Crazy 80s Aussie Rock Opera: SONS OF STEEL!
I’ve been stating lately here that I’m just not a big fan of movie musicals. BUT perhaps the type of musicals I’ve seen my entire life just don’t bring the fucking goods to the dance floor! I recently viewed 1988’s Australian musical oddity ‘Sons of Steel’ at a double feature movie night & paired it up with ‘The Legend of the Stardust Brothers’ from 1985! It was a gloriously cheezy musical combo!
If you were to ask me to really explain to you the plot of Sons of Steel I’d have a big problem trying to do so. It’s basically a “Dee Snyder” (Twisted Sister) look-a-like who sings a buttload of cock rock songs and also travels into the future or something where he meets some weird barbarians to try to try to stop an evil genius with a “mini-me” sidekick from destroying the planet?! I guess that’s the gist, but who really gives a damn, it’s one giant awesome mess of a rock opera with a TON of foggy, neon atmosphere, bizarre characters, a meandering wild plot, jam packed with terribly excellent heavy metal songs!
If you’re looking for a tubular 80s party movie this is definitely a BANGER! It’s sure to get the juices with it’s unusual plot & wild fashion, however, this like many other Aussie genre flicks of this era (Razorback, Fortress, Road Games, The Quest) have some truly stunning cinematography and rich atmosphere that amplify the onscreen antics to eleven. Simply said as dumb (and fun) as it’s story is, this movie looks far more fantastic that it has any right to. Easily one of the aspects here that make this such enjoyable viewing aside from the leather clad wardrobe, roaring motorcycles and two tone proto punk hairdos soaked in loads hairspray.
It’s leading musclebound man, Rob Hartley, (who portrays Black Alice) is a real joy to watch. He overacts and grunts his way through most of the strange dialogue as well as belts out some mindnumbing musical numbers. Apparently trying to save the world from a nuclear holocaust, he’s not quite the person you want to put the fate of the planet in the hands of. That being said Black Alice gets into some good trouble and there’s some pretty impressive action scenes to chomp into as well. I was excited to check out director Gary Keady’s filmography, however Sons of Steel remains his sole, one and only contribution! What a pedigree! Lucky for us all this one received received a snazzy fancy new blue ray release last year from Future Video-if you wanna ROCK check this shit out!
Cult Flicks in DESPERATE Need of a Blu Ray: Crazy 80s Australian Gem ‘FORTRESS’!!
I’m back again continuing the second installment of nearly forgotten cult gems that desperately need a fancy blu ray release! Here’s one from 1985 that’s definitely ripe for the picking, a movie that I’ve owned on VHS for quite some time now that’s shockingly underrated and underseen by most cult classic cinemaniacs!
‘Fortress’ was released on HBO back in 1985 and later in 86′ it hit theaters in Australia where the movie was produced. It tells the simple story of a teacher (Rachel Ward) who’s tiny countryside shoolhouse comes under attack by shotgun wielding, masked psychos hell bent on taking her and the children captive, hiding them in a cave in the Australian outback.
All goes as planned until the seemingly mild mannered teacher decides to take matters into her own hands. The tension & level of suspense are through the damn roof as it becomes abundantly clear that their captors are no push overs and aren’t afraid to pull the trigger. We’re treated to plenty of action, suspense, some truly inspiring outback locales, creepy masked bad guys (one who dons a Santa Claus mask) and a bit of a darker Amblin “kids in danger” / coming of age style shocker here as well. It becomes an epic tale of cat & mouse survival where no one is safe and its anyone’s guess who’s going to bite the bullet.
Most notably, right around the third act the movie goes pretty off the rails when the teacher and her students become a major force to be reckoned with. Almost transforming into bloodthirsty “Lord of the Flies” territory in the shocking action packed, blood soaked finale. It’s got some excellent twists and turns that are likely to satisfy both fans of 80s action as well as horror.
The shocking end scene becomes even more perplexing and unforgettable cementing this firmly on the forgotten list of cult gems. It’s a real treat how dark this one goes. Trust me if you’re a fan of weird 80’s horror/thriller/action hybrid flicks then this one will not disappoint! There was a DVD release of this movie a while back that’s out of print now, this makes the need for Fortress to receive a special edition blu ray even more necessary. Plus with fan favorite Rachel Ward (The Final Terror/Night School/Against All Odds) as the film’s trusty heroine you get an added edge of star power.
Fortress packs a powerful punch and in many cases leaves you stunned and shocked by the roll of the credits. It’s a well executed unpredictable
Ozploitation film that more genre fans need to check out, just waiting to be someone’s new favorite cult classic!
Forgotten 80’s Cult Horror Movie Music Hit Songs: Bloodmoon’s ‘Vice’!!
I’m a total sucker for a cool or super damn cheezy 80’s pop/rock song & I’ve noticed through the years that there are some really awesome soundtracks featuring obscure bands from the era that are almost entirely forgotten. Well NO more! I’m going to start compiling some of my favorite 80’s underground hits that have appeared in some of the more forgotten cult movies of the genre. So let’s get to the first installment!
About a week ago I checked out a cool little obscure australian slasher flick from 1989 called “Blood Moon”. It’s pretty much everything you want from the genre, playing out like a twisted ultra cheez John Hughes wannabe movie done down under. It’s got a ton of crazy horny teens, a ridiculous slasher, cool 80’s style and a total ludicrous plot.
“Something dreadful is happening in the small town of Cooper’s Bay … something more hideous than murder. The victims, usually students, are being strangled with a particularly grisly weapon while making love. They’re then buried … and small-town life goes on.
That is, until Kevin, an outsider, falls for Mary, the daughter of a Hollywood star. Both are on the campus killer’s hit list. They’re also on biology teacher Miles (sic) Sheffield’s hate list. Miles, you see, cannot tolerate his oversexed wife’s embarrassing affairs with the students. Finally, the rage building inside Miles and the insane butchering of young men and women explode in a nightmare of heart-pounding suspense … under a BLOOD MOON.”
Yep pretty much everything that makes a bad 80’s movie a ton of fun. What we also get is some cool obscure 80’s music, more notably a sweet Aussie power pop/glam band called “Vice” who “play live” in the movie during a school dance. I’ve gotta admit the band’s got the chops along with a rad goth glam look (They were forced to sport for the horror movie vibe) and some sweet ass catchy as shit pop gems. If I make a mix of cult horror movie songs this one will probably start it off.
It looks like Vice was a band formed in Brisbane in 1984 and throughout the years supported bands like ‘The Sweet’ & ‘Stryper’ on tours. I guess they started out as more of thrash band and also had some kinda offensive album covers too. In the later 80’s the band put out more polished power pop type of stuff. I checked out the album from ’89 called “Take Me home” that their “hit” song from the movie appeared in and it’s a ton of fun. Anyway here’s the theme song from Blood Moon “Keep Holding On” in all it’s 80’s keyboard kickin’ glory:
Best of Vhs Box Art: Jaws of the Outback!
Here’s one of my favorite covers and 80’s creature features- Razorback! Yeah Razorback is a classic monster movie, like Jaws in the outback. It’s filmed beautifully and it’s the king of the big pig movies. I’ve always really loved the ominous cover art and unlike a lot of 80’s movies their cover art can be eons better than the actual movie. Well that simply ain’t the case here, Razorback delivers on all four cylinders. Great monster effects and a stunning Australian backdrop make this one king of the pigs. The beautifully painted cover was done by Aussie artist Brian Clinton, released in 1985 this one still holds up today and clearly so does it’s cover art!
Fortress – Awesome 80’s Oddball Australian Survival Adventure at it’s BEST!!
So you’re looking for an awesome 80’s survival flick huh? Well look no further because “Fortress” from 1985 delivers the goods big time!! This one seems to be somewhat of a forgotten gem, it was released on HBO back in the 80’s and later in 86′ in theaters in Australia where the movie was produced. I take great joy in watching awesome (or bad) movies from the 1980’s that some slipped under my radar for some reason and this one pretty much non stop awesomeness. It tells the simple story of a school teacher who’s class comes under attack by shotgun wielding masked psychos hell bent on taking everyone captive and hiding them in a cave in the Australian outback.
All goes as planned until the teacher (Rachel Ward) decides to take matters into her own hands. You got a ton of action, some truly awesome locales, creepy bad guys (one who with a Santa Claus mask) and a bit of an Amblin “kids in danger” style film making here that was surely missed by the masses.
Right around the third act the movie gets pretty intense when the teacher and her students become a major force to be reckoned with. Almost transforming into bloodthirsty “Lord of the Flies” type savages the finale of this film is awesome.
Then add in the shocking end scene the movie becomes even more perplexing and unforgettable! Trust me if you’re a fan of weird 80’s horror/thriller/kids movie hybrid flicks then this one will not disappoint!! You can get this one right on Netflix too!
Why Does the New ‘Mad Max’ Trailer Look So Awesome?!
I had to weigh in on this new Mad Max trailer and I have to admit I wasn’t the least bit excited about this whole thing. I haven’t seen much success by bringing back these classic movie franchises into the current world by way of rebooting or giving us the sequel we’ve “always dreamed of”. Let’s face it there have been a ton of less than impressive, totally forgettable films out there recently masquerading under the names of the movies we loved as kids. Most of them seriously, seriously suck. So to hear that a new Mad Max was on the way to me sounded like yet another weak ass attempt to yet again capitalize off of our nostalgia. But then the trailer dropped and it appears that Mad Max: Fury Road clearly ain’t fucking around!
So what gives? Why is this trailer so awesome?! Well for one it’s George Miller who’s directing, who also helmed the previous two Mad Max flicks of the 1980’s and it’s a continuation of his vision. Even if we don’t have Mel Gibson returning, who I think would have if he hadn’t turned into the world’s biggest douche bucket! Second he made it clear that he wasn’t focusing on modern CGI to bring this one to life, and the realism can clearly be seen in the trailer. He’s used 80% practical effects, with actual living human stuntmen, real car crashes and shot the film on location rather than putting everyone in front of a green the entire time.
By the look of the trailer you can see he’s using the prefect blend of CG and real world to make this one of the best looking, most exciting flicks(hopefully) of 2015. Let’s be honest here, I don’t think CG has much of a place in the action film genre, perhaps that’s why a great action flick is a dime a dozen these days. This is a breath of fresh air, and I’m starting to see a trend happening if even a little bit in Hollywood. Let’s hope this one has a great story to go along with it’s incredible visuals and action!
My Prediction for The Worst Movie of 2014!
I had to take a moment of your time here to get something off my chest that has been bothering me for a little while now. It seems lately that anytime I go to the theaters I am forced to sit through “I, Frankenstein” previews!! Anyone else notice that this trailer seems to have been playing before every fucking movie in the theater for like the past 6 months?! The first time I saw this pile of Franken-shit trailer it instantly made me angry! Seriously, “I, Frankenstein” is what I loathe most about modern cinema. It’s first and foremost a bit of a missed opportunity, as it could have been a cool campy little flick based on the comic.
However, this movie somehow manages to make “Van Helsing” look like a Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury prize winning drama! Aaron Eckhart as Frankenstein’s monster?! Why the fuck does he have stitches all over his face and body? He clearly wasn’t stitched together from other body parts-cuz he even though he’s sewn together he’s looks exactly like…….Aaron Eckhart!!
What the hell is up with Frankenstein’s Monster’s fashion too? Is he getting ready to model for an Urban Outfitters catalog?! Also it’s funny because it would seem that this highly attractive monster must have a 24 hour fitness membership too, yeah Frankie has been hitting the gym hard lately, because we all know that’s what monsters love doing with their spare time!!!
Lastly why the hell is Frankenstein trapped inside some bad PlayStation video game from 1999? Oh wait, that’s just the special effects! I thought I was watching the lost “third film” from The Lawnmower Man franchise! I just can’t stomach that something this stupid has made it to the big screen. I already feel that by seeing this trailer on repeated occasions that I’m somehow now suffering from some sort of permanent brain damage. This will be without a doubt be one of the WORST movies of 2014. I am fairly certain it will take the number one slot though with grace. If you pay to see this movie you better go see a shrink to discuss your what’s wrong with your brain. Phew…I feel better now…
‘Red Hill’ Proves ‘The New Blood’ Expendables 3 Director Has Got The Chops!
Stallone has been teasing with directors for the upcoming Expendables 3 for quite some time now. We’ve heard rumors of John Woo and yeah even Mel Gibson for quite a while now. However in the end Stallone gave us an unknown “new blood” director, Patrick Hughes. You might ask yourself now who the hell is this guy? Well I decided to check it out by watching his one and only feature film he directed last night to see if he was the man for the job for the final film of The Expendables trilogy.
Red Hill is a 2010, Australian action thriller that Hughes wrote, produced and directed. I’ve gotta say Red Hill was an awesome film and I now understand exactly why Stallone decided to hand the reigns over to him. Sly said he was looking for a “hungry” film maker who reminded him of himself when he started out. I think he got his guy. Red Hill is a simple premise not much different than “The Last Stand” Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last box office bomb. A new cop, True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten settles in a small rural Australian town with his pregnant wife and joins his new police crew in a manhunt for a severely scarred psycho escaped convict headed in their direction. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.
The movie is heartfelt, action packed and unpredictable. It doesn’t take long for the action to begin and while it’s not quite in the same action genre as something like The Expendables it’s easy to see why Stallone is giving Hughes a chance. Once we finally meet the big bad guy it’s clear he knows his 80’s action villains. “Jimmy Conway” the movies big aboriginal villain is about as menacing as they come, a highly skilled hunter with one side of his face burned like Freddy Kruger. Once he enters town all hell breaks loose and the movies plot begins to twist and turn. Kwanten also shines in his starring role proving he’s a much more skilled actor than what we’re used to seeing on True Blood.
I’m very surprised this movie doesn’t have more of a following. Perhaps The Expendables 3 will open the door to this rad movie to more people. It surely achieved one thing for me, faith that the third installment of The Expendables will indeed be the best….
Should the Wolverine Movie Franchise Be Rebooted?!
I have been thinking about this for a while now, do I really want to see another Hugh Jackman Wolverine on the big screen? To be honest I’m not too sure I do anymore. I’m really not very excited about the Spider-man reboot to be honest and I’m quite not sure why? The last Spider-man movie was terrible, in fact I am not sure looking back how much I really like any of them anymore. I guess I just see more of the same for the movie Spider-man and I guess I’ll just have to wait and see the film in order to get excited.
New is it seems that shooting for the Wolverine sequel is set to begin in August in Australia. Hugh Jackman claims it will be better than the first film. Hmmm…well it really won’t take much to be better than that and hearing him say that isn’t exactly building the hype machine for the flick. Personally I think it may be time for someone new to take over the character. Start fresh. I’m having a tough time erasing the last two films he portrayed our favorite berserker in, they plague my mind often and when I think about them they often put me into a state of rabid dork rage!
Now first I must clarify I really do love Jackman as Wolverine. When I first saw him as the character it gave me the chills! Aside from being too tall, he was the perfect man for the job. Unfortunately when Singer left the X-Men to make a very bland Superman flick things took a serious turn into Shit-Sandwich-ville. By the time we reached X-men Origins: Wolverine we were sinking into a swamp of turds with no redemption anywhere in sight! To me I just CAN’T sit through another shitty Wolverine movie. Since I was young I always dreamed of a solo Wolverine movie and look what I got after all the years of waiting. It’s just not fair to Wolverine that Batman got Christopher Nolan. So now here we are another Wolvie movie in the works. I personally hope it falls through again. I then hope Marvel reboots the shit out of it!
It’s time to move on. Jackman was great but we just can’t erase the past here people. It’s like a girlfriend or Boyfriend who cheats on you, sometimes it just can’t ever be the same! That’s how I feel. My advice is start fresh. Don’t put him in any of the X-men films for a while. Start Solo. Get a great director who understands and loves the character. Let’s get gritty. This time let’s see what it really looks like when a mutant with Adamantium blades gets pissed off. Let’s see Wolverine slice and dice like he does in the comics. No more PG-13. It’s time for an R-rated Wolverine movie. Start the film off when he’s found in Canada by James & Heather Hudson just after the Weapon X experimentation or like the upcoming movie in Japan only based on the Frank Miller / Claremont mini series of the eighties.
Now with that out of the way there’s just one big problem, who could possibly play Wolverine this time around? How do you all feel about Jackman as Wolverine again? Are you excited?
Nerds Rejoice! The Descendents are back!!
Wow-well I just heard the news today that one of my all time favorite bands The Descendents are back playing shows again! As you probably already know they’re the pioneers of pop punk. They have been a major influence on so many bands yet never themselves have ever really gotten the recognition they deserve. Not only are they completely from the old school, as they formed in 1978 but they are also probably the dorkiest punk band on the planet.
Lead by punk icon and undeniable nerd Milo Aukerman these guys have made some of the most aggressive and sappy punk rock songs of all time Continue reading