Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Fat Black Pussycat (1963)

Director: Harold Lea

Starring: Frank Jamus, Janet Damon, Patricia McNair, Hugh Romney, Hyman Aguenstein, Jeffrey Bond, Manny Dworman, Hector Elizondo, Geoffrey Lewis

More info: IMDb

Tagline: This is the Tale of Five Wanton Women Whose Desires Were Satisfied and More by... the Fat, Black Pussycat!

Plot: A detective searches for the killer of three young women. The killer is insane and has a fetish for high heels. The detective is not at home in the world of beatniks which he is forced to investigate.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Doubtful.

 This sound ripe with all the trappings of a good ole sleazy 60s exploitation flick.  In some ways it's got what you want, black and white photography, Beatniks, cool cats and some groovy jazz....but then when it comes to the sleaze, it's light and by light I mean no nudity.  I'm not saying that it's a requirement but it would've helped with this picture.  Frank Jamus is pretty wooden as the detective but he's by no means the worst offender.  His boss is laughably bad.  If Jamus had played it like DRAGNET it could have been great fun.  There are some nice kills but unfortunately there's not enough 'nice' anything to sustain 94 minutes so you're going to get lots of drag padded throughout.

The Something Weird Video DVD comes with another themed film called THE BLACK CAT (1966), a better (and shorter) picture and like a lot of SWV releases, there are lots of trailers (these all have 'Cat' in their titles), some deleted scenes, a gallery of exploitation art set to the audio from radio spots and a vintage B&W 3 minute striptease routine called, MARGIE LA MONT: THE CAT GIRL.  Is the disc worth $10-15?  I think so but most probably won't.  THE BLACK CAT and the extras are enough to find a place on my shelf for it.

The Black Cat (1966)

Director: Harold Hoffman

Starring: Robert Frost, Robyn Baker, Sadie French, Scotty McKay, George Russell, George Edgley, Annabelle Weenick, Jeff Alexander, Tommie Russell, Scott Shewmake, Bill Thurman, Nelson Spencer

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The terrifying power of the black cat destroyed their lives!

Plot: A mentally unbalanced man is obsessed with the idea that a black cat is possessed. He tortures and kills it. Later, he comes to believe that the cat has returned from the dead to kill him.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

What a neat little picture this turned out to be.  From what I remember from reading Poe's short story a million years ago, this follows it pretty closely, at least hitting the main beats but updating it to the 1960s. Shot in black and white, the gore really stands out.  There are some really nice shots in this picture.

There's a great scene where a woman gets an axe to the head that's so cool you'll want to rewind back a few seconds and see it a few more times.  Part of the shock of it is they actually went there and it happened so quickly.  There's also a couple of times where Lou goes to a club to drink and get away from it all and there's a hip band playing.  He re-visits the club after he yanks out the cat's eye and all of the band members are wearing eye patches.  Nice touch, and the music is great, too.  Some of these scenes may go on a little long but the music is groovy.  The picture's only an hour and thirteen minutes long and it feels like there could be a few minutes to trim but there are enough neat things in there to make it worth your while.

The Something Weird Video DVD comes with another themed film called THE FAT BLACK PUSSYCAT (1963) which doesn't fare so well and like a lot of SWV releases, there are lots of trailers (these all have 'Cat' in their titles), some deleted scenes, a gallery of exploitation art set to the audio from radio spots and a vintage B&W 3 minute striptease routine called, MARGIE LA MONT: THE CAT GIRL.  Is the disc worth $10-15?  I think so but most probably won't.  THE BLACK CAT and the extras are enough to find a place on my shelf for it.

Alexander (2004)

Director: Oliver Stone

Starring: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins, Jared Leto, Rosario Dawson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rory McCann, Gary Stretch, Ian Beattie, Neil Jackson, Raz Degan, Christopher Plummer

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Fortune favors the bold

Plot: 'Alexander' traces the short, but adventurous life of the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), whom conquered almost the entire known world of his era. From his childhood as the son of King Philip, to acending the thrown at age 20 in 336 B.C. upon his father's murder, and starting in 334 B.C., Alexander crossed into Asia on his 11-year conquest of the known world. From his conquests of Egypt, to battles with the Persians and the capture of Babylon, operations near Maracanda and in Afghanistan, and pushing all the way to India where he reigned unchallenged before his sudden death at age 32. Though Alexander made use of the well-oiled army created by his father, he pushed the limits of Macedonian & Greek power to levels King Philip could not have dreamed of.


My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nope, and I dig these kinds of flicks, too.

I guess if you're going to watch this you need to see Stone's approved favorite version, THE FINAL CUT.  I first watched it in 2006 or early 2007 before I started chronicling my movie watching but something happened in the interim - I forgot that I didn't care all that much about it.

Colin Farrell doesn't do the role justice.  Forget his accent, he seems out of water and sometimes lost.  He's not to blame for the film's failure.  I can handle long movies as long as they're good but this one meanders all over the place and major battle scenes are made more confusing by telling us which flank we're watching.  It sounds like it would help but the problem is in the execution as we don't get to see a large area of fighting - it's all close up so it doesn't matter what part you tell us it is because it looks no different than any of the others.  Remember the huge battle scenes in flicks like SPARTACUS (1960) and how they'd show you the scope of the thing by showing the entire battlefield and then cut in and out between that and the close ups of fighting?  That's how you do it.  And don't get me started on Vangelis's score.  Woof.

Anyway, I don't mind the themes Stone explores in the picture.  He can do whatever he wants but the film in total is much too long for it to be so drab and at times lifeless.  I REALLY wanted to like this.  I tried hard, REAL...hard.  Normally I love these kinds of films but this one isn't begging for me for another chance.

MoH 201: The Damned Thing (2006)

Director: Tobe Hooper

Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Marisa Coughlan, Brendan Fletcher, Alex Ferris, Brent Stait, Georgia Craig

More info: IMDb

Plot: The Damned Thing is the apocalyptic tale of a monstrous force that devastates Sheriff Kevin Reddle's family and his small Texas town. Sheriff Reddle thinks there is a connection between this mysterious, invisible force which made his father kill his mother back in 1981, and he sets out to uncover and stop the so-called "Damned Thing" before it decimates his whole town by forcing the residents to kill each other and themselves. 

My rating:  6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.  Once was fine.

It's funny that this episode was the first thing I watched after returning from Fandomfest in Louisville, KY back in June.  Why?  Because Sean Patrick Flannery was at that con and he stopped by my booth (I sold some cool-ass shit, btw) and chatted with my friend that was helping me work the con.  Flannery was there with his BOONDOCK SAINTS (1999) co-star, David Della Rocco, signing autographs.  They're both really cool, down to Earth guys that love their fans.

This episode isn't too shabby. I like the empending since of doom, not knowing exactly how it's going to go down but getting an idea or two.  But what really sells it is the finale.  It ain't pretty.  I love bleak shit like this.  I could do without the shaky cam crap but I can't get over the ending.  You get the idea that there's either more to the original story or less.  It's a pretty simple plot but Hooper does a pretty good job sustaining it.

Fido (2006)

Director: Andrew Currie

Starring: Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker, K'Sun Ray, Henry Czerny, Tim Blake Nelson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Good dead are hard to find

Plot: Timmy Robinson's best friend in the whole wide world is a six-foot tall rotting zombie named Fido. But when FIDO eats the next-door neighbor, Mom and Dad hit the roof, and Timmy has to go to the ends of the earth to keep Fido a part of the family.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yep.

What a pleasant surprise!  I'd heard about this for a long time and I'm so glad I got around to it.  I love how it's got that LEAVE IT TO BEAVER vibe going on but with those vintage colors and zombies.  It's just too damn funny.  Billy Connelly is a fucking riot as the Robinson family's zombie pet.  The entire cast does a great job.  It's so tongue in cheek and the best part is, for as funny as it is, people die! Kids, too!!! Classic.  This would make a great double bill with MATINEE (1993), another great flick with a similar feel but without the zombies and dead children. 

News flash...this just in...Carrie-Anne Moss is sofa king sexy and she needs to have my babies.

We Don't Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story (2006)

Director: Topper Carew

Starring: Robin Harris, Cedric the Entertainer, Reginald Hudlin, D.L. Hughley, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Darryl Sivad, Joe Torry, Robert Townsend

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Definitive movie about the genius who inspired today's best comics.

Plot: Robin Harris is arguably the original king of comedy, as we know it today. His delivery, style, stage presence and unabashed sense of comedy has touched every African-American comic to debut after him. Enjoy the comedic genius that was taken from us far too soon in "We Don’t Die, We Multiply – The Robin Harris Story," as Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer and other comedic greats give credit to Robin Harris for being the visionary that influenced their careers. 

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nah, I'll just slap in Harris' stand-up instead.

Around the time BEBE'S KIDS (1992) came out I had already seen some of Harris' stand-up and I love, LOVE, LOVED it!  He was one of those cats that could get me laughing so hard I'd get tears in my eyes.  I went to see BEBE'S KIDS in the theater and cried all over again.  That was 1992 and I was 24.  His stand-up still slays me and I was so anxious to see this documentary.  Now that I've seen it, I'm not so sure.  It's not that bad but it feels like it missed the boat somewhere and I don't know where.  It's just a feeling.

The best parts are getting to see some of his routines in various clubs, often with some dodgy video.  Those bits were great.  What was missing were clips of Harris in archival interviews.  I wanted to hear him talk about whatever instead of everyone who survived him.  The DVD extras tease you with more stand-up but it's nothing more than the same clips in the doc but strung together.  What a disappointment.  You're better off reading his Wikipedia page and watching his stand up routines on YouTube.  That's a lot more satisfying.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Outlander (2008)

Director: Howard McCain

Starring: Jim Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, John Hurt, Cliff Saunders, Patrick Stevenson, Aidan Devine, Ron Perlman

More info: IMDb

Tagline: It destroyed his world. He won't let it destroy ours.

Plot: During the reign of the Vikings, Kainan, a man from a far-off world, crash lands on Earth, bringing with him an alien predator known as the Moorwen. Though both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them, Kainan leads the alliance to kill the Moorwen by fusing his advanced technology with the Viking's Iron Age weaponry.


My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Ah, noop.

The trailer looked good.  The premise looked good.  I'm a sucker for movies that take place way back when in history (especially European and Roman history).  And I digs me some science fiction.  What the hell happened here?  Jim Caviezel was pretty damn bland.  Maybe that was it.  It needed a likable lead.  I got the feeling that if we had been following the Earthlings instead of him and gotten their first hand perspective it would have been a more interesting picture.  It's a good looking and professionaly crafted movie and it's got some neat monsters and all but I just lost interest somewhere along the way and never re-gained it.  All I was left with was a strong hankering to slap in THE 13th WARRIOR (1999) to take the blah taste out of my mouth.

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

Director: John Frankenheimer

Starring: Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk, Daniel Rigney, Temuera Morrison, Ron Perlman

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Through DNA experimentation Dr. Moreau has upset the balance of nature. By turning animals into humans, he's turned heaven into hell.

Plot: After being rescued and brought to an island, a man discovers that it's inhabitants are experimental animals being turned into strange looking humans, all of it the work of a visionary doctor.


My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? Aw, hell, no.

I haven't seen this since it's theatrical run.  I feel the same way about it now as I did  then.  I liked Thewles as the protagonist.  He was interesting in that Alan Rickman sort of way.  Val Kilmer seemed tired sometimes but then that was kind of his character.  Brando was a hoot to watch and that brief moment where Kilmer does a Brando impression was hilarious, but it's with the second half of the movie that shifts over to the creatures is where it lost me.  It just wasn't that exciting or interesting.  Combine that with it going on far longer than it should and that's almost a perfect storm for me falling asleep.  Stan Winston's creature effects were great an all but the last act was flat.  This might be the only version of this story I've seen.  I have GOT to put ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932) near the top of my list.  I'll put a fiver down that it's a lot better than this.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney, Aleksa Palladino, Michael Shanon, Amy Ryan, Sarah Livingston, Brian F. O'Byrne, Rosemary Harris

More info: IMDb

Tagline: No one was supposed to get hurt.

Plot: When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.


My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not. 

If there's one thing that's certain in this world, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays slimey REALLY, really well.  Oooh, he can be creepy.  I LOVE movies where plans go horribly wrong and this one stars from the beginning and doesn't slow its descent until the credits roll.  This flick gets dark and stays there.  There is a bright spot (here come the pig in me) and that's FINALLY seeing Marisa Tomei topless.  Should she accept, I would allow her to have my babies.  OK, now back to the show. Sidney Lumet has made some great friggin' dramas.  This man knows acting and he's put together a fine bunch for this flick.  The ending is great but by the time I got there I felt like I needed a bath and that doesn't happen often (not often enough, actually).  I love it when movies make you feel like you've done something wrong and that feeling lingers until the next day.  IN THE COMPANY OF MEN (1997) does that and I think its time I revisit that one.

Congo (1995)

Director: Frank Marshall

Starring: Laura Linney, Dylan Walsh, Ernie Hudson, Tim Curry, Grant Heslov, Joe Don Baker, Stuart Pankin, James Karen & BRUCE "THE CHIN" CAMPBELL!!!

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Where you are the endangered species

A megalomaniac C.E.O. sends his son into the dangerous African Congo on a quest for a source of diamonds large enough and pure enough to function as powerful laser communications transmitters (or is it laser weapons?). When contact is lost with his son and the team, his sometime daughter- in-law is sent after them. She is a former CIA operative and, accompanied by gee-whiz gadgetry and a few eccentric characters (including a mercenary, a researcher with a talking gorilla, and a a nutty Indiana-Jones-type looking for King Solomon's Mines), sets out to rescue her former fiancé. What they all discover is that often what we most want turns out to be the source of our downfall.


My rating:

Will I watch it again? Yes.  

I've heard nothing but bad things about this for over a decade.  That normally won't stop me from watching something but it can certainly delay it.  I guess I was ready.  Holy crap was this fun.  I guess my expectations were so low I was bound to like it for not sucking so bad or maybe I was simply in the right mood for it.  I LOVED Laura Linney's character.  She was a strong, no-nonsense character that wasn't the cocky badass type you see all over the place in Hollywood.  She behaved like a professional that had a brain and relied on it to survive.  NICE! The other standout for me was Ernie Hudson.  Fuck his performance in GHOSTBUSTERS (1984), he's having a blast in this picture and for the fun factor, he took the prize.  Boy he was great fun to watch.

OK so it was a tremendous stretch that we had an ape that could talk using a computer or something semi-to-completely retarded.  BUT, and this is a HUGE but, it was handled about as well as it possible could and keep it in the realm of a fun adventure flick rated PG-13.  My eyes only partly rolled from time to time but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  And don't forget Jerry Goldsmith's score.  He's almost always a welcome addition to any picture (I say almost because I've seen RUNAWAY (1984)).

Cosmic Slop (1994)

Directors: Reginald Hudlin, Warrington Hudlin & Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Starring: George Clinton, Robert Guillaume, Casey Kasem, Edward Edwards, Efrain Fiqueroa, Brock Peters, Chi McBride, Paula Jai Parker

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Beyond the reality you know is a reality you may not want to face.

Plot: In the tradition of The Twilight Zone, this bizarre, thought-provoking trilogy addresses the destiny of the world's minorities: Part I: A conservative black politician must choose between his people's survival and appeasing his white colleagues when space aliens propose to share their profound knowledge in exchange for all black people on earth. Part II: The Virgin Mary's appearance in an inner-city housing project forces a Hispanic priest to face the hidden cultural origins of Western religion. Part III: On the dawn of the "Black Revolution," an black couple discovers who the "real" enemy is.


My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? I could, skipping the middle segment.

It ended up being a night of anthologies at the Scorethefilm house and I remembered someone recently recommended this obscure flick.  This anthology is unlike I've ever seen.  It's fantastical but more grounded in reality and dealing with deeper, important issues.  George Clinton is our host and he's outta sight!

THE SPACE TRADERS - Holy shit! The more I see of Robert Guillome the more I can't believe this guy isn't one of America's top working actors working in A-list projects.  He's amazing.  This story is very well handled to the point I was emotionally wrapped up in it. There's a scene where the black newscaster is reporting the results of the nationwide vote whether or not to let the aliens take every black U.S. citizen in exchange for fixing all of our major problems.  His delivery made my chest sink.  It was expertly handled until the last shot.  Wow.

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT - I don't believe in superstition, gods, etc so this next tale didn't do doodly squat for me.  For the most part I was bored.  I guess being Catholic helps elevate this segment to something more than what I saw.  It's not that I'm not capable of caring or getting involved in a religious story, it's just this one didn't hold my attention.

TANG - DAMN!  Between this story and the first, SLOP is one hell of a show!  There are only two actors in this final story (Paula Jai Parker & Chi McBride) and they act their asses off.  The tension builds until the final shot - literally.  In a way it gives you multiple scenarios on how it plays out depending on who you're rooting for or how you'd like to see it go down.  What a great story.

I highly recommend seeking this one out.  I have no idea if it's out on DVD, on Netflix instant, or anywhere.  The search will be worth the wait.  Shitlocks, I love the movies.

Blood Tide (1982)

Director: Richard Jefferies

Starring: James Earl Jones, Jose Ferrer, Lila Kedrova, Mary Louise Weller, Martin Kove, Lydia Cornell, Deborah Shelton

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Evil lurks in the Ocean Depths

Plot: An adventurer hunting for treasure in Greece accidentally frees a monster that forces local villagers to sacrifice virgins.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

Maybe, JUST maybe I would have liked this more if I watched a clean widescreen print instead of a fuzzy VHS fullscreen one.  James Earl Jones is not only the best thing about this (he's fun) but the only reason to see it. The acting is fine, although Ferrer phoned it in, and the story is average and typical but the score (Jerry Mosely) was ineffectual and the pacing was dreary.  It's slow.  I started watching this with a fun group of movie friends who can appreciate and dig on movies like this but we gave up after a half hour.  Naturally I had to finish it.  It's a good thing I'm going to live forever and I've got unlimited hours to spend watching shit like this instead of playing out in the street with the other kids.

Hoffa (1992)

Director: Danny DeVito

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Armand Assante, J.T. Walsh, John C. Reilly, Frank Whaley, Kevin Anderson, John P. Ryan, Robert Prosky

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He was capable of anything. He wasn't afraid of anyone. That's why everyone was afraid of him.

Plot: Jack Nicholson's portrait of Union leader James R. Hoffa, as seen through the eyes of his friend, Bobby Ciaro (Danny DeVito). The film follows Hoffa through his countless battles with the RTA and President Roosevelt all the way to his disappearance in 1975.

My rating: 10/10

Will I watch it again? Duh.

Twenty years ago I caught this one in the theater with my mom.  She liked it but I was blown away.  A few months earlier I had interviewed the composer, David Newman, for a film music radio show I had in college and it was killing me that this hadn't come out before then so I could discuss it with him.  It's his best score (from what I've heard so far and he's got some great ones) and one of my all time favorites.  I've heard it hundreds of times in the twenty years since.

There's not a note I would change regarding this film in any aspect.  Jack Nicholson IS Jimmy Hoffa.  You might notice Jack for a few minutes but it isn't long before you're completely absorbed into what he's doing and how he's doing it.  What a performance!  If that's not enough, there's not a weak performance from anyone.  DeVito nails it, Riley nails it and damn it if Armand Asssante isn't one of the handsomest guys in the business.  I'm not gay but I could be if he showed up.  Good looking bastard. 

Over the years I've heard and read from a lot of people who poo poo DeVito's direction, citing mostly that his scene transitions are too showy.  I never felt that.  I liked the flow of the film from start to finish.  It's a movie not a documentary.  If I should ever meet DeVito I'll probably gush like a fanboy about nothing else but this picture.  This movie fills me full of emotion.  It grabs me from the opening notes of Newman's tender score and doesn't let go even for one moment.  I don't care how accurate it is.  I know the real guy was probably better or worse than he's portrayed depending on who you ask but I'm not watching a documentary; I'm watching a movie and a damn fine one at that.

The Green Hornet (2011)

Director: Michel Gondry

Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Christoph Waltz, David Harbour, Edward James Olmos, Jamie Harris, Chad Coleman, Edward Furlong

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Protect the law by breaking it.

Plot: Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father's large company, teams up with his late dad's assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team.


My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Noooooo.

I'm not going to waste much time on this one.  I watched the trailer before it hit the theaters and I didn't like the tone.  Now I like Seth Rogan but he was miscast by a country mile.  So I finally get around to slapping the DVD in a few weeks ago (I'm a few hundred movies behind in updating this site - work will do that sometimes) and my initial feelings about the trailer were right, despite giving this flick a clean slate.  The script and comedic angle didn't work.  Christoph Waltz's (the ONLY reason I wanted to see this)  talent was wasted.  His role was very weak.  He didn't have much to work with.  Jay Chou was the best part of the movie.  I kept hoping he'd kill Rogan and take over.  It's always fun watching Tom Wilkinson and seeing some familiar faces.  It's a wasted opportunity and a two hour one at that.  It had no business being that long.  I'm always astounded when a studio will take a known property like The Green Hornet and ruin a big-budget movie like this one, killing any number of chances of kick-starting a franchise and a great opportunity for merchandising.  I guess I can say I'm pleased there won't be a sequel.  I'm sure they'll re-boot this in four years.

Alone in the Dark (2005)

Director: Uwe Boll

Starring: Christian Slater, Tara Reid, Stephen Dorff, Frank C. Turner, Matthew Walker, Will Sanderson, Mark Acheson, Darren Shahlavi

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Evil awakens.

Plot: Based on the video game, Alone in the Dark focuses on Edward Carnby, a detective of the paranormal, who slowly unravels mysterious events with deadly results.


My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? Nope.

I've never played the video game this is based on but I can only hope it's more fun and exciting than this.  And I never thought I'd live to see the day where I would say that Christian Slater is the best thing this picture has going for it.  I kind of liked him.  Hell, I felt sorry for the guy that he was even in it.  I'm not going to join the bashing bandwagon this picture has garnered because it's not THAT bad, but it is uninteresting.  I can't even think of what it was that made it so unmemorable.  Some of the dialogue was poorly written and delivered (I'm looking at you, Tara Reid, but you're not the only one so don't get all pissed at me for point only you out.  Hell, I'm jealous that you're even in a bad movie 'cause I haven't been in a single one).  I guess I just wasn't interested.  The characters didn't pull me in and the story sure didn't.  It's just a middle of the road horror picture that's neither here nor there.  Blah.

Face/Off (1997)

Director: John Woo

Starring: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola, Gina Gershon, Dominique Swain, Nick Cassavetes, Margaret Cho, Thomas Jane

More info: IMDb

Tagline: In order to catch him, he must become him.

Plot: FBI Special Agent Sean Archer tries to find a biological weapon placed in Los Angeles by a sadistic terrorist-for-hire and criminal mastermind named Castor Troy. Archer has hunted Troy for the last 8 years, and is consumed by revenge because Troy is responsible for the death of Archer's son. To do this, Archer must "borrow" Troy's face using a surgical procedure to go undercover as Troy, but things go wrong when Troy assumes the identity of Archer.


My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

The premise is ridiculous as shit and I'm shocked that as dumb as it sounds (and Hollywood embraces stupid like a fat kid loves cake) the right people were brought on board to turn this into a surprisingly fun picture.  I really enjoy this flick.  It's been at least a decade since I saw it last and I still get a kick out of it.  Part of it is John Woo's direction and action sequences.  The other is Travolta and Cage getting all wacky and trying to act like each other.  It's super fun.  I do have to point out how long the picture is.  It needs a trim.  I could do without Travolta's character dealing with his dead son subplot.  I'm not saying axe the whole thing, I think it's important to the character's motivation, but it was harped on too much and there's a scene 2/3 of the way through that goes on forever about it and it feels like re-treading something we all know anyway.  Then there's the ending with bringing the kid into the family.  The wife and teenage daughter sure as fuck accept this little boy as theirs awfully quick.  Really?  He shows up at the door and they're all smiles and open arms and shit?  Whatever.  Other than that, I really dig this over-the-top, big budget, goofy premise extravaganza.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)

Director: Michael A. Simpson

Starring: Pamela Springsteen, Renee Estevez, Tony Higgins, Valerie Hartman, Brian Patrick Clarke, Walter Gotell, Susan Marie Snyder, Terry Hobbs

More info: IMDb

Tagline: When you go camping just take the essentials

Plot: Angela Baker has undergone years of therapy, electro-shock and sexual reassignment surgeries, and finally landed herself a job in the last place she should be working - camp rolling hills. She has an old fashioned approach as to how camp should be, and an old familiar deadly way of making sure that those who don't follow her rules don't get to come back next summer.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

So me and the fellas were looking for something to slap in (gee, that doesn't sound right, does it?) for some entertainment and it had to be 80s horror that had some promise of gore and nudity.  After a half hour of searching through my collection we settled on this one.  From the first couple of minutes you get some kills and then at the 6:02 mark...

How do you like them apples?  What do you guys think?

I though so.

This picture fulfilled our immature desires that night for some good ole 80s horror excess.  It's actually quite fun to watch and seeing it with a group of friends is definitely the way to go.  There's so much to goof on and enjoy.  The acting is about what you'd expect and the lead (played by Pamela Springsteen) is either so-bad-she's-good or she's just really good at being obnoxious and annoying.  I got the impression that she was a TV sitcom actress (she's not) but it turns out her first film was FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982) which automatically puts her on my list of gals that need to have my babies.

Say, look who's on TV!

This picture was a good deal of fun and it was the perfect movie for what we were looking for.  It's campy (ahahahahahahahahahahaha), loaded with kills and nudity, questionable acting (which helps, trust me), a pretty brisk pace, you can tell everyone involved set out to make a fun slasher, KIDS DIE (!) and it's all wrapped up in 80 minutes.  Not a bad after-dinner snack.  Oh, and it's got two things you don't expect - you know who the killer is from the get-go, something unusual to the slasher genre, and you get an appearance by General Gogol from the Roger Moore Bond pictures (Walter Gotell)!  I'm happy.  SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983) was fun but this second picture made it more so.  Bring on part 3!