordered from Amazon. His first book, Bleeding Skull!: A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey, is out of print but can still be found by those who look hard enough. His writing is on the Some Polish American Guy Reviews Things blog and the Bleeding Skull! website. He is host of the Eventually Supertrain and the Dan's Drive-In Double Feature podcasts, located at eventuallysupertrain.blogspot.com. He is also co-host of The Made For TV Mayhem Show and part of the Podcastmania horror discussion.

My favorite film from ‘98 is Rushmore. Hands down. I don’t consider it underrated (maybe under watched) so it’s not on here. When I began this list, that was the first movie that came to mind. The second thing that came to mind was that there would be a slasher film or two on here. I, then, had to restrain myself from making this a list of slasher films. (Sorry, Urban Legend.) Then, I had to stop myself from making this nothing but sequels. This is the first list I’ve done for Mr. Pupkin where some of the picks are films that I saw when they came out (in theaters or on home video) but haven’t watched since. That means this list is a little vaguer than my other ones. However, I stand by everything on here, even when I can’t fully remember it. (Except maybe the first one.)

Children of the Corn 5
I saw this once on DVD back in ‘99. I hadn’t seen 3 or 4. I hadn’t seen the first two in years. I rented it on a whim, possibly because of Ethan Wiley’s name. I’m a fan of the House movies so I gave it a whirl. I remember quite enjoying it. I remember corn, some children, a fire and that’s about it. Whenever I think about the 10 films in the Children of the Corn series (and I do think about them), I always think “I remember that 5th one being pretty good. I should watch some more of those.” I guess what I’m really saying is “Arrow Video, please release a 12-disc Blu-Ray set (2 discs with extras) of the Children of the Corn movies. Thank you.”
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I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
I saw the first one in the theater. I saw this one at home. I haven’t seen the first one since opening night. I have seen this sequel three times. It’s a hoot. It’s the point that we all knew the new wave of slashers would hit: the absurd point. Slashers are always kind of silly at their heart. But, this is the one where any pretense at not being completely ridiculous goes out the window. Everything about it is incredibly contrived. Too many main characters survive. The poster is awful. The karaoke scene is brilliant. My overwhelming remembrance of it after the first viewing was “cleavage.” I could go on and on, so I’ll just stop and say I like it. I like it a lot.
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Phantasm 4: Oblivion
I remember being mighty excited for this one when it came out. I was a big fan of the first three. I watched Oblivion, enjoyed it and carried on with my life. It felt slightly different from the first three, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what that difference was. I recently watched it again and someone had to tell me what was different. It’s very cheap. I hadn’t noticed. It’s very spare compared to the first three. But, it’s just as weird and just as wonderful as those. You’ve got the Tall Man, Mike, Reggie, Jody (sort of) and lots of weird sci-fi multi-dimensional gates and guys who may or may not be the Tall Man and… the film is absolutely loaded with concepts and craziness. When you don’t have the cash, bring on the imagination. Thank you, Don.
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Santa Claus (1898)
George Albert Smith tells the very simple but extremely delightful story of two children being put to bed on Christmas Eve, awaiting Santa. We see the children sleeping on one side of the screen as Santa draws closer on the other. SPOILER: These kids have a happy Christmas. The film is only about a minute and a half, but it encapsulates everything that is wonderful and breathtaking within the Modern Cinematograph movement.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc3ei1tseeM

Slappy And the Stinkers
I haven’t seen it. But, with that title, it must be underrated. Think Rafferty And the Gold Dust Twins or Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad.
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Snake Eyes
I love the films of De Palma. Sure, we all do. But, I went to see this on opening morning. Did you? Nic Cage in a casino doing crazy stuff. That incredibly long opening take. Boxing. Terrorists. Something with a giant globe. (?) You got me. This is another one of “those” films. I saw it when it came out and haven’t seen it since. But, I stand by the fact that it’s super fun De Palma. I remember having an awesome time in the theater. It’s one of those films like Raising Cain where he’s just going nuts and the viewer wins. Plus, Nic Cage!
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Star Trek Insurrection
I’m a fan of most of the Trek films. Insurrection falls into the category of “could have been an extended episode of the show” but as Next Gen was a great show I can’t fault it there. The peaceful and immortal Ba’ku come into conflict with the not-so-nice Son’a who want the Ba’ku’s planet for their own, so they can become immortal. And, the wacky Enterprise crew gets mixed up in there. Picard gets a bit of a romance, which is always fun. It’s not a classic like First Contact or Wrath of Khan. It’s simply a good Trek film with a good story, well told. And, it’s always great to see the gang. Plus, I was an extra in the Ba’ku village for about a month. I’ve watched it twice and haven’t seen me yet. I’m sure I’m in there somewhere.
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The Truman Show
I was working as an intern at New Line Cinema when this script came in. The Development person handed it to me and I sat outside and read it. I knew nothing about it. I was blown away. As you go through the story, Truman seems to be living a completely normal life. There are only tiny hints, here and there, that something strange might be happening. Eventually, but only after many pages have passed, do you learn what’s going on. It’s gloriously written, and I was completely surprised. Then, the movie came out. The main conceit of the film is all over the publicity and is completely ruined. You no longer take Truman’s journey with him. You know the destination. You’re watching him journey alone. The film is fine. I think I’m calling this one an Underrated Script. If you haven’t seen it, read/ watch nothing about it. You will be surprised.
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X-Files: Fight The Future
Lodged in between the S5 closer “The End” and the S6 opener “The Beginning,’ Scully & Mulder go big in the Summer of ’98. I didn’t start watching X-Files until 2001. A friend dragged me to a theater in Burbank to see this and I had a great time. I didn’t understand a damn thing that was going on, but it was a sold-out crowd and the excitement of the crowd was infectious. I’ve watched the show all the way through three times now. So, I’ve seen this three more times. It answers a few questions but leaves just as many wide open. The joy here is seeing our main characters up on the big screen, larger and more epic than ever before. It’s a lot of fun. Comparing it to the stark and quiet second movie makes for an interesting evening. (Now, that’s an underrated film.)
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Underrated '98 - Scott Drebit

Scott Drebit is Senior Columnist for dailydead.com, where he looks at old horror movies and TV stuff (Drive-In Dust Offs, It Came from the Tube); at home he just looks at old stuff in the mirror. You can also find him on Twitter @phantasm2.
https://dailydead.com/author/scottdrebit/

Thanks as always to Brian for inviting me to fire up the filmic time machine and pick out some films that I think could always use some more love. Here we go, back to ’98!

PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION (Directed by Don Coscarelli)
I’ve always held the Phantasm series very near and dear; the original is one of my top three films of all time, and there’s connective tissue (if not consistency of tone) through the leadership of Mr. Coscarelli. Upon hearing about the release of Oblivion, I raced to the video store to grab a copy (there was no need; it wasn’t flying off the shelf) and breathlessly threw it on once home. Continuing right where Lord of the Dead (’94) left off, it was not the slick, humor infused spectacle of the third, but a quieter, elegiac look at life, loss, and familial love. With a fraction of the budget of Lord, Coscarelli (with ingeniously added unused footage from the first) manages to bring the series to a melancholic end. As for the belated follow up, Ravager? It’s a fun family reunion and fitting way to say goodbye to the legendary Angus Scrimm. But for me, the saga concludes with Oblivion.
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DISTURBING BEHAVIOR (Directed by David Nutter)
I remember seeing this when it came out and falling asleep in the theatre. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but rather the fact I was working a back breaking job in construction and was exhausted. So, my viewing would have to be completed on home video, where I noticed a clever, sharp, and very of it’s time take on The Stepford Wives; high school has always been about fitting in or finding one’s own identity, so what better place for conspiracy-filled science to stake a claim? The cast is solid (James Marsden, Nick Stahl, Katie Holmes, and William Sadler), Nutter offers up that X-Files patina, and the soundtrack has the alt-rock you were listening to in your Discman.
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OUT OF SIGHT (Directed by Steven Soderbergh)
Living in the shadow of Tarantino’ Jackie Brown (which I love), Steven Soderbergh’s adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel finds that sweet spot between humor, character, and plot that effortlessly flowed from Leonard’s pen. George Clooney is a bank robber and Jennifer Lopez is the agent determined to bring him down, and their chemistry is undeniable. The supporting cast, however (Steve Zahn, Catherine Keener, Ving Rhames, Dennis Farina, Don Cheadle, Albert Brooks), were born to play Leonard roles and really make his words sing. It may not be Soderbergh’s most personal film, but damned if it isn’t one of his most pleasurable.
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BRIDE OF CHUCKY (Directed by Ronny Yu)
After the straightforward thrills of Tom Holland’s original Child’s Play, the goofy charms of 2, and the Chucky-hits-the-Military blandness of 3, Hong Kong’s Ronny Yu was brought aboard Don Mancini’s baby to offer something a little different, and not a moment too soon. Bride of Chucky has our Good Guy doll finding a mate in the form of Charles Lee Ray’s missus, Tiffany, played with incomparable relish by Jennifer Tilly. Once she is transformed into doll form, the film really takes off; this is where the series truly becomes self-referential, and if you miss the clever thrills of the original, well, that’s too bad because this is the direction the series takes from here on out (although Curse of Chucky returns to the roots in many ways). Yu’s heightened sense of style adds a great deal to the shenanigans; it’s a beautiful film to look at, even when you’re watching tawdry motel room doll-on-doll sex. This is my second favorite of the series (so far; Chucky’s still truckin’) after the original.
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That’s it for me. Thanks again Brian for your tireless work in rocking the movie discourse! We’re all the better for it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Just The Discs - Episode 54 - Sci-Fi!

On this episode, Brian runs down a stack of sci-fi titles from last year - including THE HIDDEN, THE GREEN SLIME, YOR: HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE, STAR SLAMMER, STAR CRYSTAL, Z.P.G., TOBOR THE GREAT and ONE MILLION B.C.

Please rate and subscribe if you like the show!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/justthediscss-podcast/id1205661081

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Or you can listen to the episode right here:
Discs covered on this episode:
THE HIDDEN (Warner Archive)
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THE GREEN SLIME (Warner Archive)
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YOR: HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE (Mill Creek)
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STAR SLAMMER (Kino Lorber)
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STAR CRYSTAL (Kino Lorber)
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Z.P.G. (Kino Lorber)
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TOBOR THE GREAT (Kino Lorber)
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ONE MILLION B.C. (VCI)
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