Archive for the 'Sci-Fi' Category

Oct

Comments Off on Maximum Overdrive

maximum overdrive“Maximum Overdrive” is arguably the best machines taking over the world movie ever made that doesn’t involved a Californian Governor and Edward Furlong. This was Stephen King’s directorial debut in what amounts to a 90 minute AC/DC video of vehicular homocide and killer Sony walkmans. Fortunately it does have Pat Hingle blowing crap up with a rocket launcher and plenty of grease stained shirts.

When the Earth passes through a radioactive comet, it’s space mojo crop dusts the planet causing all the machines to turn homocidal. ATM’S swear at bank patrons, lawn mowers starting mulching gardeners and Walkman fry out teen listening to Petshop Boys. (Which would have happened eventually anyways.) After a draw bridge nearly wipes out the nation’s watermelon crop, a little league game is interrupted by a runaway steam roller and a pop machine that snipes players with jet propelled soda cans. Luckily, one of the kids Deke (Holter Graham) can dodge them like a caffeinated spider monkey and escapes on his dirt bike.

Maximum OverdriveAcross town at a Dixie truckstop where most of the patrons still don’t realize the south lost, waitresses are getting attacked by kitchen utensils and arcade games are electocuting customers. But their homemade strudel pie there is still delicious. Emilio Estevez plays Billy, a parole fry cook who when he isn’t shacking up with hitchhiker hotties, he’s spouting alien conspiracy theories about intergallactic brooms. They’re all being held hostage by a pack of psycho semi trucks circling the building liked indians around a covered train. The convoy is  led by a creepy green goblin semi whose got a thirst for unleaded blood and forces the survivors to pump gas all day for all his 18 wheeled buddies. Later that day, the most annoying newlywed couple ever to drive a 4-door crash through the semi line by doing an evil kinvel stunt flip crashing their car. The driver, Curtis, escapes but Connie is caught by her seat belt, her shrill whining voice is her only defense.  Sadly she’s cut free  just before it gets side swiped by a evil tow truck. Later that night, Emilio and Curtis attempt to rescue a injured bible salesman whose been screaming out in the ditch all night keeping everyone  from a good night’s sleep. They make their way through the sewer ducts to get to him but then Deke shows up on his dirt bike and they pretty much forget about the poor sap stuck in the mud. They all head back to the diner where Mr. Hendershot, the redneck business owner, is discovered hiding a huge militia stockpile of weapons in the basement. This gives everyone a chance to shoot machine guns and use rocket launchers near flammable gas pumps, a pyromaniac’s dream come true. maximum overdrive

After blowing up a few semis and roving artillery carts, the survivors duck back through the tunnels just as all the trucks decide to finally demolish the place and put up a Walmart. Everyone heads toward the boat docks for a final showdown with a drive thru speaker who Deke uses for some quick target practice. “No, I wouldn’t like fries with that!” KAAABLAM! Billy blows up the green semi with a rocket launcher just for kicks. Despite most of their friends and family dying horrifiying deaths, they’re all in pretty good moods as they set off on a boat trip to some uncharted island. Maybe they’ll build huts out of bambo while singing kumbya and then make a radio out of coconuts. Don’t want to miss a second of that all AC/DC channel.

A mega-cheese award goes to Ellen McElduff who plays a boozin’ waitress that scretches out  “You can’t do this! We made you!” just before she gets gunned down in a blaze of glory. Also  to Yeardley Smith who plays the high pitched Connie and does voice of Maggie Simpson. She does more for preventive eloping than Lorena Bobbitt. Retroman Steve says take “Maximum Overdrive” for a test drive and be sure to stock up on beef jerky and puffy hats with filthy sayings.

roadside attractions

  • Watermelon crushing
  • Pop machine head smashing
  • Electric knife wrist attacks
  • Gas pump-fu
  • Video game electrocution
  • Soda pop batting cages
  • Little league steamrolling
  • Continuous AC/DC
  • Wall-o-porn
  • Grill scraping
  • Estevez-estravanganza
  • bathroom flatulance
totals

8

blood BLOOD

Who knew recalled vehicles could do this much bodily damage

1

blood BREASTS

There’s rumors of breasts somewhere in this film, but heck if I could see them. Usually that would be hard to miss.

8

beast BEASTS

Lots of metallic beasts running on unleaded evil. Oh and 1 Stephen King.

9.15 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Maximum Overdrive”

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Jul

posted by admin | July 30, 2010 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Comedy, Review by Barry Goodall, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

Skeleton of Cadavra
What is up with all these pointless scientific studies lately. Scientists are getting millions of dollars to study the mating habits of woodchucks or the effects of injecting adrenaline into a pack of spider monkeys? I’d like to know how much wood a woodchuck could chuck too, but shouldn’t they be spending their time on more beneficial things like…oh…I don’t know..curing cancer or working on that whole global warming thing? Maybe I just don’t get it. I don’t truly understand the importance of measuring the distance and pressure involved in a penguin dropping or why woodpeckers don’t get headaches. Why the sky is blue? Why do fools fall in love? These studies make our world a safer and better place. So the government keeps racking up bigger credit debt but I say let’s take some of that money first and give it too somebody that really can do beneficial things with it. Someone that understands planning and fiscal responsibility. Yes namely me! Send me my million dollar grant in the mail soon Mr. Big Government spenders so I can finally buy my hovercraft, raise my army of DNA mind controlled dinosaurs, and  rule the world! bwahahah….or my parent’s basement… whichever comes first.

Speaking of poorly planned science projects, Dr. Paul Armstrong (Larry Blamire) has taken his very housewively wife, Betty (Fay Masterson) to the woods in search of a meteorite so that he can conduct some  “science” on it. Apparently, this was during a time when science didn’t really need to have any reason or specific purpose. Paul suspects it contains Atmospherium and much like the hair gel on John Stamos hair could reveal many dark secrets of the known universe. At around this same time a big burly fellow, Dr. Roger Flemming is out exploring the wilderness and cohorting with free range forest rangers at least when he’s not caught inner dialoging. Not sure what he’s a doctor of… flannel shirts perhaps, but he desperately needs Atmospherium so that he can resurrect a bleach white lab skeleton in a hidden cave. It’s like Kate Moss got lost on a camping trip. Roger believes the skeleton once resurrected will  help him rule the world… or maybe win the lotto and finally meet some girls.

Meanwhile, an alien spaceship from the planet Marva crash lands nearby and it’s silver jump suited space pilots, Crowbar and Lattice (named after a Home Depot sales ad) accidentally lose their pet mutant. Of course their cardboard ship also requires Atmospherium to fly so they also need to get the meteorite.

skeleton of cadavraPaul and Betty using a battery volt meter find the small meteorite glowing like a passed out Tinker Bell in the grass and  takes it back to his mail order science lab at the cabin. Learning of this, Crowbar and Lattice use a modified corking gun to turn themselves into awkward 50’s fashion models so they can fool Betty and Paul or as they refer to them as “the pleasant entertaining monkeys.” Lattice enjoys her new inverted cloth funnels the humans call “a dress” and with Crowbar solve the mysteries of door handles.  Dr. Flemming  finds the left behind space gun and transmogrifies some woodland creatures into his date to take to the cabin (not legal in most states except Alabama and Utah.) He hopes bringing a date will make him less suspicious  but his new creation, Animala has all the dinner table manners of a Jack Russell Terrier in a beatnik bodysuit. She sniffs people, eats from a a dinner plate like it’s a pig trough, and picks gnats off of the guests for some neighborly grooming. Sounds like the perfect date to me. A door to door forest ranger also shows up with warnings of killer mutants. With all the plate licking and mutilation stories how will Paul ever get to do science?

Soon the Skeleton, fresh from a nap uses his super Aquaman-like powers to control Animala and help deliver him the meteorite thus giving the skeleton the ability to sit up and boss people around like a skinny union rep. Behold the mighty power of the fleshless! He demands that Lattice become his skeletal bride so they can make little thigh bones and femurs of their very own. Just then thee escaped mutant looking a bit like a deranged Muppet shows up and battles Skeletor to the death. He-man would be proud.

Skeleton of CadavraThis could be the funniest spoof of vintage 50’s b-movies ever made with some obvious nods to “Plan 9 from Outerspace” and “Attack of the killer Shrews.” It  perfectly recreates the low budget feel and wooden acting from that golden era of schlocky cinema so check it out and be sure to keep a extra case of Atmoshperium in your cooler, just in case. I hear it’s worth a fortune.

roadside attractions

  • Skeleton rock climbing
  • Laser caulking guns
  • Farmer mutilation
  • Sciencing
  • White people dancing
  • Mutant wrestling
  • Skeleteon-fu
  • Dinner etiquette
totals

0

blood
BLOOD

None and it’s black and white so you couldn’t tell anyways.

8

beast
BEASTS

A skeleton, a mutant, and Animala.

1

blood
BREASTS

Nothing but a slinky outfit from Animala.

9.15 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra”

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May

Comments Off on Video Store Memories: Video Unlimited

Almost every B-movie and horror movie fan out there has a story of how they were introduced to movies–like a cool uncle who let them watch “Porky’s” where they saw their very first set of boobies. For me, I became hooked on B-movies and horror movies after my first visit to Video Unlimited, a video store near where I lived. As a young boy many a weekend and summer were spent watching videos that I rented from both stores; they had two locations. I was very fortunate to have a really cool Mom who would let me watch any kind of movie, regardless of the genre (except porn). Hey, even the coolest Moms have to draw the line somewhere. My Mom became even cooler when I found out she was a big horror movie buff. On her days off from managing the drive-in (Rosen’s), she would usually be watching horror movies with me. Now how many kids can honestly say their Mom likes horror movies?

So, let me get back to my Video Unlimited memories. The one thing that always amazed me about both stores was that even though they weren’t very big, the staff magically found a way to somehow store and showcase thousands of titles. I always wondered if they had access to some kind of interdimensional portal with a limitless supply of videos. Video Unlimited’s selection was a lot like Video Vault in that whatever movie you were looking for, they usually had it or something similar to it.

Videos

And while I’m on the subject of selection, I have to mention the size of the movie rental catalog that was sitting on the front counter of the Laplata location. This thing was HUGE. Think a of a triple-decker club sandwich that is made of phone books, without the ham, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayonnaise. To me this catalog was my B-movie bible. I’m pretty sure that whenever I went near it the book was enshrined in a golden light and I heard celestial music coming from up above. Seriously, this catalog contained so many movies from every possible genre and sub-genre that if I live several lifetimes like the Highlander, Duncan MacLeod, I still wouldn’t see all of the movies listed in it. And when I had watched all of the current releases, or I just wanted to focus on a particular genre, this became my go-to book. The selection of the so-called “big boys” of movie rental back then and today–Blockbuster and Hollywood Video–could never compare to the impressive selection of the small Mom-and-Pop video stores. Try calling Blockbuster to find out if they carry “Wood Chipper Massacre”, and the people working there won’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

When I moved out of the area I began going exclusively to Video Unlimited’s Waldorf location, their second store. After about a year of renting several movies on a weekly basis and talking about movies with the staff, I was asked for my imput on what B-movies and horror movies the should carry at the store. So I began making movie recommendations based on previews I had seen, articles that I read in ‘Fangoria’ (when ‘Fangoria’ was still a horror magazine), and movie screeners that I had viewed. Yes, I was given movie screeners to watch, which was one of the coolest things to me. In case you don’t know, a movie screener is an advance copy of a movie that is shown to critics and distributors. I saw a lot of screeners, but the one that comes to mind was for the movie “Seed People.” It’s basically Full Moon Entertainment’s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I remember it being an enjoyable little movie, when Full Moon actually made movies worth watching, unlike the Z-grade trash that Charles Band pimps today for a quick buck. Now if helping to select movies and viewing advance copies wasn’t awesome enough, another perk of being a loyal customer was that I had my pick of all the cool posters they had from movies, like “Silent Night, Deadly Night”, “The Fly” (Cronenberg’s version), and “Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood.” In addition, I also got nifty movie promos like trading cards from another Full Moon release, “Subspecies”, which I still have packed in a box somewhere today. This was way before eBay. Back then nobody really thought of this stuff as being collectible or having any real value. To the owners all it was doing at the time was taking up valuable space that could be used to store copies of movies. Now I’m sure that they probably wished they had kept a lot of these posters after seeing how popular and valuable they’ve become over the years.

Soon I got a job at Rosen’s Drive-in, and I didn’t just didn’t have as much time as I used to to watch movies, but I would still visit Video Unlimited at least once a week to say “hi” and to see if there were any new releases that caught my eye. Sure, I saw plenty of movies while working the projection booth at Rosen’s, but I could never get my fill of movies. Similar to Kirstie Alley’s relationship with food. Have you seen her lately? Yikes! She looks like she swallowed a water buffalo.

Movies

Anyway, when I started a professional haunted house attraction a short time later, I found myself with even less time. Things were so crazy that everything quickly became a blur. And before I knew it, one week, two weeks had passed by in a flash, so I decided to stop by my favorite video store to see how things were going. Well, as soon as I walked across the parking lot towards the front door I had a sinking feeling–something wasn’t right. And my feeling was confirmed when I stepped inside and saw the shelves with only a few movies scattered on each of them. All around me there was a feeding frenzy similar to Piranhas attacking a helpless swimmer at a lake resort. People were quickly grabbing and buying VHS cassettes and everything else in the store, except for the floor tiles. I didn’t ask many questions even though I was shocked and upset, because whatever I was feeling was probably nothing compared to what everybody who worked there was going through. This was their business, their livelihood. From what I was told later on the video store had been struggling for a few months. And things only got worse when their rent was raised and Blockbuster (the Walmart of video stores, which isn’t a compliment) moved into town about 300 or so feet away. The competition was simply too strong and they just couldn’t survive any longer.

To this day I don’t understand why someone didn’t tell me what was happening sooner. Maybe I could have done something to help. Though in all honesty, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway, because the profit-driven, soulless, corporate video rental chains like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were gaining momentum in the video rental market, and it was only a matter of time before the small Mom-and-Pop video stores like Video Unlimited would soon disappear. However, the Laplata store was able to say in business for several more years until sadly, in 2002, it was destroyed by a devastating tornado that hit the strip mall where it was located. Last I had heard the owner decided not to rebuild the business.

I hadn’t been to the Laplata location in many years, but hearing the bad news was still a real bummer. It was like loosing contact with a close friend, and then years later finding out that they had passed away. For most of my childhood these two stores had been a very important part of my life. I know it’s just a couple of video stores to most people, but the movies that I was exposed to made me, Drive-in Dan, the B-movie fan that I am today. The movies that I rented from these stores led to other interests that have carried over into adulthood, like my passion for special effects makeup after seeing Tom Savini’s masterful work in films such as “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter”, “Dawn of the Dead”, and “The Burning.” Watching films such as “Halloween” and Dario Argento’s “Phenomena”exposed me to the unique musical styles of John Carpenter and the Italian Prog Rock band, Goblin, which I still enjoy to this day. After seeing “The Road Warrior” I was inspired to make vehicles and various contraptions using parts from miscellaneous model kits, and today I continue to create things from found objects.

I will always have fond memories of the two Video Unlimited stores. I’m glad that I grew up in the 80’s and was able to be a part of something truly awesome. Hopefully, other B-movie fans out there had their own Video Unlimited while growing up.

Mar

Comments Off on The Last Rewind: A Tribute to Video Vault



It seems like every day I hear or read about a company either filing for bankruptcy or closing its doors for good. And to be honest, most of the time I really don’t care, as many of the businesses are just “mass appeal” stores that have been run into the ground by greedy corporations who have long since lost touch with their target market. Well, yesterday I learned about one business closing, a cult video store named “Video Vault” that really hit close to home for all of us here at Lost Highway. Unfortunately, a lot of factors such as limited parking, high rent, moving to a new location, a crappy economy, and the digital download age are to blame for its demise. It really makes me wish that Video Vault could come back from the dead like Jason Voorhees does in those “Friday the 13th” movies, and slaughter the competition. But unfortunately that won’t happen. In our world, this kind of loss is the equivalent of finding out that one of our favorite actors and/or directors has just passed way.

So let me tell you a little bit about Video Vault. This little gem of an independent video store was started by movie aficionado John McCabe in the mid 80’s, when video stores were about as popular as drive-in movie theaters were back in the day. Seeing an independent niche market video store like Video Vault today (2010) in a major metropolitan area would be about as rare as seeing actual music videos playing on MTV. Anyway, it didn’t take long for Mr. McCabe to make a name for himself by specializing in rare, hard-to-find films that he proudly claimed were the worst in town. Now you’re probably scratching your head at the part about having the worst movies in town. But trust me, that claim is very accurate considering he carried bottom of the barrel films like “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” If I had to describe Video Vault to someone who had never heard about the store, I would say that they are the cinematic version of The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA), and I mean that as the highest compliment. Bad movies were their area of expertise, their little niche in the cutthroat movie rental business. The films that many forgot, or couldn’t care less about, John McCabe cheered and celebrated, along with the legions of loyal patrons. For 25 years Video Vault continued to stay in business against all odds, even though video formats changed from VHS to DVD, the independent video retail market began to go the way of the dinosaurs, and the once eclectic tastes of movie renters unfortunately became more and more mainstream–in other words, watered down–and mind-numbingly generic. And even though I haven’t been to Video Vault for several years now (because I moved out of the area), I still remember my first visit there.

I recall being very impressed, yet at the same time a bit overwhelmed by their large selection of VHS videos that covered a variety of different genres and sub-genres. Their previous location (the one that I’m familiar with) had several rooms filled from wall to wall with thousands upon thousands of videos. It was like I had just gained full access to someone’s prized and personal movie collection. You could’ve easily spent the whole day there going through all of the b-movie gems that they had to offer. And did I mention that the staff was always friendly, very knowledgeable, and ready to offer up their movie recommendations if you were having trouble choosing a movie to rent? The whole atmosphere was just so refreshing and pleasant. Whenever a customer walked through the door they were greeted like an old friend, whether it was their first time stopping by, or if they were one of the “regulars.” To me that personal touch really made an impression, and that’s probably one of the many reasons why they were in business for so many years. And if you couldn’t find a particular film in the mountain of movie titles, chances are owner John McCabe would have been able to track it down for you. Try getting that level of customer dedication and service at Blockbuster, or any other generic corporate movie rental chain.

It’s a real shame that this b-movie Mecca has to close. I just really hope that Video Vault will live on in some form after April 2010, so that the current and new generation of cult film buffs will still be able to meet, talk alternative cinema, and help each other find the next “it’s so bad, it’s good” movie experience. Please be sure to express your support to the wonderful folks over at Video Vault by clicking here and saying hi, or wishing them well in their future endeavors.

Mar

Comments Off on Lifeforce

There’re two certainties in life..death and taxes. And unless there’s itemizing going on in Hell, I suspect death is a bit less time-consuming. Yes, it’s tax season once again so that means it’s time to gather those crumpled receipts from the shoe boxes and try to remember how little money you had before you didn’t have any money. It’s kinda like you’re being forced to give a loan to that crazy uncle that says he needs the cash for groceries, but you know he’s just going to blow it at the race track, always betting on the horse with emphysema. Still you hope you might find a loophole somewhere and get some money back: “Could I actually write-off dog grooming?” “Is beer deductible?” “If I get my wife pregnant, can I claim the kid this year?” These are just some of the questions you might ask, but you can take comfort in knowing your cash will go to good use in the community. It will be invested in deserving projects such as the secret underground testing labs where they train monkeys how to open pickle jars. Large portions will go into technology investments like $12,000 coffee makers for Area 51, or eco-food preservation. Maybe they can finally fill in that big pothole they call the Grand Canyon with some of the money that’s left over. I’m counting my receipts and checking them twice because if the IRS Fairy ever does ever visit me at night, I want her to leave me a nice little tax return, and not pimp slap me and steal my wallet again.

lifeforceSpeaking of life-sucking vampires: Mathilda May may have induced many boys into puberty in the mid 80’s when she gallivanted around as a naked space vampire vixen in “Lifeforce.” A giant evil-looking space thistle is discovered in the tail of Haley’s Comet, and instead of just nuking it and asking questions later, a group of curious, dim-witted astronauts decide to go check it out. While inside they find a bunch of giant dead space bats floating around, and 3 naked people frozen in display cases. Is anyone in the crew mildly concerned for their safety yet? Nope. So they decide it’s an even better idea to haul the aliens back to Earth in their cargo hold.

Months later a rescue shuttle from Great Britain’s bustling space program is sent up to intercept the now adrift shuttle. Much to their horror they discover most of the crew burned beyond extra crispy. An apparent fondue party gone horribly wrong. Fortunately, the space nudists are still well preserved in their see-through tanning booths, and they swiftly get hauled down to London to be studied at a minimum security community college. Suffice to say alien shenanigans occur, as the formerly freeze-dried alien girl wakes up and starts making out with strangers, sucking out their lifeforce like soda through a straw. She then goes streaking through the hallways, distracting everyone with her space melons, only being confronted briefly by a security guard with the lure of a potato chip. No one can resist the fever for the flavor of a Pringles. Once free she goes on a London whirlwind hitchhikers tour of soul suck-i-tude, with her consciousness jumping around between bodies in an attempt to recharge her lifeforce batteries.

Meanwhile back in the lab, her first victim, now shrunk up like a used Capri Sun bag, gets up from the autopsy table and starts attacking the doctors to absorb their soul juice. Tom Carlsen (Steve Railsback), the only survivor of the doomed space crew, suddenly shows up back on Earth in a mercury escape capsule (he must have been stuck in traffic), and he’s debriefed by a NASA British agent, who learned that he has a psychic connection to the female alien. They decide to hypnotize him to learn of her whereabouts, because that’s what NASA does best. His unique powers give Tom a Google Earth street view of license plate #’s, and he soon learns she’s traveling with a poor sheep herder in a Volvo. It’s as if the DMV suddenly became omnipresent.

Lifeforce

Along with a Special Air Service operative and a wormy little doctor named Professor Fallada, they track down the partially possessed people, using them as a sort of compass to her main squeeze, a balding British doctor played by Patrick Stewart. They decide to pimp slap around Captain Picard for a while, and then pump him full of more narcotics than are in Mark Maguire’s butt cheeks, thus trapping the alien’s consciousness in his body. On a flight back to London, the space chick escapes via some nasty nasal discharge, materializing in front of them, and then crop dusting the whole of downtown London with her space vampire electric mojo. Warning: Side effects of vampire mojo may include dizziness, vomiting, and turning into an undead zombie who sucks out human souls.

Your typical zombie plague occurs, putting London in a quarantined war zone, while Caine and Carlsen race to destroy the source, and try to stop the vampire ship that’s attracting souls like flies to a bug zapper. It all leads up to a big showdown in a citadel with naked vampire chick, a Conan sword, and a whole lotta cheap special effects.

Tobe Hooper, after his little stint with “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, decided to make this sci-fi/horror movie, and it never quite decides if it’s an alien film or zombie film. Maybe it’s just an excuse to have a lady walk around naked for a half hour. Either way it’s a win-win. Retroman Steve says check it out and remember, only store your vampires in official Gladware containers. They help avoid freezer burn and lock in freshness.

roadside attractions

    • Giant space thistles
    • Soul powered light beacons
    • Explodo vampire-zombies
    • Freeze dried space bats
    • Patrick Stewart pimp slappin’
    • Extreme sinus drainage
    • Multiple face suckings
    • Multiple impalements
    • Capri Sun soul bags
    • Death by flare pistol
totals

7

blood
BLOOD

blood fountains through nostrils

8

beast
BEASTS

plenty of zombies and space vampires

9

blood
BREASTS

half the movie is a naked vampire chick

9.7 OVERALL
dripper

Lost Highway is proud to partner with Crackle.com in providing you the ability to watch “Lifeforce” online for Free! Check out the link to launch the website and video.

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