Making Contact aka Joey

Despite there being a demonic ventriloquist in Making Contact, nobody quips, “you’d be angry too if you had a hand up your butt.” Lost opportunity.

Despite its title, Making Contact is not an alien move. That’s just one of the many, many odd things about this one.

Youngster Joey loses his father, and we, the audience don’t know either the extent of the relationship, nor what happened to pops. It’s not like that’d be dramatically interesting or anything. Soon after the burial, Joey is communicating with him through the great beyond, and via a ridiculous giant red telephone.

Soon, Joey is possessed by the aforementioned ventriloquist dummy that looks like Dr. Edwin Tyrell, the replicant creator from Blade Runner. Then Joey develops telekinetic powers. Why? Damned if we know, but fire us a message if you do…

Soon, Joey’s telekinetic powers are the subject of lots of scientific investigation (that is, LOTS of investigation. Soon, about a hundred or so neuroscientists, psychologists, physiologists, descend on the homestead).

When it was released in North America, the movie switched titles to Joey and had a bunch of minutes trimmed from the finished product. At 79 minutes, it makes not a lick of sense. Perhaps at 98 minutes, there’s more meat here?

In 2016, Kino Lorber announced a Blu-ray with new high definition transfer.

(Check out our podcast discussion of Joey/Making Contact here)

 

 

 

 

Cellar Dweller

We all know that in horror, it’s best not to go in the basement. But don’t take our word for it, there’s a movie called Don’t Go in the Basement (it’s also got the more descriptive title, The Forgotten, which it’s largely been). Cellar Dweller hopes we heed the basement advice as well.

For the horror rhyming enthusiast in your life, it’d be good to recommend Cellar Dweller after they’re finished with Jack’s Back, The Driller Killer, and Fright Night.

A straight-to-video obscurity from the late 80s, Cellar Dweller is a film that invests a bunch in its practical effects, at the expense of everything else.

Set in an arts retreat (dubbed “a colony” by its matriarch, Mrs Briggs) Cellar Dweller focuses on the doin’s of a bunch of artist-types, each with their own specialty: Whitney the budding illustrator, Amanda the visual/new media artist, Norman and Lisa the method-actors, and Brian, the abstract expressionist who’s abstractions aren’t too expressive (he has a sparse-looking bovine watercolor that he’s dubbed “Angst.”)

They’ve each been instructed not to go in the basement. But we all know that that won’t happen, right?

In the film’s prologue, graphic artist Colin Childress (played with nerd-verve by everyone’s favorite 80s gore-geek Jeffrey Combs) is illustrating a beastly creature in his subterranean studio. His art springs off the page, and literally comes to life, attacking him.

Fast forward 30 years and Childress’ lore lives on, even when the artist does not.

So what lurketh beneath in that basement?

In a very spare 77 minutes, you’ll find out.

Directed by John Carl Buechler, who most of you will know from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (first appearance by Kane Hodder as the man behind the mask), this one whips by fairly quickly and falls into the category of solid time-waster.

**3/4 (out of 5)