Featured Post

Featured Post - Coming Soon!

How goes it everyone? As you may have noticed I've finished the two month long mystery movie marathon and have gone back to some general...

Monday, January 31, 2022

Featured Post - Charlie Chan, Mr. Wong, and others

Time to have an uncomfortable chat. As part of my current murder mystery review marathon, I’m going to be covering some older movies that have issues. I was going to say for a modern audience, but even when they were made it wasn’t okay. For obvious reasons Hollywood of the ‘30s and ‘40s kept casting white actors in the roles of Asian characters. When I say obvious reasons, I really mean racism. Whether it was real or imagined the studios, both big and small, thought that a Charlie Chan or Mr. Wong movie starring an Asian wouldn’t sell to the public. Then again when Karloff left the Mr. Wong franchise and they tried to continue it with Keye Luke, the response was so poor from theaters that the studio canceled any more movies. That isn’t an excuse it just shows that perhaps the studios were correct in their assumptions about the American audiences at the time.

As uncomfortable as I am with many of these movies, especially the heavily accented performances of the actors playing Charlie Chan, I felt like I had to cover them when I tackled the mystery movies in this current marathon. Many of them are well made and enjoyable. I also don’t want to overlook the fact that these franchises while casting a white actor in yellowface also feature many Asian actors in supporting roles. Like the previously mentioned Keye Luke, we also get some great performances from Sen Yung in the Chan series (which also starred Luke in many early entries). Movies like this kept many young minority actors working and in the business, which needs to be appreciated. I’m glad that Luke could pay his bills and be around for some of the amazing stuff he did later in his career.

And if I’m going to mention the Chan movies, I suppose I should also acknowledge that many folks have problems with African American actor Mantan Moreland performances as Birmingham Brown. Though I disagree with that and say he was playing the fool no different then Lou Costello or Curly Howard. And in fact, did it as well as either of them, which is saying a lot since they are the gold standard of that sort of thing. But I’m getting off topic.

I’m going to cover these movies as the entertainment that they were intended to be. They aren’t mean spirited or overtly racist. Rather they reflect the times in which they were made. Again, let me stress that isn’t an excuse. You can’t watch any of these movies without acknowledging that it isn’t okay to put a white actor in makeup and have him play into racial stereotypes. And I really did struggle with my choice to review them. But some of these are good movies with great performances from Luke, Yung, and Moreland. In many cases they carry the movie as the mystery is less the focus and instead the comedic hijinks are the highlight. The old saying “make sure not to throw the baby out with the bathwater” comes to mind here. Is it better to ignore these movies or should we still talk about them? I’m choosing to talk.

If you really hate these or just want to ignore them, I totally understand. I’m not here to try and tell people to get over it, or that it was okay back then and you can’t judge them with a modern sensibility. Neither of those positions hold water in my opinion and these movies deserve some of the scorn that they get. Despite the issues I still think there is some value here and hope that you can see it as well.

-John

 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

The Bat Whispers (1930)

This is another mystery movie involving an old dark house. This time we get a master criminal, the Bat, hanging around for reasons that only he knows. Well, I guess we eventually do too. The story kicks off with the police surrounding a wealthy man’s home. He has just purchased a priceless necklace and famed thief/criminal the Bat has promised to steal it at midnight. How is he going to pull of a heist after telling everyone when and where it will happen? By doing it right under their noses after they relax due to some clock shenanigans. He leaves them a note telling them he is leaving for a while to give the police a break.

We then see that someone has stolen a bunch of money from a bank in a small town. The criminal takes the cash to an isolated old house in the middle of nowhere. He is followed by the bat, but is he an accomplice or is it for some other nefarious reason? The lady who is renting the home, her maid, and her daughter, or maybe it was her niece I’m not sure, aren’t aware of what is going on. Except for the fact that the young lady is secretly engaged to the bank clerk that is suspected of taking the money. She passes him off for the new gardener so that they can search the house for a secret room. Why? You know they never explain how she comes to think that the cash is at the house but that isn’t important I suppose. In the end all is explained, the Bat is unmasked, the money recovered, and everyone lives happily ever after. Except for the Bat who is tied to a tree.

I’ve seen the remake of The Bat Whispers starring Vincent Price but haven’t ever watched this version until now. I have to say it is outstanding. The story jumps around a bit, but eventually explains things. The characters are entertaining, and the acting is very good. Though not to sound like a broken record but with these older movies you need to understand that these are all stage actors, so they emote a bit which comes off to a modern audience as overacting. But remember they are used to playing to those sitting in the last row.

The story itself gives you everything you would want from a movie like this. We have lots of characters sneaking around doing potentially sketchy things like lurking in the shadows, unlocking doors, asking about misplaced revolvers, giving vague warnings, and looking for hidden rooms. It gets to the point that we the audience don’t know who to trust. The stream of people coming to the house that night all seem to have ulterior motives that may or may not be on the level. That makes for a fun time, and I was never bored by The Bat Whispers.

This is also one of the most creative movies that I’ve seen from the early “talkie” Hollywood years. The camera not only movies around the sets but we get some awesomely creative bits like when it sweeps up a building into an open window only to zoom in on a letter that the character is holding so we can read it. You just don’t see camerawork like that very often in the thirties or even forties. There are also some wonderful silhouette shots of the Bat moving around as he climbs all over the sets going about his nefarious business. This movie has a creative vibe that is unique to itself. It feels like an illustration from a pulp novel that inspired stories like this. I loved it from start to finish.

There are rumors that this was an “inspiration” for the Batman. If you are aware of Bob Kane’s history you would know that he was “inspired” by many things, so this is possible. If you want to know why I keep using quotes like that Google Bob Kane and it will all be explained. That said the movie does have that dark feel that many of the early Batman stories do. Though he is a good guy, and the Bat is a killer. This movie has a lot going for it and I recommend everyone check it out. I highly recommend The Bat Whispers.

 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Murder at Midnight (1931)

I stumbled over Murder at Midnight in a collection of public domain movies. It was from a studio that apparently lost most of its catalog in a fire with this being one of the few that has surviving copies. It doesn’t star anyone that I recognize but it has an interesting premise, so I thought I’d take a look.

The story takes place during a party in a mansion where some participants are playing charades. Though this isn’t the game that most of us think of and is instead a little drama where a man finds his wife cheating on him and shoots her lover. They are supposed to guess at a hidden word that is tied to the event. Of course, no one cares about that when they realize someone swapped the blanks out with real bullets and their host, Mr. Kennedy, killed the man!

Before they can figure out who did this Kennedy is murdered and despite it being made to look like suicide, the police see thru it. This is with the help of famed criminologist Phillip Montrose who was fortuitously at the party as a guest. The rest of the movie has a missing will, more murders, some twists, and turns until we finally get to the big reveal at the end. And what a reveal that is. Murder at Midnight has one of the best twists in any mystery flick that I’ve ever seen. Really, I did not see this ending coming.

I really do love the plot of Murder at Midnight. The writers lull us into a sense of complacency by giving us the characters we would expect from the genre. You get the private investigator in Phillip Montrose, the police officer, the innocent man, and lots of red herrings. There is also the elaborate trick, in this case a killer telephone, to explain some of the killings. Toss in the black gloved killer, figures moving around in the shadows, the mysterious missing will, and you get a decent way to kill an hour or so. For most of the movie I was very comfortable in thinking I knew what was happening and was shuffling thru the suspects trying to guess who the killer was and why. Then they pull the rug out from under me and give me a twist I don’t think I’ve seen before.

It is clear that I dig this movie. But I must warn anyone that is going to watch it that the only copy available is from a beat up sixteen-millimeter print. Again, this is from a small studio with most of its catalog being lost films. What that means is the audio and video are a bit rough. Now as a guy who grew up watching stuff like this it doesn’t bother me at all. But if you are used to HD picture and stereo audio then I could see it being an issue. There are a couple spots where the dialogue is almost lost in the static, and I feel like there is at least one splice where the picture jumps. But for me that is part of the fun, and better to have a bad copy of a movie then none whatsoever.

This is a must watch for anyone that wants to do a deep dive on old school movies, especially of the mystery variety. You can see how it is staged as if it was a play, while also seeing some early attempts at the multiple takes that would become standard later. Plus, there is that wonderful twist which plays with the audience’s expectations. This is a fun movie that shouldn’t be hard to find as it is out there on the internet for free. Murder at Midnight is certainly worth your time.

 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Star of Midnight (1935)

Time to dive back into the thirties for some more fun. This time around William Powell plays Clay Dalzell and Ginger Rogers is his beautiful sidekick Donna. She is a flighty girl, and he is a successful lawyer who gets caught up getting some embarrassing letters back for Donna. Or so he thinks as she made him think it was for her but was in fact for a friend. While getting them Clay crosses paths with a gangster who becomes helpful later when they get wrapped up in another case.

There is another plot revolving around a missing woman and a mysterious actress who disappears during a performance of her hit show Midnight. See how the title ties in? A reporter shows up at Clay’s apartment to share information and is promptly shot and killed. This gets Clay on the case to figure out the who and why. More importantly how does it all connect to the missing woman and yet another of his friends who is involved somehow. Toss in a few more characters as suspects and you have the plot of Star of Midnight.

This is an interesting twist on a murder mystery. Here most of the story revolves around them not so much figuring out who the killer is, but instead unraveling the motives and how the missing woman ties into it. Her character is key to the story, but in another interesting twist she never appears on screen. When we do eventually see the how and why it all makes sense. We also get some clues along the way and the movie does a good job not hiding anything important from the audience. Getting to solve the case along with the characters is a big part of the fun. And I can say that Star of Midnight is a lot of fun.

This was a first-time watch for me. I’m a big fan of Powell in the Thin Man movies and this was made after the success of the first movie. While there are a lot of similarities, we do get an obvious difference. Here he plays the character as less intoxicated and just a bit more serious. Basically, there is less comic relief. The onscreen chemistry between him and Rogers helps to carry the story along as the dialogue is snappy and they seem to like each other. Though if I’m completely honest the magic between Powell and his Thin Man co-star Myrna Loy is much better. The rest of the cast is solid and features a lot of character actors from early Hollywood.

Some of the older movies that I’m going to cover in this marathon are going to be harder for a modern audience to watch. Many times, those movies play out more like the stage play that they were inspired and influenced by. That means a static camera, characters entering the frame, and little to no sound beyond the dialogue. Star of Midnight doesn’t suffer from those deficiencies as it was a big studio movie and they had already started fixing those issues. I’m pointing this out because I’m going to recommend this movie and don’t want anyone scared off by some of the others that I’ve also recommended but that might have been turned off by these issues. This movie is very accessible to a modern audience and what they expect to see. Check this one out.

 

Ó Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Friday, January 21, 2022

Radioland Murders (1994)

This seems to be a forgotten movie from George Lucas, who produced, and starring so many familiar faces that it borders on the absurd. This is also a loving throwback to the wacky comedic murder mysteries of the thirties and early forties. So of course, I had to cover it here during the marathon.

The year is nineteen thirty-nine and General Walt Whalen is launching America’s fourth radio network, WBN. The first night’s programming is live, and he is hosting all his potential affiliates to lure them into joining the network. Because this is their one shot and everything is being broadcast live when a couple of folks die after a mysterious voice interrupts the program no one stops. The show must go on you see.

Though when it is clear that someone is bumping off the stars of the network, they do call the police who try to unravel the murders all while the wacky goings on continue in the background. Unfortunately, married couple, Roger and Penny, get tied up in the nonsense as she gets promoted to director and station manager when the former holders of those jobs die, and he gets arrested when he keeps showing up at the scene of the crime. Though innocent the only way Roger can avoid going to jail is by escaping and leading the cops all thru the building trying to find out who the real killer is. Cue the craziness.

This movie captures everything that I love about the movies it is reminiscing about. We get lots of slapstick and physical comedy that is well executed and genuinely funny. This isn’t a series of nut shots that many new movies use as phycial comedy but instead the sort of orchestrated movements and chaos that is entertaining and hilarious to watch. The dialogue is snappy and always funny. There is a pacing to the delivery that most new movies don’t have anymore. A lot of the actors that were in these old movies came out of vaudeville so there is a timing and rapidity that is unique to that time.

I think that they get around this by casting some of the funniest and most talented comedians available in the nineties. Michael McKean, Brian Benben, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher Lloyd, Bobcat Goldthwait, Robert Klein, Stephen Tobolowsky, Larry Miller, and Harvey Korman all show up in parts. Korman is awesome as the drunken writer and plays that party up to the nines. Mary Stuart Masterson is also awesome as Penny and holds her own with all the comedic talent on display. It took a special cast to make this work and they found them. Radioland Murders also dips in for some familiar faces in what is maybe not more than glorified cameos but appreciated none the less. Ned Beatty, George Burns, Brion James, Rosemary Clooney, and freaking Billy Barty! Talk about an all-star cast!

Notice I haven’t even talked about the story at all. The mystery here is fun and when it is finally revealed who the killer is the motive makes sense. Though this movie doesn’t give us any clues along the way to guess at the murder’s identity we get enough other stuff to enjoy that I didn’t mind that. I also appreciated that despite how funny Radioland Murders is they aren’t afraid to go dark when someone dies. I need some murder in my comedic murder mysteries you see.

If you haven’t figured it out yet I love this movie. I used to think it was a remake of Abbott and Costello’s Who Done It? But other than the setting and the murders it doesn’t seem to be. Though that movie has many similar characters like the General running the station and the Bell boy character running around. So, I feel like someone involved in Radioland Murders definitely saw that movie. Regardless this is a blast and a movie that I can highly recommend. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

 

Ó Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Ten Little Indians (1965)

I’ve always been a fan of Agatha Christie’s book as well as the first film adaptation of it, And Then There Were None. Though I’ve never gotten around to checking out this adaptation from the sixties. Since I’m in the middle of the murder mystery marathon I figured this would be a good time to correct that.

Ten strangers are sent an invitation to spend a weekend at an isolated mountain chalet by a mister U.N. Owen. Once there they keep waiting for their host to arrive, but he doesn’t. Instead they hear a recording of a mysterious voice (an uncredited Christopher Lee!) accusing them of various murders which they have gotten away with. Almost immediately they begin to get knocked off in ways inspired by the Ten Little Indians nursery rhyme that is hanging framed in all their rooms. The remainder of the movie has the ever-shrinking guest list trying to figure out who is the killer and stopping them.

As I’ve already stated I love the source material. I’m sure someone will correct me, but this is the earliest use of the everyone trapped in a house murder mystery motif I can remember. It certainly inspired many other movies/books/television shows with its simple setup. That said I have a couple of complaints about this version.

Here the filmmakers move the story from an island offshore to a mountain with a cable car access. While I suppose that works, they don’t do a good enough job showing why the guests wouldn’t just try and hike out. We do get one character that tries climbing down a sheer rock face, but that seems forced. I mean they clearly state that a sleigh is coming on Monday with supplies. So, there must be an easier way, right? They don’t even do the easy thing and have a snowstorm trap them in. Nope they just can’t walk down the trail for reasons unexplained. That kind of bugged me.

The other thing that annoyed me was the uneven tone of the adaptation. You have some odd music choices with some inappropriate groovy tunes playing throughout, and all the lovely ladies have their own romantic style jazz when they enter a scene. This carries thru even during the murders, which just seems odd. It messes with what should me a tense situation for our characters. Not once during the movie do I feel like any of them seem to be in fear for their lives. Well except for the housekeeper/cook who screeches thru her scenes before collapsing and dying offscreen.

I will give the movie credit for a solid cast. Teen heartthrob Fabian appears as a rocker who ran some people down and got away with it. Hugh O’Brian is our hero with Shirley Eaton as his love interest. Eaton might not be familiar to many of you, but I’ve been getting into the Carry On movies so I recognized her right away. Dennis Price who did a lot of genre flicks in the sixties and seventies is decent as Dr. Armstrong. But the most familiar face other than O’Brian is Wilfrid Hyde-White as Judge Cannon. That guy was in a ton of stuff and is always a pleasure to watch. All in all, this is a very good cast that is totally wasted by this poor attempt at a script.

I’ve gone out of my way to avoid talking too much about the story. Mostly because it follows that of the book closely and to say much more would possibly spoil it. While I’m not a fan of this one I can wholeheartedly recommend the original adaptation from nineteen forty-five. That is a much better movie so check it out. This one I’d pass on.  

 

Ó Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Monday, January 17, 2022

The Spiral Staircase (1945)

Thought I’d dig up another classic mystery movie to review here at the site. The Spiral Staircase is a perfect example of what I was looking for. The movie is set in the early part of the twentieth century in a small town. There is a killer on the loose who has been victimizing women, all of whom have some sort of affliction that cripples them in some way. Helen, a beautiful young woman, is a mute and is apparently the killer’s next target. As an added twist she works as a maid, and it quickly becomes clear that the killer is a member of the household. When a storm blows in Helen is stalked throughout the house, though she doesn’t realize it! But we as the audience do know she is in danger, which is a cool twist. Eventually the identity of the killer is revealed, and an unexpected hero comes to the rescue.

They just don’t make them like this anymore. The story takes it’s time to unravel and let us in on what is happening. Instead of a mystery with a detective that we follow thru it is left to the audience to sort things out. I really liked that. Right from the start where we see a mysterious figure lurking behind our first victim you know that we the audience are going to be a sort of participant in the movie. This helps to build an air of tension that keeps your focus on what his happening as well as rooting for Helen as a sympathetic character. I understand that this might not play well to a younger audience but honestly if you put your phone down and focus on what you are watching there are a lot of subtle things you will appreciate.

The performances are all solid. The best is from Dorothy McGuire as Helen. She has to carry the movie with her performance which is a tall order before you realize that she has to do so without any dialogue! Despite that she creates a sympathetic protagonist that you can and will root for. You don’t only get her thought as Elsa Lanchester, the Bride of Frankenstein, shows up in a supporting role as the household’s cook.

It promises a spiral staircase and delivers!
For me there is nothing spookier then a properly light and shot black and white movie. The Spiral Staircase does all of this very well. The use of the shadows with figures seeming to emerge and disappear into and out of scenes is amazing. This is accomplished with wonderful camera placement as well as minimal lighting. They also use some interesting tricks including showing the eyes of the killer and another bit where we get to see how he or she sees their victims. There is a shot where we see thru the killer’s eyes as they look at Helen seeing her face without a mouth.

There are some flaws with the movie. We get far too many suspects, many of whom are easy to dismiss. Plus there is a dead give away that you might notice when the killer is first introduced that could spoil the thing. But compared to the overall qualities of the movie these are minor and aren’t a deal breaker for me. I highly recommend checking out The Spiral Staircase. I know that it is frequently on cable, Turner Classic Movies I think, so set your DVR.

 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Secret of the Blue Room (1933)

In the thirties there was an entire genre called “Old Dark House” movies. They acquired their name appropriately enough from the first example titled The Old Dark House. The Secret of the Blue Room followed that movie a year later and starred the same lead actress, Gloria Stuart. To be one of these a movie had to feature a spooky setting, a storm or darkness, and some terrible legend that is either proven all too real or resolved. Secret passages, hidden doors, and a killer creeping around are also a big plus.

The Secret of the Blue Room features all of these. The story beings at the birthday supper of a young woman named Irene, Stuart’s character. Her father as well as three men vying for her affections are there with her. Since it is a creepy sort of night legends and ghost stories come up. It is then that we are informed of the castle’s legendary Blue Room. Twenty years earlier there were three unexplained deaths in that room and since then it has been locked up. Well guys being guys and since there is a pretty lady involved it is decided that each will take a turn spending the night in the Blue Room to show Irene how brave they are. Needless to say this doesn’t end well.

The first night Thomas disappears from the locked room. Despite that on the second night Frank decides to spend the night in the room. He is found shot to death and the gun disappears before the police arrive. Is the room cursed or is there a copycat murder? Where did the missing man go? Will the third suitor live thru the night? So many questions, but all are answered before the final credits roll.

I get that these older movies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. The camera doesn’t move around as much as a modern audience is used to as these are staged more like a play then the modern sensibilities of filmmaking. That said this is one of the better early examples of horror movies. The movie is paced well clocking in at just over an hour long. It is fast paced and gets to the good stuff right away. The mystery itself is satisfying with the reveal coming as a surprise. One that I won’t ruin in this review. It checks all the boxes with the spooky castle, a hidden door, secret passageway, and the killer in the black coat lurking in the shadows.

In addition to Gloria Stuart, who most people recognize as the old woman from Titanic, we also get Lionel Atwill who appeared in a lot of great Universal monster movies like Frankenstein meets the Wolfman and House of Dracula. Heck Stuart herself was in the previously mentioned The Old Dark House and The Invisible Man. The performances are a bit melodramatic, but that was the style in early Hollywood.

This was a first-time watch for me as I’ve somehow never caught this one before. I’m glad to have finally checked it out. In some ways, mostly the pacing, it is superior to The Old Dark house. I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying that, but it is how I feel. If you are looking for a spooky old time and have an hour to kill, check out The Secret of the Blue Room.

 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Buy This Book!

Not trying to beat a dead horse but I wanted to remind everyone again that the charity book that I participated in is for sale. All the proceeds go towards helping LGBTQ+ teens find a safe and supportive place to live. You can buy the book below and all proceeds go to the charity.

link to purchase


As an added bonus I've included one of the drabbles that I wrote too late to make it in the book. This gives you an idea of what you are getting into. 


Outcast by John Shatzer

            Ned was pissed off. Looking down at his arm and the blood-soaked rag tied tightly against it. He was never one of the popular kids at school. His classmates treated him like crap when they noticed him at all. Even when the dead rose and started eating the living he didn’t belong or fit in. So, when that stupid jerk Bobby pushed him into the returned gym teacher it didn’t surprise him.

Now he could feel the infection spreading up his arm. It wouldn’t be long now before the change. He would finally be part of the winning team.

Monday, January 10, 2022

You’ll Find Out (1940)

This looked interesting and I thought it was just another low budget movie from the “Poverty Row” studios that made quickie movies all thru the thirties and forties. I hadn’t heard of the star of the movie, Kay Kyser, but when I noticed some of the other cast, I got very excited about it. We get Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff together for the first and only time. This is one heck of a collection of genre actors!

Kay Kyser is playing himself, a band leader that has some comedy bits mixed in his act to entertain the audience. His band, and that is how they are billed here, is hired to play a young woman’s twenty first birthday party. It is to take place at her aunt’s estate, which is of course a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere. We also find out that she thinks someone has been trying to kill her after she is nearly run down by a car. Something sketchy is definitely going on. They arrive at the house as a big storm blows in. Not long after their arrival the bridge blows up stranding them and the other guests at the house. More attempts are made to kill the young lady, secret passages and hidden doors are found. Bad guys are revealed, and music is made. Lots of music…

This isn’t a great movie. There is a lot of time spent watching the band do their act. I think there were five or six musical numbers, which was far too many for my taste. Though I understand that the movie was a vehicle for Kay Kyser who was I suppose very popular at the time. I can’t blame them for giving the audience at the time what they expected. We also get to see him try his hand at comedy, which isn’t very good. This clearly wasn’t Kyser’s thing and his hijinks as the band leader don’t translate well to the screen. They also used gags from what I think must have been their stage act and feature a couple of the horn section players as well. None of it played well with me. Maybe I’m spoiled by the Bowery Boys, Abbott and Costello, and of course the Three Stooges. But the timing and execution of the gags wasn’t great. 

These guys were awesome!
Where the movie is at its best is when the big three of Lugosi, Lorre, and Karloff are on screen. They don’t get a lot of scenes together, but when they do it is gold. Karloff is especially good as the family friend who we find out early is the bad guy. Yeah, this movie reveals what is going on far too early and ruins any actual mystery that might have been. Still three genre legends sharing the screen is a lot of fun to watch. There is one scene in particular where you can see the chemistry and magic of Lorre and Karloff going back and forth. Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of this and that was a bummer. 

I wouldn’t consider this a recommendation. The movie has a lot of pacing issues as it just stops for musical numbers too often. This kills any momentum and makes for a bit of a boring viewing experience. I also just didn’t like the attempts at comedy from Kyser and his band. They just aren’t funny. I do dig the performances from the horror icons, but they aren’t on screen enough to save You’ll Find Out. The only reason to watch this is if you have the overwhelming need to see as many of these actor’s movies as possible. Then it might be worth a single watch. 


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

The Return of Charlie Chan (1973)

I grew up watching the Charlie Chan movies from the thirties and forties. I understand that there are some issues with them, and I do plan on covering them for the site here. When I do, I’ll talk about the problems with having a white actor play an Asian character in those films. But for now, I just want to chat about this made for television revival that went nowhere. I had been looking for a copy for years and was finally able to track it down. 

Things open on the yacht of a Greek tycoon. The boat is packed with guests and family, but when someone takes a shot at him things take a serious turn. Not sure who tried to kill him or if he was even the target one of the guests, a writer, suggests that they try and get his old friend Charlie Chan out of retirement to solve the mystery. We then find out that he has retired to a pineapple plantation with his extended family and while he insists he has no interest in solving crimes anymore it is clear that he can’t help himself. 

Soon our detective finds himself embroiled in murder, someone finally does get killed, and blackmail. His task is further complicated by the fact that the man he was brought to help becomes more and more hostile towards him. Though in the end all is resolved and the guilty are brought to justice. 

Well crap… I can see why this never got picked up. Before getting to the movie itself I should point out the obvious. By the time the early seventies rolled around casting a white actor to play Chan just wasn’t going to fly. And yes, I know they tried to do it with Peter Ustinov eight years later, but it just wasn’t okay, not that it ever was. It is interesting that this made for television movie premiered on British television in seventy-three but took six years to be broadcast in America. I couldn’t find out a reason why for sure but I’m thinking someone looked at it and realized this was a mistake. 

Ross Martin, of Wild Wild West fame, had already had a reputation for costumes and disguises from that show so I see the appeal. But is performance is uneven as he seems to go back and forth between playing the character with the classic speech patterns and ancient Chinese proverbs while at other times seemingly trying to tone that down. I would have been happier if he chose one and stuck with it, but it noticeably bounces between them. This killed, pun not intended, any chance that the movie had to build momentum. Though I will say that seeing Leslie Nielsen doing his best Greek accent as the tycoon Hadrachi was a bit of fun. 

Now to the core of my issue with The Return of Charlie Chan. This is a mystery and the one cardinal rule a movie like this is that the audience must have a chance to figure it out. Hiding the clues in plain sight and allowing us to guess at what is going on is key to making this genre work. Here the filmmakers totally fail the audience. Not only do we have so many characters that I wasn’t sure who was murdered right away, but we also aren’t given key information about what is going on. We have Chan on the phone getting information that we don’t have that is used to solve the crime in the obligatory “get all the suspects together” scene at the end. As a viewer not having any chance to put it together myself takes all the fun out of it. 

I wanted to like this movie. Had I gotten a decent mystery it would have at least been enjoyable on some level. If you can’t tell yet I was disappointed with it and just can’t recommend this one. If you want to watch a Charlie Chan movie your best bet is to check out one of the old ones. They at least have a script that gives you clues to guess at the solution to the mystery. 


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer



Monday, January 3, 2022

The Lady Vanishes (1979)

I’ve decided to watch and review a few mystery movies for the site. They don’t necessarily fit in with the stuff that I normally cover but I do love these movies so I suppose you will all just have to deal with it. Or just not read these. What better place to start than this remake to a classic Hitchcock flick? I’ve never seen this one and am very excited to check it out. 

The movie is set in Europe, specifically Austria, which is under control of the Nazis. We meet a crazy American heiress named Amanda. She likes to drink and when she drinks she does silly things like impersonating Hitler in a bar full of Brown Shirt Nazis! We also meet Robert, another American, who is traveling thru Europe in his role as a photographer for Life Magazine. They end up on the same train headed away from Germany. Amanda meets a nice older English woman who helps her with the terrible hangover she is nursing. Eventually she falls asleep but when she wakes no one remembers the woman, Miss Froy, at all. 

This leads to a lot of running around the train cars as she is told again and again that there was no Miss Froy. She ends up with Robert and while he doesn’t initially believe her somethings don’t add up for him. Before long the pair are running around, asking questions, and eventually running afoul of the plot to kidnap the woman. Why? Well, that is part of the fun that I’m not going to ruin her. Though I suppose the fact that there are Nazis should be a bit of a hint. 

I have always enjoyed the original from the late thirties, but I think that this remake surpasses it. The story is just as solid, but I think benefits from better pacing. The action starts when the train pulls out of the station and doesn’t end until the final scene. Along the way we get some action as well as an interesting performance from Elliot Gould as Robert. He plays our main character as a bit bumbling and not all that suited for the action. Toss in Cybill Shepherd as Amanda and you get a cool romantic comedy vibe that the original didn’t have. That is a very seventies thing to do, and I rather liked its addition here. Of course, it helps that the pair of them are great actors that have chemistry and are fun to watch. 

This is an amazing cast!
The best part about The Lady Vanishes, at least for me, is the lady herself played by Angela Lansbury. She is excellent as always and while she doesn’t get as much screen time, she does vanish you know. When she is on screen it brings the movie up another notch. We also get Herbert Lom as a seemingly helpful doctor… never trust a German doctor in a movie like this. Speaking of Germans Wolf Kahler shows up as a Nazi. You might not recognize the name but a couple years later his face gets melted by the Ark of the Covenant. 

Most mystery movies revolve around a murder and become a who done it. This is different since it is a kidnapping. I’m not even sure anyone dies in this movie. Well okay one weaselly dude does but he deserves it in a very Neville Chamberlain sort of way. Sorry had a history nerd moment there. Use Google to see what I’m talking about if you really care to. Getting back on track the who and why of this story is well done. All the pieces fit including those not involved in the conspiracy keeping silent for their own reasons. 

A well written flick with a great cast. I found this movie to be entertaining and worth a watch. If you get the chance and enjoy a good mystery or romantic adventure, check out The Lady Vanishes. Oh, and the earlier version from the thirties is also really good in case you were wondering. Consider both recommendations from me. 


© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

Sunday, January 2, 2022

My best movies of 2021

Now that we have finally put the finishing touches on the year that was 2021, I thought it was about time I posted my best of list. I keep a running list of what I think are the best movies that I've watched so some of them get bumped as the year goes along. I was also shocked by how many movies that I enjoyed that came out this year. But before we get rolling I need to say one additional thing. These are the best new to me movies that I watched. Some of them came out a year or two ago, but I’m just now checking them out. I know that annoys some folks but it’s my list so what can you do? So without further delay lets jump into what I think are the top ten flicks of 2021.

Number ten is a movie that I caught very late in the year. I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday is an interesting flick. Basically, it is a Christmas movie set at the end of the world. There is a family hiding in a basement. We see the dad in flashbacks but by the time the main story takes place it is just mother and young son. Some awful things happen and then Santa shows up. I’m not going to say anything else other than you need to check this one out. Though be warned it is awfully bleak.

My number nine movie of the year was another independent flick called Force to Fear. This is a creative mashup of slasher and action movie. Normally I cringe at such things as they never seem to work well. But here the cast, director, and writer all do a wonderful job telling a familiar story with a fun twist. I also wanted to note that the action sequences might be the best I’ve ever seen from a low budget movie. Outstanding job!

Nic Cage has been hitting it out of the park in the last couple of years. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he ended up on my best of list in the number eight spot with Prisoners of the Ghostland. This movie is completely bonkers and, in some ways, makes no sense. But seeing Bill Mosley dressed as a slim Boss Hogg with both Cowboys and Samurai henchmen is quite simply awesome. Plus, they blow one of Cage’s characters testicles off because he is attracted to our female lead. Bonus points for that.

Werewolves Within is at the seven spot. Werewolf movies always seem to be a mixed bag, never quite hitting the mark. When someone described this flick to me as a quirky character driven comedic werewolf movie I cringed. But this movie is a blast. I loved the characters, the story is fun, and when we finally see the werewolf, it is decent. Check this one out if you get the chance.

Time for my sixth best movie of last year. This is a movie that I was ready to dislike. I thought we were going to get another rehashed haunted house movie filled with repetitive jump scares. But The Deep House threw some twists at me that I didn’t see coming. First up the house is underwater, and our characters have scuba dived to it. This adds a claustrophobic twist that really set this one apart. Instead of jump scares we get tension and atmosphere. I dug this one a lot.

Halfway thru the list and I’m dipping back into the independent movies. My number five is an amazing follow-up to one of my favorite indy movies of the last ten years. I’m referring to Caroushell the 2nd. This little gem continues the story of the killer carousel unicorn as he now deals with his past as well as the son born of his activities of the first flick. Yeah, it is weirdly awesome that way. Toss in some Nazi’s and you have a fun flick.

Number four has a familiar face popping back up. Willy’s Wonderland has Nic Cage blowing into town, getting a flat tire, cleaning a Chuck-e-Cheese style family restaurant, doing battle with some demonic animatronic mascots, and playing some pinball. If what I just mentioned doesn’t make you want to watch the movie, I don’t know what to tell you. There are some fun kills, a neat twist, and a sharp looking car to boot. And if you thought this would be the weirdest movie on my list, please let me introduce you to my third favorite movie of the year.

Benny Loves You is your classic boy meets stuffed animal and keeps him into adulthood until the world beats him down and he tosses all his toys thus bringing Benny, the stuffed animal, to life to commit murder. It’s a family movie really. This movie is crazy in all the best ways and is a fantastic watch. The filmmakers do a wonderful job bringing the puppet to life on the screen and the kills/gore are done very well on a budget. You need to check this one out.

Number two surprised me. Nobody is a fantastic action movie starring Bob Odenkirk in a Death Wish style story. Well, I guess not since he is a retired killer and not a doctor getting revenge for his wife. Basically, he is trying to be a good guy when some people mess with his family and everyone thinks he is a coward because of how he reacted. This leads him back to his old ways and that is very bad for the criminals who crossed him and threatened his kids. Nobody reminded me a lot of the action movies of the ‘80s I grew up loving.

My number one favorite movie of the year is a bit of a cheat. The Fear Street movies on Netflix tell one giant story and feel like a long movie so I’m counting them as one. For those of you who haven’t seen it the story is set in the distant past with some Puritans, as well as a ‘70s summer camp, and today… if today was the ‘90s. There is a lot of nostalgia and they filmmakers do a wonderful job of capturing the setting. There are some brutal deaths, some character twists that I didn’t see coming, and in the end, they leave you wanting more. I certainly hope we get it.

There you have it. I’m sure that I missed some movies that you might like more than the above. This was a great year for movies, and I had a hard time bumping movies like Boss Level, Shadow in the Cloud, Mortal Kombat, and Boys of County Hell. But this wasn’t my top fourteen list and I had to make some tough choices. If you have movies on your list that I’ve not mentioned above drop me an email using the box to the right side of this post and let me know. I’m always looking for something new to watch and I might have just missed it. Now it is time for me to start building my list for this year. Catch everyone later.

-John

 

© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer

The Movies I watched in 2021

I watch a lot of movies in a given year. Some new and others are old favorites. But I've never kept track of what I watched in a given year before. I thought it might be fun to do so this past year. I got a kick out of it and also had fun revisiting this list as I was getting this post ready for the site. I watched some great movies this year and also forced myself to sit thru both the Witchcraft and Camp Blood franchises. So I guess it is a mixed bag. Now excuse me as I head off to start my 2022 list. 




Movie 1 - Aenigma (1987)
Movie 2 - The Barge People (2018)
Movie 3 - The Jungle (2013)
Movie 4 - The Skull (1965)
Movie 5 - Camel Spiders (2011)
Movie 6 - Body Melt (1993)
Movie 7 - Hard Boiled (1992)
Movie 8 - Rampage (2018)
Movie 9 - The Predator (2018) 
Movie 10 - Scalps (1987)
Movie 11 - Wolf Creek 2 (2013)
Movie 12 - Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)
Movie 13 - Hot Fuzz (2007)
Movie 14 - Demonia (1990)
Movie 15 - The Reef (2010)
Movie 16 - Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
Movie 17 - We Can Be Heroes (2020)
Movie 18 - Eyeball (1975)
Movie 19 - Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970)
Movie 20 - Shadow in the Cloud (2020)
Movie 21 - Wolfman’s Got Nards (2018)
Movie 22 - The Bermuda Triangle (1979)
Movie 23 - The Bloodstained Butterfly
Movie 24 - The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972)
Movie 25 - The Shed (2019)
Movie 26 - Mikey (1992)
Movie 27 - Nightmare Symphony (2020)
Movie 28 - Game of Death (2017)
Movie 29 - Cruel Jaws (1995)
Movie 30 - The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972)
Movie 31 - Camp Blood (1999)
Movie 32 - Camp Blood 2 (2000)
Movie 33 - Camp Blood 3 (2005)
Movie 34 - Camp Blood First Slaughter (2014)
Movie 35 - Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Movie 36 - Psycho Goreman (2020)
Movie 37 - Camp Blood 4 (2016)
Movie 38 - Camp Blood 5 (2016)
Movie 39 - Camp Blood 666 (2016)
Movie 40 - Camp Blood 7: It Kills (2017)
Movie 41 - Ghost of Camp Blood (2018)
Movie 42 - Camp Blood 8: Revelations (2020)
Movie 43 - Children of Camp Blood (2020)
Movie 44 - My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Movie 45 - Almost an Angel (1990)
Movie 46 - Cowgirls vs Pterodactyls (2021)
Movie 47 - The Relic (1997)
Movie 48 - Finding ‘Ohana (2021)
Movie 49 - Harbinger Down (2015)
Movie 50 - The Night Sitter (2019)
Movie 51 - Sharkman (2005)
Movie 52 - Tammy and the T-Rex
Movie 53 - Cat O’ Nine Tails (1971)
Movie 54 - Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)
Movie 55 - Into the Dark : Tentacles (2021)
Movie 56 - Spare Parts (2020)
Movie 57 - Ghosthouse (1988)
Movie 58 - The Sleepover (2020)
Movie 59 - Steel Frontier (1995)
Movie 60 - National Treasure (2004)
Movie 61 - The Conjuring (2013)
Movie 62 - Truth or Dare (2017)
Movie 63 - Monster Hunter (2020)
Movie 64 - Dinosaur Valley (1985)
Movie 65 - The Shark Hunter (1979)
Movie 66 - Playing with Fire (2019)
Movie 67 - The Sum of all Fears (2002)
Movie 68 - National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
Movie 69 - Save Yourselves! (2020)
Movie 70 - Irresistible (2020)
Movie 71 - The Mummy (1999)
Movie 72 - Strange Behavior (1981)
Movie 73 - The Hearse (1980)
Movie 74 - King Solomon’s Mines (1985)
Movie 75 - Hysterical (1983)
Movie 76 - The Perfume of the Lady n Black (1974)
Movie 77 - Lords of the Deep (1989)
Movie 78 - Shooter (2007)
Movie 79 - Enola Holmes (2020)
Movie 80 - Boss Level (2020)
Movie 81 - The Flight that Disappeared (1961)
Movie 82 - Saturday the 14th Strikes Back (1988)
Movie 83 - Transylvania Twist (1989)
Movie 84 - Destination Inner Space (1966)
Movie 85 - Shark in Venice (2008)
Movie 86 - The Fantastic Journey (1976)
Movie 87 - Stay out of the F**king Attic (2020)
Movie 88 - Death Promise (1977)
Movie 89 - Demolition Man (1993)
Movie 90 - Creed (2015)
Movie 91 - The Conjuring 2 (2016)
Movie 92 - The Golden Age of Horror Comics part 1 
Movie 93 - The Block Island Sound (2020)
Movie 94 - Night School (1981)
Movie 95 - Space Ninjas (2019)
Movie 96 - The Pyx (1973)
Movie 97 - Beaks: The Movie (1987)
Movie 98 - Zach Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Movie 99 - The Last Blockbuster (2020)
Movie 100 - American Murder The Family Next Door (2020)
Movie 101 - Unacknowledged (2017)
Movie 102 - Triggered (2020)
Movie 103 - Ghostbusters (1984)
Movie 104 - Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2003)
Movie 105 - San Andreas (2015)
Movie 106 - Intersect (2020)
Movie 107 - Grand Theft Auto (1977)
Movie 108 - Corvette Summer (1978)
Movie 109 - The Severed Arm (1973)
Movie 110 - Eyes Behind the Stars (1978)
Movie 111 - Shoplifters of the World (2021)
Movie 112 - G.I. Samurai (1979)
Movie 113 - Gargantua (1998)
Movie 114 - Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
Movie 115 - Witchcraft (1988)
Movie 116 - Witchcraft II: The Temptress (1989)
Movie 117 - Witchcraft III: The Kiss of Death (1991)
Movie 118 - Run Hide Fight (2021)
Movie 119 - Witchcraft IV: The Virgin Heart (1992)
Movie 120 - Serial Mom (1994)
Movie 121 - Witchcraft V: Dance with the Devil (1993)
Movie 122 - Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)
Movie 123 - Witchcraft VI (1994)
Movie 124 - Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century (1977)
Movie 125 - Witchcraft VII: Judgement Hour (1995)
Movie 126 - Witchcraft VIII: Salem’s Ghost (1996)
Movie 127 - Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator (1989)
Movie 128 - Witchcraft IX: Bitter Flesh (1997)
Movie 129 - Benny Loves You (2019)
Movie 130 - Thunder Force (2021)
Movie 131 - Witchfinder General (1968)
Movie 132 - Witchcraft X: Mistress of the Craft (1998)
Movie 133 - Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood (2000)
Movie 134 - Cemetery of Terror (1985)
Movie 135 - Witchcraft XII: In the Lair of the Serpent (2002)
Movie 136 - Witchcraft XIII: Blood of the Chosen (2008)
Movie 137 - Infra-man (1975)
Movie 138 - Witchcraft 14: Angel of Death (2016)
Movie 139 - Mother’s Day (1980) - Joe Bob Briggs
Movie 140 - Witchcraft XV: Blood Rose (2016)
Movie 141 - Witchcraft XVI: Hollywood Coven (2016)
Movie 142 - Walking the Edge (1985)
Movie 143 - The Mutilator (1984)
Movie 144 - Nobody (2021)
Movie 145 - The Gingerweed Man (2021)
Movie 146 - Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)
Movie 147 - Fleshburn (1984)
Movie 148 - Shark Lake (2015)
Movie 149 - Macabre (1958)
Movie 150 - Tremors (1990)
Movie 151 - Ooga Booga (2013)
Movie 152 - Mortal Kombat (2021)
Movie 153 - Raw Force (1982)
Movie 154 - The Cyclops (1957)
Movie 155 - Target Earth (1954)
Movie 156 - The Atomic Submarine (1959)
Movie 157 - Bride of Re-Animator (1991)
Movie 158 - The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)
Movie 159 - Alien 2: On Earth (1980)
Movie 160 - Ape vs Monster (2021)
Movie 161 - Boys from County Hell (2020)
Movie 162 - King Dinosaur (1955)
Movie 163 - Preppies (1984)
Movie 164 - Soul Brothers of Kung Fu (1977)
Movie 165 - World Without End (1956)
Movie 166 - Dr. Black Mr. Hyde (1976)
Movie 167 - Ginger Snaps (2000)
Movie 168 - Letters to Satan Claus (2020)
Movie 169 - From Hell it Came (1957)
Movie 170 - Black Samson (1974)
Movie 171 - Moon in Scorpio (1987)
Movie 172 - Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972)
Movie 173 - Why? (2019)
Movie 174 - Hand of Death (1962)
Movie 175 - Ants! (1977)
Movie 176 - Mandy (2018)
Movie 177 - Torso (1973)
Movie 178 - Not of this Earth (1957)
Movie 179 - High-Ballin’ (1978)
Movie 180 - Sand Sharks (2012)
Movie 181 - Fighting Mad (1976)
Movie 182 - Dogs (1976)
Movie 183 - Back to the Future (1985)
Movie 184 - The Goonies (1985)
Movie 185 - Army of the Dead (2021)
Movie 186 - Those Who Wish me Dead (2021)
Movie 187 - Night of the Cobra Woman (1972)
Movie 188 - Web of the Spider (1971)
Movie 189 - Fulci for Fake (2019)
Movie 190 - Grave Robbers (1989)
Movie 191 - Scarecrow (2013)
Movie 192 - Train to Busan (2016)
Movie 193 - Rush Hour (1998)
Movie 194 - Greenland (2020)
Movie 195 - Angels and Demons (2009)
Movie 196 - Deep Blood (1990)
Movie 197 - On the Trail of Bigfoot: The Journey (2021)
Movie 198 - Sledgehammer (1983)
Movie 199 - Things (1989)
Movie 200 - Flash Gordon (1980)
Movie 201 - Wrath of Man (2021)
Movie 202 - Gutterballs (2008)
Movie 203 - The Lost Continent (1951)
Movie 204 - Supervan (1977)
Movie 205 - Alligator (1980)
Movie 206 - The Last Chase (1981)
Movie 207 - Kung Fu from Beyond the Grave (1982)
Movie 208 - Evilspeak (1981)
Movie 209 - Sudden Impact (1983)
Movie 210 - Blood Frenzy (1987)
Movie 211 - The Prey (1983)
Movie 212 - The Devil Below (2021)
Movie 213 - Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Movie 214 - Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
Movie 215 - The Ninth Configuration (1980)
Movie 216 - Death Rink (2019)
Movie 217 - Redwood Massacre (2020)
Movie 218 - The Superdeep (2020)
Movie 219 - Macon County Line (1974)
Movie 220 - Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)
Movie 221 - Thing from Another World (
Movie 222 - The Fly (1958)
Movie 223 - Moonshine County Express (1977)
Movie 224 - Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Movie 225 - Willy’s Wonderland (2021)
Movie 226 - Sharkwater Extinction (2018)
Movie 227 - Trailer Park Boys the Movie (2006)
Movie 228 - In Search of Bigfoot (1976)
Movie 229 - The Crawlers (1993)
Movie 230 - The Tomorrow War (2021)
Movie 231 - Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse (2021)
Movie 232 - The Willies (1990)
Movie 233 - My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Movie 234 - Gettysburg (1993)
Movie 235 - My Science Project (1985)
Movie 236 - The Sky Dragon (1949)
Movie 237 - Castle in the Desert (1942)
Movie 238 - Special Bulletin (1983) 
Movie 239 - Shoot (1976)
Movie 240 - Cleopatra Jones (1973)
Movie 241 - They Live (1988)
Movie 242 - Predator (1987)
Movie 243 - Fear Street part one 1994 (2021)
Movie 244 - Werewolves Within (2021)
Movie 245 - Aquarium of the Dead (2021)
Movie 246 - Fear Street part two 1978 (2021)
Movie 247 - Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986)
Movie 248 - Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
Movie 249 - Deep Space (1988)
Movie 250 - The Hunt (2020)
Movie 251 - Dire Wolf (2009)
Movie 252 - Pacific Banana (1980)
Movie 253 - Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)
Movie 254 - The Condemned (2007)
Movie 255 - Fear Street part three 1666 (2021)
Movie 256 - Faces of Death (1978)
Movie 257 - On the Trail of UFOs: Dark Sky (2021)
Movie 258 - They Came From the Swamp: The Films of William Grefe (2016)
Movie 259 - Carry On Screaming (1966)
Movie 260 - Water War (2014)
Movie 261 - Sharktopus (2010)
Movie 262 - Jungle Cruise (2021)
Movie 263 - A Quiet Place (2018)
Movie 264 - A Quiet Place II (2020)
Movie 265 - Jack Reacher (2012)
Movie 266 - Beyond Fury (2019)
Movie 267 - The Devil’s Sword (1984)
Movie 268 - Zillafoot (2019) 
Movie 269 - The Suicide Squad (2021)
Movie 270 - Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015)
Movie 271 - Black Friday (1940)
Movie 272 - Death Falls Lightly ( 1972)
Movie 273 - Naked Girl Murdered in the Park (1972)
Movie 274 - Spasmo (1974)
Movie 275 - Death on the Nile (1978)
Movie 276 - Great White (2021)
Movie 277 - Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)
Movie 278 - Friday the 13th part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Movie 279 - Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Movie 280 - Tremors (1990)
Movie 281 - Extreme Prejudice (1987)
Movie 282 - Blood Red Sky (2021)
Movie 283 - Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962)
Movie 284 - Pizza Girl Massacre (2014)
Movie 285 - The Mummy’s Revenge (1975)
Movie 286 - Time After Time (1979)
Movie 287 - House of Horrors (1946)
Movie 288 - The Fist of Death (1982)
Movie 289 - A Dark Song (2016)
Movie 290 - The Last Mercenary (2021)
Movie 291 - Dam Sharks (2017)
Movie 292 - The Mad Hatter (2021)
Movie 293 - The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)
Movie 294 - The Wrecking Crew (1968)
Movie 295 - Beyond Dark Dreams
Movie 296 - War of the Planets (1977)
Movie 297 - Force to Fear (2020)
Movie 298 - Watchers (1988)
Movie 299 - Moonstalker (1989)
Movie 300 - Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Movie 301 - Alienator (1990)
Movie 302 - The Curse of Nostradamus (1961)
Movie 303 - Giant Spider (2021)
Movie 304 - CarousHELL 2 (2021)
Movie 305 - Genesis II (1973)
Movie 306 - Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Movie 307 - House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Movie 308 - Repossessed (1990) 
Movie 309 - Beyond Terror (1980)
Movie 310 - Demonwarp (1988)
Movie 311 - Grave Secrets (1989)
Movie 312 - Slaxx (2020)
Movie 313 - Skinwalker: Howl of the Rougarou (2021)
Movie 314 - Night of the Lepus (1972)
Movie 315 - Return of the Living Dead part II (1988)
Movie 316 - The Thing from Another World (1951)
Movie 317 - The Fly (1958)
Movie 318 - The Thing (1982)
Movie 319 - The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Movie 320 - The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Movie 321 - The Fog (1980)
Movie 322 - Zombie (1979)
Movie 323 - Seance (2021)
Movie 324 - Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)
Movie 325 - Here Comes Hell (2019)
Movie 326 - Prom Night (1980)
Movie 327 - Sharks of the Corn (2021)
Movie 328 - My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Movie 329 - The Prowler (1981)
Movie 330 - The Beast Must Die (1974)
Movie 331 - Terror Train (1980)
Movie 332 - Tales of Terror (1962)
Movie 333 - Twice Told Tales (1963)
Movie 334 - The Gate (1987)
Movie 335 - House (1985)
Movie 336 - The Cat and the Canary (1939)
Movie 337 - School Spirit (2019)
Movie 338 - Hubie Halloween (2020)
Movie 339 - V/H/S/94 (2021)
Movie 340 - Halloween H20 (1998)
Movie 341 - Night of the Demons (1988)
Movie 342 - Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)
Movie 343 - The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)
Movie 344 - The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Movie 345 - 10-31 part II (2019)
Movie 346 - Chompy and the Girls (2021)
Movie 347 - The Body Snatcher (1945)
Movie 348 - Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)
Movie 349 - Day of the Dead (1985)
Movie 350 - Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Movie 351 - Sharkenstein (2016)
Movie 352 - Slumber Party Massacre (2021)
Movie 353 - Grave Intentions (2021)
Movie 354 - Terror from the Year 5000 (1958)
Movie 355 - The Cabin in the Woods (2011)
Movie 356 - It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)
Movie 357 - Shock Waves (1977)
Movie 358 - Hot Moves (1984)
Movie 359 - Cooties (2014)
Movie 360 - The Party Animal (1984)
Movie 361 - The Evil Dead (1981)
Movie 362 - Evil Dead II (1987)
Movie 363 - Screwballs (1983)
Movie 364 - The Black Scorpion (1957)
Movie 365 - Prince of Darkness (1987)
Movie 366 - Critters (1986)
Movie 367 - Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
Movie 368 - Tremors (1990)
Movie 369 - Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Movie 370 - Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Movie 371 - Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)
Movie 372 - The Tingler (1959)
Movie 373 - Waxwork (1988)
Movie 374 - Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992)
Movie 375 - Halloween (2018)
Movie 376 - Halloween Kills (2021)
Movie 377 - Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Movie 378 - Fright Night (1985)
Movie 379 - Army of Darkness (1992)
Movie 380 - Halloween (1978)
Movie 381 - Swim (2021)
Movie 382 - The Other (1972)
Movie 383 - The Deep House (2021)
Movie 384 - Hobgoblins (1988)
Movie 385 - Hold that Ghost (1941)
Movie 386 - Who Done It? (1942)
Movie 387 - Treasure of the Amazon (1985)
Movie 388 - New York Ninja (2021)
Movie 389 - American Rickshaw (1989)
Movie 390 - The Golden Eye (1948) - Charlie Chan
Movie 391 - Docks of New Orleans (1948) - Charlie Chan
Movie 392 - Bigfoot vs Megalodon (2021)
Movie 393 - The Lost Continent (1968)
Movie 394 - Robo Vampire (1988)
Movie 395 - Red Notice (2021)
Movie 396 - Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2021)
Movie 397 - Poltergeist (1982)
Movie 398 - Free Guy (2021)
Movie 399 - Thankskilling (2009)
Movie 400 - Black Friday (2021)
Movie 401 - 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)
Movie 402 - Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)
Movie 403 - Cemetery High (1988)
Movie 404 - The Lady Vanishes (1979)
Movie 405 - Dreamscape (1984)
Movie 406 - The Return of Charlie Chan (1972)
Movie 407 - You’ll Find Out (1940)
Movie 408 - Secret of the Blue Room (1933)
Movie 409 - I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday (2017)
Movie 410 - Krampus (2015)
Movie 411 - Jack Frost (200)
Movie 412 - Jaws (1975)
Movie 413 - Venom: Let there be Carnage (2021)
Movie 414 - Ic Cream Man (1995)
Movie 415 - Die Hard (1988)
Movie 416 - It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Movie 417 - Ten Little Indians (1965)