Sunday, July 23, 2006

Creature Triple Feature

Just finished the third of my Creature Triple Feature, returning to my horror-watching roots of the old Creature Double Feature, and upping it one better.

I chose three films that run the gamut from indie horror darling (2001 Maniacs) to low budget made-for-tv horrific scifi (Vampire Wars - or Bloodsuckers as it was titled on TV) to a low budget from a big studio (Sony's Frankenfish).

I knew I would like 2001 Maniacs. It's been written about and reviewed a million blogs over, and comes packed with some good behind-the-scenes features. I figured I'd like Frankenfish from the trailers I've seen on other Sony rentals (A Sound of Thunder, anyone?). As for Vampire Wars? I didn't know what to friggin expect but I was more than pleasantly surprised.

Next up? I dunno. I was thinking of doing the whole Friday the 13th series. Or, now that I've got A Sound of Thunder on the brain, maybe a bad Ben Kingsley mix including: Bloodrayne, Species, and Suspect Zero. That would pretty much suck, though.

Other things: check out the latest "horror roundtable" from the horror blog because I participated and came out victorious! Yes, I won the roundtable. I was the first to mention Henenlotter in what became a Henenlotter love fest! I'm the WINNER! Where's my friggin prize?

The Reviews:
2001 Maniacs
Vampire Wars

Review: Frankenfish (2004)

Some really good scenes make for an enjoyable movie. More to follow.

Review: Vampire Wars (2005)

Vampire Wars was a SciFi Channel flick called Bloodsuckers, with lots of bleeped-out cursing and edited gore. The DVD version which I so astutely decided upon, was weird, utterly unbelievable, funny and gory. There was also a poorly executed behind-the-scenes feature.

I found the futuristic premise behind Vampire Wars, campy yet interesting: as man expands into the stars he finds that the sum total of vampire races exceeds the number of humans in the universe. And, the vampires range from territorial and semi-bothersome to full-out human-killing expansionists, looking to take over the known universe.

The film follows a team of vampire patrollers, complete with a spaceship and some massive vampire-exterminatin' weapons. They're a surly lot, and newbie Damian (a military brat) has a tough time fitting in. Things come to a head with the death of the captain, and a trap is set by some mean vampires and some humans who espouse the virtues of vampirehood.

The bad vamps are led by Michael Ironside as Muco. Ironside is supposed to be playing an over-the-top nasty but he never kicks into gear, and he's featured in very few scenes. He's a snoozer.

There's lots of interaction scens of the crew onboard the spaceship which tends to detract from any suspense buildup. So, yeah, this isn't a perfectly good film, but it has its moments, from gory aftermaths to a good, solid final fight. It's worth a rental, I think.

Review: 2001 Maniacs (2005)

I'm not gonna be breaking any new ground with my review of 2001 Maniacs. I've read about 4 trillion blog reviews as well as the usual slavering Fangoria publicity surrounding the flick, and I'm just not in the mood for nitpicking or coming up with some socio-economic slant within which to operate...

The remake (more of a tribute, really) to HG Lewis' famed cult hit, is every bit as funny, gory and over-the-top as the original. Robert Englund and Lin Shaye nail their parts and provide plenty of yucks to keep you interested between kills.

There's also plenty of HG Lewis' music in the form of two minstral hillbillies, plenty of racially charged tomfoolery, and some dynamite boobies. The kills take the cake, though. Gory, bloody and funny in an each-character-gets-what-they-deserve kinda way.

The pacing works out, too: the jokes come fast and furious and there's no really wasted dialogue or scenes. Director Tim Sullivan is by turns making you laugh, grossing you out, or showing you some sex.

The one point I'll make (and, I'm planning to do a longish entry about this, as soon as I can wrap my brain around some clear examples) is that horror movies don't seem all that concerned with scaring us anymore. I mean, for all of it's gallons of fake blood, Maniacs isn't in the least bit scary. The characters are caricatures that you hope get killed. In a funny way. I can't really tell you the last time a horror movie had me scared. And, I don't mean nauseated, in an Audition kind of way.

Oh well, if for some reason you've never seen this flick or the original, do so.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Shoulda Seen These a Long Time Ago

My latest binge involves three flicks I shoulda seen when they first appeared, whether in theaters or on DVD. But I didn't.

I've posted about Ginger Snaps a bit at T Van's when he listed it as one of his top-20 horror flicks. I dunno about a top-20 alltime rating, but Snaps deserves a slot in a top5 werewolf flick list. I remember all the times I have passed it by in the video store, sitting there next to its two sequels, and wondering "why the hell did they need to make three of these little goth movies?" Well, turns out, they're not little goth movies.

As for Terror Firmer: I've heard mention of this one for a while now, about how stupid and crazy it was, and "the best Troma since Tromeo and Juliet" and blah, blah, blah.... Well, it was stupid. Stupid and great all rolled up together.

Basket Case 2 won't suprise most people; but I didn't even know Henenlotter had made the friggin' thing (and a 3rd one to boot!), so chalk it up to my ignorance. I found it in the $3 VHS section of Hollywood Video.

The Reviews:
Bastket Case 2
Ginger Snaps
Terror Firmer

Adios, twits!

Review: Ginger Snaps (2000)

My original intention with this review was to explore some of the art-house themes that crop up in Ginger Snaps: adolescent anxst, death fantasy, puberty/menstruation, and field hockey, but I'm short on time.

Please don't let the previous line lead you to believe that Snaps is an art-house flick. Far from it: rather than force the viewer to tease out themes from images, Snaps pretty much beats you over the head until they're sure you've got it. I mean, how many times can the trollish Brigitte repeat the connection between lycanthropy and menstruation?

I'm not gonna give the plot away any further than what you've just read. But I would like to comment about the really impressive cinematography. Kudos to director Tom Fawcett and DP Thom Best for the really good "above-the-town" shots, the action of the werewolf attacks, and best of all, the opening credits with all of the pictures of the two girls posing dead.

There are a lot of teen anxst one-liners and some darker, humorous moments that kept me into the film as it sputtered towards a climax. And sputter it does. The running time is just too long for a simple story like this. But, fear not, the film finds a great exit, and you're left hoping they'll make another (which they did).

Review: Terror Firmer (1999)

Lemme qualify this review with the following:

Let's say you're having a barbeque with your wife and two other couples. You've eaten, but you're all still feeling good from the drinks and food and decide to pick up some more booze and a movies or two. So, everybody piles into the SUV and heads out. At the video store everyone's trying to decide between Wedding Crashers and Old School. But, let's get one thing straight: I'm the dink that recommends getting Unspeakable or I Spit on Your Grave.

So with that in mind, let's review Terror Firmer, a flick I've heard some about, but never pulled the trigger on renting. I picked up the 2-disc R-rated DVD from the video store, and supposedly there's an unrated version available as well. The R-rated flick has some of the raunchiest parts overdubbed with Lloyd Kaufman acting out the scene himself, and these are for the most part, blindingly hilarious.

The plot simply follows an independent movie gang (Troma) shooting the latest in their Toxie franchise while being stalked by a hot serial killer.

The best way to review a Troma flick is to simply list all of the atrocities you can remember and then saying it's cool. So here goes: cornholing with a funnel, Toxie exploding during sex, Kaufman being blown to bits, Fleishaker getting eaten by an escalator, much vomiting on one another, many naked fat chicks, and of course, the raison d'etre for the whole flick, a big fat naked guy running around New York city. And, man was it cool.

The full-length documentary, Farts of Darkness, is not as good as the Toxie 4 one, Apocalypse Soon, but editor Gabriel Friedman and his henchmen do a good enough job that you'll watch the whole damn thing.

One last note: I've really enjoyed the Troma stuff from the Trent Haaga-Patrick Cassidy era. There's just so much shit going on that it almost takes two viewings to catch all of the background humor.

Review: Basket Case 2 (1990)

Ok, so Basket Case 2 isn't as good, funny, or original as it's twisted and hilarious mom, but it is a damn sight for sore Full Moon'ed eyes. It's good enough that I'll be searching out part 3 in used VHS bins everywhere.

Picking up where the original left off, Duane and Belial are in the hospital and in deep shit. Just as they make their bloody escape, a freak collector/healer named Granny Ruth and her love-interest-in-the-making "daughter", Susan, arrive in a van and cart the boys off for some convalescence.

Granny Ruth's place is swarming with old sideshow freaks, which gives my favorite make-up man Gabe Bartalos room to run wild. He and Henenlotter concoct some truly horrifying deformities and it's with these muties that much of the movie's magic lay.

The plot is kind of standard revenge, and the pacing feels uneven. The acting is fine, though, with the highlight being Granny Ruth, who shows not a bit of the camp going on around her. She is sternly serious: loving to the freaks, and nasty to the normies who keep bugging her.

Belial gets in a few kills, but most of it is off-camera, or hidden stuff, the exception being the long kill in the bar. Not so much gory, this one. And, maybe that's a detriment. Although I liked BC2, I kept wishing it would hurry up.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

3 For the Asylum

So, I used to be under the impression that The Asylum (the production/distribution compay headed by David Michael Latt, David Rimawi, and Sherri Strain) was basically a Roger Corman type entity in that they only really produced remakes of public domain stuff (War of the Worlds, Frankenstein) and ripoffs of big budget horror-thrillers (666: The Child, Hillside Cannibals, Beast of Bray Road, etc...).

Guess I was wrong, but not by much: every preview trailer on each of the three DVDs under review was for a remake or a ripoff. Seems like I inadvertently chose the only three original ideas the company has produced. By far, King of the Ants was the clear winner of the three. A really, really good flick from the team of Stuart Gordon and George Wendt that is original, chilling, and boldly gory.

The other two flicks were piffle at best.

The Reviews:
Jolly Roger
King of the Ants
Legion of the Dead

The wikipedia article for The Asylum contains a brief synopsis of the company and (like I just finished doing) points out the ripoffs angle of the company. One more note before I move on: it seems to me that David Michael Latt is the "brains" behind the operation. He's the guy you see in all of the behind the scenes featurettes interviewing everyone. All in all, he's done a good job of getting the company out there and noticed, and has produced at least one excellent film, which is more than I can say for many of these low-budget direct-to-DVD companies that have sprung up like a fungus plague these last 10 years.

Review: Legion of the Dead (2005)

The wikipedia article for "legion" discusses varying numbers of soldiers that make up a legion, with 1000 being the smallest and 10000 the largest. The Asylum's Legion of the Dead makes due with about 6 mummies and 1 queen mummy. Hardly a legion. Hardly worth my time.

A team of archaeologists find an Egyptian tomb in a California desert. The tomb looks like an egyptologist's clubhouse, rather than an ancient burial chamber. They accidently wake up the naked and hot queen mummy Anna Tet, and she kills a bunch of people by turning their faces all melty and gooey with her hands, her breath, and her eyes. Towards the end, she resurrects her legion of 6, and the movie comes to a climax in a battle between the the girl mummy and the girl scientist.

Save your time and your mummy. Don't be lured into this one by the promise of seeing Bruce Boxleitner and Zach Galligan: it looks like their scenes were shot in about a day. Don't be lured in by the promise of the hot mummy unless yer really desperate. And more than anything, don't be lured in by the promise of a legion of the dead.

Review: King of the Ants (2003)

King of the Ants could end up being a seminal moment in horror filmdom. I honestly believe that. The only thing holding it back from such acclaim and eventual copycatdom is that not too many people have seen this one. Maybe just Stuart Gordon fans. Or George Wendt fans. (that was a joke).

What we have is the loss of innocence portrayed through a "senseless" killing, and the subsequent events that turn an "average joe" into a ruthless, no-concience killer. The subsequent events part is the ridiculously, not-quite-over-the-top violence part of the flick, and it is handled superbly by Gordon and company, hampered as they were with a very fast schedule and no money.

Kudos go to co-star George Wendt for optioning the rights to Higson's novel, and having him write the screenplay once he got Gordon involved. Also kudos to David Michael Latt, the king of The Asylum, for taking on the project after everyone else in the world passed.

There's so many little subtleties and themes in this flick that I would like to discuss, but I'm not one for spoilers. Besides, you don't need me to spoonfeed you the film. Suffice it to say, you're going to be left thinking by this one. You'll have been entertained, but as with all great cinema, you'll be trying to figure out what it all means.

The best film I've seen in a long time. Honestly.

Review: Jolly Roger: Massacre at Cutter's Cove (2005)

Done as Dr. Gore would do when confronted with a bad movie that really tried hard to be a good movie:

There's a pirate come back from the dead. His name is Jolly Roger and he causes a massacre at Cutter's Cove. He kills people and collects their heads. He puts the heads in his treasure chest in the hopes that his treasure chest will turn into a chest full of treasure. He kills some teens that are partying at the beach. He kills some strippers. He kills some office workers. It's a bona fide massacre.

The killings are gruesome, but in true ancient pirate killing people fashion, they are hokey enough that someone should get hold of this film's editor and put HIS head in a treasure chest. Example: the first kill is the teens having sex kill. The girl's on top and she's topless. Jolly Roger comes up behind and splits her in two. The camera cuts to the guy on bottom. There's a two-second pause and then blood is squirted on his face from off-camera. Bad editing.

If you're in the mood for a pirate putting heads in a treasure chest this movie is for you! Don't pay attention too hard and you might enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Been a few days, but within the next 2, I'll have three full reviews of films from The Asylum: Jolly Roger, Legion of the Dead, and King of the Ants.

By the end of the month, reviews will be up for Vampire Wars, 2001 Maniacs, the first two Basket Case flicks, and some others.

One word-reviews for now:
Jolly Roger: tried
Legion of the Dead: goofy
King of the Ants: bizarre
Vampire Wars: lean
2001 Maniacs: hilarious
Basket Case: Tromaful
Basket Case 2: wannabe

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Angels with Dirty Faces: The Prophecies!

I caught the original when it came to video in the mid-90's, but never saw the others until I rented all three for this Prophecy Binge. I really enjoyed the first film then, and I still really like it now. Unfortunately, the following two films are weaker siblings, though they do move the story forward.

I know that there are two more sequels (minus Walken) that are actually supposed to be pretty good, but I've chosen to ignore them. Though the plots of these films are highly original, it gets boring without a little Walken to inject fun into the proceedings.

Because of the fringe religious ideas and numerous biblical references, I figured there'd be a website devoted to figuring out these movies, but nacht, nothing! Hollywood Jesus does have an excellent page for the original, with lots of screencaps.

My Reviews:
The Prophecy
The Prophecy 2
The Prophecy 3: The Ascent

Review: The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000)

Inevitably, the further along a franchise gets into sequeldom, the films begin picking up subTitles. The Prophecy 3 gets to be "The Ascent".

Rather than spend this entire review bemoaning the bad script, the terrible efx, the plot dumps, and the sheer dullness of the bad guy, Vincent Spano as Zophyael, I'll highlight some of the positives that can be gleaned from this film if you watch carefully enough.

The first cool thing is that the flick follows exactly the premise of the second and that Walken is now a human. He's still funny, but he's no longer the focus of the story, and the movie suffers for it. The second idea from the previous film is the character of Danyael who is the seed of the first (remember when angel Russel Wong banged human Jennifer Beals?). Dave Buzzota plays Danyael and does a good job of being confused, but not too confused.

The whole Pyriel plot is lame, and the pile of bodies that we keep getting flashbacked too gets old real quick. The film is obviously padded because of budget constraints, but if they would have just filled in with Walken footage, I'd be writing a different review.

I guess if you've watched the first two, you might as well see this one, but I hope you're not sleepy, or it'll put you to snoozin.

Review: The Prophecy 2 (1998)

I've never read nor heard anything positive about this film except for "Walken was great!", and I'm not about to reverse that trend. Obviously, the idea didn't appeal to the creator of the original, Gregory Widen, because he has nothing to do with this straight-to-video release.

The concept of Prophecy 2 seems to be to recast the original film a bit, and have Walken kick enough ass to keep viewers interested. And, really, that's just about all that gets accomplished. Walken is still funny and mean. Russell Wong is ok as the good angel, but Jennifer Beals delivers here lines in a stupid shrill that is consistently annoying. Supposedly Glenn Danzig is Samyael, but you can hardly tell, and even if you could, so what?

Instead of just refrying the first plot, they stir it up a bit, and the end result is a confused mess that builds up to a dull climax. Eric Roberts lends his poor acting abilities to the final third of the film and ends up getting the best of Walken, and that's always gonna be a bad thing. I'd rather see Roberts get impaled by something, or blown up, or flayed, or anything really.

I'd avoid this one, unless like me, you are some sort of weird movie completist, who likes to drown in stupid sequels.

Review: The Prophecy (1995)

Sure, Gregory Widen came up with a really cool idea: angels aren't all that likeable, in fact, they usually do heaven's dirty work, laying waste to cities and kings and peasants and all. Widen pits two factions of angels against each other, both trying to gain souls for admittance into heaven. He invents some religious mumbo-jumbo about a second angelic war, and blammo, we've got a neat plot.

What sets The Prophecy apart from stuff like the Seventh Sign, is Christopher Walken. He stars as the "bad" angel Gabriel. "Bad" meaning his mission does not bode well for humanity. Armed with a script that had to have been written for him, Walken proceeds to chew up the scenery and spit it back out in hilarious one-liners, delivered in that inimitable style of his. His portrayal turns a serious little drama with horrific elements, into a seriously hilarious little horror movie.

Everything about this flick works: the sets are good, the other actors (Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, and Eric Stoltz as the "good" angel Simon) work well, and the backdrops of Montana are really expansive and well-filmed. The little girl, possessed by a cannibalistic war vet does a great job. She makes us overlook the most unbelievable aspect of the film (if you can believe angels fighting and stuff), so that we can immerse ourselves in the story and wait for Walken to show up.

The best scenes of the flick involve Walken and his recently deceased sidekick, Adam Goldberg (yeah, it's Clint's archnemesis from Dazed and Confused). The worst scenes involve the whole Native American thing. They seem to detract from the rest of the film.

All in all, this is a keeper. It's too bad the DVD release is completely free of any special features.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4 Leaves to the Clover: 4 Leprechauns!

I'm all Leprechaun'ed out. I was gonna include reviews for the two Lep in the Hoods, but I'll save those for another day. Leprechaun 4 was tough to get through, and I'd like to move onto something else for the time being.

I'd assume everyone's heard of these films, and at least seen one of them. They are what they are: funny little slasher picks whose budgets recede faster than Clint Howard's hairline (yeah, he was in number 2). They're Chucky with Warwick Davis and a wackier premise.

If, for some reason, you'd like to see a Leprechaun 7, Connie's fanpage has all the info in helping to get it done: Connie's Leprechaun Center.

You can find in-depth reviews of Lep1 and Lep2 at

My Reviews:
Leprechaun 2
Leprechaun 3
Leprechaun 4: In Space

Review: Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)

Ah, the inevitable "in space" sequel. Unfortunately, no matter where you set this flick, it would be dull. Leprechaun 4 just doesn't seem to be about the Leprechaun: there are all of these trite little side-plots that muck up the film, and not enough funny lines for Davis to deliver.

There's no real "golden coin" plot to this one, as Lep is just after a humanoid princess, whose tissue happens to regenerate, hence the interest of the body-less Dr. Mittenhands, and then there's the love interest and the crazy Sergeant, and on and on and on and on....yawn.

Really, we get one good Leprechaun line: "Share? Now there's a word that lies crooked upon my heart." We also get the little Leprechaun light sabre. The rest of the film is the crew of the spaceship talking and walking around looking for Davis. Real ho-hum stuff.

I don't recommed this one. There is no gore, no funny killings really, and way too little of the wee bastard we've come to know and love.

Review: Leprechaun 3 (1995)

Otherwise known as Leprechaun in Vegas, this 3rd entry into the series marks the beginning of the Brian Trenchard-Smith's two-film reign as director of the wee mayhem. Most of my friends consider this to be the best entry into the series.

Leprechaun 3 features some pretty good ideas: I liked the whole magic show thing, and the guy getting cut in half was cool. For pure comedic value, I can see why the flick appeals. Warwick Davis gets a lot of funny lines in this one, and surprisingly, so do his victims. The Elvis impersonation is probably worth a rental alone.

Besides the increased comedy, Lep 3 also ushers in the bane of all low-budget horror flicks: the increasingly boring plot dumps and set-ups. You could really just fast forward through the film until Davis appears onscreen, and then resume fast-forwarding once he exits.

I recommend if you liked the second one. If not, go rent Willow or something.

Review: Leprechaun 2 (1994)

Immediate sequel to the surprising hit original, Leprechaun 2 is a funny little slasher pic and has a good energy about it. Unlike the original, a lost gold coin isn't all that the little killer is after: he wants a bride, and she happens to be the descendent of his last ill-fated fiance from a thousand years ago.

The young lead couple are merely serviceable in their duties. But, Uncle Morty aims to steal the show from Warwick Davis' limerick-spoutin killer. Morty (Sandy Baron) is a down-on-his luck shyster and double-crosser who pits his crooked wits againt the leprechaun and almost comes out on top. The best part of the flick would be the St. Paddy's Day bar scene where the two have a drink-off.

There are some nice touches as well. The tree where Lep lives and holds his bride-to-be hostage is on the grounds of the famed and neglected Houdini house. The irish whiskey bits were funny. There are also some shoe-polishings and a go-kart scene that harken back to the original.

I'll go ahead and recommend this one as a lesson on how to use a low budget. Though, if you're looking for continuity, this whole serious is definitely not for you: each flick has nothing to do with the former. There is no Leprechaun resurrection at the beginning. Sure, he died in the last one - just move on.

Review: Leprechaun (1993)

Although Jennifer Aniston was actually pretty good, in this, her first feature film, the obvious star of the show is Warwick Davis who turns in a hilarious performance as the limerick-spouting killer.

Leprechaun is too long by about 15 minutes, but that's just me being picky. There's really not too much fat to trim: the plot dumps and getting-to-know-you crap is kept to a minimum, so we can spend more time with our new kiddie-bike ridin' friend.

Besides Davis, the other thing going for this flick are the kills: they are fun, just a bit gory, and each of them is a climax to a good, tight build-up. There's nothing worse in my eyes than not getting the payoff in a slasher flick, but Leprechaun delivers the goods.

I'm assuming many of you have caught this or one of it's siblings on cable, but if not, you should give it a rental for a mindless load of fun some night.

Big Gulp: Tromo Triple Feature!

So, the last two nights have gone late. I've been plagued with Troma fever (a condition caused by nuclear and toxic wastes and broma-seltzer and green food dye). Just as the worlds of Full Moon and Fulci and Friday the 13th occupy their own galaxies in the horror genre, so does the Troma team. Each release from this most independent of film houses is stacked and packed with its own brand of humor, gore, twisted plots, and in-jokes.

Some Troma films are much better than others, but with each release, you'll never know what to expect. Their DVD features are becoming legendary: packed with all sorts of goofy "interactive tours" and "behind-the-scenes features" and Lloyd Kaufman's commentaries.

After seeing enough of these films, it's not enough to simply watch the plot unfold. You get accustomed to looking for the background jokes. You start noticing all of the random signs, Troma movie posters, and funny graffiti scrawled on the sets. You start playing close attention to the goofy sound effects (the boing whenever a bra is unstrapped). You begin to realize that in every release somebody foams green seltzer, and that the "Welcome to Tromaville; Population 15,000 (or whatever the count for each film) pops up in the weirdest of places.

You become part of Lloyd Kaufman's world. And, if you're paying for a DVD, he's more than happy to have you....

The Reviews:
Tromeo and Juliet
Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV
Class of Nuke'Em High

Review: Tromeo and Juliet (2000)

I've been a spiritual resident of Tromaville for a long time now. I remember being a 13 year old, sitting slackjawed at the mayhem of The Toxic Avenger. Since then, I've taken Kabukiman as a metaphysical friend, and the Penis Monster as a nightmarish arch-enemy. I've been enthralled at the sheer number of breasts and decapitations I've seen in this marvelously surreal place, where Ron Jeremy can be mayor, and Captain Lardass can eat his way out of any bind.

Which is why I was never going to like Tromeo and Juliet: It doesn't take place in Tromaville. It isn't shot through with the charm Tromaville anarchy. Though there are moments of insanity and hilarity, it was pretty much a drag the whole way through. When you kill off the funniest character in Act 2, you'll have problems.

Likewise, when you have actual sex scenes (long ones, too....geez, they were almost boring) instead of the usual quickies interspersed with some other scene of gore and mayhem (like all good Troma sex scenes), you'll have problems.

But, you'll really have problems if you don't carry any momentum from one set-up to the next. There's just way too much talking in this flick. I thought the dropped-in Shakesperian dialogue bits were funny, as was the Tyrone-Tromeo fight with the "Peanut" family Kabukiman-car scene. Most of the rest is filler....

Rent it if you're bored, maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did...

Review: Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (2000)

Citizen Toxie is the best Troma release I've ever seen. There is so friggin' much going on, that it almost hurts the brain. That is, if you can stop laughing.

From Tito, the special needs rebel, who keeps walking off saying "F this, I'm outta here", to the nasty Lardass makeout scene, I was completely dazed and hypnotized by Kaufman's masterpiece. The title comes from the best part of the movie, a beige-and-white Citizen Kane parody complete with a Julie Strain booby-killing and a Jackson Pollack wannabe gettin his eye gouged out.

What's so great about this flick is the editing: Gabriel Friedman makes the most of the two-camera shoot, cutting this one up so fine that it jerks you from one set-up to the next so fast and funny, that you're not sure how you got there. Though the production values are, of course, Troma-standard-zilch, score one for the make-up team for the best looking Toxie of all.

The icing on the cake is a ridiculous amount of special features (4 friggin' menus on the DVD) including a 95 minute (yeah, it's longer than the flick, and maybe even funnier) behind the scenes feature, Apocalypse Soon. I stayed up all night last night watching it all, and I'm now as tired as a bastard, but it was worth it.

Though I rented the DVD, I'll be buying the 3-disc collector's edition real soon. Two Mops Up!

Review: Class of Nuke'Em High (1986)

Just when you think you've stumbled upon Hardbodies 2, the going gets a bit better. Class of Nuke'Em High is definitely a Troma flick: about 10 puns per minute, hilariously "spooky" 50's scifi music and sound efx, and, of course, just enough one-liners and naked chicks to get you to the next gore set-up. I guess.

Geez, I haven't seen this movie in a long time, and you know what, it hasn't aged all that well. I guess I've come to expect more from the Troma team. There are some excellent gore efx (the opening Dewey meltdown is classic) and an uncountable number of always silly and sometimes funny background jokes ("...paging Doctor Fine. Doctor Howard and Doctor Fine..."). But, there are about two topless chicks in the whole movie, and some of the filler scenes are tiresome. Come to think of it, I don't remember a single F-bomb. What we get instead is alot of buildup and very little payoff.

I liked it enough to recommend to my friends, and the DVD has some cool features.

New look, same dumb blog...

For all 3 readers: I've changed the look of the thing. Sue me.