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Archive for November, 2012

Hollywood Boulevard (1976) – How Can Such a Piece of Crap Be So Fun?

1976’s film, Hollywood Boulevard, is a spoof of the cheezy, low budget crapfest 

movies of the 60’s and 70’s made by the king of Drive-In B-Movies, Roger Corman – and it is all fun.

This movie popped up on Netflix as a recommendation after watching a series of low budget flicks. I had less than 2 hours to watch a movie, and this was 82 minutes long, so it was a perfect fit – I loved it. 

The premiise of the movie? A young want to be actress moves to Hollywood to become a star (Candice Rialson as Candy Wednesday). She eventually lands a role in a really low budget film as a stunt woman, which leads to a roll as an actress in a Filipino Exploitation film. One issue though: Some one is killing the actors on the sets of these movies, and everyone is trying to find out who. Much of this movie is compiled from scenes from past Roger Corman films (something he did many times), making it EVEN lower budget. Also, it stars Mary Woronov as Mary McQueen and Paul Bartel as Eric Von Leppe.


I’m going to cheat and paste in the Wilipedia description of this film – yeah, I am:

In a prologue, pompous film director Eric Von Leppe (Paul Bartel) is shooting a skydiving sequence for low-budget Miracle Pictures in which an actress is killed. Candy Wednesday (Candice Rialson) arrives in Los Angeles to make it as an actor. She gets an agent, Walter Paisley (Dick Miller), but struggles to find work until she inadvertently gets involved in a bank robbery as a getaway driver. This gets her a job for Miracle Pictures as a stunt driver. She meets Eric Von Leppe, temperamental starlet Mary McQueen (Mary Woronov), sleazy producer PG (Roger Doran) and friendly scriptwriter, Pat (Jeffrey Kramer). Candy and Pat fall in love and she starts to get work as an actor, becoming friends with fellow starlets Bobbi (Rita George) and Jill (Tara Strohmeier).

Everyone goes to the Philippines to make a movie, Machete Maidens of Mora Tau, starring Candy, Mary, Bobbi and Jill. Candy has to play a character who is raped which upsets her. Later on during the shoot, Jill, Bobbi and PG have a threesome. During the filming of a battle sequence, Jill is shot dead by an unseen attacker.

Back in the US, Candy, Walter and Pat all go to see Machete Maidens at a local drive in, where the projectionist tries to rape Candy but she is rescued by Walter. While shooting a chase scene in a science fiction film, Mary, Candy and Jill are almost killed in a car accident. Jill is called back to the studio late at night and is stabbed to death.

Candy begins to suspect Patrick is the killer. But it turns out the real culprit is Mary. She tries to kill Candy at the Hollywood Sign but it falls on her and crushes her to death. Candy is reunited with Pat and becomes a film star.

This is silly, stupid and so cheap. 

I loved it.

Unable to find the trailer, here are a series of clips put to Beethoven:



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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011) – Thank You Mr. Cage For Making a New Movie I Don’t Hate

I remember watching the first Nicholas Cage Ghost Rider movie back in 2007 and being really disappointed. I put off watching this movie for quite a while. Well it turns out that I shouldn’t have – This movie was pretty Damned good.

In Spirit of Vengeance Johnny Blaze (aka Ghost Rider aka Nicolas Cage) is recruited by a bad-ass butt-kicking, wine drinking, motorcycling weird, intense eyed french priest (or something) by the name of Moreau (played very effectively by Idris Elba) to save a child from a group of paramilitary that seem pretty intent on getting this kid. What will Johnny Blaze get out of this deal? He’ll finally have this crazy Ghost Rider curse/possession lifted from him. He gets to it right away. Oh, and the Kid’s name is Danny.

Right off the bat Danny and his mother, Nadya (played by Violante Placido) and Danny are being forced off the road and then smacked around in a pre-we’re-about-to-kidnap-your-son-and-shoot-you bout of violence. All of a sudden, here come Ghost Rider, and he is ass-kicking mad. He’s always ass-kicking mad. Taking out most of the bad guys, while giving  Nadia and Danny the time they need to get away. He takes a grenade induced beating, at the same time, but gets the job done. Turns out, Danny’s mom made a deal with Roarke (The Devil, in case you’re not aware, and played this time out by Ciarán Hinds who does a great job), agreeing to carry Roarke’s child, in order for Roarke to transfer his essence into the boy at the age 13, as his mortal body is failing. Nadya is doing whatever she can to keep Roarke from getting to the child. Moreau’s religious sect are also working to prevent Roarke’s transfer to the boy – but they want a more permanent resolution other than hiding the boy.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story, so I’ll say this: If you wanted the original Ghost Rider to be good and were disappointed, then this movie is for you. I have like Nicolas Cage for years, but lately almost all of his movies have been pretty much crap – I am so glad to say that I like this movie. This Ghost Rider movie seems to have more of a story, and feels a lot more comic book like – which is good, as Ghost Rider is a comic book character. 

Nicholas Cage not only reprises his roll as the Demonically possessed Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider in 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, he actually redeems that roll with this movie. Yes, this is the kick ass Marvel Movie the Ghost Rider deserved the first time out. 

I say watch it.

Here is the trailer:


Toy Soldiers (1991) – Redeemed

You know, I watched this movie back in 1991 or 1992 and remember being very disappointed with it. Well, I used to drink and I’ll chalk up my original opinion to that fact, because after just watching it again, I am pleasantly surprised on how much better a movie it seems to me now.

Toy Soldiers tells the tale of a group of students at a boarding school that are taken hostage by the son of the Colombian Cali Cartel’s leader after his father is captured and extradited to the United States for prosecution. Demanding the release of the Cartel leader or they will start executing the students, the terrorists quickly get control of the school and booby trap it against an incursion. A small group of students , led by Billy Tepper (played by Sean Astin) and Joey Trotta (played by Wil Wheaton) decide to try and fight back by collecting information on the terrorists and getting that information to the authorities on the other side of the school’s walls. Using that information, the authotites decide to move in, but only after The Dean, Edward Parker (played by Lou Gossett Jr.) convinces the military that Billy Tepper can be trusted.

This is an action packed movie with plenty of drama and suspense. Not an award winner or anything, but still a solid film. Like I stated at the beginning of this write up, I didn’t even like this movie when I first saw it, but I am glad I gave it a second chance.

Check out the trailer here:


How To Be A Serial Killer (2008) – A Must Or A Must Not See, But Only You Can Decide Which One It IS

I am mildly disturbed  by how entertaining I found this movie, seeing as it kind of makes light of a serial killer and his protege. Okay, not kind of, but does in fact make light of a serial killer and his protege.

2008’s How To Be A Serial Killer is the story of a serial killer,Mike Wilson (played by Dameon Clarke) who decides to teach his trade to a down trodden Video store clerk, Bart (played by Mathew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds fame) as a way to improve his life. He takes Bart on a roller coaster of a class in what it takes to be a serial killer, and how life affirming being a serial killer is. I know: that’s so completely and utterly wrong on all levels. Yet there it is. And there is this movie. A movie I found witty and funny and so utterly dark, all at the same time. That can’t be easy to do, can it?

Mike, the serial killer brings us the movie in sections with an introduction for each part. In these introductions, we find Mike on a stage in a role that that seems some where in between a motivational speaker and an actor in a self indulgent one man play. Also, we are sometimes interrupted by a Dr. Goldberg (played by the very familiar George Wyner) who will explain a trait that is prevalent in serial killers, right before cutting away to a scene that demonstrates the very same trait. 

Writer/Director Luke Rici created something very unique in this film and for that I think he should be very proud. That said, though there are many people I now that I would not feel comfortable recommending this to – but that is okay, as this film isn’t meant for them. If you can get past this whole twisted, dark idea and watch this movie with an open mind, then I recommend this movie for you.

Here’s the trailer:



Silent House (2011) – Creepy, But Lacking

Staring Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister of the Olsen Twins,Mary-Kate and Ashley of Full House Fame, Silent House is a mildly creepy movie that deals with repressed memories and past abuses.

A young lady acompanies her father and Uncle as they return to her childhood home to help restore it prior to selling it. While there, she is haunted with images and believes she hears people or things in the supposedly empty house. When bad things start happening, we are left wondering what’s real and what’s not.

This is one of those movies where if I say much more of the story or plot, then I would most likely give away the whole premise, and I won’t do that. I will say that the movie is creepy – just not overly compelling (to me – my wife liked it much more than I did).

Watch it? Sure, as it’s not that bad.

Here is a trailer – you decide if you want to watch it.


Dracula (Spanish Version – 1931) – Better Than Lugosi’s? Perhaps…

1931’s Spanish version of Universal’s Dracula is simply a masterpiece.

Filmed on the same set as the iconic Bela Lugosi led Dracula, but at night when the main shooting was done, the makers of this version had a big advantage: They watched the original being shot and were able to improve any shots that may not have been optimum in the English cut. The acting is top notch, and the sets… well the sets are Dracula sets. The film, being in Spanish was watched with subtitles, and Spanish is a language that I sometimes find too fast for subtitles – but not this time. The pace was perfect.

Apparently the use of the sets of big, English titles to film Spanish films for Universal was pretty normal (hell, it’s a great cost cutting measure), and I am sure there must have been some abominations created this way, but as stated, this is not one. I know that Lugosi’s Dracula is a masterpiece, and I don’t mean to take anything away from that, but I would think that this is better. Significantly better.

Want an interesting look at the classic tale of Dracula? Watch this movie. HEll, watch it here, in full:


Has Anyone Seen the 1989 Flick, Society? And If So, What Did You Think of It?

Hey folks, how are you today? Good I hope.

Anyway, I’ve had this movie suggested for me to watch by someone who hasn’t been very good with their suggestions of late. So what I thought I would do is ask you folks: Have you seen this movie, and if so, what do you think.

Here’s the trailer: