Robert Wm. Gomez's

One-armed Swordswoman (8/10)

This has all the trappings of a boring, low-rent "guys doing kung-fu in an empty field because the producers were too cheap to build sets" martial arts film. It transcends its cheapness with an over-abundance of gravity defying wire-work and bad makeup effects. The whole "one-armed" thing has no bearing on the story whatsoever either. She loses the arm and three minutes later she's back to slashing baddies. This is not a great film, but it certainly was fun.

Layers of Fear on PC (4/10)

Layers of Dolls

Another walking simulator but this time with a horror theme. The whole point of this "game" is to make your way through an old haunted house and get hit with a jump scare every four minutes. At first this is very thrilling. After the fiftieth time, not so much. Technically there are about three puzzles in the game. Mostly you encounter a lock, look around the room, get hit with a jump scare, and then see the combination in the aftermath. On top of this, the story is lame and required too much effort searching around for notes and clues for me to care. Glad I didn't have to pay for this one.

Daughters of Darkness (9/10)

Daughters of Darkness rivals Argento's best work from the 70s in terms of style and design. Every frame is a masterpiece of bold colors (mostly red) and stark composition. Even the plain Helvetica opening credits are a visual treat. The story doesn't quite hold up to the visuals, but it had enough going for it to keep me interested. Despite the vampire elements, this is definitely not a horror movie. It would make a nice double feature with The Duke of Burgundy.

Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann (4/10)

I agreed with many of his main points on stereotyping, democracy, propaganda, and the inability for a potential voter to actually understand beyond their personal realm. But, man-o-man, this is not what I would call a "fun" read. Lots of 1920s news references and lots of rambling prose. I know I'm not the target audience here, but geez liven it up Walter. For what it's worth, the book was very Hayekian in it's view of the limits of knowledge.

The Shadow Boxing (6/10)

A supposed sequel to The Spiritual Boxer which I've seen but never posted a review. Both movies are comedies but this one is really ridiculous. This is the first Chinese hopping vampire movie I've ever watched. As far as movie monsters go, they're probably the lamest ever imagined. Just weird and goofy. If you can look past the bonkers premise, it's entertaining as far as these things go. Gordon Liu is an added bonus.

The Witness on PC (9/10)

The Witness

The Witness is from the same developer who created the superb Braid. It feels like a cross between that game and Myst. Once again the game play centers around puzzle solving, but instead of time manipulation, you are solving mazes. I know what your thinking, "Mazes? Are you kidding me. Ever since the 'Twisty maze of passages, all alike' mazes have been the bane of every video gamer's existence." At first I thought the same thing. The first dozen puzzles are so easy that I assumed this was just going to be another boring walking simulator with challenges thrown in just to extend the experience a few more minutes. But then you encounter the next set of mazes which sprinkle in a few new rules (which you have to discover on your own) and things start to get more challenging. Get a little further, then you have an epiphany and realize not everything is what it seems. Perspective and your place in the 3-D environment start to matter. At that point I was sold and fully immersed myself in the world (this would make an incredible VR game).

The Dragon Missile (7/10)

Like The Flying Guillotine, the title here refers to a deadly decapitation weapon. The dragon missile is two boomerang swords that spin, hover and grind their way through stone, trees and skulls. Lo Lieh is at the center of the story and it's unclear as to whether or not he's the bad guy or a good guy trapped in a bad job. That is until his cuts off his mother's head. From then on, seemingly minor characters are now the heroes as they try to enact revenge.

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs (6/10)

I went into this book knowing nothing of the many Mrs. Peregrine books/movies/after-dinner mints. Unless Shirley Temple is the main character, I'm not one for reading YA fiction. These stories are decidedly Shirley Temple-free, and, as such, lack any references to The Good Ship Lollipop. There are a few ships in it, and for the most part they are good-ish. The rest of the book is comprised of a dozen or so wacky fables which involve various "peculiar" characters.

House of Traps (5/10)

An average and confusing Shaw Bros. film. I guess this is a continuation of the Deadly Venoms franchise? The titular House of Traps isn't that impressive. Only 4 traps! I couldn't really tell who was who. Only redeeming part is an over-the-top nail-bed torture scene.