Monday, April 23

Movie Review – The Odds, 2018

I got a chance to check out a new independent horror film this weekend called The Odds. It’s a 2018 film, feature-length, made by Uproar Pictures, written and directed by Bob Giordano.


The story revolves around two main characters, a woman and a man whose names we never learn. It is basically a two-person film (for the most part), and takes place almost entirely in one location. I’ve seen some terrific films of this sort in the past – “man in a box” type stories that are true character-driven stories.  Buried, from 2010 comes to mind (starring Ryan Reynolds), which takes place entirely in a coffin buried underground. For this type story to work you need two main things; a solid script, and great actors. The Odds has both.

The story opens with a young woman (Abbi Butler) entering a warehouse type facility. A man (James J. Fuertes) enters the room and sits at a table opposite her. We learn that she has entered a game, and the man is the facilitator of the game. She is competing against unseen players in distant locations, the winner to receive one million dollars. To win, she must have a high threshold for pain, as she is subjected to a different torture technique each round. The facilitator is in communication with the game leaders through a Bluetooth earpiece. Once three players drop out each round is over. We learn that the final round involves a game of Russian roulette, and once you reach that round there is no backing out. This ultimately leads her to question herself, her motivations, the man across from her, and even the game itself.


The film brought to mind for me a short story by Roald Dahl called Man from the South, which has been adapted several times, initially for TV as an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (starring Peter Lorre), where a man bets his car against another man’s little finger that his lighter will work ten times in a row. Most recently Quentin Tarantino did a version of this same story for the 1995 film Four Rooms.


The bulk of the story involves the back and forth dialogue between the two main actors. It would be easy to become bored with a 107-minute movie featuring just two characters, but that isn’t the case here. The script is well-written and builds tension throughout, engaging the viewer and drawing them in with excellent performances from the two leads.


The violence may be tough to watch in places for some people, but I thought the film did an excellent job presenting the violence without wallowing in it, walking that fine line without crossing into torture-porn territory. I found it an entertaining film, and worth tracking down. I understand a sequel in in the works, as well.

The Odds is currently making the festival circuit and will be screening at this year’s Nashville Film Festival on Friday May 11th, 9pm, and Thursday May 17 at 8:30pm.

Saturday, March 24

The Final Episode of The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price - Edward Scissorhands

Here it is, the final episode of The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price, exploring Vincent's last three films - Catchfire, Edward Scissorhands, and The Heart of Justice. This has been quite a ride, making a video for each of Vincent's theatrically released films as well as a number of other projects along the way, including his books, TV work, radio and more. Thank you all for joining me along the way, and for all your support. It's been a fun project.


In closing, I just want to mention that this series is nominated for a Rondo Award for classic horror excellence. If you have enjoyed this series, please consider voting for it for Best Multimedia. The ballot is at rondoaward.com, or you can just send an email to taraco@aol.com and let them know you'd like to vote for The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price for best Multimedia. Voting goes through April 8th.

Saturday, March 10

The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price #86 - Dead Heat



In this episode, Dr. Gangrene takes a look at this 1988 horror/comedy film starring Joe Piscopo and Treat Williams, with appearances from two genre favorites, Vincent Price and Darren McGavin.

 About this series: Dr. Gangrene, Physician of Fright and Award-winning Nashville-based TV Horror Host explores the films of the merchant of menace, Vincent Price, in chronological order from first to last, approaching them from a scholarly perspective, offering commentary, review, and criticism.

 Music: "Backed Vibes", "Hot Swing" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Opening Credits Artwork: Used by permission from Mark Maddox, http://www.maddoxplanet.com/ All film clips © respective studios and used purely for academic purposes and Fair Use under Copyright Act 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107 #drgangrene #vincentprice

Saturday, March 3

Tuesday, February 27

Alfred Hitchcock Music to be Murdered by LP



 Dr. Gangrene takes a look at the reissue Lp for the 1958 album ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MUSIC TO BE MURDERED BY. Music by the Jeff Alexander Orchestra. Get your copy here - Amazon affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2HPzuEL

Friday, February 16

Saturday, February 3

Saturday, January 27

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