Yet Another Month of Horror 2015 – Chapter 2

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The Paramount Vault releases make up the majority of this month’s first time watches: Grim Prairie Tales, The Sender, Shanks and Beneath.

 

Grim Prairie Tales (Wayne Coe – 1990)
An odd anthology film that spends more time with its wrap-around story than the 4 tales spun from it. Granted, when your wrap-around has James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif, I could see why you might want to give them the lion’s share – unless of course what they are given is 1) a fractured and weirdly paced arc and 2) really crappy direction for their line readings. Dourif plays a man riding back to Jacksonville Florida to see his wife (by horse across the prairies – the time period is likely late 1800s) when he encounters Jones after bunking down for the night in the great wide open. After much wide-eyed yelling at each other, they begin to swap stories. The stories – each one being more of a morality/immorality tale rather than anything horrific – are both interesting and kinda dull. Even though the individual tales are no longer than 10-15 minutes each, the pace is glacial…There’s a dryness to them that simply didn’t engage me. And yet, upon reflection, each one tackles its subject (intolerance, lust, hatred/fear, pride) in a fairly unique and non-obvious way. I have to give the film credit for a different approach. If only it were more entertaining…

Would you like to know more…?

“Team America” Meets “Inglorious Basterds”: Jackboots on Whitehall

So I admit I have no idea what that title means. Maybe I need to be British? And frankly, I don’t think much of the jokes in here either – it isn’t all that funny. But for the second feature length film made in the last ten years starring only puppets, it looks pretty decent. I wasn’t really sold until the voice casting displays near the end of the film: Tom Wilkinson, Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike, Alan Cumming, Timothy Spahl and Dominic West. But I suppose it doesn’t really matter who’s speaking the lines if it isn’t written well, so I guess I’m not really sold after all.

Have a look at the fate of mankind as the evil Nazi party is battled once again; this time, with puppets in Jackboots on Whitehall. Thoughts?