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Archive for July, 2012

The Last Chase (1981) – Lee Majors Takes Chris Makepeace on a Ride He’ll Never Forget (But Probably Should)

I watched this movie as a kid on TV back in the day – possibly 1981 or 1982 and freakin’ loved it. I mean, come on: it starred Lee Majors (you know, the Six Million Dollar Man – just the coolest guy ever), and Chris Makepeace (the then up and coming Canadian actor and co-star of the awesome Bill Murray film, Meatballs), and they were driving a freakin’ race car across a post plague stricken United States while the governed send out  Burgess Meredith  in a 1950s era F-86 Sabre fighter jet to kill him.

Lee Major’s plays an ex racecar driver, Franklyn Hart who has had trouble fitting into the new post plague U.S. with it’s overbearing governement and new no cars policy. In an effort to fight back, he plans on driving himself in his Porsche race car across the States to Free California.

Before he has a chance, he’s joined by genius mis-fit Chris Makepeace, who has been hacking government computers, and being a jerk. He forces himself along for the ride (of course) and along the way, the two become friends.

The Government wants to do anything they can to prevent Hart from reaching California and possible becoming a folk hero, and bring Air Force pilot Captain J.G. Williams (Burgess Meredith) out of retirement and plop him into an out dated jet with instructions to stop Hart. One problem: Williams is more into this for the fun, and actually sympathizes with Hart. Despite a few brushes with him, Williams takes it easy on him, and eventually end up saving Hart by sacrificing himself.


Ok… This movie has not aged well, and is once again proof that somethings are best left as great memories. Still, I am glad I re-watched it. Sure, it`s terrible but I had fun. I don`t think I could really recommend it, but I will anyway.

Here is the trailer:



Orca: The Killer Whale – A Mammalian Version Of Jaws… Sort Of

1977’s Orca – The Killer Whale was obviously an attempt to ride the wave created by the Buzz of Jaws, released just two years prior.

Starring Richard Harris as as Captain Nolan, a salty Irish-Canadian fisherman who is determined to catch a killer whale to sell to an aquarium so he can finally pay off his boat. Also starring a terrible wooden actress by the name of Charlotte Rampling as Rachel Bedford, a local writer and Whale specialist who almost made me gouge my eyes out due to her emotionless, borring voice and acting. Harris is, fine – portraying a salty fisherman quiet well. It’s just…she sucked badly.

Anyway, Harris’ character attempts to catch an Orca live, but the attempt goes horrible wrong when the whale attempts to kill it’s self by forcing itself into the boats propellers. They manage to hoist the whale aboard, but the whale immediately aborts it’s foetus. All this is watched, closely by the whales mate. The remaining whale begins a course of revenge against Harris and his mates. Eventually, Harris drops the captured whale back into the ocean, too late for her to be saved.

Over the next however long, the whale manages to disable evey boat but Harris’ in the harbour – he wants to fight Harris at sea. Harris’ obliges.

I guess this is an attempt at a modern Moby Dick. Despite Charlotte Rampling’s shitty acting, I found this film somewhat compelling.  It’s also an attemp (I think) to make a “smart Jaws.” Jaws was about a mindless eating maching that just did what it was programmed to do: eat and swim. Orca is about an intelligent, thinking animal that methodically plots and extracts revenge against the man who killed it’s mate.

Interesting, and despite some low points, quite watchable. I say go for it!

Here is the trailer:



Down Periscope (1996) – Funnier than I Expected

On the urging of a friend of mine, I finally watched the 1996 Kelsey Grammer film, Down Periscope. While I did not find it as funny as my friend did, I did find it funnier than I expected.

The gist of the story is that Kelsey Grammer’s character Lieutenant Commander Thomas Dodge is being considered (and most likely denied) command of his own ship. Due to his unorthodox methods (and the fact that a sub he was commanding bumped into a soviet sub he was trailing. Dodge is given command of a 1950’s era diesel sub and a rag tag crew of losers and set with seemingly impossible orders to compete in naval war games. Rear Admiral Yancy Graham (Bruce Dern), has a vendetta against Dodge, and does all he can to make sure Dodge fails.

There is quite a bit of comedy talent in this film including Rob Schneider, Harland Williams and Rip Torn and Kelsey Grammer himself. The movie is far from great, yet far from terrible. It’s worth a watch for the occasional laugh.

Here’s the Trailer:



Galaxy of Terror (1981) – Better Cast Than Script

I was warned that this was a super bad movie, and that there was no way in Hell I would like it.

I liked this stupid movie.

On a rescue mission, a ship and her crew are set out to a planet run by the Planet Master. Once on the planet, the crew is quicky subjected to terrors…terrors based on their own fears.

This is a Roger Corman production with a few names that eventually became pretty big in the movie industry. A pre-Freddy Krueger (even pre-Willie from V), Robert Englund, star of a huge number of movies and TV shows Sid Haig and lets not forget Erin Moran a.k.a. Joanie Cunningham from Happy Days. Oh…and what is most surprising to me, James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) as Production Designer and Second Unit Director.

Very cheezy, and much of the back drops look like bad paintings, still there is a certain charm to this film. None of it makes sense, but all of it was fun. Like many of the movies on this blog, the verdict is, if you like bad movies, you`ll like this. It didn`t win any awards, and didn`t deserve to, but it is fun. Watch this piece of crap if you have time.

Here is the Trailer:

And looky here – here`s the whole movie:



Captain America (1990) – Fun but Dumb

You know, I didn’t even know that this movie existed until earlier this week when one of my fellow co-workers suggested I watch it for this blog – I’ll definitely have to thank him for this.

This 1990 depiction of Captain America is a pretty shoddy deal, but is cheezy enough to stay fun.

Typical Captain America story: Nazi Germany (and the Italian Mussolini regime) develop a super soldier, the Red Skull, and the American’s do the same with Captain America. Bad things happen, Captain America gets frozen for 40 or so years, thaws out and continues his battle against the Red Skull. In this version, the President has been kidnapped by the Red Skull with the help of a general from the Pentagon, with the plan to implant a mind control device, therefore making the President little more than a puppet for the Red Skull. Of course, the newly revived Captain America must save the President (and the Free World with it) by defeating the Red Skull once and for all.

Silly, dumb, bad acting and Ned Beatty – I freakin’ loved this piece of crap. Don’t watch it because you love the Avengers or Captain America – watch it because you love bad movie, and you won’t be disapointed

And… you can watch the whole awesome mess on Youtube – and that link can be found after the trailer, below.

Here is the Trailer:

And here, my friends is the whole movie:


Encounter at Raven’s Gate (1988) – What a Piece of Crap

So, I watched 1988 film Encounter at Raven’s Gate (also known as Incident at Raven’s Gate) at the suggestion of an Australian friend that couldn’t stop raving about it. He owes me 89 minutes.

This so called sci-fi movie takes place in a small town and a farm in the Outback of Australia. Psychosis, electrical disturbances, theft of water and a foot ball trophy are the main issues – some unseen aliens too.

That’s it – Boring, shitty film. Watch it if you like – I didn’t. Boo Australia, boo!

Here’s the shitty trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6eh3_ZZKXE


Invaders from Mars (1986) – 80s Remake of 1953 Classic Falls Short of Original, But Still Fun

Last night I watched the 1986 remake of the 1953 Sci-Fi classic, Invaders from Mars and was surprisingly pleased: this campy homage to the original managed to stay true to the cheezy, innocence of the first film.

I watched this with two friends that didn’t seem nearly as into the film as I was, which was too bad, as I don’t think they gave it the chance it deserved.

Here’s the gist of the story: A flying saucer lands just over the hill from the back yard of a family during a meteor shower, who’s young, intelligent and imaginative son, David Gardner, is the only witness to this event. Excitedly, he runs and wakes his parents and tells them what he saw. Soon he is put back to bed, after being told that he obviously imagined the event. Still, his father George Gardner, who works the Space Agency decides that he should go out and check out the spot David pointed out, just in case.

The next morning, David and his mother report his father missing, calling the local police. While the police I searching, George returns, with a wooden, to the point and sullen attitude. Soon the police arrive back, affecting a similar attitude as George. They all insist that all is well, but in fact, they’ve all been taken over by the Martians. Each now sport a tiny wound at the base of the neck – the spot where a probe has been injected that allows the Martians to control their victims/agents. One by one, more and more people from the town and nearby NASA base are being co-opted by the Martians, including David’s mother.

At school, David is agitated (hey his folks have come under the control of aliens), and is sent to the nurse, Linda Magnusson(played by consumate B-Movie actress, Karen Black) by a bitchy teacher. The nurse realizes that David is extremely upset and listens to his incredible tale (including the bit about the would on the neck of those co-opted). At first she believes he is imagining things until she to notices behavioural changes in those around her, and the fact that many people are sporting bandages at the base of their necks. Soon Linda and David are on the run – they end up at NASA, speaking to a big wig that actually listens. Soon a plan is formed to fight the invaders.

A silly movie, intentionally, Invaders from Mars keeps enough of the campiness of the original, with a modern (well, 1986 modern) update. The real Martians, when you eventually see them are pretty cool looking (and not CGI – this is all practical effects). Very cheezy, totally campy and fun. I say go ahead and watch this one.

Here’s the trailer:

And looky here – here`s the whole damned movie:



Bad Ass (2012) – A Movie Based on a 3 Minute Youtube Clip That Danny Trejo Manages to Pull Off

Anyone remember that clip that Youtube a year or so ago where the old guy kicks the ass of an asshole on a bus, leaving the asshole asking for an “Amberlamps”? This movie is loosely (very loosely) based on that. Still, Danny Trejo makes it worth watching.

Trejo’s character, a seven year Vietnam veteran that was never able to fully transition back in to society, has passed the years in relative obscurity, working his hotdog stand for years while life passed him by. That all changed one day when he reluctantly kicks the ass of a couple of skin heads on a bus that are picking on an elderly black gentleman. Trejo’s act is caught on cellphone video and uploaded to the net where he becomes an instant Internet star when the video goes viral. A few more similar incidents like this manages to cement his reputation as “Bad Ass”

When Trejo’s buddy gets killed and the police don’t seem to be putting any effort into finding the killer, Trejo take the cause into his own hands. His investigation leads to a lot of bad guys getting their asses kicked (or worse), and right to the corrupt mayor.

This is a cheezy, low budget movie with a very tenuous plot…but I freakin’ loved it. A real grindhouse feel (without the fake dirty film effect), I have to recommend this movie if you came to the site because you like low budget wonders.

I say watch it.

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s a link to the original clip that inspired it:


Hard Ticket to Hawaii (1987) – Hard Movie to Watch

I only watched this movie because of a silly clip I saw on Youtube from it. I should have stuck with the clip.

Diamond smugglers, a “contaminated” escaped killer Boa constrictor (a snake), a number of 80’s Playboy Playmates, some cheezeball hunky almost actor dudes and you have this movie. Oh, and lets not for get a killer Frisbee scene. Show tits every 5 – 7 minutes and you have this shitty movie. 

Want to read about the plot and such? Too bad, as you’ll have to elsewhere for that.

Shitty movie – very shitty, but al least the clip I originally saw still makes me laugh. 

Here is that clip:


Harry’s War (1981) – A Must Watch Lost Classic from the Depths of the 80s

Harry’s War is one of those movies I have often thought about since seeing it back in the 80s, but was unable to ever find a copy to watch. I think this is one of the truly underrated movies of all time.

Harry’s War is a movie about the injustice of unfair taxation and the fact that the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) is seemingly above the law and able to trump the rights guaranteed to the U.S. population in the Constitution (by the way, I am not an American, so I look at this from the outside). It’s about one man that has exhausted all legal avenues and is forced to take action… to declare war on the I.R.S.

Starring one of those “That Guy” actors as the title character, Edward Herrmann is Harry Johnson – lowley, meek postman that inherits his adopted  ’Aunt’ Beverly Payne’s (played by Geraldine Page) soup kitchen/Antique/military surplus when she dies in tax court fighting the I.R.S. Running a charitable service, providing food ans comfort to those less off than her, she has come under the scrutiny of the I.R.S. and particularly that of Ernie Scelera, IRS District Director (David Ogden Stiers of M,A,S,H. fame), who believes that she ia actually running a political organization ans shirking her tax obligation. Scelera make it his mission to bring down Payne, saddling her with a $150,000+ tax bill, and no fair way to contest it. 

Asking Harry to come and help, he does just that, and shortly after arriving, is asked to take over the operation, as Payne just doesn’t have the strength anymore to keep going AND battle the I.R.S. Harry picks up the torch and beging the fight. Soon, court Aunt Patne passes away and Harry must take both burdens – which he does. After not gainig any traction with the I.R.S. by following their rules, he declsres war on the I.R.S. publicly by driving through the wall of a local news station and publicly declaring his intenet in the middle of an interview with Director Scelera.

The rest of the story is the physical and willful battle between the little guy and the Big Government Juggernaut. Attempts to isolate Harry from the press are foiled and he gains a grass roots following. Even when the army is brought in, they aren’t exactly sure they’re on the right side of the battle.

This is a feel good story with a serious message that still manages to stay funny – not an easy thing to do. A good cast, and good writing manages to overcome an obviously low budget. 

This movie has been traditionally very hard to find, as it only aired on TV once since it left the theatres it was released once on VHS, and then in 2005 saw the same VHS copy slapped onto a DVD. Both are long out of print. I was surprised this morning when it popped up on Netflix as a suggestion for me – I of course watched it immediately.

Available on Netflix, I have also found a copy on Youtube, though it is missing the first 5 or so minutes, I will link to it, as enough of the film is there that you should have no issue following the story – the only thing you miss is a bunch of people enjoying a meal provided by “Aunt” Payne and a little political diatribe – and you see the guy with the beard start a tape recorder recording. If you don’t have Netflix, then I say watch the Youtube copy – It’s better than not watching at all.

Just watch this movie – it’s awesome.

Here’s a little over nine and a half minutes of the film, to get a feeling for it:

And Here’s the whole movie, minus 5 minutes or so:




Reader Suggestion: UHF (1989) – If This Doesn’t Make You Laugh, Then You Suck!

Thanks to Brian for this movie suggestion:

Weird Al Yankovic’s 1989 comedy classic is a movie that every fan of funny must watch.

Stanley, a loser that can’t seem to keep a job is given the position of station manager of a local UHF television that his uncle won in a poker match. The station, with almost no watchers, quickly rises to number One as Stanley pioneers new programming – especially the new show, Stanley Spadowski’s Club House (Stanley being played masterfully by Michael Richards), a wacky wild ride of a kids show.

Their rise to the top gains the notice of the evil owner of Channel 8 (the big network channel), R.J. Fletcher (Kevin McCarthy), who makes it his personal mission to take down the upsart station. Taking advantage of Stanley’s Uncles penchant for gambling, offers to buy the station for $75,000 – exactly the amount his uncle owes to his bookie.

When Stanley hears this, he asks his uncle for a chance to raise the money himeself- leaving him two days to come up with the $75,00. They decide to hols a telethon, selling 7500 shares at $10 a piece. Getting wind of this, R.J. Fletcher moves to have Stanley kidnapped, the stations biggest star an only real hope to raise the money. The rest is a zany wild ride to against the clock, RJ and adversity.

This movie is so funny. It parodies so many classic (and not so classic) films. Silly silly silly – Hey, it’s by Weird Al – what the hell do you expect?

Find the whole movie below the trailer link (might not stay up for long).

Watch this movie: it is awesome!

Here is the trailer:

And Here is the whole movie (for as long as the link lasts):


Magic (1978) – A Great Movie

1978’s Magic is a twisted, psychological horror tale of an introverted mouse of a man, Charles “Corky” Wither, a professional magician and ventriloquist (played by the great Anthony Hopkins) who loses his grip on reality just as he is poised to make it big in show business.

Corky attempts to hone his stage skills at the insistence of his dying father (a one time magician that that worked the Catskills scene), who believes in Corky’s talent. After lots of work, he is discovered by big time agent, Ben Greene (played by the always great Burgess Meridith) who get’s him a deal with a major network, with the caveat that Corky must take a medical exam – nsomething that Corky refuses to do on “principal.” Upset, Corky takes off to an old place that rented cabins in the Catskills. It turns out that the lodge is run by a woman, Peggy Ann Snow (played by the gorgeous Ann-Margret), who Corky had a crush on as a child. 

Peggy Ann, now in a bad marriage, engages Corky and they end up in bed together and talking about her leaving her husband and taking off with Corky. Little does anyone know (at this point), that Corky is being controlled by his schizophrenic alter ego that manifests itself through his ventriloquist dummy, Fats. 

Ben Green walks in on Corky while he’s having an argument with the dummy, realizing that the reason Corky refused the medical exam was that he was worried that the doctor would discover that he was stark raving mad. After a tense test (that Corky fails), Ben goes to leave, vowing to get Corky professional help.  Shortly after walking out the door, Fats convinces Corky to kill Ben… And then the carnage begins.

I don’t want to give away anymore of this masterpiece. Let me say this: I have ventriloquist and their acts – I do not find any entertainment in this form of show business. That said, Magic is a fantastic movie with a great cast and great acting. A good movie.

Watch Magic – you owe it to yourself!

Here’s the trailer:


The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) – Yeah… Why Was This Made?

1972’s Legend of Boggy Creek is supposed to be a documentary. A shitty, shitty documentary about a Bigfoot like creature that had been claimed to  have been seen in and around Fouke, Arkansas since the 1950s.

Starring people from the actual town that claimed to have seen and or heard the Boggy Creek monster.

Low budget, bad narrating and especially bad music married together and then slapped on a crappy script with crappy filmography and you have this movie.

Even if you believe in Bigfoot and Bigfoot like creatures, look elsewhere. I feel greasy and like the worst of the 1970s came spilling out of my monitor. 

This feels like an episode of the old Leonard Nimoy series, In Search Of with all the talent and entertainment sucked right out of it.

Because I am so bored with this movie here is what Wikipedia says about this movie:

The film, which claims to be a true story, sets out to detail the existence of the “Fouke Monster”, a bigfoot-like creature that has reportedly been seen by residents of a small Arkansas community since the 1950s. It is described as having a foul odor, completely covered in reddish-brown hair and having 7 toes and also known by leaving tracks found in beanfields.

Several locals from the small town of Fouke, Arkansasrecall their stories, often appearing as themselves, claiming that the creature has killed several large hogs as well as other animals. In one scene, a kitten is shown as having been “scared to death” by the creature. The narrator informs us that while people have shot at the creature in the past, it has always managed to escape. In another scene, hunters attempt to pursue the creature with dogs, but the dogs refuse to give chase. A police constable states that while driving home one night, the creature suddenly ran across the road in front of him.

In a later sequence, culled from the actual newspaper accounts inspiring the film, the creature is shown menacing a family in a remote country house. After being fired upon, the creature attacks, sending one family member to the hospital

Available freely online, if you want to waste your time, then go ahead and watch this crap.

Here’s the Trailer:

And here is the whole crapfest of a movie:



Timestalkers (1987) – Made for TV Time Travelling Turd

Slow, boring… it’s like they just barely tried.

Timestalkers, a 1987 made for TV science fiction movie with Western overtones just barely manages to entertain.

A history professor,Dr. Scott McKenzie (William Devane) who specializes in the early days of the settling of America’s West is drafted by traveller from the future, Georgia Crawford (Lauren Hutton) to help stop a fellow traveller from the future, Joseph Cole (Klaus Kinski) from changing to past.

Dr. McKenzie and his good friend, and fellow Western history buff General Joe Brodsky (John Ratzenberger) go half on an auction of two steamer trunks full of memorabilia from the old west. Included in the trunks are some old photographs (“tin types”), in which one of them, upon closer examination shows a gunslinger with a 357 magnum, a gun from the 1980s, an not he 1800s. Dr. McKenzie writes a paper that receives ridicule about the anachronism in the photograph, that all tests show to be actually from the 1800s. Fortunately, the paper didn’t go completely unnoticed, as it was preserved, and used by Crawford to look for clues as to where Cole went when he escaped to the past in an attempt to destroy the Crawford Family, the one’s he believes are keeping him from monetizing his discovery of time travel..

Cole, 600 years in the future, has developed a method of time travel, and wants to profit from the discovery, but that goes against future convention, and is told that the idea must be shared by Georgia Crawford’s father, Dr Crawford (John Considine). Upset by the news, Cole travels back to 1866 in an attempt to Kill Crawford’s forefather, Matthew Crawford (also played by John Considine) assistant to the president. By destroying Crawford’s ancestor, he should therefore destroy the future Crawford family.

This movie, of course, is the store of how they must stop Cole while doing the least damage to the timeline, though they don’t seem to concerned with this…

Kinda’ boring, and kinda’ slow – still, I’ve watched much worse. Should you watch it? Well, I wouldn’t go out of your way to, if I were you.

I’m pretty sure this will disappear soon, but since I can’t find a trailer or clip of the movie, here is a link to the entire movie on Youtube:




Creature (1985) – 97 Minutes of Sub-Par Alien Rip Off

Somebody owes me 97 minutes.

1985’s Creature takes place on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. An expedition is sent to Titan to find out what happened to a previous group. once there they encounter ancient alien artifacts – one problem: an evil Alien with the ability to reanimate corpses after dead, is feeding in them.

Stupid, slow and uninspiring. The actors suck – even Klaus Kinski. I like crappy movies, but didn’t like this – what does that say about the movie?

Stay away from this one. If you have to see it, the whole movie can be found after the trailer below.

Here is the Trailer:

And if you REALLY need to see it, here is the whole, dumb movie:


2 Movies

Thank you, and which two would that be? 🙂

**Update: UHF and Touch of Pink

++UHF is awesome – I will re-watch, and I’ve never seen that so will put on my must watch list


The Doomsday Machine (1972) – Ah, More End of the World Sci-Fi Crap

1972’s The Doomsday Machine… What can I say?

Well, the Chinese have developed a nuclear device that threatens to destroy the world. At the same time, the U.S is poised to launch the first manned probe to Venus. Receiving the news of China’s death machine, the U.S. pushes up the launch date, and at the last moment substitute three attractive women (scientists) for three of the originally planned crew.

Once launched, it is revealed to them all that the reason for the substitution in due to the fact that they just might be the last members of the human race, and therefore would be responsible to keep the species going. 

The movie attempts to touch upon the psychological aspects of such a crew in such a situation. One of the male member loses it and in an attempt to rape one of the women, causes them both to be accidentally jettisoned into space.

Soon they are forced, due to fuel concerns, to face the reality that they may not all survive. Two of the astronauts (male and female), take on a mission to fix something on the outside of the ship, that would mean they would not return. Once the repair is complete, and they are most likely set for doom, they notice a near by Russian ship, to which they head to. Arriving at the Russian ship, they find a long deceased Cosmonaut in a functioning capsule. The commandeer the ship and head towards Venus. Of course, the Venusians don’t like this idea and stop them…

There you go: That’s 1972’s The Doomsday Machine. I’ve seen much worse, but that doesn’t mean this is good. You can watch the whole, damned thing for free online, mind you – Since I can’t find trailer anywhere, here’s the whole movie:


Fade to Black (1980) – A Great Slasher Flick… Yeah, See?

Wow… This movie was simply awesome. A slasher/horror flick from 1980, Fade to Black is a real surprise.

Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher), is a movie loving loser, living with his aunt and working at a film distributor. You might say he’s almost a savant when it comes to classic movie knowledge. When he’s not being harassed by his bitchy, wheelchair bound aunt Stella, bullied by co-worker Richie (played by a young, pre-plastic surgery Mickey Rourke) or harassed by his ass-hole, stress-case boss Mr. Berger (Norman Burton), he watches classic movies in his room or attends midnight screenings of classic movies.

Eric makes by chance meets Marilyn O’Connor, an Australian want to be model who looks like… well, Marilyn Munroe. She takes a shine to Eric, and agrees to meet him for a date. Unfortunately, she accidentally stands him up, which shatters Eric’s already tenuous hold on reality. Drowning in pity, Eric goes home and plunges into old movies and depression. His aunt, always the bitch gets to scolding him about his lifestyle and sends his projector crashing to the floor, enraging Eric. Eric, taking a scene directly from the movie Kiss of Death, causes his Aunt and her wheel chair to go careening down a flight a stairs, causing her to die in what appears to others as an accident. Hell, he even attends the funeral dressed as a character from the same film. This sets off a series of murders that Eric perpetrates against people that have wronged him. With each murder, Eric effects a different movie characters, including Dracula, The Mummy, Hopalong Cassidy and Norman Bates (though, as Norman Bates, he doesn’t murder anyone, but the scene is a masterful recreation of the shower scene from Psycho). 

While this is going on, the police are trying to track down Eric. Helping them is criminal psychologist Dr. Jerry Moriarty (played by consummate “That Guy” actor, Tim Thomerson), who’s looking for a pattern for these killing (classic movies, Captain Obvious), and getting no support from the police (aside from a female officer who’s doing him).  Moriartys main road block is Police Captain Gallagher who has no respect for psychology in police work. 

The film culminates with Eric luring Marilyn to a modelling job, which is interrupted when the police arrive. Fleeing with a now drugged Marilyn they are chased to the famous Grauman’s Chinese theatre, where in a replay of the final scene from the James Cagney classic, White Heat, he dies in a hail of bullets while sending out a hail of classic cheezy movie dialogue

That, in a nutshell is Fade to Black. If you enjoy horror movies then you owe it to yourself to watch this film.

Here is the Trailer:




Carnosaur (1993) – I Like Nasty Dinosaurs – Unfortunately These Ones are Just Pathetic

This 1993 film about Dinosaurs being unleashed upon us is a sorry waste of time. Obviously made to cash in on the excitement created by the release of Jurassic Park, this movie suffers from a budget that is much smaller than the movies ambitions.

A virus created by a genetic scientist hired to create a better chicken has gotten loose and infecting the population, causing women to spontaneously give birth to dT-Rex like dinosaurs, and then promptly die. Of course there’s scenes of poorly animated dinosaurs killing characters that you just don’t care about. There’s a love story, abd the conspiracy element of the food company trying to cover up it’s tracks.

Who cares? This movie sucks. Watch Jurassic Park, or if you want something campy check out One Million Years B.C. instead of this.

Here’s the trailer:


It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955) – Giant Atomic Octo- Awesomeness

It Came from Beneath the Sea is a 1955 atomic monster movie – something that was pretty common at the time. These are movies where the monster is a beast that has mutated or changed in some horrible way with atomic radiation somehow the catalyst for this change. There are many examples of these movies, and this has to be one of the best. In this case, a giant octopus is disturbed by atomic testing in the south Pacific by the U.S. Government.

In the opening scene, we are told about the progress man has made in the realm of submarines, culminating in the nuclear sub. The next scene, we are on the command deck of one of these subs on it’s maiden voyage. where we are introduced to Commander Pete Mathews (Kenneth Tobey), a major player going forward. Soon the sub detects a large radioactive object outside the sub. In an attempt to escape from the unknown object (the sub becomes stuck), they tear away a piece of what ever had held them. Upon return to dry dock a largish piece of biological matter that had been stuck to the sub is examined and turns out to be part of what appears to be a gigantic octopus. This is determined by tests run by Doctors John Carter and Professor Lesley Joyce. Upon sharing their results with Navy brass, they are at first not believed. A series of attacks on shipping and first hand descriptions of the creatures by survivors of these attacks soon change the mind of the Navy and soon they back the efforts of Professor Joyce and Dr. Carter. With the help of Commander Mathews, they devise a plan to use a newly developed jet propelled  torpedo with a remote detonator to be used against the creature – as long as they can find it. Turns out they don’t have too look too hard – as suddenly the creature decides to attack San Francisco, starting with the Golden Gate Bridge. In what is probably one of the greatest stop motion monster creature scenes, we get to see the creature in all it’s glory as it attacks and destroys a section of the iconic bridge. This is pure awesomeness. An shining example of a type of effect that is sorely disappearing. The man behind these effects is the great Ray Harryhausen who’s other works also include the Voyages of Sinbad and the 19814 classic, Clash of the Titans.

Soon the creature moves from the bridge to the bay and is soon attacking the Oakland  ferry terminal and terrorizing the people there in another masterful stop motion scene. Using blow torches, the creature is then driven back into the bay where the waiting sub can deliver the waiting torpedo. Unfortunately, they have to free the sub which the creature has grabbed a hold of. The only way to do this is to have someone deliver a an explosicve charge to get the creature to let go – Commander Mathews takes this upon himself, but ultimately fails. Dr. Carter then decides to go out himself and deliver another charge, this one working and freeing the sub. Once free, the sub detonates the torpedo and destroys the monster.

Pretty silly stuff, sure – but this is an amazing example of the work of effects master Ray Harryhausen, and of the Atomic monster craze that gripped the movie industry at the dawn of the atomic age. The acting is a little wooden, but fun. I believe that this movie is an unsung masterpiece that deserves more credit than it gets. A must watch which is easy as it is available on Youtube (see that link below the trailer).

Here is the Trailer:

And here is the whole movie on Youtube:

 




The Car (1977) – Proof You Can Make a Horror Film About Anything

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Wow – Haven’t seen this since grade 6 or so. Much scarier then.

This thriller/horror film came out in 1997, obviously riding the wave of road movies (like Steven Spielberg’s Duel and Roger Corman’s Death Race 2000) and stars James Brolin.

The story? A possessed, black, evil driver-less car starts killing the people of made up Utah town Santa Ynez. One by one this black evil car ( a Lincon I think) is running down and generally terrorizing this town and it’s people. The police force, and primarily James Brolin’s character are forced to deal with the menace.

They fight the car (after losing more of their own), blow it up and save the day. Or not…

Because I can’t be bothered, here is what Wikipedia has to say about this movie:

The film is set in the fictional Utah community of Santa Ynez. Two bikers are cycling on the canyon, and a mysterious blackLincoln Continental Mark III[citation needed] is following them down the road. At the bridge, the car rams them at the back, causing them to fly over the bridge, killing them on the spot.

The police is called to the first of a series of hit and run deaths, apparently caused by the same car that appears heavily customised and has no license plate, making identification difficult. Sheriff Everett Peck (John Marley gets a lead on the car when it is witnessed by Amos Clemens (R.G. Armstrong) after it runs over a hitchhiker. After the car claims its fourth victim, the sheriff itself, while trying to kill Amos, it becomes the job of Captain Wade Parent (James Brolin) to stop the deaths. During the resulting investigation, an eyewitness to the accident states that there was no driver inside the vehicle.

Despite a police cordon being placed around all roads in the area, the car enters town and attacks the school marching band as it rehearses at the local show ground. It chases the group of teachers and students, among them Wade’s girlfriend Lauren (Kathleen Lloyd), into a cemetery. Curiously enough, the machine will not enter onto the consecrated ground as Lauren taunts the purported driver that any of the townsfolk have yet to see. Seemingly in anger, the car destroys a brick gate post and leaves. The police chase the automobile along highways throughout the desert before it turns on them, destroying several squad cars and killing five officers in the process. Wade confronts the vehicle and is surprised to see that none of his bullets put a dent on the car’s windshield or tires. After trying to open the door, Wade is injured, and the car escapes.

The hunt for the car becomes a personal vendetta for Wade when the automobile stalks and eliminates Lauren by driving straight through her house, right when he is speaking to her over the phone. Wade’s deputy Luke (Ronny Cox) puts forward the theory that it acted in revenge for the insults hurled on it by Lauren and notes it cannot enter hallowed ground. Wade concocts a plan to stop the car by burying it beneath a controlled explosion in the canyons that lie outside of town. After discovering it waiting for him in his own garage, he is forced to carry out his plans post haste. He is pursued by the car into a mountainous canyon area where his fellow officers have set a trap for the machine, and a final confrontation settles the score with a demonic visage appearing in the smoke and fire of the explosion. shocking the police officers.

The final scenes show Wade refusing to believe what the group saw in the flames, despite Deputy Johnson’s insistence about what he saw. The film concludes, in some cuts, with the car prowling city streets, clearly having survived.

That is The Car. Watch it? If you want – you’re not missing much if you don’t.

Here is the trailer:


Flash Gordon (1980) – So Bad, It’s Almost Good

I remember being very excited about seeing this movie when I saw the first trailer. I was either 10 or 11 years old at the time when I saw it. I was so excited that I think I may have convinced myself I wasn’t disappointed, because years later I remember looking upon it with derision when thinking about it. I watched it again tonight, not expecting much and I wasn’t disappointed.

This 1980 sci-fi send up of the classic comic strip/radio/movie serial of the same name is a silly thing – very silly. I think that we definitely have to take in to account that Flash Gordon himself, as a character and his adventures were silly – a product of silly times – so I guess a silly movie is what one should expect. Unfortunately, the makers of this film skipped silly and went straight to stupid, completely skipping silly.

The movie starts with Ming the Merciless (portrayed by Max von Sydow) playing with the fate of an insignificant planet – Earth. 

American Football star Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones )is on a small, private air plane where he meets female reporter Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) when the plane finds itself in the middle of a beam from the evil Ming the Merciless. The plane is violently buffeting when Flash goes forward to the pilots cabin to inquire if all is ok – there he finds that the pilots have been sucked out the window and the cabin is empty. Flash takes the yoke and is able to bring the plane down in a controlled crash landing – into a scientists home/lab. That scientist, Doctor Zarkov ( quickly forced Flash and Dale into his rocket ship he just happens to have ready to go to save the Earth from the new, evil forces that are causing the moon to movie out of it’s orbit causing havoc and threatening the Earth. Blindly, the three hurtle towards Ming’s fortress. Soon captured, they are brought before the spectacle that is Ming’s fortress. Once there, Flash starts fighting Ming’s men – he sucks until he manages to get ahold of something vaguely football shaped object, then suddenly he can kick ass. He does  a cheezily good job of taking out  a number of Ming’s guards/minions (with a little discreet help from the leader of the Hawkmen. Eventually Flash is overpowered due to sheer numbers of enemies and is captured again. The three are separated – Dale to be Ming’s new wife, the scientist to have his mind wiped and Flash to be executed for his show of defiance in Ming’s court. During his little act of defiance, Flash managed to capture the eye of Ming’s daughter, the Princess Aura, who manages, with the help of a scientist that is infatuated with her, to fake Flash’s death, having him woken up once away from Ming. She then leaves with Flash and heads to, Arboria, the kingdom of Prince Barin (played by Timothy Dalton). Barin, unhappy about this, as he has eyes for  Princess Aura  – is hell bent on making life crappy for Flash. He soon forces to make Flash take part in some potentially deady rite of passage that involves thrusting one’s hand into holes in a large tree trunk  where one may or may not be stung by some venomous creature that lives within. Flash fakes him out – they fight Flash flees and Barin follows.  They are soon caputred by the Hawkmen – long time rivals of the people of Arboria. 

Meanwhile, Zarkov (who managed to foiled Ming’s scientist’s attempt at brainwashing, escapes with Dale, but are soon captured by the Hawkmen and brought before their leader, Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed who portrayed the Emperor Augustus in the great I Claudius mini series). Any way, Flash and Barin are forced to fight to the death, on a weird disc shaped platform that moves and has spikes. Flash gets the best of him, but spares his life gaining his fealty. Ming’s forces find out where they have escaped to and soon recapture the group – the Hawkmen taking off to Arboria instead of helping fight Ming’s forces.

Ming tries to offer Flash control over Earth, as he is impressed by Flash’s defiance. Flash refuses of course, manages to escape and contacts Prince Vultan who has had a change of heart and is ready to join the battle against Ming.

A big, cheezy battle between good and evil soon takes place, and of course all the good people live happily ever after.

This movie, if you are expecting a well made, comic based adventure, can be brutal. Bad acting, bad writing and a low budget does not a good movie make. Still, if you go into it expecting a cheezy spectacle of nonsense, then you might actually enjoy it. I have to say, this time, I liked it. Recommend it? No… warn you away from it? No. If you can put up with the lion’s share of the movies I post about here, you might have some fun. Oh yeah: and the entire sound track is done by the british rock band Queen.

Check out the Trailer: