R.I.W Wrestling Legend: George “The Animal” Steele

The doors are open at the Rotten Ink Arena, and the fans are pouring in as this “R.I.W Wrestling Legend” update is one that will please the young and old. Our main event is the missing link wild man known as George “The Animal” Steele who in the 80’s was a major star for the WWF, and as you can see at the merchandise table, his shirts and Mine Dolls are selling like crazy. And it looks like in George Steele’s honor they are serving green drinks and food at the snack bar, so let’s grab some green hotdogs and a Mountain Dew and find our seats as this update event is going to be a crazy one. The lights are dimming and the matches are about to start, so let’s get ready to cheer on the one and only George “The Animal” Steele. Oh and we should keep an eye out as who knows if we will see Mine or even if George himself will go wild and run crazy in the crowd!

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George “The Animal” Steele started his pro wrestling career in 1960 and was trained by Bert Rubi and started working the indies around Detroit, Michigan under the name The Student that was a masked wrestler as he wanted to hide who he really was as he was also a high school teacher at the time. During his run as The Student, he would be managed by Gary Hart who also acted as his mouthpiece and would hype of his brute strength. Around 1967 The Student would be no more and he would be called up to wrestle for the WWWF (that later would be WWF/WWE) and would also work a few other NWA territories and would be called George Steele and would be booked as a solid heel who would even challenge Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World Heavyweight title. He would feud with Bruno and many other of the federations’ top baby faces and would headline matches in Madison Squared Garden and would have a small run against Chief Jay Strongbow before taking a small time away to work more on his crazy wild man persona. And once back George “The Animal” Steele was fully wild and would rip up and eat the turnbuckles, had a green tongue and would have a strange wrestling style that had his arms wiggling around, which confused and worried his opponents. And his heel persona continued and allowed him to feud with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, Ivan Putski and Jimmy Snuka to name a few. And while he would never win a title, he did get many chances at them as a heel. During this time his interviews would be him loudly speaking a string of words, or yelling much like a young child would who is learning to speak. And I should also note during this time as a heel, he would also capture a few title from smaller NWA companies before he went to the WWF.

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On May 11, 1985 on NBC was the first every Saturday Night’s Main Event, and in the opening match George Steele teamed with Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff in a losing effort against The U.S. Express and Ricky Steamboat. But after the match, George is blamed for the loss and is attacked and this makes baby face manager Lou Albano save him and in this moment Steele went from heel to face. And very quickly George became one of the company’s top faces as fans loved this wild man who would put on silly cartoonish matches. In 1986 George Steele would start to get a crush on Miss Elizabeth, the manager of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and the two would have a feud and this would last well into 1987 with Steele even managing Ricky Steamboat as he went for Savage’s intercontinental title at WrestleMania III, but in the end Steele would be on the losing end of the feud and would never get the affection of Elizabeth. And keep in mind, Elizabeth was so nice to George and it was Savage, who was one of the company’s top heels, who hated the attention George was trying to get. During this time as well Steele would be getting big wins against such names as Hercules Hernandez, Iron Mike Sharpe, Iron Sheik and Bob Orton Jr. to name a few. In 1988 George Steele would introduce the fans to his stuff doll friend named Mine and he would bring him to the ring to watch his matches as well as would have the doll in his promos. He would be involved at WrestleMania IV and would be in the Battle Royal, but due to a real life knee injury he would just stay outside the ring and annoy the heels in the match. It was also starting to be clear that George was falling down the card and also his health was starting to be an issue and by late 1988 he would retire from the ring for the first time and would become a road agent for the WWF working backstage. He would be let go in 1990 and a short time later hired back, and he would hold that job until around 1997 when he left the company.

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After leaving WWF in the late 90’s as a road agent George Steele would start working the indies taking bookings and appearances. He even returned to WWF for an episode of Monday Night Raw in order to team with Taka Michinoku against Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher. And again in 1998 he would work for WWF as apart of The Oddities and would leave again in 1999. He would make a big mistake and be a part of the disaster wrestling PPV called “Heroes Of Wrestling” and was managed by Sensational Sherri and would face Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and this was in late 1999. At the start of 2000, he would have a match against Jeff Jarrett on an episode of WCW Monday Night Nitro. His last match took place in late 2000 at an ACW event against Sgt. Medallion. And even late in his career, he was very loved by fans and he helped many indies draw when his name was on the card. But while George Steele’s in ring work came to an end in 2000, he still made appearances for federations in including Impact in 2008 and WWF in 2010. And even all through his time working the indies, he was also working wrestling themed conventions. Sadly George “The Animal” Steele would pass away from kidney failure on February 16, 2017 at the age of 74. As some of you might know, George battled Crohn’s Disease starting around the late 80’s and battled it for much of the rest of his life. He also was an actor in such films as Ruthless People (1986), Ed Wood (1994) and Small Town Conspiracy (2003) to name a few. And he also was inducted into the WWF Hall Of Fame in 1995 and has appeared in a small amount of wrestling video games.

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Growing up through the 80’s and 90’s was a great time to be a wrestling fan as Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in the sport and business was great and so many icons stepped foot into the ring as we also still had stars from the 60’s and 70’s competing. And one older star that I was a fan of was George “The Animal” Steele, the crazy man who would yell, chase around his opponent and would eat the turnbuckles all the while showing his green tongue. And yeah I know what you are thinking and you would be right, George Steele might not have been the world’s greatest wrestler and by all accounts he was just a gimmick wrestler who put on comedy matches, but man when I was a kid it worked. I had the George Steele LJN figure as well as his Bendy toy, and I always wanted a Mine doll and still do want one to this day. The best part of George Steele is that he was a heel that people believed could rip a person apart with his brute strength, and when he turned baby face, he was loved as people thought he was simple and misunderstood and fun loving. And let’s be honest, everyone in the stands and watching at home would mark out when George would eat and rip apart the turnbuckle having the stuffing go all over the ring. Also his cartoonish nature when wrestling, as a face would cause fans to laugh at his odd style of waving his hands around and silly faces that he would make at his opponents. When booked as a heel I have to say that George Steele really did come off as a threat as he would be totally wild and his hairy missing link look seemed to scare the fans as well as would through his baby face opponent off their game as he would wiggle his arms around and come off as a total crazy man. George “Steele” is also a wrestler I would pop for even way after he was winding down his in ring career but when he would show up on WWF or WCW I would cheer as seeing him in the ring brought back memories of my youth. Plus on a side note, Tim Burton and his team did a fantastic job of hiring George Steele to play Tor Johnson in the 1994 cult classic film Ed Wood based on the filmmaker’s life. Also the first ever WWF Ice Cream bar I ever got had George Steele on it and inside had a trading card of George as well! With that said George might not have been the most skilled in ring worker but he sure as hell was a very entertaining one.

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We are now at the point of this review where we will be taking a look at the DVD set and review some of the matches on the discs like always between 4 to 8. I want to thank Coliseum Of Wrestling & Boxing for having this set in stock and also want to thank George Steele for his hard work in the world of wrestling. I also want to remind you that I will only be breaking down randomly selected matches from this set and will be breaking down the match and will be rating the matches on a 5 Star rating system. I also only choose from single matches, as I want to break down the matches that showcase his style. Here is what the stars mean ½ Means a really terrible match, * Means a bad match, ** Means a below average match, **1/2 Means a good average entertaining match, *** Means a good match, **** Means a great match, ***** Means an epic match. So if you are ready, let’s step into the ring with George Steele.

RIW Legend George Steele DVD

Best Of George Steele

Match 1: George Steele vs. Hulk Hogan

As the match starts, George starts by wiggling your hands around and Hogan stops his antics by flexing and stopping George in his tracks and as George gets out of the ring Hogan goes out after him and beats him up as the fans go crazy. Once back in the ring Hogan and George size each other up and neither wants to make a mistake and its George who makes the first move and with a wrack to Hogan’s eyes he takes the lead of the match by working over his eyes and even biting him. George takes the padding off of a turnbuckle and tries to ram Hogan’s head into it before he reverses it and rams Georges into it and then Hogan takes the match momentum and even bites the head of George! The two exchange hits and punches and with the help of brass knuckles George hurts Hogan and keeps using it to keep the Hulkster down. But after a while Hogan has had enough and after Hulking Up and some punches and a big boot to the face of George and when going for the legdrop, Mr. Fuji cheats and trips Hogan and as George distracts the referee he throws powder into the eyes of Hogan blinding him and causing him to fall out of the ring and is counted out and the fans are very mad by this. This is a match that on paper should not work well as both Hogan and Steele are wrestlers who work their own styles with Steele’s really being more of a gimmick and yet the two made it work as they blended both together and really got the crowd into it. No big moves are thrown and nothing really fancy is delivered, but the way Steele cheats and gets the heat from the crowd and the way the fans pop for Hogan at every move really does make the match feel big. I was also really surprised when Steele is the one who gets the win via pinfall. Over all a good match that had a big fight feel and showed that George Steele could have been a big heel even in the 80’s if booked right.

Rating: ***

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Match 2: George Steele vs. Pete Mitchell

George Steele is managed by Freddie Blassie in this match and as soon as the bell rings, the weird movements of George throws of Pete and George moves in and attacks the face and head of Pete even biting him. George then destroys the turnbuckle and keeps his attack on Pete going who is helpless at this point and is just being destroyed. George even tosses Pete out of the ring and Blassie even delivers a kick to him, and George will not let him back in the ring. Once back in the ring George starts working on both arms of Pete stomping on them, and at this point Pete has not even landed one punch or move in the match. George continues beating up and tossing Pete around and in the end with a lifting hammerlock George gets the win when Pete is forced to give up. And after the bell George still beats up on Pete and Blassie loves it. This match is a total squash match and has George Steele destroying Pete Mitchell by just biting, knocking him out of the ring and stomping on him. George looks great as a heel in this match as he is vicious and does not allow his opponent to even fight back and his lifting hammerlock is fantastic looking. Poor Pete Mitchell looks like a total jobber and does nothing in the match besides sell like crazy for Steele. Not much more to say besides this is a very one sided match that while entertaining of seeing George be mean heel, is not much of a match.

Grade: **

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Match 3: George Steele vs. Adrian Adonis

George starts the match by chasing Adonis around the ring and causes him to escape by getting out of the ring. Once back in the ring George charges at Adonis who is able to land a punch first and even chokes him with his scarf, and even uses the ropes to try and take the breath away from George. But with a quick punch to the face George makes his comeback that allows him to unleash a series of stomps and punches. George even slams Adonis on the entry ramp as the fans cheer with joy. But while hurt Adonis is able to land a few punches to the gut of George and then gives a few stomps, but George as well brawls his way back to being the one on top of the match momentum for a moment until Adonis takes back over for a brief moment with some punches. Adonis climbs the top rope and George crotches him and Adonis then elbows the referee knocking him out for a moment, George gets Adonis into the hammerlock and causes him to tap out but there is no referee to see it. George goes to check on the referee and when doing so Adonis rolls him up and gets the pin and the win. This is a brawling match that is kind of bland as Adrian Adonis is very lazy in the match and spends most of its short time resting on the mat or ramp and throwing very sloppy moves. This clearly was during a time when Adonis just stopped caring about the quality of his matches and he and George’s style just did not mix well at all. I do feel that he did sell really well for George throughout the match. George as well does his basic punches and stomps with his lifting hammerlock to Adonis being the most impressive move in the whole match. Over all it’s a very sloppy match that George Steele did his best to try and make it look good and entertaining and while he tried it just was not a good match.

Grade: *1/2

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Match 4: George Steele vs. Greg Valentine

As the match starts, Greg tries to attack George from behind and it backfires, as George is able to see the attack coming and lands a punch to his gut and then starts beating up Greg more and more even ramming his head into the turnbuckle. But Greg makes a comeback after George botches an attempt at a bulldog headlock and Greg drops chops and elbows onto the down Animal and then unloads many elbows onto him as George tries to get up. After trying to land a top rope axe handle that misses Greg finds himself getting beat up by George who is now worked up with some anger and the fans are clearly behind him. And George then goes after Jimmy Hart the manger of Greg Valentine and starts to chase him to the back as Greg ends up going out after George to try and save his manager. And with that George Steele is counted out by chasing Hart around the ring and Greg wins the match via count out. This is another sloppy brawl that showcases two powerhouse wrestlers from the WWF from the 80’s slugging it out and showing once more that when pitted against the right opponent Georges limited move set can work and Greg was a good opponent for him to be working. Greg also does a great job of selling for George and does a good face flop when hitting the turnbuckles. George pretty much does his normal stomping, punching and acting weird while limited the fans love every second of him in the ring. The end being a count out was a little of a letdown but it did at least make both wrestlers look strong with Greg Valentine getting the win and George Steele still looking like a top baby face in his loss as he was not pinned and even was able to scare Jimmy Hart who was a hated heel manager. Over all super sloppy but entertaining for such a quick throwaway match that was clearly just a way to give Greg a win.

Grade: **1/2

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Match 5: George Steele vs. Gorilla Monsoon

We start the match already in progress and Gorilla is down on the mat and is injured as George starts to work over his arm by stomping on it and keeps the pressure on Gorilla and even almost gets a three count on him. George starts working on the shoulders of Gorilla, who then ends up getting out of George’s hold and locks in a big bear hug as the crowd starts cheering for Gorillas comeback, George lands a big punch to his forehead and both men crash to the mat. Once back up George starts using an object to punch Gorilla who is very injured and weak by now, and George almost tosses Gorilla over the top rope and once Gorilla gets back in the beating continues as George uses an object to punch him in the head over and over. And after a sloppy comeback Gorilla locks on a bear hug again and like before George uses an object and the hold is broke and the pair fall to the mat. In the end Gorilla gets ahold of the object and George leaves the ring and gets himself counted out and Gorilla wins the match via count out. This is a very slow paced match and Gorilla Monsoon spends most of the match on the mat sweating like crazy and kind of so-so selling for George who is doing all the work and trying to make this match at least somewhat good. The match has the most basic moves thrown with most of them coming from George who is doing his normal brawling style that is mostly throwing punches. This match is really bad and many spots in the match happen several times making them very uninteresting. Not much more to say then George Steele looks good in the match and does his best to work with a clearly out of shape Gorilla Monsoon and while George has a limited style it was clear Gorilla was even more limited at this time. And really silly that they gave the count out win to Gorilla when they should have given George the win as he was becoming a great heel.

Grade: *

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Match 6: George Steele vs. Mike Powers

As the bell rings, George Steele rushes Mike Powers and lands some clubbing blows and tosses him over the rope and goes after him and rams his head into the rails, and George will not even let Mike back into the ring. Once back in the ring Mike is placed in an arm bar and his arm is even bitten by George. And then George gets Mike into his lifting hammerlock and Mike quits and this give George the very quick win. Wow, this was 100% a squash match as George Steele busts out his brawling moves and his finishing move the hammerlock to make Mike Powers look like a jobber as he is unable to even land one move. The only move that stands out in the whole match is once more George Steele’s lifting hammerlock. And I have to say Mike Powers does a good job of selling for Steele throughout this quick match. Nothing special here but did its job of building George Steele.

Grade: **

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So as you can see while George “The Animal” Steele was a wrestler who had a brawling gimmick style that could get fans to cheer when a face and boo him like crazy when heel and while not a technical wrestler he was one hell of an entertaining one that was one of my favorites growing up cause he made Pro Wrestling fun. And that brings me to this, in 2023 I feel like doing something very fun and will be a major treat for fans of wrestling like myself as I think every month this year I will have a “R.I.W Wrestling Legends” update! Remember back in 2021 we did this same thing for “Horror Host Icons”, but in April, what our household calls WWE WrestleMania Month, I will deliver two updates showcasing wrestlers! Again I know you fans of the squared circle are looking forward to seeing who we cover, now with that said our next update will take us out of the Rotten Ink Arena and back to the world of Star Comics as we go on adventures with Royal Roy one of the companies most popular original characters. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a wrestling match or two and as always support your local wrestlers. And yes the land that Royal Roy rules over is called Cashelot…just think about that.

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Matt Goes To The Movies 2022

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Happy New Year! It’s crazy to think that 2023 is here already and as you can see, we are here again at the Rotten Ink Theater to talk about the films that I saw in the cinema. It was once more a great year of films, and movie studios have been turning up the great amount of Horror films that have graced the silver screen. But while 2022 over all was a great year, it also brought a little sadness for me as early in the year my best friend and lovable cat Leslie passed away at the age of 16…it was hard losing her as she really was a one of a kind cat who grew up watching Horror Films with me and I had her since she was a baby kitten. I really do miss her every day.  The year then ended with another big loss, as around the holidays, my cat Streets J passed away at the age of 14.  Streets was a lovable goofball who my girlfriend and I rescued as a stray off the streets of downtown Dayton.  If you’ve read Sparkle Comics’ Defenders of the Planets series, there’s a character based on Streets.   But enough of the sad stuff as we are all here to talk movies! I saw some great films at such theaters as Cinemark Dayton South, Cinemark The Greene, Little Art Theatre and Regal Cinema, and each of these theaters deliver a different watching experience and are all awesome in their own ways. And like before I will be breaking this Best Of List by genre, and please remember that there might be some spoilers, so read on if you don’t mind. So let’s grab some popcorn and a drink and find our seats and sit back and relax and talk some movies!

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For me nothing beats seeing a film in the theater and all this Direct To Streaming stuff is not for me as I love the theater experience, so let’s start off with taking a look at the Drama films I saw this year.

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# 2

Death On The Nile (2022) Poster

The world’s greatest detective Hercule Poirot finds himself invited to the wedding of Simon Dotle and Linnet Rideway that is taking place in Egypt, but along with the wedding guests is Jackie de Bellefort who was Simon’s ex-fiance and one time best friend of Linnet’s as the two love birds hooked up when Jackie made the mistake of introducing them to each other. And once the wedding party all find themselves guests on a private boat cruise, Jackie is also on board. After a fight with Simon, she shoots and wounds her ex and later that night Linnet is killed in her sleep and now Poirot must uncover the dark secrets of all the guests as Linnet informed him before her death that she did not trust any of them and this makes the world’s greatest detective have to work over time in order to solve this murder case. This movie is fantastic and just like “Murder On The Orient Express” is a great way to get modern moviegoers into Hercule Poirot. The film is very well cast with Kenneth Branagh once more playing Hercule Poirot with other names like Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Russell Brand, Letitia Wright, Emma Mackey and Jennifer Saunders to name a few. The film did okAY at the American box office bringing in $45,630,104.00 on a budget of $90million. This is a great watch, and if you love who-done-it detective films, make sure to give this one a watch.

# 1

Elvis (2022) Poster

Col. Robert Parker was a conman who is blamed by many as the man who killed Elvis as he pushed the classic music legend with a constant flow of drugs in order to get him on the stage so that he could make money. And Elvis’s star grows the more Parker tries to control not only his career but his life, and this film touches on the rise and fall of Elvis from innovator musician to addict, and this perspective comes from the side of Parker as he is the one narrating the movie played by Tom Hanks. This is a very entertaining film for fans of Elvis and while they do bend some truths as well as mix up some dates, this still is one that I truly enjoyed! The film stars Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and he does a fantastic job, also on the cast is Olivia DeJonge, David Wenham and Helen Thomson. This film was directed by Baz Luhrmann and makes great use of Elvis’ music for the soundtrack. The film did really well for Warner Brothers at the American Box Office bringing in $151,040,048 on a $85 million budget. If you like Elvis and want to see a different take on his life and death, give this one a watch.

As you can see I did not get to the theater that much for drama films and for me Elvis took that # 1 top spot as I felt that it was a great film and one that was best I saw on the Silver Screen. So with that, let’s take a look at the Comedies I saw in the theater in 2022 and see what took the # 1 spot and gave me the biggest belly laugh!

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# 3

Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Poster

Actor Nicolas Cage is in a slump when it comes to acting roles and worse, his personal life with his wife and teenage daughter is not going good. In order to get some money to help him get out of debt, he takes a booking to be a guest at a millionaire named Javi Gutierrez’s birthday party…and the two quickly become good friends and start working on a film idea. But Cage is also working for the U.S. government as they think that Javi is a crime lord for a weapon and drug group who has kidnapped the daughter of a presidential candidate in Spain…but is he really a criminal or is he really just a fan of Cage and cinema in general? Watch this silly action comedy to find out. This film had some really funny moments and in fact Nicolas Cage, who is playing a parody of himself, was fantastic and shows why the actor has such a big cult following. While I did think the film would be funnier then it was, I still think many of the moments hit the spot and tickled my funny bone. The film is cast well with names like Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris, Lily Sheen and Sharon Horgan with cameos from Demi Moore and David Gordon Green. The film did okay for Lionsgate at the American box office bringing in $20,300,157.00 on a budget of $30 million. If you are a big fan of Nicolas Cage and enjoy goofy comedy action films, then make sure to check this one out.

# 2

Jackass Forever Poster

Johnny Knoxville and his goofball cohorts along with newer thrill seekers once more tackle crazy stunts with some being borderline dangerous all to get a laugh from the audience. They run across raging animals like bulls, snakes, scorpions and vultures. They put their private parts through extreme measures, and of course they crash, fall, ram and smack their way through funny moments. Of course they have guest cameos like Tony Hawk and Machine Gun Kelly who get wrapped up in the overall silliness of the pranks and stunts. It was cool seeing the likes of Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man, Dave England, Preston Lacy, Danger Ehren and even a cameo from Bam Margera doing what made them famous to teens and early 20 somethings of the 2000. It was a little sad not seeing more of Bam and his crew being involved, but being out of control like he is will make you lose jobs. The film is a mixed bag of funny stunts and ones that fall flat and the new cast for the most part are nice additions. The best stunts in my book are called “Silence Of The Lambs” and “The Cup Test;” watch the movie and see what they are about. The film did good for Paramount at the America box office bringing in $57,743,451.00 on a budget of $10 million dollars. A fun raunchy reality stunt comedy film that will surely please the fans of the TV show as well as the other films in the series, plus for those of us who grew up with the show will feel very old.

# 1

Bobs Burgers The Movie Poster

Bob and Linda Belcher go to the bank and cannot get an extension on paying back some of their loan for the restaurant and must come up with the money in a short amount of time, but things go terribly wrong for them when a giant sink hole opens up in front and a dead body is found inside it. The murder is blamed on their landlord Mr. Fischoeder and all this causes no one to come in for a burger, making their goal to save the restaurant seem very grim. But their kids Tina, Gene and Louise are on the case to probe that Mr. Fischoeder did not commit the murder while Bob and Linda listen to their friend and best customer Teddy’s idea of doing a Bob’s Burgers food cart in order to get the money. All this comes together as things work out for the Belcher family and the true murderer is found and captured and the restaurant is saved. I should also say that the Belcher kids as well have their own drama going on as Louise wants to prove she is brave, Gene doubts his music ability and Tina struggles with asking Jimmy Pesto Jr. to be her summer boyfriend. This is a fun film and is a must see for fans of the TV show as it fits right in with its silly plot, musical numbers and zany characters. The film did all right for 20th Century at the U.S box office bringing in $31,933,830.00 on an unknown budget. A great attempt to bring Bob’s Burgers from the TV screen to the big screen, and I hope it gets a sequel.

You have to love Bob’s Burgers as it’s a fun animated TV series that made a great leap to being on the big screen with the series’ first feature film. I do have to say also that all three of the comedies I saw on the big screen in 2022 were very funny and fantastic! Now it’s time to take a look at Action Films! And we had some good ones…

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# 5

Lost City (2022) Poster

Romance novel writer Loretta Sage is on a book tour when she is kidnapped by billionaire Abigail Fairfax due to her now passed away husband’s knowledge of ancient cultures, and set to save her is Alan Caprison, the cover model for her romance books and while a dimwit he means well….now can the two escape the jungle and avoid being killed? Will Loretta find true love again? And will they really find the lost treasure! Watch this Romancing The Stone style film and find out. This is a fun Action Comedy film as the humor works as do the action moments of their adventures to get away from their captors. The film is well cast with such names as Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt and Da’Vine Joy Randolph all in big roles. The film did well for Paramount Pictures at the US box office bringing in $105,344,029.00 on a $68 million dollar budget. This was a very fun film and a big surprise on just how much I enjoyed it, and I will say that the Brad Pitt cameo as rescuer Jack Trainer was great stuff.

# 4

Uncharted (2022) Poster

Nathan Drake has always been good at history and has always wanted to find lost treasure and go on big adventures like his older brother.  He gets the chance when he meets Sully, and the pair team up to find the hidden treasure that takes them across the world as well as makes them targets of billionaire Santiago Moncada and his hired hand Jo Braddock. But Nathan and Sully are also joined by Chloe Frazer, a fellow treasure hunter that they might not fully be able to trust. The film then takes the viewer on an action packed adventure filled with twist, turns, backstabs, murder and of course treasure and is of course based on the popular Sony Playstation video game series. This is such a fun thrill ride and for me it was like it took the adventure elements of such films as The Mummy (1999), Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider and rolled them together to deliver a big budget action ride that was a blast to see on the big screen and to be honest it did the game justice. The film stars Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Antonio Banderas and Tati Gabrielle and all do a fantastic job. The film did well for Sony at the American box office bringing in $148,648,820.00 on a $120 million budget. This clearly will become a franchise, and I am very much looking forward to a sequel as this film leaves us on a cliffhanger revel.

# 3

Bullet Train (2022) Poster

Ladybug is an assassin who has been sent on a mission to get a briefcase off a bullet train. But what should have been an easy mission turns into a very dangerous trip as other killers and assassins are also on the train, and many of them want him dead or want the case as well…and the kicker is at the end of the line The White Death, one of Japan’s most feared crime lords, and his men are waiting for those who are on the train as the briefcase belongs to him and so does a person on the train….and now Ladybug must find away to get off this train alive, finish his mission and possibly trust some of those on the train as a battle with White Death is on the horizon. This movie is awesome as it’s a great mix of action and comedy and was one hell of a great film to watch on the big screen. I took a bunch of friends with me to see this one and we all had such a blast. The comedy moments work really well, and the action as well is fast passed and well done! The film also has an all star cast with Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Bad Bunny, Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Hiroyuki Sanada and Joey King, and all are fantastic in their rolls. The film did alright for Sony at the American box office bringing in $103,368,602 on a budget $90 million budget. If you have not seen this film and like fast paced action comedies, then make sure to check this one out, as it is truly a blast.

# 2

Violent Night (2022) Poster

On Christmas Eve the Lightstone family is gathering at the family mansion, but things get crazy when a man calling himself Mr. Scrooge shows up with heavily armed associates and hold the family hostage to get $3 million that is suppose to be in the family safe. But what these naughty baddies didn’t count on is for Trudy, the youngest of the Lightstone family, to call on Santa Claus for help and he deals out more than coal for these evildoers. Santa, armed with his fleeing Christmas cheer (due to kids only wanting money and video games), his magic and a sledge hammer goes on a rescue mission in the style of John Wick! Can Santa save the Lightsones and find his Christmas Spirit again? Watch this super fun, violent action comedy film and find out. Wow, this is a Christmas classic for sure as it is over the top, lots of fun and showcases Santa Claus as a full fledged action hero who takes down the naughty kidnappers in brutal fashion. The film is well casted with David Harbour as Santa Claus, John Leguizamo as Mr. Scrooge and other cast members including Beverly D’Angelo, Leah Brady, Alex Hassell, Andre Eriksen and Mitra Suri, to name a few. And the film was a big hit with everyone I saw it with in the theater as people were laughing throughout. The film did well for Universal at the American box office bringing in around $48,060,295 (as of this update) on a budget of only $20 million. This is one you have to see if you like over the top action and/or Christmas movies.

# 1

top gun maverick Poster

Maverick is working for the Navy as a test pilot, and after breaking orders on flying a super fast test jet, he is sent to be a instructor at Top Gun as his rebellious nature has caused him to almost being fired and if not for Admiral Iceman Kazansky, he would have been! Now he must get a group of top recruits ready for what could be a suicide mission to blow up a reactor core at an enemy base before it can cause serious harm. But these young pilots have a lot to learn and need to work together and not try to be the shining stars as this is very dangerous and will take lots of skill. And for Maverick, this class is even harder as the son (Rooster) of his former wingman Goose is in the class and blames Maverick for the being held back from joining Top Gun and ranking up for years. Can Maverick get these pilots in shape? Can Rooster forgive and find out the truth? Can they make this mission a success? Watch this amazing sequel to find out! Top Gun 2 took many decades to get made, and when it was finally was made and released they hit a home run as this film was well written and felt like it was right in the groove of the original allowing us to catch back up with Maverick, Iceman and even Rooster. The film of course brought back Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in their famous roles but also in the cast included Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Monica Barbaro, Glen Powell and Ed Harris to name a few. The film did amazing for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $718,732,821 on a budget of $170 million. If you love the original film or just like films about the Navy or military in general that adds a dash of drama, make sure to watch this film. I have to also say that it was great seeing Val Kilmer on the big screen again, and it was great that the production worked around his health limitations.

Really action this year was packed with some great watches and really for me Top Gun: Maverick was just such a fun watch and shows that sequels beat remakes any day. But now I think its time that we see what the world of Sci-Fi and Fantasy had to offer in the theaters in 2022, and I will give you a hint there were lots of great ones.

SciFi Fantasy 22 Logo

# 3

Northman (2022) Poster

Amleth was once a young prince who watched his uncle kill his father The King in order to take the throne, and Amleth ends up running for his life and ends up becoming a part of a Viking tribe with the goal of avenging his father’s death as well as saving his mother from his uncle’s side. As Amleth has gotten older, his skills as a fighter have grown and he is now a unstoppable warrior who along the way back for revenge meets and falls in love with Olga, a sorceress who has been taken as a slave. Once he catches up with his uncle, he finds that he has ruined the kingdom and now he and his people live on farmland in the middle of nowhere. With the help of a magical sword, he takes out those close to his uncle, fathers a child, finds out the truth about his mother and fulfills his destiny of revenge and arriving in Valhalla. This is very much a modern take on the classic Barbarian films of the 80’s and 90’s but done with director Robert Eggers touch as it is filled with weird characters as well as awesome imagery. The film’s cast is great with Alexander Skarsgard as Amleth and Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga being amazing in their roles. Other actors include Ethan Hawke, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Willem Dafoe, Bjork and Gustav Lindh making up some of the cast. The film sadly did not do well for A24 at the US box office only bringing in $34,233,110.00 on a budget of around $90 million. While not a mega hit at the theater, it really was a great and odd film to see in the theater.

# 2

jurassic world dominion Poster

Dinosaurs are now roaming the world and humans are trying to learn how to live alongside them as the world has truly changed. Claire Dearing and Owen Grady are trying to protect the dinosaurs from poaching and illegal breeding and they both are watching over clone child Maisie Lockwood who ends up getting kidnapped by Dr. Lewis Dodgson of Biosyn who wants to use her genetics for the company’s own gain. They also take the child of Raptor Blue for research. But also in the world, a horde of massive locusts are attacking the world’s crops, and this causes Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant to follow the trail to Biosyn as well and now they all must come together along with Dr. Henry Wu, Dr. Ian Malcolm and a few others try their best to save those kidnapped, stop the locusts as well as bring form Biosyn and their evil genetic creations. And this is just a small part of this film’s plot as there is also dinosaur fights, high-speed chases and even more of the evils of Biosyn among much more as this final film in the current Jurassic Park series. And what made this such a great watch for me is the fact that they brought together all the big characters from the series together for one big adventures, and we even get one more look at the T-Rex and we see that he really is the King Of The Dinosaurs! The film stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, BD Wong and many more. The film did great for Universal at the US box office bringing in $376,009,080.00 on an $185million budget. This is a must see film if you love the Jurassic Park series like I do, and is one that I bought on home media when released.

# 1

Every Thing Every where All At Once Poster

Evelyn Wang along with her husband Waymond and daughter Joy run a laundromat that is not doing well financially, and she also has the stress of taxes as well as her father Gong Gong is now living with them. But things really turn weird for Evelyn when she meets a different version of her husband who warns her that the fate of the Earth is in her hands. Now Evelyn must fight for the lives of everyone as she gains the powers of other versions of herself to fight off Jodu Tupaki who is the bringer of the destruction of all the multiverse and who is also her daughter in her own reality! Can Evelyn save the multiverse as well as save the fate of her daughter in those worlds…watch this super fun sci-fi comedy action film to find out! And this is just a brief way to try and describe this plot as there is so much more to it. The film is lots of fun, and Michelle Yeoh is amazing as Evelyn Wang as her martial arts skills have not slowed down a bit. It was also great to see Ke Huy Quan back on the big screen as he is best known for playing Data in The Goonies and Short Round in Temple Of Doom. Other actors in the cast include James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu. The film did really well for A24 at the box office here in American bringing in $70,008,593.00 on a budget of $25million. This film deserved all the hype it was getting when released and is one that you should see as I feel it did the multiverse better than most of Marvel’s films and shows…minus Spider-Man: No Way Home. Make sure to give this film a watch if you like artistic sci-fi films with action and comedy.

So as you can see Sci-Fi and Fantasy had some really great films out in 2022, and all of them were such a fun watch with “Every Thing Every Where All At Once” being the big surprise for me on just how well I enjoyed it. But now it’s time that we take a look at the Superhero films that filled the cinemas in 2022 and like always, there was a lot of them.

super hero 22 Logo

# 6

Morbius (2022) Poster

Michael Morbius has a rare blood disease as does his childhood friend Milo. Morbius has spent his life trying to find a cure, and after using vampire bats in one of his experiments, Morbius turns into a vampire! And while he tries to find a way to get ride of this curse, his friend Milo wants to as well turn into one as the pain of the blood illness goes away, and after taking the treatment himself Milo turns into a vampire and now he and Morbius are on a one way track to fight and only one of these blood drinkers and leave alive. This superhero film plays more like a B-horror movie that would have been released direct to DVD back in the mid-2010s, and that is not a bad thing for the most part, it’s just the film seems to never truly find its footing or pace. The film, while not terrible, is also not that great and is starting to show that some of these Marvel Comic inspired films are starting to show cracks of having franchise fatigue. Jerrod Leto plays Morbius, and the film also stars Matt Smith, Loxias Crown, Tyrese Gibson and Adia Arjona. The film did poorly for Sony at the box office here in American only bringing in $73,865,530.00 on a budget of around $83million. While I was not a super fan of this film, I did enjoy seeing it on the big screen and would like to at least see the Morbius character in a future Spider-Man film from Sony.

# 5

Black Panther Wakanda Forever (2022) Poster

T’Challa has passed away from an illness, and the kingdom of Wakanda is saddened by the loss of their king and protector. His sister Shuri has taken it the hardest as she was not able to save him with all of her knowledge and technology. Now a year after his passing, the world wants Wakanda to share vibranium, an element that can be used to create weapons, and Queen Ramonda refuses and this causes Wakanda to stand alone in the world. But people go looking for the element other places and find it at the bottom of the ocean, and unbeknownst to them, they have caused Namor and his warriors from the Talokan to attack and defend their Kingdom…and one young woman Riri Williams (Ironheart) is the target for Namor and his people as she has built a machine that can detect the element and this makes her a danger. Namor asks Wakanda for help and to bring Riri to him. When they refuse, the two kingdoms go to war and Shuri must find her inner Black Panther. What kingdom is in the right and who will win the fight Black Panther or Namor? Watch this MCU film to find out. I want to first say that this film pays great respect to the late Chadwick Boseman who passes away from cancer. He was a great actor and he will be missed. Now as for the film itself, it is a fun watch but is way too long and has moments that drag, and I feel that they downplay the power and hatred for mankind that Namor has as he and his people seem to be background players to Shuri fighting tradition as well as becoming the next Black Panther. The film is well acted with Tenoch Huerta Mejia, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett and Lupita Nyong’o stealing the show. While I am happy to see the Black Panther legacy continue in the MCU, this film was just a little too long, dragged in spots and I am not sold just yet on Shuri being the new warrior to become the Black Panther. The film did great for Disney at the American box office bringing in $439,645,653 on a budget of $250 million. Over all if you are a fan of the Black Panther or have been enjoying this latest phase of the Marvel films, check this one out.

# 4

Thor Love And Thunder Poster

Thor has decided to return to Earth after traveling around with The Guardians Of The Galaxy and arrives to find that Gorr The God Butcher has been killing everyone he comes across and even has wounded his friend Sif in battle. He also learns that his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster is now also has the power of Thor and that she is dying from cancer and is living on borrowed time. And with Valkyrie and Korg by their side, they together they must try and warn the other Gods that death is coming as well as use all their powers in order to stop Gorr who is on a rampage to destroy the world as we know it. This is a fun and action packed superhero film that sets the odds against Thor as well as makes him face mortality  because even Gods can be destroyed. The film’s humor works well, and the sadness factor of Jane also does its job of toying with your heart-strings. The films is well cast like always as Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster and Jaimie Alexander as Sif with Christen Bale playing Gorr The God Butcher, and all do a fantastic job in their roles as always. The film is also just a fun ride of emotions and also has screaming flying goats! The film did good for Disney at the American box office bringing in $343,253,033.00 on a budget of $250 million. If you liked Thor: Ragnarok and The Guardians Of The Galaxy and that style of superhero humor, you will enjoy this one.

# 3

Black Adam (2022) Poster

The people of Kahndaq are being oppressed by a military team that is looking for a crown that contains the powers of demons, and one woman, her son and brother have found it. They have also freed a god-like savior who was given powers by the ancient wizards known as Black Adam who goes around and kills the foreign military invaders, but he is not the hero they think he is and his murderous ways gets the attention of the Justice Society (Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone) who head to Kahndaq to try and bring him in peacefully. This of course is not in Black Adam’s nature. And while the heroes clash with him, a group wants the crown to unleash a demon to claim the throne and rule the land…and they do just that, and it’s now up to the JS who has to team with Black Adam to save lives as well as stop the demon. This is a really fun action superhero film that has cool characters, a big after credits cameo and even a death of a superhero and shows that DC really is trying to claim the top spots of the movie comic universes. The film stars Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and also on cast is Pierce Bronsan, Aldis Hodge, Quintessa Swindell, Noah Centineo and Sarah Shai to name a few, and all are great in their rolls. To be fair, I almost wish this film was a Justice Society film as I feel they steal this movie away from Black Adam. The film did well for New Line Cinema at the American box office bringing in $167,873,355 on a budget of around $195 million. This is a really fun film and really does shows that DC is spending more time on building their universe as Marvel keeps getting stale in theirs.

# 2

doctor strange in the multiverse of madness Poster

Doctor Strange meets America Chavez, a teenager who has the ability to jump around the multiverse who is on the run from monsters who want to steal her powers. When Doctor Strange tries to help her, he finds that its Scarlet Witch that has sent the monsters as she wants to use America’s powers to live in the reality where her children are real, and she will kill anyone who gets in her way! As Doctor Strange and America Chavez jumps from multiverse to multiverse, they are being hunted down and even meets the fates of other versions of Strange as well as meet heroes like Reed Richards, Black Bolt and Professor X. In the end can Doctor Strange stop Scarlet Witch’s plan for murder and show her that this is not the way for a former hero and Avenger. This is a wild ride that is filled with great cameos, undead spirits, odd ball multiverses and has the Sam Raimi spooky touch as he was the director of the film! That’s right, Raimi returned to superhero films and was even able to kind of add a horror film touch to it. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochiyl Gomez, Rachel McAdams and Patrick Stewart to name a few. The film did well for Disney at the US box office bringing in $411,331,607.00 on a budget of $200 million! This is a super fun film and if you want to see Scarlet Witch kill some superheroes as well as a Zombie Doctor Strange, you should really check this one out.

# 1

Batman (2022) Poster

Gotham City is under attack by a serial killer called The Riddler who is targeting people in power throughout the city leaving riddles for Batman who is going on a crusade to clean up the city from crime. And as the body count rises, Batman also comes across Catwoman, a burglar who is looking for information about her missing friend, as well as comes across Penguin who is a crime lord that runs a club and might have the clues to the missing woman and as well might know more about the true criminal who is running things in Gotham City. And all the while Batman is having to use his great detective work to solve each of these cases and prove that crime truly does not pay. Hands down this was the best Superhero movie to be released in theaters in 2022 and is one of the better Batman films overall! The film takes a more realistic approach and while some elements are pure superhero tropes, the more horror film feeling of a masked serial killer Riddler running around town butchering people and gaining a copycat like following just seems true to life. The film is also well cast with Robert Pattinson doing a great job as Batman with other names like Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, John Turturro, Jeffrey Wright and Colin Farrell making up the rest of the lead cast. The film did great for Warner Brothers at the US box office bringing in $369,345,583.00 on a budget of $200 million. This film bring Batman back to being about great detective work as well as kicking the ass of crime, this is one that you need to see if you have not yet.

Superhero films are still going strong at the Box Office and it’s shocking as I think DC Comics films are truly catching up with Marvel Comics films! But up next is our update’s main event and that is of course the Horror Films of 2022 that I saw in the theater! And before we get too far in, I want to also say that I saw Jaws 3D, Creature From The Black Lagoon, Phantom Of The Opera and my friend Victor’s film Thrust all in the cinema as well!

JAWS 3D PosterCreature and Phantom PosterThrust (2022) Poster

And now it’s time to talk Horror as this is the genre of film that I have always loved and I try and see every one I can in the theater, so with no further ado let’s dive deep into this countdown.

horror 22 logo

# 32

Jeepers Creepers Reborn (2022) Poster

Laine and Chase are on a trip together to attend a horror movie party, but after winning a contest at the event they find themselves as well as a YouTube show crew stuck at a house being stalked and killed by The Creeper who has awaken for his 23 days of killing. But things are different this time around as the townspeople are feeding his murderous ways, and Laine is with child and this monster killer wants the baby for his own. Will this couple escape The Creeper or will they find themselves just more victims for his cycle? This is the fourth film in the Jeepers Creepers series and sadly looks very cheap, has a mess of a story and sadly does not follow the three other films in the series as they new creative team behind it has ideas of their own. The film has some kills and oddly is not all that gory, and the use of green screens takes away from the mood and creepiness of the film. The film’s best actors are Sydney Craven and Imran Adams who play Laine and Chase, and some of their dialogue is bad, but you cannot go wrong with Sydney dressing up in costumes to cosplay from a sexy Freddy Kruger to Jennifer from Jennifer’s Body. The film had a limited release as apart of Fathom Events and brought in $2,033,057.00 for Screen Media on an unknown budget. Not a great sequel but worth watching if you enjoy The Jeepers Creepers series…also The Creeper has a new look in this film.

# 31

Umma (2022) Poster

Amanda and her daughter Chris are beekeepers and are making a living selling the honey, but Amanda has issues as the house does not use electricity and she keeps most people away from her home.  This leaves her daughter very sheltered and wanting to see what the world has to offer. You see Amanda was abused by her mother with electricity, and this has made her an odd and protective person, but when her mother’s remains show up to the farm house, her spirit is not done with her torment and wants to once more rule Amanda’s life! Can Amanda break her mother’s spell as well as keep her daughter safe…watch this Sam Raimi produced film to find out. This is a pretty good slow burn horror film that is well acted and has a great small cast with names like Sandra Oh, Fivel Stewart, Dermot Mulroney, Odeya Rush and MeeWha Alana making up the lead roles. The Mother’s evil spirit is cool looking and makes for a good villain in a paranormal fright film, the main issue for me is that the jump scares just did not work and felt very paint by numbers. The film did poorly at the US Box Office for Sony as it only did $2,121,025.00 on an unknown budget, and to be fair this is Sony’s fault who did a terrible job of promoting the film and spent all promotion money at the time to advertise Morbius. Over all, this is not a bad little fright flick, it just seemed to be lacking something to make it stand out from the rest of the paranormal horror films that flood the theaters, home media and streaming sites. I bought it on home media when released as I wanted to see it for a second time.

# 30

Fall (2022) Poster

Becky is climbing a mountain alongside her husband Dan and her best friend Hunter when an accident happens and Dan falls to his death. Time passes and Becky is deeply depressed and is avoiding her father and even thinks of suicide, but when Hunter comes back into her life the two ladies decide to do something extreme to spread Dan’s ashes and that’s climb a old TV tower that is the 4th tallest structure in America. But things go wrong, and the friends get stuck on top of the tower and must find away to get help! As hours and days pass, Becky and Hunter gets weaker and have to make decisions in order to stay alive.  Will the ladies get off the tower alive? Well watch this thriller horror flick to find out! This is one of those thrillers that plays off of the elements and this one is heights and gives you that what if you are stuck high in the sky with no clear way to get down, so in other words think “Open Water” set on a high tower. The film can really mess with the minds of those viewers who hate heights and that is where the horror elements come into play, well also with the vultures who swoop down for the attack. The film is well acted and cast with actress Virginia Gardner who played Hunter stealing the film. The film did okay for Lionsgate at the American box office bringing in $7,240,521.00 on a budget of $3million. This was a fun theater watch and brings some thrills, chills and spills.

# 29

Mean One (2022) Poster

Young Cindy watches a green creature called The Mean One as he tries to steal her family’s Christmas gifts and presents and by accident the creature kills her mom causing it to turn evil and forever ruin the holiday for the small California town. Now as an adult, Cindy returns to town to try to get over the PTSD she has suffered from the event and soon finds that the whole town does not celebrate the holiday. When her father tries to get their old home dressed up for the holiday, he is quickly killed by The Mean One as does anyone in town who happens to have anything to do with Christmas! The sheriff and mayor are no help, and Cindy is looked at as crazy by many of the locals as she is telling them tales of a green furred monster, but soon she finds help with the new Deputy as well as Doc, a drunk old man whose wife was killed by the creature. Will Cindy and her new friends be able to stop the Christmas hating Mean One or will they as well fall victim to his killing ways? Watch this super cheesy creature feature and find out. This holiday horror creature feature flick is a take on the classic “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” but takes a different path to show what if Cindy never touched the heart of The Grinch to turn him into a holiday loving fool, but instead she called him a monster and set him down a path of murder and eating human flesh. While the concept is a fun one, the low budget and execution is just lacking and makes this one feel like a really cheap made-for-TV film complete with laughable digital blood effects. David Howard Thornton plays The Mean One and brings a little Art The Clown to his performance, with other actors including Krystle Martin, John Bingham, Chase Mullins and Amy Schumacher making up the main cast. The film did okay for Atlas at the box office on a limited release as it did around $585,025 on an unknown budget. This is a super cheesy, goofy, low budget fright flick that steals The Grinch and brings some laughs as you will find yourself saying what am I watching!

# 28

Crimes Of The Future (2022) Poster

Saul Tenser is a man who grows new body organs and alongside his partner Caprice does live performances to remove them as a statement of performance art.  The world has changed and this is the new sex as people cannot feel pain and for some growing new body parts is possible. But Saul becomes involved in a strange case that involves a performance autopsy of a murdered young boy who was born with a defect that allows him to eat plastic. People in high power do not want the world to know about these plastic eaters and will do whatever it takes to make sure their existence does not leak out and that means people Saul knows might be involved in this cover up. This is a weird horror sci-fi film from the mind of David Cronenberg and brings all his classic film tropes into a new film that has a message that is left to the minds of the viewers. Viggo Mortensen and Lea Seydoux play Saul and Caprice and are fantastic, but for me Kristen Stewart who plays Timlin, a worker for the National Organ Registry steals the show, as she is delightfully weird. The film was a mix bag of good and bad digital and practical effects and was not one of my favorite Cronenberg films but was a fun watch in the theater. The movie did okay for Neon at the American box office on its limited run brining in $2,452,882.00 on an unknown budget. And I bought this one once it was on home media to give it another watch.

# 27

Halloween Ends (2022) Poster

Years have passed, and Michael Myers has not been spotted. Laurie Strode is trying to move on with her life, buying a nice house in a neighborhood and raising her granddaughter Alyson who herself has found a job working as a nurse and finds a boyfriend in Cory a town outsider who by accident killed a kid that he was babysitting making him the punching bag of the town. But Cory’s inner evil is unleashed when he is tormented and beaten up by some teens and he stumbles onto the hiding place of Michael Myers and wants the killer to teach him how to murder without remorse…and he does! But now Corey is getting too crazed and after getting revenge on those who tormented him, he sets his sights on Laurie who must fight for her life as well as that of her granddaughter from making the biggest mistake of her life by running away with this serial killer in training. And in the end Laurie has to come face to mask with Michael Myers one last time and must also deal with Corey. This third film in the Blumhouse Halloween trilogy is very much a disappointment for me as it has very little to do with Michael Myers and puts most of the focus on Corey and his descent into evil.  This makes this final film feel like a lame duck way to end a series, as the final fight between Laurie and Michael seems like an afterthought and only lasts a very short time. The pluses for the film are that I enjoyed the Michael Myers’ kills even if they are few and far, Jamie Lee Curtis gives her best performance in a long time, and the effects are pretty cool. I also should say I do like the idea of Corey being the town’s new Boogeyman, but I feel they went about it the wrong way…as at one point Corey bullies Michael to get his mask…lame. The film did pretty well for Universal at the American box office bringing in $64,079,860 on a $30 million budget. Over all Halloween Ends is a film in the series that has been meet with very mix reviews, and while I did not hate it, I was very disappointed in it and it is very much a middle of the road film.

# 26

The Retaliators (2022) Poster

Bishop is a preacher whose young daughter was murdered by a sadistic biker Ram Kady when she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the man of God’s life is turned upside down. But when police officer Jed finds Ram, he offers him a chance to get one minute alone with the killer to make him feel just as much pain as his family does, but things are even more crazy as Bishop finds that Jeb as a underground bunker filled with tortured killers who now act like mindless zombies. Jed is mad at Bishop when he will not take out his hurt on his daughter’s killer. All Hell breaks loose when the tortured killers, bikers looking for Ram and Ram himself all show up to the bunker and Bishop has to fight for his life to survive. This is a fun indie film that gets super bloody in the film’s finale and stars all types of band members from bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Motely Crue and Papa Roach to name a few. The film does have some odd moments as some plot points as well as characters come and go, and I wish the fight between the tortured killers and the bikers would have been a little better and longer. This film had a very limited release and brought in $7,145 for Better Noise Films at the international box office (no domestic figures are available yet) on an unknown budget. This is a film that you should checkout if you like crazy indie films that have a dash of biker crime gangs an tortured zombie like people that were very bad people.

# 25

Bhediya (2022) Poster

Bhaskar is sent the jungles of a small town in Arunachal Pradesh to seal a deal for land development that will have much of the trees cut down to make way for a new roadway. Along with him is his cousin Jana, his friend Jomin as well as local Mr. Panda all who are trying to help to seal the deal with the locals, but things change when Bhaskar is bitten by a werewolf that is called The Virus by the locals; After getting treatment from the local vet Anika, our now cursed Bhaskar must hide the fact he is a werewolf from the locals, avoid killing people when the moon is full, find a cure, fight his feeling for Anika and learn that the spirit of the jungle has its own protector to keep it safe from those wanting to cut it down. Will Bhaskar find the cure or will be forever be doomed to howl at the moon? Watch this fun Bollywood comedy horror Film and find out for yourself. This is a pretty fun silly fright flick that has some scares hidden in with the laughs, with Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerhee, Paalin Kabak and Deepak Dobriyal making up the group of friends. They all do a fantastic job in their roles, with Kriti Sanon playing Anika and she steals the film with her acting and beauty. The werewolf effects are cool and are done via CGI, we get werewolf attacks and kills and the film does have some blood and violence throughout. And like any good Bollywood film, there are musical numbers and dancing, and I should also say this one has messages as well about saving the environment and treating others better. The film had a limited release here in America and did around $609,551 internationally. This is a fun watch and if you like Bollywood horror comedies and werewolf films, make sure to give this one a watch. I would buy this one on home media if it’s released here in the states.

# 24

Don't Look at the Demon (2022) Poster

Jules is a woman who grew up being able to talk to demons and ghosts, and when she was young and doing so, her sister was killed by a demon that she set free. Now as an adult she hosts a TV Show called Skeleton Crew where she enters haunted houses and they film the strange happenings. But while filming in Malaysia, Jules and her crew enter a home that houses a demon that is very powerful and is protected by the souls of his past victims and now wants a new soul for his growing army. The Demon possesses, torments and injures those in the house and now it is up to Jules to find her inner power and try to save the owners of the house as well as her crew’s souls from damnation and will have get the help of a Monk in order to do so…but will Jules be able to do so or are they all doomed. This is a fun spooky little demonic haunted house film that for an indie film tries to bring the scares as well as some gruesome moments and for the most part does a great job at it. Plus the fact this had a limited release around Halloween time made it even more of a good watch late in the evening. The film stars Fiona Dourif, Jordan Belfi, Malin Crepin, Harris Dickinson and the lovely Thao Nhu Phan and all do a great job in their parts. The Demon is pretty evil and what he has done in the past while alive is pretty sick stuff. The film did ok for Outsider Pictures bringing in $849,299 internationally on an unknown budget and a very limited release. Over all this was a decent demon flick that I will pick up on home media when released, and you should check it out if you like demon films or films that are set with Malaysia ghost stories.

# 23

Studio 666 (2022) Poster

The Foo Fighters are working on their 10th album and rent out an old house to do so, and unbeknownst to them another band was killed in the house recording an album. And after some strange things around the house including terrible nightmares, dead animals and a phantom gardener, a demon spirit gets inside Dave Grohl and possesses him to make the perfect satanic rock song that will bring back the glory days of the music genre. And as time passes Dave finds his sound and also finds his killer side as he takes out anyone who stands in the song’s way including his own band members, and in the end what is left of the Foo Fighters must save Dave from the demon’s grip and survive the sinister house. This is a very gory horror comedy film that was from the mind of Dave Grohl and delivers a very cheesy and humors return to the days of Rock N Roll Horror films. While the gore is great and over the top some of the humor is a little childish and is just four letter words thrown around and the middle finger given, but other humor bits hit the spot and are pretty funny. The film also stars Kerry King of Slayer, director John Carpenter, Jenna Ortega, Will Forte, Whitney Cummings and even Lionel Richie in a cameo. The film did ok for Open Road Films at the American box office bringing in $2,513,963.00 on an unknown budget. Over all this was a fun fright flick with some cool effects and fans of Foo Fighters will love it. I bought it on home media when it was released.

# 22

Bones and All (2022) Poster

Maren Yearly is a young woman who finds herself on a quest to find her mother after her father leaves her on her own.  Maren has a serious issue as she eats people, and she cannot help her need to eat human flesh and meat…and her father just cannot keep covering for her deeds. Maren does not want to eat people so she needs answers and as she travels across states to find her mom, she meets Sully another like her in Ohio who teaches her his rules of eating people, and when Maren sneaks away, Sully becomes obsessed with her and follows her in secret just watching. But Maren, while in Kentucky, meets Lee a young man she falls in love with and who as well is a human eater, and together they must find out the history of Maren’s life, deal with the guilt of eating people, avoid Sully and deal with their blooming relationship. This is a very fun romance horror film that is a twisted coming of age tale and has very interesting characters throughout its journey. Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet are great as Maren and Lee with Mark Rylance giving a creepy performance as Sully. The film did okay for United Artist at the American box office bringing in $7,834,907 on a budget of around $20 million. If you like your horror with a dash of romance and lots of flesh eating, then make sure to check this one out. I will get this one when released on home media.

# 21

Cursed (2022) Poster

Baron Seamus Laurent is a man who will do anything to protect his family, village and land and when a band of Roma try to claim the land he has them brutally killed and buried in a field, but the Roma are able to place a curse on the village and land and with silver fangs created from the coins Judas got when he turned on Christ the curse of the beast runs through the town and the curse starts with Seamus’s own son Edward! And after a murder of a young boy, pathologist John McBride comes to town and tries to bring peace to the village and end the curse with a silver bullet. This is an atmospheric slow burn werewolf film that blends elements of an A24 horror film with a dash of Hammer horror and delivers a pretty creepy watch. The film has some good bloody moments, and the werewolf design is pretty original and creepy looking. While some viewers may not like the slower pace I found it to be just right and well done to bring that level of spooky and unknown. I like the fact that the werewolf curse is spread by Roma who use silver fangs made from those coins as that adds the old world touch to the story. The film did well for LD Entertainment during its release bringing $4,588,389.00 on an unknown budget at the America box office. Worth the watch if you enjoy the more atmospheric old world style horror films and is one that I got on Home Media when released.

# 20

Terrifier 2 Poster

Art The Clown is back from the dead and is on another rampage of slaughter and butchering anyone he comes across but this time he is not alone as he has a strange little clown girl along for the ride. But Art makes a mistake when he messes with the wrong high school girl with Sienna Shaw who’s battling trauma and who finds her inner warrior thanks to a magical sword her father gave her…yeah. Can Sienna save her and her brother’s life from the psycho Art The Clown or will they both just become another bloody victim to his madness…watch this gore filled slasher film to find out. This film while filled with some amazing kills that are gory as all hell does lack the charm of the first film, its way too long being almost 2hrs and 30min, is a mess in the story department and goes a little off the rails with some of the fantasy elements added into the mix. The film is well cast with Lauren LaVera stealing the film as the Sienna as she is so good I couldn’t keep my eyes off her and cheered for her the whole final fight and David Howard Thornton is great once more as the sadistic and evil Art The Clown as I don’t think anyone could play that role better. The film also has cameos from Chris Jericho, Felissa Rose and Tamara Glynn with Samantha Scaffidi returning as Victoria Heyes from the first film. The film got a limited release and did well for Bloody Disgusting at the US box office bringing in $10,640,105 on an unknown budget. Over all it was a great mindless bloodbath film that was just lacking the spooky charm of the original.

# 19

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) Poster

David is holding a hurricane party at his mansion and has invited many of his close friends, and a shocker comes when Sophia, who is just out of rehab and her new girlfriend Bee show up to enjoy the party and safety from the storm. But as the party starts and the drugs and alcohol flow tensions start to build and the group decides to play a murder mystery game they created called Bodies Bodies Bodies, but when one of the friends is found dead the fear sweeps the friends who all accuse each other of the murder, and to their horror the bodies of their friends keep being found and the murder is on the loose at this mansion on a very stormy night…or are they in this twisted black comedy horror film. This film has great atmosphere, is well acted and has some chuckle moments…but I also think that it dragged in spots and had characters that were mostly very unlikable people and while that’s the point it can be over bearing at points. Actresses Amandla Stenberg and Maria Bakalova steal the show and the film does have some bloody moments and has that who’s the killer vibe that was made popular in more modern Horror by films like Scream. The film did pretty well for A24 at the American box office bringing in $11,446,602.00 on an unknown budget. If you like Horror Comedies that have a Slasher feel check this one out, and is one I will get on home media when released.

# 18

Firestarter (2022) Poster

Charlie McGee is an eleven year old girl who has powers she can not control nor understands as she can not only move things with her mind and make people bend to her will but she can also start fires and that means from big explosions to lighting people on fire. You see Charlie’s parents have powers as well and they have been experimented on by the government before they had her, and have been on the run from them after her birth due to the fact they wanted to use Charlie as a weapon as well as experiment on her to unleash her full power. But they make a big mistake when the send John Rainbird after the family and this leads to Charlie’s mother being killed and her father captured, now all hell breaks loose at the research lab as Charlie is angry and wants revenge for what they have done to her and unleashes her fire powers. This is a fun remake base on the Stephen King story and is well scripted, casted and scored. Ryan Kiera Armstrong is great as Charlie and Zac Efron is also great in the roll of her father other names in the cast include Sydney Lemmon, Michael Greyeyes and John Beasley. And for those wonder John Carpenter and his son Cody did the score. The film did ok at the American box office bringing in $9,589,250.00 on an unknown budget. They foolishly also released this the same day to streaming and I think that hurt its money draw. This is one I got when released on home media.

# 17

Invitation (2022) Poster

Evie Jackson is a woman who works at a catering company who has no family left after the recent passing of her mother, but when she does a DNA test to find out her family tree she meets her cousin Oliver Alexander from England and the two meet up in New York and she finds herself invited to a wedding in England expenses paid by her cousin to meet the rest of her family that will be attending. Also while there she meets the owner of the mansion they are staying in named Walter De Ville who charms her and the two start to have feelings for one another, but thing are not what they seem at this mansion as Evie soon finds that she is the bride to be and Walter his her soon to be husband and her family and the guests are blood drinking vampires…and worse Walter is really Count Dracula! Will Evie be able to escape her fate of damnation or will she have to forever drink blood and be one of the Brides Of Dracula…watch this film to find out. This is a fun slow burn Vampire Horror Film that has elements of Hammer Horror, Anne Rice and A24 all mixed together to deliver a spooky watch. Nathalie Emmanuel is great as Evie and Thomas Doherty was good was Walter, other cast members include Alana Boden, Stephanie Corneliussen, Sean Pertwee and Hugh Skinner. The film does suffer from being a R rated film that was clearly cut down to a PG-13 rating as some of the more bloody moments seem way trimmed down. The film did well for Sony at the US box office bringing in $25,100,080.00 on a budget of only $10million. This is worth a watch if you enjoy vampire tales and is one I got on home media when released.

# 16

Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022) Poster

Tori Tooms is the owner of a used media store that mostly focuses on vinyl records, and her sales are up during the crazy Christmas season and she just wants to get drunk and laid! But things gets super crazy when a mechanical Santa Claus armed with an axe that was created by the US Military goes rogue and starts a bloody killing spree that leaves Tori’s friends and family dead as well as the town police force! And this leaves Tori fighting for her life and trying to find a way to stop this mechanical murderous Santa. This is a fun splatter film that delivers some over the top kills and punk rocker style characters with Riley Dandy being fantastic as Tori and such names as Sam Delich, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Jonah Ray, Kansas Bowling and Abraham Benrudi played the killer Santa doing great in their roles. The film packs in some great kills as well as uses neon and Christmas lights to bring a strange glow to the town, plus the film started out as a Silent Night Deadly Night remake so that as well is pretty cool. The film had a very limited release and did well for Shudder at the American box office bringing in $**** on an unknown budget. If you like Holiday themed Horror Films make sure to give this one a watch, but keep in mind it is also filled to the brim with lots of cussing and characters tend to talk over each other and can be overload for your ears. Will buy once on home media.

# 15

Beast (2022) Poster

A group of poachers kill a pride of lions but the male lion escapes and after killing two of the poachers the lion has a hatred for mankind and is on a quest to kill everyone it sees. Dr. Nate Samuels takes his two daughters Mere and Norah to a trip to Africa to visit a family friend Martin to get away from the sadness of their mother passing away from cancer. The Samuels family is dealing with some issues as Nate’s older daughter blames him for not being around during her mom’s final months. But things get way worse for the family when they are attacked by that rogue lion while far away from any help and must try to fight to stay alive, will this family be able to stay together or will they be hunted and killed one by one…watch this Nature Runs Amok Horror Flick to find out! This was a pretty fun watch as I am a sucker for animal attack Horror films and this one did a great job of making the lion bloodthirsty and yet also sympathetic as he only has this hate due to what man has done to his family. The film as some good thrills, kills and blood spills and is well acted and casted as Idris Elba, Iyana Halley, Leah Sava Jeffries and Sharlto Copley make up the lead cast. The film did alright for Universal at the US box office bringing in $31,846,530.00 on a budget of $36million, and for me was well worth seeing on the big screen! Worth the watch if you love animal attack films and bought when released on home media.

# 14

Nope (2022) Poster

OJ Haywood and his sister Emerald are the owners of a Hollywood horse training ranch after their father paces away from a freak accident of items falling from the sky, but the siblings soon find out that it was no freak accident and was the act of an alien creature that lives in a cloud in the sky near their ranch. Along with Angel a tech salesman at a department store and movie cinematographer Antiers they set out to get proof of this being as well as try and find a way to stay alive from it’s rampage of hunger for flesh and blood. Also throw in a former child actor who survived a animal attack on the set of a sitcom who know owns an amusement park as well as a TMZ reporter out for a story and you have this alien monster film set on a ranch. This third Horror film from creator Jordan Peele was kind of a disappointment for me as while I think many parts of the film worked well, I also thought it was over long and lacked the chills that his other films delivered. I really enjoyed the flashback scenes to the sitcom that had a chimpanzee on a rampage as I felt that was way more scary than the silky looking cloth alien in the sky. I also want to say that it was well caste and I loved the chemistry that all the actors had on the screen. The film did well for Universal at the American box office brining in $123,277,080.00 on a budget of $68million. Over all not a bad film but not a great one as I truly feel this is Peele’s weakest Horror film to date, and did buy on home media when released.

# 13

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 (2022) Poster

On his travel to a concert Ruhaan Randhawa meets soon to be reluctant bride Reet Thakur on her way to her wedding and convinces her to get off the bus and go to the concert as they can catch the next one and she can still make it on time, and she is glad she does as the bus she was to be on crashes and has no survivors, and now her family thinks she is dead and her cousin is in love with her groom and Reet is ok with them getting together. Now Reet has Ruhaan travel back home with her and act as a psychic in order to tell her wishes to her family, and after the wedding she will revile that she is alive. But Reet makes a big mistake as she hides out in the family’s old mansion that has a room that houses the evil spirit of Manjulika a relative who practiced black magic and has been locked away for 18 years in that room, and when the spirit gets free all hell breaks loose and dark secrets are exposed and Reet finds real love in Ruhaan. This was a very fun Horror Comedy film from Bollywood that was filled with fun music numbers, great characters, beautiful ladies and an awesome ghost that was played amazingly by Tabu who plays duel roles in the film. Other great actors include Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani and Rajpal Yadav and the film opened limited in America and made $18,307,258.00 on a budget of around $9million international. While the film is over 2hrs and some of the comedy moments can fall flat, this was a very entertaining film and glad I was able to catch it in the theater on the big screen…would buy on home media if release in America.

# 12

The Menu (2022) Poster

Margo is on a “date” with food lover Tyler who has paid lots of money to have a meal at the Hawthorns a restaurant on an island ran by Chef Julian Slowik, only the rich can afford the meals and only a limited amount of guests are permitted at a time. The Chef has an army of sous chefs behind him as well as other workers that make up a restaurant with his dinner having a theme this night, and unknown to the people there the theme is death…but poor Margo was not suppose to be there and this throws the Chef’s theme off. Now Margo must find a way to get out off the restaurant, off the island or perish with the rest of the guests on this dinner course straight to the grave. This is a delightfully weird Horror film that showcases a mans rise to fame and mental fall to being suicidal, and how in his twisted mind all those there have wronged him or the world in some ways. The film is well casted with such names as Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, John Leguizamo, Hong Chau and Judith Light to name a few, and each are fantastic in their role with Fiennes as Chef being one hell of a great casting as is Taylor-Joy as Margo. The film did good for Searchlight at the US box office bringing in ***** on a budget of $35million. If you like slow burn Horror Thrillers that will make you hungry for a cheeseburger give this one a watch. Will own when released on home media.

# 11

Men (2022) Poster

Harper Marlow rents an old farmhouse in order to get away as she had a terrible breakup with her husband that lead to his suicide, and she rents the house from Geoffrey who lives a few doors down in order to relax and clear her mind. But Harper’s peaceful get away turns terrifying when a naked man fallows her home from the woods and attempts to break into her home, and even more crazy all the men from town are mostly odd, rude and all look the same! And her time turns worse when the naked man from the town turns out to be a shape shifting creature that has it in it’s mind that he must get to Harper! This is a very strange, creepy and entertaining movie that plays up on the terrors of an abusive relationship, the effects suicide has on loved ones as well as a dash of folk small town kind of horrors. The film is well acted with Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear in the two leads being great casting calls and some of the effects for the creature are very well done. Sadly the film did ok for A24 at the American box office bring in $7,587,853.00 on an unknown budget. This one has some strange moments, creepy atmosphere, great acting, a cool creature, bloody effects and was a great watch in the cinema. Bought when released on home media.

# 10

Prey For The Devil (2022) Poster

Sister Ann is a young Nun who has been through some bad things in her younger life and has found her calling working for the church. And she really is interested in exorcisms, as she knows that her mother was possessed by a demon and now she wants to help others, but a female performing them is prohibited. But Ann pushes when she meets a young girl named Natalie who’s very soul is in danger as the demon inside her is the same that was in Ann’s mom and it wants to corrupt and destroy Ann. Now Ann along with the help of a young Father must fight the demon for the young girls soul as well as Ann’s as this demon will not go away until it gets what it wants! Is Ann strong enough to defeat it watch this fun possession film and find out for yourself. This film was released around Halloween and was a pretty creepy and fun PG-13 fright flick that delivered some demonic goodness and brought to the screen a cool female hero with Sister Ann who is very likable. Actress Jacqueline Byers plays Sister Ann and is fantastic in the role and I hope she returns if this film gets a sequel and it should in my opinion. Other actors include Virginia Madesen, Ben Cross, Posy Taylor and Christian Navarro and all are great in their parts. The film did ok for Lionsgate at the US box office bringing in $**** on an unknown budget. I really had fun with this film and will get once released on home media.

# 9

Watcher (2022) Poster

Julia and her husband Francis move to Bucharest for his job and she is a fish out of the water as she does not speak Romanian. And things get worse for her when she notices an across the street neighbor watching her and following her, all the while women in the area are being killed by a serial killer called The Spider…her fears set in as she thinks maybe her stalker is the killer and while her husband is supportive of believing her the police and most of her neighbors thinks she is crazy. Is the watcher the killer? Is she loosing her mind? Are her fears more about the big move? Watch this Horror Thriller film and find out for yourself. This was a great watch on the big screen and was shot and written very well and almost has a Hitchcock feel to it. The film is very well acted with Maika Monroe playing the part of Julia being fantastic and her supporting cast Burn Goreman, Karl Glusman, Madalina Anea and Daniel Nuta all doing great jobs in their rolls. The film does have some bloody moments and plays on your fears of being alone and the feeling of being watched, its very much a slow burn film and if you are looking for a slasher film here its not. The film did ok for IFC at the US box office bringing in $1,961,207.00 on an unknown budget. This is one I bought on home media when released and if you enjoy Horror Thriller films make sure to check this one out.

# 8

Don't Worry Darling (2022) Poster

Alice and Jack Chambers live in the desert town of Victory as things in this private town is great as the men go to work for Frank on the “Victory Project” as the ladies stay home and take care of the house and make the meals and are told never to go to the edge of town…but this perfect life in this perfect town starts to turn into a nightmare as Alice starts seeing things when she travels to the end of town that makes her question what is going on in this town and what Frank and his Top Secret Project really is, and she is ready to leave it all and go to war with Frank about it! Will Alice find the answers? Is Victory really the perfect town? Or is something more sinister at play…well you will have to watch this Psychological Horror Thriller to find out for yourself! First thing I need to say is that Florence Pugh is an amazing actress and does a great job at playing Alice Chambers and her moments of breaking down as well as combating Frank played by Chris Pine at the dinner table truly drew me into the town of Victory. The film really does play with your mind and I enjoyed the reveal at the end and while the Horror elements are toned down it is one heck of a thriller. The film also stars Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, Kiki Layne, Gemma Chan and Nick Kroll all who were great in their roles. The film did ok for New Line Cinema at the American box office bringing in $45,309,403.00 on a budget of $35 million. This film had a lot of bad press before and after being released, but I for one really enjoyed it and will buy on home media when released.

# 7

Smile (2022) Poster

Dr. Rose Cotter is a woman who had a rough childhood and is now working at a hospital in order to help patients with their mental health as well as has a loving fiancé and an older sister who cares about her. But her life changes for the worse when one of her new patients takes her own life in front of her after talking about witnessing a suicide and then seeing and hearing something that is always smiling. Now Rose is hearing the voices and seeing thing and all those around her think she is loosing her mind and with the help of an ex-boyfriend who is a cop they try to figure out a way to stop this curse as something is after her and it wants her dead. This is a really fun and spooky film about a creature that feeds of trauma and fear and those that are infected all have a twisted smile before they take their own lives in order to pass the curse onto another. The effects are well done in the film and is also well casted with names like Sosie Bacon, Caitlin Stasey, Kyle Gallner, Kal Penn, Jessie T. Usher and Robin Weigert making up the main cast. The film did well for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $105,935,048.00 on a budget of $17million. If you like your Horror films with a dash of mental Horror and a pinch of creature feature check this one out for sure. And yes I bought this on home media when released.

# 6

Pearl (2022) Poster

It’s 1918 and Pearl is a young woman who’s husband is away at war and she lives with her strict German mother and her very ill father and spends her days working on the farm and dreaming of being a famous dancer on the movie screens. But Pearl is not like other girls as she has a dark side a murderous side and she wants away from the farm and wants to hunt down fame and fortune…and when she meets the local theater projectionist and learns from her sister in law about a church dance off she will do whatever it takes to because famous and that includes murder! This is the prequel to the film X and is such an great film that is very uncomfortable to watch as actress Mia Goth is amazing as the crazed Pearl and you go along for the ride with her as she slips more and more into her murderous decent into madness. The film while a slow burn builds to the bloody Horror and fans of slashers will not be disappointed. The film also stars Tandi Wright, Emma Jenkins-Purro, Matthew Sunderland and David Corenswet all who do a great job in their roles. The film did well for A24 at the American box office brining in $9,423,445.00 on a unknown budget. If you like indie horror films that have elements of slasher and psychological thriller elements smashed together this is one you will want to see, also had to get it when released on physical media.

# 5

Barbarian (2022) Poster

On a stormy night Tess Marshall heads to an Airbnb in a rundown neighborhood in Detroit as she has a job interview the next day to help on an independent documentary film. But once she gets there she meets Keith who also has rented the house for a stay and this makes it that the two strangers have to share the home on the stormy night, but lucky for them they become friends. But on the second day Tess finds a hidden passage and room in the basement that holds a dark secret, and when she and Keith enter deeper into the passage they find that they are not alone! Days pass and the owner of the house disgraced actor AJ Gilbride shows up and he himself finds that someone is in the hidden passage and they are not friendly. And when Tess and AJ find themselves in trouble they must find away to escape the house alive. This is a very twisted and fun film that takes lots of twists and turns and is just the right amount of weirdness and gory to make it a great film for fans who enjoy something different in their Horror Films. The film stars Georgina Campbell, Justin Long, Bill Skarsgard, Richard Brake and Kate Bosworth and all did fantastic in their roles with Long being a scene stealer in parts. The film did well for 20th Century at the American box office bringing in $40,842,944.00 on a budget of $10.5million. This is one that you should checkout as its creepy and the twists are lots of fun and is one I had to get when released on home media.

# 4

Scream (2022) Poster

The Ghostface killing are happening in Woodsboro again and the first attended victim Tara Carpenter survives the attack that brings her sister Sam and her boyfriend Richie to town to check on her, but the attacks keep happing and even Sam herself is attacked while visiting in the hospital! And with Ghostface returning so does those who have solved and defeated the killers in the past Judy Hicks, Gale Weathers, Dewey Riley and Sidney Prescott…but the rules have changed, motivations have changed and Ghostface has new ideas to freshen up the legacy of the killers before him…in this Scream everyone’s a suspect and the past will always comeback to haunt you. This fifth film in the Scream movie series was a great way to blend in the classic characters we love with new ones that we quickly care about. Seeing Ghostface return to the big screen was a great way to kick off Horror at the cinema for 2022! This film is also very bloody and does a great job of building the “Who” is the killer throughout the film. The film did great for Paramount at the American box office bringing in $81,641,405.00 on a budget of $24 million. A great sequel and its awesome that we are getting a sixth film in the series due to the success of this one.

# 3

Orphan First Kill (2022) Poster

Leena Klammer is a thirty year old woman who looks like a 10 year old girl who is super dangerous and after escaping a mental institution in Russia she takes on the identity of missing American child Esther Albright in order to be sent to America, with the goal of robbing the family and escape being locked back up in the Asylum. Once she arrives in America her cover is perfect, but she does slip up and say the wrong things that makes her “Mother” and “Brother” very suspicious. Everything seems to be going well that is until a police officer starts to look into her and her story of being kidnapped and when she goes to silence him once and for all Esther finds herself in a sinister plot that has her murderous rage being used against her, and what this plot is I can not spoil so you will have to see this awesome slasher film for yourself. Isabelle Fuhrman returns in the role of Esther and is fantastic once more as she really does come off like a psycho, also in the cast includes Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland and Matthew Finian. The film had a limited release and did pretty well for Paramount at the American theaters bringing in $5,413,227.00 on an unknown budget. This is a film that you should see if you liked the original or just like slasher films with a dash of thriller! This was a must own when released on home media.

# 2

X (2022) Poster

Maxine Minx is an adult film actress who along with friends travel to a small farm house in Texas in 1979 to film a porno in order to cash in on the booming home video market and to make money as well as for Maxine to become a big star, but the thing being is the farms owner Howard and his wife Pearl are not the sweet old people they seem as they have a dark side and Maxine and her friends have become their new targets for their sick sexual game. And one by one the crew are murdered and this leaves you wondering how Maxine will survive this farmhouse of terror. This is a great modern slasher film set in the 70’s that has a true grimy and gross feeling to it, and the best part is that Maxine and all the cast and crew are likable making when a character is killed feel more impactful. The film is well casted with Brittany Snow, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Scott Mescudi, Owen Campbell and Stephen Ure all being fantastic in their parts, but its Mia Goth who steals the film playing both Maxine Minx as well as Pearl the old woman. Lots of good kills and bloody gore effects with a great score by Tyler Bates makes this a great watch. The film did good for A24 at the American Box Office bringing in $11,765,309.00 on a unknown budget. With a prequel called “Pearl” in the works this could be a very cool new horror franchise in the making. And bought on home media when released, and if you have not seen it and like the grime feel of 70’s Horror and Adult Films make sure to give this one a watch.

# 1

Black Phone (2022) Poster

Young boys are going missing in a Colorado town and the police have no suspect and are dubbing the kidnapper The Grabber, and when Finney is kidnapped his sister Gwen has dreams that she thinks can lead the cops to rescue her brother. Meanwhile Finney is getting help from The Grabber’s past victims who are calling him from a discounted black phone in the basement cell he is being kept in, and giving him tools and advice on how to escape this hell alive. Will the cops save him? Will the voices of those lost guide him to safety? Or will The Grabber take another victim to their grave? Watch this well done and creepy film to find out. This Blumhouse produced film is based on a story by Joe Hill and has some truly spooky and uncomfortable moments that will shock the viewers, Ethan Hawke is great as The Grabber and Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Miguel Cazarez Mora, Tristan Pravong, Brady Hepner and Jacob Moran are great as the kids of the film. The film is dark and mean spirited in spots and creeps up your spine with a “this could really happen” feel to the killer. This film did good at the American box office for Universal bringing in $89,870,280.00 on a $18million budget. A touch of slasher and a touch of supernatural made this one hell of a great spooky watch on the big screen and bought once released on home media.

Star Trek VI Preview Logo

Matt Goes To The Movies 2021

Matt Goes To The Movies 2021 Logo

Welcome everyone to Rotten Ink, my little fun and goofy slice of the world-wide-web. This year 2022 is something very special for my blog as it turns 10 years old! It’s crazy to think that I have been covering comic books, horror hosts, movies, video games, toys and indie films for this long now as it does not seem that long at all to me, but I guess time does fly when you are doing something you love. This year I am going to celebrate in style as I am going to cover all types of things I love, from comics based on toys and cartoons all the way to horror hosts and wrestlers that I consider the best of the best! So 2022 will be a fun year for sure as I get to chat about so many things, and who knows, maybe I will even have a guest writer or two…maybe! But now let’s focus on why we are here at the Rotten Ink Theater as we are here to talk about movies that were shown in my local theaters that I was lucky enough to see on the big silver screen! The coronavirus pandemic was still in full effect so the films coming out were scarce for a while, but it did allow way more indie films to have their time to shine. And let’s not also forget the AT&T and Warner Brothers goofy idea of same day streaming.  I for one went to the theater to see the films I wanted as that was the way they are meant to be seen. I want to thank Cinemark Theaters and Englewood Cinema for being open during these times and help delivering amazing films on the big screen and also allowing private screenings that my friends and I enjoyed throughout the year. And for me, no matter what anyone says, nothing beats seeing films at the movie theaters; streaming just does not pack a punch for me. So with that, let’s grab some popcorn and find our seats as it’s time to talk about the movies of 2021 and rank them by genre, and man horror this year was on point as you will see later in the update. One note: all of the box office figures for the movies are as of the date of this update, January 2, 2021.

Matt Goes To The Movies 2021 Cinemark Logo

Let’s start with Comedy.  In 2021 I didn’t see many of them, but the ones I did were animated and based on classic characters, so with that let me share with you the two films that tickled my funny bone and kept me laughing at the cinema.

Comedy 21 copy

# 2

Tom and Jerry 2021 Poster

Kayla Forester is a young woman who is down and out when it comes to holding onto a job, and after sneaking her way into it, she finds herself working for the Royal Gate Hotel in New York during the wedding of a rich couple whose event is getting bigger and bigger by the minute. But things do not go smoothly for her when Tom and Jerry bring their fighting to the hotel and causes all kinds of chaos and issues that fall into Kayla’s lap! Can she get these two one the same page, can she guard her secret of having a fake resume and most importantly can she save the wedding from all this madness? This is a fun family film filled with silly slapstick comedy moments that brings the classic cartoon characters to a new generation of moviegoers. Plus it’s well casted with one of my favorite actresses Chloe Grace Moretz playing the part of Kayla Forester and other cast members include Michael Pena, Ken Jeong, Pallavi Sharda, Rob Delaney and Colin Jost. The humor is super silly and is a mix of modern cellphone emoji jokes as well as some dated 90’s gags making it fun for all ages. The only thing I would say that the film could have been a little shorter and that would have made the film flow at a better pace. The film did well at the US Box Office for Warner Brothers bringing in $46,041,123.00 on a budget of $79 million. This is worth watching if you enjoy Tom and Jerry and you would like to see them in modern time New York.

# 1

Addams Family 2 (2021) Poster

Wednesday Addams is having a hard time as she cannot relate to normal people and even her own family, and after a disappointing science fair and skipping family dinners several times Gomez Addams decides that a family vacation is needed to travel to some of Americas most gruesome places like Salam and Sleepy Hollow. But the family gets sidetracked when scientist Cyrus Strange tries to claim he is really Wednesday’s father and that she was switched at birth.  After a DNA test proves this true, she leaves her old family behind to be with her “real” family, and it’s up to The Addams Family to get to the truth and bring Wednesday back home were she belongs, and of course all types of kooky things happen along the way. This was a super fun horror themed kids film that was just as enjoyable as the first film.  It is well casted with names like Oscar Isaac, Chloe Grace Moretz, Charlize Theron, Bette Midler, Snoop Dogg and Bill Hader all lending their voices to the main cast. The film did okay for MGM at the Box Office given that they also did VOD day of release as well bringing in $56,489,153 on an unknown budget. This one is worth seeing and worth owning on home media if you are an Addams Family fan like myself.

So as you can see, The Addams Family took the top spot in comedy.  Now let’s jump into the action genre and see what high explosions I saw on the silver screen.

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# 4

F9 (2021) Poster

Dom Toretto and his fast car driving team once more find themselves helping the government in order to find a device that when used with other parts will bring on a massive nuclear assault on the whole world, and worse Jakob Toretto, his own brother, is working for the bad side.  Now it’s a race around the world and even space in order to save the world from this new threat, and Dom even has to get help from all of his “family” in order to pull this one off. This is a fun goofy over the top action film that by no means takes itself seriously, and because of that, it’s super fun and by all means cheesy. The film has the likes of Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Tyrese Gibson and Charlize Theron on cast. The film did well for Universal at the American Box Office bringing in $173,005,945.00 on a budget of $200 million and worldwide it did fantastic. If you are a fan of the Fast And The Furious series, this one is defiantly worth checking out.

# 3

The Marksman (2021) Poster

Jim Hanson is a former Marine who lives in Texas right at the border.  He has lost his wife to cancer and the bank is threatening to take his ranch away due to missed payments. While driving his property, he stumbles on Rosa and her son Miguel who are on the run from a Mexican drug cartel due to a family member stealing money from them, and when Rosa dies from a gunshot wound Jim promises her that he will get her son to family in Chicago.  All the while, the cartel is after them as is Jim’s step daughter who works for the border patrol and needs to take the child back. The film is a drama action movie that has a 68 year old Liam Neeson in the role of Jim Hanson, and he does a great job at playing the moody war hero. Also in the cast is Katheryn Winnick, Teresa Ruiz, Juan Pablo Rada and Jocob Perez. The film plays off the current hot topic of border security and as well as that no matter how defeated you feel in life, someone can come into your life and change that around. The film did okay for Open Road Films at the USA Box Office during the Virus Crisis bringing in $15,566,093.00 on a budget of $23 million. This was a fun way to kick off the 2021 movie going experience and is one that I might watch again someday.

# 2

nobody poster

Hutch Mansell is a family man who is living a boring life with a wife and two kids he loves but his job is lacking something. His life changes when a pair of robbers breaks into his home and steals a little money as well as his daughter’s cat bracelet, and then his past life comes speeding back into his present.  Hutch was once a government solider who took care of “problems” and after tracking down the robbers and beating up a group of punks on a bus, Hutch has got a price on his head placed their by a very powerful Russian and now he must get his family to safety and teach these criminals that they have messed with the wrong man. Nobody is a super fun film that was made by the same creative team that did the John Wick film series, and this one feels right at home in that universe. The film is well casted with Bob Odenkirk playing Hutch being spot on as he comes off as both a pushover family man as well as a kickass government trained skilled killer. Other names in the cast are Christopher Lloyd, RZA, Connie Nielsen and Aleksey Serebryakov. The film is filled with big action moments and is pretty violent and is a must watch for fans of revenge films. The film did pretty well for Universal at the US Box Office during the still on going virus crisis bringing in $27,268,035.00 on a budget of $16 million, showing that this John Wick universe film had some fans and that this is one that you should see.

# 1

no time to die poster

James Bond is living the retired life but does have some sins from his past haunting him including walking away from his true love, but when a new threat to the whole world emerges Bond is forced out of retirement and must team with the new 007 as well as once more see the woman he had left behind heartbroken in order to stop this new threat and save the world once again. This was a great James Bond adventure that has very high stacks and is unlike the others in this series.  Plus this is extra special as it’s Daniel Craig’s final time playing the iconic role, and its so well casted with names like Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ben Whishaw to name a few making up much of the main cast. The film is filled with drama, action and even suspense and is one of the better Bond films I have seen, and that is why it locked the # 1 spot in the action film section I saw in the theater! The film did well for MGM at the American box office and brought in $160,772,007 on a budget of $250 million dollars. If you are Bond fan, make sure to check this one out as it packs a very impactful ending that will pull at your heartstrings.

As you can see, 2021 had some great action films that made it to the theater and did a great job of entertaining my friends and I! Our next section is all about the sci-fi and fantasy films that did the same for us, so let’s chat about those.

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# 5

chaos walking Poster

The New World is a planet where men cannot hide their inner thoughts.  They can be heard by anyone with what they called the noise. Todd Hewitt is a young man who lives in Prentisstown, where all the woman have been killed, and works at a beet farm, but his life changes when a ship from Earth crashes and the only survivor is Viola, a beautiful woman who once discovered has the Mayor David and his men hunting her down like a wild animal as they think if she contacts another ship, the simple life they have will be ruined…or is it that their sinister secret will be exposed!? Now it’s up to Todd to control his thoughts and help Viola find a radio in order to save herself as well as start a new life. This is a fun sci-fi film filled with some alien creatures as well as interesting characters that is well cast with Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, David Oyelowo and Mads Mikkelsen being in the lead roles. The film did not do great for Lionsgate at the American Box Office bringing in $13,287,908.00 on a budget of $100 million. This is a very interesting sci-fi film that you should check out on home media.

# 4

Green Knight (2021) Poster

Gawain is the nephew of King Arthur and during a feast at the round table, the mythical Green Knight appears and issues a challenge that he will allow any brave knight to strike him, but one year later the one who deals the blow must travel to the Green Chapel and will receive that same blow.  Gawain takes the challenge and shows off by cutting the head off of the Green Knight who picks up his head and rides off laughing. When the year is up, Gawain goes on a quest to the Green Chapel and along the journey comes across thieves, strangers, ghosts, giants and a talking fox before finally meeting his fate at the hands of the Green Knight. This is the classic round table story turned to film and is an epic tale and brings together elements of fantasy and even a dash of horror. The Green Knight looks very cool and is played by Ralph Ineson and the rest of the cast includes Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton. The film did okay for A24 at the American Box Office during the still lingering virus crisis bringing in $17,173,321.00 on a budget of $15million. Over all this is a slow burn fantasy film that will surely please fans of classic tales of King Arthur’s world and round table adventures.

# 3

Morta Kombat 2021 Poster

Many people on Earth have been born with a Dragon birthmark and this is not by chance as they have been selected to be a fighter in “Mortal Kombat,” a tournament held by realms in order to show dominance as well as used to conquer other worlds. Earth’s champion is Radian and his fighters have been finding themselves being killed off before the tournament as Shang Tsung has sent his fighters Sub Zero, Goro, Mileena, Nitara, Reiko and Kabal to stack the odds in their realm’s favor. But they are not ready when Cole Young as well as Earth’s other fighters Sonya Blade, Kano, Jax, Liu Kang and Kung Lao are ready to fight for the world and take the war back to them. And when Scorpion joins the fight, the big fights start way before the Mortal Kombat tournament. What will be the fate of Earth, who will live and who will die…watch this fantasy video game martial arts film to find out. This is a really fun film and the best Mortal Kombat film to date as the film captures the brutal nature of the game series it’s based on and the effects are well done as well. My favorite character in the film had to be Sub Zero as he is cold blooded (pun intended) and the history between he and Scorpion is well done. The film did okay for Warner Brothers at the US Box Office during the lingering pandemic and their foolish HBO Max day of release nonsense and brought in $42,201,013.00 on a budget of $55 million. If you like the game and like martial arts films filled with crazy characters, then you should check this one out.

# 2

Dune (2021) Poster

Duke Leto and his family consort Jessica and son Paul have been assigned to planet Arrakis to harvest Spice.  The planet was previously under the rule of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen who is not happy that he and his soldiers have been pulled out due to the choice of the Emperor. But when Leto arrives, he finds that the odds have been staked against him to fail as the machines he was left to harvest the Spice aare broken down, the area is surrounded by the massive Sand Worms and the area is also the home of the Fremen, the natives of the planet who are not happy that outsiders are harvesting their land and are at war with them. Paul meanwhile seems to have a gift and is having visions and has to protect his mom when his family and kingdom are attacked by Baron Harkonnen, and his father Leto is killed and all his friends who are warriors are assumed to be dead. Paul and his mom must wander around the desert and avoid the Sand Worms as well as try and get shelter from the Fremen. And man this is a very brief write up as this film has more layers of plot than what I can squeeze in here! This was a film I was not looking forward to, but after seeing it, I loved it and that is why it’s my # 2 film in this category. The film looks fantastic and the effects are top notch and is well casted with names like Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgard, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Timothee Chalamet, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista and Rebecca Ferguson making up the cast. The film did well for Warner Brothers at the American Box Office given that they again did a streaming day of release bringing in $106,985,276 on a budget of $165 million. It’s a really great sci-fi film that in my opinion is leaps and bounds better than the 1984 version.

# 1

Ghostbusters Afterlife Poster

Phoebe Spengler is the granddaughter of original Ghostbusters member Egon Spengler, and she has inherited his love for science.  But she has never knew him due to him leaving his family behind to live in a farmhouse in a very small town many years back. When Phoebe and her mother and brother have to move into Egon’s old rundown farmhouse after his death, she uncovers that the town is a hot spot for the second coming of Gozer! With the help of her grandfather’s spirit, she along with her brother Finn, her new friend Podcast and teenage waitress Lucky find the tools to bust ghosts and have to save the town from the upcoming apocalypse.  Along the way, they get the help of Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman and Winston Zeddemore in order to save the world and let everyone know who to call when paranormal activity enters your home. This fourth film in the Ghostbusters series is a great horror comedy film that does a great job of mixing the two genres as well as capturing that magic that makes the Ghostbuster films so special. And besides bringing in the classic cast Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and Sigourney Weaver the new cast of McKenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon. Paul Rudd and all the others fit right in with Grace stealing the film. The film also does a great job of introducing new ghosts as well as showcasing some familiar ones as well. The film did well for Sony at the American box office bringing in $122,388,000 on a budget of $75 million. This is a fun film, and like before, don’t listen to online critics and make up you own mind as this film was great, and yes I will be buying it when it’s released on home media.

Lots of great fantasy and sci-fi films was released in the theaters in 2021, and really Dune was a big surprise for me as I was not looking forward to it and after watching it I found it at my # 2 spot! With that, let’s see what superheroes brought to the silver screen in 2021.

super-hero-21 copy 2

# 6

Eternals (2021) Poster

The Eternals are a race of immortals sent from The Celestial Arishem to Earth to act as protectors and to stop a race of creatures called Deviants. The Eternals are leader Ajak along with Ikaris, Sersi, Kingo, Thena, Phastos, Makkari, Druig, Gilgamesh and Sprite, and each have amazing powers that will help mankind move along. When they think that their mission is done, they disband with many of them going their own ways, but when the Deviants return and their one time leader Ajak is found dead, they must come back together and save mankind again…but is that their real mission as they end up digging deeper and finding the truth about Arishem as well as their true origin. This was a way better then I expected as I was never a big fan of the comic series. The film was well cast with names like Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan and Kit Harington and had a few surprise cameos from characters that will be appearing in future Marvel Universe films and shows. The film has done well for Disney at the American box office bringing in $164,611,651 on a budget of $200 million. While not the best superhero film I have ever seen, it sure as hell was an entertaining one that really surprised me.

# 5

black widow (2021) Poster

The Black Widow meets up with her “sister” Yelena Belova who is on the run as she has broken the hold of Dreykov, the man who has warped the minds of many young woman and turned them into killers for hire. Yelena has an antidote for this mind control and this has marked her for death. As Widow and Yelena go and get the help of The Red Guardian who once acted as their father, they find out that the ultimate fighter known as Taskmaster has been sent to kill them both. And now Black Widow along with her “family” must comeback together and fight in order to finally bring down Dreykov and his evil empire that has enslaved and tormented women into killers for decades. This superhero film is filled with action as well as some twists and turns and explores the backstory of Black Widow and allows you to peek into her youth that was filled with so much bad and explains her mental stress as an adult about the actions of her past. Scarlett Johansson is fantastic as always as Black Widow.  I am a big fan of Florence Pugh, and it was great to see her as Yelena Belova, who, by the end of this film is clearly going to be the new Black Widow. It was also great to see Rachel Weisz, William Hurt and David Harbour in big roles as they all did great in their parts. This film did pretty well for Disney at the US box office bringing in $183,651,655.00 on a budget of $200 million. It’s worth watching, and while I was not a fan of the “twist” of Taskmaster, it was still a great watch on the big screen and is one I will watch again for sure.

# 4

venom let there be carnage Poster

With the help of Venom, the alien that lives inside him, Eddie Brock finds the bodies of the victims of Cletus Kasady, a serial killer who is rotting away in jail. And after a last interview before he is sent to die via lethal injection, Cletus bites Eddie and a small piece of the symbiote that is Venom enters Cletus’s blood stream and he becomes Carnage, a cold blooded killing machine that is out for revenge! And worse, Eddie and Venom have a fight that leaves Eddie open to be murdered by Cletus who wants him to pay for getting him on Death Row, and Venom is left jumping from person to person. Meanwhile Cletus breaks his super powered screaming girlfriend Shriek out of a research asylum and the two go on a reign of terror! It takes Eddie’s ex-girlfriend Anne Weying to finally get Venom and Eddie to come back together and to go up against Carnage and Shriek and stop their murdering ways once and for all. This was a good sequel that added more comedy elements as well as some really cool fight scenes between Venom and Carnage that moviegoers have been waiting to see. Both Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson are great as Eddie and Cletus, and it is always great seeing Michelle Williams in films. The film did really well for Sony at the American box office bringing in $212,527,511 on a budget of $110 million. Plus Spoiler Alert Venom is placed in the MCU after this film when he is transported into their dimension while on vacation and sees Spider-Man on the TV.

# 3

Suicide Squad (2021) Poster

Amanda Waller needs two teams to head into Corto Maltese in order to destroy a laboratory that has a very world-threating project going on.  This of course is a suicide mission and she needs super villains to join the squads in order to get time shaved off their prison time. The first team is lead by Rick Flag as well has Harley Quinn, Savant, Captain Boomerang, Detachable Kid, Weasel, Javelin, Mongal and Blackguard, and they are mostly killed by an ambush, with the survivors finally meeting up with the second team that is lead by Bloodsport and consists of Peacemaker, King Shark, Polka-Dot Man and Ratcatcher 2.  Together they must take on the mercenaries that have taken over the island and finally have to come face to giant eye with the world changing project that is the massive alien known as Starro! This is a fun, zany, crazy superhero like no other as it’s packed with great jokes, bloody moments and characters that you find your self cheering for! Director and writer James Gunn has a way of making superhero movies more fun and adds his touch of humor and style to them that always seems to work. The film is well cast with Margot Robbie returning once more as Harley Quinn and adds such names as Idris Elda, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone and Daniela Melchior to the cast and all do fantastic in their roles with Stallone as King Shark being funny and awesome. The film was released on HBO Max by Warner Brothers at the same time as the theatrical release but it still did really well for them at the US box office bringing in $55,800,219 on a budget of $185 million. While I enjoyed the first film, this second one was in another league and is one that I think fans of none traditional superhero movies should watch.

# 2

shang chi and the legend of The ten rings Poster

Shang-Chi is the son of Xu Wenwu, the man who has the ten rings, and a magical fighter Ying Li who was the guardian of the mythical and magical village Ta Lo.  When his mom passes away and his father thinks that her old village is really keeping her hostage, he must travel to China and stop his father from unleashing ultimate evil onto the world, as well as work alongside his sister who he left behind at a young age. Will Shang-Chi be able to stop his father or will the universe be in the grip of evil darkness…watch this fun superhero martial arts film and find out. I grew up reading Shang-Chi, and while this film is pretty different from the classic 70’s Marvel comics, I still found it to be very entertaining and one of the best superhero films of the year! Simu Liu was well cast as Shang-Chi and captures the heroic spirit that is making up the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other actors like Awkafina, Meng’er Zhang and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai all do great in their respected roles as well. The film did great for Disney at the American box office bringing in $224,543,292 on a budget of $200 million. This is a fun action film that has cool fantasy elements thrown in, and you cannot go wrong with a film that has a cameo from the Hulk villain Abomination. Check this film out if you are enjoying these Marvel Comics movies as this is a really good one.

# 1

spiderman no way home Poster

The world knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and this has caused him major issues as the press is harassing him and even many New Yorkers have turned on him, looking at him as a masked menace. So Peter goes to Doctor Strange and asks for a spell to be cast that will make people forget he is Spider-Man, but things go off the rails when Peter keeps changing the spell on who should remember his secret and this opens a rift in the multiverse and so enter Green Goblin, Sandman, Doctor Octopuss, Electro and The Lizard (from the past Sony Spider-Man films!) all of whom know Spider-Man’s secret but are confused when the Peter Parker they know is not the one they are seeing. Now Doctor Strange wants to send the villains back to their universe where many are dead, and Spider-Man wants to try and cure them before sending them home. The action and drama is turned up as Spidey tries to save them as Strange is trying to right the wrong of his spell. This is one amazing Superhero film and could be the best Marvel Film made up to this point as it has great surprises and brings together the past Spider-Man films and brings viewers once more some of the best Super-Villains from the past films as well as brings us past Spider-Men! The film has done amazing for Disney at the American box office and as of this update has brought in $572,642,000 on a budget of $200 million. Make sure to see this film on the big screen as it’s a great watch and a must own on home media when released.

So as you can see, both Marvel and DC delivered some great films for cinema-goers in 2021 and it looks like 2022 will also be delivering some great films in this genre. But with that said, let’s move onto my favorite genre: horror! And man I got to see so many limited released films in the theater and want to thank Englewood Cinema and Cinemark Dayton South for making all these horror films available to see on the silver screen.

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# 33

The Stairs (2021) Poster

A young kid and his grandpa go missing after finding a strange staircase in the woods.  20 years later, a group of friends going on a hike stumble upon the stairs as well as a few strange people who seem to be stuck in a loop and even take on a slight monstrous appearance. And soon they are hunted down and killed by a creature that lives inside these phantom stairs and they must fight to stay alive, and even find the missing kid who was stuck inside the stairs and has not aged in the 20 years he was missing! But will they be able to get away from the creature the kid calls Grub Daddy? Or will they all become mangled mounds of flesh that the creature shreds? Watch this indie horror fright flick and find out. This is a fun B-Movie film that has some cool ideas and even uses practical effects, but is lacking a little in the story that is filled with some holes and characters that go no place and are never explained. The creature called Grub Daddy is kind of cool and reminded me of the Fluke Man from the show X-Files. Actress Tyra Colar is fantastic in her role as Jordon, one of the hikers, and Josh Crotty as hiker Dirty Doug steals the show. The film was a Fathom Event and did okay for Wandering Dragon Productions despite unknown box office numbers on an unknown budget. Over all this is a fun creature flick that took place in the woods, was well acted and is worth watching if you like films about unknowns being seen in our forests.

# 32

In The Earth (2021) Poster

Martin Lowery and park scout Alma head into the woods to find scientist Olivia Wendle to check on her and bring her equipment as no one has heard from her in months while she is working on a cure for a virus that has affected the world. But things go wrong for them while they hike to the site as they are attacked at night and their shoes are stolen.  Martin gets a very bad cut on his foot, and they meet Zach, a man who has taken them prisoner and alerts them that woods are alive and nature is mad! Even when they escape, they run into Olivia who as well is a believer that nature is talking to them. A hallucinating mist created by mushrooms is trapping Martin and Alma in the woods and forcing them to witness and see the madness of the woods. Now Alma and Martin must find away to escape the woods as nature does not want them to leave nor do Zach and Olivia and their time and sanity is running out. This is a nature themed horror movie that uses lots of light, sound and editing tricks to throw the viewers off and draws them into this madness. The film was shot in 15 days by director Ben Wheatley and was made during the pandemic of 2020. The film does a pretty good job of bring the slow moving creepy horror and even has a few very bloody scenes. The character of Alma is very likable while Martin is a little bland allowing the viewers to choose whom they really think is the main star and the one nature wants. The film had a very limited release for Neon and did well given that at the American Box Office bringing in $1,113,723.00 on an unknown budget. Over all it was a cool watch that was a great theater experience and one that I will watch again to see what hidden plot details I might have missed.

# 31

The Resort (2021) Poster

It’s Lex’s birthday and her friends want to surprise her by taking her to an abandoned resort on a Hawaiian island that is said to be haunted by many spirits but the worse being the half face girl! The reason they are being secretly dropped off by helicopter is due the fact Lex is writing a book all about hauntings, spirits and ghosts and this is one of her main attractions. Once they get there, the land is beautiful and the resort is creepy but nothing is paranormal, that is until night comes and the legend of the half face girl proves to be true and she is out for souls. This was a fun little horror flick that had a short run time, some cool effects and some good classic horror moments. The downside is the film at times seems disjointed as if scenes have been removed from the movie. The Half Face Girl is a cool looking ghost who can get the dead to be her servants and that makes her interesting as she controls them. The gore is pretty great and unexpected, and the ladies Bianca Haase and Michelle Randolph are very beautiful and good actresses. The film had a very small limited run in theaters and did okay for Vertical Entertainment bringing in $191,996.00 on an unknown budget. It’s worth seeing, and I’m glad I caught it in the theater. This is one I will watch again on home media.

# 30

Wrong Turn (2021) Poster

Jen Shaw and her friends go on a trip to hike the Appalachian Trail so that she can decide on what she wants to do with her life, and while hiking they make the mistake of going off the trail and run into sinister booby-traps as well as a group of people dressed in skulls and brush that call themselves The Foundation who have been living up in the mountains for generations since before the Civil War. But The Foundation doesn’t like trespassers, and they like it even less when strangers kill one of their own and now Jen and her friends are being picked off one by one and judged by the people of the mountain…and just for good measure Scott Shaw who is Jen’s rich and worried father has come looking for her. How will Jen survive and what will be left of her? This remake of the 2003 film series takes the deformed cannibals out of the picture and adds a secret society of mountain people who just want to be left alone, and I give it credit for trying something different, it’s just not a Wrong Turn film and takes more of a Midsommar approach to the tale and should have been called something else. The film is well cast with names like Charlotte Vega, Bill Sage, Emma Dumont, Daisy Head, Darius Clemons and Matthew Modine all fantastic in their roles. The film also did have a few bloody moments and did okay at the US Box Office bringing in $1,251,184.00 for Saban Films on a very small limited release. Over all this was just okay and will be one I will watch again someday as I got it on its home media release.

# 29

Fear Of Rain Poster

Rain Burroughs is a teenage girl who is struggling with her schizophrenia and has just gotten out of the hospital after a really bad breakdown and finds that she is friendless at school and is only one more bad episode away from being put into a mental hospital. But her luck starts to change as she makes a new friend in Caleb, a new kid at school, and her medication seems to be helping slightly. But when she thinks that her schoolteacher who is also her neighbor has kidnapped a young girl and is keeping her chained up in her house, Rain does not know if what she is seeing is real or is all just in her head. With her father not believing her, her new friend Caleb not knowing what is really going on, her mother being there for her but not taking her side, it’s up to Rain to solve the case of who’s real and who’s not and to come to terms with her own mental illness. The film is a thriller mixed with some horror elements and it stars Katherine Heigl, Harry Connick Jr, and Madison Iseman as Rain. This film had a very small limited theatrical release before it was put out on home media and brought in some money for Lionsgate at the US Box Office bringing in an unknown amount on an unknown budget. This is a good little thriller that has you guessing at what and who is real and was worth a watch at the theater, and Madison Iseman was really solid in her role as Rain Burroughs.  I picked it up on home media later in the year.

# 28

Zombie Reddy Poster

Mario is a game designer who along with his developing friends head to a friends wedding that gets them stuck in the middle of a family feud that will lead to their friend’s death! And after running into a stranger with their car, one of Mario’s friends is bitten and so a zombie outbreak breaks out in the middle of all this madness. Now Mario and his remaining friends as well as members of both families must fight together to stay alive and find a cure to the outbreak that only a crazy old man in the woods knows! This is a fun horror action comedy and the first zombie film in Telugu cinema that not only has splatter but also a few good laughs out loud moments. The film is well cast with Sajja Teja as Mario and actress Anandhi being two great standouts. The film had a limited screening in the US and did okay for Geetha Arts at the Box Office bringing in an unknown amount on a budget of $48 million. If you like Bollywood Horror films and films like Zombieland, The Dead Don’t Die and Shaun Of The Dead make sure to give this one a watch, but be warned it’s over two hours and it takes a bit for the zombie madness to kick in.

# 27

Antlers (2021) poster

Julia Meadows is a schoolteacher who has mental scars due to abuse at her father’s hands and when she sees the same issues in a student of hers named Lucas Weaver she tries to help.  But she soon learns that Lucas is hiding a big secret, that his father is turning into a Wendigo as is his baby brother who were attacked in an abandoned mine. And when his father fully turns and starts killing around the town, its up to Julia and her police officer brother Paul to try and save not only the town but also Lucas who is trying to keep what is left of his family together no matter how flesh eating they are becoming. This film has some creepy moments as well as some gruesome scenes and is a creature feature that was a great theater watch during the Halloween season. And I really did enjoy the effects and the film was more gruesome in spots then I expected. The film did okay for Searchlight Pictures at the American box office brining in $10,619,670 on an unknown budget. This is a fun freaky film that is one I bought on home media when released.

# 26

Separation (2021) Poster

Jeff Vahn is a struggling creator and comic book artist who is going through a terrible divorce from his wife Maggie who wants sole custody of their daughter Jenny as she thinks he is too irresponsible to be raising their child. But after Maggie is killed by a hit and run driver, Jeff finds that his daughter is not doing well as she has an imaginary friend that she says is a monster, the babysitter Samantha has a crush on him, and his father in law wants to take Jenny away.  He is working for an old college friends comic book company working on a dark horror comic and it is clear that something evil has entered his house and wants to scare and take. This is a creepy little horror flick that is very much in the same spirit as films like The Conjuring, Insidious and other supernatural horror. The effects of the monster spirit are really cool.  I like that it also adds the world of comic book making into its story. The film did okay for Open Road Films at the American Box Office bringing in $4,509,143.00 on an unknown budget. This is a fun creepy little film that has some cool evil spirits and some cool kills. I bought it once it was released on home media.

# 25

funhouse (2021) Poster

On an internet reality TV Show, the world watches as down and out celebs from internet blogs, Instagram and reality shows are brought together in one house with the promise of winning big prize money! The viewers also get to vote on who is their favorites and the bottom pick has to compete in a challenge in order to stay in the house by spinning a wheel. But soon the competitors and the viewers find out this house is one of horror as the losers are put into challenges that end in death and the celebrities are trapped in the house. One by one the bottom %’s have to compete in killer challenges as onlookers watch live on their laptops and cellphone screens, as the law tries to find the location of this killer red room reality show. Will the celebrities find a way to escape, who will win and why is the man in charge doing what he is doing and killing these internet famous people off in gruesome fashion? Well watch the Funhouse and find out. This was a limited release and was pretty dang entertaining and was filled with some cool kills, beautiful women and even monster themed MMA fighters! The film did okay for such a limited release for Magnet at the Box Office and brought in $110,571.00 worldwide. This is a fun watch for fans of films like Hostel and Saw that is a little less gruesome and gory and is worth a watch.

# 24

Seventh Day 2021 Poster

Father Daniel is a young priest who is teamed with Father Peter to learn the ways of performing exorcisms on possessed people and saving their lives and souls. When Daniel is taken to a home where a young boy killed his family, he opens his mind to evil and witnesses the massacre and realizes that the young boy has been possessed by a demon! Now he must find a way to save the boy’s soul and all the while try and figure out Father Peter and his past priests that learned the ways of the Exorcist from him. Can Father Daniel save the young boy’s soul from this very powerful demon or will he watch as the youngster burns in the flames of damnation? Watch this creepy little horror flick and find out! The Seventh Day is one of many films based on evil demonic spirits that was released in 2021, and like all the others, it was a solid and spooky watch that brought the chills as well as the twist and turns that made it a very entertaining watch on the big screen. I really liked the mood and pacing of the film and enjoyed the moments when the demon would take over the young boy and wreak havoc on those who were in his way. The film had a very limited release and did well given the time of release at the World Box Office for Vertical Entertainment bringing in $963,938.00 on an unknown budget. This was a fun fright flick and fans who like possession films should check it out. I also liked this one enough that I bought it on DVD when released.

# 23

The Unholy (2021) Poster

Gerry Fenn is a disgraced reporter who used to write for the big newspapers and is now writing for a tabloid that sends him to a small town in New England to cover a cow mutilation, but when the story turns out to be a bust, he soon finds himself a new one as a deaf and mute teenage girl Alice starts speaking and claims that the Virgin Mary is speaking to her and has given her the power to heal the sick and dying and crazy enough she is doing the miracles she claims! But soon Gerry, who helps the Catholic Church with this miracle and also gets the exclusive with Alice as the two have started to be come friends, finds out about Mary, a witch that was killed in the town that was the Bride Of Satan, and as strange deaths start happing to those who doubt Mary he must find the truth if Alice has been touched by holy goodness or touched by pure evil. This Sam Raimi produced PG-13 fright flick is a fun film that features a cool demonic ghost witch that is the stuff of nightmares.  The thing I liked about the film is that it has an early 2000’s feel to it and has the Raimi feel of jump scares and a demonic villain. The film did okay for Screen Gems at the American Box Office during the ongoing Virus Crisis bringing in $15,530,440.00 on a budget of unknown. It’s a fun creepy watch that has a cool evil sprit baddy that I ended up buying on home media.

# 22

Conjuring III Poster

Ed and Lorraine Warren are at the Glatzel home to try and perform an exorcism on an 8-year-old boy who is being possessed by a demon. At the exorcism the demon proves to be really strong and gives Ed a heart attack and then goes into Arne, a young man who is dating the boy’s sister. While Ed is recovering in the hospital, the demon makes Arne kills his girlfriend’s boss and now he is in prison waiting for trial. Once out of the hospital, Ed and Lorraine come to Arne’s aid and are a part of his defense team as they have to prove that the devil made him do it! So the Warrens soon find out that a devil cult is to blame as they have left a cursed totem in the Glatzel home, and that this totem was also found in another murder case and that whomever placed these totems has now targeted the Warrens and it makes them have to race against time to save the soul of Arne, stop the cultist and watch out for one another. The third film in The Conjuring series is a good spooky watch that showcases another case file of the Warrens. But while I did enjoy the film, it was the weakest of the series thus far and the demon and cult leader are neither as spooky nor motivated as that of the past spirits and the film just seemed to be lacking the charm that director James Wan brought to the series. But while a little underwhelming, it still was a good fright flick and seeing the chemistry of actors Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga always is a plus. The film did ok for New Line Cinema at the American Box Office bringing in $65,565,074.00 on a budget of only $39 million. The Conjuring III is a good film, and if you like the series check it out. I bought a copy once it was released on home media.

# 21

The Little Things (2021) Poster

A serial killer is killing women in California and has been for a while now and former Detective Joe Deacon meets the new detective on the case, Jim Baxter, and the pair start to work together to try and find who the killer is as the bodies of young women keep being found. They both find clues and start checking off the suspects and that’s when they find the creepy appliance repairman Albert Sparma, a man who is into true crime and even once confessed to a murder he didn’t do, but is he our man our cold blooded killer…or is their more to uncover in this horror thriller noir film? Watch for yourself and find out, and see who you think the killer is. This was a very well made film that reminded me a lot of films like Seven and Silence Of The Lambs.  It takes its time to build the case and has the viewers along for the investigation. The film is well cast with Denzel Washington and Rami Malek as the Detectives and Jared Leto is fantastic as the creepy murder suspect. The film did well for Warner Brothers at the Box Office in the US even during the ongoing pandemic bringing in $15,244,012.00 on a budget of $30 million. This was a great watch in the theater and was a nice edition to the thriller genre of Horror.

# 20

shadow in the cloud poster

Flight Officer Maude Garrett along with a top-secret package come aboard the plane “Fools Errand” on a secret mission and is not well welcomed by the crew and is forced to stay in the Sperry during take off.  Soon things start to get crazy as Japanese Fighter planes attack, and worse, a gremlin is on the plane causing destruction and panic like trapping her inside the Sperry. During all this the crew find out that Officer Maude Garrett is not who she says she is and is hiding a secret that will change the way they look at her as well as their trust in her. But in the end will Officer Garrett be able to save not only herself but also the package and the crew from the attacks from above as well as on the plane? This film was lots of fun and was the first horror film I saw in theater in 2021 and was a great way to kick off the year for horror.  Once more, this film proves why Chloe Grace Moretz is one of my favorite actresses doing cult style horror, action and sci-fi films, and she is great as Officer Maude Garrett who is a great character. The Gremlin is also really cool looking and almost appears to be part bat, rat and creature and is aggressive and very sneaky and destructive. The film was released still during the pandemic of early 2021 and had a very limited release at theaters and brought in $156,932.00 for Vertical Entertainment. This one I enjoyed lots and is one I bought on home media when released.

# 19

Resident Evil (2021) Poster

Raccoon City has been under the care of the Umbrella Corporation and now they are leaving the town and this is causing the town to slowly die…like really die as the townspeople are getting sick and are becoming flesh eating zombies! Claire Redfield returns to her hometown to get to the bottom of this evil plot and along with her brother Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy, Richard Aiken, Brad Vickers and Chief Brian Irons they must survive the zombie carnage, expose the dirty secrets of Umbrella, find help in a unusual young woman, fight off a evil doctor, deal with a team trader, survive the attacks of mutated monsters and get out of Raccoon City alive. This film combines elements from the first two Capcom games in the Resident Evil series, and while I feel the final act of the film seems rushed, the film does have a few moments that are creepy and the zombies and monsters are pretty cool. One thing big fans of the game series might be annoyed with is that some of the characters do not act like they do in the games, and some are treated like the joke of the film…looking at you Leon. The film did sadly poorly for Screen Gems at the US box office brining in $16,890,005 on a budget of $25 million. Over all this is a fun zombie film that sticks more true to the games than the film series that came before it. And yes, I will buy on home media when released.

# 18

djinn (2021) poster

Dylan Jacobs is a young boy who is mute and witnessed a tragedy the took his mom at a young age and now he and his father who is a Radio DJ have moved into a new apartment. While unpacking he finds a book hidden in his closet and it’s a Book Of Shadows, and after his dad leaves for work the youngster uses the book in order to get a voice, but it comes with a catch as he has to survive one hour in the small apartment with an evil Djinn who wants to eat his heart and steal his soul, and has to blow out a candle that can only be put out after one hour. So Dylan must use his wits and what he can find around in order to keep the creature at bay. Can Dylan do it? Will the Djinn steal his soul? Will his wish come true and if so will it have a big price to pay? Well watch this fun film and found out those answers. This is one part haunted house, one part supernatural, one part Home Alone and one part Conjuring inspired as the Djinn is one evil character who tricks and tries to kill with aggression and glee. The film had a very limited release and brought in $124,772.00 on an unknown budget at the US Box Office for IFC. Over all a cool simple Horror Movie with some great moments and one I got on home media when released.

# 17

werewolves within (2021) poster

Finn Wheeler is a Forest Ranger who is assigned to a small town called Beaverfield after breaking up with his girlfriend, when he gets there its winter time and a big storm is on its way and me meets all the strange people of the town including young mail carrier Cecily as well as Jeanine a woman who owns the towns lodge. Also in town is businessman Sam who wants to build a pipeline through the town and is throwing around money and making the town split. But when a big storm hits, the towns generators are tampered with and the town people have to stay at the lodge for safety and that’s when they find out that a werewolf is loose in the town and is taking them out one by one, will Ranger Wheeler be able to save the town and stop the beast? Watch this funny Horror Comedy based on the video game and find out for yourself. The film stars Milana Vayntrub as mail carrier Cecily Moore who is known as the AT&T Girl and she is fantastic as is all of the cast who help create this strange small town. The film is really funny and the horror elements are well done with yes even the werewolf being seen. The film had a limited release and did good for IFC bringing them in an extra $575,614.00 at the US Box Office. A film that I bought on home media once released and again is a fun Horror Comedy that has a haunted house meets Twin Peaks feel.

# 16

Old (2021) Poster

The Cappa family head to a resort that is amazing and the reason they are doing so is that Guy and Prisca are having marriage issues and will be getting a divorce and want to have one more family outing before they tell their kids Maddox and Trent. But when they are invited to a private section of the beach they find that they are joined by a few select others and all seems perfect that is until a dead body washes ashore and everyone finds out that they are stuck on this beach and time is running fast as kids are growing up super fast, parents are getting older and anyone with a illness is finding that they are getting worse. And now they all must find away to escape this beach and find out why they were brought there with what seems is to die! And like always this film has a twist that was well thought out and helped this film feel like an episode of the Twilight Zone and was well casted with every actor doing their parts top notch with Thomasin McKenzie, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Aaron Pierre and Rufus Sewell all being great in their roles. The film did well during the ongoing pandemic at the US Box Office for Universal Pictures bringing in $48,242,510.00 on a budget of $18 million. M. Night Shyamalan is truly back on track on bringing fans creepy Horror Thrillers and Old is one I enjoyed and bought on home media when released.

# 15

Don't Breathe 2 Poster

Phoenix is a young girl who was grown up thinking that The Blind Man Norman Nordstrom is her father and that her mother died in a house fire, and he does his best to try and raise her to be a survivalist and does not allow her to go into town of have friends. But soon her real past comes calling when her real father who was in prison and was a meth dealer along with his friends show up to tell her the truth and get her back, but this family reunion is sour as her father has no interest in really getting his daughter back as he only wants her heart in order to give to his wife who is dying from inhaling meth fumes. Now its up to Norman to get her back as well as come clean to her on the monster he really is. This is a gritty horror film that in my opinion was leaps and bounds better then the first and while Norman is the “hero” in ways he still is the same cold-blooded killer who assaulted women and now his past and lies are catching up with him. The real hero of the film is Phoenix the young girl who fights to stay alive as well as to live a normal life surrounded by terrible people. Also the film is bloody and has some really cool and interesting kills. The film did pretty well for Sony at the US Box Office even during the then ongoing pandemic bringing in $32,638,038.00 on a budget of $15 million. Worth watching if you liked the first film and if you like you Horror Flicks a little gritty. Bought when on home media.

# 14

spiral from the book of Saw Poster

Detective Zeke Banks is a cop who is a loner after his department treat him like a rat after he turned a dirty cop in for a murder. But things turn weird for Zeke when a Jigsaw Copycat killer starts targeting dirty cops and is putting them into traps of self-mutilation that all end in death. No Zeke must trust his fellow officers who don’t respect him in order to stop the killings and figure out who this Jigsaw copycat killer is! This is the 9th film in the Saw series and takes a new direction and yet still feels right at home with the Jigsaw saga. The film has some great trap kills that are bloody and gory, an interesting story and is very topical about the trail of sadness that dirty cops can leave behind. Chris Rock is great in the role of Detective Banks and goes from funny to serious when he needs to. The film did just ok for Lionsgate at the US Box Office bringing in only $23,216,862.00 on a budget of $20 million. I for one hope that the Saw series continues on as I would like to see what’s next for Zeke Banks and the next chapter of the Book Of Saw has in store for us. Bought on home media when released.

# 13

escape room tournament of champions Poster

Survivors Zoey Davis and Ben Miller head to New York to try and find the headquarters of the Minos Corporation and when they get their they are tricked by a homeless man to get on a subway train, and they soon find that this was a trap by Minos and that the people also on the train with them was former players of their escape rooms. And this time around the traps are more mean spirited and more deadly as Minos does not like when players beat them and escape. One by one Zoey watches as the other players die in traps and she is always trying to figure out the room and keep her fellow players alive, and when she gets the shock of her life she goes truly against the wishes of Minos and does what she can to bring them down from the inside out. This is a fun sequel that adds more questions and delivers some answers and leaves me wanting to see a third film in the series. The films rooms are well thought out and add a level of Saw to them making them more dangerous then ever and the film is also casted really well with Taylor Russell, Logan Miller and Deborah Ann Woll return to their rolls from the first film and new names like Holland Roden and Indya Moore bringing new characters to this sick and twisted game. The film did well for Sony at the American Box Office given the time bringing in $25,188,958.00 on a budget of $15 million, and this I hope makes it that we get a part three. To sum it up if you liked the first film you will more than likely enjoy this second film and it is one I bought once released on home media.

# 12

The Vigil (2020) Poster

Yakov Ronen is a Jewish man who has went through a tragic event that has shook his faith, but running low on money he takes a job to act as a Shomer for a man who has just passed away. While in the house late at night watching over the mans body he meets the mans wife Mrs. Litvak who is battling Alzheimer’s as well as he starts seeing a shadow person as well as has bad visions of not only his past memories but the dead mans as well! Now trapped in this home with something demonic he must find his inner power to forgive himself for his past as well as fight for his soul as well as that of the one he is there to watch over. What a fun little ghost haunted house style film that feels like it could be right at home in the Conjuring film universe, the creature known as a Mazek that is a demonic sprit that’s head is backwards as it is always looking to the past is a creepy and strange creature that is fitting for its own film franchise. The acting is fantastic with Dave Davis, Lynn Cohen and Ronald Cohen being the standouts and the score by Michael Yezerski is top notch. A great and creepy PG-13 horror film that did pretty well for IFC at the American Box Office bringing in $50,439.00 on an unknown budget for a limited release. On a side not it was odd the films USA rights was originally with Blumhouse they sold the film to IFC for release, and that’s odd as this film was a perfect fit for Blumhouse.

# 11

halloween kills poster

Michael Myers survives the inferno trap that the Strode family left him to die in and is now back on the killing rampage in Haddenfield and the people have had enough and are wanting to fight back and kill the evil that has tormented their town for decades. Tommy Doyle as well as other survivors of the original 1978 massacre have came together and along with others are now looking for Michael to make evil die tonight. But they soon find out that Michael Myers might be more than human and his want for murder might just be stronger than their hatred for him. This sequel to the 2018 film is a down and dirty bloodbath that is filled with gruesome kills and showcases that Michael Myers is truly a killing machine who is brutal and cruel and kills for killing sake. This was a entertaining slasher film that was a fun watch on the big screen, but also had lots on puzzling moments that was tied into bad scripted segments with characters making head scratching decisions that didn’t fit the vibe of the film. But keep in mind while I did not like it as well as the 2018 film I did still enjoy it and it was a fun experience seeing it on the big screen opening night with a theater filled with Horror fans. It is well casted as well with Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Anthony Michael Hall, Judy Greer, Michael McDonald and actress Andi Matichak steals the film again as Allyson. The film did well for Universal at the American box office bringing in $92,002,155 on a budget of $20 million dollars. If you like the Halloween series, check this one out and of course got it on home media when it was released.

# 10

forever purge poster

The New Founding Fathers are back in control and the Purge has returned the night that all crime is legal is back as a yearly event, but there is something else brewing as a new movement has gripped the nation called Forever Purge a group of people who are now on a mission to kill any and all foreigners and wrong doers and keep the Purge going every day as their American right! And now ranch owners The Tuckers have to try and stay alive as they join their Hispanic helper Juan his wife Adela and friend T.T. in order to get to Mexico for safety as they have been marked by the Forever Purgers for death! And on their way to Mexico they must fight off their would be killers as well as try and help each other stay alive to see safety south of the border. This was a good Purge sequel that had a Horror Western feel to it and tried to mirror what was going on in society at the time. The film has some great kills, cool effects and some of the masked Purge killers have cool looks. I really liked the idea of a radical group who want to keep the Purge going year round being the ones that even the Founding Fathers do not like as they are to extreme even for them. The film did ok for Universal at the US Box Office during the ongoing pandemic bringing in $44,500,860.00 on a budget of $18 million. Over all a good sequel with a good story and is well acted…bought on home media when released. And I have to say also that this was leaps and bounds better then 2018’s “First Purge” film.

# 9

Night House (2021) Poster

Beth is a schoolteacher who’s husband Owen built them a dream house on the lake, and her life changes when one night Own takes the rowboat out on the lake and commits suicide. She is now alone at this house and strange things start to happen as if her dead husband is trying to talk to her from beyond the grave and the deeper she digs into his life the more strange things she discovers from the occult, to affairs to a weird unfinished home he built across the lake. Now Beth must try her best to find the truth and uncover if she is really being reached out to by the spirit of her husband or something much worse. This was a great spooky watch in the theater and several time throughout it my gal Juliet and my cousin Stephen both jumped from the scares. The blurred line between what is reality and what might be in her mind or even another dimension is really well done and the film has a great atmosphere that captures the feeling of loneliness and sadness. The films cast is also really great with Rebecca Hall killing it as widow Beth and Sarah Goldberg, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Stacy Martin all being fantastic in their supporting roles. The film did well for Searchlight Pictures giving the on-going pandemic at the American Box Office bringing in $7,100,581.00 on an unknown budget. This was a fun little fright flick and is one I got once on home media.

# 8

Malignant Poster

Maddie Mitchell is pregnant and when home from work with labor pains her husband and her get into it and he slams her head into a wall, and oddly enough that night the husband is killed by a long haired, mutated melted faced, disjointed killer who then also kills many old doctors who are all connected to helping kids. And Maddie is starting to have bad visions of the murders and are seeing how brutal they are being committed, and the killers name is Gabriel and some how he and Maddie are linked. Why are they connected? Why is he killing Doctors? Will the cops find the link? Is there more to Maddie then what is seen? Watch this weird and highly entertaining film to find out for yourself. The film has great effects and was way bloodier then expected and the killer Gabriel is really cool looking. And you know the film has to be good as it was from the mind of James Wan one of the new masters of modern Hollywood Horror. The film stars Annabelle Wallis, Marina Mazepa, Maddie Hasson and George Young in lead roles and are all well casted. The film did ok for New Line Cinema at the US box office bringing in $13,374,014.00 on a budget of $40 million, and keep in mind they did the same day release on streaming for this film on HBO Max. Very creepy a cool film that is one I bought when released and is one you should checkout if you like weird films.

# 7

Saint Maud Poster

Katie who is now going by the name Maud was a nurse at a hospital that had an accident during CPR to a patient and now finds herself as a home caregiver to a woman named Amanda who was once an actress who is now battling stage 4 cancer and is an atheist. Maud has found religion and wants so bad to save the soul of Amanda who she thinks has been sent her way by the will of God, but when Maud is fired she goes on a downward spiral and feels that she really needs to save the soul of Amanda and goes on a soul searching mission to do so, but Maud is so far gone mentally she does not live in reality and thinks God is always with her and is speaking to her. In the end Maud thinks she has done what has been asked of her she does an act that will deliver her to Gods waiting arms. This is a really downbeat film that captures the creepy slow burn feel of films like Carrie and The Exorcist and is a must watch for fans of A24 Horror! The film is filled with a very uneasy feeling throughout and is a Horror Film that feels real to life. The film had a very limited release here in America and did well for A24 at the Box Office world wide bringing in $1,383,868.00 on an unknown budget. This is a great film for those who like slow burn Horror Films that have a touch of art house film feel thrown in. Got on home media when released!

# 6

Army Of The Dead (2021) Poster

After a military experiment zombie escapes from a road accident he infects all of Vegas to the point where a group of survivors try to save others before the whole area is sealed off by metal containers. After time passes a rich businessman tracks down the survivors and offers them millions of dollars in order to go back into Vegas and get the large amount of cash out of his casino vault before the government drops a nuclear bomb on the city to kill the zombie horde. So this new group is lead by Scott Ward and his daughter Kate as the enter the city and learn that these zombies are way smatter then thought and have created their own savage society. But when something goes wrong and the Queen of the zombies is killed the group is in real trouble as the zombies want to rip them apart to avenge their Queen. Can Scott get the money and his crew out of Vegas before they become zombie dinner or are blown up by the bomb? Watch this Zach Snyder zombie flick to find out! This is an epic and fun zombie action film that had Zach Snyder return to the zombie genre and was well casted with names like Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Harwick, Ana de la Reguera and Nora Arnezeder to name a few. The film is loaded with zombie kills and is bloody and even brings in a zombie tiger! A fun, bloody ride the whole time! The film did well for Netflix on a limited release at the US Box Office bringing in an unknown amount on a budget of $90 million. This is a fun fright flick that I cannot wait to see a sequel to and hope Netflix ends up releasing it on Blu-Ray and DVD so that I can get a copy for my collection.

# 5

Psycho Goreman Poster

Mimi is a young girl who does what she wants to do and is a very strange kid and her older brother Luke just goes along with her strange ideas including her game “Crazy Ball” and after loosing she makes her brother dig his own grave in the backyard and instead they find a jewel stone that frees an imprisoned alien killing machine called Arch-Duke Of Nightmares! While the monster is a killing machine he has to follow the orders of Mimi who holds the stone and she turns this killing machine into her fiend and calls him Psycho Goreman or PG for short! But when a group called The Templers find out they send Pandora to Earth to kills PG once and for all. But with the help of Mimi and her family Psycho Gorman does battle with Pandora and if he wins he can fulfill is mission of murder and destruction and if Pandora wins the world will be filled with slavery and no free will. This is an amazing Horror Comedy from writer director Steven Kostanski the man behind such films as The Void, Manborg and Father’s Day that is gory and funny all at the same time and has what I think could be the next creature feature icon of Horror Comedies along side the likes of Wolf Cop. The film had a limited release in theaters during the ongoing pandemic and did well for RLJE at the US Box Office bringing in $95,182.00 showing that Indie Horror is alive and well. If you have not seen this one yet, make sure to check it out and of course I bought this on home media when released.

# 4

last night in soho (2021) poster

Eloise is a young woman who is going to London for fashion school and finds that she does not fit in and when leaving her dorm to live in a old apartment building visions of the cities past fill her dreams and she finds herself involved in finding out who killed inspiring singer Sandie who’s manager promised her the world, but delivered her into sex work. But when Eloise thinks she has figured out who has killed Sandie she tries to bring them to justice as well as find Sandie, but this causes her classmates and the police to think she is crazy! But is Eloise crazy and will she uncover what really happened to the missing singer…well watch this film and find out. First thing I have to say is that this film made me fall in love with Thomasin McKenzie who plays Eloise as an actress and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite newer actresses in the Horror genre. The film does a great job of going from modern times to flashing back to the 1960’s and the characters and story had be drawn in and that’s surprising as I am not a big fan of most of Edgar Wright’s films but this one I think is his best. The film had a few spooky moments and enough twist and turns to really help add to the chills, and yes some of the twists can be predictable but I still enjoyed it. The film is well casted with names like Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg, Terence Stamp and Michael Ajao making up the lead cast. The film sadly did not do well for Universal at the US box office bringing in only $10,127,625 on a budget of $43 million. This was a really cool stylish Horror Film that does a great job also on the use of lights, and yes will buy on Home Media.

# 3

Candyman (2021) Poster

Anthony McCoy is a visual artists who has it all, a beautiful and successful girlfriend named Brianna, he lives in a upper class high rise apartment and is loving life even if he is having an artist block that is keeping him from painting his next masterwork, but when hearing the legend of Helen Lyle and Candyman he gets the inspiration for his next series of work. Anthony has made a big mistake though as he has gotten the attention of Candyman and he learns the legacy, roots and horror that is behind this hooked handed boogeyman killer…but he also learns that his own life just might be connected to him and that the hive is many when it comes to Candyman. This is a great sequel to the 1992 cult classic film and helps add to the legend of the film series and even does a good job of not totally forgetting about parts 2 and 3 in the series. The film is well casted with names like Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Michael Hargrove and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett all being fantastic in their roles and it was also amazing seeing Tony Todd and Vanessa Williams returning in their roles from the first film. The film has some bloody and creepy moments and really was a fantastic fright film on the big screen. The film did well at the American Box Office given the pandemic was coming back around with a new wave as it brought in $61,186,570.00 for Universal on a budget of $25 million dollars. If you like the Candyman film series give this one a watch, and yes bought on home media when released.

# 2

Godzilla vs Kong (2021) Poster

Godzilla is running wild and attacking company Apex factories and they seem unprovoked turning mankind against the titan they once called a protector. Their only hope is to use Kong to find out if the Hollow Earth energy is true as it is the place they think the titans might have came from and was the place Godzilla and Kong’s kind had wars with one another making them bitter enemies. With mankind taking Kong from Skull Island and taking him to the gateway to Hollow Earth in Antarctica Godzilla is annoyed that another alpha Titan is present and goes on the attack causing the two Titans to be at odds with each other even when the battle ends and this makes it that Godzilla and King Kong are bitter rivals that while they respect each other they also clearly hate each other. While Kong enters Hollowed Earth and learns about his own families past as well as finding a powerful axe that holds lots of power. All the while Godzilla is stomping around and destroying Apex factories causing Monarch and mankind to fear his wrath! And when Kong shows up in Hong Kong he and Godzilla have a massive fight that leaves them both wounded and one Titan near death, and worse for everyone Apex has been working on a project that is creating their own Titan made of metal and is called Mechagodzilla! Who will win this epic battle of Kong vs. Godzilla and what terror does Mechagodzilla have in store for the winner? Check out this Monstervese movie and find out for yourself. What a fun film that pits the worlds two most iconic Kaiju against each other for the amusement of the viewers, plus for me I am always up for a new King Kong and Godzilla film! Plus its been way to long sense we seen these two Titans of cinema in the same movie again as it was 1962 when they last shared a film, and that’s crazy. The film did great for Warner Brothers at the US Box Office bringing in $100,563,133.00 on a budget of $200 million, even though WB tried their best to ruin the release with the crappy HBO Max same day release. You can never go wrong with Giant Monster Horror, and this is one that I bought on physical media when released.

# 1

Quiet Place II Poster

Evelyn Abbott and her kids Regan, Marcus and the baby are leaving their farm behind and heading towards another survivors shelter and find that the long time family friend Emmett is the one that has been signaling to the family for years. And once inside his shelter in a factory they find out that a radio station has been playing the same song “Beyond The See” by Frank Sinatra and Regan has an idea to get onto the air and use her hearing aid to broadcast over the airwaves and give the humans a chance to fight back, and she sneaks away from her family to become the hero the world needs. Emmett goes after her and together the two go on a quest to get a boat and get to the island to pull off this plan and along the way must dodge the creatures as well as the corrupted humans who want to steal what they have. In the end Regan and Emmett make it to the island and find that its filled with peaceful families and survivors…and one creature has also made it ashore. So now it’s a race to the radio station to give humans a chance to strike back against these killing machine monsters. This was a great sequel that I would say is on par if not slightly better then the original and that’s saying something as the original was an amazing fright flick. They also did a great job of making sure the original cast of Millicent Simmonds, Emily Blunt and Noah Jupe returned as well as added names like Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou to the cast. The film did great for Paramount Pictures at the US Box Office bringing in $160,072,261.00 on a budget of only $61 million. A great film that took my # 1 spot and once released on home media I for sure bought a copy.

What a fun year of seeing movies at the theater as during these last stressful years, getting lost in films on the silver screen is a great way to relax and forget the issues that are plaguing the real world. And man I have to stress that so many amazing horror films got released this year and many are sequels to series that I really have enjoyed and glad to see horror alive and well at the cinema and I am looking forward to the films of 2022! While we are sitting here in the Rotten Ink Theater, I also want to think you for reading Rotten Ink as its amazing that this blog is now 10 years old, and I would also like to let you know that the next update will continue our look at the original cast Star Trek movies and we are on “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” so that should be a fun one. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a movie at the theater or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for another voyage with the crew of the Enterprise.

Star Trek V Preview Logo

R.I.W: Top 60 Best Luchadores

I have been a fan of Pro Wrestling for as long as I can remember, and alongside Horror Movies, Video Games, Rock Music and Comic Books, it’s still something that I enjoy to this very day…sure WWE’s product has been lacking on the creative front for decades with only hints of great booking in stories like The Fiend and the heel turn of Roman Reigns. Over the years I have seen many wrestling events live from companies like WWE, WCW, ECW, Rockstar Pro and many indie federations. I grew up not only watching the above mentioned on TV but also GWF, AWA, NWA, GCW, Impact, ROH, WCCW, AAA, CMLL, FMW, New Japan, All Japan, XPW and so many more thanks to broadcast as well as home media formats. Who remembers the VHS Wrestling Tape Trades that allowed fans to see matches and wrestlers from all over the world? One style of wrestling that has been my favorite from the first time I saw it is Lucha Libre as the fast paced moves and amazing grapplers with superhero style looks and characters has always been my go to for wrestling. For this update I am going to countdown my personal picks for the top 60 Luchadors aka my personal favorites!

While working on Rotten Ink, I started to think about ways to bring in other subjects that I love as well as fun themed updates that I can bust out from time to time stuff to join the likes of Horror Host Icon, SOV Flashback Classics, Sports Mascots Countdown, Talk Back and a few more. So I decided to create R.I.W. that stands for Rotten Ink Illustrated and is a play off of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (P.W.I) that was my favorite wrestling magazine growing up. And with these R.I.W updates, I am thinking that I will not only be doing Top 60 Countdowns but might also talk about PPV events and break them down and who knows maybe even will cover some live events…as I am not sure really just yet what I want to do for these themed updates.

Keep in mind this list is just my opinion and these rankings are just how I am feeling now. Ask me in a year or two and I am sure it could and would change! The rankings for this are based on me seeing matches of these Luchadors and their character and look.  I am ruling out two icons El Santo and Blue Demon as they are the kings of the ring and while I have seen very little of their matches, I grew up watching their films on Commander USA’s Groovie Movies. Oh and by saying “seen matches” I mean watching on TV, Seen Live, Online Matches and old Tape Trade VHS. So if you are ready, let’s head to Rotten Ink Arena and let’s talk Luchadors…and yeah I added one extra for the fun of it!

# 61

Mr. Iguana
Started: 2009      Companies: AAA      Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

The super popular Mr. Iguana has made a big name for himself in AAA and is hands down one of the most popular wrestlers with kids in the promotion! Mr. Iguana started in the indies, and after an injury set him back, he quickly made a name for himself upon his return to the ring and got the attention of AAA and was signed to compete in the company. While he is not a main eventer and is a Mid-Card lucha, he is very entertaining to watch in the ring. Mr. Iguana is one that I have seen thanks to AAA’s social media that has allowed me and other US fans to see these guys wrestle. While he is not one of my favorite current Luchadors, I will say he is one that I am going to keep my eye on as I think he could become a very interesting wrestler if given the right feuds and matches.

# 60

El Mosco
Started: 1995      Companies: AAA & WWE     Active: Yes      Seen Live: No

El Mosco, who is now known as X-Fly, was a Luchador I first saw on WWE TV as he was part of their short-lived team up with AAA to help kick off their Lightweight division. He was a big deal in Mexico and ran a faction called “Los Rudos De La Galaxia” up until he left the promotion and his then-name Mosco De La Merced was given to another wrestler. During this time is when the El Mosco character was born, and he went on to work not only for Indie Federations but also at WWE, WCW and ECW many of times wrestling under different names and this started in 1997 and he still takes bookings to this day! And in 2010 he returned to AAA until 2012 and was a part of a major storyline that had him teaming with Halloween and Damian 666. He’s a very skilled Luchador, who I mostly knew from his short WWE run and was one I found myself cheering for. And man, he has had a ton of other in ring names that include Winners II, Pierroth Jr., Johnny and Juan El Mosco to name a few.

# 59

Super Calo
Started: 1990      Companies: AAA & WCW      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Super Calo was a Luchador that I first saw on WCW as part of the Mexican superstars that were showing up to help push the cruiserweight division, and while a super skilled wrestler, he failed to capture my attention like many of the others brought in, but keep in mind that I still enjoyed watching him in matches. Super Calo started his in ring career in 1990 working some indie federations before landing at AAA in 1992 where he became a very popular wrestler and a draw with his rapper gimmick.  His run lasted until around 1995 as by 1996 he had been signed to WCW and helped showcase Lucha Libre to American fans. Super Calo would be used as enhancement talent and would stick around WCW for a few years before heading back to Mexico to work for the Indies. In 2007, he returned to AAA for another brief run and would then go back to the Indies as well as opening his own promotion called FSW.  While Super Calo might not have been a main eventer here in America, he is a well respected Lucha in Mexico.

# 58

Sin Cara
Started: 2011     Companies: WWE & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Ok, I know what you readers are saying: why is Sin Cara this high on your list as everyone knows that he was considered a failure in WWE and even had two wrestlers under the mask during his run.  But let me explain.  While he had some very botch filled matches while in WWE and even never really captured a Main Event Spot and was barely a Mid-Carder by the end, he helped paved the way for other masked Luchadors to be signed to WWE and be able to keep their masks on! And I am not going to talk about the history of Mistico or Hunico the two who played the gimmick and will more just talk about Sin Cara in general. In 2011 the WWE held a press conference to talk about the signing of Sin Cara as he was built up to be the next Rey Mysterio Jr. for the company and so much hype and push was placed on him as he was slated to be a main eventer even having him team with the company’s top star John Cena…but sadly his star quickly started to fade as injuries, bad attitude and botches made him fall down the card and with his title wins coming along side fellow Luchador Kalisto when, as the Lucha Dragons, they won the NXT Tag Team belts once. He was let go from the WWE in 2019 and has since made an appearance in AAA and now is going under a new name. While he might not be the best of the WWE Luchadors, he is one I enjoyed seeing on TV and at Live Events.

# 57

Tigre Uno
Started: 1998     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes  Seen Live: No

This Luchador started his career like so many working the Indies and making a name for himself.  He did so at California’s WWA (World Wrestling Association) promotion and during this time as well he became more of a Hardcore Wrestler using chairs, tables and ladders in his matches. In 2006, he got the call and joined AAA and climbed his way up the card winning not only some championships but also tournaments. And during this time Impact Wrestling ended up signing Tigre Uno in 2013 where he would become an attraction in the X-Division a belt that he would end up winning in 2015! Tigre Uno would stay with Impact until 2016 and after this he once more went to the Indies and has been there since entertaining fans worldwide. Tigre Uno is one of those wrestlers I have seen a little of his Impact matches and would like to see more of his work as well as see him live in person. Over the years Tigre Uno has also wrestled under the names Tyger Mask, Extreme Tiger, Ultimate Tiger and Xtreme Tiger.

# 56

Kalisto
Started: 2006      Companies: AAA & WWE      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Kalisto is a wrestler who I was happy to see in NXT and WWE as he was a masked Luchador that they allowed for the most part to wrestling in that style…well that was up until his call up to the main roster. Kalisto started his wrestling career working the Indies by the name of Samuray and making a name for himself that ended up leading him to a job with AAA and going from Samuray to Octagon Jr. as he became the student of one of his biggest inspiration Octagon himself! He was in AAA from 2011 and left in 2013 as he became a very in demand wrestler in the Indie scene all over the world and during this time he returned to the Samuray name and worked for companies like CZW, Dragon Gate and AAW! But later in 2013, WWE came calling and hired him to be part of their NXT brand. This would lead to a move up to the main roster in 2015, and during this time he became the United States Champion as well as the Cruiserweight Champion and has been part of the Tag Team “The Lucha Dragons” with Sin Cara and “The Lucha House Party” with Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado and remained a fun draw for American fans who enjoy the Lucha Libre style of wrestling. He also went under the names Bello Greco Jr., The Son Of Superzan, Jordy Stone and Love Warrior. He was let go from the WWE in 2021.

# 55

Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Started: 1994     Companies: WCW & WWE     Active: Yes   Seen Live: Yes

Chavo was born into one of Mexico’s royal families of wrestling, the Guerrero’s! He started wrestling in the indies and even landed himself matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling mastering his craft and building a name for himself. He would be brought into WCW in 1996 as part of the wave of Luchadors being brought in to build the cruiserweight division and he would be a contender off and on throughout the years for the belt even winning it twice and even capturing WCW Tag Team Gold once with partner Lash LeRoux! He would also have a gimmick in WCW that would see him go crazy and carry a stick horse around he called Pepe.  He would leave WCW in 2001 after the company was closed down and would start working for WWE and was part of The Alliance story angle.  During his WWE run, he was mostly used as a Mid-Carder with his biggest run coming when teaming with his uncle Eddie to win the WWE Tag Team Titles twice! He would also win the ECW Championship once as well as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship four times…he would also have one of the worst gimmicks ever while in the WWE when he changed his name to Kerwin White and denounced his Mexican heritage. Chavo would leave WWE in 2011 and would start working for the Indies like WWC before landing at Impact Wrestling in 2012 and would slink around there until 2013 and would make another appearance for them in 2019. After Impact and still taking Indie bookings, he also worked for Lucha Underground as well as the very short lived Nacion Lucha Libre, a federation he co-created with Alberto Del Rio in 2019 (they closed in 2020). While Chavo is still wrestling, he also has gone on to do other media releases like Acting, Comic Books and Podcasting. While Chavo is a still worker, he just never fully captured my attention and never truly lived up to the Guerrero name. He is currently working for AEW.

# 54

Texano Jr.
Started: 1999     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes    Seen Live: No

The bull rope carrying Texano Jr. started his in ring career in the indies under the name Kempo Kid, and it was during his time in the indies during a “bet matches” that Kempo Kid had to unmask and became Texano Jr. as he was the son of Luchador legend El Taxano! Very quickly after unmasking Texano Jr. would go to CMLL.  He started in 2003 and was placed in many big stories as well as feuds and would even have factions like “Perros Del Mal”! But things came to an end for his CMLL run in 2011 when he decided to leave and join Perros del Mal Producciones, an indie promotion created by the iconic Perro Aguayo Jr. and he would leave them the same year and join AAA, where he still is to this day. Texano Jr. has a great look as he reminds me of the cowboy wrestlers of the 80’s and 90’s like Stan Hansen and Outlaw Ron Bass, not to mention he is very skilled in the ring and one I enjoy watching on AAA events.

# 53

Bestia 666
Started: 2009     Companies: AAA & WWA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Bestia 666 is the son of Damien 666 and started his career not only in the indies but also in Perros del Mal Producciones.  This would lead to a small run in AAA that allowed him to team with his father as well as his long tome friend Halloween as a stable, all the while he was still working for Perros del Mal Producciones.  In 2012 he quit them and decided to start his journey of working the indies in Mexico as well as America that would lead him to work such federations as MLW, Lucha Underground, GFW, UWF and EWF and would allow him to get a tryout match in the WWE (he would get two) but sadly he was not signed. Bestia 666 has a great look and is super skilled in the ring, and I for one enjoy watching his matches on YouTube and would like to see more matches as well as would like to see him get signed to one of America’s top four federations WWE, AEW, Impact or ROH. Over his career he has also went under the ring names Leo and Bestia.

# 52

Bengala
Started: 1995     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Not to be confused with the CMLL Luchador named Bengala, I am talking about the one who is working for AAA and has the white tiger look that I discovered thanks to YouTube and AAA’s social media as well as Lucha Underground that has allowed me to see his matches and become a fan! Bengala started like every other wrestler making his mark on the indies and building a name for himself and once his dues were paid, he was signed to CMLL in 1998 and would become a lower card Luchador who would rise to being a popular mid-carder up until he left them in 2003. Because of CMLL he got to work many matches in Japan for Toryumon Japan promotion and even held the NWA World Welterweight Title.  He would wrestle in Japan off and on for many years even when he became signed to Pro Wrestling Noah in 2003 and stayed until 2015 as a featured star for the promotion. He would then come back to Mexico off and on working for AAA from 2007-2008 and again from 2013-2017, and during this time with AAA the Bengala character was born! Starting in 2016 Bengala was played by another Luchador until 2019 when he as well left the company and as of now ended Bengela’s run. While not a household name when coming to Lucha Libre stars, he was an entertaining one that I enjoyed seeing in the matches I watched.

# 51

Abismo Negro
Started: 1987     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: No

First thing I want to say is R.I.P Abismo Negro, who sadly passed away in 2009 as the world of Lucha Libre lost an amazing talent. Like all wrestlers Abismo Negro began his career in the indie scene and in 1991 he was signed to CMLL and only stayed there until 1992 as he left to join the new promotion AAA and this would be his federation that he would stick with for his career, and during this time he would have name changes landing on Abismo Negro in 1997.  He was part of many factions, held many titles and even represented AAA in a tournament that was being held by Impact Wrestling. Abismo Negro was an amazing Luchador and was an amazing Rudo who would use fire in his entrance and captured the attention of every fan who seen him. Sadly I have only been able to watch his matches online and have not got to see many, as I am sure if I was able to have seen him live or even more matches Abismo Negro would have easily made his way into my Top 10 on this list! Over his career he had also went by the names The Winner, Pequeno Samurai, Furor and Alex Dinamo.

# 50

Espiritu Maya
Started: 2017     Companies: Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

In my opinion one of the best Luchadors going in the indies here in America is Espiritu Maya, who has been building a name for himself at many promotions and has been growing his fan base and reputation as a Lucha star. Espiritu Maya has captured titles at many of the promotions he has worked for and has even had some matches with wrestlers from Impact as well as legends at these events. Espiritu Maya is an up and coming Luchador that is one that you should all keep an eye on as he could get the call up to NXT or AEW in the future. Espiritu Maya is also a main stay at Rockstar Pro Wrestling the local Dayton, Ohio federation that I work for, and I have had the privilege of watching him wrestle many times.

# 49

Heavy Metal
Started: 1988     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

I first saw Heavy Metal in WWE as he was one that took part of the AAA team up that lasted a short time in the 1990’s as he even had a match at the 1995 Royal Rumble! With a brief run in some Mexican indie federations, he truly started in CMLL and would stay there until 1992 when he jumped ship and started to work for the newly formed AAA.  He would became a mainstay and big draw for them even being apart of a talent exchange between AAA and WWE and later Impact. During this time with AAA, he would win many titles like The Mexican National Welterweight Championship two times and AAA Campeon de Campeones Championship once not to even talk about all the Bet Matches he was apart of. Heavy Metal would leave AAA in 2004 and by 2005 he was breifly working for IWRG (International Wrestling Revolution Group) and then went back to CMLL from 2005 to 2010 and was once more a big name for the promotion. But AAA came calling again, and by 2010 he was back with them and would stay around for many more years, until going and working indie shows. While Heavy Metal is not the major star he once was, he is still an icon and legend in Lucha Libre, and still to this day I have his AAA figure from 1994! Over his career he also went by the name Canelo Casas.

# 48

Humberto Carrillo
Started: 2012     Companies: WWE & Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Humberto Carrillo started his in ring career in the Indies and he is apart of the Garza Family Tree and proved that he was just as skilled as the rest of his family as he became a main attraction at events and even won many belts and tournaments and would compete for federations like Chilanga Mask, The Crash Lucha Libre, Casanova Pro and Lucha Libre Azteca. Humberto would float around the indies from 2012 through 2018, and in 2018 he got his big break by being signed by WWE and wrestling for NXT until being brought up to the main roaster as apart of the 205 Live brand in 2019 and by the end of 2019 he was brought up to be featured on Raw during a draft and this started his push to become a main star on the roster.  Well that was until the out of touch Vince McMahon lost interest in the superstar and moved onto the next wrestler he could push and crush in a short time. Humberto is a great Mid-Carder who puts on top notch matches in WWE and if given the chance, he could easily becomes a mega star just like Rey Mysterio Jr.! Other names Humberto has used in his career is Ultimo Ninja and Humberto Pidorasio, and I should note that when WWE House Shows and Live Events returns to the Dayton area I hope to see Humberto in action.

# 47

Pagano
Started: 2008     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Mexico has many wrestling clown Luchadors and one of the biggest and most popular is Pagano, who started his career in 2008 and was a hardcore wrestler who would wrestle in Mexico and America in the indies that included feds like WWA4, FULL and IWRG before getting signed to AAA in 2016 and being flung into a main event spot and being in the group “La Familiar Fonteriza” alongside Damian 666, Halloween and Psychosis that would last for awhile and as well allowed him to get into feuds with Psycho Clown and Pentagon Jr. and o this date Pagano is one of AAA’s big stars featured in many high profile matches. While working for AAA, he has also been featured on Impact Wrestling as well has fought and won a MMA match…and has won many belts and tournaments for AAA that including the AAA World Tag Team Championship with partner El Mesias. Super entertaining to watch and a Lucha that puts on great matches both in skill and in brawls Pagano is surly going to be a legend in Lucha Libre when he retires. Pagano has also wrestled under a mask before settling on his classic face paint look. I have mostly seen his work in AAA thanks to their social media and YouTube.

# 46

Andrade
Started: 2003     Companies: WWE & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

One of the biggest recent wasted talents in WWE is Andrade, who is a super skilled Luchador who went from being a Main Event prospect all the way to being a Mid-Carder that was then barely thought about thanks to Vince.  It was a shame as he has all the makings of being a great world champion who could play the rudo role. Andrade started his career in 2003 working for many of the indie promotions in Mexico and started when he was just a teenager and built up his skills as well as impressed those who watched him in action. By 2007 he was signed to the big leagues in Mexico as he got a contract with CMLL and quickly rose up the ranks and became a main eventer and would be placed in many main featured matches and would capture many belts, win bet matches as well as tournament wins! During his run with CMLL he would also have a small run in New Japan Pro Wrestling and during this time is when he caught the eye of WWE. Andrade would leave both CMLL and New Japan in 2015 as he signed with WWE and would make his debut on NXT and would make it to the main roster on 2018.  In his WWE career, he captured the NXT Championship once and the WWE United States Championship only once until he left the company in 2021.  He now wrestles for AEW.  During his career this far he has also wrestled under such names as Brillante Jr., La Sombra, Rey Azteca and Guerrero Azteca to name a few.

# 45

El Dandy
Started: 1981     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

El Dandy is known in America for his run in WCW as part of their Cruiserweight division as well as a member of the stable L.W.O., but for many he is also known for that classic Bret Hart promo that had Bret saying “Who are you to doubt El Dandy?” when he selected him for a match.  I saw El Dandy take on Scott Norton on a WCW Saturday Night taping live here in Dayton, Ohio and a fan behind us was all about cheering El Dandy on during the match. El Dandy, like all pro wrestlers, started his wrestling career in the indie scene starting in 1981 and was quickly respected by fans and fellow workers for his hard work in and out of the ring, and by 1981 he got his big break being signed to CMLL where he was a big star and a numerous champion holding several titles including the CMLL World Middleweight Championship a total of three times! He would be involved with many bet matches as well as was able to take indie bookings as well as work for WWA out of California. But when WCW needed wrestlers for their cruiserweight division El Dandy was called up in 1997 and would be used as an enhancement talent his whole time their losing almost all of his matches with many being squash matches. By 2000 El Dandy was released from WCW along with many of the other Luchadors, and this allowed him to wrestler for not only indies but also a short run in AAA as well as IWRG and he would retire from wrestling in 2014. While he was one of Mexico’s top wrestlers during his run, he sadly never caught on in America and was used as a jobber. El Dandy is awesome and I for one am glad I was able to see him wrestle live a few times before he retired.

# 44

Angel Garza
Started: 2008     Companies: WWE & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Another member of the Garza family and another that shows that Lucha Libre is alive and well in America when allowed to shine in one of the main companies! Starting out in the Indies, Angel Garza got the attention of many federations including Impact and AAA with the latter signing him to a contract in 2015. He would make his mark on the company by putting on great matches as well as being involved in some high profile ones, but by 2017 Angel had left AAA and started working for the Indies again as well as worked with Impact Wrestling and during this time is stock was rising even more as he was able to get the attention of WWE who signed him to a contract in 2019 and placed him on NXT and then 205 Live before making his main roster debut in 2020 when they placed him into a short tag team with Andrade, managed by Zelina Vega. After the team broke up, he has been used on the mid-card with teases of breaking into the main event soon. So far in WWE, he is a one time NXT Cruiserweight Champion. With tons of skill and a legacy family name Angel Garza could become a big star if given the chance. Over his career he has gone by the names El Hijo del Ninja, Garza Jr. and Humberto Garza.

# 43

Laredo Kid
Started: 2003      Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Laredo Kid is a super popular Luchador who is one of AAA’s top main eventers that puts butts in the seats. Laredo Kid started his career in 2003 and worked the indies until 2005 where he signed with AAA and rose his way to the top of the card with fast paced and impressive matches! During his time in AAA, he was also allowed to make appearances in Impact and AEW as well as even had a tryout match in the WWE! He is the winner of many AAA titles as well as tournaments and bet matches and will surely become one of the company’s futures Hall Of Famers if he stays the path to greatness as he is now. I have mostly seen his matches in AAA as well as a few of his Impact matches thanks to YouTube and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the coming years as he is one to truly watch.

# 42

Taurus
Started: 2005     Companies: AAA & Impact       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Taurus is a Luchador that I first discovered on Facebook and quickly watched many of his matches on YouTube and then have seen him on AAA and Impact events via TV and social media. Taurus started out working indies in Mexico before being signed to AAA in 2012 and would work as Machine Rocker as part of the group Los Inferno Rockers and would work as this character until 2015 when he was repackaged as Taurus, but by 2016 he left AAA and worked for Lucha Libre Elite as well as other indie federations, that was until he once more signed with AAA in 2018 and this has also allowed him to work matches in Impact, MLW and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as has made appearances in many American indies. While he is not considered a main eventer in AAA and has not captured any belts yet, with his cool look, skills in the ring and great rudo attitude, it’s only a matter of time before he climbs the card. I also think that if Taurus was around in 1996 he would have been brought into WCW and would have been a great addition to the Cruiserweight division. Over the years Taurus has also went by the names Machine Rocker, Semental, Black Taurus and Black Tauro.

# 41

Lizmark Jr.
Started: 1991     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: Yes      Seen Live: Yes

WCW strikes again as his stint in the company is how I became a fan of Lizmark Jr. as well as was able to see him live during a taping of WCW Saturday Night! Lizmark Jr. started his career in 1991 and worked for a few indie promotions in Mexico as well as had a short AAA run before going to WCW in 1997 as apart of their big boom of Luchador talent being signed in order to build their Cruiserweight division. He would stick around in WCW for a while and sadly was mostly used on the lower card and enhancement talent and never won a WCW title. In 2000, he was let go from WCW and Lizmark would return to Mexico and start working for CMLL and would end up turning Rudo and would lose his mask in a bet match in 2007 after being pinned by Blue Panther. Lizmark Jr. would go onto to capture his first belt in a major federation when he won the CMLL World G1 Heavyweight Championship. Lizmark also started working for Lucha Libre USA on MTV2 in 2010 and would capture the LLUSA Heavyweight Championship from them as well! In 2011 he would go back to AAA and have a small run and is now working on the indies all over Mexico and from time to time the USA. I think Lizmark Jr. is a talent that sometimes gets over looked here in America as his run in WCW was less then stellar, but do yourself a favor and watch some of his matches and you will see why I am a fan.

# 40

Chessman
Started: 1996      Companies: AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

One of the greatest rudo’s in modern Lucha Libre hands down is Chessman and only a few other names come to mind in AAA that can match him in his ruthless behavior! Chessman started his time in the ring in the indies in 1996 and became a Luchador to watch as he was making a major splash with his style and appearance he adopted in 2000 known as Chessman. And with the name and appearance change AAA came calling and signed him in 2001 and his long and awesome career as one of Lucha Libre’s top Luchadors started and would have him see many title wins, many bet matches and have him mix it up with wrestlers from Impact. He would be in many stables and groups like Los Hell Brothers, La Secta and The Black Family to name a few. He has been loyal to AAA over all these years just like The Undertaker has been to WWE and Sting was to WCW showing that Chessman is surely a AAA Hall Of Famer when he retires from in ring action. Like many of the AAA Luchadors, I have seen so many of his matches thanks to the company’s social media accounts. He’s a true amazing Luchador to watch in action and one that deserves his position in the company. Before being Chessman he also wrestled in the indies under the names M-357, Magnum and Quinto Elemento.

# 39

Octagon
Started: 1981      Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Octagon is a true legend in the world of Lucha Libre and is a Luchador that I can remember buying grey market Best of VHS tapes of as well as seeing him in the pages of wrestling magazines all through my youth. Octagon started his wrestling career in 1981 and was able to blend his martial arts background into his Lucha Libre style and took the indies by storm.  By 1982 he was working for CMLL, and by 1989 he was a super popular and top star for the promotion being in several high profile matches as well as captured the fans’ attention. When AAA started in 1992, one of the Luchadors to leave CMLL for the new promotion was Octagon who was a major star for the company for many years and was one of the companies main attractions, but by 2014 his place on the card was falling slightly and this caused Octagon to leave AAA and sadly caused a major rift between them over the rights to the name, look and back pay! He would then go onto wrestle for CMLL as well as other Indie feds over the years. While his in ring career has slowed down, he still is active from time to time. He truly is a legend in Lucha Libre, and I wish he and AAA could bury the hatchet and patch things up so that he can have a proper retirement match when he is ready to hang the boots up. Over the years he has also gone under the names Dragon Dorado and La Amenaza Elegante.

# 38

Aero Boy
Started: 2003      Companies: Indies & CZW     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Aero Boy is one of the best unsigned Luchadors in the indies going as he can wrestling the classic Lucha Libre style as well as work hardcore matches! He is a true journeyman wrestler as he has wrestled all over the world and has made a name for himself in every nation he has performed in, and he as well as captured many of the belts including the Intergalactic World Championship from Rockstar Pro Wrestling. Aero Boy is a Luchador I have had the pleasure of seeing live many times and if he comes to your town, make sure to see him in action as you will not be sorry! Over his career thus far as well he has faced many names in the business and it’s crazy that he has not been signed to Impact, CMLL or AAA as they don’t know what they are missing with his guy!

# 37

Drago
Started: 1998     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Drago is a Luchador who has one of the coolest looks in the business as his mask is fantastic! Drago is one I discovered while watching AAA videos on YouTube and reading their Facebook page, and he quickly became one of my favorites! Like all before him, he started his career on the Indies and would quickly be signed by AAA the same year in 1998 and would be saddled with other masks and names like Jimmy Boy, Alan and Gato Eveready and while they had a following and fans it was in 2011 when he became Drago that his career in AAA really took off and he got the main event push he had been fighting for his whole time with them! And because of this new look, name and push it lead to him representing AAA in federations like Lucha Underground, Impact, Global Force Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and getting more eyes on him across the world. At one point a rumor was going around that even WWE was interesting in signing him to NXT! Drago in AAA has won many belts, bet matches and tournaments and still is a very popular Luchador for them.

# 36

Perro Aguayo
Started: 1968     Companies: AAA & UWA     Active: No    Seen Live: No

One of the biggest draws in Lucha Libre history in Mexico is the rudo everyone loved Perro Aguayo! This Luchador was like none other as he had such a presence in the ring and was such a brawler that set him apart from everyone working in Mexico at the time! Perro is one that I discovered thanks to the grey market VHS tapes that I would see him on as well as later YouTube and DVDs from HighSpots Video. Perro reminds me of a very early version of a Hardcore wrestler who would bleed and brawl all over the ring and would have the fans on the edge of their seats doing so. Perro Aguayo started his career in 1968 working for the indies before being one of the top Rudos in UWA the place he would make the name for himself and would even feud with the likes of El Santo! The crazy thing being while he was a rudo, he was a draw as fans would often cheer him over the tecnico he was facing. He was such a draw that UWA would spotlight him and have him in all types of high profile matches against the companies top stars. During this time as well he would work matches for CMLL and was a major headliner. In 1992 he would leave UWA and help build AAA and would be a big star for them as well and during his time in AAA he would also work for WWE in 1997 as part of the talent trade the companies made. In 2000 he would leave AAA and sign with CMLL and would stay around for awhile and was a draw for them as well, he would loose a retirement match and would remain gone for a while until returning to team with his son for a time before heading back into retirement in 2001. During his time in the ring he would be a main-eventer, a respected rudo, win many belts in AAA, CMLL, UWA and even was the first ever WWE Light Heavyweight Champion (even if WWE does not have it on the records now). Not to even mention he is in the AAA Hall Of Fame and took part in so many Bet Matches. Sadly Perro Aguayo passed away in 2019 at the age of 73 from an infection. While gone his legacy is still very much alive in Mexico and his popularity and drawing power is still stuff of legend.

# 35

El Pantera
Started: 1985      Companies: WWE & CMLL      Active: Yes      Seen Live: No

One of the best things for me during the WWE Attitude Era was the Lightweight division that was sadly overshadowed by Jerry Lawler screaming Puppies and the never ending feud between Stone Cold and Vince McMahon that ate up so much airtime. And what made it so cool was not only seeing the cruiserweights get some time to shine, but was also cool to see some Luchadors on TV again in WWE! One of my favorites was El Pantera who was played as a rudo and always put on great matches. El Pantera started working the indies in Mexico in 1985 and by 1992 he was working fulltime for CMLL and would win a few belts and become a solid Mid-Carder who had his fair share of fans and even had a few high profile matches that helped build his name in Lucha Libre, but by 1996 he left CMLL and after leaving he started to work some dates in Japan as well as for IWRG and this is also when he had a short run for WWE that lasted from 1997 and ended in 1999. While still working for IWRG he would also be sent back to CMLL as the companies had a talent exchange and he would stick around for a short time and even win a title, before setting his sites on only working for IWRG, while not as active as he once was El Pantera is still working the indies from time to time as well as for IWRG. Over the years El Pantera has also gone by other names like El Manaya, Pantera II, America, Triyon and Tanaka.

# 34

Guerrero Maya Jr.
Started: 2005     Companies: CMLL & Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Guerrero Maya Jr. is a Luchador that I have had the pleasure of not only seeing live at a Rockstar Pro Wrestling event, but is also one that I was lucky enough to chat with before and after the event. His match against Zachary Wentz was the best on the card as it was highflying and high impact! Guerrero Maya Jr. started working the indies for a short time in 2005 and by 2007 he was working for CMLL and was wresting under the names Samba and Multifacetico and it was in 2009 that he got the name Guerrero Maya Jr. and that is also when his popularity and position on the card was on the rise. He even was part of the Crocket Cup in 2019 as he represented CMLL alongside Stuka Jr. and sadly they lost. Guerrero Maya Jr. would go on to win titles in CMLL like the Mexican Trios Championship a total of three times with Delta and Atlantis. To me it’s crazy that AEW, Impact nor WWE have not signed Guerrero Maya Jr. yet as he is a great talent and one of my favorite Luchadors I have seen live over the years!

# 33

Hector Garza
Started: 1992     Companies: WCW & AAA     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Hector Garza is another member of the Garza Family and is one that I first saw in action thanks to WCW when they brought in many Luchadors for their Cruiserweight division as well as mid-carders. I was lucky to have seen Hector Garza in action at a WCW Saturday Night taping in Dayton, Ohio and he showcased why the Luchadors was why I was a big fan of WCW during that time! Sadly Hector passed away in 2013 and it’s a shame as the world of wrestling lost a super talented Luchador. Hector started working the indies in 1992 and would spend sometime in FILL and his in ring rudo style got the attention of CMLL who signed him in 1994 and this would only last until 1996 when he left and signed with AAA that lead to him also being able to work a few WWE events as part of their talent exchange and even was showcased at the 1995 Royal Rumble and even got a win on T.L Hopper on an episode of Superstars, but in 1997 his time with AAA and WWE came to an end when WCW came calling and he joined them from 1997 to 1999 and while in WCW he became a member of the L.W.O as well as got a clean pin fall victory over Scott Hall in a short lived storyline. Once let go from WCW in 1999 he returned to AAA and worked their as well as a few dates for Impact and had a big feud with Heavy Metal, Latin Lover and Perro Aguayo Jr. for many years. But he once more left AAA to this time return to CMLL in 2005 that allowed him to have his star keep rising in Mexico and also let him wrestle in New Japan! And always a Luchador on the move in 2011 he left CMLL and started working for Perros del Mal Producciones the federation he would stay with until 2012 when he was forced into retirement due to being diagnosed with lung cancer. After his death Hector Garza was inducted into the AAA Hall Of Fame and has left a massive legacy in the world of wrestling. In his time in wrestling he had won multiple titles in many companies like AAA, CMLL, Luca Libre Azteca, Perros del Mal Producciones and many more.

# 32

Villano V
Started: 1976      Companies: WCW & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

WCW strikes again as they are how I first saw Villano V as well as his brother and partner Villano IV, and while they both were skilled workers it was Villano V that was my favorite of the team! Before he was named Villano V he was Rokambole and worked the indies as well as being trained by his father and brothers who where known as The Villano’s and he had to earn his number in the family. And by 1983 he had earned the name Villano V and along with his brothers worked for many promotions like CMLL, AAA, UWA and IWRG before he and his brother Villano IV landed jobs with WCW in 1996 were they were used not only in the growing cruiserweight division but as well as the tag team division as they were perfect rudos, but sadly they were used as enhancement talent their whole run.  When Villano IV was injured and out for a time Villano V was used as a jobber but would become a member of the L.W.O! Villano V would leave WCW in 2000 after being let go and would return to Mexico and would work for the likes of CMLL and would even have a retirement event in “2013” that was not truly a retirement match as shortly after the event he was taking bookings and still does to this day. Over his long career he has won many bet matches, belts and tournaments and is one of the best rudos as he is so unlikable and wrestles dirty. While he lacks the flash of so many other Luchadors on this list his pure rudo ways is what made him one of my favorites to watch.

# 31

Ciclope/Halloween
Started: 1990     Companies: WWE & AAA       Active: Yes      Seen Live: Yes

Ok let’s get this out of the way now, Ciclope was the renamed Halloween for when he came to WCW during the Cruiserweight boom of the late 90’s, and his in ring skill and his spooky Horror themed character is what made me a fan…plus seeing him live also helped make me a fan. Halloween started his career in 1990 and worked for the Indies up until 1996 when he was hired by WCW to grow their Cruiserweight division and was called Ciclope and was used on the undercard and booked against the bigger names in the division to help get them over and his lackluster run came to an end in 1999. Working the indies after his WCW run, he would lose his Ciclope mask in a bet match and would quickly go back to his Halloween character and would then lose Halloween mask in a bet match causing him to paint his face like a Jack-O-Lantern. While working the indies for many years and having matches for companies like FCW, XPW and USA Pro Wrestling before landing at CMLL in 2002 teaming with Damian 666, Rey Misterio Sr., Nicho el Millonario and valet Lady Victoria as “La Familia de Tijuana” to become one of the biggest rudo stables at the time and would be off and on with CMLL until around 2009. And by 2010 he was working with AAA and would be apart of a few big matches and by 2012 he left and would end up in IWRG, but Halloween would still do matches for AAA and would stick around for awhile before just going back to the indies. Halloween while not as well known around the world like so many Luchadors before and after him, he is a true icon of the ring and a good worker who should get more respect. Halloween also cannot only work the Lucha Libre style but can also work the Hardcore style. Over the years of wrestling besides the name Ciclope he has went by Rocky Boy, Cyclope and Elvis Gonzalez.

# 30

Dr. Wagner Jr.
Started: 1985     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Dr. Wagner Jr. is a true legend in Lucha Libre and has had so many great feuds and matches over the years with one of my favorites being the one he had with Blue Demon Jr. in 2019 that even lead to Dr. Wagner Jr. losing his mask! I first saw Dr. Wagner Jr. matches on grey market VHS Tapes I would buy off Ebay and at conventions and also over the years have watched his matches in AAA and man I must say he is super entertaining and I would even say at one time he was Lucha Libres best rudo going! Like everyone, after training to become a Luchador he worked the indies in 1985 going under the name El Invasor for a short amount of time before taking the name Dr. Wagner Jr. in 1986 as his father was of course Dr. Wagner! After a terrible accident that left his father in a wheelchair, Dr. Wagner Jr. signed with UWA (Universal Wrestling Association) in 1987 and would be one of their top stars until they had to partner with CMLL in 1993 and this allowed Wagner Jr. to work their and captured belts and even more attention from the fans. Dr. Wagner Jr. was so popular that when facing tecnico’s the fans would cheer him as he was a rudo! This would also lead him to have matches in Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling and helped build his legacy is wrestling. But in 2009 CMLL and Wagner Jr. split ways and he would end up at their rival AAA and he would become a major player for them until 2013 when he left to travel the Indies for a short time and then would go on to have matches in CMLL and they back on and off with AAA up until 2020 were he retuned to the indies. And who knows when Dr. Wagner Jr. will show back up in CMLL or AAA, but one thing is for sure wherever he goes he will be one of the biggest Luchadors in the federation.

# 29

Atlantis
Started: 1983      Companies: CMLL & New Japan     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

One of CMLL’s biggest and most iconic Luchadors in modern time is Atlantis who has spent almost his whole career with them as one of their top draws and most respected stars. In 1983, he started working for many indie feds in Mexico, but by 1994 he was signed to CMLL and quickly rose through the roster to became one of the company’s main draws who was placed in many big matches, won so many belts including the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship twice as well as a number of tournaments and bet matches. He would also travel for CMLL and have matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Michinoku Pro Wrestling! While spending almost his whole career as a Tecnico, he has turned Rudo before adding more layers to his legacy, and giving fans more passion to see what Atlantis was up to. Like all classic Tecnico Luchadors, Atlantis has also been the main characters in films as well as had action figures made of him, in fact one of his figures is in my living room right now! While his in ring career will be winding down soon, you cannot deny that Atlantis is truly one of Mexico’s most legendary Luchadors of the ring.

# 28

El Solar
Started: 1975     Companies: UWA & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

One of the greatest Luchadors who was a great mat wrestler as well as a submission artist is the legendary El Solar who is still wowing fans in his 60’s. El Solar is an amazing Luchador who I have had the honor of watching live in the ring as well as chatting with at a Rockstar Pro Wrestling event, and it was such a great moment for me as well as my friend Jason Young. El Solar started in 1975 and worked the indies as well as for UWA where he would stay up until the promotion closed even winning many titles as well as being apart of groups and high profile matches. In the dying days of UWA, El Solar would also go and work for AAA and oddly they would change his character to El Mariachi and this was a very silly move.  When he left AAA, he would join CMLL and as well become El Solar again and would be a star for them up until around 2000 when he would once more head back to the Indies of Mexico as well as America from time to time and even wrestled for the very short lived MTV2 and Hulu wrestling federation called “Lucha Libre USA” and would be joined by the likes of Lizmark Jr. and Super Crazy. While El Solar is working the indies still to this day he still makes some appearances for AAA and IWRG and locking his place in Lucha Libre history. El Solar is a master of his art and his art in classic Lucha Libre mat wrestling with skillful submission moves. A True legend and one that I feel you should go and see if he is in your city before he retires.

# 27

Silver King
Started: 1985     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Silver King was another of the Luchadors that I was introduced to thanks to WCW and was also able to see live in action because of them and he was pretty damn great in the ring! And when in 2019 I heard of his passing, it was a sad day as he was such a great wrestler and one I also enjoyed watching. Silver King started his career in 1985 working the indies as El Invasor for a short time before becoming Silver King who originally wore a mask and landed working for UWA and during this time he mostly worked the undercard but did have a bet match against El Hijo del Santo where Silver King lost his mask! Once unmasked, the fans got to see that he was in fact one of Dr. Wagner’s sons and that means Dr. Wagner Jr. is in fact his brother! But becoming unmasked helped him rise up the card and with a stable he called Los Cowboys and along with tag partner El Texano they won the UWA Tag Team Champions and well as Tag Champs for WWA and these wins let them be part of the NWA World Tag Team Championship Tag Team tournament that was held at WCW’s Clash Of The Champions XIX, they lost in the first round to the Free Birds. In 1994 he left UWA and ended up working for CMLL as well as had matches in IWA in Japan, but when WCW came calling in 1997 Silver King signed on to help try and build the growing Cruiserweight division, but sadly like many of his fellow Luchadors, he was used at enhancement talent and would stay on the mid-card level with his big claim to fame being a member of the L.W.O. He was let go by WCW in late 2000. Once leaving WCW he would go back to CMLL and would also work New Japan Pro Wrestling under the Black Tiger character he would stay with them until 2006 as by 2007 he quickly had a run in All Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2008 he would go to AAA and have a very big run and would win the AAA World Tag Team Championship once and would find himself in many high profile matches. In 2018 Silver King would leave AAA and start working the indies up until his death in 2019. I also want to alert you readers that Silver King also played Ramses in the 2005 film Nacho Libre that stared Jack Black. During his time as a wrestler Silver King also went by the names Silver King 1, El Bronco, Silver Cain, Dr. Wagner Jr. and a few more.

# 26

Puma King
Started: 2006     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Puma King is a Luchador I have gotten to see live in action at Rockstar Pro Wrestling as well as got to film is promo for the event, and this guy is a great talent! Puma King started his in ring career working the indies as well as for IWRG and got the call from CMLL in 2008 and would team with his older brother Tiger Kid and would mostly be used on the undercard, he would however be involved in many tournaments as well as bet matches. Puma King would leave CMLL in 2018 and would quickly sign with AAA and by doing this he is also able to work for the Indies as well as take matches in such federations as Impact, IWRG, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and MLW to name a few. Thus far in his career he has won some tournament and bet matches and captured gold once in CMLL when he won the Occidente Light Heavyweight Championship! Plus in 2019 he won the Impact World Cup Of Wrestling for Impact Wrestling with his partners Psycho Clown, Aero Star and El Hijo del Vikingo as they defeated the team of Sami Callihan, Fallah Bahh, Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards! Puma King is also the son of Luchador legend El Felino and being only in his early 30’s still has lots of time to climb the ranks of Lucha Libre and capture more gold.

# 25

Lince Dorado
Started: 2007      Companies: WWE & Chikara     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Nowadays the WWE show 205 Live is a shell of what it was, but when it started for me it was must see TV as they had so many great and talented workers on the roster and one of my favorites was Lince Dorado! Like all wrestlers and Luchadors starting out, Lince started his in ring career working the indies and would sign with Chikara in mid 2007 and would work for them as well as many other indie promotions over the years like Dragon Gate USA, IGNITE and even had a tryout for Impact. Lince would work for the indies up until 2016 as that year he would be signed to WWE as part of their Cruiserweight Division and help get their new show 205 Live off the ground to showcase the wrestlers who weighted 205 pounds or under. Lince would get title shots for the Cruiserweight title during this time but was mostly booked on undercard matches and was sadly hardly on TV at times. His big break came in 2018 when he joined Kalisto and Gran Metalik and they became the stable known as The Lucha House Party and they would go from 205 Live to being featured more and more on Raw and later Smackdown putting Lince on the main roaster. While he and Gran Metalik are still teaming and they are used as undercard talent, I for one am always a mark to watch them in action. Thus far in WWE he has only won the 24/7 Championship once, but during his career in the indies he has captured may titles as well as tournament wins. A solid working and a skilled Luchador it’s a shame WWE does not know how to book Lince Dorado right.

# 24

Alberto Del Rio
Started: 2000     Companies: WWE & CMLL      Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Alberto Del Rio was a Luchador that could have been the guy who in the 2010’s that could have brought American mainstream a big star from Mexico and could have been the next Rey Mysterio or Eddie Guerrero if only his backstage attitude did not stink so bad! I was a fan of Alberto’s when he started working in NXT and was brought up to the main roster of WWE as he had a great Million Dollar Man meets JBL gimmick with a Latin flare! Alberto started his Lucha Libre career in 2000 fast track working for AAA and while there he was also making appearances in Japanese promotions all the while gaining in ring skills he worked for the likes of All Japan and Pro Wrestling Zero1 and for all promotions at this time he was going by Dos Caras Jr, but in 2002 he left AAA and in 2004 he left the Japanese promotions. He also in 2003 would try his hand in big time MMA and would have a few fights in Pride, both he would lose. In 2005 he would sign with CMLL and would become a major star for the company and would win the companies World Heavyweight Championship as well would win the 2006 La Copa Junior tournament. But he would leave CMLL in 2009 when he got a contact with WWE who would send him to FCW for matches before also having him wrestle on the main roster shows Raw and Smackdown in Dark Matches and House Shows. And at first they allowed him to wear his mask but quickly they unmasked him and Alberto Del Rio was born who was a rich Mexican aristocrat who would drive expensive cars to the ring and had his own ring announcer for a time named Ricardo Rodriguez and quickly climbed the ladder and became a main eventer and even would win the WWE Champion, the World Heavyweight Championship as well as big matches like the Royal Rumble and the Money In The Bank ladder match. But a bad attitude and a physical altercation with an employee after a bad racist joke lead to his firing. He would then head back to Mexico and sign with AAA in 2014 and would become a main eventer off the bat and even would win the AAA Mega Champion! But AAA was not the only promotion he started working for in 2014/2015 as he also worked for World Wrestling Council, Wrestle-1, Ring Of Honor, World Wrestling League, Lucha Underground and all these federations pushed him as a main star…but all those companies would be left behind in 2015 when he resigned to work for WWE again and on his first night back he would win the United States Championship from John Cena at the Hell In A Cell PPV, and this would also lead to him to be apart of a group called The League Of Nations along with Sheamus, Rusev and Wade Barrett…but this run would end almost as soon as it started as he would quit in 2016. He would end up working for Impact Wrestling in 2017-2018 and was booked as a main event and even won the GFW Global Championship while there, he was fired from Impact when he no showed a big event. And after this Alberto worked the indies up until 2020 when a legal issue halted his in ring career. While Alberto seems like a very terrible person, his in ring work was always something I enjoyed when watching WWE, and that’s all I have to say as his out of wrestling life would give him a negative rating on here. During his time in the ring he also went by some of these names El Patron, El Dorado and El Hijo de Dos Caras to name a few. Again need to stress it sucks that his out of control life is overshadowing his work in the ring.

# 23

Psycho Clown
Started: 2000     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

For me the best Luchador having the clown look is Psycho Clown, and I feel also that he is one of the biggest draws for AAA right now as he is super popular with the youngsters as well as the adult Lucha Libre fans. Psycho Clown started his Lucha Libre career working for the Indies up until 2003 when he signed with CMLL and this only lasted a short time as he was used on the lower card and was still very green and needed more training. By 2006 he had left CMLL and by this time as well he had already had two in rings names Brazo de Plata Jr. and Kronos and joined AAA who by 2007 rebranded him Psycho Clown and had him join a new stable they were creating called “Los Psycho Circus” that would over the years have such members as Monster Clown and Murder Clown and this was a big break for Psycho Clown as this stable became a draw and placed him in many big matches! And in 2015 this also allowed Psycho Clown to become a main draw wrestling single and would lead to many bet, tournament and title wins in AAA as well as their partner companies like Impact Wrestling. Hands down Psycho Clown is one of AAA’s most popular Luchadors and it would be great to see him wrestle in AEW or even WWE (as long as they leave his character and mask alone) and he surly will be in AAA’s Hall Of Fame once he retires. Check out his matches as many can be found on YouTube.

# 22

Super Crazy
Started: 1988      Companies: ECW & WWE       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Any one who grew up watching ECW knows the name Super Crazy and also WWE fans should know him as he was on the roster for years! I am a Super Crazy fan as he can wrestle the Lucha style as well as can do hardcore matches and his matches with Tajiri in ECW were legendary! Super Crazy started his wrestling career at the age of 14 in 1988 and worked for many indie federations like UWA and would sign with AAA in 1996 and was a mid-carder that would also get a few WWE matches per the talent trade the company had, Super Crazy would leave AAA in 1997 and would start working for Promo Azteca and would also still make some appearances on WWE TV as apart of their Light Heavyweight Championship tournament. In 1998 Super Crazy signed with ECW and quickly became a fan favorite and was placed in many great matches with names like Tajiri and Little Guido and became a mainstay and star for them up until 2001 when ECW went out of business. So starting in 2001 Super Crazy floated around the Indies as he would wrestle for companies like CZW, XPW, IWA, ROH, New Japan, Impact and even did a few matches in AAA! Finally in 2005 WWE signed him to a contract and had him appear on their ECW One Night Stand PPV and then placed him in a stable with Psicosis and Juventud Guerrero called The Mexicools and once the team was broken up in 2006 Super Crazy started a singles run on the mid-card. Super Crazy would leave WWE in 2008 and would make his return to the Indies and would became a draw and even would go and have matches again for AAA, Pro Wrestling Noah, All Japan Pro Wrestling and NXL. Super Crazy over the years also performed under the names Histeria, El Locco, Super Virus and Super Loco.

# 21

Espectro Jr.
Started: 1974      Companies: Indies      Active: No     Seen Live: No

Ok this is a hard one as several Luchadors have played the gimmick of Espectro Jr. over the decades as hell there are several working the Indies in Mexico and America going right now! But I could not leave him off my list as over the years I have found myself watching matches of this Luchador from all generations on YouTube. And while AAA owner Antonio Pena played Espectro Jr. it’s Jose Elias Pinceno version that has always got my attention. And this one is super hard to track down his history as its seems at times they all get mixed together so its almost impossible for me to due his write up justice, so what I am going to do here is talk a little about why Espectro Jr. has captured my attention all these years. First off he has a Horror gimmick as he is like a spirit and at times would even come from coffins at the start of his matches, he had a classic Lucha Libre style and when wrestling Rudo he was great as fans hated him. His green and black mask for some reason reminds me of the Halloween season and the masks grinning smile is perfect for this type of character. Espectro Jr. also has a legacy as I have said before so many other wrestlers have taken the name or some sort of variation of it. One part of history I would like to share is that in 2007 Espectro Jr. lost his mask in a bet match to Blue Demon Jr. and that Jose Elias Pinceno is now unmasked, and that he is also the Nephew of the original Espectro. Also look up Espectro Jr. matches on YouTube as they have many of his matches on there from all the Luchadors using the name.

# 20

Pierroth
Started: 1984     Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: No     Seen Live: No

I first learned about Pierroth via WWE when he was an entrant in the 1997 Royal Rumble and for some reason my brother for years always talked about pin fall victories he had over random wrestlers (ones he never did) and would do so in the voice of Gorilla Monsoon. But because of this over the years I have seen many of his matches on grey market VHS tapes as well as now on sites like YouTube. And I have to say Pierroth is a legend in Lucha Libre and one that helped a younger me really become a fan of Luchadors. Like all who start out in the biz Pierroth would work the indies for a short time starting in 1984, but by 1985 and while at the start he was on the lower card and only working from time to time he rose to the top of the card pretty fast and also started his path of capturing titles for the company. By 1995 Pierroth left CMLL and signed with AAA and was a star from the start and of course would capture titles and be put into high card feuds. While working for AAA they had a talent exchange with WWE and this allowed him to wrestle for them on Monday Night Raw as well as make an appearance at the Royal Rumble, but by mid 1997 he would leave AAA and would do a short stint on the Indies before going to IWRG and would be their first Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship and would also start wrestling for WWC in Puerto Rico that was run by Carlos Colon and he would stay working these two federations until 1999. Pierroth would then sign back with CMLL and would stay with them until 2008 and was of course was a main eventer and was in big feuds. Sadly Pierroth suffered a stroke in 2008 and forced him to retire from the ring. It’s shocking that AAA has not placed Pierroth in their Hall Of Fame yet as he deserves it for all the years of hard work he has done in the world of Lucha Libre not to even all the titles he has held. A true legend Pierroth is and one that I owe lots to when it comes to making me a fan of Lucha Libre. During his time in the ring Pierroth also went by the names Pierroth Jr. and Comandante Pierroth.

# 19

Gran Metalik
Started: 2005     Companies: WWE & CMLL       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Gran Metalik is in my opinion one of the best Luchadors under contract to WWE and is a superstar I am looking forward to seeing live at an event when they come around. I first became aware of Gran Metalik when he was part of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic Tournament and quickly became a fan. Gran Metalik started his Lucha career in 2005 and worked very shortly for the indies before becoming apart of CMLL’s roster and quickly made his way up the card and became a main-eventer and was given big profile matches as well as many title belts! Gran Metalik was a mainstay at CMLL and was one of the companies big stars for many years that was until he left them in 2016 to join the WWE as apart of their new rebirth of the Cruiserweight division. But before he was a WWE Superstar while working for CMLL he was also working for New Japan Pro Wrestling off and on for many years and was making a name in Japan for himself as well, he would work for them from 2010-2016. When first in WWE he was pushed as one of the best Cruiserweights and Luchadors in the world and was called “The King of The Ropes” by the announcers, but as time went on he was shown less and less on TV as well as was losing matches to less skilled workers on the roster. Just like Lince Dorado when he became a member of the group Lucha House Party in 2018 he received a short-term push before becoming an undercard member of the roaster once more. WWE bookers have zero clue how to use Luchadors and it’s a shame as they have so many talented workers on their roster that are being misused and not used at all. Gran Metalik thus far has used the following names as well Plata II, Metalik and Mascara Dorada.

# 18

Konnan
Started: 1987      Companies: AAA & WCW       Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Konnan is another of the Luchadors that I knew about thanks to WCW who showcased him for many years in the company even making him member of such groups as The Dungeon Of Doom and nWo Wolfpack! And one thing you have to give Konnan lots of credit for is the fact he is the one over the years that has gotten his fellow Luchadors work in companies like WCW and ECW. Konnan started his career in 1987 and got his first major indie gig with UWA and quickly he would be in many high profile main event matches that would lead him to working for CMLL as well as a few matches for WCW in 1990 and while also working dates in Japan he got a call from the WWE who wanted to sign him on to play a costumed character called Max Moon, and after a few tryout matches and was apart of the WWE. In 1991 while also still working for CMLL Konnan would loose his mask in a bet match against Perro Aguayo, he would also be the first ever CMLL World Heavyweight Champion as the company was originally called EMLL. In 1992 Konnan left CMLL to join AAA and would also leave WWE as many in the company did not like his bad attitude and when he started no showing events that was the final straw, but his time in AAA was during a big boom in Lucha Libre and he became super popular and was a major draw in Mexico. In 1995 he started working for ECW for a short time and even helped co-promote an event that had both AAA and ECW wrestlers together. But in 1996 WCW came calling and he would be booked strong at first winning the United States Championship before loosing it and being forced in the silly Dungeon Of Doom stable for a short time, but when in 1997 they put him the nWo and his popularity and WCW run would kick into full gear and during his WCW run he would win some titles as well as join the group “Filthy Animals” and team with rapper Master P! But in 2001 WCW went out of business and Konnan would head to work for the indies and even wrestled for XPW, World Wrestling All-Stars and this would lead to him working for Impact Wrestling in 2003. While working for Impact he would also sign back with AAA in 2004 and was a featured wrestler in both being involved in the main event spotlight and in Impact even fourmed the LAX group. And these two federations were he would stay working now as a manager and taking a back stage role. During his time in the ring he has also went by the names Conan The Barbarian, K-Dogg, El Centurion, Latin Fury, Max Moon and Konnan The Great to name a few. While I am not a super mega fan of Konnan I do respect his hard work in and out of the ring, I mean at one time he was called the Hulk Hogan of Mexico!

# 17

El Canek
Started: 1972      Companies: AAA & CMLL       Active: No     Seen Live: No

When you think of legendary names in the history of Lucha Libre, one of the names has to be El Canek as he is on my list at least and should be on yours! I first heard of El Canek thanks to WWE when he was apart of the AAA talent exchange and he wrestled a few matches for them including a three-man tag at the 1997 WWE Royal Rumble as he teamed with Hector Garza and Perro Aguayo, and later I went on to buy a Grey Market VHS tape off Ebay that had many of his matches on it as I was a fan of his from seeing him in action. Also its awesome to see a bodybuilder from that time be a Luchador! El Canek started his career in 1972 and worked for the indies for a year before wrestling for CMLL and started his build to be a main-eventer in Lucha Libre as he would be featured in many high profile matches. By 1975 El Canek would leave CMLL and would join Universal Wrestling Association and this is were he would become the legend as he was in many big feuds, won many titles, got the attention of the NWA was sent to New Japan Pro Wrestling and would even win the UWA World Heavyweight Championship a total of 15 times and would even defend the title after the company went out of business in 1995! While working for UWA he was also sent to CMLL for another run in a talent exchange and would become a staple at their events as well placed in major matches with big time feuds, this would last until 1994. But in 1995 he would start working for AAA and during this time as well he would make appearances at WWE events due to a talent exchange, and during his time in AAA he as well was a main event star and was in many high profile matches and would even win the “Rey de Reyes” tournament. El Canek would leave AAA in 2003 and would then find himself at IWRG and even CMLL again off and one for years and would even have a small return to AAA in 2013 and worked for some indie federations over the years! During his career he has also gone under the names El Universitario, Kanek and Principe Azul. Make sure to go to YouTube and watch some El Canek matches.

# 16

Cibernetico
Started: 1992     Companies: AAA & WWE       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

WWE strikes again as thanks to them and the 1997 Royal Rumble is how I first discovered the Luchador known as Cibernetico who had a crazy neon and black mask and almost a 80’s Metal vibe to him, and over the years I have always kept up on his career. Cibernetico started his Lucha Libre career in 1992 working for UWA as he was a student in their training gym, and his bodybuilder background helped him stand out at the events he was featured at. While in UWA he started out as a tecnico but by the companies closing he was a rudo and was being built to be one the companies top! When UWA closed down for good in 1995 he found himself going to AAA and would have a very long a successful run with them finding himself the winner of many titles and was featured as a main event star! He would also work a few matches for WWE during this time starting in 1996 through 1997 as apart of AAA’s talent exchange adding more to his growing fan base. In 2004 Cibernetico would lose his mask in a bet match against La Parka! Cibernetico would stay in AAA until 2008 when he would leave for a year and start working for the indies in Mexico before landing back in AAA and having another long run and big matches and feuds before leaving again in 2015. That same year he would start a short run working for Lucha Libre Elite and would become the companies inaugural Heavyweight Champion, he would leave them in 2017. His last major run was in 2018 when he returned to CMLL for a quick time. Cibernetico is awesome and not only is a popular Luchador but has also appeared in his own comic book as well as was featured in a Mexico Burger King ad! I should also note that it stinks they took the mask off him in 2004 as his mask was very cool.

# 15

Fenix
Started: 2007     Companies: AAA & AEW       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Fenix is a Luchador that I had not only the pleasure of seeing wrestle live at Rockstar Pro Wrestling but also was able to film with for a un-finished episode of the Horror Host show I do called Baron Von Porkchop’s Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre. He is a super talented Luchador and a super nice person and if you ever have the chance to see him wrestle, go and do it! Fenix started working the indies in 2007 and was quickly signed to AAA in 2011 and was quickly put into big matches as well as feuds as the fans seemed to really be behind Fenix, and while working for AAA he was also working dates in Japan in federations like Pro Wrestling Noah. AAA would also lead him to work for Lucha Underground starting in 2014. But things would end for his AAA run in 2016 and this would allow Fenix to work the indies in Mexico and America as well as a few in Japan. Fenix was building a huge name for himself around the world and was being said that he is one of the best Luchadors going today! In 2018 Fenix would find himself signed to many major wrestling federations and working them all around the same time as he would work for Impact Wrestling, MLW, CMLL and would return to AAA and once more was a main eventer and a big attraction for each showing just how popular he is. In 2019 he was signed to AEW and is currently working for both AAA and AEW and is a major star in both. Fenix this far has captured gold in many of the places he has worked as he has held belts for AAA, Impact, Lucha Underground, MLW, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Pro Wrestling Revolver to name a few. He also has used the names Rey Fenix, The King, King Phoenix, Fenix el Rey and Mascara Oriental.

# 14

Essa Rios
Started: 1994     Companies: WWE & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Essa Rios is a Luchador that I became a fan of in 1997 when he was brought into the WWE as apart of there Light Heavyweight division going under the name Aguila and later in 1999 he would go under the name Essa Rios.  He was a high flyer in the world of giants, plus he was the man to introduce the WWE Universe to Lita as she was his manager! Essa Rios started wrestling in 1994 and worked the indies in Mexico before getting a contract with WWE in 1996, wrestling under a mask and called Aguila he was a featured highflyer in the growing Light Heavyweight division. By 1999 the repackaged Aguila and unmasked him and started calling him Essa Rios and partnered him with a female valet named Lita. Essa would capture Light Heavyweight title, and sadly after losing the title he would find himself falling down the card and being used as enhancement talent and by 2001 he was no longer working for WWE. But while gone form WWE he quickly found work in AAA working for them from 2001 to 2008 and was a semi main-eventer who also got to work a few matches for Impact due to a talent exchange starting in 2004 and this would only be for a year. Essa would leave AAA in 2008 and would take a little time off as well as working a few Indie dates, but in 2010 he would sign with CMLL and would an upper card roster member used in some great storylines and put in some bigger matches. He would stay with CMLL until 2017 as he would return to AAA that same year and stay for a bit, before heading back to the indies. During his run in wrestling Essa Rios has also went under the names Aguila, Mr. Agulla and Papi Chulo. While he might not be a household name, he still is a great worker who has captured many belts and has entertained for many years in the ring.

# 13

Damien 666
Started: 1985     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Once more I have to pay respects to WCW for introducing me to Damien 666 as he was you guessed it apart of the Cruiserweight division boom of 1996! And because of WCW, I was also able to see him live at a Saturday Night tapping and have followed him in the indies. Damien started in 1985 and was working the indies as well as places like WWA and in 1991 he was signed to FMW in Japan and learned the Hardcore wrestling ways and would be a mid-carder and a favorite for fans to watch, during this time he as well would work a few matches for AAA. His run in FMW would end in 1996 and Damien 666 would find himself in America and doing a very short run for ECW, and in 1996 is also when WCW came calling and Damien 666 was added to the Cruiserweight division and was used on the undercard as well as an enhancement talent, he would never hold any belts in WCW but did become a member of the LWO. Damien’s WCW run would come to an end in 1999 and along with Halloween they become the tag team “Mexico’s Most Wanted” and work the indies as the team and would even be featured on XPW and would win the federations Tag Team titles. In 2002 Damien would sign with CMLL alongside Halloween and they would be in major programs and would became draws, Damien 666 would leave CMLL in 2008 and would then find himself in AAA and once more was pushed up the card and became a rudo star for them, he would also work a few matches for IWRG at this time. Damien 666 would capture the AAA World Trios Championship before leaving AAA in 2012 and would wrestle for IWRG for awhile and then would return to the indies were he is at currently. Damien 666 in his career has also went under the names Caballero 2000, Ultraman 2000, Ultraman II, Amigo Ultra, Damien and Galaxy. When Damien retires from the ring he should be remembered not just for his Hardcore Wrestling but also his Lucha Libre style.

# 12

El Felino
Started: 1987     Companies: CMLL & AAA      Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

El Felino is a Luchador that I knew about thanks to wrestling magazines as well as grey market VHS tapes, in fact the first Arena figure I ever bought was El Felino that I got for the Horror convention Cinema Wasteland. El Felino is awesome in the ring and when masked his look was fantastic and very eye catching. El Felino started in 1987 and worked the indies as well as UWA and in 1989 he got the call to go to CMLL and became one of the companies biggest stars and was placed in many major matches and feuds and would capture many belts during his run, and he was truly one of the most loved tecnico’s for CMLL! Shockingly El Felino left CMLL in 1999 and signed with AAA for a very short run in the main event scene teaming with his brother Heavy Metal. Less than a year away El Felino signed back with CMLL and once more was pushed as a big star and would go from tecnico to rudo and back again and would even loose his mask in 2004 in a bet match he lost to La Sombra and who is known now as Andrade in WWE. El Felino continues to work for CMLL and still to this day is a main draw! I also would like to say for a short while he also used the name Babe Casas. If you are a fan of Lucha Libre, I am sure you know who El Felino is and I am sure you know just how iconic and great he is, and if you don’t look up some of his matches and give them a watch.

# 11

Mil Mascaras
Started: 1963      Companies: WWE & WCW       Active: Semi     Seen Live: No

One of the biggest names in Lucha Libre history is Mil Mascaras, the Luchador that is know by the nickname Man Of 1000 Masks who is a true journeyman in the sport. At a very young age I knew who Mil Mascaras was due to his film career as well as his classic matches in WWE as well as his work in WCW. I would always cheer for Mil in his matches as he was a true superstar of the ring and is an icon and WWE Hall Of Fame member. Mil started his career in 1963 and worked all over the world as he would have stints in All Japan Pro Wrestling, WWE, International Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Council, WCW, WWA, Legacy Wrestling Enterprises among so many others and he was a trail blazer and brought the Lucha Libre highflying style to American fans and lead the way for all those that followed in his foot steps. The thing about Mil is that he never stayed in a federation long enough for him to become stale, and this made him stand out and really feel like a big attraction when he is on a card in the main event. Over the years Mil has also has his fair share of critics has he has been legendary hard to deal with for promoters and fellow wrestlers alike, but while this may be true you can never take away just how great Mil is in the ring and all the barriers he broke in American wrestling.

# 10

El Hijo del Santo
Started: 1982      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

El Santo is hands down the biggest name in Lucha Libre history, and his son El Hijo del Santo is on the path to be just as iconic and respected as his father. El Hijo del Santo is a Luchador I learned about via wrestling magazines, grey market VHS tapes as well as his comic books and movies. El Hijo del Santo started his in ring career in 1982 working for the indies of Mexico and would spend much of his very early career working for WWA and UWA and by 1983 he started working some matches for CMLL and during this time he was quickly a draw and main eventer, and not just cause who his dad was but because he had great in ring skills. Through the 80’s he had many big feuds against the likes of Espanto Jr. and Negro Casas. In 1997 El Hijo del Santo made his first tour of Japan working for Universal Lucha Libre making a name for himself outside of Mexico and in 1992 he started working for AAA and had some amazing matches with the likes of Octagon, Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr. In 1995 after having some creative issues with AAA, he would go to CMLL and during his run for the first time El Hijo del Santo would turn rudo and would even have bloody matches against El Dandy.  The rudo turn helped CMLL draw big money and over time El Hijo del Santo would turn tecnico and become one of the company’s top stars up until he left in 2004. In 1998 El Hijo del Santo also had a small run working for WWE as apart of their very short-lived Super Astros program that features Lucha Libre and WWE Cruiserweight stars. El Hijo del Santo then started working for the indies and would even start booking his own shows in Mexico as well as even England and his fame was at an all time high! And still to this day he wrestles all over and is a true icon of Lucha Libra. Lucha Libre has so many amazing talents and El Hijo del Santo is one of them, and to be honest I would love to see his own son who is wrestling under the name Santo Jr. to work for the WWE and have some great matches with their current NXT talent. I should also note that El Hijo del Santo has also wrestled under the name El Korak when he first started.

# 9

Vampiro
Started: 1984      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Semi      Seen Live: Yes

I first learned about Vampiro via a CMLL action figure that was at a dollar store in Sugercreek, Ohio back in the early 90’s and then read more about him in the pages of wrestling magazines and then became a huge fan of his when I got to see him wrestle in WCW both on TV and once live! Vampiro is one of those Luchadors who has been all over and everywhere and started working in 1984 for International Wrestling out of Canada as an enhancement talent and would stick around the indies for a while. In 1991 he would head to Mexico and started working for CMLL who originally hired him to be a silly character, but his looks and limited move set for some reason got over with the fans and he found himself climbing up the card very fast. He would find himself in many bet matches as well as would be in tournaments as well as getting title shots! While working for CMLL he has would be working some dates for UWA as well as working matches in Japan. In 1996 he would leave CMLL and work dates for AAA, IWRG and Promo Azteca but would return in 1998 to CMLL before getting his big break in America. You see Vampiro got the call to come to WCW in 1998 and was used as a mid-carder who would have feuds with some of the companies big stars like Sting, Steve “Dr. Death” Williams and would even be in teams with the likes of Raven, The Great Muta and musicians The Misfits and ICP. When WCW went out of business in 2001 and was purchased by WWE his contract was not picked up and he found himself heading back to Mexico and working for CMLL as well as taking matches in other federations like World Wrestling Council, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Xtreme Pro Wrestling and would continue to work some of theme even after leaving CMLL in 2005. From there Vampiro would sign with AAA and work on and off for them until 2020 and while from their he would also work for Lucha Underground, Wrestling Society X, CMLL and Juggalo Championship Wrestling and every place he has gone Vampiro is a star! It’s crazy that WWE never signed him as I would have loved to have seen him feud with the likes of The Undertaker, Kane and even Mankind. While not what you would think of as a Luchador to me Vampiro is a great one who has been one of my favorites sense I was a teen. Vampiro has also went by the in ring names Vampiro Canadiense, Casanova, Gene Anderson, Ian Richards, Vampiro Casanova and a few more.

# 8

Eddie Guerrero
Started: 1986      Companies: WWE & WCW       Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

For many when you ask the question “Who Is The Best Luchador Ever” they will quickly say Eddie Guerrero and to be fair they are not wrong as he really was one of the best. I first knew of Eddie thanks to WCW and even ECW and followed him all the way up until his death as he was hands down one of the best minds and workers to step foot into the ring. I mean who else could make lying, cheating and stealing look so cool? Eddie started in 1986 working for the indies but was quickly picked up by CMLL in 1987 and was a popular Luchador to watch and would even work a few WCW matches as part of a talent exchange, but in 1992 when AAA was created he left CMLL to join them. While working for AAA he was a big star and would also work a few dates for New Japan Pro Wrestling and would be placed in many big matches for AAA. But in 1995 he would head to America and wrestle for ECW and would have some of the companies best technical and fast paced matches against the likes of Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio. But that same year WCW came calling and signed Eddie to a contract that would see him become a mid-card attraction and would win some titles as well as be apart of groups like LWO and the Filthy Animals. But after years of being misused and held back by aging wrestlers worried about their spots on the card Eddie would leave WCW and sign with WWE in 2000 and would appear with other wrestlers who left WCW for the same reason and those wrestlers were Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn and they became known as The Radicalz! Eddie would become injured at the start of his WWE run but would came back fast and become a future wrestler feuding with the likes of The New Age Outlaws, Chris Jericho and X-Pac and would have an angle that he was in love with Chyna. But in 2001 he was fired from WWE when he was battling addiction and was arrested for drinking and driving. Eddie would start working Indie dates in 2001 and worked for ROH, WWA and New Japan Pro Wrestling and was proving that he was still as talented as ever and was getting himself clean. Eddie would get a second chance in WWE as they resigned him to a contract in 2002 and he would be put into a team and later a feud with his nephew Chavo Guerrero as they were called Los Guerreros. After this Eddie became a contender for the belts and would end up winning the WWE Champion in 2004 by beating Brock Lesnar! And even after losing the belt he stayed a contender and a main event draw up until his death in 2005. While Eddie is gone he will never be forgotten, as he truly is one of the best Luchadors and Wrestlers to ever walk the Earth. Eddie in his career also used the names Black Tiger, Mascara Magica, El Caliente, Gory Guerrero Jr. and Eddy Guerrero.

# 7

Pentagone Jr.
Started: 2007      Companies: AAA & AEW       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No 

Pentagone Jr. for me is the best modern day Luchador working in Mexico and America today as he can wrestle the rough Lucha Libre style as well as a very bloody hardcore style his hardcore matches with Sami Callihan and OVE in Impact Wrestling was some of the best things in wrestling at the time. Plus whenever Pentagone Jr. is in a match, it’s must watch TV for me as you know you’re in for one hell of a good match. Pentagone Jr. started in 2007 working the indies in Mexico and would get his first big break in 2010 when he signed with AAA and started out as a mid-card attraction and with hard work and sky rocketed up the card winning big matches and would win some belts as well as worked for Lucha Underground, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and worked the Indies building his name and showing the world how good he really is. Pentagone Jr. would leave AAA in 2017 as they two sides clashed over creative ideas and freedoms. After leaving AAA he would still work a year for Lucha Underground and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as would work for other federations like MLW and Impact Wrestling with the later him really making a name for himself in America with. In 2018 he would return to AAA and once more was booked as a main draw and would also still work the indies as well as would sign with AEW and he is still working to this day in AAA and AEW and continues to wow fans with his style. In his career he has also wrestled under the names Zaius, Dark Dragon, Pentagon Dark, El Hijo del Cuchillo and Penta El Zero M to name a few. If he keeps it up Pentagone Jr. will surely be in many Hall Of Fames when he retires from the ring as his hard work is building a massive fan base.

# 6

La Parka
Started: 1982      Companies: AAA & WCW      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

La Parka is a Luchador that I discovered thanks to WCW and their big boom of hiring Cruiserweights for their budding division. And La Parka was one that became a favorite of mine due to his awesome mask and fun loving yet hard hitting style and even got to see him wrestle live a few times in WCW. La Parka started his in ring career in 1982 wrestling and would wrestle under his real name as well as the names El Gringo, El Asesino de Tepito, Principe Island and Invasor del Norte and would travel the indies up until 1992. AAA started in 1992 and it’s here that La Parka was born and quickly became one of the company’s biggest draws even though he was a Rudo! He would also have many big matches during this time and was even apart of the WCW and AAA event called “When Worlds Collide” in 1994. He would also capture gold winning the Mexican National Light Heavyweight title and holding it for over 200 days! La Parka would also appear on ECW while still working for AAA as apart of a talent exchange. La Parka would leave AAA in 1996 and would sign with WCW and would become a mid-card attraction for the booming cruiserweight division, and would later be called the Chairman of WCW as he would bring a chair to the ring and play it like a guitar and even dance around it! He also became a member of the LWO and was treated as a comedy character in the late 90’s. La Parka would leave WCW in 2000 and was let go by the company alongside many of the other Luchador talent. La Parka would start working the indies after being let go and still does to this day working for the likes of X-LAW, MLW and many more. In 2003 LA Parka now under the name L.A. ParK signed with CMLL as he had to change his name as AAA would claim the trademark in Mexico for the character’s look and name and would be a draw from them as well as he was involved in high profile matches as well as held many titles. La Parka would leave CMLL in 2008, ending a good run that helped build his legacy. In 2010 he would have another run in AAA and would feud with the company’s La Parka on who was the real deal that lead to a match to see who would be known as La Parka…they both ended up able to use the name in the end but him still using the L.A. Park name for AAA. He would leave AAA in 2013 and by 2014 would be back in CMLL for a very short appearance run and was let go by CMLL in 2015 for violating their rules of crowd treatment. L.A. Park would stick working for the indies until 2018 when he once more started working for AAA and he is still with them as of this update as well as still working the indies. L.A. Park or the original La Parka if you will is an icon of Lucha Libre and will surely be placed in a Wrestling Hall Of Fame in Mexico as well as America when retired from the ring.

# 5

Blue Panther
Started: 1978      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Blue Panther is a legendary Luchador who is a true journeyman who has wrestled all over Mexico and America and is one that I discovered thanks to the grey market tapes that I got off Ebay when I was a teenager and he became one of my favorites of classic Luchadors. Blue Panther started his in ring career in 1978 working the indies and made a name for himself very quickly and by 1981 UWA came calling and worked his way up the card as a Rudo and by 1984 won his first title with the company, and he would become a major draw for them up until left in 1990. In 1991 he would have a very short run for CMLL and was one of the company’s top rudos and would capture some gold as well was the one who unmasked The Love Machine in a bet match, and the world seen Art Barr was the man under the mask. By 1992 Blue Panther left CMLL for AAA and this would have him turn tecnico and he as well was a draw for AAA as fans and his fellow Luchadors respected his skill in the ring, and he of course would win titles, be involved in big matches and even feuded with Art Barr once again when he jumped companies. He would be with AAA up until 1997 and then would go back to CMLL and work for them still do this day along with his son Blue Panther Jr. and would become a true legend with them as he would win titles and compete in bet matches and sadly lost his mask in 2008 when he lost a match to Villano V! Even during this time Blue Panther was taking some indie bookings and even would go on to open his own wrestling school in the 1990’s and has been responsible for many great Luchadors like Texano Jr., Ephesto and Cynthia Moreno to name a few. Blue Panther is awesome and if you get a chance make sure to watch a few of his matches and see his classic style, hands done one of my favorites.

# 4

Juventud Guerrera
Started: 1992      Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Juventud is a Luchador that I first saw in ECW but became a fan of when seeing him in WCW as he was one the of top Cruiserweight stars and had a super fast and highflying Lucha Libre style! In fact while at a WCW Saturday Night taping at Hara Arena is Dayton, Ohio while waiting in line for a drink Juventud came out of a door and cut in front of me in line to grab a drink! Even cutting me off in line Juventud thanked me and for the cut and went back through the door, it was funny and awesome. He is the son of Lucha Libre legend Fuerza Guerrera and sadly he had a falling out with his father many years back. Juventud started his wrestling career in 1992 working very briefly the indies but was really a star for AAA right off the bat and he was pushed to the stars and was in a very epic feud with Rey Mysterio Jr. for the AAA Welterweight Title as they would pass it back and fourth. While wrestling for AAA he would also appear in early 1996 at ECW events and by mid 1996 he left AAA and signed with WCW as apart of their blooming Cruiserweight division. Juventud was pushed as one of the breakout stars by WCW and even would win the Cruiserweight title for the first time in 1998 beating Ultimo Dragon and he would hold it off and on a few times as well as always be a contender. In 1998 he would also loose a bet match in WCW to Chris Jericho causing him to lose his mask! Juventud would go on to join groups like LWO and The Filthy Animals and would even be in the film “Ready To Rumble” showing that he was one of the Luchadors they were pushing. In 2000 Juventud was let go from WCW due to an incident at an overseas tour that involved drugs. Once gone from WCW Juventud decided to do a small world tour and took matches in companies like XPW, AAA, Impact, FWA, CMLL and Pro Wrestling Noah building he name value even more and allowing fans from many federations to see him in action. But in 2005 the tour ended as he would sign with WWE and was teamed with Super Crazy and Psicosis to become the team known as The Mexicools and they would go for the Tag Titles as well as The Cruiserweight Championship. But in 2006 Juventud was let go from WWE for not listening and doing banned moves in a match. After his WWE run he would return to work the indies were he is still working to this day as well as had a number of short burst runs in AAA and remains one of Lucha Libres most popular Luchadors and a draw for indie promotions. It’s crazy that Juventud is not in the WWE Hall Of Fame and who knows once he retires from the ring maybe they will put him in as he deserves to be. Juventud over his career also wrestled under the names El Hijo de Fuerza Guerrera, Fighting Youth and Fuerza Grimm.

# 3

Blue Demon Jr.
Started: 1985      Companies: NWA & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Blue Demon Jr. is one of the most iconic Luchadors who is still active today and is a draw for any company that brings him in as he is a true journeyman as well who has wrestled all over the world. Blue Demon Jr. is one that I first discovered on grey marker VHS tapes that I got off Ebay when I was a youngster and became a major fan of, and give that fact I was a fan of his father Blue Demon it was a no brainer that Jr. would become one of my favorites. I even got to meet Blue Demon Jr. once at a Monster Bash Convention and while we had a language barrier, he was a super nice Luchador. Blue Demon Jr. started his Lucha career in 1985 working for the indies and building his own legacy that would go alongside his father’s, be was a draw almost right off the bat and would even have a few matches off and on for major Mexican promotions just bringing fans into the matches. In 1996 he would sign with AAA and would be a major draw and would have some big high profile matches. He would stick around AAA until 2001 and then he returned to the indies and being a journeyman and not until 2008 did he sign with NWA and became the companies first Mexican and Masked wrestler to hold the NWA Heavyweaight Championship as well as was running his own company called NWA Mexico. He would stay around in the NWA until 2010 and then would go to Pro Wrestling Revolution and would win their Heavyweight Title and would even team with his biggest rival El Hijo del Santo to win the Tag Titles! He would stick around until 2013 with Pro Wrestling Revolution and by that same year he signed back with AAA and has become a major draw for them in many high profile matches including an amazing feud with Dr. Wagner Jr. that set the world of wrestling on fire. In 2014 while still working for AAA he also started working for Lucha Underground and was there for a year and was one of the main focuses of that season. Blue Demon Jr. is still active as of this posts upload and his working for AAA as well as takes Indie bookings. A true legend of the ring and really is one of my favorite Luchadors ever to step into the ring.

# 2

Psicosis
Started: 1989     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Psicosis is a Lucha that I first discovered in the pages of wrestling magazines and finally seen him in action thanks to WCW who brought him in during the massive Cruiserweight boom. Once I seen him in matches I became a mega fan and would watch his old matches in Mexico and in ECW thanks to the tape trade market. I have also been very lucky to have seen Psicosis wrestle live both in WCW as well as in WWE and he is one of the best Luchadors I have ever seen live! Plus his mask is so awesome and he was one of the wrestlers I always played as in WCW/NOW Revenge on the N64. Psicosis started his career in 1988 under the name El Salvaje and worked the indies and by 1989 he would go under the name Psicosis and he was a rudo draw as he would have matches with some of the top upcoming stars like Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera as well as legends like El Hijo del Santo and by this time as well he was signed and working matches in AAA even showcasing his style at the 1994 pay-per-view “When Worlds Collide” given American fans their first look at him, and this lead to him making appearances in 1995 for ECW. In 1996 Psicosis would start working for WCW and would become one of the featured Cruiserweights and would be come the champion as well as would be a member of the L.W.O. and would even lost his mask in a bet match against Billy Kidman, though Psicosis had lost his mask in Mexico to Rey Mysterio Jr. before this but his face was not seen in WCW it was and he would wrestle unmasked for the remainder of his time there. In 2000 Psicosis was let go from WCW and would return very briefly to ECW and from their would wrestle for many federations like XPW, All Japan, World Wrestling All-Stars, Impact, CMLL as well as NWA. Psicosis who had to start wrestling under the name Nicho El Millonario due to AAA and him having rights issues over the name as they had given the name to another known as Psicosis II and in 2005 he returned briefly to AAA in order to battle for the name and even Super Crazy got involved in the feud for the name. But he would leave AAA that same year and would sign to WWE and would be teamed with Super Crazy and Juventud Guerrera and became a group called The Mexicools, but his run would be short lived as he was fired in 2006 due to legal issues. But he would not be out of work for long as he would have a year run in CMLL before signing back with AAA in 2007 and would once more be a featured rudo in many big matches. During this run he would also put the mask back on and wrestle as Psicosis again in Mexico, but by 2014 he was once more released from AAA. He would return to the indies and is still working for them to this day, but did have a very small run once again in AAA starting in 2016 and by 2017 he was gone again. Really if you are a younger fan of Pro Wrestling and Lucha Libre, make sure to watch some of Psicosis matches and make sure it’s the original as you will see why he is one of my all time favorite Luchadors.

# 1

Rey Mysterio Jr.
Started: 1989     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Ok I had to pick Rey Mysterio Jr. as my # 1 spot cause well he is Rey and a true legend of Lucha Libre as well as brought the Mexican style to a mainstream pro wrestling fan her in America. Rey Mysterio I saw first thanks to WCW and I have seen him live several times not only during his WCW run but also in his WWE one. He is one wrestler that I have always cheered for and even the short time unmasked I was still a fan, but I will say thank goodness for WWE being smart and putting the mask back on him…and shame on WCW for unmasking him. Rey Musterio Jr. started in 1989 working the indies of Mexico and by 1992 was signed to AAA and was becoming one of the biggest rising stars in Lucha Libre, he would even have matches in ECW while with AAA and Americans would get their first look at Rey in action. In 1996 Rey would sign with WCW as part of their growing Cruiserweight division that was bring together some of the worlds best in that weight class. Rey would be one of the biggest breakout stars in that division and would hold many titles from the Cruiserweight Title to the Tag Titles, would be in such groups as the L.W.O., Filthy Animals and the No Limit Soldiers, he would also be unmasked by Kevin Nash and would be one of the company’s biggest mid-card attractions. Rey would stay with WCW until it closed in 2001 and then would work for CMLL as well as the indies until 2002 when WWE came calling and Rey signed with America’s biggest wrestling promotion. Rey Mysterio Jr. from the start was a big deal in WWE as he had a major fan base and he would be in main event matches as well as win titles like WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, Cruiserweight Championship, Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship as well as Tag Team Champion with such partners as Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam. He would also win the Royal Rumble and would have big matches with the likes of Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, JBL and so many more. Rey would leave WWE in 2015 and would take indie bookings as well as would return to AAA for sometime as well as took matches in Lucha Underground, New Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2018 Rey Mysterio Jr. would return to WWE and is still there as of this update and is working alongside his son Dominik and is a true WWE Legend and for sure will be in the Hall Of Fame when he retires. Rey Mysterio Jr. is an amazing Luchador and even after years of injuries as well as age he still can out wrestle almost all the youngsters in WWE today. Get the WWE Network and watch many of Rey’s older matches and see why he is my # 1. Rey Mysterio Jr. has also wrestled under the names El Nino, Colibri, Super Nino and Rey Misterio II.

This list was way harder to compile then I ever would have thought as many times while writing it and even getting it ready to post I changed the order of many of them. And it was tough to choose was going to be my number one as it went to Rey Mysterio but it also was so close going to go to Psicosis and even Blue Demon Jr. was considered for that spot! And to be honest I could have done a Top 100 as there is many other Luchadors that I am a fan of that didn’t make the list with the likes of El Zorro, Electroshock, Charly Manson and Dark Ozz to name a few and they could and should off if I had more slots on this countdown. Well for our next update we will be leaving Lucha Libre behind and will be once more taking a look at the world of Horror Hosting and will be talking about The Moon and Narrator who first hosted TNT Monstervision! So until next time, watch a Lucha Libre match or three, read a comic or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for some MonsterVision!

The Best Active MLB Mascot Countdown!

Baseball is America’s favorite past time and a sport that is embedded into our culture and has driven collectors markets for decades with trading cards and even autographs. Growing up in Waynesville, Ohio almost all my male classmates and even some of the females collected baseball cards, showing that the appeal of this sport in the 80’s and 90’s was strong. In town we had a place called Bill’s Baseball Den that had tons of classic ball cards as well as new packs from the industries top companies like Topps, Donruss and Fleer. I can remember going to a few Cincinnati Reds games back then along with my father, brother and my dad’s close friends and seeing the likes of Barry Larkin and Eric Davis doing their thing, as well as seeing Mr. Red their then-mascot…and at those Red’s games is where I discovered that baseball was fun to watch live…but also that Mascots for sports teams are amazing! And when planning updates for 2021 I knew that I had to cover MLB Mascots and then knowing how many of you readers love when I do a countdown this just seemed like a no brainer to do. To me, mascots are a major part of baseball just like hot dogs, peanuts and beer are part of the experience.

Now let me take a moment to say what rules I gave myself when ranking these mascots as it was both very easy and very hard all at the same time as I think each and every one of these mascots are great in their own ways. So here is what I used for my rankings: I took my time and watched videos of each mascot doing their thing from on field antics all the way to videos on their social media. I looked at how well loved they are by the fans, critics as well as the team they represent. I looked at how well their costumes look as well as their personality. I looked at if they had any limitations in their antics as well as slightly how well they fit the team they mascot for. I ruled out any sidekick mascots and only rated the team’s main mascot. I as well ruled out teams that try to use real animals (looking at you Angels) as well as fans as their mascots, because those are not true mascots, as we all know and love them. I ruled out my love for the team – just cause I love the team doesn’t mean they have a great mascot. And most importantly is, of course, my personal like for the mascot again not the team but the mascot themselves. And again remember this is all for fun and I must stress I feel all of them mean something to their fans just like Horror Hosts so they are all important in their own ways. So with that, let’s find our seats at Rotten Ink Stadium and order a drink and some junk food and let’s talk MLB Mascots as I give you my personal countdown from least favorite to my top pick. Oh and I want to also take a moment to say shame on the following teams for not having a Mascot at their ball park” New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, get it together and bring in a mascot.

# 27

Billy The Marlin
Team: Miami Marlins     Debut: 1993     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Poor old Billy finds himself in the last place spot.  Since he was introduced in 1993 all the way to this day, I have always found him to be the least interesting mascot in the MLB as his antics and style are just bland as is his over all appearance.  Whenever I watch a game, he never is one that makes me wonder what he is up to during halftime. But while Billy The Marlin might not be my favorite mascot, he does have a very big following in his home state of Florida and even has his own fan club for youths. But while Billy is a lovable mascot, he also has a “dark side” aka some silly mishaps that includes firing a t-shirt into the crowd and knocking out an older man when the shirt hit him in the eye or so the old man claims. Also during a 1997 parachute stunt his head was blown off by high winds and was found 2 months later near the highway. But even with those silly mishaps, Billy is well loved for sure, he just is not for me. Oh yes and he has also gotten his own baseball cards from Topps over the years. When USA Today did their countdown, Billy was ranked # 15.

# 26

Southpaw
Team: Chicago White Sox     Debut: 2004     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 3

The White Sox is one of those iconic teams that started in 1900 and their original mascot was Andy The Clown who was later replaced by Ribbie & Roobarb who in turn were ousted by the animated White Sox Wolf…but his time as well was numbered by Southpaw who took over in 2004 and is the team’s mascot still to this day. Southpaw is a green furred monster who looks like a Muppet and cartoon character and is really solid at entertaining the fans during White Sox games and is a master of silly dances and silly pranks on players and fans.  But that’s kind of the thing about Southpaw, he just is kind of average all around and does not have a presence like the other mascots on this list and that’s why he ranks so low in my eyes. Southpaw has been on ball cards from companies like Topps and USA Today ranked him # 23 on their list.

# 25

Lou Seal
Team: San Francisco Giants     Debut: 1996     POP: No     World Series Wins: 8

While Forbes and Hulu will tell you that the iconic Lou Seal is one of the best mascots the MLB has to offer, I sadly disagree as his antics are fantastic but the character’s over all look is very bland and does not capture my attention nor imagination like the others that will be making up this list. But while I might not think the look of this sports mascot is the best thing going, those who go and see a Giants game are highly entertained by Lou who tries to appear at almost very home game and brings smiles to the young and young at heart. A fun little fact is that Lou Seal got his name from a contest that allowed fans to name the character before his debut in 1996 and a total of six fans all wrote in with the name “Lou Seal” and so the name was picked and all those fans got invited to the game when he made his on-field first appearance. Also Lou Seal and the man who wears the costume were one of the subjects followed on the Hulu show called “Behind The Mask”. And for those wondering, yes, this massive seal has graced some baseball cards. USA Today ranked him their # 6 best MLB Mascot.

# 24

Dinger
Team: Colorado Rockies     Debut: 1994     POP: No     World Series Wins: 0

Dinger is the Rockies # 1 fan and has warmed his way into the hearts of the fans that pack the ballpark to watch the game and see his antics, and he has became a icon in the minds of the kids who love watching the purple dinosaur do his thing to cheer on his team. Dinger is a purple triceratops and his name is slang term for home runs, and for those wondering why he is that type of dinosaur its cause many fossils were dug up in Colorado and this caused the ball club to choose a one to be their mascot. Dinger during a game can also be found in the stands interacting with his fans and even at times doing his best to distracting the opposing team in order to try and give his team an edge to win. Dinger is a fun mascot who is very much beloved by Rockies fans and while he is low on my list he is a great mascot for baseball and brings the smiles and joy to fans at the stadium. USA Today ranked him # 8 of their top MLB Mascots.

# 23

Clark
Team: Chicago Cubs     Debut: 2014     POP: No     World Series Wins: 3

The Chicago Cubs is a ball team that always seems like the underdogs that have you rooting for them, and crazy enough they always have great players they just never seem to get the wins they need…and for me their mascot Clark just does not bring the home runs when it comes to look and sideline antics, and over all has a very generic Party City rented suit look to him. But while I find Clark to be dull and boring in look he does bring the joy to fans of the Cubs and many younger fans look forward to seeing him and his silly ways and for that I have to give him respect. Plus Clark is a newbie in the baseball mascot world so he still has time to grow as a character and I am sure will become a major icon over time. I love that he was created when fans wanted more friendly things at Wrigley Field for kids to do and Clark was born to greet them before, during and after the games. Over all while Clark is just kind of silly looking and still green when it comes to being a thought about mascot, he is quickly building a fan base and helps add the fun times of attending a Cubs game. And yep, he has graced some baseball cards. Clark was rated # 22 on USA Today’s countdown.

# 22

T.C. Bear
Team: Minnesota Twins     Debut: 2000     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Another bear mascot with a very generic rental store look, but T.C. Bear has more history to his look as he is based on the old Hamm’s Beer Bear, mascot of Hamm’s Brewery that was on original sponsor for the Twins. And his name T.C. of course stands for Twin Cities and he stepped into the role of mascot when the original was sent to the Mascot Retirement Home in the sky the original was named Twinkie and was a Loon. One thing that sets T.C. apart from Clark is that he has a more classic mascot look to him, and while they both are great at entertaining on the sidelines and in the crowd I give T.C. the slight edge as I find him to turn it up when needed. Going on over 20 years as the teams mascot makes T.C. Bear a major part of the Twins game experience and like all other MLB mascots he has a major hometown following and has graced many baseball cards. And for his USA Today rating they gave him the # 26 spot.

# 21

Raymond
Team: Tampa Bay Rays     Debut: 1998     POP: No     World Series Wins: 0

So Raymond here is a strange looking creature that is said to be a “Seadog” that lives at the ball field and loves to show support for the Rays as well as entertain the fans during the game. Raymond is a very cool, cartoonish looking mascot who has a great act when it comes to entertaining the fans, and like all mascots not to mention helps bring the laughs to the crowd. Raymond over the years has gotten the respect from such sites as GameOps and USA Today who ranked him # 14 on their Mascot countdown. One thing that makes me enjoy Raymond as well is that he looks like a friend creature in some photos while others he kind of looks mean! Raymond is a great mascot and The Rays have done a fantastic job of bringing the laughs with him, and yep also got the baseball card treatment.

# 20

Ace
Team: Toronto Blue Jays     Debut: 2002     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Ace is a mascot for Canada’s only pro baseball team and he took over the role in 2002 from the teams original mascot named BJ Birdy who was forced into the Mascot Retirement Home by the ball club who wanted something new and fresh for fans to see while at home games, and this did not go over well with fans as Birdy was well loved and they did not want a new mascot as they were all very happy with the old one! And when the Blue Jays asked the fans to help name one the new replacement they got flooded with bad names as fans were not happy. But while at first fans where not happy Ace did what he does best and that’s entertain, bring the silly laughs and fill the fans with home team pride and has won their hearts over with time. Some fun facts about Ace is that he has graced baseball cards, his original name for a short time was Slider, his beak was changed from grey to blue, he wears team # 0 and his look was created by Sugar’s Mascot Costumes based in Toronto Canada. For me I see what Ace had to face in order to win his own towns respect and he does a great job of pulling off his antics and that’s why I respect the little feathered guy. USA Today ranked Ace at # 20 in their countdown.

# 19

Rangers Captain
Team: Texas Rangers     Debut: 2002     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

Who don’t love a horse that attends baseball games in Texas and jumps around swinging flags and entertaining you during the slow parts of the game! Rangers Captain is truly one cool and total “American” style mascot who loves baseball and also bringing the laughs to fans in the bleachers. When watching moments on YouTube of Rangers Captain doing his bits its great to see the fans face light up with smiles as they see him, and that goes for young and old as its clear he is well loved by his hometown fans. For some reason many outside of Texas fans have a weird dislike for Rangers Captain as they say that he is silly looking, stuff of nightmares and even generic…but I for one when watching him do his thing have nothing but respect for him as he is great at what he does and that’s bring on the laughs during a Rangers ball game. Some fun facts about Rangers Captain is that the number he wears 72 is the year that the Rangers relocated to the Dallas Metroplex, and he has many change of jerseys that follows the teams change in uniforms. Rangers Captain has graced Topps baseball cards and ranked # 18 of mascots of Major League Baseball.

# 18

Slider
Team: Cleveland Indians     Debut: 1990     POP: No     World Series Wins: 2

When the Cleveland Indians showed their new mascot Slider to the fans in 1990 they seemed a little confused as they replaced Chief Wahoo and Tom E. Hawk with this strange bright colored Muppet looking creature that just seemed out of place. And like many new mascots that took the place of beloved ones it was a little rough for Slider to win the hearts of the fans…but like all good mascots put in this position Slider worked his butt off and used his silly and funny skills to win them over. Slider is known for his dance movies and while he is a part of the Ohio sports family he also seems to have a feud with Cincinnati Reds secondary mascot Gapper who is also a fuzzy Muppet like creature. While Slider here might look very silly he does have the moves to get the attention, and has become a staple for fans who attend Indian games. But while Slider is super goofy he did have a bad mishap in 1995 when he fell off the outfield wall during an American League Championship Series game and tore ligaments in his knee, ouch! Slider is loved here in Ohio now and has graced some baseball cards and was ranked a very low # 25 by USA Today on their countdown. Slider got the honor of being inducted into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2008.

# 17

Blooper
Team: Atlanta Braves     Debut: 2018     POP: No     World Series Wins: 3

What can be said about Blooper, the newest mascot on this list, besides I have not seen so much anger and confusion over a mascot in my life.  This poor guy has gotten so much hate from not only MLB fans but also the media! But what really matters is not what none Atlanta Braves fans think and what does is how the home team fans feel about him and they seem to have opened their arms and love him now! This cartoon character looking mascot has all types of ways to make fans laugh and pop that include driving go-carts around, covering players heads under his shirt, dancing around, using a toilet paper gun, taking fake falls and even given out free snacks to fans by stealing it from the venders! And again I think Blooper came at a time of high critical social media and like others on this list he had to fill the shoes of retired former Brave mascots Chief Noc-A-Homa and Homer The Brave and that is hard work to do for any mascot. Blooper has had a small amount of baseball cards made with his image and ranked a # 27 on USA Todays list making him in last place for them. While Blooper does seem like a cheap imitation of the Phillie Phanatic and seems to recycle many of the other mascots bits, I think Blooper over the years will grow into his own and will find the respect of MLB fans.

# 16

Stomper
Team: Oakland Athletics     Debut: 1997     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 9

The Oakland A’s has always been a ball club that has had a tie to Elephants in their logos and in 1997 they unleashed Stomper into their fans and he quickly became a staple for those at the stadium. Stomper is a great mascot as he does all the classic bits from messing with the other team, dancing around, pulling fun pranks on players and fans and even has taken part in Mascot races and boxing matches. By all accounts Stomper is a top notch mascot that embodies the ball clubs spirit and legacy not to even mention he has all the hometown fans and mascot critics loving him. While I feel that he is an icon in MLB mascot history and has graced baseball cards over the decades…I shockingly do like and respect Stomper and his legacy and abilities, but I do find other mascots in baseball to be better and more fun for me and that’s why Stomper is only at # 16 for me. USA Today however gave him their # 10 spot.

# 15

Mr. Met
Team: New York Mets     Debut: 1963     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Okay I know many of you are ranting right now on how “low” I ranked Mr. Met on my list and I get it as Forbes placed him at # 1, USA Today had him ranked at # 2 and many sports fans say that he is truly the best mascot in baseball history…its just I disagree and that’s why he is only # 15 on my list! So let me first point out why Mr. Met is so iconic to fans and first is that he is a fun looking mascot with a friendly looking baseball for a head, he does a fantastic job of getting the crowd railed up and cheering The Mets on, he is great with the fans and is an attraction in his own right when fans attend a game they look forward to seeing him and lastly he truly is a pop culture icon and is in the Mascot Hall Of Fame (2007 class). Now for my reasons of not being super high on my list is that he is limited in his antics as the giant baseball head makes him unable to pull off normal mascot bits, while his look is fitting for the Mets I do feel that he lacks any real character in appearance as I do feel his actions do have lots of character and to be honest I also I have to say that he just is a clone of Mr. Redlegs (Cincinnati Reds) who was created 10 years before him. One funny Mr. Met moment is when in 2017 a fan recorded the beloved mascot given him the middle finger after a loss for the Mets, that’s right the three fingered icon figured out how to give a rival fan the bird…awesome! Mr. Met of course has graced baseball cards as well as has been on many TV Shows as well as commercials. Keep in mind while Mr. Met is only # 15 for me I still love this mascot and 100% think he is an icon of American culture.

# 14

D. Baxter The Bobcat
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks     Debut: 2000     POP: No     World Series Wins: 1

I feel that D. Baxter The Bobcat is a harshly judged mascot in MLB and for some reason people dislike the characters look and a few even use the word “creepy” when describing him and that word I feel is over used in the internet culture when talking about mascots in not only sports but also fast food. Baxter is great at what he does and his costume allows him to move around way more freely then many of his peers and pull off some great antics and goofy style stunts. His interaction with players and fans is great and he knows what to do to get a laugh, plus he also uses go-carts, costumes, props and other items to enhance his antics. Baxter also does classic dances and in my opinion has a great look for a mascot plus he is fitting for being Arizona’s mascot as bobcats are native to that state plus his name is a play on the teams name and old stadium’s name. Over all I think Baxter is a great mascot who does thinks that many of his fellow baseball mascots cannot do and that’s why he gets my respect. And yep if you are a fan you can get him on many baseball cards and USA Today ranked him a very low # 24 on their countdown.

# 13

Paws
Team: Detroit Tigers     Debut: 1995     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 4

The Detroit Tigers when selecting a mascot new that Paws was the winner, well cause he himself is a tiger! Paws is a very classic looking mascot and while his costume does look a little cheesy and generic, its that simple look that in my opinion works so well as he comes off looking very friendly and also just fits the ball clubs family friendly nature. Paws brings to the table of antics silly dances, costume changes, and even does silly skits to get the laughs. Paws is also very well loved by his home town crowd as he always makes time for them to takes pictures or even give high fives and most important gets them fired up to cheer for The Tigers. Paws to be is a great traditional mascot who is fitting for his team and brings all the entertainment he needs to in order to put smiles on the faces of fans. Paws has of course been on baseball cards for collectors, and USA Today of course rated him really low on their list given him the # 19.

# 12

Mariner Moose
Team: Seattle Mariners     Debut: 1990     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

Who don’t love watching a silly moose dance around and do goofy things for a laugh, well the people of Seattle do as their mascot Mariner Moose does just that. Mariner Moose is a mascot who does what he can to get the crowd to laugh and cheer for the home team and is well loved by the fans as they enjoy his antics and style of funny crowd hyping. The Mariner Moose character was created by a young boy when the Mariners wanted a mascot and held a contest, and he was selected from over 25,000 submissions! Mariner Moose’s trademark was roller skating while being pulled by an ATV in the outfield this lasted until 1999, and with a switch of fields Mariner Moose started himself to drive the ATV around to the delight of the fans. Mariner Moose has built himself up as being one of the most popular and well loved mascots in Baseball and fans even have their own ways for cheering him by using their hands as antlers to their heads and Mooing! But while this Moose has graced many of baseball cards over time he did have a bad accident while being pulled by the ATV the lead to him breaking his ankle! Mariner Moose is a true very cool mascot who makes appearances all around Seattle as well as even in Nike Commercial along side Ken Griffey Jr.! USA Today gave the # 11 spot on their MLB Mascot countdown.

# 11

Wally The Green Monster
Team: Boston Red Sox     Debut: 1997     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 9

Wally The Green Monster is a mascot for one of the world’s most popular teams in baseball and he himself has climb to become one of the worlds most loved characters in the sport. Wally is named after the 37-Foot wall in left field at Fenway Park and he himself is said to live at the ballpark inside that very wall as you see Wally is a big mark when it comes to hits and ones that could have and should have been homeruns, but are not cause of his wall home. Wally The Green Monster is great at entertaining the fans and will do what he needs to do to get the laughs, and most important he his top notch to the fans and makes sure that they get that special moment with an interaction with him. Of course the kids in the stadium really love seeing Wally and over time even the adults have come to love him as he leads them in sing alongs and does silly things to entertain them during the seventh-inning stretch. Wally’s look is also great and will remind you of not only a Muppet but also just a classic style 80’s cartoon character and this helps his appeal to ball fans my age. Wally also wins extra points as he ties into the team as the Left-Wall that is painted green is one of the biggest legends of Fenway Park and Wally being the one who has lived inside it for over 50 years makes his legacy also apart of the teams history. Wally of course has graced ball cards and USA Today ranked him # 3 on their list and to be honest I can see why!

# 10

The Swinging Friar
Team: San Diego Padres     Debut: 1958     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

For some reason The Swinging Friar has always captured by attention and sense I have been a kid I have been a fan of his look and style and love that his look fits in with the name of the team The Padres. And the cool part about him is over the years his look has changed but his style and name has stayed the same. The Swinging Friar has been a very super popular mascot for Padres fans and really has been with the team forever even starting when they were just a minor league team and followed them up to the pros! Swinging Friar is great with fans and everyone loves meeting him and getting a picture with him and his main attraction is when he swings a giant bat that pops the fans and is his trademark bit. He also at times will change his robe to fit a theme night held at the stadium, helping add to his community love. The Swinging Friar has of course graced baseball cards and ranked # 4 on USA Today’s baseball mascot rankings. Not sure why but I really do dig The Swinging Friar and have lots of respect for his legacy in baseball history.

# 9

Bernie Brewer
Team: Milwaukee Brewers     Debut: 1973     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

For many Baseball fans things like hotdogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack and beer go hand and hand with a good time at the ballpark and one mascot really brings the bound of baseball and beer together and that’s Bernie Brewer who’s massive grinning face just screams let’s get drunk, do some silly stuff and have a good time while doing it! Bernie over the years besides being playful with the players and fans was known for sliding into a giant beer glass when a Brewer would hit a home run at a home game, and the fans just ate it up! But over time the giant beer mug slide turned into a slide to a giant home base plate. Bernie does a great job sitting in his own private dugout and getting the crowd to cheer on the Brewers and is one of the ballparks top attractions. Some fun quick facts about Bernie is that he has graced many baseball cards, was forced into retirement in 1984 but by 1993 the fans got their wish and he returned, he was based on a real life fan named Milt Mason who camped out on the scoreboard until at least 40,000 fans would attend a game and was up there for 40 days. Bernie is a fun mascot with a great history of entertaining fans and is an icon that I hope is around forever. USA Today ranked Bernie their # 13 spot.

# 8

Orbit
Team: Houston Astros     Debut: 1990     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 1

Orbit is a master of being a funny, silly and entertaining mascot and knows just how to work the fans to get that laugh! Orbit was the team’s #2 mascot after Chester Charge but to me, he is the most fitting as he his a green alien that plays on the fact Houston was a main hub for NASA back in the day and why not have a baseball loving alien be your teams mascot…am I right? Orbit is super popular and well loved by Astros fans that when the tried to retire him in 2000 with Junction Jack and the fans were not pleased as they did not connect with Jack like they did Orbit, and by 2012 after fans outcries they brought him back home as the mascot where he belongs…now don’t get me wrong, Junction Jack also had his fans he just could not replace the love the fans had for Orbit. The thing that makes Orbit so special is the fact he knows what to do to entertain the fans and that could be silly pranks all the way to his famous silly dances and the fans just eat up his silliness.  Do yourself a favor and look up some of his bits on YouTube to see just how good he is at his job. One thing Orbit is also known for is being thrown out of a game in 1996 after making gestures at the umpire after some bad calls, showing that Orbit is a true fan of the team he represents. Orbit is a cool looking alien with green fur, baseball antennae and has of course been on baseball cards for collectors. USA Today on their countdown gave Orbit the # 17 spot and I feel that is way to low for this guy.

# 7

Fredbird
Team: St. Louis Cardinals     Debut: 1979     POP: No     World Series Wins: 11

Another bird mascot swoops in and takes the # 7 spot and what’s cool about this guy is that he was unleashed the same year I was born! Fredbird is a true icon of mascots and when it comes to antics he brings all the classic bits to the fans the Cardinals as he greets and entertains the kids and young at heart, gives out free t-shirts and merchandise, dances around the stadium and his classic move is called the “beak-ing” where he places his mouth on fans heads and that is the highlights for many fans in the stadium. He also is seen swinging the team’s flag on field during wins, has young women that help him in his antics that are called “Team Fredbird”, he has been a cohost on a kids show on local St. Louis TV, makes hundreds of public appearances at events and most important is one of Baseballs most known and iconic mascots. Fredbird is a true topnotch mascot who brings the fun to the field, and for me his cheesy look just adds to his awesome over nature. Has graced ball cards and USA Today ranked him # 16 on their list.

# 6

Sluggerrr
Team: Kansas City Royals     Debut: 1996     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Sluggerrr is a very cool looking mascot as he is a muscle bound lion who has a crown for the top of his head and for some reason has always caught by attention as I think he really is one of the coolest looking mascots in Baseball. Sluggerr is an attraction at the Royals games as he does what he can to entertain the crowd by swing around the teams flag, getting the crowds to cheer and even firing free hot dogs into the crowd via a cannon, and speaking of the Hot Dog Cannon at one point Sluggerrr was taken to court over hitting a fan in the eye with a hotdog…or so the guy claimed. Sluggerrr is a mascot who is slightly limited by his costume, but does a great job to work around its limitations and really does a great job of bounding with the fans. And I am sure you longtime baseball fans also get that his name is a reference to a powerful batter and to me that name fits for this characters look, and then his crown being Royal and the Lion is said to be the King Of The Jungle so Sluggerrr to be fits like a glove as the face of this ball club. Sluggerrr has made appearances on cards and USA Today placed him at # 12 on their countdown list. Not going to lie I am a fan of Sluggerrr and think he really is one of the best mascots in baseball based on his look and connection to the teams name. Oh and Sluggerrr was put into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2019 showing that he is truly a great sports mascot.

# 5

Mr. Redlegs
Team: Cincinnati Reds     Debut: 1953     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 5

The Cincinnati Reds is not only my local team but are also my favorite team in baseball and over the years I have caught many live games, watched many on TV, listened to several on the radio and heck even one of my friends works for the team! And their mascot Mr. Redlegs is a true legend in our area and is well loved and truly is an attraction when heading to the stadium. Mr. Redlegs has a baseball for a head, has a thick mustache, dresses in the reds old style uniform and was the team’s original mascot and was so popular that he was reintroduced in 2007 after decades of being retired. Mr. Redlegs is great with fans with kids loving him and always wanting high fives and pictures with him, and to entertain and get the laughs he will have races, wave flags, fire water guns, dance and even drive around on a ATV. But while he really is a true icon in Ohio, I have to point out the flaws of Mr. Redlegs and the major flaw is the same thing that effects the likes of Mr. Met and that’s his costume is to top heavy and limits what he can do when it comes to antics! One other thing is that sometimes Mr. Redlegs gets lost in the shuffle at events, as he is joined on the field and stands by Mr. Red, Rosie Red and Gapper all who are as well Reds mascots. But even with his limitations I am a fan of Mr. Redlegs and he is one mascot that I have seen live many times and he has always delivered the fun entertainment. Mr. Redlegs has of course been on baseball cards for fans to collect and USA Today placed him at their # 7 spot for best baseball mascot. See this is proof that so much has went into this rankings as if I was going on just my love for the team the mascot is tied to would have put Mr. Redlegs at my # 1 spot. Ok I have to also tell a funny Mr. Redlegs accident story as in 2008 while driving around on a ATV he fell off the vehicle and the baseball head fell off exposing the actors real head, and a few days later Mr. Redlegs was seen wearing a neck brace to embrace the embarrassing moment and turn it into a funny joke…classic silly comedy stuff.

# 4

Screech
Team: Washington Nationals     Debut: 2005     POP: No     World Series Wins: 1

Call me crazy but for some reason I really like Screech who is the mascot for The Nationals and is so fitting as he is a bold eagle that is our nations bird and the team is out of Washington! Screech by all accounts is very generic looking in appearance and once more suffers from the rented suit from Party City look, but for some reason it just works for him and adds to his awesomeness for me. Screech is great with kids at home games and as well interacts with the fans making him a fan favorite of his hometown crowd. Screech is great with his antics to make the crowd pop and will dance around, does gags, pulls pranks including the classic pie to the face of a “fan”, waves the teams flag and is really great at what he does. And the thing is that fans seem to pop for his antics showing that he really is apart of the Nationals game experience. It’s crazy that such a cheesy mascot has become one of my favorites but he really has captured my attention and is one I hope sticks around for centuries to come. Many ball cards have features Screech and USA Today placed him very low at their # 21 spot, showing that for some reason people show him no respect as while writing this update and doing research I noticed many people seem to be hard on him, but to them I say he his my # 4 favorite!

# 3

Pirate Parrot
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates     Debut: 1979     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 5

The Pirate Parrot is another MLB mascot that made his debut the same year I was born and this funny guy has been a fan favorite for decades now and is truly one of the best of the best when it comes to getting laughs from his antics. The Pirate Parrot is green in color and when he first was hatched, he was more mean in nature and wore sea pirate gear and hats and was leaner, but later he gained weight and traded the real pirate gear for team gear and became more of a goofball looking to get that laugh from fans. The Pirate Parrot is super popular among fans and is embraced by them as he has become one of the best in the business at messing with the other teams players as well as annoying game officials. The Pirate Parrot does all types of antics during a game from shooting free hotdogs into the crowd via a cannon, pulling classic and silly pranks, leading the crowd in cheers and songs, dancing around the dugout and field and just being a total goofball! No joke when watching the Pirate Parrot do his thing I crack a smile and he makes me laugh, and that’s why I think he really is one of the all time greats as his antics really are funny and its crazy that he is not in the Official Mascot Hall Of Fame yet! But while the Pirate Parrot is an icon in my eyes he has had his bad press as back in 1985 the man in the suit was using drugs while playing the character and even was a middle man for hooking up players with cocaine…he was fired and a new guy was hired to be the character. The Pirate Parrot of course has been on trading cards and USA Today put him at their # 9 spot on their countdown. No joke get this guy in the Mascot Hall Of Fame already!

# 2

Phillie Phanatic
Team: Philadelphia Phillies    Debut: 1978     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

When people talk about the best arena/stadium mascots of all time, the top of almost everyone’s list is the Phillie Phanatic as he really is iconic and considered one of the best in all of sports. What sets the Phillie Phanatic apart form the rest of the mascots on this list is he was truly the first fuzzy creature to grace a ball field and brings pure joy and entertainment to everyone at the stadium from the cotton candy seller all the way to the first baseman. The Phillie Phanatic is a master of the art of entertaining the crowd and is no joke a true icon of Sport Mascot history and is one of the most loved in any sports! The people of Philadelphia love the Phanatic so much as he really is a major icon of the state and is well loved by young and old as his antics at the ballpark bring so much joy. But because he is so good at his job this has also lead to some drama for the Phillie Phanatic, who is the most sued mascot in sports history as some fans claim injuries from his antics as he also has also really angered players and managers of the teams the Phillies are playing as they find some of what he does to be disrespectful to them. But to be honest those who try and bring the drama are just sticks in the mud and will never bring The Phillie Phanatic down. The Phillie Phanatic was one of the first Sports Mascots to be inducted into The Mascot Hall Of Fame way back in 2005. And in USA Today’s ranking he took their # 1 spot and I can truly understand why as The Phillie Phanatic is awesome!

# 1

The Oriole Bird
Team: Baltimore Orioles     Debut: 1966/1979     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 3

Hands down for me the best MLB Mascot is The Oriole Bird, and he has been my favorite since I was a kid as his look as always put a smile on my face and I loved that he has the colors of Halloween with black and orange. The Oriole Bird is a mascot who has as well mastered the craft of entertaining the fans and messing with the opposing team. The Oriole Bird brings lots of A-Game material to his antics as he not only dances around all over the ball field, he interacts with players and fans and does a great job with the youngsters, does funny skits that he as well can be the butt of the jokes, of course he does the “beak-ing” spot, hiding baseballs in his mouth, but he is also known for shaking his tail feathers at the crowd and players that always seems to get a pop from the fans. While the walk around mascot did not show up until 1979 (hey that’s the year I was born!) his smug smiling face has been on the teams cap sense 1966 making him a truly iconic and long lasting mascot of the sport. Another thing about The Oriole Bird is he looks like he is always having a blast wherever he is, be it at the stadium or at a public appearance, and it’s crazy as he also seems to always be able to show emotion with the face, and that’s hard to do for sure. Another thing I am going to point out is that The Oriole Bird also does it right when it comes to social media as he posts on his sites and keeps people laughing and builds that bound with his fans. USA Today ranked him at the # 5 spot on their countdown list and The Oriole Bird made it into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2020, and his induction was long overdue. And for me The Oriole Bird really is the best MLB Mascot and that’s why he has taken my # 1 spot on this countdown list!

This list was a blast to put together and was a great excuse to watch old YouTube videos of these mascots in action as well as gave me even more reasons to watch more Baseball games…as its crazy in my old age I am starting to become a full fledge baseball fan. And if you are wondering my top 4 favorite teams are the following in order Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays. Plus I have to be honest the Reds and Orioles are on the same level as I love the Reds cause they are my home team and I have history with them by attending games and collecting the team sets and the Orioles are a team I just enjoy watching. I also have to give a shout out to The Dayton Dragons, a Class A team that I use to live by their stadium and have caught games of from time to time. And because I had a great time writing this Mascot Countdown I may just do more on future updates as I could cover Retired MLB Mascots, NFL Mascots, NHL Mascots, College Football Mascots and even Fast Food Mascots…but we will see if you readers enjoy this one. For my next update we will be continuing our look at iconic Horror Hosts and for the next one we will be talking about Gorgon The Gruesome of Nightmare that aired in Texas. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a sports game or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a Gruesome Nightmare!

Matt Goes To The Movies 2019

Welcome to the first update of 2020, and of course that means it’s time for my Best Of 2019 at the Cinema! Last year really was a great year filled with some top notch Action films, stunning Superhero epics, out of this world Science Fiction flicks and of course spine tingling Horror pictures! Plus this year going to see movies with family and friends helped make what was a stressful year way more relaxing. So grab your ticket, buy some popcorn and soda and find your seat…it’s time to talk about some movies! I also would like to say thanks to Cinemark Dayton South, Cinemark At The Greene, Neon Movies, Danbarry Huber Heights, Englewood Cinema and Cranberry Cinema for being the places that showed the movies that entertained me throughout the year of 2019.

Let’s start with the Action films I saw in the theater. While I did not see too many of them, the ones I did see were very entertaining popcorn films that brought excitement to viewers. It’s crazy to think that Action Movies in the 80’s and 90’s were some of the world’s must-watch movies, and over the years with a few exceptions Action is not the massive box office draw it used to be. It makes me wonder if it’s because the Action Heroes of the past have gotten older and the younger generation of actors have not stepped up to take their places. Well with that, grab some popcorn and let’s talk Actions films!

# 4

The world is in major trouble when a bio weapon goes missing and MI6 agent Hattie Shaw is blamed, when in reality she is now the carrier for the weapon and has been set up by cyber enhanced terrorist Brixton Lore who wants to use the weapon for the downfall of mankind. What is the world to do? Well they call in DSS agent Luke Hobbs and former mercenary Deckard Shaw to work together to save the day as Hattie is Deckard’s sister and they both get to witness first hand just how skilled and brutal Brixton is. This is a great action comedy that delivers a great time as you eat your popcorn and watch the story unfold on the big screen. The film has a great cast. Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba and WWE superstar Roman Reigns all deliver sold performances in such an overt the top film. The film did good for Universal at the Box Office here in America bringing in $173,810,100.00 on a budget of $200 million, with world wide gross being even higher. Worth watching if you enjoy fun over the top action films.

# 3

When the California John Bosley retires a new Bosley takes his place, and when another Bosley along with two Angels, Sabina Wilson and Jane Kano, are set up when talking to tech worker Elena Houghlin that leads to the Angels being defeated by an assassin and their Bosley dead. This hit was placed as Elena knows that new energy tech can be used as a weapon that will devastate the world, and it’s clear the company she works for has a rat that wants to sell the tech on the black market! With the new Bosley, the new Angels group of Sabina, Jane and Elena must find the rat, get the tech and most importantly stay alive and watch out for each other….and worse, it also seems as if someone in the Angels agency has also turned rogue! So who are the rats and can the Angels save to world from a massive and deadly tech attack, watch this 2019 sequel and find out. This was a fun watch, and, much like Hobbs and Shaw, was filled with over the top action and humor. The three new Angels are fantastic and lovely and played by Ella Balinska, Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott, with the latter being an amazing actress and super beautiful. The movie sadly tanked for Sony bringing in a very low $17,765,238.00 on a budget of $48 million. While the internet critics trashed the film, do yourself a favor and make up your own mind. Go in checking your brain at the door and just enjoy this woman empowerment action flick.

# 2

John Wick is on the run, and the High Table has a price on his head for conducting business in a safe zone. Now he must fight for his life and find a way for a second chance at life as well as call in old friends to help him find the high order and try to make the wrongs right. This third film in the John Wick series is fantastic and is nonstop action and proves that action movies still do have a place in America cinema. Keanu Reeves gives a great performance as the assassin turned target John Wick, and the fight scenes are so amazing that they will remind you of classic Jackie Chan style action. Not to mention the end of the film leaves the plot thickening even more and really makes me look forward to the fourth film that is in the works. The film did fantastic for Lionsgate and brought in $171,015,687.00 on a budget of $75 million. This film is a great watch and worth owning on home media.

# 1

John J. Rambo is trying his best to live a normal life on his family ranch, and when his adoptive daughter Gabrielle travels to Mexico to find her real father and she gets kidnapped and sold into human trafficking. This sets Rambo on a rampage to get her back as well as get revenge on those who are responsible! This 5th film in the Rambo series is great stuff and shows that Sylvester Stallone is still one of the world’s best action movie stars, and that the character Rambo still has many stories to tell. Plus a movie that shows a pissed off Rambo massacring human traffickers is oddly relaxing in this day and age. Stallone is, as always, great as Rambo, and actress Yvette Monreal is great as Gabrielle. While this film was trashed by many “film critics” and even some viewers, I for one found it to be my favorite action film of 2019 and John Wick 3 is the only other action film that came close. The film did pretty well for Lionsgate at the US Box Office bringing in $44,819,352.00 on a budget of $50 million. This one is worth watching and owning if you are a fan of the Rambo films.

While Horror is my favorite genre of films to watch in theaters, I do also enjoy a great Sci-Fi and Fantasy film on the big screen. I mean who doesn’t love a good alien invasion or an epic quest gracing the silver screen as you get wrapped up in the story. So 2019 had some great films in this genre and this was also tough one to list as I enjoyed so many of them almost equally! So take a drink of your soda, and let’s get to this.

# 10

The world has been taken over by aliens who are stealing all of Earth’s natural resources and a group of underground fighters want to fight back and stop this invasion and prove that mankind will not just roll over. But these freedom fighters also have to face the cops who are also on the payroll of the aliens. Like all good science fiction, not all is what it seems as the story takes many twists and turns leaving viewers guessing on what is what and who is what. This film was a good popcorn flick and stars such fantastic actors as Vera Farmiga and John Goodman. The film tanked at the US Box Office for Focus Features bringing in a low $5,958,315.00 on a budget of $25 million! While this is not a groundbreaking alien invasion film it’s still an entertaining one that should have done better. Check it out on DVD or streaming on a boring night.

# 9

Explorer of the unknown Sir Lionel Frost wants to join the prestige group “Society Of Great Men” and makes a deal with the snooty Lord Piggot-Dunceby that’ll join if he can bring in a living Sasquatch. But once Sir Lionel Frost finds one, he befriends the beast and the pair go on an adventure to find the Sasquatch’s relatives called Yetis, but while they are doing so Lord Piggot-Dunceby and some hired guns are on a mission to kill the Sasquatch so Frost will never be able to join the group, and Piggot-Dunceby will go down in history as the world’s best adventurer. This is a truly fun kids’ film that has a charm much like “Wallace and Gromit” films, and has an amazing voice acting cast with names like Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Saldanna and Emma Thompson to name a few. The film did very poorly for United Artists at the American Box Office bringing in only $16,649,539.00 on a budget of $100 million. While this film might have tanked, I for one very much enjoyed it and would have loved to have seen a sequel that I am sure will never be in the works.

# 8

Agent H in 2016 along with High T saved the world from a massive infestation of aliens called The Hive and after the battle High T climb to the top of MIB while Agent H seemed to have slightly lost it. But when Molly Wright was a young girl she witnessed the MIB at work and even helped protect an alien on the run, and now she is a member of the group and being called Agent M who is the new partner to Agent H! The pair are sent on a standard easy mission to guard an Alien royal that ends with an assassination and our agents are blamed and have to go on the run as there is a alien mole deep in the MIB and they must clear their names and expose the true alien invaders. Oddly enough this film did not do well for Sony as it only brought in a very low $80,001,807.00 on a budget of $110 million. While the film did not set the movie going world ablaze, it was a very fun popcorn film that was filled with some funny and adventurous moments. Worth watching if you like the other films in the series and Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth and Liam Neeson all do fantastic jobs as MIB agents in the film.

# 7

Gomez Addams and his new bride Morticia must flee their old home and find a new place in an abandoned mental asylum to start their family! So with former inmate now turned butler Lurch and their hand only friend called Thing, they make this asylum a home that ends up being filled with their kids Wednesday and Pugsley. But when a reality home improvement star buys and transforms the town below the Addams home things turn bad when the reality stars turns the town against them. Now The Addams Family must prove they are not monsters and that they are just a normal…well weird family. This was a fun little family film that features everyone’s favorite weird family and did really well for United Artist at the US box office brining in $95,720,779.00 on a budget of $40 million. This film was a great way to introduce a new generation to The Addams Family, and I am very much looking forward to the sequel that is in the works. Worth owning on DVD or Blu-Ray for fans of these characters.

# 6

A down on its luck circus welcomes a newly born baby elephant to the family, but to the horror of owner of ringmaster Max Medici, the baby is born with massive ears and is named Dumbo! With his circus losing money he is forced to sell Dumbo’s mom and this sets the baby elephant along with his caretaker’s children on a path to bring redemption to the failing circus. But when a rich con man amusement circus park owner gets involved, Dumbo’s safety and happiness are in danger and his friends will not let this happen. This take on Dumbo is done by director Tim Burton and has elements of the classic animated movie plus new additions to make it feel like a new tale. The effects are great, and Dumbo is adorable and the movie’s villain played by Michael Keaton is super greedy and sinister. This movie did pretty good for Disney at the US Box Office bringing in $114,766,307.00 on a budget of $170 million and brought in over $2 million internationally! Worth watching if you enjoy the animated movie and want to see those characters done with a Burton twist.

# 5

The Beast is still one the loose and kidnapping and killing young women when he is finally found by The Overseer, who is a man with superhero powers that is a vigilante who wants to stop his killing ways. This fight leads to both men being caught and brought to a mental hospital were they, alongside evil mastermind with brittle bones Mr. Glass, are being treated for their superhero complex disorder. But when Mr. Glass and The Beast team up and escape the asylum with a plan to show the world that super humans exist, things come to ahead and cards are played that expose those who want to put a lid on super beings and do whatever it takes to keep the secret away from the world. The is the third film in director M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable universe series as well as it appears to be the last, and this film mixes elements of many different film genres like superhero, science fiction, drama, thriller and even a dash of horror. The film did great for Universal at the US Boxoffice bringing in $111,035,005.00 on a budget of $20 million. A pretty solid ending the Unbreakable movie series.

# 4

Aladdin and his pet monkey Abu are thieves in the streets of Egypt and meet a beautiful woman while stealing that Aladdin falls for, the issue being she is the Princess! And when Aladdin finds a magic lamp, the Genie inside helps him via wishes try his best to get the attention of the woman of his dreams, but he has a thorn in his side as the Jafar the Grand Vizier of the Sultan is also an evil sorcerer who craves power and wants to control the genie in the lamp who wants his own life as well and wants to be free. This live action film based on the hit animated film is really well done and cast with Will Smith doing great as the Genie and Naomi Scott is not only stunning as Jasmine but also does an amazing job making the character seem very important. And Mena Massoud was the prefect actor to bring Aladdin to the big screen. The film did great at the America Boxoffice for Disney bringing in $355,559,216.00 on a budget of $183 million. Worth watching and owning and a must for fans of the animated film.

# 3

When baby Simba is born, he becomes the next in line to take over the massive animal kingdom in Africa. But when is father is killed by his uncle Scar, the baby lion is forced to run away from the kingdom and thinks his fathers death is his fault. While on his own he strikes up a friendship with Timon a meerkat and warthog named Pumbaa, and the three spends years together, while the kingdom falls under the rule of Scar who teams with the hyenas and keeps all the lionesses as almost slaves. But in the end Simba returns to the kingdom with his new friends, and they bring down Scar and his hyena’s and reclaim what was always his. This live action version of the classic Disney animated film is well done and even brings James Earl Jones back as the voice of Mufasa! Also in the voice cast is Beyonce Knowles Carter, Seth Rogen and Donald Glover to name a few. The film was a hit for Disney at the U.S. Boxoffice bringing in $543,638,043.00 on a budget of $260 million. Over all this was a great film and one that should be watched and owned if you enjoy the animated film version.

# 2

The First Order is being run by Kylo Ren who has set his sights on not only destroying the rebels but also tracking down the evil and still alive Emperor Palpatine who when found wants Kylo to be his new appetence and will allow him to combine the Empires forces that have been in hidden with the First Order making them unstoppable! As Kylo still battles his inner demons, Rey is training to be a Jedi and her friends are doing their best to try and figure out how to stay ahead of the First Order and also bring them down. When Princess Leia, Rey and the rest of the rebels figure out that the Emperor is still alive and is threatening to destroy planets again as all the new Star Destroyers have weapons that can do just that! And now Rey and Kylo are on a path to change the universe and all out war is in the cards in this final film in the Skywalker series. I don’t want to say too much about the film’s plot as I do not want to give away any major spoilers as this film is still very fresh in theaters. This was a very fun mega budget Sci-Fi film to sit in the theater and watch while eating some popcorn with a large crowd of people, and while the film is flawed and had some head scratching moments, it also delivered some top-notch action. I also have to say the cameos of classic characters also made me pop in the theater. Like always, the films did fantastic for Disney at the American Box Office despite “fan boys” bad word of mouth bringing in $407,782,706.00 on a budget of around $300 million. Make up your own mind and stop depending on the opinions of Rotten Tomatoes or random net critics on social media and watch the film for yourself and make up your own mind, while not a perfect Star Wars film it still was entertaining.

# 1

Dani Ramos is a young woman who works in Mexico City at an auto plant along with her brother, but what starts as a normal day turns bad when a new breed of Terminator called a Rev-9 is sent to kill her from the future, but she as well has a guardian that is a enhanced solider from the future named Grace. Later they are joined by Sarah Connor who has dedicated her life in hunting down and killing Terminators as they appear, and she knows the locations thanks to an anonymous person he texts her the locations. With the Rev-9 hot on their trail and no clear way of defeating it, they track the person who’s been helping Sarah only to find out it is a T-800 who after filling his mission of stopping John Conner found away to blend in with normal humans. Now the new motley crew of survivors set up a showdown to stop the Rev-9 and stop a new version of Judgment Day. This 6th movie in the Terminator series acts as a direct sequel to T2 and does a pretty great job of bringing a new layer to the storyline, as while Sarah and John stopped Skynet another tech terror rose in its place and has its own version of judgment day in the works. It was great seeing Linda Hamilton return to the series as well as having Arnold Schwarzenegger return as the T-800. Actress Natalia Reyes is great as the new “John Carter” for the futures resistant’s hero and Mackenzie Davis is okay as Grace the enhanced solider of the future, though at times I feel like she over does the tough woman approach. The film sadly did very poorly for Paramount at the American Boxoffice only bringing in $62,253,077.00 on a massive budget of $185 million ending what was suppose to be a new trilogy of films with these characters. While it was not a mega hit at the cinema, I still found this film to be a fun one that I will own on DVD when released and do feel it’s a shame that moviegoers just didn’t come out to see this film.

So as you have just read, 2019 had some really good Sci-Fi, Fantasy and even Kid films! But we are going to now take a look at the film genre that has been dominating the Box Office for many years now and of course I am talking about Super Hero films!

# 7

Hellboy as well as his friends of B.R.P.D. are on the hunt for monsters all over the world and when an evil sorceress is set free, the whole world is in trouble as she is uniting the monsters of the world for a takeover! Hellboy, who is a demon, is the key for her to totally take over, and this hero must fight his instincts and listen to his human side. This film was a great monster fight film but was a mess otherwise. Really don’t have much too say about this one besides the effects were good and I had fun watching in the theater. The film bombed at the US Box Office for Lionsgate as it brought in only $21,903,748.00 on a budget of $50 million. This film is for diehard fans of Hellboy, and while it was not the best Superhero movie I saw this year, I would have liked to see what would have happened in a sequel if it was made.

# 6

Kree Empire warrior Vers and her people are at war with the Skrulls, and during one of her fights she escapes capture and crash lands on Earth where she soon finds that the Skrulls have taken residence and she wants to settle the score with her enemies! While on Earth she meets Nick Fury an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who helps her not only track down the Skrulls but also figures out what really is going on that leaves Vers aka Captain Marvel wondering what her real mission is as well as learn about her past that she does not remember. This is a pretty fun Marvel Superhero adventure that brings the powerful female hero Captain Marvel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while some “fans” try and say this film is too preachy about Girl Power, I found it to be entertaining and a cool flashback to the 90’s culture. I mean you cannot go wrong seeing a Blockbuster Video again. My only real complaint about the film is that I felt at times actress Brie Larson is wooden in her emotions. At the U.S Boxoffice the film did great brining in a massive $426,829,839.00 on a budget of $175 million. Love it or hate it, this film is a part of the Marvel movie juggernaut and Captain Marvel is here to stay for years and movies to come.

# 5

With half the universe’s population gone thanks to Thanos, the rest of the world’s heroes track him down and kill him after he informs them that he has destroyed the Infinity Gauntlet. Once the threat is gone, the heroes don’t know what to do as they and the whole rest of life across the galaxy seem lost and with no direction. But the heroes find out that there is a chance that they could travel back in time and get the gem stones and bring back all those they have lost. So after having to push to get Iron Man and Thor on board, heroes like Captain America, Rocket Raccoon, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, War Machine, Nebula and the returning from the micro world Ant Man break off in teams and get the stones from the past! But this also alerts the past version of Thanos who uses his army to once more get his hands on the stones, and when the dusted heroes of the past like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch return, it’s all out war to end this madness once and for all that leaves some heroes dead and others changing their future. While this film is very epic, I myself found it to be both good and very disappointing as some of the goofy humor and “Big Lebowski” Thor just didn’t work for me. Coming off the downbeat, truly epic feel of the last Avengers movie, the humor of this one really does take away all the gloom the last one built up. Plus making The Hulk into Professor Hulk was not something I wanted to see in the movie universe as by making Hulk super smart it takes away the character’s….well, character. On the other side it was very cool to see Chris Evans’ end as Captain America as I felt they did it right and it was great to give characters like Nebula and Hawkeye big story plots. The film did amazing for Disney at the American Boxoffice bringing in a massive $858,373,000 on the budget of $356 million. This one is worth watching and owning if you are a fan of the Marvel films.

# 4

The X-Men are sent to space in order to save some astronauts whose ship was damaged by a solar flare, but while saving them, another massive flare erupts and Jean Grey absorbs it all to save the lives of her teammates. Once home she starts to feel odd and has fits of rage that unleashes raw power. She soon finds out that Professor X has messed with her mind making her forget what she did that caused her mother’s death and lead her to be at the school. With her mind filled with raw power and rage, Jean tracks down her father and the meeting leaves her raging that ends with her friend and X-Men member Mystique dead. Jean becomes a loose cannon and even tries to find shelter with Magneto, but finally meets up with Vuk, an alien shape- shifter who wants to drain all her cosmic powers. Can Professor X, Magneto and the X-Men save their friend and get Jean the help she needs or will the aliens take her powers and destroy the universe. This final film in the Fox X-Men series in my opinion was really good and while flawed in some part still was a very entertaining film that I enjoyed. Sophie Turner who plays Jean Grey/Phoenix is fantastic, and she has quickly became one of my favorite actresses going in Hollywood, and she does a fantastic job of going from scared to cold blooded. The action is well done, and the story of Jean getting the power of the Phoenix and learning about her past is fantastic, oh and I should also note that Dazzler makes an appearance. Sadly this film did not do well for Fox at the Boxoffice here in America bringing in only $65,845,974.00 on a budget of $200 million. While it might not have had the hype of the Disney Marvel films, I for one found this film to be very entertaining and worth owning on home media.

# 3

Billy Batson is a kid who has bounced in and out of foster homes, as he just wants to be reunited with his mother who got separated from him while at a carnival. He is placed once again in a foster home that has caring parents and many siblings, one who is a fan of superheroes and is handicapped, and when at his new school he takes up for his new foster brother against bullies and ends up losing them at the train station. And while on the train, he is taken to another world and meets the Wizard Shazam, who has chosen him to carry on the powers of the gods! Now when he says the word Shazam, Billy turns into a muscle bound superhero who still has the mind of a young teen! But an evil power hungry man that was deemed unworthy to be the new Shazam as a kid is armed with demons attacks and wants Billy dead…and so starts Shazam to rise and find his own inner strength to not only save his own life but those of his new foster siblings, and together they fight and save the day. This was a great Superhero Comedy film and was very well done, and while I do understand that they changed Shazam (Captain Marvel) from the comics, it still was fitting and was a great way to introduce kids of 2019 to the character. The film did okay for New Line Cinema at the U.S. Box Office bringing in $140,371,656.00 on a budget of $100 million, and over seas it did even better! I really enjoyed this one. The trailer made me very worried that this film would be really cheesy, but after seeing it I even own it on DVD now!

# 2

Arthur Fleck is a man with mental illness who lives with his equally unstable mother and his work is an advertising clown for hire. When he loses his job he is pushed too far when some rich dudes mess with him on the train ends their life, and so begins his downward spiral into madness, revenge, love and murder. And when Arthur who wants to become a stand up comic is made fun of by a late night host live on the air and called a joker and he finds out that his mom has lied to him his whole life, he starts to think that Thomas Wayne (yep Bruce Wayne’s dad) is his father as well and it finally comes crashing down and Arthur Fleck is no more and where this once broken man stands is The Joker. This dark themed film deals with mental illness, depression, deception, fame, poverty and sadness, making you as the viewer feel all types of different emotions. Joaquin Phoenix is fantastic as The Joker and makes the character his very own, plus Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro and Frances Conroy are all great in their roles. The film did top fantastic for Warner Brothers at the American Box Office bringing in $333,453,468.00 on a budget of only $55 million. This is not your typical Superhero film and is very dark in nature and worth owning in your collection on any home media format.

# 1

Peter Parker is upset after the passing of his friend and mentor Tony Stark and decides that he is going to go on a school trip overseas with his classmates instead of being the masked hero Spider-Man and have a somewhat normal life. But while on his school trip one time S.H.I.E.L.D leader Nick Fury calls on him to help an interdimensional hero named Mysterio who has been fighting giant monsters that have been appearing around the world. And worse for Peter is that Tony Stark has left him in his will a very powerful pair of sunglasses that if hacked can be used as a powerful weapon, and when he feels that he is not worthy of them, he gives them to Mysterio who he thinks is a real hero. But when Mysterio is found out to be a con man, Spider-Man must risk his life to save his classmates and the world from his evil plan. This hands down the best Superhero film of 2019 as I found it to be true to the Spidey character and hands down Tom Holland makes the best Spider-Man and Peter Parker. I was also happy to finally see Mysterio make his big screen debut, and he is done right by Jake Gyllenhaal who took elements from the comic as well as added his own touches to make him work. The film did fantastic for Sony at the American Box Office bringing in $390,532,085.00 on a budget of $160 million. If you like Spider-Man, make sure to watch this film. It’s worth owning on DVD or Blu-Ray and having a place in your home media collection.

2019 was, as always, the year of the Superhero films as four out the top 10 grossing films in America were made up of them! But for me the main attraction for any year in cinema is the Horror Movies, and 2019 had its fair share of them that covered everything from psycho slashers to ghosts to even killer animals. This year was filled with some really good ones and choosing my top spot was really hard, so sit back relax in Rotten Ink Theater and let’s talk Horror.


# 26

Strange things are going on around the world after the Earth is rocked by too much fracking in the arctic, and this causes the dead to rise from their graves and look for human meals as well as do the things they did when alive. Now in the town of Centerville, the police force made up of Chief Robertson, Officer Peterson and Officer Morrison must find a way to protect themselves as well as warn the townspeople about the undead uprising. Throw in some zany locals like the horror film loving gas station owner Bobby and the samurai sword swinging funeral home owner Zelda, and you have a cheesy zombie comedy. The film was directed by Jim Jarmusch and has an all star cast featuring such names as Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits and Danny Glover to name a few. For me this film fell flat on both comedy and horror, and while the actors all did great jobs in their roles, the film’s script was filled with plot holes, characters that go nowhere and “hip” dry humor. This film was a major letdown and came off too aware and preachy about the director’s own message of consumerism. The film had a limited release and brought in $6,563,605.00 for Focus Features and was one I ended up giving a second chance once on DVD and I still found it a disappointing bore. I should also note this almost made it to my Worst Films list!

# 25

Danni Ardor is a young woman who has suffered a major loss and travels to Sweden with her boyfriend and his friends to attend a secret festival, but once they get there, they find that the this peaceful place filled with oddly friendly people is really a strange cult that has some very deadly rituals. Can Danni and her friends escape…or do they even want to…check out this Drama Horror Film by Ari Aster and find out. Now this is another one of those films that I was looking forward to seeing in the theater that ended up letting me down as I found it to be overly long, poorly written and at times laughable on how cartoony it got with over acting moments and dumb decisions. Actress Florence Pugh does great for most of the film as Danni even though they make her break down in over the top ways. The film did ok for A24 at the US Box Office as on a budget of $10 million it brought in $27,426,361.00. While a disappointment on my first viewing, this will be one I will watch again someday on DVD.

# 24

Aaron returns to his small town home when is father passes away and must rebuild is relationship with his mother. And while home, he also reconnects with his old friends as well as his ex-girlfriend who is now dating the town cop. But things get weird when Aaron finds an urn and makes wishes that come true, but each one have very sinister outcomes. He soon learns that his wishes have unleashed a demon who is after his soul and wants to leave a path of deaths behind him. This is a great creepy little horror movie that is all about a Djinn demon that grants wishes and ruins lives doing so. While the movie does have some plot flaws that make for some cheesy moments, it was a film that got some good scares out of the audience I saw it with who all seemed to like it as they left the theater. The film brought in $22,912.00 at the US Box Office playing for only one day for Fathom Events. This is one I bought on DVD when released.

# 23

Frances McCullen is a young woman from a small town who is now living in New York with her friend Erica. While on the subway, she finds a purse and returns it to its owner an older woman named Greta that she befriends when she learns that the woman’s daughter now lives in France. But the friendship soon turns creepy when Frances finds out that Greta is really an unstable stalker who has set her sights on her and will not leave her alone. What is Frances to do when Greta steps over the line and will stop at nothing to become not only her friend but also her “mother”. This is a great Horror Thriller and has some really great creepy moments as Isabelle Huppert who plays Greta is devilishly sinister as Greta and Chloe Grace Moretz is fantastic as Frances and proves she needs to be in more Horror Movies as she plays a likable character very well. The film did okay for Focus Features at the US Boxoffice doing $10,519,425.00. This is one that is a fun watch and one I own on DVD once released.

# 22

The Firefly family that consists of Captain Spaulding, Otis Driftwood and Baby survived being shot over 20 times and find themselves in prison on death row and becoming almost folk heroes to the masses. And after the execution of Spaulding, the once crazy family is down to only two…or so the world thought! While out on work duty, Otis is sprung by his half brother Winslow Foxworth Coltrane, and the pair sets up the prison warden in order to free Baby. Once the three are reunited, they head to Mexico to lay low and unlucky for them they have caught the eye of a cartel who is run by one of the sons of a victim of theirs during the escape. Now what’s left of the Firefly family must once more fight for their lives when death comes looking for them. The film was a Fathom Events release and did really well for its limited run at the US Box Office for Saban Films bringing in a total of $2,172,949.00 on a budget of $3 million. Fans of Rob Zombie films will enjoy this bloodbath film for all its slaughter and foul-mouthed characters, worth watching, and I even bought once it was on DVD.

# 21

Riley Stone goes to Hawthorne College and is a member of the MKE sorority with her close friends Kris, Marty, Jesse and Helena and it’s Christmas time right before the winter break and she was the victim of an attack that was done by a sorority frat house leader who oddly was able to get away with it! But also masked killers are attacking and murdering young women around the college, and soon Riley and her friends find themselves on the hit list of these masked killers who seem to hate women and act like soulless emotionless killing machines. Throw in some humor, PG-13 kills, and message that “Boys Be Boys” is not okay and you have his remake of the classic holiday slasher film. This film does not take elements from the original film nor the 2006 remake and tries its best to make a new story set at a sorority house. The film’s main actress is Imogen Poots who plays Riley, and she is fantastic as is Lily Donoghue who plays Marty as I found them to be the best characters in the film. The downside of this film is at times it comes off preachy about its message and the characters at times seem like the after thought to it. The film did very poorly for Universal at the U.S. Box Office and only brought in $10,086,145.00 on a budget of $5 million. While this movie is not perfect, it was still a fun watch in the theater that once out on DVD I will watch again.

# 20

The Creed family have moves away from the big city to a farm house with lots of wooded lands in Ludlow, Maine and soon meet their new neighbor Jud. All seems well, that is till Louis who is a university doctor cannot save a young man hit by a car and that seems to talk to him even after death. But things for the family get worse when their daughter’s cat Church is hit by a car and Jud shows Louis a part of his land that brings the dead back to life, with some changes…Church is back, but he is not the same at all! During her birthday party daughter, Ellie is killed when she is hit by a truck and heartbroken Louis does the unthinkable and brings his daughter back…and this joy soon turns to horror. This remake is okay and does not stack up well to the original that is a true classic. This film takes its own twists and turns from the book and original film adding a new layer to the story…in fact you could almost look at this as a sequel that takes place in modern times that has history repeating itself. John Lithgow who plays Jud is fantastic at playing the aging man who knows the town’s evil secret. And actress Jete Laurence plays Ellie, and she is as well great in the role as she can snap from sweet kid to evil killer kid with ease. Not to mention all the cats who played Church also steal the film with their performances. The film did okay for Paramount Pictures at the American Boxoffice bringing in $54,724,696.00 on a budget of $21 million. While not great, this creepy tale was worth seeing in the theater and is one I have on home media. Check it out if you like the tale of Pet Sematary.

# 19

Stella is a young teen that wants to become a writer and has some emotional issues dealing with her mother leaving her and her father behind. On Halloween night she along with friends decide to break into the town’s local haunted house, and when the town’s bullies lock them inside a hidden room in the house, they find the storybook written by Sarah Bellows and take it with them…big mistake as the book seems to be writing itself and bad things are happing to people in town just like in the stories! Now Stella and what’s left of her friends must find away to stop the book, save their lives and set Sarah Bellows spirit free. This spooky PG-13 film is based on the hit book series and delivers some great creatures designs as well as brings many of the books classic tales to the big screen. The film did pretty well for Lionsgate bringing in $68,947,075.00 on a budget of $25 million. If you enjoy the book series or even like the Goosebump movies series, this is one you will want to check out. I own this one on DVD when it was released.

# 18

Mia and sister stepsister Sasha head out with some friends to a hidden swimming hole that is also an opening to a underwater tomb and tunnels that their father and his team are exploring, and for fun the girls enter the water and tunnels only to get trapped by a cave in and are being stalked by blind cave sharks who are hungry for human flesh! Can the young ladies survive this shark attack or will they just become lunch for these underwater terrors? Watch the movie and find out. This animal attack film was a pretty good follow up for “47 Meter Down” and has a really feel of dread in moments that add to the horror theme of the film. The film is well acted with Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx and Brianne Tju being the standouts. The film is rated PG-13 so it’s not overly bloody but does have some pretty brutal shark attack moments. The film sadly did not do that great for Entertainment Studios at the US Box Office as it only brought in $22,260,900.00 on a budget of $12 million. Worth watching if you enjoy shark horror movies.

# 17

Detective Jack Radcliff and his niece Ashley Radcliff are close and to his horror, she and her parents are murdered one night and his world changes. After the murder oddly enough he keeps getting phone calls from his dead niece who is calling from the past and now he must change her future as he must research the past to find out who killed them. Can he save her in time and will he be able to bring the killers to justice or will he become a victim himself. This Horror Thriller is a great watch and is well acted with very likable characters. The film had the budget of $5million and brought in only $5,215,062.00 for OTL Releasing at the American Box Office. I cannot say too much as I don’t want to ruin the films twist and turns, but this film is really good and a must see for fans who like Thrillers with Horror elements.

# 16

A massive hurricane is about to hit Florida when university swimmer Haley Keller gets a call from her sister who is worried about their father who is not answering his phone and whose house is in the path of the massive storm! When checking his home, she finds he is not there and heads to the family’s old house where she finds him in the basement bitten by an alligator as several have made their home their and keep the father and daughter from escaping as the hurricane rages on inside. As the water rises and the alligators pour in, Haley and her dad must fight to survive. This Sam Raimi produced animal attack film is a fun fright flick that showcases some very brutal gator attacks and likable characters. Many times in the movie both Juliet and my cousin Stephen jumped showing the film did back some scares. The downside to this film was not anything about the film itself but the other people in our row who talked almost the whole movie!! The film did good for Paramount at the American Box Office bringing in $39,014,193.00 on a budget of $13.5 showing that lower budget Horror does make money. Well worth seeing and owning on DVD for those who love physical media like I do.

# 15

A new phone app is sweeping the nation that tells you the exact day and time you will die. Young nurse Quinn Harris downloads it when a patient shows her the app that says he will die the time he would go into surgery. Now Quinn is starting to see demonic things as her death date is getting closer and she cannot get the app off her phone. Along her countdown she enlists the help of a cellphone dealer, a weird priest, a young man who also downloaded the app and even her very own young sister who has also made the mistake. Will Quinn out smart this demonic app and save all the lives that are on the line or will she become just another victim to the growing list? This was a pretty fun film that brought together tech and classic biblical demons that felt like it could have been right at home in the late 90’s Horror releases. The film did pretty good for STX Entertainment bringing in $$25,569,747 on a budget of $6.5 million. I really enjoyed this one and will own it on DVD when it is released.

# 14

Miles was born a special child with high intelligence, but he seems to be having a very hard time making friends and interacting with kids his own age. And worse, he seems to be getting more and more aggressive even leaving painful traps for his babysitter and attacking a fellow student in class. Soon his mother finds out that the spirit of a serial killer has entered her son at birth and wants to finish a kill he started. ow she must find a way to save her son’s soul and rid the world of this killer once and for all. This is a pretty great possession/evil kid Horror Movie that brings some solid spooky moments as Miles has very sinister things on his mind and acts on his urges to hurt and kill others. The film also was a great way to see the Orion logo once more on the big screen, and the film really did feel like one that would have been right at home in the early 80’s. The film did only so-so for Orion Pictures at the US Boxoffice bringing in $14,852,586.00 on a budget of only $6 million. While this film might not be ground breaking when it comes to the killer kid Horror genre, it still was a fun watch at the cinema and one I own on DVD.

# 13

Zoey Davis is selected to take part of an Escape Room along with a group of strangers that is put on by a big company called Minos, but once the game starts, the group soon find out that the rooms are designed to kill those who don’t solve the puzzle. Now Zoey and her fellow players must use their sharp minds in order to survive and find out who is responsible for this twisted game. This was the first Horror Movie for the cinema in 2019 and was a great way to start the year as it was a thrilling PG-13 SAW inspired flick. The film also keeps you as the viewer on the edge of your seat wondering how the characters were going to escape each death trap room. The film did well for Sony at the Box Office here in America bringing in $57,005,601.00 on a budget of $9 million. The film leaves itself open for a sequel, and I hope they do one as there is more to tell about Minos and their deadly escape rooms. It’s worth owning on home media if you’re a fan of this style of Horror.

# 12

Maggie Thompson is the new girl in a small town in Ohio, and she quickly makes friends who like to hang out and drink, but being to young to buy alcohol they end up meeting Sue Ann Ellington (who likes to be called Ma), an older woman who ends him helping them get alcohol and allows the teens to party in her basement. But while it starts out fun, things soon turn weird when Ma is not what she appears and is a woman with lots of mental issues, secrets, lies and has set her sights on revenge and control on those she feels have wronged her! Blumhouse and Universal once more team up and deliver a highly entertaining Horror Thriller where the films villain is both evil and yet you do feel bad for her throughout. Octavia Spencer is fantastic in the role of Ma, and I really hope that a sequel or even a prequel is made to allow her to return to the role. The film did pretty well for Universal at the US Box Office bringing in $45,373,120.00 on a budget of only $5 million! This is worth owning on DVD, and when released I bought it for my collection.

# 11

Brandon Breyer is adopted by Tori and Kyle, but from any orphanage as he really came from a rocket that fell from the sky and on his 12 birthday he starts to change and the sweet boy they raised has turned into a egotistical super powered being who wants to take over the world and will silence anyone who stands in his way. With deaths and missing persons piling up around them, the Breyer’s must figure out a way to stop their son who is really a monster. This film is almost like a ‘’What If” Superman was evil story and is really a fantastic watch as the tension is high and the character of Brandon Breyer is so cold that he truly is scary. Elizabeth Banks who plays Tori Breyer does a fantastic job as well as being the voice of reason for Brandon and the one who keeps him slightly in line and keeps his raging evil powers in check…well at least hidden. The film is gory in spots with some of the kills being brutal and gross, and this was refreshing in a world filled with Paranormal Horror Films. I for one hope this film does get a sequel as I would love to see how the world will fight back against Brandon, and the film’s credits tease that there are more like him in the world with different powers and how would they fit in…so come on Gunn family give as a sequel. The film did really well at the US Box Office for Sony brining in $17,300,439.00 on a budget of only $6 million. So if you like Superhero films as well as Horror, do yourself a favor and make sure to see this one as I even rushed out to get it once on home media!

# 10

Andy and his young mom have had to move back to the city she grew up in when they fall on hard times. Andy is having a hard time making friends, and the cop who visits his mom down the hall is the only one he is making. But things change when, for his birthday, Andy gets a Buddi doll that is defective, but still makes him the talk of the school and he makes friends as they use the doll to pull off pranks…you see the doll that is very high tech and can learn and move and is named Chucky! When Chucky feels that Andy is being wronged or that someone is standing in the way of their friendship, he takes bloody revenge on them as he learns to murder by watching horror movies. But when Andy wants nothing to do with Chucky, the doll is mad and wants revenge and sets up a bloody showdown at the department store his mom works for that leaves several dead, many injured and a son fighting for the life of his own mother. This remake is very familiar and yet also very different as Chucky this time around is a computer powered doll who is sinister, but does not hold a candle to the classic Chucky who was the reanimated spirit of a serial killer. Mark Hamill does great as the voice of Chucky, and Audrey Plaza plays the mom and is fantastic. The film also has some good kills and has a them song sung by Hamill that will be stuck in your head for days. The film did okay for United Artists at the American Box Office bringing in $29,208,403.00 on a budget of $10 million. While not in the same ballpark as the original, I was still very much amused by this remake and was a fun popcorn film at the Cranberry Cinema. When released, I  bought it on DVD to join my Child’s Play movie collection.

# 9

Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock are back years after the events of the first film and have made a home for themselves in the White House, and life is a normal as it can be with zombies all around them. But things change when Columbus purposes to Wichita. Things get crazy again as she and Little Rock run away stealing the car again! While heartbroken, the pair go shopping and Columbus meets Madison, a young ditzy blonde, and the pair start to date. But Wichita shows back up and informs them that Little Rock has ran away with a hippie and they need to get her back! Now with emotions high Wichita leads Tallahassee, Columbus and Madison on a quest to save Little Rock that leads them all over from Graceland to a Sanctuary that is weaponless! In a world filled with zombies and weirdo people, this mission is dangerous and funny and made a great sequel to this Horror Comedy. Woody Harrelson is funny and fantastic as always, having Rosario Dawson as an owner of an Elvis Hotel was a nice touch as she as well is great. One of the funniest actors in the film is Zoey Deutch who plays the ditzy Madison as she cracked me up! The film is packed with good jokes, zombie kills and over all was a great popcorn film. The film did alright for Sony at the U.S. Box Office as on a budget of $42 million it brought in $72,785,288.00! This was a fun sequel and one I will own on DVD when released, and I do hope they make another film in the series.

# 8

Tree Gelbman’s life is going good as she has broken the cycle she was in and had stopped her killer for good…but things get bad for her again as she is once more stuck in living the cycle of her birthday and murder…but there is a twist as this time around she finds herself not the main target and stuck on a loop in another reality where her mother is alive but her boyfriend is dating Whitney, her main frenemy! Now Tree must choose to stop the killer in this new world and stay to be with her Mom or go back to her own reality and be with her boyfriend! The choice hard, and the Baby Face Masked Killer is on the loose what is Tree to do? This is a very fun sequel that blends elements of Horror, Comedy and Sci-Fi together to make for a fun ride to figure out who the killer is and what will Tree do when it comes to her decision. Sadly this film did not do overly great at the US Box Office for Universal as it brought in $28,051,045.00 on a budget of only $9 million…yeah Universal was not pleased even though the film made a profit and sadly it looks like the third film is now in limbo. But if you liked the first film and enjoy the replaying world around Tree, this is one you must see, and yep bought it when released on home media.

# 7

Young Adelaide separates from her family on Coney Island and finds herself in a hall of mirrors when a thunderstorm knocks out the power and she sees a reflection of herself that seems to have a mind of its own. Years later Adelaide is married to Gabe Wilson, has two kids and they are about to vacation near Coney Island and her memories of that night are making her uncomfortable. And her worries are corrects as attacks start to take place all around by what appears to doppelgangers of the victims, and when Adelaide and her family come face to face with twisted versions of themselves, they must fight to stay alive! This second Horror Movie by Jordon Peele is a really cool mind bending journey that not only tries to scare you but also tries to enforce that nothing is stronger that a family bond. The film has some great twists and turns, and I will not spoil them here for you, but do yourself a favor and check this one out. The film does a great job of blending humor into the blood horror and the pacing is excellent. The film did outstanding for Universal at the American Box Office bringing in a total of $174,702,345.00 on a budget of $20 million. This was the highest grossing Horror movie of 2019 and really does show Horror is back being a draw at the cinema! I bought this fright flick as well on DVD when released.

# 6

Danny Torrance is an adult now and the events of the Overlook Hotel have left him a drunken mess with no direction in life, that is until he drifts his way into a small town and finds friends, a job and the help he needs. He also uses his shining power to make friends with a young girl named Abra Stone, and life seems to be going good as he also learns how to capture and lock away all the spirits from the Hotel that have tormented him for years. But both Danny and Abra’s life is about to change as Rose The Hat, a cult leader who has her followers feed off the psychic powers of folks with The Shining, is on the track of Abra who has so much power. ow Danny and Abra must fight back in the real world as well as the spiritual, and this fight leads them all back to the Overlook Hotel for a showdown that will leave you chilled and thrilled. This sequel to The Shining is really well done and Ewan McGregor as the adult Danny Torrance delivers a top-notch performance. Rebecca Ferguson as Rose The Hat is creepy, and in my opinion one of the best villains in Horror Cinema this year. The film for some reason did very poorly for Warner Brothers at the Box Office here in America bringing in only $31,488,764.00 on a budget of around $55 million. I’m not sure why this film did not do well as it was a fun Horror Thriller ride that delivered some good scare moments and likable and frighting characters. I will own once out on home media as I would like to watch this one again sooner than later.

# 5

Grace is marring Alex who is part of the Le Domas board game empire, and while the family is odd, she loves her soon to be husband, and after the wedding she is told that the family plays a weird game as a family to welcome her into their fold…the game is picked at a blind random by Grace and unlucky for her its Hide And Seek as this means while she hides the family armed with weapons hunt her down to kill her! You see their family made a packed with a Devil that if that card is drawn they must kill the person as a sacrifice or they themselves will die by morning light! Now Grace must fight to escape with her life from a family that is crazy and are fighting for theirs! This is a great Horror Thriller that even adds a dash of Comedy to bring entertainment to the viewers. Samara Waving is great as Grace and is a hero I found myself cheering for the whole film as she fights back, in fact she is the female hero the genre needed this year! The film I should also say has some great kills and adds in that supernatural element to make for a soon to be cult classic for sure. The film did pretty well for Fox at the U.S. Box Office as on a budget of only $5 million the film brought in $28,901,546.00! While it could be a stand alone movie I do hope that it gets a sequel as I would like to see were the story goes with The Devil and his deals. And of course when released on DVD I got it for my collection and think you should get yourself a copy as well.

# 4

Judy Warren is left with a babysitter while her parents Ed and Lorraine are out. Her babysitter is Mary Ellen and her friend Daniela Rios decide to bake a cake for Judy as her birthday is coming up, but things for not go well once Daniela goes into the Warrens room filled with cursed objects and touches things and even opens the case that houses the evil doll Annabelle! After doing this the three young ladies are in for a night of terror as Annabelle awakens many of the ghosts and demons that were trapped in that room and they want nothing more then to torment and kill with the likes of such creatures as a werewolf, The Bride and The Ferryman running loose looking for souls. Now Judy must be as brave as her parents and return and lock Annabelle into her case to stop this madness before it’s to late! This film has some good twists and turns as you learn lots about Judy Warrens as well as why Daniela touched the cursed items, this third film in the Annabelle series is well done and adds more to the story of this cursed doll. The film did well for New Line Cinema at the U.S. Box Office bringing in $74,152,591.00 on a budget of around $32 million. Another great film in The Conjuring universe that delivers some very amazing evil sprits with The Ferryman being the best in my opinion!

# 3

Anna Tate-Garcia is a single mother and a caseworker who stumbles upon a client who has locked her kids into a closet with bruises on their body and this sparks for them to be taken away from their mother. Once in custody the kids have a fear of a woman…but not their mother and when they are found drowned in a nearby stream while in care their mother is blamed for the killings and is arrested. But things get worse when Anna and her own children soon find themselves being marked by La Llorona who is an evil sprit who was responsible for killing the kids in the stream as well as hundreds of others over the decades and now wants to murder Anna’s kids! Now Anna must find a way to save her kids before they end up just another number in the body count of La Llorona! This supernatural horror flick is part of The Conjuring universe and is filled with creepy moments and lots of jump scares that truly bring the classic Mexican legend to the big screen, that is perfectly casted and has a suspenseful pace. This movie did well for New Line Cinema at the US Box Office bringing in $54,733,739.00 on a budget of $9 million dollars showing that New Line is a very solid player in the Horror World again. This film is worth seeing for those who like The Conjuring films, enjoy the Weeping Woman Legend and who get scared from Supernatural Horror. Worth owning as I bought on DVD when released.

# 2

Years have passed and Pennywise The Dancing Clown has not been seen, until 23 years after the Losers Club brought him down in Derry, Maine. Now much older and forgetting the pas must reunite in back in Derry and try and end Pennywise once and for all, but this time this killer clown is fighting back and wants to end the Losers Club before they end him. This is yet another amazing, scary and spooky film based on the hit novel written by Stephen King. This second chapter is filled with some very nasty kills and moments and brings a feel of dread throughout it, not to even mention that Bill Skarsgard is once more fantastic as Pennywise and brings a real mean spirit to the character. What really works for this film is that it flows so well with Chapter 1 and the elements of youth and adulthood facing a terror are done so well. It’s crazy to thank that Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema are climbing back to the top when it comes to making Horror Movies with its only other main rival being Universal! The film did great for WB bringing in $211,593,228.00 on a budget of $79 million at the American Box Office. IT Chapter Two is a fantastic film that almost took my # 1 spot and was only slightly edged out, and yes worth owning on home media for sure.

# 1

Godzilla King Of The Monsters is one of those films that critics and online “fans” doomed at the Box Office with their over trashing and poor scores…but I for one say ignore all that nonsense and never trust Rotten Tomatoes and make up your own mind on films. This film as Monarch in trouble over not sharing with the world about all the Titans that live among us, and worse a terrorist group has decided to wake them up with the hopes they will destroy mankind and become the rulers of the world once more! So they wake up Mothra, Rodan, Ghidorah among others….and the worlds only hope is Godzilla who needs to defend his thrown as Alpha when Ghidorah decides he wants to rule all the monsters and make the Earth in his own vision. In other words it’s Godzilla vs. Ghidorah with Rodan and Mothra injecting themselves into the fight! Add in the drama of Monarch and the terrorist group with a dash of family drama between a husband, wife and daughter and you have one entertaining film! The film stars the likes of Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown and Ken Watanabe who all do fantastic and the score from Bear McCreary is amazing! This sequel to the 2014 film makes major improvements and delivers a good Kaiju film that is filled with some cool fights as well as badass monsters. The film sadly did not do great for Warner Brothers here in America bringing in only $110,500,138.00 on a massive budget of $170 million. While the negative modern Horror Fans may have trashed it on their social media those who go into movies to be Entertained and don’t spend the whole movies runtime looking for flaws enjoyed the hell out of it. Worth owning for sure!

2019 was filled with lots of great films and it was amazing to see all of the listed above in the theaters with my friends at all the different cinemas. I must say this year in Horror Movies was really good filled with so many good ones with only one being on the border of being one of the worst films I have seen in a very long time. But as you can see the usher is here and wants to clean up all the spilled drinks and popcorn from the floor, so I think it’s time for us to wrap up this review and before we go, I want to let you know that my next update is going to take us to an evil cursed house as we talk about Ju-On as the new film in the American Grudge series is in theaters now. So until next time watch a movie or three and support your local theater. See you next time to settle a Grudge.

Matt Goes To The Movies 2016

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The year of 2016 was a crazy one for me as much of my time was spent working on comic books for Sparkle Comics, the company I co-own with Jason Young as well as trying to film Baron Von Porkchop episodes among many other things like helping on films and of course working on updates for here at Rotten Ink. One thing I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted to this year was go to the movie theater so I want to apologies for the lack of depth to this list. 2016 was a pretty big year for cinema as we got many sequels to big budget movies like “Star Trek Beyond” and “Rougue One: A Star Wars Story.” We got classic books turned into big summer blockbusters like “Jungle Book” and “The Legend Of Tarzan,” not to mention lots of horror films from “The Conjuring 2” all the way to “Blair Witch,” the third film in that cult series. Hitting the cinemas this year, I filled my tummy with lots of popcorn and blue Icee’s and saw films in theaters like Regal, Cinemark, Danberry Huber Heights and Cranberry Cinema and had a blast watching the silver screen with friends like Juliet Fromholt, Jeremy Hoyt, Josh Weinberg, Stephen Alexander, Theresa Lopez, Thomas “Maurice” Smith and many more all who made the experience more fun. A weird thing about this year in movies is that while it was filled with many blockbusters, it also had many flops that expressed moviegoers lack of interest in sequels and reboots to films of the past, but this year also proved that Disney knows how to pack them into the theater with superhero films as well as family friendly adventures. Plus, it proved to Hollywood that horror films make money and bring profits on smaller budgets. So let’s find our seats here at Rotten Ink Theater and chat a little about the films of 2016!

Film Reels

Normally I would start with my “Worst” list, but since I wasn’t at the cinema as much this year, I didn’t get to see the that many films, and lucky for me, none of the ones I did get to see were what I would call a worst film. So this time around we are going to start with science fiction and fantasy, two genres that are near and dear to my heart.  So let’s sit here for a moment and chat about them, shall we?scifi-16# 5

the-5th-wave-posterHigh school student Cassie Sullivan is stuck in a world of chaos as aliens are attacking the Earth, killing off the human race.  When her younger brother is taken, she along with some other survivors go to war to try and survive and bring back the world they once knew. This fun science fiction film was based on the book of the same name written by Rick Yancey and was filled with lots of action as well as aliens and their waves of attacks that included flooding and spreading a sickness. The film, while not groundbreaking, was a fun film to see in the theater and actress Chloe Grace Moretz is fantastic in the role of Cassie.  You definitely find yourself cheering for her to kick some alien butt. The film did poorly at the US box office for Sony and brought in $34,912,982.00 on a $38 million dollar budget, but was a hit overseas making the film semi profitable. I would say the film is worth checking out on DVD if you skipped it at the theater or even maybe a rental from a local video store.

# 4

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While a third Ghostbusters sequel with the original cast was just not in the cards, we did get a reboot to the series that featured a whole new female cast gearing up with their protonpacks and tackling a whole new group of ghosts as well as some returning favorites like Slimer! This go around we follow Dr. Erin Gilbert who lost her tenure at Columbia University after a video shows up online of her on a paranormal research.  Along with friends Dr. Abby Yates, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann and Patty Tolan, Erin opens The Ghostbusters, a business that is set to rid the city of ghosts thanks to equipment they make in house. But when the city of New York comes under attack by a powerful evil spirit, they are the only hope….but are they ready to be the heroes? The film was directed by Paul Feig and starred Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth and even has cameos from many of the actors from the original films. I found the film to be lots of fun, and the characters were well portrayed with Holtzmann being the silliest and funniest! The film had some funny moments, and I find the fact that many fanboys got butt hurt over the film being made with all females comedians as The Ghostbusters was just silly and showed that many of these types of “fans” ruin things for others as sadly the film did poorly for Sony at the US Boxoffice bringing in $128,350,574.00 on a $144 million dollar budget.  By the look of it, a sequel is not in the works. I would say if you skipped this at the theater make sure to give it a chance and watch it on DVD or Blu-Ray and make up your own mind about it.

# 3

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Disney has done another great job of turning one of their classic animated features into a live action film, and they made one heck of a great film with The Jungle Book! The film is about young human boy Mowgli who is raised by wolves in India, but when he becomes the target of the evil tiger Shere Khan, they are forced to send him away to rejoin the human race. Along his journey he is protected by black panther Bagheera and bear Baloo from not only Khan, but also giant python Kaa and King Louie, who is the king of the monkeys. But in the end Mowgli must face his fears of Shere Khan to save his animal friends and family from his terror as well as a fire that spreading across the jungle. The film was a great family adventure film and when sitting in the theater I felt like a kid again as Baloo sang “Bear Necessities.”  Everyone did a great job voicing the animals; I mean you cant go wrong with the talents of Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley and Christopher Walken. Director Jon Favreau did a fantastic job of making this film come alive and helps bring out the personality of the animals more by treating them as if they were real actors on set. The film did great for Disney at the US Box Office bringing in $364,001,123.00 on a $175 million budget making it a hit for sure! This was worth a watch and even a buy on home media if you enjoy the story of The Jungle Book as this is only slightly under the animated feature as being the best adaptation of the book.

# 2

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Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise are in major trouble when they travel into an uncharted nebula on a set up mission that leaves them at the mercy of Krall and his men who want to kill as many federation members as possible and have chaos throughout the galaxy. Can Kirk and his crew along, with their new alley Jaylah, escape the nebula and save lives in time before Krall and his fleet attacks? Watch this science fiction adventure film and find out. This was such a fun film to watch in the theater in Imax 3-D, and the addition of over the top action made it not your standard Strek Trek fare yet still kept the charm of what makes Star Trek Star Trek! This was the third in the reboot series, and after a very lackluster teaser trailer, the internet started the bashing and hating on the film before it was released.  This caused the film to perform poorly at the US Box Office for Paramount only bringing in $ 158,848,340.00 on a $185 million dollar budget. While this is not the best Star Trek film in the long running film series, I would say it’s a solid sequel that offers enough sci-fi tech talk and action to make it a fun summer popcorn movie.  Make sure to check it out on DVD as it’s well worth the watch.

# 1

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Jyn Erso is the daughter of Galen, the man who lead the construction of the Empire’s newest and most deadly weapon, the Death Star! She was left behind at a young age to be raised by Rebel extremist fighter Saw Gerrera as her father was forced into labor by Orson Kernnic, the director of the Empire’s weapons research. Now older and on her own, Jyn must track down her father who has the secrets to destroy the Death Star from the inside.  She is joined by a rag tag group made up of Rebel soldiers and supporters who go on a suicide mission in order to get the plans into the hands of the Rebels. Add in tension between Kernnic and Grand Moff Tarkin, who both want credit for the Death Star, and in a annoyed Darth Vader as well as cameos from classic Star Wars characters, and you have one well made and entertaining science fiction film! The film’s main characters have amazing chemistry with each other and the friendships that are formed make sense and just add even more layers to their personalities. My favorite character was Jyn Erso as she proved that this new crop of Star Wars films are in the right hands as they clearly care about character development and story. Seeing Darth Vader back in full badass action was something to behold in IMAX 3-D as it made me feel like a kid again, seeing Return Of The Jedi in the theater. Plus the digital Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin made my Monster Kid heart grow three sizes, and I would say that I would love to see Hammer do this and make a new Frankenstein Movie. This film is still in theaters and as of January 1st has brought in a total of $393,554,705.00 for Disney on a $200 million dollar budget and is showing no signs of slowing down. If you have not seen this film yet, do yourself a favor and do so as its well worth the 2 hours of your time.

So as you can see, Hollywood delivered some great sci-fi and fantasy films all that were fantastic watches at my local cinema, not to mention we got a new Star Wars and Star Trek film last year. But another genre of films that rocked the box office this year is my second favorite kind of films, right behind horror, and thats super hero flicks! So grab a refill on your large popcorn, and let’s talk heroes from the comic books who have made the leap to the big screen in 2016.

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# 7

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The moviegoing public seemed to not be able to get enough of Batman on the big screen, and after the last Superman movie, someone at Warner Brothers and DC Comics decided that the world needed a vs. film that pitted their top two superheroes against each other.  So Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice was created and unleashed on the masses. The film has Bruce Wayne being very angry over the fight between Superman and General Zob that left some of his employees dead and others injured, and now, as Batman, he sets his sights on stopping Superman once and for all as he feels the government has not done their job well of keeping this superhuman alien in check. Throw in Wonder Woman, Lex Luther Jr. and Doomsday, and you have this epic battle film that will test the strength and mental fortitude of our heroes. The film was a little too long and for the most part, much of the hate that Batman had for Superman was weak.  In fact half way through, you wonder just why he has projected all the hate he has in his heart toward the Man of Steel and with that, the film kind of falls apart. Other flaws for this comic book fan and movie lover were: the birth of Doomsday was just dumb and pointless and Lex Luther Jr. was a turd and acted more like he was the son of The Joker.  While it sounds like I didn’t like it, I really did enjoy it as it was a fun popcorn flick that showcased that superhero films are just enjoyable on the big screen no matter how flawed they are. The film was directed by Zack Snyder and starred Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Amy Adams and did pretty dang well for WB at the US Box Office bringing a total of $330,360,194.00 on a $250 million dollar budget. It’s worth watching on home media or even on cable as it at least will be sure to please during the fight scenes.

# 6

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back at it again as they target The Shredder and the footclan who are again attacking New York with the idea of taking over the world.  This time with the help of scientist Baxter Stockman, the foot create two mutants of their own, the warthog Bebop and rhino Rocksteady, to finally put up a fight against the turtles.  But they also have help in their battle with Casey Jones, a vigilante cop who has had enough of crime ruining his streets. Things get worst when Shredder gets help from Krang, an alien from Dimension X! This sequel is hard hitting and is packed with not only action but also lots of comedic moments that bring out the Turtles’ personalities that made them the popular characters that kids of yesterday and today know and love. This was a fun theater watch and seeing the Turtles battle Bebop and Rocksteady was something I, as a long time turtle fan, have wanted to see in a live action movie. The flaws of the movie for me was that actor Stephen Amell, who played Casey Jones was terrible and super weak in his portrayal that had him hardly wearing the character’s trademark hockey mask. Another lackluster thing was that Shredder played by Brain Lee also did not wear the character’s trademark helmet…when will Hollywood learn that people wanna see the character appear like they should and not just the actor’s face….we get what actor is playing the part! The film was directed by Dave Green and also stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry and Sheamus and sadly did very poorly for Paramount at the US Box Office only bringing in a small $82,051,601.00 on a $135 million dollar budget. While the film was judged pretty harshly by movie goers, I for one enjoyed it for the most part and found it a good summer popcorn flick based on characters I grew up loving.

# 5

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Dr. Stephen Strange is a genius surgeon who is cocky and ego driven, but after a major wreck, the nerves in his hands are shot and his career as a surgeon is over.  He tries all types of ways to get better that finally leaves him going to Kathmandu to seek out The Ancient One who teaches him that magic and other dimensions are the path to truly heal. But Dr. Strange gets more than he bargained for as he is forced to use his newly learned magic to fight a rogue group of dark magic students lead by Kaecilius who wants to bring the Dark Dimension ruler Dormammu into our world and bring life as we know it to an end. When the odds are against him, how can Doctor Strange out magic Dormammu in order to save us all? This was a superhero film that I was not fully looking forward to as I have never been a big fan of the comic series and for the most part find the character very boring, but this film stepped it up and made him very interesting for me. The film was directed by Scott Derrickson and actor Benedict Cumberbatch was a great choice to play Doctor Strange as he brings the character to life. This superhero popcorn film also stars Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor all of whom are fantastic in their roles of various characters from the Marvel Universe. The film has done pretty solid for Disney at the US Box Office bringing in a total this far of $230,323,048.00 on a $165 million dollar budget. It was well worth watching in the theater, and I will for sure buy it on DVD when released.

# 4

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The government is in big trouble when it comes to world affairs, and after Superman is no longer around, they create a task force of criminals who they will send on mission that could lead to death. The team is made up of Deadshot, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Katana, Slipnot and Harley Quinn and is lead by Colonel Rick Flag who informs them that if they break the rules and try to escape, they will be killed on the spot via a tiny bomb in their brains. When the Enchantress turns rogue and, along with her brother, wants to bring the world to an end, it’s up to The Suicide Squad to stop them and prove that not every bad guy is un-savable. To make things worse, The Joker has entered the combat zone as he wants his girlfriend Harley Quinn back by his side and not doing the work of government. The film also has cameos from DC Heroes like The Flash and Batman and was a really fun watch at the theater while munching on popcorn and drinking a blue icee, as I found it to be a fun ride filled with fun characters and enough action to please most fans. But for some reason like most modern DC Movies, this flick was meet with lots of internet hate even before it was released as fanboys decided they hated the casting of Jared Leto as The Joker and just over all wanted to hate on it.  I know lots of friends who joined the hate who never even saw the film but wanted to tell others not to watch it. The film as a great cast with Will Smith playing Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harely both stealing the show and making the characters their own while still holding onto elements from the comics they come from. The film did good for Warner Brothers, despite all the internet trash talking, at the US Box Office bringing in $325,100,054.00 on a budget of $175 million. This is another movie I was glad I watched in theaters and going in with low expectations and no pre-judging in my mind found it to be a great watch and one I will own on DVD very soon.

# 3

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The Apocalypse is the world’s first mutant and is godlike in nature.  In 1983, he is awakened and does not like what he sees of modern times and goes on a quest to get disciples that will act as his horsemen of the apocalypse.  He gets Magneto, Storm, Angel and Psylocke to join his cause of allowing mutants to rule and for him to lead them to a new world. Charles Xavier and his X-Men that include Beast, Havok and Quicksilver along with new members Nightcrawler, Jean Grey and Cyclops must come together and trust Mystique and try to stop the destruction of the world as we know it and stop the next age of Apocalypse. This was a really fun and action packed film in the X-Men series and was a great watch in the theater. The film brought most of the returning cast from X-Men: First Class and continued the awkward relationship between Charles and Mystique. Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac was a great narcissistic villain who would manipulate his followers with ego boosting words, but clearly he does not care if they live or die as long as he is once more in power. I also like how they showed Apocalypse past in Egypt and that’s what starts the movie off. One down side is the film focuses way too much on Mystique played by Jennifer Lawrence, and she does not rock her blue scaled skin most of the film.  It was clear she didn’t want to wear all that make up and body suit, and Fox wanted to showcase they had Lawrence still on board. This film also stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Evan Peters, Sophie Turner and Olivia Munn, oh and it also has a cool cameo from Hugh Jackman as Wolverine! The film did poorly for Fox at the US Box Office bringing in $155,442,489.00 on a budget of $178 million. While this film was met with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, I for one found it to be a great super hero film and in fact bought it on DVD when it was released.  I suggest if you like the X-Men films and have not seen this one yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.

# 2

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Wade Wilson was a member of a special force team who has fallen in love with a woman named Venessa and all is well until Wade gets cancer and is dying.  When they cannot cure it, he decides to seek alternative help that leaves him being turned into a burnt up looking freak who cannot die! This sets Wade off who becomes the costumed anti-hero Deadpool who lurks in the shadows afraid to let Vanessa know he is alive all the while tracking down Ajax, the man who he thinks can cure him of his disfigurement. But things get bad when Ajax and his team of enhanced mutants kidnap Vanessa, and Deadpool, along with X-Men members Colossus and Warhead, must get her back! This film is rated R and is packed to the brim with crude humor and brutal kills all done with tongue in cheek one liners and grace. Ryan Reynolds returns to the role of Deadpool, with his first appearance as the character being in the 2009 film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and owns it with his wise cracking delivery. Also starring in this over the top super hero action film is Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, Stan Lee and Ed Skrein, all who do great things in the roles they were cast, no matter how big or small. The film did fantastic for Fox bringing in a total of $363,070,709.00 in the US on a budget of only $58 million! This is a Marvel super hero movie that is not for kids as it really is packed with blood, cussing and very crude humor but it made for one fun and enjoyable watch for this old comic book reader. I must also say that I have never been a super fan of Deadpool as even reading comics back in the day I never paid him that much attention, but I think it’s really cool that this film as well as good solid comics being made by Marvel has made him into one of the industry’s top selling heroes. Own it on DVD now, and it’s worth watching for sure!

# 1

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Captain America and Iron Man clash in this third film in the series about everyones favorite red, white and blue Avenger. What starts the war is that Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and Falcon are on a mission to stop Crossbones and his band of mercenaries that leaves humanitarian workers of Wakanda dead, and the government now wants The Avengers and other superheroes to register with them and only work when the government tells them to. Worse, when the King of Wakanda is killed and everyone blames The Winter Solider, Captain America along with his team Ant Man, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Falcon turn on the registration act and try to protect Winter Solider who claims he is innocent. This sparks the new King of Wakanda, The Black Panther, to join Iron Man, Vision, Black Widow, War Machine and Spider-Man to all do to war and little does anyone know this is all a big set up game by the sinister Baron Zemo who wants to ruin The Avengers and all the good they stand for. This film has so many more layers than what I am sharing here as it would take awhile to explain it all, and you should have or need to see it to understand why it’s my top super hero film of 2016. Chris Evans is truly Captain America come to life, and I could not imagine these films going on without him, so here is hoping he sticks around for awhile. What is great about this film, besides the solid script and amazing actors that bring their parts to life, is the fact you get some many heroes for the price of one and this includes Spider-Man as Sony and Marvel have come to an agreement that allows the hero to now take part in the Marvel Universe films and let alone one that has them all in a fight much like the WWE Survivor Series! The film did outstanding for Disney at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $408,084,349.00 on the massive budget of $250 million. I don’t want to go on too much about this film as I think it speaks better for itself, and all I can say is Spider-Man and Black Panther are great new additions to this amazing film universe that Disney and Marvel are delivering to all us movie goers.

So as you can see, 2016 had some really great super hero films that delivered action and adventure and entertained the movie going masses. Another genre that delivered this year was horror, and while the theater was packed with more ghost and possession movies that seem to be the life blood of horror for the last few years, it also had some slashers and iconic characters returning to the silver screen that included The Tall Man of Phantasm and Godzilla! Blumhouse once more proved that there is money in horror films as many films they produced hit and scared the crowds.  They have quickly become a production team that I look forward to seeing what they release next. So let’s dim these theater lights a little more and let’s take a look at the top horror films that I saw in the theater in 2016!

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# 17

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Dana is a woman who is haunted by the accidental death of her baby daughter, and alongside her husband David and son Lucas she moves out of the city and into a giant old house in the country that was once owned by the town’s top judge. But after finding a closed off room in the attic that was not on the house’s blueprints, she soon starts to see ghosts of the judge and his dog and finds that the room held a family secret that left a young girl murdered.  Now she must solve the mystery or lose her own mind doing so. This film is yet another ghost/possession film and suffers from a paper thin story mostly dealing with Dana’s mental breakdown and is by all accounts very boring in its delivery to try to scare us in the theater. When seeing this film, only one other guy was in the theater and he seemed to be bored as he kept checking his phone and even after it was done looked over at me and talked about just how lame the film was and how the characters did things that lead to nowhere.  Sad to say, the phone checker was right, the film’s characters just seemed like shells of people doing silly things that had no real outcome. The actors in this boring horror film include Kate Beckinsale, Mel Raido, Gerald McRaney and Lucas Till and while they are all great actors in other films, what they are given to do here is very weak, and this was one that I would suggest that most skip unless you have a free rental or is on cable TV. The film did poorly for Rogue Pictures only bringing in the small amount of $2,423,468.00 at the US box office on a $15 million dollar budget. Over all, while I love seeing horror films in the theater, this one almost put me to sleep even after drinking a large blue Icee, this is hands down the worst horror film I saw in theaters this year!

# 16

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Peter Taylor and his wife Bronny are having issues in their marriage, and their children also have their issues as daughter Stephanie has a eating disorder and son Michael is autistic.  The last happy moment of their life together was a family vacation they took with friends at the Grand Canyon where, unknown to them all, Michael removes and takes home stones that were placed to keep Native American demon spirits trapped.  Now with the stones moved and at the Taylor’s home, they must find out the clues to why mystery animals are appearing, why Michael is talking to the walls that he calls The Sky People and acting up. In the end they must call a healer to try and clear the house of the spirits ,but is it enough and can the love of a family be enough to send the demons back? While the film was not terrible it, was nothing new and seemed like just a watered down version of Amityville Horror and or even Poltergeist, and yep, marks yet another possession/ghost film to be released this year that seems to still be the flavor of the decade for horror film makers. The film stars Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Paul Reiser and Llza Rosario and was directed by Greg McLean who is known for directing the Wolf Creek series. The film turned a profit for High Top Releasing at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $10,753,574.00 on a $4 Million Dollar budget. Not recommended for those looking for horror films that showcase the bad guys more than a total of maybe a minute the whole film or ones who don’t like slow burn horror

# 15

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Rocky is a young woman with a daughter who lives in Detroit with her rude and crude mother and in order to get money, she robs houses with her boyfriend Money and friend Alex who’s father works for a home security company. Rocky needs one last big score in order to move away with her daughter, and they select the house of a blind vet named Norman Nordstrom who was awarded money after his daughter was killed in a drunk driver auto accident. But once inside, they find out that this blind man is not helpless and has his own dirty secrets to hide away! Norman along with his dog hunt down the burglars and make them pay for entering his home and finding out his dark twisted secret that is worth killing for. Don’t Breathe is a horror thriller that has elements of being a slasher film as Norman is brutal in his ways of killing and seems to feel what he is doing is right! While I did enjoy this film and had a good time watching it in the theater with Juliet, the film had some flaws that were pretty outstanding to me.  The fact NONE of the characters are likable people.  From Rocky all the way to Norman, they are all bad people who do bad things! The fact that by the end Norman who is a normal man seems to not be able to be killed like Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees as he seems to be superhuman and shrug off killing blows is dumb. Another thing that annoyed me is the fact that Rocky and Alex, during their time of trying to escape the house of this madman, never have the idea of using a weapon until toward the end of the film. The film does have some amazing actors who do fantastic in their roles as Stephen Lang is great as the blind Norman and Jane Levy is amazing as Rocky and the supporting cast as well hold their own. At the US box Office this film brought in a total of $89,059,699.00 for Sony on a budget of only $9.9 million making it a hit for the studio. Over all this Sam Raimi produced film was not terrible but also was nothing special and some of the flaws made it very annoying to this horror fan. I would say worth the watch on DVD and Blu-Ray. Also I should note that this film was one I was super hyped for after seeing the trailer and was a tad bit of a letdown.

# 14

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Rob Zombie strikes again with a foul language horror film packed with lots of blood and some weird yet fascinating characters with his film 31. The film follows a group of carnival workers who have been kidnapped and forced to play a game of life and death on Halloween Night by some rich people who have employed killers like chainsaw brothers Sick-Head & Psycho-Head as well as other killers Schizo-Head, Sex-Head, Death-Head and the all time kill champion Doom-Head to hunt them down and kill them as they beat on their survival. The film is packed with some brutal kills and for the most part the carnival workers are likable people who you want to see make it out alive and survive the killers attacks as well as you root for them to deliver justice to the psychos! The downside to the film, like most Rob Zombie films, is the dialogue is terrible in spots and so over the top its laughable as he tries to use almost every cuss word he can think of! The other flaw the film has was that in spots he uses shaky camera techniques in order to mask some of the film’s lower budget special effects. But while it has flaws it also had things I really liked about it as I found the killers odd and memorable, I loved the fact that the carnival workers fight back and are not just helpless victims, his use of classic rock songs also was pretty well done and the acting was good for what terrible lines they were given. The film has an all star cast with names like Malcolm McDowell, Meg Foster, Lew Temple, Ginger Lynn, Sheri Moon Zombie and a stunning E.G. Daily from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure as Sex-Head. Richard Brake who plays Doom-Head does great and the character is not only sadistic but also gross and just a foul human being. The film at the US box office brought in a total of $779,820.00 for Saban Films, and I must say while Rob Zombie films are not perfect, they at least have heart and are entertaining in some way or another. Oh yeah and I have to say I hated the ending – those who have seen this film will know what I am talking about.

# 13

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The Forest is a supernatural horror film based on the Aokigahara Forest that follows Sara who travels to Japan and journeys into the forest to find her missing identical twin sister Jess whom people believe went into the forest to commit suicide.  She is joined by Michi a park ranger and Aiden, a reporter. But she soon finds out that the forest has plans of its own and that the dead don’t rest in these haunted woods. So does she find Jess? Is she alive or dead? Why do people say not to stay in the woods at night? Watch this film to find those answers! The film is packed with jump scares, some creepy ghosts and a great atmosphere, but also has a cheesy hole filled plot as well as some paint by number horror clichés that make it an average supernatural horror romp. Natalie Dormer best known from the HBO show Game Of Thrones plays the twins Sara and Jess and looks fantastic, and the music done by Bear McCreary is well done and makes scenes pop. The film brought in a total of $26,594,261.00 for Gramercy Pictures at the US Box Office on a $10 million dollar budget. Not amazing and not bad, The Forest is one you might want to rent or check out on DVD.

# 12

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The Other Side Of The Door was a horror film that was orignaly supposed to be a wide release that then turned into a limited release, and I was lucky enough to catch it at Regal Cinema. The film is about Maria who is living the perfect life in India along with her husband Michael, son Oliver, young daughter Lucy and maid Myrtu, but that perfect life comes to an end when an accident leaves Oliver dead and Maria heartbroken and not able to get over the accident and the loss of her son. Six years after the accident, Maria gets her chance to tell her deceased son goodbye thanks to Myrtu who tells her of a ritual and place that will allow her to speak to him from the other side of a door.  The only catch is you can’t open the door…and of course Maria does and by doing so free’s something sinister. The film is another ghost/possession film and had a few good chills and had a great setting being in India, not your typical American or England backdrop. The film’s cast was good with Sarah Wayne Callies and Jeremy Sisto heading the pack and each doing well in their roles. The film did not perform great for Fox at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $3,000,342.00 due to them making it a limited release. Not groundbreaking but very entertaining and was worth the theater watch for me as well as Josh Weinberg who tagged along.

# 11

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The Witch was a Horror Film that had lots of buzz around it on the internet and among fans before it even hit theaters.  Stephen King even said The Witch scared the hell out of him, but could it live up to that for movie goers? The film is about William and his family leaving the safety of a plantation in New England and making a farm in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods and something sinister that steals and kills their youngest child. Quickly the family starts falling apart as oldest daughter Thomasin is blamed for the wrong doings by her mother, while all along The Witch of the woods and the mysterious goat named Black Phillip are the chaos makers at hand. The film is well acted with stand out performances from Ralph Ineson who played William and Anya Taylor-Joy who played Thomasin, and the atmosphere is great and has a feeling of dread all around the farm as we witness the breakdown of a God-fearing family. But the Witch character herself who takes two forms, one being old and the other glamor porn star, is just not really scary and is not really used throughout the hour and a half shocker. Much of the film, the characters spend time praying or chatting about God and religion, and I hate to say this, at some points I became very bored at drawn out moments. While this was not a bad movie, it was not as scary, spooky nor bone chilling as I hoped for. The only part that got me was when The Witch killed the young baby and mashed its body up and covered herself with its blood, and keep in mind this description is more graphic than what you see on the screen. It was also great to hear how split the group of friends and family I went with were on this film, and I had to laugh when one young lady at the end of the film let out a loud “This Movie Sucked” announcement. The film did okay for A24 at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $25,138,705.00 on a budget of $3.5 million, showing that lower budget horror films can make studios extra cash. While I didn’t hate this film, in no way am I a super fan of this film…I might check it out again once on DVD.

# 10

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The final Phantasm film and the fifth film in the series was released this year, and it was bitter sweet to see it in the big screen thanks to Horrorama as it was the end of the franchise and sadly just an okay entry in the series. The film follows Ice Cream Man Reggie as he is trying to track down his missing friend Mike and along the way fight off The Tall Man and his evil spheres and henchmen. But this is the world of Phantasm, so nothing and no one are what they seem, and Reggie must try and use his wits to figure out the real world from the other dimension. Reggie is joined by fellow Tall Man hunters and together they must team up against his horde of followers and crack the code and stop the coming end of times. The film was produced by Don Coscarelli the series creator and was directed by David Hartman and stars Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm and A. Michael Baldwin and sadly had its premiere on Video On Demand but lucky for me it was a film that had it’s Dayton area first movie theater showing at Horrorama allowing me to watch the film from the projection window. While I enjoyed the film, I also saw that it had lots of flaws and for the most part is just a showcase of Reggie with very little Tall Man surrounded by low budget digital effects. The film has been meet with mixed reviews and really does mark the end of the series as Angus “Tall Man” Scrimm sadly passed away in early 2016. Fans of the series should for sure check it out on DVD or streaming rental.

# 9

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Alice Zander and her two young daughters Lina and Doris are living in a Los Angeles suburban house in 1967 and charge people for giving them spiritual readings. But when Alice buys a Ouija Board as a new prop to use, she soon finds out that Doris has a real gift and can communicate with the dead including her dead father…or can she as soon it’s clear something evil has came through and is using the young girl as a vessel and its up to Lina and her mother to save their loved one from a terrible possessed fate. This sequel was leaps and bounds better than its predecessor and is filled with some creepy moments and is well acted with Elizabeth Reaser who played Alice Zander stealing the show, not to mention this film brings to life the events of the first film as it acts as a prequel. The film did pretty well for Universal at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $34,992,970.00 on a $9 million budget showing that movie goers still want to see possession and ghost films. Worth watching for sure and like I said, way better than the first film.

# 8

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James Donahue, the brother of missing person Heather Donahue, along with some friends go to the woods near Burkittsville when a tape is found in a tree that appears to show Heather alive and running through a house in the woods. Once there, they hook up with some local YouTube ghost hunters and soon find out that they are not alone as The Blair Witch is back and looking for more young adults to kill. Does James find his missing sister? Does the house in the woods really exist? And can James and his friends get out of the woods alive? All this is answered in this third film in the series that was original being advertised as The Woods. The film was one I was super hyped to see as I was a fan of the 1999 original film The Blair Witch Project and it had been over 16 years between sequels.  While I enjoyed the film, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of scares and some times unmotivated actions of the friends who make some really terrible decisions. One very cool thing is that in some shots you get a quick glimpse of what the Witch looks like, and I have a theory that she just might be an alien or even a interdenominational being! The film did good for Lionsgate at the US Box Office even though its was below what they expected as it brought in $20,777,061.00 on a $5 million budget! While not an amazing sequel, it’s way better than part two and was a fun watch in the theater, check it out on DVD.

# 7

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What was originally a short film made for the internet, Lights Out made its way to being a feature length that hit theaters this year. Rebecca is a young woman who is into drawing dark pictures who moved away from home when her mother had a series of mental breakdowns. After her stepfather is killed and her Mother begins acting crazy again, she takes her young brother Martin in who is not sleeping after being tormented by a shadow woman! Rebecca along with her boyfriend Bret and Martin are forced to stay at their mother’s house when the government forces Martin to be with his mother. The group soon learns that the shadow lady is indeed real and her name is Diana, and she was an odd child who was “friends” with their mother after they meet in a mental asylum and after being killed in a treatment gone wrong she lives on as a sinister shadow that lives on thanks to the weakness of their mothers mental state! Now Diana is mad and wants to live on and will kill whom ever tries to get in her way.  Now it’s up to Rebecca to save her family and rid the world of the sinister demonic Diana. This film is a jump scare fest filled with some creepy effects and a really cool monster as Diana could easily become a new horror icon that could spark sequels for years to come. The film was rated PG-13 and while not a bloodbath, it does have some gruesome moments that I am sure will scare the wits out of many viewers. Another cool fact is that this was released by Warner Brothers under New Line Cinema, and it made me miss when New Line was its own company and would embrace the world of horror films. The film did great for WB at the US Box Office delivering $67,268,835.00 on a small $4.9 million budget showing that horror films are very profitable and also sparked talks of a sequel! While not groundbreaking and pretty much another ghost/possession film, it was a fun watch in the theater and is one I now own on DVD and would suggest fans of these types of films to watch.

# 6

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Dr. Seth Ember is a man who lost his family in a terrible car accident that was caused by a demon named Maggie.  This accident also left him in a wheelchair and put his faith and will to live for anything besides revenge to the test. You see Ember spends his time in a trance near death’s door that allows him to enter the subconscious of possessed people and exorcize the demon from within by giving the person’s own will a choice to expel the demon from their own bodies. But when Maggie shows back up inside a young 11 year old boy, he must come face to face with his family’s killer and will put his very own life and soul on the line as a warzone has been set that will leave everyone around to never be the same again. This film, while a possession film, is done differently from most as it downplays the religious elements and up plays the scientific and psychic way to defeat a demon, and our hero is wheelchair bound and not a saint of a person at all as he is only doing this for his own quest for revenge making him not your typical hero. The film stars Aaron Eckhart as Seth Ember and co-stars Carice Van Houten, Catalina Sandino Moreno and even has WWE wrestler Mark Henry in a cameo role. The film was a team up of WWE Studios and Blumhouse Productions and was a solid entertaining PG-13 horror film that was super enjoyable in the theater even if Juliet and I were the only people their to see it. The film has some blood and violence with some chilling moments and sadly did very poorly for High Top Releasing at the Box Office in the US only bringing in $4,777,253.00 on a budget of $5 million and for some reason had very poor word of mouth among horror fans. While this film was not perfect, I did find it pretty original for a genre of horror that is getting very stale, worth watching on cable or renting from your local video store and for me, I am sure I will pick it up on DVD when released.

# 5

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Japan is under attack by a giant lizard monster who keeps evolving and is being called Godzilla. The prime minister of Japan and his cabinet must find a way to keep the giant monster at bay or even better yet kill it and even get the help of America but all military attempts fail as Godzilla has his own tricks that include fire breath and fire blasts from his tail. Finally after many human deaths, lots of destruction and many failed attempts Godzilla is stopped thanks to a team effort that leaves him frozen from the inside out and like a statue, but not all is as it seems as Godzilla’s tail may have its own living race of creatures ready to come alive. This film is very slow moving and mixes elements of horror, science fiction and drama to deliver a very new and unique re-telling of the origin of Godzilla as many options are hinted at yet never confirmed, and some how this odd combination works really well! Godzilla looks like he has never looked before, and this new generation of films looks like it might be one that evolves with each new installment. This is a real hard movie to explain as it has lots of political moments and is less about Godzilla and more about the state of Japan. The film had a very limited theatrical release here in America, and I was lucky enough to catch it at the Regal Cinema in Beavercreek along with my friends Jeremy Hoyt, Erin R. Ryan and Sean Leo. Shin Godzilla brought in $1,918,403.00 in the US for FUNimation on a budget of $15 million and this was just icing on the cake as the film made way more in Japan. Worth watching and one I will own when on DVD, but I must also say this film is not for everyone and would probably bore many younger Godzilla fans.

# 4

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Michelle leaves her fiance after an argument and during her drive out of town, she gets into a terrible accident when a truck smashes into her and wakes up in chains in a fall out bunker owned by a man named Howard. Michelle thinks she’s being kept captive but soon learns from her host Howard that an attack has taken place that has left the outside air poisonous, and his story is backed up by Emmett another man taking shelter in the bunker. But after Howard’s odd and some time anger filled moods as well as witnessing a woman die from the air outside, the mystery of who did this attack as well as Howard really is unfolds. The film has so many twists and turns and delivers suspense with a horror vibe so well that I found myself glued to the movie screen watching it, and that’s saying something as the film this loose sequel spawned off of Cloverfield, which was not very good in my opinion. The acting is top notch with John Goodman as Howard stealing the show as well as other actors Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. delivering solid performances. The film is packed with some suspenseful and sinister moments, and I don’t want to spoil anything on what is really outside as I think it’s something you need to just see for yourself. The film did good for Paramount at the US Box Office bringing in $72,082,998.00 on a budget of $15 million causing talks of a sequel. Worth watch and was leaps and bounds better than the original and does away with the shaky came found footage style and delivers a solid spooky and well done movie.

# 3

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The Boy was one of those films that when my cousin Stephen and I saw the trailer at work when it was released into the world wide web, we knew we had to see it the weekend it came out, as growing up Stephen was scared of creepy dolls, and it’s our thing when we talk horror films. The film follows Greta, a young American woman who is getting away from her abusive boyfriend and takes a nanny job in England for the Heelshire family.  When the parents go on a holiday she is to watch after their son Brahms. But things are very odd as Brahms is nothing more than a doll who the Heelshire’s treat as a living child, and worse she learns from grocery delivery man Malcolm that Brahms died in a fire after an “accident” happened to a young girl near the house. Brahms has rules that must be followed, and Greta soon finds out that things are not as they seem as The Doll seems to have ideas of its own or does it? This is the kind of film that takes twists and turns and keeps a spooky gothic/haunting pace and then turns it up a notch with a surprise ending that some fans might see coming, but others might not…so I will not spoil it for you here. The film stars Lauren Cohan as Greta who is best known for playing Maggie Greene on the hits TV Show The Walking Dead, and she does a great job and is truly a stunning actress. During the film my girlfriend Juliet leaned over in pure joy and said the film reminded her of a cult classic “Tourist Trap,” and the rest of our viewing party seemed to get a kick out of this weird little horror gem. The film did pretty good for STX Entertainment at the US Box Office Bringing in a total of $35,819,556.00, if you like horror films set in a spooky old castle home and like creepy dolls check this one out on DVD or Blu-Ray.

# 2

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Leo Barnes is now working as a security chief for Senator Charlie Roan, a woman who had her family killed on a purge night many years back and wants to get rid of the day that she finds barbaric and wrong. But when she ruffles the feathers of the New Founding Fathers, they lift the band on not being able to kill a government official and hire a group of mercenaries to take her life! Leo, along with cornerstore workers and a group of protesters, must keep her safe throughout the night so she can make it to election day and rid America of this terrible yearly event. This is the third film in this amazing series and blends horror really well with action, drama and most surprisingly, a message, as all the films thus far have been not just about brutal killings but more about how society is going and how the 1% truly do call the shots. Leo and Senator Charlie are both very likable characters that you find yourself cheering for as are the workers of the small corner store who show that community and friends need to watch out for each other during the good and bad times. Another aspect of this film I liked is how America has turned the Purge into a tourist attraction where rich people from all over the world come to kill the weak and poor. The film stars Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell and Berry Gabriel and did really well for Universal at the US Box Office as if brought them in $79,042,440.00 on a small budget of $10 million and once more this was produced by Blumhouse proving these guys know horror! Own it on DVD and if you have not seen it and have enjoyed the other two films in the series, make sure you check this one out as it was a easy pick for my # 2! I want to also note that I saw this film at the Cranberry Cinema with Juliet during a Monsterbash vacation.

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In 1976, Lorraine and Ed Warren were looking into the haunting at the house in Amityville and during this investigation Lorraine gets a vision of her husband’s death as well sees a evil demonic Nun who haunts her dreams as well as her family’s even after leaving the home. Now in 1977, single mother Peggy and her children are living in a home in England when an evil spirit comes out to play and possesses young Janet who can speak with the voice of a 77 year old man as well as other creepy stuff happens around the house. The church asks Ed and Lorraine to look into the case, and they soon find that there is more evil at play than just the ghost of the house’s former owner as the Nun is there and wants to make Lorraine’s vision of her husband’s death a reality! Can Ed and Lorraine save the family from the torment of the evil spirits and can they prove the vision wrong? Watch this creepy ghost film to find out! This sequel is as good as the original, and Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson who play Lorraine and Ed Warren are fantastic and truly are what make these films work so well as you find yourself bonding with them. The films villain is Valak a demon who takes the appearance of the Demon Nun and who is just pure evil and is sure to scare many viewers with her sinister looks. Director James Wan knows how to take the true case files of the Warrens and along with his writers created a spooky film that does not suffer from being only PG-13 as it uses mood and jump scares to fill the audience with fright and when seeing this in the theater I can tell you I heard many of my fellow movie goers gasp and shriek with terror and to me that shows this flick did what it was suppose to do. The film was put out by Warner Brothers via New Line Cinema and did great at the Box Office here in the US as on a budget of $40 million it brought in $102,470,008.00 proving as I have said many times in this update that horror is profitable. I own this film on DVD and watched it again, and it still holds up and won easily my # 1 spot for best theater-viewed horror film of 2016! So if you like your horror films filled with demon nuns, jump scares, cool and creepy soundtrack and likable characters this one is for you!

So there it is. my best of 2016 in films I got to see in the theater, and I must say while I didn’t get to go as much as I wanted, the times I did get to go I had a blast! And I will make this promise that next year I will make sure to make more time to get my butt to the theater so that my Best of 2017 will be epic! Plus with rumors next year of new Friday The 13th, Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Amityville films, the horror competition will be high and dare I say cutthroat! But the Rotten Ink Theater clean up crew is here to sweep out all the popcorn so we should wrap this up.  I hope you enjoyed this update as much as I did writing it and our next update we are headed to Africa to spend some time with The Phantom! So until then, go see a movie or four and support your local movie theater!

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Matt Goes To The Movies 2014

Matt Goes To The Movies 2014 Logo

2014 was a pretty good year for movies, and while I didn’t get to visit the theater just about every week like last year, I still was able to catch many great films at my favorite theaters. It’s odd that after all these years I still feel the excitement of watching a film in the theater with some popcorn and an Icee. But before we get into my lists, I should say that my favorite theater is Cinemark at the Greene in Beavercreek, but man since they bought the theater from The Rave that place has had some issue and cutbacks that have really taken away from the place. The first thing you will notice is that on many days they are understaffed and many of the faces from last year are no longer working there, although my friend Chris still does so that’s a plus. Plus they did away with the flavor powder to put on your popcorn….so no more cheese popcorn for this movie goer. Others issues I have had is that during John Wick they left the lights on.  When my pal Jeremy Hoyt went and told them they turned off all the lights besides the center one that sadly we were sitting under…I felt like I was being interrogated by Dick Tracy! During November Man almost all the speakers besides the front two didn’t work, and worse, they had the front two cranked and it sounded like crap. During some movies, due to them going all digital with no projectionist when the film would start it would have no sound or no picture. Plus one of the most annoying things is the fact that they cram so many Coka-Cola and Microsoft ads at the start of every movie that it feels like your watching network TV! But to be fair for every bad experience, I have had way more good and that’s why it’s still my favorite theater. So let’s take a seat here at the Rotten Ink Theater lobby and let’s talk films of 2014!

Rotten Ink Cinema Lobby 2014Let’s get those bad films out of the way first, the ones that I left the theater wondering why film or even digital pixels were wasted on making them! So let’s take out this stinky trash before it smells up the joint! This year since I didn’t go and see one or two films a week, I was lucky enough to miss many stinkers but here are at least two that left a fowl smell in the theater.

WORST copy

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