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Barry Wurst II

Barry Wurst II
Barry Wurst II is a senior editor & film critic at MAUIWatch. He wrote film reviews for a local Maui publication and taught film classes at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS). Wurst also co-hosted podcasts for Screengeeks.com and has been published in Bright Lights Film Journal and in other film-related websites. He is currently featured in the new MAUIWatch Podcast- The NERDWatch.

Looking Back: Dominion- Prequel to The Exorcist (2005)

One of the best stories about Hollywood filmmaking has to be the making of the oddly titled “Dominion- Prequel to The Exorcist.” Cobbled together from various stories, interviews, news reports and Tinseltown, the tale, as I understand it, goes like this: the Morgan Creek company had planned to produce a prequel to William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist.” From a financial and …

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Looking Back: Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Bruce Joel Rubin’s screenplay for “Jacob’s Ladder” was famous for being one of the most beloved but unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Big name directors and actors were lured to the project, then abandoned it, believing what Ruben created was brilliant but would never translate to the big screen. Rubin’s story, of a man named Jacob Singer who is haunted by …

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Looking Back: Red Eye (2005)

The last great film by director Wes Craven was “Red Eye,” his oddly Hitchcockian two-hander from 2005, set mostly on an airplane. Rachel McAdams stars as Lisa, a workaholic whose flight is cancelled and must stall at the airport and await a red eye alternative. She meets a handsome stranger, played by Cillian Murphy, who identifies himself as “Jack Rippner.” …

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Looking Back: Coyote Ugly (2000)

I hate “Coyote Ugly.” That’s not a good place to start for a movie review but I thought I’d come clean and go from there. Rehashing the story just makes me angry but here it is: Violet (played by Piper Perabo) leaves her home to pursue her dream of becoming a country singer in…Nashville, Tennesee? Nope. Hollywood, California? Uh-ugh. Houston, …

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Movie Review: Knock Knock

Horror filmmaker Eli Roth’s “Knock Knock” is a semi-stretch for him and his star, Keanu Reeves. The former Neo and current John Wick plays Evan, a wealthy, happily married family man who, on a dark and stormy night alone, invites two young, attractive women into his home. They need a ride home, their clothes are wet and Evan, a gracious …

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Looking Back: Cursed (2005)

The two most intriguing horror genre films of 2005 were Paul Schrader’s “Dominion- Prequel to The Exorcist” and Wes Craven’s “Cursed,” both of which had scandalously troubled productions and seemed in danger of never being released. I’ll explore “Dominion” in a later Looking Back but want to give “Cursed” the evaluation it deserves. Few films have been through the post-production …

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Looking Back: Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

There’s no resisting the curiosity of when a comedic actor collaborates with a serious director. Unlikely but potent, even essential team-ups like Robin Williams and Peter Weir, Adam Sandler and Paul Thomas Anderson, Jim Carrey and Milos Foreman, and Steve Martin and David Mamet come to mind. The potentially tasty combo of Eddie Murphy and horror maverick Wes Craven nearly …

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Looking Back: Lord of Illusions (1995)

Patience and a strong stomach are a must for Clive Barker’s “Lord of Illusions,” a horror/detective thriller hybrid I resisted for years before finally becoming a fan after a fourth viewing. Here’s the thing: if you’re a fan of imaginative, layered horror films and aren’t especially squeamish, this will work for you. If you’re feeling like an adventurous filmgoer, know …

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Looking Back: Fright Night (1985)

The premise of “Fright Night” still holds a faint resonance in pop culture, but just barely. I don’t mean the film overall but the TV program within the film of the same name. In the 1985 horror classic, “Fright Night,” a genre leading man, Peter Vincent (played by Roddy McDowell) is the host of a horror movie TV series that …

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Looking Back: Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (1985)

While Stephen King’s popularity has never waned, there was a time when his name and works were ubiquitous. You couldn’t go to a bookstore, turn on a TV, read a magazine or go to a multiplex and not see his name, seemingly everywhere. In the mid-80’s, King’s novels, TV-movies and film adaptations, magazine cover stories and TV interviews were unavoidable. …

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