Posts Tagged ‘Revenge

20
Jan
17

The Demoniacs (1974)

It’s not that I don’t like Jean Rollin, because I do, actually. Even still, every time we watch one of his flicks the first thing I wonder is how long it will be before I end up drifting off to sleep? Well, the magic number with The Demoniacs was 46 minutes.

demoniacswreckers

The wreckers are out for loot… and blood!

Rollin definitely has his thing, namely mute naked chicks roaming around in gothic settings. And fear not, there is plenty of that to be had here. The mute naked chicks in question in The Demoniacs are the latest victims of a ragged band of wreckers (folks who trick ships into wrecking on the shore and then pillaging their contents). Their ship crashes, they wander towards the wreckers in their white linens all helpless and stuff, and of course are raped and left for dead.

demoniacsghost

Seeking ghostly revenge

Somehow the mute naked chicks end up at the local ruins where they find a clown, a Jesus, and I dunno, a devil or something? They make a deal with the devilish character, and obtain his power through sex (just in case you forgot you were watching a Jean Rollin movie) in order to seek revenge against the evil wreckers.

demoniacsclowningaround

Clowning Around

So, as is usually the case with Rollin’s flicks, there are some really good-looking moments (perhaps he should’ve done photography instead of film?). Alas, he can’t seem to string them together in any meaningful way. More than any other flick of his, The Demoniacs left me perplexed as to what it was actually about or what, if anything, it was trying to say. It was almost good, which makes it all the more frustrating that it wasn’t really worth a damn in the end. That being said, there are some truly bizarre moments that I don’t regret having experienced, and the boldness with which Rollin plants naked women in unlikely scenes and poses amused me until the very end. Still, I can’t really say that I’d recommend this movie to anyone.

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10
Oct
15

The Beast Within (1982)

beastwithinposterI’m not quite sure where to begin with The Beast Within. I sort of assumed, just by its name, that it was a werewolf movie, but it’s not that at all. After having watched it, I’m still not exactly sure what it’s all about. I also assumed that Ronny Cox would play a huge dick in it, because that’s what Ronny Cox does. But he doesn’t! He plays a normal dude! In fact, he plays a dad very concerned about his son. See what happens when you assume? Anyway, I’m not sure The Beast Within will overturn all your expectations, but it certainly is different than your typical horror flick.

The plot is super convoluted, which is one of the film’s shortcomings. If I were to go in-depth not only would this be a 2,000-word blog post, it would also be rife with spoilers. So I’ll do my best to keep it short and sweet. During their honeymoon, Caroline and Eli (Cox) MacLeary run into some car trouble. Eli runs to get help, leaving Caroline and their dog with the car. The dog sees something in the woods (because everyone has car trouble while they’re near the spooky woods) and bolts. Caroline of course goes after the dog, and is mauled and raped by someone… or something.

Caroline and Eli do some digging.

Caroline and Eli do some digging.

Seventeen years later, their son Michael is having some serious medical issues. Fearing they might be genetic, the couple must come to terms with the fact that Michael is the result of Caroline’s rape. So like any loving pair of parents they head to the town where it all went down to look for any information on Michael’s biological father. When they get there, they are confronted with nothing but spooky folks who refuse to cooperate, or even acknowledge that anything bad ever happened in their town. Luckily, Caroline finds a lead while fishing through the library’s old newspapers. Strangely enough, the folks tied to Caroline’s mysterious lead start dying horfiffic deaths, and Michael is becoming less and less like himself…

Yowza, this movie is so all over the place, and so strange! As I said before, the plot is circuitous and confusing and just generally batshitty, and it’s more than a little distracting. I think if it had been simplified even just a little bit, it

The beast within finally comes out...

The beast within finally comes out…

would have made a world of difference. That being said, I still admire how much this movie tries to cram into its 98 minutes, and I certainly didn’t find myself bored or exasperated by it, and for me that’s always a bonus. It even has stuff it wants to say about small-town nepotism and the beasts we all become once we grow into adults, even if it’s done a little clumsily. The performances are all pretty good too; even old Ronny Cox is convincing as a normal dude, which I never thought I’d say. But probably the best thing The Beast Within has got going for it is the practical special effects; damn, that shit looks good.

Apologies for this rather ambiguous post, but I don’t want to give too much away. This movie was fun in large part because I didn’t know what to expect, and I hate it when I accidentally fall down the trap of wasting paragraph upon paragraph detailing the plot. I think this movie is definitely worth your time, so long as you have patience enough to deal with a rather mystifying plot and a weird obsession with locusts.

06
Oct
15

Office Killer (1997)

What is that Dorine up to?

What is that Dorine up to?

I can’t count how many times writing this blog has made me miss the days where I had full access to my parent’s cable box. There is, after all, some pleasure in clicking through countless channels and coming across a horror gem that you otherwise would never have heard of. I watched so many movies when I lived at home with them, I’ve straight up forgotten most. Until recently, Office Killer was one of those, but when Q mentioned a campy horror flick starring Carol Kane as a serial killer, a lightbulb went off. Oh yes, I remember that…

Directed by photographer Cindy Sherman (which is why Q was interested in the first place), Office Killer tells the tale of a meek copy-editor whose job, after nearly two decades, is suddenly at risk. Dorine Douglas (Kane) has been at Constant Consumer almost since its inception, but that hasn’t earned her much respect. In fact, some people think her quiet nature hides something sinister and creepy. Kim Poole (Molly Ringwald) feels strongly about this. Perhaps she’s right.

Michael Imperioli is practically a baby here.

Michael Imperioli is practically a baby here.

Constant Consumer hasn’t had a good quarter, or year, in a long time. To make up for lost cash, Virginia Wingate, the head honcho at the magazine (who also happens to be a chain-smoking asthmatic – this will be important) hires Norah Reed (Jeanne Tripplehorn) to help the company downsize. Of course, Dorine is one of many to receive a nice little pink slip that kindly informs her that not only have her hours been cut down to part time, she’ll also be expected to work from home for most of it. To a lot of us today, a prescription for working from home doesn’t sound so bad. But Dorine’s home life is not exactly ideal. Every moment spent at home is spent looking after her needy, handicapped mother. Without even the minimal contact of her coworkers, Dorine’s going to have to make new friends. If she doesn’t, she just might go insane.

Have you read the latest issue of Constant Consumer?

Have you read the latest issue of Constant Consumer?

I’ve always liked Carol Kane as an actress, but I’m certainly more used to seeing her play a loud, obnoxious character (Scrooged, Princess Bride) than the quiet mouse she plays here. I’m happy to report she handles this role just as well as anything else I’ve ever seen her in, and she does so with just enough humor to fit the film perfectly. I’ve heard the film referred to as campy, and while that’s true in some places, it certainly isn’t an all-out romp. In fact, I think you could even say it’s a little sedate in places where it most definitely could have been taken over the top. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re walking into this one expecting a laugh riot, you’re not going to be pleased. There are some chuckles all right, but just chuckles. I’m hesitant to even add comedy as an appropriate category for this movie.

Office Killer is about as good as I remember it being when I first saw it ages ago. And that, according to my Netflix star-ratings, is about three stars. It’s not a movie I’d go up and down the street shouting about, but it is a pretty solid outing. It’s certainly not a bad way to spend a night in October. And hey, you get to see a pre-Sopranos Michael Imperioli playing an awkward character. That might be worth it in and of itself!

04
Oct
15

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion (1982)

Did Walter keep the same paper bag, or do you think maybe he makes a new one every couple years or so?

Did Walter keep the same paper bag, or do you think maybe he makes a new one every couple years or so?

Everyone loves John Hughes, right? The lovable writer of such 80’s teen classics as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles can do no wrong, right? Well, not exactly. If you’ve seen National Lampoon’s Class Reunion, you know just how much wrong John Hughes can do.

Back in the good old days (that’s 1972), a bunch of assholes at Lizzie Borden High (yeah, the jokes are that bad and that obvious throughout the whole movie, so settle on in) set up the school loser to hook up with his twin sister. Chief Asshole Bob Spinnaker (Gerrit Graham) convinces Walter Baylor that popular girl x, y or z really has the hots for him and wants to do it with him, so long as he wears this paper bag over his head. What a gag! After they hook up for a bit Spinnaker unveils the embarrassment of incest to the entire class of 1972, who all are apparently in on the joke, waiting at lookout point or whatever cliched hookup spot these stupid kids are at, with the high beams of their cars shining in Walter’s shamed face.

The one true highlight of this film is Anne Ramsey as the lunch lady. Unfortunately the jokes are old and tired.

The one true highlight of this film is Anne Ramsey as the lunch lady. Unfortunately the jokes are old and tired.

Fast forward 10 years to the class reunion, where everyone is still a huge asshole and Walter Baylor has returned from the insane asylum to pick off the people who humiliated him one by one. The film, for what reason I haven’t actually figured out, centers around Lizzie Borden’s “nobody” guy, Gary Nash. No one remembers him, not even his best friend – isn’t that hilarious? Anyway, after five minutes that joke gets old – but don’t worry, they’re still making it at the end of the movie, along with some other really stale jokes, like the ones about blind people, feminists, transsexuals, and stoners. Oh and isn’t that chick that’s possessed by the devil à la The Exorcist just a hoot?!

Yes, this movie is an equal opportunity offender, but maybe the most offensive thing about it is its absolute lack of laughs. I don’t think I even cracked a smile once. I suppose it is possible that if the movie hadn’t been so awfully offensive straight off the bat, I would have been more prone to giggling. But this movie pretty much shits on everyone from the get-go and never stops. Look, I know what you’re thinking, a lot of comedy is made at the expense of someone, why am I being so sensitive? It’s true, comedy doesn’t have to be, and maybe even shouldn’t be, inoffensive. But it

AREN'T JOKES ABOUT BLIND PEOPLE HILARIOUS?!

AREN’T JOKES ABOUT BLIND PEOPLE HILARIOUS?!

should be funny. And this movie isn’t funny. Not even in the remotest sense. Does anyone actually like this movie? Also, for the record, I am not easily offended! Believe me! This just hits all the wrong buttons.

It is perhaps worth noting that this is exactly the reaction Q was hoping for when he forced this film upon me. I should have known when he said things like “No, I don’t like this movie” but still wanted to watch it that his motives were less about entertainment, and more about his I-told-you-John-Hughes-is-a-huge-dick-and-maybe-you-should-reconsider-liking-his-shitty-movies-that-always-champion-the-assholes agenda. While I’m not going to say my love for the aforementioned Hughes films has diminished (nostalgia is, after all, a hell of a drug), Class Reunion has certainly cast a nasty pall on Hughes’ name.

03
Oct
15

The Tripper (2006)

Ugh, I’m just not sure where to start with David Arquette’s The Tripper except to say, well, yeah, it’s a David Arquette film. Somehow under some distant sun I felt that was not a deal breaker. Maybe I was swayed by the cast list: Balthazar Getty has that David Lynch connection, so that’s cool right? Lukas Haas has a weird face and was in Lady in White so like, those are promising things, yeah? My nose crinkled a bit at Jason Mewes, but having just watched the entirety of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil and loving everything about it, including Mewes, I thought maybe he offered potential. The deal was sealed probably though with the inclusion of Paul Reubens. I mean, it’s Paul Reubens, I feel like I should watch it on principle just because he’s in it.

Kids do the darndest things.

Kids do the darndest things.

Anyway, for some reason writers Arquette and Joe Harris thought it would be a great idea to make a film about a serial killer obsessed with… Ronald Reagan. Maybe because in 2006 we were in the thick of the Dubya presidency, they thought it would be like, smart or meaningful to remind us all that Ronnie happened or something? Huh.

Paul Reubens plays the patriotic capitalist greedy music guy!

Paul Reubens plays the patriotic capitalist greedy music guy!

So the movie starts off, oh, I don’t know, sometime in the 1970’s in rural Northern California. There’s an honest Scotsman who just wants to chop down enough redwoods to buy medicine for his dying wife, but those god damned tree-hugging hippies have a different plan! They’ll stop at nothing to save the trees, even if it means this guy’s wife dying, or maybe even sacrificing their own lives? Well, maybe they didn’t actually want to die for the trees, but one of them did anyway – at the hands of the Honest Scotsman’s son who gets his hand on a chainsaw and kills the shit out of that loudmouth hippie.

Jason Mewes finds his muse among the marijuana plants.

Jason Mewes finds his muse among the marijuana plants.

Fast forward to 2006, where money-grabbing concert promoter Frank Baker (Reubens) is throwing a music festival among the very same redwoods. Real, live, modern-day hippies show up to be naked and do drugs and shit like that. Ok, ok wait, real, live, modern-day hippies don’t really exist anymore. No, the folks at this gathering are just a bunch of kids interested in getting high, and the local law enforcement is none-too pleased to have to deal with this sort of riff-raff. Despite this, the mayor insists Officer Buzz and company play nice with Baker and the kids. After all, buttloads of money could be made if everything is handled right. The only problem is there seems to be someone out to get all the hippies! Efforts to turn the stinking hordes away from the site of several gruesome murders is futile, and the hippie blood flows.

Killer Ronnie

Killer Ronnie

The Tripper is little more than standard slasher fare, except perhaps slightly more confusing than most. Not that the plot is confusing, because it’s not; it’s pretty predictable in fact. I just can’t figure out its targets. Like, why hippies and Ronald Reagan? It’s like they decided to make a movie about irrelevant shit, while sort of trying to tie it to present-day woes, I guess? Maybe they just thought the idea of a conservative maniac wreaking havoc at a music festival was funny fodder for a horror movie?  Spoiler alert: it’s not. Or rather, perhaps it could be, but it isn’t here. The bottom line is, don’t let the cast list fool you. You can skip this movie and I promise you, you won’t be missing anything at all.

20
Jul
15

I Come in Peace (1990)

IComeInPeaceVHSCover_FotorFinding a videocassette like I Come in Peace for sale in a heap of garbage at a used book store or thrift shop makes all the hunting worth it. Amongst all the copies of Titanic, While You Were Sleeping, Jerry Maguire and the like, you hope and pray for something worthwhile. That moment when you see a VHS with Dolph Lundgren on it, you know you’ve won. But you know it’s the jackpot when he’s threatened by an alien on the cover!

Picture it: Houston, Texas, 1990. Jack Caine (Lundgren) is a vice cop with little regard for the rulebook. He’ll stop at nothing to put the White Boys, a bunch of white collar drug pushers, behind bars. But alas, Caine is a good guy to a fault. While his partner is doing some real dangerous undercover work with the White Boys, Caine leaves his buddy in the lurch to stop a robbery in a nearby building. That is, of course, when the White Boys discover there’s a mole in their midst and blow everything to smithereens, including Caine’s partner.

Now Caine is even more pissed than before. This is no time for the FBI to stick their heads in his business! But alas, they do, and Caine is now saddled with straight-laced, by-the-book Special Agent Larry Smith (Brian Benben). Smith of course has no patience for Caine’s renegade nature, but let’s get real, it’s not like Smith is going to fight against a muscle-bound cop like Caine too much.

So far, so normal, right? Typical story about a local cop with no regard for protocol and a tight-assed Special Agent who loves the shit out of bureaucracy. Don’t worry, the weird shit’s just around the corner: there is a tall, leather-bound dude with long blond hair who is killing people! Smith and Caine find a very alien weapon: a vibrating disk that slices and dices everyone in the room until it finds a place to lodge itself. There’s also a sudden proliferation of corpses pumped filled with heroin, but strangely the cause of death is not a drug overdose. Obviously something is fishy, but what is it? And will anyone believe Caine and Smith?

This movie is delightful, stupid fun. First of all, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough Dolph Lundgren, he’s just so much fun to watch! The “tension” between his character and Benben’s is so hilariously textbook, but I think that actually adds to this dumb movie’s charm. Then there’s this whole alien thing, which is like, what the fuck is that all about? This movie is like Predator 2 meets The Hidden with a serious anti-drug message thrown into the mix. Who comes up with this stuff, and why don’t they continue to make shit like this today?! I would totally go to a movie theater and watch silly shit like this. Knowing this is now available on blu-ray, I just might have to upgrade.

26
Apr
15

Payback (1995)

It’s been a little over two years since Q and I decided it was time to cull the old movie collection. When you have 2,000+ titles and limited space, this type of slaughter is necessary. Last cull was a bit rough, though, so we’re intermingling this one with a good movie or two – just to keep our sanity. Anyway, somewhere along the line, as I’ve probably already explained in some other blog post somewhere, Q got this thing for Anthony Hickox. To be fair, he’s responsible for a few really enjoyable flicks, like Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, Full Eclipse, and Warlock: The Armageddon. What these movies have in common is that they’re all horror flicks. Unfortunately Payback, today’s selection for the cull, can’t in any way be considered horror.

paybackOscar (Soul Man‘s C. Thomas Howell) and Mac are the best prison friends. Mac’s a little older, and Oscar watches out for him, especially when the evil prison guard Gully gets on Mac’s case. See, Gully knows that Mac has hidden a fuckton of cash somewhere, and he’s hellbent on finding it – even if it means murder! One day, Gully takes it too far, buries Mac in a pile of trash, and ends up killing him. On Mac’s deathbed, he tells Oscar that boatload of cash is his, if he promises to murder Gully once he makes it out of prison. All he needs to do is swipe that little watercolor painting he keeps in his cell, and the secret riches will be his.

But – oh, no! – Gully’s not as dumb as he looks! He’s already taken the watercolor painting! Looks like Oscar’s going to have to find the cash without the clue, and only hope that Gully won’t get there first. Of course, turns out it’ll be difficult for Gully to use his stolen clue; he’s had an unfortunate accident and now he’s blind! Well that’ll make Oscar’s revenge that much easier to exact. There’s just one thing standing in his way now – Gully’s hot wife in a two-sizes-too-small waitress uniform, Rose. Oscar worms his way into their daily life, an easy thing to do since Gully can’t actually see who he is, and ends up working Gully’s restaurant for room and board.

It takes entirely too long for Oscar and Rose to finally bang, but they do, and money is found, and lost, and there are all these very predictable twists and turns, and since no one in this movie is a good person, they’re basically all gonna get their very own, personal ‘payback.’

I suspect the only reason this film somehow managed to score a 5.8 on IMDb is the dripping-hot sex scene where C. Thomas Howell’s ass gets up close and personal with the hood of a car under a barn. Didn’t you always want to see Soul Man getting busy? Oof. Why? Why? Also, I never realized how disgusting handlebar mustaches are until I saw Howell making out in this movie. Shiver. There are a lot of questionable things about this movie, but his casting in the lead ‘badass’ role tops the list for me. How’m I supposed to believe this little guy’s gonna take down Gully’s monster AND seduce his sorta-hot wife? His character also never really seems bought-in to anything, least of all revenge. Revenge should never be wishy-washy!

Of course, the plot and characters leave a lot to be desired as well. The real bad guys in this movie are as bad as the baddest baddies in an episode of Walker: Texas Ranger. We don’t know why they’re so angry, aggressive and greedy, they just are. They’ll judge a book by its cover and then punch it in the face before you can inhale. This kind of unchecked male aggression is so damn tiresome, and it seems to be everywhere. What’s the deal with that? Payback is just another of those movies about a bunch of shitty people doing shitty things that I don’t care about. When there’s no investment in character or plot development, what incentive is there to watch a film? The five minutes of C. Thomas Howell sex? I mean, I doubt it. There’s not even a lot of boobage in this. It’s got all the elements of one of those sexy crime dramas, but they’re all so half-assed, non-committal and obvious, I’m not sure why anyone even bothered to put this flick together.

So I’m happy to report that our videocassette copy of Payback will be relinquished to the discard pile, making room for something more deserving of my shelf space. Or, let’s be honest, making room for another piece of shit we’ll end up culling in another two years. What can I say, we have a sickness, and we’re not about to seek treatment any time soon.




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