December 2nd, 2010

DANGEROUS INVITATIONS (2002) **

Ethan (Gil Meadows) is a video game programmer who goes to a beach resort with his hot wife Sarah (Beverly Lynne), ostensibly to work on a new game.  They have been considering having a threesome with another broad, so they see this little getaway as the perfect opportunity to make their fantasy come true.  When they see the sexy Sophie (Shauna O’Brien) in the swimming pool, they know it’s on like Donkey Kong.  Then Sophie’s scumbag husband Ray (Evan Kennsington) shows up wanting to bang Sarah and Ethan says no way Jose.  The vengeance-seeking Ray then tries to blackmail Ethan into giving him the prototype for a new gaming system.

 

As Skinamax movies go, Dangerous Invitations probably has too much plot and/or talking scenes than it really needed.  The blackmail subplot is pretty lame and isn’t nearly as well done as a lot of the erotic thrillers from the 90’s.  If you’re watching this with your wife or girlfriend though, they won’t mind too much.  (You know they have to have a “plot” when they watch these things.)  In that respect, it’s a decent “Couple’s Movie”.

 

Whatever “critique” of Dangerous Invitations I give, it won’t matter to most of you because this movie features A) Beverly Lynne and Shauna O’Brien getting naked B) Beverly Lynne and Shauna O’Brien having sex and C) Beverly Lynne and Shauna O’Brien having sex with each other.  Both chicks look great and their sex scenes are mostly chub-inducing.  The only problem with that is that a lot of the sex scenes in the movie are kinda brief and sometimes end rather abruptly.  If the movie had been 80% sex and 20% plot instead of the other way around, it might’ve worked out a lot better.

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) (2010) ****

Okay, I’m a little behind on seeing this one.  This is mostly because Netflix kept sending me other stuff.  Even though The Human Centipede (First Sequence) was Number One on my Queue with no wait time, I kept getting movies like Jonah Hex that were Number Two.

 

And speaking of Number Two…

 

Wait, hold on.  I have to compose myself here.  I am really tempted to make a lot of poop puns after watching this movie.  I have to show a little restraint.

 

Okay… where was I?

 

So, I’m sure anyone that has access to the internet knows what the Human Centipede is.  That saves me from going into all the gross details.  No wait; the gross details are the best part of the movie!  This flick is all about this nutty doctor (the wonderfully named Dieter Laser) who takes two hot chicks and an Asian dude and sews them up mouth to anus and makes them crawl around on the floor.  Then when the guy has to poop, he poops directly into the girl’s mouth, and when she has to poop, she poops into the other girl’s mouth. 

 

Folks, I’ve seen a lot of ass to mouth movies in my time but this one takes the cake.  (Sorry about that.  I’ll do better about keeping the puns to a minimum.)

 

Anyone can make a movie about people pooping into other people’s mouths and make it disgusting, but it takes real talent to make it suspenseful.  Tom Six is such a director.  He could’ve just relied on the movie’s freakshow nature to lure the audience in.  But no, he actually gives us a couple of really suspenseful sequences.  I think my favorite part (besides the pooping of course) was when the Human Centipede had to coordinate walking in formation to escape the mad doctor and all was going fine until they got to a spiral staircase.  YOU try crawling up that thing when you’ve got some chick’s mouth sewed to your butt.

 

I also liked the fact that the Asian dude in the front spoke no English.  Because the girls had no idea what he was saying, it made it extremely hard for them to take orders and march around in a straight line.  It also made the movie seem like one of those subtitle filled Japanese horror movies too.  The Japanese love this gross shit, so I’m sure they really ate it up.

 

(Again, sorry.)

 

The reason though I’m making all of these puns at The Human Centipede (First Sequence)’s expense is because humor is my defense mechanism.  Whenever I see something that kinda freaks me out, I make light of the situation and make a joke or two.  And The Human Centipede (First Sequence) really did freak me out.  It’s not as explicit as I thought it would be, but it’s just so fucked up that it didn’t need to be.

 

Jaded horror fans who think they’ve seen it all need to check this out ASAP.  Anyone with a weak stomach need not apply.  This is one movie that is guaranteed to put a bad taste in your mouth.  

 

(Dammit, I did it again…)

 

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) is on The Video Vacuum Top Ten Films of 2010 at the Number 6 spot, which puts it right in between The Expendables and The Runaways.


AKA:  The Human Centipede.

THE HANDMAID’S TALE (1990) ***

In the totalitarian future, most of the population is sterile.  All of the fertile women are rounded up and turned into “Handmaids”; breeding stock for the rich and wealthy.  One such Handmaid is Kate (the late Natasha Richardson).  The government kills her husband and takes her daughter and sends her off the Handmaid Summer Camp (they don’t really call it that, but that’s what it looks like) where she is taught that bearing children is good and being a whore is bad.  Eventually, she is assigned to give “The Commander” (Robert Duvall) a baby, which is kinda hard to do since he’s shooting blanks.  Instead, she gets knocked up by his studly chauffeur (Aidan Quinn) and they fall in love.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale was going pretty good up until this point.  I’m a sucker for any movie in which women have to breed in order to ensure the survival of the human race, so this shit was right up my alley.  Unfortunately, the last twenty minutes or so is a bust.  Here, the movie gets pretty political as some revolutionaries try to overthrow the government and ask Kate to assassinate the Commander.  This turn of events was to be expected I suppose, but the final scenes are nowhere near as compelling as what came before.  Still, it’s a lot better than that Children of Men crap, I’ll tell you that.

 

Naturally, my favorite scenes of the movie were the breeding scenes.  I liked how they made the Handmaid lay on top of the infertile wife while the hubby plowed into her.  That shit was great.  I think if they ever remake this flick, they can sex these scenes up a bit and make one heck of a good Skinamax movie out of it.

 

And while we’re on the subject of skin, I do have to say the movie was a bit light in the nudity department.  Richardson showed off her goodies about two or three times, but nothing major.  She was looking fine in that red dress though.  She can be my Handmaid any day.  (Well, not now I suppose…)

THE BAT WHISPERS (1930) **

The Bat is a master criminal who hides out in an old socialite’s mansion after robbing a bank.  He then proceeds to terrorize the occupants of the house and uses the secret passageways to move about unseen.  Shortly thereafter, a detective (Chester Morris) shows up to stop the Bat and discover his true identity.

 

The Bat Whispers is director Roland West’s sound remake of 1926’s The Bat.  Like that film, it’s one of those creaky Old Dark House mystery movies.  Even in 1930, the plot was an old hat but West does what he can to spice things up. 

 

First off, the flick looks great.  It was filmed in “Mangifilm” a precursor to Cinerama.  It was shot on 65 mm film and the picture is remarkable for a flick that’s 80 years old.

 

Secondly, the camerawork is pretty amazing in the opening scenes.  The camera swoops through the city, down around skyscrapers, and into open windows.  This is not only impressive for the time, but it’s just plain impressive; period.  However, once the action moves to the mansion, the dizzying camerawork slowly disappears and so does the fun.

 

Perhaps the biggest deterrent of the film is the humor.  The comic relief characters just aren’t funny at all and will grate on your nerves.  Another problem is that there are just too many damned characters coming and going throughout the film, and very few of them make much of an impact on the plot.  It also doesn’t help that the villain isn’t very menacing either.  I mean The Bat is just a dude in a black hood and cape that’s in dire need of a Sucrets.  What’s so scary about that?

 

I think my favorite part of the movie though were the credits.  This was an early talkie and I guess that hadn’t quite figured out how to word the credits yet.  Like on the opening title card it says, “Joseph M. Schenck Offers The Bat Whispers”.  Umm, shouldn’t that say, “Joseph M. Schenck PRESENTS The Bat Whispers”?  I guess it didn’t dawn on Schenck that if you offer a film to an audience, they might say, “No thanks.”  Then at the end of the movie instead of having a title card that reads “A Roland West Film”, it says, “A Roland West Attraction”.  Roland, this is a MOVIE; Space Mountain is an attraction.  Dumbass.

CRASH COURSE (1988) **

Crash Course is an 80’s TV Movie of the Week teen comedy that combines elements of Summer School and Moving Violations.  It’s all about a bunch of fuck-up kids who flunked Driver’s Ed and have to go to summer school to learn how to drive.  Yeah, it’s as predictable and dumb as it sounds.

 

The only reason to watch the flick is for the great assortment of 80’s TV talent.  We’ve got Alyssa (Who’s the Boss?) Milano, Tina (Family Ties) Yothers, and Rob (Mr. Belvedere) Stone as the kids and Charles (Night Court) Robinson, Jackee (227) Harry, and Harvey (The Carol Burnett Show) Korman as the teachers.  Once your 80’s nostalgia runs out though, you’re pretty much up Shit Creek.  Although the cast is immensely likable, the movie isn’t funny at all.  I guess the funniest character is the Asian rapper (B.D. Wong), but that’s pushing it.

 

I will say I do have fond memories of watching Crash Course when it originally aired.  I only watched it because I had a humongous crush on Alyssa Milano.  I remember vowing to boycott Mr. Belvedere because Rob Stone went out on a date with her in this movie.  That’s OK Rob.  You can have her in this movie; I’ll take her in Embrace of the Vampire and we’ll call it even.