Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird: Lesser Known Movies Made in Dallas

For tomorrow's special fundraiser for the Dallas Producers Association fundraiser, IT CAME FROM DALLAS at the Alamo Drafthouse happening tomorrow Thursday, February 19 at 7:30 pm. Everyone knows that JFK, BOTTLE ROCKET, ROBOCOP and even PRIMER were all filmed here. After the break you can check out some of the lesser known, weirder movies that were filmed here with some trailers and links for you to purchase or stream the movies.

Dallas will never be a place like New York or LA, but it's got some rad movies under its belt. You can find more info on IT CAME FROM DALLAS here and the Dallas Producer's Association here.

THE KILLER SHREWS (1959, directed by Ray Kellogg)
This cult classic seems to be as weird of a premise as it can get with mutant shrews terrorizing a community because they have to eat at least 3 times their weight. I kind of love the premise in just how much it stretches logic for the sake of having low-budget "monsters" in the movie. 
You can get the DVD here.

THE GIANT GILA MONSTER (1959, directed by Ray Kellogg)
The trailer for this movie looked awesome where just by the looks of it, a giant lizard is terrorizing a small town. The lizard is obviously just filmed with miniatures so cheap you will never think that there's an actual giant lizard terrorizing a town. Being a fan of kaiju movies, I really don't care about the cheap effects because it looks like it's fun as hell.
You can buy the DVD here

THE SPIDER LABYRINTH/ IL NIDO DEL RAGNO (1988, directed by Gianfranco Giagni)
This is a particularly interesting movie where it's directed by an Italian director for a giallo-style movie partially set in Dallas. The movie deals with a Dallas professor that's called away to investigate the disappearance of a colleague under mysterious circumstances.They were trying to translate these ancient tablets and after he find his colleague, things take a turn for the worse. The soundtrack is apparently pretty good  since it was recently digitally remastered. You can buy it here

PARAMEDICS (1988, directed by Stuart Margolin)
You have a screwball comedy about a couple of slacker paramedics that get into lots of shenanigans. Then they get transferred to a more shady part of town where they have to fight an organ harvesting-gang. Watch via Amazon Prime

HEXED (1993, directed by Alan Spencer)
A lame hotel clerk tries to hook up with a supermodel until she tries to kill him on their date! When she fails to do this, she frames him for a couple of murders so he has to work on clearing his name.
Stream it here.

BLANK CHECK (1994, directed by Rupert Wainwright)
Frankly, this is not my cup of tea, since it's a live-action Disney movie. But the fact that it's basically one of the many HOME ALONE rip-offs that came tugs at my nostalgia. A kid gets a criminal to write him a blank check after running his bike and just like any kid, you write it for $1,000,000 and hilarity ensues as he tries to run from criminals and the FBI.  Buy the DVD here.

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN (1999, directed by Mic Rodgers)
This is the most terrible of the really questionable series. It's so bad that it has been erased from the current cannon of the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER franchise which is surprisingly still going on. Still, it is the last JCVD movie for 13 years and the action is always pretty on point in the UNISOL series.
Stream it on Amazon here.

UPSTREAM COLOR (2013, directed by Shane Carruth)
This might not really be a "lesser known" movie since it was highly revered at the time it came out and it was in my top movies of 2013. The story is pretty out there dealing with a man and a woman whose memories have been altered. What I find really unique is how the movie is set in Dallas, but there's no mention of it and Carruth shoots the movie in a way that makes it feel foreign even to life-long residents. Stream it on Netflix.

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