Archive for the 'Review by Barry Goodall' Category

Oct

posted by admin | October 22, 2008 | Comedy, Cult Film, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall, Uncategorized

Comments Off on Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer



“His attempt to disprove the myth of eating Coca-Cola and Pop Rocks went horribly wrong.”

Road rage is all the rage these days. It seems the closer I get to Detroit the more the cars are packed in tighter together and the more irritable people get.  It unnerves me like being in an elevator with a bunch of stranger except without the added perk of body odor. You get in the lane moving fast and then it slows to a crawl meanwhile the lane you were just in suddenly become the Taladega expressway. Expecting a major pile-up of horrific carnage you finally see what people are gawking at  that caused the slow down to begin with. Just a couple empty boxes strewn across the shoulder of the pavement. No cones, no workers, no crushed cars with body limbs. Apparently the possibility that a menacing cardboard box may leap from the ditch at any moment brings traffic to a stand still. Much like a deer if you see one there are surely more to follow. The lady in front of you is taking on her cell phone and putting on makeup, filing paperwork, and is apparently delicately aligning a nuclear centrifuge system all from her car’s dashboard because she sure ain’t paying attention to the road. Then to top it off I let someone in and I don’t get the friendly hand wave back! the nerve! I let you in thereby saving you at least 30 seconds off your trip and you have the audacity to not return the customary friendly acknowledgement. Flashes of me slamming on the gas pushing their car into the guard rail like a scene out of Mad Max flash through my head, but I hold back the anger and viciously adjust my radio dial. Argh! all commercials except for Michael Bolton, That only boils my blood more.  Sfter slamming my fists on the steering and screaming at the top of my lungs I look around and notice that traffic has thinned out, the cell phone lady has friendly waved me in. Oh look the clouds have parted, a narrow beam of sunlight is guiding my way through traffic and Bobby Mcfarlane is even singing on my radio…eesh, why do people ever get so upset in traffic anyways. Thank goodness I’m not like that.

Did somebody call a plumber?Speaking of people with rage issues. Jack Brooks (Trevor Matthews) is not your typical plumber…a sort of Mario brother that lacks anger management skills. Ever since Jack witnessed the brutal slaying of his entire family on a camping trip by a bucked toothed grease monster he just can’t seem to deal with things constructively. Trips to Gander Mountain can definitely be crossed off his list of places to visit. Jack is seeing a physciatrist to help him with his uncontrollable urge to punch people. He’s also attending evening science class with his nagging girlfriend Eve to better his education. Eve, played by Rachel Skarsten, seems to be the only person who can single handidly wussify Jack with a couple choice words. This usually would take years of marriage to accomplish but Eve’s got it down pat. Robert Englund plays the class professor who invites Jack over to work on a mysterious plumbing problem at his creepy old mansion. A back-up pipe explodes as a result of Jack’s handy work unearthing a secret crate buried in his backyard. Typical contract worker, I’m sure he’ll charge extra for that too. 

Jabba lacks the charm of other Huts.Professor Crowley digs into the crate like a kid looking for the prize in a cereal box. He finds some skeletal remains, a lot of dirt, and of course a live beating heart (those are always the best prizes.) Not finding a organ donor card any other form of ID the professor suddenly eats the heart and becomes possessed by the spirit of an ancient demon. If only he had a hungry man TV diner instead. Even as a possessed drooling demonite the professor is still committed to the education system and heads to class. He’s a bit late though because he had to eat his dog on the way in. No need for a doggie bag, thank you very much. Once at class he starts burping, bloating and throwing up like a bulimic sorority girl at a frat party, that is until tentacles shoot out of his back grabbing students around the neck and turning them into blood thirsty monster through a tube of force fed demon goo. Jack and his girlfriend barely escape tearing out of the parking lot as fast as his old van will muster, but upon further reflection through a series of montage flashbacks Jack decides it’s better to fight than run to away like a little girly man. Pipe in hand and tool belt tightened, Jack heads back to the school for some monster killing therapy leaving behind his girlfriend for a hopeful mugging. Lots of monster head bashing and pipe smacking as Jack lets his inner rage go hog wild leading to the eventual big show down with the head monster.

Some great gorey effects that is straight out of a homage to some of the great 1980’s splatter films and a must see for fans of Evil Dead series. Jack Brooks is no Ash and lacks his witty charm, but if my toilet ever gets plugged up with netherworld demonites then I’ll know who to call. Retroman Steve says check it out but bring some liquid Draino and a plunger for those tough hair clogs. 

Roadside Attractions

-1 angry tribal cyclops
-1 girly pen
-Native tossing
-2 Doggie snacks
-Extreme plumbing
-Demon sinus vaporizing mist
-Tentacle lassoing
-Demon-goo beer bonging
-Monster head bunting
-Jabba the Hut look-alike contest
-Axe throwing
-Heart munching
-Obligatory creepy hardware salesman warning of doom

rated 8.6 out of 10 for the movie

See Jack run…run jack run.

See Jack smash monster with drain pipe…..smash Jack smash.

 

 

Check out the trailer for Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

Sep

Comments Off on The Wraith

the wraith

“I can put my whole fist in my mouth. That’s how much I love you.”

 I used to do a lot of sketching back in junior high, since I had plenty of a thing they call “free time.” Mostly I’d draw zombies chasing cheerleaders or aliens with three boobs vaporizing gym teachers with their brain explodo-rays, but occasionally I’d like to draw cars of the future. I’d draw cool prototypes that would push the boundaries of car aerodynamics and practicality to whole new levels, all in my preparation for my inevitable GM takeover. I’d spend hours sketching my plans: I had a vehicle with built-in hover tires a la “Back to the Future”, so when traffic was heavy you could fly to the nearest 7-11; a big wing spoiler for fast getaways from the fuzz; and integrated side-view mirrors that the designers of the Ford Probe ripped-off from me before I could patent them.  It could also do 0-60 mph in three seconds, travel through time, and ran on a combo of vegetable oil and Diet Dr. Pepper. I haven’t gotten that vice president position at GM yet, but wait until someone “accidentally” electrocutes themselves on one these alien technology Chevy Volts. Then they’ll be breaking out the cans of Diet Dr. Pepper!  Electric cars–oh please. That’s so 1950’s. I think bigger. Cars that will cook your meals and give you full body massages; cars that display an LED middle finger to the guy tailgating you; or even hover cars for your pets!  Then my era of tyranny will begin (mad scientist laughter)!  In the meantime, maybe I’ll just do some mug sketches at the police station, or better yet, court room drawings. I bet those guys are pulling in some major bank.

In the movie “The Wraith” we get to see a prototype car brought to life from the kings of two-star crash test rating, Chrysler. Don’t worry, Chrysler lawyer guys, I haven’t found my old transformer sketchpad yet, so I can’t prove you stole my ideas. However, if you happen to leave a Dodge Viper in my garage, we can just call it even. Charlie Sheen plays 

Jake, the avenging spirit of a young man named James who was killed a few years earlier by the town’s one and only car racing, chop-shopping punk-rockin’ gang. Packard is their leader, who stabbed James when he caught him getting naked with his girlfriend, Keri. Perhaps Packard just saw the show “Two and a Half Men”, and that drove him to fits of homicidal rage.  Jake’s/James’ revenge weapon of choice is a Chrysler Interceptor prototype, except this car doesn’t run on unleaded–it runs on soul-sucking, netherworld power. It’s also indestructible and leaves its victims without their eyeballs and with a severe case of albinism.

Two of Packard’s gang members, Skank and Gutterboy (named that because their mommas didn’t liked them), and a Jimmy Neutron hair stylin’ Clint Howard are told to keep tabs on Keri, who’s been hanging out a lot lately with Jake since he stalked her at the quarry. When does Jake find the time for romance and quarry haunting with all the killing he has to get done? Gang members are picked-off one by one in various car races on the back roads near town, where the loser earns a head-on collision with the Interceptor in a fiery death of twisted metal. Yet each subsequent driver always feels like this time he’ll be the lucky winner and not end up engulfed in a ball of flames as his soul is siphoned off for the Wraith’s soul engine. The only thing that can stop the revenge Sheen-spree is Randy Quaid, the local inept law enforcement officer, and when he’s not spouting redneck Haikus, he’s roughing-up punk teens and trying to play catch-up to the death-mobile.  

Clint Howard

Packard has become more and more irritable as his gang membership dues are dwindling, so he kidnaps Keri, who unfortunately picked  the worst time to grow a spine and stand up to him with harsh words about his manhood and choice of hair gels.  Before Packard can man-handle Keri, the wraith car shows up for one final big race.  It kills Packard, and then James or Jake leaves the killer car with his brother, so he can drive off into the sunset with Keri on his unholy dirt bike. “Thanks, bro, for leaving me the car that every cop in the county is looking for.”

“Hey, it’s hos before the bros.” – Charlie Sheen

A great late-night 80’s sci-fi classic that used to play endlessly on TNT before Ted Turner went stone-cold bonkers.  While not on par with classics like “Gone in 60 Seconds” or “Vanishing Point”, it’s still a Charlie Sheen-tastic movie.  However, the real star of the show–in my opinion–is the cool-as-ice Dodge Interceptor.  I bet Charlie never thought he’d get out-acted by a car. I bet Charlie’s mom never thought he would act.

Roadside Attractions

-roller derby hooter girls
-fuel sipping punk rockers
-automobile shot put
-Randy Quaid-o-rama
-glowing leg braces
-Sheen-tastical stunts
-5 car explosions
-1 motorcycle chase
-redneck hot tubbing
-quarry beach sunbathing
-Chrysler teleportor/Onstar upgrade 

rated 9.1 out of 10 for the movie

“Can your drug-fried brain handle that, maggot?  Or have you been too busy pulling your insignificant pud to pay attention?”

Randy Quaid, your words are like golden nuggets of wisdom from heaven.  Little known fact, Randy Quaid also runs on a combo of vegetable oil and Diet Dr. Pepper.

Check out the trailer for The Wraith

Sep

posted by admin | September 19, 2008 | 70's movies, Grindhouse, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Black Mamma, White Mamma



“I only wear this shirt to distract people from my face. It’s my only defense.”

On some undisclosed island in the South Pacific, Pam Grier plays Lee Danier, an angry hooker in an evening dress who gets sent to a not-so-classy women’s reform prison in the middle of the jungle. Do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200.  There’s also Karen, played by Margaret Markov,who has likewise earned herself some prison time, due to her nasty habit of trying to instigate revolutions on communist islands. But she looks more like she barely escaped her last photo shoot. Karen and Lee don’t play well together, especially in confined spaces. So when they misbehave in the cafeteria, they’re forced to stand in a walk-in Easy Bake Oven out in the sun for the day as punishment. Fortunately we’ve got a non-stick cooking Pam as our star. The wardens are fed-up with having to break-up their catfights, which cuts into their group shower ogling time. So they chain the two together; make them wear yellow, prison issued mini-skirts; and send them on a bus trip to be interrogated. The bus ride comes to a quick halt, though, when Karen’s rabble-rousing friends attack the convoy. We know they’re revolutionaries because of the amount of their facial hair. The longer your mustache, the more you’re fightin’ “The Man.”

Lee and Karen barely escape into the jungle during the poorly planned rescue attempt, and are forced to hitchhike as nuns across the island and negotiate with oily, fat guys before stabbing them with a screwdriver. They sure make Catholic school nuns almost look tame by comparison. A corrupt cop is sent to track the nuns on the run, but only if he can break away from watching the local drunks play pool long enough. There’re also some hired thugs who are looking for Lee since she is one their prized hookers–their “best in show ho.” They inconspicuously drive around in a giant, decorated, clown jeep, blaring Mexican show tunes, possibly hoping for some women prisoners to just suddenly dart out in front of them, but instead they end up in pointless gunfights or wrestling around in their underwear with the locals. Not quite sure who’re the good guys and bad guys in this one, but I do know that hired thugs look particularly disturbing in baby blue western shirts.

Wouldn’t you think that would hurt your street cred a bit if you wore a shirt like that? Ruben is the head thug with the worst fashion sense, played by Rob Zombie’s favorite psycho, Sid Hag. He reminds me a bit of a local used car salesman, but without the charm and trustworthiness. “Come on down to Ruben Ford–free drug bribes for the kids!”

This is a good little exploitation film, light on the exploitation but heavy on the facial hair and gunfights. Also check out Pam Grier in “Coffy”, another great early blaxploitation movie from the 70’s. She’s all Coffy…without the caffeine.

Roadside Attractions

-Peeping Tom wardens
-chain chockin’
-convincts in a can
-jungle cat fights
-nuns on the run
-jump-starting hookers
-gratuitous use of a western shirt
-puppies with underwear hats
-21 breasts
-37 deaths
-multiple shootouts
-circus mercenary jeeps
-tempera paint blood splatters

rated 7.7 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Black Mamma, White Mamma

Sep

posted by admin | September 2, 2008 | 80's movies, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall, Slasher, Slasher films

Comments Off on Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
“Freddy’s worse fear? Missing an episode of “Desperate Housewives.” That’s why he upgraded his new glove with TIVO.”

You know you’re getting old when 9:00 PM rolls around and you’ve already started yawning. Your eyelids are getting mighty heavy while watching “Antiques Road Show”, and you’re pretty winded from trying to find your copy of Reader’s Digest in the couch cushions. That pretty much sums-up my late nights. How far am I away from a nice cup of chamomile tea and a warm seltzer bath with the sounds of Kenny G playing on my clock radio?  I sure miss those college nights when I could stay up all night watching horror movies and playing my Sega Dreamcast. I’d awake the next morning in my Lazyboy surrounded by Cheetos wrappers and empty Diet Coke cans, then bike it to class with no problems.  I’d just need a light nap during anatomy class to rejuvenate me for the rest of the afternoon. In a class hall filled with about 500-plus students, you’d find the back row was a inconspicuous place to curl up for a nice snooze. I think  half of the back row was still in their pajamas, anyway. Did you know there’re about a thousand bones in the human hand named after dead Latin saints? Neither did I, but I think that’s what I dreamed about as I faded out to the monotonous voice of our professor.  “Hey tell the guy down in front to pipe down, we’re trying to catch some sleep back here. Could ya dim those lights, too, while you’re at it? Thanks.”  Sure, I had the option to examine medical cadavers for some extra credit, but I was traumatized enough when my goldfish died, so seeing the pickled liver of pale Joe Average didn’t exactly appeal to me. The class was a well-needed rest even at $250 a credit hour; and yes, I know $250 per credit hour sounds cheap nowadays, but that was big bucks back then. We only had dial-up Internet, giant cell phones, our music was still on CDs, and we liked it that way.  I still think it was a wise choice taking the  passing grade with  in-class dreams of dead Latin saints riding around in go-karts on tracks made of pudding. Maybe I  should have skipped the BBQ pork-rinds the night before.

Freddy in OZSpeaking of weird snack-induced dreams, “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare” is the conclusion to the popular Elm St. Franchise, or as I like to call it, “The Final Cash-in.” Our dream Host-with-the-Most returns to don his fedora and Christmas sweater for the final time. Nevermind the eventual “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare “ and “Freddy vs. Jason” films that were to follow. Freddy’s dead for sure…and this time, they mean it!

It’s been 10 years since Freddy’s last carnage. Springwood’s youth has been wiped out and property values are in the gutter, while most of the older residents have either left or gone crazy. Johnny, the last remaining teenager from Springwood, is having nightmares of air travel in coach and homicidal bus drivers, so he decides to head out of town on foot to avoid any mass transit problems. Johnny hits his head on a rock and gets a nasty case of amnesia and is dropped off at a nearby
town’s de-militarized youth shelter. There he meets up with Spencer, a stoner who has an uncanny resemblance to the “You’re getting a Dell, dude” dude; Tracy, a karate kickin’ PMS-in’ teenager with major Daddy issues; and Carlos, a partially deaf Ralph Machio lookalike with a gigantic
hearing aid from the 1970s. Watching Roseanne Barover all of them is Kim, their somewhat creepy youth counselor, whose main therapy involves taking them on weekend drives to towns inhabited by psychotic Roseanne Barrs and hyperactive Tom Arnolds. Perhaps the Springwood kids weren’t killed off–maybe they just left. Discovering the dreams of her past are intertwined with Johnny and the town, Maggie’s trip to Springfield is also her quest to discover the mysterious roots of her family tree,
and why she has flashbacks of watertowers and guys in ‘50s sweater vests.

freddy artThe town seems to have no way out, nor any Red Roof Inns, so they decide to crash at the always-open Elm St. house. While napping, Carlos meets his quick demise via a Q-tip impalement and a hearing test of torture with the sounds of scratching chalkboards. But at least Carlos’s earwax is no longer a problem. Spencer hallucinates on the couch and gets zapped into a videogame where Freddy is King Kuppa, and he’s a stoned Luigi who ends up having his chest stomped on like the ringer in an amateur wrestling match. Meanwhile, Johnny is yet again attempting sky diving lessons in his dream, but lands face-first on a
bed of nails from a faulty Freddy parachute. All this carnage is just part of Freddy’s bigger plan to move on to greener pastures outside the town of Springwood. After all “every town has an Elm Street.” Every town also has a Wal-Mart and Rite-Aid, so I’m not sure Freddy’s relocation would really bring that much more evil. Maggie and Tracy return to the youth shelter with fewer passengers, but they now have a local dream philosopher who has decided to take on Freddy on his own turf. By entering his own dreams and memories, they plan to bring him back into the real world via an extended bear-hug. Little did Freddy realize his greatest weakness was a nice, big hug… Oh, and a stick of dynamite slammed into his chest. KAAA-BOOOM! Freddy-bits everywhere.

Freddy’s dead…if the title didn’t already tell you so. Easily on par with “The Dream Master” in its zaniness. He is still a psychotic wise-cracker with lots of creative kills left in his bag of tricks. A fun little horror movie that offers up more goofiness than any real scares, but well worth checking out. Too bad they didn’t include the 3D glasses like they did with the original theatrical release, but you do get to see Johnny Depp get hit in the face with a frying pan. You’ll end up with an unhealthy fear of Q-tips, but at least you won’t fear pudding and go-karts like me.

Roadside Attractions

-death by airplane decompression
-hit-and-run transit authorities
-gratuitous map folding
-extreme ear cleaning
-Inagodadavida Freddy
-Roseanne Barr-zilla
-Freddy power-glove
-skydiving safety lessons
-frying pan-fu
-Alice Cooper smackdowns
-knife throwing exhibitions
-Super Mario’s World of Death

rated 8.7 out of 10 for the movie

You can WATCH THE WHOLE DANG MOVIE RIGHT HERE!

Aug

Comments Off on The Bubble in 3D (revisited review)

supersize chicken nuggests
“A lone Chicken McNugget from the new Super Happy Meals plots it’s unholy revenge.”

Saturday afternoons were always about some great television. After a morning of cartoons and a serving of Soul Train, you knew to prepare yourself for some great edited-for-TV B-movie goodness. One afternoon feature that I remember vividly was “The Bubble”, also known as “Fantastic Invasion of the Planet Earth.”  Sounding more like an ad for a giant household cleanser, it was actually a pretty good sci-fi film from 1966. It was also the first film to employ a new polarized 3D effect from a single strip/one projector method, and was a heavily guarded secret by the director. While the effects were impressive for the time, at 112 minutes long, audiences didn’t have the patience to wait for the eventual cut scenes of a rake being thrust at them, or a floating tray of bottles. After initial poor returns, they cut the length down to 90 minutes for a re-release in 1976, and then down to 75 minutes for subsequent releases. Putting it on a sort of sci-fi diet, the result was a pretty good extended Twilight Zone episode.
long, The story revolves around a young pregnant couple, Michael and Deborah (she’s the pregnant one), who for some reason decide to take a late night plane ride right before the birth of their child, thus leaving their poor cigarettes and martinis all alone at home. They encounter a freak storm and are forced to land on a makeshift runway.  Johnny, their air-preggo pilot extraordinaire, hails a taxi cab for a quick ride into town for an emergency baby delivery. The streets  are eerily deserted that night, but the very next day they discover them filled with dazed townsfolk, as if emerging from an all night C-SPAN marathon. Touring around town with a new baby in tow they find the town is also filled with props, statues, and other strange cultural memorabilia, as if it was a movie studio backlot. The strange residences walking about the streets just  keep repeating the same things over and over again, seemingly unaware of their presence as they go about their routine. Effectively creeped-out by this, they decide to get out of town but find that their plane has disappeared from the landing spot. Johnny, emotionally distraught over the love lost for his plane, goes on a drinking binge at a western saloon, complete with its own catatonic bartender, mute show girl, and booze-serving ghost. Whether he hallucinates that last one is up for debate, but he sobers up pretty quickly when he and Michael find a strange alien structure in the center of town. It’s the biggest paper machee project known to man that people can walk in and out of like it’s their own personal Walmart supercenter. No price-cutting sales here though, only alien brainwashing and yummy bio nourishment for the townsfolk. Like many dimwitted B-movie characters, they have to investigate it, and discover a lone barco-lounger chair inside. Johnny decides that’s as good a place as any to take a load off, but instead of getting a nice back massage from its magic fingers, the chair zaps his brain with a hallucination of cheap Halloween masks. It’s a Lazyboy of evil! When will people learn not to sit in alien chairs?

Johnny seems to get a sort of psychedelic high off the chair zapper and drives them all out of town in an Army convoy truck, ignoring the chair’s warning label not to operate heavy machinery after use. About 20 miles out of town they encounter a giant reflective barrier wall. It’s the biggest gold fish bowl ever, trapping them like animals in a zoo. The only logical course of action when faced with a giant impenetrable wall is to try to drive through it, so Johnny and his new catatonic girlfriend from the saloon attempt to ram it at full speed. The truck explodes into a firey ball of death and gets levitated into the air just as Johnny safely leaps out, thus ending the longest relationship Johnny has ever had. Why must everything Johnny loves be destroyed? Johnny takes off running into the woods a little goofed-up from his brain shock therapy and the trauma from blowing up his girlfriend.

Deborah and Michael find an old mill where they and their baby can stay hidden away from the alien watchers that pass overhead in a solar eclipse. Michael tries digging under the wall in hopes of escape andDeborah starts up an arts and crafts class while going a little nutty. The final portion of this movie was mostly scenes of  Michael digging…and digging, but Johnny does eventually reappear just long enough to avoid fixing a flat tire and to get pulled up into the sky by the alien abductors. I doubt AAA Roadside Service covers that.

I saw this movie when I was 9 years old and it scared the bejeebers out of me. However, on a recent viewing it definitely didn’t have the same type of “shock” value it once had. If you can get past some of the awkward dialogue and occasional William Shatner-ish style of acting, you’ll find a fun, creepy sci-fi film. There’s also an interesting social/theological commentary of whether these aliens are actually a representation of God and how we are the mindless masses of this town being watched within this glass container, all stuck in our own repetitive daily routines. You’ll never look at your goldfish in the same way, I guarantee.

There’s more below the surface of this film, and it is definitely worth tracking down the Rhino DVD release. Retroman says to check it out, but bring a shovel. There’s a lot of digging to be done…lots and lots of digging.

Keep an eye out for…

– Halloween mask shock therapy
– extreme digging
– 1 booze serving ghost
– 1 Army truck explosion
– catatonic townsfolk
– 1 giant paper machee rock-cave
– obsessive-compulsive digging
– fly-by solar eclipses
– malfunctioning alien lounge chairs
– gratuitous thrusting of 3D objects at viewers

rated 8.3 out of 10 for the movie

The Bubble, now with 30% more cleaning power.

Check out this teaser trailer from The Bubble

About the Highway

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