Thursday, June 30, 2011


So I spent this week really scouring for something amazing for Independence Day weekend, and I think I found just the thing. You will not be disappointed.

But enough of that, I want a little aside diatribe type-dealie here.

I write this blog for a reason. It's to get people to delve deeper into the movies I totally dig, yes, but really it all comes down the the "Garbage Day" clip from Silent Night, Deadly Night 2. Now, I find that hilarious, yes, but damnit, there is an entire movie that is just as ridiculous as that clip. Yet, the clip is all people know, and assume it has to be the best part of the movie. This also happens with covers to Silver Age comics a la superdickery.

It miffs me because people just accept those as the best that can come their source, and they are always dead wrong. Garbage Day is hilarious, but the build up to it is even more-so. Superman making Jimmy Olsen live in a slum is funny as hell, but the actual experiences Jimmy Olsen has in the slum are so misguided and out-of-touch that you will never stop laughing.

So, readers, I implore you: watch what I review. I may be a word wizard, but I cannot stress it enough that I will never be able to properly impart on you the sheer bliss that comes from watching these movies. They are joyous.

And now, to placate people who ain't wanna here me pontificate, here is a thing:


Sunday, June 26, 2011


Hard Rock Zombies is a movie that features a nonagenarian Adolph Hitler banging  a werewolf Eva Braun while his grandchildren, played by midgets, watch  at the behest of the lycanthrope that der Fuhrer be burying his bone in. One of the midgets wears a horrible mask that makes him look like a pink Toxic Avenger. The other looks like a tiny Nazi Nick Fury, complete with eyepatch.


Thank you and good night.

Nah, I'm just kidding. That isn't even the craziest thing that happens in this movie. I mean, it's in the top five, but there is just so much more. Let's explore, shall we?

It's...hard to describe just what exactly happens in Hard Rock Zombies. This is in no way a bad thing, mind you, it is just that the movie consistently gives up on following through with any plot line it introduces. I like to think of the script as that scene from The Simpsons, where Homer continuously falls down Springfield Gorge. It just keeps tumbling and tumbling and eventually it ends, only to have the hospital chopper pick him up and drop him again. It's quite the experience, and the movie is all the better for it.

So, the movie opens up with two  80's dinguses cruising around in their sweet ride, listening to generic hard rock. They pick up a leggy blonde who is dancing in the middle of the road. She kills the two dorks, while the aforementioned midgets and a dead-ringer for a bloated Ted Bundy watch. Bloated Ted Bundy even takes pictures.

But those guys are just dorks, and we don't care about them. All we get from this scene is some butt from leggy lady and midgets playing leapfrog. Under normal circumstances, this would be completely radical. However, in the world of Hard Rock Zombies, that shit ain't even cut the mustard; the tangy, insane mustard.

We then find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a pretty bitchin' rock show. And by pretty bitchin', I mean downright abysmal. There's like twelve people there, and they don't seem too interested. Then again, the music is pretty lame, so who can really blame them? We are introduced to Jessie and his band. They are not given names until they die, which is kind of a bum rap for an actor trying to make his big break. Then again, if you think your big break would come via a movie where zombies fight Hitler and your sole duty is to hit on ladies and pretend to know how to play the drums, clearly you need your head checked out.

After the show, we get to see all our rock and rollers in their skivvies. I swear there is one dude in the back wearing a sumo thong. Everyone else has undies tailored exclusively to enhance the package. Anyway, the band is apparently a huge hit, according to their manager. So much so, they got a gig in a shit town who's name I can never remember even after seeing this movie about a thousand times. At said gig, a record company bigwig will be scoping them out. In order to impress said executive, Jessie and the band need to take pictures with foxy groupies. Unfortunately, those are unavailable, so about seven haggard street-walkers and ex-porn stars will substitute.

Their manager lets the ladies of ill repute come swarming in and the band swiftly starts signing their womanly features. Jessie takes a break from the nonsense and runs into our heroine, Cassie. Cassie can't be any older than fifteen and has eyebrows that just don't quit. She warns Jessie not to come to her shit town, but Jessie pays no mind. He is smitten with this girl, and it's totally not creepy at all. It worked for Roman Polanski after all, right? Right? 

Fun fact - I originally said Jerry Lee Lewis but, man, even Jessie wouldn't marry his cousin. At least I hope not.

Completely ignoring Cassie's warning, because there would be no movie if he listened, Jessie and company, in their sweet van, make the trip to wherever it is that Cassie lives. Jessie hangs out in the back of the van playing a sweet bass-line that he found in a book. He explains to Incredibly Idiotic Band Member Number One that a book is a thing. After the wittiest of verbal sparrings, we learn that the book said the bass-line brings things back to life. Because, back in olden times, everyone played the bass. We also know it works because he keeps resurrecting a fly that lands on their dingus manager's neck. I can't imagine this becoming a plot point later.

During their journey to wherever, they run into none other than leggy blonde. She is not dancing this time, only hitchhiking. Incredibly Idiotic Band Member Number Two demands that they stop for our damsel in distress, so they do. She's all up in they junk and they drop her off at her mansion. We meet the midgets again, and bloated Ted Bundy makes his triumphant return. We are also introduced to a beefy dude who kills chickens, and a werewolf in a wheelchair with two switchblades. The werewolf doesn't get to meet the band, but man does she like showing off her sweet knives to the camera.

This is immediately followed by the first of about a billion montages. I'm not describing it. Not because I am lazy but because words don't do it justice. It is set to the hardest, rockingest song of all time.

Here it is:

See, you can tell that these dudes are cool because there is a skateboard involved. Skateboarding in the 80's instantly made you cool. Also, for a small town in the middle of nowhere in California, it is ridiculously diverse. More of how hilariously and impractically diversified this town is will follow later.

So, the montage ends, and our sweet band is taken to barn jail. Well, I guess it is supposed to be actual jail, but is very clearly a barn with bars on the windows. There is hay on the floor and pitchfork and everything. Thinking about it, this barn jail set-up does not seem wise for incarcerating prisoners. Especially if you leave deadly weapons just lying around.

We learn something important from barn jail, however. This town hates Rock and Roll more than the town in Footloose hated dancing. Also they love making ridiculous sex jokes for no good reason. Seriously, this town's population is equivalent to a giant walking erection at times - a giant walking erection complete with villagers from Hammer movies.

We also get to see Jessie take his love for Cassie to even more unclean levels. See, Cassie loves the rock and roll, or maybe just Jessie, but whatever, she totally gives him bail money. I am guessing this is money she made selling girl scout cookies. Jessie takes this opportunity to use the greatest pick-up line of all time on her:  "You're neat." He also begins to write a love ballad to her  on the spot and gaze longingly into her eyes. Still not creepy, though.

The band finds themselves bailed outta jail by the leggy blonde. While the rest of his band mates are suckin' in that sweet freedom air, Jessie takes the opportunity to once again hit on Cassie. We learn that her name is Cassie finally, so he can stop saying "hey girl" to get her attention, and he gives her a ring because, well, it is totally not creepy.

Leggy blonde takes the band back to her creepy mansion, we see another cutaway to wheelchair werewolf, and the band practices the totally not creepy love ballad to Cassie. An old German man with a Hussein mustache, along with his wheelchair-bound wife, and a beefy dude beheading chickens  watch the performance, and the band is electrocuted. That doesn't kill them though, because, the power of rocking cannot be stopped so easily.

We then get the creepy sex scene.

Meanwhile, Jessie is totally recording his sweet bass-line of the undead. We get further proof it works because he keeps killing and resurrecting a tarantula - the deadliest of spiders. After that is finished, we are given the pleasure of hilariously poorly done homages to such death scenes as the ones in Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and that one movie where a werewolf with switchblades kills two dudes. In short,  the band is murdered hard. But at least we gets to see leggy blonde completely nude. All of this, of course, is done in the form of a montage.

Fortunately, Jessie slipped Cassie the recording of the zombie making bass-line. This will be important later. But first, dork manager sits at dinner with the German dude and his family, where he reveals he is Hitler. He does this by taking off his mask to show that he is not an old German man with a full mustache, but instead an inexplicably middle-aged Adolph Hitler. Apparently, he was hiding out in California all this time, waiting for his time to strike. Hitler gives a huge speech and tries to hire the dingus manager, and even shows him his gas chamber. Yes, you read that correctly.

Cassie uses the recording of the bass-line, which is now, unexplainedly, a complete song to resurrect Jessie and company. They come back as angry, rejected members of Kiss and straight up murder Hitler and his backwards family, creating a zombie epidemic. But they ain't give a shit about that. That zombie band has a concert to put on.

Zombies wreak havoc on the shit town, and we get a bunch of side-plots including:

- a woman carrying around the severed head of her boyfriend, telling it how much she loves it
- a nazi midget zombie riding a cow
- several old, Eastern European men describing awful ways to fight zombies and changing their "V"s to "W"s
- the other midget eating himself. This is actually a plot-line. They cut-away numerous times to see the progress he is making in devouring himself.

While that is going on, we see the second performance of Jessie's creepy love song to Cassie, complete with a video that takes the pedophilia to all new heights. We also get to see them perform every song we've heard in the move thus far.

You know what? I think I am going to stop with the plot now. The movie goes so completely absurd that describing anything further would ruin the quizzical looks and belly-laughs that would follow afterwards. There is a specific point, and I am not telling you which one it is, where the movie just straight up shrugs it shoulders and proceed to stop giving an iota of a fuck. And believe me, it is glorious.

At this point, I kind of pick out specific technical or plot-related problems and tear into them like a vulture into carrion. I just can't do it with this movie, because not a single thing makes sense. Not a single thing is done adequately. And, man, there is an entire sub-plot based on pedophilia.  I just can't pick and choose a single thing that stands out as being exceptionally ridiculous, as everything is exceptionally ridiculous. There can be no nitpicking, as this is a movie comprised entirely of nits.

What makes this one of my favorite movies is that you can barely breathe through the laughter. When it tries to be serious, poorly, you laugh. When it tries to be horrifying, you laugh. When it crosses way over the line with pedophilia, you feel guilty, but you laugh. It even dabbles in comedy, poorly, and you still laugh. It is "I'm laughing at you, not with you" in movie form. It is funny sober. It is funny drunk. It is funny alone, with a crowd, or when you are only half-paying attention. There is not a single portion of the movie where you can't find something so ludicrous that a guffaw is the only response. It's as magic as the resurrection bass-line.

I love this movie. It is unashamedly, unabashedly, and unflinchingly stupid, inept, and downright hilarious on every conceivable level, and even on some levels you could never even dream of. If half the things in this movie were intentional, than everyone involved is a downright genius. Of course, that is highly doubtful. None of the glorious chaos and creepy pedophilia could have been planned. I just can't accept that.

Oh and that ballad I mentioned? You know, the love ballad to the girl that can't be older than fourteen?

Yeah, here it is.

Skeeved out yet?

Just remember that is the second performance. Good ol' Jessie really wanted to hammer it into your head how much he wants to hammer that under-aged 'tang.

And you thought 95 year-old Hitler was a deviant.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Thursday isn't the middle of the week, but it seems like it will be the standard day for mid-week content. You know, when I actually remember to do it. Or have the energy to. Or feel like it.

Having a job to pay all them bills sure does cut into my time talking about campy movies, but alas, I sure do like eating steak and drinking beer and also having a roof over my head. So, I begrudgingly accept my paycheck masters.That is, until you mooks start paying me for the little glimpses of nirvana I let'cha peek at via my brain waves and the information superhighway.

Well, this post got off-topic at record speeds.

This mid-week, I am going to give you a taste of one of my other loves: kitchy, overly dramatic covers of songs that never really needed to be covered in the first place. I know; talk about niche. These campy cover songs are usually found in heavy metal, and judging from my entries, you can tell that is a genre of music I sure love dipping my feet into. I don't plan on ever stopping, either, so you can just deal with it. In fact, I am plunging in deep again this Sunday.

But, I digress.

On the chopping block today is Johnny B. Goode by Judas Priest. You can listen to it here:

I love this song. Somehow, it took a down and dirty little ditty that made the 50's fear a time displaced McFly and turned it into an epic. The rather boring story of Mr. B. Goode becomes the headbanging Odyssey. The Aquanet Iliad. The leather-studded Beowulf. The something something Bhagavad Gita.

Yeah, I'm bored with those analogies too.

It is obscenely over-produced, they actually make the song twice its usual length, and have a chanting chorus in the background. It slides in perfectly in a mix-tape that starts off with Rock You Like a Hurricane and also ends with Rock You Like a Hurricane, because, well the bitch is hungry and it needs to kill. Also, that song rules.

Also there's the simple fact it is Judas Priest covering Chuck Berry. There is something about this that does not quite compute. I am not knocking either of them, but it just don't make a lick of sense. Then again, most of what Judas Priest did in the 80's didn't make a lick of sense.

I am not giving you the requisite Turbo joke here. I am above that.

Really, I could go on and on about how farcical this cover is. I could dissect every little nuance that makes it completely over the top. But I'm not going to. Just listen. For once, hearing is believing.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I have been staring at a blank page with that movie poster for over an hour now. Words are fleeing my head in droves as I try to communicate the sheer madness I just witnessed. I know I absolutely loved Nemesis -- that much is certain. I know that it somehow spawned three sequels. I know there are plans to re-release it with new, state of the art special effects. These are the things I know. But, goddamn this movie. Goddamn, this movie. That is all I got swirling around my mind.

I am really tempted to just end this post right there. Maybe throw in a "see this movie right now" at the end.  However, I don't know if it's the fact that my cognitive faculties are fried from Nemesis or the fact that I am incredibly lazy. And, come on, you know I gotta spray words on the internet so people will like me. It is an addiction.

Nemesis is about a cyborg cop from the future who stops being a cyborg cop and dicks around as a terrorist but then gets pulled back into being a cop but then becomes a terrorist again but not really a terrorist because the cops are evil and well, not really, just cyborgs who are trying to replace humanity for some reason are evil so the cyborg terrorist cop becomes a cyborg vigilante.

Yes, that is the simplest way to describe the plot. The run-on sentence is intentional because this movie switches up what it is about every ten minutes. I like to think, at one point, there was this coherent vision of a movie that actually made sense, but the director had the attention span of a gnat in heat and just decided to do whatever.I know I usually say that the plot doesn't matter in my other reviews, but in this movie, in the context of the story itself, that is absolutely true. This movie ain't give a flying fuck what it's about, it just wants to throw whatever it can against the wall and see what sticks. You could be watching this movie, walk away, then come back a half hour later and think you are watching an entirely different movie. It is gloriously inept. So, in lieu of giving you a plot description from point A to point B, I am just gonna talk about what happens in  various chunks of this movie.

The flick opens with our hero, Alex, as a pretty sweet cyborg cop. He is played by Olivier Grunner, who's accent puts Van-Damme and Schwarzenegger to shame. It is downright indecipherable at times, and that adds to the charm, especially later on. Anyway, Alex looks like he is about to get it on with a foxy lady, but it turns out she is a criminal! And if there is one thing cyborg cop Alex hates, it's criminals. We know this because he spews out hilariously stilted one-liners such as "See? Laundering data can be dangerous. You break the law, you go to hell!" After that gem, a huge gunfight breaks out, and Alex fights more cyborg terrorists and rescues a puppy.  He gets shot to pieces and has little metal bits sticking out while a lady terrorist keeps shooting like 3 inches to the left of him. He also gets scolded for being more machine than man by this lady, which, in retrospect, is stupid. He takes her down and all is right in the world.

The movie then jumps to six months later, and Alex is running in the desert with his fully grown puppy. That desert is also in Mexico, so he hangs out in a Mexican bar and shoots more terrorists only to find out it was a training exercise by the LAPD. We find this out because he is greeted by some foxy ladies, who also happen to be cyborgs. They say he totally passed the test, so, naturally he quits being a cop. Apparently, all the murdering of cyborgs has grown him a conscience. Also that scolding he got six months ago started sinking in.  We know this because the sultry noir narrator tells us this.

Did I mention this is the second movie in two days with a ridiculous narrator? Maybe I should have. This time the narrator is a foxy lady we don't meet until this scene and don't see again until about an hour in the film. Yet she still knows everything about Alex.

The two cop cyborgs take umbrage with Alex leaving. The dog takes umbrage with them being pretty awful human beings. Or cyborgs. Whatever.  So, they kill his dog. You almost thought they were going to be a team didn't you? Maybe the cyborg would learn what it is to be human by having a dog. Nope. Not in this movie. Fuck that dog.

The movie then jumps a year later, and Alex is now a cyborg terrorist. Well, really more of a smuggler, but he is smuggling for terrorists! We find out he is such a loose cannon, again through our narrator, that all his deals usually end up with people dead. Truly he is too radical. His latest deal has something to do with Japan and America and who cares, it ends up with him being shot when a cyborg's head splits open, revealing the first of many ridiculous concealed weapons in this movie.

So, Alex is captured and grows sweet Rambo hair. And it turns out that he had a bomb grafted to his heart, and is berated by a parade of accents from many lands to convince him to track down terrorists again. They want him for it, because, hey remember that narrator and one of the cyborg ladies we saw earlier that was gung ho about Alex being a cop? Turns out she was his ex-girlfriend and is now a terrorist! So, Alex has three days to track her down and stop her before he explodes. It is never said that they will stop him from exploding if he will, just that, at some point, he is going to explode. Really, explode is the key word to take from this whole bit, because man does this movie love to blow things up.

If I am being vague in describing things as they happened, I am just trying to mimic how nonsensical and out-of-left-field the entire movie is. I am trying to drag you, the reader, into this tangled, moronic web that is the plot of Nemesis. I can't simulate the viewing experience, but I can make you just as confused as I was watching it.

Somehow, in defiance of the altar of logic, the movie finds a way to go off the rails at this point. Alex fights thugs in the streets, befriends a Hawaiian mob, is stalked by a lady in a bikini, and then saves the world. Or something. Honestly, if your brain hasn't glazed over at this point, you are more machine than man. And for that, this movie hates you.

I have to lay off the plot at this point. I don't want to discourage anyone from seeing this by making it sound terrible. I mean, the script is god awful, there is no denying that, but that is what makes this movie so damn watchable. The script is an afterthought. The enjoyment that comes from this movie is not even remotely tied into the story. It is all about how insane any sequence can be at any given time. The plot is just molded around this mantra.

What makes Nemesis special is that it is sensational fireworks display of missed opportunities. Every time you think something could remotely matter or contribute to the momentum of the movie, it is taken out back and shot. Much like the dog. This movie just steadfastly refuses to have anything make sense. And if a beat happens to have an iota of coherency? Well, fuck you, we gon' nip this in the bud. It is astounding at how many squandered opportunities for depth this movie jettisons for a chance to see something else blown up.

And, explosions, my friend, are everywhere in this movie.

Seriously, every set that Alex leaves explodes. Anytime an action sequence ends, there is an explosion. When the main villain dies, he inexplicably explodes. Hell, half the guns in the movie shoot explosions.  If you even bat an eye, and start to zone out of this movie, which you shouldn't, never you fear, an explosion will come along to drag you back in. Nemesis is a cavalcade of unnecessary and illogical explosions, and it is all the better for it. In all my life, I have never seen such wanton use of explosions, and, coming from a dude who has seen pretty much every action movie ever made, that is something.

Most of what makes this movie downright watchable is its unpredictability. Now, not being predictable is an asset to a taut thriller with twists and turns masterfully woven into the fabric of the story. Keeping the audience on its toes is tantamount to a murder mystery or a gripping plunge into international espionage. However, though you won't know what's coming next, it is still vital that what does happen next makes sense. In Nemesis, however, making sense is the last thing the plot is concerned with. It is just unpredictable for the sake of being unpredictable. It is almost a fever dream of twists that don't make a lick of sense but just explain why Alex isn't shooting the character he is talking to.

Okay, let me take a brief pause and talk about the gunplay in this movie. First of all, none of the guns makes realistic sounds, nor do the bullets fed into the guns do what a bullet should do. Secondly, The villains in this movie make Cobra from the old G.I. Joe cartoons look like crack snipers. There is a scene where the bad guy is no more than five feet from Alex, with a sub-machine gun, yet still manages to miss him completely. Not a single bullet fired from the entire clip hits him. Just like earlier in the movie, they all kinda hit slightly to the left of him.

Then, there's the scenes that make no sense even to the standards of this movie. I am not gonna list them all, as it spoils the surprise, but there's one I just gotta mention. There's a part, later in the movie, where an old lady is just kinda strolling along, and one of the evil cyborg cops is walking behind her. This old bitty pulls a .45 from her purse and fills that cyborg full of lead, all spouting nonsense about how cyborgs are evil. It comes completely out of left field, but then again, every beat in this movie comes completely out of left field.

But the real hilarity is in the feeble attempts this movie makes at depth. The message, if there is one, is that cyborgs are people too. However, the way this is rammed down the throats of the viewers is so profoundly incompetent, that you will burst out laughing every time it is mentioned. It is like a sixteen-year-old pyromaniac watched Blade Runner once and, by the fickle winds of fate, got to make a movie. And man, Blade Runner was so deep but there weren't enough gunfights or things on fire for it to really matter. That is the impression you get whenever the fumbled subtext oozes out like pus from an infected wound. Though I guess it isn't exactly subtext since it is all announced in dialogue like it ain't no big thing and people naturally talk like this.

I could expand on every single point I have made already and fill volumes on why Nemesis is one of the most preposterous and farcically insane movies ever made. Those words I mentioned earlier? The ones that were fleeing? Well, they all came flooding back in the second I started typing. I guess that is the power that Nemesis has. You think you have no idea how to describe what you saw, but the second you start, you want to extoll its absurd gospel until you are blue in the face and every word in the English language has been exhausted. But, deep down you will know you didn't even remotely do it justice.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I apologize for giving you nothing on Wednesday or Thursday this week. I had a string of ridiculously bad luck, so, to make up for it, I will give you a review both today and tomorrow. I promise they will both be aces. I couldn't let such a handsome audience like you feel cheated now, could I?

Okay, enough sucking up to my tens of readers, let's get this show on a roll.

The movie opens way back in samurai times. I say way back in samurai times because they never decide just how long he has been gone. Poster says a hundred years. Flashback says 500 years. Evil dickbag says 1,000 years. The point is, he was frozen before Crystal Pepsi was ever a thing.

Anyway, way back in samurai times, our main man, Yoshi, is straight up schooling some fools for stealing his woman. However, he falls for a dubious trick, his lady gets stabbed, and he falls into freezing waters to never be seen again. I mean, until some sweet 80's scientist decide to bring him back to life for absolutely no reason. Well, unless you count "because the script said to" as a reason.

Yoshi is brought back to life and quickly befriends our narrator/protagonist/eye candy, Chris. She's an expert on ancient Oriental culture. We would only know this because she tells us. She exhibits no knowledge of the subject, admits to not speaking much Japanese, and has to ask an antiques dealer about pretty much everything. I guess being an expert means knowing how to say sake and having sushi this one time when you were in college and experimenting. 

Just so you know, I am offering my expertise in ancient Egyptian culture for a small fee. My credentials? I seen, like, fifty mummy movies and this one documentary about how aliens built the pyramids.  Also I know how to dance to that one Bangles song. Hire me.

So, Chris and Yoshi hit it off, but Yoshi straight up despises Chris' boss. Probably because he turns out to be an evil dickbag. Chris is even dumb enough to give the confused killing machine who is frightened and trapped in a hospital his swords. Surely nothing can go wrong. Plus, now they can be the best of buds, and Yoshi can pretend Chris is his dead wife in creepy, pointless flashbacks.

About ten minutes, later, something goes wrong. A stupid janitor tries to steal Yoshi's swords. It doesn't go well, what with Yoshi spreading his stomach open wide with his sweet sword. He uses his newly butterflied captor as a means to escape, where he roams the streets killing no-good punks and also befriending a war veteran who apologizes for WWII.

Surprisingly, the cops take notice to a dude in Samurai gear slicing and dicing people left and right, so they are out to get him. Chris' boss ain't wanna take the rap for bringing a murderer back to life, so he ends up trying to snatch him up before the cops do. Chris totally digs Yoshi and doesn't want to see him dead, so she ends up looking for him. The leader of the no-good punks he killed wants revenge, so he wants to track him down and get said revenge. And thus, the never-ending parade of people trying to find a Samurai, in broad daylight, in the middle of an incredibly deserted Los Angeles begins. And abruptly ends when they all find him at once in what has to be the stupidest third act of all time.

What really makes Ghost Warrior special is that it sneaks up on you. It gets started rather slowly, and the opening showdown is actually kinda well done. Sure, it reeks of low-budget 80's action, but low-budget 80's action is always a nice pick-me-up on a boring Saturday afternoon. Then you hear Chris start narrating, and notice she has a strange inability to emote. Then you see her act, and realize she is just a bunch of goofy facial expressions with no rhyme or reason to how they are applied to the words she is saying; words she is saying poorly, mind you. Then  you go through the bonding sequence and it's like a really crappy The King and I. Then, once the fish-out-of water jokes get staler than the air in Al Capone's vault, the janitor turns out to be a street tough who attacks a trained samurai warrior with an IV pole, thinking this will be a good idea. Then, after Yoshi escapes, it turns into a low-rent Death Wish 3 with a samurai, and you have no idea how it got to this point. However, somehow, you are completely sold on the absurdity that everything that happens next just feels like the only thing that could, nay, should possibly happen. It really is a strange experience. But, I think I am getting ahead of myself.

I have to elaborate more on Chris. I cannot possibly, with my feeble grasp of the English language, even begin to describe to you just how stunningly terrible she is as a narrator, character, actress, and believable human being. As a narrator, she just tells you about mundane things as they happen, in voiceover. What makes it hilarious is there is no real consistency as to when she is gonna pop up and tell you about things you already know are happening, nor is there ever any real need. It almost feels like she was contractually obligated to have x lines of dialogue, and rather than have her fumble up a few lines talking to real people, they had her narrate. As a character, she is even more hilarious. Like I said, she's supposed to be an expert on Asian heritage or some such hogwash, but she ain't know shit other than "samurai like to have their swords" and "japanese people eat rice and drink sake." That is her big, scientific contribution to the big, scientific project of "bring back a dead guy for no discernible reason." The fact that she is also a terrible actress and does not appear to be a real human being are just the icing on the cake.

Her boss isn't any better, either. He's just a dude who becomes the villain because, hey, this movie needs a villain. He actually seems like a pretty righteous dude in the beginning, then an hour later he's trying to inject an air bubble into Yoshi's arm because, fuck, he's too pretty for jail. Furthermore, he's only the villain because the cops are woefully ineffective. They make this huge stink about the police being hot on Yoshi's trail, yet they always show up like 3 months after Yoshi done did anything. Yoshi could hop on one foot backwards the entire movie, and still be several thousand steps ahead of these blundering Keystone Kops. These are vigilante movie level cops, and it is just gut-busting how seriously everyone seems to take them.

The acting not withstanding, what really makes this movie shine is the fact, though I describe it as having one, Ghost Warrior gives up on having a plot, oh, about five minutes in. Then, it is just a bunch of things that happen. There is no solid reason for any of the events in this movie to transpire and logic straight up commits harakiri, yet the film still rolls along like this is perfectly natural. All of these things totally are happening, and you are a fool if you try to figure out why.

There's also the fact that it is so incredibly 1980's it  almost feels like it was dated the second the film was in the can. You got your "lasers can do anything" sequence, your ridiculously over-the-top street gang, and, of course, your straight up tacky clothing. Hell, you know it is the 80's when making a W.A.S.P. reference is actually acceptable, let alone play one of their videos for longer than anyone should ever have to witness. Especially a time displaced samurai warrior. He just ain't got the coping skills hardwired in his skull to deal with Blackie Lawless. Then again, who really does?

But really,  it's the little touches, the little splashes of incompetence or just plain bad decisions, that really elevate this movie above the usual tripe. There are absolutely no subtitles in the movie, which is jarring since the first ten minutes are in Japanese. In fact, the first English we hear is Chris' first stupid narration. It almost gives you the impression that nothing before our lead moron's introduction really matters Even the fact that no one can understand what the hell Yoshi is saying is never really an issue. Sure, it's brought up constantly, but, oh well, maybe if I say English to him really loudly he will get it.

Then there's the entire revival sequence. It starts off with this huge high-tech array of lasers and smoke machines, then it turns into just straight up surgery, completely with grainy, indecipherable medical film cut-aways to show that this is serious medicine. It doesn't help that, though Chris hasn't talked yet, she is intently watching the surgery, complete with downright asinine facial expressions. They are a sight to behold.

However, my personal favorite flourish is the entire sequence where Chris's boss finally recaptures Yoshi, where in we learn that Chris has no idea what a tazer does. Nor does the filmmaker. Yoshi's lack of knowledge of the subject, however, is forgivable. But the real treat comes with the antiques dealer's call to the police. It is downright hilarious, as it not only shows he has a profound overestimation of what the cops know about what exactly is happening in this movie, but it also further illustrates just how incompetent they are. I am not going to spoil it for you, as it is so off the wall you need to witness it for yourself.

Ghost Warrior is a movie that I have seen playing for years on any fledgling network in dire need of content. I really can't explain what exactly its staying power is. It's that kind of movie that could easily fill the gap between 3 and 5 AM where you really don't wanna have to shell out for various reruns of Law & Order or NCIS. It's the kind of movie you only ever pay mind to or watch when there is literally nothing else on television and you really don't feel like doing anything else. It is also the kind of movie you thank your sedentary lifestyle for introducing you to.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


This, quite frankly, is my favorite slasher movie of all time. While I have an unhealthy obsession with Jason Voorhees, and I can't get enough of April Fool's Day and all its shenanigans, this movie right here will forever rise above them all. It not only basks in all the deliciously predictable tropes that the slasher movie revels in, it throws them all at your face in a constant, absurd barrage; an inept, constant, absurd barrage to boot. If for a brief moment you forget that this is gleefully by the numbers or might actually do something different, it throws another stereotype right at you just to shut you up. Your brain is not allowed to criticize the nonsense, it is forced to shut down and revel in it. And that, my friends, is the beauty of Slaughter High. 

Let's dig in, shall we?

Slaughter High is the story of Marty. He is the biggest nerd ever captured on film. He out-Urkels Urkel, he makes Lewis and Gilbert look like the party kings of Delta Tau Chi, and has less sex appeal than George McFly at his worst. Hell, he even makes Egon Spengler's hobbies look interesting. Point is, Marty's entire existence is to be a ludicrous stereotype. The other point is I wanted to see how many references to other characters I could make until I got bored.

Now, Marty is kind of gullible, so a 36-year-old Caroline Munroe and her other absurdly aged co-stars, playing high school students, decide to torture him because it is April Fool's Day. I know in the 80's they usually got older people to play high school students, but half the characters look like they've been chain-smoking and drinking away their second failed marriage. Furthermore, these future victims, are, quite frankly, the most hilariously evil cannon fodder to grace the slasher genre. Usually, there is one or two people you can feel bad for in the group. Like wheelchair guy in Friday the 13th Part 2.  Not in this gang though, no sir. It would not be out of place for them all to have mustaches and to be twirling them constantly. I half expected them to tie Marty to some railroad tracks.

What they do do  to the little pipsqueak is much, much more ridiculous.

Caroline Munroe takes Marty into the forbidden GIRL'S LOCKER ROOM, convincing him that she totally wants to hop his boner. Marty, being a nerd who will never get laid, cheerfully goes along. As Marty is undressing, the horde of jerks come into said locker room. They set up a camera, get a big stick to poke him with, and electrify the towel rack. And, in all his splendor, Marty pops out to be poked with a sharp stick, electrocuted, and given a swirly. All while he is completely, utterly, and spectacularly nude.

That's right, folks; the first bit of nudity in this film is some wang, and boy does it flop around but good. There is something inherently hilarious about an unattractive dude naked, and boy does Slaughter High deliver.

Naturally, the gang gets caught by a coach who couldn't give two shits about Marty, but really likes punishing jerks, and they blame them getting in trouble for torturing Marty on Marty, so they torture him even more. Yeah, that sentence gives me a headache, too.

The vile pranksters get detention, which means doing the least convincing push-ups ever and kinda dicking around with weights, while Marty, again being a nerd, has to do science stuff in the chemistry lab. Two of the gang sneak off and give him a "joint" which is filled with something that explodes and makes Marty run off and vomit.

Did I mention that it is also his birthday? I feel as though I should mention this. It just makes everything they do to him so much more awful.

While Marty is vomiting, one of the dudes tricks the gym coach into letting him out of detention and sneaks into the chemistry lab. He pours some stuff into whatever dorky science thing Marty was working on that makes it fizz. Naturally, that fizzing turns into an explosion, and Marty gets horribly burned. Also, acid splashes into his face. Because, really, fire is just a nuisance, but nitric acid, well, that's the stuff that'll really disfigure a dude.

Anyway, turns out this is all just Caroline Munroe dreaming about the past, and we flash forward to the present, where everyone is closer to their proper age. Also, none of them got in trouble for almost murdering Marty. No jury will convict the cool kids for maiming a nerd. So, Caroline Munroe takes the least convincing shower ever (yes, the film makers could not make a shower convincing), and meets the old gang at the high school for a class reunion. Only it really isn't a class reunion, it's just Marty setting them all up to be murdered. He wants, revenge, see. I can't quite imagine why.

So, Marty starts murdering them, and every time you try to feel bad for them, one of the characters will continue to be an awful human being, and you are convinced that Marty is doing the right thing. All of the murders are hokey as all get out, and rely on sheer luck. Seriously, these idiots just straight up set themselves up to be made deceased. More so than a usual slasher.

And then, much like Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare, the ending is so absurdly moronic, I cannot talk about it. It raises way too many questions about how anything we just saw mattered. Or happened.

Needless to say, it is delightful. But I don't give a damn about what is needless, so I said it.

I know I have talked much more about the plot than I usually do, but I feel it is important for all you all to know all that stuff I mentioned in detail? Yeah, it happens in the first twenty minutes. Marty gets tortured continuously for no good reason. It just doesn't stop for the puny dork. The movie is constantly hammering it into you that hey, you should feel bad for Marty. You really should. Then, when everyone starts getting murdered , you are asked to feel bad for the gang, but especially Caroline Munroe,  but that dang broad started this whole mess. How'm I gonna feel bad for a harpy that makes me dangle my junk in front of some bullies? It's just not right.

That's just a sample of what makes this movie so enjoyable -- its just spectacularly insane. Not only is there gratuitous bullying, and the most inane reasons for nudity I have seen in quite a while, everything is just ratcheted way past the normal levels of insanity you'd expect from a slasher flick. Half the deaths are caused because Marty is a psychic MacGyver. He can poison the exact beer you are going to drink and also be outside waiting for you to get in a car. He can even set up a giant poster of himself in the most hilarious pose possible, just so he can jump out of it at the exact moment and murder you but quick. Even the theme song is just plain ridiculous.

Here, listen:

Not only do you hear this version throughout the film at, oh, say five minute intervals, but you also get to hear orchestral variations on it. Because really, when I think of what a bunch of trained, classical musicians should be doing, recording sweeping versions of slasher movie theme songs is the top of my list. You just know you wanna hear a string quartet do a lilting version of Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah.

Theme song aside, a monumental reason Slaughter High is great is the fact that it just feels like no one really cared about consistency. They introduce a character during the reunion that we have never seen before, and just pretend she was always there. You just know they added her last minute because their breast quota just wasn't up to par, and Caroline Munroe never took her top off.  They complain about the high school being locked up and abandoned, only to go through the first door they see like it was no big thing. Seriously, right before everyone piles in the door, they are bemoaning the fact that they will never get in. Then it starts raining and they all go to through the door. I guess lightning opens locks. And that's just from the first thirty minutes. Trust me, more of them pop up in hilarious ways, and all these inconsistencies and oversights just make the film more enjoyable.

Speaking of inconsistencies, let's not forget the layout of the school. It is literally a mix between a Gothic mansion, a farmhouse, and a high school from the 1950's. It features such things as a gigantic master bedroom, a barn with a tractor, locker rooms complete with bathtubs, rooms that are nothing but  red velvet couches and a window, a gigantic auditorium, and, my favorite: a sweet party room that looks like the basement of a church where you go for AA or Cub Scout meetings. Every time the characters go to a new location, it feels like they have gone to an entirely different building. I really want to see the blueprints of the building, because I would not be surprised to find a ball pit, the Bat Cave, and a grand dining hall all just off to that one corner they didn't turn.

But, the real stars of this movie, shockingly, are the victims. I mean, Marty was played to the nerd extreme in the beginning, but the people getting knocked off are hilarious. Yes, they are all stereotypes. I will refer to them as their stereotypes, because it is easier than remembering their boring, common names. You got the dumb jock, the busty blonde vixen, the wise cracker, the shrieking girl who always says something negative will happen, Caroline Munroe (She pretty much plays herself in every movie. Acting range was not exactly her bag, more so the promise of breasts you will never see.), the blonde vixen's mechanic husband, and cannon fodder with no personality. Oh, and Caroline Munroe's sister who literally drives up to the high school only to die immediately. Okay, so maybe they aren't all normal stereotypes as only half of them even have personalities. I guess being a red shirt counts as a stereotype? 

What makes them fun to watch is that they are just so colossally stupid. You mix that with the fact that they are also straight up dicks, and something magic happens. You sit there watching them waffle between being scared stupid victims and outright pricks to each other and Marty for no good reason, and you have to wonder: what am I supposed to be feeling right now?

Let me give you an example:

A bunch of people have been killed, including the chick that showed up out of nowhere and was suddenly their best friend. Everyone is scared and huddled together. So, out of the blue, the busty blonde vixen takes the dumb jock up to the master bedroom. Mind you, she is married to another character who is busy trying to save their lives, and she tells him she ain't dig on her husband as much as she digs on him. Furthermore, she proceeds to try to have sex with him by telling him that he, not her husband, is the father of her child. And even further, when he fails to please her the first time, she starts demeaning him and calling him gay. Of course, they get murdered during round two when he gives her a proper poundin'

I want to remind you that no more than ten minutes earlier, we are supposed to kinda feel sorry for her. Yeah, I don't get it either.

But, like I said, that is the magic of Slaughter High. It indeed makes your brain shut off, probably due to the massive frustration caused by all this bullshit, but also because your face is too busy cramping from the gigantic grin its got planted on it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I was going to have a long post here.

I really was.

Such topics to be discussed was a possible side-project within the blog wherein I drink lots of beer and watch Michael Dudikov's television opus Cobra, but I couldn't figure out if it would be funnier to watch the whole series straight through, pausing in between episodes to give my thoughts, or to make it a secondary feature of this fledgling smattering of the things I dig. In the end, however, I realized that talking about a non-Stallone Cobra just seemed, well, dirty.

I also debated doing a tribute/defense of the works of the great American thespian, one Nicolas Cage. But, I realized that anyone with taste knows that it would be a pointless endeavor. His filmography tells the tale better than any words I can throw at this computer screen.

So, I have no mid-week content.

And, yes, Thursday at 11:30 PM counts as mid-week to me, so shut up.

Instead, I leave you with this:

The Ghoulies 3 trailer in Spanish


Somehow, it is even more enjoyable if you have no idea what they are saying. Plus, a Spanish-speaking crusty dean will always be pretty boss. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011


This is a movie where Christopher Walken and a couple of buddies decide to lead an army to take over Columbia because one of said buddies was killed and Maria Conchita Alonso asked them to. I feel like I could just stop right here and that would be enough for anyone sane to need to see this movie. Alas, I am too in love with writing way too much about movies only three people saw to do this. But, I guess, that's why the two dudes following this blog keep coming back.

That and I pay them to.

But hey, let's delve deeper into the world of McBain, which is pretty much exactly what you think it is: a Simpsons joke filmed, only instead of Ranier Wolfcastle, they hired Chris Walken. I feel as this is a suitable replacement, and after watching the movie, you will too.

The flick starts with the Vietnam War. As this is an action movie following the 80's template, all things come back to trying to re-win this war. It is a thing 80's action movies love. They want a dang do-over, and if the real troops won't do it, why not send in Sly Stallone or Chuck Norris? They know how to do it. They get results.

McBain is a POW, and even though the war is declared over, some soldiers who love America swoop down and rescue him from the cage where he is kung-fu fighting a buff as hell Vietnamese guy. Yes, you read that correctly. Within ten minutes, you see the guy from The Dead Zone kung fu fight. Also, you get to see Michael Ironside with sweet 70's mutton-chop sideburns. I feel that these two things alone are reasons to see the movie. But, I digress.

So, McBain gets rescued by a Latin dude named Santos and his unit and owes him a favor for doing this. To make it symbolic, for some reason, Santos rips a hundred dollar bill in half. One half for him, one half for McBain. It is a symbol for a dude to really owe another dude a favor, because a hundred bucks in the seventies was a good deal of scratch.

Flash forward to 18 years later, and, naturally, Santos done gets himself killed. Turns out he was Columbian, and for some reason was still part of the United States Army. He wanted to overthrow the evil president and set his people free. Also, he has a sister played by Maria Conchita Alonso.

Action movies loved Mrs. Conichta Alonso. She never got to play the hero -- that was saved for such acting dynamos as Brigitte Nielsen and Cynthia Rothrock -- but she always got to be the pair of breasts that convinced manly men to do manly things to save freedom. Or get Danny Glover to fight the worst Predator ever.

Anyway, Santos is stone dead, so his sister tracks down Chris Walken, who is now a steel worker, and he gets the old unit back together. And they just follow his lead, even though the jerk got himself captured and never lead them before. But, nonsense is what makes this movie special. A complete disregard for logic is the heart of this movie, and it makes it so freakin' watchable.

All of the old unit have sweet jobs. One of them is a cop, distraught over the loss of his partner; I wonder how many days away from retirement he was. One of them is a doctor who will save lives at any cost, even if they were a crackhead with three bullets in their skull-piece. One of them is a buff bodyguard who doesn't like to protect jerks who steal people's pensions. And, of course, one of them becomes a super rich arms dealer, because, if you are gonna take over a country, you might need more than farmers with pitchforks.

After meeting the old crew, the film goes completely off the rails. Such things as the gang attacking scum-sucking drug dealers for money, a monologue about how hippies going to Woodstock was stupid, the president declaring all new money will be on red, white, and blue paper for no good reason, and Michael Ironside being Michael Ironside are all sprinkled over a nonsensical siege of the capital of Columbia.

Basically, this movie is a hodge-podge of every single ideal and plot-line an 80's action movie ever had. It starts off with a Rambo or Missing in Action style rescue of McBain. Then, it turns into a straight up Death Wish vigilante mission against drug dealers and scum. And then it ends up as a  Commando style raid on an island nation.

And, in between all the greatest hits of 80's action, we have stupid asides. Such things as a German guy and Japanese guy totally being behind the evil president of Columbia (because World War II. Get it? Get it?), the aforementioned red, white, and blue money, the doctor having to read instruction manuals on everything, McBain and crew pretending to be evil Israelis to steal money from the mob, and  Columbian farmers, old women, and children being killed at random intervals so you know just how evil the bad guys are.

Really, I am half tempted to just have a bullet-point list of all the crazy things that happen in this movie. There is not a single sequence that doesn't have something ridiculous happen that makes you fall in love with absurdity. However, in all the insanity, I have a favorite scene. One that stands out above all the rest.

Now, action movies are known to completely and utterly disregard physics. It is why we like them. Or, at least, why I like them. However, this takes the goddamn cake:

McBain and crew are flying into Columbia with all the weapons they done bought with drug dealer/mob money. They are being pursued by fighter planes. One of the planes flies right next to McBain's and demands him to land. Instead of complying with evil Columbian soldiers, McBain pulls out a gun, shoots through the plane window into the other plane, and kills the pilot. Absolutely nothing happens to the plane he is flying in, and they go their merry way.

Now, I am not an aeronautics genius, but I would thing a hole in the window of a plane flying would lead to some sort of issues. But, not in McBain's world. I half expected the pilot to have rolled down the window so it could be like a true drive-by. Only in the air with planes. And that is just a teensy, delicious morsel of the craziness that flows through the veins of this movie. 

Surprisingly, I can't really criticize the performances. Everyone is at least adequate, and, well, Chris Walken is Chris Walken, so you know that you are in for. I am not gonna say anyone is believable as a real human being, but they play their stereotypes to the hilt, and that is all one can ask for in a flick about a couple of dudes taking a weekend off to take over a country for their fallen bro.

The special effects, however, are a delight. The blood squibs are fine.The gunfire is believable. However, everything explodes in sparks. It's like everything is made of sparklers. I call it the Power Rangers effect. If you are not like me and didn't watch Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers religiously as a kid, you might be confused. You see, whenever the Power Rangers were even slightly scathed, sparks flew off them like they were made of flint. And the bigger the thing hit, the more sparks there were. Not straight up explosions, mind you, just sparks. Explosions cost too much money, but you can get a shitload of sparklers for cheap at your local convenience store.

All those things aside, what really makes McBain so great is the fact that it has no idea what kind of movie it wants to be. It just throws ideas left and right at the screen, and doesn't care if they stick. It is lazily schizophrenic. It never really commits to one idea or another, but lets them all shine through in a glorious pastiche of machismo and gunfire. Sure, there may be a message in there somewhere, but I'll be damned if they ever tried to push the issue.

And, like I said, it is a movie about Chris Walken and a bunch of buddies taking over Columbia with little to no difficulty. There is absolutely no tension, and that's what makes it work. You never, for a second, think any of the heroes will ever fail. You just watch them being boss for an hour and a half. And, really, isn't that all you need?

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Okay, so this probably does not count as an update, per se, but it is indeed another picture of John Matrix and a surprisingly buff Paul Kersey high fiving. I think it justifies having a post all by its lonesome. And, hey, loyal readers, if you or anyone you know wants to draw/has drawn/is planning to draw Arnold Schwarzenegger in his greatest role and Charles Bronson in his greatest role totally highing the manliest of fives and wants the world to see it, feel free to submit them to me. I am collecting pictures of this momentous occasion. For science, or something.