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Monster in the Closet

“Honey, can we just cuddle tonight, I’ve got a headache.”

In Pixar Animation’s Monsters Inc. we learned that monsters emerge from closets to scare children and harvest their screams to power their monster city. They’re giant cuddly teddy bears with fangs who are afraid of children touching them and have complex social problems. When did we neuter the classic movie monster like this? If it was a real horror movie the big blue monster would have eaten the kid while she slept, burped up a shoe and picked his teeth with her hair over. Unfortunately Monsters in the Closet doesn’t help monsters regain any sort of dignity.

Richard “Don’t call me Superman” Clark is a mild manner reporter who is put on the case of some mysterious deaths in a nearby small town. Some people were found dead in their closets (apparent death by over accessorizing.) The brutal yet offscreen carnage of a blind man, his dog and a whiny little girl doesn’t really catch the newspaper’s attention so the newspaper owner sends in Richard Clark as a joke to cover the story. Dick meets Diane, a biology teacher at Chestnut Hills College. We assume she’s a professor only due to the fact that she wears a lab coat and has glasses. She’s otherwise passable as an airhead super model who has random blackouts in middle of conversations. Diane has a far out theory that the victims are being killed by a snake-like creature that travels from closet to closet across the town. Along with another scientist, Dr Phillip Pennyworth who has a strong resemblance to a hung-over Einstein and a PETA lovin’ preacher, they decide to hunt down the creature and stop it’s closet killing rampage. Dr. Pennyworth thinks that he can communicate with the monster via repetitive and annoying xylophone playing but that only ends with the monster punching out his heart. Isn’t that the same way Einstein died?

An extremely ineffective branch of the army is brought in to throw every missile and bullet they can at the monster. The same army used in most Godzilla films who can’t seem to aim worth a darn. When nothing works, the army hightails it back to barracks and orders a city wide evacuation. A bit over-reactive along with the news casters claiming the end of the world is upon them.

Diana and Dick stay behind in town to try to electrocute the monster with a giant metal hot plate. See Dick Die…Die Dick Die!!! But there’s no accidental electrocution of Richard or monster munching on his useless brain stem. Instead he lures the monster into the trap with a chocolate bar. A bold move and a big sacrifice for Richard since he’s compulsively eating chocolate bars all day. The guy should be 300 pounds with acne the way he packs away the junk food.

Of course the hot plate fails as well as a hastily home-made laser beam built by Diane’s genius son who also nearly gets kidnapped by the monster while at the elementary school. Sure the kid can build a laser gun but can’t avoid a slow moving guy in a giant rubber monster suit. This is why nerds don’t play sports.

When it looks like everyone is going to become a midnight snack the monster suddenly falls in love with Richard and carries him away! WHAT?!! the monster is gay? of course, hence the movie title!! with no monster pride parade for it to march in, It tries to escape with it’s new kidnapped boyfriend via closets around the town but residence have already started burning them or chopping them up with axes. Richard is also incapable of breaking the monsters grasps as he continues to faint everytime he wakes up. Major wuss.

I can only recommend this movie based on its pure cheese-factor. You won’t be scared and you’ll end up hoping the monster wipes out this even more dumbed down human race. Be warned it’s rated PG yet had some accidental full frontal nudity of a blond bimbo in an early shower scene? Oops Apparently the ratings board was still smoking weed in the early 80’s and missed that little scene. Though I’m sure the 12 year olds that couldn’t get into Porky’s Revenge at the theater appreciated the camera mishap.

Keep an eye out for…

– the ancient Chinese xylophone torture method
– slimeball news reporters in light blue leisure suits
– Clark Kent look-a-likes addicted to chocolate bars
– German Shepard suicides
– monsters coming out of the closet.
– walkthrough electric hot plates
– extreme closet makeovers
– toy bugle monster calling

“Please destroy all your closets! though you may want to take the clothes out first.”

rated 6.8 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Monster in the Closet


posted by admin | September 12, 2007 | 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Cult Film, Cult films, Cult movies, Kung-fu

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Big Trouble in Little China

“Oh no… not another one of my gas attacks.”

Why do my fortune cookies always give me such vague predictions. “You will enjoy prosperity and good health.” Uh… okay when? It might as well say “You will have breakfast and you will be full and enjoy a brisk walk to the front door from your car.” Let’s get some specifics. How about…”avoid pork on Wednesday or it will give you botulism” or “Don’t go hiking on Saturday with granola bars in your pocket or you will be mauled by a bear” But nooo…I only get to know that my lucky numbers are 6-23-56-7. Not even enough numbers for a Lotto ticket.

Kurt Russel should have read his fortune cookie a little closer. “Avoid lawyers who look like Kim Cattrall and green eyed Chinese woman. Go home and take a nap.” But Kurt’s Character Jack Burton, just can’t help finding Big Trouble in Little China. Jack and his friend Wang Lee are at the airport to pickup Wang’s green eye girlfriend only to end up getting her and a couple of other ladies kidnapped by a local gang of sunglass wearing crip gang wanna-be’s. So much for Jack’s introductory demonstrations of heroics. Later they attempt track them down while driving the narrow streets of San Francisco in Jacks’ Giant Pork Chop Express Semi Truck. Not exactly being stealthy, they stumble upon an impromptu Chinese street war. Safe in the confines of the truck they watch the live kung-fu show as if only missing their buckets of popcorn and some gum on the floor.

Suddenly some supernatural powered fighting masters appear out of sky like rejects from Mortal Kombat and start unleashing their own Wang-chung style of justice. Dressed in oversize baskets hats from Pier One Imports, these demon gods can shoot electricity from their finger tips, spin claws of death at their enemy, and fly through the air via some not so well hidden special f/x wires. There’s also the head demon, Lopan who turns out to be the ghost of a living old guy waiting in an underground temple for a green eye Chinese girl that he can sacrifice. Then he can become mortal again and rule the world through a series glowing sword rituals. Confused yet? Don’t worry because Jack is just as confused, probably even more so but that won’t stop him from attempting to kick some supernatural butt.

Jack realizes his hero limitations yet again when he loses his truck to the street gang and is momentarily blinded by Lopan’s secret eyes on high-beam defense move. Man this guy can’t keep track of anything. Finally coming to their senses he and Wang enlist a small army of yellow bandanna wearing martial art experts and a local tour bus driver/alchemist named Egg “overeasy” Shento to find the girls and more importantly help Jack find his truck. They travel to the underworld via a conveniently place firepole and encounter a variety of monstrous roadblocks along the way including a rabid Orangutang, a floating orb of eyeballs, and the black blood of the earth (big clue.. it ain’t oil.)

Jack and Wang spend a lot of time blindfolded and stuck in wheel chairs conversing with an extremely geriatric senior center escapee or having to hold their breath for a variety of underwater magic escapes. Eventually there’s a big battle-royal in the underground temple ala 80’s neon style resulting in lots of aerial sword play, gun fire, and explosive stone throwing. Can Jack and Wang escape the evil clutches of Lopan, save the girls, and find Jack’s beloved truck? Will Kim Cattrall survive to make movies like Mannequin and City Limits?

This is definitely one of John Carpenter’s greatest cult films. Even if it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, you’ll definitely enjoy checking it out again. It really holds up to the test of time just like that box of Chinese takeout still in your fridge.

Keep an eye out for…
– impromptu kung-fu street brawls
– gang members in ridiculous sunglasses
– handicap accessible ancient underground temples
– Buddha vandalisms
– giant rabid monkeys
– floating eyeball spheres
– explosive weight gain 2000
– static electric kung-fu
– glowing old guys stuck in wheelchairs
– firepoles to netherworlds
– Chinese buffets with $1.99 all you can eat specials

“I have a black belt in feng-shui! Stop your evil ways or I will arrange you furniture to achieve harmony with the environment!”

rated 9.3 out of 10 for the movie

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Check out the trailer for Big Trouble in Little China


posted by admin | September 2, 2007 | 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Sci-Fi

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“I’m thinking about having my shoulders lengthened. Any problems with narrow doorways?”

In the future when I regain consciousness from my cryo-freezing I’ll easily tell how long I’ve been asleep simply by the size of the shoulder pads people are wearing around me. Seems movies in the 1980’s denoted the future by making everything bigger…bigger hair, bigger cars, brighter neon lights, and huge shoulder pads. The movie Trancers supports my theory.

Jack Deth played by Tim Thomerson is a cop in the future who is tracking an evil crimelord known as Whistler in the remains of Los Angeles after the big quake. Whistler while not exactly sounding like an evil mastermind has the power to convert people into zombie creatures known as Trancers much like the power of an Amway pep rally.

Whistler had transferred his consciousness back to the 1980’s rent-a-cop to kill the ancestor’s of the leaders of the future so he can return and gain control of the city. You can almost hear James Cameron’s lawyer’s warming up their typewriters. Jack is enlisted by the government to get sent back in time to track down Whistler and bring him back to stand trial before he kills all of the line-back inspired fashion leaders of the future.

Jack wakes up in one of his own distant relatives who happens to be dating Helen Hunt and amazingly he’s not turned into Paul Reiser. After defeating a trancified Santa Claus at local mall Helen’s character, Leena reluctantly join Jack on his quest to save future LA. I think if she had seen how lame the future gets, she might have changed her mind. Jack is packin’ heat, wearing raincoats in 90 degree weather, and is equipped with a watch that can freeze time for 10 seconds which also gives the director the added benefit of padding the film. He also can magically make his car stay in the very center of the road while he swings the steering wheel around like a drunk sailor navigating a storm (see video clip sample below.)

Unfortunately the targeted ancestors are getting picked off left and right while Jack is side tracked by Leena who takes him on scooter rides through geriatric apartments, or to punk rave parties, and near death tanning/surf parties. They also end up kidnapping homeless unemployed baseball players and forcing them to take showers. It must be a L.A. thing.

This movie inspired 5 sequels which is an amazing feat of direct-to-video magic even for Full Moon Entertainment whose motto is “we skip the theaters and pass the crap directly onto you.” I say check it and watch out for that crazy looking dude with bad skin sitting across from you. He could be a Trancer…or he just wants to sign you up with Amway. It’s hard to tell the difference.

Keep an eye out for…
– shoulder pads of THE FUTURE!
– middle aged punk ravers
– Santas gone wild
– flame broil settings for tanning booths
– scooter kung-fu
– gratuitous use of neon lights
– drunk underground baseball games
– loose steering convertibles

“the new Trance-o-matic, it dice, it slices, it can make it’s own direct to video sequels.”

rated 6.8 out of 10 for the movie

Check out this amazing clip from “Trancers”


posted by admin | August 26, 2007 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Cult Film, Cult films, Cult movies

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“Why don’t people take me seriously anymore?”

When I was 10 years old I took break dancing lessons at the local YMCA. My variety of moves was limited to “the wave” and “the centipede” and not much else. But I did have enough common sense to give myself the cool street name of “Electromagic.” Ok you can stop laughing now. I was like a cross between Vanilla Ice and Urkel complete with big hair and parachute pants (in case I ever had to perform an emergency sky dive.) I was poppin’ and lockin’ my way to early midlife back problems and practicing loop tracks on my Casio keyboard. I can still play a mean rendition of Chaka Khan.

Breakin’ brought back all these frightening memories of my early dancing fame. The single brain cell storyline revolves around a struggling jazz dancer, Kelly played played by Lucinda “got no groove” Dickey who hopes to make it big on Broadway someday. During the day she works at a greasy diner as a waitress, then takes evening dance classes under the tutoring of an even greasier dance instructor. One day he puts his best dirty dance moves on her. Disgusted by his creepy Swayze ways, she quits his class and storms out.

Later that day her flamboyant best friend introduces her to a couple of local street dancers named Ozone and Turbo. Ozone played by Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones and Turbo played by “Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers are showing off their super 80’s dance moves at the nearby beach. They have the ability to levitate brooms and can bust a groove but dress like blind people lost in a renaissance costume factory. Specifically watch for Ozone’s Zorro-Michael Jackson ensemble and Turbo’s karate-kid inspired outfit that would make Mr. Miyagee cry.

Seeing that Kelly has got some bad dance moves of her own, the two take her to the local dance-off where street gangs dressed as satanic French men battle with epileptic inspired moves while Ice-T rattles out some “G” rated rap. The losers are most likely to get shot in a drive-by later but Kelly still wants to join the team and help create an unholy dance revenge of terror. With her fine balletic skills and jazz hands she should fit right in.

Against their better judgment they let her join the team and give her the street title “Special K” because you’re only cool if your named after a breakfast cereal. She dances like a corn flake, at first crispy but then gets soggy in milk. Ozone begins to fall in love with her though it’s hard to tell since he seems to exhibit only two types of emotions…frustration and apathy.

Can Kelly ever fit in with a street dancer who wears cut-off shirts and shark tooth ear-rings? Can Ozone ever date someone who lacks his accessorizing skills? Kelly enlists the help of a Hollywood agent who oozes slime as he tries to get them the big break on Broadway so they just might end up dressed as extras in the community players rendition of Cats. Having a difficult time fitting in with the old rich people and finger food at a local society party, Ozone breaks up with Kelly figuring he can’t be apart of her new rich world. Soon he finds there’s a hole in his Ozone heart for her that only 2 scoops of special “K” can fill.

The big tryouts are finally upon them and they dress themselves in top hats and tuxedos. Not blending with the other hopefuls contestants who appear to be dressed in western attire including Kelly’s former dance teacher who resembles an evil Colonel Sanders. Will Turbo Ozone and Special “K” make it on Broadway? Will they ever fine clothes that match?

A great nostalgic trip to the boom-box days of break dancing. It’s definitely smells of cheese but it’s a good kind of cheese. So go check it out and get your boogie on the dance floor. Chaka Khan… Chaka Khan…

Keep an eye out for…
– Jean-Claude Van Damme as a spectator in the crowd
– dance floor epileptic seizures
– diner owners with glandular problems
– whirling guy on crutches
– gratuitous use of head bands and ankle warmers
– midget dancers in garbage cans
– ice-t “lite”
– voodoo broom levitations

“ladies and gentlemen, Electromagic has left the building……on a stretcher.”

rated 7.6 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Breakin’


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Killer Klowns from Outer Space

“Have you ever given thought to learning more about the church of clownology. Cotton candy is the way to enlightenment.”

I’ve wondered what marketing genius decided to combine the dining experience of eating hamburgers with the theme of clowns. Apparently back in the 50’s some marketing executives were sitting around a table smoking some weed and decided “You know what we need to get people to eat our hamburgers, a giant creepy clown in a yellow jump suit” And so McDonald’s was born. A looming ghost faced lunatic who lures children with the promise of cheap plastic toys and obesity in every bag. Nothing says family dining like fast food and circus themes. But why stop at the clown, wheres the trapeze in the kids play area? Where’s the hamburger cannon that shoots the wrapped food to your table? Oh well I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the McDonald’s marketing guys give that a try.

In Killer Klowns from Outer Space alien mutant clowns want us for their own fast food meals. When a 80’s couple at the local makeout spot are solicited to buy waffle cones and push-up treats by some local goobers in an ice cream truck they suddenly spot a falling comet over the treetops. Instead of taking the apparent river rafting adventure from their inflated life raft they were lying on in the back of their station wagon, they head out into the woods to investigate the comet crash. Surprisingly they come across a glowing giant circus tent inhabited by deformed clowns (hence the title…otherwise it would be “Teens Discover Nothing in Woods and Leave.” What possess people to investigate things that fall from the sky? Always remember when a comet crashes in the nearby woods you run the other way!

The clowns starting attacking the local town folks through elaborate puppet shows and pizza delivery scams shooting them with FisherPrice ray guns that turn them into giant balls of cotton candy goodness. They store the cotton-candified corpses on their spaceship tent for late night snacks. The cops are no help as the chief of police would rather complain to himself about teenage hooligans and eat doughnuts by the box full. He eventually ends up a hollowed out ventriloquist dummy which wasn’t much of a character switch for him. Popcorn attack guns, invisible cars and acid pie fights are just some of the weapons at the clown’s disposal but they could have just given away free tickets to the circus and made it a lot less work. Luckily Sargent Biff McChunk-Head figures out the plans of the evil clowns when his ex-girlfriend is kidnapped and turned into a giant beach ball. So he and his band of surviving dimwitted buddies infiltrate the evil circus strong hold at the local fairgrounds in their ice cream trunk to face off against clown hookers and giant mutant bozo impersonators. Yeah it’s that weird.

A fun goofy b-movie that doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. They have a hunting dog made out of a animal balloons and popcorn that turns into bobble headed clown demons so you can’t help but laugh.

Keep an eye out for…
– popcorn kung-fu
– wholesale size cotton candy
– cop ventriloquist acts
– shadow puppets shows
– redneck comet crash site investigators
– exploding ice cream trucks
– tracker balloon dogs
– kleptomaniacs clowns in drugs stores
– street cleaning parades
– acid pies to the face
– inflato-breast clown hookers
– bad 80’s sweaters

“Ronald, Krusty, Bozo… ye all ain’t got nothing on these Klown gangstas! If they did a drive-by they could fit 20 of their peeps in their pimped ride and put a cap in your chest.”

rated 8.1 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Killer Klowns from Outer Space

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