I just watched what I consider to be a true bonafide lost 1980s gem, at least to me this movie was something I’d only found and watched by sheer chance. I frequent thrift stores quite often and upon discovering director Paul Lynch’s ‘Bullies’ a 1986 Canadian genre mash up of horror, thriller, action and revenge on VHS, I was most certainly intrigued, while realistically not getting my hopes up too damn high.
I’m pleased to report that ‘Bullies’ delivered the damn goods and then some in nearly every way I’d been hoping! Like I said in the title, this movie is essentially a mixture of The Karate Kid and Deliverance. I guess we’d categorize it as “Hicksploitation”. Sorry all you lovable hillbillies out there, but it’s kinda like if The Karate Kid’s Cobra Kai were evil messed up psycho mountain men! And when I say evil I mean evil with a capital E!
We follow the simple story of a teenage boy who moves with his mom and stepfather to a cozy little mountain town smack dab in the middle of the woods to run a family business. The only problem is some of the locals are restless and don’t particularly like the new arrivals in town…at all. A wicked gang of family hicks are on the prowl to fuck with anyone they please and no one seems to give a damn, not even the cops- imagine that huh?!
Luckily our teenage equivalent to Daniel Laruso befriends a cool local Native American man, who he establishes a strong bond with and like Mr. Miagi he teaches him some serious life lessons, survival and even a few nifty combat techniques. Something his stepfather whom he somewhat loathes and views as a useless coward doesn’t seem to have ANY interest in being part of. Of course he meets the beautiful Olivia D’Abo, and of course crushes out hard. I mean what are the chances he meets a babe like her in this po-dunk town? Lucky guy! Or is he?
As it just happens to turn out that she’s the sister of one of the insane maniac hillbillies who who threaten the town folk on any whim. But that’s not gonna stop the teen romance though as the two are immediately lovestruck. So the pissed off hillbillies up the ante with their evil shenanigans and the boy’s step dad is too chicken to stand up to them. These guys not only terrorize the teenagers but also go on the war path against the parents too, leading to a truly shocking rape scene that ups the stakes to deadly proportions and drastically shifts the tone. Be warned! ‘Bullies’ takes some dark twists and turns but by the final act you’ll be rooting for revenge with all of your damn heart. Even though it does go to some dark places it oddly has a lingering light feeling to it somehow, an 80s charm of something like The Karate Kid or My Bodyguard. Most importantly are how, for the most part, endearing the characters are in this grimy little banger. It makes the journey one worth taking.
I’d say this is the perfect coming of age revenge flick, filled with genuine heart, romance, comedy and some pretty wild and crazy action sequences. You also get served some gory kills and some intense explosions that put this one in a league of its own as a intriguing lost 80s gem. Bullies exists on VHS only and is just begging to be cleaned up and released on a slick blu ray. It really deserves far more attention from cult movie fanatics, if you get a chance check this one out, but beware, these “Bullies” are playing for keeps!!
So in preparation for the Halloween season I joined the Movie Melt podcast to yet again discuss another cinematic oddity! This time we covered the largely forgotten 1989 cult horror gem ‘Prom Night 3: The Last Kiss’.
This one’s even better than the original Jamie Lee Curtis slasher classic! A great sequel to the Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou, which is also a MUST see this ‘Ween season.
Anyway this episode though covers sooo much more than just ‘Prom Night 3’ take a listen to find out what flicks you should be checking out right now and learn even more useless, but epically awesome movie info you can share with everyone and your cat. Listen here for the scoop on the horror cult comedy and melt your mind with cinematic mayhem! LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE!
Who knew that 1988’s Canadian cult creature feature ‘The Brain’ was actually a hidden holiday horror gem? Yep this monster movie from the opening scene has got Christmas decorations strewn all over the place and keeps up this trend for the full duration of the film. Christmas lights, trees, tinsel and Santa decorations are carefully placed in view. People every year search for those lost holiday horror gems and I’d say we can put ‘The Brain’ firmly in the “Takes place during the Christmas season” movies & if ‘Die Hard’ qualifies as a holiday film then this one certainly does as well!
Well is it worth the trouble to track down and check out this 2020 holiday season? YES! The Brain has everything I love in an 80’s horror flick. Cool likable characters, a wild giant rubbery monster, plenty of action and a ridiculous plot reminiscent of those classic 1950’s sci-fi creature features. Creepy ass Dr. Blakely (the dude from Re-Animator who loses his head-and does in The Brain too!) runs a seemingly normal TV show called “Independent Thinkers”, a popular weekly “self-help” program. However he’s not making his audience any wiser, he secretly serves an alien organism called The Brain, that brainwashes (duh!) the viewers using it’s other-worldy mind control techniques. It’s also got a hunger for human flesh & as it consumes it’s victims it also increases in size. The only one who stands to save the city and possibly the Earth is a wise crackin’ teenage practical joker and his super cute stylin’ girlfriend.
The Brain is a fun filled totally 80’s horror romp with plenty of action, cool villains and a rad slightly idiotic looking monster that’s brought to life via puppetry and animatronics. He’s kind of like giant hulking “Madball” toy from the 1980s. He attacks his victims with limited mobility as he “cruises” around on his snake-y bod. There’s also some cool kills that are unexpectedly sprinkled about the holiday landscape and rarely a dull moment to behold.
Most of the movie features our two main characters on the run and some of the settings are pretty sweet. I’m always a sucker for hiding out inside of an empty closed school all night! Easily one of my favorite places for mayhem to ensue. As I mentioned before, there’s enough holiday decor strewn about to warrant this one a watch during the Christmas season if you’re looking for something different this year. Besides that The Brain is a solid, entertaining, charming little monster movie that’s got a sweet release on blu ray from Scream Factory that looks great and has some cool little extras to give you tons of useless information on the the movies origins!
So one reason it’s fun to be a blogger is because there’s always that slight chance something you write about could ignite a spark on a certain topic, and one thing I’ve been hoping forever is that we’ll some day get an ‘Alpha Flight’ movie! Some of you all might be asking who the hell is Alpha Flight? Well let me just start off by saying they at one time had much more notoriety in the Marvel Universe than The Guardians of the Galaxy! So as far as Marvel movies go anything is possible, I mean I never thought we’d get TWO damn Ant-man movies either! For those who may not know, Alpha Flight is a Canada’s answer to the X-men & The Avengers, who made their first appearance 40 years ago in X-men #120.
Wolverine was originally set to be the team’s leader, which led to them having a heavy presence in the X-universe & throughout the years they’ve had their own Marvel comic book series several times throughout the last 4 decades with varying degrees of success. Well I think now’s the time to tell the team’s story on the big screen & I’m certain if they did it right it’d be next the big thing in the MCU, not convinced? Well here are 6 reasons why Marvel’s gotta jump on the chance sooner than later!!
1. Diversity of the Team
Ok so it’s clear that diversity in comic book movies is a topic that’s endlessly being discussed today. It just so happens that they have always been one of the most naturally diverse in the Marvel Universe. From iconic native characters like Shaman and his daughter Talisman, to Eugene ‘Puck’ Judd being a ‘little’ person, to Marrina being a bizarre race of fish creature and Northstar being a gay man, the team undeniably has a lot of interesting characters within it’s ranks. Half have been made up of women and Heather Hudson also known as ‘Vindicator’ stepped in as the team’s leader for over half of the teams comic book existence. They’d easily translate to the big screen in a unique way and I think they’ve got a lot to offer in a way audiences haven’t seen before on the big screen!
2. First Gay Superhero
This leads me to my second point as recently I’ve seen that Marvel was looking to introduce the first openly gay superhero. Well good thing for Alpha Flight, they had the very first mainstream gay superhero, Jean-Paul Beaubier aka ‘Northstar’. Though it wasn’t openly stated in the team’s first series from 1983 it was clear to see the angle of the character presented there. Nearly ten years later in 1992 Northstar officially came out as gay to the public making mainstream headlines and then in 2012 again when the first gay superhero wedding took place prominently in ‘Astonishing X-men’ #51. His husband being Kyle Jinadu, a black man, was also notable in featuring a natural diversity within the now iconic superhero storyline.
The character has broken down barriers time and time again in comic book history and if any gay superhero makes it to the silver screen it surely should be Northstar. With all of his sexual identity to the side, the character has always been an interesting one, with one of the biggest attitudes in Marvel comics ranks he’s also got a twin sister “Aurora” whom he’s incredibly protective of. Their relationship has gone through a lot of intriguing states of turmoil as well, especially when it comes to her choices of people she chooses to date. Northstar in general is just a super badass character, possessing the ability to travel at superhuman speeds, fly, and project photon energy blasts. His twin sister, Aurora also possesses similar abilities. He automatically makes the team that much more interesting without even trying. Continue reading
I always loved this particular comic book cover by John Byrne way back from 1985! Alpha Flight #22 is a fun issue with a great simplistic cover. I love when team titles have issues where you get either a solo adventure or a pair together, in this case two of my favorites the mutant twins Northstar and Aurora! I love how frustrated they both look while in the clutches of The Pink Pearl.
Alpha flight was an excellent title and I highly suggest the entirely charming John Byrne run of the series. Now the cool thing about this is that you might think the Pink Pearl was simply a one off villain but in fact she has sine appeared several other times through the years most recently briefly in The Logan Legacy. John Byrne too had his act fully together with these 80’s Alpha Flight comic covers too! This one though has always been a fav of mine!
Yay it’s October and we all know what that means- Halloween is on the way! So naturally everybody is going bananas over watching some good Horror movies! So here at Universal Dork I am going to give you a bunch of horror movies this month that you need to check out. Yeah Yeah we all love Child’s Play, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Paranormal Activity ect. ect. but let’s say you’re a bit tired of the normal “classics”. Well fear no more people I’ve got a list of some movies you may want to watch instead to get the adrenaline pumpin! So today’s movie is a real nice simple little horror gem from 2007 that many people have missed out on.
“End of the Line” is a cool ass movie that will make you fear crazy ass religious fanatics more than ol’ Michael Meyers or Freddy!
It follows a group of people who end up stuck in a subway shortly after a religious takeover is launched upon the “sinners” of the world by a creepy Christian Tel-evangelist.
This unique Canadian movie is jam packed with some genuinely frightening moments that will surely make you jump from your seat. I loved the plot of this one as it brings to light just how creepy organized religious people can be. If your looking for something original this Halloween season I recommend this great little indie film to kick off the month!
Please tell me that you all have seen Pontypool? If not make it the next movie you check out! Seriously I voted Pontypool as the best horror flick of 2010 and believe me I am a tough critic these days when it comes to horror. If you have never seen it before it’s best that you know almost nothing about it, in fact I recommend not even reading the synopsis. If you really still ain’t convinced here’s the trailer.
I have been wondering if there would perhaps be a second installment to this brilliant movie and it turns out the movie’s director Bruce McDonald does indeed have something in store for us all which he claims will shock and awe us the way the first film did! Here’s the teaser art for “Pontypool Changes” due 2013. I can’t wait!
Ever wonder what might happen if a troop of LARP-ers suddenly went wacko?! Well wonder no more in this new thriller I just saw the trailer for. “The Wild Hunt” follows a crew of live action role players that would make Tom Hanks’ version of Mazes & Monsters look like an afternoon on Sesame Street!
Now keep in mind I haven’t actually seen this Canadian movie yet but I have heard some great things about it. I have also heard that LARP-ers all over the world are taking offense to flick saying that it gives them a bad name! Continue reading