Author: Craig Zablo

10 Silent Films Worth Watching!

Jeremy Urquhart at Collider came up with a list of The 10 Best Silent Films Worth Watching If You’ve Never Seen a Silent Film Before.  Urquhart’s list is a good one and it got me thinking about the ten films I’d suggest.  So before you click over to his post, here’s a chart comparing our lists…

URQUHART

ZABLO

‘Metropolis’ (1927)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920): Dr. Caligari awakens Cesare from his death-like sleep to go out and murder. Has a great twist ending! nambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

‘Häxan’ (1922)

The Kid (1921): A Chaplin masterpiece featuring a young Jackie Coogan.

‘Die Nibelungen: Siegfried’ (1924)

The Phantom Carriage (1921): On New Year’s Eve, three drunks discuss a legend that the last to die each a year, if a great sinner, must become the driver of the Phantom Chariot, which travels the world to retreive the souls of the dead. One of the drunkards dies at the stroke of midnight and the Chariot comes for him!

‘Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge’ (1924)

Payday (1922): Charlie Chaplin is a bricklayer who has a rough day and night despite it being payday!

‘Faust’ (1926)

Body and Soul (1925): Oscar Micheaux’s classic starring Paul Robeson as an evil Preacher.

‘The General’ (1926)

The Unknown (1927): Tod Browning cowrote and directed Lon Chaney and a young Joan Crawford in an underrated classic. A creepy film filled with twists.

‘Un Chien Andalou’ (1929)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928): Buster Keaton plays a young man who hasn’t seen his father since he was a child. His dad is a rough riverboat owner while Buster is a soft city-boy. Let the good times roll!

‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ (1926)

West of Zanzibar (1928): Tod Browning directs Lon Chaney and Lionel Barrymoore in a drama with a shocking twist!

‘City Lights’ (1931)

The Phantom of the Opera (1925): The original Lon Chaney classic that still amazes audiences!

‘Modern Times’ (1936)

The Unholy Three (1925): Tod Browning directs Lon Chaney. Three sideshow performers (a ventriloquist, a midget and a strongman) leave the circus and team up to for a series of robberies.

“Forsaken” (2015) / Z-View

Forsaken (2015)

Director:  Jon Cassar

Screenplay by:  Brad Mirman

Starring:  Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Michael Wincott, Brian Cox and Demi Moore

Tagline:  Haunted by his past, searching for peace.

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers.

During the Civil War, John Henry Clayton (K. Sutherland) was a fearless fighter.  After the war, Clayton’s reputation as deadly gunman grew as he drifted from town to town.  After nearly a decade away, Clayton is ready to put down his guns and return home. He wants to make amends with his father, his mother and Mary Alice (Moore), the woman he loved.

Clayton learns that his mother has died. His Preacher father (D. Sutherland) is bitter at what John Henry became, and Mary Alice married and has a son. Clayton buries his guns and begins clearing a plot of land his mother wanted for crops.  In town, James McCurdy (Cox) has hired Dave Turner (Wincott) a infamous gunfighter and thugs to force local landowners to sell out to him.  If they won’t sell, they end up dead.

Clayton keeps his head down and stays out of the fray even when some of the thugs try to goad him into a gunfight.  Turner knows that Clayton is more than a match for any of them and may even be as good with a gun as he is.  He warns them that, “you keep kicking a dog and he’ll eventually bite.”   Turner is right…

Forsaken is a much better film than I thought it would be.  I’m not sure why I under-estimated it.  Forsaken features an excellent cast with Kiefer and Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox,  Michael Wincott and Demi Moore.  Kiefer has an emotional scene with his father that will bring a tear to the driest eye.  Brian Cox is perfect as the rich wannabe land baron who feels entitled to things because he can take them.  Michael Wincott steals every scene he’s in.  I’d love to see more of his character.

Jon Cassar directed several episodes of 24. He and Kiefer planned at some point to do a western together.  Kiefer commissioned Brad Mirman to write the screenplay and he came up with a winner.  I’d love to see them re-team for a sequel (and bring back Michael Wincott)!  Forsaken rates 4 of 5 stars.

“Gone Into the Night” – The Trailer is Here!

The Gone Into the Night trailer has my attention.  I like the look of this one.  Deal me in.

When Kath and her boyfriend arrive at a remote cabin in the redwoods, they find a mysterious young couple already there. But when her boyfriend disappears with the young woman, Kath becomes obsessed with finding an explanation.

Starring Winona Ryder, Dermot Mulroney, John Gallagher Jr., Owen Teague, and Brianne Tju
Directed by: Eli Horowitz
Release Date: 7/15/22

“I Think We’re Alone Now” (2018) / Z-View

I Think We’re Alone Now (2018)

Director:  Reed Morano

Screenplay by:  Mike Makowsky

Starring:  Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Paul Giamatti and Charlotte Gainsbourg

Tagline: In the End…Chaos Will Find You

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

Years after an apocalyptic event wiped out humankind, Del (Dinklage) has comes to terms with being the last human alive.  He spends his days going house to house to scavenge for supplies (batteries are a must!) and bury the dead.  Del lives in the school where he used to work.  He fishes in a pond near the school.  At night he reads and prepares for the next day.  Del has adapted to his life of solitude until…

…the day he discovers Grace (Fanning) unconscious in a wrecked car.  Del takes Grace to a home where he bandages her wounds and nurses her back to health.  He then gives her a car, supplies and tells her she must leave.  Grace begs to stay and follows Del as he goes through his daily routine of scavenging and burying the dead.  Soon they form an uneasy trust as Grace assists Del in his daily routine.  Grace and Del grow closer until one day when…

Patrick (Giamatti) and Violet (Gainsbourg) show up.  They claim to be Grace’s parents and tell Del of a community where thousands of survivors live.  They’re there to take Grace back. They invite Del to join them.  Patrick tells Del that he would be of use to the community.

Del and Grace argue.  He can’t believe that Grace never told him of the community.  As Del leaves, Grace tells him that Patrick and Violet aren’t her parents.  They community paired them!  Del ignores Grace’s pleas for help.

Patrick and Violet leave with Grace.  Del returns to his previous routine, but soon begins to miss Grace.  Del decides to find the community and Grace.  Del has no idea what he’s in for.

I Think We’re Alone Now is a slow burn.  I enjoyed the movie, overall it would have fit well as an episode of The Twilight Zone.  I think most film makers would have gotten to the community quicker and had more conflict there, but those weren’t the choices made here.

I Think We’re Alone Now rates 3 of 5 stars.

RIP: Glen Trotiner

Glen Trotiner, actor, producer and director, died on June 16, 2022, at the age of 65.  No details on the cause of death were given.

Mr. Trotiner was best known for his work as a Second Unit or Assistant Director on feature films and television.  His resume lists 101 credits under this title on films that include The Untouchables, Awakenings, Independence Day, Deep Impact, Oz, ER, Phone Booth, Perfect Stranger, Captain America: The First Avenger, Braven and Morbius. Glen Trotiner sometimes appeared in small roles in films that include Regarding Henry, Freejack, Jungle to Jungle and Big Daddy to name a few.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Glen Trotiner’s family, friends and fans.

“8 Days to Hell” (2022) / Z-View

8 Days to Hell (2022)

Director:  Shane Woodson

Screenplay by:  Harold Pepper, Shane Woodson

Starring:  Eric Roberts and Shane Woodson

Tagline: The devil pays a visit to Los Angeles

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

8 Days to Hell is a low-budget horror anthology consisting of seven connected tales.  Each tale is designated as a “day”.  I made it through day five before I tapped out.  It just wasn’t for me.  For example…

Day One – an actor tries out for the part of a gangster.  After his audition the producer (Roberts) berates the actor’s performance saying he should have projected Brando-style machismo and a frightening image.  The actor leaves, has a drink, is encouraged by a vision/demon and then goes back to re-audition.  This time he does a bad Brando voice and shoots the producer.

Day Two – The actor is having sex with a woman and she turns into a preying mantis who kills the man.

I should have stopped watching there.  Your mileage may differ, but 8 Days to Hell just wasn’t for me, so it gets 1 of 5 stars.

“Intrusion” (2021) / Z-View

Intrusion (2021)

Director:   Adam Salky

Screenplay by:  Chris Sparling

Starring:  Freida Pinto, Logan Marshall-Green, Robert John Burke and Megan Elisabeth Kelly.

Tagline:  The Quietest Towns Hide the Darkest Secrets

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Meera (Pinto) and her mild mannered husband, Henry (Marshall-Green) have just moved into their new house located on the outskirts of a small town.   Henry’s an architect who designed and built the house.  It’s ultra-modern, beautiful and near perfect.  The only issue is occasionally the water pipes make a weird noise.

One night, Meera and Henry wake to the sound of home invaders.  Henry has a hidden gun that Meera knew nothing about.  He gets the gun and helps Meera get outside.  As Henry attempts to follow, the intruders attack him.  Henry kills all three.  The police arrive and identify the three as members of the Cobb family – local habitual criminals.  Coincidentally, Christine Cobb, a member of the same clan went missing shortly before the break-in.

Meera is surprised that her husband had a gun and was able to kill the three men.  While the home invasion has her shook, it hasn’t affected Henry.  Meera begins to notice some strange behaviors from Henry.  As she digs into the situation, she feels her life is in danger.  But is Henry also at risk or the one she should be afraid of?

Intrusion rates 3 of 5 stars.

“Frankenstein 1970” (1958) / Z-View

Frankenstein 1970 (1958)

Director:  Howard W. Koch

Screenplay by:  Richard H. Landau, George Worthing Yates, based on a story by Aubrey Schenck, Charles A. Moses, based on characters from Frankenstein (1818 novel) by Mary Shelley

Starring:  Boris Karloff, Jana Lund and Don ‘Red’ Barry.

Tagline:WARNING! “Frankenstein 1970” is the most blood-freezing horror ever created! This picture may be too dangerous for people with weak hearts! Beware!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Set in the future, in 1970, the last Frankenstein, Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Karloff) is now an old, disfigured scientist.  He needed money to purchase an at-home atomic reactor to complete his secret experiments, so Frankenstein rented out his castle to a crew producing a monster movie.  Little do they know that Frankenstein has a secret underground lab where he is nearly finished with his creation, a huge monster made from body parts of the dead.  When members of the movie crew begin disappearing, the police are called in.  Will they be able to solve the mystery?  Will they stand a chance against the Frankenstein 1970 monster?

Frankenstein 1970 was shot in eight days and it’s low budget shows.  The creature looks more like a mummified beekeeper than a Frankenstein monster,  but Karloff gives it his all.  Frankenstein 1970 rates 2 of 5 stars.

Ghana Movie Posters: “Rocky” – “Demolition Man” – “Cobra” – “Tango & Cash”

Over on Facebook, Marcus Elf posted several Ghana posters. Included were these four Stallone movie posters. Click on each to see it biggie-sized, then click over to see Marcus’ post.

Ghana posters are always crazy fun. Where else could you get Rocky slugging it out with Simon Phoenix? Or Tango & Cash starring Marion Cobretti and Jack Burton? How about Cobra as a slasher movie?