Mar


Leonard Nimoy is so not Spock in “Baffled,” a movie that probably should have a spoiler tag on its opening credits. And it does have opening credits. That’s because “Baffled” was actually a failed TV pilot, and why it failed, I’ll never know. A paranormal mystery show starring Leonard Nimoy paired with a smart blonde and medium-high sexual tension? Nothing on TV in the 70s was as good as that, not even when they were drunk on “Match Game.” Plus the opening theme is just so rockin’.

Nimoy’s star turn here is as Tom Kovack, a charismatic Indy race car driver who discovers he has psychic visions when one abruptly sends him skidding into a near-fatal accident on the track. The vision itself just consists of tracking shots of an imposing English estate, slo-mo Vera Miles screaming, a hay wagon, a girl walking down stairs, and a woman’s voice repeating, “It’s Wyndham in Devon, dear.” Sadly, Peter Cushing is not in his pit crew.

The next day, Tom reluctantly tells a TV interviewer about his vision, because they didn’t know about pre-interviews in the 1970s the same way they didn’t know about colors other than brown and orange. Rare book dealer and out-of-his-league blonde Michelle Brent catches the interview on telly and is intrigued. Destined to be the Mulder to his Scully, the Giles to his Buffy, and the Diane to his Sam, she visits Tom and suggests that they go fight the forces of Vague Menace from his vision together. Skeptical Tom refuses the call to adventure, although not before trying to hit on her a couple times, so he’s still clearly Not Spock.

Adventure is at telemarketer levels of persistence though and zings Tom with another vision, this time leaving him drenched in saltwater in the middle of his hotel room – a little something for the ladies. He follows up with Michelle and the two of them take a sabbatical from gainful employment and real lives to go Scooby it up at the manor house, also a vacation spot, Wyndham in Devon.

The manor house entertains several guests apart from our heroes, but the focus of mystery and the girls of Tom’s dreams, so to speak, are film star Andrea Glenn (“special guest star Vera Miles” ) and her daughter Jennifer. Andrea and Jennifer have arrived at Wyndham to meet with Andrea’s estranged husband and Jennifer’s dad, English actor Duncan Sanford. Now of all the things this movie presents as weird or uncanny, this is the only disturbing part to me, and it’s something we’re expected to just sort of roll with. The actress playing Jennifer is clearly old enough to drive, if not vote, but she’s playing a 12-year-old. That’s not the weird part. She’s also a 12-year-old who wears pigtails and carries around a stuffed animal and calls her mother “Mommy.” But that’s still not the weird part.

The weird part is this: Andrea has not seen Duncan in all that time, her daughter’s entire life, and Jennifer claims never to have met her – sigh – “Daddy.” I get that Andrea and Duncan are split up and she’s in America and he’s in England, but for a world-famous actress, hopping across the pond to visit the father of your child shouldn’t be that big a deal, should it? At least once? And if Duncan is such an ogre that he doesn’t want to meet his own daughter, why does Jennifer glowingly idealize him? She doesn’t even know what he looks like. How is that possible in the 20th century? And Andrea doesn’t seem to be protecting Jennifer from any other details of her rocky relationship with Duncan. Am I giving too much thought to this? Yes. Yes, I am. But it’s weird, right?

Then after all that, Duncan fails to show up to greet Andrea and Jennifer as planned anyway. Jerk.

As soon as he arrives, Tom of course recognizes Andrea and her daughter from his visions. He and Michelle then set about digging up information on them and the other guests, since the evil at Wyndham is still pretty ill-defined. All they’ve got is Tom’s vision of Andrea screaming. I mean, Andrea could have been screaming at anything – a spider, the minibar bill, a lunatic dressed as his mother with a butcher knife, anything. Could the vague menace be the groovy young newlyweds? Or maybe it’s the Italian guy? The standard issue English butler? And what’s up with the diffidently bitchy owner of the manor house, Mrs. Farraday? She’s de-aging like so much Cher. That’s not right.

Meanwhile, Jennifer secretly meets with her Dad, who insists Jennifer wear a gaudy medallion with a wolf’s head on it, but not tell her mother about it or him until he says so. So clearly nothing going on there.

Poor, stood-up Andrea tries to locate her husband, fails, and soon suffers the onset of Sudden Gothic Heroine Syndrome, with the usual hallucinations, gauzy nightgown-clad fleeing, and sudden, debilitating illnesses that keep you from grabbing your daughter and getting the hell out. Jennifer goes from Cindy on the Brady Bunch to the 70s equivalent of Miley twerking in the course of a couple days. Tom and Michelle Scooby hard, but the red herrings keep throwing up false positives for Tom’s untested psychic gifts. Plus they find themselves on the wrong side of the Vague Menace and have to save themselves over and over, although I do have to say having seen this, it’s less them saving themselves and more the Vague Menace not following through on its evil plans. You’ve got Michelle alone in the back of a truck and unconscious. Finish it! What, is this your first insidious Satanic plot?

The movie goes on, probably for about 15 minutes and 2 red herrings too long. It would have been a great TV episode though. I envision Roddy McDowall and Donald Pleasance as evil cultists in later episodes. Sadly, the only “Baffled” we got was this one, which is both too much and not enough, thanks to the meandering plot and extremely Vague Menace. It may still be worth your time with caveats: basically if you love Leonard Nimoy or you just want something on in the background to fall asleep to.

roadside attractions

  • A chase scene with no power steering
  • Wheelchair-based combat
  • Looking deep into Leonard Nimoy’s soulful brown eyes
  • Rear projection psychic projection
  • All the turtlenecks the 1970s had to offer
totals

0

blood

BLOOD

For all the foreboding, most violence stays offscreen and at Nancy Drew levels.

1

blood

BREASTS

There’s some dowager décolletage, but that’s less titillating than a 2-second glimpse of Nimoy’s treasure trail.

1

beast

BEASTS

No beasts to speak of, only surprisingly spry old ladies.

1.5 OVERALL But add 6 points if you have ever read Spock slashfic. 8 if you’ve written it.
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Watch the trailer to “Baffled”

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Mar

Sikkdays is not a paid holiday where you skip work and watch a horror film. He is a child of 80s movies and syndicated cartoons that never grew up. Sikkdays is a video editor whose love of bad movies has most likely ruined his chance at a successful career. In fact, the U.S. has even declared him Persona non grata. From somewhere in the cold tundra of Canada he produces a bad movie podcast called Film Frown and if you’re looking for conversation find him on the twitter sphere @sikkdays.

A man has a monster up his ass that when released, kills people. It’s a story we can all relate to after burrito night. Wait, this is a feature length movie and not a Youtube sketch? Bad Milo is labeled a horror comedy. I suppose. It’s like calling a Gallagher routine a horror comedy simply because you can’t stand violence against fruit. The film is swimming with comedic actors and the occasional bloody scene but you never witness much violence.

Arguably the hero of the film is Milo, that’s who we are here to see. However, an ass demon has to live somewhere. Thus, the film follows the story of Duncan. You may recognize actor Ken Marino from his many TV appearances. All I know is that they picked the right guy because one of his IMDB soundtrack credits is for a song titled “Ass Butt Song.” Duncan is being pressured at home to start a family. This is compounded by his mother’s predictable desire for grandchildren. Meanwhile at work Duncan’s boss, played by Patrick Warburton (Puddy from Seinfeld), has put Duncan in charge of firing all the people at the firm who have been downsized. Also his office has been moved to a shared space with an annoying coworker. Wait! This is a horror comedy. The shared office is a former restroom.

Finally, his mother has invited a fertility specialist to dinner. All of this stress and anxiety has given Duncan terrible pains in his abdomen. Kumail Nanjiani playing his mother’s much younger beau, gives explicit sex advice at dinner which made the laughter demon in my abdomen very happy.

After a visit with his wonderfully awkward doctor played by Toby Huss, Duncan has more stress. This could be a serious medical issue after all. The funny doc isn’t around for long. During the procedure to remove the polyp that seems to be causing Duncan’s issues, he sees something else and is immediately eviscerated. Duncan wakes up on the couch. Was that a dream sequence? Certainly this would be the subject of many internet commenters, if it wasn’t overshadowed by the preposterous fact in this film that a horrible demon lives in a man’s anus.

As his pain becomes more severe, it’s time for an alternative approach. Duncan’s wife has made him an appointment with a hypnotist played by everyone’s favorite Swedish nihilist, Peter Stormare. It’s all too new age for the busy and stressed Duncan who leaves. At home, he receives a call from his new office roommate. There was computer issue and, well Duncan has lost all his important files. Doubling over in pain he heads to the bathroom, pulls down his pants, sits on the pot and moans uncomfortably before passing out. Back at the office, his office mate becomes many red stains on the tiled bathroom walls. The next morning Duncan finds out watching the morning news. After the dream, or not dream of the doctor’s gruesome death and his annoying office mate’s murder perhaps talking to someone is a good idea. Duncan returns to the hypnotist, naturally.

Peter Stormare puts Duncan under and decides to ask him about all the things in his life giving him stress. Don’t make Mr. Banner angry You wouldn’t like him when he gets angry. That is, unless you like the Hulk. Same goes for Duncan, except substitute stress for anger. While hypnotized, he falls over and the hypnotist witnesses Milo exit from Duncan’s posterior. Thankfully, this film is using practical FX and the audience doesn’t have to suffer through a CGI, hairless Gizmo emerging from the Mariana Trench below Duncan’s Dockers. Stormare is attacked before Milo leaps out the window. Milo then goes after the fertility doctor with a punishment befitting the crime. Did I say the movie wasn’t much in horror? I may have lied. This scene is graphic.

Luckily, Stormare has a book on demons so I assume they look up “derriere?” Here we learn some lore about this creature. Milo cannot be destroyed because he’s part of Duncan and that would be like giving himself a lobotomy. Therefore, when Milo returns it’s time to reason with the murdering polyp and convince him to “come home.” Duncan gets on his hands and knees and tries to convince the little guy with a comforting voice. At least Elliot was smart enough to use Reese’s Pieces with E.T.

From here it’s about trying to control stress and Milo. Of course, to do that we need sock puppets and a reunion with an estranged father played by Stephen Root. Though, no amount of hippie love, boss payback and gerbiling will sate Milo’s lust for murder. Duncan must race to save his wife and her unborn baby from himself. Well, a piece of himself that specifically comes from his ass.

The ridiculous world the filmmakers have created is decently entertaining. As a viewer, we’re even treated to some Muppet Mortal Kombat. I would recommend this film to anyone who wants a good laugh. I can’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy it. Unless you have a stick up your butt.

roadside attractions

  • Back door action
  • cubies are worse than roomies
  • The parrot thinks he knows everything
  • PSM (poor stress management
  • electrified wire loop
  • Gerbiling is not just for Richard Gere
  • Penectomy is not just for John Bobbitt
  • Mom’s sex dungeon
  • Fart jokes
  • Just the tip Tuesdays
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

The few times the red stuff is on the screen, there’s lots of it. Gore is pretty low, but guys wear a cup.

2

blood

BREASTS

You get Milo moobs. You’ll have to watch Choke if you want to partake in Gillian Jacobs’ assets.

5

beast

BEASTS

Like spooky children in horror movies, Milo gets ugly fast. From cuddly Gizmo to fed after midnight Spike.

4.7 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer to Bad Milo

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Mar

Welcome back to another review, folks. And to one, in a tired genre, that actually somehow manages to creep me out a bit. Not spill my popcorn scared, or even jump scare…scared, but the kind of genuine creep you can only get from certain kinds of movies. We all have that one little niche that makes us cringe at the very thought of watching something in that little caveat. For some it’s creepy children, for others it’s clowns, other have bugs, and I happen to have possession movies.

Now, in this day and age there are a hundred million billion and five found footage films. Add this one to the pile. After some student, who’s studying Alzheimer’s and it’s effects on people and relationships, finds the perfect family to study, all goes wrong. It seems that the whole thing might go a little bit deeper than just a disease. Good setup, I’m not gonna lie. But. Let’s count the stereotypes, shall we? Victims…I mean students, grainy footage, an older actress willing to subject herself to some harsh conditions for some recognition, and a whole lot of jump scares. We’re ready.

After arriving at murder farm number 19,234 our crew sets up and begins interviews for the entire documentation of what their entire trip is going to entail. This is as boring as it sounds, folks. I’d like to say that they’re building a bit of a relationship with the characters, but it all ends up very muddled due to bad editing. In fact, the editing gets so bad in some parts that I had to question where in the timeline it was all happening. I’m not sure if that was done intentionally, to throw the viewer into as much confusion as the actors and characters, or if someone just thought themselves clever. Either way, it gets old quick.

Now, the trick to building a scary movie, or even a creepy one, is to build a story behind what’s in front of the camera. And this movie takes that to task, and actually pretty well, I’m not afraid to add. We start learning of the town they live in’s mysterious past, several deaths that lean towards the ‘Ritual Sacrifice’ way of bad things, and even a very disgruntled farmer from next door. Now, this would be enough, if it weren’t for the whole ’suffering daughter’ subplot that they shove in our faces. Honestly, if this movie were to cut just a few things out, it’d be a whole lot better. I’m not trying to be insensitive, but when there’s cliches in a cliché movie, it makes me want to sigh so hard I knock over my drink.

Of course, as dictated by the laws of found footage films, we hit the ¾ mark and finally start getting some spooky stuff, and I’m not gonna lie, it gets pretty intense in some scenes. An old piece of phone equipment fires up and starts spewing voices, a window that was just nailed closed is open suddenly, paintings by the ailing mother depict a figure that keeps getting closer, and a few more scenes that I’m not going to spoil for anyone. As we creep closer to the final scenes more and more of that whole ‘mysterious town’ thing start popping up.

After a rushed explanation and some quick exposition that takes us from that small farm to a hospital, then back to the farm, then back to the hospital….I think. I lost track, sorry. We get confirmation of a lot of things that most viewers could put together in passing as the final scenes come into play. I’ll say this, as I don’t like spoilers: They went into the woods.

With some interesting scenarios sprinkled throughout the movie, bad acting balanced out with some good acting, and scares that are actually creepy, this movie takes a long time to shape up, but it goes out swinging. I recommend it to anyone wanting a bit of a creep fest before bed. Thanks for reading, folks. Stay tuned!

roadside attractions

  • Operating machinery nude
  • Eat Dirt Taken Literally
  • That had to hurt
  • Never go into the woods
  • Snakes are not good
  • Told you not to go into the woods
  • You are what you eat
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

More creep than gore.

1

blood

BREASTS

The number depends on your taste.

4

beast

BEASTS

It’s a possession movie. You’ll see.

7 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “The Taking of Deborah Logan”

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Feb

posted by admin | February 20, 2015 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Cult Film, Cult films, Guest Review, Horror movies

TV raised Angela Englert, so she’s a lot like one of those Junkion robots from the Transformers movie, including the Weird Al soundtrack. She loves genre stuff. She hates Oscar bait. Her party trick is reciting Dr. Loomis’s lines from the Halloween movies. You can follow her inevitable downward spiral on Twitter, @mechaangela.

This is a movie about sex. That’s not too surprising; most human endeavor is about sex – getting it, having it, cleaning up afterwards so you don’t get itchy or divorced. But this movie is really about sex a lot, more than most in fact, and it doesn’t try to be cute about it. If anything it tries to be cute about not being cute about it being about sex. But I digress. This movie is about sex.
We open on a yawning cavern in the face of a mountain with splashy script titles in Hammer Horror red (pantone 762) after someone hit the “horror movie soundtrack demo” button on a Yamaha keyboard. Nothing else happens for a couple minutes, but so mood, much ominous. This is clearly a very important hole.
Next, a Scottish Egon Spengler shouts for joy; in about 85 minutes, you’ll recognize this is Peter Capaldi, TV’s Doctor Who, but not yet. He’s too dewy and friendly. Peter is playing Angus, student archeologist and for my money, the real hero of this film, no matter if Hugh Grant is on the cover because he’s more handsome and famous. Angus dug up a huge skull of some kind, dinosaur maybe, and he’s never seen a horror movie because he’s really happy about it. Angus tells sisters Eve and Mary, who run the bed and breakfast he’s apparently excavating, and then they go to a party, like you do.
At the party, an ersatz Dexy’s Midnight Runners tell us the local legend of the D’Ampton Wyrm in song, while the locals act out the ritual killing of the wyrm — i.e. dragon, i.e. big-ass snake – with raucous line dancing antics. Hugh Grant joins the cast as James, the young lord of the manor, descendant of Sir John D’Ampton what slew the worm of legend. Then our couples pair off, and we follow Angus and Mary as they take a scary misty shortcut through the woods back to the bed and breakfast.
Mary relates to Angus how her parents disappeared taking this very shortcut home from the pub on a night very like this. (Boo!) Angus senses weakness and zooms in for the snog. Mid-snog, they catch sight of a long, silvery car snaking its way through the dark with dimmed headlights. Mood’s gone, Angus. They arrive back at the bed and breakfast to discover policeman Ernie, who’s pretty much the Andy and the Barney of this sleepy village, waiting with Mary’s Dad’s watch, recently discovered in Stonerich Cavern. That’s that hole we looked at for a couple minutes earlier.
At this point, Ernie goes to check out where Mary and Angus saw the spooky car. Strange cars at night must be a local ordinance violation or something. He’s instantly bitten by a snake and surprised by Lady Sylvia, Amanda Donohoe eating the scenery with fork and knife and a lot of tongue, who has returned to her estate after wintering…somewhere, doesn’t matter. Anyway, Lady Sylvia is wicked and sexy and would straight up short out Beavis and Butthead with all her dirty double entendres. She treats Ernie’s snakebite with her mouth.
The next day, Lady Sylvia sneaks into the bed and breakfast and steals the skull while Mary and Angus are searching for remnants of Mary’s dad, and I guess all the other guests are antiquing or something else pastoral and English. On her way out, she takes a moment to projectile spit venom onto a crucifix. When James finally brings Eve home after a night of “dancing,” Eve touches the venom and has a bad trip like gangbusters, full of over-saturated colors and Roman soldiers raping nuns.
Lady Sylvia, it will surprise no one, is the immortal vampire-like priestess of an ancient snake god cult that venerates the D’Ampton Wyrm, and she’s back to get the skull Angus found and sacrifice some dim blondes while she’s at it. You have to admire how fast she got on that skull getting thing. She must get snake god skull unearthing alerts directly to her inbox. (If I were Lady Sylvia, that would be a dirty joke.)
First though, there’s a fun scene where she seduces a boy scout with sacrificial results. Then she meets James, who seems a little suspicious, but then maybe he’s just mesmerized by her thigh high boots. That scene kind of meanders into her kissing him. Make with the snakes, movie. Come on.
James goes home and pretty much has clues to the entire mystery waiting for him in his luxurious bedroom suite. It’s like his house is one of those point and click computer games from the 90’s. Then he has a Skinimax-grade dream featuring Mary, Eve, and Lady Sylvia that doesn’t actually involve nudity, but somehow would be less sexual if it did. James wakens with a clue and…probably something else. He does have his randy butler give him his coffee in bed.
I won’t spoil the rest of it, but there’s plenty of snake charming, snake handling, snake spitting, snake splitting, snake biting, and snakebite sucking as James and Angus work to save their girlfriends from the mystery of Stonerich Cavern and its white worm. If you’re iffy on snakes, there’s only two actual snakes in it. One is unseen and the other is a pretty cute FX monster. It’s loads of fun, with plenty of dark humor, dirty wordplay, leather lingerie, and satisfying gory bits. For a movie with so much biting, it really, really doesn’t. You should check it out.

roadside attractions

  • Mouth organ AND bagpipe charming
  • Strategic mongoose usage
  • Neighborhood noise level violations
  • Angus keeps WHAT in his sporran?
  • Subtext as text
  • That’s a really big dildo
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

A respectable amount of limb lopping off and grody puncture wounds, but nothing that would make it hard to eat a Philly cheesesteak or anything.

7

blood

BREASTS

They’re not the only ones on offer, but Amanda Donohoe’s boobs are very well-documented in this film.

7

beast

BEASTS

The snake god is slightly less convincing than Kermit. His snake vampire minions are pretty freaky though.

7.7 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer to “Lair of the White Worm”

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Feb

posted by Barry Goodall | February 11, 2015 | 90's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Bad movie, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Starring a lot of nobodys doing a whole lotta nothing, Grim pretty much lives up to it’s title from start to finish. It starts off with a boring dinner party where some yuppies breakout their ouija board and accidentally unleash a satanic underground monster who grabs a dinner guest as a trophy wife. A pretty successful party otherwise. The hosts, Steve and Katie have some major guilt about Wendy’s kidnapping so they hire some amateur spelunkers to go exploring some nearby caverns explaining to them it’s for a “scientific study.” Never mind that people are being snatched from their living room by a cross dimensional half monkey/half lion beast, we’ve got some stalactites to photo!

After what might be actual vacation video of people endlessly walking in caves they discovers a living room recliner in the middle of a cavern covered in blood surround by skeletons (death by lazyboy.) Steve gets possessed by the monster and ties up Katie for a sacrifice while he bangs on a brass pot…and bangs…and keeps banging. Seems nothing can stop this big beasts with Koolaid vision from crushing skulls and chomping on faces. It’s probably just trying to stop that incessant banging noise. Katie is rescued but everyone totally ditches Wendy whom they find chained to the wall because she’s gone all batty. Yes I said batty…sorry it’s a cave pun.

Lacking proper Goonies skills they all start getting picked off one by one until someone decides to shine their flashlight directly in the creature’s eyes. The magic pennant they brought with them is pretty much useless now. Thanks for nothing Sky Mall.  They eventually lure the monster into a open well where it gets a healthy dose of sunshine turning it into a big hunk of rock that’s full of vitamin D. The dinner party couple escapes, but leaves their friend Wendy still chained up in the creature’s lair wondering what she did to make them hate her so much. I wondered the same thing about the director. Did I date his sister? Was he riding the bicycle I hit on the way to work? Paul Matthews why do you hate me?!! Barry Goodall says to check it out only if you enjoy Guantanamo Bay style waterboarding and endless cave exploring footage.

roadside attractions

  • Face chomping
  • animated bat attack
  • mind reading monkey beast
  • skull crushings
  • koolaid monstervision
  • continuous gong chimes
  • wall chain of soccer moms
  • magic pet rock
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

sure it’s a head crushing but really not as gooey as it could be!

0

blood

BREASTS

There’s too much cave exploration going on to get naked.

9

beast

BEASTS

A pretty nasty monkey/lion hell beast than can teleport through walls and possess people. Beat that Donald Trump!

1.2 OVERALL
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