Category: Movies

VHS Verdict: ‘Nightmare Beach’ A Slasher Flick That’s More 80’s Than The 80s!

A few nights ago I checked out a pretty sweet little 80’s slasher movie by Harry Kirkpatrick & Italian director Umberto Lenzi who was also responsible for the equally fun schlock-fest ‘Ghosthouse’. ‘Welcome to Spring Break’ AKA ‘Nightmare Beach’ is most definitely worth tracking down if you’re a fan of cheezy 80’s horror and those wacky mega raging hormone teen comedies from that decade. You know, those movies that could simply never be made in 2018, this one is a prime example as it’s jam packed with nudity, crude humor and a psychotic “undead” killer on a murderous rampage. It shares a lot of similarities with movies like ‘The Horror Show’ and ‘Shocker’ as it features a serial killer who’s executed on the electric chair and seemingly re-appears to kill as many people as he can by electrocuting the shit out of them.

Yep we’ve got a full on ridiculous mystery here jam packed with moronic characters galore and then some. As you can imagine the college kids in this one have two things on their feeble minds, partying and sex! Our two main characters are pretty interesting fellows as well, one’s intent on partyin’ ’til he’s brain dead and his straight laced buddy, well I’m not sure why he even went to the damn beach for spring break. The dude turns down every scenario to get have fun, get freakin’ wasted and mingle with the ladies. He’s such a damn wholesome guy that he almost becomes more ridiculous to watch than the full on 80’s party hardy springbreakin’ sex maniancs that are combing every inch of the beach. Yep this movie is indeed more 80’s than the 1980’s. It’s the epitome of everything ridiculous from that time period, while the acting is pretty over the top, it’s still impressively played fairly straight. 

The crazed maniacal killer soon sweeps upon the beach scene riding a motorcycle and dressed head toe in his biker attire never removing his helmet as the ultimate party pooper. There’s some fun kills in this one as well and a bit of a Scooby Doo style mystery at play as well to keep you “guessing” until the very in in the final “epic” confrontation. Throw in John Saxon as a corrupt cop for some street cred, a totally radical 80’s metal soundtrack and you’ve got one helluva idiotic fun as shit slasher flick at play. This 1988 horror movie is a great saturday night party jam to enjoy with a big group of rowdy friends and plenty of booze! 

 

And of course this one has an obscure “killer” 80’s song in it from Kirsten, who plays live in the movie as well-dig IT!!

 

 

 

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Casting the ‘Star Wars: Heir to the Empire’ Live Action Movie!

After the last two installments of the “Skywalker Saga” sequel trilogy ‘The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi’ from Disney I’ve decided to look elsewhere for a good fix of the iconic series til ‘Episode IX’ drops. There’s definitely not a better spot to start than with Timothy Zahn’s iconic “Thrawn” Trilogy!! There’s a lot of Star Wars fans out there, like myself, who’ve never really seriously delved into the EU (expanded universe) stuff, I’d been recommended this trilogy of books, ‘Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising & The Last Command’ for a long time as they’re considered by many fans the real Episodes 7, 8 & 9. I can firmly say I’d wished they’d have drawn from this storyline for the current trilogy as it’s not a direct “retelling” that mirrors the original trilogy. It has incredible villains at it’s core as well, that bury characters like Snoke, Kylo Ren & Phasma. The current trilogy is actually more of a reboot, borrowing major plot points from previous movies, even Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” while supposedly attempting to subvert audience expectations still follows very similar beats with the original trilogy.

Heir to the Empire is set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the Rebellion, which is now known as the New Republic, is still fighting the final remnants of the Imperial resistance and trying to set up a strong new government. But in outer reaches of the galaxy, the most cunning of all the hand picked Grand Admirals is quickly gaining power and preparing to launch a series of deadly attacks on the New Republic. After convincing a crazed Dark Jedi to join his side, Grand Admiral ‘Thrawn’ is scheming his ultimate victory. I’ve been listening to the audio books, narrated by Marc Thomson and damn does that guy nail the voices of almost all character to perfection, as I listened I could picture it all unfolding on screen with the original actors, so if you’re a bit late to the party (it came out in 1991!) & wanna check this out most definitely check out this version of the story, it’s a ton of fun.

So obviously I began to think about how much I’d like to see this basic story on the big screen & while it is true, that because of the newest trilogy they’d have to change a few of the plot points I think they could still manage to tell a decent version of the original story. Fore instance Leia is newly pregnant with twins at the time in the book, that’d have to change, it’d have to be baby Kylo and it could take place a bit later than 5 years after Return of the Jedi. Still though, this story could indeed be brought to the big screen as many of the major characters required for this adventure have actually already been recast in ‘Solo’ and ‘Rogue One’. I have my doubts however this movie would happen at this point in time, as ‘Solo’ was a bit of a flop and perhaps Disney wouldn’t want to take a chance recasting the original trilogy characters again. If they ever do bring this to life though, I’ve got the actors right here cast that’d likely please hardcore fans- let’s take a look at some choices for major characters in the story that I think would be great for the movie version of the epic trilogy….

Han Solo: Alden Ehrenreich

Obviously we’ve got to to cast Alden again as Han right? To keep with continuity of the new ‘Solo’ film it makes perfect sense he’d be up for the role again. I of course wish they’d have given Anthony Ingruber a shot as he’s a spitting image and mastered the general vibe of Harrison Ford. But in this case we’ve already got our new Han so we might as well roll with it right? That’s the good thing here, some of the casting is already complete. Phew!

 

Lando Calrissian: Donald Glover

Another no brainer, as Glover did an excellent job as portraying Lando in ‘Solo’. He had it down and obviously did his homework on mastering a similar swagger of icon Billie Dee Williams. There’s a lot of Lando here in this Star Wars adventure and it further cements him and Han’s friendship after the events of ROTJ. It’d be amazing to see Glover back again and cement his legacy as a younger Lando once again as this story has a good deal of trouble for him and Han to get into! 

 

Princess Leia: Billie Lourd

To me Billie Lourd is the only real option for Leia. She’s the perfect age to play the role, she’s totally beautiful like Carrie and she’s Carrie’s daughter!! She’s also looks a lot like her and has already expressed interest in playing a young version of the character. How truly sweet would it be to have her play her mother’s iconic character? Check this out as she states how she wishes she could play a young Leia:

I know she’s got a small role in the latest trilogy but this would be a whole new timeline. I’d love to see Billie as Leia learning to use a lightsaber as well as tapping into the Force like she did in the book. How could you turn her down for the role? You’d have to have no damn soul! 

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The ‘Puppet Master’ Franchise Officially Returns!

It’s about time right? The Puppet Master franchise is officially back! The official trailer has dropped for Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, the new reboot of the classic series that became a cult classic way back in 1989. It features a screenplay from S. Craig Zahler (director of Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99), features some crazy new puppets. Shit hits the fan when a supernatural force animates a collection of puppets up for auction at an antique convention, setting them on a blood drenched killing spree that’s put into motion by an ancient evil. It stars Michael Paré, Thomas Lennon, Charlyne Yi, Udo Kier, Nelson Franklin, Matthias Hues, Jenny Pellicer, and Barbara Crampton. The movie is directed by Sonny Laguna (Wither) & Tommy Wiklund.

So far this looks like a pretty sweet little reboot that’s definitely not holding back on killer puppet practical fx mayhem. Count me in here, as a huge fan of the original movie this one looks like it’s been re-booted the right way! This one’s set to release August 17th 2018.

 

Indiana Jones 5: The Search for The Fountain of Youth?!

So supposedly we’re going to be getting a 5th installment in the next few years of the beloved Indiana Jones film franchise. It’s said to be Harrison Ford’s final portrayal of the character, as he’s going to be 77 years old next year. Many have been ranting about how unrealistic it is that good ol’ Indy would be running around exotic locations beating up Nazis at that old of an age. Sure it’s an unlikely scenario and it’s rumored well that he’s expected to pass the torch to a younger actor or even gender swap his character altogether making Indy a female adventurer much like ‘Laura Croft’. I’m a HUGE fan of the movies and at the end of the day whether Indy becomes a woman or not I just want the story to be a ton of fun and feel like whatever happens, happens naturally. This leads me to what I think would be an incredible idea for Harrison’s final movie IF they were indeed wanting the character of Indiana Jones to live on as the one we’ve seen throughout the years.

There’s a cool story that could be told that’d make perfect sense for one last hurrah in the world of an old Indiana Jones. What if an almost 80 year old Indiana Jones was suddenly given some sort of definitive proof that the fountain of youth does indeed exist and that he just might be able to find it? Now that’d be the news that I think could inspire him and his wife Marion Ravenwood to get up off the couch, grab the whip and head out into boonies for an adventure that to the both of them could feel as urgent & important as they come. For the 5th installment it’s important to have an excellent reason that’d inspire adventurers of this age to rally one last time and attempt to go the distance. Now imagine he enlists some of his old pals to join him and his wife, get Short Round back for this one give Sallah a call as he’d likely be down for a drink from the fountain of youth as well. Then get ready to recast the whole crew of actors as the odds look good they’ll indeed find what they’re looking for.

This could be an incredibly compelling & heartfelt tale to tell for the whole gang, they could legitimately amp up the nostalgia as well, as the older characters all long for their youth once more, reminisce about the old adventures and like most of us all, to some degree don’t want to face death. This last adventure could be one of Indy & crews most desperate and they could also this time around give us a spectacle that feels & looks more in line with the first three movies. Real locations, practical effects, real explosions the whole shebang. It’d also have to take place in the 1960’s as we’re now 10 years past Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which I do like-but also see it’s major flaws) which would also be a whole new time period to play with. Lastly, imagine say in the last 20 minutes or so, our heroes indeed do find the fountain after a crazy adventure thus far and are actually able to drink from it. This is where we pass the torch and the real supernatural aspect of the movie really kicks.

I know to many Star Wars fans Alden Ehrenreich wasn’t the person they’d initially hoped to see cast as a young Han Solo. The buzz for actor Anthony Ingruber was huge amongst fans, especially after he’d been perfectly cast as a young Harrsion Ford in The Age of Adaline. In these scenes Ingruber captures the likeness of Ford to pure perfection and also looks uncannily like him at the same time. Check it:

Now imagine Indiana Jones finally drinks from the fountain, we cut to some other characters in danger of being captured by Nazi’s or whoever the villains are this time around, and next we see Indy emerge from the shadows only this time Ingruber in the role stepping forward into the light. Now of course near the end of the movie perhaps all of his companions are offered a drink and we can then recast whoever does indeed partake of the mystical liquid. It’d be fun to throw around casting ideas as well for the rest of the gang and I think this would be a seamless and intriguing way to pass the torch to a younger generation. That would also leave adventures in the future to take place in the 60s,70s and 80s as well. It’d also finally utilize the actor who was once thought to be the perfect choice to portray one of Ford’s most iconic roles. If they do indeed stick with a continuation of the classic character this would be a great way to do so otherwise I guess they could go the whole Mutt Williams route once again and say Indiana has yet another child, this time a daughter he doesn’t know about that could continue his mantle. What do you think? P.S. Lucas & Spielberg feel free to rip me off! I wanna see this shit done right!!

Should James Gunn Have Been Fired?!

So ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director James Gunn was fired by Disney/Marvel over the weekend when a questionable right wing personality himself, Mike Cernovich, outed him for his trove of highly offensive tweets he’d made between 2009 & 2012. This, like the Twitter inspired firing of Roseanne, has got many people on both sides of the political spectrum up in arms. Many are defending Gunn, who was quite vocal in his disapproval of Donald Trump, saying he should never have been fired as his tweets were made years ago when he was in his 40’s. Gunn now 51, has responded, apologizing, basically saying he was merely trying to be provocative and doesn’t think they are funny anymore. The tweets were made before he’d been hired to helm the now mega millions Marvel movie franchise ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Most of his offensive tweets involved bizarre “jokes” and “witty” banter involving highly disturbing sexual topics involving rape and pedophilia. His supporters say he’s a changed man but it’s important to note he stopped tweeting about this type of thing when he’d been hired by Disney, we all know money talks sometimes. I’m sure he knew at this point more tweets of that nature wouldn’t be good for his newfound high profile directing career with a family friendly mega corporation.

This all really doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me as Gunn’s background as a filmmaker was rooted in the Troma movie universe. Most Troma stuff is intentionally outrageous and meant to shock and offend. Back in the 80’s it was the kind of stuff your parents would likely be outraged over, meanwhile teens would giggle about. It’s always seemed to me like James Gunn for the most part was a pretty cool guy, who shares a lot of the same interests in oddball cinema as I do. He’s a bit of a Hollywood misfit and most definitely NOT your average Hollywood director. I’d compare his background to say Peter Jackson & Sam Raimi who both came from indie style schlock/horror cinema and later became highly paid Hollywood blockbuster directors. I however didn’t know until recently what he’d spent his time tweeting about in his recent past. What’s surprising to me is that the old weird ass tweets were never deleted by him in the first place when hired by Disney/Marvel.

Many of his supporters have rallied behind him with a new petition, to demand he be rehired to continue the franchise. In my personal opinion I agree with Disney for dropping him. I’m not sure Gunn is quite the monster the ‘right wing’ is painting him out to be and I’m also not so sure he’s the saint that the left seems to think he is. I think it’s their right to fire him, I also think they should have checked a little further into his past before giving him the job if they really are the family friendly company we’ve been led to believe they are.

I really do think Gunn is a pretty unique & talented filmmaker, I Iove ‘Slither’, thought ‘Super’ was good & really enjoyed the first GOTG. However, with that being said, as I read through his tweets, it certainly does leave me a bit perplexed as to why a man in his 40’s would waste his time continuously tweeting on subjects of this nature? The tweets aren’t funny and neither is this type of humor to me at least, and I’m a bit surprised he’s getting all of this support from fans to get his job back. To me it seems to prove the lunacy of people these days now on both sides of the political spectrum, it reminds me a bit of the right wing people who defended Trump during the 2016 election, when a decade ago he made his sick comments about grabbing women. I’m not sure Gunn is truly a bad guy, but I honestly don’t know what goes on inside people’s heads either. I’m totally satisfied at the fact that Roseanne was canned, I think Gunn getting fired was a totally reasonable decision and I also would love to see the President fired as well…

Glass: The Kickstart of M. Night Shyamalan’s Superhero Universe!!

M. Knight Shyamalan has been spending the last few years making a legit comeback after crafting some seriously bad movies. The guy who was at one time being referred to as “the next Hitchcock” seemed to hit a bad slump that many never though he could return from. He recently though gave us ‘The Visit’ which was, in my opinion, a great little horror flick and then ‘Split’ which took the his classic twist ending to new heights as it revealed it was indeed a direct sequel to his 2000 masterpiece ‘Unbreakable’. ‘Split’ opened the floodgates of possibility for an expanded universe within Shyamalan’s cinematic world leading to the upcoming third movie in the ‘Unbreakable’ franchise. Yeah ‘Glass’ is based on Sam Jackson’s villainous comic book obsessed mastermind from ‘Unbreakable’ & will feature characters from that movie and ‘Split’. I’ve been pumped for a trailer.

The film’s plot description reads: “Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of “The Beast” in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.” Check out the all too short tease for the full trailer said to hit this friday.

I’m pretty excited to see what Shyamalan comes up with as his possible ‘superhero universe’ is vastly different thus far than the over the top, CG heavy Marvel and DC films. Night offers a more serious, tense and mysterious take on the genre and that’s a breath of fresh air in my opinion. I’m rooting for him to hit a full on home run here!

 

Stage Fright: A Perfect Ten 80’s Slasher Flick!

Any slasher movie with it’s deranged killer donning a huge weird ass feathery owl head mask deserves a watch right?! Yeah Italian horror movie ‘Stage Fright’ (aka Deliria, Aquarius) from 1987 is a prime example of how to perfectly execute a stunning slasher flick. I’m surprised I’d never seen this movie before, I probably need to delve deeper into the 80’s Italian horror, as aside from a lot of the cult classics I think I may be missing out on some cool shit, especially when it comes director Michele Soavi (Cemetery Man) who directed this creepy gem. It’s been a long time since seeing Cemetery Man and after viewing Stage Fright it’s clear I have to check it out again asap.

Stage Fright has got it all and then some, taking place in a spooky theater where the cast of play become trapped and hunted down by a mysterious madman donning a big feathery owl mask. It’s beautifully shot, ultra creepy and has a ton of great bloody action sequences. The old theater is the perfect setting for this mystery to unfold as well and there’s plenty of that to go around as the cast during the rehearsals soon discover a crazed lunatic has escaped a nearby mental ward and trapped them all inside for the night.

The atmosphere of Stage Fright at times has an mesmerizing dream like quality to it as well that adds a unique spin to the usual slasher fare. Add in the truly bizarre looking owl headed slasher and you’ve got one of the most unique looking antagonists of the genre. There are few that are as truly memorable looking as it’s crazy killer. This alone sets it in a category of it’s own. I mean check this dude out, it’s straight out of a nightmare.

There’s also a ton of cool chase sequences and impressive gore to behold here. This one’s not afraid to get nasty eitherand the final girl’s battle is beautifully filmed as well as action packed, especially when the battle moves high above the stage on the catwalks. The exceptional cinematography adds so much to this movie as well, an excellent scene beneath the stage where feathers float all though the air while the killer looms above is truly breathtaking and adds again a surreal element to the horror. Of course there’s also some neat twists and turns in the plot that keep this one a slice above most 80’s slashers and ramps up the the tension. If you’re a fan of 80’s horror and especially the slasher/giallo genre movies this ones about as good as it gets for those who love that neon 80’s era of film!