Archive for the 'Reviews by General Relativity' Category

Jul

Comments Off on Summertime B-movies

The Burning: chosen by General Relativity

Cropsey, protagonist slasher of “The Burning”, is a camp maintenance dude who is brutally burned in prank gone wrong. Written by Oscar-grubbing producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, “The Burning” is one of the archetypal summer camp slasher movies. Among the highlights, a brutally slow murder of a prostitute and incredibly swift takedown of about five kids on a raft using an absurdly sharp pair of hedge clippers. Also Jason “George Costanza” Alexander plays a a cool athletic bro, whose full head of curly hair is the envy of all campers and Fisher Stevens, of Short Circuit, plays a skinny weirdo. I can relate to Cropsey. When I was in 3rd grade, I attended Junior Chrono-scout camp. I was teased by the cool kids and jocks, probably because my interests skewed toward reading books about spacetime rather than pogs or yo-yos. One night, when I was out stargazing with my melvin friends, Ed Podgorski took my whitey tighty briefs out of my bag and threw them on the roof of the cabin. So I murdered him and his entire group of friends and I have returned to the Junior Chrono-naut Camp ever year on the anniversary to exact the same vengeance.

Friday the 13th: Part 3D: chosen by Die-Anne Takillya

To me, this is the best of the F13 franchise. Of course, I’m a sucker for cheesy 3D effects; after all, nothing says ‘good times’ like objects flying at your face… ahem.  But yes, this is the flick with some of the best kills: Harpoon gun to the eye, bare hands skull crushing, upside down male bisection right through the groceries, yikes!! Also, for my money, this one has the best old guy that predicts doom for the horny teenagers, I mean, he’s waving an eyeball around! Why don’t they listen? My only complaint about this one is the ridiculous side-story about Chris and her already surviving Jason once. Personally, I think final girl rules should have applied here, and she should have ended up taking a dirt nap, just like Adrienne King’s character in Part 2. But, we have to chase her traumatized behind around and she has not one, but two- count ’em: TWO! floating canoe hallucination-driven freakouts before the authorities drag her out of our lives forever. The hallmark of this one is of course Jason donning his trademark hockey mask, red markings and all. Other highlights include wormy boy getting the best of some rude biker punks, an excellent sweater knotted around the neck by Rick, Chris’ uptight yuppie boyfriend, and a pair of the biggest bongs I’ve ever seen. Let’s pack up and take a trip to Crystal Lake!

Madman: chosen by The Goon

Would you believe that Madman was originally based on the Cropsy Murders tale? No? Are you calling me a liar? Well, it’s true. But some other movie called The Burning came out first (heard that some Fisher Stevens and Jason Alexander dudes were in it and that Tom Savini guy did the effects… might be worth checking out), so they had to tweak the story a bit. Madman takes place on the last day of camp and during a cautionary tale about the title character, Madman Marz, one of the campers shouts his name and so the hunt begins! Marz, a very large dude who stomps around ripping and bashing things apart, stalks the camp, picking off the stupid counselors one by one as they do stupid things. Have I mentioned they’re stupid? They follow the formulated clichés, which could turn you off, but luckily the film saves it with over the top, gory deaths. Madman takes course over one dark night, which helps keep the story flowing at a good pace and I have to mention how well lit this movie is. The blue hues, mixed with the ambiance of howling wind and creaking wood floors, give the film a calm, but alarming feel to it. Overall, Madman is an underrated slasher, most likely due to its seemingly simple setup… and hammy acting, but underneath that is a gory, interesting slasher flick with a lot to offer. During the film, you’re left with that ‘last day of camp’ sadness, because you found who you were, you made friends and now you’re leaving… because you are being murdered. Oh, don’t expect this film to end happily. Interesting enough, there was supposed to be a sequel, involving the two surviving characters, one of which was institutionalized, but it never came to be. Oh yeah, check out my video review for Madman!

Hotel Hell: chosen by Barry Goodall

There are a lot of reasons not to stay in  cheap motels in the south. Bed bugs, cross burnings in the courtyards or the possibility of ending up in the owner’s BBQ recipe just to name a few. Motel Hell instilled this fear in me at an early age and nearly made me go vegan. Well only briefly, but who really wants to move to Portland? It stars the amazing Rory Calhoun as the hotel owner Farmer Vincent. He and his crazy sister have been kidnapping tourists and grinding them up into their BBQ meat to sell to the townsfolk.  But a good BBQ recipe is all in the preparation and Farmer Vincent likes to plant his victims up to their necks first and then cuts their vocal cords so they sound like they’re gargling mouth wash. I think that keeps em’ from tasting too gamey. Silly at times and disturbing at others it’s one of the classic summer time b-movies. Also be on the lookout for a guy in a pig’s head with a chainsaw during the gratuitous “damsel in distress strapped to a conveyor belt” scene. Remember, it takes all kinds of critters…to make Farmer Vincents fritters.

Jaws: chosen by Tiger Sixon

Most horror films make ya scared of the dark, be it with mask wearing psychos, slime covered aliens, or zombie insurance salesmen. It takes a special kind of horror film to make you scared of the DAY, as Jaws does. Nothing screams “summertime” more than swimming on a crowded beach on a nice afternoon. In Jaws though, the screams of “summertime” quickly turn to “SHARK!” as a man-eating beast from the deep makes a snack out o’ humans. The shark ruins all kinds of summer fun: sailing, swimming, holiday trips with relatives you can’t stand, and more. With blood and beast to spare, Jaws remains a summer classic–and still keeps people outta the water.
Sleepaway Camp: chosen by DoktorSummer is a accursed mixture of the sublime and the horrific: beautiful girls in bikinis and screaming heat waves which melt pavement; three months off and nothing to do; summer camp. Summer camp is the epitome of the best and worst that summer has to offer, and Sleepaway Camp is the motion picture embodiment of summer camp. There are horny, idiot boys and snotty, mean girls. Creepy camp counselors and staff. Idiotic group games and activities. Awkward making out which reminds you of the time you secretly watched Daddy and second daddy making love. Wait, what? … And then there’s the really scary stuff, the things you get lifelong therapy for: short shorts and half shirts, on the guys. BLARGH! Best of all, just like boarding the bus to return home, Sleepaway Camp knows how to put innocent summer fun to an end with extreme prejudice. Choke on that, M. Night Shyamalan.

Apr

posted by General Relativity | April 19, 2013 | Action, New Releases, Reviews by General Relativity

Comments Off on Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

universal Solider Day of Reckoning

One of the weirdest action movies of the 2010s is an obscure almost-straight-to-dvd sequel to a little-loved 90s Van Damme/Dolph Lundgren conflagration. There have been five sequels to “Universal Soldier,” and outside of the original, which is mostly notable for being one of the few JCVD movies where our hero does not sport a mullet, I have only seen this one, and its not what you think…

universal Solider Day of ReckoningIt is true I saw this movie on altering substances, probably Tek or Snow Crash (it was a crazy night), but either way it was a grim experience that lingered for days. The best one sentence description would be: David Lynch and David Cronenberg decide to co-direct Philip K. Dick’s “The Bourne Identity,” as adapted by Ingmar Bergman, after a weekend of binge-watching “Last Year at Marienbad” on mushrooms and peyote. Obviously this movie is mandatory for all you knuckleheads.

It is strange that it took so long for the direct-to-dvd action genre, with its limited budgets and limited revenue potential, to turn out something this experimental and pretentious. And yet here we are presented with artist John Hyams, son of 80s b-giant Peter Hyams (he of “2010: The Year We Make Contact” and “The Relic” fame), who through some twisted genius and ambition decided to make a pulp horror film with nigh-unrivaled action sequences for our on-demand age.

Although JCVD and Dolph get top billing, the main character is Australian upstart Scott Adkins. Scott wakes from a sleep to witness his family slaughtered and his brains beat in. Did I mention that this sequence is filmed in the first-person perspective? Did I mention the seizure-inducing strobes? Scott emerges from a coma and decides to avenge his universal Solider Day of Reckoningfamily, descending into a Hieronymus Bosch netherworld governed by a psychotic Dolph Lundgren and some kind of Bizarro Van Damme from Hell. Both heroes have never been more deranged, perhaps because in spite of their top billing they obviously spent 2 hours filming their scenes before cashing out and rolling over for brunch at Spago.

This movie has visceral action. This is not the place for wimpy dance-fighting where actors flutter like delightful sprites while barely grazing each other with soft slaps. The fight scene in the sporting goods store must be seen to be believed.

The Lessons from “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning”:

-Are you an automaton or do you have free will?
-Is religion the path to truth or the means of control?
-Is the ideal goal of humanity an Übermensch or “die Letzte Mensch”? And if I am a “last man” what is so wrong with that, sometimes it gets cold and I like to cuddle in a quilt with my dog and watch Point Break, and who cares what some syphilitic German thinks about that anyway?
-What is even going on in this movie?
-WTF?!?!

roadside attractions

  • Pretentious art films starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • Dolph Lundgren, Renaissance Man
  • Kabuki warpaint
  • Baseball bat swordfights
  • Nausea
  • Strobelights
  • Incoherent non-linear narrative
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Um. Don’t worry about that.

8

blood

BREASTS

Yeah, that happens, but I didn’t feel very clean about it.

10

beast

BEASTS

Jean Claude Van Damme as Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. Bald, insane, babbling, sweaty. Also, whoever that dude with the beard is, he is pretty awesome

9 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoninge”

trailers

dripper
Feb

posted by General Relativity | February 6, 2013 | 90's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Reviews by General Relativity

Comments Off on Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies.

Wishmaster is basically like the worst grammar nazi friend ever. Not in the sense that the Wishmaster corrects you when you use “lesser” when you mean “fewer” and gets all pissy when people say “very unique.” Rather, Wishmaster takes everything you say absolutely literally. On top of that he is completely evil. So he will interpret whatever you say in the most detailed, literal, and evil way possible. For example, if you were to say “I wish I could fly,” the WIshmaster would make you levitate into the atmosphere until you froze in the blackness of space. Or, to take another example, if you were in prison and upset about that situation and said, “I wish my good for nothing lawyer would go copulate with himself, such is my hate for him.” (but in not those exact words), the Wishmaster would make the lawyer copulate with himself. Seriously. That actually happens in the movie (NSFW).

The plot of Wishmaster 2, much like its inferior predecessor, consists of the titular evil genie, played by the amazing Andrew Divoff, going from situation to situation tricking hapless mortals into making wishes which he interprets in the most literal and frequently gory and hilarious way possible. For some reason, the Wishmaster decides to get himself arrested so he can go to prison, where people wish things like “I wish I could slip through these bars” with predictably gory results. Anyway, the plot isn’t important. Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies is a hidden gem of 90’s b-horror, mostly thanks to the deliriously hammy Divoff. He is like a performance artist from some edgy comedy troupe dropped into a horror movie. With his demented rictus and bizarre line readings, his interactions with actors attempting (and failing) at naturalism become more surreal than scary.

The Lessons from “Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies”:

-Just leave the mystical lamp/gem/whatever alone. Don’t polish it.
-If you are going to make a wish, make sure its carefully wordsmithed beforehand.

roadside attractions

  • Evil Detail-Oriented Genie
  • Wishes Granted
  • Excellent 1990’s Fashions
  • Prisoners Tormented
  • Gang Bangers
  • Talking Placentas
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

All you could wish for.

1

blood

BREASTS

Nobody wishes to get laid by a supermodel. Do the filmmakers know their audience? Isn’t that the most common wish?

10

beast

BEASTS

I wish Divoff’s Wishmaster was rightfully heralded along the great new wave horror monsters

9 OVERALL
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Check out this trailer from “WISHMASTER 2 EVIL NEVER DIES”

trailers

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Dec

posted by General Relativity | December 30, 2012 | Horror movies, modern horror, Reviews by General Relativity

Comments Off on Lake Mungo

Much as the internet lowers the barrier to entry for knuckle-dragging troglodytes to express their worthless opinions about the merit of b-movies, so too has the rise of the found footage fad allowed technically unskilled and narratively challenged knuckle-dragging troglodytes to make horror movies on the cheap. To be fair, not all found footage movies are nauseatingly shot, woodenly acted, and plotless, “Blair Witch Project” and “REC” being notably respectable.  Or take “Lake Mungo” — a relatively obscure Austrialian horror film from 2008 that I absolutely need to share with you.

Lake Mungo is not strictly a found footage movie. It is a fake documentary, with the obligatory interviews and reenactments, while substantially incorporating found footage. 16-year old Alice drowns while swimming. As her family mourns her, they begin to experience strange phenomena. Haunting images appear in photographs. They contact a psychic. Eventually they discover that Alice kept horrible secrets.

Lake Mungo is definitely scary (more in a slow-burn atmospheric way– and OMG THAT ENDING!!!), but it is also sad. It is a meditation on loss and the unknown. Can we ever really know those closest to us? Why is Australia so creepy?

The Lessons from “Lake Mungo”:

-Your teenager is probably up to something messed up right now.
-Seriously, you should be talking to your teenager right now, before she dies.
-Don’t go to Lake Mungo at night.
-Some found footage movies aren’t stupid, they can be legit means for independent filmmakers to do something awesome.

roadside attractions

  • Terrifying end credits
  • Middle aged Psychics
  • Australian Accents
  • Sadly, no Killer Kangaroos
  • Dead Teenagers
  • Ghostly Rooms
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

There are some disturbing shots of corpses, but this is mostly an atmospheric sort of movie.

3

blood

BREASTS

Blurry, nothing to get excited about. Disturbing.

2

beast

BEASTS

The beast is loss and sadness. Bummer.

7 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this trailer from “Lake Mungo”

trailers

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Dec

Comments Off on our picks for best post-apocalyptic films

The Mayans may have just punked us for armageddon so we thought it might be best to get our favorite post-apocalyptic films online just in case they forgot daylight savings. Sure the Mayans brought us corn and mayonaise but they could have never predicted these films of the apocalypse. So without further ado, here’s our mutant editor’s picks.


Di-Anne Takillya’s Pick: “Escape from New York”

Escape From New York: My favorite above all other post-apocalyptic movies; The president’s plane has crash-landed in the New York penal colony, and they’ve gotta get him out! But how? Send in the ultimate in bad-assery, Snake Plissken! The eyepatch wearin’, scruffy-cheeked, leather-clad assassin is basically shanghaied by the government to go get the President back. He’s given a glider, a tracker, and a gun, then dropped over the fence. He meets up with a cabbie who runs the streets like the Devil hisseself is at his heels, and joins forces with The Brain and Adrienne Barbeau to pry the president from the clutches of The Duke. (Who, incidentally, is A-Number 1, and don’t you forget it!) Chock full of fights, sneaking around, and horrible (early) computer graphics, you get your top-secret cassette tape’sworth out of this flick. I watch this movie almost religiously; which is getting rough on my liver, because if you watch the movie like I do, you take a drink every time someone says, “Snake,” “Plissken,” “Duke,” or “President.”

I can’t go this whole time without mentioning that Donald Plesance plays the president, and you can tell that Dr. Loomis has done very well for himself, except for now The Duke is holding him for ransom, and The Duke is one bad mother- Shut your mouth! Hey, I’m just talking about The Duke! He’s debasing and humiliating the president, and that just won’t be tolerated! The Snake… Plisskin busts him loose, and the chase is on! Blam, boom, POW! The president is safe, long live democracy! A happy, or at least as happy an ending as John Carpenter will allow, which I think is good when the apocalypse is going down. At least there aren’t any aliens or the anti-Christ!

Tiger Sixon’s Pick: “The Road Warrior”

Resource scarcity is a scary thing, be it water, Twinkies, or as Road Warrior (aka Mad Max 2) warns us, clothing. Wait, I mean gasoline. There seems to be a shortage of pants as well for some reason, as leather underwear is pretty much the standard workplace attire. As a post-apocalyptic fable, Road Warrior nails it: civilization has gone to hell (at least in Australia. Things might be slightly better in Milwaukee), gasoline is worth more than gold, and it is survival of the fittest.

And like any great b-movie, Road Warrior has a villain wearing a goalie mask: The Humungus. He speaks a bit more than Jason too, or heck even Max himself. That’s right, Mel Gibson, back before he went off the deep end, only has about four lines. Maybe five an’ half. I ain’t counting grunts an’ groans neither. That would probably bump him up to about ten.

Survival is a main theme of Road Warrior, as in bein’ able to survive on what ya can. If that means eatin’ dog food, so be it. If that means picking over corpses for music boxes, OK. And if’n that means having to sew yer own leather jackets or underoos, then go for it. Yes, Road Warrior is pretty much a documentary survival. Except super-violent and full of desolation. But, if you look past all the sand, blood, and leather, Road Warrior teaches ya a few things.

The most important of which might be: “Don’t try to catch a razor sharp boomerang with yer bare hands.”

Tiger Sixon says, Road Warrior is a must watch.

General Relativity’s Pick: “Waterworld.”

I am from the future, so to me what you call a “post-apocalyptic thriller” is what I would call a “documentary.”  Of these, Waterworld most accurately portrays the poisoned ecological hellscape you people have inflicted upon my present.  Sure, they laughed at Kevin Costner back in 1995, but now that your cities are flooding, and the fish and polar bears are dying, and the rains have stopped, I don’t see anyone giggling.  Just wait until the fish-people start showing up.


Also, “Waterworld” is hilarious.  I mean, the dude drinks his pee.  And there is our dearly departed Dennis Hopper in a performance second only to his turn in “Super Mario Brothers.”  And Jane Tripplehorn was at her hottest in 1995.  And how did those horses survive on Everest?  Wouldn’t the Yetis rule the Earth?  These questions aside, I recommend you start saving up your dirt to use as money, because you want to be in the 1% when the ice caps flood and the evil jet ski pirates show up for your trimaran.  Dry land is not a myth!


The Doktor’s Pick: “Hell Comes to Frogtown”

Michael Stipe said it best when he said, “Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.” Personally that song gives me the diarrhea (cha, cha, cha), but that’s neither here nor there.

Speaking of painful colonic discharge, how’s about that Mayan end o’ the world stuff? If this is the end of the world, I feel fine. Mostly because the end is like every other day. Mostly.

What would be awesome is if the end of the world was exactly like Hell Comes to Frogtown. The frog mutant creatures would be a bummer, but getting chauffeured in a 50’s panel van with a M60 machine gun, piloted by Sandahl “Valeria” Bergman and Cec Verrell would more than make up for it.

Here’s the gist: Nuclear war mutates frogs into mutant frog men creatures, sterilizes most of humanity and kills off most of the men. Into this arena comes a man, Sam Hell (Roddy “Hot Rod” Piper). Naturally, it’s his duty to get up in that boo— I, erhm, mean, he is sought after for his milk of mannesia, as it were, by the provisional government to help bolster the human population. The only problem is, the fertile virgins he has to impregnate are in the clutches of Commander Toty, the evil leader of the greenies, a derogatory term for the frog people. So Sam, Spangle and Centinella have to make a trip to Frogtown to get ‘em back. Can he do it? Hell yeah! It’s Roddy “Nada” Piper. Duh!

Giallo Goon’s Pick: “Future Force”

In the distant future 1991, so the distant future about twenty years ago, crime was at an all time high. The cops are no longer in control, so they were sold to a corporation (no, not OCP) who then rounded up the rootinest, tootenest rowdy bounty hunters there ever were. They were judge, jury and executioners. They were known as Judges… oh, sorry. I was thinking of a better movie. These dupes are known as COPS. I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, so they fired the cops and formed COPS?” Yup. Civilian Operated Police… Something. I can’t really remember what the ‘S’ stood for. So why wouldn’t they just give the police more power or declare martial law? Look, it’s all very complicated, but in a few words, you wouldn’t have David Carradine drunkenly beat people up. Carradine plays the lone wolf on a justice mission, John Tucker. He has the quickest draw and the meanest attitude. Cleary a healthy candidate to be dishing out lethal justice.

So in a huge shocking twist, turns out the CEO of this corporation (we are going to call them Evil Co), is *choke* *gasp* a bad guy! A TV reporter who will later become the pale, pasty love interest to Tucker, catches wind of all his wrong doings. A bounty is put on her head and Tucker intercepts her, only to learn the truth. Together, they fight through waves of mulleted thugs and misinformed mulleted COPS and finally take on the villain himself in the ultimate battle of good and evil. Tucker does this with the most advanced form of weaponry: A remote controlled, groin socking, laser shooting power glove! This advanced piece of death technology is at Tucker’s disposable whenever he needs, which is like twice. He could seriously use it all the time and it would save him so much trouble, but he only uses it at the beginning to show off his cool toys and then at the end to remind you so you go, ‘Oh yeah, I thought he had that thing.’ Nothing can stop him. Not the hundreds of thousands of bullets shot by machine guns, snipers, grenades, thugs with knives, people punching him in his doughy mid section or literally the dozens of jack booted thugs in leather vests that pile drive him. Nothing will stop Tucker from getting to the ultimate truth: That he was once in Kung Fu.

So if you like seeing ripped denim and eye patched thugs with the coolest hair styles in a post apocalyptic 90’s (sorry, Full House has been canceled… perminately!) or watching a drunken David Carradine phone in a performance and stumble around and slur cheesy one liners all to hair feathering 90’s rock, then Future Force is for you!

Oh and the best part… there is a sequel, Future Zone!

Barry Goodall’s Pick: “Zardoz”

Some movies make perfect sense. Movies like “the Godfather” , “Star Wars” or “Breaking 2: Electric Boogalloo”  But others take you to a whole new level of weird and incomprehensible. A place where reality and time don’t matter. A dimension where you’ll find the movies like “Zardoz” waiting for you.

But what exactly is a Zardoz? Well, it’s not a new cholesterol drug but it could have some of the same long lasting side effects.. dizziness, upset stomach, a lost of free will. It could have been a 80’s hairband since it contains many of the same outfits. Zardoz is actually a giant floating head that upchucks guns and ammo to aborigines like an NRA bulimic. Sean Connery is our post apocalyptic hero in a leather man-kini who hides inside the giant noggin’ and shoots the pilot right above his drawn on mustache. Why? because he’s James Bond wearing hooker boots that’s why!

The head flies him to the Vortex, a land of cellophaned house plants and lazy immortals needing Viagara. That’s where he’s kept as a pet forced to watch 70’s porn and have tests performed on him, usually involving sharp things poked at his crotch. He escapes to a retirement home where a bunch of old people can’t die but are forced to listen to ragtime  music and wear their prom outfits for eternity. Feeling sorry for all the old folk, He invites his aboriginal friends into the vortex to put them out of their misery. Oh, and there’s boobies…lots of boobies. So much nudity I felt overdressed watching it. At some point in the film Sean Connery wears a full on wedding gown… I passed out from shock & horror, “Double oh please make this stop!”  Yes, this movie was bad but it was based on the Wizard of Oz book which makes perfect sense if you’re taking experimental drugs living in a 70’s commune. Barry Goodall says check it out and If you feel the same  way then congratulations, you’ve been Zardozed. Now go get a job you dirty hippy.

About the Highway

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