family affair…

Gumby On my commute home yesterday, I received a text stating that last night would be family movie night. Family movie night means a couple of things around these parts… It means a quick drive down to the Star Theater to pick up a large tub of “movie” popcorn and a pack of Twizzlers, and it also means that we will be (most likely) scrounging Netflix for whichever kid movie my daughter wants to watch. The selection this time was unexpected for multiple reasons… Gumby 1 (aka, Gumby: The Movie). Firstly, I had no idea that there was any such thing as a Gumby movie. Secondly, once I learned of it I assumed that it would be just another big Hollywood pilfering and altering of our cultural icons. Boy… Was I wrong.


Gumby 1 is most certainly the real thing. A low-budget genuine claymation film about Gumby and Pokey made by the guy who actually invented Gumby. And, for that, it is just great!


It seems that not all is well in clayland! Gumby has a band, The Clayboys, and the amount of time that he spends with them is making poor old Pokey feel down in the dumps. But who cares about that because then two exciting things happen! An agent discovers the band and wants them to film a video, and the band decides to have a benefit concert to help some farmers who are facing repossession! All of this goodness is spoiled, ala Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, by the Blockheads who decide to kidnap the band (including the manager and their mascot dog) and replace them with robots!!!


Well, you’ll have to watch it to find out what happens, but there is lots of driving in and out of books and just great old school claymation. Strangely, there is a lot of music in it which has a surprisingly hard rock feel to it. Hmmm… Who’d of thunk that’s what Gumby was into. And there are also plenty of positive thoughts and reflective statements to give the kids that sort of good moral development that they are craving.

SpiderholeAfter this movie and the family going off to bed, I followed it up with Spiderhole. A British horror film about four young folks who set of to find a house to take over with Squatters rights (gah, can people really still do that?). They find a good house but, of course, contrary to appearances, the house that they break into isn’t as abandoned as it appears. And, you are expecting, they become the prey of some ruthless and mysterious figure! Bad things happen to these kids, in reasonably grisly ways that are nicely done. Not too corny nor overbearing. And they do a good job of keeping the antagonist somewhat unknown and maintaining a good maze-like feel to the set. Not in the really dumb way made popular by Saw, but it a reasonable way… Sometimes it reminded me a bit of the original Texas Chainsaw house… But with a richer color palette. All in all, I thought it was pretty good, enough to keep me interested and not so underdone that I would be embarrassed and bored by watching it.



 

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