The High Five Podcast Episode 33 – It’s All Connected 2021 Part 3

On this week’s episode, I’m carrying on with It’s All Connected Part 3! If you want to see where I went after the first and second episodes, you’re in luck! This latest batch finishes up my Mike Flanagan run, digs into the wild world of Stephen King adaptations and takes a few tangents in all the best ways!

As always, you can email me at high5tj at gmail.com or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Oh and here’s the poster:

Riding With The King: Film Edition!

maximum-overdriveAs I mentioned in my Stranger Things-inspired post, I’ve been watching a lot of horror films lately. And you can’t have a mention of that Netflix series without thinking of Mr. Stephen King, now can you? Well, I read and listened to a crazy number of his novels earlier this year (and am still sloooooowly working my way through The Stand) but I’ve also watched a few of the films he’s worked on.

While flipping through movie options on TWC On Demand I saw Maximum Overdrive as an option and immediately turned the film on. Usually, I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about my choices, but this was nearly instantaneous. Continue reading Riding With The King: Film Edition!

Halloween Scene: Critters 2 (1988)

Most of my experience with the Critters franchise comes from seeing the boxes of the four films at the video store as a kid and thinking they looked pretty damn creepy. All fur, red eyes and teeth, how could they not be? Well, the films I’ve seen so far — the first one a few years back and now the sequel — do a pretty good job of making the Krites seem not so creepy.

The Critters movies are odd. They’re obviously Gremlins rip-offs, but instead of just borrowing the basic premise and getting on with it, these mini monsters are aliens who are hunted down by intergalactic, shape shifting bounty hunters. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, it is and as I said when I reviewed the first film, the sci-fi stuff is actually pretty well done. What keeps these movies from being great and unique is the goofy tone that undercuts the horror and doesn’t seem to achieve the right balance. It works in something like Shaun of the Dead where you go from jokey moments to full on gore, but the structure and direction isn’t here. I’m guessing, though, that it wasn’t intended to be a great film or rival the amazing Gremlins in story, so they just kind of went with it.

The story revolves around the kid from the first one returning to his home town of Grover’s Bend a few years after the events of the first one. He gets there just in time for a batch of Krite eggs to start hatching. The bounty hunters from the first one also return to destroy the eggs — which the townspeople have painted for Easter — and shenanigans ensue.

At the end of the day, the results aren’t bad, they just don’t match up with the story I created in my head after seeing the box. That said, there are still some pretty solid gore scenes and a good deal of the little buggers get smashed, blown up, set on fire and stepped on, so that’s fun. I should also note, while the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, the creature effects actually do look pretty great. This isn’t just little people in funny robes like Troll 2, but actual puppets doing all kinds of things.

And that’s really the key to this movie, fun. It doesn’t take itself so serious and it comes across. Critters isn’t what I would call required watching for a horror fan by any means, but they’re with checking out with some friends and some beers (man, a lot of my reviews end like that, don’t they?).

Halloween Scene: Prom Night (2008), Sleepwalkers ( 1992) & Jack-O (1995)

I watch a lot of movies, you guys. By this time of the week I’ve seen all the Bravo and VH1 reruns I’m interested in, so I turn on the NetBox and just look around. A lot of times these movies just turn into background noise, something to have on while I work on freelance or hunt for jobs online. The ones that capture my attention turn into Halloween Scene posts (unless it was the only thing I watched, then it’ll get a haphazard review at best). Over the past few days I’ve watched three horror movies that were just kinda eh: the 2008 Prom Night remake, Sleepwalkers, a Stephen King werewolf script, and Jack-O, a lame riff on Pumpkinhead. None of these movies really deserve their own full-on review, so I figured I would just put them all here in one quickie roundup.

Prom Night wasn’t a great movie to begin with. I’ve only seen it once and it was with Rickey. We were kinda drunk and had rented a crappy VHS copy from the Dollar Video down the street from our place. I think the reason we both liked the movie at the end was because the crappiness of the tape offered a lot of atmosphere to the movie. I don’t remember a whole lot about the original and, I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the remake. I know there was a killer there during prom and I think I have a crush on Brittany Snow. A girl I knew in high school who did the musicals with me ended up as a background dancer on her old TV show American Dreams (that’s what I heard at least, I never actually saw it after the first few episodes). So yeah, this is a pretty lame review of two movies I don’t remember, but I guess that says more about the movies than it does me (I hope).

Sleepwalkers is a movie I definitely remember from the video store. I remember that weird pink and purple cover with the floating eyes staring back at me. I didn’t even realize it was on my NetBox queue, but when I saw it I turned it right on. It’s a Stephen King script that’s based on an unpublished short story and it’s a whole ball of weirdness. There’s ALL kinds of incest you guys. Like tons. And that’s just between the two sleepwalkers, which are kind of like werecats who can turn things invisible and make a car look like a different car. It’s a pretty lame movie, on the real. The werecat effects look pretty good as do the special effects when the cars go invisible, but overall the story’s just strange. Oh, plus, you know, lots of incest. There’s also the matter that these werecats, who look like regular people most of the time, get their true nature revealed anytime they cross in front of a mirror. And they’re afraid of cats. And yeah, Milo likes the idea of cats saving the day at the end of the movie (especially after seeing so many dead kitties hanging from a tree in the very beginning), but as a human I wasn’t too interested. And that can be said about most of the movie actually.

Here’s a good way to tell if you’re dealing with a crappy movie. When you try and find a posted image that’s 269×400 and 110X150 is the best you can find. That means the internet barely cares about Jack-O and honestly, neither should you. Like I said above, it’s like Pumpkinhead, but if the kid was the hero, Pumpkinhead had an actual pumpkin for a head and the kid hero looked like my friend Randy did when we were kids. There’s some other additions like the ridiculously right wing neighbors, the slutty neighbors (different ones) and…a haunted house that the parents put on in the garage. It’s funny that I just re-read the Trick r Treat review over at HMAD today because BC mentions how well TrT builds the atmosphere of Halloween. Well, this movies fails completely. It seems like any other day except for the constant mention of the haunted garage for charity. Please don’t watch this movie, it has no redeeming qualities.