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1/10
I don't know, tractor pull?
25 December 2002
After shocking the world with the ground-breaking "Appreciating our Parents", director Ted Peshak returned with his most controversial work, "What to do on a Date". This film stunned audiences with it's brazen sexuality and the use of the word "Weenie". Impotent man-child Nick ignores social mores and takes nebbishy girl-toy Kate on a white-hot date organizing the local rummage sale. Dusty lamps, Cokes, and streamers lead to hot, hot lovin'.

Peshak was ostrasized from the directing community for this brave, electrifying work which dared to combine fantasy and reality and pubescent yearning. He tried to curry the public's favor with more pedestrian efforts like "Improve your Personality" and "Good Table Manners", but nothing doing. "What to do on a Date" branded him a nonconformist, and Peshak died, alone and penniless, in a Hollywood dumpster (reviewer's speculation).
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Fright Night (1985)
8/10
Frightening Nightening
25 December 2002
From director Tom Holland ("Child's Play") comes this tale of bisexual vampire Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon of "The Princess Bride") who butts heads with his neighbor Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale of "Herman's Head" fame). "Married With Children" star Amanda Bearse has the tough task of pretending to find Charlie attractive (a job that would be tough enough for a straight woman) and Roddy "Laserblast" McDowall is Cushing Price, I mean, Peter Vincent, a late-night horror host who Charlie enlists in his battle against Jerry. Too bad the movie doesn't take place in Cleaveland, or else the Ghoul could have been the fearless vampire killer.

It starts out like a lame "Goosebumps" episode, but gets progressively cooler, climaxing with some great gore effects. I love movies where people are really, really scared, like Don Knotts, and McDowall is great in that capacity.

Stephen Geoffreys is pretty good as Evil Ed, and he went on to star in Robert Englund's "976-Evil" as well as "Gay Men In Uniform", "Cock Pit", "Transsexual Prostitues 1 AND 2", "Latin Crotch Rockets", and "Mechanics Bi Day, Lube Job Bi Night". Despite his gay porn career, he's still more respectible than William Ragsdale, who went on to do "Mannequin 2: On the Move".
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1/10
Depressing and boring
25 December 2002
This really poor James Bond rip-off stars Sean Connery's talentless, charismaless, weird-faced brother Neal, my candidate for the Lowest Self Esteem award (beating even Clint Howard!). Neal plays "Dr. Neal Connery", a plastic surgeon, hypnotist, lip reader, and kung-fu fighter (what, is he Buckaroo Banzai?). Constant references are made to Neal's brother (although not by name, as that might cost money) as Neal takes part in a stunningly uninteresting, slightly diabolical plot to do... something, I think. Action includes a bow-and-arrow fight and a "Every Which Way But Loose"-style brawl at one of Connery's live surgery demonstrations.

Adding to the shame are Bond regulars Bernard Lee (more attractive than Judi Dench as M) and Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny), as well as Daniela Bianchi ("From Russia With Love") and Adolfo Celi (of "Thunderball"- and "Diabolik"!).

Not to be watched by people with functioning eyes, although the music's pretty good.
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5/10
Battered Beyond the Scars
23 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
This space-set sci-fi fantasy that bares no resemblance to STAR WARS is probably the most watchable movie Roger Corman ever made (not to diss "The Terror" or "Night of the Blood Beast"). It's about John-Boy Walton, who has seven days to find mercenaries to save his disgustingly peaceful planet (named Akira, not to be confused with planets Tetsuo or Kei) from evil TENEBRE star John Saxon (who hails from the planet Comb-Over). John-Boy's planet only has two dozen citizens and all they do is mill around all day, so they're not really worth saving, but what the hell, if he doesn't there'll be no movie.

So John-Boy sets out in his sassy, back-talking spaceship (which has a great pair of breasts) and recruits seven saviors (like SEVEN SAMERAI, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, or A BUG'S LIFE). George "Lieutenant-Colonel John 'Hannibal' Smith" Peppard plays a stoned space trucker (BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S was a loooong time ago). TEENAGE CAVEMAN's Robert Vaugn is bad-ass Gelt, and well-endowed Sybill Danning is Saint X-Men. There's also a bland computer expert, a Lizard pimp and his sidekicks who communicate in heat, and Observer-like aliens called Nestor. The first half of the movie is watching John-Boy recruit them, and the second half is **SPOILER AHEAD** watching them all die. John-Boy finally crashes his bitchy spaceship into John Saxon and Akira is free to mill around in peace. The end.

It's a fun movie with lots of special effects (which range from awful to passable) and some nice characters. There are no monsters or cute robots, though, so beware. It's written by John Sayles, who went on to make LONE STAR, LIMBO, and SUNSHINE STATE (none of which feature a Lizard pimp).

In conclusion, it's better than THE PHANTOM MENACE but not as good as SPACEBALLS.
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1/10
Minority Retort
22 December 2002
I've never been a huge fan of Speilburg, I find his movies have great moments or sequences I enjoy but overall leave me feeling kind of cold. This feels like Speilburg was trying to make a movie just for me- he loaded it with actors I like (Max Von Sydow, Jessica Harper, Peter Stormare, Tim Blake Nelson, Samantha Morton), put in a little gore (the whole groovy "eyeball" sequence), even served up a scene where one person vomits on another (always a favorite). But no matter how Sir Stevie panders to me, I cannot like this movie.

There is a festering pile of boogers in this movie, and it's named "Colin Ferrell's Acting". Hasn't anyone noticed how terrible this guy is? Why do they keep putting him in movies? He's awful! One needs only to look at the chase through the car factory: After performing a perilous climb onto a piece of machinery, Farrell pulls out a cross and kisses it. Later, when Tom Cruise is escaping, Farrell slams his fist into his palm ala a bully in a Nickelodian series. And it doesn't help matters that most of the dialog in this movie is god-awful.

And why does this movie end and then go on for another twenty minutes? There's a point where the conspiracy is reveiled via a character giving a big long monologue (like Velma on the Scooby Doo show), then there's a nice, grim, downbeat ending that satisfied me. But no, it keeps going, and going, and has another character give a long monologue explaining stuff that's ALREADY BEEN EXPLAINED. Did the writers think the audience was so stupid they couldn't get it? Or couldn't handle a downbeat ending? There's a point where this movie becomes excrutiating.

I did like how criminals are punished in the future by being dressed like Slim Goodbody, though.
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Time Walker (1982)
1/10
Boring From Another Planet
19 December 2002
This not-very-good mummy-alien flick does feature a cornucopia of your favorite movie stars like BEN MURPHY ("Riding With Death"!), Bob Random ("Village of the Giants"!), Darwin Joston (Napolean in "Assault on Precinct 13"!), Austin Stoker (Bishop in "Assault on Precinct 13"!) as Dr. Ken Melrose, Nina Axelrod ("Motel Hell"), Shari Belafonte-Harper (who was a voice on "Rick Moranis in Gravedale High"!!!), Clint Young ("Rape Squad", "Switchblade Sisters"), and best of all, Pathmark pitchman JAMES KAREN ("Poltergiest", "Return of the Living Dead")!

The plot is this: A priceless sarcophagus has been recovered in King Tut's tomb. Of course, it's taken to a small college in California where bumbling students can manhandle it and screw up X-raying it, instead of, oh, say, a museum. One loathsome, video-game loving student steals some diamond-type-thingees from the sarcophagus, sending the mummy on a poorly planned killing spree to get them back. For some reason, no one can catch a glimpse of the slow-moving, glowing mummy as it lumbers from killing to killing on the college campus.

This movie isn't very good. Not much happenens, except for some funny scenes where teens touch some radioactive goo on the mummy and start to get fungus growing all over them. The party scene with a bunch of obnoxious students dressed as mummys is also grating, and all James Karen does is mope and yell at Ben Murphy.

Pathmark means savings!
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1/10
Junior Rodeo DaredEVILs
16 December 2002
In this disturbing cautionary tale, a demented old man (Old Timer Billy Slater) catches two youngsters molesting his horse and sentences them to the worse punishment of all- a junior rodeo. Old Timer Billy Slater laughs in hideous glee as children are repeatedly thrown to the cold, cold ground from the backs of bucking broncos. What kind of Hell is this, where children suffer the sins of man? What kind of grinning gargoyle is this Old Timer Billy Slater? Why has he forsaken us? Why, why, why??!??!

This pukey short also features a horrid, repetitive banjo score which will compel you to rip your own head clean off.
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Devil Doll (1964)
1/10
"Devil Doll"- Not to be confused with "Magic" or that one "Tales From the Crypt" episode with Don Rickles and Bobcat Goldthwait
16 December 2002
"The Projected Man" star Bryant Haliday plays The Great Vorelli, a ventriloquist who loathes his horrible, stupid, smelly, ugly dummy Hugo. Their act consists of Vorelli denying Hugo luncheon meats and Hugo threatening Vorelli with a knife. Vorelli (or "Bud" to his friends) is also a budding hypnotist who can make people sweat a lot or dance like idiots with his amazing powers. Everyone is charmed by him, from old dowagers to... well, old dowagers. Everyone but American Mark English (William Sylvester of "Gorgo"/"Riding With Death" fame), an ace reporter who must, must, MUST learn the secret of Hugo!

This is a very depressing movie. Vorelli is an immensley unappealing character, yet we spend the bulk of the movie watching him. He's bewitched American Mark English's girlfriend and we get to watch her laying in bed sweating and moaning a lot, if that's your kind of thing. Every character in this seems on the verge of suicide.

Not a very good movie.
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1/10
There is no joy anymore
16 December 2002
Remember "Prince of Space"? MST3K # 816? Okay. This is basically a remake of that. Instead of Prince of Space, though, we get Space Chief, another effeminent, hopping hero. Instead of the chicken-men of Krankor, we get mute, bullet-headed robots who have trouble walking and fall down at the tiniest hint of danger. And instead of two annoying, gravely voiced, tiny-shorts-wearing kids we get SIX annoying, gravely voiced, tiny-shorts-wearing kids. Slow the whole thing down, add lots of scenes of Japanese people talking in poorly lit rooms, and actual war footage instead of special effects, and you've got one of the worse movies ever made. I know that phrase is over-used and has little or no impact anymore, but this movie really is almost unbearable. It's amazing! It's joyless, depressing, AND technically inept!

Enjoy the Hitler building.
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1/10
Ring of Error
15 December 2002
This murky film with terrible sound looks like it was filmed around 1939. It's about a bunch of geriatric medical students eagerly awaiting their first autopsy. One unshakable elderly boy's creeped-out girlfriend wishes he was studying anything but medicine. So why is she dating guys from med school? Is she going to medical school too? Or is this a college where you can major in being a doctor, with a minor in communications? It's hard to tell, and the women in in this movie don't seem to ever have to go to class.

Anyway, some middle-aged fraternity pranksters make the elderly boy steal a ring off a corpse, an urban legend that should take five minutes to tell and doesn't bode well stretched out to feature length. I'm not going to give away the ending, suffice to say the old man's weak ticker factors into the plot.

To pad out the running time, lots of time is spent dwelling on the two fat characters, exploring the theme that fat people love to eat and should be mocked for trying to do anything other than that. There's also a lengthy intro (and outro) by Bob Dobson, a creepy, cemetery-dwelling loser who stomps on his cat Puma's tale and mocks the dead. He must be the Crypt Keeper before the Crypt Keeper died and rotted and gained a penchant for bad puns.
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5/10
Roman Polanski's finest hour
14 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
PAUL MORRISSEY'S ANDY WARHOL'S DRACULA tells the slow-moving tale of a vampire, named, oddly enough, Dracula, played by Udo Keir (BLADE, SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, SUSPIRIA, and the only actor to work with both Rainer Werner Fassbinber AND Michael Bay). Unlike other movie Draculas, this one is only mildly annoyed by things like sunlight and crosses. After putting his laconic sister to bed, he and his servant head to rolickin' Italy in their jaunty jalopy (with a coffin and wheelchair strapped to the top, they look a bit like The Beverly Hillbillies) on the prowl for wirgins (the Romanian word for "virgins"). They hook up with a once-prosperous family with four comely daughters (including Stefania Casini from SUSPIRIA). Two of the daughters spend most of their time frolicking nude with socialist gardener Joe Dallesandro (CRY BABY) and each other. The doddering patriarch of the family trusts Dracula implicitly because his name has three syllabels (logical). Dracula sets about- slowly- ferreting out the wirgins and goin' to town on their necks.

This is a pretty okay vampire movie that has a lot of neat stuff but moves a little slow. Udo Keir is excellent. His sickly Dracula opens the movie by painting on his face in a non-existent reflection. When he bites a non-vigrin he goes cross-eyed and vomits- a lot. And the climax of the film consists of him running around with his arms cut off and blood spurting from the stumps. And if that's not your type of thing, there's some of lesbian action. And if THAT'S not your thing, you do get to see the naked butt of the retarded guy from THE LIMEY.

A Dracula movie with something for everyone!
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1/10
Agent for S.M.A.R.M.
14 December 2002
Let's say you're a refugee scientist from some foreigny country, hiding in Southern California working on antidote to some killer spore virus that's going to be sprayed on America's crops, to be baked into apple pies. Would you let a smug, fifty-ish, cardigan-wearing, skill-less "secret agent" into your home, to sleep next to you and your sexy, sexy, sexy neice? I wouldn't.

Anyway, Peter Mark Richman, who you may remember from "Friday the 13th part VIII: Jason Takes Manhatten", IS Adam Chance, Agent for H.A.R.M. He answers to one- except Wendell Corey, as the head of H.A.R.M. Here, Wendell is as drunk as he was in "Women of the Prehistoric Planet" but not as drunk as he was in "Astro-Zombies".

Enjoy!
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This Is MST3K (1992 TV Short)
This Is "This Is MST3K"
13 December 2002
I remember when I first saw this (during Turkey Day '92) how tantalizing it was to get my first glimpse of the inner-workings of Best Brains. Oh, how I froze every frame of the behind-the-scenes shooting of "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians". And how I relished every soundbite from the cast and crew (Joel: We never say 'Who's going to get this'. We always say 'The right people will get this'). The footage in the writing room alone is worth it's weight in Spacom.

But now I watch it and am annoyed, first of all by the hosting job done by Penn Jillette, and second of all by the presence of Doogie Howser's Neil Patrick Harris. The whole special has the air of having the show described to you by people who have only seen it once. Why, why, why?!? The Sci-Fi era "making of" special is much more satisfying (and only slightly as annoying).
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The Master (1984)
1/10
Master Ninja II: The Next Day
13 December 2002
Max Keller, the unintelligable, custom-van-drivin', gerbil-totin', dirt-bike-racin', light-aircraft-pilotin', young-gal-smoochin' hero of "Master Ninja I" is back, in another film that bares a striking simularity to the television show "The Master". "For a Few Dollars More" star Lee Van Cleef is back too as Max's Ninja instructor, who drops about thirty pounds everytime he dons his ninja robes. This time they battle corrupt fish canners who have killed several union organizers without reprisal, then lend a hand to some tense hostage negotiations.

This installment of the venerable series is star studded (compared with the last one, who's star power consisted of Clu Gulager and Claude Akin's butt). Joining Max and The Master are Crystal Bernhard (TV's "Wings"), George Lazenby ("Who Saw Her Die"), David McCallum (TV's "The Man From Uncle"), and Monte Markham (TV's "Campus Cops"). OOOO!

Timothy Van Patten applied his experience of starring in "The Master" to his later career, directing episodes of "Touched by an Angel" and "The Sopranos". Lee Van Cleef died.

If you enjoyed this, perhaps you'd like "Master Ninja III", "Master Ninja IV", "Master Ninja V", "Master Ninja VI", "Master Ninja VII", or "Three Ninjas Kick Back".
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1/10
VeSota. Roth. Leeches. CATCH IT!
13 December 2002
It's Hillbillies vs. Giant Leeches in another drab, ridiculous movie from the Roger Corman Film Factory, directed by Bernard L. Kowalski who went on to direct episodes of "Baywatch: Nights". But despite the pairing of MST3K giants Bruno Vesota and Gene Roth (not Merritt Stone)- it sucks! (Leeches, sucks... never mind).

Trouble's a brewin' when gigantic, shotgun-toting grocer Vesota chases no-good cheatin' Yvette Vickers (of "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" fame) and the pregnant guy from "Night of the Bloodbeast" into the swamp where they are kidnapped by man-sized, gator-eating, intelligent leeches. Taken into custody by the Roth (basically playing the same part as in "Earth vs. The Spider"), later VeSota is found swingin' in his jail cell (must be some steel-reinforced rafters there).

But none of this really factors into the plot, which concerns lots of coffee consumption (shades of Coleman Francis!) and a gal upset that her Swamp Ranger boyfriend is going to arrest her dad for fishing with dynamite (like Ron Howard on "The Simpsons"). Why should anyone watch this movie? Hard to say, but if you like scantily clad, swamp-soaked women getting molested by guys wearing garbage bags, then this is the movie for you!
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1/10
The Artist Formerly Known as Prince of Space
13 December 2002
If you enjoy getting nine inch nails getting driven into your eyes you may enjoy this tale about The Phantom of Krankor, a lumpy chicken-like man who displays his drooping gentitals in his tight space-suit and is intent on conquering Earth despite his lack of any skills or world-dominating tools. His attempts to steal a formula of some sort are thwarted by gravely-voiced kids ("We Like It Very Much!") and their champion, Prince of Space, a hopping, effeminent guy with no powers other than being impervious to he Phantom of Krankor's weapons. This doesn't keep The Phantom from repeatedly shooting at The Prince, and The Prince from repeatedly telling The Phantom that his weapons don't work. This goes on for nearly five hours.

YYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! Who does this movie appeal to? Chicken-fetishists? Japan-haters? Drooping-genital-enthuisiests?

If you need me, I'll be soaking in the tub.
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1/10
The Killer Snooze
13 December 2002
From the makers of "The Giant Gila Monster" comes this incredibly dull, pointless movie, filmed in rich grey and grey and starring James "Death Mask" Best, best known (and rightly so) as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltraine on "The Dukes of Hazzard". In several small but pivital rolls are dogs with odd bits of fur stapled to them, playing the titular Killer Shrews.

Boy, this movie eats it. First the black guy gets chased up a tree and eaten. No one notices. Then the Mexican guy gets chomped on and dies in the basement. No one cares. Eventually, towards the end of the film, the Caucasian characters start to get it. The only way to tell the characters apart is from their differing degrees of loathsomeness. Oh, and one of them wears glasses.

All these people do is stand around in their depressing adobe hut and drink and drink and drink and drink. Eventually they weld some barrels together to make a goofy-looking tank to evade The Killer Dogs With Bathmats On Them. It's a trip of only a few yards, yet they have to stop to rest frequently. Why? All they did was drink!

The movie ends with Roscoe P. Coltraine threatening to impregnate a Swedish woman while her German father looks on. Fun!
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Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002 Video)
1/10
Evil. Deadly. Unwatchable.
15 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
[Slight Spoilers Ahead]

OOOO DOGGIES! This movie stinks! PEE-YEW!!!

I know I shouldn't expect much from direct-to-video horror flicks, that the best I'll probably get is the likes of "Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest". But after the relatively competent execution of "Hellraiser: Inferno" I had slightly higher hopes for this installment in the long running series. Thanks for dashing my dreams for a better tomorrow, "Hellraiser: Hellseeker"!

Thanks for going through the trouble of ressurecting Kristy Cotton's character, as well as bringing back the yumcious Ashley Lawrence (currently trapped in the purgatory of Geico commercials)- ONLY TO KILL HER OFF IN THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES! You suck, movie! Instead of enjoying another satanic-cat-and-mouse game between her and Pinhead (series regular Doug Bradley, who may as well be a Spencer's Gifts Halloween Mask and a speaker phone at this point) we get to watch Kristy's boring husband in poorly acted scenes on cheap sets over and over and over again. And not different poorly acted scenes- the same poorly acted scenes again... and again... and again.

Why would any Hellraiser fan want to watch the dull goings on in the drab police station? I can watch any of the hundreds of cop shows on TV for that brand of "entertainment". I want to see S&M torture and gore and gross/beautiful creatures! (Besides the briefly glimpsed Pinhead, there are two other Cenobites in this, shot primarily in dark shadows for the few seconds they appear, a far cry from the trio of neat 'bites in "Inferno").

I'd tell you to steer clear of this ill-concieved, poorly-executed mess, but I know Hellraiser fans won't be able to resist (really lame Pinhead is better than no Pinhead). And I know I'll probably rent the next two installments of this failing franchise as long as they keep churning them out. This is my own personal hell, and it's all straight to video.
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The Landlady (1998)
1/10
It's no Rocky V
24 April 2002
In this depressing slasher movie `from the producer of WISHMASTER and THE DENTIST' (how could that ad copy fail to bring in viewers?) , two-time Academy Award ® nominee Talia Shire plays Melanie Leroy, a bitter, unlikable harridan who sniffs other people's laundry and decides to go on a half-ass killing spree after inheriting her dead Aunt's apartment building. Shire spends the whole movie ranting to her dead husband's ashes and obsessing over her nice-enough social worker tenant (Jack Coleman from the NIGHTMARE CAFÉ T.V. show), spying on him with 2 way mirrors and video cameras, and eventually tying him to the bed in scenes that are like a fourth grade class production of MISERY. While this unbearable flick rolls on Melanie offs people with a refrigerator door, an enormous candle stick, a butcher knife, a steamer trunk, a gun, sleeping pills, a dry cleaning bag, and, scariest of all, shellfish. Yes, apparently feeding someone shellfish when they're allergic is sca-a-ary! Move over, Jason Vorhees!

Where was I? This movie. I tried to think of some ways to make it better, but all I came up with was to give two-time Academy Award ® nominee Talia Shire a Muppet © sidekick that only she can see and who can grant wishes. Sorry.
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Moulin Rouge! (2001)
4/10
What? The "!" is part of the title? How pretentious! Not since the "/" in "Face/Off"!
8 April 2002
I must say I enjoyed the feature length Mtv video "Moulin Rouge!", or at least the first twenty or thirty minutes, before if devolved into a hokey amalgam of trite cliches and almost unbearable music interludes embellished by John Leguizamo's mind numbing performance.

Anyway, lets say you're a "patron" at the Moulin Rouge dancehall/brothel, and you frequent it quite regularly. Eventually you would have "had" all the women there, right? And eventually you'd sleep with the dwarf. Right? I mean, you'd have to, at least once, right? Right? Come on, the men in the audience know what I'm talking about, right?
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Final Justice (1985)
1/10
White Hot Joe Don Baker Action!
27 March 2002
Human pot roast Joe Don Baker (MITCHELL) stars in this dull, unremarkable `action' movie as Deputy Geronimo, a fat, gassy slob who sits around in a stupid looking cowboy suit, listening to country music and eating too many donuts. Meanwhile, a vaguely criminal guy named Palermo (played by the guy who owned the drill in Fulci's GATES OF HELL) stumbles into Joe Don's territory and shoots the sheriff in a poorly edited scene. Joe Don- slowly- gives chase and offs Palermo's brother after uttering his now legendary catch phrase `It's your move. Think you can take me? Well, go ahead on'. For some reason Joe Don, a Texas lawman, must transport Palermo to Italy (`Mr. Palermo's been a major source of embarrassment to the Italian government,' says Mr. Wilson, another vague character played by Bill McKinney, who was in MASTER NINJA 1, SHE FREAK, and a lot of good Clint Eastwood movies).

Anyhoo, Joe Don's plane must land on the island of Malta, where Palermo escapes with the help of a briefcase and a guy who looks like Jon Lovitz. And that's where the movie grinds to a halt. For the rest of the movie, Joe Don looks for Palermo, looses Palermo, ends up in a jail cell, is yelled at by the Malta chief of police, and then is let go with a warning not to look for Palermo any more. Then Joe Don keeps looking for Palermo, looses Palermo, ends up in a jail cell, is yelled at by the Malta chief of police, and then is let go with a warning not to look for Palermo any more. Then Joe Don looks for Palermo, looses Palermo, ends up in a jail cell, is yelled at by the Malta chief of police, and then is let go with a warning not to look for Palermo any more. This is one aggravating movie.

At one point Joe Don is thought to be dead at sea. All the other characters wonder if he's dead or not, finally concluding that he is. But then he shows up (he was rescued by a poor family) and no one mentions the fact that he was missing at sea for several days. Even his cute, Julia Louise-Dreyfuss-esque sidekick doesn't welcome him back. She does, however, offer to help him find Palermo, so Joe Don looks for Palermo, looses Palermo, ends up in a jail cell, is yelled at by the Malta chief of police, and then let go with a warning not to look for Palermo any more.

Highpoints include, a bizarre carnival with strange colorful floats, some sexy strippers, a shoot out involving a kid dressed like Napoleon AND a cart of tomatoes, a chase scene involving a guy dressed like a monk, and any scene without Joe Don. Lowpoints include Joe Don threatening a stripper with a coat hanger.

It should be noted that this is from Greydon Clark, director of ANGEL'S REVENGE, who appears as the sheriff. Ick!
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Frogs (1972)
3/10
Kermit's Back... and he's p***ed.
27 March 2002
A lame entry in the `eco-horror' genre of the 70s, FROGS details the exploits of the hard-drinkin' Crockett family, who's annual Fourth of July celebration is invaded by frogs, or rather, clumsily inserted shots of frogs. The filmmakers keep insisting that just because there are images of frogs on screen, it's scary. Every scene in this movie (which mostly consist of the unpleasant family's pointless squabbling) features some drop-ins of frogs, and their croaking is on the soundtrack for 80% of the flick. It's an interesting motif, but not really all that scary.

And even though the movie is called FROGS, all of the killing are preformed by the other swampland critters. The movie could've been called LEECHES, SNAKES, SPIDERS, ALLIGATORS, TURTLE or LIZARDS, and it wouldn't have made any difference. The titular animals don't really do anything menacing, just sit around while the humans die in stupid ways. People in this movie could've survived if they tried employing radical measures like `running', `opening unlocked doors', or `not being total freakin' morons'. One great scene has the doddering butterfly enthusiast lady running through the swamp and managing to walk into every tree, vine, bush, or puddle she can find, doing more damage than the animals ever could. The snake just killed her to put her out of her misery. I did learn, however, not to store open jars of poison in my greenhouse (although the greenhouse scene in SLUGS is much better). Late in the game the frogs do get into the act, but their one skill is waiting until their victim fall over and then hopping on them. But for all this movie's pitfalls there is some great photography and a great, funny, nihilistic ending.

The mostly unlikable cast is saved by a mustache-less Sam Elliot (who has a great voice) as the sensible, denim-clad hero, Judy Pace as the only sympathetic character (and she's really hot, too), and Ray `Mr. X' Milland as the wheelchair-bound, cantankerous millionaire who owns the island. However, since they keep cutting back between Ray and bullfrogs, I kept expecting Ray to inflate all the dangling extra flesh on HIS neck.

So if you catch this AIP opus on TV, pop open a couple of beers and enjoy, although you'd be better off watching the hilarious SLUGS, the worm-movie SQUIRM, GRIZZLY, or even NIGHT OF THE LEPUS. Be sure to stick around after the credits for a brief appearance by a cartoon frog.
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5/10
Nightmarish, scary, and disgusting- and that's just the leading lady!
27 March 2002
ROSEMARY'S BABY is an interesting, well shot, and occasionally scary movie dominated by the icky, talent less actress Mia Farrow. Her presence taints this movie in my mind, as it does any Woody Allen movie she appears in. After her character becomes pregnant others comment on how terrible she looks and how much weight she has lost, but she look exactly the same! If she did loose any weight she'd be about the diameter of a pipe cleaner. Was there a fashion trend in the 60s where emaciated corpses with bad haircuts were all the rage?

There are good things in this movie, though. It's definitely the best collaboration between the producer of STRAIGHT JACKET and the director of CHINATOWN. The scene where Mia gets knocked up is nightmarish and beautiful, and the surreal ending is okay, if a little anti-climactic. Ruth Gordon puts in another great performance, joining her stellar roles in HAROLD AND MAUDE, EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE, and ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN. The woman is hilarious, and sexier than Mia Farrow. There's also able support from John Cassavetes as the jerk husband, Ralph Bellamy (best known for the Fat Boys' magnum opus DISORDERLIES) as the doctor that gives illogical advice, Maurice Evans (Dr. Zaius), the great Elisha Cook, Jr (THE KILLING), and a pre-BEETHOVEN Charles Grodin as another, more competent doctor. Anton LaVey reportedly plays the devil!

As far as slow-moving devil posseson movies go, this is better than BEYOND THE DOOR but not as good as THE EXORCIST or EXORCIST III. And did I mention that I don't like Mia Farrow?
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The Haunting (1963)
10/10
Daunting.
27 March 2002
THE HAUNTING, an inspiration for Sam Raimi's EVIL DEAD films, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and a really, really crappy 1999 remake, is a moderately entertaining horror flick with some suspenseful set pieces and some really interesting characters. There are some good scares relying on sound and lighting which are excellent, and a surreal scene with a breathing wall (a great effect). But the house in this film never registers as an evil force, we just hear people talk about how it is an evil force.

We're forced to spend most of the running time watching the unlikable lead Eleanor (Julie Harris). Nell is a twisty-faced, mother-obsessed whiner who worries on and on in endless voiceovers. The most likable character is sexy, fashionable, and wry Theo (Claire Bloom), a psychic whose lesbianism is handled in a sly, intelligent, and funny manner- definitely not what I expected from a horror movie in 1963. The double-entendre-laden dialog is squirmingly droll. The rest of the wry cast contains a bland doctor (Dick Johnson) and the eternally wise-cracking Luke (Russ Tamblyn, who has one weird filmography), who has some good lines but seems to be in the movie for no reason. Ms. Moneypenny also shows up in an annoying role.

Recommended.
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Is This Love? (1957)
I thought it was love, but it was just a rash.
25 February 2002
Another movie about teen troubles that could all be avoided if we popularized fun, safe sex with multiple partners! See, the trouble here is, one sad-faced college gal wants to marry a hunky, carved-out-of-styrofoam football player, against the wishes of her doddering, doily-wearing parents AND her Romulan senior citizen roommate. So the two love birds run off to be wed in secret, ruining their lives forever. Now, in a perfect world they could just, uh, do the deed, repeat as necissary, and get it out of their systems. Then they could concentrate on their studies, graduate, and find true love in the private sector once they are mature and sickened of a frolicking, mind-blowing sex life.

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, this short. It's not that good. The scenes of the elderly college gal and her Maynard G. Krebs-like boyfriend gloating about how great their relationship was really sickened me, as did the decrepit corpses who played the enraged parents. My only consolation is that they're both long dead by now.
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