Here’s what I wanna watch in 2021

In 2020, I saw 280 movies that were new to me. I thought it might be instructive to list the ones I’d like to see in 2021 and then look back in a year to see how well I did. I don’t expect to see everything on this list, if only because some aren’t easily found. Some aren’t streaming, and some aren’t on DVD.

The list is ordered by (descending) release date, although that may change for those that haven’t yet come out. Who knows what theater releases will look like in 2021?

Some are in Netflix’s system but not currently available on DVD or via streaming. Those are in my Saved queue and are so marked below. Those marked simply “Netflix” are streaming on NF currently.

I included titles from Prime, since I have a subscription, but not any from Hulu or others, because I don’t have those services. Finally, “NA” signifies that I can’t find the movie on any of the streaming services or via rent on DVD from Netflix. (By the way, to find out if a movie is streaming anywhere, visit www.reelgood.com, which is an invaluable resource!)

 

TitleYearWhere (currently)
355, The2022Netflix DVD Saved
Black Widow2021Netflix DVD Saved
Chaos Walking2021Netflix DVD Saved
Death on the Nile2021Netflix DVD Saved
Free Guy2021Netflix DVD Saved
King’s Man, The2021Netflix DVD Saved
No Time to Die2021Netflix DVD Saved
Bill & Ted Face the Music2020Netflix DVD
Fatman2020Netflix DVD
Possessor2020Netflix DVD
Sea Fever2020Netflix DVD Saved
Sputnik2020Netflix DVD Saved
Depraved2019Netflix DVD Saved
Velvet Buzzsaw2019Netflix DVD Saved
Freaks2018Netflix
Monstrum2018NA
Our House2018Netflix
Prospect2018Netflix DVD
Creep2014Netflix
Sensored2009own
Awaken the Dead2007own
Session 92001Netflix
Cure1997Netflix DVD Saved
Cast a Deadly Spell1991NA
Carrier, The1988NA
Pin1988NA
Bay Coven1987own
Dolls1987NA
Ground Zero1987NA
Land of Doom1986NA
Night of the Creeps1986NA
Ewok Adventures: Caravan of Courage/Battle for Endor1985Netflix DVD Saved
Lady Streetfighter1985Netflix DVD
Night Train to Terror1985NA
Razorback1984NA
Possession1983Netflix DVD Saved
Vigilante1983Tubi
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker1982NA
Fast Walking1982NA
House Where Evil Dwells, The1982Netflix DVD
Slumber Party Massacre1982Netflix DVD Saved
Victor Victoria1982Netflix DVD Saved
All the Marbles1981NA
Carnival Magic1981NA
Das Boot1981Netflix DVD Saved
My Bloody Valentine1981Netflix DVD
Night School1981NA
Polyester1981Netflix DVD
Road Games1981Netflix DVD Saved
Strange Behavior1981Prime
Apple, The1980Netflix DVD
Don’t Answer the Phone!1980NA
Times Square1980Netflix DVD Saved
Roller Boogie1979Netflix DVD Saved
Snapshot1979NA
Convoy1978Netflix DVD
Manitou, The1978NA
Stunt Rock1978NA
Swarm, The1978NA
Who’ll Stop the Rain1978Netflix DVD Saved
Zoltan, Hound of Dracula1978Netflix DVD
Blue Sunshine1977NA
Grand Theft Auto1977NA
Pack, The1977NA
Furies, The1976NA
Futureworld1976IMDbTV
Town That Dreaded Sundown, The1976NA
Boss Nigger1975NA
Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold1975NA
Giant Spider Invasion, The1975NA
Bad Ronald1974NA
Black Eye1974NA
Busting1974NA
Caged Heat1974NA
Celine and Julie Go Boating1974NA
Female Trouble1974Netflix DVD
Land That Time Forgot, The1974NA
Macon County Line1974Prime
Massacre Mafia Style1974Tubi
Phase IV1974Netflix DVD Saved
Shanks1974NA
Shoot First, Die Later1974NA
Sister Street Fighter1974Prime
Street Fighter, The1974Prime
Sugar Hill1974NA
Swept Away1974NA
Thomasine and Bushrod1974Tubi
Three the Hard Way1974NA
Black Caesar1973NA
Five on the Black Hand Side1973NA
Hell Up in Harlem1973NA
Lady Snowblood1973Netflix DVD
Slams, The1973NA
Terminal Island1973NA
Wicked, Wicked1973NA
American Hippie in Israel, An1972NA
Black Mama, White Mama1972Netflix DVD Saved
Blood Freak1972NA
Melinda1972NA
Stone Tape, The1972NA
Superfly1972Netflix DVD
Tower of Evil1972NA
Unholy Rollers, The1972Prime
Big Doll House, The1971Netflix DVD Saved
Deep End1971NA
Little Murders1971Netflix DVD Saved
Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things1971NA
Willard1971NA
Zaat1971NA
Zodiac Killer, The1971Tubi
Battle of Cable Hogue1970Netflix DVD Saved
Cover Me Babe1970NA
Rebel Rousers1970NA
Machine Gun McCain1969Prime
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One1968NA
Born Losers1967Netflix DVD Saved
Psych-Out1967Netflix DVD Saved
She Freak1967NA
Fun in Balloon Land1965NA
Mudhoney1965NA
Spy with My Face, The1965NA
Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies1964NA
Kitten with a Whip1964NA
Sadist, The1963Prime
Awful Dr. Orloff, The1962NA
Night of the Eagle1962NA
Blast of Silence1961NA
Cash on Demand1961Netflix DVD
Full Treatment, The1960NA
Stop Me Before I Kill1960Netflix DVD
Maniac1958Netflix DVD
Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy1958Prime
Snorkel, The1958Netflix DVD
Thing That Couldn’t Die1958NA
Night of the Demon1957NA
Fright1956NA
Gamma People, The1956NA
Werewolf, The1956Netflix DVD
Ladykillers, The1955Netflix DVD Saved
Human Desire1954Netflix DVD Saved
Dark City1950Netflix DVD
Alias Nick Beal1949NA
Caught1949NA
Secret Beyond the Door1948NA
Decoy1946NA
Spiral Staircase, The1946Netflix DVD
Clock, The1945NA
Hangover Square1945Netflix DVD
Pillow of Death1945own
Strange Confession1945own
Leopard Man, The1943Netflix DVD
Grapes of Wrath1940Netflix DVD Saved
Stage Door1937Netflix DVD Saved
L’Age d’Or1930NA
Wind, The1928NA
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Movies I’ve Seen during the Pandemic, part iii

Creepy (NR, 2016, ***). This Japanese thriller is about a retired detective who looks into a case involving a family that completely disappeared – but left their youngest child. Huh. Little does Det. Takakura know how close to home this case will hit for him. Fine police procedural at first, and then it veers into, well, creepy territory – and I mean that in the nicest way, as things just get hairier and hairier. Viewed on Amazon Prime.

Cropsey (NR, 2009, **1/2). When I read the synopsis for this, I thought it was another found-footage horror movie, but it’s based on real events and is more a true-crime documentary. The true crime in question is the disappearance of several children on Long Island, NY. Kids in that area in the 1980s grew up hearing about an abandoned sanitarium and a janitor who abducted youngsters, but they thought it was used as a cautionary tale by parents to scare their children into behaving. Not so! Interesting story, although it doesn’t really settle on a thesis and does a lot of presenting people’s views without context. Viewed on Amazon Prime.

Julia’s Eyes (NR, 2010, ***). While investigating the disappearance of her blind twin sister, Julia discovers more than she wanted in this sometimes harrowing horror thriller. Adding to her problems is Julia’s own macular degeneration. Will she find out the truth before she becomes completely sightless? Intense, well crafted, and a psychological roller coaster. In Spanish. Viewed on Netflix.

The Phantom of the Opera (NR, 1925, ***). Lon Chaney’s masterful performance as the Phantom, sans sound. A disfigured composer lives in the catacombs beneath the Opera of Paris and uses terror to scare off the female lead in Faust so his preferred ingenue can have the role. But at what cost? Sure, the effects are dated, since they’re 95 years old, but the drama and especially the makeup and costuming are superb. Viewed on Amazon Prime.

The Trip (NR, 1967, **1/2). A straightlaced man (Peter Fonda) goes on an LSD trip after his wife (Susan Strasberg) leaves him, with the calm coaching of a buddy (Bruce Dern). That’s it, that’s the entire plot. Jack Nicholson wrote it, Roger Corman directed it, and Dennis Hopper is aboard as a scenester cat with a cool pad, if you can dig it. This is definitely a relic of the times. It’s a fun movie if it hits you in the right mood, and it certainly doesn’t take itself seriously! Viewed on Amazon Prime.

 

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Movies I’ve Seen During the Pandemic, Part 2

Crawl (R, 2019, ***). Are you afraid of alligators? Stay away from this one. Haley, a collegiate swimmer, travels to southern Florida to check on her dad during a Category 5 hurricane (rather nonchalantly, I might add). Floods from the hurricane have allowed a couple of big ol’ gators to enter the house’s basement, where her dad is. Claustrophobic. Viewed on Netflix.

Messiah of Evil (R, 1973, **). This felt more like a ripoff of Italian horror movies, which themselves are usually low-budget knockoffs of better movies. A young woman travels to a remote California town to find her artist father, from whom she hasn’t heard in a long time; finds the townfolk ruled by a mysterious cult. Thrown into the mix are a bohemian and his two groupies, er, companions. Elisha Cook, Jr. shows up in a quick but memorable role as a supposedly crazy old man. Viewed on Prime.

Please Murder Me (NR, 1956, **1/2). Unheralded noir about a lawyer who gets his femme fatale client off for murder and then discovers she was guilty, guilty, guilty. Angela Lansbury is the murderess, and Raymond Burr is the lawyer, with able support from Dick Foran. Sure, you may think of Dame Angela as a sweet old lady now, but she could play the most wicked of characters. Second half is a little slow, but this is still worth your while. Viewed on Prime.

The Seventh Victim (NR, 1943, ***). Val Lewton produced some terrific horror movies in the 1940s, including Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie. This one is similarly good, and it tackles a topic that was none too common to movies of the time – Satanists! Kim Hunter, in her debut, plays a college girl trying to track down her sister (Jean Brooks). She soon finds out that a Satanic cult has their hooks into the sister, and they’re bound and determined to make sure she keeps their secrets – to her grave, if necessary. Very moody and suspenseful, the movie also features Tom Conway in a very George Sanders-like role (Conway and Sanders were brothers in real life), as well as Leave It to Beaver’s Hugh Beaumont. Fantastic (in both senses of the word) film. Viewed on Netflix.

Viy (NR, 1967, ***). Touted as the first-ever Russian horror film, this one has an old legend as its basis. A young seminarian is asked by a wealthy landowner to pray over his dead daughter for three nights, per her dying request. The seminarian is then beset by a series of otherworldly creatures, including succubi, incubi, and the titular demon. Even with subtitles, it’s a very chilling movie, packed with import and scares. Viewed on TubiTV.

 

 

Posted in Crawl, Messiah of Evil (1973), Please Murder Me (1956), Seventh Victim (1943), Viy (1967) | Leave a comment

Movies I’ve Seen During the Pandemic, Part I

There’s no theme here. These are just what I’ve watched over the past month or so. All star ratings are out of four. More to come!

Altered (R, 2006, **). 15 years ago a group of five friends had an encounter with an extra-terrestrial. Four returned. One shut himself away from the world, and the other three hunted for the aliens. Now they’ve found one. The effects in this film are very good, particularly the alien beings, even if the plot isn’t all that complex. The acting could have used some fine tuning. Directed by Eduardo Sanchez, one of the brains behind The Blair Witch Project.

The Beyond (R, 1981, **). Another one of those gateway-to-Hell movies. In this case, a young woman has inherited a dilapidated hotel in Louisiana, and guess what it’s built over? A good example of the giallo genre from one of its masters, Lucio Fulci, the movie is high on visuals, low on story and acting. And whoever heard of basements in Louisiana?

Daughters of Darkness (R, 1971, **). This French-language film is about the notorious Elizabeth Bathory. You know, the one who killed thousands of young women and drank their blood? Here, Delphine Seyrig plays the Countess; with her companion Ilona by her side, they set their sights on newlywed couple Stefan and Valerie while they’re all holed up at a resort hotel. It’s not a great movie, by any means, and the only reason to watch it is for Seyrig’s commanding performance as the Countess. Nice atmosphere, dull plot.

Ex Drummer (R, 2007, ***). This is a Belgian film (in Dutch and Flemish, with English subtitles) about a famous writer who’s asked to join a band of misfits as their drummer, despite the fact (or because of) that he cannot play drums. But our new drummer has an ulterior motive – he instantly plays the members against each other and even incites some family feuds. This is a movie rife with coarse language, bloody situations, and a lot of very, very dark themes, so it’s not for everyone. But in its own way, it’s sort of a masterpiece.

Frozen II (PG, 2019, ***). I mean, if you liked the first one, you will definitely like the second one. In many ways, it’s more of the same, although the songs aren’t quite as memorable. Great voice cast, clever script, fine animation. The rock trolls get me every time. Unlike many Disney sequels, this one holds up rather well. And no, you probably don’t need to have seen the first one, but let’s face it – if you are interested in this one, you’ve probably seen Frozen. Along with most of the other Disney Animated Classics.

God Told Me To (R, 1976, **1/2). From cult director Larry Cohen. Tony Lo Bianco plays a religious detective in NYC investigating a series of murders committed by people who claim that God told them to start a-killin’. Like most Cohen movies, it’s an acquired taste. The second half shifts from a cop movie well into a sci-fi film with religious overtones, and it might even be a little too literal, not leaving enough to the imagination. Still, it’s a different kind of film.

The Lords of Salem (R, 2012, **1/2). This Rob Zombie film is about a DJ (Sheri Moon Zombie) who receives a record album from “The Lords” – it’s a slow, very heavy, very trance-like song that evokes images of Salem, Massachusetts’ sordid past of witch burning and such and somehow ties the DJ herself to a long-ago curse placed by an accused witch on the town. Meg Foster has an eerie presence as the head witch. Also stars Bruce Davison, Dee Wallace, Maria Conchita Alonso, and Rocky Horror’s Patricia Quinn! How much you’ll like it probably depends on your tolerance for Zombie’s excesses.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Beyond, Daughters of Darkness, Ex-Drummer, Frozen II, God Told Me To, Lords of Salem | Leave a comment

Linda Lovelace for President (**1/2, 1975)

There’s a disclaimer at the outset of this movie warning that the content is guaranteed to offend just about everyone. Here in the 21st century, one should heed that warning. There are all kinds of offensive racial and sexual stereotypes that would have naturally raised hackles in 1975, let alone in the present. The movie is about the campaign (fictional) of Linda Lovelace, known mostly for starring in the seminal ’70s porn movie Deep Throat, for president of the United States. Lovelace is nominated by a group of six walking caricatures (representing millions of people each), including a really butch lesbian, a really effeminate man, an actual neo-Nazi, a token black, a Chinese man (not played by an Asian, of course), and a Catholic priest. After being convinced by her (literal) Uncle Sam to run for president, Lovelace embarks upon a nationwide tour, giving speeches and hopping into bed with as many helpful young men as possible. Now, in case you’re still uncertain about this movie’s virtues, there is definitely no reason anyone under 18 should be allowed within 100 yards of the film. There’s nudity and sex, although there isn’t much violence. But, seriously – she’s a porn star playing herself, so there’s naturally some softcore scenes thrown in to get the attention of male viewers. If the rampant sex doesn’t put you off, then maybe the over-the-top characterizations will. Among the cast are Mickey Dolenz as a near-sighted bus driver, Art Metrano (Police Academy) as a sheikh, Scatman Crothers as a pool hustler named Super Black (!), Kennedy impersonator Vaughn Meader as a lusty preacher, and Joe E. Ross (Car 54, Where Are You?) as a dirty trickster in politics. Like some other movies of the late 60s and early 70s, the major theme here is of chaotic wackiness. As the lead, Lovelace is fine playing herself. There’s not much plot, there’s a ton of offensive material, and nudity abounds. But if you see it in the right frame of mind, perhaps viewing it as an artifact of its times, this isn’t a terrible film. (For a fun bonus, check out all of the protest signs near the beginning of the movie. Pure genius putting the AA people next to the AAA people.)

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