Oct

Maniac
2012 – Not Rated – IFC Midnight

Remakes are a very fickle subject. Films that are often being remade, are those that are regarded as high ‘cult’ status and have a large and not to mention intense fan base. So, it goes without saying that when rumors were rumbling that William Lustig’s serial killer masterpiece Maniac was being fitted for a remake, it would be critically disapproved before it was even made. This disapproval seemed to settle into gentle curiosity when High Tension director Alexander Aja was attached and shortly after the casting of Elijah Wood in the role of Frank Zito, not only were we curious, but they had our attention as well. Sure enough, we were watching the production of this film under a microscope and growing more interested with every shred of news.

It’s also tricky reviewing a remake. It will, of course, be compared to the original, which in most cases, is far superior (if not only for nostalgic reasons). But you have to remember to look at it as its own entity and judge it based on its own merit. After all, do you really want to see the same thing rehashed exactly the same way (remember the Psycho remake)? Like I said, it’s very challenging to remake and modernize a horror film, so how does Franck Khalfoun’s rendition of the classic hold up?

It starts off similar enough, with Frank stalking his prey. Only this time a young woman decides to walk home from a night club all by herself, unaware that Frank is watching her (as we watch from his POV) from his truck. After one of the best opening music soundtracks in this generation, Frank meets her at her apartment, unbeknownst to her though. He cuts the power, darkening the corridor and walks behind her, breathing heavily until she is about to enter her apartment. Hesitant to turn around, he tells her, “Please don’t scream,” and before she can, he plunges a giant Bowie knife under her chin. Gently he caresses her face and removes the knife to scalp her and then in big, bold, confident and alarming red letters as big as the screen, the title MANIAC appears before fading to black. Right out of the gates, the movie doesn’t hold back any punches and doesn’t shy away from disturbing you.

maniac_2As Frank wakes up and goes about his daily routine, makes coffee, hallucinates that a girl is in his bed (you know, the usual stuff), you may be noticing that it hasn’t switched out of his POV and that is what not only separates this remake from the original, but from pretty much every other film out there. Keeping in theme with the original, Frank staples the scalp to a mannequin while talking with it. So just in case you weren’t sure he was a few cans short of a six pack, this should tip you off. Continuing, we get a look into how this movie is ‘modernized’ as Frank stalks and sets up potential kills via dating websites. It actually makes good sense and clearly illustrates every single person’s worst fear, but now it’s going to make it harder for me to score a date… especially when we watch this!

A quick online dating success later, he meets up with a cute little trollop named Lucy. It’s during this dinner that we get a look into Frank’s psyche, as the radial blur filters the screen, he sees everyone in the restaurant staring at him and blood trickles down Lucy’s face. It’s never explained exactly what this condition is, though he calls them migraines. They seem to quickly reside after he pops a few pills. Unfortunately, they effects don’t last long. Lucy invites him over for a drink and he insists that he needs to leave, but nervous guys that she can domineer are her thing. She dances around her apartment to ‘Goodbye Horses’, made popular in Silence of the Lambs and forever stapling it to all things creepy. Overcome with homicidal tendencies, he strangles her and scalps her, thus acquiring a new girlfriend (in his mind), after he staples the scalp on a mannequin, of course.

It’s interesting to note that this kill is somewhat different from the others in the film, in that he is hesitant to kill her and almost seemingly resists. He even throws up afterwards and weeps, possibly indicating that he was beginning to like Lucy and did not want to kill her. It adds a whole new dimension to the character and not just a showing the typical ‘kill the women mindlessly’ slasher trend. But now I’m getting off track.

maniac_3This is when we are introduced to the lovely Anna, who will become the love interest of sorts to Frank. She wakes him the next morning by taking photos of his mannequins outside his shop window. Feeling a desirable, artistic connection, he invites her inside to look at his work. When he isn’t doing the Apache scalp to women, Frank restores antique mannequins out of a shop he inherited from his mother, who recently died. The two bond and create a friendship, perhaps with an unspoken romance and you can really see it in their eyes. More specifically her eyes, as the actress, Nora Arnezeder, has to stare into the camera as if she is looking deeply and affectionately into Frank’s eyes and she does this convincingly well. You’ll fall in love with her as she looks past the camera and into your eyes, piercing your soul. But how long can Frank subdue his murderous impulses?

As the two spend more time together, it’s noticeable (to the audience) that Frank is falling for Anna. It’s actually quite charming to see him become smitten by her. Maybe it’s the way she looks at us, the audience, that we are falling in love with her! The very mention that she has a boyfriend gives him a “migraine” like before with Lucy. He goes out of his way to take non prescription pharmaceuticals to control these sinister urges, but unfortunately like all classic monster movies, the beast has to come out. He follows a girl home from a dance studio, chases her through a subway and into a parking lot where perhaps the most daunting and brutal murder of the film takes place, as hides under a car, slicing her Achilles tendon as she walks by and stabbing her repeatedly in the back until finally scalping her and posing by a car, so that his reflection resembles the original movie poster. It’s actually a clever nod, seeing as how we don’t get the infamous bathroom or shotgun scenes.

Having borrowed some of Frank’s mannequins for an art show, Anna invites him to said show where everyone seems to be judgmental of the two, but they are lost in each other’s creativity, as Frank and Anna speak, you really get a sense of the tragedy that they most likely will not end up together. At this point, it’s really debatable if this is a love story or not. You want nothing more than for her to save him from all his troubles. You want Frank to tell Anna that he loves her and maybe that’s the true horror of this film and not the murders; that Frank and Anna will never be together. And as if seeing Anna with her beau wasn’t enough to crush his spirits, he’s ridiculed by him for potentially being a closet homosexual (jocks at an art show… this IS fiction) and then by Anna’s manager. Frank follows her home and in a rather disturbing scene, Frank watches her bathe for a moment, just before dunking her head underwater. He then begins yelling at her as if he were yelling at his mother for the terrible things she did and then scalping her. It’s in this scene where you think maybe Frank doesn’t believe that he is killing anyone, but helping them to live on forever.

maniac_4After receiving the news that her manager is dead, Anna calls up Frank who is more than happy to console her. However, Frank lets a few things slip as you watch Anna’s facial expressions change from sad, to quizzical, to horrified as she realizes Frank is a killer. Realizing she is in terrible danger, she now fights off the psychotic Frank, who tells her he wants nothing more than to help her and take her away, all leading to a very dark, but unfortunately for Frank, fitting end.

In a word, Maniac is intense. Although it contains the same elements and ideas of the original, it feels like a completely different beast. But that’s how a remake should feel. For starters, the entire movie is shot from Frank’s POV, with a few exceptions where the camera will come out from his eyes and we see him committing horrendous acts of violence, which is incredibly effective as you see the murder through the killer’s eyes, then transition to be an audience to it. Frank himself is quite different, being an unassuming, charming young man rather than the chubby, greasy (no offense) counterpart and Elijah Wood plays this role eerily convincing. It’s seriously my favorite portrayal of a character in a long time. Elijah Wood ‘kills’ it! We also go into his childhood quite a bit and examine his mother issues, which there aren’t that many. So it feels like the film could do without these scenes and still work, but the way they are shown is pretty traumatizing. Especially when you see little Frank’s mother getting gang banged as he watches from the closet… and she knows he’s in there. Ah, brings back memories.

As I said before, the entire cinematography is from the point of view of Frank. We are looking through his eyes, which you would think could get nauseating or even be distracting, but the shots are smooth and don’t bob around so much like it would with a free hand found footage type of movie. This also makes viewing it ghastly, like you are a part of this macabre destruction and gore. Speaking of gore, Maniac may not contain the famous head explosion like the original, but it has more than enough repulsive violence and bloodshed to go around! A majority of the effects are practical (or a combination of composite shots) and seeing Frank use his buck knife or straight razor to remove his victims scalps, then slowly pull them off may require you to prepare barf bags before viewing. And to further shake your core, the score by Rob is a simple one, reminiscent of John Carpenter, with an easy synth beat and heavy stings, but always fitting the mood of the movie.

Maniac
While it does take the idea of the original and stays true to the classic, it does take its own path while it tells its own story. I guess you could call it an ‘updated version’ (and by that I don’t mean they use computers and cell phones… although they do). Maniac is most definitely a modern day horror film that will eventually become a classic on its own merit, rather than lurking in the shadow of William Lustig’s original 1980 shocker. In fact, this may very well spawn clones of POV serial killer movies, which will soon become annoying, just like all found footage and possession movies. Check out Maniac, alone or on a date… but not with anyone you met on a dating website.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Frank the Apache.
  • Mannequin makeover.
  • Goodbye horses… goodbye, Lucy!
  • Strangers on a subway.
  • Maniac Migraine.
  • If you have a mommy issue, reach for a tissue.
  • Grand Theft Anna.
  • Frank spills his guts.
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

Blood and guts galore with plenty of scalping.

8

blood

BREASTS

All kinds and all sizes for the kiddies!

10

beast

BEASTS

Although a bit more sympathetic, Elijah Wood ‘kills’ it as Frank. He pulls off totally unassuming and totally bonkers.

9 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer!”

trailers

dripper
Oct

posted by Doktor | October 25, 2013 | 80's b-movies, B-movies, Horror movies, Review by Doktor

Tagline: The Ultimate Terror has Taken Form…

Year: 1983 Runtime: 82 min

Director: Jackie Kong

Writer: Jackie Kong

Starring: Martin Landau, Marianne Gordon, Bill Osco

The 50’s might have loved the atom, particularly splitting it to use for energy, but by the 80’s popular opinion had taken a decidedly oppositional turn. The Being is one of the many nuclear-waste-is-mutating-us-into-monsters movies.

The story goes like this:

Pottsville, Idaho is a small town. Much like any small town across these United States. The exception is they’ve got a metric manure-ton of potatoes and the population are all retarded mongoloids. This is most likely not their fault because the town is home to a nuclear chemical dump site that pumps directly into the town’s aquifer. The waste dump is directly adjacent to a junk yard, the town’s air field, and finally a cyanide and sulfuric acid factory.

Hmmm…

Now that I think about it, maybe Pottsville is getting exactly what it deserves. The nuclear chemical dump site is a joke, despite the mayor calling it, “The most sophisticated dump site in the country.” What does such a refined establishment look like? There are 50 gallon drums strewn about willy-nilly. The facility, if you can call a couple metal shacks a facility, are protected by a chain fence which is locked down with a chain that almost keeps the gates closed. Having secured the grounds so thoroughly, no one is on duty patrolling the site. Ever. Oh, and did I mention that the dump leaks directly into the town’s aquifer?

But don’t worry, Dr. Martin Landau, Idaho’s State Scientist, says it’s a-OK.

Recently there have been a rash of missing persons which has the authorities baffled. Considering the authority leading up the case, opening a can of already opened sardines is an insurmountable mental effort, but more on him later. We, the audience, know the missing persons are victims of the mutant monster.

It’s never fully explained, or explained at all actually, what created the monster, but the scuttlebutt is, according to the suppository of all worldly cinematic knowledge, IMDb, a local boy was mutated into The Being. There is Marge, the crazy lady running around in her nightgown looking for her son Michael, whom I believe to be the movie’s attempt to explain the origin of The Being, but without the Cliff Notes I wouldn’t have worked that out. Then again, my IQ dropped twenty points while viewing The Being, leaving me with, at best, 50 to work with, so that might account for my not “getting” the subtler points.

The Being has some interesting powers. It’s a cyclops. I’m not sure if that should be considered a power or not, but it is what it is. It is super strong, i.e. can punch through a car’s roof and still rip off a person’s heads with ease. It can tunnel faster than Bugs Bunny, and always makes the left turn at Albuquerque. It has off-screen teleportation, which means when it’s not in front of the camera it can be anywhere—a fairly standard movie monster power. It can instantaneously dissolve/eat it’s victims. When it’s dead it explodes. I think the detonation has something to do with dismembering it, but I’ll need to research this further to be sure.

The Being’s molecular structure breaks down in the light. I think this is supposed to be a weakness, but they never exploit it. There is one scene where it’s trapped in a walk-in freezer and the light is on. This turns it into a puddle, allowing it to escape. And, seeing as how it can turn itself into jelly, maybe it’s less of a weakness and more of a strength. I’ll leave it to you to decide which column that ability belongs in ‘cos thinking about it make my brain hurts.

On the weakness side, it is susceptible to sulfuric acid and being cut into pieces with an axe. This is excellent because detective Mortimer Lutz, our hero, stumbles into both at the critical moment.

Speaking of Lutz, although he is the protagonist, he is the worst of the window-lickers on the short bus.   When it gets to the final boss scene at the nuclear dump/cyanide factory, Lutz’s plan is to turn on several cyanide canisters, that are face level, while he’s gasping for air from all the running around, and then he puts on his gas mask. He proceeds to turn on more canisters, all while in a closed area, sporting a huge open wound on his upper thigh. Sigh.

Even rocket surgeons know Lutz would be dead.

After evading the monster for a few minutes, it pulls his gas mask off, beats him up, and throws him into a rack of sulfuric acid. Some of the containers drop to the floor and break open, releasing clouds of toxic vapor all around him—to go with the already toxic cyanide. Yet Lutz manages to breathe with only a slight cough while hacking the creature to bits.  With The Being finally dead, Lutz climbs up a chain, several stories, through the poisonous air, to the skylight. He breaks out a pane and climbs to freedom. Yippee!

I suppose it’s a good thing Lutz wasn’t the one who mutated. He would have been invincible.

roadside attractions

  • Learn youself some country metaphors like “sneaking up on us like a hongry hound dog on a T-bone steak”!
  • Marvel at the space available in late 70’s early 80’s cars—enough to fully stretch out for lurvin’ at the drive-in!
  • Wonder at why Martin Landau is in this film! (Money for “the hootch?”)
  • Muse on to how three people (Bill Osco, Rexx Coltrane and Johnny Commander) are credited for one part—and all three still manage to have less range than Keanu Reeves!
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

Ripped off heads, fist through the back tearing out the deputy’s heart, pieces of Martin Landau, and Ruth Buzzi, dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West, crying blood.

10

blood

BREASTS

Even the movie within the movie has breasts. AWE-some!

5

beast

BEASTS

Just The Being, but he’s an impressive one.

8.333 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “The Being”

trailers

dripper
Oct

posted by The Goon | October 22, 2013 | 50's b-movies, Drama, Reviews by the Goon, Suspense, screeners

The Hitch-Hiker
1953 – Not Rated – Kino Lorber

You’re traveling down a lonely road so void of any life it may as well be a painting. Out of a nowhere like a mirage, a figure seems to be standing still, arm out and thumb extended. You decide to be a good Samaritan and give the drifter a ride. After all, what’s the worse that could happen? Next thing you know, your vehicle is void of any signs of life. Only traces of blood in the driver’s side with a bullet casing in the passenger’s.

This is the kind of fear that The Hitch-Hiker induces. Although it’s not a PSA (though it could be an effective one), it illustrates a ‘your worst nightmare’ scenario when picking up a vagabond. The film immediately puts you in a vice and doesn’t let go until it’s finished. It’s what you immediately think of when you hear “Film-Noir”. It’s dark, it’s dirty and it’s white knuckled. Also interesting to note, it’s directed by Ida Lupino and keep in mind that it was unheard of to have a woman direct back then, especially a crime drama as zealous as this!

Emmett Myers has been hitching for some time. The bronze is hot on his trail, but he remains a step ahead as he leaves a trail of victims, told via spinning newspapers on Lazy Susan’s. Which brings us to our unlucky duo, Roy and Gil, on their way to the Chocolate Mountains for a fishing trip… or so they told their wives. They’re in Mexico when we meet them, passing up a cat house and running smack dab into Emmett on the side of the road, giving him a lift. Their trip instantly turns sour at this moment, as he draws a gun on them when Roy offers him a smoke (this could make a great anti-smoking ad). Emmett immediately takes control, ordering them about and showing that he’s a seasoned veteran at this. Holding them hostage with his gun from the backseat, I can’t help but think of that scene from Pulp Fiction where Vincent accidentally shoots Marvin in the face (throughout the movie, I kept waiting for this to happen). He asks them questions about their lives, what they do and ridiculing their answers, proving he is inside their heads and tells them he intends to kill them once they reach their destination. The look on their faces tells you they know their situation and they know they are over a barrel.

hh_2Knowing that a car ride would get boring (after all, there are only so many times you can sing ‘99 Bottles of Beer’), Emmett plays games with his pawns. While pulled over to check the map, Emmett showcases his marksmanship by shooting a tin off a rock from several yards away! Look out, Billy the Kid! He does this with Gil standing nearby, which I’m sure browned his britches. Just having learned that Roy is somewhat of a sharpshooter himself, he directs him to shoot the tin out of Gil’s hand. Remember that scene from The Jackal where Bruce Willis has Jack Black hold up the pack of cigarettes? Kinda reminds me of that.

As they travel across the desert fleeing the authorities, they learn they are being looked for in the Arizona desert. However, they were traveling across the Mexican border. Emmett taunts Roy and Gil for lying to their wives about what they are actually doing and this is a subplot that comes to a halt, as it’s never mentioned again after this. We never really learn what Gil and Roy are doing way out that way, other than a few lines of dialogue. It’s acceptable though, as it doesn’t really chew away at the back of your brain, due to the film’s quick and energetic pace. We jump from one muscle tensing dilemma to the next, but it never becomes incoherent.

After a few hair raising close calls with a few locals, Roy and Gil decide they need to flee or it’s curtains for sure. Waiting for Emmett to sleep, they run off into a field and into an opening. However, Emmett was only playing possum, fooling them with his bum eye and nearly runs them down in the car after Gil trips and falls like a woman in a slasher film. Hopefully he didn’t break a heal.

The closer they get to their destination, the closer they are to their impending doom, Gil starts giving up hope. Acting as if he were already dead, Roy has to push him with the small sliver of hope that they can still make it out of this alive. Cops hot on their tail, Emmett switches clothes with Gil (now disguising himself as a doughy, middle aged man) in the final attempt to take a ferry to his salvation. Seems like them Duke boys sure have themselves in quite the pickle!

The Hitch-Hiker
Where was the Jam Handy informational short for this scenario? Based off the actual event in 1950 where a man named Billy Cook murdered a family of five and then was captured after leaving a deputy for dead, makes this movie all that more shocking. It adds a whole other dimension of gut wrenching realism to the film, like another layer of darkness. It’s enough to make anyone paranoid of picking up a stranger. For a short run time of seventy one minutes, The Hitch-Hiker certainly keeps you in suspense and will surprise you. Although the ending does wrap everything up nice and neat, it’s still has a lurid manner throughout the duration and I wasn’t sure what to expect. So take a joy ride with this one and pick up The Hitch-Hiker from Kino Lorber. This is one hitcher that won’t creep you out with stories of Nam or conspiracy theories.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Spinning newspapers, always a classic.
  • Viva La Me-hee-co!
  • Lazy eye.
  • Gil: The human lump of bread dough.
  • Shooting competition.
  • Emmett bossy boots.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Very little, but the shear idea of violence behind this scenario is pretty disturbing.

0

blood

BREASTS

None, unless you count Gil.

7

beast

BEASTS

Emmett is one sick puppy.

4.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie!”

trailers

dripper
Oct

Remember when a killer soundtrack could actually save a horrible movie from extinction? Something that you could rock out to even if the movie didn’t make a lick of sense. Movies like Flashdance, The Sound of Music or that evil orphan movie with little red headed asian girl, Annie. Yes, there’s a handful if not dozens of such films and Rocktober Blood is one of them. It’s pure metalsploitation where a soundtrack will melt your face off, but only long enough to distract you from just what a piece of horse pucky you’re actually watching.

Tray Loren plays Billy “Eye” Harper, a local rocker whose been laying down some “killer” tracks at the recording studio with his back up singer/girlfriend Lynn. Billy isn’t very happy with the record producers, so he starts killing them off while Lynn takes an incredibly long time to undress for the hot tub upstairs. After impaling one of them on coat hook, Billy in his Top Gun sunglasses, forces Lynn to sing at knife point until a security guard breaks up the karaoke. Billy is later arrested, tried, and executed for killing at least 25 people. They obviously didn’t know to rock.

rocktober blood2 years later, Lynn takes over the band and starts her own tour of heavy metal with a blood and guts stage show. She’s obviously working through some relationship issues. Unfortunately she’s starting to see Billy’s face pop-up around town and running into him at parties, which is always awkward. Nobody in her band believes her, especially her manager who suspiciously resembles a beaten Fabio and insists that her friends take her on vacation. They fly her up to a secluded cabin where they all can relax and aerobicise in the wild, but Billy shows up again just to taunt her with his annoying laugh and rummages through her underwear drawer. Lynn insists Billy is alive despite nobody else seeing him and heads back to dig up his grave to prove it. Unfortunately she finds his decayed corpse still wearing a rockin’ bandanna instead. Shyamalan plot twist – Billy is really dead!

Convinced she is going nuts, Lynn decides the best therapy is to get back to her concert tour, but just before the show she is drugged backstage by Billy’s evil twin John who killed everyone years ago and has been following Lynn ever since. “Sorry Billy about that whole conviction and execution thing. My bad.”

Tom handcuffs Lynn to his wrist and performs in front of a live studio audience as Billy. His band is un-phased by it all and continues to rock on. Fabio sneaks up with an electric guitar and mashes him on the head just as Tom finishes out his solo. But haven’t we’ve seen all this before on American Idol?

Rocktober Blood has very little to do with Oktober or Rock and contains very little blood. Playing Guitar Hero has better character development but at least it all ends on a high note. Barry Goodall gives it 2 guitar riffs out of 5 mostly for the gratuitous areobicizing.

roadside attractions

  • Gratuitous backup singing
  • Wall coat peg impalement
  • Neck slashin’
  • “lactose intolerant” Fabio
  • Breakdancing werewolf
  • Jacuzzi dunking
  • Death by steam cleaning
  • Heart ripping with optional decapitation
  • Death by rock!
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

A few good splatters and neck slicing though most of it happens on a rock stage with corn syrup.

8

blood

BREASTS

Does it count if it’s the same hot tub scene shown twice? Yes, yes it does.

1

beast

BEASTS

Billy who is strangely reminiscent of a screaming cub bear lost in the woods.

3.5 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the full movie of “Rocktober Blood”

trailers

dripper
Oct

Tagline: Sexploitation Sinema Has Never Been So Fun!

Year: 1988 Runtime: 89 min

Director: Robert Hayes

Writer: Robert Hayes, Dan Rotblatt

Starring: Persis Khambatta, Kathleen Kinmont, Peggy McIntaggart

Phoenix the Warrior is also known as She-Wolves of the Wasteland. I mention this partially for thoroughness’s sake, but mostly because it sets expectations exactly where they need to be. This is a very simple movie: put scantily clad, or preferably topless, women in front of the camera for roughly 90 minutes. And that’s exactly what the film delivers.

The story, such as it is, goes like this: a bacteriological war killed most of the world’s men and left only a handful of women.The Reverend Mother (think female Emperor Palpatine) rose into power, both in government and in magic. Don’t know how, it’s just vomited out in the opening exposition. Somehow—I’m going with Science Magick™—she creates all the post-war people, which are all women. Thing is, she is powered by draining the life from others, and women don’t have as much juice as men. Problem is, she’s killed all the men “working” them in the sperm banks. So…

The final seed is stolen by The Breeders, a group of women who want to breed more humans, and used to impregnate Keela, some woman. And by the grace of the Goddess it’s a boy.

(And there was much rejoicing. Yay.)

Phoenix comes along just in time to save Keela from the Reverend Mother and her goonettes. Then the passage of time goes all quantum retarded. The day after they escape Skyler, the boy child, is born. I assume that this streamlined procreation process is due to the lack of men. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. There’s lots of topless women in the tribe that takes Phoenix and Keela in.

The Reverend Mother has the power of Baby Birth Detection with Slight Baby GPS, which gives her the location to send the goonettes, led by Cobalt (Persis “Ilia” Khambatta). Unfortunately only the Topless Ones are killed in the raid. Phoenix, Keela, and newborn Skyler escape.

The next day Skyler is about 5 years old. Nah, just kidding. He’s five because it is five years later. Robert Hayes is terrible about conveying the passage of time. Just when the audience is completely confused, he falls back on exposition in order to set things straight. Keela: “No one has seen us in 5 years.”

Oh. Ok. Thanks. That cleared that up. Not much has changed in 5 years. Everyone looks the same. Clothes are the same. Hair’s the same. What the hell? Maybe it’s that good dessert air. Show some breast and all is forgotten.

While on the run Phoenix, Keela, and Skyler find a ramshackle shack. They bed down for the night only to wake to a gas masked interloper standing over them. Phoenix kicks her in the va-jay-jay and Keela busts her in the head with a rock. Down she goes. Under the gas mask is…

A MAN! Named, conveniently, Guy.

Realization sets in. Oh, noes! He’s broke! “There’s nothing more useless than a man that doesn’t work.” Preach on, Phoenix. (She’s talking about his pee-pee.)

Meanwhile, a drifter brings a toy to Cobalt who takes it to the Reverend Mother. Using her powers as an object empath, she determines it is the boy child’s toy. And again she uses her power of Slight Baby GPS to locate the boy child.

In their lust to satisfy the Reverend Mother, the goonettes rush in all half-vaginaed. Their plan? Crash their truck through the shanty where he’s hiding. Nothing could possibly go wrong, amirite? Luckily Guy has an escape pipe which he, Keela, and Skyler manage to get through. Unluckily Phoenix gets captured.

Here there’s the obligatory “gladiator fighting pits” scene. Phoenix makes a friend of Neon, one of the gladiatoresses. Phoenix then kicks some butt. Keela and Guy come to her rescue. Weeeeee!

Back together and with some sweet post-apocolypse wheels, they make a run for the Badlands in order to find some place safe to live.

This is an even better idea than the goonettes running their truck into the shanty. The Badlands are the home of the Rezule, TV worshiping mutants. Honestly they don’t seem very tough or frightening. Considering they don’t have guns, and Phoenix and crew do, I can’t understand why they were worried. It’s like being worried by Romero zombies or 70’s Daleks. You can walk by them, but it was in the script so the Rezule are fearsome.

To insult our intelligence Phoenix says, “End of the road,” when they make it to the Badlands. The end of the road is a slight hill with dead bushes. There’s no way they can drive a car though that, so they set off on foot. Hayes couldn’t think of something more realistic like running out of gas? Sigh.

The Doofus Crew promptly gets captured. Magically, out of the dead bushes, comes Cobalt and the goonettes. They take Guy and Skyler. The Rezule get to deal with Phoenix and Keela.

Now is the Reverend Mother’s moment of glory. She has Guy to refill the bank. She has Skyler to refill herself. Perfect, right? She starts off by telling Skyler to prepare himself. Really? Prepare himself? What is the boy going to do? Ask for a blind fold and a cigarette? Pray to his God? Eat his final meal? He’s five. He just stands there looking at her.

Guy, whose chained nearby, tells the Reverend Mother to take him instead. Naturally he won’t do, plus he’s got a bank to fill. Being a nice lady, the Reverend Mother gives Guy the option to watch.

At this point you’d think the Reverend Mother would dig in, right? Everything she’s been waiting years for is right there. She’s told Skyler to prepare himself. Guy’s watching. Well, not so much. What she does is sit there. She waits, giving Phoenix and Keela time escape (with the miraculously timed arrival of Neon, remember her?) to make it to her, set up a pointless diversion, kill her goonettes, and ultimately kill her. Too bad intelligence wasn’t one of the Reverend Mother’s powers.

The movie closes with the same inexplicable scene that opens the film: Phoenix, horseback, on the beach.

roadside attractions

  • Witness the Topless Dance of Birth! Goddess be praised!
  • Thrill at the vicious fight choreography!
  • Boobs! ‘Nuff said.
  • Marvel at the Rezule, TV people in the badlands who read from the scriptures of TV Guide!
  • Fill your eyes with Bikini Babes with machine guns!
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

There are a few good shots, but for all the burlets spent there’s not much blood spilled.

10

blood

BREASTS

The one thing this film got right: lots of breasts to keep the audience’s attention.

5

beast

BEASTS

In a dystopian world you’d think there would be more mutants. Sadly there’s only the Reverend Mother and the Rezule.

6.66 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Phoenix the Warrior”

trailers

dripper
Scream Prints
join our mailing list
* indicates required

About the Highway

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