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Likes: 70's and 80's horror films, early punk music, anything Cronenberg, forgotten films,clog dancing, throwing rocks at old people, shaved pandas, Russ Meyer movies, short people who try to start bar fights (cracks me up everytime),Clive Barker novels,really cool comb overs,Anything Argento, and plaid pants
Dislikes: Adam Sandler movies, people who fly into a rage whenever the name Uwe Boll is mentioned, old people who don't like having rocks thrown at them,I am not wearing any pants as I write this-just thought you would want to know,barebone dvds released 6 months before special editions just to make sure that everyone buys the same movie twice,people who don't laugh while watching Caddyshack but do while watching Happy Gilmore,athletes who feel that 5 million a year is an insult, anyone who can get married - divorced - and married again all in the same year,the fact that Keira Knightley has gotten to appear in a dozen major movies but the real star of Bend it like Beckham is stuck on a tv series that is long past its prime and is limping to the finish line (sure its nice that Parminder can act but if only she were cute, white and were capable of really vacant facial expressions),the fact that most Greydon Clark movies are not available anymore, big jerks who try to lie about their family even though it is obvious that they are full of crap,peoples lack of trust in me when I try to convince them that the movie and subsequent broadway play 'Footloose' was actually based very loosely on my Grandparents adventures in World War II Germany, every moron who ever did something stupid to injure themselves and still had the nerve to sue someone else,the fact that no matter how hard I stare I can not make womens blouses pop open like Scott Baio did in that cool movie "Zapped",The fact that Danny Bonaduce is a lunatic but his career is still in better shape than Susan Dey's, people who make really neat (and only somewhat dangerous) toys be pulled from the market because potentially something might happen to really dumb children,the fact that Jessica Alba can list actress as her occupation on her tax forms and not be arrested for lying on her return,the fact that no one watched Arrested Development (R.I.P. Damn you, damn you all to hell,a little harsh but it just had to be said),fact that John Carpenter has not directed a film since 2001,getting a deep kiss from a crazy homeless guy at a bus stop, the fact that war is a terrible thing but it has inspired so many great video games I have to support it,the fact that Chevy Chase is not longer considered a movie star,people who can't remember any movie that is more than 10 years old, waking up after a night of heavy drinking next to a 300 transvestite named Waldo,people who figure that if a actress is cute she must be talented (I'm looking at you Jessica Alba fans I mean come on, the girl makes Misty Mundae look like Meryl Streep), anyone who is easily offended, people who will say that something tastes like poop despite the fact that they never actually tasted poop - for all we know poop might actually taste like chicken,the fact that few apartment buildings allow horses,any woman over either 25 years or 250 pounds who wears a midriff baring shirt (its for skinny teens not chubby adults okay), anyone who adjusts their car engine to make it louder,DJ's who refuse to play polka music on top 40 stations, policeofficers who refuse to accept the existance of the norweigan tradition "pantless tuesdays",ordering a boston cream donut and getting one filled with lint and snot (has not happened yet, but if it did I am reasonably sure I would not like it), white rappers,suburban punkers (if you are white and from the suburbs either play Rock or learn to dance in formation),people who dance in formation (hey I didn't tell you to do it, I just suggested it as a option, you made the wrong choice buddy), sequels that contradict the original film,the fact the penis is effected so strongly by the cold,people who assume a movie is bad if its a remake,people who assume any movie with Ethan Hawke is really deep,when an indian catches me littering and I have to pick it up to stop his damn crying,when I get hate mail for using the term indian, when I get hate mail for littering, when I get hate mail for littering from an indian, being rejected by the crazy homeless guy at the bus stop as he deep kisses the person standing right next to me, people who have failed to notice that Woody Allen has not made a half decent film in almost twenty years,the fact that using the cute term "little dumplin' butt'" is considered inappropriate when talking to a female cop,if you are still reading this than you are more bored than I am,the fact that the village people only got to make one movie,the fact that Jennifer Lopez got to make more than one movie, the fact that most women can not be seduced by suggestive dance no matter how hard I gyrate (and trust me, this boy can gyrate),the fact that Shaun Majumder is still doing his stand up in dinner theaters and Rob Schneider continues to make really crappy movies, the simpsons in its 35th season is still fresher and funnier than any episode of 2 and a half men, not being able to locate a phantom smells origin, people who have only watched Gone in 60 seconds who assume Nick Cage can't act, when pathetically bad movies get sequels (Mission Impossible 3 and Fantastic Four 2), when great ones don't (Streets of fire, Buckaroo Banzai) and really hot looking women with large breasts and a lot of money who refuse to go out with someone simply because they are ugly, overweight, smell badly and have a really cool comb over, I mean really how superficial can some people be.
ck]crapfests that caused internal bleeding when I attempted to watch
Big Daddy -This movie seems to hate its audience almost as much as I hate it.
Fantastic Four -Wow, this makes the Corman version look brilliant
Closer -It's only close to sucking
Pretty Woman -Hooking, it does a body good
Solaris (remake) -dull, dull, deadly DULL
Master of Disguise -where have you been Dana Carvey and when are you going back?
Super Mario Brothers -lamest videogame movie ever
Armageddon -does it really take less time to teach oil workers to be astronauts than teach astronauts to drill a hole?
War of the Worlds (remake)-2 hrs of running away, 5 min. of fighting back.
V for Vendetta -beware Portman's shifting accent and try to figure out how the government stayed in power for so long after they are sunk by a five minute diatribe delivered a year earlier during a brief news interruption. Have they never heard of propaganda? How could they not have figured out a response? Man I hate this movie!ck]
My Top List (since everyone else has one and damn it, I just want to be a funky cool cat) 1. Citizen Kane (1941) Believe the hype
2. Olvidados, Los (1950) The kids long before KIDS
3. The Exorcist (1973) The perfect horror film
4. Star Wars (1977) -Perfect Sci-fi
5. A Christmas Story (1983) Not only hilarious but so very real
6. The Stunt Man (1980) -O'Toole is flawless
7. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) My favourite Kubrick effort
8. Solyaris (1972) -Avoid the remake at all costs
9. Videodrome -One hell of a mind *beep* Cronenberg�s best
10. The Birth of a Nation (1915) Remarkable film but so very wrong
11. Requiem for a Dream (2000) -Most fun you will ever have being depressed
12. Airplane! (1980) no Feet
13. The Devil's Rejects (2005) It bitch slaps natural born killers
14. Boot, Das (1981) Best war film ever
15. Halloween (1978) -Scary Shatner face is coming
16. 8MM (1999) The best Cage performance ever
17 King Kong (1933) -Can't beat the original
18. The Big Lebowski (1998) Bowling is cool
19. Streets of Fire (1984) WOULD YOU JUST WATCH THE DAMN FILM!
20. Adaptation. (2002) Amazing performances
Thanks May your forehead grow like the mighty oak
If anyone reads more than 3 of my posts I will undoubtably write something that annoys you. Please keep in mind that I have no interest in either offending anyone or starting a flame war. If I post something that really bothers you please feel free to private message me and if I crossed the line, will remove it. Of course, if I don't think I crossed the line, I will dance around while pointing and laughing.
1. Citizen Kane (1941) Believe the hype 2. Olvidados, Los (1950) The kids long before KIDS 3. The Exorcist (1973) The perfect horror film 4. Star Wars (1977) -Perfect Sci-fi 5. A Christmas Story (1983) Not only hilarious but so very real 6. The Stunt Man (1980) -O'Toole is flawless 7. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) My favourite Kubrick effort 8. Solyaris (1972) -Avoid the remake at all costs 9. Videodrome -One hell of a mind *beep* Cronenberg�s best 10. The Birth of a Nation (1915) Remarkable film but so very wrong 11. Requiem for a Dream (2000) -Most fun you will ever have being depressed 12. Airplane! (1980) no Feet 13. The Devil's Rejects (2005) It bitch slaps natural born killers 14. Boot, Das (1981) Best war film ever 15. Halloween (1978) -Scary Shatner face is coming 16. 8MM (1999) The best Cage performance ever 17 King Kong (1933) -Can't beat the original 18. The Big Lebowski (1998) Bowling is cool 19. Streets of Fire (1984) WOULD YOU JUST WATCH THE DAMN FILM! 20. Adaptation. (2002) Amazing performances
May your forehead grow like the mighty oak
2nd helping of Film Crew goofiness
Three of the crack minds from Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy) return for a second round with their new project 'The Film Crew' and continue their proud tradition of mocking the weak.
For people who missed the first release 'Hollywood After Dark' the film crew are three men who have been hired to create commentary tracks for DVDs that don't have any. Each week (or month depending on how frequently they plan to release these discs) they are sent a new awful film to which they provide the full attention it so richly deserves.
This time out they are sent the B-movie classic Killers from Space starring a young and wooden Peter Graves. MST3K fans are sure to remember another Graves outing 'Beginning of the End' being one of the high points of the last series and this one does a great job living up to it. The plot involves a scientist who disappears during a bomb test and shows up later with a large scar on his chest and no memory of what happened. After his bosses find him leaving some secret information in the desert they are forced to drug him so he can reveal all that he knows. If you have seen the title you may have guessed that his disappearance may be linked to some killers who are perhaps from space. The aliens plans are quite simple. Release giant bugs and animals to destroy the world and then take over but the good Doctor will have none of that and comes up with a plan to save the human race. The only problem is getting anyone to believe him.
Okay the story sounds pretty stupid (which it is) but that script is just one of the films many flaws. Thanks to Peter's stiff performance (just try to ignore that), the directors decision to have seemingly random close ups, repetitive action and the terrible alien make up and flying effects the guys have no shortage of targets to aim at and they don't let anything slide.
A big step up this time is the quality of the host segments. Things seemed a little off in the first one but everything is definitely clicking now and they manage to deliver some laughs while giving everyone a break from the film. Hopefully this improvement is going continue with any future releases.
Anyone who either enjoys MST3K or just likes listening to Smart Asses tee off on something will get a big kick out of 'The Film Crew'. I can not wait for the next one.
No bots, no problem
Three of the minds responsible for one of the funniest shows ever created (Mystery science theatre 3000) return to riffing with this effort that clearly shows they have lost none of their edge.
Bill Crobett, Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy play the challenging roles of three guys named Bill, Mike and Kevin who are 'The film crew'. Their job is to provide DVD commentaries to older films that have none. Unfortunately since the best films already have those tracks they are forced to watch lessor films. Of course that is really irrelevant. The premise just provides an excuse for these really funny men to watch a crappy film and make a lot of hilarious comments.
Their first assignment is 'hollywood after dark' which is a rather dour cautionary tale about how everyone who wants to be a star is doomed. Future Golden Girl Rue McClanahan (yikes!) stars as a dancer/actress who works as a stripper (double yikes!) while waiting for her big break. She meets up with a rather depressing man who runs a junk yard and they fall in love. Of course their happiness is short lived as Rue gets drugged (possibly, its not shown very clearly) and raped while at an audition and the junkman decides to get involved in a crime to raise the necessary money to get them both out of town. There is no shortage of absurdities in this film and the 'crew' never lets any opportunity to mock pass by.
The quality of the jokes seem to be on par with the Mike Nelson years on MST3K. The gags fly fast and furious and although the host segment isn't great, the actual main program is strong enough to justify checking this out. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long running series of DVDs.
Flesh Gordon (1974)
Flesh a-ah saviour of the universe
At a time when porn movies were inching closer to the mainstream this film was made to capitalize on that trend. Unfortunately the films cost over-runs and a subsequent police raid necessitated the removal of almost all of the hardcore material (although you can still spot a bit of X activity if you watch the revelers in Wang's throne room during the orgy sequence). Perhaps the biggest surprise of this film is that the deleted scenes have allowed this film to reach a much broader audience and has led directly to its status as a cult classic.
Jason Williams plays Flesh Gordon who along with Dale Ardor (played by adorable porn star Suzanne Fields) get kidnapped by Flexi Jerkoff and together they zoom across the galaxy to stop the evil emperor Wang's sex ray from bombarding the earth.
The goofy names and the sex ray subplot make in pretty clear where the humour is directed. Sure it aims pretty low but it actually works very well. It is next to impossible to be offended by any movie that is this goofy. Everything from the design of Flexi's ship to the look of the aliens puts a sexual spin on the sci-fi genre. Special credit must be given to the amazing monster (voiced by Poltergeist & The Incredibles Craig T. Nelson) that Flesh faces at the movies climax. It is a glowing tribute to Ray Harryhousen although it is given dialogue that none of his creatures would ever think to say.
Sure this film is not for the timid but it can present a fun evenings viewing for any open minded adult but you may want to ignore the long after the fact sequel Flesh Gordon meets the cosmic cheerleaders. The special effects are good but the dialogue is simply too lame and it falls far short of the quality of its predecessor.
The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
collapsing church crushes cutie
A family moves in to a lovely country home owned by Bette Davis and immediately the older daughter (cult favorite Lynn Holly Johnson) begins to sense something evil waiting out in the woods.
This classic Disney effort came at a time when the company first began courting older audiences and their nervousness about this film was evident in the original trailer that featured a warning to parents to check out the film themselves before bringing the young ones. Although a bit of an over statement this film is quite suspenseful in parts and may be a bit much for the more timid children.
The story itself involves a kids game that leads to a disappearance. It has been thirty years since Bette Davis' daughter has vanished but she has begun to appear to the girl who has moved into her home. The new girl must cope with haunting visions of a blindfolded blond girl which keep showing up in different reflective surfaces (mirrors, pools of water) as well as reoccurring symbols of overlapping circles. The mystery angle makes it quite involving for children as they can try to figure out the story before the protagonist does although how the story actually works out depends entirely on which version of the film you watch. Disney continued to tinker with the film after its release and several endings are available. If you watch the excellent recent DVD you can decide which one you like for yourself as they are on it.
Thanks to some strong acting, a terrific score and solid direction by the reliable John Hough you have a effective little thriller that is suitable for family viewing but you may want to watch it first for yourself, just in case.
The Car (1977)
In this 70's drive in classic a small, isolated desert community is visited by a sinister presence who sets out to mow down anyone who ventures in the streets. As such is the case in films like this, the problem is not just your garden variety hit and run driver. That would be too simple. The Sheriff (James Brolin) is forced to admit that the problem is that Satan has shown up in the form of a possessed car.
Although this film was dismissed on first release as a Jaws rip-off it has slowly found its audience thanks to very positive word of mouth. This fast paced, dumb as dirt, thriller has become a cult favorite thanks to its absurd premise (and its willingness to run with it) and some surprising drama. Ronny Cox delivers a strong performance as a alcoholic cop who has trouble dealing with the stress of the killings, especially when one strikes close to home.
The sequence involving the school teacher standing on hallowed ground with her students taunting the evil car as it revs and roars on the edge of the property has to stand as some bizarro masterpiece and the way she meets her ultimate end is a true horror classic. Any movie where a wife beater gets to stand up and join the good guys for some last reel heroics deserves a special place of honour on anyones DVD shelf and Anchor Bay has created a great one (thats sadly out of print) that allowed viewers to spot the long rumoured demon in explosion which was much harder to see on the murkier fullscreen VHS transfer from the eighties.
All in all, a good time for anyone who appreciates either car crashes or just weird cinema in general.
Operazione paura (1966)
she comes in the night
Astonishing Bava ghost story concerning a series of unsolved murders in a quiet town. A coroner and a police officer are each brought in to get to the bottom of the case but are faced with superstitious villagers who are convinced the problem traces back to the death of a little girl years earlier.
Despite the audience indifference that occurs in North America, director Mario Bava has long been considered one of the masters of the genre. This highly prolific talent along with his compatriots Fulchi and Argento helped establish Italy as the world leader in horror films.
This creepy, stylish film has clearly influenced countless offerings that followed such as the specter in the otherwise dismal Fear dot com and the genre classic The Changeling. The image of the little girl with her faced pressed to the window or her ball bouncing down the stairs and through the hallway continue to give off an eerie vibe that makes this film far more effect than many other horror movies. Add in a solid dubbing job (I have yet to find a subtitled copy) and you have a remarkable flick.
This incredible movie (often available in multi packs for next to nothing) is terrific for when you don't want to be grossed out, you just want a great story, told to perfection.
Delta Delta Die! (2003)
So much fun
Memories, the curse of aging. It is so hard to enjoy anything when your mind can recall times where similar things where available. I couldn't watch 'The Jacket' without thinking of 'Jacob's Ladder', I couldn't watch 'The last horror movie' without thinking of 'Man bites dog' and yet I could enjoy watching this film without thinking about all the earlier cannibal sorority babes films that came before it. Perhaps this film was so brilliant that it was above comparison? No, I'm sure that wasn't it. Has my memory started to fade from age? Perhaps but I can still recall the great Karen Black film 'Auntie Lee's Meat Pies' so that can't be it. Could my mind has been fogged by the strip tease performed by Troma favorite Tiffany Shepis? Actually that one makes a lot of sense but I think there may be more to it than that. Like the basic fact that this film is a lot of fun.
The delta's are the most popular sorority on campus. Thanks to house mother Julie Strain their charity bake sales are always big hits. But what is in the meat pies that make them so darn delicious? Oh crap, since I already referred to them as cannibal sorority babes I guess that really isn't much of question. They kill people and feed them to the other students (although they are not allowed to feed on the flesh themselves which leads to friction within the house).
Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way. Yes there is a lot of nudity. Films like this thrive on it. Julie Strain seems to be trying to make up for her sister Lizzie's refusal to disrobe by removing her cloths with alarming frequency. Perhaps the budget was too low for fabric softener and she found them scratchy and uncomfortable? Aside from the already mentioned (and very much appreciated) Tiffany Shepis dance the film features enough flashes of nudity to keep the most bored of viewers tuned in. This may seem like enough to recommend the film but the movie actually offers more. There is a surprising amount of humour that actually works, the cast all offer either half decent performances (Brinke Stevens and Tiffany Shepis are especially strong with Julie Strain obviously having a ball) or they are likable enough to overcome their shortcomings and the film moves at a brisk enough pace to make the whole experience quite pleasant.
This is simply a highly entertaining B movie that sits along side Cheerleader Ninjas as reminders of how much fun these films can be.
Slaughter Party (2006)
I am a hardcore troma fan. From Toxie to Terror firmer there is no companies whose films I look forward to more than these guys. Hell, I even enjoyed the chaotic Tales from the Crapper but this one I'm afraid just does not work.
After three men head out to the desert to look for a local legend (and realize that there is more to it than myth) one of them gets transformed mentally and becomes a woman killer. The fact that the slasher is also a midget becomes the one novelty that this film provides. Although the sight of the little guy snarling and swinging a knife is good for a few laughs it is not enough to sustain the film. To provide slasher fodder the film-makers give us a group of women who are taking a vacation in that same place. Through a remarkable coincidence not only is the sister of one of the victims among the party goers but the killer dwarf who has been slaughtering people in a nearby city hitches a ride with one of his potential prey and ends up at the same spot.
This film features some sophomoric sex sequences including the rape of the midget and some necrophilia thrown in but if anyone has seen a troma film before they expect that sort of silliness and are not offended but that seems to be the films major problem. They simply did not go far enough. The elements were there for a fun, insane, terror firmer-like romp but sadly the finished product just kind of sits there lifeless.
As a zero budget film the acting is very hit and miss. Felissa Rose (sleepaway camp) was better at the low key moments but seemed to crank up the histrionics just a bit too much. Adam Glasser (Anal Surprise Party) seems as natural in this film as he is on the terrific series Family business and of course its always nice to see the great Brinke Stevens get another role even if it is nothing more than a cameo. Like many troma offerings the cameos lift the film over some dull stretches with Brinke's work being matched by Ron Jeremy and the brilliant acting skills of the remarkable Lloyd Kaufman.
This is one of those films that seem to fall in the middle. The killer midget idea is cool but the killings are so poorly done that the novelty does not hold. The vacationing girls are cute but the directer can't seem to work up the enthusiasm to make a half-decent exploitation film. The cameos are fun but they can't justify some weak performances. In the end I recommend passing on this one unless of course you are a Troma completest but if you stumble across it on a friends shelf and you can borrow it than go ahead. At least it is short.
By the way, avoid the commentary track on the DVD. It is a dull, one joke offering recorded by the killer. If you can make it through more than ten minutes than you are a far more patient person than I am.
Meet the Hollowheads (1989)
Odd but not always funny.
In a weird future where tubes provide all of lives necessities (and also seem to provide the basis for almost all of the slang that the Hollowhead children use) Meet the Hollowheads creates one of the most unique worlds ever captured on film. Unfortunately that creativity does not carry over to the plot. The films basic story is one of those classic old chestnuts that has been used on virtually every family sitcom. Dad brings the boss home for dinner and wants everything to go right to secure the big promotion. Of course the boss turns out to be a jerk (and eventually much worse) but the family tries to keep the strained smiles on their faces despite his behaviour. Although this film has amazing production design too often is comes across as odd and simply not funny. From the crushing of live creatures to make children's snacks to a tentacled monster who is kept in a fridge so its limbs can be hacked off for dinner there is no shortage of bizarre sights (I won't even get into the family dog or the bizarre means of feeding Grandpa) but only some of it is amusing. Most is just weird. The whole film comes across like David Lynch directing an episode of 'The Jetsons'.
Obviously a lot of care went into this film and the acting is first rate.A very young Juliet Lewis may rate the box cover but special mention must be made of both the criminally under-rated John Glover and the remarkably sleazy Richard Portnow. Although they were great there really was no weak link in the film. I just wish that after the writers had created this amazing world they would have spent just a little longer figuring out what they wanted everyone to do in it.
Style is important but it is not enough on its own to carry the film. This movie is worth watching for anyone who likes new worlds but do not expect a masterpiece, its more of a interesting misfire. The potential was there but they were never able to bring it to the next level.
Hell Night (1981)
Linda Blair, mutants and a Van Patten. What else do you want?
A gorgeous Linda Blair stars as a sweet young thing who, during pledge week, is forced to spend the night in Garth Manor. Years ago this was the setting of a massacre as Daddy Garth snapped and took out his wife and kids before killing himself. By the time the police arrived two of the bodies were gone and thus began a local legend.
This film, aside from being beautiful to look at, features something that was in short order in the eighties - restraint. Instead of focusing on special effects, the movies concentrates on building suspense and as a result is often criticized for being slow paced and having a low body count but this film, despite the modern setting is really a fun throwback to the fifties old dark house movies. The big plus is that unlike most of the films of the classic genre there is no man behind the mask. There is actually a creature (well, two to be specific) that is after them.
Linda Blair does a terrific job of anchoring the cast of this low budget effort. As her career has faded over the years it is easy to forget how good she could be. This film along with Born Innocent and the original Exorcist stand as the best examples of her abilities. Vince Van Patten (Rock and Roll High School), Peter Barton (Powers of Matthew Starr) and one hit wonder Suki Goodwin are all well cast and the writer wisely lets the audience spend some time with the characters before the horror begins which is very rare in this genre.
As good as the cast is, the best in show is truly cinematographer Mac Ahlberg who gives this movie a beautiful rich look. Few low budget horror movies get this level of care as every frame is perfectly shot with many scenes lit entirely by candlelight (a process developed for Barry Lyndon).
Linda Blair fans, in fact more mature horror movie lovers in general should enjoy this fun thriller whose climax still stands as a high water mark for villain dispatching. Although people with short attention span will find it rough going patient viewers will find it well worth tracking down a copy.