Daily DVD & Download: Capsule reviews before you buy or binge

Love & a 45, Glass, Netflix's Bloodride, Walking Dead spinoff, more

Not only the bus driver can see the twists up ahead
  • Not only the bus driver can see the twists up ahead

I've got over 1000 DVDs I can watch during this stay-at-home shutdown, including several crates I recently purchased full of obscure horror movies, recent blockbusters, plus plenty of grindhouse oldies, including a 1983 Chuck Norris "classic" Lone Wolf McQuade (never seen and have serious doubts, not helped by the co-billing of Tai Chi Workout Video star David Carradine).

The flick was actually a lot funnier than I think they intended, right from the screaming Mexican outlaw at the beginning to Chuck's whistled theme song that kicks in when we first see his outline on the horizon - I was already chuckling for Chuck. Okay, more like AT him. Then I noticed the young cop/partner guy is the teen boy from Night of the Comet, one of my favorite 80s sci-fi comedies.

David Carradine Tai Chi Workout Video Commercial

Plus there's David Carradine hamming it up like Jonathan "Dr. Smith" Harris playing Thanos...I'm thinking, c'mon, this has GOT to be a comedy, right? And then a midget in a wheelchair showed up, only to vanish behind a sliding secret wall ---- what a hoot! Not very good, but still a hoot!

2019's Glass, the third part of a sleepy superhero trilogy of sorts, is almost insanely talky for a long stretch, like director Shamalamadingdong had three movies' worth of theory and exposition he never got around to, and had to toss it all in at once. Having an explosive actor like Sam Jackson just sitting around in a wheelchair staring for most of the movie is equally insane, but I was glad I stuck thru it for the finale. It's silly, but action packed and fun, and full of at least mildly unexpected turns. It's maybe only a third of a good movie, but I thought the good third was worth getting to, if only to complete Bruce Willis' character arc from Unbreakable (and, briefly, in Split). I like that the same actor kid from Unbreakable is still there for Glass - makes it seem a little more epic and believable, even if the kid didn't grow up to be much of an actor.

Back when Renee Zellweger was more Kelly Bundy than Bridget Jones

Back when Renee Zellweger was more Kelly Bundy than Bridget Jones

The fun and surreal 1994 action comedy Love and a 45 was surprisingly enjoyable, it's kind of a tribute to Dirty Larry Crazy Mary that costars Jeffrey "Reanimator" Combs. IMDB people keep comparing it Tarrantino, tho it predates pretty much every Tarrantino movie they compare it to. It gets called a comedic Natural Born Killers too, but it also predates that film and is nothing like it, IMO.

To me, it's a lot more akin to dark and violent white trash comedies like Hobo With a Shotgun, Drowning Mona, Blind Fury, and even Warriors and Streets of Fire, set in a colorfully surreal and nearly lawless world. The bad girl lead played by young Renee Zellweger is a hysterical pastiche of dangerous dames like those seen in Switchblade Sisters, Machete, Grindhouse, and Suburban Mayhem. The humor is very dark and probably needlessly violent, but for a movie I expected nothing from, I enjoyed it enough to write this much praise for it! Not top shelf, mind you, but fine B-movie schlock I'd happily re-watch sometime ---

One of the few westerns I can say I genuinely like a lot is in there too, Don Knotts in Shakiest Gun in the West. Watching that now, it's got Jackie Coogan and a lot of familiar beloved faces. There's something very timeless about 60s G-rated movies, they really were fun for the whole family. It's a shame that most G-movies since then tend to dummy it up, while managing to talk down to both kids and adults.

New on Netflix: I went thru the new Norwegian horror anthology Bloodride and can't recommend unless you're slumming for an R-rated slasher version of Tales From the Darkside that aspires for a gradually cascading horror vibe like Black Mirror, but with the budget of a Cal Worthington commercial. There was one ep I liked pretty well ("Bad Writer"), a couple were tolerable and worth watching ("Lab Rats," "Elephant in the Room"), and the other three just didn't keep my attention for anything other than a few minutes of skipping thru each. Even the one I liked was derivative of a half dozen classic "twist ending" stories that most Reader readers could probably list pretty easily, and there's not much in the way of good acting or cinematography in any of them. Overall, however, it was interesting to see what is basically a Norwegian death metal version of Twilight Zone!

As for what's streaming from your television: The season premier of the new Westworld was truly hideous. Evan Rachel Wood has played a robot in every role she's landed since Thirteen, and Aaron Paul has gone from yelling 'bitch' to being one. I'd say it's all a waste of talent but, with the Dolores-inator and Quaalude Pinkman as your leads, there's frankly not much to waste....

Coming Soon: Just watched the Walking Dead: World Beyond trailer. So WD is staggering so bad that they're about to launch the Muppet Babies version, a third series whose stars are all kids who grew up after the apocalypse. Walker Babies --

Over the next couple of days, I'll be telling you about the complete series DVD sets for both Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Space 1999.

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