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Archive for June, 2012

If bad denotes “Low budget” I suggest FUBAR with Paul Spence and David Lawence.

Yes Johnny, you should watch this movie.

Well, I have seen it, but but it is a great suggestion. Folks, and if you like metal and like laughing then watch FUBAR.


Colossus – The Forbin Project (1970) – Skynet Before Skynet was Cool

Wow… Why had I not watched this movie earlier?

I just finished watching this 1970 sci-fi film and am kind of blown away. This is a great film.

The U.S. government unveils Colossus, a sophisticated computer system designed to take the element of Human error out of the defense system. Colossus, designed by computer genius, Dr. Charles Forbin (is the most sophistcated computer ever created. Installed deep beneath a mountain, all of the United States defence systems are put under it’s control, to keep America safe from outside threats. Soon after activation, Colossus (which turns out to be even more intelligent and sophisticated than any one imagined), detects the presence of another, similar system in the USSR. Soon the two systems manage to communicate with each other, and merge as one, global computer system that controls the entire military might or the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union. Taking it’s initial program literaly, it decides that it must dominate mankind in order to eliminate the threat of war.

Quickly demonstrating it’s seriousness by a number of missile launches and nuclear detonations,  it is soon obvious that the world is at the mercy of this massively powerful system.  Attempts to deactivate or destroy the system are countered quickly, and those Colossus deems guilty of the attempts are quickly killed. 

Based on the book, the Forbin Project, this is a piece of solid science fiction that seems to be fading from the global consciousness, which is a pity, because I believe that this is the germ of the idea that blossomed into the Terminator series – Colossus is a direct descendent of Skynet.

Good acting and a tense plot makes this compelling watching. I also dig the 1970s look to high tech. If you get a chance and are a fan of science fiction then I say this is a must watch. That’s not too hard to do, as the whole movie is available freely on Youtube – that link to be found below the trailer.

Check out the trailer below:

And here is the whole movie:


Juan of the Dead (2011) – Anti-Revolution Zombie Movie From Cuba

Well, this movie was a refreshing surprise: a foreign made Zombie film from Cuba that feels fresh. Fresh is hard to do with a genre like Zombie movies, but it was accomplished here. Filmed in Spanish with English subtitles, I had to stay alert, as Spanish is spoken faster than English and the subtitles didn’t stay on the screen long – luckily I have no issues with this, but I think a lazy reader might have issues – too bad: go back to school.

Taking place in modern day Cuba, Juan, a local popular lothario and his buddy, the bumbling Lazaro, low level dissidents looking to make a profit in a society that eschews such things, finds money making opportunities when Cuban society is hit with a massive zombie outbreak. The film starts with Juan and Lazaro floating on a raft, fishing with little or no luck until he hooks what appears to be a corpse, but turn out to be a zombie. This sets the stage for the rest of the movie, and also introduces us to Lazaro’s bumbling response with any sort of a weapon. over the next few scenes we get to know Juan and Lazaro through their interactions with each other and those around them. This movie has a great look to it and seems unique – this probably has a lot to do with the fact that it comes from Cuba – I don’t think that I have ever seen a film from Cuba before, let alone a zombie movie from Cuba. 

Juan, seizing an opportunity when his city is over run with Zombies: he starts a business where he and Lazaro kills (re-kills, I guess), for a profit, family members that have become Zombies. A booming business.

Eventually though, Juan and Lazaro’s friends and family start dwindling as more and more are either destroyed by Zombies or become Zombies themselves. This means Juan and Lazaro must make decisions as to how they want to proceed.  

I’m not going to say any more about the story, as it is a good one and I believe the only way I can do it justice is by telling you to see the movie. An original Zombie movie is rare. An original Zombie movie that is actually good is even rarer. Give this one a shot, as it really deserves it.

Check out the trailer here:




Killdozer (1974) – Made for TV Cheeze That Brings Back Memories

Killdozer was a 1984 ABC made for TV movie about an American construction crew working on a small island off the West coast of Africa building an airstrip that become victims to one of their heavy bulldozers that becomes possessed by an ancient force that fell from space a long time ago. 

The movies starts with a shot of a meteorite (meteor at that point, I think), plunging to Earth, coming to rest on the island. Next, we cut to modern (1974) day where the Mack, (played by a young Robert Urich), a member of the construction crew runs into trouble while trying to move a strange metallic rock. Unable to move it, his  Foreman Kelly (Clint Walker, tries, but when the blade of the bull dozer makes contack with the rock, a blue light emanates from the rock, jumping to the blade of the dozer, and throwing Mack in to convulsions, that later end with his death. Soon the remainig crew are picked off one by one by this possessed bull dozer. They try to survive, why looking for a way top stop the mechanical monster.

I know the premise sounds stupid (no, is stupid), but I watched this originally as a kid and it really stuck in my mind – especially the epic battle between an excavator and the bull dozer – fun stuff. This isn’t an amazing piece of film history, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The acting, while not stellar, is acceptable – and at just under an hour and 10 minutes, it won’t take much time from your life.

I’ve just discovered that the whole film is available on Youtube, and have included a link to that below.

Here’s the trailer:

And look what I found here: the whole damned movie on Youtube:


Johnny Dangerously (1984) – This Movie is Fargin Funny

I haven’t seen this movie since it was in the theatre. I forgot how funny it is. So stupidly funny that I am really surprised that I hadn’t re-watched it since. Actually, I’m surprised that it doesn’t get mentioned more often when people speak of funny movies. Starring a very young Michael Keaton as Johnny Kelly (a.k.a. Johnny Dangerously), a good kid that turns to crime in order to pay for him mother’s operations for various outlandish ailments.

The movie starts with Johnny working in a pet store where a boy tries to steal a puppy and is quckly aprehended by Johnny. Johnny then procedes to tell the boy how crime doesn’t pay, and through a flasback, we are presented with the guts of the movie. Johnny joins Jocko Dundee’s (played by Peter Boyle) gang and quickly rises to the top by proving himself in the constant battles between Jocko’s gang and their rival, the hilarious butcher of the English language Roman Moronie. Eventually Johnny takes over the gang when Jocko (played by the late Peter Boyle) retires after a silly assassination attempt. Johnny’s little brother Tommy (played by Griffin Dunne), in the meantime has grown up and become the assistant district attorney, Hell bent on fighting crime. When the crooked D.A. (District Attorney), played by the always funny Danny Devito, fails to corrupt Tommy, he tries but fails, to kill him by tampering with his car. When the D.A. dies in a silly manner a short while later, Tommy assumes the role of D.A. and cranks up his war on crime, eventually defeating Moronie and having him deported to Sweden… With Moronie gone, Tommy turns his focus on Johnny Dangerously’s gang. See, Tommy has no idea that his brother Johnny is actually the crime boss known as Johnny Dangerously. When he finds out, Tommy confronts his brother. Things work out between the two, and Johnny decides to disband the gang and go legit.When he breaks the news to the gang, things don’t go so well, when gang member an general douche bag Danny Vermin (played by rarely funny man Joe Piscopo) refuses to go quietly. Framing Johnny for the murder of the Governor and getting him sent to the big house, Vermin finds himself in charge of the gang, while Johnny looks to get out with the help of his girlfriend (played by Marilu Henner).

If you haven’t seen this movie and enjoy quirky comedy and stupid puns then watch this. In fact, if you have a sense of humour at all watch this. Johnny Dangerously is a cute, silly comedy that deserves a lot more credit than it gets. It has a solid cast and respectable writing making it a good movie (I know: then what the hell is it doing on this site? Shut up…).

Here’s a funny clip of the bad guy, Moroni talking to a henchman:


And here’s an early theatrical trailer:



Runaway (1984) – Tom Selleck VS. Gene Simmons and His Evil Robots

The 1980s had some weird movies. This is one.

In the near future, personal robots are everywhere. So much so that the police department has a group just to deal with Runaways – robots that malfunction and cannot be controlled. Tom Selleck’s character, Ramsay, is a member of that team. Gene Simmons is an evil genious that has some really bad microchips that he wants to sell to the highest bidder (terrorists). He uses robots and technology to get his way – Hell he has an army of cool, bug-like robots to do his bidding especially.

This is an adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name. I have to say that it is better than I expected, especially with the fact that the main bad guy is played by cheeze master Gene Simmons, Bass Player and co-leader of the rock group, KISS. The effects, for the time, are pretty cool, especially the bug robots, and the story is interesting.

I’m going to cheap out and past the Wikipedia info for the movie to give you a clearer idea of the plot of the movie – that of course will include a plot spoiler – sorry. Here’s the plot summary from the Wikipedia entry:

Typical for Crichton’s work, Runaway deals with the devastating and sinister consequences of allowing complextechnology to run our lives. The film is set in the near future, where robots are commonplace – as much a part of everyday life as any other electrical appliance. Like other electrical appliances, they are prone to malfunctions. However, when a robot malfunctions, it could pose some form of threat to people and/or property. Such robots are known as “runaways”. As runaways are somewhat more dangerous than the average damaged machine, they are not handled by the manufacturers’ support personnel but by local divisions of the police force trained in robotics. As the beginning of the film shows, the “runaway” squad, however, is treated as mostly an easy and unexciting assignment, often ridiculed.

Sgt. Jack R. Ramsay (Selleck) is a veteran police officer who joined the runaway squad after discovering his previously unknown acrophobia, which resulted in the death of a family at the hands of a man he let escape. After years on the job, however, Jack has found himself one of the profession’s few real experts. His new partner, Karen Thompson (Rhodes), is bright and enthusiastic about the job, but he assures her there is little excitement involved. Mostly all it involves is flipping a switch. This changes when they find themselves handling an unforeseen problem – the first robot facilitated homicide. In the aftermath of dealing with a household robot murdering a family with a kitchen knife and somehow getting access to a handgun, Jack stumbles upon integrated circuits which not only override a robot’s safety features, but direct it to attack humans. These devices are discovered to be not hacked chips, but created from a series of mastertemplates, enabling them to be mass-produced.

Despite being unable to learn anything productive from uncooperative informants who end up dead, Ramsay refuses to be deterred, and soon discovers the perpetrator is megalomaniacal and sociopathic genius Dr. Charles Luther (Simmons). Luther, while working for a robotics defense contractor, developed a program that allows a robot to thermographically identify a human form amidst significant cover, and even differentiate between individual humans. Seeing the obvious profit potential in this program, he decided to kill his fellow researchers and sell the technology on the black market. After a botched attempt to arrest Luther, Thompson is left with an unexploded bullet in her arm which Ramsay successfully extracts. Fortunately the attempted arrest reveals information about one of Luther’s weapons, smart bullets – miniature heat seeking missiles that lock onto an individual human target’s unique heat signature, pursuing them wherever they run, even around corners.

While investigating one of Luther’s dead cohorts, Ramsay and Thompson come across Jackie Rogers (Alley), who is found to have once been Luther’s lover, and now partner in crime. However, she double-crossed him and stole the circuit templates, intending to sell them herself. But she is scared now because she believes Luther will stop at nothing to kill her, unless he gets the templates. When Ramsay and Thompson create a ruse to transfer Jackie to safety, Luther attacks the police convoy with freeway-running robotic smart bombs. They discover that the bombs are locked in on a bug in Jackie’s purse and manage to ditch it before the bombs exploded. Ramsay decides to make a public appearance with Jackie at a restaurant to draw Luther out, but Luther captures Thompson and wants Ramsay to exchange her for Jackie and the templates. Before making the exchange, Jackie tears some of the templates off and hands them to Ramsay, for insurance that Luther won’t kill her. But Luther kills her anyway, discovers the template aren’t all there, fires some of his smart bullets into the crowded restaurant and flees.

In an attempt to get the missing templates, Luther hatches a plan to attack Ramsay. He enters the police station and uses the computers to discover everything about Ramsay’s personal life, including his son. Once Ramsay discovers his personal information has been hacked, he and Thompson race to his home to find his personal robot damaged and his son, Bobby (Cramer), missing. A phone call from Luther confirms he kidnapped Bobby and wants to exchange him for the missing templates. Ramsay then makes a deal with Luther to meet at an unfinished skyscraper for the exchange. Luther gets the templates and sends Ramsay’s son down to street level in an elevator, awaited by a legion of assassin robots – spider-like robots no larger than loaves of bread which climb walls and ceilings to reach their targets, murder them by injecting acid into their veins, then explosively self-destruct, leaving no evidence. Thompson, despite agreeing not to interfere, arrives in time and slips past the spiders and helps Bobby stay above the reach of the robots. Luther turns on Ramsay with fury, firing smart bullets, but Ramsay turns on many of the automatic construction equipment, creating multiple heat sources which cause the bullets to miss the mark, and Ramsay uses this to get close to fight with Luther, hand-to-hand. After a pitched fight, Ramsay pushes Luther over the side, and the inventor lands on his back, in the midst of his robot spiders. Programmed to kill whoever came down from above, the robots rush Luther, injecting acid into his body in a dozen places.

Ramsay and Thompson help Bobby down from above, and Ramsay cautiously approaches the seemingly dead body of Luther. Luther reaches up to grab Ramsay and screams, but falls back, dying. Ramsay retreats as fire flares around Luther as the spiders self-destruct. Ramsay and Thompson have a laugh and embrace, kissing.

If you have the time, I say go ahead and watch this film as it was a fun distraction – even with Gene Simmons. Oh, and keep an eye out for a then very hot Kirstie Alley as Simmon’s throw away girlfriend, Jackie Rogers.

Here’s the Trailer:


Mazes and Monsters (1982) – Tom Hanks Walks on The Nerdy Side of the Tracks

Way back in the early 1980s there was a gaming craze that was gathering popularity – Roll Playing games, and the number one game of that genre was (and still is) called Dungeons and Dragons. Like any craze that involves youths using there imagination to envision something fantastic, there were people with too much time on their hands that had to put their nose in others business and tell them that fantasy roll playing games were dangerous. Hell, they would lead to youths descending into a fantasy world in their mind and never come back. Mazes and Monsters is a movie that attempts to warn one of these evils – like the anti-drug movies of the 1950s and 1960s.

Starring one time famous Canadian actor, Chris Makepeace (of Meatballs fame) and then star of the popular sitcom Bosom Buddies, Tom Hanks – yes, that Tom Hanks. This isn’t Tom Hanks first movie, as that dubious distinction goes to the movie, He Knows You’re Alone. Still, I doubt he talks about this film much. 

So, what can I say about this amazing piece of Canadian made movie obscurity? Aside from it’s terrible? Not very much, I guess.

Four friends gather together to play a popular roll playing game called Mazes and monsters. Pretty normal, but one of them, the misfit rich kid, played by Chris Makepeace discovers some near by caves and suggests that they take their game to the next level – Larping. What is Larping? Larping stand for Live Action Roll Playing – that’s when nerds get together and dress up as their roll playing characters and act out their roll playing game. Well that’s what they decide to do. Unfortunately the experience sends Tom Hanks’ already mentally delicate character over the edge into a world were he believes he is his character. Tom then takes off for New York to complete a fantasy quest that is in his mind – sending him into danger – Oh and he messes up a bum in an alleyway who he perceives to be a dragon – Yeah…

So, his friends have to find and save him, which of course ends in a nail biting race against time.   

This movie is very silly, and has definitely not aged well. That being said, it is interesting to see Tom Hanks so early in his career – he has come a long way since then. At lease it’s easy to find the movie: it’s available in full on Youtube. Check it out if you can stomach it.

Here is a clip of Tom Hanks freaking out:

And here’s the entire movie, in all it’s cheezy glory:


Zone Troopers (1985) – Aliens, Allies, Nazis and World War II

I don’t recall ever having heard of Zone Troopers before last week. That’s 26 yeas and two months after it was released. I’m not sure why it took so long to watch as it was pretty fun.

Taking place some time in World War II, a patrol of American G.I.s, behind enemy lines in Italy discover a big secret: they stumble upon an alien ship that has crashed to Earth.The Nazis are rushing to get to the ship, and have already captured an Alien. Snooping around by one of the troop and a reporter gets them captured by the Nazis complicating things even more. Luckily for these two they have a few things going for them: the Nazis obviously learned to shoot from the same folks that teach Star Wars Storm Troopers to shoot, and secondly that they’re led by the Sarge, played by penultimate “Oh that guy”, Tim Thomerson. The Sarge is the toughest Sarge out there I guess, and he shows it. There’s one scene where he mows down a bunch of Nazis that had what was left of his depleted patrol pinned down. It was like one man versus the Nazis. Pretty cool, if stupid stuff. Then there’s the scene where one of the captured G.I.s punches Hitler right in the face. You don’t see that every day. Anyway, the Sarge and a G.I. rescue their two captured comrades and the captured alien. They start off towards their lines while being pursued by Nazis looking to recapture the alien. After some battles and such, the alien meets up with there own kind – they show up the Nazis in a silly battle and eventually mostly everyone lives happily ever after…except that it would still be World War II, which I imagine mostly sucked for all those involved. But i digress. The special effects aren’t much to write home about, but neither are they terrible for what I must have been a pretty low budget production. In a couple of places I might even call them good. The Bug Eyed alien was interesting looking too. Not too bad at all for a low budget flick.

In a nutshell Zone Troopers was a fun watch. Nothing amazing, so don’t set your hopes high, but altogether a fun, cheezy sci-fi flick. If you get a chance, go ahead and watch it – I don’t feel like I wasted my time. And you know what? As of just now – while writing this, I just discovered that it is available on Youtube for however long that lasts. That link, of course, will be under the trailer, so you really don’t have any good reason not to watch it! Hehehehe…

Here’s the Trailer:

And here’s the whole freakin’ movie:


Do You Have a Blog or Site Dedicated to Bad or Weird Movies? Lets Swap Links!

Hey!

How would you like to share links? I am having a lot of fun with this blog, and hope you are enjoying it too. If you have a blog or site that is dedicated to B-Movies, or weird movies…or unusual movies or what ever, I’d love to see it. Heck I might even want to feature it here… AND I would love to link to your site while having you link to mine. What do you say? We lovers of the strange need to stick together.

Email me if you are interested at ilikebadmovies@gmail.com


Outland (1981) – Sean Connery Kicking Ass as a Federal Marshal – In Space

Let me start by saying that I like this movie. I first saw it as a kid, and found it boring and dumb back then, but am glad to say that my opinion has now changed.

Set in a titanium mine on Jupiter’s moon, IO, Federal Marshal William O’Niel (Sean Connery) is assigned to the stating to lead it’s security detail – something that should be routine. Well, if this was going to be a routine assignment then this wouldn’t be much of a movie, right? Luckily, things don’t stay routine – for us, at least.

Not a very fast moving film, it is filled with darkness and a foreboding feeling. This mine is not an overly happy place. Soon, miners start acting weird and doing inexplicably psychotic things that either cause death to themselves – There’s a problem on IO. Seems as though Marshal O’Niel has a drug problem in the mine to fight – and a bad one at that. Add to the fact that the drugs are being supplied by the leader of the mine, Mark Sheppard (played by Peter Boyle), who also starts a campaign to have Marshal O’Niel eliminated. A great performance is also had by Frances Sternhagen (you might not know the name, but you most probably will recognize her from countless roles) as the jaded, but ethical Doctor Lazarus. Also – look out for John Ratzenberger of Cheers fame – he’s in here somewhere…

Dark, moody and plodding may not sound like positive things to say about a movie, but in this case they are positives. This movie is supposed to be Dark, moody and plodding. If you’re looking for a sci-fi movie with a lot of action, well this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a sci-fi movie with depth and drama, watch this. Plus, it freakin’ has Sean Connery in it. Add a few exploding heads due to rapid decompression and you have a most watchable movie. That’s easy to do as I just discovered that the whole thing is available on Youtube – you’ll find that right after the trailer, below.

Check out the trailer here:

And the Whole movie right here:


Bride of the Monster (1955) – Fun… Stupid but Fun

Ed wood, creator of what is arguably the worst movie ever, Plan 9 From Outer Space, made more than just that one movie. He made quite a few movies and Bride of the Monster is one of those movies.

Starring an ageing and in poor health Bela Lugosi as Doctor Eric Vornoff who, with the help of his mute, physically powerful assistant Lobo (played by Tor Johnson) creates super powerful being with the use of atomic power. The town that he has taken up residence in is suddenly awash in disappearances and reports of monster sightings. Coincidence? Well, most likely not.

The local police force, a mysterious scientist that reports to specialize in monsters, and a female reported from the local paper all take up the cause to find the source of the monsters. Of course, the female reporter is quickly captured by Lobo and taken to Dr. Vornoff to be part of his evil experiments. Everyone else spends there time trying to find and then defeat the Doctor. Throw in plot elements that don’t connect to anything else, terrible dialogue and performances that make an elementary school play look like an Ocsar Award winning production. It’s dumb and fun – filled with stock footage and cheeziness – keep your eye out for Lugosi’s epic battle with his own giant Octopus monster – a classic scene in it’s own right.

This is a bad film, but it had so much charm I just had to like it. Despite being of poor health and suffering from years of morphine addiction, Bela Lugosi is compelling and interesting performance. And there is something else: despite making bad movies, I really get the feeling that Ed Wood genuinely loved movies, and the act of making them. This, to me comes through in these terrible films of his.

Yes, this is a bad film that I thoroughly enjoyed watching. I DO recommend this one, if you can trade quality for charm. This movie is now in the public domain which means it is freely and legally available – In fact, the whole film is available on Youtube. You should get some popcorn, leave your sense of disbeliefe at the door, grab  a seat and watch it.

Here is a trailer:

And here is the whole mess of a film for your enjoyment:


New Movie Suggetions: the revenant., saint(evil santa clause), zombies of mass destruction,

Some interesting suggestions that came in anonymously !
Any notes on these?


Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969) a.k.a. Doppelgänger – Surprisingly Well Made

Ok… Well I liked this film more than I expected!

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (also known as Doppelgänger) is a 1969 British Science Fiction film about an expedition to a new planet discovered in the same orbit as Earth, but exactly opposite the Sun as out Planet. A planet55 that turns out to be the exact mirror of our own – right down to the events, languages and people. A weird and highly improbable situation – none the less, I found the movie compelling. Average acting, but surprisingly good sets and special effects (compared to many other films high lited on this site, at least), this one is a little like a diamond in the rough.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the plot Remember – Wikipedia always spoils the plot:

Travelling through the Solar System in 2069, the unmanned Sun Probe locates a planet that lies on the same orbital path as Earth but is positioned on the opposite side of the Sun. Dr Kurt Hassler (Herbert Lom) of EUROSEC (EUROpean Space Exploration Council) has been transmitting Sun Probe flight data to a rival power in the East, but Security Chief Mark Neuman (George Sewell) uncovers the betrayal and shoots Hassler dead in his laboratory. EUROSEC director Jason Webb (Patrick Wymark) convinces NASA representative David Poulson (Ed Bishop) that the West must launch astronauts to investigate the planet before Hassler’s allies in the East. With EUROSEC member states France and Germany unwilling to offer financial support, Webb obtains majority funding from NASA. American astronaut Colonel Glenn Ross (Roy Thinnes) and British astrophysicist Dr John Kane (Ian Hendry), head of theSun Probe project, are assigned to the mission.

Launched from the EUROSEC Space Centre in Portugal in the Phoenix spacecraft, Ross and Kane pass the first half of their six-week round trip in stasis, with “Heart Lung Kidney” machines managing their life functions. Three weeks after launch, the astronauts are revived in the orbit of the planet. Scans for the existence of extraterrestrial life prove to be inconclusive, and Ross and Kane decide to make a surface landing. While the astronauts descend through the atmosphere, an electrical storm damages their Dove lander shuttle, which crashes in a mountainous region that is revealed to be Ulan Bator, Mongolia. When an air-sea rescue unit returns Ross and Kane, the latter fighting serious injuries, to the Space Centre in Portugal, it is apparent that the Phoenix mission has been terminated after three weeks and that the astronauts have arrived back on Earth.

Neuman and EUROSEC official Lise Hartman (Loni von Friedl) interrogate Ross, who denies that he aborted the mission. Shortly after, Kane dies from the injuries that he sustained in the crash. Eventually, Ross assembles a series of clues that point him to the conclusion that he is not on Earth, but indeed on the unknown planet — a Counter-Earth that is a mirror image of his. Many, including his wife, Sharon (Lynn Loring), are baffled by his claims that all aspects of life on the planet — from the print in books to the plan of his apartment — are reversed. However, Webb is convinced of the truth when Ross demonstrates the ability to read aloud from a sign, without hesitation, when it is reflected in a mirror. Later, X-rays from Kane’s post-mortem examination reveal that his internal organs are located on the wrong side of his body. Ross conjectures that the two Earths lie parallel, which would mean that the Ross from the Counter-Earth is living through similar experiences on the far side of the Sun.

Webb suggests that Ross recover the flight recorder from Phoenix, and then return to his Earth. EUROSEC constructs a replacement for Dove that is designed to be compatible with the reversed technologies of Phoenix. Modifications include the reverse-polarisation of electric circuits, although neither Ross nor the scientists can be certain that the differences between the two Earths extend to the direction of electric current. The shuttle is re-christenedDoppelganger, a term denoting a duplicate of a person or object in the original German. Lifting off and entering orbit, Ross attempts to dock with Phoenix. However, Doppelgangerexperiences a technical malfunction, indicating that current is constant after all. The shuttle detaches from Phoenix and loses contact with EUROSEC, falling through the atmosphere towards the Space Centre with Ross struggling to disengage automatic landing control. EUROSEC is unable to repair the fault from the ground, and Doppelganger crashes into a parked spacecraft. Ross is incinerated in the collision and a chain reaction obliterates the Space Centre, killing personnel and destroying all records of Ross’s presence on the Counter-Earth.

Decades later, a bitter Jason Webb, long since dismissed from EUROSEC, has been admitted to a nursing home. In his dementia, the old man spies his reflection in a mirror mounted on a window. Rolling forwards in his wheelchair, and reaching out to touch his image, Webb dies when he crashes through the mirror.


Whew! that’s a lot, and sorry for taking the easy way out by posting that but it is way better than I could hope. I like this movie, and say watch it, if you get a chance.

Check out the Trailer here:


Bully (2001) – Compelling Movie About Some Stupid Murderers

Bully, a 2001 independent film about a group of youths that decide to murder one of their own who  is a bully towards them is a compelling, well acted and for the most part, well written film about some very stupid youths that plan to murder a member of their group that constantly bullies and beats them (as well as rapes – lets not forget rapes them). The film is based on actual events – just how  closely, I have no idea – I’m sure you could find that information on the web – just not here. – Please don’t mistake this film for the 2011 documentary of the same name – they are unrelated.

Taking place in South Florida, it starts as a story of two friends, one of whom is a surfer drop-out, Marty Puccio (played by Brad Renfro), and his constantly bullying life-long friend, Bobby Kent (played by Nick Stahl). In the first few minutes you see Marty and Bobby at their work, a sandwich shop where two girls, Ali Willis and Lisa Connelly (played by Bijou Phillips and Rachel Miner respectively) and  enter and are chatted up by the two friends. Bobby slams Marty’s head on a freezer in front of the girls, basically setting their friendship for the audience. The four all end up on a double date. Marty haves sex with Lisa, and they start dating (Lisa says she loves him, and like all silly youths states that she’d do anything for him) – and Ali gives Bobby head in the car… That’s how it starts.

As the film progresses, you see many more examples of Bobby bullying Marty and their friends, including the rape of Lisa and one of her friends that she stupidly more or less delivers to him. Eventually the increasingly unstable Lisa starts “master minding” a plot to rid themselves of Bobby through murdering him. Pretty simple right? Set the guy up somehow and them kill him. Sure… Only these idiots start recruiting just about everyone they know. It seemed as though if you had walked up to Lisa and said “What’s up?” that she’s answer, “Oh, just planning on murdering Bobby… Want to  help?” Yeah, she ends up gathering a group of friends together to make the plan work – including someone they believe to be a member of the Mafia (or at least in a gang). 

The plot progresses and they lure Bobby out and, eventually (thinks get screwy with people getting scared etc.), but Bobby end up dead. Of course these people are too stupid to keep a secret – Hell, they pretty much told anyone they ran across that they were planning on killing Bobby, and they all end up busted.

Was this a good movie? Yes. Were the people stupid? Yes? Would I recommend it? Maybe… despite being well made, I get tired of stupid people fast.

Here is the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0y-CUdF8Ws


Club Paradise (1986) – Much Aligned, but More Fun Than I Expected

Club Paradise, released in 1986 has never seen a positive review as far as I can see. This one will be positive – not raving, but positive.

This film stars Robin William`s as Jack Moniker as a retired fire fighter from Chicago who has moved to the small Caribbean island of Saint Nicholas and finds himself a partner in a run down resort called Club Paradise, with Earnest Reed, played by reggae musician Jimmy Cliff. Club Paradise, run down as it may be, just happens to be on the nicest stretch of beach on the island. The island’s corrupt Prime Minister is in cahoots with a business man (played by Brian Doyle Murphy), and his partners, to trick/ripp off Jack of Club Paradise in order to build a giant casino/resort.

Throw in the guests of Club Paradise – a cornucopia of SCTV alumni ( Andrea MartinEugene LevyRick MoranisJoe Flaherty, and Robin Duke), Peter O’Toole and some just generally wacky situations and you end up with what I thought was a silly, but enjoyable film.

I’m going to onece again refer to the Wikipedia article for the Plot summary:

Jack Moniker (Robin Williams) is a Chicago firefighter who gets injured on the job. Using his disability money, he decides to retire and live the good life in a small Caribbean island called Saint Nicholas. He buys a small amount of property there and lives among other washed-up personalities such as Anthony Croyden Hayes (Peter O’Toole). Appointed by the British crown as governor of St. Nicholas, Hayes is more concerned with vacationing than governing. Miss Phillipa Lloyd (Twiggy), who is visitng St. Nicholas with some sailor friends of hers, decides to stay permanently and becomes Jack’s girlfriend in the process. He playfully refers to her as “Miss Philadelphia”.

Jack befriends financially troubled reggae musician Ernest Reed (Jimmy Cliff), and they together form “Club Paradise,” which they market as a Club Med-style resort complete with a brochure that features photographs of Jack in various disguises on every page. This attracts a handful of tourists, including Barry and Barry (Rick Moranisand Eugene Levy) who are there for the pot and the women. Much of the film involves the tourists’ comic misadventures adjusting to island life and the low-rent facilities of Club Paradise. Also travelling to the island is New York Times travel writer Terry Hamlin (Joanna Cassidy) who ends up spending most of her time in the company of Governor Hayes.

Voit Zerbe (Brian Doyle-Murray) plays a key role, as a developer who wants to run Jack and Ernest off their property so he can build a massive high-end casino on the beach as part of a deal he’s making with two business partners – one Swiss, the other Arab. To do that, he uses the help of the local prime minister Solomon Gundy (Adolph Caesar) and the prime minister’s men to cause trouble and get Club Paradise to close “legally.” Jack and Ernest go so far as to sneak aboard Zerbe’s yacht to provide some “useful intelligence” for Governor Hayes by finding out what is going to happen to the future of Saint Nicholas. They skin dive to the yacht (not before Jack brings a heliumtank instead of an oxygen tank) where they are captured by local police and thrown in jail. When Prime Minister Gundy’s strong arm tactics don’t work, he orders a military takeover of the island. Ernest builds up a resistance force, and St. Nicholas is soon threatened with the possibility of civil war, which is averted at the last minute with assistance from Jack and Governor Hayes. When Gundy’s takeover fails, Zerbe and his partners leave Saint Nicholas and head for the Cayman Islands. Jack is then inspired to create a new tagline for the club: “Club Paradise: Your Hot Spot for Fun With Guns in the Sun.”

This film didbn’t win any awards, and did poorly at the box office, but if you’re looking for a simple, silly no brainer of a film that might make you smile, then I say check it out.

Here is the trailer:



Terror Firmer (1999) – The Tale of A Troma Film – A Film Too Long

Ah, Troma… The company that brought us the Toxic Avenger series brings us this: Terror Firmer.

It’ s the story of a low budget, blind and oblivious film maker, Larry Benjamin and his crew trying to make a Toxic Avenger film. Cast and crew start dying off – victims to freak accidents and a seemingly female serial killer. Once again, I will let Wikipedia do the talking – here is what Wikipedia says about the plot:

This is the story of a New York low budget film crew, led by their insane and egostical blind film director, Larry Benjamin, who is trying to create a work of art. In addition to the typical trials and travails of a Troma set, the crew is preyed upon by a sexually conflicted, bomb-toting serial killer. Among the large poorly-paid film crew, the movie centers mostly on production assistant Jennifer, who struggles to do her job while deciding between the two men in her life; the straight-laced boom operator Casey, and the rebellious special effects operator Jerry. The love triangle intensifies as the dead bodies mount with increasingly brutality. At the climax, the entire film crew bands together (both physically and sexually) against the mortal threat in their midst.

This is a Troma film, which of course means it’s weird, crude and dumd. And from Troma, that’s aa good thing. The only issue I had with this film is the fact that I watched the uncut version which was easily 20 minutes too long. If you like Troma films, then this is for you – just watch the regular version.

Check out the trailer here:

And you can watch the whole film right here:


Quartermass and the Pit (1967) – A British Sci-Fi Masterpiece

A classic Hammer Sci-Fi film from 1967, Quartermass and the Pit, a suggestion from a reader – and a great suggestion at that. This is  a film that I had planned on watching for a long time, and I am glad I finally got around to it.

Crews working at a London Underground station unearth a some primitive ape-man skeletons. Soon, scientists are called in to take over the dig, and then the military when they find what is first believed to be a bomb, but turns out to be an ancient Martian spacecraft, along what appears to be it’s original, insect like crew. While the aliens have long passed away, the ship itself turns out to be alive in some way, and starts projecting ancient Martian memories to the London public, causing mayhem and panic. It is, of course, up to the scientists to save everyone.

Here is the plot description from Wikipedia, as I am not doing the film justice with my description – be forewarned, almost all Wikipedia plot descriptions give away everything:

Workers building an extension to the London Underground at Hobbs End dig up skeletal remains.Palaeontologist Dr Matthew Roney (James Donald) is called in and deduces that they are the remnants of a group of apemen over five million years old, more ancient than any previous finds. One of Roney’s assistants uncovers part of a metallic object. Believing it to be an unexploded bomb, they call in an army bomb disposal team.

Meanwhile, Professor Bernard Quatermass (Andrew Keir) is dismayed to learn that his plans for the colonisation of the Moon are to be taken over by the military. He gives a cold reception to Colonel Breen (Julian Glover) who has been assigned to join Quatermass’ British Experimental Rocket Group. When the bomb disposal team call for Breen’s assistance, Quatermass accompanies him to the site. Breen concludes it is a V-weapon, but Quatermass disagrees. When another skeleton is found in an inner chamber, Quatermass and Roney realise that the object must also be five million years old. Quatermass suspects it is of alien origin, but Roney is certain the apemen are terrestrial.

Quatermass becomes intrigued by the name of the area, recalling that “hob” is an old name for theDevil. Working with Roney’s assistant, Barbara Judd (Barbara Shelley), Quatermass finds historical accounts of hauntings and other spectral appearances going back over many centuries. They deduce that these events coincided with any disturbances of the ground around Hobbs End.

An attempt to open a sealed chamber using a borazon drill fails to make any progress. However, a few moments after the drill is stopped, a small hole is seen, though the drill operator, Sladden (Duncan Lamont), is certain it was not created by his machine. The hole widens to reveal the contents: the corpses of three-legged, insectoid creatures with horned heads. Roney and Judd work to preserve the bodies before they decay. An examination of the creatures’ physiology suggests they came from the planet Mars. Quatermass and Roney note the similarity between the appearance of the creatures and the Devil.

Sladden is overcome by a powerful telekinetic force emanating from the missile and flees to the sanctuary of a church. Sladden tells Quatermass he saw a vision of hordes of the creatures from the missile. Quatermass believes this is a race memory. Seeking proof, he returns to Hobbs End, bringing a machine Roney has been working on which taps into the primeval psyche. While trying to replicate the circumstances under which Sladden was affected, he notices that Judd has fallen under its influence. Using Roney’s machine, he is able to record her thoughts.

Quatermass presents his theory to a government minister (Edwin Richfield) and other officials. The occupants of the missile came from the dying Mars. Unable to survive on Earth, they chose to preserve some part of their race by creating a colony by proxy by significantly enhancing the intelligence of the natives. The descendants of these apemen evolved into modern humans but retain the vestiges of the Martian influence buried in their subconscious. He plays the recording of Judd’s mind as evidence: it shows hordes of Martians engaged in what he interprets as a racial purge, cleansing the Martian hives of weaker members of the race. A disbelieving Breen offers an alternative theory: the missile is a Nazi propaganda exercise designed to sow fear of an alien invasion among the populace. The minister rejects Quatermass’ theory in favour of Breen’s and decides to unveil the missile to the press.

Disaster strikes at the press event. The missile apparently draws power from the broadcasting equipment, and its influence is magnified. The streets of London erupt into violence as those affected go on a rampage. Breen becomes drawn towards the missile and is killed. Quatermass falls under alien control as well, but is snapped out of it by Roney, who is unaffected. The two men realise that a small portion of the population are immune. The psychic energy becomes stronger, ripping up streets and buildings, and the spectral image of a Martian towers over the city, centred on Hobbs End. Recalling stories about how the Devil could be defeated with iron and water, Quatermass theorises the alien energy could be discharged into the earth. Roney climbs to the top of a building crane and swings it into the spectre. The crane bursts into flames as it discharges the energy, killing Roney. With this, the image disappears. As Quatermass and Judd rest amongst the rubble of Hobbs End, Fire Engine and Police bells can be heard ringing in the distance.

This is a true Science Fiction classic that deserves so much more attention than it gets. I cannot recommend this film enough, if you are a real Sci-Fi fan. Intelligently written and well acted with an original plot – more than most movies (especially ones highlighted on this site), it is actually available in it’s entirety on Youtube – so you have NO reason not to see it.

Check out the trailer here:

And watch the whole movie here:


Suggested Film: Quatermass and the Pit

I watched this, thought it was going to be terrible, and it was awesome. Watch it for great justice!

**Great suggestion! I am a fan of the Hammer films, and have read that this is a classic. Also a BBC TV series, I have been planning on watching this for some time, but somnething always seems to get in the way. Sooner will definitely be better, and I will write up my poor synopsis when done.

Thanks!


Heartbeeps (1981) – Some Movies Should Never Have Been Made – This Is One

I saw Heartbeeps in the theatre when I was 12 with a buddy, and if I remember properly, I was disappointed – just as I was once again.

Starring the late comedic genius (and weirdo), Andy Kaufman as butler robot Val, and Bernadette Peters as a companion robot named Aqua. They are two robots amongst many that have been warehoused due to defects or obsolescence. It’s in this warehouse where they meet each other, and a one-liner comedian robot named Catskill go on an adventure together to study trees. Along the way Val and Aqua build a small, baby robot (whom they name Philco), fall in love and are pursued by a mal-functioning police robot.

Lame… Lame. Lame. Lame. This movie is not funny. Also, as stated earlier, it stars Bernadette Peters, who I have never liked. This movie sucks now like it sucked when it was first released.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the movie:

Val Com 17485 (Andy Kaufman), a robot designed to be a valetwith a specialty in lumber commodities, meets Aqua Com 89045 (Bernadette Peters), a hostess companion robot whose primary function is to assist at poolside parties. At a factory awaiting repairs, they fall in love and decide to escape, stealing a van from the company to do so. They embark on a quest to find a place to live, as well as satisfy their more immediate need for a fresh electrical supply. They assemble a small robot, Phil, built out of spare parts, whom they treat as their child, and are joined by Catskill, a mechanical standup comic (which is seen sitting the entire movie). A law-enforcement robot, the Crimebuster, comes after the fugitives, but with the help of humans who run a junkyard, and using Catskill’s battery pack, they are able to resolve their problems successfully.

Here’s the Trailer:


They Came From Beyond Space (1967) – Boring British Sci-Fi

A British Sci-Fi film from 1967, They Came from Beyond Space is a lack lustre, uninspired flick that barely kept my attention.

The premise is that what seem to meteors fall to earth. When they are investigated by top scientists, those scientists become controlled by another, alien intelligence that puts them to work on a plan to build ships to help these Aliens to return to their original planet. One scientist is not affected as he has a silver plate in his skull from surgery after a car accident – the plate interferes with the mind control method used by these aliens. This scientist leads the battle against the aliens. Add a plague that makes peoplk seem dead, so that the aliens can take the bodies to the moon where they are revived and used as slaves.

There you go – that is They Came From Beyond Space. Should you watch it? You decide. It is freely available as it has slipped into the public domain.

Here is a clip:

And here is the whole movie:


Ed Wood (1994) – A Masterpiece

I remember being excited when I read that Tim Burton was making a film starring Johnny Depp as the infamous B-Movie director/actor/writer Ed Wood. I remember saying I was going to go see that movie opening night. That was in 1994. Tonight I watched this film for the first time. Will someone tell me what is wrong with my head?

For those out there that don’t know who Ed Wood was here’s a real quick description: A strange, driven cross dressing film maker, Ed Wood created such low budget classics as Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster the movie he will forever be remembered for, Plan 9 From Outer Space – widely considered to be one of, if not the worst movies ever made. I wrote about it recently here on the blog. Several of these Ed Wood’s films starred his friend, the ageing Bela Lugosi. This is the story of Ed Wood and his struggle to get these classic, terrible films made and the people that got caught up in the whirlwind that he was. Johnny Depp is amazing as Ed wood himself. I really enjoyed his portrayal of this quirky individual. He really had me rooting for a lunatic. Bela Lugosi is played by Martin Landau in a roll that won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Landau made me forget that it wasn’t Lugosi himself. Add to that amazing supporting rolls from an all star cast that included Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray, Jeffery Jones (and more), and you have a great film. Ed Wood is simply a great film. I am a big Tim Burton fan. I am a big Johnny Depp fan. I love those cheezy Ed Wood films. Tim Burton made a film about Ed Wood starring Johnny Depp. Perfect… Everything works. Add to the that the film was great and that is why I call this a masterpiece. Tim Burton made a film about a film maker that was better than any film that film maker ever made. Try saying that ten times while hopping on one foot while juggling. 

If you haven’t seen this film, you must. If you have seen it, then why not watch it again. 

Here’s the trailer:


Mars Need Women (1967) – And Actors

Mars needs women – they have a Y chromosome deficiency on the planet making the deficit of women to men at a 100 to 1 level (like any lan party or comic convention), and they’ve come to Earth to replenish their supply of babes.

A quirky, super low budget film that was made for television, this is kind of fun. Good? Oh, Hell no – but fun. A lot of actors in this are also found in Curse of the Swamp Creature and Zontar – The Thing From Venus (both reviewed on this blog), as I believe they share writers/directors. I guess there was a stable of actors for use in these crappy films.. I doubt that the film made much of a splash at the time, as it is hard to find a copy of it now. I did find a copy on Youtube (that I watched to write this), but most links reference the Rob Zombie song of the same name.

Here is the plot summary from Wikipedia:

The premise is that a military decoding station has intercepted a message, only three words, “Mars Needs Women”. As the plot unfolds it’s revealed that Martians have a genetic deficiency that produces only male babies. They launch a mission to Earth consisting of five Martians who recruit volunteer women to come to Mars. They meet strong resistance on the part of the Earth authorities. 

Oh, and a Martian falls in love with a hot female DNA expert.
 

Should you watch it? Oh, probably not, but if you decide that you want to check it out on youtube.

Here’s a clip:

And here is the whole thing (no,  i’t not in Russian – there’s just Russian subtitles available if you need them):


Terrorvision (1986) – Mid-80s Weirdness That’s Worth Watching

Terrorvision is weird, off the wall, semi-abstract comedy/science-fiction film from 1986 that might leave you wondering what you just watched. Mut if you’re anything like me, you won’t be wondering why you watched it. This is a film that I started watching on a couple of occasions but never got through the first few minutes – always because the person I was watching it at the time with always insisted that we stop it and watch something else… I said it was weird.

A groovy, dad gets a low budget satellite system for their weird high (80s) tech home. The low budget system has a weird ability to intercept alien energy transmissions (actually their interstellar garbage), and promptly does so – in effect beaming a weird, mutated ex-pet in to their home. This is no cute little fuzzy pet – it’s a slimy, fleshy blob that has an insatiable hunger… and it starts by eating the family’s weird , post traumatic stress suffering grand father. The only one that seem to see the true danger was Gandpa and the family’s young son, who no one takes seriously.

Here’s Wikipedia’s plot outline:

When Stanley Putterman installs a brand new, state-of-the-artsatellite dish in his backyard, his family ends up getting a lot more than just ESPN. Unfortunately for Stanley, his satellite is a perfect receptor for a load of extraterrestrial garbage that just happened to be converted into energy and zapped into his backyard: a hideous, two-ton alien blob with a never-ending appetite.

Only Sherman Putterman sees the menace of the alien. Try as he might to warn his family, Mom and Dad are too busy swingingwith another couple and totally 80s sister Suzy is going out on a date with her heavy metal boyfriend O.D. That is until the alien creature materializes out of their boob tube and gobbles up Mom and Dad. Sherman is forced to recruit his sis, his psychotic, lizard-loving Grampa, and the busty late night horror host, Medusa, to bring an end to the beast’s homicidal smorgasbord and finally turn off that TV!


That’s not 100% accurate, but close enough. This film garnered really lousy reviews, but I actually found it a really fun, quirky piece that I appreciated. I definitely recommecd it if you like off the wall comedy/horror/sci-fi. Unfortunately, it looks like the only legal way to watch it at the time of writing is through Netflix (unless yo9u want to buy a VHS copy through Amazon). I have no issues with Netflix other than the fact that their library varies depending on what country you live in. If you try hard enough though, I am sure you can find a copy (try Youtube or the like), if you don’t have a Netflix subscription.

Watch the Trailer here:


Prisoners Of The Lost Universe (1983) – Maybe they Should have Stayed Lost

This low budget movie from 1983, staring Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch, is the story of people from out universe accidentally thrown into a parallel Universe, on a world called Vonya. This is a low budget sci-fi romp filmed in South Africa (pretty rare at this time as Apartheid was still in force at this time), that slipped into the public domain due to the negligence of it’s creators. Still, I’m pretty sure they didn’t sweat that too much, as I doubt there was much opportunity to make money off this …work.

Very cheezy, but fun, the goes more or less like this: A female host of a science TV show, Carrie Madison (played by Kay Lenz), visits a scientist who is eager to show his new creation (a device hat allows transportation of objects and people through to a parallel dimension). Unfortunately, an earth tremor at the time of demonstartion caused the scientist to stumble into the machine’s beam sending him through to the planet Vonya. Richard hatch, who in than earlier scene had been accidentally run off the road by Carrie, shows up at the lab looking for help for his now busted truck. He and Carrie both fall into the beam and they too fall into the “Lost Universe”

The rest is the tale of them trying to escape and their adventure in that endeavour. Ruling bad guy Kleel (played by John Saxon) has captured both the Scientist and Carrie and the rest of the movie is Richard Hatch and his collected band of mildly interesting mis-fits trying to save Carrie and get back to our dimension. 

Not much more worth adding, other than the fact that this show really feels like the 80s production that it is. I don’t know if it was made for TV, but if it was, then I am not surprised. 

Legally available for download or streaming for free, check it out if you want a chuckle (hell, it’s way better than Dear God, No). 

Check out the trailer here:

And the whole movie here: