The Cosmic Man (1959)
Director: Herbert S. Greene
Writer: Arthur C. Pierce
Cast: John Carradine, Bruce Bennett, Angela Greene
Runtime: 72 Minutes

Synopsis: A being from another planet lands on Earth. Apparently this is too much for some people to handle. All sorts of science fiction-related drama ensues.

Why You Should Watch: First of all - John Carradine! Why wouldn't you watch a movie starring the legendary John Carradine? Honestly The Cosmic Man is kind of a slow-moving yarn, but it's a notch above the other 1950s sci-fi tales to come streaming out of Hollywood during this era. The flick isn't for everyone, but it's worth a look if you're into the genre.

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Willow Creek (2013)
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Writer: Bobcat Goldthwait
Cast: Alexie Gilmore, Peter Jason, Bryce Johnson
Runtime: 80 minutes

Synopsis: An attractive young couple armed with a video camera set out in search of the legend known as the Blair Witch. I mean Bigfoot.

Thoughts: I was hoping that writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait would deliver a halfway decent Bigfoot movie with his 2013 horror flick Willow Creek. Unfortunately, he's put together an experience that is equal parts The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Blair Witch Project. The premise is beyond simple - a man and his woman attempt to locate the legendary monster in the middle of a dense forest - though I can generally overlook such uninspired ideas if the filmmaker puts together something wholly unique. Sadly, Goldthwait and company have crafted an unapologetic Blair Witch rip-off, right down to a scene where our heroes are menaced inside a tent. Although this extended take is quite intense, it still gives you a "been there, done that" sensation that's hard to shake. Even the ending seems lifted straight from the bowels of Blair Witch. Willow Creek is just another sad imitator attempting to pass itself off as something original. Unless you just love "found footage" horror flicks, steer clear of this one. Sorry, Bobcat.

Recipe For Disaster: Too Many Borrowed Ideas and Recycled Scares + A Heavy Dose of Wonky Pacing + Naked Women in the Forest Aren't Scary

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Leprechaun Origins (2014)
Director: Zach Lipovsky
Writers: Matt Venne, Harris Wilkinson
Cast: Stephanie Bennett, Andrew Dunbar, Melissa Roxburgh
Release Date: August 26 (VOD)

Synopsis: Youngsters who decide to go backpacking through the wilds of Ireland discover a rebooted version of a horror icon most people never liked in the first place.

First Impressions: Someone looking to make some easy cash decided that the Leprechaun series needed a reboot. Unfortunately, the individuals responsible for this DTV outing forgot that Warwick Davis is the only reason people could stomach the series. Replacing the actor with a wrestler seems moronic, but I'm sure there's a market for such cinematic tomfoolery. Who am I kidding - I'll probably end up watching it. The abortion hits home video later this year.

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Frankenstein's Army (2013)
Director: Richard Raaphorst
Writers: Chris W. Mitchell, Richard Raaphorst, Miguel Tejada-Flores
Cast: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym
Runtime: 84 minutes

Synopsis: A group of Russian soldiers answer a distress call in the middle nowhere. Guess what? It's a trap filled with diabolical monsters.

Thoughts: I love outlandish monster movies, and I adore violent war flicks. So you'd think director Richard Raaphorst's action/horror hybrid Frankenstein's Army would appeal directly to my warped cinematic sensibilities. Unfortunately, I was never completely sold on the whole World War II-era "found footage" concept. What's worse, Raaphorst tried to generate some misguided suspense by taking his sweet time getting to the good stuff. Unfortunately, it just makes this 84 minute adventure seem much, much longer. When the creatures finally make their on-screen appearance, at least they're a feast for the eyes. The fact that you only catch small glimpses of these abominations is a wise move considering the filmmakers probably didn't have a huge budget at their disposal. Sadly, Frankenstein's Army is just too clunky to warrant repeat viewings. The monsters are cool and the effects are solid, but the movie itself never really comes together. A valiant effort, though it misses the mark more often than not.

Recipe For Mediocrity: One Very Slow Opening + Raaphorst's Questionable Decision to Make This a Found Footage Flick + An Extremely Silly Final Shot

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Nightmare City (1980)
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Writers: Antonio Cesare Corti, Luis MarĂ­a Delgado, Piero Regnoli
Cast: Hugo Stiglitz, Laura Trotter, Maria Rosaria Omaggio
Runtime: 92 minutes

Synopsis: Murderous mutant freaks are unleashed on an Italian city. Only a bearded reporter stands between us and the end of the world. Don't hold your breath.

Thoughts: I was pretty excited when Netflix added director Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City to its streaming service. Although I'd heard a lot about the movie, I'd never had the opportunity to watch it. Imagine my surprise when what I thought was a serious horror flick shot a steamy load of hot cinematic cheese directly into my gaping maw. The film brazenly fills your beautiful brain with silly depictions of Italian government officials and sleazy TV dance programs that are inexplicably overrun by a violent band of homicidal goons. The experience is essentially a zombie flick with unstable freaks in place of shambling corpses. My enjoyment of the picture was based solely on its penchant for over-the-top goofiness as opposed to its ability to deliver straightforward horror. I can't say that Nightmare City is a good movie, but it's certainly entertaining. At the end of the day, that's all I can really ask for in a motion picture. Definitely worth streaming.

Recipe For Success: Deformed Mutants Bothering Naked Women + Lackluster Government Response to Outrageous Scenarios + One Ridiculous Ending

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