Archive for the 'Fantasy' Category

Sep

posted by admin | September 14, 2013 | 90's movies, Drama, Fantasy, Horror movies, Reviews by the Goon, Sci-Fi

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The Guardian

In 1973, William Friedkin shocked the world with a masterful little horror flick called The Exorcist. The film was executed so flawlessly, it became a ‘must’ staple of the horror world and films since then have tried to mimic it’s success, but never coming close. Seventeen years later, he returns to the genre to try and shock audiences once again with a tale about a woman who steals babies and fuses them with a tree. Yes, you heard me right. Needless to say, it was nowhere as well received as his previous masterpiece. In fact, Roger Ebert put this on his list of ‘Most Hated Movies’. So is The Guardian really THAT bad? Well…

Hopefully you didn’t confuse this with that other The Guradian movie about Ashton Kutcher on a boat and are still reading. Allow me to try and detail my brief description of the film from earlier. Some text at the beginning explains that druids use to worship trees. Some of those trees are good, others are bad. Okay, I realize how incredibly silly this sounds and I wouldn’t blame you for laughing out loud (I certainly did). Well in case you’re still reading, allow me to continue. We see a husband and wife heading out for the night, but have to turn around, because the wifey forgot her glasses. Oh yeah, how did instantly improve vision not make the top of that to do list? As they get home, they discover their nanny has vanished with their baby, but somewhere in the woods that baby is being sacrificed to keep an evil tree alive. It’s not a cool Satanic sacrifice, like with goats and blood. She just sorta holds the baby up in the air, it disappears and then is a part of the tree, like a carving. Yes! Marvel at the screen-shocking terror as you tilt your head and say, “Huh?”

gdn_2This is when we are introduced to our main characters, Phil and Kate Sterling. Phil works for an advertising agency that moved him out to LA. You’ll notice that for most of the movie, Phil will kinda putter around shirtless in pajama bottoms looking mopey. Shortly, they have a little mush of weird doughy, alien also known as the unknown obsession to women as a baby. Wanting to continue their work, although I think they forgot to give Kate an occupation, they decide to hire a nanny. The decision comes down to the film’s only black person, Arlene, or a suspicious British woman named Camille. To make their choice easier, God decides smite Arlene as she rides her bike into the world’s most deadly pot hole, flipping her off the bike and hurling her down a hill like a rag doll and killing her. Guess who gets the job?

Camille is quickly accepted into their arms and why not? She takes care of the little noise maker. Realizing the movie is starting to trot along without any gore, Camille and the baby are attacked by a group thugs that look like teenagers that never grew out of the psychobilly phase while drinking PBR out in a field somewhere. She leads them into the woods where they come alive, not unlike Evil Dead, and tear the men apart, smashing one’s head like a soggy watermelon and setting another on fire. This tree has more powers than Superman! The absurdity doesn’t stop there. Their neighbor Ned starts crushing on Camille in, I have to admit, a rather charming and chivalric way. Unfortunately chivalry is dead and so is he after being savagely eaten by wolves that protect Camille after he sees her as what she really is. Before he died, he managed to place a phone call to Phil, who was already growing suspicious of her. Odd, her references should have checked out…

gdn_4Oh that’s right, Phil and Kate didn’t bother checking TO SEE IF THE WOMAN CARING FOR THEIR NEWBORN CHILD DIDN’T HAVE ANY KIND OF CRIMINAL OR MENTAL HEALTH BACKGROUND. Although in their defense, I don’t think ‘Evil Tree Spirit’ would have come up. Wouldn’t you know it, none of the references exist. Phil kicks her out and baby Jake needs to be taken to the hospital. Well what a coincidence. Camille tries to steal the baby from the hospital, but Phil puts his Chris Brown lessons to work and smacks her to the ground. Heading home, they find wolves are patrolling the premises, forcing them to retreat to the woods. Bad idea. Camille harnesses the power of the Keebler Elves and tries once again to steal the baby only to be run over by Kate in the jeep (on a side note, this is pretty much the first thing she’s done the whole movie). Phil sees all of the babies in the tree and rationally they try to explain this all to the police. For whatever reason, the cops don’t believe them, so what else is there to do for our heroes except to pack up and move on. But not before Camille can try to steal that baby one last time. I gotta give her an A for effort. Most people quit trying to steal babies only after a few times. Enraged, Phil sets out into the woods with a chainsaw faster than you can say “Groovy” to settle this once and for all.

Originally, Sam Raimi was slated to direct this picture, but backed out early in production to direct Darkman instead and you can really see how this script was tailored towards Raimi’s style and doesn’t exactly suit Friedkin’s. Look at the evidence: The kills are over the top and messy. What should be pretty straight forward and, let’s face it, silly, is bogged down with subplots that seem to go nowhere. What I find really interesting are the type of shots he uses, clearly an homage to Raimi’s cinematography. Especially when we get a wide, low angle chase cam. Hell, the look of the character in the final act; tattered blue button up, messy, wavy hair and a chainsaw… ring a bell? Obviously, I’m not saying that William Friedkin is a bad director. That would be stupid to say, but what I am saying is perhaps he wasn’t a good choice for this type of film. I guess even he realized this, seeing as the TV edit of this film has given directing credit to Alan Smithee.
The Guardian

Having said all that, is The Guardian a horrible film? Not exactly. It’s not great by any measure, but admittedly, I had some fun watching it. The film itself seems well paced, putting in the gory moments just when you are about to get bored, but for such a simple plot, Friedkin does seemingly try to complicate it with unneccasary exposition and dialogue just to draw it out. This is where some good old fashioned Sam Raimi gore would have been a much better filler, but that’s what happens when you rewrite far too many times. A simple idea gets diluted and things begin become overly complicated. Nonetheless, throw on your filthiest pajama bottoms and stop moping around. Watch this one at least once just to keep the Keebler Elf ladies away.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Good old fashioned baby snatching.
  • Limb for limb!
  • Hooligan head explosion!
  • Where’s my werewolf?
  • Baby tree.
  • Take a shot every time you think of Evil Dead.
  • Cutting down to size.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Head popping, limb ripping, tree spewing blood goodness. Not exactly a walk in the park!

6

blood

BREASTS

Camille can’t wait to show you her twins and I ain’t talking about babies.

5

beast

BEASTS

Nothing a little forest fire can’t handle… and apparently a backhand.

6 OVERALL
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Watch the entire movie!”

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Sep

Comments Off on Retard-O-Tron III

Retard-O-Tron III

Remember how awesome it was to make mix tapes for cruising around in your friends car during the summer? Each song would reflect your freedom, wild nature and reflecting back on the other good nights. Or the girl that you wished you could tell her how you felt, so you put together that perfect mix of songs about staying up late thinking about her, casual conversations and falling in love? Retard-O-Tron III is that mixtape for gorehounds, cheesy b-movie fanatics, cult fans, porn lovers, hardcore and punk aficionados alike.

So as you may have gathered, or if you have seen the other two films, Retard-O-Tron III is a clip show with a sleazy and vulgar twist. It goes far beyond just presenting clips from films. It splices them together, both video and audio of some of the raunchiest, nastiest, goriest and downright disturbing videos. As soon as you pop this thing in your DVD player, before you even play the feature, the graphic on the Main Menu alone should be a warning… or a welcoming invitation to the mad and macabre crowd.

The film opens up appropriately enough with several Japanese girls sitting in a circle, peeing into the air, like a pee fountain… no, not LIKE a pee fountain, it IS a pee fountain. This is all synchronized to the elegant and tantalizing music Beethoven, showcasing a prime example of mixed media art. If there was a ever to set a tone for a film, this would be it. Shortly after, we are introduced to a cooking show, Cooking with Merrill The Great Gourmet. Merrill is… a bit slow and seems to have somewhat of a temper. This is cut back and forth to throughout the film, but next we are shown what is probably the funniest mash-up I have ever seen and pretty damn gross simultaneously. Imagine if you had tuned into Britains Got Talent, there sit Simon and whoever the other two judges are, scowling and waiting for the next shtick. A beautiful woman enters the stage and presents her “talent”… blowing air out of her bunghole. What she does with it next though, let me just say that it displays the elasticity of the human rectum and does not look like it feels pleasing in the least bit.

There are also tidbits of opera singers, dubbed with belches and farts at one end of the spectrum and at the other it has porn clips with opera singing dubbed over it. A majority of the duration are karaoke videos that look like they would have been on a public access channel, various movies, like Terror Vision and Bloodsport, all fused with a variety of music from Kris Kross to Le Tigre and my favorite, scenes from Reb Brown movies Strike Commando and Space Mutiny (Reb makes anything awesome). This is the formula that follows, but you’ll still find yourself shocked and then laughing maniacally. You’ll feel sick, both mentally and physically, but it’s the price you pay.

The mixtape ends on a high note, various snip-its of Japan doing what Japan does to entertain and proving to the world why they are Japan and nobody else is or would want to be. If I had to describe the vibe to Retard-O-Tron, it would be like asking yourself after every scene, “What the f*#@ did I just watch?” It’s as if you tuned into a bizarro episode of Tim and Eric. As depraved as this may be, it’s hysterical. I felt nostalgic for my high school days when my friend and I would watch repugnant and farcical videos on sites like The Stile Project and Ebaum’s World. This is all edited by a man named Roelewapper, who is most likely a mad genius and we are all part of his experiment. So check out Retard-O-Tron III and visit the official site. Just bring a bucket.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • You’ll never see Britain’s Got Talent the same way again.
  • Reb MF’ing Brown.
  • Grumpy gourmet.
  • Japan.
  • You know what, the whole damn thing is a Roadside Attraction.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

There is some in the various clips.

9

blood

BREASTS

Here, there, everywhere.

10

beast

BEASTS

Everything you witness, especially Merrill, is a monster.

8.3 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer!”

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Jul

Comments Off on The ABCs of Death

ABCs of Death

Not too long ago, I won a copy of The ABC’s of Death on Bluray from Magnet as part of a V/H/S/2 fan art contest and I finally got around to watching it. It had quite a bit of buzz surrounding it and the concept is quite interesting. Basically, each letter is a short film from a different director. Despite mixed reviews, I was still excited nonetheless (after all, isn’t the idea to see what I think about the film?). Rather than do a typical review, I thought I would try something a little different. Maybe something of a pun, if you will. So much like the film, I’m going to go through the alphabet, A-Z (in case you couldn’t figure that out) and give a word or two review on that particular letter, using the same letter. Afterwards, I’ll go back though and give more of an insight on the film experience. Alright, let’s start this mother!

A is for Alright, pretty rad!
B is for Boring.
C is for Condensed crap.
D is for Damn, downright dirty!
E is for Ehh…
F is for Frickin’ stupid.
G is for God, what a waste.
H is for Hella cool hound dog.
I is for Insomnia cure.
J is for Japan.
K is for Klassic Krap.
L is for Ludacris!
M is for Moronic.
N is for No thank you.
O is for Oh… kay…
P is for Pretty Lame.
Q is for Quack-tastic!
R is for Righteous and rowdy!
S is for Sadistically supercharged!
T is for Terrifying toilet trouble!
U is for Unseen killer.
V is for Visually mediocre.
W is for Whacky!
X is for X-tremely stupid.
Y is for Yeah, don’t lick little boy’s arse sweat.
Z is for Zoinks! Giant Nazi dong!

The ABC’s of Death goes beyond an anthology. The filmmakers are given even a shorter amount of time to tell their story and for the most part, lots of them are done pretty well. For some of them, like L and S, you can’t help but think how those segments would be if they were full length features, combining stylistic shots with unique stories. The ideas they had, even for a short, are incredible. At times, some of them felt a little too ambitious and it only felt like they were using blood and gore to grab your attention. Like C, it was if they didn’t trust their own storytelling ability and it shows. Other times, give O for example, was a very beautiful story to look at, but it didn’t feel like there was much of a story being told. Instead it’s just slow motion shots of very artistic images. It would be like if you gave a photographer a video camera. Of course, there were some really hilarious ones, H, T and Z especially. I don’t know if those segments would have worked as full length features, but they were entertaining and made me laugh.

ABCs of DeathFor all of its flaws (hey, it’s not going to be perfect), The ABC’s of Death feels like an interesting experimental piece and I’d have to say the experiment was a success! You get a mixture of action, horror, drama, science fiction, claymation, animation and comedy all rolled in to one. Unlike most anthologies, there is no underlining narrative to link all the stories together, so there is no connection between stories. Each one has its own beginning and end.

Although it has a handful of uninteresting (and some even downright lazy with their ideas or execution), overall it was very entertaining, sickening and even shocking at moments. You could say it’s a mixed bag, which it is, but the good outweighs the bad. Giving the restrictions each film maker had, most of them did a bang up job and with the recent announcement of a sequel; I say B is for Bring it on!

roadside attractions

  • Educational and gory!
  • Dog gone!
  • Japan.
  • Masterba-tory-overdose.
  • Toilet troubles.
  • Heroine fueled race with the Devil!
  • Vampire-cam.
  • Robots blowing up babies.
  • Nazis!
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

The root of every segment.

7

blood

BREASTS

The more poor segments tend to throw this more to keep your attention.

8

beast

BEASTS

Monsters, Devils, Furries, claymation toilets that eat people, spiders, serial killers, boogeymen, hookers and Nazis… there is something here for everyone!

8 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for The ABCs of Death.

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Jul

Comments Off on Sexcula

Tremors

Sexcula is one of those rare movies where I didn’t know what to expect and when I saw it, it was nothing that I expected… although that’s not necessarily a good thing. For starters, Sexcula could be classified as porn or horror spoof (although not a comedy, at least intentionally), which should have been evident from the classy, vague tagline, “She’ll suck more than your blood.” I have no idea what they could mean… Not to say my expectations were high with this film.

It begins, strangely enough, with a scenic drive, accompanied by some soft, light hearted jazz. I notice that this was kind of a theme in the seventies. Anything to establish how mellow that generation was. Anyone ever seen The Touch of Satan? Anyway, it follows that stale formula of someone inherits a creepy old house and they find an old diary of the previous owner (I’m sure you’re more than familiar with it). So after some girl tells her boyfriend with some serious mutton chops that she, “Heard some stories that would curl your pubes,” about the house (classy dialogue, nothing short of poetry), they decide to go on a picnic and read from the diary. Come along, shall we?

As he begins to read, we learn that Dr. Fallatingstein (…really) created a man. This comes as no shock to the man reading the diary, by the way. Not as an incredible discovery in science or reading the ramblings scribbled in a book by a raving lunatic. Since I have it stopped right here, let’s take a look at the plot so far. A mad scientist that created life; sounds more like Frankenstein than Dracula to me. Oh, the guys name is Frank. Huh. I guess Sexenstein doesn’t sound as good. This reminds me of how The Howling 2 confused vampires with werewolves. I know it’s stupid to complain about acting in a porno spoof, but her line delivery is like a third grade reading aloud, trying to learn to read. I’m sorry, but I’m supposed to buy that this person can craft arteries, but can’t convincingly sell me on how ecstatic she should be that she just created life? Seriously, I’m not asking for an Oscar clip, but ANY emotion would do.

So she created man and what for? To have sex with, what else? Only problem is, he can’t get it up. And being a doctor, she clearly can’t help with this situation. Only her cousin, the Countess Sexcula can fix it (and yes, this is all the exposition). And so, we are surprisingly unexpectedly thrown right into the middle of a sex scene. The film actually cuts to her as she is halfway performing filatio. If you weren’t sure this was porn, like I was, considering this a rude awaking.

Sexcula spends the remainder of the film cutting back and forth between trying to have sex with Frank to out of place sex scenes. One of the most odd and probably the most unsexy thing in a film I have ever seen is when this film’s version of Igor, name Orgie (again… really?) tries to have sex with this robotic woman laying on a table in the basement, tied to some mad scientist concoction, when out of nowhere, a gorilla, or a man in a gorilla suit, chases Orgie and deflowers his buttocks. Okay, I have no idea what is going on. Were people watching this to be turned on or did the filmmakers think that the movie was getting too serious and needed some comic relief?

So back to the drawing board as the Dr. Fallatingstein and Sexcula try to figure out what’s wrong with Frank. They do this, of course, by “Putting more science into it.” Yes, actual line of dialogue. This is back when anything could be done with the vague description of ‘science.’ They do this by injecting him with sex cells. Huh, guess you learn something new every day.

Then there is this. Out of nowhere (seems to be a theme in this movie), there is a twenty minute sex scene, taking place during a wedding at a church. Even after it’s done, they rely heavily on this as filler, because it keeps cutting back to it. This brings to light all the production issues that plagued this movie, which is totally surprising that production issues were even a problem in porn spoofs. They try to add some narration over it, a desperate final editing trick to try and tie everything together. If you’re watching this for plot, like I was, do yourself a favor and disregard this part. The film will actually make more sense.

So guess how the movie ends? Sexcula ‘fixes’ Frank’s problem and everyone has sex. Everyone. Frank, Dr. Fallatingstein, Sexcula, Orgie, the robot chick, those other people from the other porn that were spliced in… the gorilla. It’s tugs at the heart strings and gives one a feeling of inner peace, like everything will work out and be ok.

This is one of those cases where the filmmakers know that their audience isn’t watching the movie for a plot and only for sex scenes, which is usually fine in this genre, but that’s where the problem is; the sex scenes aren’t sexy! So by plot and porno standards, Sexcula misses the mark, big time. One thing I can say positively about the movie is that the set design is actually pretty well done and very gothic influenced of the films it’s trying to knock off. The castle is dark and creepy, littered with dust covered machinery with wires everywhere hooked up to all sort of things. The lighting is like something out of a Giallo, with bright fluorescent color painting most of the scenes.

For being a porno, it sure didn’t feel like one. After all, aren’t they supposed to be sexy or arousing? This came off more as awkward and honest, kinda unappealing. Even for a horror spoof, there was nothing ‘horror’ about it, other than her name is a sexual derivation of Dracula… which is another misconception about the film. Sexcula actually follows the plot of Frankenstein closer than it does Dracula! Well I can say for certain this is a film that can deliver on its tagline.

roadside attractions

  • Mutton chop madness.
  • The names are punny!
  • Take a shot every time you think a different porno was spliced in.
  • Unsexy sex.
  • Monkeying around.
totals

0

blood

BLOOD

Not a single drop of that particular fluid… This movie doesn’t suck blood, but it sucks… yeah, you get the point.

7

blood

BREASTS

If there is one thing in this film, it’s certainly that.

4

beast

BEASTS

A gorilla, Orgie, seventies body hair and the acting.

3.6 OVERALL
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I can’t find an appropriate trailer for “Sexcula,” so enjoy this Synapse Films bumper instead!

trailers

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Jul

Comments Off on The Ghastly Love of Johnny X

suspiria

Ready for a far out science fiction adventure? Well, here’s something groovy you may want to check out, dig it? Ok, I promise I’ll lighten up on the all the hepcat slang. In the spirit of the 1950’s, The Ghastly Love of Johnny X is homage to the black and white beatnik flicks, absurdly silly sci-fi films like Plan 9 from Outer Space and even musicals, like Rocky Horror Picture Show. Normally mixing this many genres can make a film incoherent or confusing, but here it seems to all blends together… like nice, old fashioned milkshake.

Beginning in the science fiction element, our title character Johnny X, full name Jonathan Xavier, is banished from his home world for being too wild and reckless, like his role model, the reckless rock star (possibly in the vein of Elvis) Mickey O’Flynn, played by, in the oddest casting choice, Creed Bratton from The Office. So as a punishment from the head councilman (played by Kevin McCarthy in his final role), Johnny is sent to Earth, until he can do a selfless act. But with an attitude like Johnny’s, what do think is going to happen next?

One year later, a drop dead gorgeous woman named Bliss abruptly enters a diner in literally the middle of nowhere and seduces the young man behind the counter, Chip and the two are about to take off… that is, until Johnny and his gang, The Ghastly Ones, crash the party. This is where the film jumps genres from beatnik to musical, but does it casually. You go along with the musical number, snapping along, as the singing provides exposition, as Johnny uses what he calls the ‘Resurrection Suit’. This suit gives him the ability to control others, but Chip manages to pull off some heroics and saves Bliss as they flee into the desert.

HBTMOverhearing what is going on, a patron at the diner by the name of King Clayton (played by the always favorable Reggie Bannister) who just so happens to be the manager of Mickey O’Flynn, offers a deal with Johnny: Help him with his ‘situation’ with Mickey and in return, he will bring back the soda jerk Chip and Bliss. And what situation would that be? Well, it’s not that he didn’t show up for rehearsal as the news previously had reported… turns out, King Clayton is in deep with loan sharks to keep his theater open and Mickey was gonna pack the house and pay the debt, except that he croaked the night before the rehearsal. So the idea is to get the Resurrection Suit back to reanimate the recently departed Mickey to put on the show. Could this be that selfless act that gives Johnny the ticket to go home?

Well as luck would have it, King Clayton is Chip’s uncle and along with Bliss, they walk right into the lion’s den, so to speak. Putting all grudges aside, leaving Bliss for his new girl (and gang member) Bobbi Socks, Johnny gets ready for the show. However, the sluggishly oaf and appropriately named Sluggo, in an act of independence, sabotages the suit and flees with the now reanimated Mickey and kidnapping Bliss along the way. Recruiting Chip into the gang, baptizing him as ‘Soda’, the two put their differences aside and head off to save Bliss, who Sluggo is demanding in exchange for the Resurrection Suit. And so begins the final battle. Will Johnny defeat Sluggo and save the girl? Will he get home? Don’t worry. All of these questions are answered in the final act.

Overall, the movie is an entertaining romp that those with love of retro cinema and serials will love. It also has some silliness that brings the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra to mind. It not only has a sense of humor, but you a splash of love for everything that is the 50’s. Director Paul Bunnell brings all together fantastically to bring you something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Ghastly Love of Johnny X is a throwback to those beatnik romps with greasers, gangs, dames, slime balls, dweebs, thugs, Martians and weirdoes… all in the name of love. It’s an adventure, it’s a musical, and it’s groovy. Check this one out. Dig, Daddy-O (Oh come on, I had to end on some cool slang)?

You can purchase The Ghastly Love of Johnny X here!

roadside attractions

  • Devo hat.
  • Soda shake romp.
  • Hepcats and dames.
  • Rock-a-billy zombie Creed.
  • World domination… with science!
totals

4

blood

BLOOD

Nothing to really see hear, but that’s not what it’s about.

7

blood

BREASTS

Plenty of busty dames to oogle at.

8

beast

BEASTS

Sluggo and a zombie Mickey O’Flynn. Even the girls are deadly.

6.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer here!

trailers

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