Thursday, April 26, 2012

Land Of Doom

In a very rape-y post-apocalyptic future; there will be lots of raping, looting, pillaging, and rubber spiders. People will wear their jeans tucked into their socks, but I don't think that fashion choice causes any specific apocalypses. We should be careful not to let it happen. The risk is much too great, because then we get a movie like Land Of Doom.

Girl with crossbow meets whiny boy with his jeans tucked into his socks, and they spend the next 90 minutes getting captured and escaping from the same band of ruffians who look a little like Judas Priest. Let's check:

Oh yeah, that's the stuff. With a hint of Twisted Sister. Anyway, there's a cannibal with an outrageous French accent a la Pepe Le Pew, unconvincing fight scenes, burlap sacks as clothing, and I wonder why there are so damn many people out in the desert. I watched Land Of Doom on Netflix, and I'm just about fed up with the future. Here's a clip:


In a vaguely homoerotic gambling den in a post-apocalyptic future; everyone wears hi-top Reeboks,  shirts that can't be bothered with buttons, has a mullet, and drinks a smoking green liquid with obvious dry ice, and I wonder if I'm watching a movie or a Spandau Ballet video. Let's find out:

I'm not sure. The short answer is "Yikes", and the long answer is "Possibly". Anyway, after the gambling den in a vaguely homoerotic post-apocalyptic future has erupted in an unconvincing fistfight and the shirtless sweaty dancing man in the silver lame shorts stops gyrating, we see an unconvincing gun battle led by a female bodybuilder. I'm not entirely sure why. Then there's headbands and people running through a field in slo-mo, and since there's little/no/barely audible dialogue and a goat I begin to think that it might not be a movie but it might be a music video by Ultravox. Let's find out:

Well, the jury's out on that one. It's still pretty hard to tell. So there's a motorcycle chase, grenades, flame-throwers, leather jackets, a zebra-painted future car, and a flimsy, repetitive synth soundtrack; so I become convinced this might actually be a future movie/music video hybrid called Wham!:Beyond Thunderdome. Let's find out:

Wait, no clip? That's fine, because that would be Beyond Awful.

So, someone demonstrates psychic powers by getting a constipated look on their face and a bulging vein in their forehead. Do we have a clip? Great!

So there's that. I watched Interzone on Netflix. It was not good.


From what I can tell, future prisons of 1986 will be populated with android guards wearing motorcycle helmets and inmates who look a little like Patty Smyth in kung-fu gear. Also, prisons will store their jetpacks in a shed near the fence surrounding the prisons in the unlikely event a prisoner should escape. 

Here's another interesting tidbit about the future of 1986 I learned from the tele-film Condor. Cars will have a machine that plays the radio, gives you directions, makes phone calls, orders drive-thru burgers, swipes credit cards, and is the size of a microwave oven. They're shiny and silver and have buttons all over them. I can't wait for the future!

Fashions in the future of 1986 will consist of sportcoats with the sleeves pushed up, you'll have to pop the collar on your button-down shirt, and you'll have to tuck your pants into your ankle boots. Dudes won't mind this at all.

During action sequences in the future, Chrysler minivans can always outrun Porsches, laser battles, fistfights and helicopter explosions are unconvincing and awkwardly choreographed, villains wear 'laser-proof' vests, and the cop from Die Hard appears for some reason. 

Here's a clip:

Yep. That's exactly what that is.

I watched Condor on Netflix. It looked cheap and chintzy, but that's the 80s for you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Partial Movies

Due to circumstance beyond my control, and by "circumstances beyond my control" I really mean "I fell asleep", I was unable to finish watching the following two films, and by "unable to" I really mean "I ain't gonna". There wasn't anything particularly wrong with the two movies, and by that I mean "they were boring and awful". Normally that wouldn't stop me from watching something, but it did, and for that I apologize; and by "apologize" I mean "whatever".

Nightmare in Wax is the well-traveled story of a disfigured dude who just happens to run a wax museum when coincidentally all his enemies seem to end up missing just as he debuts a new figure or two or three and no one can figure out what happened. Seriously, though. Hasn't any of those gumshoes ever seen a Vincent Price movie? How many wax museum movies have to be made before everyone realizes the murderer is always the guy with the wax expertise who runs the joint? I can't tell you how many times I've visited a wax museum and pointed my finger at the poor wax museum manager and hysterically screamed "He did it! He's the killer!" before I was dragged out of there. See what I mean, though? No one ever believes it's that guy.

Anyway, I watched Nightmare In Wax on youtube. Here's a clip where a guy wearing an eyepatch gets his head held underwater while everyone laughs and a saxophone plays but it turns out to be a dream:

Oops. Looks like someone has replaced my clip of Nightmare In Wax with the music video by trip-hop artists Nightmares On Wax. That happens sometimes.

Moving on, I also fell asleep during, I mean, watched the film Cosmos: War of The Planets. I'm not going to beat around the bush. It sucked. People wear red helmets, and they unconvincingly pivot in space, and they fight a walking toaster oven.  Here's a clip:

Wow, what do you know? I was expecting someone to replace my crappy clip of Cosmos: War Of The
Planets with a clip of a baby deer making a 'meep' noise or something. That often happens, and it didn't. Thank goodness. Will wonders never cease?

Oh crap, it's even worse. Someone's inserted a video on my blog-post of someone shampooing a sloth. I could just gag from all the cute.

Again, I apologize for not finishing the movies and I'll try not to let it happen again.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Squidoo stuff

I published another lens over on Squidoo featuring a review I didn't publish here called More Public Domain Movies. I'm running out of interesting titles. You should check it out.

War Of The Robots

People wearing belted silver lame outfits do things in space in this nonsensical sci-fi film. Someone is kidnapped I think, but it doesn't really matter; because this movie is a polyester 1970's craptacular. In the future tunics, tights, The Dry Look, epaulettes, and Sybil Danning haircuts will be plentiful and men will look terrible in all of those things. People point toy ray guns at other people, nothing happens, and people fall down. A few of those people will break in half, revealing they are robots. It's not very interesting. There are excruciatingly awkward kisses, questionable acting, not-very-special special effects, spastic handheld camera work, rubber jumpsuits, several glowing 'light sword' battles, and an impenetrable plot borrowing heavily from Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica. Actually, anyone involved with any movie with the word Star in it should sue and try to get 35 cents in damages for copyright infringement. That's pretty much all the money they'll get. I watched War Of The Robots on Youtube, and it was just awful. Here's a clip:

Revenge Of Dr. X aka Venus Flytrap

Dr. X aka Dr. Non Sequitur aka Dr. Scenery Chewer aka Dr. Cranky Screaming Brylcremed Lunatic takes a vacation from his NASA job where he yells at people and travels to Japan to experiment on a venus flytrap he dug up at a gas station in North Carolina for some reason in this film written by Ed Wood. Let's break it down. Like I said, Dr. X drives to North Carolina to take a plane to Japan which seems to make sense and his car unconvincingly breaks down. He stops at a desolate Petticoat Junction-esque gas station because that seems like the thing to do, and the creepy gas station owner holds up a rubber snake and says "I'll take a look at your car if you take a look at my snakes.", and that seems fine. Then Dr. X is seen holding a box with a venus flytrap in it aboard a Pan-Am flight, and I guess you could take just about anything on a plane in 1970.

Then Dr. X unconvincingly arrives in Japan, and he drives a convertible to the top of a non-dangerous active volcano where an abandoned hotel complete with pipe organ is located and that also seems fine and doesn't contain any foreshadowing at all. You'll need a Dramamine during this part, because the camera jumps up an down wildly to simulate a dramatic ride to the top of a non-dangerous active volcano where unconvincing landslides occur. They arrive at the top of the mountain, and nothing happens for a long time except terrible dialogue and stock lightning footage. Suddenly, there's topless Japanese chicks on the beach and no one seems to notice.

A few more months of movie happens, and Dr. X finally finishes his creation which looks a little like a guy in a rubber Cthulhu carrot suit, and you realize this movie is a Frankenstein/Little Shop Of Horrors rip-off complete with irate Japanese villagers wielding flaming torches and a box of puppies being used as plant food. There's indescribably bad acting, an incoherent plot, cracky editing, stock NASA footage, roller rink organ music, and lots of yelling. It's recommended if you like stuff that sucks. I watched The Revenge Of Dr. X on Youtube, and there was no revenge of any variety. Here's a clip featuring a Japanese hunchback henchman, which seems fine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

UFO: Target Earth

People talk on telephones in this film about a UFO we never see that crashed in a lake. People row boats, talk on telephones, wave their hands over piles of leaves to feel the vibes, talk on telephones, wear lime green polyester bell bottoms, have a cool wet cloth applied to their foreheads, wander around the forest, and talk on telephones. That's pretty much all that happens. Did I mention the cast talks on telephones? Well, they do. A lot. They also spout sentence fragments like "Fears. Forms." so often it's almost like watching experimental avant-garde cinema. Occasionally there's some trippy psychedelic lights and images in place of plot a la 2001: A Space Odyssey; and that was kind of cool, but not cool enough. Did I mention that you don't see a single UFO? Not a one. I watched UFO: Target Earth on Youtube. It was dreadful. Here's a "Fears. Forms"-filled trailer:

The Rum Diary

Johnny Depp mugs, scowls, winks, grimaces, and raises his eyebrows a lot in this film about a writer in Puerto Rico, all the while appearing to be a supporting actor in a film he stars in. I could be wrong. The Rum Diary is quirky for quirk's sake, tries way too hard, and it's a darn shame. The dialogue is quite good, but seems like it's written within an inch of its life and screams of being "based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson". I was looking forward to this film, as I love Bruce Robinson's cult classic Withnail And I. This film is not Withnail And I. Not even for the briefest moment did I believe it was 1960, Amber Heard seems miscast, and the bathing suits bugged me. However, I did like the Corvette and the part where they take hallucinogenic eyedrops. Could've used more of that, but that would make this movie Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. This film is not Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. I was disappointed, and couldn't wait for The Rum Diary to end. Watch Withnail and I instead.

Here's a trailer. It's too long, but most trailers are. I pay-per-viewed The Rum Diary, and wish I hadn't. I'm looking forward to seeing Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton's take on Dark Shadows, and I probably shouldn't.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A brutal fixer-upper

People often ask me, "Hey Stabford, what does Deathrage Towers actually look like? I can't seem to find any mention of it anywhere." Well, here's an anecdote about that. Recently I was paid a visit by the local Skyscraper Porch Inspector, and I was told I need to put a new coat of paint on the porch on the roof near the heli-pad. I found that to be odd; since the building doesn't stay in one city too long before moving on to another, exists in a netherworld between dimensions, and I don't normally allow access to my rooftop skyscraper porch to just anybody. And I had no idea skyscraper porches needed to be inspected, or that someone had the foresight to come up with a branch of local government devoted to such an absurd thing. Whatever. Let me remind you that I am A) lazy, B) not known to be good with tools, and 3) hate venturing out amongst humans and spending my billions. So I paid a visit to the hardware store and purchased a couple of quarts of Colonial Red, which I like to call Glossy Bloodclot because I'm a big fan of colonialism and paint that looks like pools of clotting blood. Seriously, it makes whatever you paint look like a grisly murder scene. I'm a big fan.

Anyway, since I usually hire handymen to do this and then push them down the building's elevator shaft, I again seem to be out of hired handymen to do this task for me and the elevator shaft is full. I miscalculated how many quarts I would need to cover the old, rickety, wooden, 42-floors-up skyscraper porch. Oops. I went back to get more because I love A) going out in public amongst humans, B) doing things wrong, and 3) spending money on paint, and lo-and-behold, they're out of stock. Dang it. They had a similar paint by the same manufacturer with the same color name, so I thought it should do the trick. Wrong. Seems as though this paint is not Glossy Bloodclot, but Hamburger With A Warm Pink Center, which sounds delicious but is not the color I need. And now I have a wacky two-toned rooftop skyscraper porch.

Here's a snapshot I took of Deathrage Towers as it phased between otherworldly realms since I just happened to be out messing up other fixer-upper stuff a professional should be doing after I shoved Skyscraper Porch Inspector off the top of the building:

Foreboding and spooky, isn't it? Yes, it's always slightly out of focus and it's always in black and white. Sadly, you can't see the porch. It's in the Brutalist style (the building, not the porch), which I think is fitting. Legend has it the building is haunted by a guy with horns and a tail, but strangely enough I haven't seen him. Speaking of spooky legends, I once had a friend mention offhandedly that finding a picture of me is almost as hard as finding one of Sasquatch. I'm not sure how true that is, seeing how many movies Sasquatch stars in. Regardless, I will try to post self-portraits more often since I'm a narcissistic self-promoter. Here I am at 4 in the morning suffering from insomnia:

New Squidoo lens

I published another Squidoo lens. It's not very good. It consists of a recent Blogger review, a really old Blogger review, and one brand new review. You should check that stuff out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vengeance Of The Zombies

A hooded figure wearing a mask that looks suspiciously similar to V from V For Vendetta burns wax figures which raises the dead in this film that seems to confuse many different religions. That's not really my forte, though, and I don't want anyone to explain it to me. Let's just skip it. There's several ineffective stranglings by zombie, a leopard sitting on a table, and a funky avant-garde jazz score. There's a murderous zombie dream sequence, someone on the soundtrack bangs on a zither, and a morgue attendant gets killed with what appears to be a Coke can. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me, because from what I recall Coke Adds Life. Let's check, shall we?

Yep, it sure does. Anyway, someone cuts their own throat, there's a battle with a bloody scythe and a severed head or two, and a cop gets stabbed with a stone cross from a graveyard. It's not as good as it sounds. There's also macrame belts, camera shadows, and abrupt editing. Paul Naschy appears in a dual role, neither of which are very good. I watched Vengeance Of The Zombies on Youtube. Here's a clip where someone covered in gold body paint inexplicably stirs a cauldron with a bone. There's some gore, so sensitive viewers shouldn't watch...but then again, no viewers should actually watch it.

Teenagers Battle The Thing

Amateurish actors walk around the desert, take snapshots, wear plaid shirts and rolled-up dungarees, play the harmonica, eat sandwiches, and dig up rocks in this nearly battle-free film. The teenagers in question completely ignore their blocking, point at petroglyphs, and someone every once in a while shouts, "Hey, what's this?!?"...and you hope it's a monster...or a monster devouring a teenager; but it's only another rock. Suddenly, something happens! It's not very interesting. The monster appears once during the credits, and again around the 38 minute mark, and meanwhile a pair of love-bird teens remark how they don't need a flashlight during a day-for-night shot. This film resembles a home movie of someone who pretends to be an archaeologist but doesn't know anything about history, science, or archaeology and the participants dig in the ground for 58 minutes and occasionally say, "Look, a rock!". Out of boredom, I accidentally ate an entire bag of Pepperidge Farms Milanos during the movie. I don't feel bad about the cookies, but I regret watching this film. I watched Teenagers Battle The Thing on Youtube. There doesn't seem to be a trailer, but I'll include the film here because it appears to be in the public domain.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Werewolf Versus The Vampire Woman

Hold on tight, we've got a lot to talk about. Two unconvincing surgeons remove silver bullets from a dead werewolf knowing full well that has a distinct possibility of reviving said werewolf, and they are then killed when that exact thing happens. A dimly lit werewolf rampage through the woods accompanied by the sounds of a Halloween sound effects record then results. It sounds a little like this:

...and by a little, I'm mean almost exactly. Then a kaleidoscopic dissolve in a discotheque happens to dialogue about devilish rituals, because that's a thing that needs to occur while you're getting down and getting funky in the seventies. Some chick drinks blood out of a golden antelope horn in the distant past I think, and I bet antelope horns are tough to clean and probably shouldn't go in the dishwasher. Lightning flashes, thunder crashes, and girls with Jaclyn Smith and Shelly Hack haircuts pout wearing skimpy lingerie. Then there's a cat fight in a torture shack, some girl-on-girl bodice ripping, and some girl-on-girl ointment application.

The blue eyeshadow wearing Charlie's Angels chicks go on a hike in the woods with Paul Naschy, and I don't think that's a very good idea since he's listed first in the credits of this movie about werewolves and vampire women. Some unconvincing crypt openings happen, some unconvincing fog on a sunny day rolls in, and blood drips into the wide-open mouth of a mummified corpse; but that last part was pretty cool. A rotting monk corpse runs around for some reason, and that's also pretty cool, and there's a couple of mist-shrouded spooky corridors filled with vampire chicks running in slo-mo; but there's also some visible spirit gum, a couple of extremely shaky matte paintings, and one of the most awkward kisses committed to celluloid that needed a few more rehearsals.

Overall, The Werewolf Versus The Vampire Woman is pretty great if you like stuff that sucks. I watched it on Youtube. Here's a bad-ass trailer:

Ancient Mysteries: Miraculous Canals Of Venice

Leonard Nimoy dryly narrates this made-for-cable documentary about the sinking city. It's not much to look at, but it gets the job done. I had no idea that logs become petrified once they're submerged in water. Whaddyaknow? Anyway, I watched Miraculous Canals Of Venice on Netflix because there wasn't diddly-squat else to watch. Here's a trailer:

Oops, someone inserted a pretty groovy trailer of the classic horror film Don't Look Now for a blahblahblah you get the idea.

Birds Of Paradise

David Attenborough soothingly narrates this all-singing, all-dancing bird extravaganza about the endangered Birds Of Paradise of Papua New Guinea. It's beautifully photographed with exquisite close-ups of the remarkably plumed creatures. I watched Birds Of Paradise on Netflix, and it was strangely hypnotic. I think Netflix has just given up with streaming new releases. Anyway, here's a trailer:

Oops. Someone replaced my trailer of squawking, dancing birds dangling from tree limbs with this music video of "Papua New Guinea" by Future Sound Of London. Since it was so fly and fresh, I'm not that concerned.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blogger Vs. Squidoo

I started a Squidoo page. It's probably the last thing I need to do, it's very time-consuming, and I'm not happy with it. It consists of three previously published Blogger posts and one brand new review. Here's the link:

They've already forced me to compromise my art and self-censor myself; but let's face it, I'm a money-grabbing attention whore. Read my clever rants about bad films and give me buckets full of cash, and I'll gladly stop talking about bitches and cocaine. For awhile.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cracking The Maya Code

Epigraphers decipher the Mayan hieroglyphs in this well-done documentary. It's up to Nova's usual standards. I'd like to give a big shout-out to Bishop Diego De Landa who burned almost all of the Mayan writing during the Spanish Inquisition so all those folks who deciphered the Mayan language had jobs all those years. Way to go! Sounds like something a modern billionaire would think up. "Burn Books, Create Jobs For Hundreds Of Years!". I'm totally behind it. I watched Breaking The Maya Code on Netflix, and they said nothing about the end of the world. The total exclusion of that seems fishy to me, and it was probably an PBS-related conspiracy. Here's a trailer:

Things Happen At Night

A thirty-year old teenager with a gigantic bow in her hair lives in a poltergeist infested house in this comedic horror film. I think its supposed to be a comedy. I'm not sure. All the stock haunted house stuff is there. Things float, catch on fire, and twirl about. Floors creak, windows and doors open by themselves, and disembodied voices cackle. There's also a lot of double-takes, fainting, and slapstick. I didn't understand most of the jokes, if that's what they were. Anyway, I watched Things Happen At Night because I was sick of watching documentaries about the Mayans on Netflix.

Sorry, no trailer.

The Hollywood Complex

Precocious children go on auditions during "pilot season" in this frank and eye-opening documentary.  Loving, devoted, obsessed and gullible parents looking to hit the big time live with their talented offspring in a Hollywood apartment complex that caters to the needs of the young thespians where a one bedroom apartment will set you back $2000 a month. I was amazed at the lengths these parents will go to in their quest for fame, one of which resorted to collecting aluminum cans from the complex garbage bins. The rejection is often brutal, but it rarely discourages them from the pursuit of their dreams. That's show-biz, I guess. I watched The Hollywood Complex on Netflix.

Sorry, no trailer.

The Shadow Of The Cat

A woman is bludgeoned to death by her money-grabbing relatives and a cat is the only witness in this confusing film. The cat supposedly knows too much, so the cast spends 45 minutes of film chasing it from one room of the house to another and sometimes shout "Kill that damn cat!". Winds howl, thunder cracks, lightning flashes, and someone reads Edgar Allen Poe. That's pretty much all that happens. There's some ridiculously chipper "I caught the cat in this bag and now I'm going to drown it in the swamp" music, some morose "The cat escaped and now I'm slowly drowning in the swamp for some reason" music, and some twinkly "The cat killed me by knocking me down the stairs" music. None of it is any good. It doesn't make an awful lot of sense why the cast thinks the cat is going to narc them out, and every once in a while someone unconvincingly attempts to explain why they would. I'm not buying it. My cat stops eating, becomes bewildered, and begs for more food when her nose hits the bottom of the cat food dish regardless of how much food remains in it; so I don't think she's capable of plotting and exacting revenge on anyone. I watched The Shadow Of The Cat on Youtube because I got tired of clicking around Netflix trying to find something to watch. Here's a clip of the first few minutes of the movie:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Splitting Hairs

Two American teams battle for dominance at the World Beard And Mustache Championship in this brief documentary. Two rather contrary individuals are involved in beard club political intrigue, infighting, blow-drying, styling, and primping. You'll also see some awkward crying and weird attempts at humor. The two protagonists are fairly unsympathetic, so watch it for the extravagant facial hair. I watched Splitting Hairs on Snagfilms. Here's a trailer:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blood Of The Man Devil

John Carradine and Lon Chaney, Jr are warlocks in this dreadful film. Sometimes belly-dancing occurs. There are almost no Man Devils. Nothing really happens. Sure, there are some rituals, and lots of devilish hooey, and a little lycanthropy, and people walk around, and they talk and talk and talk, and every once in a while a magical harp is heard on the soundtrack like an episode of Bewitched; but that's about it. I am not ashamed to say I nodded off several times, and the only that kept me from falling totally asleep is that I kept hearing some folks in the movie calling out a couple of nicknames I used to have. It was irritating. That's not really important right now. What is important is that this movie sucked, and it sucked big time. I watched Blood Of The Man Devil on Youtube, and it was an accident. Here's a clip featuring a bikini-clad blonde dancing as part of some sort of ritual, and it's fine but I'm not sure what it has to do with Man Devils or werewolves:

Andrew Bird: Fever Year

Fever Year is a startling concert film about the whistling guitarist/violinist/gardener. Featuring 10 goose-bump inducing songs performed live using intimate and evocative cinematography; it's eccentric and gorgeous. I watched Andrew Bird: Fever Year at the Cleveland International Film Festival, and you will only be able to see it at your local film festival per the artist. I'm going to stop talking about it and post a trailer:

You know, that trailer was fine, but it doesn't quite do what I need it to do. Here's a video of Andrew Bird at Bonneroo:

Daylight Savings

A slightly mopey musician breaks up with his girlfriend and takes a road-trip to Vegas in this black and white film. I liked its loose, improvised, naturalistic feel. There was a Q&A after the screening with the director, and lead actor Goh Nakamura serenaded the audience with an acoustic version of The Cure's song "Just Like Heaven". I watched Daylight Savings at the Cleveland International Film Festival, and I bought a copy of the movie on DVD from the director. I have to say that's a first for me, and it seemed like a small club/indie rock/DIY sort of thing to do. That's what makes going to festivals and celebrating independent film so special. You won't find Steven Spielberg doing that sort of stuff. Here's lead actor Goh Nakamura performing the song that plays a pivotal role in the film:

Beauty Is Embarrassing

Beauty Is Embarrassing is a whimsical and irreverent documentary about the artist/puppeteer/film-maker Wayne White, who worked on the television show PeeWee's Playhouse and shot music videos for Peter Gabriel and Smashing Pumpkins. This touching, lovely and magical film features interviews with Matt Groening, banjo picking, thrift store paintings, and gigantic puppet heads. It's an inspiring look into the creative process. There was a very funny Q&A with the director and Wayne White after the screening at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Here's a trailer:

And here's a link to his website which has some of his slightly profane 'word paintings':