Archive for the '80’s movies' Category

Nov

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
1986 – X – Arrow Video

Texas Chainsaw Massacre really the set the bar with horror back in 1974. It goes without saying that it is one of the greatest horror films of all time, so when Cannon Films acquired the rights to the franchise in the 80’s, a sequel was inevitable. Giving the original creator Tobe Hooper full creative control, it must have been a lot of pressure. How can a sequel live up to all this hype and deliver the same level of atrocity and macabre as depicted in the original? Tobe Hooper simply found the answer in not following the same formula as the first. Instead he took the film in a different direction, focusing more on gore and comedy, making it completely a slapstick for the criminally insane. Certainly an audacious and risky move, but would it actually work?

tcm2_2And he does this right from the start. Immediately following a text scrolling narrative echoing the events of the first film, it’s thirteen years later as two cackling college jug heads on their way to Dallas are popping shots at signs with a revolver from a car and calling K-OKLA radio station, badgering the leggy DJ appropriately nicknamed Stretch (Caroline Williams, meow!). Since these douchebags are refusing to hang up, Stretch has to keep them on the line and on the air (did radio stations actually use this lamebrain phone system?) as a large pickup truck, proud of its state’s stereotype by displaying some buck antlers and a confederate flag, chases them on what seems like the world’s longest bridge, until a familiar chainsaw wielding, masked maniac saws the top off one guy’s head and consequently crashing the car. Apparently city folk aren’t welcome ’round these parts.

Time to call in the cavalry! Former Texas Ranger (looking at it now, I’m not sure if they mean baseball player or an actual Texas Ranger) “Lefty” Enright, played by a manic Dennis Hopper, is at the scene of the crime. Although he’s ridiculed by his peers, Lefty knows exactly who did this… the same scumbags that tormented his niece and nephew, Sally and Franklin Hardesty. And no, this isn’t a string of typos. In a Soap Opera type of twist, Lefty is the uncle to the protagonists of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and he’s been hunting down the Sawyer clan ever since. Desperate, and most likely lonely, Lefty prints a want ad regarding any information on this brutal slaying (and for that special someone). Stretch brings him a tape with the slaying recorded on to it to which he shortly requests her to play it on the radio, which I’m sure the FCC will have no problems with. Still, it’s better than anything that Lady Gaga dude puts out.

tcm2_3But first, a little comical scene of Dennis Hopper arriving at a workshop, throwing phat stacks of cash on the table, like he just won some games of dice (these two things are funny to visualize in slow-motion along with any rap song), arming up with several chainsaws of varying size and madly hacking a log up outside, testing the chainsaws. He does this entire scene without a single line of dialogue, deadpan face, as the owner of the shop laughs to himself like he’s a mad scientist. This scene is the horror movie equivalent to Willem Defoe’s death scene in Platoon. It’s that over the top, but it’s that damn good.

Well, who else should hear this new hit but a welcoming and familiar face, Drayton Sawyer (for those of you who may not know the name, he ran the gas station in the first film), who just won a local chili cook-off contest! Turns out the Sawyer’s have been running a traveling food truck business since the first movie and I have to say, this is a very clever idea. After a probable manhunt took place following the events of the first film, a ‘meals on wheels’ service would allow these killers to move freely without getting caught and disposing of bodies. It’s genius (and I’m sure copyrighted… shucks). Hysterically cursing at the wheel, he turns it around to send the boys on a little search and destroy mission.

tcm2_4Nobody does search and destroy missions quite like the Vietnam veteran hippie with an exposed metal plate in his head, Chop Top, who it turns out is the twin brother of the Hitchhiker character in the first film… another soap opera twist, played amazingly by the characteristic Bill Moseley (and most likely one of his best roles). Seriously, this guy is all over the place. One minute he’s making a joke about one thing, then another, then he goes into a psychotic rage. He truly defines a psychopath. Chop Top arrives at the radio station shortly after LG, who does… something at K-OKLA, leaves for some grub, he asks Stretch to play the “special Lefty request”. Suddenly out of the darkness, the man in the mask, Leatherface bursts out with his chainsaw, waving it ferociously into the air, dinging Chop Top’s exposed metal plate (oh, that’s why they call him that!). With Stretch having locked herself in a room, LG returns to find Chop Top digging through old records, all while spouting some of the best one-liners ever. Chop Top belts his head continuously with a hammer, while Leatherface is falling in love… yeah, it’s strange to see and even more strange to describe. You see, since Stretch isn’t showing him fear, he falls for her and begins thrusting with his chainsaw, making for one of the most sexually awkward scenes ever. It’s so awkward, high schools should show them for abstinence videos. Leaving her to live (unbeknownst to Chop Top), the two bail with LG’s body.

Stretch follows them to an abandoned amusement park, rather fitting given the tenants. She falls into a trap, placing her inside the Christmas colored, bone scattered death trap just in time for Lefty to arrive, fully loaded with chainsaws and spewing the word of god, which is a bit cliche. Both Stretch and Lefty are left to their own devices if they want to get out alive. Stretch uses her charm on the wits of Leatherface (who even puts the skin of a face over hers) to try and escape and Lefty… well, he just starts tearing this place to shreds, howling like hobo on a meth bender with nothing to lose, “BRING IT DOWN! BRING IT ALL DOWN!” He finds Stretch, reminiscent of the dinner scene from the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with the Sawyer family, as he claims to be The Lord of the Harvest (not to be confused with The Lord of the Flies). And then, in a more battle more epic than Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader’s final duel, Lefty has it out with Leatherface, chainsaw to chainsaw! Madness on an unmeasurable scale unfolds from here.

tcm2_6Believe it or not, but this film initially received an X rating. The filmmakers decided to release it as Unrated so it would be allowed to play in more theaters. Even during its home video release, it still was Unrated. It wasn’t until the lousy, bare (no extras!) release in 2000 by MGM it was finally given an R rating. But we’re not talking about the MGM releases. We’re talking about this crisp, clean transfer from Arrow Video (with a few noticeable scenes of noise, but it’s not too bad), which looks amazing on a big screen in Blu. For you surround sound fans… sorry, they stuck with stereo for this release, but that’s how we like it.

And how about those extras? Arrow filled this release with so many extras, you’ll be stuffed. A good portion is carried over from the MGM “Gruesome Edition”, but that didn’t stop Arrow from adding plenty more, one of the coolest being Tobe Hooper’s previously unreleased short, The Heisters and another film Eggshells. On top of that are a few retrospectives on Mr. Hooper and possibly the most amusing feature on here, a fifteen or so minute rant from the man who played Leatherface, but it’s followed by about a half hour rebuttal by Stephen Thrower. Slap that in a sweet package with some astounding artwork and a hundred page book and there are enough extras on here to make this release thick and meaty. After all, it’s all about the meat… don’t skip on the meat.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
If you want to see Dennis Hopper screaming at the top of his lungs while waving chainsaws wildly in the air and going bats#*t crazy, then this is the movie for you. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 would literally be like looking into the mind of a madman. This is one of the most outrageous and insane films out there and still somehow remains comprehensible. I’m not sure it’s even possible to compare this to its original counterpart since they really aren’t in the same league. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a parody of the original, making a goofball, splatstick comedy out of a serious toned serial killer movie, but that is in no way a bad thing. All the characters are completely ridiculous and over the top, but they are playing along with the hyper-violent, daffy tone of the movie (especially Bill Moseley’s Chop Top) that it all somehow makes sense and dammit all, if it’s not entertaining in a psychotically hypnotizing way. It like being on a hallucinogenic and seeing all the ravings of a lunatic come to life, with the colors to make it really ‘pop’. The buzz isn’t back… it never went away.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Splitting headache.
  • Dennis Hopper… acting or actually that crazy?
  • Incoming mail!
  • Leatherface in love.
  • The Last Round Up, makers of the meatiest chilli!
  • Nam Land!
  • Saw vs. saw!
  • Crazy Caroline Williams Dance.
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

We start with some punk getting half of his head sawed off, then another person pelted in the head repeatedly with a hammer, throw some guts in here for the perfect gore-met!

6

blood

BREASTS

One scene in particular, where Caroline Williams has soda and ice sprayed all over her legs and chest will have the young ones getting funny feelings for the first time.

10

beast

BEASTS

The psychopathic Chop Top and Leatherface square off with Dennis Hopper, armed head to toe in chainsaws. This is what Michelangelo would have painted in the Sistine Chapel had he seen this movie.

8.3 OVERALL
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Nov

posted by Doktor | November 15, 2013 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Cyclone

Tagline: The Ultimate Team Of Woman And Machine.

Year: 1987 Runtime: 89 min

Director: Fred Olen Ray

Writer: Paul Garson (screenplay) & T.L. Lankford (additional material)

Starring: Heather Thomas, Jeffrey Combs, Ashley Ferrare

What does Airwolf, Blue Thunder, KITT, Ecto-One, Firefox, Streethawk, and the Highwayman semi’s  have in common? They are all over-the-top 80’s vehicles that graced our screens (big or small). As a little boy my heart skipped a beat when we saw them. All I ever wanted—EVAR—was to be the coolest person ever and own one. Having a cool ride was one thing, and I had my eye on a few of those too, but having a super military vehicle was the bee’s patellas!

As you can tell from that last sentence there was never any hope for me, regardless of what I rode around in.

Cyclone is another, less well known, motorcycle belonging to that illustrious bunch of mean machines. With a price tag of $5 million, Cyclone is 5/6th of a Steve Austin. Yet, because it was designed by Dr. Herbert West, I mean Dr. Jeffery Combs… erhm, no, I… Dr. Rick Davenport. Yeah, that’s it. Because it was designed by Dr. Rick Davenport it’s 6/5th a Steve Austin, and a bag of chips! Here’s a quick breakdown of Cyclone’s assets:

  • twin laser gun helmet with H.U.D.
  • turbo charged with nos injection (putting out 400+ hp)
  • armor plating
  • stealth paint that’s been “jazzed up”
  • fire power equal to an F-16
  • powered by The Transformer

The most important development is The Transformer. A dry erase board eraser fuel cell. Sucks hydrogen out of the atmosphere and converts it into “energy.” Neato!

Thing is, Davenport is a bit of an eccentric. He agreed to design and build Cyclone, but he had to do so in secret. The closer Davenport got to finishing the bike the more he was worried that he couldn’t trust “The Agency.” And he was right. The very night he finishes Cyclone he goes out dancing at the hot metal club with his girl and gets an icepick in the back of his head for his troubles.

He didn’t deserve such a fate for designing Cyclone, but he was asking for a beat down by getting on the dance floor. First off, one doesn’t “dance” to metal, one headbangs, or moshes, or in a pinch knifes whomever happens to be standing in the general area.  Everyone there was awkwardly metal dancing, think Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-air, so when in Rome, right? It was so offensive my eyes bled, but then came the insult. He exclaims gayly, “All right!” and “Yeah!” as he is Rick Ashleying. For that, the ice pick was poetic justice.

When Davenport dies “The Agency” sends some of it’s operatives to get Cyclone from his girlfriend, Teri Marshall, i.e. The Fall Guy’s Jody Banks. For no reason she’s skeptical of the agents and feigns ignorance of Davenport’s activities. When she goes back home she heads straight for the secret lab where she trips a hidden message from Davenport. He tells her if she’s hearing this message something bad’s happened and blah, blah, blah. He gives her a complete rundown on Cyclone, including who she can deliver it to if she should accept the mission. She decides she’ll honor his memory and make sure Cyclone gets to the right people, or whatever.

One quick note: It was her handprint which set off the message. Thing is, the only thing she touched was his drafting table. That means the whole thing was a big touch sensor. Considering this was the late 80’s I think someone might have skimmed a good chunk of that $5 million for the drafting table. Who knows what other goodies he had in there.

Speaking of, Davenport’s lab is the least obfuscated in the history of secret labs. It’s hidden behind the fire place in his living room, which isn’t a bad idea in and of itself. It’s the implementation where things fall apart. With the molding around the door, and the decorative molding on the walls, the sliding fire place had to stick out noticeably. And that’s turning a blind eye to the fireplace itself which was only about a foot deep. A neon sign reading “Secret Lab Back Here” would be as inconspicuous.

Then the movie introduces the bad guys. To say they are a bunch of Key Stone Mongoloids would be giving them undue intelligence points. For such an important weapon, and more important fuel source, “The Agency” sends two idiots to stake out the house. They promptly fall asleep. Yep. Out cold. They are awakened when Cyclone takes off out back. They go right back to sleep.

And that’s not the worst of it.

To fully appreciate this enematic experience, I have to back up a bit. What booger eater would give $5 million to some schmuck and not know where he was working, how it was going, or anything for that matter? This is $5 million in 80’s dollars. That’s like $200 trillion now. Secondly, no one thought that MAYBE his secret lab was in his house since he NEVER leaves to go to work? Furthermore, no one is sent out to check until AFTER Davenport is dead? There were plenty of opportunities to drop by. And yet when they do go in they completely miss the obvious hidden passageway to the lab? I have a hemorrhoid that’s smarter than these morons. Anyone this stupid deserves to loose their money and get a swift kick in the ding-ding.

And there’s more.

When the cretins finally discover the lab, and more importantly the missing Cyclone, the main bad guy and his partner give chase. What do they bring to catch a super turbo-charged, 400 horsepower motorcycle? An Oldsmobile station wagon. Sigh. Thing is, the Oldsmobile station wagon actually kept up with Cyclone. I was so angry at this point that I broke my TV trying to pick a fight with the movie.

“The Ultimate Team Of Woman And Machine,” huh? If that’s the case, Cyclone is a technological failure worse than healthcare.gov. (Or that pathetic attempt at political satire.)

To save what little color I have left in my hair I’ll cut to the penultimate atrocity and be done with it. After being caught, escaping, and a fantastic final fight scene where Teri gets to use Cyclone’s cool weapons, Teri just walks away. There are dead people, cars are on fire, and the police are casually looking around at the carnage. No one stops her, asks her questions, nothing. She just walks away. As she left she pocketed The Transformer. Remember, The Transformer is the solution to the world’s fuel needs. It can convert hydrogen in the atmosphere into “energy.” What does Teri do with it? She throws it in a pool of dirty water in the gutter, destroying it.

Good jorb, Teri. Way to honor Davenport. He’s in his own special Hell, and is suffering is legendary.

roadside attractions

  • Marvel at Cyclone, a motorcycle so advanced Davenport has to wear rubber surgical gloves to work on it!
  • Freak Out by how cool the Cyclone sounds—a jet engine played through a flanger!
  • Envy the Cyclone’s ultimate piece of super military tech: a knife with brass knuckles!
  • Be Moved the Rent-a-Center In the Air Tonight song, Riding on the Edge of Night!
  • Throw Up your devil horns \m/ and bang your head to Devil Metal! (You don’t have to wait, check out the video below.)
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

There’s enough blood to warrant a bucket and mop, and some of it in inexplicable places.

2

blood

BREASTS

Only breasts in the movie are in the background in the gym locker room scene.

5

beast

BEASTS

No beasts, but this kind of movie is all about the cool vehicle, and Cyclone is no Streethawk.

4.666 OVERALL
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Bang Your Head! Bang Your Head! Bang Your Head!(Devil Metal):

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Oct

Comments Off on Maniac

Maniac
1980 – Unrated – Blue Underground

If there is one thing that the 80’s did for us (besides give us cocaine and Alf), it was install a paranoia in us through movies. Horror movies were evolving, becoming more horrifying and grotesquely more realistic. We were looking over our shoulders constantly and assuming any sound in the middle of the night was a murderer that broke into our homes. These movies also outraged sensitive cinema goers, claiming this type of movie breeds wackos. One such film would be simply be called Maniac and with a title like that, you should know what you’re walking into. Yet for audiences back then, they were disturbed by what they saw. Could it have really been that sadistic?

When the special effects are done by Tom Savini, the man who did Dawn of the Dead and was fresh off the gruesomely reviewed Friday the 13th, combine that with William Lustig, a guy whose earlier works were porn, you should know what you are walking in to. Actor Joe Spinell brought such a twisted and yet realistic spin on the psychotic main character Frank Zito, that you would think with this flick, the premise was so alarming and the effects were disturbingly visceral, that anybody watching the film didn’t think a murder could be depicted with such ferocity and carnage and shame on them for being so naive. The combination of these three men bring this film to deranged new levels and showcase a level of mayhem to be unmatched. It angered feminists, critics hated it, so let’s degrade ourselves and plunge into the filthy world of a psychopath!

maniac_2As a couple snuggles up on the beach, a prowler watches from one of those… binocular things… I forget what they are called, but you use to find them in large cities and you put a quarter in them and you can see the city. Anyway, after rolling around on each other like pale leather bags in a mildewy blanket, the man leaves to gather firewood… on the beach. It doesn’t take long for him to be garroted by the prowler, who then sneaks up on the sleeping girlfriend and slices her neck. Her screams fade into overweight, sweaty killer known as Frank, as he shoots up out of bed in a cold sweat, screaming like a lunatic and crying and judging how the interior of this small apartment is decorated, I’d wake up screaming and crying every day too.

Later that evening, two prostitutes (one of which is very eager for that one last trick to pay rent, son) see Frank, who is probably the shadiest looking person in an already shady area, takes one of the streetwalkers upstairs where he has her model like in them fancy magazines. Within moments, he charms the lady of the night by showing the size of his… money clip and starts making out with her pretty intensely, rolling on top of her and for that, believe me, I think she earned that cash. Have you ever put a warm, doughy dinner roll on top of a green bean? Well anyway, Frank starts to become frustrated and chokes this hooker to death and crying immediately afterwards. I’ve heard of crymaxing, but killmaxing? Is that a thing? As he mutters to her, “Why did you make me do it?” he scalps her using a box cutter, which I have to say, watching this will make you flinch in pain. That’s your grotesque Savini special effects at work for you there.

So what exactly is Frank doing with these scalps? If he were Apache, they would be trophies of some sort, but we actually aren’t too far off. Frank nails the scalps to the heads of mannequins that he’s dressed in the clothes of his recent victim, thus in his mind, honoring the person and allowing them to live on forever. It seems Frank feels what seems to be a motherly attachment to them, talking to them and scolding them, which makes sense seeing as it’s often hinted throughout the film that he had mother issues.

maniac_4Leaving his apartment once again with a disassembled 12 gauge shotgun in a trumpet case, he follows a couple out of a disco (yeah, those existed at one point) to what kids would call ‘make-out point.’ The stud in this scene, by the way, is played by Tom Savini, who is desperately trying to get ‘some’. The floozy is resistant at first, but who can resist a mustache as powerful as that? Tom Savini’s mustache has rivaled other great ‘staches in history, like Tom Selleck’s. After some serious necking in the backseat, the woman sees Frank peeping through the window like a little kid at the zoo and talks Savini into leaving. Flicking on the headlights, they see Frank standing in the night. He pounces on the windshield, armed with his shotgun and blows Tom Savini’s head off. And I meant right the freak off, spraying gallons of blood and whatever foods happened to be on the Kraft services table that evening. This scene is so graphic, it could give the head explosion scene from Scanners a run for its money.

After proving to those two that disco is dead, Frank cries himself to sleep after a healthy internal monologue about “stopping the fancy women” and handcuffing himself to a mannequin. He wakes up for a midday stroll through the park, where a photographer, Anna (played by ex-Bond girl Caroline Munroe), snaps a shot of him. Frank notices and casually strolls up to her belongings, snagging her address and goes about his day (cue non-conspicuous whistling).

Since they had to bore you with that scene of exposition, they throw you a bone and kill another woman. This time, a young nurse decides to reject a ride home from a friend and tread home solo in the middle of the night, while reading a newspaper with the headline, “MANIAC KILLS TWO MORE!” She soon notices she is being stalked and tries running through the subway station, hiding in a bathroom. This scene is heavily borrowed in other movies, including Alexander Aja’s High Tension (he would later go on to produce the remake of Maniac!) and it’s probably due to not only its pacing, but the idea of a stranger tracking you through a vacant space and having to hide with no escape. After a few moments, she believes the killer has fled, losing interest and as she washes her face in the sink, Frank stabs her through the back with a bayonet.

maniac_5Eventually the filmmakers realize that even a movie called Maniac can’t be composed completely of scenes that depict brutal murders of women, so Frank pays a visit to Anna, but in a very friendly and possibly romantic manner. Dressed nicely, he invites her to dinner to which she accepts and believe it or not, but the two seem to be hitting it off and it comes across as very authentic. Wanting to see him again, Anna invites Frank to one of her photo shoots, where Frank humbly arrives and everything seems innocent enough, until he meets Rita. Frank steals a necklace of hers and leaves the set, only to pay a visit to Rita’s home late a night with the necklace, posing as just a friend returning it. But would a friend kidnap you and tie you up? Maybe, but certainly not in a hostile, psychotic manner. With Rita kidnapped, Frank paces and spouts off about being abused and being left all alone, which implies he is most likely talking about his mother. Frank tells her that she will never leave him again, as he plunges a switchblade right into her chest and adding her scalp to a growing collection of mannequins.

Well this is becoming downright depressing! Maybe a visit from Anna will perk him right up. Frank picks her up to take her to a show, but a quick detour at his mother’s grave in the cemetery before hand. No sign of this night going sour, especially as the sky turns black and the fog rolls in. At the grave, Frank begins to blubber like a baby and as Anna tries to console him, he tries to choke her. I’m sure he likes to think of it as ‘hugging her neck’, but Anna fights him off and even slices his arm open with a shovel. Wounded, Frank chases after Anna, but slows down and seems to become lost… especially mentally as he hears his mother’s voice calling out for him, bringing him to his knees. And then like true Savini fashion, the rotten corpse of his mother bursts from the ground and terrorizes him! If he hasn’t lost his mind already, he certainly is now. Back at his home after fleeing the cemetery, he cries to himself as he notices that the mannequins are slowly becoming alive and they are very unhappy.

Maniac is a film that makes you feel filthy and unclean for watching it, but that’s what I love about it. It’s a character study of a truly, deeply disturbed human being. You’re audience to his personal torment and are forced to watch his violent actions. But there is a sympathetic side, as he weeps and talks nonsense to himself, you can feel the misguidance he had growing up and can’t help but feel sorry for him. It’s at the moment you begin to question why you are on his side. He’s done such vile things, are you supposed to feel that way? But that’s another thing that makes this movie great; you root for the bad guy without even knowing it.

Maniac
With an anathema you love to hate or hate to love, a dark and seedy look into his sick, perplexed world, overflowing with gore and other gross stuff, it’s enough to make you question your own sanity. At the dawn of the slasher flick era, Maniac stood above them as the indisputable champ of shocking horror, visually and methodically. It is perhaps the darkest serial killer pic since Psycho and would pave way for others, such as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. If there is anything positive to take away from the film, it’s that Frank was able to score a babe like Anna. So that means maybe there is hope for some of us.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Sleeping and peeping.
  • Nightmare apartment.
  • Is Frank Zito gonna have to choke a broad?
  • Scalping sicko.
  • Sweaty and crying… or hungry?
  • Buck shot cranium massage!
  • Bond babe!
  • Zombie mom issues.
  • Torn to pieces!
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

The scalping looked good for the time, but the shotgun scene will make your head explode…

7

blood

BREASTS

Bubble bath included.

10

beast

BEASTS

Joe Spinell doesn’t play Frank Zito… he seemingly IS Frank Zito and it’s downright terrifying.

8.6 OVERALL
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News report on the controversy it caused.

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Oct

Comments Off on Rocktober Blood

Remember when a killer soundtrack could actually save a horrible movie from extinction? Something that you could rock out to even if the movie didn’t make a lick of sense. Movies like Flashdance, The Sound of Music or that evil orphan movie with little red headed asian girl, Annie. Yes, there’s a handful if not dozens of such films and Rocktober Blood is one of them. It’s pure metalsploitation where a soundtrack will melt your face off, but only long enough to distract you from just what a piece of horse pucky you’re actually watching.

Tray Loren plays Billy “Eye” Harper, a local rocker whose been laying down some “killer” tracks at the recording studio with his back up singer/girlfriend Lynn. Billy isn’t very happy with the record producers, so he starts killing them off while Lynn takes an incredibly long time to undress for the hot tub upstairs. After impaling one of them on coat hook, Billy in his Top Gun sunglasses, forces Lynn to sing at knife point until a security guard breaks up the karaoke. Billy is later arrested, tried, and executed for killing at least 25 people. They obviously didn’t know to rock.

rocktober blood2 years later, Lynn takes over the band and starts her own tour of heavy metal with a blood and guts stage show. She’s obviously working through some relationship issues. Unfortunately she’s starting to see Billy’s face pop-up around town and running into him at parties, which is always awkward. Nobody in her band believes her, especially her manager who suspiciously resembles a beaten Fabio and insists that her friends take her on vacation. They fly her up to a secluded cabin where they all can relax and aerobicise in the wild, but Billy shows up again just to taunt her with his annoying laugh and rummages through her underwear drawer. Lynn insists Billy is alive despite nobody else seeing him and heads back to dig up his grave to prove it. Unfortunately she finds his decayed corpse still wearing a rockin’ bandanna instead. Shyamalan plot twist – Billy is really dead!

Convinced she is going nuts, Lynn decides the best therapy is to get back to her concert tour, but just before the show she is drugged backstage by Billy’s evil twin John who killed everyone years ago and has been following Lynn ever since. “Sorry Billy about that whole conviction and execution thing. My bad.”

Tom handcuffs Lynn to his wrist and performs in front of a live studio audience as Billy. His band is un-phased by it all and continues to rock on. Fabio sneaks up with an electric guitar and mashes him on the head just as Tom finishes out his solo. But haven’t we’ve seen all this before on American Idol?

Rocktober Blood has very little to do with Oktober or Rock and contains very little blood. Playing Guitar Hero has better character development but at least it all ends on a high note. Barry Goodall gives it 2 guitar riffs out of 5 mostly for the gratuitous areobicizing.

roadside attractions

  • Gratuitous backup singing
  • Wall coat peg impalement
  • Neck slashin’
  • “lactose intolerant” Fabio
  • Breakdancing werewolf
  • Jacuzzi dunking
  • Death by steam cleaning
  • Heart ripping with optional decapitation
  • Death by rock!
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

A few good splatters and neck slicing though most of it happens on a rock stage with corn syrup.

8

blood

BREASTS

Does it count if it’s the same hot tub scene shown twice? Yes, yes it does.

1

beast

BEASTS

Billy who is strangely reminiscent of a screaming cub bear lost in the woods.

3.5 OVERALL
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Watch the full movie of “Rocktober Blood”

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Oct

Comments Off on Phoenix the Warrior

Tagline: Sexploitation Sinema Has Never Been So Fun!

Year: 1988 Runtime: 89 min

Director: Robert Hayes

Writer: Robert Hayes, Dan Rotblatt

Starring: Persis Khambatta, Kathleen Kinmont, Peggy McIntaggart

Phoenix the Warrior is also known as She-Wolves of the Wasteland. I mention this partially for thoroughness’s sake, but mostly because it sets expectations exactly where they need to be. This is a very simple movie: put scantily clad, or preferably topless, women in front of the camera for roughly 90 minutes. And that’s exactly what the film delivers.

The story, such as it is, goes like this: a bacteriological war killed most of the world’s men and left only a handful of women.The Reverend Mother (think female Emperor Palpatine) rose into power, both in government and in magic. Don’t know how, it’s just vomited out in the opening exposition. Somehow—I’m going with Science Magick™—she creates all the post-war people, which are all women. Thing is, she is powered by draining the life from others, and women don’t have as much juice as men. Problem is, she’s killed all the men “working” them in the sperm banks. So…

The final seed is stolen by The Breeders, a group of women who want to breed more humans, and used to impregnate Keela, some woman. And by the grace of the Goddess it’s a boy.

(And there was much rejoicing. Yay.)

Phoenix comes along just in time to save Keela from the Reverend Mother and her goonettes. Then the passage of time goes all quantum retarded. The day after they escape Skyler, the boy child, is born. I assume that this streamlined procreation process is due to the lack of men. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. There’s lots of topless women in the tribe that takes Phoenix and Keela in.

The Reverend Mother has the power of Baby Birth Detection with Slight Baby GPS, which gives her the location to send the goonettes, led by Cobalt (Persis “Ilia” Khambatta). Unfortunately only the Topless Ones are killed in the raid. Phoenix, Keela, and newborn Skyler escape.

The next day Skyler is about 5 years old. Nah, just kidding. He’s five because it is five years later. Robert Hayes is terrible about conveying the passage of time. Just when the audience is completely confused, he falls back on exposition in order to set things straight. Keela: “No one has seen us in 5 years.”

Oh. Ok. Thanks. That cleared that up. Not much has changed in 5 years. Everyone looks the same. Clothes are the same. Hair’s the same. What the hell? Maybe it’s that good dessert air. Show some breast and all is forgotten.

While on the run Phoenix, Keela, and Skyler find a ramshackle shack. They bed down for the night only to wake to a gas masked interloper standing over them. Phoenix kicks her in the va-jay-jay and Keela busts her in the head with a rock. Down she goes. Under the gas mask is…

A MAN! Named, conveniently, Guy.

Realization sets in. Oh, noes! He’s broke! “There’s nothing more useless than a man that doesn’t work.” Preach on, Phoenix. (She’s talking about his pee-pee.)

Meanwhile, a drifter brings a toy to Cobalt who takes it to the Reverend Mother. Using her powers as an object empath, she determines it is the boy child’s toy. And again she uses her power of Slight Baby GPS to locate the boy child.

In their lust to satisfy the Reverend Mother, the goonettes rush in all half-vaginaed. Their plan? Crash their truck through the shanty where he’s hiding. Nothing could possibly go wrong, amirite? Luckily Guy has an escape pipe which he, Keela, and Skyler manage to get through. Unluckily Phoenix gets captured.

Here there’s the obligatory “gladiator fighting pits” scene. Phoenix makes a friend of Neon, one of the gladiatoresses. Phoenix then kicks some butt. Keela and Guy come to her rescue. Weeeeee!

Back together and with some sweet post-apocolypse wheels, they make a run for the Badlands in order to find some place safe to live.

This is an even better idea than the goonettes running their truck into the shanty. The Badlands are the home of the Rezule, TV worshiping mutants. Honestly they don’t seem very tough or frightening. Considering they don’t have guns, and Phoenix and crew do, I can’t understand why they were worried. It’s like being worried by Romero zombies or 70’s Daleks. You can walk by them, but it was in the script so the Rezule are fearsome.

To insult our intelligence Phoenix says, “End of the road,” when they make it to the Badlands. The end of the road is a slight hill with dead bushes. There’s no way they can drive a car though that, so they set off on foot. Hayes couldn’t think of something more realistic like running out of gas? Sigh.

The Doofus Crew promptly gets captured. Magically, out of the dead bushes, comes Cobalt and the goonettes. They take Guy and Skyler. The Rezule get to deal with Phoenix and Keela.

Now is the Reverend Mother’s moment of glory. She has Guy to refill the bank. She has Skyler to refill herself. Perfect, right? She starts off by telling Skyler to prepare himself. Really? Prepare himself? What is the boy going to do? Ask for a blind fold and a cigarette? Pray to his God? Eat his final meal? He’s five. He just stands there looking at her.

Guy, whose chained nearby, tells the Reverend Mother to take him instead. Naturally he won’t do, plus he’s got a bank to fill. Being a nice lady, the Reverend Mother gives Guy the option to watch.

At this point you’d think the Reverend Mother would dig in, right? Everything she’s been waiting years for is right there. She’s told Skyler to prepare himself. Guy’s watching. Well, not so much. What she does is sit there. She waits, giving Phoenix and Keela time escape (with the miraculously timed arrival of Neon, remember her?) to make it to her, set up a pointless diversion, kill her goonettes, and ultimately kill her. Too bad intelligence wasn’t one of the Reverend Mother’s powers.

The movie closes with the same inexplicable scene that opens the film: Phoenix, horseback, on the beach.

roadside attractions

  • Witness the Topless Dance of Birth! Goddess be praised!
  • Thrill at the vicious fight choreography!
  • Boobs! ‘Nuff said.
  • Marvel at the Rezule, TV people in the badlands who read from the scriptures of TV Guide!
  • Fill your eyes with Bikini Babes with machine guns!
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

There are a few good shots, but for all the burlets spent there’s not much blood spilled.

10

blood

BREASTS

The one thing this film got right: lots of breasts to keep the audience’s attention.

5

beast

BEASTS

In a dystopian world you’d think there would be more mutants. Sadly there’s only the Reverend Mother and the Rezule.

6.66 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “Phoenix the Warrior”

trailers

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About the Highway

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