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The Tampa Film Review for October áby Nolan B. Canova
The Halloween Horror Picture Show 2006 áby Nolan B. Canova
Monster Mish-Mash! ScreamFest 2006 áby ED Tucker
MOVIE REVIEW
"Flags of our Fathers" áby Mike Smith
MY MIDDLE TOE
Things Are Changing in Tampa! áby Mark Terry
CHILLER CINEMA
Attention Movie-Going People! áby Drew Reiber
MIKE'S RANT
Remembering Buck....This Won't Get You To Heaven....What's That You Said?....The End....It's Not A Dream, You're Fired....Brother, Can You Spare A Dime....Passing On....My Favorite Films, Part 42: "Used Cars" áby Mike Smith
LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 343  (Vol. 7, No. 42). This edition is for the week of October 16--22, 2006.


Tampa Film Review for October


By Nolan B. Canova


With Will Moriaty on vacation in Ireland, Terence Nuzum deciding to sit this one out, and Chris Woods at ScreamFest, Gus Perez and I were the only PCR gang members available to attend this month's review.

The turnout was very modest this go-'round with only a small handful of people at the start (naturally, that would increase a little as the night wore on). We figured it was most likely competition from other events in this event-filled month affecting things.

Emerald Gowers and Tim Griffin (Farewell, Frieda) were among the first to greet us, and we were soon joined by Robert Elfstrom (99, The Dance, The Ghosts of Ybor).

With this small, but intimate gathering ready, Paul Guzzo fired up the projector.

The first three entries were a "sneak preview" of The Halloween Horror Picture Show that weekend. As far as I know, none of these particular titles are from the Tampa area.

On Edge. Winner Best Short Film (Halloween Filmfest Germany). Dental patient Thurlow is tired of waiting and accepts treatment by the new dentist Doctor Matthews. But he gets much more than he bargained for... Make up FX by Bob Keen (Hellraiser, Event Horizon, Dog Soldiers). Starring: Doug (Pinhead from Hellraiser) Bradley, Charley Boorman (The Bunker, Long Way Round), Beth Murray. "On Edge (is) a twisted tale of dental decadence..." (Sci-Fi Channel USA). This is an extremely good horror short. The main character, a demented dentist, is disturbingly recongizable as Doug Bradley from the Hellraiser series. His serious acting chops allow him to chew up the scenery with glee as he sadistically victimizes a dental patient under his "care" and under anesthesia. Very nearly a one-man show, the script is delivered with exquisite pacing and timing by Bradley. Even the much-anticipated climax (to finally see the damage to the patient) takes a back seat to just listening to Dr. Matthews just ramble on and on about insane things. Highly Recommended.

Broken. A gun blast, a flash of light, and a young woman awakens to the comfort of her own bed. Bonnie Clayton has it all, a great relationship, a challenging career, and the burden of a dream that grows more vivid and disturbing with each passing night. But when Bonnie is abducted by a sadistic stranger and his colorful entourage, she discovers that the key to her survival lies within the familiar realms of her recurring dream. I confess I got lost a couple times during this excursion, not quite knowing what was going on and why. It was dark and violent with great performances, but I couldn't figure out what the point was, figuring the dreaming had something to do with it. The climax (which I won't reveal here) pretty much solved it for me, although it's one I've seen before and will again, I'm sure. Excellent cinematography, great costumes and amazing special effects for what I take to be a low-budget action/adventure/horror thriller. (I could borrow none of the HHPS discs as they had to be returned to Rick Danford for that show.) Recommended for the cinematography and effects if nothing else.

The Bargain. FOR SALE: House with finished basement, quiet neighborhood, top-rated school system, $135,000. But there's a catch, and it's chained up in the backyard. HAHA! Now this is the kind of thing I don't see enough of: horror with a touch of comedy in that special ratio (Fright Night, Shaun of the Dead). Seems the new neighborhood our family is moving into had a problem recently -- zombie infestation. The zombies were all exterminated except one, and he's tied up in the backyard!   If they just leave him alone, they can have the house for only $135,000. Sounds simple enough, right? Haha, never turn your back on a zombie. Highly recommended.

Second Time Around by Griffowers Productions: What you lose can come back to you when you least expect it. The second offering from Griffowers Productions and it has the same charm and other-worldliness as their first TFR entry from last month, Farewell Frieda. As before, the two filmmakers (who are also the main actors) are using a Sony digital still camera set on movie mode to capture their imagery so, by default it is a silent film, but with an attractive soundtrack. Basically, a young couple from the turn of the 20th century, meet at a rural car repair garage, develop an attraction and fall in love. Soon after, the girl suddenly and tragically dies while apparently pregnant with his child. In the present, the very same couple (amazing lookalikes haha) re-discover each other (reincarnated?) while looking at cars. Well, before long they take up where they left off "before". The story is not so much a flashback as a then-and-now tale. The historic scenes were shot in glorious sepia-tone at Heritage Village in St. Pete. Nice blues recordings on the sepia scenes' soundtrack.

21 Anxieties Till I Kill Myself by Thao Nguyen: During one particular day, a quiet introvert from the small suburbs of Tampa must prepare himself for a long arduous trip to the library to return some long overdue books before his scheduled suicide. On this trip, he will be confronted by the twenty-something anxieties that has long burdened his life and will soon change it forever. That pretty much says it all. I might add something else the movie examines: if you're too neurotic to live, might you be too neurotic to die? I met the filmmaker, Thao Nguyen, and congratulated him on this film. It was quite an undertaking for, basically, a one-man operation (wrote, directed, and acted)!

Beyond Science. 20-minute documentary by Chris Rish. The epic story of Florida serial killer Danny Rolling (rhymes with stalling), and what it took to catch, convict, and sentence him to death. Well-done play-by-play involving the police detectives, the judicial system, video footage, and interviews with surviving victims. Coincidentally, Rolling was in the news the very day this film was shown; his death sentence will be carried out this month. Robert Elfstrom leaned over to me and said it's too bad we can't execute Rolling more than once; I agree. Congrats to Chris Rish (also at TFR this night) on handling this delicate subject with aplomb.

The Karaoke Kid. Peter and Paul Guzzo. A big, fat sensei takes on a young protegé (Pete Guzzo) to teach him the mysterious ways of karaoke in this obvious send-up of The Karate Kid. A delighful offering from the Brothers Guzzo recalling their Public Access days and a show called Spooners. Pete and Paul are obviously very modest about these as they've grown a lot over the last 5 years. The imagery still holds up, but of course not many of us cared enough to invest in a Canon XL-1(!!) for public access! I didn't remember Pete as being so into physical comedy so this was a real eye-opener. They've threatened to show more Spooners episodes in the future!


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All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ę2006 by Nolan B. Canova.


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