Archive for the 'Sci-Fi' Category

Nov

posted by admin | November 1, 2012 | 80's b-movies, Action, Cult Film, Horror movies, Review by Tiger Sixon, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Galaxy of Terror

galaxy of terror

Before Aliens, you had Alien. But, after Alien and still before Aliens, you had Galaxy of Terror, a doozy of an early 1980s sci-fi b-movie. If this Roger Corman produced space screamer looks like Aliens test footage, there is a good reason: Aliens director James Cameron worked on production design early in his career.

Yep. Mr. Titanic himself helped give Galaxy of Terror its signature look, and had no problem usin’ some of the same tricks on Aliens. And it is the production design and special effects what make Galaxy of Terror look fancier than it really is, like when I wear a shirt with sleeves.

galaxy of terror.

Even the plot is very similar to Aliens. Galaxy of Terror is basically Aliens before Aliens was Aliens: A hot shot rescue team travel to a far away planet to look for survivors. And like in Aliens, hilarity ensues. By which I mean terrible, gruesome deaths at the hands of slimy creatures.

The cast is noteworthy too, as it stars pre-Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Kruger, Joanie from Joanie Loves Chachi, Laura Palmer’s Mom from Twin Peaks, Zalman “Red Shoes” King, Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and last but not least, Sid Haig.

The intrepid team succumbs to beasts/things/whatevers generated by their deepest fears (which Freddy Kruger fans should enjoy). Sometimes it is a slimy monster pulling someone to their doom, other times it is Sid Haig cutting his own arm off (always a plus in any b-movie). And other times, it is Taaffe O’Connell being stripped and humped to death by a giant worm.

Yep, the WTF Factor is pretty dang high in this one.

Like any great b-movie, Galaxy of terror has a little bit of everything: zombies, exploding heads, chest lasers, severed limbs, even Scooby-Doo sound effects. You name it, it is probably here.galaxy of terror.

The beauty of Galaxy of Terror is, you never know what it is going to throw at ya next, kinda like when my third wife would get into my stash of bathtub gin. Galaxy of Terror is a well-made b-movie, which is a rarity, and is worth tracking down. Tiger says, give this one a watch and enjoy the crazy ride.


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

roadside attractions

  • Lots of Switches
  • Space Zombies
  • Brains
  • Severed Limbs
  • Exploding Heads
  • Chest Lasers
  • Glowing Faces
  • Giant Worms
  • Spaceships
  • Legs as Seat Belts
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

This movie is a blood bath. People die in all kinds of crazy ways.

9

blood

BREASTS

It takes awhile, but when they show up, they don’t stop.

10

beast

BEASTS

Many different, strange creatures go after our heroes. It is like an alien zoo!

9.7 OVERALL
dripper
Sep

posted by admin | September 28, 2012 | 70's b-movies, 70's movies, Cult Film, Review by Tiger Sixon, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Tentacles

Tentacles review.
When the opening credits proudly proclaim: “Special Appearance by,” you know you are in for a treat.

This is the case with the 1977 Italian-made Jaws homage, Tentacles. The special appearance is by Hollywood legend Henry Fonda (he musta needed a new water heater)—but the who’s who doesn’t stop there. John Huston plays some kind of aging reporter who had a bizarre relationship with his sister. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, well, bone up on yer film history. Huston directed The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and The African Queen, to name only a few. He can also be seen in Chinatown, but most importantly he played The Lawgiver in the Battle for the Planet of the Apes and provided the voice for Gandalf in the animated version of The Hobbit. Tentacles

Oh, and Huston’s sister is played by the one and only Shelley Winters.

Bo Hopkins, of The Wild Bunch and TV fame, rounds out the intrepid cast. Hopkins plays a scientist what trains orcas for…science, I guess. It is all very scientific. The training, not the orcas. They just swim and eat fish.

Huston is trying to solve the mystery behind the dead bodies piling up on the shores of Ocean Beach (yes, Ocean Beach). Or what is left of the bodies anyway—the skeletons have been picked cleaner than my checking account after my last divorce. No one is safe: not even babies or peg leg ship captains.

As the title suggests, the killer is, wait for it, an octopus (even though an octopus’ limbs are usually referred to as ‘arms’). This results in many blown-up, close up shots of a normal octopus, and a few rubber tentacles for good measure. Toy boats are laid to ruin in a few scenes, which is always a joy to watch, plus there are even a few bikinis which are thankfully nearly toy-sized.

Speaking of flesh, one of Winters’ kids has my favorite line of the film: “Mommy, you’re plump! There’s more to love!” Ah, kids. When they ain’t bein’ ate up by a giant octopus, they say the darnedest things. Winters also sports the craziest hat this side of Kurt Russel’s from The Thing, and seems more focused on her son’s urinary tract and having awkward conversations with her brother than the killer octopus.Tentacles

Later on, after a feeding frenzy, Hopkins decides to take the fight to the octopus, and boxes up his trained orcas. By which I mean, he sticks them in a giant metal tube, and hauls them with his boat. Not knowing if the whales will actually fight upon being set free, Hopkins delivers a heartfelt soliloquy via the tube’s food hole (followed by tossing in a couple of fish).

Like any good Jaws ripoff, Tentacles is hilarious. Being a foreign production, there are plenty of absurd moments, which only make the film more endearing. Huston and Fonda don’t seem to phone in their performances either—they give it their all, which is the cherry on top. Plus, this was made in the late 1970’s, so the wardrobe is outstanding. There are lapels you could land a jet fighter on.

Tiger says, give this one a watch.


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

roadside attractions

  • Peg legs
  • Neglected Babies
  • Grizzled Sea Captains
  • SCUBA Shenanigans
  • Rubber Tentacles
  • Toy Boats
  • Wide Lapels
  • Crazy Hats
  • Whales in a Tube
  • Hollywood Legends
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

We see more skeletons than blood, but folks done get ate all over the place.

4

blood

BREASTS

Plenty of bikinis, but they all stay tied on.

10

beast

BEASTS

A giant octopus fights two orca whales. Yes, please.

7.0 OVERALL
dripper
Aug

posted by Barry Goodall | August 8, 2012 | 80's b-movies, Horror movies, Podcast, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Lost Highway Podcast 001 – The Thing (1982)

Join the Lost Highway gang (Barry Goodall, Die-Anne Takillya, Doktor, Giallo Goon, and Tiger Sixon) as they discuss the 1982 classic, John Carpenter’s The Thing. Listen with the player below, or use the Download link to save a copy of the MP3 to your computer.

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Download the Podcast
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The Lost Highway Podcast will be available through iTunes soon! (It has been added, we are just waiting for it to be approved)

Jun

Comments Off on The Galaxy Invader

Galaxy Invader screen capture.

Aliens meeting rednecks is a subject close to my heart. Hell, that’s how we came to have Uncle Spacey locked up in the attic on the family farm. While The Galaxy Invader only features one alien, it has a metric ton of rednecks. This leads to many classic double negative filled quotes, including “I ain’t never seen nothin’ like this b’fore!”, “We don’t need no women!”, and “I don’t want you sayin’ nothin’ to nobody!” If you ever wanna piss off a grammar snob, give ‘em a copy of this flick.

Galaxy Invader

If Larry the Cable Guy decided to remake E.T., but spent 99% of the budget on Coors Light and Laffy Taffy, you might get something close to The Galaxy Invader. An alien crashes in the backwoods near a one brain cell town, and well, hilarity ensues. And how. Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will recognize the film, as bits were used in the credits for Pod People (Rifftrax eventually lampooned Galaxy Invader). For the meme literate: “Yo dawg, I heard you like b-movies, so I put a b-movie in your b-movie, so you can watch a b-movie while you watch a b-movie.”

The film features dueling storylines (but no banjos) centered around the Invader. The first is a touching tale of a young student and his teacher who either lives six hours away or is slow to get out of bed. When the student phones about the crashed alien, the learned teacher tells the boy, from the comfort of his bed, “I will be there about six hours from now.” Six hours? You can watch all three of the Back to the Future films in less time.

Galaxy Invader

The second, and even more touching storyline is about a down-on-his-luck father trying to provide for his family in the face of adversity. Wait. No. It is about the town drunk chasing his daughter with a shotgun for mouthing off. Joe (blood type: PBR) is always wearing the same torn t-shirt throughout the film. When Joe ain’t chasing his family with a shotgun, he schemes with the film’s equivalent to Boss Hogg. Their plan? Conscript drunk hunters, have them capture the alien alive, and sell it. Hey, it worked in King Kong.

Oh, right.

Unlike E.T., ALF, or MAC, our Invader is acronym free and packing heat. After seeing the Invader’s weapons in action against drunk hunters, Joe comes up with a new plan–sell the weapons to the Russians. Ah, films in the ‘80s–when in doubt, reference the Russians.

Galaxy Invader is a much watch. It is brilliantly hilarious. If the hilarity is intended or not, I can’t say. But, the film just keeps throwing curve balls. Joe’s dime store Jimmy Stewart persona is a joy to watch, so are his parenting skills. Joe’s youngest daughter hating everything is a great running gag, and then there is the awkward fight scene between Joe and his son. They don’t so much as fight, as they aggressively lean into each other. The ending also features the best pre-Baywatch use of slow motion. And let’s not forget the Invader itself–the costume may look kinda silly, but I’ll take someone in a costume and mask over a CGI alien any day. Tiger says, give this one a watch.


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

roadside attractions

  • Bumpy aliens
  • Crazy hair
  • Torn shirts
  • Plaid shirts
  • Alien stun guns
  • Floozies
  • Short shorts
  • Awkward family fighting
  • Falling dummies
  • Rednecks
  • Shotgun parenting
  • Hillbillies
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Mr. Invader and some of the rednecks get kinda gun crazy.

0

blood

BREASTS

All of the ladies keep their tops on.

10

beast

BEASTS

Mr. Invader has plenty of screen time and is pretty neato looking.

6.0 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “The Galaxy Invader”

trailers

dripper
May

posted by Doktor | May 18, 2012 | 70's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, Cult Film, Review by Doktor, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on The Alien Factor

Year: 1978     Runtime: 80 min
Director: Don Dohler
Writer: Don Dohler
Starring: Don Leifert, Tom Griffith and Richard Dyszel

Because The Avengers is the bestest movie in the history of forever and all future times, I am required by law to have at least one line about how it compares to the film I’m currently reviewing. Here it is:

The Alien Factor and The Avengers both share the exact same first four letters. After that they are pretty much the same, but different. Despite all the high-tech hoobajoobs, at their core both movies are about heroes and monsters. I’m certain Joseph Campbell would agree that these movies are just different sides of the same coin.

Let’s look at the monsters and hero in The Alien Factor to see how similarly different they are to those in The Avengers.

Background

In The Alien Factor, there’s an alien zoologist, and because we never really get his name let’s call him—purely at random—Lowkey. He’s collected three space animal-monsters for the space zoo back on his home planet, which is in space. On the trip back he decides to celebrate with a few space brewskis. Next thing he knows, the Earth is right square in his flight path. He tries to correct, but his space reflexes are diminished by 23.45678%. If they were only down by 23.45677%… No use in crying over spilt space milk.

Also, the sun was in his eyes.

When the space ship crashes the containment shields stop working. The containment shields were keeping the three space animal-monsters from escaping. Oh, and the ship’s exit door was unlocked and opened. So, early one morning in 1972 an unsuspecting little town in Maryland was the new home for a Infersyce, a Zagatile and a Leemoid.

The Bad Guys aka Space Animal-Monsters

The Infersyce. A humanoid insect monster with an exoskeleton that looks suspiciously like a dress. It’s weakness is high frequency sound waves pumped out of sweet Alpine 20″ woofer. How one manages to get power and audio signal way out in the middle of the woods where the Infersyce is preying on the people is another story, one the movie never bothers to tell. We’ll have to chuck it up to space science.

The Zagatile. A considerate Wookie/Ant hybrid alien monster. I describe it as considerate because when it attacks the Sheriff and Mary Jane, it claws very lightly, though menacingly, at the widow rather than break into the house. Whereas regular bullets have no effect, a syringe bullet (and I mean that literally) penetrates its hide like greased goose diarrhea.

The Leemoid. Or perhaps it was a Nimoy. I get them two mixed up. Whatever. The Leemoid is the final “Boss” monster. It is a translucent claymation LizardSnakeMan, half lizard, half snake, half man. The only way to defeat him is by swinging a stick in its general direction. Once it realizes what you’ve done, it falls down dead.

The Good Guys aka The Townsfolk

Young Lovers #1. First, there is the couple making out in a secluded field, far out of town. The bottle of Strawberry Hill swirling through their hormone-driven bodies makes them blind to the Infersyce, ever so stealthily crunching through the dry hay towards them. The synthesized cat screeching music swells. The horny boyfriend gets got. The girl makes for the safety of the woods. Thanks to off screen teleportation, i.e. not writing the scene, she eventually ends up at the doctor’s office in a state of shock.

Young Lovers #2. In a completely different part of the woods, this time by the pond, the other couple is enjoying the romantic setting. Or at least the guy is, trying to set the mood. The girl isn’t having any of it. She decides to enjoy the seclusion of the woods, alone. All by herself. No one there to “protect” her. Naturally, a space peron startles her, despite his hot pecks—she stumbled on him while he was sunbathing. He chases after her, trying to apologize. She runs into the path of a speeding motorcycle. She’s tossed into the ditch, smearing Louisiana Hot Sauce on her face. The motorcycle got a nasty scratch that couldn’t be buffed out.

Haut Young Studs. The three Haut Young Studs sport the best of 70s hair fashion: first, Bock Sampson hockey hair; two, bushy white-boy fro; and third, greasy black mane with a Charlie Manson goat-tee. They’re not just lookers, but thinkers. Hockey Hair argues against the Sheriff’s orders that they not go out looking for the monsters with: “Come OH-win” (commonly pronounced come on). Brilliant!

The Law. Not to be out shined in the intelligence department, there’s Sheriff Simpleton and Deputy Dufus. Deputy Dufus moonlights as the city’s meteorologist, and is a damned fine one at that. Here’s a sample forecast, “They’re calling for 5 or 4 inches of snow tonight.” That’s also the exactly right ratio of people who are having not math very good making skills.

The Childrens. I don’t know what’s in the water in Maryland, but these kids are weird. They frolic the snowy fields in slow motion, about a foot apart, tossing a beach ball to one another. While that’s awkward, the really disturbing behavior is when they discover the Leemoid’s victim’s dead body. They stand and gawk, not once poking it with a stick. WTF?

The Drunk. Every small town has the happy-go-lucky drunk. Alcoholism, and to a lesser extend farts, will always be funny. The Drunk is a complex character, each one serves a different purpose. For The Alien Factor, The Drunk serves to kill runtime, i.e. make filler to pad out the movie to roughly 90 minutes. He mostly eats peanuts and sips his beer. All the while we get to listen to two rocking hits from the Fru-Fruity John Pertwees. The Drunk goes home to drink some more beer and read Monster Who’s Who—more filler. Then a noise draws him down into the basement. Though Drunk, he’s not stupid. He prepares by grabbing his gun. Carefully he makes his way down, eyes peeled, reflexes sharp and on point. Fumbling slowly out of a dark corner, the Zagatile sloths up on The Drunk and kills him.

No one builds tension (behind your eyes, commonly known as a headache), like Don Dohler.

B-MOVIE SURVIVAL TIP: When you’re confronted by a monster in your basement, and you have a gun, and it is pointed at the monster, which is SLOWLY advancing towards you, SHOOT! Even if it’s yourself.

The Reporter. Local reporter, Ms. Dufus, no explicit relation to the deputy, goes out for her big scoop on the aliens armed with a half gallon can of gasoline. Why gasoline? Because Deputy Dufus suggested that it MIGHT be possible to kill the aliens with fire. Even if we’re willing to forgive her momentary lapse of reason, she still has a major problem. When attacked, she drops the gas can and runs off. I don’t know if she doesn’t understand the idea behind a Molotov cocktail, or forgot you need to open the can, slosh the gas on the target and then ignite the gas, but the result is the same. The can of gas was a complete waste. It was a really nice can, too.

The Mayor. He’s your typical bureaucrat. Only interested in the money that will be generated by an impending entertainment center, Mayor Poopooheimer shafts the law, the citizens, and ultimately himself, by trying to keep this whole space animal-monster thing quiet. He dies a fitting death when the Zagatile sneaks up behind him and smears his face with Louisiana Hot Sauce. Good riddance.

And finally…

The Hero. Ben “Space Animal-Monster Hunter” Zachery. He is the ultimate combination of awesome. Forged from cold, hard steel that is Bob “Happy Little Cloud” Ross and titanic might of Zap “Canadian Hero Extraordinare” Rowsdower, he is truly a wonder of nature. He’s also a space foreigner, the very same one who was catching some sun earlier. Enigmatic and dangerously handsome, Zachery is a mans man, and every woman’s dream.

So, as you can see, The Alien Factor is pretty much The Avengers. The real difference is the moral, which is: Not everything that’s ugly on the outside is ugly on the inside, except for this movie, which is ugly through and through.

roadside attractions

  • Sparkly Space Powers
  • Synthesized Space Music
  • Space Aliens
  • Space Ships
  • Lurleen the Bartender
  • Snow Tires
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Sadly, there was much wasting of Louisiana Hot Sauce. To Cajuns this film marks a dark, dark day in cinematic history.

5

blood

BREASTS

None. Having seen the possible candidates, this is a very good thing.

10

beast

BEASTS

The best that “no money” can buy.

7 OVERALL
dripper

About the Highway

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