Archive for the 'Review by Barry Goodall' Category


Comments Off on Hardware

I was hooking up some new speakers the other night to my pristine 1975 Pioneer amplifiers. Yeah I know your jealous. I was looking forward to a few hours of Skynard’s greatest hits dulling my senses with a freshly made Hot Pockets and Schnapps but all I got out of the speakers was a screeching high pitched squeal. It was sort of a cross between Fran Drescher and a howling spider monkey only less pleasant. So I got behind the stereo with a flashlight and a pair of rusty pliers to check my wiring finally tracing the problem to my vintage CD player. I “jerry-rigged” it with some old RCA cables covered in duct tape a few years back and somehow the player had gone from normal spin to warp death speed and was now creating the banshee howl. The one side benefit is I could listen to all of “Free Bird” in under 4 seconds or saw some fresh timber. I fiddled around with the wire mess, unplugged and replugged connectors and eventually just banged on the amplifier a few times. I imagine it’s sorta like watching a drunk orangutan try to solve a Rubik’s Cube but amazingly the banging worked and Skynard was rockin’ once again. Years of technological expertise  culminating in simply employing the Fonzi method. Now if you’ll excuse me it’s time to dust off that Packard Bell PC sitting in my attic. There’s a copy of Windows Vista just itching to get installed on it. I’m sure nothing could go wrong.

hardwareSpeaking of evil technology, Dylan “pre-law” McDermott takes on a jacked up toaster oven in 1990’s cult classic  “Hardware.” Dylan plays “Moses” a soldier on leave in post apocalyptic America, a big desert now thanks to radioactivity full of scavengers and disgruntled taxi drivers and Tusken Raiders. Moses or Mo’ as his burning bush pal like to call him buys some used robot parts off an Outlander while visiting a dwarf junk dealer in a cave (I’ve had that dream once). Mo gives the scrap metal to his artist ex-girlfriend Jill in uptown, mostly just for him just being a schmuck. Nothing says love and please forgive me like the disembodied head of a killer robot. She gives it a Andy Warhol makeover and hangs it on her wall thanking him with some late night shagging. All that whoo-hooing give the robot sculpture enough time to boot up and build itself a cyborg body of killing complete with optional craftsman saw blades and toxic LSD injectors (action McDermott sold separately.)  Mo meanwhile has secretly taken off for the battlefield yet again leaving Jill alone to fight this psychotic Cuisinart. You can really see why she loves him so.

Her peeping Tom neighbor a big slob of a man whose been sweating grease all night while oogling her through infrared binoculars shows up at her door. He tries out his best sleazy pick up lines only to get a howdy hey from the killbot in the form of a giant robo-drill to his belly. With all that deep fat drillin’ there’s just enough time for Jill to hide in her giant walk in freezer away from the robots standard issued heat sensors. “Quick throw the turkey pot pies at it! That’ll stop him!”

Meanwhile back on the battlefield, Mo learns that his gift is actually a killer robot named Mark 13 (Marky Mark for short) built by the government to eradicate humanity through toxic LSD injections. It’s the gift keeps on giving perfect for that special ex in your life. Mo’ frantically heads back to her apartment and calls his drugged out Buddha buddy to try stop this terminator poser. It’s like sending one armed man to a clapping contest, he can’t even figure out how to get pass the apartment’s door security. Mo arrives on the scene while his buddy cowers near the doorstop just in time to blow a couple shot gun slugs into the robot’s chest. The blast causes it to tumble out the window and it pulls Jill along for the ride crashing her down onto a Chinese family dinner below. Because if the fall don’t kill ya the MSG will.

hardwareMo distracted by his girlfriend acrobatics gets shot-up by the robot’s finger syringes and dies in one of the longest tripped out MTV styled death montages ever put to film. His only lasting legacy…perfect hair and nice teeth. Really I think she was doing better before he showed up again. The neighborhood watch patrol in goalie safety gear finally arrive but just end up being more meat for the meat grinder. They get sliced, chopped and shot, It’s like the 3 stooges started a neighborhood association. Jill once again is left alone to fight the seemingly indestructible robot and there’s not a single Austrian actor turned governor in sight anywhere as she gets cornered in with Marky Mark 13 in the shower. What follows is one of the weakest battle finales since Saved by the Bell’s “Screech” fought Danny Bonaduce in celebrity boxing. Turns out the Mark 13 had poor insulation and is susceptible to water. “so sorry the robot apocalypse has been canceled due to rain.” So the robot shorts out in the shower…and Jill is left with a hefty deposit to pay on her demolished apartment.

At least we get treated to some trippy camera work, infrared gazongas, and a rockin’ soundtrack. It just goes to show you can make a movie people will still watch without much of anything really happening you just gotta do it with style!!!! *jazz hands*

Retroman says check it out only if you need to see a killer robot movie that doesn’t have a screaming Christian Bale in it. Just remember to keep your severed robot heads away from children and pets as it may lead to hallucination, injury or possible death.

– 1 self building kill-bot
– 2 breasts (infrared)
– Peeping tom slob-o-vision
– Infra-red red head
– Dwarf tossin’
– Head drillin’
– Exploding kitchens
– Door crushin’
– Arm carvin’
– Bed carvin’
– Extreme McDermott

2.7 out of 10

“what if Johnny 5 was pure evil and tried to kill Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg? Now there’s a killer robot movie worth seeing.”

Check out the trailer for Hardware


Comments Off on Return of the Living Dead – Our Lost Movie Night Feature

Return of the Living Dead
I noticed our local community center now offers the aerobic workout class “Pole Dancing 101.” I never realized that this was actually an aerobic exercise or that it required classes. Sure Jazzercise makes sense because you have a lot calories to burn when you have to do all those jazz hands moves, but didn’t expect to see a pole dancing class in the brochure next to the intro to scrapbooking and decoupage for beginners. I wonder do you have to bring your own pole? Does it offer you tips in properly securing dollars bills in your g-string when hanging upside down and not getting you hair wet in the beer pitchers? All legitimate questions any pole dancing beginner should be taking into consideration. Also since this is intro 101 does that mean there’s advanced classes? If so then we could we perhaps see this as an Olympic sport someday and I for one welcome this type of sleazercise to the Olympic stage. It could sure bring in more money for those school fundraisers too.

Return of the Living DeadSpeaking of extreme nekkid dancing. Linnea Quigley makes her cinematic mark as scream queen extraordinaire with all her nekkid gyrations on tombstones in “The Return of the Living Dead.” Linnea may have actually induced puberty in many a young boy in 1985 just from that scene alone and even her Ronald McDonald haircut can’t distract us from drooling over the best onscreen tombstone striptease ever filmed. But hold on I’m getting off subject here…there also happens to be zombies too!

This undead brain muncher classic starts off when a group of army brats decide to ship the remaining zombies left over from of the Night of the Living Dead incident to a medical supply room in Louisville Kentucky. In typical government engineering fashion the seals on the tank are about as thick as cheese paper……and soon they start to ooze out some funky fumes. Not a bong in sight the two workers there Frank and Freddy take a forced zombie-flu snooze and awake to find all hells breaking loose. The boss man, Burt is called in to try to help wrangle up the freeze burned cadavers and half dissected dogs who have since reanimated and are tearing up his shop.

Burt whose best friends with Ernie the mortician (Sesame Street lawyers start your letters now) enlists him to help burn the remains in his crematorium so as not to tarnish the shining reputation of his medical business. Yes, a company that already stores zombies in it’s basement but who are we to judge. Burt begs Ernie to burn the chopped up remains so that not even the bones are left and as everyone should know the best way to get people to burn your cadaver is to tell them it’s rabid weasels. Lesson learned.

Ernie tosses them in and cooks them on high causing the oven to billow out a bunch of zombie smoke into the air and leaves behind the fresh scent of pine. Soon the rain starts a pourin’ thanks to before mentioned nekkid rocker rain dance and the toxic smoke rains down on the graveyard. Brain cravin’ zombies start popping up like weeds and thousands of the undead that can run like Carl Lewis take over the cemetery. Turns out brains make the dead feel better and calm their nerves, sorta like Häagen-Dazs for pregnant women. The survivors hold up in the mortuary while a dead oily guy in the basement does some contortionist breakdancing moves stalking the punk rocker survivors.

Freddy’s girlfriend Tina stumbles upon oily face zombie in the basement and locks herself in a locker (ha the irony!) but good old oily face has got some mad MacGyver skills and rigs a crane and pulley system to open the door. She barely escapes when the rest of her punk rocker friends bust in to save here. One of them gets a chunk of his brains chewed out but he never had a decent line in the film anyways thinning the punk rocker herd.

Return of the Living DeadMeanwhile Frank and Freddy who breathed the zombie fumes are looking pretty bad, sweaty, and pale. I don’t think their medical insurance even covers chronic zombification. The paramedics are even called in only to confirm that they’re already dead and then get attacked by a zombie horde on the way out. Worse doctor bedside manners ever!

Frank and Freddy justifiably freak out and are locked in the mortuary’s church while the others try to fend off the zombie herds unsuccessfully. Undead Freddy starts chasing his girlfriend around the place trying to convince her that he loves her for her body and  not her brains but she just douses him with acid. That’s what we call around here “Tough Love.” Tina and Ernie holds up in the attic while Freddy stumbles around all melty face downstairs yellin’ “Brains” and Burt tries to and escape in the a Chevy Malibu. Good luck, those cars have no handling whatsoever when running over zombies and I should know.

Burt in a last ditch effort calls the military 1-800 number on the side of the zombie spam can so the army can do what they do best, blow crap up. Really the best lesson learned from this films… keep your food sealed fresh, never rely on army intelligence, and avoid Kentucky in a nuclear fallout.

ROTLD has all the perfect ingredients for shlocky 80’s horror mixed well and served with a side of satire. There’s brain-chompin’,  head-rollin’, blood-spoutin’, and zombie dwarfism. What more can you ask for? Retroman Steve says check it out. It’s one of my all time favorite zombie film. Just be sure to “send moooore paramedics.”

– Zombie spam cans
– 1 naked punk rocker
– Half a zombie, half a dog
– Brain-munchin’
– Leg-grabbin’
– Acid rain dance
– Pick axe to the head
– Chopped up freezer burned cadavers
– The dreaded rabid weasel defense
– Acid to the face
– Embalming fu
– Zombie-midget-fu
– Kentucky fallout

9.8 out of 10

We’ll be showing “The Return of the Living Dead” on Friday the 13th at Wells Hall on MSU Campus. There’ll be a zombie costume contest and tons of great giveaways. Check out all the details at
B.Y.O.B. Bring your own Brains.

Check out the trailer for The Return of the Living Dead


posted by admin | October 19, 2009 | Book Review, Review by Barry Goodall, Uncategorized

Comments Off on The Drive-In: A “B” Movie with Blood and Popcorn, Made in Texas by Joe R. Lansdale.

I’ve always had a fascination with the drive-in culture and mythos. Those times of watching a great b-movie out under the stars and making that long walk to the snack shop for that buttery snack are some of my best  teenage memories. I’ve gathered quite a few books about their history so a few years back when I ran across a novel with the “Drive-in” in it’s title, I had to give it read. It’s described as a living B-movie where the patrons of a drive-in become characters in a b-movie and are being directed by some malevolent alien forces. That sounded like fun campy storytelling to me and even it’s book cover suggested a sort of “Hitchhiker’s Guide” silliness. Don’t be fooled. This book is dark, twisted and bleak. Blood cults, cannibalism and the worse of humanity take root as societal norms break down and the horrifying popcorn king begins it’s reign of terror. Lansdale’s descriptive storytelling and compelling characters made it’s somber outlook on society all that more visceral to me. I found myself more trying to endure it’s twisted story than be entertained by it. I even had to take a break and watch a sitcom just to have a warm fuzzy feeling again. Retroman Steve says check it out but you’ll likely never look at drive-in popcorn the same way again.


posted by admin | October 2, 2009 | Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on B-Movie Survival Tips Video from Ignite Lansing

Well for the 3 or 4 of you I haven’t spammed with this email or twitter yet, I was a presenter at Ignite Lansing last friday. My challenge was to stand in front of 500 people to talk about B-movie survival. Ever see a deer in headlights? It’s a similar sight when a b-movie geek stands in front of bunch of strangers. Surprisingly it went really well and by gosh I even won an award for my presentation.  An engraved glass mug that I can proudly keep my b-movie beef jerky in for my late night slasher marathons! huzzah! I had a blast and look forward to next years even for which I already have a topic lined up. You can watch a video of the presentation below.


Comments Off on Death Race 2000 (revisited)

Deathrace 2000

So last week I got a call at 4 in the morning “Steve this is Drive-in Dan. Do you know what day it is?” I still could barely understand the concept that I was using a phone.  “It’s Tuesday and this dream really sucks.” I said groggily.  “Yeah but It’s a very important Tuesday! Today marks the 3 year anniversary of Lost Highway! Can you believe it?” to which I responded “Who is this? and how many pixie sticks you been sniffin?”  “I’ve cut back to 43 but that’s besides the point. We need to do a contest and give away something cool!” I thought about it for a while. “hello?” he said after a long moment of silence. “I think I got some pop-tarts and a extra tire gauge still in the wrapper. I’ll give them to you if you go away now and let me sleep you strange voice in my head.” “Don’t worry I’ll come up with it…you just sit back and watch the awesome. Gotta go…got to get the reels ready for tonights drive-in… oh and build a walk in shower. Bye!” At that point I believe my snoring drowned out the dialtone.

3 years old…wow that’s like 30 in Internet years. That makes the site so old that I just might go ahead retire now and collect some of that sweet social security the government’s been promising me. Good days are ahead my friends. Yes I’ll now be able to drive with my blinker on all the time and blurt out inappropriate things at parties. People will just be like “oh he’s an old blogger.” and nod their head in sympathy. You young kids with all your Twitterings and Facebookies…I remember when all we had were websites and email and we liked it that way

There are other benefits to being an old blogger. I can get get a handicap parking permit for the strip clubs and senior discounts at any of the local golden shovel buffets. Finally I’ll be able to get my money’s worth without having to be over 300 pounds. “Sorry No room for dessert I just got done eating 3 pounds of ham.” Yes it’ll be a cornacopia of geriatrics and gluttony. I suspect many senior citizens actually live there and just cycle back through the lines.

So I might just stay there or maybe there’s a nice retirement center that specializes in old b-movie bloggers? A place where people like me that can rattle off movie quotes for any occasion. Where movie nights consist of beasts, breasts, and blood. Where board games meet hardcore drinking. Where shuffle board and vodka end in someone breaking a hip. Where Walker fights break over Lipitor deals gone bad and senile gangs start turf wars. “Yeah you see Warriors that’s what you get when ya mess with the Orphans!”

Yes it’ll be a special day when Retroman hits the retirement scene so until then here’s to 30 more years of Lost Highway sheninigans and to future Lost Movie nights at the Shadey Twin Pines Senior Center. I hope to see ya there. Now get the hell of my lawn!

Speaking of senior citizen discounts, in Death Race 2000 old people are the top point getters for hit and runs in the Transcontinental Road Race. Surprisingly even more points than teenagers?! This must be the FUTURE! America is run by a fascists emperor calling himself the president and France has ruined the world …like we all knew it would. The only entertainment for the masses without American Idol re-runs is a race across country pitting 5 cars against each other and any people stupid enough to be jay walking. Consider it an evolution of NASCAR but now the drivers can take out the fans in the Walmart parking lot for big bonus points. David “I know kung-fu” Carradine and Sylvester “I don’t say Adriane anymore” Stallone star in this tale of competitive vehicular homocide. Mr. Caradine fresh from TV decided the best career move was to dress up in a S&M outfit and drive a lizard car. Surprisingly it worked for him. He plays the legendary frankenstein race car driver whose body has been rumored to be reconstructed from used Maytag dryer parts and duct tape allowing him not only shift the car at lightening speed but to dry his own cloths while wearing them. So big Frank and his bombshell beauty copilot Anne (Simone Griffeth) race across country against free-wheelin nazis and blood thirsty cowboys in cars with steer horns for the coveted winners circle. 1st place gets you a hand shake with the president but no commercial endorsements. that’s a whole lotta of chaffing and talcum powder for sitting in a race car that long. Little do people realize Frank has other intentions that don’t involve ads for viagra and plans to blow up the president with a makeshift “Hand” gernade himself. Meanwhile a group of revolutionaries dressed in blue jumpsuits hang around watching TV and plot to destroy the race and replaced Frankenstein with a more pudgy decoy. They learn It’s hard to fake anorexia and Frankenstein foils their plans numerous times while avoiding all their other Willy coyote trappings.*

deathrace 200The racers eventually take a pit stop at their 70’s local civic center and get all nekkid and massaged by big sides of Beef with fake tans. So many boobies! Stallone who plays Machine Gun Joe has a deep hatred of Frankenstein whom he thinks has been stealing the races and taking all his glory. Maybe if Joe stopped gunning down his fans or running over his pit crew he might be a bit more liked. At one point he gets in a scuffle with bean pole carradine when he’s found trying to choke Ann. Big Frank easily kicks Joe’s butt with his patent slow-mo kung-fu but I personally fault Joe’s pink tie. Guys in pink tennis sweaters wrapped around their necks also get beaten regularly. It’s really an epidemic.

deathrace 200Frankenstein later takes out a good dozen or so nurses and doctors at a local drive-thru hospital purposely missing those big scoring old folks parked on the street. He also takes a quick detour to run over the head of his fan club and then peels out on the pope to rack up some major pointage. Yes this is our hero ladies and gentlemen. He runs over medical personal, clergy, and his favorite fans. Later he drugs Annie with some tainted Gatoraide just in time to get dive bombed by a prop plane whose aiming skills is on par with a Glaucomic Barney Fiffe . Racers start getting offed left and right mostly through their own stupidity and it all culminates to  a showdown with the evil Mr. president. Asta la veto baby.

Roger Corman produced this film and actually though this movie would be a disaster when he first read the concept thinking it would be “just too dark and vile.” Luckily the director Paul Bartel convinced him otherwise and knew to take it in a more satirical direction. The result was pure b-movie gold. It’s one of my all time favorite b-movies as well as my first review I did for Lost Highway. So grab your leather jumpsuit and talcum powder and check out “Death Race 2000.”

– Multiple hit and runs
– 3 car explosions with crash and burn
– 6 breasts
– 1 “hand” gernade
– 1 explodo-toddler
– Black leather chaffing
– Homicidal bowling
– Bull fighting
– Exploding head fu
– Fly fishing fu

9.7 out of 10

“Myra, some people might think you’re cute, but I happen to think you’re a very large baked potato.” Wow…a big slam on potatoes everywhere. I’m sure they got letters from people in Idaho.

*ACME in no way endorses this movie or the use of their products and patent ideas for road runner capture.

Check out the trailer for Death Race 2000

About the Highway

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