Archive for the 'B-movies' Category

Oct

posted by admin | October 30, 2010 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Bad movie, Halloween films, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on “The Room” Rest Stop Review Edition

oh the horror of the room!The Room is THE text book example of the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” To see just how this works, let’s break it down into its component parts.

Acting = suck. None of the acting is good. Some is less terrible than others, but that can also be said of cancer. The best of the bad acting falls squarely on Tommy Wiseau. From his odd “American” accent, to his stilted delivery, to his misshaped face, it’s a smorgasbord of stinky green cheese.

Music = suck. Watch the love scenes with the subtitles on. First, you’ll thank me for giving you something other than Wiseau’s deformed, naked buttocks to look at. Second, and more to the point, you’ll see lyrics that even horny teenagers instantly recognize as terrible.

Story = suck. There’s supposed to be some kind of moral, I think. Something about not being able to trust people. It’s touted as having “the passion of Tennesee [sic] Williams”. By that I’m assuming they are referring to the fact that it’s gay, but that’s not cool. What’s better are the many unceremoniously dropped plot points. It’s not just small ones that come and go in a line or two. My favorite would have to be the mother who causally mentions she’s dying from breast cancer. It’s dismissed rather flippantly and then it’s never brought up again. Ever.

Title & Poster = suck. As a title, The Room would have you think there is something significant about a particular room, that it takes place in one room. Nope. The film is set all over, different rooms, the roof, the park, the coffee shop, etc.. Also, with a name like The Room, why is the movie’s poster a close up shot of Tommy Wiseau?

So, if we add it all up, Suck + Suck + Suck + Suck = (and you don’t need a Ph.D. in preventative mathematics to work this out) Suck, right?

Wrong.

I know. I know. It’s seems impossible. I believe it has something to do with transubstantiated quadruple negative transference, that is, all the suck aspects of this film, mixed together, transconfoobalates into AWE-some! I have racked my brain trying to figure this out, and will continue to do so for years to come but, even with all of my Science, I have to admit that in the end it’s all magic in a box.

Part of me desperately wants to believe Wiseau is a genius. That same part of me believes with the right amount of discipline and practice I can be a Jedi.

One way or the other, for those of us who are fans of the cult/late, late, late movies, Tommy Wiseau is our new champion, and The Room is his magnum opus. It’s also his only movie, but that’s just a silly little technicality. So keep your eyes on Wiseau, ‘cos he is very much the Edward Wood, Jr. of our time.

Now you too can experience the terror of “The Room” in the classic style of a Rocky Horror picture show event for your Halloween movie night or any night for that matter. This handy “oh hi dandy” participation guide will make your next movie event that much more vaguely european. Hurry before you get cancer!

The Room Audience Participation Guide (PDF)

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Oct

Comments Off on Maximum Overdrive

maximum overdrive“Maximum Overdrive” is arguably the best machines taking over the world movie ever made that doesn’t involved a Californian Governor and Edward Furlong. This was Stephen King’s directorial debut in what amounts to a 90 minute AC/DC video of vehicular homocide and killer Sony walkmans. Fortunately it does have Pat Hingle blowing crap up with a rocket launcher and plenty of grease stained shirts.

When the Earth passes through a radioactive comet, it’s space mojo crop dusts the planet causing all the machines to turn homocidal. ATM’S swear at bank patrons, lawn mowers starting mulching gardeners and Walkman fry out teen listening to Petshop Boys. (Which would have happened eventually anyways.) After a draw bridge nearly wipes out the nation’s watermelon crop, a little league game is interrupted by a runaway steam roller and a pop machine that snipes players with jet propelled soda cans. Luckily, one of the kids Deke (Holter Graham) can dodge them like a caffeinated spider monkey and escapes on his dirt bike.

Maximum OverdriveAcross town at a Dixie truckstop where most of the patrons still don’t realize the south lost, waitresses are getting attacked by kitchen utensils and arcade games are electocuting customers. But their homemade strudel pie there is still delicious. Emilio Estevez plays Billy, a parole fry cook who when he isn’t shacking up with hitchhiker hotties, he’s spouting alien conspiracy theories about intergallactic brooms. They’re all being held hostage by a pack of psycho semi trucks circling the building liked indians around a covered train. The convoy is  led by a creepy green goblin semi whose got a thirst for unleaded blood and forces the survivors to pump gas all day for all his 18 wheeled buddies. Later that day, the most annoying newlywed couple ever to drive a 4-door crash through the semi line by doing an evil kinvel stunt flip crashing their car. The driver, Curtis, escapes but Connie is caught by her seat belt, her shrill whining voice is her only defense.  Sadly she’s cut free  just before it gets side swiped by a evil tow truck. Later that night, Emilio and Curtis attempt to rescue a injured bible salesman whose been screaming out in the ditch all night keeping everyone  from a good night’s sleep. They make their way through the sewer ducts to get to him but then Deke shows up on his dirt bike and they pretty much forget about the poor sap stuck in the mud. They all head back to the diner where Mr. Hendershot, the redneck business owner, is discovered hiding a huge militia stockpile of weapons in the basement. This gives everyone a chance to shoot machine guns and use rocket launchers near flammable gas pumps, a pyromaniac’s dream come true. maximum overdrive

After blowing up a few semis and roving artillery carts, the survivors duck back through the tunnels just as all the trucks decide to finally demolish the place and put up a Walmart. Everyone heads toward the boat docks for a final showdown with a drive thru speaker who Deke uses for some quick target practice. “No, I wouldn’t like fries with that!” KAAABLAM! Billy blows up the green semi with a rocket launcher just for kicks. Despite most of their friends and family dying horrifiying deaths, they’re all in pretty good moods as they set off on a boat trip to some uncharted island. Maybe they’ll build huts out of bambo while singing kumbya and then make a radio out of coconuts. Don’t want to miss a second of that all AC/DC channel.

A mega-cheese award goes to Ellen McElduff who plays a boozin’ waitress that scretches out  “You can’t do this! We made you!” just before she gets gunned down in a blaze of glory. Also  to Yeardley Smith who plays the high pitched Connie and does voice of Maggie Simpson. She does more for preventive eloping than Lorena Bobbitt. Retroman Steve says take “Maximum Overdrive” for a test drive and be sure to stock up on beef jerky and puffy hats with filthy sayings.

roadside attractions

  • Watermelon crushing
  • Pop machine head smashing
  • Electric knife wrist attacks
  • Gas pump-fu
  • Video game electrocution
  • Soda pop batting cages
  • Little league steamrolling
  • Continuous AC/DC
  • Wall-o-porn
  • Grill scraping
  • Estevez-estravanganza
  • bathroom flatulance
totals

8

blood BLOOD

Who knew recalled vehicles could do this much bodily damage

1

blood BREASTS

There’s rumors of breasts somewhere in this film, but heck if I could see them. Usually that would be hard to miss.

8

beast BEASTS

Lots of metallic beasts running on unleaded evil. Oh and 1 Stephen King.

9.15 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Maximum Overdrive”

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Oct

posted by admin | October 10, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on The Dead Pit

There isn’t a word to describe how totally AWE-some this movie is. That’s mostly ‘cos this movie isn’t all that awesome. The instant I saw Jeremy “One Life to Live” Slate was crossing over into horror I decided to use my time more wisely, I began to search my dog for that louse that had been evading me for months. He was an onery cuss, the louse, and when I found him he put up a good fight. In the end, I got him.

That is a far more entertaining story, so I will now return to my disgustion of The Dead Pit.

This is your typical 1980’s horror set in a mental asylum flick. The plot goes something like this, there’s a crazy psychologist who is killing his patients ‘cos… it’s fun? A colleague catches him in the act and is forced to kill him. Rather than go to the police, the good doctor boards up (i.e. drives a couple nails and fills the gap with spackle) the secret basement pit and all  the dead patients therein and promptly forgets about the whole mess. Twenty years pass and there’s an earthquake which opens the “sealed” basement, releasing the zombie psychologist. There’s not much more by way of explanation, and that’s a good thing, ‘cos as the Jolly Green Mongoloid would have called it, “Ho, Ho, Ho, UMH-tarded!”

The Mad Psychologist is so mad, that when he returns from the dead, he wears rubber gloves. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to do. He’s dead, or undead, so he doesn’t have to worry about any germs. The people he’s treating are soon going to be dead, so no need to protect them…

It makes my head hurt, so I’m going to move on.

Our hero, Jane Doe, has had her memory taken, surgically. She was found wandering around, unawares of who she was. The court sentenced her to a stay at the mental hospital for “therapy” until such time as her memory returned. After much convoluted plot twists, we discover that her memoryectomy was performed when she was a small child. Not only that, but it was performed by the Mad Psychologist, who, remember, was killed twenty years earlier.

Half Naked

Which means she’s been wandering around for 20 something years as an amnesiac…

I think I can actually feel a tumor forming.

There is one attribute, one saving grace, which our heroine possesses, breasts. More importantly, she has the exhibitionistic dignity required to present them for our viewing pleasure. It’s not cheaply thrown in there. Rather, I find how Brett Leonard, the writer/director, slipped them into the story to be dignified. Jane is tied up in a basement. She is wearing a half wife-beater and panties, both cotton, both white.  A cackling nurse isn’t so much spraying Jane’s face and chest as she’s BLASTING them. So much so, in fact, Jane’s half shirt rips right off.

Ah, subtly, thy name is Brett Leonard.

So, in the end, the Mad Psychologist’s pit of dead patients comes back to life to, uhm, do something. It’s not to kill Jane, ‘cos Mad Psychologist has her captured and tied down next to the pit when they rise, and they pass right by her. I ‘spose it’s ‘cos he’s her [spoiler] father. What they do is  get out and wander around a bit, disabling all the vehicles in the parking lot. They then take after the staff. They kill the two police guards, who, in all honesty, deserve worse. If you fail to see the group of about twenty shuffling zombie patients coming at you across a wide open area, moaning and carrying on, you need to be removed from the gene pool. They go on to kill a couple orderlies, a nurse or two and all the patients.

The Dead Pit

Not wanting to get arrested for loitering, they set their sites on Jane and her convenient friend the Demolitions Man. Demo Man whips up a bomb to weaken the truss on the water tower, which has been “blessed” by the other convenient character, Nun Nutter. Nuns can’t bless things, much less would they do so by just repeating “in nomine patris et fillii et Spiritus Sancti” (in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit), but I digress. The game plan is such: when the tower topples the  blessed water will pour down into the cellar and consecrate the unholy ground of the pit, thus turning the zombies into pudding.

When it comes down to it, Demo Man was caught without his Hero’s Death Exemption card and therefore has to go down the with water tower. While he’s blowing himself up, Jane faces off with her daddy, Mad Psychologist, one last time.

Naturally, when Mad Psychologist melts we get a shot of Jane kneeling down, eyes closed. The camera slowly pans into her face and… all together now… her eyes are glowing red, just like his did. Thankfully, it’s over, and to the best of my knowledge there was no sequel.

roadside attractions

  • Zombies (whose make-up looked like mime paint)
  • Zombie pudding (what zombies become when sprinkle with holy water)
  • Miniature of hospital and water tower (for flooding scene)
  • Rent-a-center version of Sean Connery (Demolitions Man)
  • Hypnosis
  • Pseudo-psychology
totals

6

blood
BLOOD

couple gallons

7

blood
BREASTS

Two. Displayed in a show fit for any teenage boy’s wet dream.

7

beast
BEASTS

Mad Psychologist, zombies, lunatics.

6.5 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “The Dead Pit”

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Sep

Comments Off on “Killdozer” Rest Stop Review Edition

This t-shirt from fright rags is actually scarier than the whole movie.

Back in the 70’s and early 80’s there was a rash of machines gone wild movies. There was a demon Lincoln in “The Car”, a stalking semi-truck in “Duel” and some radioactive big rigs in “Maximum Overdrive.” One movie often over looked though was “Killdozer.” This 1974 made for TV movie revolved around the idea that construction equipment while incredibly loud and slow can also be an effective stalking killing machine.  In reality it’s about as effective as an overweight ninja…..if that Ninja is flatulent….and you’re an inanimate object like a potted plant.

A group of construction workers are clearing land on an island making room for what must be dozens of  strip malls when a meteorite suddenly strikes their work site. Thankfully, 70’s star Robert Urich is there to save the day and tries to bulldoze over the big hunk of pulsating space rock. The meteorite goes mini super nova and transfers it’s glow into the bulldozer leaving a fondue faced Robert Urich to die an agonizing made for TV death. Back at the workers camp, Clint Howard is our reluctant baritoned hero. He’s a construction foreman with a drinking problem (shocking I know). After the accident he begins to suspect the strange humming bulldozer might have some homicidal tendencies but feels better to just keep it a secret. He’s not too surprised when it trashes their camp the next day and turns one of his men into a human burrito stuffed in a drainage pipe. The rest of the men flee (walk briskly) to slightly higher ground since the bulldozer’s greatest weakness is slight inclines and can only travel about 8mph. These guys aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed though and devise increasingly dumb ways to combat the malevolent machine including starting a fire that it bulldozes right over or trying to drive a truck full of explosives into it. After a failed  game of chicken with their army jeep the two survivors decide to battle Killdozer with a digger crane in what can only amount to the lamest game of rock em’ sock em’ robots ever. Couldn’t they just wait for the thing to run out of gas? A riding lawnmower is scarier than this movie. Let’s check out the Roadside Attractions: Deep fried Urich, Jeep wrangling, Rock-slide Fu, Glow rocks, Drain tube crushing, Electroshock oil change, Bulldozer hit and run..er..I mean mozy along. Retroman says check it out…but if a homicidal bulldozer is ever barreling down on you at tops speeds, be sure to step aside…after a while…ya know when you feel like it. Take your time though, there’s no rush.

You can watch the entire movie on YouTube. Shockingly, nobody has threatened to take it down. They probably figured nobody’s watching it except for the Urich family. Part 1 is below and the rest are available on that Youtube site all the cool kids are talking about.

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Looking for hard to find cult movies and unreleased DVD’s of some vintage b-movies then check out www.superstrangevideo.com. They provide many of the movies we review here at the site and will give you a great price on whatever film you’re trying to track down.

Sep

posted by admin | September 1, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Die-Anne Takillya

Comments Off on Witchboard

Donna Bleed (www.twitter.com/DonnaBleed) brings you another great b-movie review.

witchboard
Since I wasn’t run off with flaming torches and pitchforks, I decided to give you guys another one.  One of my very favorite bits of cheese; parents hate ’em, the kids adore ’em, they’re a hit at slumber parties…have you guessed it?

That’s right, it’s Witchboard!

It’s totally the 80’s, ladies and gentlemen, that is fer sure!  There is a lot of neon and spiky hair at Linda (Tawny Kitaen) and Jim’s (Todd Allen) party; They’re celebrating…something; what it is isn’t really ever made clear, or I missed it because I’m on a lot of sinus medication.  What is clear is that there are a lot of Pepsi products, a lot of Jack Daniels, and a lot of macho posturing over Linda between Brandon (Stephen Nichols) and Jim.  This entire first scene could have had the dialogue replaced with grunts and club waving and the point still would have come across.  Rich boy lost girl to witchboardpoor boy, and Rich Boy is trying to convince her he’s better.  With a Ouija board.  Yeah, I know, you’d think it’d be a little sexy, what with the board sitting on their knees and them having to get close, but his pinky ring and her firey mane gets in the way.  I’m serious; it looks like Tawny had been attacked by the Blob, only it didn’t eat her, it just chose to perch on her head forever.  I know this was in the Whitesnake “Here I Go Again” heyday, but come on, this is a ridiculous amount of hair.

Basically what little party footage we have is a lengthy pseudo-intellectual yuppie-type party discussion on religion and spirituality (Don’t you love those kind of parties!), culminating with Brandon saying he’s essentially an athiest, but he likes to talk to the spirits of the dead through the Ouija.  Let me pause here by saying that you come across as a huge dick, when you correct people when they say “Wee-Gee” instead of the proper “Wee-Jah,” then go into the history of it being the French and German Words for ‘Yes’ and then giving the pronunciation guide again.  NOBODY CARES, BRANDON!  It’s a party, relax!  You’re wearing an 800-dollar suit, sitting on a naugahyde sofa that’s covered in cheese popcorn.  Nobody gives a rat’s a** about your seance credentials.  We cut to scenes of the dudes that I’d be hanging out with if I had been there, namely Jim and his best friend, Lloyd (James W. Quinn), then finally back to the seancing.  Is that a word?  If not, I’m making it one.

Anyway, he convinces Linda that since their systems are ‘pure,’ (as in no smoking and no drinking tonight) they start to use the board. Brandon is trying to reach his spirit guide, David.  He is the spirit of a 10-year old boy with a very nasty temper who can blow all four tires on your Cobra if he thinks you’re making fun of him.  The first of many jump-scares present in this movie, this one is very effective, except for the girly leap that Brandon gives when the noise startles them all.  Trust me, what this film lacks in content, it tries to make up for with jump-scares.  And lots of shots of Tawny in baby doll pajamas, rolling around in the king-sized waterbed.  Hey, it’s the 80’s.  Live it up.witchboard

In the fracas, Brandon forgets the Ouija board, and of course, Linda can’t resist it’s ability to highlight her manicure the next morning.  She asks it several questions, the big one being “Were the tests positive?” implying that she thinks she might be pregnant.  Ladies, Ouija boards are 100% accurate with these delicate matters, so don’t go wasting money on silly things like a pregnancy test or a doctor’s appointment, just consult the spirit world and everything will be just fine!  We learn that David doesn’t like Jim, and doesn’t want to come back as Linda’s baby because of it.  This is followed by the sad death of the most entertaining character in the movie, and the ruination of a perfectly good Sonny’s Bar-B-Q hat.  RIP, Lloyd, your screen time was much too short.  I have to say that am quite impressed at the speed of the police involvement in this movie; the homicide detective, Lt. Dewhurst (Burke Byrnes) is already questioning Jim, rhapsodising about Vegas magic acts, and inserting a red herring while at Lloyd’s funeral.

The middle of the movie can pretty much be summed up as this: Linda continues to use the board, scary things happen, she has a lot of morning sickness, Brandon thinks she’s possessed, and is trying to convince Jim.  We also get a little bit of the story behind the testosterone-fueled posturing between Jim and Brandon.  Not much, but enough of their pouting close-ups make it onto the screen for you to realize that they’re both huge weenies, and it wouldn’t be bad if a load of improperly secured sheetrock fell on them both.  I mean, these guys are pout MASTERS.

After Linda ends up so scared she visits the creepy landlady (Rose Marie of the Dick Van Dyke Show), he agrees to let Brandon bring in a punk-rock medium, Zarabeth (Kathleen Wilhoite).  I must give the directors credit; the effects for the time were pretty good, and the collapsing pyramid of Mountain Dew cans is impressive.  Brandon takes back his evil ouija, and takes Zarabeth home.  Zarabeth dies a few minutes later, which is sad; the movie could have used a little bit more of her “psychic humor.”  She does give us a clue as to who is doing the killing. I won’t say who, but I will say that the word is Portugese, and I’ve had too much cough syrup to even begin to get it right.  Also, her death scene is pretty good.  Note to self: don’t keep spiky lawn ornaments around.

witchboardAfter Zarabeth’s untimely death, Brandon discovers that he’s been duped; he was given a chalkboard with Linda’s grocery list instead of his ouija, so he decides to go on a fact-finding mission.  Jim witnesses Linda undergo a psychic attack during which she flings herself around like…well, I can’t really say what she flings herself around like, or the site will get letters, so I’ll say that it was graceless, and quite the opposite of the way she flung herself around in the Whitesnake videos.  She gets a concussion, and is admitted to the hospital, and Jim finds out that she’s really not pregnant, so all this morning sickness is ouija-induced after all.  That pesky cop comes around again, making more references to magicians and jugglers, and implying that Jim’s missing drywall hammer is responsible for another death.

Jim joins Brandon and they  motor off to Big Bear to verify David’s story,  to the place David supposedly met the Reaper, but not before stopping at an occult store for another ouija board, and do a seance on the pier.  Jim asks Brandon the same question I hoarsely screamed at my TV: Doesn’t the board have to be on your knees?  Not when it’s where the spirit supposedly died.  The camera does that thing where it takes on the POV of the evil spirit flying around, then some barrels come untied and knock our intrepid heroes down.  They’re okay, though, until Brandon takes an axe to the face.

Then we have a bizarre breakdown by the one person who has shown no emotions aside from anger and amusement.  Jim cradles  Brandon’s body, sobbing and screaming like a little girl. Once again, the cops are hot on his trail, but first he has to deal with Linda in drag, trying to kill him with an axe.  After escaping the hospital and being attacked by the shower, she’s now possessed by the evil Portugese mass-murderer ghost dude that lived in their house and has been running around killing the good characters! An intense fight scene, complete with him pulling punches because he doesn’t want to hurt her.  The cop busts in, but Linda quickly subdues him with a poker to the head, then tries to convince Jim to shoot himself because it turns out he’s the portal for the evil after all (SHOCKING TWIST ENDING!) but Jim shoots the ouija board instead, and the evil pushes Jim’s through the window, where he executes a graceful backwards gainer onto a white station wagon.

Yet another stupid, redemptive ending, they get married, but in the wreckage of the apartment, the landlady discovers the ouija board, full of bullet holes but none the worse for wear, the perfect setup for a sequel!  Of which there are two.  This one scores a 5 out of 10, for some decent jump scares, and the writer’s gumption to kill off a character who says, “Do you see ‘Spaz’ written on this man anywhere?”

roadside attractions

  • Gratuitous hair flinging
  • Ouija-fu, knife covered in ketchup
  • amateur plumbing, evil spirit POV
  • Falling Sheetrock, axe to the throat
  • sundial skewering
  • head rolls in dream sequence, throat grabbing
  • barrels roll
  • axe to the face
  • strangulation
  • and a poker to the head
totals

1

blood
BLOOD

quart at best; Lloyd has some smeared around his face, there’s some excellent splatter action on the dock, and Zarabeth has some on her neck.

2

beast
BEASTS

Malfeitor and Jim when he doesn’t have a shirt on.  Yeesh.

2

blood
BREASTS

during the shower attack scene.  She covers them up quick, though, so keep your eyes open.

5.00 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Witchboard”

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About the Highway

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