Feb

posted by The Goon | February 11, 2013 | 80's b-movies, 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Reviews by the Goon

Comments Off on Death Valley

death valley

Remember that kid Ralphie from A Christmas Story? Of course you do. You watch it every freaking holiday season. Anyway before actor Peter Billingsley did that, he was in this thriller/horror film about vacationing in Death Valley called… Death Valley. And remember Andy’s mom from Child’s Play, Catherine Hicks? Yup, she’s in this one too playing a mother. Only connection from Child’s Play to this movie that I can make is Peter Billingsley has this evil doll like stare. Oh and Wilford Brimley even shows up in a few scenes to play sheriff. Just long enough to get a check. That diabeetus medication isn’t cheap, son.

death valleyWell the fine ghouls over at Scream! Factory ported over a solid transfer of both video and audio and present this surprisingly suspense film on Blu-ray. Although not crammed with special features, we do get audio commentary from the director Dick Richards and Edwin Samuelson of The Cinephiles for a pretty informative commentary. Outside of that, a few trailers and a TV spot.

So what’s the movie about? Well, this kid wants a Red Ryder BB gun… sorry, wrong film. Death Valley focuses on young Billy (Peter Billingsley) who we see having a rather pleasant day with his father in the Big Apple. That’s New York City or NYC for the laymen. They discuss Billy leaving the city to go to Death Valley with his mother for a small vacation in a rather touching discussion they have and you learn about his parent’s divorce. Billy’s mother, Sally (Catherine Hicks) kinda tosses Billy into her new relationship and wants him to get along with herself and Mike, her new boyfriend. In his defense, he actually does try by talking to Billy and giving him a cap gun pistol as a present, exclaiming it was the same model that Billy the Kid used (Billy has a cowboy fascination), but Billy (the kid Billy, not Billy the Kid. Confused?) schools him on the actual model. Suck it, Mike!

While wandering around COMPLETELY UNSUPERVISED in Death Valley, which by the way, Sally gave him permission to do. I’m not really feeling this mom character. Billy stumbles across an RV, which moments before had served the purpose of a crime scene where three travelers were killed. They don’t find the bodies, but Billy steals a medallion he finds on board. This RV has a beautiful ‘Macaroni and Cheese’ colored shag carpet with wood paneling, proving that the 70’s had no sense of decency. Mike comes and finds him and they go about their day. Billy recognizes the same medallion on a man at a diner they are eating at, instantly feeling a strange suspicion of the man. They also see that the same RV they saw in Death Valley is being pulled from the bottom of a cliff and they tell Sheriff Diabeetus (cause it’s Wilford Brimley. Get it?) that they had seen it earlier and Billy hands over the medallion he found. The Sheriff knows who it belongs to and sets off to ask the person of interest about it, but doesn’t come back from the questioning. Here’s your check, Mr. Brimley! Thanks for passing by the set and playing Sheriff!

death valleyNow that the killer has the medallion back in his possession, you learn that there could possibly be two killers. The sheriff, unknowingly that he was talking to the killer(s), revealed who found the pendant and where which hotel they were staying at. Wow, Sheriff. Ever heard of a thing called confidentiality, especially when you are questioning someone you suspect to be involved in the murder? So now, the killer begins tracking and stalking Billy, killing anyone who gets in the way. This is all going on while Mike tries to have a relationship with Billy and reach out to him while Sally just does typical mom stuff.

The film does a great job of drawing out suspense as they play their cat and mouse game and you wonder if there actually are two killers, which is finally revealed in a hair raising ‘lights out’ scene. Peter Billingsley easily steals the show. As a child actor, you completely buy all of his emotions, especially his resistance and then acceptance of Mike. Also, the fear in his eyes when he is alone in a hotel room being hunted down by the killer. His performance is amazing. This kid out acts all these hacks (Channing Tatum, Mark Wahlberg or anyone else I have beef with at the moment.

You can find this movie reasonably priced at any video store or you can order it from Scream! Factory directly and you should. It’s frightening and tense film and the restoration makes this film look real good. Like a cheese cake on one of those spinny plates at the bakery. You know you want it. Not just a slice. The whole thing.

On a final note, this film’s director, Dick Richards, was considered to direct Jaws, but was dropped from the project because he couldn’t distinguish the shark from a whale… if only, Dick. If only. Your career could have been something else.

roadside attractions

  • Take a shot every time you could say “You’re gonna shoot your eye out!”?
  • Throat slashing and gashing.
  • Rednecks?
  • Take another shot every time you feel uncomfortable between Mike and Billy
  • Tap dancing, hoot-a-nanny!
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Couple of slashes, couple of bullets. Nothing too gory, but enough.

3

blood

BREASTS

Ya’ll only get one set o’ hooters, but they sure is pretty!?

9

beast

BEASTS

Crazy twins, rednecks and diabeetus. Game over, man.

7.6 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this trailer from “Arcade”

trailers

dripper
Feb

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

Comments Off on Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies.

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

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

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

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

roadside attractions

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

9

blood

BLOOD

All you could wish for.

1

blood

BREASTS

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

10

beast

BEASTS

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

9 OVERALL
dripper

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

trailers

dripper
Jan

posted by Barry Goodall | January 28, 2013 | 90's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Review by Barry Goodall, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Arcade

arcade

A possessed video games starts stealing kids souls in 1993’s “Arcade” and only Peter Billingsley and his trusty red rider rifle can stop it. Peter plays Nick, a self proclaimed gaming wizard who thinks he can beat any game ever made. He and his slacker buddies head down to the Dante’s Inferno Arcade to check out a new videogame and listen to some Pearl Jam. The game is called Arcade and supposedly so high-tech you have to look through a submarine scope and use joysticks while wearing racing gloves. That’s 90’s marketing genius.

Nick is the first to give it a try but once inside the virtual gaming arena, he gets stuck in a spike maze and is killed by a flaming skull bat. Stunned by his defeat, Nick claims it’s the most amazing game he’s ever seen. Really Nick?…even more amazing than Kirby Superstar? All the kids are given a free console version by the promoter but sadly Ebay hasn’t been invented so they can’t sell it back. Alex (Megan Ward) resident newbie isn’t as impressed but her boyfriend Greg ditches her to stay behind and play it anyways. The game microwaves him like day old pizza and he disappears in a puff of smoke. Nobody really notices or cares, but I blame Nirvana.

arcadeDays later people finally start asking what happened to Greg and Alex’s console game starts taunting her about her now teen spirit boyfriend is trapped inside and she’s next. She rushes over to Nick’s to be “consoled” who doesn’t believe her until witnessing a friend getting nuked while playing it in her living room.

Alex and Nick decide to go to the game’s sleazy promotor Mr. Dillford, played by John De “Q” Lance who tells them they are on “trial for crimes against humanity!” OK not really. He actually has no clue what they’re talking about so he takes them to game’s programmer, Albert for some valuable gamer tips. His best advice is “don’t die” and then shows them a picture of a game map for bonus points. Albert must have missed the beta testing.

Alex and Nick plug back into the game now turbo-charged with kids souls but Nick gets wiped out on the first level and Alex gets zapped into a bonus round where her mom commit suicide. Wow, so remember kids don’t play video games or your parents will die. Glad she didn’t make it to the “kicking puppies” level.

ArcadeAlex fortunately had earned a extra bonus life so she’s able to return back to the playfield to defeat the possessed game, free her friends and getting back her loser boyfriend Greg all before dinner. Sadly Nick didn’t even get to first base with Alex. He must have too busy being the “gaming master” or maybe it was the pink bunny suit he kept wearing?

“Arcade” is not one of Full Moon’s better films that didn’t involve killer puppets or star Tim Thomerson but the 20 minutes of psychedelic credits were interesting enough. Barry Goodall says check it out but only if you’re running low on gaming tokens. Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to get back to playing a much better game of Angry Birds.

roadside attractions

  • Flaming skull bats
  • CGI by a 5th grader
  • Seth Green’s Hair
  • The spiked cave Level from the game Doom
  • Emo pod racing
  • Slacker power gloves
totals

2

blood

BLOOD

A  few ketchup drops on a sucidial housewife’s blonde wig.

0

blood

BREASTS

The only boobs are the ones that paid money to see this in the theater.

5

beast

BEASTS

The arcade machine itself and a few CGI rendered flaming skull bats left over from a Def Leopard video.

2.5 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this trailer from “Arcade”

trailers

dripper
Jan

posted by Barry Goodall | January 25, 2013 | Feature

Comments Off on Welcome The PallBearer Press

Our latests advertising partner, The PallBearer Press has some gruesome gifts for your favorite ghoul. Checkout their great selection of movie shirts, pillows, action figures and even halloween masks. http://www.pallbearerpress.com/

Pallbearer Press

Jan

posted by Doktor | January 21, 2013 | 80's b-movies, B-movie Reviews, Cult Film, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Miami Connection

Tagline: Survival the ultimate test…

Year: 1987 Runtime: 120 min

Director: Y.K. Kim & Woo-Sang Park

Writer: Y.K. Kim

Starring: Y.K. Kim, Vincent Hirsch and Joseph Diamand

Are old enough to remember the 80’s? If so, welcome to generation existential. Oh, and you can skip the next paragraph unless you just want to walk down memory lane. If not, let me set the scene for you that is the back drop to Miami Connection.

Florida in Movies/TV circa1980s

Playing for the bad guys there’s Cuban refugee Tony Montana running llello (that’s cocaine to you and me) in Scarface. On the good guy side there’s Sunny Crockett, Ricardo Tubbs, Martin Castillo and the rest of the united colors of the Miami Vice taking out the trash. Burger King was still leading the world in Whopper sales. Walt Disney started programming the robot Mickey Mouse death squads on the much less expensive, yet far more user friendly Commodore 64.

As accurate as these depictions of Florida are, they are sadly lacking in the darkest secret of Florida during the 80s. To this day it is still only mentioned in hushed tones, but that whisper is a lion’s roar compared to the previous silence surrounding this plague. The plague of the Ninja.

For a millennia Florida was the mecca for the Ninja. Not just any old run-of-the-mill ninja. These are extraordinary ninjas, specialized like their brethren the Tree Ninja, Cave Ninja, Beach Ninja, Teams that form Giant Ninja, Topless Female Ninja, etc. These are the Miami Motorcycle Ninja (MMN) otherwise known as Llello Ninja. They power was so great, their vengeance so swift and frightening, that it took master martial artist Y.K. Kim to bring their evil into the public consciousness.

It took Angelo Janotti, master guitarist, to bring the fight against the Ninja onto the charts and into the hottest discotheques. But don’t take my word for it. Download the tracks, “Against the Ninja” and “Friends,” for free here.

The story follows a band of friends, Mark (Y.K. Kim), John (Vincent Hirsch), Jack (Joseph Diamand), Jim (Maurice Smith), Tom (Angelo Janotti) and Jane (Kathy Collier). By day they’re mild mannered college students, by night synth rock gods, Dragon Force. Both diurnally and nocturnally (as needed) guardians of peace with black belts in Tae Kwon Do. As you can easily guess, Florida (and possibly the world) is not big enough for Dragon Force and Llello Ninja.

Much ass is kicked.

Before you write this off as just another mindless action film, know this: it’s not! A subplot involves Jim, who has been looking for his father. It is more heart wrenching than Oliver Twist, Little Orphan Annie and Quick, Burn Them Alive: The Nelson Brothers Story combined. If you’re not moved by Jim’s story you’re some sort of heartless monster. Or a Llello Ninja.

I can say no more. Words will only fail to capture the majesty of this film and I shan’t be responsible for ruining it for you.

roadside attractions

  • Coca Cola shirts
  • Half shirts & short shorts (on dudes)
  • Mullets
  • Headbands
  • Synth rock band singing about Ninjas
  • Programming in basic
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

One word: Ninjas.

5

blood

BREASTS

Actually, there’s no breasts. But, for some reason, Jim can’t seem to button his pants when he’s at home. So, I’m giving it a five because this movie has a little something for the ladies.

10

beast

BEASTS

Technically, there are no beasts. But there are Llello Ninja, and they are twice as bad as any beast.

8.0 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Dead City” aka “Legion of the Night”

trailers

dripper
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 >>