February 2019 Mini-Reviews – Return of Dracula to Selma

Forgive me for not posting this sooner, but a major site crash at the end of March, which I didn’t have time to fix until a week later.

February was another month with a low (for me) movie count — 21.  And because of the crash delay, I can tell you that March had 19.  So, an average of 20 seems to be the “new normal” in the current situation.  But we’ll see after March and April, which are heralding some big life changes, if my movie-watching gets back more to the way things were in mid 2018.  Here’s hoping!

Until then, well, I still watch more movies than most normal humans and probably even most movie buffs.

Ratings are out of five stars. Here’s what those stars mean to me…

* – This film is not good. Avoid it unless you tolerate dreck well.
** – A flawed film. You may enjoy it if you like this genre or the folks in it.
*** – A good solid film. If you like this genre, you’ll probably like this film.
**** – A superior film within its genre. Thoroughly enjoyable.
***** – An outstanding film on many levels. A great example of its genre.

Return of Dracula, The **** Strong low-budget modern vampire film with Shadow of a Doubt echoes. Makes you wish they’d done more Drac.
Duwich Horror, The *** Good 70s attempt at Lovecraft adapation with mod colors & sets & good cast. Wise choice to obscure monster.
Day Time Ended, The (MST3K) **** Jonah & the Bots riff strange late 70s SF with family & desert home beset by aliens & Danforth stop-mo monsters.
Giant Claw, The *** The SFX monster bird is laughable, but the 50s Sci-Fi underpinnings are strong. Could have been a near classic.
Werewolf, The *** Innocent crash victim is turned to werewolf by scientists in mad attempt to improve human species. Good makeup.
Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things ** Criminal partner of druggie poses as his aunt & kills any woman who shows interest in him. Slasher exploitation.
Mark of Zorro, The ***** Tyrone Power is charming & athletic as Z-hero who lives a double life to fight injustice in Olde California.
Adventures of Robin Hood, The ***** Errol Flynn at his handsome peak as the rogue of Sherwood Forest battling evil King John & allies. Perfect.
Killer Fish (MST3K) **** Lee Majors & TV all-stars rob jewel mine, deal with fish in Margheriti caper/horror film. MST3K makes it good!
Devils of Darkness *** Vampire leads undead cult that kidnaps people & sacrifices or makes brides of them. Unfortunate Deus-Ex finish.
Witchcraft *** Lon Chaney Jr. & resurrected witch lead cult bent on destroying people developing ancestral lands. Good, typical.
Academy Awards: Live Action Shorts 2018 **** Children are imperiled in 4 out of 5 shorts. Best are film about phonecall from lost child & caregiver & old woman.
Green Book ***** Vigo Mortensen drives Maharshela Ali’s star pianist through the Deep South & the two become friends. Great.
A Star Is Born **** Bradley Cooper is outstanding & Lady Gaga sings great in remake of classic about 1 star rising while another falls.
BlackkKlansman **** Spike Lee takes draws modern parallels in true story of Colorado Springs cop who infiltrates the Klan. Funny, too.
Great Race, The ***** Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemon, & Peter Falk rule in this good vs. evil action adventure comedy. Top rate.
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker *** Aunt’s obsession with custodial nephew leads to sexual frustration & a series of gory murders + Julia Duffy nude.
Equalizer 2, The **** Denzel is back fighting for justice for the downtrodden & revenge for loss of a friend. Climax in hurricane is cool.
Straight-Jacket (Sven) *** Joan Crawford hagging it up as woman who killed her cheating husband, now out of the asylum – maybe too early.
Plan 9 from Outer Space (RiffTrax) **** The movie is colorized, the riffing maybe not up to MST3K, but some good moments & funny flight attendant short.
Selma **** Reverent & moving portrayal of the harrowing efforts to help voting rights by marching from Selma to Montgomery.

March is another low-movie count month, but I did do some Russian SF for an upcoming episode of Monster Kid Radio.  The reviews for March will be coming shortly.

Let me know what movies you’re watching — especially old monster movies I may not have seen.  (They DO exist, and I review one in April!)

Remember, you can support this and all my other writing work, including Frost Harrow, Dr. Cushing’s Chamber of Horrors, and more, by joining my Patreon for a buck or two a month.  Thanks!

About Steve Sullivan 411 Articles
Stephen D. Sullivan is an award-winning author, artist, and editor. Since 1980, he has worked on a wide variety of properties, including well-known licenses and original work. Some of his best know projects include Dungeons & Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dragonlance, Iron Man, Legend of the Five Rings, Speed Racer, the Tolkien RPG, Disney Afternoons, Star Wars, The Twilight Empire (Robinson's War), Uncanny Radio, Martian Knights, Tournament of Death, and The Blue Kingdoms (with his friend Jean Rabe).