Thursday, November 20, 2014

THE 'BURBS (1989)

"Satan is good. Satan is our pal."

Some nosy neighbors on a cul-de-sac have absolutely nothing better to do all day and night than spy on their new neighbors...and with good reason: these fuckers are weird as fuck!  You wouldn't want them living next to you, that's for sure.  As the film opens, it's late at night and Tom Hanks is investigating some strange noises coming from the neighbor's basement.  The next day his other neighbors dare him to go knock on the creepy neighbor's door.  He does, but with bad results.  Things just escalate and escalate from there until the street looks like a war zone.

THE 'BURBS was an alright ride.  I knew the basic premise of the story beforehand and was hoping that it was going to be balls to the wall crazy.  But unfortunately it was pretty tame.  Still I got a few chuckles out of it.  Plus, I finally discovered where that sample from the song "Carnage Castle" by Blood Freak came from!

Nowhere near as dark as it should have been, Corey Feldman acting cool, zero gore, zero blood, zero nudity, great cast, Tom Hanks freaking out, multiple references to Satan, various horror movies on televisions.  Worth an occasional viewing.  I'd love to see a dark remake.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


In the year 2022, the world is all kinds of fucked up.  Industrialization, overpopulation (New York City itself is over 40 million people!) and global warming has destroyed the environment and now food is extremely expensive...too bad most people don't even have a job.

One evening, homicide detective Charlton Heston is called in to investigate the murder of wealthy businessman Joseph Cotten who has been beaten to death in his apartment.  Heston thinks that everything is too convenient to be a botched robbery: the security system was down, the bodyguard and the concubine were both out shopping, plus there was nothing stolen despite the fact there was tons of food and other luxury items all over the place.  The bosses tell Heston to lay off, but he keeps investigating on his own and the further he digs the more sinister things appear.

I enjoyed SOYLENT GREEN.  Younger audiences will probably find it overly simple (and it is), but I still enjoyed it.  The set designs and special effects were that special brand of early 70's, big studio efforts that look like crap nowadays, but yet I really like them.  It's strange.

Charlton Heston is always a treat to watch and Edward G. Robinson (who died just twelve days after filming...he knew his cancer was terminal, but finished out the film all the same) is great!  I couldn't help thinking the entire movie about how much I appreciated him and his contributions to Cinema.

Anyway, the biggest shocker to me was how unshocking the ending was.  There was this big buildup and then...nothing.  I'm not going to give away the ending here, just in case you don't know, but if somebody watching this movie hasn't figured out the ending within the first 20 minutes then you have to be a moron.  It's actually comical how flat the ending is.  That said, the scenes depicting overcrowding and people not even knowing what deer or trees were are haunting.

Worth a watch.  I would love to see a hard-hitting, super depressing remake. Maybe even a limited series on HBO.