Monthly Archives: September 2013

Dixie Lanes (1988)

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By Richard Winters

My Rating: 3 out of 10

4-Word Review:  Karen Black is funny.

Clarence Laidlaw (Hoyt Axton) returns home from the war to find that is his son Everett (Christopher Rydell) does not want to speak to him due to certain felonies that he supposedly committed before he left. Meanwhile Everett romances Judy (Pamela Springsteen) while also agreeing to deliver a hatbox filled with secret items for his kooky Aunt Zelma (Karen Black) that may entail the transfer of stolen money.

The film moves along too slowly with a storyline that borders on being almost nonexistent. The movie seems to want to focus on the interactions of the slightly offbeat small town characters, but none of them are interesting enough and their dialogue is not funny enough to be engaging.  The recreation of the 1940’s is okay on a low budget level, but there have been so many more bigger budgeted movies that have created a much richer more vivid portrait of Americana that watching this or even the reason behind making it seems unnecessary.

The eclectic cast is interesting, but straddled with such limp material that they have nowhere to go with it. Art Hindle, Moses Gunn, Ruth Buzzi, Nina Foch, and even Tina Louise appear although it is in a very small role. Rydell as the young lead seems misplaced as his hairstyle looks more like an 80’s cut and his pouty, moody, detached behavior seems suited for a more modern era.

Black is a lot of fun and is the one good thing about the movie as she adds a lot of much needed energy. Her over-the-top screams and mannerisms even had me chuckling in a few places particularly at her attempts at bowling. She also had me convinced that she had a knack for comedy and should’ve done more of it. However, like with Rydell her character didn’t seem right for the time period especially with her bleached frizzy hair and her flirtatious and outspoken manner.

Axton’s laid-back style and smooth sounding voice is great for when he is doing one of his ballads, but as a lead actor he is almost lifeless. His graying hair made him seem more like Foch’s husband instead of her son.

There is almost no action to speak of until the very end when director Don Cato implements a forced, slapstick-like car chase that is out-of-sync with the tone of the rest of the film. This takes place during some unexplained supernatural wind storm that makes no sense and pretty much cements this thing as being a poorly realized waste of celluloid.

My Rating: 3 out of 10

Released: May 3, 1988

Runtime: 1Hour 23Minutes

Rating: PG-13

Director: Don Cato

Studio: Miramax

Available: DVD

Woman Times Seven (1967)

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By Richard Winters

My Rating: 7 out of 10

4-Word Review: Gotta love Shirley MacLaine.

Much like with Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Vittorio De Sica directs a collage of stories all centering on a different female character and all played by the same actress this time being Shirley MacLaine who is fabulous. In fact she is so good that her famous male co-stars get badly upstaged and their presence almost becomes transparent.

The first story is entitled ‘Funeral Procession’ and deals with MacLaine playing the character of Paulette who is grieving over the recent death of her husband. As they are walking behind the hearse that is carrying her husband to his gravesite her friend Jean (Peter Sellers) uses this moment to proposition her for a weekend of sex and fun at an isolated getaway. The irony in this one is amusing and De Sica makes great use of nuance particularly the way everyone tries to avoid the messy puddles they come upon during the procession.

‘Amateur Night’ is the second segment and this one deals with Maria Theresa (MacLaine) coming home early from a vacation only to find her husband Giorgio (Rossano Brazzi) in bed with her best friend. She becomes so upset that she runs out of the house and into a group of prostitutes who lend a sympathetic ear as well as concocting some revenge. The interplay of the prostitutes is quite amusing and I loved watching all the different items that she throws at Giorgio during her rage, but the final payoff on this one could have been better.

MacLaine plays Linda in the third segment, which is entitled ‘Two Against One’. This is where she takes two competing suitors (Vittorio Gassman, Clinton Greyn) up to her apartment and reads them poems while she is completely naked. This segment is a bit forced and the attempts at satirizing the artsy-fartsy crowd is strained, but the creative ways De Sica cover-ups MacLaine’s otherwise naked body, so the viewer never sees anything explicit is amusing.

‘Super Simone’ makes up the fourth story and deals with Edith (MacLaine) becoming jealous because her writer husband Rik (Lex Barker) seems more infatuated with the female character in the book that he is writing than with her. Her wild attempts to get his attention backfires as he starts to think that she is going insane and even brings in a psychiatrist (Robert Morley) to take her away. The story here is slightly contrived, but MacLaine with a short bob haircut is adorable and the foot chase at the end along some apartment rooftops is visually engaging.

MacLaine gives an hilarious over-the-top performance in the fifth segment entitled ‘At the Opera’ dealing with a rich woman who becomes enraged when she finds out that another woman will be wearing the same dress that she will to an exclusive opera. The satirical jabs at the rich are on-target, but it loses steam at the end.

The weakest segment of them all that is barely even funny is the sixth one entitled ‘Suicides’. This is where a young couple (MacLaine, Alan Arkin) decide to commit suicide as a form of vague political protest, but then both chicken out at the end.

The seventh and final segment is entitled ‘Snow’ and deals with a married woman who becomes intrigued by a handsome stranger (Michael Caine) who follows her around the city streets, but who may not be who he seems. Most of the time movies like these have the final story be a strong one, but this one is strangely subdued making the film end with a whimper instead of the bang that it should. This segment is also novel because Caine barely even utters one word of dialogue and becomes completely wasted in the process.

Overall this is fun lightweight entertainment with a great chance to see MacLaine’s wide acting ability and different hairstyles and looks.

My Rating: 7 out of 10

Released:  June 27, 1967

Runtime: 1Hour 40Minutes

Not Rated

Director: Vittorio De Sica

Studio: Embassy Pictures

Available: DVD, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix Streaming

Trilogy of Terror (1975)

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By Richard Winters

My Rating: 7 out of 10

4-Word Review: Menaced by a doll.

Interesting made-for-TV movie that first aired on ABC on the night of March 4, 1975. The film is broken up into three different horror stories all of which star Karen Black in different roles and all based on short stories written by Richard Matheson. Dan Curtis famous for producing the horror soap opera ‘Dark Shadows’ directs all three segments and even employs two actors from that series John Karlen and Jim Storm in small supporting roles.

The first segment is entitled Julie and features Black as a prim-and-proper college professor who gains the attention of Chad (Robert Burton) who is one of her students. Chad asks Julie out on a date and then drugs her drink, which knocks her out. When she is unconscious he takes revealing pictures of her and then uses these to blackmail her into continuing to have sex with him.

The ‘surprise’ twist on this one isn’t too interesting and full of a few loopholes. This also falls into the typical Hollywood treatment where an otherwise attractive woman with a great figure is labeled as ‘homely’ simply because she wears glasses and has her hair tied up into a bun. Although the storyline is surprisingly smarmy for the time period I still thought it was hooky that when he takes those ‘revealing’ pictures of her she is still wearing her clothes when most likely in reality he would have taken them off. The only intriguing element of this segment is the fact that Burton was married to Black at the time that this was filmed, so it was interesting to see them perform together especially since their union was brief and barely even lasted a year.

The second segment is entitled ‘Millicent and Therese’ and is the story of two feuding sisters both played by Black and their diametrically opposite personalities. It is interesting to see Black play such contrasting characters, but otherwise the story is weak and I had figured out the rather obvious twist of this long before it occurred and most others will too.

The final and most famous segment is entitled ‘Amelia’ and is about a woman who buys an African Tribal doll for her boyfriend. The doll is a miniaturized replica of an ancient hunter complete with a spear and outfit. A gold chain which is around the doll supposedly holds in its evil spirit, but when that chain falls off it begins attacking Amelia who then desperately tries fighting him off while all alone her apartment.

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While the idea of such a small doll with its tiny little arms being able to stab someone let alone turn doorknobs or bend the bolt of her door so she can’t get out seems a bit silly and absurd the action is still effective. Curtis’s use of dolly shots showing the camera zooming through the apartment at knee level in an attempt at displaying the point-of-view of the attacking doll is excellent. Despite the simple special effects they still work and the scariest thing about the doll is the weird chanting, hissing sound that it makes. The final image of this segment is quite possibly the most memorable of the entire film.

The only real suggestion I would have with this story is that it would have been nice to have shown the scene where the Amelia character goes to the shop and actually purchases the doll and shown more of a reason, or motivation for wanting to buy such a strange object in the first place.

21 years later Curtis made a sequel called ‘Trilogy of Terror II’ although that was not as well received. This film though is still enjoyable and well above average for TV-movie fare.

My Rating: 7 out of 10

Released: March 4, 1975

Runtime: 1Hour 12Minutes

Not Rated

Director: Dan Curtis

Studio: ABC Circle Films

Available: VHS, DVD, YouTube

Orgazmo (1997)

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By Richard Winters

My Rating: 7 out of 10

4-Word Review: Super hero porn star.

This is a funny satirical mixture of super hero movies and Boogie Nights and a definite improvement over Trey Parker’s earlier feature, the sleep inducing Cannibal the Musical though not as funny as his later ‘South Park’ TV-series. Here he plays a Mormon bible salesman who inadvertently gets involved playing a super hero named Orgazmo in porn movies.

Has a definite look and feel of a really cheap direct-to-video product. The special effects are awful, the fight scenes are fake looking, and the acting, with the exception of Michael Dean Jacobs who does a great job playing a really slimy porn director, are quite poor. Yet it is structured well enough to keep you consistently amused.

The porn scenes themselves are so over-the-top that they are an absolute riot. Yet despite its subject matter and a cast of actual porn stars there is NO FEMALE NUDITY. In fact the only nudity you will see are close-ups of hairy male rear ends.

Religious people especially Mormons are made to look so simplistic and sterile that it is sure to offend anyone involved in that area. Yet since most of them won’t bother to watch this film it probably won’t hurt. Overall it is good natured and not bad for its type.

Has a plethora of porn and cult celebrities in cameo roles. The best by far goes to Ron Jeremy who not only gets involved in a funny debate about the merits (and demerits) of porn, but is also in a big kung fu showdown. Also has Troma producer Lloyd Kaufman as a doctor with beautiful porn star Jill Kelly as a nurse who doesn’t say anything but still commands your attention. ‘South Park’ co-creator Matt Stone can be seen as a crew member. His lines aren’t particularly funny, but the way he says them is.


My Rating: 7 out of 10

Released: September 6, 1997

Runtime: 1Hour 34Minutes

Rated NC-17

Director: Trey Parker

Studio: Focus Features

Available: DVD, Amazon Instant Video

Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983)

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By Richard Winters

My Rating: 7 out of 10

4-Word Review: Fighting keeps them together.

An emotional and neurotic Zee (Karen Black) has just broken up with her husband. Eli (Michael Emil) is an older man who enjoys calculating odds and averages. The two meet at a restaurant and become involved in an offbeat and tumultuous relationship.

The film at times tries a bit too hard to be offbeat. Zee seems almost like a walking cliché. She sobs so much she can’t even order her food at the restaurant without breaking into tears. She chain smokes and has a plethora of hang-ups and paranoia that seems to possess every eccentric movie character and makes the whole thing fall flat before it has even begun.

Fortunately once you make past the rather clumsy beginning it actually starts to click. Writer/director Henry Jaglom instills a wonderfully free-form style to the proceedings that allows one to become engaged without even knowing it. The cinema-vertite approach turns its low budget into an asset. It’s the little things that start to grab you especially the Michael Margotta character and his trained pigeon named Eddie or the brash  way he tries to pick-up women at cafes while their boyfriends are sitting right there at the table with them.

Eli and Zee’s quirky conversations are quite amusing especially Zee contemplating on getting pregnant. These is even a segment showing old home movies done by Jaglom’s parents where you get to see Jaglom and Emil, who are brothers in real-life, whey they were little kids.

Jaglom has seemed to have gotten to the very heart of why we watch movies, which is because we are all secretly voyeurs. We like that little window that opens up and allows us to observe other people and see how they respond and react to things without being told what to look for or what to think. The European style of filmmaking is a refreshing change of pace. The actors are allowed to freely improvise and when it is all over you feel like you’ve watched real people, which makes it seem more relevant and funny.

This is very similar to John Cassavete’s Minnie and Mokowitz, but this fairs better as it is not as strained or aimless. The characters also have a bit more appeal and didn’t ingrate on my nerves as much.

Black gives another intriguing performance. She even sings, which she does quite well and does it while wearing the same wig that she wore while singing in the classic film Nashville.

The only real negative that I had with it was the soundtrack, which was performed by street musicians and sounds awful. It eventually gets so overplayed that it becomes irritating.

My Rating: 7 out of 10

Released: September 10, 1983

Runtime: 1Hour 30Minutes

Rated R

Director: Henry Jaglom

Studio: Pan-Canadian Film Distributors

Available: DVD, Amazon Instant Video

Daisies (1966)

daisies 1

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 7 out of 10

4-Word Review: Girlfriends rebel from society.

Two young women (Ivana Karbanova, Jitka Cerhova) who are both named Marie decide that society has nothing to offer them and that they will not comply with its norms. They then proceed to jaunt through the streets of Prague causing havoc and destruction everywhere they go and with everyone they meet while also trying to find themselves and their true purpose in life.

This film is similar to Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, which was released the same year. Both films rely heavily on quick edits, jump cuts, bizarre imagery and unconventional narrative structures. The only difference is that at least Persona had a story behind it and two interesting characters. This film has neither. The two women behave too strangely to be relatable and the scenes seem disconnected. This is one film that takes the avant-garde, experimental approach to the most extreme. The result is a bit off-putting and took me until the halfway mark before I could get into it. Others may not even make it that far. Personal taste will gauge how much one gets into it as well as how much they get out of it.

On a completely visual level it is fascinating. The film goes from being black-and-white to color and then back again at random intervals. There is one scene in a restaurant where the scene changes to a different color filter each time a character speaks a different line of dialogue. The segment showing photos of a variety of butterflies done at a rapid fire pace is also interesting. The best part is probably near the end when the girls walk into a banquet hall and proceed to eat up all the food that is in it. In fact the film shows an amazing amount of eating. It seems like every other shot has the girls stuffing their mouths with some sort of edible. However, instead of making you hungry it ends up kind of grossing you out.

If there is anything that got on my nerves it was director Vera Chytilova’s use of sound. There was too much repetition of noises. For instance in the opening scene there is what sounds like a squeaking door that is implemented after each actress says her line that quickly becomes irritating. The slobbering, chewing sound as the girls eat the banquet food is overdone as is their background whispering that occurs near the end.

Many feel this is a movie about budding feminism and I would agree on that for the most part. I enjoyed how the women did not feel that they needed a man in their life to ‘be whole’ and in many ways seemed to manipulate and make fun of the male characters, or simply become bored with them especially when the men would convey to them their ‘undying love’.  However, to me it was more about the rebelling and disdain of the communist regime and living in an environment that promoted hard work and not much else. I liked the segment at the end where the two women proceed to be ‘good’ instead of ‘bad’ and try to clean up the mess that they made while trying to convince themselves that working hard will make them happy even though it really doesn’t.

I’ve seen a lot of weird sixties movies, but this one tops them all by a mile. It certainly doesn’t seem dated and easily transcends its era. Not only was it ahead-of-its-time, but I would maintain that it STILL is.

Although the runtime is listed as being 74 minutes the version I saw, which was from Czech New Wave, came out to being only an hour.

My Rating: 7 out of 10

Released: December 30, 1966

Runtime: 1Hour

Not Rated

Director: Vera Chytilova

Studio: Ustredni

Available: DVD

Drive, He Said (1971)

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By Richard Winters

My Rating: 5 out of 10

4-Word Review: Player doesn’t like coach.

This is one of those movies that shows signs of being a really great movie trying to break out, but never does. It’s about Hector (William Tepper) a college basketball star who is being tugged at different directions by those around him and by society at-large. This creates inner turmoil that leads to outbursts, apathy, and even anti-social behavior.

Tepper as the star isn’t the best of actors. He has a constant blank look and way too much hair. The character he plays has potential. It is nice to see a portrait of an athlete that isn’t one-dimensional sports, but instead shows intelligent and sensitivity to things that go well beyond the court. Yet he is also too self- absorbed and displays a selfish behavior that in most cases would alienate him from his teammates. What is supposed to be betrayed as angst instead comes off as an obnoxious, spoiled college kid. His constant rebellion with his coach (Bruce Dern) doesn’t mesh.

The film makes some good observations and brings up great issues. Unfortunately it ends up becoming diluted. In some ways it should have just stuck with the basketball angle. The camera shots that glides with the action during the games is excellent. Some of the scenes during the practice and some of the locker room segments of Dern coaching the team gives the viewer a good taste of the college basketball experience and makes you want to see more of it. However, incorporating late sixties politics into it only makes it redundant and in this area the film offers no new insight.

The film does have its moments and some of them are even memorable. The best ones involve actor Michael Margotta’s character as a student radical wavering on insanity. His assault on the Karen Black character while inside a large, darkened house is striking both visually and emotionally. The scene where he, while naked, runs into a science lab and releases all sorts of rats, rodents, and reptiles is a sight in itself.

Dern with his glazed stare and intense acting style seems like a natural for the part of the hard-driven coach. It’s too bad the film doesn’t make the most of it, but Black is looking at her best.

Jack Nicholson as a director is not as good as Nicholson the actor although he does show potential, but it doesn’t come together as a whole. The film should best be viewed as a curio or artifact of its era. There is also a surprisingly high amount of male nudity as well as homo-erotic overtones.

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My Rating: 5 out of 10

Released: June 13, 1971

Runtime: 1Hour 35Minutes

Rated R

Director: Jack Nicholson

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Available: DVD (Region 1 & 2)

Doin’ Time on Planet Earth (1988)

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By Richard Winters

My Rating: 5 out of 10

4-Word Review: Weird people don’t belong

Ryan (Nicholas Strouse) is a teenager who has always been ridiculed as being ‘weird’, but finds that he may actually be an offspring to aliens from another planet. This may be the case with all the other weird people too. He and his fellow ‘weirdos’ must now band together and return to the planet that their forefathers came. Charles and Edna (Adam West and Candice Azzara) are the two that are heading the mission.

This is definitely an original idea that is on the most part handled well. The humor is certainly quirky and on the whole not bad. The problem is the fact that it is treated too lightly like it is nothing more than a harmless joke. A deeper, darker underlying theme might have given it more stature and not made it seem so silly and forgettable. It also places too much emphasis on the kids high school life, which makes it seem at times like just another redundant ‘jock vs. geeks’ thing. There is also has too much of that 80’s look, which gets annoying.

Technically it could have used a bigger budget. The quirky humor gets you through it, but the sets are poor and the special effects tacky. The editing is choppy and the color schemes ugly.

The lead himself is the blandest ‘weird’ person you will ever see. He really doesn’t seem that strange at all. The weirdest trait he has is that he has booby trapped his bedroom so anyone that doesn’t knock gets caught in a net. This seems more like a trait of someone who is immature than weird. He is also way to clean cut. A weird person should have a little more of an eccentric style or look. It also doesn’t help matters that the actor who plays him is quite poor and never went on to play anything else.

The presence of West and Azzara help a lot. Azzara’s outrageous beehive hairdos and fingernails alone make it fun. West seems to act like this is nothing more than some campy walk through, but it is still nice to see him doing something more than just a token appearance. Martha Scott is the real surprise as she really seems to get into being a bitchy, snobby mother-in-law.

If your expectations are moderate and you are just in the mood for something that’s just a little bit different than this might fit the bill. There are a few good chuckles and a higher than usual quotient of movie references.

My Rating: 5 out of 10

Released: September 14, 1988

Runtime: 1Hour 25Minutes

Rated PG

Director: Charles Matthau

Studio: Cannon Film Distributors

Available: VHS

The Deadly Trap (1971)

the deadly trap

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 4 out of 10

4-Word Review: They have their kids.

Philippe (Frank Langella) works at a high-tech job in a large corporation. For years he has been giving trade secrets to a mysterious organization that pays him handsomely for his efforts. Now that he is married and has children he has decided he no longer wants contact with this underground entity, but they refuse to leave him alone. When he is no longer willing to corporate they kidnap his two children, which sends his emotionally and mentally fragile wife Jill (Faye Dunaway) over-the-edge.

Dunaway’s amazing performance is the one thing that really helps propel a film that is otherwise too laid-back. I have always been an admirer of hers, but her performance here is great because it is so different from any of the other characters that she has played. Normally she is cast in parts of strong or manipulative women, but here she plays someone who is very fragile and does it with amazing effectiveness. I felt like she was a completely different person and showed a side to her that I didn’t think she possessed. Her face and expressions accentuate the fragility and she looks quite beautiful.

Langella is good on the opposite end. He plays a cynical and aloof man who snaps at his wife in an annoyed manner at regular intervals. The contrasting personalities and dialogue between them is interesting. In many ways he seems to playing an extension to the character that he did in Diary of a Mad Housewife and given the fact that Eleanor Perry wrote the screenplays for both films makes me believe that there had to be more than just a passing connection there.

The story has some interesting underlying elements that manage to retain a modicum of intrigue, but Rene Clement’s direction is too leisurely. The first hour gets bogged down with too much conversation and certain tangents that go nowhere. It is only in the last half hour that things finally get going and has some interesting twists, but by then it is too late. It would have been better had we seen some sort of face to the organization instead of having them portrayed in such a vague way. The movie is also in need of a lot more action although the part where Jill and her kids get into a car accident and get thrown from the vehicle is impressive since actual bodies where used, which is something I had never seen done before.

Spoiler Alert!

The film features several loopholes that will end up confounding anyone. One is that when the children are kidnapped they are locked in an upstairs room that has a loaded gun stashed away in the closet. The children get their hands on it and use it against their captors, but you would think that a sophisticated and large criminal group that this organization supposedly is wouldn’t be so utterly careless as to leave it there. Also, when it is found that the couple’s downstairs neighbor Cynthia (Barbara Parkins) has a connection to this organization and kidnapping the police shoot her dead at point-blank range instead of just arresting her and interrogating her in order to find the whereabouts of the kids. The biggest problem though is the ending itself where the kids are saved and everybody becomes one big happy family, which doesn’t jive at all with the rest of the film that had a constant murky undertones and a couple that was always squabbling. By having this otherwise dark thriller suddenly become ‘The Brady Bunch’ at the end is jarring in tone. It also doesn’t answer the fact that the organization was never caught and therefore will continue to harass him again, so why should they be all happy when the bad guys could strike at any moment?

My Rating: 4 out of 10

Released: June 9, 1971

Runtime: 1Hour 36Minutes

Rated R

Director: Rene Clement

Studio: National General Pictures

Available: VHS, Warner Streaming

Invaders from Mars (1986)

invaders from mars

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 3 out of 10

4-Word Review: Kid fights off aliens.

In this remake of the 1953 original Hunter Carson plays David an 11-year-old boy who witnesses a giant spaceship landing just over the hill from his backyard. Initially no one believes him, but then his parents, teacher, and classmates start acting strangely and have weird marks on the back of their necks. The only one who believes him is Linda (Karen Black) the school counselor. Together they try to save the rest of the town and blow up the alien ship with the help of General Climet Wilson (James Karen) and the rest of the U.S. Marines.

Director Tobe Hooper crafts a loving tribute to Americana by creating a house on a soundstage and a picturesque hill where the aliens land that seems to pay tribute to the 50’s. Jimmy Hunt who played the kid in the original appears here as a policeman. The musical score by Christopher Young has a nice variety of tempos and beats. It’s loud and intense during certain segments and then almost like a lullaby over the closing credits. The special effects aren’t exactly impressive, but I did like the segment showing how the aliens surgically insert the device into the backs of people’s necks in order to turn them into zombie-like creatures. I also got a kick out of the aliens especially their leader who was made to look like a brain with eyes and a mouth, connected to something that looked like an umbilical cord that shot out of what appeared to me like a giant rectum.

The eclectic cast is fun. Louise Fletcher hams it up in another parody of her famous Nurse Ratched role this time as the overbearing teacher Mrs. McKeltch. The part where she swallows a frog whole with its green blood trickling down the sides of her mouth is a highlight.  It is also great seeing Laraine Newman playing David’s mother. The part isn’t all that exciting, but I always thought she was unfairly overlooked and underappreciated as one of the original cast members of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and her talents has never been used to their full potential.

Black is always interesting and here even more so because she plays the only normal person for a change instead of a kooky eccentric like she usually does. The only issue I had with the character is that she believed David’s story much too quickly and even showed him the back of her neck without asking why. It seemed to me that with kids and their wild imagination that she would be more hesitant and take more time in convincing.

To some extent casting Carson in the lead is interesting simply because he is Black’s son in real-life although he resembles his actor/writer father L.M. Kit Carson much more. However, the kid really couldn’t act and tries much too hard to show any type of emotion. I also thought that a normal child would have been so curious after having seen the spaceship land that he would have wanted to go to where it was beyond the hill and take a look at it and the fact that he immediately doesn’t seemed unrealistic.

The introduction of the Marines during the film’s second half backfires as it becomes too chaotic. The charm at the beginning is lost and it turns into just another campy action flick. The ‘double-ending’ is formulaic, ill-advised and ridiculous and comes very close to ruining the whole thing.

My Rating: 3 out of 10

Released: June 6, 1986

Runtime: 1Hour 40Minutes

Rated PG

Director: Tobe Hooper

Studio: Cannon Film Distributors

Available: VHS, DVD, YouTube