The Second Richest Kid In Comic History: Royal Roy

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! As you can see, we have found ourselves in the kingdom of Cashelot, a place that has the old world and modern mixed over the watchful eye of King Regal and Queen Regalia as well as their son Price Royal Roy, who love those who live on their land! But I guess I should say that it’s time once more to step into the world of Star Comics and talk about one of their original characters that tried to make Star the place for young readers to go when it came to kid’s comics! And for those wondering, Royal Roy was Stars answer for Ritchie Rich and caused the company a little bit of a headache, but we will get into that a little later in this update so if you are ready, let’s enter Cashelot and see what the Royal Family is up to.

Royal Roy 1

Royal Roy is a young prince of the Kingdom of Cashelot, and he is loved by the people and is a well-behaved and noble kid who will do what he can to make things right to all he rules over. His parents are King Regal and Queen Regalia, and they are as well good people with King Regal being a little silly and Queen Regalia being sweet natured. Roy’s pet is a toothless crocodile named Gummy that acts like a dog and is as well friendly and protective of Roy. Speaking of protection, Roy also has a bodyguard named Ascott who watches after him as well as his parents. The castle also has some butlers including the older gentleman named Shuffles and the snooty Lord Proper who are also around and both watch after and help Roy. The creator of Royal Roy was Lennie Herman who was a longtime veteran of comic art and stories for Harvey Comics who sadly passed away in 1983, or so it is reported. The series of Royal Roy would only last six issues and almost got Marvel Comics, the parents company of Star Comics, into a lawsuit with Harvey Comics who claimed the character was too close to theirs…you guessed it, Ritchie Rich…nothing came of the lawsuit. And strangely enough in the early 1980’s, Harvey Comics was having money issues and Marvel was in talks to publish many of their classic characters, that is until two of the Harvey Brothers clashed over this and the deal was void. But really thanks to Harvey as Star become something better than just publishing comics based on dated characters for the then modern kids. Give me Royal Roy over Ritchie Rich and give me Star Comics over Harvey Comics any day! And with that said, I do enjoy some of Harvey comic series and characters.

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I know this sounds like a broken record for you long time readers, but I have to stress that I truly think that Marvel pulled the plug on Star way too fast as some of the comics clearly found their readers as Top Dog, Thundercats, Care Bears, Heathcliff, Muppet Babies and Spider-Ham all lasted for pretty long runs, and I knew many kids from school that were reading them with Muppet Babies and Thundercats being very popular among my classmates. But also comics like Masters Of The Universe, SilverHawks and Ewoks were also read and discussed in the halls and on the playground. The part of the history of Star Comics that I find really weird is when Marvel decided to remove the Star brand from the covers of releases new and old but left the Star Comics Presents on the first interior page and ones that come to mind are Camp Candy and Police Academy both of whom started with issue one having Marvel on the cover and Star on the inside…just odd. And with it being 2023, I still would love to see Marvel Comics bring back the Star Comic line as younger readers right now are not being reached and it’s a big missed opportunity as the comic readership market is shrinking, and while I think bringing back Star would be a great idea, you know as well as I do that Disney will not invest any more money into the comics as they are way too busy flooding the market with the similar plotted and brand fatigued Marvel Movies and Streaming Shows to the masses. I miss the classic Marvel Comics Universe that for me defined the 1960’s-1990’s as I felt like the comics had great stories and that the company in general took more risks and the creators put more passion into the issues. The modern Marvel Comics seems to be more concerned with getting social media fans that are non-comic readers to be excited about social topics that they are shoehorning into the Marvel Universe in comics as well as all media. While I doubt this ever will happen, I hope that Marvel Comics one day can break away from Disney and become the leader in comic book industry and masters of creativity that they used to be.

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When I was a kid, one of the things that I loved to get in the mail next to my comic subscriptions was the Del Monte Country Yumkins Plush Dolls, very cool plushes based on vegetables, fruit and even other things you would find on a farm like Scarecrow and a Black Bird. If I remember, you would have to send some proof of purchases and a little cash to Del Monte and they would then send you the plush you chose. Now I had a ton of these growing up as my Mom seemed to really enjoy ordering them for me as well and my top three favorite ones were Cobbie Corn, Cocky Crow and Sweetie Pea. They were made by Trudy and to me these little guys were great promo items to promote Del Monte canned & frozen fruits and veggies and as well was a great way to get kids to eat these types of foods. The County Yumkins started in 1982 and ran through around the early 1990’s and really was the company’s most popular promo items of all time and to say that the promotion was a hit would be an understatement. And in 2022 I was chatting with Juliet about them, and we decided that we were going to order four of them and display them in our upstairs workspace. And the first one I was able to get was Sweetie Pea from Etsy and then I got Cobbie Corn & Reddie Tomato from Ebay and finally we got Cocky Crow from Ebay to make up our shelf. And I broke down and had to get Snappy Bean that I picked up on Ebay and also got Country Stawberry off Etsy as they both had to join the collection as they were some of my favorites as well as a kid. Now I am not saying that all the other fellow Country Yumkins plush will not be bought to join the collection in the future, just not anytime soon. Check out the pictures below for the plush we bought as these are the pictures that the sellers used at the time of them being for sale.

Country Yumkins Sweetie Pea PlushCountry Yumkins Cobbie Corn and Reddie Tomato PlushCountry Yumkins Snappy Bean PlushCountry Yumkins Cocky Crow PlushCountry Yumkins Country Strawberry Plush

So as you can see, Royal Roy was truly Star Comics attempt to capture the readership of Ritchie Rich and also I think was a “slap” to the face of Harvey Comics for not allowing Marvel to publish their characters and this was a way of saying see we can just create our own and compete for that kids comic market. And now it’s time for me to reread the Royal Roy series and see if it not only holds up to what I remember but also if it was a good alternative to Ritchie Rich. I would like to thank Lone Star Comics and Bell Book And Comic for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. So before we dive into the money pit, I would like to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So with that, let’s see is Royal Roy holds up from what I remember as a kid reading.

Royal Roy Comic 1

Royal Roy # 1  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 1 of 6

“Mystery Of The Missing Crown” in the Kingdom of Cashelot the people are happy to celebrate the birthday of their Prince Royal Roy and his father and mother (King Regal & Queen Regalia) are very proud of him as well, as he is kind and an over all great kid. But when King Regal and their bodyguard Ascott go to the royal vault in order to fetch the royal crown for the prince they find that it’s missing! King Regal gets all his men to search the castle and even his sister the Duchess Of Muchess shows up and lend her time to try and help. Meanwhile Roy and his toothless crocodile pet Gummy also start looking around and find that the missing crown is in a picture of their ancestor William The Warhorse and he was not wearing it earlier, but before Roy can show his dad, the crown is gone again. That night Roy gets a visit from the ghost of William The Warhorse who tells him that he stole the crown as a test and that he is proud of him and returns the crown and Roy wears it for the ceremony before all his people. The second story is called “Crocadog” and has Royal Roy and his toothless pet Gummy capture some bad poachers that have been hunting in the kingdom.

The first issue of Royal Roy really is a good standard 80’s Kids Comic that really would have been at home at Archie or Harvey Comics showing that Star Comics really was a competitor in that market at the time. The first story’s plot has a the ghost of a multiple-great grandfather of Roy stealing the youngster’s crown in order to test him to see if he would look for it himself, and after Roy does that The Ghost is proud of him and gives the crown back and all ends well as the people of Cashelot get to see their Prince get his crown. The second story is a quick one and has Gummy and Roy stopping some animal killers. Royal Roy, while rich and the Prince of a whole kingdom, is very caring and well behaved and is well loved by all that meet him. His pet Gummy is also very good and acts like a dog. Because he is missing his teeth, he is harmless and Roy also has parents that care and watch after him as well as a whole staff that works for his family that also seem to adore him. This issue has two stories with the first one being the best as I like the idea of a Ghost from his bloodline testing him to make sure Roy is worthy of caring on the families legacy. The stories do have a touch of Ritchie Rich, but has its own touch to the kid comic trope of a sweet rich kid whose money does not affect him being a good person. And best of all, I feel that they stories are charming and hold a very magical feel for young readers who wanted something more than just superheroes. The cover is eye catching for the time fit right at home in layout and design for kid’s comics. The interior art by Warren Kremer is great stuff and you can tell he was a veteran of Harvey Comics. Over all a good start to this series and let’s see what Roy has in store for us next.

Royal Roy Comic 2

Royal Roy # 2  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 2 of 6

“The Grand Ball” Royal Roy is giving a tour of the castle and after the last one The King shows up and says he is happy it’s over as it makes him nervous having hundreds of tourists in the castle, and with that he runs into a young girl named Crystal Clear who he ends up giving a late tour to and then asks her to be his date for the ball that night, but this annoys Lorna Loot who has a crush on Roy as she wants to be a princess and is very rich and does not understand why Roy would choose a commoner girl over her. And she gets an idea after seeing the book Cinderella on her bookshelf. “Strangest Stranger” the night of the ball Roy and Crystal are having a great time when Lorna now dressed as Cinderella shows up complete with glass slippers annoys everyone trying to get Roy to notice her, and of course this does not work and Lorna leaves without Roy’s attention. The next day Roy calls Lorna to invite her to go on a hike with Crystal and him only for Lorna to yell at him cause her feet are swollen from the slippers. “Maneuvers” Royal Roy is woke up early in the morning by General Battlescar as it’s the day that Roy must attending the maneuver drills for the kingdom’s army, and Roy soon finds out the drills are just he and the General as Cashelot does not have a full army as they have not been in a war for over 900 years and all their weapons are made of cardboard! After playing along for a bit the drills are over, and Roy and the General head back to the castle and Roy is praised for his skills.

This second issue is just as fun as the first issue and has two tales of Royal Roy and his kingdom with one story being told in two parts. And I have to say all the stories in this one is lots of fun and I would say the two part story is the better of the two and that is barely as both are silly fun. Royal Roy once more in this issue shows that he is a caring young man who loves the people that make up his kingdom as well cares about the feelings of everyone, even people who annoy him. It’s also cool to see him fall in love in this issue and also shows that he kind of has a stalker who wants to be with him in order to become royalty. Crystal Clear is a young blonde girl who is very nice an captures the heart of Roy who clearly is crushing on her, and while she is from the common side of town, the Royal Family seem not to care as they see she is a good person. Lorna Loot is a very rich dark haired girl who is mean, pushy and has a crush on Roy’s power as she wants to become a Princess so bad, and will do whatever she can to get his attention. General Battlescar is crazy and seems to want a bigger army with weapons as he so wants to be in charge of soldiers, plus I love that he acts as if the cardboard weapons have real effects. This issue also has cameos by King Regal, Ascott and Shuffles all help add to the fun of the issue. The cover for this issue is pretty fun and showcases Roy pushing a crown that has a massive diamond on the top of it an the interior art by Warren Kremer is great as always. Another fun read an was just as entertaining as I remember it being as a kid, so let’s see if issue three holds up.

Royal Roy Comic 3

Royal Roy # 3  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 3 of 6

“Curse Of The Prince Roy Dollar Bill” King Regal & Queen Regalia have decided to make a new dollar bill for the kingdom that will feature the face of Royal Roy who is a little embarrassed by this act. Meanwhile Archduke Kraven Von Krunch, the second cousin of the King wants to take over the kingdom and adds itching powder to the ink of the bills that way everyone who handles it will have a bad case of being itchy! And as this spreads all over the kingdom Roy along with Crystal Clear head to the creepy castle of Von Krunch to get answers as Roy knows his relative is to blame. “Into The Kreepy Kastle” Roy gets Ascott to drive him to the castle and tricks Von Krunch into touching the itchy dollar bills and finds that he has a cure for the itching that Roy takes to his kingdom, and also even though he did a bad thing Roy gives Von Krunch a gift of a box of coal and that makes him happy. In the end new Royal Roy bills are printed this time featuring the back of his head in order for people to tell the difference between the good and bad ones. “Driving Him Crazy” Royal Roy wears a mask in order to take his driving test and Ascott goes along for the ride, the tester is in a bad mood and makes the test super hard for the youngster who ends up passing due to the car having some hidden features. “What’s In A Name” a world famous mapmaker named G.O. Graffic gets a tour of the land by Royal Roy so that he can make a map of the kingdom and finds that the land is filled with pearls, oil, gold and silver and that the shape of the kingdom makes a dollar sign, hence the name of the kingdom being Cashelot.

This third issue delivers three tales of adventure for Royal Roy with one being told in two parts. And I would say that the best story has to be the one featuring the itchy dollar bills as its classic kid comic stuff and even features Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who has a castle that is protected by robotic skeletons as well as werewolves and masked henchman and this adds a kids horror comic feel to the tale. And this issue takes Roy from a haunted castle to getting a diver’s license to finally giving a tour of his land, and all are silly tales that deliver some cheesy entertainment for readers. Royal Roy shows that he also has the skills of a detective as he cracks a case that is affecting all the kingdom as well as knows how to drive like a stuntman and once more proves he is a good tour guide. Archduke Kraven Von Krunch is a jerk who wants to bring down his second cousin all because he wants to be the King, and he puts the townspeople through itchy pain in order to try and bring chaos, plus he also surrounds himself with monsters and ghouls. This issue also has many cameos from past issues including Crystal Clear, King Regal, Queen Regalia, Ascott, Lorna Loot, General Battlescar, Duchess Of Muchess, Lord Proper and added a new character to the lineup of sidekicks with that being G.O. Graffic. One thing that is odd is that Gummy, Roy’s pet toothless alligato,r disappeared for many issues and is not even mentioned after the first issue. The cover is pretty cool and has Roy standing being a giant cardboard cutout of a dollar bill and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as always great stuff and is what comes to mind when you think of classic kids comic artwork. The third issue is another good one and keeps the fun nature of the series going as well as keeps building on the world of Royal Roy by showing more people who live in the kingdom as well as landmarks in it. I will also say that this issue is just as fun as I remember it being when I first read it as a kid and I do love that they added some spooky stuff in the issue to add a truly amusement park haunted house feel.

Royal Roy Comic 4

Royal Roy # 4  **1/2
Released in 1985     Cover Price .65      Star Comics     # 4 of 6

“The Curse Of The GoldEngaged Bridge” Royal Roy and Crystal Clear are hosting a TV Show about the sites and legends of Cashelot and all the while hiding and watching is Lorna Loot who is mad that Crystal is on TV and not her. But when Roy tells the legend and law of the GoldEngaged Bridge that is if a man is captured by a woman on the bridge they are set to be married in three days, it’s Lorna that rushes the bridge and captures Roy and now the two are set to be married so Lorna can be The Princess of Cashelot! Roy is upset by this law and tries to talk sense into Lorna only to find her to be a Bridezilla ordering massive cakes, rings and being just a spoiled brat. While on the bridge Roy and Crystal are talking and something she says gives him an idea to get out of this wedding. “Practice Makes Prefect” Roy has a great idea and with the help of his friends they are setting up Lorna for a tiring Princess training! She first is woke up super early to run war drills with General Battlescar, she then has to take Gummy, the toothless crocodile, for a wild walk, Lord Proper makes her wear over sized and heavy robes and crowns, the ghost of William The Warhorse tries to scare her away and the final straw is when she had to mix with the common people and she calls off the wedding and Roy is single once more. “Space Race Ace” General Battlescar is behind on time and wants for Cashelot to send a person to space and join the space race, but he only has around $24.00 to make the rocket ship! And he makes the ship from weird parts including a rowboat and a hot air balloon and quickly forces Royal Roy into a suit of armor and then onto his ship, and unknown to them all Gummy is asleep on top of the balloon! But things get scary when the balloon gets a hole in it via a hawk, Roy crashes into a river and it’s Gummy who gets him safely to shore! And in the end Gummy gets a medal for being Cashelot’s first every astronaut.

This is another fun issue that has two stories as well as a single page joke that is at the expense of Lord Proper. The main story has Royal Roy being forced to marry Lorna Loot because of an old legend and law and has to find away to break up the engagement as he wants nothing to do with her as she is a brat! The second story has Roy and his pet Gummy being forced into a make shift rocket ship that when crashing could have lead to Roy drowning if not for the help of his loyal crocodile pet. Both stories are really good but if I had to choose one, I would say the best is the Rocket Ship but only slightly as both adventures are really good! This issue also show cases many of the classic characters we have seen in past issues and is the return of Gummy who has been missing for many issues up to this point. I also like that the ghost of William The Warhorse makes a return as well and tries his best to scare away the would be Princess. We also now get a clear view that Royal Roy is in love with Crystal Clear and even thinks about making her his bride, and that they are now also co-hosts of a TV show. Lord Proper also shows a side of himself as he is helpful in the quest to break off the wedding of Roy and Lorna, showing that while he is a snob, he still does care about the Royal family he serves. The cover is pretty fun and has Royal Roy and Lorna Loot in the middle of her massive engagement ring and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as always great kid comic stuff! I am also very much looking forward to what the next issue has in store for me.

Royal Roy Comic 5

Royal Roy # 5   **1/2
Released in 1986     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 5 of 6

“The Royal Olympics” The Kingdom of Cashelot has been selected to be the place to hold the Royal Olympics and Roy is selected to enter the games and has to be run through Royal training by the likes of Lord Proper, General Battlescar and his aunt Duchess Of Muchess and is all about things like eating soup right, pinning medals as well as proper hand writing. This goes on for days and Roy finally snaps under the pressure and is upset that he will let his parents down, but of course his father calms his nerves and assures him that they will love him no matter what. The next day is the Olympics and the first event is the soup eating, but before it can begin, a massive thunderstorm breaks out and the crowd starts to panic and almost riot to get away from the rain and lightning, and it’s Roy who ends up grabbing a microphone and getting them all to calm down and to get to shelter and out of the rain, and due to this behavior and the events getting rained out that Royal Roy is given the gold medal. “Ship Shapes” Royal Roy takes Crystal Clear to the family’s yacht that is something very special as he plans to race it that weekend in a contest, but also in the water is Archduke Kraven Von Krunch is wants to sink the boat so that he can save Roy and he thinks the King will give him whatever he likes for doing so, but every time he tries he fails as the yacht can turn into a submarine, a helicopter as well as an off road vehicle. In the end it’s Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who is saved by Royal Roy as he almost goes over a waterfall and to show his gratefulness he becomes the janitor of the yacht during the big race that Roy of course wins.

We get two Royal Roy adventures in this issue and both a very different in nature with the big connection is both are about competition with one being how to be Royalty and the other being ready for a boat race! The first story is about the Royal Olympics and that Roy is feeling the stress of it all do to all his training that is all about being perfect, and this makes him feel like if he screws up that he will be letting his parents down. The second story has Roy on his super yacht sailing around and he is trying to show off to his crush Crystal, all the while his relative is trying to sink the ship in order to be a “hero” that saves him. Both stories are entertaining in their own way but the better of the two is the Royal Olympics that has Roy learn how to eat soup and even has cameos from many of the characters we have meet along the way in previous issues. Also I have to mention that the Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who is a blood relative to Roy so badly craves power and riches that he is willing to put his own family in danger in order to try and gain them both…like he uses bombs and such to try and sink a ship…the explosions could have also killed Roy! The cover on this issue is okay and has Roy running a race to get to a crown finish line, The Royal Olympics art is done by Warren Kremer and is great and the interior art done by Ship Shapes was done by Steve Stiles and is as well good stuff. The fifth issue keeps up the entertaining value of this Star Comic series and let’s see if the sixth and final issue has in store for us.

Royal Roy Comic 6

Royal Roy # 6   **1/2
Released in 1986     Cover Price .65      Star Comics      # 6 of 6

“The Secret Power Of Cashelot” while in the Royal Library in the castle Roy and his friend Crystal Clear find an old map in one of the books that leads to the power of the kingdom! And of course Archduke Kraven Von Krunch who was visiting the King over hears the kids talking about the map and decides that if he can find this power than he can be in charge of the Kingdom! Royal Roy, Crystal Clear as well as Ascott head down a secret passage deep into the basement of the castle and all the while behind them is Von Krunch who ends up getting lost and is so mad that he jumps up and down in a fit of anger. Roy and friends end up finding that the power that is spoke about on the map is just a big fuse box! And in the end the floor under the silly Von Krunch gives way and he falls into the fuse box and gets burnt up and has to make up a lie in order to explain why we was following them. “Great Scout” in this adventure Roy wants to become a Royal Scout and learn about nature and camping, but sadly he is shutdown when Lord Proper gets involved and takes the fun out of all things camping. But after a bear scares Proper and he and Roy get lost in the woods, it’s really like scouting that gets them back home and causes Royal Roy and Lord Proper to come up with a new club called Roy Scouts.

Well we are at the final issue of Royal Roy and it has been a six-issue adventure that really was a fun and silly read and showcased why younger readers in the mid 80’s enjoyed this comic series as for me Royal Roy was way better than Ritchie Rich who I did read when I was a kid as well. The two stories in this issue are pretty good with the first one being a mystery map that is said to lead to the power of the kingdom that of course is just a big fuse box and then the second one is all about Lord Proper taking the fun out of scouting and learning a lesson that learning about the land and nature is better than royal rules. The first story called The Secret Power Of Cashelot is the better story of the two as it has a mystery feel and even a hint of spooky haunted house as Roy and his friends travel down a dark staircase with only a candle to light the way. While I feel that the story Great Scout is good is also is slightly bland compared to the other stories we have had in the past issues. In the final issue we also get two small gag pages and one of them allow Gummy to have his final appearance in the series. Speaking of other characters, besides of course Royal Roy the other characters that appear in this swan song issue includes Crystal Clear, Lord Proper, Archduke Kraven Von Krunch, Ascott and King Regal. And I have to say that sadly this does not feel like a final issue and it’s clear that the creative team was not aware that the series was coming to an end as it seems like the characters as well as the readers just did not get closure and that’s a real shame as for an original character like this for Star Comics he should have gotten a true final issue. The thing about Royal Roy is that at first glance to really do get that Ritchie Rich knock off vibe, but when you read his issues you see that he truly is a different character and the only real connection between the two is that they are young and rich. It would be interesting if Marvel Comics would revisit the classic Star Comics characters and set them in modern time so characters like Royal Roy, Planet Terry, Wally The Wizard would all be older and we could then follow the relative of Top Dog! For me that would be an interesting idea, and I think they make them for the ages for the readers who grew up with these characters so we see what their lives are now like. The cover for this issue is cool and has Roy opening a glowing door and the interior art by Warren Kremer is as good as always and his kid comic work is top notch. Over all Royal Roy is a great kids comic and a great Star Comics original characters and if you have not read this series you should check it out and I would also say it could be a good comic series to get younger readers into comics that are not superheroes. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Warren Kremer used in this series.

Royal Roy Comic Art 1Royal Roy Comic Art 2Royal Roy Comic Art 3

Royal Roy and the people of Cashelot sadly have been long forgotten at Marvel Comics and with Disney in control I fear that they never will see the light of print again in new stories and adventures, and we will be lucky to get them in reprint paperback novels and digital comics (Yuck!). But while I feel Marvel Comics has been a shell of itself for decades now I hope some day the House Of Ideas returns to it’s full glory, and we get the amazing stories and characters back as the focus away from pleasing social media none comic readers with “topical” tales that lack heart. Well for your next update heart and muscles is what you would have to have in order to win as we will be heading to a “Made For TV” update and cover the 1977 World’s Strongest Man contest! So until next time, read a Star Comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! Oh and make sure to lift those weights and drink that protein shake as this Strongest Man contest is all about the power.

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Matt Goes To The Movies 2022

Best Of Movies 2022 Logo

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.

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# 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.

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# 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.

action-21-logo copy 2

# 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.

scifi-21 copy 2

# 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.

horror21logo copy 2

# 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

Rotten Ink Calling Dick Tracy…You There Tracy?

Calling Dick Tracy, come in Tracy – we wanted to let you know that you’re the topic for this Rotten Ink update! Ever since I was a youngster, I loved to read Dick Tracy comic strips, comics as well as watch the movies based around his adventures, and I have been itching worse than Itchy to bring to you friends and readers this update, as Tracy is one of my favorite characters of all time. I can remember the first time I read a reprinted Sunday comic strip at my Grandma and Grandpa Salyers’ house during one of our way too few visits and being hooked on his crime fighting adventures. This flame was sparked more by the Warren Betty film, the action figures and the reprinted comics that started to spring up at the local comic shops that my brother used to buy from a small five and dime near our grandparents’ house back in the early 90’s. Updates like this are one of the main reasons I love having this blog as I get to share and relive many characters from my past that helped fuel my imagination and made me into the overly creative person I am today. So check your wrist radio and make sure you can read this loud and clear as we are about to travel to the mean streets alongside Dick Tracy and clean them up from all the scum that’s ruining them!

Dick Tracy panel 1

Let’s first take a brief look at the man who created Dick Tracy so that we can get in tune with this iconic character. Chester Gould was born on November 20, 1900 in Pawnee, Oklahoma and by all accounts had a pretty good childhood as his father was a minister. At a young age, Chester was a fan of comics and was hired early on to make strips for Chicago Evening American and over his time there made such strips as Fillum Fables, The Radio Catts and Why It’s A Windy City. In 1926 Chester married Edna Gauger, and they had a daughter Jean a year later. In 1931 Chester created a comic strip for the Detroit Mirror that was based on a New York detective that caught the cartoonist’s eye for being interesting, and later it would morph into a strip based on a fake detective that he called Dick Tracy. The comic strip became a mega hit, and he would spend the next 46 years of his life drawing it as fans eagerly awaited the next strip. But things didn’t stay positive as by the strips decline, many readers turned on it for being too supportive to the police and the fact he added sci-fi elements by having Tracy visit the moon and even had a crooked lawyer character who sent readers into a fury and had newspapers dropping the strip. But many did stick with it through the ups and downs, and all were entertained by this yellow trenchcoat-wearing cop and his odd rouges gallery. Chester Gould passed away on May 11, 1985 leaving behind a legacy of comic strips and one of the world’s most iconic fictional detectives Dick Tracy. Over his career Chester won many awards such as the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award in 1958 and 1977 as well as an Edgar Award in 1980 to name a select few.  For those wanting to learn a little more about Chester, his only child Jean wrote a book about her father called “Chester Gould: A Daughter’s Biography On The Creator Of Dick Tracy” that was published in 2007 that is worth checking out. So here is a big thanks to Chester for creating Dick Tracy as well as to all the fans who have kept the character alive after all these years.

Dick Tracy Comic Strip CharacterChester Gould 0Sunday Funnies Tracy

The character of Dick Tracy was so popular that the comic strip spawned not only film serials but also movies that hit theaters and entertained the masses. The serials started in 1937 with the first simply being called “Dick Tracy” and had actor Ralph Byrd step into the role.  He would go on to play the character in the rest of the serials that followed such as “Dick Tracy Returns”, “Dick Tracy’s G-Men” and “Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc” with each of them being very popular for movie goers. Starting in 1945, RKO Radio Pictures decided to make Dick Tracy movies with the first being once again just called “Dick Tracy” with actor Morgan Conway as Tracy. The next picture once more had Morgan as Tracy and was released in 1946 and was called “Dick Tracy vs. Cueball” with actor Dick Wessel playing Cueball. In 1947, the third film was released in the series and was called “Dick Tracy’s Dilemma” and had Ralph Byrd return to the role of Tracy and The Claw, the film’s main bad guy, being played by Jack Lambert. Later in 1947, the fourth and final film in the RKO series was made.  It was called “Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome” and had Ralph Byrd again as Tracy and horror icon Boris Karloff as Gruesome.  Growing up, sadly, I never saw the serials, but I do remember the the RKO films and have memories of watching them though I’m not sure what station I saw them on.  If I had to guess, I would say TBS, WGN or AMC. The movies as well as the serials both have been released on VHS and DVD, and those fans wanting to watch these classic films can do so thanks to companies like Alpha Video. I  also should note that many Horror Hosts have also hosted these Dick Tracy films over the ages. But while the 1940’s was a big time for Tracy, it was the 90’s that he ruled for kids like me…but I’ll save that for a little further in this update.

Dick Tracy Ralph ByrdDick Tracy Meets Gruesome PosterDick Tracy Cueball

Besides the big screen, Dick Tracy also made his way to television thanks to the UPA who in 1961 made a cartoon show called “The Dick Tracy Show” that followed Tracy’s patrol cops like detective Joe Jitsu – a super smart character who knows martial arts, the police bulldog Hemlock Holmes, the apple stealing Heap O’Calorie and the speedy Manuel Tijuana Guadalajara Tampico “Go-Go” Gomez Jr. Tracy was never the main focus of the episodes that would rotate between the above characters who would always foil the crimes of Mumbles, Flattop and Pruneface, among other classics from the Tracy rogues’ gallery. The episodes were about 5 minutes each, and the show ran for a total of 130 episodes before being cancelled in 1962. Dick Tracy was voiced by Everett Sloane, and classic Warner Brother voice actor Mel Blanc lent his voice to characters like Flattop. I can remember when I was a kid, my brother used to wake up really early on Saturday Mornings and would start his cartoon watching early with a big bowl of cereal.  He would always tell me about this classic Dick Tracy cartoon he was watching, and after a month or so of him telling me about the show and me not believing him, he woke me up early per my request as I was wanting to watch this cartoon based on my favorite comic strip detective…and would you know the show didn’t come on.  My brother was so mad as it made him look as if he was telling a fib about the show and it would not be until many years later till I would finally be able to watch the show with my own eyes. While now the cartoon is pretty much forgotten, it’s worth tracking down on DVD and watching for Dick Tracy fans.

Dick Tracy Animated 1Dick Tracy Animated DVDDick Tracy Animated 2

Here is something many of you might not know; back in 1967, a TV pilot for a Dick Tracy series was produced by William Dozier, the man responsible for the 1966 Batman series starring Adam West, and was shopped around to ABC and NBC with neither company picking it up. Actor Ray MacDonnell stepped into the role of Dick Tracy, and the villain for the episode was Mr. Memory played by Victor Buono. While he was no Ralph Byrd or even a Warren Beatty, the overacting MacDonnell would have been a silly good TV version of Tracy. The reason the series was not picked up was because Green Hornet was a flop and the ratings for Batman were starting to slip, and no company wanted to invest in a comic hero series at the time. I was lucky that back in the day my brother was able to get a grey market VHS tape of this unaired Dick Tracy pilot, and alongside friend Andy Copp, we all gave it a watch and laughed and thought it was a fun and silly program. One thing that has stuck with me is the show’s theme song, that proclaims this mighty line: “Dick Tracy…He’s a good cop.”  And while he is one heck of of a cop, the networks in 67 just didn’t think he was a rating winner waiting to happen.

Failed Live Action Dick Tracy TV Show 1Ray MacDonnell as Dick TracyFailed Live Action Dick Tracy TV Show 2

In the summer of 1990, Touchstone Pictures released a big budget action film based on Dick Tracy that had the kids of the world craving everything they could get based on this classic comic strip character. Dick Tracy was directed by Warren Beatty, who also played the role of Tracy, and had big stars like Al Pacino as Big Boy Caprice, Dustin Hoffman as Mumbles, Paul Sorvino as Lips Manlis, Madonna as Breathless Mahoney and William Forsythe as Flattop, to name a very small few. The film had music done by Madonna with the score being done by Danny Elfman. The budget of the film was $47 million and at the US Box Office, it brought in a total of $103,738,726.00 making it a pretty good success for Touchstone. In 1990, Dick Tracy was the # 9 film of the year and beat out such films as Back To The Future Part III, Edward Scissorhands, The Godfather Part III, Misery, Goodfellas, Hard To Kill, Robocop II, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Rocky V, Ernest Goes To Jail and My Blue Heaven to name a small amount of hit and cult films. When I was about 10 years old, Dick Tracy hit theaters, and I was drawn into the commercials on TV promoting the film and begged my parents to take me to the theater to watch it.  They were not having it, and I had to wait to see it on VHS, renting it from the video store. But while I didn’t get to see the film, I was able to buy the toys, novels and read the comic books that were coming out and my brother was buying. I had Tracy fever and even wore several t-shirts that had Dick Tracy characters on them with my favorite being one that showcased Flattop. Upon finally seeing the film, I was a fan and can remember chatting about the bad guys of the film with friends and my brother and hoping and waiting for a sequel to be made. A sequel was just not to be as the rights to the characters in films became a nightmare of companies claiming to own it, but after years of fighting, Warren Beatty was proven to be the real owner of Dick Tracy’s film rights. Beatty himself keeps claiming that he has a sequel in mind and has hinted that Tracy will grace the silver screen once again in the future. Say what you will about the 1990 Dick Tracy film, but for me it was a must watch film alongside many other classic films from my childhood like The Goonies, Gremlins, Beastmaster and Legend to name a few. If you haven’t seen Dick Tracy, give it a watch, and if you have seen it, watch it again.  It’s a true classic comic to movie classic.

Dick Tracy WarrenDick Tracy 1990 PosterAl as Big Boy

Straight off the score for the 1989 Batman film, Danny Elfman was asked to do the score music for Dick Tracy and hammered out good quality music to accompany the film.  Was it as iconic as his score work for Batman, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure or Edward Scissorhands…well no, but it was still top notch stuff that I find myself playing from time to time on Alpha Rhymes on WYSO. Around that same time, pop music icon Madonna also released a CD called “I’m Breathless” that had music from the film she sang as Breathless Mahoney as well as songs inspired by the film. It’s a good CD from Madonna as my favorite song on that album has to be “Sooner Or Later” as it’s a well structured song and showcases a more bluesy sound from Madonna. This release was met with mixed reviews and was not one of her bigger hits. If you’re looking for the score or the music by Madonna you can find them on CD and Cassette, and they are worth checking out if you’re a fan. Below is the pictures of the CD’s as well as one of Tracy bad guy 88 Keys as he is the music man of this comic strip.

Danny Elfman Dick Tracy Score CD88 KeysMadonna Dick Tracy CD

In 1990, Bandai released a Dick Tracy video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that was a must buy or rent for many kids. We all quickly learned that the game was hard and really unforgiving in its challenge. Every kid I knew who owned a NES in Waynesville and my cousins Dino and Norman had this game in their collection and not a one of them ever beat it. I could not even crack and complete the first case as the snipers on the roof tops always took me out. The game has two modes: one is a top down car segment where you drive around town to gather the clues, and the second is side-scrolling beat em up action.  The game is truly impossible to finish unless you cheat. While the NES version of Dick Tracy is the most popular for old school gamers, many other Tracy titles were made for such systems as Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, Commodore 64 and DOS to name a few. So if you feel confident in your gaming skills and are up for a hard 8-Bit challenge, play some Dick Tracy for the NES and see how far you can get before snapping and breaking your system.

NES Dick Tracy Screen 1NES Dick Tracy in BoxNES Dick Tracy Screen 2

For the 2008 season, The Angry Video Game Nerd covered the Dick Tracy NES game, and just like I mentioned above, he was tortured in his youth by the game’s overly hard nature and the over powering gunshots from the roof snipers. But while watching him fail and play the video game is the funny part of his review, for me the highlight was when he talked about the Dick Tracy mania that was sweeping his school and how all his friends wanted to get all the Tracy stuff they could get their parents to buy them.  He even goes so far as to show old video of him on Halloween as a kid dressed up as Dick Tracy and getting a rock in his bag just like good old Charlie Brown. The youth of today have no clue how big of a deal the 1990 movie was to kids of my generation and how Dick Tracy was for a very short time as popular as other comic characters like Batman, Superman and Spider-Man.  I think this AVGN episode does a great job of briefly showing and sharing just how popular and loved it was. So if you’re a fan of AVGN, I am sure you have already seen this episode, and if you’re not and are not bothered by cussing and over the top humor, make sure to give it a watch.

AVGN Tracy 1AVGN Dick Tracy LogoAVGN Dick Tracy Cart

Dick Tracy has also had his fair share of merchandise for fans to collect, and besides the comic books, video games, soundtrack CD’s and home media releases of the films and shows, his yellow trench coat image as graced trading cards, tin toys, t-shirts, Halloween costumes, action figures, plush dolls, bubble bath products, novels, posters, hats, toy guns, and radios.  Pretty much anything you can name, he has graced it with his image in some way.  Growing up, I can remember seeing many of the old tin toys and books at the antique stores in downtown Waynesville and can even remember sometimes findings old Dick Tracy stuff at garage sales.  In both cases, the price tags were way too high for our mom to buy it for us. My favorite Dick Tracy merchandise I owned as a kid were the Playmate action figures.  I had Dick Tracy, Flattop and Itchy as well as the NES game and a paperback novel that I loved (I’ll get to that next). So fans and collectors, what Dick Tracy stuff did you own and love, in your collection now or even better that you had as a kid?

Sierra Exif JPEGDick Tracy SoakiePlaymates Dick Tracy Toys

My favorite Dick Tracy paperback novel when I was a younger lad was called “Dick Tracy Meets Angeltop: Flattop’s Little Girl” and was released in 1979.  It was done by Max Allan Collins who took over for Chester years back, keeping the Dick Tracy comic legacy alive. I found the book at a place called Half Priced Books and can remember reading it from front to back in one sitting while hanging out in my room and enjoying every crime filled page. I used to love the comic book paperback books that used to be made and to this day own many of the ones from Marvel and DC that I have had since I was a kid, but like a fool I did not keep this one. What stuck out to me was the fact that this was a story that pitted Tracy against the daughter of my favorite Tracy rogue who was long dead in the comic strip by the time this was released. Plus Angeltop, just like her father, is a gun firing fiend who clearly wanted to end Tracy’s life and avenge her father, building on his crime legacy. If you want a good read that pits Tracy against a mean spirited gun firing lady, check this one out as it’s worth the read for sure.

Angeltop panel 1Angeltop paperbackAngeltop

My favorite bad guy from the Dick Tracy Universe has to be Flattop Jones Sr., a strange looking mobster who had a flat head and a take no prisoners attitude. Flattop’s first comic strip appearance was on December 21, 1943 and little background is given on the character besides that he was a freelance hitman from Oklahoma and he was involved with the Kansas City Massacre, a real life incident that took place in 1933 that left four officers of the law dead. It’s believed that Chester Gould based the character off the real life mobster Pretty Boy Floyd who had a similar background and was involved in the Kansas City Massacre. In his first appearance, Flattop is coming off a five person killing spree and is hired to kill Dick Tracy for $5000, but of course comes up short. During his appearance in the comic strip, he has been shot and almost killed, attacks Vitamin Flintheart, been stuck in a chimney and stung by bees, knew Tracy during World War II and finally meet his end by drowning after being caught in the struts of a replica boat. Flattop was one of the biggest villains in the comic strip, and he spawned many relative characters to try and capture the original character’s magic with readers like his wife Stilleta Jones and his children Flattop Jr. and Angeltop Jones. He had a drunk father named Poptop as well as brothers Blowtop and Sharptop also had a grandchild named Hi-Top among others. The character has appeared in other Tracy media like a radio show, TV series and cartoon as well as the 1990 movie and many toys and video games. Growing up, one of my favorite t-shirts was a Flattop Jones Sr. one, and I can remember wearing it with pride even after many of the kids on the playground gave me guff for wearing a bad guy on my shirt, but as years passed they learned to expect my love for comic, movie and horror villians. To this day Flattop is one of my favorite comic book bad guys and would still easy make it into my Top 10 of all time!

Flattop From Comic StripFlattop from 1990 MovieFlattop from Animated series

Actor William Forsythe played Flattop in the 1990 film, and his portrayal is fantastic and really hammered home my love for the character as he brought the take no bull crap attitude and blood lust to kill some suckers with his trusty tommy gun. Forsythe is a fantastic actor and has appeared in such films as Cloak & Dagger, Once Upon A Time In America, Raising Arizona, Out For Justice, Stone Cold, G-Men From Hell, The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween (2007) and Dear Mr. Gacy to name a very select few and show how amazing an actor he is.  Over the years and the many conventions I have done with the likes of Andy Copp, Independent B Movie and Baron Von Porkchop I have seen William Forsythe many times and spoke to him from time to time as he has always been super approachable and friendly to his fans, but it was not until 2014 during a Horrorhound Weekend that alongside my friends Horror Host Icon Fritz The Nite Owl and Mike McGraner that I finally got to tell him just how impactful his portrayal of Flattop was to me as a kid.  He seemed very happy to hear it as I am sure at these cons most people talk to him about Devils Rejects. So I doubt if he ever reads this but again, thanks Mr. Forsythe for rocking in the role as Flattop and thanks for just being you and being very cool and chill with your fans. Below is a picture of Fritz, Mike and I with William Forsythe.

Frtitz, Mike and Me with William

Do you readers remember when Dick Tracy was out in 1990, and McDonalds had a cool contest going on that would let you get a scratch off ticket that would have you win prizes, free food and money if you could match up mug shot of Tracy villains to a number? My parents were never big McDonalds eaters, and when we would go to the restaurant, it would be because my brother and I would beg them to take us as we wanted something in the Happy Meal or thought we could win a contest like this. I can remember getting a few of these scratch off tickets and always revealing a character called Measles Enog who was a dope smuggler who had red spots on his face and was nothing but a two bit crook! I never won any major prizes on this game, but I did win a small fry. Do you readers and friend remember playing this game at your local McDonalds?

Dick Tracy McDonalds Game

Before we get into the review section of this update, I want to take a moment to give you all a personal opinion of mine that I truly believe. In comic books, a hero is only as good as the villains he faces and some of the most iconic bad guys attached to heroes all are just as known and important to the comic series as the hero is and bring their own twisted charms to fans. I mean let’s be honest, two of the biggest names in comic book history that have some of the best bad guys are Batman and Spider-Man.  What would Batman be without the likes of The Joker, Two Face, Catwoman, The Riddler, Killer Croc, Bane, Scarecrow and so many others; just like what would Spider-Man be without Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, Venom, Green Goblin, Kraven The Hunter, Scorpion and a mountain of others. For me, Dick Tracy also fits this list as he has battled some amazing and colorful characters over his long comic career like The Brow, Flattop, Big Boy, Itchy, Mumbles, Steve The Tramp, B-B Eyes, The Mole, The Rodent, Pruneface and so many other mean and original bad guy characters all with their own strange quirks and their own plots to kill Dick Tracy. For me, the top five comic/comic strip characters that have the best villains would be: Spider-Man, Batman, Dick Tracy, Captain America and X-Men..but I should also note that Superman and Incredible Hulk also have amazing bad guys and would make it into the top 10 for sure. So all I am saying is show the baddies the same respect you show your comic heroes because without them how boring would your comics be?

PrunefaceBrowItchy

Well we are here at the police station and Dick Tracy alongside his friends Sam Catchem and Pat Patton are in the other room getting some information from Little Face so I think that we should start getting to the review section of this update. I am not going to lie, when selecting what to blog about this month I decided that I was going to pick topics that meant something to me growing up like Super Scary Saturday, and I knew that Dick Tracy had to be a part of this month’s theme as I have been a long time fan and respect the characters and creators that made this Sunday Funnies strip into something that put a smile on my face for over 30 years. I want to thank Mavericks Cards and Comics and Lone Star Comics for having these comics in stock. I want to also re-thank my brother Bryan for buying this series called “The Original Dick Tracy” when we were kids and letting me read his copies when he was done with them. I need to also remind you all that I grade these issues on a 1-4 star scale and base it on these factors: how well the comic keeps to the source material, its entertainment value, and its art and story. So strap on your badge and put on your favorite hat and coat, as we dive into the crime world of Dick Tracy!

Original Tracy 1

The Original Dick Tracy # 1 ***
Released in 1990    Cover Price $1.95    Gladstone Comics    # 1 of 5

Dick Tracy VS Mrs. Pruneface” It’s a dark and stormy night as Dick Tracy and Pat Patton are filing old finger prints and decide to head home.  While Pat leaves first and gets a cab, Tracy decides to walk it in the rain and is attacked and knocked out by a whip swinging amazon of a woman who is Mrs. Pruneface, the widow of a mobster who Tracy has killed.  She takes the detective to a hideout where she and her servant Emil chain Tracy to the wall and keep him captive. Junior and the Police are worried when Tracy does not show up for work the next day, and when his pen is found in the ally, they know something wicked has happened to their friend and the city’s top detective. Meanwhile, Tracy is being mentally abused by Mrs. Pruneface who will not tell him who she is and why she has a plan to seal him up behind a brick wall after he has been killed thanks to a spike that has been driven through a board and placed on two 100 pound blocks of ice that will stab him in the heart thanks to the oven that will be left on as well as the old icebox that is left on top of the board to add weight. Mrs. Pruneface finally tells Tracy who she is and sets the trap that will end his life.  As she and Emil go to a tavern to wait for the morning news to report of Tracy’s death, the Detective uses his own quick wit to survive the death trap and is rescued by his fellow officers. Now wanted for attempted murder, Mrs. Pruneface uses stage makeup and changes her looks and gets a job at a hotel as a cook as Emil is ordered to stay at their new hotel room hideout, but being a goof Emil accidentally drops one of Mrs. Pruneface’s whips out the window and a cop picks it up and gives it to his son who is friends with Junior who informs Tracy and the rest of the cops were it was found.  Mrs. Pruneface is furious about Emil getting into her weapon bag and beats her one time servant to death with a lamp and goes about her new life as a cook. When Tracy and the cops find the body of Emil, she leaves the hotel and starts cooking for the mayor where she murders one of his daughters’ friends who accidentally finds out who she really is, and now with Tracy and the cops on her tail she holds the mayor’s two daughters hostage with a pot of boiling soup threatening to pour it on them if they don’t keep quiet quite as they police look around the house trying to find her. In the end, the daughters turn on a fan in front of flour that blinds Mrs. Pruneface who slips on the soup she drops and cracks her head open on the oven.  The daughters run for help, and Tracy and the others rush to the kitchen when they hear two gun shots and find that the mayor’s wife as put two bullets into Mrs. Pruneface’s head in self defense. And so ends the case of Mrs. Pruneface, who is now dead just like her husband.

This Dick Tracy adventure is as amazing and silly as I remember it to be when I first read this comic in my youth thanks to my brother who would buy every issue of this series. The plot is very simple and has Mrs. Pruneface trying to murder Dick Tracy to avenge her husband who was killed.  She fails and tries to go into hiding but is busted in the end due to her own evil and mean spirited nature. Dick Tracy goes from being a tortured prisoner who is almost murdered to a detective on the heels of those who almost did him in. The best part about Tracy in this issue is that he is so cheesy and yet so cool that he shows why he is a true icon of Sunday Funnies. Mrs. Pruneface is such a cruel and complete and interesting character as she was once a vaudeville performer who is the widow of crime boss Pruneface, is a master of make-up and stage effects, can cook like a professional chef and on top of it her face is messed up because she was fleeing her country during the war in a tank and took a face full of gasoline and fire.  Also I should throw into the mix that she is a master with a whip and is as strong as a body builder…this woman is badass! She is also very cold blooded and does not mind killing those who get in her way as she beats her own servant to death with a metal lamp and then drowns a young man in the pool both for different reasons and with zero remorse. It’s crazy that she meets her end by the hands of the Mayor’s wife who up to that point was never seen and was supposed to have been confined to a wheelchair, but somehow is able to walk again and place two bullets perfectly into the head of Mrs. Pruneface who was across the room…maybe it’s the Mayor’s wife that is the true bad ass as in the matter of minutes she is a master marksman and decides that she will not be handicapped no more. One other odd (and yet so fitting for the time) thing they keep doing in this issue is because Mrs. Pruneface has a burnt and ugly face they keep referring to her as not human because of her looks.  Tracy is not only a great detective but he is also cruel like a school yard bully. Over all this is a great way to start off “The Original Dick Tracy” comic series from Gladstone, and the cover is very eye catching and has Tracy walking down the street with Mrs. Pruneface whip in hand about to strike as the rain pours down. The art inside is done by Chester Gould himself and is what Tracy fans would want. I can’t wait to see if issue two holds up as well as issue one did, and while the writing of this issue might be dated and not super well done, it fits for the time when Dick Tracy was a must read when your Sunday paper was delivered.

Original Tracy 2

The Original Dick Tracy # 2  ***
Released in 1990    Cover Price $1.95    Gladstone Comics    # 2 of 5

Dick Tracy And The Evil Influence” In the cold of night, a car and a dead body are dumped in the pier by Influence and his henchman who have decided to stick around town.  With the power of persuasion, Influence uses his creepy power on Vitamin Flintheart to use his little diner as a hangout, and they also decide that they are going to take over Flintheart’s life as Influence makes him close his diner for good, make a fool of himself for his amusement and even break off every friendship he has ever had.  Influence also makes him remember that he owes them tons of money and that he flaked on paying his gambling debit to them. The old diner Flintheart owned is burnt to the ground, and with his friends chased away, the old man is warped into a person with no will power who is now 100% under the control of Influence who wants to make Flintheart into a money maker, killer and slave for his needs to gain money and power. Dick Tracy and Pat Patton become worried about their friend when they find his place burnt down and him missing, and thanks to some clues and his reputation, they figure out that Influence must be involved not only in this mystery but also the murder of the man pulled out of the pier. Influence has used his control over Flintheart to introduce him to a rich widowed stage actress who is now also under his control and is slowly emptying her bank account and giving it to him, all the while Influence has also taken over her mansion and has big plans to make himself rich. During this crime Influence comes in contact with Pat Patton, and after knocking him out with brass knuckles, he tries to burn the officer alive in the city dump, but thanks to the two way wrist radio Dick Tracy is able to save his friend and find a clue of a ripped piece of newspaper that is stuck to his friend’s jacket that has the address of the actress who is being controlled. Before Tracy and the cops can get to the mansion, Influence kills the actress and sets a trap for Tracy that leaves him in the hospital and the evil doers escaping to a winter resort. They allow Flintheart to go and wipe his mind and dispose of the hat and coat of Tracy they stole that is found by a young woman who returns it to the injured detective. Dick Tracy follows the lead of where his coat and hat were found and stumbles onto the hideout location at the resort and thanks to a pair of contact lenses and a chain he is able to beat Influence down and crack the glass contacts that give him his hypnotic powers.

This second issue is as good as I remember, and this time has Tracy going up against a hood who can use tricks to make people do what he wants, but he makes one mistake when he decides to kill and loot in Tracy’s part of town. Dick Tracy uses the clues he can find and the information on a known criminal to crack the case wide open and to figure out the secret of how one low life man can use the power of mentally controlling people thanks to contacts. Tracy, who is the main hero in this issue, still gets beat up as he is tricked, rolled into carpet and hit in the head with a metal pipe then gets his trademark yellow hat and coat stolen…so while Tracy does end up saving the day, he does take some damage. Pat Patton is also a good cop and is a loyal friend to Tracy, and while on the case he almost dies when he is bashed in the face with brass knuckles and then set on fire! Vitemin Flintheart, the aging actor turned hamburger diner owner, is used and abused in this issue as his old debts are called upon to be paid and he loses his own will, his business and the life of his old stage friend in the process. I never liked Flintheart as a character as I always found him to be a pompous ass so seeing him have to sleep on a brick and ordered around did kind of make me happy. Influence is a man driven by greed as he will do whatever it takes to get money in his hand and that even means murder as he kills three people and attempts the life of at least one other during his crime spree in this issue. I like the fact that he is a con man who uses tricks of contact lenses to bend the minds and will of people he has targeted for his scheme. Just like the first issue, this one has some blood, and it’s shocking that a comic strip used the red stuff to get across the act of violence. The cover is well done and reminds me of an old noir/detective film poster, and once more the art is done by the man Gould himself. Over all this second issue packs the same amount of punch now as it did back in my youth, and I can’t wait to read the third issue and see how well it holds up to this long time comic reader.

Original Tracy 3

The Original Dick Tracy # 3  ***
Released in 1991    Cover Price $2.00    Gladstone Comics    # 3 of 5

Dick Tracy Exterminates The Extortioner” Radio DJ Christmas Early and her date are wrapping up a evening late at night when he is mugged and killed.  Dick Tracy comes upon the crime at first thinking it was Christmas but soon puts it together that someone else has murdered the man without the young woman knowing as someone knocked him down and out and the spinning door Christmas was pushing on would crush the man’s throat and killing him. Gargles is a man who has a love for fine cigars and gargling mouth wash, and he has a get rich quick scheme that has him strong arming and forcing store owners to buy phony mouthwash he makes.  He is the one who killed Christmas’s date as he was a store owner that was going to alert the cops to his game of fraud. Gargles shakes down many store owners and gets more and more money for his bootleg mouthwash, and while in his hideout he even starts to fall for Christmas Early as he likes the sound of her voice.  Gargles also makes a mistake when he drops a cigar band with his initials into a jar of his foul mouthwash that Dick Tracy finds at one of the stores he ripped off. With the help of Christmas Tracy links the cigar band to a fan letter Gargles sent to her and finds the makers of the custom cigars and Gargles’ the address.  Tracy and Pat kill his two helpers as Gargles uses a hidden tiny room in his flowerbox to avoid being captured as he has been tricked into thinking Christmas wants to go on a dinner date with him when really she is setting him up to be captured, but while in his hiding spot he over hears Tracy sharing the date details with fellow officers and Gargles is able to alert some more underlings who are able to trick the cops and remove the flower box away from the apartment and saving Gargles from being captured, and this crook is not happy with his one time radio crush. Gargles finds a room to rent with Themesong and her mom, two friends of Dick Tracy who are unaware of his evil ways as he is unaware of their friendship with his pursuer.  This makes for a time bomb ready to go off at any minute. It all comes to a head when Dick Tracy finds out that Gargles is staying with his friends after he murders Themesong’s Mom and a shop owner and hides in a tool box on a repair truck that is then hit by a car crushing the box and hurting the fugitive bad. Once at the repair shop Gargles is finally able to free himself from the mangled tool box and kills one of the workers but has been tracked by Tracy who uses bullet proof glass to shake Gargles who trips and falls out of a window and is killed by chunks of glass that impale his body. In the end, Christmas is cleared of all charges and starts a friendship up with Themesong who is now an orphan, and Dick Tracy is once more the town’s hero.

Who in the world thought of the idea to have a major plot point of a comic being a character named Gargles who is addicted to using mouthwash extorting money from shop owners by selling them bootleg mouthwash….yes, you read that right bootleg mouthwash….Chester Gould is the man who came up with this amazing plot, and I loved every moment of it. While the idea of bootleg mouthwash is something I am sure many of you readers are chuckling about, it’s clear as day this was really a way to talk about prohibition without pissing off real mobsters as well as government agents who were battling the bootleg alcohol runners and makers. In this issue, Dick Tracy is super smart in some ways and in other makes some really bone headed mistakes. For the good, he figures out really fast that Christmas Early could not have killed her date as he was attacked from behind, but then a little later on he makes the mistake of blurting out a set up in place by Christmas when the scene was not secured poperly alerting the target to the plan. Speaking of Christmas Early she is pretty smart and uses her radio show to help law enforcement in tracking down and stopping Gargles on his path of bootlegging and killing. Gargles is a strange characters who is a germaphobe, has an addiction to using mouthwash multiple times a day and also loves to smoke cigars who gets him money by strong arming shop owners into buying hundreds of gallons of his fake nasty germ infested mouthwash. He also is not afraid to kill if someone tries to rat him and his racket out to the cops, is he as major of a threat as Mrs. Prunface or Influence? Not at all he is more small time but he does have is own henchmen who do as he requests and are loyal enough to die for him. But in the end he dies by being impalied by shards of glass and his crime spree comes to a bloody end. The one character I can’t stand is the young Themesong who is a snarky loudmouth little girl who is rude and is annoying, and I just don’t like her at all. The cover on this issue is pretty cool, and once more the art is done by the legend Chester Gould and is fantastic and is the look we all love for Dick Tracy. This is another great issue that captures the magic of the golden age of classic funnies and brings it to a new generation to enjoy! I can’t wait to relive the next issue, so let’s get to it shall we?

Original Tracy 4

The Original Dick Tracy # 4  **1/2
Released in 1991    Cover Price $2.00    Gladstone Comics    # 4 of 5

Dick Tracy Confronts Itchy Oliver” the goofy B.O. Plenty has became rich by taking Breathless Mahoney’s money and is now the target of Itchy who wants to use Breathless’s mother Elia as bait to lure the millionaire into a room so he and his goons can rob him! Once Elia lures B.O to Itchy’s hideout they torture him and get the location of his money thats hidden in his hotel room, but unknown to Itchy is that Dick Tracy and Pat Patton are waiting to chat with B.O and a shoot out happens that leaves Elia dead, Tracy nicked by a bullet and Itchy escaping with the money! To get ride of B.O Itchy and his goons tie him to a board and let him float away in the sewer as Tracy and the cops rush to Itchy’s hideout that was given to them by Elia’s dying breath. As Tracy, Patton and the Cops close in Itchy kills one of his henchmen and leaves the other behind so that he can steal all the money and while escaping hurts Patton and escapes via a car in a wedding service. But things don’t go well for Itchy when the wedding party figures out he is a mobster and try to hold him at bay until they can call the cops, but this leaves one man dead and Itchy stealing a car and on the run again. But lucky for the cops Junior and Tess where at the scene and were able to call Tracy and are following Itchy in a car so that he can not fully get away. A car chase leaves Itchy wrecking and faking his death only in turn to knock out Junior and kidnap Tess who he forces to steal Tracy’s car! After some quick thinking Tess wrecks the stolen car and traps herself and Itchy in it, but once more Itchy escapes and this time steals a police car but this time Dick Tracy sneaks into the trunk, and this causes Itchy to drive to a house owned by Kitty the widow of B-B Eyes a mobster that Tracy killed 5 years past and the pair of criminals keep Tracy hostage and start a plan to starve him to death! But thanks to some great detective work from Junior, Dick Tracy is able to get free and kill Itchy and arrest Kitty before they can truly do him in.

This issue is good but I must also say that much of it is wasted on car chases and grand theft auto as Itchy steals so many cars and goes on the run that you will think your watching a dated Dukes Of Hazzard episode during a long drawn out chase scene. The plot has Itchy stealing some money from B.O Plenty and going on the run to get away from Dick Tracy who is hot on his trail. Dick Tracy in this issue seems to always be three steps behind Itchy, and for the most part seems to be off his detective game as he is not only always behind on catching Itchy but also is captured and almost killed by the mobster and if not for Junior he would have been dead! Junior steps up his game and tries his best to not only beat up Itchy but also figures out the mobsters hideout and has the guts to go into it and help Tracy escape. This issue leaves B.O Plenty a hill billy with money in the sewer and makes your the reader wonder is he dead? Great seeing Tess Trueheart as she is a great character and is as brave and noble as any officer of the law in this series. Pat Patton is around doing his crime busting thing and even after being injured still does his job and tries to track down and capture Itchy and his goons. Itchy Oliver is all about the money and not only kills innocent people but also kills his own partners in order to keep it all, this mobster is just not greedy but also a cold blooded killer who meets his end at the end of a gun when he just cant let himself get captured. I love the fact that Itchy is called that cause he can not stop scratching and that quirk is what makes him stand out as well as gives him his nickname. Kitty the widow of B-B Eyes is also very mean and is the one who comes up with the fact that they will starve Tracy to death and will only give him water twice a day that sticks to a fork and his meals twice a day is a tiny bit of a turnip, she is cold blooded and in the end will go to jail. While this issue has the biggest name in Tracy’s rouges gallery this far as the main villain, it story and delivery is just kind of weak and not as charming as the issues that came before it. This also really does mark the death of Itchy who is shot in the chest and throat by Tracy, very brutal way to die. The cover on this issue is just ok and while eye catching for Tracy fans would not draw in new readers.  The art inside is fantastic and done once more by the master of Sunday Funnies Chester Gould. While this is not the best in the Gladstone Comic reprint series, it still was a fun and solid read and enjoyable till the very end.

Original Tracy 5

The Original Dick Tracy # 5  ***
Released in 1991    Cover Price $2.00    Gladstone Comics    # 5 of 5

Dick Tracy Rubs Shoulders” while walking down the road Dick Tracy is stopped by a little girl named Themesong who for spare change will sing you your favorite song, this is a set up as a two bit crook named Roach who is also the young girls father steals Dick Tracy’s wallet…or so he thinks as Tracy has been on to them and after roughing up Roach he arrests him and takes Themesong in as well. The crook Shoulders pays for Roach’s bail and beats him with a belt to teach him a lesson as Pat and Tracy follow Themesong home to see what clues they can find out of who is the man in charge of this street pick pocket crimes. Tracy follows Themesong home and tries to speak to her sick mother but it goes no where as Themesong makes it impossible for the two adults to talk. Shoulders is worried about the cops being onto him sho he sends his woman Honey Doll to fake act like she has been robbed to see if she can get any info from the cops on leads and their next move against street crime. Tracy is onto Honey Doll and dont play her game of trying to get information, meanwhile Themesong goes to Shoulders apartment to warn her father and his crooked friends of the cops looking for them and this send Shoulders into a rage that leaves Themesong being knocked out via a lamp thrown in her face and Rouch being shot twice and dying from his wounds. While Shoulders and Honey go on the run Tracy is called to Themesong’s family apartment were the body of Roach now lies. Tracy along with his wrist radio trick Themesong via her radio to tell the police who shot her father dead, but just as she is about to Shoulders knocks out Tracy and shoots Themesong twice in the gut and decides to flee the area leaving behind Honey Doll who is heart broken and in turn tells the cops what plane Shoulders is leaving on! But the crook Shoulders is to smart for theme and decides to go to a small airfield were he steals a plane and during take off crashes it into a gas tank blowing himself up! While at the hospital Themesong is doing better and recovering from her gunshot wounds. While all this craziness is happing B.O. Plenty is getting married to Gravel Gertie and Breathless Mahoney is mad in jail as she was apart of the same crime as B.O who has yet to be sent to trail and sentenced! The anger and bitterness forces Breathless to fall ill and die, while B.O is finally placed in jail only to be set free when the only witness to the crime Breathless passed away making it a happy ending for the new Bride and Groom.

This last issue in this “Original Dick Tracy” comic reprint line has Dick Tracy busting a pickpocket gang and as well attending the marriage of a friend who could be sent to jail on his own wedding day! Tracy is taking no prisoners and wants to make the streets safe for the citizens as he is onto who the key players of this petty street crimes are and even in the process decides to try and change a young girls life around who is involved in this crime ring thanks to her no good father. Tracy is a good cop and a great person as he also shows he cares about his friends as he tries to help B.O Plenty not to go to jail for the rest of his life. Themesong that annoying young girl is showcased lots in this issue as its her origin story and this time around she is a brat who mouths off to the cops screams how she wants a “Mouthpiece” to talk to them and is shot twice and bounces back faster than Superman. I really dislike this character as I find her annoying and just so dang unnecessary to showcase as much as they do. When she is shot I found myself cheering for Shoulders and was hoping that this would have been the characters end, even though I new that it was not. Roach and Honey Doll are two great sidekick characters who put their trust into Shoulders who in the end ends up betraying them both and leaves Roach dead and Honey Doll a woman scorned and left in his dust. Shoulders is a mean spirited man who only clearly cares about money as he kills, beats up a child and smack a woman around in order to get what he wants, his downside is his own ego as he thinks he can fly a plane and does to right into a gas tank blowing himself up and ending his crime spree once and for all…well until later in the comic strip and not shown in this issue when its shown Shoulders lept out of the plane and faked his death. Poor Breathless Mahoney meets her end in jail from sickness and while near death she is very upset on how B.O is being treated and not spending jail time like she is for the same crime, but right before death she forgives him. B.O Plenty and Gravel Gertie are in love and are two white trash lovers who find happiness with each other and while annoying they do make a great pair and it’s cool to see B.O get out of spending any real jail time when the states main witness Breathless passes away. This final issue in this volume of the series is really cool and I enjoyed Tracy’s cat and mouse hunt for Shoulders with the only downside of this issue being is the whole last part is just spent on the marriage of B.O and Gravel and while fun and silly I also felt it killed the pace of the crime story that the beginning built up. The cover is eye catching for Tracy fans and the inside art while slightly sloppy is still Chester Gould gold! Over all a great comic series that brought back great memories of car rides to Grandma’s house and visiting old small town stores and looking back when Dick Tracy claimed the imaginations of the youth. Below is some pics from this series and shows you just how cool and old school this comic strip truly is….I love it!

Original Tracy art 1Original Tracy art 2Original Tracy art 3

It’s a real bummer that Gladstone comics “The Original Dick Tracy” only lasted 5 issues as I would have loved to have read more adventures in this modern comic format featuring other top villains like The Brow and Pruneface, but sadly they canceled the series and later in 1990 the did a second series of The Original Dick Tracy that were bigger sized issues with card stock covers making them a little less charming for this reader. But it was great going back and reading these comic issues as I have not since 1990 when my brother was buying them from the local drug stores and newsstands.  This just reignited my respect and enjoyment for classic Tracy adventures. Our next update will be another topic that meant something to me growing up and will take us off the mean streets ruled by gangsters and into space where we will have to look out for Klingons as we take a look at the original Star Trek series and the Marvel Comics based off it. So I hope you’re ready to leave dry-dock and go on one wild ride with Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise! So until next time, read a comic or three, check out the local papers Sunday Funnies and as always support your local Horror Host, and see you in space next time around.

Original Star Trek Logo 0

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

# 2

300 Rise of an Empire

A direct follow up to 300 takes place at the same time and after the events of the first film, and instead of land battles, it’s mostly all about water warfare. Themistocles and his brave warriors go to war at sea with Xerxes and his evil sister Artemisia all for the glory of Greece. The film has some fun over the top boat battles and even a few sword to sword fights, but many times the action is pure cheese and some of the green screen effects look as if it was a made for the Sy-Fy Channel film. The scene that has Themistocles riding a horse from boat to boat and throwing fire is down right silly and mind numbingly bad. Highlights include a naked Eva Green who plays Artemisia. Over all, it’s a very poor follow up to the original and was a bland sword and sandal film. The film grossed $106,580,051.00 at the US Box Office for Warner Brothers.

# 1

Million Ways To Die In The West

This film just plan sucked! I saw it with my pal Jeremy Hoyt with a theater semi-full of people, and hardly no one laughed and many groans were heard at the poor attempts at humor. The film follows sheep farmer Albert Stark, who is a weak man with no backbone and no shooting skills, that is until he meets Anna, the wife of a gunslinger outlaw who has set his sights on killing Albert who has fallen in love with his wife! It’s up to Anna to help Albert get a backbone and survive not only a fight with her husband but that also with his ex-girlfriend’s mustachioed boyfriend. The film was written, directed and starred Seth McFarlane, who is a one trick pony with his gross and pop culture humor. So in other words, if you think fart jokes are top of the line comedy than Seth wrote this one for you. The film’s only real highlights are cameos from celebrities playing famous characters they have played in past Western films like Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown from Back To The Future Part III! At the US box office, this film brought in $43,139,300 for Universal. I hope they don’t make a sequel to this film…as the thought makes my brain hurt.

Those were the only bad films I saw in theater, but I should also note that I saw two really bad ones that went direct to video like Wolf Creek 2 and Dario Argento’s Dracula 3-D. But let’s not inhale any more of this stinky trash!

Wolf Creek 2Trash CanArgentos Dracula 3D

Up second, we are going to take a look at action.  While last year we called it 80’s action, this year we are going to add more into it besides films starring aging action stars; plus I am going to add action thrillers into this category. So get your Rambo headband ready because I am about to tell you my top 6 action packed films of 2014!

80s action copy

# 6

sabotage

Arnold Schwarzenegger geared up in this action thriller film that was pretty solid even though it had many plot holes. Breacher is the leader of an elite DEA team.  His wife was murdered by drug lords in Mexico, and he has his team steal money from their busts. When $10 million goes missing from one of their heists, the DEA turns up the heat and disbands the team. But when members of the team are starting to be murdered off, the team must figure out who is killing them and what happened to the money they stole that went missing. The film takes many twists and turns; it also has a solid line up of supporting actors like Joe Manganiello, Terrence Howard and Mireille Enos and some great gun play that all help add to the over all action film feel. The film sadly did very poorly at the box office grossing only $10,508,518.00 in the US for Open House Films, but both Juliet and I enjoyed it.

# 5

The Equalizer

Who doesn’t like seeing Denzel Washington kicking ass and taking names? This action drama follows Robert McCall, a retired black ops agent who is now working at a home improvement store after his wife’s passing. He comes out of retirement and takes on the Russian Mafia when his young friend Alina is beaten badly by her pimp who happens to be a Mafia member.  The bodies pile up as Robert takes the war to the streets and to crime that he witnesses. It’s a fun action flick based on the old 80’s TV show on CBS, that has Robert killing scum bags with all types of weapons from guns to hammers. Denzel is fantastic as is Chloe Grace Moretz who plays Alina.  In fact I think Chloe is an actress to keep an eye on because if Hollywood gives her the roles, she will pull them off. If you want to see scum bags get what they deserve at the hands of a man who knows no fear, then check this one out! The film did pretty well at the US box office and grossed $99,306,000.00 for Sony. I saw this film with pal David J. Getz, who was way too hard on it and took the stand of Denzel being to old to be an action star, and to that I say he’s wrong!

# 4

november man

The November Man is an action thriller that stars former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan who plays Peter Devereaux, a retired CIA agent who must go head to head with his former protege David Mason when a large plot involving a Russian general and a young female witness to crimes he has committed’s life is in danger. Throw in a hit woman who has been hired to kill her and you have a race to find out the truth and who is the real bad guy! One thing I like about the film is the good guy Devereaux is not a real nice guy as he lies and even hurts innocent people to make things go his way, but with that said he has his reasons and over all he truly is a “good” guy. Pierce Brosnan is fantastic in the role of Devereaux, and that’s what makes this over all average film a heck of a lot better. Sadly this is the movie that when Jeremy and I saw it at the theater, only the front speakers were working and to “fix” it when Jeremy told them, they turned up the front ones louder…doh! The film grossed $25,018,119.00 for Relativity via the US box office.

# 3

John WickThis was the surprise action hit of the year for me as I can safely say that I really enjoyed every bullet riddled moment! Keanu Reeves plays John Wick, a one time enforcer for a crime family who has retired to spend time with his wife who passes away from an illness. After her death, she leaves John a puppy and together they morn the loss. But when the son of the crime lord makes the mistake of stealing John’s car and killing his dog, they awaken “The Boogeyman” who will not stop till the son is dead. What follows next is nonstop action that felt like a video game come to life as bullets and fights break out in clubs and hotels, all ending in deaths! Plus it was funny to see WWF Superstar Kevin Nash in a small role, not to mention the supporting cast was also fantastic with names like William Dafoe, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki and John Leguizamo all doing great performances for an over the top action film like this. The film did pretty well for Lionsgate at the US box office, grossing in $40,649,000.00 and bringing them in a profit. This is a movie I will buy on DVD when it’s released to show to Juliet and my parents.

# 2

Expendables 3

My favorite action star of all time, Sylvester Stallone, returns as Barney Ross for The Expendables 3.  The film has Barney disbanding his old crew when he finds out that Conrad Stonebanks, an old teammate turned enemy, is still alive when Hale Caesar is injured by him in a raid. Barney turns to his pal Bonaparte to get a younger crew that consist of such actors as Kellan Lutz, Rhonda Rousey, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell, and when they go after Conrad and fail and become his prisoners, it’s up to Barney and his old crew to save them and stop Conrad once and for all. This film has a paper thin plot but is heavy on the action! It was nice to see Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Jet Li and Arnold Schwarzenegger all return for a third time. Plus the addition of other classic action stars like Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas (who steals the movie) was a nice way to spice up the cast. The new crew sadly are all forgettable besides Rhonda Rousey, who is a great looking tough UFC chick who can rock a red dress and bash a head in and look fantastic doing it. Not as great as the other two films in the series, but still a solid action flick that sadly did poorly at the US box office for Lionsgate only bringing in $39,322,544.00, but thank God the overseas viewers loved it where it brought in $166,850,000.00! Here is to hoping Sly will give this franchise a break and focus on a new Rambo film…or a sequel to Cobra.

# 1

Walk Among The Tombstones

A Walk Among The Tombstones is a film that mixes many genres together and does so really well; it takes elements from Action, Horror, Thriller and Drama and sprinkles in elements like Noir, Detective and Serial Killer. The film follows former cop now unlicensed private detective Matthew Scudder, who takes a case that involves kidnapping, ransom and murder, and once he’s involved he becomes a player in this sick and twisted game set up by a group of killers. Along the way he meets a young boy on the streets who becomes his somewhat partner and helps him stop the killings and expose the identities of the killers. I really dug this film and enjoyed the fact that it was a Noir Action film that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Plus the film’s killers are true scum of the earth! I saw this film with a pretty packed house and with my friend Jeremy, and you could hear many people talking at the end about how much they liked it. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, and the story has some surprises that are best left for you to discover when you watch it. The film did pretty bad at the US box office bringing in a total of $26,307,600.00 for Universal on a budget of $28 Million, and that’s a shame cause this film was pretty badass!

Liam beating Sly on my top action films, I would have NEVER seen that coming! So we whooped some ass with action now let’s get our nerd minds a good workout as we take a look at my top four Sci-Fi and Fantasy films! So charge up your Lightsaber and set you phasers to stun, we are talking Science Fiction now.

SciFi

# 4

transformers age of extinction

I hate to say it, but I really enjoyed Transformers: Age Of Extinction in the theater while eating popcorn, drinking a blue Icee with my gal Juliet.  That says a lot for me because I was by no means a fan of the other three films in this series directed by Michael Bay. This one’s plot is simple; the people of Earth have turned on the Autobots and have ruled it open season on killing them and taking the bodies away to be studied to see if we could create ones that would become weapons of war. When the Yeager family find and help Optimus Prime, they become the target of the CIA, and worse, Megatron is back in the form of Galvatron! Can Optimus and the remaining Autobots stop them from ruining the world..well of course they can! The film is packed with stupid robot one liners, wall to wall over the top action and the worst cameos for the Dinobots ever, who only have a few minutes on screen and are a waste of film as they really add nothing to the story. The film scored big for Paramount at the US box office bringing in $245,439,076.00 and when adding in foreign gross, it did over a billion dollars! So if you don’t mind checking your brain in at the door and want to see Mark Wahlberg team up with Optimus Prime, then this Sci-Fi Action film is for you.

# 3

Robocop

I generally dislike remakes of classic films, and when I heard Sony was remaking Robocop, my eyes rolled and I thought here we go again another heartless retelling all for the sake of a quick buck. But after seeing Robocop the week it came out, I must admit I was wrong and I think the people who made this film really tried to capture the feel of the original and update it all at the same time. This time around Alex Murphy is a cop on a mission, and when going after a crime boss he is blown up via a car bomb. OmniCorp, who create robots to fight wars, wants to make a super cop and use Murphy as the test subject and create Robocop! And once he gets revenge on those who originally set him up, he also soon finds that Raymond Sellars, the CEO of OmniCorp, is not a very nice man and wants Robocop shutdown for good when he finds he can’t control his mind and looks at him as nothing more than a computer. Can Robocop stop the evil corporation? Will his wife and son accept him? Will Raymond succeed in pulling the plug? All these questions are answered in this fun PG-13 action romp. Joel Kinnaman plays Robocop/Alex and does a pretty good job, but he is no Peter Weller. The supporting cast is also fantastic with such names as Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Jackie Earle Haley. The film did weak in the USA box office grossing $58,607,007.00 making the film a miss for Sony. It’s a shame; I would have liked to have seen a part two.

# 2

maleficent

Maleficent was fantastic ,and when seeing it in IMAX 3D, I felt like a kid again watching a Disney take on a fairy tale unfold before my eyes. My favorite animated Disney film has always been Sleeping Beauty so when I heard they were doing a live action film based around the villain Maleficent my interest was peeked. The film follows Maleficent, who is a fairy, and when a human boy misleads her and cuts off her wings to gain power in the nearby kingdom, she turns mean and waits for her revenge on the day the boy is now King and is going to have his first child.  Maleficent places a curse on the child to sleep forever until true loves kiss awakens her on her 16th birthday. But the film takes a twist as we see that Maleficent ends up befriending the young Princess and wants to try and undue the curse but can she do it? And worse the King has sent his whole army to kill her. This family fun flick was amazing and added so much more depth to the Maleficent character.  Plus Angelina Jolie does a top notch job as the “evil” fairy Maleficent. The special effects are top of the line with the fairy moors being breathtaking, as is the dragon that appears to help her in her fight against the army. The film did really well for Disney at the US box office, grossing in $241,381,217.00 and proving that the classic characters never go out of style. If you have not seen this film, you should check it out.

# 1

dawn of planet of the apes

The Planet of the Apes films have always been some of my favorite Sci-Fi films to watch, and these new films being made by Fox are just as great as the originals! This second film in the rebooted series follows Caesar, the leader of the ape population trying to work alongside the remaining humans who have survived a mass sickness that killed off most of the population.  This team up pisses off primate Koba who was abused by man many years back, and he sets a plan in motion where he makes an attempt at Caesar’s life sparking a war with the humans and apes. But can an injured Caesar stop the war or is it too late? The film’s special effects are top notch and throughout the whole movie, you forget that the apes are CGI! Plus with actors like Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Kirk Acevedo playing the humans, you know you’re getting sold acting. My favorite ape in the film has to be Koba; he is so bad yet somehow I think he really thought he was doing good by starting the war and killing any man or ape that got in his way! This was one of the films I was most looking forward to this year, and it was by no means a letdown as I loved every minute of it! The film was a hit for Fox and grossed $208,532,326.00 here in the United States showing that people still love seeing a world run by primates!

I saw a few other films that fit this genre this year that were entertaining but just couldn’t make the cut for this list: “Lucy” starring Scarlett Johansson, a film about a drug that allows a woman to use 100% of her brain after she is used as a mule to smuggle it to the USA when it’s surgically placed into her body.  When the bag leaks she becomes less and less human. “Pompeii” is about the town that was covered in lava and ash via an erupting volcano and follows a gladiator who has fallen in love with a young woman of power, and it turns into a tragic love story starring the likes of Kit Harington, Kiefer Sutherland and Emily Browning. “Legend of Hercules” is about a clean cut son of Zeus who is more of a gladiator than the hero we all know and love. All are entertaining movies in their own right but none were strong enough to make the list.

LucyPompeiilegend of hercules

So let’s trade our phasers in for capes as we now take a look at my top 7 Superhero films of 2014, and man I must say that films based on comics are dominating the box office and shows that comics are more powerful money makers then any company could have ever imagined.

SUPER HERO copy# 7

sin city a dame to kill for

This follow up to Sin City was laced with all the same techniques that wowed audiences upon it’s release in 2005 and even brought back many of the actors from the first film. Sadly it tanked at the box office and put the nail in the coffin for this series. The film follows many stories from Marv, who can’t remember why he killed a bunch of rich brats, to Dwight McCarthy falling for a woman who is using him and many others to get what she wants. There is also a story line of a lucky gambler named Johnny who tests his luck against corrupt Senator Roark and stripper Nancy who wants to kill Roark for crimes he committed in the first film. All the stories come together in the end and all ends well for some, while others end up dead.  The film was a lot of fun and not nearly as bad as many critics would have you think, but as I said it bombed and only did $13,757,804.00 at the box office for Dimension Films. The film also has an all star cast like Josh Brolin, Micky Rourke, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Lloyd and Jessica Alba to name a few.

# 6

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I was very lukewarm on the idea of a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that was a reboot to the series done by those masters of butchering of childhood memories, Platinum Dunes. But I must say the film was way better than I could ever expect it to be, and while it is flawed with a cheesy script and a Shredder who looks more like he should be in Transformers, the Turtles’ banter is well done even if they look like steroid goofy faced mutants. The film follows the Turtles who are going up against the foot clan who are tormenting New York and even have a plan in motion that will poison and kill many thanks to a gas they will be pumping into the air.  Alongside April O’Neil, the Turtles clash with the foot and their leader The Shredder, and of course along the way we learn about Master Splinter as well as a connection they all have to April. Again the film is flawed, but I enjoyed checking my brain at the door and watching a comic book/cartoon inspired film that tried to keep some of the basics of source material and also tried to add more of an update to it for modern fans. For me I would put it on par with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and say while bad, it was fun to watch. The film did pretty solid numbers at the US box office for Paramount bringing in $191,204,754.00!

# 5

Hercules

I am pretty sure many people who went to seen Hercules had no idea that it was based on a comic book from Radical Comics and to be honest, much like my cousin Steve Alexander said, this is truly one of the year’s most underrated films. The film stars WWF Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Hercules, a mercenary who alongside his friends are creating the legend of Hercules, the son of Zeus. But when he finds out that he was hired to help the wrong side in a conflict, he and his friends stand against the odds and leave everyone wondering if he truly is the son of a God. The film is filled with great Sword and Sandal action as well as likable characters; this is one film I would have loved to seen sequels made about. The Rock as well does a fantastic job as Hercules and pulls off the role of being maybe a con man yet maybe not, making the character tough when needed and light hearted when the mood is right. The film sadly did not do as well as it should have and grossed only $72,688,614.00 for Paramount at the US box office. With the film being out on DVD and Blu-Ray, do yourself a favor and check it out.

# 4

Amazing Spider-Man 2

I feel like Amazing Spider-Man 2 was judged way too hard by critics and fans who seemed to want to try and nitpick it to death.  I for one really enjoyed it and found it better than the overblown Spider-Man 2 made by Sam Raimi that I think was praised way too much by fans and critics. This time around Spider-Man is locking horns with three super villains who are all gunning to take Spidey down for the count! You have the Rhino, a man in mechanical suit who feels as if he has been wronged by Spider-Man; you have Electro, a man who was a one time Spider-Man fan who after an accident finds that he has the power of electricity; and Green Goblin, who is really his long time friend Harry Osborne who is slipping into madness! And worse as Peter Parker is having issues coming to terms with the death of his girlfriend’s father to whom he made a promise that has him staying away from her. Action, Drama and Spider-Man one liners help make this one a good Super Hero film! Andrew Garfield is fantastic as Spider-Man, and Emma Stone makes one hell of a Gwen Stacy. The strangest casting had to be Paul Giamatti as The Rhino…his performance is down right silly! The film did pretty well for Sony at the US box office grossing in $202,853,933.00 even though they try and act as if it wasn’t a hit for them. I for one am looking forward to Amazing Spider-Man 3 as well as the spin off Sinister Six movie.

# 3

guardians of the galaxy

Guardians Of The Galaxy is the Marvel Comic team that showed the world that you don’t have to be a triple A team to have a hit movie! The film is about Starlord, a goofball outlaw who teams up with other misfits of space like the living tree Groot, talking raccoon Rocket, psycho brute Drax The Destroyer and green skinned female assassin Gamora to protect a infinity stone from getting into the hands of Ronan The Accuser, who is an evil Kree alien who is back stabbing the powerful Thanos in order to collect the jewel and become all powerful. The movie has lots of sci-fi action, drama and comedy and has some of the most likeable characters of any movie this year! Plus I really liked Ronan as a bad guy, and he is a prime example of a cold blooded super villain who will kill whomever gets in his way. When Juliet and I went to see this movie in the theater, it was a pretty packed house and it was clear that everyone in that theater that day had a blast watching it.  The overly positive remarks of people leaving their seats when it was over was a clear sign that Disney and Marvel Studios did something very right. The film did fantastic for Disney at the US box office grossing in an impressive $332,309,276.00 making this a huge hit. If you have not seen this film yet, do yourself a favor and check it out!

# 2

captain america winter

Captain America is one of my favorite Super Hereos of all time and has been ever since I was a kid.  This second film from Disney and Marvel Studios was a fun kick butt action film laced with enough drama to make the film feel very important in the over all movie universe they are creating. This time around Captain America, Black Widow and Nick Fury have became a target by a group controlled by a very high official in America, and they even bring Cap’s old World War II buddy Bucky Barns back from the “dead” and call him Winter Solider, a well trained killing machine. Can Captain America stop this evil group and talk sense into his one time friend? Watch and find out! While the original film was set during World War II, this second film takes place in modern times right after the events of The Avengers and trades in Red Skull for The Winter Solider and does a nice job of making the odds looking against Cap at every twist and turn. I must say Christ Evans makes the perfect Captain America/Steve Rogers and who would have thought that was possible? The film did great for Disney grossing in a massive $259,766,572.00 at the US box office. If your a fan of the star spangled Avenger like myself, make sure to give this film a watch.

# 1

X-Men Days Of The Future Past

The X-Men films, as well as the spin offs like “First Class” and “Wolverine,” are fun comic book action films that make for some amazing popcorn munching theater watches, and “X-Men: Days Of The Future Past” was just that and more as I found it to be my favorite Comic Book film of 2014! I know what those of you who know me are saying, the X-Men beat Captain America? But let me tell you, while Cap was amazing, X-Men was a fun thrill ride filled with some great faces from the franchise’s past. The film follows the future where mutants are being hunted and killed by Sentinels made by Bolivar Trask, and their only hope is to send Wolverine to the past to unite the mutants and stop an event that triggered the mutants’ death sentence. The whole mess is started by the younger Mystique, so can Professor X and Magneto put aside their differences and stop the terrible events to happen in the future…watch and find out. The film is based on one of Marvel Comics’ top story lines for the X-Men and FOX did a fantastic job of making it come alive on the big screen. The film stars all the classic characters from the series rich history with many actors returning such as Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Halle Berry (Storm), Shawn Ashmore (Ice Man), Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) and Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde) all returning from the first three films as well as actors who played the younger characters in First Class like James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult as Beast. Not to mention the addition of new characters like Bishop, Quicksilver, Blink, Sunspot and Warpath. I don’t want to ruin the end but let’s just say it feels like a High School Reunion, and all the faces you see are ones that make you smile and feel good about the journey you made to get there. The film did pretty well for Fox at the USA Box Office grossing in $233,921,534.00 and even more overseas! While I like the First Class actors, I am hoping that the next film based on The Age of Apocalypse story will feature more of the originals.

So now that we are retiring the cape, let me talk a little about some cool things Game Swap Kettering did this year for me.  They allowed us to have private screenings of Baron Von Porkchop specials. The first one was near Halloween, and we set up a projector, screen and big speaker as well as a buffet of wings, pizza, chips and cookies. Friends in attendance included Juliet, Stephen Alexander, Maurice, Joe G, Garrison, Todd The Fox and V and we all watched Baron host White Zombie as he tried to enjoy a peaceful Halloween that’s interrupted by an ax murdering zombie named Fulci! They also got a sneak peak at an episode for season three that has Baron hosting the film Face Of The Screaming Werewolf. Then around Thanksgiving we did it again, and they got a sneak peek at the new Baron Von Porkchop Black Friday special where he hosted the Independent B Movie film Razor as well as the First Black Friday special whose film was Farmer Joe. Those specials has his feud with a Chicken Man he made that has become a thorn in the Baron’s side. But a big thank you goes to Game Swap in Kettering for allowing us to do these fun screenings. Whenever I get a bigger place to live with a basement I would love to start a Horror Host Fan Club that has meetings once every two months and we project and watch host shows…who knows maybe 2015 will be that year! Below is a cellphone pic from the Halloween episode screening.

Baron Von Porkchop Screening

So while doing a rundown of the films of 2014, I figured I would take a brief moment to give you my top three best Survival Horror Games of 2014 as well as the worst, because those of you who know me understand that I love to play a good solid Survival Horror game! Now I need to state that of the “modern” game systems, I have a PS3 and will soon get a PS4 so all games on the list are ones I got for PS3. I also want to say that the games I buy are on physical disc, and I do not download games so while many horror themed games did come out as digital only games, I have not played them and won’t unless a disc is released.  I like to own what I pay for. So let’s start off with what I found to be the worst of the horror games that came out in 2014 that I have played. And I won’t ramble much I promise…okay, maybe a little rambling.

Worst Horror Video Games

# 1

Escape Dead Island PS3

Escape Dead Island is one of those games that just reeks of a quick cash in with boring fighting mechanics as well as a storyline that is a little weak. This game follows Cliff, a party boy who wants to get his dad’s respect so he goes to the island of a zombie outbreak along with his friends Linda and Devan and finds out that the stories are true and zombies are running wild on the island! Along the way he also meets Xian, a woman who is looking for her friend Rob who went missing while getting intel on the corporation responsible for the outbreak. While the other two games in the series “Dead Island” and “Dead Island Riptide” are first person shooters, this game changed to a third person game.  In the two games that came before you could customize your weapons multiple ways, and in this game your weapons are very limited and barely upgradeable. Plus I can’t help but notice the style of animation is clearly trying to rip off Tell Tale Games’s style with the more cartoonish look. Over all this is not a bottom of the barrel game, but it’s close.

So now that I spoke about the “worst” Horror Game this year that I would more label at “weakest,” let’s move onto what I considered the three best games that helped make 2014 a pretty good year for horror themed games!

Best Horror Video Games Logo

# 3

Alien Isolation PS3

After the complete mess that was “Aliens: Colonial Marians,” Sega redeemed themselves with this fun moody game that allows the player to take control of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen who travels to a space station that has been sending out distress signals.  Once she gets there, things go wrong as she is separated from her small crew and finds that Xenomorphs are on the prowl and hungry for a human host! The game stacks the odds against you, and the player must use their wits in order to survive this terror in space. The downside to the game is that I felt it took forever for the story to really kick in and that slowed the scares from coming in. The game is a first person shooter and plays much like Call of Duty and so many other shooters like this. I must also say that some of the cut scene graphics are really ugly on PS3, and it’s clear that the development team spent more time on the newer generation consoles versions. A major plus for this game comes via DLC that allows you to play as Ellen and has many of the original characters from the first film like Dallas and Ash back, and they are voiced by the actors who played them in the film! While not a perfect game, it was a fun game that helped make 2014 in gaming a little spookier!

# 2

The Walking Dead Season Two PS3

The Walking Dead Season Two is a great follow up to Season One and helps add more to the story it created. This is a point and click adventure game made by one of the best independent game companies, Tell Tale Games, who have made some of my top favorite games of the past 4 years and this game adds another hit to the list. This time around we follow Clementine (who was a major character in the first game), a young girl who is trying to survive this zombie outbreak.  Along the way she meets people and she loses people all of whom are running from Carver, a man that use to lead them in a group.  All comes to a head when she meets Carver herself, a jerk of a man who runs a camp that is held up in a home improvement center and who takes Clem and her friends hostage and makes them work for the group’s needs putting them in danger. Your choices impact the story so when playing make sure to choose wisely. One cool aspect of this game is some returning faces from the first game as well as references to choices you made. The downside is the new characters seem to have less development then those from the original and the settings are a little less impactful as in the first game I truly felt like I could be zombie food at any moment. But with that said, this is a great game and one hell of a fun play.  So if you liked the first or just want to play a fun story driven point and click adventure horror game, then this one is for you.

# 1

The Evil Within PS3Take video games Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Clock Tower and mix them with Horror films like As Above So Below, and you have the new Survival Horror Game by Shinji Mikami, the mastermind behind the original Resident Evil series as well as Dino Crisis! This game is about Sebastian Castellanos, a detective who along with his partners Juli and Joseph, go to a distress call at the Beacon Mental Hospital.  When they get there, everything is in chaos and the world as they know it has changed and infected people and monsters are wandering the world above as well as below. Can Sebastion get to the bottom of what’s going on as well as unearth the truth of why and who is responsible! The game is packed with great atmosphere and at all times I feel as if the odds are against me as ammo comes in only ones and twos and most the time it’s better to run than to fight. So if you’re not too scared, get this game and beware of Safehead!

It was very hard to pick between Evil Within and The Walking Dead Season Two for the # 1 spot as both are solid and super fun games, but in the end I had to go with Evil Within as I felt that it truly captured what a Survival Horror Game is all about and at all times I felt as if the odds of survival were against me. One game that came out that while I bought I have not played yet is Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2, so who knows where it would have placed.

Castlevania Lords Of Shadow 2 PS3

So we talked a little about screenings of Horror Host Baron Von Porkchop as well as Survival Horror Video Games, now let’s get to the bloody meat of this update and take a look at the Horror Films of Hollywood!

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# 11

Tusk

Tusk was so close to being on my worst films of the year list as once more Kevin Smith smoked a bunch of pot and unleashed another over the top film onto the small masses who still watch his films. But then I read some interviews with Smith and he explained that he wanted to make this film because he wanted to and not for a studio or for quick cash.  I began to see that the film is labor of love much like the film The Wolf Hunter is to Matt Hoffman. It’s about a podcast host who travels to Canada for an interview with a kid who is a Youtube sensation after cutting off his own leg with a samurai sword.  When he gets there, he finds the kid has committed suicide, and he then travels to an old mansion to talk to an old man who has a story to tell or so the letter left in a mens room says. The rest of this film has the old man turning the podcaster into a human walrus as his co-host and his girlfriend try to find and save him.  Oh yeah and throw in a dimwitted investigator, and you have the film. When the podcaster is turned into full Walrus, I laughed out loud in the theater and thought to myself what and why am I watching this! I should also note that Juliet and I were the only people at the theater watching this film at the time. It stars Justin Long, Johnny Depp, Haley Joel Osment and Michael Parks and all do fantastic with the silly parts they are given. Again when you see Long, who plays the podcaster, as a walrus you can’t help but to laugh as he swims and grunts around. The film did poorly for A24 and only grossed $1,826,705.00 and didn’t even get a foreign release. If you are to watch this cheesy thriller/comedy horror film check your brain at the door and be prepared for long goofy dialogue and unlikable characters.

# 10

the pyramid

Hollywood horror films are lacking mummies, and when The Pyramid was announced I was hyped believing that we got a mummy film in 2014…I was sadly wrong. I first need to say that I was hyped to see this film and was ready for a creepy Egyptian found footage film taking place in an old pyramid where the viewer was not sure what was stalking our characters.  So when this film was a disappointment, I think it’s because of my own hype I made for it. The hype I made for it was the fact it was the last theatrical horror film of the year and again the setting and the possibility of it being about a Mummy. The film is about a father and daughter team as well as her boyfriend being followed by a documentary crew who are in Egypt during stressful times who find a pyramid that could be the oldest one ever found.  When they are told to leave due to the outbreak of civil uprising, they send in a robot real quick to get a sneak peek and when the bot looses contact, they go in to retrieve it and soon find the pyramid was a place to keep something in and not things out! One by one, they fall victim to the hunter who is a jackal headed god who has been placed there because it went mad after the death of its father. Can any of them survive and can they also dodge the evil cats that are roaming around…yeah the film has evil cats. The characters all seem brain dead with the cameraman and father being the worst two.  The CGI for the cats and jackal god are downright eye rolling, and the film was just kind of boring.  I was not the only one who felt this as Juliet and several others in the theater also expressed these feelings. The film was pulled from wide release to limited, and we had to see it at the Regal Cinema in Beavercreek.  Doing this made the film only gross a small $ 2,638,300.00 for FOX at the US box office. No Mummy but a heck of a lot of CGI Cats is what I got in The Pyramid.

# 9

Ouija

Ouija is a film based on the Hasbro board game and produced by those masters of crap Platinum Dunes.  It’s your typical paint by number ghost story. When a young woman commits suicide, her friends don’t believe it and soon find that she was messing with a Ouija Board on her own and had unleashed something terrible, but they only learn this after they themselves use the board to try and speak to her. Now the evil is after them, can they find the answers on how to stop the spirit or will they all become victims? No major gore, some cool spirit effects, some good creepy shots, pretty actresses, released at Halloween time and a fun film to torment my friend Jeremy with as he had to be dragged to this film kicking and screaming! The film did $50,856,010.00 for Universal and is clearly a teen PG-13 horror film that was nothing special and not fully terrible.

# 8

The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones is a Hammer Horror Film that follows a camera man who takes the job of documenting a college professor who, along with his helpers, are trying to cure a sick and possessed young woman named Jane whom they have locked in a room and wont allow her to sleep for any long period of time as well as keep her human interaction to a minimum. But when her treatments become more and more cruel, the camera man must come to a decision on whether to help Jane escape who he has fallen for or stay true to his assignment as the Professor thinks she can be cured. So is she possessed or being abused…watch and find out. The film is a little slow and while well acted for the most part, many decisions characters make are annoying and add to frustration as a viewer. Olivia Cooke plays Jane, the sick girl, and she is fantastic and probably the best actor in the film. I saw the film with Stephen, Garrison, Todd and Josh, and all of us felt the same way about it and that’s it was okay but way too slow and a little too long as a good 15 minutes could easily be cut out of the 1 Hour 38 minute run time. The film at the US box office brought in $8,509.867.00 for Lionsgate.  All I can say was much like Ouija, it was just okay.

# 7

deliver us from evil

A group of soldiers from Iraq have come back and are acting very aggressive and all have strange behavior. New York cop Ralph Sarchie is called in to investigate the crimes and soon learns the truth that demons are real and want to teach him a lesson for butting into their plans. Along with a Castilian priest, he must find faith and save the souls of the infected as well as save his wife who has been kidnapped by the possessed. It also shows that Sarchie is gifted and can spot evil. The film is said to be based on a real case and the real life of Sarchie. The film stars Eric Bana as Sarchie as well as the likes of Olivua Munn, Sean Harris and Edgar Ramirez with music by Christopher Young. The film was nothing special and for the most part is a run of the mill possession film with no surprises and a few gross moments. I watched the film with Jeremy and watching him go crazy with the overly religious tone of the movie made me laugh. The film didn’t do so hot at the box office only grossing in $30,577,122.00 for Sony on a 30 million dollar budget in the US. Not much more to say about this one, besides if you’ve seen one modern possession movie, ya pretty much have seen em all.  It’s not bad and has some good creepy moments – worth a watch to fans of this horror film topic boom.

# 6

Godzilla

I have been a fan of Godzilla since I was a kid and can remember watching the films all the time on TBS on Super Scary Saturday hosted by Grandpa Munster. But when Godzilla is made by Americans, it tends to not be so good; I mean just look at the over blown 1998 film that Hollywood spewed out to the fans that seemed like it was made more to sell toys and Taco Bell Cups than to entertain the movie goers. So when Warner Brothers said they were releasing a Godzilla film, I was stand offish even though in the back of my mind I was scream YES, a new Godzilla film on the big screen,  The more time passed and after seeing the trailer I became very hyped to watch it! The film has an accident that happens at a power planet in Japan that’s caused by a giant monster who is looking for its mate and when it wakes up it causes havoc and destruction.  As this is going on a US Solider is trying to get home to his family, and Godzilla has come from the sea and is on a path to clash with the other two monsters. You see Godzilla is acting as Earth’s protector! The human parts are what they always are in my opinion in giant monster films, and that’s filler. The major flaw I had with the film is more time is spent on the boring solider trying to get home and less on Godzilla who is why we all went to see this film in the theater. I must also say the shaky camera and pull away shots of the early monster fights was annoying and didn’t add suspense for me as much as it added frustration. Even with those small flaws I really enjoyed the film for the most part and am looking forward to part two as well as the announced Japanese Godzilla film in the works. The film did great for WB at the US box office bringing in a whooping $200,676,069.00, making it a hit for them this year.

# 5

i frankenstein

Frankenstein’s Monster was back on the silver screen this year with an Action Horror film called I, Frankenstein that followed The Monster who was a pawn in a war between Heaven and Hell who need him to find the secrets of life created by man and not God. The good side is gargoyles who at first want to protect or kill The Monster, and the Demons who are working for evil and they want him to study and make soulless husks so demons straight from hell can take over the bodies of the newly made soulless bodies. But what none of them counted on is that The Monster is a fighter, and he will be pawn to no man or creature! The film has a real Underworld feel to it, and the action is fun and over the top, plus for the most part is well acted. I think this film is pretty underrated and was judged way too much just by the trailer, the fact it’s PG-13 and that Aaron Eckhart plays The Monster. The film did terrible at the US box office and only grossed $19,075,290.00 for Lionsgate on a $65 Million Dollar budget, and it’s a shame as it’s not at all that bad of a film.

# 4

As Above So Below

As Above So Below is a “found footage” style film that follows Scarlett, an alchemy scholar who wants to find the famed philosopher’s stone that is said to be able to heal the sick and dying among other amazing things. She follows clues and finds that the entrance to achieving her goal is inside the catacombs below Paris, and along with her camera man and friend they hire some local urban explorers and find that this quest is more then they bargained for as they face sins of their past and find the gateway to Hell. This film was packed with some solid acting and atmosphere that was downright spooky and well done unlike The Pyramid that had a very similar type of feel. All the characters are likable and while they do make some dumb decisions, I still found myself hoping they all make it out okay. The film is by no means a bloodbath but what it lacks in the red stuff, it makes up for with heart and mood. I saw this film with Juliet, Todd The Fox and V, and we all left the theater thinking the film worked and was okay. Universal released this film and at the US box office it grossed in $21,321,100.00 on a $5 million budget. If you are a fan of the found footage horror genre then make sure to check this one out, oh yeah liked this one so much even bought the DVD when it was released.

# 3

The Purge Anarchy

The first Purge film was my # 9 horror film of 2013 out of thirteen and while I enjoyed it, I found it lost among many other solid horror pictures. The sequel The Purge: Anarchy in my opinion is a way better film and that’s why it’s locked itself as the 3rd best Horror film I saw in theaters in 2014! The film follows a man named Leo who is going out to purge a man who killed his son in a drinking and driving accident, but he gets side tracked from his task when he saves a mother and daughter as well as a young couple all of whom are being targeted by what seems like a government elite team hired to reduce the population not to mention a rag tag bunch of mask and makeup wearing youngsters who have set their eyes on them as well. Leo does his best to keep them all alive as well as get to his goal. The film is filled with surprises as well as a positive message in the end and that’s why I think I enjoyed it so much.  It was not your typical modern downbeat horror flick. The film is also well acted with actors like Frank Grillo, Cameron Ejogo and Zach Gilford. The film did great for Universal at the box office here in America grossing in $71,962,800.00 and making it that a part 3 is in the works. More action and suspense then the original and a solid good sequel, check it out if you liked the first one. I saw it with Juliet who also really liked it!

# 2

anabelle

The Conjuring was my # 1 Horror film of 2013, and this off shoot titled Annabelle is my # 2 for 2014 showing you that the makers of this film series are doing something right. It’s the 1960’s and satanic cults are all the rage, and a young couple is attacked in their home by cult members that leave the would be attackers dead.  When the female attacker dies in the baby’s room holding the Annabelle doll the odd events start happening. It gets so bad that something seems to be trying to hurt the woman and her unborn baby, even at one point setting the house on fire! After the baby is born, they move and find that whatever it is followed as the doll the cult woman held when dying is possessed by a demon who wants to take a soul real bad! Can they get rid of the demon before it’s too late? The Annabelle doll is the same one used to open The Conjuring and is over all creepy looking.  That’s one thing I really liked about the film, the longer it went on, the more sinister looking the doll became. And while the doll is never seen moving on its own, the dead eyed stare of its porcelain face is what terrified the audience. The demon who is the real baddie of the film is not seen too much, but when he is, it’s effective. This is supposed to be based on a true story and is a nice appetizer for the next Conjuring film that should be out in 2016. The film did well for New Line Cinema at the US box office bringing in $84,273,813.00 making it a hit for them. For some reason the film also seemed to get a lot of hate from Horror fans, but most of the ones I knew who trashed it, I question their taste anyway as they go to see Seth Rogen movies! I saw the film with Juliet, who loved it.

# 1

Dracula Untold

Universal is trying to breath new life into their classic Monsters, and the first on the list was Dracula.  This film, Dracula Untold, is about how Prince Vlad became a vampire! I was really hyped for this film that was set to release in October…yeah finally Hollywood gets that Horror Films and Halloween go hand and hand. The film follows Prince Vlad whose people are being bullied by the Turks and the sultan who want all the male kids to be given to them to become soldiers in the large Turkish army. So Vlad makes a deal with a Vampire that lives in a cave to gain powers to stop the Turks.  By doing so, he is putting his own soul at risk, but he gains the powers to single handedly kick the butt of his enemies. But when things go wrong Vlad goes full vampire, and once he does that, there is no going back. This film is filled with horror and a heck of a lot of action and is really well done. Luke Evans plays Dracula and does so with grace and it’s the first time that I can remember that you find yourself cheering for Dracula as he is not the bad guy and only takes the curse to save his son as well as the sons of all his people. I saw this with Juliet and Jeremy Hoyt, and both of them really enjoyed it as well did all the others in the IMAX Theater as praises were being said as people left. This film ends as well with a lead up to a sequel or to link to another Universal Monster film, and this makes this Monster Kid happy. The film did okay for Universal at the US box office bringing in $55,991,880.00 and did more overseas. If you like your horror mixed with action and enjoy classic monsters, then check this one out, because I really enjoyed it locking it in as my # 1 Horror Film of 2014.

2014 in Horror Films was filled with lots of ghost/possession films, and I have a feeling this trend will continue for awhile as they seem to be films that can be cheaply made and return a big profit. While sitting in the theater this year the two films that I noticed seem to have the audience in it’s grip were Annabelle, that had a few people gasp and jump when the evil things would happen on the silver screen, and As Above So Below where the audience had an eerie hush as the characters went deeper into the catacombs. Ouija had the worse response as people laughed at many of the scares and many of the younger people in the audience seemed to be having a fun time teasing the young ladies with them. 2014 was an okay year for Horror in the theaters, and I for one am looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store to send shivers up my spine. Well the next update is something terrifying as we take a look at another Draculina Photo Comic based on a film of Jess Franco called Tender Flesh! So until then, support your local theaters, read a comic or two and always support your local Horror Host and see you next update.

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