Saturday, November 18, 2023

Podcast: Prey of the Jaguar (1996)

Your Stupid Minds covers a movie that may not exist, except in the deepest, darkest dollar bins of the seediest Walmarts of the world. It’s the David DeCoteau Punisher-lite tale Prey of the Jaguar (1996) starring Maxwell Caulfield, Stacy Keach, and Linda Blair.

Damien Bandera (Trevor Goddard, a.k.a. Kano in the original Mortal Kombat movie) is a drug kingpin who’s just been busted out of prison by his compatriots. Or is his name Banderas? He’s referred to as both in this movie.

Derek Leigh (Caulfield) is a regular 90s dad with a mustache who, for a 96 minute movie, spends a LOT of time in the first act with his loving pregnant wife and precocious son for them to not be fridged. His son Jeremy (Devon Michael) shows his dad the completely novel superhero he’s invented that has no ties to any existing intellectual property: The Jaguar!

Derek is visited by The Commander (Stacy Keach), his former boss at a secret espionage organization sporting a turtleneck, ponytail, and George H.W. Bush glasses. The Commander warns him that Bandera/Banderas, the guy he put away in an undercover operation, is out. Derek acknowledges his family may be in danger, and then goes to work. Bandera/s shows up where he works, shoots him, and throws him off a building. And mentions that he killed his entire family.

Three hours later, after he’s processed all of his grief, Derek decides to kit himself out and become a super karate vigilante named the Jaguar, fashioned after his son’s superhero. Will he fulfill his revenge? Was the Commander REALLY killed off screen in that car crash? Will there be a talking cat?! You’ll have to listen to find out.

I can't find a trailer, but you can watch it for free on Tubi.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Podcast: Amityville II: The Possession (1982)

Your Stupid Minds does one last spook ‘em up to round out the (now passed) Halloween season. It’s the Italian horror-infused prequel to a “real” haunting: Amityville II: The Possession (1982).

The Montelli family, made up of abusive father Anthony (Burt Young), manic mom Delores (Rotanya Alda), 26-year-old teenage son Sonny (Jack Magner), older daughter Patricia (Diane Franklin) and some other kids move into a new home in upstate New York possessed by a demon. They immediately begin providing ample dysfunctional fuel to feed the demon in his possession plans. The father is a physically abusive maniac, the oldest siblings have a weirdly close relationship, and the mom is fed up with it all.

The demon makes quick work of possessing Sonny and enacts its plan to murder the entire family. Can the local priest, Father Adamsky (James Olson) stop him in time. Will Catholic bureaucracy approve an exorcism? Will Sonny’s birthday party go off without a hitch? Considering this happens before the first movie, I think we can all assume this will not go well.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Podcast: Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

Your Stupid Minds is back with more spooky fare for Halloween. At least, it gives the air of spookification. If you find mind meld hypnosis machines, panopticon-like modern interior design, and fever dreams about locusts spooky, then you’d probably find 1977’s Exorcist II: The Heretic adequately spooky.

After a botched exorcism in Latin America leads to a woman “accidentally” setting herself on fire, Father Lamont (Richard Burton) is tasked with investigating the life and work of the late Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), who gave his life performing the exorcism in the first movie. He travels to New York where Regan (Linda Blair) has no memory of her past possession, and undergoes psychiatric treatment at a cutting edge facility led by Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher).

They use an experimental “synchronizer” machine to mind meld each other to relive past trauma in order to treat it. Instead, it unlocks the dormant Pazuzu, the demon from the first movie. Now Lamont must travel from Washington D.C. to Africa to Washington D.C. again to investigate this demon and defeat it once and for all. His travels involve seeking out a man named Kokumo (James Earl Jones), once-possessed by Pazuzu and exorcised by Merrin, who may hold the key, and special powers, the defeat the demon once and for all.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Podcast: Nightmares (1983)

Just at the start of spooky season, Your Stupid Minds reviews the 1983 horror anthology Nightmares, starring Emilio Estevez, Cristina Raines, and Lance Henriksen.

Originally planned as a TV pilot, instead Universal packaged it together and gave it a wide theatrical release. Despite this slapdash release, it still managed to top #3 at the box office. That’s the ‘80s for you!

The theme is kind of urban legends, but that labeling stretches credulity. The stories include: A cigarette-addicted woman (Raines) who goes out for a carton despite the threat of an escaped murderer on the loose; a video game-addicted “teen” (Estevez) who gets sucked into a mysterious new arcade game; a priest who’s lost his faith (Henriksen) menaced by a black pickup truck driven by the devil; and a suburban family terrorized by a mysterious creature in the attic.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Podcast: Return to Oz (1985)

Your Stupid Minds whisks you away to a magical fantasy land based on the L. Frank Baum novels that no one has read in the last 100 years. It's Disney's reimagined 1985 sequel Return to Oz!

In an effort to reinvigorate its flailing film releases, Disney bought the rights to the Wizard of Oz book series with the intention of revitalizing the franchise. One small issue though: the books are very dissimilar to MGM’s beloved The Wizard of Oz from 1939. No worries, the bones are still there: the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodsman. Oh, they’re barely in the sequels? Who are these guys? Gump? Jack Pumpkinhead? Tik-Tok? Also where are the ruby slippers? They’re silver? We have to pay MGM royalties to use the ruby ones? Oh dear.

Dorothy (Fairuza Balk) won’t shut up to Aunt Em (Piper Laurie) about this magical land of Oz where she murdered two witches and saved the Emerald City and all its diminutive residents. So naturally Aunt Em sends her off to a quack psychoanalyst who plans to electroshock this 10-year-old until she stops using her imagination.

She escapes the sanitarium and returns to Oz, teaming up with a talking chicken Billina (Denise Bryer), a robotic soldier Tik-Tok (Sean Barrett), Jack Pumpkinhead (Brian Henson) who is, let’s face it, just the Scarecrow, and Gump (Stephen Norrington) a talking moose head strapped to a flying couch.

Dorothy is determined to save the Scarecrow from the evil Nome King, and must solve a series of puzzles and challenges that were probably more interesting when they were in a children’s book. Come along with us on our flying Davenport on this wild adventure!

Friday, September 8, 2023

Podcast: Cade: The Tortured Crossing (2023)

It’s finally here! In keeping with tradition, we reviewed Neil Breen's newest film Cade: The Tortured Crossing, an actual sequel to Twisted Pair that acts more like a spiritual sequel to Twisted Pair. Joining us is friend of me, the show, and bad movies in general Austin Buchan, who knew absolutely nothing about the movie or Neil Breen before watching it.

According to the Alamo Drafthouse website (and, more likely, the press packet that Neil sent to the Alamo Drafthouse) Cade: The Tortured Crossing is about: "An identical AI twin brother restores an old mysterious mental asylum. He takes it upon himself to mystically train the patients as warriors for humanity and justice." Abstractly, that is a correct description of about 5% of the film, but adding additional information, or editorializing about the content, would not adequately prepare you for seeing this on the silver screen.

In a way, this is Neil's most ambitious film, combining his love of stock footage and indifference toward directing actors, he has chosen to eschew actual sets entirely, and composite greenscreened every single character into a dream-like void of proportionally disorienting stock photos and footage, even when using a real set (like a repeated scene of a man plopping into a dingy bed) would have been cheaper and more realistic.

If you haven't seen Twisted Pair, you will not be at a disservice, as basically nothing carries over into Cade except that there are two identical twin brothers, both played by Breen, and they have mystical computer powers. If you’ve never seen a Breen (such as our guest Austin) it's probably the second most baffling experience you can have being introduced to him (aside from Pair, which is probably his most impenetrable and least audience friendly).

So come with us on this journey, and we'll tell of our theater experiences seeing Neil Breen's newest masterpiece.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Podcast: The Meg (2018)

In honor of Meg 2: The Trench bombing at the box office, we decided to take a look back at its more financially successful predecessor, 2018’s The Meg! What if Jaws, but bigger?

Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is a world-renowned underwater saving people guy. When he tries to rescue a submarine that was hit by something big (I’m guessing a Meg) he is unable to save everyone and is accused of cowardice. Jonas now hides in Thailand drowning his sorrows in low ABV beers.

Meanwhile, a research station funded by Muskian billionaire Morris (Rainn Wilson) is trying to discover an even deeper layer within the Mariana Trench. They discover the layer, but are hit by something big (I’m guessing a Meg) so they ask Jonas for help. Can they defeat the Meg, or will he eat the entire station? You’ll have to listen to find out.