I’ve got good news and bad news.

28 Feb

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve decided to switch things up a bit and stray from the Body Count format that became the seed of this little project. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty more Body Count Reviews coming down the pipe, but I also want to toy with some new features that may keep me from embracing another long term hiatus. That being said…LET THE INCOHERENT RANTING BEGIN!!!!!!!!

All the way back in October of 2007, a piece of literature was released that struck a nerve with nerds all across the globe. I’m speaking, of course, of the Max Brooks masterpiece “World War Z”. For those unaware, World War Z is a heartwarming tale of human triumph over the (inevitable) zombie apocalypse.

Max Brooks...the seed of absolutely brilliant loins.

The story takes place about ten years after the zombie apocalypse has struck, and finds the planet sweeping up the last of the undead mess and putting itself back together again. It isn’t a nice little tidy up job, either…humans have been pushed to the brink of extinction, and the battle has completely changed every nation on the planet. Shit, even ten years later, there’s still a huge amount of undead wandering around trying to stir up trouble. I could keep elaborating, but let’s try and keep the masturbatory praise at a minimum, as I DO have a point I’m meandering towards.

The Audiobook version has a great cast, and doesn't have any of those pesky words to read.

I’m not here to just talk at your face about how much you NEED to read this book…if you haven’t already figured that out elsewhere, there’s clearly no hope for you. No, friends…I’m here to discuss something much more important; World War Z is becoming a feature film. Not some straight to Syfy crap, either! It’s being directed by Marc Foster, a man known for directing Machine Gun Preacher, which I almost watched once until I was informed it was not a prequel to Hobo With a Shotgun. Anyway, my point is this; they’ve got a pretty good director, and also a pretty good screenwriter (Matthew Michael Carnahan, who’s written a couple of movies that people speak fondly of…I’ve never seen them, I’m too busy watching garbage), working with Producer/Star/all around professional fella’ Brad Pitt. How could this go wrong?!

Professional, I say!

See, now I’m gettin’ all excited! Of course, when you sit down and think about it…when was the last time you enjoyed a film based on a book you love? Sure, sometimes they seem to do a pretty good job…but I mean, didn’t they fuck it up just a little bit now that you think about it? I think we need to examine this a bit further and understand exactly what we’re getting into. This is both an amazing and terrible idea, and instead of being mature about things, I’d like to tell you exactly why I’m both extremely furious and extremely excited about this happening.

I imagine Uncle Hank shares my "I'm only happy when I'm ruining your fun" attitude

Allow me to start with what I’m most comfortable with; negativity. You see, World War Z is set up as a collection of interviews with survivors of the Zombie War. All the REAL action has come and gone, and now we’re left with a generation of soldiers and civilians who’ve seen some serious shit over the past ten years, and reluctantly share their stories to give the world a complete picture of what happened when the dead got hungry. Each chapter of the book is rich with new viewpoints and experiences from different cultural perspectives on the damn near unstoppable killing force of the undead. It’s a new approach that works so well you start to wonder why no one has thought of it before. You’re probably asking yourself “Well what the hell is so bad about that?” while you condescendingly twirl your moustache and light your pipe that you think makes you so sophisticated looking…

"I'll have you know, kind sir, I traded my moustache in for a new set of elbow patches."

The answer is quite simple; this is not the movie that’s being made. Much like the 2004 remake of George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead”, World War Z is already promising to abandon as much of the source material as possible. In the film version, Our pal Mr. Pitt will be playing an agent working for the UN, who travels the globe making soap and beating up Meatloaf trying to prepare and train fighting forces in different countries in order to crush the face-bitey menace before the shit actually reaches the fan. It’s an interesting idea, but it misses the point of the book. The book made it pretty clear that dudes like this character really didn’t exist…or at the very least didn’t accomplish one single solitary fucking thing. Even if they did, it was at a time where it did a very small amount of good. In fact, most of the book detailed military and United Nations’ FAILURE, which I guess is what’s sticking the most in my craw about this whole mess.

Wait, no…THAT might be pissing me off even worse. The zombies not only run, they also apparently break dance. Yes, that video clip is (allegedly) some leaked footage from the set of World War Z. As you can see, it looks like any other zombie movie footage you’ve seen in the past 10 years…decaying corpses somehow moving at Bo Jackson speeds (Editor’s note: I assume Bo Jackson ran fast because a lot of people wouldn’t shut up about him when I was ten). Don’t go getting the wrong idea…I do feel that, in the right circumstances, running zombies can totally work. I DON’T, however, consider World War Z to be that setting. When I read through the book the first time through, I imagined your standard, Romero-speed stumbling zombies; easy to deal with one at a time, pretty fuckin’ nasty when dealing with a mob of them.

Two is much less threatening than hundreds...still spooky, but could clearly be worse

The intensity on skinny-mormon’s face is throwing me off, what the hell were we talking about?! Ah yes, running zombies. To be perfectly frank, cranking up the speed on the zombies is probably the least of my worries regarding World War Z…but I still feel that it’s worth mentioning. The real issue is, of course, setting a World War Z movie at the onset of the zombie outbreak, instead of setting it after things have started to calm down. I can’t even come up with a reasonable explanation as to why they would change the story in this way. One might say “well, it will probably make for more interesting story telling!”, and I don’t mean to slap the slurpie out of your hand (Editor’s note: yes, I do), but that’s simply not true. The oral (Editor’s note: hehehe) history approach of the source material is engaging to the point of almost being obnoxious. Imagine a film centered around an interview table, with a haggard old bastard describing, in detail, the most hard-fought days of his life; hiding out in some boarded up building, constantly trying to hide his presence, or defend his location, or even just making sure his comrades really haven’t been bitten, no matter what they say…it’s a fresh approach to a genre that’s getting very tired. The flashback scenes could have been fantastic, and would allow for the characters themselves to, perhaps, embellish the stories a bit, leaving the viewer to wonder what actually happened to the character compared to the character’s own accounts of the stories.

Alright, let’s take a few steps back, as my speculation is getting further and further out of hand. Before I forget…I’m not here just to whine, there are some bright spots to this. Sure, they’re focusing on the onset of the zombie apocalypse, and not the tail end…but that could still be awesome! If nothing else, World War Z seems to be setting itself up as a zombie movie of absolutely epic proportions. We’ve seen plenty of zombie stories in the past, but not one that promises to travel the globe, providing a view of the outbreak in multiple corners of the world. Other zombie films have implied that the entire world is under siege, this one wants to show us! While this is exciting as hell, I’m missing an even broader point. Earlier I made reference to a remake of Dawn of the Dead made in 2004. That movie took an absolute classic movie, and “remade” it by not only abandoning the shambling Romero zombies in favor of Olympic sprinters, but also stripping the plot of everything that made the original great…except for the shopping mall. Why do I bring this up and drag this movie through the mud now? Because besides being an absolutely terrible remake, it’s a pretty fuckin’ enjoyable movie. Sure, I wish it wasn’t called Dawn of the Dead, but I loved damn near every second of that movie!

Except for this part...I can't tell you how hard I laughed at this stupid little bastard

So, even though I weep for what could have been for World War Z, I still feel confident it’s going to end up being a fantastic movie with an unfortunately inaccurate name. Should we be pissed? Sure! Should we give it a chance anyway? Absolutely! Worst case scenario is the movie sucks, and some asshole tries to remake it in three years. Meanwhile, we can all sit down and read through the book, bask in it’s glory and pretend no one will ever try and ruin it again. It’s the perfect plan.

Let’s give this the Romero treatment.

27 Feb

You know what? Enough with the day job! Be damned, third semester of clown college! And to Hell with all those crudely sewn together body parts in the basement that just couldn’t be bothered to reanimate despite my perfect recitations of those incantations (I’ll tell you one thing, that’s the last time I go to Etsy for ancient scrolls).

I think it’s time to get serious, and it’s time to focus on something a bit more satisfying.

New body count reviews will be coming soon! But that’s not all, as I’ve decided to branch out and include some new horror related features! For the time being, I intend to keep a few cards up my sleeve…but expect some reanimated Delicious Cheese soon! Until then, enjoy this gentleman and his awesome dance moves…I assure you it is, in some way, relevant to the conversation.

Just some a-hole from space

18 Aug

Today we have a good one to go over…a really good one to go over. Not only that, but there’s some serious star power attached…even better!

alien drug dealers vs. Dolph Lundgren...take a guess who wins.

No foolin’, kids…today I’m bringing the real shit to the table. On this fine evening, we’ll be taking a good hard look at the 1990 “classic” sci-fi action flick I Come In Peace (aka “Dark Angel”…apparently…), starring none other than Dolph Lundgren. In this absolute gem, Dolph Lundgren plays a reckless cop named Jack Cain. Jack’s main concern is with a gang of yuppies called “The White Boys” (no, I’m not joking) who are running heroin through his town. Sounds great already, right? Not great enough.

there's spike-handed aliens, too!

In the middle of Dolph trying to get to the bottom of The White Boys master scheme, he not only gets stuck with a square FBI agent for a partner, but a huge alien guy shows up and starts stabbing people with tubes. That’s right…tonight’s weapon of choice is tubes. But wait! The alien also shoots fancy magnet discs!

magnetic rainbows of death

Hell yes, now we’re cookin’. This alien guy goes around slitting peoples throats with flying CDs, then uses weird stabby-tubes from his wrist bands to impale them and suck out juices. But why juices? Well, apparently the scheme is this: First, the alien injects people with heroin…then, once their endorphins are really pumping, they use another stabby-tube (technical term) to suck brain juices out, which apparently creates an alien party drug that’s pretty valuable on his home planet. Fantastic!

hey, douchebag, get some pupils.

Ready for even better news?! There’s an alien space-cop chasing him! Hell yes, again! Of course, to prove how bad-ass he truly is, the mean alien had to shoot a big ol’ hole in the space cop.

I was led to believe aliens bled green.

I should really slow down, because there’s a lot more to this. Before the space cop got his delicious creamy center shot out, Dolph and his lame pal in the suit managed to capture one of the flying murder discs. This, of course, captured the attention of our antagonist, who now has his eyes set on Dolph. In the mean time, the White Boys keep getting their heroin ripped off and can’t figure out why…once again, it’s that dickhead alien who keeps saying he “comes in peace”. I think it’s about time Dolph came in and kicked some ass.

you can tell by the duster he's wearing that it's going to take more than that

There are a couple of uninteresting plot points I’m skipping over, but the important parts mostly involve kicking and explosions, so we’ll stick to those. What we eventually boil down to is a battle of wits between Dolph and the intergalactic drug dealer. Fun fact: Dolph defines “wits” as “kicks, punches, and guns”. With the help of his FBI nerd and his uninteresting girlfriend who I’m just now mentioning, it’s officially time for Dolph to put an end to this alien dirtbag. But don’t worry, folks, this bastard isn’t giving up without a fight.

what a peculiar weapon that is

Yup, Dolph almost gets face-stabbed with the weird alien-wrist-heroin-needle thing. But don’t worry, this is Dolph Fucking Lundgren we’re talking about, when confronted with a deadly situation, he flips a murder switch in his brain and all hell breaks loose. Right before the alien can shoot up Dolph’s face with heroin, he gets control of the situation and jams the needle back into the alien. This distracts the alien long enough for a good nudge towards a dangerous jagged pole. Of course, it turns out our alien isn’t immune to impalement, and he ends up in pretty terrible shape. But “pretty terrible” isn’t enough for Dolph.

that's a serious friggin' gun

Final Verdict: First off, I wish I had kept a tally of how many times that dumbass alien said “I come in peace”…because it seriously happened too many times. Although at first annoying, it does set Dolph up for his action-hero-one-liner “and you go in pieces”. Real clever, Dolph. Second…and probably my biggest problem with the film…how did the alien expect to get back home?! I can accept that he’s here to harvest human bodily fluids to sell as drugs on another planet…that’s fine…but from what I could tell of his landing, his ship was destroyed. I mean, he basically crashed onto Earth…so what the hell is his exit strategy even without worrying about someone like Lundgren? Despite the overly lame b-rate action movie nature of this film, I honestly get a kick out of it. I hadn’t seen it in years prior to this screening, but it still holds up as an entertaining ride. I’d recommend it, but…as usual…only if you’re looking for some laughs.

Stay Tuned!

Today I died a little

17 Aug

I’m not entirely sure how to start this, so how about we just take a look at the body count checklist, eh?

this is the hardest I've ever had to try when it comes to watching movies

I kind of thought that would help me start…but no…this movie was just too bad, even for me. First of all, let’s just address the elephant in the room: the “I would really like to stop watching this” note was scribbled after the first half hour of this movie…at which point fucking nothing had taken place.

TURN IT OFF!!!!!!

Well, maybe one or two things had actually happened. The plot revolves around a plantation in New Orleans where a bunch of wacky voodoo is going on. Just to mix things up, our main character just got married this morning, and that means he’s inherited the plantation from his dead grandfather. So, in true honeymoon fashion, the newlyweds decide to spend the weekend at this working plantation filled with technicolor spookiness.

apparently mr. redshirt thought this was a drum circle, not a voodoo zombie party

The cousin of our lead hero has been living on the plantation for a long time, and she isn’t giving up the deed without a fight. Of course, she’s not much of a fighter, but her dead brother can be with the help of some voodoo! This is starting to look promising, right? Yup, it’s time to get our hopes up kids, because this is going to be awesome!

No, this gets really painful. After our initial set up of weddings and voodoo, a whole bunch of nothing happens. Our newlyweds take a drive down to the big easy for their honeymoon, but take their sweet ass time getting there. First they stop a at a jazz club and dick around for a good ten minutes. Then, it’s time for the pair to down a pint of vodka each and watch some belly dancers wiggle around on stage for another few minutes. How romantic. After that, it’s time for some more fucking jazz. Shoot me in the face, please.

aim higher, lady.

Eventually, these jerks decide to quit drinking and head to the plantation for the night. On their way, they come across the broken down car of the star belly dancer they had seen earlier…how convenient. They offer her a ride and a place to stay for the night, because this is 1961 and crazy-roadside-murderers hadn’t been invented yet. After all of this “excitement”, our heroes finally make it to the plantation…BUT LOOK OUT! ZOMBIES! Just kidding…still nothing going on!

FINALLY! GET YOUR BLOOD, ZOMBIE!!!

We’ll skip over all of the uninteresting garbage and get to the rest of the story. Once the zombie finally gets called out again, things almost start to get interesting. As with most zombies, this guy’s reasoning skills aren’t the best. Thanks to this, he accidentally kills the belly dancer instead of the main character’s wife. Yup, apparently that’s the plot…we have to kill this dude’s wife so that he doesn’t inherit the plantation. Grandad was apparently a stickler for honest families, and wouldn’t leave the ol’ farm to anyone unless they got married first. Anyway…now that someone died, my interest is once again restored.

just get it over with...please...

After a little bit more running around, Mr. Hero finds the voodoo party his cousin is throwing, and tries his best to break it up. Meanwhile, the zombie is back…and this time he’s after the right bitch! Suspense! HA! Just kidding, no matter what this movie tries to do, it just keeps sucking. There is a tiny bit of good news, though. It’s around this point in the film when the best scene takes place.

first good part of the film!

Yeah! Slap some sense into that bitch! What was she thinking making that dead dude get up?! Get your shit together, lady. Anyway…the zombie fails to kill Mrs. Hero-lady, so everyone decides to take a breather then meet up in the family crypt. Once they all get there, they wait for the zombie to show up…who arrives fashionably late and promptly accomplishes nothing. That’s about the time the fuzz gets there…

shoot first, ask questions never.

Hell yes!!! This powder-keg is finally going to blow!!!

After firing off a few rounds and accidentally killing our hero’s wacky voodoo-lovin’ cousin, we discover the cops are just a few minutes too late. It seems voodoo zombies can’t survive in the sunlight…and as he stumbles forward towards the police officers, he meets with the sunlight and disappears into a cloud of smoke. And that’s it…that’s the movie. It’s so bland that even the cops basically said “Whatever man, looks like tonight was kind of weird for you folks…let’s not mess things up with criminal charges. Even though that’s exactly how I’d hope to be treated by the police, this is really not the ending we deserve after sitting through this mess.

Final Verdict: I think it’s pretty clear what my final verdict is…this was a complete waste of time. The whole idea had some promise, and voodoo can be really spooky in the right context…but this was not that context. I honestly couldn’t believe how long this took to get through the setup and into the meat of the film. Once they finally get to what should be the good parts, it fails miserably to capitalize on them. On the plus side…there’s no describing the joyous relief you feel when you see the credits roll. No kidding…you really don’t want to watch this one.

Stay Tuned!


Someone really needed a paycheck…

16 Aug

This weekend I learned a valuable lesson: No matter how much you love someone, they’ll never be completely infallible. Unfortunately, it took my personal hero Bruce Campbell to really cement this fact in my head.

Apocalypse?! Those aren't even masacre numbers, you cocky bastards.

I know, right? That looks like a promising checklist! Not only did we already mention that Bruce Campbell is the star, but 22 dead people, 3 heads bitten off, thirty seven dead aliens!? Plus there were 11 fake beards, that sounds like it’s right up my alley! Settle down, scooter…we’re about to outline some serious disappointment.

The French poster decided our lead female wasn't interesting enough, so they threw that third string character on there instead.

Before we get into the plot, let’s discuss the star power this baby brings to the table. Not only are we in for a treat with the human powerhouse that is Bruce Campbell, but his lady-love interest in this flick is none other than Renée O’Connor, better known as Gabrielle of Xena: The Warrior Princess fame.

when your most memorable role is in Xena...well...I'll let you finish that thought yourself.

No kidding, we’re really about to get a Gabrielle/Autolycus reunion! Plus the writer/director is Josh Becker, also of Xena fame! There’s simply no chance that this is going to suck…right? Oh, we are so fucking wrong…what an atrocious piece of crap we’re in for.

first he fought primitive screwheads in the past...now, in the future...it's more of the same ol' shit

Our story concerns a spaceship crew, captained by Mr. Campbell, returning to Earth from a 40 year cryogenic-sleep space mission. In that 40 years, humanity has changed quite a bit…in the sense that they’re now a bunch of worthless pussies who’ve allowed themselves to be enslaved by cartoon bugs.

this CGI wouldn't pass for a playstation game, how did it pass for a Bruce Campbell movie?

Yup, clearly in the future, humanities vast talents in CGI finally come back to bite us in the ass, and the cartoons decide to get even. Not only are the cartoons pissed, but they’re employing any human found wearing a fake beard with a lucrative career in slave-wranglin’.

that fake beard on the left was maybe third on the list of least convincing fake beards.

Before Bruce can inform our new insect overlords of the proper way to hail to the king, one of our 4 astronauts is shot in the chest (don’t worry, she was the annoying one), and the other 3 are bound, gagged, and lead to they’re fabulous new lives as slaves. At this point in the film, I’m already looking forward to watching these cocky jerks slave away until they drop dead…but noooooo…our NASA employees are “real Americans”, and demand answers from the lead Mantis…who promptly responds in typical cartoon-insect fashion…

there's no way a human skull is going to fit down that tiny little neck.

OK…and now there’s just Bruce and Gabrielle running around as slaves, and we’re still only like 20 minutes into the movie. Normally, I would take this as a promising development, but something is telling me this is only going to get worse. Sure enough…it does. Now that Bruce and Gabby are slaves, their job is to stack wood all day. Yup, you read that right, humanity has been enslaved to ensure that wood is stacked properly. What’s even better is once the wood is stacked it’s promptly moved and neatly stacked about 3 feet away. I guess if that’s what our new cartoon rulers demand, who am I to question the efficiency of the system?

Defiant in the face of EVERYTHING, Bruce is all that is man.

Once the day’s labor is finished, the slaves are all tossed down in the ol’ slave hole for the evening. It’s here where our pal Bruce chats up the other slaves and finds out exactly how this whole “crushing misery of human existence” thing actually managed to become worse during his 40 year space-nap. When he finds out that the President is still alive and hiding out in the Cascade mountains, it’s time for Bruce to get a gang of slaves together and join the Earth-Liberation-Fighting-Force the President is allegedly building. Of course, by “gang of slaves”, I’m referring to the one other person besides Gabrielle who’s got a big enough pair to try and escape the aliens’ wood-farm. It’s during this daring escape that the humans (somehow for the first time ever) realize that the aliens aren’t immortal, and can be killed with a pretty shallow stab to the abdomen.

cartoon bug funeral party. take a look and accept the fact that this is NOT the worst part of this film.

Now that we know the aliens can be killed, Bruce is starting to attract some more followers. In fact, the hike to Cascade Mountain is probably the most realistic part of the movie, as I’m sure anywhere Bruce Campbell decides to walk, he creates a crowd of followers that grows exponentially every quarter mile. Eventually the group makes it to the Presidential hide out in the mountains, only to find out that the President and his men (congress, or the senate, or the fucking remnants of the Detroit Lions, I don’t even know at this point) are also a bunch of worthless sissies. Awesome. Well now, Bruce has a choice…he can give up and find a nice place to hide out for the rest of his natural life, or he can lead humanity into a frenzied revolution himself.

The last thing your mother's bedroom door ever sees.

That’s right, it’s time to kick some green, animated asses. And that’s exactly what happens once Bruce and his merry gang of fake-bearded slaves make it back to the wood-farm. This is the point of the movie where things try to be “epic”, and once again miss the mark by miles. Despite over 30 aliens being killed, it appeared that only 4 animations were made and then cycled over and over again. Also, the aliens did an awesome job of destroying the exact same pile of wood at least 7 times. I would spend more time on this section of the film, but it really didn’t even count as a letdown considering the events leading up to it…unfortunately it was just business as usual. I can say that, at the end, Bruce Campbell was the savior of humanity, as he most certainly will one day be in real life.

Final Verdict: I wish I could say that this wasn’t too bad for a made-for-TV Sci-Fi network production…but it’s honestly one of the worst examples of “terrible made-for-sci-fi” garbage that I seem to always waste my weekends watching. I can only recommend this to the most die-hard of us Bruce Campbell fans out there. He’s really one of those guys that, if you’re aware enough of his career, you’d be willing to watch him read a newspaper in silence for two hours…hell…you’d be willing to pay for the honor. Even though I absolutely fall into this category…I truly believe watching him read the news would be more enjoyable than watching this film. I honestly wonder what lead him to stoop quite this low…did Oregon property tax go up that year? I guess we may never know. Anyway, I’ll admit it’s a lot of fun to spot the fake beards, and watching the amazingly bad CGI can be a real treat, too…but overall this was a train-wreck. If you DO happen to watch it, I defy you to keep a checklist of how many times “The President Lives!” is chanted…I considered keeping track myself, but by the time I realized it was going to happen a lot, I had to decide if I was willing to rewind and re-watch the previous 15 minutes of the film…a sacrifice I was simply unwilling to make, even for good ol’ Uncle Bruce.

Stay Tuned!

We’re dead, and this is hell

13 Aug
Well folks, once again I’ve got a real steamer to take a run through today. I figured that, since it’s Friday the 13th and all, we deserved a little something special. Now, don’t go getting your hopes up…I’m not going to be all cliché and pick one of the crappier Jason Voorhees flicks to make fun of…oh no…I feel like making you suffer today…

dammit...that doesn't look like much action...

Yeah, that’s right. Today’s film is 1988’s “Scarecrows”…and if you can’t tell from the checklist, it’s pretty much a snooze-fest. Only 6 deaths, and not one thing amusing enough to result in any extra note-taking (and in case you haven’t noticed, I love taking notes while watching terrible movies). I’m going to skip all the smart-ass-ery and get straight to the plot: A group of commandos have stolen three million dollars and an airplane from a military base, and have kidnapped a pilot, the pilots daughter, and the family dog to fly them to safety with their loot. 

exactly what I want to see fucking around next to the controls of the military airplane that's flying me to safety

So far, so good, right? I mean, if these dudes managed to rip off a U.S. Military base for three million and a damn plane, then they must have their shit together. We’ve got to be talking about some seriously unstoppable bad-asses if they managed to pull off that heist. The lady-commando hasn’t even mussed up her poofy hair, yet…that’s how well the mission went! In fact, I bet that heist would have been the best part of the movie, why the hell didn’t they film that?! 

every commando team has this exact asshole.

Oh well, so we don’t get to see the heist…big whoop. We do get to see our fancy commandos threatening the kidnapped pilot and family, and otherwise patting themselves on the back for a job well done. But wait…something sinister this way comes…I don’t like the look on that scrawny commando’s face. Yup, sure enough…there’s a double-cross in the air, and one of the less interesting of the commandos grabs the loot, drops a grenade, and parachutes away to “safety”. Unfortunately, the folks left on the plane manage to toss the grenade out before it goes off, leaving all of our characters still breathing…lame. But, there’s good news, too…We’re apparently over a small Mexican farm where…well…wait…what the hell happened at this farm? 

oh sweet, there's a picture in the cabin to explain everything

Yeah, there’s really no explanation…all we know is there’s a single abandoned house, surrounded by scarecrows, plants, and a complete lack of proper film-set lighting. I suppose it’s implied that the rustic gentlemen in the picture once lived in this cabin…but did they get killed by the scarecrows? Are they the scarecrows themselves!? Just what in the hell is happening here? I expected some sort of explanation, or perhaps a bit of closure at the end if nothing else…instead I was left feeling like that dumbass commando they’ve got on the team. 

this guy managed to not drool for the entire film...which I'm sure landed him extra pay

Yup, that right there is my favorite commando. You can tell from the look on his face he’s never read a book in his life. In fact, I think there’s a good chance he’s only got about 50% of toothbrush operation figured out. Of course, none of that really matters. After our anti-commando-commando parachutes with the money, our plane spins around, lands, and the commandos go out hunting. Of course, by now, the scarecrows are awake…I think. 

no, I'm pretty sure he's still napping.

From here, our movie keeps getting crappier. As I mentioned before, I’m pretty sure the director had one half-dead flashlight around to use for lighting, so most of what happens is pretty difficult to see…but that’s ok, because barely anything actually happens

I still can't see shit, can we just hold off shooting until the morning?

Our commandos find the cabin, start searching for their former buddy, and find him dead and stuffed with the money. Instead of wondering how this happened, or trying to get the hell out of there…they move the body and start cleaning off the money. Now, as far as I’m concerned, these idiots have it coming. I want EVERYONE to die…well…except for that little dog, he seems pretty cool. Just when the story couldn’t get any more bland…one of the characters has a mental breakdown and just gives up. 

"I'm in hell" was actually the actor describing his career, not the character describing his situation

Now this I can understand. At this point in the film, we’ve seen a good 15 minutes of footage of scarecrows chilling on poles, and probably another 20 seconds of scarecrows moving around and wrecking shit…I’d probably start foaming at the mouth and assuming I was already in hell, too. Plus for some reason, this dude keeps hearing the scarecrows talk to him over his radio…now that has got to screw with your head a fair amount. So as he has a breakdown, everyone else slowly gets picked off, and at the end we’re left with the pilot’s daughter and baldy-McGeneric-commando-actor attempting to escape in the plane. I’ll stay away from complete spoiler territory…but obviously after they take off, another scarecrow is going to attack them in the plane. The good news is, that stupid little dog is still alive! I wish he had seen some more action, I bet he could fuck up a scarecrow like nobody’s business! 

Final Verdict: Once again, I’ve found myself wasting an hour and a half of my life that I’ll never get back. Besides the fact that I would have really enjoyed seeing how these inept morons managed to rob a military base and get away with it, I can’t get over the lack of set up and plot in this movie. Why are there scarecrows on this farm? How did they throw their voices and get in the radios? Who’s farm was it, and why did they let it get all overrun with murderous scarecrows?! That’s one of the first things a home inspector checks for before you buy that shit. Just hang out an electric scarecrow-zapper, you know? Or at least some scarecrow-paper…seriously, there’s no excuse. Anyway…Don’t bother watching this…if you want to see some horrific scarecrows, just go check out your local farm. 

Rorschach settles down in his later years.

 That’s the scariest thing I’ve seen in a while… 

Stay Tuned!

For my next illusion…

12 Aug

Guys, I’ve got a confession to make…I can’t keep this on my conscience anymore. Oh, the sleepless nights I’ve spent, nursing my wounds and lamenting the heartache I’m sure I’ve been causing. You see, when I set out to do this little review site, I was sure I’d spend every day tearing up one side and down the other of downright terrible films…but so far I’ve been awfully positive and upbeat about things. I seem to love steaming piles of shit, and can’t stop singing their praises…but all that stops today. Today, I’m going to give you people what you want, what you need…or at least what you came here for. Today’s movie is 1976 “horror-exploitation-bordering-on-the-worst-softcore-porn-you’ve-ever-seen” classic “Bloodsucking Freaks”.

oh man...here we go...

I’ve watched a lot of crappy movies…way more than anyone should, in fact. But this just might take the cake. Our story, originally titled “The Incredible Torture Show”, but changed by Troma Productions when they bought the distribution rights, concerns “Master Sardu”, a sadomasochistic magician and apparent slave trader.  That’s right, I just said all of those things…the main characters name is actually Sardu, he does in fact practice both sadomasochism and magic (at the same time), and yes, he’s totally independently wealthy thanks to his personal sex-slave trading operation. Oh, and did I mention he has a tiny little friend:

Luis "The Anal Midget" De Jesus...not a joke, google that shit.

Pretty good set up so far, right? Wrong. This movie falls apart before it has a chance to build a story worth watching fall apart. We open with one of Sardu’s fancy little stage shows, in which he tortures, mutilates, and murders young nude women in front of a small audience. Along with his pint-sized, ex-and-soon-to-be-future porn star friend Ralphus, he wows the audience with his gruesome act, all the while assuring the audience that what they’re seeing is illusion…or is it

cutting a lady in half is passe...let's just cut some hands off, instead...

Yup, magic. No rabbits out of hats, no boring fucking card tricks…Sardu is going for the gusto. Kidnapping random ladies, brainwashing them into calling him “Master”, and for some bizarre reason forcing them to be nudists…all so that he can hack them into little pieces each weekend in front of a live studio audience.

network television should be taking notes

OK…so far I can handle this. I mean, it’s fairly dumb, but so what? A magician cutting up ladies and convincing the audience it’s actually fake is something I can get behind. Hold on, it turns out I can’t handle this. I mean, that’s the exact opposite of what a magician is supposed to do, right? What the hell kind of show is this? What exactly is Sardu’s problem?

S&M is weird...

Oh, that’s his problem. I can see the crazy in his eyes almost immediately. After the show, Sardu gets some harsh words from a theater critic, and retires to his chambers to reflect. Of course, Sardu only knows one way to really reflect on the day…and that’s kidnap that fuckin’ jerk of a critic, and force him to watch the gang cut up more bitches. Now we’re getting a peak into Sardu’s personal life, and it’s pretty much the same ol’ shit. First off, every woman around is a naked slave, and I mean every one of them. Also, Sardu practices for his show a lot, because practice makes perfect. Of course, “practicing” actually means “murdering”.

enough murder to justify developing a taste for sautéed eyeballs

Now that we’ve gotten a taste of his personal life, Sardu decides to put together a plan. As I mentioned earlier, David Copperf…I mean, Sardu, is independently wealthy thanks to all those crates of naked white ladies he’s always shipping out to the highest bidder. He decides the wisest investment for all of this money is to create a new show…a better show…dare I say…the greatest show on oh fuck that’s probably copyrighted, isn’t it? Anyway…he kidnaps a famous ballet dancer he spotted at his previous show, and begins brainwashing her in order to secure her for the lead role in his new production. While this is going on, we’re introduced to a cage full of “feral” naked ladies who were apparently too strong-willed to bow to Sardu’s power (but not strong-willed enough to hold on to a single shred of humanity in the process). These ladies serve almost no purpose to Sardu, but he keeps them around anyway. Good call, bro. We’re also introduced to my favorite character, “The Doctor”. I didn’t catch his actual name, because this movie sucked and looking at it for too long hurt me to my very core, but I think I’ll be calling him Dr. McAwesomepants. Apparently Dr. McAwesomepants is a bit of a psychopath himself, as Sardu allows him to…ahem…practice his surgeon skills as a payment for any medical services the naked-slave-ladies might need.

the only actual instance of a freak sucking blood in this entire movie

Did you see what Dr. McAwesomepants just did there? He took a power drill to some ladies skull, stuck a straw down in there, and drank some brain juice! Finally, something I don’t hate about this movie! Of course, this was short-lived, and eventually we’re back to the same old garbage. Sardu continues to try to brainwash his newly acquired ballet star, to…well…mixed results.

damn, Sardu...you's crazy.

Now we’re actually learning a lesson: dancers love feet. Feet are their bread and butter, so if you make them stand witness as you cut someone’s feet off, they’ll do anything you say. Knowing is half the battle, kids. So anyway…after this, well…a bunch of uninteresting shit happens. If, and that’s a serious if, you happen to watch this film, I think it’d be best if I didn’t spoil the ending. I mean, it has almost nothing going for it, so I’ll at least give it the chance to “surprise” you.

Final Verdict: Not a bad death count, but I’ve never seen so many naked ladies that I didn’t want to see. Also, I really very deeply hated every character in the film, except for Dr. McAwesomepants…and I guess at times Ralphus was alright. I can’t walk away without pointing out that death #6 (which I questioned on my tally sheet) did in fact die…but the lady who got her feet cut off apparently lived (99% certain I included her as a death on the sheet). In the end…I would possibly consider recommending this movie to you…but only if I hated your guts.

Stay Tuned!

Hallelujah!

11 Aug

Well folks, today I surprised myself. Today’s film is…well…it’s so universally reviled, so notoriously crappy, that I’ve been avoiding watching it for a long, long time. Oh, what a fool I have been

some of these deaths were animals...but they were really big animals.

Yes, as I’m sure you’re realized by now, our film in question this afternoon is the 1976 drive-in classic “The Food of the Gods”, based on the H.G. Wells tale of the same name. Let’s save all the nasty sarcasm (or as I call it “charming wit”), and meet the first of our characters.

heavy coat and knit hat weather? fuck yeah, dude, let's lose the ragtop.

So to begin…wait…wait one god damned minute….don’t I recognize that sassy ginger gentleman on the right!? Haven’t I seen him somewhere before? Was he that guy who spit in my milkshake last summer? No, that couldn’t be…Maybe the guy who came over and fixed my cable the other week? No, that doesn’t make sense, either. It couldn’t be another movie, could it? I mean, we’re 5 minutes in, and already his acting is pretty bad. Wait, acting…that seems to be sparking something…why do I feel like this terrible actor is somehow the best actor to ever grace this universe?

savin' souls from the hooch, the devil's trickery, and giant overgrown farm animals...apparently.

HOLY CRAP! It’s Marjoe Gortner! For those of you who may not be aware, but feel as though you’ve already “googled” enough random crap today, Marjoe Gortner spent the majority of his childhood in the 1940′s and 1950′s being dragged around the traveling preacher tour circuit by his parents, billed as the world’s youngest ordained preacher. This kid even performed a marriage ceremony at the ripe ol’ age of 4. Pretty awesome, right? But why, you ask, would I refer to him as the most skilled thespian of all time? Because in 1972, he released a documentary simply titled “Marjoe”, in which he came out and said “oh hey, guys, I’m a con man”. Yup, he never believed a word of it, but thanks to good ol’ ma and pa, it seemed like the best way to make a living. After a while, either the guilt got to him, or he realized there’s even more money in looking like an asshole (the most awesome asshole ever), he made the documentary and left the preaching game. This guy is damn near my hero, but I was not aware of his illustrious venture into the world of crappy cinema.

but enough about my love of blasphemy...look at them there giant chickens!

OK man, chill out!! You got my attention back on track, I’ll stop talking about how badass I think Marjoe is. As you can see, this film deals with an isolated island where farm animals have grown to enormous sizes. It seems an old couple living out in the middle of nowhere have found a magical spring that spews thick, off-white liquid which apparently looked like it would make fantastic chicken feed.

because this is what everyone does when confronted with puddles of mysterious liquid on the ground

Well, chicken feed mixed with natures growth serum is one thing…but once the wasps and rats get into it, suddenly we’ve got ourselves a war. Besides the old couple and Marjoe and his pal, our other characters include a greedy investor who’s received word of the grow juice, and a winnebago filled with some moron and his lady friend (who happens to have a baby trapped inside her). Eventually, through a bunch of uninteresting plot twists, all of our characters end up on the old couples farm (a.k.a. ground fucking zero), fighting for there lives from…mice? for real?

greedy mcgee is just about to get his comeuppance

I know, right, that’s one well crafted puppet right there. You can almost see the life twinkling in his eyes…although that actually might be the cameraman’s reflection. Either way, in a rather unexpected turn, a hoard of giant rats become the main antagonist. This struck me as peculiar, as the giant wasps that appeared earlier seemed much more frightening, but who am I to argue with Marjoe, right? Anyway, those giant wasp special effects were pretty hard to watch, maybe we’ll get a couple of awesome giant rat shots.

I KNEW IT!

Woah! Those are real rats! Suddenly we’re getting some impressive split screen special effects! Also take note of the fact that Marjoe hates chimneys, as this will play into the plot later (note: no it won’t). Am I ruining anything by showing this picture? Because I feel like in order for you to sit through this film you need to know that the rats get to the roof later in the film. They’re so pissed, huge, and thirsty for human blood that they climb the damn house and start tearing apart the roof. As usual, I’m not trying to give TOO many spoilers, so I’m leaving out some big chunks…but I can’t hang up my jacket and unbutton my pants until I let you know one big time spoiler: the rats have a leader.

looked at him perched there. lazy jerk.

And suddenly, rats are not only blood hungry dickheads, they’re racist, too. I’m learning a lot of things about nature today!

Final Verdict: I clearly have a soft spot for creature features, because every instinct told me this would be terrible, yet I LOVED it. Maybe it’s because of my Marjoe respect, or maybe it was all of the “great” puppet work, but this one’s moving pretty high on my “favorite terrible movie” list. This is another one that can be found on Hulu, so I strongly urge all of you to take an hour and a half out of your life and enjoy some true schlock.

Stay Tuned!





Don’t hug your kids.

10 Aug

If you’re anything like me, you’ve often laid awake at night, thoughts of a school bus full of young children turned into horrible killing machines by a nuclear plant leak dancing in your head…  

nice try, lady, but I said a busload of kids.

What was that? No, you’ve never really imagined that before? And the thought certainly didn’t fill you with the “warm fuzzies” like I was trying to describe? OK…OK…fair enough…but I’ve heard your side of the story, now just give me a few minutes to play devil’s advocate…  

still not convinced?

Did you see that number? 19?! For a fairly cheesy film from 1980, that’s an awfully high body count. And these aren’t you’re standard classic film off-screen kills (not that those aren’t also fantastic), no sir! These little nuclear abominations aren’t interested in any of that implied horror, oh no…they want to hug you until your face melts.  

hugs...a mom's only weakness.

See those nails? Nuclear clouds turn your fingernails black, so keep that in mind next time you vote republican, unless you look forward to riding out the apocalypse looking like some weirdo goth kid. OK, maybe that’s not fair…but really…next time you see a kid with black fingernails, don’t hug him. Just look at the smile on that little girls face…something about hugging her mom into a big cloud of smoke is really working for that kid, she’s smiling like the fucking circus is coming to town. But what’s so bad about turning into a cloud of smoke?  

this shit wouldn't have happened if Alan Hale Jr. was the sheriff.

Oh, I see…so nuclear kids use hugs to burn adults alive…now I’m starting to get the hang of this. So, it’s looking like this town is pretty screwed, right? Well here’s the thing…for most of the movie, no one finds any of these bodies, so everyone just wanders around for close to the first hour going “hmm…that school bus is empty and all the kids are gone…I guess since this is 1980 it’s not a big deal, we’ll just keep our eyes open and hope for the best”. Great job, parents! Now I’m literally hoping that you all get burned to death.  

not only did they deserve it, but this is also awesomely reminiscent of a Dio music video.

Eventually, the folks still alive start to wise up to what’s going down, and we’re left with a concerned father and the local sheriff trying their best to get to the bottom of things.  Once these two figure out exactly what’s going on (thanks in part to the concerned father getting his hand almost burnt off by his own daughter), they do what any grown men with guns being chased by children would do: tuck their tails between their legs and hide.  

WE'RE ONLY THREE TIMES THE SIZE OF THEM, RRRUUUUUNNN!!!

So we have two grown men holed up in a house, who are now putting in danger the small child, pregnant woman and her unborn baby who were already in the house. Are we really going to endanger an unborn child with hugs that will burn it to death?  

well, if mom doesn't care about his wellbeing, why should we?

Now we’re rounding out the end. Here’s where we find out that these little kids can take bullet after bullet, but just get right back up and keep asking for hugs. After one of these little bastards busts into the house, hugs the life out of the small child sleeping upstairs, and makes his way downstairs to try to hug dear old mom, we learn (quite by accident) that cutting off these jerks hands kills them INSTANTLY.  

ok, maybe not instantly...but once he's done smiling for the camera, he's totally fucking dead.

Once we figure this out, the movie moves pretty quickly. The sheriff and concerned father go running around hacking the hands off the left over nuclear kids, and of course the sheriff ends up getting hugged to death in the very end by some little jerk they missed. After Mr. Dad takes out the little girl who got the sheriff, he heads home to…I don’t know…relax? How do you unwind after a day like that? You know how this guy did it? By helping his pregnant wife give birth. I guess something about all the stress, coupled with all those cigarettes she’s apparently been smoking, it was time to push a baby out. I won’t explain anything beyond this point, but take a wild fucking guess what happens at the end.  

Final Verdict: Honestly, I enjoyed this movie. Yes, it was a pretty bizarre concept, but it wore any Romero influences on its sleeve like a badge of honor, and I can totally get behind that. Plus, it’s always fun to see children getting their hands cut off, right? OK, maybe that’s just me. All I know is, for 1980, a count of 18 dead people and 1 dead dog is pretty decent. Only thing that bothered me were the people unaccounted for. If you happen to see this, or if you’ve seen it already, keep an eye out and see if you can figure out the fates of: “Rich Bitch”, “Cadillac Driver Man”, and “The Road-Block-Rednecks”. 

Stay Tuned!

Hat Womp 101

9 Aug

Today we’ll…well…jesus, how do I even begin…you know what, screw it, let’s start with this:

Giant Spider Invasion, aka, the coolest thing on Hulu.

Did you catch that? Do mine eyes deceive me? No…no more second guessing myself…that clearly says Alan Hale Jr.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend...The Skipper!

Yes, today we look at the 1975 gold mine “Giant Spider Invasion”. In this fine film, our friend Alan “The Skipper” Hale Jr. plays a good ol’ boy, good-for-damn-near-nothing sheriff holding down his town while it gets overrun by…you guessed it…giant spiders from outer space!!!

even napping on a hill won't stop these beasts!

Let me make one thing perfectly clear before we go any further: one of the Skipper’s first lines in the movie is “well hey there, lil’ buddy!”…immediately putting Mr. Hale in a comfortable position as an actor.

He is, after all, quite accustomed to having small friends.

What we get from here on out is…well..interesting. Our story is as follows: Some wacky backwoods fella sees a big explosion one night, and decides “fuck it, I’m not investigating”….this is the last intelligent thing that occurs in the movie.

"investigate strange noises?! hell nah, I'm just gonna hang out here and OH SHIT WHAT IS THAT BEHIND ME!?"

From here, we get scientists blabbering fake science, rednecks finding geodes filled with diamonds (and sneaky tarantulas that NO ONE sees leaving these rocks), people getting bitten by small spiders, and FINALLY a true giant spider tearing apart people, houses, and eventually moving his destruction to the happening downtown streets of…of…what was this town again? Oh I guess it doesn’t matter.

the whole town is doomed, anyway.

So what did we learn? Well, for one thing, we learned sheriffs are not to be taken seriously unless at LEAST the top four buttons of their shirt are undone. We also learned that womping spiders with hats does NOTHING (ok…well…maybe that didn’t happen…but a man can dream, can’t he?). We also learned that all the Red Phones in the world are useless when being used by mid-1970′s scientists. Seriously, I’ve always been under the impression that the red phone is a direct line to “1-800-get-shit-done”.

why yes, I'd LOVE to learn more about debt consolidation...

It’s a little hard to know where to end on this one. You see, after most of our main characters are killed off, we’re left with The Skipper, one young buck ready to whip out some Raid spray, and two aging scientists who seem to be handling the situation awfully well, all things considered. Once the giant spider really gets it going in the downtown area of East Nowhere, Statesylvania, it gets tough to pay attention to who’s ACTUALLY being killed. At least three townspeople were trampled and appeared to be fairly deceased, but who’s to say that there weren’t actually 20 people killed? It seems like the feeling of chaos the director was trying to push forward became plain-ol’ fashioned American chaos…and the quick cuts and short scenes of people suffering in the street become awfully jumbled and confusing really quickly. I feel like, even now, I need something to take my mind off of things…

stay inside and lock the...aw dammit, you know what, forget it.

Much Better, now I can concentrate and get this finished up. In the end, we have a showdown between giant spider and man (as we do every Christmas) that leads to the inevitable destruction of the giant spider…but at the cost of a true legend. That’s right, I’m sorry to announce that our good pal The Skipper sacrifices his life (and vast amounts of delicious human meat) to the belly of a Giant Spider before our heroes can finally get the upper hand. But wait…where does that leave us…if the Skipper wasn’t the hero, doesn’t that mean…

yup, boring scientists save the day, thanks to...what is that, paperwork? Saved the day thanks to PAPERWORK?!

I hate to say it, but this one’s a classic, and DEFINITELY worth sitting down and giving a good watch. Yes, it is horribly cheesy, shockingly low-budget, and downright painful at times…but overall it’s surprisingly entertaining. And if you really can’t bring yourself to sit down and watch it as is…good news: This one was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000! Although I have not personally seen this episode of MST3K, I’m sure it’s fantastic, as they all are.

"and then Crow said 'Button your shirt, you three-hour-tour-botchin'-nowheresville-town-sheriff!'"

Stay Tuned!

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