Wednesday, December 31, 2014

REWIND THIS! (2013)

Promising, but overall just "Meh!" beginner grade documentary about the history of the VHS tape movement and it's cultural impact on the film industry and young nerds.  Things start out interesting enough with some actual history of the VHS and it's battles with Beta (not much, if anything, was said about LaserDisc or Videodisc), this is followed up by some geeks talking fondly about their childhoods and showing off their modern day collections.  I liked that part a lot (I myself being a low-level VHS collector nerd) and wished they had delved further into it, but instead things get off track with a rundown of homemade straight-to-video garbage like CONRAD BROOKS VS. THE WEREWOLF, RAIDERS OF THE THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION and BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL.  I found that part to be very boring.  Mainly because I've actually sat through a lot of these type of movies and would like to forget about it.  I would have much rather heard a more in-depth analysis of the format wars and/or more about the collectors. 

But the biggest disappointment was how they barely even touched on the subject of the incalculable amount of movies that never even made it onto the VHS format and are now pretty much lost forever.  I would love to see an entire documentary about that subject alone...hell, I'd love to see an entire serious television program dedicated to people searching out "lost films".  Also there are a ton of films that did make it onto VHS (and maybe LaserDisc), but nothing after that.  It's heartbreaking to think about.

As it is though, REWIND THIS! is a enjoyable watch, but not really what I was hoping for.  I did enjoy the VHS elitist dorks talking about "boo-ray" and the such.  I'm sure it was all in jest, but it was still funny.  Worth a watch.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

CAVE IN! (1983)

CAVE IN! is rumored to have been filmed in 1979 but not broadcast on TV until 1983...and I can see why.  This sucker is boring!  Things get off to a quick start with a police chase, but after just a few moments you can already tell that this movie is about as low-budget and quickly slapped together as they could make it.  Next we're introduced to the cave and I swear to Satan that this cave has been featured in like a thousand movies and TV shows!!!!  Anyway, the cave has been having some problems recently with dirt and small rocks falling down, but yet the people who run it insist on keeping it open.  So of course, there's a cave in and some people are trapped inside.  Compared to all of the other Irwin Allen films I've seen, the disaster moment this time takes place waaaaay earlier than usual, but I guess that's because this time they figured it was kind of hard to drum up any build-up excitement over a cave.

Anyway, people are trapped and now they (kinda like survivors in THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE) have to find a way out.  Boiling water, swimming underwater, walking across an old rope bridge...all the same old shit we've seen a thousand times before, but this time neutered by being on network television.  I wish it could have at least been fun to laugh at, but for the most part everything was so bland there really wasn't much to laugh at.

Maybe good for a watch if you're a fan of old made-for-TV movies, but I found the entire affair to be too bland to be enjoyable.  Even ol' Ray Milland as a cranky professor didn't help much!  Skip it.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

FIRE (1977)

Showing up on network TV less than six month after Irwin Allen's previous disaster outing, FLOOD, FIRE tells the story of a forest fire caused by a work crew prisoner (Neville Brand) looking to make a cover for an escape attempt.  Soon, the fire is totally out of control and not only does it threaten Vera Miles' hotel and Ernest Borgnine's lumber mill, but also an entire nearby town.  So now it's up to Borgnine to drive all over the joint in his big truck wrecking into shit and saving everybody.

I liked FIRE quite a bit.  It was a big improvement over the lackluster FLOOD...the pace was quick, the acting much improved (the highlights being Miles and Borgnine), the special effects were better, impressive cast (Vera Miles, Ernest Borgnine, Lloyd Nolan, Alex Cord, Neville Brand, Eric Estrada, Patty Duke), the action scenes much more exciting, plus it just looked better.  Younger audiences would probably fall asleep, but it you have a soft spot of older TV movies then you should definitely check out FIRE.  Recommended.