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Tony R. Tucker RSS Feed (Springdale, AR United States)

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The Gallows
The Gallows
DVD ~ Cassidy Gifford
Price: $12.99
50 used & new from $1.56

2.0 out of 5 stars The cardinal sins of found footage..., March 6, 2016
This review is from: The Gallows (DVD)
I love horror movies and do not dislike any sub-genre solely for its premise. Found footage can be great when done right. Having seen so many found footage movies, I have begun to realize that the bad ones fall into several traps that are common in the ones that don't work correctly. The Gallows hit every one of them.

1.) Make likable characters. Annoying characters are fine, but don't make more than one and don't make the annoying one the audiences main narrator of the story. Ryan ruins this movie. The character would have no friends and probably would have been killed outright by the community years ago. His girlfriend Cassidy is almost as bad; spiteful and cruel. Our hero Reese is an idiot. I won't lay out spoilers but he is an idiot if for no other reason than staying friends with someone like Ryan who belittles him and talks him into committing crimes. Pfieffer exists solely as a plot device to motivate Reese. No one to root for. When deaths happen, the audience rejoices. Not what should be aimed for.

2. ) Jump scares are not horror. Writers, directors and producers think so, but they aren't. They are lazy film making. I have never heard anyone leave a horror movie and say it needed more jump scares. Jump scares immediately extinguish tension and suspense. The Gallows is a jump scare factory and all jump scares are telegraphed before they happen, so even that fails.

3.) Bad writing requires you tell the audience all plot points directly through dialogue rather than trusting the audience to notice things. Examples in the Gallows: Ryan calls Reese's father by his full name instead of Mr. Houser because we will see his name written somewhere later. Lots of shots of a scene, the camera looks away, then turns back and the scene has changed. The character with the camera says (usually aloud to themselves) "Hey, the (table, noose, etc.) is (gone, changed, moved)." Thanks for explaining that because we were not paying any attention to your movie.

There are others, like how even the "nerds" and unpopular drama students still look better than the prom queen from my high school. This casting of flawless-skinned, pretty, perky people for all roles takes the viewer out of any sense of realism. Hire some people that don't look like models. Still I give The Gallows 2 stars instead of one. Why? Because movies are hard to make and involve the hard work of many people. No one sets out to make a bad movie. The Gallows does have some creepy scenes, lighting, sound work, etc. most of which is ruined when a useless jump scare disrupts the scene (or Ryan starts blabbering). I saw this using an online service that delivers DVDs from a queue to your house (you know where but I imagine Amazon doesn't want the name mentioned in reviews). It was worth my time and somewhat enjoyable, even with these problems. If these plot, casting, and directing decisions do not bother you, add 2 stars and enjoy. The Gallows was not terrible, but could have been much improved.

RAVPower 40W 8A 4-Port USB Charger Charging Station with iSmart Technology (Black)
RAVPower 40W 8A 4-Port USB Charger Charging Station with iSmart Technology (Black)
Offered by Sunvalleytek
Price: $15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Just what i needed!, January 16, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great charger at a great price. Fast delivery also. Highly recommended.

Disguise Marvel Iron Man 3 Mark 42 Deluxe Mens Adult Costume
Disguise Marvel Iron Man 3 Mark 42 Deluxe Mens Adult Costume
Price: $84.99 - $89.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great costume needs just a little work, September 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm 6'2" and 245 pounds. Size 2X is usually pretty snug but the sizing chart said it should fit me fine. I tried it on when it arrived and it fit perfectly with a little wiggle room so I wouldn't rip anything when I sat down. As many have said, the mask is very thin plastic and the back piece was bent inward. Since it is so thin, the curve of your head will push it back to its normal position. The velcro on the mask is just a few little velcro dots that are very hard to line up and don't hold on very well. I bought some double sized velcro and put a one inch piece by each ear and now it holds together nicely. That is my only complaint. The costume looks very nice. I highly suggest buying the Iron Man Mark 42 gloves that are sold separately. They look great with this costume. Now I need to make some gold shoe covers then I will be all set for Halloween.

Kolchak - The Night Stalker
Kolchak - The Night Stalker
DVD ~ Darrin McGavin
14 used & new from $64.92

122 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue!, August 23, 2005
This review is from: Kolchak - The Night Stalker (DVD)
Since the announcement of a "modern update" was announced for Night Stalker (with Stuart Townsend as Kolchak), I knew two things... The new series will more than likely be terrible, and two, that Universal will finally release the original series on DVD to coincide with the new series. Nothing gets these studios off of their rears like self-promotion. Well, all I can say is "It's about time!"

I loved watching Kolchak: The Night Stalker when it first aired (I was in 4th grade). Reruns aired in the early 80's as part of a rotation on the CBS evening movie or late movie, or whatever they called it. Sci-Fi has been running them occasionally with little or no pre-announcement and unfortunately 4 episodes (Legacy of Terror, Demon and Lace, Firefall, and The Energy Eater) have only been presented as two movies that merely combined the episodes into a confusing mess called "Demon and the Mummy" and "Crackle of Death".

Finally we will have all 20 episodes as they should be seen. The lack of special features is disappointing but not suprising. As other reviewers have commented, I would love to hear commentary from Jeff Rice, David Chase, and/or especially Darren McGavin. I don't normally review something before it hits the streets, but short of a gigantic mess-up on Universal's part, a high rating is definately warrented for this amazing series.

Personal favorites: "Horror In The Heights" which the Kolchak Companion describes as the episode most likely to sell the series to a non-viewer. Also high on the creep scale are "The Spanish Moss Murders", "Chopper", and "The Zombie". What a great gift just in time for Halloween!

Hell Night
Hell Night
DVD ~ Linda Blair
19 used & new from $19.97

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hate those iron fences!, July 19, 2004
This review is from: Hell Night (DVD)
So many horror movies came out in the early 1980's that movie makers sometimes had a hard time finding locations and situations that hadn't been used yet. Sorority and Fraternity initiations were a great way of sticking teens into situations no sane person would go into voluntarily.
Hell Night sticks four unfortunate twentyish kids into Garth Mansion, the site of a grisly family slaughter years before. The sadistic pledge masters lock the huehuehuege iron gates behind them and inform them they have to stay the night. The pledge masters then begin setting off special effects they set up earlier to try and scare the four hapless pledges. As you might guess, there are real horrors inside which start thinning out the cast.
Linda Blair is the obvious star of the show. I am a fan of Linda's but for some reason I just get the feeling while watching this that she is disinterested. In fact early on she seems to be improvising her lines. The GREAT commentary track explains some of this. Apparently everyone on the set had a great time and was loaded half the time. The director (Tom DeSimone)and producer (Irwin Yablans who brought us Halloween) are on the commentary as well. It's obvious everyone got along well and had fun making the film.
Having seen the film before getting the DVD, I really liked the feel of it, although I wasn't sure why. The commentary hit on something I hadn't considered. The pledges are all in costumes since the Hell Night festivities were part of a costume party. The director mentions that this was done so they could logically dress the characters in gothic, period costumes without having to make an actual period film. The old mansion (a real location, not a set) combined with set lighting done almost exclusively with candlelight along with period costumes gives a very gothic, primative feel to the film.
There are a few scenes of gore, but they are usually very, very fast cuts. The trap door in the floor scene rates as one of the all time great suspense scares.
It would be easy to dismiss a lot of the horror films of the early 80's, and to be fair, there were many stinkers, but Hell Night holds genuine entertainment value (and not in a Mystery Science Theater kind of way). The movie is available in a double feature collection with the film Fade To Black. However if that edition doesn't include this great commentary track, I advise you buy this one instead.

The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler
The Night Stalker/The Night Strangler
DVD ~ Darren McGavin
7 used & new from $24.97

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carl the Vampire Slayer?, July 19, 2004
When I was 9, I used to stay up and watch Kolchak: The Night Stalker. To me, it was some seriously scary stuff. I didn't know at the time that the series was based on 2 made-for-TV movies from a couple of years earlier. Many years later I was in the Air Force in 1987 and stumbled onto the original Night Stalker on VHS. I immediately rented it. The memories came flooding back. The Night Stalker, when originally aired, became the most viewed TV movie ever (at the time). It would be many more years before I got to see the second movie, The Night Strangler as part of this DVD double feature.
The Night Stalker is the story of Carl Kolchak (played by Darren McGavin), a formerly respectable reporter who fell on hard times and has ended up at a Las Vegas newspaper, searching for the one big story that will propel him back to the New york daily papers and the Big Time. That big story comes in the form of a killer with amazing strength who is, for some reason, draining his victims of blood. There is much nervous joking about the killer thinking he is a vampire. However as Kolchak follows the killer's trail, he comes to the impossible realization that the killer may indeed be a genuine vampire, and since no one else will believe or at least admit the possibility, it is up to him to kill it.
The character of Kolchak works because he is a lot like the rest of us. When the killer discovers him in hiding, Carl screams like a little girl and runs like mad! It makes us examine how we would truly react if faced face-to-fang with a REAL mythical undead creature. Carl is cowardly in many ways but he is noble on some level too. He risks his life to stop the creature, but then again, maybe he is just doing it to land that perfect story.
The Night Strangler takes place in Seattle (Kolchak moves there after the events of the first film) and he bumps into his old editor from the original movie, Anthony Vincenzo (played by the great Simon Oakland)and begs his way into another job. Soon he is investigating a series of murders where the killer apparently re-appears every few decades. This story is very similar to the character of Toomes in the first season of the X-Files, and since Chris Carter's inspiration for X-Files was the Kolchak series, it is possible that this resemblance is not coincidental.
As many other reviewers have mentioned, it is a SHAME that the Kolchak TV series has not been released on DVD yet. I am sure it will happen eventually, but the sooner the better. These movies are 30 years old now, but they still hold up today. Just try to ignore the polyester suits, plaid sports jackets, and go-go boots!
Note: in August 2004 a new release of these 2 films is being issued. It supposedly will have some featurettes and interviews. I am reviewing the 1998 release which has no extra features. Hold out for the new release if you have not bought this yet.

Reno 911 - The Complete First Season
Reno 911 - The Complete First Season
DVD ~ Carlos Alazraqui
Offered by Treasure Gifts
Price: $5.00
169 used & new from $0.01

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny as you-know-what!, June 25, 2004
Thank goodness I stumbled onto Reno 911! one night on Comedy Central. In just a few scenes I was absolutely hooked. My fear was that I had just seen their best episode, but as it turns out they are ALL funny!
The premise is a reality-tv crew is following around seven members of the Reno Sheriff's Dept for a tv show called "Reno 911". Every cop is a unique character, and they are all some of the worst cops that have ever lived! Equal time is given for the actors to explore their characters. Three of the actors, Kerry Kenney (Officer Wiegel), Robert Ben Garant (Officer Junior), and Tom Lennon (Lt. Dangle) created the show and have worked together for over 15 years.
What's refreshing is that the commentaries show a genuine friendship between cast members. They poke fun, compliment, and psychoanalyze each other. The commentary is uncensored and hilarious. There is also an easter egg to be found if you highlight the odd colored thumbtack on the bulletin board on disc one. Click it and you will watch the episode with the entire cast ad libbing the entire episode from memory. It's a riot and further illustrates how much they seem to be having a great time together.
Depending on where you look, you can find this collection from $19.95 to $29.95. It would be a great deal even at $50. Too bad more series don't offer entire seasons for such a reasonable price. I sure hope this is only the first season of a long, long running series.

Salem's Lot
Salem's Lot
DVD ~ David Soul
Offered by Lunch money
Price: $42.30
55 used & new from $8.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Stephen was King, June 23, 2004
This review is from: Salem's Lot (DVD)
In 1979 I was in junior high and TV miniseries were still actual events on television. When Salem's Lot aired, we recorded it on a new invention called a VHS Recorder (that's a VCR folks). The movie scared the bejeezus out of me. I must have watched it on tape over and over without losing the creep factor. This DVD features pretty much the entire movie. Beware of an earlier release that contains a watered down, editted to pieces 2 hour version.
After seeing the film I read the book cover to cover and the film takes only slight liberties with the source material. In the book, Barlow, the main vampire, has hair and speaks, but he doesn't ramble just to hear himself talk like in the new 2004 TNT television version with Rutger Hauer as Barlow. Reggie Nalder in the 1979 version is just plain scary. Freakish fangs, long claws, blue skin, and the nastiest contact lenses you have ever seen.
ALL of the vampires in the original version are fantastic! They are MONSTERS. Those Glick kids give me fits even now, 25 years later! Don't open the window!
David Soul is a bit of a sap masquerading as a hunk. But Bonnie Bedelia (Die Hard, Presumed Innocent)was good looking back then and was both sexy and believable as the love interest. Her scene at the end of the film with Soul is scary and heartbreaking.
The rest of the cast is a who's who of character actors, all of whom do a great job. You'll see a lot of familiar faces in the movie. A special nod to the late James Mason for an amazing performance.
Watch the 2004 "re-invention" of Salem's Lot if you must, but if you want the true feeling and fear factor of the book, come see the 1979 version. It loses a star only because of the limitations of 1979 television censors. They had all the tools but the limitations of television kept this from being THE definative vampire film of the 1970's.

Nightmares From the Crypt
Nightmares From the Crypt
DVD ~ Artist Not Provided
Offered by NBB Media
Price: $24.00
6 used & new from $4.11

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great value for what you get, June 23, 2004
This review is from: Nightmares From the Crypt (DVD)
In the past I have seen many, many collections of "classic" films, which turn out to be low-budget garbage, straight-to-video junk, and stuff you have never heard of before. "Classics", right?
I saw this collection for $20. At $1.00 per movie I gave the movie list a quick look. I immediately saw 2 films (Jack the Ripper & Deep Red) which I had seen and liked and another (God Told Me To) that I knew of but hadn't seen. So I bought it not expecting much from the other 17 films.
Finally I finished watching all 20 and I'd say there are a mix of 50/50 good and bad. Here are the films in order:
1. "Moon of the Wolf" - Made For TV, decent werewolf film with The Fugitive's David Janssen.
2. "Sisters of Death" - Maybe made for TV. Not sure.
3. "Dominique is Dead" - So-so Made for TV starring Cliff Robertson.
4. "Messiah of Evil" - Weird, but fairly good zombie film.
5. "Devil's Nightmare" - I actually had this on VHS under the title "The Devil Walks At Midnight". DVD includes cannibal-erotic "hostess" writhing all over 2 nude cannibal women as they introduce the film. Must have been from some previous video release. The film is very good, but the vampire/cannibal beginning just needs to be skipped.
6. "Cathy's Curse" - Too bloody for it to be Made for TV (at least I think it is). Disappointing movie that really doesn't go anywhere. The mother is just annoying.
7. "Horror Hotel" - A black and white Christopher Lee film. Very gothic. Reminded me a lot of "Black Sunday" by Mario Bava, except this film is about witchcraft.
8. "God told Me To" - Very interesting premise devolves into some sci-fi mind-job. Watch and decide.
9. "Deep Red" - Underappreciated Dario Argento movie. Thick Argento atmosphere, bloody and weird.
10. "Christmas Evil" - Worst.. Christmas... Horror... Movie... Ever...
11. "Don't Look In The Basement" - My wife and I made the mistake of watching this one first. It made her not want to watch any of the others. Just boring, not scary.
12. "Satanic Rites of Dracula" - Worse Christopher Lee Dracula movie I have ever seen. I can't believe Peter Cushing agreed to this movie either.
13. "Web of the Spider" - So-so. More proof that Klaus Kinski was one of the freakiest horror stars ever.
14. "Circus of Fear" - More Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski. Ok movie, but it's like they wanted to keep the actual plot a secret from you. Very muddy.
15. "House on the Edge of the Park" - If you have seen "Last House on the Left", you have pretty much seen this. This even has David Hess playing virtually the same character as he did in "Last House".
16. "Jack the Ripper" - Klaus Kinski as Jack. Very gory movie. If you try and forget that NOTHING in the movie corresponds to the actual Ripper murders, it's a decent movie.
17. "Die Sister Die" - Not my cup of tea. Very slow and boring.
18. "Lady Frankenstein" - Another instance where they use the name of a famous film to push a bad movie on you.
19. "The Werewolf & The Vampire Woman" - I saw this movie at the drive-in when I was a kid (snuck in). This is a VERY good movie! Very gothic, great vampires, fantastic werewolf. This print of murky and the film has been heavily editted. No nudity in it now, but when it was at the drive-in it was practically x-rated.
20. "Wolfman" - decent werewolf movie hampered by the worst actor in history. He was the producer though which is how he got the job.
Sure, this collection is a mixed bag, but WELL worth the cost. Lots of entertainment for the cost of one new release big budget 2-hour over-produced movie. Buy it if you can find it.

The Thing - Collector's Edition
The Thing - Collector's Edition
DVD ~ Wilford Brimley
Offered by SpReAdLoVe
Price: $24.20
72 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carpenter at his best, April 27, 2004
Halloween may be John Carpenter's most popular film, but his re-make of The Thing is probably his greatest film. He does everything right. That combined with a fantastic ensemble cast made The Thing a masterpiece of suspense and sci-fi horror.
The story revolves around a research station in Antarctica that has a run in with some crazed Norwegians. Investigating the Norwegian's station, they find that the Norwegians discovered a crashed spacecraft and it's apparent pilot who was frozen in ice for thousands of years. Well, the pilot's awake now. So, where is it? The answer: He is YOU.
Based on the story "Who Goes There?" (based more closely than the original actually), we are thrust into a paranoia scenario where the small group of researchers comes to terms with an alien predator that can look like any creature (or person) and one or more of your "friends" may not be who you think they are.
Carpenter keeps the cast small and the environment cramped. Outside the station a winter storm is raging. The pressure builds. The creature (courtesy of f/x master Rob Bottin) changes and shifts and never looks the same.
The ending is a nihlistic stare-down signaling that either we are finally safe, or that we are all going to die. Carpenter refers to this as the first of his three "apocolypse" films. The other two being "Prince of Darkness" and "In The Mouth of Madness". The weight of knowing that if the creature isn't killed, it will just freeze, and wait to be revived again, adds yet another layer of pressure.
The featurette is amazing and tracks the whole process of creating the movie. It is full of interviews and behind the scenes artwork, including storyboards by comic book great Mike Ploog. The commentary track is great as well. Carpenter and Russell obviously like each other and enjoyed making the movie. They tell many humorous behind the scenes stories as well as give some interesting technical insights.
I have seen this film probably 10 times minimum and it still effects me today. I love suspense, and if you do too, then get this DVD. Warning, the effects are vicious. But despite the shocks, the treasure is the suspense.

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