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The Cast and Crew of ”The Battle of Shaker Heights”

The recipe for the Project Greenlight contest, or what could be termed “The Battle on the set of ‘The Battle of Shaker Heights,'” takes two contest winning directors (Kyle Rankin and Effram Potelle), one contest winning writer (Erica Beeney), throw in some seasoned crew members, some producers and shake it all around. What you might end up getting is drama, good reality television and possibly a decent little film.

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House of 1000 Corpses

The plot is as worn out as an old Leatherface. The story makes sense for about the first 10 to 15 minutes and then it gets all Phantasm on us. Not so much a coherent story line, but a montage of torture, depravity, sex, drugs and rock and roll. An 88 minute psychedelic MTV no attention span long form video. Taking elements from the horror films that he grew up on and drawing inspiration from Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Bloodsucking Freaks and Herschell Gordon Lewis to name a few, Mr. Zombie weaves a tale of carnage and leaves a trail of blood in its wake. We have seen this film many times before, from Motel Hell to Deranged. Curiosity killed the cat, or in this case killed the young meddling adults. Wrong place wrong time syndrome. Since the film falls into the Friday the 13th syndrome, we never get to know or care for the characters and therefore don’t have too much empathy when they do meet their ends.

Recipe for schlocky B Horror Flick:

1. 1 measure of a spooky Roadside attraction, with a creepy chicken sellin’, beer bellied, redneck clown.
2. Mix in a pair of unsuspecting curious young couples whom just happen to be writing a book on weird roadside attractions.
3. Add an unhealthy dash of the freakiest family since the Bradfords.

Bake for 88 minutes and you possibly might get a sequel. Mayber

I wanted to like this flick, I wanted to like this flick, I wanted to like this flick, and in some respects I did, but not enough for me to recommend it. There are truly some inspired moments of the macabre, some fancy schmancy cinematography, and a couple of legitimate scares, but in the end it was not a fulfilling ride and I felt somewhat cheated.

Directed by Rob Zombie
Cast: Erin Daniels, Jennifer Jostyn, Rainn Wilson, Chris Hardwick, Sid Haig, Sheri Moon, Bill Moseley, Karen Black, Dennis Fimple, Harrison Young, Tom Towles, Walter Phelan, William Bassett, Michael J. Pollard
2003 – 88 minutes
Rated: (for violence/gore, nudity, and language).

Rating: C-
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Willard

So, finally now with Willard, Crispin lands a starring role in a major motion picture, a role that he was destined to play. Willard, a remake of an early 70’s cult classic, is the story of a thirty-something loner who cares for and lives with his invalid mother. A sad sack that is friendless and gets no respect from his overbearing boss, whom happens to be his dead father’s partner in business. In fact his boss is down right mean and nasty towards him and only keeps him around because he made a promise to Willard’s mother to keep him employed as long as she is alive. A fact that he drills home daily to Willard. One night his mother asks him to check the basement for rats and if found, to dispose of them immediately. He spots a few of the little buggers, so he heads to the local hardware store for some traps. Catching a small white one still alive on some rat flypaper, he takes pity on the poor little guy, peals off the stick-um and nurses him back to health. Willard and the little white furball bond quickly and become best friends, his only friend. Willard soon realizes that this rat is much smarter than your average rodent and appropriately names him Socrates. Noticing that Socrates commands respect from the rest of the band of merry rats, he instructs them to tear up his newspaper. Tear it. Tear it. Tear it Tear it up! The family that tears together stays together. But then again there is Ben, Big Ben, to you Willard. Big bad Ben! Ben is the biggest fucking rat that I have ever seen, and he gets jealous when so much attention is lavished on Socrates and not him. He just wants Willard to love him as much as he does Socrates. There is nothing worse that a jealous rat scorned. Some people are bad, really bad. Some people are rats, really big rats. Some rats are really big, really mean, and really pissed off!

The film is not as frightening as it is dark, demented and twisted. We feel empathy for Willard one moment and disgust the next. Crispin turns in an over the top performance that rivals his role as Layne in “River’s Edge”. He sweats, cries, screams and twitches throughout the film. This darkly comical film relies on Crispin’s talent to make us feel more and more uncomfortable as we watch Willard unravel. In fact Willard is even creepier than the rodents from hell. Watching this film with a crowd of 15 or so other matinee viewers, I found myself gleefully smiling at the oddness that is Willard, and while Glover fans will most likely embrace this film, the rest of the world will just have to finally wake up and take notice of the talented Mr. Glover. I tip my Raiders cap to New Line Cinema for putting their faith in Crispin Glover’s talent, and unleashing him on the unsuspecting general public. Known to most moviegoers as George McFly, the father, from “Back to the Future”, but recognized by his many fans as an eccentric actor willing to take chances and create some of the most memorable kooks in cinema history. And yes, Mr. David Letterman, I would be honored to have lunch with Mr. Crispin Hellion Glover.

Check out The Willard web site for a wacky little music video for the remake of the Jackson 5 song “Ben” that Crispin sings, stars in, and directs.

Rating: B
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