Friday, August 28, 2015

The Return of the N64: Super Smash Bros.

Welcome back for Day 3 of Return of the N64. With migraine interruptions I apologize but we are back in action and are ready to get this going. How about a crossover? How about multiple crossovers to the like comic books never dreamed of? Imagine characters from multiple dimensions in a battle royale to prove who is tougher, smarter or stronger? No, we are not talking about Marvel Vs Capcom. In 1999, a collection of traditional fighters must knock their opponents off a platform. This is Super Smash Bros.


Originally translated from Japanese Dairanto Sumasshu Burazazu (Great Melee Smash Brothers) our game features the most popular characters from the most popular titles in Nintendo. Super Smash Bros offered various games within the game. Mini-games like Break the Targets and Board the Platforms. With nine different stages like: Hyrule Castle, Sector Z and Princess Peach's Castle the objective of the game is for fighters to knock one another off the platform for a KO.

Unlike Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat or even Tekken there are not an exorbitant need for complex moves to learn but the button combinations are actually pretty simple to learn. Every character has the same button combo so it already gives you a bit of a breather. Each character has signature moves and unique power attacks based on the characters.


Our characters to choose from are the following: Captain Falcon of F-Zero, Donkey Kong of Donkey Kong, Fox McCloud of Star Fox, Kirby of Kirby, Link of Legend of Zelda, Mario, Luigi and Yoshi of Super Mario, Samus of Metroid , Ness of Earthbound and lastly Jigglypuff and Pikachu of Pokemon.

From Pikachu's lightning attacks to Mario's super spin leap the characters range from slow but power hitting to quick but light attacks, each hero brings something different to the table so picking your character can be a matter of which game they represent and how much you liked playing them prior. Maybe you really want to beat the living crap out of Jigglypuff, or maybe you want to see Link plummet 16 stories to his death. The options are there. Aside from their own attack sequences, Super Smash Bros also offer blocking and dodging options as well as grabbing your opponent and throwing them. Sporadically throughout the game, you have a series of weapons ranging from melee, blasters, Koopa shells both red and green and the hammer from the original Donkey Kong providing more entertainment and greater savage beatings. Beat him with sticks!!

With the single-player mode, the player 1 can do batter with a bunch of computer A.I. Opponents in order like a Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter to progress to the next level. Players 1 and 2 can choose to smack the crap out of each other on the various level or just put it on random to change things up.

With 4 players we have the 2 on 2 battles in team, 3 on 1 punching away or of course with the Free-For-All which is all out melee and fisticuffs. The manly art of pugilism!! By the way, really difficult to feel the masculinity in the fight when you are Kirby Vs Jigglypuff.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Return of the N64: Top Gear Overdrive

Howdy all and we are off to Day 2 of Return of the N64. Amazingly we are not reviewing an action adventures platform game. Instead, we check out a racing game that came out in 1998 by the now defunct Snowblind Studios creating a 1 to 4 player racing game divided by seasons.
This is Top Gear Overdrive.


With 3 charges of nitrous oxide giving the car a boost should be used sparingly. Power ups are available in the form of cash and more nitrous oxide. While the cash is normally added along with the winnings at the end of the race can be used for upgrades on brakes, engines, and better acceleration. With 5 main tracks and a championship mode track called Space Truckin' every track has different conditions including: snowing, thunder and night time. With Championship and Versus mode the game can be done head-to-head, time trial based or just free-for-all.

The funniest thing is having secret cars through the seasons. The Weinermobile, Nintendo Power Car, The N-Logo, Taco, a cart with donkeys and what was just named Museum Artifact.

The Rumble Pak gets some love with this but again the cars are not named but with codes instead. The types look like a Jeep Wrangler, a Camaro, a Viper, a gigantic Hummer, a Ferrari and a McLaren F-1. The mapping mode is far and easy enough to follow through and the graphics are decent enough in spite of all the polygons. The camera will smack into the wall. The screen is letter-boxed for some reason in high def.

Love the Camaro myself!

The entire soundtrack is made up by some half-assed metal band called Grindstone. A lot of guitar and bass into it with a lot of guitar solos. Gives decent enough background noise and you can end up tuning it out if you are not paying attention to it. The engines have different sounds to them but not much variant overall.

All cars have their strengths and weaknesses to each track as well as the weather variables. Several of the cars' handling can be tricky and you will almost certainly hit the wall at 200 mph. A little trial and error maybe 5 to 10 minutes and you get the feel of the car. You really need to try out every car...well except the damn Weinermobile. That just looks goofy. I think my only complaint about this particular racing game was very similar with a lot of those games during that time would always make dead  or barren tracks with no people or creatures around.

With the equal to every racing game available for the Playstations, this game holds its own and if you enjoy the arcade racing style then I say pick it up before the copies are gone.

Invisible Chicken, let go of the steering wheel!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Return of the N64: Rainbow Six

Okay and welcome to Day 1 of The Return of the N64. I thought we should get some of the system's better known titles out there so we can do some serious nerding out. With the love of the films coming to life on the big screen, it was only natural that the tactical approach to his novels would make way for games. The late author Tom Clancy (The Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, Patriot Games, Net Force, Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon) with more than 50 titles under his belt paved the wave for this tactical shooter. This is Rainbow Six.

Select your Mystery Date!

Tactical Shooter or Soldier Sim, is any game requiring caution, care cooperation, planning and execution striving for realistic approaches and scenarios. Now I know the sim hack and slashers have no idea of any of these terms given they are gutting werewolves on Bloodborne or battling the forces of darkness in Dark Souls and Dark Souls II but, some folks like to work together as a team and take out opponents as a unit.

Developed by Red Storm Entertainment(now Subsidiary of Ubisoft) for the PC in 1998, its original inception of the multi-national NATO covert special forces teams consisting of USA, UK, Spain, Canada, Italy, France, Germany and Israel. The concept was one director and one deputy director with missions planned and executed. Total black ops and off the books. The game takes off so well that an expansion is made and low and behold it is made for Mac, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast and even Game Boy Color.

Camo again?  Come on, I want the Umbrella all-black outfit!

Using stealth and simple breaching tactics for walls, doors and windows rather than mowing down everything and anything in your path, sadly only a two player co-op but overall still as enjoyable as the PC.

The sound effects are completely believable, the weapons ratings are awesome and the graphics are a product of their time and frankly still hold up well enough. There is no magic re-save button, you lost a man in your group, that guy is dead. The N64 version controls are a bit more simplistic than I was used to doing the PC and sadly playing it on Playstation but that is okay. Cutting down on the complexity of controls means more focus on the game and levels.

Caution is key. That terrorist who just passed by you as you crouch in the darkness, maybe he has decent hearing. You don't know for certain. While games like GoldenEye allowed more head-on gunplay and healing, this game gives you a one shot one kill option. Take them out quietly and effectively. Flashbangs are your friend when you have to go hot and heavy (Man, that still sounds dirty) causing your enemies to be blind and deaf at the same time.

The downsides are the c-buttons are used to move. Analog stick used to aim so now you feel like you are in Turok but give it a few tries and you will be dead on. Almost that tank steering effect of Resident Evil but it can't be helped, only through trial and error will you perfect it. Loyal to the PC game and its source material I had a blast playing this considering I have downgrade or mod a version for the PC. 


The Return of the N64

Howdy folks. Sorry for the no show yesterday. Had a migraine and those are always fun. I am back on the ball and trying to get the blog to the love you have given back so this time around we are headed back to video games and my favorite console to dabble in. Yes, yes I know you are sick of the Nintendo 64 but may I remind you a just a few things. First of all, this is the game system that brought us the top-selling and most beloved games such as: Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, GoldenEye 007, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron and Donkey Kong 64.

hehe boobies.

With that in mind there of course are the more obscure and unusual titles that only made way to the N64 and never given another console again. Oh sure I can provide you with the most rare and valuable games still out and about but the titles that collected dust on shelves were also worthy of life. For example a second Castlevania title was released in 1999 as an intended prequel known as Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. Set in 1844, this man-beast known as Cornell is searching for his sister Ada who has been chosen as a sacrifice to resurrect Dracula once more. This prequel offers a different story than the Belmont legacy of hunters and has a monster for the protagonist and more development and press release would have occurred but it was scratched before the game release. A finite number of copies are still out there you just have to look.

So while this week I will be focused on titles that you are already aware of and collectors have sought after, keep in mind there is always another week to tackle those obscure and forgotten titles.

So welcome to the Return of the N64!

Costume is really riding up in the crotch.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Grindhouse Flicks: Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Greetings and salutations. We are at Day 5 of Grindhouse Flicks and what better way to end this week but a Femme Fatale Jiggly Girl film? Okay, that might be a bit mean but we are relying exploitation/sexploitation writer/director Russ Meyer (Eve and the Handyman, Heavenly Bodies!, Erotica, Motorpsycho!, Vixens, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, The Seven Minutes and Black Snake) so expect... well mud wrestling and buxom girls. This is Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Sexploitation??  Where?

Our anti-heroines Varla (exotic dancer Tura Satana of Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Our Man Flint, The Astro-Zombies and the Doll Squad) rough girl Rosie (Haji of Motorpsycho!, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Up Your Alley, Supervixens, Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell and Demonoid: Messenger of Death) and ditzy blonde Billie (Lori Williams of Honey West, A Swingin' Summer, The Long, Hot Summer, It's a Bikini World, Love, American Style and the Marvelous Land of Oz) are three strippers....I mean go-go dancers looking for kicks and thrills and racing cars in the desert.

As they are done with racing each other they find a a couple out zipping around and decide to race these two in a time trial. After the race, Varla just snaps doofy boyfriend's neck like it was kinling and given the size of her She-Hulk physique, I can buy that. She also abducts the late doofus's girlfriend Linda (Susan Bernard of Stranger in Hollywood, The Witchmaker, That Tender Touch, The Phynx and Necromancy) because...well she is a lesbian and doofus can't please her or you know ever could. Hey he was a doofus not seeing that Varla is clearly off her rocker. Next incarnation have a sawed-off under the car seat.

Ryan Reynolds hitches a ride in the TARDIS.

They stop for gas in this one horse town and encounter a zany old guy which credits call him "the Old Man". Classy. The Old Man (Stuart Lancaster of The Born Losers, Lila, The Secret Sex Lives of Romeo and Juliet, The Satin Mushroom. The Seven Minutes and Mistress of the Apes) is kooky because of a railway of accident and an inheritance of some serious coin of the realm. Varla starts getting ideas to follow him and search his ranch for the cash... with their captive hostage still in tow.

Varla lands on a plan to seduce the Old Man's eldest son Kirk (Paul Trinka of It's a Man's World, Fate Is the Hunter, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Land of the Giants and Night Gallery) has some smoochy face with the clueless lad. Linda manages to escape Billie who decided to get bombed off her butt instead of keeping an eye on her.

This whole thing is going pear shaped Varla just tells the girls we are greasing everyone to cover up the kidnapping and the previous murder. Yeah not enough to kidnap and a homicide but this kooky dame wants to add 3 more bodies to the mix, thus pre-meditated and now moving into first-degree murder. Oh why are the hot ones always crazed murderers??

Will Kirk see through Varla's facade and shoulder roll his way to kicking her ass? Will the Gorn eat the Old Man?? Does Rosie get many lines or what?

Just jotting a few notes of interest on the flick. While a complete bomb at the box office in its original release, folks of the VHS era found it to be odd but entertaining while other felt it was a blow to the lesbian and feminist community and well yeah it really is a slap in the face to both. The cult following of the movie brings so many pop culture references to this flick I will try to catch them all.

American glam metal band Faster Pussycat clearly took the name from the movie. Dialogue from the picture itself has been lifted and spread over (kinky) four songs in White Zombie for Thunder Kiss '65, Welcome to the Planet Motherf**ker, Black Sunshine and Cosmic Monsters, Inc. Oh Rob and your love of exploitation.

 Hell, punk band the Cramps released a cover of Faster Pussycat on their mini-album in '83 Smell of Female.    As for me...well I was kinda bored to tears up until the third act so not a saving grace there.  

Some gorgeous cinematography filmed in glorious 35mm black and white with the Mitchell BNC (Blimped Newreel Camera) great for sound shot capture and gets great zoom and pan out shots. Of course they shot in Mojave Desert so I was stoked as it was giving the two ghost towns Randsburg and Johansburg filming all the action it got.   For good or bad, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Has made a massive impact on American culture whether it likes it or not

You owe us each for the lapdance, Old Man.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Grindhouse Flicks: Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

Hey there teen gang and welcome back for Day 4 of Grindhouse Flicks. Well we've had some blaxploitation, a biker/satanist themed movie and a slasher/thriller low budget cult film. What are we lacking??? OoOo how about a Kung Fu film? But this can't be just any Kung Fu flick. No, it cannot. We need something to punch it up a bit. I know! Vampires added to the mix! Oh and Dracula as a main baddie but... we won't elude to his existence right away. Yeah, that will do nicely. This is Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires.

Of course I am Christopher Lee...grr...rawr.

Hammer Films presents a trip to China vampire style!!! With director Roy Ward Baker (Don't Bother to Knock, A Night to Remember, Five Million Years to Earth and Asylum) and uncredited director for location Cheh Chang (Blood Brothers, One-Armed Swordsman, Crippled Avengers and Five Deadly Venoms) comes a Hammer Film of multiple alternative titles. My personal favorite is The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula. Sounds like they just dropped in for tea and biccies. Eleven English alternative titles for this puppy so this should be interesting.

Our film opens with a shaman of Chinese descent making his way to Castle Dracula in Translyvania with the burden of his quest. To take audience with Count Dracula (John Forbes-Robertson of The Vault of Horror, The Vampire Lovers, Nicholas and Alexandra, The Man from Nowhere, The Island of Adventure, Samson and Delilah and Room 36) and ask him to restore the power of the 7 Golden Vampires given the seventh one has been slain. With Dracula's power base the reigning vamps can be at full strength and rule over China once more from beyond the grave... or check in a psycho ward, whichever happens first. Dracula listens and makes his own demand of inhabiting the shaman/priest's body in order to leave the land and make it across China. Serious commitment there brohan!

Revenge of the three bean salad!

Meanwhile as luck or a clever plot device Professor Lawerence Van Helsing (Peter Cushing of The Horror of Dracula, The Mummy, Doctor Who and the Daleks, Island of Terror, Sherlock Holmes, Star Wars, Shock Waves and Top Secret!) is tending a lecture circuit to at a Chongqing University on the legends of Chinese vampires. The legends he speaks of is a village ruled and harassed by a cult following the immortal Golden Vampires. Apparently a peasant farmer lost his wife to the vampires and he trekked all the way on foot to their main temple. Finding several women strapped to tables to be fed on the farmer armed only with a pitch-fork (No boomstick for this badass) did battle with the vampires. Permanently losing his wife the farmer swiped a bat-like talisman off one of the vamps and high-tailed in outta there. Placing the talisman around a Jade Buddha he attempted to get the villagers to open the gates only to be fanged and drained. Still ballsy guy in my book. With the Buddha being consecrated or holy, the vampires cannot obtain the talisman.

Later Helsing is spoken to by a student Hsi Chang (David Chiang of Blood Brothers, Death Duel, Shaolin Handlock, Shaolin Mantis, Strife of Mastery and Once Upon a Time in China II) explains the legend is true and the man that defiled the vampire temple was his grandfather. While the vampires slumber the seventh moon of the year is almost upon this village. Chang asks for Helsing's assistance in dispatching this ancient evil. Helsing agrees and he and his son Leyland (Robin Stewart of Damn the Defiant!, Bless This House, Oliver Twist, Sweet and Sour, A Tale of Two Cities and Sons and Daughters) will join the battle.

Can they stop Dracula from making the Seven Golden Vampires whole? Will the village suffer? Can they be stopped?

A couple of notations for the movie at this time.

Christopher Lee was first approached to reprise Dracula again but he was less than interested with the script and passed so the torch was given to John Forbes-Robertson. This is the only Hammer film starring Dracula that the Count's name was not featured in the title. We got to hear a Wilhelm scream during the big fight in the village as Helsing chucked a zombie into a fire pit.

While this was supposed to follow directly after Scars of Dracula the continuity claims Dracula to have travel from Transylvania in 1804 and arrive in China in 1904. an entire century of which Dracula was in London, Germany and Transylvania so it does not match up with the rest of the Dracula Hammer films at all. Christopher Lee. Got a little sick of the servitors' tune which sounded like a combination of bumble bees trapped in a tin can, trumpets and tambourines.

Still quite entertaining and very challenging for an English production to the wire work, fight choreography and stunts via China. These days that is a walk in the park by comparison.

Eternal life does not excuse poor hygiene!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Grindhouse Flicks: Race with the Devil

Greetings my readers and on to Day 3 of Grindhouse Flicks. This is an interesting one. Imagine incorporating a horror film with action and car chases. A weird one, right? Don't worry it's not The Hitcher or its unfortunate remake. Instead we have two couples on out vacation on their way to Aspen Colorado. Rather than fly like sensible people they are gonna make an adventure of it with a RV and hopefully Trumpy of Pod People will not make an appearance. This is Race with the Devil.

Oh stop pouting, I didn't mean to eat all your jerky.

Written by exploitation writers Wes Bishop (The Pick-Up, Love Camp 7, Chain Gang Women, The Thing with Two Heads and The Black Gestapo) and writer/director Lee Frost (Hot Spur, Chain Gang Women, The Thing with Two Heads, Two for the Money, Policewomen and The Black Gestapo) and directed by actor/director Jack Starret (Cry Blood, Apache, Night Chase, Slaughter, Cleopatra Jones, A Small Town in Texas and Final Chapter: Walking Tall) we are clearly in for some unusual and possible taboo.

Roger Marsh (Peter Fonda of Easy Rider, Futureworld, Outlaw Blues, Molly & Gina, Love and a .45 and Escape from L.A.) and his business partner/racing buddy Frank Stewart (Warren Oates of In the Heat of the Night, The Wild Bunch, Badlands, Stripes, The Border, Blue Thunder and Tough Enough) run a fairly prosperous motorcycle dealership between designing their own cycles and pawning off Hodaka 100s they decide it is time for a break and Frank preps a 30 foot RV for everyone's enjoyment. Frank's wife Alice (Loretta Swit of M*A*S*H, Freebie and the Bean, The Love Boat, Beer, 14 Going on 30 and Forest Warrior) has got it all packed and Roger's wife Kelly (Lara Parker of Dark Shadows, Adventures of the Queen, Mobile One, The Solitary Man, Galactica 1980 and Rooster) is all excited to bring the Lhas Apso along.


After more than a few hours on the road, everyone is getting a bit punchy, probably due to roadside food and too much I-Spy games. The lot sets up camp in a remote area of central Texas...barely 3 hours from San Antonio so you know they are making great time and the guys break out the dirt bikes to cut loose. The ladies tuckered from the lengthy trek across Texas (large frickin' state lemme tell you) so they turn in while the fellas go out wandering for a bit, chewing the fat when they stumble across what looks to be a human sacrifice??? The guys get jumped by the Satanists and have to duke their way out of harm's way, make it back to the RV and hightail it out of there.

The local butt scratcher, I mean sheriff (R.G. Armstrong of Lone Wolf McQuade, Trapper John, M.D., The Best of Times, Jocks, Predator, Friday the 13th The Series and Payback) sits on his doughy good ole boy ass and tells the fellas you probably just saw some hippies killing a dog and overreacting to it. The gang insists on going to Amarillo and give this sample of dirt with the victim's blood to the authorities while the girls have lifted a few books on the occult from the local library. SHAME!!!

With the Satanists in hot pursuit of our foursome (didn't mean for that to sound dirty) Frank and Roger buy a couple of splatter guns to defend themselves.

Will anyone come to their rescue? Will the Satanists raise the dark lord and master? Will Lara Parker regret being in a Satanist movie?

A few comments on the movie now.

Writer Wes Bishop appears as Deputy Dave and the director Jack Starrett was the gas station attendant towards the end of the flick. Lara Parker used to be roomies with Jane Fonda when they were attending Vassar College.

Jack Starrett replaced Lee Frost when Head of Fox Alan Ladd Jr was less than satisfied with the dailies and demanded the footage be re-shot so most Lee's work was in the trash. This was in theatres 7 days after JAWS was released. Bad timing fellas.

Leatherface is sporting a new look.  Good for him.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Grindhouse Flicks: Dolemite

Welcome back folks to Day 2 of Grindhouse Flicks. We tackle some blaxploitation this time around and well... it isn't what you would call genius but I am certain there is some entertainment value in there... somewhere. We follow the feats and talent of a fellow trying to make his way as an urban hero who has dealt with corrupt cops, pimps and street thugs. This is Dolemite.

Huggy Bear ain't got sh*t on me!

Our "hero" is a pimp that was set up by a rival pimp name of Willie Greene (D'Urville Martin of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Rosemary's Baby, Boss, Disco 9000 and Black Samurai) and two cops in his pocket that plant enough kilos of drugs, stolen furs and guns in the man's trunk it screams set-up but the frame holds and our boy Dolemite (Rudy Ray Moore of Dolemite, The Human Tornado, Disco Godfather, Shaolin Dolemite, Prank and Big Money Hustlas) is up the pokey thanks to the smokeys.

Looking down the barrel of 20 years, Dolemite get called out from his cell to visit the warden. Our first bit of dialogue from our protagonist is "What does that rat soup eating motherf**ker want now?" Charming, I know. The warden tells him that the evidence that Dolemite's madam Queen B (Lady Reed of Dolemite, The Human Tornado, Petey Wheatstraw and Disco Godfather) put together clearly shows that Dolemite is the victim in all of this and this being the 70s and no need to research how laws operate, the warden is letting him out to seek vengeance on the cops and Willie Greene. Yeah, you read that right. Apparently not only is Dolemite pardoned but allowed to operate a sting operation of his own.

Run hoes!! I cover you!!

No sooner is Dolemite out of his prison garb and in his own threads a couple of Willie Greene's boys try to smoke him and he turns the tables on them and guns them down. Out for less than an hour and two homicides. Queen B has had all the hoes in the stable learn Karate or Taekownfaux because the fight choreography is so shoddy you can clearly see the kicks and punches are missing.

Dolemite's biggest problem is the cop Mitchell (No, not Joe Don Baker!) and he is out to make sure " The Man" is constantly on Dolemite's neck, keeping him in his place and every other racist white stereotypical crap he can pull. Dolemite's main source of info on the street keeps him in the loop and is trying to place Mitchell (John Kerry of The Fall Guy, Running Hot, Murder, She Wrote, Pink Lightning and Paid to Kill) and Willie Greene in the same place. Catch them in the act and then take care of them. Our snitch "Creeper" (Vainus Rackstraw of Dolemite) is not Rondo Hatton but a jive talking, hamburger loving, leering perv that got deemed worthy of his own theme music. His information is always good and well worth the price to pay.

Can Dolemite bring down Willie Greene, Mitchell and stick it to the Mayor for allowing the frame to go down? Will his own choreography look cheesier than the girls? How many pimp outfits does one man need?

A few bits of interest on the film. I saw the damn boom mic so many times in this flick it deserves top billing. Rudy Ray Moore's comedy apparently had an impact on the following people: Quentin Tarantino, Snoop Dogg and Eddie Murphy. Eddie, keep that crap on the down low.

The New York Times found the phenomena of this film's cult following dubbing it the Citizen Kane of Blaxploitation. Instead of Shaft, Coffy, Foxy Brown, The Fix and about a dozen other titles I can think of more worthy.

Snoop was so moved and molded by Rudy Ray Moore that he asked him to star in his video Murder Was the Case as Dolemite. Rudy up to the day he died has carried this character in his act as it has been beneficial and emotionally rewarding.

Yeah he had to buy and pay for everyone of them... Poor sod.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grindhouse Flicks: Maniac Cop

Howdy readers! Welcome to Day 1 of Grindhouse Flicks. Thought we start off with a horror/ slasher/thriller. A story of a cop that may have been a bit abusive on the streets, tough nosed and hard hitting, his deeds of good intentions caught up with him landing him right smack in prison. This is Maniac Cop.

Freddy Kruger got buff!

Written by Larry Cohen (Black Caesar, It's Alive, It Lives Again, Q, Perfect Strangers, Best Seller, A Return to Salem's Lot and Deadly Illusion) and directed by horror director William Lustig (The Violation of Claudia, Maniac, Vigilante, Maniac Cop, Hit List and Relentless) our film opens on the desolate, crime-ridden streets of New York that just happens to look like L.A. And regions of Culver City California for most of it. Ahem, the rampant street crime is pouring in as a young woman evades a couple of muggers only to find a beat cop in uniform. Pleading for his help, this mammoth sized flat foot snaps her neck like a twig and then tackles her muggers. A tad excessive? Perhaps.

With this rash of homicides Detective McCrae (Tom Atkins of The Rockford Files, The Fog, Escape from New York, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Night of the Creeps, Lethal Weapon, Turn of Faith and My Bloody Valentine) is on the case trying to make heads or tails of this but pieces together from more than a dozen witnesses there is a big man in a cop's uniform dropping people like it is deer season.

The Commissioner (Richard Roundtree of Shaft, Shaft's Big Score, Shaft in Africa, Earthquake, Day of the Assassin, A Time to Die, Roc, Ballistic and Se7en) and the Captain (William Smith of Laredo, Any Which Way You Can, Conan the Barbarian, The Outsiders and Island of Witches) warn McCrae it is his ass on the chopping block if this gets out to the general public.

I said the damn words!...basically.

Meanwhile housewife Ellen Forrest (Victoria Catlin of Ghoulies, Slow Burn, Maid to Order, Maniac Cop, Mutant on the Bounty and Howling V: The Rebirth)thinks since her husband isn't jumping her bones and is acting all weird that maybe hubby Jack (Bruce Campbell of The Evil Dead, Crimewave, Intruder, Moontrap, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Ellen, Burn Notice and Ash vs Evil Dead) is taking extra shifts to commit macabre murders and maybe a necklace out of testicles and the like. After following him to a cheesy and sleazy hotel, it turns out Jack is actually just having an affair with another officer Theresa Mallory (Laurene Landon of ...All the Marbles, Airplane II: The Sequel, Hundra, Maniac Cop and Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance). Um...yay hubby isn't a psycho, he's an adulterer.

Ellen leaves in a huff screaming lawyer, his ass and the whole ball of wax all the while crying profusely that our "Officer McLarge" takes care of her. Jack goes on patrol only to find out his wife has been bumped off and the rest of the force is looking at Jack as a prime suspect. Yeah, right height guys but nowhere near the build. McCrae and Mallory pool their resources to prove that Jack isn't the killer when a name surfaces, Matt Cordell. A highly decorated street cop who was convicted of brutality while looking into corruption in city hall. A corrupt mayor??!!! Well now that never happens. Cordell got jumped by some prisoners, shanked a few times and allegedly died in Sing Sing. Or did he?

Can McCrae and Mallory prove Cordell is still alive? Can Jack see the "Forrest" from the trees? Can Jake stop doing stupid puns??

A few fun facts on the flick.

Director/writer Sam Raimi does a cameo as an ace reporter. Both Bruce Campbell and Robert Z'Dar (Matt Cordell) have been dubbed the title "The Chin". The body count for this slasher was 19 dead. Modest by most horror flick standards.

Umm...maybe he is also a chiropractor?

800th POST BAYBEES!!!! Grindhouse Flicks!!

Good day and welcome readers of mine. No doubt the week is here and a few suggestions aimed me back to exploitation films. Exploitation is classically defined as any film that tries to succeed financially by exploiting a trend, niche or genre of a taboo matter. Commonly these movies are subjects but not completely limited to sex, violence or romance. Exploitation films as a whole started as far back as the 1930s with titles like: Reefer Madness, Sex Madness and She Should Said No!   The term grindhouse originates from any theater that shows only exploitation films.

Hold still Tom Metzger or I blast you, sucka.

With that in mind I am referencing the titled term of Grindhouse Flicks which were low budgeted features that shot as a double feature in seedy theaters and most drive-in movies in the day. Hell, most of the exploitation genres barely got any theater time and had to go straight to the drive-ins because the FCC wasn't poking their noses heavily in there so films like: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Coffy,The Mountain of the Cannibal God, Death Race 2000, Race with the Devil and even Mad Max were deemed unsavory for the public and should be shooed out of the public eye.

Being a member of the VHS generation we saw more than our fair share of the so-called exploitation films and found most entertaining. Apparently if it isn't greenlit A-list material, actors and directors all indie films needs a whooping.

The exploitation films falls under some many categories such as: Biker Films, low budgeted Slasher films, Kung-Fu movies, Blaxploitation (made with black actors for black audiences as they claim to be but almost always in a urban environment with some racist theme, white supremacist story arc or "The Man" encroaching on their lives and lifestyles, dig?)Women in Prison flicks, Splatter films (A horror movie that focuses on graphic violence and gore), Spaghetti Westerns (Italian-made Westerns from the mid-60s), the rape and revenge films,

Okay, I am sorry I pinched your butt.  Sheesh!

Giallo films (Italian slashers focused on cruel murders and the search for the killer or killers) Chambara films (Non-tradition style of shooting a samurai film in Japan in the 1970s) Monster Movies (Usually involving atomic radiated creatures, aliens or creature features) Nazisploitation (Nazi themed story arc, death camps, chemical or atomic mutations to prisoners and brothels so nudity and violence)

Ozploitation (Australian made films that based around violence, booze and environmental exploits and destruction like Mad Max or Turkey Shoot) , one I hadn't even heard of and then I realized I have seen one of the subgenre is Redsploitation (Native American characters usually getting revenge on white men that tormented or murdered someone close to them. Think Billy Jack.)and of course lastly Sexploitation (soft-core pornography or semi-nude or fully nude men and women in sex scenes)

With all these sub-genres it is enough to make your head spin to think this all originates from the blanket term Exploitation. Having sampled more than a handful of these movies and all their sub-genres I can safely say... not a fan of the rape and revenge flicks! Not overtly jumping up and down for joy if offered a Naziploitation flick. I have enjoyed several of the Giallo movies like The Hatchet Murders a.k.a. Deep Red, Blood and Black Lace and The The Case of the Scorpion's Tail

 The Car themed flicks or Carsploitation I guess like: Two-Lane Blacktop, Death Race 2000, the original Gone in 60 Seconds and the original The Hitcher were all fascinating and entertaining.

Exploitation Films have their place in viewing pleasure and sure there are plenty out there that I WOULD NOT recommend for say someone like my folks or my very too young nephews to be viewing but the sub-genres allows enough variety that there is something for everyone. Admittedly I really want to avoid the guy that has wall-to-wall DVDs of just Women in Prison films. That guy needs to get out once in a while...or maybe a wee bit of therapy.

With this in mind, the week shall consist of as many of the sub-genres as possible and as always I will do my level best to remain objective and keep the comments PG-13. Hey, I got some younger readers too.

See burning her alive saves her soul...or something.  Hell, I don't know.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A few Podcast updates!

Alrighty and hello! Now I have received quite a few confused, startled and frankly bewildered messages on the podcast campaign for Rotten Ramblin' On. Let me see if I can clear some air for you all.

Do not donate more than you can afford.   

You want to shell out a couple of bucks just click the link. Paypal, Credit Card, Debit Card the works are accepted. Again you are not being asked to cough up $20, 50 or a 100 at a time. That is a crap thing ask anyone that simply cannot part with that much dough. That being said, you can always forward the link friends, family and the like:

Feel free to offer suggestions for podcast topics.

If you have a film, TV show, actor, director, video game spew them out. We are not hard pressed for ideas but we like input as much as the next fellows.

Pass on the word. 

The link: can be sent to everyone you think want to know about the podcast, its objectives and its plea for help.

What we are trying to do. 

We need some upgrades, some software, a new microphone for Shawn and the streaming capability to get to everyone and archive all the existing episodes we have already recorded and have to clean up. I am still new at the audio repair but it is a work in progress.   We have a goal and need to reach that goal.   Please send this to anyone that wants to offer aid and assistance and again if there is any further issues you can contact me directly through the following:

Thanks for all the support, love and care for this project, everyone!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Podcast Newsfront!!!

Hiyas boys and girls!!!   

We have an update.   Due to a small purchase we just might get the word out that Rotten Ramblin' On will get some more plugging.  

I know you are all getting a wee bit tired of seeing this pop-up but again we are nowhere near our goal of $600 to get started on improving the podcast and getting everything we want out of it.   We really need some shout-outs, donations, word of mouth, carrier pigeons whatever will carry the message.

You wouldn't want to disappoint Jake and Shawn...would you?

We need your assistance or green elf is about to die!

While Shawn and I are working on getting the word out and take donations for the podcast, we are racking our brains for newer topics for you all to listen to.   Give us e-mails, Tweets, IMs,  messages of the FB page at Rotten Reelz.    All the places you can reach us are being us and not some shady multi-conglomerate bent on making flesh eating viruses.

Campaigns are a real headache!

I am posting the pages on this particular rant now.   

Hell I am tossing in my g-mail addy:

Pester me if you want Shawn's info, height, build, distinguishing marks, sexual preference or if you just want to get in touch with either of us.

Again this is the link that tells the tale of Rotten Ramblin' On and its future...

Let's get this one done, folks so we can bring you a worthwhile podcast!!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Made for TV Movie: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Welcome back for Day 3 of Made for TV Movie and thought we would go right into a darker story. A young couple inherited an old two story Victorian mansion. It seems a bit out of sorts but pleasant all the way around. But what lurks in it? This is Don't Be Afraid of the Dark.

Give us the soul of Carrot Top and we will leave!!!

Directed by John Newland (Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, Dr. Kildare, Peyton Place, Police Woman, Wonder Woman and The Suicide's Wife) and written by Nigel McKeand (The Movie Game, The Waltons, Family, For the Love of Nancy, Under One Roof and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010) brings us a story of a couple Sally (Kim Darby of True Grit, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Better of Dead..., Teen Wolf, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Dark Realm and Cold Ones) a mousy and slightly neurotic housewife and her business oriented husband Alex (Jim Hutton of Major Dundee, The Hallelujah Trail, The Green Berets, Hellfighters, The Name of the Game, The Deadly Hunt and Ellery Queen) inherit this old mansion from Sally's grandmother. After they moved in, Sally discovers an old bricked-up fireplace in the basement den. Sally asked the estate handyman Mr. Harris (William Demarest of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, My Three Sons, The Wild McCullochs and Ellery Queen) about it. He tells Sally's grandmother had him seal it up after her grandfather died and that it is best to leave it the way as it was intended.

What could go wrong in this ominously lit room?

After Harris leaves for the day he left his tools behind and Sally decides to remove the bricks herself. Not strong enough to budge the bricks she manages to pry open the small side door that removes the ashes from the fireplace. Deep inside of the fireplace was actually a sub-basement and Sally starts hearing unearthly voices calling Sally's name and pleading for her to set them free.

Ignoring what is clearly a figment of her imagination, Sally sets about her household tasks convinced she is just hearing things until that night, something grabs her by her very downy dress, demanding to be freed. She scoffs at it like it might have been just an animal in the house. Finally she conveys these nightmares to her husband who is extremely skeptical and feels she has been tending the house by herself too long and maybe it is time to invite folks over to the hell infested house for a party. Of course this is none of Sally's friends as Alex is up for a promotion and partnership at the firm. During the party Sally notices a small goblin like critter around by the dinner table and no one else sees it. Alex getting pissed with Sally is convinced she is off her rocker and may have to do something about it.

Off for a business meeting (*COUGH* Mistress) Alex cannot care for Sally so he asks if she can stay with her friend Joan (Barbara Anderson of Ironside, The Six Million Dollar Man, SST: Death Flight, Simon & Simon and The Return of Ironside)

Is Sally cursed? Will the creatures continue to haunt her? Is her husband an ass?

A few fun facts now. Nigel McKeand stated the creatures were a bit too lumbering for his take. In his script they were quick, thin and looked more demonic. The role of Alex Fanham was originally supposed to be played by George Hamilton but I guess he had to work on his tan instead.

This flick has eerie elements, monsters that are never truly seen in the light and the makings of woman gone mad from fright. Without the added need of gore splatter, it gives more of a fright than a gross-out.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Made for TV Movie: The Day After

Hey all. Greetings for Day 2 of Made for TV Movies. Now we covered the supernatural and thriller all in one helping of Darren McGavin and trust me that was fun. The thing I recall growing up with was the impeding Nuclear Winter that was always the buzz word as a wee lad. With the Soviet Union and America having pissing matches over Capitalism and Communism this particular looming threat was always there and Hollywood took notice. They're sharp about these kind of things. When writer Edward Hume (Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones and Parole) was contracted to give the popular theme of nuclear fallout, what if we saw it from the eyes of those that believed it could happen but never in even their darkest days would predict this would be the day of all days. This is The Day After.

Poker?  I'd hardly even know her. HAH!

With our writer/director Nicholas Meyer (Time After Time, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Volunteers, Company Business, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Vendetta) bringing us this story is the accounts and events leading up to thermonuclear war??? Did we miss a few steps? The Soviet Union is showing to have a arms buildup in East Germany which they claim is nothing more than Warsaw Pact (Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance) exercises similar to our own NATO but the states are not having it. In the late hours of September 15th, the news broadcast a massive rebellion in the East German Army, following that is an immediate Soviet block of West Berlin. With the states poised to push "the button" they tell the Soviets to end their blockade for this will be considered an act of war. With the refusal on the Soviets the President orders all military force to the ready.

Traffic on the K-10 seems a little light now.

Our story opens with the after effects the nuclear attack on Lawrence Kansas and Kansas City (Missouri) told from the point of view each character. Dr. Russel Oakes (Jason Robards of Once Upon a Time in the West, All the President's Men, Laguna Heat, The Good Mother, Parenthood, The Civil War and Mark Twain and Me) is a professor of hematology teaching at University of Kansas is working in at the hospital when the news reports start pouring in, the Soviets have gone too far and the hammer and sickle is pointed at the states. Oakes worried for his wife trieds for a telephone booth but apparently Clark Kent and the rest of the Justice League are all hogging them. He then jumps in his car and hauls for Lawerence via the freeway when the Emergency Broadcast System alert goes off. Airman First Class Billy McCoy (William Allen Young of Knots Landing, Babylon 5, Almost Dead, Moesha, Any Day Now and CSI: Miami) ready for the 30 day paid furlow has been cut short due to Whitman AFB has recieved a DEFCON 2 alert. As a missile technician he has to be at the silos and gets to witness first-hand launching. What is to become of these existing farms, communities and the people?

This story gives good dramatic weight what with the impeding build up the bombs dropping all these characters each have something going on in their lives only to utimately finding out they are not masters of their own fate. It shows every facet of humanity. From those willing to heed the call to help one another, to the cowardly and greedy. No one concept is overlooked and what is truly the End of Days as we know it. Capturing the best and worst of humanity is what this film set out to do and gathering all the lives it effected with end results. Not too shabby and this scared the crap out of me as a boy. To be honest, it still does.

Remember when portable TVs were this heavy? Haha back to the film now.