January 31st, 2011

VOYEUR: THE MOTION PICTURE (2003) ** ½

A chick goes around coercing and/or blackmailing people into sleeping with her.  Then once the cheaters confronts their significant others, they either have make-up sex or the cheatee runs and has sex with someone else.  Eventually, “The Voyeur” chick just disappears and lets them all have sex with each other without her interference.

 

Voyeur:  The Motion Picture has three strikes working against it.  The first is the shitty videography.  This has got to be some of the crappiest camerawork in a Skinamax movie since Pleasure Party.  The second strike is that the editing is schizophrenic.  The movie tries for that artsy fartsy stuff where it inter-cuts between the past and the present, but all it does is give you a headache.  In fact, the editor got so confused at the editing bay that they let two characters have the same exact conversation about yoga IN THE SAME SCENE.  The biggest flaw with the flick is that “The Voyeur” lady.  At first she has fun playing the characters against each other while watching the fun from afar.  By the time the movie is halfway over though, she just about drops out of sight completely.  Why would you call your movie Voyeur:  The Motion Picture when your Voyeur doesn’t do much voyeuring?

 

What saves this movie is the sex scenes.  I’m not saying they’re great or anything (although I did like the part when the hypnotist was hired to help the hot Asian babe quit smoking but he used his powers to bone her instead), but there are a LOT of them.  Fifteen to be exact; which means you get a sex scene about every four and a half minutes or so.  There are ten Guy on Girl scenes, three Girl on Girl scenes (including one with catfight foreplay), one Solo Girl scene, and one Two Girls on One Guy scene.  I’m calling it ** ½ for the quantity of the sex scenes; not necessarily the quality.

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (2010) **

Look, let’s face facts here; I’m getting old.  I first started realizing this the other day when I turned on the “Oldies” station and The Go-Go’s were playing.  Then, that same afternoon I turned the dial to the “Classic Rock” station and they were playing The Black Crowes.  I guess since it’s 2011, stuff from the 80’s is now considered an Oldie and music from the 90’s is recognized as Classic Rock.  To me, that just means one thing:  I’m getting fucking old.

 

Watching Scott Pilgrim vs. the World further cemented this feeling.  It’s official:  I’m just not in touch with the youth of today.  Plus, everyone I know that told me they loved this flick was under the age of 30.  I guess that’s the cut-off date for this movie.  Maybe they should come up with a new MPAA rating, PG-30 to let the “older” crowd know that they won’t “get” a particular film.

 

This movie was based on a comic book and plays out like a video game.  That sounds like it would be right up my alley because I love both comic books and video games, but again; I am old, so my credentials don’t mean spit.  Basically, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) lives in a world where people get into fist fights that are straight out of Tekken (complete with “KO!” graphics whenever someone gets knocked out) over the stupidest things.  In this case, Scott has a new girlfriend Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and has to fight her “7 Evil Exes”) to prove his worth.

 

I thought Scott Pilgrim vs. the World would be pretty funny because it was directed by Edgar Wright, the man that gave us since insta-classics as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  Instead, it’s just a mindless, empty, and not very funny mess.  The problem is, there just isn’t much to the film.  Scott plays guitar, goes on a date with Ramona, gets into a cruddily staged fight, and the cycle repeats.  That’s it.

 

Another thing that keeps the audience at arm’s length from the movie is the douchiness of it’s main character.  Cera plays yet another tweak on his usual grating persona only this time he’s a two-timing lame wad that happens to fight people every twenty minutes.  You also have to put up with the annoying Kieran Culkin who plays Cera’s gratuitously gay roommate.  Winstead isn’t bad but you get a sense that she just isn’t really worth fighting a bunch of dudes for.  I can tell why she was cast though because she has eyes that look like they were hand drawn by an anime artist. 

 

The early scenes are promising.  There’s a subplot about an underage Japanese schoolgirl (always a good way to start off your movie) and Winstead looks great in her underwear.  The 8 Bit Universal logo was an inspired touch too, but it’s pretty much all downhill from there.  But as off-putting as much of the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was, it’s hard to completely hate any movie that features Superman (Brandon Routh), The Human Torch (Chris Evans), and The Punisher (Thomas Jane) though.

 

In fact, everything that leads up to the fight scenes isn’t bad.  Once the film becomes nothing more than a series of shitty fights, it really started to lose me.  I guess I might have felt different if the fight scenes were any good, but they felt more like live action anime bullshit than an actual fight.  (I did like the fact that after the Exes were defeated they turned into a pile of coins.)  Sure, it’s kinda cool that they had the “KO” and “VS” graphics, but all that shit was done a lot more effectively in DOA:  Dead or Alive.  I dunno, maybe if Scott Pilgrim took a page from that movie’s playbook (instruction manual?) and had Eric Roberts be the main villain instead of Jason Schwartzman, it may have been forgivable. 

 

Then again, I’m over 30; so what do I know?  I’ll never get these kids today with their Ipods and their ADD and their girl pants and their Mountain Dew Code Red and their Young Jeezy.  If you’re under 30, then completely disregard this entire review and watch this flick.

MEGA PYTHON VS. GATOROID (2011) ***

Ladies and gentlemen… finally, we have the first important film of 2011.  We’re talking Debbie Gibson.  We’re talking Tiffany.  We’re talking SYFY Channel.  We’re talking Mega Python vs. Gateroid. 

 

Debbie Gibson is this hot environmentalist who releases a giant ass python into the wild.  Pretty soon, the thing mates and there’s a bunch of Mega Pythons eating up all the alligators in the Everglades.  When one of the Pythons eats Park Ranger Tiffany’s fiancé, she swears revenge.  To settle the score, Tiffany feeds the gators a bunch of steroids and they grow to ginormous proportions.  After that, the swamp is filled with giant gators and pissed off pythons eating each other.  Eventually, the mutant monsters get too big for the swamp and Debbie and Tiffany have to put their differences aside in order to stop them from destroying Miami.

 

Mega Python vs. Gatoroid gives you everything you could possibly want from a SYFY Channel Original starring Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.  No opportunity to poke fun at their previous pop star careers is squandered and some of their dialogue is priceless.  At one point, Tiffany tells Debbie “Only in your dreams!”  There’s another great moment when the duo find themselves in the swamp and Debbie says, “I think we’re alone now!”  To which Tiffany replies, “There doesn’t seem to be anyone around!”  The gals even get a thoroughly awesome catfight which could be the greatest cinematic catfight of the decade. 

 

Debbie and Tiffany are both looking fine as Hell too.  Debbie, any time you want to feel the Foolish Beat of my balls slapping against your ass, let me know.  And although that frumpy Park Ranger outfit didn’t do anything for Tiffany, once she changed into that slinky cocktail dress, she was looking GOOD.  Tiff, anytime you want to practice some hand dancing on my Johnson, feel free.

 

As for the other cast members, well I didn’t really pay attention to them.  The credits say that there’s A Martinez in this movie.  They never say which Martinez is in the movie, just A Martinez.  It could’ve been Tippy Martinez for all we know.  Oh and I don’t want to spoil the surprise cameo so I’ll give you a massive Spoiler Warning.

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Are you ready?

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Are you sure?

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OK.  The surprise cameo guest star is…

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None other than….

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MICKEY FUCKIN’ DOLENZ!!!!!!!!!  (AS HIMSELF NO LESS!!!)

 

Seriously, how can you not love this movie?

 

Another thing I like about Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid is that it delivers on the shitty CGI monster mashing.  A lot of these flicks make you wait 45 minutes to an hour before you see the monsters, but MPVG goes all out; giving us lots of crummy CGI monsters from just about the opening scene on.  In fact, the title Mega Python vs. Gatoroid is a bit misleading because there are actually multiple monsters of each species roaming about.

 

But that’s not the only surprises the movie has in store.  The ending in particular is truly tragic.  It’s one of the saddest most unexpected endings I’ve seen in a long time.  I don’t want to spoil it for you but let’s just say that I don’t think either Debbie or Tiffany are coming back for the sequel.

 

I think the reason MPVG works so well is that The Asylum actually bothered to hire a real director for this film.  The flick was directed by none other than Mary Lambert of Pet Sematary fame.  She stages the attack scenes decently enough and always keeps the flick moving faster than a rampaging Gatoroid.  Although the flick falters somewhat once the monsters invade Miami, at least the film makes better use of the Giant Monsters Running Amok in a City premise than say, The Lost World did.

 

This has got to be one of the best SYFY Channel Originals ever made.  It’s definitely in the Top Five:

 

  1. Hammerhead:  Shark Frenzy
  2. Blood Surf
  3. Mansquito
  4. Never Cry Werewolf
  5. Mega Python vs. Gatoroid

 That’s company any movie should be proud of.

 

Debbie gets the best line of the movie when she asks Tiffany, “Did somebody have bitch for breakfast?”

DEADLINE (2009) *

Brittany Murphy stars in one of her final roles as a writer who moves out of the city to an Old Creepy House in the middle of nowhere.  She figures this is a perfect time to get some writing done because she has a DEADLINE to meet.  Instead of doing that though, she becomes obsessed with a video camera she finds in the house.  At night Brittany watches the tapes and sees how the previous tenant (Marc Blucas) went nuts and murdered his wife (Thora Birch).  Since she’s off her meds, Brittany slowly starts to suspect someone is in the house with her.

 

Deadline is one of those shitty ghost movies where you can tell exactly where it’s heading from frame one.  What really sucks about the movie is that about 50% of it is nothing more than scenes of Brittany hearing a noise from somewhere in the house and then getting up to investigate it.  Sometimes after prowling the darkened hallways of the house, she’ll encounter something fishy (like a stopped up bathtub) but most of the time it turns out to be nothing.  The other half of the film centers around Blucas and Birch’s highly dysfunctional relationship.  These scenes somehow manage to be even duller.  You know it’s bad when you’d rather watch Brittany Murphy fumbling around in the dark rather than the actual dramatic meat of the movie.

 

Man, I don’t like to speak ill of the dead (it’s much more fun to rip on people when they’re still alive) but you can tell poor Britt was on her way out.  She’s obviously on some sort of illegal substances here and her acting is thoroughly terrible.  In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that this flick would’ve probably still been sitting on the shelf somewhere had she not died an untimely death.

 

AKA:  Deadline:  Focus Your Fear.  AKA:  Ghost House.

TRIASSIC ATTACK (2010) * ½

A greedy land developer wants to bulldoze over a Native American gift shop so he can expand the campus of the local college.  The gift shop owner won’t go down without a fight so he sneaks inside the campus paleontology exhibit and puts a spell on the dinosaur bones to make them come to life and attack the town.  It’s up to the half-breed sheriff and his estranged wife to stop them.

 

You know, watching fossilized dinosaur skeletons running around and killing people is sort of amusing for about five minutes.  Sadly, this thing has to take up a two hour time slot on The SYFY Channel.  And that means you’re pretty much up Shit Creek.

 

Usually I don’t like to get into logistics while discussing SYFY Channel Original Movies.  However, Triassic Attack is so bad that the only way to stay sane during the film is by picking out all the stupid shit.  Take the dinosaur skeleton monsters for instance.  If the monsters are nothing more than walking bones, how are they able to growl and roar without the benefit of vocal cords?  Likewise, how are the pterodactyl skeletons able to fly without flesh on their wings?  And since the dinosaurs are missing their stomachs, how are they able to sustain themselves on human flesh if they can’t digest their food?  And how come there are a bunch of gratuitous Dino-Cam POV shots when the dinosaurs don’t have any fucking eyeballs? 

 

I know, I know, you can probably just chalk it up to the Indian mystical mumbo jumbo, but is it too much to ask that we have a LITTLE coherency in these movies?

 

The director was that jackass sheriff from Lake Placid 3.  He directs SYFY Channel Movies just as bad, if not worse than he acts in them.  Oh well, at least this way he can hide behind the camera and save himself SOME embarrassment.

 

The sole bright spot in this steaming pile of crap is that the half-breed sheriff’s wife (Kirsty Mitchell) is fucking hot.  This broad is like a Nazi experiment of hotness.  Imagine if someone put the eyes of Claire Forlani onto the face of an in-her-prime Erin Gray and then grafted on the mouth of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen.  That should give you some idea of how hot this dame is.  Tragically, with all of the bones flying around in this movie, it’s a shame that she didn’t get one of them.

SORRY… WRONG BEDROOM (1973) ** ½

A strip club is losing money and the owner suggests they hire some new girls.  So the manager, his assistant, and his number one girl head to the country to scout some talent.  Among the girls they encounter are a farmer’s daughter, a sex-starved newlywed, a pair of hot milk maids, and a couple of sexy windmill workers.  In the end, their ship comes in (literally) when a boat full of naked babes rescues them from drowning.

 

Even though it has more than it’s share of lulls and the ending totally sucks, Sorry… Wrong Bedroom does have a few memorable scenes and some occasional laughs.  There’s a funny part when a magician tries to fuck his assistant but keeps pulling pigeons and rabbits out of his fly.  We also get a humorous scene where a dude deflowers a virgin while her father watches.  (“Look on the bright side!  You’re going to be a grandfather!”)  And don’t think they forgot to make the sex scenes hot either.  There is one good scene where two lesbians whip each other with rose thorns in a sauna that will give you a solid chub.

 

Sorry… Wrong Bedroom is a cheap Bavarian sex comedy.  But the comedy that doesn’t revolve around sex isn’t really all that funny.  I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that most of the humor got lost in translation.  Since the film features more titties in the first nine minutes of it’s running time than most movies have in 90, it’s OK in my book. 

 

Best line:  “Get the lead out of your lederhosen!” 

 

AKA:  Swedish Playgirls.

IT CAME FROM THE THRIFT STORE: STREET OF DREAMS (1988) **

You all know me well enough by now, so you should know of my unhealthy love of Morgan Fairchild.  I can probably count on one hand the chicks who can actually surpass Morgan in terms of hotness.  (And thank goodness I only need one hand to do so because it gives my other hand plenty to do; if you catch my drift.)  The only chicks hotter than Morgan are Resident Evil:  Apocalypse era Milla Jovovich, Embrace of the Vampire era Alyssa Milano, Nina from the Sprout Goodnight Show, and… that’s about it.  So when I saw this Morgan Fairchild flick at a local thrift store, I had to pick it up.

 



Ben Masters stars as this low rent detective (How low rent is he?  He does all of his tough guy narration into a handheld tape recorder.) rescues cokehead Morgan from getting roughed up.  After crashing on Ben’s couch, she heads for
Hawaii.  When Morgan’s Hollywood producer husband winds up dead, Ben becomes the number one suspect because he was seen snookering her.  He then sets out to find the real killer while trying to keep Morgan sass-ified in bed.

 

The first scene of this movie had the makings of a classic.  In no less than two minutes into the flick we have:  1) A mime making a getaway in a speeding car.  2) Hookers on roller skates.  3) Morgan Fairchild almost running over a dude in his underwear with her Volkswagen Beetle.  After that promising opening, the flick turns into a thoroughly mediocre detective flick.

 

Ben Masters has absolute zero charisma which makes watching him go through all of the sub-Rockford Files situations a tad trying.  To make matters worse, he has all of the personality of a goat’s ass and resembles Robert Goulet’s narcoleptic stunt double.  “Special Guest” John (“Higgins”) Hillerman is kinda fun to watch as the boozing screenwriter but he is unable to inject any life into the movie.

 

And sad to say, I’ve certainly seen Morgan looking better.  That’s forgivable though because she plays a strung out cokehead.  She’s still pretty smoking in this movie and gets a decent sex scene where she shows off her ample cleavage and a touch of side boob too.  Of course, I’d rather have seen her go full frontal but being the die hard Morgan-o-phile that I am, I’ll take what I can get.

 

The police chief gets the best line of the movie when he says, “Police brutality really works… like Bran Flakes!”

 

Next week’s It Came from the Thrift Store movie is another Morgan Fairchild flick, Deadly Illusion, co-starring Vanity and Billy Dee Williams.

THE HITMAN (1991) **

Chuck Norris stars as a cop who gets double-crossed and shot by his dirty partner (the always entertaining Michael Parks).  Chuck actually dies and even sees The Light but his spirit returns to his body in the nick of time.  The cops don’t tell anyone he’s still alive and they make him their head undercover man.  Chuck even grows out his mullet so no one will recognize him.  Then he becomes a hitman for the Mob and helps to wipe out organized crime from the inside out.  Predictably, his old buddy Parks is really the one behind the syndicate and they have to settle the score with one another.

 

Chuck’s mullet in this one is pretty spectacular.  In fact, I think it should go into the Supercuts Hall of Fame for Mullet Excellence.  It’s purely business in the front, and one finely moussed party in the back.  Billy Ray Cyrus ain’t got nothing on this baby.  Michael Bolton can officially suck it.  Chuck is the Numero Uno Mulletto Supremo. 

 

The flick starts out like gangbusters but slowly but surely the pacing of the movie starts to slide.  The scenes where Chuck tries to mentor an underprivileged youngster only help to slow the film down.  Some parts of this movie are so stupid that it’s impossible to hate though.  Like the fact that the Italian mob would hire a dude with a mullet, beard, and bolo tie to be their main enforcer.

 

Aaron Norris, Chuck’s brother was in the director’s chair for this one.  You can tell if he wasn’t Chuck’s blood, he probably wouldn’t have gotten the gig.  He stages the action in a lethargic manner and can’t make the various shootouts and fistfights crackle the way they should’ve.

 

Parks is his usual amazing self, putting 110% of gonzo energy into his performance.  Unfortunately, he’s only on screen for the first ten and the last fifteen minutes or so of the flick.  Once he disappears, so does much of the movie’s pulse.

 

Norris is OK but he could’ve probably sleepwalked through his role.  On top of that, all of his one-liners are weak and not very funny.  (“Drop dead!”, “Isn’t this fun?”, and “Ain’t life a bitch?”)  I think if the movie was all about Chuck getting revenge on Parks, it would’ve been awesome.  As it is, the bulk of the movie is just Chuck vs. Gangsters shit, and it’s mostly just sorta dull.  I did like the ending when Parks blows up though (err… Spoiler).

 

If you couldn’t already guess, Parks gets all of the best lines of the movie.  My favorite was, “I’m so goddamned horny I could fuck mud!”

THE MECHANIC (2011) ***

Usually I have a knee jerk reaction to remakes, especially remakes of films starring my favorite movie stars.  Since the original Charles Bronson flick, The Mechanic was one of his lesser outings, I didn’t really mind so much.  Turns out this Mechanic is a vast improvement over the original. 

 

Jason Statham stars as a ruthless assassin (“or mechanic”) who specializes in nearly impossible hits.  When his boss (Donald Sutherland) becomes his next target, Jason grudgingly takes the job.  Eventually, Jason discovers he’s been betrayed by his new boss (Tony Goldwyn, in Slimy Bastard Mode), and he joins forces with Sutherland’s bitter estranged son (Ben Foster) to take down the bad guys.

 

The Mechanic ’11 gets off to a bumpy start.  The long quiet scenes that are supposed to qualify as “character development” don’t really work and the pacing spits and sputters frequently.  However, the flick gets a tune up around the halfway point when Statham starts showing Foster the ropes and it runs smoothly from there on. 

 

The flick has several quality action moments.  Statham gets to partake in several close quarters fights and although some of the camerawork is too jittery, it’s not nearly as bad as a lot of action flicks of the day.  Probably the best scene comes when Foster has a terrific knockdown drag out fight with a homosexual hitman.  The finale is filled with lots of twisted metal as Statham and Foster use a garbage truck and a city bus to take out Goldwyn’s army of SUV’s.  We also get a great “Gotcha!” moment involving a garbage disposal that is pretty tight too. 

 

Statham once again proves why he’s today’s premiere movie badass.  This is exactly the kind of vehicle he excels in.  This role is low on dialogue and high on action and he moves with the ferocity of a Great White Shark.  Foster is a good match for Statham and the duo have considerable chemistry together.  And that one hooker chick gave a great performance too.  And by “great performance” I mean she had an incredibly perky set of magical melons on her.

 

It’s Goldwyn who gets the best line of the movie though when he tells Statham, “I’ll put a price on your head so high that when you take a look at yourself in the mirror, your reflection will want to shoot you!”

DUMMY (2003) ** ½

Adrien Brody starts as an unemployed, introverted, loser who still lives with his parents.  One day, he buys a ventriloquist dummy and pretty soon he’s eating and sleeping with the damned thing.  He gets a crush on the chick at the unemployment office (Vera Farmiga), and with a little help from his punky best friend (Milla Jovovich), he sets out to woo her.  Naturally, the results are more or less disastrous but everything is eventually straightened out during the incredibly pat sitcom style ending.

 

Dummy is one of those quirky independent movies where the script is kinda shallow but the acting is so good that it almost saves it.  Almost.  In addition to Brody and Farmiga, we also get some good performances by Illeana Douglas as Brody’s bitchy sister and Jared Harris as her psycho ex husband. 

 

Jovovich is easily the standout though.  Not only is she insanely hot in this movie, but she also sings some sexy traditional Jewish songs too.  Now when’s the last time you heard the words “sexy” and “traditional Jewish songs” in the same sentence?  Only Milla could make it so.  Plus, she wears a tight ass RATT T-shirt throughout most of the movie, which makes her doubly cool in my book.  Sadly, we never see what’s under that shirt.

 

Jovovich and Harris later starred in the immortal Resident Evil:  Apocalypse together.