Monday, January 30, 2017

The Original: The Legend of Hell House

Greetings gang and welcome to the week. Now I know the "Random Goofy" was a terrible title and the reviews were however enjoyed minus that horrible tagline with them so this time around I decided to watch several of the original versus their remakes. Some of the remakes in question were highly enjoyable and unbeknownst to me were in fact, remakes. This marks to be a wonderful exercise in comparison but I promise to not harp on the remakes and remain as objective as humanly possible. Today's film I saw the remake in 2009 and was not that impressed. The film in question was Hell House and turns out aside from its title had no real direct relation with today's movie but apparently a 2017 remake of the original is on its way. This is The Legend of Hell House.

Sex more than once a year? You must be mad, dear.

Now it would appear that the blanket name "Hell House" has been used as an alternative titles as far back as 1982 so you can understand my confusion. With Next of Kin in 1982, Carnage in 1984, The Haunting of Sorority Row a.k.a. The Deadly Pledge in 2007, Hell House in 2009 and finally Hell House LLC in 2015 you can begin to grasp my confusion. On with the film.

Millionaire Mr. Deutsch (Roland Culver of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Dead of Night, Thunderball, The Uncanny, The Greek Tycoon and Saint Joan) hires physicist Lionel Barrett (Clive Revill of Galileo, Pinocchio, The Great Houdini, The New Avengers, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Zorro: The Gay Blade, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Snorks, C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud, and Star Wars: X-Wing) to do an in-depth top to bottom shakedown of the Belasco House, a home reputed to be the end all, the mother load of haunted houses once owned by a perverse millionaire and alleged murderer Emeric Belasco (Michael Gough of The Man in the White Suit, Horror of Dracula, Count of Monte Cristo, The Protectors, Doctor Who, Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin) this towering 6 foot 5 mountain of a man. (FYI, Michael Gough is maybe 5'11") Deutsch is obsessed with the idea of proof of life after death that the house becomes his focal point as the stories of the house being haunted by the victims of Belasco's sadistic pleasures of torture and murder. Yup, that sounds like a vacation spot to me. Guy could have saved a ton of scratch and just called the Ghostfinders via Simon R Green.

Kitty doesn't want milk. Kitty wants your soul!!!

Barrett arrives with his wife Ann (Gayle Hunnicutt of Marlowe, Scorpio, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Target and Dallas)as well as two mediums, one a psychic Florence Tanner (Pamela Franklin of The Innocents, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, And Soon the Darkness, Barnaby Jones, Trapper John, M.D., and Fantasy Island) and a survivor of a disasterous attempt to review the house prior 20 years ago, Ben Fischer (Roddy McDowell of Robert Montgomery Presents, Matinee Theatre, Midnight Lace, Batman, Night Gallery, The Planet of The Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, A Taste of Evil, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, McCloud, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Planet of the Apes TV series, Funny Lady, The Martian Chronicles, Fright Night, Fright Night II and Batman: The Animated Series) as a physical medium sensitive to the supernatural.

Yikes, the quaaludes kicked in something fierce.

Naturally Barrett doesn't wish his wife to accompany him after the event where Fischer was the only one to live but Ann insists to join him. Fischer seems to be keeping his head down and his psychic shields up. He is strictly in it for the pay day. The curious quartet must spend the winter week in isolation, discover the mystery of Belasco House or Hell House if you prefer and survive its madness.

Writer/novelist/screenwriter Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, Die! Die! My Darling!, De Sade, Being, Duel, Night Gallery, Circle of Fear, The Night Stalker, Hell House, Trilogy of Terror, Dead of Night, Jaws 3-D, What Dreams May Come and Stir of Echoes) is no stranger to horror but the intensity of his novel had such an impact with its graphic violence and more excessive sex scenes that he had to water it down for the screenplay to give the movie more of a brooding or foreboding ambience.  FYI, this was eerie as hell so I am now curious to read the book.

The music really sets the atmosphere of dread and things to come. It is almost a character in of itself driving the story along. It has always been hinted that this story is loosely based on the occultist/alchemist/writer Aleister Crowley. There is a fair degree of nudity, psycho-sexual dreams and bizarre practical effects for this film so I wouldn't recommend it for the kiddies. 

Guess the spirits didn't care for the place settings.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Random Goofy: Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox

Welcome back to Random Goofy. Man I so needed a better title for the week. Oh well. Today we explore an animated film. One that brings it all. Paradox, alternative timelines, a world where heroes have gone as bad as the villains they fight. Two metahuman armies poised at destroying one another and damn all of humanity in the way. One man must rally support to stop this madness before it's too late. This is Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox.

Aunt May will be pissed if I miss breakfast...wait...what?

Based on the five part mini-series written by Geoff Johns (Blade: The Series, Justice League Unlimited, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Justice League: War, Superman: Unbound, Arrow and The Flash) and drawn by Adam Kubert (Action Comics, Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and Ultimate Fantastic Four) we see Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash dealing with the loss of his mother on her birthday when a JLA alert tells him of a hit on his own museum by a slathering of his rogues. Top, Mirror Master, Captain Cold and Captain Boomerang trashing the place. Apparently that is their gig and a slice of revenge on the guy that sent them up river. The fiendish foursome (Lord I have got to cut down on the comics) attack Flash with next to no success when Thawne a.k.a. Reverse Flash or Professor Zoom announces bombs planted to take out 10 square blocks and all the lives along with it. Flash however is nowhere near the idiot Zoom thinks him to be and he already dialed in his own team of the leaguers.

Battle ready amazons??

Bombs defused and Thawne thwarted, Zoom gets in a little snotty remark of Barry not being fast enough to save all those that matter to him. Barry goes for a run to clear his head only to wake up in his office of criminology and discovers things are different. For example, no superhuman speed and his mother is alive, The Amazons of Themyscira are at war with the Atlantians. Yeah Aquaman, Wonder Woman and their collective armies have destroyed chunks of Europe warring against each other. With no speed, no Superman, JLA communications or contact with any of the other metas or heroes is out, he knows that Batman is in Gotham so a logical conclusion to stop by there and sort this madness out. Only to find a completely different Batman in the cave who deals out a much more stern form of justice. Between the two of them they attempt to figure what happened and it all comes up Zoom. Zoom, notorious for time travel has to have altered the timeline creating this twisted and bizarre deviation of the world.

Gotta love the build and red lenses.

With a handful of metas, Flash and Batman have to stop this crazy train before there is no more world to speak of, stop Zoom and get things back to normal. Will the insanity be stopped? How come the Green Lantern Corps isn't looking at Sector 2814? Do I know way too much about DC Comics?

Let's talk voice cast for a minute. Kevin Conroy back for Bruce Wayne/Batman, Nathan Fillion for Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Vanessa Marshall reprising her role as Diana/Wonder Woman, Dana Delany for Lois Lane, Ron Perlman for Deathstroke, Kevin McKidd as Flashpoint Batman but the most important roles of the two gents right at the center of it all. Justin Chambers as the Flash and a pleasant surprise as C. Thomas Howell as Zoom.

A view of your childhood heroes behaving in a fashion you never thought possible, a world turn upside down and Armageddon at their doorstep, this is intense, good writing and a wonderful voice cast. Hell, I was blown away to here Michael B. Jordan as Cyborg. The kid's got chops, baby. So Flash fans, JLA fans, Super-Fans, Wonder-Fans and Bat-Fans (See that? I did a thing there.) this is an impressive flick at a hour and fifteen minutes that is true to its source material in the likes I haven't seen in a while.

Oh hey, Aquaman. the orange shirt?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Random Goofy: Randal's Monday

Welcome back to another helping of Random Goofy. Hey you come up with the titles then. Well we just managed our way through Camel Spiders and that deserves a computer game break. How about a graphic adventure game chock full of dark humor, pop culture references, nods to video games of past and present and maybe some point and click? Too bad, we're doing that anyway. You act as if you had a choice. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Ahem. Our game revolves around a snarky slacker who is quick with the quips, enjoys dark humor and obscure pop culture references that only a handful will get. This is Randal's Monday.

Oh boy..

Fresh from Nexus Game Studios as a first title, Randal is a sociopathic, kleptomaniac with delusions of godhood and a need to inflict pain on those around him... okay fine, he swipes things and is a jerk. PC enough? Sheesh. His best buddy Matt finally is asking his girl Sally to marry him with a ring that he got from a guy for a Dorito. The ring emits an aura of power, untold fortunes and darkness as well. Matt proceeds out to the dumpster to projectile vomit to the likes Linda Blair's Regan couldn't have managed. Matt drops his wallet with ring inside and Randal pockets it. A dull Monday of drinking and everyone goes their way.

The next day, (Monday) Randal finds in the newspaper that Matt is dead? The Hell? Rushes over to his broseph to see the what what is goin' on. Dealing with back rent due, best friend brutally murdered and fiancee Sally now distraught, Randal may have to actually care. A cursed ring may have a sentient mind and demented sense of humor throwing used kitty litter on your day.

Gonna go back in tIIiIime..bap bap baya!!!

With a vibe of the 90s slacker meets Groundhog's Day, the Mondays get weirder and weirder warping the space-time continuum about that not all changes are for the better. Frickin' Koalas everywhere. Nerds cosplaying and science fiction horribly mutilated. The Saga bad touched! In the point and click decision making style of the Lucasarts Full Throttle and Monkey Island sequels, you really have to use your brain to solve this diabolical puzzle.

Okay best parts are always for last so let's get started. 1) the game option of old school double click mouse for this PC game or new single click of current puzzle solving. 2)Old school 2-D with enough nods to Lucasarts you see more than a couple Polecats in prison. 3) Lastly, Randal is voiced by none other than...Jeff Anderson of Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back and Clerks II. Yup the man that brought us the quintessential slacker that put off work, screwed around and violated minds, souls and bodies is voicing hero? Call him protagonist for cataloguing purposes.

You did something to my ass, didn't you bum?

With references dating as far back as The Day the Earth Stood Still, Pulp Fiction, Clerks, the Holy Saga (Star Wars Original Trilogy for those not in the know, yo.), Back to the Future and just in general geek minutia that it will warm many hearts, tickle funny bones and gross out the norms as always. Also keep ears on the up and up for Jason Mewes' voice. Trust me you will find him.

Standard 2-D art rendered graphics, great visuals and the concept of point and click meaning you have to navigate around rooms, outdoors, subways and even gasp, interact with people without being able to taser them in the balls. I know. That part was a let down. The hints option is just a box labeled kill kitty. That's right kids, every time you cheat a innocent kitty dies!!!

With its impeccable voice cast, simple but pleasant soundtrack and gaggle of bizarre characters you should have some fun trying to figure this curse out.

To paraphrase Jay, "Lord Vader needs Spanx."

Monday, January 23, 2017

Random Goofy: Camel Spiders

Gee a film starring Soul Man and Leo from Charmed. Not sure my heart can take this excitement.
This is Camel Spiders.

Protect Vasquez Rocks for future Trek projects, men!

Fortunately like many directors do, Jim Wynorski has more than a few actors and actresses in his stable so reoccuring actresses in question are Melissa Brasselle (Sorceress, Body Chemistry 4: Full Exposure, Raptor, Cheerleader Massacre, Treasure Hunt, The Curse of the Komodo and Vampire in Vegas), GiGi Erneta (She's No Angel, Burning Desires, Project Viper, Cheerleader Massacre, The Insatiable, Dusk and Vampire in Vegas) Diana Terranova (Tomcats, Comic Book Villains, A.I. Assault, Hell Ride, The Hills Have Thighs, MILF, Piranhaconda, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! And The Walking Dead in the Hood) Corey Landis (That '70s Show, Chrysalis, Lost in the Woods, Dinocroc vs Supergator, Changing Hands, Dracula Reborn, Sharkansas Women's Prison Massacre and Nessie & Me) and...Greg?

I think it is communicating with me...or laying eggs.

Greg the Peg or Kurt Yaeger, former X-games athlete that had his leg amputated and came back to X-games still doing flips on a bike and did an 86 floor run up to the Empire State Building in 20 minutes and 19 seconds!

Say what you will about Wynorski's track record and whether or not he is producing/writing and/or directing, the guy has an audience that hold his works aloft to the gods. Being a protege of Roger Corman, this doesn't surprise me that he knows the equation that sexy girls sell to man children everywhere.  Hell I know I sat through Dinosaur Island for the plot and CLEARLY had nothing to do with the scantily clad females.   That flick was by Wynorski and Fred Olen Ray.

Alright boys fan out and let's get this Johnny Rico guy.

Okay so the jist of this story is this:

Captain Sturges (Brian Krause of Sleepwalkers, Naked Souls, Mind Games, Charmed, Return to Cabin by the Lake, In the Blink of an Eye, Warbirds, L.A. Noire, Toolbox Murders 2, Alien Rising and Reach for the Stars) and his men are pinned down by vaguely Middle Eastern insurgents at Vasquez Rocks? Oh sorry somewhere in the Middle East that just looks like Vasquez Rocks as they cannot get back to their hummer...that somehow more than 15 guys traveled in. Crammed in there like sardines I guess. With infinite ammo cheat code on either side, the gunfight rages on. I have not seen them reload once and all the insurgents' hands are very white. A further note is they are packing 9mm Taurus pistols and M4s. Not Desert Eagles or say...maybe a few AK-47s or even the AK-108s? Well gun wrangler SNAFU aside, the helpless soldiers witness Mother Nature tired of the crap and a swarm of camel spiders come in and start reeking havoc as they wipe out the competition. For only the sake of not being around those caves, Sturges and his men survive.

As if by fate, a few of the spider or solifugids as the species is known as stow away in one of the dead soldier's body bag to be transported to the states with him.

Green screened in a 1970 AM General truck. I think its those concrete patch trucks but I am not certain, Sturges and Sgt Underwood (Melissa Brasselle) transporting enough M4s to make most militas thrilled and the fallen corporal that was head shot and contaminated with spiders galore. Plot device car chase causes yet another SNAFU (Situation Normal All F**ked Up) as the collision is inevitable. So before Father Mulligan can call for a do-over, the spiders get loose and into town. I am a teensy bit irked that that coffin even fell out of the truck. Military lashing of any cargo especially human cargo would have been knotted and tied down something fierce but must allow for suspense of disbelief. Bad Jake.  Local Sheriff of Cedar Creek (C. Thomas Howell of The Outsiders, Red Dawn, The Hitcher, A Tiger's Tale, That Night, Gettysburg, Kindred: The Embraced, Night of the Wolf, Net Games, Flatline, Torchwood and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) gives aid to our intrepid military as best as he can.

Clem Feeney and Ponyboy Curtis have a pow-wow and what's best to be done with about the truck when the critters pull the old Shenghai Suprise on them. Oh.. that doesn't mean what I thought it meant. I mean a fast one.

Well before Robert can call in the rest of the Wolverines all hell breaks loose. And what film of creature feature wouldn't be complete without reckless teens drinking and trying to get into each other's pants? Does seem to be the motif since the sixties but filmed more in the seventies.

As the spider mania builds up, it forces Sturges to break out the hardware. Hope they are on infinite ammo settings too because there is a lot of these skuttlers.

Can the town be saved? What of the dippy teens? Does anyone care what I am writing right now?

Okay here we go. The CGI spiders actually look good in some scenes but not finished in others and the size ranges from what the solifugids really are to then about 3 feet long. The dialogue is what you come to expect from a creature feature which consists of one liners, obvious observations and a few minor bits of swearing. 

Dig this, Wynorski fans. No nudity. Seriously, there is not an ounce of giggly jiggly at all and this is mostly plot driven. I was impressed and a bit disappointed. Hey still have that pig streak. Sorry. The acting was fair and I always have to give credit to any actor that can manage to recapture the idea of playing against something that is only in your imagination. The story stays on track and keeps the pace going without a lot of lag but plenty of gags.

Stock Wilhelm scream goes far in my book so bravo for that. I lost some of you. Okay character actor/humorous musician Sheb Wooley recorded about 6 different screams for the 1951 film The Distant Drums. These screams were for men getting shot, falling off cliffs, horses and attacked by a gator. Sheb is best known for Purple People Eater.

Charmed huh?  Before my time, son.  Sorry.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Horror I Missed: Scanners

Welcome back to the week boys and girls. Today in Horror I Missed I felt it was appropriate we tackle a Chronenberg film. Who is David Cronenberg? Writer/director of the following: The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Scanner Cop, eXistenZ, Spider, Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method so expect warped, depraved and out where the buses don't roam. Psionics are possible. People with mental abilities far superior to that of average folks giving them a license to dominate so to police the police or the psionics, a high ranking telepath is sent to track down others like him. This is Scanners.

There is no Dana. Only Zuul.

The private security firm ConSec shows off their new conceivable living weapons known as scanners. During the presentation, one of the corporate scanners attempts to read the mind of a volunteer from the audience and when it appears the volunteer whips the psionic whammy on him causing his whole to burst like a water balloon. The officers to acquire said audience member when he smashes these men attempting to guard him and runs like he is on fire.

With a serious black eye to the corporation, head of security Braedon Keller (Lawrence Dane of Street Legal, Twin Sisters, The Good Fight, Amy Fisher: My Story, The Red Green Show, Darkman II: The Return of Durant, Black Fox, Black Fox: Good Men and Bad and Senior Trip) wants scanners taken off the table as they are too unpredictable but head of scanner research and programming Dr. Ruth (Patrick McGoohan of Secret Agent, The Prisoner, Ice Station Zebra, Escape from Alcatraz, The Hard Way, The Phantom and Treasure Planet) feels this very presence proves there is good and evil. The assassination attempts shows the great potential of how impressive these abilities can truly be. Ruth points out that the evils in question can be lain at the feet of one powerful scanner Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside of V: The Final Battle, V, Top Gun, Total Recall, Highlander II: The Quickening, McBain, Night Trap, SeaQuest 2032, Starship Troopers, Superman: The Animated Series and Splinter Cell). He is far too powerful to ignore so with Ruth's contacts with the underground (Yup a psionic railroad) that can sneak a fellow scanner into Revok's ranks.

Is this a model shoot?

As if from a plot device, a homeless man Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack of Montreal Main, The Rubber Gun, Head On, Scanners, A 20th Century Chocolate Cake, Prefect Strangers, Dead Ringers, All the Vermeers in New York and Ernstfall in Havana) driven mad by his own telepathy and countless people's thoughts bombarding him and leaving him crazed until Ruth can give him an inhibitor drug allowing Vale a few minutes of sanity. Ruth explains to Vale that being a scanner, Revok is out looking for any scanner that does not join his ranks is a threat to him. Ruth will help Vale perfect his telepathic skills.

Someone is having dirty thoughts.  It is quite graphic.

A drug known as Ephemerol helps ease the power of extrasensory sensitives and Revok is convinced this wonder drug will become the edge for his people in dominating the norms. This bleak future ranges some thriller and espionage with car chases, conspiracy theories and even some gun fights.

Will the regulars be held sway over?? Will the telepaths run the show?? Will Revok rule the world??

The amazing SFX work from a cross between practical effects, special latex, squibs, prosthetics bringing a gruesome realism to the effects is brought to us by veteran and Academy Award winning make-up artist Dick Smith for Amadeus and nomination for Dad.

Dick Smith (Way Out, Hunch of Notre-Dame, Dark Shadows, Little Big Man, The Godfather, The Exorcist, Death Becomes Her, Forever Young and House on Haunted Hill) is also mentor to Rick Baker showing him effects to create swelling to Linda Blair's stomach in The Exorcist and the bladder effect with bleeding effect with a small controlled explosion with a squib that spatters in the direction it is needed for.

Not sure if this bit of trivia helps anyone but probably the only film that Cronenberg wrote that didn't have some level of sexual content in it and cost of filming in Montreal and Toronto was 4.1 million CAD. I believe the conversion to "ACTUAL MONEY" is a little over 3 million managing to gross over $14 million. Loved it was filmed in Panavision with 35 mm Spherical giving it the fish eyed lens.

Okay that wasn't nice to Canada. I don't know what it was all aboot.

President Trump!?!  BLARGGGGHHHH!!!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Horror I Missed: Re-Animator

Hello all and welcome back to the week. Things are moving a bit hectic around here. Trying to get funds together to get Rotten Ramblin' On to Sound Cloud so everyone can enjoy them including our earliest stuff when we didn't understand stuff like dialing back decibels or compressing files so they sound clearer. At any rate, Rotten Reelz is back with more Horror I Missed. Now to clarify by that I mean Horror films that genuinely had a scary premise, a more or less original story or something tapped into by a good writer. Today we explore the dark and disturbing storyline of one Dr. Herbert West, his gruesome experiments and the impact this H. P. Lovecraft novella had on the screen viewers. This is Re-Animator.

Jeffery Combs or Morrisey in this light?

Based loosely on the horrific novella, Herbert West: Re-Animator and brought to us by veteran Director Stuart Gordon (From Beyond, Dolls, Robot Jox, Daughter of Darkness, The Pit and the Pendulum, Fortress, Castle Freak, Space Truckers, Dagon and Stuck) comes the well paced Sci-Fi/Horror/Comedy that launches so many questions and sadly turned more than a few stomachs with its practical effects, gore gags and slapstick comedy in a dark enviroment. In the University of Zurich Institute via Switzerland, Herbert West (Jeffery Combs of Frightmare, The Man with Two Brains, From Beyond, Dead Man Walking, Freddy's Nightmares, Robot Jox, The Pit and the Pendulum, Trancers II, Doctor Mordrid, Love and a .45, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Enterprise and Voodoo Moon) brings his teacher back from the dead but with horrendous side effects screaming to the authorities he brought him back from the dead.

Wow finally a companion for Jan in the Pan!

So with impending expulsion looming over his head, West makes his way back to the states and enrolls his further studies to Miskatonic University in New England. He rents a room from a medical studen Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot of Tag: The Assassination Game, Velvet, Command 5, Summer Heat, Bad Dreams and Dark Justice) and asks to convert the basement into his own laboratory. Cain feels a bit put out by these requests but really needs the money agrees to this conditions. West demonstrates the effect of the formula with Cain's cat Rufus who "died under mysterious terms" as he is brought back from death.

Heads up! Hehe if I had sides they would be splitting.

Cain's fiancee Megan (Barbara Crampton of Love Thy Neighbor, Body Double, Chopping Mall, From Beyond, Puppetmaster, Robot Wars, Guiding Light, Space Truckers, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Lords of Salem) already creeped out by West witnesses this experiment and freaks out. Dan tries telling her father who is dean of the university but he will hear none of this, convinced they are both cuckoo for coco puffs, the dean bars them from the hospital so Cain and West have to sneak into the morgue and re-animate a corpse. The dosage reacts differently with different people so now we have a zombie with a pre-psychotic rage. If he was a necromancer I would tell him to raise an army like that and go forth and ruin the realm. The dean walks in on all the crazy but he himself gets killed by said zombie causing West to kill it with a bone saw.

With madness piling up, Cain and West have to figure a way to resolve this, publicate the findings and prove that tampering in God's domain is not only possible but very feasible.

Will the boys succeed? Is this experiment possibly unethical? How much karo syrup is Gordon out of pocket?

For a nine hundred thousand dollar budget, Re-Animator pulled in over $2 million making half of its money on opening weekend via 1985 on October 20th. The special effect department spent over 25 gallons of fake blood during the shoot. That had to be fun to clean up. What director Stuart Gordon and writer Dennis Paoli (Re-Animator, From Beyond, Castle Freak, Mortal Sins, Body Snatchers, Dagon, The Dentist and The Black Cat) were trying to create was to be true to the source material ended up a gross parody of Frankenstein.

This has spawn a cult following to the likes of Evil Dead and Dead Alive fans to the point of making two additional sequels.  For me as a Stuart Gordon fan, I always love that a shovel ends up being used as a weapon at some point in time of the flick. Still love the fact the name Hans Gruber is used in this movie and immediately I think of the late great Alan Rickman in Die Hard.

Maybe they're playing "Hide the Soul", like Chucky does.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Horror I Have Missed: Friday the 13th

Hey folks and welcome back to the Aimless Adulteration. Given it is Friday the 13th I always make a big production of whatever stills I have on hand and give you all a Happy Friday the 13th reference here and there but this time around I noticed something vital. Ya see long before the resurrections, zombification or even the potato sack days, Jason was a deformed boy that was mocked and picked on by the kids of the camp. His mother Pamela was the cook at Camp Crystal Lake and his father was nowhere to be found. Then one day he was out in the lake and he drown. You think that may have had some repercussions. This is the original Friday the 13th.

Got..something..itching my throat.

Fresh off of Here Come the Tigers and Manny's Orphans director/producer Sean Cunningham (The Last House on the Left, Case of the Full Moon Murders, Here Come the Tigers, Manny's Orphans, The New Kids, House, House II: The Second Story, DeepStar Six, The Horror Show and Terminal Invasion) and writer Victor Miller (The Black Pearl, Manny's Orphans, Friday the 13th, A Stranger Is Watching, Another World, Guiding Light and All My Children) are peddling Manny's Orphans but there is no guarantee on whether it will be a hit and when the residual checks will start happening so what do you do?

Not so footloose now, are ya?

Well you hook up with FX and SFX make-up artist/stuntman/actor guru Tom Savini (Dead of Night,Martin, Dawn of the Dead, Maniac, Eyes of a Stranger, The Burning, The Prowler, Nightmare, Midnight, Day of the Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) fresh off of Romero's Martin, get some Karo Syrup, food dye, a few tricked out weapon props and some fresh faces to be butchered. So the summer of 1979 with gore gags planned and plenty of dribbly blood at the ready, our cast and crew set off to make some records...okay they didn't know that a half million dollar budgeted slasher film was going to launch several sequels, give Paramount a substantial paycheck and would be loved for multiple generations.

So let's set the story shall we? An ambitious young man Steve Christy (Peter Brouwer of Love of Life, Friday the 13th, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, All My Children, Arthur and Person of Interest) decides to buy up the property of Camp Crystal Lake and get this camp back up to specs for kids to come out for the summer and get out of their parents' hair and maybe learn a few things about the wild.

His counselors/clean-up crew consists of: easy going Jack (Kevin Bacon of Animal House, Footloose, Quicksilver, She's Having a Baby, Tremors, Flatliners, Queens Logic, JFK, A Few Good Men, Wild Things and Stir of Echoes), wise cracking smart ass Ned (Mark Nelson of Friday the 13th, Bloodhounds of Broadway, The Seventh Coin, The First Wives Club, Suddenly Susan, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Spin City and Law & Order: Criminal Intent) good girl Alice (Adrienne King of Inherit the Wind, Between the Lines, Saturday Night Fever, Hair, What's Eating Gilbert Grape and All American Bully), sweet Marcie (Jeannie Taylor of Friday the 13th and The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana), no nonsense Brenda (Laurie Bartram of Another World, Emergency!, The House of Seven Corpses and Friday the 13th) and cool and collective Bill (Harry Crosby of Riding for the Pony Express, Friday the 13th, The Private History of a Campaign That Failed, Double Trouble and Hollow Venus: Diary of a Go-Go Dancer). The spunky cook, Annie (Robbi Morgan of What's the Matter with Helen?, Friday the 13th, Forbidden Love, The Fall Guy, I Married a Centerfold, Dutch Hollow and The Sub) didn't know the dangers of hitchhiking or Camp Crystal Lake.

Whaddua mean I look like John Holmes in a yellow slicker?

Thankfully we get the first appearance of Crazy Ralph (Walt Gorney of Heavy Traffic, Cops and Robbers, King Kong, Day of the Animals, Nunzio, Friday the 13th, Endless Love, Trading Places, Easy Money, Seize the Day and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood) who creepily warns her of the impeding doom of Camp Crystal Lake and really got his message out.

Slowly but surely, the cast starting getting weeded out like so much chaff from the wheat but on this dark and stormy night, it is not uncommon for the phones to be down, or the generator to suddenly stop working or the cast to separate like the herd of derp they have become.

Is there a smart one among them? Will sex, drugs and booze assure their tombstones?? Who is the killer??

Really a quick trip to the local library (No Google then, the savages) would have pointed out issues of Camp Blood as the was a boy that drowned in the lake in 1957, some counselors that were murdered in 1958, unexplained fires and even an attempt to reopen the camp in 1962, the water was bad. That last one is vague. Algae perhaps? Rivers of blood? Dead bodies floating to the surface? That stinky smell of dead raccoon?

Any rate to point out the impact this film had is YET ANOTHER remake, reboot, re-imagining is trying to go under way for 2017 after the less than satisfactory remake in 2009 with a failed concept by then Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman of Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter) who stated he wanted to have a match of of Jason vs Jarvis and that was in talks and develop since 2012 and went nowhere. Apparently fans begged for this and Feldman felt obligated to at least try. Sorry Corey, guess the studio didn't see it the magnum opus that Freddy vs Jason was.   Gah, what a unflushable turd that flick managed to be.

Ax her anything, she won't respond. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Aimless Adulteration: Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Hey folks, welcome back for more Aimless Adulteration as we jump back to that far off time of 2011. Oh so long ago he says with oodles of sarcasm. I felt that I have not done a popular comic book any justice. I have read this series ever since Dark Horse Comics translated it from Italian to English. From the creator/writer Tiziano Sclavi (Nero, Cemetery Man a.k.a. Dellamorte Dellamore, Dylan Dog, Vittima degli eventi a.k.a. Dylan Dog - Victim of Circumstances and DYLAN) comes the story of a investigator whose life to a downward spiral. This is Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.

I am ruggedly handsome, aren't I?

Before we get into this, I am aware of several nay sayers of this film because it was too Americanized or the fact that Dylan's sidekick was NOT Groucho Marx as it was in the comic in 1986. Well actually he was batcrap crazy and thought he was Groucho and even managed to pull off the shtick. That being said, I had a blast with this film. Okay on with the review.  An down and out investigator Dylan Dog (Brandon Routh of Superman Returns, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Fling, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Chuck, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow) encounters something of his past haunting him and telling him he needs to get back into "that line of work" again. Set in New Orleans, our would-be hero's conscience is nagging away at him and what he should be doing. His gopher/assistant Marcus (Sam Huntington of Detroit Rock City, Superman Returns, Fanboys, Being Human, The Throwaways, Sully and Finding Sofia) is pleading to being made a full partner and do some real investigations, not just developing film and getting groceries.

So I didn't have Buffy's number so I called you.

The new client Elizabeth Ryan's (Anita Briem of Doctors, The Nun, Doctor Who, The Evidence, Cold Trail, The Tudors and Journey to the Center of the Earth) father was killed and she has been scoffed at by the cops because she believes the killer was supernatural in the sense it was a werewolf that killed her father. Yeah got to admit, I would be a trifle skeptical too. Marcus looks about in the strange and weird happenings of New Orleans and gets killed. Yup right in the office.

Dylan grabs a forensics kit, some firearms and dons his familiar red shirt, black jacket and blue jeans and is back on the paranormal investigations. After confirming a werewolf was around the house, Dylan stops off at the morgue to pick Marcus up. Y'see Marcus is now a zombie. But not a flesh eating ghoul moaning brains braaaains (Thank you ever so much Dan O' Bannon of Return of the Living Dead. Putz.) but finds out that the undead life is like a medical condition...that is treatable?

Meanwhile the hottest club in town, the Corpus House (subtle as a grenade landing in your oatmeal) is a vampire haven providing drink, merriment and a designer drug comprised of vampire blood giving humans a super human high, strength and a primal need to breed and fight. Sorry Crack, you're yesterday's news. Master vampire Vargas (Taye Diggs of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Go, The Best Man, House on Haunted Hill, Ally McBeal, Private Practice, Baggage Claim and The Best Man Holiday) is smooth, charismatic and scheming to make the breathers (humans) his slaves and take over the world. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Yeah, that old chestnut. Seriously, how about creating your own hobo blood bank system around the world to appease your elders or cash in on long-term investments. Always with the world domination with these cats.

Man, Zuul is butt ugly first thing when he wakes up.

Dylan still wary of days gone past, chats up the alpha werewolf in the meat packing district. Hehe little pig, little pig come be porkchops for four. Eldest werewolf Gabriel Cysnos (Peter Stormare of Fargo, The Lost World: Jurassic Park II, The Big Lebowski, 8 MM, Armageddon, Dark Summer, Strange Magic and Arrow) is nervous for the power struggle of the city and fears he may have to assert himself against the vampires if things are moving in the direction they are.

Can Dylan figure out what's going on? How funky does Marcus smell? Is Elizabeth the helpless client or the Femme Fatale?

Love the fact that WCW/WWF wrestling champion Kurt Angle gets to be Gabriel's son and werewolf. It was a nice touch. Now I am aware of a 2014 Italian film following much closer to the comic...oh excuse me, graphic novel. Vittima degli eventi a.k.a. Dylan Dog - Victim of Circumstances and what the hell, I will give it the once over.

Yup so much for the vampires not crossing thresholds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Aimless Adulteration: Robocop: Prime Directives

Howdy again folks and welcome back for more Aimless Adulteration. Today I am touching base on a mini-series that most of America may have missed. In spite having the Detroit Demolitionist or Delta City Defender as he is referred throughout the series. 13 years after his resurrection, Murphy is on the scene with all the crime, corporate dodges and mishandling of funds, one cyborg may be all this city has to stand for their rights. This is Robocop: Prime Directives.

You're illegally parked.  20 seconds to move starting now.

Murphy (Page Fletcher of The Hitchhiker series, Buying Time, Ordeal in the Artic and Haven't We Met Before) is back and the better chunk of Detroit is now known as Delta City, "The Safest Place on Earth" and there is evidence to contradict that easily but who wants to quibble? Bomb nuts or Da Bombs are just the beginning of the problems in this safe town.  The new Delta City Commander John Cable (Maurice Dean Wint of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, TekWar, The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, Blue Murder and ReGenesis) feels like a puppet as he has been issued a non-lethal ordinance courtesy of Security Concepts. Murphy feels obsolete or over the hill left in his chair wondering why hasn't he been shut down.

I gave up violence and joined a monastery.

With Delta City burning a hole in OCP (Omni Consumer Products), it is up to the junior executives Sara Cable (Maria del Mar of Street Legal, Tekwar, Price of Glory, Blue Murder and The Christmas Shoes), Damian Lowe (Kevin Jubinville of PCU, Fly Away Home, American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile and Seven Years) and James Murphy (Anthony Lemke of Witchblade, Andromeda, Mutant X, American Psycho, Blue Mountain State, White House Down and Dark Matter) are all juxing for position each trying to get up to the corporate ladder and rule ze world! Muahahahahahaha!!! Or something like that.

With almost cyberpunk information thieves, warring gangs and a brilliant cybernetics designer turned rogue madman David Kaydick (Geraint Wyn Davies of Forever Knight, Black Harbour, The Outer Limits, Tracker, 24 and ReGenesis) who OCP railroaded looking for revenge just very well may get his darkest wishes.

These paintballers are serious!

Feeling Murphy is not under OCP's control anymore, it is time for a new CPU (Crime Prevention Unit) and his first task is to dispose of Murphy. Will Murphy be able to hold his own? Can he expose the OCP 's corruption? Will he be able to stop Kaydick?

Okay first the pros before the cons. Because this is four stories with plot and subplots, you have the continuous lone sheriff theme in Murphy's actions.  The streets and city scenes are not dead and have plenty of extras roaming it.   There is a sort of flashbacks that makes up more of a backstory for Murphy before Metro West and his death.   How a veteran cop became who and what he is. Vancouver was once again the logical choice for Detroit.  

The cons are the constant new media breaks got a trifle annoying. The slo-mo action felt like it was dragging or padding the series. The habitual need for the Johnny or Jane on the spot opinion polls on how Robocop does his job got tiresome but ask our former president about a fickle people that doesn't care. The violence is close the same level of the movies but apparently they went more CGI blood that blood squibs.

With a smattering of hand-to-hand fights, gunfights, car chases and car explosions, this series compliments the films even without Orion pictures allowing Prime Directives to use any of the footage of the previous films but they lifted footage from the more family friendly and failed TV series that lasted a season and long enough to get its own action figures and vehicle playsets.

Across the board, this is not a bad series. It was clever enough to use elements of poverty and the forgotten, the privileged and hard-working and gave enough violence, mild nudity and bleak future standing as possible.

C'mon you muthas!!