The Best of Netflix DVD: Reggie Banister Enters the CEMETERY GATES!!
Reggie Banister of “Phantasm fame” is one of my favorite horror heroes-hands down! The horror franchise is my all time favorite of the genre, Reggie is one of the main reasons why it resonates with me so hard. What I’ve noticed though is Reg really doesn’t take center stage in any other movies I can think of, it’s usually just brief cameos in things like ‘Bubba Ho-tep’ or even ‘Kenny & Company’. Well that’s what I was led to believe but low and behold through the Netflix “red envelope” dvd mailer program (that’s sadly coming to an end soon), I received a movie from queue that’d been sitting there for years! The 2004 (or 2006?) horror flick CEMETERY GATES finally arrived in the mail, I really had quite low expectations and quickly noticed Reggie Banister was appearing, I figured he’d likely be doing another “horror cameo” in a low budget production. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I was pleasantly surprised, Reggie is one of the main characters in this one & better yet even the movie is somehow a total gem-a gore soaked, practical fx creature feature with heart and a heroic dose of humor while also a somewhat intriguing story at play. Yeah I was expecting a steamin’ load of shit and what I got was one of my new favorites of the 2000’s horror movies. It’s filled with a cast of fun characters, many of which are total boneheads, which make this little gnarly flick even more of a blast. It’s the story of an escaped lab animal-a giant mutated Tasmanian devil named “Precious” who goes on a muderous rampage in the countryside when set loose by some numbskull animal rights activists.
The lab Precious came from is owned by……Reggie Banister, a seasoned scientist who’s sad about his son moving out on his own. His son an aspiring horror filmmaker is heading out to the country with his horny numb nut buddies to film a zombie film, little does he know his childhood now mutated “pet” Precious (who was experimented on) is running wild in the vicinity.
Precious though is not the only threat, there’s some horny braindead hillbillies, who look like the perfect lunch for a tasmanian devil, also raising hell. Reggie and his sexy scientist buddy soon discover the missing creature and set out to the countryside to try and track it down before it goes completely bonkers on the local population.
Cemetery Gates has got a lot going for it, Reggie pretty awesome in it and there’s a certain bit of idiotic charm to his relationship with his son AND his son’s relationship with the former lab pet turned mutant. It’s also a load of fun to see all these utterly moronic characters get ripped to shreds by Precious. We’ve got the idiotic hillbillies, some middle aged stoners, Richard Elfman as an insane fisherman, the bonehead amateur actors and a few random hikers that suffer the brunt of the gore. The fun is really had when we see Precious in the flesh on it’s killing spree. She tears limbs, decapitates and rips apart a ton of people all in gloriously gooey practical fx and real onscreen “blood” galore. The creature looks pretty damn good too in that sorta 1980s style monster mayhem.
It’s so absurdly charming looking in the flesh and when the final confrontation goes down with Precious it becomes a “family affair’. Reggie, his son, his girlfriend and Reggie’s hot lab partner go all in on taking down the mutated ‘taz in a dark subterranean lair beneath a cemetery. There’s some real heart here at it’s core that sincerely shines through all of the moronic antics that occur and I really appreciate the entire fiasco.
It to me, hits all the right beats, finally another film essentially featuring Reggie front and center to love. He’s here in all of his hair dyed glory to kick some monster booty once again & who’d have thought it’d be again in the mid 2000’s? There’s some good atmosphere and plenty of mischief for Reggie & co to get into as well. If this thing had been released in the 80s it’d be a bonafide cult classic. I’ve NEVER heard anyone speak a peep about Cemetery Gates, so I’m taking it to my platform to get the damn word out.
It’s the perfect midnight movie to rock with some starving cinemaniacs-they may doubt it’s merit by it’s cover but chances are it’ll quench any gorehounds thirst as well as tickle their funny bone. Cemetery Gates is true 2000’s cult classic in the wings….
VHS Verdict: The 1990s Fairy Tale “Horror” of RUMPELSTILTSKIN!
I saw ‘Leprechaun’ IN the theater back in ’93, my girlfriend and I were the ONLY ones in the entire theater! Of course I had a damn good time and believe that ‘Leprechaun’ sort of kick-started a little mini genre of “fairytale horror” in the 1990s. While the director of the original Leprechaun also made another movie a few years later 1995 Rumpelstiltskin! Yep Mark Jones the writer and director of the ’93 cult classic also gave the a similar treatment to this weird little one without the “success” of the Warwick Davis fronted franchise.
Well last night I Pulled out my cool promotional copy of the VHS along with my projector, some friends, drinks and checked it out on the “big” screen. In all honesty I’m not entirely sure that I’ve ever really seen this movie before (even though I could have sworn that I had). Nonetheless Rumpelstiltskin delivered the same ridiculous goods in the same fashion as the original Leprechaun. The best way to describe this one would be a sort of “Terminator style” road chase movie- but instead of an imposing hulking cyborg you get a gimpy numb-nut fairy tale villain, who cracks ridiculous one liners while he chases a woman down trying to steal her baby to suck it’s soul!
In other words it’s a god damn good time! Our main mischievous villain here, Rumpelstiltskin, looks like he was plucked right out of Stephen King’s horror anthology ‘Cat’s Eye’. He wakes up from a 1000 year slumber and dropped into the 1990s. This all after being turned into a small stone sculpture after a group of villagers hunt him down after he steals one of their babies. You might think that this guy would have a hard time navigating the ’90s, but quite the opposite. Rumpelstiltskin seems to be quite adept in nearly everything he tries, Whether it’s riding a Harley or driving a stick shift semi truck- ‘ol ‘Rumpy can do it! The funny thing is he comes across more like a character that might appear in ‘Ernest Scared Stupid’ than a wicked soul sucking goblin!
It’s your fairly standard “being chased through the countryside road trip” horror formula (which I FUCKING love)- but it definitely does have a few really fun tricks up its dirty little sleeve. Our main character is a widowed single mom (Kim Johnston Ulrich) with a baby of course and some of this actually plays out a bit like a “Sex in the City” episode. She hangs out with her horny female friends, drinks wine and tries to navigate being single in the era with a baby…the last thing she needs is THIS weirdo throwing a wrench into being a mom!
There’s definitely a certain degree of unpredictability to some the characters we’re introduced to which makes this an even more interesting watch. Particularly when we’re introduced to a sleazy, cheezy, sexist TV host, who comes across a bit like a second rate Howard Stern. The type of character you won’t be seeing “rise to the occasion” in any movie coming out in 2023 that’s for sure.
However I’m a sucker for an unlikely pairing of characters ‘on the run’ from true danger in horror movies and this one really BRINGS it. You’re never quite sure who’s going to suffer the consequences from an encounter with ol’ Rumpy! If you’re a fan of the original ‘Leprechaun’ there’s definitely a lot right here to love, Some cool make up effects, pretty sweet action sequences, explosions and like Warwick Davis’s character, some great idiotically witty banter! Rumpelstiltskin is prime candidate for a sweet new blu ray. It’s really long overdue that he gets a cult following and the true recognition he deserves-this is a really sweet totally 90s horror comedy, jam packed with ridiculous fashion of the time and characters you’re likely not to see anytime soon on the big or small screen. A great example that the 90s indeed does have some horror gems hidden within the decade! Track down this weird little fairy tale & turn off your brain to thoroughly enjoy the ride..
The MOVIE MELT Podcast’s Wildly Erotic Appointment with DR. CALIGARI!
It’s quite an interesting appointment when you’re set to pay a visit to a brand new new doctor & this week on the MOVIE MELT podcast we got one helluva check up by checking out 1989’s wildly erotic horror flick DR. CALIGARI! A bizarre nightmare from the director of the legendary plot centric-porno ‘Cafe Flesh’, Stephen Sayadian comes this equally strange dive into complete madness!
Yes! ‘Doctor Caligari’ is most definitely a weird one, an erotically gross dreamlike voyage into an insane asylum led by the daughter of the legendary 1920’s mad practitioner! There’s some serious problems when people become human guinea pigs of sultry doc as she performs experiments on patients with the most extreme shock therapies and hormone treatments. the results are quite shocking in this avante garde slice of madness. It’s filled to the brim with neon sets, strange creatures, human sized tongues, babes, hunks, scarecrow hand-jobs and lots of nonsensical plot points that will drive you absolutely NUTS!
Also on this episode is a “best of” battle of the bands, featuring the most idiotic musical numbers and artists to grace the damn internet-listen to the stupidest songs duke it out for the ultimate prize-MOVIE MELT’s seal of approval. Plus we discuss some cool movies we think you’ve just gotta see and so much MORE including a discussion on deepfake penises!
Grab a case of beer, get cozy and ready for the good times to roll as we plunge into the weird ass cinematic world of DR. CALIGARI on the latest episode of MOVIE MELT!
Needs to be BLU: Brigitte Neilson’s 90s Sci-Fi Ass Kicker GALAXIS!
Today I’m starting a new series on U-Dork called “Needs to be Blu” Where I’m going to start documenting all of the movies that I’ve seen that most desperately need a fancy ass blu ray release! There are still some real gems out there that just aren’t getting the attention they deserve, are out of print on dvd or have only EVER been released on VHS format.
Today my recommendation to all those fancy labels out there like Vinegar Syndrome, Culture Shock, Arrow video, Visual Vengeance etc is Brigitte Nielsen’s sci-fi actioner GALAXIS aka Terminal Force released in 1994. Brigitte Nielson stars as a inter-galactic space babe who kicks a lot of ass coming across like Dolph Lundgren’s lady action counterpart. Check it out:
I wish she’d have had more cheesy roles like this(I’ve got to check out BODY COUNT still), she’s such charming presence and iconic femme fatale. In this particular film she really looks the part too, she dwarfs most of the men in height and doesn’t take a lick a shit from a single one of them. It’s a bit of a mix between The Terminator and Highlander and feels like it was shot in the late 1980s. It hits all the right beats for me- the fish out of water, light romance, charmingly idiotic characters, some genuinely fun special fx as well as a good sense of humor throughout. Plus Moll here who’s a great B-movie villain (check out ‘Dungeonmaster’ from 1984 for more proof of that) is of course a lot of fun to watch ham it up!
A cool little sci-fi “run for your life in a big city” adventure where Brigitte is your guide and Richard Moll reprises his “bad guy” role again as a sort of Darth Vader type villain. Top top it all off Sam Raimi even shows up for some of the fun early on and so do some stop motion robots thankfully. Lots of lasers, dark steamy alleys, ridiculous bad guys and of course Nielsen looking all sexy as the amazonian leather clad lead, just legit dumb fun that I’m always all in for.
Aside from Brigitte the co-lead John Brennan plays a charismatic numbskull treasure hunter who’s on the hunt for some strange artifact, one that Brigitte and Moll are on the hunt for as well. Along the way he of course gets mixed up in a boatload of shenanigans that Nielson usually has to solve by kicking someone’s ass.
The lucky guy gets to join forces with Nielson, and the two slowly fall for each other, too bad the evil Moll always seems to arrive before anything can ever really happen for the two! As far as dumb bad guys go too there’s a really over the top mob boss guy played by Fred Asparagus who somehow manages to be a major player in the action all the way up to it’s boiler room style finale. Obviously this is prime cheez, it’s fun, fast paced and largely forgotten- Someone release this on blu ray!
Recommended EASTER Viewing: He-man vs The Evil EASTER BUNNY?!
Hey are you looking for something a bit out of the ordinary to watch today for Easter?! Well hopefully you haven’t forgotten that one time when He-man took on the “evil Easter bunny”…………how can anyone ever forget the truly sinister Plundor?!
Yes, Plundor has just GOT to be the strangest villain that He-man has ever squared off against. He’s also in pretty good shape, he must work out a-LOT! He’s also the perfect villain for today-EASTER Sunday. Yeah back in the 1980s Plundor made his appearance in the 19th episode of He-man and the Masters of the Universe, ‘The Quest for He-man’.
The wicked rabbit spent his time exploiting natural resources destroying the planet of Trannis. He ruined the forests, rivers and oceans ALL for-profit! He polluted the planet with filth, with his giant factory and that attracted the likes of He-man, Orko & Ram-man to go head on against Plundor to clean up his act!
The character never got his own classic action figure in the 1980s but in 2013 he was immortalized in the He-man and the Masters of the Universe Classics line action figures! He finally got his dues better late than never for such a weird-ass character. I remember him from the show in the 1980s and was always intrigued by how ridiculous he looked-one of those strange “cartoon only” characters. Well today is the perfect day to honor He-man’s most oddball nemesis! Today is YOUR day Plundor-make Easter an EVIL one! Here’s the whole episode:
‘CYST’ Brings Back Old School 80’s Gross Out Monster Mayhem!
Where have all the gross out out slimy monster movies disappeared to? Well if you’re in the mood for gallons of ooze, slime and pus you’ve come to the the right place with CYST. A 2020 monster movie that’s largely flown under the radar and brings back all the old style practical fx you might be been missing in 2023.
Set back in the 1960’s at a doctor’s office that specializes in cyst removals, we get the story of an insane practitioner who’s experimenting with a new lazer on patients and their bulging boils. The doctor played by Troll 2’s George Hardy, is really more like a mad scientist who takes pleasure in popping a plethora of enormous pus filled pimples, most of which explode directly onto our main character/heroine Patricia, a nurse who’s had it with the doctor and all of the slimy ooze she’s got to deal with on the daily. She’s put in her notice and it’s her last day on the job. The Doc, flustered about her sudden resignation, takes pleasure in all the pus way too much and he’s hell bent on using this new laser technique on a special patient with a large, ready to burst, boil on his back.
This however triggers the cyst to quickly develop a mind of it’s own-it separates from it’s host and shows it’s true nature-a rapidly growing one eyed monster. This disgusting beastie goes on a rampage and the patients, doctors, nurses and employees are inadvertently trapped inside the building. This begins a fight to the death with the tentacled monster, that looks like a more disgusting creature you might see in a nightmare version of H.R. Puffnstuff or Sigmund the Seamonster.
Cyst is a neat little modern retro creature feature that tries it’s damndest to gross you out with all of the over the top pimple popping pus and blood. However, as gross as that all sounds it’s never very beleivable as all the ooze looks far too cartoonish to ever be taken very seriously. It’s instead plays out like a more disgusting version of Nickelodeon’s ‘You Can’t Do That On Television’. I think with Cyst’s super short run time (69 minutes), it’s black comedy and “try to gross you out” old school monster fx it’d be best described as almost like an excellent lost ‘Tales from the Crypt’ episode. If they ever revive the series they should look to Cyst for inspiration, it’d make for a modern “Crypt” crowd pleaser.
There’s a bit of black humor here too but it’s refreshing that for the most part it’s all played pretty straight. This could have easily devolved into another stupid modern tongue in cheek ‘Troll 2’ style attempt at a “bad” movie. Instead we get a lean old school monster movie with some charming characters and ambitious 80’s style creature and gore fx work here to really amp things up. Cyst is certainly not the greatest modern monster movie but it’s helluva fun ride-best to be absorbed with a gang of horror freaks and some stiff drinks. A pretty damn solid modern midnight movie!
VHS VERDICT: 1988’s HAWKEYE – The Unofficial BEVERLY HILLS COP Sequel?!
Have you been waiting for the Beverly Hill’s Cop franchise to finally put out that fourth installment? Well, the wait is (sorta) over if you’ve never seen 1988’s ‘Hawkeye’ aka ‘Karate Cops’! Well I just checked this wildly ridiculous buddy cop flick on VHS and if you’ve ever been looking for more adventures with Eddie Murphy’s ‘Axel Foley’ then the wait is OVER! This movie has got the most convincing Eddie Murphy impersonator I’ve ever seen-he even looks just like him. Yeah Chuck Jeffreys will make you think you’re watching “Axel F” on a forgotten 80’s adventure. Though the movie’s budget is probably one tenth of the popular ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ franchise it actually delivers equal amounts of the real goods, in fact it’s probably better than any of the franchises REAL sequels!
We’ve got pretty much the ultimate buddy cop/martial arts team up here on display-which just wouldn’t be as ridiculously charming without the addition of co-lead George Chung who stars as Hawkeye. Talk about an interesting character, Hawkeye is no typical 80’s Asian stereotype, in fact it’s beaten into the audience’s head that he’s from Texas more than a dozen times. He’s got a hot head, cocky attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder along with his western fashion IE snazzy cowboy boots and giant western belt buckles. He’s quite the hotshot and it’s a boat load of fun to watch him in ass-kickin’ action as he’s ready to take a bite outta crime at the drop of a cowboy hat.
Things wouldn’t be nearly as fun though if Hawkeye didn’t partner up with Chuck Jeffrey’s Eddie Murphy clone Charles Wilson (I started just calling him Axel Farley) to kick all sorts of criminal scumbag butt. Yeah Jeffrey’s has got his Eddie Murphy look, mannerisms and joke’s down, so much so subconsciously I actually began to believe he was indeed Eddie. Well he was apparently so obsessed with impersonating Murphy he did it in 1987’s ‘Paper Dragons’ aka ‘Fight to Win’ check out this VHS cover- I’ve got to see this one! I’m pretty sure he might “do the Murphy” in most of the movies he starred in….
These two make a pretty stupid but entertaining pair too, it’s never a dull moment seeing their witty banter and it’s clear BOTH of them are wildly talented at karate. It’s really jam packed with over the top action sequences and dumb shootouts on the streets & hotels of 1980s Vegas. Basically its a revenge story, when Haweye’s partner is killed in a drug investigation, he’s out for bloody revenge, at first he and Charles (Axel Farley) are like oil and water but after assaulting each other a few minutes after getting paired up they’re suddenly getting along like two peas in a damn pod! These two numbnuts are a wild duo and it seems like George Chung who co-wrote, directed and starred in this got a kick out of having his character Hawkeye get racist stereotypes and insults hurled at him throughout, an interesting angle when you know he was behind a lot of the humor.
Somehow it all works- the cocky asian texan cowboy and the Eddie Murphy rip-off have WAY too much fun together on screen and the villains are also just as ridiculous as the heroes in the best ways possible. My only qualm was that I was hoping for a better karate fueled showdown, when the credits rolled I was a bit surprised it’d ended when it did. It felt to me like a chunk of the finale went missing- but all in all though the movie as whole still was pretty satisfying. I highly recommend this fun but idiotic buddy cop flick-especially if you’re a big Eddie Murphy fanatic! It’s got to be seen to be believed! Here’s the full movie right here:
G.I. JOE Action Stars Cereal Transformed You Into a Bonafide 80s Badass!
‘G.I. Joe Action Stars’ cereal was quite a way to start your day off in 1985! Yes, if you ever dreamed of being like Duke, Sgt. Slaughter or heck even Rambo all you apparently had to do back then was grab a box of this likely highly unhealthy but flashy sugary meal to pump you UP from your local grocery store. I mean c’mon look at this damn box-it’s the food of true action heroes……obviously!
I’m not gonna lie, I want to order that G.I. Joe tee from the back of the damn box! And even better, it appears once you’re done stuffing your face with the yummy action star shaped “Cheerios” you can actually transform the cereal box into some sort of Cobra radio relay station?!! Break out the action figures ASAP!
Talk about getting your money’s worth! Also the commercial for this wicked cereal is the ultimate selling point, putting any kid who eats it on rip roarin’ adventure with the Joe’s!! Sign me up!
Interesting fun factoid, the character featured here named “Starbuster” only appeared in cartoon form in this one and only epic commercial!
Movie Melt Podcast: 1984’s ‘FURIOUS’ Excels in Chicken Themed Martial Arts in the Astral Plane!
Some movies are just sooooo strange it’s hard to even describe the plot without sounding like you’re losing your mind! That would be most definitely be 1984’s FURIOUS! A movie I’m not sure was supposed to be as weird as it turned out to be? Fear not though I went back on the MOVIE MELT podcast and jumped deep into the void! It’s a strange So-Cal Martial arts adventure that feels like it takes place in an alternate reality, where everything is just slightly off with bizarre things going down on screen for no apparent reason and plot that seems to incorporate transforming people into chickens! Yeah, there’s a lot of chickens in FURIOUS as well as some, lets say “questionable” but entertaining martial arts battles to tantalize your mind!
I’m a big fan of dream-like movies and this one definitely feels pulled straight from the REM sleep arena for all to enjoy and try to make a lick of sense of! Could FURIOUS be the most dream-like film off all time? Should Christopher Nolan have taken notes from this one before directing ‘INCEPTION’? I personally think so! I mean people transform into pigs for no reason, take that ‘Inception’!!
If you’re a fan weird forgotten action cinema this episode will not disappoint! We get DEEP into the meanings all the onscreen nonsense, talk about cool movies you need to check out and even have a “chicken themed” battle of the bands competition!! Plus soooo much more cinematic trash to load your brain with than you ever imagined possible! Check out the EPISODE RIGHT HERE!!! Oh and if you want to experience the strange world of Furious, the whole damn thing is right here on Youtube!
Everything Everywhere: Ke Huy Quan’s 1991 Forgotten Ass-kicker!
So we all just saw how ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ cleaned up at the Oscars last night and all were basically brought to tears with Huy Ke Quan’s acceptance speech for BEST supporting actor. I predicted this all after walking out of the theater, it’s one of the most unique movies I’ve seen in a long time and it’s so nice something that awesome and original actually win. Well to all you new Ke Huy Quan fans you’re probably wondering where to go next?! Well most people only know him from this latest endeavor and of course The Goonies and Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom. Well get ready to go deep down the Ke Quan rabbit hole, there’s another awesome movie of his that’s almost entirely forgotten, way back from 1991: BREATHING FIRE!!!
As you all saw in “Everything Everywhere” Huy is quite the martial artist and if you really wanna see just how long he’s been kicking ass ‘Breathing Fire’ will give you a serious dose of his wild physical talent. Take note though, it’s not an Oscar worthy flick-but it’s so much damn fun to watch unfold. It’s got a pretty wild plot too: Mike, A Vietnam vet martial arts master with two teenage sons, one being Ke Quan, decides to take part in bank heist with a ruff n’ tumble gang of criminals and the bank manager himself. To make sure no one double crosses, Mike makes a special very special set of keys, ensuring that the secret safe for the riches can only be opened if every member of the gang are all there in person.
Unfortunately the bank manager, suddenly has second thoughts and tries to back out of the deal. Mike along with his gnarly gang decides to put a hit out on him. His daughter who’s on to his criminal behavior, luckily, gets hold of the key, runs for help to one of her father’s old friends, Vietnam vet and a former war pal of Mike. That’s not enough though to take on this crew of wicked gangsters lead by none other than Bolo Yeung! They also need to employ the martial arts skills of the Ke Huy Quan and his step brother, both who happen to be teenage kickboxing masters!!
Breathing Fire is such a damn good time, it’s a cult classic in waiting, especially now since Ke Huy Quan is on top of the world. I expect this one to likely get a shiny new blu ray release some time in the near future-it certainly deserves one. It’s hits all the right beats of the late 80’s/early90s coming of age action comedy. It’s plot is unique enough too, with the villain actually being the kids father, which serves up a nice dramatic twist.
Also seeing the mighty Bolo Yeung as one of the main villains is the icing on the cake as well as seeing Quan going one on one with him is really history in the making now. It’s jam packed with charming but equally ridiculous dialogue, over the top gun play and some really impressive choreography equivalent to stuff that Hong Kong studios were putting out at the time.
It’s a step above, despite being a lower budget endeavor, a lot of the American action films of the time, at least with the onscreen battles that unfold. There’s some truly bizarre plot twists as well as some surprising characters that enter the fold will likely leave you with a grin. With a lean run time of 85 minutes too this one wastes no time getting to the fun. Quan also shines again with his usual charisma and it’s really cool to see him at this age showcasing his chops-both physically and acting wise. I highly recommend getting onboard with Breathing Fire and spreading the word, I’m really surprised how under the radar this movie has remained. However, I’ve got a feeling it’s going to get cult classic status soon, with Ke Huy Quan back on top!!