Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NEON MANIACS (1986)

While nearly every fan appraisal of this movie laments how underrated it is by mainstream critics, I’m reluctant to go that far. I will say that the strangeness of "Neon Maniacs" is taken for granted even by those who champion its cult status. Godard and Fellini can go jerk each other off in the mausoleum the eggheads built. What we really need is a year-long Harvard think-tank devoted the analysis of this movie. I have spent far too long trying to figure out whether this this thing is a happy mistake, or a deliberately surreal masterpiece. Either way, "Neon Maniacs" is far more bizarre than it is given credit for being.

If Alejandro Jodorowsky somehow wound up working on a movie for New World Pictures in the 80s, this is probably what would have happened. I can’t for certain credit artistic ineptitude, or even the interference of censors or the studio for this film’s end result. All I know is that watching this must be very close to experiencing brain damage by way of fever dream. Is something missing, or am I missing something? I have no fucking clue. All I know is that I feel like there is some greater meaning in all of this. I can't be near a pile of mashed potatoes without sculpting Mohawk or Ape now!

After Natalie survives the mass slaughter of her friends by a Village People ensemble of killers, she’s suspended from school due to disruption brought on by the suspicion of disbelieving parents and other students. During her mandated home study she becomes infatuated with grocery delivery boy Steven, who looks like a cross between Paul Riser and Jim Goad. Too soon after, Natalie's romantic interest finds himself fending for life and limb as the maniacs who killed Natalie's friends stalk them both. Fortunately, odd-ball Paula, an amateur film maker and horror nut, is obsessed with helping Natalie destroy the Neon Maniacs after discovering that H20 is their only weakness.

I’m not sure if the finale makes no sense, or if it makes so much goddamn sense that it’s over my fucking head, but Steven, Natalie, and Paula decide to lure the villains to a horrible battle of the bands, where they arm the unwitting audience with water guns in the hope that they will assassinate the Neon Maniacs. Because, you know, teenagers are immature pricks, and if you give them a water gun, what WON'T they spray? By the way, this plays into my sexual subtext theory later on.

Ultimately, things go awry and a bunch of kids get chopped up before Paula manages to uncap a fire hose. Strangely, the blood bath seems to conclude with the consummation of Natalie and Steven's mutual crush in a dark chem lab. This is the one odd detail that really opened my eyes and made my stop drinking when I watch this movie. I am now convinced that "Neon Maniacs" is laced with psychotic commentary on modern sex values. This also ties into a scene in the beginning of the film, where Natalie is chastised by a friend for clinging to her virginity. Were the Neon Maniacs thwarted when Steven graffiti'd Natalie's teenage love canal with his semen? And then there's diminutive woman-child Paula who uses a FIRE HOSE to melt a DUDE WITH A SWORD! COME ON! ZARDOZ had less phallic imagery for crying out loud!

Have you ever had a mugger hand a 20 pound dildo off to you, steal your wallet, and then bolt, leaving you only with an armful of big rubber dong? Well, that’s kind of how this thing ends. You don’t watch this movie. It watches you as it victimizes you.

This trailer qualifies as required viewing before you see this movie. This is the "Neon Maniacs" bible. It imparts FAR MORE INFORMATION about the villains than the movie itself does. We never find out how the Neon Maniacs are created, who they are, or what their motivation is. I can only speculate that perhaps the street punks whom Natalie and friends shout hate speech at in the beginning of the film somehow have something to do with this mess, which would explain why water also fucks their shit up. Everyone knows that street punks hate being clean.

An honorable mention must go to adorably impish Donna Locke for her performance as Paula, a 15 year old AV’er with a head full of morbid interests. I’m convinced she was 35 when they shot this movie, but after being stricken by the luck of Heather O’Rourke she stopped growing early on, thus granting her eternal youth. However, if you freeze frame one of her scenes and look deep into her eyes, you will see at least forty years of sorrow and painkiller abuse, which makes the pedophile in me want to take her in my arms and make it all better somehow. I love you Donna, where ever you are.

Anyway, of all the movies that have threatened us with sequels, the prospect of a "Neon Maniacs 2" frightens me. It’s hard to believe they could have somehow augmented the original film, which as a singular effort represents a strong argument both for and against peyote. If anything, they probably would have just ruined a good thing with some weak-ass Bud The C.H.U.D. shit anyway.

By the way, here’s a VHS Summer Challenge: if you’re watching this with a group of friends, make sure you print out the following lyrics to the “Who’s The Boss” theme so you can all sing along to the score. Amazingly, they fit almost perfectly together.

"BRAND NEW LIFE"
By Larry Carlton, Robert Craft, Martin Cohan,
and Blake Hunter
(Yes, really! It took that many douchebags!)

There’s a time for love and a time for living.
You take a chance and face the wind.
An open road and a road that’s hidden
A brand new life around the bend.

There were times when I lost a dream or two.
Found the trail, and at the end was you.
There’s a path you take and a path untaken
The choice is up to you my friend.

Nights are long but you’re on your way
To a brand new life,
Brand new life,
Brand new life around the bend.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NEW ARRIVALS IV: THE HOLY SHITTENING

Ladies and gentlemen, "The Boneyard" has come home to daddy. Starring Normal Fell and Phyllis Diller in minor but noteworthy roles, this rarely seen 1991 horror comedy follows a b-team as they attempt to thwart a pack of zombie children fouling up a morgue. Amongst the vast number of dumbass zombie movies out there, this is a gleaming gem. The story is original, the production design is memorable, and the special effects exceed what you'd find in your typical low budget horror film by miles. Of course, that has a lot to do with the fact that this was directed by James Cummins, who also did the effects on films such as "House," "Swamp Thing," "The Beast Within," "Dead & Buried," "Enemy Mine," and a slew of others. It's criminal that this guy never had the opportunity to make more films. He's done enough quality work to deserve having his name mentioned more frequently.

The innovatively titled TV movie “Copperhead: The Snake Movie” found its way into one of my boxes this week. Shot in 1983, the film follows a family of swamp dwellers whose leader enjoys filleting snakes for fun. Eventually the snakes get pissed and seek revenge against the family. Apparently, MANY snakes were actually harmed during the making of this film. The fact that this is a TV movie makes me think it’s going to kill.

"The Incredible Melting Man" is gross, but in a very fun way. Steve West returns to Earth after passing through the rings of Saturn on a NASA expedition. Once he returns though, he not only starts to melt, but develops a passion for cannibalism.

I have not seen "Curse of the Blue Lights" since 1988, when it first hit direct-to-video horror shelves. Available reviews are biting, but I recall a fun plot and some great effects. This lowest of low budget action horror flicks follows a pack of teens fighting a coven of monsters and zombies living beneath their local cemetery. A fun one, but I have a feeling my recollection of the film has been betrayed by the retarded kid in me.

I got really excited when I saw Nico Mastorakis’ name over the title of this film. I got even MORE excited when I learned he didn’t direct it. I can’t explain the logic in that, but "Grandma’s House" looks pretty awesome. This one has somehow managed to elude me until now.

I literally got goose bump when I received Cannon’s Ninja trilogy in the mail earlier this past week. Fuck "Sukiyaki Western Django!" "Enter the Ninja" has Franco Nero as a fucking NINJA! Here, watch this and learn something, assholes!

The sequel, "Revenge of the Ninja," has absolutely nothing to do with the characters or the story in the previous films for some reason. And neither does "Ninja III: The Domination," which is part Ninja ass-kicker part supernatural thriller. Journey deep into the churning bowels of this cinematic mash-up as an unwitting American chick is possessed by the spirit of a powerful assassin. If you're not sold yet, then you better run motherfucker!

More awesome martial arts action arrived, this time via South Africa, with "Kill Or Be Killed," and its wretched pseudo sequel "Kill and Kill Again," both starring James Ryan. I struggled to find trailers for these, but failed, which bums me out because they are some of the best I’ve ever seen for any action movie. Here’s a short TV teaser.

I have been searching for 1988’s "Prison" for many years now. This is another one I haven’t seen since it hit the straight-to-video shelf. Somewhat of a rarity on tape now, I'd avoided this purchase for a while because it was cost-prohibitive. In spite of the fact that this was directed by Renny Harlin, it’s actually very good, and after you get a gander at just the trailer, you’ll be left wondering why Harlin's "A Nightmare On Elm Street 4" looks like such a candy colored turd. In "Prison," the malevolent spirit of an executed inmate returns to cause major problems. This is a must see for fans of Viggo Mortensen. Check it out:

The box for this one looks like bullshit, but I am SO happy to have found "Girly," aka “Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, and Girly.” Directed by Hammer alumni, Oscar winner, David Lynch DP, and all-around God of photography Freddie Francis, here’s a plot synsopsis from IMDb.

“A wealthy, fatherless British clan kidnaps bums and hippies and forces them to participate in an elaborate role-playing game in which they are the perfect family; those who refuse or attempt escape are ritualistically murdered.”

Fuck. Yes.

A bunch of “St. Elmo’s Fire” type faggots wind up in a mystical, murderous wax museum in this surprisingly gory little sleeper hit. While 1988 was a GREAT year for horror, it was possibly the genre's last GOOD year. "Waxwork" is definitely a 1988 notable, which is saying something considering all the cool stuff that hit video stores and theaters around that time. Until this week, the 1992 sequel was all I’d had in my collection.

The 1980 Italian horror thriller "Screamers" sounds like another Moreau ripoff. Here, fleeing convicts land on an island which is inhabited by some scientist who splices fish with men because calling Brinks for a home security system would be way too much trouble. I’m guessing the version I have has some added American footage, because the original Italian release, entitled “Island of the Fishmen” doesn’t have Lord Cameron Mitchell in it. The box for the Embassy Home Entertainment release I have is incredibly deceptive, featuring a skinless man in unbuttoned trousers, with the caption, "they're men turned inside out. And worse... they're still alive." I wanted to see THAT fucking movie, but whatever. Here’s a trailer.

Two important rules of thumb: 1) a week without a Media Home Entertainment release is a sad week indeed, and; 2) if a lot of people like something it probably means it is horrible. "Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator" is not only a Media release, but it is universally reviled as one of the worst movies ever made. That probably means it kicks ass.

Find of the week: "Zombie Nightmare" starring Adam West, Jon Mikl Thor, and Tia Carrere. The soundtrack features Motorhead, Girlschool, Thor, Virgin Steele, and motherfucking Pantera. Enough said, my friends. Couldn’t find a trailer, but you can watch the first few minutes of the movie here from the MST3K episode, which featured the film. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BRUCE LEE - THE MAN, THE MYTH (1976)

Heading out to the flea market on 290 has been a long-time favorite weekend activity of mine. The atmosphere is infectious... literally. You've got the cool breeze carrying the stench of landfill; roasted corn and religious statues; the mariachi band tearing it up center stage; Mexican nationals eye-fucking the woman I’m with and waiting for me to say something about it so they can kick me with their super pointy boots. And then of course there's the bootlegging. Now, where the hell else am I going to find an erroneous Shawn Michaels back-pack that reads “Tombstone Pile Driver?” And who doesn’t want a last supper painting featuring Tony Montana surrounded by Al Capone and Vito Corleone? This cowboy, that's who! One thing that's been pissing me off about the flea market is the lack of Bruce Lee bootlegging going on lately. Do you know how many people would buy a huge faux fur blanket of The Dragon? Fuck man, I'd buy SIX! One for each room! When I recently inquired into the lack of Bruce Lee imagery during one of my visits I was told that his daughter has really clamped down on merchandising. Yeah, right. I call bullshit. Like that giant SELENA RUG in the corner of your booth is official licensed. Stop being pussies and start cranking out a respectable level of bootlegged Bruce Lee stuff! Honestly, while Scarface is cool, he’s not really a suitable idol for your culture. You’re sending the wrong message to your youth. Mexicans, get your shit together!

Twelve years after his death, I was just becoming aware of who Bruce Lee was thanks largely to KCOP channel 13 in Los Angeles. Channel 13 was notorious for sandwiching Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest films in between weird horror and sci-fi. If there was a singular force responsible for shaping my taste in film, it was KCOP. This was the station that would air Billy Jack, Zardoz, and everything in between during prime time hours. They exposed midnight movies to weekend daylight. And even stranger, their movie matinee bumpers featured the song “Oscillate Wildly” by The Smiths. Those must have been some bad ass dudes in that control booth.

Bruce Lee was probably at the height of his popularity at the time of his death. With the public still clamoring for more Bruce, producers weren't about to let the collapse of their gold mine get in the way of capitalizing. Soon, studios were in a mad scramble to fill the gap with a proper successor. Numerous Chinese actors were pressured into Bruce's shoes, and while none of the imitators lived up to his charisma, the reality was that these pictures were still selling. And so, companies continued to churn out Bruce-related films for almost a decade. Some of these productions even made use of stock footage from films Bruce never completed, feeding into the speculation that maybe Bruce had not in fact died. In a way, Bruce was kind of like the Tupac of Kung Fu cinema.

As a kid I would devour ANYTHING Bruce Lee-related, no matter how poor the featured imitator was. Over time, I began to recognize the impersonators and even rank them from best to worst, with Bruce Li being the best in my opinion, and Dragon Le being the worst. Today, I’m probably just as big a fan of Bruce Li as I am of the original Bruce.

My first major exposure to Bruce Li was “Bruce Lee – The Man, The Myth,” a biopic with Li in the title role. While they weren't really fooling anyone, Bruce Li was perhaps the closest thing anyone was going to get to the real deal, and he wasn't all that bad in the part. If you've ever dated a girl just because she kind of resembles another girl you are still in love with, then you understand my pain here. The real Bruce was gone. I missed him. But then I saw Bruce Li, and it made things slightly easier to deal with.

While there are many Bruce biopics floating around, this is perhaps the best of the lot, and it certainly beats the shit out of that Lifetime movie caliber bullshit “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” where Linda Lee essentially invents Jeet Kun Do.

While “Bruce Lee – The Man, The Myth” is by no means a soaring cinematic gem, it manages to win points with reverence. Whereas previous Bruce biopics took a sleazier route by doing stuff like delving into Bruce’s affair with actress Betty Ting Pei, this particular film is produced as a loving tribute to a man whom many consider to be the greatest martial artist who ever lived.

By the way, whenever you see this logo on a VHS tape, buy it, because it means that awesome shit is guaranteed to go down:

You’ve just been blessed by “Lightning Video International," or as I like to call them, “Ultimate Heterosexual Entertainment.” Almost everything this company has put out has kicked multitudes of ass, so it’s no wonder that they decided to release “Bruce Lee – The Man, The Myth.”

The movie opens with Bruce’s hectic death scene at Betty Ting Pei's apartment, as doctors dial feverishly to find a colleague that owns a stethoscope. From there, a narrator grieves over the passing of the legend and takes us into the story of Bruce’s life and career, which picks up just before he departs for America.

The plot itself provides a bare bones overview of Bruce’s career and personal life leading up to his super stardom, and he gets in a shit load of fights along the way. Some are contrived for the purposes of dramatic ass-kicking, while others actually transpired, but even the somewhat truthful stuff is wildly embellished. Bruce, who is kind of a smug asshole in the movie, pretty much kicks the shit out of everyone. He beats up the Japs. He beats up Thai boxers. He beats up the Mafia. He beats up the British Sillynannies. He even kicks the crap out of some Chinese dude just for sounding like Paul Lynde.

But like I said, this is by no means a technical masterpiece. This thing is bogged down with tons of shitty stock footage and swank jazz music, some of which is provided by the likes of Bob James. And I use the term “provided” very loosely, as I somehow doubt they got permission to use any of the featured music. During one particular scene where Bruce is fighting an electroshock machine (yes!), they totally nick the James Bond theme from the “Live and Let Die” soundtrack.

The dialog is probably the most inadvertently entertaining aspect of the movie. Bruce’s responses to questions usually make NO FUCKING SENSE. Here's a great Bruce quote from the movie:

"Next time, you listen to me! Because I’m not doing the talking! Kung fu is!"

Again, this is not what I consider fine film, but it manages charm by virtue of its sheer enthusiasm for the subject. It is redeemed by its passion. And of course, all the unintentionally hilarious parts also add up to an ultimately entertaining experience.

The film comes full circle, concluding with Bruce’s death at Betty’s apartment once again. The movie then launches into a bizarre epilogue, exploring some of the popular false rumors surrounding Bruce’s death. One particular story was that Bruce’s death was a Triad conspiracy, and his body was dumped at Betty’s place for the cover-up. The final and most outlandish of the scenarios features Bruce speaking to a spiritual advisor who tells him that his death is imminent, and in order to avoid his fate, he must renounce his family and fame, and live as a recluse for ten years. The narrator comments that his followers are currently waiting Bruce’s return in 1983. Someone should have made a movie about a Bruce cult. Get on it Golden Harvest! I know you still have money!

Of course, Ho Chung Tao, better known as Bruce Li, is the main reason why this film is so watchable. While his career definitely benefited from his term as a Bruce Lee impersonator, interviews suggested that he was rather shy about the comparisons. Serving as one of Bruce’s stunt men and also studying Jeet Kun Do under the late actor gave him slight credibility as a successor. While his resemblance to Bruce is strained but better than average, Ho Chung Tao’s skill as a mimic is what made him the best clone there was. Beyond the dead-on mannerisms, his choreography really stands out. In spite of all the film’s obvious flaws, the fight scenes are undeniably well done and feature a handful of Shaw and Golden Harvest notables. In the end, the action is what count.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I WAS A TEENAGE ZOMBIE (1987)

Out of the five billion colorless twats inhabiting the face of our planet, if each one that had a blog were to spontaneously combust the Earth would light up like Christmas. And Diablo Cody would probably be sitting on top of the glowing mess like Kali, drowning stars in the intellectual vomit that courses from her laptop.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the internet, it’s that mediocrity travels in massive shitting flocks. Nothing comforts a dullard more than an equally dim companion, for in the middling existence of others they find validation. Ignoring the qualities their limited means cannot achieve, instead, they glorify a lower set of standards. Like the fat chick who doesn't have the discipline to lose the weight, she'll simply find a set of FATTER friends so she'll look thinner by comparison. This is how the ordinary man gets his green light. Sadly, the deafening mass of back patters has gained momentum, shifting from mere spill to mainstream in just two decades.

Things seldom turn out as intended. VHS Summer sat idle for close to a month before I started posting reviews here. The user for whom this blog was originally created had hoped to make this her journal while studying my tape-trading hobby from an anthropological perspective. However, when her work schedule swelled, she no longer had the time she needed for the project. Unwilling to let the inflammatory banner go to waste, she suggested that I start using the blog for my own purposes. At first, the idea left a sour taste in my mouth.

There are thousands of uninspired cult and horror cinema sites, most propagated by the ease of internet self-publishing communities. Honestly, Blogspot and Wordpress practically make this shit down's syndrome accessible. This stuff is easier to use than a handicap parking space. You could have a gallon of water in your skull and still manage to develop a false sense of importance with relative ease in spite of any physical or mental limitations that may stem from your hydroencephalitis . That said, I had no desire to be lost between the sweaty folds of the obese Voltron that bloggers at large join to form. No sir, I was going to keep my proverbial hot dog out of that gaping hallway, thank you.

However, my fondness for discussing film on a casual level probably enhanced the limited appeal of managing a low-life blog myself, and I began examining the websites and blogs I’d run across while collecting data on my weekly VHS acquisitions. Upon closer observation, one glaring trend came to light. Most reviewing “bad movies” didn't seem to be motivated by altruism, but instead by ego. One particularly shitty take on “I Was A Teenage Zombie,” hosted by somethingawful.com, was probably the impetus behind my first several posts here. The take was written by some shit-breather who basically used the movie to get his lame sense of humor over. The irony of honestly bad writing being used to put a bad movie down is pitiful, but attempting to build your brand at the expense of someone else's artistic effort is just fuckin' pathetic.

The writers at somethingawful epitomize everything that is wrong with the blogging community at large. They're lynching something for the sake of spectacle, to attract attention to themselves. They're sacrificing something completely innocent and damaging its reputation in the process, and all so they can build their own fragile egos up. I may occasionally bag on shit, but the primary motivation behind this blog isn't to sell you some z-grade personality or name. I'm not interested in celebrity. I'm simply trying to promote a fading segment of culture. It truly bums me out to see assholes who do not care about movies casually burying stuff like "I Was A Teenage Zombie" for little more than the approval of of a bunch of anonymous assholes who barely give a shit in the first place.

I’m the first one to admit that you don’t need to go to culinary school to justify the opinion that McDonald’s sucks balls, but there’s a big difference between cruelty and criticism. Labeling something as throw away just because it doesn't have multi-million dollar production values underlines a dangerous class-based mentality. People often perceive the under dog as an easy target, which is sad. A demonstration of power and cunning against a weak opponent only makes you look like a total pussy. If you've got something to prove, you should test yourself against the biggest dog in the yard. Go stick it to Michael Bay. Now there's a soulless asshole who, in spite of having more collateral than NASA, hasn't made a single good movie. Money isn't everything, people. Good art also requires ample brains and balls.

Speaking of which, in spite of the fact that this is an obviously low budget film, “I Was A Teenage Zombie” manages to create a couple of things that a lot of million dollar blunderfucks fail to conjure. Foremost, you can tell that the people making this film had a lot of fun doing it. Through it all, there is a spark of charm that creates a jubilant vibe. It takes a great deal of ingenuity to grow something so colorful from such meager seeds. There is a definite lack of intellectual prowess in most of today's mainstream productions.

A comedic ménage-a-trois of 1950s AIP horror, Romero's toxic zombies, and the bawdy humor of Porky’s, the film ultimately ends up feeling more like a Troma film that most actual Troma films do. There are a million bullshit Troma wannabes out there, though few manage to nail the Troma aesthetic like Michalakis did here. In fact, while recently re-watching this movie I couldn't help but wonder why Troma never picked this movie up. Coincidentally, director John Elias Michalakis worked on sound for The Toxic Avenger. Lloyd Kaufman’s name is even referenced as the spokesperson for the defunct Nuclear power plant that causes most of the havoc in the movie.

Despite a heady cultural blend, the story is pretty rudimentary, following a pack of soda shop delinquents who knock off a sleazy weed dealer when he refuses them a refund for bunk goods. The miscreants dump the body into the river, and thanks to a nuclear melt down upstream, the pusher is soon back on the beat with super human powers and an appetite for vengeance. After the psychotic zombie bumps off one of their own, the soda pop jerks push their friend’s body into the same irradiated waters in hopes of creating a last line of defense.

It’s ironic that a movie directed by a sound editor would have audio for shit, but otherwise this is a good low budget piece of film making that stands up to similar films of a larger budget from the same period. The main thing working against the film is the marriage of intentionally bad story telling with the low budget. The less savvy critic probably has a hard time distinguishing authentic mistakes from the film's occasional doses of self-deprecating humor.

The movie also has an amazing soundtrack, featuring Alex Chilton, The Smithereens, The Waitresses, and a title track by The Fleshtones, particularly notable for limited MTV rotation at the time.

There's little information about the movie's production, and even the IMDb page is riddled with misinformation. This was apparently the end of the line for most of the cast and the crew of this underrated cult gem. This one is worth a second look and easily attainable via Amazon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NEW ARRIVALS III

An otherwise slow week for new stuff was salvaged by an awesome sidewalk sale at I Luv Video. I walked away with a milk crate of odd-ball finds for a pretty decent price and had a surprisingly good time sifting through tapes with strangers. Considering my hatred for most people, that's unique.

Almost two decade after most mom and pop video shops were either absorbed or assassinated by corporate video chains, both Blockbuster and Hollywood Video are being nudged into the ether by the Red Box phenomenon. Most of my collection has been gleaned from underhanded managers at big chain stores who pocket only pennies by sliding me crates of rare and out of print VHS. Each of them always with a condescending smirk. “Wow,” I can read in their smug expressions, “what kind of moron pays that kind of money for this garbage?” They shake their head like they just sold me a bridge to Manhattan as I literally cart thousands of dollars in tapes out the door for only a fraction of what they were really worth.

While there is a horde of raining neck beards who eBay rare and out-of-print VHS tapes from their mother’s basements at prices that could probably put the children they’ll never have through college, I don’t do this for the profit. Sure, I might flip a 50 cent tape for a Ben Franklin when I can, but it always goes right back into VHS. For me, there is a sense that I am preventing some things from being completely forgotten. I’m saving orphans. The entertainment industry encourages and banks on the ignorance of general audiences so they can keep repackaging the same shit repeatedly, but I’m trying not to forget.

Scores of titles are lost with every generational format shift. I’d say 40% of the two-thousand tapes I own never made it to DVD, and the likelihood of most of them leap-frogging onto BluRay is next to nil. Some titles that do make the transition may experience slight changes that compromise the actual art, though. For instance, a popular song on the original soundtrack may be replaced with something generic or more current because someone doesn’t want to pay to retain the original soundtrack selection. And then there are all the goodies before and sometimes after the features, including bizarre gonzo trailers:

Or hilarious anti-drug PSAs:

These tapes, for me, are about a complete experience. The fact that a lot of this stuff just ends up in a dumpster after some Blockbuster goes out of business is excruciating.

If your town is fortunate enough to have an equivalent of I Luv Video, I urge you to support it. These places are like endangered species reserves. A little digging in the aisles is often more rewarding and a hell of a lot cheaper than going to some bullshit multiplex.

Anyway, here are some of the titles I found this week.

Yet another piece of Bruceploitation flotsam, "Bruce, The Super Hero" stars one of the worst of the clones, Bruce Le. The only thing I can say about this guy is, at least he’s not Dragon Lee. In “Bruce, The Super Hero” a band of martial artists race against Bolo Yeung for lost gold. I now have two copies of this. Don’t ask why. I sometimes dream of applying for a grant so I can research a Bruceploitation encyclopedia. I can't believe no one's written one yet.

I am probably the only person in the history of humanity who wasn’t six years old or retarded who has excitedly screamed “Holy shit! 'Mac And Me'!” This beyond-American McDonalds' production of "E.T." is so mind-bendingly awful that it can have a permanent psychoactive effect on the viewer. In fact, this may qualify as lobotomy-by-cinema. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "cinebotomy!"

Via Something Weird, “The Child” looks like my kind of flick. A little girl with telekinetic abilities hangs out at a nearby cemetery after dark and uses her powers to animate and play with the corpses. At least on a conceptual level this sounds badass.

Most flippantly discard "Return to Horror High" as another throw-away late-wave slasher piece, but I've always thought it had a more unique take, mainly due to the fact that it's parodic. Its humor and the film within a film gimmick make this one stand out for me. Oh, New World Pictures, how I miss thee.

Produced by Sid and Marty Krofft, "Side Show" tells the story of a teenager, played by "After School Specials" notable Lance Kerwin, who runs away from home to join the circus and soon finds himself caught up in big top intrigue after witnessing a murder. Shot for television in 1979, this has the potential to be pretty good, especially considering how most made-for-tv horror from the seventies were sometimes better than what you'd find in theaters then AND now.

The online reviews for “Don’t Mess With My Sister” are pretty brutal, but the common point of contention seems to be the lack of rape. “Not enough rape, two thumbs down.” Meir Zachi really set the bar for himself with his explosive debut "I Spit On Your Grave.” Perhaps this is a bad film, but so far the only thing he appears to be guilty of is not squirting out a retread of his first film. Looking forward to this one.

Score of the week cost me a whopping 3 dollars for ten Hammer films, including "Horror of Dracula," "Brides of Dracula," "Dracula: Prince of Darkness," "Dracula has Risen From His Grave," "Taste the Blood of Dracula," "Scars of Dracula," "Dracula A.D. 1972," "The Satanic Rites of Dracula." Thrown in for good measure were "Kiss the the Vampire," and the Shaw Brothers/Hammer Horror crossover, "Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires."

Again, in spite of the fact that Hammer churned out back-to-back quickies most of the time, the production value of these films is pleasantly deceptive. Here’s a trailer from my favorite of the Hammer Dracula series, "Taste the Blood of Dracula," starring Ralph Bates and Christopher Lee.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (GORGON - 2009)


Adam Walsh fucked up my childhood. Seriously, when that kid’s severed head turned up in a ditch it sent a shock wave of hysteria throughout America. Parents instilled within their children a new sense of paranoia for their own good. Personalized clothing items were replaced with those humiliating child leashes as mom and dad were suddenly made aware that the walls which separate you from the guy next door may very well be the greatest detriment in raising your family.
With the millennial change looming on the horizon, many folks lurched out of the seventies with a keen spiritual awareness. There was a lot of doom and gloom on the airwaves at the time, and somewhere between the Son of Sam and the Bucky McMartin trial, people became very concerned that the ranks of Satan were dwelling amongst us, and were growing each day. The end of the world wore a dark hooded robe, ate babies, molested your daughters, listened to Judas Priest, and it was lurking just around the bend, waiting to sodomize you.

Around this time, the New Age Reich’s regressive memory trend was picking up momentum, and people were suddenly having all sorts of terrifying recall, from alien abduction to satanic enslavement. Books such as Maury Terry’s "The Ultimate Evil," in spite of offering next to no reputable source to substantiate claims of an underground national network of Satanism, effectively fanned the flames of hysteria.

Meek and bespectacled, my uncle Johnny worked at a sewage treatment plant for the county. He was more enthusiastic about human shit than anyone I’d ever met in my life. Like most Irish Catholics, he’d settled down at a young age with his wife, and by the eighties was pushing a sizeable family. By the birth of his sixth child, Johnny’s wife began to exhibit extreme symptoms of postpartum depression. Someone recommended a psychologist, whom she began seeing immediately. After several months of therapy she returned home one day with a wild look in her eyes and told my uncle that she had recovered memories of her father molesting her during black mass. She claimed she had vivid recollection of Satanic Ritual abuse starting at an early age. What came next was even more shocking as she levied an accusing finger at my uncle, implicating him as being a part of the Satanic network. She accused Johnny of forcing her and the children to participate in grizzly, perverted rituals that would ensure the Devil his victory in the the rumored coups d'etat of 1999. Obviously, that bitch was really off her rocker. Sadly, even though no one other than his wife bought into these bat shit allegations, it completely tore their family apart.

Stories like these weren't as uncommon as you might think, and a lot of lives were impacted due to the regressive memory phenomenon. However, when the new millennium finally arrived, California didn't sink, there was no UFO takeover, and Satan never ascended to his throne in Mexico city. Most people realized that "The Omen" was just a movie and not an inevitable event, though there are some holdouts clinging tenaciously to their Mayan calenders.

I was pretty excited when I heard that "House of the Devil" would explore the 80s paranoia of rampant Satanic ritual abuse. The reality of the topic hadn't been explored yet, and in the hands of the right person it had the potential to be the most original horror film in decades. So, with enthusiasm I hunkered down with friends to catch a viewing of what some asshole boasted was to become the next great cult film.


I really wanted to like this movie. I really did. I gave it a chance. I made an event out of the screening. I invited my friends over. I made popcorn. We had a cheese tray for God's sake. You ever have one of those parties though, where everyone's having a good time, and then something happens that just fucks the whole thing up? Like, say someone brings your dog Arby's and he runs through the house while spewing molten diarrhea out of his ass like the oil slick from the car in Spy Hunter? And people are slipping around and falling in it? Well, that's pretty much what Ti West did to my party. Thanks, pal. Drop by again real soon.

Instead exploring the 1980s fundamentalist panic over Satanism, we get a rudimentary snapshot of that myth. Poor execution amounts to a stale story about a dumbass baby sitter lured into a ritual by a family of devil worshippers. We've seen this done before, and better. Beyond that, this is one boring piece of shit. I'd rather sit through four consecutive viewings of "Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby" than sit through ONE viewing of "House of the Devil." The only thing terrifying about this movie is how bad Mary Waranov looks.

This isn't so much an awesome 80s throwback as it is a misunderstanding of what 80s horror actually was.

One of the most annoying aspects of the film is its grainy look. The fact that 80s horror films look like gnarled pieces of shit that someone backed over in a field of gravel is a complete misconception. In fact, A LOT of 80s horror looks really crisp. While watching, I could not help but think that this kid saw "Grindhouse" and thought he could make a dated looking movie, too. Too much went into the style and look of the film and not enough into the actual story. The script sinks so fast you'd think it was printed with led ink.

While the movie begins with a few flecks of promise, it regresses into an obvious tribute to lead actress Jocelin Donahue’s cuteness as she bounces around a big empty house with her walkman. Get it? Walkman? LIKE IN THE EIGHTS? WOOAAAH!

Ti tries hard to create a tense mood piece, but it falls flat due to the fact that absolutely nothing happens. Successful films in this vein leave nuances of dread throughout the plot, like a trail of bread crumbs, leading the viewer to an ultimate payoff. No crumbs here. Not even a morsel. This film not only loses you, but it starves you to death. I’m not sure if Ti is trying to parody films like "Black Christmas" and "Halloween," or if he thought he was producing a nostalgic homage, but it fails to entertain in either case.

Carpenter and Depalma were hinged on studying auteurs such as Hitchock. They were copying an originator, whereas Ti West is a carbon copy of a copy. There’s a generational fade here.

One of the most baffling scenes in this movie comes when the protagonist is about to open a door upstairs. She’s distracted from prying, and for some reason West decides to show us what’s behind the door anyway. Why does he choose to do this? I don’t know! Probably because he saw it on SciFi channel’s “Scare Tactics.” Either way, this choice is the cinematic equivalent of AIDS.

I’ve gotten into several arguments with people I can only assume are viral marketers being paid to tout this film as the calling card for the new horror genius on the block. The most common complaint from detractors of this film is that nothing happens in this film for almost 80 fucking minutes. This usually prompts the hilarious defense that “Nothing is SUPPOSED to happen! That’s the point!"

Bitch, if that were the point Samantha would have gotten paid, gone home, and masturbated while looking into the camera, THE END. If West had actually had the film end without any sort of big finale I probably would have been blown away by the swerve. Instead, we get some tacked on "Rosemary's Baby" bullshit. Seriously, fuck this movie. If you want to see a kick ass movie about killer Satanists, check out "Race With The Devil," which probably rocked Ti West's mom when she was pregnant with him, and that is why he was born retarded. Check it out:


And if you’re wondering what this is doing on my blog, well, they just released this movie on VHS, because “that’s campy. UR HUR HUR HUR HUR!” Fuck you, Ti West! YOU ARE BENEATH THIS MAJESTIC FORMAT! If you see this Strange Brew looking prick walking down the street, I encourage you to axe handle smash him in the face. A copy of the Burt Reynolds version of "Skullduggery" goes to anyone who can offer photographic proof of your fine deed. I want to frame that shit.

NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER (1986)

Somebody once told me that that if I ever wind up in prison, the best tactic to avoid being raped by other inmates is to act completely fucking insane. Shit your pants a lot. Mutter obscenities at a box of Girl Scout cookies while grabbing your crotch. Get a Dead Moon tattoo on your cheek. Also, get heavy into Devil worship. And I don’t mean that intellectualized LaVey brand of Satanism. I’m talking about the real shit, where you soak your bass strings in the blood of a virgin while listening to "Haunting in the Chapel." That way, NO ONE will fuck with you.

I’m starting to suspect that low budget film makers operate under a similar pretense, too. When your funds and opportunities are limited it forces you to think outside the box and get a little crazy. You have to make a complete spectacle out of what little you have to ensure that you do not go unnoticed. Instead of going out with a whimper you want to go out with the roar of a urine soaked bum riding the city bus.

That said, I’m sure the ratio of failed low budget movies versus the number of guys who try to act crazy in prison and still get raped is probably proportionate to one another. Going back to what epitomizes true camp, I’d also guess that the majority of successful and seemingly crazy low budget features which do successfully capture people’s attention are probably done by people who have deep mental or emotional problems. I don’t mean that in a bad way. They often say the line between genius and madness practically nonexistent.

And this brings me to 80s mainstream feel-good action film “No Retreat, No Surrender.” I’m always baffled when a fan of the film describes the plot as if they were king sociopath Dennis Rader. Like all the details of the film are completely normal, if not totally humdrum. Well, that’s bullshit, because this movie is fucking insane!

The first thing I really have to go into is the villains. They never quite explain who they are or what they want, but they SEEM to want to absorb other martial arts schools into their “organization.” It's all very shadowy, but in a bad, nonsensical way. The film begins with these Mafioso assholes strutting into Tom Silwell’s karate dojo. He refuses to sign a contract, prompting Jean Claude Van Damme, who plays a motherfucking RUSSIAN, to cripple the guy. So of course, Tom closes his school and leaves town like a pussy. I guess he played into their trap? I don’t really know. Maybe if they had explained things to Tom a little more clearly he would have signed. They were probably offering him health benefits.

This sets the rest of the story in motion, as Tom and his son Jason move to Seattle. Upon arrival he quickly befriends some black asshole with a Jheri curl in a Beat It jacket who moonwalks and raps, because all black people rap and moonwalk. Pretty soon, things go awry for poor Jason, who finds himself the target of bullies. However, he deals with his internal frustrations like a real man by demonstrating a propensity for domestic violence by shoving the girl he has a crush on. Jason, who is always dick riding Bruce Lee, goes and cries all over Bruce’s grave like a sissy, which somehow summons the GHOST OF BRUCE LEE to come back from eternal peace to TEACH JASON JEET KUN DO! The film comes full circle as Jason finds himself fighting the martial arts mafia who put his dad out of business. I’m pretty sure this somehow must be a true story because you’d otherwise have to contract rabies to come up with a story this awesome!

This thing is so insane that I cannot believe it’s not Turkish. It is, however, a rare hybrid of American and Hong Kong cinema, directed by veteran jack-of-all-trades Corey Yuen and co-written by See-Yuen Ng, who went on to produce a lot of really great stuff, including the “Once Upon A Time In China” series.

What perplexes me most about this movie is that it’s a real production that was widely distributed. These people had the means to do better, and yet we got more mental illness out of this than you’ll find in your average Troma movie. However, a lot of this is probably attributable to the limited cultural perceptions of the film’s makers. This was the zeitgeist of that period according to a couple of Chinese guys. Can you just imagine them screaming at each other in broken Engrish while brain storming this mess? "BREAK DANCING! COLD WAR! HAMBURGER! BRUCE LEE!" This movie essentially one-ups the Karate Kid by infusing the story with some Electric Bugaloo.

JW Fails (irony!), who plays the Michael Jackson-obsessed Fetchit to Jason Stilwell’s Stepin in this movie is a compilation of everything horrible about the eighties rolled into a big ball of shit. His character is perhaps the film's strongest point of unintentional hilarity, even though he is actually played for laughs. Timothy Baker, who plays Jason’s dad, is amazingly bad here, too. In fact, he is so bad I wish the entire movie had ditched his kid and focused on him kicking ass at his bar. They could have given him a spinoff, and called it "Shitty Walking Tall."

And of course, an honorable mention must go to the very memorable Kent Lipham, who played Scott, the burger-scarfing henchman. Sadly, Kent passed away in the last year.

The main reason this film stands out is due to the Bruceploitation factor. The ghost of Bruce was played by Tai Chung Kim, who was a stand in for Lee in "Game of Death", also appearing in the sequel as the lead character.

There are two different cuts of this film floating around between the US and the UK. Primary differences are the color of the credits at the beginning of the film, and different song selection. Most notably, the US version omits some homoerotic clips from the training montage. Wait til the 45-second mark. This is gold.

Hey. Guys just being guys. Am I right, fellas?

There were a handful of sequels, though none were directly linked to the original film in terms of story. “No Retreat, No Surrender 2” was actually intended to feature both the Jason Silwell and Ivan Kraschinsky characters. However, Van Damme, who was slated to reprise the role of Ivan, backed out at the last minute and talked Kurt McKinney into doing the same. As a result, the film had to be rewritten to exclude those characters.

FUN FACT OF THE WEEK: did you know Jean Claude Van Damme appears as an extra in the first “Breakin’” movie?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

THE STÖNED AGE (1994)

You can most likely credit the "The Stoned Age"’s brazen tagline, “better than Dazed and Confused,” for perpetuating the long-standing feud between fans of both films, as the similarities between the two are superficial. Thematically, they have a few things in common, while tonally they are nothing alike.

"The Stoned Age" is decisively comedic, whereas "Dazed and Confused" takes "Carrie" and transplants psychic violence and boobs with musings from an episode of “Thirtysomething." I generally quantify a film’s value by one factor: re-watchability. I have seen "The Stoned Age" close to thirty times by now. I’ve seen "Dazed and Confused" once, and have no desire to revisit it. In fact, I’ll probably high five Tarantino over key bumps in a men's room before I sit through that piece of shit again.

The only thing "Dazed and Confused" has going for it is that it has Alice Cooper on the soundtrack. Actually, Alice and I were out on the green the other day, knocking back some brews and hitting some balls around when the topic of this movie came up. Alice actually turned to me, his eye twitching and a nine-iron in his hand, and he said, "Max, I swear on Reagan's grave, that if I ever see that motherfucking son of a bitch Linklater, I'm going to give him a colonic with this Callaway club!" Scared the shit out of me, man! That said, Linklater can Rotoscope my dick going into his mouth.

BAM, RICHARD! That is how you write dialog, asshole! That scene CURB STOMPS your coffee shop witticisms! Fuck you AND the conveyor belt of dicks that constantly runs into the back of your throat! I acknowledge only one "Suburbia", sir, and it is NOT yours.

You know, when I get to the gates of heaven, I am pretty sure I’ll find myself looking up God’s skirt as he reads off a laundry list of why I can’t come in. And right as he gets to the part about me pressuring that heart patient into oral sex only days after she had her transplant, I’ll interrupt him by saying, “Hey, wait a second. Aren’t you the asshole who mauled a bunch of children with a pack of bears for making bald jokes about Abraham? And what about the flood? And aren’t you also the guy who invented cancer?” God will nod, and grunt as he ponders. And after several moments, he'll say, “Yeah. I made cancer. But at least I didn’t make 'Slacker.'”

Yet another film that was often seen on USA Network’s Up All Night, "The Stoned Age" follows Joe and Hubbs, a couple of rock n' roll rebels, in their relentless, cut-throat quest to get wasted and bang fine chicks. Check this bad Oscar out:

Everyone is awesome in this movie, but nobody touches Clifton "Fuck you, I'm handsome" Collins Jr., who plays gross-out king Tack. B-efficianados also take delight in Renee Allman's nude scenes. However, in spite of numerous references she DOES NOT look like the 14-year old girl from the cover of the Scorpions' "Virgin Killer" LP. There are also a few awesome cameos in this flick, including Eric Bloom and Donald Roeser, who appear post-credits as a couple of bootleggers trying to sell Blue Oyster Cult t-shirts outside of a mini-mart.

We here at the Tower of Fundon have come up with a drinking game for "The Stoned Age." The only thing you’ll need a case of Colt 45 and a copy of the movie. Take a drink anytime any of the following things occur:

1. Someone says “WORM.”

2. Someone says “FINE CHICKS.”

3. Someone says “TALLS.”

4. Someone says “JUST SOME DUDE.”

5. Anytime you hear “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult.

6. Someone says "CRUMP'S BROTHER."

7. Anytime anyone mentions "The Virgin Killer" album.

8. Anytime "The Schnapster" appears.

9. Anytime you see the big floating eyeball (the painting on the Blue Torpedo does not count).

10. Someone says "SKANK WEED."

11. Hubbs says "YOU'RE BLOWIN' IT."

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can take the "THE VHS SUMMER BRASS MONKEY CHALLENGE," for which you will need at least TWO 40s of Old English malt liquor per participant. Drink each 40 down a half-inch past the top of the label, and then refill it with orange juice. Happy barfing!

NEW ARRIVALS II

Lots of crazy stuff arrived at the Tower of Fundon this week, including a lot of tapes that I haven’t seen, which is always exciting.

I managed to get my hands on a copy of "Twilight People" for a decent price. I've seen this particular version of this tape go for ridiculous prices. A Moreau rip-off, this flick ditches all the moral grandstanding and gets to the damn point by cramming perverted freaks down our throat. Pam Grier plays the Panther Woman during one of her first film roles.

Don’t Go In The House” might be a boring slasher copycat if it didn’t HAVE A DUDE KNOCKING PEOPLE OFF WITH A FUCKING FLAME THROWER!

Holy shit, "The Amazing Transplant" is about a dude who turns into a rapist after receiving a penis transplant from a questionable source. Sounds like "Mad Love," only it’s about dicks.

Joe Don Baker alert! "The Pack" sounds kind of like “Who Can Kill a Child,” but with dogs instead of stupid little kids.

"The Godsend" has often been accused of taking from "The Omen," but I think it borrows more from "The Bad Seed." At any rate, this one deserves another look from horror fans.

The box art for "Eyes of Fire" is particularly memorable, yet in all my schlepping around in the horror section as a kid I never was compelled to pick it up. Set against a Colonial backdrop, witchcraft seems to be the focus of this thriller. Check out this ultra-bizarre clip.

I don’t care what anyone says. Fassbinder crony Ulli Lomell fuckin' sucks. However, "The Devonsville Terror" haunts my childhood memories. Nice to have this one back.

Cameron Mitchell is the man, but "Nightmare in Wax" still doesn’t sound very good. I read a review on IMDB that said producer Rex Carlton actually borrowed money from the mafia to make these films, and killed himself when he couldn’t pay the debt back. Way to go, dude!

By all accounts "Blade of the Ripper" sounds like a stalwart Euro thriller. Meanwhile, the box looks like something Joe Spinelli would be in. Check out this awesome trailer. The music kills me. I have to watch this one soon.

Via Something Weird, "Bummer" is about a rock band exploits a bunch of groupies. However, their fat bassist can’t get laid and eventually snaps. Sounds like gold to me, but most fans of Friedman say this thing blows. We shall see.

"Avenger X," also known as "Mister X" was apparently a major source of inspiration for Bava’sDanger: Diabolik.” Should be fun.

Score of the week: Larry Cohen’s “God Told Me To” follows a detective investigating a string of random violent acts, which all seem to lead back to a man claiming to be the second coming of Christ. Cohen manages to fuse UFO lore with Biblical mythology to create one of the most bizarre films I’ve ever seen. Keep an eye out for Andy Kaufman as a cop who goes apeshit during the Saint Patty’s day parade.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

NASTY HERO (1990)

Rarely do I ever find myself utterly intimidated by the prospect of attempting to capture the greatness of a movie in words. But sometimes I just have to accept my limitations as mere mortal, suck it up, and do my best. For it would truly require the jewel encrusted tongue of some planet crushing deity to accurately expound on the equinox of holy fucking shit that is "Nasty Hero." But for now this is the closest you’re going to come to justice. We both need to accept that.

If the video store my den masquerades as had an “employee pick” section, it would have thirty copies of this movie, and they would all be rented out all the time on the basis of charity, because you people out there need help. If you consider yourself to be male and you haven’t seen this movie yet, then you might as well donate the fleshy sack between your legs that you call testicles to the burn victim ward, because up until you see Nasty Hero your sorry excuse for balls are just wasting skin that could be giving little Timmy a second chance following that gnarly Fourth of July accident that blew half his face and hand off. That's right, until you HAVE SEEN "NASTY HERO" your balls are turgid with worthlessness.

Not unlike the ancient astronauts who flew back to the stars after blessing us with the pyramids, or the attractive one-night stand who slinks out of your apartment in shame after she sobers up, I know very little about the people who are responsible for this masterpiece. They could be otherworldly; they could be coked-up assholes. I have a feeling this is a mystery for the ages. When I think of how this film was created though I just kind of picture a hand stirring out of the Dead Sea with this tape in it, like Excalibur.

While largely unknown at this point, "Nasty Hero" deserves to become a major best-of-the-worst contender in the realm of “so-bad-it’s-good” cinema. Whenever I introduce this film to someone we always end up replaying scenes as if analyzing the Zapruder footage while in utter hysterics. I’m sure by now you can find books on the “best of the worst” phenomenon at your average Barnes & Noble, but the simple science of it all boils down to the inherent joy in sadism. Everyone loves a good failure.

I wrote about "TerrorVision" earlier this month, which I referred to as an exceptional piece of intentional camp. "TerrorVision" is the two-headed donkey of bad movies because TRUE CAMP usually can't be forced. It's totally accidental and usually epitomized by the courage of the film maker’s ignorance. "Nasty Hero" is perhaps the paramount of REAL camp value. There is nothing intentionally bad about this movie. I honestly feel that these guys thought they had the zeitgeist by the tail, and they were making something that just screamed "cool." Instead, they somehow wound up with a cheese ball action flick so rife with a homoerotic tension so thick you could make a fondue out of it.

Here’s some plot for you: six months after getting thrown in the slammer for delivering a hot car, Chase returns to Miami to take down the dudes who set him up. He’s back, and feeling NASTY! The rest of the movie revolves around really ugly cars and Scott Feraco, who plays Chase, being menaced by villains out of a John Hughs movie. But the real story here is the bond between Chase and his friend Carlos, played by former welterweight champion and boxing hall of famer Carlos Palomino. Seriously, anytime these two share a scene there is a sense of foreboding that Palomino is going to randomly drop to his knees and French kiss Feraco’s anus at any moment. The fact that Feraco rides bitch on Carlos’ bike doesn’t do much to assuage that fear, either.

Kyra Sedgwick’s brother Robert also turns in an amazing performance as the least menacing screen villain of all time. Thankfully, he has a lumbering, out-of-shape fatass like Mike Starr to back him up.

The greatest tragedy of this film is that they never made another "Nasty Hero." Hell, even"Snake Eater" had two sequels, and that movie is total bullshit. Anyhow, for fans of “so-bad-it’s good,” I cannot recommend this film enough, and you can usually find it on Amazon for like 89 cents. This film deserves its own viewing party circuit as much as "Troll 2."

For an extensive and hilarious review, check out Scott Foy's site here. Don't know the guy personally, but his site is one of the best on the topic of bullshit movies.