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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

Hey, we’re a few days late, but fear not! We’re here! This week, we take on fan recommended “A Little bit Zombie” and chat about video stores, the evolution of movie fandom, the movie and more!

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Wednesday, July 08th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

Hey, it’s Colleen’s Birthday today! She’s feeling a ‘little’ under the weather though, so we’re going to keep it a ‘little’ low key as we get into this ‘little’ gem from Charles Band and Full Moon Pictures, “The Creeps”!

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Thursday, July 02nd, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

Another month is now behind us and the movie count goes up for 2015!

In case you don’t happen to follow me on Facebook, I’ve become hooked this year on keeping track of my watching habits over on Letterboxd. There is absolutely no point in this effort, other than I have a heavy hankering for making lists! Plus, it’s fun to see the numbers going up.

So, for June, we’re took in a total of 36 movies! Not a bad month! In fact, it’s a record month! I must have been on a role. My lowest month has weighed in at around 17 movies. This brings the total movies watched for the year to 155! Mind you, I don’t have a goal in mind for the year. I just like watching movies. Still, it’s fun to see how the year is stacking up to previous years!

Here’s my favorite watch of the month!


The Big Sleep


Having started a new online course on Film Noir, I’ve dove deep into the genre and found some true gems. Two of those gems are Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall! It’s been a blast getting into these films I knew little or nothing about. “Big Sleep” has some fantastic dialogue in it!

And for the not so favorite, i.e. that one movie I regret watching last month:


Tooken

I mean…I never expected this to be good. I’m not even that big of a fan of the “Taken” flicks. Sometimes though, I enjoy some stupid satire. This wasn’t one of those times! It’s probably worse than you may think.

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Wednesday, July 01st, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

Colleen and Casey take a trip to the middle of nowhere to take in the sites and abandoned cemeteries! Unbeknownst to them, there’s a old evil sorcerer in residence and voices his displeasure as they take in 1986′s Spookies!

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

While I can’t say there’s necessarily been a ‘buzz’ brewing over “We Are Still Here”, it’s safe to say that the name has been popping up here and there in various circles. My friend CC over at Bloody Good Horror gave it a 10 out of 10, which is a big deal. CC’s a strong critic, she doesn’t through 10′s out lightly. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

As I began to dig around for more info on the flick, I stumbled across the IMDb Listing. I quickly became more curious. This movie promised a stellar cast! Barbara Crampton is a genre veteran all the way back to “Re-Animator”. She’s a damn fine actress! You’ve probably seen Larry Fessenden in more horror flicks than you realize. He’s a pretty hardworking genre actor. Even Andrew Sensening and Lisa Marie are familiar faces throughout film in general. The listing really leads us to think that “We Are Still Here” might have some potential with a main cast so packed with experience. In fact, the only relatively unknown factor, at least to me, was writer/director Ted Geohegan. While the man has a number of producing credits and writing credits, I myself had never really seen his work, so I wasn’t sure what I was in store for.

What I found was a throw back horror film that packs a tightly woven slow burn that evolves into all out chaos that left me on the edge of my seat and dare I say…scared!

Pacing in movies of this type is often crucial and for “We Are Still Here”, the pacing was nailed. Throughout the movie we move slowly, but always feeling like something is lurking just behind us. Mixed with fleeting glimpses of something actually lurking in the shadows, without showing us a grand payoff of what we’re seeing until much later, we get a stifling atmosphere filled with tension and mystery. Just what has happened to this sad and lonely couple living out here in the middle of nowhere? What is it that that lurks in the basement, fleeting just off screen into the shadows? The film moves just slow enough and entices you with things off to the side so that your imagination runs wild on what could be over there in the dark.

As I mentioned earlier, the cast in “We are Still Here” is fantastic. The standouts being Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden. Barbara comes across as frail and disturbed, with a tragic happening in her past that has altered her state of being. We learn more of these happenings over the course of the movie, but she does a wonderful job of conveying just how broken up she is. You can’t help but feel sad for her and empathize from the very beginning, which leads to a heavy duty emotional punch by the end of the film. Larry Fessenden on the other hand, comes across as Larry Fessenden often does; disheveled, quirky and a bit hammy. His character takes a specific turn late in the film though that shows us just what this character actor is capable of, and when he’s running full bore, it’s hard to look away. The other actors in the film do well mind you. All of them have some twists and turns, though some have less of an impact than others. They simply don’t have as big a part of the story.

There are so many aspects to this movie, that lead to making it one of the more enjoyable horror films as of late. It drips atmosphere that will leave you unsettled and has a story that is plausible and makes sense, all while delivering some chills of its own. There aren’t too many twists and turns in the story, it’s fairly straight forward. For this type of film though, they deliver all of the needed back story for everything, doled out over time to keep the hook baited and keep you watching. It’s really well put together.

Then, comes the fun part of “We Are Still Here”. As I said at the top, this film is a slow burner. It takes a lot of time for things to unfold and play out, leading a meandering path to a final climax. When that climax finally comes, “We Are Still Here” erupts into chaos that manages to entertain, frighten and even surprise, all at the same time! There are great makeup effects at work as we are finally treated to full on imagery of what’s been lurking in the shadows. There are blood and guts galore. There’s violence, both surprising and gratuitous! There are many times that slow burner films tend to disappoint with too small of a payoff. Not with “We Are Still Here”. You’ll find yourself both a little giddy, maybe a little grimy by the end of it. You’ll definitely leave feeling fulfilled.

For a true sign of quality horror? I see myself as a bit of a hardened horror fan these days. Perhaps, a bit jaded. I’ve seen a ton of horror movies over the years and not much surprises me. While watching “We Are Still Here”, I had all the lights off in the living room for full effect. When Colleen walked into the living room, I didn’t see her having been too drawn into the movie. When suddenly she snapped on the kitchen light? I jumped about a foot off the couch while screaming, “Oh Shit!” That’s the sure sign of some quality scares!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s Wednesday, that means it’s time for an all new Cinema Fromage! This week, Colleen and I sit down with the 2012 Ghostly Cemetary…er…epic? “Hold Your Breath”! It stars a whole bunch of people you don’t know, and that blonde chick from “30 Rock”!

It’s….exciting! Yeah, we’ll go with that!

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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

This past weekend was Father’s Day, which was an appropriate day for the 40th anniversary of the Grandfather of Summer Blockbuster films, “Jaws”! Thanks to the fine folks at Fathom Events, I was able to spend my Father’s Day in the theater catching this great white whale of my own on the big screen for the first time!

Let me tell you now…seeing this on the big screen was a treat.

“Jaws” is a bonafied classic, no arguments about it. It’s earned a spot in genre film history and for good reason. So, we won’t go into too many details of the actual film here. We’ve all seen it and heard it! The best part of this viewing for me though, was the experience of seeing the film in the theater.

I wasn’t expecting a big crowd at the showing. After all, it’s a forty year old movie! But owing a lot to it’s classic status, our 7pm showing was packed pretty well. One big thing that added to the viewing was the crowd itself. For such an event, it’s easy to assume to that most of the people going to see the film would be long time fans, which was the case. The crowd was into the showing, laughing at the jokes, reacting well to the shark attacks, and the like. It was an atmosphere that made the outing a lot of fun. Normally I’m the odd one out laughing at uncomfortable moments or cheering on a particularly juicy shark attack. This time around though, I was surrounded by my brethren!

The other plus to this particular outing was that the increased aspect ratio and such of the showing added a lot to the film. I expected to go in and see a movie I’ve seen a lot of times, just for the joy of seeing it again with a crowd. I was a bit surprised by how much of the film felt new and exciting though. There are particular moments in this film that used to make me jump, but I long grew desensitized after many viewings. These jump scenes were all new in the big screen presentation, which was fantastic! (Hull of the fishing boat, I got my eye on you!) Truly, it was a movie going experience that made me fall in love with a movie all over again.

Here’s a few things that translated so well to the big screen:

* Quint’s scene on the boats galley where he recollected his experience on the USS Indianapolis was down right captivating. As he starts into the tale of being thrown into the icy waters as schools of tiger sharks circled him and his ship mates left you hanging on every word as the shot pulled in tight on his worn and weathered face. As he talked of thinking his friend was asleep and finding out that he had been severed in half from the torso down left chills. After this moment, you couldn’t help but understand why Quint was the type of man he was.

* The beach panic had a much greater effect adding tension to the moment. While on home video you can see the chaos that ensues when the shark is first sighted, it pales in comparison seeing it all unfold on the big screen. Here, you can pick out the individual moments of danger as you see young kids trampled, thrown from rafts and more!

* I’m not one that jumps a whole lot at the theater these days. Again, that whole desensitization thing. In the late scene as Brody is working with one of the barrels and the shark comes out of the water just behind him caused me to leap from my seat and bump into my cousin who was setting next to me! Haven’t had a thrill like that in the theater for a long while!

* Roy Schneider is the shit. The guy oozed a rare blend of cool.

* I had forgotten about Quint’s toast to “swimmin’ with bow legged women”. “Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bow Legged Women,” indeed!

* For a film shot in 1975, the cinematography of “Jaws” is truly beautiful and holds up really well. I have to think that this is a quality that is enhanced greatly by the large screen format. The deep blues of the ocean, the whites of the sand beaches and the wide open shots of expansive skies really paint a picture of this small resort island being a bit isolated and on their own dealing with this large predator problem. There are times while Brody, Hooper and Quint are out at sea that truly radiate a sense of isolation. There are moments on the beach scenes that you can feel just how warm it is out there on that July 4th holiday. It’s really something you should see on the big screen at least once!

So there you have it. As you can see, my Father’s Day was pretty great! It had been some time since I last saw “Jaws” but it was such a treat to see it in a whole new way after so long. Should you get the chance to catch the flick on the big screen, I urge you to run to the theater and catch it before it disappears for another 10 years!

Monday, June 22nd, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

If you’ve known me for awhile, you’d know that I’m a pretty avid gamer. I’ve talked about it here on the site a lot, on twitter, facebook, the works. The problem is, real life took a turn for the crazy back in February with some heavy duty job changes. This in turn lead to working heavy hours for a few months which then begat me getting home and not wanting to sit in front of the computer. At all.

Thankfully, and just in time for the recent Steam Sale no less, all that has started to change as I’ve found myself with a game that’s grabbed my attention in a forceful way and convinced me that playing video games as a stress release from work, is in fact a good thing again!

When last I stepped away from the keyboard around February, I was at the tale end of a long standing love affair with Roguelikes. They were quick and easy to pick up, I could play in chunks of thirty minutes or so and due to their nature, I could play without too much mental investment. Here as of late, I’ve tried picking up those same roguelike games to rekindle the love affair, but it just wasn’t happening. As it turns out, apparently my brain was craving something far more substantial. It also proves that the new job responsibilities have finally settled into a solid rhythm, which allows me to get back to video games, which are a big tool in my fight against anxiety, stress and depression!

Enter the Steam Sale! Generally a joyful occasion, this year seemed to be pretty low key. Nothing too exciting as far as discounts go, but perhaps that is also a byproduct of me having entirely too many games in my Steam library already. Combine that with my recent reluctance to play much of anything, I had in mind a handful of titles I was looking for in this sale and allowed for a few extra’s that might have caught my eye.

Which is awesome, because though I’ve heard of The Lords of Xulima before…I had only given it a passing glance and threw it on my wishlist, then promptly forgot about it. When it popped up for 50% off, I went ahead and grabbed it. After installing, I fired it up and the next thing you know… I had lost three hours to my first day of playing and oddly enough…I felt like I had arrived back at home once again.

So at this point, I imagine you’re scratching your head and wondering what this “Lords of Xulima” business is. What it is is a throw back to classic computer RPG’s filled with over world exploration and turned based combat. It’s also pretty great and managed to grab me near instantly. Perhaps my own brain was craving something a little slower paced, something it could sink it’s teeth into. Lords of Xulima provides a hell of an environment for doing just that.

If you’re looking for a good comparison, the old “Baldur’s Gate” games are about the closest that I could recommend off hand. You traipse about the country side by holding your mouse button down and essentially hope that nothing pops up to surprise you before you’ve had a chance to rest your party. There are marked creatures on the map as well, that are easy to spot. They’ll get you with the surprise guests as well. From there, you continue to undue the fog on your mini map as you explore every nook and cranny of the map, solve a few puzzles, kill some princes and in general, save the world!

Not bad, huh?

I can’t say for sure what’s drawn me into this game that promises sixty plus hours of game play. Typically, games of that sort scare me off for fear of losing interest half way through it. But, with a week of playtime and ten hours under my belt, I can say it’s grabbed me for much longer that I expected it to. The combat is fun; traditional turned base RPG system filled with hot keys, spells and special attacks for each member of your party of six. It’s also a style of combat that allows you to kick back and take it easy, not having to rely on twitch reflexes and the like, which makes for a nice change of pace. Granted, the combat is very old school, so expect long fights, enemy’s with a mountain of hit points and each of your attacks seeming to do very little damage. All of which was a pretty basic tenet of these types of games in the past!

So to recap; old school. RPG. Pretty high difficulty level. 60 hours of game play. A lot of fun if that’s what you’re in the mind set to play.

I’m pretty sure this game scratches a couple of itches for me, which makes it so appealing. It has a slower pace, so I don’t feel rushed or stressed in trying to keep up. It’s got a pretty solid story sprinkled throughout the game, one that you can follow without having to read every tiny bit of flavor text you stumble across in the game to understand the whole gist. There’s the sense of adventure as you travel about this grand map trying to discover where you’re heading. (I forgot to mention, no way points!) There’s a sense of challenge as you work to figure out your strategies with your six person team to get through each battles. Sometimes, you make big mistakes and you learn from them to get through a fight on the next try. There’s a sense of accomplishment as you clear out a castle or take out a big bad prince. Hell, it’s fun to get into the old school grind of RPG and not worry about complicated controls, mechanics and taxing graphics requirements. And, the fat loot that we’ve become so engrossed in with today’s modern RPG’s is so spread out, it truly feels special when you come across something new, and not a chore trying to sort out your inventory.

So really, now that I’ve written it out, it really does have all the tenet’s of a great game! I think I just get so caught up in being able to bring myself to sit down and play on the computer at the end of a long day again, I get lost in the details!

Which is the point. We all need to get a bit lost in the details from time to time and get away from the drudgery of every day life. Lords of Xulima is a great way to do it!


What’s your favorite Computer RPG’s? Hit me up on twitter and say hey!

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Monday, June 22nd, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell

The Cinema Fromage Podcast is picking up steam thanks to you listeners, which has Colleen and I are jazzed and actually doing some planning for some upcoming episodes! This week, we’ll be covering 2012′s #Hold Your Breath”! Over the next six weeks though, we’ve found some goodies that range everywhere from the early 80′s to the late 50′s! So check out some trailers below and maybe you can get yourself ready for when the show comes out!

As always, suggestions, comments and whatever is always welcome! You can reach us via email at cinemafromage@gmail.com or on Twitter!: CaseyBGH and HPColleen!



The New Kids (1985)
“A brother and sister arrive in a small town to help their relatives run an amusement park, and they find the town is terrorized by a local street gang.”

Not too much terror in the plot drop for this one, but I think James Spader’s blonde hair is scary enough! Plus, it stars Full House’s Aunt Becky, can’t be all bad, now can it?



Spookies (1986)
“Taking a wrong turn, travelers find themselves trapped in a mysterious house. One horror after another threatens them as the sorcerer who lives within needs sacrifices to give eternal life to his beautiful bride.”

Spookies is one of those tragic 80′s flicks I was never able to find in my small town growing up, so we’re pretty stoked to finally catch it. Plus, the monster effects look awesome!



Terror in the Haunted House (1958)
“A newlywed is terrified when her husband brings her to live in the old house that figures in her recurring nightmare.”

I’m guessing we’re going to be aiming more for an Ed Wood level of classic here vs. a Hammer Studios level of classic!



The Outing (1981)
“A group of friends on a rafting trip down a river stop in at an old ghost town to spend the night. Soon their rafts disappear, and then they begin to be eliminated one by one by a mysterious killer.”

Hey, this is Colleen’s choice! I have no idea what to expect here! Except for the fact that it was filmed in 1981, involves rafting, so we’re probably going to see some wet T-Shirts.



Intruder (1989)
“The overnight stock crew of a local supermarket find themselves being stalked and slashed by a mysterious maniac.”

Sam Raimi. Bruce Campbell. Let’s hope I’m not over selling myself on it.



Dead & Rotting
“Three prankster buddies release the wrath of an aged witch, Abigail, when they unwittingly become accomplices to the murder of her son. Scheming in anger, the witch seduces the three friends and then uses the men’s own ill-born spawn to destroy them. Death and rot are left in the wake…”

Debbie Rochon makes her first appearance on the Cinema Fromage Podcast! She’s a bonafied B-movie Scream Queen, so pretty excited to take this one in!

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 | Author: Casey Criswell


It’s time for a new episode of Cinema Fromage, in which we travel back in time to 1974 to take in Pete Walker’s Cannibal Grandma opus, “Frightmare”! Come join us, won’t you?

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