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Fear Street Films -- a review

I guess this means no mall for us.  Not having read the R.L. Stine novels (I wasn’t the target audience), I wasn’t sure what to expect from this three part horror movie series based on Stine’s Fear Street series on Netflix. I decided to give the first film a shot, and if I didn’t like it then I wouldn’t bother with the rest. Well, I wound up enjoying these so much I watched the entire three part series.  All three Fear Street films are ably directed by Leigh Janiak, who also co-wrote the screenplays. The first film, Fear Street: Part One: 1994 , warms my heart from the very opening scene, where we see a woman buying a book from a B. Daltons--a long-gone book store that I fondly remember buying the better part of my book collection from as a kid and a teenager. Unfortunately the clerk at this bookstore winds up being savagely murdered by a psycho in a Halloween mask. You sure he's coming from THAT way?! And while it starts out as an unflinching (all three movies are rated-R and cont
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My Matilda

  I recently built and painted this 1/35 scale Matilda model kit from Tamyia.     This tank fought for the British Army in the North African campaign of WW2. It also served in Europe. I painted my model as the North African version.  I made the sandbags for it out of Apoxie putty. This is a two part putty that dries as hard as a rock when you mix it.  I made a base for the tank from Sculpt-A-Mold. This is the first tank model I've made in almost twenty years, and it was a lot of fun.

A scary trip through the 'gate

I re-watched some old episodes of Stargate: Atlantis, the sequel series to Stargate: SG-1 (which was the TV sequel to Stargate, the movie, released back in 1994), and I came across the fifth season episode Whispers. Whispers was this series' loving take on horror movies, and re-watching it some ten years later, I have to say that it holds up very well. Directed by William Waring, Whispers uses all of the cliches of the horror genre--but instead of being a jokey (and forgettable) send off, the episode treats its threat very seriously, and winds up giving us some truly scary moments. The SG team, which consists of Sheppard (Joe Flanigan) and Dr. Beckett (Paul McGillion), along with an all-women Stargate unit led by Christina Cox (Blood Ties), with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Nicole de Boer rounding out the team as its science expert.  While the episode has plenty of jump scares, many of which feature real threats, it's the overall creepiness of Whispers that makes it so good

Away Team Member

I bought this resin figure of a Starfleet alien from a Chiller convention about twenty--twenty five--years ago. And ever since then he's been knocking around unpainted...until now.  No assembly was required on the figure itself. I just had to paint him. Since he was clad in the standard uniform of Starfleet in the Next Generation era, I decided to make him an engineer.  So I gave him the gold shirt and trimmings of the Starfleet engineer of that era. I also gave him a blue skin tone, setting down a darker blue base that was highlighted with a lighter blue dry-brushing. I painted his eyes red, which tend to pop nicely in these pictures. The base is one of those wooden jobs that you get in the hobby store for really cheap. I covered it with a layer of Sculpt-A-Mold, then painted it to look like the surface of an alien planet. The plant was cut from a branch of a plastic aquarium plant and painted purple with yellow for that 'alien plant' look. Working on this took a couple of

Annabelle Comes Home -- a review

Despite the fact that I never believed in the so-called real-life “paranormal investigators” whose adventures they were based on, I still greatly enjoyed the two Conjuring films that were directed by James Wan. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson were extremely engaging as the husband and wife ghost/demon hunting team from those two films, and when I heard that they were coming back in Annabelle Comes Home (the title makes this sound like a TV movie on the Lifetime Network--“Annabelle Comes Home, To Find Love!”), I was eager to see this film whenever it came out.   It turned out that Annabelle actually Came Home last year, in 2019, and I completely missed it. But, considering the multitude of real-life horrors--both personal and public--that 2020 would eventually present to us, I think can be excused for not catching this film in a timely fashion. Once I finally did see Annabelle Comes Home , I was immediately struck at how Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson only appeared at the beginning a

The Invisible Man (2020) -- a review

Universal had been trying to jump-start its classic monster movies into a new ‘cinematic universe’ (hey, it worked for the Marvel Superhero movies, right?) for a while now, starting with a new version of Dracula that was pretty forgettable, and ending with a new version of the Mummy that was so bad--as well as being a big bomb at the box office--that it abruptly ended Universal’s attempt to create its ’Dark Universe.’ I thought this was a shame, because the Classic Universal Monsters--Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Mummy (in a better film), and the Invisible Man--really deserve to have a comeback. So I was very happy when Universal released a new version of The Invisible Man , written and directed by Leigh Whannell, a highly creative actor/writer/director who has given us the Saw films, as well as the Insidious series (he made his directing debut on the third Insidious film). The Invisible Man was also produced by Jason Blum, whose Blumhouse studio was responsible for

The Hunt -- a review

The Hunt is yet another tired adaptation of The Most Dangerous Game , a short story written by Richard Connell in 1924 and has been turned into motion pictures at least several dozen times (both officially and unofficially), starting with the 1932 film of the same name (which starred Fay Wray, who shot this film at night on the very same jungle sets where she shot King Kong during the day) and including the very silly (but still vastly entertaining) Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity in 1987. The basic story is that of a famous hunter who, growing bored with animals, decides to hunt humans for sport on his private island, instead. The Hunt is a variation of this theme, where a group of people are kidnapped and brought to the private hunting grounds belonging to wealthy elites who hunt them for sport. But for some strange reason, the people being hunted are given working guns and other assorted weapons--which was something that not even the hunter in the origi