Thursday, November 13, 2014

Podcast: Link (1986)

After going months without reviewing a Cannon/Golan-Globus film, we finally snapped and watched Link, the story of an ape that doesn't seem to understand when a young Elizabeth Shue isn't interested in him that way.

Shue plays Jane (of course), a chimp apologist and student who volunteers to work with Professor Steven Phillip (Terrence Stamp)'s chimps at his remote country estate. She's greeted at the door by Link, an orangutan in chimp-makeup, and quickly befriends the various chimps, disapproving of Stamp's negativity and casual attitude towards Link smoking cigars at the dinner table. When the Professor disappears, Jane is left alone with the chimps, and eventually starts to realize that something ain't quite right. It's almost like Link won't let her leave. And what's he doing outside her bathroom while she's showering? Try closing the door, dummy.

Notes and Observations:
  • Including text reviews, I count 11 Golan-Globus films that we've reviewed. And buddy, you better believe we're not finished.
  • We take issue with the Professor's claim that his chimps are "ten times" the strength of a human. Two? Sure. Three? Maybe? But ten? No way.
  • On a related note, if any university wants to fund out research into just how strong we could make chimps, possibly by injecting them with Chimp Growth Hormone (CGH), please e-mail us and we'll work something out. We don't see the downside to this research.
  • We didn't even mention it, but the film opens with a chimp killing a cat that distracts some parents in the middle of watching a public domain film, as Marlene Dietrich wears a gorilla suit during a performance of "Hot Voodoo" in 1932's Blonde Venus. Here she is taking off the gorilla outfit.
  • We make reference to our conversation in episode 8, Cool Dog, where we first pointed out the problem with complimenting dog acting.
  • At the moment, Link is available in full on YouTube.
Direct download.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Podcast: Leprechaun Origins (2014)

A special Halloween episode with one of the worst movies we’ve ever reviewed! Have you ever thought “you know, I really like those Leprechaun movies with Warwick Davis, except I wish he couldn’t talk and was a monster instead of a leprechaun”? Well you’re in luck! WWE Studios acquired the franchise, cast dwarf wrestling novelty act Hornswoggle, plastered him all over the marketing materials, and then put him in a disgusting full body costume and gave him no lines. The result is a lazy generic slasher film with absolutely no remnants of the original franchise.

A "leprechaun" "played" by WWE "superstar" Hornswoggle.

On their last week visiting Ireland (which looks suspiciously like British Columbia), a group of four friends (with suspiciously Canadian accents) come upon a small town with charming locals who agree to take them to a special hiking spot. As it turns out, this hiking spot is a ruse to provide the tourists as human sacrifice for a monster terrorizing the countryside, which they insist is a leprechaun despite all appearances to the contrary. What results is a barely written series of scenes alternating between various cabins, vehicles, and forests involving running, scampering, screaming, whimpering, yelling, and crying.

Not only is the movie pure tedium, but by the end the audience is subjected to twelve (12) minutes of excruciating end credits with nary a post-credit stinger in sight. That’s $5.40 we will never see again.

Some Notes:
  • The wrestler Hornswoggle is a dwarf actually dressed as a leprechaun. They simply chose not to highlight this gimmick in any way.
  • Leprechaun: Origins is available to rent or buy on various streaming services, but we're not going to tell you what they are.

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.