What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

I will say up front that this film is rated R for bloody images and violent content, so viewer discretion is advised. These days, it seems, kids see stuff far more graphic than this, but there are a few scenes that might be questionable.

This is one of my favorite movies. They made a TV series out of it, and I haven’t seen that yet. It’s on my list. The premise to this mockumentary is that a film crew was granted access to interview a group of vampires who share a flat in New Zealand–reality television with the undead. It’s hilarious! They don’t really get along all that well. They have the same mundane problems that college roomies do: there’s always someone who leaves a mess, doesn’t pay rent on time, won’t cooperate with flat rules. Then there are other problems, such as, how do you get dressed for a fancy party when you can’t see your own reflection? And then there’s that annoying gang of werewolves to deal with. (Know how to distract them? Throw a stick!) There’s an ancient vampire named Petyr in the basement who looks pretty corpsey and doesn’t speak. Viago, the most agreeable of the bunch, is in charge of feeding him. It seems Petyr might eat Viago if he’s not careful.

Co-written and co-directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this film is fresh, clever, and thoroughly entertaining. Taika as Viago is the pleaser, the one who wants to keep harmony and maintain a clean, respectable flat. Jemaine as Vladislav, self-described as “dead, but delicious” is charming but his love life is in shambles and he is tormented by “The Beast”–not who you might think. No need to wait until October to see it, though it’s a great way to start the spooky season. Even if you aren’t into vampires, you should expect to sink your teeth into this film.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 96/100!

Here is a link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAZEWtyhpes


Paranormals (2014)

Director: Evan Falbaum

Stars: Daniel Lachman, Kemerton Hargrove Jr., Mitch Landry

A charming bromance movie about Adam and Thomas, two best friends who’ve been ghost hunting together since childhood. As they enter adulthood, Thomas gets a “real job” at an office in Dallas with a double cubicle and his own little computer. Adam must find a new partner if he is going to start a ghost hunting business. But Adam’s new partner is a shady con artist and Thomas’s success is thwarted by an adversary in the office.

This isn’t a scary movie at all, so if you’re looking for a scare, this isn’t it. The film has the pace and indie feel of the series The Detectorists and one of my favorite films Safety Not Guaranteed. I recommend it for its originality and quirkiness. And if you work in a tedious job with a cubicle and a copier that seems to malfunction with regularity, this is a must see.

The Linguini Incident (1991)

This gem is one of my all-time favorites.
Sadly, it was not widely distributed and fell into obscurity. The plot isn’t very complicated: she wants to refine her Houdini act; he needs a green card. They both need money and work in a ridiculously over-the-top trendy restaurant that could withstand a little robbery.
I like Roseanne Arquette and David Bowie–they seem very comfortable together… but what really makes this interesting in my mind is the very quirky dialogue. There are some unexpected, random and quite funny moments of banter. I bought up a bunch of VHS copies, and finally got someone to put it on a DVD for me. If you can find this, it’s a delightfully odd little Rom Com.

The ‘Burbs (1989)

I suspect the reason I love this movie is that it reminds me of my childhood. I lived on a U-shaped street; my best friend lived at the joint, so she could see both sides of the U. I don’t know how many calls we had that began, “Look out the window!”

I’ve watched this oodles of times, and would sit down and watch it again. It just cracks me up.

This is one of the few movies I can think of where I really noticed the music– it’s perfect.

All performances are just great. Terrific cast. A treat.

“It’s the Pizza Dude!”



I’d like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor, but we’re all different. I don’t like inane comedy. Jerry Lewis makes me break out in hives. Mo, Larry and Curly make me crawl in my own skin.

Thai humor is really juvenile, but it does make me laugh for its simplicity.

Go figure.

I’m posting my favorites — see what you think!