Archive | chase beck RSS feed for this section

Home Video Hovel: Game of Death, by Chase Beck

24 Jul

Shout! Factory has released Game of Death under its Shout! Select branding. It is the last film that Bruce Lee worked on before his untimely death. Game of Death was to be Lee’s directorial debut. However, his passing left the film unfinished. Producer Raymond Chow looked at what had been shot, and, with director Robert Clouse, decided to edit Lee’s original footage, constructing a new film and story line with heavy use of look-alikes.


Home Video Hovel: Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, by Chase Beck

18 Oct


Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn is a 3-D film directed by Charles Band. It is set on a distant desert planet in the far future. However, the details of this setting might elude the viewer as they are only spelled-out in detail in the trailer. As an audience, we are thrown directly into the action, such as it is. The film, a sci-fi western heavily influenced by The Road Warrior, incudes long stretches of slow, poorly choreographed, automotive action. The main character, Dogen (Jeffrey Byron), a leather-clad, gravelly-voiced ranger (as if that means anything in this setting) drives around in an all-terrain vehicle looking for Jared-Syn. While Dogen’s vehicle might have looked cool in 1983, today it comes across as a car with an aluminum shell welded over the top of it. Along the way, he encounters mutant cyborgs led by a pre-Night Court Richard Moll, the beautiful miner Dhyana (Kelly Preston), glowing soul crystals, sand pits, dog-faced snakes, slow-moving monsters, murderous locals, and much more. Oh, so much more.


Doomed!: We Will Never Release This Movie, by Chase Beck

10 Oct


As a kid, I had by-mail subscriptions for many Marvel Comics titles. I have considered it a duty and privilege to see all of the Marvel films. I love every minute spent exploring the Marvel universe, whether it be through comics, TV, books, or film. There was however, one title missing from my mass consumption of Marvel intellectual properties, and that was The Fantastic Four.


Lake Nowhere: Drowning in Nostalgia, by Chase Beck

16 Aug


A group of 20-somethings, expecting a fun weekend of debauchery, venture out into the isolated wilderness, stay in a creepy cabin and, while there, encounter unspeakable evil. Does this all sound a little familiar? This trope is so common and repeated that it was even parodied in Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods, itself heavily inspired by Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, a film that, while not necessarily inventing the concept of horrific events centered around an isolated residence in the middle of nowhere (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Night of the Living Dead), certainly popularised it. However, in this case, the reason the story is so similar is that directors Christopher Phelps and Maxim Van Scoy’s film “Lake Nowhere” is an homage to those films as well as early ‘80’s horror in general.


Home Video Hovel: Great Expectations, by Chase Beck

16 Aug


On paper, Director Joseph Hardy’s Great Expectations would seem to be the perfect adaptation. For one, it has a highly-praised classic work of literature to draw from,  for another the cast  itself is loaded with notable British actors including Michael York, Sara Miles, Joss Ackland, Robert Morley, Anthony Quayle, and James Mason. Unfortunately, with the staid directing and overly-respectful screenplay, nobody in the film has much to do except wander around looking lost.


New to Home Video 8/9/16

9 Aug





New to Home Video 6/21/16

21 Jun








Cash Only: Between Rock City and a Hard Place, by Chase Beck

10 May


Detroit: Motown, The Motor City, Hockey Town; founded as a fort in 1701, it has since become the largest city in Michigan.  Perhaps no city in America stands as a better example of the effects of the economic downturn than Detroit. Heavily dependant on the automotive industry, when the big three were outcompeted and forced to close local plants just to stay in business, everybody was affected. Today there are entire blocks of empty, decrepit houses and abandoned neighborhoods. Those still struggling to make it in Detroit often find themselves with difficult choices. Elvis Martini, landlord of a small set of apartments owes money to just about everybody. The city wants to take his property and local organized crime is threatening much the same. That is the set-up for Malik Bader’s Cash Only.


New to Home Video 12/29/15

29 Dec



Home Video Hovel: The Larry Fessenden Collection, by Chase Beck

9 Nov


The Larry Fessenden Collection is a box-set of four films written, directed, edited by, and, in one case, starring Larry Fessenden. My first exposure to Larry Fessenden was in his film The Last Winter (2006), which is in this set. However, at the time it had not made enough of an impact on me to realize that he had been involved on it. Later, when I saw Glenn McQuaid’s I Sell the Dead (2008), I came to recognize him as a talented performer and influential figure in independent filmmaking.