Archive for the 'Guest Review' Category

Apr

posted by Barry Goodall | April 11, 2012 | 80's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, Fantasy, Guest Review, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Steel Dawn: A Guest Review by General Relativity

General Relativity is a visitor from the 31st Century.  As a Level III Chrononaut, the General is a mid-level civil servant in the Time Enforcement Commission, which basically means he has to fill out a million forms every time one of you tries to go back to hunt a dinosaur or give AK-47s to the Confederates or whatever.   And no, he can not explain to you why John Connor looks completely different in every single Terminator movie, so don’t ask.

Aristotle.  Plato.  Confucius.  Descartes.  Swayze.  These philosophers laid the foundation for all modern thought.  At least that is what we learned in the Preston-Logan Spacetime Academy.  From Red Dawn to Road House to the indomitable Point Break (which in 3020 was named the greatest movie ever made by the Lundgren Council for the Arts), Swayze’s streak of profundity was unmatched by any 80s star.  In these mystical masterworks, Patrick Swayze was committed to the principles of an undefined and vague Tao of manly badassedness.  Unlike the others on the list of Great Minds, Swayze could nail a bodacious roundhouse kick.

Steel Dawn” is unfortunately not a sequel to Swayze’s 1984 classic “Red Dawn.”  Rather, Steel Dawn is one of those post-apocalyptic westerns released in the wake of the success of “Road Warrior.”  It has most of the touchstones for that genre: mutants, primitive weaponry, lots and lots of desert, and hairstyles out of an 80’s hair metal music video.  The hair in this movie is a special effect.

We begin with the nameless Nomad (Swayze) performing a headstand at the top of a dune in the middle of a desert.  He is communing, because that’s what Swayze does.  Cthulhu-faced mutants emerge from the sand wielding car maintenance equipment and attack him.  Swayze kills them all using a fighting style I can only describe as “Dirty Dance Fighting.”  The principal technique associated with this obscure martial art is to execute a number of unnecessary somersaults and pirouettes before you spin your aluminum foil sword a few times.

From this promising beginning, I hoped that mutants would be the main villain of the film, just as they are in real life.  Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is pitifully lacking in mutants.  The real bad guys are humans rejected from a Mötley Crüe casting call and banished to a Pat Benatar music video.  After the members of Faster Pussycat kill Swayze’s master, Swayze wanders the desert looking generally irritated.  Or maybe he’s just tortured.  Or constipated.  Or tortured by constipation.


Not that he lacks a reason to be irritated, especially after he meets a woman named Ke$ha ( played in amazing crimped hair by Swayze’s real life wife Lisa Niemi).  Swayze befriends her son who is played by Jake Lloyd from “The Phantom Menace” and who gains an alarming amount of weight as the movie goes on.  Water is premium in the desert, and Ke$ha wants to build an aquaduct.  This is basically “Chinatown” but with characters named “Tark” and swords made of silver plastic.  The bad guys are after the water.  But Swayze, using somersaults and head-kicking, will teach them, and us, important lessons about man’s search for faith….

No Swayze film would be complete without his signature esoteric analects.  In this regard, “Steel Dawn” is an undiscovered treasure.  Now, presented without context, the lessons from “Steel Dawn”:

“Promise never to misuse this knowledge.  Before you fight you must first learn to meditate.”
“What’s the matter, never seen a grown man naked?”
“You shouldnt play with sharp objects.”
“A man needs his exercise.”
“I attract violence!”  (That is not the only thing you attract, dude.)
“You talk too much.”

roadside attractions

  • Patrick Freakin’ Swayze
  • Cthulhu Sapiens Mutants
  • Somersaults
  • Pirouettes
  • Tinfoil Swords
  • Sand
  • More Sand
  • Obscene Aquanet Abuse
  • Proto-Jake Lloyd
  • Wind-Powered Go-Carts
  • Fighting with Staves
  • Water Politics
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

Although Swayze wields a menacing tinfoil sword, he mostly prefers to kick people in the face.

4

blood

BREASTS

There is a little tease of Swayze pecs while he’s bathing, but I was underwhelmed. Swayze and Brion James (of Blade Runner) stumble into some groupies while they are raiding the hair metal bad guys’ hideout, which is an abandoned Guns ‘n Roses concert stage, but no one seals the deal.

2

beast

BEASTS

Needz moar mutants!

3.0 OVERALL
dripper
Mar

Comments Off on Near Dark: A Guest Review by Corey A. Jones

My name is Cory A. Jones, and I’m writing this guest review for “Near Dark”. I’m a writer for metal-temple.com where I review Heavy Metal albums. I’m also a filmmaker of almost a decade. You can check out my comedy web-series “Carl’s House” on youtube, and you can send me a line at acidunlimited@gmail.com if want to leave any feedback.

Y’know what cheeses me off? As if the “Twilight” saga hadn’t sissified the vampire genre enough; the new DVD cover of “Near Dark” makes it look like some cheap knockoff of America’s favorite Vampire chick-flick. What better way to completely sell short one of the last decent Vampire flicks from the ‘80’s.

Near Dark has 2 things in common with Twilight; There’s Vampires, and there’s a love story. That’s it. Beyond that, there’s no comparison. Twilight has stupid pansy vampires, and stupid pansy werewolves who can go out in daylight and play stupid pansy vampire softball. Or Whatever. But let me ask you this question: If Twilight is so great; does it have Bill Paxton running around slashing throats with his boot-spurs? No? Well then it deserves less of my attention than a pimple on a giraffe’s scrotum.

So this story revolves around Caleb (Adrian Pasdar), a wannabe cowboy who tries to get some nookie from Mae (Jenny Wright) and ends up being turned into a vampire. He tries to run home after his car breaks down and ends up being kidnapped by Mae’s vampire kin. The group wants to kill Caleb, but decides to try and make him “One of us” after they realize that he’s turned undead.

Eventually Caleb helps them escape a run-in with the law and becomes their new member, and they set about wreaking havoc until they end up kidnapping Caleb’s little sister which forces him to choose his real family or his vampire crew. Notable performances include 3 (!) members of the ALIENS cast; Lance Henrikson as Jessie the vampire leader, Jeannette Goldstein as Jessie’s busty vampire girlfriend, and Bill Paxton as Severen the vampire family’s resident nutcase.

There are all kind of things that make this movie watchable, but not many that make it memorable (aside from anything Bill Paxton does in the movie). The movie is Directed by Kathryn Bigelow who would end up marrying James Cameron and making movies like the stylish Y2K conspiracy movie “Strange Days” and most recently  “The Hurt Locker” which got her one of those snazzy Oscar awards. The James Cameron connection is obvious in this movie because of the cast, and because of familiar lighting style of Cinematographer Adam Greenberg who was also the DP on the “Terminator” movies.

It was a pretty enjoyable vampire flick that should be seen by anybody needing an introduction to what REAL vampire movies are all about. Just be sure to show that person Leif Jonker’s DARKNESS (1993) first because that is a much better example. The Vampire meltdown is that flick outdoes this one by lightyears.

Roadside attractions

  • 3 cases of Vampire Barbecue
  • Shotgun Fu
  • Boot Spur Fu
  • Jeannette Goldstein Cleavage
  • 1 cigarette smoking, pistol brandishing, Child abducting 12 year old
  • 1 Bar brawl
  • Bill Paxton roadkill
  • two motor vehicle chases with crash n’ burn
  • 7.5 out of 10

    Check out the trailer for “Near Dark”

    trailers

    dripper
    Mar

    Comments Off on Food of the Gods: Guest review by Tiger Sixon

    Tiger SixonTiger Sixon was locked up in a secret desert base with only the government’s cache of weapons grade B-movies to keep him entertained. No one knows why the government locked up one of their best operatives, but it is rumored to involve aliens, a spaceship, and a hefty bar tab. He lost an eye in an accident with a lobster and pogo stick. Now here’s Tiger’s first b-movie review from the confines of his jail cell. Food of the Gods.
    Food of the Gods

    Any time a film starts with “based on a portion of a novel” you know yer in for somethin’ special. That’s the case with FOOD OF THE GODS. It is based on “a portion” of H. G. Wells’ book of the same name.

    But what portion? A sentence? A paragraph? That would be like reading Moby Dick and making a movie based on the ship’s cook, but still calling it Moby Dick.

    food of the godsBut let’s get down to brass tacks—FOOD OF THE GODS ain’t a cookin’ film. This ain’t no JULIA AND JULIA. Heck, it ain’t even ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. This is a nature revenge film.

    It is kind of like THE HAPPENING, except there’s no Marky Mark and it didn’t piss me off.

    The film starts out with narration by our hero, “My name is Morgan, and I play football.” That reminds me of my last group psych evaluation here at the base: “Hi, my name is Tiger and I [CLASSIFIED].”

    The opening credits at a snow covered football field feature bouts of freeze frame action—not to build tension, but to draw attention to the fact that the producers dropped some serious Loonies to shoot at a Canadian football field.

    Morgan, who looks like the ‘70s version of Sean Penn, treats us to another voice over, going on to explain that his father, who was apparently a prophet, warned him that someday, nature would have enough and seek revenge. The only thing my dad could predict was the end of a six pack.

    Morgan goes on vacation, probably because the rest of the team hates him. The movie doesn’t say so, but you can tell by the look in their eyes that they hate Morgan. Just like I could at my first grade graduation.

    Morgan opts to spend a cold weekend on some island in the Pacific North-West with the team’s PR guy and another buddy in tow (does anyone ever say Atlantic North-East?).

    food of the godsOn the island they hunt a deer on horseback with a team of foxhounds. Reminds of the last time I was invited to Camp David.

    Things take a turn for the interesting when Morgan’s football buddy gets killed by a giant wasp—which is a combination of a giant puppet and a super-imposed photo doing the Cha-cha.

    It took a mere seven minutes to get to the first kill of this film. Some folks ain’t got time to bleed; me, I ain’t got time for plot.

    Morgan looks for inside a barn, and he finds giant chickens. Get the Colonel on the phone. The chickens proceed to ruin Morgan’s jacket, but his flowing locks remain unscathed. The chickens switch between giant puppets and a split screen of real chickens. Morgan then meets Mrs. Skinner and asks about the massive fowls in the barn.

    Mrs. Skinner explains that the feathery behemoths are the result of normal chickens being fed the Food of the Gods. Huzzah. We have a title invocation.

    Food of the GodsWe find out later that the Food of the Gods is thick custard that comes out of a hill in the Skinners’ backyard. If only BEVERLY HILLBILLIES had used the same plot device.

    Speaking of the Skinners, Mr. Skinner went to the mainland in hopes of selling the Food of the Gods to a chemical company. He dies via a herd of giant rats when he stops to fix a flat tire. Never stop to fix a flat. CGI can never replace the charm of watching rats chew apart a toy Volkswagen.

    Morgan returns to the mainland with the body of his dead pal. The PR guy comes to the football field, which days later is still covered in snow, and says their buddy was killed with enough stings for 250 Police concerts.

    Morgan and PR guy return to the island and meet an unmarried couple in a Winnebago, and the lady is pregnant. Instant Drama! Just add a preggo lady.

    A pair of folks from the chemical company Mr. Skinner visited also shows up, and hilarity ensues.

    And by hilarity, I mean herds of giant rats eating everything in sight. The rats are THE reason to watch this film. They are a combination of puppets and split screen footage of real rats attacking model cars and houses. They run in slow-motion and growl like jaguars.

    There is even a lone white rat in the bunch. Hey, maybe this film was based on a portion of Moby Dick too?

    Morgan must of read the Anarchist Cookbook in high school, because he is quite apt at makin’ pipe bombs–which he uses to blow up a dam. He figures, while the rats can swim, they are not used to swimming at 150 pounds and will sink. Gravity is a harsh mistress. I learned that the first time I flew a [CLASSIFIED].

    Morgan’s theory proves correct, and we’re treated to footage of rats in an aquarium.

    But wait, just like my mother in law, the white rat shows up at the last minute. Morgan smashes its head in with the stock of his shotgun. That’ll learn it.

    Morgan treats the dead rats to a Viking funeral, and muses aloud, “I guess that’s the end of them.”

    Wrong. A jar of the Food of the Gods washes up near a group of cows, which promptly chow down. Said cows are then milked, and the film cuts to a scene of school children drinking milk. This is why I only drink the green stuff the base doctor says keeps me from screaming.

    Looks like their mom’s are gonna be buyin’ XXXXXL sweaters this Christmas.

    Tiger Sixon says, give this flick a watch—but skip it if growling rats running in slow-motion creep ya out.


    Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

    roadside attractions

    • Puppet punching
    • Hen pecking
    • Giant wasps, chickens, maggots, and rats
    • 1 knife wielding house wife
    • 1 exploding wasp nest
    • Bucket dumping
    • Jar breaking
    • 1 toy Volkswagen
    • 1 toy Winnebago
    • Growling rats
    • Rat Drowning
    • Rat-B-Que
    totals

    9

    blood

    BLOOD

    the blood is spaced out, but between the giant maggots chewing Mrs. Skinner’s arm and the rats eating people alive, there is plenty to go around—and it is ‘70s neon red blood. And let’s not forget the red paint balls shot at all the rats.

    4

    blood

    BREASTS

    the only breasts we see in this PG-rated film are those of the giant chickens. White meat or dark?

    10

    beast

    BEASTS

    Just like a family reunion, there are tons of beasts here. Giant chickens, giant wasps, giant maggots, and a legion of giant rats.

    7.7 OVERALL
    dripper

    Check out the trailer for “Food of the Gods”

    trailers

    dripper
    Aug

    posted by admin | August 8, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movies, Bad movie, Guest Review, Horror movies

    Comments Off on Guest Review: Poltergiest 3

    angeliqueAngelique (www.twitter.com/Laughing_Bones)

    “I’ve been a horror fan since my mom went to see Cujo in the theaters while pregnant with me.  That set the stage for my love of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, and I’ve seen some of the worst and best horror movies out there, and since I was old enough, I would hold movie marathons and make my friends watch them as well.  I  When I’m not writing about horror, I blog (http://theculinaryadventuresofdangergirl.com.blogspot.com/) about whatever comes to mind.  Otherwise, you can find me in and about the wilderness of East Tennessee, preparing for the inevitable revolution/zombie apocalypse.”

    Lost Highway Welcomes Angelique to the our little roadside detour of b-movie cool and without further ado…whatever ado means…here’s her review of Poltergiest 3: Why didn’t it stop at 1.

    Poltergiest 3
    Let me start by saying that if Carol Anne was my daughter, I’d drive her out to the middle of nowhere, leave her, and hope for the best.

    OH WAIT!  That’s just what her lovely parents did in Poltergeist III, only they replaced “middle of nowhere” with “Chicago” and “hope for the best” with “foist her on your sister, her husband, and his daughter, because we can’t take it anymore.”

    Following the events of Poltergeist and Poltergeist II, the story opens with Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) in a posh high-rise penthouse in the heart of Chicago, living with her aunt, her uncle, and step-cousin.  She is obviously a burden on the family, but they all try to put on happy faces as she sits around and plays with that damn Speak-n-Spell all the time.  I swear, when she’s not dealing with the threat of ghosts, the kid does nothing else!  I lost interest in mine when I realized it wouldn’t “say” curse words, but she can’t get enough of it!  Well, I suppose this is what happens when televisions, clown dolls, and toy phones are off-limits to little girls who attract evil spirits from the other side.  Ahem, back to the story.  This is only the beginning, for there is danger afoot, and strange things begin happening with gusto, which everyone promptly ignores.

    Poltergiest 3Carol Anne has the dubious honor of being enrolled in a special school for gifted children, lorded over by the insidious Dr. Satan-er, Seaton, rather.  Seaton.  Dr. Seaton (Richard Fire), who likes to impress other psychiatrists with his acumen and impeccable goatee, makes Carole Anne out to be some Mesmer-esque master of minds, has inadvertently awakened the ghost of that crazy Reverend Kane (Nathan Davis, and an assortment of rubber masks), who will stop at nothing to get Carol Anne to lead them into the light.

    This, of course, has alerted Tangina (Zelda Rubenstein), who gets on a plane immediately to help her, because Dr. Seaton is an asshole.

    Bruce (Tom Skerritt) and Pat (Nancy Allen) have fights over Carol Anne between dealing with the various technical problems the building is going through; he likes her there, she wants her gone, and resents her sister for foisting her crazy child off onto them during a most stressful time in their yuppie lives.  If it weren’t for all the ghosts and such, this could have been a movie of the week about the benefits of acceptance and family change.  It’s not, but the writers certainly didn’t realize that.

    Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) is miffed because she has to watch Carol Anne and her red footie pajamas all night, but Carol Anne uses her mental might to convince Donna to go ahead to the party, she’s just gonna be sitting around, you know, playing with her speak and spell, maybe slipping into the liquor cabinet…wait, that didn’t happen.  I wish it did, for it would have given her a little more character depth.  Donna applies too much eyeliner, and Carol Anne leans into the bathroom door to give her some makeup tips.  Then, there’s a knock at the mysteriously closed bathroom door, and she opens it to see…CAROL ANNE!  What just happened?  Never mind, she has a party to attend.  After arriving at the party with her collar popped and deeming it dullsville, she uses a handy set of master keys to break into the pool and throw a better party.  She and her afro-sporting boyfriend Scott (Kip Wentz) sneak off to rob the grocery store of their cheese-doodles and Coors Light while upstairs, Carol Ann has run into some trouble.

    Kane begins to torment Carol Ann in the apartment, and I can’t say that the special effects were all that ‘special,’ because 90% of them are done with dry ice fog and flashing lights, but they’re scary enough for Carol Anne, and she runs away.  She’s seen on camera by Donna and Scott, who were trying to make out in the security room holding armloads of groceries, and they follow her to the parking garage.

    Let me warn you right now: throughout the rest of the movie, you will hear the name “Carol Ann” about EIGHTEEN MILLION TIMES.v

    She goofs around, running backwards until she steps into a puddle.  WATCH OUT, IT’S A REFLECTIVE SURFACE!  Oops, too late; zombie hands jerk her down, Donna and Scott arrive just in time to provide a not quite convincing rescue attempt, and they all get pulled into the puddle.

    Poltergiest 3

    From this point on, things get a little flaky.  Scott reappears and is crazy, screaming about Donna.  Dr. Seaton comes to the building and tries to analyze him.  Tangina comes in and rubs her necklace some more.  She spouts some exposition about love and how it’ll set the girls free or something, (I don’t know, I quit listening for a minute), until she started talking about the evil beyond the bedroom door.  I thought for sure she was talking about the Speak-N-Spell, but no, she meant Kane, and the mirrors.  She and Dr. Seaton face-off, then something spooky happens and the evil reaches out and deep-fries Tangina.  We immediately have an excellent Lara Flynn Boyle freak-out as she climbs out of the still-steaming corpse of our favorite magical midget.  Arguably the best part of the movie, second only to when she pushes Dr. Seaton down the elevator shaft after he goes chasing after the reflection of Carol Anne.  Come to find out, that’s not really Donna or Scott, but doppelgangers who like to make out sloppily, then rip each others faces off.

    The last half of the movie is spent following Bruce and Pat around, watching them get locked into large freezers, fighting undead livestock, almost drowning, snatching necklaces from an apparition of Tangina, being teleported into frozen, snowy parking garages and being chased by possessed cars. I’m not sure what mirrors and ice have in common, but for some reason they go together like peanut butter and jelly in this flick.  Are they playing up the idea that ghosts suck the heat out of the environment for energy?  It isn’t ever explained, aside from the light being cold.

    During the final showdown in Carol Anne’s foggy room, Carol Anne shows up and spouts some angsty mess about how nobody loves her or wants her but Kane, but it’s a ruse to get the magical necklace from Pat.  She disappears,  then Pat gets strangled by her own reflection, pimp-slapped by Kane, sees the whole family lying around dead, and freaks out.  Tangina appears yet again, spouting more about this love thing, and how it’ll save everyone, and how she can end this whole thing by leading him into the light, and could have done it all along.  SHOULDN’T SHE HAVE DONE THAT TWO FLIPPING MOVIES AGO??  Why’d she leave this poor girl to be tormented?  Question for the ages, I suppose.

    If there’s one thing I hate, its when horror movies try to have some kind of redeeming value.  I wanna be scared, not actually learn anything (except for maybe a few new ways that I could potentially die or enter an alternate dimension).

    roadside attractions

    • Gratuitous One-way mirrors
    • Disembodied hand coffee-mug flinging
    • Elevator shaft Swan Dive
    • Undead livestock
    • Chicken-fried psychic
    • Corpse burrowing
    • Face peeling
    • Necklace rubbing
    • Decapitation by shovel
    • Face peeling
    • Head melting
    totals

    0

    blood
    BLOOD

    They flash-fried Tangina

    4

    beast
    BEASTS

    I’m including the Speak-N-Spell here, you guess the rest of ’em!

    0

    blood
    BREASTS

    Lara Flynn Boyle doesn’t have much more than mosqito bites anyway

    3.0 OVERAL

    When the scariest thing in the movie is a Speak-n-Spell, it’s the best you can do.
    dripper

    Check out the trailer for “Poltergiest 3”

    trailers

    dripper
    May

    posted by admin | May 24, 2010 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Guest Review, Horror movies

    Comments Off on Hide and Creep (guest review by Misty Wilkins)

    Most of the time you go in watching a B or C movie knowing it’s not going to be the best movie you have ever seen.  Hopefully you can get through it and not want to gouge your eyeballs out.  One night my boyfriend and I decided to watch this movie on Netflix streaming and I was in a mood for a zombie movie. By the cover of the movie, it looked cheesy and I told him that I will give the movie 5 minutes and by that time I couldn’t get through it, we were going to watch something else.  Most zombie movies are more of the same.  You have fast zombies, slow zombies and stupid people who don’t know how to get away from zombies.  This movie about zombies was a little bit different and if I might add: charming and funny.  I obviously got through the 1st five minutes.

    Hide and Creep is about a small southern town in Thornsby, Alabama attacked by zombies and a mysterious UFO.  The main cast is filled with funny, dumb and sarcastic characters that you can relate with “Shaun of the Dead”.  You have Chuck, the sarcastic and monologue-filled video store owner, Barbara, the lazy police station secretary, Keith, the redneck who owns the local hunting club, Lee, who found himself naked in a tree wondering what the hell happened, Ted, another redneck, Reverend Smith and Agent F, a government agent that  parachutes in to investigate reports of UFO sightings.
    Hide and CreepThis movie is vey low budget (the zombie makeup is laughable) and the acting isn’t that great, but that is a part of the charm.  This movie is hilarious; the redneck jokes and sarcasm keep coming.  This movie is a gem.  I found myself entertained throughout the whole movie and wanted to watch it again.  This should be a cult classic!

    Hide and Creep is directed by Chuck Hartsell and written and directed by Chance Shirley. This film was based on an earlier short called “Birthday Call”.

    roadside attractions

    • Lesbian Zombies
    • Chuck’s Pepsi Monologue
    • A lot of dead bodies
    • Funny Dialogue
    • Guns!
    • Full frontal naked man (Hey! I’m a woman! I don’t get to see that very often in movies)
    totals

    6

    blood
    BLOOD

    5

    beast
    BEASTS

    if you include zombies, then a 10

    5

    blood
    BREASTS
    9.0 OVERALL
    dripper

    Check out the trailer for Hide and Creep

    trailers

    dripper

    About the Highway

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