Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday the 14th (1981)

This week's B-Movie Enema is being released in conjunction with the latest three-part episode extravaganza at Film Seizure!

That three-part extravaganza over there is for our original pilot episode in which we talked all about the first three Friday the 13th movies.  So, with today being Saturday the 14th, and we talked about the first three movies of the Friday the 13th series...

Well, you get the picture.

Saturday the 14th was a relatively famous movie when I was a kid.  It seemed to be on TV an awful lot and had recognizable faces in it.  The star, Richard Benjamin, has sort of been featured here before as well as being known for being the protagonist in the original Westworld movie.  He was not just an actor, but also a director.  Just go back some months to find me talking about his My Stepmother Is an Alien. Here, he's starring with his real life wife, Paula Prentiss, who was mostly known for being in the 1975 version of Get Out, The Stepford Wives.

But wait!  There's more!

Jeffrey Tambor is also present in this movie as a Dracula-like vampire?  Named Waldemar?  Like the Paul Naschy werewolf character.  That's odd.  Also, we have a literal Van Helsing played by character actor Severn Darden who we've seen as Kolp, the primary investigator guy, in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.  So, how's about that?  We have recognizable people in this!

Sadly, where the good parts of name recognition, and a scant 75-minute runtime, end, the real problems with this movie begin.  But let's dive into this movie, and I'll talk about my issues as I come across them...

Friday, April 6, 2018

Terror on Tour (1980)

So here's a bit of a rarity on B-Movie Enema - a movie I'm coming into practically blind.

I've watched the trailer for this week's feature, Terror on Tour, and it looks pretty shitty.  I think it's supposed to be some sort of KISS band with guys in white and black makeup in tight clothes and capes and shit who begin to kill people or something?  No, maybe it's like an early version of Insane Clown Posse or something because they kinda look like clowns?  All I know is that you know you're in good hands when there is no such thing as a poster for the movie.  All you got is a VHS cover, and it's a Media VHS release no less.

I've seen this on the Jofer Jeff YouTube channel and that guy 1) is a Jeff/Geoff, so he's clearly a stand up guy and 2) he's given me plenty of entertainment (including having uploaded a copy of Deadly Sins for me to be able to include that in my Alyssa Milano Month - so, I stress, he's gotta be good people).  However, I do admit, this one might be a bit rough, but I'm game.

This also continues a little bit of a tradition we've seen on this blog before - the rock 'n roll horror movie.  This is the third movie I've covered that has that genre (previously, I've looked at Zombie Nightmare just last week and Black Roses last year), and I plan on continuing to review this sub-genre.  For a good chunk of the 1980s, Evangelical Christian groups felt that horror movies and rock 'n roll were luring children away to make them devil worshipers.  Like, no shit, they really believed that and spent a bunch of the decade tying correlations between bad behavior and taste in music and movies.  Considering KISS was a big time target for these groups, why not make a cheap ass horror movie where you have a band in makeup killing people?  Sounds like a surefire hit!

Considering I hadn't heard of this movie before, oh, about a year ago, it's clear this was nothing of a hit.  Like I said, I have only watched the trailer, and I want to fly this one blind.  So, let's dive into this flick and see what the deal is with this little obscure flick...

Friday, March 30, 2018

Zombie Nightmare (1987)

Since returning from hiatus, I've written about a Canadian movie and a movie from 1987.  This week, I cover a 1987 Canadian movie.  Huh...  Funny how things work out.

Zombie Nightmare is one of those flicks that marries heavy metal and horror.  I've touched upon this before with Black Roses - which also happens to be a Canadian horror movie.  However, this one has a few very distinct reasons for why I wanted this on the blog.

First, this is a Mystery Science Theater 3000 alum.  It's a pretty solid episode as well.  Second, our star, Jon Mikl Thor, had this and another movie with "Nightmare" in the title from 1987 that just simply need to be here on B-Movie Enema.  Finally, it was one of the final six movies to be looped on Bizarre TV before the Roku channel's original owner, Ronda Baffes, passed away.  Bizarre TV was such a huge part of how I was able to get this far with the blog, I feel like I owe it some continued love.

This is a pretty basic little 80 minute movie.  Some punk kids kill a dude at some point in the past.  That guy's son grows up to be killed by some punk ass kids.  He's then resurrected as a zombie, gets various hairstyles, and hunts down the ones who killed him.  There's voodoo, Stephen King level psychopathic teens, Adam West, and a young, super hot Tia Carrere.  Zombie Nightmare!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Assassination (1987)

Ah Cannon Films, how I'm glad to be back in your warm embrace.

And what's this?  It's a Charles Bronson picture this time?  Oh boy.  I'm ready to see some people get their fucking teeth kicked in by a geriatric!

I've covered lots of Cannon Films on this blog, but I've only covered a couple movies from their big Chuck duo - Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris.  Those two previous films, The Delta Force and Firewalker, both belong to Chuck Norris.  It was often said, as a bit of an inside thing, that the Cannon Films casting often looked at whatever goofy movie Golan and Globus wanted to make and then separated them into the two Chuck piles.  Some were better for Chuck Norris' skill set while others were better for Bronson.  I'm guessing the movies that needed a more mobile action star who might be able to be more hands on with dishing out justice to punks went to Norris.  Then the ones that seemed more suitable for a Clint Eastwood type went to Bronson.  After all, by the time Bronson started making tons of Cannon Films, he was in his 50s and seemed much older than Norris anyway.

Assassination paired Bronson with his real life wife, Jill Ireland.  And while there does seem to be an interesting premise - the First Lady is on the run for her life with a Secret Service agent assigned to her only to find out that perhaps the people who want her dead are actually occupants of the White House itself! - the trailer kind of shows two issues.  First, this seems almost like a rehash of the witness-to-a-crime-on-the-run-with-cop idea in Cobra (a Cannon movie from the year before).  Second, it has the good old fashioned Golan-Globus Americanism involved with this bitch of a First Lady being difficult to deal with and making you wish Nancy Reagan was still around.

Ugh...  Just...  Fuck that.

Anyway, this does have an interesting director in Peter Hunt.  This guy directed one of the most underrated James Bond films in the entire, long history of the series - On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  In fact, Hunt had a major hand in the entire Bond series up to that point, serving as either editor or part of the editing department for every single film in the series before OHMSS.  This guy is kind of a hero of mine.  Not only is this another "secret service" movie, the star also married to the leading lady (in OHMSS, Bond actually fell in love and got married to the leading Bond Lady, much like how Bronson and Ireland are a real life couple), but this also, sadly was Hunt's final outing as a director of any kind for a major theatrically released film.

So, let's get into this and see if Cannon has put the "Ass" back into Assassination!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Girl House (2014)

Looks who's back in this shit saddle again!

Welcome to the 101st B-Movie Enema entry.  After spending the better part of the last, like, three months on hiatus while another project I'm a part of, Film Seizure, was launched and sailed on its own, I'm ready to come back home and begin the next hundred Enemas by returning to my bread and butter: Girls, Slashers, Dumbness, Canadian Horror, and Girl Boobs.

So, that brings us to 2014's Girl House directed by Trevor Matthews.  And I bring that up because I first saw this movie on one of the Showtime channels called Showtime Women.  They had this bumper before the movie talking about movies made by women for women.  So I thought, "Oh, okay, a lady made this movie.  That might bode well."  But it is directed by Mr. Matthews, written by Nick Gordon, and produced by Matthews, Gordon, and Cory Neal - a guy who is so much a guy, he has two guy first names as his full name.  It is also shot and edited by guys too.  That's odd, but maybe the movie is about something that would be geared toward women, that would be...

Fuck, it's about girls who work on a porno site being stalked by a maladjusted fat asshole.

I don't know about any women wanting in on this, but I'm 1,000% on board for this.  But yeah, just in case you thought I was being kinda goofy about what this movie is about, here's just some extra proof from Amazon: "In an attempt to make some extra cash while at College, Kylie moves into a house that streams content to an X-rated website. After a fan hacks in to find the house's location, she finds herself in a terrifying fight for her life."  

Alrighty, let's get back to talkin' about some shitty movies.  I've got my tissues and lotion and a nice cup of hot tea (what - I have a runny nose and my poor hands get super dry during the winter, not to mention I just want to relax with some Earl Grey).  Let's watch a fat asshole kill some hotties!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Captain America (1990)

Holy shit...  This is the 100th post for B-Movie Enema.  Yowzers.  How am I going to celebrate?

Fuckin' America.

I've already looked at one Captain America movie way back in May 2016.  So why am I double dipping?  Because Cap is my A-1 Super Guy.  He fights for freedom and awesomeness.

And also... America.  Fuckin' pure America.  Pure like Budweiser changing their name to America.

That first go around was the 1979 made-for-tv version of Captain America starring Reb Brown.  Just 11 years later, another attempt was made by 21st Century Film Corporation and producer Menaham Golan who previously was one of the Cannon Films heads.  Originally, the movie was planned to coincide with Cap's 50th anniversary in 1990, but ultimately never found its way to North American theaters, having to instead be released direct to VHS in the summer of 1992.

The movie was directed by schlock-master Albert Pyun who had a pretty good relationship with Golan from the days of Cannon having made Cyborg and Alien from L.A. for Cannon.  Really, for all intents and purposes, the 1990 Captain America movie was a Cannon film.  It even featured skilled character actors like Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin, and Ronny Cox.  It even featured famed Italian actress Francesca Neri in an early role.

What's truly interesting, though, is that the film stars Matt Salinger, son of legendary author J.D. Salinger.

That's all I have on Salinger.  Really.  He's the son of J.D. Salinger.  He's done some successful stage productions and is pretty active in the producing game, but I kinda feel like saying you're the son of J.D. Salinger trumps pretty much any other fact you could find about him.

The plot is one we've all heard before: Captain America becomes the USA's greatest hero during World War II as he fights the villainous Red Skull.  He ultimately was lost stopping the Skull from blowing up Washington, D.C. and was found in the ice decades later.  He now has to stop the Red Skull again and save the President.

I have no problem saying that this movie holds a kind of special place in my heart.  I don't hate it like so many do.  It's silly, sure, but it was 1990.  Comic book movies were still very much in their infancy.  I even like the movie enough to own it on blu-ray.  That's not how I'm gonna watch it for this article, though.  Oh no.  I'm gonna watch a shitty VHS transfer by way of YouTube because...

Fuckin' America.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Punisher (1989)

Frank Castle...  It's the A-1 super bad ass of the Marvel Universe.  He is a marksman from the U.S. Marines who also trained with the Navy Seals.  Basically, name some group in the military, and Castle probably had something to do with it.

When he returned from service, he was excited to come home to his wife and children.  However, while picnicking with them, tragedy happened.  A mob deal went sour and the shootout resulted in Castle's family being caught in the middle and killed.  He vowed to destroy every criminal and became known as The Punisher.

Punisher's first appearance came in a 1974 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man in which he tries to take down Spidey for the apparent murder of Norman Osborn (not knowing the truth which was Osborn actually was a supervillain and his death was at his own hands).  He became a huge hit with readers, and grew to even greater prominence in the grimy-gritty days of the 1980s.  That's when he got not one, but two series of his own.  With this type of popularity, the 80s mostly being a tough-on-crime era full of action and shoot-em-ups, and hype growing for the upcoming grittier version of Batman coming to screens (as opposed to the campy 1960s version from the TV series), it was only a matter of time before Hollywood came knocking for a Punisher movie.

New World International won the opportunity to put Frank on the big screen.  They intended on putting the film out in theaters in August of 1989.  That would have been great timing to capitalize on Batman's popularity, and still get those lucrative summer bucks.  The film was delayed being released, playing only in a couple places in Europe in late 1989, and at a comic convention in 1990, but New World's financial issues that would eventually lead to their demise caused them to have to sell the film to Live Entertainment.  Live released it direct-to-video in summer of 1991.

I remember seeing advertisements for this around before its release to video, but I never saw the movie.  I was never a huge Punisher fan.  I'm not that big on grimy and gritty anti-heroes.  I prefer the sunshine heroes as opposed to those who utilize darkness and shadows like villains would.  I have seen the later films made in the 2000s (The Punisher in 2004 and Punisher: War Zone in 2008, the latter being far superior to which I know I am in the minority with that opinion).  While it did carry some negativity from fans, but not quite like 1990's Captain America and 1994's Fantastic Four did.  That indicates to me what I always believed - this movie mostly flew under the radar and therefore never that much of a disappointment in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, now that he's made his big bow on Netflix's Daredevil series, he's about to get his own series on the streaming outlet and is likely to get the attention he deserved as one of the best selling comic book characters of the 80s and 90s.

The synopsis from the back of the DVD box reads: "The avenging angel of Marvel Comics fame comes brilliantly to life in this searing action-adventure thriller!  Dolph Lundgren stars as Frank Castle, a veteran cop who loses his entire family to a mafia car bomb.  Only his ex-partner (Louis Gossett, Jr.) believes Castle survived the blast to become THE PUNISHER... a shadowy, invincible fighter against the evil who lives for total revenge on his mob enemies.  Lashing out from a labyrinth of subterranean sewers, THE PUNISHER leads a heavily armed raid into a world of brutal crime and savage retribution.  A world where only one thing is certain... the guilty will be punished."

Not being much of a fan of The Punisher, and by no means an expert, I will primarily be watching this as a casual viewer.  I will likely not be able to point out too much that wasn't well adapted - well aside from Castle not being a cop and it was a shootout that killed his family.  So let's get this thing rolling!

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Fantastic Four (1994)

The Fantastic Four is Marvel Comics' "first family".  Without them, there literally is no Marvel.  They were the brainchild of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and launched in 1961 to capitalize on the re-emergence of superhero popularity in comic books that had waned by the late 1950s.

The Fantastic Four was comprised of leader Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) who could stretch like rubber, Susan Storm (Invisible Girl) who could turn herself invisible, The Thing  (Ben Grimm) who was a hulking rock monster, and Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) who was both Susan's brother and able to light himself on fire.  They treated each other as family and even argued like one too.  It was the first real example of a team of superheroes who didn't always get along.  Despite the overall high sci-fi type of tales they would tell, Lee and Kirby had created something that had a realistic flavor to the characters and their interactions.

Sadly, the attempts to bring the FF to screen has not proven to be very successful.  No matter how important the Fantastic Four are to the Marvel Universe and the great stories of my youth and before, most don't really even care about them.

Today, we're going to look at the very first attempt - 1994's The Fantastic Four.  The rights to the movie was purchased in the mid-80s by a German filmmaker and, before the rights expired at the end of 1992, a low budget version of the film was rushed into production.  The actors were cast, sets were built, and everything started to roll.  The actors and much of the production crew were kept out of the loop about one very key fact...

Producers Bernd Eichinger and Roger Corman never planned on releasing the film despite trailers running before films released in 1993 and promotional materials landing at comic conventions along with the actors actually being sent out to promote the film.

If you want to know more about the behind the scenes details, I definitely recommend the documentary on Hulu called Doomed!  It's a fascinating, and kind of sad, story.  I'm not here to regurgitate what was covered in that documentary.  I want to watch this movie and tell you about it.  This is available on YouTube to watch for free.  As for the plot, I'm also grabbing this from the YouTube listing: "When an experimental space voyage goes awry, four people are forever changed by cosmic rays: Reed Richards, inventor and leader of the group gains the ability to stretch his body and takes the name Mr. Fantastic. His girlfriend, Sue Storm, gains the ability to turn invisible and create force fields becoming The Invisible Girl. Her little brother, Johnny Storm, becomes The Human Torch with the ability to control fire, including covering his own body with flame. The pilot Ben Grimm is turned into the super-strong, super-tough Thing. Together they become a team of super-heroes and use their unique powers to foil the evil plans of villains."

Let's have a look, shall we?

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988)

Marvel Comics...  Man, what more can I possibly say about how awesome they are?  Obviously, they know what they are doing with their movies.  Over the past 20 years, Marvel has, for the most part, cranked out great superhero movie after great superhero movie.  Starting with 1998's Blade all the way up to today's Thor: Ragnarok, no other movie studio has come close to recreating their source material into a major motion picture.

However, there was about 20 years before the release of Blade that things were pretty lean for Marvel getting their intellectual properties into movies.  So, I'll be looking at four of these attempts this month.  There's no better place to start than right here with The Incredible Hulk Returns.

There are two very good reasons why I start here.  First, The Incredible Hulk was a pretty successful TV series for Marvel than ran from 1978 to 1982, then returned as a trilogy of made-for-TV movies in the late 1980s.  This was the first of them (the second featured Daredevil and the Kingpin and the third resulted in the death of both the Hulk and David Banner).

The second reason is because, much like today's Thor: Ragnarok, The Incredible Hulk Returns features a team-up of the Hulk and Thor.  This time, Thor was played by Eric Allen Kramer who was fairly new on the scene at the time and ultimately became a fairly popular character actor who still works to this day.

The movie premiered on NBC on May 22, 1988.  I was really, really excited for it.  Back then, I was buying comics whenever I had a spare $1.05 ($1 cover price plus 5% Indiana Sales Tax back then).  My favorite comic series at the time was Thor.  Knowing Thor would be making his live action debut I was losing my mind.  I could not wait to see the mighty Thunder God in his classic dark blue top with the metal circles and that flowing red cape and those yellow boots and light blue tights...  But...

Well, I'll get that in a little bit.  But for now, let me get to what the basic synopsis is for the movie.  David Banner believes he is about to find a cure for his little green problem, but he runs into a former student, Donald Blake, who tells Banner that he found this magical hammer that summons the Norse God Thor who is bound to serve Blake (sigh).  Thor is a dick and ends up pissing Banner off enough to bring out the Hulk.  After the two make nice, they battle a criminal organization.

Let's get this started so I can talk about how frustrating this movie was for me as a kid.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

I have a confession to make, and I don't think when I reveal it, I will be the only one who shares this feeling.

I freaking love Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

For some, that's heresy.  "A Halloween movie without Michael Myers?!?  No, sir!  I will not have it!"  Well, the truth is, the original movie, a masterpiece that excelled beyond most people's expectations, was never meant to have an entire franchise centering around lead antagonist Michael Myers.  Really, John Carpenter only wanted to tell his own version of the boogey man.  He and producer Debra Hill did conceive a sequel that would continue the story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), but when approached by Universal Studios for a third installment, Carpenter said he'd only agree to it if it was not connected to the first two films at all.

The idea was to start a series of movies centered around the holiday of Halloween and create an anthology series where each year a different story of ghouls and goblins and what have you would be featured.  Think of it like a big screen version of The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery.  Universal, hungry to milk that Halloween title for all that they could, agreed.

After this third film in the series failed commercially, Universal made no more Halloween films.

But is it bad?  Well, it depends on who you ask.  It's pretty well mixed.  Some people think this movie is grotesque for its targeting of children.  Most of the people who are targeted, hunted, stalked, and killed are adults (with one major exception I'll talk about when we get to it), but the entire plan was to pretty much wipe out a generation of young children.  Some think the movie is interesting and stylistically engaging.  Some cannot get past this movie possessing the Halloween title and not including Michael Myers as the big bad.

Me?  I grew up with this movie.  When it came out, I was five years old.  It played relentlessly on TV and I watched it often.  I loved the mood and general creepy atmosphere created by several of the shots and sequences.  To me, this is the finest of the Halloween sequels and not simply because I want to applaud the attempt to make sequels in this series without Michael Myers, but because I truly believe it is a movie worth praise.

So what's our plot?  From the back of the Scream Factory Blu-Ray release: "When a terrified toy salesman is mysteriously attacked and brought to the hospital, babbling and clutching the year's most popular Halloween costume, an eerie pumpkin mask, doctor Daniel Challis is thrust into a terrifying Halloween nightmare. Working with the salesman's daughter, Ellie, Daniel traces the mask to the Silver Shamrock Novelties company and its founder, Conal Cochran. Ellie and Daniel uncover Cochran's shocking Halloween plan and must stop him before trick-or-treaters across the country never come home in this terrifying thriller."

Let's crack this thriller open and see what it's all about!
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