Archive for the '80’s movies' Category


posted by Doktor | September 1, 2016 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, Action, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn

Metalstorm Main Image

In 1979 George Miller changed the dystopian future. Before Mad Max, dystopian movies were overly cerebral sci fi with nihilistic endings—stories that made you want to shoot yourself. Suicide was not to avoid a dismal fate, but to avoid suffering another God awful movie. Now almost all dystopia are set in a desert that’s inhabited by filthy, blood-thirsty circus freaks driving metal monstrosities.

One of the many Mad Maxploitation films is Charles Band’s Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. I happened upon it in a carwash dollar bin. Though it was priced twice what it’s worth, I needed something for this month’s walk-thru. So, fasten your safety belts and keep a sharp lookout for roaming bands of ravagers, we’re going back to the dark times, 1983.

The movies opens with unnecessarily rousing and patriotic music over the opening credits.

Easy-Breezy LeatherCut to a desert wasteland. Civilization has devolved into a Mad Max dystopia. Our hero, Max Man, roams the dirt roads and rock quarries in his metal minivan, the Mad Max Mobile. Max Man is all over the road. He’s swerving worse than a Kennedy after cocktails. Thankfully the Mad Max Mobile is equipped with enough blifnar and random levers to stay on the road. Not being a spastic driver would work too, but bleeps and flashing lights add production value, and this movie needs all the help it can get.

Max Man makes a gratuitous stop. He removes his helmet and opens his door. Ostensibly he does so in order to receive a communication from Ranger Station, but really it’s so we can get a look at him—and what an eye full. Dirty blond hair from all road film. His skin is shiny from sweat and grease. All this wrapped tight in black leather, which was originally tan. A man’s man in this desolate world. A crack whore anywhere else.

Ranger Command warns Max Man he’s outside the safe zone. Also communications are spotty because of interference from the crystal fields. But most importantly, Max Man’s girlfriend feels they should start seeing other people.

Distracted by the news of his darling’s lost love, Max Man completely misses the Scary Krishna peering from a nearby cliff. (Scary Krishnas are half Tusken Raider, half Hare Krishna, with half their face scabbed over making them half cyclops.) When he drives on, the Scary Krishna pursues Max Man on his hover bike. There’s a moderately expensive looking chase scene, with laser burlets, which is abruptly cut short when a cliff wall sneaks up on the Scary Krishna. Hover bikes don’t respond well to sudden, violent stops. In this case the hover bike blowed up.

Max Man goes through the wreckage and finds a mysterious red crystal.

Meanwhile, in a crystal mine, Blondie and Greystache the Father are hard at work mining for crystals. Crystals are… they do… something, which makes them valuable. Thus far (in life) Greystache has been useless in unearthing any. That’s about to change though. Today he just knows there’s going to be some in this abandoned mine.

Blondie and Greystache use advanced Ghostbusters-styled blinky technology. And, surprise! Blondie uncovers a giant clear crystal. Greystache is so excited that he almost drops the florescent light he was using to bore solid rock. They’re rich. Life is good again. They won’t have to put the cat down because the can’t afford to feed him. Instead, they can euthanize the little bastard because they don’t like him. Hell, there will be enough money to get that personality transplant for Greystache’s frigid wife. Joy and exultation!

Naturally the Scary Krishnas show up and wreck things.

Here comes the AirplaneLeading them is Erik Destro, the bastard offspring of the Phantom of the Opera and Laird James McCullen Destro XXIV. He squirts hallucijuice from his metal arm on Greystache. The hallucijuice burns through Greystache’s coveralls, seeps into his skin, and sends him on a freaky vision trip to Jared-Syn. (Jared-Syn is the local villain. He’s got a British accent so he is also a magician or Jeti or something.) Jared-Syn harshes Greystache’s mellow by touching a red crystal to his neck. The crystal must have been really cold because Greystache tenses up then falls over dead.

Jump cut: Max Man drives up just in time to miss the Scary Krishnas completely. (Well played, sir.) Blondie, watching from her hiding spot just inside the mine, sees Max Man walk up to investigate Greystache’s dead body. Despite everything she’s witnessed, i.e. everything that’s happened, she’s furious and ambushes Max Man at gunpoint. She actually asks what he has done to Greystache.

Now that Greystache is dead, and the expensive crystal they found destroyed, Blondie has nothing left. She exercises her prerogative as the damsel in distress to hitch up with Max Man. (Ooooo! Sorry, dude. Should have kept driving.) Completely emasculated, Max Man capitulates quietly.

After an info-dump bit of exposition and planning, their first stop is to see Merchant Man, the crystal specialist. He can tell them more about the mysterious red crystal. Max Man ponders the possibility that Merchant Man might be a spot to dump Blondie, and the Del Taco had for lunch.


Over at Camp Scary Krishna, Jared-Syn feels a new disturbance in the Farze: Max Man and Blondie. Together they are strong, or something. This is bad. Probably. To ease his foul mood he uses a red crystal on some poor shmuck. Jared-Syn brags he is doing this for the Brotherhood of Scary Krishnas. Really it is just an opportunity to monologue about the red crystals for the audience. To wit, they’re Ruby Crystals of Death that collect the Life Farze of the people they touch, which… does something.

Anyhoo, Jared-Syn hands out Ruby Crystals of Death to some of the brothers to collect more Life Farze. (For the weekend’s big Jamboree, maybe?)

Over in Merchant Cave, Merchant Man (a Rent-A-Center Boss Hog) inspects Max Man’s red crystal. After shooting it with a couple different L.I.B.s (laser inquisitation burlets), he discovers the red crystal is a Ruby Crystal of Death. Ruby Crystals of Death collect the Life Farze of the people they touch. Neat. Deja Vu. We already knew this from the Camp Scary Krishna scene just a minute ago, so thanks for nothing.

Now Max Man knows Jared-Syn’s secret plan: collect Life Farze and… something. (Profit?) Max Man absolutely has to find Jared-Syn, but where could he be? Whoa! Guess what? Merchant Man knows a guy at Camp Gypsy who was a Ranger like Max Man back in the old days. Surely He’ll know Camp Scary Krishna’s location. Probably.


Liver & Onion KissBefore heading out, Max Man tries to abandon Blondie but she’s having none of it. She’s a strong 80s womern. Plus she slept with the producer so… suck it up, Max Man, you’re stuck with her.

Quick aside: someone in the production crew had an uncle who owned a junk yard. Because of this there were plenty of junker vehicles to make up the fleet of scrap metal Scary Krishna Kludge Mobiles (SKKM). What would a Mad Maxploitation film be without all the metal monstrosities, right? So it was only a matter of time before Max Man and Blondie were going to be ambushed by a pack of roving Scary Krishnas lead by Erik Destro.

Time for a crash up derby.

Expendable Scary Krishnas are driven off of cliffs, and explode, or run into dirt walls, and explode, or just explode.

Unbelievably, two SKKMs manage to not explode. They cut off the Mad Max Mobile at the pass. How they managed do so doesn’t matter. What does matter is, rather than just drive around (there is plenty of room), Max Man stops and jumps out. Blondie, too.

Under the cover of nothing, Max Man and Blondie manage to avoid getting hit in the shoot out. On the other side, several Scary Krishnas, safely protected behind and/or inside their vehicles, are picked off like rabbits staked to the ground. Before the Scary Krishnas rout, Erik Destro squirts hallucijuice on Max Man.

Cut to later that night. Blondie is cuddling Max Man. Her lap has Mystical Rejuvenation Powers +2. This buff has thus far kept Max Man from totally tripping balls. Unfortunately he was hit with concentrated hallucijuice. This formula is so strong it not only pulls Max Man into the freaky vision trip to Jared-Syn, but Blondie too.

Good thing. Remember, together they are strong. When Jared-Syn grabs Max Man, Blondie’s lap’s kung fu grip holds him in place. Granted, Jared-Syn could have used the Ruby Crystal of Death on them both, but that would have ended the movie right there. There’s still another 50 minutes of runtime to go, so don’t think about that.

Think about this insead: Max Man starts coming down, bringing both himself and Blondie back to reality, but Jared-Syn refuses to be beaten. He uses his teleportation power to steal Blondie. Yoink!

Wait. What?!?

Jared-Syn has the power to teleport people? I could forgive not using the Ruby Crystal of Death, but all this time Jared-Syn could have teleported one, or both, right into Camp Scary Krishna?

Shenanigans! Charles Band is just screwing with us.

But the Grade-A bull plops don’t stop there. Without the protection of Blondie’s Mystical Rejuvenation Powers +2, Max Man will be easy prey for Jared-Syn’s Blue Crystal Creature.

Crystal PokemonWhat’s a Blue Crystal Creature (BCC)? A BCC is the rarest of Pokémon. It is immune to laser burlets AND medium to large sized rocks—thrown, hurled, or tossed. They are easily teleported directly where needed, not just deployed within one’s throwing distance. This is a huge plus for Jared-Syn as he throws like a right-handed sissy using his left hand. Best of all, they have a groovy, blue electrical discharge that’s just swell.

Unfortunately the top speed of the BCC is comparable to a Romero zombie (circa Night of the Living Dead) or a Bela Lugosi vampire. This gives Max Man plenty to time to work out what to do. Just as the BCC is upon him, he shoots the ground opening up one of the many fresh spring veins. Desert fresh spring veins are quite numerous, contrary to popular belief, and are the one weakness of the BCC. When the BCC steps in the crisp and refreshing puddle it dies. Because…

Just because! Don’t pester Metalstorm with your damnable logic.

Back at Camp Scary Krishna, Jared-Syn has completely forgotten about the BCC. He has more pressing matters, namely villain monologuing at Blondie about his big crystal. He stores all the Life Farze in his big crystal. He even lets her touch it. (I get the distinct feeling there’s something more to this dialogue.) After all that Jared-Syn is tired and lights a cigarette, satisfied he’s still the shiz. Between drags on his Kool he realizes his BCC hasn’t returned. No matter. He sends Erik Destro to kill Max Man, because it worked out so well the first time.

Elsewhere, Max Man finds Camp Gypsy. Before heading in he stops the Mad Max Mobile, exits, and takes a celebratory drink of water. Because… Who knows? At this point anything goes so long as it runs down the clock. In my headcanon he does this because it is always best to get out and drink your water in the hot desert sun, particularly before entering a strange Gypsy town. You never know what kind of street urchins will attach themselves to you as the “outsider.” As stupid as that sounds, the instant Max Man sets foot in the camp he is beset by the children. They’ve never seen a real life Ranger. Well, except for Hans Olo, the “guy” Max Man is there to find, but…


Max Man finds Hans Olo in the Rent-A-Center Mos Eisley bar. Here the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy is the name of the Kenny Chesney tribute band, not a description of the denizens. Actually, they are a nice lot, even if they are in need of serious orthodontics.

Time for some machismo blustering.

Max Man and Hans Olo size up one another’s bonafides. Hans Olo is an old school Ranger: Drunk Class—grumpy and not in it for your revolution, sister. Max Man is a new school Ranger: Metal Shinguards Class—tight leather and all man.

Okay… That killed a few minutes.

Though they’re sort of in the middle of a conversation, Max Man leaves to investigate a noise outside. The townies captured a Scary Krishna and have roughed him up. Max Man saunters over to get a better look at the Scary Krishna. He reminds Max Man of a guy he went to high school with. Turns out he’s not, but the townies aren’t happy all the same. They don’t cotton to no fancy Ranger and his big city educated friends.

Time for a Mexican standoff.

What the townies don’t know is Max Man is also a Ranger: Quick Draw McGraw Class. Max Man manages to shoot one townie. The other townie blasts Max Man’s gun from his hand. As he draws down on Max Man, Hans Olo, in a not-at-all surprising turn of heart, shoots the townie in the chest.

With a twirling flourish Hans Olo holsters his gun and grumbles, “You’re gonna be trouble.”

Aw! Now Max Man and Hans Olo are best friends. Time to head to Camp Scary Krishna.


Cut to the Mad Max Mobile driving up on a small pond. It’s easy to drive around. Hell, it’s shallow enough to drive through. Yet because it’s in front of them, Max Man and Hans Olo get out and walk. They find a stone marker with a tree carved in it, which probably means something, but whatever. They keep on walking.

The fog is thick in this part of the desert, even in the hottest part of the day. This natural camouflage has helped the indigenous burrowing sand snakes infest the area. Sensing easy and mostly digestible prey, the sand snakes follow Max Man and Hans Olo a la Bugs Bunny burrowing his way to Albuquerque. The sand snakes close in while Max Man defiles a sacred Scary Krishna shrine. Inside he discovers the Crystal Face Shield. While distracted by it’s awesome stupidity the sand snakes strike.

To Max Man and Hans Olo’s benefit, the sand snakes’ gums are baby bottom soft. Max Man and Hans Olo are bitten repeatedly resulting in them both feeling relaxed. Mellowed, they almost give into the sand snakes’ Somnambulant Massage Attack. Remembering he is a man, and men don’t get massages from snakes (unless they’re homos), Max Man shoots one in the mouth. Showed them sneaky slack-jawed snakes who’s boss!

Bull the Scary Krishna WarlordBull Shannon, the Scary Krishna warlord, ambushes Max Man and Hans Olo as they flee the parlor of the sand snakes. Bull is impressed that they sullied the sacred Scary Krishna monument and retrieved the Crystal Face Shield. Yet they shot Fluffy, his beloved sand snake (right in the mouth, too!). This is too much of an outrage to ignore so he calls for koon-ut-kal-if-fee.

The fight proves to be less than impressive. After a few thrusts and parries, Max Man defeats Bull. He doesn’t kill Bull, despite viciously slashing at him with his ceremonial sai. (Scary Krishna keep the round barrel of their ceremonial sai razor smooth.)

Bull, being a mighty Scary Krishna warlord, craps his diaper and cries like a little baby. He’s happy Max Man spared his life. The tears are an ancient Scary Krishna tradition to save face. Thus he lets Max Man and Hans Olo leave in peace.

That is the way of a fearsome Scary Krishna warlord.

For some reason driving past the pond is now possible, so Max Man and Hans Olo continue on their journey. What they don’t realize is Erik Destro’s gang has bivouacked in the middle of the road a half mile from the pond. After crashing the party, literally, there’s lots of driving in circles through the camp, random camp debris crushed, Scary Krishnas running and shrieking, SKKMs rolling over and exploding. In other words, a typical Kappa Kappa Bro fraternity party at Stanford.

Having fulfilled the Three Stooges comedy bit of the film, there’s a proper car chase. Remember, the Scary Krishnas have a fleet of SKKMs to get through. So more wrecks, explosions, driving off of cliffs, explosions, and explosions. One of the Scary Krishnas is so excited he runs a fellow Krishna off a cliff. Yet another explosion. Yay!

The Scary Krishnas pull another blocking maneuver, because it worked out so well the first time. Max Man switches things up by jumping the cars, which is amazing considering there was no ramp nor KITT style turbo boost button in the Mad Max Mobile. Suddenly, because the scene called for it, the Mad Max Mobile has jump power. Yet more unfathomable is Erik Destro’s decision to unceremoniously drop the chase.


Hans Olo exclaims, “I’m getting to old for this stuff.” Indeed. Ten year old boys are too old for this stuff.

It’s right about now that Hans Olo notices that “not so fresh” feeling. Self conscious and cranky, he whinges on endlessly about not being able to find Camp Scary Krishna. Max Man stops at Blue Crystal Water Hole. Blue crystal water is great for flushing sand out of lady parts.

As Hans Olo freshens up, Max Man puts on the Crystal Face Shield ‘cos why not? This causes a vision trip. He’s naked in a cave. There’s a burning tree. He’s carrying an axe. Hey! Axes are used to chop trees. So he gives it a hard whack. The tree starts to bleed. Somewhere a Native American starts crying. If only Max Man had one of Hans Olo’s sanitary napkins.

As Max Man tries to understand his vision quest, Erik Destro walks up. Hans Olo takes a Scary Krishna star to the head, going down faster than Richard Simmons on a musical submarine. This is the last straw. Max Man can take no more. He has lost the girl (he didn’t want around anyway) and the guy (he just met). Having returned the same nothing he had at the beginning of the movie, Max Man finds a power he didn’t know he had. Max Man is the hero this dystopian world needs!

Max Man shoots up the Scary Krishnas, carefully saving his strength for Erik Destro. With a primal scream he rips off Erik Destro’s metal, hallucijuice-squirting arm. And scene.

While Max Man congratulates himself with an extra slice of cake from craft services, Erik Destro escapes. He’s too hurt to notice he is leaking hallucijuice. The trail is bright green and so obvious even Ray Charles could follow it, and he’s dead—and blind.

Cut to: night at Camp Scary Krishna. Erik Destro is worried that they’ve underestimated Max Man. Jared-Syn’s not troubled. They have the Red Crystals of Death. They have the giant crystal of Life Farze. They have the Scary Krishnas. And most of all, they have Blondie. She is the linchpin. She is the bait to lure Max Man into Jared-Syn’s trap of crystals and Life Farze and Scary Krishnas. Mwa ha ha ha ha ha!

Max Man struts into camp like it ain’t no thing, which I suppose it isn’t as he is met with no resistance. Not even a, “Hey!” Thusly embiggened, Max Man starts a battle of wits to win the hearts of the Scary Krishnas.

Max Man calls Jared-Syn a liar.

“Nuh-uh!” retorts Jared-Syn.


So it comes down to an exchange of laser burlets. Max Man uses the Crystal Face Shield to deflect Jared-Syn’s palm lasers. Max Man only deflects a couple before Erik Destro knocks the Crystal Face Shield from his hands, shattering it in the soft sand of the desert floor. This awakens the bloodlust in the Scary Krishna. Well, in one Scary Krishna, Bull. He stabs Erik Destro in the duodenum, his Achilles heel, killing him instantly.

Jared-Syn disappears (yet another power just when he needs it) while all look around stupidly. Max Man snatches a hover bike. Where is he going? Who knows. Maybe he is making a run for it. He couldn’t be chasing Jared-Syn because he just vanished without a trace. So, whatever.

I'm Not Touching YouBecause Max Man is safety conscious, he straps on a Scary Krishna helmet before taking off. The helmet covers one of his eyes. (Head protection outweighs depth perception when you’re flying.) Only able to use one eye might totally jack with Max Man’s depth perception, but it allows him to see Jared-Syn. Or, that’s what I made up because the movie failed to explain what was happening. So…


Now it’s day. There’s a lukewarm flying chase scene. Animating a good chase was more than the budget allowed. Besides they only needed a couple minutes to pad out the runtime.

Jared-Syn opens the Dark Portal of Set and escapes.

Thwarted, Max Man returns to Camp Scary Krishna. There he tells Bull about Jared-Syn’s escape. Max Man vows that he will follow wherever Jared-Syn goes. To affirm his resolve, he destroys the big crystal (which was the only way to open the Dark Portal of Set, but whatever).

Max Man and Blondie start walking home. Hans Olo drives up and gives them a ride into town. The end.

Hmm. Wait a minute. Isn’t this Metalstorm: the DESTRUCTION of Jared-Syn? Oh well. Nevermind.

The End.

roadside attractions

  • SEE! things come at the screen! Ooooo! 3D!
  • MARVEL! at the majestic papier-mâché shrines of the Scary Krishna!
  • HEAR! the anguished cries of souls lost in the Ruby Crystal of Death as Merchant Man tortures them further by shooting the crystal with lasers!
  • QUESTION! what the hell is going on because the movie doesn’t bother to explain what’s happening!
  • BE AMAZED! that a movie can have so much metal but rock less than Blue’s Clues!

5 blood  


There’s a little in the koon-ut-kal-if-fe scene. There’s more hallucijuice, and that’s something, right?

0 blood  


None. Blondie’s high falutin’.


10 beast  


Scary Krishnas and burrowing sand snakes.



Watch the trailer for “Metalstorm The Destruction of Jared-Syn”



Comments Off on Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)


Welcome to another review, folks! Now, it’s no secret I have a soft spot for remakes, but that doesn’t mean I won’t judge them accordingly. Plus, I feel for the filmmakers trying to walk the tightrope and balance doing too much to change the story, or not enough. Also, no matter how good a remake, or reboot, is, it will get a fair amount of negativity; such as the incredibly done Evil Dead remake. The movie we’re talking about today is a remake of the first horror movie I ever saw, as a kid. Let’s just say my babysitter, at the time, thought it’d make a great bedtime story. Let’s get to Nightmare On Elm Street.

The film opens up in a diner with a teen, who looks more like he’s in his late 20’s, sitting alone, chugging coffee. Someone should’ve told him caffeine only takes you so far, after that stop you’re gonna need a taser. The waitress bypasses him, holding his sweet nectar of consciousness, and he follows, giving us our first look at the new Freddy Kruger. Well, it’s more like a glimpse through really dirty glasses. The guy wakes up, nursing his newly cut hand, and talking to a friend, who’s purpose for being there was already forgotten. The coffee spills, and he knocks out, again, finding himself fighting the dream. We cut back to reality, he’s asleep, and in serious danger of getting a hickey from a steak knife. With confirmation that this is the thing Kruger needs we watch as the teen cuts his own neck, starting the movie off with a great bit of gore, and a good introduction to a favorite movie monster of many.

mathWe attend the dead teen’s funeral, and, per usual get into some long exposition about….wait…is that another dream sequence? By Krom, it is! The movie is not letting up on the Freddy, at all, they’re laying it on thick, and I’m loving it. The next day the blonde girl is in school, thinking about the mysterious man with the clawed hand, only to fall asleep, again! Has she not figured out this is where she’s vulnerable? This girls seems to be the type to stick the fork in the socket twice, just to make sure it worked. Freddy scares her, she screams, and WHAT a scream, she wakes up, and we move on. Her boyfriend comes over, and pays homage to Wes Craven, via Scream reference, and tries to help her, in a way that I never figured out. Him being there is pretty pointless, except, maybe, to set up a patsy, and witness the horror that comes for them in their sleep. Called it! Blonde is ripped to shreds, gives the room, and her boyfriend, a new coat of red paint, and he’s arrested wearing her like a shine job.

Now, this is where I’d start talking about the differences in the original versus the remake. So. I’m gonna. Let’s start with the tone of the movie. While the original was made to be a horror movie, it used humor to stymie the darkness. Meanwhile, the remake revels in it. Do I like one more than the other? Yes. I like the darker tone, namely because Kruger, himself, as of later years, and movies, has become more hardy-har-har than horror, and I like this return to form. The filmmakers understood they had to pay homage, while innovating, so we have wonderful shots of distorted reality, gory images, and even classic shots reappearing. Lastly, let’s talk Freddy. Robert Englund was iconic, immortalized in this role, and rightfully so. Jackie Earle Haley, however, is just as remarkable. Englund’s portrayal was over the top, even cartoonish at times, while still being scary. While Haley’s take is a lot darker, adding ticks, subtracting the smile, and it works just as well. Classic Freddy will always have a special place in my heart, but, I want to see more of the new Kruger.

starbucksBack in the movie, boyfriend boy runs to Nancy’s house. Can’t have a Nightmare movie without her! And tries to tell her what’s going on, only to be arrested shortly after. With each progressing dream sequence we start to learn a little more about the demon haunting the kids’ dreams. Boyfriend guy is in jail, now, trying to stay awake, and…wait for it…fails miserably! Freddy toys with him, displaying the filleted friends like gory trophies. After some teasing Kruger turns the guy into a screaming meat puppet, plunging claws first through the chest. I don’t think he’s going to be okay. And this is another point in favor of the remake: The gore is much more visceral, much more real feeling, I think it has to do with taking the darker tone, and leaving the fantastical behind. Nancy calls another friend, who’s being haunted by the same nightmares, and they try to come up with a plan. And this is something new to the Nightmare movies, as well: The science of sleep. It seems micro-naps will get you killed, even if you’re not aware you’re doing it, like answering your phone while pumping gas. Now that Nancy has entered the mix, things ought to go full steam ahead.

The classic bathtub scene rears it’s awesome head, and little Nancy is sent to Krugerville. He tries to jog her memory of him via face lick, but her alarm goes off and thwarts any further reminding. My question is this: Why would you take a relaxing bath when you’re being hunted by a murderer in your dreams?!? I’d be taking an ice cube shower and doing shots of espresso while blasting the most annoying synth pop I could get my hands on! Moving on. Nancy’s mom is acting suspicious, so Nancy goes on a hunt for information. Mom spills the beans that there was a man named Fred Kruger, who worked at the preschool that all the kids who’ve been murdered attended. This is the beginning of that turn into the seriously dark tone, by implying that the children were molested, but Kruger left town before there were any consequences. Nancy doesn’t buy it, but Scruffy McTeenGuy does. Now our heroes are divided, and we have two very interesting paths this movie is taking.

noseNext day at swim class, while in the pool, Scruffy McTeenGuy falls asleep in the pool. That’s right, in the middle of the pool! Good gravy almighty! You could take these kids out with some well placed velcro! In the dream Scruffy learns about what really happened to Kruger, a tale we know, but with a twist: It seems that Freddy might’ve been innocent. While he coughs up six gallons of pool water we join Nancy in watching a video series of another teen, posted online, confirming not only the preschool, but Freddy, himself. Scruffy shows up and they go confront his father, the principal, only to get further confirmation that they had no evidence for what Kruger was accused of, but they burnt him, anyways. Oh, hello, old classic shot of dead girl in body bag. It’s still so creepy, even after all these years. Scruffy goes to get more pills so Nancy and him can continue-JUMPING JUPITER JONES! Thanks for the jump scare, Freddy! She falls asleep, is chased into the pharmacy, and gets sliced. Luckily they’re in a pharmacy. But, she also discovers that Kruger can be brought to the real world by holding on to him when she wakes up. That’s a bull I don’t wanna try to ride, thank you!

An epinephrine shot later Scruffy finds out that even with chemical help he can’t escape those pesky micro-naps. Two, count ’em, two jump scares later we head into the final scenes of the movie. No spoilers, here folks! So is this movie better than the original? No, it is completely different, telling the same story with a different narrative. Is this Freddy better than the original? Same answer. Should you give this movie a shot? Abso-friggin’-lutely! Without the nostalgia goggles on, and without trying to compare minutes of the past and the new, this movie stands well enough, on it’s own. And I, personally, hope they make more. Thanks for reading, folks! Stay Tuned!


roadside attractions

  • Worst Hell’s Kitchen ever.
  • Whatcha doin’ with that knife?
  • Freddy does not like dogs!
  • That’s not washing out!
  • Silent Hill much?
  • When the term “Air Bed” gets too literal.
  • That had to hurt.
  • Don’t drive while sleepy.
  • That had to hurt, too.




Copious, flowing, and awesome




They’re teenagers, and this ain’t the 80’s!





It’s Freddy!


Watch the trailer for Nightmare On Elm Street


Comments Off on Ash Vs Evil Dead


There is a certain trilogy of movies, all American made, all wonderful to behold; that opened up a new avenue of creativity for generations to come. I’m not talking about any wars that happened amongst the stars, no. I’m speaking of Evil Dead, or The Evil Dead, depending on the movie title. With four movies under it’s franchise name, a myriad of video games, comics, and a gigantic range of other mediums, it would only be fitting that we would continue to want more. Let it never be said that Sam Raimi and The Chin don’t deliver. facial

With the fate of the rebooted movie’s sequel in perpetual development hell we are given, instead, a 10 episode look into the life of the original Deadite killer, himself: Ashley J Williams. I’ve watched this series with a glee that is hardly able to be successfully described, every joke, every reference, and every gratuitous splash of blood was taken in with nothing but sheer adoration. And that is what this series does, it brings back the character of Ash, still played by none other than The Chin, himself, and puts him in all new situations. After a drunken night capped off with a little recreational self medication Ash is trying to impress a girl with “Poetry” and opens that most sacred of books: The Necronomicon. Of course, he’s too inebriated to realize what he’s doing, but that doesn’t stop our hero from reciting the same summoning spell that got his friends killed. You’d think he’d get it through his head to never open that thing again, but he doesn’t. But, I mean, who hasn’t accidentally read from an ancient, evil scripture, summoned demons, and got a whole lot of folks killed? Just me? Anyways, true to form, this is when things start going south, and in a hurry.

At his job, not S-Mart, unfortunately, we meet Ash’s new sidekicks, Pablo, and Kelly, and our adventures really begin. We get a lot of story from the man, himself, as to why he’s hiding out in a crappy trailer in a no-name town in Michigan, and it all boils down to the fact that Ash has developed a streak of yellow, choosing flight over fight. While I’d like to fault him for that, truth be told, I can’t. Every time that book and him come into some kind of contact folks die horrible deaths. But, let’s get to the fun! ENTER THE DEADITES! Exposition be damned, it’s time to go full Evil Dead ahead! Pablo and Kelly are grabbed in Ash’s trailer, and the fight for their life can be only be tipped by an act of heroism or cowardice. For a moment or two the titular hero contemplates leaving his new friends to their fate, but has a change of heart. With all the Raimi directing glory we love Ash enters the fray, flinging axes, blowing skulls into mush with his trusty Boomstick, and dismembering his sweet, old, neighbor with that signature chainsaw arm. And where there’s blood, there’s a lot of it, and I do mean a lot. Holy glorious globs of ooey-gooey, Batman! One-liners are delivered, and we speed off into the credits, ending our first episode.

manualI think it worth mentioning, at this point, that from his last appearance on screen we’ve glorified Ash, a little. And the series is hilariously aware of that, reminding us constantly that he is, indeed, a complete moron who does one thing well: killing Deadites. I’m highly grateful for this, because it would’ve been easy to write Ash into this perfect hero, developed through his years of solitude, and all the tropes we could’ve seen come with re-entering a character like this, but instead, we get that love-able screwhead we all got some of our best one-liners from. Maybe there is hope for Michigan U graduates, after all. Now, enter more characters and arcs. We get a cop, her partner, and even get to find out what happened to that girl that loved poetry. Hint: It doesn’t end well for a lot of people. Practical effects make the ‘Ick’ factor register high in these episodes as we witness that poetry lover twist her own head 180 degrees to stare down the two police officers. Amanda, the cop that will be hunting our main guy, watches in horror as she loses her partner to a set of taxidermy horns, and then proceeds to blow his head off. Literally. We watch it happen, in full HD glory.

As Ash and company head towards a man that can give them more information about the book Amanda sits in contemplation of what happened. Enter Ruby, played by the beautiful Lucy Lawless, yes, THAT Lucy Lawless. I’ll give you a second to fangasm. Okay? Moving on. Ruby starts up the motor in Amanda’s head about what’s really going on, urging her to find Ash, the cause of all of this. So we have our two main plots, folks! But it doesn’t stop there, no, no, no. This series takes us all over the place, throwing demons, Deadites, and other ghouls at us, and never, ever, not once shying away from the gore. The comedy will have you laughing, the horror is actually pretty damned good, and the characters are all highly love-able. Although the series does get a little Game of Thrones-y by killing off some titular characters later on, it is still just as awesome. We get a giant chunk of Evil Dead and all it does is leave fans wanting more. Bruce Campbell resuming the role of Ash is just as entertaining as it’s ever been, Lucy Lawless joining him on screen is just as awesome, Pablo and Kelly do an outstanding job of supporting roles, and even manage to get in on some of the action.meds

It is with no hesitation that I recommend this series, and cannot wait for the second season to release. If you’re an Evil Dead fan you’re going to absolutely love it. If you’re just a fan of horror, in general, the humor might be hit and miss, but the experience is just as fulfilling. Go give it some love, and tell them Deadman sent you. Thanks for reading, folks. Stay Tuned!

roadside attractions

  • The Classic.
  • The Chin 4.0
  • Yeah, she thought about it.
  • Why is she here?
  • Scream king and queen.
  • Oh. That’s why.
  • Give Ash a hand!
  • Of course it’s evil!




All the blood. All of it.




Only one pair. But. They’re totally Lawless.




Deadites, demons, and darkness, oh my!


Watch the trailer for Ash Vs Evil Dead


Comments Off on Friday the 13th: Part III

To celebrate Friday the 13th by watching Friday the 13th, I wanted to take a look back at my favorite Friday, “Friday the 13th Part III.” It’s like watching “Die Hard” at Christmas at my house.
Part III, how do I love thee? Lemme count. Number one, there’s the sweet 80’s main theme that I like to call Disco Jason. Such a party track. Number two, Part III is in 3D, and many copies you can buy even come with old school 3D glasses. (And, mercifully, the option to watch in 2D.) But number three and most importantly, this is the first Friday where Jason is the Jason we know, love, and make action figures of, the man in the mask Alice Cooper belted about in part VI. I mean, everyone knows Mrs. Voorhees is the killer in part one, and in II, Jason’s rocking a flour sack and not truly at full Jason – although, in fairness, he is mourning his crazy mama. Part III is Jason moving on, out of the shack with mama’s severed head, out of the camp setting entirely, and while he’s still pretty human looking around the edges, we do get the hockey masked, immortal/undead/zombie/whatever the hell he is killing machine of legend and box art in this movie.

Part III opens with the end of part II, just in case you were afraid you’d be lost in the mythology. Ginny, the Final Girl of II, pretends to be Jason’s mama and then machetes him real good in the shoulder. When the coast is clear though, we see wounded Jason scoot away into the darkness. Then we rock out with Disco Jason and 3D movie credits invade our personal space.
But the movie really starts with a bickering couple, presumably middle-aged, although I think the wife is actually pretty young and they put her in a bathrobe and curlers to make her insta-45. Bickering couple are just chilling out at their combination crappy home/crappy rural grocery, when the wife listens to local news recount the aftermath of part II, so of course, Jason’s ears are burning. It’s OK; bickering couple were just the appetizer.
After we’ve established that Jason’s on the loose and his stabbing arm is all warmed up, we get to meet our crew of nubile young victims. And they’re in a van. They even have a pair of stoners in the van. I’m just glad they didn’t have a dog, because I cannot stand violence against animals.

OK, so roll call: we’ve got Chris, the Final Girl – we know this because she’s a pretty, but serious girl, kinda turned off of sex, and she both owns the van and has a boy’s name. We have Shelly, who attempts to make up for his lack of traditional good looks with gory practical jokes and pouting about how no one likes him; the stoner couple; Deb the pregnant girl and her innocuous boyfriend Andy; and finally, Vera, a cool Latina who was conned into being Shelly’s date. Pretty good selection for Jason to run through. Despite happening upon a crazy old man who warns them, um…pretty much just to be warned, he’s not very specific, the kids continue to Chris’s family farm, which is also convenient to Camp Blood.

When they arrive, Chris meets up with Rick, an old boyfriend, and she starts to get emo and ominous about not being back to the place for two years. I would like to take a moment and point out that despite not seeing each other for an undefined amount of time or being in a current relationship, Rick instantly begins pressuring Chris to get snuggly and never, ever stops. I realize inviting a guy to spend a weekend with you strongly implies receptivity to snuggling, but let her finish a sentence, you horndog. Rick’s painted as a good guy, driving a VW Beetle and everything, but really, he’s a jerk. Jason will make it better, I’m sure.

Back to the plot. I need to introduce a few more victims. Our other variety of jerk (bigus fatus jerkus), Shelly, goes with Vera to a local grocery for supplies. This grocery, however, is being menaced by a three-person biker gang. They don’t do much though besides threaten the kids a little bit, and you have to wonder exactly how much tough biker ganging there is to be done in a brightly-lit country store too small to even have aisles. Shelly manages to back over one of their bikes as they leave though, and in so doing unwittingly adds three more to Jason’s kill list, because you know the gang’s going to have to follow them and try to get revenge.

All the dominoes are now set up, and it’s fun to see how Jason knocks them down. 3D filming techniques will assist where possible. He’s less creative than he will be in the future, of course, but I believe he does innovate the fuse box kill here, and while there are some callbacks – Kevin Bacon’s death in the first “Friday the 13th” is a good one – they’re well repurposed.
It all comes down to Jason and Chris though, and we learn through torturous, onion peeling dialogue scenes that this is not her first rodeo with a deformed psycho killer. In fact…it was at this very place on the lake… Sigh. Chris, you’re an idiot, aren’t you?

I will give Chris credit for being a pretty effective Final Girl, using things in her environment as diverse and innocuous as hay bales and manual car windows to her advantage and executing traps with minimal whimpering. I wouldn’t be able to go close enough to Jason to loop a noose around his neck, uh-uh, no way. She may not be Kirsty Cotton or Laurie Strode, but she’s pretty tough stuff. Not as tough as Jason, but hey, who is? Jason’s basically jerky to start with.

roadside attractions

  • Brand-new crazy old man to warn the kids about Jason
  • Jason finds his signature look
  • Central casting stoners
  • Central casting bikers
  • Fried hippie
  • Not practicing speargun safety
  • Not practicing hammock safety
  • Red-hot poker action
  • The Boy Who Cried Psycho Killer
  • I am crushing your head




A little dated and heavy on the eyeballs for my taste, but Jason shows real enthusiasm for this kind of work.




Fleeting exposure in a pretty self-conscious shower scene.



BEASTS Jason will get hulkier, maggotier, and more inventive in later sequels, but there wouldn’t have been a Jason X without Disco Jason.

8 OVERALL There’s a purity to Part III I enjoy. The formula is solid by this point without being overdone, and it’s happy to just be what it is: a big dumb fun slasher movie for Reagan’s America.

Watch the trailer to “Friday the 13th: Part III”



Comments Off on Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Look, no one loves the “Halloween” series more than I do, at least until Busta Rhymes gets involved. The first film is an unimpeachable classic that defined a subgenre and entirely makes up for “Ghosts of Mars” and “John Carpenter’s Vampires” in the same way that the Beatles catalogue means Paul McCartney still gets to be a legend even though there’s that terrible Christmas song and “Kisses on the Bottom.”

But there’s one movie nestled among the chapters of Michael Myers’ seasonal quest to kill his sister/niece/sister again that does not belong – 1982’s “Halloween III: the Season of the Witch,” or The One Where He Didn’t Come Home. Nope, “Halloween III” doesn’t have Michael. It doesn’t have Michael’s final girl blood relations fleeing into narrow dead ends. It doesn’t have Donald Pleasance earning every bit of his paycheck and all the residuals in the universe as Dr. Loomis, foremost authority in the field of abnormal EVIL child psychology.
John Carpenter and Debra Hill, who created ”Halloween,” its sequel, and produced III, envisioned the series going in an anthology direction after “Halloween II,” like a theatrical “American Horror Story.” But audiences hated “Halloween III” for not being more “Halloween III.” For years, even after I’d memorized Halloweens I, II, IV, and V, I still hadn’t even tried hate-watching III because everyone I knew spat on its clamshell. But you know what? Once I did give it a shot, it instantly became a favorite. Among the Halloween series – which, again, I have memorized, 4srs — I’d put it second in quality only to the first one, although I still watch it far more often. Let me tell you about it!

The movie starts out with an old guy running pell mell to escape what appear to be tax preparers or junior executives, maybe Mormon missionaries, a pretty sweet jack-o-lantern mask stuffed in his waistband. Seeking refuge in a junk yard, old guy manages to commit vehicular manslaughter on them, escapes, later to ruin the shift of a night watchman at a garage who’s just trying to watch a news report about Stonehenge. (Plot point! Plot point!)
Enough of that exciting stuff. We are transported to meet our real hero. Tom Atkins’ Dr. Dan Challis is instantly relatable, although partly because we meet him while he’s being sneered at by his killer shrew ex-wife and disappointing his kids by bringing them less awesome Halloween masks than mom got. (“They’re Silver Shamrock!” the children exclaim, singing along to the commercial for the very same masks at eye-ruining distance from the Magnavox. Get used to that hectoring singsong; it’s going to be a motif.)

Dan is your basic good guy caught up in terrible events; he’s a doctor, sure, but there’s definitely more Sears catalogs and Playboys in his place than medical journals. He drinks when he’s on call, has implied alcoholism, endures a bitter ex-wife with custody of their two kids, and pats the night nurse’s bottom with no fear of repercussion ‘cause he’s too OK to harass anybody. He is an 80s main character in search of a Stephen King novel. He’s a good — not perfect! — but good guy. And he has a sweet mustache.

By the way, bitter ex-wife Linda is played by Nancy Loomis, the same actress who played Annie, one of Laurie Strode’s less fortunate babysitter friends in “Halloween.” (Also her staring corpse in “Halloween II!”) Foul-mouthed and half-naked in “Halloween,” 5 years later, she accessorizes a grey wig with a dowdy shawl and 80% of her lines are yelled over the phone at Challis. Hollywood really is terrible for the aging actress.

Challis gets paged, and the scene can’t jump cut hard enough away from that domestic bliss. The garage night watchman has delivered the old guy to the hospital, still clutching that Halloween mask. (Yes, Silver Shamrock! How did you know?) As Challis asks what happened, old guy is summoned to consciousness by that obnoxious commercial for Silver Shamrock Halloween masks, gasping, “They’re coming to kill…ALL OF US.” Challis prescribes Thorazine, because death threats always look better after a good drug-induced snooze.

While Challis is sleeping something else off in the doctor’s lounge, another Botany 500 suit model stalks into the hospital like so much Michael Myers. This is, in fact, an even less populated and policed hospital than the one in “Halloween II.” He arrows in on the old guy and takes another page from the Michael Myers playbook with a brisk head crushing. The night nurse walks in on the end of it, but luckily for her, the killer doesn’t care, and like a bee that’s spent its one sting, proceeds directly out to the parking lot, douses himself with accelerant, and goes up in a suicidal pyre.

Challis gets to see the conflagration and is on hand the next morning when police reveal the body to a young woman, the old guy’s daughter, Ellie Grimbridge. She identifies the body, horrified and grieving, but also cute. Later, she tracks Challis down in a bar and asks whether her father said anything the night he died. Challis tries a comforting lie, but when that fizzles, he expresses an urgent desire to find out what’s going on. And an amateur sleuthing team is born! Cue the upbeat opening.

Challis and Ellie check out her father’s shop, where he has a conspicuous inventory of those Silver Shamrock Halloween masks, and decide to take a day trip to the mask factory, his last known whereabouts before what we saw in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Challis also asks a friend in the coroner’s office to do the autopsy on the old man’s murderer and pass Challis any fun, plot-advancing tidbits.
The Silver Shamrock factory is located in a Southern California company town called Santa Mira, populated by…Irish immigrants. OK, sure. Realizing it’s too small a town to snoop without a cover story, Challis and Ellie decide to pretend to be a couple, buyers from the factory like Ellie’s dad was, and book a room at the local motel. Luckily, Ellie also packed lingerie for her day trip to track her father’s last movements with the nice, strange doctor.

We also meet an angry woman staying at the motel, in town to pick up her mask order, and another buyer, Buddy, with his wife and truly obnoxious brat, who are so National Lampoon, guys, I’m not kidding. So a lot of the snooping comes to Ellie and Challis at the motel, and that’s convenient. We learn that the factory (and thus the town) is run by Conal Cochran, a famous maker of novelty gags, toys, and masks, and Challis risks all kinds of fun backwash sharing his brown bag o’ booze with a local deadbeat, who points out the video cameras monitoring the whole town and complains bitterly that the factory is staffed entirely with outside people, not local talent like himself.

The night wears on. Ellie’s lingerie goes on, and maybe off, but we don’t see that. This is pretty PG-13 here. The deadbeat is double head crushed by more tax preparers of the night. And angry lady toys with one of the Silver Shamrock masks, unleashing a beam that fries her face off and generates worms and bugs from the gaping face holes. Face obliteration is a pretty ironic thing for a mask to do, and it’s still a fairly good practical effect, trading blood for broken teeth and exposed sinews.

The next day, best Halloween mask salesman evar Buddy and his family are taking a tour of the factory, which Ellie and Challis manage to glom onto. Cochran tours them personally though the place, and we get a closer look at his legacy of successful clockwork toys (Plot point! Plot point!) as well as the mask making process – less the tantalizing “final processing,” which Cochran explains has to do with trade secrets and volatile chemicals. He doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.

Speaking of getting hurt, Challis spots some more of the menswear models of doom and recognizes their eerie resemblance to the killer what bonfired himself in the hospital parking lot. Ellie also spots her dad’s car, partially hidden under a tarp, although she’s prevented from getting close by more members of the Silver Shamrock Kraftwerk tribute band.
And then our heroes, with the proof that Ellie’s dad was there (which wasn’t really at issue, was it?) and the serious heebie jeebies, hear what the audience is yelling at them and decide to get the hell out of Halloweentown. But FIRST, Challis wants to call the cops. Dumb, dumb, stupid man. While Ellie packs her one tiny overnight bag, he goes to the motel office and finds all lines are routed to a wrong number recording. By the time he gets back to the room, Ellie’s gone, and the room is surrounded by blank-faced, sharp-dressed men. So Challis is off to the races.

For a while, he manages to kill rather than be killed, and soon realizes that the suited baddies in pursuit are automatons, super realistic killbot versions of the clockwork toys that helped make Cochran so successful. So are most of the people in Santa Mira. But if Challis were successful in escaping, we wouldn’t get a villain speech, and we do get one from Cochran, a splendid speech not just about his evil plan, but about Halloween itself and, unlike Dr. Loomis, he pronounces Samhain correctly.
Challis isn’t down for the count though. There’s more movie left, a big scary child sacrificing plot to avert, and a cute girl to save, too. I’m leaving out a lot of good stuff actually, like what happens to Challis’ coroner friend and Cochran’s demonstration of his evil plan for Halloween night. You should watch and see. …Probably not while wearing a Halloween mask though.

roadside attractions

  • Killer Clockworks from Killarney
  • Honey mustard blood
  • “Halloween” Easter eggs
  • I’m crushing your head (x2)
  • Face/off
  • Killer driller
  • Willy Wonka level cruelty to children
  • A cult following




Not a bloodbath. More of an acid bath with snakes and worms playing pinochle in dissolved skulls.




.3 Glancing nip slip. Be ready to hit pause.



BEASTS Once again, the real monster is man and army of his killer robots.

8 OVERALL Maybe they should have called it All Hallows Eve or Samhain or The Night Celtic Witches Sacrifice All Y’All’s Children.” “Halloween III” both deserves the Halloween name and doesn’t deserve the short shrift it’s gotten because of the “Halloween” name. On its own merits, you get a great cast, a fairly original story in the vein of 70s, early 80s conspiracy horror with both witchy and technological components, a spooky Kraftwerky soundtrack, and plenty of memorable practical effects that still ook out effectively decades later.

Watch the trailer to “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”



About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>