A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD (1989)

Directed By: Stephen Hopkins 
Written By: Leslie Bohem
Story By: John Skipp & Craig Spector 
Based On Characters Created By: Wes Craven
Cinematography: Peter Levy 
Editor: Chuck Weiss & Brent A. Schoenfeld

Cast: Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Kelly Jo Minter, Whit Hertford, Danny Hassel, Erika Anderson, Nick Mele, Joe Seely

The pregnant Alice finds Freddy Krueger striking through the sleeping mind of her unborn child, hoping to be reborn into the real world.


Despite as always some impressive special effects and death sequences. The film still feels rushed. there doesn’t seem to be as much thought out into this sequel. So that it comes off as rather bland and almost just another sequel. 

Though it should feel like an important entry into the franchise. It feels like a clear sign of it dying out, especially of any fresh ideas or originality. 

The film has a good concept but officially moves into the realm of feeling like just another sequel. As it doesn’t have any particular character of itself. It lacks identity and feels undefined so It feels like more of the same. Almost the continuing adventures of. 

The story feels simple yet overly convoluted for no reason. As it delves a little deeper into the origins of Freddy Kruger and the franchise’s own mythology. 

It does show the horror Amanda Kruger went through. Fleshing out Freddy’s back story offers another plot of how he can get himself into the world. Being reborn in another body that feels a bit CHILD’S PLAY inspired.

At this point from an observation perspective, you do have to be amazed that this town still had kids. Not to mention the amount. Do people still hang out with the main character, the final girl of the last film. Though they quickly dispatch the final boy survivor of the last film. Even as his death scene is one of the more impressive special effects-wise.

Though this film seems to have fewer victims. Due to more story, investigation, and plot that come across as filler. That seems to be kind of riding a theme of there being even a young child being involved and being influenced so that there would be a new Freddy Kruger. 

The film unfortunately feels like for the most part it is going through the motions and isn’t as creative as it believes itself to be. Though I am thankful that the film does have a person of color who makes it to the end.

The death count also seems smaller than in previous films. As again the death seems to want to be more set pieces and intricate themselves. More than just random or throwaway 

GRADE: C

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER (1988)

Directed By: Renny Harlin
Written By: Brian Helgeland & Scott Pierce 
Story By: William Kotzwinkle
Based On Characters Created By: Wes Craven
Cinematography: Steven Fierberg
Editor: Chuck Weiss, Jack Tucker & Michael N Knue

Cast: Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Tuesday Knight, Brooke Theiss, Toy Newkirk, Duane Davis, Rodney Eastman, Danny Hassel, Ken Sagoes, Nicholas Mele

Freddy Krueger returns once again to terrorize the dreams of the remaining Dream Warriors, as well as those of a young woman who may be able to defeat him for good.


This sequel was inevitable and had eliminated its link to the past by eliminating the known Survivors of the previous films. This film tries to start anew, by in turn eliminating the survivors from the previous film, quickly.

Unfortunately, actress Patricia Arquette doesn’t reprise her role. So it is recast (one can see why she decided not to come back as she wouldn’t have been around too long or maybe it was rewritten when she decided not to return) 

The main character is around long enough to pass on the torch to the new lead or new final girl of the franchise. As soon as all those around her. Particularly those close to her soon find themselves being inventively dispatched. As she slowly learns to control and use her powers.

The films already lose their spontaneity as Freddy never seems to strike at random but instead always goes after only the main character’s inner circle. Which here is explained away as, since the power she has been passed allows her to bring others into her dreams. It sets up more victims for Freddy. Even though it seems like she only really does this twice.

Again this film is kind of a rebirth. We have another new director Renny Harlin directing this film and offers for the time a more stylish and cutting-edge film. That matches the times MTV editing.

The deaths stay inventive and over time it seems that is how you remember each film by the kills which could almost be themed. Here we have a death In which the character is trained in martial arts and fights Freddy using them only Freddy is invisible.

It’s a modern touch for the time period and even though a bit silly. Matches the theme of teenage dreams and how silly they can be as they feed off the unconscious mind of the participant. Onto what Freddy does is indulge and offer a physical and deadly punchline. As well as a pun to end it on 

While the film tries and certainly has energy. As this is only the second of the sequels where Freddy goes from being scarier. Into a more wisecracking villain. Where the whole point of the films is to give the audience the inventive violence they want. Satiate their bloodlust but be inventive with it. 

This film is unfortunately a step down from part 3. Though it does try and manages to have its own identity. As this film comes off a little more sarcastic and seems more special effects-laden. 

Grade: C+

MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM (2022)

Directed By: Damon Thomas
Written By: Jenna Lamia
Based On The Novel By: Grady Hendrix
Cinematography: Rob Givens 
Editor: Brad Turner 

Cast: Elsie Fisher, Amiah Miller, Rachel Ogechi Kanu, Cathy Ang, Christopher Lowell,  Clayton Royal Johnson, Cameron Bass

Teen best friends Abby and Gretchen grapple with an otherworldly demon that takes up residence in Gretchen’s body.


First off let me say that I have read the book and I am a fan of it. 

Next, let me say that this film is pretty faithful to the material. It is also quite different. As the movie plays drier and less spirited than the book.

It’s like the film followed the recipe but seemed to skip some ingredients. I don’t know if this was on purpose or because of the budget. A nice attempt that never quite cuts to the heart. 

As while it does count as a horror film. It also feels more to stay in the safe realm of Pg-13 because it wants to appeal to a younger female audience. As it feels a bit disconnected from other audience members.

The cast is fairly unknown for the most part which works. As it leaves everyone open to being a victim or being taken out and not safe because of their stardom.

Through the film. Betrays them by making most of the characters so stereotypical or one-sided that again we never really get to know or feel anything for them except for the two leads. Even in some dramatic moments for the supporting characters it never reaches the level of emotion it could because you barely know them. 

It’s nice to see a film with a cast so diverse and Christopher Lowell as one of the lemon brothers is energetic and hilarious. Even though he is not in the film nearly enough. He is truly what helps keep the film afloat. As he is the only one here who seems to provide those qualities which the film heavily lacks most of the time. Making it come off as more workman-like and less caring.

It might also be that until Christopher Lowell’s character shows up the movie has no sense of humor. It seems set at playing it straight. Which kind of sucks the air out of the room instead of keeping your interests fully. As it comes off as bland as sugarless gum. Sure a hint of flavor, but for the most part you are just chewing your own backwash.

Elsie Fisher is the lead and makes for a truly memorable heroine as she does most of the heavy lifting throughout.

The film also shows the screenplay principle of constantly introducing something as minor and it coming back to be a major point or detail later in the movie. 

It’s not a horrible movie but a movie that needed maybe a draft or two more before the endeavor was taken into production. As there are the bones of a good movie here.

Can give it credit as trying to be for a certain audience and not ever going for exploitation and trying to stick strictly to its story. Even if it feels a little more cut and dry for it. 

For a film about possession. The film seems to lack a spirit of Its own. Yes, I read the original book which had plenty of it. It stays faithful in following the recipe but seems to be missing many vital ingredients

Grade: C

THE LIE (2018)

Written & Directed By: Veena Sud
Based On the Film “WIR MONSTER” Written By: Marcus Seibert & Sebastian Ko
Cinematography: Peter Wurstorf
Editor: Phil Fowler

Cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Mireille Enos, Joey King, Cas Anvar, Patti Kim, Nicholas Lea, Devery Jacobs, Dani Kind 

A father and daughter are on their way to dance camp when they spot the girl’s best friend on the side of the road. When they stop to offer the friend a ride, their good intentions soon result in terrible consequences.


I believe this is a sign that Blumhouse might produce too many movies.

Here they have a good cast and a decent filmmaker. What plays like a LAW & ORDER episode from the grieving parents of a suspect’s point of view. Which has been done before with great casts (BEFORE & AFTER with Liam Neeson & Meryl Streep)

That you know when you see the Blumhouse moniker you know what genre you are going to get but not necessarily the quality. As with this film and quite a few recently this film plays like Blumhouse’s version of a television movie. As there is nothing hardcore objectionable or hardcore. 

This film at least tries to be more dramatic though with so many questionable decisions and repetitious arguments. Then when the ending comes Along it doesn’t feel earned.

It feels like a film that chooses filler to justify an ending that feels like a cheat code by the director. So that it feels more like a trick overall.

Some might say the audience feels this way because they never see the ending coming, but it would be one thing when you shock the audience and that moment has been earned. Here it feels like the beginning and end were thought of first and the rest was just to keep the film going.

As the film has many directions it could have gone. It lays out plenty of motives but then lets the audience get a hint of them before abandoning for its dull and ham-fisted determination of an ending that the feel will be a roundhouse but is more a sucker punch.

The film is competently composed and filmed and the performances are on point, but in the end, the film feels like a cheap trick 

Grade: D+

ALL ABOUT EVIL (2010)

Written & Directed By: Joshua Grannell
Cinematography: Tom Richmond 
Editor: Rick LeCompte 

Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Dekker, , Cassandra Peterson, Mink Stole, Noah Segan, Jack Donner, Kat Turner, Jade Ramsey, Nikita Ramsey 

A mousy librarian inherits her father’s beloved but failing old movie house. In order to save the family business she discovers her inner serial killer – and a legion of rabid gore fans – when she starts turning out a series of grisly shorts. What her fans don’t realize yet is that the murders in the movies are all too real.


This film is campy as hell. It feels like a lost John Waters-inspired script.

As it plays homage to horror films of the past but never plays it relatively straight or dramatic each scene feels filled with comedy more than anything.

As the film is over the top as is its Star Natasha Lyonne who is truly one of the only reasons I watched this film. As I have been trying to see it since it first came out and only have had a chance to finally more recently. As she was THE IT girl of indie cinema at the time. This is truly a star-making role for her as she truly gets to go off the wall and fully inhabits the madness of her character and the silliness of the film. 

As this paved the way for the type of roles and characters she would soon play after this. This is more of an introduction to those types, especially as a character who marches to the best of her own drummer.

You can Tell she is having a ball in the role. As it is truly a transformation. Her character starts off the film as meek and shy; throughout each kill, she gains confidence. Until she actually becomes a diva and star. Who gets more stylish and develops a different way of speaking. Like a classic movie star. She also gains a murderous entourage to help her with her kills and productions. Who seems scarier than she but they obey.

Noah Segal in particular is a hilarious scene stealer. As is a veteran actor Jack Donner. It’s also nice to see actress Cassandra Peterson in an actual character role that is not her infamous one of Elvira, mistress of the dark. Even though the film does throw in a joke about that. 

You can never take this film or anything in it seriously. Though it is silly and stupid at times it stays fun throughout. If you are into this type of humor. Even the ending that involves poison has to go grotesque in an absurd way. 

The deaths are inspired and gory. Most of the deaths happen to characters who are annoying or villains. 

It might warm movie fans’ hearts to see that the filmed death scenes were made to be short films. Usually, they are like public service announcements of what not to do at movies to disturb the experience and the consequences of what you do.

Thigh the killers are portrayed as scary they are demented and you enjoy the film more when they are on screen. The scenes of the supposedly normal characters are much scarier. As they are completely off but considered normal or sane. As everybody In This film is somewhat off in some way 

In the end, it just feels like a film of a different era. Yet very specific in its aim and intentions 

Grade: C+

NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE (2001)

Directed By: Joel Gallen 
Written By: Michael G. Bender, Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, Phil Beauman & Buddy Johnson 
Cinematography: Reynaldo Villalobos 
Editor: Steven Welch 

Cast: Chris Evans, Chyler Leigh, Jaime Pressly, Eric Christian Olsen, Mia Kirshner, Samm Levine, Ron Lester, Joanna Garcia, Sam Hunnington, Randy Quaid, Lacey Chabert, Eric Jungmann, Cody McMains, Nectar Rose, Samaire Armstrong, Beverly Polcyn, Ed Lauter, Paul Gleason, Mr. T, Molly Ringwald, Cerina Vincent

A sendup of all the teen movies that have accumulated in the past two decades. After breaking up with his girlfriend, Priscilla, a popular jock, Jake Wyler makes a bet with his friends that he can’t make ‘ugly girl’ Janey Briggs into prom queen. After spending more and more time with Janey, Jake really starts to think whether he wants to keep the bet on or not.


The first thing you’ll notice about this movie is that it looks ugly. The sets, the film everything looks washed out but still dirty, heaped, and grungy. One remembers how heavily this was advertised primarily by MTV at the time

The scenes never look Natural or even nice looking. The actors look like they have either bad hair dye jobs or bad wigs. The actors are all obviously too old to play teenage characters though that is part of the spoofing.

While this film has Its moments and makes a point here and there nailing its targets it still needs a major overhaul. A lot of jokes seem repetitive and are not clever, they are nasty. Just to be nasty. The film is not as smart as it likes to think it is.

The film feels like a rushed product. Like it is speeding along not aware of its Many flaws. As it seems fast and loose and doesn’t pay any respect or seem to have more than a general understanding of the films it is parodying.

The cast is likable but this film will only serve you with a few chuckles, but hardly a laugh. Even as a spoof this film needed to be better thought out. Like THE SIMPSONS or the NAKED GUN series of films. Which could be lowbrow and funny but still had a lot of well-thought-out and set-up jokes.

One of the good things in this movie is a lockable cast. Especially actress Chyler Leigh as the female lead. She is the only thing that shines bright in the pit of despair of this film. Also the abundant nudity of actress Cerina Vincent as the foreign exchange student. Which is like a work of art itself. On the opposite spectrum, it is sad to see Randy Quaid in this film. As he is a better actor than the material and he gives a bad performance. Then again he doesn’t have that much to work with.

Just like the characters, it highlights the film seems a bit too juvenile as it is obsessed with sex and nudity. Of course, the characters are but it feels like that is the main interest of the film Also. Which leaves it for only a certain kind of audience

When it comes to spoofing. Too many go for the easy jokes that they are supposed to be about, but a truly strung spoof will somehow raise above what they are spoofing to be a strong comedy in their own right and that seems to be a rarity. This is why when it comes to films such as these they never rise above a certain level

I can give the film credit that it hits all of its marks, but unfortunately not in a very clever way and all the cruder. At least not as bad as it seemed like a lot of spoof movies at the time that just tried to be year-end send-ups of whatever was popular or trending, this was better as it was more focused but barely. That seems to have needed a team of comedy writers to make skits and sketches and form into a story 

Grade: D+

NIGHTMARE SISTERS (1988)

Directed By: David Decoteau 
Written By: Kenneth J. Hall
Cinematography: Voya Mikulic 
Editor: Tony Malanowski 

Cast: Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Richard Gabai, Timothy Kauffman, Matthew Phelps, C.J. cox, Marcus Vaughter

Melody, Marci, and Mickey are three geeky college girls who can’t get a date. One night, they invite some geeky college guys over and have a seance that results in the girls becoming possessed and turning into sex starved vamps. Will the geek hero guys be able to stop the horrible (?) possession?


This movie is so USA UP ALL NIGHT type of movie mainstay. Where it Is only entertaining is how bad it is. That is similarly structured to the film SORORITY BABES IN BOWL O RAMA. Which is slightly better made and more entertaining.

So I have to give this film credit as these are the type of trashy movies I watched quite a bit on cable and then sought out in how. Video so I could see what basic cable cut out or digitized out 

The films point of view and simple nature can be summed up In The character’s Keep calling the frat guys nazis even though one of the so-called heroes has a poster for the confederate flag. 

Though to be truthful this is even worse for those types of films. Even down to the score.

That is obvious and seems more made to be a feature filled with nudity and titillation than finding an excuse for it. 

Where a dream fantasy scenario becomes a nightmare that involves horror here is more the fantasy type with a bad soundtrack. Though I will admit when I was a young teen this is the type of movie that would play like porn to me and I would sit through it no matter how bad it was. For the promise of maybe a sex scene but more importantly at that age NUDITY. 

The female characters start off as nerd stereotypes before becoming more sexual vampire demons in lingerie and then quickly nude. Throughout most of the film, even the males as their dates are just as geeky but some more crafty toes come along clearly meant to be victims. Who up the body count.

Watching this can be a nostalgic throwback to a certain time in the film. Particularly straight-to-home video films.

As usual when a film has actor Richard Gabai and/or Linnea Quigley involved in the cast or production. 

The film feels like a bunch of filler as it takes its time to get to the story. As the film ends up being more talking than action or shown crude humor and obvious jokes that are offensive. 

Linnea Quigley I was always a fan of so that might be why I have seen so many of these types of films. Also because she was always in these types of roles and films. I sought out as a teen helped form my attractions

Even the Abundant nudity is disappointing to a degree. As for most of the second half of the film. The leads are Topless. This gives it the feeling of softcore porn or a 1980’s  music video that goes for being risqué.

The women are so made up after their transformations kind of preferred them Before. Except their acting becomes more natural after the change. 

The softcore sex scenes end in death or are the only true horror scenes. Though there is no blood and we just see a bunch of smoke as they are being massacred. 

The film uses very few locations.

Endless bath scenes with the three girls in a tub. That it feels like a porno without by real hardcore or even soft-core sex. Though heavily into the setup’s

GRADE: D

99 FRANCS (2007)

Directed By: Jan Kounen
Written By: Jan Kounen, Bruno Lavaine & Nicolas Charlet
Based On the book by Frederic Beigbeder
Cinematography: David Ungaro
Editor: Anny Danche

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Vahina Giocante, Jocelyn Quivrin, Patrick Mille, Elisa Tovati, Nicolas Marie, Dominique Bettenfeld

The life of Octave Parango, a flamboyant ad designer, is filled with success, satire, misery, and love.

I will admit I hated this film for the first half hour and then slowly learned to go with its Rhythms. Still don’t really like the film but appreciate what was intended and tried to be.


A dark comedic satire that tries to send up advertisement agencies and seeks to have sex and drugs on the brain most of the time. As the debauchery never seems as happy as it should and half the time passes for entertainment here. The film comes across as stylish but as a fad. Definitely, a disposable product of its time.

This feels like a film where the details feel like add on’s. As the film aspires at first to be so smooth.

Leaving it hard to care for not only the lead characters but most of them. Sure living a life most might want but still despicable and empty.

The film ends up feeling too slick for its own good. As it comes off pretentious and empty though purports to be about something in the end, a kind of redemption of a character who doesn’t seem worth it and only does it out of revenge.

The two female characters in the movie are the only ones we care about for many reasons. Once they are fetishized throughout and presented mroe as sexual objects. Who has no false airs about them, but we end up caring about them. Throughout no matter what they keep it real.

Their characters are important. As they are barely on screen and used more for erotic scenes than any other. Yet their presence can be felt when they are not on screen after their introductions.

They are one of the few times the film becomes of interest.

The film has the writer of the novel that it is based on appearing in trippy scenes as the mirror version of the main character as an inside joke.

This makes sense as this seems like a project that was greenlit and rushed into production upon a popular best-seller at the time in France.

The film seems to occasionally try to redeem itself while occasionally being interesting due to the practical visual effects.

As the film is a tragedy where like all advertising tries to show and distract like it’s all good and then you truly find out what has been behind it all. What it was afraid to tell and show. Where it tries to show depth and where a reckless life of excess Can lead to, unlike most films that see characters screw up and be likable. Then end up paying little penance yet stay the same only now paid for their crimes… Almost instead it offers many fake-out endings that feel cruel and mean-spirited also like the film has tried to point out and manipulate the whole time. As that is what it was made for.

Though it does have a revenge comeuppance for who the film sees as even worse and makes sure we do too.

The whole point of this film seems to be exposing the business and going back to basics, but even that offers a twist. That would go along with Miserables, overwrought cinema seeking to be daring.

The film offers plenty of natural beauty in the end compared to all the ugliness we have seen throughout.

It seems to end with a choose your own adventure ambiguous ending. That lets You decide but acknowledges itself as a product.

Grade: C

ARE WE NOT CATS (2016)

Written & Directed By: Xander Robin  Cinematography: Matt Clegg  Editor: Xander Robin & Dustin Waldman

Cast: Chelsea Lopez, Michael Godere, Michael Patrick Nicholson, Charles Gould, Adeline Thery, Alice Frank, Dean Haletermann 

After losing his job, girlfriend, and home in a single day, a desperate thirty-something accepts a delivery job in a remote upstate backwater. There he meets a beguiling and mysterious young woman with whom he shares a strange obsession.


This is one of those films that counts on you going in blind. As best to experience thought not sure if it is ultimately worth it.

The film at first feels quirky and becomes a junkie drama out of nowhere. As the film has a solid beginning then it seems to get lost throughout the rest of the film. Even when it tries to have a somewhat romantic narrative that is strange. 

The film feels aimless and constantly not about anything except we keep following the leader wherever he goes and pretty soon we are grabbing at straws at any scene where it looks like a story could emerge. As we want to see where this is all going.

As the lead seems pretty simple and clueless most of the time. 

The film eventually offers up enough to keep you interested, but then feels aimless and goes nowhere.

As we meet characters who seem normal but get bizarre as the film goes along and at times it just feels like the film is purposely forcing itself to be strange to try and entice the audience. 

The filmmaking feels well done but ultimately feels confusing on purpose. At one point, the film and its Characters seem to be speaking their own language and the character’s actions make sense only to them.

As a Major point eventually, the characters start sporting hairlines similar to Anjelica Huston’s witch character in the movie THE WITCHES. Because of a shared hair obsession.

This ultimately feels like a student film Thesis with more resources.

GRADE: D

NORMAN LOVES ROSE (1982)

Written & Directed By: Henri Safran 
Cinematography: Vincent Monton
Editor: Don Saunders 

Cast: Carol Kane, Tony Owen, Barry Otto, David Downer, Warren Mitchell, Sandy Gore, Virginia Hey, Myra De Groot, Louise Pajo

A teenage boy falls hopelessly in love with his new sister-in-law. When she gets pregnant, someone raises the question that he might be the father–a notion he does nothing to discourage.


This is one of those films I remember the poster and box art from video stores that I frequented as a youth. Not blockbusters, more the mom-and-pop independent ones.

Never got to see it as a kid when most interested and remembered but finally recently got to see it. I believe I would have had more patience for it when I was younger. As it basically plays like a young teen fantasy come to life of romancing an older woman who you have a crush on. Only here not only does the dream come true but so do the consequences of that action and they are not all that one would expect.

The main drawing power for this film is that Carol Kane is the star of the film. Which is rare In itself and the production takes place in Australia. Wished she had gotten more lead roles instead of this misfire. As she is a constantly appealing screen presence only misused and wasted in this film. 

The film is supposed to be a comedy yet it’s never really funny and just not that good. Yet very 1980’s with a catchy main theme song. Not only is it in bad taste especially by today’s standards. It’s also very problematic.

A woman having an affair with her husband’s 12-year-old little brother is supposed to be romantic. You can understand the little brother’s actions but you question the woman is she a pedophile? starving for attention that she doesn’t get from her husband? sex crazed due to lack of sexual attention? or just in need to get pregnant. The film never answers that question and leaves the audience to answer a question they really don’t want to.

The film tries to be an ensemble film about a Jewish family but feels like it tries to invent drama where there isn’t in trying to frame it’s main plot. Worse of all it comes off dull.

Can see what the interest might have been at the time, a kind of taboo comedy that luckily doesn’t show but hints at a lot. Though it also makes you wonder who was the audience for this film overall.

As it’s not a teen movie, nor a sex comedy of T and A proportions. Nor is it exploitive, it at least tries to make the relationship look romantic. 

The brother even suspects the wrong person of having an affair due to the infidelity of his business partner. This leads to confusion for his character and ends up being the most abused throughout for very little reason. 

His father actually comes off as the most dramatic and sympathetic. In fact, throughout the film, the only character who seems to have a good head on their shoulders is the brother’s mistress.

The ending shows you the depth of young love and how quickly one can bounce their feelings to a new partner. As he seems to be a serial seducer with his innocence but now worldly ways. While it leaves her husband’s character in a kind of limbo

GRADE: F