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Nightmare Sisters (1988)

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One thing a director often learned when working with Roger Corman was how to make a film quickly, within budget and turn a profit.  Corman famously filmed The Terror in four days, with leftover film stock from one of his Poe films, and to take advantage of sets that were already built.  So, it only stands that David DeCoteau, who got his start with Corman, might try to do the same thing.  It was actually a challenge made to him to do a film in such a short time, and Brinke Stevens thought that a four-day shooting schedule meant she would be making a cameo rather than co-starring.  In the end DeCoteau pulled it off, working 12-hour days over a long weekend, and partially was able to do so because his leading ladies, including Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer, were able to get many of their line readings done in one take.  Though that is impressive, it must be noted that Nightmare Sisters  is obviously not filled with Tarantinoesque dialogue; quite a bit of it is moaning and giggling an

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)

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David DeCoteau is a director that I would describe, generously, as almost competent.  He has directed over 120 movies - a good number of them pornographic - and learned how to make his mainstream films quickly and on a shoestring budget from his time working with Roger Corman.  He found a willing enabler in producer and Full Moon owner Charles Band for whom he has created quite a number of films.   Full Moon, while some of their movies occasionally made it to theaters, concentrated largely on the direct-to-video horror market.  DeCoteau had some previous success with cheap action films like Lady Avenger and Ghetto Blaster , but it was clear that the video market is where he could shine.  Because of U.S.A. Up All Night,  which showed heavily edited versions of many such b-movies in the 1980s, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama became one of his more well-known creations.  Keith (John Stuart Wildman) is bored with sitting around with his dorm mates Calvin (Andras Jones) and Jimm

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

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Like a lot of people who write movie reviews I complain quite a lot about CGI.  Truth is I like it when it is done right, and I find myself quite amazed by how well a number of films from the 1990s and 2000s have stood up.  There are some problems here and there, but the first three X-Men films (yes, even Last Stand )  have managed to still look good.  So, when Wolverine's adamantine claws come out in X-Men Origins: Wolverine , there was no excuse for a movie made three years after the last one to have them look like an outtake from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. It's not just his claws, but pretty much every effect, and there are so many of them in this movie.  Though Hugh Jackman was hoping the writers and director Gavin Hood would humanize Wolverine and make this movie more of a "character piece," it is wall-to-wall special effects and action sequences, and all of them either look like the effects team gave up halfway through or just forgot they were making a live-actio

The Prowler (1981)

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While slasher films get a lot of reverence these days they were absolutely hated by critics and parent organizations when they first came out.  It was one of the reasons they became such a high-profile target of the MPAA, with draconian demands for cuts in the violence to the point where it was the few brief scenes of nudity and extra f-bombs that generated an R-rating.  Otherwise, there were PG films with much more violence than most slashers.  These days directors, knowing that the theatrical release of the movie is going to get cut, often preserve their original version for home release.  Many times the early slasher films didn't have this option.  My Bloody Valentine , for instance, had to remove a majority of the kill scenes and it was years before the full footage was found again and, when it was, it was in terrible resolution in comparison to the restored cuts of the film.  Even as late as Event Horizon a good portion of the movie was lost and only rediscovered in some out-o

Venom (2018)

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It has come to a point where I almost immediately expect the majority of the movies that come out to be bad.  I don't mean bad in the sense of The Room  or even many of the movies I have seen where the director padded a 45-minute short film with an extra half hour of driving around or walking from place to place.  I mean bad as in big-budget bad, where it is all spectacle, dialogue is basic and plot really doesn't matter.  Sure, these movies have been around for a long time, but now the majority of them, while made in Hollywood, are not even meant to be appreciated by American audiences.  They are homogenous, neutered and ready to be marketed to China, where it doesn't seem to matter if there is anything remotely resembling art.  From the reviews I had read, and from the way Sony has handled, and continues to do so, its few Marvel copyrights that it keeps in a death grip, that is what I expected with Venom . Venom is a character that branched off the Spider-Man comics and b

Rabid (1977)

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David Cronenberg's Shivers ended up making a good deal of money despite of, or more likely because of, the controversy raised due to partial funding coming from the Canadian Film Commission.  The movie dealt with a new parasite being brought to life due to experiments with viruses to help fight diseases, and a doctor who decides to use the research to create his very own sexual revolution.  The result is an entire apartment complex full of infected, sexually crazed inhabitants who, at the end, head off to infect the rest of Montreal. For his second movie, Rabid , Cronenberg didn't vary heavily from the theme of this first movie, but had the advantage of a slightly higher budget - and once again aided by the Canadian government, but without as much hand-wringing as Shivers.   This time, instead of a parasite, we have a sort of combination of traditional vampire tale with Night of the Living Dead , with references to a real martial law situation in Montreal in the early 1970s as

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

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The world of Spider-Man is a legacy of unfinished projects.  While Sam Raimi's series did have closure of sorts it was originally meant for the next films to start a new chapter, while Andrew Garfield's tenure as the webslinger came to a crashing halt with the failure that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2 .   Though a Marvel character, Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man, and Raimi's series pre-dated the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Therefore when it came time for Spidey to be introduced in the MCU it meant doing a deal with Sony and, since The Amazing Spider-Man had been released just two years prior, Tom Holland's version came pre-bitten and plopped down in the middle of Captain America: Civil War .  It was a relief since it meant not having to go through retelling half the story again, and it let this version of Peter Parker have his own path once he got his own films - and also be an integral part of the Avengers. Despite him helping to defeat Thanos, Spider-Man becomes a