Today I take a look at the 1981 dark comedy, Neighbors, starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd. I’ll explain why I feel this is one of the best dark comedies and why it has stayed fresh in my mind over so many years. Check out the video review below:
This was a weird one, and I am so surprised that I never watched this before now.
1989’s Society is an interesting film that tells the story of Bill Whitney (played by Billy Warlock), a 17 year old California High School student who is tone of two children of the very well off Whitney family. He has a cute sister, Jenny who is just a little older than he is, a cheerleader girlfriend and is popular at school. Why isn’t Bill happy?
Bill has had the feeling that he doesn’t belong. He doesn’t look like the rest of his family. They don’t communicate with him, other than idle chit chat, and recently he thinks he’s noticed some weird, seemingly impossible physical differences between himself and his family. His psychiatrist (oh yeah, he’s seeing a psychiatrist), Dr. Cleveland tells him he’s being paranoid and that he has to learn to fit in and accept his place in… society.
When a friend (and sister’s ex-boyfriend), David Blanchard, tries to let Bill know that things are not what they seem with his family, Bill rejects the idea out of hand. Eventually David gets Bill to listen to a secret recording David took of Jenny’s coming out party that seems to indicate that it was a family approved orgy, and that his parents really are keeping things from him. Providing his psychiatrist with a copy of the tape to prove that he isn’t paranoid, and that there are weird things going on in his family does nothing, when Dr. Cleveland plays it back and it’s a completely different, tame recording on the tape. What’s going on?
Bill starts raising hell and finds himself in some very weird and dangerous hot water. Eventually the truth is revealed to Bill, by Dr. Cleveland: The rich are a separate species from normal humans, and have been feeding off of us poor for as long as people have been around. In a glorious scene of crazy gross special effects, we get to see an orgy on eating and the weirdest transformations I have seen on film.
This movie has a lot going for it and I definitely suggest you watch it, though I will warn you that it is really quite gross. The acting isn’t the best but it definitely isn’t close to the worse either. I liked this film a lot and hope you will also.
Check out the trailer here:
2012’s The Bay is an environmental horror film with one message: stop polluting the water.
Chesapeake Bay, New England has a water pollution problem that the mayor is ignoring. The town’s chicken processing plant is dumping raw sewage into the bay and that is directly affecting the ecosystem of the bay0 Huge die offs of fish is the first sign that something’s wrong. A team of two divers working for environmental agencies are documenting what they find in the bay. On land, a college reporter, in town to document t he town’s summer festivities gets caught up in the story being one of the only news reporters in town when it gets quarantined.
This town is falling apart fast – It’s eventually determined that what is affecting everyone and everything is a parasite that is growing at an alarmingly fast rate due to the waste that’s been dumped into the bay. People are dying horrible deaths, eaten from the inside out.
Shot as a documentary made up of reports and self shot videos as well as some lost footage, the Bay stays interesting if not amazing. I watched it on the suggestion of a friend, and despite some really bad reviews on the Internet Movie Database, I enjoyed it for the most part.
Worth a watch? Well, it wasn’t terrible but you decide for yourself.
Check out the trailer below:
John Dies At The End is a weird tale of a couple of drop outs, exposed to a weird drug that allows them to see into another dimension and leaves them as protectors of our world from a possible invasion for that said dimension.
A movie by Don Coscarelli, the man who brought us the masterpieces Bubba Ho-Tep and the Phantasm series (amongst other films) has created a stylish, surrealistic weird movie that kept me confused and riveted at the same time. A couple of dope smoking, drinking roommates, Dave and John attend a big party where they meet Robert Marley who introduces them to a new drug with the weirdest of properties: a lone with distorting time, it also allows you to see into other dimensions and the evil that lives there. The drug also blurs the line between life and death. In fact, there are several times when it is not obvious if the characters on screen are alive or something…else. Throw in a police officer who has also seen a glimpse into this world and is doing his best to removea any trace of it, by any means possible. The story itself is told as a flashback while Dave relates the story to a reporter, Arnie Blondestone (played by Paul Giamatti).
This is really a hard movie to describe because it’s really not like anything I’ve seen before. All I can really say is that if you have an open mind for weird (but good) movies, then you really should see this film.
Check out the trailer below:
Having watched the recent remake of 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly night, I thought it only proper that I should watch the original – and I am glad that I did.
I remember hearing about Silent Night, Deadly Night back in 1984 when several groups and a lot of busy bodies were up in arms trying to get it banned – I mean, what God loving person would create a horror film based around Santa and Christmas. I’m glad those jerks failed, because I had fun watching this movie.
The gist of the story? A young man, after just been warned about Santa by his previously catatonic grandfather, witnesses his father and mother being killed by a maniac dressed as Santa. He and his then infant brother end up being raised in an orphanage run by Nuns (and a Mother Superior that is a BITCH). Things are okay for him, except around Christmas, where Santa still instills fear in him (gee, I wonder why). Over the years, he grows to be a strapping young man who gets a job working in the warehouse of Ura’s Toy shop. All is well until they need a stand in for the store’s Santa Clause. They give him the job… and then he snaps.
This is glorious, cheezy Holiday death. I’ve never seen this film up until last night, and boy was I pleasantly surprised. While not a big budget film, it was done well enough to be compelling. Sure, it’s a silly film and full of cheeziness, but in my book that is a good thing. Watch this film? Hell Yes. Watching this film, I see the similarities in the remake, though it was more of a re-imaginaing than a remaking – they both deserve a watch, though.
‘Tis the Season for watching Christmas Horror films, and this is one of the ones you need to see.
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:
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:
Okay… so I watched this movie. Yep… I watched this movie.
My very good friend and movie watching buddy suggested we watch this micro budget film (made for less than $1000), after he read a review in Rue Morgue Magazine. Yep… And we watched it.
The gist of the story? A group of freaks are holding a budget “Abortathon” offering very low priced abortions for one night a year. A number of stupid couples decide to take them up on the offer. The babies are aborted, but a leaky still with a special mixture spills out on the pile of dead fetuses, causing them to become murderous, gross zombie creatures. The people that die die in stupid, horrible ways, but that’s okay as you’ll probably end up hating them anyway.
This whole movie should have been aborted.
Good on the makers for making a movie for under $1000, bad on them for making this movie for under $1000.
Don’t watch this piece of shit. If you have to, here’s the shitty trailer for this shitty movie.
If you haven’t watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (ATKT), and you are a reader of this blog, then you should stop reading now, watch the movie and then come back. I’ll wait here.
Okay, so now you’ve watched this movie, what do you think? Bad? Damn straight. Low budget? Oh hell yeah! Unwatchable? I wouldn’t necessarily say that.
So, 1978’s ATKT is a silly, low budget spoof on the low budget creature features that were being made willy-nilly in the 1970s. It seems like a exercise to see how lame a creature could be and still have people watch the film. I think they succeeded in this.
Basically, the story revolves around a group of scientists who have gathered together to try to come up with a defense against, aggressive, killer mutant tomatoes that have suddenly popped up, killing any human they come into contact with. A crack team is sent to look for chinks in the Tomato defenses – including a lieutenant who is dragging a parachute behind himself continuously (hell, he looks like he landed right out of World War II), And underwater expert who is continuously in a wet suit and a master of disguise who is anything but a master of disguise.
I’m not going to write a lot about this movie other than to say that despite it’s stupidity, and lameness, I liked this silly thing they called a movie. If you like bad movies, then this is a definite must watch… and it has the most awesome theme song.
Add this movie to your collection, folks.
Here is a trailer:
Well, this was a movie.
1976’s Food of the Gods is the supposed to be the story of nature (or more precisely the Ecology) striking back at man for all that he has done to harm it. Okay… Morgan (played by Marjoe Gortner), who is a professional football player and some of his buddies head to an island that I believe is supposed to be in British Columbia, Canada for a relaxing hunting trip. One of the first things that happens, is one of the buddies is attacked by giant, very badly applied special effects wasps. Hell, it took me a bit to figure out that they were wasps, that’s how bad the special effect was. Anyway, the guy dies from the wasp attack. They find their way to a farmhouse on the island, looking for a phone to call emergency services. Getting no answer after knocking, Morgan notices some movement from a shed and goes to investigate. Man… he is immediately attacked by a giant, freakin’ chicken. That’s right: a giant chicken. And it’s quite the fight, too. So, after the chicken fight, the enter the house and are confronted by a gun wielding Mrs Skinner, who’s waiting for the return of her husband (who was killed by giant rats in an earlier scene I didn’t mention). Taking the gun from her, she tells the guys how she and Mr Skinner discovered a bubbling spring of a mysterious white liquid on their property. At first they thought it might be oil, but once they figured that wasn’t the case they decided to mix it with chicken feed…and feed it to the chickens. They found out that when young chicks eat the stuff, that they call Food of the Gods, the chicks grow to be huge – like the one that attacked Morgan. Mr Skinner had planned to sell the rights to the stuff to get rich. Unfortunately, insects and mice and rats all got into the stuff too and now the island is over run with giant rats and mice and wasps and maggots… It’s a mess. Throw in a couple stranded when there Winnebago gets stuck, an selfish research scientist and his assistant and yo have a crazy, giant rat infested mess of a movie.
This movie isn’t very good, but it is fun. Fun if you like B-Movies, that is. The effects are terrible, but that’s what I expected. I don’t know if I would suggest this movie, but I’m glad I saw it.
Here’s the trailer:
I watched John Water’s 1972 film, Pink Flamingos last night for the first, and what will be the last time.
Pink Flamingos is the tale of Divine (the transvestite that became mainstream big in the 1980s with her hit song “You Think You’re a Man”), as an up and coming underground star, recently named “The Filthiest Person Alive by some tabloid style paper. This has enraged bizarro couple, Connie and Raymond Marble, who believe they are the filthiest people alive. With there business of kidnapping young women, impregnating them and selling the babies to lesbian couples, and many other deviant actions, they might have a point. They try to make it a point to destroy Divine and take her crown. Divine fights back and gets her own revenge.
Divine is living in a pink and blue trailer (with two pink flamingos out front) with her mentally challenged mother (who spends her days in a playpen asking for eggs and the egg man), her deviant son and travelling companion, Cotton. The Marble’s send a spy, a woman, to get information – this leads to a weird/sickening rape scene involving live chickens… ugh!
So, I really can’t say too much about this film, except warn you: You will see real chickens killed, you will see Divine actually take a shit and wipe herself, you will see Divine actually giving head to a guy (Divine is actually male folks)… You will see a lot. The actual last scene of the movie (if you make it there) shows Divine REALLY eating shit right from a dog’s ass.
For those that don’t know who John Waters is, he’s an avant-garde film make with a penchant for extreme weirdness and trans-gender individuals. This film is a self described exercise in bad taste. I believe it was made just to test the boundaries of what an “artist” could get away with in 1972, the year that hard core porn was legalized in much of the United States (or so I heard somewhere). Well, it does that.
You’ve been warned, you decide if you need to see this film.
Here is the trailer that was run at the time:
Watching this film reminded me: the Cohen Brothers are insane – beautifully insane. I swear these guys crap masterpieces!
A remake of the 1955 movie of the same name, this movie stars Tom Hanks and a cast of “that guys” planning an ingenious heist from a riverboat casino.
This a seriously fun and dark movie. tom Hanks plays a swarthy, kind of charming professor that seems a throwback to the Antebellum times, and is the mastermind behind the heist. Hanks’ character has gathered a group of men that all have specific specialties that they add to the group as a whole. Their plan is to tunnel into the cash room of the casino via a tunnel they dig from the root cellar of the sharp, elderly lady Hanks’ character had rented a room from.
It’s a bit of a crazy plan with some very funny twists and turn that leave you wondering and laughing.
This is definitely a film for Cohen fans and if you don’tnormally like their work then this is not for you. That said, if you do, then definitely watch this… then go and watch the 1955 original – it’s also great (and star s Sir Alec Guinness).
Check out the trailer below:
Wow… This film is a freakin’ trip. I saw this film back in 1992 or 1993 on VHS – I was impressed then and I am now.
Starring Bill Pullman as neurosurgeon Dr. Rex Martin who, after a head injury finds himself wondering what is real and what is not and whether or not he is actually who he thinks he is.
This is a crazy, rollercoaster ride that makes the watcher also wonder what’s really happening to the character and what isn’t. Dr. Martin goes from paranoid to confused. One scene jumps to another leaving him and you, the audience reeling. Is he being persecuted by the giant evil company he works for? Does he even work for a big evil company? Who’s on his side? What side is his side?
Watch this trippy movie yourself to figure it out…but you won’t (figure it out, that is).
Here is the trailer:
Parents is a 1989 film, set in 1950’s suburbia is the story of a boy, Michael who discovers that his meat loving parents are cannibals.
This is a fun, funny stylish flick that I am surprised that I had never even heard of until earlier this week. Starring Randy Quaid as Nick Laemle and Mary Beth Hurt as Lily Laemle, Michaels parents, they play convincing mid-20th century parents… with a taste for Human flesh.
Michael, already an odd little boy,being raised by odd parents, suspects that something just isn’t right with his folks. Poking around, he finds hints but no answers to their weirdness – that is, at first. Eventually he discovers their secret, and that of course, put him in jeopardy.
This film is stylish with great visuals and a great cast. The story, while macabre, is engaging and fun. I have absolutely no issues recommending this silly film.
Check out the trailer here:
Do you like Spaghetti Westerns? Do you like the weird twist and feel that many newer Asian Directors have? If yes, then you’ll love this film.
Obviously a take on the Good, The Bad and the Ugly, this twistedly awesome Korean take on the Spaghetti Western keeps the viewer on the edge of their seats for the 2 hour plus action packed adventure.
The tail of three men and three factions all fighting for or against the freedom of Korea from the ruling Japanese. Great vistas with great cinematography combined with good, quirky acting leaves you with an epic film that kept me engaged from start to finish. Some of the scenes are taken almost directly from the original, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. There were a couple of scenes that almost blew my eyes out of my head, they were just that stunning. I’ve read that it was one of the highest budget movies made in South Korea and I can see why. I highly recommend this film if you are okay with subtitles – don’t bother with overdubs – they always suck.
Watch this move – hell watch it twice!
Here is the trailer:
Holy crap… I don’t know Why I didn’t read about this earlier, but apparently things are moving forward with a remake or sequel to the 80’s cult classic movie, Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
The original was a wild romp that had me laughing at it’s ridiculousness from beginning to end – a definite must watch for anyone that reads this blog [insert cricket sound here].
Check out the article that broke the news for me here:
Have a great day folks!
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:
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:
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:
Way back in the early 1980s there was a gaming craze that was gathering popularity – Role 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 role 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 role 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 Role Playing – that’s when nerds get together and dress up as their role playing characters and act out their role 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:
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:
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:
I just finished watching the 1988 horror/Science Fiction film, Deep Space and was pleasantly surprised: I expected this to be really bad -it turned out to be mildly o.k. actually.
A secret military experiment has created a bug like living weapon in space – and that experiment has fallen to Earth. The reason the experiment was done in space was due to how dangerous the creature would be if it got loose (plus, to keep it secret, probably). Well, now that’s crashed to Earth, it is now killing everything it comes in contact with – and reproducing. Dectective Ian McLemore (played by consummate ”that guy” actor, Charles Napier) and his partner, Detective Jerry Merris (played by Barney Miller alumni, Ron Glass) investigate the gruesome killing of a young couple and find some interesting, things at the scene of the crime… thing apparently not of this Earth. Of course they were killed by the creature, released when it crashed to Earth. More people get killed, a hot police woman gets mixed up with McLemore and his unofficial investigation (he gets put on suspension early) and the gonernment/Military try to keep it all under wraps. Oh: and throw in a psychic (played by the always awesome Julie Newmar) and you have this movie.
I initially thought that this film, in some ways reminded me of the film, Biohazard – then I read that the maker of that film made this film too! The creature’s design is definitely inspired by the creatures from the Alien movies (including the young that look so much like the Face Huggers from the Alien movies that I’m surprised the makers of this film weren’t sued over it). The film isn’t great, but I actually expected it to be much worse. Would I recommend it? Well, why the hell not? I mean, I’ve recommended much worse films!
Check out the trailer here: