Hey, I’m totally going to steal…uh, I mean, contribute to Tom’s Listomania idea. Just to give some old favorites and new exposures some love, even if it isn’t 1,500 words. Here are some flicks I watched in August (the good ones are in no particular order as they all rocked). Let’s get the rough stuff out of the way first with the “Why? Why? WHY???” award going to…
Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s move onto the good stuff.
DEAD MOUTAINEER’S HOTEL (1979) – Tom reviewed this one earlier here and I agree with everything he said. This is definitely some moody sci-fi stuff and easily the best film I’ve seen from Estonia. Okay, it’s the only film I’ve seen from there. I think. The mystery is suitably compelling and the location is really stunning (think a Motel 8 version of The Overlook from THE SHINING). I really liked the lead actor Uldis Pucitis as he reminded me of Jerry Cotton actor George Nader. There is also a really good electronic score and this haunting song by Sven Grünberg. Definitely the best Estonian synthesizer rock I’ve heard…you know the rest.
Finally, the winner of the “I would have hated this in 1996, but enjoyed it now” award goes to:
I was hoping this would be different enough from the original that I could pretend it was the never-delivered HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP 2: THE NEXT GENERATION. Alas, I can't do that because Corman manages to outcheap himself by reusing lots of footage from the original (the carnival climax from the first film is shown almost in its entirety). Had I seen this when it originally aired, I would have hated it. Even watching it now it is only so-so due to its general cheapness (get a load at the bar set; and it appears they only made two monster suits). But it is amazing what godawful SyFy and Asylum flicks will do to your B-movie sensibilities. The HUMANOIDS remake is gory and features nudity (strangely, the US DVD cuts all of this out), so I am somewhat satisfied. And the cast actually gives a damn. Well, with one small exception. Walker, previously seen in CLUELESS (1995), gives one of the worst performances I've seen in a while. Seriously, this kid is awful with his constant shouting of nearly every line. Director Jeff Yonis cut his teeth in the Corman factory on one of the many BLOODFIST sequels and keeps the action moving fast enough. Look for Clint Howard, an unrecognizable Season Hubley and Bert Remsen in small supporting roles.