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Sep

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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

Feb

posted by admin | February 27, 2008 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Uncategorized

Comments Off on He Knows You’re Alone (a.k.a Blood Wedding)

He Knows You’re Alone

“When being stalked by a psychopath, it’s always good etiquette to neatly organize your stabbing knives.”

Remember chest stabbers always go to the left of the salad fork.”

If you’re as old as me… and I know I am then you may have seen a creepy little TV show back the 1980’s called “Bossom Buddies.” It’s where two guys disguise themselves as women to live in the one apartment they can afford. That is until one stormy night when Tom Hanks while listening to the voice of his dead mother stabs Janet Leigh in the hotel shower and…. oh wait that was another cross dresser. Anyways little did people realize that the curly haired nice guy actor would later on become a super mega Oscar winner and the voice to a computer animated cowboy. I have better memories of his earlier rolls in great 80’s hits like The Money Pit, Splash, Dragnet, and who can forget him in the required movie for every early-pubescent boy’s VCR, “Bachelor Party.” Now that was Academy worthy material.

What truly started him on path to stardom was his first acting role in a slasher film called “He Knows You’re Alone” or as I refer to it “He Knows he’s David Copperfield” because the killer, Ray Carlton, has an amazing skill of appearing and disappearing whenever he wants and even is accompanied by his own Halloween inspired theme music. Amy is our virginal hero and she’s is on a mission to get married to Phil, a dull man who wears a suit. Amy appears doped up on goof pills most of the time and is not totally convinced that Phil is her one true love. Soon she’s secretly stalked by not only a killer who hates the Billy Idol song “white wedding” but her ex-boyfriend Marvin the marvelous Mortician who wants to marry her instead of Phil. Anyone remember the guy who played Marvin? Yup that’s Don Scardino the pasty white boy from the killer worm movie “Squirm” as seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (watch online here). What Marvin lacks in looks and charm he makes up for in hair thickness. His appeal to Amy is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it’s his alien-like feathered hair that seems to defy the laws of physics or his pressed stain resistant shirts that protect his translucent white skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

In any case the killer has a chip on his shoulder since he too was previously dumped but instead of annoying his ex-girlfriend like Marvin does, he stabbed her on her wedding day (he should have just bought them a toaster for a wedding gift like everyone else.) So now he’s out to murder every other soon-to-be-bride he can find. The groom at the time of the wedding murder was a rookie cop and is now on a manhunt to find Ray and bring him to justice just as soon as he’s done drinking and having emotional outbursts. The killer magic elf ninja quickly appears and takes out all Amy’s dimwitted friends and even her cigar smoking tailor. But don’t tailor’s deserve a beating anyways…I mean with all their adjusting, measuring, and hem pinning (see now I’ll get hate email from tailors.)
Thrown into the mix is the short cameo by Tom Hanks as a jogger and rookie philosopher who mainly showcases his 80’s hair-fro and fluffy big coat for some brief on screen time. Can you already sense his Oscar worthiness? There’s also the teacher from The Breakfast Club who plays another moody cop only minus Molly Ringwald and Emileo Estevez so he’s even more boring than usual. Man that guy just needs to not talk and he might land some better roles.

One thing that struck me odd was Amy’s friends behavior. I’m not sure if they were drunk or on some sort of medication because they acted strangely obnoxious throughout the film and always inappropriate to the situation. Hard to feel much sympathy for them as they practically dive onto the knives of the killer. Amy finally discovers her friend has been feeding the fish with her entire skull and is chased by Killer-Ray into the morgue where it just happens that Marvin works the night shift. The cop who has been 5 steps behind them through the whole film also finally catches up and confronts the killer. This is all leading up to a sort of weird interpretive open ending (hey anybody remember to actually arrest the murderer in the basement? anyone? think someone should go check that out? anyone?? no? okay then…let’s move on.)

While not really a good slasher film, the characters are entertaining in their strange pod-people like behavior and there’s a few good gotch-ya moments with a car chase. I’d say check it out if you’ve got nothing better already sitting in the old VCR… hey what year is it anyways?

So grab some popcorn and don’t forget to feed the fish.

Keep an eye out for…

– thinly padded theater seating
– head shaped aquarium figurines
– teachers from the breakfast club
– Tom Hanks jogger tripping
– death by stereo
– student morticians with 2×4’s
– bi-polar cops
– extreme hair feathering
– car-roof carpooling
– Halloween soundtrack ripoffs

Tom Hanks anxiously awaits reprising his oscar worthy role in Turner and Hooch 2: Electric Booga-drool.

rated 7.1 out of 10 for the movie



Check out the trailer for He Knows You’re Alone

Feb

posted by admin | February 4, 2008 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Uncategorized

Comments Off on The Funhouse

funhouse

“You know what this room needs? An evil clown statue. Oh wait…

The town carnival was always a place of fascination for me. A sort of mobile caravan of weirdness. The row of games where you can loose your teenage life’s savings while trying to win a $3 stuffed Tweety bird for your girlfriend. The buckets of assorted fried meats you can gorge yourself on before they have to jump start your heart, and then there’s the unsavory combination of smells around every turn. When you put an assortment of porta-potties, open garbage cans and a few hundred tons of corn dogs a few feet from each other you’re bound to create some sort of toxic sludge. That might explains how they keep those creepy carny workers alive, a netherworld chemical of food by-products thereby reanimating their lifeless corpses for another day of work much like office coffee. I’d also question some of the rides safety testings. Ever notice the small single rusty bolt that holds your creeky cart precariously to the metal octopus arm?…at any moment snapping and sending you into the parking lot like a homemade turkey catapult? Well now you will…and you’re welcome. Fortunately most people make it out alive in the face of these carnival dangers.

In the horror film “the funhouse” some carnival patrons aren’t so lucky. Amy our lead virginal hero is going out with her friends to check out the arrival of the carnival. We know she’ll survive because she’s a virgin and as we all know they can create forcefields around them from evil (or drunk frat guys whichever they encounter first.) After a Halloween inspired shower-scene attack by her perverted little brother she decides sideshow freaks would be a welcome change of pace. They check out the mutant cattle show, get mild whiplash on the bumper cars and visit a fortune teller who freelances as a hooker. Will the fun ever stop? They even stop at a girlie strip show tent hoping to get a sneak peek. I don’t recall seeing that particular attraction at my local town fair when I was a teenager. The closest to that was the 4H melon contest next to the farm animal petting cage. It sure would have increased tickets sales though.

Amy seems to be mysteriously drawn to a creepy funhouse at the outskirts of the carnival and her friends decide it would be a great idea to actually stay the night inside. The funhouse is a massive structure with a winding track of riding carts that tour through a variety of creepy displays and animatronic weirdness within it. There’s also a creepy robotic fat lady who sits on top of the building laughing mockingly at any bulimic teen that walks by.

Once inside, the teenagers ditch the carts and frolic in some poorly made evil forests that seemed to be constructed by the same people that build cheap floats for town parades. Things go from bad to worse when they inadvertently witness the killing of the fortune teller hooker (fortune-hooker!) who just gave a quickie to some guy dressed as Frankenstein. Frank didn’t feel he got his money worth so he kills her instead. Business transactions never go well between mutant beasts and gypsy hookers, but she really should have predicted that.

The kids are soon discovered and Frank who actually turns out to be some sort of real life freak mutant is stalking them along with his equally crazy dad. With only 4 teenagers total, the body count isn’t going to get too high but mutant Frank is all about quality kills not quantity. There’s surprise lynchings, axes to the head, impalements, trapdoors, air duct maulings, and some torso/gear grinding action. All this making up for a great popcorn b-movie but I’d have to say that the main star of this movie really has to be the funhouse itself. It’s creepy, icky and filled with the stuff of nightmares and yet consistently out-acts the actual cast members. I say give this one a spin in your DVD player and save an elephant ear for me.

Keep an eye out for…

– little brother perverts
– carnival bag ladies
– gypsy hookers
– carney choking
– mutant cattle shows gawking
– rope a nerd lynchings
– accidental sword impalements
– freak carney grinders

funhouses, carnies, and a live performance of the Oak ridge boys? Stop the horror!


rated 9.1 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for the Funhouse

Jan

posted by admin | January 2, 2008 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Comedy, Horror movies, Uncategorized

Comments Off on Bikini Bloodbath

Bikini Bloodbath

“Her date with a midget Mexican Hitler impersonator didn’t really turn out like she hoped.

Well It’s a brand new year. So I say goodbye to 2007 and all of your “don’t taser me bros” and “Britney Spears head shaving shenanigans” and hello to a year of renewed excitement and new direction and a lot of TV political ads. Ok 2007, sorry I said those bad things before…I’m not really ready for 2008 and all it’s Diane Sawyers and Huckabee Fins. I didn’t mean it so please come back. I did however watch the newly refitted strobe of death light ball drop in Times Square last night and I must say that ball was about as bright as a small red sun this year. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see party goers running in terror as the light burned their retinas from it’s new Eco-friendly LED (Light emitting death) bulbs. But instead viewers got to endure live performances of Hannah Montana and see Ryan Seacrest babble on about his hair. Hmmm…. I think I would have preferred to be blinded.

With a new year comes a new crop of b-movies and I kicked off the year with a film that puts the “b” back in b-movie. It even smacks it upside the head and calls it names and makes it sit in the corner sucking its thumb. It’s sort of a less plot, more blood, more breasts, and well at least one beast…(if you don’t count the lesbian gym teacher)…and one beard, oh and several references to the term “beaver.” But mostly it’s a story about simple minded highschool girls that badly play volleyball, shower together, and shop for groceries…so it’s already better than Spiderman 3 in my book. The girls become the target of a phyco French chef who has been killing girls wandering the nearby forest. I only think he was French based on his angry disposition and hatred for Americans…though he sort of reminded me of a cross between the chef from the Muppets and the lead singer from ZZ-Top.

The surviving group of the girls decide to throw a party that night even with the knowledge there’s a killer on the loose. So after a marathon long grocery shopping session and extensive party preparations that would make Martha Stewart jealous, they finally get the tunes jamming and snacks snacking. Hot tub dipping and extended dressing and undressing scenes pad the film like a Larry Flint with ADD is directing but that’s to just to keep us paying attention.

A few of the local highschool guys crash the bikini hot tub party after narrowly escaping a creepy football jockfest game of twister down the street. Popcorn and Strawberry daiquiri’s are served….and served..and served again. Because nothing helps your senses and survival skills like dousing your brain in alcohol. The chef slices and dices through most of these drunk cattle like a fast food Japanese sushi meal ( but with bad special effects) until a final bikini standoff in the dad’s garage next to a tanning booth ala Hell’s Kitchen. Chef Gordon Ramsay would have been a better choice for the killer and he would have recommended a fine red wine to go with those party snacks. The soundtrack is hilarious with spoofs on Friday the 13th, Footloose, and Flash Dance along with some 80 style metal rock from the band “White Ligger.” (Don’t accept any substitutes like White Tiger or White Lion..there is only one Ligger.) The film is shot in a “we’re almost porn” budget style, but it’s still entertaining and good enough for a beer night… minus the creepy football player party, so I say check it out and bring your swim trunks.

Keep an eye out for…

– olympic volleyball rejects
– cheeseburger obsessed homeless
– gratuitous use of bedroom flamingos
– grocery shopping marathons
– telephone nun-chucks
– Flash dancing rednecks
– hot White Ligger lovin’
– pre-death daikires
– severed leg hugging
– facist taco stands

“White Liggers don’t take showers…they take bloodbaths.”

rated 7.9 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Bikini Bloodbath

Dec

posted by admin | December 23, 2007 | B-movies, Uncategorized

Comments Off on Merry Christmas and Watch out for Killer Snowmen

No new movie reviews this week. I feel it’s a good time to reflect upon the year and celebrate the joyous Christmas season. In the meantime please take a look through my review archives for some great films you may have missed. I’m taking a short break from all the b-movie goodness and building a snowman with my kids. You can see the results below.

About the Highway

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