Thursday, April 29, 2010


They should have called it “The Zero Bras” because none of the chicks in this movie seem to own one. This, of course, is much to the film’s credit, especially because it features the terminally adorable Kelli Maroney in bouncy mode, whom fans of eighties b-horror will automatically recognize from “Night of the Comet” and “Chopping Mall.

After sitting through this, I’m not sure whether Nico Mastorakis deserves a slot on my favorite directors list, or a stiff shove down a long flight of stairs. While I own several of his other efforts, this is my first exposure to a director whom I could see becoming a guilty pleasure. I just couldn’t decide if this was a work of ineptitude, in the vein of Fragosso’s Troll 2, or if the director was satirizing the slasher genre. You’d have to get disbelief really wasted before you could take the sort of advantage of it that these dumb ass characters require. Some of the shit that happens in this movie is so fucking stupid that I can’t imagine anyone writing it without a sense of humor.

Another weird genre hybrid, Mastorakis cross-paginates action with horror here, as paintball champions The Zero Boys make irrational decisions that leave them stranded in some remote cabin, where they are stalked by its homicidal occupants.

At one point while watching the movie, my roommate commented, “I was sitting here wondering ‘why did they just go into the cabin and make themselves at home?’ But then I remembered, ‘hey, they’re the paintball champions! I WISH the motherfuckers who owned that shit would come back!’” That about sums it up.

A lot of the cast went on to work with Jim Wynorski on a somewhat regular basis. The film also features Tom Shell, who played trusty punk Smeg in “Surf Nazis Must Die.” Also, keep your eye out for the prolific Joe Estevez as Killer #1. And no, this movie has nothing to do with awesome 80s hardcore band The Zero Boys.


Boy, nothing says “street tough” like a swinging organ, huh?

Too watery to qualify as a nail in JD schlock’s coffin top, this movie merely douses the genre’s casket in hot pink paint. When I first got this tape, I was hoping for a homosexual high school drama based on Friekdin’s “Cruising.” Instead, I get the tepid mess left over after Jack Webb gives Rod Serling a handjob. Not as cool as it sounds, though.

Originally released under the tough-as-nails title “Cat Murkil & The Silks,” "Cruising High" follows the exploits of possibly the pussiest gang to ever mince through the mean streets of Santa Maria, California. Okay, first of all, what the fuck is a Silk? How is naming your gang after a “soft, lustruous” fiber supposed to strike FEAR in the hearts of your adversaries? What, are they trying to intimidate them with the threat of an AIDS cough?

The story focuses primarily on neurotic sissy-boy Eddie “The Cat” Murkil as he attempts to keep a reign on the gang following the death of the Silks’ general. Though the film is chockfull of unintentionally hilarious moments, it is David Kyle’s hideous performance as Murkil which violently thrusts "Cruising High" into Camp Classic territory. Kyle’s performance is so laced with awfulness that he manages to transcend his respective medium to become one of the worst artists of all time. Seriously, the guy comes off like a denim Cagney who took a crash course in street slang from Greg Brady.

Kyle also made a minor appearance as Judith Myers’ boyfriend in the original Halloween. Following a ten year stint as a professional actor, Kyle eventually quit the business and joined the ministry. The founder and executive director of “Mastering Life Ministries,” he also went on to host the weekly television program “Pure Passion,” while also ministering those who suffer from “sexual brokenness” internationally. No shit.

Other than a score that sounds like it was performed by Frank De Vol on weed brownies, the film also features appearances by Derrel Maury (Massacre at Central High), John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop), and Meegan King (Humanoids from the Deep), who for some reason plays his character like some S.E. Hinton greaser. Nevertheless, the movie probably would have benefited with him in the lead role.

"Cruising High" also yields the racial slur of the week: Taco Bender.

Friday, April 23, 2010


My good friend Daniel Fried has a criteria by which GREAT film must abide. He refers to it as “THE THREE B’s”: BOOBS, BLOOD, and BAD WORDS. This flick may substitute gore with burgers, but it's still one of the most amazing fucking things I've ever seen. Hamburger: The Motion Picture is the story of a fellow by the name of Russell, who also happens to be one of the most relatable dudes in all of cinematic history for me, because bitches just won’t leave the guy alone. I mean, he can’t go anywhere without getting laid. Which sounds like it might be cool to you, because you don’t have that problem. But for guys like Russ and I it can be a real hassle. I remember one time I went grocery shopping and all I got was a bunch of melons.

Anyway, Russell has been expelled from numerous colleges over the years, due largely to “nude” conduct. When his last straw goes up in smoke Russell is left with no other option than Busterburger University, a trade school that teaches you the ins and outs of fast food chain management. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, but it has more getting it on than the Old Testament and a lot of racial insensitivity. This film is perhaps most notable for Dick Butkus calling a black guy “dark breath.”

If you were weaned on late night cable TV during the 90s, you might remember an eviscerated cut of this film popping up on USA Network's UP ALL NIGHT program, hosted by both Rhonda Shear and Gilbert “The Fifth Ramone” Gottfried. Even in its neutered state the movie reaches a profound level of stupidity that would have required drug-damaged genius to concoct. However, the uncut version contains some nudity that is germane to the plot. It's not often you get a movie where the boobs actually tell a story. And speaking of breastesses, Randi Brooks also stands out in an over-the-top in-the-buff performance as Mrs. Vunk. A must-see for anyone who remembers her from TerrorVision.

Hamburger was directed by Mike Marvin, who, coincidentally, also wrote “Hot Dog… The Movie.” Marvin was also responsible for cult favorite The Wraith. Check out this trailer.


With hands saturated in goat’s blood, James Spader drops to his knees, hovering at an eye-level inch away from Becky from Full House’s white cotton panties. Smeared with barnyard gore, her legs tremble as he moves in for a closer inspection. Nearby, a frothing pitbull loses its shit as the stink of hemoglobin hits the air. He wipes his fingers across her teen mond, smearing crimson across her underwear. Becky squirms, prompting Turtle from North Shore to cinch his arms around her, holding her in her place. Holy shit, did I just see that?

Okay, imagine you buy a Twinkie. You bite into that Twinkie, and instead of the usual sweet, bright cream filling, you get some gross, black materialization of sexual tension oozing down the back of your tongue. And even though it’s not what you expected, it’s still really fucking good! A bastard hybrid of after school special and 80s slasher film, The New Kids (1985) is one of those gems that continually compels me to keep cramming obscure 80s VHS into my already brimming den.

Not surprisingly, The New Kids’ writer Stephen Gyllenhaal (Jake and Maggie’s dad) was responsible for some of the CBS After School Playhouse stuff. But, in spite of the script’s edginess, it is director Sean Cunningham’s presence that turns this into a surreal cultural mash-up. Even the music sounds like it was lifted out of one of the Friday the 13th films. Totally badass 80s-update of JD schlock chockfull of familiar faces, including Eric Stoltz, James Spader, Lori Loughlin, and the incredible John Philbin. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.