Ho ho ho! The Christmas spirit is in the air again and it’s once again time to check out some crazy holiday movies! Last night I watched a pretty ridiculous one to say the least, the final installment of the ‘Silent Night Deadly Night’ franchise, part 5: ‘The Toymaker’ from 1991! Now if you’re in the mood for some totally idiotic yet entertaining holiday movie mayhem I’d say this here is definitely worth a watch this year. As with the 4th installment of the ‘Silent Night Deadly Night’ franchise, this one has got absolutely zilch to do with the original, clearly a sequel only in name and I’m quite fine with that becuz really now, how many damn movies do we need with a killer in a Santa Suit?
So “The Toymaker” goes a way different direction with a totally absurd plot directed by Martin Kitrosser & co-written by horror icon Brian Yuzna (Night of the Living Dead 3, Bride of Re-Aminator, Society), which finds a little kid whose family is “terrorized” by killer presents..ahem “toys” made by a weird ass old dude toymaker named ‘Joe Petto’ played by the one and only Mickey Rooney! How the hell they got Rooney to do this flick is a bit of a wonder. First he’s clearly got the star power here, though in 1991 he must have been in dire need of acting work and even more bizarre is that Rooney wrote a protest letter against the first Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984). Claiming the “scum” who made it should be “run out of town” for having fucked with the sacred holiday. Oddly then six years later he joined the damn franchise!! He must have just loved the damn script so much he couldn’t resist! The world may never know..
Anyway Rooney runs his own creepy toy shop in town called “Petto’s” which is probably the WORST name you could pick for a toy store, oh and he’s got his socially awkward son working the shop too and yeah…..his name is ‘Pino’. I recognized this kid actor Brian Bremer from Pumpkinhead as well as starring in Tobe Hooper’s Spontaneous Combustion & Yuzna’s ‘Society’. So are you catching on here to the brilliance of this story here yet? Well Joe Petto makes toys that kill people and his weirdo son who lives in the dank cellar helps him out and also gets yelled at a lot by Petto after he’s been drinkin’ on the job during shop hours.
The meat of the plot here revolves around Joe Petto’s evil toy’s stalking a single mom and her child for some “unknown reason” right around Christmas. We get some pretty ridiculous bullshit going on here when the toys viciously attack and we even got Screamin’ Mad George (Predator, Nightmare on Elm St. 3) doing his best with the budget on special fx duty. Killer toy army men, toy centipede larva, heck even some killer roller blades! The movie’s filled with crazy ass plot twists too, the kind that are so stupid you can’t help but find idioticlly endearing.
The Toymaker goes for the jugular with a “shocking” finale too, that kinda just has to be seen to be believed as it’s about as stupidly awesome things come. There’s plenty to enjoy here for the holiday as the story somehow operates nicely within the Christmas season. It’s likely the second best installment of the ‘Silent Night’ franchise and the perfect holiday party flick as it’s got a lean, just over 80 minute run time that moves at a nice brisk pace. If you want a full on holiday party flick this one’s got the goods, just make sure you’ve got your sense of humor intact, plenty of weed and boozy egg nog there to wash this one down with…you’ll be needing it!
Ok, so my title above is a bit misleading because as of right now there’s not currently rumors about Jonathan Ke Quan returning to the role of “Short Round” for the upcoming Indiana Jones Part 5. BUT let’s start that rumor here because maybe it will catch fire on the web and actually happen!
So this whole idea really began the other evening when I saw the amazing 1991 movie ‘Breathing Fire’ starring Ke Quan as a teenage ass kicking kung fu machine. If you haven’t seen this movie and love his roles in Indiana Jones and Goonies you best check this one out asap. Seriously. Movies rarely reach level of pure fun and some great over the top kung fu! He even faces off against the legendary Bolo Yueng and it’s just jam packed with amazingly awesome & hilarious retro action cheeze. Seek this one out asap. The full movie can be found on Youtube.com!
However I digress, Ke Quan’s acting career ended in 2002 with the Hong Kong sci fi feature film “Second Time Around” so he’s not exactly been focused on acting lately. As you can tell from the previous Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Speilberg is heavily focused on nostalgia from the previous films as one of the key moments is the return of Marion Ravenwood. So in this next installment how amazing would it be to have Indy once again team up with his buddy Short Round on another adventure?
During filming ‘Temple Of Doom’, Quan studied Tae Kwon Do under film choreographer Phillip Tan. Something about the discipline of martial arts really appealed to him, so he began rigorously studying many different techniques. Once his acting career had become more quiet, Quan became an assistant fight choreographer to Hong Kong legend Corey Yeun on movies like ‘X-Men’ and Jet Li vehicle ‘The One’. Ke Quan now is 45 years old, has kept himself in great shape and could likely bring his seasoned martial arts exploits into the next Indy flick with pure adoration from longtime fans. He’s even been asked more recently from fans about appearing in part five answering with an enthusiastic “I don’t know!”. From what I understand he’s also down for a trip down nostalgia lane for the forever talked about Goonies sequel. So this here is all a real possibility considering Indiana Jones part 5 is indeed happening for sure.
I’ve got high hopes for the next Indy movie, I enjoyed the last one but I’ll agree it’s far from perfect and nowhere near as classic as the first three. Still this next movie is likely Harrison Ford’s last as the character so Speilberg will get one last shot to right the wrongs of the last movie. Ditch the ridiculous CG you promised you weren’t going to use and give us something that truly feels like a classic Indy movie and please leave Shia Labeouf’s Mutt Willaims at home. Let’s feel the nostalgia and let’s see Jones & Short Round team up once again, I know that fans would flip their shit if this was worked into the movie and it’d make sense that a fully able, older Short Round could help Indiana Jones kick some butt this time as our aging main character likely needs all the help he can get this time around. What do you think? Would you like to see Johnny Ke Quan return? If so share this post and let’s make it happen!
This week the final installment of the first arc of ‘We Can Never Go Home’ hit the stands with issue #5. It was a great finale filled with a ton of well placed twists and turns. This also just might be my favorite new title of 2015. We’ve been following the unpredictable exploits of teen runaway misfits Duncan & Maddie for only five issues but hell, what an adventure it’s been so far.
The series takes place back in the late 1980’s a time I remember quite fondly as a kid/teen growing up, so perhaps I’m just a little more than partial to this tale from the start. It’s also a series that involves 80’s references galore and even more so in the realm of underground music & punk rock of yesteryear. Mix that with some seriously deep in serious shit troubled teens on a road trip that seems to get more dangerous with ever mile traveled and you’ve got quite an intriguing story.
The final issue comes to a blood soaked boiling point to a once seemingly innocent start of budding teen crushes. The final issue pulls no punches a lot of questions are finally answered and maybe not quite in the way you might have hope they’d be. That’s fine though as a truly great story never really wraps up the way you think it will. This last issue takes place in the compound of this first arc’s villain, Mr. Carroll, where he’s trapped Maddie and Duncan and tests their “superhuman” abilities.
Certain aspects of this final issue might piss you off, you might suddenly find yourself questioning some of our lead characters motivations in this series. Ultimately though this dynamic conclusion delivers on all cylinders, (with some excellent artwork to boot by Josh Hood) and I already find my self ready to read it all over again.
It also has me quite ready for more which we can expect in 2016. So if you haven’t checked this out yet I advise getting the trade when it hits as the individual issues are hard to track down and going for a pretty penny online. This series makes the $3.99 price tag on comic books these days feel not quite so sleazy. “We Can Never Go Home” is a full on home run.
It’s no secret here – I love Alpha Flight! I love John Byrne too who’s the man behind the Canadian supergroup, heck I’d go as far as to say that he’s my favorite comic book artist of all time! So today I’m showcasing his amazing cover from Alpha Flight #5 way back from 1983. This one features a cool solo story with none other than Puck the coolest little superhero of all time and quite possibly hairier than Wolverine!! I’m so bummed that Marvel can’t seem to come up with a good ongoing series for the team. If you want a great run of comics to read check out John Byrnes run on the book (issues 1-28) you get great art an lots of drama and then some. This rad cover proves sometimes simplicity is the best approach!! I love how he’s jumping out of the price box-brilliant!
Monster movies, why the hell are they so few and far between? I just can’t get enough of a good creature feature. It seems all the hype is around Pacific Rim if you’re a monster fanatic. I’m excited to check that one out, but still it looks a little too Hollywood Blockbustery. A little too slick and videogamey. I’m sure it’ll be fun as hell but there’s only so much glittery CGI a guy can take in one summer!
So I figured I’d see what else was out there that could be promising and a bit more under the radar. So here’s five movies that just might please fans of monster flicks like myself! So in no particular order….
1. Dead Shadows
No idea when this French “End of the World” horror movie is going to be released but I’d bet as we are getting ready for a few big Hollywood “End of the World” movies to hit soon I’ll bet this one isn’t far behind! Still it looks like something that could end up being a lot of fun, though seemingly heavy on the CG. This one has a the awesome old “comet crash brings monsters” vibe to it-check it!
2. Under the Bed
This one looks right up my alley and I’ve already read some pretty good reviews for it. It’s supposed to have a kind of Joe Dante feel to it. To me it’s bringing to mind movies like The Gate and Gremlins, but from what I’ve heard toward the movies third act it amps up the gore with a pretty epic “kids vs. monsters” battle. I mean who doesn’t love seeing kids fight monsters?!
3. Game of Werewolves
This cool looking little Spanish werewolf movie has yet to be released in the United States but it has already got a pretty cool rep building for it. I am a sucker for a fun Werewolf movie and the Underworld franchise just ain’t cutting it! So I have my fingers crossed that this lycan werewolf horror comedy is gonna bring the goods! Supposedly Joe Dante has a new Werewolf film in the works too called “Monster Love” I wish there was a trailer for that one because I’m sure it’ll be awesome!
4. Knights of Badassdom
When the HELL is this thing gonna get released?! It’s been sitting in limbo for long enough and it looks like a delightful Horror comedy. It involves a bunch of LARPERS that accidentally summon and real life demon from an ancient book. They’ll get a shot to try out their real skills in a fight for their life. Lets hope this gets a release date soon becuz it looks like a load of fun!
Why can’t anyone ever make a cool Bigfoot movie? There are a ton of them out there and the best one is STILL Harry and The Hendersons! We came close with ‘Abominable’ back in 2006, which is probably the best killer Bigfoot flick out there, yet still it lacked something. And most recently we got a a few more found footage Sasquatch movies, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes, Willow Creek & The Woodsman some were decent but none of them left much of a mark. So I am hoping that ‘Exists’ will be worth the wait, simply because it’s an Eduardo Sanchez film. Sanchez is best known for directing the Blair Witch Project so he clearly understands the genre and if you don’t think he can pull of a creature feature then you need to check out his awesome alien flick “Altered”. Expect a trailer soon but in the mean time he gives us the scoop here:
Lastly here’s a call to support “Harbinger Down” a movie in the works by ADI the same people that brought you those magnificent monsters in Tremors amongst others! they’re using all practical effects and using 1982’s The Thing as inspiration, this is exciting!
Wow I have just finished watching “Mutant Hunt” a movie I have wanted to see since I was a kid! This movie was worth the wait, if you are a fan of superhumanly bad movies like I am-especially ones that are really trying hard to cool. Well 1987’s Mutant Hunt delivers the suck in a HUGE way! First off I have to mention that when I was a kid I used to see this one at the video store all the time, the cover was always one of my favorites, I’m sure there were a few people fooled into renting this back in the day expecting something as rad as The Terminator, what they got though may be just as enjoyable. Besides what more could you ask for? It’s got hot babes, Matt Riker’s steamy sex appeal, mutant cyborgs, 80’s punks and lots of kung fu!! Aounds like a winner huh?
Look this movie follows a story of an evil mastermind named Z who turns an army of cyborgs against the people of Manhattan, while holding their inventor prisoner. Supposedly he’s given them violent sexual urges, however not one cyborg does anything remotely riske throughout the entire flick! However Matt Riker, ace martial arts master / cyborg hunter surely gets his fair share of action!! Yes Matt Riker is the handsome stud who’s got some of the most awful karate moves I have ever seen! Don’t believe me check this SHIT out as he kicks cyborg ass in his tightie whitey’s!!
In fact pretty much everyone in this movie seems to be mentally challenged when it comes to hand to hand combat-believe me there’s a ton of it in here too thank god! Also it seems that the cyborgs wear black sunglasses because we all know that’s clearly a cyborg fashion trend of the 80’s and have arms that grow and stretch, um stretch very very very slowly that is. There’s a pretty rad cyborg though that’s got most of his face ripped open that’s pretty rad who hangs out for most of the movies final act, this must have been a lot of the movies budget along with the cool cover art. The movie’s cover also suggests the movie was “too gory for the silver screen” but that’s not the case here folks-it was merely too shitty for the silver screen! Clocking in at under 75 minutes this one’s bound to be a crowd pleaser and one that Mystery Science Theater 3000 would have had a blast with…
So I finally got around to seeing the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie “On Stranger Tides”, the fourth installment to the ridiculously popular Disney franchise. I know what you’re thinkin’, does this movie really need any more hype? Probably not, but I waited on seeing this one a little longer than I’d originally planned because of all the awful reviews I have seen that the critics gave. I was initially going to see it opening weekend as I really do like the previous films. The first one was awesome while the second and the third were just pure popcorn. So what gives with this new film? Well to be honest it didn’t really seem different than the previous films as far as quality goes. I have to say as far as sequels go it was at least as good as the second and third films if not maybe even dare I say…..a bit better?!
There were a few things I liked better this time around than in the previous Pirates, one being the absence of Bloom and Knightley! Thank god that those two characters were axed from the fourth film! Them returning in the previous sequels was simply just too much extra bland, boring baggage-I mean we all spent a LOT of screen time on their lame sub plot snooze fest romance story in the first three films…it was nice to have a story that really revolved around pirates.
Also it felt a bit more like the first flick as the story and effects were much more simple, stream lined and focused. The last two movies crammed way too much shit down your throat. From tired sub plots, to cg infested imagery and characters, the last two movies at the end of the day felt like a big sloppy mess. Don’t get me wrong they were a fun mess-kinda like eating a sloppy joe that’s just too big.
This installment much like the first kept the supernatural elements much more subdued. You basically get mermaids, the fountain of youth, high adventure and a lot of pirates. It seems though that the critics really love to dissect movies like this. Why?! Does anyone take these films seriously? They all have sub par acting and outrageous story lines. They are pure popcorn flicks at best and they are probably the best of the cheezy summer blockbusters. Let’s all not forget either that they’re based on a damn ride at Disney World for cryin’ out loud! So to set the record straight I think this newest film was a real fun time at the movies, better than what I was expecting and a welcome chapter in the saga of Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean…..I’ll be back on deck for a fifth!