Sunday, July 29, 2012

MoH 111: Pick Me Up (2006)

Director: Larry Cohen

Starring: Michael Moriarty, Fairuza Balk, Warren Kole, Laurene Landon, Malcolm Kennard, Tom Pickett, Peter Benson

More info: IMDb

Plot: In the middle of nowhere, with only a two-lane highway to connect it to anywhere--probably upstate New York--a recently divorced female traveler, who is a passenger on a bus that has broken down, gets caught in a bizarre and violent turf war between serial killers.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

I'm a huge fan of Larry Cohen's work although I'm ashamed that I haven't gone through his entire catalog. IT'S ALIVE (1974) and GOD TOLD ME TO (1976) are great genre flicks that are high in entertainment. He knows how to make a fun picture. PICK ME UP delivers some fun characters and an interesting premise, one I'm surprised hasn't been done before. Michael Moriarty is having a good time as the killer trucker. Part of my enjoyment came from seeing him totally against type. He hams it up a little too much at times but I can forgive it considering the story. This isn't exactly THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) but there is a great scene involving skinning a female victim. Yummy. The conclusion is wickedly funny, too.

The Sea Hawk (1940)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Starring: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Donald Crisp, Flora Robson, Alan Hale, Henry Daniell, Una O'Connor, James Stephenson, Gilbert Roland

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Dashing . . . romantic . . . Errol Flynn at his thrilling best!

Plot: Captain Geoffrey Thorpe is a privateer, one of several Sea Hawks, who on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I keep the shipping lanes open. When he sinks a Spanish galleon carrying the new Spanish ambassador to England, Don José Alvarez de Cordoba and his niece Doña Maria, the Queen is displeased since they are not at war. Thorpe and his kind are very wary of Spain and urge the Queen to build up the fleet. With the Queen's tacit approval, Thorpe goes to Panama to capture his enemies treasure but they are betrayed. Brought before a Spanish court, he and his men are sentenced to the galleys as slaves. He manages to escape with proof that the Spanish Armada will sail against England.

My rating: 10/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my absolute favorite pirate movie. There will probably never be another that will top it. It's loaded with action, romance, action, swordplay, and even more action. If you don't fall in love with Flynn based on this movie alone then you're probably no longer breathing. I would get a sex change to have Erroll Flynn's babies. That's how awesome and charismatic this cat is in this picture. The dialogue is so choice. Every word that comes out of Thorpe's (Flynn) mouth is pitch perfect and Flynn knows how to deliver every syllable with such grace and ease that it almost sounds like music. And how about those exchanges between Thorpe and the Queen (played by Flora Robson who, by the way, plays her part to a tee. The underlying sexual tones are so juicy and fun.

The pacing, photography, sets, costumes, everything comes together to make one hell of a rousing pirated adventure. But one of my favorite aspects is Erich Wolfgang Korngold's rousing orchestral score. WOW! Just like his music for another Flynn vehicle, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938), this one delivers fun and pure escapism in spades. I can just see myself sailing the Seven Seas with his music blaring on the speakers across the deck. It's so inspiring that I'd probably bust out a sword and start hacking at shit only to be promptly arrested for trying to skewer some of the more scurvy-doggged-looking passengers. This is why the Carnival Cruise line has me at the top of their shit list. Someday I'll be on a cruise ship that will pass one of theirs in the night and I'll convince the crew to steer near her so we can board her and exact my revenge. Yarrrrrrrrrr!

Child's Play 3 (1991)

Director: Jack Bender

Starring: Perry Reeves, Brad Dourif, Jeremy Sylvers, Justin Whalin, Peter Haskell, Travis Fine, Dean Jacobson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Look who's stalking!

Plot: It's been eight years since the events in the second film, we now see that Andy is a teenager who has been enrolled in a military school. Play Pals Toy Company decides to re-release its Good Guys line, feeling that after all this time, the bad publicity has died down. As they re-used old materials, the spirit of Charles Lee Ray once again comes to life. In his search for Andy, Chucky falls into the hands of a younger boy, and he realizes that it may be easier to transfer his soul into this unsuspecting child. Andy is the only one who knows what Chucky is up to, and it's now up to him to put a stop to it.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Eh, maybe.

Nope. We don't get a Chucky-centric this time, either. Damnit!!! He's the reason why people watch these things. I want some killer doll action. This franchise is getting worse as it goes. They're still kind of worth watching but gee whiz. I dig the opening credit sequence showing us how Chucky gets revived. They can get as crazy as they want on this stuff and I'm down with it. It reminded me of how Hammer used to revive Dracula at the beginning of all of his sequels. I love it. This trip has Chucky going after Andy who is now in military school. YAWN!!! At least we get a Chucky kill in the first 20 minutes. After that fun gore fest it's all downhill. I didn't care for any of the military school business. The only high spots were when Chucky shows up for some sport. I really dug the carnival fun house ending. I'm a sucker for carnivals and fun houses so I was content. Their so alive with all kinds of craziness. Other than that, I was pretty disappointed.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: The same cats from the other two flicks plus Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Legend Ends

Plot: Despite his tarnished reputation after the events of The Dark Knight, in which he took the rap for Dent's crimes, Batman feels compelled to intervene to assist the city and its police force which is struggling to cope with Bane's plans to destroy the city.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Fuck & Yeah!

OK, so now that I've seen it twice (and yesterday it was on an IMAX screen) I'm completely re-doing this review. I first caught this at the first midnight showing which was also during a marathon which included the first two films. By the time DKR came on I'd been in an increasingly warmer (the air conditioner wasn't pumping as hard as it should have) theater for 9 hours, I was getting tired and I was coming off a Coke/popcorn/candy high. These were terrible conditions to see a movie. That night I gave this a 6.5/10. I didn't like it all that much and I had a lot of questions, ala PROMETHEUS (2012), regarding perceived plot holes.

Watching it again with a clear head I can see now that I was wrong about this movie - very, very wrong. It's fantastic. All of my questions seemed ridiculously silly as they were answered on the screen one by one. My only real beef with any of the picture is some of the score mix. There were moments where it was difficult to understand Batman or Bane (or anyone else who wasn't speaking with a plain, normal-volume voice) because the music was too loud. That's annoying. But everything else I totally dug.

I really like Bane's voice. It's different. He made an interesting and fun villain. His fight with Bats at the end was especially good. And I LOVED how the camera stayed on the fight scenes without jerking around with frenetic editing. It was like the good ole days when you could watch a fight and see what the hell was going on. When actors and stuntmen spend weeks and months working on the choreography, it's nice to be able to see all of that hard work pay off and not hidden behind camera tricks and quick edits.

Ann Hathaway surprised the shit out of me. She was fantastic. I loved how she was Catwoman without being 'Catwoman' if you know what I mean. I liked the devastation of the city and how they were able to tie this with the first film. It gives a sense of completion to the three Nolan flicks. I also LOVED the ending (this would be the coda, letting us know what happens to the major characters).

There are some little things (that could be huge to some people) that I'm willing to overlook; things like how quickly Wayne recovers from his injuries, how quickly he trusts Selina Kyle, as well as characters that felt unnecessary enough that they could have been cut with some minor adjusting (I'm looking at you, Foley (Matthew Modine)). I'm going to suspend my disbelief for these things and fill in the blanks myself. This is a near-three hour movie anyway and it's possible some important details were left on the cutting room floor. It could happen. Regardless, it's not the kind of major fuck ups that PROMETHEUS had. I thoroughly enjoyed this picture and I'm so glad I gave it another chance. It's amazing how many things around you can distort how much you like/dislike a movie and how seeing them under the right conditions can completely change all of that.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

MoH 110: Sick Girl (2006)

Director: Lucky McKee

Starring: Angela Bettis, Misty Mundae, Jesse Hlubik, Marcia Bennett, Mike McKee, Chandra Berg

More info: IMDb

Plot: The lonely, shy and lesbian etymologist Ida Teeter of The McNaughton Museum of Natural History is obsessed by her "pets", actually her collection of insects. She works with her colleague and friend Max, also her advisor in sexual behavior. Ida receives an anonymous package from Brazil with an unclassified insect but the weird bug breaks free from the box. Meanwhile Ida falls in love for the gorgeous Misty Falls, who is bitten and infected by the bug and moves to Ida's apartment.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

OMFG Angela Bettis is so adorable. I could eat her up. She needs to have my babies. Well, except for the bug thing. She makes this episode so much fun. It gets weird at the end but it's expected since everything that leads up to it is quirky and playful. Bettis really steals the show. If you're looking for nerdy bug-fetish lesbian horror comedy, then look no further.

Ron White: You Can't Fix Stupid (2006)

Director: Michael Drumm

Starring: Ron White

More info: IMDb

Plot: In this brand-new stand-up performance, he explores the pitfalls of marriage, offers some hysterically funny advice on picking a spouse and introduces the unforgettable "Squirrel Man," plus much more.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!

I LOVE White's delivery. The only other concert of his I've seen is THEY CALL ME TATER SALAD and I liked it quite a bit but it but there aren't as many laughs as this one. I laughed a lot but, DAY-UM, he kills in STUPID from start to finish. You can see he's more polished (not that he needed more before but he's really a master of his craft in this one) and the bits are funnier. I laughed my friggin ass off and didn't stop until after the credits started rolling. He even has a great closer which I think was something lacking from TATER SALAD. I could be wrong. I really dig this guy and I'm looking forward to whatever else he's got to offer.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Soldier (1998)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Connie Nielsen, Sean Pertwee, Gary Busey

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Left for dead on a remote planet for obsolete machines and people, a fallen hero has one last battle to fight.

Plot: Sergeant Todd (Russell) is a veteran soldier for the an elite group of the armed forces of Earth. After being defeated by a new breed of genetically engineered soldiers, he is dumped on a waste planet and left for dead. He soon interacts with a group of crash survivors who lead out a peaceful existence on the planet. The peace is soon broken as the new breed of soldiers lands to eliminate the colony, which Sergeant Todd must defend.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure, why not?

Wow! Good flick! I was surprised. I didn't think Anderson could make one. Kurt Russell is always solid and fun. The IMDb trivia says that his character speaks only 104 words. That seems high. The opening 20 minutes or so is fantastic and Anderson does a great job (I can't believe I'm saying this) of keeping the fat trimmed and giving us just the information we need to know the kind of life Russell has led since birth. It's a great extended montage. Busey is likable but I really missed him saying "Butthorn" a lot. He's fun, though. It was really neat seeing Jason Isaacs playing the nasty villain again. His turn in THE PATRIOT (2000) was just mean, man.

There are lots of familiar faces including Connie Nielsen (who starred in GLADIATOR the very next year), Sean Pertwee and even a small role for the great Michael Chiklis. The special effects were great, especially the establishing space shots but forget about that space battle scene you see in the trailer because it doesn't exist in the movie. Pricks. Russell does a great job, too. He doesn't have many lines or facial expressions but he has a presence that works. As a side note, I really appreciate the lack of a love interest. It looks like there's going to be one but it never approaches the subject. What a relief. I was surprised to see this was written by David Webb Peoples, the guy behind such amazing scripts & movies as BLADE RUNNER (1982), LADYHAWKE (1985), UNFORGIVEN (1992) and TWELVE MONKEYS (1995). These are some of my favorite flicks (well, some are in my t0p 100). Fun flick.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Double Agent 73 (1974)

Director: Doris Wishman

Starring: Chesty Morgan, Frank Silvano, Saul Meth, Jill Harris

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Most Unbelievable Set Of Secret Weapons!

Plot: Underworld drug king Toplar is flooding the market with low-grade heroin. Agent 99 gets a bit too close to the truth, but manages to gasp out a clue as to the identity of Toplar: he has a scar. Jane (Agent 73) is called in to find Toplar, and gets a camera implanted in her breast in order to photograph the bad guys she dispatches so headquarters will be able to identify Toplar when she finds him. Meanwhile she begins falling in love with fellow agent Jim.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Shit. I might.

If you haven't figured out the's her gargantuan jungle drums and there is a camera imbedded into her left one. It sounds like comedy gold and it's got moments of pure insane fun but for 72 minutes? Nope. Give this flick a reduction by a cup size or two and you'd probably have yourself a great little picture. As it is, though, it's still outrageously goofy and fun.

The opening credits will have you in stitches. The bombastic orchestral stock library music cues are priceless. I love the dubbing. Supposedly Chesty's thick Polish accent was too much which caused her to be dubbed but it's clear the movie was shot without sound and all of the audio was added in post. I love it.

The whole idea of implanting a camera in her boob is off the charts wacky and it doesn't make any damn sense at all. There's no reason for it except for a great way to get Chesty's assets out and provide a lot of laughs. You'll find yourself laughing every single time she does it and that's a lot. I'm going to have to fast track seeing her only other film, 1974's DEADLY WEAPONS. DA73 was the last of a fun triple feature last night starting with I DRINK YOUR BLOOD (1970), I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978).

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

Director: Meir Zarchi

Starring: Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace, Anthony Nichols, Gunter Kleemann, Alexis Magnotti, Tammy Zarchi, Terry Zarchi

More info: IMDb

Tagline: This woman has just cut, chopped, broken and burned five men beyond recognition... but no jury in America would ever convict her! I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE ... an act of revenge

Plot: An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? YES!

#270 on Drive-In Delirium Volume 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

I've been gone for a while on an extended working vacation (comic/movie/nerd conventions) and last night was my first real night home, relaxed and ready to watch something as I hadn't seen a movie in over a week (it was murder). I decided to go for an exploitation triple feature starting with I DRINK YOUR BLOOD (1970), I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) and DOUBLE AGENT '74 (1973) delivering lots of blood & boobs. What a fun night.

Want to hear a grossly obscene and tasteless joke? Highlight the following invisi-text to see it (YOU HAVE BEEN AMPLY WARNED):
What do 9 out of 10 people LOVE? Gang rape.

I haven't seen SPIT in a long time but it felt like revisiting an old friend. This flick is brutal and in your face. The rape scenes are painful to watch and are some of the most shocking I've seen (I still haven't seen IRREVERSIBLE (2002), something I need to do soon). It's the kind of thing where you feel bad for the actress (Camille Keaton, btw, is Buster Keaton's great niece) almost as much as you do for the character. It goes from bad to worse with each subsequent rape. Man, this is some harsh shit and Keaton pulls it off beautifully. There aren't many actresses that would go this far for their craft.

I can easily see how this can be a tough picture for someone to get through. Obviously rape isn't a walk in the park (for the victim, that is). The cinematography is outstanding. There are a lot of beautiful shots in this flick and you'd never know that something this vile would look so good. The Millennium edition DVD is the one to get with a fucking HILARIOUS commentary by Joe Bob Briggs. It's also surprising that there's no incidental music, just one scene with a harmonica and another with a church organ - both of which are being played by on-screen characters.

The final third of the picture is all revenge and IT...IS...SWEET! The trailer spoils all of it but it can't prepare you for the bathtub scene which will have your dick shrivelled up far inside you like a turtle's head. That's the money shot and it's a doosie. This is a great flick (for those who can stomach it) during a time when movies like this could be made. I long for the good ole days of 70s film making where people were daring and weren't afraid to offend. Films aren't necessarily made for a general audience and this one proves it.

I Drink Your Blood (1970)

Director: David E. Durston

Starring: Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, Jadin Wong, Rhonda Fultz, George Patterson, Riley Mills, John Damon, Elizabeth Marner-brooks

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Rabid, drug-infested hippies on a blood-crazed killing rampage!

Plot: A band of satanist hippies roll into a town and begin terrorizing the local folk. They rape a local girl and her grandpa goes after them. He fails and is given LSD. This bothers his grandson and he gets back at the hippies by feeding them meat pies infected with blood from a rabid dog. They turn into crazed lunatics and begin killing and/or infecting everything in their path.


My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I've been gone for a while on an extended working vacation (comic/movie/nerd conventions) and last night was my first real night home, relaxed and ready to watch something as I hadn't seen a movie in over a week (it was murder). I decided to go for an exploitation triple feature starting with I DRINK YOUR BLOOD (1970), I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) and DOUBLE AGENT '74 (1973) delivering lots of blood & boobs. What a fun night.

DRINK was a lot more fun than what you'd expect but be warned that the hippie boobs are largely confined to the first few minutes and then a brief scene near the end but it's filled with unintentional laughs (I LOVED the little kid who shoots a rabid dog with a shotgun, fills a syringe with its blood and injects it into meat pies which he gives to the villainous hippies), a shit ton of gore and gorgeous women!

Did you know that Satan is an acid head? Me neither but the Indian hippie leader said so it must be true. This flick is filled with outrageous shit like that. It's a relatively short movie at only 83 minutes. You'll hardly be bored if you like low budget horror flicks from this era. It's one of the better ones. I had a fun time with it. It's an amusing premise with some bad-t0-OK acting. The ending is much too abrupt but you can watch the original downbeat ending as an extra on the Fangoria DVD. It's got a lot of extras including trailers, outtakes, deleted scenes, a half hour doc and more.

So THAT'S how you use a penis pump!

Here's the whole thing on YouTube if you want to go right to it.