action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 22nd, 2017 Movie – Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone

spacehunter - adventures in the forbidden zone

If you would like to know about how I came to own today’s movie, there is a simple explanation for that. My friends are enablers, plain and simple. See, a few months ago I was at a friends house and happened to be checking on the status of a delivery from Amazon when I noticed some of the recommended titles that they had listed. I saw this title as something soon to be released and mentioned it to them and they said that it was a movie that should definitely be in my collection. So, knowing how easily influenced I am on such matters, I went ahead and pre-ordered it. Now let’s see if this impulse buy was worth it as I watch today’s movie, Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone.

The plot: Out in space, a cruise liner is passing through a nebula cloud when it is struck by a bolt of lightning. damaging the ship and causing it to be destroyed. Everyone is killed except for three women (Meagan, Nova, and Reena), who manage to make it to an escape pod and head for the nearest habitable world, Terra XI. When the land, they are attacked by the scavenging natives before a group of people called Scavs drive them off and the women are taken on board a train, powered  by giant sails. Elsewhere, a salvage pilot named Wolff hears part of a mayday and has his engineer Chalmers fix the communicator so they can listen to the whole thing, where they learn about the missing women and the 3000 mega-credits reward. Wolff recalls hearing about Terra XI and how a colony was attempted but there was a plague and that one of the survivors had initiated some sort of martial law on the planet. Wolff and Chalmers land on the planet and head out in the Scrambler, a 4-wheel drive vehicle, and set off for the shuttle’s coordinates. When Chalmers notices that the shuttle is moving, they see the train and watch as it comes under attack by another group of people, called Zoners. Wolff has Chalmers stay with the Scrambler while he boards the trains and tries to rescue the women but he is too late as the women are captured by the Zoners and taken away via hang gliders. As he heads back to the Scrambler, the leader of the Scavs accuses Wolff of causing this but one of his people tells him he is mistaken, then speaks to Wolff for a bit but refuses to help him. Wolff returns to the Scrambler to find Chalmers, who was actually an android, has been killed so he initiates her self destruct, which begins melting her skin and circuitry, then drives off. Wolff comes to an old settlement and heads inside to find it abandoned, with nothing but the skeletons of people who died in the plague, when he suddenly hears someone trying to steal the Scrambler. He manages to stop the thief, a Scav girl named Niki, and he kicks her out of the Scrambler but she convinces him that she can help him find the gliders and he allows her to get back him and lead him towards the Zone. Meanwhile, the gliders land in the Zone and the three women are taken to see the Chemist, who uses drugs to pacify them and make them want to serve Overdog. Back in the canyons, Wolff and Niki make camp for the night but when Wolf discovers her in his sleeping bag in the morning, he grabs her and carries her to a nearby pond and forces her to get cleaned up. Suddenly, another vehicle with a large plow on the front shows up and when it tries to run over Wolff, he causes it to wreck and confronts the driver. The driver turns out to be Washington, a former soldier turned sector chief and an old associate of Wolff’s who says he is there for the same reason Wolff is but he crashed his ship. Washington asks about teaming up with Wolff but Niki says he already has a partner and Wolff tosses Washington’s gun into the pond and leaves him there. Wolff and Niki continue travelling and eventually reach the outskirts of the Zone, where they take shelter in an abandoned building but as they go to get some sleep, they find themselves attacked by some large, pig-like humans and are forced to get back in the Scrambler and leave. Meanwhile, the three women are taken to see Overdog, who has become a cyborg, and he demands the Chemist leave them so they can fill his basic needs. Wolff and Niki are traveling through a swamp, with Niki walking ahead to guide the Scrambler through the shallow areas, when Niki is grabbed by a member of an Amazon tribe. Wolff jumps into the water to save her and ends up captured as well but the Amazons run when a strange dragon-like eel appears out of the water. Wolff manages to kill it and free himself and Niki but when the Amazons start to head towards them again, they are forced to abandon the Scrambler and climb out of there. Making their way through the desert, they are about to die of dehydration when Washington appears, having followed their tracks and towed the Scrambler out of the swamp. Washington strikes a bargain with Wolff, giving him and Niki some water and they work together to rescue the women, then Wolff flies them out of there, with them splitting the reward money. When Wolff and Washington start discussing what they might do with their portion of the reward, Niki realizes they aren’t planning on giving her any of it and gets upset with Wolff, who says there was never an agreement that she would be leaving with them after they rescued the women. Washington tries to explain to Niki that Wolff is too much of a loner and offers to be her partner but she brushes him off, and is still angry when Wolff offers to take her to another planet if they succeed in their mission. Two Scavs from the train show up at their camp, intending to head too the Graveyard to kill Overdog when they come under attack by some children who have been mutated by the Chemist. They manage to escape but Washington’s vehicle is damaged and the two Scavs go on ahead to complete their mission. After repairing Washington’s vehicle, they head to the Graveyard and sneak inside to find that Overdog is entertaining his subject by forcing his prisoners to make their way through a deadly maze. They find one of the Scavs being chased by guards and learn that he and his brother had attempted to free the prisoners and use the distraction to kill Overdog but his brother was captured. Seeing the women in a cage behind Overdog, Wolff and Washington decide to use the Scav’s plan and Washington goes with the Scav to free the prisoners while Wolff waits so he can rescue the women. Wolff tells Niki to wait in the Scrambler but she gets bored and sneaks back inside only to be captured by Overdog’s soldiers. Washington frees the prisoners and blows up the slave pens while Wolff manages to rescue the women but Niki is sent into the maze. Wolff sees Niki trapped in the maze and despite Washington’s telling him to just leave her, Wolff tells him he is going down to save her. Wolff manages to help Niki make it through the maze but Overdog grabs her and has the Chemist prepare to transfer her life force into him. Wolff kills the Chemist and makes it inside the chamber, where he fights with Overdog and manages to kill him by electrocuting him with a fallen cable, causing explosions to occur throughout the Graveyard. Washington rescues them and they head back to Wolff’s ship, where they bandage up the two Scavs and the women thank them for their part in rescuing them. Niki gets upset and starts to leave, yelling at Wolff that he didn’t ask if she wanted to go with him and Wolff tells her that he does want her to come with him and the two hug and then leave with Washington and the women.

Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone met with mostly negative results from the critics, holding an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, many felt that it could have been a better movie if it was more original. The movie was deliberately released a week before Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi, in order to cash in on everyone’s anticipation for that movie. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work as the movie only mad $16.5 million off of a $14.4 million budget.

There were so many similarities to Star Wars in this, it’s hard to believe that this wasn’t some sort of early Asylum mockbuster. That being said, this wasn’t a terrible movie to watch. The acting was ok, with Peter Strauss (Wolff) and Ernie Hudson (Washington) doing a good job in their roles. I was a little surprised with Molly Ringwald’s playing of Niki but this was before she became John Hughes’ go to girl for his movies and she was just getting started in Hollywood. The story was pretty unoriginal and like I said, had a lot, and I mean A LOT, of similarities to Star Wars in this movie. In fact, Ernie Hudson was cast due to them wanting a resemblance to Lando Calrissian. The special effects were pretty weak looking, while Michael Ironside just looked weird as the cyborg Overdog. Good for a few laughs, but there are better sci-fi movies out there.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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adventure, comedy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 21st, 2017 Movie – Spaceballs

spaceballs

There is no better way to start a Saturday than with some laughs. Ok, there might be one or two better ways but starting with a laugh does make the rest of the day seem better. Now this right here happens to be one of, if not my absolute favorite, Mel Brooks movie. I think part of that is because it was the first one of his movies I ever saw in theaters. The other part is the subject that it parodies, Star Wars. Either way, it took quite a while before I ended up buying this movie on DVD. Not entirely sure why but I did decide to rectify that decision as soon as I could. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Spaceballs.

The plot: The evil Spaceballs have squandered all of the clean air on their planet and come up with a plan to steal all of the air from the nearby planet Druidia. Dark Helmet, on board the massive starship Spaceball One, arrives at Druidia with the intention of kidnapping the Princess Vespa when she leaves for her honeymoon and ransoming her for the combination to Druidia’s air shield. On Druidia, Vespa doesn’t want to marry Prince Valium but King Roland says she has too; as he is the last prince and she must marry someone of noble blood. After walking down the aisle, Vespa races past the altar and heads to her car and leaves Druidia, taking Dot Matrix, her droid-of-honor, with her. On planet Spaceball, President Skroob denies reports about that planet’s limited air supply when he gets word that Helmet has spotted Princess Vespa. Skroob heads to the control room, choosing to walk after a transporter accident put his head on backwards, and after seeing Vespa’s position on the radar, orders Helmet to continue with the plan. Spaceball One begins firing on Vespa’s Mercedes and Vespa calls her father for help, while Helmet chastises the gunner and learns that he is surrounded by assholes. Roland contacts a mercenary called Lone Starr and his sidekick Barf, a Mog (half-man, half-dog), and begs them to save Vespa, offering them anything. Lone Starr asks for $1 million space bucks, which he needs to payback the notorious gangster Pizza the Hutt, and Roland agrees. Lone Starr and Barf locate Vespa, who has been caught in Spaceball One’s magna-beam, and they jam Spaceball One’s radar so they can approach the Mercedes undetected. Barf then climbs down a ladder to get Vespa and Dot but Vespa refuses to leave her matched luggage and so Barf is forced to carry it onto their Winnebago and they fly off just as the Mercedes is brought aboard Spaceball One. In the hangar, Helmet approaches the Mercedes only to find it empty and when the radar technician says the radar is repaired and they picked up a Winnebago, Helmet realizes that Lone Starr had saved her. The Spaceballs give chase and when Lone Starr tries to get away by going to light speed, Helmet orders Colonel Sandurz to go to “ludicrous speed”, which causes them to overshoot Lone Starr and when Sandurz pulls the emergency brake, Helmet goes flying into a control panel. Meanwhile, Lone Starr and Barf drop their Winnebago out of light speed only to find that the used up all of their fuel and are forced to crash onto the desert moon of Vega. Lone Starr and Vespa, who had been arguing over the intercom during their escape, finally come face to face and, after a brief hesitation, begin arguing again until Barf reminds them that Helmet will be coming back to look for them. Lone Starr says they should take only what they need to survive but Vespa insists they take all of her luggage. As Lone Starr and Barf carry the bulk of her bags, they stop and open up the giant trunk they are carrying to find a giant hair dryer inside and after arguing with Vespa about it, leaves it in the sand, as he and Barf pick up the now lighter trunk and continue carrying it. Back on Spaceball One, Dark Helmet and Sandurz can’t find any sign of Lone Starr or the others on their scanners so Sandurz tells a crew member to get a copy of Spaceballs. Helmet voices his confusion to Sandurz, as they are in the middle of filming it, but Sanderz tells him it is the latest in home video marketing. They watch the tape fast forwarding through everything that has already happened and, after a confusing moment where they are watching what is being filmed right that second, they soon find out where Lone Starr and Vespa are. On Vega, the group is camping for the night and Lone Starr and Vespa are talking about why Vespa ran from her wedding and the mystery surrounding Lone Starr’s parents, as his only clue is the medallion around his neck. As they get closer, the two are about to kiss when Dot Matrix’s “Virgin Alarm” goes off and she quickly breaks them apart. The next day, the group continues moving through the desert and end up passing out from dehydration (or lack of oil in Dot’s case) but they are rescued by the Dinks, a race of hooded desert dwellers, and taken to their home, the Temple of Yogurt, the Everlasting Know-It-All. Yogurt explains that he is the guardian of the Schwartz, while he and the Dinks sell Spacsballs merchandise from his temple. Later, Yogurt takes a look at Lone Starr’s medallion and is able to read the inscription but tells Lone Starr he can’t reveal what it says until the proper time. He then trains Lone Starr in using the Schwartz, having him lift up the giant statue, which Lone Starr succeeds in doing but then accidentally drops it on Barf’s foot. Outside, Helmet and Sandurz have their men combing the desert, literally, when Helmet senses the presence of the Schwartz. Sandurz locates the temple doorway and Helmet is upset to see the sign of Yogurt on the door, telling Sandurz that Yogurt has the upside of the Schwartz while he has the down side. Unable to go inside, Helmet disguises himself as King Roland and calls out to Vespa. Vespa runs out to her father only to find that it is really Helmet and both Vespa and Dot are captured. Yogurt gives Lone Starr some gas so he and Barf can go after them and as they say goodbye, he gives Lone Starr the Ring of the Schwartz and a fortune cookie, telling him to open it before he eats it. Meanwhile, Helmet takes Vespa to Spaceball City, where he contacts King Roland and threatens to have plastic surgery performed on Vespa to give her back her old nose unless Roland gives them the combination to the air shield. When Vespa faints, Roland agrees to give them the combination and once he does, Helmet comments on how “1,2,3,4,5” is the combination an idiot would use for his luggage. Skroob shows up and after hearing the combination, which he says is the same as his luggage, he orders Spaceball One prepped to leave and tells them to change the combination on his luggage. Lone Starr and Barf arrive at Spaceball City and knock out some guards so they can steal their uniforms and sneak inside. Once inside, they locate the Vespa and Dot but run into some more guards and are forced to fight their way out. As they run for it, the Spaceballs believe they have them captured but ended up capturing their stunt doubles instead. Outside, the group heads for the Winnebago only to have one of the Spaceballs fuse the lock with an errant blast. Lone Starr gives Vespa the gun while he works with Barf on getting the door open and Vespa quickly shoots the remaining guards after they singe her hair with a laser blast. They head to Druidia to find that Spaceball One has transformed into a giant robot maid and is using a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the air from Druidia. Lone Starr uses the Schwartz to flip the vacuum’s switch to reverse the air flow, restoring the air to Druidia, then flies inside the robot’s head to search for a self destruct button. After locating it, he heads outside to activate it, knocking out the guards along the way, but before he can press the button, he is confronted by Helmet. The two use their Schwartz rings to fashion lightsabers and begin fighting, with Helmet killing a cameraman and the two of them getting their Schwartz’s twisted, Helmet manages to trick Lone Starr and steal the ring then throw it down the drain. As Lone Starr dodges the blasts from Helmet’s ring, he is contacted telepathically by Yogurt, who tells him the ring was a fake and the Schwartz is within him. Lone Starr uses the Schwartz to grab a  mirror and uses it to reflect Helmet’s blast into Helmet’s groin, causing him to stumble back in pain and accidentally press the self destruct button. As the self destruct countsdown, Lone Starr races back to the Winnebago and they race out of there just before it explodes, while Helmet, Skroob, and Sandurz end up trapped on the robot after everyone else uses all of the escape pods and they are blasted into space inside the head. The group cheers over the robot’s destruction and head down towards Druidia and as they are landing, Lone Starr and Barf see a news report that Pizza the Hutt is dead and Barf gets excited at the thought of keeping all of the money. Landing at the palace, Roland is happy to see his daughter back and shows her that Valium is there waiting for her as well, which upsets Lone Starr and he quickly leaves with Barf. The two head to a Space fueling station and as they refuel, head into the diner to get some food but when a xenomorph bursts out of the chest of a nearby space traveler, then starts singing “Hello, My Baby” (ala Michigan J. Frog), they quickly leave. Barf complains about being hungry so Lone Starr gives him the fortune cookie Yogurt gave him but when Barf opens it, the image of Yogurt appears. Yogurt tells Lone Starr that the medallion is a royal birth certificate, making him a prince, then tells him to use the special fuel in the glove compartment in order to make it back to Druidia in time to stop Vespa from marrying Valium. Meanwhile, Vespa is upset that Lone Starr took the money and left but when Roland tells her he only took $248 dollars for “lunch, gas, and tolls”, she realizes that Lone Starr loved her. Just as the minister asks her if she takes Valium as her husband, Lone Starr and Barf appears and when she learns that Lone Starr is a prince, she shoves Valium aside and agrees to marry Lone Starr. The two are wed and fly off in the Winnebago while on a distant planet, the robot maid’s head and arm land on a remote beach, where two Chimpanzees from the Planet Of The Apes witness the three Spaceballs climbing out of her nose and one of them remarks, “Oh, shit. There goes the planet.”

Spaceballs met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, several critics enjoyed the movie but felt it was a far cry from some of Brook’s earlier works. Mel Brooks got George Lucas’ permission to parody any and all things Star Wars related on the condition that no merchandise be produced for the movie. George Lucas did love the script and had his special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, help with making the film, had the Millennium Falcon appear in a cameo at the diner, and also allowed Brooks to use an unused escape pod clip from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The movie was a modest success at the box office, earning $38.1 million off of a $22.7 million budget but received even more success when it hit home video, becoming one of Mel Brooks most popular movies.

This is such a funny, and quotable, movie to watch. The acting was really good, with Rick Moranis (Helmet), Bill Pullman (Lone Starr), John Candy (Barf), and Mel Brooks (Skroob/Yogurt) all doing great jobs in their roles. The story was well written and did a good job of parodying Star Wars, while also ripping briefly on Star Trek, Transformers, and Planet Of The Apes as well. I have to admit that, after learning about the deal Brooks and Lucas made about no merchandising from the film being produced, it makes that whole merchandising scene with Yogurt that much funnier (side note, I loved how the “Spaceballs coloring book and lunch box” were actually a Transformers coloring book and lunch box with a Spaceballs sticker slapped on them (also, I totally had that Transformers lunch box as a kid)). I will admit, some of the comedic timing and pacing didn’t seem as good as his previous movies but there were still a lot of laughs to be had, with the pairing of Candy and Pullman, as well as Moranis with George Wyner (Sandurz) and Brooks (Skroob) making for most of the laughs involved. A really funny movie that has me geared up for some movies coming down the road.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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action, adventure, drama, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 20th, 2017 Movie – Space Battleship Yamato

space battleship yamato

Now this is going to be an interesting movie to watch because I am going into this with no knowledge of the source material. See, I enjoy watching anime and reading manga so I have heard several references to Space Battleship Yamato over the years, but I never got around to trying to watch it. Then a few years ago, I saw that today’s movie was “finally being released in the U.S.”. Now I honestly thought that this was the original series or original anime movie getting an actual release so I went ahead and bought it on an impulse buy only to learn later that this was actually a live action movie that was made back in 2010. Oh well, one of these days I will learn to actually read the description before buying something (probably not). Anyways, on with today’s movie, Space Battleship Yamato (2010).

The plot: In the year 2194, an alien race called the Gamilas, who fire meteorite bombs at the planet which irradiates the surface In the year 2199, the Earth Defense Force launches a counter offensive against the Gamilas and the two fleets battle near Mars but the Earth fleet’s weapons have no effect on the Gamilas ships. As the Gamilas fire back and begin destroying the fleet. Captain Okita realizes that they have no chance against the enemy and orders the fleet to escape and Mamoru Kodai, whose ship is badly damaged, sacrifices his own ship to ensure Okita’s ship escapes. On Earth, Kodai’s brother Susumu Kodai is scavenging for metal on the Earth’s surface when an object crashes to Earth near him and knock him unconscious. When he comes too, he is surprised to find that the radiation in the area has been cleaned and the crashed object is an alien message pod before passing out again, just as Okita’s ship returns to Earth. Okita’s ship picks up Kodai and the pod, discovering that the pod contains schematics for a warp drive that they can use to travel farther in space. Suddenly, Kodai makes his way to the bridge, accusing Okita of letting his brother die to save himself and moves to hit him but he ends up being knocked down by Yuki Mori, a top fighter pilot, who chastises him for not fighting. As Kodai is escorted from the bridge, Dr. Sado apologizes for what happened and they all wonder how he is still alive, believing him to have absorbed a lethal dose of radiation. As Okita is speaking with Heikuro Todo, the leader of the Defense Force, Todo wants to use their last ship to leave the Earth and find a new home but Okita says they should use it for one last chance in defeating the Gamilas. Todo goes on the air and explains that the message pod was from a planet called Iskandar and that they have a device that can cleanse the radiation from the Earth and revitalize it’s surface, as well as schematics for a new warp engine so they can make the journey. Todo requests volunteers for the mission and Kodai decides to reenlist, shocking Dr. Sado that he is still alive. As he is making his way through the ship, Kodai is approached by Yuki, who wonders why he signed up. Before Kodai can respond, an alarm sounds and Kodai heads to the bridge while telling Yuki to get her fighter ready to go in case she is needed. As he reaches the bridge, Kodai realizes that he is onboard the Yamato and takes his station only to learn that the Gamilas have fired a giant missile at the them. Okita orders the wave cannon the be fired, despite protests that it hasn’t been tested, but they manage to destroy the missile and head off to Iskandar. As they make their way through space, Kodai is reunited with his old fighter group but as they are reminiscing, Yuki gets annoyed with them and continues to attack Kodai’s quitting the fleet some years earlier. The Yamato tests out the warp engine and warp from Mars to Jupiter, but end up being attacked by a Gamilas fleet. Yuki goes out alone to disable the mothership’s while the Yamato and as she is beginning to be overwhelmed, she is rescued by the other members of her squadron. After Yuki and the others “paint the target”, Kodai fires the Yamato’s cannons and destroys the mothership’s engines, causing an implosion that wipes out the fleet. Yuki’s ship damaged during the fleets destruction and unable to make it back to the ship so Kodai abandons his post to go rescue her. when Gamilas fighters begin using kamikaze attacks on the Yamato, Okita orders some last minute evasive maneuvers to avoid them while allowing Kodai time to get back on board with Yuki, then they quickly warp out of there. Inside the hangar, Kodai is able to revive Yuki and Dr. Sado has her taken to sick bay for evaluation when they see Okita there with the commando team to escort Kodai to the brig. As the ship leaves the solar system, the crew is allowed one minute to say goodbye to their families on Earth. Meanwhile, Chief Engineer Tokugawa and Dr. Sado pay a visit to Kodai in the brig and as they are drinking, tell him about how Okita’s son was also killed during the Mars attack. Kodai is allowed to use the communicator and runs into Yuki as she is leaving, who is upset that he risked the ship to save her. Kodai asks that she just be a little nicer to him before entering the room but since he has no family, he simply talks to his analyzer. Meanwhile, Yuki is speaking with Shima about Kodai and learns that the reason that Kodai had quit flying was because he had tried to divert a meteor bomb from striking the Earth but it ended up hitting a space station, killing his parents. As the Yamato warps out of the solar system, they discover a Gamilas fighter adrift close by and Okita orders it brought on board for study but then falls ill. He is taken to his quarters and Dr. Sado tells him that he won’t last long. In the hangar, Kodai and the others are examining the Gamilas ship when it’s pilot attacks them before being shot by Saito, the commando leader. Saito is taken over by the alien’s consciousness and speaks with Kodai and the others, saying it’s name is Dessla and the Gamilas are terraforming the Earth to serve their purposes. Kodai stuns Saito, causing Dessla to leave his body and the other commandos shoot it when it is in it’s crystaline form. Kodai is summoned to see Okita, who asks him to be Acting Captain but when Kodai refuses, Okita forces the issue by making it an order and announcing it to the crew. Unknown to the crew, the alien fighter serves acts as a homing beacon for the Gamilas fleet and when the Yamato comes under attack, Kodai orders it ejected and destroyed while he heads back to the bridge. They manage to destroy the attackers but a stealth ship attaches itself to the third bridge and charges up to explode. Faced with no choice, Kodai orders Yuki to fire on the third bridge, severing it from the Yamato so the explosion doesn’t destroy the ship. Afterwards, Kodai goes to speak with Okita about what happened and says he shouldn’t be Acting Captain but Okita tells says that he made the right decision, difficult as it was, and he is doing a fine job. Kodai then goes to console Yuki, apologizing for giving her the order and the two end up kissing as the Yamato enters another warp. The Yamato finally reaches Iskandar, which resembles Earth before the attack, but they find a Gamilas fleet waiting for them and as they come under attack, the Gamilas fires a missile that blocks the wave motion cannon. Facing begin destroyed, Kodai orders an emergency warp and they manage to safely warp to the other side of the planet, finding it completely barren and realize that Iskandar and Gamilas are the same planet. As Kodai and the others discuss the situation, Saito feels like it is a trap while Sando, the Chief Science Officer, thinks the radiation cleansing technology was a false hope. Kodai says that the technology that was sent to them wasn’t meant as a trap and they will still go find the device and restore the Earth. Kodai comes up with a plan of attack and gives a speech to the crew of the Yamato before flying off for his part in the attack. They manage to make it to the surface but most of the Black Tiger squadron and commandos die during the attack, leaving Kodai, Yuki, Saido, and Sando to press on. As they approach the center, Yuki is possessed by the Iskandar, who explain that the Iskandar and Gamilas are two halves of the same race, having evolved into a hive mind. The Iskandar explain that their planet is dying and the Iskandar accept that but the Gamilas don’t, which is why they invaded Earth. They tell Kodai and the others that there is no device to cleanse the radiation, something Kodai knows is true as Okita told him that before he left, but the Iskandar say that their energy will be enough to cleanse the Earth. Kodai and the others start to head back to their ships when they see the Gamilas’ power core and Saito and Sando stay behind to blow it up, allowing Kodai and Yuki time to get to their ship and head back to the Yamato. As they make their way to Earth, Kodai tells Okita the news and he thanks him, then dismisses him and Dr. Sado from his room as he wishes to die alone. The Yamato arrives close to Earth and makes contact with Todo, who is happy to hear that they succeeded in their mission. Suddenly, they come under attack from a massive Gamilas ship and they are contacted by Dessla, who tells them that the Gamilas’ plans to colonize Earth has been stalled but they refuse to let them have the Earth either, and he disappears as the Gamilas ship opens up and prepares to perform a kamikaze attack on the Earth in order to destroy it. Kodai asks on the status of the weapons and hearing that they are all out of commission, decides to ask Okita for advise only to see Dr. Sado arrive on the bridge and indicate that Okita is dead. Trying to figure out what to do, Kodai asks if there is enough power to fire the wave-motion cannon, and when he is told that there is enough power for one shot, he orders everyone to abandon the ship. Yuki and Shima want to stay with Kodai but Kodai tells Shima he has to leave and ensure that Yuki makes it to Earth, or else their mission was all for naught. As the crew salutes and leaves the bridge, Yuki stays behind, asking what was the point of saving the Earth when he won’t be there with her. Kodai hugs her, telling her that all he wanted was to make a better world for her to live in. He then tells her he loves her and asks her to forgive him, before stunning her and telling Shima to take her, placing a picture of him and his brother in her jacket before he does. The surviving crew makes it to the escape ship and as they fly past the bridge, they all salute, with Yuki coming too and screaming at Kodai to get out there. Kodai pilots the Yamato towards the Gamilas ship, which begins firing on him, and he sees the spirits of all of his friends that died during the mission. Once he gets close enough to the ship, he activates the wave-motion cannon, which is still blocked, and the backlash results in an explosion that destroys both ships. Some time later, Yuki is standing on a hilltop looking out at the land, which has been cleansed of the radiation and plants are growing again, when she hears someone cry out “Mommy” and she is joined by the child she had with Kodai.

As far as a sci-fi movie goes, this is pretty good, though it does kind of follow a somewhat typical plot. The acting was pretty good and I did like the character development that Kodai went through throughout the movie. Since I have never seen any of the other versions, I can’t say how this compares to them but I thought the story was pretty good, but not entirely original. However, I feel this has more to do with when the original story took place, as there have been dozens, if not hundreds, of sci-fi movies following a similar plot line so the subject just felt boring. The special effects were pretty good and did help make some of the scenes pretty impressive. I also liked the crystaline consciousness of the Galimas and how they would possess people to communicate, except for the last time Dessla spoke with Kodai and the others. A fun movie to watch and worth giving a shot if you are interested.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review

October 19th, 2017 Movie – South Beach Academy

south beach academy

This right here is what you would call an unwanted bonus movie. I say that because I had no intention of buying this movie, it just happened to be the second movie in a double feature disc that I bought. Now I bought this disc because I wanted Rock ‘N’ Roll High School Forever and this was the only way I could get it. I have my ideas on what this movie is about so let’s see if this movie matches them as I watch South Beach Academy.

The plot: Harry Spencer is sneaking onto a yacht to rescue his girlfriend from Johnny Staccato, a minor mob boss. As he confronts Johnny, Harry monologues about how he wound up in this predicament. One week ago, his brother Billy came to town and met a girl named Harley, who he managed to get a date with. Harry teaches volleyball at South Beach Academy, which is owned by his uncle Gene. Gene has placed a bet with Johnny on the volleyball match that is going on and keeps telling Johnny’s muscle, Pigiron, to increase the bet. During the match, Harry sees Shannon McSorely running on the beach and is amazed when she hits an errant volleyball back into the match. Shannon stays to watch the match, which Harry’s team is winning, until all of the bets are in. Johnny’s muscle signals the girls on his team and they immediately start beating Harry’s team, eventually winning the match. Afterwards, Harry goes to talk with Shannon, who tells him he was set up to lose that match and reveals that she used to be on the US volleyball team. Billy shows up and interrupts them but quickly leaves as Harry arranges to meet with Shannon later. As they walk along the pier, she tells them about how she got conned into a scam which resulted in her not being able to compete in the Olympics. Later that night, Billy and Harry go to a bar, where Harley works as a singer, and while Billy goes closer to the stage to watch Harley, Harry sees Shannon and goes to talk with her. The next day, Johnny shows up at the academy to collect his money and offers Gene a rematch, saying if Gene’s team wins, he will forgive his initial bet and give him 2 million dollars, but if Johnny’s team wins, he gets the deed to the academy. Harry tells Gene not to do it, and Gene says he will just pay Johnny the money in the morning but when Johnny continues to taunt Gene, Gene ends up making the bet. As Harry talks with Gene later about the bet, Gene says he knows Shannon used to be an Olympic volleyball player and was hoping Harry could get her and her former teammates to play for his team. Harry reluctantly agrees to talk to Shannon about it and she is angry that he wants to use her like that but finally agrees, as Johnny was the one that ran the scam on her and she wants to get payback. As Harry and Shannon go try to recruit the other members of the team to help, they are attacked on the beach by some of Johnny’s men but are helped out by Shannon’s former teammate Dominique. After meeting the last member of the team and getting her to join, the girls start practicing for the match. The night before the match, Shannon invites Harry to her house for dinner and they start to make out but Shannon stops before it goes too far, wanting to wait till after the match. After Harry leaves, Shannon finds Johnny in her house and when Harry calls Shannon later that night, Johnny ends up talking with Harry and revealing that Shannon has been working with him. The next day, the match commences and Harry’s team tries their best without Shannon but are losing. When Pigiron goes to taunt Gene, Shannon uses that time to try and explain herself to Harry, saying that Johnny had promised the information to free her brother from jail if she went along with his scheme. However, because of her feelings for Harry, she decides to go against Johnny’s wishes and play for Harry’s team. Harry’s team mounts a comeback and starts to win but Pigiron returns and grabs Shannon and takes her away and Harry goes after her, which brings us to the start of the movie. As Johnny brags to Harry about how he has been manipulating Shannon, Shannon manages to kick Johnny in the face and knock him out. Harry and Shannon return to the match and Harry’s team wins. At the celebration party, Harry reveals that he had taped Johnny’s confession which they can use to free Shannon’s brother and Harry and Shannon end up walking along the beach and having sex, as well as Billy and Harley.

Yup, this is exactly what I thought it would be; a cheap, boring T&A movie. There really isn’t much going for this movie. The acting was pretty bland and honestly did nothing to get me interested in the movie. The story was poorly written, and the pacing was kind of a messed, bouncing between the main story and Billy’s constant showing up in a strip club. Harry’s narrating the movie at times was pretty annoying, while Corey Feldman was honestly annoying all the time. His “calling” the volleyball match was absolutely ridiculous. Another thing that was kind of annoying but also funny at times was the random scenes involving a “drill sergeant” who was teaching girls various beach activities throughout the movie. This is the kind of movie that you would expect to watch late at night when you were teenager but not exactly worth watching now.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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action, movie, movie review, sci-fi, thriller

October 18th, 2017 Movie – A Sound Of Thunder

a sound of thunder

Now this was a movie I was excited to watch because it used one of the more famous cliches when it comes to time travel; what happens if you go back in time and step on a butterfly. I find it funny how many movies and stories make some reference to this concept and try to use some variation of it in their plot. Now, I never heard of this movie coming out in theaters, otherwise I would have gone to see it, but when I first saw it at Blockbuster, I decided to just go ahead and buy a used copy. Now let’s see if it was worth the impulse buy as I watch today’s movie, A Sound Of Thunder.

The plot: In the year 2055, the Time Safari company allows people to travel back in time and hunt dinosaurs. To keep from messing with the timeline, the group travels on a specialized path of hardened air molecules, use weapons that shoot hardened ice bullets, and only kill animals that are known to have died due to natural means. After the latest hunt, Dr. Travis Ryer is doing some research with the computer TAMI when the company’s owner, Charles Hatton, comes to remind him that he must mingle with the clients as part of his contract. Travis reluctantly heads up to the party, telling John Wallenbeck that the video disc of their hunt shows that he was the one to bring down the allosaurus. Suddenly, Dr. Sonia Rand interrupts the event, spraying the attendees with red wine while yelling that they will destroy the future if they keep messing with the past. As she is being escorted away by security, Travis stops them and talks with Sonia, learning that she was one of the people that developed TAMI but due to a clause in her contract and a nondisclosure agreement, didn’t receive any credit for it. Sonia is upset that her work is being used for people to kill dinosaurs and mad at Travis for going along with it but Travis shows her that he is working there for a different reason. Taking her to the zoo, Travis explains that since hunting and a mysterious virus wiped out most animal life on the planet, he has been using the jumps to get DNA recordings from animals before the virus occurred so that he can clone them. Back at Time Safari, Marcus Payne knocks over some liquid nitrogen tanks and after putting them back upright, goes to talk to Jenny Krase, unaware that one of the tanks is leaking onto Travis’ gun. The next day, Travis leads a new hunt with clients Eckels and Middleton, explaining all of the rules they need to follow for the hunt. As they proceed with the jump, Eckels is extremely nervous and jumpy, attempting to shoot a butterfly that startles him. When the allosaurus appears, Travis’ gun malfunctions, preventing anyone from firing their guns. Travis uses a flashlight to lure the allosaurus away from the group, telling the clients to hide while Marcus works on repairing the gun. Marcus eventually gets the gun repaired and Travis is able to kill the allosaurus and they all leave, unaware that one of the clients had stepped off the path while hiding, as evidenced by a muddy footprint left on the path. The next day, the city experiences an increase in temperature and humidity while fish suddenly start beaching themselves and plants are suddenly increasing their growth rate. Travis leads a new group on their hunt but they find that the allosaurus is still lying dead in the swamp from their last jump and the nearby volcano erupts sooner than it was supposed to. After making it back through the portal before the volcano kills them, Travis and the others try to figure out what is going on but Clay Derris, the federal agent that oversees the project, shuts them down so they are unable to access TAMI. As Hatton argues with Clay about shutting them down, Tyler goes to see Sonia and talk to her. After getting inside her apartment, Tyler tells Sonia what happened and after telling her when it occurred, Sonia has him look outside and he sees a time wave approaching the city, knocking him off his feet when it occurs. Sonia starts to explain about the time wave when they hear a scream and are suddenly attacked by a swarm of beetles, forcing them to run from the apartment. As they are heading back to Time Safari, Sonia explains that the time waves will change evolution in stages, starting with the climate and then lower life forms, with humanity being altered in the last wave. Convincing Clay to let them try and fix things, Travis attempts to jump back before the Eckels/Middleton hunt and turn them back but he finds himself in the old west just as another time wave is about to hit. Travis makes it back through the portal but the time wave knocks out power to the entire city and Sonia explains that they can’t make it past the “ripples” of the time wave. After checking the footage reveals no indication as to what happened, Marcus checks the logs and finds that they came back a few grams heavier. Hatton reveals that he had the bio-filters turned off in order to save money, though in reality it was to pay off Clay, and after searching all of their gear from the trip, realize that it must have been one of the clients. Figuring that Eckels was the likely suspect, Marcus modifies the weapons to fire individually and Travis, Sonia, Jenny, Marcus, and Dr. Lucas head out to find Eckels. As they make their way through the city, finding it completely overgrown with plants, they see evidence of some type of creature and hear it calling out in the distance. Marcus gets poisoned by a thorny vine and as they are helping him walk, Lucas is grabbed by a strange creature which is a cross between a baboon and a lizard. Travis chases after Dr. Lucas and manages to kill the baboonlizard and he and Lucas quickly run as more creatures appear. Marcus can’t walk so he chooses to stay behind and fend them off as long as he can, allowing the others to escape. They eventually make it to Eckel’s apartment, finding it barricaded by the inhabitants but after saving two people that had gone to get food, they convince the people to let them in. They make their way up to Eckels’ apartment and while Travis and Sonia talk to him, Jenny and Lucas scan his suit and find it is clean. Realizing it was Middleton, Eckels tells them that he has been staying in his office and where it is. Lucas hotwires a car and they make their way to his office, noticing a strange flying creature passing overhead. Reaching the office, Travis and Sonia head inside, leaving Jenny and Lucas to watch the car. They find that the people have killed themselves after being driven mad by the brambles’ poison and Middleton is infected as well, killing a security guard before killing himself. Travis and Sonia search his gear and find the remains of a butterfly so they quickly head back to the car to find Lucas and Jenny firing into the air. As they drive back to Time Safari, they are attacked by bat like creatures, which manage to peel off the roof of the car and grab Lucas. Another time wave hits, causing the car to crash into the building, and they find that the jump station is flooded and inoperable. Sonia says they can use the particle accelerator at the university to use as a substitute and goes to grab TAMI’s hard drive. Travis goes to get a jump suit and finds Clay hiding in one of the lockers. Clay tells him to be quiet and motions above them and they see the baboonlizards sleeping from the ceiling above them. Sonia grabs the hard drive and they leave and Clay decides at the last minute to try and follow but he is killed by the baboonlizards. Deciding to go through the subway tunnels to reach the university, they end up crawling through a damaged subway train when the tunnel suddenly floods, trapping them in the train. Travis goes to smash a window so they can swim to safety when something breaks through the window and grabs Jenny, dragging her away. As the train floods, Sonia and Travis go to escape but Travis is attacked by a strange, eel like creature but the tunnel collapses some more and kills the creature while Travis almost drowns but is saved by Sonia. They reach the university as the baboonlizards arrive and start to attack the building. Making their way to the particle accelerator, Sonia works on getting everything set up for a slingshot jump while Travis secures the room and then prepares for the jump. As the baboonlizards start to break in, Sonia activates the time jump just as another time wave occurs, with Sonia ending up transformed into a human/catfish hybrid. Travis jumps to 1 year beyond the normal jump time and then he bounce back to the time of the hunt. Seeing the group with the allosaurus, Travis yells at Jenny to record him, telling her what happened, then goes and stops Middleton before he steps on the butterfly, vanishing as the timeline is restored to normal. As the group returns through the portal, Jenny tells Clay she knows about the bio-filters and tells him to turn them back on, causing Clay to nervously talk to Hatton. Jenny then grabs Travis and hands him the recording, telling him she told Hatton that there was a malfunction and a disc doesn’t exist, and tells Travis he needs to watch it. The next day, Travis goes to see Sonia and tells her about the recording and asks her help in exposing the dangers with Time Safari and how to stop them.

A Sound Of Thunder was panned by the critics, holding a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Choppy logic and uneven performances are overshadowed by not-so-special effects that makes the suspension of disbelief a nearly impossible task.” The movie was based off of a short story by Ray Bradbury and originally supposed to be directed by Renny Harlin but he was fired after having a disagreement with Bradbury. The movie was a box office bomb, only earning $11.7 million off of an $80 million budget.

This was your classic case of a good idea bogged down with problems. The acting was ok, with Edward Burns (Travis), Catherine McCormack (Sonia), Jemima Rooper (Jenny), and Sir Ben Kingsley (Hatton) was pretty good. The story was very interesting but there was one VERY big flaw in the concept. If they keep going to the same time to hunt that allosaurus, the different hunting parties should overlap but of course, this is Hollywood and logic has no place whatsoever in a sci-fi movie. As for the whole evolution changing with each time wave concept, I thought that was kind of cool and made sense as a way to make the movie longer, though I am curious if that is actually what would happen if such a thing occurred. The special effects were a mixture of good and bad; with the creature designs actually being really good, but some of the background shots used some pretty poor blue screen effects. Problems aside, I enjoyed this movie but accept that it probably isn’t going to be for everyone.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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drama, horror, movie, movie review, mystery

October 17th, 2017 Movie – Soul Survivors

soul survivors

There are plenty of times that I find myself with a movie and honestly don’t know why I bought it in the first place. That is definitely the case with today’s movie. This is something that might get my attention in watching but not necessarily wanting to buy unless it is really good. That being said, when I first watched this movie I don’t recall thinking it worth buying and yet, here it is. So let me give this another viewing and see if something might have changed my mind about Soul Survivors.

The plot: Cassie walks out of a college party and when her friend, who yells at her from a window, refuses to drive her home, she decides to walk. As she stops to light a cigarette, she notices a strange man with a scarred face following her and she quickens her pace only for a second man, wearing a clear mask, to grab her and the two drag her into an alley. After placing some duct tape over her mouth to keep her from screaming, the slit her wrist and collect the blood in a bowl. Some time earlier, Cassie is packing to go to college and her boyfriend Sean is helping her move, along with her friends Annabel and Matt, who is also her ex-boyfriend. When they get to Middleton college, they attend a frat party but Annabel tells them of a rave at an old church and convinces them to go to it. As Cassie and Annabel start dancing on the dance floor, they attract the attention of the man in the clear mask and the scarred man. The man in the mask heads to the dance floor and tries to grab Cassie but she pushes him away, then meets back up with Sean. The two head outside and after kissing for a while, start talking about their relationship and saying goodbye to each other, unaware that Matt is listening. After they say they love each other, Matt makes his presence known, pretending to be drunk, and Sean goes back in the club to get Annabel while Cassie helps Matt into the car. In the car, Matt convinces Cassie to give him one last goodbye kiss but Sean sees them and refuses to talk to Cassie as she tries to explain what happened. As they leave the club, Cassie continues to ask Sean to talk to her, not noticing a car passing them containing the scarred and masked man. When the car suddenly stops in the middle of the road, Cassie slams into it and both cars go rolling down a hill. Cassie’s next memory is of being tended too by doctors and learns that Sean did not survive the crash. Returning to school and trying to move on, Cassie falls asleep in her room only to be woken up by Annabel pounding on the door, as she is trying to get Cassie to come to a party with her. As she tries to convince Cassie to come, Annabel’s new friend Raven enters Cassies apartment and asks about the pictures of Sean. saying that he is there and saw Cassie kiss Matt. Annabel and Raven leave and Cassie decides to go for a walk but she ends up being chased by Deathmask and faints when she has a vision of Sean. After coming too, she sees Matt keeping watch over her, telling her a priest had found her fainted on the ground and carried her to the hospital. After Matt escorts her back to her room, they talk and Cassie says that it is their fault that Sean died. While taking her midterm, Cassie has a hallucination that her nose is dripping blood and she is back on the operating table from the crash and ends up rushing out of the class. As she catches her breath outside, she is approached by Father Jude and she thanks him for helping her. Cassie ends up telling Father Jude about the accident and Sean’s death and how she is having trouble dealing with it and he says she is welcome to come by the church and talk any time she needs too. Cassie sees Matt and starts to walk over to him when she notices Annabel walking with Raven and the scarred man, which makes her pause. Matt signs Cassie up for a swim meet, then takes her shopping for supplies so they can paint her apartment. When Annabel shows up, they end up goofing off and painting each other, then Cassie and Annabel go to clean up but Cassie has another vision of blood erupting from the drain. Afterwards, Annabel wants to go dancing and when Matt and Cassie don’t want to go, she gets upset when it seems like Matt is trying to get back with Cassie. That night, Cassie has a dream of Sean making love to her and wakes up to find Matt in her bed. As she confronts Matt about it, Annabel shows up and finds them in a state of undress and accuses Cassie of stealing Matt after losing Sean and Matt argues with Annabel outside the apartment. After having another hallucination, Cassie heads to the library and sees Annabel making out with Raven but when they spot her, they quickly leave. Cassie leaves the library but ends up being followed by the scarred man and she quickly runs from him and races back to her apartment. She finds Matt there and she tells him what happened but he doesn’t believe her, simply giving her her medicine that she was prescribed after the crash. Some time later, Cassie is practicing swimming for the meet when she is attacked by Deathmask, who attempts to drown her, but she manages to break free and when she surfaces, he is gone, with nobody having seen him there. Cassie heads to the gazebo and sees Sean there and they talk for a while before he leads her into the woods. When she hears someone calling out to her, Sean warns her that if she stays there she will die and she runs away, but when she returns to the gazebo, she sees Matt talking to the scarred man. She heads to the church and Father Jude invites her in and talks with her, He then gives her an amulet of St. Jude for protection and lets her rest in his bed. When Cassie wakes up, she notices the calendar in his room is from 1981 and she goes to speak to the attending priest and asks to speak with Father Jude but learns that Father Jude died in 1981 and she runs from the church. Cassie competes in the swim meet but as she is swimming, she sees Deathmask watching her, which throws her off, but then sees Sean at the finish line and quickens her pace to reach him, winning the race. Afterwards, Cassie is talking with Annabel and Matt and questions them about her seeing them with the scarred man and Deathmask and Annabel gets mad at Cassie and the two argue before Cassie slaps Annabel and Annabel storms off. Cassie goes to change clothes and is attacked by Deathmask again and she manages to stab him with a fluorescent light bulb before the both fall into the pool and she quickly gets out and leaves, running into Matt who says there is nobody there. Cassie asks Matt to take her home and he agrees but takes her to the old church, saying that he is going to get Annabel first. Cassie follows him inside but they get separated and Cassie is chased by the scarred man. She ends up in a bathroom and sees Annabel and Raven fooling around and tries to get Annabel to leave but Annabel says she likes it there and runs off. Cassie goes to follow but Raven tells her to leave them alone, as they are not her friends anymore, and that she should go be with Sean. Cassie leaves and gets back in the car only to find Matt there, wanting a final goodbye kiss. She smashes him in the head with a bottle then drags him out of the car before taking off. She heads back to campus and finds Annabel lying dying in the gazebo and Annabel accuses Cassie of having killed her. As the police and crowd move towards Cassie, Cassie backs away and ends up getting hit by a car. She sees Father Jude approaching her and has a hallucination of Sean holding her hand as she is going to the emergency room. She freaks out and races out of the emergency room, with her mind going back and forth between her being back in the club or in the hospital. As the scarred man attacks her, she finds herself in another car crash, with someone trying to rescue her. She then finds herself in a hospital bed, with Raven laying in the bed next to her. Raven tells her not to be afraid before she dies and the doctors cover her face. Cassie then sees Father Jude, who explains that she is in a dream and that she shouldn’t be afraid to be with Sean. Cassie calls out to Sean and she tells him she loves him and they kiss. Later, Cassie is her hospital room and as she goes to put her necklace back on, the scarred man and Deathmask use it to strangle her. She ends up waking up in bed with Sean, revealing that everything that happened after the original car crash was all a coma-dream, and Sean had lived but Annabel and Matt died in the crash.

Soul Survivors was completely panned by the critics, holding a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Soul Survivors‘ stock characters and utter lack of suspense gives viewers little reason to attempt deciphering the confusing plot.” James Marsden turned down the role of Sean to take part in X-Men, which lead to Casey Affleck’s taking the role, though he claims it to be one of his least favorite roles. The movie was a box office bomb, earning $4.299 million off of a $17 million budget.

This is a confusing mess of a movie and I still don’t know why I have it. The acting was ok, with nobody really standing out in their roles. The story was a confusing mess, doing a poor job of explaining what is going on and who survived the crash and who died. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects and the camera work felt pretty shoddy, which added to the confusion in the plot during the scenes where she was halucinating between two visions. Definitely not something that is worth watching unless you are really, really bored.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review

October 16th, 2017 Movie – Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama

sorority babes in the slimeball bowl-a-rama

Ahh, another 80’s B-movie is a good way to start the week. Today’s movie is a nice little collection of 80’s scream queens, which I had heard of but never got around to seeing. Heh, the term “scream queen” has always made me laugh. You know, I wonder if Fay Wray could be considered the first scream queen, as she is known for her role in King Kong, where she did an awful lot of screaming. Anyways, I wound up buying this movie during one of my numerous B-movie binges and watched it shortly after I got it. So let’s see how fun this movie is as I watch today’s movie, Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama.

The plot: Calvin, Jimmie, and Keith are hanging out in their dorm room and while Calvin is sitting there watching a horror movie, Jimmie and Keith are discussing going to watch the Tri-Delta sorority initiation ritual. They try to convince Calvin to go with them but when he is reluctant to do so, they decide to get him drunk and bring him with them. At the sorority, Babs Peterson, Rhonda, and Frankie are getting ready for the initiation, with Rhonda and Frankie complaining about the robes they are wearing but Babs tell them that it is tradition. Dowstairs, the two initiates, Taffy and Lisa, are discussing why they are joining the sorority when Babs and the others come downstairs and begin the initiation by spanking the girls for talking. Outside, Calvin, Jimmie, and Keith are watching this occur from a window and Keith decides that they should sneak inside the house to get a better view. Inside, Babs finishes spanking the two initiates and then Frankie and Rhonda spray the girls with whipped cream, then have the girls go get cleaned up before the final stage of the initiation commences. As Lisa and Taffy shower off the whipped cream, Calvin, Keith, and Jimmie sneak upstairs to spy on them but they are caught by Babs. Babs tries to figure out what to do with the three boys and eventually decides to have them help Lisa and Taffy with the final part of the initiation; breaking into the bowling alley at the mall and stealing a trophy. As they head to the mall, Babs, Frankie, and Rhonda get there ahead of them, intending to sneak into the security room and scaring them as the wander the bowling alley. As they break into the security room, the accidentally trap the janitor in a closet. Meanwhile, Calvin and the others reach the mall and as Keith tries to break in, a drunken Calvin simply grabs the door as he almost falls, revealing it is unlocked. The 5 head inside and split up to look for the trophies but Calvin ends up running into Spider, a female thief that was in the process of robbing the bowling alley. As the others go see what the commotion is, Spider starts insulting them all so they leave, but Calvin stays and continues talking to Spider. After Spider helps them get into the are where the trophies are, she heads to the arcade and Calvin follows her. Jimmie grabs a trophy and they start to leave but when the pick on Calvin for continuing to hang out with Spider, Spider hit’s Jimmie and causes him to drop the trophy. Suddenly, the trophy starts smoking and the bottom pops off, releasing a strange imp called Uncle Impy, who offers the group a wish for each of them. Jimmie takes the first wish, wishing for lots of gold, and is happy to see a pile of gold bricks appear behind them. Keith takes the next wish and asks that Lisa be attracted to him and she suddenly appears in just her bra and panties and they quickly run off to have sex. Taffy uses her wish to become the prom queen and finds herself in a nice dress and sash but Spider and Calvin decide to leave, unaware that Uncle Impy has locked and electrified all of the exits to the mall. Babs, Frankie, and Rhonda can’t believe what is going on but Uncle Impy senses them watching and uses his powers to attack them through the security monitors. Babs avoids the attack but Frankie and Rhonda are changed; with Frankie becoming the Bride of Frankenstein while Rhonda becomes a demonic minion. Babs runs out of the room, accidentally knocking the Janitor back into the closet, and tries to leave the mall but gets knocked unconscious when she is electrocuted by the doors. Calvin and Spider find the unconscious Babs and decide to warn the others, just as Jimmie and Taffy discover their wishes were fake. Frankie and Rhonda attack Jimmie, and end up placing his head in the bowling ball polisher before ripping it off, with Rhonda deciding to use it as a bowling ball. Calvin and Spider barricade themselves in a storage room, where they manage to find a gun and as Rhonda tries to come after them, Spider shoots her several times and they quickly run. Meanwhile Keith finds that his wish had made Lisa insatiable and after several attempts to get away from her, he finally does so by telling her he is getting ice for them. As he wanders through the concession area, Rhonda catches him and shoves his face in a fryer. Frankie starts chasing after Taffy and catches up to her but Taffy hits her repeatedly with a metal pole, then runs when she starts to get back up. She sees Keith sitting in a booth and approaches him only to discover he is dead and as she backs away from him, she is grabbed by Frankie and Rhonda, who proceed to pull her apart. Babs regains consciousness and tries to hide in the back of the bowling lanes, where she ends up meeting the Imp. After he talks with her for a bit, Rhonda shows up to kill Babs but Babs manages to shove Rhonda through one of the lanes, trapping her there. Calvin and Spider see Rhonda is stuck and Spider throws a bowling ball down the lane, which ends up killing Rhonda. As Babs laughs about Rhonda being dead, the Imp turns her into his next minion. Meanwhile, Calvin and Spider find the janitor, who had finally gotten out of the closet, asleep in the janitor’s office. After waking him up, they tell him what is happening and the janitor is upset that they let the Imp out, explaining how he had been trapped in the trophy for 30 years. The janitor tells them about how the Imp was trapped so Calvin and Spider decide to try and find the others and trap the Imp again. Meanwhile, Lisa is still in the bathroom waiting for Keith when Babs, now turned into a dominatrix, assaults her. Calvin and Spider go looking for the others but Calvin is attacked by Frankie but manages to get away, though Frankie grabs the knife that Spider was carrying, using it to kill the janitor. Calvin and Spider head to the restrooms, where they are attacked by Babs but they manage to burn her to death. After finding Lisa’s body, they head back to the janitor’s officer only to find Frankie standing over his body and they run, with an axe-wielding Frankie chasing after them. As they get close to the doors, Frankie and Spider begin fighting over the axe and Spider manages to get it and cuts off Frankie’s head, with the severed head flying into the doors and managing to open them. Spider tells Calvin to get the car but as he drives it towards the exit, he is attacked by Rhonda, who was in the back seat, and ends up crashing the car. As the Imp laughs over what is happening, Spider manages to trap it inside a large tobacco tin and then heads outside to check on Calvin, who had managed to survive the crash. As morning breaks, Spider tells Calvin that with the Imp trapped, all it’s power was broken, then tells Calvin that they had to leave before the authorities got there and tells Calvin to get on her motorcycle so she can take him back to her place. As they leave, the Imp can be heard asking to be let out of the tin, eventually asking the audience if they want a wish.

This is a pretty ridiculous and funny movie. The acting was about what you would expect, with the Linnea Quigley (Spider) and Andras Jones (Calvin) doing a good job and had some good chemistry in their on screen relationship. I also liked George “Buck” Flowers character, as he added a lot of comic relief in his constantly being knocked into the closet as well as his conversation with Calvin and Spider. The story was interesting and a the wish aspect kind of felt like a play off the “Monkey’s Paw” story, at least in the fact that the wishes ended up turning bad. As for the whole Imp story, I think that was added to try and boost the horror aspect but it came off as more of a joke. The special effects were on the cheap side, with the Imp basically being a claymation puppet that honestly didn’t look that good. This is everything you would expect out of a horror B-movie and definitely good for some laughs.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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