Sunday, August 19, 2007

Scream Baby Scream (1969)

This is a movie about artists and the evil that they do. Art students Jason and Janet are dating. Janet admires the bizarre paintings of local legend Mr. Butler, who paints pictures of disfigured people. Butler's creepy art along with his sauve manner leave Janet smitten.

Jason is insanely jealous, and hates Butler and his stupid paintings. Jason, Janet, and their friends take LSD for the first time and go on a motorcycle ride - real smart. They trip out, start seeing double, go to the zoo, and imagine they are in the monkey cage acting like monkeys.

There are purply faced monsters that kidnap people. The makeup looks pretty sketchy, and their presence is never explained. I suppose they could be the monsters that Butler paints, except they are normal looking guys with a little grease paint on their faces.

After Jason and Janet have a big fight, Janet goes missing. When Jason searches for her, he ends up at Butler's house and havoc ensues. The makeup on Janet is disturbing but incredibly unrealistic. It looks a lot like papiermache attached to her face.

The film is along the lines of the ultimate in killing for their art movie, Herschell Gordon Lewis's Color Me Blood Red. I'd recommend that movie over this one, but this does boast lines like, "Yesterday's nightmare is today's dream and tomorrow's reality." Huh?

Casual Fridays (2002)

If you're one of those people who likes to watch or tape unintentionally funny and stupid things you stumble upon while watching tv, then you'll love Casual Fridays. It's over an hour of clips from tv shows and infomercials that will make your head spin. You'll see clips of a dreadlocked Billy Idol from his Cyperpunk period, painful public access talent shows, talentless acting, badly written 80s tv shows, Gary Coleman in court, news errors, and much more.

The dvd is put out by TV Carnage and there are other volumes available as well.

Primeval (2007)

A news team is sent to Africa to film and capture a giant crocodile that is terrorizing the people of Burundi. They are teamed with a croc expert and Jacob Krieg, a man obsessed with tracking and killing the big croc. Jurgen Prochnow, who plays Krieg, kept reminding me of Quint from Jaws, due to his preoccupation with the killing the great beast.

Krieg has constructed a cage that will hold the twenty five foot long croc, who he calls Gustave. Or rather, Krieg thinks it will hold Gustave since there is no way to test a cage made to contain a giant crocodile.

Gustave's skin is too thick for tranquilizer darts, so they use a tracking device. They shoot it into Gustave when he's underwater and it magically attaches itself to him. As darts can't pierce his skin, it's a mystery as to how they got the tracker to stick.

You'd think a giant croc would cause lots of excitement, but it doesn't. The movie is tame and predictable, and only for people who love mutant nature gone wild.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Mercenary For Justice (2006)

Steven Seagal is a mercenary...for justice. Seagal plays John Seeger - which inevitably kept reminding me of Pete Seeger and Bob Seger. As is always the case, Seagal's Seeger is the best mercenary on planet earth, which is why a notorious gun-runner kidnaps his dead pal's wife and son. Seeger's pal died in his arms on their last mission, and Seeger promised he'd care for his pal's family. Just how the gun-runner knew that these two people were the bargaining chips that would force Seagal to break into a maximum security prison to rescue the gun-runner's son is anyone's guess.

Parts of the movie are hard to follow since characters appear and disappear, and many scenes don't make sense. But I guess that isn't much of a surprise since this is Seagal. Plus the director's name is Don E. Fauntleroy, which has to be an excuse for this somehow.

CIA agent Dresham and the weasel-y foreigner Chapel both have odd makeup that makes them look way too tan. But at least they don't look like Seagal whose hair is dyed pure black and appears to have the consistency of straw, even in his pronounced widows peak. I must admit I like his wardrobe, which consists mostly of black suits and bright solid colored ties.

This is the only movie in which I have heard someone referred to as a "poophole." Huh? The thug who attempts to rough up Seagal in the men's room utters this insult before attacking. Luckily for Seagal, he's not much of an opponent. But it is unfortunate for the urinals, for when Seagal throws the thug into the wall, the urinals swing side to side because they aren't bolted to the wall, only hung on it?! One urinal even falls to the floor revealing no pipes attached and no hole in the wall where the urinal previously was hanging!

Also there is a scene in which Seagal is in the back seat of a car one second and the next he's across the street and around the corner escaping in a truck. At first I thought it was a continuity problem, but then a character acknowledges Seagal's speed by stating "That man's a ghost!" No! No, he's not! The guy is a freakin' bear!

Attack Force (2006)

Can there be a more generic title? It doesn't even follow the traditional three word titles that most of Seagal's movies use. This title screams out laziness on the part of the film makers. Why couldn't they come up with something better? How about: Attack Force Zero; Attack Force Lawson; Seagal's Attack Force; Attack Seagal's Force; Force of Seagal; Attack Seagal Attack? The possibilities are endless.

Steven Seagal is Marshall Lawson, the most awesome of the awesome elite military agents. After a mission, Lawson and his team take a much needed respite. That's when a few of the good old boys on Lawson's covert special ops team end up out for a night of fun with a prostitute. Too bad, as this floozy is using the new drug CXT which gives her superhuman strength as well an insatiable urge to kill everyone in sight.

Seagal and his young love interest (who I pray was paid very well) investigate the deaths and find that a French lunatic is planning to dump CXT into the water supply, turning everyone into killing machines. That just will not do!

Seagal and his posse set out to kill everyone on CXT, who are easy to spot due to their lunging at people with knives, as well as their freaky eyes which go from normal, to white, and back again. Seagal and the remainder of his elite group are so amazing that they figure out who to kill by looking at their eyes.

The distracting thing about the movie is that there is a fair amount of bad dubbing. The worst of this is the person who dubbed Seagal sounds nothing like him. If they are not showing a close up while he's speaking, you have no idea who is talking. Even in the close ups, the voice coming out of Seagal is confusing as it sounds nothing like him.

With all it's confusion, I do have a few favorite parts:
1. Seagal flails like a little girl during a fight scene (of which there are not many);
2. Seagal's nemesis says "As you know, revenge is a two way street" (huh?);
3. At the beginning of the movie, there is a title on the screen to let us know the location and it says "France, Europe."

I like to think that Seagal wrote both of those gems. (Did I mention he wrote this movie, which I'm sure is why he is referred to as even more super-awesome than he usually is?)

Also of note is that the photo of Seagal on the dvd cover and index appears to have been severely photoshopped as his face is thin, but in the movie Seagal looks like Bloaty McPufferfish.

Flight of the Fury (2006)

A bloated Steven Seagal plays John, a super special awesome Navy Seal who teaches other Navy Seals how to fly the X77, a top secret experimental stealth fighter which becomes completely invisible (gasp!) John is called in by "Eduards Air Force Base" because the pilot who took the stealth plane out for a test, stole it to sell to a foreign faction for tons of money.

I was prepared for confusion since Seagal is the writer. And after the last movie, it wasn't a big surprise to have someone else dub Seagal's voice at random points in the movie. But what I wasn't prepared for is that the most spectacular fantabulous Navy Seal in the world would have no sense of discretion. Instead of hiding the bodies of guards he's killed, he leaves them in plain sight, and instead of opening border gates, he drives right through them after killing the guards. How can this man be a super secret excellent Navy Seal? He's just plain sloppy.

Also the best elite military man in the universe should be more careful when he kills three robbers in a convenience store, especially when his actions are ham fisted and result in the death of the clerk. Seagal is so over the top that half way through the movie I felt like I was watching Will Sasso's Seagal impression on Mad Tv. Seagal has officially become a caricature of himself.

If you want to watch Steven Seagal movies, this certainly meets the criteria. But there's not much else to recommend it.

My favorite awkward lines from the film are:
1. "It's got technology that scares even the shit out of us."
2. "I don't know what they paid him, but whatever they paid him, it was a dump truck full of cash."
3. "Navy Seals are locked and loaded and ready to jump."

and I'm not positive about this because it sounds so stupid, but it's what I heard.
4. Did anyone see you? "Me. I'm scheduled not to be followed."

Friday, August 3, 2007

Desert Warrior (1988)

In the future the earth is a wasteland with warring factions, (isn't it always?) The underground dwellers live in radiation free cavern cities and wear exceptionally clean white future outfits. Those who live on the surface are dirty radiated ruffians who drive vehicles of the future - crappy old cars missing doors and hoods.

In order to propagate their tribe, Lou Ferrigno wears an eye patch and rides a lowrider to search for the perfect woman, which is a young woman who is not sterile from radiation. Lou eventually finds someone to bring to the leader of their clan, but the woman is not willing and manages to convince Lou that it would be a good idea for her to escape.

Part Star Wars, part Mad Max, part Dr. Livingston, and all crap, this movie boasts bad 80s tv music and Lou's enormous eye patch. There is also a little robot and rusty old cars that inexplicably explode and burn for days.

Strangest Dreams: Invasion of the Space Preachers

Friends Rick and Walt decide to take a vacation in at a rustic cabin and stumble across a crashed spaceship with an injured alien. They bring the alien to their cabin and put him in the barn. During the night, the alien's shell cracks and it turns into a hot chick.

The town they are visiting is inhabited by the fanatical religious faction called The Lash of God. There is also a cult of marijuana growing hippies who imprison Rick and Walt in a small bamboo cage. The alien chick discovers their capture and convinces the hippies to let them go.

The movie is full of whacked out mullets and bad haircuts. It's supposed to be a comedy. It's not very funny, but it did seem to have a certain charm to it. I'm not sure why because the writing and acting weren't stellar by any means. Perhaps I was so tired that it seemed okay.