Robert Wm. Gomez's

Tomb Raider II on MS-DOS (6/10)

Tomb Raiding Too

This game is part of a Tomb Raider three pack at GOG.com. I tried to play Tomb Raider 1, but I had already played the vastly superior remake, and I felt no need to revisit the same game but with bad controls and visuals. I would like to think that the second game has some technical improvements on the first, but it's still clunky as hell.

Mandy (8/10)

I absolutely hated Beyond the Black Rainbow but felt I had to watch it before watching this. Mandy might be a tad over-hyped, but it is leagues better than that artsy garbage fire. There at least is a story here. Even though it's kinda dumb. It gives you something to hang on to while you watch the images fly by. I get the feeling that Mandy was just an excuse to make a movie that looks like 70s prog-rock album covers complete with glowing geometric shapes and demonic, shadowy motorcycle riders.

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Grudge Song (6/10)

The final installment in the Scorpion series is much more straightforward than the previous movies. From what I can tell, most reviewers rank this as the worst in the series but I think I liked it a bit better than Beast Stable. Sure, it's not as crazy, but there is a more coherent story and a semblance of character development for Nami. There's a bit of a love story and you think she might find peace.

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (5/10)

A huge drop in quality for this the third Scorpion movie. Much of the visual flair is gone and the plot, which should be a simple revenge story, has trouble finding any focus. It does open with an absolutely fantastic scene involving a severed arm and a casual walk through Tokyo. I feel like the whole movie would be better if they just stayed with the arm the whole time. Instead we get another uncomfortable rape, but this time add incest to the mix. Throw in a couple of abortions and then we're back to prison for the final revenge.

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (7/10)

The second film in this series has the same visual flair of the first. This entry is a pretty standard prisoners on the run plot where the escapees do stupid stuff that will, of course, lead them to being captured again. A little bit more gory than before, which is good. But a little bit more rapey than before, which is not so good.

Kwaidan (7/10)

Japanese horror anthology from the mid-sixties that features beautiful surreal sets and cinematography but is very light on the horror. There are four stories. I liked the first two in which there was killer hair and an ice ghost. The third is the longest segment and spends way too much time in historical flashbacks. The fourth one is about a ghost that lives in tea. Yeah, that's about it.

(9/10)

In the middle of the film I kind of forgot that it opens in with crazy dreamy imagery. It wasn't until it started to return to its more obvious dreaminess that the whole thing began to click with me. I still don't think I fully got it... something about art and truth and a mid-life crisis. Doesn't matter. It's beautiful to look at and by the end you want to watch it again, knowing where it's heading. I'm surprised I liked this as much as I did.

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (8/10)

I guess fantastical prison movies have been a thing in Japan since long before Story of Ricky. This one is as sleazy as a Roger Corman outing  but ups the brutality of the guards to crazy levels. It's not terribly gory, just ruthless and hyper-stylized. The best scene is when a fellow prisoner goes nuts in the shower and the lighting plus the make-up turn her into a wild kabuki killer. There are apparently three more films in this series, so we'll see how far they are going to take things.

Mysteries of the Unknown: Transformations by Time-Life Books (8/10)

Transformations is divided into three main sections: native American shapeshifters, werewolves and vampires. The shapeshifters chapter is filled with interesting images of masks and totems. The most interesting info were the stories about feral children. The other two sections  cover medieval tales of killings that were attributed to werewolves and vampires. The stories really are just about serial killers who blamed their ravings on the supernatural. Overall, a solid entry in the series.