Archive for the 'Action' Category

Jan

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Dreamscape

I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Normally I’d attribute it to the 2 liters of Monster Energy drink I normally consume while watching schlocky late night cinema, but I’ve been cutting back on that. So now when I finally do fall asleep I have some really weird dreams. One in particular I keep having is where I’m being chased by zombies in a city and when I try to drive away my car will only go 10 mph. Sure it looks like a Lamborghini but drives like a Prius. Then I realize that I actually have the mutant power of Spiderman and used my web slinging ability to climb to the top of the Sears towers. That’s where I discover Oprah Winfrey perched like a vulture in her pants suit gnawing on a chicken leg. It figures Oprah would be the one person to survive the zombie apocalypse. So she gave me keys to a free car and a Oprah book of the month club membership and I go swinging back to down to my car. It all ends when I try to peel out, and I find my tires have been replaced with large sprinkled doughnuts and there’s a monkey dressed as a bellhop in the passengers seat singing Celine Dion songs. That’s when I wake up in a cold sweat. Sure zombies and a benevolent Oprah I can handle, but not monkeys singing “My heart will go on”. Guess I should ease up on the Chinese food before bedtime.

dreamscapeSpeaking of bad dreams. Dennis Quaid plays Alex, a psychic womanizer who uses his gift to predict the future, bet on horses and read girl’s minds. A former associate Dr. Novotny (Max von Sydow) hates seeing him squander his money on effeminate casual wear from the Penny’s catalog and gets him to join his classified government dream project instead. And you know when it’s secret and the government is involved someone is going to die. The military is using psychics to enter people’s dreams all in order to advance military science or in-dream banner ads which ever is more profitable. Alex, when he’s not gallivanting his boney torso around in his Underoos likes to play the saxophone Clinton-style and hit on lab technicians. Jane (Kate Capshaw) plays the queen of the babe lab technicians and works with Alex to sharpen his dream linking skills. They play card games, he reads her mind for a quick lite read and they get right to some train shagging during Jane’s power nap.

dreamscapeAlex starts warming up his dreamcatcher skills through some subconscious marital advising and construction stunt work all leading up to a big snake hunt in some little fat kids head. This was apparently during a time when science didn’t really need a specific purpose. Buddy has been having bad dreams of being stuck in a Tim Burton movie while being pursued by the Boogeyman and it’s been really cutting into his eating time, so Alex plugs his mind into Buddy’s brain and they do battle with a big demonic snake creature who wants to make little buddy into ground round. It’s a sort of Anne Coulter of the subconscious. Buddy succeeds in chopping the creatures head off with a big kill axe while Alex gives it a nice bear hug. I believe Buddy’s been doing a lot of free weights in his spare time.

Meanwhile back in Washington the president has been having nightmares of kids with bad acne jumping out of broom closets while nuclear blasts are going off all around them. The dreams are so bad that the president decides he wants to disarm all the nukes at the next Geneva convention. It’s obviously a plot by bunch of commies, so they must be destroyed, and the president is rushed into the dream institute to have him studied to end this horrible threat. The military dream program is headed up by Bob Blair. One of the most politically evil character’s ever to wear a polyester suit and yet they named him Bob. “Oh no!…tremble before the fear of…. Bob!” But Christopher Plummer can just ooze evil out of any character even if you stuck him in a Barney suit he’d still make children cry. Bob also has a hit squad in rented suits ready to run over phone booths on a moments notice, and his own pet psycho psychic, Tommy played perfectly by David Pat Kelly. Tommy enjoys stuffing his face with food while harassing Alex about whose the better dream-linker, and when he’s really bored he kills patients “Just for the kicks man.” Bob doesn’t want the military machine to stop churning out nukes, so he hires Tommy to try to dream assassinate the president at nap time.

dreamscapeAlex discovers the assassination plot thanks to the cunning investigative reporting by Norm from Cheers but then gets rick rolled out of a moving car before he can get the news back to Dr. Novotny whose already been killed by Bob’s goon squad. There’s a motorcycle road race and Alex gets chased down by Lincoln Continentals at the race tracks narrowly escaping into the back of a horse trailer. That’s a lot of horses a** for one trailer. Alex works his way back to the institute just in time to remote link up with the president who is dreaming he’s on a Amtrak in Hell, next stop downtown Armagedonville. They fight subway zombies, ninjas, and radioactive wolf-beasts while being pursued by Tommy who just impaled the train conductor with freddy fingers and turned into a giant Snakeman. I had that exact same dream once but I was in high school and I was in my underwear. Oh wait… maybe that wasn’t a dream.

Dreamscape’s a pretty fun little 80’s flick with big nods to influencing Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm St., complete with a bad guy sporting Freddyish finger blades, and a giant nightmarish snake creature. I saw this movie when I was 10 years old and back then the Snakeman scared the heck out of me, but this time around I found it rather goofy. Dennis Quaid without a shirt was the most horrifying thing about it. Retroman Steve says check it and be sure to not eat Chinese food before bedtime.


– 1 motorcycle chase with crash and bale
– 2 nuclear explosions
– 2 Snakemen
– Multiple radioactive mutants
– Norm from Cheers cameo
– Steel beam circus acts
– Train shaggin’
– Emergency heart removal
– Lee press on Freddy nails
– Numchuck chucking
– Mutant dogs

7.1 out of 10

“it’s Dennis Quaid-tastic”

Check out the trailer for Dreamscape

May

Comments Off on Switchblade Sisters

switchblade sisters

“On my planet this shirt attracts the females of my species.”

I’m not what you call a proficient grocery shopper. I don’t stock up on coupons or scan through the Sunday paper looking for the latest deals on canned tuna and toasted Wheat Thins. I only know it’s time to shop when I can no longer make a full meal from the refrigerator’s remaining survivors.. usually some condiments, a jar of olives, and a box of baking soda. So putting on a coat over my PJ’s I’d head out for that late night grocery run.

Late nights food runs you’d often find the store empty of customers so it was difficult to even find a checkout lady to wave me over to her conveyor belt. This time I was forced to confront the newest shopping breakthrough that was the new self checkout machine. Hey I’m a man of the world, a technology connoisseur, I could surely conquer this fancy slot machine wanna-be. First the Cheetos bag wouldn’t scan and when it did, It told me I bought 25 bags worth forever bestowing me the title “the crazy Cheetos guy.” Then placing the items in the bag a condescending computer voice would keep telling me to “Please place the item in the bag”… “Oh you mean the item that’s already in the bag?” The computer didn’t seem to understand any sense of irony. My arms had grown weak from the numerous failed attempts at scanning some cantaloupe and the Fonzi method of banging the machine on the side didn’t seem to help any so eventually a technician had to show me where to put my crinkled dollar bills. Who would have thought groceries need IT support.

I thought technology was supposed to make things easier. When was it decided that “easier” was just do it yourself? Self-serve gas station, ATM banking, and self scanning checkout lines, these are advances in modern convenience? No I want someone else to do this for me because I’m American and laziness is my God given constitutional right. if you’re not going to give me a real person to do the job then at least give me a robot. This 2009 after all, I should have my own jetpack and hover car by now. I shouldn’t be standing in my PJ’s swipping cans of lima beans while a lady in a purple mu mu waits behind me with her big box of glazed chick peas. Next time I will just go when a friendly cashier lady is available that will gladly talk with me about the weather as she scans my groceries while perfectly bagging things so my bread isn’t crushed by the 2 gallon mayonnaise jar and bag of ice (Hey I like potato salad and it was hot that night.)

Do you have tickets to the gun showSpeaking of ladies that excel at their jobs. Switchblade sisters introduces us to a gang of street-wise ladies called the Dagger Debs who’ve made a career at beating up elevator passengers and picking fights at the local Dairy Queen. The Debs are led by Lace, a high-strung snappy dresser who works out her dialog through clenched teeth like she’s got a case of lock jaw. She and her gal pals beat up a helpless landlord, go jay walking,  and then take a break at the ice cream shop. Here they run into a cute blondie named Maggie who is hogging one of their favorite seats. Maggie’s your sorta typical girl next door…if your typical girl is packin’ heat and has inner rage issues. Little do they know she’s the kind of girl that will cut you deep for even looking at her Oreo Blizzard the wrong way so she slices one of the gang members across the face with a knife. The police suddenly show up like a swat team before it can turn really ugly. Apparently a doughnut shop was very close by.

The Debs all end up in a juvenile detention center where some big burly lady wardens try to make the night moves on the new girls but end up getting the snot beat out of them instead. Maggie is finally freed from juvi-jail but has an even worse time on the outside when she’s raped by Lace’s boyfriend Dom. Dom is the leader of another powerful gang called the Silver daggers, a ruthless gang of thugs who resemble the cast from Welcome Back Kotter and enjoy playing billiards between felonies. Lace trusts Maggie and invites her to join the Debs not knowing that her and Dom just did the nasty at her apartment the night before. The resident cyclops “Patch” happily points out that Maggie has to be initiated first before becoming a true Deb and then starts whining about how she “lost her eye for this gang.” But really, how can you take a pirate seriously?

The New Chevy VoltThey send her on a mission to recover a toy prop necklace from a rival gang leader who goes by the unfortunate name of crabs. Great way to impress the ladies when you’re named after a venereal disease. Crab runs a fake community center where they give out narcotics under the disguise as vitamin pills so that he can buy even more hideous shirts for his wardrobe. Maggie stops by at their headquarters and  pretends to be attracted to Mr. Crabs which is probably the most impressive acting you’ll see in the whole film. In the middle of her seduction act she bites him on his Shootzle Deetzle, grabs the necklace and breaks through a office wall like the Koolaid man. Maggie returns to the Debs triumphant with her newly won trophy. Now there’s no questioning Maggie’s loyalty  with her ability to steal novelty prop jewelry.

Later on the Debs and the Daggers are vengefully ambushed by the Crab gang at the local rollerskating rink.  Lace gets punched in the baby maker whose oven was already preheated with Dom’s unborn kid and Dom gets a shotgun blast to the belly by the big Red Lobster himself. Maggie and Lace have to leave him to bleed to death in the center rink while Donna Summers music still blares on… a truly horrifying fate for anyone.

Maggie and Lace decide they want to avenge Dom’s death so they enlist some black power lady militants who drive pimped out armored Cadillacs and get their kicks making white hippies in disco shirts run and scream like little girls. I think that’s something anyone can really enjoy though. But not everything is as it seems there’s plot twists a plenty as jealously and secrets are threatening to destroy the gang. Who set up whom, who had an affair with who…who is loyal to whom. And when should the word whom actually be used in a sentence? It all ends up in a good old dance of death with switchblade divas giving us a great Shakespearean twist to this little exploitation romp.

Tarantino released this as his second film in his Rolling Thunder film series so be sure to check out his intro and outro on the DVD extras. His movie clerk geekiness clearly shows as he talks in great detail about the film and why they changed the name from The Jezebels to Switchblade Sisters. You can tell he was just up late one night at the videostore wired up on Jujubes and diet Coke while watching it. Also Keep an eye out for Don Stark who plays Hook. Yes it’s the same Don Stark that played Bob Picnciotti in that 70’s show and by gosh he still had the same hair and side burns. A great cheesy exploitation film, Retroman says check it out and be sure to be packin some heat.

– Multiple gang shootings
– 1 neck stabbing
– Medallion-fu
– Wacka-chicka-wacka fu
– Welcome Back Kotter doppelgangers
– Dairy Queen Dagger Queens
– Face plunging
– Swirly-fu
– Vita-van vandals
– Cadi-tanks
– Bellybutton ashtrays

Rated 8.9 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Switchblade Sisters

Apr

Comments Off on Mr. Majestyk



“This has to be the worse salad bar I’ve ever seen.”

You know we’re living in a rough economy when even an American foundation like Playboy is struggling. They recently announced a net loss of 2.1 million dollars and they would have to lay off employees and tighten the company’s budget or face potential bankruptcy. I only wonder how is Hugh Hefner going to cut back? Will Playboy bunnies be forced to buy their own rabbit ears and sleazy lounge uniforms? Will there be less air brushing in the centerfolds? Will Hugh have to settle with only a couple girls on on his arms instead of the dozen or so buxom blondes normally surrounding him. It would be an American tragedy if he was forced to turn in the smoking jacket and pipe for a Walmart greeter uniform and smiley button flare. I mean how can this man survive in those conditions? The long established tradition of teenagers hiding their stash of Playboys under their mattresses is now at risk. Millions of them are at risk to be forced to read Sears underwear catalogs, playboy playmates out on the streets holding up signs that read “will tell you my likes and dislikes for food.” We simply can’t allow that to happen.

a meeting of the hat club for menSpeaking of men that  really like their melons, Charles Bronson plays Vince Majestyk, a Vietnam vet turn watermelon farmer and a collector of denim jackets and goofy hats. Vince is approached one day while working out in his fields by a scraggly Owen Wilson wanna-be named Bobby Copas. Bobby finds combing his hair difficult and likes to dress in cheap western wear while trying to talk farmers into hiring some of his gang of drunks and homeless. He’s sort of the used car dealers of cheap labor but Chuck Bronson will have no part of his shenanigans as he’s totally content with his $1 an hour illegal immigrant work force and smashes him in the groin with the end of his own shotgun. Now that’s how you negotiate a labor dispute. Majestyk has to serve some time at the county jail for that little fruit smashing incident and is worried about not being able to get his crops in on time but the sergeant doesn’t really care for fruit salad and makes him serve his sentence. While being transported on a prison bus along with a Mafia big fish, Frank Redna, a breakout attempt occurs along with big 70’s style shootout that gives Vince the chance to kidnap Frank and use him as leverage to help clear the charges against him. Though the thought of hiding out in a tiny cabin with a loud mouthed mobster might be a worser fate than any jail time. Frank is eventually picked up by his rail-thin girlfriend and Vince has to squeeze into the back seat of a 70’s Ford compact.

The drop off to the police doesn’t go as planned and Vince ends up tumbling out the backseat like a tossed watermelon into a ditch. Frank tries to shoot at him with typical bad guy accuracy and Vince easily escapes fleeing into the woods. Being the upright citizen Vince turns himself in to the police station only to find that Bobby Copas has dropped the assault charges against him so that he and his new Mafia friends can put some major hurt on Vince when he’s set free. Haven’t any of these guys ever seen a Death Wish movie?

With the help of a pretty immigrant union organizer named Nancy, Mr. Majestic goes back to his normal life of melon tossin’ and squinting in the sun until his workers start ending up getting bullied by Frank and company. Vince’s right hand man has his legs smashed, his workers are forced out of their homes at gunpoint, and policemen in Porta-Potties turn up dead…but that is barley even enough to curl his mustache.

I sense a scrawny cowboy is nearThe final straw is when a mobster hit squad shots up his watermelon crop with some semi machine guns while Vince is out putting the moves on La Senorita Nancy. Nothing makes a farmer angrier than a pointless melon massacre and he goes on a vengeful shooting spree against this gang of Gallagher impersonators. Finally, a fruit cup of justice is served. Some great cross country truck racing, cars getting pushed off cliffs, and a log cabin stand-off make the highlight reel in this 70’s film classic as Charlie Bronson becomes the ultimate watermelon vigilante. Retroman says check it out and don’t forget to spit out the seeds.

– 3 Shoot-outs
– 1 Mobster kidnapping
– Shotgun butt to the groin
– Multiple car chases and car explosions
– Water-melon-fu
– Drive by Porta-Potty attack
– 2 by 4 smack down
– Vehicular leg crushing

Rated 9.4 out of 10

My Uncle told me when I was a little kid if I didn’t spit out the watermelon seeds that a watermelon would grow in my stomach . So I thought that pregnant ladies were just carrying around watermelons in their bellies. So began my unhealthy fear of fruit…and of pregnant women.

Check out the trailer for Mr. Majestyk

Dec

posted by admin | December 24, 2008 | Action, B-movies, Grindhouse, Kung-fu, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on A Christmas Story: Grindhouse Edition

Taglines:

  • If you don’t treat Santa nice he’ll put you on ice.
  • Ralphie has a present for you, a double barrel shot gun of death!
  • Naughty…nice…It doesn’t matter…Ralphie’s the guy with the gun.
  • Santa is belted, buckled, booted, and ready for action.
  • A double dog dare you of death!

Synopsis

Ralphie is a CIA operative who has been working the mean streets of New York for nearly 9 years. His latest assignment is as an undercover mobster within a powerful cartel family called the Parkers. The cartel is run by an overbearing drunken father referred to as “The Old Man.” He’s been selling bunk cocaine from the trunk of his Oldsmobile while the mother, a struggling go-go dancer, sells her homemade stews on the street to help buy more mashed potatoes for the mute brother Randy, it’s the only food he can digest. Mr. Parker collects erotic memorabilia including a highly valuable leg sculpture he imported from the little known southern island of Fragile. It’s his most prized possession.

One brisk winter day, the sculpture gets destroyed in a lower east side drive by. An apparent attack by the Bumpuseses gang, a ruthless group of southern rednecks who have an affinity for training large rabid attack dogs. Mr. Parker however believes it was in an inside job and that he has a rat among his associates. Later that day Ralphie tries to extract some information about the drive-by from Scut Farkus, a freckled face yellow eyed physcopath who demands everyone call him “Uncle.” Dangerous and unpredictable, he wears a hat made of human scalps and will break the arm of anyone who even look at him crossed eyed.

Ralphie hopes to track down his red rider assault rifle which he believes was used in attack on the Parker’s home and could be traced back to him. He beats Scut Furkus senselessy in a back alley until Scut confesses that he’s just a low level henchman for a rich city pimp known as “Big Red.” Big Red is a Santa impersonator at the local mall but is a cover for his underground white slave trade and has an even bigger hatred for Mr. Parker than the city cops. When Ralphie and Randy show up at his headquarters, they get surprised with a trap door that sends them both plummeting to the city streets below where some elve henchmen beat them to a pulp. Battered and bruised, Ralphie finds help from a local teacher known for her strict rules and deathly assassin moves. A teacher and martial arts master so ruthless she is rumored to have nailed a student’s tongue to a flag pole just for him being disrespectful.


After a lengthy recovery and training, Ralphie receives a secret coded message over the radio  from agent Annie who’s been tracking him and his mission’s progress. Project “Drink Your Ovaltine” is a go for Christmas day as a big drug shipment disguised as kid’s chocolate drinks is heading up state. Upon return to the family, Ralphie cover is blown from a phoned-in tip from Flick, a fellow mobster who suspected he might be a cop when he witnessed him talking into his secret decoder ring. Held prisoner at the Parker home Ralphie endures a series of tortures including being gagged with soap and forced to wear a pink bunny suit all for the amusement of the cartel. At his darkest hour a mysterious package arrives at the door bearing a tag that reads “A gift from Santa.” Inside is his red-rider assault rifle loaded and ready for action. He breaks free, grabs the gun and takes out the guards with extreme prejudice. Escaping through a broken window and nearly losing his eye in the process he drives  away in the family’s Oldsmobile. Flat tire and cursing under his breath he eventually makes his way to Chinatown and finds refuge as a fry cook in a small Chinese restaurant. Ralphie now in federal protection, hopes to never be found by the Parkers who want his head on a platter. From that day on the eye patched operative must always watch over his shoulders as the last words from Mr. Parker still haunt him… “Not a finger!” “Not a finger!”

Merry Christmas..Can you dig it suckas?

Jul

posted by admin | July 15, 2008 | Action, Cult Film, Cult films, Cult movies, Grindhouse, Kung-fu

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