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Baby Driver [2017] Baby Snakes [1979] Backtrace [2018]
The Bad Batch [2016] Bad Blood: The Movie [2016] Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [2009]
Bad Samaritan [2018] Badland [2019] Ballad of a Soldier [1959]
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs [2018] Banshee Chapter [2013] Baraka [1992]
Barking Dogs Never Bite [2000] Basket Case [1982] Baskin [2015]
The Basement [2018] Bastard [2015] Battle Royale [2000]
Battleship [2012] The Bay [2012] The Baytown Outlaws [2012]
Be Afraid [2017] The Beach House [2019] Beast of Burden [2018]
Becky [2020] Bedeviled [2016] Bedlam [2015]
Before I Wake [2016] Believer [2018] Beneath [2013]
Bereavement [2010] Bethany [2017] Better Watch Out [2016]
Beyond the Black Rainbow [2010] Beyond White Space [2018] Bird Box [2018]
The Birds [1963]

Becky [2020]


         

Escaped convicts invade an isolated home to collect a hidden key. They didn't count on Becky ...an angry, vindictive little girl who is not going to stand down. First of all, the girl's unforgiving and relentless assault on her perpetrators is something we're all going to cheer for. On the other hand, this is a young girl (played to perfection by Lulu Wilson) and the level of anger and violence she demonstrates, even before and after the events, is rather disconcerting. Gruesome, exciting action if you can put aside the somewhat troubling moral implications.

Badland [2019]


         

A detective from Pinkerton is tasked with hunting down 3 Civil War criminals. Although beginning as a spaghetti western gunslinger affair, the film is first and foremost a melodrama ...and a really slow one at that. Excellent acting with likable characters, well-written dialog, and an authentic presentation of the life unfortunately can't overcome the ponderously long scenes of talking and overly cliche scenarios. The infrequent gunfights were ok but nothing special solidifying the fact that this film is all about the people ...very slow, long-winded people.

The Beach House [2019]


         

Bordering on cosmic horror, a young couple go to a beach house owned by the young man's father only to find out a couple of his dad's friends are also there. As the two couples get acquainted, inexplicable things begin to occur and it's getting worse by the minute. This film had me on edge from the start, intolerably so, especially the first half where nothing is really happening but that gradual descent into something horrible is also the movie's strength. The ending will not be liked by some but I thought it fell perfectly in place. Good job!

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans [2009]


         


I like Nicolas Cage but there's some roles he's just not suited for. This was one of them. Slow and ponderous story about a cop, who becomes corrupt and addicted to drugs after a stupid accident broke his back, that never feels authentic.

Bastard [2015]


         

Had a good opening that caught my attention but didn't really do anything with it and the end was just silly. In between, 75% listening to boring, unlikable characters and 25% unpleasant gore. I don't have anything against gore - as you've probably noted - but this was just gore for the sake of shoving it in the viewer's face as if to say, "Look! Isn't this gross?". No camp, class or style. This is one of those movies where I just couldn't wait for it get over with.

Beneath [2013]


         

A group of coal miners get trapped in a collapse - including a woman who wanted to share her father's last day on the job. Then really strange things start happening. I'll start off by saying that this isn't a bad movie ...it just doesn't offer anything beyond what you'd expect once you buy the idea that the tainted air is probably causing everyone to hallucinate. It maintains it's tension and claustrophobic feel making it a skin-crawler but not a whole lot beyond that.

Banshee Chapter [2013]


         

When a friend - who is writing a book on secret CIA experiments in the 60's using a chemical called MK-Ultra - disappears, a journalist begins her own investigation with horrible consequences. Do the chemicals just create hallucinations or do they open doors best kept closed? This film has the best adrenaline rush moments that I've had in quite some time. The tension is palatable, the performances and dialogue are excellent and the story is cerebral, complex and gripping. Lovecraft fans will like this one. Bravo!

Battle Royale [2000]

aka Batoru rowaiaru

         


A Japanese film about a government sanctioned contest where a 9th grade class is dropped on a deserted island and the last one alive gets to go home. I found the film to be quite entertaining partly because it was exactly what I expected it to be ...a well above average example of the "last-man-standing" concept. Much better than most and quite bloody violent. Let the slaughter begin!

Before I Wake [2016]


         

A couple (who recently lost their own child) are approved to be foster parents for a child about the same age who's had a very strange past. The illogic of grieving parents getting approval to raise a foster child not withstanding, what we have here is a remarkably well told story of dreams, guilt, and a child's view of the world. Pacing was an issue in that more time was spent trying to scare the viewer than time spent trying to find a solution but overall, a creepy yet very personal and touching film.

The Bay [2012]


         

A mockumentary centering around the July 4th celebration in Claridge, Maryland where, before the end of the day, most everyone would die from a parasitic creature growing in Chesapeake Bay. Barry Levinson's (Homicide: Life on the Street) direction was so well done, this could pass for any news documentary. That, and the knowledge that this could really happen, makes it all the more frightening. I had nightmares after watching this film ...I don't recall the last time that happened.

Baby Driver [2017]


         

A young man uses his exceptional driving talents to pay off a dept to a master criminal. Unfortunately, he begins to fall in love about the same time things get out of hand. Ansel Elgort did an exceptional job portraying the original and quirky Baby, the driver. The characters were complex, colorful and well fleshed-out, the story was excellent and the driving action was some of the best I've ever seen. Very fun movie.

Baskin [2015]


         

A 5-man police team receives a backup call and walks right into hell. This Turkish film really makes no sense to speak of and the filmmaker's overall concept is so loosely defined that there's really no reason to try to make sense of it. But the film is so visceral and so primal and so weird that I just loved it! Word of warning, though. There's some really ghoulish stuff going on here so, seriously ...make sure you're up for it. The music is broodingly dark and chilling, as well ...reminiscent of the Goblins.

Bedlam [2015]


         

George checks himself into a psychiatric hospital as he believes he's experiencing the same mental problems as his mother and grandmother. He has no idea how bad things are about to get. I believe the filmmakers were shooting for an artful and/or stylized approach to this film but, unfortunately, it comes off as disjointed and unpleasant. It seems to have a beginning and a climax and the time in between is filled with one set of tortures after another. Had a similar feel as Salo ...without the overt obscenities.

Barking Dogs Never Bite [2000]

aka Flandersui gae

         


A Korean comedy that centers around the killing and eating of neighborhood dogs. I was not amused.

Baraka [1992]


         


A film of sound and imagery bookended with religious and cultural symbolism and ritual mixed in with gorgeous visions of nature in action. In between, a lot of ground is covered including industry, poverty, ancient civilizations, war, and chickens. It's amazing how a film with no spoken words, actors or story can illicit so much emotion and food for thought ...as well as hypnotize. Fascinating!

The Baytown Outlaws [2012]

aka The Baytown Disco

         

Three redneck brothers, who usually work for the local Sheriff cleaning out the other criminals in their own special way, decide to do a job on their own and end up getting chased by a variety of colorful characters. I'm sure their intention here was to make a cultish shoot 'em up like The Boondock Saints or From Dusk Till Dawn but they were only partly successful. It's a very entertaining film and the characters were great. It just didn't give us anything new along those lines to get too excited about.

Bad Samaritan [2018]


         

A house thief finds a woman chained up in a chair and no one will believe him making this film incredibly frustrating. This kid is a thief who gains nothing by going to the police with this story and no one believes him, the FBI dismisses him, his girl friend hates him, any that do believe (absurdly few) don't care. Everyone is stupid in this film but, apparently, the kid is smart enough to find this serial killer, in a few hours, that the FBI has been unable to find for years. Check your brain at the door as this contrived mess defies logic.

Be Afraid [2017]


         

A basic boogeyman story - once again using sleep paralysis as the gimmick - made by masters of dragging things out. Once we've established that people in a town are being haunted by dark spirits (who are never explained) that take their kids away, nothing else much happens until we get to an ambiguous, non-climatic, severely downbeat ending. Yeah, be afraid. Be very afraid of the time you give up watching this depressing snoozer. Warning: Obligatory bathtub scene enclosed.

Battleship [2012]


         

Earth is invaded by an alien race and the only thing in their way is 3 destroyers. This is a major guilty favorite of mine. It's exciting, fun, full of colorful characters, simplistic but snappy dialogue, and some eye-popping special effects and battle scenes that will keep you firmly on the edge of your seat. Based on the board game, it's in no way scientifically accurate or logical but it doesn't matter. This film intentionally wants you to sit down, strap in, shut up, and hang on. If that's all you expect, you'll love it!

Beast of Burden [2018]


         

A drug smuggler is making his last flight over the border to finance a cure for his wife's cancer. Practically the entire film takes place inside the cockpit of the small plane as our pilot is harassed by drug dealers in one ear and the DEA in the other ...which struck me as counterproductive, actually. May have been a nice gimmick if handled properly but in this case, the guy is totally unlikable and a self-proclaimed loser ...which is true. So why would we care if he succeeds or not? This makes for one long, boring plane ride.

Ballad of a Soldier [1959]

aka Ballada o soldate

         

A Russian soldier on the front line in WWII earns a few days leave to go see his mother after single-handedly taking out 2 German tanks. The entire film is about his travels back home - mostly on a train in a hay car with a girl - and, as such, is pretty darn dull and uneventful. It was also quite over-melodramatic but that can most likely be attributed to the style of Russian war films made in the 50's. Nearly all the action of the film is contained in the trailer so if you're looking for a "war" film, this ain't it. Well made, though.

The Basement [2018]


         

A man is kidnapped and strapped to a chair in a basement by a nut who torments him as different personalities all night long. I'm not sure who was more tortured, the man strapped to the chair or me having to sit through this vapid excuse for a psychological thriller. The antagonist is miscast as there was no apparent change in his personality whether he be a clown or priest or mother making him totally unconvincing as a psycho. Everyone else was uninteresting, the dialogue was dull and the surprise ending was stupid.

Bad Blood: The Movie [2016]


         

Unauthorized experiments using a liquid extracted from frogs turns people into repulsive werefrogs that likes to tear other people apart. I understand this is an amateur, low budget film and I tried to give it some credit for that but, boy ...this was ugly. The writing is third grade level at best, I was embarrassed for the actors, the film spent far too much time on things that did not matter and, overall, it just stunk. The creature was delightfully disgusting and some of the gore gags were cool but that's the best I can say for it.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs [2018]


         

An anthology of western stories brought to us by the Coen Bros. With me, I either love or hate anything the Coen brothers make. In this, the first two stories were quirky, humorous, exceptionally fun entertainment which served to set me up for a big fall as it was all downhill from there. The next two stories were long-winded affairs with unsatisfactory endings. The next one was a wonderful 'romance on a wagon train' story whose ending was so sad, it rendered the whole thing pointless and the last story was just annoying. Works for many ...didn't work for me.

Basket Case [1982]


         

A young man, and his now detached Siamese twin brother that he keeps in a basket, travel to NYC to exact revenge on the doctors that separated them. This comedy, gore fest has low budget written all over it. The acting is abysmal but the more you watch it, the more you realize it's like that by design. The filmmakers knew exactly what they were doing and had absolutely no illusions about what they were making. As a result, this goofy, gory, hilarious farce is super entertaining with a few really good laughs.

Backtrace [2018]


         

Of the 3 men who robbed a bank and hid the money, two are killed and one suffered a shot to the head that left him with no memory. This movie is just bland. The opening shootout was exciting but that was the highlight of the film. The rest is just people going through the motions of a weak script and lifeless directing. The climax was just everyone running around shooting guns with few stunts and no choreography or pizzazz. Sylvester's role was limited to walking around and looking busy until he had to shoot someone.

Bedeviled [2016]


         

After a friends mysterious death, 5 students download a phone app that opens a door for a malicious being. This film is just plain fun! It never really provides the exposition to clearly describe what's happening and the tricks they try at the end to resolve the problem went over my head ...not to mention a couple of serious plot holes. But the characters were real and intelligent, they behaved exactly like you'd expect them to, and the highlight of the film, Mr. Bedeviled, was nothing short of supreme entertainment. Guilty favorite.

Believer [2018]


         

An obsessed task force commander forces a survivor of an explosion to help him find a Mr. Lee, a faceless and illusive drug lord. Excellent story involving some very interesting characters. Not so much an action thriller as it is a drama with some good action sequences, shootouts, and choreographed fights. The ending is about as ambiguous as it gets and, taken in context with the rest of the film, you'll either love it or hate it. I'm still sitting on the fence, myself, but it's a very good film.

Baby Snakes [1979]


      

An excellent slice of musical history from the late 70's featuring one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, Frank Zappa. Mostly stage footage from a series of Halloween concerts in New York - which includes a great sampling of incredible musicianship, irreverent comedy, total insanity, and a few solos from one of the greatest guitar players ever - and also includes a lot of strange backstage shenanigans and a huge chunk of some totally bizarre claymation by Bruce Bickford. Three hours you'll never forget.

The Bad Batch [2016]


         

Labeled a "bad batch", a girl is exiled to an area of desert wasteland where she has to learn to survive among the other bad batchers. What an incredibly boring film. With unnecessary scenes, full of uninspired dialogue, there's no action, no energy, no humor, no personality, and no tension. Even Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves are flat, dull and unlikable. The main protagonist (Suki Waterhouse) came off as a complete airhead that wouldn't know a logical thought if it bit her. Not even the kid was worth a mote of emotion. Truly a desolate wasteland.

Beyond the Black Rainbow [2010]


         

I'd give you an idea of what this movie is about but I wouldn't know what to say as I have no idea. Ponderously slow with hardly any exposition, you'd think I would have really disliked it ...but I didn't. Surrealistically stark and sterile, yet strangely beautiful and colorful, it was like walking through a dream straight out of THX 1138. Even though I was finding it very difficult to make sense of any of it, I was thoroughly hypnotized right up to the very end. What a long, strange trip this was.

Bereavement [2010]

aka Malevolence 2: Bereavement

         

A delusional psychotic kidnaps a boy, who can't feel pain, and trains him on how to slaughter women. In the meantime, a 17-year-old girl is forced to move to her Uncle's because of the death of her parents. When the two stories meet, everyone becomes really stupid and the movie pulls out one contrived scene after another. Neither characters nor the movie itself have any personality whatsoever ...there is just nothing interesting here. Oh, watch the scar on the kids face ...or the lack thereof depending on the scene.

Bethany [2017]


         


A woman inherits her childhood home from her deceased mother ...and her imaginary friend appears to still be living in the wall. This movie was one very long sequence of not-all-that-scary scenes, one right after another, without any progression to the story. Finally they progress into the ending which, weirdly enough, was sick, sad and silly all at the same time.

Better Watch Out [2016]


         

A babysitter and her charge appear to be under attack from an intruder during the Christmas Holidays. I thought this was going to be a typical 'survive the night' style film and kudos for taking us solidly down that path and then making a sudden turn into totally unfamiliar territory. Although presented somewhat light in tone (obviously shooting for the PG crowd, even though it got an R, probably for language more than anything else), this movie is still unnerving and funny on so many levels. Included in Doc's Profoundly Twisted List. Great job!

Beyond White Space [2018]


         

Moby Dick with the whale being a mammoth dragon guarding an area known as White Space. Lots of space action, cool creatures and high tech eye candy so I certainly wasn't bored. However, space physics were readily thrown out the window when inconvenient, the characters were illogically motivated with all the wrong goals, and the way the story played out was an absolute mess. Seeing the anticipated area beyond white space in the final seconds, was terribly anti-climatic ...albeit not entirely unexpected.

Bird Box [2018]


         

Seemingly without explanation or purpose, malevolent beings appear worldwide and anyone who looks upon them are compelled to commit suicide or driven mad, forcing others to look upon how beautiful they are. Sticking true to the premise, as viewers, we are never shown the beings (except in drawings) making them all the more mysterious. However, not all that much happens with much of it being rather repetitive making the whole thing rather dragged out. Compressing the story by 30 mins would have gone miles in giving it some needed energy. Not bad, though.

The Birds [1963]


         

There's a reason this quite often tops horror and monster lists, along with Jaws. The enemy is real; we're surrounded by them ...and this film is a terrifying example of what may happen should they decide to fight back. Over 55 years old, the film is still quite effective. Some of the spec fx are quite dated but still put to excellent use, along with the acting, to create a real sense of dread that Hitchcock is famous for. If you're looking for a good dose of vintage terror, this is a good one. Also, I've lived in this area for nearly 50 years so seeing all the familiar territory is a real treat.

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