Tagged: comedy

‘Evil Dead Rise’ Trailer Feels Like a ‘Conjuring’ Spin-off?!

There’s a lot of hype lately around the return of the “EVIL DEAD” franchise with Evil Dead Rise and personally I’m just not feeling the heat so far. Sure it’s kinda neat to see the classic Necronomicon book again onscreen, but at least in the trailer, that’s about the only thing that’s feeling “Evil Dead” about the whole affair in my opinion.

When I saw the poster, the first thing that came to mind wasn’t the classic franchise, it really looked eerily similar to the 2022 horror film “SMILE’. For a moment I thought it WAS perhaps a SMILE spin-off being announced.

In fact if you took out the Necronomicon from the trailer I’d have honestly thought this film was a James Wan produced spin-off sequel set in his “Conjuring” universe. Or like a sequel to ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ or something. And don’t get me wrong, I like James Wan’s movies but Evil Dead Rises doesn’t do anything at least in the trailer to separate itself from the current horror trends-and why would it? It looks like another Blumhouse film (maybe it is?) and to me seems almost like a pointless franchise reboot that’ll probably be forgotten fast in a sea of 2023 similarly stylized corporate Hollywood horror films. Where’s the flavor of the original films?

I often wonder if Hollywood is even capable of making a movie that looks and feels like something like the original Evil Dead films? Everything looks too slick, I think someone needs to step in and dial things back, legions of fans would truly flip out if they could replicate the real atmosphere of the the originals, this ain’t it. That’s not to say I won’t eat my words, perhaps Evil Dead Rise will be the BEST of all Evil Dead films?

I think fans deserve something different if you’re really going for an honest attempt to revitalize Evil Dead. I’d rather have a movie sequel to ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Season 3 personally. I’d much rather have a sequel in tone to Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness, that feels really like part of the old franchise. It could even be more in tone with the 1981 OG film, set in the 80s with more of a classic look?

Or follow Pablo and Kelly from Ash vs Evil Dead if we really want to steer clear of Ash. I think there’s likely a much better way to transition Evil Dead back onto the big screen and so far this seems like a mis-step.

I’m going to see it and I hope I’m proved wrong but it all just looks and feels too familiar to the modern horror films of the last few years. I like modern horror, but if you’re going to try to bust out a classic franchise again you’ve got to capture what made it so special to begin with…

‘VIOLENT NIGHT’: A Killer Santa You Can Really Root For!

As far as modern holiday horror goes there’s a clear over abundance of yuletide garbage out there being mass produced as of the last 10 years. I don’t know what triggered it but it seems every year the floodgates open with a slew of sub par cinematic Christmas sludge. Well this year we’ve got a killer Santa Claus movie, but this time with a Kris Kringle that you can really get behind with some holiday cheer!

From director Tommy Wirkola, who helmed the highly entertaining “Dead Snow” franchise and also the equally enjoyable ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’. ‘Violent Night’ is easily just as fun as his previous films, part Die Hard, part Home Alone with a little bit of Santa’s Slay thrown into the mix for good measure. We get the real deal Santa Claus who’s feeling a bit down on his luck getting thrown into a truly “violent night”. He’s forced to use his unique supernatural yuletide abilities to defend a wealthy family trapped in their mansion from a gang of vicious criminals led by John Leguizamo!

 Santa though has gotta sober up quickly, as he spent most of the evening drinking at a dive bar rather than delivering presents to kids on his “nice” list this Christmas eve. However all the action doesn’t necessarily fall just on Santa’s shoulders, we also have a little girl named Trudy played by Leah Brady who’s hell bent on helping Santa and her family annihilate the greedy criminals as well from inside the mansion.

That’s where the “Home Alone” aspect of this film really takes shape and boy does it deliver some bloody boobie traps! Brady is totally charming in the role and really helps make this little adventure memorable. Like much the director’s previous work this one is equal part comedy as well as action while managing to not let anything slip into a total farce. Yes, there’s plenty of legitimate thrills to be had here and really fun colorful characters that really help drive this film. John Leguizamo shines as the big baddie and it’s been soooo long since I’ve seen him, his presence was truly a welcome addition to the mayhem. David Harbour though steals the show as Santa Claus, I’ve always felt he has a special onscreen charisma and it really continues to shine here in the role. There’s also some pretty neat little twists and turns in the plot, some concerning Santa himself that makes for a uniquely intriguing back story to jolly ol’ elf.

What was most surprising was the inclusion of Beverly D’Angelo (of Christmas Vacation fame), who for the 1st quarter of the movie I was left scratching my head trying to figure out where I’d recognized her from?  It’s been so long since I’ve seen her in anything and she does look quite different these days. It’s quite nice to see some of these actors in a major motion picture this holiday season!

The action sequences are also really well choreographed and filled with some pretty over the top gore, Violent Night definitely doesn’t skimp on the red stuff! There’s a lot to love here and the movie also showcases a fair amount of heartfelt family holiday drama, it’s not simply just another hack and slash. 

I highly recommend seeing this on the big screen and I definithey will be returning to it next year if not maybe one more time in the theater this year! Violent Night is THE wild holiday flick of 2022,  Don’t snooze on this one!

 

1980s Cine-MAGIC From Japan: The STARDUST BROTHERS!

I’m willing to bet you’re just like me and never heard of this near “forgotten ’til now” 80s gem from Japan: The Legend of The Stardust Brothers! This incredible movie from 1985 is most definitely one of the most unique oddities I’ve stumbled upon in quite sometime. An incredibly ambitious musical gem, packed with practical effects and eighties fashion that will likely knock your neon socks right off!

It tells the tale of  two struggling rival musicians: one a rowdy punk rocker and the other an egotistical wanna be popstar who meet a mysterious man while sharing the same bill  at a seedy night club. He offers them the contract of a lifetime, claiming that within one week, if they follow all the rules, the two of them will be rocketed to full blown pop super stardom. That is as long as they join forces, from that point on become The Stardust Brothers and tell the world they are indeed real bonafide brothers.

Now admittedly I’m not a real big fan of musicals, there’s only a few that I really love (Popeye, The Wizard of Oz & Little Shop of Horrors immediately come to mind). However this one has now EASILY made the list as a must watch and it’s something I’ll be watching over and over again. Essentially it’s the wildly unpredictable story of the bizarre rise and fall of this pop duo. It’s firmly glued together with a series of incredible little musical vignettes that are a visual and sonic feast.

A sweet mixture of punk rock, powerpop & some cool new wave numbers, connecting a series of incredibly ambitious music videos within one insane narrative. There are touches of the supernatural as well as a ton of amazing special effects, stop motion & practical monster effects that really impress, especially if your a fan of the 80s. It’s also filled to the brim with some of the best Japanese fashion of the era to go along with the catchy songs. As I write this, their theme song is still stuck firmly in my brain. I’d love to get my hands on some vinyl of the soundtrack. Aside from the cool music, luckily it’s got a pretty unique story that blends elements of scifi, horror and even a bit of romance. It’s unexpected twists and turns deliver a frenetic, action packed finale that will  leave you pondering the events of the entire film. Its all done with a heroic dose of heart too.

Just how far do you really go to live the life of a superstar without any of the hard work required to get to the top? The Stardust Bros go the distance and the musical journey is definitely a wacky one worth taking. Apparently director Makoto Tezuka tried to catch lightning in a bottle a few years ago by producing a direct sequel, but after doing a little poking around it doesn’t seem like he was quite to able to recreate the neon electromagnetic magic of the first.

In the meantime I highly recommend picking this one up on a newly released blu ray from SRS Cinema. The Legend of the Stardust Brothers is packed with pure charisma, tons of vibrant youthful energy and shows you exactly how inventive some directors in the 1980s were in Japan with a limited budget!  Don’t sleep on this one!

 

The Russo Brothers Next MCU Project: ‘THE GREAT LAKES AVENGERS’?!

I have been pushing here on Universal Dork for quite some time to get an MCU movie or series about the mighty Great Lakes Avengers! It’s bummed me out cuz its seemed that over the years no one gave a damn about my bold ideas for this these “D-List” classic Marvel characters. But maybe just MAYBE, a couple people were indeed listening?! 

 I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Russo Brothers, who crafted some of the best films in the MCU (The Winter Soldier/Infinity War/Endgame), might have just ran across this little p-brain blog, or at the very least, you know what they say, great minds think alike! In case you’ve never heard of the Great Lakes Avengers they first made their appearance in the late 1980s in the West Coast Avengers #46. A unique comedic gang of superheroes from the “cheese state” of Wisconsin. They’ve had some truly ridiculous adventures over the years and have even shared the stage with Deadpool himself. I’ve always maintained that this crew of miscreants would make for a great cinematic comedy especially the  their origin story, portrayed in perfection in the Dan Slott series ‘GLA: Misassembled’ from 2005. It’d surely make for a great rough draft for a for a live action series.

They were recently asked about someday returning soon to the MCU and had this to say: The Russo Brothers answered: “Whatever we say, we’re going to get asked about it 100 times over the next week. So let’s pick the Great Lakes Avengers. Or the story of Cheese-Man!”

 So a lot of people might think this doesn’t mean a damn thing, mentioning it now, what’s the fuss right? They were just jokin’ around? Well the funny thing is this isn’t the first time they name dropped The GLA, they also brought up the d-list super team in 2018 as well. Check it out

They clearly know the Great Lakes Avengers would make for one helluva funny and unique comic book streaming series.  The time is definitely now to bring this show to life as at the current moment. The Avengers have ceased to exist in MCU in any real capacity, leading the perfect moment for this band of Midwest America’s Misfits to take up the mantle in a hilarious way. I think it would be a riot to see this gang of superheroes in their original costumes too, leave aside all of the fancy kevlar and give them their ridiculous spandex look in real life.

Also of course this is the place to introduce the wildly popular Squirrel Girl! It’s also been speculated that GLA character ‘Mr. Immortal’ may have already made an appearance in the She-Hulk trailer, making thus even MORE of a possibility!

The Russo Bros should make this happen, it’s ripe now to be an easy hit series with a truly bizarre, charming, comedic origin story of Marvel Comic’s ULTIMATE underdogs! Please bring on the weirdest wildest superhero adventure yet, THE GREAT LAKES AVENGERS must ASSEMBLE!! Share this post or idea everywhere!

Movie Melt: ‘DADDY CAN’T DANCE’ is ‘The ROOM’ Meets ‘BREAKIN’!

So Daddy Can’t Dance?! Dont be so sure of that!! On this episode of the Movie Mellt podcast we cover the extremely cringe inducing but incredibly entertaining vanity project ‘Daddy Can’t Dance’ from 2006!

 Believe me when I say you kinda just have to see it to believe it when I’m talkin’ ’bout ‘Daddy Can’t Dance’. Originally titled ‘White Men Can’t Dance’, this one features a former 80’s breakdancer, now middle aged, out of touch, out of shape, office man who decides to give it one more shot!  He heads back on the cardboard dance floor when he enters a highly competitive, high stakes breakdancing competition to save the life of his dying daughter! Sheesh, this one’s heeeeeavy!!

 Yep! Daddy jumps back on the B-boy scene and tries his best to get into shape and learn some new fresh moves that will put him on the map and land him hopefully the mantle as number one king breakdance champ!  The odds are certainly stacked against him as he not only attempts to get his groove back but also thinks that he’s the funniest man to walk the planet as he gets himself into a series of highly uncomfortable situations, using his fully out of touch humor that he still thinks is everone is hip to!

 If you’re a fan of ‘The Room’, Tommy Wiseau and ‘Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo’ then feast your eyes upon ‘Daddy Can’t Dance’ ASAP! On this episode we cover this cinematic oddity as well chat about tons of movie mayhem and  also have a “battle of the movie band’s” competition! So If you’re into cinematic oddities, check out the LATEST episode of MOVIE MELT right HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SHE-HULK Series’ “Roger Rabbit” Style CGI!

Yowza!! So the day has finally come, yes, we finally get the official full length ‘She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law’ trailer that dropped TODAY!  Awwwww yeah!

As a giant fan of the character, who’s been one of my favorites since the 1980s (especially the ’89 John Byrne series) I’ve got a little bit to say about this! How can it possibly be that Marvel’s CGI seems to be getting WORSE rather than better?!

  I’ve been very apprehensive about how they were going to create ol’ Shulkie and bring her to the “live action” MCU & my literal worst nightmare just came true upon viewing this damn trailer! Arrrrrrgh! She-Hulk definitely has a retrovibe here, but not in a good way but a retro nineties level CGI vibe! 

 First and foremost let me say that I was actually impressed with the with the “story” and style of the trailer & with the direction that it seems to be headed. It’s exactly what I was hoping for in a She-Hulk series! That’s why this is particularly frustrating.

I can definitely feel the spirit of John Byrne’s iconic run right here materializing on screen in this trailer. Nice work, unfortunately She-Hulk looks more like Shrek, when I saw just how bizarre the CGI on She-Hulk AND The Incredible Hulk actually are so far here. At this point I just kind of wish they would have gotten a real living breathing female body builder to portray the character. This is what I like to call a sort of “Roger Rabbit” style live action CGI attempt, only unlike Roger rabbit we’re supposed to believe SHE is an actual real life character. Hmmm..this is indeed perplexing for a couple reasons..

I’m just NOT buying it true believers!  Somebody better jump in quick and “Sonic the Heddgehog” this shit. She-Hulk deserves way better than this, there’s simply no excuse for the sub par level of FX in a show by produced by a multi-billion dollar corporation. Disney/Marvel get your shit together fast, cuz this is embarrassing!

SHE-HULK #1 Misses the Charm of the 1980s!

It’s been quite a while since I visited my local comic book shop (Cosmic Monkey in PDX!!) but but the new ‘She-Hulk’ series I’d heard about gave me enough ammo to figure it would be worth finally stopping in for a visit again. I was pretty pumped to hear that She-Hulk was supposedly going back to her “roots” finally, something that’s been presented as more of a return to form to the original John Byrne series of the 1980s. Count me in!

 First I must admit, the cover(s) art for this debut issue is awesome and truly does remind me of the classic She-Hulk I grew to love back in the late eighties. I’m actually quite surprised that Marvel Comics seemingly decided to go back to the “sexy, flirtatious” version of Jennifer Walters. Especially since more recently this version of the character was to an extent considered is somewhat offensive to many.

People claimed that she was only used as a sex symbol by male writers & never truly fleshed out as a character, something that I actually highly disagree with.

 Nonetheless I was excited to see exactly what they were going to bring to the table in 2022. Unfortunately my hopes for this debut issue were squashed pretty quickly by what I consider to be weak and somewhat uninspiring storytelling.

 Most of the issue revolves around a rather pointless fight with her classic nemesis Titania, that I assume they were trying Inject some sort of witty comedy into. The rest of the issue spends a few pages getting into Jennifer Walters more personal problems as she moves back into her former apartment. That’s really about it in a nutshell. I didn’t really find much of anything to be memorable here, the dialogue was pretty flimsy and the artwork at some points was impressive and at others felt a bit rushed. 

 I guess a part of me had built up this return to form as possibly being a consisely comedic version of the character and her absurdly over the top adventures of years ago. Instead what I ultimately ended up with was yet another safely generic Marvel Comics relaunch. I guess in a way it was kind of what I was expecting and it’s certainly not the spark that’s gonna get me going back to drop another $4 to $5 on a comic book that literally takes just over 5 minutes to read in it’s entirety. I’m somewhat astounded that as comic prices dramatically increased the panels grew exponentially in size and now only take a matter of minutes to read. I would have hoped that the opposite would have occurred,  If you’re gonna charge 5 bucks for a comic book you’d better be bringing more bang for your buck!

 I can’t say I’ll be going back for more She-Hulk anytime soon, yet it has inspired me to dig out my old late eighties back issues. Who knows maybe I’m being too damn hard on things and perhaps my memory of the “golden era” of She-Hulk is something that won’t hold up in 2022. If this is any indication though of what the live action MCU series is going to be like I guess I’m gonna be pretty disappointed. There’s so much fun to be had with She-Hulk, a more of a classic “Sex in the City” style approach to the series with some clever writing is what I was hoping more for. I’ll save my true anticipation for the series launch on Disney Plus this year with my fingers firmly crossed....

The Craziest Movie Subtitles of ALL Time!

So for New Years this year I rewatched 1999’s ‘The Last Ghost Standing’. A totally bonkers Hong-Kong horror movie that takes place on New Year’s Eve. If you ever get the chance to check it out I highly recommend it, especially if you like movies like Evil Dead 2, it will not disappoint! Once again I had to freeze frame it and officially document this bizarre subtitle!!  This easily makes the list of the craziest subtitles of all time..

The Craziest Movie Subtitles of ALL Time!

I’ve been watching a lot of Hong-Kong movies lately from the 80s and good lord let me tell you, there are some amazing unbelievable subtitles to behold! So every now and again I’ll pause the screen to take a snapshot to capture some of these in ALL their insane glory! These first two exhibits come from an amazing action movie from 1989 called ‘Pedicab Driver’ starring Sammo Hung! If you’re a fan of wild, over the fucking top martial arts then check this out ASAP and keep an eye open for these unforgettable words of wisdom within the text of their glorious subtitles!

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

WTF??????

WTF New Years Eve Hong Kong 90s Horror Gem: ‘Last Ghost Standing’!

Wild and weird New Years flicks are not easy to come by. But god damn do I have one of the most WTF movies taking place on New Years Eve you will ever see to recommend! ‘Last Ghost Standing’ from 1999 is essentially a night in the life of a young couple on a New Year’s Eve date to a creepy theater that’s showing it’s very final picture before closing forever…

 It doesn’t take long however for things to get downright dirty, spooky and simultaneously zany when evil forces from the netherworld descend from from the depths of hell to kill everyone who has purchased a ticket to the final show at the theater. Basically a mix of ‘Demons’ and ‘Evil Dead 2’ with even more senseless comedy and insane goopy antics. Yes, this one dials the idiotic insanity up to 11 with a barely cohesive story holding this creature together by the withering tendons. I’d make sure you’re a few drinks in or stoned outta your gord before checking this one out on New Year’s Eve. You’ve been warned!

It’s jam packed with awesome cheap-o B-movie fx & gross out moments a’ plenty.  Particularly a scene where a group of wild raver teens are attacked by a disgusting toilet poop monster in the restroom.  Barely any of this late nineties gem makes a lick of sense either, I think it’s all there just to give our eyes a visual feast  & at the same time make you lose a brain cell or two just from watching.

Things get so out of control in the theater that they eventually have to call in a mock Jackie Chan type character with a fake prosthetic nose to come and try to settle the supernatural score with the demons. The funny thing is it would appear that the demonic forces in this movie aren’t fully satisfied with the state of modern cinema at the time and are ready to rip it’s existence entirely from our world.  The essential reason for their attack on the patrons.

If you’re a horror fanatic and looking for something truly bizarre on New Year’s Eve today, this is definitely going to deliver the goods right to your damn doorstep. It’s silly, gross and a lot of frenetic fun & I can certainly guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it before! Happy 2022!!