Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Graduation Day (1981) Blu-ray Review

Directed by Herb Freed
Theatrical Release date: May 1, 1981
From IFI/Scope III

DVD/Blu-ray release: September 9, 2014
From Vinegar Syndrome 

The fact that Graduation Day was released in the magical year of 1981 should already be reason enough to watch, but, recently exploring the Film, which I admit to having been a fan of for years, has me falling in love all over again. 

My Graduation Day viewing meal. 

Available on September 9th from Vinegar Syndrome on a Combo DVD/Blu-ray, Graduation Day passes any possible exam and graduates with flying colors. Quite simply, this Slasher from the golden era hasn’t looked better, and any fan of the Horror genre should be proud to own a copy of it in their collection. Previously released on DVD from Troma Entertainment, it’s safe to say you should fling that really lackluster version aside and upgrade to this beautiful and thoughtful package the guys at Vinegar have put together. 

Director Herb Freed’s name isn’t as synonymous with others in the Horror genre because he really didn’t explore any more after his brief run in the late 70’s and early 80’s (See also: Haunts and Beyond Evil). After watching Graduation Day, you could say that he had said everything he wanted to about the then popular Slasher genre with this one Movie. It’s fun from beginning to end. Contains imaginative set pieces and kills, and even manages to raise some, gasp, suspense. Of course it’s wrapped in a package that’s very much of it’s time, and totally meant to cash in on the success of cash cows Halloween and Friday the 13th. It’s absurd, dumb, smart and even daring at times. What other Slasher Film boasts a 7+ minute performance by a new wave punk goth glam band slash murder sequence slash roller rink scene? 

Never get into a car with a guy who has a lousy cravat. 

This little Movie has moments that are pure Slasher gold, but i’m most impressed with it’s inventive editing style. Film Editor Martin Jay Sadoff might be best known to genre fans for his work on Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, and he also was responsible for the glorious 3-D process they used on Friday the 13th Part 3. Anyone who was lucky enough to have seen that Movie back in 1982 was kind of blown away by it. My younger self included. I still count it as my favorite 3-D experience of all time. The editing in Graduation Day feels fresh and new and breathes life into the Film which makes it stand out from other meant-to-be Slasher throwaways of the time. We love these Movies for all kinds of reasons, and it’s fun to take away different things from them. The music and songs are also really memorable and I sometimes find myself singing them days after watching. Oh, and genre gods Christopher George, Linnea Quigley and Michael Pataki are in it. Now that’s a Movie that gives you some bang for your buck!

Vinegar Syndrome’s new package boasts handsome artwork which loyally sticks to the original artwork for the Film. The static menus are clean and easy to navigate. The Picture quality is quite frankly outstanding. I know the Film print is a bit jumpy at times, but that’s because of the source. I’ve seen that in a Retro Screening of the Film I caught a few years ago. Vinegar’s clean up and restoration is marvelous and the Audio matches that as well. If you want to be transported back to the very early 80’s you very much will with this Video & Audio presentation. So crank it up! 

Creepy/nerdy music teachers get all the babes. Didn't you know?

I’m so happy that Vinegar managed to put together some pretty great extras for the disc since I’ve been a fan of the Film for so long. It’s so much fun to see some of the Filmmakers and Actors after all of these years look back at their experience making the Movie… 

Four interviews are included. All great and worth diving into. The first with leading Actress Patch Mackenzie (god, I love her name so much I want to name any future children after her). The second interview features Director Herb Freed, third with Producer Dave Baughn and the last is with Editor Martin Jay Sadoff. The interviews run in total about 40 minutes. 

Also included are two commentary tracks. The first features Producer Dave Baughn and is moderated by Elijah Drenner. It’s a pretty fun track considering a Producer is involved (har har) and there’s no shortage of information and background about the Film. I honestly learned more about the Film than I had ever known and I loved every moment of it. 

The second track is by the Slasher Podcast The Hysteria Continues. I’m actually friends with each member of that podcast so I’ll be kind… Just kidding… I don’t really have to tiptoe… The guys at the Hysteria Continues all do a really great job of commenting on the Film and providing background information. And they are fun to listen to. I don’t want to single people out, but I will… Justin & Erik in particular add a lot of tasty tidbits about the Movie even this dedicated fan of the Slasher sub-genre didn’t know. 

Finally, a Trailer is included. 

Graduation Day is worth loving, even hate-liking if you’re not into Slasher Films. At least you’ll see something that’s a little different while trying to capitalize on a previous success. It’s super silly fun and you get to see a pre-Wheel of Fortune Vanna White giggle a lot in a great new shiny, bloody package.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Retro Movie Love Podcast Episode 5: The Sounds of Horror Volume 1

Retro Movie Love Podcast Episode 5: The Sounds of Horror Volume 1 is now live!

24 of my favorite Horror Movie songs, plus a bonus track! Tons of Retro Movie love here. Hope you enjoy!

Listen/download here:

or iTunes (Episode 5):

and Stitcher:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Retro Movie Love Episode 4: The Soundtrack Volume 1

Episode 4 is now up and it's all about song soundtracks. I made a big playlist for you and give my thoughts on the film and music in between each song. Kind of like a DJ - But i'm the furthest thing from one as you can testify from the sound early on, which does get better as it goes along. :-)
Another Soundtrack Podcast will be all about songs from Horror Movies. Look out for that in the near future.

Listen/download here:




Friday, February 28, 2014

Retro Movie Love Podcast facebook page

Hey guys - The podcast has a new page on facebook. Please take a moment to like us over there:

And please subscribe to our podcast over at iTunes. Feel free to lend a review if you have some free time as well. More episodes to come. Molte grazie!

Retro Movie Love Podcast on iTunes!

With much love,

Meep & the gang

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Retro Movie Love Podcast Episode 3: Touchstone Films of the 1980's

Our latest episode is now up, and the focus is on Touchstone Films, in particular, their output from the 1980's. We'll return for a 90's episode at some point, but, for now, enjoy us waxing nostalgic about all their Bette Midler Movies and much more as we each pick our Top 5!

Free to listen/download here:


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 in Review

1. Enough Said ****
2. The Wolf Of Wall Street ****
3. Before Midnight ****

4. The Conjuring ***1/2
5. You're Next ***1/2
6. Blue Jasmine ***1/2
7. Gravity ***1/2
8. American Hustle ***1/2
9. Short Term 12 ***1/2
10. The Last Stand ***1/2

Afternoon Delight ***1/2
Frances Ha ***1/2
Behind The Candelabra ***1/2
Drinking Buddies ***1/2

Delivery Man ***
I Am Divine ***
Nebraska ***
Insidious Chapter 2 ***
The Way, Way Back ***
Black Rock ***
Iron Man 3 ***
Koch ***
Crystal Lake Memories ***
This Is The End ***
The Heat ***
Escape Plan ***
Bullet To The Head ***
Rewind This ***
Clear History ***
Curse Of Chucky ***

In A World ***
Her ***
The Canyons ***
Austenland ***
Star Trek: Into The Darkness ***
Anchorman 2 ***
The Hangover Part III  ***
The Call ***
12 Years A Slave ***
Warm Bodies ***
Homefront ***
About Time ***

Passion ***
Girl Most Likely ***
Peeples ***
Gangster Squad ***
Fast & The Furious 6 ***
The Family ***
Now You See Me ***
Movie 43 ***

Grudge Match **1/2
The Spectacular Now **1/2
A.C.O.D. **1/2
Maniac **1/2
Side Effects **1/2
Thanks For Sharing **1/2
Machete Kills **1/2
Stand Up Guys **1/2
We're The Millers **1/2
Touchy Feely **1/2
I Give It A Year **1/2
Bloody Homecoming **1/2
21 & Over **1/2
Parker **1/2
My Amityville Horror **1/2
Prince Avalanche **1/2
The World's End **1/2
The Bling Ring **1/2
Monsters University **1/2
Closed Circuit **1/2

Don Jon **
A Good Day To Die Hard **
The Purge **
We Are What We Are **
All Is Bright **
The Internship **
Broken City **
English Teacher, The **
Last Vegas **
Lovelace **
John Dies At The End **
Fairhaven **
The Playroom **
The ABCs of Death **
Identity Thief **
Oz The Great And Powerful **
Only God Forgives **
Kick Ass 2 **
Antiviral **

Cold Turkey **
Paradise **
Red 2 **
Mental **
The To-Do List **
Planes **
Big Wedding, The **
Mama **
World War Z **

A Case Of You **
Lords Of Salem **
Texas Chainsaw 3D **

White House Down *1/2

Argento's Dracula *1/2

Man Of Steel *

Still Need To See: 

All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
I'm So Excited
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Place Beyond The Pines
Some Velvet Morning
Spring Breakers
Stories We Tell
To The Wonder

2012 List
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