June 7, 2021
Olivia D'Abo shows up as not Red Sonja in one of the most loathed films from both Schwaz and the beloved Swords and Sorcery genre. I blame Dino....again.
Is it worth $4 to watch this movie? You’ll have to make it to the end of the podcast for that full evaluation. Is it worth watching if you already have access to it? Yes. This was one of my most hated films. For years I’ve called it Conan the Babysitter.
Against the first film, it certainly is but when removed from the “Barbarian” and gauged on it’s own, this stinker is worth a run. It also maintains our current theme of MPAA headscratchers. What says PG? A 14 year old in lingerie? Grace Jones’ whole butt? Bloody decapitations? I would say none of these things should be in a PG film. This one has all of that plus; wizard battles, lame pro wrestling, Schwaz noises galore and Sarah Douglas lusting after a statue.
Though a thorough failure to hold even half the weight of its predecessor, it may be so influential that the Zach Snyder's Justice League is essentially a carbon copy stretched to 4 hours with the edition of glam shots and slow motion. You get a bunch of Lord of the Rings-esque walking around, a glass wizard in a glass house tossing stones at himself, cavemen losing their heads, Sven Ole Thorson rising from the dead, Wilt the Stilt’s acting prowess, bad animation, worse rear projection, young Schwaz in a position of elder statesman of acting and a fucking sea monster.
I guess the idea is, if you are the one who awakens the demon god of world destruction, he not only doesn’t kill you but bangs the hell out of you (just the way you like it). This is hoping he isn’t a crappy sea monster who can be defeated by a stacked guy in his underwear, a pop star and the guy from Repo Man. If your demon god of world destruction and banging is a crappy sea monster, said folks will kill the shit out of you and him, then take all your stuff. They’ve been doing it a while and are pretty good at it.
Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a classic stinker, but it is a pretty good time. It rolls along with minimal drowsiness, has action that is all dumb and even mostly avoids anti-climax.
June 1, 2021
Albert Finney and Susan Day go on a misguided adventure into the dark dealings of a company that... wants to make more effective commercials and light guns? Is Digital Matrix the worst company ever?
There I am, watching this movie, wondering what Sam was thinking by choosing this movie for an episode. Honestly, the first 1/2 of this is pretty solid - mostly because you don't know what is going on in the same way that Albert Finney's Dr. Larry Roberts is stuck in the middle of a murder conspiracy and trying to put the pieces together. Then the second half is you focusing on hoping that the movie explains why the evil corporation does what it does only to learn that you never learn. You're lost in the same way that Roberts is when he's zapped by a light gun.
Light gun, you say? What is that? Well we'd like to know too. It's power is dubious. What it does is shoot out a white doily pattern that:
- blinds you
- makes you "lose time"
- makes your owner of the gun invisible for a brief time
How would one thwart such an advanced weapon that doesn't make sense and manufactured by an advertising firm? Well you simply put up your arm or wear Doc Brown's sunglasses from 2015.
So what you're left with is more questions than answers at the end of this. Why did Digital Matrix murder their contract models? What possible gain did they have from doing it? It can't have been to silence them, as their knowledge is the same as what Digital Matrix has released to the public. Why did they pin the murders on Dr. Larry Roberts? Just make them look like accidents. Even if you can't fix their obvious connection, you're inviting this guy to try and defend his name and thus tear your whole company to the ground. Lastly, why did you invent a light gun? You make commercials. I mean come on. One could make an argument that Digital Matrix is making deep fakes so they can rule the world by having politicians say whatever they want but then the politician could just say, "I never said that" and now you've got Congress on your ass (unless Mitch McConnell is still there and then nothing is getting done except orphanage's burning down to his delight). Maybe they are REPLACING those whom have been "Lookered" ala Fallout 4 but that's not something that is happening here. If Digital Matrix had just made good commercials without killing models or bothering with light guns, they would have risen to be the biggest/wealthiest production company in the world - we're talking Apple money here guys. No instead you had a board meeting where Gary said, "What if we murdered our Lookers after we scan their naked bodies?" and everyone else in ties stands up and applauds. If just one of those coffee swillers had just asked "But why?" you'd have a different film. That doesn't happen. Thus Looker suffers from The Idiot Plot and suffers maybe in the hardest Idiot Plot we've ever seen.
Because of that, Looker is something that needs to be seen to believed. The second half is such a complete meltdown and beyond inept (Larry's car "crash" of gently placing his Porsche 928 in a fountain comes to mind) culminates in the final battle that is really a battle with the editor lost on what to do with the story. So yes, this is a do from us as a great and fantastic train wreck.
May 24, 2021
That bad guy from Stargrove hatches a diabolical plan to steal all the dubious chips using bug-bots while Tom Selleck's mustache chases tail AND Gene Simmons. Maybe program your robots to only attack your enemies, Gene.
What is Runaway? It falls into this weird pit where you can't really say its a stinker as there is a number of really well done things. Of course, Selleck is great. Gene Simmons is a great villain. Kirstie Alley and Cynthia Rhodes are competent. It looks good. The effects are solid. The "future" world (not sure if its the future as we never have a "Five Years From Now" card) is well crafted. The score is appropriate and subtle. Yet, somehow every bit of good is countered with pure cheesy stink.
The robots... how do you build a Roomba to hold a gun? The movie tells us that the runaway that does so has been modified - so this family of 4 put a hand on it that can pull a trigger. It doesn't work. So because the families of America are too stupid to not put handgun holding hands on their dust-busters, local police are now robot catchers with all of the powers of the precinct to catch robots that runover corn and drop cement in the wrong spot. "I'll need a tank, three choppers and sixteen rocket launchers to catch this pizza-bot!"
Second to this is the pacing and narrative. While Tom and Cynthia are doing their Geek Squad thing for the first half, a trail of clues that lead to Gene Simmons is put together off screen. They go from turning off robots at a construction site to infiltrating the corporate HQ that Simmon's Luther is hatching his mastermind plan. Luther is a bit of an idiot. Great job leaving that Tupperware full of clues on your secretaries desk and modifying a robot near those chips so that the only way the cops can catch you is to have them come to this office. You boner.
While we're being told a very dark tale of technology gone amuck and the Occam's Razor of our relationship with tech, Tom's character is growing a huge chub over damsels in distress held captive by security bots. Back that up with some seriously not funny jokes. Its clear while Crichton is a sci-fi genius, he's about as funny as mud. Toss in the least frightening robots since The Rock Lords and now the scale is tilting to Stinker.
May 17, 2021
As we are off this week, we hope you enjoy this episode from 2018 about a mild-mannered slob who just wants to be Dalton from Roadhouse. Why won't they just leave him alone?!?!? Plus a bonus of Dee Dee Pfeifer's side boob. Worth the price of admission? Probably.
May 10, 2021
Another massive video game adaptation comes to us in the form of a fighting game with massive jiggle physics. Somehow they managed to supplement the jiggle with one of the dumbest villain idiot plot we've ever come across.
So let's get the obvious question out of the way - is DOA the movie as jiggly as the game - no. The sexuality in the movie is way toned down - due to trying to reach a mass audience including the sexually conservative Chinese market. Bummer.
With that in mind, maybe that's a good thing (well good for us) because the focus shifts from bouncy boobs to ridiculous stunts. The male gaze of the camera is still there but the focus is shifted to medium wide shots to get the sheer magnitude of the stupidly ridiculous stunts and wirework. I mean wirework is a great tool for supplementing great stunts but this goes so far over the top that the stupid circles back and becomes awesome.
However, as great as all the ladies are, Eric Roberts once again steals the show. Why anyone says, "Oh we've got Eric Roberts. Lets spend $30 million on it" is absolutely beyond me. He stinks so bad and its beautiful. One of the worlds greatest tragedies is that Eric Roberts had a very successful sister in mainstream cinema. Otherwise, he likely would have still been Eric Roberts but would have had to work harder - likely putting himself in front AND behind the camera. We'd have another Tommy and Neil Breen roaming around out there - this one focused solely on karate movies. It would have been fantastic! Anyways, Donovan is the most self sabotaging villain we've ever come across. Seriously, he kills himself and blows up his own island for karate glasses. Wow is Donovan stupid.
Despite DOA's nasty reputation, it's a classic stinker and should be viewed by anyone who loves cheesy stupid films. It's great.
May 3, 2021
Two "brothers" get chased around so that Robert Patrick's hair can capture the second half of the Double Dragon while teaming up with The Hyper-Color Gang. Patrick should have just drank more vodka.
What works best in this movie is everything that didn't work for me in 1994. Everything sucks. The look of the film is vomit. The acting is gut-wrenching. The plot is corny. The action is hammy. The one-liners are a series of eye-ball rolls. Yet somehow, in post-2007, this thing is such an absolute mess of terrible ideas that don't really happen anymore. Most modern movies revolve around just one or two terrible decisions ie. The Great Wall's plot, making the tornado a monster in Hurricane Heist, the dialogue in London has Fallen. This movie is instead a showcase of nothing but terrible ideas and failed concepts that all become awesome now.
Take for instance the Lee brothers played by Mark Dacascos (sure) and Scott Wolf?!?!? Why in the hell is Scott Wolf in this movie? Well with our 20/20 the film wouldn't be the same as without. Need more? How about the set design of 2007's New Angeles? How about their future cars? How about Robert Patrick's hair? I could go on for days on the little details that make this movie crap and great at the same time.
Double Dragon is something you likely hated when it came out. Its time for you to circle back and see what you think. We loved it.
PLUS - a reflection on the Matrix Trilogy with some of our theories on what the hell it is about.
April 26, 2021
Ok, you know what happens in this film. You've seen it at least twice and then have it crammed down your throat anytime you watch anything about 80's pop culture. But ask yourself this: what is Top Gun actually about?
Look, this movie is thing because of two reasons: Kenny Loggins and Tony Scott shot the hell out of it. If you remove those two things (or just the Tony Scott aesthetic) you've got Navy Seals again. Think of the world we could have had if Tony Scott sucked at cinematography. Tom Cruises doesn't become a huge deal, Scientology disappears and we never get The Mummy. Sure, Desert Storm might have lasted a few months longer but seriously Val Kilmer might still be funny and Katie Holmes life would have had less oppression/slavery in it.
Why? Because this thing is devoid of content. Its Megaforce levels of nothing happening. Yes jets fly around and people have hang down contests with undeclared winners but absolutely nothing happens. When you're more invested in the story of Iron Eagle, you've got a film that isn't exactly Shakespeare. The closest you could come to a story is that a boy with daddy issues shows off his daddy issues. That's not a plot!
If you can get past the lack of plot, you might be left asking, "Well what does this movie say about anything?" Here's where things get interesting. I can't help but think Top Gun despite being a cultural phenomenon, was a catalyst to changing the tone to America's foreign policy and military agenda (until 2016 to 2020) - it wasn't a good strategy to use Vietnam era dickheadery anymore. You couldn't just stick jack-asses in planes and point them in a direction and say "blow up whatever's over there". We learned we actually needed people with objectives and ideas and skills and not morons with phallic obsessions in charge. Trump arguably won because his voters were forced to watch this on loop Clockwork Orange style. That's possibly the best theory of what happened in 2016 (its better than "economic anxiety"). So you're gonna have to decide for yourself if the world would be a better place without Top Gun. Seriously, funny Val Kilmer....
Well, I'll get off my soap box. Top Gun sucks and I hate it.
April 19, 2021
Teenagers form up to take down an evil empire in their flying ships. Oh and rescue daddy. And get sage advice from an older veteran. Oh and act like a bunch of idiots along the way.
So I had no idea how bad Iron Eagle actually is. I had a level of expectation that it was mostly dumb and corny but WOW Iron Eagle is over-the-top stupid. I mean its hard to describe. It truly has to be seen to believed. Between the plot of a teenager likely bringing about WWIII while rocking out to Queen to flying through Beggar's Canyon in a deathrace to Jason Gedrick's constant deadpan in the face of death AND bad grades, you can just read what a stinker this thing is.
I guess if we had to complain, its pretty lackluster in the action department. The action in the front end takes about 3 minutes and there is a long complaining, training and failing sequence before about 15 minutes of action at the end. And by action I mean model airplanes suspended by fishline and strapped with firecrackers getting blown up for about 4 frames. It at no point is very exciting or visually interesting.
While all that is said Iron Eagle is a must view for stinker fans. You might not even remember how bad it is so buckle in for a Hades bomb of dumb and fun.
April 12, 2021
Nicole Eggert goes part Robocop, part Wolverine, part Deadpool and all terrible in this cheese-fest from the 90s dark action bandwagon, while also managing to cram in Richard Grieco's true acting ability and still managing to be somewhat boring.
This is another movie that has all the things that are required to make a bad movie awesome yet isn't because of the filmmaking elements of the time. The feel and tone of the film bogs down all the awesome crap that happens. Its like a delicious donut served only with Metamucil. Boy, you want to enjoy the donut but your stuck drinking your geriatric medicine. Do you pass on the whole experience?
So outside of the clichés of mid-late 90s film, there's a lot of fun here. Richard Grieco is allowed to finally go full Grieco. That's not like letting Nic Cage off the chain, but its pretty close. Grieco would have won a best bad actor SMABFA if we had a podcasting time machine (plus all the evil that Sam would do to hot ladies). His performance alone is worth the price of admission.
Next to him, Nicole Eggert isn't good here and maybe never is but she doesn't exactly have a script by David Mamet to work with here. She's stuck lamenting being dead most of the time, while pondering if being a zombie detracts from her attractiveness. She does what she can. Its also not really her fault that her costume sucks and her action moves are wooden.
While the film should be lampooned for its acting and script, it should also be applauded for its budget production design and world building on a very limited budget. The Demolitionist's tri-guns that are repurposed prank cigarette lighter guns, the zombie injection chair, the lab for the Lazarus Project, and the mayors office all should receive a "Best Cost Efficient Production Design" Oscar. I'm sure that's what you showed up for, right?
So if you can stand those 90s tropes or even revel in how crummy they are, you'll likely greatly enjoy The Demolitionist. Sadly, I hated The Crow when it came out and I hate it now, so the Metamucil of the film reduces its star count to a barely "do" if you've never seen it.
March 29, 2021
<p>The autobiographical story of how a teenage girl breaks her dad's "no banging guys who knock up other ladies and then get them terrible abortion doctors" rule over the summer at a sex-trafficking church camp for rich hypocrites.</p>
<p>Yes, I know this is your mom's favorite movie. There's strike number one.</p>
<p>What <em>Dirty Dancing</em> is (besides a cultural phenomenon) is a non-movie. A series of events without what we in the biz like to call a plot is not a movie. No, the plot isn't "Baby falls in love" - that is over within the first 1/3 of the movie. No, the plot isn't "Baby learns to dance and wins the competition" - that happens halfway through. Best we can do is the plot is "Father learns daughter's summer love didn't impregnate a grown woman". That's not really something to put 100 minutes around.</p>
<p>Secondly, there's the icky. This movie is dripping with icky. No, it's not the dancing. The dancing viewed through modern lenses is quite wholesome. The icky is the glorification of statutory rape. Baby is 17. Johnny is 25. That's rape, period. Yes it wasn't illegal in NY in 1963. That doesn't make it ok. Stop making exceptions for having sex with children. Its not ok. But wait, there's more ick. The entire setting of this film is a sex-trafficking and forced prostitution resort. The wait staff's job is to bang the daughters of the rich customers and the entertainment staff's job is to bang the lonely wives of the rich customers - whether you want to or not and bitch better have my money. Its gross.</p>
<p>With that in mind, should you view this movie? Nope - and not because of the ick. The ick doesn't mean this movie should be censored or "cancelled" as dumb Ohio wrestling coaches gone US Congressmen wish we were saying. The ick just needs to stop being glorified. No, just don't watch this movie because it sucks and is bereft of actual content that makes up a story.</p>