Former Holiday Entry ‘Trespass’ Will Entertain Audiences Looking To Get Away From The Standard Holiday Fare

Courtesy: Universal Pictures/Shout! Factory

The holiday season is officially upon us once again, and that means very soon TV networks and theaters alike will be inundated with their respective annual holiday fare.  Of course that fare, both new and old alike, is not for everyone.  Keeping this in mind, Shout! Factory has an interesting alternative for those looking to avoid that standard fare in the form of the recently re-issued 1992 action flicked Trespass.  Originally released in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day 1992, Shout! Factory re-issued the largely forgotten flick on Blu-ray June 27 of this year. The fast-paced ensemble flick features famed actors/rappers Ice-T and Ice Cube alongside then up-and-coming actors William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Iron Man 3) and Bill Paxton (Titanic, Apollo 13, Aliens) as its leads.  Trespass is not the most memorable action flick out there, but that is due in part to its original release date, which is discussed in the movie’s bonus material – the re-issue’s foundation.  That material will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s story is also discussed in its bonus material, and will be discussed in regards to its importance to its whole later.  The cast’s acting rounds out the movie’s most important elements.  When it is joined with the other noted elements, the whole of those elements makes this largely forgotten action flick one worth at least one watch among action aficionados.

Universal Pictures’ 1992 action flick Trespass is an interesting presentation for those looking for an alternative to the standard holiday fare on television and in theaters.  Having debuted in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day 1992, the 101-minute (1-hour 41-minute) movie is not one of the 90s most well-known action flicks.  It debuted at #7 and pulled in just over $5 million in ticket sales nationwide in its opening weekend, eventually reaching sales of $13.2 million before moving from theaters to home video.  That is according to boxofficemojo.com.  Thanks to Shout! Factory though, it now is getting the chance that it never truly got back in 1992, and the bonus material included in its recent re-issue forms the proverbial foundation for its presentation in its second life.

As Bob Gale, one of the movie’s two writers (the other writer was Robert Zemeckis, of Back to the Future fame), noted in the re-issue’s bonus material, the movie’s original Christmas Day 1992 release date was one of a number of obstacles that the movie faced in its original theatrical release.  Also against the movie was the fact that Gale and Zemeckis had to change the movie’s title not once but twice before it even went into production.  Gale notes in his discussion that the movie’s original title was The Looters, and eventually was changed to just Looters before the riots from the Rodney King verdict forced its title to change simply to Trespass out of concern of how audiences would potentially connect the two.  Ironically enough, the title actually works considering the story’s title.  That story will be discussed later.  As if the already noted items were not enough obstacles, Gale also notes in his discussion that his agent was concerned about possible race relation issues that he found in the script, darkening the movie’s hopes even more.  Considering all of these factors discussed by Gale, it is clear that the deck was stacked against Trespass right from the get-go. This vivid revelation shows why Trespass needed, if not deserved, its second life from Shout! Factory.  It also serves to show the importance of bonus material included in the movie’s Blu-ray re-issue.  Much the same can also be said of the separate interviews with Sadler and the movie’s producer Neil Canton, which present their own insight into the script’s roots and its production.

Keeping this in mind, it is wholly clear why the bonus material included in Trespass’ recent re-issue is so critical to its presentation.  It is only one of the elements proving why action flick fans looking to escape the annual holiday TV and movie fare will want to give this re-issue a chance.  The movie’s story is just as important to its overall presentation as the bonus material included in its recent Blu-ray re-issue.

Trespass’ story is relatively simple:  Two firefighters discover a map to an allegedly hidden treasure in a building that the pair had only recently tried to save from a fire.  When they go back to the building to search for said treasure, they unwittingly witness a gang crime that they otherwise would not have seen had they not been there.  When the pair is caught by the gang, action ensues that ultimately leads to things somewhat coming full circle by the story’s end.  There are no underlying subplots or any other elements here to distract audiences and cause the story to get bogged down in itself.  It’s a straight-forward early 90’s shoot-‘em-up action story that is sure to appeal to the most devout action flick aficionados, even those likely not so familiar with the story or the movie which influenced it, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre – another item discussed in the movie’s bonus material — since it doesn’t require audiences to do a lot of thinking, opting instead for just entertainment, which is what action flicks are supposed to do.

Considering this simplicity and the draw that it was certain to have had, it’s easy to see why the movie likely would have had at least a fighting *no pun intended* chance in its original release had it been given perhaps an early spring or early fall release in its original release. Again, at least it will have that chance with its re-issue.  Even as important as it is, it still is not the last of the most important of the movie’s elements.  The work of the movie’s cast rounds out its most important elements.

Considering that the movie’s lead cast – all four previously noted actors – was still very young when it starred in Trespass, its collective work is important to note in examining the movie.  That is because of how surprisingly entertaining the cast proved to be in whole.  Ice Cube and Ice T showed through their performances their natural on-screen talent – talent that has since proven itself time and again for both men.  One moment that proves this comes late in the movie as Savon (Ice Cube) and King James (Ice-T) go toe to toe against one another over the treasure and what to do about Vince (Paxton) and Don (Sadler).  That moment of conflict shows just how much tension had been underlying between the men even before the events of the story happened.  It would have been so easy for both actors to go over the top, but instead, both men showed such control that they ensured just as much here as in any other moment, viewers’ engagement and entertainment.  Much the same can be said of Paxton and Sadler as tensions eventually grow between their characters, too.  Audiences will be kept fully engaged as Vince and Don start to clash over their search and related safety or lack thereof.  The pairs’ growing conflicts generates a certain ambiguity over whether the story even has a real villain or hero.  Were Don and Vince the heroes or villains?  Were the gangsters Savon and King James the villains or good guys?  That ambiguity, and its ability to create so much discussion is a tribute to each actor’s work.  It shows once more the importance of their work to the movie’s presentation.  When that expert work is joined with the movie’s simple story and the in-depth bonus material included in the movie’s recent Blu-ray re-issue, the whole of these elements makes Trespass a movie that proves well-deserving of its second life.  It also proves it to be a former holiday movie in itself that deserves at least one watch by those looking today for an alternative to the current standard holiday fare.

Universal Pictures’ 1992 holiday action flick Trespass is one of the famed studios’ least known and least appreciated offerings.  It is a movie that, thanks to its recent re-issue via Shout! Factory, proves to be worth at least one watch by those looking for an alternative to the current standard holiday fare.  This is proven in part through the extensive interviews that make up the re-issue’s bonus material.  Those collective interviews form the re-issue’s foundation.  The movie’s simple story strengthens its presentation even more, proving again why it is deserving of that chance.  The collective work presented by the movie’s cast shows in its own way why the movie deserves its new chance, too.  Each element is important in its own way, as has been noted here.  All things considered, Trespass proves to be a former holiday release that is deserving of at least one watch by those looking for an alternative to today’s current holiday fare.  It is available now in stores and online, and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Advertisements

CMG’s ‘The Old Dark House’ Re-Issue Is Sure To “Scare Up” Plenty Of Fans

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Halloween night is almost upon us, and in celebration of the big night, Turner Classic Movies has a full slate of movies throughout the day and night sure to give people plenty of good scares.  From White Zombie to the original 1960 take of 13 Ghosts to the original 1963 take of The Haunting and more, the greatest classic movies network has plenty on its schedule to help audiences celebrate Halloween in the safety of their own homes.  As notable as most of the movies on the network’s schedule are, it does have some lesser-known yet just as spine-tingling movies on its list including The Old Dark House.  Originally released in 1932 by Universal Pictures, starring Boris Karloff and directed by James Whaley (who also directed Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Man in the Iron Mask, etc.), it was recently re-issued on Blu-ray Oct. 24 via Cohen Media Group.  This movie is one of the hidden gems of Karloff’s career and a work that every horror purist will want to own now that it has finally been re-issued.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s story, which will be discussed shortly.  The approach taken in the story’s presentation is just as important to note in examining the movie as the story itself.  It will be discussed later.  The bonus material included with the movie’s new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of The Old Dark House a re-issue that will shine in any horror movie purist’s collection.

Cohen Media Group’s brand new re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1932 classic horror/thriller The Old Dark House is a release that is certain to shine in any horror movie purist’s collection.  That is due in no small part to its story, which is relatively simple to follow.  A group of people trying to get out of a bad storm end up together in a creepy old house with some equally creepy figures.  When one of those really creepy figures (played by Boris Karloff) gets hold of some alcohol, the danger to the group of strangers becomes very real.  This is a storyline that has been used any number of times since this movie’s debut.  In some cases, it has worked.  In just as many cases, it has failed in grand fashion.  Considering this, The Old Dark House is among the best of the story’s instances.

Adding even more importance to the story is that the 72-minute tale takes place over the course of a single night in the creepy old house, thus keeping the story from getting too bogged down in itself.  Even with the characters’ interweaving storylines added to that central story, the focus remains clearly on the group’s attempts to survive into the morning.  The overall simplicity in the story’s time frame and plot setup are collectively so simple that collectively, they alone give audiences plenty to enjoy here.  They are also collectively just one of the most important of the movie’s elements.  The overall approach to the story is just as important to note in examining the movie as the story itself.

The approach to The Old Dark House’s story is so important because it heightens the story’s tension, and in turn, makes the movie that much more engaging.  The subtle use of lighting throughout the movie is just one important part of the approach that creates that tension.  There are also certain shots throughout the movie that utilize a certain “fuzzing” effect that is just as subtle as the lighting effects.  That subtle aesthetic effect adds even more impact to the movie’s approach, and in turn makes the movie that much more engaging for audiences.  On yet another level, audiences will take note of the juxtaposition of Morgan’s (played by Boris Karloff) diabolical side to his surprisingly humane side as another important part of the movie’s approach.  That element of the movie’s approach is certain to generate its own interest and discussion among audiences.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear just why the approach taken to The Old Dark House is so important to its overall presentation.  It is not the last of the movie’s most important elements, either.  The bonus material included with the movie is just as important to note as the approach to the movie and its story.

The bonus material included in The Old Dark House’s brand new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Audiences get lots of bonuses in this re-issue, too. The sit-down interview with Boris Karloff’s daughter Sara in which she discusses her father’s distaste for gory horror movies, the three most important elements of his own acting profile, and her own surprising admission about how long it took her to watch some of her father’s works (among other topics) is one of the most important of the movie’s bonuses.  The feature-length audio commentary with Gloria Stuart adds even more depth to the movie’s overall presentation.  Audiences learn through her commentary early on about her cast mates complaining about the shooting schedule as well as the fear factor of certain scenes as well as so much more.  That’s only within the movie’s first half hour or so.  Audiences will also appreciate the discussion on the movie’s restoration and the interview included in the movie’s companion booklet.  When this is all joined with the feature-length commentary from James Curtis, the whole of these bonuses adds so much depth to the movie that their importance simply cannot be argued or ignored.  Keeping this in mind, the bonus material included in this re-issue puts the final touch to the movie’s overall presentation.  When this is considered along with the importance of the movie’s story and the approach to the story, the end result is a movie that every horror purist will appreciate whether on Halloween or another time of year.

Cohen Media Group’s brand new re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1932 horror thriller classic The Old Dark House is a release that every horror purist will appreciate not just on Halloween but at any time of the year.  That is due in no small part to its story, which is so enjoyable thanks to its simplicity.  The overall approach to the story’s presentation – both in terms of its aesthetic elements and other content – strengthens the movie’s presentation even more.  The rich breadth of bonus material included in the movie’s new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s whole. All things considered, the noted elements make The Old Dark House a title that is certain to “scare up” plenty of horror movie purists.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Car Wash’ BD Re-Issue Is A Must See For Any Classic Movie Fan

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

The summer movie season is officially in swing once again, but sadly, Hollywood’s “Big Six” studios haven’t really turned out much about which audiences can be excited.  That leaves one wondering what alternatives are available.  One answer comes in the form of Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of the classic dramedy Car Wash.  Released June 20 on Blu-ray, this 1976 flick is the polar opposite of everything in theaters today and almost everything before with few exceptions.  That is due in part to the movie’s story, one of its key elements to examine.  It will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s soundtrack is just as important to note believe it or not.  It will be discussed later.  The soundtrack is discussed at more length in the movie’s bonus material, which in itself is important to note.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Car Wash’s presentation in its recent re-issue.  All things considered, Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of Car Wash is a solid alternative to Hollywood’s annual lack of summer entertainment.

Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of Universal Pictures’ classic dramedy Car Wash is an enjoyable alternative to Hollywood’s annual lack of entertaining summer fare.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie.  The story is relatively simple.  It follows a group of car wash employees over the course of a single day on the job. It sounds simple, and it is.  But it’s that simplicity that makes the story so interesting even with all of the different story lines.  Far too often in today’s movies, multiple story lines are the norm, and far too often, those multiple story lines mess up said movies because said movies’ writers don’t know how to balance the stories.  That wasn’t the case here.  Script writer Joel Schumacher (yes, the same one responsible for those awful Batman movies) actually did an applause worthy job in balancing each character’s story within the bigger picture of the story’s script.  That ability to balance the stories ensures audiences engagement from beginning to end.

On another level, the story’s aesthetic elements add even more to its surprising enjoyment.  It balances just as well its dramatic elements and its more comedic moments, making the story even more entertaining.  Viewers will laugh as one of the guys stuffs his friend’s sandwich with hot peppers and as George Carlin’s taxi driver looks for a woman who tried to get a free ride in his cab, trying to get his money.  What’s interesting about his performance is that one can’t help but wonder if Bill Murray might have taken Carlin’s performance as inspiration for his performance in Caddyshack.  Putting the pair’s performances side by side, one can’t ignore the similarity in the characters’ portrayals.  Getting back on track, audiences will be just as entertained in the story’s more moving moments such as when T.C. tries to woo a certain young lady and when Duane tries to rob the car wash (not to give away too much).  Between these moments and so many more, the balance of the story’s humorous and heartfelt elements makes the story even more entertaining.  Doing a comparison to certain other movies, one can’t help but compare that balance to that presented in Friday.  Stylistically, the two stories are very similar in that aspect.  Keeping that in mind, it shows potentially the long reach that this story has had.  Considering that and the balance in the story’s multiple lines, it becomes clear why Car Wash’s story is central to its presentation in more ways than one.  It is of course just one of the movie’s important elements.  Its soundtrack is an important element to note, too.

The story at the center of Car Wash is central to its presentation not just because it is the story, but because of the balance in its multiple arcs and aesthetic elements.  That balance ensures audiences’ engagement throughout the course of the classic dramedy.  Even with this in mind, it is not the movie’s only important element.  The movie’s soundtrack is just as important to note.  That’s because it isn’t just a random soundtrack.  In fact, as is discussed in the bonus material, it is actually its own part of the movie.  As is noted, the movie is actually built around its soundtrack.  The songs are deliberately placed alongside each scene in order to heighten each scene’s appropriate emotion.  Such a practice is something rare nowadays in most films.  It shows, too, with so many soundtracks just overflowing with Top 40 and rock songs.  Given, the songs included in this movie are major radio hits to this day.  But they were strategically placed, and quite well at that.  Even more interesting to note is that the movie’s title song was released before the movie even hit theaters.  That, too is noted in the movie’s bonus material, which will be discussed shortly.  Considering the deliberate, well thought out placement of the movie’s soundtrack, it goes a long way toward adding to the movie’s entertainment especially taking into account the knowledge of that intentional placement.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes fully clear why the soundtrack around which Car Wash’s story is built is just as important as the movie’s story.  It is not the last of the movie’s important elements either.  Those previously noted bonus materials round out the movie’s most important elements in its recent re-issue.

The bonus material included in Car Wash’s recent Blu-ray re-issue via Shout! Factory are important to the movie’s presentation because they, surprisingly, create the movie’s backbone.  It is through Producer Gary Stromberg’s discussions that audiences learn about the movie’s story being created around its soundtrack rather than the other way around.  His discussion also reveals the tidbit about the movie’s title song being released to radio in order to build excitement about the movie.  Audiences will be surprised to learn just how much excitement that approach built.  For those unfamiliar with the song, the discussion on the song along provides an interesting history behind the composition.  As if that isn’t enough, Stromberg reveals he was still a struggling college student when the idea for Car Wash came about.  Audiences will be surprised to learn this piece of history, considering how popular the movie has gone on to become in the now almost 41 years since it debuted—on Oct. 22, 1976.  Stromberg’s discussions on the Soul train dancers being hired to dance at the movie’s premiere, how the story was scripted, and more are just as enlightening as his other discussions, too.  Considering all of this, Stromberg’s overall discussions form a solid foundation for Car Wash in its recent re-issue.  Looking back in hindsight, it is recommended that audiences watch this discussion before taking in the movie because of the groundwork that it lays.

Stromberg’s thoughts are not the only important input presented through the movie’s bonus material in its recent re-issue. Schumacher’s own commentary throughout the movie offers its own interest.  That will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  His commentary, when coupled with that of Stromberg, creates a solid foundation for Car Wash proving finally just how important the movie’s bonus material is to its whole.  Keeping this in mind, the movie’s bonus material proves to be just as important to its presentation as its soundtrack and story in making it entertaining in its recent re-issue. Keeping all of this in mind, the movie in whole proves to be, again, a solid alternative to anything that Hollywood’s current lack of worthwhile entertainment.

Shout! Factory’s recent Car Wash re-issue is a classic that was well-deserving of being unearthed.  In a time when Hollywood’s Big Six are struggling to turn out anything truly meaningful or even memorable, its balance of heart and humor couples with its equally well-balanced story lines to make it a movie that will resonate with any true classic movie buff and that shows how far Hollywood has fallen from its former glory.  With that in mind, it is – once again – a movie that will entertain any audience looking for an alternative to Hollywood’s current fare.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Universal Pictures Announces ‘Fate Of The Furious’ Home Release Date

Courtesy: Universal Pictures

The latest installment in the hit Fast & Furious franchise is racing to home release.

Fate of the Furious will be released Tuesday, July 11 on DVD, Blu-ray and 4KUltra HD Combo pack.  It will be preceded by a digital HD release on Tuesday, June 27. Audiences can see the movie’s trailer online now here.

Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel, Jason Staham, Michelle Rodriguez, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, the movie follows Dom, Letty, Mia, Brian and the rest of their friends as they embark on one more globe-trotting, action-filled adventure.  This time, the threat that the elite driving corps faces comes from a deranged anarchist bent on bringing total chaos to the world.

The movie’s upcoming home release on DVD and Blu-ray includes a digital director’s cut and more than an hour of bonus content including a behind-the-scenes look at the stunts used throughout the movie, audio commentary with director F. Gary Gray and extended fight scenes.  The movie’s Blu-ray release will feature its own bonus material that will be exclusive to that platform.

The full listing of the movie’s bonuses is noted below.

BONUS FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY:

  • The Cuban Spirit –As the first major studio motion picture to shoot in Cuba in decades, the country’s effusive spirit permeates the making of the film.
  • In the Family –In The Fate of the Furious, family ties are put to the ultimate test. Get an inside look at the family divide.
  • Car Culture –It’s time to put yourself in the driver’s seat of the supercharged vehicles showcased in The Fate of the Furious.

BONUS FEATURES on BLU-RAY and DVD:

  • All About the Stunts –Go behind the scenes to witness how The Fate of the Furiousaccomplished the most epic stunts in franchise history.
  • Extended Fight Scenes
  • Feature Commentary with Director F. Gary Gray

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS  EXTENDED DIRECTOR’S CUT
Director F. Gary Gray’s never-before-seen extended cut and the Theatrical release are available on all physical products (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD) that will include digital codes for both versions.  Also available on digital platforms.

More information on The Fate of the Furious is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://uni.pictures/FateFuriousExtended

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FastandFurious

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FastFurious

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Tremors 6’ Begins Production

Courtesy: Universal 1440 Entertainment

Courtesy: Universal 1440 Entertainment

The Graboids are coming back again!

Universal 1440 Entertainment has announced the franchise’s sixth (yes, sixth) installment is currently in production in Capetown, South Africa.  This time out creature hunter Burt and his son Travis—Michael Gross (Family Ties, Anger Management, Dan Vs.) and Jamie Kennedy (Malibu’s Most Wanted, Three Kings, Son of the Mask)—are at a remote research station in Canada when they come under attack by the mutant man-eating worms once again.

The worms aren’t just the normal mutant man-eating worms in this movie either.

It turns out they might be weaponized worms.  Things get even more difficult when Burt is attacked by a Graboid and needs an antidote.

The only way to get the antidote is to milk one of the Graboids.  There’s just one problem—no one knows how to milk a graboid.

Glenn Ross, Universal 1440 Entertainment General Manager and Executive Vice President, said this installment of the long-running franchise is the series’ best yet.

“This is going to be the craziest, most over-the-top movie in the Tremors saga to date,” Ross said.  “It takes the franchise’s signature combination of suspense, action and humor to new explosive heights.”

Don Michael Paul (Sniper: Legacy) returns once again to helm the movie after helming the franchise’s fifth offering.  Mike Elliot (Kindergarten Cop 2, Halloween II) serves as producer.  Hein de Vos (District 9, Dominion, Homeland) is the movie’s director of photography.

New to the franchise this time are Tanya van Graan (Zulu, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, Death Race 2 & 3) and Rob van Vuuren (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Shark Attack 2, Footskating 101: The Movie) and Greg Kriek (Momentum, The Race, Infidel).

Tremors 6 is currently set to be released direct on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD in 2018.  More information on this and other titles from Universal 1440 Entertainment and its parent company, Universal Pictures, is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.universalpictures.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/universalstudiosentertainment

Twitter: http://twitter.com/universalpics

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Every Horror Movie Purist Should “See” ‘I Saw What You Did’

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

Hollywood’s horror genre has come a long way from what it once was and not for the better either.  It seems like every other horror flick churned out by Hollywood today is either an overly dark and violent movie centered on demons and the like or it is an equally violent (and gory) slasher flick.  That wasn’t so much the case in Hollywood’s golden age.  It was wholly possible for studios in that age to make horror flicks—regardless of their specific subgenre—without being so dark, bloody, and violent.  Alfred Hitchcock’s classic slasher flick Psycho is proof of this as is the 1963 nightmare-inducing ghost story The Haunting and Allied Artists’ 1959 fright fest House on Haunted Hill.  All three of these movies are examples of what once made horror such a great genre.  They are also examples, when set against their newer counterparts, of just how far the genre has fallen from its pedestal.  The comparison is stark to say the very least.  Earlier this year Scream Factory, Shout! Factory’s horror division released another example of what once made Hollywood’s horror realm so great when it released the classic slasher flick I Saw What You Did on Blu-ray.  This 1965 flick from William Castle Productions (which was also behind House on Haunted Hill) and Universal Pictures is a must have for any horror fan looking to escape the glut of cookie cutter slasher flicks and ghost stories currently being churned out by Hollywood’s Big Six studios.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s story.  That will be discussed shortly.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note in its presentation as its story.  Last but hardly least of note in the movie’s presentation is its general lack of blood, gore, and violence.  This element rounds out the movie’s most important elements and is no less important than the movie’s story or the work of the movie’s cast.  Keeping that in mind, each element does its own part to make this movie an entertaining work of horror.  Altogether they make this movie another must see for any horror purist.

Universal Pictures’ 1965 slasher flick I Saw What You Did is a must see for any horror movie purist.  That is because like so many horror flicks of its age it is the antithesis of everything that Hollywood’s horror genre has become.  That is clear in examining the story at the center of the movie.  The story centers on the antics of teenagers Libby Mannering (Andi Garrett—The Wild Wild West, Black Sheep Squadron) and Kit Austin (Sarah Lane—The Virginian, The Trial of Billy Jack, Billy Jack Goes To Washington) and the eventual terror that comes as a result of what they think are harmless phone pranks.  The pair’s prank calls end up having a rather far-reaching effect, causing (indirectly) the murder of Judith  Marek (Joyce Meadows—The Brain From Planet Arous, Two Faces West, The Girl in Lovers Lane) by her husband Steve (John Ireland—Spartacus, All The King’s Men, Red River).  Libby calls Steve’s number, pretending to be another woman, which leads Judith to confront Steve while he’s showering.  What’s interesting is that when Judith goes to confront Steve, she notices that their bathroom is a shambles.  It is clear that Steve’s intent was to murder Judith regardless and make it look like someone else did it.  But her confrontation leads Steve to murder her in the shower and then get rid of the body.  When Libby calls back later, she tells Steve, “I saw what you did and I know who you are,” he thinks that she is serious, which leads to even more tension.  What’s really interesting in all of that tension is that in adapting author Ursula Curtiss’ novel Out of the Dark to cinematic form, writer William P. McGivern unknowingly included a story element that is wholly relevant today.  The element in question involves the young, naïve Libby actually going to meet Steve because she thinks he actually wants to meet her, not knowing that he is a murderer.  This is an issue that the world faces even more today than ever before due to the advent of online messaging services, chat rooms, etc.  Who would have thought a story crafted more than fifty years ago would have such a relevant element within its script?  This revelation makes the movie’s story all the more believable, and in turn engaging.  Of course the movie becomes somewhat cheesy in its final act.  That aside, the rest of the story will still keep audiences on the edge of their seats.  That being the case, the story in whole shows just how important it is to the movie’s overall presentation.  It is just one of the elements that make the movie such an entertaining work of horror.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as its story in examining what makes the movie a must see for horror purists.

William P. McGivern’s cinematic adaptation of Ursula Curtiss’ novel Out of the Dark is an important part of the presentation of I Saw What You Did.  That is because it is by and large, a thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.  It manages to do so even without the use of any overt violence and bloodshed.  That is not to say that there is no violence or bloodshed.  It is there.  Don’t mistake that.  But it is kept to an extreme minimum since censors at the time didn’t allow but so much of said elements.  It shows that horror can be enjoyable even without blood, gore, or overt violence.  Of course the movie’s story is just one of the most important elements to examine in McGivern’s adaptation of Curtiss’ novel.  The work of the movie’s cast in interpreting McGivern’s script is just as important to examine here as his story.  Garrett and Lane are completely entertaining as lead stars Libby and Kit.  The pair makes audiences shake their heads in disbelief at Libby and Kit.  That is because the actresses fully embrace the girls’ lack of forethought in their actions.  While teens today might not make prank calls for their own fun that lack of foresight, teens today still act just as thoughtlessly even if in different ways.  And it gets them into their own share of trouble, too.  On the other end of the spectrum John Ireland is just as entertaining to watch as the villainous Steve Marak.  Steve’s actions might not seem all that believable on the surface.  But anyone that has ever watched an episode of 48 Hours or Dateline knows that what he did is in fact rather commonplace in real life crimes.  He does such an impressive job in presenting Steve’s paranoia about having been seen.  That is especially considering that only two people saw what he was doing over the course of the movie.  Each of the movie’s other cast members do their own part in adding to the movie’s enjoyment.  But it is really the trio noted here that most shines through.  Their work in interpreting their parts (and McGivern’s script) is just as important to the movie’s presentation as McGivern’s own work.  It still is not the last remaining element to note in examining what makes this classic slasher flick so surprisingly entertaining.  The general lack of overt violence and bloodshed, as slightly mentioned earlier, plays a part in the movie’s presentation that is just as important to note as the movie’s story and the work of the movie’s cast.

The story at the center of I Saw What You Did and the work of the movie’s cast are both important in examining what makes this classic slasher flick so entertaining.  Each element plays its own part in making it a movie that any horror purist should see as has already been noted.  They are not the only elements that make the movie so surprisingly enjoyable either.  The movie’s general lack of blood, gore, and overt violence is just as important to note in examining the movie’s presentation as its story and the work of its cast.  There is some blood and violence incorporated into the movie.  But most of it comes when Steve Marak murders his wife and his mistress.  Even when he does this, the bloodshed is virtually nothing when compared to most of the slasher flicks that are available to audiences today.  Rather it is more comparable to the bloodshed used in the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960).  Given that is the result of standards set by censors and the MPAA at that time.  But it is a good thing.  That is because it forced McGivern (as with every other writer at the time) to actually rely on story more so than on the violence factor (I.E. quality versus quantity).  It is a standard to which this critic personally wishes horror movies would return.  McGivern did an admirable job in focusing on the movie’s quality.  He showed that a story can stand on its own literary merits even in a horror setting without having to rely on blood, gore, and violence.  It really serves as a model for today’s horror screen writers.  It shows that a horror movie can be fun without being overly violent, bloody, gory or even nightmare-inducing.  Keeping this in mind, it rounds out the movie’s most important elements.  Together with McGivern’s work and that of the movie’s cast all three elements join together to make the movie in whole a surprisingly fun ride for any horror movie purist.

Scream Factory’s recent re-issue of I Saw What You Did is a surprisingly fun ride for any true horror movie purist.  That is because it shows that it is possible for horror flicks to be fun without being overly violent and sexualized.  That is evident most prominently in the movie’s story, written by William P. McGivern.  The story relies more on its literary elements than its actual visual content to keep audiences entertained and engaged.  The movie’s cast is just as notable in its work in front of the camera.  Garrett, Lane, and Ireland are completely believable in their respective roles and in turn envelope audiences in the story.  The story’s general lack of blood, gore, violence, and sexual content is Just as important to note here as the story itself and the work of the movie’s cast.  It brings everything full circle and shows together with the previously noted elements that it is possible for a horror flick to be entertaining without being questionable in its content.  All things considered the recent re-issue of this classic horror flick proves to be a surprisingly enjoyable ride for any true horror movie purist.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/i-saw-what-you-did.  More information on this and other titles from Scream Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/scream-factory

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ScreamFactoryDVD

Twitter: http://twitter.com/scream_factory

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Virgil Films To Release New ‘Back To The Future’ Documentary Next Month

Courtesy: Virgil Films

Courtesy: Virgil Films

Universal’s Back To The Future trilogy is one of the most famous and beloved franchises in Hollywood’s history.  More than thirty years after the trilogy’s first film debuted, the BTTF franchise is still beloved among audiences of all ages.  It has been released and re-issued on home video and digital platforms more than once, and even spawned a short-lived animated series, which itself finally received the home video treatment for the first time ever in 2015.  Some audiences have even tried to recreate the series’ iconic time traveling auto, a Delorean as part of their fandom.  One would think that with the popularity of the franchise, and the iconic car at the center of the series, that the car would always have its own special place in the halls of Hollywood’s auto history.  Sadly that wasn’t originally the case.  And in Virgil Films’ new documentary OUTATIME: Saving The Delorean Time Machine, audiences will discover the story of the “timeless” car and the efforts to save it for themselves.

OUTATIME: Saving The Delorean Time Machine will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms Tuesday, July 19th.  It follows the efforts by Universal Studios and Back To The Future co-creator and producer Bob Gale to bring Doc Brown’s (Christopher Lloyd) famed four-wheeled time machine back to its one-time glory.  Directed by Steve Concotelli, the documentary is presented in the vein of Top Gear, Counting Cars, and American Chopper.  It  includes full-length commentary by Concotelli and Joe Walser, who headed up the Delorean’s restoration as a special bonus feature along with deleted scenes, footage from the documentary’s world premiere, a restoration photo gallery, and much more.  Audiences can order OUTATIME: Saving The Delorean Time Machine now via Amazon.  More information on this and other titles from Virgil Films is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.virgilfilmsent.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VirgilFilms

Twitter: http://twitter.com/virgilfilms

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.