Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)

Oh Elvira; I don't know if what you're doing is good or bad for the future of feminism, but it's certainly one thing: raunchy. Yes, this movie is clearly made for the kinks...with shiny bodies, endless sex jokes and the freedom of vaginal expression. And her tits! I had to wait until the VHS special features section after the movie to truly determine how she keeps those whoppas up. Yes it's with some secretly sexy under-wire and a whole of lot of gift from god. Can you believe she's almost 40 in this? Crank up the cougar factor! Basically, the whole movie is one long sexscapade with prudish puritans associating a free swinging cooch and nice tatas with being a wicked witch. Oh wait, she is a witch! Good call dudes! In fact, due to her sultry powers of seduction and literacy, Elvira manages to create love spells and animatronic casserole monsters all while wearing her classic Halloween goth get-up and 10lbs of hair. Even her pink mohawked poodle has tricks up his sleeve, transmogrifying into an actually scary dog instead of a little fuzzy that some dude in the Castro dressed up for the Folsom Street Fair. And that creepy Satan dude can totally breathe fire! Anyway, if this movie is about anything besides tits, it's the one-liners, the zingers, the digs, the blitzgriegs, the endless affronts. Yes, the jokes are good. Really in a sort of triumph of will, the movie ends with the highlight of life (at least for those small-town, big-dream, greasy thigh kinda fellas) for Elvira: her own Las Vegas show! Have you ever seen anything so expectedly out-of-control (besides Wong Foo of course)? I mean, oiled men, giant tarantulas, synchronized titty tassles, rapping and the ever misinterpreted...googly eyes? Wow, I've clearly been missing out on the finer points of American existence. Then again, if you can't float, you sink. And I wasn't born with the voluptuous buoys of some other dark-haired vixens. Just gotta keep treading water I guess!

Final Judgment: "'Unpleasant dreams' is right: I'll never eat hot dogs again!"

Chastity Pariah: I don't know who you are or where you came from but you most certainly don't fit in this town. Why, you don't even fit in that dress.
Elvira: Listen sister, if I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.

Elvira: Bloody Mary.
Bartender: No hard liquor served past eight o'clock. Do you want a virgin?
Elvira: Maybe, but, ah... I'll have a couple of drinks first.

Bob Redding: How's your head?
Elvira: I haven't had any complaints yet.

Chastity Pariah: Well, if she's morally unfit, then we have every right to do anything we can to get her out of this town. Are we agreed?
Mr. Clotter: I never laid a hand on those sheep, so help me.
Elvira: I have seen the People's Court. I'm entitled to one phone call and a strip search.

Cop: Do you know you were doing fifty in a twenty five miles per hour zone?
Elvira: No, but if you hum a few bars I'll fake it.

Elvira: And if they ever ask about me, tell them I was more than just a great set of boobs. I was also an incredible pair of legs. And tell them... tell them that I never turned down a friend. I... never turned down a stranger for that matter. And tell them... tell them that when all is said and done, I only ask that people remember me by two simple words.
[Stops to think]
Elvira: Any two, as long as they're simple.
[breaks down crying]

Chastity Pariah: Please, I don't think we need to resort to name calling. I think what Calvin is trying to say is that this Elvira is person of easy virtue, a purveyor of pulchritude, a one-woman Sodom and Gomorrah, if you will. A slimy, slithering succubus, a concubine, a street walker, a tramp, a slut, a cheap whore.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hellbound (1994)

Well yes sirree, I sure have wrangled myself a good one. That's right, here we have a rare and exotic species, endangered even, if only because some wackos have decided to stop giving Chuck Norris money to be in ridiculous action movies. Oh wait, that wacko is his brother! Talk about family strife! No seriously, there's no other way that this movie could have been created besides due to the combined powers (special rings and everything!) of the dastardly Norris brothers. This film also marks a sort of tribute. Yes, sad to say, but Hellbound is one of the last Cannon releases (so last that it's not even listed), and since almost every d-list Chuck Norris movie I have on my shelves erupted from the desperate minds of the dudes over at Cannon, I can honestly say I'm a bit torn up about it. This movie appears to be little known, and it's always sad when you're not the first name up on imdb despite the fact that you are the only exact title match; now that's discrimination. In other news, have you ever heard of a Norris supernatural thriller? And I thought I'd seen it all. But as so many fans seem to comment, it turns out Norris can kick anyone's ass, and that includes the big D, Dadd-io, "hope you've guessed my name," scene-stealing Satan. I guess I never should have doubted him. But no, this movie is seriously out of control. We seem to skyrocket from 12th century demon dinosaurs doing battle with Lionheart lads to early nineties Chicago/Israel where Norris and his partner meet up with only the most helpful of English-speaking street urchins, get the gal, and prepare themselves to do battle with the greatest evil of all time in an effort to save the Universe from the Apocalypse. Dayum, he's good. For me, the most hilarious part is not a grotesquely $1 applique finger-nailed Devil with crazy eyes and body parts that explode into a shower of blue sparks ripping people's clearly propped hearts out while making sure his hair remains tangle-free. No no, it's actually the fact that the film was put together in 91, but not released until 94, and let me tell you, fashion changed more than you'd think in those three few years. It's actually sad how hideous some of these outfits are. Aqua suits with high-neck black t-shirts? Cleopatra dreads? Talk about a second-rate MV wannabe! Oh well; I'm pretty much at the place where I'm not ashamed to say that Norris can do no wrong (at least on the screen [you fucking republican!]). And anytime the battle between good and evil goes beyond terrorism to the Big Bad and the supernatural suckers, I'm a much happier movie-goer. Keep on keeping on.

Final Judgment: "Norris in his most epic outfits fighting his most epic enemy!/The trailer takes me on a mystical journey through the low-budget nineties!/I don't understand what or why just happened, but I understand that I'll never be the same again!/Upon rewinding, our tape attempted to self-destruct!/Chuck Norris, you're my hodunk American hero!"

The best part may just be these extremely exclusive and oddly offensive copyright credits. Oh wait...maybe Israel is getting the better deal here?...Well, if there's a position opening for interstellar copyright law enforcement, sign me the fuck up.

Copyright Holder
© 1993 CANNON PICTURES, INC. and GLOBUS GROUP LTD. (copyright for the entire universe, excluding Israel; on print)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Next of Kin (1989)

Well, today is clearly a very sad day. I know that my movie collection will never sit on its shelves the same way again, and those of us who long for the rebirth of the 80's now know that we are too far gone to ever return to those days of sparkly glory. But let's not focus on the grim, unspeakable; instead, I have viewed and enjoyed this 1989 masterpiece, new to my brain but not to my shelves, and I have declared it amazing. I mean, come on: anytime Swayze's first line in a film is "like a junkyard dog," you know you're in for something smooth and spectacular. The greased back mullet ponytail was another indicator, and the beat-up, waist-less fedora and Southern twang just sealed the deal. It's a pretty simple story of angry cop + familial reinforcements go after the mob in a bloody Chicago war, but the hillbilly angle really adds something new and shiny. And that thing just happens to be a mountain militia with absurd amounts of random weapons and an arsenal of animal calls that not only serve as communication devices but acts of confusion. Did I mention the fiddle-playing? In the final showdown, they show a veritable assembly line of pb&j sandwiches and coffee in thermoses with the clear indication that they're off to war. We see shotguns, bows and arrows, rifles, crossbows, flying axes, flying knifes, and then there are the fists! So who's on each side of this classic battle of big families? Well, Swayze is the hero of course, with brothers Liam Neeson and Bill Paxton, and Helen Hunt by marriage. And they're facing off against none-other than Adam Baldwin and baby faced (yes, he's only 24 in this!) Ben Stiller. Wowzah! What a whoppa of a cast! There are also hounds and snakes, deer heads in fridges, leaps onto moving trains, pinball gags, the handcuffed destruction of a drum set, creepy pedophile laughs ("wanna play on the teeter-totter with me? he he"), the knowledge that this clearly happened before plucking eyebrows was popular (I'm looking at you Hunt), crazy bum ladies poking trash, of course, and Papa John and co. delivering pizzas. Too good my friends! Too fucking good! And while we can never reclaim what is lost, at least the period of 87-91, the ultimate pinnacle of Swayze's career in film, can still languish in original format in my dingy basement apartment. Now, that's love.

I deem it: "The penultimate of Country Justice!/Rocking music and righteous moves bring order to the land of Chicago crime!/Seriously, I want to go to Kentucky!/Patrick Swayze was born to play the leader of the Mountain Militia!/Nobody does it better.

RIP Patrick Swayze

"you don't mix rap and hum music, they're different flavors!"

For an equally awesome and seriously in-depth post on this fine flick, now with even more made-up words (did you know that was possible?), check out this crazy's site.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Erik the Viking (1989)

This flitty feature is an underappreciated gift from the lesser known of the Monty Python directors: yes, that other Terry, Terry Jones. I'm not going to sugarcoat it for you: this flick is pretty bizarre. It definitely has that Monty Python feel, but in a more subtly auspicious way that has you not quite sure if you're actually watching a comedy. Rest assured, it is a comedy. A black comedy, a UK comedy, but a comedy at that. I actually made a little cheat sheet so I could be sure and mention the most tickling of attributes from this delectably dark-chocolate delight. So here goes: a dragon with an angler lure and feather filled nostrils sneezes a Viking ship across space and time, a crazy shrivel faced ethnic woman warns of danger, a carved horn resounding causes damage to the drums, an Asian slave driver screams in stereotypes, atonal chords and banging machines make everything sound more exotic, the berserker is foaming at the mouth, and the ship falls off the edge of the world and plummets through space and stars to land in a world of blue sand where the gods are children with laser guns and you are greeted by zombies past. Is this the point where I a reassure you that this is a comedy again, and not some other-worldly psychedelic adventure? Oh wait, it's both! Yay! Apparently the director was completely unsatisfied with this drug-induced masterpiece, because he actually had his son re-edit it (taking out a full 25 minutes!) to try and make it better. I don't know about stealing pieces of a film, but I hope to darwin they got rid of those god-awful fade-to-blacks. What's up with those? They're the sure sign of a low-budget tv masterpiece, and I don't know why anyone would want to put Tim Robbins in such a limboingly low position. The superman music was also bizarre (at least when you consider the Vikings + Gods + cracking jokes angle). Over all, the movie may seem a little slow as you're enjoying it, but in hindsight all the skits are pretty hilarious and substantially wacky enough to make any Saturday night a bit hazy.

Final Judgment: "The sun rises after 1000 years on this golden gem of the geriatric periods!/The uglier, hairier little brother of the Monty Python greats!/Atonal music makes my toes tingle!/The quest for Angel Pussy always begins with Tim!

SLAVE-DRIVER (subtitled) Row!  You  incomprehensible,  horizontal-eyed,
Western trouser-wearers! Eurgh! You all look the same to me! How I
despise your lack of subtlety and your joined-up writing! You,
who have never committed ritual suicide in your lives!
SLAVE (whispering to his neighbour) You know, I don't think it would be so
bad, if we knew what he was saying...
SLAVE-DRIVER SILENCE! Unceremonious rice-pudding eaters! How I
abominate your milk-drinking and your lack of ancestor-worship and your
failure to eat your lunch out of little boxes!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Everything Else (August)

The Tesla Seal of Approval strikes again:

Jawbreaker (1999)

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quick Change (1990)

Apparently the Murray fever (and no, that's not just a different name for swine flu) has struck us, because we have been wolfing down his lesser known films like a hot sandwich on a cold day. Yes indeedy. And while this dastardly New York comedy is actually the only directorial debut to Murray's fine name, it's certainly no black spot. Either way it's clear: this has Murray prejack written all over it. The cast is really pretty top-notch, with Geena Davis, Phil Hartman, Randy Quaid, Tony Shaloub and others, a veritable dream team of second string singers in the funny house. Basically, the entire film revolves around a bank heist, executed with Murray in a clown costume of course, and the subsequent failure to get out of the city. The plot is really irrelevant, since we all know that the only reason we watched this film (and no, it's not for the oddly unclear cover art) is to see Bill Murray spout off a bunch of one-liners. And spout he does. He also managed to high-jack the plot in a delectably devilish way so that he has a reason to play different characters in different impromptu comedy situations. Is that a wagon bell I hear? All in all, he's quite hilarious. I could lose Quaid. Shaloub is confusing at best (is that Arab impression still PC?). And Davis is her constantly classy-sassy woman-self. It's certainly not the best of Murray's movies. But it's definitely good for a chuckle. And in these economic times...

Final Judgment: "Finally, I can feel good about rooting for the bad guys!/A whole lotta sass and just a touch of sassafras/More like Quick Change into Murray's pocket!/You show 'em Murray: classic means never going out of style!/Anything with a Monster Truck is fine by me!

And to see the real masters at work....