Been a movie watchin’ fiend lately & luckily most of the flicks, most of which I’d call largely forgotten cinema, have been surprisingly damn good! So listen up I’m gonna throw a bunch of short reviews for some films that are worth the trouble to track down if like me you’re looking for some lost gems! Let’s get on with this shit today we’ve got some great what I like to coin ‘John Hughes Horror’ in…
Night Life (1989)
First up let it be known this cool ass little movie was never officially released on dvd so it’s a tuff one to track down. You can hunt down a copy on vhs or like I did buy a bootleg copy of it on dvd from Ioffer.com, a great site for stuff like this. Anyway I wanna start off saying that this movie has Scott Grimes, that red headed kid from Critters 1&2 so it instantly had me there as I love those two movies. It’s essentially an 80’s teen high school bully movie with zombies. Scott Grimes or “Archie” in the movie, who channels a bit of Michael J. Fox, works at a mortuary for his jerky uncle (John Astin) and is bullied by four assholes (two preppy jock-y couples) from his school. Turns out he’s totally infatuated with one of the girls and the bullies quickly devise a plan to set him up on a “date” that ultimately destroys him teenage life. He’s also got an older lady pal, a cute local mechanic that he hangs out with all the time that he’s also crushed out on, who’s clearly put him in the friend zone. Ahh to be a teenager again…
Well one day those same four prepster bullies meet their demise in a horrible car crash, and of course Archie has to take them back to the mortuary. It seems though he’s in high school he accompanies the police to crimes scenes and is oddly in charge of the “dirty work” of dealing with the dead, I guess that shit flew back in the 80’s huh? Only problem is the four assholes become zombies when a bolt of lightning strikes the roof of the mortuary, something clearly foreshadowed earlier when a dead frog’s legs twitch when given an electrical charge by his science teacher. The nice thing here is these Zombies aren’t your mindless walkers, they’re more ruthless, cunning & have one clear driving their every move: to turn Archie into mince meat!! This begins a totally outrageous game of cat and mouse that plays out like a great extended episode of Tales From The Crypt in the best way.
The movie’s got a light hearted feel to it but isn’t afraid to get down and dirty when it needs to either. The zombie bullies use their newly acquired blood lust to carry out some pretty inventive on screen kills too. This may not be a traditional zombie apocalypse flick, but it’s one of the most unique and who needs more of the apocalypse anyway. Even in the 80’s that shit was overdone. Even way back in 89′ Tony Timpone of Fangoria praised it “the most original, off-beat & entertaining zombie films in years, a must see!”. I gotta agree it’s a ton of fun, has great stunts, cool fx, gore, rad looking zombies, sets & characters. Pretty much everything I love about the 80’s all wrapped into one. This one deserves an official release it’s definitely a lost gem. I’m pretty floored at how this movie doesn’t have more love these days, hopefully someone will clean it up and give it a proper release if you’re a fan of 80’s horror and those John Hughs-esque flick of that era you’ll find a lot here to love!! One last interesting tidbit here is that director David Acomba was one the two directors responsible for the infamously bad 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special!! But hey don’t hold that against him!!
I’ve been looking forward to checking out the new horror comedy “Night of Something Strange” for quite some time and finally this week I decided to check it out via rental on Google Play. From what I’d heard about it and seen in the trailer, it looked liked a super fun homage to splatter flicks of the 1980’s with an unhealthy dose of comedy splashed in for a good time. I’m all about a good indie horror comedy, in fact the horror comedy is easily one of my favorite genres. However ‘Night of Something Strange’ just really didn’t do it for me. I give them a serious ‘A’ for effort but when you’re making a movie like this it’s extremely important to nail down the comedy aspect of the horror first. That can be a hard task & precisely where this movie really falls flat, at least for me.
This one is all about grossing you out in every middle school way you can imagine. That’s perhaps who this movie’s comedy might truly appeal to. For me though gross out poop, pee and sex humor gets old real quick. NOSS is jam packed with potty humor and as the movie plays on it continuously tries to top last the poop, pee-pee, gross out sex scenario with something more “outrageous”. It simply tries way too hard to get a reaction, kinda like if Seth Rogan wrote the script for this when he was thirteen years old but with “gross out” dick jokes and zombie rape scenarios sprinkled throughout. Yeah the movie has a lot of undead raping & it’s not really the kind of stuff that’s offensive, since clearly it’s incredibly unrealistic looking and it’s actors aren’t exactly out to win an academy award with their performances. So none of it will stick with you for days or scar you as the scenes aren’t even the least bit convincing. That’s a good thing, because I’m not a fan of the rape-y horror movie. It’s all just too damn stupid, and though I do like me some ridiculousness this one tries way too hard.
This flick is essentially an 80’s horny teen throwback movie with even more horny undead creatures roaming around the grounds of a spooky motel. There’s a few scenes that are actually pretty well done and the practical effects here are at times actually pretty impressive. It also looks pretty nice too, it just suffers from a ton of stale comedy. I don’t know, maybe when I was twelve years old this would have been funny? However it’s just trying way too hard to gross us out with farts, poop, dirty tampons, boners & nasty sex humor around each & every corner. It’s also maybe about 20 minites too long. I haven’t got much else to say about this one, (I really like the poster art at least) but if you dig this kind of mega excessive potty humor then hey, this movie delivers the goods and then some!!
Well last night was the night, the wait was finally over, twenty three years after the release of “Army of Darkness” we were given the first episode of the sequel television series “Ash vs. Evil Dead”! It seemed like an eternity and to be quite honest I was never fully convinced we’d ever see Bruce Campbell return as his iconic character Ash Williams. I’m a huge fan of the original trilogy, this was a bit like seeing Harrison Ford return as Indiana Jones back in 2008-it kinda gave me the chills. Yeah Ash is that legendary to me and countless others. So after a rip roaring near perfect trailer for the show the question must be asked was it indeed worth the wait?!
The answer is a solid you betcha! The first episode was awesome and it was truly an incredible moment really seeing Bruce return to his legendary role. He didn’t miss a beat and I’ve gotta say Sam Raimi did quite a nice job directing the pilot episode. We even got a longer run time as well clocking in at around 40 minutes or so. This first episode “El Jefe” didn’t have one dull moment and did a excellent job of giving a bit of Ash’s history once again with the Book of the Dead, while oddly not mentioning any of the events from ‘Army of Darkness’. This is only due to the fact they don’t have the rights to that movie as it stands, and can’t make mention to it in the show because of legal issues. But still that’s fine, us fans all know it clearly happened and the version of Ash we’re getting here is a direct continuation of the Ash we all fell in love with in Army of Darkness.
We notice he no longer works at “S-mart” and instead a similar place called “Value Stop” but after 23 years it’s totally plausible that he made a serious career move(in reality another problem with legal issues from AoD). What made this all even better though is now we really get to know just who the hell he really is. He’s not just simply some smart ass with a chainsaw hand, we get to see what a normal night in the life of Ash is really like. We get to see where he lives (surprisingly similar to My Name is Bruce), where he hangs out, his work life and just how much the guy likes to party down. This tv series idea was the perfect way to really humanize Ash and I’m pumped to see how this all plays out for him and his new companions.
The episode wasted no time with any B.S. and really jumped head first in the blood, guts and comedy galore. We get a nice introduction to several interesting supporting characters and subplots as well, all so far played pretty straight and serious. We also got some scares, most delivered with real fright behind them. We’ve got a pretty seriously freaky world with our bumbling anti-hero smack dab in the middle of the mayhem. Well done. As far as action and gore go the first episode gloriously delivers that classic frantic 80’s Raimi style. Bruce is definitely giving it his all and it’s clear he knows it’s finally his time to shine in the spotlight again! So we’ve got a neat, simple plot that’s turning into one hell of a road trip adventure. Perfect. I can’t wait to see the next episode!
The special effects were also pretty fucking awesome, we got a ton of blood and some really excellent make up for the new Deadites that appeared. Much of it really did feel like an extension of the original movies. However I was bit surprised to see the amount of CG used on the show. My only real gripe with it was the shoddy digital effects used. The doll scene in particular had some downright horrible CG and we got more digital blood and gore than I would ever want near anything Evil Dead related. I just knew Raimi wouldn’t be able to resist.
Give me puppet or some stop motion animation instead any day of the week. I only say this because it detracts a bit from the tone of the original and honestly if you’re going to CG some shit in 2015 it better look good. But alas, in the end though it delivered on all cylinders and then some proving the charm of Bruce Campbell just cant be contended with. Here’s a series that I’m gonna find a way to see every week, it was a bit of a dream come true. Nice work Mr. Raimi I honestly didn’t think you had it in you….
Ok, so that’s not true in the least! Russell brand is NOT up for the role of the Walking Dead character (not that I know of at least) but the more and more I see Jesus in The Walking Dead comic books the more and more I think that artist Charlie Adlard is basing his likeness off Mr. Brand! Could Mr. Adlard be a Trewser?!
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So hey who knows maybe I’ll start some buzz here to get the comedian the role? Not to say he’s looking to be on the show, but I’m a big fan of Brand these days and his “Trews” alternative media news program. If you haven’t already checked it out it’s pretty hilarious and he’s totally dead on with things in the political spectrum of the world.
As far as if he appears in the tv show and who will play the gay badass in the television series remains a mystery but I am going to call it here-let’s get Russell Brand to play Jesus I mean he already looks the part and I’m quite sure he’d be a welcome addition to the show!! Let’s make it happen! Can’t you see the resemblance?
Here’s Brand…he wouldn’t even need to change his appearance one iota!
And finally some Trews!!
This was news to me a few days ago, I had no idea that “Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout” even existed! But back in 1990 the legendary scream queen best known for her appearance in Return of The Living Dead (among many others) actually put out the first horror workout video ever! Here you can see her getting the out of shape undead into some serious workouts and sweating their rotting asses off!
Expect of course that you’re going to see Linnea naked in this workout video, as that seemed to be in part what she was most famous for in the 1980’s, in fact the video starts out like a scene from “Creepozoids” with her showing off her bod in the shower. This one also gives you a full on history of the scream queen too before the creep-tastic working out happens! It also begins with a “serious” warning for those ready to give up their “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” vhs up for a moment it reads as follows:
WARNING : The activities depicted in this video are strenuous and highly physical in nature. They should not be attempted without first consulting your doctor. Since they can also become violent, you might also seek advice from a psychiatrist, clergyman, or criminal attorney. In any case, we accept no responsibility for any harm you do to yourself or to others after viewing this tape. Whatever happens, IT’S NOT OUR FAULT!
So if you’re tired of the same old workout I recommend hunting this one down on vhs or maybe on dvd as I believe it was released back in 2013 but maybe out of print again. Either way this one is most definitely not your average workout ! You can see most of this one right on Youtube!
If you’re a fan of punk rock and old school 80’s style horror there’s a good chance you’ll get a kick out Black Mask’s “Toe Tag Riot” a new rowdy zombie comic book adventure! This one reads more like an installment of the “Return of the Living Dead” movie franchise than “The Walking Dead” and that’s a good thing because we really don’t need any more comic books hitting the shelves these days trying to capture what Robert Kirkman has so gloriously accomplished. Written By Matt Miner and illustrated by Sean Von Gorman we get bloody good tale of a touring punk rock band with a zombie curse mysteriously cast upon them. They fight with the urges to eat flesh as they spend only part of the time as undead (from what I can tell thus far it seems right before they hit the stage) and when they do turn into flesh eaters they spend much of their time ripping apart Nazi Skinheads, angry moms and pissed off bible thumpers!
This series so far really reminds me of something you might have found in a punk rock fanzine back in the 1990’s, full of crude humor & gore, while hitting on several political and social issues like racism, homophobia and nut job religious groups like the Westboro Baptist Church. It follows the bands exploits while giving us brief flashbacks of how the band came to be and just how they developed into zombies. If you’re looking for a serious zombie epic you’ll most likely be a bit disappointed here, but if you’re looking for a good tongue in cheek comedy you’ll probably dig Toe Tag Riot quite a bit.
The first read really reminded me of a canadian vampire flick called “Suck” which had a pretty similar premise but not hitting on issues Toe Tag Riot delves into. If you’re familiar with that movie, the band, like in Toe Tag Riot are struggling with their popularity & end up tragically becoming Vampires. They use their unique new attributes to their advantage to hit the big time. Still I found the first two issues to be a pretty sweet little ball of mayhem and I’m curious to see where the next couple take us.
A fun read which would go down nice with a few stiff drinks, the only part of it I wasn’t particularly keen on was the odd inclusion of the main dude from ‘Fall Out Boy’ into the story-not exactly screaming punk rock to me at least, I’m actually kinda hoping that guy gets eaten by the band (nothing personal, I just think that’d be kinda cool)….. either way Check it out! A cool zombie comic that’s quite a bit different from the herd!
Yesterday was Wednesday and as usual I bought a few new funny books! Here’s what I though of ’em!