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!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

I've covered Leatheface.  Jason Voorhees popped up a couple weeks ago.  Freddy Krueger even haunted our nightmares last week.  Now it's time to introduce you to Angela.

Who's Angela?  Well, she was the star of a series of slasher flicks derivative of the original Friday the 13th film.  She first appeared in this week's feature, Sleepaway Camp.  And in no way do I expect this movie to end with any kind of twist ending whatsoever.

This is the type of movie I fucking loved when I was a kid.  It's a movie that placed kids in peril.  The majority of the cast are kids of obvious young ages.  I don't believe any of the kids are meant to be older than 16.  While there are plenty of adults around to be victims, the vast majority of kills are young kids.  Like real young.

And while, sure, that would be bothersome to a kid watching a movie like this, the 80s were lousy with movies that featured kids doing things things on their own, dealing with adventures, and problems, and terrors.  It is one of the reasons why Stranger Things is such a big hit for most people who grew up in that decade.  We all had some sense of freedom to explore and get into problems and run away from bad guys, find gold from a pirate ship in some cave, and get killed by a stalking killer at a sleepaway camp.

The 80s were fucking sweet, guys.

I really don't think I need to intro this anymore.  Let me give you the skinny from the back of the beautiful Scream Factory Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack: "After a terrible boating accident killed her family, shy Angela Baker went to live with her eccentric Aunt Martha and her cousin Ricky.  This summer, Martha decides to send them both to Camp Arawak, a place to enjoy the great outdoors.  Shortly after their arrival, a series of bizarre and violent 'accidents' begin to claim the lives of various campers.  Has a dark secret returned from the camp's past... or will an unspeakable horror end the Summer season for all?  From its grisly makeup effects to the truly shocking and unforgettable climax, Sleepaway Camp is no ordinary slasher film... it's a cult classic!"

It doesn't get much better than this everybody.  Let's dive in!

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

This movie sucks.

Let me back up for a moment.  A Nightmare on Elm Street is a bit of a bugaboo for me.  The first three films in the series were pretty great.  You have a legitimate, and terrifying, horror movie that took roots from urban legends about a boogey man who could strike at you in your dreams.  The second, after a critical reevaluation, really turned out to be so much more than just a cheap sequel that New Line Cinema tried to crank out to capitalize on the first.  The third brought back our original survivor Nancy and she sacrificed herself to finally kill our boogey man, Freddy Krueger.

Then everything else sucked.  Hard.  Like a taco salad from McDonald's.  All the ingredients seem perfectly edible because everything else on the menu was fine when you tasted it, but when you put your fork in it, you realize you're just eating Wade the Fry Cook's turds mixed in with tomatoes and lettuce.

Wade isn't even garnishing that turd taco salad with sour cream, you fucking idiots!

Any kid I knew who thought Freddy Krueger was the bee's knees (when compared to the other slasher giants such as Jason, Michael Myers, or Leatherface) was a fucking moron and probably had a shit eating grin courtesy of Wade the McDonald's Fry Cook.  None of those other slashers talked.  Freddy made up for that in spades.  Like he couldn't stop talking.  He called people "Bitch" so fucking often, Rick and Morty made an entire gag out of it with a parody character called Scary Terry.  By the fourth, fifth, and sixth films, Robert Englund was a real sport about playing the character that he made famous and, in turn, made him famous, but the movies were jokes and a pretty big waste of time to watch.

Again, the first few movies were plenty okay, and a couple of them are actually quite fantastic.  However, by the time we got to the fifth movie, they were struggling pretty bad.  This came at the end of the 80s.  The slasher genre was basically dying out.  People wanted something a little different by this time.  Hell, it couldn't even get an October release as a horror movie.

I guess I better crack this fuck dick of a movie open and talk about before I talk myself out of it.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Happy Friday the 13th, folks.  Even though this occurs a couple times every year, this one is kinda special.  It isn't just Friday the 13th, but it's a Friday the 13th in October, the undisputed scariest month on the calendar.  It's like a double Friday the 13th!  If only it was also a full moon then everyone everywhere would just get murdered by guys in hockey masks, werewolves, Michael Myers, or Irish toy makers.

This is the perfect chance for me to talk about my favorite Jason Voorhees movie - Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.

This is beloved by fans, but also a turning point for the series itself.  For one, this shifted the movies from being a series of movies trying to be serious and either scary or gore-filled to a series of films that started to have fun with itself.  The movie also acted as a final piece of a trilogy of movies that focused on hero Tommy Jarvis.

Back in the fourth film, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Tommy, then played by Corey Feldman, was introduced as a child who ultimately killed our machete-wielding antagonist by impersonating the child version of Jason and hacking his fucking head to shit with his own weapon.  In Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, people were being killed by an impersonator wearing a hockey mask.  People thought it was an older Tommy who seemed to be pretty messed up after killing Jason as a child.  At the end of that movie, it appeared Tommy did break and now going to take up Jason's legacy.

In Part VI, writer and director Tom McLoughlin decided, thankfully, to throw away the ominous ending of Part V, and went in a new direction.  McLoughlin decided to treat Jason like one of the classic Universal monsters, most notably Frankenstein's Monster.  He also made it self-referential and had characters react as the audience would or give us a moment to laugh at the happenings of the movie or at the characters themselves.

I really don't want to wait much longer to jump into the movie.  This is my motherfucking jam.  This is the movie in the series I have seen more than any others.  If I'm hanging out with friends and one of them suggests we all watch a Jason movie and ask which one we should watch, I vote VI every time.  So let's pop this fucker in and enjoy!

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most beloved horror movies of the modern era.  It's full of intensity, actual terrifying moments, and visceral violence that stays with you for years after you watch it.  It came out in 1974 during the golden age of exploitation horror before the genre was essentially taken over by the slasher genre that Halloween gave birth to in the late 70s.

The film also boasts that it has connections to real life events.  Well...  Sort of.  Leatherface was inspired by Ed Gein who was a real life serial killer who did indeed take skin from his victims and started making a skin suit.  There are some minor plot details that also came from the Gein case, but that was all in Wisconsin, not Texas.

Tobe Hooper, the director of the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, started making more mainstream movies, most notably, Poltergeist.  By the mid-80s, he was riding pretty high.  He signed a three picture deal with our good friends at Cannon Films.  What he delivered for them was not what they expected.  His first film in the deal, Lifeforce, was a pretty large scale sci-fi monster movie that stretched the usual budget of a Cannon Film.  They also didn't expect Hooper to deliver a remake of a 1950s sci-fi film with Invaders from Mars.  They DEFINITELY did not expect The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 to be a dark comedy causing Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus to lose their freaking minds with Hooper.

Frankly, I kinda wonder if Hooper was trolling Cannon a bit so he could make movies he wanted to make and they were there to give him the deal.

So, there you have it.  Hooper wanted this second Chainsaw to be more of a send up of the horror genre of the time he basically helped create.  While it did make almost twice its budget, the film under-performed.  Hardcore fans of slasher films pretty much hated it.  Critics didn't care for it either.  It probably was not helped by being released as "Unrated" when it couldn't get less than an X from the motion picture ratings dudes.  Even though most didn't like it then, it's one of the few 80s horror movies that actually holds up very well in the present.  It even grew on some of its original detractors and became a pretty massive cult classic.

The synopsis from Amazon Prime is: "A radio host (Caroline Williams) is victimized by a cannibal family as a former Texas Marshall (Dennis Hopper) hunts them."  That's all it gives, but don't worry, it's much much more than that.  Let's get this thing started and officially kick off my October theme of modern monsters to celebrate Halloween!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Darktown Strutters (1975)

It's not every day that someone gets to say "Last week I watched My Stepmother Is an Alien and this week, I'm taking a look at Darktown Strutters."  I feel pretty accomplished.

Not only do I feel accomplished by typing a sentence that I'm sure no one has this past decade, but I'm fast approaching the centennial mark for B-Movie Enema!  This marks the 91st entry of this blog.  That means that before the end of November, I'll have hit 100 posts.  How do I plan on celebrating that mark?

By taking a small break to pursue some other projects which could mean some significant overhauls to this blog.

However, that doesn't mean I'm anywhere near done yet.  Oh no!  I have some sweet blaxploitation to get to first.  Blaxploitation, I might add, that is being brought to us by producer Gene Corman, the brother of Roger Corman... a white guy.  Huh, okay.  It was directly by William Witney... a white guy from Oklahoma.  Well.  Okay, I guess you could say some African Americans maybe had a rough road to get their movies made so they had to get help from other established, white dudes.  Who wrote it?  George Armitage.  Now that is surely a brother...  Motherfucker.

He's a white guy from Hartford, Connecticut.

Despite all this, Darktown Strutters does have a pretty solid cult following with Quentin Tarantino giving it praise - because he has a fucking opinion about everything and someone, somewhere, is glad to write about them.  I know my way around these types of movies, but, I admit, I don't know this one.  A friend sent me a bonkers trailer for it and we saw it was on YouTube to watch for free, so I jumped at the opportunity to add it to the list of movies I wanted to cover on the blog.

I apparently am not the only one who doesn't know anything about the movie.  There's no plot or synopsis on YouTube, where I'm watching it, or Wikipedia.  Thanks to IMDb, I do learn that Syreena has to find her mother, Cinderella, then some crazy shenanigans ensue.  So I guess I should dive right in and watch this mutha...

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.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Oof magoof...  Talk about your ill-advised sequels.

1975's Jaws is a cinematic triumph in proportions never seen before.  It broke box office records.  It was the first, true "blockbuster".  It changed the way movies are released.  Hell, it created what would become the "summer movie".

The funny thing is, it shouldn't have worked out the way it did.  The production was a disaster with mechanical sharks used to depict "Bruce the Shark" constantly breaking down and nearly unusable to the point that direct Steven Spielberg had to become incredibly creative on how he shot the shark.  The production shot at sea which caused lots of problems when unwanted boats simply drifted into frame.  The film went way beyond schedule and way over budget.

Still, it became a cinematic masterpiece and put Spielberg on the map to make pretty much whatever he wanted forever.

Due to the overwhelming success of the film, Universal simply couldn't let it go with a single film.  They ordered a sequel no one wanted to do.  It did okay at the box office.  A third movie was made and released during the early 80s short-lived 3-D craze that turned out to be an utter mess.  So, in 1987, a fourth movie, directed by Joseph Sargent, was made ignoring the plot of the third film of the series.  Gone were any of the original actors from either of the first two movies save for Lorraine Gary as Ellen Brody.  Add in Michael Caine, and an insane plot, and, massively diminishing profits be damned, you've got yourself a Jaws 4.

Oh boy, do you have yourself a Jaws 4...

What's this movie about?  Well...  A shark attacks Amity, Massachusetts.  Again.  And Ellen Brody, wife of our heroic town sheriff from the first two Jaws movies, starts to think something is quite a bit different about this attack.  This time, she thinks, it's personal!

Yeah.  A shark is personally attacking the Brody family.  No shit...  Universal sold this movie with the tagline "This time it's personal."  I'm not kidding you.  Don't believe me that they tried this story for this film?  Let's take a look at the evidence!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Earlier this summer, Spider-Man 3 turned 10 years old.  It's really odd to think about that.  The third of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy is only 10 years old.

Since the release of this movie, ALL of the Avengers movies have been released - among all the other outlying Marvel movies.  DC has now created four movies in their own expanded universe.  There have been 7 X-Men movies - including an entire trilogy of Wolverine movies and a completely rebooted X-Men series.

And as of today, Spider-Man himself has been rebooted twice.

I'm handling Spider-Man 3 a couple months late from its actual anniversary because Spider-Man: Homecoming is fresh off the presses and in movie theaters.  It's time to take a look back on one of the kookier superhero movies ever made.

That's why it's here.  It's Sam Raimi at his Sam Raimi-est.  This is a guy who has specific look and feel and style to his movies that is best described as over the top.  His style was perfectly suited for his Spider-Man films.  It felt like a comic book in its bright imagery and how characters interacted with each other.  There are little things between characters (like Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane being totally incapable of simply calling Tobey Maguire's Spidey by anything less than his full name - "Peter Parker") that almost builds deep relationships.  You know, like you see in the actual comics over decades?

But what went wrong?  Spider-Man was great.  Spider-Man 2 was amazingly great.  When did the train derail and ultimately spiral Spidey down the drain with the rest of Sony?  That's what I'm going to try to figure out.  It's more than this simply being a bad movie.  It's...  Well it just is.

As for the plot, after the events of battling the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus, Spider-Man is riding high.  His lady love, Mary Jane has run out on her own wedding to another dude to choose him, and he's becoming more and more beloved by the city of New York.  However, his best friend, Harry (masterfully played over the top by James Franco), still blames him for the death of his father (the aforementioned Green Goblin), the arrival of a strange black goo that literally drops out of the sky, and a new suitor in the form of the lovely Gwen Stacy makes life for Peter Parker a little more difficult.

Let's tear the top off this and let the Venom out.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

45 years ago today, the fourth of the Planet of the Apes movies was released to theaters - Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

By this point, 20th Century Fox knew they had a marketable franchise.  They hit it big in 1968 with the original Planet of the Apes that created a world where apes were king and men were not much more than beasts of burden.  There are three main things remembered from the first film: 1) the original reveal of the gorillas hunting down humans in a cornfield, 2) "Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!", and 3) the end reveal that Taylor (Charlton Heston) had only time traveled to the future of Earth and not to a distant planet.

The movie made six times its budget in North America and was a certified hit.  The second film, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, worked on a smaller budget, but still grossed four times its budget.  Considering Taylor blew up the planet with a nuclear device, the request for a third film might have seemed a bit odd, but Fox figured out a way to do this by sending the main apes characters of Cornelius, his wife Zira, and their scientist buddy Milo to the Earth of the past.  They don't explain it well, but Escape from the Planet of the Apes featured the apes in 1973 Earth, and it wasn't without its fun - until the end when Cornelius and Zira were brutally murdered.  The third entry cost half as much as the second, but grossed six times its budget.

The trend of diminishing of box office grosses actually wasn't that big of a deal because Fox kept cutting the budgets with each subsequent film.  So that brings us to today's entry, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.  It takes place about 18 years after the previous movie and follows Cornelius and Zira's son, Caesar.  Now being cared for by zookeeper Armando (Ricardo Montalban), Caesar must keep his ability to speak under wraps or risk capture.  Apes are now being trained as slave labor, partially to replace dogs and cats who were all killed by a mysterious disease, but also because they were smarter and could do more than simply provide companionship.  The film also fills in the cracks of how the apes rose up to overthrow the humans on the top of the food chain, and plays out the scene discussed in the previous movie when one ape stood in defiance of his human masters by uttering a single word.

There you have it.  Before we get started, two things I will mention.  First, I believe this is actually the best of original Apes sequels.  It tells an interesting story of what a bleak future might be like and how we essentially let our hubris destroy our own society.  Second, some themes in the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes film plays off of this movie, but not an official remake.  I think it is at least safe to say that some of the themes and ideas, if nothing more than on a spiritual level, was good enough for these much more serious and higher budget Apes movies of the current era.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Megaforce (1982)

Ah Megaforce.  What took me so long to come around to you?

I think I probably subconsciously waited for this exact moment - to commemorate Megaforce's 35th anniversary of release.  There's a bit of insanity surrounding this masterful piece of cinematic art.  First, you probably didn't know that it has a deep connection to another 1982 classic sci-fi movie - Blade Runner.  Yeah.  There was a film company in Hong Kong who put together the funding for MegaForce, Blade Runner, and two other films to hopefully breakthrough in the United States.  All of them were box office failures (well...  technically High Road to China was not a failure, just forgotten).

Megaforce's release also came with an Atari 2600 game.  That game seems like a whole lotta garbage and flashing and explosion sounds that just all add up to it being complete nonsense.  At least it knew what scene to center the game around.  The film was directed by stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham who was usually known for making movies that involved fast cars and Burt Reynolds (The Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper - you get the picture).  This being is only venture into sci-fi Needham would attempt.  While I think it was only natural to pick him for what the movie had in it and was about, it was probably a stretch to think he was going to be able to piece all this together.

So, before we start in, I will give you a quick rundown of what the movie is about.  Megaforce follows Ace Hunter (Barry Bostwick) who leads an elite task force of adventurers who uphold justice.  Then, Ilia from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Persis Khambatta) shows up and asks for their help to fight off an aggressive neighboring country.  Khambatta is the girl oddly dressed as a Bond Girl on the poster there.  Even though she is a high ranking, combat veteran army lady.  Pffft...  and people are confused why there's such hub bub around the importance and success of this year's Wonder Woman movie.  Anyway, Hunter decides to help this small republic fight their foes, led by Hunter's rival Gueerra (Henry Silva from the wonderful vampire film I covered last year, Thirst).

There you have it.  Let's get this kooky action/adventure movie rolling!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Batman and Robin (1997)

Holy fishdicks, Batman!  This week's B-Movie Enema feature is, without a doubt, one of the most reviled comic book movies ever.  This (along with another fourth movie in its franchise I'll be talking about later this summer) effectively killed a relatively popular and very profitable Batman franchise.

Since it turns 20 this week, and this is a summer in which I'll be focusing on those movies celebrating anniversaries, of course I'll be featuring Batman and Robin.

But maybe a good question to start with is "Why?'  Why am I featuring this movie on a blog called B-Movie Enema?  Well, yes, most of the movies I write about could be labeled as a "B" movie - a label given to low budget movies (or, more classically, a shorter, cheaper movie to accompany a more prestigious one in the old double feature era of theaters).  Hell, some of them go much further down the alphabet than that.  I also look at the overall quality.  If the movie is overly melodramatic or exploits anything in any way, it could potentially fit that "B-movie" feel.  Granted, there are movies that are exploitation or go so over the top that they end up being silly, but there's also a feel to the movies that gives your gut and brain all the indicators that you're watching what can only be described as a "B" level movie.

That's what we have here with Batman and Robin.  It's pretty common knowledge now that director Joel Schumacher's vision and ideas for his two Batman movies were far different than Tim Burton's.  Schumacher seemed to not even watch Burton's '89 classic or '92 sequel.  He decided that his Batman films would be much brighter, grander, and utterly insane in how it was acted - particularly by side characters and the villains.  Schumacher was going for more of the campy 60s style of the old TV version of the character.

All that led to what we have here - something of a beautiful disaster.  I make it very well known that I do actually like Schumacher's first Batman film, Batman Forever, much more than Burton's second, Batman Returns.  I'm not going to go too far into my reasons why, but a lot of it had to do with the script for Returns and Jim Carey's kooky Riddler in Forever.  I still say that I was completely floored by Batman and Robin.  We saw the trailers.  We knew something seemed odd about it.  Never mind that George Clooney was now stepping into the cowl as Batman (marking the third Batman in as many films behind Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer).  That's okay.  I'm a James Bond and Doctor Who fan.  I can handle casting changes.  The trailer should have warned everyone that this movie was out of its mind.

It's like you're walking down the street and you see a possibly homeless, but definitely unbathed, fella with a sign about how doomsday is coming and you need to repent your sins.  He's missing important teeth and shouting crazy stuff at people while spittle flies through the gaps made by those missing teeth.  You know you shouldn't let him stop you and force you into a conversation about whether or not you think you've already been saved by Jesus.  You know what will happen if you engage this person.  You just know what will happen if you give the fella any of your attention.  So what do you do?  You walk straight up to the guy and tell him you've not been saved by Jesus.  This turns into a pretty painful 125 minutes of your life you will never get back.

That's what Batman and Robin is.  You walked straight up to that motherfucking box office, bought a ticket, you even smiled when you handed over your money, you went to the concession stand and ordered popcorn and a soda, and engaged the crazy to the point that you wanted to claw the skin off your fucking face.

And I'm about to do it all over again...  Roll film.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rollercoaster (1977)

This week's B-Movie Enema entry is celebrating its 40th anniversary this very weekend.  It's Universal Pictures' Rollercoaster.

Rollercoaster was simply another in the decade-long string of "disaster films" that started at the very dawn of the 1970s with Airport.  It became such a genre in itself that you can almost think of that as being the same thing back then as we see now with superhero movies.  While the 70s were the "golden age" of the disaster flick, the genre still exists to this day.  Movies featuring high drama in the face of incredible tragedy still come out in fairly high numbers.  Anything that stars a relatively large cast that ends with a lot of them dead and a lot of others barely making it through whatever the disaster wrought could basically be labeled as one of these disaster films.

Let's face it.  This is also a perfect choice for the blog during a summer month.  What says summer more than an amusement park and roller coasters?

This one in particular stars George Segal, Richard Widmark, Timothy Bottoms, Susan Strasberg, and Henry Fonda.  Yeah, Academy Award winner Henry Fonda is in a movie I'm featuring on my dumb blog.  I'm really taking this up a notch in class.  The basic plot of this movie is that a "determined terrorist" (Bottoms) is targeting a popular roller coaster and the riders for senseless destruction.  It's up to the park's safety inspector (Segal) to stop him.  That's really all there is to it, but I should warn you, this movie clocks in at a full 119 minutes.  That's nearly two full hours of a guy chasing a terrorist trying to blow up roller coasters.  It might be a pretty long night for me.

So let's not waste a second more.  Let's see some wanton destruction and disaster!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Piranha DD (2012)

Man...  Now that I've survived Asylum Month, I'm not sure I can contain my excitement.  Frankly, I wasn't sure if I could carry on with anything other than sitting around a living room littered with empty pizza boxes while I go unshaven and unbathed and gorging myself on ice cream straight from the container.

However, the darkness parted and here we are - June.  I've survived the darkest month of my life since I resurrected this blog a little over a year ago and I'm ready to celebrate.  So!  I bring to you the start of a summer full of anniversaries!  Starting this week until the end of August, I'll be shifting my focus not only on movies that are celebrating some sort of anniversary ending with either a 0 or a 5, but I'm also getting back to basics.  Shitty movies that bring the simplest of pleasures - monsters, shitty stories, titties, dumbness, and a few halfway decent things mixed in.  We start with this week's movie - Piranha DD (or Piranha 3DD if you saw it on the big screen with 3D glasses to make dem dubba d's leap off the screen and practically motorboat themselves on your face) which celebrates the fifth anniversary since its release this upcoming week.

Am I selecting this movie as a bit of a softball lob over the plate after a particularly harrowing Asylum Month?  You betcha!  Am I selecting this primarily on the promise of seeing giant jugs on hot women in bikinis?  Oh my god, yes I am!  Have I seen the 2010 Piranha 3D that this sequelized?  Um...  No.  No, I have not.

Do I care?  You bet your fuckin' bippy I don't care one bit!

I'm so renewed after shedding the exoskeleton of The Asylum that I don't even care about the synopsis.  All I know is this movie has boobies, killer fish, Ving Rhames with gun legs, and the lovely Danielle Panabaker.  That's all I need.  I'm excited to get back to basics and watch a silly movie with lots of things I like, so let's get to it already!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Independents' Day (2016)

The Asylum Month thankfully comes to a close as we look at another dumb titled movie that is meant to capitalize off dumb fuckshit people willing to rent absolutely anything from Family Video to dumb down their fuckface brains and think they "done seen that one movie that came out last week at the video store!"

Fuck.  I'm angry.  The world is shit.  Everything good and right in this world sucks donkey balls.  The Asylum has sucked the soul out of me.  I'm not exactly sure how to go on after a month of giant spiders fighting army chicks, a shitty Sherlock Holmes, and the worst fucking movie I've ever laid eyes on.  Now this.  Now this dumb fucking movie with a dumb fucking title...

Independents' Day.  The fuck does that mean?  Yes, I get what Independent is.  I understand someone is a Dependent.  And that group of people would be DependentS.  I've never seen the world Independent used as a noun - singular OR plural OR in a possessive sense.

And look at that DVD cover.  I 100% guarantee that this is another movie of bullshit army people led by a fucking douchebag on the level of... I dunno.  Name the worst, most douchiest person you can think of.  These fucks are going to be at least that.  Oh, and I bet the special effects are gonna be god awful too.

Okay, Amazon Prime, tell me what this is about: "After aliens invade Earth and destroy all our nuclear arsenal, they give us a choice: either emigrate to a new, better planet or be killed.  While most earthlings resign themselves to leaving, the President of the United States turns to a rogue militia to fight back and expose the truth before the human race is obliterated."

So our heroes are going to be members of a rogue militia given special powers by the president?  Fuck you, Asylum.  Fuck you in the dickhole.  Fuck you in the space underneath your fingernails, you fucking assholes.

Alright, let's get this thing a-rollin' so I can draw that warm bath and break in my new razor blades.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sherlock Holmes (2010)

Oh boy...  After last week's utter debacle, I could certainly use a little British classiness to bounce back.  Too bad it's still an Asylum fuckfest abortion.

Sherlock Holmes, as a character, first appeared in print in 1887 and was an immediate success for author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I could spend a long time giving you more history about the character being one of the most famous detectives in all of history, and how many books he was in, and what have you, but I'll save that for Wikipedia to tell you all about.

No, the origin of this entry in the Asylum library comes from Holmes' popularity in film and television.  From Basil Rathbone to Peter Cushing to Benedict Cumberbatch to even Tom Baker, Sherlock Holmes has been thrilling audiences since the earliest days of film.  In 2009, director Guy Ritchie teamed Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and John Watson, respectively, and the film was a super success.  It even spawned a sequel two years later.

I haven't seen that movie, but I'm watching this fuckin' cheap ripoff!

The Asylum, always eager to cash in on other studios' hard work and actual competent filmmaking, decided they would give Sherlock Holmes the ol' college try with this 2010 insane-o story about a detective in Victorian England dealing with dinosaurs and other assorted problems that plag...

Wait, what?  Sherlock Holmes Vs. DINOSAURS???  No.  No way.  Nuh uh.  Dinosaurs?  Surely this is some sort of joke.  I mean, sure, the cover of the DVD above shows a T-Rex and some sort of fire-breathing monster, and what appears to be a kraken...  Wait...  Really???  This has to be a marketing gimmick.  Surely Amazon Prime's synopsis will help sort this out.  Here, let's see what it says:

"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective faces the ultimate challenge when enormous monsters attack London."

Well, I'll be a motherfucker.  There's not much more I can say.  We've got Sherlock Holmes going up against giant monsters in Victorian London.  Seriously...  What more can I say?  What word could I possible use to describe the emotions I'm feeling before I click "Watch Now" on my browser?  Oh, this should do it:

Fuck.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Atlantic Rim (2013)

Round 2 of my month long battle against The Asylum, makers of crap and shit that I disdain since, like, I dunno...  2004 or something.  I don't care how long they've been at this.  This time, I have a real offensive one: Atlantic Rim.

This is an instance where The Asylum simply took the title to a movie coming out (i.e. Pacific Rim), and modified it only slightly to give it a new title that cannot lead to a lawsuit against them, but, yet, still keep some sort of visual similarity to the movie it is ripping off.

I really loved Pacific Rim.  I mean, how could I not?  Giant robots fighting giant monsters?  That's just about every 40 year old manchild's dream come true!  It was Guillermo Del Toro's take on the classic kaiju craze from Japan.  Giant monsters rise from the Pacific Ocean and wreak havoc all across the Pacific Rim.  Giant monster killing robots from Japan, China, Russia, and the United States fight back and discover the origin of the monsters - an inter-dimensional rift at the bottom of the Pacific that the monsters crawl out of to attack Earth.

That's fuckin' rad.

What's Atlantic Rim about?  The Amazon Prime synopsis reads: "When giant monsters crawl out of the Atlantic Ocean and attack the Eastern Seaboard, the US Government is forced to trust A.I. robots to defend the country."  So...  It's Pacific Rim but the robots are A.I.s and not controlled by humans.  Also it takes place on the Eastern Seaboard instead of the Pacific.  And this is The Asylum so it's gonna suck.

Ugh.  Okay.  Let's roll film.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

Sigh.

You people suck.  I mean it.  You guys are real assholes.

A couple months ago, I put out the call to action for B-Movie Enema Facebook followers to vote for what my May 2017 theme was going to be.  You had marvelous choices.  You could have picked more 80s horror (I subscribe to an entire channel on YouTube that I wanted to pull from).  You could have picked Cannon Films.  You could have chosen the chance to revisit movies from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  Hell, you could have picked to send me to the Sharknado series!  Shark-fucking-nado!

No.  Some jerk swung in in the waning minutes of the poll on Survey Monkey and put a month of mockbusters from The Asylum over the top.  So, here I am.  Watching movies I'm gonna hate because I truly despise these dumb flicks cranked out from The Asylum.

Who is The Asylum?  Simply put, they are a company that makes movies on the cheap to pump out onto the Syfy Channel or direct to DVD.  They make all sorts of movies from science fiction to horror to comedies to even animated movies now and Christian movies.  However, the claim to fame for The Asylum is the mockbusters they produce.

A mockbuster is a movie that is purposely aping off an expected big-budget, high popularity movie with the intent to trick those who are a little less than a layman movie fan to think that the movie they are renting on demand or buying at a store IS the major studio movie they saw advertisements for around the same time.  The names are very similar and very easy to confuse as you will see in a couple examples I'll cover this month.

Then, there are movies like this week's feature - Journey to the Center of the Earth.  Books like this by Jules Vernes, or books by H.G. Wells are either very cheap to option for a movie or enough in the public domain that anyone can make an adaptation if they wish.  It just so happens that this came out at the same time as a big budget version of the movie at the same time from New Line Cinema starring Brenden Fraser.  I'm gonna guess the New Line movie is a tad more faithful to the book, but what's the synopsis for the Asylum version?  From Amazon Prime: "A group of scientists is performing a teleportation experiment, but something goes wrong, and the team ends up at the center of the earth, where they just manage to send off a distress signal before being hunted by a dinosaur."

Okay, so let's finally get this rolling.  I don't have all day to sit around and procrastinate about this stupid theme month...