Race With The Devil YIFY
A girl is held captive in some abandoned building. She manages to free herself while her captor is somewhere praying while holding some creepy little figurines. When he hears the girl he puts the figures away in a box and cloth bag and goes chasing after her with his drill that has a giant bit reminiscent of The Slumber Party Massacre--one of my favorite movies. As she escapes the building, she runs into a cop who's looking for her. That allows our villain to put to drill to some very good use. But another cop shows up and kills him. Now this is a great intro! While the cops are in the car some scary lady appears demanding the cops give her box with the figurines. Of course it's evidence so they can't give it to her. Yet somehow the box ends up in the hands of the cop's daughter and estranged wife, who has some crafts store. The girl makes some pendants and bracelets with the creepy figurines which for some reason all the customer find so cool and by them all up right away. The girl keeps one of them though.Sure enough, one guy who gets a figurine pendant from his girlfriend goes nuts after becoming very pale at a convenience store and kills the worker there and is shot by the owner afterwards. Not only that, but he leaves a bloody sign painted in blood. This intrigues the cops because it's the sign that the serial killer from the intro used.Next, the cop's daughter goes pale and nuts and kills the beautiful family Rottweiler. She's then quickly taken to the hospital where the problem is initially attributed to her epilepsy.Then a family friend gives another figurine pendant to her husband who goes bonkers, kills the gardener and then attacks the wife just as the cop arrives. When the cop finds the figurine he decides to visit the crazy woman from before who wanted the box. Turns out she adopted the abandoned serial killer when he was a child. The figurines, or worry dolls or more accurately translated, sorrow dolls, come from Guatemalan lore and are designed to remove someone's sorrows and pains. Her grandparents were from Guatemala. But in the case of the serial killer since he was innocent and yet consumed with hate, the sorrow dolls ended up transmitting the hate. The solution is for the cop and his sidekick to collect all the dolls with the box and deliver them to her by dawn. He succeeds but there's a twist.Devil's Dolls won me over with the brutal intro. Unfortunately, it doesn't keep up the intensity probably for budgetary reasons. We could have used at least one more doll/killer/victim. For some reason it doesn't focus enough, literally, on the dolls. They are small and creepy but the camera doesn't zoom in at any point, and for some reason no one looks at them carefully, even though they are unusual and striking. The wonderful intro credit scene featuring sights of Mississippi plus the dolls themselves which have some wooden structure reminded me of the first season of True Detective. I found the script smarter than usual. It handles for instance the relationship between the cop, his (ex)wife, and her new guy very well. The background of the dolls is also interesting. Casting is strong, most of the ladies are attractive. Christopher Wiehl who multitasked as producer and writer as well, occasionally delivers an unconvincing performance as the detective.I found that this movie delivers more than most horror movies these days. And it's the stuff that I like--strong kills, a novel deeper story, it features a Rottweiler who can't escape the usual dog fate in movies. One nice touch is that the filmmakers thank the audience at the end for watching the movie, something I wonder why not more do. I highly recommend Devil's Dolls, it's better than the score here would lead you to believe.
Race with the Devil YIFY
Harry Belafonte is a coal miner trapped in a cave-in. He hears the drilling of the rescue crew which abruptly stops. Belafonte claws his own way to the surface and finds everything abandoned. I mean really abandoned. An Armageddon has occurred when some nation decided to forego the bomb and all that destruction and just use the radioactive byproducts. It gets out of control and wipes out everybody.Well, almost everybody. Harry hot wires a car and travels to New York City in search of life in the largest population center. After a while he finds it in Inger Stevens. It looks like another Adam and Eve ready to begin again when Mel Ferrer also shows up. By that time Belafonte has established some kind of contact with some unknown foreign survivors somewhere in the post apocalypse world?Of course with two men, two races, and only one woman, things start to look like business as usual for mankind. I was reminded of Neil Patrick Harris's line from Starship Troopers about how we're in it for the species. Will all three of them and anyone else they contact decide we're in it for the species in The World, the Flesh and the Devil?Director Ranald McDougall got three good performances out of his small cast. The World, The Flesh And The Devil does ask some thought provoking questions as to whether man is capable of screwing up once again. What kind of culture will they establish and will a Supreme Creator/Deity need to intervene?
The acting is up to professional standards. Denzel Washington is in the lead as a jobless ex-GI in 1947 Los Angeles who is hired by a stranger to find a white girl named Daphne. He does a good job, as usual, without being in the least extravagant. The supporting players are all equally good, with Don Cheadle in the flashiest role as a friendly killer.Jennifer Beals as the mysterious and missing devil in the blue dress is competent and attractive. You have never seen such huge, glistening black eyes. Why hasn't she gotten better parts? Location shooting is done carefully too. Lots of nice shots of seedier locations as well as a couple of the kind of faux country estates we saw so often on "Columbo." Washington, of course, is African-American, and Beals is passable as a Creole from Louisiana. Relationships between the police and the black community are sketched out in what's probably realistic detail. The heavy handedness of the cops should come as no surprise to anyone who's seen "L.A. Confidential," although it may shock some who grew up on "Dragnet." The racial divide isn't imposed willy nilly on the script, either. This is an unashamed noir. There's no attempt to make racism the central issue. It may be difficult for some of us to accept the notion that a politician's marriage to a woman who is partly of black parentage would stultify his career but it was true enough.Still, the movie fails to engage. The narrative is murky, the action turgid, and there is a narration by Washington that serves as a familiar crutch for a weak story. It does nothing more than fill us in on the details of Washington's peregrinations, without adding anything more. It's Raymond Chandler without the fustian poetry or the scintillating cynicism. Washington's voice over never tells us that some babe had "hair the color of gold in old paintings." It only tells us things like, "I figured I'd better get out of there." I didn't really care much about anyone but Washington's out-of-work nice guy. I wanted him to make enough money to pay off his mortgage. That was about it. Well -- of course I didn't want to see Jennifer Beals tortured with that red hot poker either, although I wouldn't have minded if her captors had torn her clothes a little. Or, I guess the script could even have let her take a long, languorous bath.Chandler and Hammett never had especially gripping characters either but Chandler carried us along with his blunt, boozy charm, and Hammett bootlegged in a philosophy of life.Speaking of "carried," Washington has a line he speaks to Beals. "Change out of that house coat. Come on, I'll carry you home." Washington doesn't mean he's going to sweep her up in his arms and schlep her across town. He means he's going to escort her home in his vehicle. This is an old-fashioned, mostly Southern usage. It dates back to before the Civil War, as in "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny." I didn't mean to carry on so, but that sentence was one of the few things in the movie that roused my attention.
Greetings again from the darkness. The slate of movies I review each year leans heavily towards serious and dramatic material, but is there anything more serious than an 18 foot tall grizzly bear seeking revenge for the poaching of her cubs? And is there a better springboard to success for actors than the sequel to a cheesy land-based riff on JAWS? OK, I sense your skepticism. What if I told you that sequel featured three Oscar winners, and the original was one of the most profitable ROI films of the year? Starting to come around, aren't you?Well, before you get overly excited in anticipation of this film's release, please allow me to explain ... or come clean. This 1983 film has its own special place in cult film lore. Some even doubted its existence (or at least the actual title). But now, after all these years and rumors, the legend comes to life, and has not only been "completed", but is getting a semblance of release. If you love schlock horror where nature-goes-awry, with the added bonus of 'spot the actor' (now almost 40 years older), then there is the possibility you are worthy of watching this ... this ... abomination (meant here as a term of endearment).You should know that there are very few sightings of the enormous grizzly bear; although we do get an opening sequence with some quality camera work featuring grizzlies in the wild. Even though we don't see much of the titular beast, she does dominate the story. The earliest sequence features three young campers ignoring bear warning signs. These three campers are why we are all here. A pre-"E/R" George Clooney (21 years old) sports a denim vest before climbing in a sleeping bag with a partially clothed 16 year old Laura Dern, who has somehow managed to complete the hike wearing sandals and whining the entire time. The third wheel is played by a 17 year old with hair hanging in his eyes and acne on his face. You'll recognize him as Charlie Sheen, although here he looks very much like brother Emilio. If you show up for this trio, hold off on the potty break, because there's an angry grizzly lurking.There are other pieces to the story ... and I use 'pieces' in a manner similar to what one sees in an intersection after a couple of cars collide. A group of drunk poachers roam the woods looking to collect grizzly gall bladders, which evidently have value on the black market. The Park Rangers are preparing for an upcoming rock concert where 100,000 attendees are expected. A concert promoter played by Louise Fletcher (an Oscar winner as Nurse Ratched in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, 1975) bullies the newest Park Ranger played by Steve Inwood (who also appeared in STAYING ALIVE that same year, reaching world class clunker status twice in 1983) into "the show must go on" despite the grizzly killings.This was director Andre Szots' second and final feature film as a director, though he did have a career as a producer. The husband and wife writing team of David Sheldon and Joan McCall 'crafted' the screenplay. He was also a co-writer on the original GRIZZLY (1976), while she appeared on screen in it. Continuing our game of 'spot the actor', we can't help but notice Deborah Foreman as the lead Ranger's wide-eyed daughter. Ms. Foreman was a very popular actor in the 1980's, including a starring role in VALLEY GIRL (1983). Unfortunately her career never hit the heights many predicted, although she does have one of the best lines in this film when she proudly states her skill at working a phone - both dial and push-button! Fans of either the "Lord of the Rings" or "Indiana Jones" franchises will surely get a kick out of John Rhys-Davies as a lumberjack-American Indian, who is renowned for his expertise in hunting "the devil bear". Other familiar faces include a young Timothy Spall (MR TURNER), Deborah Raffin (rumored to be the second choice for Sandy in GREASE), Ian McNiece (ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS, 1995), Dick Anthony Williams (a hard-working actor from the 1970's until his death in 2012), Jack Starratt (actor in FIRST BLOOD, 1982, director of RACE WITH THE DEVIL, 1975), and Charles Cyphers, who played the Indians' General Manager in MAJOR LEAGUE (1989).The joy in seeing these folks in one place is compromised (to say the least) by the horrendous 1980's pop music being performed by those on stage attired in just about any outrageous 80's fashion you can recall. Initially comical, the musical acts quickly evolve into something stomach-churning to watch. The kindest description of the production quality is "low-budget", but there is simply no term for the effects. A Darth Vader breathing sound is heard when the grizzly is near, a speeding Ranger jeep on a dirt path is used to create suspense (the same shot is used multiple times), the day-night inconsistencies could be their own drinking game, and fireworks and a forklift prove to be a bad mix with our grizzly. Finally, for reasons we never really understand, a US Senator is a guest at the concert, and these days a Senator would likely be considered a greater threat than an 18 foot grizzly. You've heard the adage, "so bad it's good", well this one is simply so bad it's bad. William Girdler directed the original GRIZZLY in 1976, and he tragically died at age 30, just two years later.Available On Demand January 8, 2021 041b061a72