Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the greatest movie of all time

Halloween III: Season of the Witch. No Michael Myers. No Dr. Loomis. No witches. Confused? You're not alone. No one understood it when it came out. The franchise was supposed to be anthology at this point since Myers is dead and all. Always heard it was a box office bomb but it made five times its budget. Critically it mostly bombed. It is out there, for sure, and doesn't make complete sense but it's super interesting and more fun than most of the movies in the Halloween franchise. If I were to rank the three films in the series up to this point, I'd actually put this above Halloween II. Below Halloween, of course, which is weird since Halloween III is the greatest movie of all time.

Pros: Holds up great on its own. Way the fuck out there (in a good way). Tom Atkins is great. His cute little female companion is pretty solid as well. The villain(s) do a good job of going from over-the-top and humorous to creep city. Sick poster... Just look at that shit... Incredibly solid John Carpenter score.

Cons: Not a Halloween sequel should be stressed but isn't (though I think everyone knows this at this point, 36 years later). Sort of hard to follow. Not everything plot wise makes all that much sense. Ending is dark AF. That Silver Shamrock song set to the tune of "London Bridge" they play 15-20 times in the movie will fucking stick with you.

Gist of the thing... We get one Dr. Dan Challis (played by Tom Atkins whom you'll recognize from such classics as The Fog [1980], Escape from New York, Creepshow, Night of the Creeps [a personal fave], and Lethal Weapon [he was Michael Hunsaker]) who decides to play detective after a costume shop owner comes into the hospital and prattles on about how "they" are going to kill everybody. Once that man's skull is ripped apart by an automaton who self-immolates in the parking lot, his daughter, Ellie Grimbridge (played by Stacey Nelkin), joins him for some mystery solving and coitus in the nearby town of Santa Mira, California, a town famous for Silver Shamrock Novelties which completely runs the town. The company/town is run by this evil Irish warlock (maybe???) dude named Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy whom I know as Andrew Packard in Twin Peaks). At one point we get a tour of the company's hall of fame and hear about their greatest hits which include sticky toilet paper (hilarious), the soft chainsaw, and the "dead dwarf gag" which sounds disturbing. They also make three sweet-ass masks that have little magic chunks of Stonehenge (which they have stolen and is approximately three times larger than it is IRL) that kill people when they watch a certain Silver Shamrock commercial or fuck with the chip in the logo as part of a culling ritual for the Celtic festival, Samhain. The mask kills are crazy. They basically turn people's head into pumpkin goo and bugs and snake come out and kill anyone else that is nearby. They really go out of this horribly.

Sick masks. Also, chick is out of Atkins's league
Written and directed by one Tommy Lee Wallace who worked with Carpenter a bunch previously and was married to childhood crush Nancy Kyes/Loomis who plays Atkins's wife who is fed up with his shit. Wallace would go on to do Fright Night Part 2 and It (the 1990 miniseries version) which are both "great" flicks I remember super fondly from childhood that I should probably revisit at some point. Other notable actor appearances besides Atkins, Nelkin, and O'Herlihy include Jamie Lee Curtis in voice only as the Curfew Announcer/Telephone Operator, Joshua John Miller (he plays one of Atkins's kids) who wrote an insanely dope movie called The Final Girls with Malin Akerman (me-ow), Thomas Middleditch, and Alia Shawkat (among others) which is a meta horror flick with a lot of dark humor that I fucking loved, and stuntman/Michael Myers in Halloween II Dick Warlock who is one of the Ken doll assassins. 

Favorite line of the movie is "It's getting late. I could use a drink." Never has a phrase so perfectly summed up a character than those eight little words. Dude is a drunk, you see. Which brings me to...

She'll probably be alright
There are a bunch of gnarly kills in this one. Homeless guy gets his head ripped off. Always solid. Dude gets skull ripped apart like "The Mountain" did that other dude in Game of Thrones. Kids head turns to mush, bugs, snakes, so forth, which then come out and kill his parents. A guy lights himself on fire. All that shit is great. But the best one comes to good old Marge Guttman who introduces herself, first and last name, to Grimbridge, where she is from, what line of work she is in, and that Grimbridge should "look her up" sometime. This all with an economy of language, in less than six seconds of screen time. "What the hell is that about," I ask myself. She is so going to die, that's what. Her deal is she has a kid back home in San Francisco, another detail we get from that information packed introduction, who she picked up a new mask for even though she had them at the store and what not. Anyway, the little Silver Shamrock logo pops off. So what she does is takes it apart and finds a little circuit board underneath it and starts fucking with it. As she pokes at it with a hair pin, this whilst Atkins and Grimbridge enter the bone zone, a laser shoots out and hits her in the mouth. When they cut back to her shit is all fucked up. Her face is completely jacked and all the bugs and snakes and shit come out and finish the job. It is gross and disturbing and excellent.

Some shit with this movie... Atkins is so over-the-top. Love that shit. First off, horrible doctor, father, husband. Major drunk. Brings a sixer or a 40 oz with him wherever he goes. Even drinks whilst on call. Chicks still love him though as he has banged at least four chicks in this movie and it would seem possibly every female that works at this hospital. The four chicks are the black nurse who he tells he should have married, the coroner whose ass he grabs, Kyes who is his wife or exwife or whatever, and the daughter of the crazy guy who is like 30ish years his junior. After he has boned her a couple of times he finally asks her how old she is. "Old enough," apparently.

The ending of this movie, spoiler, is also insane and has a lot going on and is also my favorite bit of the movie. It goes thus: Grimbridge was captured by the Silver Shamrock people and dude obviously goes to save her, escaping from his own captivity by die harding his way out of his one-room prison through the air vents. They sneak around the building by pushing a rack of masks so no one can see them which totally wouldn't work. That is when Atkins gets how to defeat the bad guys. The big plan, we see, is to randomly hit buttons on the big computer in the warehouse where Cochran and all his minions have gathered which brings up the commercial. Atkins then takes a box of the circuit logo things and dumps them on the guys, which leads to chaos and kills them all. Atkins and Grimbridge then take off to warn everyone but it turns out that she is a robet and attacks him causing them to crash the car and her to lose an arm. He beats her with a tire iron until her head pops off. He gets back in the car and is attacked by the severed arm. He pries it off eventually and then is immediately attacked by the headless body. Ridiculous. Finally he runs to a gas station and makes a call to god only knows who, whoever plays all the commercials on all the channels or something which obviously isn't a thing, telling whoever is one the other end to pull the Silver Shamrock ad as it is going to kill everyone. They get it done on two of the three networks but it starts to air on the third with Atkins screaming for them to "turn it off for god's sake, turn it off!!!" while children sit there and watch it right in front of him. Yeah, it's dark and bleak as hell.

MVP is... Drum roll... Michael Myers. Huh? Yep, that is right. No more of this bait and switch bull shit. This cemented that Michael Myers was the franchise and would be in every damn one of these flicks from here on out. They'll retcon him, kill him off, resurrect him, reboot him, and retcon him again if they have to but he will be in the movie. So no franchise as an anthology. Too soon. Too out there for 1982. Franchise financier Moustapha Akkad who had the rights to the character would make sure Myers was the killer in all the movies from then on out, even bringing him back, awkwardly, after he got his head chopped off in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. The rest is history and now we have all the sequels where Myers becomes more Jason like with each passing installment. So looking forward to that shit. Also, my dude Joe Bob Briggs did a sweet Monstervision for this installment of the franchise. Love the shit out of Joe Bob. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Faculty is the greatest movie of all time

The Faculty. Most pro meth movie of all time. Saw it sophomore year of HS at the $1 theater (watched a shit ton of movies that year at that theater, remember it super fondly, RIP the $1 theater) and fucking loved it. At the time my favorite of the 700 high school movies from that year. I also got the soundtrack which was great. Had some Garbage, some Oasis, a Creed cover of "I'm Eighteen" which isn't terrible, and an awesome rendition of "Another Brick in the Wall" from one pop supergroup Class of 1999 featuring Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and Stephen Perkins and Martyn LeNoble of Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros. That supergroup covered three of my favorite five bands at the time. Anywho, what I remembered about the film itself was that John Stewart was in it and dies hilariously via a Bic through the eye, they bet hard on Usher being a breakout star, and the movie was insanely pro meth. All of these things are true and are what you should walk away with from said movie. So of course it's still dope but way doper than I expected. In fact, greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Rip-off of other sci-fi thrillers. Ouch.

Pros: Great cast. Like amazingly so. Josh Hartnett is like the coolest. The plot was super fun albeit a total rip off of like 100 other science fiction flicks. Pretty good pacing. Wrapped up with a lot of personal nostalgia. Pretty ladies.

Cons: Basically Scream with aliens which was getting sort old by that point and is pretty dated as a movie from the late 1990s. Actually, looking at the credit list, wasn't shocked to see Kevin Williamson, who wrote most of the Scream franchise, wrote the screenplay for this as well.

Gist of it... A motley crew of high school student archetypes--the overachieving cheerleader (Jordana Brewster), the goth maybe lesbian (Clea DuVall), the new kid/southern belle (Laura Harris), the genius (Josh Hartnett), the miscast dumb jock (Shawn Hatosy), and the nerd (Elijah Wood)--must save the world from an alien invasion that for whatever reason has begun at their high school, first getting into their teachers' brains and taking control, then moving on to the town folk, student body, and their parents. Only not all of the archetypes are what they seem. Spoiler, some of them are also possessed by aliens. Movie was directed by one of the masters, Robert Rodrigues, who has done all kinds of dope ass shit (From Dusk Till Dawn, the Sin City movies, Planet Terror, El Mariachi, Machete, to name a fraction).

Got to give it up for the casting director in this flick. We get an insane 1990s ensemble, like if you were drafting 90s teens, most of these would be in your top ten, plus the faculty themselves are way more star studded than what I recalled. Some of the teachers and parents include an equally star studded bunch in Daniel von Bargen (Kruger in Seinfeld), hotty Famke Janssen who was Jean Grey in X-Men, super hotty Salma Hayek, Piper Laurie from Twin Peaks, Christopher McDonald (Shooter McGavin), Bebe Neuwirth (Lilith from Cheers), Robert "T2" Patrick, and Jon Stewart. Usher Raymond is also in the movie. This is when they were really trying to make him a movie star. But dude can't act so he has maybe like five lines even though he was on the damn cover. Even get some recognizable extras. Like playing "Fuck Up #1"and "Fuck Up #2"--those their listed roles on IMDB--are Fuck Up #1 IRL Danny Masterson (famous for Hyde from That 70's Show and rape) and Wiley Wiggins whom you might recognize as the main freshman kid Mitch Kramer in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused which went instant classic, not sure what he's up to now but he doesn't appear to be raping people so I wish him the best.

Best line of the movie is "not the pole!" screamed by Elijah Wood when in his intro like six dudes pick him up, spread his legs, and repeatedly smash his genitals into a light pole. These guys are not chill. 

Favorite scene is easily the one where they recreate the old John Carpenter's The Thing blood test except instead of a hot copper wire they all do meth ("skat" that Hartnett's character makes in his basement) which turns out to be the aliens' weakness. So basically a slightly more exaggerated effect on the aliens than on humans. In it they each have to do a bump to prove that they aren't aliens. I couldn't imagine a worse way to get fucked up than doing meth with potential aliens that are trying to take over but maybe that's just me. It's also great that one of the hulks out when she takes it because she is indeed other worldly.

MVP is absolutely Josh Hartnett, awful hair and all. As The Ringer explains, Hartnett really had a moment and this was his greatest role in said moment. He plays a fifth-year senior who purposefully repeated the grade to sell drugs which is a good thing since it is mostly his ingenuity that stops the outbreak. How does this dude not win the movie is a better question. Some examples of his coolness. He's about to fuck his English teacher, played by Famke Janssen, before she gets turned into an alien. He gets her all... intrigued with his astute comments in class and then when she catch him selling meth out of the trunk of his car he offers her some then laxatives then condoms. She weakly tells him he is being rude. Then she is all over him as an alien and lays into him and talks hella shit to him in front of the whole school. But he acts all cool and signals to her to bring it on in this cool way. I get the feeling that alien actually just wants to fuck him. Her end is pretty great with Zeke crashing his hot ass muscle car into a bus. We get some crash and burn and decapitation. Movie wasn't nearly the greatest of all time without him. Good thing they did.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Halloween II is the greatest movie of all time

Halloween II. Got myself my first pumpkin beer of the season so it's that time. Gonna start with these and hopefully gonna make my way through them all in time for the new one that comes out in October. The new one, by the way, ignores all the sequels including this one. Loved all these as a kid, we'll see if it holds up. Sooo, this one. The one that made Michael Myers and Laurie Strode brother and sister. The one that started the franchise down the path that would eventually take us to the Mark of Thorn that completely derailed the series. But we are a ways away from that. Last one with Jamie Lee Curtis until Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. John Carpenter/Debra Hill wrote it. Guy named Rick Rosenthal directed. Carpenter hates it. Critics hated it, too and it got horrible reviews when it came out. A lot of those focused on this being a continuation of the first one that doesn't stand up on it's own (which is somewhat valid). But this is overall a pretty solid movie. In fact, greatest film of all time.

Pros: This is where we get The Shape's movements down (assuming you like him not looking down when climbing stairs and stuff). JLC and Donald Pleasence are both great though not in the movie as much as you'd remember. Pretty tense but less so than the original Halloween movie. Genuinely pretty scary.

Cons: Starting to feel more like Jason Voorhees than Mike Myers at this point. Also get the sister stuff which is what it is. There is also a fair amount of bullshit in this movie with the razor blade kid, Ben Tramer getting hit by a car and exploding, and Sheriff Brackett blaming Loomis for letting Michael out, which totally didn't happen.

Picking up directly where the 1978 Halloween film left off, slasher Michael Myers goes back after survivor Laurie Strode--killing many nurses and doctors and such, maybe two EMTs, and one random girl along the way--who was taken to the hospital following the traumatic events of the first flick. Dr. Sam Loomis, meanwhile, searches desperately for his former patient whom he sees as pure evil. This was supposed to be the last of the films featuring The Shape, and the first time I saw it as a child it was, but as we know that changed 1988 with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Halloween III: Season of the Witch, you will see, followed an unrelated story as the franchise was supposed to be more of an anthology type. Apart from JLC and Pleasence you'll probably really only recognize the two EMTs from the movie. They are Lance Guest from The Last Starfighter and Leo Rossi who was the serial killer from Maniac Cop 2 and a million other things.

Lots of pretty ladies in this one. Have JLC who is universally considered a hotty. Then there are the nurses. There is Ana Alicia who is the dark-haired nurse who doesn't know how to use a walkie talkie, she did warn the security guard in her defense, and could have prevented the whole thing. Super cute but dumb. Tawny Moyer who is the short-haired blonde and my fave. Pamela Susan Shoop who is the one that goes to the bone zone with Budd (played by Leo Rossi) who got her face melted off in the hot tub. Pretty sure that can't happen.

Favorite line is "His wife’s always picking on him. He probably got angry and decided to start beating her…Big deal!" Oh casual domestic violence. Always hilarious. Big deal indeed. No. This is in reference to Alice who hears a scream coming from next door at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Elrod.

Some pretty alright kills but my favorite is the one with the nurse played by Moyer. In that, Laurie is out of bed running around and this clueless nurse--everyone in the hospital is dead by that point--is like "What is going on? Where is everyone? Get back in bed." That is when Myers pops out and scalpels her in the back, lifting her high in the air. It isn't so much the kill as what happens afterwards that made this my favorite as her little white nurse's shoes pop off and clang against the floor.

Best scene of the movie is when Michael Myers has chased Laurie into the basement of the hospital and they get to the elevator. This whole bit is easily the most intense point in the film and arguably the scariest. Finally gotten ahead of Myers a bit, Laurie is backed into the end of a hall with an elevator. She sees Myers coming and smashes at the button. It finally gets there and Myers is closing in. That is when she smashes the close door button repeatedly which works just as he gets to the door, sticking his hand in. You think that the door is going to pop back open as it would with a new elevator, and likely one then as well, but it doesn't and she gets away safe.

There is some shit in this movie... At the beginning of the movie we see this kid going into the hospital with a razor blade in sticking out of his lip. This is based on that urban legend of people putting razors in apples and poison in candy on Halloween. There has never been a documented case of the first and while the second did happen, it was a piece of shit dad that poisoned his kid, not a person that randomly poisoned trick or treaters. We later see them leaving with the mom saying they will go home and play board games and stuff. No going to the police and none show up, I mean, they are busy and all but still. So not only do they have to deal with Michael Myers, now they also have this psycho out there trying to kill kids by putting razors in candy. But that is of little concern in this universe.

The real Myers, up in flames... Totes survivable
We also have Ben Tramer, Laurie's crush from the first one, get hit by a car and explode before the car even completely crashes. The whole scene is fucking insane. First Loomis spots him wearing The Shape mask. He runs at him, waving his gun around like a wild man, stops and points it, about to shoot. Tramer starts looking back at him like WTF when a police car comes out of nowhere and pins him to a van with crash and burn. The cop gets out of the car and protests that the guy came out of nowhere. After more explosions and such, the deputy comes and whisks off Loomis and Brackett, tell Brackett that his daughter is dead. They get in the car and go but the guy involved in the crash is just standing there like an idiot. No big, just an officer caused fatality.

Which brings us to the whole bit where Brackett blames Loomis for Myers is insane and has always sort of irritated me. When Brackett is told that there are three dead kids and "one of them is Annie," he turns his anger toward Loomis. The conversation is basically "you son of a bitch. What have you done?" Loomis is like, "uh, I'm sorry. I haven't done anything." Brackett, losing his shit, "You let him out!" Which totally doesn't happen since Loomis always believed him to be evil incarnate and all and responds "I didn't let him out. I gave orders for him to be restrained." So you know. The opposite of that.

And lastly, the ending of the movie is pretty definitive with Loomis sacrificing himself by turning on all this flammable gas and shit and blowing himself and Myers up by flicking his lighter which he got from Marian Chambers, the nurse that he was rolling with in the first one and who picks him up to take him out of Haddonfield on orders of the governor (uh, what?) in this one. Michael is definitely some sort of supernatural being to survive this shit as he gets shot point blank in both eyes and then completely torched... But as we see in the later installments, he and Loomis both survive. It was a miracle, apparently, but obviously this was, according to Carpenter's script, supposed to be the end of The Shape.

Found a Monstervision segment for the movie which is dope. Love me some Joe Bob Briggs. Linking that shit below. Learned some crazy shit from it as well. Basic gist is that a year after the movie came out, this guy in California named Richard Delmer Boyer stabbed this elderly couple to death whilst high on PCP whereupon he hallucinated he was in this movie and killed this couple. What the fuck, bro? The jury was then subjected to this film which seems pretty unnecessary. No idea. But the defense didn't work and the dude got sentenced to death.

MVP of this movie is a tough one. Doesn't seem that JLC was in the movie enough to get MVP status but I think you have to go with her. Pleasence is pretty close but going to JLC because of that elevator scene and the one where she goes outside and hides in the car. When Pleasence and company show up to find her and she tries to scream but can't, that shit is gold. Also, how exhausted and traumatized she seems. Very much how I think a real human would be at this point. MVP performance right there.

But yeah. Movie was pretty solid. No John Carpenter's Halloween or anything but it is probably the third or fourth best movie in the franchise. Still have a little ways to go before the wheels totally come off.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Lumberjack Man is the greatest movie of all time

Lumberjack Man. Bar was pretty low after the Sleepaway Camp movies but this camp flick ended up being a sort of a better version what that franchise was going for with some supernatural elements thrown in. It's more or less like other camp movies, but is a little more self-aware. The camp is a christian one, as well, which they play up for comedic effect. Plus, Michael Madsen is in it which is the real reason I decided to give it a go. Good thing I did too as it was the greatest film of all time.

Pros: Gory and campy fun. Decent amount of generic gratuitous nudity. Like that it was set at a Jesus camp. Lots of pretty ladies/nudity. Had a couple of good chuckles. Diverse and frequent kills.

Cons: You'd think with a name like "Lumberjack Man" the killer would dress like a lumberjack, man. Pretty sure Madsen was drunk during all of his scenes. Not the best acting. People say a bunch of shit that humans would never say. The ending was pretty lame and went on too long. Too much talk of pancakes. Two dumb guys even call boobs "flapjacks" which is stupid.

Here's the gist. A motley crew of counselors go in for training at the Good Friends Church Camp when they start getting picked off by a vengeful zombie that uses their blood as his pancake syrup. Pretty sure the only person anyone has ever seen before in this flick is Michael Madsen who plays a doctor or historian or something who is also a pancake expert who drives a Smartcar which is supposed to funny, I guess. Also in the movie are the likes of Alex Dobrenko, Ciara Flynn, Chase Joliet, Jarrett King, Brina Palencia, Andy San Dimas who appears to do porn, and Adam Sessler who I guess was sort of famous in the gaming world or something for a show he hosted called X-Play. None of these people have I ever heard of or seen before but they are fine. The dudes are all 35 playing teenagers while some of the girls are probably early 20s.

As a militant atheist, dig that the camp is a Christian one and they make them all look like ridiculous hypocrites (as like 7/10 of them are). Stuff like the head camp guy, Doug who is played by Sessler, is one of those doesn't-like-hearing-uncomfortable-things Christians that peeps on chicks and when shit goes down pushes campers out of the way and barricades himself in a room telling people about to get slaughtered that he "wouldn't open the door for Jesus." Also like the dumb guy--spoiler, they are all dumb--who dressed up like Jesus and bones two chicks, saying stuff like "are you ready for the second coming?" and "he is risen" when he pops a boner. This was easily my favorite scene of the movie.

He is risen
Lot of sick kills like ripping a guy's head and spine out Mortal Combat style, tree taps a girl's head, tree falls on a guy from toe to head and his brain explodes out the top of his skull, and chopping a guy in half with his legs continuing to run. But my fave is when a chick gets her breast implants ripped out through her back and then the Lumberjack Man throws them at a guy and kills him. That was, indeed, pretty humorous but there is a serious amount of carnage in this flick with 25ish total kills.

While I did dig the movie, I have some bones to pick about the ending that just goes on forever. Basically have to go through all of this ritualistic stuff to be able to kill him. Like the virgin among them, i.e. the survivor girl, has to strip down and cover herself in maple syrup in order to do anything to him because he hates maple syrup. He gets shot, blown up, we get his backstory about how he is a demon or whatever, all that shit right here while they keep trying to find a way to kill him. There is some humor here like when the chick calls out Madsen for making her strip down and when Madsen tries to open up a syrup packet but can't and just throws it at him. But yeah, goes on too long and even after they kill him there is another ending where they go to the road and hitchhike back to town in real time. They are covered in blood and this guy in a truck shockingly picks them up and then they treat him like shit. All he is asks is what happened and they are like, "fuck you!" Ok. So then he is like, "do you want pancakes?" and they are all "you don't know shit about pancakes, bra," and "you don't know what pancakes is!" which whatever. But still pretty solid overall.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is the greatest movie of all time

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Horribly reviewed when it came out in 2015. 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audience score isn't much better. I fucking loved it. 10 out of 10. These people don't know what the fuck they are talking about. It had me LOLing which doesn't happen often. It's got everything. Gore. Yucks. Zombies. Strippers. Zombie strippers. Like I said, everything. It is the greatest movie of all time. 

Pros: Humorous. Mostly solid practical effects. Manage to do a lot with little. The kids and the stripper: super solid. If you like this type of comedy horror flick, then it is nearly perfect. 

Cons: Sure, it's kind of juvenile, but what do you expect? 

Here's the gist. A camping trip gets cut short for a trio of boy scouts when zombies take over their town. With the help of a local stripper, the boys with their ingenuity save their "cooler" classmates who are at a rave getting crunk. The movie stars Logan Miller (Carter) from Love, Simon (never heard of it), Joey Morgan (Augie) whom I've never seen, and Tye Sheridan (Ben) who is the lead from Ready Player One, as the scouts. The film was directed by Christopher B. Landon, son of the late Michael Landon of Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven fame, who previous directed Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and has since done the flick Happy Death Day which I loved. Landon, in my opinion, is a rising star whose career I will definitely follow closely. Also appearing in the movie are Blake Anderson aka the frizzy haired guy in Workaholics, Sarah Dumont as the stripper (not to be confused with the zombie stripper), David Koechner (Champ from Anchorman) as the scout leader, Halston Sage (Kendall: sister of Carter, crush of Ben) who was the love interest of the two main frat bros in Neighbors, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's kid Patrick as the dick boyfriend of Sage's character. 

The movie draws you in quick with the Workaholics dude working as a janitor in a hospital. He goes to a quarantined area while the doctor leaves to get a snack from a machine. There, alone, going where he shouldn't, dude thinks he kills the zombie patient zero and attempts CPR which smashes his rib cage. This wakes the zombie up and they go at it. You can see him flying around behind the doctor's back who can't hear him through the sound proof windows. Dude eventually comes back and eats the doctor who has his hand up the vending machine that just ate his dollar and his snack. Ok. I'm in at this point. 

We see pretty early on that these are the Dawn of the Dead  zombies that still go through the motions of being alive and doing what they did in life. In that movie we saw them head to the mall in droves. Here we see the scoutmaster returning home from the woods and a stripper doing her whole routine including a disgustingly gory and extremely hot (kidding) pole dance. We also get some honking of a big tittied cop zombie that loses her shirt on a fence. 

Favorite scene is sort of a tough one. The opening is great, as is the strip club sequence, as well as the ending. Ultimately, it's one where the trio, now accompanied by the lone surviving stripper, head to Carter's house to find his sister's diary to find out where the big party is going down. While there in the sister's upstairs bedroom, Ben ends up confessing to the stripper that he has a crush on Carter's sister, Kendall, and how he is nervous or about making a move or whatever. The stripper, though, is like "you just need some practice," and they start making out. It is a weird turn, for sure, but while that is going on, you sort of notice something in the background: a zombie jumping on a trampoline just behind them. Once shit goes down and they all have to flee, they end up using the trampoline to clear the wall into a neighbor's yard. All of them bloop down from the window and boing over the wall no problem until they get to Ben who sees the diary they are looking for. In the time it takes to grab it though the trampoline become overrun with bouncing zombies. He grabs onto the only thing he can which we see is a zombie in a robe's dick, much to his horror. My female companion laughed nonstop like a wild woman the whole time that was going down, which seemed like too long. 

Best kill, in my opinion, comes when the old cat lady that lives next door, wanders over and attacks Carter. She attacks him by pulling his past down and biting his ass but doesn't have her teeth in so just keeps gumming him. It is gross but hilarious. He ends up turning the tables on her though and smashes the window and slams it down on her neck, decapitating her. It is sick. Her cats attempt to avenge her though as they have all turned to zombies that look and act just like hobgoblins from one of the best MST3K riffs, Hobgoblins

MVP of the movie, for me, has to be Landon as this is the second of his films I have seen that are totally my type of flick. He's on a list of newer directors (along with Jeremy Saulnier and Ti West) whose shit I will eagerly anticipate. Having previously wrote those Paranormal Activity movies (which were meh), dude wanted to do something more upbeat with a bit of humor which is more in line with his personality and sensibilities. "I'm kind of a goofy dude and so this felt very much like a reflection of my personality and the stuff that I grew up watching. When I read the first script, I was like, 'Wow, I can actually make a gory R-rated version of The Goonies and Gremlins or even Monster Squad,' and so that was the big appeal for me." Yeah, I think we should totally hang out. MVP for sure. 

Overall, the movie is fun as hell and has a kick ass ending. They basically get to the dance and use all of the ingenuity they learned scouting to build killing machines that they use to great effect. The carnage is gnarly and extreme and they come out to "Rock You Like a Hurricane." Shit is dope. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Return to Sleepaway Camp is the worst movie of all time

Return to Sleepaway Camp. Jesus Christ. I was excited to see this after the pieces of shit that were Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers and Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland. Thought this one had potential as it was handed back to original Sleepaway Camp writer/director Robert Hiltzik since that first one, though completely bonkers and over-the-top, was actually pretty enjoyable. This film was not in any way whatsoever and managed to offend and annoy me on multiple occasions which isn't all that easy of a thing to do (don't fucking have violence towards animals, that is all I fucking ask). Return to Sleepaway Camp is unwatchable trash. In fact, this is the worst movie of all time. 

Pros: Much of the original cast returns. Ret-cons the second, third, and I guess fourth movies that were just completely terrible. 

Cons: Might be legitimately the worst of the series. Animal cruelty. Nearly every character is loathsome. Fat shame the shit out of the dip shit protagonist (who is pretty terrible). Kills are borophyll. This shit ain't funny. The twist at the end is fucking terrible. 

Getting gisty with it here... A truly insane amount of bullying is slowed down temporarily after the body count at Camp Manabe escalates to alarming proportions. But camp counselor Ronnie, played by Paul DeAngelo who reprises his role from the original, is on the case... He totally suspects Angela who committed a similar series of murders at the same camp when under a different name/ownership and enlists the help of Angela's cousin, Ricky Thomas (played by Jonathan Tiersten). Only problem is, Angela is in prison (or mental institution or whatever). Ricky assures us he just visited her a few days ago. Must be one of the kids at the camp. Spoiler. It's not.  Mixed in with the cast of mostly unknowns are Scientologist Isaac Hayes (released after his death) whom you know as Chef from South Park, Vincent Pastore aka Big Pussy in The Sopranos (at one point an out of control kid he grabs yells "let me go you big pussy", and Lenny Venito who is one of those "oh, that guy" guys.

Most of the film follows the goings on of this tubby kid named Alan who is obviously much older than the others who is stinky, dirty, dumb, and kind of an aggressive prick. He tools on the littler kids and talks about a girl at the camp in a total stalker way like she is his girl friend. She is not and wants nothing to do with him and even does some super fucked shit to him that would probably get her and others arrested and called out on the local electric TV news machines these days. A lot of the horrific taunting or bullying or whatever included his brother who is fucking loathsome and skins frogs, the fat kid's only friends, for fun. I fucking hate that dude and was pretty alright when Angela skinned him at the end of the movie. Like, the dude is pretty terrible, but his life here looks rough as hell. The skinning his frogs thing made me nearly puke. So there is that. Then there is this scene where his bro and his bro's paintball bros stalk him through the woods and light his ass up. Who enjoys this shit?

Yeah, well, hard as shit to watch... But at least the movie is consistent, unlike with II and III which has Angela just killing people willy-nilly. In this one they at least have to break the rules of camp to get the wrath. When the stoner dude, a real prick, rolls up a turd in a joint and the fat kid smoke smokes it, he gets gas poured on him and his ass gets torched. And the bro getting skinned. I historically have had a thing for ironic punishment, Dante calls it contrapasso, I wrote numerous papers in college on this and think it is really cool, so this isn't too much of a surprise.

MVP is Paul DeAngelo. It was sort of nice seeing him, the sort of hero in the first one (he plays Ronnie, the head counselor), agian. He is a pretty absurd character and pretty much is Ken Marino from Wet Hot American Summer. He clearly loves being in this flick and really swings for the fences. He does a good job in an otherwise unwatchable flick. I'd say the same for Jonathan Tiersten who plays Angela's cousin, Ricky Thomas, in the first one and reprises the role in this one. Both of them were good shit and I wanted more of that. Also, one of the reasons the movie really sucked is that they didn't really utilize Felissa Rose as Angela as she only appears as herself in the last scene of the movie which makes no fucking sense. The rest of the time she is dressed up as this male cop with a voice box, that is obviously Angela from the moment we see him, preaching an anti-smoking message to the kiddos. But in the final scene, just like the first one, we see only Angela and it is pretty terrifying. Here she cackles like a mad woman after having killed more or less everyone, again, and sort of snaps at the camera with a dead-eyed stare. Those were about the only things in the movie I liked and that last bit was still pretty dumb and incoherent although it does send shivers down the old spine. 

These Sleepaway Camp movies, especially this one, are not worth your time. The first one is okay but they just keep going down hill from there. It's crazy that I was looking forward to this one. Had a lot of hope but Jesus fuck, man. This whole experience was unpleasant.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland is the worst movie of all time

Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland. Somewhat more enjoyable than Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers because of how ridiculous it is but probably a worse overall movie. Since this is worse than that second installment and that is the movie that broke the whole every movie is the great of all time run, gonna have to call it. Sleepaway Camp III is the worst movie of all time.

Racist ger
Pros: Lots of kills (but none of them are really very good). Some pretty ladies. The ending isn't too bad. A few decent moments of dark comedy.

Cons: Makes no sense. Has a bunch of characters that are completely out of place. Everyone is insanely stupid. Hot chick drops an N-bomb for no reason.

Here's the gist. Angela, played by Pamela Springsteen, goes back to the camp where she killed people the year before (might be the camp from the first Sleepaway Camp though), now called Camp New Horizons under new ownership after having killed everyone the previous summer, where she immediately starts killing off other counselors. Same shit, different assumed identity. In this one she mows down this chick Maria (who has the hilarious tattoo "Milk Shake" on her tits) with a dump truck and then steals her name, clothes, and job as a counselor. She even has the same hair as this Maria chick which is unnecessary since no one has ever seen anyone before and no one knows what Angela looks like as she killed everyone in the previous movie. Doesn't get the tattoo though, thank fuck. The film also stars Haynes Brooke as the idiot rapey one, Tracy Griffith as the pelo rojo survivor girl, Mark Oliver as beefcake Tony, and Michael J. Pollard whom I distinctly remember as one of the homeless guys in Scrooged (the one that freezes to death in the sewer [if you remember that]), are all in... irrelevant.

These three...
Black guy being angry. Did I mention the movie's racist?
Favorite scene is indeed the most absurd. This comes early in the movie when a newscaster shows up to the camp and interviews all the new counselors, just saying their names and where they are from and what archetype they are and so forth. Well, the newscaster, having just met Angela but being able to tell she knows how to party, I guess, asks her if she can get her coke. She is going back to the city or whatever but needs coke now, apparently. She obviously has a huge problem. Angela ends up selling her Comet which kills her. Having had shit up my nose that shouldn't have been, there is no way that she doesn't get extreme pain in her nostril the second that shit goes up her nose. But this chick keeps doing it and she dead.

A lot of nonsense in this flick. A memorably absurd scene comes in the middle of the flick when it suddenly gets all meta. Here Angela finds a hockey mask in the woods like Jason wears. She then asks what day it is and someone says it's "Saturday the 14th." Wacka wacka. Probably the most unbelievable shit in the movie is that the male owner, played by Pollard, who is a gross old man married to this gross old lady ends up doing a very attractive counselor with fake breasts even though he is like a 1/10. This gets them both killed, by the by. The wife, meanwhile, gets buried up to her neck in trash and then Angela mows over her head with a lawnmower. More insanity is this black gang member guy that "works" as a counselor at the camp. This guy is crazy aggressive and refuses to do shit. The owner of the camp asks him to do shit and he is all like, "fuck you, bitch, suck my dick." Not really the way you keep a job. Plus that shit is racist as fuck.

Skipping IV! Yay!
Speaking of racism and attractive females, this one chick out of nowhere drops the N-word in reference to that aggressive prick. For this Angela strings the girl up on the flagpole during the trust walk and drops her on her head from the top, killing her. It's pretty lame. Despite this, the racist chick, played by one Kim Wall, is indeed a pretty lady. As is Jill Terashita, the Asian one, whom you may remember as the attractive Asian chick in Night of the Demons. She dies, too.

MVP for this one is more or less no one because everyone phoned it in. I guess maybe the aggressive black guy or the red head survivor girl who seemingly kills Angela. She beats down Angela like a wild woman and ends up stabbing her in self-defense. When it is going down you think this is it for Angela, sort of, but you are wrong as we see in the last scene that she is in an ambulance coming t, killing the EMT and making her escape.

And that is Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland, a real piece of work. So, uh, you know. Don't cry. Don't raise your eye. Only one more of these movie left to go as I can't find Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor anywhere. This seems just as well since it was released in 2012 after mostly being shot in 1992 as test footage with spliced archival footage from films I-III. Not going to count this garbage, whatever it is, as a real movie. Am looking forward to Return to Sleepaway Camp which ret-cons the other sequels. It is also the only one with involvement from original director Robert Hiltzik. So, yeah, should be fun(ish).

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Green Room is the greatest movie of all time

Green Room
. Movie is good shit. Of the two movies I've seen from director Jeremy Saulnier, this and Murder Party, both are out of the park (gonna have to watch his other film, Blue Ruin, as well). While Murder Party had a literal $0 budget, Green Room is obviously spending some coinage as this cast is dope and not at all amateurish and includes Sir Patrick Stewart. The movie is intense, brutal, has a solid storyline. It is the greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Green Room delivers unapologetic genre thrills with uncommon intelligence and powerfully acted élan.

Pros: Super engrossing with highly tense situations. Nice premise. Patrick Stewart! This guy brings it. Rest of cast is solid too. Little bit of unexpected humor in there as well.

Cons: Not super taut. A couple of things don't make a lot of sense. Pretty violent.

Gist is a bust of gig, a band of struggling punk rockers lands a show that they are warned is a little different that ends up being at a neo-Nazi venue where they play a song with the hook "Nazi punk fuck off" which the Nazi punks consider confrontational. They are run off the stage early, back into the green room where a murder has taken place. They lock themselves in and the movie then turns into a very much nontraditional home invasion flick. Reminds me of a Trump-era Your Next, also a home invasion movie with a twist, if you are familiar with that masterful piece of cinema (though it came out before all the Trump supporting racists came out of the woodwork). Directed by Saulnier, whose shit I fucking love and seems to be the new Ti West, has cemented himself as a dude whose flicks I will anticipate for sure. Staring in the film are Macon Blair (a favorite of Saulnier) who was in Blue Ruin and Murder Party, Imogen Poots from films such as 28 Weeks Later and Need for Speed, Alia Shawkat who is Maebe in Arrested Development and was in Final Girls which was one of my faves from the last few years, the Patrick Stewart, and Anton Yelchin, known for Alpha Dog, Hearts in Atlantis, and Star Trek, in one of his last roles (he died in a freak accident in 2016).

Only true complaint about the movie is that some shit that doesn't add up is why exactly the girl they stumbled upon with the knife in her head dies in the first place. I guess they sort of explain it but it is super confusing. Then the dead girl's boyfriend, also a Neo-Nazi, flips sides and starts helping the green room peeps. This too makes no real sense. I mean, it is sort of explained, but that explanation is hard to follow and pretty weak.

There are a lot of times in the movie where things appear to turn the green room people's way but then doesn't which really gets you. Like when that guy flips sides. He has info on what is going down and how they can survive and what not but then dies immediately. Bummer. Then when the group gets a shotgun you think they are going to at least take some people out. But that does no good either and ends with a horrific death.

Best scenes of the movie are also some of the hardest to watch. Like when Chekov (Yelchin) and the rest of them negotiate with Stewart and the Nazis, the gun for getting out alive, when the skinheads double cross them and nearly cut off Chekov's hand. The most satisfying scene though, in a movie without many of them, comes when Poots and Yelchin's characters are the last two standing from the room, spoiler, and they stop "playing war" and start using their noodles and do some real damage. Also like the scene at the very end when everyone is dead and this dying pit bull that has killed multiple people finds his Nazi owner, who is dead, sidles up to his guy, lays down with him, and presumably dies. Even though the dog is a terror and his master is a Nazi, I was still touched by it... Dogs are just so goddamned loyal.

MVP here is Stewart who elevates the film from punk indie to legitimate hard-hitting thriller. His Neo-Nazi is truly impressive. He is always sinister and not to be trusted. He comes off as a real leader in a totally different way than he does as Dr. Xavier. He is a Shakespeare villain who is awesomely intense and wicked. This movie probably works without him but it's not nearly the same level of film with broad appeal.

That's Green Room. You definitely should check it out. I'm pretty stoked for to watch Saulnier's other movie, Blue Ruin, as well as his new flick that is due out next month, one Hold the Dark which is coming to Netflix. It starts Blair (of course), daughter of Lisa Marie Presley one Riley Keough from Mad Max: Fury Road, Alexander Skarsgård (Skarsgård the lesser) of The Legend of Tarzan (not the Skarsgård from It which is his bro), and Jeffrey Wright from Westworld among other things. So, yeah, that shit is definitely on my radar.

Monday, August 13, 2018

BlacKkKlansman is the greatest movie of all time

BlacKkKlansman. It's great. I thought director Spike Lee was done. Didn't think he would ever make another movie that I gave a shit about. The last movie of his I really, really liked was Clockers and Oldboy ended it for me. I wasn't ever going to get excited about a Spike Lee joint ever again. Also, he really turned me off when I went and saw him give a talk that he obviously hadn't prepared for where he railed on the Academy Awards making "make up calls" (which, to be fair, isn't wrong), choosing majors, and kids texting/playing video games. I know a dad ramble when I hear one and that was a dad ramble. It did start off with this pompous dean from the business school that gave a 10 minute masturbatory intro that culminated with him gifting Spike the gift of an IU Adidas basketball jersey to which Spike fucking told the dude "I can't take that. Don't you know I have a Nike contract? Respect that." which was pretty baller. Also, love me some Reggie Miller and the 1990s Indiana Pacers and their feud with Spike didn't really impress me much. But anyway. Yeah. Thought that dude was past his prime. But this shit was god damned amazing. Instant classic. Greatest fucking movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: BlacKkKlansman uses history to offer bitingly trenchant commentary on current events -- and brings out some of Spike Lee's hardest-hitting work in decades along the way.

Pros: Spike Lee is fucking back and bringing that shit. The casting is pretty great and everyone fucking brings it. A lot of these roles can't be easy either. Denzel's kid is the next Denzel. Adam Driver is fucking sick too. The story is crazy interesting. Spike fucking nails the late 1970s. Great soundtrack.

Cons:  The tone of the movie at times seemed way off. The first half of the movie was too light, bordering on comedy, for how heavy the last half gets. Otherwise it was perfect.

Gist of the movie, based on a true story, is that undercover Colorado Springs police detective Ron Stallworth, a black man, miraculously infiltrates the the Ku Klux Klan through a series of phone calls to organization leadership including Grand Wizard/former Republican (of course) Louisiana State Representative/presidential candidate David Duke. Obviously unable to meet the group face-to-face, Stallworth gets veteran detective Flip Zimmerman to take on the role as they work to take down the hate group intent on white-washing their violent image to garner more mainstream appeal. Staring in the film are Adam Driver as Zimmerman, Topher Grace as Duke, Laura Harrier as foxy lady Patrice Dumas, and John David Washington as Stallworth who just knocks it out of the fucking park.

Some extraordinarily powerful scenes. The one that really got to me was one that featured Harry Belafonte at a black power rally where he tells the story of a mentally handicapped boy's lynching that he witnessed as a boy. White people at the lynching took pictures of the guy being tortured and made postcards out of them. I went to the movie with a history teacher who talked about how this was real and how some guy compiled a bunch of them to bare witness. This site shows some but be warned it is truly disturbing (as is this part of the movie). I wish I hadn't clicked on it as I am too sensitive for that stuff. Spike splices this in with a Klan rally where they watch super racist silent film Birth of a Nation that portrays black men (mostly played by whites in blackface) as obsessed with raping white women and the KKK as heroes giving the two sides a nice juxtaposition. One as clearly fucked and the other is clearly not. No both sides bullshit.

This is where the film excels in that the film does a great job of making the contemporary alt-right, white nationalist group look ridiculous while also illustrating dangerously horrific they were at one time and have managed to become again in the Trump era. While the movie takes place in the 1970s, a lot of the rhetoric that is getting thrown around today. Stuff like "make America great again" and "America first" and so forth. Stuff that they really said that right-wing shit heads say all the time. Spike also splices together a couple of minutes of footage from last year's Charlottesville rally, including the woman getting hit by the car, and Trump saying it was "both side". So if it wasn't clear throughout the movie that this shit is still a problem, it totes is clear, then there is no mistaking it by the time you leave the theater.

Another uncomfortable scene is one where a klansman's chunky wife gleefully talks about "killing niggers" which is seriously fucked. This chick was really stoked. It was like she was anticipating having her first child or something. Showing just a pure joy and what not.

MVP of the film is an easy win for Washington. I had no idea this was Denzel's boy, the one that briefly played in the NFL, and kept thinking how he was Denzel-esque. Even sounded just like him and the performance has to have Oscar buzz when that time rolls around. Favorite little ditty with him is when he asks David Duke if he can get a photo with him and at the last second puts his arm around him in a baller move. He is gonna be a star, this guy. It's not even close although this made me a true believer in Spike Lee again and Adam Driver is a 10/10 as well. Driver's best scene comes when he talks about being jewish. It's not something he ever really thought about, but now, as someone who has infiltrated the KKK, he thinks about it all the time and this assignment is getting to him and what not.

So that was BlacKkKlansman. Movie totally kicks ass. Now that I've cancelled MoviePass for finally going to shit and picked up AMC's deal where you can go see the same movie more than once, I'll likely go see this one again before it's out of the theater. Yeah, greatest movie of all time.