Here’s one of the most ridiculously excellent movies I’ve seen in a looooong time! The year 1990 brought us Jim “Chopping Mall” Wynorski’s high rise slasher flick Hard To Die. I was lucky enough to run into a copy of this one while out combing the thrift stores and came to find it’s actually a pretty rare little movie to discover in the wild on VHS. I was pretty sure what to expect from the box art, it was tagged as the female version of “Die Hard” but the movie is actually a sequel to ‘Sorority House Massacre 2’ and features that movies main “antagonist” (same actor) as well as one of the women from said sorority in the previous flick. It’s known also as “Sorority House Massacre 3” and “Tower of Terror” but the most perplexing thing is that it uses actual flashback scenes to explain it’s ridiculous “plot” from ‘Slumber Party Massacre’ rather than ‘Sorority House Massacre’ or even ‘Sorority House Massacre 2’. I know crazy huh? What gives?! I guess it had something to do with the director showing the movie to Roger Corman and him loving it so much that he insisted on utilizing scenes from ‘Slumber Party Massacre’, a movie he’d produced, to be tied to these fantastic Sorority House sequels.
Anyway!! I digress, ‘Hard to Die’ is a lot more fun & frantic than I’d expected, it features a group of lingerie shop employee babes who’re going in to work the graveyard shift, doing inventory in a mysterious high rise. They run into the creepy dude ‘Orville Ketchum’ from ‘Sorority House Massacre 2’ who’s now the after hours janitor at the building and he tells them all the freaky story from ‘Slumber Party Massacre’. The ladies of course are totally creeped out by the guy but then to make matters even worse someone delivers a strange package that contains a bizarre ancient box, of course they open that shit up and it sets forth an evil spirit (done via animated hand drawn cells which I love) that rushes out into the halls of the high rise.
Soon a sadistic killer begins picking people off one by one. About that time as well is when a small fire triggers the sprinkler system and the hot babes “regular” clothes (which are pretty damn skimpy as it is) get all wet. What to do about that you may ask? Well…get changed into the brand new line of dry lingerie they’re taking inventory on of course! But wait, you can’t do that unless you take a long hot shower right?! So yeah all the women take their turns in the soapy shower before spending the rest of the movie running away from an evil killer in lingerie and high heels.
I don’t wanna spoil that much more of this one, but there’s so much idiotic dialogue & downright moronic decisions made to enjoy here that you’ll wanna have plenty of booze and your best friends around to witness the spectacle of it all. There’s also a bit of a “shocking” twist ending as well and some unforgettable truly over the top action sequences to bath in. Like the title of this post says these ladies take no shit especially when they come across a collection of machine guns in the third act. Yeah lots of running around like Bruce Willis shooting shit up while in lingerie & high heels. This one is nonstop lunacy, people these days try and fail miserably to replicate movies like this, track this one down if you’re looking for a truly unique party flick-it delivers the damn goods and then some!!
So Friday afternoon I checked out ‘The Predator’, the latest comedy from director Shane Black, the 5th installment to the movie franchise if you include those AVP films. I’d been pumped for this thing to drop as a big fan of the original, which back in 1987 was the first R-rated movie I saw in the theaters. It was also the first movie I’d ever snuck into. I can still remember my friend and I’s reaction to witnessing ‘Predator’ on the big screen after sneaking in, which itself was pretty exciting actually, it was a truly epic cinematic event I’ll never forget and one of those moments growing up that shaped my obsession of movies to current day. I love Predator and the best thing about the movie is that it STILL holds up as one of the best action/horror/scifi flicks of all time. So yeah, naturally when I’d heard Shane Black, who’d actually starred in the original film and Fred Dekker (Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps) was writing it, my hopes for a truly iconic return to form for the Predator franchise was indeed very high.
Well the verdict is in folks, and as a longtime fan, I’m sorry to say the movie blows. After seeing the trailers, I was certainly cautious going into this one, but still was quite certain if anyone was going to deliver the goddamn goods this time around it’d have be Shane Black. That however was certainly not the case. ‘The Predator’ is a full blown comedy and not a good one, in fact it was a bit awkward in the theater as their attempts at jokes fell quite flat most of the time to a rather quiet and unenthusiastic audience. I guess the best way to describe it is it’s attempting to be a Marvel movie version of the Predator. This seems to be the trend these days in these bloated blockbusters, interrupting any potentially serious moments in a movie with some sort of “witty” Marvel-esque attempt at a joke. I’ve gotta say I’m over it. Long gone is the horror/slasher, suspense of the original films instead we’ve got utterly bland characters entrenched in one truly moronic adventure.
I could care less about this movie’s characters, in fact at one point I was hoping for the Predator to destroy them all just so they’d stop cracking unfunny jokes. All of them are totally generic, even the little kid is just a total bore and probably had no place even being in a Predator movie, especially this one which I found out has some weird ass controversy surrounding it. I’m not going to give a play by play either, as so many people out there have already reviewed this stinker. I’ll get down to the real meat and potatoes here, the Predator at least looked good, that is until the bigger CGI Predator and his lame ass CG dogs shows up to take a big dump on that aspect of things as well. Let’s not even discuss how dumb the Predator dog subplot is here, it’s just not worth the time, lets just say it’s another example of The Predator’s piss poor writing. There’s also tons of “call back” joke lines thrown around here from previous movies in the franchise, apparently Shane thinks that shit is still really a big treat for the fans, as a fan I can truly say it’s not.
The movie is just one big dumb, poorly edited, poorly paced, boring mess of a movie. For the longest time I was hoping that Arnold would return in this film as Dutch from the 1987 classic. I wanted it so bad. After seeing 2018’s ‘The Predator’ I’m actually fully relieved that he declined the cameo Shane Black had offered him. This movie didn’t deserve to have Dutch to make an appearance. As far as ranking the films, this one just might be the worst of the batch, I actually would rather watch the two AVP movies before trudging through this thing again. I’d say after this it just might be time to retire the franchise for good. I’m still amazed Shane Black and Fred Dekker could drop the ball this badly, but alas they served us all a bonafide shit sandwich. Good riddance Predator, I’m sad to say it but I’m not gonna miss you….
I recently checked out a pretty sweet little horror anthology from 1985 called ‘Night Train to Terror’ on VHS and it did indeed deliver the goods, especially in that oh so ridiculously sweet 80’s way. It’s not always easy to find a decent horror anthology but this one had a certain charm about it especially with it’s rather ambitious special fx & visuals that really made it such a damn good time.
The movie certainly kicks off with a total bang as we’re thrust into a full blown dance party on a train, with crazy 80’s fashion, a super cheezed out band rockin’ performing a totally “rad” third rate pop song. Now that’s a train I want to reserve a seat on! Anyway, soon we realize that God and Satan are also on a train that’s flying through outer space and trying to determine who will live on the party train as it’s going to crash. This is where we see the frightening tales of evil materialize on screen as it sets the stage for the stories involving some of the more questionable passengers.
So what we’ve got here are a few cool tales of terror, what’s really interesting is these stories here are all apparently edited versions of different horror films: Death Wish Club, Cataclysm and an unfinished movie project with Richard Moll (of Night Court fame) called Scream Your Head Off. Yeah and if you’re for some reason a big Richard Moll fan you’ll be pleased to know he stars in two of the segments! Also while we’re on the hot topic of Richard Moll flicks, you’ve got to check out ‘The Dungeonmaster’ from 1984, which is easily one of the most ridiculously fun horror/Sci fi flicks of the 80s. So back to the Night Train, it would seem one reason why these segments work so well is that they’ve likely trimmed out all of the excess fat from these movies and got to get straight to the damn point. So many obscure 80’s horror flicks would be bonafide cult classics if they’d trim 20 or so minutes from their run times. That’s a fact!
Yep, Night Train has got a lot to offer in it’s spooky entries, but don’t expect shit to make a heckuva lot of sense. The stories are actually kinda confusing, probably because they’ve been majorly butchered to pieces. That being said, there’s some cool shit going on, there’s one about a dude who drugs women, then kills them only to collect their organs. There’s a ton of nudity and some gore and of course Richard Moll shows up. The next segment’s about a freaky ass death club, whose members are obsessed with near death experiences, not the “out of body” stuff but like putting themselves into elaborate death traps to see if they can survive it. This one’s also pretty damn confusing, but there’s some cool ass traps and a rad killer insect that they let out of a bottle to fly around them at a dinner table..oh yeah and then some killer big hungry monster bugs! Lastly the third one was fucking fantastic, It had some weird ass Nazi guy who never ages, you guessed it…more Richard Moll, monsters a plenty and a totally excellent stop-motion animation creature sequence. This one’s story is super confusing as well, or maybe i’m just stupid, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s all 80’s gory goodness. I’d say just drink some booze and smoke a joint before watching, as it’s not there to wow anyone with a well crafted story that’s for sure!
So check this one out if you’re in the mood for a sweet 1980’s horror party flick, it delivers on all levels and you really don’t have to pay much attention to what’s going on, just sit back and enjoy the goofy ambition of it all…
A few nights ago I checked out a pretty sweet little 80’s slasher movie by Harry Kirkpatrick & Italian director Umberto Lenzi who was also responsible for the equally fun schlock-fest ‘Ghosthouse’. ‘Welcome to Spring Break’ AKA ‘Nightmare Beach’ is most definitely worth tracking down if you’re a fan of cheezy 80’s horror and those wacky mega raging hormone teen comedies from that decade. You know, those movies that could simply never be made in 2018, this one is a prime example as it’s jam packed with nudity, crude humor and a psychotic “undead” killer on a murderous rampage. It shares a lot of similarities with movies like ‘The Horror Show’ and ‘Shocker’ as it features a serial killer who’s executed on the electric chair and seemingly re-appears to kill as many people as he can by electrocuting the shit out of them.
Yep we’ve got a full on ridiculous mystery here jam packed with moronic characters galore and then some. As you can imagine the college kids in this one have two things on their feeble minds, partying and sex! Our two main characters are pretty interesting fellows as well, one’s intent on partyin’ ’til he’s brain dead and his straight laced buddy, well I’m not sure why he even went to the damn beach for spring break. The dude turns down every scenario to get have fun, get freakin’ wasted and mingle with the ladies. He’s such a damn wholesome guy that he almost becomes more ridiculous to watch than the full on 80’s party hardy springbreakin’ sex maniancs that are combing every inch of the beach. Yep this movie is indeed more 80’s than the 1980’s. It’s the epitome of everything ridiculous from that time period, while the acting is pretty over the top, it’s still impressively played fairly straight.
The crazed maniacal killer soon sweeps upon the beach scene riding a motorcycle and dressed head toe in his biker attire never removing his helmet as the ultimate party pooper. There’s some fun kills in this one as well and a bit of a Scooby Doo style mystery at play as well to keep you “guessing” until the very in in the final “epic” confrontation. Throw in John Saxon as a corrupt cop for some street cred, a totally radical 80’s metal soundtrack and you’ve got one helluva idiotic fun as shit slasher flick at play. This 1988 horror movie is a great saturday night party jam to enjoy with a big group of rowdy friends and plenty of booze!
And of course this one has an obscure “killer” 80’s song in it from Kirsten, who plays live in the movie as well-dig IT!!
It’s about time right? The Puppet Master franchise is officially back! The official trailer has dropped for Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, the new reboot of the classic series that became a cult classic way back in 1989. It features a screenplay from S. Craig Zahler (director of Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99), features some crazy new puppets. Shit hits the fan when a supernatural force animates a collection of puppets up for auction at an antique convention, setting them on a blood drenched killing spree that’s put into motion by an ancient evil. It stars Michael Paré, Thomas Lennon, Charlyne Yi, Udo Kier, Nelson Franklin, Matthias Hues, Jenny Pellicer, and Barbara Crampton. The movie is directed by Sonny Laguna (Wither) & Tommy Wiklund.
So far this looks like a pretty sweet little reboot that’s definitely not holding back on killer puppet practical fx mayhem. Count me in here, as a huge fan of the original movie this one looks like it’s been re-booted the right way! This one’s set to release August 17th 2018.
So ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director James Gunn was fired by Disney/Marvel over the weekend when a questionable right wing personality himself, Mike Cernovich, outed him for his trove of highly offensive tweets he’d made between 2009 & 2012. This, like the Twitter inspired firing of Roseanne, has got many people on both sides of the political spectrum up in arms. Many are defending Gunn, who was quite vocal in his disapproval of Donald Trump, saying he should never have been fired as his tweets were made years ago when he was in his 40’s. Gunn now 51, has responded, apologizing, basically saying he was merely trying to be provocative and doesn’t think they are funny anymore. The tweets were made before he’d been hired to helm the now mega millions Marvel movie franchise ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Most of his offensive tweets involved bizarre “jokes” and “witty” banter involving highly disturbing sexual topics involving rape and pedophilia. His supporters say he’s a changed man but it’s important to note he stopped tweeting about this type of thing when he’d been hired by Disney, we all know money talks sometimes. I’m sure he knew at this point more tweets of that nature wouldn’t be good for his newfound high profile directing career with a family friendly mega corporation.
This all really doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me as Gunn’s background as a filmmaker was rooted in the Troma movie universe. Most Troma stuff is intentionally outrageous and meant to shock and offend. Back in the 80’s it was the kind of stuff your parents would likely be outraged over, meanwhile teens would giggle about. It’s always seemed to me like James Gunn for the most part was a pretty cool guy, who shares a lot of the same interests in oddball cinema as I do. He’s a bit of a Hollywood misfit and most definitely NOT your average Hollywood director. I’d compare his background to say Peter Jackson & Sam Raimi who both came from indie style schlock/horror cinema and later became highly paid Hollywood blockbuster directors. I however didn’t know until recently what he’d spent his time tweeting about in his recent past. What’s surprising to me is that the old weird ass tweets were never deleted by him in the first place when hired by Disney/Marvel.
Many of his supporters have rallied behind him with a new petition, to demand he be rehired to continue the franchise. In my personal opinion I agree with Disney for dropping him. I’m not sure Gunn is quite the monster the ‘right wing’ is painting him out to be and I’m also not so sure he’s the saint that the left seems to think he is. I think it’s their right to fire him, I also think they should have checked a little further into his past before giving him the job if they really are the family friendly company we’ve been led to believe they are.
I really do think Gunn is a pretty unique & talented filmmaker, I Iove ‘Slither’, thought ‘Super’ was good & really enjoyed the first GOTG. However, with that being said, as I read through his tweets, it certainly does leave me a bit perplexed as to why a man in his 40’s would waste his time continuously tweeting on subjects of this nature? The tweets aren’t funny and neither is this type of humor to me at least, and I’m a bit surprised he’s getting all of this support from fans to get his job back. To me it seems to prove the lunacy of people these days now on both sides of the political spectrum, it reminds me a bit of the right wing people who defended Trump during the 2016 election, when a decade ago he made his sick comments about grabbing women. I’m not sure Gunn is truly a bad guy, but I honestly don’t know what goes on inside people’s heads either. I’m totally satisfied at the fact that Roseanne was canned, I think Gunn getting fired was a totally reasonable decision and I also would love to see the President fired as well…
So for the time being I’ve taken a break from buying comic books weekly as they are pretty damn pricey these days and honestly there really weren’t too many titles that really grabbed and made it worth the weekly cash drop. As a huge fan of The Incredible Hulk ever since I was a little kid, I’ve got to admit I do miss reading about the adventures of the “Jade Giant” and really couldn’t get into the whole “Totally Awesome Hulk” stuff. The Banner Hulk was killed off a couple years back and it seemed perhaps that the original green goliath was gone for good (or at least for the time being as no one is ever really dead in Marvel Universe). Well now there’s a new HULK book out called The Immortal Hulk and my curiosity has been sparked as the first issue dropped in June and it’s been referred to as a return to form for the Banner Hulk. I’ll probably wait for the trade but I’ve gotta say this Variant cover by Sal Buscema sure does give me the goosebumps longing for a nostalgic old school Hulk adventure!!!