STRAIGHT EDGE KEGGER (2019)

Written, Directed & Edited By: Jason Zink
Cinematography: Elliott Abel & Christopher P. Purdy

Cast: Cory Kays, Evey Reidy, Julio Montenegro Jr., Sean Jones, Warren Aitken, Travis Manners, Joe Bachan, Jason Zink 

A young punk and a houseful of drunks square off against the gang of militant straight edgers that he’s abandoned.


The title sounds like a punk rock exploitation film or a party film. It is more the before as like the aesthetic of the characters this feels more like a low-budget D.I.Y. Film made about a certain cultural scene. About and for members of that scene as a worst-case scenario. Though it also invited newcomers. 

The villains of the film are obvious as soon as the first scene. 

It shows how a group meant to police punk rock shows against violence, drugs, and alcohol. So it can be safe for all to have a good time and get corrupted from their vigilante beliefs and moral servitude that quickly comes off as fascism. 

As they end up becoming the villains way too fast. Even in the early scenes, they are more bullies than anything. Who then become murderous without a second thought way too willingly. More out of jealousy from one of their own leaving them. They believe him to be influenced away by the punks rather than the continuous abhorrent violence they seem to court is always looking for a fight and behaving more like jocks. As they constantly have a mentality of going to these shows and supposedly enjoying the music but seem to hate everybody else at these shows who are into the music. So that they are exclusive in who should be allowed there and what songs the bands are allowed to perform. 

Where every character has way too much free time and no form of income. Not to mention the residents seem to have no neighbors.

Towards the third act, the film becomes a horror film. It also has an understanding of fighting against fascism all Of them Are supposed to be against.

The straight-edge characters come off as characters not willing to try something new. As well As huge inferiority complexes. And obsessed with their lost member. 

The film is an exciting experiment with conventional set-up and storytelling. As it is ambitious and it seems the director is going with what they know and exposing independent punk rock bands in the process. 

The film comes off more amateurish in the end. Though a nice try as a first film.

Grade: C-

WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR (2022)

Written, Directed & Edited By: Jane Schornbrun

Cinematography: Patrick Carbone

Cast: Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers, Holly Anne Frink

Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her.


The experience of watching this film is like being on The internet and following a person or story randomly at times but more focused. Watching this on an actual computer or laptop one can imagine would only enhance it and make you feel more immersed.

The film uses what you know already to help tell the story. How loneliness feels and an obsession can take over. The desperation in making a connection. Changing your identity to fill A role. 

The film remains creepy throughout. Making the simple so scary and disturbing. Keeping an alienating mood. Yet feeling so personal. 

You keep waiting for something worse to happen. That is the atmosphere of the film. Which is powered by your imagination and fear. In a good way not as a cheap ploy commonly used in subpar PG-13 studio horror films.

Where not only do the trailers offer the sin of giving too much away in the preview but also the feeling it might as well have gone full rated R. So it doesn’t feel so restrained. Not to mention would make the film somewhat memorable if even just for the more naughty parts and probably would have made as much money either way. Which still wouldn’t have been enough but I guess the studios hope teens who are sneaking into other films will buy tickets or who want to see more mature movies but can’t get tickets to a rated R movie settle for Disturbing and intense more mentally even though it is framed as a game. As we are offered clues and details in the background that only a few are acknowledged and come into play. 

It might remind some of the early 2000s indie cinema.  Where once in a while really felt creative and innovative. While seeming more like a more mainstream shell. 

Told through the camera. Not necessarily through complete scenes.

It’s the intention of what we are used to from traditional narratives. It tries to subvert the ordinary and flow. Even watching the videos of one character strangely feel opened to more than just the character 

Though most of the images and material are minimal. Yet the film sets your mind a blaze as to what could happen.

Hard to exactly explain the film other than to say it is more cerebral and for the adventurous. As it is definitely not for everyone 

Grade: A-

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+

LET ME MAKE YOU A MARTYR (2016)

Written & Directed By: Corey Asraf & John Swab 

Cinematography: Jeff Melanson 

Editor: Corey Asraf & Dylan Quirt 

Cast: Niko Nicotera, Sam Quartin, Mark Boone Junior, Marilyn Manson, William Lee Scott, Michael Potts, Gore Abrams, Megan Mattox, Danny Boy O’Connor, Michael Sheamus 

A cerebral revenge film about two adopted siblings who fall in love, and hatch a plan to kill their abusive father.


At first, if you are a fan of the television show SONS OF ANARCHY you will notice four of the actors from that show are in this film. A kind of reunion playing the same type of characters 

The mood of the film is a lot like that show and TRUE DETECTIVE mixed where the characters here are flawed and most are reprehensible. As they are all either criminals, addicts, or low lives, and the only innocence in the film is sniffed out quickly.

Though the film will make you believe there is beauty in this darkness you just have to try and see it. Throughout the film will try to make each scene filled with some kind of depth or philosophical wonder.

At heart, there is a love story that can never be fulfilled or allowed.

As most of this film Feels like a crime story though it doesn’t have those thrills. There are no scenes of hold-ups or even planning of scores even for all of its Violence which never quite feels unnecessary. Though you wish more was happening.

The most striking character who walks away with the film is the hitman played by Marilyn Manson who seems to have Seen it all.

So much that nothing phases him and he really has no loyalty but isn’t going to shoot you in the back for no reason either.

At times the film chooses to play with the timeline and the film does feel enriched to a certain Degree. You only wish the story was stronger to give us some reason to care more and to get more involved in the film.  As it seems to have the necessities but not the goods. 

Grade: C

10 TO MIDNIGHT (1983)

Story & Directed By: J. Lee Thompson 

Written By: William Roberts 

Cinematography: Adam Greenberg 

Editor: Peter Lee-Thompson 

Cast: Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley, Robert Lyons, Ola Ray, Kelly Preston, Beau Billingslea, Bert Williams 

An LAPD detective and his rookie partner are on the trail of a psychopathic young man who is murdering young women.


I have recently been trying to catch up On Charles Bronson’s films besides his known classics. Glad I started with this one, where one can get an understanding of his appeal and charm. As he kind of Constantly Has a Clint Eastwood kind of stoicism where he must always be tough and gruff but always seems to have a good heart. 

The film has a cool-sounding title that unfortunately means nothing when it comes to the plot of the movie. Though As you watch the film this is a movie more built around a star and his image. 

Unfortunately, the films he was in he was usually better than the material and they weren’t as memorable as other films at the box office or less seen. As his films particularly in the 1980’s feel familiar and just cheaper than his contemporaries. Sort of like if there were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis at the time. He would be the straight-to-home video version of them as a peer. Sort of like Chuck Norris films at the time. 

This film presents him more in his later years where he is in more in a modern time where things seem more disposable and cheap. 

While the film isn’t a western it feels like one with the anti-hero, a hero of very few words. He is smarter than most around him, but also a man of action more than anything. As he even does the right thing which is understandable in the film Context but horrible in reality. As he breaks the law for the right reasons but really for his own purposes. That has consequences and Places a moral quandary In the middle of the film. It also allows him to better set a trap.

Throughout Charles Bronson comes off as mroe subdued the opposite of Gene Davis who plays the killer as more over the top. Though the film offers good one-liners and good back and forth between characters especially Bronson, Andrew Stevens, and Lisa Eilbacher who plays his daughter. 

The film comes off as sleazy and exploitative. As whenever there is a murder. As the killer is naked to not leave behind any evidence supposedly. His victims usually young women are often killed in the nude. Which makes the killings feel More Cruel and sadistic more like sexual assaults than anything. The film Spells out Early and the film Doesn’t Present it subtlety Either with him even saying that the knife is like a penis and he gets to penetrate them. 

The film does have the feeling of 1980‘s excess with the graphic violence and nudity. Which seems there to please the Audience more than anything. Charles Bronson is so Cool though he can even be forgiven for his more comical running at the end. 

Happy to see that the film is more of a Thriller than an action film. Even if at times it feels more like an episode of a police procedural. Though it sets up Bronson’s tough attitude at the Beginning with a Scene that Is supposed to be comedic. As throughout the film Bronson is shown to be more old school and Seems Stuck in a time where everything is kind of new wave or a victim Of modern-day politics of law and order.

Kind of a little of the death wish Mentality that got him a fan base of more blue-collar guys with that same kind of mentality that modern-day Risks and culture are too soft and tie The hands of law enforcement and Seem To care more about the criminals’ feelings and rights.

The last act becomes more of a massacre that feels like it belongs more in a horror film. 

The film is pretty open and shut but stays entertaining throughout. The film ends up better than expected despite itself. I Hope More of his films are like this. 

Grade: B

CHAINED HEAT (1983)

Directed By: Paul Nicholas
Written By: Paul Nicholas & Vincent Mongol 
Cinematography: Mac Ahlberg 
Editor: Nino Di Marco

Cast: Linda Blair, John Vernon, Sybil Danning, Tamara Dobson, Stella Stevens, Henry Silva, Sharon Hughes, Louisa Moritz, Robert Miano, Nina Talbot 

Young Carol Henderson ends up in prison where she must learn how to survive in an environment plagued by violence, murder, rape, racism, drugs and staff corruption and brutality.


This is so sleazy this can almost be a set-up for a porno film. There is enough sexual innuendo and nudity for it. Luckily the plot and characters take over and make it into an overall b-movie exploitation film. That does go over the top in a couple of places but stays entertaining. 

This is an exploitation classic that is dirty and cheesy. Where few characters are actually good as all are pretty bad some just happen to be worse and some actually have hearts. 

There is action but the film seems more concerned with what it chooses to sell itself on with see and nudity and when there is action it is certainly violent. 

The shocking aspect of these types of films is that it exploits their Female characters’ looks and bodies, but by the end try to come off as a female empowerment tale full of feminism. That feels only there to give the film some likable appeal and give the female prisoner characters something and someone to fight against other than each other eventually. 

I will admit this is another Linda Blair revelation film for me. As I slowly go through her film

Appearances and performances. Showing she is quite an adept actress who is more than a one-hot wonder of sorts from THE EXORCIST. Though for a time period she was at least still getting more leading roles. 

If you are a film fan this is a feast of a kind of character actor and b-movie all-star cast. 

Grade: C+

WHEN WILL I BE LOVED (2004)

Written & Directed By: James Toback 
Cinematography: Larry McConkey
Editor: Suzy Elmiger 

Cast: Neve Campbell, Frederick Weller, Dominic Chianese, Joelle Carter, James Toback, Barry Primus, Karen Allen, Michael Mailer, Lori Singer, Mike Tyson, Damon Dash, 

Feeling undervalued by her boyfriend, a young woman begins to explore her sexuality with other people.


Writer/Director James Toback rests a little too easily on the audience’s knowledge of his past work. He was a pretty much in-demand screenwriter, though became so tangled in controversy he is considered canceled in the industry.

I used to watch his films more for their examination of relationships but also for the way they were developed and filmed. More artistic and definitely more improvised.

This was the last of his films that I watched in a movie theater and this was the third strike in which I was very disappointed. After so much hype. After BLACK & WHITE and HARVARD MAN. Was really hoping for much better. Even if it was me and 3 other people in total in the theater to watch this film on opening day no less.

Neve Campbell in the lead role does fine with the role but she comes off a little too ordinary and long in the tooth to play this seductress that the male characters seem to obsess over. Though maybe more her personality and charm make it believable and let your guard down and hook you. Even though the role isn’t that strong, but puts her at the center of things and usually has the upper hand.

This might have been his way of making a Femme Fatale the main character and center of the film. His view of giving her agency, As she is put up as a pawn, but is actually in control most of the time. Even if the film never treats her as favorable. Toback seems to want to offer a film that is a conversation starter and shows him more about the side of the female characters. Even if when you watch more of his films from the second half of his career. He populates his films with these types of female characters. He paints as more scheming but never the main character. He also never truly offers any insight into their psyche. They just seem to behave in this manner as the stories require it for the films to have twists or tension

Frederick Walker is the only exciting and believable performance out of the main characters. This movie comes off as more an expressive and visual play than a movie. As it feels opened up to include more backdrops and scenery.

The film teases the audience when it comes to sex and nude scenes. That ends up rather Unrevealing and tame for a movie that is supposed to be an erotic drama. Even the brief one in central park is so brief and seemingly played more for laughs. 

The film offers strange cameos. One would guess is to the unpredictable nature of New York and its characters, but the characters in the cameos are more interesting than the main ones. Where we wish the film could follow or involve them more.

Even writer/director James Toback cameos as a parody of himself and his fascination with African Americans. 

The film doesn’t do intentional comedy well. The laughs in this movie are more unintentional. 

The story doesn’t make sense. As you wonder, the count can’t get his own women even though he is apparently world famous and would go to this sleazy guy, just to spend some time with his girlfriend? 

The film does have good camera work and a good soundtrack. Those are the film’s strengths. As it never feels real and it constantly feels like an act or a show. 

Grade: F

BULL (2021)

Cinematography: Ben Chads & Vanessa Whyte

Editor: James Taylor

Written & Directed By: Paul Andrew Williams

Cast: Neil Maskell, David Hayman, Laura McAlpine, Yassine Mkhichen, David Nellist, Tamzin Outhwaite, Kellie Shirley 

Bull mysteriously returns home after a 10-year absence to seek revenge on those who double-crossed him all those years ago.


The film’s opening scene sets up the rest of the movie really with an introduction of the title character that is strong whole also showcases the tough tone of the film.

What is more shocking are the tender moments of the film of which there are a few and a kind of strange twist of fates.

The film plays pretty predictably offering a few twists, but pretty much most of the film is watching the character take his revenge while every so often the film tells us the backstory of what led to this in the first place.

The title character isn’t a saint he was pretty violent beforehand and now has been left off his leash and takes very few prisoners. The only thing that he has a soft spot for before all of this was his son. As he is a pretty good dad, though surrounded by nasty characters who either find themselves into this out of loyalty or money 

While the film is mainly predictable it is strong and keeps you engaged throughout. There is no get on the film as it gets to the point and for the most part, is relentless throughout. 

As the violence is either shown or heavily suggested. So this film isn’t for the faint of heart. One thing that is always fascinating in these films is when the film chooses to more focus on those being hunted down and killed. As you can see those who are used to being hunters react to being prey.

Once you find out the film’s budget was low. It’s even more impressive what was done and how tight the film is.

Grade: B

SURVIVING THE GAME (1994)

Directed By: Ernest R. Dickerson

Written By: Eric Bernt

Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli

Editor: Sam Pollard

Cast: Ice-T, Rugter Hauer, Charles S. Dutton, F Murray Abraham, Gary Busey, John C. McGinley, William McNamara, Jeff Corey, Bob Minor 

A homeless man is hired as a survival guide for a group of wealthy businessmen on a hunting trip in the mountains, unaware that they are killers who hunt humans for sport, and that he is their new prey.


At the time this might have seemed like an action film that was a fine by the dozen, but looking back it feels like it was a bit ahead of Its time.

As at the time it might have felt too basic or familiar. To a film like Jean Claude Van-Damme starring HARD TARGET. 

Casting Ice-T during a starring hot streak and then surrounding him with well-known character actors. As seemingly types though as the film goes alongside actually revealing decency or having specific reasons for their savagery and blood lust.

His casting works as he is not your typical action hero presence. So that gives him a kind of wild card status in which to impress and win over the audience. As he is the protagonist, we still don’t know exactly what to expect. 

Though race isn’t brought up it can easily be seen or interpreted. Even if the argument is over classism. As Ice-t’s character is a military vet who is homeless and most of the hunters are rich, successful white men. Racism and capitalism usually walk hand in hand. As for something to have value another must not have any. As really the only other person of color is Charles S. Dutton who helps discover him and convinces him to take the job.

The film offers plenty of surprises and double-crosses. It also offers ice-T’s character who was suicidal a reason to survive, a passion for life, and live again. 

The film comes across as a little bit more realistic in its action sequences. Which are quite impressive. As no one is an expert, some characters actually need to reload or rest. Though it never feels overplayed, overwrought, too expensive or stylish just to look cool.

The ending is a bit of a letdown by bringing up a point that is repeatedly brought up so many times. You know it will be integral later.

One of the reasons for the audience to enjoy the film is that most of the cast, the hunting party if you will, is made up of classic character actors who usually play villains. So it’s a murderer’s row hunting our hero down. Which gives the film and the lead a kind of bonafide status 

This ends up being one of the more memorable ice-t leading roles, especially in an action film. No less treated a certain way maybe because it is more contained. As far as cast size goes. 

Grade: C+

EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE (2019)

Written & Directed By: Vince Gilligan Cinematography: Marshall Adams Editor: Skip MacDonald

Cast: Aaron Paul, Jonathan Banks, Jesse Plemmons, Matt Jones, Charles Baker, Robert Forester, Larry Hankin, Tom Bower, Marla Gibbs, Tess Harper,  Brendan Sexton III, Kevin Rankin, Krysten Ritter, Bryan Cranston 

Fugitive Jesse Pinkman runs from his captors, the law, and his past.


If you are a fan of the series this is a must-see as it doesn’t Disgrace the legacy of the show as some finales can do. It adds to it a little. Though for those who had their own fantasies and theories about what happens to Jesse Pinkman after he drives away at the end of the series. This gives a definite answer rather than what some fans might have to imagined or believed. Hopefully, you will find it better. What do you think.

This is partially difficult to review as it helps the viewer to know what came before it by watching the series. It’s not a must but probably helps your enjoyment and understanding but it is entirely necessary. As it also does a good job of exposing itself and its scenes as well as its motivations.

The film plays more like an epilogue of the series but also feels kind of like a finale for the series and the remaining lead character you care about. As many major characters cameo in this film.

The film is a slow burn that could easily have played like two episodes from the series. As they are expansive yet tiny and meticulous.

As we watch the character of Jessie maneuver his actions and motivations are hampered by the past. As we see various flashbacks that tell their own story but explain Jesse’s Actions and kind of work as inner monologues of sorts. Though they help explain where he is going or at least heading to.

He is still down and dirty and trying to make an escape where it either seems like he is having the worst luck or a comedy of errors keeps happening to him.

While certainly a crime thriller it also works as a character study and as goodbye in the form of a kind of side story to the series. That helps explain exactly some of his treatment and trauma. As well as letting the character continue his story and get his own proper ending.

Grade: B