Saturday, March 2, 2013

Three Films Make A Post: The only thing they don't the scream

Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976): Sure, they can't all be as good as Blacula but when they're directed by the same William Crain who did Blacula, one would hope so. Alas, Crain's blaxploitation version of Stevenson's short novel is just a bit crap, with many a wasted opportunity in a script that sure would like to go interesting places but doesn't seem to know how to get there, actors that really could do better than be bland and uninvolving, and direction that seems disinterested in most of what's going on here. The effect is a kind of mild boredom - the worst thing that can happen with a film with a perfectly fine exploitation idea and people of actual talent involved.

Dead Rising (2010): I honestly don't understand some companies' multi-media strategies. Why bother to make a movie companion to your videogame at all when all you're willing to pay for are boring actors waddling or wheelchairing through warehouse sets to the tune of an indifferent script whose main claim to creativity is a flashback-heavy structure that does not fit the primitive plot at all? Capcom won't to tell, so all I got were 80 minutes of my time wasted on a zombie film so aggressively mediocre it won't take more than a day for me to completely forget I even watched it at all.

Firepower (1979): Oh hi, The 70s! What did you bring me today? James Coburn baring his (frightening) teeth, Sophia Loren's hot middle-aged woman act, O.J. Simpson and Jake LaMotta, Gato Barbieri working oh so hard on the soundtrack, and a convoluted plot full of sometimes gritty, sometimes just dumb action scenes? Directed by Michael Winner in his most hyperactive white light/white heat manner? I'll take it, though I certainly would enjoy the whole concoction more if it were less satisfied with racing through its plot and actually attempted to involve the viewer on any level at all.

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