New Term – Drop This into Your Erudite Film Conversations Today!

I’m not sure that this technique has an official term (if so, please alert me), but I’d like to put this on public record, just in case:


When a filmmaker, primarily documentary, seeks to emphasize that the impression of a thing or event isn’t just the opinion of one person by cutting from one interview subject to the next mid-sentence.

S1: So the architect showed us his design and it was absolutely…
S2: …Horrendous. It looked like Frank Gehry had thrown up on Phillip Johnson.




scared_to_death-13_410x310In a startlingly bold experiment for ToB, we’ve decided to take the first twenty minutes of the classic(?) Bela Lugosi horror(?) film, SCARED TO DEATH, and treat it to a daringly new concept in film analysis, one that’s never been seen before and certainly has absolutely no connection to MST3K or CINEMATIC TITANIC or RIFFTRAX, or anything like that. (And if there appears to be resemblance, well, we came up with it first and our lawyers are going to be in touch with all of those guys in the morning, believe you me.)

A few notes:

  • This was Bela Lugosi’s only color film, not that it did him much good.
  • Keep in mind that this is a video file. We’ve adjusted the compression to make it as small as possible, but it’ll still take a bit longer to download.
  • Because of the file size, the video quality will be a bit scrubby — particularly on larger screens — but should be good enough.
  • The above player exists to facilitate downloads to portable devices, but if you’re viewing on the page, you may find the player below more amenable.

And we’d love to actually finish the rest of the film, so if you like what you see, give us a holler and let us know!



The-Vampires-Coffin-Luvad-skull-torch_410x278Let’s not mince words about this: THE VAMPIRE’S COFFIN is a goofy movie, a Mexican horror-fest with rubber bats, balsa wood coffins, poorly choreographed fight scenes, and a “hero” (the star of THE BRAINIAC, actually) who caps off practically every scene by coming close to wetting his pants. It also happens to be a surprisingly good-looking film, with cinematographer Victor Herrera ripping whole reams from the German expressionist playbook for his set up. Which makes for an unusual ToB episode in which Andrea Lipinski, Kevin Lauderdale, Orenthal Hawkins, and Dan Persons explore the paradox between production and content as much as they explore the film’s copious flaws. Click on the player to hear the show, or right-click the link to download.


ICETASTROPHE – Temple of Bad

Icetastrophe_c6b57c3a8ca0_410Ever wonder what your cats do when you’re not around? Sorry to disappoint you, but likely they climb up on the couch and go to sleep. Ever wonder what kind of film Syfy runs when nobody’s watching? Very likely it’s ICETASTROPHE, a virtual non-entity of a natural disaster movie in which a meteor somehow manages to put an isolated mountain town under a deadly deep freeze and nobody, not even the people being frosted over, cares.

Come join the Temple of Bad team of Orenthal Hawkins, Andrea Lipinski, Kevin Lauderdale (whose formidable editing kung fu saved this show from slipping into the “Lost Episode” category), and Dan Persons as they slap themselves in the face (not to keep warm, just to stay awake), and take on a film that makes your basic snowman look like an icon of flamboyant excess.

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PATCH TOWN – Temple of Bad

patch-town_410Oh, sure, anybody can look at a ROBOT MONSTER, a BIRDEMIC, a XANADU and say, “Wow, that’s stinky.” It takes next-level insight to take on the likes of PATCH TOWN, an ambitious tale of a grown up Cabbage Patch doll breaking out of the gulag-like factory where he’s enslaved to find the little girl who loved him many years ago.

In facing the German-expressionist production style of a Tim Burton, a Sovietesque mise-en-scene, a bit of Cronenberg body-horror, and lashings of Danny Elfman-like musical comedy(?!), the regular Temple of Bad team of Andrea Lipinski, Orenthal Hawkins, Kevin Lauderdale, and Dan Persons bring all of their kung fu to this admittedly impressive and frankly weird, weird, weird exercise in dark whimsy, and prove they are up to the challenge.

Click on the player to hear the show, or right-click the title to download.


APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD: You Can’t Steam-Clean Steampunk – Hour of the Wolf Movie Review

april_hires_3_2_410Soooo much to cover in one, brief segment! First, I look at the French animated film APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD, and how it takes on the genre of steampunk in a way few steampunkers dare to consider. Then I have some belated thoughts on the entertaining comic book movie, DEADPOOL, and highlight a standout performance in the gory Turkish(!) horror film, BASKIN. Finally, I celebrate the documentary that celebrates the artist Chet Zar, I LIKE TO PAINT MONSTERS, and alert retro-horror fans to the delights of a new homevid collection, THE AMERICAN HORROR PROJECT, VOLUME 1. Then it’s time for light lunch, but that’s outside of your realm of interest, isn’t it?

Click on the player button to hear the segment; right-click the link to download, and in all cases, SPEAK OUT AGAINST TRUMP.


ZOOTOPIA: The Furry Fight Against Trump – Hour of the Wolf Movie Review

NATURAL ENEMIES — Zootopia's first bunny officer Judy Hopps finds herself face to face with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox in Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia." Featuring the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy and Jason Bateman as Nick, "Zootopia" opens in theaters on March 4, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Here’s a curious thing: A fun, funny, action-packed animated family film that just by happenstance strikes at the very core of the ugliness behind the presidential campaign of a certain, stubby-fingered, orange-American. Couldn’t have been by design, not with production schedules for CG animation being what they are, but there it is: ZOOTOPIA — anthropomorphized animals against Trumpism. Couldn’t have come at a better time.

Also in this review, my take on near-future hipster comedy CREATIVE CONTROL, and Terrence Malick’s introspective KNIGHT OF CUPS.

Click the player to hear the review, or right-click the link to download.


KING KONG (1976) – Temple of Bad

kong-growl_3502016 marks the 40th anniversary of the film that changed the entertainment industry as we know it, the film the rewrote the rules on action entertainment, that dazzled audiences with its innovative special effects, that forever lodged in popular culture the notion that exciting adventures awaited audiences a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Oh, wait a minute… STAR WARS debuted in 1977. In 1976, we got the Dino De Laurentiis remake of KING KONG, the film that did absolutely nothing for the industry, special effects, or the public’s gas shortage-ravaged attitudes. Come join Kevin Lauderdale, Orenthal Hawkins, Andrea Lipinski, and Dan Persons as they delve deep into this gorilla-shaped turkey, and try to get the world’s biggest monkey off their backs.



As presented on HOUR OF THE WOLF.

I’m going through a terminal case of the Christmas blues right now, and the last thing I want to talk about is STAR WARS EPISODE SEVEN: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Not because it’s a bad film, because it isn’t — J.J. Abrams isn’t God, but he is a good director, and so I was always confident that, at the very least, this was not going to be a torturous two-plus hours. And it is not, it is good, at times very good. Read the rest of this entry »


THE BRAINIAC – Temple of Bad

Brainiac_v01_350(Sung to the tune of Maniac):

A Satanist who can zip out of chains.
He is suave, and he’s smart, and clumsy.
He gropes all the chicks, and eats his victim’s brains,
Everybody says he’s eeeee-vil.

He gets burned at the stake, but is feeling no pain.
He knows it’s just a matter of time,
Three hundred years in fact, that he’s coming right back,
To suck out brains with his big, floppy tongue.

He can freeze you with a look,
But you’ll just look like a schnook,
‘Cause you should have known by now:

He’s a Brainiac, Brainiac with some style,
And to eat your brains is the thing that makes him smile.
He’s a Brainiac, Brainiac who’s intense,
And his vengeance really don’t make no damn sense.

Yes, in a long-delayed but well-worth-waiting-for Temple of Bad, Orenthal Hawkins (who brainstormed the soulful ballad above), Andrea Lipinski and Kevin Lauderdale, and Dan Persons take on the goofy Mexican horror film, The Brainiac. Bad makeup, crappy sets, and ridiculous effects rule the day! Click on the player to hear the show, or right-click the link to download.

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