Friday, September 22, 2017

My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)

So here's another movie I watched a whole bunch between 1989 and about 1991.

In the late 80s and early 90s, I was hitting puberty pretty much like Mark McGwire would hit dingers - hard and fast.  During this time, I would find movies and TV shows as sources of my adolescent crushes.  I don't think we need to revisit my damn near stalker-level love of both Alyssa Milano and Phoebe Cates.  I think we've covered that quite a bit.  Last week, you learned that I was hot in my britches for Teri Copely.  There were two other ladies that hit the scene in 1989 that I wanted to see whatever I could - Kim Basinger and the cat lady from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

Since the cat lady from Star Trek V would likely land me in jail in most states, I think we should talk about Kim Basinger.

Literally hot off seeing her on the big screen in Batman, I wanted to see everything Kim Basinger did.  Some of it was perfectly fine - Blind Date and, to a very small degree, Never Say Never Again as a couple examples.  Some of it was not so good.  However, this one, because it starred a pretty popular comedian in Dan Aykroyd, and was the movie she made last before hitting it big in Batman, was on TV a lot.  It was relatively harmless for people of all ages, despite some weird sex stuff I'll get to later, so it could air pretty much at any time of day.

Most people I knew, both boys and girls, watched this movie.  It was the rare goofball comedy that was able to cross over to both genders of a certain age.  For me, I've seen this movie so many times, that there are specific images that are forever burned into my mind.  Like when we first see Basinger's Celeste put on her stockings was erotic as fuck, or when she comes into the bedroom to have sex with Aykroyd, or when she saves Alyson Hannigan's character with crazy space powers, or when baby Seth Green shows up to take Hannigan out on a date.  This movie was a cornerstone in my life.

Admittedly, I'm a little concerned about watching this for the blog.  I have nothing but lovely memories of watching this movie.  I have a very bad feeling it doesn't hold up.  But let's get this thing started and see if my fears are founded or not.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Transylvania Twist (1989)

So here is a little oddball movie that I was suddenly reminded of one day.

Back in 1989 through about 1991, Transylvania Twist appeared fairly regularly on cable channels like Showtime and the like before appearing on VHS in 1993.  The movie is mostly notable to me for starring Robert Vaughn and Angus Scrimm (also known as the bad guy from Superman III and the Tall Man from the Phantasm series).  However, there were one other member of the cast that really caught the attention of a young me - Teri Copley.  Young me really, really liked blondes in the late 80s and early 90s.

But more on that shit later.

The movie is goofy, it's silly, and it's definitely going for the "screwball" element that came along with a lot of cable TV movies of the time.  It definitely utilized Teri Copley's buxom blonde looks as a way to try to align it with some of the more "adult" movies playing on pay TV, but it was actually a PG-rated comedy that tried to go for humor along the lines of hits like Mel Brooks' movies or Airplane!  It wasn't all that aggressive with its sexual humor but still included hot chicks and lots of cleavage.  It was something I'd want to watch privately because I was just figuring out some stuff on a sexual level, but it wasn't overly dirty or anything I would have been embarrassed to have watched with my mom in the room.  I think it played up to the idea that it was kind of a shitty movie, but reveled in it with parodies of popular horror movies and icons and breaking the fourth wall to speak to the audience directly.

This movie is only really available on YouTube these days (unless you want to spend dozens of dollars on the out of print DVD or buy a VHS player to watch it on tape), so I don't really have anything physical to copy the synopsis from, but I can break it down as such: Teri Copley is hot.  She is related to a vampire who has hot vampire lady daughters.  She has to go to Transylvania to get an inheritance from her dad, but the vampire, played by Robert Vaughn, wants the inheritance himself.  Hilarity ensues.

Enough about that.  Let's get to Teri Copley and Transylvania Twist because I haven't seen this movie in like 25 years at least!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Rollerball (1975)

The 1970s were so fucking cool.  If I was somehow able to, I'd have raunchy back alley sex with the entire decade.  Sure, there'd be a lot of pubic hair, chest hair, and medallions, but goddammit I'd be one satisfied weirdo.

And I can say all that for two reasons.  1) I am a weirdo so I might as well be a satisfied one.  2) I was born in the 70s.  Like with a few years to spare too.  It wasn't like I was born on December 30, 1979, I was born in February of 1977.  So I existed in the decade I want to make dirty, dirty love to.

I'm not sure what I like more about the 70s - the music, the violence and, at times both visceral and over the top, gore of the grittier movies, the fashion, the afros, the women, roller skates, or Jack Nicholson's critical hit after critical hit career of the era.  All I know is, whenever I see a movie or hear a song that is followed by a year in the 70s in parentheses behind the title, I'm immediately interested.

That leads us to this week's feature, 1975's Rollerball.  Set in 2018, which is just a few months away now, the movie mixed elements of the 70s, with a roller derby type of game, with ideas that are usually reserved for some sort of post-apocalyptic or dystopian future as the game is more violent and gladiatorial than even the rough and tumble sports like football, hockey, or the aforementioned roller derby, and also ideas that are eerily prescient in our society now like governments and society being run by global corporations.  What's additionally interesting about this film is that it's directed by three-time Academy Award Nominated Norman Jewison (twice nominated before the film), and stars a cast that has a total of four acting Oscar Nominations (James Caan, Ralph Richardson, and John Houseman) and at least one Tony Award Nominee (Moses Gunn).  This was a for real deal movie starring some of Hollywood's best.

And the movie is about a futuristic sport - that is pretty astonishing.

It's been a very long time since I saw this version.  I watched bits and pieces of the bullshit remake made in 2002 when I worked in the projection booth at a movie theater.  I know this was a movie that wasn't uncommon to see on TV when I was little and my brothers (all definitely old enough to have seen the movie in the theater when it was still out despite its R-rating because the 70s were fucking cool with kids seeing that shit) all seemed to have fond memories of it.  When I saw the movie at Disc Replay one Saturday afternoon, I knew I needed to talk about it here on the blog.

As for the synopsis, this comes from the back of the DVD box: "The year is 2018.  There are no wars. There is no crime.  There is only... the Game.  In a world where ruthless corporations reign supreme, this vicious and barbaric 'sport' is the only outlet for the pent-up anger and frustrations of the masses.  Tuned to their televisions, the people watch 'Rollerball': a brutal mutation of football, motocross, and hockey. Jonathan E. (Caan) is the champion player - a man too talented for his own good.  The Corporation has taken away the woman he loves (Maud Adams) but they can't take away his soul - even if the diabolical corporate head (Houseman) tells him he'd better retire... or suffer the old-fashioned way."

Ooh...  Now that sounds like my kinda movie.  Let's get, erm... rolling on Rollerball!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Poison Ivy: The Secret Society (2008)

Man, I love girls dangerously exploring their own sensuality.

That's just a simple fact.  It has nothing to do with this blog.  I just like it when girls get a little cuckoo over the bone.  Who doesn't?

I'm also a big fan of the Poison Ivy movies.

That has a lot more to do with this blog - and today's entry in particular.  Back in December of 2016, we looked at the second entry in this series, 1996's Poison Ivy II: Lily, starring Alyssa Milano.  A third movie came out a year later starring Jaime Pressly.  For a little over a decade, the series laid dormant until a fourth film premiered on Lifetime.

I'm totally positive this movie is going to be loaded with tits and ass just as I expect from any movie with the title Poison Ivy.  And i'm also positive this will follow the tradition of all the naked boobs and bush we saw in the 2000s from actresses desperate to break into Hollywood.  Wait..

Let me scan the paragraph just before the last one.  Okay, I see mention of Poison Ivy II which, along with Embrace of the Vampire are definitely transformative movie experiences for me and mah boner.  Check.  I mentioned Poison Ivy 3.  That one stars another super hot lady who was also in Playboy.  That's good for my ding dong.  Check.  Okay, so now movie #4 in the series...  Okay, the back of the box told me "Wide-eyed freshman Danielle 'Daisy' Brooks' first days at Beckshire College are the best ever."  Very nice.  "...secretive close-knit sisterhood..."  Okay, good, good.  "...hot-blooded temptress..."  Even better.

Oh no...  I said the movie premiered on Lifetime.  It's a Lifetime TV movie.  I just went soft immediately.  I bet this doesn't have scenes that you can only see by going to Pornhub or SpankBang.  Sigh...  I was excited to watch this, but now I'm not so sure.  Even though this is a DVD that is "Not Rated", that doesn't mean it's "Unrated".  There's a big difference.  Unrated usually means a little more than R-rated, but avoids the dreaded NC-17 while still showing some pretty sweet business.  Not Rated is usually seen on old movies that were made before the current ratings system or for TV movies.  Well, dammit.  I'm still going to watch the fuck out of this.  It's got what is sure to be a bevy of hot chicks in it, but I can't count on boobs.

So, what I could pick up from the back of the box, this chick named Daisy (because of course she has a flower name as that is the thing with these movies) is invited to join a secret society called the Ivies.  They are hot and manipulative.  The box also says this is a "delicious thriller" with a "not-so-innocent country girl".

Let's watch some sexy college girl action...

Friday, August 25, 2017

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

The final film of my Summer of Anniversaries event celebrates the 25th anniversary of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.

However, we're a couple weeks early on the celebration end.  Oddly enough, 1992 didn't have much for me to choose from.  1987 and 1997 had a bunch.  But in order to find something celebrating a 25th anniversary, I had to look to September.

September 11.

For a movie that takes place in New York City with all sorts of hell breaking loose.

With the Twin Towers appearing in the background of the poster.

Alright, that's enough about that shit.  Let's set the stage for today's ill-advised sequel.  In the late 1980s, Clive Barker's Hellraiser series was absolutely incredible.  The first film, no duh, named Hellraiser, was a low-budget, yet immensely successful, visceral body horror film that had lots of hallmarks of a Clive Barker story: weird sex stuff, lots of gore, weird sex stuff, dirtbags, weird sex stuff, and weirdly sexy stuff.  Considering it was made on a lean $1 Million budget, and ended up grossing $14 Million, of course it would get a sequel, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, just a year later.  Again, it followed the weird body horror and sex stuff ending with Pinhead, the lead Cenobite, a hedonistic angel/demon creature, defeated.  With the movies being so incredibly popular among horror fans, of course the franchise would continue.

Yet, it took almost four full years for the third to be made and released.  But right out of the gate, you knew something was off.  The first two films were uniquely British.  They were filmed in England and, despite starring an American actress, Ashley Laurence, just overall kept that feeling that the events were taking place in a small town in the countryside in England.  When you see enough of these stylistic movies, you just get a feel that makes it uniquely British, or Italian, or German, or whatnot.

And if you're curious what a uniquely German feels like...  Just look for the weird scat sex that happens in all their films.  All of them.  In every German movie, there's usually someone literally shitting on the other's chest during sex.

All of them.

Not only did the British atmosphere go missing in the new Hellraiser III movie, but, through a series of events after Barker's Nightbreed failed at the box office, Barker was basically shut out of the making of the third installment until very late in post production.  So the film had mostly an American feel AND made pretty much entirely independent from the supervision of the guy who made the first two movies very popular.

As for the synopsis, I will look to my six-film The Hellraiser Collection set.  According to the back of the box: "A TV reporter discovers the Lament Configuration Box which opens the door to the Cenobites' demonic world of pleasure and pain.  Now, Pinhead walks the Earth again."

Let's dive in, shall we?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Steel (1997)

Shaq Attack!

Until today, I've only seen one Shaquille O'Neal movie ever - Blue Chips.  And that movie was "supposed" to be "good".  It wasn't.  If you want to watch a good movie about a basketball player going into college starring an actual basketball player, watch Spike Lee's He Got Game.

I'm already off topic.

The point I'm trying to make is that I like Shaq on the court.  I like Shaq on pre-game and halftime shows.  I like Shaq in commercials hocking insurance from The General.  But let's not deny the fact that, besides being a guy who I think is seemingly terribly nice and charismatic as a person, he can't act.

I tried for many, many years to avoid watching another Shaquille O'Neal movie, but then this fucking thing turned 20 years old and I do this blog and I am doing a "Summer of Anniversaries" thing and I've already featured a few superhero movies.

Fuck.

So!  That said, here's another shitty DC Comics movie.  Based on one of the "Supermen" who rose after the Death of Superman story in comics, the character of Steel, a.k.a. John Henry Irons, was a normal guy who built himself a suit of, no shit, steel to become a new "man of steel" in the absence of Superman.  This movie has nothing to do with any of that shit.

But what is it about?  According to Amazon Prime, Steel's premise is: "Shaquille O'Neal sheds his hi-tops for a dazzling suit of battle armor as the latest and greatest DC Comics superhero to wage war on crime."

I kinda don't think that was an accurate description of the movie I'm about to watch.  I doubt Steel is REALLY Shaquille O'Neal who literally tosses aside his sneakers to fight crime.  And...  Steel is not a bad character, but hardly the greatest from the pantheon of DC Comics.

That's Infectious Lass.

Look her up.

Friday, August 11, 2017

xXx (2002)

Fuck yeah, bro!  I finally get to talk about my favorite pastime...  XXX!  Porn!  Gross people doing gross shit to each other!!!

What's that?

Vin Diesel?  Asia Argento?  Tattoos?  Okay, well, I mean I guess Vin Diesel is okay.  Not sure I want to see his schlong, but Asia Argento?  I wanna see what tattoos she has in places that aren't usually available to the naked (heh) eye.  She's probably into some weird shit too...

Say what?

This isn't porn?  It's an over-the-top action flick capitalizing on The Fast and the Furious?  Even directed by the same guy who made that movie (Rob Cohen)?  Huh.  I've never heard of it.

Just kidding, folks, I saw this movie in the theater.  In fact, I've seen 66.7% of the xXx franchise in the theater.  Don't get me wrong, that doesn't make this movie any better whatsoever.  I'm just trying to frame the decision to make sure I covered this movie since it just turned 15 years old because this movie is real dumb.

Real, real, REAL dumb.

The back of my DVD box gives us this synopsis: "Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) is a notorious underground thrill-seeker who, until now, has been deemed untouchable by the law.  But when crack NSA Agent Gibbons convinces Cage to infiltrate a ruthless Russian crime ring, this new breed of secret agent (code name: XXX) takes down the enemies of justice with a vengeance in this high-octane, turbo-charged thrill-ride from the acclaimed director of The Fast and the Furious."

Pretty much the entire synopsis tells you exactly everything you need to know.  When this came out, James Bond was celebrating his 40th anniversary of his first film, and about to be seen in his 20th canonical movie.  There were some idiots out there who thought Bond was past his prime and dull and boring.  They mostly were the types who rode pussy crotch rockets or ruined beautiful classic muscle cars by tinkering the fuck out of them or supercharged shitty Honda Civics.  In other words, idiots.  They needed someone like this to be reminded that it was okay to be a needle dick douche because you at least got a cool car and some sick tats, bro.

Another couple things that stick out to me in the synopsis...  Why is a thrill-seeker deemed "untouchable" by law enforcement?  That doesn't make sense.  If you fuck up someone's shit, as we will see in Xander Cage's introduction scene, you pay for that.  It doesn't matter how muscly or shaved headed you are and how pip squeaky and nerdy they are.  You are a fucking asshole.

Finally, if you have a movie with a guy named Xander Cage as the lead star, of fucking course it will be Vin Diesel.  The box didn't have to put that fact in parentheses.  Neither did I for that matter, but whatever.  Let's get started on this movie.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Masters of the Universe (1987)

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that this might be one of the very worst span of four weeks during one summer movie slate ever?  It started with July's Jaws: The Revenge and Superman IV: The Quest of Peace, and now ends with one of the more spectacular Cannon Films failures, Masters of the Universe.

The origin of how this movie came about takes root from the Mattel smash toy hit of the same name.  Trust me, when I was little, everyone had He-Man toys.  We'd walk around and ask each other if they want to play "He-Mans" and usually had our figures in tow at all times.  We fucking loved this shit.  What's funny is that the toys were super cheaply made.  For the most part, every figure had the same overly muscular body spray-painted different colors with different heads and different accessories or attachments.  When you have a bunch of of the very same body for every male figure, it makes production costs quite a bit lower and gives you much more of a profit when these things sold like crazy hotcakes.

There were comics from DC Comics, a video game on Intellivision, and, of course, a super popular animated series on pretty much every day after school.  Much like G.I. Joe and Transformers, the He-Man cartoon pretty much was there to only boost further sales of the toy line.  But the popularity did not go unnoticed by Hollywood.  It was only a matter of time that a live action movie would be produced.

And lucky us...  It was Cannon Films that came along to deliver the goods.

Cannon was no stranger to big time flops of things that had no business being unsuccessful.  Superman IV was an utter disaster.  Over the Top starred the biggest star of the 80s, Sylvester Sallone, and was dead on arrival at the box office.  A second dumpster fire Allan Quatermain film also pushed Cannon to the financial brink.

All of the movies listed above were also released in 1987.  It was simply dud after disaster after shitcake slathered in body oil.

As kids, we were all overjoyed that He-Man would finally come to the big screen.  We thought the Russian bad guy from Rocky IV also looked the part as well.  So what could possibly go wrong?  It's really hard to fuck up what's essentially a "swords and sandals" movie that has some sci-fi elements tossed in for good measure.  I mean... Right?

Right?

Friday, July 28, 2017

I Know Who Killed Me (2007)

Remember when Lindsay Lohan was, perhaps, one of the biggest young, rising stars in Hollywood?  Also, she was really super hot?

Of course you do.  What you probably don't remember all that well, is that her rising star and super hot lady thing lasted an extremely short period in time.  It was like a frozen moment that we all remember being at least a little longer than the one or two years that she possessed those titles.  We look back on that time in which she starred in Mean Girls and had a couple really nice photo spreads in your Maxims, Details, or whatever as if we're looking at a mosquito in amber .

That star fell kinda fast.  Now, I don't know the lady, and I'd probably like to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I think she probably enjoyed her sudden fame a little too much.  Soon, she was seen drinking and doing drugs and things just went downhill.

That period of her skidding from stardom begins right around time she was making this movie.  Ten years ago yesterday, I Know Who Killed Me was released.  Supposedly there were some health issues and rehab problems during the filming of this movie, but still, this seemed to have the hallmarks of something guys would have probably wanted.  This is an R-rated movie that features a young, hot starlet opening the movie as a stripper.  There's a good girl/bad girl element in which you don't know if her character, "Dakota" (a total stripper name, by the way), is this good girl of a family who believes they have recovered their missing daughter or if she is the bad, damaged stripper likely loaded with all sorts of daddy issues.

These are things dudes (at the very least) would be way into.  The general feel of a saucy murder mystery novel could appeal to bored housewives.  So...  Why is this movie the beginning of the end of Lindsay Lohan's fame?

Because it is a little too bonkers for it to truly appeal to anyone.

From the back of the DVD box, the synopsis reads: "Aubrey Fleming (Lohan) was living the small town life, until the day she was abducted by a sadistic killer.  After a frantic search, Aubrey turns up alive, but changed.  She is missing limbs, but has gained a new personality - that of bad girl Dakota Moss.  Her parents and the FBI think she's suffering from delusions, but if 'Dakota' is just a trick of her mind, why do strange wounds keep appearing on her body?  Desperate and alone, Aubrey must now unlock family secrets to unmask a mysterious killer with a deadly obsession."

That's a whole lotta stuff in that synopsis.  Let's dive in and see if we can sort it all out.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

What's this?  Another utterly disappointing fourth film in a franchise to be released in July of 1987?  You bet it is!

In a span of four weeks in the middle of the summer of 1987, moviegoers had to be subjected to Jaws: The Revenge from Universal, this week's feature, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and Masters of the Universe.  The latter two being massively popular intellectual properties for young kids - both released by Cannon Films.

That's fucking depressing to know that much shit flew out of screens into your face in such a short period of time.

But enough about last week (and what's coming for you all in two weeks).  Let's talk about Superman IV.  In 1983, Superman III dealt with the Man of Steel taking on computer genius Richard Pryor and his maniacal bosses who wanted to... control the weather.  There were certainly enjoyable things like Clark  Kent going back to Smallville for his high school reunion and reconnecting with his crush, Lana Lang, but there are all sorts of other problems that were a little too much to ignore like we could with the first two films in the series.  That equaled a diminished profit margin compared to the other films and left Warner Brothers trying to figure out where to go from there.  When Supergirl failed in 1984, producers Ilya and Alexander Salkind all but abandoned Supes thinking their series was dead.

Enter Cannon Films who purchased the rights to produce further films in the series.  When they budgeted Superman IV for less than $20 Million, it proved to be an all around bad marriage for Superman and the Golan-Globus Group.  Reused shots from the much more expensive and well-made Warner films and reused effects from within this movie itself proved that you can't really cut corners on something like Superman.

You may be curious, before we start, what the movie is actually about.  Well, it's nothing more than Superman has decided to take it upon himself to rid the world of our nuclear weapons and enforcing peace across the planet.  That's the main gist of this plot.  And if you think that sounds weird, you're fucking right!  Superman is traditionally a symbol for hope and a shining example of what we should aspire to.  He rarely interferes in a way that makes decisions FOR us instead of to HELP us find solutions for ourselves.  That's the Golan-Globus way, though.  Most of their action flicks were very conservative almost to the point of a harsh, near-fascistic order being established by their heroes.  I could spend hours writing about that with examples, but I won't.  I'm here for Superman and that's what we're gonna talk about, goddammit!

Oh, and if you are one of those assholes who think Man of Steel, or Batman v. Superman, or even Spider-Man 3, either of The Amazing Spider-Man movies, any Fantastic Four movie, or Batman and Robin are the worst mainstream superhero films, then I want to punch your fucking face in because this one is like the makers simply took a steaming shit on the filmstock and processed it, thus releasing nothing more than a brown shit stain all over the movie screen in every theater across the country.