A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.

30 September 2007

Dante's Cove (Season 2), 2006

CREW: Godawful movie director Fred Olen Ray is one of the executive producers.

CAST: Includes Tracy Scoggins (Dynasty, The Colbys, Lois & Clark, Babylon 5) and Queer As Folk's Thea Gill as a pair of witches.

PLOT: A group of gay teens live in the spooky town of Dante's Cove and reside in the local Hotel Dante. 500 years before a young witch, Grace (Tracy Scoggins), finds her warlock lover Ambrosius on the receiving end of another man and casts an ageing spell on him and locks him in her dungeon. The spell can only be broken by the kiss of a young man. In the first season the spell is broken by newcomer to Dante's Cove, Kevin. Now Ambrosius is free and obsessed with Kevin, who as taken up with local barman Toby. Grace is furious and is determined to seek further revenge for Ambrosius' betrayal and seeks out local lesbian Van to be her apprentice in order to increase her powers.

THOUGHTS: This is the first ever gay themed horror show (how ever did we live all these years without one!). I can honestly say this show is almost beyond words. If Tracy Scoggins' hilariously camp performance complete with dodgy British accent doesn't have you rolling around the floor in fits of laughter, the ridiculous story lines and horrible acting from Charlie David who plays Toby certainly will! It's a pure guilty pleasure and non-stop fun! There is so much random nudity and sex that it defies belief quite frequently, especially during the scenes set in the local sex club (every town has one of those, of course!). The main attraction is indisputably Tracy Scoggins who I just happened to have met a few months ago, she's a legend! I can't think of too many well known actresses who'd have the sense of humour to be in this for even one episode, never mind two (albeit short) seasons! It's a definite future cult classic. Season 3 begins this October on HereTV in America. Seasons 1 & 2 are on DVD.

EXTRA: Season 2 trailer

Chained Heat, 1983

CAST: And what a cast! We have Linda Blair of The Exorcist fame as fresh meat in a tough women's prison. Sybil Danning is the leader of the white gang and Tamara Dobson (that's Cleopatra Jones herself!) as the leader of the rather small black gang. Stella Stevens is a rather butch and ambitious prison captain who pushes drugs and pimps the girls with John Vernon as the sleazy warden.

PLOT: Poor young Carol is sent to prison for dangerous driving. She encounters all manner of depravity while inside; rape, drug dealing, and brutal beatings - and that's just the staff!

THOUGHTS: Amongst the trashiest movies I have ever seen! And I loved every minute. I'm not all that familiar with the 'Women in Prison' (or WIP) genre, my knowledge being limited to a few seasons of Bad Girls. Well let me tell you, I am determined to be ignorant no longer. If Chained Heat is anything to go by the WIP will become a staple of this blog. My favourite scenes were the vicious exchanges between rival gang leaders Tamara Dobson and Sybil Danning.

This movie has everything, shower scenes, copious amounts of cat fights, brutal violence, and lots of language. The sleazy warden who makes porno movies of himself and the inmates is great fun too. The showdown between Linda Blair and Stella Stevens is pretty fun too. The movie takes every cliche in the book and just goes for it to great effect! Sadly the only versions available are slightly cut, they remove part of a scene in which one of the guards is murdered with a great big hook! It's only toned down, not removed totally thankfully.

EXTRA: Sybil Danning vs Tamara Dobson (clip)

Halloween, 2007

CAST: We have Malclom McDowell doing a great job as Dr Loomis, quite a lot of the cast of The Devil's Rejects show up in cameos including Sid Haig as a caretaker, Leslie Easterbrook as a cop and Ken Foree taking a dump! Sherrie Moon Zombie even gets to play Mrs Myers as a stripper! B-Movie queen Sybil Danning also shows up as a nurse as does Dee Wallace of The Howling fame!

CREW: Rob Zombie (rock singer turned director of House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects.

PLOT: Little Michael Myers brutally murders his family on Halloween night, 15 years later he returns to find his baby sister. He's pursued by his former doctor Sam Loomis who is the only one who might stand a chance of stopping him.

THOUGHTS: I hate to say it, but it's crap! And it's such a shame. This is a classic story that has spawned no less than 7 sequels and countless rip-offs, most famously Friday the 13th which has had 9 sequels itself. Zombie has totally taken Halloween down the wrong path. Yes, it's more realisic and more gory than the original. But where is the fear? The suspense, the chase? Zombie's Michael Myers simply lurks around waiting to stab his victims, there is no run around, no anticipation, no energy!

The first half hour goes into the childhood of the young Michael, which I thought was quite effective and quite funny. Zombie is great at creating horrible characters and he does a great job with the Myers family. In the original we don't learn much about them and making them into white trash misfits was a great idea. I am always impressed with his casting too and enjoyed seeing stars of yesteryear making long overdue appearances on the big screen. The movie itself though, is a waste. It has done extremely well in America so hopefully there will be a better sequel to follow.

EXTRA: Official Site

EXTRA: Video interview with Sybil Danning

01 June 2007

The Pointer Sisters - they're a 'Goldmine' of pop gems

Only Sisters Can Do That (Anita, Ruth & June Pointer)

No self respecting low rent nightclub should ever shut its doors without blasting out one of the Pointers' pop gems. Best known for their danceable hits Jump (For My Love), I'm So Excited, Dare Me, and perhaps their greatest single the Neutron Dance! The Pointers have been recording since the early 70's. Originally a quartet with sister Bonnie, they successfully recorded a string of soul LP's before slimming down to a trio and teaming up with producer Richard Perry. On Perry's Planet label the sisters quickly established themselves as a top selling force to be reckoned with by way of their hit albums and singles such as the UK hit 'Slow Hand', and the US Top 5 smash 'He's So Shy', amongst many other crossover hits.

But it was their 1984 LP 'Breakout' which saw the sisters Pointer establish themselves as a major pop act. The album sold millions and millions of copies accross the globe and spawned at least 5 charting singles incuding Jump, I'm So Excited (remixed from the version on the 1983 LP of the same name), Neutron Dance, I Need You and Baby Come And Get It. They followed it up with Contact, Hot Together, Serious Slammin', and solo LP's from June, Anita, and even old Bonnie, all in a very similar vein. Two more LP's were issued in the 90's 'Right Rhythm' and 'Only Sisters Can Do That' which sank without trace.

Since then the Sisters have had their troubles. Without a record deal the sisters continued to tour, but sadly June's reliance on drugs began to affect her ability to tour with her sisters. Big sister Ruth and Anita had no choice but to boot her out of the group. June's problems got even worse when she was arrested for attempting to claw out her lovers eyes and sordid rumours about her love life were plastered accross the tabloids. She did manage to spend some time on the road with her sister Bonnie and record a few demos, but sadly things got worse for June and she tragically died of cancer in 2006.

Her music lives on as does the Pointer magic. I was lucky enough to catch the Pointers with their newest member, Issa Pointer - daughter of Ruth. They are absolutely amazing and their fans really turned out in force for the show I attended in Las Vegas. They were doing the Neutron Dance in the isles, I kid you not! And that's quite an achievment for people in their 40's & 50's I am sure!

I offer you:

Back In My Arms (Remix) -- amazing flop single! 1985

Respect Yourself
(Bruce Willis with The Pointer Sisters, mainly June)

Tight On Time (I'll Fit You In) (12" Office Mix) -- June's flop '89 single! This mix is quite a bit different to the LP version, kind of funky dance with a hint of Freestyle, maybe.

Diana King - more than just butch looking gal with a funny accent

Diana King is best known for her single 'Shy Guy' , lifted from the 'Bad Boys' soundtrack. Ms. King hails from Jamaica and isn't afraid to show it off from the first verse of her biggest hit, right through to her most recent release, 'Ya Dun Kno'. The King wasn't averse to a few fabulous cover versions either. A classy cover of Chaka Khan's 'Ain't Nobody', with remixes from Davis Morales, and a decidedly unique take on the Queen of Soul's 'I Say A Little Prayer', with even fiercer remixes from Love To Infinity, gave King her second and third UK Top 20 smash hits. Sadly it all went tits up from there and her second album tanked. Nevertheless greater things were yet to come when she gave Celine Dion her greatest single to date in the form of the classic 'Treat Her Like A Lady', and even appeared with Celine on TV. The world owes Diana King a great deal of gratitude.

I'm offering up some goodies including:

I Say A Little Prayer For You (Love To Infinity Radio Remix)

Ain't Nobody (David's Radio Edit) -- classy

L-L-L-Lies (Double Deception Mix - Edit)
-- remix by Love To Infinity, edited by me!

12 May 2007

Action Jackson, 1988

STARRING: Carl Weathers (Jericho 'Action' Jackson)

Weathers is best known for playing Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies. This was his big break as one of 80's action's leading men. Sadly it didn't really happen.

Vanity (Sydney)

One time member of the group Vanity 6 and popular 80's pin-up. She recorded two solo albums for Motown, a few movies, then became a born again Chrstian preacher after she almost died from substance abuse.

Craig T. Nelson (Dellaplane)

You'll no doubt recognise him from his many screen credits including Poltergeist, Troop Beverly Hills (Shelley Long classic!) and The Devils Advocate.

Sharon Stone (Patrice Dellaplane)

After Police Academy and before Basic Instinct, Sharon made this action extravaganza!

PLOT: Tough Chicago cop Sgnt. Jackson (Weathers) is determined to expose evil businessman/drug dealer Dellaplane (Nelson) who has killed Jackson's brother, but his cheif wants him off the case. Jackson turns to Dellaplane's sexy mistress, a singer named Sydney (Vanity), to help him prove his case.

THOUGHTS: This movie is perfection in my mind. We open with a pretty scary sequence where masked hoods crash through the windows of a skyscraper and murder an unsuspecting businessman. We cut to the great opening credits accompanied by the Pointer Sisters' fabulous theme tune 'He Turned Me Out', one of their best singles too! There's pleanty of humour when we meet Jackson and throughout this great little movie. It's tough without being too macho, and there are more soundtrack delights from the fabulous Vanity, Sister Sledge and Madame X who sing the title track at the end. Everyone in this movie is great (even Vanity -- slurred lines and all) and it's a shame that it didn't do well enough for a sequel.

CAN I BUY IT? Region 1 DVD, dirt cheap!

MUSIC VIDEO: Pointer Sisters - He Turned Me Out

MUSIC VIDEO: Vanity - Undress

Certain Fury, 1985

STARRING: Tatum O’Neal (Scarlett)

She won an Oscar for her debut screen appearance in Paper Moon in 1973. Her father is actor Ryan O’Neal. Most recently she appeared in the US telenovela Wicked Wicked Games. I can't say I know too much about Tatum, but rest assured I am going to get hold of some more of her movies!

Irene Cara (Tracy)

Cara is probably best known for starring in Fame and singing the ever popular Oscar winning theme tune as well as the title track to Flashdance too. Although she never had that much success in music or movies she’s still worked extensively and remains popular thanks to her movie theme days.

With Peter Fonda

PLOT: A group of girls get caught up in an escape plot by some female criminals at their shared court hearing. Scarlett (a hooker) and Tracy (charged with possession) are the only two to escape alive, even though they had nothing to do with the plan. They are blamed for the slaughter of countless cops and court officials and go on the run from the law. Along the way they must get the help of drug pushers and lowlifes to help them.

THOUGHTS: As sleazy exploitation movies go this one is excellent! The video box boasts ‘Two Oscar winners in one explosive movie’, well they did both win Oscars and there are plenty of explosions! The budget seems pretty healthy; maybe there were high hopes for this trash fest. Cara fans will be pleased to note that she was once again to sing the theme tune to this should-be classic “Ohhhh it’s a certain fury, a certain fate…”, it’s quite tragic that it hasn’t become a staple of 80’s hours on commercial radio stations across the globe. I guess it just was too cutting edge! In fact it’s even produced by Phil Ramone, of the Ramones, obviously. There’s lots of nudity (courtesy of Cara, revisiting her scene in Fame where she poses nude, but this time she's a would-be rape victim, this is an 18-rated movie afterall!), plenty of drug use and even more violence. You might say it’s an 80’s version of Black Mama White Mama.

CAN I BUY IT? Used on VHS.

LINK: See more pictures from the movie at Film Virtual History

WATCH: the trailer at Video Detective

30 April 2007

Falcon Crest (Season 6, 1986-7)

STARRING: Jane Wyman (Angela Channing)

Oscar winning actress Wyman was once married to Ronald Regan, the late former president of America. She had been in retirement before taking on her 9 year role as the ruthless Angela Channing, matriarch of Falcon Crest! She ruled the vineyards and her family with an iron fist and would do anything to protect her beloved grapes!

Robert Foxworth (Chase Gioberti)

This was his final season on Falcon Crest, Foxworth most recently starred in Six Feet Under and has appeared in several Star Trek series.

David Selby (Richard Channing)

Also starred in Dark Shadows and Flamingo Road, he can also be seen in several movies, including D3: The Mighty Ducks!

Lorenzo Lamas (Lance Cumson)

You may already be familiar with his first foray onto the big screen in Body Rock from my previous post; he now makes martial arts movies.

Ana Alicia (Melissa Agretti Cumson)

Before starring in Falcon Crest, Ana appeared in Halloween 2, she has since retired from acting.

Margaret Ladd (Emma Channing)

Retired from acting after Falcon Crest.

John Saxon (Tony Cumson)

Easily recognisable from his innumerable TV and movie roles, Nightmare On Elm Street springs to mind.

Dana Sparks (Vicki Gioberti Stavros)

A new face and a new personality, Sparks replaced Jamie Rose as Vicki. She can also be seen in season 3 of L.A. Law and the daytime soap opera Passions.

Brett Cullen (Dan Fixx)

Cullen has recently had recurring roles in The West Wing, Lost and Ugly Betty and has been an in-demand actor for over 20 years.

Kim Novak (Skylar Kimball/Kit Marlowe)

Novak is best known for her performance in Alfred Hichcock’s Vertigo, amongst many other memorable roles.

Jane Badler (Meridith Braxton)

Badler is best known to TV fans across the globe as the villainous Diana from V!

& Susan Sullivan (as Maggie)

Sullivan went on to star in Dharma & Gregg.

With appearances by Melba Moore, Edward Albert, Cesar Romero, and Abby Dalton (as Julia Cumson)

PLOT(S): The season opens after the terrible earthquake which occurred during the final moments of Season 5. Terry (Laura Johnson) has been tragically killed and Angela is in the process of being drowned by her own Cabernet Sauvigion in the flooded winery! Jordan & Greg (Morgan Fairchild & Simon MacCorkindale) have disappeared – last seen being driven off the road by evil rapist Jeff Wainwright (Albert), apart from passing concern, none of the characters seem to be overly concerned.

Meanwhile a mafia moll, Kitt Marlowe (Novak) is on the run from the scene of her mothers murder. She calls up on her old friend Skylar who is on her way to visit her estranged father who just so happens to be Angela’s new beau, Peter Stavros (Romero). Mistaking Skylar for Kitt the mafia murder Skylar. Kitt assumes her identity and makes her way to visit Stavros at Falcon Crest.

Everyone’s favourite couple, Maggie and Chase, see their marriage torn apart by Maggie’s rape and subsequent pregnancy. Is the baby she’s carrying Chase’s, or evil the offspring of evil rapist, Wainwright? As if her brain tumour, shock adoption, and amnesia were not enough...

Their annoying daughter Vicki comes back to live with them family, with a new face and played by Dana Sparks, after failing to make it as a dancer in New York. Their son Cole (William R. Moses) leaves soon after, nations mourn. Vicki begins working as a dance instructor at Angela’s new venture, the Del Oro Spa (nothing at all like La Mirage in Dynasty, honest!). She falls for newcomer Dan Fixx and Eric Stavros. One paticularly memorable storlyline this season involves her getting sold into white slavery!

Tony Cumson (Saxon) returns to the Valley to make amends with Lance (Lamas), he joins forces with Chase to build a viable rival to Falcon Crest! He also visits his ex-wife Julia (Dalton) who is spending the rest of her days in a convent after murdering Carlo Agretti and Chase’s mother (Lana Turner), trying to kill Angela, and then going on the run and shacking up with a Nazi! He is torn between his feelings for Julia and his new love interest, the mysterious Skylar.

A new character, Dan Fixx (Cullen), turns up wanting a job from Angela. Completely out of character she complies, leaving her family to wonder what the young man has over her.

Yet another new character turns up, Angela hires Meridith Braxton (Badler), a spy, to infiltrate Richard’s household. Impressed by her work Richard takes her on as his new assistant and uses her services against the international crime cartel he is in debt to.

The season comes to a close when Melissa kidnaps Maggie and Chase’s new baby as a way to punish them for taking away her own child during season 3. Angela finds out but keeps the secret to herself for her own devious ends. The season ends with Richard and Chase diving into the sea to save the baby.

THOUGHTS: I think this is yet another great season, quite a bit stronger than season 5 and flushing out some of the dead wood – characters like Cole and Gregg, was a great idea. I think they should’ve persuaded the fabulous Morgan Fairchild to stay on the show as her character had really developed by the end of the pervious season. Apparently she was unhappy with the amount of screen time she’d received during season 5 overall.

I think giving Angela a love interest softened her far too much in the previous season and it was a great idea to put some distance between her and Stavros. Visually the cast are great looking this season and the new characters are great. Vicki being sold into white slavery was a stroke of genius! For me Falcon Crest is the ultimate prime time soap opera.

LINK: US residents can view seasons 1-3 and the resolution to the Season 6 cliffhanger courtesy of AOL here.

LINK: FalconCrest.org

LINK: FalconCrest.tv.de

LINK: Falcon Crest Fan Site

War Dancing, 1989

CAST: Daniel Quinn (Picasso)

Known for his roles in the Scanner Cop movies. He is a popular TV and Broadway actor too.

Carlos Gomez (Slammer)

Gomez has recently had recurring roles in 24, Sleeper Cell and Shark. He has appeared in lots of b-movies too.

Adrian Paul (Billy)

British actor best known for his lead role on Highlander: The Series and its many TV movies.

Patricia Barry and Sally Stewart

PLOT: A gang of delinquents are given community service and sent to re-paint the local dance school run by a charasmatic male teacher (Paul). The leader of the gang, Slammer, is a street dancer who hears that the school is funded by a competition that it must win to ensure it has the $500,000 to cover its costs. Slammer gets the gang into shape and they convince the judging pannel that they have a school and that they are eligible to enter. One of the gang members (Quinn) has fallen for an exchange teacher not realising that she will be sent home if the school can't win the prize money.

THOUGHTS: So bad! This is the sequel to Body Beat which I have already posted about. The songs performed by would be singing sensation Stewart are so generic they wouldn't even make it as Paula Abdul b-sides. Speaking of Miss Abdul, she choregraphed this movie and it has to be said, she does a good job with an especially untalented cast. Don't go out of your way to find this one.

CAN I BUY IT? Used on VHS, or DVD (Region 1), released in the US on VHS as 'Dance To Win'.

15 March 2007

See No Evil, 2006

STARRING: Kane (Jacob Goodnight)

Kane is a WWE Superstar (a WWF wrestler).

with Chrtistina Vidal and a lot of unknown Australian actors.

PLOT: A group of young prisoners are sent to clean an old hotel to earn time off their sentence. They are stalked by an axe-wielding psycho who collects human eyes.

THOUGHTS: This is a real classy affair, not only does it star WWE wrestler Kane, but it was made by WWE films. Released direct to DVD next week in the UK this film plays like a concoction of all the horror greats we know and love. A little bit of Nightmare On Elm Street (the creepy song), Friday The 13th (psycho with a crazy mother who hates sex) and the vendetta against two of the characters is very reminiscent of Halloween. In fact Kane stumbles around a lot like Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, he even uses a hook. That said, there are a few quite original slayings and the teens are less obnoxious than usual. I can totally see this aping Halloween 2 and good old Kane coming back for a second outing. It’s an awful lot of fun and it has lots of gore and violence. I hope for more of the same from WWE films in the very near future. The very last scene in the movie is a great example of excess and bad taste, I loved it! I feel it's fair to say Kane could easily be to horror movies what Hulk Hogan was to comedy.

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, on DVD.

Hellbent, 2004

STARRING – nobody much

Dylan Fergus (Eddie – he’s been in a few episodes of US soap opera ‘Passions’), Bryan Kirkwood (Jake – he’s dated Melissa Joan Hart), Hank Harris (Joey – he was in the TV series Popular (it wasn’t), Andrew Levitas (Chaz – he was in a few episodes of the Nanny before it got cancelled) and Matt Phillips (as the one in drag).

PLOT: A group of friends go to the annual gay carnival in West Hollywood. They followed by a psycho who’s been decapitating gays who hang around the park at night...

THOUGHTS: This movie is publicised as being the first gay themed slasher movie from the co-creator of Halloween and A Nightmare On Elm Street. The good news is the movie is nowhere near as bad as the no-name cast and lack of a major distributor might have you believe. Sadly, there is nothing amazing or groundbreaking about this movie, it is a regular slasher flick, the only difference being the teenagers are gay and there's an abundance of drag queens and leather lovers on show, you wont see than in your typical I Know What You Sid Last Summer DTV sequel. There are some very tame sex scenes which might put some people off if they aren't used to the sight of two men getting down to it, but there is nothing graphic about this movie. Even the horror and gore is more implied than on screen. I didn't like the character in drag being portrayed as the most tragic of the group, it was a bit lame and cliche! I wouldn’t rush out to buy this myself, in fact I was lent it by a friend, but it’s quite fun and light hearted and I think its well above the usual standard of most low budget horror fodder. That said, I only finished watching it half an hour ago and I can’t remember very much about it, the bad guy had a great costume though, and the scene is set for a sequel (yay…).

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, on DVD – rated 15/R.

08 March 2007

Paper Dolls, 1984 -- Jonathan Frakes (Request)

Especially for Savvik, here are a few pictures of Jonathan Frakes playing Sandy in Paper Dolls. Whilst he played quite an authoritative and masculine role as Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, in contrast the character of Sandy was Racine's minion and as you can see from the pictures he was more interested in the male models than the fashions, hence the hideous knitwear.

Mugsy's Girls, 1985

STARRING: Laura Branigan (Monica)

Laura Branigan’s big screen debut (*laughs*). After achieving a whole host of hits including the classics ‘Gloria’ and ‘Self Control’, Branigan tried her hand at acting. The venture didn’t last long and she was back with a new album before the end of the year. The hits were drying up by the late 80’s and she made another movie called Backstage in Australia, which is about a singer who wants to make it as an actress. The film was unsuccessful and poorly received. Branigan continued to record with Atlantic Records, with modest success, up until 1995. Shortly afterwards her husband died and she took some time out of show business, reappearing sometime later in the stage musical Love, Janis in which she portrayed Janis Joplin. The role gained her very favourable reviews. While recording a brand new album she died suddenly in 2004 of a brain aneurysm, she was 47.

Ruth Gordon (Mugsy)

Gordon was a very popular stage actress and screenwriter before she really made it as a Hollywood star. She finally won her first Oscar aged 72 for her amazing turn in Rosemary’s Baby in 1969. She continued to act to great success right up until her death in 1988.

Eddie Deezen (Lane)

Best known for playing Eugene in Grease and Grease 2. He went on to be very popular in

b-movies and recently voiced a character for the animated feature The Polar Express.

with Kristi Somers and James Marcel.

PLOT: The Delta Pi girls are the worst sorority

on campus. They are so poor they’ve got themselves into $2000 worth of debt with a loan shark and no means of paying it back. They live with their Sorority Mother, Mugsy (Gordon) an eccentric and forgetful old lady who doesn’t even know what time of day it is. They decide that the only way to make the cash they need is to hold a whipped cream wrestling contest and fight each other for the amusement, and the cash, of their fellow students. The fight is so successful that they are noticed by a couple of young talent scouts (Deezen & Marcel) who enter them in a mud wrestling competition in Las Vegas, the prize money is $100,000! The only trouble is that they are up against the Nevada Nasties, the

meanest mud wrestlers in town! The event promoters have offered them $5,000 to throw the fight – should they concede defeat and take the cash or battle it out for the whole 100k and buy themselves a new sorority house?

THOUGHTS: The box to this video looks like a porno so I’ve had it under the bed for a good few years. I finally pulled it out, so to speak, and gave it a go. To be honest it’s pretty good for the genre. The Delta Pi (delt-a-pi(e), get it?) sorority girls headed by Laura Branigan are very likable and Ruth Gordon is great as Mugsy. It’s also not all that sleazy for a movie about mud wrestling ‘teenage’ girls. There are a few bottoms and breasts on show, but this is more of a comedy than a soft core flick, and that’s in its favour for me. It’s a chick flick rather than top-to-middle shelf material for teenage boys. There is lots of pot smoking and if the sight of a stoned rabbit isn’t going to tickle your sense of humour then don’t bother. The dance/pop soundtrack is pretty decent and it complements the carefree tone of the movie perfectly. One of the sorority girls, actress Joanna Dierck (also wife of the director), sings quite a few of the songs and doesn't sound too dissimilar to Laura Branigan!
The script is the only let down, but you can’t expect miracles, this is still a low budget comedy from the mid 80’s. The finale is pretty impressive involving 80-odd year old Mugsy helping out in the ring, a hostage situation, and a small hovercraft manned by Deezen! By all that's holy this movie should be virtually unwatchable, but it has a great deal of charm and it's pretty funny. Get yourself a copy now!

CAN I BUY IT? It’s quite widely available used on VHS in the USA, but pretty scarce in the UK.

02 March 2007

Class Of 1999, 1990

STARRING: Bradley Gregg (Cody)

Gregg has appeared in a number of films including Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Stand By Me. He was heavily involved in the production of Class Of 1999 film from doing his own stunts to working on the effects and the writing.

Traci Lind (Christie)

Perhaps best known for her starring role in Fright Night: Part 2.

Pam Grier (Ms. Connors)

Easily recognisable as the biggest female star of 70’s Blaxploiation era, Grier has worked consistently for more than 30 years. Lately she’s been starring in the lesbian themed drama series The L Word.

John P. Ryan, Patrick Kilpatrick and Stacey Keach. Also starring Malcolm McDowell.

PLOT: Gang violence has gotten so bad that robotic teachers are being trialled out at one of the roughest schools in America. Unfortunately for the unruly students this new breed of teachers can unleash a very lethal dose of discipline.

THOUGHTS: Those familiar with the first movie in this series, Class Of 1984 will remember quite a decent hard hitting story with a hefty dose of violence. This sequel throws the storyline out of the window in favour of gratuitous scenes of graphic violence and gore with little to no let up.

In its favour we have a particularly memorable scene in which 40 odd year old Pam Grier’s top rips open to expose a pair of cybernetically enhanced prosthetic breasts, while her arm mutates into a grisly looking flame thrower which resembles something out of a Terminator movie. In fact the end of the movie descends quite rapidly into a Terminator clone as each teacher mutates into something more and more like Arnie until we get to the end where one of them becomes a carbon copy of him in the final scenes of that mid-80’s classic. In fact the writer/director Mark L. Lester had just directed the Governator in Commando right before this movie was made. The explosions in the movie are very impressive and people that like action films will find a lot to enjoy here.

This movie is so brainless it could almost pass for quality entertainment in my book if it wasn’t for the lack of a decent plot. I’d seek out the original Class Of 1984 first and if you must, watch this with plenty of alcohol. If you stick it out to the end you will hear an absolutely terrible song by Midge Ure, the theme to Class Of 1999! There was another sequel a few years later -- Class Of 1999 II: The Substitute! Heaven help us.

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, on DVD.

LINK: I stole the pictures from here.

28 February 2007

Paper Dolls, 1984 -- TV Series

STARRING: Lloyd Bridges (Grant Harper)

Popular actor perhaps best known for his role in the Airplane movies, he died in 1998 aged 85 having been in the business for over 45 years.

Mimi Rogers (Blair Harper-Fenton)

A budding star in the 80’s; she was married to Tom Cruise, her last big role was in the Lost In Space movie.

Nancy Olson (Marjorie Harper)

Dack Rambo (Wesley Harper)

He played Jack Ewing in Dallas after starring in Paper Dolls. He 1991 he found out he had contracted HIV and became an activist. He died in 1994.

Richard Beymer (David Fenton)

Award winning actor best known for starring in West Side Story.

Brenda Vaccarro (Julia Blake)

Oscar nominee Vaccarro is perhaps best known for her roles in Supergirl and Midnight Cowboy.

Nicolette Sheridan (Taryn Blake)

After Paper Dolls Nicolette scored a long running role in Knotts Landing, she then went on to star in Desparate Housewives.

Jennifer Warren (Dinah Caswell)

Terry Farrell (Laurie Caswell)

In the 90’s she landed the role of Jadzia Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She can also be seen in Hellraiser 3.

John Bennett Perry (Michael Caswell)

Played the local Sheriff on Falcon Crest after Paper Dolls, his son is Mathew Perry of Friends fame.

Anne Schedeen (Sara Frank)

She was in the ALF TV series; you know the one - with that alien puppet thing.

Lauren Hutton (Collette Ferrier)

Top model turned actress, best known for her role in American Gigolo with Richard Gere. Hutton has her own range of cosmetics these days – the Lauren Hutton Face Disc which she sells on infomercials.

Jonathan Frakes (Sandy)

Frakes went on to star in Falcon Crest and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He later directed Star Trek movies and the ill fated Thunderbirds movie.

John Waite (as himself)

British born 80’s rock star, best known for his hit Missing You.

And Morgan Fairchild (as Racine)


CAST: As you can see Paper Dolls had a huge case of characters in its very short 16 episode run. Apart from Collette Ferrier and John Waite, they were all in every episode. There are clear leads though; Grant Harper is the head of Harper Cosmetics Worldwide and his family all work for him. Racine is the head of the Racine Modelling Agency with whom Blair and youngsters Taryn and Laurie are signed with! David Fenton owns Tempest Sportswear who along with Haper Worldwide use Racine’s models! Yes, the world of Paper Dolls is decidedly incestuous and it’s always fabulous. Sandy is Racine’s PA, and John Waite appears as a love interest for Taryn, much to the dismay of her controlling mother, the dreaded Julia!

PLOTLINES: Taryn Blake, the world’s hottest young supermodel becomes sullied by her recent drug abuse. A fresh faced young star named Laurie Caswell becomes the latest recruit to the prestigious Racine Modelling Agency.

Tempest Sportswear runs into financial trouble, to proud to turn to his father in law, owner David Fenton looks to a gangster to fund the struggling new collection.

Tarn Blake, fresh from rehab takes up with rock superstar John Waite!

Blair Harper-Fenton discovers she has a rare blood condition that means that her newly conceived child may be born retarded. Can she bear to abort David and her first child together or will she risk all to have the child she has long dreamed of.

Blair is kidnapped by the gangsters who gave David the loan to get Tempest Sportswear off the ground.

Grant Harper wants to expand Harper Worldwide by taking over their European competitor Ferrier Cosmetics, but first he needs to track down its elusive owner Collette

An old flame from her past threatens a tell-all movie about Racine.

Laurie attracts a stalker.

Marjorie and Grant’s marriage comes under strain and she leaves for a holiday alone. Wesley attempts to get control of her stock in Harper Worldwide.

Marjorie is tragically killed in a plane crash meanwhile Tempest Sportswear is hitting the catwalk for the very first time. What will the critics make of David’s hard work?

THOUGHTS: This was the most expensive of all prime time soap operas at the time, costing well over a million dollars per episode in 1984. The spiralling cost of the all star cast, lavish locations, and Top 40 soundtrack couldn’t be justified by the average ratings and the show was pulled mid-season.

Paper Dolls is all style over substance and that is what’s so great about it. From the over the top modelling sequences, usually involving either Nicollette Sheridan or Terry Farrell draped over an extremely expensive car, wearing horrendous OTT 80’s fashions, accompanied by hits by Sheena Easton or John Waite. However, I think it’s the into credits that perhaps make for the highlight of the show! They’re amazing and light years ahead of the likes of Dynasty or Falcon Crest had to offer at the time.

Morgan Fairchild is simply unbeatable as the Queen Bitch of Paper Dolls, Racine! Her general bitchiness, sarcastic put downs and sneering attitude never drop and her outfits are always the height of 80’s fashion. Morgan has said recently that it is still her favourite role ever after 25 years in the business. The show remains a testament to everything that was great about the 80’s and the lavish prime time soaps that it spawned.

TRIVIA: Morgan Fairchild went on to play the on screen mother of her Paper Dolls co-star John Bennett-Perry’s real life son Mathew Perry on Friends.

TRIVIA: Many of the actors went on to star in Falcon Crest. Only months after the demise of Paper Dolls Jonathan Frakes had a lengthy recurring role as Damian Ross, who was hell bent on avenging his fathers death. The following season Morgan Fairchild joined the cast as schizophrenic lawyer Jordan Roberts. John Bennett Perry also joined the cast that season as Sheriff Gilmore.

TRIVIA: Many of the hit songs featured in the show were re-recorded to avoid paying artist royalties.

TRIVIA: The very first pilot for Paper Dolls, a TV movie made in 1982, starred Joan Collins as the head of the modelling agency!

VIDEO: Watch the fabulous opening credits!

CAN I BUY IT? Not legally.

Humanoids From The Deep, 1996

STARRING: Emma Samms (Dr. Drake)

Samms is best known for replacing Pamela Sue Martin as Fallon on Dynasty and its spin-off The Colbys. She has also appeared in the popular series' General Hospital and Models Inc.

Robert Carradine (Wade)

Perhaps best remembered for his roles in the Revenge Of The Nerds movies, which he became a producer of in the 90’s. He’s also appeared in a wide range of movies and TV serials such as The Tommyknockers and Escape From L.A. Most recently he has played Hilary Duff’s dad on the hit kids TV series Lizzie McGuire.

with Justin Walker, Clint Howard (The Deputy) & Danielle Weeks

STORY: Strange things are happening near a lake where chemicals are being illegally dumped. Men are being brutally murdered and women are disappearing. Wade (Carradine) runs the factory whose chemicals are being dumped by his lazy employees. One day he arrives at the factory to a mass protest by environmental activists. Even his own daughter is against what the factory is doing. On a date with one of the protesters she goes missing!

Only a rogue ex-government scientist, Dr. Drake (Samms), seems to know what’s going on. According to her the attacks are being carried out by genetically modified prison inmates who’ve escaped from a top secret research centre. Can Wade and the Doctor stop the deadly humanoids from the deep?...

THOUGHTS: When you decide upon watching a movie entitled Humanoids From The Deep you know you’re not tapping into a well of creativity or an undiscovered gem that will challenge you very reasons for being…

This extremely dumb movie was pretty entertaining by my standards. Although, sadly a little shy of going for the comedy jugular which tacky the title might suggest. This movie has been re-made a couple of times under the careful eye of b-movie god Roger Corman. This, the most recent adaptation has a few things going for it. Firstly, the effects are pretty decent for a cable movie and the soundtrack still sounds pretty decent more than 10 years on. I particularly liked the track that played over the end credits 'I'm All Messed Up On The Inside'!

The wardrobe mistress should, however, be shot! There is absolutely no excuse for dressing Emma Samms in a knee length, fungus green padded coat with an elasticated waist! She may have been horrible in Dynasty, but that coat with was just too much for one low down soap opera queen to suffer!

There were a few great lines too, one of my particular favourites was uttered by the Deputy:

Deputy: “There’s a regular Al Bundy on the loose!”

Co-worker: “Ummm… don’t you mean Ted Bundy?”

I don’t know how Emma Samms kept her face straight when she explained how the prison inmates had had their DNA spliced with salmons! The movie degraded into an Alien clone about half way though with a cave where the women were being used as husks for mutant babies, the rip-off was completed with a few chest-buster scenes, favourited by far too many low down sci-fi horror movies since the late 70’s. All-in-all it was pretty enjoyable and not a bad way to waste an evening.

CAN I BUY IT? It has been available on DVD, but it's now deleted. You can pick it up dirt cheap in the UK still, but others may have more difficulty. I managed to catch it on Zone Horror, the home of crappy scary movies in the UK.

02 February 2007

Perfect, 1985

STARRING: Jamie Lee Curtis (Jessie)

Baroness Jamie Lee Curtis had left her scream queen days behind her when she starred in this soundtrack driven 80’s slice of style over substance. It took her a long time to be taken seriously as a proper leading lady, she wouldn’t have a big movie again until A Fish Called Wanda in 1988. Since then she has starred in hit movies such as My Girl, True Lies and Freaky Friday. She reprised her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween: H20 only to be killed off once and for all in the awful follow up Halloween Resurrection in 2003, she has since retired.

John Travolta (Adam)

This was yet another flop for Travolta! He had already destroyed his career in his post-Grease and Saturday Night Fever craziness by starring in the terrible sequel Staying Alive and the even worse, but slightly more entertaining, Two Of A Kind with Olivia Newton-John. Things didn’t get any better until he starred in the Look Who’s Talking movies and then Pulp Fiction. Since then he has had a string of successful movies including Get Shorty and Face Off. This year he will step into the role of Edna Turnblad in the new Hairspray remake and supposedly the role of JR Ewing in Dallas: The Movie! Let’s hope he doesn’t call up old Olivia to play Sue Ellen!

PLOT: A reporter for Rolling Stone magazine (Travolta) goes to investigate the new health club craze that’s sweeping the country. Apparently they’re ‘the singles bars of the 80’s’ and he’s going to get the scoop on the motivations of the patrons of said clubs. He meets Jessie (Jamie Lee Curtis), a young fitness instructor who’s been hurt by the gutter press before. They fall in love, but can she trust him?

THOUGHTS: I have to thank Nona Hendyx and Jermaine Jackson for keeping me awake! This is pretty dull for the most part, I liked the soundtrack, but the story is pretty pointless and background. The best scene involves Travolta joining in one of Jessie’s extremely energetic aerobic workouts in a rather fetching pair of tight grey shorts.

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, on DVD!

VIDEO: Nona Hendryx - I Sweat (Goin' Through The Motions) (music video)

VIDEO: Jermaine Jackson - (Closest Thing To) Perfect (music video)

LINK: Watch Jessie's workouts at this sleazy site!