Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey and Dragon Mom: My Infra-Thanksgiving!

By indrid13

When the Professor asked me to write a piece about my memories of watching monster movies on Thanksgiving Day (and the day after), the first thing that sprang to mind was the Godzilla/King Kong marathons that WWOR would unleash upon our turkey addled prepubescent minds every year. And while those marathons provided hours and hours of city stompin’ joy year after year, I kept flashing back to a different memory.

By the late 80’s, the WWOR marathons slowly faded away, but I still craved some hot monster on monster action. I remember flipping through the TV guide, searching desperately for my Kaiju savior to come and deliver me from my tryptophan induced malaise. And then I found it: Inframan! Cable TV was about to bash my skull with two full hours of Chinese Ultraman inspired goodness! I grabbed some leftovers, plopped down, and let the wave of pure genius that is Inframan caress my neurons.

What did I see you may ask? Well…silver suited “scientists” who are as adept at riding dirt bikes as doing science flip around and fight bizarre prehistoric mutants lead by a woman who may be the mother of dragons (if her name is to be believed) and isn’t afraid to accessorize her bad ass evil costume with feminine touches like pink bows. Then as if the above wasn’t enough, the leader of the science team creates Inframan through a dodgy scientific procedure that includes projecting blueprints and laying random bits of stuff on the The Killer’s Danny Lee. Anyway, a ton more action ensues and the good guys save the day (honestly, you should just watch the can’t be described!) I immediately went outside after the film and proceeded to mimic Inframan’s moves and battle imaginary monsters for the rest of the day. And that may have been the best Thanksgiving break ever!

Hump Day Posters: King Kong vs. Godzilla

I looked forward to this film more then leftovers the day after Thanksgiving. They sure as hell don't do it like they used to anymore.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Guest review: Rogue (2007)

By Dylan Duarte

With Rogue, I was taking a big risk. It's a movie that involves a giant crocodile, which is the premise of precisely half the terrible Syfy Original Movies that populate the channel of the same name. In those movies, by the end of the whole thing, you're usually begging the monster to kill off the rest of the boring characters. Yes, there's nothing unique about Rogue. It's a movie about a gigantic, man-eating crocodile and his human prey. However, much to my surprise, it's a damn good movie about a gigantic crocodile and his human prey.

Rogue takes place in Australia, where tour guide Kate Ryan (Radha Mitchell; Silent Hill, Surrogates) takes visitors out on a cruise of the river, where they get to ooh and aah at crocodiles. She has a full boat, and among those onboard is our leading man, American travel journalist Pete McKell (Michael Vartan; Alias, Hawthorne). The rest of the of the cast is made up of Austrailian actors and actresses who probably won't be recognized by American audiences, but don't let that turn you off. They all do a fine job. Some moreso than others, but overall a solid cast.

However, there is one more face that you'll recognize, that of Sam Worthington, an Australian actor who catapulted to stardom with his leading roles in Avatar and (the criminally underrated) Terminator: Salvation. Like Mitchell, he's sporting his native accent as Neil, who starts out as an obnoxious jerk but dire circumstances quickly turn him into something of a hero. Worthington is a hell of an actor, and he's totally believable as a hero, but unfortunately his role is a fairly minor one. Rogue came out a year before Terminator did, so at the time Worthington wasn't the A-lister he is today.

Coming back to the cast as a whole, they're really something special. Not only does everyone do an admirable job, but the characters are well-written. One of my favorite little touches is when we see one of the older men take out an urn and dump ashes into the river during the cruise. He's never confronted about it. It's never shoved in our face that he lost someone close to him. The dumping of the ashes is the extent of the whole thing, but we immediately sympathize with the man and that simple act makes him somebody we care about. It's an attention to detail that benefits all of the characters.

The bulk of the movie takes place on a small island that the crew gets stranded on. The croc is hunting the waters all around them, so escape proves tricky. To make matters worse, the tide is rising, so the clock is ticking. While the movie is indeed scary, and it'll make you jump a time or two, it's the moments of silence that really work. It's the oldest trick in the book, keeping the danger just out of sight, but it's used wonderfully and makes Rogue quite a nailbiter. And what's better, the times when we do see the croc, the CGI is pretty impressive for such a low-budget movie.

The only downside to the entire thing is the lackluster and fairly standard ending. It's not bad, but it's nothing great either. Luckily, the rest of the movie really is something special, and the disappointing ending isn't enough to detract from this creepy and effective monster movie.

"Our guest writer, Dylan Duarte, is a horror buff and writer who writes about Halloween costumes for He can be reached at dylnduarte at"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hump Day Posters: King Kong '76

Sweet Beards: Jeff Bridges

Tis perhaps the king of all sweet beards. And when you face Mighty Kong you need a mighty sweet beard. The only person that could possibly rival Mr. Bridges in the facial hair department is Kurt Russell in The Thing. 5 out of 5.
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