Archive for the Science Fiction Category

Helix: Disease TV

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Helix

I’m often wary of made-for-TV horror and sci-fi as they water it down so much as to be a non-alcoholic beverage. Then along comes brutally brilliant stuff like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story to set things right for TV again.

So it is with these same high hopes I wish for Helix, an intensely gripping sci-fi series about disease-gone-wild, premiering on the improving SyFy™ Channel in January, 2014. If you haven’t seen the trailers, feast your face on this: “Helix is an intense thriller about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak, only to find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that holds the key to mankind’s salvation…or total annihilation.”

Total annihilation. Those two words go together like “cold” and “beer.”

Helix

What gives me excitement pee shivers is that Steven Madea is on board as Helix’s co-executive producer. You may have seen his credit on Lost, CSI: Miami, and The X-Files.

All things being equal, Helix is a contemporary spin on 1971’s Andromeda Strain, which I deftly reviewed and posted on January, 9, 2013. As I recall, the seas were rough that day. I had finished the first of what was to be an entire half rack of Budweiser. Sharing was not an option.

To let the review enrich your life, click HERE

Existenz – The Ultimate Gameboy

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Existenz

Thematically picking up where Videodrome (1983) left off, eXistenZ, filmmaker David Cronenberg’s 1999 sci-fi flesh machine, goes Nintendo™ and X-Box™ one step further by turning your body into a game cartridge. Creating a “bio-port” in the base of your spine, you can plug yourself in to the game pod (made out of hi-tech fish guts and wires) and play cool virtual games. (I bet Virtual Outhouse is a top-seller. Satisfying replay value.)

Existenz

Allegra, the gaming industry’s most heralded creator, brings select gamers together to test-run eXistenZ, her latest creation. A rival company interferes with a botched assassination attempt, and the fun begins. Sort of. At times, moving as slow as a 14.4 modem, the plot almost swamps itself by adding too many confusing elements and no bare bio-butts.

Existenz

Cool parts include lots of goopy gore (a gun made from fish bones shoots human teeth), mutant creatures harvested for their weapons and fish ’n chips applications, and Jennifer Jason Leigh looking replay value hot hot as a sultry, bed-warming blonde genius.

Existenz

The finale has a nice hook, but since nobody gets gainfully naked – digitally or otherwise – it all falls a bit flat. In short, eXistenZ is a wry statement on how gaming has replaced sex in our lives, it has nothing on that stud, Super Mario™.

Existenz

Zombie World

Posted in Foreign Horror, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , on December 16, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Zombie World

A new zombie flick that reverses the role of zombie vs. human. Be right back – I have to yawn.

Yeah, a bit snarky, but enough with the zombie crap already. No matter how you spin it, zombie movies are so overdone as to be my neighbor’s holiday meatloaf. (Ironically, that thing keeps coming back to life, year after year.)

So Zombie World (2014), a Spanish horror flick at that, pit zombies against an inhuman enemy: humans. Synopsis: In a world where zombies are on the planet, a terrible event will transform humans with a rage that will be unleashed on all zombies. Now it is they who have to hide to avoid being killed or becoming infected humans.

Zombie World

Hmmm – zombies by nature are already dead. So how can they be killed and/or infected by humans? The only “virus” I can think of that’s capable of doing that is BOREDOM.

Incidentally, Zombie World’s plot is a twist on an old Twilight Zone episode from the ‘60s. Go look it up; it’d be a nice distraction from YET ANOTHER zombie movie.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

In overload marketing prep for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (arriving July, 2014) now comes four teaser posters, each looking quite badass.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I don’t want to spoil the party, but I think the apes are favored to win this game. How could I possibly know that? Here’s the plot: “A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.”

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Yep, sounds familiar. This, of course, is the bone structure of 1973’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes. In case you haven’t seen it 27 times like me, or read a truncated review on this here blog back on Christmas Day, 2011, here’s what gets flung against the wall…

After getting served in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), the humans, with radioactive sores on their units, rally for some payback.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

It’s now the 21st Century, 10 years after the apes dehumanized the world. And what non-radioactive humans are left are kept in corrals out in the woods and made to do minimum-wage stuff for their ape masters. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Head ape Caesar, tired of all the non-getting-alonging, decides it might be time for peaceful coexisting with their hairless pets. Damn hippie. But the easily agitated General Aldo ain’t downtown with that. He’d just as soon turn ’em loose in a cornfield and do a little sport huntin’.

Caesar, Aldo decides, must be stopped, and Ape City (not really a city, more like tree houses with indoor plumbing) must be invaded. Aldo murders Caesar’s son when the little branch-swinger overhears the gorilla’s plan to overthrow the current government. Monkey doo is about to hit every fan left working.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

But as history shows, humans are no match for their ape overlords, and get their sore asses handed to ’em yet again in an old style Western shoot-out. Now it’s time to talk to Aldo about that murdering thing. It’s cool for apes to kill humans, but NOT COOL for ape to kill ape. Let’s just say another rule gets broken on that, the first of many future days.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

While Battle for the Planet of the Apes has some fun moments, the lack of spectacular sets, doomsday bombs and Dr. Zaius makes it the most lackluster of the Apes series. Still, monkeys that talk. That’s pretty neat.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Posted in Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Scream Queens, TV Vixens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark. So wrong and yet so right. Then again, the movie – designed to capitalize on the Sharknado cultural phenomenon – is being done by The Asylum, the movie studio that waits for someone else to come with an idea, then they “re-purpose it” for $1.49 for the bottom feeding cash-in.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Due out January 28, 2014, Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark needs no more than a one sentence plot: “When a new Mega Shark threatens mankind, the government unleashes the top-secret Mecha Shark to defeat the monster in a pitched battle that threatens the planet.”

I’ll make a bold prediction here – the planet survives. You won’t, though.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Now that I’ve wrecked the entire movie for you, here’s something else to chew on: Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark was partially inspired by last summer’s RoboCroc (2013), a heartwarming tale of a science-enhanced crocodile that becomes mechanized and gets loose in a water park filled with the dying screams of kids that pee in the pool.

Expect more mecha mash-ups as Hollywood – even fake Hollywood – is clearly running out of ideas.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

P.S. Japanese sci-fi has had mechanical monsters battling their biological counterparts since the early ’70s. Heck, they even invented the word “mecha.” I wouldn’t blame them for peeing in the ocean where we get our shark sushi.

That ’50s Giant Spider

Posted in Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , on December 5, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Earth vs. The Spider

Earth vs. The Spider (1958) is classic ’50s giant bug movie, only this time they used a Hollywood spider instead of one of those stuffy off-Broadway insects.

Two teens in love (i.e., horny) wander into the Carlsbad Caverns and happen upon some human skeleton bones and trawler net-sized webbing to capture those needing their flesh removed. With all that love going on, it isn’t long before the giant spider within straps on the food bag. It comes out of hiding and makes a horrendous screeching and sci-fi sound, just like my vacuum cleaner when I try and suck up silverware/robot parts. Unfortunately, they escape unharmed.

Earth vs. The Spider

Informing the town’s sheriff who thinks the teens are hopped up on goofers (drugs and/or hormones), half the police department is sent to the cave and sees for themselves. Yep – giant spider, just like they hysterically indicated. Much running and screaming at this point. It’s decided to spray the eight-legged tank with some DDT. Personally, I would’ve opted for 700 gallons of Raid™, but hey, their town, their rules.

Earth vs. The Spider

The spider is thought to be killed after the hosing, so they get the bright idea to haul the carcass back to town and put it in the school’s gymnasium. How they got it through the doors only the principal can say.

Earth vs. The Spider

The students aren’t that impressed with a giant dead spider in their school and set about having a sock hop dance with a wild band playing what would later become hippie music. The crunchy grooves and gyrating pelvises wake up the spider and it’s time to do some grocery shopping.

Earth vs. The Spider

With much fanfare the spider makes its way back to the cave where officials (rednecks with guns) seal the arachnid hole with dynamite. Aw, geez – the same two teens are trapped inside with the beast, who by now has snack-man fever. (Hey kids, get a room, for crying out loud.)

Earth vs. The Spider

An easily implementable plan is devised to drill through the top of the caverns, snake long wires attached to a utility pole outside, get on either side of the spider with hand-held electrons and zap that multi-legged suck face, thereby rescuing the drill-seeking teenagers.

Earth vs. The Spider

Thankfully, someone had the sense to wear rubber gloves before turning on the juice, or Spidey would’ve had himself a nice char-broiled teen burger dinner. And the kids? Why, they became your parents. I thought you knew that.

Drunk Dinosaur

Posted in Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , on December 3, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Reptilicus

Despite looking like a pension drunk dinosaur puppet with wings, skin that’s as tough as Godzilla’s dickey (a faux shirt front worn under the jacket that looks quite stylish with powder blue tuxedos), and the ability to DUI fly, Reptilicus (1962) is quite badass.

Reptilicus

That he can regenerate himself from any chunk blown off during an exchange of military fire, makes ’Tilicus one durable city-wrecker. Oh, yeah – he can also shoot cartoon green acid glop from his frozen snarl. Again, badass.

Reptilicus

Miners making holes in the ground unearth (or “dig up”) a section of Reptilicus’ tail. Cool – something for the mantle. Once the tail thawed, it reformed itself into the aforementioned giant drunk monster. From there it goes on a party binge in Copenhagen, being that one ass hat of a guest who wouldn’t leave.

Reptilicus

Reptilicus was not played by a man in a rubber suit or computer-generated, which means he’s a puppet whose strings and patience are being yanked. Scientists figure out how to poison the monster long enough for the military to ’86 poor misunderstood Reptilicus and… Wait – did I just see his unharmed foot fall into the sea? PARTY!

Reptilicus

Volcano Zombies

Posted in Evil, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Volcano Zombies

On the surface, the upcoming Volcano Zombies (2014) sounds like a reasonable excuse for me to lay on the couch in a perpendicular manner for 90 minutes or so.

Then I started over thinking it.

Before I goon out, here’s the plot: “A sheriff must help an estranged family evacuate before a volcano erupts, at the same time fighting off a horde of lava-filled zombies brought to life by the cursed mountain.”

Too many questions…

• Why was the family estranged?

• What does “estranged” mean?

• Why does a sheriff have to help out? Why can’t a motorcycle cop or a detective?

• Why was everyone living so close to a live volcano as to be needing evacuating?

• Why is volcano cursed?

• Who cursed it? Does he/she/it have a vendetta against all things pyroclastic flow?

As for the lava-filled zombies, I’m OK with that. I already parked my brain at the door when I read that part, so all good here.

Sharp Dressed Werewolf

Posted in Classic Horror, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Werewolves with tags , , , , , , on November 26, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Werewolf

After a car crash leaves Duncan unable to order one more drink, two “doctors” fix him up with a shot of werewolf juice. I tried finding a liquor store that carried said beverage, but was unsuccessful. It’s just not fair.

Duncan, though, loses his memory and escapes, only to end up in a bar in a small mountain town. Completely distraught, he wanders the streets, only to be mugged by someone needing a drink more than him. (It wasn’t me, I swear.)

The Werewolf

Alas, the criminal bit off more than he could chew because Duncan wolfs up and rips the bad guy’s neck off. Now Duncan has bit off more than he can chew. Heh.

The Werewolf

Since it’s a mountain town, there’s snow. And where’s there’s snow there’s trackable tracks. But what the hey – the trackings go from stylish shoes to…wolf shoes! Only two of ’em, which indicates the suspect was walking upright. (Whew – that lets me off the hook.)

The Werewolf

Duncan, coming out of it and freezing his exterior off, makes his way back into town and visits the local doctor who wants to calm him down by hooking him up with some sweet meds. Not a chance – Duncan’s paranoia is nearing meltdown, so he runs back out into the woods. By now everyone knows Hairy D is behind the attacks and a posse (or “Texas mosh pit”) is called into action.

The Werewolf

He’s not hard to find because he’s wearing a suit. How many werewolves in the woods wear off the rack Brooks Brothers™? Heck, it’s just a process of elimination at that point. The sight of Duncan running away from the cops with his tie flapping in the wind is outright awesome.

The Werewolf

That the lighting in The Werewolf (1956) changes from night to day – often in the same scene – and the fact there’s snow, then not, shouldn’t keep you from watching this nearly 60 year-old camp horror classic. And if you know a store where I can find some werewolf juice, don’t be a dick and not tell me, ’k?

Dirt-y Horror

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Giant Monsters, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , on November 22, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Unearthed

Something ate an entire Indian tribe 500 years ago. And it’s highly doubtful whatever did it flossed its teeth afterward. But that something has just been “unearthed” and is hungry again.

Unearthed

Way out in the desert an archaeologist with a tattooed face is tracking this “thing.” The town’s sheriff is a supermodel brunette whose drinking herself into the dirt because of an f’d up bust that resulted in a little girl’s death. And another supermodel Native American is a scientist who, with the help of a microscope, determines that the DNA of this “thing” has been eating people, plants and animals since the Jurassic Park days (the point in time, not the movie).

Unearthed

When the monster shows itself it’s a near photocopy of the Alien. Are there no other monster ideas out there? Movie makers are more than welcome to use me as an example after a night of drinking myself into the dirt.

Unearthed

Guns don’t stop that thing, but uranium might. Good thing in that really small desert town they have equipment handy to extract the radioactive ore, distill it, put it in a syringe and get close enough to the monster to inject it.

Unearthed

Most of the action in Unearthed (2007) is done in the dark and you can’t see who’s getting their guts opened for public display. This was probably to keep the creature from being seen in its plagiaristic glory so you’d watch the rest of the movie. But hey, if you wanna waste 93 minutes, that’s your call.

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