Since Futbol(one of many pretentious ways of saying soccer)and primetime season are both in full effect, I haven't really spent much time watching movies over the last couple of weeks. Trust me, it will pass once the new TV shows get weeded out and/or I get bored with re-workings of old favorites, So it shouldn't be very much longer before I'm back in the swing of reviewing trashy movies once again.
Since I still want contribute something to my recently neglected trash cinema blog, I'm going to leave this entry with the just-released trailer of Tsui Hark's epic wuxia The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate(2011) starring Jet Li. Scheduled for a Winter release in China, word on the streets is that Flying Swords is going to be given the 3-D treatment. Typically I could give to shit about modern cinema's most overused technology, but this guy loves him some wire-fu and Chinese fantasy, which can only be made better with the use of 3-D tech. Since IMDB isn't really telling me much of what the film is about, I'm going to have to revisit in a couple of weeks. Until then, feast your eyes on the action-porn.
Yay!! Fall is finally here!!! After NYC's record breaking sweatbox of a Summer, I can finally get back to feeling comfortable in my own skin....and blog on a more regular basis. Case in point, the fact that I've only committed to 10 or less entries a month since the weather started getting warm. It's not like I didn't hermit myself inside for most of the summer, because I did. I think it's just the psychology of the situation. Still though, I've managed to almost triple my outcome of blog entries than any previous year, so I'm not that big of a slack ass. Now that Fall is here, I think it is officially time for me to concentrate on the importance of cinema blog maintenance....and watching soccer! Lots and lots of soccer!
I'm not ashamed to admit that I watch the Youtube sensation Epic Meal Time, although I probably should be. In fact, I watch it pretty religiously when the new episodes are released every Tuesday. Yeah, I know that hype has died down over the last year since the blew up the internet with horrible eating habits and obscene cooking practices, but the shit still makes me laugh. I'm also the type of guy that will watch the same episodes of the Office and How I Met Your Mother over and over again, so it's no surprise.
This weeks episode deals with the preparation and gourging of one's self on what I'm guessing is beef brains, so it's no surprise that those Gluttonous Ballers from Montreal would step it up with a zombie episode. I know what your thinking. "Urghh...zombies." I've ranted time and time again about how sick I am of zombies so I'll spare the page another paragraph of bitchery. You guys know how I feel, because you probably feel the same way. But when the I see EMT crew in full make-up(a decent job I might add) eating cow brains in huge portions, I don't get pissed off about it. I think it had something to do with the gurgles and clicks....but the eating of cows brains more importantly. The guys at Epic Meal Time usually play pretty safely with what food items they play with, so it was nice to see them step out of the safe meat bubble and work with organ meat. Especially brains.
And as I said, the make-up job is actually pretty good.
I've been on a small Diane Franklin kick as of late. Who is this Franklin girl you ask? All it takes is two words and you will know who I'm talking about..International Language. If you guessed "cute French girl from Better Off Dead, the greatest comedy ever made" then you guess correct, my friend. This was the girl that was the archetype for my vision of feminine perfection when I was a teenager, and probably still exists somewhere in the complex mind of Steve the Adult to this day. She was a bit of a teenage crush, but it wasn't the actress herself as much as the character she portrsyed. If it were the other way, I would probably hold Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure to the same light as Better Off Dead.
So after seeing The Last American Virgin a couple weeks back, I spent a little time perusing Franklin's IMDB entry and discovered the entry for Terrorvision(1986). Seeing that it was executive produced by one Charles Band, I knew it was something I had to see. Ten minutes into the film and it was an instant favorite, or at least somewhere in the top 100 or 200(I watch a lot of movies).
The Planet Pluton dispenses it's garbage much like scientists have been telling us we should do it for years..by shooting it as far into space as possible. Much like humans, the "Plutonians" believe if you can't see it, it must not exist anymore. As an advanced species, the Plutonians just don't launch garbage piles into space via rockets. Instead, garbage matter is converted into energy and shot into that deepest and darkest depths of the Final Frontier. Unfortunately, one such "garbage beam" headed towards Earth ends up bouncing off a couple of satellites, causing the trash beam to be directed into the home of the Puttermans. Unfortunetly, one Plutonian's trash is not necessarily another man's treasure, unless you consider a man-eating, mutant space fido your idea of gold doubloons.
Sounds pretty awesome so far, doesn't it? I don't really think the summary I gave will really do it as much justice as Terrorvision is deserved because the characters are what really make this cheese factory of a flick shine.
Stanley and Raquel Putterman - The parental units. Not exactly Ozzie and Harriet, but it'd the 80's so it's totally okay for a middle-aged yuppie couple to openly swing in front of there kids and hang x-rated bondage art all over the common areas of the house.
Grampa - a veteran survivalist who has a dream of one day marketing lizard tails as a renewal food resource.
Sherman Putterman - When is the last time you say a 10 year old kid who looked natural carrying an automatic weapon?
Suzy Putterman - Played by Franklin herself. The oldest child and a punk rock princess, she has a taste for metalheads and the brains of a piece of plywood.
O.D. - Suzy's boyfriend. Doesn't have much going in the brains department, but he rocks a WASP tee and studded leather gauntlets. By far, the best character in the film.
Throw in horribly written dialogue, PG-13 comedy, R-rated gore, and a decently designed puppet mutt and you have yourself a keeper. Did I mention that Charles Band was not only the executive producer, but he also wrote the music? What can't that fuckin' guy do?!?
Unless you a fan of other 80's horror/comedy classics like House and Critters, you might not get as much of a kick out of Terrorvision as I did. It is definitely more for the Killer Klowns crowd than the slasher and gore purists out there. I would never try to sell Terrorvision to my horror aficionado roommate for fear of a straight 90 minutes of whining. But if you're more Freddie Kreuger than Michael Myers, this could be right up your alley.
What's a small, University's Cheering Squad to do when the school's top football players are planning on switching to an opposing college in the next semester? According to Cheerleaders Beach Party(1978), the best plan of action is to follow the boys to their summer retreat and screw up there plans. Better yet, just "screw" their plans, literally.
And that's really all there is to this film as far as a plot is concerned. Throw in a couple of boob shots, bad acting, and jokes written by a 5th grader and you have Cheerleaders Beach Party. When I say bad acting I don't mean the standards which a great deal of the cheesy movies I write about follow. I'm talking You-Will-Never-Work-In-This-Town-Again level of acting skills, or lack there of. I'm serious. If you check out the IMDB entry you'll see that many of the actors only ever acted in this film and the director's previous cinematic masterpiece Cherry Hill. If this is his sophomore film I'm kind of scared to watch Cherry Hill for fear I might never want to watch a movie again, but I'll probably do it anyway.
Beach Party might have been extremely difficult to watch, but the film did have a couple of good qualities besides top naked girls every 10 or 15 minutes, which wasn't even that gratifying. Topless shots in this movie make films like Porky's and Meatballs look like hardcore pornography. Get what I'm saying?
I would have to say the best part of this movie were a couple of one-liners. Even though they were written to appeal to the comedic sensibility of an 11 year old, there were a couple of lines that made the eternal child in me chuckle just a bit.
"As much fun as an autopsy." - This one didn't make me chuckle over the humor but more over the sheer stupidity of the line.
"Humpum for wumpum" - Best line of the entire film. Seriously it is.
There were a few more, but I really didn't have the enough of a will to actually write them down, so two is all you get. That's all, folks. I could probably write a couple more paragraphs about such inane topics as "Why are they wearing cheering uniforms all the time" or " how does a person have sex without removing the pants" but Beach Party is not even worth the number of words I've already put into it. it was that much of a piece of shit. Do I regret watching it? Not really. Will you regret it if after reading this review? Probably. Don't say I didn't warn you.
This shitbox doesn't even have an available trailer. Boo Hoo!!!
I have been praising the Midnite selections over at Williamsburg's Spectacle Theater for months now. Who ever is doing the programming over there obviously knows what the fuck is up, and there is usually something good going on at least once a week for fans of cult trash. Even though budget and social restrictions typically prevent me from going, there have several movies on their roster that I had never heard of but made it a point to seek out. The Death Wheelers(1973) was one of these films I knew I had to see even if I couldn't make the screening. Biker Gangs, Devil Worship and the Living Dead all rolled into one little British package. What more could a man want?
After months of having a copy, I was finally able to sit down and watch it with friends and loved ones. Movies like this I like sharing with the Girlfriend. It also helped that we had a guest and there is currently nothing available on primetime for the next couple of weeks, so the evening's entertainment totally ended up in my favor.
And it was completely worth it.
Granted, it didn't go exactly as described. There was a biker gang, The Living Dead, and they aren't the friendliest bunch. Antisocial is a bit tame of a word to describe their actions. The Devil Worship wasn't really "worship" per se. It was more of a "Deal with the Devil", or a "Deal with the Toad Demon". That's right, I said Toad Demon. In fact, in Death Wheelers toads are the reason for the season. How very odd, but I know I've seen stranger storylines in movies from the 70's.
Then we get to The Living Dead. To most people, "living dead" refers to mindless, rotting husks of humanity who sustain themselves on the brains of the living. Not so much here. To be "living dead" in the Death Wheelers pretty means having all the benefits of higher undead, like a vampire, but without many of the drawbacks (I think there is something bad with crucifixes). To become the "living dead" all one must do is want to die to live. Sounds confusing, doesn't it? Well I can't give everything away.
I had fun watching this film, although there were a couple lowpoints. Namely, the lack of gore. I'm assuming it had more to do with British censors than artistic direction, but I could have used more blood and guts. It also felt slow at parts, which could have been considered a good set-up for all the road action, which I thought was nicely filmed and proper. I was also a huge fan of the music, from the cheesy little acoustic numbers to the psych/mod/soul rock that made up most of the background even if it was pretty repetitive.
If you like Hammer Horror with a higher budget and JD/biker movies, you would probably get a kick out of the Death Wheelers. Even if you don't, but are still a horror and action fan, it's still worth at least one watch.