Shadowzone (1990)

shadowzone_1Starring David Beecroft, Louise Fletcher, James Hong, Frederick Flynn, Shawn Weatherly, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Lu Leonard, Maureen Flaherty, Robbie Rives

Directed by J.S. Cardone

Expectations: I’ve purposely put this one off for years, so that’s a good indicator of how good I think it’ll be.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-movie scale:
twohalfstar


Shadowzone is upfront about its influences, citing both Alien and The Thing right on its current poster at Full Moon Streaming. This is pretty bold for a low-budget movie that has no chance to match those films’ excellence, and it was one of the reasons why I stayed away from the film. I deeply love both Alien and The Thing — what self-respecting horror fan doesn’t? — so I had no interest in seeing a lesser version. As the pool of available Full Moon films dwindles, confronting Shadowzone was inevitable, and thankfully it wasn’t the painful experience I thought it might be.

At a remote and otherwise abandoned research facility, a man from NASA, Capt. Hickock (David Beecroft), arrives to investigate a death possibly caused by the project leads: Dr. Van Fleet (James Hong) and Dr. Erhardt (Louise Fletcher). The scientists are exploring the link between sleep and death, studying Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) by cutting the brain stem off from the brain… not literally, but through the blockage of electrical signals. Don’t worry if doesn’t make sense; I didn’t really get it, and I was watching the movie! The characters in Shadowzone talk so much scientific mumbo jumbo that it literally put me to sleep a couple of times.

Continue reading Shadowzone (1990) →

Mini-Review: Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Starring Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams, Ben Ryan Ganger, Lindsay Parker, Marshall Colt, Nathan Davis, Brooke Fries, Alex Koba

Directed by Jeffrey Bloom

Expectations: Low. It’s some girly kid book, right?


Wow! I did not expect to like this so much. For years I had disregarded anything even remotely connected to V.C. Andrews. In my mind, they have always been “some girl book” that I knew nothing about. I didn’t want to read about flowers! The story is deceptively simple, but it builds really well to a big finish. I can’t comment on how good of an adaptation it is, I can only say that if the movie was this fun and twisted, I can imagine the book is that much better. By the end of this one, I was hurling insults at the characters, yelling “Oh shit!” at all the correct moments and even doing a bit of the old Arsenio Hall Show fist circle as retribution finally came around. This story is seriously fucked up and wickedly fun to watch.

A loving set of parents live with their four children in the suburbs. One day, the father gets into an auto accident and dies, leaving the family without money or a suitable place to live. The mother does the only thing she can think to do, she takes them to her wealthy parents home. The only catch is that her father disowned her twenty years ago, after an unnamed transgression. The film might start a little slow and the child acting is bad, but as each piece of family history is revealed, the excitement ratchets up and you can only respond by inching even closer to your TV screen. Don’t miss Louise Fletcher of Nurse Ratched fame doing her best stern grandmother act. Recommended.

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