Archive for the 'Cult films' Category

Jun

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Phantasm

“Don’t even mess with me…I have balls of steel!”

Before Elvis met the mummy in Bubba-Ho Tep, Don Coscarelli directed his first and finest legendary cult horror film known as Phantasm. A touching family tale about a boy, his brother, and a balding ice cream truck driver. Actually it’s more of a horrific story about a creepy mortician who steals bodies and makes them into dwarf slaves and protects his lair with flying head drilling sphere of death…but that’s splitting hairs (and heads in this case)

Jody the younger brother sees some weird things happening at the local cemetery when his buried uncle is dug back up and hauled back into the mortuary. Apparently a victim of a voided warranty. I was at first concerned that Jody was actually a motorcycle riding ugly girl due to his extremed feathers 70’s hair style…and the fact his name was “Jody” but luckily I figured the truth out after a while. Jody discovers that the recently buried are being shrunk down like human shrinky-dinks to fit into handy dandy dwarf containers for inter-dimensional slave trading. Shockingly his brother Michael doesn’t believe this totally plausible story. Jody brings back proof in the form a sliced off finger from the Tallman that mutates into a giant bug. A bug by which even the Orkin man would cower from.

Michael enlists the help of his local hippy friend Reggie. Reggie’s is a local ice cream salesman who cruises around in a pimped out ice cream truck convertible never seeming to actually sell ice cream but he does like to stop to play guitar solos on occassion. Michael, Jody, and Reggie fight the tall man along with his dominion of star wars inspired sand people in the cemetery mosoleum, all the while dodging brain drilling spheres and avoiding creepy ladies in purple dresses who are turned on by tombstones. The Tall Man played by Angus Scrimm, a great evil actor’s name if I ever heard one, stalks the two brothers in his hearse while they race to save their friends from the fate of slaved Oz munchkinism in their muscle car Barricuda. Some generally creepy moments and overall weirdness make this a must see. I say check it out as well as the great sequel Phantasm II.

Keep an eye out for…
– vague palm readers with cigar boxes
– sand people from Star Wars
– head drilling flying spheres
– t-top ice cream truck cruisers
– feathered hair styles that would make Donnie Osmond jealous
– gratuitous use of a guitar solo
– Hemi-Cuda coolness
– cemetery motorcrossings
– creepy women who hang out in cemeteries
– dull bladed garbage disposals
– barrels-o-dwarfs

You can’t fake a Phantasm.

rated 9.2 out of 10 for the movie

Learn more about this movie at imbd.com

Check out the trailer for Phantasm

Jun

Comments Off on The Stuff

The Stuff

“When good smores go bad….real bad.”

How intelligent can snack food get? I often pondered this question while staring blankly into my nearly empty refrigerator late at night. A small cup of vanilla pudding mockingly stares back at me as the only remaining item that’s edible. Fortunately not only is vanilla pudding delicious and packed with sugar, it’s also not an alien life form that oozed up from the earth’s center to take over my mind…. or is that just what the pudding wants me to think?

In “The Stuff”people aren’t so lucky to have passive desert snacks. Instead some backwoods hillsman decided to taste something he sees bubbling up from the ground…because when you can’t identify something it’s always a good idea to taste it! Before you can say mass marketing, the yogurt like substance is on every shelf and in every refrigerator in America and appearing in lots of bad 80’s commercials.

Not everyone is not hooked on it though. Our pint size protagonists, Jason, in the obligatory “annoying kid who can’t get killed” role first realizes the sinister nature of the snack when he sees it crawling in the fridge. His family is hooked on The Stuff trying to get him to join their new diet plan but Jason thinks fast and fools them by eating some shaving cream instead. Jason is really the McGuiver of his time. Meanwhile A coalition of ice cream executives decide to hire an industrial spy, David “Mo” Rutherford…where the Mo stands for “needs mo acting lessons.” David’s southern charms his way into the corporate headquarters of the Stuff to try to find out how it’s made. Things are not as they appear though. The townsfolks are always eating cups of The stuff, have apparent gastoral problems and constantly spray yogurt out of their faces. That eventually makes David a tad suspicious. The laid back way Dave just matter-of-factly reacts to the horrifying events around him is pretty hilarious to watch. It’s like southern charm and witty southern banter are his only defense.

We also have some militia army guys hiding out in an abandoned renaissance festival castle just itching for the opportunity to fight vicious snack-food. David and his girlfriend enlist them to help fight “the Stuffies” and let the rest of the world know the truth. but as you well know fighting alien yogurt with bullets is like trying to nail jello to a tree.

There’s a special cameo of The Chocolate Chip Cookie King who steels the show among the various annoying standout characters most of which we find out have creamy nugget centers and there’s lots of blob-like marshmallowy evilness trying to stop our heroes fight to save humanity. All in all, a fun time so I’d say check it out. You really can’t make attacking yogurt very scary, but you can often make it hilarious.

Keep an eye out for…
– human smores
– way too southern southerners
– toasting marshmallows with no campfires
– grocery market snackfood vandals
– attack of the albino blob
– the ice cream mafia
– the evil land of dairy queen…a gravel pit of non-fat yogurt
– shaving cream eating
– The Chocolate Chip cookie King

“Come ‘n listen to my story ’bout a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed
And then one day, he was shootin’ at some fools
And up through the ground come a bubblin’ food.
The Stuff that is. alien yogurt, evil ice cream

rated 8.4 out of 10 for the movie

Learn more about this movie at imbd.com

Check out the trailer for The Stuff

May

Comments Off on The Toxic Avenger

toxic avenger

“I hope my car rental insurance covers this.”

Take note geeks on love patrol, if you want to get the ladies you simply need to wear a pink tu-tu and accidentally fall into a barrel of toxic waste thereby become hideously deformed. It will give you super hero strength, motivate you to fight evil, and change your voice to a someone who sounds like they should do Viagra commercial. This is what our leading man Melvin, the soon to be Toxic Avenger, demonstrates to his helpless viewing audience.

Melvin , a local mop boy nerd, works at the Tromaville Health club where all the brain vacuous jocks and bimbos like to hang and out collect new community diseases in the jacuzzi. A group of these dumb teens decide to play a prank on extreme-nerd Melvin which causes him to jump through a window landing in a passing by truck of toxic waste. And as all us comic book geeks know toxic waste gives you super powers.

Melvin turns into the Toxic Avenger…look out Batman and Superman…Toxic avenger has unregulated EPA laws on his side. Eesh at least Aquaman could control fish with his mind. Toxie is inexplicably drawn to fighting evil and starts his crusade to literally mop up the town (leaving behind a mop on each of his criminal victims…. and the fresh scent of pine.)

The victims range from cross dressing muggers to gun touting pro wrestling rejects which Toxie equally serves up like a fast food value pack. After beating a criminal with his own arm Toxie’s tender side is revealed when he finds love in a blind girl (dumb, blonde, and blind..a toxic mutant’s perfect soul mate). She decides to move in with toxie, they make passionate toxie love, she redecorates, throws away his cool stuff then forces him to go camping. Pretty typical relationship stuff.

Toxie is a busy guy though with his own revenge hit list as he systematically wipes out the kids who made fun of him at night while his day job is being a good samaritan mutant helping grandmas cross the street and opening jars for limp wristed town folk. I could see politics in the future for the Toxic Avenger with that sort of mass appeal. Overall a great introduction the movies of Troma Entertainment where if it ain’t weird and degrading then it ain’t on film. So check it out now and decontaminate your DVD player later.

Troma Films…..aren’t those the same guys making a movie about a zombie chicken?

Keep an eye out for…
– man beaten with his own arm
– deep fried finger food
– biker road kill
– toxic redneck haulers
– pink poka-dotted tu-tu’s
– charcoal roasting
– toxic home decoration tips
– sundae ala mode bad guys
– defective gym equipment
– blind girls with extreme guide cane collections
– midget dry cleaning
– braille mirrors
– bikini camping

rated 7.9 out of 10 for the movie

Learn more about this movie at imbd.com

Check out the trailer for The Toxic Avenger

May

Comments Off on A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Nightmare on Elm St. 4: The Dream Master

“This is why I use SPF 500…3rd degree sun burns are a killer.”

Freddy Krueger, the definitive horror icon of the 80’s. Nothing strikes more fear into teens than a pizza faced wise ass with hand covered cutlery who kills them in their dreams. Say what you will, Freddy was a fashion ground breaker with his k-mart special green and red sweater and Indiana Jones fedora hat. Hey, at least they didn’t make him rock the typical 80’s wristbands and Members Only jacket. At the end of part 3 Freddy was buried in and old junk yard with some holy water and a crucifix (standard anti monster equipment everyone should have). You know you can’t keep a cash movie franchise down so this time he’s been resurrected by a dog peeing flames on his grave… that’s nothing he should really brag about.

In this made for MTV style movie nothing is going to stop Freddy from taking out the remaining survivors from the previous Nightmare sequels, even if one of them is played by a totally different actress (Tuesday Knight as Kristen Parker) which threw me off a bit. Freddy quickly cleans house of annoying teenage actors but finally meets his match in the form of Alice the Dream master who has absorbed all the powers of the the previous victims. So I guess that means Alice gets the power of bad acting, YMCA karate lessons, and big hair styling skills.

Freddy wants to use Alice to bring him new victims through her dreams so he can dispose of them in ever increasing weird ways and add more faces to his abs of souls. Case in point a girl who is afraid of bugs gets turned into a giant cockroach and is squished in a roach motel. Apparently Freddy’s out doing it for style and extra bonus points for the most use of puns. This all leads to the final battle that has all the intensity of a luke warm bath between Freddy and the Dream Master.

I saw Nightmare 4 when I was 14 years old and I was a huge Freddy fan boy at the time so this was a great nostalgic trip back to Elm Street. I say check it out and whatever you do…don’t fall asleep…… and don’t eat beef jerky with Oreo cookies..that’ll guarantee you some real nightmares.

Keep an eye out for…

– flame peeing canines
– nurses with bad dental work
– roach motels…you can check in but you can’t check out
– pizza soul food
– the deep end of a waterbed
– Freddy french kisses
– weight lifting spotters that are horribly burned
– the esophogus of souls
– kung-fu freddy
– Freddy in Ray-Bans
– soul collecting….collect them all!

You know you’re not really scary any more when you’re on lunch boxes, t-shirts, and pez dispensers.

rated 8.9 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Apr

Comments Off on Ice Pirates

Space Pirates

“Dude, you’re like a giant Q-tip!

Before Johnny Depp stole the show with his drunken Keith Richards impersonation, there was the original great Pirate movie of the 80’s called Ice Pirates. In a galaxy gone dry where water has become the only thing of value, we can always count on watered down actors like Robert “made for tv acting” Urich to save the day. Mr. Urich plays Jason, the swash buckling leader of the ice pirates that also include Ron Perlman and Angelica Houston (both of which must have accidentally wandered onto the wrong movie set.) Ice pirates are not a Canadian hockey team, nor is it a musical on ice, but is a gang of rebels who steal frozen water from the government to sell to the locals. They’re not really all that intimidating as pirates looking more like rejects from the local renaissance festival equipped with laser pistols and swords. They mostly rely on the swords for their pure swash buckeling-ness.

The crew attacks a local ice carrying government ship and yes the ship even looks like a giant ice cube tray. I swear my 7 year old kid could do these special effects better himself. While stealing the ice blocks they accidentally encounter a frozen princess named Karina who Jason immediately falls in love with. He attempts to steal her from the ship like she’s the last Swasons TV dinner left in the fridge but is captured by the ruthless overlord Zorn. We know Zorn is very evil and very stupid because he says things like “Killing you would be too easy. I have something better in mind for you!” ugh..typical dumb bad guy move.

So he delays their execution by sending them to the planet Mirtha to be castrated and lobotomized and used as slaves. Instead of the traditional years of marriage that would normally take to incur such a punishment for a man, they’re put on a assembly line given a shave and almost have their twigs and berries chomped off by an vicious looking crotch claw (Yikes!). Luckily the princess decides to help them escape before that can happen and uses them to find her father who supposedly knows the secret location of a lost water planet. Hmmm…what planet could that be? give you a clue It rhymes with girth.

Jason and his Crew arrive at yet another pit-stop planet, this one covered in fog to hide the fact the movie was probably running out of budget and is inhabited by Amazonian woman who ride magical white unicorns. I think had that dream once……anyways, princess Karina doesn’t find her father but does find an annoying body-less head that looks like the guy from tv hollywood squares who whines a lot. He reluctantly helps them find the time warp after a nose tickling Guantanamo-style torture. As Jason and the crew travel through the time warp they start to age rapidly. Old people turn to skeleteons, young couples get busy and have babies, guys grow big afros and long beards, it’s like Woodstock all over again man. Will they survive and find Girth? Will they have unlimited supplies of snow cones? Will they be able to clear up a vicious case of space herpies? Check it out for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.

Keep an eye out for…

– robot kung-fu
– unicorn riding amazon woman
– extreme afros
– jive speaking robot pimps
– crotch claws
– gopher shootin’
– frog-women who drink too much
– freshness sealed princesses
– space herpies
– robot family drive-bys

I always wondered how many people can you fit on a motorcycle…this movie dares to answer such an age old question.

rated 7.9 out of 10 for the movie.

learn more about this movie at imbd.com

Check out the trailer for Ice Pirates

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