November 29th, 2008

FOXES (1980) ** ½

Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie (the lead singer of The Runaways) and two other skanky broads play these horndog teenage girls with shitty home lives who like to go out and party and do a bunch of drugs and stuff.  During the movie, random things happen like they party and do a bunch of drugs and stuff.  Then after they party and do some more drugs, Cherie gets REALLY wasted and hitches a ride with two skeevy swingers who drunkenly plow their car into the back of a garbage truck and kill her.  The End.


There’s nothing particularly wrong with Foxes in theory.  I mean who wouldn’t want to see a bunch of teenage chicks do a bunch drugs and party, right?  What cheesed me off about these girls was that they weren’t slutty enough to make their misadventures wholly worthwhile and they were way too skanky to be completely likeable characters.  Also, there’s only so many times you can hear Donna Summer’s “On the Radio” before you slowly begin to lose your mind.  They play that damn song about twelve times during the damn movie and it gets on your damn nerves real fast.


The performances by the quartet of teeners are adequate at best.  Sure, Foster went on to win ten billion Oscars later on, but here she’s just kind of annoying.  It really says something for your movie when Scott Baio of all people gives the best performance.


Foxes is always watchable though thanks largely to Adrian (Flashdance) Lyne’s direction.  He captures the proceedings with almost a documentarian’s eye and bathes everything in that glossy 80’s sheen he’s known for.  He did a good job on the flick except he kinda dropped the ball when it came to the random ass ending.


I can’t remember too much of what happened in the original Underworld movie, mostly because it stunk more than a two dollar hooker’s twat.  I do recall that it had something to do with vampires fighting werewolves; except the filmmakers were too candy-assed to actually call them werewolves, so they called them “Lycans”.  Oh yeah, and it featured Kate Beckinsale in skintight leather looking all kinds of hot.  That’s about it.


The opening narration to the sequel, Underworld:  Evolution wasn’t much help at refreshing my memory as it mostly consisted of a lot of confusing narration over choppily edited scenes from the original.  What I gathered was that the hottie vampire played by Kate was trying to protect her boy toy (Scott Speedman) because he is a “Hybrid”; a man that’s part vampire and part werewolf.  Pretty soon, this gargoyle looking motherfucker gets loose and wants this necklace that Speedman’s got so he’s got to kung fu him every twenty minutes or so.  We also learn a lot more annoying exposition that further complicates things.  Eventually Kate gets fed up and bitch slaps the gargoyle dude into the blades of a helicopter and turns that son of a bitch into Gargoyle Salsa.


I tried to give a shit about this movie.  I honestly did.  I mean any flick that features Kate Beckinsale in skintight leather SHOULD command my complete attention, right?  Sadly, her exquisite figure draped in form-fitting leather is the sole reason to watch this cum stain of a movie. 


Underworld:  Evolution is a smorgasbord of stupidity.  The plot is such a fucking mess that one character actually laughs in disbelief when a major plot point is revealed!  I kid you not.  Also, a lot of this movie is just straight up redundant.  I mean Kate’s supposed to be a “Death Dealer” but I kinda have to doubt her credentials because mostly she just shoots monsters with round after round of ammunition and the monsters still don’t die.  Her solution?  Shoot them with MORE bullets!  And get a load of the laughable scene where the supposedly “psychic” gargoyle had to stoop to using a computer to find his prey’s whereabouts. 


The action scenes are all kind of useless and lose a lot of their luster because you can’t really care about what the fuck’s going on.  There’s also this lame ass opening sequence that takes place in the Middle Ages where everyone dresses like they’re about to play Dungeons and Dragons or something.  Basically what happens in this scene is that the vampires hate the werewolves (I REFUSE to call them “Lycans” because that would just make me sound like an asshole.) so they cut off their heads and stuff. 


The werewolves themselves are pathetic looking and the CGI transformation scenes are supremely shitty.  Where’s Jack Pierce when you need him?  I will give director Len Wiseman credit for making the whole movie look like a living, breathing version of a Molly Hatchet album cover.


Kate had a No Ta-Ta’s Clause in her contract on this flick, probably because Wiseman is her hubby.  The result is one sorry ass excuse for a sex scene.  He did give us a lot of lingering shots of her bare belly button though.


You know, when I was a kid, watching Skinamax was just about the best thing you could watch on television besides scrambled porn.  Of course you had to wait till about 1:35 am before they started playing the good stuff but every now and then, Skinamax would reward a patient underage viewer with something equally kinky at the far more reasonable hour of 10:00 pm.  One such movie that I caught late night with the lights out and the sound turned down real low was The Howling 2:  Your Sister is a Werewolf.


Now I know the Howling sequels get a bad rap and for good reason too.  Just about every one of them sucks hairy ball sacs.  The Howling 2:  Your Sister is a Werewolf is no exception, but I’ll be damned that watching this flick twenty some years later didn’t awaken the 8 year-old boy inside of me. 


Basically the story is that Reb (Space Mutiny) Brown is attending his sister’s funeral when Christopher Lee approaches him and tells him “Your Sis...” oh shit just read the subtitle, will ya.  Reb takes the news surprisingly well and helps Lee hunt down a nest of werewolves who are congregating in a small village where they await the return of their werewolf mistress Stirba (Sybil Danning). 


This Stirba chick is something else.  She likes to have threesomes with other werewolves who turn increasingly wolfier the hornier they get.  (And just so you know folks, Stirba is a NATURALLY blond werewolf.)


Anyway, Christopher Lee’s gotta stake Stirba with a TITANIUM stake because she’s “immune” to silver.  Luckily for the audience, Stirba is committed to presiding over a werewolf sex orgy before going head to head with Lee for the climatic showdown.


Let me just tell you something.  Sybil Danning in this movie has to be about the hottest piece of ass ever captured on celluloid.  She’s always gallivanting around in these sexy S & M get-ups with her cleavage lovingly heaving up and down.  Sybil pops her top only once during the film, but thanks to the miracle of editing, we get to see those puppies SEVENTEEN times over the end credits!  Amazing!


I’m not going to lie to you, The Howling 2:  Your Sister is a Werewolf is not a very good movie.  Yet it contains so many WTF moments in the course of its 90 minute running time that I just can’t bear to completely dis it.  Christopher Lee standing in front of a star field and reading a bunch of werewolf mumbo jumbo?  Check!  Geriatric werewolves being ensnared by a doily that the filmmakers woefully tried to pass of as a “net”?  Yup!  Puppet shows being shown IN THEIR ENTIRETY?  You got it dude!  Midgets getting tossed out the windows?  Right on!  Rubbery looking gargoyles shoving their tails down a preacher’s throat?  Hell yeah!


But easily the best thing about The Howling 2:  Your Sister is a Werewolf (Damn, is that a great title or what?) is Sybil Danning.  Whether she’s having magic power battles with Christopher Lee (by the way, these scenes are better than anything Lee did in those Lord of the Rings movies, I’ll tell you that much), zapping a midget and making his eyeballs burst out of his head, or getting horny while watching werewolves fuck, Sybil totally rocks.  I really don’t know why the Academy passed her over at Oscar time.


Yes, if it seems at times that this review is being written by an 8 year-old whose main concern is Sybil’s breasts, then sue me.  The “legitimate” critic in me wants to cite the film for its draggy pacing, the shitty performances (save for Lee and Danning) the horrible effects, the overuse of that damn New Wave song and the general trashing of the original Joe Dante classic.  You know what though; the 8 year-old who first saw The Howling 2 on Skinamax all those years ago never saw the first Howling movie, so he didn’t know any better.  Besides, how many movies can you name off the top of your head that features Werewolf Sex Orgies and Sybil Danning showing off her tits SEVENTEEN times during the closing credits?


The 8 year-old Mitch gives The Howling 2:  Your Sister is a Werewolf ****, if only for the awesome closing credits.  The adult Mitch gives it *, and likewise commends director Philippe Mora (who also went on to direct The Howling 3) for the awesome closing credits.  That makes for a ** ½ average.