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Comedy, thy name is Hunk.
Hunk is a retelling of the proverbial Ugly Duckling tale, only with humans, rather than ducks, epitomizing 80's trends. The makers of Hunk certainly had their work cut out for them whilst making this groundbreaking film, since the affliction of insecurity usually only strikes females with glasses on film.
The story: Bradley invents a successful computer program about yuppies, goes to live in a dilapidated beach house in the California yuppie colony Sea Spray, and discovers that he is quite different from the others because he is a nerd. He has already sold his soul to the devil in order to make the successful computer program, and so, once he wishes to be a hunk, his wish is satisfied by the devil's handmaiden, O'Brien, on whom Bradley develops a crush. Bradley, now Hunk Golden, is unleashed on the unassuming folks of Sea Spray to cause an uproar with his utter hunkiness, which he plays up by wearing a sleeveless, unbuttoned button-up shirt accented by a tie. Nice.
Despite finding love with his psychologist, Sunny, Hunk Golden soon discovers that being a Hunk isn't all he dreamed it would be and so he embarks on a metaphysical battle with the devil, a.k.a. Dr. D. (played by the one and only, James Coco) for his soul. Will Hunk Golden remain a hunk in exchange for his mortal soul, or will he give up his status as a Hunk and live as Bradley Brinkman?
What a relief to finally see a funny, smart, yet insecure male nerd wish to be a brawny, tanned hunk, and to be ironically reminded that the inner beauty of the male can also be obscured by a repulsively unattractive exterior. And Bradley Brinkman didn't even have to wear glasses to represent a nerd, because they just had a different actor portray Hunk Golden.
If you are an insecure nerd, this movie will undoubtedly boost your self-esteem. If not, you'll get lots of laffs from the endless cheese. Highlights: O'Brien dancing at the nightclub, and Hunk's trendsetting style. And, if WWIII ever breaks out, I guess those of us who have watched Hunk will know who's REALLY responsible.
The Killer Shrews (1959)
Sadly overlooked by Academy Awards for Best Set Design...
...Not that the Oscars are any indication of a film's greatness, and to prove that point this film was nominated for Worst Rodent Movie of All Time by the Golden Turkey Awards.
There are a pack of humongous starving shrews loose on a desolate island. A bunch of "scientists" travel to the island to be terrorized by the shrews.
Okay, so the dogs yowling because they have wet bathmats appended to their backs, and masks to their faces, are hilarious, I mean terrifying; the attempts made to conceal their caninity are also veeeery clever; Thorn Sherman is heroically disinterested; the music is horrifyingly melodramatic; hackneyed theories involving the shrews abound; and the method of escape is one of the most laughingly novel ever recorded on film. All of this, and the realization that these people spend most of the film living in paralyzing fear of the silliest monsters ever created make this film great.
The interior shots are filmed inside the greatest cabin ever. It is difficult to discern whether the walls are decorated with wallpaper, or are just supposed to be extremely filthy. The mantel features a haphazardly placed set of candle holders, a beer stein, a clock set horizontally on the edge, and all to emphasize the focal point of the room- a picture hanging above the mantel of horse legs beside a lake. The perfect, nay the only, setting for bloodthirsty shrews to terrorize scientists and their lackeys.
"It's alright, doctor, he just ripped my trousers. That's all." Never underestimate a killer shrew.
The Corpse Grinders (1971)
Let's Start a Pet Food Racket...that's Where the Big Bucks Is.
"She loved that old tomcat.Yes she did." Too bad Annie's old tomcat was fed Lotus cat food. Made from the ground flesh of corpses, Lotus cat food is the product of a greedy plot to make easy money from cat owners looking to feed their cats. But, the trouble (according to the doctor's encyclopedia entry about flesh-eating cats)is that the cats fed the Lotus cat food become accustomed to the taste of ground human flesh, and quit hunting the flesh of faster animals. Makes sense to me. Cats begin attacking humans in the town, leaping into the neck, and shredding the flesh. Oddly, the cats refrain from actually eating the humans,or even making much of a mess of the corpses by, say, drinking the blood or something, contrary to the explanation given by the encyclopedia article.
Corpse Grinders is a good film. Any movie with the following elements can't be too bad: every character lacks peripheral vision (such a common affliction among characters in B films); the batty wife of one of the racketeers tenderly cares for a pint sized baby doll while complaining of bodies piling up in the living room; the pointless inclusion of a mute chick with a crutch and the miraculous ability to communicate using pidgin sign language; and the music from Blood Feast playing during a rather Blood Feast-like killing scene. However, the film is kind of lacking imagination. Despite the couple of odd characters, it's pretty straight forward camp. Still, I'd rather watch this than countless other films. Also, if you're watching the DVD version, make sure to sit through the (brief) credits in order to see the awesome trailer, which I would give 10/10, if I could rate it alone.
Twice in a Lifetime (1999)
"You won't understand until you've walked a mile in my mocassins" But you're not an aboriginal/Asian people!
Picture this: a lazy hangover Friday afternoon. No cable. 2:00 p.m., the notoriously worst time slot on television, until... Any television show that opens with a crusty mobile seating device bound woman stealing some innocent, exercising children's basketball, and the promise of an aged Al Waxman, instantly sucks me in. From the Lifetime-Harlequin T.V. movie style opening to the oh--so ironic plot about the crabby mobile seating device bound woman having the chance to reflect on her misguided anger so that she can ultimately find happiness despite her spinal cord injury, this show is an epiphany of brilliance. If you love awesome TV shows, you will lust after "Twice in a Lifetime".
The Zero Boys (1986)
Hottest chicks EVER!
Zero Boys has the ultimate philosophical import. According to the philosophy of Georges Bataille, the ultimate experience of life is the limit, the experience of a little death. Zero Boys, although on its surface a film of hot ladies and even hotter guys, is the philosophical exemplification of the theory of the limit. There are numerous scenes within Zero Boys in which the limit of death is experienced as the absolute extreme of life; I interpret that as the experience of smoking pot at an abandoned house that belongs to a secretly sadistic killer. The rare person experiences such an intense, prophetic, personal experience as occurs in this film, when life stares death in the face in the most incredible film experience since he now clichéd shower scene in 'Psycho'. This is truly a film that unflinchingly examines the hideous questions attached with death. Kelli Maroney (of Chopping Mall fame) is absolutely amazing. You will love this film!
Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
This must be the worst movie ever made. It's not even bad in an original way! All of these gags (I use the term loosely)have been used many times before. Unless you have a fetish for horrible actors like Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis there is no way that you could tolerate watching this traumatizingly unoriginal film. Tim Allen runs into a store a lot! The daughter leaves and empty nest syndrome ensues! This is exciting stuff! I managed to survive ten minutes of this crap! Hopefully you will not have to. Don't worry, this film cannot contain a spoiler, because it is impossible to sit through thirty minutes of this movie.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)
Sylvester Stallone and Estelle Getty are the most inspired comedic team since Whoopi Goldberg and Theodore Rex. If you love at least one of the following: really hot/buff mama's boys, wisecracking, sharp-shooting old ladies or hot m.i.l.f.s in ill-fitting suits, you must watch this movie A.S.A.P. The plot is deceptively simple; Sly's Jersey ma is desperate for him to get hitched, she shows up immediately after his romantic relationship with his boss has soured due to his interminable habit of calling his ma, ma shows up and starts intervening in his love life and cleaning his guns (with hilarious results). Ma tries to replace his gun from a black market dealer and...the hilarity is just beginning! Early in his career Sly Stallone was unjustly tagged as a muscle-bound meathead, but this movie gives him the opportunity to demonstrate the surprising dimensions of his comedic range. Estelle Getty is in top comedic form, as usual, and JoBeth Williams gives her greatest performance in any genre since Poltergeist. A review can't do this film justice so just watch it (with closed captioning if you're watching VHS. Trust me)!
Fat Albert (2004)
This movie SUCKS!
Every aspect of this insipid movie is worth missing. Even the premise of this movie is stupid. An adolescent girl whose biggest problem is that she wasn't invited to a party! WHO CARES! Until a bunch of one note characters crawl through the television to her emotional rescue. There's the requisite fright scene in which Doris feigns shock and horror at this 300 pound anachronism and his numerous, equally anachronistic, friends. I don't think that I need to "expose" the countless inconsistencies and factual, as well as logical, errors, as others already have, and they are obvious if you have seen or, at the possible expense of your sanity, are about to see, this film. The key to this film is to watch the director's commentary. My partner and I were so stunned by the stupidity of this film that we had to see what the director thought of his work. To any viewer's profound horror and astonishment, it seems that Joel Zwick thinks that this film is a masterpiece. I guess that, in relation to the many music videos he's directed, he thinks that he was given a chance to expand his artistic vision. He employed so much hyperbole and bloated self-congratulations that I think he actually thought that he was Orson Welles incarnate, except that Orson Welles actually created a few brilliant films throughout his career and Joel Zwick hasn't directed anything of any worth (unless you liked My Big Fat Greek Wedding and episodes of Full House and Step by Step). Anyway, I don't have to say anymore but that this movie sucks and unless you are a small, easily amused child, you will not like this movie.
My Summer of Love (2004)
Decent summer fare; but disappointing overall
I may have enjoyed this movie a lot more if it hadn't seemed like such a rip off of Heavenly Creatures. I understand that this is based on a novel that I haven't read and I only mean this as a comment on the movie. Heavenly Creatures is one of my favourite movies and I was anticipating this movie because I thought that it would present a similar examination of the suffocatingly intense friendship that adolescent girls sometimes form. In this respect it sort of succeeded, but, as the relationship grew more intense it seemed pretty clear that certain power dynamics were at work and I thought that this seemed so obvious that the result should not have been surprising at all. This underscored what I felt was the emotional superficiality of the film. The other huge disappointment was the many BLATANT parallels with Heavenly Creatures which beg a comparison with Heavenly Creatures although the latter is far superior. Even down to Tasmin's love of Edith Piaf which seems just as exotic and captivating to Mona as Juliet's love of MArio Lanza seems to Pauline in Heavenly Creatures. My Summer of Love is like a much less emotionally devastating Heavenly Creatures. The religious aspect is interesting and at least added an original dimension to the film, but mostly, the film illustrated the shortcomings that Heavenly Creatures could have fallen victim to, and thankfully, did not. If I had not seen Heavenly Creatures, My Summer of Love could have been a great summer film, but it was too similar and inferior to Heavenly Creatures for me to really enjoy it.
Flesh Eating Mothers (1988)
Flesh-Eating Mothers is a bombastic parody of the excesses of modern life. When the over-sexed mothers sit around and discuss their over-active sex lives (without their husband's participation) this movie really hits home as a commentary on modern morality in a world that has lost its teleological end as an ethical culture in which the end of life is ethical satisfaction and contentment with God and His ultimate purpose. As usual in teenage movies, the teenagers are the moral paragons while the adults struggle to live up to their example. This lesson never gets old; teenagers are shown to be more aware of the moral ramifications of immorality as they are more innocent than the parents they are railing against. This is a humorous examination of the ramifications of a world gone wrong, and a humorous one at that!! Highly recommended!!!!!