Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Movie Review: The Last Starfighter (1984)

The Last Starfighter - 1984 - USA - SciFi - Rated PG
Directed by Nick Castle
Stars Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Kay E. Kuter, Dan Mason, Dan O'Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Barbara Bosson

An action-packed onscreen realization of many a young child's fantasy to be a hero is presented with bravado in a touching story too.

Alex lives in a trailer park his mother manages and with a close-knit bunch of neighbors much like an extended family. He has dreams of going to college, but put on hold by being turned down for a student loan. His one activity that he is really good at is playing a video game machine at the park. But playing games really isn't going to get him out of the park now is it? Little does anybody realize but that video game is a recruiting device for starfighters to defend the galaxy, and Alex's services are needed. Playing a video game may make him the last hope of the universe.

How many kids have not dreamt of being a fighter pilot shooting down enemy planes or a starfighter shooting alien invaders and saving the day? The Last Starfighter takes a childhood dream and runs with it, all the way to the ends of the galaxy. What makes Alex so appealing is his simple roots of living in a trailer park with close-knit neighbors and being the all around good guy, but with an unfulfilled ambition that is a heartbreaker. Yet, with a recreation so many have popped quarters into he excels at least at something. He is the every boy, the one with unfulfilled dreams that connects with the audience.

The Last Starfighter is obviously an action movie with aliens and space battles, but it is also a story about a young man and the people in his life and those who will come into his life. It builds up the character of Alex and gives the audience a way to connect with something beyond just saving the galaxy, not that saving the galaxy is not important. But his girl and his family and friends, they are what's worth fighting for and what gives his mission more importance than fighting for bits of light scattered in a distant universe of worlds nobody will ever see. The Last Starfighter connects the audience to the story with its mundane roots and yet soars into the vastness of the universe with the action of space battles and aliens, and does so in a very fun and touching manner.

My Rating: 4 Fingers

Monday, December 29, 2014

Movie Review: Blame It on Rio (1984)

Blame It on Rio (1984) - USA - Rated R
Directed by Stanley Donen
Stars Michael Caine, Joseph Bologna, Valerie Harper, Michelle Johnson, Demi Moore

A funny and bawdy story of lust, betrayal and broken friendships just falls short of a recommendation only due to underage nudity.

Two men having trouble in their marriages, and who work together, go on vacation in Rio de Janeiro; each taking their teenage daughter with them. One daughter seduces her father's friend resulting in a sexual trist between her and the older man, while he tries to hide it from both his daughter and his best friend, her father. Yet, her father knows something is going on and vows to find the man boinking his daughter, with his best friend, the actual culprit, in tow trying to confess to the affair but ending up having to pull his friend off of innocent older men he suspects might be her lover.

The four main actors in this romantic comedy rule in their respective roles. Demi Moore is particularly impressive as Michael Caine's smart and sarcastic daughter. Michael Caine wears awkward well in his character's affair with a much younger woman while Joseph Bologna is perfect as an over-suspecting and overly-protective father. The story is funny, especially the interaction bettween Caine and Bologna. Michelle Johnson is sexy as the younger woman smitten with an older man, and hence the problem.

I did not know when I first watched this that Michelle Johnson was only 17 when she did this movie and full frontal nudity in the movie, needing some kind of legal release from her parents to do it. Though that will appeal to some, I find it awkward to watch the movie after that discovery. If you can watch an edited version on TV it lacks the awkwardness but keeps the story. I found the movie itself to be a solidly funny and sexy romantic comedy, awkwardness aside, despite continuity goofs with Michael Caine's hair (it alternates between permed and not permed throughout the movie).

My Rating: 2 Fingers, due to the underage nudity. The TV version without the nudity would be 4 fingers, and until I found out about it I would have rated the movie 4 fingers, but I cannot recommend it after the fact.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Movie Review: Galaxy Quest (1999)

Galaxy Quest (1999) - USA - Rated PG
Directed by Dean Parisot
Stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni

A comedic romp excels to the stars in a fun and funny send-up of Star Trek.

The Galaxy Quest TV show had been canceled many years ago leaving a troupe of out of work actors to make a living off their former fame by guesting at conventions and doing commercials in full garb as their former TV characters. To add to their frustrations, the former lead star of the show is a ham who loves and gets attention, especially from the troupe itself as he can never show up on time. Yet another opportunity to use their skills as actors presents itself, or so they think. This troupe of actors find themselves in the role of a lifetime actually saving the day as their former TV selves, but in real space combat on an inter-galactic scale.

The concept of Galaxy Quest is brilliant. How many times has one wondered what would happen if a pop TV actor was put in a real situation and not have a script to rely upon? Well this troupe of actors finds themselves in just that situation, and they handle it with comedy, gusto, bravado, and certainly some humilty and self-discovery as they find out who they really are to themselves and to others as icons. With a great cast and wonderful special effects, along with a story that does not take time-out but keeps the comedy and action moving from one scene to the next, Galaxy Quest is a solid hit and a lot of fun.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Movie Review: Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) - UK - Rated R
Directed by Peter Sasdy
Stars Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Peter Sallis

A weak and unusually sleazy enrty in the Hammer Dracula series has Dracula learning to count while seeking revenge.

Three wealthy men, who are community leaders and well respected, seek thrills in their lives. They take a regular secret visit to a brothel, but have bored with their escapades until they meet a man who offers them the chance to taste the blood of Dracula. They will cross the Count, and he will seek revenge using their own children against them.

From the opening scene this movie, as usual for movies in this series, picks up where Dracula Has Risen from the Grave leaves off, but in a most ridiculous manner. Where this veers off course is the characters we meet who are going to be the center of the story are not the innocents needing protecting as is usual in these films but are corrupted themselves. Maybe there is some kind of lesson in them becoming the victims of their own children being used as tools of revenge against them, but it is difficult to sympathize wiith them, as well Christopher Lee's role as Dracula is limited, and the addition of nudity, as well the film, is not handled in the usual classy Hammer style.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Movie Review: Friday the 13th (1980)

Friday the 13th (1980) - USA - Rated R
Directed by Sean S. Cunningham
Stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Kevin Bacon

Slasher flick that set the standard for other slasher flicks to follow keeps the tension going but the killer is unbelievable and a disappointment.

In 1958 two camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake sneak off to have sex and are abruptly interupted and murdered by an unseen assailant. Fast forward 20+ years later since the murders and the camp being subsequently shut down and new counselors are arriving to refurbish and reopen the camp for a new owner, despite warnings from locals and a crazy man on a bicycle to leave things alone and their lives are in danger. Being the previous murders were never solved, someone is still out there and stalking the new counselors.

Even though Friday the 13th came on the heels of John Carpenter's Halloween in an attempt, and a successful one at that, to capitalize on its success, along with the aforementioned Halloween it would provide a standard template for slasher flicks many would copy, including the producers of Friday the 13th itself. Beyond its success it obviously was very influential and set the tone for the use of tension and gore in movies of the stalk and slash variety. Of course it also set the tone for two-dimensional cardboard characters, and in this first one the killer is a big disappointment, but despite its flaws, and it's not lacking in those, it accomplishes its goal in telling a story while keeping the mood going and can be an entertaining watch for the easily amused.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Movie Review: 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007)

30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007) - USA - Not Rated
Directed by Gabriel Bologna
Stars Lorenzo Lamas, Sean Lawlor, Natalie Stone, Kim Little

Despite low expectations going in, this movie still manages to sink to new depths.

A submarine is attacked by a giant squid and sinks to the ocean floor. In light of this crisis, a salvage and rescue operation is put together pairing an ex-husband and wife with a new invention that would allow a diver to go to even lower depths than previously possible. But things are not as easy as they seem for someone is already waiting below and doesn't want the earthbound world invading his.

When you start to watch an Asylum made movie, two things that come to mind is that it is going to be cheaply made and likely have a stupid script, but it is going to be entertaining; they fail on that last point in this production. Rather than being a sequel to 20,000 Leagues, this is basically a retelling of the story, and not a good one at that. The Nautilus submarine in this story is suppose to be a super-huge submarine that rarely surfaces, if ever, yet it is filled with modern props, some still with UPC codes intact, and lifestyles; and complete with concrete floors and other inconsistent interior sets. Much of the lack of attention to props and art direction is much the same with the story filled with huge holes. To top this off let's throw in some poor acting and special effects straight from the Irwin Allen reject pile. Not a pleasure to watch unless you just really have nothing at all possibly better to experience painful hemorrhoids.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Movie Review: The Burning (1981)

The Burning (1981) - USA - Rated R
Directed by Tony Maylam
Stars Jason Alexander, Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Fisher Stevens

A sleazier and more entertaining Friday the 13th inspired slasher flick based on an actual urban, or summer camp, legend.

A group of campers decide to play a prank on the caretaker of the summer camp, Cropsy, but things go wrong and they end up setting him on fire. Cropsy survives the fire, though with considerable scars from it, and several years later after being released from the hospital he returns to the camp to exact revenge on a new set of campers with a set of hedgeclippers in hand and nubile and naked young girls running around the woods.

The plot is as basic as it gets, even moreso than Friday the 13th, yet The Burning delivers on several things its predecessor failed on, and that is better character development, more sympathetic characters, a more threatening killer...and did I mention naked girls? The burning makes for an entertaining movie, despite a few flaws. Not much more can be said, and that's probably why it succeeds is it delivers the goods...simply.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Movie Review: Stargate (1994)

Stargate (1994) - USA - SciFi - Rated PG-13
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Stars Kurt Russel, James Spader, Jaye Davidson, John Diehl, French Stewart, Mili Avital

Testosterone fueled action movie takes the time to develop a story too and delivers a fun and exciting result.

Starting with an archeaological dig in 1928 in Egypt where an unusual and large metal ring is unearthed, with even stranger hieroglyphs, the story fast forwards into the present day where a linguist is recruited to decipher the hieroglyphs, leading to the discovery the device is an interstellar gate capable of transporting objects and people to the other side of the galaxy in an instant. Naturally, they go through the gate, to an alien world not unlike Earth. Their adventure will uncover the sinister origin of the gate and put a military team and scientist at odds with an alien power far advanced.

Stargate begins with a tried and true premise of an historical discovery brought into the present (e.g. The Exorcist), but where it takes off from there is its own unique story. The movie presents us with a contrast of protagonists with a scientist bent on discovery and communication, a military team more used to communicating with aggression, and a team leader stuck in between those two pursuits while having his own secret orders. Throw in an actuall story that evolves with edge of your seat action, a romance, and lots of 5th Avenue candy bars, and the end result is a satisfying story with enough for everybody and a catalyst that inspired several successful TV series.

My Rating: 4 Fingers

Get Stargate on DVD

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Movie Review: Zombie Holocaust (1980)

Zombie Holocaust (1980) - Italy - Horror - Rated R
Directed by Frank Martin (Marino Girolami)
Stars Ian McCulloch, Alexandra Delli Colli, Donald O'Brien, Sherry Buchanan, Dakar

A mixed bag of zombie, cannibal and mad doctor movies adds gore, nudity and production goofs to make for a fun b-movie experience.

A hospital orderly is discovered to be practicing cannibalism using bodies in the hospital morgue. It is further discovered there is an outbreak of cannibalism in New York City and the cannibals all hailed from a group of islands in the East Indies. A team of doctors and a journalist, with the aid of a doctor who treats natives in the islands, puts together an expedition to discover the reason for the outbreak of cannibalism. Their expedition will lead them to the heart of a mystery involving cannibals, a crazed doctor and his human and inhuman experiments.

Zombie Holocaust is like taking the basic plot of an old Boris Karloff, or similar actor, mad doctor on an isolated island movie and updating it with cannibals, gore and nudity, and it works! This movie is not going to win any awards. It has occasional goofs such as a suicide jumper falling to the sidewalk below and an obvious mannequin breaking apart when it hits the ground, but those goofs add to the fun of the movie. It also has a story that works, it you don't try to dissect it, and keeps a pace which rarely takes a time-out except to get Alexandra Delli Colli naked, and that's a good reason for a time-out in my book. It is a little slow in the beginning, but once it moves beyond the city the pace picks up.

My Rating: 3 Fingers. If I were to rate this for my enjoyment of it I would give it 5 fingers, but realistically not everybody is going to enjoy it. It does have its gaping flaws and it is far from Shakespeare, but the fun meter if you enjoy this kind of movie is very high.

Get Zombie Holocaust on DVD, Blu-ray or Instant Video

Friday, December 12, 2014

Movie Review: Fear Town, USA (2014)

Fear Town, USA (2014) - USA - Comedy - Not Rated (adult themes)
Directed by Brandon Bassham
Stars Anna Callegari, Cody Lindquist, Amber Sophia Nelson, Mark Vigeant, Dan Kenkel, Jon Bershad, James McCarthy, Dan Black, Avery Monson, Matt Mayer, Dan Chamberlain, Dana Clinkman, Patrick Foy, Dan Hodapp, Ari Scott, Marcus Bishop-Wright

Well made, well paced and funny low budget slasher/horror spoof is not without its surprises too.

An odd assortment of what seems to be about everybody in town, from college girls dying to get their pussies crushed to any assortment of others who have no idea what that means, converge on the party of the year. Not everybody is invited though, but that doesn't keep geeks looking to get laid, a teenage girl looking for love in truly the wrong places, a ghost stalking one of the party guests, a masked killer on the loose, or a group of misfit stoners, one of whom smells like urine, from inviting themselves. It will be the party of the year, for anybody who survives it.

This movie is a real find and a real hoot! Reported on various sites to have been made on a budget of only $10,000 by a group of film students, it sure does not look cheap, and the acting and comedy are as good as in any average studio produced movie you'll find in stores in DVD bins and straight-to-video collections; actually I think the comedy and timing are even better. Even though it takes quite a bit of its humor from older slasher movies there is a lot that is fresh and hip for today. 

It is not a movie that is for everybody if your tastes do not include horror, lots of humor, lots of references to sex, and even the bizarre. If your tastes do not include that, what the hell are you doing watching movies? Not a sex movie, but definitely not for children, or the easily or even mildly offended, because of some of the subject matter.

Every decade has its movies that are iconic for its genre and set the bar for others to follow. In horror comedy such classics as Motel Hell and Return of the Living Dead were iconic for the 80s and Tremors for the 90s, for example. Fear Town, USA is the horror comedy of its decade setting the bar high for others to follow. With its high laugh ratio, a sharply layered script that is simply brilliant, and the sickest ending, it puts to shame most of the movies it parodies and in this reviewer's opinion is iconic.

My Rating: 4 Fingers. Though some seams of a low budget production show through, they are not too many. I might normally give such a production 3 fingers, but the comedy and the brilliant script lift it well above that and so I give it 4 fingers.

Watch the horror comedy destined to be a cult classic for free on YouTube.

Get Fear Town, USA with The Slashening double-feature in full HD on Blu-ray.

Toxic Fletch

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A roleplaying game with one page of rules?

Roleplaying with only one page of rules?

Well, yes and no.

There is a roleplaying system available online, a pencil and paper system as downloadable PDF files and with a print-on-demand option, called the 1PG system. For the purpose of playing a game all the rules and information a player needs is on the one page of character sheet and rules combined. Most of the genre books are about 13 pages which includes additional rules specific to the genre and usually 5 or 6 scenarios/adventures.

Rules lawyers and roleplaying geeks will be shocked, shocked I tell you, about the suggestion of playing a system with such brevity in its rules. For the rest of us who aren't into spending 2 and 3 hours generating a character just so some gamemaster with self-esteem and pathological ego issues can kill them off in 5 minutes and act like it was nothing, to them, this does provide a very useful system for pick-up games.

A group of friends I used to game with several years ago would have made good use of this. We were not specifically a gaming group, just a group of friends who got together and watched movies or played games, usually board games, and often both activities. We occasionally got together for roleplaying, but the problem was that we would have to set aside the entire time for a roleplaying session as it was time consuming.

It is not like we did not have the desire to play a roleplaying game, and sometimes we tried a pick-up game after watching a movie, particularly if the subject of the movie we had just watched fit with the game as it had us in the mood, but by the time everyone had their characters generated and just starting, then someone would have to leave, then another, and it would end shortly after that.

A system like the 1PG system can have characters generated within a matter of minutes, and I do mean minutes unlike so many roleplaying games that claimed the same thing before and those minutes turned into 60 or more minutes. And being that each genre book comes with its own adventures, each also only taking up one page, a group of players can have characters generated and be ready to go with a playable game within 5 minutes.

Pick-up games can be fun, but usually are not doable with most RPG systems. Not only is the 1PG system ideal for pick-up games, it also has several genre books, each a complete game and not requiring a core set of rules as there is no core set of rules; the basic rules are in each genre book. Something like this would have been ideal for the group I met with as many of the genre books fit with popular subjects such as modern horror, pirates, westerns, sci-fi, disasters, spies, and even more, including some fan-made genre books you can find online, all of which fit with popular movie subjects and can turn a movie night into a movie and roleplaying night.

With it being available as downloadable PDF files you can print out character sheets on your computer printer, and all it uses, mostly uses, is one six-sided die (1D6) which you can pull out of any old Monopoly game rotting away on the shelf.

The above is not an affiliate link nor do I make anything by linking to them. I just like the game system and am a fan of Precis Intermedia and some of the games they publish. 1PG is actually owned by another company but is carried by Precis.

Toxic Fletch

Movie Review: The Devil's Rejects (2005)

The Devil's Rejects (2005) - USA - Rated R
Directed by Rob Zombie
Stars Sid Haig, William Forsythe, Leslie Easterbrook, Ken Foree, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman

Competently directed Rob Zombie 'sympathy for killers' movie filled with slumming actors fails to connect on any level.

The Firefly family is on the run and on a killing spree after a vengeful sheriff puts the kabosh on their usual family activities. After having their home invaded, one of their own killed and the mother arrested, remaining members of the family hit the road to escape the police but can't help keeping up their murderous habits as they take people at a motel hostage and torture and eventually kill them. Meanwhile Sheriff Rydell has plans to destroy the family that killed his brother and won't give up.

Lacking in the style of Zombie's ealier House of a 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects at the least delivers a better story with excellent performances by Forsythe and Easterbrook, but where it fails is in Zombie turning this into a 'sympathy for killers' story where we are suppose to connect with the family of murderers who apparently are the true champions of the story. The concept of celebrating society's human shit is nauseating.

My Rating: 2 Fingers. I feel that the production, directing and acting are 3 fingers or even a notch above that, but I cannot give any more than 2 fingers to a movie that sympathizes with lowlifes as those represented in this movie and vilifies the police trying to stop them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Movie Review: Animal House (1978)

Animal House (1978) - USA - Rated R
Directed by John Landis
Starring John Belushi, Tom Hulce, Mary Louise Weller, Kevin Bacon, Karen Allen, John Vernon, Peter Riegert

Funny and sleazy depiction of college losers and lowlifes taking on the system that is trying to get them to shape up or ship out.

Delta House is the campus eyesore at Faber College. As delapidated as the frat house itself is, so goes the character of its inhabitants. The Deltas are in school to drink beer, get laid, have toga parties and avoid the draft; an education is somewhere beyond last place in their minds, evidenced by having the lowest grade point averages of the entire student body. Their next door neighbors are the Omegas, a fraternity of snotty upper class brats who are in league with the Dean, Wormer, of the school to get rid of the Deltas. Even in the face of double secret probabtion and being expelled from school, the Deltas won't go without a fight.

Animal House is an odd movie of sorts. Despite how dispicable and lowlife most of its main characters are (they cheat on tests, use the obituaries to get pity sex, will lay anybody's wife, and are huge underacheivers), the situations they get themselves into and how they handle them are definitely the stuff of comedy. Animal House keeps the story moving with bawdy, lewd, and offensive behavior while keeping the laugh meter well above average. This makes it a movie that is easily rewatchable. Yes, most every character in the movie is an anti-role-model and loser, but take that as a caveat that these are not the cool guys and they are to be laughed at and not with.

That Handheld Game in Friday the 13th Part 2

A rather weird connection between gaming and movies, in this particular case is because it is the only instance I am familiar with of this particular game being featured in a movie, and if you're going to have your game featured in a movie, why not make it a Friday the 13th movie?

Anybody who has seen Friday the 13th Part 2 will know what I'm talking about. The counselors, between sex and chasing each other around, have a Milton Bradley Microvision handheld gaming system, actually they have two of the handhelds.

What was the Microvision system?

Well, I found one at a flea market many years ago, not long after I got my first VCR and was able to watch older movies like Friday the 13th Part 2. The Microvision system, from what I have read on various sites, was the first handheld gaming system with interchangeable cartridges; yes, well before Gameboy.

Now don't get too excited and try to go out and find one. If you can still find one, because of the older electronics it likely will be damaged in some way, such as screen darkening. Another problem with it is that it used a membrane touchpad over which the game cartridge would fit, which means not only would the touchpad lose sensitivity and require some hard pressing with your fingers, but the flexible plastic they used for the buttons on the cartridges was easily damaged.

This is not a criticism of the game system as, keep in mind, not only was it the first of its kind, when it was the first of its kind was in 1979! Most handheld games before it used little LED lights like in the football and baseball games they came out with in the 70s, but the Microvision used an LCD display with black squares on a silver, or light gray, screen; and the resolution was a very limited 16x16 square matrix.

What kind of games could you play on only a 16x16 square grid?

Well, quite a few apparently. The standard game that came with the console unit itself was a Block Buster game with a paddle that you move left to right and a bouncing ball that knocks bricks out of a wall at the top of the screen. That one was actually pretty good.

Another game was a Star Trek Phaser Strike game which only bore any resemblance to Star Trek by using the name. This was an early version of what would become a submarine shooter game. You had ships, basically bars of different sizes but they were called ships in the game, that would move across the screen at various speeds. Your task with your makeshift phaser turret was to fire and hit these ships. You could move the turret left to right just like the paddle in Block Buster, and fire, but that was about it.

Those were the only two games I had as they came together in the box, not originally, that I bought at the flea market. Other games in the system included Bowling, Connect 4, Pinball, Mindbuster, Vegas Slots, Baseball, Sea Duel, Alien Raiders and Cosmic Hunter; that I know of and can find information about.

The system itself consisted of the base console which included the screen, the touchpad and a paddle controller. The cartridges would snap onto the front of the base and add screen decorations if necessary, and specific buttons for the game. The cartridges were sold separately except for the Block Buster one which came with the base console.

Unlike in the Friday the 13th Part 2 movie, the system did not include either a Football or Hockey game. Not only did the system not include those games, but the game cartridges they have onscreen are actually Connect 4 and Block Buster; football and hockey are only in the dialogue. I can guess, though just a guess, the reason for the discrepancy in the movie is probably because the script was written to include the more common handheld football and hockey games of the time, but they ended up putting the Microvision in the movie and didn't change the lines.

Interestingly enough, the game system was pretty much dead by the end of 1981, and no, Jason didn't do it. Another interesting thing is that the second movie, although released in 1981 when the Microvision system was current, took place 5 years after the first movie meaning that the handheld game system represented in the movie would have been out of production for 3 to 4 years by the time the movie is taking place.

Just thought it might be interesting to look back on the movie and the game system prominently on display in it, especially for those who have no idea what it was.

Get Friday the 13th Part 2 on DVD, Blu-ray or Instant Video

Toxic Fletch

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where have you gone video night?

I remember when I got my first VCR. Damn those things were expensive then; I think it cost me about $150. That was around 1997.

Those were the days of marathon video nights. Yes, it was just me, but I would go to the video store and rent 4 or 5 movies and watch them until probably 3 or 4 in the morning. Of course I had to stop at the store and pick up chips and candy too. Luckily I don't have that habit now or I would be huge as I can't eat like I used to and keep off the weight.

That was probably one night out of a week I would do that. Things have changed in various ways since. For one it's too damn expensive to rent lots of movies and buy snacks for a movie marathon. Yes, it probably wasn't any cheaper then but I'm not making any more than I made then income wise and yet everything has doubled and trippled in price, and gas has gone beyond that. Disposable income is a thing of the past for most of us.

I do have lots of movies sitting around I always mean to get to. Is it availability that makes it less pending to watch a lot of movies? I can buy 5 or 6 movies on a DVD for $5, which is less than movies cost when I was renting VHS tapes, so back then I didn't have as many movies sitting around as I do now. Maybe just having movies sitting around makes them seem less pressing to watch.

I think we have a tendency to treat a lot of things like that. Once it becomes more common we have a tendency to ignore it or want it less. Of course renting movies has become less desirable as I mentioned with how the economy has tanked. I see people standing at these red DVD rental machines on a Friday night, but there seems like there's a hell of a lot less of them than the crowd that swarmed the video stores on a Friday night years ago. Of course with work being pretty much a seven day a week affair anymore, weekends are a thing of the past, and so are holidays as it has become more important for stores to sell things on holidays than to allow their employees to spend time with their families.

Where the hell has family video night gone? Except for the wealthier of us, it got sold off pretty cheap to the big megastores.

Just an opinion.

Toxic Fletch

Movie Review: Supergator (2007)

Supergator (2007) - USA - Not Rated
Directed by Brian Clyde
Stars Brad Johnson, Kelly McGillis, Bianca Lawson, Josh Kelly, John Colton, Holly Weber

Enough of a movie to kill time with on the SyFy Channel, but lacking in anything else, especially with all the potential for sleaze gone to waste.

Hunky Brad Johnson plays a volcanologist leading a team of scientists and a reporter to study a volcano in Hawaii. Alas, paradise is interrupted by the presense of a prehistoric supergator, cloned from prehistoric DNA ala Jurassic Park, that has escaped from a private preserve. Enter the scientist who cloned it and an alligator hunter, think Quint from Jaws with a semi-auto rifle and too small of a boat, and a bevy of girls running around in shorts and bikinis, as well plenty of tourists for the supergator to snack on.

For Syfy Channel fare this would be average, but this was a DVD viewing and it has nothing to offer that you can't find on SyFy any day of the week. With all the running around in bikinis and skimpy outfits, not one breast comes free. The sleaze factor in this movie is zero, and when you have Holly Weber in a movie running around in a thong bikini and her tits do not come out, that should be a criminal offense.

If you find it being broadcast or in a $5 DVD bin as part of a 12 movie collection, then it might be worth your while. If you paid for it by itself expecting more, especially since it's a Roger Corman (Mr. 70s movie sleaze himself) production, demand a refund.

My Rating: 2 Fingers

Monday, December 8, 2014

Movie Review: Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) - USA - Rated R
Directed by John Landis
Stars Evan C. Kim, Marilyn Joi, George Lazenby, Barry Dennen, Donald Sutherland

Uneven random collection of sleazy comedy skits makes for a sometimes funny, sometimes lame wrapper for a very funny martial arts parody that makes the movie worthwhile.

Kentucky Fried Movie is a collection of comedy skits somewhat in the vein of television, most notably television in the 1970s, but sleazed up for the movies. Skits include a guy going to a theater to see a movie in Feel-O-Rama, morning news parody, various commercial and movie parodies including a trailer for the faux Catholic High School Girls in Trouble, blaxploitation parody, and the centerpiece of the movie which is a parody of kung-fu movies.

From even before Monty Python's Flying Circus, comedy skit television was quite popular in American and British television. And like many of those skit oriented shows, Kentucky Fried Movie has winners and losers in the skits they present, but being this is the movies and not television, Kentucky Fried Movie ups the ante by sleazing it up with a decent amount of nudity in a presentation clearly aimed at adults. Overall this works, despite some lagging moments in the film, but especially worthy is the "A Fistful of Yen" kung-fu parody complete with an evil villain with an operation to show and a good guy who speaks like Elmer Fudd.

My Rating: 3 Fingers. A Fistful of Yen alone would be 4 fingers, but some of the other skits bring the whole movie down a notch.

Looking Inside Out

I don't think there is one group of people who fit their stereotype more than gamers. Seriously, I've heard gamers carry on about "here they go again picking on us gamers", not quite getting that they're not being picked on, they're just being pointed out for what they are.

I've made mention of getting my nickname from a group of us teenagers who would get together for games and movies, and I was the one into sleazy horror movies. Only occasionally did we get together in a basement; even though it is a stereotype of gamers the simple reality in that not everybody has a basement and only one member of the group lived in a home with a habitable basement.

One member of the group, we'll call him Jimmy, was always down on girls. He just couldn't understand why they didn't like him. Well let's start off with a few things about Jimmy, being that one, he was definitely over 250 pounds of weight and that's not a good thing for someone who was only 5 and a half feet tall. Jimmy was also not a particularly clean person; nobody wanted to sit next to him in the group. And Jimmy would go on about his exploits in Dungeons and Dragons and other games we played as though they were his actual accomplishments.

I remember one conversation we had that went something like this:


Girls got something wrong with them. If they knew the real me they would be all over me, but they think they're too good for me, but they're not.


Have you ever actually met yourself, Jimmy? Seriously, if you had you would not be confused about this. You want girls to play by different rules. You are so superficial, you look at girls on the outside but demand they look at you in a different way. I have news for you Jimmy, you're as ugly on the inside as you are on the outside.

Of course Jimmy lived in his own world and would dismis what I said as me being jealous of him or some other reason. I don't know what Jimmy is doing today and don't really give a damn. If I were to guess, my guess would be that he's probably become a serial killer.

Seriously, a lot of people who want to blame others for their problems have never really met themselves. I don't think it's fair for people to preach about who they are on the inside while at the same time they are looking at someone else superficially. That's ridiculous.

Toxic Fletch


Welcome to my blog!

I started a blog for my upcoming Sex and Blood Show newsletter, but in keeping with community standards it has an adult content warning before you can view the blog. This is my personal blog open to all.

I will post movie reviews, gaming stuff, and links to other sites or stuff I have found online of interest, especially if it is free!

Toxic Fletch