Brenda James

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The Barber Review


Weak
Murderous barber? Check. Alaskan village where the sun never comes up? Check. The Barber oddly relies on two plot devices to get its simplistic tale across (the barber is killing people in an Alaskan village where the sun never comes up), with Malcolm McDowell narrating all the while. This is cute for awhile but it soon wears thin, with the gimmicks grinding you down until you pretty much stop caring what happens, despite the rising body count and the almost disturbing portrayal of McDowell as a sort of lothario. There's kind of a nutty twist at the end, but on the off chance you're still watching, I won't spoil it.

Slither Review


Very Good
The word itself, lolling off the tongue as it does, conjures up images of those slick, slimy denizens of swamps, sewers and sloughs. And writer/director James Gunn (2004's Dawn of the Dead) couldn't have picked a more perfect name for this queasy, rollicking throwback to the monster cinema of the drive-in days.

The film is a goofy, but intelligent, combination of David Cronenberg's seminal slimy freak-out Shivers, the underrated teen zombie slugfest, Night of the Creeps, The Hidden, and one of the countless ribald, hicksploitation flicks that clogged the drive-ins in the '70s (I don't think I've seen such a cast of less-than-attractive performers outside of Quest for Fire.)

Continue reading: Slither Review

Nice Guys Sleep Alone Review


Good
Stu Pollard's indie feature Nice Guys Sleep Alone suffers from the same problem as his main character Carter (Sean O'Bryan): It's too nice and sweet. I kept waiting for romantic loser/hero Carter -- to paraphrase Vince Vaughn in Swingers -- to be the "rated R guy, the guy we're not sure if we like yet." When he finally becomes that guy, we're too far gone down this road, a road which wants to tell us something about friendship and love intermingling, and how although "nice guys" typically get the shaft, it doesn't always pan out that way.

Pollard has a good sense of comic timing (and the good sense to adapt a novel instead of writing his own original story). His film pans out in Louisville, with frequent visits to the track and other interesting locations. (How many indie romantic comedies are shot in two locations: someone's apartment and a bar!? Ugh.) He even gets actors like Morgan Fairchild and William "This is my other brother Darryl" Sanderson. Pollard obviously spent a lot of money too, shooting on 35mm (if not, he fooled me) and staging some big-budget scenes, including period-piece dream sequences and real-live horse races.

Continue reading: Nice Guys Sleep Alone Review

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Slither Movie Review

Slither Movie Review

The word itself, lolling off the tongue as it does, conjures up images of those...

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