Hey, here’s a thing I thought of doing. How about I browse my Netflix streaming que, see what I’ve watched recently, and give you some thoughts on it? Sounds like fun for the whole family, doesn’t it?
So here we go:
Murder, She Wrote
It might seem strange that I’ve been watching this show lately because I didn’t watch it when it was originally on. True, I wasn’t the intended demographic at the time, but still, in all these years, I’ve never watched Murder, She Wrote. But then it popped up on my recommended list, and I figured I couldn’t argue with Netflix, could I?
Turns out, I rather like Murder, She Wrote. Angela Landsbury is absolutely delightful as Jessica Fletcher, murder mystery writer / amateur detective, and it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that I enjoy the show considering how much I love Columbo. So if you’re looking to kill a little time with a charming bit of classic 80′s TV, you really can’t go wrong here. I just finished season one tonight.
FACT OR FAKED: PARANORMAL FILES
I admit it. I have a problem. I find myself drawn to these pseudoscience shows against my will. It’s true I never watch them with my full attention, usually just having them playing while I’m doing something else. But watch them I do, and I find them endlessly fascinating.
Fact or Faked is a typical exercise in pseudoscience. The team of investigators builds flimsy conclusions based on even flimsier assumptions. They don’t even have a token “skeptic” on the team, which is discouraging but unsurprising. In the end, their greatest talent is an ability to be incredulous at the slightest inexplicable moment. All I see is how humans will take any explanation at all over none. And maybe that’s where ghosts, aliens, and the paranormal come from in the end.
Take what I said about Fact or Faked and double it. At least Paranormal Witness is “based on eyewitness accounts” which allows it to tell scarier stories in its reenactments. No one has explained to my satisfaction why ghosts are always so much more obvious and entertaining when cameras aren’t around. They’ll do all kinds of awesome stuff on Witness but as soon as we go to a show like Ghost Hunters, they get all coy.
Perhaps ghosts, bigfoot, etc. are all just really, really shy. If so, it would explain the difference between the ghosts that throw stuff around and scream in the middle of the night on this show and the phantoms that can barely show up on camera as little balls of light that are more probably floating dust.
THE ADVENTURES OF THUNDERSTORM: THE RETURN OF THOR
This is one super duper low budget flick. That isn’t meant to be a criticism. I enjoy a good Z movie as much as the next guy. (Actually, I probably enjoy them a little more than the next guy.) But this is such a flawed film that I only got about fifteen minutes into it before giving up.
To begin with, the movie has an interminable text crawl prologue at the beginning. Imagine the beginning of Star Wars if it lasted four minutes. I didn’t actually time it, but it sure went on a hell of a lot time, giving us the backstory of the film. And then, we have a few scenes with real actors and while they aren’t the most talented bunch, they’re decent enough. And I was even beginning to kind of enjoy it.
Then we go to Asgard, home of the gods, where we get another long scene of nothing but backstory, where the gods are portrayed as blurry faces against a blurry background. And even more unfortunately, they proceed to tell us the exact same backstory we just had to sit through at the beginning of the film.
At one point, there looks to be a supersuit in the background of one scene, but by then, I was checked out.
This is another low budget entry on the list, though it is significantly better than The Adventures of Thunderstorm in terms of storytelling, acting, etc. It’s a monster flick about a creature that comes from the ocean depths to attack the workers on an oil rig. It is, sad to say, not very good though I wouldn’t say it was bad.
William Forsythe has a part in it, which is pretty cool, but he’s killed off pretty quickly (uh . . . spoiler alert). The monster isn’t bad as rubber suit monsters go, and once the action starts, it has some good pacing. But it’s got an ending that drags on for another ten minutes, which is just bizarre, and one of the characters simply disappears at the end without any reason. I think they had a film that was too short and added a character and storyline, but it isn’t integrated very well and just comes across as padding.
Not the worst B monster movie I’ve seen, but not something I can really recommend.
Ah, but to end on a positive note, we have this classic film from 1988. Okay, so maybe not everyone would consider it a classic, but it is, in my estimation, one of the finest killer slugs movies ever made. A mutant variety of slugs attacks a town and end up killing a bunch of people.
As monsters go, the slugs are pretty gruesome. If push comes to shove, I’d much rather be killed by the mutant humanoid of The Rig than these little bastards. The FX aren’t bad, and a few of the bloody scenes are pretty damn horrific. There’s a scene in a restaurant where a guy’s face . . . well, it isn’t pretty.
As a fan of killer animal movies, I have to say Slugs stands up. If you’re looking for a good 80′s movie about man versus invertebrate, you can’t go wrong here.
And that’s all, folks.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,