August 11, 1992 |
"Diary of a Hitman" has everything you would expect in a B movie. The story of a professional killer's plans to knock off a beautiful young wife and her baby, the film is packed with beautiful bodies and violence. But look who's starring - James Belushi and, from television's "Twin Peaks," Sherilyn Fenn. Low-budget moviemakers are packing their low-concept pictures with big-name stars, bigger special effects and better scripts. "The public will not accept the low-budget movies," said Roger Corman, king of B movie classics like "Little Shop of Horrors," "Not of This Earth" and "The Terror Within.
July 14, 1996
Warning: If you are among the 8.3 percent of Americans who have not yet seen the movie Independence Day, beware that this editorial gives away some of the plot. Some big-budget summer flicks are duds. Others sell enough tickets to save the jobs of the guys with the cell phones next to the pool, but are gone from memory by Labor Day. And a few become Events, pop-cultural signposts of a decade. Which leads to the question of the moment: Why are Americans flocking to the cineplex to see ID4, a film that combines a 1950s B-movie premise with 1970s disaster-movie plotting and 1990s special effects?
May 15, 1995 |
They came. They saw. They touched the famous red glob. The members of the Horror and Fantasy Film Society of Baltimore are serious about their movies, and on Saturday about 30 of them drove from Maryland to Chester County to tour several sites used in the making of the 1958 classic The Blob. Armed with cameras and video equipment, the zealous crew started out at Historic Yellow Springs, former site of Valley Forge Films, which produced the movie. Before the tour began, they got a feel for what the day would be all about.
April 15, 2011 |
Haven't we seen this before? Yes, Super - in which a dweeb becomes a crime-fighting caped crusader - has so many echoes of last year's Kick-Ass that the reverberations will dog you until the cows come home. Or until the next issue of Batman hits the comic-book stores, at least. What distinguishes the two, however, apart from budget and provenance, is a level of cynicism that's radioactive. Kick-Ass , with its potty-mouthed pip-squeak heroine and thumping violence, nonetheless displayed a serious affection for its characters and a spirit of reckless fun. Super , which comes from writer-director James Gunn, a guy schooled at the B-movie schlock factory Troma Studios, demonstrates a sicko sense of humor (and that can be OK)
April 8, 1988 |
Somewhere in the late middle of "Above the Law," the wife of Nico Toscani, the tough-cop protagonist who has left just about everyone in his life vulnerable to assorted life-threatening stuff, screams at him in classic B-movie style. "Do you know why I love you?" she wails. "Pride. That pride may kill all of us . . . Choke on it. " And in classic B-movie style, Toscani, silently swaggers off to plunder every evil known to mankind - or at least certain parts of Chicago. "Above the Law" is an updated version of that B movie of yore.
November 16, 2010 |
LOS ANGELES - Two at the Telluride Film Festival, three at the Toronto International Film Festival and one at the Mill Valley Film Festival. If that were a list of trophies for the new movie "127 Hours," which opens Friday, the filmmakers would be overjoyed. In fact, it's a partial tally of people who have collapsed during early screenings of the movie about a real-life hiker who amputated his forearm after a falling boulder pinned his hand in a remote canyon. "I started to feel like I was going to throw up," said Courtney Phelps, who was watching "127 Hours" at a recent Producers Guild of America screening in Hollywood and grew ill just as the amputation scene ended.
December 25, 1998 |
Mighty Joe Young is a movie only an 8-year-old could love. How cheesy is it? Well, it leaves the ooze of Velveeta in its wake. Here's the plot, kids: Big beast plus breasty beauty equals big trouble. This remake of the 1949 B-movie that was itself a veiled remake of King Kong chronicles the adventures of Joe, a gorilla orphaned in his youth when poachers kill his mother. Also murdered in the scuffle is an American zoologist, who leaves behind a daughter, Jill. Gorilla and girl adopt each other and grow up, him into a 2,000-pound giganto, her into blond bombshell Charlize Theron.
February 18, 1986 |
"TerrorVision. " A horror comedy starring Gerrit Graham, Mary Woronov and Bert Remsen. Written and directed by Ted Nicolaou. Photographed by Romano Albani. Music by Richard Band. Special gore effects by John Buechler. Running time: 83 minutes. An Empire release. In area theaters. The new pornography of movies - namely, aggressive violence, laced with overall inhumanity - comes to a head with something called "TerrorVision. " If you're an aficionado of junk, this one has everything - a plot about a TV set that houses a monster, ripping off "Poltergeist;" a cast of perfectly awful characters, representing an assortment of perversions; a monster made of slime and, seemingly, snot; lots of dirty jokes and bad dialogue, and a sprawling set that's supposed to be a suburban home but that looks like a studio soundstage.
January 21, 2011
NOBODY WANTED to see "Buried" in theaters, where it earned only $1 million (paging Dr. Evil) despite the presence of recently hot Ryan Reynolds. The entire movie is set within the coffin where Reynolds' character, a civilian contractor in Iraq, is stashed after he's kidnapped by criminals/insurgents. Using his wits and his cellphone, he tries to lead rescuers to his location. Contact with the government, with his employer and with his family, each presents its own challenge, which the movie plays for unexpected but welcome laughs, playing on Reynolds' talent for comedy.
May 5, 2011 |
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - There were few signs that anything was amiss at 1950s-era Playboy playmate Yvette Vickers' one-bedroom house in Beverly Hills. Lights were left on. A telephone book that had been delivered and sat in front of her house eventually disappeared. And neighbors recalled that she loved to travel to Las Vegas. Then, the letters started piling up in the mailbox. The mail carrier left notes asking where the former B-movie actress was. Then, her neighbor, Susan Savage, saw the yellowing envelopes and the cobwebs that grew around them.