March 17, 2013

What's Crack-A-Lackin' On Crackle

     I rarely watch anything on the streaming service Crackle because (as with Hulu Plus) I find the clumsily inserted advertising annoying.  Crackle - owned by Sony and readily available for free on many Sony branded renderers - does occasionally offer up something interesting, though.  A bonus is that the movies are presented uncut (save for those annoying ads, of course).  Below are a handful of interesting picks currently available.

Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) thumbnail
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

If you have only a casual interest in Godzilla movies, this all-star Toho monster fest that celebrated the big G's 50th Anniversary is a real treat.  It offers at least a peek at just about every Kaiju to ever make an appearance in a Toho production, moves at a brisk pace, and is almost wall to wall monster action.  It even features a cameo from the CGI American version of Godzilla introduced  in the 1998 big budget misfire - treated here as being distinct from the "real" Godzilla.  Big, dumb fun.

Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unkown (2008) thumbnail
Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown (2008)

Crackle pays service to my insatiable hunger for horror documentaries by offering up this exceptionally good doc about the life and work of horror lit titan H.P. Lovecraft, creator of the enduring Cthulu Mythos.  This doc lays bare Lovecraft's well documented racism without minimizing the significance of his writing because of it, and it features a wealth of talking head testimonials from the likes of John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, and Guillermo Del'Toro.  

Midnight Movie (2008) thumbnail Midnight Movie (2008)

A midnight showing of a 1970's horror movie turns to bloody chaos when the killer depicted in the movie steps into the real world.  There's nothing you haven't seen here before, but this is a straight up old school slasher competently constructed.  No postmodern deconstruction, no winking at the camera.  At a brisk 84 minutes, you could do worse - and you probably have.

Silent Scream (1980) thumbnail
Silent Scream (1980) 

This one is truly a forgotten gem.  It stars Barbara Steele, Yvonne De Carlo, Avery Schreiber, Cameron Mitchell, and Rebecca Balding in a creepy, slow burning homage to Psycho.  The mysterious family secrets hidden away in a spooky seaside mansion slowly reveal themselves, leading to a fantastic final act free for all.  There's virtually no gore, but you won't miss it.  Probably actually too good to watch interrupted by ads . . .

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) thumbnail
 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

TCM co-creator Kim Henkel wrote and directed this giant slice of WTF you have to see at least once if only for the freak show buzz of catching not-yet-stars Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey payin' the bills.  McConaughey's over the top turn as the psychotic Vilmer almost makes this worthwhile.  There's a TCM reunion in the final scene, too, featuring cameos by Chainsaw vets Paul Partain (Franklin Hardesty), John Dugan (Grandpa), and Marilyn Burns (Sally Hardesty).


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