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

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.