I’m always excited to use what little power I have on U-Dork to hype up a forgotten gem of movie that warrants a fancy blu ray release and 1993’s Stepmonster is just that kind of flick. With a solid cast featuring Alan Thicke, Ami Dolenz and Corey Feldman (among others) we get a sweet little early 90s, PG-13, cheezed out creature feature! Right up my alley..
Produced by Fred Olen Ray and Roger Corman you might already have a pretty good idea of what to expect here. It’s a bit of a coming of age horror flick mixed with monsters and suburban comedy. Pre-teen kid Todd’s mother goes mysteriously missing on a family camping trip and a few months later his Dad (Alan Thicke of COURSE) has strangely got a new mysterious lady movin’ in who’s soon to be Todd’s new mom. Ummm…TOO soon Alan!
To make matters worse dead bodies start turning up in suburbia and Todd begins to suspect that his mother is some sort of vicious shapeshifting mutant monster that made her way from the forest on their camping trip into their freakin’ family home. Of course no one believes him and he spends his time trying to convince his crush Amy Dolenz & her stoner rocker boyfriend (played by Corey Feldman) of the danger the neighborhood is in.
That’s the one part of this movie that could have been greatly improved-it needed WAY more Corey! He comes across here like his Frog Brother persona or better yet like his character from The Burbs. This might as well exist in the same universe as that movie and that’s more than just fine with me. Oh yeah young Todd is also a perv!
There’s a ton of fun to be had here in this little creepy adventure that feels more like it belongs in the eighties than the nineties to be honest. Some of the humor as well feels a notch or 2 above it’s PG-13 rating, which I guess can be expected judging by the producers sassy reputations. That being said, it’s really got that Amblin “kids in danger” vibe that I love so much, along with the cool creature and special effects that go along with movies of that genre so well. The creature design is also pretty impressive for such a low budget affair and feature some of that classic early nineties face morphing that maybe has an aged so well?
Luckily Stepmonster has its heart mostly in all the right places and pretty much hits all the right beats making it a great double feature aside movies like ‘The Goonies’ or ‘The Gate’. It also wastes no time, with its lean 86 minute run time, it’s a great party movie that nearly anyone can enjoy, who knows maybe there’s an “R rated cut” of the movie somewhere, I’d love to see the movie get even darker. Nonetheless this is a pretty sweet little family horror flick that’s tailer made for fans of the eighties and early nineties. Stepmonster def deserves a fancy blu ray release with a ton of extras!
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!!
Just the other evening I decided to watch “The Little Shop of Horrors” a movie I haven’t seen since the 1980’s and boy was it a treat to behold! I remember I saw this movie in the theaters when it came out in 1986, my mom was cool enough to take me! I had fond memories of the movie as a kid and for some reason hadn’t revisited it in it’s entirety since. Well low and behold this movie was even better now than it was back then! If you’ve not seen this flick I highly recommend you check it out, it’s one of the few musicals that I actually truly love and it’s a remake that’s light years better than the original!
For one I had totally forgotten it had amazing cameos by Steve Martin AND Bill Murray, and their parts in the movie are simply hilarious. It also reminded me that Rick Moranis starred in some amazing 1980’s films I hold dear to my heart like Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Ghostbusters and Strange Brew. It’s a shame we haven’t seen Moranis in a movie since 1996! I’ve heard rumors he may appear in Ghostbusters 3 though(that is if the movie ever really gets made).
What had amazed me most though was “Audrey 2” the carnivorous talking alien flytrap! It was amazing to see this movie monster come to life once again. It’s easily one of the coolest movie monsters I’ve ever seen and in the special features we see just how complex it was to bring it to life for the camera. How they created this creature’s mouth movements was beyond amazing. It wasn’t just a simple puppet. As Audrey 2 grows even larger and becomes more hungry the effects become even more incredible. By the finale of the movie it’s a hulking behemoth that’s a pure wonder to observe. Everything about the movie blew me away, from the sets, to the effects, to it’s awesome songs and it’s charming wit. This film has aged incredibly well, do yourself a favor and check it out again and if you’ve never seen it you’re missing out big time on some 80’s gold!
Oh yeah and the Dentist song is amazing still-they don’t make em’ like this anymore!
What? You never heard of the 1981 movie “Saturday the 14th”? Well I thought I’d give it a shout out today as it’s indeed Saturday the 14th! This little long forgotten horror comedy, produced by Julie Corman, wife of Roger Corman! it’s a fun little low budget horror spoof starring Richard Benjamin whom most people remember as the main character from Westworld.
This one though is jam packed with a ton ridiculous man in rubber suit monsters, schlocky 80’s effects galore and full on corny humor, it’s the perfect movie to follow up everyone’s Friday The 13th parties! It’s streaming on Netflix too so check it out already!! It’s been many years since I’ve seen it, hmmmm….Saturday The 14th party anyone?! Could be a new trend in the making!
So today I will be getting a movie in the mail I have been looking forward to for quite some time now- Machete Maidens Unleashed! This documentary tells the crazy story of the Grindhouse movies of the 60’s and 70’s.
Following the stories of the actual stars and the crazy locations they shot these films at with a shoe string budget, Machete Maidens looks like the film for all of us Grindhouse fanatics. It looks like they have some cool commentary from the likes of Joe Dante one of my all time faves and Roger Corman. Check out this trailer is doesn’t get any better than this!
Fellow Universal Dork Pete Saturday posted an awesome review and reminder of the classic Creepozoids and I responded with a note about two other plot/theme related classics, The Terror Within and Galaxy of Terror. After some serious thought and internal reflection on my actions…I realize that it is pretty lame to just hang the carrot out in front of our dedicated dork followers. So I wanted to look up the info and give the readers more of a taste of these great features! Both of these have a touch of Roger Corman, just so you know what you are getting yourself into.
I find some bad ass VHS tapes at the Goodwill Bins here in Portland Oregon! A ton of cheezy awesome wretched horror flicks are always coming my way. From Roger Corman’s Concorde Pictures comes “The Nest” which was one of my most recent finds and it was pretty bad in a very good way! Set in a quiet town of North Port, the citizens there encounter a serious roach problem which is only about to get worse! That’s when the cool guy Sherrif Tarbell enters the picture with suspisions that the town’s mayor is in ca-hoots with an evil genetics corporation called INTEC who’s secretly experimenting with roaches and trying to hybridize them with other animals and yeah you guessed it humans!!