Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TROLL 2 (1990)

A family vacations in a town of vegetarian goblins that turn humans into plants and then eat them.


One was not enough because this is not a sequel, and it's not about trolls. At all.

This movie is about so many other things. So many things.

Why does that girl have freckles drawn on with eyeliner?
Is the father adjusting his belt about to urinate on his son or whip his ass or...go on hunger strike?
Why is dead Grandpa Seth only selectively visible?
Who was in charge of costume continuity?
Which amazing acting school did Deborah Reed attend?
Have you ever seduced a grown man with Frederick's of Hollywood lingerie and a corncob?
And then done it so hard it made popcorn?

You will be asking yourself all these questions and more.

Personal confession:

I resisted watching this movie for a long time, because I was thoroughly queased out by the clips I'd seen of the goblins eating green mushy things and making the same disgusting toothless gum-smacking noises my cat breathes in my face at the crack of every dawn.

Oh I was wrong.

So wrong.

So wrong I'm giving myself corner time and deferring to my girl C-$'s writeup while I think about how wrong I was.

In conclusion, OH MY GOD:

Special thanks to C-$ and Tina for hosting.

Monday, September 13, 2010

MB Shoutout: Joel Modelo

Did you have to miss both last weekend's screening of NINJA TURF aka LA STREETFIGHTERS and the prior weekend's screening of MIAMI CONNECTION? Don't feel sad. Joel is here to keep you informed.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

INCUBUS (1965)

William Shatner battles mod/hippie nuns who sacrifice innocent men's souls to the devil.


Three things you need to know about this movie right away:

1. William Shatner.

2. Its dialogue is entirely in Esperanto, the "universal language" that is spoken all over the world but by not very many people in a given spot.

3. It was shot by Conrad Hall, the DP who later won Oscars for his work on BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID, AMERICAN BEAUTY, and ROAD TO PERDITION.

Big Sur, the years of thick liquid eyeliner and cotton macrame pullovers. Also the years of moody black-and-white high contrast film stock. Under the supervision of her Mother Superior-type person Amael, mod/hippie nun Kia spends her days like a more active/less cerebral version of THE SEVENTH SEAL: She lures unsuspecting young fellows to drink from a roofie-filled well, then coaxes them into the sea with promises of doing it - only to drown them beneath her sandaled foot. Once their prey are dead, the ladies donate the bodies to their Dark Lord, Milos Milos in an ill-fitting button-down shirt. Which, creepy for real: Shortly after they wrapped, Milos Milos killed Mickey Rooney's wife and then himself*. So perhaps playing evil was...not a huge stretch.

Be that as it may, Kia's scheme works fine until she tries it on The Shat, whose soul cannot be bought because it is made of pure love. He has looked Death in the eye and wished him rainbows and kitten kisses and well-won chess games, warns Amael, but Kia must have him. She happens upon his homestead pretending to be a lost traveler, bats her liquid eyeliner at him during an eclipse until he gives her a blanket, and then seduces him away from his sister (sister in incest? hard to tell, and again, creepy), who has been dumb enough to look straight at the eclipse with her own liquid eyeliner even after The Shat specifically tells her not to.

While the sister is discovering her new self-inflicted disability and getting kidnapped to the satanic nunnery, Kia leads The Shat to the roofie well, which doesn't doesn't work on him due to said purity of soul. She goes straight to the hard-sell - some good times beneath the trees - but he doesn't just want a roll in the hay, he wants, like, romance and eternal whatnot. Naturally, she redoubles her efforts, during which The Shat carries his jacket with him everywhere. Kia and Amael use the kidnapped sister as bait to lure him and his jacket. At some point Kia passes out and The Shat brings her unconscious body into a church, where she wakes and runs screaming - only to get attacked by a goat head puppet interspersed with an actual goat menacingly licking its lips**. There is of course a climactic battle between good and evil, complete with large bat wings, and you can probably guess who wins but it's worth watching to find out, and PS the sister gets her sight back, Praise Fred B. Phillips, credited makeup artist.

Subtitles are available in English and French.

*More about this and "the curse of INCUBUS" in this Salon article from the 1999 re-release.

**This turned out to be the stuff of nightmares, probably thanks in large part to the late night chicken mole tacos and goat head sized Diet Coke.

Special thanks to Amanda Jude for hosting.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Four wealthy BFFs yearning "to go somewhere RICH!!!" jet off to Abu Dhabi OMGWTFUAEWHY.


I've never taken 80 hits of acid at once, but this must be what it's like. Liza Minelli performs a jazzy version of "Single Ladies" with two doppelganger backup singers, then Sarah Jessica Parker's husband watches a lot of infomercials, and vaginal yam solvents are applied during (glass-walled) office hours. After that, each protagonist gets her very own on-call Arab to non-metaphorically warm her midnight milk. Then there is a movie-within-a-movie entitled HEART OF THE DESERT (one-sheet: shirtless white hunk cradling helpless brown child); public narghile fellation; Helen Reddy karaoke as rousing international female anthem, with belly dancers; and Ken-on-Barbie missionary touted as "sizzling hot" that appears only marginally sexier than re-grouting the bathroom. Also, the best, and sorry if this is a spoiler but it is just too astounding not to share: Muslim ladies secretly sporting this spring's couture lines beneath their abayas...in 100+ degree weather...at their Suzanne Somers book club meeting. FASHION WILL NOT BE OPPRESSED, SISTER, AND ALL'S COMPANY HERE!!!

The above are just a select few highlights, mind you. These 146 minutes are stylized within an inch of their very lives, and each moment offers new delectations of cognitive dissonance.

The only thing that could possibly make it more over the top would be to have the girls played by FTM drag queens, and to have all of the infomercial footage be Shake Weight advertisements.

If there is a god this will happen asap.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Pretty much what it sounds like.

This still is from DAUGHTERS OF LESBOS, which has the best narration ever: "She was constructing a sexual pyramid."

47 minutes of just the good parts, ma'am! Filmmaker Michelle Johnson aka Triple X has lovingly assembled a grindhouse-era montage of what the Outfest blurb calls "seduction and consummation among schoolmates, cellmates, swingers, nuns and vampires." That's right! Just the naked ladies doing what feels natural, with none of the condescending, rapey tripe that usually surrounds such footage. PS the sound is amazing, especially given what Johnson had to work with.


Check off which of these items you enjoy:

_suburban housefraus picking up hitchhiking hippie lovechildren
_proto-butches performing arbitrary - and arbitrarily naked - jail calisthenics
_nuns riding the fast train to hell (i.e. each other)
_vampire lesbians jumping out of grandfather clocks on the stroke of midnight

Why are you still reading this? Go watch it!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010


Real-life Australian stunt man Grant Page moves to Hollywood, hangs out with his cousin's real-life metal band, Sorcery; after an hour-and-a-half of stunt montages, they mount an unforgettable stage fusion of STUNTS AND ROCK.


STUNTS. And ROCK. Together at last, in a movie to which Michael Bay might totally spank it morning, noon, and night.

STUNT ROCK's appeal is pure, unfettered by story: the cliff-diving...the ziplining...the human torching...the human torch ziplining off a cliff. The squibs, the rappelling, the motocross, the upside-down biplane commandeering, the jumping from the roof of one high-speed Cadillac into the backseat of another, the martial art of soda bottle-breaking, the man-to-tiger combat, the explosion after explosion after explosion - all in fearless double and triple split-screens to maximize said purity of appeal.

This movie relies heavily on clips from Grant Page's actual career - I'm guessing most of the budget went to clearance rights. One such clip - from MAD DOG MORGAN (1976) - features Page as part of Dennis Hopper's (onscreen) nightmares. You're probably thinking that the nightmares of Dennis Hopper must be pretty cinematic, and you are so right about that: Page emerges from a lake completely aflame, flies vertically through the air up a cliff and jumps into Hopper's face, scaring the bejeesus out of him and making our viewing party gasp-clutch-pearls screaming "OMG IT'S DENNIS HOPPER!!!!!" It was obviously cliff-jumping-on-fire footage run backwards, and it was equally obviously AWESOME.

While most of the stunts do involve 1970s style cliff jumps, fire, and cliff jumps on fire, there is also some indescribably shredtastic footage of stunts from the 1920s - highwires over New York City, headstands on skyscraper cornices, dudes jumping from rooftop to rooftop over thin air. All in black-and-white, all from back in the day when there was no such thing as greenscreen, when these sorts of activities were that much more dangerous. So just think about that for a moment.

While Page is busy jumping off the Paramount watertower (oh yeah, a plot point, but just the one - he moves to Hollywood to stunt-double on a show called "Undercover Girl"*), Sorcery is tearing up the studio and the stage with their King Of The Wizards Vs. Prince Of Darkness show. Have you ever seen a wizard on fire? Look no further. Sorcery, for real, opened for Van Halen's very first show, opened for Black Sabbath after that, and offers fat, deep early metal grooves that will rock off socks that you don't even wear, like before you even think about how cold your feet are and wouldn't it be nice to...IT'S SORCERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The stage shows - all three nights of them - are full of magic illusions conducted with somewhat undersized props. Also, fire. Did I mention that there is a lot of fire in this film? One could almost call it symbolic of...itself. In the third show's finale, Page successfully helps Sorcery unite STUNTS and ROCK 4-ever by getting tied to a thing onstage and set on fire (again), then disappearing!, only to somehow sneak to the back of the house and zipline over the crowd in a STUNT to rejoin, onstage, the ROCK. And, happy ending. Especially for Michael Bay.

PS Grant Page is still tearing it up. DOUBLE DEVIL HORNS = TOO MUCH METAL FOR ONE HAND.

*unfortunately not about asskicking private investigator female-identified drag kings but at least it does involve skintight gold lame jumpsuits.

Special thanks to John and Amanda for hosting, specialer thanks to John for letting me wear his spare STUNT ROCK teeshirt, and specialest thanks to Brian for mentioning this movie in the first place. At El Cholo. In the booth where Monte Hellman wrote TWO-LANE BLACKTOP.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

MEGA PIRANHA (2010) - part one-point-five of two

Curses! Due to a TiVo crisis*, further analysis of killer fish is on hold. We watched JURASSIC PARK III instead, and, well, beyond the ALL SUBTEXT ALL THE TIME dialogue, what can you say about a nicely-structured nonstop action movie with good effects where Allesandro Nivola looks buff and flexes conspicuously? Shoutout to William H. Macy's moustache. Seriously it looks like a small mammal took up residence on his upper lip. I so hope he grew it himself.


Anyway, please enjoy this MEGA PIRANHA consolation prize interview with Tiffany.

*Is it possible to overstuff a TiVo until older picks drop out? All of a sudden it was filled with a certain housemate's people-yelling-loudly-about-politics shows, with last week's Syfy selections nowhere to be found.

Special thanks to Julie for hosting, and to Quincy for technical support.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

MEGA PIRANHA (2010) - part one of two

Oversized deadly fish chomp their way up the Amazon, destroying everything and everyone in their path.


Good-hearted ichthyologist Tiffany - Tiffany "I Think We're Alone Now" Tiffany, no last name required, yo - has been genetically modifying Venezuelan piranhas to make them a bigger and therefore more bountiful food source for the people. Unfortunately, she hasn't just made their bodies bigger...she's made their teeth bigger, too.

These piranhas have METAL TEETH. DEATH METAL TEETH. F YES THEY DO. Turn off that Hall & Oates and crank some Carcass, because that's what's about to go down onscreen.

First 10 minutes shred count includes:

- locals
- tourists
- girls in skimpy neon bikinis
- the US Ambassador
- a boat

And these biters double in size every 36 hours! Extrapolate this algorithm: If there's nothing to stop them from growing, how long will it take until the earth's surface is destroyed with nothing left to sustain them but each other's flesh? How big will the last fish standing be, and would its mass create a pull too strong to sustain the physical balance of the universe? COULD THERE BE A SEQUEL EXPLORING THESE ISSUES PLEASE.

Anyway, back to the lab, where Tiffany feels awful. So does Greg Brady, who plays Government Dude In DC Trying To Get Things Done By Yelling Into A Cell Phone. (Greg Brady's character is named Bob Grady, maybe to make it easier for Greg to remember his own name? Everyone has days like that.) Someone throws a dead piranha on the Venezuelan Colonel's desk to prove a point ("this is bad!") and he is most displeased. How will he get the smell out of his paperwork???

And then there is fish-kicking: Paul Logan on his back at the water's edge, bicycling away the piranhas like an aerobics champ, right before a fellow scientist declaims something like "They won't get away with it this time!" and then gets chomped by an enormous piranha. As for Tiffany, well, she hates it! Really! Hates hates hates! And wants to kill them all!

What happens next is a bit of a mystery because my viewing companions and I ate seconds on pasta before snuggling down into the couches with the dogs and consequently, somewhere post fish-kicking we were all zzzzzzzzz. So please tune in shortly for reportage on a conclusion sure to involve MAYHEM and PULVERIZED FISH BITS.

Special thanks to Julie and Quincy for hosting.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


First up from the amazing 50 B-movie box set, the gift that keeps on giving, giving, and forgiving...

A young, frequently nude karate expert searches for her brother's killer in Hong Kong.


Crucial information:

- chick-on-chick cemetery kung fu (even match; dome crack on headstone)
- one chick in panties vs. four fully-dressed dudes kung fu (chick wins)
- same chick PUNCHING ALL THE WAY THROUGH dude's stomach kung fu (chick wins...duh)

There is not much happening between all of the kung fu, but there doesn't really need to be. There is some cracking wise, but the sound is super-surprisingly inconsistent so you might miss a lot of it. Where there is one clearly audible "I will track a motherfucker down and bust a motherfucker up" there is bound to be more of the like, so you win whether you watch this movie in total silence or yap it up and wait for the fight scenes. It's just over an hour - taking the latter approach means you won't have to wait very long. Eat a few Skittles and the next chop will be thrown before you have time to get thirsty.

Special thanks to Julie and Quincy for hosting.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Have Been Watching High-Quality Movies

Which is why this blog has been so quiet. I've been catching up on my Scorcese and French New Wave and super-obscure high-falutin works you have never heard of because they are SUCH SUPERIOR CINEMA. Okay, truth - I've been having a big, long, embarrassing Nancy Meyers and Bravo reality tv fest. Netflix probably thinks I've been PMSing for the last fiscal quarter.

BUT! This is all about to change.


My dear friend Evan gifted me with a 50-movie, quadruple-DVD set that looks suspiciously like he bought it at a truck stop (making it even more awesome). "OVER 71 HOURS OF YOUR FAVORITE DRIVE IN CLASSICS," it says! Here is just a tiny sampling of the treats for which you and I are in store:


These are a mere six of 50! FIFTY! Where to begin????