Wednesday, August 07, 2013

New Stuff!

Been reinforcing the concrete slab under our house to handle the influx of "stuff."  Among the latest arrivals:

BOY AND HIS DOG (blu-ray):  Harlan Ellison's classic novella as adapted by non other than L.Q. Jones, perhaps best known for his scuzzy roles in various Sam Peckinpah movies (Tector in The Wild Bunch!) and... well, for this.  In the year 2024 (only nine years away!) a nuclear war has scoured the Earth and the last rag-tag survivors run around scavenging old canned goods and being mean to one another.  A very young Don Johnson plays Vic, a horny-as-hell kid who hangs on the periphery of all the bad stuff, desperate for sex.  Vic has an edge on the rest of the survivors because he's developed a telepathic connection with his cute and very sardonic dog Blood, who protects Vic while insulting him in amusing ways.  "Adventures ensue."  This new master looks amazing -- and I always liked both the look of this movie (Mad Max four years before Mad Max) and the sardonic, cynical tone.  The disc also comes with a cool recent interview/"conversation" between L.Q. Jones and Harlan Ellison that explores how the picture came together.  Good stuff.

THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN (blu-ray): On the other hand... amusingly, both Boy and his Dog and Melting Man open with stock footage of fiery explosions.  Nuclear bombs in Boy, sun flares in Incredible.  However that's pretty much where the similarities end.  70's horror fans have an affection for Melting Man because of the grisly early make-up effects by Rick Baker, who was coming off the DeLaurentis King Kong at the time and who admits in one of the DVD extras that he wasn't sure this picture was a good career move.  But he made what he considered an outrageous bid for the make-up job and to his surprise they agreed, so this incredible guy?  He friggin' MELTS.  And melts.  And melts.  There isn't much story here, an astronaut gets fried by solar radiation and when he gets back to Earth he starts to, well, you know.  Evidently melting makes a guy real pissy and homicidal, and most of the movie features our titular character rampaging the low budget countryside killing people.  Toward the end a character begs the cops not to shoot Meltie because "the more he melts, the stronger he gets!"  But that scientific observation is eventually proven inaccurate.  Besides the Rick Baker interview, the disc also features an interview with director/writer William Sachs, who claims the producers ruined his vision -- he wanted to make a black comedy and they wanted straight horror.  What they wound up with was a very cheap, sadly boring movie with some gloppy make-up FX.  My two favorite parts: the opening title is "The Incredible Melting Man," followed by "Starring Alex Rebar as The Incredible Melting Man."  Poor dude (whose character name is actually "Steve") doesn't even get a name in the credits.  And then there's the ending, which suggests the comedic tone that Mr. Sachs claimed to be aiming for.  Otherwise, this is one of those "thank God for fast forward" curiosities...

BULLET IN THE HEAD (blu-ray):  Walter Hill teams up with Sylvester Stallone for a 70's style guns and gangsters movie, but sadly this one's a misfire.  Stallone plays an assassin who wants revenge on the really nasty guys (I'm looking at you, Jason Conan-guy Momoa) who killed his partner.  Stallone winds up joining forces with a cop played by Korean actor Sung Kang.  Stallone SMASH.  Mayhem ensues, just not particularly interesting mayhem, and it's capped by one of my least favorite gangster movie tropes, the absurd "bad guy kills all his own guys" scene.  Everyone involved has made WAY better movies so chalk this one up as "ehh" and hope for better next time...


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