drama, movie, movie review, thriller

January 24th, 2018 Movie – The Teacher (1974)

the teacher (1974)

We go from a classic sci-fi movie to the height of the drive-in exploitation era. Today’s movie touches on a subject that is as much a popular subject of porn movies, as it sadly is a common occurrence in real life. I am curious which came first; was it the actual teachers getting caught fooling around with students that inspired movie makers to make movies on the subjects, or did teachers/students see the movies and decide to try it in real life. Either way, this theme constantly pops up in movies, from big budget films to low budget B-movies and especially porn. Today’s movie is one that probably got a lot of play in drive-ins so let’s see if this is as bad as I expect it to be as I watch today’s movie, The Teacher (1974).

The plot: Ralph Gordon is setting up some items at an abandoned warehouse on the docks before driving off and stopping at a across the street from a nearby high school. When class gets out, he stares at one of the teachers, Diane Marshall, as she talks with some of her students, including Ralph’s younger brother Lou. Ralph gets jealous when most of the students leave and Diane focuses her attention on the one remaining student, Sean Roberts, but Sean eventually leaves with Lou and Diane heads home, with Ralph following her and parking down the street so he can watch her house. When Diane leaves the house, Ralph starts following her again but she notices him and pulls over to try and confront him only to have Ralph continue driving past her. Ralph heads to the warehouse and watches as Diane heads to the harbor and gets in her boat, piloting it out onto the ocean, where she starts sunbathing topless. Suddenly, Ralph hears a motorcycle and curses when he sees Lou and Sean show up so he quickly stashes his binoculars in his chest and grabs a bayonet before hiding. Lou and Sean enter the warehouse and Sean is worried that Ralph might catch them there but Lou says not to worry and heads up to the top floor. Heading to his brother’s chest, he grabs the binoculars and looks out at the water to see Diane still topless, heading out onto the nearby fire escape balcony for a better look. As the two boys pass the binoculars between them and talk about their teacher, Ralph approaches them and yells at them, startling the two boys and causing Lou to fall from a hole in the balcony to the street below. Seeing his brother die, the unstable Ralph blames Sean for Lou’s death and attempts to kill him but Sean manages to get away. Later that night, Sean returns home and gets into an argument with his dad, Joe, before heading to his room to get ready for bed. As he is changing, he hears a noise outside and opens his window to find Ralph standing outside. Ralph tells him that the sheriff is on his way and warns him not to say anything or else he will cut out his tongue. When the sheriff arrives, he starts asking Sean some questions about Lou but Sean sees Ralph watching him from some bushes and he lies about being with Lou that afternoon, saying they had argued and Lou had dropped him off outside of town. A couple of days later, Sean rides his bike over to Diane’s house so he can pass along his mother’s, Alice, invitation to lunch and Diane starts flirting with him and invites him inside but Sean gets flustered and says he has to head back home. When he gets home, Sean starts working on his van when Bonnie and Margaret, two other women that Sean’s mother invited, show up followed shortly by Diane. As the women lounge around the pool, with Bonnie going swimming, Diane and Margaret end up getting into an argument regarding Diane’s husband, who had left her a year ago, and Margaret leaves, taking Bonnie with her. Alice has Sean join her and Diane by the pool and Sean and Diane end up goofing off while Alice fixes some lunch. Afterwards, Sean asks if he can borrow his mom’s car to get some parts for his van and when he says he wants to get some paneling, Diane says she has some in her garage that he can use. Sean and Diane head over to her house and when they get there, they see Ralph pull up and tell Sean that he will be waiting for him at the warehouse. When Diane asks what that was about, Sean says that Ralph is crazy and they head inside her house, where Diane offers Sean a beer. As they are talking, Diane asks Sean to kiss her, which he does but he gets flustered afterwards and heads out to look at the paneling. Diane goes to take a shower and when she is finished, she calls out to Sean and after talking with him for a while, she starts kissing him again and ends up seducing him into having sex. As they are laying there afterwards, Diane invites Sean to go out on her boat with her the next day and Sean eagerly agrees. The next day, Ralph sees them heading out on the boat and he dons a wetsuit and swims out to the boat. On the boat, Sean and Diane have sex and when they finish, they prepare to head onto the deck to eat lunch when they see Ralph there with a harpoon but, when he sees Diane, he quickly dives back into the water and swims away. The next day, Sean is working on his van when he keeps seeing Ralph staring at him then disappearing, freaking Sean out. Alice, who had gone over to Diane’s, calls to invite him to lunch with her and Diane but Sean declines, but Diane gets on the phone and invites Sean to dinner, which he accepts. As Sean and Diane head to dinner, Joe argues with Alice at their house about how it looks for Sean to be going out with a married man and Alice tells him that Diane is divorcing her husband and that Sean is 18 and needs to learn how to do things himself. Back at the restaurant, Sean and Diane get into the car and start kissing but as they go to leave, they see Ralph standing in front of the car. Ralph yells out that he just wants Sean and Sean gets out of the car to confront him but when Ralph pulls out the bayonet to try and stab him, Diane screams, startling Ralph enough to allow Sean to push him down and get back in the car so they can leave. When they get back to Sean’s house, Alice and Joe ask what happened to Sean and Diane tells them that Ralph had attacked him. Joe wants to call the sheriff but Sean says to stop, then comes clean about what happened the day Lou died, apologizing to Diane for spying on her. Joe still wants to call the sheriff but Alice says they should wait a day and talk to her brother, who is a lawyer, before calling the police and Joe reluctantly agrees. The next day, Joe and Alice drive off to see Alice’s brother and as soon as they leave, Diane shows up at Sean’s house and ends up convincing him to come back to her place. They drive their in Sean’s van and head out to the pool but while they are in back, Ralph sneaks into Sean’s van to wait for him. Sean and Diane end up having sex and afterwards, admit they love each other and Sean tries to convince Diane to marry him when he is done with college. Hearing the phone ringing and thinking it is his parents, Sean answers the phone only to discover it is Russ, Diane’s husband. Russ talks with Sean for a few minutes, telling him he is coming home in a few days, before Diane gets on the phone with Russ. Feeling dejected, Sean heads out to his van and prepares to head home but Ralph grabs him and holds the bayonet to his throat, then has him drive out to the warehouse. Diane tells Russ that she is divorcing him and hangs up, then goes looking for Sean but when she heads outside, she notices Ralph’s car down the street and quickly gets in her car and heads to the warehouse, fearing the worst. At the warehouse, Ralph puts a collar on Sean, threatening to choke him if he does anything stupid, but when his attention is turned away, Sean manages to get out of Ralph’s grip and head up to Ralph’s chest and grabs Ralph’s rifle. When Ralph approaches him, Sean tries to shoot him but Ralph says the gun is filled with blanks, then chokes Sean to death when he tries to escape. Diane appears at the warehouse and starts calling out to Sean so Ralph disguises his voice and lures her upstairs. When she gets there, Ralph confronts her and says he killed Sean so they could be together. Diane gets him to drop the bayonet and Ralph tries to have sex with her but Diane is able to grab the bayonet and stab him with it. As Ralph bleeds to death, Diane goes looking for Sean and finds his body on the balcony, where she starts crying over the death of her lover.

Yeh, this is about what I expected it to be. The acting was ok, with Anthony James doing a great job playing the creepy Ralph, who was probably suffering from some sort of PTSD, which nobody really talked about back then. Angel Tompkins was pretty good as Diane but Jay North was honestly a little stiff (no pun intended) as Sean. The story was good, mixing the teacher/student romance with the drama of Ralph’s stalking and blaming Sean for Lou’s death. The drama was pretty good but some of the “love-making” scenes were pretty corny, as were some of the setups leading to them. It’s not the worst movie to show up in a drive-in, but not exactly one worth seeing either.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Standard
horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

January 23rd, 2018 Movie – Tarantula

tarantula

Today is starting to be a great day as I get to start with one of the great classic sci-fi movies. I remember seeing this movie on TV when I was a kid and honestly thought it was great. Everytime it came on during one of the weekend movie marathons the TV channels used to have, I would always watch it, no matter which part of the movie it was at. Of course, watching this movie got me interested in watching other giant bug movies so I would always go looking for them, renting them at the video store when I got older. But for now, let’s get on with today’s movie, Tarantula.

The plot: In the Arizona desert, a severely disfigured man is stumbling around before he collapses and dies. Some time later, Dr. Matt Hastings returns to the small town of Desert Rock and when he is contacted by Sheriff Jack Andrews and asked to come over. When he gets to the sheriff’s office, Jack explains that they found a body in the desert that looks like Eric Jacobs, a biologist working for Professor Gerald Deemer, but there is something about the face that is making him question the identity. Matt heads over to the mortuary with Jack and when he looks at the body, says he can’t be Eric because the disease he has, acromegaly, takes years to develop. Deemer enters the mortuary and when he looks at the body, says it is Jacobs and tells Matt that he did suffer from acromegaly. The sheriff wants to have an autopsy performed but Deemer says it isn’t necessary and that he will take care of the funeral arrangements. After he leaves, Jack and Matt argue over his explanations for what happened to the body. Deemer returns to his home, where he has his lab set up, and continues his experiments with a radioactive isotope, which has resulted in the massive growth of the animals he tested it on, such as rats, guinea pigs, and a tarantula. As Deemer goes to inject a monkey with the isotope, his other assistant Paul Lund, who is also disfigured due to acromegaly, attacks him. As they struggle, they destroy part of the lab and the tarantula manages to escape it’s cage and head outside. Paul knocks Deemer unconscious and injects him with the syringe full of the isotope that Deemer had prepared, then starts to walk away before he collapses and dies. Deemer regains consciousness and puts out the fires in his lab, the buries the man’s body and the dead animals before cleaning up. A few days later, Matt is talking with Jack about his suspicions over Deemer’s handling of Jacob’s body when they are approached by Joe Burch, the town newspaper reporter, who questions them about Jacob’s death. As Matt returns to his office, he meets Stephanie “Steve” Clayton, who is trying to get a ride to Deemer’s lab and he offers to take her there as he was going to head out there himself and the drive off but as they make their way through the desert, they don’t see the tarantula, which has grown larger, walking along the desert behind them. When they get to Deemer’s lab, they find Joe interviewing Deemer about Jacobs’ death and Matt helps Deemer end the interview. Deemer is then introduced to Steve, who says that she was invited to serve as Jacobs assistant and Deemer says he remembers Jacobs saying she was coming and would understand if she doesn’t want to stay now. Deemer then shows Matt and Steve his lab, explaining the damage as a result of an electrical panel shorting out and starting the fire. He then shows them the radioactive isotope and explains how he is working on using it to create a super food that could help solve world hunger due to over population. Matt tells Deemer that he still has some questions regarding Jacobs’ death and Deemer says that he was emotional before due to the death of his friend but he will allow Matt to perform an autopsy. Matt performs the autopsy and finds nothing unusual about Jacobs’ death, as it was exactly as Deemer said, and Jack chastises him for wasting people’s time just to try and prove he is right. After a few days working in Deemer’s lab, Steve heads into town to run some errands and meets up with Matt. The two start talking and Steve tells Matt about the work they are doing in the lab and invites him to take a look at it. As they are driving, they stop at a large rock formation to take in the desert but a sudden rock slide causes them to run for cover. Steve wants to leave and they get back in the car and head off, not noticing the tarantula, crawling up on the top of the rocks. When they get to Deemer’s lab, they don’t see Deemer there and Steve shows Matt the test animals but is surprised by how much they have grown in the few hours that she was gone. Matt is called back into town and after he leaves, Steve is approached by Deemer, who chastises her for bringing Matt there without his permission. Steve expresses concern over Deemer’s face but he dismisses her, then looks into a mirror to see he is starting to show signs of acromegaly. Matt heads back to the rocks to see what caused the rock slide and is met by Jack, who invites him to go with him to check out a nearby rancher’s claim of something eating his livestock. When they get to the ranch, the ranch shows them the piles of bones, as well as a strange pool of liquid, and they can’t figure out what caused it. That night, the tarantula, now grown to enormous size, attacks the ranch again, killing a horse and the rancher, then heads down the road, where it throws a truck carrying some sheep off the road and proceeds to eat the sheep and the two men in the truck. The next day, Matt, Jack, and Joe are investigating the truck wreckage and they find the same pools of liquid there, and Jack says that the rancher was also killed the same as the people here, so Matt takes a sample of the liquid with him to analyze. In his office, Matt says that the liquid resembles insect venom, which both Jack and Joe scoff at, and Matt says they can have Deemer look at it to confirm it. Matt calls Deemer’s lab and Steve answers, telling Matt she is worried about Deemer, then screams when Deemer grabs the phone from her. Matt rushes over there and Steve meets him and tells him to quickly check on Deemer, who is fully suffering from acromegaly. Deemer then explains that Jacobs and Paul were getting impatient and decided to test the nutrient on themselves, which resulted in their acromegaly, and Paul, driven mad by what happened, decided to have Deemer suffer the same fate. Deemer then tells them about the animals he had which all perished in the fire, including the tarantula, and Matt gets an idea as to what is happening in the area. Matt flies to Phoenix with a sample of the venom and the professor there confirms that it is tarantula venom but the amoun Matt brought him was enough for 100 tarantulas, then scoffs when Matt says he found pools of the venom. Matt tries calling the town to warn them but the tarantula has knocked down the long distance phone lines so he flies back and tells Jack to call the state police and have them bring all the weapons they can to Deemer’s place. Meanwhile, the tarantula kills two homeless men before heading to Deemer’s lab, where it begins attacking the building. Deemer is killed by the roof collapsing on him but Steve manages to get outside, where she is met by Matt and they quickly drive off, with the tarantula following after them. Matt and Steve meet up with Jack and the state police and they all see the tarantula approaching them. Two officers armed with machine guns stay behind to try and hold the spider at bay while Jack and the others head back to evacuate Desert Rock but the officers are killed as the tarantula continues towards town. Radioing ahead to make sure the town is evacuated, they have someone meet them outside town with as much dynamite as they can find, then call the Air Force base and have them load the planes with napalm to use against the tarantula. Setting up the dynamite outside of town, the wait for the tarantula to reach it before blowing it up but the tarantula’s size prevents the dynamite from doing much damage to it. Matt and the others returns to the town and watch as the tarantula approaches, then start to cheer when they see the Air Force arrive. The jets begin to fire rockets at the tarantula and then switch to napalm, eventually burning the tarantula to death as Matt and the others look on in relief.

Tarantula met with high praise from the critics, holding a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to recognize the iconic status of the film in the realm of sci-fi. The spider that was used for this movie would also be used in another iconic sci-fi movie, The Incredible Shrinking Man. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $1.1 million at the box office, and, along with Them!, helped usher in the wave of giant bug movies in the 50’s.

This is probably the one of the most iconic sci-fi movies to come out of the 50’s and as ridiculous as it may seem by today’s standards, I still enjoy watching it. The acting was mostly good, with Leo G. Carroll doing a great job as Prof. Deemer and I liked John Agar (Matt) and Maria Corday (Steve), but felt that they appeared a little stiff at times. The story was good, doing a good job if introducing a radioactive element to the movie in a scientific way as opposed to just saying it is the result of a nuclear explosion or accident. The special effects were pretty good for the time, especially in regards to the make-up used to show the acromegaly, but there were a couple of times where the rear screening with the spider had it looking like it was walking on air instead of on the ground. Definitely a must watch movie for any sci-fi fan, and one that has to be acknowledged for it’s impact in the genre.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

Standard
action, comedy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

January 22nd, 2018 Movie – Tank Girl

tank girl

Ah, the fun of the Indie comic turned into a movie. Even in the mid-90’s, more and more studios were trying to make a go at making movie’s out of comic books. While the two big comic companies were always a big draw, the mid-90’s seemed to try making more movies off of some smaller comic book properties. Some of the movies, like The Crow and The Mask (1994) were successes, but some others didn’t fare as well. Today’s movie, Tank Girl, unfortunately falls into the later category but when it came out, I still had every intention of seeing it.

The plot: In 2033, the Earth is a barren wasteland due to a comet having struck the Earth in 2022, causing it to stop raining for 11 years.  Rebecca Buck (Tank Girl) is wandering the wasteland looking for a present for her boyfriend Richard when she comes across the remains of a Ripper attack on some Water & Power workers and scavenges what she can from them. Heading back to the compound where she lives, Rebecca goes to find Richard and starts to fool around with him until they are interrupted by Sam and another kid that live there. Meanwhile, Kesslee, the owner of W&P, is congratulating his men on the fact that they control 95% of the desert and the water it contains, but then chastises the captain in charge for failing to capture the last 5% before killing him by draining the water from his body, then putting Sgt. Small in charge. Back at the compound, Rebecca is on guard duty when Sam shows up and offers to get Rebecca some food in exchange for the “danger ball” that she found. Some time later, someone approaches Rebecca from behind and, thinking it is Richard, Rebecca starts teasing him by cutting holes in her stockings and ripping them. When she turns around, she discovers it is a W&P soldier, with more of them raiding the compound for stealing water. Rebecca manages to kill the soldier that surprised her and several others but is too late to prevent Sam from being taken and Richard killed. Rebecca is soon captured and the raid’s leader moves to kill her but stops, at the request of his men, and he shoots Rebecca’s ox instead. Rebecca is taken to W&P headquarters, where she is put to work digging new tunnels for the water pipes. Later, as she is showering off the dust, she helps out a female mechanic nicknamed Jet Girl, who is being sexually harassed by Small, by kissing her and saying she is her girlfriend. The next night, Rebecca decides to try and escape and, seeing a tank, decides to try and steal it but gets locked in when she sets off the security system. Rebecca is rescued by Jet and when Rebecca asks her to put in the security codes so they can escape, Jet tells her that the tank is not operational. Rebecca says they should just steal another tank but Jet tells her that nobody escapes W&P. The two are unaware that Kesslee and Small were watching them on a security feed and Small wants to kill them but Kesslee wants to continue to try and break Rebecca. Small approaches Jet as she is working on a jet and tells her that her flight status has been revoked and the hangar is now off limits to her. Kesslee places Rebecca in a freezer for a while before placing her in the pipe. When the Rippers attack another W&P outpost, Kesslee decides to have Rebecca search for their lair and has her brought out of the pipe. Taking her to the outpost’s remains, KEsslee has Rebecca tagged with a locator chip and has his men send her down into the subchamber they discovered but before she heads underground, Kesslee and his men are attacked by the Rippers. A W&P jet is flying nearby and the pilot sees the attack on his viewscreen but as he calls it in, Jet, who had stowed away, activates his ejection seat and sends him flying off, then takes over flying the jet. At the outpost, Rebecca has survived the attack and discovers Kesslee’s arm but no sign of the rest of him. She heads towards a tank when Jet arrives, happy to see her friend alive, and after saying they should leave, gives Rebecca the codes for the tank. The two head towards an old amusement park to hide out and as Rebecca is goofing around, she sees Sam’s Ripper statue, as well as the Doris Day bust she made for Rebecca. When the owner tries to capture them, Rebecca gets the upper hand on her and asks her where she got the statues. With the help of Jet’s lie detector, the force the woman to tell them what happened to Sam and Rebecca wants to go rescue her. Jet says they can’t go driving around in the W&P vehicles but the woman says they can use the items in her garage to modify them. Meanwhile, Kesslee has survived the attack, though his face has been gutted as well as his losing his arm. A cybernetics doctor named Chet’sai is brought in to replace the damaged parts with cybernetic versions. While this is occurring, Small tells Kesslee that Rebecca and Jet have taken the bait and Kesslee tells him to make sure they get Sam before they do. At Liquid Silver, the brothel that Sam is being held at, the owner sends Sam to a client that has a fetish for small girls. Sam manages to trick the pervert by having him set off the danger ball then makes a run for it, only to run into Rebecca. Rebecca tries to get Sam out of there but the owner sees them and has her guards attempt to capture them but stops when Jet shows up and holds a gun to her head. Deciding to have some fun, Rebecca forces the owner to start singing “Let’s Do It”, getting all of the dancers and crowd to join in, but the club is soon raided by Small and some W&P soldiers, who grab Sam and head back to their headquarters. Rebecca wants to rescue Sam but, realizing that it will take more than just her and Jet, she decides to try and track down the Rippers and enlist their help. Rebecca and Jet go looking for the Rippers and eventually find their sub-chamber only end up being captured. The Rippers dose the girls with nitrous oxide and start questioning them, but the girls are too stoned to answer anything seriously. One of the Rippers, T-Saint, wants to kill them as he thinks they are spies but some others, especially Booga and Donner, want to spare them, so the leader, Deetee, puts it to a vote and the girls end up spared. As they are held captive, Rebecca starts a friendship with Booga and learns that they are an army experiment to create super-soldiers by combining human and kangaroo DNA. When the war ended before they could be used, Johnny Prophet was told to kill them, as he was the one to create them, but he refused and took them out into the desert to live instead. When the Rippers get workd of a W&P shipment coming in, they decide to give the girls a test by having them confirm the shipment so they can figure out what to do. Rebecca and Jet head to the outpost and start taking some pictures of the crates but T-Saint wants further proof  so they pretend to be photographers shooting a men’s calendar in order to get closer to take pictures of the weapons inside the crates. T-Saint tells them to steal the crates to prove they aren’t spies so Rebecca and Jet do so but the brakes on the truck fail as it heads for a cliff. Rebecca manages to disengage the cab from the trailer but the trailer continues heading towards the edge of the cliff, with Rebecca still on it, when Booga shows up and grabs Rebecca, then jumps to safety with her. Back at the Ripper’s lair, Deetee holds a toast for the newest members of their community and Rebecca and Booga get closer to each other. The next day, the Rippers open the crates to find them filled with dirt except for the last one, which contains the body of Johnny Prophet, causing the Rippers to yell out in grief. Rebecca and Jet help the Rippers come up with a plan to attack the W&P headquarters, painting Jet’s jet back to it’s original colors and flying the Rippers inside the base while Rebecca heads there in her tank. Parasailing behind her tank, Rebecca storms the front gate and blows her way in while Jet manages to convince the air traffic control that they have a faulty plane and gets them inside one of the hangars. As the group meet up, the Rippers can hear that there are over a hundred soldiers massing to fight them. Deetee says that they fight better in the dark and when Jet says there are power boxes at the end of the corridor, Deetee sacrifices himself to take out the power box, throwing the base into darkness. Enraged at Deetee’s death, the Rippers begin attacking the soldiers while Rebecca goes to save Sam but she encounters Kesslee. Kesslee tells Rebecca that Sam is in the pipe, which is slowly filling with water, and he then grabs her and reveals that he had secretly had her bugged, meaning that he knew their plans the moment they made them. Rebecca manages to avoid him and knock him off the railing they are on, causing his cybernetic arm to get stuck. When Rebecca tries to knock him out, her fist goes right through his head and Kesslee reveals that his head is a holographic projection. Kesslee gets free and continues attacking Rebecca when her tank bursts through the wall, knocking him into a grate which gets electrified. With Kesslee trapped, Rebecca has her tank finish him off only to find out the tank is out of ammo. Rebecca gets inside and uses beer cans for ammo, which Kesslee is able to block, but she then uses them to dump a bucket of water on his head, temporarily shorting out his head. Rebecca approaches the disabled Kesslee and before he can do anything, places a water siphoning device on him and sucks all the water out of him. As the Rippers continue to kill the soldiers, Small decides to try and run but ends up being killed by Jet. Rebecca finds Sam and manages to get her out of the pipe but they find themselves surrounded by W&P soldiers. Suddenly, Booga appears and tells them that he took the bullets from their guns and Rebecca kisses him, saying that it was a great idea. In an animated sequence, Rebecca and the Rippers destroy W&P to allow the water to flow freely to everyone, with Rebecca driving her tank off a waterfall, with Booga skiing behind her.

Tank Girl met with mostly negative reviews from the critics, holding a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “While unconventional, Tank Girl isn’t particularly clever or engaging, and none of the script’s copious one-liners have any real zing.” Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett, the creators of “Tank Girl”, talked poorly about the experiences in making the movie, as well as all of the edits and scenes that were cut, including a scene of Rebecca and Booga reclining in bed after having sex, despite the fact that the studio spent $5000 on a prosthetic penis for the scene. The movie was a box office bomb, earning $6 million off of a $25 million budget.

This movie is crazy, ridiculous, and a lot of fun to watch. You know how you can see a character and immediately say, “This actor/actress would be perfect for this character?” That is exactly how I feel regarding Lori Petty and this role, as she was perfect as Tank Girl. I also liked Naomi Watts (Jet), Ice-T (T-Saint), and Jeff Kober (Booga) but I was kind of disappointed with Malcolm McDowell (Kesslee). I have honestly never read the Tank Girl comics so I don’t know how closely the movie follows them but the story itself was pretty entertaining, feeling a lot like a comic book in how the plot was laid out. The special effects were ok, though I wasn’t too impressed with the Ripper’s make-up, and I also liked the cut-aways that featured some artwork from the comics, which helped with the whole comic book feel of the movie. It is an entertaining movie and can be a lot of fun to watch due to it’s zaniness.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard
action, comedy, movie, movie review, sports

January 21st, 2018 Movie – Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

talladega nights

There are always going to be those movies that people will talk about or quote. Sometimes they are more dramatic or serious movies but usually, they tend to be comedies. That is definitely the case with today’s movie, as I know several people that like to quote various lines from this movie. My first introduction to this movie was not in theaters, but at a friends house after it came out on DVD, and was told to come watch it during a group movie night because it’s funnier with our friend Chris laughing at it (and I will admit his laugh is funny in it’s own right). Anyways, I enjoyed the movie and decided to pick up my own copy on DVD so let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby.

The plot: Years ago, Reese Bobby is speeding down the highway while his wife Lucy is going into labor. They pass the hospital because Reese is interested in driving faster and when he stops to turn around, Lucy ends up giving birth to their son, Ricky. 10 years later, Reese shows up at Ricky’s school for career day, making it the first time he has seen Ricky since he was born. After Reese is thrown out of the school, Ricky runs out after him and Reese tells Ricky, “If you aint first, you’re last.” before getting in his car and driving off. In the present day, Ricky Bobby and his best friend Cal Naughton Jr. are working on the pit crew for the Dennit Racing team. While racing in Talladega, the car’s driver leaves the car to use the restroom, claiming they are in last place so it doesn’t matter anyways. Realizing that they will lose their sponsor if they don’t get the car back on the track, the crew chief, Lucius Washington, asks if anyone there wants to drive fast and Ricky volunteers. After getting in the car and driving on the track, Ricky manages to finish in third place, prompting Larry Dennit Sr. to make Ricky Bobby the team’s new driver. With Ricky Bobby becoming Nascar’s hottest new star, the team gets a new sponsor and Ricky convinces Dennit to sponsor a second car, with his friend Cal as the driver. Ricky marries a fan named Carley after she shows him her boobs and they end up having two kids, Walker and Texas Ranger, and live in a large house with Carley’s father Chip. As time passes Larry Dennit Jr ends up taking control of the racing team and has issues with Ricky’s racing style, where he either wins or crashes trying. As Ricky and his friends celebrate their most recent win, they are interrupted by Jean Girard, a French Formula One racer who has just been signed onto the Dennit Racing Team. As Ricky and Girard get into a confrontation, Girard gets Ricky in an armbar and threatens to break his arm unless Ricky says that he loves crepes but even though Cal and his crew make an argument that would allow to save face, Ricky refuses and tells Girard to go ahead and break his arm. The next week at Lowes Motor Speedway, Girard breaks Ricky’s track record during the qualifying, prompting Ricky to tell Lucius to get his car ready to race, despite the fact that his arm is still in a cast. During the race, Ricky manages to catch up to Girard but is unable to pass him. Ricky calls on Cal to help him pass using a drifting/slingshot maneuver but Cal’s engine blows. Ricky eventually wrecks while trying to pass Girard, who wins the race, and as the paramedics tend to him, Ricky starts running around the track in his underwear, thinking he is on fire. At the hospital, Cal and Lucius go to check on Ricky and think he is paralyzed when they see him in a wheelchair but the doctors say he is fine and it is all in his head. As Cal and Lucius try to talks some sense into Ricky, Ricky stabs himself in the leg with a knife to prove he is paralyzed, then screams in pain when he realizes he isn’t. Cal and Lucius want Ricky to take things slow while getting ready to go back on the track but Ricky wan’t to go ahead and get started. However, on his first attempt at driving Ricky only goes 26 miles and hour, and when he gets out of the car, starts acting like he is on fire again and takes his uniform off, prompting Dennit to fire him and have Cal replace him. When Ricky returns home, he finds that Carley, desperate not to become poor, has decided to divorce Ricky and marry Cal, prompting Ricky to end his friendship with Cal. Ricky moves into his mom’s house with his two sons and ends up taking a job as a pizza delivery man but loses his license after hitting a woman’s shopping cart and a police officer so he is forced to use the bus or a bicycle for his deliveries. One day he delivers a pizza to a hotel only to find Reese there, who had ordered the pizza so he could talk to Ricky, but Ricky punches him then walks away. When he talks about the encounter with his mom, Lucy tells Ricky that she told Reese where Ricky was as she knew that he would be able to help Ricky get back into racing. Ricky reluctantly agrees to have Reese help him and Reese proceeds to try to get Ricky to overcome his fear of driving fast, one way involving putting a live cougar in the car and telling Ricky to get in there with it. Meanwhile, Lucy has had enough of Walker and Texas Ranger acting like hooligans and begins trying to reform them. As Reese’s lessons continue, one day he tells Ricky that he placed a kilo of cocaine underneath the car and called the cops, forcing Ricky to choose between driving fast or going to jail. Ricky starts driving with the cops chasing after him and when he realizes that he is going over 100 mph, he starts screaming out in joy as he works to avoid the cops. After getting away from the cops, Ricky goes to remove the cocaine from underneath the car only to learn that it was just Lucky Charms, with a note from Reese asking if it felt good to be going fast again. Ricky gets his license back and keeps the cougar, which he names Karen, and decides that they should have a nice family dinner but Reese causes a scene and gets thrown out of Applebees. When Ricky chases after him and says he started racing and won the races because of him, Reese tells him he was high when he said that and should have picked a better role model to follow. Feeling dejected, Ricky decides to give up racing when he runs into his old assistant Susan, who convinces him to get back into racing as he was meant to drive fast. After she is done talking, Ricky realizes he is attracted to Susan and they end up making out on the table. Ricky gets Lucius and his pit crew back together and shows them the car they have to work with and Lucius says he and the crew will work on getting the engine rebuilt so it can race. Ricky heads over to see Girard to tell him that he is coming for him and Girard wishes him luck, saying he only came to America to race Ricky in the hopes he would beat him so that he could go on to live out his dreams with his husband. The next day, Ricky is shown the new engine, with Lucius telling him that several teams donated some parts, and Susan explains the new paint job on the car, saying that Ricky doesn’t need corporate sponsors as he is out there racing for himself. Before the race starts, Ricky approaches Cal and Carley and apologizes to Cal for not valuing their friendship like he should have, causing Cal to start doubting what he has done. As the race commences, Ricky starts making his way up the pack until he catches up to Girard but he us unable to pass him. Dennit orders Cal to take out Ricky but Cal refuses and instead, gets ahead of Ricky so that he can use the slingshot maneuver to pass Girard. Angered by what Cal did, Dennit orders the driver of the Wonder Bread car to take out Cal, which causes a huge wreck that takes out every car on the field except for Ricky and Girard. Ricky and Girard keep racing and end up crashing into each other during the last lap. After their cars finally stop tumbling, Ricky and Girard get out of their cars and then start running towards the finish line, intent on finishing the race, with Ricky winning the race, but both drivers are disqualified for leaving their cars. Due to being in third place at the time of the crash, Cal is declared the winner and afterwards, he grabs Ricky and they repair their friendship. As Ricky is leaving, Carley approaches him and says she is willing to go back to him but Ricky refuses and says he would rather be with Susan. As Ricky, Susan, Lucy, and the boys leave, they find Reese sitting on his car and when he asks Ricky who he won the race for, Ricky says it wasn’t for him and that he just went out there to drive as he knew his family would love him no matter how he did. Ricky then suggests they go to Applebees so that Reese can get thrown out again and they all get into Reese’s car and head off together.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Though it occasionally stalls, Talladega Nights’ mix of satire, clever gags, and excellent ensemble performances put it squarely in the winner’s circle.” Wonder Bread, Old Spice, and Perrier were not charged for the product placement in the movie but Wonder Bread and Old Spice did promote the movie through back-end deals. The movie was a box office success, earning $163 million off of a $72.5 million budget.

Every time I watch this movie, I still hear Chris’ laugh, which makes me laugh even more. This is a very funny movie and definitely something that can make you laugh when you need it. The acting was really good, with Will Ferrell (Ricky) and John C. Reilly (Cal) making for a great comedic duo, but everyone was really good in this movie. The story was pretty good, with some serious moments added to the more ridiculous parts to balance out the movie. The humor was a mixture of various styles, with some more adult or risque than others, but I enjoyed the occasional slapstick that was thrown in. A great comedy and one that is well worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard
comedy, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review

January 20th, 2018 Movie – Tales From The Crypt: Bordello Of Blood

tales from the crypt- bordello of blood

I hate having to go to work on s Saturday, as it kind of throws my whole day off. Anyways, today’s movie is the second in the Tales From The Crypt trilogy and, like it’s predecessor, I never saw it in theaters. However, I had many opportunities to see this movie as it seemed to always be on TBS, TNT, and just about every other cable channel around during the late 90’s. Anyways, about the same time as I picked up Demon Knight, I decided to go ahead and pick up today’s movie as well. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Tales From The Crypt: Bordello Of Blood.

The plot: Opening – In Tierra del Fuego, a dwarf named Vincent Prather leads an expedition team deep into the jungle and has his workers start digging into a a cavern. After they all lower themselves down, they find a casket and open it to discover the skeletal remains of Lilith, the mother of all vampires. His men think he is mad to lead them there, but Vincent explains that he scoured the Earth for the 4 pieces of her heart so he can give it back to her. Opening a box and removing the barriers, the heart merges into a single organ and Vincent places it inside the skeleton, where it begins to regenerate the skeleton. Lilith begins to attack and kill three of the men, almost completely healing herself, but when she goes to attack Vincent, he pulls out the Demon Key (from Demon Knight), and says that whoever holds the key controls her. Vincent then asks if she will behave after finishing off the last guy and Lilith answers, Anything for you, lover.” then kills the man as he tries to climb to safety.

Prologue – The Mummy is finishing telling a story to the Crypt Keeper while they are having lunch. After briefly saying hi to a guy named Jack, who is also in the movie business, the Mummy asks the Crypt Keeper if he wants to play a high stakes game of rock, paper, scissor. The Crypt Keeper agrees and when he loses, the Mummy cuts off his hand with a cleaver. The Crypt Keeper laughs and says it doesn’t hurt and when the Mummy asks if he is ready for Round 2, the Crypt Keeper agrees, then addresses the audience and introduces the movie.

Main movie – Katherine Verdoux is arguing with her brother Caleb about his music and when he makes plans to leave, she begs him to stay in but he ignores her and goes out with his friends. After hanging out at a bar with his friends, he decides that they should leave and try to get laid. A stranger at the bar, Jenkins, tells them to head to a nearby funeral home if they want to get laid and Caleb and his friend Reggie head out while there other two friends stay behind. When they reach the funeral home, they are greeted by a mortician, McCutcheon, who directs them towards a coffin and tells them to get inside. When they refuse, he forces them in at gunpoint and sends it towards the cremation oven, but it is really the secret entrance to a brothel. Inside, Caleb and Reggie are approached by two women, who take them to separate rooms but before Reggie can get started, Lilith enters the room and explains that the girls’ job is to get them warmed up so she can finish them off, then proceeds to kill Reggie, then Caleb. Several days later, Katherine is at the police station trying to file a missing person’s report on Caleb but they refuse to help her, saying that they have too many cases. She is approached by Rafe Guttman, a private investigator whose office is in an old adult theater. Katherine is hesitant to hire Rafe but he persists and she finally relents and agrees to hire him, giving him the name of some of Caleb’s friends to go to for information. Rafe tracks down Caleb’s friends and after pestering them, he gets the address for the brothel they went to. When he goes there, he finds a funeral taking place, with McCutcheon presiding over the services, and notices Jenkins slathering himself with sunblock. Meanwhile, Katherine has gone to her job at Current Ministries, where she works for J.C. Current and as they are talking, Vincent appears, saying he has some blueprints for Current to sign. Rafe heads to Current Ministries and, after briefly being introduced to Current, he tells Katherine what he learned about her brother and she thanks him for his time and pays him. Rafe heads to the bar and laments about losing a chance to start something with Katherine and Jenkins starts telling him about the brothel. Rafe heads to the funeral home and tells McCutcheon the phrase Jenkins told him but McCutcheon tells him to come back tomorrow. Sensing something strange going on, Rafe climbs up to the second floor and hears Lilith talking to a woman and later, after avoiding McCutcheon, he hears the woman scream and a body hitting the floor. When Lilith heads downstairs, Rafe quickly hides to avoid being seen, then heads towards the back room where the bodies are worked on and finds one of Caleb’s earrings. Rafe heads back to Current Ministries, where Katherine and Current are not happy to see him, but Rafe hands Katherine the earring before walking off. Katherine catches up to him and apologizes, then asks if they should go to the police but Rafe says the police will want more proof before they act so he is going back there to try and get another look. That night, Rafe heads back to the funeral home just as Jenkins gets there and McCutcheon allows Rafe to go in, yelling at Jenkins to wait there. After getting out of the coffin, Rafe is met by Tamara and taken to a part of the home intended for BDSM. Meanwhile, Lilith goes to talk with Jenkins, who is complaining about the process turning him into a vampire hurting, and she ends up taring off his head. Back in the BDSM room, Rafe manages to turn the tables on Tamara and lock her in the restraints, then quickly leaves the room but accidentally drops his wallet. Rafe makes his way out of the greeting room and hides in a coffin to avoid being seen by McCutcheon but does a double take when he sees that Jenkin’s body was also in the coffin. Lilith frees Tamara and licks Rafe’s blood from her fingers, saying it is a rare blood type. After noticing Rafe’s wallet on the ground, Lilith heads over to his office and attempts to seduce him, but Rafe is able to resist her just as Katherine shows up and Katherine is disgusted by Rafe being with Lilith and says she is going to the police and Rafe follows after her, attempting to explain what was going on. At the police station, the sheriff doesn’t believe Rafe’s story, then informs Katherine that Rafe’s PI license had been suspended a year ago. Humoring them, the sheriff takes them to the funeral home and McCutcheon allows them in but when Rafe is unable to show them the secret entrance to the brothel, Katherine believes he is a fraud and leaves with the sheriff. On the second floor, Lilith and Vincent watch Rafe leave and Vincent asks if he should kill Rafe but Lilith says to let him be, then speaks with Vincent about changing their operation. At Current Ministries, Katherine asks Current about doing an expose on his religious channel about the sin of lust and Current agrees to it. Later that night, Current discovers that Vincent had stolen the money from his safe and tracks him down to a strip club, where he is sitting in a booth with Lilith. Current approaches them and it turns out that he was the one who sent Vincent with the key to retrieve Lilith for his own ends but Lilith wants to change the plan. When Katherine appears at the strip club to interview some of the patrons, Current and Vincent quickly leave before she can spot them but Katherine notices Lilith and talks to her before she is escorted outside. In the alley behind the club, Current and Vincent start to argue when Lilith grabs Current. Current tells Vincent to give him the key but Vincent throws it to the ground, causing it to explode, and Lilith says she is going to let Current live knowing he is powerless to stop them. Meanwhile, Rafe had observed a funeral procession and noticed the pallbearers struggling with the coffin when they were placing it in the mausoleum. Sneaking in that night, he opens the coffin to discover Jenkin’s body in there with another man’s and quickly takes some pictures. The next day, Rafe takes the developed pictures to show Katherine, who only sees one body in there, and Rafe tries to explain that there were two bodies as he is being thrown out. Turning back to her TV monitor, Katherine and her editor are going over the video she took at the club when Katherine notices that Lilith is not on camera when she should have been. Katherine takes the tape to Rafe and as he is watching it, he notices Current and Vincent in the background. As they try to figure things out, Katherine gets a phone call from Caleb, saying he needs help and ask to meet them at the power plant. When they get there, they find Caleb’s body lying on the ground but when Rafe goes to check on him, he finds that Caleb has become a vampire. Rafe and Katherine try to run but Rafe ends up falling out the window and onto the sheriff’s car while Katherine is captured by McCutcheon and Vincent. When Rafe regains consciousness, he finds himself strapped to the hospital bed but gets free just as Tamara kills the sheriff. Rafe starts fighting with Tamera and during the course of the fight, her uniform is ripped and when she gets exposed to the sunlight, she explodes. At the funeral home, Katherine pleads with Caleb to let her go but Caleb says he likes being a vampire, just as Lilith arrives and starts to feel Katherine up, planning on making her one of her girls. In the foyer, Current arrives to talk with Lilith but McCutcheon and Vincent don’t believe him and plan on killing him. Suddenly, Rafe drives his car into the funeral home, running over McCutcheon, then shoots Vincent. When he questions Current’s loyalties, Current admits her is there to stop Lilith. Rafe hands Current a water gun filled with Holy Water but Current says that won’t work on Lilith, as they need to cut her heart out of her chest. Heading into the brothel, Rafe and Current begin shooting the women with Holy Water, causing them all to burst into flames and explode. As Rafe deals with Caleb, Current goes to rescue Katherine only to discover it is Lilith in disguise, who stabs him with his own knife. Rafe manages to injure her with an axe but she pulls her body together and quickly diappears before he can do any further damage. Rafe finds Katheirne and, after checking her neck to make sure she wasn’t bitten, unties her and they go check on Current, who dies from his wounds. Heading to Current Ministries, they come up with a plan to expose the vampires to the world but Lilith shows up to stop them, handcuffing Rafe to a railing before attacking Katherine. Rafe manages to activate the crucifix laser, burning Lilith’s chest, but she tells him that it won’t work and approaches him to finish him off. Before she can kill him, Katherine stabs her in the chest with a pitchfork, sending her heart flying out of her chest and finally destroying Lilith. The next day, they cremate Lilith’s remains so that she can never come back and as they leave, Katherine starts flirting with Rafe. Reacting to her advances, Rafe starts kissing her but when he smells something funny, he asks her about her perfume. She tells him it isn’t perfume, but sunblock, just as he discovers a bite mark on her thigh, and Katherine grabs him and bites into his neck.

Epilogue – The Crypt Keeper jokes about how if Rafe and Katherine got married, she would know what is eating him, “she is.” It is then revealed that the Crypt Keeper has gotten the better of the Mummy in their game, as the Mummy is down to just his head.

Tales From The Crypt: Bordello Of Blood was panned by the critics, holding a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Bordello of Blood is not as scary or funny as it thinks it is (or should’ve been), and all of Dennis Miller’s lines sound like castoffs from his stand-up material.” William Sadler’s cameo as the Mummy was similar to a role he played in an actual episode of Tales From The Crypt titled “The Assassin”. In it, Sadler played the Grim Reaper and  got into a high stakes game of chance with the Crypt Keeper, even taking his hand during the game. The movie was a box office bomb, earning $5.8 million, and caused the studio to cancel plans for releasing a third movie.

This is a ridiculous movie to watch but it does have some funny parts to it. The acting was ok, with Dennis Miller being his usual sarcastic self but I was pretty unimpressed with everyone else, though the Whoopi Goldberg cameo was kind of funny. The story honestly felt weak, seeming to be about as contrived of a vampire movie as you could expect to find. The worst part was the deal with the key, as it was made to be this powerful artifact in the Demon Knight but seemed to be reduced to a trinket that was easily destroyed in this movie. The special effects were not as good as felt they could have been, as the make-up effects didn’t look that good at times, especially when the vampires were being killed by Rafe and Current. On the whole, it is kind of disappointing but can be fun to watch just because of it’s ridiculousness.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Standard
action, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review

January 19th, 2018 Movie – Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight

tales from the crypt-demon knight

Ahh, if there is one thing I remember during my late night TV viewing as a teenager, it is definitely the excitement I got when my parents got HBO and I was able to watch Tales From The Crypt. Being a horror movie fan, this was always a fun show to watch as I would get a short dose of horror that was usually a great way to unwind over the weekend. So when I heard that they were making a full length feature film episode, I was excited to go see it but never got the chance to see it in theaters. I did watch it when it came out on video and eventually got it on DVD when I had a chance. Now let’s see how well they did with today’s movie, Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight.

The plot: Prologue: A woman is talking to her lover on the phone and describing how she killed a man and placed him in a pot of boiling water. After inviting her lover over, she goes to take a bath but her victim returns to life and heads up the stairs with a small hatchet. Before he can kill her, the Crypt Keeper yells cut and berates the actor playing the dead man and orders everyone back to their places so they can reshoot it. As he heads back to his chair, the Crypt Keeper notices the audience and starts talking to them before showing them his latest work for Hollywood, Demon Knight.

Main Movie: Frank Brayker is driving down a dark road when he notices that he is being followed by another car. Brayker tries to avoid the other car but his car stalls out so he begins shooting the car, setting it on fire. When the other driver, The Collector, doesn’t stop heading for him, Brayker manages to get out of his car before the second car impacts it, causing both cars to explode and seemingly killing the other driver. As Brayker stands up, he looks at his hand, which has a star form next to 4 other stars already on it, and he quickly starts walking away. Brayker attempts to steal a car but a little kid sees him and calls out to his father, causing Brayker to run away before he is caught. As he catches his breath in an alley, Brayker encounters Uncle Willy, a local drunk, and Willy agrees to take Brayker to a place he can crash for the night. Back at the crash site, Sheriff Tupper and Deputy Bob are discussing the crash when The Collector appears and asks if they had seen Brayker. When the two confused officers attempt to question The Collector, he tells them that Brayker is dangerous and if he is in town, something bad will soon happen. Back in town, Willy takes Brayker to an old church, which has been turned into a boarding house and Brayker rents a room. While there, he meets the residents of the boarding house; the owner Irene, a prostitute named Cordelia, a postal worker named Wally, and a prisoner on work release named Jeryline. As Brayker is eating, a restaurant cook named Roach enters the church and as he prepares to spend time with Cordelia, he tells them about how someone had tried to kill his bosses car. Meanwhile, Tupper and Bob are interviewing the people about the attempted car theft when they get a call from the station, saying Irene called about Brayker, saying he was acting suspicious. When they arrive at the church, Brayker holds a knife to Jeryline’s throat and tells them to back away but The Collector says that he won’t kill her and Brayker reluctantly lets her go. After Tupper puts Brayker in handcuffs, The Collector sits down and asks him where his artifact is, telling Tupper and Bob that it is shaped like a key. Bob searches Brayker’s room but doesn’t find it and after they repeatedly question Brayker about it’s whereabouts, Willy says he knows where Brayker stashed it and pulls it out from underneath the table. As The Collector opens his suitcase and asks Willy to dump the liquid inside the artifact and place it inside, Tupper receives a call and grabs the key from Willy, saying that both cars were stolen and that he is taking both of them to the station to figure things out. The Collector punches his fist through Tupper’s face and as Bob goes for his gun, Brayker grabs the keys for the handcuffs and frees himself. Brayker uses the key to burn The Collector’s face, forcing him to jump out a nearby window. The Collector yells at Brayker and the others, then slices open his hand and begins splattering the ground with his blood, summoning demonic creatures from the ground where his blood touched. The creatures begin attacking  the hotel and Brayker defends the group, then uses the liquid from the key to form barriers on the doors and windows, killing the creatures if they try to cross. Roach wants to run, convincing Cordelia to come with him, but when they get attacked, he leaves Cordelia out there to die while he heads back inside. Wally, who is in love with Cordelia, manages to save her but he is injured in the process, and Brayker and Cordelia drag him back inside. After securing all the entrances, Brayker says they need to wait out the night cause if they step outside, the creatures will kill them, but Roach gets angry and says that the creatures are only after him and the key and they should just turn him over to them. As Brayker works on securing the upper floors, Jeryline tries talking to him and asks who he really is but he just answers that he is an old man running out of time. After Brayker is done, he heads back downstairs only to find that Jeryline’s cat has somehow made it back inside. Fearing it might be possessed, Brayker chases after it down to the basement, followed by Jeryline, Willy, and Irene, and after catching it, he determines it is safe, then discovers the crack that the cat had come in from and Bob and Willy say that there are some mine shafts that run under the town and it is probably one of them. Upstairs, Roach tries talking to Wally to convince him to work with him against Brayker but Wally refuses and Cordelia sticks up for Wally. Roach takes Cordelia to her room and smacks her and after he leaves, Cordelia hears The Collector talking to her in her head and she ends up being possessed. When Wally goes to check on Cordelia, she attacks and kills him, then attacks Brayker when he goes to investigate the noise. When Brayker goes for the key, Cordelia knocks it away from him and Irene grabs it and tries to use it but Cordelia rips her arm off. Brayker is finally able to kill Cordelia but the event causes everyone to rebel against Brayker and want to try and escape through the mines. Roach breaks down the wall and they head out, with Brayker forming a seal and following after them. As they are making their way through the mines, Jeryline finds Danny, the boy who had spotted Brayker trying to steal his dad’s car, hiding in the mine and as she goes to grab him, they are attacked by the boy’s parents, who have been possessed. They manage to escape and Brayker has everyone head back to the church, killing one of the demons as he leaves. After they are all safely inside, Roach decides to shoot his possessed boss but the resulting explosion from the demon destroys the seal, allowing them to enter the church. Brayker has everyone head upstairs to the second floor, where they are safe as some blood had created a seal when the key was knocked form Brayker’s hand during the fight with Cordelia. When everyone pressures Brayker to explain what is going on, he explains that during the creation of the Earth, the demons had 7 keys which they used to control the power of the cosmos to keep the world in darkness but God created light, which scattered the demons and the keys across the universe. The demons had managed to collect 6 of the keys and the 7th was on Earth but had been filled with the blood of Jesus and guarded by a thief. When the blood runs low, the guardian has to fill it with his own blood and hand it off to a new guardian, with Brayker himself having gotten it from his lieutenant in 1917 during WWI. After finishing his story, Jeryline notices Danny is missing and they split up to find him but Roach secretly steals the key from Brayker. As Jeryline looks for Danny, The Collector tries tempting her to help him but she refuses. Irene and Bob head up to the attic, where they find Willy up there drinking and Danny reading a comic book. Irene tells Willy to take Danny downstairs and get Brayker up there with the key, while she stays up there with Bob and they discover that Wally had a chest full of weapons that he was going to use to attack the post office. Brayker and Jeryline go looking for Willy and Danny only to have Brayker be attacked by a possessed Willy. Brayker manages to cut off Willy’s head but when the body keeps attacking him, Danny grabs the head and impales it’s eyes onto some deer antlers. Roach tries to bargain with The Collector for his life but after giving The Collector the key and erasing the seal on the stairs, The Collector has the demons kill Roach. As The Collector and the demons go after the others, Brayker shoots The Collector in the eye with an arrow, then grabs the case with the key. Bob and Irene tell Brayker, Jeryline, and Danny to head upstairs into the attic while they hold off the demons, then Irene pulls the pins on the grenades she is carrying, killing both her and Bob in order to kill the demons. In the attic, Danny ends up being possessed and mortally wounds Brayker before Jeryline can kill him. Brayker then tells Jeryline to refill the key with his blood and initiates her as the new Guardian. When Brayker dies, the seals he created all disappear and The Collector heads up to the attic. Jeryline attacks him with the key and heads downstairs to finish him off but The Collector attacks her and breaks her wrist. As he goes to finish her off, Jeryline stabs him in the eye with the key and while he is distracted, she takes a drink of blood from the key. The Collector continues to taunt her, saying he wants to take her with him back to Hell but Jeryline spits the blood into his face, causing him to explode. The next day, Jeryline boards a bus out of town, using some of the blood to form a seal on the doors. As the bus makes it’s way down the highway, it stops to pick up a man carrying a briefcase, the man starts to board the bus but stops and says he will wait for the next one, indicating that he is the new Collector. As the bus drives off, the man starts walking after it, whistling the Tales From The Crypt theme song.

Epilogue – The Crypt Keeper says Jeryline lives happily ever after, as he received a post card from her saying she is traveling the world. The Crypt Keeper then heads out to the premier of his movie, only to have the producers place him in a guillotine and cut off his head, causing him to laugh.

Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight met with mostly negative reviews from the critics, holding a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to feel that it was lacking enough scares or substance to truly stand on it’s own. The movie was to be the first in a trilogy of Tales From The Crypt movies, with the Crypt Keeper giving the title of the next movie after the credits, but the original trilogy plan fell through and two different movies ended up finishing off the trilogy. The movie was a mild hit at the box office, earning $21.1 million off of a $12 million budget.

This is a pretty fun movie to watch and definitely fit well with the general theme of Tales From The Crypt. The acting was pretty good, with Billy Zane having a lot of fun as The Collector, while Thomas Haden Church did a great job as Roach but I was not too impressed with William Sadler, as I felt his portrayal of Brayker was kind of boring. The story was interesting, though I felt like the whole Biblical aspect was a little unnecessary. I also liked the open ended way the movie ended, as it really left it open for a sequel, like it was intended to be. The special effects were decent, but I honestly expected a little more since it was a feature film as most of them looked like it was basically from an episode of the show itself, not just a movie. As much as I enjoyed the movie, I probably enjoyed the soundtrack equally as much, if not more, and thought it fit perfectly with the movie. A fun movie to watch and definitely something any horror fan will want to watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Standard
comedy, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance

January 18th, 2018 Movie – Splash

splash

So we come to an end to the movies that were purchased/gifted over the holidays and I am sure you are thinking this is an interesting movie for me to own. Well, this movie was bought as a gift due to an inside joke/nickname I was given. Years ago, when I was roommates with my friend Emily, a commercial for the TV show Charmed came on, showing Alyssa Milano’s character becoming a mermaid. Emily asked how one’s become a mermaid and my wife at the time responded that one becomes a werewolf when bitten by a werewolf. Without missing a beat, Emily turns to me and asks why I bit Alyssa Milano, to which my response was, “Why wouldn’t I?” Anyways, that response led to Emily calling me a mermaid, which has stuck to this day, though I did get her back with my own nickname for her. Anyways, in honor of the nickname, and because she felt I needed to own this movie, this was one of the movies she got me for Christmas. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Splash.

The plot: In 1964, young Allan Bauer is on the Cape Cod ferry with his family. As his family head to another part of the ship, Allan sees something in the water and jumps in. While underwater, a girl approaches him and grabs his hand and the two smile at each other, with Allan able to breath underwater, but their connection is broken when a crew member dives in to save Allan. As they take him back aboard the ship, Allan continues to stare out at the girl, who is staring back at him from the water, but no one else sees her and when Allan is led inside the ferry, she dives back underwater, revealing that she is a mermaid. 20 years later, Allan runs a fruit and vegetable warehouse in New York City with his irresponsible older brother Freddie, when his girlfriend calls and tells him that she is leaving him. After attending a coworker’s wedding, Freddie takes Allan to a bar to drink his sorrows away and as Freddie tries to arrange a double date with two women he picked up at the bar but Allan decides to head to Cape Cod, saying it relaxes him. The next morning, Allan is walking along the beach when he encounters eccentric scientist Walter Kornbluth and asks him for a ride to the island, as he was dropped off on the wrong beach, but Walter is paranoid that Allan is there to spy on him and steal his research so he refuses to help him. One of Kornbluth’s workers directs Allan to a man that will take him to the island and on the way there, Allan admits that he can’t swim, causing the man to try and scare Allan but he ends up stalling out the motor. As the man swims back to shore to get another boat, Allan attempts to fix the motor and gets it working but ends up falling overboard as the boat goes out of control and is knocked unconscious when the boat strikes his head. Allan comes too on the beach with a massive headache and as he looks around, sees a blonde, naked woman staring at him and calls out to her. The woman doesn’t answer but approaches him, then grabs him and kisses him before diving into the water. As the woman swims away, Allan calls out to her to come back but she doesn’t respond. The woman, who is a mermaid, finds Allan’s wallet on the ocean floor, where it fell when  he was knocked unconscious, and swims away with it only to encounter Kornbluth, who tries to take a picture of her but she quickly swims away. Reaching her underwater home, the mermaid finds New York City on a map and begins swimming towards it. The mermaid arrives at Liberty Island, with her fins transforming into legs when she is out of the water, and causes a commotion by walking around naked. The police arrive to take her into custody and when they discover she has Allan’s wallet, they give him a call about her. Allan quickly rushes to the police station, leaving Freddie to handle a meeting with a new client, and heads down to the police station to pick her up. Allan takes the woman back to his apartment, where she constantly tries kissing him, but he has to head back to work and turns the TV on, telling her he will be back later and take her to dinner. When Allan arrives back at work, Freddie is surprised by Allan’s new attitude and his willingness to let him have more control over the business. Back at his apartment, the woman starts learning how to speak some English by watching TV and heads out to a department store, where she ends up buying some new clothes and learning more English before Allan finally finds her. As they are walking back to his apartment, Allan tries to find out more about the woman and she decides to call herself Madison and tells him she is in town for 6 days. That night, Madison takes a bath in the middle of the night but when Allan goes to check on her, she quickly dries her tail so that he doesn’t see her as a mermaid. The next day, Kornbluth continues searching for the mermaid but when he sees one of his workers reading a tabloid with a picture of the naked Madison on it, he recognizes her as the mermaid he saw and heads to New York City. As Allan continues to fall in love with Madison, Freddie tries get Allan to admit that he is in love with her but he refuses to admit it to himself, as he has never really been in love with anyone. Meanwhile, Kornbluth heads to the National History Museum and tells them that he has proof that mermaid’s exist but his mentor says he can’t believe he is stuck on that nonsense idea. Korbluth decides to prove that the mermaid is real and goes looking for Madison to splash her with water but mistakenly splashes another woman by mistake, causing her husband to assault Kornbluth. During dinner, Allan asks Madison to marry him but she doesn’t answer. As they are ice skating afterwards, Allan asks her again and she tells him no, saying she wants to make the most of the 3 days with him but she has to leave. As Allan and Madison start to argue about the matter, she leaves and Allan tries to apologize but she runs off before he can catch her. As Alan searches the city for Madison, Madison heads to the water and prepares to head back to the ocean but thinks back as to why she came to look for Allan in the first place and heads back to him. Madison agrees to marry Allan and he wants to get married the next day and Madison agrees to it, saying she will tell Allan her secret before they get married. Remembering that they are to attend a Presidential dinner that night, the two head there, unaware that the injured Kornbluth is there trying to expose Madison. After Kornbluth is escorted outside by the secret service, Madison tells Allan she is ready to tell him her secret and they leave, but Kornbluth sees them and manages to spray Madison with the water he was carrying, exposing her as a mermaid to Allan and everyone else. Allan and Madison are quickly grabbed and taken to a government lab for testing, and when they are placed together, Allan tries to apologize for keeping it a secret but Allan doesn’t respond. When it is apparent that Allan is not a mermaid, he is dropped off back at his apartment, where reporters are waiting for him and try to get him to talk about his relationship with Madison. Freddie shows up and takes Allan out of there and as they get alone to talk, Allan starts questioning what he really felt for her and Freddie calls him out on it, reminding him how happy he was when he was with Madison. Meanwhile, Dr. Ross, Kornbluth’s rival, is heading up the research of Madison and is making plans to dissect her, which shocks Kornbluth and when he voices his objection, Ross tells him that he shouldn’t even be there as he doesn’t consider him a member of his team. Allan, realizing he does love Madison and tracks down Kornbluth to find out where she is being held. Kornbluth, who feels guilty about his role in what is happening to Madison, helps sneak Allan and Freddie into the lab by having them pose as Swedish scientists. Allan and Kornbluth then sneak Madison out of the lab, leaving Freddie there to take the heat when it is discovered she is gone. Ross has the military go recapture Madison and Kornbluth tries to delay them, saying he caused the mess, but he is unable to stop them. Allan and Madison reach the docks and Madison tells Allan that she was willing to stay with him forever. When Allan says he wishes that he could go with her, she tells him he can, telling him that she was the one who saved him as a boy, but that he would never be able to come back. When the military gets there, Allan tells Madison he loves her and she needs to leave but as she waves goodbye, he yells out to her and jumps in after her. Madison swims back to Allan and kisses him, allowing him to breathe underwater, and when some divers attempt to capture them, they quickly rip off the divers’ breathing gear then swim away. Allan takes off his jacket and kisses Madison before they swim off to an underwater kingdom.

Splash was highly praised by the critics, holding a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A perfectly light, warmly funny romantic comedy that’s kept afloat by Ron Howard’s unobtrusive direction and charming performances from Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah.” The movie was the first to be released under Walt Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label, which was created in order to release movies with more mature content that were deemed not appropriate for the flagship banner. The movie was a box office success, earning $69 million off of an $8 million budget.

This is a pretty decent movie but not one I would watch every day. The acting was good, with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah doing a good job in their roles of Allan and Madison respectively. I also liked John Candy (Freddie) and Eugene Levy (Kornbluth), who added some pretty good comedic and serious scenes to the movie. The story was essentially a take off of “The Little Mermaid”, with the mermaid falling in love with a human and wanting to be with him, only not as depressing a tale as the original story. The special effects involving Daryl Hannah’s mermaid tail were pretty decent in the water scenes, but not as much when she was on land. It’s a decent 80’s rom-com but not my normal cup of tea.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Standard