Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Total Recall (1990)

This movie is so classic that I actually debated about writing about it. But Arnold's supremely shiny chest and abs won out in the end. Seriously though, if you haven't seen it, you certainly shouldn't be calling yourself any kind of sci-fi buff. This is the sci-fi to define all sci-fi. And now I will proceed to name just some of the many things that make this movie miraculously awesome: Arnold Schwarzenegger! Gorgeous Martian landscapes based on real photos! Exploding heads! A three-tittied hooker! It represents some of the earliest mainstream digital rendering from real objects! A body count of 77! Animatronic aliens! Clairvoyant mutants! A dwarf hooker with a machine gun! An ugly lady robot head! A still sultry Sharon Stone! Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Starship Troopers, Basic Instinct)! The fact that is was successful at the box office and at award ceremonies (for you stoogies out there!)! Futuristic automobiles! "You ever fuck a mutant?"! We're rooting for the underdogs! All of the sets look totally outrageously awesome! And the effects are sureally superb! Subtle satire! A sexy slew of one-liners! Virtual reality and mysterious mind games! The fact that there is the always unnerving possibility that it was all a figment of post-lobotomic stress! And it's based on a Philip K. Dick novel (Minority Report represents Part II)! If that's not enough to convince you, I don't know what possibly could.

I deem it: "The science fiction standard that most others bow down to!/Verhoeven strikes again!/Seriously solidifying Arnold's place as a sci-fi god!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Desert Heat (1999)

Well, I'm calling this Desert Heat because that's what it says on the VHS cover, but apparently the real title of this film is Inferno. I'd say they wanted to separate the release disaster from the physical purchase, but this film was never actually released in any country of interest. Poor Jean Claude. Well, this was certainly a big, buff, bloody mess, and I mean that in the most endearing of ways. It's not hard to tell that this is a Western remake of Yojimbo, a classic Japanese film, mostly because it lacks the crucial Western element of any self-respecting American-based movie: a Sheriff. Instead, it's one man against the world, or in this case, competing drug and weapons gangs that have taken over a desert town and are generally up to no good. The classic black and white/good and evil nature of this film makes it pretty easy to brutally massacre the bad guys and not really feel bad about it. And thank goodness for that! Another not so shocker is the director, John Avildsen. The master behind Rocky and Rocky V, arguably two of the most nonchalantly and uselessly violent films of our generation, and still loved by all who can stomach it, Avildsen certainly brings his virile and voracious aptitude for blood, sex and drugs to this action masterpiece. This also explains the presence of none other than Mr. Miyagi, Pat Morita to those in the know, since Avildsen directed not one but all three of The Karate Kid movies (at least the ones with dudes...), influencing generations and cementing some of the best lines in hero history ("Hey, it's the eighties!"). Yeah, Morita basically walks around dressed like he's from the forties and being a complete weirdo who is more than happy to clean up the bodies, wrap them nicely, and dump them in a mass grave out in the desert, all while dressed to the nines in an entirely white suit, hat and dancing shoes. Yes, in the desert. And don't forget the rest of the cast, with Jamie Pressly playing her stereotypical Middle America white trash blonde you still want to fuck, and the entirely more epic Danny Trejo who miraculously masters the mysterious Native. There are even mystical coyotes, butchered Native chanting and spirit dreams and shit. Oh man. For a second, I even thought that Jean Claude's growing relationship with the only other doable chick within 50 miles (and whose most notable acting accomplishment could be deemed Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, which certainly grossed a hell of a lot more than this must-see of a mess...) would keep him from sexing up the dirty prostitutes that usually hang out with the gang. But no. I should learn a trick or two from that guy: I've never seen anyone slip into a three-some so easily! Especially not when a drunk ole lady is leering in through the window! That takes skill! But seriously, lots of violence, lots of fighting, requisite Jean Claude ass, more hicks than can be shot to death, a tortured old man with an oxygen tank (Bill Erwin), a nod to the supernaturally stereotyped shamans, and a bizarro little Asian man. Sounds like a rowdy success to me! The one downside is the excess nature of ugly white dudes. So many ugly white dudes! I've posted some head shots below.

Final Judgment: Mixing metaphors and standardizing subjects means a whole lot of goodness all in one!/Mr. Miyagi to the rescue!/Finally, a movie with old people that I can actually watch!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The First Power (1990)

Despite the assumption that because Lou Diamond is in this hardy horror flick it must be made for TV, The First Power, believe it or not, is actually a successful feature length film. I'm personally giving credit to Lou Diamond's luscious locks and tight hairless bod, especially since the female side of this film is a little lacking. There's some psychic chick named Tess, which I don't especially approve of, a bunch of dead girls, but unless you're into necrophilia (in which case, you're in luck), these titties are not for you, and a nun (what's with the fetishes?...). Instead, you are presented with the grossly misshapen and perpetually popular ugly white dude, otherwise known as Jeff Kober, who has been showing up in quite a few of my films lately. Most people didn't really mind this film, probably because it focuses mostly on the cop vs. serial killer aspect, and only uses the I'm-a-reincarnated-version-of-Satan in order to justify the hallucinations. Although why anyone would want to hallucinate Jeff Kober is beyond me. Not much else happens. Unless you count me swooning at Lou Diamond in trench coat. They do have an awesome crucifix-dagger that they kill the evil dude with, but when I looked online, I couldn't find one to purchase! I'm thinking that's more of a Cow-Town black market purchase, but I'm definitely going to keep my eyes open. Hmm...what else was good....Oh the best part was when Lou Diamond valiantly shot into a vat of acid which promptly, and epically, exploded into a massive fireball. Just why, is beyond my limited capacity. There were actually several sweet blood and violence scenes, if you're into that. And apparently they used real stunt actors when they jumped off of roof tops and such! Oh, and there's no massive cover-up since they're still left with his post-resurrection corpse at the end. Nothing like a supernatural religious thriller to bring L.A. together...

Final Judgment: "If only that psychic could uncover the mystery of Lou Diamond's hair (is it the mystical Native American spirit in him?!)!/Standard supernatural horror, perfect for reminiscing about the 90's (oh the outfits!) on a dank and dirty night."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Precious Find (1996)

I won't lie, when I head to an imdb comments page and read things like, "Simply put the worst movie ever," or "for pete's sake what junk," I know I'm on to something. I've actually posted the entirety of my favorite complaining commentary down below (why does this person think that I would have any respect for their existence when they a) don't appreciate space ninjas, b) can't write at the level of a second grader, and c) use entirely too many punctuation marks and yet can't spend the time to spell out "you"?). Anyway, yes, I'm pretty much hoping for negative reviews because it turns out that most people have terrible taste in movies! One of those people is not, however, Rutger Hauer, as I have recently become aware (I'm a late-Hauer-bloomer, I know!) of the awesomeness that is his filmography (and those are just for starters), and damn, he knows how to pick 'em! And this golden gem is no exception. It's basically just gold rush fever (apparently it's a remake of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), except it takes place in space (with the ever requisite cantina scene!), they pull a Tremors and rip off Herbert (is that claymation?!!), and there are ugly cyborgs to fulfill the requisite yakuza quota (trust me, that is definitely a good thing!). In addition to Hauer, this trashy thriller contains several sci-fi semi-greats, including Joan Chen (Judge Dredd) and Brion James (The 5th Element, Nemesis, Blade Runner, and Enemy Mine [and then there are the cop movies = Tango and Cash, Another 48 Hours -- this dude gets around!/I guess there's always a need for weird looking white dudes?]), not to mention the director Philippe Mora (Mad Dog Morgan!!!), certainly a bountiful b-list cast. It'll totally give you a LOTR flashback too since everyone runs around crazy-like, creepily chanting "precious, my precious!" The effects aren't too terrible (I'd hope not in '96!), and they don't shy away from space-ships and meteors, but in general, not too much appears spacey and futuristic (that's probably a good thing on this unknown but clearly limited budget). I totally started tripping in the end, partially due to the poor editing, and partially due to the fact that Hauer goes wacko and then reappears in the next scene with a full fucking Highlander ponytail, samurai sword, metal storage area to run around, and sparks flying around his head; do they really need to remind me that I could be watching Lambert and Connery grace the screen right now? Why didn't they just have Joan Chen grab a leather skirt and a chakram while they're at it? Oh well, I guess a beligerant Hauer will have to do...And yes, I found the trailer.

I deem it: "A golden goose among pewter ducks/Hauer doesn't fail to disappoint; you'll be
craving more bad sci-fi in no time!/All the ugly white guys you can handle!"

gold,space,ninjas,what else is there?, 11 March 2002
Author: Tfh_962 from New Zealand

well i know i have seen them all now! , can anyone tell me why the space station has a pick-up truck in it on a ranch and what the hell that alein worm was that u never here of again ? was it left over from another set or something???????? i dont know what to think all kinds of stuff like that , but!!! i am thinking ,is this film made to be serious? thats the question ,cause if it was made to be like not stupid then the whole movie is undoubtably a peice of junk its got all the 2 dollar speical affects , crappy everything i think they lost the space station half way through so they replaced it with a ranch i mean u got to take your hat off to the crew , talk about not caring about there jobs or the movie,,,,,BUT if it is like made to be a peice of junk funny crap thing like plan 9 thing then it is undoubtably genius i mean it would be so hard to make a movie so crap it BECOMES !!good so i give it about a 3/10 u have to see it to believe it ,just make sure u dont except much in the way of science fiction , SO if u want to see a movie about Ninja Card playing gold miners who ride around in pick-up trucks on space stations then this movie is for U!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dragnet (1987)

Yes, it's true; I've been on a little bit of an Aykroyd kick these past few months. While I've been slowing watching his evolution (terrible joke intended) from a glorious comic master of the absurd to a fat fur wearing governor, and now, sinking to a new low in that Cusackian vessel that came out earlier this year (and I thought he was sad and pathetic before!; now we have to watch him dole out his dryness while taking a shit?!), I have just now, with the imbibing of the masterpiece, discovered the root of all his jokes. Suddenly, his schtick has an origin, and everything makes sense (I so totally have to re-watch Ghostbusters now!)! It's the Dragnet (tv), 50's cop, post-noir, don't-believe-in-masturbation-or-casual-sex mentality that really defines just about every enunciation out of Aykroyd's mouth, and I'm proud to have witnessed its origin. Ok, enough about the genius that is vintage Aykroyd (can anyone find a picture of him in his youth? does such a thing exist?) for, lo and behold, the almost-glorious Tom Hanks is also in this fine feature! And despite every indication that Hanks has some sort of knotted tree limb up his ass, they cast him as the reckless one (do I smell Lethal?). In addition to the straight-faced technical jargon provided by the ever ironic Aykroyd (see below!) and the lewd suggestions so kindly provided by Hanks, we have a Satan-worshipping cult that's giving lions mohawks, stealing bats and boas, attempting to sacrifice virgins (or at least until Aykroyd works his charm...), and all-round being douchebags. We also have the almighty smut-king (oh the teasing!!! [and I'm not talking about the girls' hair]), some disgruntled public officials, pill-popping pansies, Goat-headed gangsters and generally a good time. And what could be better than all that?: The boys sing for the credit song!; could I be any more blessed right now (try to ignore the quality and instead appreciate the amazing dance choreography and overall absurdity of this music video masterpiece!/watch closely and you'll get to see titties after all!)?

Final Judgment: "Don't worry, you don't have to swear off the inappropriate cop violence in order to enjoy this delicious dozy/Ridiculous scripting, a ridiculous plot and the ridiculously awesome Dan Aykroyd can only mean one thing.....Virgins!!!!/Ahhh, the eighties.

Friday: Can you tell me how much a monthly run of your "magazine" is worth?
Jerry Caesar: Well, let's just say it's more money than you'll ever see in your life. And I do that every month.
Friday: At least my money is clean.
Jerry Caesar: Tell you what you can do, Friday, before you go home and start polishing your pennies. Why don't you go out there and get my magazines back on the stands where they belong?
Friday: Listen, hotshot. I'm gonna tell you something right now. I don't care for you or for the putrid sludge you're troweling out. But until they change the laws and put you sleaze kings out of business, my job is to help you get back your stench ridden boxes of smut. And since I'll be doing it holding my nose, I'll be doing it with one hand.

Pep Streebeck: Are you crazy? Silvia Wiss wanted you.
Friday: Now let me tell you something, Streebeck. There are two things that clearly differentiate the human species from animals. One, we use cutlery. Two, we're capable of controlling our sexual urges. Now, you might be an exception, but don't drag me down into your private Hell.
Pep Streebeck: You've got a lot of repressed feelings, don't you, Friday? That must be what keeps your hair up.

Joe Friday: Ah, sure, but just like every other foaming, rabid psycho in this city with a foolproof plan, you've forgotten you're facing the single finest fighting force ever assembled.
Reverend Jonathan Whirley: The Israelis?

Joe Friday: Hold it right there, Whirley. Police officer, you're under arrest.
Reverend Jonathan Whirley: I beg your pardon, what is this? Some kind of a feeble joke?
Joe Friday: Oh, it's a real knee-slapper, friend, if you consider California Penal Code section 4A, 4207A, 597 and 217 Theft, Kidnapping, Cruelty to Animals and Attempted Murder something to laugh about.
Reverend Jonathan Whirley: I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about.
Joe Friday: My partner and I witnessed that little torchlight picnic you threw last night, we're gonna put you where your kind always ends up - in a seven by seven foot grey-green metal cage in the fifteenth floor of some hundred-year-old penitentiary, with damp, stinking walls and a wooden plank for a bed. Sure, this city isn't perfect, we need a smut-free life for all of our citizens; cleaner streets, better schools, and good hockey team. But the big difference between you and me, mister, is you made the promise, and I'm going to keep it.
[everyone applauds] ---including me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)

With all the potential for disaster (Alien leader: "Earthmen will fall to their knees, betray their country and give way valuable real estate for a desirable woman."), I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this was no average rom/com. In fact, it's significantly superior to that other alien love-story classic, Earth Girls are Easy, that came out just one year closer to the ninny nineties. There are no tits, it's true (although there are some scintillating outlines), but we are instead graced with a plethora of tongue in cheek humor, including an interesting and anthropological interpretation of various daily activities, a few special effects, acid-trip electricity ("Hey, it's the Eighties!") and a crazy eyeball puppet, some seriously sexy and outrageous outfits, the first epic encounter between Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green, and all the nerdiness you can handle. And let's face it: the casting of Jon Lovitz was perfect, if only because only the presence of Lovitz could ever make Dan Aykroyd seem hot! All in all, I thought this movie was simply highlarious! There's even a sassy, big-haired cameo by none other than the lovely Juliette Lewis! You've got big heads in the sky, sex jokes galore, the most mesmerizing make-out scene in the history of cinema, and a generally all-round good time.

Final Judgment: "'Advance and conquer,' sexy alien females of the Kim Basinger influence, if only so the Aykroyds of the world can dream on, dream on/extra-hot, extra-hair and extra-terrestrially awesome!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dark Star (1974)

After seeing Idle Hands, I never thought that this sentence would erupt from my mouth, but I think that Dark Star wins the award for most ridiculous stoner film/comedy ever! It's a heaping mound of absurdity, tied up with terrible effects, 70's hair, and the most apathetic actors I've ever seen. Clearly a masterpiece, this melancholic movie was written and directed by none other than the legendary John Carpenter (while he was in film school no less) and Dan O'Bannon (of Alien fame; in fact, the legendary "beach ball alien," who was launched to stardom after his 15 minutes of feature film fame in this piece of serious yet silly sci-fi cinema, actually served as the inspiration for the Alien movies = crazy!), and that is certainly saying something. The whole thing is the perfect picture of dark comedy with a riotous plotline of 4 dudes hanging out in space for 20+ years blowing up unstable planets; they slurp out of packages, they listen to interminable elevator music announced by a gorgeous and invisible female, and they're pretty much just totally insane. One character spends every minute up in a glass dome staring at the infinite abyss and mumbling about some mystical Phoenix Asteroids, which apparently not only exist, but are also prepared to whisk said loony off into their midst to travel the length of The Universe and contemplate on the glittering mysteries of life. A different dude actually surfs into a hostile atmosphere, and to his death, on a piece of exploded space ship after having a clearly convincing conversation with an elusively eloquent bomb about phenomenology. And one guy isn't even supposed to be there! Add in a dead commanding officer that can still chat it up in his frozen state, a sense of cabin fever that promotes playing with lasers and a prominently phenomenal scene that involves an organ/xylophone made of plastic containers and water, given due respect by the original electronic music composed by Carpenter himself, and you just may have the most awesome movie I've seen in a while. And so surprising! It came out before Star Wars for one and this undeniably gives a greater sense of appreciation for both films (the use of computer graphics in Dark Star is an accomplishment and awful at the same time [I felt like I was watching an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode the whole time!]; the music fares better in my opinion). And apparently it's confusing for the more modern, drug-free mind, because the VHS cover describes it as a "space parody" and "the ultimate cosmic comedy!," which I don't think give this juicy jewel justice. So what if their costumes are made of packing foam and muffin trays! All in all, I was unprepared for the movie magic that would unfold before me. It's so refreshing to see a concept creation instead of something more materialist! Hooray for free-thinking!

Final judgement: "Bring on the packing tape!: A gorgeously grim look at space travel, the future, hell and heaven all in one; with obvious Strangelove and "No Exit" overtones and a touch of all things glorious: Philip K Dick and Ray Bradbury!"

For an awesome site on atomic rockets....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Road to Wellville (1994)

Man, this movie is awwwkwward. Seriously. First of all, it's awkward that it had such an amazing cast (Matthew Broderick, Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, John Cusack and Dana Carvey) and crew (directed by Alan Parker who has also graced the world with Evita, Midnight Express, and Pink Floyd the Wall) and yet did so terribly in the box office (only $6.5 million! what, did they even let it into the theaters? oh wait....). It's also awkward because of its subject matter (albeit based on a true story), a matter which inevitably led to its panning by critics: shit, sex and cereal. If two of those three things don't sincerealy interest you, this may not be the movie for you. I have never heard so many references to scat nor seen so many pasty old man asses in my life. The same goes for the enema talk, testicle electrocution, sex with green people, and, of course, womb massages. All of these things and more (like cereal!) can be found in great abundance. There are also several pairs of tits [including some massive floaters from that "Practice" chick!]; clearly they were not going for general public acceptance. And you have to give them credit, right? I mean, how often does the movie industry take on a subject that absolutely no one wants to talk about (that being the health movement at the turn of the century [led by Mr. Kellogg himself] where sex, meat and masturbation were considered evil [man, the "proof" they show in this flick is outrageous] and 5 enemas a day was merely "satisfactory.")? Well, if this was some sort of tricky plan to collect money from vegetarians, fecal-philiacs or Cusack stalkers, they should have done their monetary research, because this one is a box office stinker! On the other hand, I find it genuinely hysterical. Everything from the boy-child rebellion to the absolutely taboo meaningless gratification (among other things). Also, Anthony Hopkins is so good, it's the stuff nightmares are made of! See below for a host of delightfully disgusting (and often defecation related) lines from the film. And, be sure to enjoy the oh-so-sanitary trailer.

I deem it: "Outrageously absurd and sure to make even your most raging hippie friends uncomfortable!/i.e. Sex and scat, my favorite combination!

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg: An erection is a flagpole on your grave.

Interviewer: Sir, how often should one evacuate one's bowels?
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg: One should never, ever, interrupt one's desire to defecate. I have inquired at the Bronx and London Zoos as to the daily bowel evacuations of primates. It is not once, twice, or three times, sir, but four. At the end of an average day, their cages are filled with a veritable mountain of natural health.

Charles Ossining: With friends like you, who needs enemas?

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg: My own stools, Sir, are gigantic and have no more odor than a hot biscuit.

William Lightbody: You were masturbating!
Dr. Lionel Badger: I was not! I was massaging my colon!
William Lightbody: Massaging your colon! I know where the colon is and it doesn't stick up in the air!

Eleanor Lightbody: I wanted to be more than a hole in the mattress that answers to a name.

William Lightbody: Oh, no, no, I can't eat fifteen gallons of yoghurt.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg: Oh, it's not going in that end, Mr. Lightbody.

Uncomfortable yet?
I found some of these still frames on a site called "bearotic" with the tag "chubby_fur." Gross!