Killer Klowns From Outer Space – 1988


Written by David Strege

On a personal note when you are 5 and have seen this film at this age it sticks with you for a long time especially if your name is Dave…

Directed by the Chiodo brothers Stephen, Edward And Charles this film was made from the ultimate cheese of horror.  I saw this movie when I was 5 and it scared the cap out of me. Set in a small town with what looks like a meteor flying over farmer Gene Green and his animal companion’s head they set out to investigate.  Little do they know it’s a carnival space tent.


Meanwhile Mike Tabacco has taken his girl Debbie Stone out to the local make out spot to you know… but then they see the same met or looking object passover so they too start over to investigate.

Farmer Green and his dog come upon the tent and the dog disappears but then so does Green.  As Mike and Deb being to leave they run into Mikes corny friends selling ice cream in a truck.


Little do they know that while they are a group of 5 or 6 clowns are going around town collecting people in balloons and giant sized cotton candy wraps.  Will Mike, Deb and Police Officer Dave be able to stop the Killer Klown invasion before it’s too late?  Will Chief Mooney believe what’s going on in town?


As the town is taken over by the clowns Deb is kidnapped and Dave, Mike and the quirky Brothers in the ice scream truck band together to ultimately take on the battle of going after and battling a gigantic clown creature what a delightful piece of film piece this was and also my favorite campy film as well as my favorite!


My opinion of it now is yes it’s all kinds of corny but it will stand the test of time and invade everyone’s home in all kinds of bad but also great ways I give it a 10 on the rictor scales!


Shadow puppets, popcorn that eats you and turns into Venus fly traps killer Klown are invading a town near you!

The Four Diamonds

Written by David Strege


Directed by Peter Werner in 1995 originally a made for tv movie on the Disney Channel.

Young Christopher Millard fantasizes about being a squire of the Round Table and studies the stars. But when he has difficulty breathing it turns out to be caused by a brain tumor, his fantasies turn into a means to battle the disease. Chemotherapy eats his summer and instead of writing the standard “What I did during my summer vacation”, his teacher lets him create a fictional story, and Chris makes the characters from the people around him. As Chris battles with doctor, treatments, and the illness, Squire Millard goes on a quest against an evil sorceress to gain the four diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty, and Strength: qualities that Chris himself attains as his health fails.


The story of Chris Millard is one that has been inspiring people for over 30 years. There is a Four Diamonds fund that was set up by Chris’s parents to help children with childhood cancer.


The story itself was written by Chris Millard before he passed away from cancer. The four diamonds are courage, honesty, strength and wisdom, which were all things that he needed to fight his battle with cancer. It is a great story, I wish they could run the movie again so that more people could see it. It is a good way for children to understand what cancer is without having to actually realize what cancer really is. Disney should release it on some kind of format since it’s obvious it was a well sought after film what Disney needs to do is work on transferring some of their archived films onto some kind of format…

In a way the film reminded me of Sucker Punch in the fact that the main character made up imaginitive  adventure stories to disguise the reality of the things actually happening to him all in all an excellent way of dealing with reality in different ways…


I give this film an ultimate 5 out of 5 star Ratting and hope that we see it on something someday…

The Frog Prince – 1986

You will notice that this review is put together from several of the best reviews from Imdb I just want to put credit where it’s due.


Directed by Jackson Hunsicker this Children’s musical is based on Grimm’s fairy tale of The Frog-King. A young girl learns how to be a good friend and princess with the help of a “tall frog.”


In the Kingdom of Tartonia, Zora (Aileen Quinn) lives a carefree life except for her older mean-spirited sister Henrietta (Helen Hunt).


The King (Clive Revill) receives a letter from Baron Von Whobble that he’s coming to declare one of his two nieces Zora and Henrietta is going to be a true princess. After being ridiculed, Zora wishes for someone to talk to. The Frog Prince answers her wish.


Aileen Quinn has a great big voice for a little girl as she already shown in Annie. Her singing is the best thing about this musical. There isn’t much else in this movie. The production value is pretty low. The sets are fairly fake. The dialog is pretty stiff. It feels more like a stage play. The direction, the staging, and the editing could definitely use a lot of help. The singing from the rest of the cast is reasonable but nothing great. The story is pretty thin. There is nothing here other than to see a slightly older Aileen Quinn singing her heart out and Helen Hunt playing the mean girl.


Ranking the Cannon Movie Tale films, The Frog Prince is around top middle, with Hansel and Gretel being the best and The Emperor’s New Clothes being the worst.


The Frog Prince does suffer from budget limitations. The photography is nice, but some scenes are a little too dimly lit, the castle interiors and garden are rather ordinary and almost grim, the costumes are cheap-looking with the sole exception of Zora’s blue dress at the end and Ribbit’s make-up is somewhat unintentionally creepy. The film also suffers from stretching a particularly slight story that generally too thin to adapt for a feature length 90 minutes, actually it does do a surprisingly decent job expanding it but the story does feel too thin and stretched at times, pacing sometimes drags and a few scenes go on longer than they need to. Some of the dialogue is also stiff, like a lot of the dialogue at the start until Ribbit is introduced and with Henrietta.


However, as said it is nicely photographed, The Cannon Movie Tale films were low-budget in production values (particularly in the costumes) but it never showed in the photography. The Frog Prince has a charming, whimsical and magically orchestrated score, that also has a little tension in some of the latter half, and the songs are surprisingly very pleasant (Friendship and the Music Box Waltz being particularly good). Not all the dialogue works, but Ribbit does have some adorably funny lines and the emotional moments are moving without being too corny or cloying. The execution of the story is similarly flawed, but it makes a clear effort to make much of little and it shows in a charming and sometimes poignant Beauty and the Beast-like take on the story, and there is a very sweet and tender between Zora and Ribbit.


Aileen Quinn is immensely appealing as Zora, a more subtle and sympathetic performance than in her still great star-making turn in the title role of Annie (which is still one of my personal favourites), her singing has also come on a long way, here it’s softer and more controlled and that she’s older might have a lot to do with it. Clive Revill is a funny, occasionally stern and towards the end kindly king, and Helen Hunt makes the most of her visually pretty but actually very mean older sister role. John Paragon steals the show though, bringing to Ribbit a masculine charm, a warm and witty sense of humour, affecting melancholy and remarkable athleticism (especially when we are first introduced to him).


In conclusion, has flaws but a solid attempt at adapting the story.

The Film’s of Larry Blamire

Put together by some of the best reviews on imdb to showcase his excellenceFB_IMG_1442846901103

Larry Blamire

Actor/ writer/ director/ producer/ Artist and author.

Larry Blamire is a writer and director, known for The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001), Trail of the Screaming Forehead (2007) and The Lost Skeleton Returns Again (2009). He has been married toJennifer Blaire since August 22, 1998.


A bad scientist and wife, a mad scientist and skeleton, two aliens and their escaped pet are all searching for the elusive element “atmospherium”.

`Betty, you know what this meteor could mean to science. It could mean actual advances in the field of science’. I laughed so hard my teeth hurt.

Unfortunately, the world is full of knuckle dragging mouth breathers who are not capable of appreciating fine parody. If you are a knuckle dragging mouth breather (or a big Ashton Kutcher fan) you are going to hate this movie.

Be warned, there are gigantic plot holes. The acting is wooden to say the least. The special effects are not at all special and look like they could have been done by a 10 year old. All of the clichés are covered. The woman runs around in high heels and faints at the first sign of danger. There is an evil scientist, aliens (from another planet), a mutant, and a skeleton. And let’s not forget Animala (rowrr). Made up of four woodland creatures, she steals the show. In short, it is an incredibly accurate and funny send-up of 50’s drive-in movies.

I recommend it to those with a more advanced sense of humor.

This is a very low budget, funny movie, because of the send up of dialogue, rather then jokes and one liners as an example…”I don’t know Betty, I guess from now on I should stick to science and leave battling alien mutants to experts.” or “My wife sometimes forgets she’s not a space alien”. The costumes and sets are reminiscent of the low budget movies as well. The costume design on the three headed mutant was mind blowing. I needed to watch the credits just to find out that a MAN was in the mutant suit…the design was that convincing! ONe last quote to leave with…

“Well, if I wanted a safe life, I guess I wouldn’t have married a man who studies rocks and you know the way I figure, if it’s a way to stop my new alien best friend from becoming a widow and married to a skeleton then, count me in Mister Scientist.”

Fold yourself in the middle and enjoy this movie, just know what you’re about to get into before you start watching it.


Down-and-out lounge singer Johnny Slade is hired by a mystery man to open a hot new club, the catch being he’s given a new–and terrible–song to sing each night. Noticing that whenever he sings one a new crime is committed, Johnny gradually realizes his songwriter-benefactor is a powerful mob boss in hiding and his “Greatest Hits” are the only way the man can give orders to his crew…

Johnny Slade’s Greatest Hits is the story of a struggling lounge singer who could never get a break. Johnny’s luck changes when he lands a gig at a hot new club. Little does he know that the club is owned by a former high-profile mob boss, now in hiding. The Dean Martin wannabe soon learns his “Greatest Hits” are more than humble tunes. As his popularity rises, Johnny begins to draw a strange correlation between the songs that he is asked to perform and the morning newspaper crime reports…

A mafia boss transmits his orders to his men through bizarre songs he writes to be sung forcibly by poor lounge singer. This is an original idea. I bet (Martin Scorsese) was jealous!

(John Fiore) looks great with noticeable wit (and noticeable heavy weight as well !). (Vincent Curatola) did wonderful as a funny mafia boss/poet. Did you see him in that disguise ? Hilarious. Like being Groucho Marx and Harpo together ! The rest of the cast were OK. But what wasn’t OK, is how that original idea was treated. More than half of the movie we watch nothing but a song, a hit, a doubt. That’s not bad, but it becomes bad when the movie gets sloppy, and stops showing us the droll songs anymore. It’s how it loses a real factor of comedy. Plus, the matter of the competitor gangster wasn’t used well (just a 5 minutes sequence about anti-Italian song).

Then the third act was unbelievable as the best of jumble. The event of singing to the gang to make them give themselves up is idiot. Why that mafia boss doesn’t ever attend his songs being performed in his club? And that climax; it’s hard to satisfy, especially with so indifferent directing which, to tell you the truth, was the worst element at all. One point was in favor of the director though; the scenes of the lead and the boss meeting before every song; seeming more like meetings for planning crimes or attempting murders more than an artistic collaboration. Speaking of which, that reminds me of the potential depth of it (the one that might have tempted Scorsese). It says a lot about the importance of art; it can kill or give life. The performer is just a tool in the hands of more imperious artists. And, consequently, it’s where the bad relationship between 2 artists generates bad result.

The dictatorial domination of the boss made ugly or, at best, too-terrible-it’s-laughable art. And see how it’s, in its core, a story of down-and-out lounge singer nobody ever listened to, who becomes the one everybody listens to, and – magically – executes whatever, and I mean whatever, he says (loved the moment when he uses “the power” of his voice to chastise a standup comedian he hates), however all of that with big price must be paid. It’s like a creative new treatment for Faust in a comic crime movie, or a mafia spoof where violence gets done by killer songs. Also I loved the touch of the policemen wanting desperately to be part of the showbiz by any mean.

The last scene, with the boss so unexplainably out of prison, sums up the careless way this original comedy, along with these good ideas, were made. I wanted to give it 7, but it has to be only 6 out of 10. It’s for a short wintry afternoon, nothing else. There is a fine movie there, but not made finely though. P.S : The title (Meet the Mobsters) is pointless, most probably they made it so close to (Meet the Fockers) one year earlier (To attract more viewers? Lousy !). (Johnny Slade’s Greatest Hits) is better. And somewhat my title too!

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The Shining – 1980

This review was partially done by myself and bits of trivia from Imdb hope you enjoy what I’m trying to do just want people to know I’m giving credit where it’s due…MV5BODMxMjE3NTA4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDc0NTIxMDE@._V1_SY264_CR1,0,178,264_AL_

Directed by Stanly Kubrick, based on a Stephen King novel a family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.


Now I had the chance to see the film last night on the big screen at the oriental in October of 2015 for I was not even born till ’84 and I have to say it was ultimately thrilling but I not a fan entirely of Kubrick’s Shining, Specifically because Kubrick would not involve king in any process of the movie and ultimately changed the movie from the book drastically to a point where the book was unrecognizable from the movie.  Directors often make the mistake of changing movies made from books as far as story lines go.  Stephen King also didn’t like it for this matter and as knowing this and being on his side not many know the cap Kubrick put king through to ultimately tear a masterpiece into a successful film based on Jack Nicolsons and Scatman Crothers performances.  I’ve always felt Shelley Duvalls  character was out of place and annoying which is why I think her role as Olive Oil in Pope was perfect for her. I feel that Jack basically made the film and feel he was right for the role he could definitely portray a deranged man well, acting was spot on. But even though I feel the film was made wrong and dislike it because of misdirection the information from the book I still feel it was amazing to see the film in its original eliment on the silver screen 35mm once again I can thank Milwaukee Movie Talks Christopher House and Stephen Milek for the oportunity for myself and my fiance it was an experience I will never forget.


Because Danny Lloyd was so young and since it was his first acting job, Stanley Kubrick was highly protective of the child. During the shooting of the movie, Lloyd was under the impression that the film he was making was a drama, not a horror movie. In fact, when Wendy carries Danny away while shouting at Jack in the Colorado Lounge, she is actually carrying a lifesize dummy so Lloyd would not have to be in the scene. He only realized the truth several years later, when he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He did not see the uncut version of the film until he was 17 – eleven years after he had made it.


Both Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall have expressed open resentment against the reception of this film, feeling that critics and audiences creditedStanley Kubrick solely for the film’s success without considering the efforts of the actors, crew or the strength of Stephen King’s underlying material. Both Nicholson and Duvall have said that the film was one of the hardest of their careers; in fact, Nicholson considers Duvall’s performance the most difficult role he’s ever seen an actor take on. Duvall also considers her performance the hardest of her life.


At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely, the trailer for The Shining consists entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.


According to Shelley Duvall the infamous ‘Heere’s Johnny!’ scene took 3 days to film and the use of 60 doors.


For the scene in which Jack breaks down the bathroom door, the props department built a door that could be easily broken. However, Jack Nicholson had worked as a volunteer fire marshal and tore it apart far too easily. The props department were then forced to build a stronger door.


All of the interior rooms of the Overlook Hotel were filmed at Elstree Studios in England, including the Colorado Lounge, where Jack does his typing. Because of the intense heat generated from the lighting used to recreate window sunlight (the room took 700,000 watts of light per window to make it look like a snowy day outside), the lounge set caught fire. Fortunately all of the scenes had been completed there, so the set was rebuilt with a higher ceiling, and the same area was eventually used by Steven Spielberg as the snake-filled Well of the Souls tomb inRaiders of the Lost Ark (1981).


Tony Burton, who had a brief role as Larry Durkin the garage owner, arrived on set one day carrying a chess set in hopes of getting in a game with someone during a break from filming. Stanley Kubrick, an avid chess player who had in his youth played for money, noticed the chess set. Despite production being behind schedule, Kubrick proceeded to call off filming for the day and engage in a set of games with Burton. Burton only managed to win one game, but nevertheless the director thanked him, since it had been some time that he’d played against a challenging opponent.


There were so many changes to the script during shooting that Jack Nicholson claimed he stopped reading it. He would read only the new pages that were given to him each day.


The script was constantly changing on set, sometimes several times a day. The cast got very irritated by this, especially Jack Nicholson. Whenever the production team would give the cast copies of the script to memorize, Jack Nicholson would throw his away without even looking at it, as he knew that it was only going to change again.


Anjelica Huston lived with Jack Nicholson during the time of the shooting. She recalled that, due to the long hours on the set and Stanley Kubrick’s trademark style of repetitive takes, Nicholson would often return from a day’s shooting, walk straight to the bed, collapse onto it and would immediately fall asleep.


The throwing around of the tennis ball inside the Overlook Hotel was Jack Nicholson’s idea. The script originally only specified that, “Jack is not working”.


Stephen King, the author of the book on which the movie was based, was quite disappointed in the final film. While admitting that Stanley Kubrick’s visuals were stunning, he said that was surface and not substance. He often described the film as “A fancy car without an engine.”


Stanley Kubrick, known for his compulsiveness and numerous retakes, got the difficult shot of blood pouring from the elevators in only three takes. This would be remarkable if it weren’t for the fact that the shot took nine days to set up; every time the doors opened and the blood poured out, Kubrick would say, “It doesn’t look like blood.” In the end, the shot took approximately a year to get right.


Despite Stanley Kubrick’s fierce demands on everyone,Jack Nicholson admitted to having a good working relationship with him. It was with Shelley Duvall that he was a completely different director. He allegedly picked on her more than anyone else, as seen in the documentaries Making ‘The Shining’ (1980) andStanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001). He would really lose his temper with her, even going so far as to say that she was wasting the time of everyone on the set. She later reflected that he was probably pushing her to her limits to get the best out of her, and that she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything – but it was not something she ever wished to repeat.


Shelley Duvall suffered from nervous exhaustion throughout filming, including physical illness and hair loss.


On the DVD commentary track for Making ‘The Shining'(1980), Vivian Kubrick reveals that Shelley Duvallreceived “no sympathy at all” from anyone on the set. This was apparently Stanley Kubrick’s tactic in making her feel utterly hopeless. This is most evident in the documentary when he tells Vivian, “Don’t sympathize with Shelley.” Kubrick then goes on to tell Duvall, “It doesn’t help you.”.


The idea for Danny Lloyd to move his finger when he was talking as Tony was his own; he did it spontaneously during his very first audition.


Stanley Kubrick considered both Robert De Niro andRobin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of them. Kubrick did not think De Niro would suit the role after watching his performance in Taxi Driver (1976), as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. He did not think Williams would suit the role after watching his performance on Mork & Mindy (1978), as he deemed him too psychotic for the role. According to Stephen King, Kubrick also briefly considered Harrison Ford.


One of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite films was Eraserhead (1977), directed by David Lynch. Kubrick cited the film as a creative influence during the making of The Shining and screened Eraserhead to put the cast and crew in the mood he wanted to achieve for the film.


The scene where Jack is chasing Danny through the maze took over a month to shoot. During the shoot, crew-members often found themselves lost and had to walkie-talkie for assistance.


Jack Nicholson ad-libbed the “little pigs” dialog towards the end of the film. He also ad-libbed the famous line, “Here’s Johnny”.


Stephen King did not know that “redrum” spelled murder backwards until he actually typed it. He loved the various connotations of the word. Red Rum was a famous racehorse in the 1970s.


For the scenes when we can hear Jack typing but we cannot see what he is typing, Stanley Kubrick recorded the sound of a typist actually typing the words “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Some people argue that each key on a typewriter sounds slightly different, and Kubrick wanted to ensure authenticity, so he insisted that the actual words be typed.


Every time Jack talks to a “ghost”, there’s a mirror in the scene, except in the food locker scene. This is because he talks to (an unseen) Grady through a shiny metal door.


To get Jack Nicholson in the right agitated mood, he was only fed cheese sandwiches – which he hates.


Stanley Kubrick had envisioned Shelley Duvall as his more timid, dependent version of Wendy Torrance from the very beginning. However, Jack Nicholsonafter reading the novel, wanted Jessica Lange for the role of Wendy, and even recommended her to Kubrick, as he felt she fit Stephen King’s version of the character. After explaining the changes he had made, Kubrick convinced him that Duvall was the correct choice, as she best suited the emotionally fragile Wendy he had in mind. Many years later, Nicholson told Empire magazine he thought Duvall was fantastic and called her work in the film, “the toughest job that any actor that I’ve seen had”.


The first of Stephen King’s books to be banned from school libraries because of the theme of wicked parents.


The color red is visible, either overtly or subtly, in nearly every shot of the film.


The scene towards the end of the film, where Wendy is running up the stairway carrying a knife, was shot 35 times; the equivalent of running up the Empire State Building.


Stephen King was first approached by Stanley Kubrickabout making a film version of The Shining via an early morning phone call (England is five hours ahead of Maine in time zones). King, suffering from a hangover, shaving and at first thinking one of his kids was injured, was shocked when his wife told him Kubrick was really on the phone. King recalled that the first thing Kubrick did was to immediately start talking about how optimistic ghost stories are, because they suggest that humans survive death. “What about hell?” King asked. Kubrick paused for several moments before finally replying, “I don’t believe in hell.”. King replied stating that there are people who believe in hell, and that they fear it more than death itself. This was tremendously effective in helping Kubrick understand the feel of the story.


Prior to hiring Diane Johnson as his writing partner, director/producer Stanley Kubrick rejected a screenplay written by Stephen King himself. King’s script was a much more literal adaptation of the novel, a much more traditional horror film than the film Kubrick would ultimately make. He was considering hiring Johnson because he admired her novel “The Shadow Knows,” but when he found out she was a Doctor of Gothic Studies, he became convinced she was the person for the job.


Much like the casting of the character Jack, Stephen King also disliked the casting of Shelley Duvall as Wendy. King said that he envisioned Wendy as being a blond former cheerleader type who never had to deal with any true problems in her life making her experience in the Overlook all the more terrifying. He felt that Duvall was too emotionally vulnerable and appeared to have gone through a lot in her life, basically the exact opposite of how he pictured the character.


There is a great deal of confusion regarding this film and the number of retakes of certain scenes. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the scene where Wendy is backing up the stairs swinging the baseball bat was shot 127 times, which is a record for the most takes of a single scene. However, both Steadicam operator Garrett Brown and assistant editorGordon Stainforth say this is inaccurate – the scene was shot about 35-45 times.


The shot of the tennis ball rolling into Danny’s toys took 50 takes to get right.


There was no air conditioning on the sets, meaning it would often become very hot. The hedge maze set was stifling; actors and crew would often strip off as much of the heavy clothing they were wearing as quickly as they could once a shot was finished.


Stanley Kubrick decided that having the hedge animals come alive (as they do in the book) was unworkable due to restrictions in special effects, so he opted for a hedge maze instead.

Neither Lia Beldam (young woman in bath) nor Billie Gibson (old woman in bath) appeared in another movie before or after this one.

The “snowy” maze near the conclusion of the movie consisted of 900 tons of salt and crushed Styrofoam.

Stephen King tried to talk Stanley Kubrick out of casting Jack Nicholson in the lead suggesting, instead, either Michael Moriarty or Jon Voight. King had felt that watching either of these normal-looking men gradually descend into madness, would have immensely improved the dramatic thrust of the storyline.

Steadicam operator Garrett Brown accomplished many of the ultra-low tracking corridor sequences from a wheelchair on which his invention was mounted. Grips would either pull backward or push forward the wheelchair, depending on the requirement of the shot

According to Stephen King, the title is inspired by the refrain in the Plastic Ono Band’s song, “Instant Karma” (by John Lennon), which features the chorus: “We all shine on”.

Despite his reported abuse of Shelley Duvall on set, director Stanley Kubrick spoke very highly of her ability in interviews and found himself quite impressed by her performance in the finished film.

The Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon was used for the front exterior, but all the interiors as well as the back of the hotel were specially built at Elstree Studios in London, England. The management of the Timberline requested that Stanley Kubrick not use 217 for a room number (as specified in the book), fearing that nobody would want to stay in that room ever again. Kubrick changed the script to use the nonexistent room number 237.

During filming, Stanley Kubrick made the cast watchEraserhead (1977), Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973) to put them in the right frame of mind.

During the scene where Wendy brings Jack breakfast in bed, it can be seen in the reflection of the mirror that Jack’s T-shirt says “Stovington” on it. While not mentioned in the film, this is the name of the school that Jack used to teach at in the Stephen King novel.

Stephen King got the idea for The Shining while his family were staying at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. They were the last guests before it shut down for the Winter. He saw a group of nuns leaving the hotel, and it got him thinking that the place had suddenly become godless. The King family stayed in Room 217, the haunted room in the novel but Room 237 in the film; a fire hose also resembled a snake (which doesn’t appear in the film but does in The Shining (1997) TV mini-series), and King had already been playing around with a story idea about a boy with ESP, so he combined the two plotlines.

Outtakes of the shots of the Volkswagen Beetle traveling towards the Overlook Hotel at the start of the film were “plundered” by Ridley Scott (with Stanley Kubrick’s permission) when he was forced to add the “happy ending” to the original release of Blade Runner(1982).

Jack Nicholson suggested Scatman Crothers for the film. Crothers had a tough time on “The Shining” withStanley Kubrick making him do over 100 takes for one scene. Crothers’ next film was Bronco Billy (1980), directed by Clint Eastwood who was famous for generally only going with one take. Crothers broke down in tears of gratitude on his first scene in the film when he realized he wouldn’t have to do endless take after take again.

To construct the interiors of the Overlook Hotel,Stanley Kubrick and his production designer, Roy Walker purposely set out to make it look like an amalgamation of bits and pieces of real hotels, rather than giving it one single design ethic. Kubrick had sent many photographers around the country photographing hotel rooms and picking his favorite. For example, the red men’s bathroom was modeled on a men’s room in the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Colorado lounge was modeled on the lounge of the Ahwanee Hotel in the Yosemite Valley. Indeed, the chandeliers, windows and fireplace are nearly identical, so much so that people entering the Ahwahnee Hotel often ask if it’s “the Shining hotel”.

After Barry Lyndon (1975), Stanley Kubrick started researching his next project by reading a lot of recent books. His secretary could hear him throwing rejected books at the wall in his office. One day, he started reading Stephen King’s novel and, after a few hours, when his secretary hadn’t heard the familiar sound of a book hitting the wall, she knew he had found his next project.

The only shot in the film not achieved in-camera was the slow zoom in on the model of the maze, with the tiny figures of Danny and Wendy walking around at the center. To achieve this shot, a model of the maze was shot from six feet above. Then the small central section of the maze was built to scale next to an apartment complex. Actors Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd then walked about in the central section whilst the camera crew filmed it from the roof of the apartment building. The two shots were then simply composited together.

During the making of the movie, Stanley Kubrick would occasionally call Stephen King at 3:00 a.m. and ask him questions like “Do you believe in God?” Steven Spielberg had heard this story and asked Kubrick if it was true. Kubrick denied that it happened.

Most of the elaborate urban legends and conspiracy theories surrounding this film (ranging from it serving as a Holocaust metaphor to a confession that Kubrick helped fake the moon landings) were refuted byStanley Kubrick during his lifetime or later by the surviving cast and crew. For example, the famous “impossible corridors” are a result of set logistics, Kubrick wanted to shoot Danny on his big wheel in unbroken takes, so the hallways had to connect and the only way the crew could construct them to fit Kubrick’s vision meant mirroring the set to fit available sound stage space. The shadow of the helicopter in the opening shot was the result of a framing error.

According to Variety magazine, the film took almost 200 days to shoot. However, according to assistant editor Gordon Stainforth, it took much more, nearly a year. The film was originally supposed to take 17 weeks, but it ultimately took 51. Because the film ran so long, Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981) and Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) were both delayed as they were both waiting to shoot in Elstree Studios.

The scene of Hallorann approaching the hotel in the snow-cat was shot in real snow approaching the real Timberline hotel in Oregon.

Stanley Kubrick wanted to shoot the film in script order. This meant having all the relevant sets standing by at all times. In order to achieve this, every soundstage at Elstree Studios was used, with all the sets built, pre-lit and ready to go during the entire shoot at the studios.

Scatman Crothers was friends with Jack Nicholson, and when he heard about the Halloran role, he asked Nicholson to talk to Stanley Kubrick about casting him.

To achieve the smoothness of the opening shots, cameraman Greg MacGillivray secured a wide angle Arriflex camera to the front of a helicopter, then balanced the blades to remove any vibrations. Even the shot where the camera comes down behind the car, passes it out, and goes over the edge is done via the helicopter.

When Steadicam inventor/operator Garrett Brown was hired to work on the picture, he was assured that there was no way the shoot would run over six months, as he had to be back in the United States in six months time to shoot Rocky II (1979). Six months into the shoot, less than half the film had been shot, and for several months, Brown worked one week in London on The Shining, one week in Philadelphia on Rocky, commuting by Concorde every Sunday.

During an interview for Britain’s The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003), Shelley Duvall revealed that due to her role requiring her to be in an almost constant state of hysteria, she eventually ran out of tears from crying so hard. To overcome this, she kept bottles of water with her at all times on set to remain hydrated.

The scene where Wendy is running and sees a room where a man in a bear costume is having sex with the former hotel manager was never explained in the movie, leaving the audience very confused as to why it was there. In the book, during a year at the hotel the manager had a secret homosexual affair with a party guest dressed in a dog costume, which is the closest explanation.

The scrapbook that Jack finds in the novel makes a brief appearance next to his typewriter when Jack tells Wendy never to bother him while he’s working.

Jack tells Lloyd in the bar that Danny once messed around with his work papers. This mirrors an event inStephen King’s life, when his son once started playing around with his writing notes. He felt like killing him.

Upon seeing the movie, Stephen King reportedly said “I think he set out to make a film that hurts people”.

Jack Nicholson claimed that the scene where Jack snaps at Wendy for interrupting his writing was the most difficult for him, as he was a writer in real-life and had gotten into similar arguments with his girlfriend. Being a Method actor he drew on his memories of those arguments and added the line “Or if you come in here and you DON’T hear me typing, if I’m in here that means I’m working!”

Despite receiving generally unfavorable reviews upon its initial release, the film is today regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made. In 2001, it was ranked 29th on AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Thrills’ list. In 2003, Jack Torrance was named the 25th greatest villain on the AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains’ list. The film was named the scariest film of all time by Channel 4 in 2003, and Total Film had it as the 5th greatest horror film in 2004. Bravo TV placed it 6th on their list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments in 2005. In addition, film critics Kim Newman andJonathan Romney both placed it in their all-time top ten lists for the 2002 Sight and Sound poll.

The making-of documentary shot by Vivian Kubrickshows that the hedge maze set, while nowhere near as large as the maze in the film (which was mostly a matte painting), was still large and complex enough to require a detailed map. In the commentary for her documentary, she notes that many crew members really got lost in the maze, dryly noting that it now reminds her of the lost-backstage scene in This Is Spinal Tap (1984).

The role of Lloyd the Bartender was originally to have been played by Harry Dean Stanton, who was unable to take the role due to his commitment to Alien (1979).

In the British TV spot for the film, Jack can be seen tearing through the second door panel, a shot that was never used in the final cut.

As he lived in England, Stanley Kubrick was not at all familiar with the “Heeeeere’s Johnny” line (from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962)) thatJack Nicholson improvised. He very nearly didn’t use it.

Despite the critical success of the film, it was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actress for Shelley Duvall and Worst Director forStanley Kubrick. It “lost” both awards.

Stanley Kubrick’s first choice to play Danny Torrance was Cary Guffey, the young boy from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Guffey’s parents apparently turned down the offer due to the film’s subject matter.

The Louisville Slugger baseball bat with which Wendy Torrance bludgeons Jack is signed by Carl Yastrzemski, Hall of Fame Red Sox player. AuthorStephen King is a huge Red Sox fan.

This film was shot in the same film studio that was used for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). In fact, much of the same fake snow used for this film was used for the Hoth scenes.Stephen King visited the set of both films, and met director Irvin Kershner. This later became the basis for part of his book “It”. Kirshner had been nicknamed “Kersh”, and was directing the first Star Wars film to feature Yoda. In the Stephen King book “It”, there is a character named Mrs. Kersh, who is said to sound like Yoda when she talks. As well as countless other mentions of Star Wars in various King books.

One of the shots in the part where Jack is bouncing a ball against a wall took several days to film. This was because the shot entailed the ball bouncing from the wall onto the camera lens as it filmed. As Stanley Kubrick was so determined to get this precise shot, the camera kept rolling while the ball was continually hit against the wall in the hope of it bouncing back and hitting the lens. It took everyone on the entire unit having a go at it in between other shots before the shot was finally achieved after several days.

Stanley Kubrick originally wanted Slim Pickens to play the part of Hallorann but Pickens wanted nothing to do with the director, following his experiences working with him on Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

Stephen King has never understood why people find the film version of The Shining so scary.

When Jack uses an axe to break through the bathroom door, he shouts “Here’s Johnny”. This is probably a reference to the catchphrase of chat-show hostJohnny Carson. However an alternative explanation is that it is a reference to an incident that occurred in the 1960s when Johnny Cash used a fire axe to break a connecting “doorway” between two motel rooms that he and his band members were using while on tour, and then broke through one of the doors from the corridor to make it look as if a thief had broken in and trashed the rooms.

The famous opening scene was shot in Glacier National Park in Montana just north of St. Mary’s Lake. The road seen in the scene, Going-to-the-Sun Road, does actually close down during winter and is only negotiable by snowcat. Kubrick initially sent a second unit to the Rockies in Colorado, but they reported back that the area wasn’t very interesting. When Stanley Kubrick saw the footage they had shot, he was furious, and fired the entire unit. He then sent Greg MacGillivray, a noted helicopter cameraman, to Montana and it was McGillivray who shot the scene.

The maze was constructed on an airfield near Elstree Studios, by weaving branches to chicken wire mounted on empty plywood boxes. The maze was shot using an extremely short lens (a 9.8mm, which gives a horizontal viewing angle of 90 degrees) which was kept dead level at all times, to make the hedges seem much bigger and more imposing than they were in reality.

The film took over 5 years to complete.

Delbert Grady, the waiter/butler from 1921, spills Advocaat (a yellow liqueur) on Jack in the Gold Room, one of multiple instances where the color yellow gradually becomes more symbolically prevalent as the film moves closer to Jack’s madness and the Overlook Hotel’s resurrection.

Christopher Reeve and Leslie Nielsen were considered for the role of Jack Torrence.

In the party scene, Stanley Kubrick told the extras to mouth their words.

Approximately 5000 people auditioned for the role of Danny Torrance over a six-month period. The interviews were carried out in Chicago, Denver and Cincinnati by Stanley Kubrick’s assistant Leon Vitaliand his wife, Kersti Vitali. Aspiring actors were asked to send in photographs of themselves, and from the photographs, a list was made of the boys who looked right, who were then called in to interview. Vitali would then have the boys do some minor improvisation on camera, and Kubrick would review the footage, gradually narrowing the list down.

Saul Bass reportedly produced around 300 versions of the film’s poster before Stanley Kubrick was satisfied.

Along with Bound for Glory (1976), Marathon Man(1976) and Rocky (1976), one of the first films to use the recently developed Steadicam.

Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind wrote and performed a full electronic score for the film, but Stanley Kubrickdiscarded most of it and used a soundtrack of mostly classical music. Only the adaptation of the “Dies Irae” (“Day of Wrath”) melody (from the traditional requiem mass) during the opening credits, the music during the family’s drive to the hotel, and a few other brief moments (such as Halloran’s plane trip) survive in the final version. Wendy Carlos once noted that she’d like to see the original score released on CD, but there were too many legal snags at the time. As of 2005, Carlos’ score for the film has been remastered, and is a part of “Rediscovering Lost Scores Volumes 1 and 2”.

The movie’s line “Here’s Johnny!” was voted as the #68 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100), and as the #36 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere magazine in 2007.

The film was released in the United States on star


We Are Still Here – 2015


If we don’t give that house a new family… it’ll swallow this town up…

… then we’ll do it ourselves…

Directed by Ted Geoghegan starring scream queen Barbara Crapton, I freely admit to being a sucker for a good ghost story but feel no issue with prejudices when I say the movie delivers.

While there were a few problematic aspects, such as the night when the proclamation was made that there was a darkness all around inside the house which cut to a scene of everyone being sound asleep. I suppose it was the consistent use of scotch that helped with this!


That aside there is plenty of atmospheric creepiness with an easy mystery of ghosts that overlie some sort of ill defined ancient evil that had been uncovered. Nice layered evil that had no problem showing us the first layer of quite well done (yes there is a pun there) ghosts. It was, however, the deeper layer of undefined evil that I found, in the end, to be the most fun.

It was this later part that I view as quite Lovecraftian. The unseen unnamed “darkness” that is the real driving force of a quite haunted house. It is hinted at but never shown and in the end remains apart from the rest of the story that is told. Hats off for this added layer. The easily solved mystery with the impossible mystery added in was delightfully refreshing.


I would also add that a careful eye will catch a reference to the “Miskatonic River” in one of the newspapers shown during the initial end credits.


“We Are Still Here still here” is the single best horror film i have seen in years. The film is a little reminiscent of 80’s flicks like poltergeist, evil dead, the fog etc etc. Big names, i know.


Let’s be honest about it, the horror genre has never been in such a bad shape as it is today, thanks to the lack luster, unoriginal productions which marketing budgets try to make up for the lack of creativity and originality. Yes i am talking about sinister, insidious, Ouija, occulus and co. These productions do nothing else but constantly celebrate themselves while tearing bigger and bigger holes into the genre.


“We Are Still Here still here” is genuinely scary, with an unsettling, claustrophobic atmosphere at times. And if you were afraid of dark cellars as a kid, this is your film.


I am not spoiling any of the story here, just pointing out that this film delivers where many of the recent, shallow, pseudo horror flicks totally fail, and that with a fraction of the budget. “We Are Still Here still here” is another testament that big budget and marketing terror can’t replace talent, substance or imagination.

Would give a 10 if the tricks/effects weren’t looking a little crappy towards the end.

Go see this film if you are a fan of the genre.

Cannibal Diner – 2012


Directed by Frank M. Montag this film is about a bunch of nubile German chicks head off to an abandoned diner before discovering that it’s really home to a den of cannibals.


One by one they are picked off in tame cutaway ways until the one that’s left runs around a lot while whimpering.  Yeah. Cannibal Diner is one of those films. Basically, it’s a generic awsomely directed mess and most unforgivably of all, it’s really comical, the women are sexy, dumb and valley girlish. The director is apparently under the bizarre delusion that jumpy flashy cut off editing and long scenes of a chick stumbling around to intense urgent music equates to tension. It works.


I don’t want to sound too excited here because I never expected much to begin with, and sucker as I am for all things cannibal related in horror, my standards tend to be fairly low in this regard. All I ask for is some nice gore and some perky nudity. Now while there is admittedly some perky nudity here, it’s still an utterly abysmally awsome film, that meet my ultra low requirements, and I gotta say, I’m actually amazed that films like this dont even get financed more.


I firmly believe that for all its flaws, indie or low budget horror is actually the lifeblood of the genre, in terms of quality, but just unlike big budgeted and decidedly bland remakes, indie horror unfortunately throws some turkeys our way also and Cannibal Diner is a film to be given thought and pause, as it’s one of those films where your finger never presses the fast forward button, you see just enough boon action to keep the guys interested and a bit of the girl on girl lesion action too all in all not a badly made film to me thoroughly enjoyed it reccomend!


Creepies – 2004


Genetically engineered killer spiders are released from a government laboratory, they kill people by eating them from the inside out.

Honour where honour’s due.

CREEPIES has got to be the most impressive movie I’ve seen in quite some time. Why, I hear you asking? Plain and simple: because it’s almost unbelievable what director Jeff Leroy has achieved with an extremely limited amount of money. CREEPIES’ ultra-low budget is supposed to be US$ 20,000 I read somewhere else (don’t know if this is really true though).


Don’t get me wrong! I mostly enjoy all those big-budget hundred-million-dollar Hollywood blockbusters too, but what Jeff Leroy has put on the screen with a laughable budget impresses me more than all those Michael Bay/George Lucas/Steven Spielberg/Roland Emmerich event movies put together. Besides, in stark contrast to most mainstream films that lack soul, B-movies like CREEPIES have the heart at their right place, and they are literally bursting with something that money just can’t buy: charm!


The general plot of CREEPIES is clearly inspired by Dan O’Bannon’s fun-classic THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD: scientists who tried to create the ultimate weapon dispose of their rather unsuccessful experiments in small containers from which they promptly manage to escape and attack Los Angeles. While the bad-tempered spiders (that even communicate among each other in one hair-raisingly funny scene) attack the helpless citizens and prowl the city the military goes into full action and sets in ruins all that comes by their telescopic sight: the commanding officer doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that they don’t manage to hit the rioting gigantic spider… seems one has to reckon with collateral damage in such a case.


Spiders are running through the streets and attack people, buildings, cars, even whole streets are exploding, tanks are rolling around, helicopters are firing from all guns… just to point out the proportions: if this film was made in Hollywood it would have cost, at least, 150 million dollars. B-movie maverick Jeff Leroy made it for approx. 20,000 dollars. In other words: for one big budget Hollywood blockbuster, B-movie directors like Jeff Leroy could make about 7,500 films! Quite stunning, ain’t it?


However dirt-cheap CREEPIES is, the entertainment value certainly does not suffer from that. The many spiders may be for the most part from the computer (I’m not really sure in some cases though)… the L. A. and Hollywood of the flick is definitely not. The film makers built and/or organized countless miniature buildings, streets and cars, only to have them spectacularly destroyed in the course of the movie (even screaming dummies are flying through the air). Indeed, Leroy manages to resurrect the brilliant-trashy Godzilla feeling of the 1960s and 1970s, when he rages in his toy-land like all those gigantic Japanese monsters in their heydays. You can even marvel at a fantastic atomic explosion! Okay, I admit it: I’m crazy ’bout miniatures, and CREEPIES is filled to the brim with them.

In contrast to those wonderful Kaiju Eiga spectacles Leroy doesn’t shy away from some astonishing bloodshed. A man shoots his own head off like Bobby Peru in WILD AT HEART, and another guy (who was bitten by a spider) scratches his whole face off. The cast is fine for this kind of movie (Phoebe Dollar is always awesome); they certainly will never win an academy award, but they are a joy to watch and seem to have invested a lot of enthusiasm in the making of the movie. Look out for a cameo by ‘the Hedgehog’ in person, Ron Jeremy.

CREEPIES can’t (and doesn’t want to) compete with Hollywood product like the excellent EIGHT-LEGGED FREAKS. But it’s a great flick in its own right, immensely entertaining, chock full of fun and trash situations, the protagonists are sympathetic, and the countless special effects (obviously made with imagination, enthusiasm and love) are truly bursting with charm. No doubt about it, most mainstream film fans will scream loudly that this has got to be the worst movie ever made. Well, let them think they are right and let them live happily in their small brainwashed-by-Hollywood dream world. True B-movie aficionados will know at once what a great achievement CREEPIES really is.

Seems that the B-movie industry beyond Hollywood is alive and kicking. CREEPIES proves this most impressively. Buy it and see for yourself.

Oh, one more thing: Mr. Leroy, please keep on making movies. There are a lot of people out there who love the films you make. I know it. 

Ils a.k.a. Them – 2006

WRITTEN BY David StregeMV5BNjU0MDUxMjIyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzk3MTgzMQ@@._V1_UY218_CR5,0,150,218_AL_MV5BNjk4MDY1NTI0NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDk0MjE2MQ@@._V1_

I’m a big fan of French cinema and this kind of movie will show you why… attention to detail, natural acting and not afraid to divert from the mainstream. It builds beautifully, is directed by two craftsmen, David Moreau and Xavier Palud in their art and the performances from the two main actors are very natural and just excellent. 


Ils or also known as them in the US, is about Lucas and Clementine as they  live peacefully in their isolIated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise… they’re not alone… and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.


Tense as hell …but in the end you realize this is something you’ll only watch once or perhaps twice. It’s a perfect cinema experience however.


The sound work works really well in a theater. There is clearly a very eager and talented sound designer and editor responsible for creating most of the tension. Every single creak and footstep is perfectly placed for the best scares. The plot is the “weakest” part, but it’s nothing you’ll care about. The best thing is that it mercifully steers clear of all “jump” scenes we know and hate from American scary movies.


After the first act, lightning starts to come in more and more and almost replaces sound as the tension-maker. This is also done extremely well. Actually, this is probably one of the most well- made horror movies in a long time. Everything plays out perfectly; lightning, sound, camera-work(modern, but not annoyingly so) editing and cinematography.

Definitely worth watching for the technical aspects alone, but more so for the tension and the scares.

While I would never classify “Them” as science fiction in the least, it is definitely a keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller, but one tastefully made without gratuitous violence or gore.


Based on a true life story, this film speaks to the banality of violence, and the essence of fear. I’ve seen plenty of gripping thrillers, but this one kept me squirming and shielding my eyes for a full hour, with an ending that leaves you stunned. Speaking no French or Romanian and having seen it with English sub-titles, I cannot attest to the value of the script. The performances, however, seem solid and the film is expertly shot and musically scored – all these elements add to the power of the film.


I have to say i really enjoyed it. With a run time of only 77mins and less then 50 votes here, it’s far beyond my expectation.And after watching Ils, i wonder whether this is exactly how long a horror/thriller movie should be.

The setting and excellent score remind me of High Tension, but it turns out to be a even better one. At least higher efficiency in only 77mins, no gratuitous sex violence or gore, all are set to create the breathtaking atmosphere.

Like some other audience, I supposed ‘they’ had to be aliens and this movie should be a sci-fi before seeing the ending which is short,but reasonable enough,and quite impressive.

Low budget horror at its best.

The Sonatina

Written by David Strege


Kate Balsley, Writer, Director and Producer of “The Sonatina” got the idea from some personal experiences for this short from having not finished her piano lessons when she was younger almost wistful she explained while at the Milwaukee film festival which almost didn’t happen according to her Kickstart campaign but I’m glad it did and got a chance to see it.


Twenty-five year old Chris Westfield has a dead end job in a thrift shop. It pays the bills and keeps him busy, but he dreams of something more… One day someone donates a piano to the shop and Chris rediscovers his passion for music. Despite his age, his boss, his years of not playing and the discouragement he gets from his friends, Chris pursues his talent and his life is changed forever.


Ultimately since having been a musician myself I felt the passion involved being the main actor Ed Poser whom also provided some younger video footage of home videos while younger for the end credits,  Sean Loftu, and Louis Sather this film was a nice surprise and fresh with memory… a must see…