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Having A Movie Moment with Jon Longhi: The Genius of Dan Curtis

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 15, 2019 07:00pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray Trilogy of Terrorreleases. This month I review three movies created by the brilliant Dan Curtis.

Dan Curtis was one of the most successful director/producers in the history of television. History will always remember him as the creator of the long running TV show Dark Shadows but that was just one of many major achievements. He also produced and/or directed some of the biggest movies in the history of television. Three of these films just got deluxe Blu-ray releases. One of his two biggest films was Trilogy Of Terror, (Kino Lorber Studio Classics). This is a fun little horror flick but no one could have predicted that it would be one of the most watched TV movies of all time. It held the record until Roots was televised later that decade. The movie tells three horror stories that are connected by the main star of the film, the magnificent Karen Black. She pretty much makes this movie. She is the main character in all three vignettes and chews up the scenery so mightily that everyone else in the picture is little more than a bit player. In the first segment she plays a mousy professor exploited by a blackmailer, in the second she's a pair of polar opposite sisters, but it's her role in the third segment, "Amelia," that history will remember her for. "Amelia" is one of the best little horror movies ever made and it scared the viewing public to a degree that few could understand in this jaded day and age. Karen Black's portrayal of the vulnerable, psychologically fragile Amelia makes the horror she suffers even more visceral. The story is fairly simple and all takes place in one tiny apartment. Amelia finds a Zuni fetish doll in a second hand store and buys it as a gift for her anthropologist boyfriend. The doll comes with a curse and, when she gets back to her apartment, Amelia unwittingly brings it to life. What ensues is one of the scariest things I've ever seen on television. This segment really holds up even after all these years. It's tense, harrowing, and genuinely scary. Being attacked by a doll could easily have been laughable, but in Curtis's skilled hands the story becomes utterly terrifying. This was one of the most memorable movies of the seventies and it left an indelible mark on everyone who saw it.

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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Thor Ragnarok & The Outer Limits

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 27, 2018 06:51pm | Post a Comment

Having A Movie Moment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment with Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray releases. Both of these Blu-rays came out in the past three months.

Thor Ragnarok, Marvel Studios:
What a great movie! It's pure entertainment of the type that Marvel excels at. This movie works on manyThor Ragnarok levels; it's great science fiction, action, drama, and even comedy all simultaneously. It's got a great story, good acting and pacing, and wonderful sets, costumes, and special effects. Like every recent Marvel movie, the story feeds into the Avengers: Infinity War plot line, but it also succeeds quite well on its own. My daughter and I have been watching all the Marvel shows and movies and know how every related plot thread connects together, but my wife hasn't watched any of that stuff and she enjoyed this movie just as much as me when we watched it together. That's quite a feat, because the Marvel universe has gotten really complicated these days, so it takes great skill to make a new Marvel movie that doesn't need a guidebook for one to understand it.

This is the third Thor movie but it is almost equally a sequel and a prequel to the recent Avengers movies. It picks up with Thor wandering the universe performing his usual godlike deeds of heroism and searching for the Infinity Stones. He is imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur who tells him that his father Odin is no longer in his celestial home of Asgard and that the realm of the gods itself will soon be destroyed in a cosmic armaggedon known as Ragnarok. After dispatching Surtur and a really cool dragon, Thor returns home to find that his evil brother, Loki, has stolen the throne by disguising himself as Odin. After exposing Loki, Thor takes him to earth where they locate Odin with the help of Doctor Strange. Odin is dying, and his death releases his first born daughter, Hela, who destroys Thor's hammer, conquers Asgard, and casts Thor and Loki off into space. They land on a junkyard planet ruled by Jeff Goldblum who forces Thor to fight the Incredible Hulk in an area. Do Thor, the Hulk, and Loki escape? Is Asgard saved? I'm not going to give away any more spoilers, but let's just say that answering these two questions is tons of fun and pure Marvel entertainment.

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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Open Water 3, The Devil's Rain & The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 7, 2018 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Having A Movie Moment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to the first Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi. In this monthly column I’ll be reviewing recent Blu-ray and DVD releases. Everything in this column came out in the past four months. So without any further ado, let’s get to the movies:

Open Water 3Open Water 3: Cage Dive, Lionsgate
It's a shark movie. So let's face it, when it comes to jumps and scares, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. But sharks are such a primordial fear for all of us that this movie is still quite effective. Unlike the rest of Hollywood's CGI monsters, shark's are real and all of us know in the backs of our heads that at sometime in our lives we will be on or over the ocean and something like this could happen to us. That's why by the time people end up in the water we're rooting for them no matter how unlikable they are, because there but for the grace of god. The first half hour of the movie is insufferable because the main characters are totally annoying people from Laguna Beach. This is one of the tiresome chores of shark movies: you have to spend the first part of the movie getting to know the bait. These people were so annoying I was tempted to use the fast forward, but finally they ended up on a shark dive boat off the coast of Australia and the ball got rolling. And it got rolling fast. First there's some exciting shark cage footage and then everything goes bat shit crazy as the boat is hit by a rogue wave, and it capsizes and sinks. Then all the passengers and crew are in the water bobbing around with a bunch of blood, bait, and hungry great whites. That's when the fun starts and the scares and thrills never let up until the grim ending. This movie is essentially a remake of the first one except that instead of a married couple in the water, it's a three person love triangle. It's a simple formula but an effective one. At times, all the hand held video cam footage can make this feel like the Blair Witch Project gets eaten by sharks, but what the hell -- it's scary and fast moving and the great white scenes are quite realistic and effective.

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TerrorVision, the Present Every Mother Really Wants

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 4, 2017 06:33pm | Post a Comment

TerrorVision

TerrorVisionBy Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


"People of Earth, you must heed my warning. Destroy your satellite receivers, dismantle your communications systems, render your TV sets inoperable for the next 200 Earth years."
- Pluthar of Pluton

What happens when an alien energy beam surges down a mutant Hungry Beast to the Putterman’s house on Putterman Lane?

Well, who's hanging out at the Putterman's house anyway, you may ask. We got Grandpa Putterman, who is a crazy military survivalist who makes his own lizard tail jerky, little boy Sherman Putterman, his punk rock sister Suzy and her heavy metal boyfriend named O.D., and, of course, their parents - who happen to be swingers - and their two swinger friends who are enjoying their sex-themed Pleasure Dome wing of the house. And how could I not mention the late night horror host, Medusa, who likes to party. (For any of you Russ Meyer fans, Medusa is very mammerable, um…I mean memorable, and you may have a flash-back to seeing her on Night Court or when she played a ditzy Dolly Parton-ish character on the “It Takes Two to Watusi” episode of Mama’s Family.) Welcome to the world of TerrorVision!

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Top 10 Must-Own TV Shows of All Time

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 1, 2017 07:10pm | Post a Comment

By Gabriel Wheeler

There are many great television shows, but what shows are actually worth watching over and over again? Here's the Top Ten of must-see and re-see television.

10. All in the Family (1971-1979)

In one of the rawest portrayals of an ignorant bigot, anti-hero Archie Bunker navigates serious issues of the '70s, often in opposition to those closest to him. The remains poignant while being hilarious. Topics like racism, rape, and drugs are but a few of the issues tackled in honest, funny, and thought-provoking ways. A must-watch for captives of 2017. 

All In The Family


9. Firefly (2002-2003)

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, brought us this epic cowboys in space sci-fi action/drama. Failing to find an audience during its tenure, it quickly became a cult favorite on home video and syndication. The show centers on the ship Firefly and its crew, as they travel the galaxy trying to make a quick buck in perhaps not-so-honest yet morally responsible ways. Funny and well-written, it’s a shame there are only two seasons.

Firefly
The Shield

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