Oct 30, 2011

The Shelf Monkey branches out to criticize more of the pop culture arts

I thought I should take a moment to digress from my prepared remarks (something about the 'death of books' or something, I can't read my writing. Probably not important.) to let you know of a fairly new venture I've recently been participating in.

I've been following the movie review site Flick Attack—its motto: hitting you with one random movie a day . . . whether you like it or not—since it debuted a number of months ago. Its creator, Rod Lott, was one of my first boosters when his site Bookgasm gave Shelf Monkey a sterling review, and we've remained in contact ever since, through the usual social medias that serve to distract us from the horrors of everyday life. 

Flick Attack is decidedly irreverent, with short, snappy reviews of any movie Rod and his cadre of reviewers happen to see, spanning the gamut from blockbuster hits to obscure D-movies, from Rambo to The Black Belly of the Tarantula to The Incredible Hulk Returns. It's a great site to discover true cinematic surprises and re-evaluations of past hits and flops.

Speaking of flops, I chose as my debut to tackle the Tobe Hooper weirdfest Lifeforce, one of my personal favourites, as it's practically five movies in one (which saves me all kinds of time.) 

Here's a taste:
Cannon Films clearly didn’t know what it had signed on for. Lifeforce flopped, with reviews generally negative or worse (although Gene Siskel liked it). But aided through hindsight and extended editions, Lifeforce is a geek classic. Certainly no one involved phoned it in; Hooper’s direction (never better) captures the style and dry wit of the classic Hammer Quatermass films (well worth checking out), the score by Henry Mancini (!) is appropriately quirky and bombastic, and John Dykstra’s (Star Wars) special effects are superb — the desiccated zombie design is wonderful, and the alien spacecraft is a thing of beauty. No CGI here, just craft and skill.
Click here to check out the rest of the review, and I'll be updating the site with further reviews when they're online. Next up: the superb British werewolf movie Dog Soldiers!


Grant said...

If I had known you were a fan of "Lifeforce," I would have passed you with an A++ in cataloguing without demanding a single assignment. Anyone who relishes a naked Mathilda May blowing out the side of a building through sheer malevolence is someone I trust to guard our literary heritage.

Corey Redekop said...


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