Tagged: david cronenberg

Typhoon the Baboon: 1980s Animal Actor Extrodanaire!

Typhoon the Baboon has quickly risen to the top of my list as one of my favorite animal actors/cult characters of the 1980s! I was lucky enough put together a VHS swap last weekend at the iconic Cinemagic Theater right here in Portland, Oregon for their monthly VHS movie nite. The first Friday of every month they show a movie straight from VHS and project it on to the big screen. This week they were showing something I’ve never seen before from 1986 called ‘Unmasking The Idol’. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but what I ended up with was a glorious cult cinematic treasure to behold for the very first time from director Worth Keeter. I heard there was a baboon in this James Bond/Indiana Jones-ish action mash up, but nothing could prepare me for the ultimate primate-Typhoon!

Now come to find out Typhoon had also landed the lead role in the 1990 cult classic primate slasher flick: ‘Shakma’! I actually really dig that movie, it’s a pretty well done but ridiculous, fantasy game/LARPING in an office building with a batshit crazy baboon taking out nerds left and right piece of cinematic trash. Little did I know Shakma (Typhoon) was an action star before becoming a low brow horror icon! 

His role in “Unmasking” is pretty hilarious, Typhoon or “Boon” in the movie excels in hand to hand combat, throws bombs, shoots guns, wears suits and compulsively flicks people off like a true champ! The movie without Boon, would still be a riot, but with him as part of an elite team of ninja mercenaries really makes this movie one for the books. A wild ride of 80s action insanity, full of idioticly charming pulpy plot lines, babes and most importantly BOON!

 So after viewing Unmasking the Idol I felt a little sad that I’d most likely witnessed my last experience with Boon. However I was quickly alerted to the fact that this movie had a sequel from 1987 called ‘Order of the Black Eagle’ and indeed featured the star primate in the role once again! Apparently this time around though his role is a bit limited but I did hear that it features him driving around a miniature tank & blowing the shit out of Nazis! So yeah that’s next on my list for SURE.

Doing a little more investigating on Letterboxd I also found out that he makes an appearance in ‘The Fly’ with Jeff Goldblum?! Damn this guy’s got a pretty good filmography under his belt! I guess that one’s just gotta get a rewatch soon, especially due to it being the Halloween season AND to see Typhoon’s performance through a new lense.

Apparently Typhoon was able to follow simple commands quite well and even his role in Shakma where he portrayed a violent memesis he was merely shown food from an open door and then let loose when the door was closed. Naturally Typhoon being excited about the food would pound and smash on the door like a berserk maniac creating quite a stir on camera.

There’s actually a pretty cool & extensive article about his performance in ‘Shakma’ that’s worth a read if you’re interested in his acting career. Now I  don’t want to make it all sound like working with Typhoon was always a pleasant experience, though it’s reported that he had quite a loving connection with his trainer here’s what David Cronenberg had to say about his experience directing him: “They’re very volatile, and there’s no such thing as a tame baboon, Jeff, because he was much bigger and stronger than the baboon, was able to dominate him, and the baboon’s wrangler said it was a good thing that the baboon formed that relationship….Otherwise there could have been big trouble on the set with some of the female members of the crew.” Umm…no Jeff Goldblum is NOT stronger than a baboon, if they get pissed they will fuck you up! They are indeed many times stronger than a human….

I also don’t want to give Typhoon a bad rap because lots of actors can be sort of grumpy on set. Everyone has flaws, even Typhoon. I did a little poking around and couldn’t find any more information about him being curious about how long he lived, with no results. So at this point I’m going to just believe that he’s out there, still alive planning his next big movie come back! ‘Unmasking The Idol’ has just been released on blu ray via Vinegar Syndrome too!!

 

 

 

Movie Review: ‘The Mind’s Eye’ Is Early 90’s Movie Mayhem!

I checked out the ‘The Mind’s Eye’ the latest feature film from up and coming horror director Joe Begos last night and it was well worth the seven bucks spent on Googleplay for the rental. As I mentioned in a recent post it’s been described as the perfect sequel to Cronenberg’s classic “Scanners”. I’d say that’s a great description of what you’re in store for with The Mind’s Eye. The movie set in 1990 certainly feels like it was indeed made back then and set in the same Scanners universe. It’s a mean, gritty little movie that’s packed with exploding heads and gore a plenty. There’s no comedy mixed in either which is nice when a director is taking some chances delivering a no B.S. action movie on a low budget.

It follows two people on the run from a sinister government organization who’re hellbent on weaponizing the their telekinetic powers. The movie’s over the top villain, a normal man who’s figured out how to harvest their powers for his own however is hot on their trail along with a gang of goons ready to be torn to pieces. It’s a simple plot and maybe not the most original concept as the movie clearly borrows from ‘Firestarter’ & Brian De Palma’s ‘The Fury’ but you know what? That’s totally ok-because ‘Stranger Things’ was amazing and really a just a full on rip off of similar movies as well. We’ve also got Graham Skipper back in the lead who previously starred in Bego’s first flick ‘Almost Human’ along with Larry Fessenden in the role of his father. I never tire of seeing Larry show up in my horror movies, he’s a great addition to this one as well though his role is quite brief.

The cool thing about this movie is that it really does feel like it’s been plucked from the late 80’s. Begos uses his effects wisely and nothing that he does feels like it would have appeared in a movie after 1990. You won’t get any CG here everything is done by way of practical effects making everything feel way more organic and real world. While not being a better movie than Scanners (But better than it’s many sequels) it certainly feels like a lost sci-fi/horror movie from the era, one that you might be hunting down today for a rare vhs copy of.

As cool as all this is there are points in the movie where you’re hoping for the psycho-kinetic battles to go a bit farther than they did. Begos doesn’t give you much new to chew on here and I was hoping a few times for things to get a bit more batshit crazy towards the end. Perhaps if Begos was given a bigger budget he’d have been able to expand on the genre rather than keep it evenly at bay. Either way if you come in it not expecting anything more than a cool ass movie that feel like it was made back in 1990 you won’t be disappointed. I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing Joe Begos rise to the top of the horror genre in the next few years, I’ll definitely be there again for his next movie.

The Mind’s Eye: The Scanners Sequel You’ve Been Waiting For?!

Here’s something to check out this weekend, a brand new release if you’re craving something on the retro side of science fiction horror. The Mind’s Eye is the second movie from Joe Begos and it looks like another winner. I dug his first movie “Almost Human” which was neat little alien flick that also had that retro 80’s vibe to it part Invasion of the Body Snatchers and part Fire in the Sky. Now we’ve got his undenialble homage to Cronenberg.

Borrowing a more than it’s fair share of Scanners, boasting a lot of exploding heads and psychic warfare this movie sounds like a damn good time for a Saturday night. Add to all that another awesome movie poster (Almost Human had a great one too) and some Larry Fessenden to the cast – This one is on the top of my list of new Horror and was just released yesterday for a limited theatrical run and VOD!

 

 

 

Universal Dork’s Halloween Horror Picks #2! Cronenberg’s BEST!

People just love Cronenberg! However many people who love him today for movies like Eastern Promises & A History of Violence have long forgotten his amazing horror films like The Fly and his best in my opinion “The Brood”. If you have never seen this incredibly creepy movie from 1979 you are missing out big time. It’s also best that you know as little as possible about the plot as it will confuse you right up until the truly shocking finale. It’s been described as a horror version of Kramer vs. Kramer and I’d have to say that’s a neat way to look at this one.

It’s follows the story of a man who’s wife is receiving a strange theatrical therapy to help her with mental and emotional problems she’s experiencing. However when the husband finds bruises and cuts on their daughter he begins to suspect his mentally imbalanced wife may be to blame.

To make matters worse a brood of horrifying mutant children begin creeping around inside their house and soon people end up dead. This one is a Cronenberg masterpeice that should not be missed or seen again this Halloween! A true horror classic!!

“Deadgirl” will disturb you!

Last night I checked out the newly released on dvd this week horror thriller “Deadgirl”. I must say I have never seen a movie quite like this before and once you see it, it’s a surefire fact that you will never forget it. I wasn’t sure what to expect except that in the recent months I’ve heard quite a bit of hype behind this one. The story is simple yet twisted. It follows two high school problem teens named Rickie & JT as they cut class, drink beer and vandalize an old abandoned mental institution.

Deadgirl

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Revisting “the Brood”…

David Cronenberg is still making great movies to this day. Many people know him mainly for A History of Violence, Eastern Promises or even his classic The Fly, which is just simply one of the best horror movies ever made. But let’s not forget about one of his most frightening films from the late 70’s. The Brood. There is always something completely eerie and off about his movies and this one thrives on both. In fact throughout nearly the whole movie you you’ll be trying to peice things together that clearly seem to make no sense and don’t fit.

brood

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