Monday, December 31, 2012

The Queen Of Versailles


The Queen Of Versailles is a horror film about a billionaire couple who fall on hard times due to the economy and are forced to fly commercial. It's gut-churningly terrifying. Sure, it's difficult to feel sorry for the characters in this film because everything in their house is gold-plated. Even though I myself am a billionaire, I think nearly everyone can relate to the plight of the Siegels. For instance, who hasn't gone to the Wal-Mart and struggled because you were uncertain how many Operation board games you needed to by for your children for Xmas? Who hasn't felt a little uncertainty because one of your nannies had to go live in the kids' playhouse? Who amongst us hasn't worried if we would have the funds to cover our next plastic surgery? And who hasn't creepily hit on Miss America at one of your dinner parties? All of those things have happened to me, and it's not funny when the $17,000 alligator boot is on the other foot.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Xanadu


Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo, and Andy Gibb star in this music television program where dancers in revealing costumes perform slightly suggestive routines to popular radio hits from the 1980s.


Wait a minute. Someone from the Research And Development Department at Deathrage Industries just informed me that what I wrote above was the synopsis for the program Solid Gold, and that the video was a clip from Solid Gold with a dancing snowman. I am going to need some outside research to prove that this video is not from the film Xanadu, because I don't see how it couldn't be. Both Solid Gold and Xanadu have tube tops, spandex, leg warmers, mime, juggling, and overly rouged and lip-glossed men and women, so it's easy to get those things confused.


OK, so I was just told by the Legal Department at Deathrage Industries that the clip above is not from the television series Solid Gold, but it is the opening sequence to the film Xanadu that someone cleverly mashed together with footage of the Starship Enterprise blowing up and we've already gotten several cease-and-desist letters from Jeff Lynne, Olivia Newton-John, the ghost of Gene Kelly, and that guy who starred in Xanadu that no one remembers, and they're all pissed which is very strange as I haven't even published this blog post yet. Boy, those lawyers certainly do work fast.

Now I'm very confused. The next video just HAS to be Xanadu.


My executive assistant just informed me that the video above is not from Xanadu, but that it is a clip where someone put footage of the Solid Gold Dancers with the Benny Hill theme. While that's good for a chuckle, it doen't solve the main problem of which of these videos are from the film Xanadu and which are from the television show Solid Gold. I guess no one will ever know. Here's the trailer for the film Xanadu:


Dang it! OK, here's Solid Gold:


Whatever.

Cannibal! The Musical


Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this low-budget musical loosely based on the story of Alferd Packer. As you can probably guess from the title of the film, Alferd Packer was accused of eating his fellow prospectors after becoming lost in the Rocky Mountains, which isn't a very shpadoinkle thing to do, if you think about it. Trey Parker and Matt Stone do a shpadoinkle job of writing, filming, and scoring this musical, although it is slowly paced and seems longer than a 96 minute runtime.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Strippers Vs. Werewolves



OK, I'm just going to cut to the chase because we have a lot of ground to cover. The film opens with "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran, and then Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet takes a silver pen to the eye. I'm not sure what that has to do with strippers.


I'm not sure what that has to do with strippers, either, but that's not important right now. Sadly, some vaguely werewolf/stripper-related plot happens I think, and I'm left with a couple of questions. First of all, when you mutilate a corpse, should you wear a headband? And second, do werewolves wear tracksuits? I'm not sure, and I don't think I want to know the answer.

Anyway, I'm no authority on werewolves, but IMHO, these are fine examples of werewolves:
Yes

Yes

And these are NOT good examples of werewolves:
No

And definitely No.


I have been told by my children that the film franchise Twilight contains at least one shirtless werewolf named Taylor Lautner. I don't know anything about that, and I don't want to. You cannot convince me otherwise, regardless of the fact that I once reviewed one of the films in the franchise.

Anyway, the werewolves with the glued-on muttonchops and the B-squad of exotic dancers with the phony eyelashes do what werewolves and strippers are expected to do in any film promising an epic battle between werewolves and strippers, which is examine their relationships. 

For a really long time. 

I mean a really long time. 

So the unconvincing werewolves plot something or other, and the unconvincingly strippers gyrate on the pole, and then the strippers soldier some stuff together and change lightbulbs, and what everyone wants to see when they want to watch an epic battle between strippers and werewolves would be a not-so-thrilling show about arts and crafts.

In conclusion, Strippers Vs. Werewolves is a lot like Snatch meets Notting Hill, only with strippers.

Well, more strippers. Or werewolves.

Actually, I don't know. Were there Werewolves in Notting Hill?


Maybe there was one.

The Nightmare Before Christmas


The Nightmare Before Christmas is a heartwarming holiday tale about the best holiday ever, Halloween. Our hero, Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King, becomes bored with Halloween for some wacky reason, and he becomes entranced by the evil spell of X-Mas. He abandons all interest in Halloween, and attempts to turn all of the citizens of Halloween Town into X-Mas fans, and for the life of me I can't figure out why the heck he would do that. When Jack discovers X-Mas Town, he sings a jaunty little tune where he asks, "What's This?". I'll tell you what the answer is. The answer is, "It's X-Mas, And It's Tacky". Why would anyone choose ugly, garish X-Mas over gloomy, morose Halloween? It boggles the mind. X-Mas has tinsel, and garlands, and ornaments. Halloween has severed heads, and skeletons, and jack o'lanterns. Seems like a no-brainer to me, but whatever. Anyway, at the end of The Nightmare Before Christmas everyone learns a valuable lesson, and that lesson is "X-Mas Sucks".




Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Elf


A successful businessman is tormented by a cheerful, non-sequitur spouting bastard man-child with a penchant for candy in this terrifying horror film. This film brings my mind to a halt. I don't understand it at all. It's a garland-filled nightmare from beginning to end. I could just vomit from all of the holiday cheer. Carols are sung, trees are murdered, and spaghetti is eaten. I have no idea what happens in this film, and I was looking for subtitles to explain it to me. Here's a clip where the two villains of the film, one of whom accuses the other of smelling like a Hickory Farms kiosk, fight in front of children potentially psychologically scarring them. I don't blame the children for screaming, because it is terrifying. BTW, this clip might not be safe for work if your work has rules against viewing Youtube clips featuring Zooey Deschanel.


A Christmas Carol (1951)


Alastair Sim plays a successful businessman who is haunted by 3 ghosts in this terrifying horror film. The thrills never stop as spectres howl and shriek. Honestly, I can easily relate to the plot of this film. Who the heck do these ghosts think they are? Mr. Scrooge is trying to make his company as profitable as he can, and he can't do that if his loafing, good-for-nothing employees are constantly bitching about 'paid holidays', or 'pay', or 'benefits', or 'heat'. My employees are happy and content with 3 shillings an hour, and if they're not, they can take some holiday time off, and by "time off" I mean down the elevator shaft they go. This film strikes terror in me, as I can imagine how I would feel if ghosts or federal regulators came into my offices and started flinging fines or X-Mas cheer around and forced me to have 'humane' or 'satisfactory' or 'safe' working conditions. Seriously, I do not need ghosts or muckrakers or police screaming in my face shaking their chains or whatnot. It's not ok.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark


An outlandishly dressed horror TV show host who ridicules bad movies and drives a bitchin' car inherits a dilapidated mansion and turns all the town's squares against her in this terrible film. I had no problem with any of that, especially since there was a demonic casserole, angry villagers with flaming torches, and a clip or two of the film Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes. Spoiler alert: Near the end of the film; Elvira is nearly burned at the stake, and it's reminiscent of Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion Of Joan Of Arc if Carl Theodor Dreyer didn't give a crap about cinematography and if Joan Of Arc wore pasties. Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark is highly recommended if you like stuff that sucks.




FDR: American Badass


The US President battles werewolves and commits bad-assery in this low-budget comedy. Corny, campy and offensive, FDR: American Badass attempts to rectify the fail that was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It also fails, but at least it wrings a couple of chuckles out of a lackluster script, several continuity errors, groan-inducing acting, cruddy CGI, and a decided lack of bad-asssery. Sure, FDR has machine-guns attached to his wheelchair, but he pulls a bunch of wussy maneuvers. I still felt FDR: American Badass accomplished what it set out to do, which wasn't very much. Here's a red-band trailer, which is NSFW due to language.


Rare Exports


There's an evil Santa afoot in this boy's adventure tale. Unfortunately, there's not enough Evil Santa and not enough adventure. It's very well photographed and awfully quirky, but when I'm sold a bill of goods about Evil Santa, I sure as heck want a frothy-mouthed, ranting, blood-drenched, rampaging Evil Santa. Maybe I set my expectations too high. I liked Rare Exports, but found it to be a Bjork-y yuletide X-Files.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cavegirl


30-year-old high school students obsessively bully another 30-year-old high school student until he somehow travels backward in time in this not-very-science-y 80s comedy. I've been awfully busy lately, with the upcoming apocalypse and several unpleasant holidays looming. So that means I've been procrastinating almost everything. I've been doing a lot more shopping than I would like, out amongst humans, in the cold. I don't care for any of that. It means trying to find a parking spot, and walking, and being near people, and spending money, and doing everyone's shopping for them purchasing things they didn't know they wanted. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but whatevs. And that also means I am forced to listen to dreadful holiday music. I don't know how anyone stands it. It's a bunch of holly-jolly bullcrap. I looked through my music collection, and I was surprised to find that I inexplicably own 4 yuletide albums. 4! How is that even possible? It must have been some sort of awful accident. Let's listen to a few numbers, shall we?


That was an unusually uptempo holiday jam by the group Low, or as I like to call them, SLow. Why, that tune was nearly jaunty. They usually aren't, which is why I like them. If you really want to have a bummer holiday, play some Low holiday tunes. I know I do.


I searched all over the internet for a video of Kristin Hersh covering that tune by Big Star that shall go unnamed, but I couldn't find one. You just have to be satisfied with this live tune from that e.p., where she sings something about 'the flowers of narcissus are nailed to the underworld door' which sounds alright by me.


Here's a tune from the pagan holiday collection called A Winter's Solstice on the Windham Hill label. I try not to play this record very often, as it has the uncanny ability to make it snow whenever I do. Don't blame me if you play it and it snows where you live. I had nothing to do with it. Blame the Weather Channel.


And finally, here's a top jam that I'm certain will become a favorite at your house. I have a weakness for song-poems. They're fantastic. I'm not going to explain what a song-poem is, that's why the Internet invented Wikipedia. Look it up.

So, there's a few selections from my holiday music collection, and I hope you enjoyed it but I don't particularly care if you didn't. Funny, I think I was talking about something else, and I forgot what it was.


Monday, December 10, 2012

The Weird World Of Blowfly


Temper flare while on tour in this documentary about the masked superhero. I realize that comic books are not meant to be the highest form of journalistic expression, but they should try to be a little more realistic in their depiction of true crime stories. I'm sure that occasionally Batman and Superman say the F-bomb. How couldn't you? If The Joker is dropping you off a 42-story skyscraper, or if Lex Luthor just jammed a chunk of kryptonite in your trousers, are you just going to say "Aw shoot, that is going to smart!". No, you wouldn't. All sort of filthy, foul language is going to escape from your lips. You certainly won't yell "Drat!", or "Fudge!". It'll be a lot worse than that, my friend. The comic books don't show this. Anyway, The Weird World Of Blowfly includes all the dirty talk, but very few crimes are solved.


Brutal Beauty: Tales Of The Rose City Rollers


The rise of roller derby culture in Portland is examined in this documentary. I enjoyed the part where the complicated rules of derby was explained using Voodoo Donuts. The film becomes a little maudlin and sentimental near the end, when some of the cake donuts and some of the old fashioned donuts quit the team due to injuries and donuts. Donuts sound good right now, and we should all go get some. I'll wait.


I'm still trying to figure out a derby name for myself. I'd like it to be colorful, and violent, and unusual, and it should have something to do with my actual name. Maybe Cutty something. Cuttyford Murderangersomething. Will that fit on a t-shirt? I don't know. I'll keep working on it.

Picasso And Braque Go To The Movies


Martin Scorsese narrates this slow-moving, scholarly documentary examining the connection between Cubist artists Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and early experimental film. I was somewhat bored by this documentary in spite of all the beautiful cubist paintings. But suddenly, the film-makers decided to show a brief clip of a fascinating film called The Red Spectre, which is a documentary about a horned skeleton guy wearing a cape who paces back and forth with a flourish then levitates women and sets them on fire which is a pretty ballsy move in 1907.


Wasn't that awesome?!? I know!!! I have no idea what actually happened in this film but I'm behind it 100%. I hate to sound like a fawning fan-boy, but I'm totally going to find The Red Spectre on Facebook and befriend him. That's not too stalky, is it? Whatever. Speaking of stalking, thanks to Youtube stalking me I now have several other suggestions to watch at a later time. I'm going to watch Chamon's Haunted House from 1908, Melies' Haunted Castle from 1896, and Edison's Frankenstein from 1910. Technology is great, isn't it? I welcome our technological Orwellian overlords.




Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Deadheads


Deadheads is a charming love story about a guy who goes in search of his lost love. Unfortunately, he's a zombie. Don't misunderstand me, I wasn't charmed by the love story. That was gaggy. I found the low-budget zombie story to be charming, as I often do. The makeup is dodgy, the effects are dodgy, the script is dodgy, but I enjoyed it. It's no Shaun Of The Dead, but what is?


UFOs: 50 Years Of Denial?


All of the usual pro-UFO subjects are interviewed in this flying saucer documentary. What is it about UFO enthusiasts that cause them to don bolo ties once they hear they're going to be interviewed for a UFO documentary? If you're going to be interviewed on camera, you need to tighten up your look. A bolo tie is not the answer.



Take a little advice from me; if you're going to make a high-quality UFO documentary:

  1. Lose the bolo ties
  2. Get your interview subjects to wear a quality suit and maybe a subtle pocket square
  3. Add some CGI





Bigfoot Lives


Sasquatch hunters unveil some dubious and disturbing evidence in this not-very-scientific documentary.  I would like to know what criteria the hunters use if they describe some blurry, dimly-lit Bigfoot footage from Neck Sweat, Texas as 'definitive' and a presumed Bigfoot hand in a jar as 'possible'. I realize that some DNA testing would have to be done, but I would think a hand in a jar would rate a little better than a few poorly-shot frames of trees on a videotape. Heck, what do I know, I'm not a scientist. Anyway, everyone gets pretty excited after someone finds a Bigfoot bed, which looked to me like some flattened grass. I would have to assume that the evidence they found that would prove it was a Bigfoot bed would be some scented candles, a few casually scattered rose petals, and a Barry White cassette, but again, I'm no expert. We also get to hear some recorded Bigfoot cries, which sounds to me like Swedish death metal. Again, I'm no expert, but I was always under the impression that Bigfoot is a big fan of 1970s funk.



Friday, November 30, 2012

You just can't get good help nowadays....

Welcome Boing Boing-ers! My blog has gotten an uptick of readers from Boing Boing because I had to comment on one of their music-related posts. They posted a video of a pretty cool tune paired with clips from the film Horrors Of Snape Island, and I just couldn't let something like that go.

http://boingboing.net/2012/11/29/demdike-stares-hashshashin.html

I don't normally comment on things because I'm incredibly busy being a billionaire industrialist and being incredibly self-absorbed. My public relations department generally handles such things. Speaking of the PR department, everyone in the PR department at Deathrage Industries is getting an early Krampusnacht holiday bonus, and by "bonus" I really mean "fired and shoved down an open elevator shaft". Yet again, I have been overlooked in Forbes' Richest 15, and I didn't hear about it until just now.

http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2012/fictional-15-12/fictional-15.html

What the heck is up with that? Mr. Monopoly? Really? That guys owes me $20. Charles Foster Kane? I'm certain he had something to do with me being left off the list after I told him I bought a slightly singed sled from someone on E-Bay and now he doesn't return my calls, and by "my calls" I mean my "executive assistant's calls" because I don't make calls I pay people to make calls. Speaking of paying people, I now have several openings in the public relations department at Deathrage Industries.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fire Maidens Of Outer Space


Brylcreemed chain-smokers head to outer space and discover a world of fire maidens in this Brylcreemy sci-fi film; but I'm uncertain of the intricacies of the plot as the version I watched was translated in Russian, essentially obscuring the dialogue. Here's what I got out of it:

Stock footage of airplanes and automobiles take people places, then some dudes enjoy a smoke and look through a very large telescope. Then a phony spaceship unconvincingly flies through phony outer space, and a suspiciously uniform meteorite swarm heads directly at the spaceship, oddly enough in approximate patterns of 3. It's probably just a strange science-y quirk of space travel that I don't understand very well that causes that, I suppose. Then the spaceship lands on a planet that looks suspiciously like Nebraska, and you can tell it's a planet in outer space because of all the exotic foliage like trees and grasses and weeds and the fact that there's a screaming girl wearing a cape being attacked by a monster because that often happens on Planet Nebraska. Then everyone goes into a very Atlantean room and hangs out for a while, and you can tell it's a room from Atlantis because of all the drapery. Then the Atlantean girls languidly dance for some reason, and if that qualifies for entertainment on Planet Nebraska Atlantis, then I'm glad it's a lost continent in space. Do we have a clip? We do? Great!


Wow. It's a morose and awkwardly choreographed shimmying strip-tease without the strip, the tease, or the choreography. The shimmy is there, but it resembles the shimmy on a 1956 Desoto Adventurer with a bad suspension. Then everyone gets drunk and passes out, and it's starting to sound like a solid plan. Suddenly, a monster appears. Far off in the distance. Like, really far away. Maybe it's because if you get a close look at it, it looks like a leotarded Frankenstein. It's hard to tell because it's way over there. In the bushes. Lurking.

It's confusing.

After the 1 hour mark, we finally get to see a maiden catch on fire. You would think that would liven things up a bit. It doesn't. Then the movie ends.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hellevator: The Bottled Fools


In Dystopic Badly Photographed Future Japan, everyone will travel by elevator and wear bad wigs from what I can tell from this elevator torture film. I think this film is supposed to be a commentary on our present day cynicism in an electronically surveilled world, but I stopped caring after 15 minutes of screaming. I wasn't screaming, the people in the film were; but I certainly felt like screaming. Hellevator is hellish, but for all the wrong reasons. I can't think of anything more awful than being trapped in an elevator with vapid, annoying people; some of whom might stab you or talk incessantly on cell phones.

Wow. It's scary just to imagine. So imagine that and skip the movie.


Casino Royale


A whole bunch of James Bonds do stuff in this tedious, over-long satire. Amidst dick jokes and negligees, a large ensemble cast of actors talk about vaguely James Bond-like things for hours and hours and not a whole lot happens.



Let's get real for a moment. The best part about any James Bond film is the opening title sequence and the theme song. The rest of the movie is incidental.


Seriously, how great is that? It's stylish, intriguing, and Shirley Bassey sings the crap out of it. And then I'm done with it and moving on.


Again, it's stylish, risque, and dramatic. Paul McCartney kicks a jam out, and you don't have to be bothered with plot. And there's flaming skulls, which everyone loves, and by 'everyone' I mean me. Heck, even the worst Bond films have a great title sequence.


Wasn't that thrilling? You've got dancing girls with flaming eyes and black-light guns, and you don't have to worry yourself with all that skiing, blimp-y nonsense.

I'm glad that's settled.



The Good, The Bad, The Weird



Somebody loses a map, I think, in this imaginatively shot film. It's beautiful to look at, but heck if I know what's going on. This is the film for you if you just want gorgeous cinematography of people running and jumping and shooting one another and don't want to be burdened with plot or character development. That's pretty much it.


Casa De Mi Padre


Will Farrell stars in this faux telenovella-style film. The film-makers pull out all the stops in making this film look cruddy; there are obvious intentional continuity errors, painted backgrounds and rear-projection effects, shoddy editing, cuts between outdoor location shots and soundstage shots, miniatures, and stuffed animal stand-ins. If there was an actual storyline and the usual Will Farrell hilarity, they really could have had something here. They don't and it isn't. Also, Christina Aguilera over-sings the theme song for like ever. Take it down a notch, lady. You don't have anything to prove. We all know you're a capable singer. Settle down.


Bernie


Jack Black plays an affable assistant mortician in this black comedy. Jack Black does a fine job in the lead role, and Shirley MacLaine is very understated. I very much enjoyed the faux documentary style of the film. The usage of actual townspeople was very effective, and I often wondered who was and who wasn't an actor. That's pretty much all I have to say.

I know! No rants, no smarmy remarks.

Don't worry, it won't last.


Monday, November 26, 2012

El Bulli: Cooking In Progress


Eel. Ray. Champignon. Obulato. Chervil. Yuzu. Brain. Tendon. Marrow. Cartilage. These are only some of the exotic ingredients used at El Bulli, the Michelin 3-Star restaurant in Spain that is known for its imaginative and avant-garde haute cuisine. Ingredients are freeze-dried, vacuum-sealed, and flash-frozen; and formed into ices, gels, and foams. The chefs experiment, research, and develop dishes for 6 months during the time the restaurant is closed. They also feast and bicker. El Bulli: Cooking In Progress was beautifully shot, and I enjoyed its zen-like, nearly music-free presentation where all you hear is the ambient noise of the working restaurant.


Rocky Horror Picture Show


The Rocky Horror Picture Show has something to do with a couple of squares who crash a lingerie party, but it was hard to tell because of all the shouting. It seemed like anytime anything happened on the screen, some loud-mouth in the audience had a smart-alec remark. And anytime there was a musical number, everyone started dancing and thrusting. I couldn't make heads-or-tails out of it. The entire audience was inconsiderate and rude. I paid good money to watch a film, and it was interrupted every few seconds. And it's a little too chilly to show up to the theater in your undergarments. They're called pants, people. Get with the program! Why the theater management would allow these ruffians to throw stuff everywhere is beyond me. It was 90 minutes of pure hooliganism. Rice and toilet paper was everywhere. Who does that? Someone has to clean it up.


Whoops!


I think I'm supposed to be sorry that my review for the film The Spirit Is Willing accidentally murdered Larry Hagman, where I said the magic words "I Dream Of Jeannie marathon". That was certainly not my intention. I underestimated the sheer power of my blog, and I won't let that underestimation happen again. Had I understood what tragic circumstances would unfold if I were to utter that phrase, I never would have said it. Please accept my half-hearted apology. My bad.


Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge


With a name like Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge, it has to be good. Except it isn't. When you're promised chainsaw martian arts, you should deliver. I didn't sign up for a boring romance. I signed up for ridiculous chainsaw martial arts. Sure, there are a few moments where a hooded chainsaw wielding adversary fights with a katana-brandishing, high-flying heroine, but not enough. Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge plays like a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dawson's Creek Chainsaw Massacre, only with very few massacres.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Re-Animator


Re-Animator is a documentary about the various happenings at my old alma mater Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts. Boy, does this film take me back! What eldritch, stygian, gibbous, squamous, and antediluvian days those were! I really should send an email to my old classmate Cthulu and see how that party animal is doing.

Anyway, I feel that some of the events in this film were over-dramatized for effect. Miskatonic is an Ivy League school like any other. The film makes it seem as though students reanimate dead cats using highlighter pen fluid on a daily basis. This is incorrect, as that is only done during finals' week.


When you get hazed Miskatonic-style, you've been hazed.



Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver


Well, Turkey Groundhog Day is nearly here. Oh, you've never heard of that holiday? It's the one where if a golden-brown headless turkey sees its shadow, it means six weeks of holly-jolly poinsettia hell, and not in a good way. It means there's six weeks of wassailing, and withy-choosing, and mistletoeing, and ho-ho-hoing, and of course, "going Yule goat"; and it's a winter nightmare. Actually, the Yule goat part is pretty bad-ass. Beating a paper-mache creature with a stick until candy falls out is something that I enjoy. Celebrating Krampusnacht is awesome, and julebukking is pretty cool, too; so maybe I'm a little too harsh on the holiday season. Some of it is kind of brutal. That's not important right now.

I gave Executive Chef, Sous Chef, the kitchen staff, and the cleaning crew a little holiday vacation, and by 'vacation' I mean I fired them all. I had to clean the entire kitchen myself because Executive Chef left a small amount of cheese sauce in the microwave after preparing my Stouffer's Macaroni And Cheese With Broccoli, and it burned to the carousel in a dark-brown concrete-like lump, and now Thanksgiving is ruined. I will have to serve and prepare a Thanksgiving meal without anyone's help, so my family is going to have to enjoy a box of Chicken In A Biskit crackers, a can of spray cheese, and cranberry sauce with the can ridges still evident in lieu of an actual meal with actual food. Boy, that meal might be a little awkward. Everyone will have to get up from their chairs at the end of the really long dining room table, serve themselves crackers that make a soup in your mouth because I fired Butler, and go sit at the opposite end again as I sit several yards away bitching about how I have to clean up. It'll be slightly festive, but it won't be all that different from an ordinary Thursday.

Anyway, I watched Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver, where a murderous, poorly-rendered, foul-mouthed pastry goes back in time to the 1970s and unconvincingly slaughters roller-disco enthusiasts. It's not as good as it sounds. There's a roller boogie car wash fundraiser, a Bay City Rollers t-shirt, and several saxophone solos. It's just dreadful, but it's recommended if you like stuff that sucks.




Clue


People are invited to a spooky house by an unknown guest and murder occurs in this film, and it's also the premise of an earlier and much better film. Based nearly shot for shot on Neil Simon's classic film Murder By Death, Clue is an unfortunate waste of comedic talent. Seriously, how can Madeline Kahn be in your movie and have her remain nearly silent? And have her best line be ad-libbed? And cut away during it? Shocking.


Watch Murder By Death instead.




Monday, November 19, 2012

Freak Dance


Freak Dance is an all-singing, all-dancing craptacular by the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade. If you want to see the original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade in a feature length film, look elsewhere, as they only make cameo appearances. The camerawork is terrible, the editing is terrible, the singing is terrible, it's not funny, and it just isn't surreal enough.



That was a clip from their Comedy Central television show. Solid acting, a good script and good camerawork for a 4 minute television clip. Maybe the UCB should take a look at their old bits. Anyway, here's a trailer featuring all the funniest lines in the movie so you can skip the whole deal, but I recommend the first season of Upright Citizens Brigade on Comedy Central.





Whip It


Elen Page stars in this roller derby film which is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut. Drew does a pretty darn good job, actually, and appears in the film as a stoner derby-girl named Smashley Simpson. You know, I should come up with a derby name. Something catchy, and funny, and a little violent. Like, I don't know, Drew Burymore. How does that sound? I'll have to keep thinking about it, I guess.




The Man Without A Body


A scientist discovers he has a brain tumor and logically decides to have the head of Nostradamus grafted on to his body in place of the old tumor-filled one in this nonsensical W. Lee Wilder film. So of course Ol' Nostradamus' head is on a table just as fresh as a daisy after hundreds of years after his death speaking English which is just fine, and everyone wears lab coats to look all science-y, and there are all sorts of scientific looking tubes and blinking lights, and you're not at all supposed to question why an old dude with a head full of tumors who only has seconds to live chases a young dude down the street because that seems pretty unlikely. Maybe I don't know an awful lot about the treatment of tumors, but I would think a full sprint is probably contraindicated for the patient if the only reasonable course of action is a complete head transplant. Anyway, after what seems like months of movie they finally stick the Nostradamus head on the body of the lab assistant because accidents happen and the thing starts lumbering around and then the movie ends and not a moment too soon. The whole thing is a total bummer, and if I had the prescience of Nostradamus I probably wouldn't have watched it, but it's too damn late now. Live and learn. Here's a trailer:


Well, I certainly didn't see that coming. For some reason, the only thing that comes up if you search "The Man Without A Body" is the music video Karma Chameleon by 1980s pop sensation Culture Club. I don't know why, and I don't think I want to know. And now you have Karma Chameleon stuck in your head, and it's probably lethal and the only known cure is a complete head transplant. I wouldn't recommend Boy George's though, because last time I checked his head looked a little like a melting candle.


Yep, I was afraid of that.

The Spirit Is Willing

A house is haunted by three ghosts in this 1960s TV-quality William Castle film starring legendary comic Sid Caesar, and it isn't very funny. People shout at each other unnecessarily, things just seem to happen, and you often wonder if you're watching an I Dream Of Jeannie marathon. A distractingly chipper Vic Mizzy score blares throughout. I honestly don't have anything else to say about it, because remembering I watched it bums me out.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Karate-Robo Zaborgar


Karate-Robo Zaborgar is the story of a motorcycle that knows karate. Yes, that is correct. Go ahead and process that information for a moment or two. I'll wait.


Yes, there's a theme song. I don't know what it's about. Anyway, I'm convinced that Karate-Robo Zaborgar is the greatest film ever made by anyone anywhere throughout history, and here's why:
flying heads, dizzying kung fu, katanas, shuriken, samurai with cartoonishly large lips that suck the DNA out of people's faces until their heads collapse, man breast milk, a phony mustache, cyborgs, giant robots, diarrhea robots, bikini girls, dragon breasts, and a motorcycle that knows karate. It's incredible, and terrible, and I worry for the human race that this movie exists. Watch it immediately.




The American Scream


The American Scream is a very well done documentary about amateur 'home haunters'. These spirited individuals spend most of the year getting their houses ready for Halloween by turning their yards into haunted attractions. This subject matter is very dear to my heart, as I have tortured my children for many years by dominating their Halloween and forcing them to dress up in all sorts of horrible outfits for my amusement. Every year they would cry and beg and plead to be fairy princesses. Instead, they were sea-monsters, giant rats, full-grown headless men, mummies, the clown from Poltergeist, Samara from The Ring, several presidential candidates, and zombie prom queens. I let them be princesses one year. It was a disaster, as the weather was bitterly cold and they had to wear coats to trick-or-treat which covered up their dreadful, store-bought, pink and sparkly costumes. Everyone learned a valuable lesson.


Secret Life Of Plants


The Secret Life Of Plants is a nearly wordless documentary about plants with a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder. Through time-lapse photography we see plants bloom again and again and again. It's pretty boring. Then the film goes completely off the rails as a scientist starts giving plants polygraph tests, and he drives across town to avoid having the plants read his mind. Yep.

Just so you know, this clip is not safe for work due to some heinous violence perpetrated against a cabbage with a machete. You have been warned.


So, yeah. If this dubious science is correct, vegetable murder has been committed in the Deathrage household by multiple vegans. What disturbs me greatly is the fact that I have two tropical plants I've been slowly torturing for several months. I can almost hear them screaming. They're twisted, emaciated, dehydrated, and several limbs are missing. It's gruesome.


Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key


Isn't that title bad ass? How can you say no to a movie title like that? Pretty much all giallo films have intricate and alluring titles like that. Here's a list. Go ahead and check it out. I'll wait.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giallo

Unfortunately, Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key is another in a long list of films that doesn't live up to the expectations of the title. Sure, there's some nude table-top hippie dancing, and a satin sheet-filled lesbian romp, and multiple stabbings, and a cat named Satan; but it's kind of boring. What would be really great is if some of the motorcycles in this film knew karate. Now that would be a movie!

I know that sounds fairly random, suddenly talking about motorcycles that know karate and such. Just relax, and wait for the punchline.


The Girl Who Knew Too Much


No one believes a woman after she witnesses a murder in this early giallo film. The Girl Who Knew Too Much has some very interesting stark black and white cinematography, but the plot is a little meh. Actually, this review is a little meh. Here's the deal...my family had all fallen asleep in the movie viewing room, and they were all stretched out on the furniture and I had nowhere to sit. Normally, this would cause me great consternation. I was feeling unusually charitable, and I decided not to throw a gigantic frothy-mouthed raving fit and let everyone sleep. So I made myself comfortable flat on my back on the floor in front of the television. I had a large pillow under my head and a nice down throw over me. My feet jutted from under the throw at the bottom, but that was ok. It was nice. I really should lie on the floor more often. Anyway, I settled in to 86 minutes of giallo. From the corner of my eye, I see a dark shape very near my head. I hear a quiet purring. The cat, who is not allowed to be near me due to allergies, decided that the urge to sit in the middle of my chest was entirely too great, and she was moving not only into my personal space but also into certain doom. She stealthily crept in the room and was trying to climb on me as if I would never notice. I turned my head and gave her the death-stare, and she slunk back out of the room. I continued my movie. I again feel a looming presence. The cat has begun climbing over me to grab the best seat in the house, which is apparently my head, blocking my view of the movie. So I can only assume that a portion of this film has something to do with the north end of a south bound cat.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Best Evidence: Top Ten UFO Sightings


Regardless of what your documentary is about, I instantly throw whatever shred of belief I had in the subject matter out the window if the narrator pronounces the word nuclear "noo-cue-lar". I don't care if you're talking about reactors, or string theory, or little green men from outer space; it is not acceptable to pay someone good money to narrate your film and then have them incorrectly pronounce nuclear. You might as well have subtitles below the action on the screen telling the audience, "Disregard everything I'm saying. Turn on something else." Seriously, they could be interviewing a live alien as he's (she's? it's?) walking down the runway from their craft wearing a little sign that reads "I'm a totally real alien from outer space. Come down to the spaceship and I'll give you five bucks and a bag of Reese's Pieces", and someone would say "nucular" and I would have to say "Yeah, like I'm going to believe a huge pile like that. They're probably selling time-shares".


One Frightened Night


Here's another of those old creaky numbers where some old dude has a bunch of money that his relatives want, and he's only going to give it to his grand-daughter who is conveniently misplaced, and then two grand-daughters show up, and people open doors, and close doors, and open doors, and close doors, and some folks end up dead I guess, and I die of boredom a little.


Hey, that clip was pretty lively, with the shadows, and the skulls, and stuff. Maybe I should watch it again.

No, I don't think I will.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


I really wanted to like this film. I just can't. I was looking forward to watching it this summer, but I found plenty of excuses to not go see it in the theater. Just as well. I actually think I liked Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies better. It at least didn't take itself so damn seriously. In my opinion, if you are presenting the idea of the 16th President defending America against the onslaught of any sort of undead creature, the result should be as just as absurd as the idea itself, and it should be fun. Sadly, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter isn't very fun. Most of the time, I was distracted by the CGI or the MMA. I would see Abraham Lincoln do a spinning back-kick, and I would think to myself, "I wonder what it would have been like in the 19th century if Presidents knew kung-fu. Like if 15th President James Buchanon was a secret kung-fu master. Now THAT would be a movie! Or if he was a ninja! Wow! I'd pay good money to watch 15th President James Buchanon put a ninja beat-down on the Panic Of 1857. He could go flying all Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon president-style, and he could wield a katana, and more presidents should carry around katanas...", and then I would realize that I just missed large chunks of movie imagining James Buchanon delicately flying over the rooftops of pagodas after admitting Kansas into the Union, even if that sounds like an awful idea. So yeah, if anyone wants me to write the screenplay for James Buchanon: Deadly Ninja, I'm available. It'll be terrible.