These 4 films, which I have watched since starting my SHUDDER subscription (something like $2.49 for the month, for the next 3 months) are all FANTASTIC, films, in very different ways. But all of them have soared to the top of my MUST BUY List!
MANDY I raved about in a previous post is just a brilliant primary color tinged nightmare of a dream quest/revenge story committed to film.
THE HEAD HUNTER, is a claustrophobic, incredibly tense, incredibly rousing, actioner/creature feature mash-up.
THE WAX MASK is one of the most sumptuously filmed and strangest Italian Giallo’s, being both a period piece and a Hammer studios homage, a stunning directorial debut.
And then we come to Lucio Fulci’s CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. I am not a champion of the nonsensical, gore filled films that most remember Fulci for, like THE BEYOND and THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY and this one, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. I think all of these are the films he made when the audiences neglected his true masterpieces, to some extent when he stopped caring about making great films, and just decided to pander to the lowest common denominator horror crowds. When Fulci cared, he was one of the most imaginative, talented and stylish filmmakers of his time. He made some of the best Giallos, some of the best westerns, one of the best Hitchcock homages, and one that was his stab at a serious film/period piece. It was that film’s failure that soured him on film and audiences, and made him a gun for hire, and by reports misanthropic to his cast, his crew and the audience, and a churner out of his gore films. That said while I do see these films as Fulci no longer being that filmmaker whose westerns would inspire John Woo’s Blood Ballets and dove motif, despite these films being set-pieces of gore… loosely supported by a story, they are despite all that… still very, very compelling and entertaining. He builds moments of tension and dread and horror, as well as a good smattering of WTF!. Just the audacity of these films, particularly CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, is impressive. So while not a champion of this film like I am of his earlier films, even lesser Fulci… is jaw dropping. This movie has story structure issues, it doesn’t hold together as a cogent film, it is haphazard and at times silly, but all that aside it is always visually arresting and cinematically audacious. And once seen, you want to own the BluRay to see the making of features and here the interviews and commentary because you definitely want to know what the cast thought of him, after making them do some of the things he had them do in this film.
I’ll be doing an upcoming piece on Fulci, but I guess it says everything about Fulci, is that even what I consider his ‘slapped together/whatever’ film phase, consists of many films, such as CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, that are must watch films. Even his films of derision, are dripping with imaginative talent.
Netflix’s DRACULA – I have been looking forward to this series ever since i saw the first teaser trailer a month or so ago. The series has finally dropped on Netflix, and I have to say… the first episode exceeds my expectations.
Smart. Lavish, Biting, Charming and Ironic and irreverant when it needs to be, and above all dripping with gothic athmosphere and horror, this adaptation of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA is off to a phenomenal start.
I’ve been underwhelmed by most of the new shows recently, 2nd season of JACK RYAN, WITCHER, even the 4th season of THE EXPANSE… not really wowing me yet, but DRACULA… yeah, I’m on board. Looking forward to upcoming episodes, and to see if the 3 episode mini-series sticks the landing.
Best and Worst Free Streaming Services for Week 48 of 2019!
YOUTUBE – For another Week Youtube is the number one free streaming channel. Content Provider’s such as THE JOHN CAMPEA SHOW , TOP 5 SCARY VIDEOS, WEALLJUGGLEKNIVES, NEAR MINT CONDITION, METAL COMPLEX, THE DELUXE EDITION, FILMSELECT TRAILER, RICH REBUILDS, NICK SHABAZZ, SCOTTY KILMER, CORD CUTTERS NEWS, ALTER, GQ, SILVER_AGED DAVE, SOCAL ATTRACTIONS 360, CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT, AMATEUR FILMIES, HAWAII KNIFE AND GEAR, REGIE COLLECTS, SINISTER CINEMA REVIEWS, WRANGLESTAR, THE COMIC COLLECTOR, CANADIAN PREPPER, TARAS KUL, FIRST WE FEAST, GOHAN THE HUSKY, CASI DAVIS, CEDRIC & ADA GEAR AND OUTDOORS, SILVER HAIRED BRONZE AGE BABE COMICS, BAT IN THE SUN, BLURAY DAN, IAN CORZINE, OFF THE SHELF MOVIE NIGHT, MMA ON POINT, OMNIDOG’S VAULT, CINEMANIACSEVENTY7 and WILSONIAN MOVIE MUSEUM releasing between them just some very enjoyable and informative content in the last seven days. (p.s. It is a lot of channels and content, so look for an upcoming post that higlights the best, must see You Tube videos from each channel)
- ROKU CHANNEL– Youtube was pretty enjoyable last week, so I didn’t really have the time or inclination to watch much of anything else on the free channels. Exception being the ROKU CHANNEL. It offers the first episode of some cable shows I have not yet checked out. So was able to watch the first episodes of WATCHMEN (loved it), GAME OF THRONES (yes, I have not watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, until this free episode on the Roku Channel. It was good. However, no real desire to catch up with it, but if other episodes turn up for free i’ll check them out) and the first episodes of DAVINCI’S DEMONS and AMERICAN GODS (didn’t like either one). So, for giving me the chance to check out these shows, with a minimum of commercial interruptions (CRACKLE take notes) ROKU makes it on this list. And finally…
TUBI TV- These guys must pay attention to my viewing preferences, because they have a huge assortment of BIG FOOT movies. I’ve seen most of them, but I appreciate these films being available, and did catch up with a couple I have not seen before; 2017’s THE HUNTING (an interesting but flawed “monster in the woods” movie with a twist) and the un-watchably annoying and badly acted BIGFOOT COUNTRY and the simply awful THE MOTH. But I liked being able to at least check these movies out. And what I love about TUBI is they do not drown you in ads, you get to watch a good chunk of the movie before they interrupt it with 2 or 3 ads (not 6 ads, every few minutes, or every-time you try to rewind or fast forward… CRACKLE looking at you!!!)
That brings us to our WORST free streaning channel of the 48th week of 2019. It is hands down as if you could not guess…
CRACKLE – the shame of it is… they actually have content worth watching, that is not available on other channels. But their egregious overuse of advertising makes the channel unwatchable. I fool you not, it is like 6 ads, before they start the program, then 6 ads seemingly every 10 minutes or less. And you get ads immediately if you need to fast-forward or rewind. It adds up to more ads than actual runningtime of the movie, almost. I could not make it through 15 minutes of being on CRACKLE. Just not worth my time… at all. Hands down the worst streaming channel of week 48.
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I was raised to believe there are a few things every working man needs.
- A good truck.
- A good hat.
- A good book.
- A good shotgun
- A good knife.
- A good goal.
- And a good sense of value to others, before value to just you.
The seven goods I like to call them.
I think they help… not guarantee, but help… set up a young man… to aspire to be a good man, and a man of use, to those around him.
I believe in the seven goods.
Today’s purchase recommendation of the day, revolves around good #5.
I’ve carried a good pocket knife with me for decades. Briefly in the boy scouts, than occasionally in the military, and relatively constantly in civilian life. It’s a daily carry and essential to me in my work and personal life. And I lump multi-tools in with knives.
Anyhow I’ve had a Spyderco knife for years, followed by a Kershaw Clash knife for years. They are both splendid working man’s knives. For me (even though it is out of fashion these days) an old fashioned tip-down, half drop point, half serrated, blacked out blade, remains the height of functionality and usefulness. Open mail, open boxes, strip wires, get out of a stuck seat-belt, removing tie-wraps, even as a prybar in a pinch.
There is a reason why the Kershaw Clash is one of the best selling pocket knives of all time. It’s not titanium, it’s not on ball bearings, it’s not the metallurgy composition of the moment, it doesn’t have a rad pocket clip, but what it is… is easily one of the best pocket knives ever made.
And no Kershaw is not paying me to say this (Hey Kershaw… Call Me! 🙂 )
In a day where pocket knives are undergoing something of a resurgence, and in large part because of social media, and streaming and youtube knife communities, knives today are being made as sought after collectibles arguably even more so than functional pieces. Knife prices are skyrocketing, as more and more companies, just like car companies, are gearing a segment of their market to those with more money than sense. So pockets knives these days can run hundreds to thousands of dollars.
I personally think once you go over the $150 mark, for a pocket knife, you are paying for the wrapping paper, rather than the product. But each to their own.
As far as a pocket knife for hard use, after many years of hard use, I’ve found no pocket knife related job that a $30 Kershaw can’t do.
But a man does not live by utility alone.
Sometimes you get a thing, because it calls to you, and everything else being reasonable, the cost, the fit, the functionality… you answer the call.
There is no other knife I NEED besides the Kershaw
But I recently found a knife i wanted. Because it was a thing of beauty.
And it is not the HINDERER or THE CHAVEZ or the ABSTRUSE.
I’d no more pay hundreds for those knives, than I would pay hundreds of thousands for a car. Even should I have the disposable income to spend hundreds on knives or hundreds of thousands on a car, it always, being a working man, occurs to me, how you keep money, is by keeping value foremost in your mind regardless how much money you have.
According to articles, some of the people who aren’t just rich, but stay rich, are frugal purchasers. Every purchase has to sustain or keep its value. Very few of the people who maintain wealth through generations, buy without an eye to value.
So, when there is a Kershaw Clash in the universe, paying 10 times what the Kershaw Clash costs for a knife that is not ten times better, and may not functionally be better at all… does not compute.
That $150 limit, kicks in for me. And that limit amount is different for everyone. That price point where acceptable bumps up against a waste of money.
Chinese Knives, as China more and more embraces the benefits of capitalism in a socialist country, and as more and more of American production is off-shored , the quality and status of Chinese Knives has risen, to the point where they are making desirable quality knives at a great price point.
So it wasn’t the multi-hundred dollar Hinderer or Chavez or ZT knives that called to me with a combination of beauty and aesthetics that are beyond the Kershaw Clash, but also at an acceptable value point.
It was a company from China called Two Sun. And it was a specific knife.
The Knife below:
I think the pictures say it all.
And the price on that work of art? Not $700. You can get one today, delivered for around $70.
TWO SUN makes a lot of knives. In my opinion the TS 102 is the finest looking one they make, and the one that called to me.
Get yours HERE!
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Now the fit and finish on the knife are stellar. Beautiful in person. However it is not without minor issues out the box. It comes over oiled, which will need to be addressed. Also there was a minor speck, scratch on the blade. The one I received had a weak action/deployment, you have to give it a bit of wrist to fully deploy.Because of the extra oomph you have to give it the flipper tab can become rough on your index finger. The pocket clip, while stunning to look at, is so tight that out the box, getting it in to your pocket one handed, not so much, You’ll probably have to work in the pocket clip so it is a smooyh one hand seat and unseat into your back pocket.
The pluses do outweigh the speed bumps, visually it is a showstopper. the feel is solid metal, no plastic here, with a little muscle memory you can get the deployment to work consistently for you. I love the perfect centering and that the blade will smoothly drop shut. And lastly, out the box it is SCARY sharp. It is “you need to respect this knife at all times” sharp. My Kershaw which, functionally, as a pure work knife, EQUALS OR beats this knife in every area, can not hold a candle to the TS102s sharpness.
So report card: In terms of Quality Control, the TWO SUN could use a little work, making sure the blade arrives without any sign of wear, not over oiling it, making sure the action is set properly for reliable full deployment. Those issues taken into account at the $70 price point the knife is a no-brainer of a purchase.
It is today’S and this week’s recommended knife purchase!
Tell em HT sent ya!!!
There are no skulls, or drooling monsters, or scantily clad females in peril on this cover (not that there is anything wrong with those covers, the lurid has its place) and yet, this is the cover that made me fall in love with collecting Golden Age Comic Books. The sophistication of John Severin’s artwork, the masterful use of color, its ability to encapsulate mood and storytelling and foreboding in a single pregnant image.
First time I saw this image, I knew I had to have this book. That i was looking at the work of an artist, Capital A.
This is my book of the day. And it is currently VERY undervalued and very affordable. And is my recommendation for affordable golden age comic book to add or start, your collection with.
Hope you found this post useful, if so give a like and a subscribe. Till next time… be well!
Today’s 11 recommended Streaming/VOD channels to be subscribed to!
- AMAZON PRIME for their extensive selection of movies that simply dwarfs what anyone else is showing. They have 12, TWELVE, BigFoot movies you can watch right now!!! Dozens upon Dozens of Spaghetti Western and Shaw Brothers movies, presented in wide-screen, that look better than they ever did in the theaters. They also have access to newer movies, and a mountain of tv shows. As well as great Amazon originals such as JACK RYAN, THE GRAND TOUR, THE ABC MURDERS, THE EXPANSE (possibly my favorite Sci-Fi show since FARSCAPE) to name a few. But it is really just their uber video store level of obscure and great genre films and tv shows, and their great interface that makes them by a long way, the paid channel I watch the most of.
- HULU- Hulu is great for staying abreast of recent/current shows such as AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR, as well as offering some movie and tv options, that the others may not.
- NETFLIX- From being my first paid streaming channel, this has quickly become one of the paid channels I watch the least. To the point when they did their price hike a year or two ago I dropped the channel. However another member of the Heroic Times household decided to resubscribe. And I was able to finish up RIPPER STREET, and we have used it to check out their UMBRELLA ACADEMY and currently use it mainly to watch LUCIFER. But I find Netflix does a HORRIBLE job with its interface, and really should take a note in regards to Amazon, in how to better curate and group, and direct viewers to content that they may be interested in. You get the feeling on Netflix that whatever signal you are seeking, is buried under a lot of uninteresting noise. With more competition on the way, and with our household having a 3 paid streaming station limit, Netflix is the channel that likely will end up getting dumped (again) when something better comes along.
- Youtube- The channel I watch these days the most, even more than Amazon Prime is Youtube. And one reason I have a Roku over an Amazon Fire TV, besides the fact I just like Roku’s interface better, is out the box, Amazon Fire stopped supporting the Youtube channel. I will do a separate post on the many channels, within Youtube, that I am subscribed to. But they consist of everyday people putting on content more captivating than the studios can; on everything from comics to movies to knives to guns to music to books to food to exercise to how-to to everything in between. Really intriguing, and I am happy there is not a ‘comments’ section, which for years is what kept me away from the online version of Youtube. Their un-moderated hate filled comments section. So the absence of that on the Youtube Roku app, makes it finally a worthwhile viewing experience.
- SONY CRACKLE
- PLUTO TV
- ROKU CHANNEL
- FOOD NETWORK