Sunday, July 14, 2019

Podcast: Kid Cop (1996)

After a thorough and inefficient search of the Amazon Prime streaming options, Your Stupid Minds settles on the most ridiculously titled ‘90s direct-to-video release in its general eyeshot: 1996’s Kid Cop!

Sorry, I couldn't find a trailer. Here's a link to the Amazon Prime version.

A kid cop (Jer Adrianne Lelliott) insists on being a kid cop after his adult cop dad is killed in the line of duty. His mother (Alexandra Paul) is concerned, but somewhat relieved that Kid Cop is guided by the man who did not prevent her husband’s death, his partner Frank (Edward Albert). Kid Cop finds a pattern in a series of burglaries around town, and eventually suspects a pair of newcomers to town: The ice cream truck owners Beverly and Stan (Cindy Pickett and John Rubinstein). He elicits the help of his new friend Lisa (Bethany Richards) and thwarts a heinous gold coin heist by these outsider monsters.

Some Notes:
  • Edward Albert, who plays Frank, is the son of Green Acres star Eddie Albert and Mexican actress/dancer Margo.
  • Lewis Arquette, who plays the mayor, is the father of Rosanna Arquette, Patricia Arquette, Alexis Arquette, Richmond Arquette, and David Arquette.
  • Sondra Currie appears in the film, and was also in a number of exploitation films, as well as The Hangover Parts I-III.
  • Bethany Richards, who plays Lisa, is the sister of Ariana Richards, who plays Lex in Jurassic Park.
  • Kid Cop's favorite ice cream treat is a "Slide-Up," which is likely a genericization of a NestlĂ©® Push-Up® Pop, notable for including Flintstones characters. Not to be confused with a Push Pop, which is a giant Jolly Rancher in tube form.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Podcast: Killer Workout (1987)

Direct download.

Your Stupid Minds reviews a classic of the gym-based ‘80s slasher genre, Killer Workout, also known as Aerobi-cide.

An up-and-coming model (Marcia Karr) is horrifically burned in a freak tanning bed fire. Two years (or is it five years?) later, her twin sister Rhonda (mentioned only in online synopses) opens up a gym where babes and hunks are murdered with a comically large novelty safety pin. A needlessly confrontational investigator, Lieutenant Morgan (David Campbell), is assigned the case. Another hunk, Chuck, (Ted Prior), is sent by the gym's senior partner to work at the gym, and also knows white guy karate.

Some Notes
  • Tanning bed fires are not all that uncommon.
  • Not to be confused with Death Spa, which came out a few years later. Weirdly enough one of the teens in this movie vandalizes the gym with a graffito tag that says "Death Spa," even though no spa services are seen.
  • A horrible VHS digital transfer with frequent tracking issues is available on Amazon Prime. There is also a Blu-ray version sourced from a PAL Beta SP and upconverted to HD, meaning better than the Prime version, but not by much.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Podcast: Savage Beach (1989)

Direct download.

Your Stupid Minds returns to sports television pioneer cum b-movie schlock director Andy Sidaris (Hard Ticket to Hawaii) with his 1989 beach babes spy caper Savage Beach.

Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlson) return to the Sidaris-verse when, after a drug bust and a naked hot tub session, fly to a remote island to deliver medicine to orphans. During the mission, they encounter a storm and have to crash land on a different island, which ends up being the center of an intertwined narrative about recovering hidden World War II era gold while a bevy of other parties—ninjas, Filipino revolutionaries, and the U.S. government—attempt to do the same.

Some Notes:
  • Select scenes were inexplicably shot in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Though an explosive-tipped crossbow bolt does not require an open can of gasoline to kill you, it does make the resulting explosion a lot cooler.
  • Savage Beach features no remote controlled vehicles (a director trademark). However, it does offer a number of small watercraft, tourist helicopters, and single engine planes. In a way, these are similar to remote controlled vehicles, except bigger, able to transport humans, and with the remote control permanently attached to the interior and not remote at all.
  • Shadow Shaman and Shadow Brutes have a 0.2% chance of dropping an iridium bar when slain. Both are located in the Mines, levels 81-119.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Podcast: North (1994)

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Superfan Leo requested one of those most notoriously bad movies in modern history: Rob Reiner's 1994 box office bomb North.

The titular 11-year-old wunderkind North (Elijah Wood) is tired of his parents' (played by Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) bickering and self-centeredness, so he decides to become a "free agent" and shops around for new parents.

With his parents in a shock-induced double coma, North traipses the globe looking for a new family, which takes him to Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, and so on. A number of A-Listers and fun character actors appear, including Bruce Willis, Jon Lovitz, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Reba McEntire, Kathy Bates, John Ritter, Abe Vigoda, Richard Belzer, Ben Stein, and a very young Scarlett Johansson in her very first role.

Some Notes:

  • Roger Ebert famously disliked North, writing in his review that he "hated this movie. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie." I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie later become the title of one of Ebert's books.
  • The movie was based on the book North: The Tale of a Boy Who Becomes a Free Agent: and Travels the World in Search of the Perfect Parents, written by Alan Zweibel, who also penned the film's screenplay. Fun Fact: No one read this book. Not even the author.
  • Abe Vigoda plays a inuit grandfather sent off to die on an ice floe. The actual Vigoda (who has always been 100 years old) would go on to live another 22 years.
  • A young Jussie Smollett also appears in the film, this time uncovering an elaborate deception rather than (allegedly) perpetuating one.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Podcast: Longshot (2001)

Direct download.

Have you ever wanted to see *NSYNC, Kenny Rogers, O-Town, Zachery Ty Bryan, LFO, Gilbert Gottfried, Dustin Diamond, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Paul Sorvino, Britney Spears, and Art Garfunkel all together on the big screen? No, you didn't. You really, really didn't. Because that’s what happened in 2001’s Lou Pearlman produced film Longshot, and it was awful.

Sorry, we couldn't find a decent version of the trailer, so here's Britney Spears's scene in Longshot.

Much like a Russian nesting doll, the film is a gigolo-based espionage thriller within a high school basketball redemption story within a story about O-Town watching the film just described. Producer and co-writer Tony DeCamillis stars as said gigolo Jack, who is forced by gangster Lazzlo Price (Sorvino) to seduce a rich widow for information about a recent merger.

Meanwhile, Jack’s nephew Alex (Joey Sculthorpe) misses a game-winning basketball shot, and slowly gains confidence over his tormentor Deke (Ty Bryan) by beating up a mugger (“The Rock” Johnson) in a poorly-lit New York alley. Cue numerous gratuitous and pointless cameos from Lou Pearlman’s various employees, friends, and well-wishers.

Some Notes:
  • Producer of numerous boy bands (and this film) Lou Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison for running a $300 million Ponzi scheme. He died in prison in 2016.
  • YouTube Originals and Lance Bass recently produced a documentary about Pearlman titled The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story.
  • Pearlman's first love was airships, but could never get any to successfully fly. He once got Jordache to sponsor a blimp, which promptly crashed into a New Jersey garbage dump shortly after takeoff.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Podcast: Twisted Pair (2018)

Direct download.

We are back…. now for Your Stupid Minds’s 150th episode! Since we’ve gotten into the habit of releasing episodes featuring Neil Breen movies at fifty episode intervals (see: Fateful Findings, Double Down), we had to wait until Nick’s $30 standard definition DVD copy of his latest film, Twisted Pair, arrived via USPS from the Breen’s Las Vegas estate.

Neil Breen plays twins Cade and Cale Altair, who were taken by aliens at birth and imbued with AI Intelligence superpowers that make them jump really high and unconvincingly. They are returned to earth to a secret agency in order to protect stock footage soldiers from gif explosions. While Cade excels, Cale flounders and grows a fake beard.

Since this is where the voice over ends in the film, the rest of the synopsis gets a little hazy. Cade stalks a college campus at night, while Cale kidnaps evil corporate greed corporate business men and tortures them. The twins each have girlfriends who look remarkably similar in sparse lighting. Also starring Astro-Eagle and Brad Stein as Dectective (sic).

Some Notes:

  • Also see our episode for I Am Here.... Now. It was not released at a fifty episode interval, but it's worth listening to nonetheless.
  • Keep an eye out for some footage from I Am Here.... Now on the projected screen in the home theater, along with framed posters for the films Ultraviolet and Shark Tale.
  • Trivia
    • The beard that Cale wears is not actual facial hair that Neil Breen grew, but a hair-based prosthesis that Breen attached to his face.
    • The rat that accompanies the homeless man on the college campus is not, in fact, a real rat, but a whole-rat prosthesis. A keen eye will note the "rat" does not move nor make noise for several seconds while on screen.
    • Mr. Breen cannot, in fact, jump incredibly high. That effect was accomplished through the use of movie magic.
    • Neil Breen and Astro-Eagle were both featured in the Marvel film Thor: The Dark World (2013), where Breen played Malekith and Astro-Eagle played himself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Podcast: Deathstalker II (1987)

Direct download.

Your Stupid Minds goes back to its roots (we always say that) to cover a movie that, as Mary Berry likes to say, ticks all the boxes. Roger Cormon, Jim Wynorski, ‘80s, swords and sandals, buff dudes, John Lazar... Deathstalker II has it all!

Deathstalker (John Terlesky) helps out a seer/princess Reena/Evie (Monique Gabrielle) regain her throne after the evil Jarek the Sorcerer (John Lazar) seizes the throne and clones an evil version of the princess to serve as his princess queen. Deathstalker is a swaggering mercenary who reluctantly goes on the mission, but stops a few times for side quests involving cemetery jewels. There are also amazons, nudity, wrestling, dwarves, bar fights, and a matter transmitting video phone bog.

Some Notes:

  • Directed by Your Stupid Minds regular Jim Wynorski (Vampirella, Desert Thunder, Chopping Mall).
  • Featuring some higgledy-piggledy world-building, including henchmen who claim to know Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and Ivan the Terrible; figures of history which span roughly 1,200 years.
  • Featuring Dee Booher, a.k.a. Matilda the Hun from the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling television series. She is credited as Queen Kong, her roller derby name at the time.