Archive for the 'B-movies' Category

Sep

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

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Big Trouble in Little China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rated 9.3 out of 10 for the movie

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Check out the trailer for Big Trouble in Little China

Sep

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

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Trancers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rated 6.8 out of 10 for the movie

Check out this amazing clip from “Trancers”

Aug

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

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Breakin’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rated 7.6 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Breakin’

Aug

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Killer Klowns from Outer Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rated 8.1 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Jul

posted by admin | July 29, 2007 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Comedy, Cult films

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monster squad

“Maybe I’ll stick one of you in a giant bowl and keep tapping on the glass and see how you like it? Did you ever think how loud that is to me?! Did you!!!?”

When I was in junior high in the mid 1980’s there was a few things to look forward to.. acne, voice changes and the jr. high dances weren’t one of them. The awkward pre-teen ritual of horrible dancing in a dimly lit school gym still etched in my memory. My parachute pants swaying softly in the purple neon light to the soft rock hits of Foreigner.

Fortunately we never have to witness such horrors to our band of pre-teen heroes in the cult classic “The monster squad” They’re more concerned about kicking monster butt and saving the world than asking the girl in head gear to the dance from home economics class (hey I can still make a mean pasta meatloaf so stop laughing.)

Andrew Gower plays Sean Crenshaw the self appointed leader of the Monster Squad. Whether leadership is measure by the length of your spiky 80’s hair or the level of monster killing knowledge is unknown but Sean soon discovers that Dracula has taken residents in his town searching for a holy amulet and book of spells that will unleash the forces of darkness. Along with his fellow foul-mouthed club members Patrick, Del, Horace and Rudy they attempt to track down the amulet before Dracula uses it and opens a portal to untold darkness, or as we like to call it New Jersey.

Dracula isn’t a one man mission though. He enlisted all the Universal theme park monsters to help him including a hilarious squishy faced werewolf who is more ferret like than wolf, a hastily put together mummy who at any moment looks like he’s going to crumble in a strong wind, the gill-man who is a literal fish out water, and of course the legendary Frankenstein brought back to life via some vampire issued jumper cables.

Dracula sends Frankenstein to get the spell book from the kids but unfortunately Frankenstein has the heart of a dead Auntie who liked to bake cookies and decides to join the Monster Squad and play dress up with Andrew’s little sister Phoebe. Franken-wuss apparently blends well with the crowd of 13 years olds going un-noticed by towns folks and authorities as a 7ft tall peeping tom.

The “Mon” Squad learns the secrets of stopping Dracula’s world domination from a scary German guy played convincingly by Leonardo Cimino. Mr. “S.G.G.” translates the book and tells them of the portal will suck out all the evil monsters out of the world like a giant Hoover vacuum cleaner leaving behind just the fresh scent pine. But only if read by a virgin at midnight while holding amulet of goodness (typical dimensional portal stuff). Virgin’s were in low supply in the 80’s but their market value was at all time high so They instead settle on Del’s older sister figuring close enough should count for something. It doesn’t. They should have went to Frankenmuth, Mi. I’m sure there’s some German virgins there sorting Christmas ornaments somewhere and they would have gotten an excellent chicken dinner as well.

Well things end up as a monster battle royal in the town square as Scary German Guy attempts to give a crash course in German to Andrew’s little sister Phoebee. Dracula’s Vampire vixens are encircling, Mummies are aggressively hitchhiking, the Wolfman is searching for Snausages…. and Gill-man…well he’s just left gasping for air. Who will survive and will they save the world from the forces of darkness and how will they get back in time for a jr. high dance?

A fun cult classic for the foul mouthed kid in all of us who’s watched all those vintage Universal horror films. I say give it a try and if you’re ever attacked by a werewolf just kick him in the nards.

Keep an eye out for…
– close range vampire archery
– feret-faced werewolves
– single-ply mummy wrapping
– intense Jewish pie slicing
– pyrotechnician vampires
– peeping Frankenstein
– Fishing with Twinkie bait
– virgin imposters
– cat-faced teachers
– monster air delivery services
– garlic pizza kung-fu
– gratuitous use of the brother from “The Wonder Years”

“for some reason I really want to drink a Pepsi, go to Burger King then buy a new pair of Adidas after I watched this. Can you say product placement?”

rated 8.7 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer from Monster Squad.

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