Thursday, October 16, 2014

Podcast: .com for Murder (2002)

We continue our October scary-movie-a-thon-thing with the terrifying and impossible to alphabetize cyber thriller .com for Murder. Directed by schlock semi-master Nico Mastorakis, this ripoff of Halloween, Psycho, Rear Window, etc. stars Nastassja Kinski (Cat People), Nicollette Sheridan (former Michael Bolton paramour), Roger Daltrey (Vampirella, The Who), and Huey Lewis (of the News).

When hotshot architect Ben (Daltrey) leaves his temporarily handicapped wive Sondra (Kinski) in the care of her sister and a completely computerized mansion named Hal, she uses the opportunity to antagonize murderers in an online sex chatroom. When she annoys the wrong murderer—a hacker who goes by Werther—he uses the opportunity to send her video footage of a murder (encrypted as a racist public domain cartoon) and then go after her as well! Meanwhile FBI Agent Matheson (Lewis) takes the case despite lacking a basic understanding of computers and technology.

Join Nick, Chris, and returning special guest Sarah Long (from Episode 42: American Strays) as we try and figure out how to add blood effects to chatoom text, why the director thought the delete key could possibly execute any sort of command, and the murderer’s extremely dubious time estimate for death by wrist knick.

Some Notes:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Podcast: The Fog (2005)

Your Stupid Minds reviews SCARY MOVIES throughout October, so cover your eyes and prepare yourself for the spookiest jump scares and bloodless murders that the MPAA will allow at this particular rating threshhold. It’s Rupert Wainwright’s dull remake of John Carpenter’s somewhat flawed The Fog, but instead of early 1980s suspense it’s a mid-2000s Trajan-fonted teen slasher!

Nick Castle (Smallville’s Tom Welling) is a boat guy on the small Antonio Island, off the coast of Oregon. He takes tourists on his boat with his first mate Spooner (DeRay Davis) when the anchor snags on something… something GHOSTLY! Meanwhile Nick’s girlfriend Elizabeth (a non-kidnapped Maggie Grace) returns to the island, unaware of Nick’s affair with the sultry local DJ Stevie (Selma Blair). But all of this relationship drama is largely moot because ghost pirates show up.

Sadly not a ghost pirate in this movie.
2005’s The Fog splits the difference between Carpenter’s supernatural giallo influences and adds high-tension gore-less slasher suspense throughout. As a result the original plot makes little sense, such as when Elizabeth breezes through an entire 19th century journal as they outpace the fog in Nick’s truck. And based on the intentions of the ghostly beings inside the fog, many of the murders leading up to the denouement make little sense.

Some Notes:
  • Some things that would have improved this movie: ghost leprosy deaths, blood, something interesting, the ghost pirates trying to frame Spooner.
  • There is no name for a 135th anniversary, but 125th is a "Quasquicentennial."
  • Available streaming on Netflix.
Direct download.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Podcast: In the Blood (2014)

Your Stupid Minds reviews a poorly titled action thriller In the Blood, starring former MMA standout turned action movie heroine Gina Carano. Join us as we discuss the long-awaited return of Danny Trejo, after literally three episodes without an appearance.

Carano marries a bland, blonde, handsome son of a rich businessman (Treat Williams), and after he is kidnapped during a bizarrely intricate plot, she becomes the top suspect of island law enforcement led by Luis Guzmán. Will Gina find her husband and kill a bunch of dudes? Is her character a psychotic, Michael Myers style villain, or the hero of this movie? What is proper zipline safety procedures? Tune in and find out!

Some Notes:
  • Is it a victory for feminism that this is a believable female-led action vehicle, without much of the chixploitation stuff? Notably, Gina never pretends to be a prostitute, never tricks anyone into having sex as a prelude to murder, and the most sexualized thing she does is basically a variation of the Boz's trick in One Tough Bastard.
  • What would Ken Shamrock, noted MMA-guy and pro wrestler, be like as an actor in an action movie? A personality who never really "acts," a la Steve Austin, or a blank slate who punches people? The question keeps Chris up at night.
  • Nick appreciates the support of our many neck-tattooed listeners.
  • Not on Netflix or Hulu, but available for streaming on Starz.
Direct download.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Podcast: Future-Kill (1985)

We go back to our B movie roots with an independent sci-fi monster flick shot right here in the heart of Austin, Texas: 1985’s Future-Kill. Despite its ultra low budget and muddy cinematography, the filmmakers somehow convinced famed surrealist artist H.R. Giger to create the poster image, which is far and away a hundred times better than anything in the actual movie. Giger’s rendering of the main villain “Splatter” is mysterious, ghostly, and terrifying.

While Future-Kill’s Splatter looks like this.

After a brief intro with Splatter and Eddie, the leader of the mutant punk protest movement, Future-Kill moves over to a zany frat party full of a bunch of reprehensible frat dudes displaying amateurish pranks. The balding frat president says these no-goodniks must make up for their antics by performing the zaniest prank of all: go downtown into mutant territory and kidnap a gang member. Needless to say it does not go well and they end up running for their lives in a world without pay phones or public transportation.

Some Notes:
  • For those of you who read Austin area theatre criticism, Austin Chronicle writer Robert Faires makes a brief appearance as the rival frat's president.
  • Featuring two of the "stars" of the The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, if you consider "Hitchhiker" to be the main character.
  • One bright spot of the second and third act slog is a brief visit to a punk club where they watch a band called Max and the Makeups. Even though it was almost certainly used for padding, it was still an enjoyable musical interlude.
  • If you're keeping track at home, the frat guys are (from order of most horrible to least horrible): Jim Carrey, Fat Elvis/Steve, Balding Frat President, Rufus Sewell, Scrawny Guy, and Other Leader Scrawny Guy.
  • We could not find it streaming anywhere online, but there is a horrible version in multiple installments on YouTube featuring awful "comedy" commentary, so avoid that at all costs and go rent it.
Direct download.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Podcast: The Fly II (1989)

The sequel everyone in 1989 had been demanding (it actually knocked Rain Man off the top of the box office charts), it's The Fly II! Featuring... one guy from the previous film, and some video footage of Jeff Goldblum as the Fly on VHS.

When Geena Davis's character from the original film dies in childbirth, evil businessman/science enthusiast Anton Bartok (Lee Richardson), has the baby raised in a lab, where he grows at super speed into the brilliant but somewhat awkward Eric Stoltz. Bartok hires Stoltz to continue his father's work into matter transporters, which he quickly uses to impress Beth Logan (Daphne Zuniga of Spaceballs) by failing to transport her cactus. As their romance blossoms, and Stoltz closes in on re-creating his father's work, he makes a startling discovery about a web of lies Bartok has told him.

Some Notes:
  • Was Eric Stoltz's audition just a Blockbuster rental of Mask? Is this same casting process the reason Zoe Saldana keeps getting cast as different colors?
  • The only actor to actually appear in both this and the original Fly is John Getz, star of Blood Simple.
  • The Scientific Method: First phone, then cactus.
  • Available on Netflix Instant.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Podcast: Highlander: Endgame (2000)

We continue our theme of “Unnecessary Sequels Readily Available on Netflix Which Involve Immortality, Resurrection, and Christian-motifed Revenge Plots” to bring you our second reviewed Highlander movie: Highlander: Endgame!

Wiping away all memories of Highlander II: The Quickening, Endgame brings in the star of the Highlander television series Duncan MacLeod (Adrian Paul) as he carries the torch from the ridiculously haircutted Connor McLeod (Christopher Lambert). Evil highlander Jacob Kell (YSM favorite Bruce Payne) is killing highlanders in some elaborate 500 year old revenge plot, and it’s up to Duncan to stop him. There are also large gaps in the highlander mythos which we assume are filled by Highlander III: The Sorcerer and the television series, though Endgame does a poor job of bringing us into the fold. Mostly the movie is a mishmash of self-contradicting highlander rules enforced by either the Watchers, a mortal group calculating highlander power levels, or no one. It’s not entirely clear.

If you like horrible period drama wigs, a confusing confluence of western and eastern influences, and Bruce Payne mugging his way through the movie, Highlander: Endgame may be for you! We’ll do our best to nitpick highlander rules, contemplate the aggressive nature of immortal sex, and discuss the prevalence of the White Guy Karate throughout the film.

Some Notes:

  • Please direct complaints to: Duncan MacLeod, 123 Highlander Street, Scotland.
  • In adherence to Rule 34, here's a link to a Google search of Highlander slash fiction (probably NSFW). This genre has apparently lied dormant for a while, since most website devoted to the topic are still within a Highlander webring.
  • If you're able to kill an immortal by cutting off its head, is it really an immortal?
  • Available on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Podcast: The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)

Your Stupid Minds continues its summer sequels series (once you do three in a row it's a series) with the fourth and final Crow movie made as of 2014: The Crow: Wicked Prayer! When tiny scumbag Jimmy Cuervo (Edward Furlong) is murdered by an all star team of Satanists, Cuervo is transformed by a magic crow into an instrument of embarrassingly dressed vengeance. Can pre-teen mall goth Crow overcome Tank from The Matrix, Tara Reid, MMA champion Tito Ortiz, and David Boreanaz over the course of one night, or will some sort of elaborate, ill-defined plan by the Satanists come to fruition?

And as if that all-star team of Satanists wasn't enough, the film features several notable guest stars, one of whom gives one of the worst performances we've seen on our podcast! It might not be who you think!

A rough idea of how women dress in this film. 
Some Notes:
  • We mention quite a few better films to check out if you haven't already, including the original Crow, Dead Man, and Billy Jack
  • Despite being set on an Indian Reservation, not a single member of the principal cast is Native American.
  • The movie apparently thinks there is no difference between ravens and crows, as Jimmy's name (Cuervo) is Spanish for "raven," and the Indian Reservation is named as the "Raven Aztec Reservation," and many reservation locations have a raven motif. Ravens are within the genus corvus, but in Spanish a carrion crow would be a "corneja." This concludes today's Spanish lesson.
  • The Crow: Wicked Prayer was one of only two projects Boreanaz filmed between two nearly decade long runs on successful television shows. His other film? These Girls, a dramedy about three pre-college girls blackmailing Boreanaz, a "slightly older hunk," into having sex with them. Who knows what other classic roles he could've landed had Bones not been a big hit?
  • The comic book character the Crow was created in 1989 to help a grieving James O'Barr deal with losing his girlfriend after she was killed by a drunk driver. The comic predates both Batman Returns and Catwoman, which use basically the same concept, except with cats bringing people to life for the purpose of vengeance.
  • The Crow: Wicked Prayer is available on Netflix, Google Play, and Amazon sells the used DVD for one measly cent.