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My Letterboxd reviews of Full Tilt Boogie, Nightmare Factory, and They Live

Another documentary double bill. First up, Sarah Kelly’s fly-on-the-wall/in-the-ointment making-of doc Full Tilt Boogie:

One of those ‘things didn’t turn out the way they expected’ documentaries, whereby a pretty simple behind-the-scenes hangout with the cast and crew (mostly crew) of Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn gets complicated by union troubles, bad weather, shitty food, and even the odd fire.

Then Nightmare Factory popped up in my Netflix recommendations as the credits rolled:

A serendipitous viewing this, coming after Full Tilt Boogie, as it features the very same special effects crew, KNB EFX Group. It’s basically the story of how they came to be, and what they do best, but it kind of falls between two stools: not enough of a story to tell, as there’s not a lot of drama in these horror nerds’ lives; and not enough of the nitty-gritty technical stuff to appeal to the Movie Magic geeks (like me).

And with the recent death of Roddy Piper, I thought They Live deserved a repeat viewing:

On closer inspection, there’s only enough plot here for a much shorter film; the pacing is haphazard at best, as Carpenter desperately tries to stretch the story to feature length. Hence the infamous 10-minute alley fight, which seems more and more a happy accident against the countless scenes of moody staring in lieu of action or dialogue that surround it. Still, Roddy Piper (RIP) brought his trademark magnetism to the lead role, and his chemistry with Keith David keeps things just about ticking till the denouement draws closer and the ultra-low budget really starts to show.