Archive for August, 2012

A Poor Man’s King Kong

Posted in Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild with tags , , on August 19, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Mighty Gorga

Don’t invite King Kong over to your house to watch The Mighty Gorga (1969) as he’ll be extreme pissed at seeing himself re-cast as a costumed gorilla with a plastic face, to say nothing of the tagline: “The Greatest Horror Monster Alive.” (Legally, they could claim that at the time; most giant horror monsters were killed or died in half in the line of duty, their leftover fur being used to make blankets, bathroom rugs and evening wear.)

The Mighty Gorga

Mark Remmington, broke circus owner, needs to capture Gorga, the other mythical giant ape, in order to exploit for profit and an economic boost in cotton candy sales. Looking to hook up with Tonga Jack (man, that sounded weird), Mark discovers Tonga has been missing during a safari and is presumed killed by a giant gorilla, and that the animal compound is run by his beautiful daughter. You could say she’s the “gorilla my dreams.” (I never get tired of using that joke.)

The Mighty Gorga

They team up to capture Gorga, but are almost derailed by a dinosaur attack. (Actually, it’s a plastic toy someone is waving around. Still pretty dangerous, though; Gorga could choke on that thing.) Gorga, thinking this is being rude to the jungle visitors, leaps out of the woods and gives the dinosaur some “dino-sores.” Heh. (I’m surprised Gorga even saw the prehistoric reptile, as he appears to be severely cross-eyed. And where are you gonna find an optometrist in an African jungle at this hour?)

The Mighty Gorga

To distract you from the fighting toys, Morgan, a rival trapper with criminal intentions, shows up to stop Mark and April from catching Gorga before he does. Does Morgan succeed? I rooted for him. No one else did, though. Toy dinosaurs (with perfect teeth) and one of the all-time worst giant gorillas to ever stink up the jungle, The Mighty Gorga is so stunningly bad, it might very well be the Citizen Kane (1941) of crap.

Spanish Bigfoot

Posted in Bigfoot, Foreign Horror, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild with tags , , , on August 18, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Woodsman

A real outdoorsman with an idea to make a found footage Bigfoot movie. I know there are lots of people out there who like these crappily made-on-the-cheap hand-held camera movies. I am not one of them. You have to sit through a bunch of jittery camera work, a bunch of screaming, and a “something” causing the screaming, just to be let down in the end. I only know of one such movie as this that didn’t wreck my life: Cloverfield (2008).

So now we get The Woodsman, with Mauro Bosque, an adventurer/survivalist with a video camera, exploring the caves of Belize (that over-priced tourist destination), where it is thought that a bunch of Mayan warriors used to shack up there. (Judging by all the empty ancient beer cans laying around, all signs point to yes.)

The Woodsman

Like all experienced survivalists, Mauro gets lost and ends up on the wrong side of town…where Bigfoot lives. Bigfoot no like people with cameras. And as Mauro records his quest for Hombre Y Tierra (Earth Dude), his Internet-based reality show, he gets the pant-filling time of his life.

The trailer has a lot of Mauro shaking and making white knuckle pee shiver expressions into the camera as rocks come flying out of nowhere, his tent being shaken and a growling shadowy something. Yep, it’s The Hair Witch Project.

I hope Bigfoot craps in that wimp’s sleeping bag.

Giant Squid vs. Giant Octopus: The Ultimate PPV

Posted in Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , on August 17, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Calamari Wrestler

In what could very well be the greatest sports sci-fi movie ever, a pro wrestler who died from an intestinal blockage was reincarnated as a giant squid in wrestling tights. Typing that last sentence made so happy.

Just wanting to be loved, Calamari (his new ring name) challenges Taguchi, Japan’s wrestling superstar to a match. (You can just smell a pay-per-view brewing.) Even though Taguchi manages to turn himself into a giant octopus for the one-fall, Calamari wins, thereby disgracing Taguchi and stealing ’guchi’s girlfriend. Ouch.

The Calamari Wrestler

But not everyone is a fan of the new champ. Ambushed while shopping with his lady, Calamari is beaten into shashimi by Squilla Boxer, a huge sea bug with a claw and a boxing glove.

Squilla’s punch is lethal, so the formerly shamed Taguchi helps Calamari train for the New Year’s Eve Seafood Smackdown. “The feng shui is terrible at the Tokyo Dome,” argues Calamari. “Let’s wrestle at the Ultra Super Deluxe Arena.” 

The Calamari Wrestler

It’s on now – boasting the highest PPV in history, the two wrestlers go tentacle-to-tentacle, with Calamari ripping Squilla’s arms off and beating him with them. But the match is only a clever plot device for one of the most incredible story turns ever told, along with a surprise twist ending that will make you cry, cheer and/or hug something. Says the promoter with tears in his eyes, “Be they men or squids, they’re still pro wrestlers.” Amen to that.

The Calamari Wrestler

Aliens vs. Submarines and Hot Air Balloons

Posted in Aliens, Evil, Giant Monsters, Science Fiction, TV Vixens, UFOs with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Atomic Submarine

The USS Nautilus was the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine. She was the first vessel to complete a submerged transit beneath the North Pole on August 3, 1958. (I don’t know why they refer to submarines and boats as “she.” The chicks I know look more like hot air balloons than submergible war craft. I am, of course, referring to their BOOBIES, not those round mounds of get down in da back.)

Filmmakers, seeing an opportunity to mix art with life, made The Atomic Submarine (1959), and used the Nautilus as a business model. To wit…

1968. It was the future back then. Submarines carrying paying passengers were being blown up as they sailed under the Arctic Circle. A butt-hole UFO was responsible. So the atomic-powered U.S.S. Tigershark is sent to “eliminate” the problem.

The Atomic Submarine

Arriving at the North Pole, sure enough, there’s that butt-hole UFO being all elusive and emitting electricity. Real war footage is used to make you believe the sub was kicking ass. And it did.

The best part is when the sub – stuffed with nuclear warheads – decides to ram the UFO…and it gets stuck. This allowed the sub commander and three crew members to board the saucer, where they encounter a giant talking eye with tentacles and crud all over it. In a voice made for FM radio, it tells of the plan to colonize Earth. (I hate aliens, but I like where they’re head is at. ) The commander has a very Earth-like response to that: a bullet to the blinker.

The Atomic Submarine

Afterward, he’s the only one that needs a ride back to the sub as the other casualties of war had their faces melted off. Only at the end of the movie does the flying saucer head for the skies, only to be blown out of ’em by a missile loaded with extra Uncle Sam. Oh, yeah, the UFO was at the Arctic Circle for a reason – it was stealing the Earth’s magnet juice. Damn that butt-hole UFO to Hell.

The stunning Joi Lansing, sporting two of the nicest hot air balloons, has an impactful two-minute cameo, during which she gets power-smooched by a sailor. Go Navy.

Joi Lansing

Killer Gnomes

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Misc. Horror, Slashers with tags , , , on August 14, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Killer Gnome

Other than the annoying garden gnome in those Travelocity™ commercials, you don’t normally see those little scamps in horror movies. And for good reason – THEY’RE DUMB. How could a ceramic/plastic/wooden protector of petunias invoke enough dread to be featured in its own horror film? I suppose you could make it cannibalistic. But that seems so knee-jerk. Leprechauns, their fellow country men, are far more marketable, as evidenced by the Leprechaun movie franchise, which made a pot of gold at the box office, albeit not a bit pot.

As proof that we’re running out of things to turn into evil and slay us, the upcoming horror movie Killer Gnome looks to reverse the trend: “Life is going along pretty well for Brad and Penny until Brad brings home a smiling garden gnome. According to legend, the gnome will protect their garden, but this gnome is different. An innocent gift turns into a murderous nightmare as the pint-sized killer takes protecting the garden to a terrifying, relentless extreme.”

Sounds DUMB.

The Gnomemobile

There was, however, a killer gnome movie musical made back in 1967 by Disney called The Gnome-Mobile. And it was a gory one, too. An aging lumber tycoon Irish millionaire with an f’d up snore discovers a legion of ancient gnomes (who pre-dated Smurfs) living in his forest. Rounding up the townsfolk at minimum wage (hey, you don’t get rich signing checks) he arms everyone with chainsaws, weedwhackers, pitchforks, and machine guns to route out the singing and dancing pestilence.

The Gnomemobile

Beards and heads get lopped off. Pitchforks poke out eyes as though toothpicked olives on a party platter. One gnome gets strapped to a buzz saw table and gets split in half, his dying screams drowned out the commercial-grade blade’s zing. Those that survive the slaughter are eaten alive by rabid raccoons, their flesh being torn off like strips of teriyaki beef jerky. In all, the violently bloodiest movie Disney ever put out. And hey, it had a catchy soundtrack, too!

OK, I didn’t see the movie, so all of that may not have happened. Be cool if it did, though. That would’ve shown those stupid gnomes.

Vintage Alligator People

Posted in Classic Horror, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Scream Queens, TV Vixens with tags , , , , on August 12, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Alligator People

Been on a retro alligator horror movie kick lately. Probably because I saw an alligator last week in the supermarket. It was doing some shopping. I could tell by the grocery cart it was pushing around. Loaded with zebra legs, it was.

Another one I reviewed back in the day (with lots of typos and grammatical errors) was 1959’s The Alligator People. Just the title alone was worth the price of admission. I ask, who wouldn’t want to see alligator people? You’d have to be a PETA member or a jealous crocodile not to.

Here’s how I originally reviewed The Alligator People, but with the typos and word barf cleaned up a bit (I’ve sinced learned how to speak and spell way more lots better)…

The Alligator People

When newlywed Paul Webster got off the train during a short stop that was taking him and his new “about to be horizontally power smooched” wife on their honeymoon, it wasn’t to have a smooth and satisfying smoke. It was so he could turn into a half man/half alligator dude. Let me make this clear – the train company does NOT refund your ticket in cases like this.

The as yet un-power smooched wife spends the next several years looking for Paul, which would’ve been a complete waste of time, until she discovers he’s still alive and living rent free in a bog on his family’s plantation property. A little icky, a tad stinky, but a sweet deal all the same.

The Alligator People

Years earlier, Paul was mangled into man macaroni in a plane crash. But a serum injected into his meat cage rejuvenated him so he could get back in the game. The serum, though, had side effects, one that was slowly turning him into a handsome reptile. Most experimental serums do that. It’s on the label. So now Paul needs a constant dose of a cobalt rays to keep him from laying his eggs on river banks and eating unsuspecting waders.

As a reptile hybrid, Paul is one of the coolest monsters of the sci-fi ’50s. Too bad his wife wasn’t down with that. But then, women have always had an aversion to scales. Heh.

Vintage Giant Alligator

Posted in Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Misc. Horror, Nature Gone Wild with tags , , , on August 11, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Alligator

Caught this one again recently on late night TV, that fast becoming obsolete thing you can’t carry around in your pocket.

Alligator, a lurid little piece of horror excrement, uh, excitement, came out in 1980. I reviewed it a while ago elsewhere, but you may not have seen it. Not sure how that happened; I sent each and every one of you a neatly typed review (double-spaced, of course) and mailed ’em directly to your better homes and gardens. Stupid post office never gets anything right.

AlligatorA 36-foot alligator named Ramone lives in the Missouri sewer system and eats people who work in those Midwestern sh*t-holes. I have three questions: Since when do giant alligators turn up in Missouri? How did the person who named the alligator come up with “Ramone”? Lastly, how big was the toilet they used to flush Ramone into the sewer?

There’s some sort of plot involving a detective, the mayor and a few other walking snacks. But none of that matters as Alligator is one of the chewier overgrown reptile movies of its era.

Ramone looks pretty darn real to me. Enough so that I turned down the job of Missouri sewer supervisor. Hey, where there’s one Ramone, there’s probably another.

A Cadaver Christmas

Posted in Classic Horror, Misc. Horror, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , on August 10, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

A Cadaver Christmas

Another zombie movie. Sigh. I’ve come to the depressing conclusion that movies about the living dead simply won’t die. How’s that for irony?

In the vein of Shaun of the Dead (2004) comes A Cadaver Christmas, pitting ordinary schlubs (janitor, cop, local drunk) against an army of the walking dead. “With its winning combination of gags and gore, the movie has all the makings of a future cult classic,” promotes Sheldon Brigman, EVP of Acquisitions for Level 33 Entertainment, the company responsible for adding another zombie log to the fire. Cult classic? Really? I’ve seen the trailer – dream on, Aerosmith.

A Cadaver Christmas

The plot: “This Grindhouse inspired film centers on an unlikely group of misfits united by terrifying and bizarre circumstances. Led by a school janitor, this motley crew must fight an army of undead cadavers who have been given the gift of life by a sinister professor. The unconventional band of heroes becomes the world’s only hope against a multitude of living corpses that are quickly recruiting new members.”

A Cadaver Christmas

Is this the only plot available to filmmakers of zombie movies these days? It’s always an unlikely group of someones fighting their way through an army of the undead. Why can’t they have a small band of zombies fighting off an army of the living for a change? Geez, people – grow some originality.

A Cadaver Christmas

Because it’s a Christmas movie, they’re releasing it in October, 2012. The 9th, in case you get bored enough to check it out. And hey, A Cadaver Christmas will be available on DVD, Video On Demand, and all digital platforms. I bear no ill will towards this film. I’d just rather spend my movie money on something I haven’t seen before, like robot cheerleaders battling space werewolves. I guess I’ll have to go to Japan for that.

I remember when Christmas used to be exciting. Now Groundhog’s Day is my go-to holiday. Let’s see them ruin that with a movie and… Oh, crap.

Fine Horror As Fine Art

Posted in Aliens, Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Slashers, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

NY Giants

Have you ever had a hot dog so good, you wanted the autograph from the cow it came from? (That’s a joke – hot dogs come from goats.) And even though it makes little sense, I feel the same way about the fine arts. I’m a sucker for Rembrandt garage sale flyers, bawdy Shakespeare haikus and Picasso graffiti. As such, I’m a big fan of contemporary art, the stepchild of all the above.

My latest art obsessions are with several works by several artists, doing things with digital paint brushes and applying them to the interpretations of horror and sci-fi.

Up first is a genius piece by the brilliant Tom Whalen titled “New York Giants,” which depicts a vintage Godzilla as well as the sucky 1998 version, the Cloverfield Monster, Q, King Kong, and even the Stay Puft™ Marshmallow Man.  How rock is that? I’ll tell you – it’s double rock!

Pan's Labyrinth

Next up is a 3-D collage interpretation of Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) by John Rozum. A stunning take on the underrated dark Mexican fantasy, which was creepy, brutal, icky (in parts) and downright masterful, the way a freshly poured beer can be.

Sesame StreetThen we have an Isaac Bidwell piece he calls “Puppet Massacre,” re-casting popular characters from the enduring children’s show, Sesame Street™ as horror icons. Big Bird as Pinhead from Hellraiser is my favorite. If these were the way those characters were portrayed when I was a kind, then I wouldn’t have turned out to be such an annoying upstanding citizen I am today. Curse you, Sesame Street™.

Beetlejuice

Andrew Wilson’s remarkable Beetlejuice inspired art reminds us all of the fragility of nature and that we should all not litter or pee in the ocean ’n stuff.

Robocop 'n Friends

Not sure who did this last one. Whoever did should get a gold Olympic medal and some free stuff for its colorful depiction of They Live, Robocop, Alien, Back To The Future, Star Wars and that omnipotent Stay Puft™ Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. I bet it’s suitable for framing.

I urge you all to become patrons of the arts – and not to pee in the ocean. At least not while I’m swimming in it. I thank you.

Mutants in a Basket

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Slashers with tags , , , , on August 7, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Basket Case

As story arcs go, you really can’t go wrong with Grey’s Anatomy or the Basket Case trilogy. You have mutants, hookers, medical malpractice, ’70s Brady Bunch hairstyles, family bonding, some bare bottoms… Throw in a few bottles of the good stuff and you have the Great American Novel, but in movie form. (I’ve said it before – books are for people who don’t have TVs.)

If you haven’t seen it (what the hello kitty is wrong with you?), Basket Case, which came out in 1982, became an insta-midnight movie classic, depicting two brothers on a quest for revenge – one handsome with a huge body scar, the other looking like the gunk left in the bottom of an overheated lava lamp.

Basket Case

Basket Case 2 followed in 1990 and found that the brothers had survived the tragic end of the first movie. (Don’t worry – I’m not gonna wreck it for you. There are lots of other films I can spoil.) Hiding out in a home for wayward freaks, their solitude is interrupted by tabloid journalists who chase them down like dogs. Yes, dogs.

Then there’s Basket Case 3: The Progeny, which came out in 1991, but is only now being released on DVD. (Note to DVD overlords: what the heck took so long? Quit dickin’ around and make this stuff happen faster. Please.) In Basket Case 3, Belial, the mutated brother, knocks up his girlfriend and gives birth to… (I really want to tell you what, but it would just ruin your day. Yes, ruin.)

That’s pretty much it in a basket. But for those who need a bit more info before rushing over to Netflix™ to stream it, here’s the movie that started all the mutated fun…

Basket Case

Duane, a small town hick, shows up in the tainted beauty of New York’s 42nd Street with a large basket under his arm. Getting drunk with a hooker in a bar even I probably wouldn’t go into, she finally asks, “So…what’s in the basket?” To which he drunkenly giggles, “My brother!”

It’s true – Duane is carrying around the mutated, mashed potato turd lump of his twin brother, separated without consent by doctors who thought it was not cool to have a mutated mashed potato turd lump hanging off one’s body. Belial, Duane’s “face and not much else” brother are on a quest: to track down those doctors and kill them.

Basket Case Duane and Belial share a telepathic link, which comes in handy at times, except not when Duane is trying to score with a nurse. There are so many legendary and funny scenes (Belial hiding in the toilet is one of ’em), you’re doing yourself a great disservice by not watching Basket Case. Yes, great disservice.