Join the Lost Highway mutant gang ( Giallo Goon,Barry Goodall, The Doktor, and Die-Anne Takillya) as they discuss the 1987 beefy Jon Mikl Thor’s cheese flick Rock n’ Roll Nightmare. Listen with the player below, or use the Download link to save a copy of the MP3 to your computer.
Archive for the 'B-movies' Category
Remo, that name sure wouldn’t strike fear in the heart of criminals. it’s not really a manly name like a Chuck or Arnold or even a Stone Cold Austin. It’s more like something you would name your old Camaro. “I think the Remo is burning some oil, might need to replace the headers. No Suzie, you can’t wear my Van Halen shirt or you might curse the band to break up.” But sadly Remo is the name of our hero in 1985’s “Remo Williams: The adventure begins.” What was originally based on a series of action novels would have likely been the kick off to a successful b-movie franchise if it wasn’t for the fact that A. Nobody saw it and B. It made no money. I blame Reagonomics. It’s too bad since It’s actually a pretty decent flick. You just have to get pass the dang 80’s montage music and bad Asian stereotypes.
Officer Samual Macon is out on patrol when he gets into a brawl with some street punks chasing each other in the alley, but they’re simply no match for his manly mustache and trusty 2×4. After a brutal rumble, He settles back in his patrol car for some day old burgers but his car gets rear-ended over the pier. “No, someone please save my burgers!’ then it’s mostly just gurgling and gasping for air.
Macon awakes later in a hospital having his face altered by plastic surgery. They actually just shaved off his mustache and gave him a hair cut and some new clothes making him unrecognizable. It’s like face/off through extreme makeover. Agent MacClearly is waiting in the room like a creeper who tells Macon that he’s been recruited into a secret government agency and that his name is now Remo, appropriately named after cabana boys everywhere. Mac takes Remo to meet the head hancho of the organization Mr Smith, played by Wilfred “Quaker Oats” Brimley. He tells him that his old life is over now and soon he’ll be snipping corrupt CEO’s and evil politicians for a living. Plus, he’ll get great medical and dental coverage if he ever catches the “diabetes.”
For his first mission Remo has to try to assassinate a small korean man name Chiun at a nearby apartment. Not an easy task as Chiun moves like a caffeinated spider monkey that can dodge bullets or render you paralyzed with a single finger punch. After a humiliating defeat McClearly reveals that Chiun is going to be the guy responsible for training Remo as a deadly assassin despite thinking he moves like a pregnant baboon. Remo is forced to move in with Chiun where he’s trains by jumping across obstacle courses and dodging Chiun’s random pistol shots at breakfast. At night Remo relaxes with some fingerboard exercising and enriched white rice while Chiun watches soap operas. Yeah, it’s just like the odd couple only with gun play.
Meanwhile in what feels like an entirely separate A-team episode, a military accountant Major Flemming (Kate Mulgrew) discovers that an evil CEO is part of a a corrupt weapons procurement program. Please, as if that would ever happen today. She brings it up during a press conference but nobody seems to listen despite her being a star trek captain. But the CEO, Mr. Grove, begins to feel the heat and sends out some goons to keep tabs on her.
Remo is sent in to investigate Mr. Grove, but a henchman tracks him down at the statue of liberty where some paid-off construction worker try to beat him up with lead pipes. Union workers are no match for Remo’s new made-for-tv moves so he easily escapes with some light gymkata and face punching. Later, Remo and MacClearly sneaks into Grove’s research laboratory where they bump into some circus trained dobermans who pull down fire escapes and walk tight ropes and all without the aid of Russian acrobat music. Remo barely escapes but MacClearly gets his fake armed ripped off by one of the mutts then gets shot in the back. I bet he was only 2 weeks away from retirement too!
Remo wanting revenge, infiltrate the military proving grounds where Mr. Grove is using his procured weapons of mass distraction. He traps Remo and Major Flemming in a sealed room where the only way he can escape is by scrapping a bad guy’s diamond encrusted tooth against the glass. Remo decides to ride a hanging log over the forest (not a euphemism) and do some dance moves to dodge Mr. Groves gunshots then torching him in his army jeep. The military try to arrest Remo but he escapes on a jet boat with Chiun riding shotgun like a happy puppy in a car window. Which never really answers the question “What is weapon procurement” and “Does Wilford Brimley really have the diabetes?”
Barry Goodall says let your adventure begin… and end with Remo Williams but don’t forget to finish your training montage and pack some extra Quaker Oats. It’s the right thing to do and the tasty way to do it.
Ferris wheel kung-fu training
Check out this trailer from “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins”
Listen, I’m all for alternate energy sources….wind, solar, hydro, trapped souls, heck even moon shine will run my lawn mower, but let’s just take nuclear off the table ok? IT’S NUCLEAR. It’s a little atomic bomb that never stops exploding and if there’s one thing b-movies taught us is that nuclear and nature don’t mix. We’ve already seen swarms of radioactive ants and giant spiders attacking teenagers making out in convertibles. All this just because they took a little roll in some radioactive goop, and what about that so called “Amazing Colossal Man?” Yup, nuclear blast made him grow 60ft., lose all his hair and now he has to wear a giant diaper! Oh the humiliation, and let’s not forgot Godzilla, the first nuclear powered pet lizard. I say keep nuclear where it’s safe, in flying Deloreans and missile defense systems.
Speaking of going ballistic. We’re heading back to school with “”Class of Nuke Em’ High.” It’s the heart warming tale of what happens when nuclear power meets teenage love and what to do with mutant sewer babies. Tromaville High School sits conveniently next to a nuclear power plant where the class motto is reading, writing and radiation but after a minor plant accident some atomic stew seeps into the water supply and makes the students go nuts-o. A rabid geek starts spewing green goo and tosses himself through a window to end up a puddle on the sidewalk while the school is being over run by former honor students who call themselves “the Cretins.” They’re a bunch of Mad Max rejects who sport gymnastic size nose rings and sell radioactive marijuana to maintain their hair gel supply. Warner the class putz, and his dizzy girlfriend Chrissy try some of the weed at a indoor pool party and proceed to do the horizontal mamba without a safety net. In the after glow, Warner fantasizes he has an 8 ft. tent pole in his pants. The kind they warn about in those viagra ads and Chrissy dreams that her belly is blowing up like jiffy pop but it turns out she really is pregnant with a baby tadpole that she spits out in the toilet. Why didn’t they show these types of films in those abstinence classes?
The mutant tadpole travels through the basement pipes and lands in a barrel full of radioactive waste where it grows into a giant gooey porcupine. Warren whose been thinking a lot about baseball is hormone raging and is sporting some bad acne. He takes out some of his frustration by throat punching a few Cretins who just smacked down a grandma crossing the street. Meanwhile, some shmucks in devo-radiation suits show up with gigercounters to get their arms gnawed off by the basement mutant. Chrissy is taken hostage by the surviving Cretins back at the school where Warren fights them on motorcycles. The monster decapitates a few just for the kicks (extreme hallway safety monitoring!) Warren rescues Chrissy from it’s tentacles and shoots it in the eye with it with a makeshift laser gun resulting in a psychedelic laser light meltdown. Pink Floyd music not included. Most of the faculty are dead but at least the students will get a nice extended summer vacation while the radioactivity hangs around for the next 200 years or so.
Barry Goodall says go enroll for Class of Nuke Em’ High. It may end up killing you on the inside but you’ll glow on the outside.
Check out this trailer from “Class of Nuke Em’ High”
If the title doesn’t capture your attention, then something is wrong with your neural net processor (that’s brain for you laymen). Presented totally uncut, The Dorm That Dripped Blood (a play on the title The Room That Dripped Blood, perhaps?) at the surface appears as a copycat slasher, mostly emulating Friday the 13th and Halloween, but it has more substance than that. The relationship between the characters is well developed, the atmosphere is dark and moody like a fall evening, the score sounds like a small orchestra (which sounds overplayed and you kinda wish they went for a simple keyboard/synthesizer score to play the scenes for subtly) and the special effects are great and gory!
Believe it or not, this movie is set during the Christmas season, although you could easily miss that since there is no snow or holiday music, two things that are associated with that time of year. You may think that is irrelevant to the plot, but what better way to clear out a college campus, all but a few students that are staying to clear out a dorm before demolition, a very unfortunate situation… and they haven’t even realized they are being stalked by a killer!
The movie opens right up with someone being chased and murdered, which is a way to catch your attention, but then we jump into a party with Joanne, who is growing distant from her boyfriend Tim. Our heroine Joanne is joined by her friends, all playing a somewhat stereotyped role to the slasher genre. You have young, naïve Debbie who is played Daphne Zuniga (who would later go on to be in Spaceballs as the Princess), Bryan the possible love interest, Craig the wise guy and Patty the frightened one. I know in any other movie, you would be able to guess their roles and what order they die or who lives, but The Dorm That Drips Blood does something a little different with them.
The caretaker Bill is also present, but doesn’t really interact with the group of kids. Only to inform them that one of his drills is missing… hmm… Also stalking around the campus is local weirdo John Hemmit who looks like he should be searching the dumpsters for a comb instead of garbage. Speaking of garbage, Joanne befriends Bobby Lee Tremble, a local salesman buying tables from the college and also hitting on Joanne. It doesn’t matter that Bobby Lee is tied to another woman, another woman that we only see in a scene later on just so we can get the obligatory breast shot, he is all about seeing Joanne again.
The film paces its kills a good pace. Not too early, not too late. Almost like we are be treated to a three course meal. Rather than wait until the end of the film to cross off its characters, The Dorm That Dripped Blood not only starts with a tame kill, but shortly after the beginning, one of our characters parents are brutally murdered by a nail bat and strangulation and then proceeds to run over their child’s head! And yes, you will see the aftermath of it. Lesson learned, never help out your friends at a college when everyone else has gone home. The goriest and best looking kill by far is when one of the characters gets a power drill (Oh hey, that’s where that went!) to the back of their head. You see the drill crack and rip apart the back of their skull and spray blood all over the room. Another one of the cast is boiled alive and another is hacked to pieces. It’s a movie that goes for intense, brutal kills that are played out rather than quick cuts shying away from the violence, like most slashers at the time.
The film will also plays with the ‘who done it’ aspect, but does it subtly, so you keep guessing, but you aren’t overwhelmed by the mystery. I honestly kept guessing and changing my guess. Was it Tim? He’s seems angry enough. Maybe it’s Bryan. He has the hots for Joanne, but that would be too obvious, so maybe it’s that weird guy? He’s so bizarre, but that’s what they want me to think. By the time you find out who the killer is, it doesn’t really make sense, but when they give you the reason, it doesn’t really pay off. Because the killer loves her? It’s perhaps the most typical thing about this movie and it feels like such a copout, but the dark and unexpected ending makes up for it and leaves one reminiscing about the ending to Bob Clark’s Black Christmas.
Synapse released the Blu-Ray/DVD combo, which is the uncensored Director’s cut called Death Dorm. From a technical standpoint, at times, the blacks look washed out with blues or yellows, but it’s not overwhelming. Edges look sharp, objects pop out and a lot of the noise and grain is cleaned up. They left enough of grain and blacks in the film, so it still feels dark and alarming. The only audio mix, however, is 2.0 mono (I personally prefer this for older horror films rather than remixing it in 5.1) so it has that very radio sound and feel to it. You can even listen to the score isolated! It does have some special features, such as audio commentary with Directors Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter, a few interviews with crew members, trailers and in traditional Synapse form, a reversible cover (the original US artwork entitled Pranks).
This is film is surprisingly overlooked and I would put it up with the greats like Twitch of the Death Nerve and Black Christmas. There are few dull moments, something is always happening and you believe the relationship between these kids. The dark, twisted ending was a nice surprise and I urge everyone to see this.
Check out the trailer for “The Dorm That Dripped Blood”
Join the Lost Highway mutant gang (Barry Goodall, The Doktor, and Giallo Goon) as they discuss the 1982 slasher classic, Pieces. Listen with the player below, or use the Download link to save a copy of the MP3 to your computer.