Release Date: March 11th, 1977 Directed by: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman Written by: Larry Clemmons, Ralph Wright, Vance Gerry, Xavier Atencio, Ken Anderson, Julius Svendsen, Ted Berman, Eric Cleworth Based on:Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne Music by: Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman (songs), Buddy Baker (score) Cast: Sterling Holloway, John Fiedler, Junius Matthews, Paul Winchell, Howard Morris, Bruce Reitherman, Jon Walmsley, Timothy Turner, Clint Howard, Sebastian Cabot (narrator)
Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Productions, Buena Vista Distribution, 74 Minutes
“It’s not much of a tail, but I’m sort of attached to it.” – Eeyore
It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen this animated Disney classic but I loved it as a kid and I think it still plays exceptionally well.
The story is narrated by the great Sebastian Cabot and it features a bunch of small tales set in the world of Winnie the Pooh. So this is more of an anthology featuring the same core characters than it is a feature length story.
The animation is smooth and dreamlike and I still think that this is the best adaptation of the written material and the quintessential Winnie the Pooh film to introduce to kids that might like the character and his world.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh also features a pretty stellar voice cast that brings these characters to life in a remarkable and memorable way. Sterling Holloway, especially, achieved legendary status with his performance, here, as he gave the world the voice and personality that we would forever associate with Pooh.
I also didn’t know until now that Clint Howard provided his voice for Roo, the little kangaroo character. That, in its own way, adds another layer of coolness to the picture.
Also known as: Halloween: Retribution (working title) Release Date: August 31st, 2007 Directed by: Rob Zombie Written by: Rob Zombie Based on:Halloween by John Carpenter, Debra Hill Music by: Tyler Bates, John Carpenter (original themes) Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris, William Forsythe, Daeg Faerch, Richard Lynch, Udo Kier, Clint Howard, Danny Trejo, Lew Temple, Tom Towles, Bill Moseley, Leslie Easterbrook, Skyler Gisondo, Kristina Klebe, Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, Sybil Danning, Sid Haig
Spectacle Entertainment Group, Nightfall Productions, Dimension Films, 109 Minutes
“His eyes will deceive you; they will destroy you. They will take from you your innocence, your pride, and eventually your soul. These eyes do not see what you and I see. Behind these eyes one finds only blackness, the absence of light. These are the eyes of a psychopath.” – Dr. Samuel Loomis
Fuck, this movie is such shit.
I’d say it’s the worst Halloween film ever made and it actually was until, for some reason, Rob Zombie was allowed to make an even worse sequel.
This movie sucks because it completely destroys the mystery around Michael Myers the second it starts. It shows him as a kid and it shows his terrible white trash family. In fact, it’s this white trash family that made me realize that Rob Zombie has a terrible obsession with white trash without fully understanding it. It’s like he fetishizes what he thinks it is and then turns the volume on all of his characters up to thirty-one. Huh… maybe that’s why he made another white trash movie called 31.
Anyway, it also doesn’t help that Michael Myers is a hulking beast and he can literally flip a car over in this film series, as he does in the second one. Now I generally like Tyler Mane and he should definitely play slasher characters but for the role of Michael Myers, his level of mass was just too over the top. It’s almost like Zombie wanted Myers to be a suped up Jason Voorhees like the version from Freddy vs. Jason.
Back to the origin bullshit, it’s completely unnecessary, as Michael Myers is just a mysterious force of nature. All we know is that when he was the small child of an apparently normal middle class (not white trash) family, he murdered his older sister and was then sent away to a mental institution. Frankly, that’s all we’ve ever needed to know because the films have never been about who Michael is.
The film is also ridiculous in how the Myers family is this blatantly white trash family with thick but poorly executed Southern accents while the rest of the town is a normal middle class, Midwest neighborhood without Southern accents. Well, some characters have accents but it’s kind of random who does and who doesn’t but half the population doesn’t sound like people from rural Illinois.
The second half of the film is better than the white trash heavy first half, however, it’s just a retread of the original, far superior, John Carpenter Halloween film.
There are only two things I liked about this movie.
The first was Malcolm McDowell as a very different version of Dr. Loomis. However, like many of McDowell’s roles, he provides a solid performance in a film that is far below his level of talent.
The second was all the cameos from horror legends I love. Although, most of them disappear as quickly as they show up and it just feels like cheap fan service.
Release Date: October 18th, 1967 Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman Written by: Larry Clemmons, Ralph Wright, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry Based on:The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling Music by: George Bruns Cast: Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, George Sanders, Sterling Holloway, John Abbott, Louis Prima, Bruce Reitherman, Clint Howard
Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Productions, 78 Minutes
“What do they call you?” – Baloo, “His name is Mowgli, and I’m taking him back to the man village.” – Bagheera, “Man village? They’ll ruin him. They’ll make a man out of him.” – Baloo,
While I always liked The Jungle Book it wasn’t one of the films that popped into my head when thinking of Disney’s greatest classic animated features. However, seeing it this time, the first in a few decades, gave me a new appreciation for it, as seeing it through the eyes of an adult made it a richer experience.
The reason for that, is that even though I can relate to Mowgli, I have more appreciation for Bagheera’s point-of-view and also have grown away from my more care-free ways that Baloo exhibits. Well, until Baloo has to ultimately let the kid move on and live his life.
The magic of this film is that it can connect to anyone through the youthful Mowgli but it has the ability to speak to the adults watching it in a way that the kids also probably understand but can’t fully connect to until they’ve actually experienced more in life.
Also, this is just such a fun and jovial movie that its music really stands out for this era of Disney pictures.
I also like the art style and the lush colors and environment.
It reminds me a lot of the film before it, The Sword In the Stone, in how this plays more like two friends going on random adventures where the main plot is just kind of secondary. Except, this does that better and overall, provides a more memorable and emotional bond.
The Jungle Book is simply great. It’s a positive, fun, coming of age story that has some of the best tunes in the history of Disney films.
Also known as: Evilspeaks (alternative title) Release Date: August 22nd, 1981 (Japan) Directed by: Eric Weston Written by: Eric Weston, Joseph Garofalo Music by: Roger Kellaway Cast: Clint Howard, R. G. Armstrong, Joseph Cortese, Claude Earl Jones, Haywood Nelson, Don Stark, Charles Tyner, Richard Moll
“I command you, Prince of Evil, heed my call. Give life to the instruments of my retribution.” – Stanley Coopersmith
Evilspeak is a cool movie that capitalized on two things that had people worried in the early ’80s: the “Satanic panic” the media and parents groups were raging about, as well as the emergence of personal computers and what such a jump in technology could mean for the common folk.
This also stars a very young Clint Howard, playing a teen in a military school that decides to use his computer to summon the devil in an effort to conquer his bullies.
It’s also neat seeing the bully being played by a young Don Stark, who is probably most famous for being the doofus neighbor to Red Foreman on That ’70s Show.
The movie also features legendary, badass character actor R.G. Armstrong, as well as Richard Moll, before he’d go on to greater heights as Bull on the ’80s sitcom Night Court. There’s also Lenny Montana, a former professional wrestler that was most known for playing Luca Brasi in The Godfather and another sitcom star, Haywood Nelson, who was already known for his role as Dwayne on What’s Happening!! and later, What’s Happening Now!!
Man, I dig the hell out of this movie. It’s not just because I love the cast, it’s because this is just a time capsule into a really cool era for horror cinema. Also, it’s not a slasher flick or haunted house movie. Frankly, it’s pretty unique, at least for its time.
Granted, it’s concept would be ripped off and reimagined in several other films but this is the first film I know of where a personal computer was used to create a black mass and call forth the Devil.
Clint Howard really shines here because even if he succumbs to evil and a fucked up revenge plot, you still sympathize with him, as he just has this sort of soft, sad, endearing quality as this character, Stanley. His life sucks, it’s tough as hell and his bully is a real piece of shit. That being said, what the bully does to Stanley’s puppy is unforgivable and as a viewer, you want Stanley to literally raise hell.
I thought that the special effects in this were also pretty great. The big finale was well shot and employed some cool techniques, as a levitating, demonically possessed Stanley unleashes his newfound power on the assholes who tormented him.
Beyond that, I also thought the locations, sets and general visual tone were perfect. The film’s score wasn’t too bad either.
Evilspeak is one of those early ’80s horror movies that seems like it’s mostly forgotten today. However, it’s concept has lived on in countless other things throughout pop culture.
Rating: 7.75/10 Pairs well with: other “Satanic panic” movies of the ’80s, as well as Brainscan, The Gate II: Trespassers, Lawnmower Man and 976-EVIL.
Also known as: Austin Powers 3, Austinpussy, Austin Powers: Never Say Member Again, The Next Installment of Austin Powers, The Third Installment of Austin Powers (working titles) Release Date: July 26th, 2002 Directed by: Jay Roach Written by: Mike Myers, Michael McCullers Music by: George S. Clinton Cast: Mike Myers, Beyonce Knowles, Michael Caine, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Seth Green, Mindy Sterling, Verne Troyer, Clint Howard, Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, Masi Oka, Michael McDonald, Donna D’Errico, Greg Grunberg, Kinga Philipps, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Kristen Johnston, Tom Cruise, Danny DeVito, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, John Travolta, Britney Spears, Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, Jack Osbourne, Willie Nelson, Burt Bacharach, Nathan Lane, Katie Couric
Team Todd, Gratitude, New Line Cinema, 94 Minutes
“There are only two things I can’t stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.” – Nigel Powers
The third and unfortunately final film of the Austin Powers series may be the worst of the three but it’s still damn enjoyable and pretty good. Besides, all the films are fairly close in overall quality; this one just happened to be the odd one out.
That being said, this one is the most ambitious of the three pictures.
I like this movie, even if the story feels really overstuffed. There are some cool, big twists to the series’ mythos and I actually kind of loved what they did with it by the end of the film. It also ended in a way that opened up a fresh take on the franchise that would’ve been really neat to explore in another movie.
While a fourth film has been rumored since this one came out, I don’t see how you could even do it now in our overly sensitive, always offended modern world. Comedy is truly dead in the 2020s and anything they could make, would be an unfunny, mittens wearing, faded Xerox copy of the original three flicks. No thanks.
Anyway, I think what I liked most about this was the inclusion of Michael Caine as Austin’s father. He was so enjoyable in this that I wish they would’ve debuted his character earlier so that we could’ve got him in more than just one picture.
Mike Myers also ups the ante, as he now plays not just Austin, Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard but also a new villain, Goldmember.
Heather Graham is gone, unfortunately, but Beyonce was decent as the new female partner for Austin. They didn’t really seem to give the two a romantic plot, though, which kind of felt weird, as Austin, in spite of his ugliness, is a chick magnet of incalculable levels.
As I said, this is the worst movie of the three but it’s still a good send off for these characters and their story, assuming we never get a fourth film.
Rating: 7/10 Pairs well with: the other Austin Powers films and other ’60s styled spy spoofs like the Dean Martin Matt Helm movies and the original Casino Royale.
Also known as: Austin Powers 2, It’s Shagging Time (working titles) Release Date: June 11th, 1999 Directed by: Jay Roach Written by: Michael McCullers, Mike Myers Music by: George S. Clinton Cast: Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Seth Green, Mindy Sterling, Verne Troyer, Will Ferrell, Clint Howard, Burt Bacharach, Michael McDonald, Rob Lowe, Jeff Garlin, Elvis Costello, Jerry Springer, Rebecca Romijn, Woody Harrelson, Charles Napier, Tim Robbins, Willie Nelson, Fred Willard, David Koechner, Tony Jay (narrator)
Moving Pictures, Gratitude, New Line Cinema, 95 Minutes
“I can’t believe Vanessa, my bride, my one true love, the woman who taught me the beauty of monogamy, was a fembot all along. Wait a tick, that means I’m single again! Oh behave!” – Austin Powers
Out of the three movies in the Austin Powers trilogy, this one is my favorite, even though all the films are really close in overall quality.
There are a few reasons why I like this one slightly better.
First, I like the plot better than the first movie. It’s more complex, more interesting and doesn’t simply try to rehash the beats of the first picture. There’s also a time travel element that works for me, even though it quickly breaks the fourth wall dismissing the paradoxes and narrative problems it creates. Because, honestly, this is a mindless, fun Austin Powers movie and you shouldn’t be thinking that hard anyway.
Second, I loved all the new characters from Mini-Me, Fat Bastard and especially Rob Lowe, as the younger version of Number 2.
Third, this has Heather Graham in it as the main “Powers Girl” and she’s always been a favorite of mine and certainly my favorite babe in a film series packed full of incredible, badass babes.
Apart from those three things, this film is just as fun and entertaining as the first movie. Additionally, the cast seems much more at-home in their roles and they’re even better than they were in the previous film.
I also like this chapter because it shows you which jokes sort of become reoccurring gags. Many of these bits became staples of the series while also becoming one of the more endearing things about this goofy, amusing franchise.
It’s also obvious that this movie had more money to play around with. There are bigger, better sets and more of them. Dr. Evil gets multiple lairs and each of them are much grander than the previous film’s underground bunker.
All in all, this is still solid, fun escapism and it made me smile in a young decade that hasn’t been very kind to most of us.
Rating: 7.5/10 Pairs well with: the other Austin Powers films and other ’60s styled spy spoofs like the Dean Martin Matt Helm movies and the original Casino Royale.
Also known as: Austin Powers (working title) Release Date: April 29th, 1997 (Los Angeles premiere) Directed by: Jay Roach Written by: Mike Myers Music by: George S. Clinton Cast: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers, Robert Wagner, Seth Green, Mindy Sterling, Fabiana Udenio, Will Ferrell, Joe Son, Paul Dillon, Charles Napier, Elya Baskin, Clint Howard, Tom Arnold (uncredited), Carrie Fisher, Larry Thomas, Burt Bacharach, Michael McDonald, Cindy Margolis, Christian Slater (UK version only), Rob Lowe (scene deleted)
Capella International, Gratitude, Juno Pix, New Line Cinema, 94 Minutes, 68 Minutes (TV cut)
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my underground lair. I have gathered here before me the world’s deadliest assassins, and yet each of you has failed to kill Austin Powers. That makes me angry. And when Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset… people die!” – Dr. Evil
I, like most people, was a big fan of this film series when it was current. Weirdly, I hadn’t watched any of these since the third movie, Goldmember, came out in theaters. I had seen the first two at least a half dozen times, however, leading up to that third and final chapter.
Revisiting these now was a lot of fun. Even though I remembered just about everything and knew all the jokes and gags, it still felt like I was seeing it fresh and frankly, it made me nostalgic for a time when you could make movies like these because the world wasn’t so f’n PC and sensitive. If they ever made a fourth film, it would be a neutered and unfunny bitch.
This first film is still a hell of a lot of fun and it’s great, solid escapism. Especially in the early 2020s, as the world is really turning into a big ball of shit. Not having much in the way of real entertainment has also taken its toll on people, so looking back at stuff like this is kind of comforting.
In spite of the adversity nearly everyone has gone through as of late, it’s still hard not being happy watching Mike Myers ham it up as an uglied up, horny, British spy that’s part playboy, part buffoon and somehow still a hero when the odds are against him.
Like the ’90s, as a whole, this movie is crass and low brow. But growing up in that time is why I love that shit and probably why I miss it. Then again, people still knew how to laugh back in 1997.
Anyway, Myers also plays Dr. Evil, the film’s villain and his greatest character. But Myers also had the benefit of playing off of so many other great actors in this film. It’s this series that really cemented Seth Green as a legitimate talent for me and it also helped me fall in love with the comedic greatness of Mindy Sterling. Plus, Robert Wagner has never been better and that guy is always f’n great!
Additionally, this movie is full of hot babes, most notably the angelic Elizabeth Hurley. We also get Mimi Rogers at her all-time hottest, as well as Fabiana Udenio, a long time favorite babe of mine, and the glorious and sultry Fembots.
Austin Powers wasn’t the first film to parody the James Bond franchise but honestly, it’s probably the best and I say that as someone that adores the Dean Martin Matt Helms quadrilogy.
Rating: 7.25/10 Pairs well with: the other Austin Powers films and other ’60s styled spy spoofs like the Dean Martin Matt Helm movies and the original Casino Royale.
Release Date: April 8th, 1994 Directed by: Rodman Flender Written by: Turi Meyer, Al Septien Based on: characters by Mark Jones Music by: Jonathan Elias Cast: Warwick Davis, Charlie Heath, Shevonne Durkin, Sandy Baron, Kimmy Robertson, Clint Howard, Tony Cox, Michael McDonald
Planet Productions, Trimark Pictures, 85 Minutes
“Scream as you may! Scream as you might! If you try to escape, you’ll be dead on this night.” – Leprechaun
As I said in my review of the first Leprechaun movie, this is a series that actually increased in quality as it went on. Granted, it did run out of steam after the first three or four movies but this chapter in the series is slightly better than its predecessor.
You don’t really get an explanation on how the Leprechaun survived the first film but also, you never really knew if he died in that one or just got severely fucked up.
Who cares, though, as these movies use magic to do just about anything for the sake of convenience. Like its predecessor, the Leprechaun’s powers aren’t clearly defined and he can pretty much do whatever he wants. So don’t try to analyze the plots of these films or the title character’s choices with any sort of logic.
In this chapter, the Leprechaun shows up in Los Angeles to claim his bride, after cursing the family of an Irishman who outwitted him a thousand years earlier. None of that really matters, anyway. Just know that the Leprechaun wants the movie’s pretty teen girl and her doofus boyfriend wants to protect her.
There are some pretty decent kills in this film but the gore factor should’ve been kicked up a bit. I think the real reason why it wasn’t had more to due with budgetary reasons than anything else. It would’ve been cool seeing the lawnmower kiss of death kill actually happen onscreen and not in silhouette. Also, the pot of gold in the belly kill should have been much more gruesome.
Anyway, Warwick Davis saves this picture from complete mediocrity. He’s much more comfortable in the role and he really turns up the volume in this one. There are also some really good one-liners.
In the end, this is far from my favorite horror franchise but I still enjoy these movies regardless of their faults. However, without Warwick Davis, these films would be just as forgettable and trash as The Wishmaster movies.
Rating: 5.5/10 Pairs well with: the other Leprechaun movies starring Warwick Davis.
Also known as: The Adventures of the Rocketeer (Australia) Release Date: June 19th, 1991 (Hollywood premiere) Directed by: Joe Johnston Written by: Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, William Dear Based on:The Rocketeer by Dave Stevens Music by: James Horner Cast: Billy Campbell, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, Terry O’Quinn, Ed Lauter, James Handy, Jon Polito, William Sanderson, Margo Martindale, Clint Howard, Melora Hardin, Tiny Ron Taylor
Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners IV, 108 Minutes
“That son of a bitch will fly!” – Howard Hughes
It’s been close to three decades since I’ve seen The Rocketeer, as I saw it in the theater in 1991 and once on VHS just after that. I hadn’t seen it since but I have always had pretty fond memories of the film. Now that it’s on Disney+, I figured I’d revisit it.
The film is actually much better than I remembered and I’m surprised that it didn’t leave a big enough mark on me to inspire me to buy it over the last 29 or so years. But I feel like the things I appreciate about it now are mainly due to my age and the lack of imaginative filmmaking that closed out the 2010s.
It feels very much like a 1990ish live action Disney movie but it reminds me a lot of Dick Tracy because of the period it takes place in, as well as the Indiana Jones films due to the involvement of Nazis, as well as being full of adventure, action and very ’30s-’40s pulpy elements.
The film is actually based off of a comic book character and that character was created as an homage to the rocket-backpack heroes of the old serials like Commando Cody.
The Rocketeer greatly benefits from having a large, great cast. Many of these people I didn’t even realize were in this, as I saw this in a time where I probably wouldn’t have recognized many of them. The bulk of the acting duties, however, fall on Bill Campbell, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Connelly and Timothy Dalton. All four are pretty good in this and Connelly, who’s never not been beautiful, looks like an old school Hollywood starlet from the silver screen era.
I loved Dalton in this, as the villain who is one-part Nazi stooge and one-part Basil Rathbone. His role as the actor within the film was really neat and a cool idea for a bad guy. He’s slimy and vile but you also kind of feel for him, as he’s being forced into evil by the Nazis. But don’t get me wrong, he’s still a total bastard and a great one at that.
The special effects, for the most part, hold up well. The only shots that looked odd were kind of unavoidable, as this was made in a time where you could hide things on celluloid film. This wasn’t made for the digital HD era, so there are a few bits that look wonky in a way that they probably didn’t in 1991.
From memory, this film was kind of a dud, financially. It should have been the start of a franchise for Disney but it didn’t connect with a large enough audience and we only ever got this one film. When I was a kid, I was really looking forward to more of these, as well as more Dick Tracy. Part of me kind of hoped that they could’ve crossed over but none of my dreams for these films materialized.
If you’re going to cancel Disney+ because The Mandalorian is over, you might want to give this a watch first.
Rating: 8/10 Pairs well with: other early ’90s family action movies, most notably Dick Tracy.
Also known as: Los 3 del infierno (Mexico) Release Date: September 15th, 2019 (Fantasy Filmfest – Germany) Directed by: Rob Zombie Written by: Rob Zombie Music by: Zeuss Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Richard Brake, Sid Haig, Danny Trejo, Dee Wallace, Daniel Roebuck, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Emilio Rivera, Clint Howard, Richard Riehle, Sean Whalen
Capital Arts Entertainment, Spookshow International, Saban Films, Lionsgate, 111 Minutes
“Um… some old broad next door saw me gut that bitch. Um, think we should think about rolling out of here soon.” – Baby
Well, it took fourteen years to get a sequel to The Devil’s Rejects. If I’m being honest, the previous film had a perfect ending and it didn’t need a followup. I’m also not sure if Rob Zombie ever intended to do a third film. It feels like this was more or less done for fan service to get back on the good graces of those who liked his early movies, as everything since his Halloween remake hasn’t been received very well by most.
That being said, this is better than his more recent movies but it is definitely the worst of The Firefly Family Trilogy. Also, this is left open for a possible fourth movie but it should’ve ended with the second because you can only milk a cow so long before you start getting pus.
The problem I have with this film is two-fold.
First, this plays like the seventh movie in a row where Rob Zombie is basically creating a vehicle just for his wife. It’s more of his, “Look, guys! Isn’t my wife hot and crazy?!” The thing is, I initially liked Sherri Moon Zombie but she has been used to death and the focal point of all of Rob Zombie’s films that I’m kind of over it. Actually, I’ve been over it since Halloween II. She’s not a good actress and every character she plays is pretty much the same with her crazy dial adjusted to whatever the scene calls for. But I get that she is a main character in this film series. But maybe seeing her return to this role would’ve actually been welcomed had she not been the star of every movie Zombie’s directed since The Devil’s Rejects.
My second problem is that this is a movie with multiple personality disorder.
The picture is really two films wedged into two hours. With that, this doesn’t have what feels like a traditional three act structure but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Where this is bad, however, is that the first half is terrible, almost cringe worthy minus a few highlights. The second half is much better but it still isn’t up to par with the two films before it.
The first half of the movie deals with the family members surviving a shootout that definitely should have killed them, their time in prison and then their eventual jailbreak. This excludes Sid Haig’s Captain Spaulding, however, as he is executed. This was primarily due to Sid Haig being in poor health and only being able to film for one day on set. Sadly, he passed away a few weeks back but he did go out with a bang and delivered the best dialogue of the picture. Luckily, for Haig fans, he has two more movies slated to come out next year.
The second half of the film sees Otis and Baby with their cousin Winslow escape to Mexico, where they think that they’ll be safe from the national manhunt that wants to see them brought to justice, once again.
I mostly like the second half and it at least woke me up from the slumber of the first hour.
In Mexico, we see the family hole up in a shitty motel brothel with some other rough characters. However, their hideout vacation is quickly invaded by a Mexican cartel in lucha libre masks that want revenge for something that Otis did. So we get a big war between the Firefly Family and the lucha cartel in a rundown Mexican brothel. In some ways the setting is pretty much a rehash of the confrontation the family had in Charlie’s brothel in The Devil’s Rejects, except there is a lot more action, the extra flair of the Mexican locale and it feels more like a western standoff.
I think that the one saving grace of the film is Bill Moseley, who hits it out of the park once again, as Otis. But I also really enjoyed newcomer Richard Brake, who played the new, third member of the family. While he doesn’t makeup for the severe lack of Haig’s Spaulding, he was still a fun character with a lot of charisma and he meshed well with the dynamic of Otis and Baby.
3 From Hell is the weakest chapter in the trilogy. That’s mainly due to the first hour and frankly, that half of the film could’ve been edited down to a half hour. This would’ve benefited from being a 90 minute movie instead of a two hour one.
Ultimately, it’s bogged down by scenes that didn’t need to be there because they didn’t advance the plot. This should’ve rolled forward at a swift pace and not have started out as such a slog to get through.
Rating: 5.5/10 Pairs well with: the two films before it: House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects.
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