DeQueue Reviews: ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE

My queues across various streaming services are out of control. Starting this summer I’m going to put a dent in these queues and review the movies that I think are worth writing about.

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Movies like Always Be My Maybe are an example of why I’ve eschewed a proper rating system. No stars,  no letter grades, no score, just thoughts captured in paragraphs eventually leading to a summation. If I had to rely on a rating I’d be dissatisfied with however many stars or points or thumbs that I “awarded” to Always Be My Maybe. I can’t think of a grade I could give it that wouldn’t be too high or too low or both. What’s the ideal score for a romantic comedy that is exceptionally funny, not really romantic, repeatedly stumbles when it comes to characterization and drama, but nonetheless features exceedingly likable actors who make the characters acceptable when they shouldn’t be? read more

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DeQueue Reviews: WHISPERING CORRIDORS

My queues across various streaming services are out of control. Starting this summer I’m going to put a dent in these queues and review the movies that I think are worth writing about.

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My oh my, what a strange delight is Whispering Corridors, a movie that haunted my recommendations across multiple online platforms for years. I am so glad, at long last, to have taken time to watch it.

Why I didn’t ever give it a chance until now, I cannot say. I’ve taken a chance on movies with worse reviews, worse looking covers, less interesting blurbs, so on and so forth. For some reason I just left Whispering Corridors behind, stuck in my “Eh, I’ll get around to it eventually” bin. This weekend I finally did indeed get around to it. read more

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DeQueue Reviews: THE GRAPES OF DEATH

Welcome to “DeQueue Reviews“. My queues across various streaming services are out of control. Starting this summer I’m going to put a dent in these queues and review the movies that I think are worth writing about.

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Le Raisins de la mort (translation: The Grapes of Death) turns out to be a pretty blunt title for a movie that I’ve seen described as “surrealistic” from a director whose calling card was, arguably, surrealism. I suppose one could cook up some kind of symbolic meaning behind the title if so inclined, but in the end this is zombie a movie in which literal grapes are the source of literal death, and the unimaginative title is reflected in a surprisingly unimaginative movie. read more

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DeQueue Reviews: WE GO ON

Welcome to “DeQueue Reviews“. My queues across various streaming services are out of control. Starting this summer I’m going to put a dent in these queues and review the movies that I think are worth writing about.

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$30,000 for proof of the afterlife seems like an underpayment, but when it’s all the payer can afford I suppose you can’t say that he’s a cheapskate. Anyway, that’s the general premise of We Go On, a decent little horror flick with some quite-qualified actors available on Shudder. read more

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DeQueue Reviews: YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY

Welcome to “DeQueue Reviews“. My queues across various streaming services are out of control. Starting this summer I’m going to put a dent in these queues and review the movies that I think are worth writing about.

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Exchange the word “vice” for “love”, frame the second clause with parentheses, and Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I have the Key would be a fitting title for a mid-70’s, quiet storm R&B song. I can absolutely hear Michael Henderson or Ronald Isley singing those words in a chorus that concludes by pushing the metaphor to the brink of literality. That title is the primary reason why I added it to my Amazon Prime queue in the first place, read more

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Story Turn-offs: Obvious Meaningful Names

In my teenage years, when I first started taking writing at least semi-seriously, but still thought I could somehow be a successful screenwriter while still living in San Antonio, I wrote a very, very, very bad script called Reaper. This was in the post-Scream slasher renaissance, so naturally I’d written a whodunit slasher story, and just as naturally I tried to get way too “cute” and “clever” with it. Probably the worst of many bad things featured in that script was the last name of the man who’d eventually be revealed as the killer: Ankou. read more

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Us: “Obvious” Twist Beats “Cheap” Twist

I have a lot of thoughts about Jordan Peele’s Us, about 95% of which are positive (with the remaining 5% being “less positive,” though not outright negative), which should make it  difficult to pin down the one thing related to it that I most urgently want to blog about. Fortunately, all the lines on my multi-track mind occasionally get switched over to a single track with no bottlenecking, so here I am, ready to devote several hundred words or more to the movie’s twist ending, as it relates to twist endings in general. read more

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‘Greta’, ‘Ma’, and the Return of the ‘Psycho-biddy’

Bette Davis was only 54 when she starred as the titular character in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Joan Crawford was 58. Two middle-aged women helped kick off a sub-genre of horror ostensibly about “old” women who are either themselves imperiled, or are the source of the peril, or both. The genre’s most commonly known as “psycho-biddy,” but is alternatively known as “hagsploitation” or “Grand Dame Guignol.” I prefer the latter, being a fan of the word ‘grand,’ the Grand Guignol, and pronouncing the word “dame” as “dahm.” read more

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Confessions of a Fear Junkie: The Alien

I never knew the creature as the “xenomorph”, despite having seen Aliens–the movie where the term xenomorph was first used–before seeing Alien. My friends and I were far more informed by the titles of the film franchise than by the scientific designation tossed out by everyone’s least favorite space marine, Lieutenant Gorman. We knew that the scariest creature to ever crawl across a movie screen needed no fancy descriptor. It simply was the Alien. The Alien.

To date I’ve had more nightmares about the Alien than anything else, with tornadoes taking the silver and Bloody Mary a distant third. I’ve had nightmares about the first two well into my adulthood, and in fact had my most recent dream of an Alien swarm just a few months ago. I don’t remember much of the dream, just that the Alien infestation was so massive and devastating that the entire west coast was being evacuated, and it was roughly 100x’s more intense and frightening than any zombie apocalypse could be. read more

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Daily Horror History: ‘The Monster Squad’ Released; ‘The Exorcist’ Begins Filming

It’s a bit unusual to call a horror film “beloved,” but The Monster Squad is certainly one of the most beloved horror films of the 80’s, particularly among a certain age bracket that first saw the film where they could see themselves as the kids in the film.

Kids in horror movies–or in any movie, really–can prove aggravating, and as annoying as they can be to adults, they’re even more so to other kids. All too often the grown ups in charge of such characters have no clue how to make them even tolerable, much less realistic or even likable. This is, I think, part of the charm of Stranger Things and the most recent adaptation of It; history tells us that there’s an even greater degree of difficulty when writing a non-kids story centered on a bunch of kids. But before either of the aforementioned stories pulled it off–even before the original adaptation of It and just one year after the first screen version of a child-centric story penned by Stephen King–there was The Monster Squad. read more

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