Monday, September 29, 2014

Ramblings of Ryan Volume 4

Okay, let's head back into my nonsensical babbling for a moment so I can discuss a few non-movie subjects. But first, I want to restate the lame factor of those two horror collections I reviewed. I thought they would be fun, but, instead, the levels of stupidity between the films were off the charts. I mean, really, a "Troll 3" wannabe?! If you could have only beheld the shock on my face as I discovered this fact; it's not every day that you realize one of the worst movies ever had an almost equally bad sequel. I will try and make up for this next month as I scrape the bottom of the barrel for the remaining horror movies that actually take place on Halloween. That should be amusing enough in itself. Speaking of shit, I have to weigh in on the Gal Gadot disaster as Wonder Woman. Yeah, I know, I'm like 5 months behind on this one, but that's how I roll.

You see this...yeah, that's not Wonder Woman. Like others have said, "Who is that girl cosplaying as WW?" She's simply too scrawny in terms of muscle mass and curves. I already know crybabies are mad that WW has too many perfect features, but, come on, she's supposed to look like a Greek goddess and have the powers of multiple gods. This chickadee does not look anything remotely like that! I swear, this movie is going to suck ass at the rate it's going. Must...remain...optimistic. I mean, this is like getting--I don't know--Maggie Q to play Mai Shiranui from "Fatal Fury." Oh fuck...

While on the subject of girl power, and with the hope to never write that phrase again, the new "Sailor Moon" is out finally. As a fan of the original, I am very pleased to say this new version is surprisingly superior. Is that blasphemy? The animation does look weaker, but the story is more concise, interesting, and better paced with less filler; even the monsters of the week have a more meaningful purpose. I'm always skeptical of reboots/remakes, but there was a lot of room to improve over the original. I am really curious as to what direction they will take things since they've already made significant story changes. However, with only two episode airing a month, this is going to take--in the words of Squints--FOR...EV...ER!

An unexpected, yet certainly welcomed, wave of horror games are coming out soon. A few catching my eye are "Until Dawn," "Alien: Isolation," and, "Bloodborne" just to name a few. I know the indie market has been getting a ton of horror games in the last couple years, but I've been craving something beyond a few hours of "Slender Man" wannabes. And with that demo for "Silent Hills" putting the icing on the cake, I am officially stoked. Goddamn, that demo alone is unnerving enough...just please, please don't suck! If you haven't heard of any of these games yet, or are mildly interested, check them out for sure. If you play the "Silent Hills" demo, be prepared to be on edge. And while still on the subject of games...seriously, "Destiny!" Wow, what a letdown. I'm having fun with the game, but, my god, what the hell happened? I won't go into massive detail, as others are already dealing with the problems in depth, but I thought this was going to be the next "Mass Effect." I was very wrong. Did they think we wouldn't notice the game has no story! My fucking god.

Another surprise coming was that Morning Musume is, at long last, doing another concert in the USA; New York City to be more precise. Morning Musume is a J-pop group I've mentioned a bunch of times as the group that Rika was a former member of. I wish I could go, especially since they're performing on my birthday (were the stars aligning for me?), but I won't be anywhere near NYC unfortunately. NOOOO! Oh well, I'd probably feel a bit out of place since the girls are a lot younger than me at this point. When I first discovered MM, the girls were all either my age, a little younger or actually older. Granted, anywhere from 50-75% of MM's fanbase is older men, but's awkward. If Rika were still there, well, that would be a different story! No force on earth would stand in my way. I still love the group and the girls regardless; their songs are always so catchy and fun and the dances are amazing. Here, check out their youtube video promoting the concert. Sakura, one of their best singers in years, tries her hardest to say everything in Engrish, and she did a decent job. The kawaii-factor helps a lot.

Recently, I was sent the same spam email multiple times (idiotically) in the lamest attempt to con me to click a link. I've been getting spam for like 15 years now, but I've never been sent something this ridiculous before. I mean, it's like someone was trying to tell me their life story; I suppose they figured it would appear more authentic? More like pathetic to me. I thought, given the sheer stupidity of it all, I'd share it with the world for a laugh. The funny part is that all they do is change the name of the girl propositioning me each time. Oh, and I left out the link and the number they gave me for obvious reasons.

"BABE... i guess your not getting any of my email huh? ive been
tryign to email u so many times but this dam laptop is such a piece of
garbage and keeps freezing.. anyways how u been? 

In case u dont know who this is its ME Sanadra.. we used to chat a bit on facebook and then
I think u deleted me :( haha.. anyways guess what... I got 2 things to
tell u.. both good news.. 1) im single now.. yup me and my bf broke up
about 3 months ago... and 2) guess where im moving? RIGHT EFFING NEAR
U.. lol... ur actually the only person im gonna know there.. well 3
cousins too but i cant chill with them lol..

I remember when we chatted u told me u thought i was cute and u wanted to chill so now we finally
can HAHA! im kinda scared to move.. im hoping this email addy is still
the one you use and u can chat with me ebfore i get there.. maybe even
help me move my shit in...are u still on facebook? i cudnt find ui was
soo confused...anyways im gonna need someone to show me the town and
take me out so u better be around bebe...

we only chatted a couple times but i remember thinking to myself i wanted to get ot know u
better when i was single..a nd i thoguth u were cute too but cudnt
tell u cause i wasnt single lol...ok so more info about me.. well im
23.. virgo.. love the outdoors and love to socialize, go out for
drinks, restaurants, movies etc.. travel.. i have a lil kitty named
BOO and i luv her to death... uhhh oh im a super horny gurl too but
every gurl is they just wont admit it. so ilove watching p0rn and all
that.. love sex etc blah blah blah...who doesnt..

I really hope we get a chance to chat for a bit either online or on the fone before i get
there enxt week.. i hope u remmeber me and still wanna chill and arent
married yet lol.. OH YA also.. i need to find a job when i get there..

do u have any hookups or know anybody hiring? id LOVE to work in a bar
or osmehting like that...really anythgin cause my current job is fun
and all.. and technically i CUD keep doign it but i want a change.. i
currently work from home and well thats cool but i need ot be out
meeting people.. oh wait. i dont think i ever actually told u what i
did? hmm shud i......???? ok WELLLL... and dont get all weirded out
on me.. i work on a webcam chat community site and i get paid to chat
with people and get naked HHAHA... BOMB right :)? I KNOW.. like i
figure iim horny anyways why not get paid to chat with people and play
with myself heheh...anyways i hope u dont look down on that and NO
THATS NOT WHY IM CONTACTING U RELAX URSELF lol... i actually need help
once i move and i remembered u live there so im reaching i
said before this computer is a complete piece of CRAP and freezes NON
STOP.. ive tried ot send this email to u maybe 3 times already and im
hopign this time i can hit SEND before i run into trouble lol..
ANYWAYS.. heres the deal....every month natalie (my boss) gives each
of us 3 VIP codes to give out to whoever we want.. so with this code u
can lgoin to watch me at work for free and dont have to pay like
everyone else... the only way i can give u one of the codes (so we can
chat) is if you absolutey DO NOT give it out to anyone else and u ONLY
USE IT FOR URSELF... i only get 3 a month and she gets pissed if more
than 3 people use them so DONT SHARE IT MISTER... i figured u cud
always email me back instead but my email account doesnt even let me
login half the time.. so the bets palce ot chat me is my chat room...

if theres anyone else logged in when u sign in ill boot them out.. but
U... im online most of the day now to try and save money for my move..
also since im in such a huge debt already form my student loan :( I
really thingk we need to chat before i get there and make sure u evern
remember me hahha.. anyways ive rambled on and on now and ur probably
soooo annnoyed with me so ill stop now.. im gonna go start work.. i
really hope u come chat me. it wud make my day and releive a lot of my
stress about the move... REALLY i mean that....anyways once i see u in
insdie ill shoot u myc ell number and u can gimme yours.. if u dont

wanna come chat i understand but its really the only palce to find me
now days.. if u email me abck ill probably get it once i get there
after my internet is setup so about 2-3 weeks fomr now.. but im hopign
to see u in my chat room.. rmemeber its 100% free with this code im
INSTEAD OF LICK U IN THE BALLS WHEN IS EE U hahahahha...k babe im out
for now... chat ya soon.. kisses xoxo"

Well, that was uhh...well...that was sad...

With that stupidity out of the way, and the shitty formatting they used stuck with me, let's close things out the way we always do: with my dear, goddess Rika showing us the goods!

I do gifs now?!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Midnight FM Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: On the her last night on the job, a radio host is tormented by an obsessed serial killer.

Review: This started off intriguing enough, with a cool idea behind the story, but drifted off into the realm of Hollywood cliches somehow. Come on, I thought Korea was known for its edge--this is by the books. I understand that the plot themes borrowed heavily from Hollywood thrillers and vigilante characters, but they should have added that Korean flair to spice it up rather than remaining complacent. Now, I'm not saying this was a bad movie, because it was surprisingly decent, but it needed that extra layer of oomph to make it stand out. Essentially, it's a fantastic first act that builds the tension well, followed by a moderate second act, and ending super corny and predictable; hell, there was even a final one-liner! I think what was missing the most was a big twist or shocking revelation in regard to the killer's identity or connection to the main girl, Sun-young.

The story opens with endless potential as we meet Sun-young on her last night as the host of a show called Midnight FM. They establish a few red herrings early on as not everyone is happy to see Sun-young go...especially a particular serial killer that likes to kill to the sound of her voice. There are a ton of contrivances introduced here and there that are really annoying and certainly hinder the film. For example, Sun-young's daughter can't speak, at the moment, for whatever bullshit reason. I can accept most of the early flaws, because the premise is set up very well and engages you to the situation. Once Sun-young begins the last broadcast, we see the serial killer break into her home and take her sister hostage. Sun-young's daughter, Eun-soo, miraculously hides, but Sun-young's niece is also held hostage while being the world's sleepiest kid as she doesn't even wake when being tied up; does this kid have narcolepsy or something?

The killer calls Sun-young who quickly realizes this situation is more than a joke. The killer proceeds to up the stakes as he wants Sun-young to play certain songs that speak to his perceived connection with her. As various obstacles screw up this process, the killer hurts and, later, kills Sun-young's sister. This is when things start to shift into shenanigans territory. Zany antics lead to the killer finding Eun-soo, Sun-young's crew figures out what's happening, and the police get involved in the classic, inept way they always do. The thriller aspect is played up during this portion of the film, but it's by the numbers action you've seen a hundred times; you know, like, car chases, running on foot, close calls, etc. I feel as though the film toyed with my expectations that there would be a genuine connection between the killer and Sun-young or that this would all come full circle somehow, but it doesn't. The biggest red herrings seriously should have been in on it--give me something...anything! The closest thing to a revelation is that, in the beginning of the movie, Sun-young was in a taxi talking trash and the driver happened to be the killer. Weak and implausible. Gradually, we come to the final scheme which is to put Sun-young in a position where she must kill a guy or else her daughter and niece will be killed. Again, contrivances save the day as Sun-young manages to turn the tables on the killer and ends up killing him in an over the top way. The film oddly lingers on a bit with a weird wrap up, but, hey, at least there was no final zinger.

Don't get me wrong, there are way more positive things about this film than there are negative. It's simply that cookie-cutter action that makes it feel like a letdown. The acting is commendable, the setup is creative, and you do become immersed in the situation. On the other hand, there are a ton of contrivances, red herrings are dumb if they distract from nothing, and there was not a single plot element that hadn't been done before. I guess this is a mixed bag overall, but it's still worth a view. You just need to keep your expectations in check and understand that this feels more Hollywood than Korean, and, yes, there is a noticeable distinction between the two. I don't necessarily mind this, but I know others might.

Notable Moment: When Sun-young slips about there being more than one kid at the exact moment Eun-soo knocks a soccer ball down the stairs. Oh come on. Ahh, the sweet aroma of contrivances.

Final Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Catacombs (1988) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: The dumbest demon ever escapes his confines beneath an Italian abbey and the zany antics that ensue.

Review: Whaaaat? What on earth did I just watch? Okay, let's wrap this little marathon up in the way we began: with pure shenanigans. These two collections of films are loaded with a ton of shit. Realistically, the only entry worth seeking out was "The Outing," and that was more for camp value than being a genuinely good film. I was kind of hoping this would be the redeeming film to save the collection, but I was sadly mistaken. I should have known better by the fact that it had a ridiculous alternate title called, "Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice;" yeah...because that's an appropriate title. The main problem is that the editing is a pure abomination. There may have been a good film buried under all the bullshit, but what we got is hard to comprehend.

This is probably going to be impossible to accept, but "Contamination .7" was more coherent than this! You've got to be shitting me. If there was ever a story that embodied the script-in-a-blender phenomenon, this is that film. It feels like they took 20 minutes of nonsensical footage from 5 different movies and mashed them together in an attempt to create cohesion. It didn't work. The story begins during the 1500s when some dude tries to exorcise a demon and fails. This part is exceptionally stupid due to the sheer idiocy of the demon. He starts off chained up and tries to channel his inner-Linda Blair all the while we see random scenes spliced together. Then the demon breaks one hand loose, quite easily, as you think he will kill everyone, but, instead, they seal him in a tomb while his dumbass can't seem to figure out how to get his second hand free. Wow, really? What a fucking clown. Oh and everyone is speaking in Italian without subtitles so thanks for that.

We cut to present day as a kind of cute teacher visits this abbey to do whatever the hell she wants. They try to establish all the different--uhhh--monks (I guess), as the teacher roams around making them uncomfortable. I appreciate the attempt to make the monks feel unique, but this is half-assed and a bunch get written out of the script so what was the point again? Plus, why are these guys on their toes around a little chickadee when there appears to be a sexy, local girl hanging around all the time? For no reason in particular, this local girl is psychic and no one questions this at all. Then there's something with a magic mirror, the demon reawakening, the monks having internal struggles, a horny monk who is dying, and a visiting priest who is touched by god or whatever. Hey, make of that what you will, because I have no idea what the fuck is going on. I'm still trying to figure out who was this creepy old man we kept seeing in random montage scenes. This particular character was kind of scary looking and turned into a skeleton at one point, but I think they forgot to add him to the story. I can picture the costume person saying, "Okay, here's Kayako's Italian uncle, where do you want him..." only to discover filming was already over.

Eventually, characters are killed off in stupid and nonsensical ways as the demon roams around the catacombs pointlessly. Didn't you plan to escape, asshole? Oh, too busy creepily calling out the teacher's name, gotcha. I did like how when one dude is killed no one wonders where he's at; what kind of brotherhood is this? When the leader is killed, it's as if the film skipped, like, 2 or 3 scenes at once. There's something about one monk trying to eat a snickers bar and a Jesus statue kills him. Uhhh, okay. All of a sudden the teacher girl is possessed out of the blue. The local psychic girl comes running to the catacombs like a bat out of hell only to get knocked out immediately; well that was unbelievably unnecessary. That one priest tries to quell the internal squabbles of the monks but must free the possessed teacher too. Shenanigans ensue as the priest in semi-molested by the demon (in male form). Again, the demon thinks he's a badass, but he's more of a punkass bitch. Then the priest uses that magic mirror to kill the demon, easily enough, which frees the teacher, and that's essentially the end. Ugh.

This movie leaves you with like a million unanswered questions, and my theory on the sloppy editing is the best explanation I have for you. While the basics of competent film making are present, as opposed to "Contamination .7," it made even less sense which is pathetic. Is there something I'm missing? Did the studio have like 5 movies on the back-burner and combined them before they went bankrupt? Or did someone legitimately edit this and thought it was perfectly fine as is?! Overall, this film is mildly amusing, but only a fragment of the story makes sense. I'll just give it my classic ending treatment: I show up, kill all the idiots, get the girl, the end. Whew, that's better. Grrr...these horror collections were such a disappointment. I can say with absolute certainty, don't buy these no matter how cheap they are at the moment.

Notable Moment: When that one horny monk is opining over never having sex. Then he says he wants to have sex with god. Ummmm...okay...I got nothing for you, buddy.

Final Rating: 4/10

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Contamination .7 (aka The Crawlers) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: Mutated plants run rampant in the middle of oblivion as imbeciles try to stop them.

Review: My Rika, my Rika, why hast thou forsaken me?! After watching something this dumb it's tough to keep your shit together. I mean, just look at that moronic title. Point seven? Really, was that necessary? It doesn't even matter, because that's only one of like a million alternate titles out there. Disturbingly enough, the main indicator of this film's shitacularness was this gem of an alternate title: "Troll 3." Oh no...OH HELL NO! Anything but that! Yes, this piece of shit was made by the same clowns that created "Troll 2" and was intended to be a third entry. I'm not even joking, I kept thinking this felt similar to the--uhhh--style of "Troll 2" before I looked it up for confirmation. I assure you, that is not the kind of bitch-slap to the face revelation you want to discover. That's like learning the kid isn't yours or your parents were siblings! While following in "Troll 2's" footsteps was no easy task, this film tried extremely hard to outshine it and nearly succeeded. Unfortunately, the level of camp and outright shenanigans are lacking in this movie to make it so bad it's good. There are humorous moments, and I was laughing--a lot--but it is in no way a legend such as "Troll 2." I just can't believe this many shitty movies were commissioned by the same asshole. I cannot fathom the possibility that these films made money unless they truly duped the public during the video rental era. AAAHHH!

The best way to describe the sheer incompetence of this film is to address the escalation factor it introduces. In other words, each scene, no matter how ridiculous or stupid, somehow manages to be outdone by the proceeding scene. It's definitely a sight to behold; not going to lie either, the scenes become increasingly funnier as well. To the film's credit, it is slightly more coherent than "Troll 2," but is that really saying much? There's something about a power plant dumping toxic waste in a forest that magically creates carnivorous plants that don't actually eat anyone; they just choke you to death for whatever reason. Needless to say, the special effects are laughably bad as you keep thinking someone is going to get branch fucked ala "The Evil Dead." The acting is horrendous and feels as though they pooled the local talent once again. Dude, if you thought the line delivery was horrible in "Troll 2" you haven't seen anything yet. I think they were trying to rival "Howling VII's" world class actors. Also like "Howling VII," it appeared they were including subplots related to the townspeople's real lives or something. I mean, was there any other reason why the town whore coming to fight the plants was meant to be important? Then there was the one guy who popped up in the film, maybe an hour in, and was suddenly a main character. Whaaaat? And he is the one that ends up saving the day to boot; go figure. Then there is an inside joke about them thinking he was gay or something only to realize he had a wife...I don't fucking know. There are simply too many weird and bizarre nuances that you kind of have to see to believe. The only problem is that I wouldn't want anyone else to suffer what I've gone through watching this shit. In fact, I could spend the next hour running down all the zany antics and idiotic moments, but I want to keep what's left of my remaining sanity. I'll leave you with this though...the film ends with the killer plants seemingly defeated, but then the one chick is attacked by her Christmas tree in the last scene. That's a good one.

Well, you name it, the film failed in that regard; it seriously failed in every feasible aspect of film making. There's nothing else I can add to that except to say the story still found ways to be boring as hell despite the overwhelming moments of idiocy. There was even a kid who looked like Joshua from "Troll 2" and that was annoying me. Where's your damn bologna sandwich, kid? The only positive things I can say are that the movie possesses endless potential to be hilarious, it was not as insulting as the likes of "Asian School Girls," and the landscape shots of Oblivion, Ohio were decent. Ugghhhh. There are only so many shitty movies a man can take before his brain explodes like in "Scanners!"

Notable Moment: Oh man, making me choose the worst scene is like making me choose between my own (imaginary) children! Ugh...I guess the absolute worst was when that helicopter "crashed." Oh dear lord.

Final Rating: 2.5/10

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cellar Dweller Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: After a comic book artist inadvertently unleashes an evil monster, a cartoonist continues his work 30 years later.

Review: Ah, remember the good old days when ridiculous titles like "Cellar Dweller" were the norm? Granted, they do make pieces of shit like "Sharknado," but they are viewed much differently. The only thing they missed out on was making a song out of the titular character! As I've said, this was the only film in the marathon I definitely watched, and, unfortunately, it did not even come close to being as amusing as I remembered. There are a few good ideas, and I liked the whole comic book angle, but this was practically as short as "The Dungeonmaster" when there was plenty of room to expand. On top of that, they totally blew it with the cellar dweller monster. He/it is reduced to mostly rocking back and forth in the background, like a fucking rejected concept from "Power Rangers," while they edit in poor death scenes. And there weren't many deaths to boot. To further put icing on the cake, the ending is laughably bad and makes no sense.

The film begins with Jeffrey Combs appearing to think he's still on the set of "Re-Animator." The fuck? Well, Mr. Combs plays a comic book artist who seems to have consulted an occult book for inspiration on his creations. His biggest mistake was summoning the deadly cellar dweller monster who is able to escape the confines of his 2-D prison. But wait, the comic book series that the artist draws for is called "Cellar Dweller" so does that mean the monster has another name? Speaking of which, if this was a mildly popular comic book series, why the hell is the main artist living in a basement in the middle of the woods dressed like a scientist?! For the lulz? So the monster ends up killing some chick, who also materialized out of thin air, as the artist realizes he must burn the drawings to kill the creature. Through shenanigans, the whole basement catches on fire, killing the artist, but the occult book falls into a treasure chest, that magically puts a lock on itself, and no one touches or moves it for the next 30 years. I'm gonna say...legit?

30 years later, we cut to the main girl and cartoonist, Whitney, as she comes to the artist's house that has been converted into, I guess, a kind of art safe haven. They call it a college in the film, but I'm calling bullshit on that. For whatever strange reason, the film tries to introduce lame drama with Whitney, a rival bitch, and another bitch old lady. Oh women. Actually, there are only 6 whole people at this stupid shack. This movie was made in 1988, right? Up that body count, son. When the ladies aren't bickering, we do get a few cool shots of Whitney trying to create her own drawings in a similar vein to that of "Cellar Dweller" which is supposed to be like "Tales from the Crypt." Because the movie lacks tact, they force Whitney into discovering that occult book as she recreates cellar dweller. Essentially, there is no logic to the creature; he disappears and reappears inconsistently and screws around a ton. He looks okay, special effects-wise, but the budget constraints are clear as day. My main problem is that he kills people pathetically, and they all die within quick succession before the film reaches an abrupt end. I like that we see storyboards for each kill as they're happening, but the gore should have been better. The movie half-assed it in regards to setting up the characters as pretentious art weirdos when most only say a few things before dying. There was time to establish these people more or at least time to add more characters to kill. By the end, the monster has eaten everyone but Whitney. Whitney manages to pour whiteout on the drawings and seemingly gets rid of that cellar dwelling bitch. Then she magically draws everyone alive again and--bam--they're alive. But before you can blink everyone dies all over again after Whitney destroys the drawings of cellar dweller. Yeah, sure, whatever...fantastic ending...makes perfect sense.

While there are cool elements in the story, and it almost has that '80s charm, it fails where it counts most. This isn't a bad film, by any means, but it squandered the potential when it was short enough to fill the gaps. This would have worked better if cellar dweller was summoned and then went on a rampage of carnage that somehow incorporated each character's "art." Up the body count by, at least, 3 more characters and then you've got a splatterfest to be proud of. Oh, and for the love of fuck, get rid of that Phillip character while you're at it. Quit fucking smirking in every damn scene with that second, most punchable face I've ever had the misfortune to behold!

Notable Moment: When the one guy has his head ripped clean off by the monster. We needed more of this for sure.

Final Rating: 5/10

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Dungeonmaster (aka Ragewar) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: A computer expert must battle wits with a wizard in a series of challenges to free his fiance from the wizard's clutches.

Review: You know, maybe I have seen this film before; a lot of the scenes felt vaguely familiar, and I have watched like a million movies at this point so there's that to consider. Anyway, like the others among this marathon, there are a bunch of alternate titles to this film so figure that shit out. As for the story, it's not quite how you'd imagine. You would think it's probably like a cheesy game of "Dungeons and Dragons" come to life, but it plays out more like an anthology tale. Each segment has different crews working on them, and everything is pulled together through, mostly, shoddy editing. I understand why they went for this approach, but, at the end of the day, it appears more like a means to pad out the endless opening and closing credits. If you take away the credits we are looking at an hour long movie. Seriously, come the fuck on. The cheesiness is high, and entertaining to boot, but it's not as enjoyable as "The Outing."

You know the story is going to be corny as hell right when you meet the main character, Paul. Being some kind of badass computer programmer, Paul has magically created an A.I. called "X-CaliBR8" that can do pretty much anything. Let's put it this way, this computer can do anything Google, Microsoft, and Apple are doing now except all Paul has to do is verbally say what he wants. Computers really could do whatever a writer wanted them to do in the '80s. Paul also has created a DBZ scouter out of his glasses or something. What, no "it's over 9000!!!" jokes? Paul has a girlfriend, named Gwen, whom he proposes to just as this wizard-ish guy, named Mestema, transports them to a different dimension. Mestema is played by Richard Moll so you know that performance is going to be as over the top as possible. Honestly, I have no idea why any of this is happening except that Mestema confuses technology with magic and sees Paul as a worthy adversary to amuse his immortal boredom. There's something about Mestema being the devil, but I don't know what they're talking about.

Mestema challenges Paul to a series of obstacles in order to free Gwen, but it's okay since he gets to keep his magic computer to help. This is where the different segments come into play as Paul is teleported to different scenarios he must overcome. They squander this opportunity, however, since they spend mere minutes in some of the challenges. Considering that ridiculously short running time, you would think they would utilize their time better but nope. Despite this, a few of the things Paul must battle are interesting and somewhat creative; others are plain stupid and nonsensical. For example, Paul fights a giant statue that comes to life through stop motion animation; it looks cheap, but I appreciate the gesture and imagination. On the other hand, one of the longest segments involves Paul running around an '80s city trying to stop a serial killer; that does not mesh well with the D&D imagery. After the sixth challenge (at least I think it was 6), Paul finally loses and Mestema appears to have won, but Paul challenges Mestema to a one on one brawl without any assistance from magic. As you may predict, the fight is super lame and Paul wins through shenanigans. He and Gwen are sent back to the real world, and that's pretty much the end. Uh, was this meant to be a TV show pilot or something? What the hell?!

Overall, this is along the same cheesy lines as "The Outing" except it lacks the charm and has a slew of problems "The Outing" avoided. This isn't to say the film is bad, but it had a lot of potential that was not capitalized on for the most part. I really loved the gauntlet style of obstacles to overcome, but they should have kept them within the D&D theme rather than branching out all over the place. There were random bouts of nudity as well which was odd to me considering this movie was allegedly PG-13; I know the rating was new at this time but really? All bullshit aside, this would have made for a better TV show special or whatever. I can't quite place my finger on it, but something is surely amiss in this production that stops it from being memorable. I'd say it's just barely worth a view but could have been awesome if the vision, I imagine they had, was fully realized.

Notable Moment: When Paul delivers the infamous, "I reject your reality and substitute my own," line.

Final Rating: 5/10

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Godsend (1980) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: After a mysterious woman gives birth at their home, a family adopts the woman's hellspawn as their own.

Review: Hey...hey, god, you there? Umm, god...I think you left us a shitty movie here by mistake. I'm just going to send this piece of shit back, okay? This godforsaken film is based on a book, that there is certainly no chance in hell I will ever be reading, but maybe it was better than this monstrosity. I honestly read some reviews on imdb claiming this movie was scary. SCARY?! The only thing scary in this movie is that red headed kid's afro. Oh, that's a good one, imdb--you guys are too much. This movie is painfully boring and a shameless ripoff of "The Omen" to boot. Ughhh. I think it's safe to say this is the worst of the horror marathon's first DVD by far.

I think they had enough material here for, maybe, a half hour TV show...if they're lucky. All that happens is some dumbass family decides to hang out with a weirdo they meet in the middle of nowhere-land. This woman is pregnant and conveniently gives birth that night. She then disappears, leaving the family stuck with the brat. Being the kind English lads they are, they take in the brat as if having four kids already wasn't enough. The brat's motives are vague, at best, and make no sense for the most part. She wants the love of the parents for herself, is seemingly demonic, but they never explain her origin or her goals. The brat kills off the other four kids (technically five) throughout the film, but it's spread out over the course of, something along the lines of, a decade. Wow, talk about taking your sweet ass time to seal the deal. That has to be one of the most inefficient villains of all time. On top of that, the brat lacks any kind of presence or dread you could feel oozing out of Damien for example. The movie also seems to think awkward slow motion zoom-ins make a character appear scary; well, that and vaseline wiped all over the lens. As for the deaths, they are all either off screen, and lame, or hilariously funny like the last daughter to die; picture that pathetically infamous scene in "Mac and Me." As with "The Omen," it's the father who begins to suspect something is not right and tries to get rid of the brat and later kill her. The father was making me laugh when he was trying to rationalize with his wife about why she can't see through the brat's manipulation. Then he quickly gave up and was like get out my way "you stupid woman!" Too funny. The ending of this film is ridiculously stupid as well. of the worst...ever. I can't emphasize the idiocy enough. The brat is saved from the dad by some old man, then the mom shows up and says she loves the kid anyway, and the screen goes blinding white followed by black and white shots. We are suddenly shown a shot of the father and a doctor walking in a park when he sees the brat's true mom trying to pass another kid to a new family. Magically he loses sight of the woman despite her being directly in front of him. The end. Really? That's how you end this madness? Man, fuck you!

From start to finish this film is terrible. While there may have been an initial sense of tension, that disappears quickly and the story never offers anything else to compensate. There are no twists, revelations, or anything else you would expect or hope to see; essentially, nothing is explained or even really hinted at as to why this is occurring. The story is boring and entails nothing but talking about the most recent kid to die with almost no emotional reaction from the parents despite losing all their kids. The scenes are often incoherent, as if there have been heavy edits, and it's exasperated by the vaseline smeared all over the lens in every other shot. The father's acting was okay, but everyone else was pretty much shit. I don't know how else to sum it up other than to once again refer to it as an uninspired ripoff. Simply pitiful.

Notable Moment: The entire last 10 minutes or so need to be seen to be believed.

Final Rating: 3.5/10

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Outing Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: After an old woman is murdered, her magic lamp ends up in the hands of a museum curator.

Review: Apparently this film is the bastardization of another movie called "The Lamp." As far as I can tell they're the same film except that this is the more edited version. I will have to track down the original version at some point, but I think it's only on VHS at the moment; that's never a good sign. Anyway, this is such a cornball movie...but in the best of ways! I can't believe I had never heard of this until now, because it's just my style of campiness. Think of the story as "A Night at the Museum" meets "Chopping Mall" mixed with "Wishmaster." You'd think that would be a recipe for shit--and it sort of is--but it worked somehow. There were surprisingly a few good ideas in general and especially toward the kills. On top of that, there are a lot of ridiculous moments that are heavily amusing. I definitely liked this movie more than I should have, but, then again, I've mentioned I'm a sucker for genie-related films.

The movie opens with video quality that makes VHS look like Blu-ray; how the hell do you pull that off? In "The Lamp" they explain the origin of the old woman that had the magic lamp originally, but here we are simply introduced to an old lady being robbed. These dumbass thieves seem to know the old lady has something incredibly valuable and of course discover the lamp. Shortly after this, they suddenly kill the old lady. Uhh, I didn't know a common thief was that willing to murder as well, but, sure, why not? After rubbing the lamp, the genie appears, although, seemingly invisible. For some reason the genie kills all the thieves in a ridiculous manner and that's that. What the fuck? Give me my damn wishes, bitch! Next thing you know, the cops are investigating the crime scene and then the lamp is instantly at a museum. Whaaaat? I guess there was an edit there, or I hope so for their sake.

While at the museum, the curator adds the lamp to the inventory but is bothered by his daughter who looks like a slightly better looking Molly Ringwald. I can't emphasize the "slightly" aspect enough! In fact, I thought a lot of the cast looked remotely familiar, but this film was pretty much all of their only roles. Oh well. Unlike your typical genie tales, you need a dumb bracelet to create a link with the genie or else he can just kill your candy ass. I guess Aladdin would have been screwed. Of course Molly Ringwald puts it on just as she conveniently wishes her dad were a teen angsty way. The genie is a little biotch though and wants to rack up the body count before he grants that wish. That's good because it gives us a chance to bond with the dad and Molly Ringwald first. You know, quality seeing the dad wearing a nightgown with accompanying upskirt shots while the daughter drinks diet pepsi for breakfast! Oh...good...fucking...lord. So you edit things out of a movie and this scene was worth keeping?!

Okay, this is taking too long, give me some fodder! When Molly tries to go to school with her boyfriend we come across a car chase scene involving her ex-boyfriend. What...for real? If this weren't dumb enough, when they get to school they get into an all out brawl as the ex-boyfriend tries to choke Molly. Luckily no one is around to break it up until the last second; you know, gotta give time to introduce all the background friends of Molly while establishing the ex-boyfriend's friend. The two bullies are kicked out of school which apparently means they are simply put on the sidewalk as they telepathically overhear Molly's conversations off screen. Hmm...nothing wrong with that. Conveniently enough, Molly and her class of losers are visiting her dad's museum that day and the bullies are plotting revenge; I don't think this could be any more contrived.

There's like an exposition character who explains that the lamp came from Iraq and is dated to have been made in 3500 BC. Molly's teacher gives us the rest of the exposition regarding genies and how they were originally believed to be evil demons called (d)jinn. Oh, and I have to mention that Molly's teacher is also dating her dad; must have been those sexy upskirt shots working it for her. While at the museum, Molly and her crew of flunkies get it into their head that they want to stay in the museum fuck...I guess...I don't know. This is super convenient, because Molly also just happens to get possessed by the genie in order to arrange these shenanigans. Yes, I LOVE it when a movie makes up its rules as we go. The genie also kills a few pesky characters that try to screw up this asinine scheme as well as making it easier for the bullies to tag along. Is there like a specific body count the genie needs to grant wishes? You're killing me here, movie!

Eventually everything falls into place to sneak the characters in for their slumber fuck party. For some reason, this is when the genie stops possessing Molly. Not remember anything, Molly says whatever and carries on regardless. As you would guess, the characters split up to bang but the genie kills them off. I liked that the main strategy for killing everyone was to bring parts of the museum to life. This was an awesome idea. True, they didn't use it to their best advantage, but it was creative and is the best part no doubt. My biggest complaint was that one dude gets cut in half off screen. What the hell?! You can't have a crazy death like that and not show it! There are a few titty shots--just because--but, meh, I'll pass.

The curator dad, along with Molly's teacher, start to figure out something's wrong as they go back to find the kids. By this time, only Molly is left alive as the genie finally appears in the flesh. Umm, let's just say he looks like a failed Chuck-e-Cheese mascot. After killing like 10 people, I guess he's now ready to fulfill Molly's wish. Well, it's about fucking time, dude! She made that wish like 2 days ago you son of a bitch. They try to run from the genie by activating, uhhh, blast doors...or something. This is "Star Wars" now? The dad manages to get a translation off the lamp that conveniently says something along the lines of "in case of emergency destroy the lamp." The genie does manage to kill the dad, spares Molly's teacher for whatever reason, but Molly throws the lamp in an oven. And that's all she wrote for our genie friend. Wow, all that trouble just to kill her dad...imagine what chaos would have ensued had she wished for a pizza! The final shot tries to be ominous or something as Molly thinks she hears the noise from that genie bracelet she had. Uh oh, I smell a second outing! See what I did there?

To sum it up: the acting is weak, the characters are annoying, the film quality is laughably bad, the story is inconsistent and nonsensical, and the genie looks pitiful. In all fairness, this movie is outright terrible, however, it's so bad it becomes amazing! This is just the right blend of cheesiness combined with genuinely good ideas. All the ridiculous scenes feel awesome and the deaths are cool. I liked the use of the museum to enhance the death scenes and it sort of felt original overall. If you love these kind of schlocky '80s movies, this should not disappoint in the least. But if "The Lamp" is the longer and superior version, maybe that's the one we should be watching; too bad this is the easier version to find. Definitely check this shit out for a laugh!

Notable Moment: That ridiculous fight the kids have at school. Exacerbating the over the top nature of the fight was the idiotic car chase that proceeded that scene. Hilarious!

Final Rating: 6/10

Friday, September 5, 2014

What's the Matter with Helen? Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: Two mothers of killers try to start a new life together as antics ensue.

Review: Once again, what the fuck did I just watch? I get the feeling I'm going to be saying that line a lot throughout this movie marathon. Besides not making any sense, this movie completely blew its payoff by putting it on the poster. How do you commit a blunder that huge when that's pretty much the only noteworthy scene in the entirety of the film?! Even though this movie was made in '71, it's set in the '30s and definitely feels as boring as films from that era. The main reason I rarely touch on films this old (and older) is because they're all talk and no show for the most part (obviously there are plenty of exceptions). After all, these are called motion pictures for a reason. Enough of the yapping and do something. Alternatively, if you're going to have a movie comprised of nothing but character banter, it needs to have chemistry like Abbot and Costello. What's the matter with Helen? Hell if I know. She's crazy...but wouldn't that be anyone's assumption from the onset? No surprise twist there.

In a nutshell, two women, named Adelle and Helen, decide to start new lives with new identities after their sons are convicted of murder or whatever. Honestly, we hardly learn anything regarding this entire plot device which you'd think would be important or link to a twist--ANYTHING! Adelle opens up some dance school for wannabe Shirley Temples as Helen wants to be her lesbian lover. If you think there is going to be serious shenanigans going on with those two getting together, well, there's nothing like that present although scenes were cut in this regard. When Adelle finds some rich dude to hook up with, this appears to start Helen on a spiral into insanity as she cannot cope with losing Adelle. Believe me, none of this is as straightforward as you'd imagine as you'll need to draw your own inferences. The film tries to introduce pointless red herrings as if we will ignore Helen going crazy and the damn title of the movie itself. The most idiotic of the red herrings is a stalker that wants to kill the ladies. Again, I thought this would be an important plot aspect but all that happens is Helen accidentally kills the dude without even realizing he was that specific stalker. Oh man, you finally give a kill and the alleged crazy person didn't even kill them intentionally?! Yeah, sure, makes perfect sense. Blah blah blah Adelle plans to marry the rich dude which sets Helen off permanently as she kills Adelle and props her up, as you see on the poster, for the final shot. And really, that's all there is to it.

There are like fifty more subplots I'm ignoring, but they surprisingly contribute absolutely nothing to the main story arc. I've honestly never seen anything quite like this. The structure of the narrative is similar to a mystery yet we already know the conclusion up front. All the background bullshit serves no purpose except to steer the audience down a path where they expect a much larger payoff. You could argue the strongest point of the film was to demonstrate how Helen was a repressed lesbian, probably driven crazy due to her overly religious nature, but meh. There are just sooooo many unanswered questions that I would say are pretty damn necessary to fully grasping the film. Why did the ladies' sons become murderers? They imply a connection to Helen murdering her husband but okay. Speaking of which, why did Helen murder her husband out of the blue in front of her son? Did something set her off? Why does Helen have flashbacks to her son's murdering of a girl? Did she participate? So the stalker was just a guy that wanted revenge...then why was he going about it in the most roundabout way possible? Seriously, what the hell was the point of that acting coach guy? Did he die? His disappears from the film altogether at the last second. Why was there a little person out of the blue? My god there were too many weird details for no apparent reason. It's like the twist of the film should have been Helen wakes up stoned out of her mind in an opium den. And don't get me started on all the contrivances.

This film could have been so much more. I understand that scenes were deleted and such, but this is not how you show us a character descending into madness. There was nothing visceral or surreal about the transition. Helen simply flies off the handle quickly, with little buildup, and virtually no true motive. We get more time spent on Adelle's love life and those creepy Shirley Temple rejects than anything. There were a few moments I thought we'd get something deep like when Helen is staring into a fan and feels compelled to stick her hand into it all the while seeing visions of the girl her son murdered. Why weren't there other scenes like this? Eh, I'm sure others can appreciate this film more than I since I have little patience for this kind of drama. Hell, I think I would have even liked the film more if they didn't ruin the ending so blatantly.

Notable Moment: When Adelle mentions Helen "bitched" something up. That's a good one...I'm going to have to use that from now on out.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Vagrant (1992) Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: After moving into a new home, a guy believes he is being stalked by a homeless man in the area.

Review: I'm going to do something special for the next 8 reviews so hold onto your butts. I will be covering these two DVD collections from "Shout! Factory" called "All Night Horror Marathon." These sets include four movies each that are of--how shall I say--questionable quality. The movies included are such wonderful and timeless gems like "What's the Matter with Helen," "The Godsend," "The Outing," "The Dungeonmaster," "Cellar Dweller," "Contamination .7," "Catacombs," and, of course, this film, "The Vagrant." Uhh...yeah...let those titles sink in a bit; this is going to be interesting. Of this lot, I've only ever watched "Cellar Dweller" before, and it didn't leave a good impression to say the least. Who knows, maybe we will have a few pleasant surprises! Anyway, I figured the most fitting film to kick this ordeal off would be "The Vagrant" as that's the name of this blog. Oh wait, isn't my google name villainsrule? But then who the hell is this Ryan guy? I'm so confused!

All I can say about this movie is what the fuck did I just watch? I was having nightmarish flashbacks to watching the "Ice Cream Man" or something. Oh man...the early 90s and horror just do not go together. It's like, what on earth were they thinking in those days? To be fair, this movie doesn't necessarily take itself seriously, but it should at least make some semblance of sense, right? And why the hell is Bill Paxton starring in this movie?! Come the fuck on, Hicks! Oh, sorry, Hudson...he's Hicks.

Mr. Paxton plays the most pathetic yuppie in the world, named Graham, as he decides to purchase a home in order to dodge banging some horny real estate girl. I missing something? Shortly after moving in, Graham discovers a homeless man--whom Graham strangely calls the vagrant--sneaking into his house at night. Graham is unsettled by the vagrant, because he has a grotesque appearance and a sasquatch-esque demeanor. It doesn't take long for Graham to become unhinged as he is obsessively paranoid about the vagrant's agenda to screw with him. He tries to call the police frequently, but they are only interested if the vagrant is pissing in public for whatever reason. Funny...I guess? Graham's best friend and wannabe girlfriend notice how crazy he is behaving, but they are weirdos themselves. Eventually people start to get killed as the vagrant tries to make Graham appear to be the guilty party. The police begin to think Graham is making up the vagrant to get away with his crimes as he becomes more implicated and later arrested after that same horny real estate lady turns up dead.

After Graham is exonerated for the crimes, the film suddenly shifts gear as he travels the country looking for a new place to stay. He ends up becoming the manager at a trailer park but begins to think he and the vagrant may be the same person. Throughout the film, Graham has been having weird dreams with the vagrant--that border on homo-erotic--while also experiencing missing time and confusion. With his sanity in question, Graham inadvertently becomes fuck buddies with some chick just as more killings start up. You know, for a guy who's supposed to be a big bitch, he sure gets a lot of ladies...must be that sexy mullet. Graham, of course, has to then run away again to escape the vagrant. Wow, talk about stretching this film out for the full 90 minutes. Was there even a point to moving into this trailer park other than to kill time? Finally, after traveling to god knows where, Graham discovers the vagrant has been hiding in his car as the two begin a final showdown. The cops, that believed Graham was always the killer, just happen to be tracking him idiotically as he fights the vagrant. We learn some bullshit about the vagrant being a doctor or psychologist, or whatever, as he was trying to do an experiment on Graham to change his personality. I have no idea! One of those cops that followed Graham ends up dead and the other kills the vagrant in a lackluster defeat. The film ends with Graham moving into a new house as they imply he's still crazy.

Suffice it to say, this movie is weird. Nothing makes sense or gets a proper explanation, but I suppose that was part of the comedic aspects. It's not blatantly terrible, but it is an undeniable mess that is full of near-overwhelming levels of stupidity and odd decisions. I felt the overall experience was mediocre, but I'm used to the shittacular nature present in early '90s horror films. You also need a proper understanding of how these weird horror/comedies work. At the same time, I can imagine a cult following behind a story as bizarre as this especially with the corny overacting and rarity to the film itself. Let's just say this is an extremely acquired taste as far as horror films in general are concerned. Eh, perhaps check it out just to see Hudson losing his mind. And by the way, his acting was better in this movie than in "Titanic" and "Twister" combined! Yeah, I went there.

Notable Moment: Maybe when Graham keeps having those weird, semi-erotic dreams about the vagrant. Seriously, what the fuck? Was that intentional, subtly intended, or was the vagrant simply channeling his role from Freddy 2?!

Final Rating: 5/10