Thursday, December 18, 2014

Podcast: Dangerously Close (1986)

Your Stupid Minds returns from a brief hiatus to provide yet another Cannon Group/Golan-Globus movie, this time riding the coattails of the sensational news story of the Legion of Doom vigilante group at R.L. Paschal High School in Fort Worth. Dangerously Close was the low-budget theatrical version released one week before the made-for-TV movie of the same subject, The Brotherhood of Justice, starring future heartthrobs Keanu Reeves, Kiefer Sutherland, Lori Loughlin, and Billy Zane. Dangerously Close stars no one, unless you count John Stockwell (future director of In the Blood), and Michelle Pfeiffer’s sister.

At a high school presumably in Southern California, a student organization called “The Sentinels” cleans up the school through education, regular hallway patrols, and targeting people they don’t like and pretending to murder them. When one of their victims ends up actually murdered, high school newspaper editor and goody-two-shoes Danny (J. Eddie Peck) investigates. When Danny’s pudgy annoying punk friend Krooger (Bradford Bancroft) goes missing, Danny decides to expose The Sentinels for the murderous terrorist organization it truly is.

Some Notes:
  • Up until a few days ago, Dangerously Close was available in full on YouTube. It was recently removed for copyright reasons, presumably so the defunct Cannon Group can finally give it a DVD release. So as it stands now, I have no idea how to watch it, unless you want to peruse the VHS bins of your local video store.
  • Vince McMahon storming into the World Wildlife Fund's offices.
Direct download.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Podcast: The Phantom (1996)

Digest the day away with our newest podcast episode: 1996’s The Phantom starring buff tan Billy Zane.

Evil 1930s guy Xander Drax (Treat Williams) tries to get three powerful shiny skulls so he can shoot a bunch of people with skull lasers. He enlists the help of secret cult member and all-around goon Quill (James Remar) and perpetually catsuit-clad aviatrix Sala (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to jet set around the globe to New York sets, jungle caves, and uncharted pirate islands. The Phantom (Billy Zane) tracks his movements in a purple suit with the help of his white horse and pet wolf (who can talk to horses). The Phantom made $5 million its opening weekend, ranking #6 behind instant classics such as Eddie and Dragonheart.

Some Notes
  • Fun fact: George Lucas came up with the idea for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull when he fell asleep in front of the television watching STARZ.
  • If anyone can confirm/deny whether Catherine Zeta-Jones is always wearing a catsuit under her clothes we would really appreciate it.
  • Where do you think The Phantom should have placed opening weekend? Please let us know if you're a Spy Hard superfan before providing input.
Direct download

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.