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.


Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: THE MACHINE

The_Machine_350“The Machine, Dan? The Machine? Surely you must mean Ex Machina, the dark, sensual drama about a young programmer falling into the thrall of an eerily human-like android, the film that grabbed so much attention earlier this year. That’s the film you’re talking about, right?”

No, no I’m actually talking about The Machine, another film entirely. But in an curious way, I’m talking about Ex Machina as well, because it turns out there are some interesting parallels between the two films, in sufficient quantity that I think it’s well-worth discussion. Click on the player to hear my review, or right-click the link to download.



Journey_to_the_Seventh_Planet_tumblr_mzjw35QKAQ1qkcj94o1_1280_350You know, we’ve always considered as our prime mission an elevation of the level of discourse in movie podcasts. Much like Cahiers du Cinema, we seek to enshrine the world of film as a true art form, analyzing the efforts its creators invest in fulfilling their unique visions,  and exploring how the results serve to elevate humanity’s understanding of itself and the universe.

And then a film comes along that features a group of astronauts on a mission to discover if there’s life on Uranus, and all that goes out the window. A Danish/American co-production starring that ambulatory hunk o’ granite, John Agar, Journey to the Seventh Planet is a film whose supreme silliness only starts with the sophomoric opportunities offered by its central premise. Come join the Temple of Bad team of Andrea Lipinski, Kevin Lauderdale, and Orenthal Hawkins as they take on a tale that isn’t satisfied with giving film-goers a giant, mutant, cyclopean rat when a giant, mutant, and quite noisy, spider, plus a bevy of women in filmy negligees, can be thrown in as well. Click the player to hear the show, or right-click the link to download.


MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION: Test of Digitally Delivered Entertainment News

Okay, so this “update” about MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION is a little late, but lateness isn’t really an issue here, and there’s a reason for that.

Having not fired up my non-linear editor (NLE) since moving to Philly, I wanted to shake off the cobwebs with a little finger exercise that’d take me through most of the processes I typically use in editing a video. I started thinking about where digital content delivery is going — the Playstations, the Rokus, your various and sundry iPhones — and wondering what would it be like if you could sit down after a hard day and summon up a short, customized news update about the stuff you’re interested in, delivered with a unique style and tone that doesn’t have to cater to a broad audience. What would that look like?

This two-minute report is my attempt to find out.


Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: SELF/LESS & JELLYFISH EYES & A HARD DAY

Jellyfish Eyes 1_350This is a real “watch this, not that,” segment this time. Self/less was the “serious” opening last weekend — directed by overt stylist Tarsem Singh, starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley — and the worst sin that could be leveled at it was that it was kind of stoopid. But then, the weekend also saw the debut of a couple of more compelling releases: Jellyfish Eyes, a family film send-up directed by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami; and the delirious Korean noir comedy A Hard Day. Only thing to do is to give ’em all their due and leave it to my listeners’ good judgement. Click on the player to hear the segment, or right-click the link to download.


Scott Eastwood Cools Down While Heating Things Up for Davidoff [Paid Video]

“What makes the ocean makes the man,” says Scott Eastwood in this paid video for Davidoff Cool Water (I could be wrong, but the product’s probably not a beverage). And judging by the visuals here, it also makes most women, a quite a few men, feel that certain, special feeling in that certain, special place. Check the spot out below — they’ve also got a hashtag if you’ve just gotta say something about it: #WhatMakesTheOcean.


Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: THE MIDNIGHT SWIM

Midnight_Swim_08_350You can be forgiven. If your first thought when you hear the phrase, “found-footage mockumentary” is a sincere wish that somebody should have released a Web virus long ago to wipe every copy of The Blair Witch Project off every server on Earth, that’s certainly understandable. So I’m aware of the risk I’m taking by going on record to say that The Midnight Swim — a moody, enigmatic found-footage ghost story about three sisters discovering the ominous mystery surrounding the lake that claimed their mother’s life — demonstrates there’s still something new and moving to be discovered in this debased genre. Click on the player to hear my review for WBAI 99.5FM’s Hour of the Wolf, or right-click the link to download.


Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: INSIDE OUT

inside-out-d150_20mcs.sel16.171_350Okay, right, yeah, sure, sure: Inside Out is a wall-to-wall wonder, good news for anyone who despaired that the animation studio, Pixar — after numerous missteps — had lost its mojo, and who, frankly, would’ve rejoiced in any glimmer of the ol’ Pixar verve now. It’s better than that, far better. But while you’re alternating between laughter and tears (’cause that’s what Pixar does), you may not realize how much of a tightrope walk this metaphorical tour of a young girl’s psyche is. I explore the challenges faced by the film’s creators in my review for Jim Freund’s Hour of the Wolf. Click on the player to hear the show, or right-click the link to download.

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