Saturday, November 29, 2014

Full Moon High

Bob Sagat stars in this comedy-horror film where he has an almost nude scene no one asked for, and then Ed McMahon wrestles a live chicken on an airplane. Adam Arkin turns into an unconvincing werewolf, playfully nips several of his fellow 30-year old high school students, and eats Alpo out of a dog dish.

Then there's some roller disco, a guy in an ape costume, and hundreds of really terrible jokes. Full Moon High is tedious, boring, and awful.

I was going to post a trailer from Full Moon High, but when I searched Youtube for one, the only results were for a music video by Bon Jovi and trailers for Twilight, both of which I find completely unacceptable, so you'll just have to take my word for how awful Full Moon High was. Since all those things are really lousy, enjoy this music video my Mr. Oizo, directed by Eric Wareheim and starring John C. Reilly.


According to IMDB, an outlaw smuggler and her alien companion are recruited by the Emperor of the Galaxy to rescue his son and destroy a secret weapon by the evil Count Zarth Arn, and I suppose that's what happened, but I can't be sure. Some future guys dressed as a motorcycle gang are aboard a miniature space ship when they're attacked by the contents of a lava lamp, then they stagger around holding their helmeted heads, something explodes, and the credits roll. Then Caroline Munro wears blue eyeshadow and puts on a space helmet that looks like a giant bong as someone else says the phrase "Red hot potatoes!" which I can only assume is a common catchphrase in the future in outer space. After some wooden acting, awkward dubbing, and abrupt editing, a heavily lip-glossed Caroline Munro is forced to do some hard labor carrying orbs or radium while wearing a patent leather bikini, and Christopher Plummer delivers some Shatneresque dialogue but doesn't seem to believe it while wearing a gold lame cape. Caroline Muro delivers some unconvincing karate chops as the camera crew is reflected in the windows of the unconvincing lander, and then she unconvincingly battles a giant crudely-stop-motion-animated sword-wielding female robot, and for several minutes I wonder to myself why a giant metal robot would need bosoms. During an outer space battle, everyone seems to shout dialogue while in closeup because that's the only way anyone will ever know you were just in an outer space battle because you rarely ever see it onscreen. Finally, the film is livened up by laser beams, eye laser beams, hand laser beams, various explosions, unconvincing heroine defrosting, and speaking of frosting, Marjoe Gorners' 70s perm, and I finally realize that everyone is dressed like Klaus Nomi.

Suddenly, David Hasselhoff appears and not a moment too soon, although I'm not entirely certain why, and then more outer space battles occur, and the strings on the miniature spaceships can be seen. For some reason, golden space torpedoes filled to the brim with helmeted spacemen carrying laser rifles are launched, and much like the appearance of David Hasselhoff, I'm not certain why. 

Anyway, Starcrash has some not-so-special special effects and a difficult to follow storyline if you're easily distracted by seemingly useless robot bosoms, it's very reminiscent of another iconic outer space adventure filled with lightsabers that I can't quite recall, and it's recommended if you like stuff that sucks.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bermuda Tentacles

Air Force One is struck by unconvincing lightning a couple of times because why not while flying through the Bermuda Triangle because the President Of The United States needed to do some important Bermuda Triangle-related President stuff which seems pretty likely, then he's ejected at sea in a super-sciency Presidential Escape Pod in this SyFy Channel/Asylum movie. Suddenly, the warships sent to rescue the Prez is attacked by poorly rendered giant hissing tentacles that have tentacles on the end of them because why not, which according to star Linda Hamilton, don't 'seem hostile, but do seem angry', which then unconvincingly stab several sailors in the chest causing them to unconvincingly dribble blood out of their mouths. Of course, a renegade soldier goes against the orders of Admiral Linda Hamilton because it's in the script, as Jamie Kennedy snapchats some of the tentacles which strangely seem to change in size and follow him through the bowels of the ship because of course they do. Some other stuff happens, and the experimental rescue sub sent to rescue the Prez finds itself in an unconvincing and slightly sphinctery underwater cavern, and the cast decides to bring up the fact this is all happening in the Bermuda Triangle because it was barely mentioned about an hour ago. A flying ball causes a soldier to liquify, and it's suddenly revealed that the tentacles are attached to a giant hovering starfish that looks a little like this:

...only worse and Aquaman is nowhere to be found. Suddenly, Cape Hatteras and its 20,000 snapchatting sunbathers is destroyed by the hovering semi-mechanical starfish, and the prerequisite Asylum helicopter vs. tentacle scene happens and not a moment too soon. Then the movie ends, and not a moment too soon. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Witch With Flying Head

I really hate using valuable blog-space to comment about something as mundane as the weather, but darn it, it's cold.

I've spent most of the morning trying to decide if I should send someone to the grocery store. The cupboards are full of food, but I ate all the cookies yesterday, so it's of the utmost importance that someone goes to the grocery store to replace them with a cake. I would send Personal Shopper, or Driver, or Executive Assistant, or one of my many interns, but I think I possibly overheard one of my employees speaking about me in a hushed tone near the watercooler which is rigged with microphones and video cameras to overhear hushed conversations about me, and I'm nearly certain they said something to the effect of, "Well that's just the way Stabford is", and while that's certainly true, it annoys me in some vague and paranoid way, and I fired everyone, and by "fired" I mean I placed a poorly-scribbled sign reading "Free cookies!" on the back of the empty elevator shaft and shoved everyone in and now we're out of cookies and it's too cold to go get more.

After a brief inventory, I've discovered I have half a jar of cookie butter.

Cookie butter is pretty awesome, but it'll last about 6 seconds as I eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon over the sink. And now it's gone too, so I still have to send someone to get more cookies. I wish I knew of some way that I could somehow get to the grocery store to get some more cookies or cakes or pies or brownies slathered in cookie butter, if that's a thing that exists, but I have no idea how to do that. It would be pretty cool if I could fly, but unfortunately, I think I shoved Helicopter Pilot down the elevator shaft, too.

Anyway, speaking of brownies slathered in cookie butter and topped with more cookies, I watched The Witch With Flying Head. It took me two and a half weeks.

A disembodied, floating head with a set of lower fangs and dangling, exposed internal organs flies about at night killing people in this Shaw Brothers film. Featuring extravagant period costumes and complicated headwear, someone pukes a bowl full of snakes, someone wears a silver swastika on their chest, and someone does a bunch of somersaults. There's crazy acupuncture with a pencil-thick needle that causes poison to drip out of someone, and someone shoots laser beams from their mouth. It's all very confusing and fantastic if you like to watch hovering vampiric heads with gooey, dangly organs pulsating in a sickening manner, and who doesn't, so it's highly recommended if you like stuff that sucks.

There doesn't seem to be a trailer for The Witch With Flying Head, but I did find a recipe for homemade cookie butter. I'll have to do a quick inventory, but I'm pretty sure I'm still out of cookies, and I think I fired both Cook and Pastry Chef.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Germ Z

After a military satellite crashes near a remote town, townsfolk become fast-moving zombies for some reason in this mediocre zombie film. Featuring inconsistent sound levels, shaky camerawork, and a tedious small-town love affair, Germ Z also has a chunky, eyeball-squirting post-mortem, someone getting beat to death with a severed arm, and zombies whose brains explode out of the tops of their heads in an interesting, but not fully explained or satisfactorily explored, twist to the genre. If the zombies will turn on one another once they're killed, there's a limited number of townspeople available to be infected, and it's only a matter of time before their brainstems shoot out of the their skulls like a handful of Mentos shoved in a two-liter of Diet Pepsi, wouldn't someone just barricade themselves somewhere safe with a couple of boxes of Little Debbies until the whole thing blows over later that afternoon? That's what I would do. Anyway, I give it a Meh for effort.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Count Yorga, Vampire

A vampire is on the loose in this derivative vampire film. After conducting a seance, a vampire attacks a couple doing a little candlelit humpty-dump in their unconvincingly stranded VW bus because it's the 1970s, and I'm pretty sure there was some sort of hippie-based law back then that required everyone to do a little candlelit humpty-dump in their VW bus.

Someone is busted eating a kitten, someone has a home blood transfusion, and a trio of poorly-focused and probably-important-to-the-finale lady vampires chill on some marble slabs. Some cable knit turtleneck sweaters make an appearance, and for some reason no one seems to think that the pretentious European count wearing a cape who just happened to move into the neighborhood castle just as some suspiciously vampire-like murders are being committed might be the vampire committing all the suspiciously vampire-like murders. Someone has the brilliant idea to try to talk the vampire to death over a few snifters of brandy, and it's just as interesting as it sounds. The lady vampires attack, some other stuff happens, then the movie ends. Or does it? Yeah, it does.

Phase IV

Intelligent ants wage war on scientists living in a dome in this sci-fi film. Featuring voiceover narration, ants in extreme close-up, and a score that sounds a little like In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, um, well, I forgot what I was going to say because I just said the words In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

Anyway, the ants do the things that ants normally do, which is run around, lay eggs, devour tarantulas, and build towering monolith-like structures in the desert.

I said monolith, not monorail. Anyway, the ants do what ants normally do, which is build giant crop circles with mysterious messages in them and kill sheep and burrow under their skin.

Then the ants do more stuff that ants normally do like create a tiny raft and float down a stream, kill a horse, build more structures that have sun-reflecting mirrors inside them, learn the complex mechanisms involved in the gas lines of pickup trucks and cause one to explode, learn to disable air conditioning units, communicate with humans via a rudimentary version of the internet, instantly mutate, and understand genetics. You know, ant stuff.

Phase IV contains some pretty remarkable micro-cinematography of ants doing ant things, but unless you're way into seeing ants with their disgustingly distended bellies pooping out eggs, and why would you be, it's fairly boring.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bound By Flesh

Bound By Flesh is a documentary examining the lives of the Hilton Twins, conjoined sisters who began as a sideshow attraction and then became one of the highest paid vaudeville acts. Presented in a standard documentary style with interviews with writers and historians, vintage film clips, and various illustrations and tabloid news articles, the film rises above the lurid subject matter and ends poignantly. Fused at the hip, the sisters sang, played instruments, and tried a bit of acting, appearing in Tod Browning's cult film Freaks. After a sensational trial where they emancipated themselves from their abusive managers that kept them captive and stole their earnings, they had brief marriages that were little more than publicity stunts. They starred in a so-bad-it's-good film loosely based on their lives called Chained For Life, and when their careers began to decline, were forced to become burlesque performers and making personal appearances at drive-ins. Here's a trailer:

When another in a long line of unscrupulous managers stole their earnings and left them stranded at a drive-in in North Carolina, they began working at a grocery store. They died alone in their home from the Hong Kong Flu in 1969. Their lives were the subject of a Broadway musical called Side Show, which was the first time two actresses were co-nominated for a Tony for Best Actress as a team.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Witches Of Eastwick

Veronica Cartwright stars in this excessive, rumpled, and frizzy comedy.

In a town where everyone questions other folk's choice of undergarments at the supermarket but doesn't blink an eye at a main street supernaturally strewn with feathers, newspapers, and wicker furniture, Jack Nicholson's stunted man-ponytail appears, and Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer suddenly become desperately in need of a VO-5 Hot Oil Treatment.

Jack, Cher, Susan, and Michelle play a sexually charged game of tennis for months on end, and by "sexually charged" I really mean "tedious", where the tennis ball unconvincingly floats between the players and no one seems to be alarmed by that. Everyone fixates on an absurdly large and integral to the plot bowl of cherries, people float about magically suspended above languid indoor pools, and someone builds a bridge out of Susan Sarandon.

Oops, it looks as though someone removed the Monty Python clip from The Holy Grail where the townspeople accuse some poor woman wearing a prosthetic nose of being a witch which I always seem to post whenever I review a movie about witches, and replaced it with a completely unrelated trailer to the film Calamari Wrestler, and not a moment too soon, because I would certainly hate to be accused of repeating myself.

Oops, it looks as though someone replaced the clip from Monty Python of the witch from The Holy Grail that I was going to put here to draw attention to the fact I often repeat myself with a clip from the classic Disney live action film Escape To Witch Mountain featuring several astonishing creepy marionettes that I probably posted on several other reviews.

Speaking of things unrelated to The Witches Of Eastwick, The Witches Of Eastwick doesn't seem to have many witches in it, but it does have Jack Nicholson in an understated, subtle role as the coatrack for several rumpled overcoats.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Coed And The Zombie Stoner

Zombies slightly liven up a vapid college campus in this tedious Asylum horror/comedy. Featuring bosoms, jello shots, plumbers and a detachable penis, The Coed And The Zombie Stoner makes the wild accusation that a zombie outbreak killed New Wave in 1985, and they might be right.

There's also a terrible script, terrible acting, terrible makeup, and some not-so-special special effects.

Lacking in horror and comedy, The Coed And The Zombie Stoner liberally borrows from other superior comedies in a not-so-subtle homage. Like this one from Airplane:

And this one from Heathers:

I'm not sure who decided to recreate Heathers in hand puppets, but it's genius.

Anyway, what makes The Coed And The Zombie Stoner the final nail in the coffin for the zombie oversaturation of the past decade is the end of the film, where SPOILER ALERT the kids are all cured of their wacky zombie affliction and everyone goes back to their simple, vacuous collegiate lives. Don't worry, the beautiful girl they put glasses on to make appear plain and brainy gets the formerly zombified French-speaking boy, missing the entire point of the zombie genre, and the point of zombie movies is no one gets out alive, let alone live happily ever after. Thanks Asylum, we were tired of zombies anyway.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Big Ass Spider!

An exterminator battles a large arachnid in this tedious Asylum film. Featuring many boom shadows and a crew seen in reflected surfaces so often they should get an acting credit, Big Ass Spider also features a cameo by Lloyd Kaufman, lights that conveniently go out for plot's sake, some unconvincing dialogue, many flat jokes, inconsistent time graphics, a gooey ribcage covered in spider webs, a moment where someone's face melts, camera shadows during a buxom game of volleyball, and some unfortunate racial stereotypes. However, the lead actor has a guy-next-door likability, Lin Shaye makes a brief appearance, and I didn't want to throw anything at the screen, so there's that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lost And Found Video Night Vol. 1

I recently discovered a great video rental store in Chicago called Odd Obsession, which seems to categorize every film they have under director, and I'm totally for it. What other way to separate the casual film enthusiast from the flat out obsessed? Pardon me if I sound a bit elitist, because I'm sure I do and I'm sure I don't care, but the only good video rental store is a store that has a section devoted to the Shaw Brothers and keeps all the mainstream films in a section in the back of the store where they belong.

Anyway, I watched Lost And Found Video Night Vol. 1, which is a slapped-together compilation of inexplicable clips from found VHS tapes. It's dreadful and fascinating. Featuring clips of some dude playing air drums to Metallica, the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling, a Bollywood film, a Crispin Glover music video, and other unspeakable things, it's really something. What it is, I don't know, but I know it's something.

I'm not sure who decided that the Velvet Underground goes great with Lawrence Welk, but they are Godlike Genius.

Speaking of Godlike Genius, I'm in the market for a pair of rhinestone studded bellbottoms.

And then there's that.

With its terrible image quality and questionable subject matter, Lost And Found Video Night Vol. 1 isn't for beginners, but it's just right for those who think they've seen it all.