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Saturday, Aug 01, 2015

Blood, Violence and Babes

A B-Movie Holy Grail by John Allman

If you’ve surfed the DVR pay-per-view options and seen a bunch of movies that you’ve never heard of, chances are John has watched them. Why? He loves movies. All kinds of movies. Good, bad, so-bad-they’re good, even the truly unwatchable ones. He mostly loves horror and science-fiction and drive-in exploitation movies that most upstanding model citizens wouldn’t dare watch. Then he writes up his thoughts so you can decide - watch, don’t watch or avoid at all costs. Sometimes he even gets to talk to the cool folks who make some of your favorite films.

New Releases for Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: July 30, 2015 at 03:22 PM
By John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

It Follows

Genre: Horror

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Capitol Theatre sets 1970s Summer Classic Movie Series lineup

Published:   |   Updated: July 30, 2015 at 09:20 AM
Tribune staff

Fans of Woody Allen, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand — and even kung fu movies — may want to head to Clearwater for the next few Saturdays.

The 70’s Summer Classic Movie Series is returning to the Capitol Theatre starting Aug. 1 with a double feature of Woody Allen films “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan.”

All of the double features will begin at 7 p.m., and admission is $7.

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New Releases for Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: July 14, 2015 at 05:19 PM
By John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:


“The Treatment”

Genre: Thriller

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New Releases for Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: July 13, 2015 at 05:55 PM
By John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

Scream Factory Double Feature: GhostHouse/Witchery

Genre: Horror

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New releases for Tuesday, June 23, 2015

John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:


Genre: Horror

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‘Creed’ trailer shows latest incarnation of Rocky Balboa

Published:   |   Updated: July 1, 2015 at 01:31 PM
TBO.com staff

The last we left Rocky Balboa, he made a nearly victorious return to the ring, coming out of retirement – again – but losing a split decision to Mason “The Line” Dixon (portrayed by Antonio Tarver, who lives in Lutz and has trained in Tampa for years).

That was 2006, and when Rocky returned home after the fight and visited his beloved wife Adrian’s grave, we thought that might be the last time we saw Sylvester Stallone reprise the role he made famous nearly 40 years ago.

Guess again.

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New Releases for Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: June 24, 2015 at 04:28 PM
John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

The House with 100 Eyes

Genre: Horror/Found Footage

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New Releases for Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: June 15, 2015 at 04:18 PM
By John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

"Der Samurai"
Genre: Horror
Directed by: Till Kleinert
Run time: 89 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Format: Blu-Ray

The Lowdown: “Der Samurai,” the wonderfully wacky German film by director Till Kleinert, is a story of discovery – both self and sexual – disguised as a head-screw adventure about an aspiring police officer tracking a wolf/werewolf as it terrorizes a small village.

When we first meet the officer, Jakob, we immediately get a sense of his station in life at that moment. He is caring for a dying, dementia-addled relative. His law enforcement colleagues think little of his competency. The town’s collective of law-breaking youth mock his lack of prowess with a gun, a not so subtle reference to his genitalia. And his sole job seems to be responding to animal attacks and public destruction by a lone wolf wandering the woods.
Jakob tries to control the beast by leaving bags of raw meat from the butcher in the woods to keep the wolf from descending down into the village, but it’s no good. The beast won’t be contained.

And then, one night, he receives a parcel in the mail and a strange phone call that he somehow tracks to a remote house where a gender-bending blonde male in a flowing white dress reveals the package to be a samurai sword.

Again, a not so subtle reference to Jakob’s manhood.

What follows is a trippy, surreal journey through the darkness that cloaks the town as Jakob shadows the cross-dressing swordsman as he/she literally escalates from destroying lawn ornaments to dispatching a gang of bike-riding hooligans in a bloody orgy of head-severing excess. Is the samurai really the wolf in human form? Is the samurai even real, or is he just Jakob’s manifestation of his own inner animal?

There are several scenes that, much like “Fight Club,” suggest that the samurai is Jakob’s own Tyler Durden, his inner-Id brought to hallucinatory life, while Jakob simply serves as an out-of-body observer, or Narrator, to his own awakening.

“Der Samurai” rails against the stigma of sexual identity, casting all manner of motifs to substitute for the one weapon that Jakob has resisted, his own sword, and his need to be free and accepting of who/what he is.

It’s a fast-moving, free-flowing film that doesn’t linger long on answers but provides, in its final few minutes of jubilant release, the joy of realization that likely comes for many people when they take those first, tenuous steps out of their own self-fortified cage and become that which they long fought to suppress.

The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – No.
Nudity – Yes.
Gore – Yes.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – A deliriously crazy cross-dressing samurai werewolf.
Buy/Rent – Buy it.

"Kingsman: The Secret Service" (Fox, 129 minutes, R, Blu-Ray): Hands down, one of the best action movies – hell, one of the best, most enjoyable films, period – to be released in recent memory.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” based on a series of graphic novels by writers Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn and artist Dave Gibbons, is at once similar to and superior to its comic book form. It takes the story from the comics and expands it, building a world and a mythology that goes well beyond the one contained in the book.

But it’s Vaughn’s kinetic, signature style and his ability to craft ballets of violence so excessive and giddy that you very well may never look at a movie fight the same way again. Building on the promise of “Kick Ass,” Vaughn literally trumps himself over and over and over again in “Kingsman,” constantly ramping up the action to a fever pitch that makes your jaw drop and your fist pump the air.

I can’t remember a movie with as high a body count that left you feeling so good by its final frame. It’s an orgy of visual chaos that wraps you up and swoops you away.

Do not hesitate – buy this movie now.

"Project Almanac" (Paramount Pictures, 106 minutes, PG-13, Blu-Ray): Director Dean Israelite’s debut, “Project Almanac,” a found-footage time travel thriller, makes for a fun viewing experience. It plays with physics without bogging down, producing a series of ethical quandaries and teenage misadventures that ultimately disrupt the space-time continuum and effect specific historical change that must be autocorrected before it’s too late. It’s fast-paced and capable of exceeding its limited fixed-camera vantage point to make for a wholly enjoyable genre diversion. This one is a lot better than you probably thought, based on the trailers, and it’s definitely worth a watch.

Also Available:

The Duff
Back to the Jurassic
Giuseppe Makes a Movie
Free the Nipple
Hart to Hart: The Final Season
The Facts of Life: Season Six
The Last Unicorn: The Enchanted Edition
Walker: Texas Ranger – Standoff
The Swirl
Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce: Sky Strike
Gunslingers: Season 1
Comeback Dad
Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers – Collector’s Edition
Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland – Collector’s Edition
The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series
The Last Ship: The Complete First Season
Teen Wolf: Season Four
Thunderbirds: The Complete Series
Pastor Brown/Sins of the Mother

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A Conversation With: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

Published:   |   Updated: June 11, 2015 at 11:38 AM
John W. Allman

The reveal comes about 45 minutes into “Spring,” the latest collaboration between co-writer-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

They’ve teased this moment throughout, ever since Evan (the fantastic Lou Taylor Pucci), a young man adrift in life following the death of his mother, first sets foot in a tiny, coastal Italian village. As viewers, we know there’s something a little off about Louise (a hypnotic Nadia Hilker), the gorgeous flirt he first meets in passing before she propositions him at a café. But we just don’t know what exactly it is.

But when the reveal comes, and it’s a doozy, rivaled in recent memory only by the elevator lobby scene in “The Cabin in the Woods,” you know that Benson and Moorhead have just handed you a gift, something to be treasured and protected and shared with other like-minded horror fans.

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New Releases for Tuesday, June 2

Published:   |   Updated: June 10, 2015 at 10:28 AM
John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:


Genre: Horror

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