Godzilla: King of the Monsters (the new one, because names are hard) A Raiders of the Lost Flicks Review

by Adam M. Wilcox

Seeing Godzilla King of the monsters split my personality in two. Not because of the confusing name. (Godzilla originally released as ゴジラ Gojira in Japan, in 1954, and then re-edited with Raymond Burr as master of exposition for America and released as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, even though it has only one monster.) No, because the five year old me, wants to say OMG the monsters are so cool, and then Godzilla was like RAAAARRRRRR, and Monster Zero, was like BLAM!!! and then…omg it was amazing!!! BEST MOVIE EVER! Then the adult in me is like, yeah it was fun…but THINGS!

Godzilla tries Ma po tofu, Sichuan with Sriracha Sauce for the first time. Nailed it!

Those things being the script is running on some serious first draft type fumes. Literally anything to get the monsters together. The impressive cast which boasts personal favorites such as Ken Wantanabe, Sally Hawkins, Bradley Whitford, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Kyle Chandler, despite the scripts best efforts to give them something desperately to do, are there to basically shout exposition to the audience. It might have been better off to just have an announcer with a famous gravelly voice just say: “ROUND 1, LET THEM FIGHT”, but you get the idea. Good actors, bad script. Script is there only because something has to get these monsters fighting.

That moment when you show up for Season 3 of Stranger Things, and realize your on the set of a Godzilla movie. The director goes with it, and the studio just runs with it to save themselves from embarrassment.

In regards to the monsters, I think the movie does a good job respecting these creatures. When they show up, it’s a huge deal, and everyone is excited. It’s basically all star wrestling with kaiju, but this movie refers to them as titans which works, because it ties nicely back to several versions of ancient folklore which the movie goes to great lengths to explain.

Rodan VS The X-Jet. Well at least THIS movie made money. Too Soon?!

The best parts are when these creatures do show up, and the special effects ARE gorgeous, but I do feel like I could have used some more daytime fights, because Kong: Skull Island did those much better. Speaking of Skull Island, did you know we are three films into an expanded universe now? That’s right, there multiple call backs to Monarch which is the bad good guys from Skull Island, depending on how you look at an organization that seems to have deep pockets and does nothing more than build expensive facilities around monsters just waiting for them to wake up and destroy everything. And that brings me to my first minor gripe. All bs aside, where do these funds come from? I realize there is suspension of disbelief around a movie with giant monsters using Washington D.C. as a giant Octagon, but still…this much money could have paid for some artificial titans to be built, oh wait that is the plot for Pacific Rim…my bad. Nevermind.

“Come at me bro!”

The script is basically, Vera Farmiga, and Kyle Chandler lost a kid in 2014, when Godzilla beat up whats his face in the last movie. They split up. Kyle takes pictures of tigers in the wild, and Vera Farmiga works for Monarch. She basically makes fancy duck calls, that wake up ancient sleeping lizards. No way that will ever go wrong! Well, all of them get woke up at one point, and the world is turned into chaos faster than you can say congress!

Meanwhile, Washington D.C., Election Day, 2020…

That is where the fun begins! I would not classify this one as disaster porn, the world mostly becomes a giant backdrop for these monsters to square off. While I would have prefered a little less rain and snow, the monster fights were fun. A true summer popcorn flick. At no point do you ever have to think too much, but I would not classify it as insulting either.

You know it’s all fun and games until someone loses and eye. Keep an eye on your children at Disney theme parks people!!!

One thing that always drives me nuts in most monster movies, and if you have ever seen even one Asylum movie, you will get this reference. It is a trope that I have not yet named, where most of the cast carries the movie by shouting exposition to a computer monitor of some sort, so that the audience knows why the monsters are doing stuff. This movie does SOME of that, but I will give it a partial credit for at least pretending to give the cast something to do from time to time, even if it comes off as a bit weak. Also, if you liked the scale from the Gareth Edwards 2014 film, I think they played off of that nicely with this one as well.

Godzilla: “These June mosquitos are a bitch!”

I did stay for the post credit extras. While there ARE several mentions of Kong in the movie, there was no big teaser for Godzilla VS Kong. I won’t spoil the post credit scene, but I will say that if you are doing the post movie pee pee dance like I was, you can probably skip it, and not have to worry.

SPOILER: Millie Bobby Brown does not beat up Whitney Houston in this movie.

I grade everything on the cheese curd scale, so I have to remove two points, one for a really lame script, and another for having some really lackluster acting. I found it nearly impossible to really care about any of these characters or ever even feel like any of them were in any real kind of danger even when they were maybe less than a foot away from giant titans and what not. I am giving it a 3 out of 5 cheese curds. I think it is worth a look. If you liked Kong: Skull Island or you are sucker for monsters movies like I am, I think you will be entertained. However if that movie annoyed you, this probably won’t win you over either. Minor spoiler, don’t expect the gender of Godzilla to be explained. Also, Millie Bobby Brown does not beat up Whitney Houston, or get her hooked on Crack.

Check out the video review here!
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Editorial: Batman Villains I’d Like To See On The Screen

by Arnór Hermannsson Wikström

Hey! We’re all nerds here at Raiders, and nerds have opinions on Batman. Sometimes those opinions differ. That’s okay. But when it comes to the Caped Crusader I’m always right! I have hundreds of Batman figures in a glass cabinet in my living room, I have a rough meter of Batman DVDs in my shelf, I have two Batman tattoos (yeah, one of them is Heath Ledger as the Joker, but I’m still not mainstream, goddamnit!), I’m a big ol’ Batman nerd, is my point! I love Back To The Future, Star Wars and I quite like Hellboy, but Batman is my motherloving jam!

So, now that Robert Pattinson is gonna play Batman (I’m fine with that by the way, all aboard the R-Batz… I’m quite alone here at Raiders), who do I want him to kick in the teeth of?

If you’re anything like me, you love the Joker to bits, but you wouldn’t really miss him if he disappeared for a decade.

Believe me, my feelings on this are strong, and important damnit!

Here we go; the 5 villains I’d most want R-Batz to beat the shit outta:

  1. Mr Freeze
250px-Mr._Freeze_Batman_Annual_Vol_2_1

Yeah, I know. Batman & Robin sucked and Arnold Schwarzenegger was terrible as Mr Freeze. The funny thing about that is that The Arnold would’ve actually been a perfect Freeze if he’d played him as he played one of the two title characters in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Hard, quiet and unfeeling, but with a growing heart on the inside.

Mr Freeze was already an established character by the nineties, but when Bruce Timm produced the Batman; The Animated Series double episode Heart Of Ice, he was re-established as one of the most endearing villains in the entire rouges gallery. Sadly, he was mauled to death in Schumacher’s toy commercial of a movie. But hey! Bane was also in that piece of shit, and he was freaking awesome in The Dark Knight Rises!

4. The Mad Monk

Monk-DC-Comics-Batman

The monk was one of Batman’s earliest enemies, but he hasn’t been a part of the rogues gallery since the forties. Originally he was a kind of cult leader, who pretended he was a vampire. In 2006, Batman comic writing wizard Matt Wagner reinvented the Monk as an actual vampire, but he doesn’t need to be supernatural to work.

He could easily be reinvented as a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who uses the dim-minded hicks who follow hi for his own hidden agendas.

But if they keep him as a vampire, R-Batz and the monk can sparkle each other to death… Damn, Twilight jokes are so old I wish someone would slap me to death for making one.

  1. The Phantasm/The Reaper
reaper

The Phantasm is an amazing villain. Introduced in the animated movie  Batman: The Mask Of The Phantasm, the Phantasm is a mysterious and dark figure. A bringer of melodramatic death.
Yeah, I know! All us fans already know who the Phantasm is, and the secret identity thing was a big thing about the Phantasm. Well, screw you for also being a dumb nerd, you goddamn sunnova…, I’ll kick your… wait— sorry. Where was I?

The Phantasm! Yes! Outdated.

Funny thing! The Phantasm is based on the main villain in the Batman: Year Two comic book story line. In that story Gotham was haunted by a masked vigilante called The Reaper. In Year Two, The Reaper eventually turned out to be Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend’s dad, and in The Mask Of The Phantasm, Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend’s dad was actually a red herring, because it turned out that The Phantasm was actually Batman’s girlfriend and not her dad!!!!! So if you base the movie character on both those villains, you still have a nice little mystery to unfold.

  1. Clayface
Clayface_(Basil_Karlo)_-_True_New_52

Officially, there have been a whole shitload of Clayfaces, but for a movie we could join all the best parts into one, to make an ultimate Clayface.

He could be an actor who wanted to be able to mould his face, but who ultimately made his entire physical being a malleable blob. He can turn into anyone he wants, but only for a limited time, and he can only maintain an erection for a second. But he can temporarily make his outer layer hard as rocks, and therefore make himself into mallets and axes, and he can also slurp through the sewers like a high tide. Batman’s gotta get new boots to step on this piece of trash.

  1. Two-Face
twoface_thumbnail_v2

Wait… what are you saying? Two-Face has already been the villain in two movies?
I know. Both versions were terrible. As much as I love both Batman Forever and The Dark Knight, both those films did Two-Face a great disservice.

In Batman Forever he has the Joker’s personality, and he is shown being able to ignore the outcome of his coin-toss, as he is seen, at one point, flipping the coin over and over until he gets a desired result, making that part of his personality completely unnecessary, so when Batman finally throws a bunch of coins into the air to confuse him, he should just as easily be able to shake that off since he clearly doesn’t need the coin.

In The Dark Knight, the character of Harvey Dent is written and played perfectly, Aaron Eckhardt is amazing in the role. He’s also great when he finally turns to Two-Face, although he looks like his burns should’ve left him at least mute and blind (how does a man lose his entire face on one side of the head without it impairing his eyesight and speech?).
But Two-Face is dead within twenty minutes, when he’s actually a major showrunner in the comics. His similarity to Batman makes him one of the most interesting villains in the entire comic canon. There must be a Two-Face who’s a main villain like Tommy Lee Jones, and as real as Aaron Eckhardt, and who can give Batman a seriously rough time..

Do you disagree with my list?

Write an email to idontcare@whogivesashit.questionmark

The Guilty Pleasure of Bad Movies: The Star Wars Holiday Special.

by Reality’s Frank

(sigh) the things I do for you people…

You know the saying “two in the pink, one in the stink?” Well this is the one in the stink. Premiering once, and only once, in 1978, this made-for-tv special is the only thing in the Star Wars franchise worse than the new Disney sequels. And yes, that does include Rey.

The movie starts out with Han and Chewbacca fleeing from an imperial star destroyer while trying to get Chewy home for “Life Day,” the Wookie Christmas. That’s all there is to their sub-plot, trying to get Chewbacca home. After the credits, we’re treated to the first juicy slice of hell as we’re introduced to Chewy’s family: his wife, Mala; his son Lumpy; and his father Itchy (I swear I’m not making this up).

“Hang on, Chewy! They’re not making us do a variety show without a fight!

The entire scene plays out with wookie grunting serving as the only dialogue. There are no subtitles, no recognizable sign language, no hints at all about what the hell is going on. And it’s like this every time these characters are on screen. The only relief we get from this is when there are human characters interacting with them, but as the human characters are hardly less annoying, it’s small comfort.

Disney+ series pending…

What follows is a series of short skits throughout the feature (because I’m not going to dignify this by calling it a movie,) making this a kind of variety show that was rather popular during the 70’s, but the only guest stars apart from the core cast of Star Wars are Art Carney, Bea Arthur, and Harvey Corman. Prepare for horrors…

After a weird, spacey kind of Cirque du Soleil, Mala calls Luke Skywalker and R2-D2, apparently hoping for news about why Chewy is late for Life Day. Mark Hamil, heavily covered with makeup to hide the signs of his recent car accident, bravely tries to carry this conversation alone, and after being worried for a total of 8 seconds, he’ suddenly convinced that everything is fine, although this might have been a ploy to get off the phone so he could finish fixing his X-wing engine. And with that, he’s out until the end.

“Wait! I’m only getting paid HOW much for this?!”

We’re then blitzed straight into the next skit and the first appearance of Art Carney (but sadly not the last). Art plays a trader named Saun Dan, who seems to be an old friend of Chewy’s family, and he bumbles through a scene with a transparently evil imperial officer. And when I say transparently evil, I mean he speaks with a low, sinister voice, and scoffs and scorns everything in sight. The only thing missing from the picture would be if he came into the shop casually eating a baby and singing Celine Dion. It would seem the empire is recruiting former members of Slytherin House. This goes into a very brief cameo by Darth Vader, and then a commercial break.

All citizens are warned to be on the lookout for this man! He will come to your house with presents and never leave! He is considered annoying and extremely dangerous!

The commercials are by far some of the most entertaining parts of the show, because, thankfully, whoever it was that recorded this back in the day neglected to edit them out.

And now, a cooking show. Yes, that’s right, a cooking show. Mala is only NOW starting to prepare the Life Day feast, and so she tunes into a program starring (sigh) Harvey Corman, in drag, and painted silver. This scene sets the tone for all of Harvey’s appearances: long and painful. Just imagine if Rachel Ray was crossed with Julia Child and given two extra arms.

“I took a break from the Carol Burnette show for this?”

Another bit with Han and Chewie, then right back to the crap. An imperial officer sends out a broadcast announcing that the Wookie planet “Kazook,” (not “Kashyyyk” as it’s always been known) is under martial law while they investigate reports of rebel activity in the system. I wasn’t aware the empire had the man-power to police an entire planet, but oh well…

Following this ominous announcement comes an even more ominous development: Art Carney shows up at the wookie’s house bearing “Life Day presents,” the irony of which was not lost on me as Art once played Santa Claus in “The Night They Saved Christmas.” Lumpy is given a wrapped present and he (thankfully) goes to his room. Unfortunately, this leads into the first, and longest, musical interlude. Art gives Itchy a “proton pack” for a machine called the “mind evaporator,” that, despite its name, is NOT a torture device, but some kind of entertainment system that projects images directly into the brain. This would be pretty cool, except the cartridge is basically soft core porn, as the woman it features is based on his ideal sexual desire (why a wookie has a hard-on for humans, we never find out) and we can only assume that Itchy is sporting a boner in the living room.

“Make sure that this time you wipe it down after, ok?”

After this nightmare, we’re treated (or perhaps subjected) to another cameo from the core cast, this time from Princess Leia and C-3PO. This is almost a replay of the Luke Skywalker scene as Mala is looking for info on Chewbacca. The only slight change is that now Art butts into the conversation, and after the same momentary concern, Leia abruptly becomes convinced that everything is probably fine and signs off.

“3PO, call my agent. He is SO fired…”

Suddenly, a ship flies overhead, and the family is sure this is the sound of Chewbacca’s arrival. Lumpy excitedly runs to the door to be met by some storm troopers and another imperial officer, going door-to-door looking for rebels. Once again, the imperials are so transparently evil that it occurred to me that the Nazis in “Schindler’s List” were more subtle.
This goes right into the second musical number featuring the Jefferson Starship (get it? because it’s Star Wars and they ride around in star ships?). It was at this point that I began to wish I was watching “Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer.” Sure it may be goody-goody crap made for little girls in the 80’s, but at least it told a coherent story and maintained a consistent tone.

Art Carney leaves (finally) and we then get what is easily the coolest part of the whole show: the cartoon. I won’t go into it much here, but it’s done as if it’s a common, Saturday morning cartoon in this universe, strangely starring the rebel forces and Chebacca himself. How many kids get to watch cartoons starring their fathers? Then Lumpy is sent upstairs to clean his room, but instead, he starts playing with his present: a mini transmitter that includes an instructional video starring… (sigh) Harvey Corman as a robotic life form that is constantly running down and trying to fix himself. Maybe it looked funnier on paper…

Han’s embarrassing “Wolverine” phase

After this, another imperial broadcast announces that everyone has to watch the following reality program, for…reasons…

It seems that Bea Arthur replaced the guy working the bar in the Mos Eisley cantina, and she has to deal with her new stalker, played once again by Harvey Corman. This whole scene is totally pointless and uncomfortable. Somehow, the producers must have thought it would be cool or perhaps funny for Harvey Corman’s character to ingests everything through a hole in the top of his head. The empire imposes a curfew on the entire planet (again, how?) and Bea Arthur has to sing a song to convince all the violent, drunken space bums to leave. This song is, at least, kind of catchy, as it’s set to a slower, jazzy rendition of the cantina tune from the first Star Wars movie, you know the one. Also, you can play a drinking game with every time she says “friend.”

You ever wonder if he uses his head anus thingy to get freaky?

Yes, this was required viewing by the empire.

When the new guy makes the mistake of playing “Piano Man” on the juke box

Back in the “main plot,” the imperial soldiers are called back to base, but they leave one trooper behind to wait for Chewy. The trooper discovers the return orders were made by Lumpy and his transmitter, so he chases him through the house and outside, where Chewbacca and Han appear to dispatch the trooper with a glorious Wilhelm scream. Hugs and kisses all around, then Han leaves to hide the Millenium Falcon before someone finds he’s double-parked and gives him a ticket.

Art Carney comes back for one last scene, because his agent obviously insisted he get a certain amount of screen time. He bullshits the imperial officer who sent out a general summons for the dead trooper, the FINALLY leaves once and for all.

And with this, everything grinds to a halt as Chewy and Mala gaze into each other’s eyes and begin the incomprehensible rites of celebrating Life Day. This could best be described as that moment on Christmas afternoon where everyone is done thanking each other for the presents, dinner has been served, and now it’s quiet and no one really knows what to do next. You’d think the show was finally over, but no. There’s still more pain to endure.

The wookies dim the lights, hold up their glowing glass balls, put on red snuggies, and all line up to walk into a giant glowing special effect in front of the blue screen (no green screens in the 70’s). Now at last comes the grand finale, and it’s stupid. For some reason, all the wookies are now in some kind of cave and inexplicably, R2 and 3PO are there to greet them. How? Why? Huh? Then Luke, Leia, and Han run in to remind the audience that yes, this is indeed a Star Wars story. And then Leia sings. And it sucks. And it goes on WAY too long. And the tune she’s singing to is set over the Star Wars main theme, and they do not match at all.

The collective “I hope the paycheck clears” look

And that’s it. Except for a montage of random scenes from the REAL movie, there’s a couple more commercials, including one for the first line of Star Wars figures and toys, and then it ends with Chewy and his family sitting around the table. The end.

As you can imagine, this never officially went to video, and the only copies of it you can find are rough, blurry bootlegs made from the original broadcast. You can find it on youtube, or you can maybe download it from a torrent site. I recommend seeing it at least once, especially with the rifftrax, because it IS interesting, it’s certainly unique, and with enough alcohol, it could even be funny. The alternative is “Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer” because it’s…wait a minute…I used that as a positive example earlier…damn…

Blackenstein (1973), directed by William A. Levey, reviewed by Dionisio “Don” Traverso Jr.

Jeez, I have no luck with Frankenstein monster movies.

First off, a nitpick: The version of this movie I’d watched gave the title as Blackenstein, The Black Frankenstein. Except Frankenstein wasn’t the monster, and the doctor in this flick isn’t black, though his name is Doctor Stein. I get that the producer was trying to capitalize on the success of Blacula, which was released the year before, but the title is still wrong.

The movie opens on a shot of what supposed to be a laboratory. I say “supposed to be” because it looks more like a soundstage with tables and lots of various types of Jacob’s ladders all sparking and arcing off as Doctor Stein, played by John Hart, also known as the guy who replaced Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger on TV for one season, pulls switches and pushes buttons while breakers of colored liquid bubble and steam with dry ice.


Doctor Stein=>not black (see title)

Suddenly in another movie, a plane lands at the airport in Los Angeles as Cardella Di Milo, who appears later in the film as herself, a blues singer, at a nightclub, belts out a song about being unable to find love. Off the plane comes Doctor Winifred Walker, played by Ivory Stone. She rents a car and heads off to Doctor Stein’s house, where she’s greeted by Stein’s sinister deep-voiced assistant Malcomb, played by Roosevelt Jackson. When she’s taken to Doctor Stein, we get the most awkward expository dialogue ever.


Stein: Well well well!

Walker: Doctor Stein! It’s so good to see you again!
Stein: My goodness, you look wonderful. How long has it been?
Walker: Oh, I guess about…three years. Yes, because I’ve had my PhD in physics now for two years. I’ve never forgotten the year and a half I spent studying under you.
Stein: Malcomb, Doctor Walker’s a former pupil of mine.

Mmmm…Malcomb would like Winifred to study under him….

So Walker wants Stein’s help with her fiance, who’s just returned from Vietnam after stepping on a landmine and getting wounded. By wounded, I mean getting his arms and legs blown off. Think about that a second. He was walking, stepped on a landmine which goes off, and only loses his arms and legs. No other damage to his body. Right. That’s possible, I suppose.

Which brings us to Eddie, the fiance, played by Joe DeSue.

Not even a facial scar???

He’s in the VA hospital spending his days being a human burrito while being tormented by an orderly, played with gusto by Bob Brophy, who’s jealous that Eddie got to go to Vietnam to get his limbs blown off while he got 4F’ed while enlisting.


“That should be me lying in a hospital bed as an armless, legless human burrito!”
(*Not actual dialogue, but better.)

When Eddie asks this guy for ice cream, he goes off on him about his jealousy and starts to torture him. Eddie’s reaction to all this?

Bob Brophy as the orderly only gets this one scene to shine, and he runs with it. He shows more skill and emotion here than any of the principal actors. You see sorrow, regret, rage, disappointment. Sure, his dialogue (really monologue, since Eddie doesn’t say much here) is awkward and too full of exposition, but he gave it his all.

Joe DeSue, however, has two expressions.


This one…

…and this one.

Luckily the orderly’s bedside manner is interrupted by Winifred and Doctor Stein (who doesn’t have a first name, but wouldn’t it have been great if his name was Frank N.?), who tell him the good news: he’s to be taken to Stein’s castle to receive DNA treatments to help his condition. The good doctor has been treating others at his house, like a 90-year-old woman who now looks like she’s 50, and a man whose lower legs have been reattached using “laser beam fusion” and a DNA solution created by Doctor Stein. He did, after all, win the Nobel Prize for “solving the DNA genetic code.”


“Stop staring at me so blandly, Eddie. You know how that turns me on.”

Of course, there are complications. One of the aforementioned reattached legs is striped, caused by, according to Doctor No-First-Name Stein, an “unsolved RNA injection.” Honestly, his explanation made little sense and made the good doctor look like his didn’t know what RNA and DNA were. But this “unsolved RNA injection” becomes the impetus of the film, as Malcomb, having had his romantic gestures rejected by Winifred, taints Eddie’s DNA injections with the problematic RNA, causing Eddie to regress into….

I have to stop here to ask a few questions. First, Winifred Walker is a physicist, and Stein is presumably some sort of geneticist. She studied under him how? In what field? How does a physicist know how and where to give an injection? Also, the man with the striped leg had them both reattached by a combination of “DNA” and “laser beam fusion.” Eddie had no limbs to reattach. They were blown off in Vietnam. So whose limbs are being attached to him? And how is Malcomb able to taint the DNA solution with the RNA? Stein called it an “unsolved RNA injection” and babbles about “sort of part of the primeval theory,” which lays the foundation, albeit nonsensically, for what happens to Eddie later, but implies that he doesn’t know what’s causing it besides something with the RNA. How is Malcomb able to isolate what the “unsolved RNA” problem is and use it to taint Eddie’s DNA solution? Why does Stein have an RNA solution to begin with, if he’s having such success with the DNA solution? Also, why does this movie have so many audio flashbacks with Stein repeating phrases over and over? They’re supposed to sound like echoes, but more sound like John Hart has echolalia.

“Primeval theory….Primeval theory….Primeval theory….”

“Throwback….Throwback….Throwback….”

”Jungle….Jungle….Jungle….”


Annoying….Annoying….Annoying….

Also, you would figure from the RNA “explanation” that Eddie would turn into some kind of cave man, like William Hurt did in Altered States. Instead he turns into this:

Now I have to commend Doctor Stein’s DNA formula. Even though tainted by an “unsolved RNA injection,” it not only changed the shape of Eddie’s head, it grew him more hair and a black turtleneck sweater and suit coat to match!

During the day, Eddie lies near catatonic as Stein and Walker try to figure out what’s happening to him. At night, the sweater and suit ensemble comes on and Eddie sneaks out on the town, killing and cannibalizing his former orderly first, then going after has-been strip tease artist and future John Waters actress Liz Renay and her boyfriend. While doing this, you occasionally hear Eddie grunt monstrously, like a Frankenstein monster would, except his mouth isn’t moving, and neither is Joe DeSue’s facial expressions.

“Expressions bad!”

Of course it all descends into chaos, murder and madness, in the dullest way possible, leading to what has to be the longest and least exciting chase scene I’ve ever witnessed, as Eddie stalks a woman through an empty industrial warehouse. Believe me when I say you feel every inch of that warehouse during this scene, and will rejoice when it ends anticlimactically, if only because it’s also the end of the movie.

Much like Doctor Stein isn’t black and “Blackenstein,” neither is this film “blacksploitation” like its predecessor Blacula. That film and its sequel had plots that were grounded in black culture. Blackenstein never references black culture at all, except in the occasional blues song by Cardella Di Milo in the soundtrack and a scene in a blues club, also featuring Di Milo singing. The main characters have no racial identities whatsoever, even Doctor Stein and Eddie, outside of physical appearance. Even the orderly in the VA hospital abuses Eddie not because he’s black, but out of jealousy.

The direction by William A. Levey is on the low side of competent, with many scenes shot in very low light. Eddie’s cannibalistic nocturnal excursions are sometimes difficult to discern, but at least everything is in focus, unlike Frankensteins Bloody Nightmare. The acting is subpar, with John Hart, Roosevelt Jackson, and Ivory Stone slightly elevating into mediocrity, while Joe De Sue scrapes the bottom of the acting barrel. Blackenstein never goes beyond bad into exquisitely bad, which could’ve made it more fun to watch.


At least you see a couple of breasts….

½ cheese curd out of 5. For the curious only.

The Guilty Pleasure of Bad Movies

by Reality’s Frank

There’s a guilty pleasure in watching bad movies. Think of the campiest, corniest, crappiest movie you ever saw. It was pretty bad, wasn’t it? And yet you might just sit down to watch it again some day, wouldn’t you? Sure you would. How else do you think the Toxic Avenger series got to be so popular?


I myself have a pretty fair assortment of bad movies: Captain America, The Guyver, Toxic Avenger (of course), at one time, I even owned a VERY bad live action Dragon Ball movie. Trust me, it sucked.


And what is it about these cinematic abominations that people find so entertaining? Beats me. But I do have one theory. As there can be no good without evil, there can also be no masterpieces without bombs.


Why just the other night, I sat down and watched the unreleased Fantastic Four movie. Wow. That’s all I can say, because if I think about it any more, my head might explode from how bad it was. And what about all the new movies that are so full of suck that you wish you paid more to see it so you wouldn’t feel like such an ass asking for your eight bucks back? Does Cloverfield ring any bells? Blair Witch? Sure.

Then on the other side of the coin are the really good movies that got no recognition and were passed off as crappy. I would direct your attention to exhibit…oh I dunno…I guess: Mystery Men, for one. And then of course there’s the shitty movies that a lot of people liked, and you have no idea why, movies like Charlie’s Angels, Blades of Glory, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

So I ask you now to share the last really, REALLY bad movie you saw and, be honest, how much you actually liked it. It’s okay, there’s no one else here but you and me. The lights are off, here’s the pop corn, I’ll put in Laser Hawk. What’s that? Yes it’s a Mark Hamil movie. It’s terrible, so I think you’ll like it. Press play.

Avengers Endgame: A Raiders of the Lost Flicks Review

avengers-endgame

by Adam M. Wilcox

I don’t usually do spoilers, and I think I can pull this off without spoilers. Why do people try aggressively to spoil this movie? I am not sure that it is intentional. This is a movie that is meant to be a shared experience. The culmination of 11 years, and 22 films worth of set up. It is about resolutions, and the water cooler talk of the moment is either Game of Thrones, or Avengers Endgame. To discuss said resolutions would in fact spoil things. At this point at least 3 billion dollars worth of people have seen it, but I refuse to break tradition. A good review CAN be presented without spoilers. To cover virtually any details of the movie’s three-hour run time would in fact spoil the hell out of this movie, so unfortunately this review will have to be shorter than normal.

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The moment we have been waiting for. 11 years, and 22 films, and it did not disappoint.

Avenger’s Endgame picks up 23 days after Avengers Infinity War, where Thanos achieved his goal of getting all of the Infinity Stones, and snapping away half of the population in the universe.  A large chunk of this is dedicated to the ones who were NOT snapped out of existence dealing with the aftermath. Character developement has always been a strong point of most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Most comic book movies, are only as strong as your villain, but somehow the MCU managed to break that curse, but making these super heroes both relatable and believable.  By design it has been a fun journey to grow and advance with these characters in their respective movies throughout the last decade.  The biggest star of THIS movie is probably Nebula played by Karen Gillan, who was first introduced to us as a villain from Guardians of the Galaxy. We have gradually spent time throughout these movies developing this character, but this time she gets more screen time than before. Of course Rocket Racoon voiced by Bradley Cooper, is still the scene stealer and of all the characters in this universe he bounces off everyone’s lines flawlessly.

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Other than Robert Downey Jr., Rocket and Nebula are the stars of this movie.

I am thankful to say that I rarely felt this movie’s three-hour runtime. It was never boring. I would be lying if I said I was not genuinely entertained. There was a great deal of humor in this movie. Surprisingly not as dour and depressing as the last movie. There were still a couple of minor gripes I would have to address, because while they were not enough to ruin the movie, they were enough for me to remove a couple of points from having a perfect score. One of them involves a character that kind of shows up, and then disappears. There are actually a few scenes where characters show up and disappear that may or may not have been the result of simply having a movie with this many characters that continuity becomes a villain itself.  My other gripe, is that there are some not so subtle moments in the movie that tease some possible future instalments of this franchise, that may not sit well with all fans. There is a glaringly forced scene involving multiple female characters that looks cool, but doesn’t make much sense within the scene itself, if for nothing else than to virtue signal that there are women in the MCU, as if anyone actually needed to be reminded. The scene really sends me mixed messages, but still not enough to ruin the experience for me.

As far as the resolutions that I refuse to speak of? I would say that most fans will be satisfied with how the story wraps. The same way that most of us felt when we first saw Return of the Jedi. Had that been the last Star Wars film, we would have been completely satisfied. I feel the same about this movie. I am completely satisfied with the ending. I may even buy a copy of this one at some point. I would recommend seeing it. I am giving this one a 3 out of 5 cheese curds. I will be posting a spoiler review on my YouTube channel on Monday: 5/6/19.

Hellboy (2019) A Raiders of the Lost Flicks Review

by Adam M. Wilcox

When I say wasted opportunities I can think of a lot of things, like NWA, never getting back together before Easy E died. The Beatles not getting back together before John Lennon died. When it comes to the latest reboot of Hellboy, watching David Harbour in the title role, is a bit like going to a Motley Crue concert with John Corabi as the lead singer. Sure, he can get the job done perfectly fine, but nobody cares.

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The poster looks better than the movie. Trust me. 

I was one of those angry folks who were shouting to heavens when Guillermo del Toro’s third movie was dumped for this one. Since I found that the other Hellboy movies were a lot of fun, and that the second trailer actually looked pretty good, I decided to give this a fair shake anyway. I left all of my reservations at the front door. I have to say though, that it IS impossible to not make comparisons. For one, David Harbor’s Hellboy looks like HB has been dancing with Mr. Brownstone on the 6th day, of a 7 day binge. Perlman had the right face that fit the look. David Harbour just looks like he’s really uncomfortable under a ton of makeup and latex. Again, this is a reboot here, for a movie that is not really all that old. It is imposible not to have these expectations. Also, unlike the first one, there is almost no urgency in trying to hide HB from the world. He just kind of walks around on the crime scene, and nobody seems to give less of a fuck? You know who else probably gives less of a fuck? Oscar Winner Gillermo del Toro! Because instead of working on Hellboy 3, he went and made Shape of Water, oscar winner for best picture of 2017. Suck on that Lionsgate!

I have to admit that the first Hellboy trailer was really rough. I was not convinced at all. The second trailer, is what got me to go buy a ticket today and sit through this. Sadly though, all of the best bits were in fact in that trailer, and some of those scenes are about as long as they are in the trailer too. The rest of the budget was spent on those dope movie posters, because it sure wasn’t spent on this script ooo boy…I mean Hellboy. This is an exposition nightmare.

 

To make this review make more sense, I have to take you back to a time about 15 years ago, when comic book movies were not the norm. Movies had to be sold as movies first. Comics were just a rough outline. Most importantly, you never had to read the comics to understand what was going on in the movie. The original Hellboy had a simple story. Crazy, but simple. The rest of the movie was spent on trying to sell the audience into this strange world that fights monsters with more monsters. Also, it had to make you appreciate the characters, so that when shit happens, you actually care about your characters.  This movie could have done that, but the script was so bad, that literally everyone in this movie has to take a back seat to it. I suppose it depends too much on those who have read the Mike Mignola comic books, but nobody reads comic books, and don’t give me any crap about needing to read the comics before I watch this movie. I live in a world where I just watched Hellboy, in a same theater that is showing Captain Marvel, and Shazam, less than two weeks before Avenger’s End Game comes out. I guarantee that every time a bell rings, a comic book store has closed down in your community so nobody else is reading these things either. Get off my lawn with that trash!

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Remember the cool fish guy, and the lady that could make fire in the last movie? Too bad, one of these two pukes ghosts, and the other turns into a kitty. Welcome to dollar general sidekicks version of Hellboy 2019, boring AF! 

The opening sets the tone for the entire movie. Exposition dumb, action, exposition dump, action, over and over to the point where it gets so monotonous that you want to smash your face into your popcorn to make the pain stop. It’s that bad. This happens, and then we go here. This happened, and then we go there. This will happen in London, because TAX BREAKS!!! Seriously. Every character we ever meet in this movie has a convoluted back story to the point to where you almost want to get up and say “WHO FREAKING CARES?!!!”, because the ALL of the characters in this movie except for maybe Professor Broom, and HB are totally forgettable. I don’t even remember the names of them as I am typing this. I could go to IMDB and look, but I would be cheating myself and this review at the same time.   And the worst part about that is that there are moments of greatness here. For example, Ian McShae, and David Harbour have a really good chemistry that I would have liked to have seen explored, but it got in the way of the obnoxious flash backs and exposition dumps. It made me sad, and gave me a headache.

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One of my favorite parts was the chemistry between these two.  Every time you want it to go just a little longer, the movie has to take you to another needless exposition dump. 

The special effects looked pretty good. There were some decent fights between HB and some large monsters, but it would have been nice to have tried to set up these characters better before jumping into the fight. Or maybe tone down that awful script by a few thousand paragraphs or so.

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This scene is cool as Hell. Seen it in the trailer? That’s as long as you will see it in the movie. Staring at this picture is probably longer than this scene lasts. 

One of the things I was excited about was the appearance of Milla Jovavich, and sadly she is one of the worst villains I have ever seen. Literally every sentence that comes out of her mouth feels like you cut and pasted dialogue from every mustache twirling fucktard villain in every single super hero comic book nonsense movie you have ever seen. Seriously, when you see this, make a drinking game, and take a shot every time Milla says something that you have heard in any other movie.

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You and I were meant to be together. You and I are not so different. I will bring darkness upon the world. I will literally use every mustache twirling cliché you have ever heard in every movie ever made. Oh Milla, what has Hollywood done to you? 

And the biggest punch in the balls this movie has, would be the ending. The original Hellboy movie had a fake out ending, where you think it’s all over, and then the shit really hits the fan. This movie does quite the opposite. The movie just kind of ends, and then they are doing something else that doesn’t really have anything else to do with the movie at all. Who ever assembled the footage of this movie was either drunk, or was just as lost as I was over this awful script. Of course that doesn’t stop them from trying to eek out two post credit scenes. Yep…setting up future instalments, and I don’t care. I am giving this one 2 out of 5 cheese curds. Probably won’t ever watch this ever again. I am not saying this is the worst movie ever, but it would be better if you just waited for a rental on this one. Seeing what I have seen today, I would have been better off seeing the third and final installment of the Hellboy franchise, but I feel this movie has killed both a chance for a sequel to THIS crap, AND del Toro’s sequel as well. Thanks Lionsgate! Why did you have to go and do my boys dirty like that? Why?

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Hellboy 2019: exposition dump AF!

The Dirt: A Raiders of the Lost Flicks Review

by Adam M. Wilcox

One thing for certain for anyone who has ever spent any certain length of time in bands, is that bands suck. The guitar player is an alcoholic and can’t stand up long enough to practice, but when he’s sober he can play a melody that would open the Heavens, or the gates of Hell…pick one. The singer is pretty cool, but you are pretty sure he has his eye on your woman. The bass player just wants everybody to get along and play a few decent gigs before his back gives out. Oh, and all of them have stories of when they were better… Yeah I was in a band like that, until I wasn’t. I know this routine. Somebody in the band is always an asshole,  and the thing about assholes is everybody has one, or maybe ALL of them are assholes? Most of them come and go, or they just kind of gradually fall out of touch, and temporarily bleed into other bands. Very few go the distance, and live to tell stories about it. For the four assholes that formed Motley Crue, they didn’t just go the distance, they did laps around the solar system, lived on their own terms, and lived long enough to tell stories about it.

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I grew up around the middle of Motley Crue’s career. Doctor Feelgood was the album I had. Everyone I knew had a copy. For those first few years of high school, Hair Metal WAS the pop scene unless you listened to R&B or hip hop. It was all about the excess. Stories of hotel parties, cocaine filled limo rides, groupies, fast cars, and women. Most of these guys slept on a pile of money, and snorted the rest. It would seem forever until three assholes from Seattle put an end to that almost overnight, and most people were about as eager to burn those Motley Crue records, as fast as the night that disco died.

For those years of the late 80s and early 90s, we had metal magazines, and swapped exaggerated stories of excess, and wild parties.  This Netflix biopic nails THAT aspect of the hard rock scene that most of us pondered over. What surprises me about this movie is exactly how funny it really is…until it isn’t.

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Ok but like seriously, do these pants make my butt look big?

“What surprises me about this movie is exactly how funny it really is…until it isn’t.”

The Dirt is set up on a four-way narration style level of Nikki Six (Douglass Booth), Vince Neil (Daniel Webber),  Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon), and Tommy Lee (Colson Baker AKA Machine Gun Kelly) all telling different parts of the story from different perspectives.  Director Jeff Tramaine does a nice job of showing these actors together with chemistry.  I would say this movie kind of reminds me of The Wolf of Wall Street, where the director spares no details when showing exactly how far down the rabbit hole of  Sodom and Gomorrah these four assholes are willing to go, and it works so well!  It is hard to pinpoint the EXACT comic relief, but I would have to give it to Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars, who is the oldest member of the band, and has simply no time for shenanigans, he just wants to be in a band that is going to be the most successful. Most of the time he just comes off as the grumpy bear of the band who scoffs occasionally when the Crue takes turns pissing in the swimming pool. Literally pissing….in the pool, and I refuse to spoil some of the cameos here, so I will just leave you with that mental image. Mick Mars is my spirit animal in this band. Old, and cynical as Fuck. Really though, all of these guys get a chance to shine, but I think the strongest performances were from Baker and Kelly.

It is really damn hard not to laugh at these guys running naked down the hallways of motels and setting each other’s rooms on fire just for the sake of being goofs.  This is where the movie hits the strongest. The rest of the movie is your typical by the numbers rags to riches biopic, about how another band went from zeroes to heroes over a span of just a few albums.

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The cast of this movie has good chemistry together. After you watch this movie, you will never look at this picture or any table cloth the same way ever again, I promise.

The movie kind of takes a much darker tone by that third act, when all of the excess catches up with the Crue, and life becomes reality. Drugs, jail, and domestic disputes end those parties quick. The film gets somewhat confusing about midway through the third act, when things kind happen, and then don’t really happen. I can’t do THAT much fact checking….like I said, we had magazines and MTV back in the day, all we really knew, is what we heard in interviews, and read in the damn metal mags. Pretty sanitary stuff. I was surprised that the band was actually sober when they did Dr. Feelgood. That was the album I had. I had assumed that was when they were all at their worse. See how much I know? I mean at one point, these bands were kind of started to sound alike, but at least Motley Crue was one of the faster bands, and definitely too raw for the mainstream. I am sure the movie took some liberties, but after all this is a biopic about one of America’s wildest bands, and biopics are the flavor of the month at the moment. Although unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, you MIGHT not want to watch this one with your parents. Not even minutes into this movie, a girl is ejaculating on the carpet at a party. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it fits in with this band’s roller coaster lifestyle.

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Biopics are the hot new flavor at the moment. No complains from me.

I cannot complain. I found it really damn hard not to enjoy this film for what it is. A biopic about a Crue that partied hard, rocked hard, lived excess, and overcame pretty much every shitty thing that came their way. What I respect about this movie, is that even after all these jerks did to each other, and everyone else, the movie still finds time to drop a message about being friends and staying together. It leaves you with just the right amounts of warm and fuzzy to make you stay for the damn credits where they show the faces of the actors next to the actual Crue. Unfortunately I am old enough to remember the actual Crue. This movie made me go dust off my Motley Crue records…oh what you thought I burned them?  5 out of 5 cheese curds. Go check this one out on Netflix!

See The Dirt video review here!

Wizards, A Raiders of the Lost Flicks Review

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by Clark Breslin
In 1977, a film was released that would alter my universe irrevocably. Sorry to disappoint, but it is not the one of which you are thinking, the one involving George Lucas. In the furor that followed the release of that film, another, lesser-known movie was released to be overshadowed by the special effects extravaganza.
Ralph Bakshi, a pioneer in the field of animation, wanted to do a fairy tale, but one with American attitude and sensibilities. His project, ‘Wizards’, is a classic story of good versus evil and brother against brother. As the opening tells us, it is, “An illuminating history bearing on the everlasting struggle for world supremacy fought between the powers of technology and magic.”
I saw it in the AAFES theatre in Landstuhl, Germany in 1978. My mind was blown.
Before I proceed, I want to thank Mr. Ralph Bakshi and his collaborators in this and other films. Mr. Bakshi, you introduced to me a new realm of what could be done with fantasy, with animation, and with film. Over the course of the next 80 minutes, I experienced thousands of years of a new world, with amazing characters, incredible art, and a whole lot of laughs. My universe was widened, and though I was ill-prepared, I embraced that widening and have loved fantasy ever since.
Mike Ploog’s whimsical artwork supports a narration that gives us the setting, and it returns at points in the film. It is both evocative and captivating. Plus, using it saved a fortune on the budget – less to animate. Ian Miller’s rough sketches are used as compelling backgrounds; the images are astounding.

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You shall not…oh suck it you ugly jerks!

The premise is fairly simple: Nuclear holocaust begets a world of magic and radioactive wastes. Elves and fairies are reborn into our altered world, joining the mutated survivors of the war. Technology is eschewed by the fey as evil, and magic embraced. “The only true technology is magic,” says a wise elf.
Into this world are born the twin sons of the faerie queen. Good and evil, fey and mutant, they are the wizards of the title. Their conflict sets the stage for the movie: technological wonder weapon vs. magic. In the interest of preserving the details, I will leave the rest for you to discover.
Ralph Bakshi was a pioneer in the use of rotoscoping, that is, animating over film of live actors and animals. In ‘Wizards’, he used this technique extensively. I recognized several films, including ‘Zulu’, ‘El Cid’, and ‘Battle of the Bulge’. Additionally, archival footage from the second world war is employed as well. The image of mutants flying Messerschmitt Me-109s and Junkers Ju-87 Stukas has never left me.
From a technical standpoint, it is not a great film. Much of it consists of illustrations with narration. The animation is fair, aided by liberal use of rotoscoping. I thought I had imagined it as a child, but throughout the movie, one can see the shadow of the camera in the centre of the shot. As an adult, I wonder if this was a mistake, or if it was intentional on Bakshi’s part. If you watch the film, you will learn why.
Compared to other animation of the day (Disney’s The Rescuers, Rankin/Bass’ The Hobbit, and Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown all came out that year), Wizards looks clunky. The use of illustrations in many places, rather than animation, might detract from the viewing pleasure for some.
Those other movies might have more animation, possibly better animation, but none are trying to squeeze into 80 minutes, the sheer magnitude of the world being created. None has the pop-culture references, either. Look for the CBS and Coca-Cola logos in the background.

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Neither Tim Burton, nor Peter Jackson have anything on THIS artwork!

To this day, I love Wizards. It is my favourite Bakshi movie. It remains my favourite fantasy movie (and post-apocalyptic movie), even in this age of Peter Jackson and the 24 hours of Tolkien that are his films. Lavish, spectacular, perhaps, but they lack the rough charm of Wizards, to say nothing of scantily clad faerie maidens, resurrected mutant assassins, and our antagonist, Blackwolf, with the partially exposed skeletal structure (words cannot do justice to the sheer, unrelenting neato-ness!).
For years, I thought I had imagined it all. We moved back to the States, and no one, not one person I spoke with, had ever heard of this film. Then, it appeared on the midnight movie circuit (Thank you, Louisiana 1-2-3!), and I managed to pirate a copy off of HBO, the one time they deigned to show it. I kept that video for two decades, watching it sober and, shall we say, psychedelically enhanced, until the DVD came along.
Wizards is unadulterated brilliance, a brilliant gem lost in the dust of the monster Lucas created, and, speaking for myself, it is epitome of a Lost Flick.

The Sword and the Sorcerer: A Lost Movie Review

by Adam M. Wilcox

Know ye of days long past, when the writer was young, and the tales of swords and wenches was weaved from the truly lost flick of the mists of Legendry.  I remember seeing this joint on HBO back in the 80s. I am revealing a dark secret that I was once a fan of movies such as this. Conan The Barbarian, Excalibur, Beastmaster, and of course this one. I remember the three things that always made me remember this one was the ridiculous sword that fired three blades, though having seen this movie a thousand times, I have yet to figure out how it works. Where is the damn trigger? What makes it work? Gun Powder? Springs? Mists of legendry? There is the 80’s practical effects make up for this movie that makes it border on a midnight horror movie. I mean the Xusia the Sorcerer looks a bit like Freddy Krueger, and E.T. had a love child that nobody ever heard of. And of course, the name of our title character Talon! Such a cool name.

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Let’s talk about our hero first before we get into the meat and potatoes of this movie. Talon, is a hero, who has a tragic back story set up, only to reveal that several years later, he becomes a scoundrel that pretty much lives by his own rules. We only view him as a hero because he has his own awesome theme music that plays whenever he enters a room. I can only imagine what it would be like to have my own theme music that plays whenever I enter a room, but all I hear is the Benny Hill theme for some reason. Anyways we hear this theme music play when he enters a room in slow motion while chewing on a leg of beef as he watches and attempted rape in progress. Ladies and gentleman, your hero! Yes the 80s were fucked up. Thar be dangerous plotlines that might not fit into politically correct waters going forward so proceed at ye own risk lads and lassies.

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Richard Bull from Night Court Moll’s first and final performance as Xusia The Sorcerer in the movie about a sorcerer.

The movie opens up with Cromwell and his army rowing ashore at the entrance of a cave at the end of the world among mists of Legendre. Look, before we go any further, I had this movie only on a shitty tape I copied from HBO once, and then later on a DVD that almost never played. At the time of this review, the only copy I could find, was a Rifftrax version on Amazon prime, and they used that “mysts of legendry” bit so much that it has become part of my daily vernacular, so please deal with it! Titus Cromwell is our bad guy played by the forever ugly Richard Lynch, who was the Dollar General version of Christopher Walken in the 80s. He’s a pretty slimy bastard, with a pointy nose that could cut through the mists of….GOD DAMMIT… Anyways…

We cut to the entrance of a cave, where our not so Grace Jones looking sea witch yells mumbo jumbo bippitty boppitty boo over a crypt decorated with a lot of gooey faces. Xusia who is played by Bull from Night Court comes to life, and pulls his “who woke me up on the Sunday after Superbowl bit”. As Witch Hazel tries to start sexy time by licking the buffalo sauce off of Xusia’s fingers. Cromwell basically promises Xusia a free pony, and tickets to Blue Man Group if he helps Cromwell defeat his goody two shoes opponent and become king of…Adennnnn…..something? er…not Detroit. Of course to prove that Xusia can do anything other than card tricks, he Force throws the Witch Jones against the wall, and pulls her heart out of her chest without moving a single step. This gag was really big in The Temple of Doom!

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Back in the 1980s this was the pointy nose prick you hired when you couldn’t afford a proper Christopher Walken. Spinal Tap behind him is not important at all. Pay no attention to that man!

Anyways in a not so shocking turn of events, Dollar General Walken pulls the old double cross on Xusia and stabs him in the chest, and leaves him for dead. We cut to young Talon getting his sword, watching both of his parents get slaughtered by Cromwell and his band of blue meanies, and not doing much of anything about it except showing us that the sword fires a blade and shoots it at one of the guards before riding off on a horse with a couple of his digits nailed to a tree.

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Pretty sure the props department didn’t study ancient weaponry. Pretty sure they just smoked a lot of bud and tried to invent sick weapons dude…

We see him doing his best impression of A Knight in King’s Court with 3 blades back in his sword pointing it at the sky atop a cliff by the sea. No less than a minute later, we cut back from the sea to the exact same cliff, and it’s Lee Horsley as Talon, who is now a pirate, a general, a mercenary, third member in the barbershop quartet, member of the royal order of loyal water buffalos, a hooker, and a member of the volunteer fire department. Lee Horsely went on to do mostly TV shows like Matt Houston, and Love Boat after this, so he never had the same luck as Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger after this, so don’t get too excited. After watching this movie you can see why? Remember that awesome theme music I wast telling you about? Yeah that stuff was written and composed by David Whitaker whose previous works mostly involve low rent smut, but trust me the music sounds a lot more awesome than this movie probably deserves. It may sound like I am shitting on this movie, but trust me when I say this review comes from a place of love. See the music IS in fact Lee Horsley’s personality. A lot of Lee Horsely’s performance in this movie involves him looking stupidly into the camera, or looking at somebody with one expression. The expression is basically that of somebody that farted about 23 seconds ago, and is just waiting for the reaction of the first person that notices…WHO CUT THE CHEESE?! WERE YOU BORN IN A BARN? WHAT ARE YOU? SOME KIND OF LEE HORSLEY?

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This is Lee Horsley. Yes he always looks like he farted and is waiting for you to notice it.  This is his expression in the entire movie.

We flash to another revolution happening, lead not so cleverly by Mikah who serves as the master of exposition dumps and yet cannot understand why his plots keep becoming easily overturned by King Cromwell McPointynose. He’s betrayed by one of the members of Spinal Tap, and tossed into a dungeon ran by former WWF rejects who are addicted to baby oil, torture, and bad puns. Mikah’s sister Alana manages to stab a guard and get away, but you will quickly learn that in THIS movie, wounds are only mortal if the plot needs them to be so. This guard tracks down Alana in a matter of seconds and the first rape attempt begins with whimsical music playing until the hero cue music changes and Talon enters the room gnawing a cow leg, wondering if he wants to get involved before or after the guards notice he farted 23 seconds ago. After he finally makes a small weenie joke, and beats the shit out of her attackers, they go to a tent. Alana offers Talon a shit load of monopoly money if he will help break her brother out of Cromwell’s Dungeons. And in a surprising turn of events, Talon wants a one day lay in the hay with Alana in turn for busting her brother out. After being almost raped 10 minutes ago…seems fair right? So our “hero” decides to do this thing. And this is where things get even more bizarre.

I mentioned that Talon is a hero only by the cue of music, and his whimsical fart face right? Wait until you see his stealth skills. After shouting at some guy who has a map to a sewer, they run underground to get into the dungeons. There might be some rats. And Talon heroically saves the day by…kicking over a conveniently placed barrel of oil, and lighting it on fire. No normal man could have pulled off this act of stratagem! Wow, no wonder he is a general!

Once he does bumbleboob his way into the prison though, he finds that one of the prisoners was once the architect that built the castle, above the prison. Deus Ex Machina be damned to HELL!  Things get a little fuzzy here, because there are some plot points that I have left out as not to bore the reader, but I just want to focus on the more banal aspects of this mess. Talon does get into the prison, people are freed, and he DOES fight King Nose Job at one point, but does get away, and disguises himself as a guard for a bit. Around this time, we flash to one of Talons’ other mercenaries, and many of his men who are all in a brothel. Word from one of Cromwell’s wenches is that Talon had been captured, and I shit you not, some deadlocked Bob Marly on steroids looking dude announces himself as Captain Morgan…no seriously….this time. They agree to go bail Talon out of prison. Did I mention, that Talon in this movie is a bit like Farris Buehler? Everyone seems to know him. A lot of things happened off-screen, and everyone seems to owe him one for one reason or another. Save Talon you heartless wench!!! 30 seconds later, Captain Morgan, and Talon’s men are yelling at each other from jail cells.

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Some asshole needs to save a maiden from the evil King Needlenose, or we have no movie!

After more bumbling and awesome Indiana Jones like music, Talon does finally get captured, and it is announced via exposition dump that Talon is to be crucified at Cromwell’s wedding. See Cromwell is convinced that Talon is actually Xusia the Sorcerer in disguise. Oh yeah, remember there was a sorcerer in this sword and sorcerer movie!? Yes, King Walkenwannabee is going to marry Alana because we need to rescue a maiden in this movie, and so far, she has served no purpose to this story other than set our “hero” on his journey. So then we flash to crucifixion. Yep. Our bumbling smelt it and dealt it hero is nailed to a cross, with a ball gag in his mouth, while the board of directors of the NFL wine dine, and try not to drool on themselves while getting drunk on wine. And of course we get back to that Ferris Buehler moment again, where two rich white dudes talk to each other, and say “hey isn’t that Talon? We owe him a debt for what he did for us”. Well thanks for sparing us of THAT detail movie, I am sure there was a really good reason to not sit and watch some dude die on cross while you shove grapes into your mouth ya jack ass.

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Resurection style weddings were popular in the 80s, but proved to be quite expensive.

Now Captain Morgan and the rest of his band of merry idiots are freed by Cromwell’s whores.  So of course they show up at the wedding just as the reverend is about to marry the two, Talon actually pulls both of his hands off the nails, and yells “KAHHHHHHHHHHHHNNNNNN…..er sorry wrong movie….CROOOOOOOMMMMWELLLL!!!!  Then we get the big action pay off, and honestly, as many times as I have seen it. It’s pretty fucking awesome. The music is awesome, I don’t know who is fighting who, but I don’t care, heads are rolling, music is swelling, some of it is in slow motion. I love every minute of it.

Eventually King Needlenose, and Talon do fight, but in another scene, we have Spinal Tap running down Alana as she is trying to escape. Yeah she is REALLY SHITTY at trying to get away.  Alana tries to seduce Spinal Tap, and realizes that something is afoot when she thrusts her foot into Spinal Tap’s wedding tackle only to realize that nothing is there. Of course this pissed off Spinal Tap so much, that he just decides to pull of his clothes AND his skin to reveal he is Xusia. True story time. Richard Bull Moll from Night Court was only actually Xusia in the first scene. He had serious problems with the contact lenses so all of the other scenes in the movie was somebody else disguised and Xusia, and Richard Moll dubbed in his lines in post. So the master of disguise is played by several other people. Eat your heart out Zartan from G.I. Joe!

Of course, our bumbling hero now reunited with his triple bladed sword is running down Cromwell when he bumps into Xusia trying to slip Alana the old E.T. phone home gag, and his best response is “I have no quarrel with you! It is Cromwell I am after.” Xusia says: “Cromwell’s flesh shall be mine.” Talon say’s “Well now we have a quarell”. Of course Xusia tries to E.T. phone home Talon as well, but don’t act like you didn’t see THIS one coming, he fires one of the blades at Xusia and he falls back. This is where the fun begins. King Beef Cromwellington smiles at Talon. Talon smiles back, fires the other blade at the stone wall, to indicate this is going to be a “fair fight”, and of course when these two fight again we get more sparks than Yankee Stadium on the 4th of July. At one point, Talon’s sword breaks, and he pulls a tiny sword out of the bottom of the hilt. I fucking love this scene. Next, Cromwellwellwell loses his sword, but he has a baton that he’s been carrying through the entire movie, except now a switch blade comes out of each end of it. At this point, I can’t tell if the movie has been trolling me, or if the props master was just tripping balls and said fuck it. These two fight some more, and suddenly in Talon’s gauntlet he pulls a Robocop, and yet ANOTHER fucking dagger comes out, and that is the one he finally kills King Christopher Walkenose with. Finally he reveals that he is Talon, son of the dude you killed at the end of the movie.

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The Force is with you young Deathstalker, but you are not a He-Man yet!

Talon gives the crown back to Mikah, Alana runs off happily to go “settle up” with Talon, as everyone chants his name. Then we cut to Talon back on the sea cliff with his men. All the blades back on his sword fixed. And “now it’s off to Maladon, to save Lambotia’s kingdom”. Some random asshole walks up and tells Talon he want’s to join up. Yes movie let’s introduce a random dude at the end of the movie and show us from his backside looking at General You Smelled it you Dealt it face, as he says “well then….we have a battle to offer, Kingdoms to save and women to love!!!” And they ride off into the sunset!

No post credits sequence, nobody had time for that shit in the 80’s but just at the fade to black we do get “Watch for Talon’s Next Adventure Tales of the Ancient Empire coming soon!”  proving that people pulled that shit back in the 80s too. Coming soon was as soon as 2010 with Talon being played by Kevin Sorbo. Another lost flick for another review.

I know it seems like I am ripping this movie to shreds, but believe me I actually love cheese like this. It is why I got into writing these reviews in the first place. It is true lost flick. I mean it. I can’t even find a decent DVD copy for anything short of $66 dollars on Ebay. I mean I love it, but I don’t love it for $66. I would give this one 3 out of 5 cheese curds, just for its effort, cinematography, practical effects, and awesome score. It wasn’t a big budget movie, but back in the 80s nobody knew what a budget on a movie was. We just went and saw stuff if we thought it looked good. This one at least looks like it had a high production value, and it was Albert Pyun’s directorial debut, so I got to give him a pass, even if he jumped the shark of hoping for a sequel right away. I can even get past the fact that the damn Sorceror only pulls like two or three magic tricks in the whole movie. He can push people, make them hold really still, or pull a heart out of a chest, but only once!

Eventually I will track down this on DVD, but for now, I have movies to trash and reviews to write!

Adam will be back with his review of Deathstalker coming soon!