The Last Action Hero (1993) – John McTiernan

When it was first released The Last Action Hero, which saw Arnold Schwarzenegger reteamed with Predator director John McTiernan, and featuring a script that Shane Black was involved in, the film flopped, failed to find an audience, and marked Arnold’s first failure at the box office. Time has been kind to the film, and rewatching…

The X-Files (1998) – Dreamland II, and How the Ghosts Stole Christmas

The body swap two parter with guest star Michael McKean comes to a conclusion this week with Dreamland II. Written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz this episode was first broadcast on 6 December, 1998. With Mulder (David Duchovny) still stuck in Fletcher’s (McKean) body, and Fletcher in his, Scully (Gillian Anderson) finally…

Mission: Impossible (1967) – Shock!, and A Cube of Sugar

This week’s first mission feels very much familiar in that it hits a number of Mission: Impossible tropes, the mask, the con, the danger and then the resolution. Not that it isn’t fun! Shock! was written by Laurence Heath and was first broadcast on 25 March, 1967. Dan Briggs (Steven Hill) and his usual team,…

Never Send Flowers (1993) – John Gardner

James Bond is back, and while I’ve enjoyed Gardner’s efforts with Ian Fleming’s 007, with the minor exception of The Man From Barbarossa, this entry, his thirteenth (of sixteen) feels like a real stumble. It seems to want to be more in line with the cinematic 007, but without a solid story, or set pieces…

Scorpius (1988) – John Gardner

James Bond’s adventures this week take him around England, and then over to the States in John Gardner’s seventh 007 novel. This time around Bond finds himself taking on an unusual enemy in a story that seems just as relevant today. James is assigned to investigate a religious cult known as the Meek Ones run…

The X-Files (1996) – Jose Chung’s From Outer Space, and Avatar

Darin Morgan delivers what is definitely my favourite episode of the series. This one always ends up on ‘best of’ lists. First airing on 12 April, 1996, Jose Chung’s From Outer Space takes on the alien abduction phenomena, as well as playing with the tropes and stereotypes that spring up around them, as well as…

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) – Jay Roach

It’s odd that this one ends up in DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies, but it comes in under the mechanical menaces section of the book because of the dangerous fembots that menace the titular hero. Mike Myers not only stars in this send up of spy films, but he also wrote it, paying homage…

Little Shop of Horrors (1986) – Frank Oz

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken bring their bring science fiction b-movie musical to the big screen, ably directed by Frank Oz, in this 1986 adaptation that is the next stop in the Monstrous Aliens section of DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies. Rick Moranis plays Seymour, a bit of a schlub with an affectation for…

Paul (2011) – Greg Mottola

One tends to forget how funny Paul is. Written by stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, it is a love letter to sci-fi, geek, and pop culture and is the next stop in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies. Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) are huge geeks, and have finally made it to Comic Con…

Equal Rites (1987) – Terry Pratchett

I head back to Discworld for this week’s Book Shelf, and delve into the third tale from the Terry Pratchett created universe. This story takes us in a different direction, leaving behind the characters introduced in the previous volumes, but gives us another hilariously magical tale. Young Eskarine is a girl, she is the eighth…

Black Sunday (1960) – Mario Bava

Mario Bava’s fantastic gothic feature, Black Sunday aka The Mask of Satan is the next title in Ten Bad Dates With De Niro. This brilliant film, which I had never seen before, has all the enjoyable gothic ambience of Corman’s takes on Poe like The Fall of the House of Usher, and some wonderful gore…