Tag Archive | streaming movies

I Remember The Alamo

I was recently talking with my friends…remotely, of course, and we got into some of the things we’ve been missing since the pandemic went all horror movie on us. As a writer, I have enjoyed the benefits of less distractions and more free time to do what I love most. Working from home has eliminated my hellacious commute. And it’s saved me hundreds of dollars on gas a month. Spending much more time with my family has been a godsend. Eating out less has been beneficial to my wallet and my stomach. Though we do honor Take Out Tuesday and get delivery from a local restaurant each week. I’ve been able to read more, watch a ton of movies, fix things around the house.

Man, I guess there’s been more positive than negative (like our coronavirus tests) here at the end of the world.

But there are two things I do miss dearly. One is baseball. It feels like those spring training games I was watching happened in another lifetime. Not being able to catch a game every night of the week, or devour the latest stats every morning, has been depressing. What I wouldn’t give to go to a game right now, smell the fresh cut grass, hear the crack of a bat, feel the sun on my face, be one with the roar of the crowd.

That being said, what I miss most of all is going to my local Alamo Drafthouse theater.

alamo

I had finally bought the season pass that entitled me to 30 movies a month for a mere $20. Over the course of January and February, I had gone to the Alamo twenty-three times! When I had a total crap day, I would pull up my app, look for a movie (hoping they were showing an old horror or exploitation movie that night) and download a ticket. That one minute action would completely turn my day around. I instantly had something to look forward to and daydreamed about their popcorn (best ever), craft beer, curated trailers by Birth.Movies.Death and if I was lucky that day, a theme party with perhaps a giveaway or two or the chance to check out a slew of movies to buy before the show, Vinegar Syndrome titles laid out under the big screen. (I can never resist. I’ve added titles like Berserker, Threads and The Incubus to my shelves thanks to those impromptu shopping opportunities.)

What I miss most is just the place itself. It has a vibe that says to me, you’re home. Come set a spell. The Alamo by me used to be a six-theater multiplex called Movieland. That’s the theater where I always took my first dates and where the girl who would become my wife made me rip off the black rubber bracelet my ex had given me as a way to show she was staking her claim, the ex was history.

yonkers alamo

Over the past few years, the Alamo has been my place of choice to celebrate my birthday, which is coming up this month and will make the temporary loss cut a little deeper. A steady on the horror revival flick programs that were part of Alamo’s signature series presented by Video Vortex, Prints of Darkness and Temple of Schlock, I got to see and know a lot of like-minded people who just wanted to see a bit of horror history we may have missed or wanted to revisit in a theater with a bunch of people wearing black t-shirts emblazoned with horror movie images.

I miss my Alamo home, my Alamo family, cold glasses of Wrench IPA (from Industrial Arts Brewing), carpet from The Shining, cool merch in the lobby, talking about films with strangers and most of all, their NO TALKING OR TEXTING policy. Wish I could enforce that at home. But, I have to pick my hill to die on, and that ain’t it when we’re all stuck in here together 24 hours a day.

There is good news. The Alamo has made some changes to bring their experience to pining people like me. You can now stream movies through them for less than the price of going to the theater. We just went through Alamo to check out Fangoria’s latest release, PORNO and it was great. You can see our review below.

 

Certain Alamos are delivering food (alas, mine is not…really could go for ten bowls of popcorn right about now). You can also buy merch online before or after you stream a movie so you can trick your brain into thinking you’re out of the house.

The last movie my wife and I saw at the Alamo was The Thing in early March when we knew the coronavirus was out there but didn’t think it would send the world scurrying for the darkness like rats. Seemed a fitting way to end our run.

Whether I have to wear a hazmat suit or sit in a plastic hamster ball, I will be back, sooner rather than later. We can’t run from everything. The less we give our immune systems to fight against, the weaker we’re getting. Maybe a trip to the movies is exactly what we need so we don’t up dying from the common cold.

Until then, support your Alamo in any way you can and look forward to the day when we can all don our Amityville Horror t-shirts, knock back some beers and enjoy the show.

Horror Double Features For Social Distancing

The coronavirus has really turned things upside down. I have to tell you, I really miss going to my local Alamo theater a couple of times a week and watching old and new horror movies. I miss seeing all those familiar faces and just having a good time together.

I’m sure most of you are home and wondering what the hell you’re going to do to fill your days and nights. I’m here to help you by curating fun double features that you can watch online. Give them a gander and post your comments here so we can all interact without the fear of catching something.

I happened to suggest this one on the recent Final Guys and felt it’s perfect to kick thing off.

GRABBERS

grabbers

This was the strangest St. Patrick’s Day ever. No bars. Nor parade. Nuthin. To get a flavor for the special day, my family watched the Irish horror flick, GRABBERS. A monster crashes into the sea around an island in Ireland. The tentacled beastie does have one weakness – it doesn’t like to eat people who are drunk! So the townspeople gather in the pub to drink their faces off while under attack. One of my favorite modern monster movies, Grabbers should be watched while sipping whisky.

It also has the most succinct and accurate synopsis ever –

“A small town must stay drunk in order to fight back an alien attack.”

You can watch Grabbers on Hulu or Amazon Prime.

THE HOST

host

Now let’s head over to South Korea for another killer sea creature that will make your heart race and give you a jump scare or two. Although it came out 14 years ago, the CGI here is excellent and the solid performances will suck you right in. It would be a dream to see the baddie in The Host battle it out with the Grabbers. Heads will fly…literally!

“On 09 February 2000, the American military base of Yongson releases toxic chemicals in the drain to the Han River under the direct order of an arrogant coroner. Six years later, a mutant squid monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people.”

You can watch The Host on Amazon. 

Bugging Out With TICKS

As a man who makes his stock-in-trade trade in creature features, I make it a point to watch as many monster flicks as possible. Somehow, I missed the 1993 horror/scifi romp, TICKS. That was the year my wife got seriously ill, so there are quite a few things that flew under my radar. Cut to years later and I always assumed I had watched it. Well, I hadn’t…until now.

I’ve had TICKS on my Amazon Prime watch list for a while now. If I had realized it was Ami Dolenz on the poster, I would have watched it sooner. The daughter of Monkee Mickey Dolenz, I crushed on her when she played a genie in the movie Miracle Beach.

ticks

If you’re looking for pure icky bug mayhem and some gooey gore, TICKS is for you. We start with a very young Seth Green being sent to one of those city kids goes to the woods camp. He meets a street thug who threatens to kill him if he doesn’t make a free throw. That gutter punk is none other than dancing Carlton, AKA Alfonso Ribeiro. It’s wig flipping to watch him play the tough kid who also sells dope on the side. They’re picked up in a van by couple Holly (played by Rosalind Allen, who I remember from the soap, Santa Barbara, but was also the marine biologist on Seinfeld) and Charles (Peter Scolari, from Newhart and Bosom Buddies – ever wonder how much he truly hates Tom Hanks?). Their sullen daughter is along for the trip and they’re joined by bad boy Ray, his main squeeze Dee Dee (Ami Dolenz) and a girl who never talks.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Clint Howard is a filthy redneck who has some insane contraption that pumps steroids into his marijuana plants? It looks like something the Little Rascals or Bugs Bunny would make, only less sturdy.

That weird goo is what drips on a tick and starts the whole shit storm. I always let out a little cheer when I see Clint in a movie. He’s this generation’s Dick Miller (RIP). The ticks pupate in these ooey-gooey egg sacks and when they pop out, they’re about the size of a man’s hand. Giant ticks skitter everywhere, latching onto faces and backs, crawling up pants and burrowing under rippling flesh.

This is all practical effects and it’s glorious. Be warned, a dog gets the tick treatment and he does not fare well. The third act is freaking bonkers, with hordes of ticks descending on the cabin, pot farmers looking to kill the wilderness kids and something growing inside Carlton. I don’t want to give too much away, but take my word and watch it if you haven’t already. Alas, there’s no nudity, but you do get Dolenz in a very teeny black bikini. There’s plenty of slime and blood and ticks exploding like pus filled popcorn when flame touches them.

I wonder how Seth Green feels about this movie. If you didn’t know better, you would swear he would never get another acting gig. He’s that bad. But hey, he was young and learning. Without this, we might not get Buffy or Robot Chicken!

It’s been a while since I posted a movie review, but I felt this was good penance to make up for missing TICKS for the past 26 years. It is now my job to preach the word. The only thing creepier than the ticks in the movie are the millions of ticks around my house carrying Lyme Disease. Thank you, Plum Island buttholes for creating that little gift.

Now, go watch TICKS. I have to attend to my chiggers.

Oh, and if you revel in the squeamish delight of TICKS, your skin will crawl with joy when you read THE DEVIL’S FINGERS. Swap out bugs for a killer fungus and let the games begin!

devils fingers

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